Even in absurdity, sacrament.     Even in hardship, holiness.     Even in doubt, faith.     Even in chaos, realization.    Even in paradox, blessedness

 

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"Life expands or shrinks in proportion to one's courage."    ~Anain Nin

{ Sunday, 31 July, 2005 }

poem 1 of 2 written on back of a receipt

(A Tower of Bauble)

It's a simulacra of starflight
On a festival night, in a dance club,
In the remotest possible corner,
This perch for observing as a gull on the mast
The waves of voices, the nebulous, the storm.

The men are beautiful, the women powerful,
There's a lover here for everyone,
Even in stupidity, even in lust.
Will the glitterball spin a name or a number
Crumpled in hopeful scraps into my pocket?

It doesn't matter much really,
I've made it this far, I think,
As I finish another unnecessary beer,
And float into the dancing smoke ascending,
This oracular cloud,
Burnt and cheap offerings to the god of leisure.

Somewhere in this mix,
There's a lover that's somewhat close to heaven,
And I must adore him even without holding him,
This ideal, this diagram of perfect mornings
And laughter-to-be,
But there's so many of you,
Too many would-be lovers...
Let's stagger from this place
And, at very least,
Make a dashing try at catching one's shadow.

jaybird found this for you @ 23:05 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



This is a moblog* post:

I'm not supposed to leave here without a kiss damnit


*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

jaybird found this for you @ 00:53 in Local- Western North Carolina | | permalink



{ Saturday, 30 July, 2005 }

william carlos williams

Of asphodel, that greeny flower,

like a buttercup

upon its branching stem-

save that it's green and wooden-

I come, my sweet,

to sing to you. more ->

jaybird found this for you @ 12:35 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



{ Friday, 29 July, 2005 }

smiting the pure ones

The Brief Ascension of the Cathars

The Cathars believed that the world was split along lines of matter and spirit, good and evil. They believed in purifying themselves, clean living, chastity, poverty and equality of the sexes.

If you're thinking to yourself, "danger, danger, must exterminate," you would have made a good Pope Innocent III.

The Cathars were a gnostic Christian sect that arose in the 11th century, an offshoot of a small surviving European gnostic community that emigrated to the Albigensian region in the south of France. The name "Cathar" comes from a Greek work meaning "Pure Ones," a noble enough sentiment but one that would get them into a lot of trouble.

jaybird found this for you @ 19:39 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



the future is so retro


The Prefab From Another Planet

The circular house, 11 feet high and 26 feet across, was designed by Matti Suuronen, a Finnish architect, in 1968. A hatch door in its lower half opened down to reveal steps, like the door of a small airplane, and led into a room outfitted with six plastic bed-chair combinations and a central fireplace slab, as well as a kitchenette and a bathroom. Photographs from the time make the house look like a place where the Teletubbies might live, with Barbarella as a frequent houseguest.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:35 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



If only...

A Clinton Cargo Cult

Any day now, the checks would come.

Any day now, the forces of darkness would stop holding back the checks.

Any day now, Jesus Himself would return in a spaceship, bringing news that President Clinton had signed a secret law in 2000 abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, with the heavenly acronym NESARA. This law (which supposedly stands for the National Economic Stabilization and Recovery Act) would expose the "Republican Party" for what they are: literally reptile space aliens posing as fiscal conservatives.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:32 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



to play and be played

The Game of Life: Family

I teach Orwell’s 1984 to my junior-level students, and I recall humbly how easy it is to be both played and to play others. And I urge my students to be authentic in their relationships with the friends, parents, and teachers in their lives, while knowing, all along, that capitalism and patriotism and all the other –isms that swarm all around us are actively trying to manipulate us into some course of action or another.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:28 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink



{ Thursday, 28 July, 2005 }

truth grudge match

"What is truth? Is truth unchanging law?
People have truths- are mine the same as yours?"

The idea that truth matters actually sums up four claims. Together, these truisms, as I'll call them, explain what I mean by "truth" and what I mean by its "mattering." Accordingly, I begin by introducing these truisms about truth, with an aim toward convincing you that they are just what I say they are, obvious truisms. This doesn't mean that everyone agrees with them. As I already noted, some of us are confused about truth-we have contradictory beliefs about it. So we may believe these truisms but also believe something else that undermines our belief in one or all of them. Moreover, nothing is so obvious that someone hasn't proclaimed it to be false, misguided, naive, incoherent, impossible, or corrupting for the young. And lots and lots of folks, as we'll see, continue to say as much about these four ideas.

Wittgenstein once remarked that the job of the philosopher was to "assemble reminders"-to point out to us what has been right there in front of our face all along. While this isn't all that a philosopher does, there is a lot of sense in this point. The very familiarity of something can make us forget, or even deny, its importance. When that happens, we need to be reminded of its role in our everyday life. This is what we need in the case of truth.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:12 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



The Christian Paradox

How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong [via Mefi]
Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.

meh.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:08 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



whoops

Iraq has descended into chaos way beyond West's worst-case scenario

The bombers have paralysed Baghdad. I have spent half my time living in Iraq since the invasion. The country has never been as dangerous as it is today. Some targets have been hit again and again. The army recruiting centre at Al-Muthana municipal airport in the middle of Baghdad has been attacked eight times, the last occasion being on Wednesday, when eight people were killed. The detonations of the suicide bombs make my windows shake in their frames in my room in the al-Hamra Hotel. The hotel is heavily guarded. At one time the man who looked for bombs under cars entering the compound, with a mirror on the end of a stick, carried a pistol in his right hand. He reckoned if he did discover a suicide bomber he had a split second in which to shoot him in the head before the driver detonated his bomb.

The bombers, or rather the defences against them, have altered the appearance of Baghdad. US army and Iraqi government positions in Baghdad are surrounded by ramparts of enormous cement blocks that snake through the city. Manufactured in different sizes, each is named after an American state, such as Arkansas and Wisconsin. These concrete megaliths are strangling the city by closing off many streets.

For all the newspaper and television coverage of Iraq the foreign media still fail to convey the lethal and anarchic quality of day-to-day living...

jaybird found this for you @ 12:02 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



huffington

The Magic 8 Ball of American Politics

Sure it'd be nice if we could trust the Bush administration to do the right thing as it seeks to protect us from terrorist attacks -- but it’s proven that we can’t. And even if the White House had a shred of credibility left, we shouldn't. This nation was founded on skepticism and distrust of those in power. Our founding fathers didn't even trust themselves to do the right thing, creating specific rules for what a president should -- and shouldn’t -- be allowed to do, and giving the legislative branch oversight over how the executive branch fulfilled its duties. Remember "trust but verify?" It's just another way of saying oversight.

It's amazing the extent to which Congress has ceded that responsibility. This negligence of its constitutional duties is what allowed us to get so deeply into the disastrous war in Iraq in the first place.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:28 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



{ Wednesday, 27 July, 2005 }

cheers to science!

Japanese researchers unlock mysteries of drunkenness

Japanese researchers say they have identified the physical differences between people who get drunk easily and those who can hold their liquor -- a discovery that can help refine the use of medicine... They confirmed for the first time the different blood-flow levels after a few drinks between people with different tolerances to alcohol.

The study, conducted on people willing to have a free drink for the cause of science, showed that the blood flow to the part of brain that controls visual functions increased after people with low alcohol tolerance drank. But little change was observed in the same brain area among those with higher tolerance...

jaybird found this for you @ 20:02 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



music of the ringed sphere

Cassini Reveals Saturn's Eerie-Sounding Radio Emissions

Saturn's radio emissions could be mistaken for a Halloween sound track. That's how two researchers describe their recent findings, published in the July 23 issue of the Geophysical Research Letters. Their paper is based on data from the Cassini spacecraft radio and plasma wave science instrument. The study investigates sounds that are not just eerie, but also descriptive of a phenomenon similar to Earth's northern lights.

"All of the structures we observe in Saturn's radio spectrum are giving us clues about what might be going on in the source of the radio emissions above Saturn's auroras..." We believe that the changing frequencies are related to tiny radio sources moving up and down along Saturn's magnetic field lines."

[sounds: 1, 2]

jaybird found this for you @ 15:55 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



pagentry and speciation


Butterfly unlocks evolution secret

Why one species branches into two is a question that has haunted evolutionary biologists since Darwin. Given our planet's rich biodiversity, "speciation" clearly happens regularly, but scientists cannot quite pinpoint the driving forces behind it.

Now, researchers studying a family of butterflies think they have witnessed a subtle process, which could be forcing a wedge between newly formed species. The team... discovered that closely related species living in the same geographical space displayed unusually distinct wing markings. These wing colours apparently evolved as a sort of "team strip", allowing butterflies to easily identify the species of a potential mate.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:47 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



Beyond NASA

The push to privatize spaceflight

Not far from bustling Los Angeles International Airport and the glistening office towers of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and other aerospace giants sits a cluster of squat buildings that may hold a key to the future of manned spaceflight.

Inside the main facility, whimsical trash cans sport nose cones and rocket fins. A Segway electric scooter shares an expansive shop floor with segments of rocket bodies. In one corner, inside a "clean room," engineers piece together a rocket motor. Welcome to Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Think dotcom trailblazing with Buck Rogers technology. This upstart and others like it represent the potential of privatized spaceflight. "By the middle of this century, if it's not overwhelmingly private, we've really failed..."

jaybird found this for you @ 07:42 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 26 July, 2005 }

go ask everett

Is ours the only universe?

As far as I know there's been only one good explanation of how these other universes could have similar physical constants, and that's if black holes spawn other universes. That's something that's talked about, that every star that dies in our universe that is massive enough to collapse infinitely, to just keep collapsing because nothing can stop the collapse, somehow that black hole breaks out into somewhere else -- another universe, that may exist in other dimensions than our usual three dimensions of space and one of time. When that happens there could be a memory of the parent universe, and that might mean similar physical constants.

[see also]

jaybird found this for you @ 20:20 in | | permalink



anti-time

The concept of negative time

Yowsa: In the physical universe, the concept of time is always positive. However there are simultaneous parallel time dimensions within the physical universes. Every physical universe is associated with one time dimension and innumerable parallel time dimensions. The concept of time is always starts at zero – the time of the big bang in the physical universe.

But according to researchers in contemporary physics, the parallel universes have the concept of no time dimension and time can become negative in that environment. The time dimension that allows time as negative value makes strange things happen. One can literally fabricate the future in that environment from the past and them come to the present. A spatial with no time concept built in is not a point of singularity.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:16 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



surely it wasn't my cave

Ancient phallus unearthed in cave

A sculpted and polished phallus found in a German cave is among the earliest representations of male sexuality ever uncovered, researchers say... The prehistoric "tool" was reassembled from 14 fragments of siltstone. Its life size suggests it may well have been used as a sex aid by its Ice Age makers, scientists report." In addition to being a symbolic representation of male genitalia, it was also at times used for knapping flints..."

You really just have to love the BBC.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:08 in Carnality, Naughtiness & Fun | | permalink



it could only happen here

Climate Change Research Controversy on Capitol Hill

"Unprecedented" is the best word to describe what has happened during the last month on Capitol Hill regarding climate change research. While debate about whether or not the Earth is warming and the role that greenhouse gases may play in such warming has been a constant on Capitol Hill, this issue has taken on an entirely new profile.

On June 23, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) sent unprecedented letters to several parties involved in climate change research.

[snip]

"I am writing to express my strenuous objections to what I see as the misguided and illegitimate investigation you have launched concerning Dr. Michael Mann, his co-authors and sponsors." After commenting on committee jurisdiction, Boehlert states, "My primary concern about your investigation is that its purpose seems to be to intimidate scientists rather than to learn from them, and to substitute Congressional political review for scientific peer review. This would be pernicious.

"It is certainly appropriate for Congress to try to understand scientific disputes that impinge on public policy. There are many ways for us to do that, including hearings with a balanced set of witnesses, briefings with scientists, and requests for reviews by the National Academy of Sciences or other experts.

