Wednesday, January 16, 2019

cosmic gall




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Every second, hundreds of billions of these neutrinos pass through each square inch of our bodies, coming from above during the day and from below at night, when the sun is shining on the other side of the earth!

—M.A. Ruderman and A.H. Rosenfeld
An Explanatory Statement on Elementary Particle Physics,
American Scientist

.
 

Neutrinos they are very small.
    They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
    To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
    Or photons through a sheet of glass.
    They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
    Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
    And, scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like tall
And painless guillotines, they fall
    Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
    And pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed — you call
    It wonderful; I call it crass.
–John Updike







suddener, crazier





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The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the roses.


–Louis MacNeice
snow

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keep walking. do your own time.




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All we have to believe with is our senses: the tools we use to perceive the world, our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.

–Neil Gaiman
American Gods

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

glimpse




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The ancient Druids are said to have taken a special interest in in-between things like mistletoe, which is neither quite a plant nor quite a tree, and mist, which is neither quite a rain nor quite air, and dreams, which are neither quite waking nor quite sleep. They believed that in such things as those they were able to glimpse the mystery of the two worlds at once.
–Frederick Buechner
Whistling in the Dark

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weirdness



  

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People say, “I’m going to sleep now,” as if it were nothing. But it’s really a bizarre activity. “For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I’m going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.” If you didn’t know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you’d seen. “They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be okay? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the ‘mind adventures’ got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren’t unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.” So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you’re in a science fiction movie. And whisper, ‘The creature is regenerating itself'.

—George Carlin

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questions





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Change your ways of feeling and thinking, take stock of them and examine them closely. You are in bondage by inadvertence.

Attention liberates. You are taking so many things for granted. 

Begin to question. The most obvious things are the most doubtful. 
Ask yourself such questions as: 

‘Was I really born? 
‘Am I really so-and-so?’
‘How do I know that I exist?
‘Who are my parents?’
‘Have they created me, or have I created them?’ 
‘Must I believe all I am told about myself?’
‘Who am I, anyhow?’. 

You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered.


–Nisargadatta Maharaj


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Monday, January 14, 2019

The Garden of Forking Paths





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The Garden of Forking Paths is an incomplete, but not false, image of the universe as Ts’ui Pen conceived it. 

In contrast to Newton and Schopenhauer, your ancestor did not believe in a uniform, absolute time. He believed in an infinite series of times, in a growing, dizzying net of divergent, convergent and parallel times. This network of times, which approached one another, forked, broke off, or were unaware of one another for centuries, embraces all possibilities of time. 

We do not exist in the majority of these times; in some you exist, and not I; in others I, not you; in others, both of us.

Through our daily rambles on the web, where each array of links is a bifurcation of alternatives, labyrinthine time has become a familiar part of our lives.


—Paul Halpern
The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler
Revolutionized Time and Reality


 .




question





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Where does unbelief begin? 
When I was young 

there were degrees of certainty. 
I could say, Yes I know that I have two hands.
Then one day I awakened on a planet of people whose hands occasionally 
   disappear.


–Anne Carson

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The Great Blending

  



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For intervals, then, throughout our lives
we savor a concurrence, the great blending
of our chance selves with what sustains
all chance. We ride the wave and are
the wave. And with renewed belief
inner and outer we find our talk
turned to prayer, our prayer into truth:
for an interval, early, we become at home in the world.

–William Stafford 


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Friday, January 4, 2019

h(ear




Gordon Hempton, acoustic ecologist


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To the New Year





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With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible



–W. S. Merwin


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there is nothing new under the sun –Ecclesiastes 1:9





.


There is nothing new you will find here. The work we are doing is timeless. It was the same ten thousand years ago. Centuries roll on …

–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


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Thursday, January 3, 2019

infinite storm of beauty






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When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell, and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals as friendly fellow mountaineers. Nature as a poet, an enthusiastic workingman, becomes more and more visible the farther and higher we go; for the mountains are fountains — beginning places, however related to sources beyond mortal ken.

...

The universe would be incomplete without man; but it would also be incomplete without the smallest transmicroscopic creature that dwells beyond our conceitful eyes and knowledge… The fearfully good, the orthodox, of this laborious patchwork of modern civilization cry “Heresy” on every one whose sympathies reach a single hair’s breadth beyond the boundary epidermis of our own species. Not content with taking all of earth, they also claim the celestial country as the only ones who possess the kind of souls for which that imponderable empire was planned.

...


I have never yet happened upon a trace of evidence that seemed to show that any one animal was ever made for another as much as it was made for itself. Not that Nature manifests any such thing as selfish isolation. In the making of every animal the presence of every other animal has been recognized. Indeed, every atom in creation may be said to be acquainted with and married to every other, but with universal union there is a division sufficient in degree for the purposes of the most intense individuality; no matter, therefore, what may be the note which any creature forms in the song of existence, it is made first for itself, then more and more remotely for all the world and worlds.

...


