Saturday, March 30, 2019

a thing is a think






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A separate self is merely conventional reality, in the same sense as lines of latitude and longitude and the measurements of the clock; which is why one of the means of maya, illusion, is measurement. 

Things are measurements; they are units of thought, like inches are measurements. There are no things in physical nature.

How many things is a thing? However many you want. A  “thing” is a “think”, a unit of thought; it is as much reality as you can catch hold of in one idea.


—Alan Watts

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What I mean by ‘thought’ is the whole thing — thought, ‘felt’, the body, the whole society sharing thoughts — it’s all one process. It is essential for me not to break that up, because it’s all one process; somebody else’s thought becomes my thought, and vice versa. Therefore it would be wrong and misleading to break it up into my thought, your thought, my feelings, these feelings, those feelings. I would say that thought makes what is often called in modern language a system.
A system means a set of connected things or parts. But the way people commonly use the word nowadays, it means something all of whose parts are mutually interdependent — not only for their mutual action, but for  their meaning and for their existence.


–David Bohm
Thought as a System (1992)


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epic





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My super power is the thought, Eve should be in my arms
when she’s afraid, and there she is, safe, full of bones
and blood and going nowhere if I have anything
to say about it. Vice versa applies when I’m afraid,
this is our pact, that we’ll hold each other
before we hold a door or gun, feather or piece
of a star, if we’re ever lucky enough to be walking along
and trip over a discarded chunk of heaven.

I can also make anything below eight thousand pounds
levitate, but in comparison, that power is whimsical
and irrelevant to my emotional makeup, I can take or leave
making things float and fly, but I can’t leave Eve.
My whole life has been an argument with the saying,
You’re born alone and you die alone, as I suspect
my mother was there, otherwise, why has she taken credit
for the melding of my spirit and flesh, if we go
with the old-school notion of human beings
as a combo pack of soul and guts. You’re born
into a relay race of affection if you’re lucky, handed
from cherishing to cherishing and likewise
carry others as far as you can, until they ask
to be set down or you get tired, and then,
after a long struggle or just a few seconds
of looking at a donkey in a field eating alfalfa,
you die. There are other sequences, of course—
I’m exhausted, not exhaustive—but I’m pretty sure
I’ve made my point or at least acted convincingly
like I have one, though I’m not sure of much.

Does this sound familiar: one day, I found myself
looking in a mirror and thinking, Well I guess I’m you,
after which I went at the list someone put in my hand,
crossing items off only to have them appear again,
suggesting that the people who say It’s a process
aren’t just annoying but smug and we should ask them
to leave the pool. With thrashing this deeply
at the core of the endeavor, clinging
and being clung to aren’t just romantic,
they’re what static has been telling us to do,
and I refuse to ignore the physical laws of the universe,
especially the one about the Conversation
of Matter—that everything is speaking to us
all the time, we’re just too busy to listen.

You don’t remember that one from school?
Maybe you were absent or absent minded that day,
or it was wrongly presented as the Conservation
of Matter, that misguided notion that energy
is neither created or destroyed. I’ve created
a shit-ton of energy with Eve, that’s a British measure
equal to 2,300 pounds, and plan to keep on
making this stuff up as we go, the going
being the most important part of any journey
or think piece or life, this thing I find myself
in or of, needing or kneading or both, be it desire
or bread I’m after, the love of a good woman
or bad star, as long as there’s light,
I’m going to stand here clinging to the feet
of my shadow, and in the dark, hold its place,
as I would for any stranger in any line.


—Bob Hicok

 
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Friday, March 29, 2019

Tear off the mask. Your face is glorious. —Rumi





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As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.

–Carl Gustav Jung
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, excerpt


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mysticmeandering
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A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself. —Niels Bohr





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[O]ne can no longer maintain the division between the observer and the observed (which is implicit in the atomistic view that regards each of these as separate aggregates of atoms). Rather, both observer and observed are merging and interpenetrating aspects of one whole reality, which is indivisible and unanalysable.

...

Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.


David Bohm
Wholeness and the Implicit Order


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Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep. 