"But you have taken a decidedly different approach - one that breaks with precedent and raises the specter of politicians opening investigations against any scientist who reaches a conclusion that makes the political elite uncomfortable..."

jaybird found this for you @ 07:56 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



{ Monday, 25 July, 2005 }

deep film critiquing

Metaphilm: I Heart Huckabees

One problem with the word “shaman,” which traces its origins to the Siberian steppe, is that it is popularly employed by people more interested in fantasizing about some alternate reality than squaring their shoulders to bear the mundane burdens of this one. However, in cultures where such an office exists, the job of the shaman is primarily to foster the interrelation of two groups or positions that have hardened into such stubborn opposition that the survival of the society is at risk. For life to go on, the two camps must overcome their polemic, and the shaman acts by throwing himself into the fray—mentally, bodily, and emotionally, sometimes at personal risk. The result of his labors typically constitutes a paradigm shift rather than a compromise: the rules, though not necessarily undone, are re-contextualized and the system changes, including the position of the shaman himself.

The Existential Detectives in Huckabees, including their dissenting French faction, are essentially concerned with one thing—conflict—and not, as protagonist Albert Markovski initially supposes, with understanding coincidence in itself. Ideas, for the detectives, are clues that reveal human soul-sickness or tools that can correct it. Their explanations of how the universe works—a unified “blanket” on one hand and a meaningless void on the other—tend to be goofy or oversimplified. But this is somewhat beside the point, for their aim is action rather than analysis. They are working toward the creation and resolution of conflict—achieving a moment of crisis in order to shift an entire system.

jaybird found this for you @ 19:38 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



yup

Is it Treason?

Karl Rove seems never to have admired democracy, leaving a trail of filthy politics among the corpses of his political opponents. Karl Rove has always reeked of political trickery and as Americans, we are concerned with Karl Rove’s unethical and unpatriotic personal behavior. That's why citizens across America are fed up and outraged--especially by Rove's suspected role in Plamegate. America is asking, "Is it treason? And what then?"

jaybird found this for you @ 15:33 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



may it be so

Has Huygens found life on Titan?

...They think the microbes would breathe hydrogen rather than oxygen, and eat organic molecules drifting down from the upper atmosphere. They considered three available substances: acetylene, ethane and more complex organic gunk known as tholins. Ethane and tholins turn out to provide little more than the minimum energy requirements of methanogenic bacteria on Earth. The more tempting high-calorie option is acetylene, yielding six times as much energy per mole as either ethane or tholins.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:31 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



self and cosmic self

I am always I

In the end, evolution on this planet will have been the growth of an immortal spark of Divinity from an invisible evolutionary trigger to a hyperspatial Entity with complete mastery of Space and Time.

What began as an implicate order tightly knotted into the subquantum fabric of reality will end as a fully explicate architecture of dazzling supernatural complexity, an interplanetary flowering into Deity.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:27 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



{ Sunday, 24 July, 2005 }

the clearing

It's time to write.

It's time to write
With the boldness of the moon
Of this walk tonight
This overgrown footpath through a land of unresolved thought
That leads, at last, to a clearing
A fire ring and a few bottles
Where tiny spiders live, undisturbed.

What scraps of paper, or poetry, fuel this fire
Seldom lit in the self-aware forest...
Looks like a search for truth and meaning
Fired the embers red,
Then black in the morning.
The quest is good for something.

It's time to write
Of this place,
Wildflower bowed in reverence to the moon
Where the self comes to see it's shadow
In the flickering campfire, for evidence,
To pass a moment when its being is substantial
And to weave a silver nest from cicada song
To rest the wounded and worn within.
In the clearing, we must reckon,
As syllables become sparks ascending
While fireflies count their gods.

It's time to write
Of your history, of you, a person in this life
An animate purpose guides your strident walking.
What have you done
That has altered the spin of this very place?
Wavelets of you are everywhere
And one must merely put a finger to the wind
To know your mind.
Yes you, in your wrinkled clothes and booked schedule
Are spectral tonight...
Could be evermore...
For even the moth drawn to the light of the clearing
Delights, as a mad monk, in your eyes.

It's time to write
Of the way you curse each morning you awake alone
But forget the green of the leaves that flirt with the window,
The purple spiral of datura, the awe of wind from the sun.
No, you are held-
No, you are made love to in your cloister-
Your fevered love is not reserved for man
But for the cosmic, the dew that pools mystic in the grass,
For there, in the soil and the heart of sun,
Does your passion find purchase
And the world grows wild around you.
What greater romance?
He who awaits must know these things
Before the fruit of human goodness can be harvested
And you taste of it, at last.

It's time to write
In no uncertain terms, no vague wordplay,
Of who you are and what you want,
And what, indeed, drew you with such force to the clearing,
For it was not some random meander
But purposeful pathwork
That got you here, with a pack of matches
And a stack of prosaic letters for light.
You've one beer in the knapsack and a whittling knife-
Whatever can you do with that?
Speak, even wordlessly.

It's time to write
Strongly, with conviction (even to nothingness)
And commit your words to fire, fearlessly,
Convert them to a moment's heat and light,
Be real with them and make a burnt offering unto Something
And overcome the idea that you're not really here.
You're in the clearing, and it's as real as anything.
Camp out, and awake in the morning to that floral light
That entice the birds to concertos and storytelling.
What's left to do after you've seen death so clearly
And no beasts have chomped you to the last minute of night,
For you're safe, you're here, it's now,
And for the sake of all that is holy,
You've written something (whoever you are)...

It's time to use it.

jaybird found this for you @ 23:16 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



dillard

The Mysticism of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
The other side of Dillard's mysticism explores with the unanswerable questions, such as -- why must there be pain and suffering? She wonders why God would create creatures in such great numbers that some must die of famine, or why God would create 10% of the earth's creatures as parasites -- creatures that live only by destroying other life - and she provides lots of examples of the gruesome ways that parasites devour their prey. Dillard feels that we give children the wrong idea in regards to the nature of reality -- and muses that perhaps stuffed teddy bears should come with little stuffed lice, to paint a true picture of the way things are. {PTC, 233} However, at the same time she is cursing God for the creation of parasites, she also understands that "these parasites are companions for life...more life to the universal dance." {PTC, 234} The existence of two such diametrically opposed facets of nature is confusing to her, and she finds herself dwelling on this paradox.

Annie really grapples with the horrors of reality. She realizes that death, pain and struggling must spring from the same source as do all of the wonders she experiences. She faces the issues despite her fears because she feels it is her holy duty to understand every aspect of the Divine that she comes into contact with - even if the process is a painful one.

One of the basic themes of the book is what Annie calls the Universal Chomp -- or, the horrors of the food chain. Here is a story she tells about the horrors of the food chain: "When I was in elementary school, one of the teachers brought in a mantis egg case in a Mason jar. I watched the newly hatched mantises emerge and shed their skins; they were spidery and translucent, all over joints. They trailed from the egg case to the base of the Mason jar in a living bridge that looked like Arabic calligraphy, some baffling text form the Koran inscribed down the air by a fine hand. Over a period of several hours, during which time the teacher never summoned the nerve or the sense to release them, they ate each other until only two were left. Tiny legs were still kicking from the mouths of both. The two survivors grappled...in the Mason jar; finally both died of injuries. I felt as though I myself should swallow the corpses...so all that life wouldn't be lost." Annie finds it very hard to come to terms with these types of occurrences in the world - the conditions of suffering which cannot be escaped.

She writes, "It is the fixed that horrifies us, the fixed that assails us with the tremendous force of its mindlessness. The fixed is a mason jar, and we can't beat it open." Dillard sees that humans, animals, and plants alike are destined to exist as part horrific food chain, where it is "chomp or fast." She laments, "It is ridiculous...what happened to manna? Why doesn't everything eat manna? Into what rare air did the manna dissolve that we harry the free live things - each other?" She is confused and frightened of a God that would thrust such conditions on its creations. "Evolution loves death more than it loves you or me..." she broods, "are my values so diametrically opposed to those that nature preserves? This is the key point!" Her deliberations continue, "We value the individual supremely and nature not a whit. It looks for the moment as though I might have to reject this creek life unless I want to be utterly brutalized. Is human culture with its values my only real home after all?" Her wavering faith in light of the horrors of the world - horrors that spring from that same Divine she adores - is not unusual. On the contrary, she precisely conveys universal questions and doubts about the existence and nature of God.


jaybird found this for you @ 12:23 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



{ Saturday, 23 July, 2005 }

hart crane

Chaplinesque

We will make our meek adjustments,
Contented with such random consolations
As the wind deposits
In slithered and too ample pockets.

For we can still love the world, who find
A famished kitten on the step, and know
Recesses for it from the fury of the street,
Or warm torn elbow coverts.

We will sidestep, and to the final smirk
Dally the doom of that inevitable thumb
That slowly chafes its puckered index toward us,
Facing the dull squint with what innocence
And what surprise!

And yet these fine collapses are not lies
More than the pirouettes of any pliant cane;
Our obsequies are, in a way, no enterprise.

We can evade you, and all else but the heart:
What blame to us if the heart live on.

The game enforces smirks; but we have seen
The moon in lonely alleys make
A grail of laughter of an empty ash can,
And through all sound of gaiety and quest
Have heard a kitten in the wilderness.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:19 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



{ Friday, 22 July, 2005 }

fortean friday #4

Elves no laughing matter in Iceland

(Short UPI story follows, no link. Hey, I beleive)

The Icelandic tradition of believing in elves is so strong roads have been rerouted to avoid disturbing rocks where they might live, a report said.

Polls consistently show most residents of Iceland either believe in elves, or aren't willing to rule out their existence.

Retired museum director Hildur Hakonardottir, 67, told the New York Times she saw and elf once, one bigger than life and dressed like my grandmother, in a 1930s national costume.

Tourists at Hafnarfjordur, a port on the outskirts of Reykjavik, are invited to tour known elf locations, including a large rock whose reputation as an elf habitat led to plans for a nearby road being changed so as not to disturb its supernatural residents.

Elly Erlingsdottir, head of the town council's planning committee, said some elves recently borrowed her kitchen scissors, only to return them a week later to a place she had repeatedly searched.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:27 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



fortean friday #3


NZ: 'Haunted' cave opens again to sightseers

He dismisses claims the cave is haunted despite local stories, including an alleged incident where a black water rafting guide, who did not want to be named, said he felt like he had been asphyxiated while in the cave earlier this year.

John Ash, a geologist who has been advising Tourism Holdings on the cave's reopening, said he was aware "quite a few people have had interesting experiences in it".

"People talk about a cave being alive or dead. This cave is very much alive."

According to Maori legend, the cave was discovered 400 to 500 years ago by a young Maori hunter.

A pack of wild dogs are said to have inhabited the entrance and the cave was named rua, meaning den and kuri meaning dogs.

Mr Ash said people who had been in the cave by themselves had said they heard or saw other people.

"To me the cave has mana, it has presence to it."

jaybird found this for you @ 16:18 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



fortean friday #2

Oz: Top-end X-files revealed

The crew described a series of lights which crossed their take-off path from Darwin airport, with no visible fuselage or structure. RAAF command in Sydney said the contact may have been a foreign aircraft.

"The fact the sighting was made by an RAAF aircrew and detected by the aircraft's radar leaves very little doubt ... (that something) was in the area," RAAF command said.

"As the aircraft has not been identified, a violation of our national airspace cannot be discounted."

jaybird found this for you @ 12:12 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



fortean friday

'Haunted house' taken off market

A single mother-of-two who said she saw strange figures on the stairs and heard noises in the dead of night was met with sniggers until a neighbour came to stay with her, Mr Marshall claimed.

"They heard it too and she forced the Executive to rehouse her. It was never occupied again," he said.

"Young ones went in to mess once but didn't stay long because they said there was something strange about it..."

jaybird found this for you @ 08:08 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



{ Thursday, 21 July, 2005 }

smi2ley face

Pushing for the next giant leap

Humans have a moral imperative to open up space as a new frontier...

"We are young as a species..." In terms of what our future in space would look like: "We cannot conceive it... It is like asking the Europeans in the 1400s to think of life today. We will make decisions to change the very fabric of society... We may even reinvent society and the human form... We are on the verge of the greatest exploration the human race has ever known..."

jaybird found this for you @ 19:59 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



teatime with omnipresence


Sect where blessings pour from a teapot [more]

The commune would not seem out of place in a Disney theme park. It contains an umbrella-shaped building about two storeys high, an ornamental fishing boat, strategically located faux Greco-Roman pillars, and the centrepiece - a pink teapot.

