Monday, February 9, 2015


[Approximate Reading Time: 15 minutes]

I have been spending quite some time over on Nature Bats Last (NBL) going over the comments made by the community of people who make up the regular readers on that blog. The comment forum at NBL is an interesting place. Whether you believe in abrupt climate change or not, near-term human extinction or not, whether you wonder if we are even going extinct at all, the NBL comment forum provides a rich source of thought-provoking material to chew on and ponder over. Not to mention plenty of infotainment and gallows humor!

One of the central themes I have been exploring on this blog is the question of the human condition in the context of multiple existential crises. Climate change is but one of them. We have other problems to contend with: habitat loss, soil loss, deforestation, ocean acidification, species loss, etc. The planet's problems are all related to each other. And they are related to the dominant culture that we like to call Civilization. Civilization is a certain way of life, as all cultures, past and present, are. And it brings with it not just the above mentioned nature-related problems, but a real possibility of self-destruction. There are those who say humans might not end up waiting for climate change to do them in but instead might exterminate themselves through nuclear war:

Be that as it may, the question remains how and why we ended up in this situation. This is the human condition I spend a lot of time thinking about these days.

If you look at the comment forum at NBL, you'll see a diversity of opinion. Presumably, a number of the people who comment there are more or less convinced that humans are bound for extinction sometime in the next few decades. I tend to agree. With that consensus in place, there are multiple issues to grapple with, which in turn brings multiple diverse viewpoints to the fore. Consider the following questions:

1. How did we, the smartest of all the animals, end up destroying ourselves and the rest of the planet?
2. Is there a fundamental deficiency in us? Are we inherently flawed?
3. Did we choose to go down this path? Or did we simply go along a pre-ordained fateful path?
4. Is there such a thing called free-will? Do we have agency, either individually or collectively?

There are no easy answers to these questions. Here, I simply present one way to look at these issues. Let's start with the question of responsibility. When a murder is committed, society invokes methods to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. But when the crime is the murder of Mother Earth, how do we go about finding the perpetrators? At one level, it suffices to say it's just us, humans. All of us. We're all to be blamed. We're fundamentally flawed. We're too smart for our own good. We lost our way. All of us. All 7.2 Billion of us. We just can't help it. It's in our nature. That's what some of the commenters appear to posit. And the response to it? Consider this comment by Wester (NTE stands for Near-term Extinction):

Wester seems to prefer to sub-classify the mass of humanity into subsets and groupings and assign responsibility to some but not all 7.2 Billion human beings. Let's explore this approach further because it stands to reason that if we can say it's us humans, and not the polar bear or the Monarch butterfly that destroyed the living planet, we might as well dig in further and see who among us humans played a major role and who the minor, if at all. Some of us find this level of probing unnecessary, and even distasteful. It's uncomfortable, to say the least, for it calls into question our own complicity. Chances are if you're an Internet user, which you are, you are part of a group of humans that shares responsibility. Despite the feelings of unease and guilt, for some, spending time at this level of consciousness is extremely important. Before I go any further, let me admit that I personally include myself among those who shoulder the most blame. I will explore this more below and in future blog posts.

Now, we can classify the 7.2 Billion humans currently inhabiting the planet in any number of ways. Here are a few that are common in the dominant paradigm:

1. Geographical/Ethnic/Racial (Westerners and the rest, Global North and Global South)
2. Technological (First World and Third World, developed countries and developing countries)
3. Cultural (Civilized people and indigenous/tribal people)
4. Generational (Older generations and younger generations, the living and the yet to be born)
5. Education (Educated professionals and the rest)
6. Class (1% and 99%, the wealthy elites and the rest)

At this level of consciousness (which is not to say that it is a better level than other levels of consciousness), we tend to dwell on the sub-groupings within the mass of humanity that have been the most involved with the primary trends of the last several hundred (or thousand) years that have culminated in the current moment of crisis. In this blog, I explore this particular level of consciousness when I write about tribal cultures, Technology, class issues, etc.

Now, let me spend some time talking about the other levels of consciousness before coming back to this one! I briefly mentioned the level that is right above this one: all humans, as a species, are responsible for the planetary crises collectively. Our era has been termed the Anthropocene to highlight the outsize influence humans have had and continue to have on the environment and the planet. We all have similar needs and given the opportunity, we might as well behave in similar ways. We don't choose to be born much less choose the family, culture, country, race or any other grouping we're born into. In the absence of real agency, we are all the same. We would do the same things. I can see it this way and I spend plenty of time in this level of consciousness. If I were born into and brought up by an indigenous tribe, I would believe in my tribe's creation story and take care of my land as if my life depended on it. Because in fact, my life indeed depends on my land if I am a tribal person. On the other hand, if I were born into and brought up by the Vanderbilts, and encountered the same exact circumstances in life as one of their heirs would, I would probably treat the planet like a resource ripe for the picking and monetizing. I would be none the wiser that the Earth is a living being because my stories don't let me see it that way. There are many who prefer to dwell in this level of consciousness and never bother entering the one below, the one that seeks to sub-classify humanity further. I try to be respectful but I find every opportunity to drag these folks into the level below, the level I spend most of my time in. I try and choose my battles carefully but I often find myself in the thick of an argument or debate.

There are two more levels of consciousness above the one that posits "all humans are to be blamed collectively". Consider this comment that illustrates the level right above it.

Why blame humans alone? Why blame humans at all? Where do all these misanthropes come from anyway? Aren't we all part of nature? We're just like any other animal out there in the wild. We're natural and everything we do is natural. We come from the Mother and we return to the Mother. Everything we're made of comes from the Mother. Even the cancer that we have turned into today is a natural phenomenon. Perhaps, something is off-balance on planet Earth. We know little about it. And this whole distinction between artificial and natural, too, is, well, artificial, which is ultimately natural! If we didn't destroy the planet, another descendant of the ape might have, eventually. This is just how nature works. The planet goes through its cycles of creation and destruction and we just happen to be the destructive force today. Out of this will come a new world which when its time comes will be destroyed again... so goes the story of those who dwell in this level of consciousness. I spend time in this level often, wondering about the mysterious workings of nature and the lack of insight into it that we have in our current human condition. When I call it a story, I don't mean to belittle its significance and separate it from "reality". In my worldview, what we call "reality" is made up of stories. And stories are extremely powerful, powerful enough to affect what we think is real. So that's the third level of consciousness: humans as an integral part and parcel of nature, no separable from it than a heirloom tomato is.

Finally, there is yet one more level that we could call the Universal level. If humans are part of nature (and of Mother Earth even if they have turned against the living Mother), why stop there? The planet is not an isolated sphere in an empty Universe. It's acted upon by gravitational forces from the Sun and other planets. It's constantly being bombarded by all manner of electromagnetic radiation from outer space. Astrology seeks to forecast and interpret earthly events by determining the paths of other planets and their possible effects on Earth. Some would even say we're visited by aliens. There are many who dwell in this level of consciousness, thinking about UFOs, reptilian humanoids, etc. Who knows what's going on. But it's clear that the planet is part of a larger Universe whose workings we hardly understand. The higher the level of consciousness, the less we seem to understand about how things work. Even the best that modern Science has to offer ends up being mostly theory, hypothesis and conjecture. Perhaps there's something to String Theory. Perhaps there's something about a multi-dimensional reality. It would appear that the ascetic monk seeks to gain an understanding of such an elaborate and intricate Universe through stillness. Personally, I'd like to spend more time in this level of consciousness than I currently do. The work of Dean Radin into the frontiers of consciousness come to mind. Psi phenomena are intriguing. There's something attractive about the concept of non-duality. It somehow offers a picture of a just Universe, after all is said and done.

There's more in this level of consciousness that we don't know than we do know. Ultimately, we don't really know for sure what we know and what we don't know. But again, maybe that monk knows a thing or two that just can't be explained through language. In this context, what's happening to the planet today might make sense from a wholly different perspective. Certain Eastern mythologies talk of cycles of creation and destruction that happen every hundreds of thousands of years. There are many who dwell in this level of consciousness who refuse to visit the lower levels. This level is more fascinating and attractive to certain people. I wish them the best.

So here's how it looks.

Again, no level is inferior or superior to another. For one reason or another, we're drawn to one or more levels more than the others. It's up to us to determine why we dwell where we dwell, if we care to. Personally, these days anyway (and this might change in the future), I find myself spending a lot more time at the lowest level than in any other level, the level that deals with the daily events, primary historical trends, the pain and suffering of the animals and those that are close to the land, the defilement of the planet, etc., in other words, all the creation that I can see, hear and touch in my daily life.

This isn't even a choice that I make consciously. Sometimes, when it gets too distressing, or in prolonged moments of quiet solitude, I wander into other levels of consciousness. But there's something about what I see going on around me that draws me again and again to this level. I can't help but notice the disparity, the inequality, the injustice, the horror, the apathy, the plunder, the violence, and the web of lies and propaganda that attempt to hide it all away from plain sight.

Let's consider the sub-classifications that are pertinent to this level again:

1. Geographical/Ethnic/Racial (Westerners and the rest, Global North and Global South)
2. Technological (First World and Third World, developed countries and developing countries)
3. Cultural (Civilized people and indigenous/tribal people)
4. Generational (Older generations and younger generations, the living and the yet to be born)
5. Education (Educated professionals and the rest)
6. Class (1% and 99%, the wealthy elites and the rest)

The self-made 1%, many of whom are helplessly sociopathic take the most blame for it's they who construct and maintain the social arrangements for the rest of us to live by. But in their quest for control, they are assisted by the educated professionals (who the elites carefully discipline through years of schooling and college) who serve capital directly and indirectly. I belonged to this sub-group of professionals who unwittingly participate in a system that takes from the people who live close to the land and gives to those who live away from it. I also belong to the Civilized sub-group that benefits materially from the oppression it metes out to the indigenous and tribal peoples of the world, occupying their lands, strip mining them, blasting their mountain tops, "schooling" their children, alienating them from their subsistence cultures, driving them into cities and exploiting them in many other ways, economically, socially and religiously. I also belong to that generation that despite all its Internet savvy, is grossly misinformed and takes its privilege for granted, as if it has nothing to do with the future plight of the generations that are yet to come. I belong to that small sub-grouping of humanity that has made the leap from a third world country to a first world country, expanding my resource and carbon footprint some 20-fold in the process and benefiting from the continuing oppression of my countrymen. I will let you speak for yourself.

And no, I do not consider myself a self-loathing, guilt-ridden deer in the headlights. It behooves me to understand my situation and put it in context in a deliberate manner. It's the first step on my spiritual path. Most of us are simultaneously both the oppressors and the oppressed. We're not individuals as we like to think but porous bits of consciousnesses that are constantly influenced by the dominant culture around us. It is essential for me to understand how I am connected to the rest of the creation that I see around me and to assess how my actions impact and are impacted by it. I will let you speak for yourself.

Wester, over at NBL, has taken it upon himself to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable", and I, like many others, find myself in agreement with his stance. Consider this:

And this from another commenter:

"It is my firm opinion that America and the wealthier peoples of the planet have devolved into a state of proto-cannibalism. They prey on the poor and the weak, not eating their flesh directly, but are the cause of their starving and wasting away. To grow fat while causing the death of others is cannibalism, pure and simple!"

Well, that doesn't feel so good, does it? See if this softens it up a bit:

So, whodunnit? Me. Yes, I'm a hypocrite too! I'll let you speak for yourself.

Until I yank myself out of the mainstream, the dominant paradigm, I will try to live with gratitude. Every time I drive, I will try to remember the men who risked their lives extracting the oil and the truck driver who transported it to the gas station. I will also remember the holes we humans have sunk into the living Earth in our thirst for cheap energy. Every time I use my cell phone, I will try to remember the boys in Africa who mined coltan with their bare hands and got it past a warlord to feed my addiction to Technology. Every time I eat, I will remember that I know nothing about how my food is grown and try to be grateful to the underpaid, seasonal "illegal aliens" who work the fields of Central California.

Like Wester, I dwell in this level of consciousness today. I will let you speak for yourself.


  1. Most wonderful thinking-through and writing. Thanks so much for creating this space where we can learn and share.

  2. I posted as "anonymous" at 2:19 PM, because I couldn't figure out how/where to list my regular screen name, "Artleads." :-) I'm not associated with any of the listed alternatives.

    1. Thanks for reading, Artleads! Glad to see you here :) Like mo flow said, use the Name/URL option. I use that option too when I am not logged into Google and need to make a quick comment.

  3. hey Artleads, you can post here under your name using the Name/URL option in the dropdown. (no need to enter a URL). that's how I do it. just have to answer a captcha.

    Satish -

    another great post. I really enjoyed it. I live full time in the Universal level, but I frequently and easily experience the world from all the other levels as well. for a time I gravitated more towards the "it's all just Nature" and "all humans are equally to blame" levels (several years ago), but I have since moved much more firmly into the innermost level - the one where you are spending most of your time now. it just seems more bloody obvious to me than ever that:

    - yes, we had choices in this all along.
    - yes, the choices were made to exploit nature and almost all humanity, for the benefit of a few (like me).
    - yes, we can choose to look at this reality honestly.
    - yes, we can change on an individual basis, and work for change on a larger societal basis, in a way that matters.

    1. Hi mo flow, nice to know that you can relate to the innermost level, and more generally, this way of separating the levels from each other for convenience. I looked at the debates going on in the forum and was wondering over the past few days how to make sense of it. While we agree on certain things (NTE), we can't seem to agree on other issues. But also, I can see it from almost everyone's point of view, if I try enough, because I have thought similar thoughts at one point or another, although, like you, I relate much more to those who spend time in the innermost level. To be sure, there are gray areas and the lines between levels blur but sometimes a reductive approach is helpful to communicate :) So glad to find company in this level!

      Looks like you've been conscious of these various levels for years now. I am now more encouraged to write more about how this level feels to me. Yes, we can choose to look at this reality honestly. Thanks for saying that!

  4. Thank you for another excellent article ! Also your comments to Bud Nye on NBL were so insightful. You seem both kind and aware of so many shades of grey. Despite the horror news this week of Koala bears killed during a clear cut of their forest - PLEASE - do make an effort to connect with natural beauty. A most simple monk experience is to let all your mental images evaporate while looking at clouds. Expect don't "look" at them....rather relax and let the clouds "be" pure natural energy with out adding any internal projections. Zillions upon zillions of misty water drops in a dance of life. Transition. chemical change.

    Any single focus on either beauty or destruction is unbalanced personal evolution. Today the colorful coral reef off Key Largo was healthy. For now the white banks preserve have briefly recovered from so much damage. But what a shame it would be to spend the entire time snorkeling looking through a lens of past problems....or in a mental cloud foretelling future loss. For a moment I even took off my mask. Eyes wide open in a a blur of fish. No lens. Seeing without a mask underwater includes seeing the water distortion. Technically everything else we experience is thru a type of filter. What in the world are we reading between the lines. How can our egos doubt a multi-verse when we can never yet see in every ephemeral atom....or across this milky way...let alone to the edge of this single universe. See it in every spectrum? See it unfiltered? A sea of evolving energy. "The enlightenment of each alters the entire" Look through many perspectives young Budda. Look and learn for us all.

    Deep in the Corcovado jungle of Southern Costa Rica Nicholas Wessburg was hacked to death my gold miners. Yet their act of atrocity finally brought world wide attention to his plight to save that forest.

    Years after Nick's death I was alone rebuilding his burnt down cabin over a mile down a trail beyond the end of the road...where all roads end near the tip of Cabo Blanco. No electricity. No plumbing. At dawn where the rainforest meets the sea a world of natural sounds always arise ..HOWEVER... On September 11 2001 All the Howler Monos were in an uproar. Birds were screeching. Even the waves were pounding wild with no storm in sight. Due to my distance it was not till days later it learned the human event news. But I remember how the earth itself seemed to know. A disturbance in the field. Much later I read about how computer programers found huge surges of electricity in data banks on that date.

    From CERN to ancient Celtic records there is evidence of much more to life than you can see. A sea of stars through a tiny lens? A wide understanding of quantum entanglement ? An entire universe filtered through a human mind. So easy to doubt when we know so very much. Especially since we think we know the exact reasons for evolution, entropy, thermal dynamics. THE PARADOX OF INFINITY having to include being not infinite (in the final .00000 it has to include everything otherwise it is not infinite....oh dear +1 )

    Live, love, learn....possibly not to repeat this one...reality has to be painfully real for some ONE to not make the same mistakes twice. Just don't forget to truly feel the good nature. Otherwise paradise will seriously be lost in all this GREAT FORGETTING you touched upon.

