Friday, December 30, 2022
Winds of the Heavens
Thursday, December 29, 2022
Liminal State of Awareness
- Nick Cave (1957 - )
Faith, Hope and Carnage
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
the calcium in our teeth,
the iron in our blood,
the carbon in our apple pies
were made in the interiors
of collapsing stars.
We are made of starstuff.
Science is not only compatible with spirituality;
it is a profound source of spirituality."
- Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Beyond Mere Doctrine
As ice by nature is water.
Apart from water there is no ice;
Apart from beings, no Buddha.
How sad that people ignore the near
And search for truth afar:
Like someone in the midst of water
Crying out in thirst,
Like a child of a wealthy home
Wandering among the poor.
Go far beyond mere doctrine.
Here effect and cause are the same,
The Way is neither two nor three.
With form that is no-form,
Going and coming, we are never astray,
With thought that is no-thought,
Singing and dancing are the voice of the Law.
Boundless and free is the sky of Samádhi!
Bright the full moon of wisdom!
Truly, is anything missing now?
Nirvana is right here, before our eyes,
This very place is the Lotus Land,
This very body, the Buddha"
- Hakuin Ekaku (c.1686 - c.1769)
The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin
Monday, December 26, 2022
I Am a Dreamer
I know so little of real life
that I just can’t help re-living
such moments as these in my dreams,
for such moments are something
I have very rarely experienced.
I am going to dream about
you the whole night,
the whole week,
the whole year."
Sunday, December 25, 2022
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Beyond the Tangible
with his mind what he cannot
see physically 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 exploration into unknown areas."
- Arshile Gorky (1904 - 1948)
Friday, December 23, 2022
The Sound of the Sea
"There is, one knows not what
sweet mystery about this sea,
whose gently awful stirrings seem to
speak of some hidden soul beneath..."
"The immeasurable depth of
the sea beneath your feet;
the immeasurable depth of
heavens above your head.
A gust of wind hardly moved the sail.
The dark masses of water shifted
like a great slithering beast under
the boat, rocking it softly, gently."
"I felt once more how simple
and frugal a thing is happiness:
a glass of wine,
a roast chestnut,
a wretched little brazier,
the sound of the sea.
Zorba the Greek
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Reality of the Infinite
- Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Islands in the Sea
separate on the surface
but connected in the deep."
- William James (1842 - 1910)
Monday, December 19, 2022
Bewilderments of the Eyes
would be literally nothing but
the shadows of the images.
- Plato (c.424 - 348 BC)
Republic, "The Allegory of the Cave"
Saturday, December 17, 2022
Dimensionality of Time
- Alan Lightman (1948 - )
Friday, December 16, 2022
- Ernst Haeckel (1834 - 1919)
The Riddle of the Universe
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Limited Piece of the Whole
temporally limited piece of the whole,
what we call the 'Universe.'
He experiences himself and his
feelings as separate from the rest,
an optical illusion of his consciousness.
The quest for liberation from this bondage
[or illusion] is the only object of true religion.
Not nurturing the illusion but only overcoming
it gives us the attainable measure of inner peace."
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Google's translation of Einstein’s original quotation
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
- David Bohm (1917 - 1992)
Thought as a System
Sunday, December 11, 2022
like an old, ambiguous dream.
You keep on moving,
trying to sleep through it.
But even if you go to
the ends of the earth,
you won't be able to escape it.
Still, you have to go there-
to the edge of the world.
There's something you can't
do unless you get there."
- Haruki Murakami (1949 - )
Kafka on the Shore
Saturday, December 10, 2022
at is possible, what is imaginable, calculable, all the combinations of our ideas in all degrees of probability, in every phase of precision. How can we form a concept of something that is opposed to nothing, rejects nothing, resembles nothing? If it resembled something, it would no longer be the whole. If it resembles nothing... And, if this totality is equivalent in power to one's mind, the mind has no hold over it. All the objections that rise against an active infinity, all the difficulties encountered when one attempts to draw order out of multiplicity, here assert themselves. No proposition can be advanced about this subject so disordered in its richness that all attributes apply to it. Just as the universe escapes intuition, in the same way it is transcendent to logic.
As for its origin—in the beginning was fable.
It will be there always."
- Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)
"On Poe's Eureka" in Selected Writings of Paul Valéry
Thursday, December 08, 2022
Plenum Model of the Ground
- Christopher Alexander (1936 - 2022)
The Nature of Order: Luminous Ground
Wednesday, December 07, 2022
The concept of a World
- Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics,
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Friday, December 02, 2022
Helping Preserve the "Bullock Family Photography Archive"
My thinking has been deeply affected by the belief that
everything is some form of radiant energy."
- Wynn Bullock (1905 - 1975)
Monday, November 28, 2022
Skeleton of Truth
And if you read between the lines
You will find nothing there
For that is the discipline I ask
Not more, not less
Not the world as it is
Not ought to be –
Only the precision
The skeleton of truth
I do not dabble in emotions
Hint at implications
Evoke the ghosts of old forgotten creeds.