Ayah Pin and his followers - he claims to have several thousand in Malaysia, Singapore, Bali and beyond - say the two-storey-high teapot was inspired by the dreams of one of the cult's followers, and reflects a similar vessel in the sky which God uses to shower his blessings on mankind.

Followers who come to the village for the first time have to drink "holy water" pouring from a giant vase that is perpetually filled by the teapot.

The cult does not have any moral or religious strictures of its own. Instead, Ayah Pin, whose real name is Ariffin Mohamad, says members can follow any religion they like. He claims that all prayers will be answered by none other than himself, because he is God.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:43 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



john aubrey

Miscellanies upon Various Subjects(1890)

Mrs. E. W. daughter of Sir W. W. affirms that Mrs. J. (her father's
sister) saw herself, i. e. her phantom, half a year before she died,
for a quarter of an hour together. She said further, that her aunt
was sickly fourteen years before she died, and that she walked
living, i. e. her apparition, and that she was seen by several at the
same time. The like is reported of others.

Mr. Trahern, B.D. (chaplain to Sir Orlando Bridgman, Lord Keeper) a
learned and sober person, was son of a shoe-maker in Hereford: one
night as he lay in bed, the moon shining very bright, he saw the
phantom of one of the apprentices, sitting in a chair in his red
waistcoat, and head-band about his head, and strap upon his knee;
which apprentice was really in bed and asleep with another fellow-
apprentice, in the same chamber, and saw him. The fellow was living,
1671. Another time, as he was in bed, he saw a basket come sailing in
the air, along by the valence of his bed; I think he said there was
fruit in the basket: it was a phantom. From himself.

When Sir Kichard Nepier, M.D. of London, was upon the road coming
from Bedfordshire, the chamberlain of the inn, shewed him his
chamber, the doctor saw a dead man lying upon the bed; he looked more
wistly and saw it was himself: he was then well enough in health. He
went forward on his journey to Mr. Steward's in Berkshire, and there
died. This account I have in a letter from Elias Ashmole, Esq. They
were intimate friends.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:39 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



being here

Life and Space-Time Cosmology [via abuddha's memes]

The view that life is a fundamental part of nature suggests that it must involve a "complementarity" between material nature (syntactic structure and composition) and formal nature (semantic definition and function), both of which may be considered theoretically "real..." Our investigation is here extended to a cosmological world view to explore the generality of these conclusions. We present an alternative to traditional space-time cosmology in terms of a geometrical model of the space-time universe. A simple, self-referential model is constructed in a radially Euclidean complex space... based on the assumption of universal semantic closure. This model is shown to be consistent with many aspects of modern cosmology, including the Hubble expansion and special relativity theory, and makes testable cosmological predictions. A feature of this model is that it represents temporal singularity (the "big bang") as a perceptual phenomena in an otherwise infinite abstract temporal domain. This model in multiple instances may suggest a fundamental geometry for perception and universal self-organization. These exploratory views are seen as contributing to fundamental definitions of life that encompass psychological phenomena.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:33 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



{ Wednesday, 20 July, 2005 }

Occupy the spectacle

First Meditation of MythSpace

Dreamspace seems unlimited, yet with clear boundaries. I think of it as a sort of Universe. The dreamscape, however, does not throw up the entrenching obstacles of Malkuth. Space fades into other space. Places strangely familiar become familiarly strange. Pylons line highways which extend into eternity and then abruptly end. One could easily compare the dreamscape to the Labyrinth room of House of Leaves. It expands and contracts at will. Whose will expands and contracts appears open for interpretation. I suspect that even rudimentary control of the dreamscape lies beyond the abilities of the average human being...

jaybird found this for you @ 19:46 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



time passages

The Experience of Time in the Very Young

Try to explain to the four- or five-year-old a "tomorrow," or a "yesterday," or even to wait until "later." For the child time is "now." Time is not repeating itself for the child who skips joyfully up and down the stairs ten or twenty times. It is a pleasure that perseveres in a present. For the grownup this same stairway is a constructual contrivance connecting downstairs to upstairs. The adult ascends for the purpose of having something to do elsewhere. For the adult even to consider the prospect of running up and down a flight of stairs would be childish. As adults, we seem to reach a time when we no longer need the stairway. But the child sent upstairs to fetch some object may still dally on the steps after a quarter of an hour, taken up with the wonder of an imaginary mountain climb, or sliding down a bumpity-bump slide. And the original intention for ascending the stairs becomes yet another "present" that must wait to happen, but in its own time. The time on the stairway for an adult is taken for granted; the time on the stairway for the child is subjectively used. The child will not allow a transient minute; all minutes are used.

There is a fundamental difference in my own time experience compared to that of my five-year-old daughter. It is a classic contrast in time experience; that of objective versus subjective time. The morning ritual of getting her to daycare consists of exhorting her to rush, to hurry, to get dressed (right now), to get breakfast done with, to get into the van, and to get to the playschool. In other words, I force her to act in a behavior oriented toward a future time space-my time space insofar as I won't be late for work. She is learning to live the logistics of my life: I am certainly not attuned to her natural ability to live in a primordial present-a present that does not know of a future or a past. What does she "know" as a young and fresh human being but to dawdle in the snow, greet the alley cat, pick up a twig, contemplate the possibilities of a discarded gum wrapper, or make a wish upon a morning star.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:44 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



daily om

The Blessing Way
A Mother Blessing is a ritual adapted from the traditional Navajo ceremony known as a Blessing Way. Mother Blessings fill a gap in western celebrations surrounding birth. Whereas a baby shower celebrates the coming of the child, a Mother Blessing celebrates the woman's passage into motherhood. Friends-generally all women, but not always-gather to give their support to the mother as she approaches one of the most intense experiences of her life. A Father Blessing is also a wonderful idea especially during a time when fathers can be feeling a little left out.

A Blessing Way ceremony can be given in honor of anyone going through a major life transition. From graduating high school to turning 50, significant life changes deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated. Many of our traditional ways of recognizing these transitions have become hollow, often dominated by consumerism. A Blessing Way is less about giving gifts and more about communicating from the heart, offering words of encouragement and inspiration to buoy the guest of honor in the face of major change.

Often at Mother Blessings, each participant brings a bead to give to the mother, and a necklace or bracelet is made for her. Each person presents their bead to the mother and says something of what they wish for her journey-strength, courage, or a sense of humor, for example. They can also give their bead in honor of a quality she already has that they believe will make her a good mother. This way she leaves the ritual with a magical talisman imbued with the loving energy of her community. She can carry this into labor or hang it over her baby's crib as a reminder of the strength she carries within and the love surrounding her. The same idea can be adapted to fit Blessing Ways in honor of retirement, a new job, a major move, or even a divorce.

If someone you know is approaching a momentous rite of passage, organize a Blessing Way in their honor. Or, if you need one, ask for one. It could become a beautiful new tradition in your community of friends and family.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:41 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



traveling in yezidi land

Lost in Translation

I had been hearing about the Yezidi people who live in villages near Dohuk. Followers of an ancient religion, whose proponents claim it is the oldest in the world, there are thought to be about a half million Yezidis, living mostly in the area of Mosul, with smaller bands in forgotten villages scattered across Northern Iraq, Syria, Turkey and other lands. Saddam had labeled the Yezidis "Devil Worshippers," a claim I'd heard other Iraqis make, but no source offered substantiation. I wanted to know more.

Nearly everything I heard pronounced as fact about Yezidis was certain in only one narrow sense: before long, someone equally confident of their information would provide a different set of facts. The only way to find the truth would be to talk with Yezidis in situ, so I asked an interpreter in Dohuk to take me to a Yezidi village.

This wasn't my first foray in search of mythic danger. I'd learned some things from when I tracked down cannibals in the jungles of northern India. A current anthropological rap sheet is of paramount necessity before venturing alone into the wild. Safety first is my motto.

"Will they kill me?" I asked.

"Of course not!" he answered immediately, incredulous at the very idea. "They are Yezidi! They are good people."

"Just asking." I said, thinking safety first.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:37 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 19 July, 2005 }

Sex That Makes The Earth Move

"While no one reported spotting Jesus in the bedroom, some said the Holy Spirit showed up during foreplay."
When people are sexually excited in general, and when they have an orgasm, in particular, they stimulate their pituitary gland... That, in turn, triggers morphine-like endorphins, which cause people to think that sex is a somewhat transcendent experience. Such states can also be created by hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, or hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. People feel like it's a spiritual, religious experience: `I saw shimmering waves of gold...' In fact, it can be explained by lack of blood sugar or hypoxia...

Well, that's a boring explanation. I'd rather think of it, and believe it to be a moment of true and utter communion, our ecstasy relates to a common universal feeling, an original feeling, and brings our filtered minds closer to that primal and raw wave of emotion that comes with creation.

Slightly better, eh?

jaybird found this for you @ 20:14 in Carnality, Naughtiness & Fun | | permalink



american hegemony

A Timeline

The US maintains to this day over a dozen direct dependencies, the largest of which is Puerto Rico. Its military forces are active over most of the globe: at last audit about 226 countries have US military troops, 63 of which host American bases, while only 46 countries in the world have no US military presence - a projection of military power that makes the Roman, British, and Soviet empires pale in comparison. The bulk of this document will however deal with what is alternatively referred to as "neo-imperialism", "hegemony", "proxy rule", or "informal empire": roughly, a system of "dual elite" political rule, in which domestic elites (the proxy) recieve backing from (are dependent on - to varying degrees) a foreign elite, and in return protect (to varying degrees) the foreign power's interests in the country (security, economic, ideological, the occasional dash of human rights, whatever)...

This is a list of the generally disasterous human terms of the practice...

jaybird found this for you @ 16:09 in History, Civilization & Anthropology | | permalink



bucky fuller

Everything he knew

During the last two weeks of January 1975 Buckminster Fuller gave an extraordinary series of lectures concerning his entire life’s work. These thinking out loud lectures span 42 hours and examine in depth all of Fuller's major inventions and discoveries from the 1927 Dymaxion house, car and bathroom, through the Wichita House, geodesic domes, and tensegrity structures, as well as the contents of Synergetics. Autobiographical in parts, Fuller recounts his own personal history in the context of the history of science and industrialization. The stories behind his Dymaxion car, geodesic domes, World Game and integration of science and humanism are lucidly communicated with continuous reference to his synergetic geometry. Permeating the entire series is his unique comprehensive design approach to solving the problems of the world. Some of the topics Fuller covered in this wide ranging discourse include: architecture, design, philosophy, education, mathematics, geometry, cartography, economics, history, structure, industry, housing and engineering.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:07 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



chalmers

Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness
Consciousness poses the most baffling problems in the science of the mind. There is nothing that we know more intimately than conscious experience, but there is nothing that is harder to explain. All sorts of mental phenomena have yielded to scientific investigation in recent years, but consciousness has stubbornly resisted. Many have tried to explain it, but the explanations always seem to fall short of the target. Some have been led to suppose that the problem is intractable, and that no good explanation can be given.

To make progress on the problem of consciousness, we have to confront it directly. In this paper, I first isolate the truly hard part of the problem, separating it from more tractable parts and giving an account of why it is so difficult to explain. I critique some recent work that uses reductive methods to address consciousness, and argue that such methods inevitably fail to come to grips with the hardest part of the problem. Once this failure is recognized, the door to further progress is opened. In the second half of the paper, I argue that if we move to a new kind of nonreductive explanation, a naturalistic account of consciousness can be given. I put forward my own candidate for such an account: a nonreductive theory based on principles of structural coherence and organizational invariance and a double-aspect view of information.

Dang!

jaybird found this for you @ 08:02 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



dream report

The clouds were strange and the sea was wild on the beach. I saw a silver cube floating high in the air, and I ran after it, thinking it to be a UFO. It shot a beam of sparks down to the sand, and running up to the place, I found a kid's type tape recorder with big, colorful buttons.

