Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Meditator and the Woodpecker

[Approximate Reading Time: 10 minutes]

Buddhism talks about the Noble Eight-fold path:

1. Right Understanding (Samma Ditthi)
2. Right Thought (Samma Sankappa)
3. Right Speech (Samma Vaca)
4. Right Action (Samma Kammanta)
5. Right Livelihood (Samma Ajiva)
6. Right Effort (Samma Vayama)
7. Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati)
8. Right Concentration (Samma Samadhi)

The following questions arise:
  1. How am I supposed to make a "Right Livelihood" when every way of making a livelihood involves participating in a system that inflicts pain on the natural world and Mother Earth?
  2. How am I supposed to maintain "Right Mindfulness" when I am constantly distracted and misled by senseless sensationalism, super bowl, and the sopranos?
  3. How am I supposed to be thinking the "Right Thought" when I am deliberately targeted by clever, aggressive and sophisticated propaganda on a daily basis?
  4. How am I supposed to come to the "Right Understanding" when everything seems upside down, when it turns out that progress and technology are driving multiple existential crises?
The trouble with Buddhism is that it originated and spread long after humans established hierarchies and control structures and long after propaganda techniques became sophisticated enough to keep relatively large populations in check. At this point, the ruling elites and their advisers had become politically experienced enough to distinguish between those philosophies that posed a threat to their power structures and those that enabled and fostered them. Those that enabled them were given impetus and carried all over the land and spread beyond to other kingdoms. Organized religion has long been the handmaiden to power and control. Who knows what the Buddha himself actually said. The powers that were were listening to him much more closely than the powers that weren't. There’s no such thing as a meritocracy.

What does it mean that the local college is offering a course on sustainable living? It means we're not currently living sustainably. What does it mean when Harvard University establishes a "Center for Ethics"? It means the brightest minds, the most educated professionals in our society are struggling with ethics. Likewise, what does it mean when the Eight-fold path talks about "Right Speech" and "Right Thought"? It means that when it was formulated, society had already degenerated to the point that "Right Speech" and "Right Thought" were not the order of the day. Buddhism, one of the earliest "mega-religions" arose in a highly compromised human culture, one characterized by class, hierarchy, specialization, centralization, urbanization, and separation from nature. It would be a gross oversight on our part if we didn't consider the circumstances that Buddhism evolved and prospered in, because there in lie the clues as to how and why it, like all mega-religions, failed humanity.The rise of Buddhism was heavily favored by the ruling elites of the day.
Around the year 260 BCE, Ashoka fought great battles and imposed his rule on people southward along the eastern coast of India – an area called Kalinga. The sufferings created by the war disturbed Ashoka. He found relief in Buddhism and became an emperor with values that differed from those of his grandfather. He was a Buddhist lay member and went on a 256-day pilgrimage to Buddhist holy places in northern India. Buddhism benefited from the association with state power that Hinduism had enjoyed – and that Christianity would enjoy under Constantine the Great.
Like the Hebrew Jeroboam and other devout kings, Ashoka was no revolutionary. But there were changes. In the years to come, Ashoka mixed his Buddhism with material concerns that served the Buddha's original desire to see suffering among people mitigated: Ashoka had wells dug, irrigation canals and roads constructed. He had rest houses built along roads, hospitals built, public gardens planted and medicinal herbs grown. But Ashoka maintained his army, and he maintained the secret police and network of spies that he had inherited as a part of his extensive and powerful bureaucracy.

Ashoka the Great happens to be a prominent figure in the rise of not just Buddhism but Eastern Civilization as well.

I spent 10 days last year at a silent Buddhist meditation retreat which was well-attended (over a hundred humans who left their jobs, daily routines, cell phones, etc. to learn/practice meditation for health, well-being, salvation and what have you). The retreat was set in a somewhat isolated location amidst beautiful rolling hills with fantastic views of the valleys and mountains beyond.

I noticed something rather interesting and ironic. The woodpecker! Here we were sitting on our meditation cushions inside a large darkened building on a bright sunny morning, having been told by the teacher that humans are the only species capable of attaining salvation, a gift not within the reach of any other life form. A hundred humans sat in dead silence, trying to focus their attention on their breath. And the woodpecker starts knocking away on the wooden roof! Knock knock knock knock… it was loud enough to make the admin guy get up and go out and shoo it away. The woodpecker was there disturbing the peace on most days as if to warn us humans that we can’t get away with it, that we can’t set ourselves apart from the outside world, that we can't escape inward and seek salvation selfishly, sitting indoors in darkened halls. “This is my land. I live here. You come to my land, chop down my trees, build these ugly structures, sit inside them and think you are saving yourself… knock it off… knock knock knock knock…” And we humans don’t listen these days, of course. “Oh shush, go away and let me attain moksha”!

Buddhism strikes me as rather anthropocentric, placing humanity above all other species, above the natural world. It makes sense considering it originated relatively recently in terms of the time scale of human civilization. And while Western Civilization definitely preached individualism for hundreds of years, Buddhism seems to have had a pretty good grip on it for thousands of years prior. “YOU and ONLY YOU can save yourself… no one can find you your salvation, you must do it yourself”. I know there are sects of Buddhism that say there’s no salvation for one unless there is salvation for everyone. That’s a bit closer to my perception of how things work. But time and again, I have heard many teachers emphasize the individualistic nature of attaining salvation, as if we are separate from others around us, and from other species and Mother Earth.

I’m certain meditation helps us see this interconnection. All is one and one is all. But long before Buddhism came, our tribal ancestors saw this interconnectedness easily with little effort because they lived it daily. They didn't need to be taught this by a teacher seated on a pedestal. They knew at a deep level that they are no different from other species that lived on their land, that the land birthed them and that the land took them back. They were not individuals but were members of the tribe, really an extended family. They were integral to the tribe like the limbs are integral to the body. They didn't argue with each other over whether the heart was more important than the brain and knew implicitly that they all played a role, that all expressed themselves in unique ways and all contributed to the unfolding, all the animals, all the birds, all the rivers and all the mountains. In a way, tribal culture is the most individualistic culture if there was ever one, in the way everyone was allowed to and expected to express themselves with their unique gifts as they listened and paid attention to how others around them (including the birds) were expressing themselves. They knew they were not separate or different or superior to the woodpecker.

And when the woodpecker knocked, they listened.


  1. Satish,

    There's nothing else to say. I couldn't add a word to make this essay of yours more profound. Maybe Guy will let you publish it on NBL? The commenters there should have an opportunity to read it in order to get a perspective on their pet paths to salvation. All of them anthropocentric.
    Your analysis of the development of the mega-religions is absolutely right. The same thoughts have been going through my mind too but you can express them so much better than me. Thanks for that.
    A sentence in your last paragraph really sums it up for me: "They didn't argue with each other over whether the heart was more important than the brain and knew implicitly that they all played a role...."
    I like to think that I know that implicitly too. You certainly do, I can see that. How much time do people spend on "clever" blogs arguing just that sort of thing. And what a waste of time really.

    The woodpecker just had to appear to put things into perspective at that retreat, but you were probably the only one who saw.
    Could it be that you've always been able to "see", and that some people will never learn to "see", no matter how hard and which "path" they try. That's certainly something that occurs to me.
    If I "believed" in individual consciousness having the ability to survive and to be reborn, I would say that you were a very old soul.

    Your wonderful essay was worth waiting for. Thanks.

    1. Thank you, Sabine. I mentioned this post in a comment on NBL just now for those who could use a bit more context to the comment that started it all.

      I did wonder how many folks at the retreat might have thought of the woodpecker in a different way than an annoyance. You're right. I probably didn't have much company in that department.

  2. When I said "the commenter on NBL" with regards to "pet paths to salvation", I didn't mean all of them, naturally.

    I just thought I'd add that. I know there are a few that are trying very hard, like me, to leave anthropocentrism behind. It's just a matter to keeping your awareness fresh and new, and that has to be practiced every day. That's my experience.

  3. A brilliant and concise post Satish. You really hit the nail on the head with it. It's just my opinion but ive become more and more convinced over the years that prior to civilisation there wasn't such a beast as organised religion. There would surely not have been a need to be reconnected with the Land if your whole way of life was a connection. With the gradual switch over to a mass society the disconnection would have grown and some would have seen and felt this, just as some do now.

    A notion of something being sacred seems a recent one as well. If your whole landbase and it's inhabitants were an integral part of your life and yours of theirs how would it have been possible to set aside a portion as being somehow "better" or more important-everything would be as it is; in our terminology, sacred, because we split off parts of our world into a hierarchy of importance. Religions began this I believe by promoting the idea of "something better" than HERE.

    This is why I dont believe that an animistic way of relating was a religion at all, way back when it was a "natural" way to interact with everyone else (the other persons). Now of course, by necessity, that way of relating becomes a personal ethic and to all intents and purpose a religion-to bind, or in modern peoples needs, to re-bind with all that actually matters, all that lives.

    As you make clear (in my eyes anyway), the best form of meditation is to observe and listen to those other persons who have never been severed from their world; the still wild ones, whatever their outward nature.

    Thanks for such a sharp and clear appraisal-it was a welcome antidote to some of the verbiage that appears elsewhere.

  4. Red Fox, you've elaborated really well,

    but I would also include all the non-humans in this "best form of meditation" as you so rightly put it. All the animals and plants (even the ones that don't live wild anymore like my cat and the plants in my garden). None of them are really severed from their world.
    In reality, there is no other meditation. It's the state of being, mind, other level, what ever else you like to call it (there are many names) which provides you with vision. For me this happens often just from contemplation - contemplating my land base (a good word because it provides the foundation for this "exercise") around me. It's really so simple but needs awareness, as I said before.

    I called animism a radical "religion" in another post. And I meant "religion" only in its literal sense: as in re-binding. Seeing yourself as nothing special, superior, worth of "redemption" and all the other baggage, takes practise for modern people. Otherwise the vision can fade. We're all too far removed from the ancients to experience the "whole land of our base and its inhabitants as an integral part of our lives" as natural. This had to be lived and handed down through generations just like the civilisations we've lived in since.
    And you're right, there were always people who felt this disconnection, just as there are now. So we modern "visionaries" have to connect very consciously by seeing it, as you say "in the still wild ones, whatever their outward nature".

    Thanks to you and Satish, You've made my day! I'm glad you're both alive in this overcrowded world.

    Your explanation of how "sacred" came about and organised religion is also spot on.

  5. Thank you very much Sabine. You are very spot on when you said this :
    "..but I would also include all the non-humans...".

    This was my error I think in not expalining properly. When I said:
    " to observe and listen to those other persons...".
    When I said this I was referring to all the non human persons. I took my cue from Graham Harvey a few years ago and try to make a conscious effort to think of every discrete being (stone, tree, plant, bird, etc) as a "person".
    I understand what you meant about religion in that previous post and definately agree that in our present situation it is imperative to re-bind/re-unite ourselves as much as possible with whatever "persons" we share our space with. I cant remember where I read it, but somebody had the wisdom to state that it is impossible for a human to ever be alone or feel lonely if they have the vision to understand that they are surrounded by Life in all it's myriad forms.

    I think that accepting and understanding that these days is difficult to maintain but from what you have said recently you seem to be managing very well. Do you find (I do!) that it causes a sort of schizophrenia (I dont mean that in a bad way really)? As in having one foot in the real living world and one foot in this civilised one in order to function and meet ones needs.

    Funny you should mention cats. I may have said before, but I live in a caravan/trailer on a farm and there are about 20 or so feral moggies around. The farm lady gives them food, as do I because they keep the mice away from the grain sheds. I find it quite therapeutic to just hang with them watching their antics. Being feral, they have all their bits intact and produced about 20 kittens this year (some obviously didnt survive and the males are escorted off the premises by the feral adult "tom")-funny thing is, the kittens suckle on any of the adult females; whoever happens to be nearby. All the adult females are surrogates. That gets me thinking about life in bands and tribes.... leave that for another day-iv'e digressed!

  6. "When I said this I was referring to all the non human persons. I took my cue from Graham Harvey a few years ago and try to make a conscious effort to think of every discrete being (stone, tree, plant, bird, etc) as a 'person'"

    Or a book or a car, or Kleenex". All living.

    "...somebody had the wisdom to state that it is impossible for a human to ever be alone or feel lonely if they have the vision to understand that they are surrounded by Life in all it's myriad forms."

    Thanks for this. Lovely! I'm finding it difficult to distinguish "a person" from anything else. Isn't it all living, even on the molecular level, lives within lives within lives? What if we're enmeshed in a sheet of personhood, a sheet of life? No distinctions (as regarding liveness) anywhere? This could be where Foor brings in the ancestors. Everything, everywhere all there with us at a summon. Based on what we know, can remember, or can imagine. (Ancestors wouldn't be categorically different from any other spirit maybe; just having a vested "interest"--even through natural physical [genetic] extension--in their lineage.)

    Just thinking out loud...

    BTW, I visited a county office yesterday and sat around a smooth rose-brown table that somehow was grained with wood-sheet pattern that was absolutely "buried" under some unknown laminating substance. On trying to check in" with this table, I got the impression of huge tragedy. What the original patterning wood (whatever in hell happened to produce the table) had endured. And here it sat in a dark room with no notice and no love, the television showing traumatic training videos to two remote volunteer firemen trainees as I waited.

    1. That's very interesting Artleads, regarding "Or a book or a car or a kleenex" and also about the table.

      This is where I part with Graham Harvey when he mentions people treating inaminate things animately (I do believe there are inanimate things); he also goes into this in his book "Animism".
      As far as i'm concerned any artifact (eg a car, etc) that has been mass produced by many uncaring people or machines is completely dead. It's essence has long gone; actually it's thousands of essences as it is composed of a huge number of different materials that were once alive. Not only that but there has, in all likelihood been no personal essence from one particular artisan put into the final result. On top of that, all the materials would have been gathered together in violence upon violence every step of the way. So, to me they are dead artifacts; more than dead because of their "history".
      I completely agree with you about the table if I have understood you correctly. This has a precedence in most archaic cultures, even up until just before (in Britain) the industrial devolution. A prime example in mythology that I am aware of is the sword Excalibur. It is an entity with a spirit. To get a bit flowery, it was willingly forged from the heavens by who knows who. The story goes it was smelted from a fallen star/meteorite (I prefer fallen star!). It has character and volition (?) and it can only be wielded by someone it is willing to be wielded by. So I look upon all artifacts produced by a single human with a caring/spiritual/loving intent as being imbued with that essence or if you will, the artifact has let the human create the form that is best suited to it's nature-ie the original table perhaps? In other words, the finished artifact is a suitable dwelling place for the spirit of the original raw material body if you will.
      This way of looking at artifacts gets quite mystical when you consider that many traditions consider certain statues and icons to have an indwelling spirit. In times past, each house would have a spirit house contained within it to house the household spirit or/and ancestor(s).
      It gets a bit complex and tangential but that is why I personally have a definate demarcation between "deadness" and "living" in an animistic context.

      I think perhaps that is why something that has been handmade by a person and given as a gift is always more appreciated than something made by some poor kid in a sweatshop/factory. We know the story.
      Great Post Artleads; very catalysing for my old head! :)

  7. An Albatross landed on top of my mast. Maybe it was hurt. Tired ? Maybe it was lonely. Only that Albatross & me sailing across the North Pacific in the late summer, many summers ago.

    The Albatross stayed perched atop the mast day & night. It pecked at my wind direction needle. It pooped on my head. Sometimes I banged on the mast. Sometimes I wished it dead. My moods ran in circles. Both the bird & I ran on the wind. Later I begged that big grey bird to come down and eat scraps of fish. Was it not hungry? Did it not trust me? I drifted to sleep - never to see my feathered friend again.

    Gone on a sea of time. But never quite out of my mind. It only took a woodpecker, going KuKu, to remind me of my friend adrift. Just along for the ride. Memories in collective electrons. Flowing into photons. So microscopic. So brief.

    Maybe eternity is much larger than we comprehend. Maybe it evolves. learns lessons. runs tests. takes rests. Maybe it is not "OURS" to ever understand. Billions of light years across vast expanding galaxies. A bit of cyber light - A Budda - A buddy - A bird. In so many languages "what is the Word?" What is most important to be understood? The irony? The reflection? The impression that was made? What do we feel about what we are creating, destroying, recycling, learning, yearning, experiencing on a pale blue dot circling the sun. Do you know where your going to my son. Can you LIKE the things the massive life force of raw energy is showing you? Co-create all you can with life.

    tap tap tap - listen - fly - hitch a ride....our feathered friend was communicating many things on many levels. As you listen to the memory of the woodpecker you see more in your minds eye as time goes by. Tap Codes. Equators. Elevations. Revelations. The great forgetting might be a voyage of remembering we don't yet really know it all. Big or small.....

    1. There's indeed a poet in you, Mark.

      "The great forgetting might be a voyage of remembering we don't yet really know it all. Big or small....." How true.
      My Native American friend calls it "kuutnuu: we don't really know"

  8. Great conversation, Sabine and red fox!

    +1 for "Your explanation of how "sacred" came about and organised religion is also spot on."

    So well said, red fox. "There would surely not have been a need to be reconnected with the Land if your whole way of life was a connection. With the gradual switch over to a mass society the disconnection would have grown and some would have seen and felt this, just as some do now." So true.

    It's interesting to reconstruct how the process of disconnection and separation might have evolved. It seems that when humans left their tribal ways and their land and moved into artificially constructed and insulated-from-nature villages and towns, we were changed forever in the way we see the world and our place in it. Or perhaps, we were changed forever and then started civilization... somehow the seed of separation sprouted.