The scenery of the ocean, however sublime in vast expanse, seems far less beautiful to us dry-shod animals than that of the land seen only in comparatively small patches; but when we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
–John Muir,
from Nature Writings










the round earth rolls





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This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

—John Muir

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Initiation Song from the Finders' Lodge





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Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well loved one,
walk mindfully, well loved one,
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
be always coming home.

–Ursula Le Guin
Always Coming Home


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Friday, December 28, 2018

questions





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It belches out breath and its name is wind. So long as it doesn't come forth, nothing happens. But when it does, then ten thousand hollows begin crying wildly. Can't you hear them, long and drawn out?

In the mountain forests that lash and sway, there are huge trees a hundred spans around with hollows and openings like noses, like mouths, like ears, like jugs, like cups, like mortars, like rifts, like ruts. They roar like waves, whistle like arrows, screech, gasp, cry, wail, moan, and howl, those in the lead calling out yeee!, those behind calling out yuuu! In a gentle breeze they answer faintly, but in a full gale the chorus is gigantic. And when the fierce wind has passed on, then all the hollows are empty again. 

Have you never seen the tossing and trembling that goes on?


–Chuang Tzu



Suppose I try saying something. What way do I have of knowing that if I say I know something I don't really know it? Or what way do I have of knowing that if I say I don't know something I don't really in fact know it?

I am going to try speaking some reckless words, and I want you to listen to them recklessly. How will that be?

–Chuang Tzu

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Hear the Wind Sing, excerpt






.


... the wind has its reasons. We just don't notice as we go about our  lives. But then, at some point, we are made to notice. The wind envelops you with a certain purpose in mind, and it rocks you. The wind knows everything that's inside you. And not just the wind. Everything, including a stone. They all know us very well. From top to bottom. It only occurs to us at certain times. And all we can do is go with those things. As we take them in, we survive, and deepen.

–Haruki Murakami


.
Lotta at Hof Butenland Farm Sanctuary
.





now it is clear





.



Now it is clear to me that no leaves are mine
no roots are mine
that wherever I go I will be a spine of smoke in the forest
and the forest will know it
we will both know it

and that birds vanish because of something
that I remember
flying through me as though I were a great wind
as the stones settle into the ground
the trees into themselves
staring as though I were a great wind
which is what I pray for


it is clear to me that I cannot return
but that some of us will meet once more
even here
like our own statues
and some of us still later without names
and some of us will burn with the speed
of endless departures


and be found and lost no more



—W.S. Merwin
The Carrier of Ladders


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Thursday, December 27, 2018

what speaks in the blood






.


Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating. And the oceans are above me here, rolling clouds, heavy and dark. It is winter and there is smoke from the fires. 
It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. 
Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.


–Linda Hogan

.






a contemporary

 




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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












all beings are words





.



All beings
are words of God,
His music, His
art.

Sacred books we are, for the infinite camps
in our
souls.

Every act reveals God and expands His Being.
I know that may be hard
to comprehend.

All creatures are doing their best
to help God in His birth
of Himself.

Enough talk for the night
He is laboring in me;

I need to be silent
for a while,

worlds are forming
in my
heart.



–Meister Eckhart



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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Silence will carry your voice like the nest that holds the sleeping birds. –Rabindranath Tagore





.
 


All that matters is to be at one with the living God,
to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.
Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.


Sleeping on the hearth of the living world
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of the master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.



–D. H. Lawrence
pax


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kindred




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Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature–not his Father but his Mother stirs within him, and he becomes immortal with her immortality. From time to time she claims kinship with us, and some globule from her veins steals up into our own.

–Henry David Thoreau

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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

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Monday, December 24, 2018

friend




 
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Written on Christmas Eve, 1513


I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.


No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace! 

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

And so, at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.



–Fra Giovanni



.






bless




.
(Piero, please be mine)
.





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


💗







Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Poem for Giambattista Vico, excerpt





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The wind blows where it likes: that is what
Everyone is like who is born from the wind.
Oh now it's getting serious. We want to be those
Born from the wind that blows along the plains
And over the sea where no one has a home.
And that Upsetting Rabbi, didn't he say:
"Take nothing with you, no blanket, no bread.
When evening comes, sleep wherever you are.
And if the owners say no, shake out the dust
From your sandals; leave the dust on their doorstep."
Don't hope for what will never come. Give up hope,
Dear friends, the joists of life are laid on the winds.



–Robert Bly



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would the heart





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Ah! would the heart but be a manger for the birth,
God would become once more a little child of earth.

Immeasurable is the Highest! Who but knows it?

And yet a human heart can perfectly enclose it.


–Angelus Silesius


 





if you want

 




.


If
you want
the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the holy
and say
“I need shelter for the night, please take me inside your heart,
my time is so close.”

Then, under the roof of your soul, you will witness the sublime
intimacy, the divine, the Christ
taking birth
forever,
as she grasps your hand for help, for each of us
is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yes there, under the dome of your being does creation
come into existence externally, through your womb, dear pilgrim—
the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help; for each of us is
His beloved servant
never
far.

If you want, the Virgin will come walking
down the street pregnant
with Light and
sing . . .



–St. John of the Cross

Daniel Ladinsky translation,
Love Poems from God



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