I gave it to a haggard man on the street playing a double bass for spare change.

jaybird found this for you @ 06:47 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Monday, 18 July, 2005 }

Arundhati Roy

World Tribunal On Iraq: Opening Speech

There are remarkable people gathered here who in the face of this relentless and brutal aggression and propaganda have doggedly worked to compile a comprehensive spectrum of evidence and information that should serve as a weapon in the hands of those who wish to participate in the resistance against the occupation of Iraq. It should become a weapon in the hands of soldiers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, and elsewhere who do not wish to fight, who do not wish to lay down their lives - or to take the lives of others - for a pack of lies. It should become a weapon in the hands of journalists, writers, poets, singers, teachers, plumbers, taxi drivers, car mechanics, painters, lawyers - anybody who wishes to participate in the resistance.

The evidence collated in this tribunal should, for instance, be used by the International Criminal Court (whose jurisdiction the United States does not recognize) to try as war criminals George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, Silvio Berlusconi, and all those government officials, army generals, and corporate CEOs who participated in this war and now profit from it.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:00 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



a lorenz ovenmit?


Mathematicians crochet chaos

Mathematicians have made a crochet model of chaos - and are challenging anyone else to repeat the effort. Dr Hinke Osinga and Professor Bernd Krauskopf... used 25,511 crochet stitches to represent the Lorenz equations.

The equations describe the nature of chaotic systems - such as the weather or a turbulent river. The academics are offering a bottle of champagne to anyone who cares to follow the pattern...

jaybird found this for you @ 15:54 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



plankton is key

Warmer Oceans May Be Killing West Coast Marine Life

Scientists suspect that rising ocean temperatures and dwindling plankton populations are behind a growing number of seabird deaths, reports of fewer salmon and other anomalies along the West Coast. Coastal ocean temperatures are 2 to 5 degrees above normal, apparently caused by a lack of upwelling - a process that brings cold, nutrient-rich water to the surface and jump-starts the marine food chain. Upwelling fuels algae and shrimplike krill populations that feed small fish, which provide an important food source for a variety of sea life, from salmon to sea birds and marine mammals.

"Something big is going on out there," said Julia Parrish, an associate professor in the School of Aquatic Fisheries and Sciences at the University of Washington. "I'm left with no obvious smoking gun, but birds are a good signal because they feed high up on the food chain."

This spring, scientists reported a record number of dead seabirds washed up on beaches along the Pacific Coast, from central California to British Columbia. In Washington state, the highest numbers of dead seabirds - particularly Brandt's cormorants and common murres - were found along the... coast...

Bird surveyors in May typically find an average of one dead Brandt's cormorant every 34 miles of beach. But this year, cormorant deaths averaged one every eight-tenths of a mile, according to data gathered by volunteers with the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, which Parrish has directed since 2000. "This is somewhere between five and 10 times the highest number of bird deaths we've seen before," she said.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:46 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



men like to hear themselves think

Male and female voices affect brain differently

Scientists... have explained the differences in the way the male brain interprets male and female voices, explaining why people who hallucinate and hear false voices almost always hear a man. It also sheds new light on the way the brain processes voices to produce an `auditory face´ that allows people to determine aspects of someone´s physical appearance based solely on the way they sound.

The paper... describes how scientists studied brain scans of 12 male subjects whilst they listened to male and female voices. It found startling differences in the way that the brain interprets the two sounds, with female voices causing activity in the auditory section of the brain and the male voice sparking activity in the `mind´s eye´ at the back of the brain.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:42 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



{ Sunday, 17 July, 2005 }

radical self; the trick of truth

To be radically the self
In this unlikely, naked and star-born body
And navigate, as some ancient sailor
These channels and harbors of soul
...it is the damndest thing.

Who thought this all up?
Who daydreamed day lillies, night herons,
And dueling with the shadow under the noonday sun?
What warrior will smash the mirror
To see Who is on the other side?

I can say, with experience and conviction,
That All This is thin, sheer,
The most delicate thing to ever flap in the wind.
I can say this because I was molecules away from losing it,
Near dead but resurrected by mere chance on the banks of a river.

Night, I swear my questions
Are as legion as the family constellate,
And between stars is black with void,
That more likely thing that courses, skulking,
Low to the ground but within every muscle.

By the elixer on my lips, I pronounce, trembling,
A desire to bring truth down from its pedestal so finely carved.
The province of gods and creeping honeysuckle vine
Dispels truth as surely as time feigns passing;
When beauty is so proliferate, who needs some final word?

Vision, you see, is made of billions of simultaneous transformations;
It's a little alchemy if we could only see through the work
That gives us a world, solid and sure,
Where the was only an idea before, an inkling,
As spontaneous as a haiku on that dinner napkin folded in your pocket.

It's all subjective, and Reason is a bar floozy.
I woke up this morning in the arms of the one, him,
But he alighted as quickly as an alarm clock thinks.
What I love and lack dances blithely as incantations of
Knowledge and wisdom ricochet through Creation... I awake dumbfounded.

If the stars are tonight's questions
Than the answers must be the eyes I'll see tomorrow.
You know, the ones that are real, and blink back,
Who somehow dare to perceive some measure of fleeting truth in the world
While I throw the book of philosophy, laughing, running, and embrace them.

jaybird found this for you @ 23:59 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



fernando pessoa

"Autopsychography"

The poet is an inventor.
He invents so completely
That he succeeds in inventing
That the pain he really feels is pain.

And those who read what he writes
Really feel in the pain they have read,
Not the two which he felt,
But only the one they do not have.

And thus in the wheel ruts
There goes round and round, diverting Reason
That clockwork toy train
Which is called heart.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:12 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



{ Saturday, 16 July, 2005 }

one week on

This time last week, I was a different person. Physically, atoms and molecules have been imported, exported, and realigned. What I mean more has to do with the soul, I think. I survived a glancing blow from death. What's more, I've dared to draw power from that utterly fortunate dance, trumping the trauma that still recurs with a sense of glad survival and wisdom in the waters. Perhaps my own internal river has eddies and hydraulics which catch me at times... can I survive myself?

This week, the would've and could'ves have dissipated as the reality of Saturday seemed increasingly incontrovertible. This is good, as we can't reverse engineer these events. What can be rewritten is the mind's response. Since Saturday, the flashbacks have lessened in intensity, but are weird in their appearance. Tuesday I went back to work, and was triggered by the color of a post-it note. Another day, the sound of my car's engine sounded too much like the water rushing around my head. Two stupid movies I took in for thoughtless relief both featured people drowning in a car. My therapist pressed on my chest as I tried to breathe. All of these things put me back in that eddy, but I have awareness that I am not really there, and this helps.

Things I might have missed stand out more... the bow of a branch, the flavor of my Saturday omelet, the smile of my dreaming cat. So clear. This is how the void is improbably and temporarily evaded on this sphere, by these slight apparitions of grace and grateful texture. I could have lost this last week, but I've instead gained these things, these deeper appreciations. Vibrant and real. I was never ready, and the Universe had never really intended for my would-be disembodiment seven days ago. But it brought me close enough to remind me that, despite the cliche of it, nothing should ever be taken for granted. Assumption is no blank check for life, and is worthless at the bank. Immediate experience, raw living and open presence outweigh forecasts, models and predictions.

From that eddy, I may have emerged anew, without knowing, in shock and hypothermic. But it's a start. We don't come into this life singing zippity-doo-dah, we wail and cry. One doesn't emerge from near-drowning smoking a cigar and tapping like Fred Astaire. The whorl, the churn left me confused, shuddering and broken.The brokenness allows me to be filled with the new, and my vision of that day was filled after my rescue by the thankfulness of colors and brightness of eyes.

There... the moment is passing. I slipped in around 1:00. It's not easy at all to think of, my mind dizzies as one week on, I'm lost for a minute to that green and white water. I'm here now, I'm nowhere near that spot, but the body remembers the moment. But I'm here. I made it. Rescued. The borderland between life and death breached, but mostly unscathed I retreat and run for the homeland, into a throng of hands also alive, also survivors, also known to love.

The process of my healing will continue, but of greater import is the process of my growth from the experience. The two are twins, tethered with a fabric of wisdom, which also can be used as a lifeline thrown to those caught in the current. Yes, I nearly died, but greater would be the regret if I'd nearly lived. On this vivid day, I thrive, and seek to disavow merely existing. Indeed, this time a week ago, I was alive.

That is what must matter more.

******

Thanks to all of my friends, family, and those unknown to me who have shown such incredible support this week. I'm truly amazed, truly thankful.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:10 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Friday, 15 July, 2005 }

frank herbert

A long lost interview from the creator of Dune
Yes, I can understand that. Well, I had no trouble understanding the question of the voice, as I read the novel, because, among the other things which the novel gave to me, was the whole question of communication and how we communicate on multiple levels, whether it be Paul communicating by shedding a tear…that’s an act of communication on a very profound level…to the Fremen, whether communication of the voice or communication by sword or communication by a dozen different ways that we all do constantly as we’re doing in this room right now. See, you’re communicating by the …in one sense by the way you’re both watching me as I speak and watching Frank and watching the recorder and watching what you are doing with your hands. There are all sorts of communications, just as I’m communicating and you are in a dozen hundreds of hidden different ways. I had no problem with that in the novel and I thought that it was rather well done.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:21 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



teleportation

Express Lane Space Travel

Over the last few years... researchers have successfully teleported beams of light across a laboratory bench. Also, the quantum state of a trapped calcium ion to another calcium ion has been teleported in a controlled way. These and other experiments all make for heady and heavy reading in scientific journals. The reports would have surely found a spot on Einstein's night table. For the most part, it's an exotic amalgam of things like quantum this and quantum that, wave function, qubits and polarization, as well as uncertainty principle, excited states and entanglement. Seemingly, milking all this highbrow physics to flesh out point-to-point human teleportation is a long, long way off. Well, maybe...maybe not.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:19 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



spirits in the material world

Koch and Crick: The Neuronal Basis of Consciousness

The physical basis of consciousness appears to be the most singular challenge to the scientific, reductionist world view. In the closing years of the second millennium, advances in the ability to record the activity of individual neurons in the brains of monkeys or other animals while they carry out particular tasks, combined with the explosive development of functional brain imaging in normal humans, has lead to a renewed empirical program to discover the scientific explanation of consciousness...

Consciousness is a puzzling state-dependent property of certain types of complex, adaptive systems. The best example of one type of such systems is a healthy and attentive human brain. If the brain is anaesthetized, consciousness ceases. Small lesions in the midbrain and thalamus of patients can lead to a complete loss of consciousness, while destruction of circumscribed parts of the cerebral cortex of patients can eliminate very specific aspects of consciousness, such as the ability to be aware of motion or to recognize objects as faces, without a concomitant loss of vision in general. Given the similarity in brain structure and behavior, biologists commonly assume that at least some animals, in particular non-human primates, share certain aspects of consciousness with humans. Brain scientists, in conjunction with cognitive neuroscientists, are exploiting a number of empirical approaches that shed light on the neural basis of consciousness...

jaybird found this for you @ 12:16 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Daniel Schorr

A spot-on analysis: NPR's Schorr says that the real issue in the Karl Rove controversy is not a leak, but a war, and how America was misled into that war. [WMP or Real Player req'd]

jaybird found this for you @ 08:12 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



{ Thursday, 14 July, 2005 }

playful thoughts

Erotic Telepathy

Telepathic attraction. Who hasn’t felt it at least once? But wait a minute. What is telepathic attraction? A weird sensation that is difficult to put into words, an uncontrollable instinct with no logic. What about erotic telepathy? Maybe somebody is calling you with their mind, but your rational mind is not trained to take in such messages.

So, what is telepathy? When an unknown situation all of a sudden feels all too familiar, when you believe you know what somebody else is thinking, even if that somebody is unknown to you, when you are turned on by someone you have never seen before...is this telepathy? These experiences might be the result of a pleasant, excellent and affectionate love relationship, or the deepening of mental communication between two people who are in contact. The underlying question is: what is the mind?


jaybird found this for you @ 20:18 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



streaming audio

Neuron Network Goes Awry, and Brain Becomes an IPod

Seven years ago Reginald King was lying in a hospital bed recovering from bypass surgery when he first heard the music. It began with a pop tune, and others followed. Mr. King heard everything from cabaret songs to Christmas carols. "I asked the nurses if they could hear the music, and they said no," said Mr. King, a retired sales manager in Cardiff, Wales.