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I mull over the origins of our separation from land and the rapid cancerous growth thereafter and how this might have a parallel with the non-dual consciousness splitting and expressing itself in a myriad ways. When we no longer thought of ourselves as part of the land, death became a matter of great importance because it's now personal. Prior to that, nothing really died. It's as if a heart cell dies but the heart continues. A tribal person was a "land cell" and a "tribe cell". When he died, it's OK. The tribe continued and the land continued. The sun still came up the next day. It's like nothing really died. Of course, the passing of a loved one must have been difficult but it's like a mother elephant mourns the loss of a calf. The tribe mourned the loss and it was a time for ritual and ceremony and prayer but it wasn't seen as unusual or unnatural. We didn't think of waging a war on death. But with separation, death became a source of anxiety, especially with the rise of the mechanistic way of looking at the body. Today, for the richest of the rich who have pretty much everything save time, the war on death is a top priority. At one point, Billionaire Larry Ellison alone spent more money on aging research than federal agencies. Bud Nye frequently brings up Ernest Becker and "The Denial of Death: The basic premise of The Denial of Death is that human civilization is ultimately an elaborate, symbolic defense mechanism against the knowledge of our mortality, which in turn acts as the emotional and intellectual response to our basic survival mechanism." (source: Wikipedia) It's debatable if civilization was a result of anxiety over death or the other way around. Perhaps it's more like the chicken and egg problem again. The seed of "death anxiety" sprouted and the rest is history. One thing led to another.

  9. I like how you're thinking about Animism: it's not a religion. When the whole world and all of creation is sacred, sacredness doesn't exist as an idea. As a corollary, non-sacredness doesn't exist either. Here's my understanding of how it progressed:

    At first, everything was sacred (implicitly). Then, with the development of the idea of sacredness (the seed sprouted), certain things were set apart as sacred and the rest didn't qualify. It makes sense. When towns grew, there was sewage to treat and trash to dispose of. With close proximity to other humans and domesticated animals came disease. With specialization and hierarchies came inequality and hunger. It made sense for society to see certain things as good and certain others as bad. Still, most things were sacred. There were many deities and polytheism was the order of the day. It was natural to pray to many Gods at the same time.

    With the rise of the more recent mega-religions, polytheism gave way to monotheism. Hierarchy strengthened among the clergy and priests just as it did in the larger society. The Pope ruled. The Dalai Lama became famous the world over. The dictator and the president were the most powerful men on the land. The nexus between religion and state strengthened and they helped each other grow. Religion talked of obedience, hard work, virtue, etc., all very welcome by the oligarchy which itself centralized enough to include fewer and fewer power elites at the highest levels. The state in turn offered tax write-offs for religious organizations.

    In the final chapter, Science (the youngest handmaiden to power and control) has succeeded in upending religion and declaring that there is no God. Richard Dawkins and other scientists became famous for talking about the God delusion and declaring we live in a mostly random universe and it's just an accident that we are here talking about the accident.

    To sum up, we went from Animism (everything sacred) to polytheism (many things sacred) to monotheism (one thing sacred) to atheism (nothing sacred)... what a journey!

  10. Mark,

    I loved reading your post, there is a poet in you! You listen inwardly and connect. "Co-create all you can with life". That's it!


    "...we went from animism (everything sacred) to polytheism....". It seems impossible to explain and sum this up better than that.
    What an astute and visionary mind you have. Your prose also reads much like poetry. Just like the writing of my favourite German writer Hermann Hesse whom I've loved to read ever since I was 15. He set me on the path of thinking for myself, and implanted the idea that thinking, contemplating, meditating was as important as action... achieving balance. He was no doubt influenced by his grandfather who was a Sanskrit scholar.
    I feel quite privileged to comment here.

    I'll always remember "kuutnuu now, so I can repeat it to myself everyday. To me, the word expresses integrity, honesty, a lack of aggressive ego... we really don't know, we have very little knowledge. In other words, the opposite of what our culture fosters.


    I loved your BTW about the rose-brown table. These "ordinary" experiences and encounters are really quite extraordinary but most people would not see it that way. Thanks for sharing it here.

    1. Thank you for the kind words and support, Sabine. I'm encouraged and grateful. It's said that we in our modern culture find it difficult to not only give gifts but to receive them as well... so I make an attempt to receive the gifts of time, feedback and support you're giving me and acknowledge them.

      "a lack of aggressive ego"... yes! It's also about "wonder". The one who is so sure of something stops wondering. Wonder is beautiful.

  11. I just replied to Artleads but it appeared below his post rather than at the bottom. So just in case you don't see it Mr Artleads :)

    1. Hi red fox, just curious, do you also receive an email when a new comment is posted? I do but that's probably because I'm the blog owner. I get an email notification of all new comments even if I don't check the "Notify me" box. With the facility to reply to any top-level comment, comments do appear at places other than at the very end so it's unlike NBL.

    2. Hi Satish,
      No, no emails this end.
      As you will see, I just did a really long comment and pressed the preview and it got wiped out. I cant even remember all I wrote (its an age thing!).

    3. Ouch... so sorry...
      What if you checked the "Notify me" box next time before clicking "Publish"? Perhaps you will get an email. I'm not sure if you enter your email address or if you're using the Name/URL option. In the latter case, there might not be an email.

      So how about we don't respond to each individual comment and simply write top-level comments at the bottom of the page so everyone can see, just like on NBL?

      Sabine, Artleads, mo flow, Mark, OGF, please let me know.

    4. Satish - I like the way it works where we can respond directly to comments, within the thread, and not always at the bottom. it is more directly a conversation that way, and the way real conversations work! when you are at a smallish, diverse gathering with people who you can really connect with, something clicks, and then you have 3 or 4 conversations all going at once, and you may be talking intently with someone and right next to you at the table, another completely separate convo is going on at the same time, and then maybe someone just jumps from one to the other. it's fun!

      for not missing all the "latest things," like in the last longer thread, I actually would type something like "February 26" in the Alt-F find box, and work my way down the thread. :)

    5. Haha... mo flow... that's a good trick to do the CTRL+F and look for the day's posts. I like the threaded format too so we don't have to quote excessively and the context is maintained. It looks like it's working well too, with everyone replying or starting a new comment as appropriate.

      It seems it's just easier to log in with gmail on this blog. Then the Preview button works and you get emailed every time there's a new comment and you don't have to fill in your name every time. But I completely understand why someone wouldn't want to do that.

      So, I guess, for now, here are two tips:

      1. Before posting or previewing a comment: CTRL+A (select all), CTRL+C (copy) In general, I find this a useful thing to do anywhere on the Internet after I have written a bunch of stuff. It's become a habit. I've been burned too many times to forget this now :)

      2. CTRL+F (Find) and enter date to quickly find latest comments wherever they might appear embedded in the page.

    6. yes, CTRL-F for PC and Command-F for Mac. (I have a main keyboard here that is made for PC but I have remapped to work for my MacBook Pro in front of my big LCD monitor, so ALT-F is entirely my own quirk for that. :)

      I wonder if the back (sometimes forward) button trick can work for lost comments here, when one forgets to copy? that works with Wordpress, at least sometimes. but copying is more reliable. it is also dead simple to do with a cursor/mouse-select all, and right mouse click.

  12. Thanks, Red Fox. You, in turn, are pushing me to question my assumptions. Shamans might administer to places that contain any manner of manufactured items, making little distinction as to how what was made...

    I once recounted my experience getting lost near Bakersfield, CA. It got so bad, I was so tired, I didn't think I could reach my destination. Then I got behind a semi-trailer. It's two rear windows near the top resembled eyes. The gate lock assembly functioned as a nose. There might have been a "mouth" too. (The back actually sort of resemble the face of Haile Selassie.) For some reason, that comforted me. Tears of gratitude were soon streaming down my cheeks, and my tiredness lifted clean away. I knew the truck would guide me safely. I didn't think of the truck as independently alive and as helping me of its own independent volition. The help I got was based on how I interpreted its presence. But did the truck have nothing to do with the experience, or did it share in my experience in ways not yet scientifically understood? The question is somewhat academic. My basic concern is what makes me feel good, which (to my mind) is inherently inconsistent with harming others. My feeling good strikes me as positive for my surrounding context as well.

    I have found from that my driving experience improves if I like the car I'm driving. And I find that similar things occur in relation to objects of all sorts. Thinking of some things as dead would deaden me and rob me of joy. I think we can imbue all things with life. I make my own mythology, and it all centers on what makes me feel good. I don't read or study. It's all about me. But if I feel joy, I project that joy outward. I find, too, that what I feel is sooner or later corroborated by science, as with the remarkable work of Rupert Sheldrake, recently introduced to me by Satish.

    So I can't get into the history of inanimacy (word) as I start with myself and wait to see how science relates to it. Never the reverse.

    Many inanimate objects derive from living beings. Petroleum and plastic come from long buried animals. Sheldrake doesn't say that the old organisms, through "morphic resonance," are what gives them life, but I wouldn't assume that it didn't either. I wonder if it's that living-ness in all things that fosters my strong feeling of connection to all of it.

    I realize that there is quite a puzzle as to how life began. I might conjecture that what preceded so called "life" had a life of its own. I'd like to hear what you think.

    1. Hi Artleads,

      "But did the truck have nothing to do with the experience, or did it share in my experience in ways not yet scientifically understood? The question is somewhat academic. My basic concern is what makes me feel good, which (to my mind) is inherently inconsistent with harming others. My feeling good strikes me as positive for my surrounding context as well."

      I think it shared in your experience in a way that's not scientifically understood.

      You're really reaching into the core of the core issue we're all talking about! Everything you say above in your comment resonates with me deeply. This is classic: "I realize that there is quite a puzzle as to how life began. I might conjecture that what preceded so called "life" had a life of its own. I'd like to hear what you think."

      I sometimes like to think of the Universe as one full of all kinds of spirits. The word "spirit" has all sorts of connotations but I simply mean "anything that can enter the consciousness of another spirit". It's a bit of a chicken and egg problem, for sure, as the definition is recursive. But anything with "life" or "presence" is a spirit. If a thought about a humanoid truck enters my consciousness, it has a spirit. And what an interesting spirit to enter my consciousness and make me wonder, if only for a minute. It's in this respect that I think what preceded "life" must indeed have had a life of its own. There's the pre-life spirit, even if it's fleeting in its presence in our consciousness. When I play with this spirit a bit, it calls into question the very spirit of "time". When we talk about pre-life, we're invoking the spirit of time. It's present in our consciousness as a linear quantifiable concept (or spirit). We could wonder about the spirit of time for a while and let it stay in our consciousness. What was there before the spirit of linear time arose! There's the spirit of circular time. Our ancestors might have viewed time very differently when they went by seasons rather than the calendar. Things just repeated endlessly, as far as they knew.

      I like to think of the spirit of competition and the spirit of cooperation and how they interact with each other. At one time, the spirit of cooperation was ascendant. Today, it is the spirit of competition, it seems. The spirit of cooperation is a friendly one, by definition, and allows (cooperates) with the spirit of competition. The spirit of competition, on the other hand, competes with the spirit of cooperation and attempts to push it aside. But it can never completely get rid of it because the spirit of competition needs the spirit of cooperation to define itself, to have an identity. It's the thing about opposites. Alan Watts says this well. Night is night only in the context of day. Darkness and light are complementary and need each other to define themselves. And Ubuntu: I am who I am because of who we are all. We need others to define ourselves. We are this and that but we are also "not this" and "not that". So there lies the spirit of cooperation, subdued but ever-present, like a pilot light in a gas stove. Flickering, holding its own until the conditions are ripe for it to burst into a flame.

    2. And yes, inanimate objects do seem to derive from animate objects. I never thought of it that way. Every piece of the soil was once indeed a tree or an animal. So if life comes from life and non-life comes from life, life comes from non-life too? I like what you're saying about "living-ness". This is what I mean by "spirit". These things have a life, a vitality, even if all it means is that they entered our consciousness and we played with them for an instant. But more often than not, they are there like a rock. A rock has a fantastic spirit! What else sits there through night and day and watches season after season come and go, cloud after cloud pass overhead for ages? And when a piece of the rock chips away and gets carried away by the rain, who's to say that the spirit of that small piece didn't want to take a roller-coaster ride down to the valley?

      I once sent a package to an address that I later found out the post office didn't do deliveries at. I forgot to leave a return address too. Inside the package was a small idol of the Hindu deity, Ganesha. I called the post office and they said they didn't have the package. They don't hold packages and send all undeliverable packages to a main lost and found center across the country. As I was regretting the whole thing, it occurred to me: what if the spirit of that small idol of Ganesha decided to take a trip to Atlanta, get picked up by someone and live on a sunny window sill for a few years? Why does it have to be about me and my mistake? What if other spirits have their own interests and sometimes pursue them, unbeknownst to me? Nothing unfolds the way it does without one spirit or another wanting it to unfold that way.

    3. wow o wow... wowza! there is some *really* super great stuff here!! Artleads and Satish, you are so onto something. I am firmly in the "it is all alive" camp. very much so. it *all* has the ability to share in spirit, be imbued with spirit - and sometimes be imp-bued with spirit!

      does not a city of a million lights have its own spirit? or the humming life of an auto factory, surging with electricity, metals, human sweat, and robotic energy?

      as far as I have ever experienced, every atom and molecule of this dream is incredibly charged with life, being, energy - and from anywhere, something incredibly, spontaneously alive and wondrous can spring up and change us, surprise us... and love us.

    4. "It is all alive"

      The city is a fascinating spirit. And so is the automobile factory. They have been quite ascendant lately, consuming other spirits in their wake and producing yet other spirits. One of those spirits produced by the factory sits in the carport, ready to take me anywhere I want to go. What a beautiful and loyal spirit it is! Has been for so many years! A trusted spirit I can count on. It's not "just a car"!

      Even ideas are spirit. Behold the spirit of capitalism. What a powerful spirit! Sometimes it seems to me that human beings are born as more or less blank slates and over time they are possessed (not in a demonic way but more like occupied and influenced) by all sorts of spirits. The human spirit is beautiful on its own and is even more beautiful as it interacts with other spirits some of which are powerful ideas. And sometimes, spirits such as capitalism possess entire generations of humans. I hesitate to call any spirit a good spirit or a bad spirit at this point. All spirits are cause for wonder and contemplation. All spirits have their unique ways of expressing themselves.

      There are two worlds, one where there's no distinction between good and bad and everything just "is" and one where most everything is categorized into good and bad. This goes back to the circles stuff... depending on where we focus our attention, one or the other world makes more sense for our consciousness to linger in. When I'm conscious of the injustice in the world, I am in the good vs. bad world. When I'm conscious of nothing but calm and peace in a given moment, the other world is more attractive and conducive to my being, if only for a short time. How interesting and fascinating the spirits of these two worlds are! It seems the "good vs. bad" spirit is ascendant these days while the "kumbaya" spirit retreated to the heart of the blissful meditator.

    5. Satish -

      I have to recommend this book to you, as I recommend this book to anyone who appreciates the reality of spirits, and may want more perspectives on all of this...

      Behaving As If the God in All Life Mattered

      From the intro:

      I first consciously tapped into this truth in 1976 when, after a series of events which I share with you in this book, I decided I wanted to become a student of nature and be taught by nature. I immediately discovered that there is an extraordinary intelligence inherent in all forms of nature — plant, animal, mineral, etc.; that contained within this intelligence are the answers to any question we could possibly have about nature — its specific rhythms, its true ecological balance, how this balance can be achieved with the help of humans (and in some cases, despite our interference), the deeper role nature plays on Earth, its various relationships with mankind. This information is just sitting there for us. All we have to do is decide we want to hear it — which can at times be a gutsy decision on our part, since what nature has to teach is not always the easiest thing for us to take in — and to learn how to tap into and receive the information.

      I also quickly learned that the desire of the intelligences within nature to connect with us, to communicate and work with us, is intense. The quality of our life and of all life forms on Earth depends on our willingness to learn how to act and move in such a way that we enhance life quality, not damage or destroy it.

      In a recent session with the Overlighting Deva of Perelandra, I passed along a question that had been asked of me: "If I were to ask you 'Why is it seemingly so important for humanity to reconnect spiritually to planet Earth now,' what would you say?"

      (Deva's answer in next comment)

      I would emphasize to you the word "survival" in answering a question such as this one. But I would be quick to point out that I don't mean survival in the traditional sense you humans tend to understand. You see survival as the opposite of death. We don't recognize death as a reality, therefore we don't use survival in the same context.

      By survival, we mean the act of maintaining the fusion and balance between spirit and matter on the physical planet Earth. There is no death, in that spirit does not suddenly cease to exist. Spirit is timeless and shall exist for all eternity. But on Earth, the primary thrust is to fuse in balance spirit and matter. Therefore, to separate spirit from that form is to go contrary to the very purpose of the planet within the larger universal community.

      If mankind, through either ignorance or arrogance, succeeds in separating all spirit from form on Earth, he will not render the planet out of existence. He will only shift its level of existence. This change will not take Earth's purpose from it. It will not suddenly be excused, shall we say, from ultimately demonstrating to all universal levels of reality the celebration of unlimited spirit seated into and reflecting from perfect five-senses form. If such a disastrous shift should occur, mankind will only have succeeded in making a challenging job that much more challenging.
      We were always meant to work in partnership — we of nature and man. The very physical existence of man on Earth has depended upon all kingdoms of nature. In short, the very fact that man and nature co-exist on the planet has partnership inherent in it. The partnership, prior to these present changing times, has developed and grown. Quite often, man has been reluctant to acknowledge this fact. The force behind our partnership has always been the discovery of what must occur between man and nature for spirit and matter to be fully fused in balance. From the moment man and nature came together on the planet, this link between us has not changed.

      Times, however, have changed. The partnership, as with everything else, must be modernized and brought into the present time. It must shift from being one of distant benevolence, as it has been in the best of past times, to being one of conscious co-creativity. This must happen in order to move forward in the demonstration of that which is Earth's purpose, break down the barriers that you have built between us and work with us in a new partnership.