    Okay back to the Dept of Energy I soon fly. From hot tropics to Cold D.C. - terrible carbon footprint from a former park ranger - so let it be undone. Musunuru did you find the anagram in your name? Would you like a tour of the Pentagon? DARPA ? NSA? "Transforming the Energy Matrix" Red pill blue pill test at the NIH. Satish do we have all the time in the frame? So many are faithfully waiting for someONE. -+-+-+- 101

    1. I can't figure out the anagram in musunuru. Luckily no one asked me this in my Google interviews :) What do you make out in my name?

      I will be sure to look at the clouds tomorrow. The way they are. In all their splendor.

      That's rather interesting about the Howler Monos and the conscious field that was registering the events. Dean Radin referred to a perturbation he noticed in his experiments:

      "Enter Dean Radin, long an advocate along with many others (for example, the British biologist Dr. Rupert Sheldrake) of this idea of a direct connection between consciousness and the physical medium. It was Radin who had a major influence in the development of the Princeton "eggs", the consciousness experiments that now famously recorded a major "spike" prior to, and after, the tragic events of 9/11."


      That's sad what happened to Nick. He's with the Mother that he cared for so much.

      I need to meditate.

  5. Satish,

    another truly insightful essay. You are probably an old soul inside a young body. Insights like yours are not easily attained, even at my "old" age. You might need a few lives for that.

    In your name, I can only make out the obvious: the sun. Apart from that, there are too many "Us" to make up an English anagram. Maybe umuru or rumu'u means something in a language I don't know or maybe even a long forgotten one..... But Sun is good enough: light and energy. I would mind that in my name. How does it work in Hindi? What might your name contain?

    mo flow, artleads, nice to see you posting here.

    Anonymous, "Koala bears", are you Australian? I had not heard for their killing during a clear cut in a forest. But Key Largo is in Florida, isn't it. I'm confused, or is that also you artleads?

    1. Corredtion: I meant "I wouldn't mind that in my name". Sorry!

    2. Thank you, Sabine, for your kind words. I'm trying to practice empathy which doesn't come naturally for the engineer in me.

      The "Anonymous" poster is not artleads. He seems to be a kind of male muse though, doesn't he? :)

      These are all the words that I can make out - sun, sum, run, rum and us. Perhaps the longer combinations mean something in an African language. They have lots of Us in their words. Like Ubuntu, a word that most techie people will recognize as a popular flavor of a computer operating system. But it actually means: "I am what I am because of who we all are" How wise! It immediately destroys all false notions of barriers that individualism puts up and reminds us that we're all connected and influencing each other all the time.

      Perhaps that's what my name stands for too... it's all about 'U'

    3. Also, Sabine, any idea if ilinda was able to try those suggestions so she can start commenting here?

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin! I saw one of Wells' documentary where he profiles the population of New York City based on their DNA ancestry. He talks about haplotypes. Quite fascinating! Will check out the video series.

      Good to see you here!

  7. Hi Satish,

    I emailed ilinda yesterday telling her that she may contact your via your email address if she still can't comment . I'm sure you'll hear from her. By the way, that address of yours sounds very approachable with that lovely Indian term of endearment "ji".

    And yes, African languages seem to have many "u" sounds. There might be an African anagram there in your name. Interesting.

    Re Empathy: I don't think you have to work too hard there. You certainly sound empathetic in all your posts and comments. To me, it always comes across like the real spontaneous you, not something you have to labour at. But I know what you mean. It's very hard sometimes, when you consider the often deliberate ignorance and insanity of humans all around us. When I get thoroughly fed up with people, I concentrate on animals and plants.
    You seem to be one of those people who can relate to anybody, male, female, all ages and cultures. That's quite unusual, especially for men (in my experience) because they're often too competitive, Some men just seem to be able to relate, but only on a superficial and manipulative basis. You are not like that because you use your ample imagination to think yourself into others. That's quite a gift.

    1. Hi Sabine,

      Ilinda is in touch now. Thanks.

      Yeah, it was my nickname in college :)

      Thank you so much for the kind words... I already read them twice :) I wasn't always like this... I was a typical nerd-geek until a few years ago.


    2. If you step back a couple 100,000 miles and look at the situation as a whole, what you see is very similar to an island overrun by a dominant species, say mule deer. What happens is eventually the food runs out or a disease takes hold or somehow a predator gets on the island and there’s a big die-off. Then gradually everything settles back to a balance. In geological time this has happened many times, even hundreds of times. Humans arrived on this Eden after many of these die-offs had already occurred. A million years from now the only thing left of our civilization will be a 1/2 inch of heavy medals in the bottom of the ocean no matter what we do. We, as a species, are toast. The earth will be fine but we are toast.

      Hi Satish,

      Glad to be here. Enjoyed your post today on NBL. Copied it to (a blog dedicated to the energy/economy equation) where few seem to understand such realities as you describe. BTW, I've spent many crucial years in your precise neck of the woods.

    3. My apologies. The first paragraph in my last post should have been deleted.

    4. Hi Artleads, What's that blog that explores the energy/economy equation? I'm interested in those issues. I had a big debate with a bunch of people on the Economics mailing list at Google a couple years ago.

    5. hey Satish - I don't know exactly the one that Artleads is referring to, but Gail Tverberg's Our Finite World energy/economy blog is a must see (if you haven't already)

    6. Satish, see Mo Flow's link.

    7. Thanks, mo flow and Artleads, I'm checking out Gail Tverberg's work. They made a big deal when the Oil Drum shut down but we knew peak oil theories still hold. I keep telling my techno-optimist acquaintances that Technology will not replace oil.

  8. very inspiring read, Satish. You are really hitting on all levels, and I can feel the love and light flowing from your prose. What a journey you have allowed yourself to be on! Like you and many of the commenters, I agree that the different levels of consciousness aren't mutually exclusive, or that at least we can slip into and out of them. I do think that there's a lot of valuable information to be gleaned from the stardust level that helps us to be better equipped to be conscious forces on the human level. I look at it a little bit like an ecosystem -- the more diverse your levels of experience and the more integrated they are, the more meaningful our mysterious trip through life on earth becomes.

    1. Certainly, Sven... time spent at each level is informed and enriched by time spent at other levels. I actually hesitate to split our awareness into such distinct levels because it draws imaginary lines where none exist. We live in a world where there's enough reductionism and artificial classifications of all kinds. I don't need to be adding to it. Like eating a balanced diet, it's probably a good thing to be spending time being curious and reflective about everything we notice: from the plight of the newly homeless to the vast dimensions of the Universe and the consciousness we bring to bear on both. I think what we're trying to do is become conscious of what we are conscious of :)

      It occurs to me that we're all drawn to different levels at different times, and it's not necessarily in our control to decide what attracts us. A dispossessed person might be acutely aware of the injustice meted out to him and its systemic nature. The same person, years later, might find himself at peace leading a different life, contemplating and meditating. Perhaps, it's essential for him to have passed through the life events that threw themselves onto him. Who knows! And who's to say that after years of sitting still, he won't be called to re-enter worldly affairs with a new sense of urgency or awareness or love.

      One thing is for sure... life on earth is definitely a mysterious trip, as you put it. The quest for meaning is perhaps a result of us consciously or subconsciously noticing that all's not well. And we ask why. A child at play never wonders what's the point in playing. Joy needs no explanation. Contentment is its own reward. The stardust level has much to offer as we seek meaning in our relationship with the immediate world around us. Interestingly, it's also the only level available to every conscious human being at all times. Something tells me I will be spending more time there. This conversation is part of the journey. The act of seeing changes both the seer and the seen. Thank you, my friend.

  9. SABINE, I read about the Kola Bears on a flight to Florida last week. Can't get the link to post but it is DESDEMONA DESPAIR . net sounds funny but it is actually a serious tv news site with you tube clips. All my best

  10. SVEN, my exact same compliment to Satish. Love the light and high level of awareness in his prose. bingo Ubuntu...."I am who I am because of WHO WE ALL ARE!!!!

    In 1994 I named the boat I sailed around the Pacific "Munurus". Prior to buying the boat I was on safari in Tanzania where my guide said it means spirit of life. Sort of like how "Pura Vida" is the slogan in Costa Rica.

  11. Mark,

    Thanks you, I don't always get everything on news items, names etc. because I'm in the UK. Different environment, slightly different thread. So I have to look things up (not Koala bears of course). I'll check out Desdemona Despair. Thanks for your explanation, and keep the information and your insights going.

  12. " I look at it a little bit like an ecosystem -- the more diverse your levels of experience and the more integrated they are, the more meaningful our mysterious trip through life on earth becomes."

    I liked this.

    To Mo Flow

    Right now, rightly or wrongly, I'm shy of responding to your long-ish recent post on NBL re Daniels' UFO post on NBL. I thought Satish might not mind me squeezing an off-the-cuff comment about it here. If so, I appreciate that.

    You once referred to yourself as a joy-ist, which encourages me to invent another belief description. What about being a me-ist? The theory of me-ism says that all of creation--your Total Reality--resides in the individual, most of it unavailable at this time. On one level, that's a formula for anarchism. All actions and programs center on the individual. As to all the complex host that have been around for so long, me-ism says they can easily be contacted through the individual's imagination. And that whatever we imagine is real. Since we are not ready to deal with much that we can imagine, we need to be selective and focused as to where we let our minds go, choosing what "feels good" at the time. This "what feels good" (which is complex beyond what I can delve into now) is a somewhat reliable guide as to what we are ready to handle.

    Passing thoughts. Enough for now.

  13. hey Artleads -

    thanks for taking the time to talk about your idea of "me-ism" here. I am pretty sure Satish wouldn't mind us talking a bit about these things on his blog - this place he has created, and drawn us into, is very nice for more calm reflection, I think, than NBL can be. these kinds of things also relate to the overall Subject of Satish's blog, and certainly this post in particular.

    I think we are all inescapably "me-ists" at the heart of our experience. the difference in all of it shines through on all the different ways we, individually, experience what "me" really is.

    in addition to being a joyist, I have also emphatically stated that I am an existential nihilist - in exactly the way I believe that concept is most accurately interpreted.

    I think my existential nihilism can also easily be called "me-ism" in just the sense you are describing. this philosophy:

    - is completely anarchist, in the truest sense (the same way Robin was just recently talking about on NBL),

    - says all of creation - Total Reality - really does reside, ultimately, in the individual,

    - and says we can access this creation through "imagination" - and this imagination is always real, on some level.

    of course, I put that last word in quotes for several reasons. on one level, obviously, the reality of imagination can be confined entirely to one's own mind. on a whole slew of other levels, as consciousness expands more and more to become "Consciousness" - imagination grows to be an experience that is shared with other individual consciousnesses, in all kinds of ways, on all kinds of additional levels - everything from physical reality, to the "separate realities" of the shamans, spiritual realities, the realities of alternate or parallel universes, and on and on - we can begin to get a handle on this, but it just goes and goes...

    but it is all real - the different created Realities of the imagination of Consciousness. and a direct, 100% reliable connection to all of this exists within the being of every individual.

    and you are very much right on with this: what "feels good" - in all its complexity - that is we have to learn to understand and navigate; that is what will guide us to what we are really ready to live with.

    this "feeling" is not just "somewhat reliable" but the most 100% reliable guide as to what to focus on, in any moment. it takes practice, deep trust, and lots and lots of laughter, play, joy, compassion and love. but it is completely reliable. how can it not be, when, finally, it really IS all your creation?

  14. "...this 'feeling is not just 'somewhat reliable but the most 100% reliable guide as to what to focus on, in any moment."

    It seems like a very bold thing to say; thus my caution. Confirmation is most welcome.

  15. ah, bold... well, when you learn trust these things, and work with them properly, you are actually dealing with real laws that exist on the other levels.

    that's why I can say "100% reliable" without a second thought. it is as 100% reliable as the gravity of Earth when I step outside my front door.

    but, just like a whole bunch of things had to be "discovered" about the principles of flight and lift before the Wright brothers could reliably fly a plane, so it is with learning to tune in to these new laws. it is not an instant process, until it is.

    the fact that intuition or feeling is not instantly known and trusted to be 100% reliable does not mean it isn't. the principles are there, they just have to be learned and used properly.

    planes still crash. things can still "go wrong" when following intuition. that does not change the 100% reliable nature of the underlying laws.

  16. And there's no doubt some relevance to the fact that I have been steadily moving toward that 100% certainty point previous and contemporaneously with this crystalizing conversation.

    An interesting series of videos posted on the forum by Red Fox. Maybe I didn't cut it properly, as it won't post here. It's on the plants/witches thread, and focuses on animism.

  17. Artleads and mo flow, You're most welcome to have this conversation in this space. I know what you mean when you say the NBL forum may not be the most welcoming place for certain topics. And, yes, it's very relevant to this blog post and the blog too.

    Einstein called "intuition" a sacred gift and the logical mind a faithful servant. Modern culture has confused the two. The "feeling good" and "gut feeling" that offer 100% reliable connection to reality takes a bit of faith to believe in. And in a good way. I believe we humans used to be very good listeners to what our gut is saying when nature was our teacher, prior to the rise of hierarchies. I like how you make a distinction between the current skill level of the listener and the full potential of the listener (tapping into the 100% reliability), the gap between which causes things to go wrong sometimes. I am reminded of the closer-to-nature tribe that escaped the worst of the tsunami a few years ago by listening to what was going on around them. They somehow knew how to listen to their intuition that civilized people around them failed to do. Nature was telling them both the same thing when the Earth shook and the ocean drew back unusually.

    mo flow, if you know of any books or resources on this topic of reliable intuition, please post.

    Artleads, if you find the animism thread, please post it here. Meanwhile, I will search for it some more too.

  18. This is getting interesting.

    artleads, remember when you told me once that sometimes your writing is confused (something like that)? Well, it's definitely not here on Satish's blog! I can tell that you're feeling really at home here, so I'm looking forward to more.

    And mo and Satish, I share you insights on reality, different levels and intuition. Did someone here quote Einstein's saying about intuition, that "it was a precious gift and that the logical mind was a faithful servant"? Or was that on NBL? Anyway, this is my experience too. I've always been intuitive, ever since I can remember. Now, after all these years of using and relying on intuition, I feel that I've cultivated it into an art. Using it with confidence, and that's the trick, it becomes a proper guide. My good experience of it has paid compound interest, that how it seems to work. It seems to grow and evolve over time. But you need to be quite anarchic and you mustn't be afraid. That's probably part of the gift because I think these prerequisite "qualities" can't be learned. I have a feeling that here, on this blog, I'm not the only one.

    This intuition has guided me in my relationships with all living beings. And here I am, 66 years old, and so far I've had a good, interesting life, and I can say in good faith that I've never made anybody cry.
    My intuition guides me always and gives me confidence to act, with also makes me a joy-ist (and a me-ist). What lovely words mo and artleads.
    You have to be a "me-ist" to trust yourself, but always keeping yourself in perspective, being aware of the connections on all levels at all times.

    However, I don't forget about the "faithful" servant. He's very useful too and absolutely necessary to understand and communicate on particular levels. He's also part of us. But logic can be easily learned, it's definitely not a gift.

    Einstein, as usual, communicated a great insight with his take on intuition.

    1. What a fascinating journey you have been on, Sabine. I have never come across anyone who vouches for their reliance and trust in their intuition as much as you. Not even close. But I guess it shouldn't be surprising considering that I have been hanging out with engineers all my life. It's only recently that I have been exploring my other side but what a gift to hear from you and mo flow about your experiences. It opens up a whole world that's more kind rather than systemic, personal rather than impersonal and available rather than locked-away-as-knowledge.

      I like what you say about being anarchic and not being afraid. All too often, we operate under the unconscious and subconscious rules set forth by the dominant culture. We listen to experts and ignore our own gut instinct about what's good for us. We fit into hierarchies and forget our own voice. As more and more people realize what's going on and how we're co-opted, hopefully, we will regain some of the skill that guides every child until it enters the gates of dominant culture. Much to think about and reflect upon. Thank you for contributing to this space. I'm enriched by this conversation.

  19. Thanks so much, Sabine!


    Thanks for creating such a welcoming space.

  20. Sabine -

    yes, I first came across the full quote on a different post in Satish's blog, then posted it over on the NBL Forum in Lidia's "Human self-domestication" topic. now, to quote myself, and include the full Einstein quote (because Einstein's quote is so dang good!)