"I got so frustrated," he said. "They didn't know what I was talking about and said it must be something wrong with my head. And it's been like that ever since." Each day, the music returns. "They're all songs I've heard during my lifetime," said Mr. King, 83. "One would come on, and then it would run into another one, and that's how it goes on in my head. It's driving me bonkers, to be quite honest."

jaybird found this for you @ 16:12 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



gender is mutable

Mystery 'sex change' has curious flocking to Myanmar monk-to-be

Thin Sandar, a chicken seller in Myanmar, had always dreamed of being a man. When she inexplicably grew a penis last month, the 21-year-old treated it as an awe-inspiring omen -- as have the thousands of stunned villagers who have traveled to a pagoda to see him. "On the morning of the full moon day of June 21, I noticed my thing (sex organ) was not the same as before," Thin Sandar, who now goes by the male name Than Sein, told AFP in an interview at his home.

"And my breasts disappeared," Than Sein added. "So I called out and showed it all to my mom and dad. It was very strange." Strange enough that he has attracted significant attention in this deeply superstitious country, where the unexplained can quickly be exalted to hold powerful spiritual significance.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:08 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



dances with yeti


Sasquatch sighting reported in Yukon
Nine people, some of them children, say a large human-like figure covered in hair passed by a window of a house. They later saw it standing behind an abandoned car near some houses in the community, which is located 180 kilometres east of Whitehorse. Chucka Choumant and Trent Smarch are two of the people who believe they saw the sasquatch. The men said they heard trees snapping and creaking even though there was no wind at the time. The figure they saw was nearly three metres tall and moving fast, they said – too fast for them to keep up even when they were running. The creature left behind some evidence, the men said: a footprint about twice the size of a human's, and a small patch of hair...

UPDATE: Possibly identified.

jaybird found this for you @ 08:00 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



{ Wednesday, 13 July, 2005 }

knew it all along

Universe 'too queer' to grasp

Scientist Professor Richard Dawkins has opened a global conference of big thinkers warning that our Universe may be just "too queer" to understand. Professor Dawkins, the renowned Selfish Gene author from Oxford University, said we were living in a "middle world" reality that we have created... Professor Dawkins' opening talk, in a session called Meme Power, explored the ways in which humans invent their own realities to make sense of the infinitely complex worlds they are in; worlds made more complex by ideas such as quantum physics which is beyond most human understanding.

"Are there things about the Universe that will be forever beyond our grasp, in principle, ungraspable in any mind, however superior?"

jaybird found this for you @ 20:08 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



parroting the void

African Grey Parrot Is First Bird To Comprehend Numerical Concept Akin To Zero

A researcher has shown that an African grey parrot with a walnut-sized brain understands a numerical concept akin to zero -- an abstract notion that humans don't typically understand until age three or four, and that can significantly challenge learning-disabled children

Strikingly, Alex, the 28-year-old parrot who lives in a... lab run by [a] comparative psychologist and cognitive scientist... spontaneously and correctly used the label "none" during a testing session of his counting skills to describe an absence of a numerical quantity on a tray. This discovery prompted a series of trials in which Alex consistently demonstrated the ability to identify zero quantity by saying the label "none."

[The] research findings... add to a growing body of scientific evidence that the avian brain, though physically and organizationally somewhat different from the mammalian cortex, is capable of higher cognitive processing than previously thought. Chimpanzees and possibly squirrel monkeys show some understanding of the concept of zero, but Alex is the first bird to demonstrate an understanding of the absence of a numerical set...

jaybird found this for you @ 16:02 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



chimp changes


'Human-brained' monkeys

Scientists have been warned that their latest experiments may accidently produce monkeys with brains more human than animal. In cutting-edge experiments, scientists have injected human brain cells into monkey fetuses to study the effects. Critics argue that if these fetuses are allowed to develop into self-aware subjects, science will be thrown into an ethical nightmare. An eminent committee of American scientists will call for restrictions into the research, saying the outcome of such studies cannot be predicted and may in fact produce subjects with a 'super-animal' intelligence. The high-powered committee of animal behaviourists, lawyers, philosophers, bio-ethicists and neuro-scientists was established four years ago to examine the growing numbers of human/monkey experiments.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:54 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



those dastardly birdwatchers!

US imposes controls on a new security threat
Law enforcement officials say that because the birdwatchers have equipment such as binoculars, telescopes and cameras, they have the potential to commit acts of espionage. The areas they use are sometimes close to military bases, dams and sewage plants. Because they have "sophisticated gear and [are] looking at things not normally photographed by the common citizen in this area, they may be stopped and asked a few questions..."

What, me tweet?

jaybird found this for you @ 07:46 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 12 July, 2005 }

doing the work of living

Integrating to change takes time, and time is a fickle beast. Hardly constant, even jitterbugging in and out of awareness, time enjoys confusing our valiant efforts. Yet I must, as I did on Saturday, surrender to its flow, and depend upon being jettisoned, saved, upon a rock of resolution.

Today, I had some strong flashbacks of the near-death experience, and also realized that there are so many things that keep us in continual near-life experiences. Fear, in all its subtle and crude forms, is one of those things. I can now comprehend via a gradual desensitization that water can again be my ally, raging and spiraling along stone, lapping whimsically upon starlit shores, channeling down my throat and into my own river. I've had so much support, so many warm and caring faces, and so much wisdom imparted that I'm a bit overwhelmed. To that I say yes, and thank you.

The work of living is now what's to be done. I can gaze long into that mirror of near-death, but that hypnotic stare could easily distract from the simple and sure continuous stream of life that pours all around. Death by degrees is fascinating, and the fact that it damn near had me is such a revelation to the soul. Yet this gift must now be integrated. I must turn it and study it and determine, bit by bit, exactly how it fits into the archeology of me. In good moments, I can handle it painlessly. I know that times will come that this gift will hurt like hell to hold, will blind and deafen. That's mostly what it has done so far. My tolerance grows, though, through my desire to understand it.

Today was hard, in parts... triggered by color, sound or word, I'm in the eddy again. In other parts, alternate ticks of the clock, this trinity of body mind and soul took on the challenge to grow and grapple with the charge of near-death. It wavers, yet trends toward transformation over obliteration. This gift, so dark and chaotic, is a power along my way, it churns in the potential to heal even in the horror of that moment. Chinese food, a good song, the cats... these all are sign posts in a way that affirms existence, that improbable and delicate thing. Today, I savor them. I savor this. I savor you.

Knowing that all the trauma is not gone is important, and that no one is a perfect warrior in the face of death, is vital to beginning... and we all begin every minute, every nanosecond in a new movement where being can be reconfigured in any way at all. I'm grateful for the opportunity to do this kind of Work, in spite of the gravity of its course and the force of manifesting.

Thank again, friends, for your support. This really, truly means a lot. May it continue to be so, in doing the work of living.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:35 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



hart crane

Voyages II

--And yet this great wink of eternity,

Of rimless floods, unfettered leewardings,

Samite sheeted and processioned where

Her undinal vast belly moonward bends,

Laughing the wrapt inflections of our love;

Take this Sea, whose diapason knells

On scrolls of silver snowy sentences,

The sceptred terror of whose sessions rends

As her demeanors motion well or ill,

All but the pieties of lovers' hands.

And onward, as bells off San Salvador

Salute the crocus lustres of the stars,

In these poinsettia meadows of her tides,--

Adagios of islands, O my Prodigal,

Complete the dark confessions her veins spell.

Mark how her turning shoulders wind the hours,

And hasten while her penniless rich palms

Pass superscription of bent foam and wave,--

Hasten, while they are true,--sleep, death, desire,

Close round one instant in one floating flower.

Bind us in time, O Seasons clear, and awe.

O minstrel galleons of Carib fire,

Bequeath us to no earthly shore until

Is answered in the vortex of our grave

The seal's wide spindrift gaze toward paradise.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:11 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



glor xvii

The Codex Seraphinianus, a Hallucinatory Encyclopedia, details fantastical beings and impossible places. It's one of the highlights of issue 17 of the Grey Lodge Occult Review, which also includes Maya Deren's very rare film on Haitian Voudoun "Divine Horsemen" [torrent] and William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin's "The Cut-Ups" [torrent].

jaybird found this for you @ 12:07 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Shamanism, Alchemy and Yoga

Traditional Technologies of Tranformation

Modern schools of psychotherapy, especially those based on psychodynamic depth psychology and the newer so-called "experiential therapies", employ many of the methods and techniques of consciousness change that were known in the ancient systems of shamanism, alchemy and yoga. In some instances, for example in both Freud's and Jung's borrowing of alchemical ideas, the derivation is quite conscious and deliberate; in other cases, for example the use of inner journeys or imagery sequences, psychologists are re-discovering or re-inventing methods that have been known and practised for centuries in these older traditions.

jaybird found this for you @ 08:03 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



{ Monday, 11 July, 2005 }

returning to the world

Today, I've slept quite a bit. I've only spoken to the cats, and I have watched through these windows countless dances of leaf on wind. Studying the gray sky for signs of hereafter, a flock of crows sweep their broad black wings across the clouds, and take refuge in a pear tree.

Time does heal, and give perspective, and the power of the gift of near-death is not sublimated, only transformed by it. My soul seeks to align with it in the greatest usefulness, and by watching the windblown leaves, I am made empty, receptive, to the teaching. I am weary, but only from the energy spent on confronting what, I've learned, is still not entirely formed. Death is not some static figure, and a glancing blow from it such as I've received imparts such a transformative wound.

I anticipate, with great care, getting close to such rapid and chaotic waters, but I will need more emptiness first. I must re-approach the froth with a new concept of it, for the elements I once knew are different now. Water, my ally, almost became my destroyer. Air, with whom I've had a fairly complacent relationship with became my hero. I must reconcile all of these, in spite of the trauma, to become again one and the same constituents of all life, all death, all creation, all destruction.

My body strengthens, my mind sharpens, my soul empties itself of waterlog and prepares again to grow and fathom even more terrifying encounters with totality; I know they will come simply because I cannot live without dodging death's rapier. Yet I needn't be consumed by it, or live in fear. In fact, virtue got me into this mess... courageous service to a friend. I would do the same for a stranger. I will continue to fortify myself to face whatever peril may come my way when in service, or out of the blue.

I return now, with tender footing, to the world... dried from the torrent, back from the brink.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:34 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Sunday, 10 July, 2005 }

reckoning with the gift


I am struggling in the eddy
All I can see are shades of green
And the opaque sky through the bubbling turbulent storm
That shakes my body
Takes my breath.

I am about to drown.

"This is not how the story ends."

At the surface
Air and water enter my mouth
I hear yelling
Catch hints of faces
Damn it, I want to live
But I don't think I can hold on.

Time to let go, Jay.

"This is not how the story ends."

I slip below again
My body, limp and cold,
My lungs bursting to exhale
Spinning out of control
I feel all you good people
Maybe that's permission,
Or maybe that's something to fight for.

"This is not how the story ends."

Darkening and quickening
I see shapes, a mandala
Opening up before me, a spell
I brace my soul against itself
As I prepare to open my mouth
And die in the Horsepasture River.

"This is not how the story ends."

Shot to the bottom, darkness
Then the surface, a rock
I hold it and breathe hard
Air... enter this gray and blue body
People on the shore rush to carry
A nurse named Roseanna tells me I'm alive
And I remember,

"This is not how the story ends."

I do not know where that voice came from, as I was tossed about in horror in that eddy, but it was right... though I was certainly inches, seconds away from crossing into mystery. Was it the randomness of the current, that torrent, that saved me? Was it the will to not die on Saturday, July 9th, 2005? Was it some strange virtue of eliminating my struggle and thereby preventing others from trying to rescue me, perhaps meeting the same? Was it some other Thing, some holy rearrangement of the fates that tossed me upward to light at the very moment I prepared myself to fill my lungs with that cold water?