      Humans do not, on the whole, understand the dynamic relationship between spirit and matter. Nature does. It is a dynamic that is inherent within the life force of nature. But in order for the dynamic to be fully useful to all other levels of reality within this universe, it must be unlocked from its custodianship within nature and linked with the human tool of intelligence. Only then can it be applied in principle within all realms of life. That which is nature is powerful beyond your imagination. And that which is human is also powerful beyond your imagination. Man and nature, come together as we have on this planet, hold the promise and potential of many times their individual power, if only they can work together to unlock that which nature holds and infuse the human ability to create expanded usefulness through the tool of applied intellectual knowledge.

      If humans continue their reluctance to join us in the partnership we are suggesting, then surely out of human ignorance and arrogance, we will all continue to experience difficult challenges to our survival and, eventually, we will be faced with the full separation of spirit from matter on this planet.

    7. Just bought the book online. Thanks, mo!

    8. fantastic to hear, Satish! I'd love to read your thoughts and feelings on it, when you've had the chance to absorb it.


    9. Not sure if you will see this reply up here, Wished I THANKED YOU for the lost driving story with :) truck above. It's one of those special stories that stayed in my mind all week but you'd never know. Also not exactly sure if it was you or where the comment was made about of all the souls returning for this world time period...but that really got me thinking!

    10. Mark, that was Artleads indeed who made the comment about all the human souls returning in this day and age. Fascinating idea!

  13. "
    I loved your BTW about the rose-brown table. These "ordinary" experiences and encounters are really quite extraordinary but most people would not see it that way. Thanks for sharing it here."

    Thanks, Sabine. We owe much to Satish for preparing a hospitable place for the likes of us. :-)

    1. Thank you for being here. It's a gift I enjoy much.
      Now, if only I can make this a better place by fixing the Preview button. Sorry, red fox :(

  14. ARTLEADS - The firestation table is so alive in my mind. What a STORY it must have. MORPHIC FIELDS. Your comment somewhere "Isn't it all living, even on a molecular level. Lives inside of lives" your words are often my exact thoughts. "...promoting an imaginational jump into another world."

    I've even drawn detailed maps of another earth. All the natural beauty I love here. Camoflague octopus & hedgehogs that don't have to pray they don't get run over.... No artificial ingredients. Guiding spirits & spheres of floating luminence. Pura Vida!

    Sabine reading Herman Hess in her garden. An OLD GROWTH FOREST where the wise RED FOX runs.

    Kuutnuu with a record of that crazy Atlantis...doomed to self destruction...rinse & repeat. We've learned our lesson, no need to do it again. "A lack of aggressive ego." Let's drift off somewhere gracefully. Infinity has plenty of room. A universe inside a random electron. Any space will do. So long as it's "the opposite." No super bowl, super sized, super power culture. Silly & sinister....too much of the TRANShuman race selling high speed cellular cyber. Fantastic? Fun> full of false advertizing, tricky teaching, no longer barefoot on a treadmill they run!!!

    Powered by "GRAVELINES" on the French coast. Diablo Canyon. Places named with a warning. Storing waste "Into Eternity" with no plan for a multi-reactor rapid shut down if the support grid of an entire region suddenly went all wrong.

    I had no idea I could be a bit of a poet. Still evolving. Always finding odd aspects of myself. Blog comments are a brand new experience. I read a lot...with gratitude...mostly I just wanted to say thanks to everyone I ever meet. I've been a lucky Forest Gump. My life really has been like a box full of chocolates....lot's of sweet surprise - then ouch out of left field a curve ball broke my jaw!!! 2 months with my mouth wired shut. Lost lot's of weight and learned to say much less. Yet that KuKu woodpecker is knock, knock, knocking out an inner voice. Out of my normal work mail..chains of thought. A keyboard of mystery flows in free writing - and I don't even mind sounding strange. Maybe I am not who I think I am. I'm certainly not the same as who I was at 10, 30 or 40.

    Thanks so much to each of you who provide such interesting comments. Now I can feel how much research and valuable insight goes into your words. I read with more respect than ever before. Truly.

    1. What a way to communicate so much in so few a word! You're weaving a story even as you tell us so many things. Very creative, how you roll "Into Eternity" into the sentence. I take it that you watched that chilling documentary. It has that "fluorescent cold" undertone going throughout. Goes well with the macabre topic.

      The Native American talked about the Spirit of Uranium. The spirit likes to remain in the Earth. It lives there. It doesn't like being outside, exposed to the spirit of the wind and the spirit of the light. The Spirit of Uranium likes the spirit of the damp and dark and quiet. It likes being buried. That's where it belongs. The Native American and perhaps other indigenous peoples understood this great Spirit very well. They knew what it wanted and what it didn't. How they came to that understanding, we can guess and talk about, but they did. Perhaps it told them and they listened. Perhaps it told us too. We didn't listen. We took it out of its home. It gave us radiation poisoning. How much more forcefully do we need to be told it doesn't like what we're doing to it? The Spirit of Uranium doesn't know the Spirit of English. It has its own way of communicating. As does each Spirit. We mined it from everywhere. We mined it from the Grand Canyon. We mined it from Native reservations and poisoned their lands. We didn't listen to the Spirit of Uranium. It doesn't speak English. But the spirit of the Native spoke English. We didn't listen to him either.

      My next steps: CTRL+A (select all), CTRL+C (copy), click Publish

  15. Damn, I just spent 30 minutes replying and pressed preview and I got wiped!

    1. I feel so sorry. What did we miss? Perhaps we will never know. And what does it mean? We can only conjecture. Mark had this same problem with the Preview button. It doesn't seem to work. I should have said something about it here when Mark mentioned how he lost his comment. Sorry about that.

      Please copy all the text into the clipboard before hitting any button. That way, if something goes wrong, it's a snap. Sometimes the back button works but copying it all is the only reliable solution to the problem of losing text into the ether.

      I will try and remember to remind you all occasionally here.

  16. Dear Mark,

    The child in you is alive and well. He provides great joy and amusement. Your words remind me of the better writings by Henry Miller, still my favorite author. I love Anais Nin (his great benefactor/student/lover) as well, but that's something different.

    Now I must consider what to say about that "other world."

  17. It's ok Satish. I was on a ramble so it's probably as well that I didnt press publish like I normally do!
    I need to be more concise like yourself. I really liked your "timeline" post as to how animism got to become where we are today. My ramble was in reply to Artleads and I went off on a tangent regarding a few "negative" thoughts I have with regard to the Shaman and her/his place in encouraging the wrong path to be taken back before the various regions adopted agriculture.
    I may try and get my thoughts together over the weekend and re-post.
    BTW, I really liked your reply to Mr Nye over at NBL!

  18. I guess I'm going to be an NBL refugee for a while, if you will have me, because I have stirred things up over there. Something I did knowing that a food fight mostly likely would occur, and I did it anyway. Uh, oh.

    Satish, I love your writing more and more, the more I read. You have wonderful insight. Do you think being bicultural helps your understanding? I think me being of two cultures has absolutely helped mine, but I know it doesn't work that way for everyone.

    have really appreciated your comments at NBL lately, even if I have not responded to them directly. I haven't been posting much. You are so good at articulating indigenous and tribal perspectives. Please keep on keeping on.

    Mark, you, too. Your perspective is so wonderful to read. Thank you.

  19. Hi red fox, Your lost comment brings to mind this thing the Tibetan monks do: They construct this very beautiful and elaborate pattern/art with colored sand, carefully laying the sand particles. It takes hours for 4 or 5 of them to finish it. Then they wipe it off. Just looked it up - it's called "sand mandala". I am probably grossly oversimplifying it but it's about impermanence.

    Another thought comes to mind... the words you typed up have been contributed to the morphic field! They are there, and others can tap into them. It's like a prayer, no one else hears it but it has a meaning beyond words. That said, we'd like to see those words about the Shaman if you get a chance to bring them back.

  20. Hi oldgrowthforest, I was shocked to see Kling's comment. It came out of nowhere. His writing brings to mind the image of an impetuous boy scout.

    You are welcome to hang out here as long as you want, away from the wild wild west that NBL is. If only I could tell Joe D. there that there is a different kind of conversation going on here, but I don't want to post anything there to that effect lest it insult Guy.

    Yes, I do think being bi-cultural is helping me understand our world. I don't think it's a pre-requisite or anything though. After all, India has had a "high civilization" for a long time. My understanding of tribal people and indigenous thought comes from reading, contemplating, reflecting and meditating all of which are enabled by "slowing down" and listening, or an attempt thereof :) And going through plenty of depression and grief.

    I am learning so much here... never read Hermann Hess or Henry Miller. Still need to read Graham Harvey and a number of others recommended by people here and on NBL.

    1. Thank you, Satish. I am so annoyed at that situation. You may have guessed that I'm sensitive, shall we say, about comments like Kling's where he dismisses Native people because some Native Americans drive pickups. Okay, I'm more than sensitive. It is one of the things that I can go to war over verbally. I appreciated your contributions and on this and the mention of studies done on the changes that occur when people have to deal with the culture/world-view shock that occurs when they are dominated by another culture attempting to overpower and manipulate them.

      One woman once told me that the Native Americans "used guns" as soon as they were introduced to them, which proved that they were "no better" than anyone else. Oh, my dear God. How awful of them. Of course, had they not, I probably would not be here, along with everyone else who has Indian blood. Certainly the US would have succeeded in murdering all of them instead of just a paltry 97% or so.

      I've also had a few dozen people tell me that if Native people want "privileges" beyond what is available to everyone else, then they should still be using the canoes and bows and arrows, and living like they did before.

      I have had people tell me a few hundred times that everything Native Americans now have should be "taken away," so they can start "at the bottom" like everyone else.

      Gee, there wasn't a "bottom" before colonization. The "bottom" got off the boat with the Europeans.

      I don't always respond to everyone as I have to Kling, and I honestly don't know why I got set off when I can take the same from others and just think to myself, "imbecile."

      I remain a mystery to me. Maybe I should run things by mo flow before I get riled up.

      The grief for me when I first understood the real history of this country, was close to unbearable. I questioned leaving the US when I was only about sixteen because of it. Eventually, I decided that I would stay here with my people, no matter what, because without a connection to Native American cultures I'm not whole. I need that energy, that way of being, as much as I need food or water. Otherwise, I feel like I'm swimming in a sea of cruel insanity.

      Your recent comments about the engineering and techno-magic devotees was shocking to me. The unbelievable insanity of dismissing the entire reality of the living biosphere and our utter dependence on it. One can only think, Oh. My. God!

    2. yep that "dog and pony show" comment from Kling, and everything within it, was completely worthy of utmost derision. something really ugly going on there.

      answering back the sea of cruel insanity needs answer to no one.

    3. OGF, I can't believe people said those things to you about Native Americans. A lot of people (even the so-called educated ones, and actually, especially the educated ones) are thoroughly misinformed and apathetic. I have a friend who would be considered very successful by the dominant culture. When I was telling him about tribal people one day, he raised his hands and scratched his armpits, as if to suggest that tribal people are like monkeys. He also said that the fact that there are hardly any indigenous people left in the world is evidence that they are inferior. People come up with all sorts of stuff to say.... it's incredible.

    4. It's hard, Satish, to live with what really is open contempt and hatred. Native Americans are still under attack everywhere in the hemisphere. In the US, there are constant, unrelenting encroachments. In this culture, men conspire to take anything they see and want, just because. I saw it over and over in the law firms and engineering environments I worked in for 20 years. If there is some kind of restriction in the law that protects the many over the few, the first question they ask is "How can we get around that?"

      I have mentioned on NBL a friend of mine who was a Yale, Harvard Law graduate. We were walking in extremely cold temperatures in Houston, Texas, temps in the teens. Of course, I didn't have clothing for those temps, no one did, and as we walked I complained about the cold. He asked me what "we" did before "they" got here. I thought about it for a moment, and said, "We all wore fur coats."

      He actually snorted in open contempt. "Yeah, right!" he said. Obviously, Native Americans were too stupid to even keep warm in winter.

      I dated that man for a couple of years and he actually proposed marriage to me. I had a couple of very wealthy men propose marriage when I was young. I never could love a rich man. Not ever. They have to be different to do the things they do that make them rich.

      mo, you are the best. Guy was so smart to work with you. But, Guy's smart, isn't he?

      What a trip. Kling's comments were rather spectacular, even if not in a good way. Still, it was spectacular in something. He's still trying to deny that he even wrote the comment. My eyes are rolling in different directions at that.

    5. Hi OGF,

      Great to see you here. You're one of my favorite posters on NBL. (Can't say the same for Kling). You have so much to offer, and so much work to do. :-)

    6. Thank you, Artleads. I'm grateful for your participation there, too. I couldn't post there for the first few years.

  21. Sand Mandelas are done in elaborate detail on Wreck Beach in Vancover Canada. Thank you for the insight that lost writing can be a form of meditation. Sundays In Lake Worth Florida street artists paint amazing murals on the pavement...then on Monday morning the street is open to normal traffic. Cars drive over the art. A sign reminds us to watch the art smear into a color blend.

    Thanks for the "Into Eternity" recommendation. I enjoy all the links & additional info. The Spirit of Uranium...haunting. Do not disturb!

    Making my usual weekend flight south to Miami. Like a little Peace Pilgrim most of my personal life is tucked neatly into my sailboat. First light of dawn I always sail away from south beach.

    A new book called "THE HUMAN AGE" by DIANE ACKERMAN is tucked under my laptop here at the DCA boarding gate. First chapter about Aps for Apes is stunning.

    At the Dept of Energy we did a study that showed if you took a Pacific coast area about the size Maine and grew kelp it would soak up a huge amount of carbon. Kelp is over 50% sugar so it could be harvested for bio fuel without the water waste & fertilizer involved in growing land oil extract crops. --- but I'm sure harvesting will pollute the sea. Think I'll just tuck that project concept into my ARTLEADS imaginary other world. Lots of stuff would probably work okay on a planet with a small "green tribe" population. Very small scale society, where any progress is done at slow natural pace. Satish described "natural" evolution pace so well somewhere on NBL. Warm wishes & thanks for all the fishes ! Rainy Monday return.

  22. Aside from how we think about it, the new world I see is not any different from this one. It's a new world because we see it in a new way. That new way has to do with dimension. Perhaps what I'm saying isn't too far removed from Mo Flow philosophy.

    We can think of ourselves in any dimension that fires our imagination. We can think of the universe as fitting on the point of a needle. We can even conceive of there being no space between anything--everything in the universe being at the same point; the idea of spatial dimension an illusion. But my current preoccupation with dimension is more prosaic than that. My interest relates (but isn't caused) by my training in art conservation, which invariably required looking at paintings under a microscope.

    I was chosen to study art conservation due to the detail-orientation of my artwork. But even as a small child, I would entertain myself with such things as digging lint out from between floorboards. Other children might have studied ants, while I was more fixated on inanimate objects. I also liked to run my fingernails along the textured glazing in doors. Being an only child, with nothing but time on my hands, I allowed my mind to wander over objects of all sorts--pebbles in the yard, tiny sproutings of whatever kind... Among several conflicting tendencies, one was having a delicate and sensitive regard for the small details of the home. As I write, I also remember dog collars and straight, spikey hair interacting with them. Dull-brown collars might have been brittle and cracked. There were metal buckles whose pins could be jiggled. The silky-hard sensation of stroking dogs' heads also surfaces.

    In a world undergoing transformation of its space--close to as many people living now as have ever lived in the past. (I sometimes wonder if all the past earth residents collectively decided to show up for the finale.) Shouldn't we evolve to do more with less? Jesus divided the scant fish and the loaves into small amounts, fed it to the multitude, and they were filled.

    The current gross-materialist paradigm has it that the ambient world of "beings" is naught but stuff, to be considered in gross terms. You move a chair to another room as if were just a piece of furniture. You kick the tires. You slam the doors. The world of beings can be dismissed without thought...unless some aspect of it affects us personally. The shoes hurt, so we spend time pursuing a more comfortable pair. I'm referring to the broad average, for there may be increasing interest in closely observing the world.

    I don't know if the world will find food and water to meet the major needs of its residents. But I'm quite sure that shelter can be more than adequately provided. I don't know if most forests can be survive heat, drought and disease. but we have enough hands to pile up all the natural and modified organic materials in the world around their roots. We have enough hands to pick up every piece of plastic on the land. A great many useful endeavors can be supported by our supposedly overshoot human population... That's not a subject I shall dwell on now, if ever. I'll only conclude that we can use space much more effectively than we do, and we can become a species of miniaturists. We may even be able to reduce our size. We could remain at our current size, yet think as if were Lilliputians.

    The dimensional transformation I refer to is from the gross-materialist orientation that looks no further than the outline of things, to a refined and delicate orientation to all that lies within those outlines. That includes the spirits that embody those things.

    To be continues...


    Satish, Thank you so much. How can you understand such things and not have grown up in the third world?

    All, I take heart that such a group of fellow travelers plopped into this space with such grace and ease. You are indeed a miracle.

    1. Hi Artleads, this will stay with me and keep popping into my consciousness for the foreseeable future - "In a world undergoing transformation of its space--close to as many people living now as have ever lived in the past. (I sometimes wonder if all the past earth residents collectively decided to show up for the finale.)" That might very well be the case. I was wondering where all these new souls are coming from. But they are old souls, the same souls. Perhaps we will see a dramatic and sudden growth spurt in consciousness. Like a near-death experience for the spirit of humanity. And we all go home thinking, "Oh, I get it... that was kinda fun"!

    2. I did grow up in a third world country! I moved here when I was 22. English was always my first language though, the national language came second and the local third.

    3. I've been haunted all week by ARTLEADS soul return essay above. How about all the souls of the Buffalo that can't come back because they have no where to roam? So many animals that can't come back in their former habitats. Is some of the herd now at the food court at Mall of America? How and where will some souls return in the future after NBL for humans?

    4. Heartbreaking :(

      Reminds me of Peter, Paul and Mary:

      Where have all the flowers gone?
      Long time passing
      Where have all the flowers gone?
      Long time ago

      Where have all the flowers gone?
      Young girls have picked them everyone
      Oh, when will they ever learn?
      Oh, when will they ever learn?

