Monday, May 31, 2021

all in good time


In India it is considered a great sin to awaken anyone who is asleep. If a man is asleep, do not wake him; let him sleep; it is the time for him to sleep; it will not do to wake him before his time. Thus a mystic understands also that a person who is taking his time to wake up must not be awakened to give him the mystic’s idea.

It would be a sin, because he is not prepared to understand it, and his beliefs would be shaken. Let him go on thinking God is in Benares; let him think He is in the temple of Buddha; let him think He is in heaven; let him think He is in the seventh heaven above the sky.

It is the beginning; he will evolve in time and arrive at the same stage. The rest he is having just now is good for him. The awakening comes, all in its good time.

—Hazrat Inayat Khan



the kingdom where pronouns are intertwined


door of being, dawn and wake me,
allow me to see the face of this day,
allow me to see the face of this night,
all communicates, all is transformed,
arch of blood, bridge of the pulse,
take me to the other side of this night,
where I am you, we are us,
the kingdom where pronouns are intertwined,

door of being: open your being
and wake ....

—Octavio Paz
Sandstone (excerpt)




We are all made of bits moving in complicated quantum motions, but when we look closely at those bits, we find that they are located out at the farthest boundaries of space.

I don’t know anything less intuitive about the world than this.

Getting our collective head around the Holographic Principle is probably the biggest challenge that we physicists have had since the discovery of Quantum Mechanics.

—Leonard Susskind
The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics

. . .

I suppose therefore that all things I see are illusions; I believe that nothing has ever existed of everything my lying memory tells me. I think I have no senses. I believe that body, shape, extension, motion, location are functions. What is there then that can be taken as true? Perhaps only this one thing, that nothing at all is certain.

—René Descartes (1596 - 1650)

. . .

Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light steps, soft drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is just leaving,
the night yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
are just around the corner,
figurations of time
at the turn of this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward,
asleep with all five senses awake,
rain, light steps, a murmuring of syllables,
air and water, words without weight:
what we were and are,
the days and years, this moment,
weightless time, great grief,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the wet asphalt sparkles,
the steam rises and walks,
the night unfolds and beholds me,
you are you and your waist of fog,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, slow lightning,
you cross the street and come in through my forehead,
footsteps of water upon both my eyelids,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the asphalt sparkles, you cross the street,
the fog wandering in the night,
it is the night, asleep in your bed,
it is the wave of your breath,
your fingers of water dampen my forehead,
your fingers of flame burn both of my eyes,
your fingers of air open eyelids of time,
a welling up of visions and resurrections,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
years go by, moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the other room?
neither here nor there: you hear them
in another time that is also this time,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight or location,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the garden,
lightning has nested there among the leaves,
a restless garden lazily drifting
— come in, your shadow covers this page.

—Octavio Paz
As One Listens To The Rain
Paul Weinfeld translation


Sunday, May 30, 2021

I’d woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist. —Fernando Pessoa



No permanence is ours; we are a wave 
That flows to fit whatever form it finds: 
Through day or night, cathedral or the cave 
We pass forever, craving form that binds.

—Hermann Hesse
from “Lament” in The Glass Bead Game
Clara and Richard Winston

. . .

Although from the beginning 
I knew
the world is impermanent,
not a moment passes
when my sleeves are dry.

Sky Above, Great Wind


this moment



This moment is like this.

—Ajahn Sumedho


ode to the moment



This moment

as smooth

as a board,

and fresh,

this hour,

this day

as clean

as an untouched glass

--not a single


from the past:

we touch the moment

with our fingers,

we cut it

to size,

we direct

its blooming.

It's living,

it's alive:

it brings nothing from yesterday that can't be redeemed,

nothing from the lost past.

—Pablo Neruda

. . .


Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much. 

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness. 

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands. 

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing. 

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity. 

Life is what it is about... 

