Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Consciousness

This beautiful film is one of the most eloquent testimonies to the mystery of consciousness I have ever seen.
Don't know if posting a link will work here.  But, I'll give it a try.
A belated Thanskgiving Turkey:

Watch My Life as a Turkey on PBS. See more from NATURE.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A History of the Sky

Everything that happens in a person is like clouds… A thought is like a cloud, an emotion is like a cloud, a feeling is like a cloud… but what a person really is, is the sky.  They are the space which everything passes through.
But this is poetry.  No one should believe me.  This is something to discover, simply by being with yourself… everything passes through, except for you.
It’s so easy to watch. 
If you look at the sky –the sky never moves… lightening or thunder or sunshine.  But the space in which it happens doesn’t move at all.
It’s sort of a poetic way to try to talk about What’s this?  What’s that?

So, I invite you to watch the poetry.
With thanks to my friend at the Cassandra Pages for the head’s up.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Passing

All I ask is that we compare human consciousness with spirochete ecology.*
Lynn Margulis

Taking Vedic Studies with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1975 forever changed the way I think.
What Maharishi suggested, but somehow didn’t say flat out – or at least not in a manner that I could hear – was that since the Absolute is the Source of all relative creation, the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, mathematics, astrophysics, and all the arts… they are just the mechanics of Consciousness expressed in different words.

It was maybe a year later that understanding dawned and I abbreviated the concept in my head as “patterns of consciousness.”
The laws of Nature and laws of Consciousness follow the same pattern.
I have sought and admired these patterns ever since.

Lynn Margulis was a scientist who argued similarly, not from any Vedantic rationale, but from keen observation, good science, and a brilliant and tenacious mind.
Yesterday, she died.
And I am saddened by her passing.

Among other things she helped James Lovelock articulate the Gaia Principle.
Perhaps the best tribute I can offer is to let her words about Gaia correct any misconception you may have regarding Gaia:

Lovelock would say that Earth is an organism. I disagree with this phraseology. No organism eats its own waste. I prefer to say that Earth is an ecosystem, one continuous enormous ecosystem composed of many component ecosystems.
Lovelock's position is to let the people believe that Earth is an organism, because if they think it is just a pile of rocks they kick it, ignore it, and mistreat it. If they think Earth is an organism, they'll tend to treat it with respect.
To me, this is a helpful cop-out, not science… And I realize that by taking the stance he does he is more effective than I am in communicating Gaian ideas.
If science doesn't fit in with the cultural milieu, people dismiss science, they never reject their cultural milieu! …
Gaia is a tough bitch — a system that has worked for over three billion years without people. This planet's surface and its atmosphere and environment will continue to evolve long after people and prejudice are gone.

And long after Lynn Margulis is gone, biology students will be learning principles she discovered.

*And again to not lose context and to demonstrate the remarkable flexibility of her mind, the larger quote:
You can reduce the study of nervous systems to physics and chemistry but you're missing the microbiological step. It's as if you documented the changing surface of the Earth at urban sites using Landsat images, without knowing anything about the people.
Think of the nerve as coming from what had formerly been a bacterium, trying but unable to rotate and swim. Thought involves motility and communication, the connection between remnant spirochetes. All I ask is that we compare human consciousness with spirochete ecology.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hurts More, Bothers You Less

I came across this Ken Wilber clip that rang a bell.   He doesn’t get to the heart of the matter for over 2.5 minutes, but then he addresses how it actually feels to integrate both absolute and relative views into life experience.
It can HURT!  And while Wilber takes this to the level of bodhisattvas and Christ, the increased sensitivity begins well before that.

For the past few weeks I’ve been repeatedly doubled up with belly grief and love beyond all reasonable proportion.
And, I never see it coming. 
For example, as I clean up the breakfast dishes the radio announces: the first hard freeze arrives tonight.  Take your plants inside because those left out won’t make it.  In the morning the impatiens will be gone.

I look out my window, see my own impatiens, a bit yellowed but still in bloom, and I double over in sobs.
My god, tomorrow the flowers will be gone!
My god, Bralley get a grip!

Adyashanti told us once that there will come a point where, “What isn’t true will become so painful you have to drop it.”  That’s another way to say it.
I’ve discovered that even when all evidence supports a belief, That person lies, That person cheats… the thought becomes intolerable, too painful to maintain.  I am forced to let it go.
People are so much more than their history and behavior.
I seem to be repeatedly invited to drop beliefs and see more deeply.

And it’s not just the world around me.  The beliefs I hold about myself, the way I block love and Infinity from flowing freely through my Life when not exploding in my belly, just kind of hang there, like damp towels caught on little hooks.
Dirty laundry doesn’t seem all that dangerous, but this sudden immolation has a pain that is really quite remarkable. 

