Impulse and Asceticism

Your very consciousness is actually object free. The path of yoga is any and all means by which you discover the ambiance of your primacy and then learn to trust it absolutely.

Consciousness, consciousness of a world, and awareness of experience, have come about quite involuntarily. At the risk of offending a handful of New Age authors and a few billion reincarnationists, you had nothing to do with the primacy of felt experience being foisted upon you.

Though it may be an unusual perspective, one could say that all humans suffer from Stockholm Syndrome (feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor).

You’re the unwitting victim of conscious awareness and have quite surreptitiously and without express permission adapted to this nefarious heist with sufficient agreeability that you think you are actually enjoying all this.

But lo and behold you will likely find more than a few reasons to begin to mistrust experience, or suffer the many indignities of being a creature in a world, and wisely seek somehow to suffer less. This effort will fail of course, but you don’t know that yet, you still have a lot of living to do so you can keep on trying.

Obviously, one consumes one’s experiential allotment with each passing moment, but we hope there is sufficient time remaining to get somewhere where we might suffer less, downward dog anyone?

In a nutshell (best place to be for us nuts), whatever this is, implicate, explicate, convergent, divergent, fated or novel, it is doing itself down to the quark which suggests that you have no role to play in being who and how you are.

Such is the nature of impulse. If you ignore the presence, the arising, the hypnotism that is impulse, you are fated to respond to it in habitual ways which necessarily limits the flux and wobble of what you perceive and intuit to be true about you.

So, from the perspective of applied yoga, first learn to attend to the streaming and quite nuanced presence of impulse before you go off all half-cocked with your clever ideas and opinions about everything.

Get to know impulse (despite the distance) as intimately as you can, we’ll explore applied asceticism in our next post.

Night Sky Sangha

A Pesar de la Distancia: Cami Galofre

Edith Ubuntu Chan

In this interview by Charles Eisenstein, they talk of cabbages and kings.

  • Edith’s son remembers life between lives, before he was in the womb, including watching over his future mother

  • They talk about a 10-day retreat in total darkness, during which Edith entered an altered state and developed convictions for her future calling

  • Does water carry more information than standard chemistry tells us?

Do we have the Big Bang all wrong?

The Big Bang crossed the line from being a way of looking at he world to a scientific theory when Penzias and Wilson discovered the 3 degree microwave background in 1965. The temperature of the radiation supported a calculation of how much of the matter in the first 3 minutes of the Big Bang would end up as hydrogen and how much as helium. The calculation correctly predicted proportions in the sun and especially in old stars which were presumed to have arisen before much of the hydrogen could have gone over into helium within stars.

Since then, that calculation has had to be amended, and new factors added, some of them having no observational support. I’m talking about dark matter and dark energy. It’s now fair to ask whether there are alternatives to the Big Bang. Hans-Jörg Fahr has one, in which the 3 degree microwaves are “thermalized starlight”, supported by photons that interact directly with other photons.

Read more from Nautilus

Cosmic Microwave Background: Remnant of the Big Bang | Space

Grace = 貢

The dancer moves with effortless finesse
Her gestures don’t depend on conscious thought,
But like a free, untethered astronaut,
Require no exertion, cause no stress.

In awe of her achievement, we assume
Such talent as came with her from the womb
Required ten thousand hours for her to groom,
Until she glides with exquisite aplomb.

To act with grace, please put your thoughts aside.
You’ve practiced what you’ve practiced, day by day—
This exigency is what all was for;
Your cultured habits will sustain you, or
They won’t; but should you try to override
Your impulse, your mind will lead you astray.

— JJM = #22 in the I Ching Sonnet Project

I want to think that the answer is ‘No’

There are two senses in which conscious beings collectively create reality. Is there any relationship between the two? I want to think that the answer is ‘No’.

The first is epitomized by a quote from (probably) Karl Rove that appeared in the New York Times Magazine in October, 2004. Speaking of the GW Bush Administration, he said “We make our own reality.” Rove may have been dropping a hint about the upcoming Presidential election, the first to be stolen electronically, with means hidden from the public by suppressing coverage by the very same New York Times and every other credible media outlet. But he may have been referring more obliquely to the mainstream narrative about 9/11 terror attacks, 19 brown-skinned men with box cutters and a mastermind hiding in a cave in Afghanistan–a story which the great majority of the public believed, despite its overall implausibility, and despite the blatant physical impossibilities in its essential features. For that matter, the description could be applied to stories about Lee Harvey Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan or James Earl Ray that disguised a slow-mo CIA coup that usurped power from elected government in the 1960s.

The second is a physical and metaphysical ontology. It’s not too strong a statement to say that in quantum physics, there is no objective reality. Reality is always in a state of potentiality with many possible realizations until it is observed. The particular observations that observers choose to make have an influence on the answers that they receive; and, more deeply, these choices on the part of observers are co-creating reality. Many philosophers of science and physicists themselves have interpreted this to mean that “consciousness is the ground of all being” [Amit Goswami], and that all of physical “reality” is a collective dream of all sentient beings. “We, as well as all other living organisms, are but dissociated alters of cosmic consciousness, surrounded by its thoughts. The inanimate world we see around us is the extrinsic appearance of these thoughts.” [Bernardo Kastrup] “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” [Albert Einstein]

If there is there any relationship between these two notions of “created reality”, it would imply that the corrupt powers that have bought control of our mainstream media are not just deceiving us, they are literally changing a reality which is fundamentally subjective. I have heard too many credible accounts of rooms full of people bending spoons to dismiss this notion out of hand. But I deeply want to believe that it is not true, and that we who have taken on the mission of pointing out deceptions in the media have something like an objective basis for the claims that we make.