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

—Pablo Neruda 
Keeping Quiet
Alastair Reid translation


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Who (be quiet) Are you



Be still
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try 
To speak your

To the living walls.
Who are you?
Are you? Whose
Silence are you?

Who (be quiet)
Are you (as these stones
Are quiet). Do not 
Think of what you are
Still less of 

What you may one day be.
Be what you are (but who?) be
The unthinkable one
You do not know.

O be still, while
You are still alive, 
And all things live around you
Speaking (I do not hear)
To your own being,
Speaking by the Unknown
That is in you and in themselves.

“I will try, like them
To be my own silence:
And this is difficult. The whole
World is secretly on fire. The stones
Burn, even the stones
They burn me. How can a man be still or
Listen to all things burning? How can he dare
To sit with them when
All their silence
Is on fire?”

—Thomas Merton
in silence


You are the soul of the soul of the universe,
and your name is Love.



The Silence of the Stars


When Laurens van der Post one night

In the Kalihari Desert told the Bushmen
He couldn't hear the stars
Singing, they didn't believe him. They looked at him,
Half-smiling. They examined his face
To see whether he was joking
Or deceiving them. Then two of those small men
Who plant nothing, who have almost
Nothing to hunt, who live
On almost nothing, and with no one
But themselves, led him away
From the crackling thorn-scrub fire
And stood with him under the night sky
And listened. One of them whispered,
Do you not hear them now?
And van der Post listened, not wanting
To disbelieve, but had to answer,
No. They walked him slowly
Like a sick man to the small dim
Circle of firelight and told him
They were terribly sorry,
And he felt even sorrier
For himself and blamed his ancestors
For their strange loss of hearing,
Which was his loss now. On some clear nights
When nearby houses have turned off their televisions,
When the traffic dwindles, when through streets
Are between sirens and the jets overhead
Are between crossings, when the wind
Is hanging fire in the fir trees,
And the long-eared owl in the neighboring grove
Between calls is regarding his own darkness,
I look at the stars again as I first did
To school myself in the names of constellations
And remember my first sense of their terrible distance,
I can still hear what I thought
At the edge of silence where the inside jokes
Of my heartbeat, my arterial traffic,
The C above high C of my inner ear, myself
Tunelessly humming, but now I know what they are:
My fair share of the music of the spheres
And clusters of ripening stars,
Of the songs from the throats of the old gods
Still tending even tone-deaf creatures
Through their exiles in the desert.

—David Wagoner

. . .

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,

And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done. 
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

—Sara Teasdale

Flame and Shadow (1920)





You ask why I make my home
in the mountain forest
and I smile, and am silent,
and even my soul remains quiet:
It lives in the other world
which no one owns.
The peach trees blossom.
The water flows.

—Li Po


Friday, May 28, 2021

Both anatomy and astronomy describe you. —Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


underwater photo of a breaking wave that shows complex vibration and vortex dynamics 




My starting point is the fundamental initial fact that each one of us is perforce linked by all the material organic and psychic strands of his being to all that surrounds him.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 

. . .

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

. . .

I like to experience the universe as one harmonious whole. 

Every cell has life. 

Matter, too, has life; it is energy solidified.

—Albert Einstein

. . .

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)


put thoughts to rest


Wherever you are can be considered the center, because all directions from you are infinite; and, therefore, if you wish to put it this way, they are all the same distance. 

No one spot really is any more ‘The’ center than any other spot; no one spot is really more the end, or the edge, than any other spot. No one reality is actually any more or less ‘real’ than any other reality. 

Everything is the same one thing; the same one thing manifesting in all the simultaneous, multidimensional ways that it can manifest.


. . .

Put thoughts to rest.
The real being, with no status, is always going in and out through the doors of your face.

If you want to be free, get to know your real self. It has no form, no appearance, no root, no basis, no abode, but is lively and buoyant. It responds with versatile facility, but its function cannot be located. Therefore when you look for it you become further from it, when you seek it you turn away from it all the more.

