Archive | July 2012

Sancta Sanctorum

“Why may we not be in the universe, as our dogs and cats are in our  drawingrooms and libraries?” ~William James, The Correspondence of William James, 1885-1889

 

“Life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves.” ~Bill Hicks

“All science is experiential; but all experience must be related back to and derives its its validity from the conditions and context of consciousness in which it arises, i.e., the totality of our nature.” ~William Dilthey

“Amazingly when you add life and consciousness to the equation you can actually explain some of the biggest puzzles of science.” ~Robert Lanza

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“Live simply. Deepest joy is like a flower….beautiful in essence.” ~Tony Samara

“Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. A mystery is a phenomenon that people don’t know how to think about – yet. There have been other great mysteries: the mystery of the origin of the universe, the mystery of life and reproduction, the mystery of the design to be found in nature, the mysteries of time, space, and gravity. These were not just areas of scientific ignorance, but of utter bafflement and wonder. We do not yet have all the answers to any of the questions of cosmology and particle physics, molecular genetics and evolutionary theory, but we do know how to think about them …. With consciousness, however, we are still in a terrible muddle. Consciousness stands alone today as a topic that often leaves even the most sophisticated thinkers tongue-tied and confused.  And, as with all of the earlier mysteries, there are many who insist — and hope — that there will never be a demystification of consciousness.” ~Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained

“You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.” ~Terence McKenna

“True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness: ‘I am life that wants to live, in the midst of life that wants to live.” ~Albert Schweitzer

“We do not realize how deeply our starting assumptions affect the way we go about looking for and interpreting the data we collect. We should recognize that nonhuman organisms need not meet every new definition of human language, tool use, mind, or consciousness in order to have versions of their own that are worthy of serious study. We have set ourselves too much apart, grasping for definitions that will distinguish man from all other life on the planet. We must rejoin the great stream of life from whence we arose and strive to see within it the seeds of all we are and all we may become.” ~E. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Kanzi: The Ape at the Brink of the Human Mind

“How can a three-pound mass of jelly that you can hold in your palm imagine angels, contemplate the meaning of infinity, and even question its own place in the cosmos? Especially awe inspiring is the fact that any single brain, including yours, is made up of atoms that were forged in the hearts of countless, far-flung stars billions of years ago.  These particles drifted for eons and light-years until gravity and change brought them together here, now. These atoms now form a conglomerate- your brain- that can not only ponder the very stars that gave it birth but can also think about its own ability to think and wonder about its own ability to wonder. With the arrival of humans, it has been said, the universe has suddenly become conscious of itself. This, truly, it the greatest mystery of all.” ~V.S. Ramachandran, The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest For What Makes Us Human

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” ~Voltaire

“There are two paths of which one may choose in the walk of life; one we are born with, and the one we consciously blaze. One is naturally true, while the other is a perceptive illusion. Choose wisely at each fork in the road.” ~T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with “The Divine Presence”

“Consciousness, unprovable by scientific standards, is forever, then, the impossible phantom in the predictable biologic machine, and your every thought a genuine supernatural event. Your every thought is a ghost, dancing.” ~Alan Moore, Promethea, Vol. 5

“The desire to live life to its fullest, to acquire more knowledge, to abandon the economic treadmill, are all typical reactions to these experiences in altered states of consciousness. The previous fear of death is typically quelled. If the individual generally remains thereafter in the existential state of awareness, the deep internal feeling of eternity is quite profound and unshakable.” ~Edgar Mitchell, The Way of the Explorer: An Apollo Astronaut’s Journey Through the Material and Mystical Worlds

“Thinking is learning all over again how to see, directing one’s consciousness, making of every image a privileged place.” ~Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

“The illusion is we are only physical.” ~Vanna Bonta, Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel

 

“Was I asleep? Had I slept?” ~Samuel Beckett

The Fountain of Life

Perhaps I should be pleased that living is cheaper elsewhere, but I can’t seem to muster the right amount of enthusiasm because I am not enthused. I don’t want to move back into a little box, paying a monthly rent, with neighbors and boring pleasantries; and, yes, I do comprehend that none of this may be real but knowing that does not make the daily grind any easier. It makes it much more difficult. You see because I do not want to talk to the automatons, I don’t want to see them or be effected by them or have them intrude upon me or invade me. I want willfully to ignore them. I don’t even want to see them, hear from them, know that they are around. So, when I must encounter one (and every encounter is a disaster, no encounter is worth the trouble caused) I am angry, repulsed, and disgusted. I want simply to walk away, to cleanse my presence of them, to exorcise this persona dramatis from the environment. And it seems that every avenue taken leads to their lair.

