Wherever you are is the entry point – Kabir

January 26, 2006
by gwyllm

The Court of The Bees…

On The Music Box: Radio Free EarthRites.
Is it Thursday? Week has flown.
This is a large edition…
The Links
3 articles (with one about our guest Poet)
Poetry: Annemarie Schimmel
Hmmmmm. Plants that behave like humans… a bit this time on Sufism, and related subjects. I discovered Annemarie Schimmel’s work on a Sufi site. Intrigued I dug around. What an amazing woman! Great Poetry as well.
More at ya later on.
The Links:
Another Version…
Go ahead, Drop It!
Crappy Landlords?
What lurks beneath – flesh-sucking sex fiends
Plants behave like humans: Don Burke
Plants are not unlike humans. They can talk to each other and even call in reinforcements when the going gets tough.
Who says so? Australian gardener Don Burke and Australian National University chemistry Professor Ben Selinger, in reviewing research on plants over the past 10 years, have come to the conclusion that many plants have human qualities.
They say plants can communicate with each other by using a range of chemical signals.
“If a plant muncher such as a caterpillar or even a koala starts chewing on a plant, the plant will start sending chemicals to its leaves in an effort to repel the chewer,” Mr Burke said.
“Nearby plants will also start emitting these same chemicals, anticipating that they’ll also be attacked.”
Mr Burke, who writes about the phenomena in an upcoming issue of his gardening magazine, also said plants can release chemicals which attracts certain insects to protect them.
“So essentially they call in the cavalry, they call in good insects to attack the ones that are attacking them,” he said.
Scientists had now identified the genes responsible for the action and were trying to combine it with other plants, Mr Burke said.
The breakthrough, published in the journal Science last year, suggested gardeners and farmers may not have to use pesticides any more, he said.
“It has huge implications for the world,” Mr Burke said.
“In years ahead, instead of pouring vast amounts of toxic chemicals all over the world and therefore ourselves in one form or another, we should be able to add these genes, which are naturally occurring genes in plants, to other plants, so that they can repel insects themselves.”
Mr Burke said plants also used a lot of other human qualities.
“Venus Fly Traps or sensitive plants can move, pitchers plants can eat animals, peaches and cherry for instance can count the number of cold days each year before they produce their leaves in spring,” he said.
Prof Selinger described the overall picture of the research that had been done as astounding.
“Plants have always been sort of relegated as primitive compared to animals and its just not true,” he said.
“But there is little research in the area. We are such an agricultural country … I think more research could be conducted.”
Account of the Sarmoun Brotherhood
Desmond R. Martin
© 1965
Not so long ago I found myself walking through a mulberry grove in what might have been an English garden — if one did not look upwards to the frowning crags of the Hindu Kush, or at the robes of the monks of the Sarmoun community.
Established here in North Afghanistan for many centuries, the brotherhood (and the sisterhood with which it is affiliated) maintain this settlement as a sort of country retreat, where aspirants are trained in the ancient arts of service and self-discipline characteristic of the cult. Elderly monks and lay members, perhaps from as far afield as Tunisa or Armenia, make their last pilgrimage here, to the Shrine of Musa the Patient, the pilgrimage of retirement.
The Sarmouni (the name means ‘The Bees’) have often been accused of being Christians in disguise, Buddhists, Moslem sectarians, or of harbouring even more ancient beliefs, derived, some say, from Babylonia. Others claim that their teaching has survived the Flood; but which flood I cannot say.
Like their namesakes, however, members of the order are not argumentative, being concerned only in discharging the terms of their motto: ‘Work produces a Sweet Essence’ (Amal misazad yak zaati shirin).
With only one break — at the time of Gengiz Khan’s irruption across the Amu Daria to the north, when he destroyed Balkh, the ‘Mother of Cities’ not far away — they seem to have lived here for so long that no records remain of their origins.
Theirs is a good life, as much of it as I was allowed to see. Many of the devotional exercises, such at the communal ‘Zikr,’ or Remembering, are held in private. The Brethren, numbering no less than nine hundred, mainly lived in the hill-settlements called ‘Tekkies,’ artistically sited oratories surrounded by vines and patches of herbs.
Each monk is specialist of some sort: in gardening, local medicine, herbs, mathematics as known to them, calligraphy or even falconry. One of the plants they grew most carefully was Chungari (Herb of Enlightenment); this I was not able to see, nor could I obtain a sample of it. According to Afghan folklore it has powers connected with mystical revelation.
Within the monastery walls numerous industries are carried on. Working with felt, pelts, wool and looms, the inhabitants produce articles of surpassing beauty and durability. Some of the carpets today called Bokhara actually originate there. The Abbot, Baba Amyn, allowed me to stay in a wood-lined cell, and talked to me in Hindustani, which he had learned during three years spent in India as the servant of a Prince: a part of his training, as he said.
I was issued with a bowl, a sheepskin run, horn, belt and cap, the standard dervish equipment, though I had little idea as to their significance or uses.
One evening I was allowed to inspect some of the treasures of the community, and was assured that they had not before been seen by any non-initiate. They had been declared ‘deconsecrated,’ as it were, because a new phase of teaching, somewhere to the westward, had superseded the ritual to which they belonged. Henceforth they would merely be museum pieces.
An articulated tree, of gold and other metals, which seemed to me unbelievably beautiful and resembled a Babylonian work of art which I had seen in Bagdad Museum, was by far the most impressive. It served to indicate the postures assumed by dervishes in their Yoga-like exercises, which, performed to special music, they studied for self-development. A tall pillar of lapis lazuli, about nine feet high by two feet in diameter, was used for the Daur, a turning movement, in which the devotees circle round, one hand on the pillar, to achieve a particular state of mind.
On a wall faced with white Afghan marble, delineated in polished rubies glowed the symbol of the community. This is the mystical ‘No-Koonja,’ the ninefore Naqsch or ‘Impress,’ an emblem which I was later to see in various forms embroidered on clothes. This figure ‘reaches for the innermost secret of man,’ I was informed.
Its operation could only be manifest, at the right time and under special conditions, by the Lord of Time, the head of the community. He, unfortunately, was absent. In any case he did not reside at this monastery, but at another very secret place called Aubshaur. He is referred to, with great deference, as a sort of human incarnation of all teachers. He is the Surkaur, or ‘Workleader.’
Since the marble, rubies, and lapis are all mined in Afghanistan, and many of the miners and prospectors are adherents of the Sarmouni, this extraordinary richness of endowment was perhaps not as strange as it seemed to me at the time.
There are many legends about Sarmoun-Dargauh (‘Court of the Bees’), and one of them is this. True knowledge, it is asserted, exists as a positive commodity, like the honey of the bee. Like honey, it can be accumulated. From time to time in human history, however, it lies unused and starts to leak away. On those occasions the Sarmouni and their associates all over the world collect it and store it in a special receptacle. Then, when the time is ripe, they release it into the world again, through specially trained emissaries.
It is not only in the West, I though, as the greybearded chief of the story-tellers told me this, that legends about a secret knowledge linger on. He was not very forthcoming when I started to ply him with questions trying to see how far their doctrine had developed.
Were there any such emissaries in Europe? There was one, but he must not speak of him. But surely it would help everyone if he was publicly known? On the contrary, I was informed, it might be a calamity. He had to ‘work like a bee, in private.’ Could a visitor like myself have some of the ‘honey’? No, myself least of all, strangely enough; because I had seen and heard so much, I could have no more.
“Have you not seen that you are not allowed to take photographs, even, though other foreigners have been allowed to take them?” I had seen the treasures, that was the most that anyone could have.
Another evening, I watched the enactment of the beautiful Ceremony of the Key. As the sun was setting, several dozen of us assembled, under the direction of the ‘Master of Presentations,’ who was resplendent in a patchwork robe, intricately embroidered. In the light of the dying sun a dervish with crossed arms, hands on shoulders, knelt before the Abbot, deputising for the Surkaur.
Upon being handed a large key, he advanced towards a carved door that was set in a big square wooden structure, a piece of scenery, decorated with flags and maces and other emblems of power and authority. He put the key into an ornate lock and turned it. Suddenly, by means of a clever piece of engineering, the whole structure slid apart. The seen was lit by a procession of men carrying candles and intoning the Saidd dirge in honour of the teachers.
Then we saw that the pieces of the box were turning on pivots and rearranging themselves into different shapes; the scene was completely transformed. Gardens, orchards, birds in flight, and other motifs, made from wood and painted cloth, now replaced the rectangular structure.
The meaning of the drama was explained to me. It was an allegory, based on the idea that all teaching is transformed by mankind into something unnatural, institutionalized, like the box. “The Key of the Real Man opens up the real joy and meaning of life.”
First publication of the above article: Major Desmond R. Martin, The Editor of The Lady, “Below the Hindu Kush,” The Lady, vol. CLX11, No. 4210, December 9, 1965, p. 870.
Poetry: Annemarie Schimmel

Maulali Near Hyderabad
There are five hundred steps and five more
that lead to the dark little cell
which houses the trace of the saint.
You cross the gigantic rocks,
rocks, washed by the tears
of lovers through thousands of years.
Five hundred steps and five more —
you would be weary and torn
but for the guide who knows well
how to lead your heart on,
You’ll see: the rocks turn to sand
You’ll see: the thorns turn to roses.
Don’t listen to the crows of despair,
don’t listen to those who don’t know
that to live is to die
and to love is to burn
There are five hundred steps and five more,
and the end is a rose.
“Make thirsty me, O friend, give me no water!
Let me so love that sleep flees from my door!”
Yes, sleep flees, if he sees the burning eyelids,
He would be drowned if he would cross the sea
of tears; he would be poisoned
if he should dare to drink
That potent wine which you
Poured in the gobler of my eyes:
Those eyes which once beheld your radiant face
And try to mirror it on every tear…
…Those eyes which are a veil.
Make me more thirsty, friend, give me no water-
My thirst is proof that you are thirsty, too…
Maulana Spoke
Maulana spoke:
The lover
weaves satin and brocade
from tears, O friend, to spread it
one day beneath your feet…
Only from tears, Maulana?
Every breath
Forms the weft of the endless fabric of love.
With every breath I weave the brocade of your name,
Golden letters inscribed in the satin-robe of my blood.
O, what garments have I prepared for you,
taking the ruddy dawn and the fist green silk of spring,
star-embroidered velvet, and feather-light wool!
Every thought embellishes your name, O my friend,
Weaving into the fabric the turquoise domes of Iran,
Dyeing the yarn in the pearl-studded depth of the sea.
Every pulse bears the drum of primordial love
Every breath is the flute of impossible hope
Every goblet is filled with you
And I weave
ever new silken garments of words
only to hide you.
Annemarie Schimmel (April 7, 1922 – January 26, 2003) was a well known and very influential German Iranologist and scholar who wrote extensively on Islam and Sufism.
She received a doctorate in Islamic languages and civilization from the University of Berlin at the age of nineteen. At twenty-three, she became a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Marburg (Germany), where she earned a second doctorate in the history of religions.
A turning point in her life came in 1954 when she was appointed Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Ankara (Turkey). There she spent five years teaching in Turkish and immersing herself in the culture and mystical tradition of the country. She was a faculty member at Harvard University from 1967 to 1992 and became Professor Emerita of Indo-Muslim Culture upon her retirement. She was also an honorary professor at the University of Bonn. She published more than 50 books on Islamic literature, mysticism and culture, and translated Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sindhi and Turkish poetry and literature into English and German.
For her work on Islam, Sufism or mysticism and Muhammad Iqbal, the government of Pakistan honored her with one of its highest civil awards of known as Hilal-e-Imtiaz or ‘Crescent of Excellence’. She was showered with many other awards from many countries of the world, including the prestigious Peace Prize of the German book trade.
A Different View Of Islam Sufism
By Anees Jung
For Anne-Marie Schimmel, Islam was a lifelong passion, as deep as her own roots in the Lutheran faith. Church rituals were as dear to her as bowing in prayer at Sufi shrines.
Sitting in Bonn she dreamed of Bijapur and Bidar, talked of her friend Allan Fakir in Sindh and brooded over the problem of selecting a site for her burial in Sindh. This gentle woman, renowned scholar of Sufism, passed away in Germany recently. As gently as she had lived.
A few years ago Anne-Marie Schimmel was in Delhi during Ramzan. While official Delhi was fasting and feasting, Schimmel was invoking the essence of Islam by taking those around her on a journey back in time when Islam arrived in Andalusia in Spain immediately after the death of the Prophet.
“We owe to the early Arabs some of the basic concepts we know today like the Arabic numbers, and much more,” she said. She talked about Ramon Lull, the Catalan who tried to forge an understanding between the three great faiths of his time: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Ibn Arabi, the philosopher who introduced the term Фunity of being’, lived in Spain. Schimmel recollected the fables of la Fontaine that have echoes of India’s Pachatantra that travelled to Europe from India via the Arabs.

The second wave of Islam according to Schimmel was not as positive as the first one. It came with the expansion of the Ottoman empire when the word Turk became interchangeable with Muslim and the Qu’ran came to be referred as the Turkish Bible.
Then Chardin travelled to Iran and wrote about his travels in the East; Rembrandt’s work emulated the Mughal miniatures brought by Dutch merchants from Moghul India; Goethe wrote poems inspired by Islam’s prophetic spirit; Ruecart wrote his own dictionary of Arabic and Sanskrit, translated Hafiz, Saadi, the Shahnama of Firdausi and the Atharva Veda and brought the ghazal to Germany. Herder was deeply influenced by the Upanishads. Islam’s spirit began to unfold with the life of Hallaj, the martyr of mystical love. Schimmel was happy to see Sufism’s influence grow worldwide. Why Islam, I asked her.
“To reach the state of ilhaam ” she smiled and said: “I would not have perhaps turned to it if I did not have an inner calling.”
Her parents were deeply religious. She grew up in Arfut, East Germany, the home of Martin Luther, in a landscape as much enriched by Gothic cathedrals as by gardens full of roses and dahlias. On Luther’s birth anniversary thousands of children including Anne-Marie would march with lanterns to the place where Luther had taken a vow to become a monk. They would sing church hymns and come back home and receive marzipan sweets. Those echoes remained with her throughout her life.
Going to church and enjoying the beauty of ritual and music did not make her more Christian and talking about the compassion of Islam did not make her sympathetic to fundamentalists. She saw God everywhere. In Deciphering Signs of God she quotes an ayat from the Qu’ran which explains that God shows His signs in the horizon and in ourselves.
“Each one must look around and try to find that sign. You may see a tree in bloom or see something terrible. That too is God’s majesty. On her last visit to Delhi I was escorting her to the shrine of Fatima Saam, India’s only female Muslim saint. Removing her shoes at the tiny iron gate, she walked barefoot and stood by the painted green grave, her hands cupped in a gesture of prayer. As she recited the fateha I sensed that her accent was purer than mine. Perhaps also her faith…
And now for something completely different…

January 25, 2006
by gwyllm

Gary Snyder – Buddhist Anarchism

There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.
-Anais Nin-

Radio EarthRites is now online (or should be) please click on this Illustration to give a listen, and help out with our testing phase. Thanks!

