Sunday, December 31, 2017

from where it begins





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At the end of the year the stars go out
the air stops breathing and the Sibyl sings
first she sings of the darkness she can see
she sings on until she comes to the age
without time and the dark she cannot see

no one hears then as she goes on singing
of all the white days that were brought to us one by one
that turned to colors around us

a light coming from far out in the eye
where it begins before she can see it
burns through the words that no one has believed


—W.S. Merwin
The Pupil, 2001



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lute music





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Let us celebrate.
The Earth will be going on a long time
Before it finally freezes;
Men will be on it; they will take names,
Give their deeds reasons.
We will be here only
As chemical constituents—
A small franchise indeed.

Right now we have lives,
Corpuscles, Ambitions, Caresses,
Like everybody had once—
Here at the year's end, at the feast
Of birth, let us bring to each other
The gifts brought once west through deserts—
The precious metal of our mingled hair,
The frankincense of enraptured arms and legs,
The myrrh of desperate, invincible kisses—

Let us celebrate the daily
Recurrent nativity of love,
The endless epiphany of our fluent selves,
While the earth rolls away under us
Into unknown snows and summers,
Into untraveled spaces of the stars.


–Kenneth Rexroth




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blessing





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May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.

with love
a


.
Reykjavik peace tower

to john lennon
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Saturday, December 30, 2017

our 3D cellular matrix

 
 
 
 
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If we look at the basics of a perception we have sensory inputs, an information processor and the screen for the output.

Unlike a computer that has a monitor or tv by which to output the final rendered product of information processing, life has done something far more extraordinary.

We don’t have a computer screen inside of our head. Instead, the mind simulates the screen, as all the regions of the brain required to process sensory information are distributed within a 3D cellular matrix.


–Ian Wilson
Immersion Into the Human Experience


 
.
Mike Walker
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spirit of a place






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Different places on the face of the earth have different vital effluence, a different vibration of chemical exhalation, a different polarity with the stars; call it what you like.

But the spirit of a place is a great reality.


—D. H. Lawrence

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Friday, December 29, 2017

the crossing





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There is but one world and everything that is imaginable is necessary to it. For this world also, which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood, is not a thing at all but is a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these are also the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson.

Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall. 

And those seams that are hid from us are of course in the tale itself and the tale has no abode or place of being except in the telling only and there it lives and makes its home and therefore we can never be done with the telling. 

Of the telling there is no end. And in whatever place by whatever name or by no name at all, all tales are one. Rightly heard all tales are one.


–Cormac McCarthy



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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

question





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Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles
and the water is clear?



—Lao Tzu



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wit(ness





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Know yourself to be the changeless witness of the changeful mind.
That is enough.


–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



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tonight would be the night






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The moon is full tonight
an illustration for sheet music,
an image in Matthew Arnold
glimmering on the English Channel,
or a ghost over a smoldering battlefield
in one of the history plays.

It's as full as it was
in that poem by Coleridge
where he carries his year-old son
into the orchard behind the cottage
and turns the baby's face to the sky
to see for the first time
the earth's bright companion,
something amazing to make his crying seem small.

And if you wanted to follow this example,
tonight would be the night
to carry some tiny creature outside
and introduce him to the moon.

And if your house has no child,
you can always gather into your arms
the sleeping infant of yourself,
as I have done tonight,
and carry him outdoors,
all limp in his tattered blanket,
making sure to steady his lolling head
with the palm of your hand.

And while the wind ruffles the pear trees
in the corner of the orchard
and dark roses wave against a stone wall,
you can turn him on your shoulder
and walk in circles on the lawn
drunk with the light.
You can lift him up into the sky,
your eyes nearly as wide as his,
as the moon climbs high into the night.


–Billy Collins



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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

among the multitudes







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I am who I am.
A coincidence no less unthinkable
than any other.
I could have different
ancestors, after all.
I could have fluttered
from another nest
or crawled bescaled
from another tree.