Just put thoughts to rest and don't seek outwardly anymore. When things come up, then give them your attention; just trust what is functional in you at present, and you have nothing to be concerned about.

If you want to perceive and understand objectively, just don't allow yourself to be confused by people. Detach from whatever you find inside or outside yourself – detach from religion, tradition, and society, and only then will you attain liberation. When you are not entangled in things, you pass through freely to autonomy.

—Lin Chi






Mahavira's insight can be summed up in a single word: ahimsa—"harmlessness," "non-violence." Every human being, animal, plant or insect, without exception—even a drop of water or a rock—had a jiva trapped within it, a living entity that was luminous and intelligent, and had been brought to its current state by the accumulated karma of its former lives. Every single entity, therefore, must be treated with kindness, consideration and respect because, like human beings, they all had the potential to be reborn into a better state. For men and women, moksha was possible only if they did not harm their fellow creatures:

All breathing, existing, living, sentient beings should not be slain, nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away. This is the pure, unchangeable, eternal law, which the clever ones, which understood the world, have proclaimed.

Mahavira achieved the transformation he sought when he identified empathically with the plight of every single entity on the planet. He had allowed the pain, torment and terror experienced by his fellow creatures to penetrate his very being, and it was through this disciplined compassion that he became a jina, a spiritual "conqueror."

Mahavira had laboriously dismantled the shield that we instinctively construct to protect ourselves from the discomfort of witnessing the suffering of others. By focusing so intensively on the plight of every single creature he encountered in a kenosis that put his self to one side, Mahavira had acjieved what the Jain scriptures call "omniscience" (kevala), enabling him to see all levels of reality simultaneously in every dimension of time and space. It was a state of mind that was ineffable and indefinable, from which "words return in vain, about which no statements can be made, and which the mind cannot fathom." It consisted simply of absolute friendliness and reverence for everything and everybody.

—Karen Armstrong
The Lost Art of Scripture


Thursday, May 27, 2021

the role - if any - of the brain in con­sciousness


Cleve Backster could name the moment the focus of his life changed forever, from lie detection to plant intelligence: early in the morning on February 2, 1966, at 13 minutes, 55 seconds of chart time for a polygraph he was administering. He had threatened the subject’s well-being in hopes of triggering a response. The subject had responded electrochemically to this threat. The subject was a plant.

Almost 20 years ago I interviewed Cleve Backster about plant intelli­gence. No, he wasn’t a botanist. He was one of the world’s experts on the use of polygraphs, or lie detectors. I know that sounds like an odd con­nection, but listen to his story, and the connection will become clear. Just after World War II he was a CIA interrogation specialist, and founded The Agency’s polygraph school. In 1960 he left the CIA and formed the Backster School of Lie Detection, to instruct police officers. This school is the longest running polygraph school in existence.

Backster could name the moment the focus of his life changed for­ever, from lie detection to plant intelligence: early in the morning on February 2, 1966, at 13 minutes, 55 seconds of chart time for a polygraph he was administering. He had threatened the subject’s well-being in hopes of triggering a response. The subject had responded electrochemically to this threat. The subject was a plant.

Here’s his story: “I wasn’t particularly into plants, but there was a going-out-of-business sale at a florist on the ground floor of the building, and the secretary bought a couple of plants for the office: a rubber plant, and this dracaena cane. I had done a saturation watering — putting them under the faucet until water ran out the bottom of the pots — and was curious to see how long it would take the moisture to get to the top. I was especially interested in the dracaena, because the water had to climb a long trunk, and then to the end of long leaves. I thought if I put the galvanic-skin-response detector of the polygraph at the end of a leaf, a drop in resistance would be recorded on the paper as the moisture arrived between the electrodes. … I noticed something on the chart resembling a human response on a polygraph: not at all what I would have expected from water entering a leaf. Lie detectors work on the principle that when people perceive a threat to their well-being, they physiologically respond in predictable ways. If you were conducting a polygraph as part of a murder investigation, you might ask a suspect, ‘Was it you who fired the shot fatal to so and so? If the true answer were yes, the suspect will fear getting caught lying, and electrodes on his or her skin will pick up the physiological response to that fear. So I began to think of ways to threaten the well-being of the plant. First I tried dipping a neighboring leaf in a cup of warm coffee. The plant, if anything, showed what I now recognize as boredom — the line on the chart just kept trending downward.

