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Mary Shelley’s horror story, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, is a classic examination of the ‘science vs. religion’ debate. Written during the Industrial Revolution, Doctor Victor Frankenstein is so taken by the technological achievements of the time he forgets the soul of his creation; his Monster, and ultimately loses all he loves as a result.

Scientists conducting electrical experiments at the time certainly provided much of the inspiration for Shelley’s maniacal doctor, but one man is cited as a possible model for the theme of her novel.

1673 – 1734

Johann Conrad Dippel was born in Castle Frankenstein in south central Germany in the region of Hesse. As was the custom of the day, he acquried Franckensteinensis or Franckensteina-Strataemontanus as a surname and became forever linked to the place of his birth. He received a Master in Theology in 1693 at the University of Giessen where he also studied philosophy and alchemy and gained a prominent position among Europe’s intellectual elite.

Influenced by the Age of Reason while remaining a fervently religious man, Dippel authored several controversal theological papers under his nom de guerre; Christianus Democritus, a name that represented the duality of his views. In them he called for the demise of the traditional church organization and a rejection of the Bible as the literal word of God in favor of a more personal approach to faith. They were widely circulated throughout Europe and earned him both praise and criticism. One enthusiastic follower, Emanuel Swedenborg, later criticized him as a cultish opportunist who was “bound to no principles, but was in general opposed to all, whoever they may be, of whatever principle or faith…becoming angry with any one for contradicting him.” Swedenborg also accused Dippel of being the ‘most vile devil…who attempted wicked things.’ This opinion was surely based upon his suspected experiments in alchemy. In his Maladies and Remedies of the Life of the Flesh, Dippel announced his discovery of the ‘Elixir of Life’, as well as, a method to exorcise demons through potions produced from the boiled bones and flesh of animals. Even more alarming to the public were rumors of his attempts at ‘soul-tranference’ on human cadavers, where he was viewed as playing God on desecrated corpses.

In the end, it was reported by his contemporaries that after having been thoroughly trashed by the religious leaders of the day Dippel gave up his faith altogether, directing all his energy to his experiments in alchemy. He never backed down from his arguments or the experiments that he felt supported them and may have even actively encouraged rumors that he was in league with the Devil, having sold his soul to become a dark sorcerer.

So, in the end, Mary Shelley may have used this real-life ‘mad scientist’ as inspiration but the moral lesson she provided her Doctor Frankenstein was lost on Johann Conrad Dippel.

 

Expectation

Define what you want in clear, concise words. Educate, plan, and prepare for the opportunities that will come your way. Work to build your experience and reputation.

Abundance

 Give thanks for the abundance that is given to you. Give back with the gifts you have and what they have given you.

Enrichment

Continue to educate yourself and grow in knowledge. Strength will lie in your ability to adapt to new paradigms with intelligence, speed, and grace.

The Passing

The Passing 

My life peels away from me, leaving my soul bare against the harsh wind. Icy cold, it cuts me like daggers forged from each of my sins.

I’m in a void.

The landscape around me is an ocean of parched earth. Empty and endless. No North, South, East or West. Nowhere to go and yet,

I walk.

There’s a light ahead. It fills the sky and instinctively I know it has no origin. Warmth flows from it and embraces me. I’m compelled to move forward but with each step I struggle against the bitter wind.

Across the great emptiness joy appears and attaches itself to me through the light. Tingling sensations rise to a crescendo inside me, shooting out the top of my head in a shower of white sparks.

I smile with my whole self.

Hours pass in seconds and the shore of this strange land soon stretches out before me. The ocean I’d been walking upon ends in waves of light that wash up on a pristine beach.

It’s nighttime here.

In the distance shadows await me, but not darkness.

As I approach I begin to hear familiar voices. Individually and in chorus, I’m welcomed by everyone I have ever known with the love we’d always shared. Intense joy explodes inside every cell of my body.

I’m in Heaven.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Outdoors NW – “Five Fascinating Facts about Washington Lighthouses

Istanbul; a city seething with mystery and intrigue. It’s a place where each shadow has a story to tell and every man is a killer or a king.

DBW - Istanbul1It’s 1922 and I’m sitting on the roof of my hotel sipping strong Turkish coffee and watching the sun rise over Central Anatolia. Off in the distance the black dome of Hagia Sopiha is stark against the pre dawn sky. As shadow gives way to light, its stucco walls seem to glow red with the passion of worshippers from centuries ago.

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The Blue Mosque, with its seven domes and six minarets, is a solemn counterpart to the cathedral across the street. Built on the foundation of the Byzantine Grand Palace, it’s exterior is a balance of geometric shapes that hint to the magical world inside. Light and color reflecting from every corner puts you into a kaleidoscope of circles, triangles, rectangles and squares. Together they form patterns that are repeated a thousand times across the ceiling, walls, columns and floors, and the dizzying effect will leave you spinning like one of Rumi’s dervishes.