You see, what I want is Quiet. Ceaseless quiet. And the smell of the woods, the smell of cleanliness without their stink and the stench of industry, the repugnance of their carnival zoo. You see, I want to live as an animal, and not as a beast. I want to be Homo Sapiens Sapiens, not Homo Technicus. I want to be unplugged and it seems that I am ever drawn towards living in their world and dealing with them because my mind can grasp abstractions. What a lie! What a shitty deal. To know that you and all else are not real (only realized, see there is a difference. What is real is realized. What has been called Reality is but a realization in the mind, not just manifestation of consciousness—the word manifestation is taken from the same root as manipulation, and is comprised of 2 words, ‘manus-‘ and ‘-festation.’ Its meaning is more like a virus than a thought—but its imagination). Closer to the concept of the biblical god in genesis (oh, so aptly titled)) and yet subject to the same whims of the unwilling and their Gapetto. To know and see the wizards behind the curtain, yet still subject to the wizard’s follies simply because his puppets outnumber you. Oh, the masses. The Horrid, horrible masses. How I loathe them. I didn’t use to. Only in the past five months has this loathing developed. Only since I removed from a little box and the calendar cycle have I seen how horrible are the masses. Oh, how my loathing evolves with each encounter. Lest I am mistaken, I don’t hate them for I do not suffer them. I am no martyr to their monstrosities, but I stand witness, and deem thee pineal mutants. Amen.

Maybe I have spoken too soon (although no less true) perhaps there is redemption in the form of the law. Ah, the law. How strange in the way it works, more like philosophy and physics than any other concept I’ve noticed in that realm. More like woven spells than any other abstraction. I do Love the law, and I Respect it. Although not its Authority (and that it has many) for its ultimate authority, Consciousness, I too Possess (perhaps that is why I can see). I Respect its efficacy, how it works, how it can be used in Oz, or The Matrix. The Matrix is not a bad analogy, for Oz is very much like a grid; at least, that is often how it appears to me. A grid.  A multi-dimensional grid in infinite directions. It’s why I always see tangents, parallels, and perpendiculars; how tessellations are made, and surprises happen. How one can hide in plain sight, and where divinity reigns. So strange, so strange. I never want to go back. Back is like devolving. I have been there and have overcome. I have passed through that gauntlet, and survived to exit the other side, mastered the maze and claimed the prize. To return to little boxes is like rerunning the maze, surrendering the prize; like choosing insanity, like wallowing in madness. Is that not suicide?

“The law of the wise is the fountain of life.” ~Proverbs 13:14

Galileo’s Sol

“The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.” ~Galileo Galilei

 

“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” ~Pythagoras

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” ~Jo Walton

“Know where to find the sunrise and sunset times and note how the sky looks at those times, at least once.” ~Marilyn vos Savant

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.” ~John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

“And yet day and night meet fleetingly at twilight and dawn,” he said, lowering his voice again and narrowing his eyes and moving his head a quarter of an inch closer to hers. “And their merging sometimes affords the beholder the most enchanted moments of all the twenty four hours. A sunrise or sunset can be ablaze with brilliance and arouse all the passion, all the yearning, in the soul of the beholder.” ~Mary Balogh, A Summer to Remember

“Bursts of gold on lavender melting into saffron. It’s the time of day when the sky looks like it has been spray-painted by a graffiti artist.” ~Mia Kirshner, I Live Here

“Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain,” into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.” ~Richard Feynman

“Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with beauty of sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage.” ~Thomas Kincade