Welcome To Wednesday…
The focus Today is On Gary Snyder: His Poetry,
a talk he first gave in 1961 :Buddhist Anarchism
And developing Compassion…. through Buddhism.
Bright Blessings,

~Gary Snyder~
As the crickets soft autumn hums
is to us
So are we to the trees
as are they
to the rocks and the hills.
Old Bones
Out there walking round, looking out for food,
a rootstock, a birdcall, a seed that you can crack
plucking, digging, snaring, snagging,
barely getting by,
no food out there on dusty slopes of scree—
carry some—look for some,
go for a hungry dream.
Deer bone, Dall sheep,
bones hunger home.
Out there somewhere
a shrine for the old ones,
the dust of the old bones,
old songs and tales.
What we ate—who ate what—
how we all prevailed.
December At Yase
You said, that October,
In the tall dry grass by the orchard
When you chose to be free,
“Again someday, maybe ten years.”
After college I saw you
One time. You were strange,
And I was obsessed with a plan.
Now ten years and more have
Gone by: I’ve always known
where you were—
I might have gone to you
Hoping to win your love back.
You still are single.
I didn’t.
I thought I must make it alone. I
Have done that.
Only in dream, like this dawn,
Does the grave, awed intensity
Of our young love
Return to my mind, to my flesh.
We had what the others
All crave and seek for;
We left it behind at nineteen.
I feel ancient, as though I had
Lived many lives.
And may never now know
If I am a fool
Or have done what my
karma demands.
Regarding Wave
The voice of the Dharma
the voice
A shimmering bell
through all.
Every hill, still.
Every tree alive. Every leaf.
All the slopes flow.
old woods, new seedlings,
tall grasses plumes.
Dark hollows; peaks of light.
wind stirs the cool side
Each leaf living.
All the hills.
The Voice
is a wife
him still.
Buddhist Anarchism
Buddhism holds that the universe and all creatures in it are intrinsically in a state of complete wisdom, love and compassion; acting in natural response and mutual interdependence. The personal realization of this from-the-beginning state cannot be had for and by one-“self” — because it is not fully realized unless one has given the self up; and away.
In the Buddhist view, that which obstructs the effortless manifestation of this is Ignorance, which projects into fear and needless craving. Historically, Buddhist philosophers have failed to analyze out the degree to which ignorance and suffering are caused or encouraged by social factors, considering fear-and-desire to be given facts of the human condition. Consequently the major concern of Buddhist philosophy is epistemology and “psychology” with no attention paid to historical or sociological problems. Although Mahayana Buddhism has a grand vision of universal salvation, the actual achievement of Buddhism has been the development of practical systems of meditation toward the end of liberating a few dedicated individuals from psychological hangups and cultural conditionings. Institutional Buddhism has been conspicuously ready to accept or ignore the inequalities and tyrannies of whatever political system it found itself under. This can be death to Buddhism, because it is death to any meaningful function of compassion. Wisdom without compassion feels no pain.
No one today can afford to be innocent, or indulge himself in ignorance of the nature of contemporary governments, politics and social orders. The national polities of the modern world maintain their existence by deliberately fostered craving and fear: monstrous protection rackets. The “free world” has become economically dependent on a fantastic system of stimulation of greed which cannot be fulfilled, sexual desire which cannot be satiated and hatred which has no outlet except against oneself, the persons one is supposed to love, or the revolutionary aspirations of pitiful, poverty-stricken marginal societies like Cuba or Vietnam. The conditions of the Cold War have turned all modern societies — Communist included — into vicious distorters of man’s true potential. They create populations of “preta” — hungry ghosts, with giant appetites and throats no bigger than needles. The soil, the forests and all animal life are being consumed by these cancerous collectivities; the air and water of the planet is being fouled by them.
There is nothing in human nature or the requirements of human social organization which intrinsically requires that a culture be contradictory, repressive and productive of violent and frustrated personalities. Recent findings in anthropology and psychology make this more and more evident. One can prove it for himself by taking a good look at his own nature through meditation. Once a person has this much faith and insight, he must be led to a deep concern with the need for radical social change through a variety of hopefully non-violent means.
The joyous and voluntary poverty of Buddhism becomes a positive force. The traditional harmlessness and refusal to take life in any form has nation-shaking implications. The practice of meditation, for which one needs only “the ground beneath one’s feet,” wipes out mountains of junk being pumped into the mind by the mass media and supermarket universities. The belief in a serene and generous fulfillment of natural loving desires destroys ideologies which blind, maim and repress — and points the way to a kind of community which would amaze “moralists” and transform armies of men who are fighters because they cannot be lovers.
Avatamsaka (Kegon) Buddhist philosophy sees the world as a vast interrelated network in which all objects and creatures are necessary and illuminated. From one standpoint, governments, wars, or all that we consider “evil” are uncompromisingly contained in this totalistic realm. The hawk, the swoop and the hare are one. From the “human” standpoint we cannot live in those terms unless all beings see with the same enlightened eye. The Bodhisattva lives by the sufferer’s standard, and he must be effective in aiding those who suffer.
The mercy of the West has been social revolution; the mercy of the East has been individual insight into the basic self/void. We need both. They are both contained in the traditional three aspects of the Dharma path: wisdom (prajna), meditation (dhyana), and morality (sila). Wisdom is intuitive knowledge of the mind of love and clarity that lies beneath one’s ego-driven anxieties and aggressions. Meditation is going into the mind to see this for yourself — over and over again, until it becomes the mind you live in. Morality is bringing it back out in the way you live, through personal example and responsible action, ultimately toward the true community (sangha) of “all beings.”
This last aspect means, for me, supporting any cultural and economic revolution that moves clearly toward a free, international, classless world. It means using such means as civil disobedience, outspoken criticism, protest, pacifism, voluntary poverty and even gentle violence if it comes to a matter of restraining some impetuous redneck. It means affirming the widest possible spectrum of non-harmful individual behavior — defending the right of individuals to smoke hemp, eat peyote, be polygynous, polyandrous or homosexual. Worlds of behavior and custom long banned by the Judaeo-Capitalist-Christian-Marxist West. It means respecting intelligence and learning, but not as greed or means to personal power. Working on one’s own responsibility, but willing to work with a group. “Forming the new society within the shell of the old” — the IWW slogan of fifty years ago.
The traditional cultures are in any case doomed, and rather than cling to their good aspects hopelessly it should be remembered that whatever is or ever was in any other culture can be reconstructed from the unconscious, through meditation. In fact, it is my own view that the coming revolution will close the circle and link us in many ways with the most creative aspects of our archaic past. If we are lucky we may eventually arrive at a totally integrated world culture with matrilineal descent, free-form marriage, natural-credit communist economy, less industry, far less population and lots more national parks.
Making Space with Bodhicitta
By Lama Thubten Yeshe
“Bodhicitta is the essential, universal truth.
This most pure thought is the wish and the will to bring all sentient beings to the realisation of their highest potential, enlightenment.
The Bodhisattva sees the crystal nature that exists in each of us, and by recognising the beauty of our human potential, always has respect.
For the disrespectful mind, human beings are like grass, something to be used. “Ah, he means nothing to me. Human beings are nothing to me.”
We all try to take advantage of someone else, to profit only for ourselves. The entire world is built on attachment. Big countries overwhelm small countries, big children take candy from small children, husbands take advantage of their wives. I make friends with someone because he can benefit me. It is the same with the rest of the world. Boyfriends, girlfriends. Everybody wants something.
The desire to make friends only for the other person’s benefit is extremely rare; however, it is very worthwhile. Buddha explained that even one moment’s thought of this mind dedicated to enlightenment for the sake of others can destroy a hundred thousand lifetimes’ negative karma.
We have attachment that makes us tight and uncomfortable. But even a tiny spark of bodhicitta’s heat makes the heart warm and relaxed.
Bodhicitta is the powerful solution, the atomic energy that destroys the kingdom of attachment.
Bodhicitta is not emotional love. By understanding the relative nature of sentient beings and seeing their highest destination, and by developing the willingness to bring all beings to that state of enlightenment, the mind is filled with love born from wisdom, not emotion.
Bodhicitta is not partial. Wherever you go with bodhicitta if you meet people, rich people or poor people, black or white, you are comfortable and you can communicate.
We have a fixed idea; life is this way or that. “This is good. This is bad.” We do not understand the different aspects of the human condition. But, having this incredible universal thought, our narrow mind vanishes automatically. It is so simple; you have space and life becomes easier.
For example, someone looks at us, at our home, at our garden and we freak out. We are so insecure and tight in our hearts. Arrogant. “Don’t look at me.” But with bodhicitta there is space. When someone looks we can say, “Hmm. She’s looking. But that’s O.K.” Do you understand? Rather than feeling upset you know it is all right.
Bodhicitta is the intoxicant that numbs us against pain and fills us with bliss.
Bodhicitta is the alchemy that transforms every action into benefit for others.
Bodhicitta is the cloud that carries the rain of positive energy to nourish growing things.
Bodhicitta is not doctrine. It is a state of mind. This inner experience is completely individual. So how can we see who is a Bodhisattva and who is not? can we see the self-cherishing mind?
If we feel insecure ourselves we will project that negative feeling onto others. We need the pure innermost thought of bodhicitta; wherever we go that will take care of us.”
The ‘4 Point Mind Training’ is based on cultivating four realisations:
1. Equanimity: One can cultivate the realisation that all sentient beings are equal in wanting happiness and not wanting suffering. Beings cannot really be divided into friends, enemies or strangers because friends may turn into enemies, enemies may become friends, and strangers may become friends or enemies.
2. Faults of self-cherishing: a consequence of karma is that self-cherishing is the only cause of my problems.
3. Good qualities of cherishing others: a consequence of karma is that cherishing others is the cause of all happiness.
4. Exchanging self & others: being intelligently selfish, by continually trying to put oneself in the place of others, and then acting.
The ‘7 Point Mind Training’ is based on cultivation in 7 steps:
1. Equanimity
2. All sentient beings have been or, at least, could have been my mother as I have lived innumerable lives.
3. Remember the kindness of your mother in this life, all she did for you, the problems she went through to take care of you.
4. Would it be great if I could repay her and all previous mothers’ kindness.
5. Generate great love: may all mother sentient beings have happiness and the causes for happiness.
6. Generate great compassion: may all mother sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes for suffering
7. I should give up all self-cherishing and egoism, and work to bring them happiness and release them from their suffering: therefore, may I become an omniscient Buddha, as he is the perfect doctor to cure the suffering of all mother sentient beings.

January 23, 2006
by gwyllm

up the Mountain…

On The Music Box: Radio EarthRites: Gigi… and then followed by MIDIval PunditZ – Kesariya
On first view, most of this entry will appear on the dark side of things. Yes and No…. The light is returning but it seems like a very, very long time in coming. We get caught up in the day to day, but there are times we have to take the long view: looking as if our lives only last but a day in the scale of things…
I get caught in this kind of thought. You think of civilization and I often think of it like the tides of the Ocean… In and out, up and down that beach called time, space…
I once was peaking on LSD at a dance many, many years ago. I was staring up into a strobe, and each flash became a day. I could see the light build up, reach its zenith and then fade to darkness. Within the 10th of a second it took the light to strobe, I experienced the world in a myriad million ways over a projected 24 hours. It went on into infinity, and I was every possible individuation. As I stared, I saw the days, the months, the years,centuries and finally ages fly. I saw the beginnings of life on the planet. I saw humans emerge millions of years before. I saw civilizations rise and collapse and rise again. I saw Atlantis, I saw the tall henges being raised… I saw the streaming of humanity like a rising tide spread across the lands… You get the point.
It took me years to get my head around the idea that it wasn’t the longevity but the passion that you did things with. So what if one had a very small part of creation? You still had a part of it. You still experienced it moment to moment. Something so simple took a very long time to figure out. Years of despair and ennui were invested in not accepting the simple answer…
So take it from me, when things are grim, they also aren’t static. There are eddies and currents constantly giving and changing around you. What you do does have profound meaning because you can be a vector for great changes in the stream of human life. You are a nexus point, halfway between Atom and Star. Did you know that? Between Angel and Insect. Yes, there is a purpose, and you my as well take part in it like the Gaian and Galactic Citizen you are. (see, you get to have more than one passport as well! How cool is that!?!?
Everything has meaning, and nothing does. Pick an emphasis.
On The Menu
A series of strange Links and situations…
Google Earth
Article: Ralph Metzner on the End of Civilization (Time to Celebrate?)
with a bit more thrown in….
Poetry: Adonis/Ali Ahmad Said… Syrian Poet…
Then there is this little item my friend Deirdre sent me…. 8o)