(Drinking a glass of water seems to bring back the memory, and I quiver, slightly)

These are the questions which wrap themselves, like bows, around this horrible gift. I tremble and cry in remembering it, and writing these words do not come easy. But I must reckon with and understand the nature of this gift. My friends and I are alive today, but only after great trial. Shades of green, dark below, light above, swirling breathlessly and so cold... it repeats like some mantra of terror. I shudder in the presence of this mass of memory, this envoy of the Very Brink. Damn it, I was only trying to help and nearly died. It doesn't make much sense, it evades logic and taunts any sort of reason. Yet the Universe seems to exist beyond reason, or a human overlay of karmic justice. It could've consumed me if I were trying to rescue any stripe of being in peril, it wouldn't give a hoot.

Perhaps, however, some play of fate or Gods did give a lofty hoot and saw to it that I continue to experience life on Earth, for now. What, I boldly ask, then? My name persists for another day... in that day, need I formulate some sort of a cosmic rationale which explains why my body was prevented, just barely, from drowning? To Whom must I attribute my thanks? Whitman might say the Self, itself. Rumi might say the heart of the Beloved, brimming with love as a chalice with wine. Friends might conjecture about unfinished work, and my own bedeviled tenacity. But, O Mighty Gods, this is my work, my gift to open, in all its terror. My own mortality. Nearly dead. Yet oh so suddenly alive! ALIVE!

(In my dreams, I rise barely awake from spiralling, glittering spindrift, looking downright galactic)

This morning, after a sleep interrupted by gasps for breath, the sun felt so good on my legs, breeze on my face, dew on the pine. All I see is either living or dead, but even death takes such wondrous forms... the skeletal branches of a tree, the light of long-lost stars, the shed skin of a locust, still clinging to an opportune twig. It looks so easy, but in that battle I fought hard against it, almost surrendering to that stiff and frozen form. Somehow, I emerged, carried to the rocky shore, to let that very water that nearly took me glisten brightly and and flow in its beauteous way and innate innocence across my ashen and heaving chest. That water in the eddy, it didn't mean to almost kill me. It was just doing what it always does, but this time a human got stuck there while trying to be of service. Alas, said the water, as it dripped to the ground. Alas.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I will let darkness take me, voluntarily, and I will ask for good dreams. I have done this same thing, more or less, for 11,915 nights, and managed to rise every morning alive, in spite of great odds. Life is so contrary to probability, as far as we can understand it. To be at all runs astoundingly afoul of so many odds. Yet, I'm here, and am all in a tizzy over nearly drowning. Perhaps death is simply a reckoning, a rebalancing of odds. Perhaps life is knowing how to play your hand, bluff, and bet wisely before you either break the bank or fold. That's so simplistic, so materialistic. It would appear to be far more than that. "Life is wide," my friend Virginia affirmed today outside the grocery store. It's a graceful way of saying that it is so damn vast that we can't see where it begins and where it ends, only the valley road ahead, in all it's curvaceous and careening wildness. We lose sight of it among the trees and rain-swollen rivers.

(There are moments where I feel calm and peaceful, and am jolted by the question: should I feel this way right now?)

Someday before the year is out, I plan to revisit the Horsepasture River and Turtleback Falls. I plan to bless it, and thank it with respect as deep as it is for this horrible gift, with its many shades of green and cold, pressing currents of memory. By then, I will have made far more sense of it than I can right now, only one day past its rushing onslaught. I cannot say whether the story will end between now and then, but I know I wasn't meant to go yesterday to that ultimate place of mystery which can't ever be seen on the horizon. I'll toss in a stone, or maybe some folded prayer, and will trail my finger along the surface, so carefully.

Respect is deep, life is wide, and mystery spins in countless eddies all around. And yet "this is not how the story ends."


To Kim, Tree, Kate, Ethan, Adam and Christine.

Thank God we are all safe... and alive!

IMPORTED COMMENTS:

  • glad to know you've survived, miracles do occur! we are delighted to have found you... uptown ruler

  • Wow, glad to hear you're still alive after that close call! I'm grateful to you for all the wonderful stuff you've posted so its good to know you can keep inspiring your readers. Thanks for your good work, and thanks for fighting so hard to stay with us... satwa

  • The poem is wonderful. I'm sure that alone is going to help the healing process. It's quite difficult to read what you've been through, I can only imagine having experienced it, and very glad I didn't have to... Cyndy

    jaybird found this for you @ 22:15 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Saturday, 09 July, 2005 }

    on being alive

    This is going to take some time to process... I almost died today. I was seconds away from drowning in an eddy that kept pulling me under. But I'm here, now, typing these words with a slightly rattled head, a sore shoulder, and a waterlogged body. Damn. I was unlucky to have the experience but lucky beyond conception that I'm still among the living. Life is a far more fragile thing than I'd ever realized.

    My friend Kim was caught in the current, and we'd thrown her a rope. I reached in to grab her and pull her to shore, when I slipped on the slick rock and was tossed into the current. I went over a small cascade and was swept into an eddy, which kept me underwater and tossed me around like a ragdoll. I was very cold and coming up for air was utterly random and infrequent. As the eddy spun me further and further underwater, I was losing my air and strength, and I really thought that this was how I'd die. Everyone I love flashed though my mind, and I began to see strange, mandala like shapes. My body gave up and I stopped trying to swim, and the eddy spun me around again, this time going far deeper and under rock. I was preparing to open my mouth and drown, as it seemed there was no other option. Don't get me wrong, though, I was not at peace with that decision.

    One final blast spit me back out into the river. Limp, I surfaced and barely grabbed hold of a rock, apparently gray-skinned and blue-lipped. I don't remember much of my rescue, but folks attracted to my friends' screaming had formed a chain, and they managed to pull me off the rock and back onto the shore. I was immobile, essentially in shock and probably experiencing a little hypothermia. Two nurses just happened to be hiking nearby and helped to stabilize me. Even if I had drowned, they would've been there and could have performed CPR. So, perhaps I could have made it either way. Who in the Great Scheme of Things knows?

    It took considerable time before I could walk with confidence. All I could muster for a while was crying and thanking my friends profusely, with what few words I could utter in my disorientation. I didn't realize it at the time but I also banged my head, though I don't think I have a concussion. Kim badly sprained her thumb, Ethan took a gash on the chin. Tree, Kate, Adam and Christine were shaken. But damnit, we're alive.

    I'm alive... and after getting over the shock I was overwhelmed with gratitude for simply having a body, and being alive to experience everything I possibly can, even near death. It reinforced how silly it is for us to lose sight of our humanity, and especially to remember every day how special and improbable all this is. Losing that, we get caught up in mediocrity and laughing in a cavalier way at danger... never again for me. It's pretty elementary school on a spiritual level, but it must take an event like this to help us recall the lessons so easily forgotten over the years.

    Now I must ask "what to do with this?" How will this experience shape me? Right now, I'm really quite traumatized by it, having vivid flashbacks and needing major reassurance that I can breathe and be safe for tonight. I've got friends on standby and hope that I'll not have to call. Whoever is reading this (I normally don't ask for things like this), take a sec and send some vibes this way. I need to feel the people in my life right now, to know that they're there and I'm safe.

    So, to whatever being out there who creates awareness within us of our life and our world, thank you. Thank you for this and for gifting me with more of it. I wasn't ready today. I have a few more things to do, and I ask the reaper to steer clear for the moment. I cheated death today, and will do everything in my power to prevent its shadow from overtaking me, in thought or body until my work is truly done here.

    I'm alive... I'm alive... I'm ALIVE.

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:32 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Friday, 08 July, 2005 }

    panic

    Myth or reality?

    Panicky behavior is rare. It was rare even among residents of German and Japanese cities that were bombed during World War II. The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, established in 1944 to study the effects of aerial attacks, chronicled the unspeakable horrors, terror and anguish of people in cities devastated by firestorms and nuclear attacks. Researchers found that, excepting some uncontrolled flight from the Tokyo firestorm, little chaos occurred.

    An enormous amount of research on how people respond to extreme events has been done by the Disaster Research Center, now at the University of Delaware. After five decades studying scores of disasters such as floods, earthquakes and tornadoes, one of the strongest findings is that people rarely lose control. When the ground shakes, sometimes dwellings crumble, fires rage, and people are crushed. Yet people do not run screaming through the streets in a wild attempt to escape the terror, even though they are undoubtedly feeling terror. Earthquakes and tornadoes wreak havoc on entire communities. Yet people do not usually turn against their neighbors or suddenly forget personal ties and moral commitments. Instead the more consistent pattern is that people bind together in the aftermath of disasters, working together to restore their physical environment and their culture to recognizable shapes.

    UPDATE: Posting this on Friday was entirely too ironic and rather spooky based on the events of the weekend.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:44 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    i missed the list

    Wikipedia: List of people widely considered eccentric

    Eccentricity is necessarily defined relatively. For the purposes of this article, an eccentric is someone whose behavior, beliefs and/or hobbies deviate in a significant way from the accepted norms of their society, but otherwise can function largely as normal in society. He or she may be regarded as strange, odd or at least unconventional, irregular and erratic. Other people may regard the eccentric with apprehension but also with amusement.
    [via reality carnival]

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:41 in Interesting People | | permalink



    recursive self

    Does the 'many-worlds' interpretation of quantum mechanics imply immortality?

    The Everett 'Many Worlds Interpretation' of quantum physics postulates that that all systems evolve according to the Schrödinger equation, whereas the more conventional Copenhagen Interpretation says that this is true until the moment of observation, at which point the equation 'collapses'. The proposed paper examines some philosophical questions arising from the MWI interpretation. From the Tegmark 'quantum suicide' experiment and the Stapp analysis of the quantum effects on calcium ions in neural synapses, MWI may imply a 'Quantum Theory of Immortality'.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:39 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    coinkydinks

    Remarkable or Random?

    "You don't believe in telepathy?" My friend, a sober professional, looked askance. "Do you?" I replied. "Of course. So many times I've been out for the evening and suddenly became worried about the kids. Upon calling home, I've learned one is sick, hurt himself, or having nightmares. How else can you explain it?"

    Such episodes have happened to us all and it's common to hear the words, "It couldn't be just coincidence." Today the explanation many people reach for involves mental telepathy or psychic stirrings. But should we leap so readily into the arms of a mystic realm? Could such events result from coincidence after all?

    There are two features of coincidences not well known among the public. First, we tend to overlook the powerful reinforcement of coincidences, both waking and in dreams, in our memories. Non-coincidental events do not register in our memories with nearly the same intensity. Second, we fail to realize the extent to which highly improbable events occur daily to everyone. It is not possible to estimate all the probabilities of many paired events that occur in our daily lives. We often tend to assign coincidences a lesser probability than they deserve.

    More: 1,2 [via mefi]

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:23 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    { Thursday, 07 July, 2005 }

    my best to you

    >Eyewitness reports

    It was a train on the Piccadilly line between King's Cross and Russell Square and literally it was just a very loud bang. The train derailed.

    There was smoke everywhere. There was no fire but the smoke was quite oppressive.

    There were a lot of serious injuries down there as well. A lot of serious head injuries.

    A guy by me thought he was going to die, I'm hoping he got out OK.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:18 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    hold fast


    Flickr London bombing group pool

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:05 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    damnit

    british flag.gif

    MeFi Thread

    British Red Cross

    Guardian UK News Blog

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:37 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    via administrativa

    Hola, friends. Due to massive amounts of spam and not enough time to reconfigure MT-Blacklist, comments are disabled for the time being. I think I may have a better option on the horizon, anyway.

    Just set up a wifi network for the house. My neighbors are going to invest in a bit of net access, which will reduce costs. Wunderbar.

    On a serious note, both my father and grandmother were in the hospital this weekend for pneumonia. My father has emerged with a few new diagnoses, but by grandmother hs been transferred to a rehab facility. That's all I know at this time, and it was a bit of a shock and a step back. I'm going to make an emergency trip up north in the next few weeks to see her, and loyal readers' support is always welcome.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Wednesday, 06 July, 2005 }

    ignorant and ironic

    Monbiot: The US and Britain are putting the multinational corporations that created poverty in charge of its relief

    The G8 leaders and the business interests their summit promotes can absorb our demands for aid, debt, even slightly fairer terms of trade, and lose nothing. They can wear our colours, speak our language, claim to support our aims, and discover in our agitation not new constraints but new opportunities for manufacturing consent. Justice, this consensus says, can be achieved without confronting power...

