Saturday, June 15, 2019



Why do you insist the universe is not a conscious intelligence,

when it gives birth to conscious intelligence?

c. 44 BCE


It must be obvious...that there is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity.


To Taoism that which is absolutely still or absolutely perfect is absolutely dead, for without the possibility of growth and change there can be no Tao. In reality there is nothing in the universe which is completely perfect or completely still; it is only in the minds of men that such concepts exist.

—Alan Watts


open secret


Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.

—Nikola Tesla


Directly opposite to the concept of a universe as machine built on law is the vision of a world self-synthesized. On this view, the notes struck out on a piano by the observer participants of all times and all places, bits though they are in and by themselves, constitute the great wide world of space and time and things.

—John Wheeler


If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.

—Nikola Tesla


The body is our general medium for having a world. —Maurice Merleau-Ponty


Autopoiesis = Self-Creation
(from Greek auto = “self” and poiesis = “creation)


Nothing is lost,

nothing is created,

everything is transformed.

—Antoine Lavoisier


When the beetle sees, it is I that am looking,
When the nightingale sings, it is I that am singing,
When the lion roars, it is I that am roaring. 

But when I look for myself, I can see nothing --
for no thing is there to be seen. 

Síle cannot see me either, for when she tries to see me it is 
I who am looking: she can do nothing -- for only I can do anything.
The beetle can say that also, and Síle, for we are not three, 
nor two, nor one. 

I am the sea too, and the stars, the wind and the rain,
I am everything that has form -- for form is my seeing of it.
I am every sound -- for sound is my hearing of it,
I am all flavours, each perfume, whatever can be touched,
For that which is perceptible is my perceiving of it,
And all sentience is mine. They have no other existence, and neither have I -- 
for what they are I am, and what I am they are.
What the universe is I am, and what I am the universe is.
And there is no other at all, nor any one whatsover. 

—Wei Wu Wei
Open Secret


Friday, June 14, 2019

If we were on a star, what would we see of that which exists on the earth?


If we found ourselves on a star, and if, from there we could see the life on our planet, we should not see modern civilization. We should for example see the events occurring in Egypt in the time of the Paraohs. 

—Alexander Ananoff


Although the interval of time that ... elapses between the moment when we perceive the image of an object and that at which it "left" may be infinitely short, the principle involved is the same as that which relates to the thousands of years taken by the image of the star to reach us.

In both cases the conclusion is: "those things we see are images of the past".


Is there any reason for lingering to discuss problems of this kind? –The Masters who inculcate the Secret Teachings do not think so ... the objects providing the subject on which our cleverness is exercised have no real existence.

What has to be understood is that theories and doctrines of all kinds are the fabrication of our mind.

—Alexandra David-Néel
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects


If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is - infinite. —William Blake


If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.
Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein


What if I came down now out of these

solid dark clouds that build up against the mountain

day after day with no rain in them

and lived as one blade of grass

in a garden in the south when the clouds part in winter

from the beginning I would be older than all the animals

and to the last I would be simpler

frost would design me and dew would disappear on me

sun would shine through me

I would be green with white roots

feel worms touch my feet as a bounty

have no name and no fear

turn naturally to the light

know how to spend the day and night

climbing out of myself

all my life

—W. S. Merwin
a contemporary

I’d woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist. —Fernando Pessoa


No permanence is ours; we are a wave
That flows to fit whatever form it finds:
Through day or night, cathedral or the cave
We pass forever, craving form that binds.

—Hermann Hesse
from “Lament” in The Glass Bead Game
Clara and Richard Winston


Although from the beginning 
I knew

the world is impermanent,

not a moment passes

when my sleeves are dry.

Sky Above, Great Wind


Wednesday, June 12, 2019



The general imprecise way of observing sees everywhere in nature opposites (as, e.g., ‘warm and cold’) where there are, not opposites, but differences of degree. This bad habit has led us into wanting to comprehend and analyse the inner world, too, the spiritual-moral world, in terms of such opposites. An unspeakable amount of painfulness, arrogance, harshness, estrangement, frigidity has entered into human feelings because we think we see opposites instead of transitions. 

—Friedrich Nietzsche
The Wanderer and his Shadow


You are the deep innerness of all things,
the last word that can never be spoken.
To each of us you reveal yourself differently:
to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.

—Rainer Maria Rilke 
Trans. by Anita Barrows


as above


In order to “see” these idealizations, we must as a first step accept the fact that beneath our world lies another one, that our three-dimensional world is embedded in the inner world.

—Norman Friedman
Bridging Science and Spirit


The best method is to plunge deep into the inner man and remain there in seclusion, constantly tending the vineyard of one’s heart.

—St. Isaac of Syria


not to worry



There is nothing to do. Just be. 
Do nothing. Be. 

No climbing mountains and sitting in caves. 
I do not even say: ‘be yourself’, since you do not know yourself. 

Just be. 

Having seen that you are neither the ‘outer’ world of perceivables, nor the ‘inner’ world of thinkables, 
that you are neither body nor mind, 
just be.

—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

con(scious—knowing(with (another)



Plants don’t get enough credit.

They move. You know this. Your houseplant salutes the sun each morning. At night, it returns to center.

You probably don’t think much of it. This is simply what plants do: Get light. Photosynthesize. Make food. Live.

But what about all the signs of plant intelligence that have been observed.

Under poor soil conditions, the pea seems to be able to assess risk. The sensitive plant can make memories and learn to stop recoiling if you mess with it enough. The Venus fly trap appears to count when insects trigger its trap. And plants can communicate with one another and with caterpillars.