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep. 

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.


–Albert Goldbarth
The Sciences Sing a Lullaby



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silent friend





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The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

—W. B. Yeats


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You come and go. 
The doors swing closed ever more gently, almost without a shudder. 
Of all those who move through the quiet houses, 
you are the quietest. 

We become so accustomed to you, we no longer look up when 
your shadow falls over the book we are reading and makes it glow. 
For all things sing you: at times we hear them more clearly. 

Often when I imagine you your wholeness cascades into many shapes. 
You run like a herd of luminous deer and I am dark, 
I am forest. 

You are a wheel at which I stand, whose dark spokes sometimes 
catch me up, revolve me nearer to the center. 

Then all the work I put my hand to 
widens from turn to turn. 


–Rainer Maria Rilke


...


Silent friend of many distances, feel
how your breath enlarges all of space.
Let your presence ring out like a bell
into the night. What feeds upon your face

grows mighty from the nourishment thus offered.
Move through transformation, out and in.
What is the deepest loss that you have suffered?
If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine.

In this immeasurable darkness, be the power
that rounds your sense in their magic ring,
the sense of their mysterious encounter.

And if the earthly no longer knows your name,
whisper to the silent earth: I’m flowing.
To the flashing water say: I am.


–Rainer Maria Rilke
The Sonnets to Orpheus, II, 29

Steven Mitchell version



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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Atoms are not things. —Werner Heisenberg


  







—Neil deGrasse Tyson



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All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things. 
In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.

—Kahlil Gibran



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Both anatomy and astronomy describe you. —Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj





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I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
... When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.


–Max Planck
1931 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Father of Quantum Theory



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I like to experience the universe as one harmonious whole. Every cell has life. Matter, too, has life; it is energy solidified.

–Albert Einstein

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Your cure is in you, but you are unaware,
And your illness is from you, but you do not see.

And you consider yourself to be a small mass
While within you lies the greatest world.

And you are the clear book
Whose letters make manifest the hidden.


–Amīr al-Mu’mineen, Imam Ali (ع)


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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

sunrise





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The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly, acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance.


–Annie Dillard


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Hilma af Klint (Swedish, 1862-1944)



 Tree of Knowledge, 1913 
 

Altarpiece Number 1, Group X, 1907

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There slumber in every human being faculties by means of which he can acquire for himself a knowledge of higher worlds. Mystics, Gnostics, Theosophists — all speak of a world of soul and spirit which for them is just as real as the world we see with our physical eyes and touch with our physical hands.

...

 

Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent, just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears.
―Rudolf Steiner

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Hilma af Klint’s paintings are diagrams of a spiritual plane that underlies the visual world. She was a member of a small group of women who would meet to access religious spirits with knowledge of the afterlife. 
Gregor, one of the spiritual masters she contacted during these meetings, said to her that the paintings represent “All the knowledge that is not of the senses, not of the intellect, not of the heart but is the property that exclusively belongs to the deepest aspect of your being […] the knowledge of your spirit.”
Altarpiece Number 1 was intended to display in the Goetheanum, Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual center in Switzerland. 
Hilma af Klint wanted to keep her paintings secret from the public until 20 years after her death.





tighten to nothing







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All things
are too small
to hold me,
I am so vast
In the Infinite
I reach
for the Uncreated
I have
touched it,
it undoes me
wider than wide

Everything else
is too narrow
You know this well,
you who are also there


Tighten
to nothing
the circle
that is
the world's things

Then the Naked
circle
can grow wide,
enlarging,
embracing all



—Hadewijch, l or ll (13th Century),
Jane Hirshfield
version
Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women





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Monday, March 25, 2019

the source of all things





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For beauty is the cause of harmony, of sympathy, of community.
Beauty unites all things and is the source of all things. 

It is the great creating cause which bestirs the world and holds all things in existence by the longing inside them to have beauty.  

And there it is ahead of all as...the Beloved ...toward which all things move, since it is the longing for beauty which actually brings them into being.


–Pseudo-Dionysius
from The Divine Names


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