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


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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





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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.

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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.

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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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