Sunday, January 31, 2016

Where the Sage Hides Himself

"It comes out from no source, it goes back in through no aperture. It has reality yet no place where it resides; it has duration yet no beginning or end. Something emerges, though through no aperture - this refers to the fact that it has reality. It has reality yet there is no place where it resides - this refers to the dimension of space. It has duration but no beginning or end - this refers to the dimension of time. There is life, there is death, there is a coming out, there is a going back in - yet in the coming out and going back its form is never seen. This is called the Heavenly Gate. The Heavenly Gate is nonbeing. The ten thousand things come forth from nonbeing. Being cannot create being out of being; inevitably it must come forth from nonbeing. Nonbeing is absolute nonbeing, and it is here that the sage hides himself."

(4th Century BC)

Entities, Environments, and Patterns

"In an organic environment,
every place is unique,
and the different places also cooperate,
with no parts left over,
to create a global whole;
a whole which can be identified
by everyone who is part of it.

In short, no pattern is
an isolated entity.
Each pattern can exist
in the world only to the extent
that is supported by other patterns:
the larger patterns in which
it is embedded, the patterns of
the same size that surround it,
and the smaller patterns
which are embedded in it."

(1936 - )

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Interpenetrating Worlds

"Instead of negating the conflicting aspects of a paradox, you advance your understanding when you can hold both sides of a dichotomy in your mind at the same time, reconciling rather than negating. One could embrace paradox as an operating, operative principle, rather than seeking to deny or dissolve or dilute it. Rather than seeking to resolve dualisms and institute some grand ‘theory of everything’, the science of the imagination would embrace and explore paradox, going deeper into conundrums, relinquishing delusory attempts to achieve certainty. We may find that thought and language are creative aspects of being, tools for transforming reality. If the universe is actually a projection of subtler levels of the psyche- a loom of maya- then we may discover that the vibratory lattices of interpenetrating worlds elaborated by current physics are descriptions of the psyche itself, in its fully ensouled unfolding."

Daniel Pinchbeck (1966 - )

Thursday, January 28, 2016

True Quiet

"Ask the world to reveal its quietude —
not the silence of machines when they are still,
but the true quiet by which birdsongs,
trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms
become what they are, and are nothing else."

(1934 - )

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Parts, Wholes, and the Principle of Sufficient Reason

“Nothing takes place without sufficient reason, that is… nothing happens without it being possible for someone who knows enough things to give a reason sufficient to determine why it is so and not otherwise. Assuming this principle, the first question we have the right to ask will be, why is there something rather than nothing? For nothing is simpler and easier than something. Furthermore, assuming that things must exist, we must be able to give a reason for why they must exist in this way, and not otherwise.”

(1646 - 1716)

"The division of the perceived universe
into parts and wholes is convenient
and may be necessary, 
but no necessity determines
how it shall be done."

(1904 - 1980)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dormant Microcosm

"This microcosm was pregnant with the germ of a proper time and space, and all the kinds of cosmical beings. Within this punctual cosmos the myriad but not unnumbered physical centers of power, which men conceive vaguely as electrons, protons, and the rest, were at first coincident with one another. And they were dormant. The matter of ten million galaxies lay dormant in a point."

Olaf Stapledon (1886 - 1950)
Star Maker

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hallucination, Ego, and Nature

"We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.”

This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin."

- Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nothing to Add, Nothing to Take Away

"In anything at all,
perfection is finally attained
not when there is no longer
anything to add,
but when there is no longer
anything to take away."

(1900 - 1944)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Process, Emergence, and Autopoiesis

"I guess I've had only one question all my life. Why do emergent selves, virtual identities, pop up all over the place creating worlds, whether at the mind/body level, the cellular level, or the transorganism level? This phenomenon is something so productive that it doesn't cease creating entirely new realms: life, mind, and societies. Yet these emergent selves are based on processes so shifty, so ungrounded, that we have an apparent paradox between the solidity of what appears to show up and its groundlessness. That, to me, is a key and eternal question."

(1946 - 2001)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

That Invisible Soul That Pervades Reality

"To hear never-heard sounds, 
To see never-seen colors and shapes, 
To try to understand the imperceptible 
Power pervading the world; 
To fly and find pure ethereal substances 
That are not of matter 
But of that invisible soul pervading reality. 
To hear another soul and to whisper to another soul; 
To be a lantern in the darkness 
Or an umbrella in a stormy day; 
To feel much more than know. 
To be the eyes of an eagle, slope of a mountain; 
To be a wave understanding the influence of the moon; 
To be a tree and read the memory of the leaves; 
To be an insignificant pedestrian on the streets 
Of crazy cities watching, watching, and watching. 
To be a smile on the face of a woman 
And shine in her memory 
As a moment saved without planning."