    "I am very big on the importance of balance. intuition and rationality working together. to add one thing here I came across on Satish's blog, a quote from Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” "

    really think about that for a minute! why, exactly, would he call it a "sacred gift"? the first thing that comes to mind is the powerful insight that can come from intuition, and Einstein was of course a master.

    but a deeper thing, I believe, is just what we are talking about here: the idea that something is "sacred" and "a gift" implies, naturally, that it is 100% reliable. the "sacred" aspect of it means it cannot be wrong, and the gift is something you can completely count on - that is why it is such a gift!

    but then we humans (not being purely "sacred" - directly and always consciously connected to the Light - here on Earth) have to learn to listen to and correctly interpret intuition and feeling. that's just part of the nature of the game here.

    the confidence you mention, Sabine, is important. this is one way the gift gets stronger. it is always an interactive cycle - the more you are willing to confidently trust in, and act on, intuition and feeling, the more clearly and more often it will "speak" to you.

    when you act with confidence, you are directly expressing your appreciation for the guidance, and the energy of appreciation is the most powerful way - bar none - we can connect to the deeper ground of Being in the Universe. appreciation closes the loop, within our own beings - between what the greater Universe is always giving us (Love), and what we can give back (Appreciation).

    Satish -

    thanks again for being such an inviting and interactive host. that is really fun.

    I am hesitant to recommend any books. there are so many ways to practice this stuff! and so many possible ways to find guidance. I would say "just start to look into it" in whatever way feels right, and keep going and going! that would be the best way to get things rolling, or move deeper into the process if one is already on the path.

    part of the beauty of the process, in my experience, is that when one genuinely "puts out the call" to the Universe, that one wants to learn about and get really good at practicing and following intuition, feeling and so on, the Universe will invariably respond. at that point, either one is going to start really diving in deeper, and finding specific guidance that would most resonate with one's own being, or one is going to miss the message!

    but, if one is truly *determined* it doesn't matter how many times the messages are missed. they will keep coming, and there will be as many chances given as necessary to get in the groove. and of course the process really is never-ending.

    1. Thanks, mo flow... I just realized books and web sites, being invariably dependent on language, are more of the rational and logical processes at work. The gift of intuition and "feeling one's way" is better practiced than mentally analyzed, filtered and digested. In a strange way, to be able to intuit that intuition would be more reliable guide is in itself a seed of a gift that is set up to grow when watered. I'll "start looking into it"!

    2. Satish, I was going back through your archives (I've only just started to make headway there, but it sure is looking great!) and came across this post from Sept 2012 - the fourth post on your blog:

      "Multi-sensory humans"

      "Can we surpass the limitations of our five senses and reach into something beyond and tap into something richer? Is there such a thing as "multi-sensory"? I guess one would need to be multi-sensory to answer that! Or one could take a leap of faith and assume there could indeed be such a thing and hope that assumption would pave the way to actually experiencing it! In other words, a belief that I'm multi-sensory might help me become so (or to realize that I'm multi-sensory if I already am, unbeknownst to me."

      and I really like this:

      "There are people who say it's about time for us humans to expand our contextual framework to be able to answer the above questions. We have done such expansions many times with the number system. Should we now also admit that our current framework with which we view our world and ourselves - one that's limited to the five senses feeding data to the brain and creating our experiences in a physical world that's dominated by technology - is unable to answer these basic questions? Like imaginary numbers, could there be a world beyond the five senses that answer questions that can't be answered by the means of and inside of the context of our physical world? Just because I don't understand this "other world" beyond the one I live in, can I reasonably say it doesn't exist?"

    3. Nice :) I'm getting back into thinking about the 6th sense again, with what's going on around us and the discussion we're having here about intuition helping the process along. Glad you're checking out my earlier posts. Curious to hear what else resonates with you, mo flow.

    4. Satish, yes, I will let you know, as I go through, more about what resonates, for sure.

      for me, I think this process is all about deconstruction. your 6th sense is already something you are doing, all the time. deconstruction allows you to actually feel it again, as it already exists in your being.

      the constructions of ego are built on top of the foundations of what you already are. as the building gets taller, we get certain kinds of new experiences as we move up the levels of our "inner civilization," across generations, and eventually we have forgotten all about the foundation that the whole thing rests on.

      in a way, it is always closer to you than anything else. you are living it, every moment. it is just that it is so easy to forget what it is. the conditioning of what we learn to think of as "me" - the ego me - has totally taken over. but that conditioning is actually extremely thin! the veil isn't just thin in some key spots on Earth, it is extremely thin everywhere.

      here is a rather to-the-point limerick I wrote about this process on NBL:

      Waking Up Is Easy To Do

      We were born with zillions of clues
      Got lost in rooms with no views
      Now death’s on the way
      With freedom we say
      Your cluelessness is only for you.


      In the same topic thread that limerick is in - a topic I think you would find really interesting btw Satish, a linked article by Zhiwa Woodbury,

      I also included an outline of a map of "what we really are" as I see it:

      this "what we really are" all gets right back to the idea of deconstructing the house if ego, and living the Total Reality experience that I mention below to red fox. the experience where we have found our new home in "mind."

      this all is of course a super condensed version of what is essentially, I think, the largest possible topic in the Universe - the truth of "what we are."

      when the deconstruction process is underway, it can be disorienting, sometimes radically so, in all kinds of ways. one internal feeling that I found to be somewhat common was a kind of sea sickness, which was as strong as vertigo sometimes. this is just something that tells you you are on the right track. :)

    5. (breaking this comment in two, as my first try was too long, uh oh... '-)

      one other thing that is directly relevant here is the article I linked just yesterday on NBL, From ego to heart II. here is a sample quote:

      "When you stop identifying yourself with the ego, you first get into a state of confusion as to who you are. This confusion can be profound and very philosophical in nature. You get to ask questions about the meaning of life, about good and bad, about what you really feel and think as opposed to what others have taught you to feel and think. These questions are suddenly very real to you and they have a direct bearing on the life choices you make. You look at yourself and you think: is this me? Is this what I want? It is hard to make choices now, since nothing is self-evident anymore.

      In fact, you are now taking a step backwards, a step into the deep, a step inward. You become aware of deeper parts of yourself, parts that are less conditioned by your upbringing and by society. You receive glimpses of who you truly are: your uniqueness, your individuality. You remember that there is a part to you that is not dependent upon anything around you, your parents, your work, your relationships, not even your body. This is when you - vaguely - sense your divinity, the part of you that is completely unbound and eternal.

      In fact, you are all multidimensional beings; you can and do manifest yourselves in several different realities at the same time. You are not bound to a linear timeframe. Your current personality is only one aspect of the multidimensional entity you are. Whenever you realize that your current expression as a physical human being is simply one aspect of you, you go beyond it and you can get in touch with the greater Self that you are."

      From ego to heart II

  21. Hi Satish,
    Sabine suggested I pop over here to your "place". I'm glad I did. Just a brief visit; I think Artleads was going to put a link up that I posted on the NBL forum but it wouldnt work so I thought I'd give it a go if that's ok.

    Artleads-not sure if these are they?

  22. Hmm, seems it wont take the links? Apologies for the waste of a comment!
    They should work if they are cut and pasted into the browser search bar I guess?

    1. Hi red fox, thanks for dropping by. I like your comments over at NBL. Will check out the links above and the video Artleads posted above on animism. Hang out more here, red fox...

      Oh, and there are no limits on the number of comments here :)

    2. Cheers Satish; I certainly will. It seems a lot more convivial than the comment section on NBL!

  23. red fox,

    Glad you came by and for your help with the links. The following is indeed what I was referring to. It came up as per your suggestion to cut and paste to browser. Haven't tried the other links yet. Thanks, Sabine, for referring this to red fox.

  24. I really liked this paragraph from the latest essay at NBL:

    "It is impossible to rationally understand the relationship of these two scales, the human life-span and geological time. Maybe that is one of the problems with science, with politics, with the culture; that we aren’t able to understand this because the difference in scale is so vast. But, in the most quiet times, sitting in the fresh breeze by the turquoise water, or wherever you may find yourself, an understanding emerges that comes from somewhere other than the rational mind. It bubbles up from our felt-self and speaks clearly to us: there is only one response and that is to trust yourself, trust your instincts, trust your aliveness, and choose. Choose that which moves out from who you really are, from what you really cherish. And when your are moved to do something, check its genesis. If the system and culture are taking us over the brink and that next thing that moves you is something you were taught by that same system, perhaps there is an opportunity for the briefest pause in which we ask, ‘is my heart leading?’"

  25. yes, that paragraph is one of the best things I have ever read there.

  26. Having read your essay I think I now spend the majority of my time at the inside level, the green one. I have forays off into the outer one now and again.
    I must admit my view regarding the part of nature stance is a bit muddled. On the one hand, as a species we certainly are, otherwise we wouldnt be here (some do a pretty good impression of being robots though) but I dont hold to the view that the civilised version of living arrangements, particularly industrial civilisation) and it's artefacts can really be labelled as belonging to nature. Well, not in my interpretation of the term nature anyway. The project as it is now seems to be an aberation that is anti-nature. I know i'm talking dualistically and not very clearly and it's all down to my interpretation of the term "nature". I suppose i'm saying that civilisation has forced people (who are part of nature) out of the niche as a useful ecological species into a full blown firestorm. Basically, i dont buy into the notion that because humans are "natural", their/our way of life as it is now, must be as well. I'm not to sure if that makes sense really!

  27. "Basically, i dont buy into the notion that because humans are "natural", their/our way of life as it is now, must be as well. I'm not to sure if that makes sense really!"

    An interesting concern. I welcome the humility with which it is couched. I guess ulvfugl taught me a modicum (if perhaps not enough) of this.

    What makes me able to subsume human (and American!) exceptionalism into an otherwise fairly sane world view is a full-blown muddled-ness of thinking. The only way I find to accommodate such "craziness" is to switch to Satish'es more outward circles where everything is possible and everything is true. So the inner center depends on the outer center(s) for validity. So, in that sense, I think of humans as being part of nature, then I go back and think of us as not nature (in part).

    More to say, but not this minute...

  28. red fox, Artleads -

    I think the nuanced and humble ways of looking at these circles that Satish has so helpfully described are actually the most realistic, and makes the most overall sense. it isn't muddled to think about how we have become so "anti-nature" - while still trying to see how this all can be part of some larger natural process!

    it also isn't an easy conclusion, at all, to see how all these things can "fit together" at once. but I don't think anything about our larger experience of this Universe is really supposed to be easy - meaning easy from the POV of ego.

  29. Great conversation! I'm so glad to see mo flow and red fox and everyone else here. Knowing all of you at this time, even in this limited way, and having this kind of place to discuss these things, is a great gift.

    Judith Orloff, MD. writes extensively about intuition and trusting it.

    mo flow and I have had a couple of conversations about this subject and I have told him about the guidance I have received in my life and followed. I have written quite a bit in the past about that trusting your gut thing, and how it is always protective if you can discern the messages. I'm quite convinced that at least some of it will be communications from spiritual beings who assist us in this world. Some of it may be a deeper part of the self.

    I want to write more but I have so much to attend to these days. We are having great weather now, but up to a few days ago, for about a week and a half we had temperatures that ranged from a high of 0 to a low -20F, with hurricane force winds blowing non-stop, power outages, loss of heat, it was wild, and I haven't recovered yet. I hope to get back to writing more soon, and I just want to again say how nice it is to see the NBLers here.


  30. Attempting to address numbers 1-3

    1) Relate to the creation around me

    2) The human condition; why did we do this to the mother?

    3) We are part of nature--let it go

    4) Stardust--story of Universe

    We have looked at fate vs. free will, for example.

    Mo Flow has guided that discussion. I only touched on the subject, and yes, it's hard to go deeper. But here's what I don't see as too hard:

    Being part of nature and beyond nature simultaneously. The biblical admonition to have dominion over nature might be illustrated by the specter of American exceptionalism. Here's my conjecture: For 70 years, America, especially in the last 25, has been the world's dominant power. I don't want to say nasty things, so I won't characterize closely the nature of that dominance. I will call it leadership, but not "servant leadership." But America might do better by all if it practiced the latter. Caring about the rest of the world as compassionately as the rest of the world cares about itself.

    I was taught in art school about making the brush stroke disappear. It disappeared because it functioned successfully to create a space, a volume, wherein the actual brushstroke qua brushstroke vanished into a larger "form." (You still needed paint and brush, with all their embedded energy. Similar to how you needed an education going way back, to which I tentatively liken America's huge military and economic dominance.) However it got by its dominance, America (the brush stroke) can choose to use it wisely, altruistically, not suicidally, for the benefit of a larger whole. It can still put its gas mask on first, so it is in a position to help a weaker companion with theirs. (I know I'm way out of my depth here, but since these are not new thoughts, I'm obliged to get them sorted out or abandoned through testing them out where there seem to be like minds.) A vital part of the "parenting" kind of leadership is not to smother, obstruct, or rob of their volition, the led. In many if not most cases, people just need to be left to their own devices.

    It's not too hard for me to see how the human species could use similar leadership modality toward the rest of nature.

  31. I just watched Graham Harvey's 8-part interview about Animism. Good to hear him talking about how indigenous people learn to listen and make space for other beings. I recently read Daniel Quinn's Providence and he also says that the closest thing to his way of looking at the world around him is Animism. Harvey even mentions how some of us personify our cars - the subject of this sketch -

    Also spent a few hours watching the footage from the Disclosure Project. I can see what mo flow said on NBL about the UFO issue being similar to the NTE issue and both being of an essentially spiritual nature when they come to the end of the line. It takes the same kind of open mind to consider that there are beings trying to help us in unseen ways, same as it takes to consider that we might not be here in 20 or 30 years. mo flow said, "there will never be a “mass disclosure” by these beings – not until we are at the very end of what our human experience is right now. it will be essentially a “deathbed revelation,” when it comes." That reminds me of this book called "Dying to be me" written by a cancer survivor who fights to the very end as she sees her health slipping out of her hand and only when she finally gives up on any hopes of recovering and surrenders to the Gods of death does her cancer gives up resulting in a full recovery. I wonder if we humans ought to be doing something similar: surrender and let go and stop messing with the atmosphere any more than we already have. Perhaps those beings flying around in their fancy craft will then be able to communicate with us at last. But we need to listen and be inviting, a bit animistic.

    Artleads, you said, "It's not too hard for me to see how the human species could use similar leadership modality toward the rest of nature." It's my understanding that the native and indigenous peoples of the world saw themselves as guardians of the land that they lived on. They observed for minute changes and adjusted things to help maintain balance. Graham Harvey thinks the adults in those societies were the most mature listeners having built up their skills through much experience.

    red fox, I like your comment. I can't see how the current situation is natural either. We have separated ourselves from nature and live in artificial environments that make us feel we don't need nature any more. Some of my ex-colleagues have said as much. But for some reason, we aim to recreate nature in our artificial environs, like this article shows - It must have something to do with the fact that we evolved in nature for 99.9% of our existence that the body works best with a semblance of natural light. Anyway, it comes down to what we mean by "nature" I guess. If a healthy balance is natural and imbalance is not, what humans are doing today is definitely not natural. If we expand the meaning of nature to include just about everything that happens under the sun, including cancer, then, of course, everything comes under its purview and what we do ends up beings "natural". I think some people use the word in the sense that "well it's happening, so it must belong to the order of things that are possible, and hence it's natural"

    oldgrowthforest, will check out Orloff. Thanks. Stay warm. Stay safe. My friend in New Jersey tells me it's too cold to step outside. Here in California, it's unusually hot for February. January was the driest month on record.

  32. Phew, I need to come over here from just reading and replying to a response on NBL. It is not good for ones equilibrium there at the moment!

    Some great replies here and "hello" OGF!

    Artleads-you do what I do I feel-write "out loud" what you are thinking but with more clarity!

    Re the UFO thing. I skimmed the posts on NBL tbh but over the last 30 years or so I've dipped in and out of the subject. My mum used to take me out to near the beach on some summer evenings to skywatch for the blighters. This was in the late '60's when there was a significant "flap" in Warminster in southern England. For what it is worth, my opinion now is that these sightings originate from within the Earth, I dont mean underneath, but more akin to the Otherworld or spiritual realm if you will of all peoples mythologies. I wonder if perhaps these sightings have no form as such but are somehow clothed by the witnesses thoughts? I am relatively well versed in Faery lore and cant help but draw parallels between it and UFO lore. In fact, in Celtic lore there are definate faery races who resemble the "grey" and "nordic" types of UFO lore. This is not a new thing; Jaques Vallee put forward a similar opinion in Passport to Magonia way back. Anyway, trying to make this short; I got involved in crop circle research in the '90's (all man made art in my opinion, and none the less for it) but realised there was a phenomenon behind it the actual circles. The folk who make them reported quite frequently what would be called paranormal occurences and synchronicity. It's too long to go into here, but a lot involve BOL's/LIT's/UFO's and in some cases entities.
    All this screed was meant to get around to saying that I think the interior realm of the planet/our imagination (i dont mean imagination perjoratively) is where the "teaching" or "guardianship" originates and on a material basis this could be where animism provides the link or doorway if you will. Ineveitably, as Ulvfugl highlighted, this involves shamanism. Spontaneous encounters or involuntary shamanism, I believe, can occur in certain locations at certain times. To use occult terminology, "where the veil is thin". This may account for sightings that "cluster" in specific areas and so on.

