Commentary on "The Most Evil Man in the Universe"|
The Most Evil Man in the Universe
When I searched in Google for "The Most Evil Man in the Universe" to see if it was the name
of some film or music that I didn't know about, I found neither. However, one suggestion
was quite convincing Emperor Palpatine
the fictional character in George Lucas' science fiction film saga
Star Wars (1977).
Palpatine, portrayed by Ian McDiarmid is the Emperor of the Galactic Empire, an aged
cowled figure, who rises to power in the prequel trilogy through deception and treachery
as a middle-aged politician of the Republic. Secretly, Palpatine is Darth Sidious,
a Dark Lord of the Sith who initiates and manipulated the Clone Wars to destroy the Jedi
and usher in the totalitarian Galactic Empire. In
Star Wars Episode III:
Revenge of the Sith (2005), Palpatine takes advantage of Anakin's emotionally drained mind
to submit him to the dark side and becomes Sidious's new apprentice,
Darth Vader. Vader became one of the most
iconic villains, and was listed as the third greatest movie villain on the American Film Institute's
list 100 Heroes and Villains.
In Scales of Good and Evil, "The Top Ten Evil" people
of history are listed: Tomas de Torquemada, Vlad Tepes, Adolf Hitler, Ivan the Terrible, Adolph Eichmann, Pol Pot,
Mao Tse-tung, Idi Amin, Joseph Stalin, Genghis Khan. Other evil men include Attila the Hun, Caligua, Emperor Nero,
and Osama bin Laden. The British occultist Aleister Crowley,
who summoned up demons through ceremonial magick has been called
"The Wickedest Man in the World",
(Time, Oct. 13, 1952) &
World's Most Evil Man (Hemingway's
A Moveable Feast, 1964).
jacket with a skull and coiled serpent
After much search in Google Images for "Most Evil Man in the Universe, jacket, skull, coiled serpent",
I came up empty. The best sample I found was a
"Men's Hooded Leather Jacket Punk Skull in Olive" priced
at $658, on sale for $329. However this 2"x4" image was too small to add a serpent and type.
It didn't have the bulky feel of the jacket worn by the "Most Evil Man" I met at Safeway.
When I found this "Retro Jacket Back" with a lion, the 6"x7" image size was large enough
to work with. So I decided to create my own jacket design in Adobe Photoshop. The clone stamp
was used to erase the lion image. Searching through Google Images, a skull and
coiled serpent were
found and resized in layers before pasting them to the jacket. A 24-pt font size of Hobo Standard
Medium was use to type "THE MOST EVIL MAN IN THE UNIVERSE". The whole process took around an hour
and half. See illustrated step-by-step process in Evil Jacket Design.
α-bungarotoxin and cobra venom
used now in medicine for stroke patients
α-bungarotoxin is one of the components of the venom of the
elapid snake Taiwanese banded krait (Bungarus multinctus). It binds irreversibly and competitively
α-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the brain, and as such has applications in neuroscience research.
Bungarotoxin was discovered by Chuan-Chiung Chang & Chen-Yuan Lee of National Taiwan University in 1963.
Cobra venom while deadly in large doses, have
occasional medicinal uses some are used as painkillers in cases of arthritis or cancer,
and some serve as coagulants for people with hemophilia.
Snake Venom Extract Fights Stroke
An experimental drug derived from the venom of the feared Malayan pit viper shows promise for
the treatment of stroke, an analysis of six studies involving over 4,000 stroke victims suggests.
The drug, known as Viprinex, may double the time window during which victims can be treated
following the onset of symptoms, researchers say. (WebMD Health News, Feb. 8, 2007).
Snake venom could cure stroke
Researchers claimed the experimental drug, called Ancrod, made from rattlesnake venom,
lowers levels of a blood-clotting substance in the blood and may be able to reverse the
effects of a stroke. It could also protect against further strokes and is less likely to
cause internal bleeding than existing clot-busting drugs. In a study of 500
stroke patients it helped 42% recover their physical and mental abilities within three hours.
Of those given an inert dummy drug, 34% regained their previous faculties. (BBC News, Feb. 4, 1999)
Asclepius, son of Apollo, whose serpent-entwined
staff healed everyone, even raising the dead
Asclepius is the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology.
He was the son of Apollo and Coronis. His mother was killed for being unfaithful to Apollo
and was laid out on a funeral pyre to be consumed, but the unborn child was rescued from her womb.
From this he received the name Asklepios "to cut open". Apollo carried the baby to the centaur
Chiron who raised Asclepius and instructed him in the art of medicine. Asclepius learned the secrets
of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another (which Asclepius himself had
fatally wounded) healing herbs. Asclepius was depicted on the reverse of the Greek
10,000 drachmas banknote of 1995-2001.