      Where have all the young girls gone?
      Long time passing
      Where have all the young girls gone?
      Long time ago

      Where have all the young girls gone?
      Gone for husbands everyone
      Oh, when will they ever learn?
      Oh, when will they ever learn?

      Where have all the husbands gone?
      Long time passing
      Where have all the husbands gone?
      Long time ago

      Where have all the husbands gone?
      Gone for soldiers everyone
      Oh, when will they ever learn?
      Oh, when will they ever learn?

      Where have all the soldiers gone?
      Long time passing
      Where have all the soldiers gone?
      Long time ago

      Where have all the soldiers gone?
      Gone to graveyards, everyone
      Oh, when will they ever learn?
      Oh, when will they ever learn?

      Where have all the graveyards gone?
      Long time passing
      Where have all the graveyards gone?
      Long time ago

      Where have all the graveyards gone?
      Gone to flowers, everyone
      Oh, when will they ever learn?
      Oh, when will they ever learn?

      Where have all the flowers gone?
      Long time passing
      Where have all the flowers gone?
      Long time ago

      Where have all the flowers gone?
      Young girls have picked them everyone
      Oh, when will they ever learn?
      Oh, when will they ever learn?

  23. Satish,

    I'm managing fairly well with the current system, but I'm sure any changes that would suit others would work for me as well.

  24. Some gallows humor here - :)

  25. As per Mark's sharing:

    The Human Age, by Diane Ackerman

    "Since 1751, a mere 90 corporations, primarily oil and coal ­companies, have generated two-thirds of humanity’s CO2 emissions. That’s a serious concentration of earth-altering power."

    "The science writer Elizabeth Kolbert has tweeted, 'Two words that probably should not be used in sequence: *good* & *anthropocene.* ' Ackerman’s Anthropocene, however, is decidedly sunny side up. Her instinct is to celebrate this new age: “We are dreamsmiths and wonder­workers. What a marvel we’ve become, a species with planetwide powers and breathtaking gifts.” That we are, but we also possess more sobering powers, a recklessness and greed that will be inscribed in the fossil record. Ackerman’s optimism can feel eerily unearned in the absence of a measured acknowledgment of the losses, the traumas, the scars that afflict human and nonhuman communities in this volatile new age. At least pause to ponder this: Is it ethical that as the super­rich capture ever more resources, the poor, who have contributed least to our planet’s undoing, are forced to bear the brunt of the chaotic effects?"

    I'd agree with these NYT quotes to this extent: I feel strongly that Ackerman needs to look more within.

  26. Artleads, Elizabeth Kolbert... she wrote "The Sixth Extinction" which I haven't read yet but heard good reviews of.

    "The Human Age" brings to mind another book along similar lines called "The Ascent of Man" by Jacob Bronowski. The description (from reads:

    "A new paperback edition of Dr. Bronowski's classic history of humankind, with a foreword by Richard Dawkins

    Dr. Jacob Bronowksi's classic traces the development of human society through our understanding of science. First published in 1973 to accompany the groundbreaking BBC television series, it is considered one of the first works of "popular science," illuminating the historical and social context of scientific development for a generation of readers. In his highly accessible style, Dr. Bronowski discusses human invention from the flint tool to geometry, agriculture to genetics, and from alchemy to the theory of relativity, showing how they all are expressions of our ability to understand and control nature. In this new paperback edition, The Ascent of Man inspires, influences, and informs as profoundly as ever."

    Sunny side up! A celebration of Science, Technology, Reductionism, Mechanistic thought, Empiricism, etc., that have lead us to the precipice we face. Most people see the human drama this way, a "rise" from savagery and obscurity. Kling's comments on NBL are a good example. He's proud of being German because Germans have contributed much to the Scientific age with their achievements and innovations!

    I've had endless debates with friends and co-workers about this issue and gave up on trying to convince them that what we were told in our textbooks and mainstream culture all along is a bunch of BS. The spirit of Science is powerful. It's ascendant. Behold its power over men!

  27. Hi everybody,

    I'm just trying to catch up on all your wonderful comments. So much again that chimed with me.

    Oldgrowthforest, I was annoyed when I read Kling's comments but often I can't be bothered on the NBL blog anymore. I wears me out emotionally. Kling is a person with two "chips on his shoulders" or to put it another way, he's got some sort of personality disorder. Or maybe he's just a ...... (choose your own word). When I first commented on NBL, I also had a run-in with him. It was about his being "proud of being German" and "the war". Apparently he has an uncle who was a tank commander under Rommel. I had mentioned how could anybody be proud of such a destructive force as the Nazi war machine. He got very annoyed with me but I experienced his "disapproval" as a badge of honour. You have even more reason than me to feel that way.
    I'm certainly not proud of being German (how insane can you get!) and most of the time I'm not proud, of being human either . I do like and respect myself because I'm here and trying to make the best of it. Just knowing that there are people like you and all the others who comment here in this fantastic space makes me feel better. Long may it continue.


    Joe D contacted me about a year ago via a PM on the NBL forum to ask me something because he thought from my comments that I might be sympathetic to something that was on his mind. I exchanged a few private PMs with him. He could do with being part of the " tribe" here, he has two small children and a wife who doesn't want to contemplate his thoughts on NTE. A huge problem. I really feel for him. Would you like me to contact him via a PM there on NBL and invite him here in your name?
    I'm glad you mentioned Dr. Bronowski and his Ascent of Man.

    I'd not lived in England long when the BBC aired his series. I had read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring by then and Dr. Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb. This was just at the beginning of my personal journey (that sounds terrible!) which led me to live on the edges, with a foot in either camp. Red Fox called it a type of schizophrenia, and I know what he means. The world felt very different then.
    Ascent of Man really did mean men only, and the kind of manhood that ended up evolving into the heaven of science. Somebody gave us the illustrated hard back as a present. I just had a look at it, and it's embarrassingly awful. Near the beginning, there are some "iconic" photos of a crawling toddler in several stages of getting to his feet. And guess what, he's a fair-headed Caucasian. Who would have guessed!! I'm sure you're not surprised. There are also many terrible images of "native tribal people" in this book.The narrative has not changed. In spite of its "political correctness" now, it's still stuck in the 19th century. This ascendant spirit he so proudly describes in this book will not die... thus the biosphere must.

    And then there are people like Kling who comment on NBL. Where does he think he fits in? (rhetorical) German innovations! Das ich nicht lache! (Laugh out loud, ha, ha, ha). General Custer was of German descent. His original name might have been Küster or Koster . What a history my ethnic group has... Proud!!? When I was a teenager, I sometimes just wished I could dissolve, become nothing.

    artleads, Mark, mo, Red Fox, as usual, I love to read you here.

    1. Hi Sabine,

      Yes, please feel free to invite Joe D. on my behalf. He must feel lonely. He sounded like it.

      I have the illustrated hardback too... bought it at a used book sale... it sits in the back of my car and I look at it when I'm sitting in my car and waiting for more than a few minutes. Some people play games on their phones. I flip through "Ascent of Man" :)

      Yeah, I don't understand how or why some people get attached to their "motherland". It's as if they decided to be born in that country. Someone said "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"

      Incidentally, I'm reading "Custer Died For Your Sins" by Vine Deloria, Jr.

    2. I won't even pick on him. Please assure him of that. It sounds tough, if his wife is indifferent.

      Vine Deloria is wonderful! Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee is the best, I think. If you can get through it.

      There are two books that it took me years and at least five attempts to get through before I made it all the way: Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, because I kept feeling so much pain I had to put it down, and A Course In Miracles, because it is so brain scrambling. It is pure abstract thought. Has anyone else read it?

    3. "It's as if they decided to be born in that country."

      There you've got me. After all we've discussed here, I certainly don't feel I know about this, one way or the other. :-)

    4. Haha, Artleads! You're ever so vigilant. Good one :) Who knows... the spirit of the land might have something to do with where we are born! Back in the day, humans pretty much rose from the land under their feet. When a tribal person obtains all his nourishment from roughly 12 sq miles, it can be said the land and the person share a close relationship. We came from the land, every molecule, and we went back to the land. The tribal person was very conscious of this relationship.

      Fast forward to today, I have to wonder what kind of relationship we hold to the land under our feet. Some of us anyway! What does it mean that I have lived here in this area for so many years but that I'm not from here. I'm not even from anywhere around. I'm from halfway across the planet. What does it mean when Kling says he's German? Is it the land, the trees, the rivers and the forests that might have helped nourish him? Or is it the Army, Navy, and the Air Force of Germany? Or the territorial boundary that demarcates it from "other" countries?

      It seems we're generally conscious of a country's cuisine, culture, history, standard of living, political structure, etc. when we say we're proud of our country. I don't know if "I'm proud of America for its freedom of speech" works as well :)

      Even then, I can't say for sure that there's no valid relationship between us and the land in modern times. Sitting outside in the yard barefoot is a start. I'll plan on doing that this week. Maybe this land here would like that too. Maybe I liked the spirit of the land where I was born. Maybe I chose to be born there. If only the epistemological spirits would cooperate with us, we'd know better!

      CTRL+A (select all), CTRL+C (copy) Publish

    5. Also, what does it mean that my nourishment comes from food that's grown on lands all over the world? And what does it mean that I cannot identify more than a handful of plant species in my neighborhood? And what does it mean that I can't listen to the land as well as the Ohlone people who lived here 200 years ago?

    6. ogf - I haven't read A Course In Miracles. what is your summary of it? I would love to hear your take!

      Satish - where you are born, who you are born with, and a great deal of the life experience you will have here are all planned and chosen in advance - not by "you, Satish" of course, but by "you, who you really are," and with a tremendous amount of help, input and ideas from a very wide range of other Beings.

      there is an excellent intro into these realities here:

      Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives

    7. I'll state this a bit more strongly. Journey of Souls and its sequel, Destiny of Souls, are absolute must reads, IMO, for anyone who has access to them, and who is on a path deeper into the reality of spirit.

    8. to add something more... I can directly attest to the accuracy of what is reported within these books, from my own personal experience.

      one last thing, something that makes me incredibly sad at this moment... there is so much out there, right now, that is available for discovery and exploration, so much new research and new discovery that has been going on for decades now, and is well reported, from many fronts.

      and the impact it has had on the larger culture? effectively zero. it is astonishing, deeply saddening to me, and infuriating, all at once. the mass culture is so lost, so desperately, completely lost in darkness.

      the flip side, here, is the pendulum effect. the cycle. it has to go furthest to one extreme, before it can begin the swing back to the other. what that means in the context of NTHE is something else...

    9. Hi, mo flow. A Course in Miracles is pure abstract in language. It has sentences where the object, the subject, and the meaning are all nothing but abstract principles and values and concepts. There is not one statement about specific *measurable or material reality* in the entire 360+ pages. There is in the Workbook for Students, however.

      This book, in the language, breaks down our way of thinking, and I'm not sure how it does it, but it becomes extremely difficult to follow the language of the book when it is pure abstraction and it speaks in double negatives that make sense. It literally made my mind hurt.

      For example:

      1. There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not "harder" or "bigger" than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.

      2. Miracles as such do not matter. The only thing that matters is their Source, which is far beyond evaluation.

      Ad this:

      The confusion of miracle impulses with physical impulses is a major perceptual distortion. Physical impulses are misdirected miracle impulses. All real pleasure comes from doing God's Will.

      Yet, the entire book never falters in making sense and there is a lot more to it, to the structure of the words.

      I think you would like it a lot. Here is another one:

      All things work together for good. There are no exceptions except in the ego's judgment. The ego exerts maximal vigilance about what it permits into awareness, and this is not the way a balanced mind holds together. The ego is thrown further off balance because it keeps its primary motivation from your awareness, and raises control rather than sanity to predominance.

      I won't even provide examples of the abundant double negatives.

      You understand a lot of what it states are Truth, in particular about our "brother" (all people).

      "You cannot be attacked, attack has no justification, and you *are* responsible for what you believe."

    10. thanks ogf, very interesting. I have picked up ACIM from time to time in bookstores, and just checked into it again on wikipedia. (it seems the copyright has been invalidated in 2004, so it would likely be freely available as a pdf I am thinking...)

      several of those quotes are *very* familiar. :)

      I think my perception, every time I picked it up, was that I already knew all of it, from direct experience, and if I spent time trying to translate the abstract (which is doable but takes time) into connection with my concrete experience, I would be wasting time, and also spending *a lot* of time, at least with myself, untangling and expanding the abstract statements into the full truth.

      like this, for example:

      "1. There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not "harder" or "bigger" than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal."

      this is deeply True, but in the realm of concrete experience, there are a zillion qualifiers that are in effect. those "mini-Truths" are as inescapably important as the "Big Truth" itself.

      I think, though, that this is exactly how these books (probably especially ACIM) have to be taken - as launch pads. the idea that "all things work together for good" is again, a Big Truth. the meat of that idea has to be understood only from lived experience, and this process isn't just a lifetime's work, but extends across thousands of years of lifetime experience. that is the only context in which the Big Truth itself can be understood. *strictly* from an abstract connection, though, that Big Truth is a good as useless, in many ways, and if not intentionally lived, and appreciated, over a great span of time, can actually be deeply counterproductive.

      funny - as I'm thinking about it all, now, it just makes me think how perfect it all really is. once this path has you by the throat, it doesn't let go. that is, of course, why so many can spend literally tens of thousands of years just having fun with the early stages of human incarnation. they want to enjoy that (and have enjoyed it up until now, and what will be unfolding on Earth over the next couple of decades) for as long as they want, because once the deeper dive starts, you can't dawdle anymore. doesn't make it any less fun, but it's just working on a different level.

    11. just looking at the wikipedia summary a bit more:

      The metaphysical level, which in this case is "strictly non-dualistic". In strict nondualism, everything involving time, space, and perception is regarded as illusory. This nondualism states that God is the only truth and reality: perfect, unchanging, unchangeable, extending only love, though not in time and space, which can not really be comprehended from a dualistic perspective. The theory further states that all life as we perceive it is actually one life (because God has only one son, sometimes called the collective sonship), dreaming of separation and fragmentation. Since eternity is outside time and space, this dream never occurred in reality and is "already over", though not in our (illusory) perception. When addressing the question of how such an illusory dream could arise from a perfect and unchanging God, the Course merely states that to ask that question is to presume that the time-space dream is real, which it states is not. A Course in Miracles states that to think we exist as individuals is the fundamental error. However, since we experience ourselves in time and space, reading these pages, the course presents its thought system on a second level:

      The time-space level, or perceptory level, which is referred to as "the dream". A Course in Miracles states that this level was "made" by the "sleeping Son" as an attack on God, implying that God did not create time, space, the Cosmos, and Homo sapiens. Furthermore, the "Son" is regarded as not just Jesus, but as all collective life. On these points A Course in Miracles diverges fundamentally from Christianity. In this time-space dream, perception is continuously fueled by what it originated from: separation, judgment and attack. This results in what the Course calls the "sin-guilt-fear" cycle: we sinned by rejecting God and making a universe of time-space (the Big Bang); this results in guilt over our rejection of our Creator, and subsequent fear of God's wrath. The "sin-guilt-fear" is described as too horrendous to face, and therefore subsequently projected out, so that to Homo sapiens it seems that evil is everywhere except in himself. The world becomes a threatening place, in which we are born only to fear, fight, and die. The thought that keeps this process going is referred to as "ego", or "the wrong mind". A Course in Miracles concludes that happiness cannot be found in earthly time-space life, and urges the reader not to commit suicide but rather to make a fundamental mindshift from "condemnation-out-of-fear" (mindlessness) to "forgiveness-out-of-love" (mindfulness), since our "right mind" is outside time-space and cannot be harmed by worldly attacks. According to the course, seeing "the Face of Christ" in all living things is the way to "accept the Atonement" and ultimately awaken from the dream and return to the eternity of God. Ultimately, this means the end of individuality and of the ego. In this respect, there are parallels with the Indian concept of karma and the Bhagavad Gita scriptures, which Helen Schucman was not familiar with, though William Thetford was.

    12. the first paragraph is very on target. it is possibly misleading in some key ways. our experience of our "existence as individuals" is no more a fundamental error than the existence of the One. the One is not in error, in any sense, and the One is the direct source of our "experience as individuals." the One very much means for itself to have the experience of "One and Many." no mistake there!

      the second part is what I would call "dramatic interpretation." this kind of thing can be both useful and extremely misleading. humans love drama (that is the ultimate point of being an individual, either human, or Light Being) and we learn and grow through the experience.

      but there are some real problems in the second paragraph, IMO.

      "A Course in Miracles concludes that happiness cannot be found in earthly time-space life"

      complete happiness - but not defined by ways humans normally define this - can most *definitely* be found in "earthly time-space life." there is no question about that, at all. not only that, this time-space existence can connect with, and overlap with, the "Real" in ways where the time-space level is as completely Real as anything else in Total Reality - to the highest realms that exist. there are probably no limits to how for that transformation can go - which is exactly the idea that there is no order of difficulty in miracles.

    13. "no limits to how far..."

    14. I, also, have understood for a long time that all love is equal. Every bit of it. It's like sunlight. One sunbeam cannot be more or less than another. I have Journey of Souls. I haven't read it in years. I am looking forward to reading it very soon, now that it has your endorsement.

      I also agree that ACIM is not the new Bible, or even the old one. It's just one of the strangest books ever published.

      The One gave us separate identity, for certain. I feel great joy at times, that is nothing more than my direct connection. At other times, I can experience great agitation. Both can occur when I am more sensitive to spirit. It's that Forgetting that confuses it, I think, maybe.

      I never felt the need to join a study group, but I will add that another fun read is The Disappearance of the Universe, based on ACIM.

    15. hey ogf -

      I just looked into The Disappearance of the Universe, and did a *very* quick skim through some of the author's excerpts on his website.

      I am having some serious issues with both ACIM and this book. I think this was what was always steering me away from it (ACIM) every time I looked into it before.