    The G8 leaders have seized this opportunity with both hands. Multinational corporations, they argue, are not the cause of Africa's problems but the solution. From now on they will be responsible for the relief of poverty.

    They have already been given control of the primary instrument of US policy towards Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The act is a fascinating compound of professed philanthropy and raw self-interest. To become eligible for help, African countries must bring about "a market-based economy that protects private property rights", "the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment" and a conducive environment for US "foreign policy interests". In return they will be allowed "preferential treatment" for some of their products in US markets.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:42 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    a cloak and dagger republic

    Increase in the Number of Documents Classified by the Government

    Driven in part by fears of terrorism, government secrecy has reached a historic high by several measures, with federal departments classifying documents at the rate of 125 a minute as they create new categories of semi-secrets bearing vague labels like "sensitive security information."

    A record 15.6 million documents were classified last year, nearly double the number in 2001, according to the federal Information Security Oversight Office. Meanwhile, the declassification process, which made millions of historical documents available annually in the 1990's, has slowed to a relative crawl, from a high of 204 million pages in 1997 to just 28 million pages last year.

    The increasing secrecy - and its rising cost to taxpayers, estimated by the office at $7.2 billion last year - is drawing protests from a growing array of politicians and activists, including Republican members of Congress, leaders of the independent commission that studied the Sept. 11 attacks and even the top federal official who oversees classification.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:39 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    Language is a Virus

    Cut up machines, writing toys, language deconstrcting gizmos

    William S. Burroughs once said that language was a virus. This site dissects that virus, deconstructs it, and attempts to help you put it back together. The genome of our language is removed, thrown to the floor, stomped a bit, and reexamined to see what other pretty shapes it might make.

    Cut up: The back dissects deconstructs reexamined a reexamined and S. This bit, Burroughs Burroughs that floor, is that removed, to thrown that removed, stomped put and attempts a virus, it is to thrown what back to that thrown once to together. the removed, make. A Burroughs and Burroughs genome was bit, said.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:26 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



    two steps back


    Footprints rewrite history of first Americans

    Human footprints discovered beside an ancient Mexican lake have been dated to 40,000 years ago. If the finding survives the controversy it is bound to stir up, it means that humans must have moved into the New World at least 30,000 years earlier than previously thought.

    “If true, this would completely change our view of how and when the Americas were first colonised...”

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:14 in History, Civilization & Anthropology | | permalink



    { Tuesday, 05 July, 2005 }

    Whitman

    America still needs his poetry

    This month marks the 150th anniversary of a landmark event in literary history: the publication of the first edition of Walt Whitman's ''Leaves of Grass." When this thin volume, with its ornate green jacket, crude title page, and frontispiece showing the casually dressed Whitman, was advertised for sale on July 5, 1855, few could anticipate its tremendous impact on literature. The book met with sharp criticism. One reviewer, shocked by its sensual images, called it ''a mass of stupid filth." Another, puzzled by its emotional intensity, said its author ''must be some escaped lunatic, raving in pitiable delirium..."

    The poet, he wrote in his preface, ''is the equalizer of his age and land. . . he supplies what wants supplying and checks what wants checking." He offered a recipe for healing: ''This is what you shall do . . . read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life."

    Imagine if everyone followed his advice. What would happen if millions of people read his poetry regularly, absorbed it, and applied its meanings to daily life? What, in short, would be the world according to Walt Whitman?

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:06 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



    blood from a stone?

    Turning virtually anything into oil [warning: unpleasant graphic]

    Making oil and gas from hydrocarbon-based waste is a trick that Earth mastered long ago. Most crude oil comes from one-celled plants and animals that die, settle to ocean floors, decompose, and are mashed by sliding tectonic plates, a process geologists call subduction. Under pressure and heat, the dead creatures' long chains of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon-bearing molecules, known as polymers, decompose into short-chain petroleum hydrocarbons. However, Earth takes its own sweet time doing this—generally thousands or millions of years—because subterranean heat and pressure changes are chaotic. Thermal depolymerization machines turbocharge the process by precisely raising heat and pressure to levels that break the feedstock's long molecular bonds.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:01 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    Chomsky

    It's imperialism, stupid

    In his June 28 speech, President Bush asserted that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken as part of "a global war against terror" that the United States is waging. In reality, as anticipated, the invasion increased the threat of terror, perhaps significantly.

    Half-truths, misinformation and hidden agendas have characterised official pronouncements about US war motives in Iraq from the very beginning. The recent revelations about the rush to war in Iraq stand out all the more starkly amid the chaos that ravages the country and threatens the region and indeed the world.

    In 2002 the US and United Kingdom proclaimed the right to invade Iraq because it was developing weapons of mass destruction. That was the "single question," as stressed constantly by Bush, Prime Minister Blair and associates. It was also the sole basis on which Bush received congressional authorisation to resort to force.

    The answer to the "single question" was given shortly after the invasion, and reluctantly conceded: The WMD didn't exist. Scarcely missing a beat, the government and media doctrinal system concocted new pretexts and justifications for going to war.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:56 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    CXXV ?

    125 big questions that face scientific inquiry over the next quarter-century

    What Is the Universe Made Of?
    What is the Biological Basis of Consciousness?
    Why Do Humans Have So Few Genes?
    To What Extent Are Genetic Variation and Personal Health Linked?
    Can the Laws of Physics Be Unified?
    How Much Can Human Life Span Be Extended?
    What Controls Organ Regeneration?
    How Can a Skin Cell Become a Nerve Cell?
    How Does a Single Somatic Cell Become a Whole Plant?
    How Does Earth's Interior Work?
    Are We Alone in the Universe?

    &c.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:44 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    { Monday, 04 July, 2005 }

    Travel Journal: Folly Beach, South Carolina

    It’s positively jungle. I am swimming in air and my sweat might be Amazon dew. All the creatures of the night writhe where my eyes can’t peer; there is a night-swarming of slick beings who profess dark music with their strange organs. The tent went up with little trouble, though I’ll laugh at the job when I can actually see it. The stars are tipsy in the heat, and my flashlight gives only an idea of illumination. Just like a religion. I cannot be a night creature so I must surrender to the diminishing of human vision and stumble about while the Earth turns its back to Sun to see for itself the vastness, yet another whirl in its ceaseless dance.

    I rest in this thick air tonight. I’ve come for the sake of Sacred Folly, and to behold it I shall sweat out the dark and await sultry, salty dreams.

    (30 June, Primitive Area)

    Morning. I’m watching a dragonfly decide where to survey the next minute, and wonder if it actually thinks “Whereupon shall I alight?” Sweat. I sweat with all these wonderful creatures, most of which were biblically smitten. Psalms somewhere incites us to “rebuke the beasts of the wild reeds.” Pshaw. This is the province of the giant moth, the dexterous toad, the blue-tailed skink, which skulks about as a fox, and these are true scripture. My tea is perfect, as if I needed anything hot to drink. I’ll run a few logistical errands, and make great haste to the sea. There, I’ll truly dissolve into the romance of sand and wave, particle and flux, the lust of the sailor and the physicist.

    Evening. I’ve just toasted those hoary, heroic old gods with warm wine in this dark tent. The ocean and I ran away with each other today, she kissed me all over and despite my predilections, I didn’t resist or hold back, for it’s not often that one can cavort so sensually with an elemental of such varied forces. She sent forth such a fabulous party; dolphin, pelican, crustaceans of a million kinds, and endless names of the wild. We had a grand time, and I continually delight in the ample metaphor of sand. Perhaps we play with it so childlike because it’s the closest thing we can come to sculpting atoms raw. And when we dig and dig, we hope for the abyss that lies beyond all molecular bonds. I’m thirty-two but could’ve been eight in those waves. Perhaps even transformed to that younger frame who knew such passion at the beach. It was an inkling of what I know now; such margins are the stage where we are in theatre with the Divine.

    A little girl asked me as I walked to meet the dolphins, “what are you doing?” All I could do was smile, as she doesn’t know that I continually must ask myself the same query. It framed my walk there… what am I doing today? What I am doing, of course.

    A little boy who was digging a hole turned to me in great joy to say, “it’s finally going away!” Yes, the tide recedes for now, and to the good of your purposes. But it will surely come to swamp us all, eventually, and we can await with nothing more than holy emptiness for that raging swell.

    I did take in a mindless movie in hope for a cool place, but it was warm, barely hot. Enough to stop time in an illusory way. I received a message, upon the drive back to camp, that my father is in the hospital with pneumonia and fluid around the heart. I called and he was feisty and, as usual, diminutive of my concern. Alas, but not alack. The man has vexed me, both parents have, but that has only helped to write my story. I am choiceless but to acknowledge, with gratitude, their presence which daily abides. More wine to them!

    It’s time to slip into quiet now, though the children nearby still intone their wants and needs by shadow of citronella candle, in that sing-songy inflection that, like birdsong, marks it’s turf and spills out in wonder of the self.

    (July 1, Primitive Area)

    Morning. Slipping into quiet, so easily written, did not easily happen. I had wondered whether the flashes of light on the horizon were lightening bolts or fireworks, and by the Great Law of Murphy it was indeed the former. I had hoped to wait it out, but there was some sort of waterproofing flaw in the tent and soon, random drops began to wet the interior. In a hasty decision, I bundled all of my clothes and other water retaining items and made for the car. The backseat, for future reference, does not make the best of beds.

    I awoke again in the faint grey light of early morning, and, halleluiah, the great storm was over. The inside was only barely wet and easy to crawl back into, so I resumed sleep, and regained myself later with the usual chorus of loud children, whose sing-songy statements of need had by now turned into a screaming torrent of high-pitched demands. Dogs yelped incessantly, and in this soggy after-storm world I have out into question my remaining days. “What are you doing here?”

    What, indeed. I think I may be a little let down by the lack of company which, only a few days ago, had been promised. I cannot deny loneliness, nor a strong need to overcome it, be it with affirming my known commodity of friendship, or a strength inside, a resilient self-reliance, that must burst up through the crust of weariness. Thank all Gods that, despite the unknowns, I can be assured of beauty everywhere in sight, curving along the ocean’s horizon and in every green leaf what radiates so purely in this light.

    Evening. I found myself, perhaps stuck in some sort of silly analogy, at the other end of Folly, to a place I’d never been before. I rounded bend after bend of beach, until I finally found one of my quarry; the Lighthouse. I’d seen it for years only from a distance, and it appeared so ancient, as if some Grecian artist had sculpted it directly from mythic stone a millennia ago. The distance between it and I was minor in swimming terms, but I could see strong current. The question of my backpack was another question, which ultimately, and begrudgingly, left me on the other side of the channel. Still, I stood in awe of its stand against darkness, rough seas, and time. Seen: a child had caught a three foot shark, and the best I could remark was that it was an obvious sign of what lay beneath the surface… a girl’s phone number on the back of a receipt for a Jagermeister, Jello-shots, and a Killian’s… a shell so gloriously opalescent that I almost fell in.

    I made for Charleston, and spent a few minutes getting the news on my father and connecting with my mother. The beach meant so much to all three of us, and it seemed about right.

    Dinner was fine, and I wrote a half-baked poem called No Lament for the Lone Traveler. I wandered around the old city, barefoot on cobblestone, running my fingers through fountains and becoming hypnotic with intoxicating forms. I toyed with a visit to the theoretically-gay bar, but doubled back for the tent. I’m quite literally too chafed to risk a chance encounter with some golden Cariopolan god, and now am spread eagled on the air mattress to air out my pained nethers. This scene is played out mere feet away from a tent of jocks that ‘dude’ each other every three minutes. Dude.

    I found today that freedom, the kind I’d like to emulate, comes with no strings attached. I must let fly, radically and utterly free. My longing for companionship tied a string to my freedom. This is my time, time to think and introspect. Fireworks. What matters now is that I do for me, none but. Should that include another human, fine, but being strong in the center means that I must allow the me bowed in subservience to artifice to rise up, and call what’s real real. It’s a little bravado for a lot of freedom.