Now, a study published recently in Annals of Botany has shown that plants can be frozen in place with a range of anesthetics, including the types that are used when you undergo surgery. 

Insights gleaned from the study may help doctors better understand the variety of anesthetics used in surgeries. But the research also highlights that plants are complex organisms, perhaps less different from animals than is often assumed.
The researchers trapped pea plants in glass chambers with ether, soaked roots of the sensitive plant and seedlings of garden cress in lidocaine and even measured the electrical activity of a Venus fly trap’s cells. An hour or so later the plants became unresponsive. The seedlings stayed dormant. And the Venus fly trap didn’t react to a stimulus similar to a bug crawling across its maw. Its cells stopped firing.

When the dope wore off, the plants returned to life, as if something had hit pause — almost like they were regaining consciousness, something we typically don’t think they possess. It’s all so animal-like.

“How organisms are perceiving the environment or responding or adapting are based on some very similar principles,” Dr. Baluska said.

Researchers already knew that anesthetics with different chemical structures or elements all seem to halt pain, consciousness or activity in plants and animals — even bacteria. But how they render us unconscious or how so many different kinds physically act on the human nervous system still elude us after more than a century of use. Some bind to receptors to turn off activity. But this can’t explain them all.

Under anesthetics, the physical properties of cell membranes change, becoming more flexible. Apply pressure to the cells, this effect is reversed and the anesthetic wears off. This suggests that something simple, like what is physically happening to a cell’s membrane, may be the common denominator explaining anesthetics’ effects across the plant and animal kingdoms, Dr. Baluska and colleagues suggest. 

In some plant root cells under anesthesia, Dr. Baluska and his colleagues found that membranes were having trouble doing what they normally do, recycling bits of cellular material by transporting it in and out of cells.

Dr. Baluska can’t say what was altering membrane function in the plants, but membranes are important for transferring messages via electricity from one cell to another, messages that would lead to action or movement.

The electrical activity that moves across neurons is thought by some scientists to contribute to human consciousness. If electrical activity is being disrupted by anesthetic in plants, too, causing them to “lose consciousness,” does that mean, in some way, that they are conscious?

“No one can answer this because you cannot ask them,” said Dr. Baluska.

Even so, perhaps we’re more alike, us and plants, than we think.

JoAnna Klein

The Neurons Who Watch Birds


We have to think now what it would be like
To be old. Some funny little neurons,
Developed for high-speed runners, and quick
Handed bowmen, begin to get tired. They fire

But then lay down their bows and watch birds.
The kidney cells - "Too much thinking!" the Chinese
Say - look around for help, but the kids have
All gone to the city. Your friends get hit by lightning,

And your enemies live on. This isn't going to get
Better. Crows yelling from the telephone wires
Don't include you in the stories they tell, and they seem
To remember some story that you haven't heard.

What can you do? We'll have to round up
All those little people wandering about
In the body, get them to sit up straight, and study
This problem: How do we die?

Robert Bly
Morning Poems

I regard consciousness as fundamental ... matter as derivative from consciousness. —Max Planck


We have found that the atom is a living entity, a little vibrant world, and that within its sphere of influence other little lives are to be found, and this very much in the same sense as each of us is an entity, or positive nucleus of force or life, holding within our sphere of influence other lesser lives, i.e., the cells of our body. What can be said of us can be said, in degree, of the atom.


atoms possess—as centres of force—a persistent soul ... 

every atom has sensation and power of movement.


We might extend the idea still further and consider a planet as an atom. Perhaps there is a life within the planet that holds the substance of the sphere and all forms of life upon it to itself as a coherent whole, and that has a specific extent of influence.
... There may perhaps be within the planetary sphere and Entity Whose consciousness is as far removed from that of man as the consciousness of man is from that of the atom of chemistry.

—Alice C. Bailey (1880 - 1949)
The Consciousness of the Atom


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

in your body lies a priceless gem


Images, however sacred
they may be, retain
the attention outside,
whereas at the time of prayer
the attention must be within -
in the heart. The concentration
of attention in the heart -
this is the starting point of prayer.

—Saint Theophan the Recluse
from for lovers of god everywhere
compiled by Roger Housden


Parting is one of the exactions
of a Mortal Life.
It is bleak - like Dying
but occurs more times.

To escape the former,
some invite the last.
The Giant in the Human Heart
was never met outside.

—Emily Dickinson
from New poems of Emily Dickinson


my heart


My heart, sit only with those
who know and understand you.

Sit only under a tree
that is full of blossoms.

In the bazaar of herbs and potions
don't wander aimlessly,
find the shop with a potion that is sweet.

If you don't have a measure
people will rob you in no time.

You will take counterfeit coins
thinking they are real.

Don't fill your bowl with food from
every boiling pot you see.

Not every joke is humorous, so don't search
for meaning where there isn't one.

Not every eye can see,
not every sea is full of pearls.

My heart, sing the song of longing,
like nightingale.

The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.

First, lay down your head,
then one by one
let go of all distractions.

Embrace the light and let it guide you
beyond the winds of desire.

There you will find a spring and
nourished by its sweet waters
like a tree you will bear fruit forever.



may my heart


may my heart always be open to little

birds who are the secrets of living

whatever they sing is better than to know

and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry

and fearless and thirsty and supple

and even if it's sunday may i be wrong

for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully

and love yourself so more than truly

there's never been quite such a fool who could fail

pulling all the sky over him with one smile

—E. E. Cummings