“Then at 13 minutes, 55 seconds chart time, the imagery entered my mind of burning the leaf. I didn’t verbalize; I didn’t touch the plant; I didn’t touch the equipment. Yet the plant went wild. The pen jumped right off the top of the chart. The only new thing the plant could have reacted to was the mental image. 

“I went into the next office to get matches from my secretary’s desk, and lighting one, made a few feeble passes at a neighboring leaf. I real­ized, though, that I was already seeing such an extreme reaction that any increase wouldn’t be noticeable. So I tried a different approach: I removed the threat by returning the matches to the secretary’s desk. The plant calmed right back down.

“Immediately I understood something important was going on. I could think of no conventional scientific explanation. There was no one else in the lab suite, and I wasn’t doing anything that might have provided a mechanistic trigger. From that split second my consciousness hasn’t been the same. My whole life has been devoted to looking into this.” 

He called what the plant was doing “primary perception.” He found that not only plants were capable of this: “I’ve been amazed at the percep­tion capability right down to the bacterial level. One sample of yogurt, for example, will pick up when another is being fed. Sort of like, ‘That one’s getting food. Where’s mine?’ That happens with a fair degree of repeatability. Or if you take two samples of yogurt, hook one up to elec­trodes, and drop antibiotics in the other, the electroded yogurt shows a huge response at the other’s death. And they needn’t even be the same kind of bacteria. The first Siamese cat I ever had would only eat chicken. I’d keep a cooked bird in the lab refrigerator and pull off a piece each day to feed the cat. By the time I’d get to the end, the carcass would be pretty old, and bacteria would have started to grow. One day I had some yogurt hooked up, and as I got the chicken out of the refrigerator to begin pulling off strips of meat, the yogurt responded. Next, I put the chicken under a heat lamp to bring it to room temperature, and heat hitting the bacteria created more huge reactions in the yogurt.” 

I asked how he knew he wasn’t influencing it.

“I was unaware of the reaction at the time. I had pip switches all over the lab, and whenever I performed an action, I hit a switch, which placed a mark on a remote chart. Only later did I compare the reaction of the yogurt to what had been happening in the lab.” 
“Did the yogurt respond again when the cat started to eat?”

“Interestingly enough, bacteria appear to have a defense mechanism such that extreme danger causes them to go into a state similar to shock. In effect, they pass out. Many plants do this as well. If you hassle them enough they flatline. The bacteria apparently did this, because as soon as they hit the cat’s digestive system, the signal went out. There was a flatline from then on.” 

Cleve continued, “I was on an airplane once, and had with me a little battery-powered galvanic response meter. Just as the attendants started serving lunch, I pulled out the meter and said to the guy next to me, ‘You want to see something interesting?’ I put a piece of lettuce between the electrodes, and when people started to eat their salads we got some reac­tivity, which stopped as the leaves went into shock. ‘Wait until they pick up the trays,’ I said, ‘and see what happens.’ When attendants removed our meals, the lettuce got back its reactivity. I had the aisle seat, and I can still remember him strapped in next to the window, no way to escape this mad scientist attaching an electronic gadget to lettuce leaves.

“The point is that the lettuce was going into a protective state so it wouldn’t suffer. When the danger left, the reactivity came back. This ceasing of electrical energy at the cellular level ties in, I believe, to the state of shock that people, too, enter in extreme trauma.”