    One final thing that I was reminded of when writing this, is that in a certain branch of Faery lore there is a notion (almost zen like) that the stars are within the Earth/ our imagination and not "out there" as such. I got my head around it once when I was a bit sleep deprived and then promptly forgot! Quicksilver...!

    1. red fox -

      this is it. you have pegged it. once it is realized that it *is* all imagination, then one also realizes, yes, it is all inside my head. the stars are "within the Earth" and not "out there" and the Earth is within what? imagination.

      the "entities" that *know* this reality, and *live* it, don't distinguish, really, from being across the galaxy from us, across the Universe, with the spirit world, within the Faery Realm, or within a tree that grows on your yard. they don't distinguish these things, because they are all in the *same* place. right there - right here. in *your* mind.

      of course, this implies many things at once! and that is where it gets really interesting.

    2. Very interesting... yes, how are we to say that the Sun doesn't contain the earth? How do we define the Sun anyway, especially its boundaries? Does the Sun end when the luminosity decreases to 25% that at the core? Or do the boundaries magically appear when the temperatures drop to an arbitrary number? The scientists would say they have come to an agreement on where the boundaries lie, but what good is it for other than to build more constants on top of it and derive formulas and such? What does it mean for the Sun to contain the Earth? How about we say the Sun ends when there's no life to be aware of its rays. Or some other more experiential measure? If the Sun's rays are striking me this minute, I'm part of the Sun. It's enveloping me with its rays, light and heat.

    3. Satish, I'm thinking about this differently than "If the Sun's rays are striking me this minute, I'm part of the Sun. It's enveloping me with its rays, light and heat" - or where "boundaries" really are in the outer world.

      while this interconnectedness you are talking about (if I've got that right) is certainly important, what I am getting at is a way of *inverting* everything - turning it all inside out.

      it is the ultimate magic trick, if you will. :)

      what I am saying is this: you can go into "your mind" and experience "your being" in various ways, internally.

      but what if you don't stop "going into"? where is the boundary to this "going in" process? what happens when you go further inwards,into inner space, than you realized possible, and the boundaries of that space, of "inner you" start changing?

      one child (I have lost the source, but if I find it I will post it here) had the perfect hint as to what is really going on. she described a near death experience she had as: "walking into my mind, and not stopping."

      it is that "not stopping" idea that is key! where did she go, when she didn't stop?

      she went into it *all* - where the stars live, the sun, the spirit world, the Universe - all of it.

      that is what is truly beyond the apparent interior boundary of our normal inner experience. we can go deeper and deeper. this boundary can expand. it can eventually disappear altogether!

      then - the Universe turns inside out, and is inverted: what was all "out there" is suddenly "in here" - along with a whole lot more!

    4. I see, mo flow.... I am getting the drift now... I am trying to think how this relates to solipsism, but you probably have a way to explain me the differences? In a way, Solipsism is a bit nihilistic, to the detriment of how we relate to the external world -

      "Solipsism (Listeni/ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning "alone", and ipse, meaning "self")[1] is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist."

      But I think what you're saying is slightly different... we can find our true selves, or at least the more authentic of our selves, or even just a more total version of ourselves by deconstructing the idea of who we think we are. Like, peeling the layers off an onion, we get closer and closer to shedding all conceptions and misconceptions of our existence in the moment.

    5. Satish -

      I see my view as radically different than Solipsism. the most common sense of Solipsism is based on the familiar way we experience the conscious human mind.

      the true "reality of mind" could not possibly be further away than this!! I have to emphasize this, times a zillion. heck, times *infinity.*

      really, it is so important that there is no confusion here, and this subject gets me just a tad emotionally heated up. :)

      *all* familiar ways of approaching reality from the base perspective of the normal human mind are DOOMED. completely and utterly doomed to total failure. just to start with, not only is the "reality of other minds" absolutely the case in my view, it is completely apparent, when one is FREE of the walled garden of one's own "normal" human consciousness, that "other minds" are everywhere!

      that's just the beginning. we can literally "become one with" these other minds, and share their experience in the most detailed ways they have lived that experience - when we are in the "higher realms" of the frequency spectrum (more on that later) of Total Reality. doing this, sharing minds, directly sharing lived experience as if we ourselves were living it, is as easy for us in those realms as breathing the same air is for us on Earth.

      in the Wiki article on Solipsism, this part is the only relevant connection to my view of "all is mind" :

      Advaita Vedanta[edit]
      Advaita is one of the six most-known Hindu philosophical systems, and literally means "non-duality". Its first great consolidator was Adi Shankaracharya, who continued the work of some of the Upanishadic teachers, and that of his teacher's teacher Gaudapada. By using various arguments, such as the analysis of the three states of experience—wakefulness, dream, and deep sleep, he established the singular reality of Brahman, in which Brahman, the universe and the Atman or the Self, were one and the same.

      One who sees everything as nothing but the Self, and the Self in everything one sees, such a seer withdraws from nothing. For the enlightened, all that exists is nothing but the Self, so how could any suffering or delusion continue for those who know this oneness?

      — Ishopanishad: sloka 6, 7
      The concept of the Self in the philosophy of Advaita, could be interpreted as solipsism. However, the transhuman, theological implications of the Self in Advaita protect it from true solipsism as is found in the west. Similarly, the Vedantic text Yogavasistha, escapes charge of solipsism because the real "I" is thought to be nothing but the absolute whole looked at through a particular unique point of interest.[20]

      Advaita is also thought to strongly diverge from solipsism in that, the former is a system of exploration of one's mind in order to finally understand the nature of the self and attain complete knowledge. The unity of existence is said to be directly experienced and understood at the end as a part of complete knowledge. On the other hand solipsism posits the non-existence of the external void right at the beginning, and says that no further inquiry is possible.

    6. Yes, I see the difference, and it's not even a comparison. Advaita (non-duality) is a key guidepost on the path of the seeker. Kashmir Shaivism talks about this central concept too... Anyway, by drawing a contrast with the modern conception of Solipsism, you've explained and better defined what you're talking about. Things can be defined by what they are not (as much as by what they are). (I'm playing the role of a pesky interviewer who asks provocative questions just to draw out the explanation a bit more and enter it more deeply)

      How fun it is for the self to express itself in two different ways (through you and me) both engaging in a discussion about itself, the one and only self, infinity, Atman, Brahman.

    7. how totally fun indeed! :)

  33. " I wonder if we humans ought to be doing something similar: surrender and let go and stop messing with the atmosphere any more than we already have. Perhaps those beings flying around in their fancy craft will then be able to communicate with us at last. But we need to listen and be inviting, a bit animistic."

    I love this. Synchronicity again. For I was vaguely moving in this direction of thought myself. (I forgot who posted an Alan Watts video on NBL, affirming the letting go principle. Totally wonderful.

    "Artleads, you said, "It's not too hard for me to see how the human species could use similar leadership modality toward the rest of nature." It's my understanding that the native and indigenous peoples of the world saw themselves as guardians of the land that they lived on. They observed for minute changes and adjusted things to help maintain balance. Graham Harvey thinks the adults in those societies were the most mature listeners having built up their skills through much experience."

    Which is where we get all muddled. I'm trying to account for ego (my own not the least) and the way things are, while seeing if we can change within sort of the current framework.

    My ego (or is it something else?) insists that whatever nation I inhabit is the dominant one. But that coincides with the concept that every point on a sphere is the center, and that every place on earth is the center of the earth.

    But there is "reality." Some people have all the guns and all the money. (That could be seen in terms of species too.) So those people, for their own good, might try to negate this power disparity while somehow quietly maintaining it?

    I seem to be struggling with that inner circle.

    What is the role of that power? I mention putting on our gas mask first. I see this as analogous to taking care of your land. (This is why I started the Land Use thread on NBL forum--a smattering of thoughts and issues as a means to save a place for better thinking around such things.) The land must come first, and that principle must be applied--enforced if need be--on every pinpoint center of the planet. That I see as the role of force, nation-wise, species-wise. That requires remediation, given our catastrophic circumstance, and benign neglect (which is preferable and efficacious on many levels). That letting go again. So maybe not remediation so much as (to your point) more letting go?

    An ego driven view of American exceptionalism might work within a porous boundary (not necessarily porous "border"). The current hyper dominance of the American surveillance state might be supplanted by a softer form of hyper dominance. (And I pause, for all this seems to be incredibly dangerous ground.) But let me finish the thought anyway.

    A country doesn't have to be dominant by one means only, by, say, only occupying tanks. It can be dominant in terms of what it aspires to, in what it envisions, in its narrative of what it is. So I dare anyone to top this for hubris: a country can simply envisage that every place on earth is within its boundaries. NSA is doing this in a most obnoxious way right now! But another way to do it would be to use our current technology to absorb and integrate all LAND USE under the umbrella of a dominant global paradigm. But that can only be morally justified if every entity (national or other) is free to do the same. Mediated somehow by real facts of power in a material world.

    Well, I better stop now, before I get even deeper beyond my depth.

  34. Red Fox,

    Isn't it good that we've got Satish's blog for our conversations, now that Bud Nye dominates NBL with his drivel. I read your reply to him and than his. The mind boggles! He is getting confused - you and Scott Johnson? his particular bane. All baddies (the ones that don't agree with him) are the same, no matter if they hold totally different opinions. He's not worth the bother (unless you have fun with him like U used to). But that's unfair really because I think he's on the autistic spectrum. He always feels attacked, thus insecure. He needs the security of his "hero" scientists, the ones with the "compelling evidence" whose names he quotes over and over again. And he's a missionary, He must spread the "word". No room for anarchic tendencies, imagination, leaping between worlds, experiencing.... We're romantics, that's the nearest he comes to swearing at us, polite man that he is.

    And artleads,

    that is good advice from Red Fox, about "writing out loud". Whatever comes to mind. I do that too, that's why my writing can get convoluted. We're not in school here. So you go ahead. If I'm confused and really want to understand, I'll ask. I know you won't mind.


    making nature redundant as some of your ex-colleagues implied ("said as much", as you say) is the "natural objective" of our ind civ, evolved or engineered (the better word) since the European Enlightenment. We all know the story well.

    I heard an interesting radio programme yesterday (BBC Radio 4) about autism with a professor of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience, a guy called Simon Barron Cohen and a German professor too (I forget his name). He talked about European studies which had traced clusters of autism to European cities and towns with engineering companies. He explained that people with these kind of brains had been attracted for generations to places like that. Therefore autism can be traced in families in these places.
    This rings very true to me because I come from an "engineering town" in Germany, and I knew many boys and men who wouldknow be classified as being on the autistic spectrum. The professor also said that autism is increasing in industrial populations, hence your ex-colleagues, the people who are now literally shaping our human world, engineering it, re-imagining it to be entirely man-made only because they cannot relate, connect. The engineered world makes them feel safe, and that's most important to them even though they think of themselves as risk takers. Little do they know.
    They haven't forgotten how to connect to nature, how to experience and see in context - they never knew how.
    This is THE tragedy for life as we know it because all of us here know that there has to be something inside a living being to connect to what we call nature. Even if it's only a tiny spark (spirit) with which to connect. If you recognize that in yourself, you can develop it, evolve. OGF would agree there. But the people who drive technological "progress" now cannot do that, you know that better than me. And this is what could make me cry every day.

    Here, at least, we can share our thoughts, our "flights of fancy", experiences with thinning veils, porous boundaries, different levels, whatever you want to call it.
    It forces you to live on the boundaries, on the edge of the village, where the witch used to live.

    But this is where things get interesting, and where the "worthwhile" people live. So let's carry on spinning...

    1. Hi Sabine,

      I really like how you summed up the lives of those on the Autistic spectrum... "The professor also said that autism is increasing in industrial populations, hence your ex-colleagues, the people who are now literally shaping our human world, engineering it, re-imagining it to be entirely man-made only because they cannot relate, connect. The engineered world makes them feel safe, and that's most important to them even though they think of themselves as risk takers. Little do they know.
      They haven't forgotten how to connect to nature, how to experience and see in context - they never knew how."

      So true... I know people who fit that pattern very well... Google employees, especially, the younger ones in their 20s are known to display impatience with the slower pace of the natural world. They are fully convinced that the idea of the tragedy of the commons is much closer to reality. I was shocked to hear such things as "if we don't destroy it, someone else will" I have lots of stories to tell you but will stop myself for now. OK, one more tidbit... Google employees wear a lot of different kinds of T-shirts that say witty and funny things on the back. One simply said, "data got my back". The engineer's legendary reliance on data is downright scary to anyone who gives any space in their worldview to intuition, subjectivity, and individual uniqueness.

      Bud Nye does strike me as someone similar to the folks I know in "engineering town" here. One thing is for certain... Mr. Nye has a tremendous need to be heard, to be listened to. And he gets the attention one way or another. The way he words his sentences makes one want to respond because he's so earnest in his pleading. I think we're all helping him with his evolution, in some strange way, just as he is helping us... even if it is to show us what we are not like. Even if it is to remind us that we are who we are only through contrasts and comparisons. I like what Alan Watts says about this stuff.

      I was a bit shocked by Robin's curt response to him today over at NBL... OK... let me stop now before my blog becomes known as the People magazine for NBL denizens :) I like talking about people. Equals among equals. That anarchic tendency you mention. Not the celebrity culture that exists elsewhere.

  35. The weather is much better, Satish, thank you. I bet that for people in the lower 48, it is too cold to go outside. I do have supplies and clothing for very low temperatures, even -30F and colder. I have two vintage furs that I bought off craigslist. One is a below the knee mink coat that I got for $50, and the other is a parka of mouton that is in wonderful condition after more than 30 years. The Inupiaq in Barrow recommend mouton to the non-Natives who live there, but consider it too warm for themselves. I've heard that from a few people who had locals there make them coats. I also wear thick shearling boots and have a sable hat, as well. I don't particularly like wearing fur, but the truth is, nothing else comes close. In the future that remains, I may be able to make my own felted boots and avoid connections to animal deaths and harm in meeting my needs.

    I grew up in Bakersfield. I bet January being the driest month on record is scary. What a time to be here.

    red fox, you do great! Unfortunately, you are up against an unrelenting lie that will never admit to truth. Ever. At least you keep the record straight for public viewing. :O) Thanks. This whole issue of the difference between evidence and conclusions about the evidence is pretty clear to me. It is also pretty clear when people stop discussing evidence and begin lobbing personal comments that are devaluing. The resident, omniscient God who knows what everything means is a poster child for projection. Projection is not one-way. They don't merely project the worst of themselves onto others; they project the best of others onto themselves. No other options are possible. No additional programs installed.

    It is my belief that "reality" is created in consciousness, parallel to the manner in which dreams are created, but not exactly the same. Anyone else paid a lot of attention to dreams?

    1. Talking about evidence, one of the most common lines thrown around in Silicon Valley and other autistic cultures (if that sounds like a bad name, please suggest a better name for cultures where Autistic people increasingly occupy the most powerful ranks in business, politics and really, all walks of life and have vowed to mold the young student into data-driven citizens with a stochastic view of the world):

      "Someone must have the data on it. It'd be interesting to see it". It generally stands for, "I don't agree with you, let's hear what others say". What goes unsaid is the idea that all human beings are uniform machines who operate on an algorithmic basis when they perform "research", like a computing apparatus with hands and legs that obey commands from a central processing unit, and that the human machines would all collect, analyze, and interpret the data the same uniform way with less than 1% variance, thus simplifying the entirety of the problem to "if only we can get at the data". Also ignored is the directed power of corporate-sponsored University research funding, the bureaucracy attached to the grant writing and grant making process, academics' motivation to make tenure, etc. - all those factors that influence everything from choosing a topic of research to designing the study to seeing it published. That's some data that will settle our arguments on Internet forums :)

      I think mo flow is saying something similar - reality is created in consciousness. I can't disagree. I agree with that. And with a few other things.

  36. p.s. I agree that just because humans do something doesn't make it "natural." It's not "natural" to see a loving choice and a destructive choice, and choose the destructive path. That's not natural at all. I can't see that "nature" does that on the whole, just to make sweeping generalizations without any evidence whatsoever. It just seems to make sense that if it did, life on earth would have been extinguished long ago. But something has, instead, remained in balance until very recently, when humans have gained a new level of power over the environment and all of Earth. Now, the destruction overshadows the Balance and the Life. When we think of "natural" forces and materialities, we think of things that occur without choice, without conscious deliberation. Being thirsty is "natural," and so is needing to sleep. Having sex is "natural." Somehow people all manage not to just tear off their clothes on the spot whenever they are aroused in the same way we all would slake our thirst.