“The point is that when I see a sunset or a waterfall or something, for a split second it’s so great, because for a little bit I’m out of my brain, and it’s got nothing to do with me. I’m not trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness.” ~Chris Evans

“Being is the great explainer.” ~Henry David Thoreau

“Be as you wish to seem.” ~Socrates

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” ~Franz Kafka

Amazing Natural Phenomena

“Nature is painting for us, day after day pictures of infinite beauty.” ~John Ruskin

As we make our way through, around, about, in and out of the woods, we come across so many of nature’s amazing phenomena. We have seen the most glorious lightning storms, the smallest insects going about their daily business, and the strangest reflections of light. Gathered below are some of the beauty we happened to capture on film (digital, that is). To see more of our photos  as we wander about, seeing what we can see, we have a flickr now. Link is here and in the sidebar (to the right) under Links.

Is this my good side?

 

It is nearly everyday that we see turtles basking in the sun. This turtle was not too happy to be the subject of an impromptu photo shoot, despite the smile on his face. He had just made the trek from a nearby river and was warming himself in the sun. Once he went to take a nip at the camera lens!

 

 

 

 

 

Get outta my face, why don’t ya!

 

The same turtle. If he looks a little grumpy, it’s because he was trying to be on his way and we were taking his picture. No worries, these pictures took but a moment and we left him to his musings and basking.  You have to love that pug nose though; it adds to the expression of sulking!

 

 

This dragonfly was deceitful!

 

We spotted this dragonfly on a random wall. You can just make out its gossamer wings by the slight discoloring from the rest of the pebbles. It was completely still and looked like a husk, as if the dragonfly had molted. We nearly had our faces right up to it. This picture, I took. . .

 

 

It’s Alive! It’s Alive!

 

. . .this was Stephen’s go at capturing the “dead” dragonfly. Apparently, the dragonfly was not dead, but resting (or something of that nature, no pun intended, okay, yes, some pun intended). It flew away just as Stephen went to snap its picture; this was the result after Stephen’s surprise when it flew off.

 

That’s a dead bullfrog. . .and that’s my finger, not dead.

 

 

 

Not all of nature’s phenomena is alive. We spotted this dead bullfrog (this time we were pretty sure it was dead) floating by as we peered into the shallow depths. We have seen and heard many frogs this last month especially, this was the first bullfrog we have seen.

 

 

 

The colors of the lightning during this storm were amazing.

 

We were awakened two nights in a row by lightning storms. Rather than do the sane thing, like fearing for our lives, we sought refuge for the backpacks then whipped out the camera for some photos. We took about 400 photographs over two nights and managed to capture three good photos of the lightning. This one was the best of the lot. The sky was like a series of strobe lights going off for about three hours. The brunt of the storm missed us, but wreaked massive damage in cities all around us.

Hippity hoppity easter’s on its way. . . wait-

 

Rabbits, being the infamous stars of Fibonacci’s Sequence, are quite abundant. Literally, we will see as many as five in a small section of grass at any given time while walking through the woods. They blend well with their environment because of their brown color (looks very much like the soil and surrounding brush) so can only be seen when they skitter away after deciding that our approach does not make for good dinner companions. They perk up their ears, stand stock still, then sprint. . .in a straight line for several yards before dashing into the protection of the brush. Why a straight line? Nature works in mysterious ways.

This. Is. An. Alien lifeform.

 

Contrariwise to its appearance, this is not an alien lifeform, this is an adult helgramite, AKA a dobsonfly, or one of its many species. These begin as an 80mm larva and end up like what you see to the right, a 5-inch (127mm) alien lifeform from Mars. Ok, no, not from Mars, they are actually from the planet Dobson in the Helgra galaxy about 70 million light years from Earth. This one had no demands. . .yet, but tricked us into agreeing to future demands in order to obtain this photograph. We’ll keep you posted as everthing develops.

The itsy bitsy spider. . .with egg sac. Actually, this spider was not so itsy bitsy, it was about the size of a half dollar.