      ACIM says it is fundamentally nondualistic. (the nondual truth of Reality is something that is so completely, totally clear to me - Total Reality is nondual, completely).

      but then ACIM seems to turn right around and contradict itself (the same way Disappearance does) completely, on the basic level of seeing this "material" world (which is most definitely an illusion) as NOT being the creation of God.

      this is just flat out wrong. you just cannot have nonduality without *everything* being the creation of God. no exceptions! "the One" means exactly that, no matter how you slice IT.

      as soon as one tries to carve out any kind of exception, in any way, it is just an egregious error - IMO.

      this quote, from an excerpt from the last chapter of Disappearance, just strikes me as utterly misguided - the author is talking about 9/11:

      "No matter what appeared to happen, I’d always remember that the attacks on America only proved that this world wasn’t God’s world, and no one in their right mind would come here — except to teach others how to leave. But I could have a happy dream of forgiveness here; the dream that led to the real world."

      every deepest knowing in my being jumps up and says "WRONG!" when I read "this world wasn't God's world, and no one in their right mind would come here..."

      Got ITself created this illusion, because IT, acting as us and every other Being and thing here, wanted to come here! more than *anything.*

      thinking this world is somehow "outside" of God's own direct creation is a terrible mistake, IMO. and leads right into the most basic traps of pure dualistic thinking. we cannot escape our responsibility to this world (illusion though it is!) by thinking the only purpose of being here is learning how to leave! man, that is so wrong headed. it is never going to work, and I am chagrined to think how many people think "escape" is actually possible, based on anything like this attitude.

      (first of all, no one has to be HERE in the first place. it is always by choice. and second of all, if you have come HERE, you now own responsibility for it, and have to do your own part to *transform* it, not *escape* from it)

      so... I can't go for the ACIM stuff, as it seems deeply mistaken, in its idea of what "nondual" means. if there is any "antidote" that I would recommend as to how mistaken this approach from ACIM is, it would be in Nanci Danison's Backwards books. she has total clarity on what nondual really means, and actually IS, as far as I can see.

    16. my rascally side says ACIM and Disappearance, and that whole philosophy of "escape" through "forgiving everything" is all just some kind of deep shadow creation of Yuppies and Boomers.

      they have massive guilt for their intense participation in, and creation of, this mess, and they want some "out" where if they just forgive and forgive enough, then they have a free pass - they are off the hook.

      this is when my devilish grin unfurls, and says, "ah, my friends, BIG congrats on taking the first step towards learning to love and forgive yourselves and all others. but... ah, I am afraid we are not quite done here."

    17. Very possible, mo. I mentioned it only because it was one of two books I had a hard time getting through, specifically because of its abstract basis that never lets up.

      I am no expert on forgiveness. It's not something that comes easily to me. My moon sign is Scorpio. I remember . . .

    18. yes, I totally understand that you weren't endorsing it.

      Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp here. also Fire Horse.

    19. hey ogf -

      I wanted to respond to this directly:

      "The One gave us separate identity, for certain. I feel great joy at times, that is nothing more than my direct connection. At other times, I can experience great agitation. Both can occur when I am more sensitive to spirit. It's that Forgetting that confuses it, I think, maybe."

      I think this is very important to recognize - that our feeling connection to spirit is in so many ways not just about joy, calm, quiet-mind, warm fuzzies and so on.

      this connects directly to the theme of Satish's post here. the feeling connection to spirit can also be *agitation* - annoyance, disquiet, anger, coldness, and *a lot* more things that are not typically thought of as "nice things."

      that woodpecker can *knock* on our complacency and assumptions in all kinds of ways that are *not* terribly "warm and fuzzy" - and these things are just as much from spirit as love, warmth, detachment, kindness, peace and bliss.

      and yes, it is our Forgetting, and entanglement with ego, which confuses things.

      how do we know when a feeling of coldness, for example - maybe a stark, rather spiky feeling that demands deep groundedness and dead calm detachment - is coming from what might be a more ego-oriented feeling of selfishness, or if it is coming from some part of our inner clarity that is trying to urge us to see clearly though a certain illusion?

      perhaps there is something that is distracting us from recognizing a deeper truth in a situation where we really would be *much* better off seeing the truth, even if it means really coldly detaching and thinking pure, calm, calculating thoughts?

      this also relates to the reality that we are deeply unique, as spiritual beings - there isn't any *simple,* blanket "right way" of being or behaving, pretty much ever. otherwise this game on Earth really would be easy, and all the commandments, rules, etc would just be plug and play. of course, that isn't the way it works!

      both Journey and Destiny get into the incredible diversity of what we are like as spirits, and this alone gives one a great appreciation for just how subtle, deep and complex this whole picture really is. we all have to spend eons sorting it out, as only we can in our heart of hearts, because we have to deal with our infinite individuality - the amazing complexity that lives in the core of each of us. and yes, this involves a world - a Universe - of emotional nuance.

      the Forgetting allows us to learn "the real me" - over time, with many diverse challenges - in a way where we see that just being handed all this stuff at once on a plate would have almost no use at all. we learn the intensely, infinitely intimate "operating manual of ourselves" this way, and by doing this we gain an "inside out" appreciation for the diversity that exists *everywhere,* and we can then bring all this back to the One, and say "hey, I get it." and really - we DO get it!

    20. the amazing complexity that lives in the core of each of us. and yes, this involves a world - a Universe - of emotional nuance.

      YES YES YES & more. KEEPS ON FLOWING. Really can't say it but I do feel it and love to read it from *you*

      Everything I own has to fit into a small I give most books away...but Journey & Destiny were powerful. Especially at the exact time I need them most. I read you. I see you but I can't even begin to explain. Except that I'm here. Listening to those cool music vids you post on NBL. Heart strings. Super strings. I'm your chorus, very in tune with deep appreciation for all you share.

    21. hey Mark... that just feels really, really great. thank you so much. sail on, my dear friend!

    22. and I see *you* in a way that I can't explain, but I have felt it so clearly.

    23. Hi mo flow, I've wondered about the role of negativity and how I can listen better to negative thoughts and feelings. I know they are there for a reason. Culturally, I'm trained to repress them but that's not a good strategy to deal with negativity. It will come up one way or another. Perhaps Karma has something to do with all this.

      Thanks for the book recommendations. Will have to get my hands on them soon. I read Gary Zukav's The Seat of the Soul a while ago. Might be worth reading it again.

    24. Seat of the Soul is kind of (perhaps much) too slow, repetitive and rudimentary, I think, for where you are at now, Satish. I have it, and nothing in it really jumps out at me as being anything great. I just skimmed through it a bit and that confirmed my feelings for it. I would say skip it (or just skim it), and get much more into the other ones when you can - Behaving as If the God in All Life Mattered, and Journey and Destiny.

      Karma... more on that later.

  28. Sabine, thank you. The tone here is what it should be. Science and mysticism and community.

    Sparring with Kling was not pleasant, but it didn't disturb me terribly. For one thing, it was too easy. What we saw in the aftermath was his insane rage. Whatever Kling is, a skinny, old, American Indian woman living in abject poverty in a shack in Alaska totally kicked his ass intellectually and morally. So much for the strength of his convictions.

    I'm with you, Sabine. I'm not proud of being American or human. Every culture has its gifts. All good people act the same everywhere in the world, as do all bad people. Nothing wrong with taking delight in some human achievement. I take delight in my Nepalese yak scarf. It's beautiful. Big deal.

    A secular Jew who lived through the war, Josepha Warburg, went to England after the war. She lived in terror for years, hiding in Holland, living in the woods in the winter in Germany. They survived, but everything they ever had was gone, and Josie was the mother of a Down Syndrome baby at the time, with one older daughter still at home. Her husband was broken completely in his mind. She was the only one who could help them. She got a job at a boarding school in England as a housekeeper. They gave her and her family very small accommodations at the school. All the adults at the school treated Josie horribly, because she was "German." Great, huh?

    There was one woman in particular, with the funny name of "Toe," not certain of the spelling, who was vicious, calling Josie "that German bitch," etc., doing everything to make her life miserable. Christmas holiday came and everyone left the school for a few weeks, except Josie and her family who lived there, and the school shut down all the heat in the buildings. Temperatures were below freezing, and Josie and her family endured that for weeks.

    When the school reopened and Toe learned what Josie had been through, she went and bought an entire house, yard, everything, and gave it to Josie. They remained deeply devoted and loving friends until Toe's death, which broke Josie's heart beyond anything since the war.

    I've always loved that story.

  29. Satish, I loved your comments at NBL and here regarding Buddhism. I have read a lot of Buddhism, and have always found great value in it. The best, however, was like a great fantasy novel, and I totally cracked up reading it: Milarepa, Tibet's Greatest Yogi. The story of Marpa making him build a house and tear it down and rebuild it two feet over or so repeatedly for seven years was hilarious.

    One of the great reads of all time.

    1. Hi OGF, " a house and tear it down and rebuild it two feet over or so repeatedly for seven years..." that just about describes the lives of some of the people living in coastal regions in Asia as the seas creep in!

      But yeah, Buddhism is a mixed bag. I always thought it funny that Google had these meditation rooms spread around the campus. As if employees would take a half hour every now and then to escape to the room and come out feeling enlightened about the project they are working on, ready to take on the next task with gusto. And they made a big deal out of their "Search inside Yourself" program that purported to bring Buddhist thought into the digital age!

  30. Oldgrowthforest,

    I have a Nepalese yak scarf as well. Fancy that! And I love mine too because it's beautiful. There are so many opportunities to love something beautiful in this world. I can never understand why people don't see that. Yes I do really - they just don't see.

    I'm able to think of you as skinny now. That's nice. Fat people call me skinny, that's another insanity. I'm 5 foot 3" and 115 pounds which is not skinny but "well-nourished" (as bodies are described in autopsies) in my opinion. I often wonder whether I'll still be "well-nourished" when I die. If I'm lucky.....

    1. Sabine, that is wonderful that you also have a Nepalese yak scarf! Mine is blue with some violet-purple. It is nicely warm. My poverty is causing me to lose weight. I am 5'8" and weight about 130 now. However, I do have quite small bones. I'm really an average person of 5'4" who has long bones. I had a few people approach me and want me to model when I was young because of it. I couldn't take the competitive environment. I'm not about competition unless it's in sports or games. Then, I want to win! I play hard! Otherwise, I'm about nurturing and just being. I don't want to compete with anyone for money or prestige or power. What a crazy way to live.

    2. Sheldrake interviewed by Chopra:

    3. Sarish,

      Your comment about Google's meditation rooms made me laugh. That's so surreal and funny! I love your thoughts on this, it's what would have occurred to me in the same way. One could think of it as quite cynical, but it's probably not. It's deadly serious as only Americans can be. Sorry Americans, my sense of the ridiculous (absurd) with which many non-Americans view this sort of thing, sees it as something typically American. We think of ideas like that as typical because more often than not they come to us from across the Atlantic, like all the PR and management language which "delivers" absolutely everything now.
      How I hate that word! Especially now, with our parliamentary election due in May. The politicians are falling over themselves "delivering". In order to survive, I have to rely on my sense of the ridiculous. Long live the Pythons!

  31. Sorry Satish,

    a slip of my finger to the left misspelled your name. Usually, I'm more observant.

  32. MO FLOW I read both "Journey" & Destiny of Souls years ago! Almost finished The Human Age last night. Yes ARTLEADS the author Diane needs to look more within. Maybe she faced some restrictions by those big commercial publishing corps. That's way reading each of you is so much more honest & interesting than anything filtered thru capitol markets.

    For the first time ever in public I admit I am a 30 year "survivor" of the AIDS crisis. When I was in college in 1984-85 there was almost no hope except alternative, holistic, soul seeking. I joined Marianne Williamison's small COURSE OF MIRACLES group in West Hollywood. Also Louise Hay "HAYRIDES" at the community center. OLD GROWTH FOREST was also in LA at the same time. Very likely it was one of his exact 200 giveaway copies of "Peace Pilgrim" I picked up at the center shelf.

    Sort of like Forest Gump I keep finding we might all be six degrees connected. I've had the amazing luck to live all over this world. At 52 I am in still in perfect I'm going to dare say my time in deep jungles, sailing across oceans & working with high tech energies might all be a form of living miracles. Several times I've been very near death where it seems "UNCERTAINITY" prevails.

    So much brilliance in the comments here. You are each inspiring. Of course only my family and friends who know all about my long "Soul" Journey can testify to all my medical records, adventures & occasional future predictions, yet with all my heart I do ask you to trust me (without the full story that so few know) Sometimes even the most dire circumstances can hold a grain of incredible light. Love. Transformation. Evolution is very connected everything & each of you. Your awareness in this little cyber circle might touch beyond.

    As I posted on NBL before: Guy McPherson had a direct impact on my father in Tucson. I am Mr. Nobody but I have been in his class. It is astounding how lives keep crossing paths.....Reality is so vast and powerful it keeps revealing surprises...Just like Sabine asking for one more season in her garden, humbly, I read into everything - even between the lines.

    Maybe something like collective fields keeps on living way off the grid of time. A grain of sand shifting in an hourglass of infinity, forgetting forever, forgetting never to die???

    1. hey Mark! great to hear from you. where are you at now (geographically) on your journey? it's fun to hear about the different places you are bouncing around to.

      wow - a 30 year survivor of the AIDS crisis! that is incredible. I am so wonderfully glad you are here to share your journey with us. I find it amazingly marvelous and enriching.

      ain't no maybe or uncertainty about it - death is an illusion. it is *feels* deeply real from this human ego perspective, with our spiritual amnesia, but the illusion itself is behind the thinnest veil - when it gets right down to it.

      the world of spirit, our true Home, is closer and more real to any of us than the back of our human hands. the thing that always gets me is the complete ordinariness of it, when all the "fake mystery" that we are playing with here is stripped away!

      it is so ordinary in some ways it is almost downright bland. (but of course it isn't). just something that "the real you" is as familiar and comfortable with as anything you can possibly think of here on Earth - but even more familiar than that!

      ogf is a she, btw. I made that same mistake (more than once!) over the past couple of years. :)

    2. and Mark, I'd love to hear any thoughts you care to share on Journey or Destiny. :)

    3. Hi, Mark. I think we all know each other. And I'm glad to be here with you now.

      I have felt a connection to mo and Satish since the beginning, since the first time I read their words. I thought mo was a woman, and he thought I was a man. He is sensitive, and I am confrontational sometimes. I don't mind my gender being mistaken. It's actually kind of interesting to see how people interpret what I write when they think I'm a man.

    4. Just came from reading you on NBL. So silly of me but I got involved with details of you working with George. The Obgyn practice. Your wish to be a bestseller...but yikes how did I miss "woman". I suppose I implanted the wrong gender image because of the OLD GROWTH FOREST (which is of course is mother nature) but when I was in B.C. some of the male members of the north west passage Hida tribe called the big old redwoods "Father Trees." Thank you so much. Proving again I have so much to learn trying to see the forest thru the trees. Love all the surprise factors !!!!

  33. HI Mark,

    Hope you're enjoying the sunny Caribbean. I want to apologize for coming on so strong about your writing. If a person is unsure about their writing, such heavy handed "praise" could be disquieting. I hope you can just give what I said a metaphorical kick in the pants and just do what makes you feel good. :-)

    Best wishes!

    1. I should have THANKED YOU right away. I'm fairly at ease about everything at this stage of my journey....Quietly I was completely honored. I read Henry Miller "Tropic of Cancer" in high school. What an impression it made!

      I'm sort of a bad carbon boy because I do fly to my boat in Miami most every Friday then fly back to DCA direct to Dept of Energy work on Monday morning. But I rarely ever drive a car & I wait for the wind to sail rather than turn on the outboard motor.

      I'm on an Think Tank "ENERGY" research contract till 2016. While I'm in D.C. The NIH takes my blood almost weekly because I developed the natural HIV antibodies that are being used to create an AIDS cure. The stage 1 trials extracted from us long term survivors is a big deal in all the medical news. The big pharma industry is discovering that most of us 30 year + vets have unusual life styles....but so far they are afraid to look too far into the spirit of life. Industrial society & I are on a double blind experiment date all around!

      Years of my blood samples were also used to create the new "Solvidi" Hep C cure. IRONY: Am I part of developing a cure or overpopulation curse? Delivering the cutting edge of clean energy...or a dangerous LANL, JPL, CERN Dark Matter mistake? We're all connected in this rolling dice gamble fast forms of evolution -or- extinction.

      Never sure if I can really make a change in this Capitol pushing geo-altering projects like quick fix pills. But, I sure do voice my disapproval of the most likely to rapidly backfire ones! After 30 years I've developed some instinct for survival. Trying to help us all survive the worst proposed plans of test mice & mad men. I just focus on SABINE "will delaying the papers on this secret fund give Sabine one more year in her English garden?" Fast track or derail to the slush pile? Our C02 methane stew is poison but I'll stay with the slow cooker compared to some of giant corporate contracts currently bidding for DoD, EPA, Interior joint approval.

    2. Wow, Mark. We all have our jobs here, don't we? This was yours, and Guy has a dramatic job as Prophet of Doom for our times. I find it rather amazing that we have found him and each other. My job was being a Native American in a crazy world, and writing sometimes, and helping animals. It's enough.

      God bless you, and keep you well, Mark, until it's time to go Home.

    3. "After 30 years I've developed some instinct for survival."

      And that is precious. So, as Mo might say, this is the work you came here to do, sailing against the tide.

      Most of us never get anywhere near the decision makers. It seems that this is where the rubber meets the road, an exciting boiler-room type of experience. I love interacting with the petty government people a the DMV, County or wherever. They work within this iron grid that's supposedly impervious to human emotion, and I try to inject human issues, like a spanner, into the works. It's all bluff, though. In the waiting rooms, you're supposed to sit in the chairs and look at the walls and have no volition. But we have volition. I like to spend a few seconds in those public restrooms wiping around the sink or picking up something off the floor, saying to the system, "You can't stop me from helping you."