I Copy That: No Pants in the Subway Story
Direct Observation of Atoms through Clairvoyance
The Brain Sees What We Don’t
Dreams – traveling to parallel universes and ocean of multiverses
DIA Sources ‘Remote Viewed’ Attacks in NYC and Washington, D.C.
Special Link of the Day (nots nice Precious, nots nice at allllll:
The BEAST 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2005
15. Karl Rove
Charges: A greasy pig whose only distinction in life is his total lack of decency. Rove is decidedly not a genius; he is simply missing the part of his soul that prevents the rest of us from kicking elderly women in the face. His admirers have elevated fanatical, amoral ambition to the status of a virtue, along with lying, cheating, and negligent homicide, all in the name of “values.” Quite possibly the worst person in the worst White House in American history.
Exhibit A: “As people do better, they start voting like Republicans – unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”
Sentence: Lowered head first into oil refinery smokestack.
Google Earth: A tool of great use. If I am spinning my wheels, I take a fly over somewhere. I just buzzed Lindisfarne, Stonehenge, and some strange gorge in India. Check these locations out….
29.975, 31.13
19.692, -98.844
-25.35, 131.03
More Tales from the ever collapsing Barricades….
Additional Links: (Thanks to Will Penna on this…)
Dr. Ralph Metzner on the Collapse of Civilization
Well, it now appears that I can count myself among the “intelligent and credible people”, who have been saying that the collapse of our global civilization is a distinct possibility. The article [linked] below, from the Guardian, spells out the interlocking scenarios that have led to the collapse of previous, more localized, civilizations. In one respect, though, I have already left the company of the “intelligent and credible”, since I don’t think civilizational collapse is possible — I say it is happening now. Even as we read each other’s e-mail, and drink to the New Year. That deadly duo of monsters — resource depletion and overpopulation — are killing off vast areas of biosphere. And our leaders (the biggest gangsters), instead of focussing on searching for ways to cooperate and to mitigate the lethal consequences of the collapse, have chosen to apply their technological skills in increasingly violent military actions to support the organized predation of the multinational energy corporations, while skilfully weaving a stupefying hypnotic fog of denial into their subject populations and keeping them in mindless robotic consumerist trance. I also have to depart from my “intelligent and credible” fellow observers in their rather sanguine assessment that the collapse of industrial civilization will just entail the return to a pre-industrial life-style. In other words, like the horse-and-buggy days of colonial America — doesn’t sound too bad. Perhaps this will be the final new social equilibrium, .. but in the meantime, what happens when civilization collapses, as Uncle Karl pointed out, is barbarism. I think we can all agree that the images emerging from the worldwide military prison gulag, and the fact that the possible ethical and legal justification of torture has become a topic of debate and discussion in politics and academics, is one sign of a civilization that is collapsing into barbarism. This barbarism is sometimes (falsely I believe) called the “law of the jungle”: kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. But that notion is not a “law of the jungle” — it is a false choice, a rigid, fear-based survival program. There are many other, healthier and more productive ways for us to expend our energy and direct our intention, besides killing or being killed, eating or being eaten. What are these ways? We can start by “turning our swords into ploughshares”, demilitarizing society and committing ourselves to the non-violent ways of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and Jesus of Nazareth. We can sit down and talk: talk about what is really needed for every one, — all human and non-human beings, inhabiting this planet, or this place where we happen to find ourselves; — and how we can best meet those needs. What a fantastic challenge and beautiful opportunity for our collective creativity and ingenuity, our powers of design and imagination. As far as I can tell, humans don’t really need that much — food, water, shelter, health, safety of course, the basics; the opportunity to raise their children in peace, to engage in meaningful work, to practice their creativity, to pursue their spiritual and religious values — don’t they all flow from basic respect for another’s integrity? The Golden Rule is still the Golden Rule.
I have to report I feel neither gloomy nor doomy. I’ve found that letting go of denial and accepting what is happening, is tremendously liberating.
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose..” and this is a time of collapse, and renewal.
So, my friends, be of good cheer, and laugh and make music.
A risk of total collapse
“Is it possible that global civilisation might collapse within our lifetime or that of our children? Until recently, such an idea was the preserve of lunatics and cults. In the past few years, however, an increasing number of intelligent and credible people have been warning that global collapse is a genuine possibility. And many of these are sober scientists, including Lord May, David King and Jared Diamond – people not usually given to exaggeration or drama.”
Poetry:Adonis/Ali Ahmad Said

Songs of Mihyar the Damamscene
Not A Star
Neither a star,
nor a prophet’s inspiration,
nor a face praying to the moon, is Mihyar.
Here he comes
like a pagan spear,
invading the land of letters,
and raising to the sun
his bleeding.
Here he is,
wearing the nakedness of stone
and praying to the caves.
Here he is,
cuddling the light Earth.
A voice
Mihyar is a face
betrayed by its lovers.
Mihyar is bells
without chinning
Mihyar is inscribed upon the faces,
a song which visits us secretly
on white, exiled roads.
Mihyar is bells of wanderers
in this Galilean land.
A Vision /1
put on the mask of burnt wood,
0, Babel of fire and mysteries.
I await the god who comes
draped in flames,
adorned with pearls
stolen from oysters
out of the lung of the sea.,
l await the god who feels perplexed
rages, weeps, bows and glows.
your face, 0, Mihyar,
heralds the coming god
A king is Mihyar
A king-
the dream is his palace
and gardens of fire.
And today,
a dying voice complained about him
to words.
A king is Mihyar.
In the kingdom of the wind he lives, and in the land of mysteries he reigns.
The Adoring Rock
The wandering is over,
and the road
is an adoring rock.
Here we are,
burying the corpse of the day,
draped in the winds of tragedy.
But tomorrow we shall shake
The trunks of the forest of palms.
And tomorrow we shall wash
the body of the slender god
with the blood of the thunderbolt,
and construct the tenuous lines
between our eyelids and the road.
The Two Corpses
I buried in your subservient entrails,
in the head, the hands and eyes,
a minaret;
I buried two corpses,
the Earth and the sky.
0, tribe,
0, womb of wasps,
and null of the wind.
but staying still.
0, sun,
how do I attain the skill
of your footsteps?
I Said Unto You
I said unto you:
I listened to the seas
reading to me their verses
I listened to the bells
slumbering inside the oyster shells.
I said unto you:
I sang my songs
at Satans wedding
and the feast of the fable.
I said unto you:
I beheld,
in the rain of history
and the glow of the distance
a fairy and a dwelling.
Because I sail in my eyes,
I said unto you, I beheld
in the first step of the distance.
We die unless we create the gods.
We die unless we murder the gods.
0, kingdom of the bewildered rock.
A Land Of No Return
Even if you return, 0, Odysseus;
even if spaces close around you,
and the guide is burnt to ashes
in your bereaved face
or your friendly terror,
you will remain a history of wandering,
you will remain in a land of no promise,
you will remain in a land of no return.
Even if you return,
0, Odysseus;
A Homeland
To faces which wither under the mask of melancholy,
I bow.
To roads on which I forgot my tears,
to a father who died as green as a cloud
with a sail upon his face,
I bow
And to a child who is sold
in order to pray and polish shoes,
(in my country, we all pray and polish shoes),
and to rocks upon which I carved with my hunger
that they were lightning and rain
rolling under my eyelids,
and to a house whose soil I carried in my wanderings,
I bow.
All these are my homeland
Not Damascus.
Biography: ADONIS/Adunis (Ali Ahmad Said) (b. 1929)

Syrian poet. Born in the Alawite mountains of Northern Syria, he studied first at Tartus, then at the Syrian University, and later earned a doctorate for The Static and Dynamic in Arabic Culture from St.joseph’s University in Beirut. From 1956 to 1986 he lived in Beirut, and then moved to Paris. In 1968 he founded the avant-garde magazine, Mawaqif (Situations), dedicated to culture and literature. One of the greatest poets in Arabic literature, he is also something of an iconoclast. His prose writings have aroused much controversy in the Arab world, particularly his views on the Arab heritage and other subjects treated in the above-mentioned work (published in 1974) and other writings. There can be no doubt as to the influence of his ideas about innovation and modernity on a whole generation of poets. Equally important is the leading role he played in revolutionizing poetic language, imagery, and approach.
Seven collections of his poetry have appeared, of which Songs of Mihyar the Damascene (196o) may be regarded as a turning point in his work. It has been translated into French, and there have been several English translations of selections of his poetry, including The Blood of Adonis and Transformation of the Lover, both translated by Samuel Hazo.

January 23, 2006
by gwyllm

The Monday Light…

A good article, a bit of entertainment, poetry… a good start to the week!
Have fun,
The Article:Revenge of the Mutt People
Bred for meanness
“There are some things so disgusting that only a white man would be willing to do them.”
— Walter Wildshoe, Coeur d’Alene Indian
This really quite an interesting read. Way big for putting on the Blog, but I think it is worth your time reading.
A wee bit of entertainment:
Careful with that axe, Eugene…
and my favourite all time song from these guys:
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun..
Poetry: Henry David Thoreau

The Moon
Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide;
Mortality below her orb is placed.
The full-orbed moon with unchanged ray
Mounts up the eastern sky,
Not doomed to these short nights for aye,
But shining steadily.
She does not wane, but my fortune,
Which her rays do not bless,
My wayward path declineth soon,
But she shines not the less.
And if she faintly glimmers here,
And paled is her light,
Yet alway in her proper sphere
She’s mistress of the night.
Conscience is instinct bred in the house,
Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin
By an unnatural breeding in and in.
I say, Turn it out doors,
Into the moors.
I love a life whose plot is simple,
And does not thicken with every pimple,
A soul so sound no sickly conscience binds it,
That makes the universe no worse than ‘t finds it.
I love an earnest soul,
Whose mighty joy and sorrow
Are not drowned in a bowl,
And brought to life to-morrow;
That lives one tragedy,
And not seventy;
A conscience worth keeping;
Laughing not weeping;
A conscience wise and steady,
And forever ready;
Not changing with events,
Dealing in compliments;
A conscience exercised about
Large things, where one may doubt.
I love a soul not all of wood,
Predestinated to be good,
But true to the backbone
Unto itself alone,
And false to none;
Born to its own affairs,
Its own joys and own cares;
By whom the work which God begun
Is finished, and not undone;
Taken up where he left off,
Whether to worship or to scoff;
If not good, why then evil,
If not good god, good devil.
Goodness! you hypocrite, come out of that,
Live your life, do your work, then take your hat.
I have no patience towards
Such conscientious cowards.
Give me simple laboring folk,
Who love their work,
Whose virtue is song
To cheer God along.
Walden Pond!

The Inward Morning
Packed in my mind lie all the clothes
Which outward nature wears,
And in its fashion’s hourly change
It all things else repairs.
In vain I look for change abroad,
And can no difference find,
Till some new ray of peace uncalled
Illumes my inmost mind.
What is it gilds the trees and clouds,
And paints the heavens so gay,
But yonder fast-abiding light
With its unchanging ray?
Lo, when the sun streams through the wood,
Upon a winter’s morn,
Where’er his silent beams intrude,
The murky night is gone.
How could the patient pine have known
The morning breeze would come,
Or humble flowers anticipate
The insect’s noonday hum–
Till the new light with morning cheer
From far streamed through the aisles,
And nimbly told the forest trees
For many stretching miles?
I’ve heard within my inmost soul
Such cheerful morning news,
In the horizon of my mind
Have seen such orient hues,
As in the twilight of the dawn,
When the first birds awake,
Are heard within some silent wood,
Where they the small twigs break,
Or in the eastern skies are seen,
Before the sun appears,
The harbingers of summer heats
Which from afar he bears.
The Summer Rain
My books I’d fain cast off, I cannot read,
‘Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too,
Our Shakespeare’s life were rich to live again,
What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true,
Nor Shakespeare’s books, unless his books were men.
Here while I lie beneath this walnut bough,
What care I for the Greeks or for Troy town,
If juster battles are enacted now
Between the ants upon this hummock’s crown?
Bid Homer wait till I the issue learn,
If red or black the gods will favor most,
Or yonder Ajax will the phalanx turn,
Struggling to heave some rock against the host.
Tell Shakespeare to attend some leisure hour,
For now I’ve business with this drop of dew,
And see you not, the clouds prepare a shower–
I’ll meet him shortly when the sky is blue.
This bed of herd’s grass and wild oats was spread
Last year with nicer skill than monarchs use.
A clover tuft is pillow for my head,
And violets quite overtop my shoes.
And now the cordial clouds have shut all in,
And gently swells the wind to say all’s well;
The scattered drops are falling fast and thin,
Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.
I am well drenched upon my bed of oats;
But see that globe come rolling down its stem,
Now like a lonely planet there it floats,
And now it sinks into my garment’s hem.
Drip drip the trees for all the country round,
And richness rare distills from every bough;
The wind alone it is makes every sound,
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.
For shame the sun will never show himself,
Who could not with his beams e’er melt me so;
My dripping locks–they would become an elf,
Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.
I have always wanted to visit Walden Pond, and to lay flowers at Thoreaus grave.

January 22, 2006
by gwyllm

A Heretic for Our Times….

