A billion here, a billion there…

Spokesperson for Bay-santo-Kline-Farber Organics, the world’s largest multinational pharmaco-agrico-petro-plastic conglomerate today announced long-awaited results from their vaccine trials for COVID-19. The press release was headlined, “Aw, shucks!”

It went on…

“The difference between test group and control group barely missed being statistically significant. So in order to protect the public health, we as a corporation with the public good built into our mission statement, have made the decision not to seek emergency FDA authorization for the product in which we have invested $1.5 billion of our stockholders’ hard-earned money.

“We are as disappointed as you are at the results of this trial, but science is science, and numbers don’t lie.

“Luckily, the public has good options. We encourage citizens to put their faith in vaccine products by our competitors. These companies have the same high standards of integrity and commitment to public health that we have, but they have engineered a superior product to what we can offer, and we congratulate them on their achievement.”

Bill Gates went on live TV to add a personal touch to the disappointment we all feel. “Two of my family members were personally involved as subjects of the Bay-santo-Kline-Farber clinical trial. One of them had a mild fever after receiving the shot, and went to bed early. We were told later that she had received the placebo.”

What can we add, except that we are grateful to participate in a world economy where all the players are putting public health and safety ahead of their own self-interest. With companies like this, who needs government regulatory agencies?

How to Make Shots Hurt Less for Kids | Health.com

Marvell

Andrew Marvell is surely the single most compelling embodiment of the change that came over English society and letters in the course of the 17th century. In an era that makes a better claim than most upon the familiar term transitional, Marvell wrote a varied array of exquisite lyrics that blend Cavalier grace with Metaphysical wit and complexity. He first turned into a panegyrist for the Lord Protector and his regime and then into an increasingly bitter satirist and polemicist, attacking the royal court and the established church in both prose and verse. It is as if the most delicate and elusive of butterflies somehow metamorphosed into a caterpillar.

— from Poetry Foundation

Andrew Marvell was born 400 years ago today. On the face of this poem, he is taking the case of the renunciate who forgoes the delights of the senses for the idea of God. But the pleasure that are offered in temptation are so wholesome and their portrayal is so sumptuous that I have to wonder if Marvell wasn’t hypnotically inviting us to relish nature’s wonders and live in this world rather than the next. — JJM

A Dialogue, between the Resolved Soul and Created Pleasure

Courage, my Soul, now learn to wield
The weight of thine immortal shield.
Close on thy head thy helmet bright.
Balance thy sword against the fight.
See where an army, strong as fair,
With silken banners spreads the air.
Now, if thou be’st that thing divine,
In this day’s combat let it shine:
And show that Nature wants an art
To conquer one resolvèd heart.

PLEASURE
Welcome the creation’s guest,
Lord of earth, and heaven’s heir.
Lay aside that warlike crest,
And of Nature’s banquet share:
Where the souls of fruits and flowers
Stand prepared to heighten yours.

SOUL
I sup above, and cannot stay
To bait so long upon the way.

PLEASURE
On these downy pillows lie,
Whose soft plumes will thither fly:
On these roses strewed so plain
Lest one leaf thy side should strain.

SOUL
My gentler rest is on a thought,
Conscious of doing what I ought.

PLEASURE
If thou be’st with perfumes pleased,
Such as oft the gods appeased,
Thou in fragrant clouds shalt show
Like another god below.

SOUL
A soul that knows not to presume
Is heaven’s and its own perfume.

PLEASURE
Everything does seem to vie
Which should first attract thine eye:
But since none deserves that grace,
In this crystal view thy face.

SOUL
When the Creator’s skill is prized,
The rest is all but earth disguised.

PLEASURE
Hark how music then prepares
For thy stay these charming airs;
Which the posting winds recall,
And suspend the river’s fall.

SOUL
Had I but any time to lose,
On this I would it all dispose.
Cease, tempter. None can chain a mind
Whom this sweet chordage cannot bind.

CHORUS
Earth cannot show so brave a sight
As when a single soul does fence
The batteries of alluring sense,
And heaven views it with delight.
   Then persevere: for still new charges sound:
   And if thou overcom’st, thou shalt be crowned.

PLEASURE
All this fair, and soft, and sweet,
   Which scatteringly doth shine,
Shall within one beauty meet,
   And she be only thine.

SOUL
If things of sight such heavens be,
What heavens are those we cannot see?

PLEASURE
Wheresoe’er thy foot shall go
   The minted gold shall lie,
Till thou purchase all below,
   And want new worlds to buy.