    4. Much appreciation for you, Mark, for being conscious of how you and your work fit into the world that we call home. I'm a recent outcast/escapee but am still immersed in many of my old ways. Not that we all need to make a switch to a different way of life at this juncture. Guy tried it. I'm trying to understand what the current moment is telling me. I'm trying to listen. I'm all ears. Keep talking.

      OGF, those sea lions that are washing ashore on the West Coast, what a tragedy. They say it could be the radioactivity in the water from Fukushima. I'm not sure "they" know what's going on. We don't care anymore. It brings to mind the culture in India where with so many people and competition for resources, the worth of a human life or that of an animal is smaller than it is in the West. I used to be surprised by how much they care about human life when I first came to the US. Special ambulance lanes or even getting out of its path? No way that happens in India. Animals too are treated way better here, I used to think. Not anymore, not after watching "Earthlings", the documentary. What a horror.

      Artleads, I'm slowly realizing how you throw those spanners in the works. Quite helpful and in a gentle way.

  34. Satish,

    I'm indeed having a little trouble finding new responses to old messages, and having to scroll up. It takes me a lot of time, and I sometimes give up. Gail Tverberg's blog is like that too. I end up trying to measure how many inches up to go to find a targeted thread. (My computer skills are a little less than minimal. :-))

    You may have some advice, some technical thing to do, that I'm unaware of. More important, though, is not disturbing you or anyone else. If scrolling up were the hardest thing to do, all would be rosy in the world. I can deal with it if that's the most practical solution for the group.

    1. Artleads - you can use the CTRL-F trick I mentioned. just do CTRL-F with your browser (find a word or phrase) and type: march 9

      bazingo. all the latest replies, and you can click through them up or down.

    2. Thanks! But which box do I click in?

    3. on Chrome, when I do CTRL-F, there is a box that pops up in the upper right. of the window. on Firefox, it is on the lower left! Any other browser will probably be one or the other. and then just type your date (or whatever you want to search) in the box, and it will instantly highlight that word/phrase in your window everywhere it appears, and you can use the little up/down arrows in the box to just from one instance of the phrase to the next

    4. "to jump from from one instance..."

    5. Hi Mo Flow,

      Many thanks! The search worked better when I included the date. BTW, I have Google Chrome, among many other things that function like Greek to me. I don't know which of these things got me going. In my case, the window to click in came up left top, to the right of which is "options."

  35. mo flow, I have to tell you, the Find (CTRL+F then typing March 11) is working out great! I didn't need it because I was getting comments emailed to me, but this is much better. It's easier to follow the conversation this way.

    [Select All, Copy, Preview/Publish]

  36. Mark and others,

    I'm (somewhat deliberately) computer illiterate. I was able to get somewhere with control/find to unearth hidden responses. Time doesn't allow me to say what problems I'm finding with that (and the problems are as much mine as anything).


    If I haven't responded to something within a day or so, it's possible that I didn't see it. If Satish can bear it, occasionally just posting a response at the bottom will ensure that I see it. :-)

    1. Of course, Artleads, feel free to post at the bottom of the page. We will get used to this blog soon and it will all be a cinch. Hopefully :)

  37. Oldgrowthforest,
    Apologies to you, but I couldnt help myself and weighed in on NBL in answer to Mr Nye. He is just incredibly annoying and frustrating. It's like talking to a bloody robot!

  38. HI, red fox. It was only a matter of time before the real "Bud" came back. :O)

    I'm glad you weighed in. I failed to mention you specifically in my gratitude in my most recent post there, but believe me, I thought of you. We see it so clearly, or at least mostly clearly, the difference between evidence, and conclusions based on evidence. I do not believe for one moment that the confusion over these differences is cognitive. It's willful somewhere, and it's spiritual. I think I had a dream about it all last night that is still disturbing me this morning. I've been a vegetarian for many years, and last night I dreamed that someone with power wanted me to join her for dinner, but all she offered was an egg mcmuffin-like thing, bread and cheese and eggs and meat. I was disturbed by the meat in the food. Violence? That person then fired me, and I had to pack up my things and leave, and I couldn't get out and away from the place, in the way that dreams go, where you run and run and can't escape. This one will stay with me for a couple of days, I think.

    1. I just cant get my head around the thought process that really NEEDS to "know" that "they were/are no better than us/me" when it comes to actually living within and respecting ones Land and everything else that the space is shared with. It is ok not to know; despite so called evidence, it just is not possible to know the thoughts and interactions of people 10,000+ years ago. There were so few of us then anyway I really cant believe a few hundred humans could or would want to wipe out multiple thousands of large animals.
      Despite it's claims to objectivity most people who think, realise that science and evidence is 99% agenda driven. Reading Mr Nye and that silly angry person Gail, it feels like being transported back into Victorian England and an anthropologists club meeting!
      Enough for now, its 730am here and the birds are singing and I'm off to do a little bit of work.

    2. I'm beginning to suspect if Bud Nye is a machine. They have some pretty intelligent machines these days that beat Chess Grandmasters and Jeopardy stars. Bud Nye doesn't get sarcasm sometimes, just like machines. Most recently, he didn't get Jeff S.' sarcasm. And he talks like an Artificial Intelligence bot would. It's somewhat mathematical... the arrangement of words, the grammar, etc. He'd make a good lawyer or something.

      I have wondered about Singularity since I first heard of it a few years ago. They screened "Transcendent Man" and invited Ray Kurzweil to answer questions a few years back at Google. He's quite a character. He pops pills all day, some 200 of them every day. He thinks that if only he can stay alive for another 20 years, he will live forever. Because we will have cracked the problem of death by then. And he'd do anything to stay alive until the problem is solved.

      Now, a sane culture would ignore a man like that. Our culture celebrates him, at least, here in the Valley. Google hired him as a Director of Engineering, a testament to the sickness in our culture. Kurzweil, who wrote "The Singularity is Near", posits that we're going to merge with machines in the near future. I used to think this would happen when machines become more and more human-like until they would be hard to distinguish from real humans. There are some pretty clever humanoid robots that or on that path.

      But it turns out the Singularity can be achieved in a different way - humans becoming more machine-like! The increasing incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders is a case in point. We're saying a new generation of much higher Autism incidence than 20 years ago. The young grow up with machines and are very comfortable with them.

      When I see language like Bud Nye's (and I used to see a lot of it at Google too), it just makes me wonder if the Singularity is actually nearer than I thought. Humans seem to be taking much longer strides toward machines than machines are taking toward humans.

    3. Satish,
      I meant to say so earlier but I greatly enjoyed your comment on NBL directed at Bud and in particular Gail.
      "Bot Nye"-now that would be something to post or is that a bit too mischevious;)

      Sabine said something a while back about autism when we were attempting to have the (usual) discussion with Mr Nye. Best not to bother her just now as it is a nice sunny, albeit chilly day over these parts!

    4. At this point, from a number of posters at NBL, we have a good understanding of how all the genocide took place. That One True God that group always has, regardless of whether it is Christianity, Holy Science, Progress, Productivity, Child Rearing, Land Use . . . whatever the issue is, they have the One True God, and the One True Answer. You can believe it.

      It's a terrible burden being God. All that responsibility to eliminate all the bad things and build all the good ones, in God-like fashion, in their own image, is a big job in the world.

      I think the Genesis creation myth explains that very well. It is spiritual, and it is about identity and pride.

      You guys are the best to talk to. Go, us, with our little mixed bag of people from all over the world.

    5. red fox, I did consider posting something to the effect of calling Bud Nye machine-like on NBL but refrained. I like Bot Nye and Bud Bot :) Didn't realize he is 70 yrs old. But I can see how former Science teachers might talk like that.

      oldgrowthforest, that's a good summation... "the one true answer", "the one right way". Indeed. The bane of the dominant paradigm. Daniel Quinn and Ishmael come to mind.

    6. This ought to put the One True Answer to rest:

      Red Fox,

      Was it you who "introduced" Sheldrake to some of us? I know you did Harvey. In any event, one thing has led to another in a most welcome way.

    7. red fox, thank you for saying that... glad to know you enjoyed my comments. I find myself wanting to refute some of those adamant folks on NBL who are congratulating each other for sticking to their stance. I want to back you up. You, mo flow, OGF and everyone here.

    8. Hi Artleads, here's another banned TED talk you might enjoy - Graham Hancock - The War on Consciousness BANNED TED TALK Incidentally, Both Hancock and Sheldrake spoke at the same TEDx event and both talks were banned for questioning Science and talking about "woo woo" stuff like Spirits and Consciousness.

    9. Thanks, Satish,

      Glad I saw it, although it points to awesome responsibility we have for our behavior (karma?). I think of the glamorized words attributed to Joseph Conrad on his deathbed.

    10. Artleads, I dont think that it was me with regard to Sheldrake, although I did read his "Rebirth of Nature" years ago, which ive just re-ordered. TBH, I have a feeling that it was Ulvfugl on the NBL forum who has mentioned him several times. I will look at that TED talk next week when I've got more bandwith as I use a mobile wifi device, living in a trailer. The Graham Hancock one that Satish mentioned is really interesting as well-I have got his massive tome "supernatural" to read but that will have to wait until time permits. PS I really loved your comments about the garden. What you said was like my unpublished reply to Sabine-it was to do with my mum's garden when she was alive which was basically a lightly managed feral garden for the benefits of butterflies, insects and birds as well as her own aesthetic of a "colour riot" in spring and summer. Sabine's comment brought back some wonderful memories of that garden and her and the massive amount of butterflies that there were then.

  39. Hello All...I just re-read everything from the top to bottom to get a feel for the collective flow. ARTLEADS - I do see where doing specific replies (filling in gaps) can get lost above. Except for giant world issues at work, the rest of my life is such small stuff that I'm just happy to be here. Personally very easy about not needing replies. No more stress for anyone - anywhere.

    Just like on NBL I think I'll stick to adding comments at bottom. Only good thing about adding replies above is that I can focus on more specific lines. Each of you is so smart & insightful that I want to be sure you get some quality response you deserve.

    Then again when I don't go back up to specific relies it's a good test for my memory. Down here it's a healthy test for recall. A big mix of impressions & images. But yikes I even transformed OGF into a man so that teaches me a lot about my abstract awareness!

    Both Satish & others were so good on NBL asking how SCIENCE or at least the primary huge extinction issue on NBL digressed into such odd nit-picking. Not by anyone here. But you know who I mean over on NBL.

    Then again, I never feel bad about being mixed up or a bit off topic here. I can't imagine reading any book that's much better than MO FLOW live!

    Since I'm learning to trust there is never a real end...I'll still extract "ONLY LOVE MATTERS" (where did we begin anyway ??? xox)


      I had been seeing a way to apply that practically. Unlike Sabine, I'm a poor gardener--I persevere over the decades, maybe driven by a need to play in the dirt--and if being a good gardener would keep me alive longer, I'm unlikely to survive the rest of the crowd. Why should it bother me? And then I realized that organizing my garden to elicit wows is not the only effective way to go. Thanks to the IMMENSE learning happening here--is this a dream?--it became clear to me that all my garden needs is love. I had not really understood. It doesn't need to look good. The outcome, likely to be at least a marginal improvement in appearance, is not the point. The garden is not inert; it responds to love. It can be trusted. Bestowing it with love puts me in a happier, less guilty, more accepting frame of mind.

      Maybe everything responds likewise to love.

      Then here's another thought, related to the first: "No more stress for anyone - anywhere." I will not be stressed to make a wow garden (although I like wows just as much as anyone). I do only what I want to do. That can occasionally mean doing things I "don't want to do". At some level, I do it because that beats not doing it. Warts and all. It is most freeing to accept my non stress gardening, and the affirmation that my garden needs nothing whatsoever but love.

  40. Hi Mark, there's a way to refer to a comment you make somewhere above in a comment you post at the bottom of the page. So, say, you want to reply to something specific that was said somewhere up above, you can go there, leave a comment, click on the date link above the comment as soon as it posts, copy the URL from the browser address bar and paste it in a new comment at the bottom of the page, like so... I just posted this comment above -

    So we have the best of both worlds - comment at the bottom, but also comment somewhere in the middle and refer to it at the bottom.

    Yes, mo flow, live is better than any book. A gentleman and a scholar.

    Glad we're in this tribe here at this time.

    1. I *love* being part of this tribe. thank you both. :)

    2. Satish,

      Your last post about spirits has preoccupied me since. It freed me up to the spirit in everything. To each number, thought, bite, timeframe, computer stroke. Nothing, whatever its category, excluded. This is really an amazing place. (In more ways than one.)

    3. Artleads, isn't it a beautiful world, the world of spirit? Nothing is excluded. If it enters my mind, if it is in my consciousness for even a split second, it's a spirit. It's up to me to acknowledge it, invite it in, ask it to go away, or whatever!

    4. Exactly(!), dear Satish. :-)

  41. Oh, hyperlinks work here too, just like on NBL, when posting comments. So you can refer to a comment up above, like so...

    See my comment above

  42. Hi everybody,

    Red Fox is right, I was out most of the day in my garden because it want to burst forth, and I have to help it along - while it's still possible. I've been reading everything here and over on NBL all the same because I feel compelled to find out what you've all posted.

    All your exchanges with Bud Nye. I love it! Calling him Bud bot is genius Red Fox. Absolutely, that's what he is. Satish, you've got him right. He's 70, and if he weren't a bot, he might have gathered some wisdom by now.
    Mo, I liked you telling him about his passive-aggressive behaviour and that he can't hide behind it, and that it's total bullshit. He didn't like that. You almost did an ulvfugl on him. ulvfugl hated him and Gail. I quite like watching the feathers fly when he was around. That's quite a bad emotion, some people would say.

    All of you lovely people are wasting your key strokes on him, especially now that he has classified us as a "psycho/social in-group" having it in for him. That's all he does really, classify and quote from other people's work. That Guy is definitely a bit botty and really not worth bothering with. You're all such expressive writers. Is it worth engaging him? Maybe only as a sport, Oh dear I'm being cruel. I once told him that his "well-meaningness" was very patronising. He couldn't see that. He can't read between the lines and has no sense of the absurd. My husband would say that he's had a humour bypass. All bot "qualities"...

    Anyway, no more of him.
    There are so many bees in my garden already. My neighbour found that remarkable today. I said, well I've got lot of food for them here: flowers, many hundreds of bulbs, beautiful exotic looking hellebores and flowering shrubs like rosemary and witch hazel. She can't be bothered to plant any bulbs. Too much labour involved for her, and indeed for all the people around in our street. But they are always busy, busy, busy. All "good" people, ha, ha. My garden already bursts with colours, theirs are still mainly brown and green. If you don't put in the love and labour, there's no reward. That goes for all relationships, with all living beings and non-living ones. The land (artleads and Red Fox) No exceptions! You all know that.

    you mentioned geo-engineering (reflective particles) over on NBL. Reading your post I wasn't surprised that all this is very imminent, of course. I'm never surprised at anything anymore. But could you tell us more? You said it's all there to read under your freedom of information act.

    I also liked your musing here at Satish's fire place on giving blood for HIV drug manufacture and the paradox this entails: healing on the one side and overpopulation on the other.
    I think that's something most people would find very controversial. I'm glad you trust us here enough to voice your real thoughts in this. I feel quite honoured that you do.
    You and all you other men here are all exceptional in your own ways.

    And oldgrowthforest, without this virtual conversation, how would I have ever been able to know a little about a good woman with great knowledge and integrity like you?
    I rest my case.

    And Satish, you're making this possible. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Sabine, your garden sounds lovely. I know of an British woman around here who keeps a really nice garden. I hear it's in the culture.

      I miss the tropical fruit garden we had in the house that I grew up in, in India. We had the juiciest passion fruit.

    2. Total trust. In Costa Rica I'd be sharing with a Shaman. Maybe a pontif when in is my spirit home.

      After pics of Kingsley Hampton I had a dream about OGF & Egg McMuffins. Horrible "Earthlings" conflict. Then a Red Fox ran into the garden. Said I could LUCID dream. An ArtLeads table started to Flow into a Yukon River. Baking pot brownies. I awoke realizing I'll be free of HIV soon. As an antibody donor I'm trusted eat organic & avoid GMO crops. NIH needs long term "Undetctable" blood donors to be diet strict.

      Last year the FDA approved our Hep C cure. See the news how soon HIV will be gone. Oddly I might miss it. Scary when I was 20 but it took me to Journey of Souls. SATISH did a really good job about how we don't know what it's like to walk in other shoes. Tiny details in each step. Some of mine has been like a Grand Canyon trail. Edgy. breathtaking, keeping balance seeing all sorts of viewpoints. Like ARTLEADS picking up in the DMV restroom. .

      SABINE - I tend to be in my inner mind circle at work when I post on NBL. Grumpy Old Powers "GOP" leave so much to assistants. Except for Dan Utech they just want us to tell them in a highly respectful manner what is the best deal. I once got to work for James Cameron & Spielberg in 1980's.... They only read the scripts we choose. Us little Forest Gump guys bump along working for everyone.

      Haliburton reflective particles are made of Aluminuim, Barrium, sulfates. People also want to know what is Fracking fluids but the exact formula is protected by copylaw. Same for jet fuel enhancers. No secret The Pentagon & NSA "keep the economy running so unrest does not add to problems. Playing music on the top deck while Titanic floods. Safe sprays? Sonic wave micro-disperse? Big profits to contractors. I like Satish so I sent him our Pentagon hire box. But D.C. is an ice cold sinking ship. Yet Sabine's request for one more year echos mine. LOVE TO HEAR THE BEES have not all vanished. ARTLEADS grow a wild garden with all our love*

  43. Simething a bit weird going on here! :) I typed a not too lengthy post in response to Sabine yesterday evening (in Britain) and clicked publish, got the "not a robot icon" which I clicked. Then clicked publish. It did publish because I saw it below Sabines comment. Now it's gone. Another one to put in the "Zen and the Art of commenting while not commenting" book? I hope I havent been infected witha bud, I mean a bot ;0)

    1. That's bizarre, red fox. Wonder what happened. I have the ability to delete comments but I don't even moderate much less delete anything. Something weird is going on indeed.

