Cave art

In most human societies there has been no presumption of a sharp boundary between the natural world and the built cultural milieu, between wilderness and settlement, and in consequence there has been no default presumption of a fundamental difference between the ways in which human art transforms the environment and those in which animals and plants do the same.2 [Paleolithic artists regarded] reindeer as in some deep and real sense equal actors, as persons if not as human beings, in a shared sociocosmic reality.

Read about cave art, from Justin E. H. Smith


Reshaping capitalism

America has wildcat capitalism, where the biggest companies can use their economic might to wipe out competition, and where the corporation has a mandate by law to do everything it can to increase shareholder profits, with predictable effects on employees, the environment, and customers.  Europe has a softer brand of capitalism in which companies are regulated by government, competition is protected, and the corporate boards include representation from employees and from the community.

Quietly, gradually, Europe has transformed itself into a capitalist haven, a place where profits and prices are kept in check by fierce competition among businesses, and where anti-competitive schemes are policed by active, independent regulators.

Boston Globe article by Evan Horowitz

Image result for german capitalism


The Spoils of Peace

As echoes of past conflicts start to fade,
The dissipating fog lays bare what’s planned;
Whilst treaties dance upon a blunted blade,
With bloodied fist replaced by sleight of hand.
The broken boughs pollute this new wasteland,
As mended limbs now exhume every crease
And bow and scrape to each perverse demand.
The gongs of war may well begin to cease,
But can the chings of profit broker peace?
Sam Illingworth


Herbal Remedies for Cancer

This is part of a new video series on herbal remedies.  The Youtube is free just through Friday.

Highlights of the video:

  • Most of the herbalists interviewed recommended combining herbal medicines with Western therapies, and said that frequently herbal cures alone would not be sufficient.  If surgery is available, take it out.
  • A serious omission was no mention of fasting or ketogenic diets—apparently this was not part of the experience of any of the specialists in the interview panel.  This isn’t surprising because Polizzi, the producer, chose his experts for the entire series as prominent herbalists, and the fasting research comes out of an academic Western tradition.
  • There is an individual test available that cultures your cancer cells in the lab with many different chemo agents and and anti-cancer herbs, to find the particular vulnerabilities of your cancer cells.  RGCC is standard in Europe, also available in the US but not paid for by most American insurance companies.
  • Reishi mushrooms and other fungi are highlighted as strengthening the immune system in general, and particularly in connection to some cancers.
  • Whole turmeric (not just curcumin, which is commonly extracted from turmeric) was also singled out as being particularly effective with colon cancer.
  • There’s a lot more advice in the video.  They mention intravenous vitamin C as almost always helpful, and with no downside.  They reiterate something I learned a few years back—that cannabis is a powerful tumor-fighting agent.  I didn’t know that mistletoe is a natural chemo agent.


Renewal of Fountains

Bright universe unseen, yet seen awhile
Precious and brief as a tree bathed in light,
And in shy sudden flowers
In rain, in hasty storm.

Or where the air is moist in trancèd heat
Under the noonday sun remote and high,
We wander and are lost
In golden shadowy lanes.

Or in the hyacinth shadows of the night,
Where the black hill’s immaculate warm lines
Meet with translucent blue,
And dark waters run.

With silver-pointed stars for company,
Light-tipped, soft-shaded, deep the world revolves.
Oh eloquent bright eyes
That pierce through shade.

All this endures, revives and calms the heart
When the harsh day is done, the bitter wars;
And winter’s icy voice
Chills sky and air.

Here, waiting for renewal, fountains play,
Sparkling, inviting, dancing, and withdrawn,
Hope withers and is green
Destroyed, restored.

Wanderer in intricate paths, bewildered soul,
When all that pleased you once shall please no more,
Rest, and desire no rest
Under the common grass.

— Marya Zaturenska,
born this day in 1902


What’s it like to be a human?

What’s it like to be a human
the bird asked
I myself don’t know
it’s being held prisoner by your skin
while reaching infinity
being a captive of your scrap of time
while touching eternity
being hopelessly uncertain
and helplessly hopeful
being a needle of frost
and a handful of heat
breathing in the air
and choking wordlessly
it’s being on fire
with a nest made of ashes
eating bread
while filling up on hunger
it’s dying without love
it’s loving through death
That’s funny said the bird
and flew effortlessly up into the air
~ Anna Kamienska ~
(with thanks to Joe Riley at Panhala)

Head-changing Day

Rosh Hashanah is “Head (ראש) Changing (שנה) Day.” You can’t have a new year with an old head. So if you want a new year, you are going to need to get a new head.A new head is a story-free head. Your stories define you. If your stories are positive and loving, then you are optimistic and loving. If your stories are negative and fearful, then you are angry and afraid. Regardless of their emotional charge, however, stories are not reality.

A new head is story-free. A new head engages reality with compassionate curiosity, going into what is without the baggage of what was or what is supposed to be.

If you want a new head, identify the stories you carry with you. Ask yourself: “Am I absolutely certain this story is true?” “How does telling this story make me feel?” If you are telling stories you don’t know to be true, stop telling them. If telling your stories makes you anything other than just, kind, and humble, stop telling them. In fact, stop telling stories altogether.

Who are you without your story? You don’t know, and not knowing is the key to having a new head.

— Rabbi Rami Shapiro