All that is for the preacher
The hypnotist, therapist and missionary
They will come after me
And use the little that I said
To bait more traps
For those who cannot bear
Friday, November 25, 2022
Friday, November 18, 2022
The Simplest Thing
is as important as the
things we consider important.
I consider a fallen leaf as
important as the Grand Canyon.
It's all important;
One couldn't be
without the other."
- Ruth Bernhard (1905 - 2006)
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Unclouded by Preconceived Ideas
themselves in the changing light,
the photographer with unobstructed
vision sees them as they are.
Appropriate images appear without
struggle, moving with the flow of light
like leaves in a stream,
to be immediately reflected in
a mind unclouded by
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Chain of Connection
Saturday, November 12, 2022
Admiring Light's Beauty
Close your eyes, and then look again:
what you saw is no longer there;
and what you will see later is not yet. "
- Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519)
Friday, November 11, 2022
in the early universe capable of
generating the current complex
structure that we live in,
the complex structures that we are?
And what if these structures
had an improvisational nature."
- Stephon Alexander (1971 - )
The Jazz of Physics
Tuesday, November 08, 2022
Vibration of Spirit
manifestations of Matter, Energy,
Mind, and even Spirit, result
largely from varying rates of Vibrations...
...the higher the vibration,
the higher the position in the scale."
Three Initiates, Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece
Postscript. In February of this year, I wrote about how the morning walks my wife and I took together during the pandemic (which we could do since I did not have to commute to my regular office; something which, sadly, I've had to resume doing recently) gave me an opportunity to see and appreciate how much beauty our local neighborhood offers. Back then, I was mesmerized with the "hosta-leaf corpses" that littered the sidewalks near our house, and which appeared to glow with a preternatural inner light. To communicate a sense of what first drew me to them (i.e., their radiance), I rendered them using reversed black and white tones (a small portfolio is here). Almost a year later, as we approach late autumn, I find my eye/I drawn to the radiance - or, better, to the colorful afterglow - of decaying maple leaves. Just as the all-but-decayed hosta leaves stubbornly clung to life with a mysterious and inexhaustible energy, the just-starting-to-decay maple leaves are now doing the same, but are suffused in an ineffably iridescent brilliance! There is a palpable fire burning inside that refuses to let go! I've tried to capture this ethereal energy by placing the leaves on a light table (using one that is sufficiently bright to illuminate the veins of the leaves), and rendering the final image on a dark backdrop in Photoshop. Although, as with the hostas, my maple macros only partly convey the excitement I felt as I encountered individual leaves, much of my raw emotion remains (albeit only in "Stieglitzian Equivalent" form). The image above is an amalgam of the photographs in a new "maple autumn macros" portfolio. Enjoy 😊
Sunday, November 06, 2022
all reasoning is also intuition,
all observation is also invention.
Saturday, November 05, 2022
Theory of Emptiness
Friday, November 04, 2022
A Tiny Piece of the Whole
Thursday, November 03, 2022
- Minor White (1908 - 1976)
Quoted in The Aesthetic Theories Of Minor White,
by Stuart Oring
Wednesday, November 02, 2022
Going with the Flow
- The Daily Zen Journal:
A Creative Companion for a Beginner's Mind
Tuesday, November 01, 2022
Passing Through the Present
with our eyes blindfolded.
We are permitted merely to
sense and guess at what we
are actually experiencing.
Only later when the cloth is untied
can we glance at the past and find
out what we have experienced
and what meaning it has."
- Milan Kundera (1929 - )
Monday, October 31, 2022
"My mind is an attic full of crazy dreams that never quit or disappoint me, and I have been blessed with these eyes to see things differently and have people see me in a different way.
but the second gravedigger,
not Lear but the fool."
Sunday, October 30, 2022
"The tides of time should be able to imprint the passing of the years on an object. The physical decay or natural wear and tear of the materials used does not in the least detract from the visual appeal, rather it adds to it. It is the changes of texture and color that provide the space for the imagination to enter and become more involved with the devolution of the piece. Whereas modern design often uses inorganic materials to defy the natural ageing effects of time, wabi sabi embraces them and seeks to use this transformation as an integral part of the whole. This is not limited to the process of decay, but can also be found at the moment of inception, when life is taking its first fragile steps toward becoming."
Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence
Saturday, October 29, 2022
I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.
We cannot get behind consciousness.
Everything that we talk about,
everything that we regard as existing,
Friday, October 28, 2022
Mirror to Mirror
- Italo Calvino (1923 - 1985)
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
Thursday, October 27, 2022
- Ramana Maharshi (1879 - 1950)
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
The next day Ryutan mounted the rostrum and declared, 'Among the monks here there is a fellow whose fangs are like swords, and whose mouth is like a bowl of blood. You may strike him with a stick but he will not turn his head. Some day in the future, he will establish his way on a steep and lofty peak.'