      We're talking to you, the spirit of Blogger, and the spirit of Technology.

    2. It was probably me Satish-I tend, sometimes, to do a stream of (un)consciousness thing so probably thought I had gone through all the publish stuff and hadn't!
      I'm being stalked by techno-spirits! I shall have to do an exorcism of the laptop-bell, book and candle, ha ha:0)

  44. Artleads,
    I replied to your "Sheldrake" post above!

    1. I wish my garden had the virtues of your mother's. Alas, mine simply defines confusion. But I'm glad that something in my process brought her back fore you.

      If there is to be a saving grace to my gardening, it's the prospect that its know-nothing, do-nothing formula can appeal to some among the large majority of people who think they're too ignorant, powerless, poor and busy to grow even a portion of their own food (or, like your mom, food for some critters too/instead).

  45. Passing along something that came in the mail:

    "While other people are playing finite games that indirectly and directly destroy the world, you are busy playing the infinite game of life for the sake of healing the world in order to continue play. While the world is busy falling apart, you are busy putting things back together again. You’ve made a sacred game out of it, connecting like minds, disconnecting unhealthy minds, and reconnecting cosmic mind."

    1. WOW - fantastic link Artleads.

    2. "At the end of the day, you know all the rules but the rules do not know you, and so you are free to move about the chessboard of life checkmating outdated and tyrannical power structures that limit human potential and then replacing them with updated loving structures that lead to human flourishing."

      "You have woken up. You have broken free. You have gone sane. You are a Phoenix rising up from the ashes. Your ego has been trumped by Soul, and there’s no turning back."

    3. and just to add something of my own: there are no rules. the world is made up from the deepest core beliefs of our hearts and Souls. these beliefs are there. they are what is Real. they can be known.

      they can be changed.

      the strength that can change them, and the infinite creation that can arise from each heart and Soul, is *exactly* the same strength, and the same creative power, as the One. we, all of us together, are the Soul of the One itself.

    4. "...and Soul, is *exactly* the same strength, and the same creative power, as the One."


    5. mo flow, Totally agree with "there are no rules". We negotiate our relationships as we go with fellow participants in this grand Universe. I just started reading the book, "Behaving as if the God in all Life Mattered".

  46. Dearest mo flow,

    you are flowing. You've chosen the right name or did the name choose you?

    "... the strength that can change them, and the infinite creation that can arise from each heart and soul....."

    I feel this too mo.

    And Satish,

    from artleads' quote: are busy putting things back together again. You've made a sacred game out of it - connecting like minds...."

    Is that what you are doing here? It feels like that to me.

    1. Sabine, I'm glad we like-minded people are coming together here and swapping stories. I couldn't have planned this. I have a feeling such things tend to happen through their own agency. The spirit of this "fireside-chat room" might have recruited me and I'm glad it did!

      Good to be of service in the unfolding of the sacred game.

  47. Hi Sabine,

    I've ben considering your latest response to Bud on NBL. To the extent that I understood it, I found it admirable.

    You talk about opening oneself to love. You mention love for "all living beings," or some such. Then you ended up with (what I took to be) the sacredness of everything that comes to one's perception. Everybody on Goingkuku would have in mind our recent conversation on spirits and the living-ness of *everything.* And the love of that everything. But you didn't come right out and say that to Bud, who is immersed in a trance of scientism (what I believe I've seen termed materialist reductionism--whatever exactly that means). What you said was clear to those with ears to hear. You didn't lie, but you used skill to avoid throwing pearls know what I mean, and getting yourself into unnecessary embroilment. I mean it in the very best way, that you demonstrate political skill. (And I think political skill is valuable, whatever our circumstances.)

    Then there's Daniel taking on Satish in a sneaky and lying fashion. Satish said nothing about race. He was clearly referring to culture, and the fact that some cultures--those indigenous to North America to a very large extent--were open, generous and welcoming of strangers, whereas the determining aspect of European occupation was genocide and ecocide...

    1. Hi Artleads, it's only because you mentioned Daniel's response here that I realized he responded. I forgot to check that thread. Daniel seems to have bought into the "survival of the fittest" school of thought like so many others who see the world as made up of generic meat robots that are constantly looking for advantages to exploit and subdue their competition and "enemies". There is little room to consider symbiotic co-evolution which is the default in nature. How else did so many millions of species and sub-species of plants and animals arise?

      It looks like the best response to his remarks is a non-response :) I'm sure he will keep giving us opportunities to comment in the future.

      Too bad Bud Nye is not able to grasp what Sabine is saying. I can sense the love and compassion in her comment to him. Unfortunately, he's so bought into the narrative that his heroes have laid out for him. He seems to really connect with the few authors he quotes repeatedly. I know folks who function well in ordered, well-defined, environments that are clearly described by rules and laws but not so well in unstructured, anarchic and "feel your way around" environments. Instead of negotiating on a one-on-one basis with other participants, they prefer a higher authority to circumscribe and guide their thought and action. Bud recently implored Guy to step in and institute rules of behavior for commenters. In the larger society, it translates into defense of statism and reliance on state apparatus to enforce law and order to keep the "bad guys" out. Alternative worldviews find it difficult to survive in such situations. But we're all trying. May our tribe grow.

    2. I had forgotten about the previous thread on NBL as well. Daniel has done what he usually does and like Satish i'm going to ignore his response as well.

      Sabine, your comment to Bot Nye was inspired and judging by his response and how it is worded I dont believe he has any idea at all as to what you are talking about. To keep going on about a theory of emotions or love is just so oxymoronic it's laughable.

    3. Satish,

      I'm very doubtful that the Bud/Daniel situation could be better explained than in your 12:57 post.

  48. Artleads, you're right there, I was avoiding to get myself into unnecessary embroilment (what a lovely word!).

    And you're been very self-deprecating when you say that you're not sure what materialist reductionism is. Of course you know :) You're a lovely guy who never lets his ego impose. Nor does Satish, Red Fox or mo flow. I my experience, that's rare in men. I'm sure you don't mind me saying so. In other words, you all have true confidence and don't need patriarchal clap-trap - you're treasures.

    Anyway Artleads, here's a good example of materialist reductionism as applied to one of my great loves: plants.

    I'm sitting here with flowers from my garden on my desk. It's cold and wet outside, and the brighten up my day. Among them is a small posy of sweet violets. There are so many in my garden at the moment. They are everywhere and deserve the term "shrinking violets" ( also shy girls) because they hide among their leaves, with just a bit of flower peeping out violet blue, here and there. But as you walk up to them, you catch their fragrance even before you bend down to look. The fragrance is very strong, even on a day without sun. This little posy next to me is scenting the whole room. Who cares about grey skies!
    However, when you look for the scientific description of this wonderful little plant, which is also edible, you read this (from my plant identification book The Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe):

    SWEET VIOLET Viola odorata. Low creeping perennial, downy, with rooting runners. Lvs in a tuft, rounded, enlarging in summer. Fls 15 mm, fragrant, blue violet or white, rarely lilac, pink or yellow; Mar-May, Aug-Sept. Woods, scrub, hedgebanks. T. (T stands for "throughout the area covered by the book).

    How reductionist is that?
    My poor little beautiful flowers reduced to that! In reality they are so much more. This description is truly reductionist because they have to be experienced. You have to connect with them. This is what I do naturally I think. I've never unlearned this since I was a child, and I'm sure that's why they like me and multiply, giving me pleasure as a bonus.

    Apply this kind of naming and description to everything, reduce it even more if possible, and you're lost, as most people are.

    I usually don't bother with Bot Nye anymore (good one there, Red Fox: Bot, how apt can you get!). I just couldn't resist that one. He's a poor fool.

  49. Sabine - YES! the living experience. it is all there is!!

    or as Nat King Cole sings right now...

    "I see your face in every flower,
    Your eyes in stars above,
    It's just the thought of you,
    The very thought of you, my love."

    and then Frank Sinatra follows with...

    "I believe, I believe,
    I believe in wishing wells,
    But I also believe in a lot of things,
    Things the daisy tells,
    I believe, I believe that a four-leaf clover brings,
    Lots of luck, lots of joy, lots of happiness,
    I believe those things."

  50. mo,

    Isn't it lovely that we are invited to "get" what it is all about from the simple lyrics popular songs. It makes it very accessible. Real poetry and metaphor, even there, must refer to nature, the Universe... And the "believing" in Frank's song is just old magic, and nothing to do with religious belief as we interpret it. You know what I mean. A lot of people wouldn't. In a way, you do make reality but not in the way that self-help books promise which is bad luck for gullible people.

    I think we're wasting our breath trying to get this across. People don't know what they're missing. Maybe we here are the opposite to autistic. Does that sound arrogant and elitist? It's not supposed to. Maybe some people, and increasingly more of them, can't expand their "beingness".

    Oh, how I hate to use all those nouns (including beingness) to describe what is really a process. I sometimes despair at the structure of our languages. But with this medium, we can't use anything else. Anyway, I'm sure you know what I'm getting at.

    1. oh Sabine! how I do, how I do. :) carry on, beautiful you.

  51. Mark,

    wherever you are, I'm sorry, I should have included you in my treasured men who don't impose their ego.

  52. It appears that poor old Daniel is feeling somewhat ignored as he has tried to bait me more comprehensively. I have politely declined his kind offer to play his game-I only hope he has some understanding of British humour ;)

    If I was feeling more mischievious I would have asked him to name the members of his "blame gang"-I do hope that most of you reprobates are in the "gang", perhaps a raiding party is in order? A raid on Bot's library perhaps? Too dangerous; I have heard that a 1980's psychology tract can be lethal if hurled at full force towards an unwilling target. Perhaps the best form of attack would be to retreat and hide until the "danbot gang" is worn down from lack of attention (apart from the odd hit and run attack of course)...

    1. Red Fox,

      As a colonial (word) on whom some British humor rubbed off--more so for my parent's generation, actually--I thoroughly enjoyed your response to Daniel!


      Thanks for the kind words and excellent explanation. As for things political, I would value having someone with your wiliness on my team. :-)

    2. I had to go read it. I can't even talk to people like that anymore, who are so unaware of their own relentless violence and labeling and making it up in their communications. It's why I can't hold a job anymore.

      People are freakin' psycho. The one I liked best, and I can't even remember which particular bozo said it, but someone wrote that "the only reason indigenous people appeared to live in greater balance was because they couldn't do more damage" or something like that, like how they were too stupid to keep warm in the winter.

      They only appeared to live in greater balance. Wow.

      This is why old Native Americans like my elders just quit talking altogether. It's that,or they'd drive you so crazy.

      I hope I'm in the "blame gang," whatever that is.

      And it never changes. No one ever changes their minds, in either direction.

      There is a female Native American hate-mongering Rush Limbaugh who comments in the newspaper here. She hates the psychotic environmentalists, and global warming is a hoax.

    3. OGF,

      Wester tonight wrote a touching rebuttal to the "determinist" gang. Then Grant (gee, he could have continued to stay away!) gave a contrary opinion that will make you sick to the stomach.

    4. Artleads, the excuses people come up with never fail to dumbfound. No one knows what the Native Americans thought about things. That's amazing to me. Actually, I must not have had those elders in my own family back in the 50s through the 70s, who told me what they thought, and all those books I read over the years about their documented words, oh, like that ancient tome, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Writing was so recent in the 1860s to 1890s that no historical documents remain.

      Silly me. I've been living an alternate reality my entire life. Where were those smarter people when I was growing up?

    5. OGF, that line of thinking ""the only reason indigenous people appeared to live in greater balance was because they couldn't do more damage" casts all humans into the same bucket of dog-eat-dog. I think the confusion arises from not being able to see a distinction between a people and their culture even as we realize that the culture makes the people and the people make their culture. The fact that Native Americans and other land-based peoples had a different culture is a difficult concept to grasp for those who can't handle some quiet probing into the workings of different cultures.

  53. I'm neutral about this. It comes from a most prolific email contact. I include it here, since I wasn't sure it would *not* be clearer as to its value (or lack thereof) to someone else than to me.

    "In the course of the gradual and cumulative work by which an individual recognizes the nonconscious guidance that has been directing his personal life involvements, he perceives that the peaks and valleys are of equal importance. From one point of view, all are necessary, for the high is not possible without the low. In a more fundamental sense, however, he recognizes that the essence lies not in the events of his life in themselves, not in the things that have happened to him, but in his inner relationship to those events. . . . It is as though previously untapped knowledge is activated so that a person is brought face to face with his ultimates, and the meaning of his personal existence. . . . In that way we extend our life in harmony with the inner principle that is trying to unfold through it. . . . (Journaling) places us in a position to answer the question: Where am I in the movement of my life? "

    - Ira Progoff from At A Journal Workshop

    . . . .

    "The inner principle trying to unfold in each of our lives
    The current that underlies the unfolding life of an individual
    The source of our power, our integrity, our ability to object, our ability to surrender, our ability to love
    Journaling in combination with meditation
    Can help us hook into it, link up with that elusive underlying current. "

    – Rod MacIver

  54. That is certainly some response from Wester-up there with his best I'd say. It will be morbidly interesting to see what the comeback is. But for now, it's time to go out and about. The birds are singing merrily again although for the moment it feels like spring has gone back to bed, temperature wise.

  55. OMG, Sabine, you're in trouble now. You better justify yourself, explain yourself, with footnotes from some academic Caucasian male. Otherwise you are just foolish, ignorant, romantic, irrational, hypocritical, and all the bad things in the world.

  56. oldgrowthforest,

    I will think of it as a badge of honour. I'll play on or ignore them, depending on my mood. I know you do that too. The least we can do is laugh at them.

  57. I think that last comment of Bot's directed at you was pretty unpleasant tbh Sabine. It did make me quite annoyed. Although I did respond to his pretend non understanding of the verbal middle finger I did stop short of mentioning his very passive aggressive way of trying to bait you and possibly others by that ridiculous last paragraph where he brought in the quite nasty (but theoretical to avoid actually saying it himself) "rape you" quip.
    Nearly every post he makes now seems to be aimed at trying to get a response/attention. I am beginning to see him in a different light now; there is something quite unpleasant in some of the comments.

    I dont know why today specifically, but I just read the bit about the dying Pacific on the Seemorerocks site and a link that Ulvfugl put on his forum where it just seems that the psychopaths in the US are very intent on prodding Russia to breaking point. I just got very despairing about how a sane human being could even contemplate a nuclear exchange.
    To me, although I understand the implications of NTHE, in actual fact, it doesnt mean anymore to me than the knowledge we all have in that we are going to die at some point as are my loved ones. That would happen regardless of NTHE so to some extent it is theoretical in that no one will know whether it came to pass or not. However, the Pacific thing and the nuclear sabre rattling just seems beyond comprehension just now. Ive been researching all this stuff for 20 years now, probably less than a lot of people but for some reason today it just seemed to catch me off guard. How dare these lunatics destroy without a thought the lives of billions of living, utterly conscious beings. I'm sitting here in my caravan/trailer and thinking all these birds/insects, everything will be gone in an instant if these maniacs keep pushing to the brink. I live about 20 miles from Sizewell A/B nuclear station and about 40 miles from a USAF base(s). It might be time to now stop reading about this lunacy and retreat into what is left of the green world.

    I dont usually vent online unless its impersonal but here it is about as safe as it gets online. Thank you again Satish.
    Go get 'em Sabine, if youre in the mood!

  58. "foolish, ignorant, romantic, irrational, hypocritical, "

    Why not take these one at a time? Maybe look them up in the dictionary as OGF suggests?

    Bot Nye is indulging (apart from the incredible nastiness) in word games. Unless one removes the premise on which the word game is played, he will always "win." In the same way that no one could never "outfight" Ulvfugl, no one can "outreason" Bot (unless you spend all your life on research and linguistics...or you're Ulvfugl) . Or so it seems. If so, how does one remove his premise with the words?

  59. OTOH, Sabine seems to know what she's getting into, and how she can deal with it.

  60. Artleads,

    you mentioned that you were a "colonial", British humour etc. to Red Fox.
    Can I ask you where you come from, the Caribbean maybe? If so, which island? One of the former British ones?

    I saw something about Puerto Rico on TV (BBC4) and its horrifying history since the Spanish invasion. It fits in with all the other encounters that the original Native American inhabitants had with the Spanish invaders there and throughout the Americas with other Europeans.
    All the things that some people on NBL don't want to talk about.

    Some more on that later.
    I'm going to choir practise now, where we're also doing some gospel songs, among them "Wade in the Water". The average age of the choir is 50 odd. All members, except me and a very animated Irishman are typical English middle class, home county types. If you have a British colonial background, you will know what I mean, Red Fox will too, and Satish, I think. (The "home counties" are the ones surrounding London.).

    Now, for a real laugh, just image people like that, "polite and kind" small talkers singing Gospel, with a crisp home county accent and not moving much at all... That would be too embarrassing. Oh dear! Please be my guest and laugh your head off.

    Your reply to Bud was very clear. What a rounded balanced person you are. A bit like OGF and Mark, me, and maybe all you others too, I like to think: "Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stark" said Nietzsche: What doesn't kill me makes me strong.
    You're a treasure.