SOUL
Were’t not a price, who’d value gold?
And that’s worth naught that can be sold.

PLEASURE
Wilt thou all the glory have
   That war or peace commend?
Half the world shall be thy slave
   The other half thy friend.

SOUL
What friends, if to my self untrue!
What slaves, unless I captive you!

PLEASURE
Thou shalt know each hidden cause;
   And see the future time:
Try what depth the centre draws;
   And then to heaven climb.

SOUL
None thither mounts by the degree
Of knowledge, but humility.

CHORUS
Triumph, triumph, victorious Soul;
The world has not one pleasure more:
The rest does lie beyond the Pole,
And is thine everlasting store.

Wisdom

Qu’en dis-tu, voyageur, des pays et des gares?

Sagesse humaine, ah ! j’ai les yeux sur d’autres choses,
Et parmi ce passé dont ta voix décrivait
L’ennui, pour des conseils encore plus moroses,
Je ne me souviens plus que du mal que j’ai fait.

Dans tous les mouvements bizarres de ma vie,
De mes « malheurs », selon le moment et le lieu,
Des autres et de moi, de la route suivie,
Je n’ai rien retenu que la grâce de Dieu.

Si je me sens puni, c’est que je le dois être.
Ni l’homme ni la femme ici ne sont pour rien.
Mais j’ai le ferme espoir d’un jour pouvoir connaître
Le pardon et la paix promis à tout Chrétien.

Bien de n’être pas dupe en ce monde d’une heure,
Mais pour ne l’être pas durant l’éternité,
Ce qu’il faut à tout prix qui règne et qui demeure,
Ce n’est pas la méchanceté, c’est la bonté.

— Paul Verlaine born this day in 1844

What hast thou seen, pilgrim, of places and peoples?

Ah, human wisdom, ah, new things have claimed mine eyes,
And of that past, of weary recollection!
Thy voice described, for still more sinister advice,
All I remember is the evil I have done.
In all the curious movements of my sad career,
Of others and myself, the chequered road I trod,
Of my accounted sorrows, good and evil cheer,
I nothing have retained except the grace of God!

If I am punished, ’tis most fit I should be so;
Played to its end is mortal man’s and woman’s rôle,—
But steadfastly I hope I too one day shall know
The peace and pardon promised every Christian soul.

Well not to be a dupe in this world of a day,
But not to be one in the world that hath no end,
That which it doth behoove the soul to be and stay
Is merciful, not merciless, deluded friend.

Houses that stay warm without fuel and 500 mpg cars

Why does a car need a big motor? Because the car is heavy and it takes power to accelerate it.
Why is the car heavy? Because it needs a heavy motor and lots of steel structure to support it and to deliver all that power.

Amory Lovins has been asking the right questions for 45 years. We don’t need energy—what we need is the services that energy provides. When we start at the back end and design the whole system with the end goals in mind, the energy needed drops dramatically. 

Every pound you take off the body of an electric car (with carbon fiber construction) means the motor can be smaller and lighter, so the battery doesn’t have to be as large, so the motor can be lighter yet….in the end, the power train is so much smaller and cheaper that it more than pays for the carbon fiber body.

When you start super-insulating a house and adding intelligent, adaptive ventilation systems and passive solar design, it adds to the cost, until you get to the point where you don’t need a heating system any more. No furnace, no ducts, no pipes, and all that extra room where those things used to be…A house designed without a heating or cooling system is cheaper than a house with all that extra structure, and it has a zero fuel bill.

Lovins has applied the same principles to industrial design, manufacturing processes and distribution systems, radically decreasing energy use.

It’s not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.  

Edwin Land

Shaking the Tree

Vine and branch we’re connected in this world
of sound and echo, figure and shadow, the leaves
contingent, roots pushing against earth. An apple

belongs to itself, to stem and tree, to air
that claims it, then ground. Connections
balance, each motion changes another. Precarious,

hanging together, we don’t know what our lives
support, and we touch in the least shift of breathing.
Each holy thing is borrowed. Everything depends.

— Jeanne Lohmann (via Joe Riley @Panhala)

Neuropsychology

“If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.” 

Emerson Pugh

A happy worm reading book | Vector | Colourbox | Cartoons reading books,  Book clip art, Book themes

The human brain is estimated to have eighty-six billion neurons on average, and we will probably need most of them to comprehend what’s going on in C. elegans’s three hundred and two. — Ted Chiang argues for limits to the potential of machine learning, and for the implausibility of Ray Kurzweil’s singularity.

What Lies Ahead

There is a destiny, so never fear—
This crisis will resolve itself in bliss.
What choice you have to make is only this:
Decide what you will feel while you are here.

Identities are merging, all in one
(Bad news if you are self-identified)
Forget about resistance to this tide—
Conclusion is forgone, the deal is done.

    “Ah, bliss! But can my body come along?
    Or must I die before I unify?”
Depends on what you mean when you say “I”.
You can’t survive this time by being strong.
You’ll die if you attempt to keep control,
Or live forever as an oversoul.

— JJM

I believe that psychic messages are always in the air, but that in Western cultures we have learned to tune them out in favor of physical stimuli and logical thought processes. So people from my culture need tricks to access the messages that come to our subconsciouses. Sensory deprivation, hypnosis, drugs, and meditation are common techniques. There’s a science devoted to creating a language which the subconscious can use to speak to us.

For me personally, I live in my head and my senses, and don’t have ready access to the inner fount of deep knowledge. So I savor the channels that I do find available, and make time for whatever practice puts me in touch with this Source. I believe that poetry is one of the ways that works best for me. The rhyme structure of poetry, in particular, moves my thought in unplanned directons and allows a message to emerge that I would not have arrived at if you simply asked me to report what I believe.

Past and Future, Cause and Effect

This is the problem of the “arrow of time” in physics. The laws of physics at the most fundamental level are time-symmetric. There is nothing to distinguish past from future. How, then, can physics account for our experience, in which the past seems very different from the future?

This was already a problem in pre-quantum classical mechanics. The quantum formalism didn’t help. You can make a measurement and use it to predict the future, to be sure, but you can just as well “predict” the past, and the equations say that your batting average will be the same in both predictions. 

“Predict” is one thing, but “cause” is a bridge beyond. Can we think about the future causing the past as easily as the past causing the future? Of course not. The arrow of time is deeply programmed in our brains.

The “past” is fixed and unchangeable. The “future” is open-ended, and has multiple possibilities. This would seem to preclude time travel from the future into the past. Your future self (who has free will and whose behavior hasn’t yet been determined) can’t go back in time because his free will would give him freedom to change the past, and we know that won’t happen—I mean, it didn’t happen.

Only in the last few decades have physicists and philosophers come to agree that the above reasoning is wrong. Whether time travel is possible is an open question, and, in principle, we can learn the answer by studying the past. 

This article by Natalie Wolchover is an account of some physicists’ efforts to understand systems in a time-symmetric way, where the the future causes the past just as much as the the past causes the future. New physics and possibly new engineering possibilities arise when the past and future are conceived as a mutually-causing network.

Rasha’s Oneness

The ascension and the harmonization of all life in your realm is an ongoing process, and it is touched by every breath taken, by every word spoken, and by every blessed stroke of your collective, materizlized intent. Let each such action be one that is inspired consciously on your own part, and you will make a meaningful contribution. Let every gesture reflect awareness of your own interconnectedness with all life, and that creative act will carry the charge needed, collectively, to effect a shift in awareness for all.

Do not delude yourself into thinking that the world situation is out of control. Quite the contrary. The situation is under the moment-to-moment control of the collective mindset, which co-creates it and re-creates it in the ever-evolving moment of NOW. The adverse conditions with which much of your world is grappling in these times are not the results of random conditions, and you are not its victims. All of it has been created energetically by the unified abilities of every being here, and every bit of it could be shifted in an instant to conditions reflective of the ideal of all creation, were the hearts of all focused in that intention.

That result can be brought about. That result will be brought about. All that remains are the options of what will be experienced and by whom in the process of that shift. The momentum toward unification in oneness of all creation is underway. The force of that momentum is a fact of life itself and cannot be impeded, for the power of love is unstoppable, exercising its capability to manifest fully, and to create its vibrational essence, in every conceivable expression of life.

What is optional are the exquisie heights of joy to which those aligned with divine intent are destined to travel. What is optional are the traumas that will be co-created and experienced by those whose choices reflect their embodiment of separation from that momentum. What is optional is the sense of living limbo of those who are marginally aware of the reality of their ability to make a difference in these times, and whose reluctance to honor their instincts and defy consensus thinking keeps them frozen in the eternal past.

Life is moving forward, dancing with the wind, and harmonizing with the joy in the newborn breath of every life form on the planet. This is the dance of creation that beckons to you in these times. This is the reality that you are capable of manifesting in this crossroads of time and space that you perceive as your world. And this is the only moment that will take you the full distance and deliver you directly unto your destination. This very moment, right now.

Words by Rasha, from the book of Oneness

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