    There is natural and there is supernatural, and it's where the two meet that humans choose love or destruction.

    re: surrender. Psychological, emotional surrender is the hardest thing I ever did along with natural childbirth. Really letting go of negative emotions and all judgments is tremendously difficult, as like on an Olympic athlete level but mastery over mind and feelings instead of muscles. Usually we don't do it until we've had enough suffering, enough of doing it our way, enough of "being right" and other things with very limited long-term satisfaction value. At least, that's how I've mostly done it. |:O)

    Paul the Apostle said, "I die daily." He was referring to this type of surrender. Surrender of all thought and feeling and seeing what remains, what all that conviction regarding "reality" might have been hiding from awareness.

    1. ogf - re the natural/not natural distinction, and what "nature" may possibly be doing with us right now:

      stars have lifespans based on how big they are. the bigger they are, the faster they burn, and quicker they die. only the biggest stars will go supernova when they die. they can have lives as short a few million years. but when they go supernova, they disperse across their local galactic region every heavier element (every element from carbon and above) that is necessary for life (as we know it) in our galaxy.

      this is the *only* way these heavier elements are created and *dispersed* (very important) throughout a galaxy. our own sun won't disperse any of these elements, and neither will 90% of the other stars in our galaxy - the red dwarfs.

      my intuition tells me, and I have heard the idea from other sources that I trust, that the sudden, rapid expansion and destruction of planetary civilizations is actually an *extremely* common occurrence throughout the Universe. so common, that for the beings/groups that are actually somehow past this extinction/destruction bottleneck, and able to witness it happening with groups like humans, it is considered as ordinary as a supernova going off about once every 200 years in our galaxy. very very ordinary.

      so, my thought is: what purpose might this kind of explosive evolution/destruction/extinction pattern actually serve in the greater scheme of things? I believe it almost certainly *does* serve a very natural purpose. and probably something just as absolutely vital to the greater life force of the Universe as supernovas.

  37. Satish,
    I just read your previous essay, "tying the threads" and the journey you portray really resonated with me except for the fact that yours seems very condensed to mine :) I suppose learning about this stuff began for me about 20 years ago and the likes of Daniel Quinn were quite a big influence as well. The more theoretical works of John Zerzan also influenced me a great deal in providing a totally different viewpoint on "origins" and got me into pre-history in a fairly big way.
    I'm sure you have come across them, but the works of Paul Shepard, in particular, "Coming home to the Pleistocene" and "Nature and Madness" are worthwhile in that they delve into the psychological aspects of the effects of domestication. One other work, which is probably impossible to get hold of is a little book titled "Fire and Ice: disturbing the comfortable, comforting the disturbed while tracking our wildest dreams" by Laurel Luddite and Skunkly Munkly. It's brilliant, very heartfelt and emotional. As it was anti-copyright I actually transcribed it onto a UK forum I used to frequent but that will be shutting down in a few weeks apparently.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that your essay really resonated with me as did all the comments and I look forward to further ones.
    It's a pity that the "tying threads" essay didnt go up on NBL as well; there would probably have been a severe increase in blood pressure amongst certain commenters ;0)

    1. red fox, I have to get my hands on all those books (thanks for mentioning them)... 20 years ago, I was preparing to embark on a path to becoming a servitor of empire.

      "Forcing a fundamental rethinking of the Asian American elite, many of whom have attained top positions in business, government, academia, sciences, and the arts, this book will be certain to generate a good deal of controversy and honest discussion regarding the role Asian Americans will play in the new century as China and India loom ever larger in the world economic system. Not since the large-scale infusion of scientists and engineers fleeing Nazi Germany has there been such a mass importation of intellectual labor from U.S. client states in Asia. One of the specialized tasks assigned to this group is to build the technetronic infrastructure for the new world order command and control system. Servitors of Empire is not intended to fan the flames of suspicion and paranoia aimed at Asian Americans, but serves to illuminate the way in which highly trained knowledge workers are being employed to bring sovereign nations such as the United States under centralized rule made possible through advances in bioscience, IT, engineering, and global finance."

      I Googled "Fire and Ice" and found this - (is there a way I can get the full text of that book?) sounds interesting...

  38. I meant to say something re animism and genesis (I think OGF mentioned it in a previous comment). There is a pretty thought provoking essay or two on a now defunct blog where a link is shown between the biblical Elohim (plural) and paleolithic animism. It references Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" as influential as well. So here is the link followed by the other related essays:

  39. Hi Red Fox

    Paula's article rings true for me. Especially the idea of the singular becoming plural becoming singular.

    I wrote about road signs on my notes...thread on NBL forum. I liked the sign that only showed a cow. My heart went out to the cow. I omitted to mention the sign, less dynamic in every way, of a horse and rider. Beside the sickeningly paler sign color, did I take offence at the human mastering the animal by riding on its back? Did I see that as breaking faith with nature? To torture an analogy, just as hyper dominant America might transform dominance into servant leadership--it disappears and absorbs (other than through conquest and coercion) others into its world/narrative--so too can humans get off their (high) horse and be just another "equal" to the horse. The dominance of the human is therefore in its ability to choose equality or enslavement.

    But it cannot survive unless to become meek and "poor." (Blessed are the meek.) This, too, supported by Paula's article.

  40. I hope that is the case, mo flow, that the entire cycle is "natural." In this dimension, at least, reality is cyclical, birth to maturity to decline to death to rebirth. Everything goes through this same cycle, even non-biological processes. Even stones begin as something else somewhere, and are ground to something else somewhere else.

    But this isn't the only dimension, and I'm not sure what the differences mean.

  41. ogf -

    I will be so bold (heh, Artleads) as to tell you right now "the big secret" of this cyclical change currently underway.

    the main reason, again, I can be this bold about this, without a second thought, is that this is all based on another law.

    this law says: the secret to understanding this current cycle, as with ALL cycles, is to look at the "pinnacle" of the ending cycle, take its opposite, and you will know *exactly* what the new cycle is all about.

    one quick example I mentioned right above. a supernova is the most destructive force we know of in the cosmos. (think of the most colossally destructive thing you can imagine, and multiply it by several zillion). what is "the opposite" of this utter destruction? we are living it right now. it is biological life and the evolution of biological complexity - made possible, entirely, by supernovae in our galaxy.

    and then on to your smaller scale cycles you just mention: a rock comes from the molten crust, solidifies into rock, and then is ground to dust. again - each "next part" of the cycle is the opposite of the previous part.

    so, with our human cycle now, what is the "pinnacle" of what we have now, and where we are now? I would say two things, mostly:

    1) our global capitalist economic system.

    2) our scientific materialist philosophy. basically, the central working philosophy of all "serious people" today.

    what do these two things most definitely and fundamentally have in common?

    - they both fundamentally assert that physical reality is all there is, and that the physical world is the only *possible* reality - the only reality in which we live and act.

    - they both assert that the mechanisms and creations of human ego are the only ultimately valid connection to reality, and the only possible way we can survive "in the Universe" - the only valid way we can "control our environment" and prosper and grow within it.

    so. our big secret is totally revealed. take the *opposite* of these two assertions, and you have the answer as to what is coming next. guaranteed!

    and this *also* tells you where to look for "meaningful differences" when it comes to ascertaining "other dimensions" - and what these differences are going to be all about.

    1. That might be bold, but I don't know. Thank you for writing this. I very much want to talk more on our other conversation that is connected to this one and I am interested in anything you care to share.

      The differences I was thinking of were not points within the cycle, but the cycle within that which is noncyclic. We are temporary and eternal, material and spiritual, infinitely beautiful and inevitably imperfect here, or appear to be. We are multi-dimensional beings operating in what we believe to be a material universe, and from our human perspective it is. From a spiritual perspective, I think it's just someplace we all are glad to leave behind when we "go Home."

      If the cycle is one where these two realities are more aligned, and our material world actually begins to resemble the best of us, a higher spiritual nature, maybe that's another cycle.

      I'm still working on getting some chickens.

    2. ogf -

      "but the cycle within that which is noncyclic"

      got it - (I think). but the noncyclic aspects of our nature - our eternal Light - is also one gigantic cycle. each Light Being, or Sourcebeam, as Nanci Danison calls us so poetically, emerges from Source, expands and grows through countless experiences all across the spectrum of Total Reality, and eventually merges back into Source. and then what? where do the next cycles start? where do the next birthings of Light take place?

      "If the cycle is one where these two realities are more aligned, and our material world actually begins to resemble the best of us, a higher spiritual nature, maybe that's another cycle."

      this is exactly the heart of what I am getting at with the new cycle - however it works. :)

      see you back in our convo...

    3. "our eternal Light - is also one gigantic cycle. "

      That has not been my understanding entirely. From near-death accounts, in particular, it is possible to remain with "the One" without cycles. That is one point. The other being that there are aspects of our spiritual states that are not dualistic or subject to cycles Now. In certain Heaven-type visions, there is no duality, no negativity can even exist.

      In my experiences, of which I have told you some of the most important, we exist on both levels while we are in the body, and it is as though we have two very different individuals within. Peace Pilgrim talked about this in a very limited way, calling one self her "ego" and the other her "conscience." Conscience is a good word here, I think. It certainly implies something "higher."

      Even being able to see this truth is almost impossible for people who haven't experienced it directly, and few do! Probably the closest example of it that I think most people can relate to is the strange (to us) dissociation that occurs in the midst of some life threatening situation. We feel time in two different ways, we experience two perspectives. On one level that we experience, time is fast, faster than our consciousness can interpret the changes. On another, time appears to slow down and we are able to easily observe every small action that occurs, and we feel as if we are both in the picture and at the same time outside of it observing the other "self."

      I think that particular reality, that while we are on Earth, we are two very distinct perspectives all the time. We only see it, however, under certain circumstances such as in the life-threatening situations as I describe, or we spontaneously catch glimpses of it occurring. I experienced these two states consciously once when mowing my lawn with a power mower. The mower threw a small rock directly at my eye, at how many miles-per-hour I cannot guess, but it was thrown by the blades and it was not something I could consciously respond to. It was much too fast. For some unknown reason at that moment I experienced both feeling the rock hit my eyelid, which had closed and never seeing it coming, and I also observed the rock as if it was moving in the slowest motion and I had all the time in the world and total control over every single muscle in my face, including the absolute control over watching the rock and lowering my eyelid in the exact right moment to keep from being injured. I have experienced this dual consciousness a few other times, too.

      I have mentioned this before, possibly here; we all experience both selves all the time every day, moving effortlessly between the perspectives. Our unconscious self, the self that controlled my eyelid purposely, comes out and takes control of the body and the personality any time it wants, and it does so often. Ever "accidentally" break or drop something that you didn't like, or have someone hurt you and appear to be mystified by their damage, swear on their hearts that yeah, they hated Grandma's picture frame, but they would never purposely break it? Yeah, they would. They just don't remember. :O)

      Just the two of us, or maybe the three. Me, God, and my spirit self. We all are witness to my "I."

    4. "From near-death accounts, in particular, it is possible to remain with "the One" without cycles. That is one point. The other being that there are aspects of our spiritual states that are not dualistic or subject to cycles Now. In certain Heaven-type visions, there is no duality, no negativity can even exist."

      yes, I see more clearly what you are saying now. I absolutely agree. there is the aspect of the One, an aspect that we all share, that is *completely* without cycles and duality. this is certainly true.

      I really like everything else you are saying in this comment, too.

    5. "yes, I see more clearly what you are saying now. I absolutely agree. there is the aspect of the One, an aspect that we all share, that is *completely* without cycles and duality. this is certainly true."

      Yes. The parts of our selves, the eternal self, and the temporary biological self, where they meet and where they are separate, and how the "I" consciousness experiences these two seeming "realities." Maybe only one is "real." Remember, our analogy to lucid dreaming, and spiritual lucidity? Spiritually lucid people may see the same world we do, but they remember higher, greater "realities."

      Good try at NBL, mo. I want to write to support all of you who are attempting to stave off the bullying but I cannot open myself to that one. It is too disturbing for me at this time.

    6. I want to clarify what I described above a little better regarding the lawn mower incident. I had two distinct perspectives, two vastly different "realities." In one reality, I never saw the rock at all, nor did I feel any anticipation that it would hit my eye. My eyelid closing appeared to this part of "me" as "autonomic," beyond my awareness and certainly beyond my control.

      The other part of "me" saw the rock the second it rose out of the grass, observed it trajectory and watched it like it was all in slow motion, and then carefully closed the eyelid and only the eyelid, with precise control of the muscles involved. I was in both perspectives equally.

    7. I think you described that particular sensation of duality very well. I can recall numerous examples of that kind of thing in my own experience - where the reflex self has taken precise, instant action, while the observing self manages to simultaneously experience the event in a detailed, slowed-down time frame.

      one experience of a slightly different kind of duality I had once was when a certain small doorway opened briefly in my mind - it distinctly felt like a kind of "door in the floor," leading to a "basement area."

      I was suddenly, clearly experiencing all the workings of my subconscious mind, just in normal waking reality. and the dual aspect of this experience was that I "saw" exactly how my subconscious was pre-processing experience (mostly the the verbal thought-train, but also visual and conceptual as well) before I was *supposed* to be consciously experiencing it!

      and then I *felt* the exact moments when the 'pre-processed packages' were uploaded to my conscious mind!

      it was very weird. it was like getting an out-the-blue glimpse inside the computers in a server farm at Google, and seeing *all* the amazing, exact details of how the servers processed a search query I had just submitted, all right before I got the results of the query on my screen.

      I suddenly knew very clearly just how much "crazy busy" that level of subconscious mind is. and that I was definitely getting "fed" a pre-processed version of reality!

    8. and yes, to emphasize - these are vastly different "realities" just as you describe, ogf. multiple different realities being experienced simultaneously by different parts of "me."

      as I mentioned with my "outline of the map" link about "what we really are" (above in one of my replies to Satish), the true depth of this "multiple experiences of multiple consciousnesses" goes very far!

    9. mo flow, thanks for being you. I'm happy to have you to talk to, to understand these things.

      " I was suddenly, clearly experiencing all the workings of my subconscious mind, just in normal waking reality. and the dual aspect of this experience was that I "saw" exactly how my subconscious was pre-processing experience (mostly the the verbal thought-train, but also visual and conceptual as well) before I was *supposed* to be consciously experiencing it!"

      Yes. Yes. We are experiencing multiple levels of "consciousness," and sometimes we consciously experience more than one level at once. Those are always very stunning moments for me. I'm right back there in eternity like I had never left at all. I remember who I am and what I am not, as "I" am not my material body. It's an outfit I wear.

    10. "It's an outfit I wear."

      and a stylish one, at that. :)

    11. What a great dialogue you two had here! One book comes to mind when you talk about "uploading pre-processed packages" is "Stumbling on Hapiness" ( it's chock full of interesting updates about how the mind works, including filling in the area that is our blind spot, filling in gaps in memory, etc. The mind, while it does its heavy-duty processing like the server in a data center, gives our normal conscious awareness a more or less seamless experience unconcerned with the detail, the mechanism and the method. Apparently, the brain doesn't detect the color red, but it perceives red when it detects blue-green and yellow-green.

    12. You are correct, Satish, and the seamless, logical and linear experience we have of "reality" is created on unconscious levels. Studies show that all thought/consciousness is as disjointed as dream awareness, but only a tiny fraction of our experience is made available to the conscious mind, a little story that arises out of all the possibilities available to us.

  42. Sabine, I like the way you sized up Bud Nye. I notice the same things about him that you said.

    I like it that we're having this conversation. I'll be back in a few days. I have much to say.

    red fox, thanks for the book suggestions. These days, books are one way I am expanding my consciousness so they are much appreciated. I know it's a sub-optimal rational logical process at work but I believe I have read enough to realize there are only a few worth looking into and I'm being careful about filtering them. These books you recommend are right along the lines of the ones I am looking for.

    mo flow, I like where you're going. I will have questions for you soon. I want to approach it this way: what am I conscious of at this moment? I can say I am conscious of the fact/idea that I'm in the middle of this Universe that's unfolding so (supernovas, followed by the most creative processes unfolding, giving way to supernovas, ad infinitum. WOW!

    OGF, I'd like to empathize with the one who said "I die daily".

  43. My thoughts on mo flow's thoughts on the destructive forces of the cosmos (supernova etc.) and the opposite of this destruction which we are living right now in our biosphere. There you are right mo.:

    I think about physical reality like that too but I prefer the old metaphors in order to express this, the ones found in our sacred texts and myths. For me, what you're getting at there mo are the destructive and creative forces Kali and Shiva. Just because we know them as Hindu gods doesn't mean that they were not thought of like this long before anybody wrote anything down.