Dejan Stojanović,  Serbian poet
(1959 - )

Monday, January 18, 2016

Symbols, Dreams, and Transformations

"The task of art is to transform what is continuously happening to us, to transform all these things into symbols, into music, into something which can last in man’s memory. That is our duty. If we don’t fulfill it, we feel unhappy. A writer or any artist has the sometimes joyful duty to transform all that into symbols. These symbols could be colors, forms or sounds. For a poet, the symbols are sounds and also words, fables, stories, poetry. The work of a poet never ends. It has nothing to do with working hours. You are continuously receiving things from the external world. These must be transformed, and eventually will be transformed. This revelation can appear anytime. A poet never rests. He’s always working, even when he dreams. Besides, the life of a writer, is a lonely one. You think you are alone, and as the years go by, if the stars are on your side, you may discover that you are at the center of a vast circle of invisible friends whom you will never get to know but who love you. And that is an immense reward."

(1899 – 1986) 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Curliques, Droplets, and Energy

"It's like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it's dense, isn't it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you're a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don't feel that we're still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually--if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning-- you're not something that's a result of the big bang. You're not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as--Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so--I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I'm that, too. But we've learned to define ourselves as separate from it. "

(1915 - 1973)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Forms, Shapes, and the Implicate Order

"There is a universal flux that cannot be defined explicitly but which can be known only implicitly, as indicated by the explicitly definable forms and shapes, some stable and some unstable, that can be abstracted from the universal flux. In this flow, mind and matter are not separate substances. Rather, they are different aspects of our whole and unbroken movement."

- David Bohm (1917 - 1992) 

Parts, Patterns, and Networks

"The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffee houses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank."

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ripples, Waves, and Rhythms

"To Nature nothing can be added; from Nature nothing can be taken away; the sum of her energies is constant, and the utmost man can do in the pursuit of physical truth, or in the applications of physical knowledge, is to shift the constituents of the never-varying total. The law of conservation rigidly excludes both creation and annihilation. Waves may change to ripples, and ripples to waves; magnitude may be substituted for number, and number for magnitude; asteroids may aggregate to suns, suns may resolve themselves into florae and faunae, and floras and faunas melt in air: the flux of power is eternally the same. It rolls in music through the ages, and all terrestrial energy—the manifestations of life as well as the display of phenomena—are but the modulations of its rhythm."

(1820 - 1893)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Simplicity & Beauty

"The research worker, in his efforts to express the fundamental laws of Nature in mathematical form, should strive mainly for mathematical beauty. He should take simplicity into consideration in a subordinate way to beauty ... It often happens that the requirements of simplicity and beauty are the same, but where they clash, the latter must take precedence."

(1902 - 1984)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Duality and Forgetting

"Where there is a duality, as it were, there one sees another; there one smells another; there one tastes another; there one speaks to another. . . But where everything has become just one's own self, then whereby and whom would one see? Then whereby and whom would one smell? then whereby and whom would one speak? then whereby and whom would one hear? then whereby and whom would one think? then whereby and whom would one touch? then whereby and whom would one understand?"

- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.4.14)

"My connection with the body and its parts is dissolved. My perceptive organs are discarded. Thus leaving my material form and bidding farewell to my knowledge, I become one with the Great Pervader. This I call sitting and forgetting all things."

(~ 4th century BC)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Sacred Tree

"The sacred tree,
the sacred stone
are not adored
as stone or tree;
they are worshipped
precisely because
they are hierophanies,
because they show
something that is
no longer stone
or tree but sacred,
the ganz andere
or 'wholly other.'"

Mircea Eliade (1907 - 1986)
Myths, Dreams and Mysteries

Monday, January 11, 2016

Emancipation of the Mind

"Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes… Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas."

(1904 - 1948)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Resonance, Spirit, and Proisvedenie

" …the long Russian word for creation proisvedenie, so different from its shorter counterparts in English, French and German, express for me the whole history and process of creation, lengthy, mysterious, infinitely complex and foreshadowed by divine predestination. many ways art is similar to religion. Its development consists not in new discoveries which invalidate the old truths (as is obviously the case in science). Its development consists in sudden illuminations, similar to lightning, in explosions, which burst in the sky like fireworks… …this illumination shows with blinding light new perspectives, new truths, which are basically nothing but the organic development, the further organic growth of the earlier wisdom.

...the world is full of resonances. It constitutes a cosmos of things exerting a spiritual action. The dead matter is a living spirit."

(1866 - 1944)

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Self, non-Self, and Interconnectedness

"True self is non-self, the awareness that the self is made only of non-self elements. There's no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected. Once you are aware of that you are no longer caught in the idea that you are a separate entity."

(1926 - )

Friday, January 08, 2016

Ebb & Flow

"The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow. I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment."

(1861 - 1941)

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Symbols, Signs, and Conceptions

"We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas."

- Alan Watts
(1915 - 1973)

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Brambles, Entanglements, and Music

"If you know the music
the moment the violin string
begins to vibrate,
then you know how
to navigate through the forest
of brambles and entanglements
with freedom and ease.
If, on the other hand,
you think that with practice
the forest of brambles and entanglements
will altogether disappear,
then right from the beginning
you are hopelessly entangled
and won't find your way."

(1931 - 2009)