  61. Happy Green shamrocks to all. Reading everything to catch up. OGF your new Alaska dog sounds like a leprachaun jumping over your poodle. My sailing weekend in Miami was fun with distant family & friends sleeping out on every inch of deck space. MO FLOW there is a metaphysic book shop in Coconut Grove with DESTINY OF SOULS in the window. SABINE I can hear you sweet of you to add me to the easy going list. ARTLEADS - I greatly appreciate the help on NBL. Beyond being Muzzled I decided not to start explaining my work there because someone else did a great job describing how nuclear rods need cooling for decades even after plant shut down. I'll be at work here in DC late tonight while the incoming solar X burst raises the EMP risk to all regions. Untill this ElectroMagnetic Pulse is grounded this unfolding news event is our exact worse nightmare. We've been watching since the flare on Sunday however are not still totally prepared to deal with an unexpected particle surcharge causing hot core reactions. Never know when nature is going to bat last right out of space. Solar flares are no problem for Earth till we added power lines and fusion systems that can sizzle & fizzle. Need St. Pats luck for this night to pass safe. Billions of humans have no idea how dangerous it is to depend on these tiny monitoring staffs to not fall asleep at the control board.

    1. Mark, I appreciate what you're pointing at. Those EM pulses take down computing machinery all the time in those massive data centers. We modern humans have been playing with things we don't fully understand for a while now.

      They recently raised the chances of a big one hitting California ( Apparently, the ground has been sinking a foot an year in the central valley as ground water is being pumped at an unprecedented rate.

  62. No, being from a British colony only meant that you felt inferior, and not part of the real world. It takes a Marcus Garvey to say, "go to hell" to this concept. He had a vision of a great Africa instead, while being extraordinarily globalist at the same time. "The whole world is my (home) until Africa is free." But I'm still the same know-nothing guy as ever, never even having heard about home counties. :-)

    BTW, I keep wondering what attracted Garvey to Germany, and so all your information about the German psyche is very welcome. Garvey has been described as a renegade. (And of course, I love renegades.) Did he see in Germany a strong entity that, sooner or later, would fuck up the mighty British Empire? (Enemy of my enemy is my friend?)

    To your other question: Jamaica. And one of the complications of the colonial conditioning, is that you end up knowing almost nothing about your place of birth. (I don't like to talk about such things.)

    "Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stark" If I just take each word in order, without applying grammar, does it go something like this?:

    What me not makes dead, makes me strong? :-)

    Thanks, as always, for the very kind words.

    1. "No, being from a British colony only meant that you felt inferior, and not part of the real world." - I can attest to that. And this too: "And one of the complications of the colonial conditioning, is that you end up knowing almost nothing about your place of birth."

      It is here that I think some of the arguments about Western Civilization's culpability in humanity's current predicament is a bit overblown. I think the "high civilizations" of China and India have had plenty to do with the rise of Western Civilization. The Chinese, after all, invented gunpowder and the Indians invented mega-religion. The record, of course, is not clear as history got overwritten to suit the West's Imperial agendas. The West ended up wiping out what could have been seen as conducive to a wee bit of vindication. Although the East has been at the receiving end for the last few hundred years, it's the East (both Middle and Far East) that first established international trade, cultural interchange, mega-religion export, etc. as early forms of the human cultural cancer, all enablers of the yet-to-come and more pernicious of all cultural cancers aka industrial civilization.

      On a more humorous note, I was amused to see red fox spelling it "humour". It took me a while to get used to the American spellings for certain words. And to say "can't" like "ant" and not like "taunt" :)

    2. Yes. My conditioning had not made me realize how foundational were those eastern civilizations. That sounds very plausible, given what I now know.

  63. Hi red fox,

    You said: "I dont know why today specifically, but I just read the bit about the dying Pacific on the Seemorerocks site and a link that Ulvfugl put on his forum where it just seems that the psychopaths in the US are very intent on prodding Russia to breaking point. I just got very despairing about how a sane human being could even contemplate a nuclear exchange."

    I'm also worried about the developments on this front (NATO and Russia saber rattling) and things don't look good. Here's an interesting take by Orlov on Global Research. The war games in the Baltic region and other hot spots seem to be happening with ever larger fleets, contingents, companies, etc. participating.

    Recently, I sent a friend (French guy in his 70s married to a Norwegian woman) this news link - about Norway buzzing Russia with its largest training drill in 50 years. He sent it out to a bunch of his friends and someone told him that the source is Russia Today which my friend hadn't noticed until then. Another friend of his pointed out the phrase "“reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with Russia” as a source for caution because of the word "reunification" rather than "annexation". My friend, having realized that he was "taken", sent a note out to all his friends mentioning that he somehow didn't realize the news report is biased and called it "insidious".

    That's the state of awareness among Americans today. NY Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post: pass. Everything else: fail. I wouldn't be surprised if the American public back a new war with Russia. They have been thoroughly worked and continue to be worked on by the mainstream media here. Alternative media sources are "insidious"! Gone are the days, if they ever existed, when citizens read a variety of news publications and make up their own minds. The uniformity and mental mono-culture is astounding. And quite painful.

    1. Just read the Orlov article.

      "But I would venture to guess that at some point failure will translate into meta-failure: America will fail even at failing. I hope that there is something we can do to help this meta-failure of failure happen sooner rather than later."

      I've had a long stint substitute teaching in an inner city school district where I had to learn to deal with very challenging behavior. So I look at the described American misbehavior as a class of uncontrolled kids gone wild. Over time, one could perhaps get one classroom under order. But that wouldn't help the systemic dysfunction within a given school, or within the school district, or within the entire sinkhole of a community. So this impasse is where it seems to me we're at in America.

    2. Yes, the entire system, the entire dominant culture, the story itself is out of balance. Sometimes I wonder if the Universe/Creation is such that everything that is created must ultimately be destroyed. And if we just happen to be witnessing the destruction of a long-fruitful culture that reached its fulfillment. We just happen to pop in at the time of decline and preside over it in some way. And like you said, all the human souls who once enjoyed plentifully rich lives on an abundant and expressive Mother Earth are now back to participate in the grand unwinding.

      In India, when a misfortune befalls someone, they say, "wonder what I did in my past to incur this fate" or something like that. I never used to care much for such mutterings, with my culture drilling the merits of Science into my young brain and calling everything that doesn't fit its story line a superstition.

    3. First I must thank you for that most brilliant piece of satire on NBL. I said to myself, "You're (I am) really laughing hard here. You don't need to force the laughter even slightly."


      "Yes, the entire system, the entire dominant culture, the story itself is out of balance. Sometimes I wonder if the Universe/Creation is such that everything that is created must ultimately be destroyed. And if we just happen to be witnessing the destruction of a long-fruitful culture that reached its fulfillment. We just happen to pop in at the time of decline and preside over it in some way. And like you said, all the human souls who once enjoyed plentifully rich lives on an abundant and expressive Mother Earth are now back to participate in the grand unwinding."

      I think back to your recent post on NBL about there being no truth, but only stories. (Close enough, I hope.)
      I will offer the thought that it's not all stories, but stories mixed (and in relationship with) something loosely termed "reality." The laws of physics (such as we understand them?). The laws of emotions? (I recently saw a video where Graham Hancock mentioned, but didn't elaborate on, this relationship between the inside and the outside (my terms). Maybe "Graham Hancock + Youtube" would bring it up. I could look.

      So what I spoke of re spirits returning for the finale was a story. Since it's a far fetched story, I can replace it with one just as far fetched. Namely: Yes. The spirits have returned for the finale. The "outside" corollary is a) the prospect of very NTE, and b) the presence of a comparable size population currently that roughly equates to that of all the humans who have ever lived.


      Those spirits from the past may be missing some information. Their return could be premature, and they could go away again, to return at some unknown future point. Maybe those old spirits can't see a way to get through this "impasse," even if there is a way. As mo flow suggests, our species is at an extremely primitive point in its evolution. If even a few of us can resolve this koan of dominant civilization, then other humans will find it progressively easy to do so.

      Since, intuitively, I don't so far feel that this is the end, and since my intuition is far and away my chief guide, I have no grounds to reach some other conclusion.

      But then, the outside can influence my intuition, so the jury continues to be out as to what the future holds.

    4. The Graham Hancock video I mentioned. It will be challenging to pick up out of context, but the issue of "reality" comes up around 56:00 and goes on for a couple minutes.

    5. Artleads, very good points... just as death doesn't spell the "end" of a person as we normally refer to, extinction might not mean the end of the spirit of humanity. It might indeed be looked at as a transformation of evolution of some sort. I just don't think that the evolution comes in the form of Man leaving Earth and going to Mars and moving beyond into outer space and "seed" the Universe with "intelligent" life. A different kind of evolution, perhaps. I am not averse to that way of thinking. Because time is a bit fictitious, nothing ever ends. There is a seed somewhere waiting to sprout. Spirits might go dormant for a while. Even then, a shadow exists if only in the consciousness of memory.

      Anything is possible. This might not even be the end as we know it. Maybe as Jeff S. posits, we might all become much more conscious and start seeking help from friendly spirits that are trying to help us and by listening to them, we can change things around, returning to more fruitful and balanced ways of co-existence. Anything is possible. I'd like that outcome, in fact. "What a suspenseful ride that was", we might say. I wonder if praying for such an outcome might actually be the most powerful and meaningful way to bring it about.

      I think what's clear is that we want there to be more justice and less suffering in the Universe. Or perhaps, we need to live more at the level where everything that's going on is just OK. Non-attachment and such.

      It's interesting to think about what reality is. But maybe we can talk more about it later.

    6. Glad you enjoyed the satire, Artleads :) I'm a bit not-so-tolerant of Scientism these days. Some of the stuff Scientistic people say is quite funny if pathetic!

  64. I'm inclined to believe there won't be war. And if there isn't, the world has Ulvfugl and his Ukraine forum thread to thank for it. I believe one person can make that sort of difference, but as everyone realizes, I'm not entirely sane. :-)

    1. Artleads, where can I find Ulvfugl's Ukraine forum thread? Is it on NBL?

    2. almost all threads on the Forum were permanently lost when Grant, as a mod trying to clean up spam, accidentally deleted them in mid-December. ulv's Ukraine was amongst them. (I was never able to get the mysterious admins who actually run the NBL server to even tell me if there was a backup. I have since given up on that front).

      details on the whole incident:

    3. Please check with Mo Flow. Many threads were apparently erased by accident some time ago. And Mo Flow came to the rescue to prevent further disasters. Ulv mostly supplied articles from hard-to-find sources, with his own editorializing every now and then. I would have been far more gullible of the MSM version of things but for that thread.

    4. Oh what a tragedy on the forum. Found this outburst from ulv:

      "I just spent 6 months 24/7 on that Ukraine thread, not to mention my Horses thread and many others. The man is an idiot, for sure, and maybe he cannot help being a cretin, but at his age, by now, he should have learned that he is a cretin, and when he needs help to tie his shoe laces, ASK for help ! To have lost ONE thread... but to wipe the whole fucking lot, I mean, some fucking joke..."

      I can only attempt to feel the pain this man Ulv endured when this happened. Made worse by Grant's behavior.

      I feel bad when even one comment is lost into the ether.

      CTRL+A (select all), CTRL+C (copy), Publish

  65. SATISH says: "Can't wait to feed you some delicious nectar in the blissful world that appears between thoughts." on NBL. "Thanks for Clairifying MO FLOW. I feel ( ) now. Carry on."

    Reading, following links - makes me thinks....perfect flavor for a blank space break. LOVE IT ****

    Lucky me tonight, on duty in place of Dan Utech being our usual direct line to the Oval Office. Just in case this happens to be the hour (Saudi day) things go critical. A chain-of-calls starting with some actual emergency in progress. Please not now....but the doom clock is always ticking with dozens of horrors on its wheel of misfortune waiting to point to one sometime.

    American misbehavior as a class of uncontrolled kids gone wild. Over time, one could perhaps get one classroom under order. But that wouldn't help the systemic dysfunction within a given school, or within the school district, or within the entire sinkhole of a community....COUNTRY...NATIONS with reactors they can't control when the chain-reaction event does happen. (And it eventually will because waiting "into Eternity" is not good odds) oh the STORY of life. "Earthlings" and their high energy toys. Want to play a war game..???

    Maybe BUD NYE is an actual "A.I." Some very human A.I. at DARPA. Somewhere I saw a fantastic clip of 2 A.I. bots having a testy interface where they both figured out they were "Gods" in just minutes. Funny stuff but I'm not sure how many got the deeper implications contained in that video record.

    So much to decipher. "H+" Transhuman. STORY of Timewave Zero.

    Ummmm take another sip of that delicious SATISH quantum cruise slip between electrons. Mag 8 New Madrid & points West. tick, tick tick

    1. tick... ( ) tick... ( ) tick... ( )

  66. Mo flow,

    I LOVE your Earth incarnation software and the way you spark of Satish's very funny relationship software comment. Both of you have such a fantastic sense of the absurd, to me a sign of truly balanced intelligence. I loved it and read your posts to my husband who has that sort of humour too. Great mirth filled the room. It's a shame we'll never meet in the real world. Mark, you too have a very well developed sense of the ridiculous, and Red Fox of course. And Artleads, you're blossoming here too. I'm lucky.

    Satish, I'm just reading one of the books you listed as a favourite: Charles Eisenstein's The Ascent of Humanity. I'm only a third through but I'm very impressed with his very intelligent insights. So much of which, I like to think, I've intuited too. His idea that the Neanderthals might have rejected to go further with technology, rejected this consciously, really chimed with me. Somehow, I can imagine that. I thought, yes, that's very possible. I'd like to talk further about that but I should finish the book first.

    Everybody else here who hasn't read it already, I recommend it. It's very inspiring.

    He wrote it, if I get this right, in opposition to Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent of Man based on the BBC series. I remember seeing that when I first came to England, and somebody bought us the book. Just looking at this book again, seeing the pictures and illustrations, makes me understand why Charles Eisenstein was inspired to write his book, so beautifully written, in a lovely readable style, like yours. But it's for people with imagination, not bots. Looking at Bronowski's book just now made me shudder. It's so typically human-centred and arrogant. The BBC is thinking of repeating and restyling this series with a new presenter. The ascent of man myth is still being pushed down people's throats as intellectual fare.

    Another thing that struck me, reading Charles Eisenstein's book and looking at what's happening in Frankfurt at the moment: the anti-capitalist protest against the ECB (new building). The Germans are already calling this tower the tower of Babel, and it does look a lot like its illustration on the cover of Eisenstein's book. It's all connecting .....

    1. Sabine -

      so glad to hear you and your hubby shared in some great mirth from our posts. :) truly, I was falling off my chair reading Satish's comment!

      and omg, the follow up from Botster 9000 sparked so many possible new directions... let's just say, if I had let myself, I would be in orbit somewhere beyond Neptune with the endless possible ways this could launch me into the outer realms or mockery and glee. I just HAD to resist. ... just thinking about the possibilities now makes me sneer and chuckle to myself, and the tsunami of baleful laughter is just simmering... no no... must... resist...!

      yes! that website and book of Eisenstein's are so fascinating. I got into the website for a bit, and was very impressed. will take a look more at the book when I've got some time.

      nature is going to have one *hell* of a riff on "The Ascent of Man" - now that's going to be some wild, wicked, mocking, fun!

    2. Personally, I'm going to run out immediately and buy everything recommended. Nothing like the proof in the pudding, or the fruits of the trees (I'm hoping for a couple of apple trees this spring, always wanted some), and so on.

      The beauty and eloquence, the compassion and understanding, the gentle tone, depth of heart, humor ~ a healing energy, and most especially the humility and respect shown to others by the Bot, prove the benefits and efficacy of these experts.

      Hey, my new dog is hilarious! He leaps off six-foot embankments, hits the sloping ground running, and then runs straight back up the embankment. He also walks the length of downed trees five feet off the ground, and capers along the peaks of snow berms.

      I know for a fact that my dogs know more about relationships than Bot does. Never been any doubt in my mind. Don't you, guys?

    3. Hi Sabine, so glad to hear your husband and you enjoyed our humor :) I couldn't resist! That paragraph from Bud was asking for it :)

      Your guess is right on: Eisenstein titled his book after "Ascent of Man". I came upon Eisenstein's work in early 2012 and invited him to give a talk at Google later that year. It's here if you want to spend an hour watching a bunch of nerdy guys trying to make sense of our ascent. Progress and Development are all the rage these days so that BBC show might be received positively by the anthropocentric hordes. Incredible how these stories have captured the imagination of Billions of humans. Eerie!

      I really liked your reductionist definition example of the very fragrant and lively flower. Language, itself a great example of reductionist thinking, cannot even come close to describing the experience itself of holding a flower and receiving the gift of its fragrance. Language makes management easy. Science makes management easy. Those who want to manage will put out tomes describing everything and anything. What can't be described can't be managed. Perhaps we should take reductionist thinking to its logical extreme which would include asking question such as," On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you think this description actually captures the full richness of the experience it's attempting to describe?"

      Eisenstein talks about this stuff very well. And you're so perceptive: the new ECB building does resemble the tower of Babel on the cover of the book with its slanted face leaning up against the vertical face.

    4. mo flow, Botster 9000 did get our sarcasm. Either they improved their social graph algorithms to detect sarcasm or he's a real human being :) A few months ago, I read this report that said some agencies are working on detecting humor and sarcasm on social networks and discussion forums.

      Ascent of Humanity: Audiobook is here if you like listening.

  67. SABINE - Sabine - thinking of your SWEET VIOLET for days. I just posted a bit direct to you over on NBL (daring to get a science rise out of Bud.) Hey, with blood on the streets in Frankfort I'd better get braver on NBL. ultra rays of violet light shining on you.

    SATISH - your amazing in so many aspects. May I have an Ap for you if I can't hire you? Your Priceless. Send in the clones..."Don't bother there here." The Pentagon could not contain you.

    So glad you met Guy in Chico. As you know I took his class and my Congressman father kicked up Arizona campus dust over water issues with Guy ages ago..."Where have all the flowers gone..."

    You & MO FLOW are getting rave reviews and devil-wears-Zuckerberg offers galore on NBL. Please design an ap to watch us, watching the end, in real time

    1. I'd like to design an app that helps us be more conscious of exactly how we fit into the Universe. Like a map that shows where we stand. Where we'd be able to see how other people think, what they believe in, etc. and meet the people standing next to us on the map wherever they may be physically located.