    I can imagine stories about these forces of the universe being told in the old stone age, in languages now disappeared. And I think (intuit) that because I can imagine this, it would have happened. On that level it's a universal truth. Ultimately, these powerful metaphors still work in us, and who knows, maybe they even influenced astronomy, the way we know it as a modern science. Scientific instead of sacred language but both expressing the same, something humans intuit about the reality of the universe.

    Personally, I prefer metaphors because they stir me, chime with me and give me some sort of solace. All this, even though, as a "modern educated" human, I'm relatively well informed about astronomy and find it fascinating. Yet the ancient metaphors are better for me personally because they connect.

    Science explains things for us but these sacred metaphors (god and spirits) can be much more satisfying. That's quite a paradox when you're are not ignorant about, and accept the science. Has anybody else here grappled with this paradox?
    I don't mind it, I accept it as a truth on the level where I think, reason and intuit.

    The Tao te Ching talks about the truth of opposites;
    "When all the world understands beauty to be beautiful, then ugliness exists,
    When all understand goodness to be good, then evil exists,
    Thus existence suggests non-existence....."

    Again, these insights must be ancient, recited and handed down among bands of hunter gatherers. It must be so. And because we all share the same humanity, different bands in different locations surely had the same insights independent from each other. My own personal theory is that this might be the reason why I can imagine this and talk about it now. An ancient spiritual heritage which connects us to the different levels (worlds).

    But in my here and now, it's just philosophical solace. It doesn't help me to cope on a daily basis. In order to do that, I must connect to living beings now - plants, animals worthwhile humans.
    Personal death and the death of individual living beings must be accepted because without death no live. Their denial is relatively recent and a symptom of modern life and medical science. The essay on NBL "There will be blood" talks about this really well.

    Now I'm back to to Kali and Shiva. But the untimely death of the biosphere because of selfish short-term human behaviour is the difficult one for me. That's the thing I always come back to.

    1. Sabine, I really liked TDos' article that you mentioned above... I like his previous one too... and he has more on his blog that I am yet to read. He writes with a lot of depth and the way he feels comes from his heart.

      "Again, these insights must be ancient, recited and handed down among bands of hunter gatherers. It must be so. And because we all share the same humanity, different bands in different locations surely had the same insights independent from each other. My own personal theory is that this might be the reason why I can imagine this and talk about it now. An ancient spiritual heritage which connects us to the different levels (worlds)."

      It must be so. Really. I believe pre-civ humans knew so much that we can't even imagine we wish we knew. I think mainstream anthropology is muddled in its view of pre-historic man as a starving, roving, mad man trying to outrun predators all day. Instead, he had enough time in the day to make sense of all that he wished to understand. I doubt we discovered meditation recently. We might have re-discovered it, as we often seem to forget and remember all sorts of things. I believe there's so much more to the Native American Vision Quest than any of us modern civilized people can understand. We subconsciously project our own tendencies onto our ancestors and non-civ peoples.

  44. MO FLOW - if only I had one word in this dimension & language to THANK YOU for your multi-level insights. LOVE reading all of your brilliant writing.

    Old Growth - The only little paperback that has managed to fit in my backpack or boat over decades of journey is PEACE PILGRIM. So sweet how I can't let her go. At times I have been walking free much like
    her. All this talk about nature in cyber space. I'd love to give this group a hug in an actual FOREST.

    ART LEADS - a brush stroke of appreciation for the lesson!

    SABINE - You sound like a version of me! Wow maybe we are all one afterall. I'm not a good writer because I have a math brain. So I will try to keep this explanation of Shiva/Science simple.

    The paradox of infinity is that it has room for everything. Tillions of equations. Billions of gods. Millions of mistakes. Run a thousand copies of any reality. Another quadtrillion with slight variations. Have at it, plenty of room for more. Have something unresolved? In direct conflict...put it right next door. More is more +1

    I don't want to sound silly or glib - Infinity can be a serious help in a singularity. The vastness or nothingness (subtract forever) gives space for all paradoxes to co-exist. Honestly I feel for you when it comes to grappling with the paradox of science & metaphor. I'm surprised we manage with electron words at all.

    For a really fun look into forever try a quick visual ride down the "Deepest Mandelbrot Set" on you tube. Endless folding inside fractals which were discovered in a computer equation then put into artistic expression.

    Fibonacci's scale is a universe of fractals. Our multi-dimensional universe and every atom we breath is composed of the same fractals. An amazing caculation and an artistic expression. Always going deeper. Always evolving. + or - ( ) every invisible space contains brilliantly designed fractals....on some scale. Take a minute to look at what only intelligent design can express.

    Satish - Love as always your essay/comment on the Paul Ehrlich NBL interview. #3 every word of your third point was a classic! (unless all the maids and yard folk are also driving Teslas in Stanford.) Million dollar blessings on their best intentions but Pandora is centuries out of her box tossing paradoxes everywhere. irony abounds. Bon Jour white rabbit "want to go for a ride?"

    Love wondering where this collective circle might expand. We are the sun and stardust. The miracle of UFO talk and spirits on NBL. Do we really have to wait for the very end of whatever we think this reality is to come out and dance *** batteries not included *** void where prohibited

    1. Mark -

      big smiles! thank YOU so very much. and wow, I can so deeply relate to your comment here.

      I am super glad you have started commenting over on NBL. and reading your comments here is a real joy for me.

      right in the central heart of *this* lovely comment, you have:

      "Infinity can be a serious help in a singularity."

      I understand quite a lot of things that I feel are so extremely important - alive, vital, true - in this one line alone. so many things...!

      "I'd love to give this group a hug in an actual FOREST."

      YES. we are all going to have to figure this one out somehow, someway, at some time. I just know it.

      "Pandora is centuries out of her box tossing paradoxes everywhere. irony abounds."

      she started it! we're all just trying to keep up.

      and no - we absolutely do not have to wait until the very end of "this reality" to come out and dance! no way. the dance - with the Universe, with nature, with each other - is ours all along. there is no end, just new beats, new grand ballrooms; new dances and new dance partners.

    2. Hi, Mark. Love me some Peace Pilgrim! I have carried her Steps booklet since right after she died in 1981. I lived in L.A. for three years prior to coming to Alaska, and while there I contacted John and Ann Rush, the Quakers who first printed Peace's booklet. They let me have copies for ten cents each, and I ordered 200. I then put them around my neighborhood on doors and porches and passed them out to people I encountered as a gift. Who knows what came of that, eh?

      I appreciate your comments very much, here. You've had an interesting life. You are so correct, and people have no idea what the peace is like away from electricity. I canoed the Yukon between Dawson, Canada and Alaska for four days once. We were out there! We would go all day seeing one other boat go by. Canoeing the Yukon is like taking a pleasure cruise. We tied two canoes together, opened up the cooler, had a beer and kicked back to watch the river flow and nothing else. We saw a cinnamon black bear at one point, and that was one of the best wildlife sightings of my wildlife viewing career.

      It was so calming that when we got out of the river and encountered people again, it was hard. And we were still in the wilderness, albeit on a highway, near Circle, Alaska. Coming back to populated areas here in Southcentral Alaska was like entering chaos and madness again. I've never forgotten the clarity of that experience.

    3. Mark, good to see you posting at NBL and here. You have a brilliant way of seeing and saying.

      "The paradox of infinity is that it has room for everything. Tillions of equations. Billions of gods. Millions of mistakes. Run a thousand copies of any reality. Another quadtrillion with slight variations. Have at it, plenty of room for more. Have something unresolved? In direct conflict...put it right next door. More is more +1"

      That's key! Possibilities galore.

      The possibility precedes everything. And itself. Before the Universe came into existence, the possibility that it might come into existence arose. The possibility of the Universe preceded the Universe. Now, in that possibility, is another possibility, hidden somewhere. That hidden possibility is one of unwinding everything that all possibilities, fanning out like the roots of a tree into the soil, so far have engendered. Perhaps, this has something to do with the cycles of creation and destruction that we've been talking about. But how far does this labyrinth of possibilities extend? How many levels are there in the video game? How many layers to the onion? It doesn't matter much because it's hard to make sense of anything beyond 2 or 3 levels for us human animals. It's like we can understand position, speed (the rate of change of position), and acceleration (the rate of change of speed). And there is such a thing as the rate of change of acceleration too. We just don't talk about it much. It's less useful. We get the idea. The same with possibilities. The thing is preceded by the possibility of that thing to exist, which is in turn preceded by the possibility of that possibility to exist. No point in going much deeper than that. It can be fun to try. I believe we do see the infinite right there. And intellect is replaced by beauty when we get a glimpse of it.

      The original possibility nears fruition just as the taproot gets stronger and more defined as branch roots shoot off in all directions, giving off to more numerous branches in all directions. "In a plant with a taproot system, the taproot is the largest, most central, and most dominant root. Typically a taproot is somewhat straight and very thick, is tapering in shape, and grows directly downward. In plants with taproot systems, the taproot is the central root from which other roots sprout laterally." And so it is with possibilities. One begets another, branching out in all directions. Now, as the root that goes East extends its reach, it encounters a big rock in its path. But before the rock came to be, the possibility for it arose. And it was said, let it be so.

      So there's the possibility that the rock and the root want to be in the same place. And it was said, let it be so. We can only imagine how these possibilities originated, tracing them all the way back through their ancestor pre-requisite possibilities and we end up at the taproot of all possibilities. The mother of all possibilities. Which is yet another possibility. Possibility always is. It simply exists. Potential always exists. Sometimes it bears fruit. Sometimes, it rests. Oh, then there's the possibility that it can do both at the same time. Like OGF was saying. Living in multiple levels of consciousness. Stillness amid chaos and chaos in stillness. There's also the possibility that time is just an illusion. They say we invented time so we can make sense of everything that's going on at this very instant.

      Now arises the possibility that this comment is good to go. And it shall be said, "let it be so".

  45. Mark,

    you ARE a good writer. And with your "math brain" that probably makes you a "Renaissance man", somebody with many talents.

    When I was at school in the 50s and 60s (I left school in 1966), girls, at least in Germany, were not encouraged to develop their math brains, to be serious about science. The world was very different then, more gender-oriented. I went to an all girls' high school. This was the rule. Boys and girls only shared primary education. So, the girls' curriculum in the high schools concentrated on what were called the arts and languages. Consequently, I did languages. Serious science was for boys. We did do biology, physics and chemistry as well and, of course, maths too, but I imagine that it was an "easier" curriculum" for us, especially adapted for "female brains". Ha, ha.
    This was the kind of social engineering that my feminist generation fought against, among other things. And now we have women's and girls' magazines where the female sex can learn how to match their nail polish to their panties. Social engineering has not stopped but now it's getting silly and sinister at the same time.
    I agree, with mo flow, your comments here, and now also on NBL, are "a real joy". Don't stop!

    Mo, OGF and Red Fox

    as ever, your comments are much appreciated by me and also a "real joy".

    Satish, are you writing another essay? I can't wait to read it!

    1. Sabine, I will try to post a new essay next week.

    2. as much as I want to see a new essay from you Satish, my first thought on reading that was "don't rush it!"

      I *love* how you put such great thought and consideration into your writing.

  46. Hi, Sabine. Same here. I appreciate knowing you this way and having these conversations. I have mentioned my doctor friend, George, previously. G and I had an office to ourselves, so we basically lived together for a couple of years. We used to say that the only conversations that occurred in our office were about religion, politics or sex (women's health, OB/GYN). That was it. We didn't talk about tv or other things when we had personal conversations; it was all big, like these conversations, all potentially combustible, and we had a great time with it every single day.

    Satish, again, thank you for putting this site together and supporting discussions like this.

    1. You're welcome, oldgrowthforest... Good to see such a lively conversation unfold. And great to get to know you all this way, fellow travelers! We have a tribe here.

  47. Mo Flow & Sabine: I'm so touched and honored by your replies. I won't say much while in an airport. But I'm here reading so much of each of you & Red Fox too. I'm a bad boy right now making a trail of carbon across the sky from Los Alamos labs back to D.C. deep freeze. Love feeling connected to this little circle of wise spirits worth working to protect (along with this planet) where I refuse to leave 298 nuclear reactors to melt down after we are all gone.

    Funny how trying to text thanks to each of you on this i-ph makes me feel warm. Like a fireside chat. Yet the power plants and energy that goes into running massive internet systems is not at all earth friendly. No blame tonight...just hoping for an answer or insight how to safely get all the reactors under one care program. Right now both France and the UK have a better nationwide emergency shutoff plan, however, there are still too many gaps if the Nuclear engineers we count on to keep control at each plant were lost in a large scale event. Abandoned plants and mass radiation is the only thing humans might leave behind that horribly alters the course of evolution beyond human time frames.

    Okay Mo back to the ballroom of beauty I dance with. Let's tango with Pandora and tease an answer out of her ear. Sabine - no lipstick to match the panties - what have they done to us my dear? Are you near the Cottswolds? I once celebrated a birthday in Burton-on-Water. Cheers.

    Old GROWTH FOREST - Long ago on NBL you mentioned you once wanted to be a bestseller. Well you certainly are one to me. So much of your life story in the comments - then WOW surprise - you were in LA the exact same years I was attending UCLA and working as an intern for Spielberg at Universal. I got the free copy of Peace Pilgrim somewhere in West Hollywood. So amazing. And I've been reading you on NBL for months with no idea that my favorite little Peace book might have come direct from you. 200 tree hugs!!! I've been up to Alaska & Canada a few times. Life permitting. I'll be there again for the entire month of July - I won't be in the actual Yukon but I sure hope to find a sunny day to go down Salmon river B.C. in a canoe...specifically feeling connected to you when I do. I wrote a few private letters to Satish about our Dept of Energy future concerns. I'm not going full out Snowden but I did give Satish some details about is a pending Geo-engineering project that I don't like. Looking forward to whatever our young Guru Musunuru might come out with in his next article. All my very best.

    1. "Well you certainly are one to me."

      Mark, that is one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me. It made me cry in a good way. Thank you.

    2. I don't like any further geo-engineering either. We have already been doing it. We changed the chemical composition of the atmosphere, the saran wrap around the soccer ball, What they are now referring to as geo-engineering is vastly more powerful in its potential downsides. There's a food truck on the Google campus here. On its side, it says, "powering moonshots". The cult of risk-taking (affectionately called moonshots) surrounds me. It's everywhere, choking the possibility that things might slow down and leave the taproot of life on the planet intact.

      Thank you, Mark, for doing your bit. The feature-length documentary "Into Eternity" made a deep impact on me. Horror movie buffs could drop their make-believe stuff and watch this instead.

  48. Mark,

    I appreciate your earlier comment. And now this too:

    "...just hoping for an answer or insight how to safely get all the reactors under one care program. Right now both France and the UK have a better nationwide emergency shutoff plan, however, there are still too many gaps if the Nuclear engineers we count on to keep control at each plant were lost in a large scale event. "

    I had been thinking about this in relation to LANL's mission. While it now seems to be to perpetuate weapons manufacture, could it possibly switch (without near-term economic disadvantages to the institution or to NM, where I live) to the mission you describe?

  49. Mark,

    By now, you're back in deep freeze DC.I hope you're keeping nice and warm.
    On this little island nothing is far away when compared with the US. The Cotswolds are approx. 80 miles to North-West from where we live, In a place called Kingsley, Hampshire.|I can get to London in one hour on the train (London is slightly North-East from Kingsley). Have a look on Google Earth. This place is what you might call a nice English village but not touristy like the Cotswold villages where real estate is almost unaffordable. Our incredibly annoying Prime Minister lives there, a nasty specimen but aren't they all? It's favourite with the fox hunting set. At least we're not "blessed" with these kind of people in our village.

    You mention your energy future concerns and nuclear reactors and better nationwide emergency shut-off plans here and in France. Is this something you work on or is it just a special concern of yours? You've intrigued me there.
    When we drive to Germany, we pass the huge nuclear power station complex at Gravelines along the French Channel coast: Three stations: A, B, C, and they are just one complex of least a dozen along the Channel coast on the French side. They look very intimidating, and no matter whether they might have better emergency shut-off procedures than you have in the US, they still frighten me. But looking on the "bright" side, should one or several melt down, I'll be dead pretty soon after that. They are no more than 150 miles across the water from us. What a nice thought on a wet afternoon.

    I'm thinking of you all in the grip of those polar vortexes. We seem to be lucky here on the little island - so far.
    Keep safe!


      Interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott.

      I'm not a fan of Alex Smith but I listen to his show sometimes. Some of his guests say sensible things.

    2. Nice replies to Sabine & Artleads will not post. Oh well at least I can read. Got "Stumbing on Happiness" had a haapy Mary Poppins tour over the roof tops of Kingsley Hampshire

  50. I don't recall who on the forum or NBL provided the link to this man, but I thank the person, whomever it was. This segment of the interview centers on mountains of the SF Bay Area.