Zeus got so jealous and killed him with a thunderbolt
Zeus killed Asclepius with a thunderbolt because he raised the dead and accepted gold for it.
Other stories say that Asclepius was killed because after bringing people back from the dead,
Hades thought that no more dead spirits would come to the underworld, so asked his brother
to remove him. This angered Apollo who in turn murdered the cyclops who made the thunderbolt
for Zeus. For this act, Zeus banned Apollo from the night sky and commanded Apollo to serve
Admetus, King of Thessaly. After Asclepius' death, Zeus placed Asclepius among the stars as
the constellation Ophiuchus ("the Serpent Holder").
In close proximity in the sky to Ophiuchus is the constellation
Sagittarius, which was believed
to represent Chiron, mentor tl Asclepius and many Greek heroes, though Chiron was originally
associated with the constellation Centaurus
in the southern sky.
kundalini the serpent asleep at the base
of our spine that is awakened by meditation
Kundalini in Sanskrit means "coiled". In Indian yoga, it is a "corporeal energy" envisioned
as a sleeping serpent coiled at the base of the spine. Sir John Woodroffe translated this in
his book as The Serpent Power (1919). Kundalini is considered a part of the subtle body
along with the chakras (energy centers) and nadis (channels). The overall concept has many
points in common with Chinese acupuncture.
I was fortunate to attend Joseph Campbell's lecture & workshop on the "Kundalini"
at Harvard University on January 8, 1982, where he outlined the first three chakras
the 1st at the spine's base for survival, the 2nd at the genitals for sex, and the 3rd at
the navel for power. Joseph Campbell says that most people are stuck at the lower three chakras,
blinded by their survival, sex, and power instincts. He then showed a slide from an
(19th Dynasty, 1405-1367 BC), The Book of the Dead the judgment scene, the weighing of
the heart of the deceased against a feather. In terms of the kundalini, the message is clear:
if the aims of the deceased in life were no higher than those of Chakra 3, the Swallower claims
the soul; whereas, if love had been heeded in the lifetime (Chakra 4), Thoth will conduct
the blessed soul (light as a feather) to Osiris's throne by the Waters of Eternal Life.
ascending the chakras like a fountain of light
Yoga and Tantra propose that this energy may be "awakened" by breath control, visualization and chanting.
It may then rise up a subtle channel at the spine (called Sushumna) to the head, bringing psychological illumination.
When Kundalini Shakti is conceived as a goddess, then, when it rises to the head, it unites
itself with the Supreme Being (Lord Shiva). The aspirant becomes engrossed in deep meditation and bliss.
A visualization exercise is to imagine a fountain of light arising from the base of your spine
percolating up the spinal column to the top of the head. As it flows down your body
let this light energy swirl around any part of yourself that you feel pain so it may be healed.
(See Seven Chakras & Web link: Fountain of Light Exercise)
to the top of our head's crown chakra
as the thousand-petalled lotus
Crown chakra or Sahasrara
is the 7th and highest chakra in Hindu tradition. It is situated four finger-breadths above
the top of the head and has 1000 petals, arranged in 20 layers each of them with 50 petals. Also called
Brahma-randhra, it is the meeting place of Kundalini Sakti and Siva. The petals bear the total sound-potential
represented by all the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, 50 in each layer. The chakra synchronizes all colors,
encompases all senses and all functions, and is pervading in its power. The Crown Chakra symbolizes detachment from illusion,
and experiencing Cosmic Consciousness, seeing everyone and everything as oneself. When a yogi raises his or her
kundalini, energy of awareness, up to this level, Samadhi, or union with God is experienced. It is often
related to the opening of the third eye or pineal gland and related to the color violet and the thousand-petaled lotus.
The Crown chakra image shown here was scanned from C.W. Leadbeater's The Chakras (1980 paperback copy of
the original 1927 edition).
halo you see around Buddha and Christ
The Halo is a ring of light
surrounding a person in art. It is often depicted on Buddha, Christ, angels, saints, and sacred
figures. The halo is shown in the form of a golden, yellow, or white circular glow around the head.
Round "solar discs" surrounded by a serpent above the head are seen on Ancient Egypt deities Ra and
Hathor. Symbols resembling later haloes, such as the sun cross, are found
in many ancient religions, especially in connection with sun worship. In
Adoration of the Magi (1306),
Giotto paints haloes around the infant Jesus, Joseph, Mary, Angel, and the three Kings.
Psychics claim to see haloes and auras around spiritual people. The clairvoyant C.W. Leadbeater,
author of Chakras (1927) saw the largest aura around the 14-year old boy
Jiddu Krishnamurti in 1909 on the beach in Adyar, India.
He was groomed by the Theosophical Society to become the future World Teacher. But in
1929, Krishnamurti disbanded the Order of the Star which he headed, saying "truth is a
pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect."