 

Stephen was brave enough to get right down next to this spider on the ground carrying its eggs  to capture this closeup. I was hoping she would rear back on her legs ready to strike as it would have looked good for the photo. No worries, Stephen is used to risking life and limb to capture a good closeup. You should see what he’s done to get the snakes to coil up, ready to strike. Copperheads included! This spider, not sure of the name, was about the size of a half dollar and was very pregnant. She was beautiful, her colors shining in the sun. The color of the eggs on her back actually appeared yellow in the sunlight.

Jump? Don’t insult me. I’ll move when I please.

This pretty little thing was sitting on this piece of wood for several minutes before we noticed its presence. It blended so well with the wet wood (it was raining this day). It stayed in place almost the entire time we were snapping pictures of it, before retiring to a nearby bush to hide among the leaves. We tried getting some photos of it in the leaves, but the camouflage was too good. Its skin looks particularly slick due to the rain. We have also seen tinier versions of this toad, the ones that were born this year. The younger ones are even harder to see, even when moving, due to their brown color.

 

This kind of post will most likely end up being some sort of series, so look forward to more posts of Amazing Natural Phenomena in the future. Also, to see many of these photos enlarged, click on the photo or head on over to our flickr, where we upload many of the photos you see on the blog as where we will also upload photos that are not on the blog.

Water under the bridge

“The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned how to ask.” ~Nancy Newhall

Apps: All Thoughts Included

One cannot be divine, one divines. To divine is an action, a perpetual motion, as all other so-called things. A motion becomes “thinged” once it has been pro-NOUN-ced. First, a word, a concept captured in an alphabet (not unlike a code; remember words, like numbers, are symbols), then pronounced (or as commonly known, spoken or orated) and installed in the mind, thing-ed. The image and the word remains. Save you forget the image and recall, when needed, the word. It’s why when we (as in mankind) are hungry we go to ‘Giant’ or ‘Wal-Mart’  and ‘Buy’ ‘Middleswarth’ ‘Chips’ or ‘Swiss Miss’ ‘Milk’ or ‘Kellog’s’ ‘Froot Loops.’

But thing-ing has been slightly altered with the advent of the internet. Instead of things, there are now Apps. The process of thing-ing has been reduced further; add another category to the bureau (the structure of reality). Apps are complete short cuts, all thought included, no thinking required. Rather than programming, we have moved to direct installation. Think about it: what is an application? Is that not an instruction, an action? Something done or performed? Rather than symbols, images, and words, there is direct action. There is only the verb, only green, just go. Just do it! It is why the internet generation can perform great feats of eye-hand coordination. There is no thinking, just doing. Branded right into the brain. The synaptic fire is the action itself (the app), there is no line, no separation, no thought (or instinct) just action. A process beyond the age-old behavorism of conditioning. This is faster, and can contain much more data. A hard drive with unlimited random access memory and all instructions are top level cached. So, the internet generation performs video game moves in real life because, as it seems, video game = reality. The line is not blurred, but seamless. Reality augmented. Welcome to the World Web: the internet is no longer online, it is the fabric of reality itself. Offline and operating perfectly. Transmission never ends, because you are always plugged in, except you do not need the plug. You only need more Apps, so much information crunched in a tiny icon. Thousands of lines of code delivered in an instant, the new form of branding. Conditioning and programming are obsolete; believe me this, they cannot even compete. This is the new tele-vision. TV is too slow and requires the transference of vision, the equivalent of Windows 3.1 versus Windows 8. Now, the vision is not required, just the bare minimum, the data, the instruction, the go. No nouns needed.

Words are symbols only in the fundamental sense, but they are secondary, arbitrary, rudimentary. Just the action (the meaning, the emotion) compacted and fired. It is another reason why schools are obsolete, the lecture does not work, why young people seem to be rebellious (it’s not a true rebellion—if there is such a thing, ha ha—for they are just as constructed as their parents’, grandparents’, and so forth. Same occurrence, new technology), why the same things are not valued or cared about. What does everyone in the internet age all share in common? A hand-held device. Apps pre-installed with option to buy more (note: even though you may think an App is free, you have still bought it. Buying has nothing to do with monetary compensation. You have bought the construct, because that is what was sold. See neuromarketing).

Welcome to the next phase of Reality, Inc.