Nature's wardrobe
holds a fair
supply of costumes:
Spider, seagull, fieldmouse.
each fits perfectly right off
and is dutifully worn
into shreds.

I didn't get a choice either,
but I can't complain.
I could have been someone
much less separate.
someone from an anthill, shoal, or buzzing swarm,
an inch of landscape ruffled by the wind.

Someone much less fortunate,
bred for my fur
or Christmas dinner,
something swimming under a square of glass.

A tree rooted to the ground
as the fire draws near.

A grass blade trampled by a stampede
of incomprehensible events.

A shady type whose darkness
dazzled some.
What if I'd prompted only fear,
Loathing,
or pity?

If I'd been born
in the wrong tribe
with all roads closed before me?

Fate has been kind
to me thus far.

I might never have been given
the memory of happy moments

My yen for comparison
might have been taken away.

I might have been myself minus amazement,
that is,
someone completely different.


–Wislawa Szymborska




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Saturday, December 23, 2017

beauti(ful





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You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it

It’s too bad that you want to be someone else

You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.


—Rumi


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Friday, December 22, 2017

Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimension –Edwin Abbott Abbott ,1884





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In this classic masterwork of perspective, Abbott examines the science of multiple spatial dimensions while satirizing the absurdity of truth by consensus and extending a subtle invitation to consider how what we take as our givens limits our grasp of reality, presenting us with a false view of the world warped by our way of looking at it.

The story is narrated by a protagonist named A. Square, a native of Flatland — a world whose geometric denizens only live and see in two dimensions. But the square has a transformative experience that renders him “the sole possessor of the truths of Space.” On the eve of a new year, he has a hallucinatory vision of journeying to a faraway place called Lineland, populated by “lustrous points” who see him not as a shape but merely as a scattering of points along a line. Frustrated, he tries to demonstrate his squareness to their king by moving from left to right. The king, ignorant of directions, fails to perceive the motion and clings to his view of the square as points on a line.

But then the square himself is visited by a creature from another world — a sphere from the three-dimensional Spaceland. The very notion of three dimensions is at first utterly unimaginable to our hero — he sees the visitor merely as a circle. And yet when the sphere floats up and down, thus contracting and expanding the radius of the perceived circle based on its distance from our grounded observer, the square begins to suspect that he, like the inhabitants of Lineland, might be congenitally blind to the existence of another dimension.

When he returns to Flatland and tries to awaken his compatriots to the revelatory existence of a third dimension, he is met only with obtuse denial and declared mad. Decrees are passed to make illegal any suggestion of a third dimension and all who make such claims are to be imprisoned or executed.

The square himself is eventually thrown in jail, where he spends seven years and composes Flatland as a cautionary memoir he hopes will inspire posterity to see beyond the limit of two dimensions.


–Maria Popova




.
full article at
brainpickings

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the principal element of creation





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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



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the only clue





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You want to know yourself. For this, keep steadily in the focus of consciousness, the only clue you have: your certainty of being. 

Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.

–Nisargadatta Maharaj


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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

know this





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Know that this troublesome body is like a coat of armor:
comfortable neither in winter or in summer.
Yet still this bad associate is good for you because of the patience you must show in overcoming its desires, for the exercise of patience expands the heart with spiritual peace.

The patience shown by the moon to the dark night keeps it illumined; the patience shown by the rose to the thorn keeps it fragrant.


—Rumi
Camille and Kabir Helminski version
Persion transliteration Yahyá Monastra





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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

not to worry





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Rest in peace.
You are the unchangeable Awareness in which all activity takes place.
Always rest in peace. 

You are eternal Being, unbounded and undivided.
Just keep Quiet. All is well. Keep Quiet Here and Now. 


You are Happiness, you are Peace, you are Freedom.
Do not entertain any notions that you are in trouble. 


Be kind to yourself. Open to your Heart and simply Be.
Those who know This know Everything. 

