Thursday, August 17, 2017


the Great Mother


The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds. It is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.

–Lao Tzu


the electrons


With their round dance the electrons spin
chrysalises of that which abides,
the inmost cocoons
which do not open of their own accord
but are of that which abides.

There it is not a matter of hatching out.

There it is a matter of tending and protecting
the metamorphoses of the inmost
deeper-down swaying,

the innermost playing of women in dance.

–Harry Martinson


we have a beautiful mother


We have a beautiful
Her hills
Are buffaloes
Her buffaloes
We have a beautiful
Her oceans
Are wombs
Her wombs
We have a beautiful
Her teeth
The white stones
At the edge
Of the water
The summer
Her plentiful
We have a beautiful
Her green lap
Her brown embrace
Her blue body
Everything we know.

–Alice Walker


it is a body


The earth I tread on is not a dead inert mass.

It is a body—has a spirit—is organic—and fluid to the influence of its spirit—and to whatever particle of the spirit is in me.

—Henry David Thoreau


[…] I’ve finally experienced what the poet felt. The deep sense of loss after you’ve met the woman you love, have made love, then said goodbye. Like you’re suffocating. The same emotion hasn’t changed at all in a thousand years. I’ve never had this feeling up till now, and it makes me realize how incomplete I’ve been, as a person.

–Haruki Murakami



Jesus said, “If they say to you, ‘Where did you come from?’,
say to them, ‘We came from the light, the place where the light
came into being on its own accord and established (itself) and
became manifest through their image

If they say to you, ‘Is it you?’, say,
We are its children, we are the elect of the Living Father.’ 

If they ask you, ‘What is the sign of your father in you?’,
say to them, ‘It is movement and repose.’

–The Gospel of Thomas




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


in any instant


There is no less holiness at this time - as you are reading this - than there was on the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the 30th year, in the 4th month, on the 5th day of the month as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Cheban, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of god. There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree at the end of your street than there was under Buddha's bo tree. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in trees.

–Annie Dillard
For the Time Being




Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.

So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

–Wendell Berry
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, second half


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

i am not i


I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;

who remains calm and silent while I talk,
and forgives gently, when I hate,

who walks where I am not,
who will remain standing when I die.

–Juan Ramón Jiménez 




You have been telling the people that this is
the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.

And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing? 
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.

It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.

Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those
who will be afraid.

They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart
and they will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination.

The elders say we must let go of the shore,
push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open and our heads above the water.

See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves.
For the moment that we do,
our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!

Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner
and in celebration.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

–The Hopi Nation Elders
of Oraibi, Arizona


I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. –The Little Prince


By a single thought that comes into the mind,

in one moment a hundred worlds are overturned.



miracle fair


Commonplace miracle:
that so many commonplace miracles happen.

An ordinary miracle:
in the dead of night
the barking of invisible dogs.

One miracle out of many:
a small, airy cloud
yet it can block a large and heavy moon.

Several miracles in one:
an alder tree reflected in the water,
and that it's backwards left to right
and that it grows there, crown down
and never reaches the bottom,
even though the water is shallow.

An everyday miracle:
winds weak to moderate
turning gusty in storms.

First among equal miracles:
cows are cows.

Second to none:
just this orchard
from just that seed.

A miracle without a cape and top hat:
scattering white doves.

A miracle, for what else could you call it:
today the sun rose at three-fourteen
and will set at eight-o-one.

A miracle, less surprising than it should be:
even though the hand has fewer than six fingers,
it still has more than four.

A miracle, just take a look around:
the world is everywhere.

An additional miracle, as everything is additional:
the unthinkable
is thinkable.

–Wislawa Szymborska
Joanna Trzeciak version


Be a good animal, true to your instincts. –D.H.L.


When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego, and when we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality and get into the forests again, we shall shiver with cold and fright but things will happen to us so that we don't know ourselves.
Cool, unlying life will rush in, and passion will make our bodies taut with power, we shall stamp our feet with new power and old things will fall down, we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.

–D. H. Lawrence


Statement to the Court, excerpt



Your honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth.
I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it;
while there is a criminal element, I am of it;
while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

–Eugene Debs
Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act,
September 18, 1918




Love one another.

—Jesus of Nazareth


shanti, shanti, shanti


That is perfect. This is perfect.

Perfect comes from perfect.

Take perfect from perfect, the remainder is perfect.

May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.

–The Isha Upanishad


dear world


One regret, dear world
That I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed

Is that
I did not kiss you enough.



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

the principal element of creation


Most people believe the mind to be a mirror, more or less accurately reflecting the world outside them, not realizing on the contrary that the mind is itself the principal element of creation.

–Rabindranath Tagore


from A Cloud in My Hand

سَبْعُ سنابِلَ تكفي لمائدةِ الصَيْفِ…”
سَبْعُ سَنَابِلَ بين يديَّ. وفي كل سُنْبُلَةٍ
يُنْبِتُ الحقلُ حقلاً من القمح. كانَ
أَبي يَسْحَبُ الماءَ من بئرِهِ ويقولُ
لَهُ: لا تجفَّ. ويأخذني من يَدِيْ
…لأَرى كيف أكبُرُ كالفَرْفَحِينَةِ
أَمشي على حافَّة البئر: لِيْ قَمَرانْ
واحدٌ في الأعالي
آخرُ في الماء يسبَحُ … لِيْ قمرانْ


…Seven sheaths of grain are enough for the summer table
Seven sheaths of grain in my hands. And in each grain
a wheat field makes another grow. My father
drew water from his well. Don’t dry up, he
told it. He took me by the hand
to see how I’d grow like rose moss…
I walk at the edge of the well: I have two moons
one above
and another in the water swimming… I have two moons

[…] A cloud in my hand wounds me. I don’t
want from earth more than
this earth : the scent of cardamom and hay
between my father and a horse
In my hand is a cloud that wounded me. But I
don’t want from the sun more
than an orange seed and more than
the gold that flowed from the call to prayer

Mahmoud Darwish
Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone?
Jeffrey Sacks translation




A step toward your own heart
is a step toward the Beloved.