    I come at his from a different angle, and it's all terribly problematical, whatever it is. But this man is a kind of shaman animist (my superficial nomenclature), who lives in the Bay Area. I've been digging around the issue of "place," and this link features an interview with this healer, this segment focused on the issue of place, particular relating to five? Bay Area mountains. He comes at the subject with infinitely more clarity than I, and I'm glad to have come across him. Any thoughts or feedback (if you have any you wish to share) would be welcome.

    1. Loved it. Thanks for re-posting here, Artleads. This is the same guy who interviewed Graham Harvey in the Animism clips! He is hurting, I can tell. I am hurting. It's painful to see what we have done to the SF Bay Area. I live a few blocks from an EPA Superfund site. The first wave of semiconductor companies illegally and unethically dumped their toxic and carcinogenic solvent, Trichloroethylene (TCE), into the Mother's veins around here. Million dollar town homes stand on those areas today and the EPA is still working on the problem. There are injuries and wounds and gashes like that all over the Bay Area.

      Daniel Foor is helping me understand this whole "connection to place" thing. I have long felt that much trouble started when we lost connection to place. Even today, those who leave their ancestral and native places do so with a broken heart. But as an economic mercenary and a careerist, I have not had a connection to place although it's never too late to start where I live I guess.

      That the land everywhere is unique, it's a spirit (or spirits) that feels joy when taken care of and when approached with an intention to connect, feels very authentic, genuine and valid. Native and Tribal peoples have been telling us the same basic truth since we forcefully taught them English. But we didn't teach them English so we can hear what they have to say but to tell them what we thought they should hear. Anyway, Dr. Foor is saying it in a way we can not ignore anymore.

      Have you tried Earthing? It's presented as a health benefit at sites like but there's so much more to it than that. I should do more of it.

    2. Excellent find Artleads. I'm going to watch that later this evening.

    3. Satish, Red Fox,


      I hope this reflects some of what I learned from that teacher:

      Were it not for some residue of chem trails, today would have been cloudless. Steady winds cleared the air, and every view along our ride was glorious.

      The silvery Sangre de Cristo mountains floated like an island above a layer of white cloud (or maybe smoke that the breeze shaped into a horizontal, cloudlike band). I observed that on the way to the city, but the journey back was more riveting.

      Words cannot describe how beautiful it was. I wondered which painter could have done justice to the infinite subtlety of tones, but no one came to mind. The light was too elusive, even for a Monet, but the forms were perhaps more within the artist's grasp. The tiny shrubs in the open expanse of foreground had a music-like connection with an endless carpet of small conifers dotting the distant hills and mountains. But it was not just the vegetation that partook of the thrilling spectacle. The fixtures on flat, commercial city roofs made me think of buildings in a different way.

      If the small vents and turrets on the roof engaged so splendidly with the distant nature, its peaks and valleys, giving me such enjoyment, how would that nature not be delighted too? Maybe the distant hills and mountains wants to play and to dance along with awakened viewers, wishing there were many more of us...

    4. Just looked at the Earthing site. I had not known/considered the electricity aspect of Earth. Gentle charge, or negative charge is mentioned. And I had been thinking on how the earth understands and communicates with us. More slowly and gently than do animals, I thought. And the latter do the same more slowly and gently than people. This, I believe, has some bearing on your way of thinking in terms of category levels. So, too, mightn't there be different levels of personhood? I'm particularly interested in inanimate objects. They are also slow and gentle "people." I image the possible means of categorization could become very complicated indeed!

    5. Artleads, thanks for saying these things... "Maybe the distant hills and mountains wants to play and to dance along with awakened viewers, wishing there were many more of us..." and all of your musings in the Earthing comment really speak to me. There are people people, animal people, tree people, and rock people and many other people, seen and unseen. Like the Native Indians say, there are the winged, the four-leggeds and the two-leggeds and they are all equally participating in the world.

      Ever since I saw that Octopus camouflage video on NBL (don't remember who posted it), I have been wondering how many things, beings and other non-people people we humans miss that are right in front of us. It's not like we miss them as in we are supposed to see them but don't (although that happens a lot more in our fast paced lives these days) but maybe we're not supposed to see them. They have developed those fabulous camouflage capabilities for a good reason. And perhaps what is unseen is also the life and spirit that pervades everything we see as a thing or an inanimate object.

      I was walking in the woods recently and it occurred to me, "what would have our ancestors felt like when they walked these lands?" Absent the modern physical conception of the Earth as a spherical entity with a molten core covered by the oceans and the atmosphere, the picture painted in our consciousness by the images of the Earth from outer space, our ancestors might have very well thought of themselves as little creatures walking on the skin of a giant animal that moves slowly and reacts slowly. The trees stand like hair on its back and a great many other beings live and thrive on the back of this magnificent animal. And who knows what this large animal is riding on top of. And I thought to myself "what a beautiful worldview to think like that". Of course, our ancestors understood a lot more about a lot more things that we have no clue about. In this sense, their story is no less than our modern story based on Science and empiricism. In fact, their stories were more sensible and more practical. Their story kept them from doing damaging things to their land. Why would you want to hurt this animal by poking holes in her skin and gouging metal ore or oil from its depths? Such animistic views still survive today but modern culture doesn't talk about them. Even in modern industrial culture, not long ago, metal workers and those who pulled ore out of the Earth were seen as "less" than others in society. Perhaps it was a double standard that people would go to these "lower castes" to get their shiny new plows and swords and yet look down upon them, but the bias speaks to an old and very valid view that it's unwise and beneath us to be hurting the land under our feet.

    6. The Earth does communicate with us, more slowly and gently than do animals. Graham Harvey said one thing that is relevant here: when we see thunderstorms or floods or other natural phenomena, let's not think that the Earth is out to get us. Just as we drive around fairly oblivious to the fate of the little rodents and other animals that end up being roadkill, there are forces and spirits in the world that do their thing without meaning ill-intent and harm to us puny humans. Entire villages become tsunami-kill and the tsunami spirit doesn't know about it. We don't want to run over that skunk but sometimes we do. Sometimes we don't even notice. Likewise, the tsunamis and earthquakes that seem abrupt and forceful may be expressions of certain spirits, perhaps of the spirit of the land where they happen or spirits that dwell there. They don't know about us necessarily. And perhaps this speaks to our ancient rituals and ceremonies that hope to appease these great spirits and talk to them in the hopes that they will see us and not hurt us.

      But do we stop to listen to the prayers that the hedgehogs and the skunks might be sending our way? Perhaps they are telling us, "please drive slowly so you can see us", or "please somehow give us enough warning before you come around the corner". How nice it would be if that Earthquake gave us a day's notice. Perhaps ancient peoples asked for and received that notification. Modern culture doesn't get the memo. We are illiterate in that sense. We might be staring at the memo and not be able to read it. And we make it all about ourselves. We take it too personally.

      Anyway, I like how we're talking about this. There are more slow and gentle peoples of all kinds out there that have things to teach us. Slowing ourselves down and being able to walk with them at their pace is one of the first things we could do. It's hard to have a conversation when I am running with someone who is walking. I need to slow down and walk with them.

    7. haven't watched the animism clips yet, but I'm really liking this convo. especially two comments from Artleads and Satish. great!

    8. should be: "especially the last four comments from Artleads and Satish."

      great stuff.

  51. Feel free to test commenting as much as you want. I will take care of deleting them. Hope you get it to work. Let me know if I can help.

  52. Hi Satish, A few days ago I tried to reply to ARTLEADS & Sabine questions about LANL problem but it never posted. Maybe it went into your inbox like my comment the other week that somehow went there. Listening to the Ecoshock radio program you suggested next. Love to all. Sorry my more comprehensive answer is floating on some i-cloud. I still feel responsible for public outreach on our unresolved potential crisis issue with the nuclear network. Otherwise the rest of reality is wonderful and mysterious - except for the down to Earth work level where I do care very much about finding a better plan for the impact on reactors during a large scale event. Dr. McPherson has talked several times about the same concern. FEMA, Dept of Interior, DoD & even the CDC addressed the problem again after the Ebola outbreak. Engineers, maint crews, staff are all well trained at each facility. The only big issue is being prepared for dealing with more than one meltdown. Several plants on a regional scale could rapidly cause a further chain reaction due to human loss and electrical grid failures to maintain backup cooling systems. Due to a lack of specifc response to the Senate grid concern in 2013 from internal depts I was authorized to seek public ideas. Trying places where smart people might care like Greenpeace, NBL & many other sites to see if anyone who already understands Methane and other unfolding threats will
    see how a series of meltdowns will only add on to a stage 2 ELE. Thanks to everyone for so many other insights. Let's try not to leave a radioactive mess behind because we should care about what happens to evolution beyond human time frames.

  53. What a flow. It gets erased if I try to preview and correct but at least I can publish the messy version. Seems like the Irony of life itself. Loved reading the "I die daily" thoughts yesterday. Tonight I watch "INTO ETERNITY" doc that will get my mind off trying to convince the president we need to finance more backup crews & organize a team of national guard style fast response nuclear engineers. On a personal note I've even prayed "higher power" energy forms will help us keep our power plants from exploding if the San Andres or New Madrid faults slip. Pandemic or low level warfare strike. Whatever works is fine....but so far the big report is just a big paper weight on the desk of mid-level guys like me. Seems like it's still a human responsibility to resolve as much as I'd like to zing it off into some endless fractal spectrum. Hey Red Fox can you get us out of this rabbit hole? Even if I can't respond I promise I often read.

  54. Hi Mark, I didn't get an email this time with your lost comment. Please select-all and copy before hitting any button so everything you write gets saved on your clipboard even if the page doesn't respond as expected. I never tried the Preview button and it might very well be buggy. But do know that there's no moderation and your comment should appear right away if all goes well with Blogger.

  55. "But do we stop to listen to the prayers that the hedgehogs and the skunks might be sending our way? Perhaps they are telling us, 'please drive slowly so you can see us', or 'please somehow give us enough warning before you come around the corner'."

    Everything praying in different ways, ways that our trance tells us are impossible to do.

    Just saw a PBS show on water. Beyond the many tragedies there were glorious successes. Dams were removed and the Colorado could reach the sea. A community funneled just 2% of its water to a wildlife preserve (starting in the 1930s), and now you could hardly see the sky for geese. Just get water to flow naturally, and miracles abound. It showed how little it takes.


    It's sort of a dream come true to be acquainted with someone who does what you do. Maybe more people in the orbit of government will start showing up!

    Your thoughts on nuke management sound excellent to this most uninformed but concerned citizens. I've met some former LANL engineer types. Very, very bright people. It would be good to reward and steer them toward desirable planning and action. If you give them the vision for changing swords into ploughshares, who can say what will result? The Santa Fe Institute is a complex-theory sort of institution that might get involved.

  56. red fox, I'm copying below something you wrote over 5 years ago at because I think it's a touching testament to your highly empathetic mind:

    "My friend mentioned the new sonar experiments that the US Navy had been conducting. The high powered sound waves do their job quite well, whatever job that is supposed to be.
    Incidentally, they also burst the eardrums of any whales who happen to be in the neighborhood.

    I think now of the high pitched scream of a nine-year-old i know-of how i'd do anything to avoid it. I imagine it raised to such a level that it explodes the inner workings of my head and i die in agony.
    What a way to go."

    red fox, at that site you've left a treasure of wisdom and reflection that I am now finding myself relating to 5 years later. The healing work you talked about has been bearing fruit. Thank you.

    Mark, you'll like this one from red fox:

    "Fractals are computer images created by the repetition of a single mathematical formula. A programmer tells the computer to draw a certain shape, and then repeat it over and over until a larger shape emerges. The final result ends up looking somewhat like a fern frond or crystal. And this is, somewhat, how natural shapes are formed: by repeated expression of a pattern.

    Any flaw in the instructions may be impossible to see in the first repetitions (called iterations) of the shape. But in the final image, any small mistake will be obvious. It will have been repeated at each step until the mistake is an unavoidable part of the final result. It grows visible not by growing larger, but by increasing in number until it is everywhere."

  57. Hi mo flow, I just read your comment at (makes a lot of sense to me)

    Also looked at the post by Zhiwa Woodbury... and Jeshua at

    It goes into why things suck when it's all supposed to be beautiful and full of love.

    Liked this part (and everything else there):

    "Fear is a viable part of creation. Where fear is, love is not. Where love is not, love can be found in new and unpredictable ways. A whole range of emotions can be explored, even created by the absence of love. The absence of love can be felt in a variety of ways. The presence of love can only be felt against the background of fear. Otherwise it would be all pervading and you would not notice it as such."

    All this is along the lines of where I was going so it's helping me a ton. Thanks for the links! And your patient explanations.

    I feel we're dancing between the levels of consciousness as we move from being aware of all the not-so-good things happening around us (the innermost circle) to the outermost one (it's all an expression of the same essence that animates one and all)

    1. hey Satish,

      I am so glad you are enjoying these links, and what I was writing about in my comment on NBL, and that you find it all helpful!

      just fyi - I only write about, in my comments like that, stuff that I have actually lived - my own real experience. it is *only* my experience, but I have seen these kinds of things mentioned elsewhere, in many forms.


      "The presence of love can only be felt against the background of fear."

      "then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

      we are here, incarnate on Earth, having this experience - all of us, together, past, present, future - because we want one thing: complete knowledge. it is not that we are "as gods" - we ARE God - the One - *living* the experience of *everything* that is possible here, from the inside, out.

      the only way the One can know what it is like to "be this way" - to know fear, and to know evil - is to live as us. and that would include not just human us, of course, but every form of life, everywhere, across the infinite multiverse. the Omniscience of the One comes from "living" itself, from the inside, out. the only possible way to truly Know Everything - not in the abstract! but in the knowing, being, doing and hardcore experience of living it.

      -- --
      The idea that meaning and values are without foundation is a form of nihilism, and the existential response to that idea is noting that meaning is not "a matter of contemplative theory," but instead, "a consequence of engagement and commitment."

      IT - the One - is *totally* engaged and committed. right here. in you and me.

      there is no meaning whatsoever external to ourselves. there is no foundation - we ARE, ourselves, the entire foundation, as we are the living IT. there is nothing external to ourselves but more of our Self - and nothing, but nothing, "out there" has one iota more foundation or fundamental validity than what we ourselves bring to the picture - each of us, all of us, no exceptions.

    2. Hi mo flow,

      What you are saying reminds me of the certainty with which one said, "I can learn everything about the world by studying myself" or something along those lines.

      Some of us relate to the need to "know everything". I do. It's what takes people down the rabbit hole. Some others might say we're here in this incarnation to be happy and have fun. These perhaps are people who are, in that moment, feeling happy and having fun. But even those who are not feeling happy and having fun might acknowledge that it is indeed what we're here for. It's supposed to be that way and it not being that way is a source of concern and anxiety and depression. So, is there a link between "knowing everything" and "being happy and having fun"? Under what circumstances might they start looking like the same, if at all they can be compared in that way?

    3. hey Satish,

      yes, being physical for the One is probably the Ultimate rabbit hole! and so is being happy and having fun while physical.

      just to make sure there is no confusion here about what I mean above with "Knowing Everything" for the One: this does not mean intellectual knowledge at all. that is what is already possible in the more "abstract," non-physical realms.

      (abstract isn't really accurate. that is a label we use from our POV as physical beings "thinking about things." there is no real "abstract" for our real Light Being natures, and the nature of the One - that is the reality of *Being* pure thought-feeling-knowing all at once. nothing abstract about it in the sense we are familiar with as *humans.*)

      Knowing Everything in the sense I meant above, for the One, is much more on the physical, feeling side: all the feeling experience of being a living, physical being: physical sensation, kinesthetics, every possible range of emotion in a physical body (certainly being happy and having fun while physical is right up there!), every possible range of physical joy: ecstatic joy - the joy of what it feels like to connect to something spiritual from the point of being something physical; erotic joy and ecstasy - the joy of total physical to physical sexual connection; and of course "Knowing Everything" about the *total* range of what we call the negative emotions and negative states, while in a physical body.

    4. Hi mo flow,

      That makes sense. The totality of knowing in all its forms includes knowing and experiencing very many truths, feelings, emotions, experiences, and really all parts of consciousness. One question comes up at this point... is it possible to experience only the good things and leave out the bad stuff? My understanding on this is that from one perspective, there's no good and bad. There is a world of consciousness where no distinction is made. Everything is just is, without any judgment. Then there is the world of consciousness where we're taught to categorize everything into desirable and undesirable and a war is waged against the undesirable. I realize I am doing exactly that when I categorize the ONE consciousness into these two worlds. In this world, it's not possible to experience the good alone, and leave out the bad because it's an artificial distinction to begin with, but more significantly, the good is good only in the presence of the bad. Take away the bad and we'd never know what good is at all. We wouldn't feel it. It just is. Whatever it is. So as long as we differentiate between the two, we have to live them both.