Sunday Edition… Working on WebSites, and fighting off the coughs again. Pertussis, how it likes a damp chill outside! We thought the dog had taken off today, without her collar. Sophie does the wander once in awhile, jumping over fences and taking off. We get a call after an hour or so when someone has found her. Without the collar, this wouldn’t be the scenario… seems the neighbor borrowed her to play with her dog. Such things Saturdays are made of.
The Radio is cooking along, and we are working out the kinks to get the Spoken Word Channel up for poetry, interviews, and lectures, as well as a Dial Up Channel as well. Stay tuned.
One of my nephews is back from visiting New York and paying a visit to his late fathers home in Queens. (That was Michael Firpo who I dedicated an edition to) seems he had a completed novel and screen play among his other works. I hope to see them later this week, I would be interested to see what he had going before he died…
Well, Have a good Sunday!
On the Menu:
The Links
The Article:A Heretic for Our Times (Thanks for the lead Don!)
Poetry: 3 by William Butler Yeats
The Links:
The Price of Electric is Going UP
What Is The Digital Universe?
Chomsky: ‘There Is No War On Terror’
A Heretic for Our Times… (Thanks to Don for this !)
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s theories turn everything we know about the universe inside out.
Walking to the home of maverick scientist Rupert Sheldrake in Hampstead — London’s cozy but glamorous artistic village that’s been home to John Keats, George Orwell, D.H. Lawrence and, more recently, novelist John LeCarre and actress Emma Thompson — I am not surprised to find that his plain brick house looks out on Hampstead Heath. This famous (and still remarkably wild) expanse of grasslands and groves was the spot where Keats met William Wordsworth for long rambles, discussing the passions and ideas that would be immortalized in their Romantic poetry. Sheldrake, one of the world’s leading spokesmen for a more holistic and democratic vision of science, might easily be grouped with the Romantics, except that his insights about the world are based on empirical research rather than poetic feelings.
Sheldrake’s bold theories about how the universe works sparked controversy in 1981 with the publication of A New Science of Life. Actually it wasn’t the book itself that brought Sheldrake’s ideas to prominence but an incendiary editorial by the editor of the respected British journal Nature, Sir John Maddox, who fumed, “This infuriating tract…is the best candidate for burning there has been for many years.” That was quite a lot of attention for a young scientist, especially one who at that time was working as a plant physiologist in India.
What so infuriated Maddox was Sheldrake’s theory of “morphic resonance” — a complicated framework of ideas proposing that nature relies upon its own set of memories, which are transmitted through time and space via “morphic fields”. The theory holds that these fields, which operate much like electrical or magnetic fields, shape our entire world. A panda bear is a panda bear because it naturally tunes into morphic fields containing storehouses of information that define and govern panda bears. The same with pigeons, platinum atoms, and the oak trees on Hampstead Heath, not to mention human beings. This theory, if widely accepted, would turn our understanding of the universe inside out — which is why Sheldrake has so often felt the wrath of orthodox scientists.
For the past 20 years, he has pursued further research on morphic fields even though no university or scientific institute would dare hire him. Much of his empirical explorations focus on unsolved phenomenon such as how pigeons and other animals find their way home from great distances, why people experience feelings in amputated limbs, why some people and animals can sense that someone is staring at them. He believes morphic resonance may offer answers to these questions.
His experimentation has been underwritten by freethinking funders like the late Lawrence Rockefeller and the Institute of Noetic Sciences, founded by Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell. Through the years Sheldrake has supported his family largely through lecture tours, which draw curious crowds around the world, and a series of books exploring various aspects of what is often called “New Science.” He’s written on ecological, spiritual, and philosophical themes, as well as a manifesto on how science could be democratized (Seven Experiments that Could Change the World) and a bestseller on animal behavior (Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home). His current research involves thousands of rigorously empirical tests probing the existence of telepathy. John Maddox nonetheless has continued to accuse him of “heresy,” saying he should be “condemned in exactly the same language that the Pope used to condemn Galileo.”
‘Science is the last unreformed institution’
When Sheldrake answers the door, I find a tall, surprisingly youthful man in a golf shirt and Birkenstock sandals with socks who hardly seems a menacing troublemaker out to destroy civilization as we know it. He welcomes me into his home, which wonderfully fits my expectations of what a slightly bohemian biologist’s house should look like: shells, antlers, giant pinecones, fossils and exotic-looking houseplants on display in comfy rooms also filled with books, art, musical instruments, oriental carpets and a few patches of peeling paint. Upstairs is his office, which overflows with scientific journals and papers, and a spacious library room crammed with books on every conceivable subject. A corner of the library houses a small laboratory, which was recently commandeered by his teenage sons as a computer center.
It’s a gorgeous sunny morning and Sheldrake suggests we sit in the backyard, which looks to me like a mini-botanical garden. It turns out that I am visiting on a rather momentous occasion. His three-year appointment to an research post at Trinity College in Cambridge will be announced today. It marks a homecoming of sorts to the place where he studied as an undergraduate, earned a Ph.D. and was named a Fellow of Clare College for seven years, where he served as Director of Studies in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
I ask if his appointment signals a growing tolerance of outspoken ideas in science. Not quite, he explains. It’s a unique endowment created in the memory of Fredric Myers, a Fellow of Trinity College who was fascinated by psychic phenomena, although today it is generally awarded to researchers out to debunk the existence of such phenomena. “But it does mean I will be getting a salary for the first time in 25 years and money to do my research,” he says with a sincere grin.. “But in the field of biology the holistic approach I advocate is more remote than ever. Funding drives most research toward biotech projects.”
“Science is the last unreformed institution in the modern world today,” he adds in a matter-of-fact rather than harsh tone. “It’s like the church before the Reformation. All decisions are made by a small powerful group of people. They’re authoritarian, entrenched, well-funded and see themselves as a priesthood.”
Sheldrake’s views are widely shared by many people — indeed by so many that it’s seen as a looming problem in Britain and Europe as the public increasingly looks upon science as a tool of corporations and big government, not an institution that benefits average citizens. Kids seem less inclined to pursue careers in the field and taxpayers are growing reluctant about financing research.
“If science were more responsive to democratic input, this would look different,” he says. He points out that popular programs on television dealing with scientific themes focus primarily on four topics that interest people: 1) alternative medicine; 2) ecological issues; 3) animals; and 4) parapsychology. But very little scientific funding goes toward research in these areas. He wonders what would happen if people could participate in choosing the kind of research they fund with their tax money?
That’s the idea behind Sheldrake’s recent proposal to let the public vote on how to spend one percent of the overall science budget — an idea greeted with even more horror than morphic resonance in some scientific circles. But other scientists are giving it serious consideration as a way to win back the public’s trust.
More than a symbolic gesture, this would actually add up to quite a sum of money to initiate interesting new research that the scientific establishment won’t sanction. Sheldrake notes that independent scientists, including Charles Darwin, have been responsible for many important breakthroughs because they probe for answers in ways quite different than their well-funded peers in universities, research institutes or corporations. But looking around Britain today the only other independent scientific researcher Sheldrake can think of is James Lovelock, who conceived the revolutionary Gaia Hypothesis, which posits that the earth is a living organism.
The power of public participation
Public participation is essential to Sheldrake’s own research because otherwise he couldn’t afford to do it. Right now he’s enlisting people worldwide to study email telepathy ( the ability to know who’s emailing before you get a message). His website ( offers all the details necessary to conduct your own telepathy experiments and to report the findings.
Eighty percent of the population reports experiences with telephone telepathy (email telepathy’s older cousin), he explains. In the controlled experiments he’s conducted, where subjects choose which of four close friends is phoning, they’re right 42 percent of the time — significantly higher than the 25 percent that would occur by random chance.
“I think we all have a capacity for telepathy,” Sheldrake notes. “But it is really a function of close social bonds. It doesn’t happen with total strangers. At least not in an experimental setting. And of course some people have a better sense of telepathy than others, just the same as with the sense of smell.” He hopes the on-line experiments can identify individuals with particularly strong telepathic skills, who can then be studied further.
“What I am interested in are the mysteries of everyday life — a lot of these simple things are not being investigated,” Sheldrake says staring up at the sunny sky with that “lost-in-thought” look you typically associate with scientists. A few moments later he pulls his attention back in my direction, smiles apologetically and continues. “I prefer to explore things that people know in their lives or the lives of their friends. I am interested in science that is rooted in people’s experience. Indeed, the word empirical means experience.”
By now the two of us have been talking in his garden for several hours and Sheldrake picks up a garden hose to water several tall exotic-looking plants. I meanwhile silently marvel at the tenacity he’s shown in keeping his research going all these years and the gentle spirit he possesses in the face of hostility toward his work. John Maddox has said he practices “magic instead of science” yet Sheldrake brings up Maddox with almost fondness — perhaps because the scathing editorial in Nature turned The New Science of Life into a bestseller and launched Sheldrake’s career as an independent scientist.
It’s time for me to go, and a taxi is honking in front of the house to take me to Paddington Station, but I must squeeze in one more question. “How do you refresh yourself, renew your creativity and stay calm in the face of so much criticism?” Sensing my anxiety about missing the train, he efficiently ticks off three answers in the methodical manner you’d expect from a former science whiz kid. “One. Playing the piano, usually Bach. Two. Meditating. Three. Taking walks, usually out on the heath.”
After a hearty handshake I jump into to the cab and, watching Hampstead Heath disappear through the back window, decide that I sold Rupert Sheldrake short earlier today. Comparing him to fellow Heath hikers Keats and Wordsworth, I viewed Sheldrake as a cool and rational man of science while they were warm and passionate poets. But I can see now that, even as a dedicated scientist, Sheldrake possesses a poetic imagination in how he thinks about the world and how he lives his life.
Jay Walljasper is the executive editor of Ode magazine
Poetry: William Butler Yeats

When You Are Old
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

To The Rose Upon The Rood Of Time
Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!
Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways:
Cuchulain battling with the bitter tide;
The Druid, grey, wood-nurtured, quiet-eyed,
Who cast round Fergus dreams, and ruin untold;
And thine own sadness, where of stars, grown old
In dancing silver-sandalled on the sea,
Sing in their high and lonely melody.
Come near, that no more blinded hy man’s fate,
I find under the boughs of love and hate,
In all poor foolish things that live a day,
Eternal beauty wandering on her way.
Come near, come near, come near – Ah, leave me still
A little space for the rose-breath to fill!
Lest I no more bear common things that crave;
The weak worm hiding down in its small cave,
The field-mouse running by me in the grass,
And heavy mortal hopes that toil and pass;
But seek alone to hear the strange things said
By God to the bright hearts of those long dead,
And learn to chaunt a tongue men do not know.
Come near; I would, before my time to go,
Sing of old Eire and the ancient ways:
Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days.

A Woman Homer Sung
IF any man drew near
When I was young,
I thought, ‘He holds her dear,’
And shook with hate and fear.
But oh, ’twas bitter wrong
If he could pass her by
With an indifferent eye.

Whereon I wrote and wrought,
And now, being gray,
I dream that I have brought
To such a pitch my thought
That coming time can say,
‘He shadowed in a glass
What thing her body was.’

For she had fiery blood
When I was young,
And trod so sweetly proud
As ’twere upon a cloud,
A woman Homer sung,
That life and letters seem
But an heroic dream.
See Ya Soon.

January 20, 2006
by gwyllm


On The Music Box: Shpongles’ Last Album: Nothing Last But Nothing Is Lost
-Neal Cassady with Young Friend-
Survived to Friday.
Business is slower than I like, but all things in there own time it seems to me. PK came by today, sat with Mary and I, had tea. It has been since late December that we saw him. Always nice to connect. He is in his last 9 months of Chinese Medicine school. He is always excited by what is going on with his studies… It is a real pleasure to see the growth in his new knowledge, and hey, he does a great massage!
I confess, I am the last person not to go to Burning Man on the West Coast, honestly. I Talked to Victor for a bit today, discussing the possibility of doing a Burning Man run with some of the Earth Rites crew. A novel Idea! I just keep thinking about dust and my contact lenses… Also,I have never been a big one for heat. I guess I am a true child of the Arboreal North. (Still tempting just the same). I listened to Lee Gilmore and her writing partner on KQED monday, and kinda got a taste of the art side and social side of the Burners experience… So, it is up for discussion at least.
On The Menu:
The Links
The Quotes
Article: Furthur Survives The Acid Test
Poetry: Allen Ginsberg
Blotter Illustrations: Yours Truly
Have a good Weekend!
The Links:
Goodbye Wilson, thanks so much.
The Mystery of Markawasi
Scientists discover most fertile Irish male
Hardwired to seek beauty
magic school casts spell on adults inspired by Hogwarts
Jeremy Narby-The Cosmic Serpent ReMix
The Quotes:
“If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; If you would know, and not be known, live in a city.”
“The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool.”
“Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds.”
“America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.”
“One doesn’t have a sense of humor. It has you.”
“In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.”
“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.”
“Politics is made up largely of irrelevancies.”
Furthur survives the acid test
Late author’s ‘Furthur’ is destined to go farther
By Jeff Barnard
PLEASANT HILL, Ore. — Zane Kesey picks at clumps of moss and swirls of brightly colored paint and patches of rust covering the school bus that his father, author Ken Kesey, rode cross-country with a refrigerator stocked with LSD-laced drinks in pursuit of a new art form.

“This comes off pretty easy,” Kesey says, a smile playing over his face. “It’s amazing, some of the things that are coming out — things I remember.”
For some 15 years, the 1939 International bus dubbed “Furthur” has rusted away in a swamp on the Kesey family’s Willamette Valley farm, out of sight if not out of mind, more memory than monument.
That is where Ken Kesey — author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and hero of a generation that vowed to drop out and tune in with the help of LSD — intended it to stay after firing up a new bus in 1990.
But four years after his death, a Hollywood restaurateur has persuaded the family to resurrect the old bus so it can help tell the story of Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and the psychedelic 1960s.
“I read his books back in high school and through college,” says David Houston, owner of the historic roadhouse Barney’s Beanery in Los Angeles. “I just always thought he was a fascinating and brilliant man. The story of the bus was always very compelling. To find out it had been just left to go — I really wanted to restore the bus and tell its story to the world.”
Houston hopes to raise the $100,000 he figures it will cost to get the bus running and looking good. The Kesey family will maintain control of the bus, taking it to special events.
Air in the tires
Last fall, a group of old Pranksters hauled the bus out of the swamp and parked it next to a barn to await restoration.
“One of the things that is really optimistic for me is it’s got full air in the tires from Cassady,” says Kesey, referring to Neal Cassady, who was the wheelman in Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” and drove Furthur on that first trip. “Honestly, if the tires had been flat, I would have said, ‘Just leave it there.’ “
The restoration will be a tough job. On a cold misty day, Houston, Zane Kesey and former Green Turtle bus mechanic Mike Cobiskey climb on ladders, peer under the hood, pick at paint and crawl underneath.
What they see is daunting. The body is badly rusted. The paint is peeled. The roof leaks. The engine, not original, and transmission have both been underwater. The original bunk beds and refrigerator are gone, but the driver’s seat remains.
“The most important thing is the paint,” Cobiskey says to Kesey. “I’m sure you have a thousand pictures of it.”
“And no two are alike,” Kesey replies.
Bob Santelli, artistic director of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, tried to raise money to restore Furthur in 1996 when he was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, but couldn’t swing it. He did get Kesey to bring the newer incarnation to the museum.
“I consider the bus to be one of the most important icons of the ’60s counterculture,” says Santelli. “Inside that bus occurred many of the things the counterculture was all about, from a revolutionary perspective. That is mobility, freedom to be on the move, and to react to situations and create situations to react to, drug use and experimenting with drugs, and the importance of music in a cultural revolution.”
New York-bound
Fresh from the stunning success of “Cuckoo’s Nest,” Ken Kesey wanted to drive to New York City for the 1964 World’s Fair and a coming-out party for his new book, “Sometimes a Great Notion,” making a movie along the way.
“At first, a bunch of us were going to go in a station wagon,” says Ken Babbs, one of the original Pranksters. “Then it was getting too big for that.”
Kesey bought the bus for $1,250 from Andre Hobson in Atherton, Calif., a sales engineer who had outfitted it with bunks, a bathroom and a kitchen to take his 11 kids on vacation.
At La Honda, Kesey’s home in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco, they installed a sound system, a generator on the back and went wild with the paint. Artist Roy Sebern painted the word “Furthur” on the destination placard as a kind of one-word poem and inspiration to keep going whenever the bus broke down. It wasn’t until much later that he found out he had misspelled it. Just as the bus was constantly being repainted, somewhere along the line the sign was corrected to “Further.”
The day they were ready to go, Kesey recruited Cassady from a bookstore where he was working, Babbs recalls. The bus pulled out of the driveway with Ray Charles singing “Hit the Road Jack,” and ran out of gas. That was quickly remedied, and down the road they went, Cassady spewing the speed-talking rap-babble that inspired Kerouac’s writing style.
“For me and Kesey, too, we were trying to move into a new creative expression which was movie making, and being part of the movie,” Babbs says. “This was all a tremendous experiment in the arts. We always figured we would be totally successful and make a lot of money out of it.”
Stopped by cops
The wildly painted bus got stopped by the police, but with their short haircuts and preppy clothes, the Pranksters were never arrested. They carried orange juice laced with LSD, which was legal at the time. Kesey had been a guinea pig in government-sponsored LSD tests and was trying to turn the entire country on to it through events known as the Acid Tests.
As they rolled through New York City, the Pranksters tootled saxophones and blew soap bubbles from the roof, and later stopped at Timothy Leary’s Millbrook meditation center in upstate New York, where Kerouac sang a sad rendition of “Ain’t We Got Fun.”
The film and tape rolled constantly, but when they got back to La Honda, they could never get the two to synchronize. Author Tom Wolfe used the material for his book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” but the movie lay dormant until 2000, when a digital editing machine made it possible and Kesey issued, “Intrepid Traveler and His Merry Band of Pranksters Look for A Kool Place.”
After one last trip, to Woodstock, N.Y., in 1969, Kesey put the bus out to pasture, where it served as a dugout for softball games. He towed it to the swamp in 1990 when he bought a 1947 bus for a whole bus for a whole new series of trips.
Poetry: Allen Ginsberg

