Monday, June 17, 2019

Incredible the animal that first dreamed of another animal. —Carlos Fuentes






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You know, all mystics - Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion - are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.


—Anthony de Mello

Your thinking that you have to make an effort to get rid of this dream of the waking state, and your making efforts to attain jnana (realization of Self) or real awakening, are all parts of the dream.


—Ramana Maharshi


... his little lips!
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Friday, June 14, 2019

If we were on a star, what would we see of that which exists on the earth?






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If we found ourselves on a star, and if, from there we could see the life on our planet, we should not see modern civilization. We should for example see the events occurring in Egypt in the time of the Paraohs. 

—Alexander Ananoff

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Although the interval of time that ... elapses between the moment when we perceive the image of an object and that at which it "left" may be infinitely short, the principle involved is the same as that which relates to the thousands of years taken by the image of the star to reach us.

In both cases the conclusion is: "those things we see are images of the past".



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Is there any reason for lingering to discuss problems of this kind? –The Masters who inculcate the Secret Teachings do not think so ... the objects providing the subject on which our cleverness is exercised have no real existence.

What has to be understood is that theories and doctrines of all kinds are the fabrication of our mind.


—Alexandra David-Néel
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects


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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

not to worry


 



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There is nothing to do. Just be. 
Do nothing. Be. 

No climbing mountains and sitting in caves. 
I do not even say: ‘be yourself’, since you do not know yourself. 

Just be. 

Having seen that you are neither the ‘outer’ world of perceivables, nor the ‘inner’ world of thinkables, 
that you are neither body nor mind, 
just be.


—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

con(scious—knowing(with (another)

  




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Plants don’t get enough credit.

They move. You know this. Your houseplant salutes the sun each morning. At night, it returns to center.

You probably don’t think much of it. This is simply what plants do: Get light. Photosynthesize. Make food. Live.

But what about all the signs of plant intelligence that have been observed.

Under poor soil conditions, the pea seems to be able to assess risk. The sensitive plant can make memories and learn to stop recoiling if you mess with it enough. The Venus fly trap appears to count when insects trigger its trap. And plants can communicate with one another and with caterpillars.

Now, a study published recently in Annals of Botany has shown that plants can be frozen in place with a range of anesthetics, including the types that are used when you undergo surgery. 

Insights gleaned from the study may help doctors better understand the variety of anesthetics used in surgeries. But the research also highlights that plants are complex organisms, perhaps less different from animals than is often assumed.
The researchers trapped pea plants in glass chambers with ether, soaked roots of the sensitive plant and seedlings of garden cress in lidocaine and even measured the electrical activity of a Venus fly trap’s cells. An hour or so later the plants became unresponsive. The seedlings stayed dormant. And the Venus fly trap didn’t react to a stimulus similar to a bug crawling across its maw. Its cells stopped firing.

When the dope wore off, the plants returned to life, as if something had hit pause — almost like they were regaining consciousness, something we typically don’t think they possess. It’s all so animal-like.

“How organisms are perceiving the environment or responding or adapting are based on some very similar principles,” Dr. Baluska said.

Researchers already knew that anesthetics with different chemical structures or elements all seem to halt pain, consciousness or activity in plants and animals — even bacteria. But how they render us unconscious or how so many different kinds physically act on the human nervous system still elude us after more than a century of use. Some bind to receptors to turn off activity. But this can’t explain them all.

Under anesthetics, the physical properties of cell membranes change, becoming more flexible. Apply pressure to the cells, this effect is reversed and the anesthetic wears off. This suggests that something simple, like what is physically happening to a cell’s membrane, may be the common denominator explaining anesthetics’ effects across the plant and animal kingdoms, Dr. Baluska and colleagues suggest. 

In some plant root cells under anesthesia, Dr. Baluska and his colleagues found that membranes were having trouble doing what they normally do, recycling bits of cellular material by transporting it in and out of cells.

Dr. Baluska can’t say what was altering membrane function in the plants, but membranes are important for transferring messages via electricity from one cell to another, messages that would lead to action or movement.

The electrical activity that moves across neurons is thought by some scientists to contribute to human consciousness. If electrical activity is being disrupted by anesthetic in plants, too, causing them to “lose consciousness,” does that mean, in some way, that they are conscious?

“No one can answer this because you cannot ask them,” said Dr. Baluska.

Even so, perhaps we’re more alike, us and plants, than we think.

JoAnna Klein







The Neurons Who Watch Birds




 

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We have to think now what it would be like
To be old. Some funny little neurons,
Developed for high-speed runners, and quick
Handed bowmen, begin to get tired. They fire

But then lay down their bows and watch birds.
The kidney cells - "Too much thinking!" the Chinese
Say - look around for help, but the kids have
All gone to the city. Your friends get hit by lightning,

And your enemies live on. This isn't going to get
Better. Crows yelling from the telephone wires
Don't include you in the stories they tell, and they seem
To remember some story that you haven't heard.

What can you do? We'll have to round up
All those little people wandering about
In the body, get them to sit up straight, and study
This problem: How do we die?


—Robert Bly
Morning Poems


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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

my heart







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My heart, sit only with those
who know and understand you.

Sit only under a tree
that is full of blossoms.

In the bazaar of herbs and potions
don't wander aimlessly,
find the shop with a potion that is sweet.

If you don't have a measure
people will rob you in no time.

You will take counterfeit coins
thinking they are real.

Don't fill your bowl with food from
every boiling pot you see.

Not every joke is humorous, so don't search
for meaning where there isn't one.

Not every eye can see,
not every sea is full of pearls.

My heart, sing the song of longing,
like nightingale.

The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.

First, lay down your head,
then one by one
let go of all distractions.

Embrace the light and let it guide you
beyond the winds of desire.

There you will find a spring and
nourished by its sweet waters
like a tree you will bear fruit forever.


  —Rumi


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Sunday, June 2, 2019

listen





 
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For one human being to love another:
that is perhaps the most difficult task of all....,
the work for which all other work is but preparation.

It is a high inducement to the individual to ripen...
a great claim upon us, something that chooses us out
and calls us to vast things.


—Rainer Maria Rilke


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love is a place






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The Sky where we live
Is no place to lose your wings.

So love, love,

Love.


—Hafiz

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

You are all things, and all things are your soul. —Conrad Aiken from Preludes for Memnon (VIII)







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I am not this hair,

I am not this skin,

I am the soul that lives within.


—Rumi

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I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars, and everything created in the universe.

We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul.


—Paulo Coelho
from The Alchemist


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love is a place








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Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and
right-doing, there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase
'each other'
doesn’t make any sense.


—Rumi

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