But, it seems to bother less.  Intensity does pass.  Such intensity seems only possible because of and due to Presence.  And it feels “correct” to really feel.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Lotus Sutra


This is the Lotus Sutra, memorized, recited, and chanted by Nikko Hansen. Nikko usually chants this Sutra twice a day.  He has been chanting for over 25 years. The Lotus Sutra is widely considered to be the most sacred teaching of the Buddha. 

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Re-Imagining Identity

Oh, my God! Exactly! is how my nephew, Augustin, subjected his GOOGLE+ email.
Since I refuse to sign up for Google+, I cannot answer any of his emails, and since there was actually no personal message from Aug beyond the subject line, I clicked the link.
So it was I came to the WIRED Magazine article:
You Are Not Your Name and Photo: A Call to Re-Imagine Identity

This sounded surprisingly spiritual to me.
I recalled my own blog effort, Your are not the Body.
It also played in to my increasing awareness of a generation gap and attempts to better understand what is going on, or going past me.

It was through Aug that I first learned about Burning Man.
Here too things appear to be about one thing on the surface, yet I expect this next generation’s deepest yearnings churn below in very interesting ways.
Professionally, Augie is also into netware design (apparently “bleeding edge” – rather than “leading edge”).
The Wired Magazine article is illustrated with an etching of Shakespeare and highlights a recent speech given at a web design conference by a 23 year old wiz regarding identity as it is used and created online.

Understanding and managing identity online is for all of us.
What’s more, there is increasingly little to no gap between our online and offline selves.
It’s not that online identity should reflect real identity; it is real identity.
Tim Carmody, Wired Magazine

Whoa! Online identity is our REAL identity.
What a curious new way to play out the whole illusion game!
Here I am toggling between realization of “no self” and being someone who cares to the point of tears over the smallest leaf… “Who am I?”
No one, Someone, Both?
So, I read on.

We’re all authors of our data; the question is whether we want everything we’ve written bundled together in a giant book with our name and portrait at the front and testimonials from our friends — as Facebook just introduced …
Or do we want something looser, more fragmented, less monumental, less final.
We could be like the Shakespeare of the First Folio, dead and memorialized; or the living, collaborating, experimental poet, playwright, actor and businessman.
He’s something of a mystery to us, but infinitely more vital than the capital-A Author too often used to intimidate schoolchildren.
Tim Carmody, Wired Magazine

Yes, a mystery, The Mystery is always more vital, living, experimental, collaborative.
It arises out of Nothingness and dissolves back into Nothingness and in between we pour our hearts into living breathing moments, that for the life of me, I cannot grasp or truly understand.
Seems to me this younger generation is coming to this Mystery uniquely in their own way.
Walking through the parking garage this morning I noticed a bumper sticker:
Design Can Save the World

That struck me as very curious. To me, until that very moment, “Design” smacked of vacuous world, of high fashion, the strutting model on the ramp and in the lights, twirl and fake and costumed.
This bumper sticker pointed to a new world of interpretations.
My eyes then landed on a second sticker affixed to the truck’s back window:
Design. Build. Transform.

Reminds me of the world created on Burning Man playa.
What a contrast to the slogan of my youth:
Tune in. Turn on. Drop out.

And yet perhaps they are aiming at the same goal… find yourself, save the world.
I have this working hypothesis consisting of two parts really.
1) If the world is to survive the present global crisis, we as a species must Wake Up, must become more conscious. And,
2) In response to this need of the time Awakening will become more available and occur more quickly for this next generation.
So, I watch and try to understand the twenty some-things.

I’m fascinated to see specific efforts put into design and the wording that is used.
Re-imagining identity.
I take these as examples, as evidence of how my hypothesis may hold, how the changes may unfold.
If one is to “re-imagine” does this not imply that identity was originally IMAGINED?
Doesn’t this invitation inadvertently imply that one’s casual identity may be a misperception, may not actually be REAL (online or off)? …
Are you getting a feel for this unspoken truth as you use and design the internet?

…the only way we come to our true identity is by seeing what we are not.
We have to see that we’re not the image we hold in our minds of ourselves, or the thoughts we have about ourselves–good, bad or indifferent–that we’re not all the various ways we identify ourselves…
a big part of spirituality is actually getting consciousness out of its trance state with the roles we play or have played…
Just a very simple questioning of is it true?
Anything I take myself to be, any role I’m playing, is it actually what I am?
It’s identifying the difference between a role and true identity.
Adyashanti, Vision Magazine interview

And perhaps, rather paradoxically, as this next generation designs, builds, and transforms they will also discover their true identity which is indeed:
The Mystery…
infinitely more vital than the capital-A.

I hope so.

FaceBook reports that you have one identity.
Who you are online is who you are offline.
Chris Poole, web2.0 summit