First Party At Ken Kesey’s With Hell’s Angels
Cool black night thru redwoods
cars parked outside in shade
behind the gate, stars dim above
the ravine, a fire burning by the side
porch and a few tired souls hunched over
in black leather jackets. In the huge
wooden house, a yellow chandelier
at 3 A.M. the blast of loudspeakers
hi-fi Rolling Stones Ray Charles Beatles
Jumping Joe Jackson and twenty youths
dancing to the vibration thru the floor,
a little weed in the bathroom, girls in scarlet
tights, one muscular smooth skinned man
sweating dancing for hours, beer cans
bent littering the yard, a hanged man
sculpture dangling from a high creek branch,
children sleeping softly in their bedroom bunks.
And 4 police cars parked outside the painted
gate, red lights revolving in the leaves.
December 1965
Allen reads “City Midnight Junk Strains”
Allen singing William Blake’s poem “Nurse’s Song”

Some of Ginsbergs’ Last Poems…
Death & Fame
When I die
I don’t care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter ’em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B’nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Mark’s Church, the largest synagogue in Manhattan
First, there’s family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,
Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear’d, sister-
in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters
their grandchildren,
companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan–
Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya’s ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche,
there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting
America, Satchitananda Swami
Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche,
Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi’s phantoms
Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau
Roshis, Lama Tarchen —
Then, most important, lovers over half-century
Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich
young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each
other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories
“He taught me to meditate, now I’m an old veteran of the thousand
day retreat –“
“I played music on subway platforms, I’m straight but loved him he
loved me”
“I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone”
“We’d lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly
arms round each other”
“I’d always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my
skivvies would be on the floor”
“Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master”
“We’d talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then
sleep in his captain’s bed.”
“He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy”
“I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my
shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips– “
“All I did was lay back eyes closed, he’d bring me to come with mouth
& fingers along my waist”
“He gave great head”
So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin-
gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997
and surprise — “You too? But I thought you were straight!”
“I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me.”
“I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender
and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head,
my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly. on my prick,
tickled with his tongue my behind”
“I loved the way he’d recite ‘But at my back allways hear/ time’s winged
chariot hurrying near,’ heads together, eye to eye, on a
pillow –“
Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear
“I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his
walk-up flat,
seduced me didn’t want to, made me come, went home, never saw him
again never wanted to… “
“He couldn’t get it up but loved me,” “A clean old man.” “He made
sure I came first”
This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor–
Then poets & musicians — college boys’ grunge bands — age-old rock
star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con-
ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum-
peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger
fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto-
harp pennywhistles & kazoos
Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60’s India,
Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa-
chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty
sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American
Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio-
philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex
“I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved
him anyway, true artist”
“Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me
from suicide hospitals”
“Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my
studio guest a week in Budapest”
Thousands of readers, “Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois”
“I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet– “
“He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas
“Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City”
“Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982”
“I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized
others like me out there”
Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures
Then Journalists, editors’s secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo-
graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural
historians come to witness the historic funeral
Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph-
hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers
Everyone knew they were part of ‘History” except the deceased
who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive
February 22, 1997
Five A.M.
Elan that lifts me above the clouds
into pure space, timeless, yea eternal
Breath transmuted into words
Transmuted back to breath
in one hundred two hundred years
nearly Immortal, Sappho’s 26 centuries
of cadenced breathing — beyond time, clocks, empires, bodies, cars,
chariots, rocket ships skyscrapers, Nation empires
brass walls, polished marble, Inca Artwork
of the mind — but where’s it come from?
Inspiration? The muses drawing breath for you? God?
Nah, don’t believe it, you’ll get entangled in Heaven or Hell —
Guilt power, that makes the heart beat wake all night
flooding mind with space, echoing through future cities, Megalopolis or
Cretan village, Zeus’ birth cave Lassithi Plains — Otsego County
farmhouse, Kansas front porch?
Buddha’s a help, promises ordinary mind no nirvana —
coffee, alcohol, cocaine, mushrooms, marijuana, laughing gas?
Nope, too heavy for this lightness lifts the brain into blue sky
at May dawn when birds start singing on East 12th street —
Where does it come from, where does it go forever?
May 1996

January 19, 2006
by gwyllm

Ryokan and Teishin…

On The Music Box: Verve Remixed No#1. (Sinner Man/by Nina Simone going as I type this) Dead Cool.
Bubba and Gwyllm, Bubba on the right. This Wonderful Being is Muraco’s roommate and best friend. She rescued Bubba from a bar in rural Thurston county near Olympia Washington where he had been living on pork for 8 or so years. He is all slim now, but he was a hefty fellow at one time I understand… Anyway, he and I had some nice one on one with each other when Muraco brought him along in November. He has a wonderful laugh, and a great sense of humor.
The weather wasn’t stormy for the first time in quite awhile here in Portland. We have had some 30 days straight rain, night and day. Everything is a bit damp around here…
Lots of Poetry and Haiku for this entry. One of those times. Please bear with me as I drift back to source, along the lines of Zen, Poetry and the like.
On the menu:
The Links….
Zen and Buddhist Meditations
The Article: Thich Nhat Hanh Reflects on Working Toward Peace (thanks to Will Penna for bringing up Thich Nhat Hanh the other day, and jogging my brain box…)
The Poetry: Ryokan, one of Japans historical treasures. (The picture below portrays him with village children). Poems include “The Love Poems between Ryokan and Teishin”.. uncomparable stuff.
One of the great joys I have discovered recently is on doing this every day, I have gotten back into poetry reading as a daily ritual. I hope it has been the same for you. Poetry returns us to the source. All peoples have poetry, tales, and story cycles in rhythmic patterned speech… This is the fountain from which art and spirit flows. When you read poetry, don’t just read it. Speak it even under your breath. Take your time. repeat it. This is the beginning of Magick.
Have a great Thursday,

The Links:
Human Stupidity
Hamster and snake make a strange pair as they form friendship at Tokyo zoo
Just a little guy…
Glasgow High School Offers Fake Tanning Lessons
I gaze on myself in the stream’s emerald flow
Or sit on a boulder by a cliff.
My mind, a lonely cloud, leans on nothing,
Needs nothing from the world and its endless events.
– Han Shan (early 9th century)

The pure wondrous dharmakaya of Amitabhe Buddha is everywhere in the mind ground of all sentient beings. Thus it is said: “Mind, buddha, sentient beings: these three are no different.” It is also said: “Mind is buddha, buddha is mind. Outside of the mind there is no buddha. Outside of buddha there is no mind.”
– T’aego

Better than a thousand hollow words
Is one word that brings peace.
Better than a thousand hollow verses
Is one verse that brings peace.
It is better to conquer yourself
Than to win a thousand battles.
Then the victory is yours.
– Dhammapada

From the passions arise worry,
and from worry arises fear.
Away with the passions, and no fear,
No worry.
– Sutra of Forty Two Chapter

Follow the truth of the way.
Reflect on it. Make it your own.
Live it.
It will always sustain you.
Do not turn away what is given you,
Nor reach out for what is given to others,
Lest you disturb your quietness.
– Dhammapada
Thich Nhat Hanh Reflects on Working Toward Peace
Since I was a young man, I’ve tried to understand the nature of compassion. But what little compassion I’ve learned has come not from intellectual investigation but from my actual experience of suffering. I am not proud of my suffering any more than a person who mistakes a rope for a snake is proud of his fright. My suffering has been a mere rope, a mere drop of emptiness so insignificant that it should dissolve like mist at dawn. But it has not dissolved, and I am almost unable to bear it. Doesn’t the Buddha see my suffering? How can he smile?
Love seeks a manifestation-romantic love, motherly love, patriotic love, love for humanity, love for all beings. When you love someone, you feel anxious for him or her and want them to be safe and nearby. You cannot simply put your loved ones out of your thoughts.
When the Buddha witnesses the endless suffering of living beings, he must feel deep concern. How can he just sit there and smile? But think about it. It is we who sculpt him sitting and smiling, and we do it for a reason. When you stay up all night worrying about your loved one, you are so attached to the phenomenal world that you may not be able to see the true face of reality. A physician who accurately understands her patient’s condition does not sit and obsess over a thousand different explanations or anxieties as the patient’s family might. The doctor knows that the patientwill recover, and so she may smile even while the patient is still sick. Her smile is not unkind; it is simply the smile of one who grasps the
situation and does not engage in unnecessary worry. How can I put
into words the true nature of Great Compassion, mahakaruna?
When we begin to see that black mud and white snow are neither ugly nor beautiful, when we can see them without discrimination or duality, then we begin to grasp Great Compassion. In the eyes of Great Compassion, there is neither left nor right, friend nor enemy, close nor far. Don’t think that Great Compassion is lifeless. The energy of Great Compassion is radiant and wondrous. In the eyes of Great Compassion, there is no separation between subject and object, no separate self. Nothing that can disturb Great Compassion.
If a cruel and violent person disembowels you, you can smile and look at him with love. It is his upbringing, his situation, and his ignorance that cause him to act so mindlessly. Look at him-the one who is bent on your destruction and heaps injustice upon you-with eyes of love and compassion. Let compassion pour from your eyes and don’t let a ripple of blame or anger rise up in your heart. He commits senseless crimes against you and makes you suffer because he cannot see the way to peace, joy, or understanding.
If some day you receive news that I have died because of someone’s cruel actions, know that I died with my heart at peace. Know that in my last moments I did not succumb to anger. We must never hate another being. If you can give rise to this awareness, you will be able to smile. Remembering me, you will continue on your path. You will have a refuge that no one can take from you. No one will be able to disturb your faith, because that faith does not rely on anything in the phenomenal world. Faith and love are one and can only emerge when you penetrate deeply the empty nature of the phenomenal world, when you can see that you are in everything and everything is in you.
Long ago I read a story about a monk who felt no anger toward the cruel king who had chopped off the monk’s ear and pierced his skin with a knife. When I read that, I thought the monk must be some kind of god. That was because I did not yet know the nature of Great Compassion. The monk had no anger to hold back. All he had was a heart of love. There is nothing to prevent us from being like that monk. Love teaches that we can all live like the Buddha.
Poetry: Ryokan Taigu
“Ryo” means “good,: and “kan” signifies “broad,” in the sense of generous and large-hearted. “taigu” (his adopted name) means “Great Fool,” implying childlike simplicity and luck of pretense or sham. Ryokan, the Zen master and hermit, is one of the most influential Japanese poets.

First days of spring — the sky
First days of spring — the sky
is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.
Everything’s turning green.
Carrying my monk’s bowl, I walk to the village
to beg for my daily meal.
The children spot me at the temple gate
and happily crowd around,
dragging to my arms till I stop.
I put my bowl on a white rock,
hang my bag on a branch.
First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,
then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:
I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I sing.
Time is forgotten, the hours fly.
People passing by point at me and laugh:
“Why are you acting like such a fool?”
I nod my head and don’t answer.
I could say something, but why?
Do you want to know what’s in my heart?
From the beginning of time: just this! just this!
Reply to a Friend
In stubborn stupidity, I live on alone
befriended by trees and herbs.
Too lazy to learn right from wrong,
I laugh at myself, ignoring others.
Lifting my bony shanks, I cross the stream,
a sack in my hand, blessed by spring weather.
Living thus, I want for nothing,
at peace with all the world.
Your finger points to the moon,
but the finger is blind until the moon appears.
What connection has the moon and finger?
Are they separate objects or bound?
This is a question for beginners
wrapped in seas of ignorance.
Yet one who looks beyond metaphor
knows there is no finger; there is no moon.

The plants and flowers
The plants and flowers
I raised about my hut
I now surrender
To the will
Of the wind

This World…
This world
A fading
Mountain echo
Void and
A light snow
Three Thousand Realms
Within those realms
Light snow falls
As the snow
Engulfs my hut
At dusk
My heart, too
Is completely consumed


Was it really you
I saw
Or is this joy
I still feel
only a dream?
In this dream world
We doze
And talk of dreams —
Dream, dream on,
As much as you wish
Here with you
I could remain
For countless days and years
Silent as the bright moon
We watched together
have you forgotten me
Or lost the path here?
I wait for you
All day, every day
But you do not appear
The moon, I’m sure
Is shining brightly
High above the mountains
But gloomy clouds
Shroud the peak in darkness
You must rise above
The gloomy clouds
Covering the mountaintop
Otherwise, how will you
Ever see the brightness?
Ryokan Biography (lifted from Wikipedia)

Ryokan (良寛: Ryōkan) was a Zen Buddhist monk who lived in Niigata Japan 1758-1831. He soon left the monastery, where practice was frequently quite lax, and lived as a hermit until he was very old and had to move into the house of one of his supporters.
Ryokan was famous for his poetry and calligraphy. His poetry is often very simple and inspired by nature. He was a lover of children, and sometimes forgot to go on his alms round to get food because he was playing with the children of the nearby village. Ryokan refused to accept any position as a priest or even as a “poet”, which shows his great humility. In the tradition of Zen his quotes and poems show he had a good sense of humour and didn’t take himself too seriously. However his poetry also gives illumining insights into the practise of Zen.
Ryokan’s Grave
Ryokan’s Grave
Ryokan lived a very simple, pure life, and stories about his kindness and generosity abound. On his deathbed, Ryokan offered the following poem:
ura wo mise
omote wo mise
chiru momiji
showing their backs
then their fronts
the autumn leaves scatter in the wind

January 18, 2006
by gwyllm

Into Bloom… and The Illegal Search for Self Awareness

All art-work, yours truly.
Odd Links. Proceed with caution
Sasha and Anton cover the articles.
Poetry from Mother Russian (Marina Tsvetaeva)
Laughs are for free. Welcome to the waking world.
Catch Ya on the Rebound….