“Plants, bacteria, lettuce leaves …”

“Eggs. I had a Doberman Pinscher back in New York whom I used to feed an egg a day. One day I had a plant hooked up to a large gal­vanic response meter, and as I cracked the egg, the meter went crazy. That started hundreds of hours of monitoring eggs. Fertilized or unfertilized, it doesn’t matter; it’s still a living cell, and plants perceive when that con­tinuity is broken. Eggs, too, have the same defense mechanism. If you threaten them, their tracing goes flat. If you wait about twenty minutes, they come back.

“After working with plants, bacteria, and eggs, I started to wonder how animals would react. But I couldn’t get a cat or dog to sit still long enough to do meaningful monitoring. So I thought I’d try human sperm cells, which are capable of staying alive outside the body for long periods of time, and are certainly easy enough to obtain. I got a sample from a donor, and put it in a test tube with electrodes, then separated the donor from the sperm by several rooms. The donor inhaled amyl nitrate, which dilates blood vessels and is conventionally used to stop a stroke. Just crushing the amyl nitrate caused a big reaction in the sperm, and when the donor inhaled, the sperm went wild.

“So here I am, seeing single-cell organisms on a human level —sperm — that are responding to the donor’s sensations, even when they are no longer in the same room as the donor. There was no way, though, that I could continue that research. It would have been scientifically proper, but politically stupid. The dedicated skeptics would undoubtedly have ridiculed me, asking where my masturbatorium was, and so on.

“Then I met a dental researcher who had perfected a method of gath­ering white cells from the mouth. This was politically feasible, easy to do, and required no medical supervision. I started doing split-screen videotaping of experiments, with the chart readout superimposed at the bottom of the screen showing the donors activities. We took the white cell samples, then sent the people home to watch a preselected television program likely to elicit an emotional response — for example, showing a veteran of Pearl Harbor a documentary on Japanese air attacks. We found that cells outside the body still react to the emotions you feel, even though you may be miles away.

“The greatest distance we’ve tested has been about three hundred miles. Astronaut Brian O’Leary, who wrote Exploring Inner and Outer Space, left his white cells here in San Diego, then flew home to Phoenix. On the way, he kept track of events that aggravated him, carefully logging the time of each. The correlation remained, even over that distance.” 
“The implications of all this …”

He interrupted, laughing. He said, “Yes, are staggering. I have file drawers full of high quality anecdotal data showing time and again how bacteria, plants, and so on are all fantastically in tune with each other. And human cells, too, have this primary perception capability, but somehow its gotten lost at the conscious level.” 

“How has the scientific community received your work?”

“With the exception of scientists at the margins, like Rupert Shel­drake, it was met first with derision, then hostility, and mostly now with silence. At first they called primary perception ‘the Backster Effect,’ per­haps hoping they could trivialize the observations by naming them after this wild man who claimed to see things missed by mainstream science. The name stuck, but because primary perception can’t be readily dis­missed, it is no longer a term of contempt."

“What’s the primary criticism by mainstream scientists?”

“The big problem — and this is a problem as far as conscious­ness research in general is concerned — is repeatability. The events I’ve observed have all been spontaneous. They have to be. If you plan them out in advance, you’ve already changed them. It all boils down to this: repeatability and spontaneity do not go together, and as long as mem­bers of the scientific community overemphasize repeatability in scientific methodology, they’re not going to get very far in consciousness research.

“Not only is spontaneity important, but so is intent. You can’t pretend. If you say you are going to burn a plant, but don’t mean it, nothing will happen. I hear constantly from people in different parts of the country, wanting to know how to cause plant reactions. I tell them, ‘Don’t do anything special. Go about your work; keep notes so later you can tell what you were doing at specific times, and then compare them to your chart recording. But don’t plan anything, or the experiment won’t work.’ People who do this often get equivalent responses to mine, and often win first prize in science fairs. But when they get to Biology 101, they’re told that what they have experienced is not important.