In this house of mirrors
you see a lot of things –

Rub your eyes.
Only you exist.

Jonathan Star/Shahram Shiva version




We are more closely connected
to the invisible
than to the visible.

Novalis (1772 - 1801)


Science shows us that the
visible world is neither
matter nor spirit;
the visible world is the invisible
organization of energy.

Heinz Pagels (1939-1988)


Let the waters settle
and you will see the moon
and the stars mirrored
in your own being.

Rumi (1207 - 1273)

across space and time


Everyone knows that quantum physics is weird—but it just got weirder.
Because a team of scientists from the University of Jerusalem have used quantum entanglement to allow two photons that never existed at the same time to communicate with each other.

Quantum entanglement is a weird old phenomena that means some particles, like photons and electrons, can interact with each other physically once, and yet still go on to share states—like spin or polarization—even when they're separated. That's what led Einstein to refer to the idea as "spooky action at a distance", because changes at one point are instantly mirrored in another physical location.

But the University of Jerusalem researchers have gone further, creating a pair of photons that were entangled not across space—but across time. In reality, the process didn't just use two photons to achieve the feat, but rather four.

First, the team used a laser to entangle two photons, call 'em P1 and P2. Then they measured the polarization of P1—in turn destroying it. Then they created a second pair of entangled photons, P3 and P4, and then entangled P2 and P3.

Following all this, the researchers claim that P4 demonstrated entanglement with P1—despite the fact that P1 was destroyed before P4 was even created. The researchers explain:

“In the scenario we present here, measuring the last photon affects the physical description of the first photon in the past, before it has even been measured. Thus, the 'spooky action' is steering the system’s past. Another point of view that one can take is that the measurement of the first photon is immediately steering the future physical description of the last photon. In this case, the action is on the future of a part of the system that has not yet been created."

It's the first time researchers have experimentally shown action at a distance can work not just across space but time, too. Of course, it's not really clear what the hell this finding can be used for—but sometimes science for science's sake is cool. And photons communicating from beyond the grave? That's cool.

–jamie condliffe


for you


You have no idea how hard I've looked
for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.

What's the point of bringing gold
to the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
Everything I came up with was like
taking spices to the Orient.

It's no good giving my heart and my soul
because you already have these.

So I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.

–Jalal al-Din Rumi


needs unsatisfied


And a poet said, Speak to us of Beauty.
And he answered:
Where shall you seek beauty, and how 
shall you find her unless she herself be your
way and your guide?

And how shall you speak of her except 
she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and injured say, 
"Beauty is kind and gentle."

The tired and weary say,
"Beauty is of soft whisperings
She speaks in our spirit."

In winter say the snow-bound,
"She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."

All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy. 
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see, though you
close your eyes and a song you hear, though
you shut your ears.

People of Orphalese, 
beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

–Kahlil Gibran
from The Prophet


lose your head


The first step in love is losing your head. After the petty ego you then give up your life and bear the calamity. With this behind you, proceed: polish the ego's rust from the mirror of your self.

–Fakhr al-Din Iraqi
Love's Alchemy
David and Sabrineh Fideler translations


if i were the moon


She kept a diary, in which she wrote impulsive thoughts.
Seeing the moon in the sky, her own heart surcharged,
she went and wrote:
‘If I were the moon, I know where I would fall down.’

–D. H. Lawrence
The Rainbow


Saturday, August 12, 2017

if you're the center


in every breath
if you're the center
of your own desires
you'll lose the grace
of your beloved
but if in every breath
you blow away
your self claim
the ecstasy of love
will soon arrive
in every breath
if you're the center
of your own thoughts
the sadness of autumn
will fall on you
but if in every breath
you strip naked
just like a winter
the joy of spring
will grow from within
all your impatience
comes from the push
for gain of patience
let go of the effort
and peace will arrive
all your unfulfilled desires
are from your greed
for gain of fulfillments
let go of them all
and they will be sent as gifts
fall in love with
the agony of love
not the ecstasy
then the beloved
will fall in love with you

Ghazal (Ode) 323
Nader Khalili translation




The pebble
is a perfect creature
equal to itself
mindful of its limits  
filled exactly
with a pebbly meaning
with a scent that does not remind one of anything
does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire
its ardour and coldness
are just and full of dignity
I feel a heavy remorse
when I hold it in my hand
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth
- Pebbles cannot be tamed -
to the end they will look at us
with a calm and very clear eye

–Zbigniew Herbert
Peter Dale Scott and
Czesław Miłosz





Where there is a duality, as it were, there one sees another; there one smells another; there one tastes another; there one speaks to another ... 
But where everything has become just one's own self, then whereby and whom would one see? Then whereby and whom would one smell? then whereby and to whom would one speak? then whereby and whom would one hear? then whereby and of whom would one think? then whereby and whom would one touch?
then whereby and whom would one understand?

–Brihadaranyaka Upabishad  (2.4.14)