If you are easily upset, don’t click.
“The Musical”
It begs a question….
Why I like living in the 21st century…
Hard to believe it is the modern age…
The Illegal Search for Self Awareness
I am completely convinced that there is a wealth of information built into us, with miles of intuitive knowledge tucked away in the genetic material of every one of our cells. Something akin to a library containing uncountable reference volumes, but without some means of access, there is no way to even begin to guess at the extent of quality of what is there. The psychedelic drugs allow exploration of this interior world, and insights into its nature.
Our generation is the first ever to have made the search for self-awareness a crime, if it is done with the use of plants or chemical compounds as the means of opening the psychic doors. But the urge to become aware is always present, and it increases in intensity as one grows older.
This is the search that has been a part of human life from the very first moments of consciousness. The knowledge of his own mortality, knowledge which places him apart from his fellow animals, is what gives Man the right, the license, to explore the nature of his own soul and spirit, to discover what he can about the components of the human psyche.
How is it then, that the leaders of our society have seen fit to try to eliminate this one very important means of learning and self-discovery, this means which has been used, respected, and honored for thousands of years, in every human culture of which we have a record? Why has peyote, for instance, which has served for centuries as a means by which a person may open his soul to an experience of God, been classified by our government as a Schedule I material, along with cocaine, heroin, and PCP? … Part of the answer may lie in an increasing trend in our culture towards both paternalism (authorities supply need and thus are able to dictate conduct) and provincialism (a narrowness of outlook, a single code of ethics)…
The government and the Church decided that psychedelic drugs were dangerous to society and with the help of the press, it was made clear that this was the way to social chaos and spiritual disaster.
What was unstated, of course, was the oldest rule of all: Thou shalt not oppose nor embarrass those in power without being punished.
—Alexander Shulgin in PiHKAL.
James Joyce-Ulysses
by Robert Anton Wilson
…the time is come wherein a man of timid courage seizes the keys of hell and of death, and flings them far out into the abyss, proclaiming the praise of life, which the abiding presence of truth may sanctify, and of death, the most beautiful form of life.
The time was 1 February, 1902: the place, the Literary and Historical Society room in University College, Dublin. The speaker, who would be twenty years old the following morning, 2 February, was James Joyce; and it does not take great perspicacity to observe that his style was not yet equal to the task of containing his vision. Dublin students, who are always great wits, had a wonderful time parodying “timid courage” in the following days, but one of them (whose name has been, alas, lost) had even more fun with the final strophe, satirizing it as “absence, the highest form of presence.”
In Ulysses, the dead and absent are not only present but omnipresent. Stephen Dedalus is afflicted with what psychiatrists would call clinical depression; Stephen with his medieval erudition, prefers to call it “agenbite of inwit”-the incessant gnawing of rat-toothed remorse. His sin? He refused to kneel and pray when his dying mother asked him, an act not motivated by atheism but by antitheism: Stephen fears that there might be a malign reality in the God he has rejected, and that any act of submission might open him to invasion and reenslavement by that demonic Catholic divinity. Probably, only another ex-Catholic can understand that anxiety, but any humane person can understand the dreadful power of the guilt that, personified by Stephen’s mother, haunts him all through the long day’s journey of 16 June 1904 into night.
Stephen is the overture, and, later, the anti-chorus. The major theme of Ulysses is Leopold Bloom, Irish Jew, timid here, solid wanderer in the formless abyss, the greatest comic and tragic figure in modem literature. If Stephen is haunted by a dead mother, Bloom is equally preoccupied with a dead son: Rudy Bloom, dead at the age of 11 days, absent from the public world of Dublin, alive and ever-present in Bloom’s memories.
If the dead have power over our imaginations, the absent have even more power. Conspicuously absent from the text of Ulysses – he only appears on stage once, to utter banalities to a shopgirl, is Hugh “Blazes” Boylan, who is also overcon­spicuously absent from Bloom’s thoughts most of the day. Only about two thirds of the way through the book, on first reading, do we discover why Bloom’s private inner con­versation with himself (which we are priv­ileged to share) always wanders into chaotic images and a wild search for a new topic of interest whenever Boylan’s name is men­tioned by another character. Bloom knows, but does not want to know, that Blazes Boylan is having an affair with Bloom’s wife, Molly. By being absent from Bloom’s consciousness, Boylan acts like an invisible magnetic field governing thought processes that we can see, but cannot understand, until we know Boylan is there, unthought of, deflecting and determining the conscious thoughts we do see. That the name Blazes Boylan suggests devils and hell reminds us that Joyce’s “man of timid courage,” Bloom, will seize the keys of hell and of death” before the book is over.
Bloom earns his living cadging ads for a newspaper. On 16 June 1904, he is trying to secure an ad for Alexander Keyes, whose company logo is a pair of crossed keys, sug­gesting the coat of arms of the Isle of Man. Symbolically, the crossed keys indicate everything associated with Celtic crosses, Christian crosses, Egyptian Tau-crosses and all crossed emblems of rebirth; and the Isle of Man symbolizes humanity’s isolation and solidarity at once (another Joycean paradox): every man is an island, but we are all crossed or linked with each other, as Stephen Deda­lus and Leopold Bloom are crossed and linked in ways neither understands. (It is no accident that the first sentence of Ulysses has 22 words, one for each letter of Cabala, and that the last is “crossed.”)
Indeed, Ulysses is made up of crossed keys in time as well as in space. In the first chapter, Stephen Dedalus broods on his agenbite of inwit, eats breakfast, and replies with dry, bitter wit to the more robust, blas­phemous and outrageous jokes of Buck Mulligan. Only when we discover the paral­lelism with Homer’s Odyssey that explains Joyce’s title do we realize that Stephen is re-living the experiences of Telemachus, who at the beginning of the Odyssey awakens in a tower, as Stephen does, and is mocked and bullied by Antoninoos as Stephen is mocked and bullied by Mulligan. When Stephen, in chapter two, is given pompous and pontifical advice by the Ulster Protestant, Mr. Deasy, we are again watching trans-time synchro­nicity: Telemachus was similarly given ad-vice by Nestor in the similar section of the Odyssey. The parallels follow throughout: Bloom is Ulysses, Molly is Penelope, the Catholic Church is the island of the lotus eater, the newspaper office where everybody quotes their favorite political speeches is the Cave of Wind, etc. Dead and absent for 3,000 years, Homer’s images are alive and present, in some sense, in Dublin.
In what sense (as the impatient may ask) is Stephen literally the reincarnation of Tele­machus and Bloom of Ulysses? Or is the connection one of Jungian synchronicity (not yet discovered when Joyce wrote Ulysses)? Or might one posit Dr. Sheldrake’s mor­phogenetic resonances in time? Joyce does not answer. He exhibits the living presence of the absent dead and lets us draw our own conclusion.
That the simple model of reincarnation or metempsychosis (which is deliberately hinted at by Joyce in Chapter 4, when Molly asks Bloom the meaning of “methimpikehoses” and Bloom tries to explain “the transmi­gration of souls” to her) will not quite cover the case is indicated by the secondary level of parallels with Hamlet which underlies and reinforces the parallels with Homer. A whole stream of symbols linking Stephen with Hamlet, Bloom with the ghost of Hamlet’s father, Molly Bloom with Gertrude etc. gradually emerges on re-readings of the book. What Joyce is exhibiting to us is, in fact, a coherent synergy or blot, as Bucky Fuller would say: a pattern that coexists in many places and times. The dead and absent will be again live and present, in this context, because history repeats the same stories endlessly, just changing the names of the players.
But Ulysses is also a mock-encyclo­pedia, with every chapter corresponding to one human science or discipline; and the discipline emphasized in chapter one is theology, as Joyce’s notes indicate. This begins with Buck Mulligan’s burlesque of the Mass, runs on through Stephen’s tor­tured reflections on the “mystic oneness” of Father and Son in the Trinity, comes back in Mulligan’s hilarious “Ballad of Joking Je­sus,” and permeates every paragraph in subtle ways. If Stephen=Telemachus as son disinherited (Stephen’s father, a drunk, has sold at auction the properties Stephen expected to inherit) and Stephen= Hamlet as son haunted (by a mother’s ghost, not a father’s, but still haunted), the theological context of the chapter implies that Stephen= Telemachus= Hamlet because all young men, at some point, are obsessed with a father who is either dead or missing-in-action: namely, God the Father. Ulysses is set exactly 18 years, or nearly a breeding genera­tion, after Nietzsche announced that God was dead. Stephen as young rebel or puer aeternis is a perennial archetype; Stephen as individual is representative of the first generation to arrive at maturity with that grim Nietzschean autopsy on their minds.
This is why Mulligan remarks that he and Stephen are both “Hyperboreans.” He is almost certainly referring to the startling opening paragraph of Nietzsche’s The Anti­christ:
Look me in the face. We are Hyperboreans; we know very well how far out we have moved. “Neither by land nor by sea will you find the Hyperboreans”-Pindar al-ready knew that about us. Beyond the north, beyond ice and death, lie our life, our happi­ness. We have discovered joy, we know the way, we have the exit out of the labyrinth of history.
Nietzsche ‘s labyrinth of history, which Stephen later calls the nightmare of history, is the rules laid down by State and Church. Mulligan has indeed found his way out of the labyrinth; but Stephen has not. He is named after the maker of labyrinths Daedalus: whose name also means “artist” in Greek-and he remains trapped in the labyrinth of his own narcissistic agenbite until Bloom de-livers him.
For Bloom, as for Stephen, God is either dead or missing-in-action; but Bloom, at 38, has been a freethinker longer and is no longer hysterical about it. Approaching mid­dle-age (by 1904 standards, when average life expectancy was 50), Bloom has lost faith, successively, in Judaism, Protestant-ism, Catholicism and Freemasonry; one feels that his attachment to Socialism is precarious also. In the abyss of uncertainty, Bloom re-mains a modern Ulysses steering his way diplomatically and prudently among such hazards as drunken Catholics (Simon Deda­lus), anti-semitic Nationalists (the Citizen) and unctuous undertakers who may be police informers (Corny Kelleher.) Mourning his dead son, ashamed of and yet attached to his father who died a suicide, knowing his wife is “unfaithful,” Bloom retains equanimity and practices charity discreetly and incon­spicuously: feeding the seagulls, helping the blind boy across the road, negotiating to pro­tect the rights of Paddy Dignam’s widow, visiting Mina Purefoy in the hospital. Lest we think this kindly chap is a paragon, Joyce keeps Bloom in the same precise naturalistic focus as we watch him defecate, urinate, peep into a masochistic porn novel and mas­turbate. Joyce announced that he did not believe in heroes, and Bloom is no hero: just an ordinary decent man. There are a million like him in any large city: Joyce was merely the first to put him in a novel, with biological functions and timid courage unglamorized and uncensored.
The climax of Ulysses – the brothel scene in which Stephen, drunk, actually sees his mother’s ghost cursing him, and Bloom, exhausted, dreams in hypnogogic reverie of his son not at the age of his death (II days) but at the age he would be if he had lived (11 years)–brings us back to the living presence of the absent dead. But in that scene also, Bloom’s timid courage becomes timid cour­age as he risks scandal, gossip, disgrace and even associating with the possible informer, Corny Kelleher, in order to protect Stephen from two drunken and violent English soldiers. This is the pivot-point of the novel, and, since Joyce carefully avoids revealing Bloom’s actual motivations, critics have had endless entertainment “interpreting” for us.
My own guess is that, even if Bloom is looking for a substitute son, as some say, or has unconscious homosexual urges as others claim, or is hoping to procure for Molly a lover less gross and offensive to Bloom’s sensibilities than Boylan, as Marilyn French recently suggested, the answer lies in a four-letter word that each of Joyce’s three major characters speaks once at a crucial point in the narrative. Stephen speaks it first, in the library, when asking himself what he left out of his theory of Hamlet; he answers, “Love, yes. Word known to all men.” Bloom speaks. it to the Citizen, offering an alternative to poli­tics and national hatreds:
– Love, says Bloom. I mean the oppo­site of hatred. And Molly concludes her ruminations on what’s Wrong With Men by repeating the theme of the two major male voices in the narrative: they don’t know what love is.
Beneath the Odyssey, Hamlet and Don Giovanni (recently discovered), Ulysses also parallels the most effective and memorable of the parallels of Jesus: the story of the Good Samaritan.
The dead and absent survive, then, because we love them. Ulysses itself, the most complexly intellectual of comedies, is a testament to love: to Alfred Hunter, a man of whom we know only a few facts: he lived in Dublin in 1904; he was Jewish; his wife was, according to gossip, unfaithful; and one night he took home a drunken, depressed, impoverished and totally embittered young man named lames Joyce and sobered him and fed him. All else about Alfred Hunter is lost, but those facts plus artistic imagination created “Leopold Bloom;” and if Hunter is dead and absent, Bloom remains forever alive and present for students of literature.
The curiosity of Joyce’s mature tech­nique is that while on first reading Ulysses seems only intermittently funny and con­sistently “naturalistic” (realistic), on succes­sive re-readings it becomes progressively funnier and spookier. None of Joyce’s 100 or more major and minor characters knows fully what is going on in Dublin on that one extraordinarily ordinary day of 16 June 1904-“a day when nothing and everything is happening,” as Edna O’Brien recently wrote. The first-time reader is similarly ig­norant, navigating through 18 chapters and 18 hours of “realism” that is often as squalid and confusing “as real life,” Beneath this surface, as we have already seen, the ghosts of Homer, Shakespeare, Mozart and (if I am right about the Good Samaritan theme) Jesus are present-although-absent as the archetypal themes of their works are reflected in this everyday bustle of ordinary early 20th Cen­tury city.
Everybody in the story is involved in misunderstandings or ambiguities that be-come clearer and more hilarious on each re-reading. This existential fact that every mind creates its own reality tunnel is the abyss of which Joyce spoke, at nineteen, in the lecture on absence and death from which we began.
· By the middle of the book, almost everybody in Dublin thinks Bloom has won a great deal on the horse race that day. On first reading, we are likely to think so, too, and wonder why he hasn’t gone to pick up his winnings. Only on careful re-reading do we discover the confusions out of which this inaccurate rumor got started.
· A dog who appears vicious and ugly to one narrator appears “lovely” and almost “human” to another narrator, and a third narrator claims the dog actually talks.
· Alf Bergan sees Paddy Dignam at 4 p.m. but Paddy was buried at 10 in the morn­ing; we are to decide for ourselves if Alf saw a ghost or just shared in the general fallibility of human perception.
· Some Dubliners think Bloom is a dentist, and discovering the source of that error is amusing to the rereader.
· Bloom thinks Molly doesn’t know about his Platonic “affair” with Martha Clif­ford, but Molly knows more than he guesses about that and all his other secrets.
· Nosey Flynn, the first Dubliner to tell us Bloom is a Freemason, is wrong about everything else he says; it takes careful study to discover that this fount of unreliable gos­sip is right about this particular detail.
The tradition of the realistic novel, at this point, has refuted itself, in a classic Strange Loop. Joyce has given us more realism than any other novelist and the upshot of it is that we don’t know what’s real anymore. If Dante’s epic was informed by the philosophy of Aristotle, whom he called The Master of Those Who Know, Joyce’s epic, as Ellmann commented, is dominated by David Hume, the Master of Those Who Don’t Know. We have seen Reality and found it an abyss indeed; Blake only claimed to see infinity in a grain of sand, but Joyce has shown us the infinity by opening every hour of an ordinary day to endless interpretations and re-inter­pretations.
Things become even more interesting, and weirder, when we begin to count the coincidences in this very, very average day: a day so banally normal that early critics com­plained chiefly that many chapters are boring and pointless.
The Irish critic Sheldon Brivic has counted over 1000 coincidences integrating the banalities and confusions of 16 June 1904 into a patterned harmony that none of the characters consciously apprehend, al-though their thoughts and actions are creating or co-creating it in collaboration with each other and with the dead and absent. As Brivic says (Crane Bag, VI, 1):
The unconscious Joyce represents is not merely an area within the brains of his creatures. It is a network of connections through time and space that extends beyond any awareness most absolute.
Poetry: Marina Tsvetaeva