“There have been a few attempts by scientists to replicate my exper­iments … but these have all been methodologically inadequate. … It is so very easy to fail. … And let’s be honest: some of the scientists were relieved when they failed, because success would have gone against the body of scientific knowledge.”

I said, “For scientists to give up predictability means they have to give up control, which means they have to give up Western culture, which means it’s not going to happen until civilization collapses under the weight of its own ecological excesses.”

He nodded, then said, “I have given up trying to fight other scientists on this, because I know that even if the experiment fails they still see things that change their consciousness. People who would not have said anything 20 years ago often say to me, ‘I think I can safely tell you now how you really changed my life with what you were doing back in the early 70s.’ These scientists didn’t feel they had the luxury back then to rock the boat; their credibility, and thus their grant requests, would have been affected.” 

I asked if there were alternative explanations for the polygraph read­ings. I’d read that one person suggested his machine must have had a loose wire.

He responded, “In 31 years of research I’ve found all my loose wires. No, I can’t see any mechanistic solution. Some parapsychologists believe I’ve mastered the art of psychokinesis — that I move the pen with my mind — which would be a pretty good trick itself. But they overlook the fact that I’ve automated and randomized many of the experiments to where I’m not even aware of what’s going on until later, when I study the resulting charts and videotapes. The conventional explanations have worn pretty thin. One such explanation, proposed in Harper’s, was static electricity: if you scuffle across the room and touch the plant, you get a response. But of course I seldom touch the plant during periods of obser­vation, and in any case the response would be totally different.” 

“So, what is the signal picked up by the plant?

“I don’t know. I don’t believe the signal, whatever it is, dissipates over distance, which is what we’d get if we were dealing with electromagnetic phenomenon. I used to hook up a plant, then take a walk with a random­ized timer in my pocket. When the timer went off, I’d return home. The plant always responded the moment I turned around, no matter the dis­tance. And the signal from Phoenix was just as strong as if Brian O’Leary were in the next room. Also, we’ve attempted to screen the signal using lead-lined containers, and other materials, but we can’t screen it out. This makes me think the signal doesn’t actually go from here to there, but instead manifests itself in different places. All this, of course, lands us firmly in the territory of the metaphysical, the spiritual.” 

I said, “Primary perception suggests a radical redefinition of con­sciousness.”

“You mean it would do away with the notion of consciousness as some­thing on which humans have a monopoly?” He hesitated a moment, then continued, “Western science exaggerates the role of the brain in con­sciousness. Whole books have been written on the consciousness of the atom. Consciousness might exist on an entirely different level.” 

I asked whether he had worked with materials that would normally be considered inanimate.

“I’ve shredded some things and suspended them in agar. I get electric signals, but not necessarily relating to anything going on in the environ­ment. It’s too crude an electroding pattern for me to decipher. But I do suspect that consciousness goes much, much further. In 1987 I partic­ipated in a University of Missouri program that included a talk by Dr. Sidney Fox, then connected with the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Evolution at the University of Miami. Fox had recorded electric signals from protein-like material that showed properties strikingly similar to those of living cells. The simplicity of the material he used and the self organizing capability it displayed suggest to me that bio-communication was present at the earliest states in the evolution of life on this planet. Of course the Gaia hypothesis — the idea that the earth is a great big working organism, with a lot of corrections built in — fits in nicely with this. I don’t think it would be a stretch to take the hypothesis further and pre­sume that the planet itself is intelligent.” 

I asked how his work has been received in other parts of the world.

“The Russians and other eastern Europeans have always been very interested. And whenever I encounter Indian scientists — Buddhist or Hindu — and we talk about what I do, instead of giving me a bunch of grief they say, ‘What took you so long?’ My work dovetails very well with many of the concepts embraced by Hinduism and Buddhism.” 

“What is taking us so long?”