Tokusan then took out his notes and commentaries on the Diamond Sutra and in front of the monastery hall he held up a burning torch and said, 'Even though one masters various profound philosophies, it is like placing a single strand of hair in the great sky; even if one gains all the essential knowledge in the world, it is like throwing a drop of water into a deep ravine.' Taking up his notes and commentaries, he burned them all. Then he left with gratitude."
- Zen Koan (Gateless Barrier, #28/page 201)
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
- J. Guven, J. Hanna and M. Müller,
"Whirling skirts and rotating cones,"
New Journal Of Physics (Nov, 2013)
Postscript. The images in the diptych that I took with my iPhone recently (of light reflecting off of cars parked onto the walls of a local garage) reminded me of Rumi's "Whirling Dervishes," about which you can read here and here (in considerably less technical detail than the one you'll find if you follow the link to the physics journal!)
“You are water, whirling water,
Yet still water trapped within,
Come, submerge yourself within us,
We who are the flowing stream.
We came whirling out of nothingness,
scattering stars like dust...
The stars made a circle,
and in the middle,
- Rumi (1207 - 1273
Monday, October 24, 2022
Leaves and Paths
"In a forest of a hundred thousand trees,
no two leaves are alike.
And no two journeys along
the same path are alike."
- Paulo Coelho (1947 - )
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Between Grief and Geometry
- Michael Frame (1951 - )
Geometry of Grief
Friday, October 21, 2022
Harmony of Autumnal Colors
is immediately excited,
and it is its nature,
spontaneously and of necessity,
at once to produce another,
which with the original colour
comprehends the whole chromatic scale.
A single color excites,
by a specific sensation,
the tendency to universality.
In this resides the fundamental
law of all harmony of colors.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
light in the atmosphere in the autumn,
as if the earth absorbed none,
and out of this profusion of
dazzling light came the
- Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
Monday, October 17, 2022
- Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)
"The artist is a collector of things imaginary or real. He accumulates things with the same enthusiasm that a little boy stuffs his pockets. The scrap heap and the museum are embraced with equal curiosity. He takes snapshots, makes notes and records impressions on tablecloths or newspapers, on backs of envelopes or matchbooks. Why one thing and not another is part of the mystery, but he is omnivorous."
- Paul Rand (1914 - 1996)
Paul Rand: A Designer's Art
Postscript. It has been said that the lifeblood of photography is serendipity. While none of the images that make up the triptych above are particularly praiseworthy (beyond, I hope, simply being "interesting" to look at for a a few seconds), the fact that they exist at all is serendipitous. As seems to happen so often, what I planned to photograph and what I found myself photographing this past Sunday are unrelated except that the latter followed naturally - if unpredictably - from the former. Waking up to see a completely overcast sky I rushed to the kitchen to pour a bit of coffee into my commuter cup and took off in my car to go to one of my favorite "cloudy day" parks (Great Falls park in northern VA), about an hour from home. The closer I got to the park, the more "blue sky" was elbowing the clouds away, until, finally, literally as I arrived, the sky had become crystal clear and a strong sun was beating down overhead; far from the quiet diffused light I expected and was rushing over to compose in. Nothing to do but turn around and head back home. Which is what I did, but not before listening to my muse and stopping by the parking lot my wife and I leave our car at when we go to the farmer's market held nearby on Saturdays. Since it was Sunday, the parking lot was deserted, and I had plenty of time to commiserate over a failed trip to Great Falls, rekindle the quiet joy of just being "mindfully in the moment," and rediscover the simple pleasure of looking for "geometric designs" with my camera. As I said, nothing spectacular or noteworthy, and a far cry from what I originally planned to do, but a thoroughly delightful outing nonetheless 😊
Sunday, October 16, 2022
All things rely on it to conceive and be born,
and it does not deny even the smallest of creation.
When it has accomplishes great wonders,
it does not claim them for itself.
It nourishes infinite worlds,
yet it doesn't seek to master the smallest creature.
Since it is without wants and desires,
it can be considered humble.
All of creation seeks it for refuge
yet it does not seek to master or control.
Because it does not seek greatness;
it is able to accomplish truly great things. "
- Lao Tzu (6th century – 4th century BCE)
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 34
Saturday, October 15, 2022
Light, Shadow, and Geometry
- Henry Fox Talbot (1800 - 1877)
Some Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing
Friday, October 14, 2022
Overcomes the hardest substances.
That which offers no resistance
Can enter where there is no space.
Few in the world can comprehend
The teaching without words, or
Understand the value of non-action."
- Lao Tzu (6th century – 4th century BCE)
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 43
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Dreams and Mirrors
Not only in front of the impenetrable crystal
Where there ends and begins, uninhabitable,
Made me so fearful of a glancing mirror.
- Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986)
“Mirrors,” in Dreamtigers