Thursday, January 31, 2008

Far in excess

In "Speak,Memory," Nabokov writes:

When a butterfly has to look like a leaf, not only are all the details of a leaf beautifully rendered but markings mimicking grub-bored holes are generously thrown in. “Natural Selection,” in the Darwinian sense, could not explain the miraculous coincidence of imitative aspect and imitative behavior, nor could one appeal to the theory of “the struggle for life” when a protective device was carried to a point of mimetic subtlety, exuberance, and luxury far in excess of a predator’s power of appreciation. I discovered in nature the nonutilitarian delights that I sought in art. Both were a form of magic, both were a game of intricate enchantment and deception.”

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The hunt continues

I mind
do you
or do you mind?
if I mind?

And the rains came
drops drop
or do they?
Down to the ground?

Eye to I
am I?
Behind the eye
or is it?
Behind the I

Together they
Mind and matter
Do you think
a union of sorts
Could be

Tease away the
and marvel
At the tapestry
warp and weft
and invisible

Friday, January 25, 2008

Hunting for selfness

The hunt begins.

6 a.m.
We humans have more than brains, we have minds. Within that mind resides the potential to create. Create supernatural to explain and understand the natural, and doing so without shame or dishonesty. I think God has placed two "labs" inside our heads, inside the brain is the lab of reason, inside the mind is the lab of creation and potential. And for some of us, we understand the mind as what is the image of the Creator.

Genesis 1:27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

9:06 a.m.
I like consensus in science, but am leery of consensus of human minds, in that I think each human mind is so unique -- from evolution, from nurture, from education, from quirks of time and place, from quirks of association, from all that interacts with each brain that interacts with each mind -- so unique that when even two, let alone many, begin to agree too much, then I fear that "power" is subverting the free thought in the mind that has acquiesced its true selfness. Of course to a degree we all give of our true selfness in order to be part of the tribe. Many happily trade true selfness for community. For marriage. For friendship. For daily bread.

11:16 a.m.
If one seeks to discover one's selfness, then be warned, narcissism lurks in dark places.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Once over

... for when it's all over!

... for in the end!

... for in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love, you make.


Dusty thoughts

Adam* = first human = first self awareness = first grasp of potential = first understanding of death = first "why?" = "death is a 'fault' of the creation" = "why?" = "I've run out of time, too." (full stop).

Without Adam = cycles within cycles within cycles + unawareness = cycles ever more without ever a thought of cycles or a full stop.

*In Hebrew: Adam = "man or mankind or better yet, dust" while Eve = "living one".

Monday, January 21, 2008

No things

And inside the brain we have room enough for both the entire universe and the rest of every thing, every thing that we dare to uncover, yet inside the mind we have even room for "no things," like values and morals and ethics.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More nothing than you can ever imagine

So far in my musings on nothing, I think these thoughts from NASA Astronomer Sten Odenwald are a wonderful introduction to nothing for anyone that has always thought that nothing was ... well, nothing was simply nothing. Think again.

The night sky, when you think about it, is one of the strangest sights imaginable. The pinpoint stars that catch your eye are all but swallowed up by the black nothingness of space - an entity billions of light-years deep with which we here on Earth have no direct experience.

What is empty space, really? At first the question seems silly. There's nothing to it! But look again in light of what modern physics knows and suspects, and the nature of space emerges as one of the most important "sleeper" issues growing for the last 50 years. "Nature abhors a vacuum," proclaimed Aristotle more than 2,300 years ago. Today physicists are discovering that this is true in ways the ancient Greeks could never have imagined.