If not, even the most learned know nothing at all.


–Papaji



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Sunday, December 17, 2017

the seed cracked open






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It used to be
That when I would wake in the morning
I could with confidence say,
“What am ‘I’ going to
Do?”
That was before the seed
Cracked open.
Now Hafiz is certain:
There are two of us housed
In this body,
Doing the shopping together in the market and
Tickling each other
While fixing the evening’s food.
Now when I awake
All the internal instruments play the same music:
“God, what love-mischief can 'We’ do
For the world
Today?”
 

–Hafiz
The Gift


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my(self





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I was in the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.

–Wallace Stevens
Tea in the Palaz of Hoon


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Saturday, December 16, 2017

let us lose sight of our(selves





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Understand, I’ll slip quietly away from the noisy crowd when I see the pale stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.

I’ll pursue solitary pathways through the pale twilit meadows, with only this one dream: You come too.


–Rainer Maria Rilke


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Friday, December 15, 2017

before the names






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I dream of the silence
the day before Adam came
to name the animals,
The gold skins newly dropped
from God's bright fingers, still
implicit with the light.
A day like this, perhaps:
a winter whiteness
haunting the creation,

as we are sometimes
haunted by the space
we fill, or by the forms

we might have known
before the names,
beyond the gloss of things.

–John Burnside



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hurry, excerpt






from Octavio Paz: Selected Poems,

ed. Eliot Weinberger



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anna
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dew light






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Now in the blessed days of more and less
when the news about time is that each day
there is less of it I know none of that
as I walk out through the early garden
only the day and I are here with no
before or after and the dew looks up
without a number or a present age

–W. S. Merwin
from the moon before morning


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Thursday, December 14, 2017

note to self






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Heaven and Earth are impartial;
they treat all of creation as straw dogs.
The Master doesn't take sides;
she treats everyone like a straw dog.

The space between Heaven and Earth is like a bellows;
it is empty, yet has not lost its power.
The more it is used, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you comprehend.

It is better not to speak of things you do not understand.


–Lao Tzu
from the Tao Te Ching
J. H. McDonald translation


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

keep moving, excerpt





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Stay light-footed, and keep moving.
Do you hear what the violin
says about longing?
The same as the stick, "I was once
a green branch in the wind."
We are all far from home.
Language is our caravan bell.
Don't stop anywhere.
The moment you're attracted to a place,
you grow bored with it.
Think of the big moves you've already made,
from a single cell to a human being!
Stay light-footed, and keep moving.
Turkish, Arabic, Greek, any tongue
is a wind that was formerly water.
As a breeze carries the ocean inside it,
so underneath every sentence is,
"Come back to the source."


–Rumi
Coleman Barks version from a
John Moyne translation




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Sunday, December 10, 2017

the price you pay






I heard a man say a poem once, he said,
All that lives is holy.’



—John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath


 

...



A cat, when it walks—did you ever see a cat making an aesthetic mistake? 
Did you ever see a badly formed cloud?
Were the stars ever mis-arranged? 

When you watch the foam breaking on the seashore, did it ever make a bad pattern? 
Never. 

And yet we think in what we do, we make mistakes. And we’re worried about that. 
So there came this point in human evolution when we lost our innocence. 

When we lost this thing that the cats and the flowers have, and had to think about it, 
and had to purposely arrange and discipline and push our lives around in accordance
with foresight and words and systems of symbols, accountancy, calculation and so on,
and then we worry. 


And this, though, also, is the price you pay for knowing that you know. For being able to think about thinking, being able to feel about feeling. And so you’re in this funny position. 

–Alan Watts 
The Nature of Consciousness



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you know





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We are not stuff that abides,
but patterns that perpetuate themselves.
 

–Norbert Weiner



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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Yo Yo Ma - Bach Six Cello Suites - BBC Proms 2015






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(interview just past the end of the first hour)
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ah






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Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.

–Heraclitus
Fragments
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subcognition
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