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The Whirling Dervishes—that puts me in mind of one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had traveling in Turkey. It was a moonless night in Cappadocia when we visited their temple to witness their sacred dance. Its simple ceremony was a mystical, transformative experience that I continue to study with a passionate eye to this day. The consistent whirling brought the energy of the heavens down to earth and for the first time in my life I felt physically connected to something larger and more encompassing than I’d ever known. Was it God? The Universe? I don’t know, but whatever happened in that cone-shaped room was the type of experience that you can only find when you step away from the world you live in and into unfamiliar territory.

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The docks at the foot of the Golden Horn are beginning to show signs of life now. The fog has lifted and people are finding their way through the twisted streets of the Old City. A few sailing ships are tied up along the dock and every now and then the sounds of engines from the steamships echo up to my rooftop perch.

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Across the strait, the Dolmabahce Palace looks out over the city from it’s stately position on the Asian shore. The balance and scale of the building hint at influences from the West but the sultans’ Asian heritage is on display as well. Pronounced rooflines and fluid, floral aesthetics allude to Eastern cultures. It’s East meets West on the building that once ruled both.

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The wind shifted and the scent of the hotel chef’s fire shifted with it. It reminded me of the destructive blaze at the Pasha’s palace last night. It’s grand facade backlit by orange flames and its brittle windows bursting every so often like fragile bubbles. The black plume of smoke escaped like a dying man’s last breath. It was a sight that was becoming more common these days as the last rulers of the Ottoman Empire abandon their homes to wander off in search of new fortunes. It was the sight, sound, and smell of a decomposing empire.

WBM Port - Istanbul

A client of Words Out PR and Weigel Bell Freelance Services has been featured on their industry’s national blog.

NARI National News

Year Founded: 1978 Number of Employees: 10 Website: www.dalesremodeling.com  Year Founded: 1978
# of Employees: 10
dalesremodeling.com

Handing It Off to the Next Generation

by Kayla Van Lydegraf

Dale’s Remodeling holds much more meaning to our family than just a way to earn a living, it is a family legacy born from a request my grandparents had of my father, and one that he is now sharing with me.

Thirty-six years ago, after returning from a stint in the U.S. Army, my grandparents asked my father, Dale Van Lydegraf, CR, to design and build them a custom A-frame retirement home along the N. Santiam River in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley.

“You can figure it out,” his parents said. As the project came together, word spread and he was soon asked to turn his experience on this single project into a business. Nearly four decades later he is sharing his knowledge and experience with me, allowing me to take the…

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Helvetia Last Saturday was about as perfect a day in the Pacific Northwest as you can get. My family took advantage of it by stopping by The Meating Place, a local butcher shop and cafe, to pick up sandwiches before driving out into the country to our new favorite picnic spot in the gorgeous Helvetia countryside. DSC00923 We spread our blanket under a large maple tree standing next to the road and shared our lunch while we watched a herd of cows doing the same thing in a nearby field. DSC00912

Down in the lower lands a tractor was turning dirt in a field and it’s long dark track revealed the fertility of the Helvetia farmland.

DSC00917Across the road is the Helvetia Community Church, a quaint house of worship that is reminiscent of the churches found in the Swedish and Germanic villages from which Helvetia’s European settlers immigrated. Of course, they weren’t the first people to claim this region as their own. The Atfalati band of the Kalapuya Indians settled in this region 10,000 years ago and today are a celebrated part of Helvetia’s history, with their presence being honored each year at the Helvetia Cultural Fest.

The famous Helvetia Tavern is a family favorite and as we drive back home my husband can’t help but roll down the windows to see if he can catch a whiff of the burgers he so passionately loves. Hot off the grill, these tasty burgers Helvetia_Tavern_(Washington_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(washDA0029)are juicy goodness between a sesame seed bun. Their fresh cut fries and onion rings are so delicious we never can decide on one or the other so we opt for a “half and half” order. Recently, a back yard patio has been added and from there you can watch the setting sun gild the entire landscape in its warm light.

All along the road you’ll find signs leading to privately owned farms that offer an abundance of fresh-from-the-field produce, meat, and wool products. Throughout the spring and DSC03240summer you’ll be able to harvest your own fruits and vegetables at many of the U-Pick farms. During the fall and winter months bring your children out to the pumpkin patches and christmas tree farms and let them experience a bit of farm life, too. Helvetia is facing the familiar threat of urban expansion. As the influence of the Hillsboro tech companies continues to creep north, the residents of Helvetia have organized to fight for their border rights. Save Helvetia protects rural Helvetia by advocating for rural reserves, challenging unnecessary urban growth boundary expansions, advising governmental bodies about interchange improvements and new road construction, and clarifying soil fill practices. DSC02933 Helvetia, Oregon can easily boast one of the most beautiful rural settings in the state, and maybe even in the United States. It’s productive farms are a reminder of what enticed the settlers to leave their homes and travel thousands of miles to stake their claim to the American dream. I’m glad I’ve done it because I believe I just may have found paradise on Earth.

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