Monday, December 23, 2019

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer. —Terence McKenna

  




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Scattered through the ordinary world there are books and artifacts and perhaps people who are like doorways into impossible realms, of impossible and contradictory truth.

–Jorge Luis Borges


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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







Sunday, June 2, 2019

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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Sunday, May 26, 2019

love is a place





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Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.

It will not lead you astray.


—Rumi

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largerloves
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Monday, May 20, 2019

the hardest part






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One fine morning
I'm gonna ride out
Yeah, one fine morning
I'm gonna ride out

Just me and the skeleton crew
We're gonna ride out in a country kind of silence
We're gonna ride out in a country silence
Yeah one fine morning

Yeah it's all coming back to me now
My apocalypse, my apocalypse
The curtain rose and burned in the morning sun
Yeah the curtain rose and burned in the morning sun

And the mountains
And the mountains bowed down
In the morning sun
Like a ballet of the heart
Yeah the mountains bowed down
Like a ballet
In the morning sun

And the baby and we all lay in state
Yeah the baby and we all lay in state
And I say "Hey! no more drovering!"
I say "Hey! no more drovering!"

When the earth turns cold
And the earth turns black
Will I feel you riding on my back?
Yeah when the earth turns cold
And the earth turns black
Will I feel you riding on my back?

And for I am a part of the road
Yeah I am a part of the road
The hardest part
The hardest part

My apocalypse
DC 4 5 0
DC 4 5 0


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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

boil me





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A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot 

where it’s being boiled. 

‘Why are you doing this to me?’ 

The cook knocks him down with the ladle. 

‘Don’t you try to jump out. 

You think I’m torturing you. 

I’m giving you flavour, 

so you can mix with spices and rice 

and be the lovely vitality of a human being. 

Remember when you drank rain in the garden. 

That was for this.’ 

Grace first. Sexual pleasure, 

then a boiling new life begins, 

and the Friend has something good to eat. 

Eventually the chickpea 

will say to the cook, 

‘Boil me some more. 

Hit me with the skimming spoon. 

I can’t do this by myself. 

I’m like an elephant that dreams of gardens 

back in Hindustan and doesn’t pay attention 

to his driver. You’re my cook, my driver, 

my way to existence. I love your cooking.’ 

The cook says, 

‘I was once like you, 

fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time, 

and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings. 

My animal soul grew powerful. 

I controlled it with practices, 

and boiled some more, and boiled 

once beyond that, 

and became your teacher.’


—Rumi 
The Essential Rumi, 
Coleman Barks and John Moyne version




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Friday, April 19, 2019

your(self

  



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Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. 

If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. 

Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father.
But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."


—The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas


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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

night writing



'This doesn't compare to the feel of your skin'


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Breathing, all creatures are 

Brighter than the brightest star 
You are by far 

You come right inside of me 
Close as you can be 

You kiss my blood 
And my blood kiss me.


—Mike Heron

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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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

answers from the elements






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A whole afternoon field inside me from one stem of reed.
The messenger comes running toward me, irritated:
Why be so hard to find?
 

Last night I asked the moon about the Moon, my one question for the visible world, Where is God?

The moon says, I am dust stirred up
when he passed by.

 

The sun, My face is pale yellow
from just now seeing him.

 

Water: I slide on my head and face
like a snake, from a spell
, he said.

Fire: His lightning,
I want to be that restless.


Wind, why so light?
I would burn if I had a choice.

Earth, quiet and thoughtful?
Inside me I have a garden
and an underground spring.
This world hurts my head with its answers,
wine filling my hand, not my glass.
 

If I could wake completely, I would say without speaking
Why I’m ashamed of using words.



–Rumi


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Sunday, March 10, 2019

reply to a letter








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In the bottom drawer I find a letter which arrived for the first time twenty- six years ago. A letter written in panic, which continues to breathe when it arrives for the second time.

A house has five windows; through four of them daylight shines clear and still. The fifth window faces a dark sky, thunder and storm. I stand by the fifth window. The letter.

Sometimes a wide abyss separates Tuesday from Wednesday, but twenty-six years may pass in a moment. Time is no straight line. but rather a labyrinth. and if you press yourself against the wall, at the right spot, you can hear the hurrying steps and the voices, you can hear yourself walking past on the other side.

Was that letter ever answered? l don't remember, it was a long time ago. The innumerable thresholds of the sea continued to wander. The heart continued to leap from second to second, like the toad in the wet grass of a night in August.

The unanswered letters gather up above, like cirrostratus clouds foreboding a storm. They dim the rays of the sun. One day l shall reply. One day when I am dead and at last free to collect my thoughts. Or at least so far away from here that l can rediscover myself. When recently arrived I walk in the great city. On 25th Street, on the windy streets of dancing garbage. I who love to stroll and merge with the crowd, a capital letter T in the infinite body of text.


–Tomas Tranströmer
Göran Malmqvist translation



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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tee-a-Wee








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link to this treasure from
brainpickings

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Saturday, January 19, 2019

tightrope image



Nik Wallenda nears the middle of his tightrope walk ... 1,800 feet across the mist-fogged brink of roaring Niagara Falls.


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Friday, January 4, 2019

h(ear




Gordon Hempton, acoustic ecologist


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