“The fear is that, if what I am observing is accurate, many of the theo­ries on which we’ve built our lives need complete reworking. I’ve known biologists to say, ‘If Backster is right, we’re in trouble.’ It takes a certain kind of character and personality to even attempt such a questioning of fundamental assumptions. The Western scientific community, and actu­ally all of us, are in a difficult spot, because in order to maintain our cur­rent mode of being, we must ignore a tremendous amount of informa­tion. And more information is being gathered all the time. For instance, have you heard of Rupert Sheldrake’s work with dogs? He puts a time-re­cording camera on both the dog at home and the human companion at work. He has discovered that even if people come home from work at a different time each day, at the moment the person leaves work, the dog at home heads for the door.

“Even mainstream scientists are stumbling all over this bio-commu­nication phenomenon. It seems impossible, given the sophistication of modern instrumentation, for us to keep missing this fundamental attunement of living things. Only for so long are we going to be able to pretend it’s the result of ‘loose wires.’ We cannot forever deny that which is so clearly there.” 

—Derrick Jensen 

An activist, philosopher, farmer, teacher, and leading voice of uncompromising dissent, Derrick Jensen is the author or co-author of many books including A Language Older Than Words, What We Leave Behind, and Deep Green Resistance. Reprinted from his latest book, The Myth of Human Supremacy (Seven Stories, 2016).


Wednesday, May 26, 2021




We huge many-celled creatures have to coordinate millions of different oscillation frequencies, and interactions among frequencies, in our bodies and our environment. Most of the coordination is effected by synchronising the pulses, by getting the beats into a master rhythm, by entrainment…

Being in sync—internally and with your environment—makes life easy. Getting out of sync is always uncomfortable or disastrous. Then there are the rhythms of other human beings. Like the two pendulums, though through more complex processes, two people together can mutually phase-lock. 

Successful human relationship involves entrainment—getting in sync. If it doesn’t, the relationship is either uncomfortable or disastrous…

Listening is not a reaction, it is a connection. Listening to a conversation or a story, we don’t so much respond as join in—become part of the action.

—Ursula K. Le Guin
Telling is Listening
The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination


open secret



Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.

—Nikola Tesla

. . .

Directly opposite to the concept of a universe as machine built on law is the vision of a world self-synthesized. On this view, the notes struck out on a piano by the observer participants of all times and all places, bits though they are in and by themselves, constitute the great wide world of space and time and things. 

—John Wheeler

. . .

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energyfrequency and vibration.

—Nikola Tesla


this lesson



Now this lesson is quite simply this, that any experience that we have through our senses, whether of sound or of light, or touch, is a vibration. And a vibration has two aspects, one called “on” and the other called “off”. Vibration seems to be propagated in waves and every wave system has crests and it has troughs. And so, life is a system of “now you see it, now you don’t”. And these two aspects always go together.

For example, sound is not pure sound, it is a rapid alternation of sound and silence. And that’s simply the way things are. Only you must remember that the crest and the trough of the wave are inseparable. Nobody ever saw crests without troughs or troughs without crests, just as you don’t encounter, in life, people with fronts but no backs. Just as you don’t encounter a coin that has a heads but no tails.

Just as the heads and tails, backs and fronts, the positives and the negatives are different, they are at the same time One. And one must get used to the notion that different things can be inseparable.

—Alan Watts



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

on being “old” in Bali


It has been suggested that the linear theory of time is related to the experience of time in the Northern (and Southern) hemispheres, where it is marked by seasonal changes: life begins in the spring, matures in the summer, and dies in the fall, to begin a new cycle the following spring. 
Bali, however, lies in the region of tropical rain forests near the Equator where there are no reasons to synchronize the growth schedules of all livings things. Instead, the processes of growth and decay proceed at different rates all over the forest, all the time. A flower is on a short, rapid growth cycle; a tree, a much longer one; a rock, longer still. The cycles mesh in this world, the Middle World, to create life.

—J. Stephen Lansing


All the physical matters are composed of vibration. —Max Planck



In the year 1905, Albert Einstein proved that we can break matter down into smaller components and that, when we do, we move beyond the material realm and into a realm in which everything is energy.