“If Your Soul Was Born…”
If your soul was born with wings
What does a hut mean or a palace of kings!
What — Genghis Khan, and what — a horde!
I have two foes in the whole world,
They are two twins in one image united:
Hunger of hungry and glut of glutted.
“I Bless a Night I Sleep…”
I bless a night I sleep in my abode,
I bless a day when to my work I go,
Judgment and mercy of omniscient God,
The good law – and the stony law,
My dusty purple, patched in every piece…
My dusty staff, in the eternal glow!
And else, O God, I bless forever — peace
And bread in stove of another home.
“Two Suns are Cooling…”
Two suns are cooling – O save me, God!
The first – in heavens, the second – in heart.
Will I have an excuse for that? –
Both suns made me fully mad!
No pain from the beams – they’re lost!
Hotter sun will be frozen first.
You who loved me with the falseness…
You who loved me with the falseness
Of truth – and the truth of lies.
You who loved me-beyond
Anything!-Over the edge!
You who loved me beyond
Time-Right hand, wave!
You love me no more:
The truth in five words
God (3)
No, you never will bind him
To your signs and your burdens!
The least chink — he’s inside it,
Like the supplest of gymnasts.
By the drawbridges
And flocks in migration,
By the telegraph poles,
God’s escaping us.
No, you never will train him
To abide and to share!
He, in feelings’ resident slush,
Is a gray floe of ice.
No, you never will catch him!
On a thrifty dish, God
Never thrives in the window
Like domestic begonias!
All, beneath the roof’s vault,
Were awaiting the builder,
The call. Poets and pilots
— All gave up in despair.
He’s the sprint — and he’s moving.
The whole volume of stars
Is, from Alpha to Omega,
Just a trace of his cloak.

Biography: Marina Tsvetaeva published her first verse in 1911, wrote poems between 1918 and 1920 in praise of the White armies and their fight against Bolshevism, and produced the greater part of her work in Western Europe, where she emigrated in 1922. Her poetry of whirling and staccato rhythms is uneven in quality, but forceful and original. She returned to Russia in 1939 and committed suicide two years later.

Have a great day!

January 17, 2006
by gwyllm

Wonder Lands…

We’re not in Kansas anymore….

The Links:
The Leaning Tower…
Revealed: plan to hunt Nessie using dolphins
Thought Experiments: When the Singularity Is More than a Literary Device/An Interview with Futurist-Inventor Ray Kurzweil
LSD: The Geek’s Wonder Drug? (Thanks Dan!)
Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, Wed, January 11, 2006
Primitives and Extropians
by Hakim Bey
The anarcho-primitivists have backed themselves into a situation where they can never be satisfied without the total dissolution of the totality. Luddism as a tactic has much to recommend it: — on the local level, machine-smashing can actually accomplish something. Even one or two nuclear reactors have been shut down by “sabotage” (legal, political, or actual) — and one can always gain at least a moment of satisfaction with a wooden shoe or a monkey wrench. On a “global” level however — the “strategic” level — the totality of the neo-primitive critique of the totality itself begins to take on a disturbing air of — totalitarianism. This can bee seen most clearly in certain strains of “deep” ecology and “ecofascism”, but it remains an inherent problem even in the most “left-wing” strains of primitivism. The puritan impulse — purification, the realization of purity — imparts a certain rigidity and aggression to al possible actions on behalf of such a total critique. This must seem especially the case when the critique extents beyond, say, urban civilization (or “History”) into the “prehistoric” realm of art, music, techné, language, and symbolic mediation itself. Short of some hypothetically “natural” evolution (or devolution) of the very species, how precisely is such purity to be attained? Primitivism in effect has proposed an absolute category — the “primitive” itself — which assumes the function of a metaphysical principle Of course the primitive in its “true essence” remains beyond definition (beyond symbolic mediation), but until mediation itself is abolished, the primitive must assume (in relation to all other possible totalities) the philosophical trappings of an imperative, and even of “doctrine”. This brings us perilously close to the notorious violence of the sacred. The deepest of this violence is directed at the self, since the reification of the eschaton (either in the future or the past) precisely devalues the present, the “place” where we are actually living our everyday lives. But invariably the violence must be directed outwardly as well. Fine, you say: — let the shit come down. Yet the successful resolution of the violence (i.e., the total abolition of symbolic mediation) can logically be defined only by a presumptive vanguard of the “pure”. The principle of hierarchy has thus reappeared — but hierarchy contradicts the initial premises of primitivism. This, I believe, can be called a tragic contradiction. On the level of the individual and of everyday life such a contradiction can only manifest as ineffectuality and bitterness.
By contrast, the anarcho-Extropian or futurians are also forced to reify the eschaton — since the present is obviously not the utopia of techné they envision — by placing perfection in a future where symbolic mediation has abolished hierarchy, rather than in a past where such mediation has not yet appeared (the ideal Paleolithic of the primitivists). Obviously for the Extropians, mediation per se cannot be defined as “impurity” or as the invariable source of separation, alienation, and hierarchy. Nevertheless, it remains obvious that such separation does in fact occur, that it amounts to immiseration, that it is bound up in some way with techné and mediation, that not all technology is “liberating” according to any anarchist definition of the term, and that some of it is downright oppressive. The Extropian therefore lacks and needs a critique of technology, and of the incredibly complex relation between the social and the technical. No one with any intelligence can any longer accept the notion of technology as “morally neutral”, with control of the means of production the only criteria for valuation. The social and the technological are somehow bound in a complex relation of co-creation (or “co-evolution”), such that techné shapes cognition even as cognition shapes techné. If the extropian vision of the future is viable it cannot depend on “machine evolution” alone to achieve realization. But unless anarcho-futurism can develop a critique of technology, it is relegated precisely to this passive role. Invariably a dialectic of “good” machines and “evil” machines is developed, or rather of good and evil modes of social-technological relations. This rather manichaean world view however fails to eliminate or even plaster over the contradictions which arise from such premises, and which revolve around the “bad-fit” between human values and machine “logic”, human autonomy and machine autonomy. As M. de Landa pints out, the autonomous machine derives from and defines the war machine (Taylor developed “Taylorism” while working in an arsenal). Extropianism has marked “cyberspace” as the area of struggle for “good” human/machine relations (e.g. the InterNet), and this struggle has taken on the aspect of a resistance against the “militarization” of cyberspace, its hierarchization as an “Information Highway” under centralized management. But what if cyberspace itself is by definition a mode of separation and a manifestation of “machine logic”? What if the disembodiment inherent in any appearance within cyberspace amounts to an alienation from precisely that sphere of everyday life which extropianism hopes to transform and purge of its miseries? If this were so, the results might very well resemble the dystopian situations envisioned by P. K. Dick and W. Gibson; — turned inward, this violent sense of contradiction would evoke the kind of futility and melancholia these writers depict. Directed outward, the violence would conjure up other SciFi models such as those of R. Heinlein or F. Herbert, which equate “freedom” with the culture of a technological elite.
Now, when I talk about “the return of the Paleolithic” I find myself leaning toward the primitivist position — and have consequently been criticized by extropians for luddoid reaction, nostalgism, and technophobia. However, when I talk about (say) the potential use of the InterNet in organizing a TAZ, I begin to tilt a little toward my old SciFi enthusiasms and sound a bit like an extropian — and have consequently been criticized by primitivists for being “soft on technology” (like some sort of melting watch by Dali), seduced by techno-optimism, by the illusion that separation can overcome separation. Both these criticisms are correct to some degree, inasmuch as my inconsistency results from an attempt to think about techné and society without any recourse to an inviolate system of absolute categories. On the one hand, most of my thinking about technology was shaped by the radical ad-hoc-ism and briocolage theory of the 60’s and 70’s, the “appropriate tech” movement, which accepts the de facto link between techné and human society, but looks for appropriate ways to shape situations toward low-cost/maximal-pleasure tendencies. In fiction a model is attempted by B. Sterling in his short-story “Green Days in Brunei”, a brilliant imagining of low-tech non-authoritarian solutions to “3rd world” over-population and poverty. In “real” life a smaller but most exquisite model is provided by the New Alchemy Institute, which turns polluted sinkholes into arcadian springs with low green technologies in cheap installations which are aesthetically beautiful. On the other hand, I prefer the burden of inconsistency (even “foolish” inconsistency) to the burden of the Absolute.
Only an impure theory can do justice to the impunity of the present — which, as everyone knows, is only a psychological impossibility caught between a lost past and a nonexistent future. “Everyday life” is not a category — even “the body” is not a category. Life — and the body — are “full of holes”, permeable, grotesque — ad hoc constructions already compromised with an impure empiricism, fated to “drift”, to “relativism”, and to the sheer messiness of the organic. And yet it is “precisely” here, in this imprecise area of contradiction and “vulgar existentialism”, that the creative act of autonomy and self-actualization must be accomplished. Critiques can be directed at the past or future, but praxis can only occur in the impure and ontologically unstable here-and-now. I don’t want to abandon the critique of past-and-future — in fact I need it, in the form of a utopian poetics, in order to situate praxis in the context of a tradition (of festivity and of resistance) and of an anti-tradition (of utopian “hope”). But I cannot allow this critique to harden into an eschatology. I ask of theory that it remain flexible in regard to situations, and able to define values in terms of “the struggle for empirical freedoms” (as one modern-day Zapatista put it). “Revolution” no less than Religion has been guilty of promising “pie in the sky” (as Joe Hill put it) — but the real problem of theory is (as Alice put it) “jam today.” The concept of the TAZ was never intended as an abandonment of past or future – the TAZ existed, and will exist — but rather as a means to maximize autonomy and pleasure for as many individuals and groups as possible as soon as possible — even here and now. The TAZ exists — the purpose of the theory has been simply to notice it, help it to define itself, become “politically conscious”. The past and future help us to know our “true” (revolutionary) desires — but only the present can realize them — only the living body, for all its grotesque imperfection.
Suppose we were to ask — as anarchists — what should be done about the problem of technology “after the revolution”. This exercise in utopian poetics may help us to clarify the question of desire, and of praxis in the “present”. The primitivist might argue that there can be no revolution without the abolition of symbolic mediation, or at least of the technological imperative; extropians might say that no revolution can occur without technological transcendence. But both parties must perforce admit a transitional stage, when de facto power has been seized by the “Revolution”, but the full unfolding of revolutionary society has yet to occur. Let’s imagine that the one rough principle agreed upon by “everyone” is the freedom of the individual from coercion by the group, and the freedom of the (self-organized) group from coercion by all other groups. The only “price” of this freedom is that it damage no other free and autonomous interests. This would seem to be a minimalistic but adequate definition of basic anarchism. At this point the primitivist may hold that the dialectic of freedom moves irrevocably toward the re-appearance of the Paleolithic, albeit at a “higher” and more conscious level than the first time around, since this re-appearance will have been announced by revolution, by consciousness. Similarly at this point the extropian may argue that the further unfolding of freedom can only be envisioned as self-directed evolution through the co-creation of humanity and its technology. Fine and dandy. But now what? Are these two anarchist tendencies going to become armies and fight it out to the last recalcitrant computer jock or neo-wild-man? Are they going to force their visions of the future on each other? Would such action be consistent with the basic anarchist premise of — mutual non-coercion? Or would it reveal each of these tendencies to be flawed by destructive and tragic contradictions? I’ve said before that in such a situation, the problem of technology can be solved only by the principle of revolutionary desire. Since we’ve “ruled out” coercion of all those who accept the premise of mutual non-coercion, all competing models of utopia are submitted to the crucible of desire. How much do I want a computer? I can’t force Taiwanese and Mexican women to make silicon chips for slave wages. I can’t pollute other peoples’ air with some outrageous plastic factory to make consoles. I’m free to have a computer, but I must meet the price” mutual non-coercion. Or — how much do I want the wilderness? I can’t force people to get out of “my” forest now because it’s also “their” forest. I can do what I want with “my share” of the forest, but only at the agreed-upon price. If my neighbors desire to plant wheat, or hand-craft fine computers, so long as they respect my “Nature” I must respect their “Culture”. Of course we may wrangle about “acceptable emission standards” or forest preservation — about the appropriateness of a given technological or non-technological “solution” in a given situation — but we will accept the price of mutual non-coercion in the form of mess and compromise, impurity and imperfection — because “empirical freedoms” are worth more to us than categorical imperatives.
Of course, everyone if free to play this game of utopian poetics with different “rules”, and different results. After all, the future does not exist. However, I would like to push the implications of my thought-experiment a bit further. I suspect that this “utopia” would prove disappointing to both the primitives and the extropians. I suspect that a workable utopia would adhere more closely to the “messy” model than to either of the “pure” models of the pro-tech/anti-tech theorists. Like bolo’bolo, I imagine a complex multiplicity of social models co-existing under the voluntary aegis of the social “price” of mutual non-coercion. In effect the primitivists will get less wilderness than they demand, and the extropians will get less tech. Nevertheless, all but the most fanatical extremists on either side will be reconciled to the messy utopia of desire — or so I predict — because it will be organized around pleasure and surplus, rather than the denial and scarcity expressed by the totality. The desire for wilderness will be fratified at a level undreamed since the early Neolithic, and the desire for creativity and even co-creation will be gratified at a level undreamed by the wildest science fiction. In both cases the means for this enjoyment can only be called appropriate techné — green, low energy, high information. I don’t believe in the abolition of symbolic mediation, and I don’t believe that separation can overcome separation. But I do hypothesize the possibility of a much more immediate and satisfactory experience of creation and conviviality through the human (animal/animate) scaling of economy and technology — and this, however untidy, I would call utopia.
If I have disagreed with both primitives and extropians here, it was not to reject them as allies. The only useful purpose served by our “after the Revolution” game is to shed light on our present situation, and our possible options for concrete action here and now (more or less). It seems to me that both the P’s and E’s are quite capable of grasping the theory of “messiness” and the “impure” model of the TAZ. A night, a week, a month of relative autonomy, relative satisfaction, relative realization, would be worth far more to most anarchists than a whole lifetime of absolute bitterness, resentment, and nostalgia for the past or future. The most enthusiastic cyberpunk can still embrace the “festal body”, and the most savage primitives have been known to succumb to civilized impurities such as beer, or art. I fear that a few diehards in both camps will still sneer at our enjoyment — of the impure TAZ or the impure uprising — because it falls short of the perfect revolution. But realization arises only from direct experience, from participation. They themselves admit this. And yet action is always impure, always incomplete. Are they too fastidious? Will nothing suit them both the void — wither of wilderness, or of cyberspace? Are they dandies of the Absolute?
The TAZ project is one of indiscriminate syncretism, not of exclusion. By disagreeing with both parties we are attempting to reconcile them — at least pro tem — to a sort of “united front” or ad hoc tendency, determined to experiment now with various modes of contestation as well as enjoyment, of struggle as well as celebration. The palimpsest of all utopian theories and desires — including all redundancies and repetitions — forms the matrix of an anti-authoritarian movement capable of “lumping together” the mess of anarchist, libertarian, syndicalist, council communist, post-situationist, primitivist, extropian and other “free” tendencies. This “union”-without-uniformity will not be driven (or riven) by ideology, but by a kind of insurrectionary “noise” or chaos of TAZ’s, uprisings, refusals, and epiphanies. Into the “final” totality of global capital it will release a hundred blooming flowers, a thousand, a million memes of resistance, of difference, of non-ordinary consciousness — the will to power as “strangeness”. And as capital retreats deeper and deeper into cyberspace, or into disembodiment, leaving behind itself the empty shells of spectacular control, our complexity of anti-authoritarian and autonomist tendencies will begin to see the re-appearance of the Social.
But at this present moment the TAZ (in its broadest possible sense) seems to be the only manifestation of the possibility of radical conviviality. Every non-authoritarian tendency should support the TAZ because only there (aside from the imagination) can an authentic taste of life without oppression be experienced. The vital question now concerns the “technology” of the TAZ, i.e., the means for potentiating and manifesting it most clearly and strongly. Compared to this question, the problems of technology (or of zero-technology) take on an air of theological debate — a ghostly and querulous other-worldliness. My critics have a point — but it’s aimed somewhere about 10,000 years in the past, or “five minutes into the future”, and misses the mark.
I must admit that my own taste inclines neither toward Wilderness World nor spaceship Earth as exclusive categories. I actually spend far more time defending wildness than “civilization”, because it is far more threatened. I yearn for the re-appearance of Nature out of Culture — but not for the eradication of all symbolic mediation. The word “choice” ash been so devalued lately. Let’s say I’d prefer a world of indeterminacy, of rich ambiguity, of complex impurities. My critics, apparently, do not. I find much to admire and desire in both their models, but can’t for even a moment believe in either of them as totalities. Their futurity or eschatology bores me, unless I can mix it into the stew of the TAZ — or use it to magic the TAZ into active existence — to tease the TAZ into action. The TAZ is “broad-minded” enough to entertain more than two, or even six, impossible ideas “before breakfast”. The TAZ is always “bigger” than the mere ideas which inspire it. Even at its smallest and most intimate the TAZ englobes all “totalities”, and packs them into the same kaleidoscope conceptual space, the “imaginal world” which is always so closely related to the TAZ, and which burns with the same fire. My brain may not be able to reconcile the wilderness and cyberspace, but the TAZ can do so — in fact, has already done so. And yet the TAZ is no totality, but merely a leaky sieve — which, in the fairy tale, can carry milk or even become a boat. For the TAZ, technology is like that paper fan in the Zen story, which first becomes a “fan”, then a device for scooping cake, and finally a silent breeze.
Poetry: Gabriela Mistral Chilean Poetess