Painting by Russian artist Victor Bregeda

Homo sapiens ≠ Homo economicus

At the foundation of economic theory is the assumption that individual humans are genetically programmed to take as much as they can get, everyone else be damned. This is the classical justification for governments policing economic activity. It’s even used to justify the very idea of private property, since resources held in common would inevitably be over-exploited by competing individuals.

So it’s a radical thing that Elinor Ostrom has done with her career, documenting communities around the world where people have self-organized to share resources in ways that work well for everyone. Fishermen agreeing to conserve lobsters. Farmers cooperating to create irrigation projects. Indigenous hunters sharing each catch with the village.

Sure there are examples of resource wars, but there are at least as many examples of outcomes that work for everyone. Corporations, on the other hand, behave typically like Homo economicus.

Elinor Ostrom won the (ersatz) Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009

Everyone is a World

Everyone is a world, peopled
by blind beings in dark commotion
against the self the king who rules them.
In every soul thousands of souls are trapped,
in every world thousands of worlds are hidden
and these blind, these underworlds
are real and living, though incomplete,
as true as I am real. And we kings
and princes of the thousand possibilities in us
are ourselves servants, trapped
in some greater creature, whose self and being
we grasp as little as our own superior
his superior. Our own feelings have taken
the color of their love and death.

As when a mighty steamship passes
far out, under the horizon, lying
in the evening glitter— And we don’t know about it
until the swell reaches us on the shore,
first one, then another, and then many
which strike and boom until everything has become
as before. — Yet everything is different.

So we shades are troubled by a strange unease
When something tells us that others have gone ahead,
That some of the possibilities have been released.

— Gunnar Ekelöf was born this day in 1907

How deep is an ocean wave? - BBC Science Focus Magazine

Anarchist’s Love Song

the slander-mongering-propagandist-prophet scrolls
bold words
with hooligan-colored crayons
and calls it scripture

the media-stained-icon-self-proclaimed-virgin-saints
preach a gospel of blind submission
as we cry tears of blood
and bear the marks of crucifixion

i receive their sacraments
but they do not sit well in my stomach
i am uneasy as i attempt to worship in their temple
forcing myself to recite their liturgy

but silently

Joseph Crow Riley

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
— H. L. Mencken

Physics and Fundamental Reality

Particle physicists are among the smartest people in the world. They are drawn to the subject because they want to understand reality on the deepest level. What are the rules that govern the behavior and evolution of our universe? We all should be so bold!

An unstated assumption in their approach is that the way to understand the whole is to understand the parts. This is a carryover from 19th century physics, where it was enormously successful. Write down the equations that govern each tiny region of space, and integrate them together to get the big picture. (Sometimes these equations can be integrated on paper; but even when this is impossible, with modern computer techniques they can all be solved to a high degree of accuracy.)

Quantum mechanics fundamentally changes the relationship between the parts and the whole. You cannot understand the big picture by integrating equations for the small picture at each point. One way to look at this is that the equation for a single particle is manageable in 3-dimensional space; but each additional quantum particle adds 3 more dimensions. In classical mechanics, the equations for 2 particles require following 2 points in 3-dimensional space, and 3 particles means 3 points in 3-dimensional space. With 2 particles, the computer calculation takes twice as long as with one, with 3 particles, 3 times as long, etc. But for the quantum calculation, the second particle requires a billion times as much computer time, because it must be solved in 6-dimensional space. Adding a third particle multiplies the computer time by a billion again. In classical physics, the computational complexity scales linearly with the number of particles, but in quantum physics, the computational complexity scales exponentially. As Ev Dirksen once said, “A billion here, a billion there — pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” The scorecard: For tracking trajectories over time, with classical physics, a modern supercomputer can handle 700 billion interacting particles; with quantum physics, the same computer can handle 3. For more than three particles, even the simplest quantum mechanical equations can’t be solved on any computer that humans can conceive at present (except, of course, a quantum computer, not yet a reality). 

Another way to describe this situation is to say that in classical physics, the calculations are separable for each particle; but in quantum mechanics the configuration of particles is an indivisible whole. You might hear that quantum physics is the best-verified theory that humans have ever devised, with calculated values verified by experiments to a few parts in a billion. Yes, that’s true, but the experiments require extraordinary measures to isolate a single atom. This is done not because isolated atoms are so interesting, but because for anything more complicated the calculation cannot be done, even with the power of a supercomputer.

The most interesting mysteries in physics are hiding in plain sight, as they affect our real world and our everyday experience. They are not the questions physicists are fond of talking about as fundamental–the structure of space on the Planck scale a billion trillion times smaller than a proton, or the Theory of Everything that will reconcile general relativity with quantum principles. The most interesting questions are about how the microscopic rules that we already know produce the world of our everyday experience, and also the anomalous phenomena that conventional science refuses to recognize, deeming them “impossible”. The judgment of “impossible” is based on the reductionist paradigm, because that is virtually all the science that we know. Even though quantum theory is shouting at us that THE WORLD IS HOLISTIC, still, we don’t know how to think holistically, and we have yet to imagine what a holistic science would look like.

Quantum Biology May Help Solve Some of Life’s Greatest Mysteries