This is the Law of Vibration, a law of nature that states that ‘nothing rests; everything moves; every-thing vibrates.’ The lower the vibration, the slower the vibration; the higher the vibration the faster the vibration.

The difference between the manifestations of the physical, mental, emo-tional and spiritual result simply from different levels of vibrating energy, or frequencies. So, while the feelings of fear, grief and despair vibrate at a very low frequency, the feelings of love, joy and gratitude vibrate much quicker.

The most common unit of measure for frequency is the Hertz, which is one vibrational cycle per second. So a frequency of 460 Hz means that there are 460 cycles of vibration occurring every single second.

At the very leading edge of biophysics today, scientists are recognizing that the molecules in our bodies are actually controlled by these frequencies. In 1974, Dr. Colin W.F. McClare, Ph.D, an Oxford University Bio-Physicist, discovered that frequencies of vibrating energy are roughly one-hundred times more efficient in relaying information within a biological system than physical signals, such as hormones, neurotransmitters and other growth factors.[i]

Although most frequencies exist outside of our normal range of perception, all can be perceived as both colors and sounds. There are seven colors in a rainbow and seven notes in the musical scale. So the color blue is also heard as the musical key of D, which vibrates at 587 Hz.

But what is most interesting is that, if a frequency is vibrating fast enough, it’s emitted as a color of light. 

If we wanted to convert sound to Light, we would simply raise its frequency forty octaves. This results in a vibration in the trillions of cycles per second. So, if a pianist could press a key way above the eighty-eight keys that exist on a piano, that key would produce Light. They could create a chord of Light in the same way they can create a chord of sound. And it would be seen as colors of Light because it would be moving at the speed of Light.

The philosophical and scientific basis for this Law of Vibration can be found in quantum physics and in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Energy is related to matter and the speed of Light. This is Einstein’s famous E = mc2 equation.

When two frequencies are brought together, the lower will always rise to meet the higher. This is the principle of resonance. So, when a piano is tuned, a tuning fork is struck, and then brought close to the piano string that carries that same musical tone. The string then raises its vibration automatically and attunes itself to the same rate at which the fork is vibrating.

Using this principal of resonance, we can actually increase the speed at which the molecules in our bodies vibrate, through our thoughts of love, joy and gratitude. When atoms slow down, third dimensional matter is created; when they speed up, the higher dimensions of consciousness can be reached. And the higher our consciousness is raised, the closer to spirit we become.

—Vicky Anderson


lute strings


We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.

—Albert Einstein

. . .

In the ocean are many bright strands and many dark strands like veins that are seen when a wing is lifted up.

Your hidden self is blood in those, those veins that are lute strings that make ocean music – not the sad sound of surf, but the sound of no shore.



Monday, May 24, 2021

Questioner: Why is it that we naturally seem to think of ourselves as separate individuals?



Maharaj: Your thoughts about individuality are really not your own thoughts; they are all collective thoughts. You think that you are the one who has the thoughts; in fact thoughts arise in consciousness.

As our spiritual knowledge grows, our identification with an individual body-mind diminishes, and our consciousness expands into universal consciousness. The life force continues to act, but its thoughts and actions are no longer limited to an individual. They become the total manifestation. It is like the action of the wind - the wind doesn't blow for any particular individual, but for the total manifestation.

... Cannot you see clearly that everything that appears to happen happens in consciousness? It is all imaginary, a temporary hallucination. Don't be led astray, none of it reflects your true state.

... The real is changeless. What changes is not real, what is real does not change.

... What begins and ends is mere appearance. The world can be said to appear, but not to be. The appearance may last very long on some scale of time, and very short on another, but ultimately it comes to the same. Whatever is time-bound is momentary and has no reality.

... Transiency is the best proof of unreality.
Know your Self to be the changeless witness of the changeful mind. 
That is enough.

—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj