Security and Paradox

Belief is an affirmation of a previous worldview. Living in paradox—believing and not believing at the same time—is a movement into the future.

People want to “settle”. They want clarity and security and they are willing to give up a great deal for that. The problem is that in the quest for security people create for themselves physical and intellectual boxes, and in the wide world these boxes confict. Much of the violence and suffering in the world comes from these boxes in which people are only trying to find protection from violence and suffering, and that’s a paradox, too.

— Jeff Kripal

If you’ve been fasting for Ramadan

This is the time to enjoy food once again, so much tastier for the weeks of abstinence.  The new moon has been seen in the sky (a paradox, if I’ve ever heard one), and our first act of gratitude is to give alms to the poor—always an uplifting and ennobling gesture.  عيد مبارك

Image result for Eid al-Fitr

One of my favorite stories of all times is the Tale of Ma’aruf the cobbler, who is transported by a genie and deposited on the streets of Baghdad, where he proceeds to borrow money as fast as he can and give it all to the poor.

Wing it

When asked to define improvising, I say I play music that is less than five minutes old.  Yet it isancient, in that thes ounds that attract me have an archaic feel.  When it is truly happening I feel that I am lightly touching something deep in culture, deep in genetics, deep in our animal nature &mdash  a fundamental connection to others. Making art, whether you do it solo or in a group, derives its patterns from everything around us, in an interdependent network.  We learn to work as nature does, with the material of ourselves: our body, our mind, our companions, and the radical possibilities of the present moment.
Stephen Nachmanovitch


I Ching #49 = Ko


A set of conditions, internal or external or both, is ready to pass away in favor of a more beneficial situation  What enables this transformation is your conscious and vigorous adherence to correct thought and behavior.

No revolution in outer things is possible without a prior revolution in one’s inner way of being.  Whatever change you aspire to in your affairs must be preceded by a change in heart and active deepening and strengthening of your resolve to meet every event with equanimity, detachment, and innocent goodwill.  When this spiritual poise is achieved within, magnificent things are possible without.

Brian Browne Walker translation

Bad leadership is much preferred to none,
In lurid despotism, yet might we
Pursue fulfillment in our private lee,
To work, to love, and sometimes to have fun.

So revolution is a last resort:
Despaired of every other remedy
Pursued by unbearable malady
And abandoned by every earthly court.

When you cannot endure oppression’s whip,
Resolve the gentlest insurrectionary
To serve, lend faith, cooperate; and bury
Personal ambition for leadership.

’Tis utmost privilege in such times to live,
Reverently summon all we have to give.

— JJM, 2 June ’19

We are privileged to witness the cusp of history

The animal body has reached the physical limits of what is biologically possible.  To go beyond these limits, we have to make a marriage with mechanical things.  We are extending our bodies with machines and our brains with computer chips…

We are finding ways out of the 3D Newtonian prison.  We’re doing this by becoming information that is free from material representation.   We stand like children at the edge of the ocean of information, and we’re putting our feet in and wondering, “can we swim in that?  What would it be like to be a creature of that new medium?”…

Our circumstance is awe-inspiring.  We are about to take the step out of matter.  The planet is on a collision course with the most profound event it is possible to imagine–the freeing of organic life from the chrysalis of matter.  For 4 billion years, there has been life on this planet, but never life that could step outside of matter.  But this is obviously what is in the cards, and we are privileged to be central to that event.

— Terence McKenna

It is a profoundly exciting as well as dizzyingly disorienting time to live. It is difficult just to hold on and provide our basic needs, let alone to stay awake and aware enough to appreciate this unique moment.


“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

― Walt Whitman was born this day in 1819

The Worm Cure

I grew up thinking that bacteria = disease, and the only good germ is a dead germ.  The medical community turned around, and it is now common knowledge that our health, our happiness, and our very lives depend on thousands of species of bacteria in our intestines and on our skin.  Commensals vastly outnumber parasitic bacteria.

Could the same be true of microscopic worms?  Modern Western standards of hygiene usually keep our bodies worm-free.  What are we missing?

Image result for intestinal worms

The best documented benefits of worms concern Crohn’s Disease, seasonal allergies, and other immune dysfunctions.  Worm treatments for MS are on the horizon.

My own research has shown that thousands of humans are now using intestinal worms, from a variety of sources, to effectively treat a wide range of allergic, autoimmune and digestive diseases. Based on previous studies, we were not surprised that people were having success. But we did find one puzzler: people and their doctors were reporting that helminths were helping to treat neuropsychiatric problems such as anxiety disorders and migraine headaches.
Article by William Parker