1848

I had no idea…

In 1848, there were populist uprisings all over Europe. Was it just the zeitgeist or were they talking to each other and planning together? History books tell us the revolutions all fizzled out, but Christopher Clark traces their lasting effect. A true scholar.

Birthday indulgence

Once a year, I allow myself license in this space to offer up my raw personal experience.


Ever since I started teaching yoga c. 1976, the most persistent message I have offered my students has been to listen patiently for a voice of wisdom inside themselves, to trust that voice and allow themselves to be guided by it. The practice is akin to the dancer who has disciplined her body so that she moves gracefully without conscious effort; also the artist who spends years honing his technique so that creative expression can flow from the Source through him without deliberation. Remarkably, scientific creativity can also take this form. Ramanujan and Nicola Tesla produced great works of mathematics and innovative machine design which they experienced as a kind of channeling through them. 

This attitude has taken root with me over the years, and accelerated when I began a daily meditation practice at the end of 2007. This year, the inner voice has been an anchor and an assurance in the most unstable and unexpected year of my life. Week after week, I have asked the Muse for a sonnet, and most times she has graced me with a poem that had unexpected insights, guided by rhyme and rhythm toward unplanned directions. 

The pandemic has been a disruption, an inconvenience, and a deprivation for people in most countries of the world. I miss travel and friends and music and dance and live theater and my daughters. But it has made me feel very certain about my personal mission, and most days I emerge from morning meditation knowing what I am called to do. All my training as a writer, a scientist, and an independent thinker have supported me in helping to expose the greatest fraud in the history of humanity, and to support others who are doing this work. There is much I don’t understand about what is happening, who is doing this and why. But it is enough for me that I know what I am to study and to write about, one day at a time.

And the same Source that gives me my daily marching orders also assures me that this transformation will end by exposing and overthrowing the billionaire criminal class that has kept us under their thumbs, lo these many decades. The bigger they come, the harder they fall.    

Mother’s Day

I read this to my mother, who passed her 99th birthday last month.

When I was young you had my back
With both feet on the ground
You kept our family right on track
Your management was sound

So I was free to dream my dreams
No bodily concern
Read fantasies and ride moonbeams
So many things to learn

You taught me with the skeptic’s eye
To question one and all
To let imagination fly
And never fear a fall

So now at last you trust your sons
Without their Mom and Dad
And none too soon, we are the ones
To face a world gone mad.

We never did want to grow old
But we have no complaints
The times demand that we be bold,
Defy imposed restraints.

Leave it to us, you stay in bed
And dream both day and night
It’s time for you to rest your head
And sleep—it’s only right

Please stick around your hundredth year
Fertility will fall
We’ll see a world submerged in fear
Redeem this earth for all.

In the days when my mother was politically active, Zero Population Growth was her favorite cause. I have to agree that it would be easier for 1 billion people to live in harmony with Gaia than for 10 billion. But neither I nor my mother would have the audacity to trick people into taking a vaccine that makes them sterile.

Melancholy and the Muse

Albrecht Dürer - Melencolia I - Google Art Project ( AGDdr3EHmNGyA).jpg

What did Albrecht Dürer intend in this 1513 engraving?

In 15th-century Florence, philosopher Marsilio Ficino claimed that intellectuals, gifted and introspective souls like himself, were especially prone to the malaise of melancholy. He proposed various magical remedies to lift it – often invoking the power of the planet and goddess Venus to bring joy to the joyless…  Dürer, we can guess from this print, knew the darkness of melancholy personally. He also knew it was the curse of one of the greatest artists of his time: his contemporary Leonardo da Vinci, whose art he had studied.

Jonathan Jones in the Guardian

Albert and the Whale is a new book, starting with Dürer and free-associating in all directions

Book review in the NYTimes

Translating Nonsense

Nachdichtung

Translation

Es war einmal ein Lattenzaun,
mit Zwischenraum, hindurchzuschaun.

Ein Architekt, der dieses sah,
stand eines Abends plötzlich da —

und nahm den Zwischenraum heraus
und baute draus ein großes Haus.

Der Zaun indessen stand ganz dumm,
mit Latten ohne was herum.

Ein Anblick gräßlich und gemein.
Drum zog ihn der Senat auch ein.

Der Architekt jedoch entfloh
nach Afri- od- Ameriko.
1

A picket fence once could be seen
with space to look through in-between.2

An architect who knew the site
appeared quite suddenly one night —

and took the space out of the fence
and built with it a residence.

The fence, by then, looked rather mean,
with slats and nothing in-between.

Since everybody hated it
the Senate confiscated it.

The architect, though, ran away
to Afri- or Americay.

— Christian Morgenstern, born this day in 1871
translated by Ulrich Fleming

Unearthly mirth

Then unexpectedly Adam laughed. His body was very big and his laugh was like an earthquake in it, loud and deep and long, till in the end you laughed, too, though you had not seen the joke, and Eve laughed as well. And the birds began clapping their wings and the beasts wagging their tails, and the light seemed brighter and the pulse of the whole assembly quickened, and new modes of joy that had nothinpg to do with mirth as we understand it passed into you and all of them, as it were from the very air, or as if there were dancing in Deep Heaven. Some say there always is.

— C. S. Lewis, in a revisionist history of Adam and Eve (not their real names) on planet Venus

V0034192 In the Garden of Eden, Eve offers Adam the apple. Line engra

Milicroques

A butterfly dancing
by the sea,
a foxglove emerging
fragile and fierce
cleaving
to a granite wall:

A glittering chalice
captures the whole sky,
a single wing
bears the sun entire:
fate’s transformations,
and pure transference:

A flower
evolving into flight,
and flight
dissolving into light.

~ Jean Gebser

Foxglove Growing out of a dry stone wall | Growing wild on R… | Flickr

Feminine and Masculine, Yin and Yang

Our ancestors did not make mountains masculine because they projected male characteristics into them. The real process is the reverse. Gender is a reality, and a more fundamental reality than sex. Sex is, in fact, merely the adaptation to organic life of a fundamental polarity which divides all created beings. Female sex is simply one of the things that have feminine gender; there are many others, and Masculine and Feminine meet us on planes of reality where male and female would be simply meaningless. Masculine is not attenuated male, nor feminine attenuated female. On the contrary the male and female of organic creatures are rather faint and blurred reflections of masculine and feminine. Their reproductive functions, their differences in strength and size, partly exhibit, but partly also confuse and misrepresent, the real polarity. 

C. S. Lewis