    (2 July, Primitive Area)

    Morning. Finally, a peaceful night’s sleep. The tea’s on, and I’m trying not to make plans. Thankfully, this trip has been dictated by my own whims rather than any real pressures to do this or that. I don’t know what I’m going to do today, maybe another amble through C’town, maybe an aimless exploration between here and there. Who knows? Not I, said the goose. My allergies are causing me to tear. It’s amazing just how many organs we have, and all the uses for them, including crossover reactions. We are more adequately suited to this world than we care to know.

    ...

    It’s the next day, and I’m home now, sunburned to medium-well and spraying myself every few minutes with aloe. I spent the day at the beach, exploring the margins of low-tide, watching a small shark stalk the shoreline, sinking in mud as I observe the teeming crabs skitter along in some unknown commerce. With childlike glee, I floundered pointlessly in the ocean, and placed my chair in the surf and allowed the ocean to slowly envelop me, and knock me down. I realized, after dragging my chair from the breakers, that with a painful sunburn and dark clouds impinging on the coastline, that I really ought to call it a vacation and head for the mountains. In a blink, through the dark and the rain, I’m here.

    If it weren’t for the sand in the car and my rather painfully flambéed chest, it would be hard to tell that I actually went anywhere. Yet, I’ve been to the borderland which shall always stir the human heart and the lust for adventure, and deeply bowed honor to the mystery... the ocean.

    jaybird found this for you @ 14:51 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    Hacking potentiality

    Other Worlds, Real and Imagined

    Open source has great potential for solving global problems as a collective action catalyst. Generally — not in every case, but generally — open source software projects have fewer security and stability flaws than equivalent closed source applications, and in almost every case the flaws that are found are fixed more rapidly. That's because they have a wider array of people looking for problems in the code, and arguably free/open source developers have less of an interest in covering their asses. As more of our infrastructure and tools have a strong information (or "knowledge-enabled") aspect, the more an open source approach will be useful for finding and resolving problems with these technologies.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:42 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    { Sunday, 03 July, 2005 }

    Sylvia Plath

    I am Vertical
    via wood's lot

    But I would rather be horizontal.
    I am not a tree with my root in the soil
    Sucking up minerals and motherly love
    So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
    Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
    Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
    Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
    Compared with me, a tree is immortal
    And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
    And I want the one's longevity and the other's daring.

    Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
    The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
    I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
    Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
    I must most perfectly resemble them--
    Thoughts gone dim.
    It is more natural to me, lying down.
    Then the sky and I are in open conversation,
    And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
    The the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:36 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



    { Saturday, 02 July, 2005 }

    G. I. Gurdjieff and Frank Llyod Wright

    A Meeting at Taliesin

    A man able to reject most of the so-called culture of our period and set up more simple and organic standards of personal worth and courageously, if outrageously, live up to them. He affected us strangely as though some oriental buddha had come alive in our midst. With perfect unconsciousness of self he would deliberately walk to the piano and adjust his glasses to correct the player. Or, his bulk seated at ease in his chair, he smiled about him when his readings were read, watching the different faces and recognizing the feelings behind the various expressions.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:33 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    { Friday, 01 July, 2005 }

    Last entry: Travel Journal, South America

    I write from the plane, from Arequipa in fact. The landscape outside this city which I will not visit looked like so many crumpled clothes, silks and things tossed to the floor, wrinkled. It could have been Mars. This morning was a dreamlike haze, last minute packing, scrambling for a last-minute glimpse of the exotic. I just looked away, and so did the sun… Hitchless, we breezed to the airport in Juliaca. I gave the cook at the hotel my bag of coca leaves before I left, and it seemed to mean a lot to her. We parted with many things, in fact, and I hope to have left behind a part of myself there, in the high plains or on the lake, to go back through time and visit. There, the mountains by the airport are awash in pink, and that tickles something inside. How wonderful to be out of context for so long, reading the folds of the land like a language, a cipher. America, you beast. You are close to eating me up again. It was with such pleasure that I let you spit me out. Not, I must reenter your manic maze. Ah, but the moon, it smiles, thin as a whisp, and reminds me that I belong to no nation, and that place needn’t contain my name… all of us are written in starlight, across time.

    That is an adventure… being, existing, migrating for the sake of it. When I was a child, I did things because I wanted to, and could. It was striking out in the world, proving to the self that one can make footprints, boldly or meekly, upon the forest floor or the schoolyard. Adventure means acting in tandem with risk, and life, true life, necessitates and demands that risks be taken. A condor, soaring free, risks a downward spiral to seize its prey, or even the day. It is risky to declare that this tastes like pineapple, but we do it anyway, as the consequences are slight. To step into another culture, far from home, where words fly on foreign wings… is it the same thing as declaring a pineapple a pineapple? Perhaps. It’s all on a scale relative to the extent that one pushes life. I dare to step into the barrios, puzzled, unsure, and the pineapple is all relative.

    Over Arequipa: The turbulence is a bit too much to write. Little cities below don’t provide a clue. It’s an adventure on high, and you just want to ask “what is having control?” An adventurous query…

    Lima: We wound through the byzantine streets to the last hotel. That feels so good to say. The last hotel. This business of sterility, anonymity, and luxury feels so silly, and wasted on me, who has done well in rustic climes. This trip has made twisted me slightly; in such destitute areas, such a need for a hot shower in the morning. I think it’s western thinking, such a virus of comfort. Driving through Lima and seeing all the logos (minus the Logos) of the American culture rising high above the skyline like a conquistador flag is enough to make one think deeply about what it means to be a nationality. As I’ve said before, I refute that role for me, and strongly. We should really only hoist our own flags now, and if we must set alight a symbol of our collective belief, let it be those symbols of surety; a galaxy, an ocean wave, a bird feather.

    (10 June, Lima- final day in Peru)

    Onboard the vessel that will carry me to familiar unfamiliarity. The morning started around 4am, and from now it’s over 14 hours until my feet kiss the ground of the mountains I’ve come to know, replete with culture I haven’t fully absorbed or understood. There is a dire need to cease thinking on daily terms… I must live with the ideal that each day is literally a holiday in paradise, but we must have the intention to completely and thoroughly document and celebrate our individual trip. I cannot exist in isolated blocks of day, day, day. It must be a fluid movement, so as to preserve my life as a flowing, organic flight rather than a slow ticking of a clock which will gray me and limpen me as I age.

    Goodbye, Peru. As we leave Lima, haze gives way to a sea of cloud, with brave mountains soaring above the plain of white, as if there were just a soft snow. There are rivers and channels in the cloud, unnamed, temporal, only as old as the morning’s wind. And so it goes, so goes South America, that utterly vivid continent, that story as ruffled as a dancer’s dress. Left on the ground are the living stories of magic by proxy, of the sick boy in the body of bread, being sung over by the riverside, but I, as always, will endeavor to remember, daily, as in a mantra. Those rivers have flowed through me, albeit minutely, and it will take time for every South American molecule to leave, if ever. In fact, please don’t, please stay with my bones, abide in the dark unknown of my body; you’ll see what I can’t.

    Blue and white… I’ve seen those colors before. Was it a flag, or a flower? Was it a ribald river, and the white of awed eyes? More mountains above clouds. What’s peculiar is that, from the ground, the mountain disappears, from up here, appears. A sorcery of perspective, and a living metaphor for seeing. These brief forms are to me just a flashing of a single page of a topographical hagiography. I know nothing of these forms, I don’t know where I am. I pick a random spot with my eye and wonder what life is like right there (.) how much I’d need to know to live there, and what customs form the theatrical embodiments of the landscape. Peek-a-boo, I can only see so much of you, inches to the mile.

    Fade to white, the curtains drawn, and we cross the equator. Words spoken and thought stretch across the sky like ribbons, previously the province of only shamans and dreamers, now we all do it with tickets instead of elixirs and pouch-kept powders. All I see out the window is white, a void of un-split color, and somewhere below, a woman tends her soil with knuckles like ridges, a young boy plays in the water, and a bird takes first flight. All I can do to see it is think it, to be it for a moment, to leave these clothes at 30,000 feet and exist through someone speculative I don’t and can’t know. Where am I? Is this a planet or bottled gas? Did I just go on pilgrimage or did I tap-dance half-assedly across a brightly colored tourist map? Why go anywhere when the mind contains not just multitudes, but the ultimate, the everything, the nothing? Perhaps to further train the soul to encompass more and more, to perfect the sublingual imagination which dwells beneath the eye, unseen but ever so active.

    Here it comes, America. To borrow from Heinlein, here comes the stranger into the strange land. I return washed of convention, and I will scrutinize well.

    Delirium.

    Who threw paint across the sky? If I were blind, or deaf, would the sunset mean the same thing as it does now? Even more? Could I taste or touch it through the glass? Would a single ray smell of freshly cut orange, or sulphur? Are clouds mere lace, or alpaca wool? I’d like to wear this sunset, be extravagant in it, and with the condor’s example, be utterly free? Will this celestial fleece help dissolve awkwardness, or will I burn to a cinder, in a flash through total radiance? Such ardor… how fantastically streaked by lightening.

    Oh, even over this troubled nation, creation gets loose, laughs, and drinks a fruit froth in a coconut glass, umbrella’d and libertine! Indeed, oh star, make the nation exalt you! Let us wail and dance, and cease the madness of human-made gods, for the ones which are clearest are the ones we haven’t made. Let the missionaries cease clusterfucking over despair, and instead perceive the moment, the now, where the infinite stalks, like a shadow riddled with stars.

    The end.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink




     
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    Ten Considerations for Being Well n this Goofy Universe

     

    0. If you find yourself wonderstruck, don’t forget to return the favor.

    1. Always be of service to the whole and the Holy. You’ll find that the Holy will reciprocate by being of service to your becoming Whole.

    2. You will be called upon to use your mind and your vision in ways I cannot possibly glimpse. Never turn down an offer to shine that light so uniquely yours to help others in their darkness, and you’ll find that when it’s your turn to be in the night that there’ll be someone along the way who happens to have a little glow to share .

    3. The rewards of being true to yourself  are infinite, even when outwardly your efforts are met with nothing.

    4. You’ll also see that  knowledge and wisdom will come from within yourself through your own struggle and curiosity... your loved ones may guide you to insight, but yours is the power to choose it.

    5. You’ll find that some of your choices could’ve been better, or at times were downright stupid. That’s okay... I have a closet full of reckless decisions, but without making them I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what a good one might feel like if I tried it on.

    6. Your growth will be a mysterious, comic, ecstatic and sometimes scary ride, and I pray that you strive to savor each minute of it, even the most difficult or embarrassing minutes. Don’t count on second chances.

    7. In those times when everything collapses around you, and what’s left won’t go right, don’t forget your chances of being alive in this solar system, in this galaxy, are a little on the slim side. So slim in fact that it could be called a miracle to breathe this air, drink this water, and have whet ever predicament you’re having no matter how you shake, rattle and roll it. So go with the cosmic flow and always choose something over nothing, while remembering that there’s a little of each one hidden in both.

    8. Respond as best as you can with love to adversity rather than reacting with fear... Love, in any situation and  being the primordial source and essence of ALL THIS STUFF, leaves / enters us with the most possible ways out / in.

    9. Whatever you’re doing, celebrate the process of doing as much, if not more, than what you’ve got when you’re done. Magic lives in the action.

    9 ½ . All matter is energy. All energy is infinite. We are but raindrops falling to the ocean, a short time in this shape until we’re reunited with the expanse from which we came. Your delicate yet sturdy, resilient body is a temporary shelter of energy that has swam the universe eternally and will continue eternally. You are a sudden crystallization of the infinite. One must ask themself, therefore, why be bored?

    9 3/4 . Choosing to live in the moment is courageous but becomes effortless once you begin...feeling obligated to survive in the past or future is dangerous and is difficult to continue. It’s one of the few risks I’d recommend not taking, right up there with trusting icons and shrugging off coincidences.

    10. The Universe itself it not confusing, we humans just like it that way. Do frogs seem bewildered , butterflies befuddled and amoebas addled? Nope, just us, my child. So, whenever things just don’t make sense, just take a deep breath and laugh as best you can, because that’s what you get for choosing this goofy, unpredictable place called Earth to embody yourself upon.