The Stranger (La Extranjera)
She speaks in her way of her savage seas
With unknown algae and unknown sands;
She prays to a formless, weightless God,
Aged, as if dying.
In our garden now so strange,
She has planted cactus and alien grass.
The desert zephyr fills her with its breath
And she has loved with a fierce, white passion
She never speaks of, for if she were to tell
It would be like the face of unknown stars.
Among us she may live for eighty years,
Yet always as if newly come,
Speaking a tongue that plants and whines
Only by tiny creatures understood.
And she will die here in our midst
One night of utmost suffering,
With only her fate as a pillow,
And death, silent and strange.
I believe in my heart that when
The wounded heart sunk within the depth of God sings
It rises from the pond alive
As if new-born.
I believe in my heart that what I wring from myself
To tinge life’s canvas
With red of pallid hue, thus cloaking it
In luminous garb.
The Shining Host

In vain you try
To smother my song:
A million children
In chorus sing it
Beneath the sun!
In vain you try
To break my verse
Of affliction:
The children sing it
Under God!
Those Who Do Not Dance

A crippled child
Said, “How shall I dance?”
Let your heart dance
We said.
Then the invalid said:
“How shall I sing?”
Let your heart sing
We said
Then spoke the poor dead thistle,
But I, how shall I dance?”
Let your heart fly to the wind
We said.
Then God spoke from above
“How shall I descend from the blue?”
Come dance for us here in the light
We said.
All the valley is dancing
Together under the sun,
And the heart of him who joins us not
Is turned to dust, to dust.
I am Not Alone

The night, it is deserted
from the mountains to the sea.
But I, the one who rocks you,
I am not alone!
The sky, it is deserted
for the moon falls to the sea.
But I, the one who holds you,
I am not alone !
The world, it is deserted.
All flesh is sad you see.
But I, the one who hugs you,
I am not alone!
Gabriela Mistral – Biography
Gabriela Mistral was the first female Latin American poet to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Gabriela Mistral was the pseudonym for Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga. Her personal life was marked with tragedy. She was born in Vicuna, Chile in 1889 but her father left the family at the age of 3. By the age of 16 she was supporting her mother by working as a teacher’s aide.
In 1906 she met Romeo Ureta, who became the great love of her life.
Unfortunately he killed himself in 1909 and this left a profound impact upon her life. Even more tragically, Gabriela was also later to see her nephew (whom she looked upon as a son) commit suicide at the age of 17.
However despite personal setbacks Gabriela was able to pursue a very successful career in education. This was partly because she became a successful writer. She had many works published, dealing with many issues related to education and poetry.
Many of the poems in Ternura deal with themes from childhood. However her poems also express much deeper ideas as well. Mistral wrote frequently of images such as love (especially motherly love). Mistral’s poems were influenced by her Christian faith – she was a lay member of the Franciscan order. A recurrent theme in some of her poetry is the concept of “rebirth” after death – a liberation from the world.
In the 1930s Francisco Donoso, a Chilean author and priest, wrote that “almost all of Gabriela Mistral’s poems have the accent of a prayer”.
This is an example of her poetry which expresses her awareness of the delicacy of nature.
“No maguellers a la tierra / no aprietes a la olorosa, / Por el amor de ella abájate, / huéla y dale la boca.”
(Do not trample the earth, do not crush the sweet-smelling fruit.
For love of it, bend down, smell it and give it your mouth.)
Mistral passed away in 1957, on her tomb were inscribed her own words:
“What the soul is to the body, so is the artist to his people,”
Margot Arce de Vazquez says of Gabriela Mistral:
” Gabriela was to Spanish – America what Unamuno was to modern Spain. She represented the basic and typical essence of our race as Unamuno represented that which was typically Spanish. She carried within her a fusion of Basque and Indian heritage: Spanish in her rebellious, individualistic spirit; very Indian in her long, deep silences and in that priestly aura of stone idol. To this representative cultural value must be added the great value of her literary work, an incomparable document for what it reveals of her person and for its unique American accent.” (From Gabriela Mistral: The Poet and her work, NYUP 1964)
Some of her best known poems include: Piececitos de Niño, Balada, Todas Íbamos a ser Reinas, La Oración de la Maestra, El Ángel Guardián, Decálogo del Artista and La Flor del Aire.
By: Richard

January 16, 2006
by gwyllm

The Flight of Bees…

More Coming Later Today… If you get a chance to listen to Lee… please do!
Listen To Lee Gilmore Talk on KQED
Unless there is a major and heretofore unpredicted news event in the next few days, Lee Gilmore and Mark Van Proyen will be guests on the KQED radio (88.5 & 89.5 FM) program “Forum with Michael Krasny” on Monday January 16 from 10 to 11 AM.
‘Doomsday’ seed bank to be built
It’s a computer, get over it…
The Impeachment of George W. Bush
Article:Deciphering The Mystery Of Bee Flight
One of the most elusive questions in science has finally been answered: How do bees fly?
Although the issue is not as profound as how the universe began or what kick-started life on earth, the physics of bee flight has perplexed scientists for more than 70 years. In 1934, in fact, French entomologist August Magnan and his assistant André Sainte-Lague calculated that bee flight was aerodynamically impossible. The haphazard flapping of their wings simply shouldn’t keep the hefty bugs aloft.
And yet, bees most certainly fly, and the dichotomy between prediction and reality has been used for decades to needle scientists and engineers about their inability to explain complex biological processes.
Now, Michael H. Dickinson, the Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, and his postdoctoral student Douglas L. Altshuler and their colleagues at Caltech and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, have figured out honeybee flight using a combination of high-speed digital photography, to snap freeze-frame images of bees in motion, and a giant robotic mock-up of a bee wing. The results of their analysis appear in the November 28 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“We’re no longer allowed to use this story about not understanding bee flight as an example of where science has failed, because it is just not true,” Dickinson says.
The secret of honeybee flight, the researchers say, is the unconventional combination of short, choppy wing strokes, a rapid rotation of the wing as it flops over and reverses direction, and a very fast wing-beat frequency.
“These animals are exploiting some of the most exotic flight mechanisms that are available to insects,” says Dickinson.
Their furious flapping speed is surprising, Dickinson says, because “generally the smaller the insect the faster it flaps. This is because aerodynamic performance decreases with size, and so to compensate small animals have to flap their wings faster. Mosquitoes flap at a frequency of over 400 beats per second. Birds are more of a whump, because they beat their wings so slowly.”
Being relatively large insects, bees would be expected to beat their wings rather slowly, and to sweep them across the same wide arc as other flying bugs (whose wings cover nearly half a circle). They do neither. Their wings beat over a short arc of about 90 degrees, but ridiculously fast, at around 230 beats per second. Fruit flies, in comparison, are 80 times smaller than honeybees, but flap their wings only 200 times a second.
When bees want to generate more power–for example, when they are carting around a load of nectar or pollen–they increase the arc of their wing strokes, but keep flapping at the same rate. That is also odd, Dickinson says, because “it would be much more aerodynamically efficient if they regulated not how far they flap their wings but how fast “
Honeybees’ peculiar strategy may have to do with the design of their flight muscles.

“Bees have evolved flight muscles that are physiologically very different from those of other insects. One consequence is that the wings have to operate fast and at a constant frequency or the muscle doesn’t generate enough power,” Dickinson says.
“This is one of those cases where you can make a mistake by looking at an animal and assuming that it is perfectly adapted. An alternate hypothesis is that bee ancestors inherited this kind of muscle and now present-day bees must live with its peculiarities,” Dickinson says.
How honeybees make the best of it may help engineers in the design of flying insect-sized robots: “You can’t shrink a 747 wing down to this size and expect it to work, because the aerodynamics are different,” he says. “But the way in which bee wings generate forces is directly applicable to these devices.”
Poetry: Pablo Neruda, in honor of Michelle Bachelet’s victory in Chile!

And it was at that age…Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.
I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating planations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
And I, infinitesmal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.
We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.
I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.
Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.
I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.
Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?
The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.
Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.
Love Sonnet XI
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
Love Sonnet XIII
The light that rises from your feet to your hair,
the strength enfolding your delicate form,
are not mother of pearl, not chilly silver:
you are made of bread, a bread the fire adores.
The grain grew high in its harvest of you,
in good time the flour swelled;
as the dough rose, doubling your breasts,
my love was the coal waiting ready in the earth.
Oh, bread your forehead, your legs, your mouth,
bread I devour, born with the morning light,
my love, beacon-flag of the bakeries:
fire taugh you a lesson of the blood;
you learned your holiness from flour,
from bread your language and aroma.
A Dog Has Died

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.
No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.
Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.
Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.
There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.
So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.