      It's not even up to each of us to decide one way or another because the culture we're born into makes a number of decisions for us automatically. In a way, society has long gone down the path of differentiating between good and bad and we're living the consequences of it. And once such differentiation starts and soon enough begins to take hold, we get into really sticky situations.

  58. Satish,
    So you found the old Tribal-Living site! When I posted on it regularly (before there was a large fall out) there were some good, thoughtful people on there. As you see, I posted the whole "Fire and Ice" book up there because I still find it to be one of the most inspiring books that I've read.
    I dont mean to be picky, but the quotes you gave are from the book and so I can only take credit for putting them up. That whole thread is the actual book apart from the odd interjection between myself and Ami (she was one of the Road Protesters in the '90's in SW England).
    I did used to post a lot on that forum when it was stimulating and got drawn into some pretty "spikey" exchanges if i'm honest. I learned from that experience of the internet so do my level best to be a bit more calmer and considered these days. At some point I think I may get around to cuttting and pasting the book again onto the NBL forum perhaps before the Tribal site breathes its last...

    1. red fox, I think many many folks at NBL would find it very useful as a source of comfort and inspiration if you posted "Fire and Ice" on the forum. If you have the content in one place and all it needs is a home, let me know know and I will figure out a way to host it somewhere on the web. But I'm assuming, it's in bits and pieces on the tribal-living site.

    2. Satish,
      Iv'e started to cut and paste the book up on the NBL forum without the interjections of Ami and myself so it flows better!

  59. "there is no meaning whatsoever external to ourselves. there is no foundation - we ARE, ourselves, the entire foundation, as we are the living IT. there is nothing external to ourselves but more of our Self - and nothing, but nothing, "out there" has one iota more foundation or fundamental validity than what we ourselves bring to the picture - each of us, all of us, no exceptions. "

    So well said. One might fiddle with it (as with everything), but I'm loving this perspective at this point in time.

  60. Artleads - Yes it's all about plough shares. I've had a fantastic 52 years all over earth. TRIBAL LIVING. Love, love love natural balance. And I returned from being a Costa Rica park ranger for the specific duty of doing a bit more clean up before I leave this planet. Turns out the half life of radioactive isotopes have the most long term impact on causing mutations in evolution. Not sure I can get enough cooperation with making the LANL program more the first step is to at least improve safety measures.

  61. Red Fox - TRIBAL LIVING. So interesting. I've had the great experience of spending a week or so at different points in the past with tribes.

    1966 as a child my Dad took me to life changing spirit fire ceremony on the 3rd Mesa "Oribi" in Arizona.

    January 1994 a vision quest in Joshua Tree told my little group a big energy event was about to happen in L.A. Got to a friends apt in West Hollywood hours before the Northridge quake hit their building even harder than others. Evacuated LA to go hiking across the Australian Outback from Olgas to Ulruru. Very kind aboriginals found me sleeping alone in their sacred land. But with no words they helped direct me in a dream time walk. When we reached "Ayers Rock" I knew it was sad for them to see tour groups climbing it. Away from the tours we had the most peaceful walk around Uluru. They even lead me right into it's interior bubble formations.

    A sea of love to all as I fly to my solar sailboat for this weekend. Off the grid. Swim with the fish rather than eat them. sleep on a Bimini sandbar under a vast universe of stars. Going with the MO many levels of reality. Responsibility. As I read you each of you we do become one. You are inside a part of my thoughts as I go drifting out here. As I take you in my mind an element of each of you is truly connected to a warm physical experience. Can you feel the sea of stars ? I can feel Kingsley Hampton in the UK, Los Alamos & times long ago even though I am passing thru an Atlanta airport in the moment.

    The more tribes you experience the more it seems they linger in a LIVING impression. A silent language of one *0*

  62. Mark , again, you can write! There's a poet there in you, and you're lucky to have experienced so much in this life of yours, this embodied dimension.
    So much more than me. I'm one of those people who has to experience and know the world without leaving home much, where I have to content myself with the Tao te Ching's sage who "doesn't leave his home but knows the whole world". There supposed to be some irony in that, insofar that I often find it impossible to take myself too seriously. Most people who've ever lived had to do that. You can physically "mo flow". I know that you know how lucky you are. Enjoy it,
    I'm very flattered that we are part of your thoughts, and I have looked out at the stars. There's not much light pollution here in rural Hampshire, so that's lucky. For us here Venus is dominant early in the evening now. In spite of everything, this is a symbol of hope for me because the growing cycle has started again. Once more! For a few years now, I 've been thinking at this time, in early spring: Will I have the chance to sense this magical atmosphere of coming green abundance again next year? So far so good... I can still fool myself. Please, please another year, I think. I'm glad that you can connect so well to all this loveliness, as does everyone here.

    Love and light
    and tell us more of your adventures.

    Satish and Mark, are you signed in the forum on NBL? I haven't noticed you two commenting there. Red Fox is posting the fire and ice book at the moment, you probably know. It's profound.

    1. Hi Sabine, not yet... I will check out the forum... Never been there.

  63. Although this is off subject (related to what I just posted on NBL), I believe participants here would see where I'm coming from.

    There's lots of talk about the physical challenges to survive the near future. Like this:

    " In the last 500 years humans grew 677 excals of food.
    In the next 40 years, we need 770 excals of food."

    And of course this is despite peak everything, especially (IMO) peak species loss and peak human succession. What always is missing in these assessments is imagination. Were imagine present, it would become clear that the impasse around scarcity is just part of the problem. What I would suggest remembering is that feeding an even larger population than now would have to be done in concert with being much gentler on the planet than hunter gatherers. In a strange way, that could be a positive and inspiring concept. It give people an image of what needs to be done, and win or lose, people enjoy rising to a challenge.

    1. I wonder if we can feed 9 Billion people in the severely compromised set of conditions that we increasingly find ourselves in. We turn oil into food today, through oil-intensive agriculture supported by oil-derived fertilizer. We'd need to switch to bio-dynamic methods. Perhaps we could look at the numbers of indigenous peoples that populated the new world to determine the long-term sustainable densities that the land can support. It's rather low, a couple hundred people every 12 miles or so, as the crow flies. Perhaps they were more conservative in their numbers than was necessary for sustainability but not sure we can sustain with our current levels in any case.

  64. artleads, you are a gentle person but I'm afraid that being "gentler on the land" misses what's going on all around us: too many people. That said, it's important and right in a personal basis. There I agree.

    Satish, you say you're not so sure whether we can sustain "current level" (of population).

    I say, we definitely can't. That shouldn't stop us from doing and supporting everything that would ideally lead to what we call sustainable living, living within the capacity of the land and sea. Don't forget the sea artleads. In other words, the capacity of our Earth. However, we were long past that and in over-shoot, when I was born in 1948, when there were no more than 3 billion people alive. I've come to accept that I, as well as most people alive today, should have never been born. That's is radical but oh so true.

    However, that doesn't mean that I'm depressed and think I should exit as soon as possible. I'm here, we're here, so we more thoughtful people must live to the best of our ability. By that I mean first and foremost with awareness and care for all life. Try to overcome what divides, and not just among humans, in spite of everything.
    To me, this is a bit of "Zen" and "Tao", an enlightenment experience which is the opposite of experiencing nothingness (filing all matter under maya). It's an experience of paradox and acceptance. To me, matter matters.
    I've used quotes for these ancient Eastern philosophies because I don't practise them as such. They just fit my mind, as does animism.
    If we're honest, we all do this "mind-fitting". How else can we do it, we who haven't grown up and older in some ancient tradition without much influence from the outside? That's impossible, so we, who are the products of "industrial civilisation" have to find philosophies and solace (comfort) by pick and mix for personal "mind-fitting". This is the logical conclusion if you're really, really honest.

    But I think that's OK. I'm always OK with the subjective, and what I've picked, consciously and/or unconsciously fits me well but isn't static. I've had many years of practise. And that's where everybody is on his/her own. We can only share (as we do here) what we've come up with (have experienced ourselves) and, if we're very lucky, another person will chime with us. And that's a nice feeling, don't you agree?!

    To get back to the subject of population: Every ounce of reason, information and intuition I have tells me we've been in overshoot for quite some time. We could possibly argue about when it started but those arguments are futile (IMO). It's the here and now that matters, always, nothing else. And there we have a conundrum, NOT problems to SOLVE.
    And that gets us back to the paradox.: in spite of these overwhelmingly (potentially) depressing circumstances, we must live a "live of excellence" as Guy says and, of course, as all the wise traditions, religions and philosophies that humans have created, encourage us to do and have ALWAYS advocated. Nothing new there.
    What else is there to do but keep vigilant and do the right thing from moment to moment, never the pragmatic or the expedient. Those are "political virtues" which have facilitated our predicament.
    For me this way of being, this brings much comfort and joy.

    1. Hi Sabine, yes, we're in an overshoot. It's taking the loss of 200 species a day to sustain the biomass of 7.2 Billion humans, not to mention the cannibalization of future generations. Someone on NBL used the word "proto-cannibalism" to describe how some of us humans feed on the rest (albeit indirectly) by appropriating their land and resources and starving them physically. I am definitely in the former group being under the care of my Imperial overlords and the American military industrial complex that.

      This is, in your words, "an experience of paradox and acceptance"... so apt.

      Personally I don't care much for labels so I identify with what you are saying about "mind-fitting". It's almost as if labeling something reduces its spirit just a bit. Perhaps this is why Native Americans named themselves through adjectives like "runs like the wind" rather than pronouns which were an import.

  65. Satish and Sabine, thanks for your thoughts.


    What does the great permaculture master Geoff Lawton mean by saying we need all the people we can get? Here we have a planet close to death. Do humans have to nurture it back to "health" one square foot at a time--on the microscopic level?


    We can imagine a Mad Max looking world. Some vegetation trying to hang on so bravely, it brings you to tears. Same thing with some of the ice. Happiness? Yes. Why? We have not loved or appreciated the abundance that we were born with. We have not loved or appreciated it until we have lost it. But we love the remnants indescribably more than we could have imagined. We are grateful. We are happy.


    Are oceans included in what we call "land?" I've never been clear. But what's good for the land is good for the oceans too.


    "There's more in this level of consciousness that we don't know than we do know. Ultimately, we don't really know for sure what we know and what we don't know. But again, maybe that monk knows a thing or two that just can't be explained through language. In this context, what's happening to the planet today might make sense from a wholly different perspective. Certain Eastern mythologies talk of cycles of creation and destruction that happen every hundreds of thousands of years. There are many who dwell in this level of consciousness who refuse to visit the lower levels. This level is more fascinating and attractive to certain people. I wish them the best."

    AFAIK, what I'm saying is consistent with the above. We don't know what we know or don't know. Best to keep an open mind. Conscience, imagination and intuition, rather than "reason," might well be the best guides now. I believe that through these, we can synthesize those concentric spheres above. We are in multiple spheres all the time.

    1. Hi Artleads, I think it's too late for Lawton's methods to work on a mass scale. I'm not belittling his contribution. He has added something to the holographic Universe (or the morphic field in the words of Rupert Sheldrake) that has a meaning and purpose beyond feeding 7.2 Billion people. Perhaps, the last few humans will need to rely on Permaculture for a while. I don't know. And I don't know what I don't know :) But I do think Oceans are part of "land" in the sense that the word "land" more generally means "host", "container", "mother", "platform", "foundation", etc.

      Strangely enough, after writing this blog post, I find myself less and less in the innermost circle and a bit more in the outer ones. Perhaps I needed to write this blog post before I could move on! I don't know. I still dwell in the inner circle quite a bit, as you will see from my latest blog post here - :)

  66. A new blog post is here - (I thought my rant on NBL was good material for a new blog post... it's stuff I have wanted to say for a while anyway)

  67. Sabine - so much to catch up on including a new Kuku. Sabine you inspired me to start an office game. By this Friday everyone is going to submit an idea that is both silly & sinister. We had a staff chat about the lipstick matching panties crazy stuff magazines push. Way too many sinister things in this world but the mix with something that is also silly got us thinking!

  68. Satish,

    Looking forward to reading your new thread. (And I'll have to look up those terms re Lawton)

    I'm not speaking from a base of knowledge, since I know next to nothing. I was hoping for more of the leniency of thinking I sensed here at the start. What I'm doing is what I'm better equipped to do: day dreaming, imagining. To which there has been fierce opposition and ridicule in other circles.

    I apologize in advance to Mr. Lawton, whom I take to be the best of the best in our society. Knowledgeable beyond my wildest capabilities. But I see him as still part of a (with apologies for my ignorance) Newtonian universe. Or maybe he's at the cusp between that and (ditto) a quantum universe of the future. We're still thinking in heavy, materialist terms.

    So, no, I don't look for salvation through permaculture (or salvation at all), I'm promoting and imaginational jump into another world. Softer, less material, more like something you don't butt up against so much as are able to penetrate. This related to my looking at each square foot of land on the "microscopic" level. It would go with animism too. And I think the pre-civilized folk were far more subtle and microscopic than we. Only, they hardly numbered in the millions, while are well into the billions. Their planet was healthy, while ours is devastated. So I was saying that we need to be MORE refined and delicate even than the ancients. I just want us to put that in our noggins and try to imagine it. Only that for now.

    Anyway, duty calls, and I must be off. Will check in later.

    1. "And I think the pre-civilized folk were far more subtle and microscopic than we." How apt. We mostly dwell in gross thought these days in contrast to the subtle that the pre-civ people were engaged in.

      Gross thought: How can we improve the precision of this weapon?
      Subtle thought: How can I minimize the pain that this arrow will cause the deer.
      Gross thought: Survival of the fittest. Destroy them.
      Subtle thought: Life comes from life. Be grateful.
      Gross thought: I'm late for work.
      Subtle thought: I wonder about the nature of time.
      Gross thought: I'm so busy
      Subtle thought: I'm going to meditate.

  69. Rupert Sheldrake links:

    Thanks for this lead, Satish. I don't read or study, but this is the kind of subject I "think out loud about" about. I must keep looking at it.

    Part I - Mind, Memory, and Archetype Morphic Resonance and the Collective Unconscious

    Psychological Perspectives (Spring 1987), 18(1) 9-25

    by Rupert Sheldrake

    In this essay, I am going to discuss the concept of collective memory as a background for understanding Jung's concept of the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious only makes sense in the context of some notion of collective memory. This then takes us into a very wide-ranging examination of the nature and principle of memory-not just in human beings and not just in the animal kingdom; not even just in the realm of life-but in the universe as a whole. Such an encompassing perspective is part of a very profound paradigm shift that is taking place in science: the shift from the mechanistic to an evolutionary and wholistic world view.

    The Cartesian mechanistic view is, in many ways, still the predominant paradigm today, especially in biology and medicine. Ninety percent of biologists would be proud to tell you that they are mechanistic biologists. Although physics has moved beyond the mechanistic view, much of our thinking about physical reality is still shaped by it-even in those of us who would like to believe that we have moved beyond this frame of thought. Therefore, I will briefly examine some of the fundamental assumptions of the mechanistic world view in order to show how it is still deeply embedded in the way that most of us think.


  70. More from Sheldrake:

    "Each species has its own fields, and within each organism there are fields within fields. Within each of us is the field of the whole body; fields for arms and legs and fields for kidneys and livers; within are fields for the different tissues inside these organs, and then fields for the cells, and fields for the sub-cellular structures, and fields for the molecules, and so on. There is a whole series of fields within fields. The essence of the hypothesis I am proposing is that these fields, which are already accepted quite widely within biology, have a kind of in-built memory derived from previous forms of a similar kind. The liver field is shaped by the forms of previous livers and the oak tree field by the forms and organization of previous oak trees. Through the fields, by a process called morphic resonance, the influence of like upon like, there is a connection among similar fields. That means that the field's structure has a cumulative memory, based on what has happened to the species in the past. This idea applies not only to living organisms but also to protein molecules, crystals, even to atoms. In the realm of crystals, for example, the theory would say that the form a crystal takes depends on its characteristic morphic field. Morphic field is a broader term which includes the fields of both form and behavior; hereafter, I shall use the word morphic field rather than morphogenetic."

    I seem to have touched on this in my earlier post, although I didn't study or ever read about it. And how did Satish know to mention morphic fields when he did?

    1. Hi Artleads, good observation! How did I know to mention morphic fields? Perhaps it has something to do with morphic fields.

      I think you will like this TED talk by Sheldrake -