True, the cosmos consists overwhelmingly of vacuum. Yet vacuum itself is proving not to be empty at all. It is much more complex than most people would guess. "But surely," you might ask, "if you take a container and remove everything from inside it - every atom, every photon - there will be nothing left?" Not by a long shot. Since the 1920s physicists have recognized that on a microscopic scale, the vacuum itself is alive with activity. Moreover, this network of activity may extend right down to include the very structure of space-time itself. The fine structure of the vacuum may ultimately hold the keys to some of the deepest questions facing physics - from why elementary particles have the properties they do, to the cause of the Big Bang and the likelihood of other universes outside our own.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nothing and Higgs and a Tibetan monk meet for lunch

I've always been interested in what others called "nothing", especially when some would point to the blackness of the night sky and pronounce "nothing" or when looking at a vacuum chamber and again, someone calling it empty. I never fell for it. This "empty space between" just never rang true to me. But it has always been the physicist who interest me in their "wild-eye mystical talk" of "it all". Almost as wild-eyed as those who penned the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Here a passage describing the messenger particle for mass, the theoretical Higgs field. :-)

This self-originated Clear Light, which from the very beginning was never born,
Is the child of Rigpa, which is itself without any parents--how amazing!
This self-originated wisdom has not been created by anyone--how amazing!
It has never experienced birth and has nothing in it that could cause it to die--how amazing!
Although it is evidently visible, yet there is no one there who sees it--how amazing!
Although it has wandered through Samsara, no harm has come to it--how amazing!
Although it has seen Buddhahood itself, no good has come to it--how amazing!
Although it exists in everyone everywhere, it has gone unrecognised--how amazing!
And yet you go on hoping to attain some other fruit than this elsewhere--how amazing!
Even though it is the thing that is most essentially yours, you seek for it elsewhere--how amazing!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Bro. Bartleby has been silent all week. We think he is thinking. About what?
Bro. Juniper

At the break fast table I broke the silence when I asked Bro. Bartleby what he was musing about all week, he replied, "Nothing."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Something for Nothing

A long time ago I looked down and discovered that in one hand I held "something" and in the other hand I held "nothing" and each seemed of equal essence, in that each required the other, and for a very long time I carried them both, and often I would use one, then the other, to show me my way, and after a very long journey I came to my conclusion, I could carry both, with very mixed results, I could carry "something" with more often than not good results, but every attempt to carry but "nothing" produced very bad results. That is when I discarded "nothing" for "something" and so far it feels so right that I puzzle over my prior puzzlement.

Balsa wood God

As a kid I carved model airplanes out of balsa wood, I the creator, the model airplane the creation. The creation made of balsa wood, I the creator, not a bit of wood to be found in my being (save for the long pinocchio nose my mother would say I had!). I know, I know, both I and balsa wood are made of atoms, but let's not go overboard in a simple sketch. And surely this is a most simple sketch. So I think God/Creator is "outside" the creation, in the respect that the Creator is not of the essence of the creation -- matter and time and space and whatever else you find yourself living within. Therefore God/Creator is not subject to the (created) natural laws, is not locked in time or space, or for that matter, matter. Concepts such as prior cause, or perfection/imperfection, or something/nothing, or even consciousness, all are encapsulated in the "created" laws of nature, all take place within this "creation" -- even what we call existence is prisoner within the "creation." Yet the One that some of us call the Unknowable -- for without name we mutter "God" or "Creator" -- we cannot place number upon or attributes upon (yet we humbly try), and for all that we attempt to clothe this God with humaness, we also know that in our childish ways we are attempting to construct a real airplane out of balsa wood.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Vexing certainty

When does imagination in individual humans begin the steady decline toward a state of inactivity? I wonder at what age the human mind becomes so rutted in certainty that imagination seizes and the rigid brain keeps the wondering mind at bay? Does chronological age (or maybe lack of new thoughts?) make the brain no longer "flexible" to new routes, to new circuitry? Is there a "mechanical" component to it? Or at a certain point in one's life does "der kopf" overflow? Not with knowledge, but with certainty? Of course when we agree with the thoughts of someone, we are pleased when that someone expresses these thoughts with a degree of certainty. But when we disagree with the thoughts of someone, we think them inflexible when they hold to their certainty. Vexing, isn't it?