Abundance

When I was young, up to my mid 30s, I saw the world as unfair, and I was a victim. I was bitter and felt justified in cheating on my own behalf. I married an aristocrat, fallen from wealth, who taught me by example a different attitude. I realized that the world is unfair, and a great deal of theft from the poorest billions is accomplished on my behalf. I am the lucky beneficiary of the world’s unfairness. I’ve learned to be generous with what I have and feel wealthy, regardless of where I am or who I’m around.

  • JJM

I hype it to you

All of human history has been pointing us to another dimension. From Plato to Hypatia to Rumi to Andrew Marvell, Max Planck and Dean Radin, they’re all trying to tell us that there is a universe beyond our universe.

Terrence has seen just a glimpse, and he is a self-proclaimed inarticulate babbler.

Disoriented and bewildered

A spinning globe can balance on a pin
If spin is everything that you have known,
You probably feel dizzy as you own
The world in which you live has ceased to spin.
Uncomfortable, yes, but maybe change
Is welcome. Your familiar world required
Contortions to obtain what you desired—
But how to manage in a place so strange?

Yes, how to choose a course without a map,
The rules that used to help you to predict
The consequence of any choice you make?
When calculation fails, you’re forced to tap
Your intuition, though its guidance is less strict.
Just trust yourself to know each step to take.

— JJM

Night thoughts

This is another installment in my ongoing campaign to introduce DI readers to the music of Grazyna Bacewicz. I’m usually yawning by the end of the first minute when I listen to music that I’d call “sound effects for orchestra”. This piece falls in that category, but Bacewicz manages to keep me engaged by introducing new and unexpected sounds that have tonal integrity as well as sonic interest.

Pensieri notturni = night thoughts

The Great Turning

Scientific doctrine placed humans at the periphery of a vast, godless universe devoid of purpose or meaning. Rather than recognize material mechanism as but one of reality’s dimensions, the science fundamentalism replaced the self-limiting dogma of the religious establishment with a self-limiting dogma of its own, denying the very existence of whatever it could not measure and explain in terms of replicable mathematical relationships. It thus proclaimed Life an accidental outcome of material omplexity, and came to treat it as a collection of chemicals and genetic codes subject to physical manipulation for human convenience. Science fundamentalism not only denied the higher orders of human conscioiusness, but declared all consciousness, spirit, and intention to be mere illusions, essentially stripping away any apparent foundation for personal moral responsibility.

The rigid dogma of science fundamentalism was useful in imposing on science an uncompromising intellectual discipline that has led to enormous advances in knowledge and technology. Unfortunately, the premise that only what can be observed is real came to be treated as proven fact, rather than a useful premise for scientific inquiry. It shaped the world-view of modern culture, thus perpetuating the alienation from life that is a primary driver of the addictions of Empire.

It is time to acknowledge that both spiritual traditions and scientific disciplines are part of human future. Scientists need only acknowledge (and some do) that there are truths beyond the current reach of science, without diminishing the value or the power of the science we have. Religious scholars need only return to the core of the teachings of Jesus and the other Spirit persons of the world’s great religious traditions, and acknowledge the many ways in which Creation reveals itself to our species (as some individual theologians already do). Scientists and religious scholars and mystics can then work cooperatively to deepen human understanding of the relationship between matter and spirit. Some have already begun this quest.

The liberation of science and religion would open the way to a profound cultural Turning, from which economic and political Turnings will quite naturally follow. As we humans come to embrace the truth that we are all creatures of the one immanent spirit, competition for power of the one over the other becomes an anachronism. Gratuitous violence becomes sacrilege. The pursuit of money beyond reasonable need becomes idolatry. Chauvinistic exceptionalism becomes a mark of emotional immaturity. A Turning from an imperial economics of individual greed and excess to a mature economics of sharing and balance. becomes nearly inevitable, as does a Turning from an imperial politics focused on competing interests to a mature politics of mutual interests.

The living culture of Earth Community will call us to choose fewer toys, less war, less isolation, and less coercion in return for more fulfilling relationships and the realization of that which makes us human. The living economies and politics that follow from a living culture will be more democratic, ethical, and fulfilling; will secure our children’s future, and will honor our responsibility to Creation.

— David Korten, from The Great Turning

Lost

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

— David Wagoner

What’s it like to be human?

What’s it like to be a human?
asked the swallow

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 (via Joe Riley of Panhala)
(Astonishments: Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska, ed. and trans. by D. Curzon and G. Drabik)

7-foot Denisovans in Siberia.
Peruvian natives with orange hair.
Babies with twice the cranial volume of modern human babies.
Walls made of cut stone too heavy for today’s largest cranes.

Mysteries abound…