He returned all monies and properties donated to the Order of the Star, including a castle in Holland
and 5,000 acres of land, to their donors. He refused to be a guru and accepted neither followers or
disciples. His public lecture tours on spiritual quest and truth for more than 50 years have been
taped and published in books. It is interesting that in his later years, Krishnamurti called
Leadbeater, the one who discovered him "evil".
Hippocrates, Father of Medicine chose
the caduceus as the physician's logo
The Greek god Hermes (Mercury) carries this serpent power in the form of the
which Hippocrates (460-377BC), the father of medicine adopted as the physician's logo.
We may see the twin serpents as the DNA double helix, the genetic messenger of life, or
the serpent power rising from the base of the spine to the crown chakra of enlightenment
symbolized by the wings at the top. Mercury received this winged wand from Apollo in exchange
for his lyre. Thus, Apollo became the god of poetry with the nine muses dancing to his music
on Mt. Parnassus. But Mercury became the messenger of the gods. The caduceus's rod corresponds
to the axis mundi or sushumna (central column of the spinal cord), and the serpents to the ida
& pingala (right & left spinal nerves). The yogi's goal is to awaken the kundalini (serpent energy)
at the spine's base (lower instincts), so the inner fire ascends to the upper chakras
(higher consciousness) as symbolized by wings. The caduceus should remind physicians of
their higher callingto care for their patient's physical as well as their emotional, mental,
and spiritual well-being.
twin snakes on a winged rod resemble the DNA double
helix carrying the genetic chromosomes of life.
The spine is called in India the Brahmadanda, the rod of Brahma,
and the drawing at left in Fig. 4d shows that it is also the origin of Mercury's caduceus, the
two snakes of which symbolize the kundalini or serpent-fire that is set in motion during yogic
meditation. The wings typify the power of conscious flight through the higher planes which
the development of that fire confers. Fig. 4a shows the stimulated Ida after the initiation
into the First Degree of Freemasonry; this line is crimson in color. To it is added at the Passing
the yellow line of the Pingala, depicted in Fig. 4b; while at the Raising the series is
completed by the deep blue stream of the Sushumna, shown by Fig. 4c. (from C.W. Leadbeater, The Chakras, 1980, pp. 32-33).
These three subtle channels
Ida, Pingala and Sushumna
are known as Nadis.
"You're telling me that I'm not evil but good". The magic spells and incantations that brought
him pleasure (over Gretchen and Helen of Troy) and power did not satisfy his soul. Faust found that only by helping
others (draining a swamp for better sewage in the community) gave him a feeling of bliss.
Real life cases include Saint Augustine of Hippo
(354-430 AD) who led a hedonist life in youth and adopted a monastic lifestyle becoming a priest in 391 AD (age 37)
and canonized as a saint in 1298.
In my chat with the brawny guy, I tried to focus on the serpent's symbolism of goodness in healing rather
than the evil symbol of death and violence. Perhaps he was surprised at this revelation, as shown by
the smile in his eyes when he gave me the hearty "high-five salute".
In Christianity, Satan is identified as the serpent who tempted
Adam and Evil
to eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
(Genesis 2.17) resulting
in their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. In the Book of Revelation 12.9 "the old serpent,
called the Devil and
Satan deceives the whole world". In serpent symbolism,
the association of serpent with evil derives from the forked tongues of snakes. Human tongues
have one tip and represents truthful speech, while the serpent's forked tongue represents
disunity and deceitful speech. In Hinduism and Buddhism, Nagas
are giant serpents with god-like powers that are revered. Since serpents cast off their skins, they symbolize
rebirth and are represented in cosmic cycles. Ningishzida is a
Mesopotamian deity of the underworld. He is the patron of medicine, and a god of Nature and fertility. His name in
Sumerian means "Lord of the good tree". The design from the Libation Cup of King Gudea of Lagash (Sumeria, 2000 B.C.)
shows two gryphons or "lion birds" with scorpion tails. They draw back the portals of a shrine to reveal the Sumero-Akkadian
serpent-god Ningishzida in dual aspect, as a pair of copulating vipers interlaced along a staff. It predates
Mercury's Caduceus, Rod of Asclepius, and the serpent staff of Moses by more than a millennium. A case in
literature of an evil character who turned good is Goethe's
"You've made my day!
The phrase "You
made my day" or "You've made my day" means that someone has done or said something that made you very happy,
and it made the day more special for you. However, I was thinking this tough guy saying those words of Clint Eastwood
"Go ahead, make my day!" when playing Harry Callahan ("Dirty Harry") in the 1983 film Sudden Impact
(see Video). No doubt he must have beaten up many
of his opponents to submission or scared them off with his menacing "Most Evil Man in the Universe" jacket.
But on this day, I encountered him without fear and we both opened our hearts not to evil but goodness.
I guess he made my day too!