Monthly Archives of: February 2018

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Thought and Thinking

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[2-26-18 Flood Update:

The river is receding well.  We are OK but have a ton of cornstalks in our yard.  I am elderly and have arthritis so may have to hire people to remove it.  Marla says that there is more rain in the forecast (coming soon).  We don’t have hydrophobia yet but we are getting there!

Excerpt from Emily Dickinson:

You cannot fold a Flood—
And put it in a Drawer—
Because the Winds would find it out—
And tell your Cedar Floor—     ]

 

 

[Note:    Update on our River Flooding:    The river remains very high.  Our house is OK so far, except for some very minimal water in a small section of our crawl-space that a sump-pump has been taking care of.  Many local rural homes and nearby towns are flooded severely, unfortunately.  Our neighbor told us that her son had to rescue his mother-in-law from her rural home.   Her son’s mother-in-law’s home is surrounded by water and is severely flooded within the living area.  At first, his mother-in-law refused to leave… much like the couple that i mention in my update within the Flooding posting that i submitted.  Please refer back to that recent posting for that update.  We had more severe rain last night for a time; i hope that that will not cause the river to rise; it shouldn’t.   Some large logs have been hitting the horizontal I-beams that support the nearby bridge, as the water level is so very high.  Thanks again to many of you for your heartfelt comments and concerns.]

 

 

Thought/thinking is always, as we have often said, an extension or protrusion from the old storehouse of memory.  Thinking is a form or representation and symbolism used in order to achieve desires and wanted outcomes.  Interestingly, when thinking occurs in (and “as”) the brain, it often exists (mimicry-like) as a sequence of words (which are a simulation of one’s actual talking voice); thinking can also occur as a sequence of stored images that are pictorially oriented.  Thinking is essentially all virtual; even the simulation of one’s actual voice, used as internal verbal thought, is virtual.  Yet so many of us cling to (and exist “as”) this virtual, spurious pseudo-reality. The essence of thinking is reaction, mimicry, symbolism, categorization, interpretation, restructuring, recollection, recognition, abstraction, and finding meaning.  Additionally, thinking can help with real curiosity.  Profound curiosity, however, goes beyond thinking and is never merely tied to any superficial motive (such as how to make more money).  It is interesting that those of us who think better than others are (oftentimes) given better (and higher paying) jobs.  Society tends to worship complex and intricate thinking.  Ironically, it may be that the wisest minds go beyond mere motive; it is motive (and robotic reaction) that corrupts the perception (the availability) of the whole.

What we are suggesting here is that, perhaps, it is not merely the most complex thinking mind (with the most thoughts) that is to be admired.  A mind that functions as thinking when it is necessary but that often prudently goes beyond thinking may (indeed) be admirable.   Unfortunately, the brain that thinks endlessly is a very mechanical, robotic, materialistic brain.  A prudent mind that often goes beyond thinking is not the opposite of the “endlessly thinking brain” but it is (fortunately) different.  Of the two aforementioned brains, one of the two endlessly depends on being reactions and on receiving endless stimuli to feed those reactions.  The other of the two often goes beyond the realm of “reacting”; interestingly, it can — and does — function as awareness without the need for exclusively being reactions… without the need for exclusively categorizing endless stimuli.  One of the two craves experience in order to function.  The other of the two partakes in experiencing but also can function without mere dependence on experience.  Of the two, one must stay — and endlessly remain — within the field of the known.   The other of the two dwells in the field of the known but is not merely tied to that very limited domain.   All thoughts are fragmentary symbols, and the essence of the sequential arrangements that they are always involves limitation.  Profound curiosity — if it really has true depth — is not foolish enough to be satisfied with remaining in (and “as”) a limited domain.   Not enough of us question the essence of the domain that we function in… and not enough of us intelligently consider going beyond the domain that we function in; the domain we are referring to is, of course, “thinking.”  The mind can be fully aware, alive, and sensitive without needing to rely on thinking and time (though often, of course, thinking is very necessary).  Mere constant recognition is, each and every time, limited reaction as part of motives.  Each and every limited reaction with (or “as”) a motive is inaction regarding holistic perception; this inaction denies that holistic energy. 

The known cannot penetrate into (and understand) the true unknown.  The unknown, however, can flower within a mind that does not merely exist as endless reaction (i.e., endless responses of the old); a sapient mind often does not merely function with (and “as”) the known.   Deep insight and profound enlightenment/satori can only occur when the known is not functioning (as the old repetition and habitual sequence that it is).  What is truly new, what can never be recognized as the same thing over and over again, can never be experienced by the old past (i.e., by the known).  The dead known can never enter into the measureless and timeless beauty of the living unknown.  What is fallacious cannot remain what it is and enter truth. 

The beauty of real mindfulness and meditation is that they are not what can be practiced via any methodology.  All methodology relies on the known and exists within the field of time.  Time is not a path to the timeless; measure is not a means to the measureless.   Mere experience (or trying to go beyond experience) is not a path to that sacredness that is beyond all the senses. 

 

 

 

Curious Ant (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Curious Ant (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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The River we live on is Flooding! & Update

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Our home is right on the Iroquois River and, currently, the river is rising to a record high.  It is going around 23 feet above normal, and we are due for even more heavy rains.  Flood stage is 16 feet above normal.  The engineers have said that if it rises 8 more inches — which is possible, as it has not crested yet — the cement bridge (that we live adjacent to) could float away.  We are lucky so far, as we are on very high terrain… but the water is getting precariously high and close; neighbors, to the south especially, are lower down; unfortunately, they are getting inundated.  

A little humorous poetry from Art Carney (from the Honeymooners Show many years ago) cheers me up a bit at this dangerous time:

When the tides of life
turn against you,
and the current upsets your boat,
don’t waste tears on what might have been,
just lay on your back and float!

Update (at 8:47PM Central Time, Feb.24th):

Thank you, everyone, for your heartfelt concern, good wishes, and comments.  The river remains very high.  According to charts, it has crested and is supposed to be receding very soon.

Last night, i spent a lot of time getting the container — that our sump pump was in — better situated; plus i drilled a lot of holes into side of the container (higher up towards the top).  Our crawl space was dry — you can’t have basements with living on the river — but there was water in the sump hole about seven inches from the top of the gravel.  Today, we had company coming over (including my mother-in-law… it is mother-in-law’s birthday, she is 93).  However, i noticed a patch of water in one (apparently) low section of the crawl space some distance from where the sump pump is.  Before the company arrived, i was busy frantically digging a trench for the water to flow to where the sump pump was.  I put some PVC piping into the trench by the sump to help with the flow.  It worked!  The crawlspace is mostly bone dry… and the small wet areas have subsided well.

Our elderly neighbor — whom i take the mail to, since she cannot make it to the rural mailbox — said that her son stated that an elderly couple who lives not far from us, by an old iron bridge, was surrounded by water.  They refused to leave.  Their kids (now adults) called 911.  Rescuers used a boat to try to get to them but couldn’t get through due to tons of corn stalks blocking the way.  A man with a better boat was contacted and he managed to get through.  However, the husband refused to leave!   Only his wife evacuated.  The next day, the husband changed his mind and they had to go in again to get him!  Geesh!

My posting for Sunday will still occur.  I schedule my blogs (and usually am about a month ahead).

Thanks again everyone!  (We all need to do way better with the environment!  Weather conditions are going bonkers, worldwide.  When are we going to finally wake up?!  When it is too late?)

 

Flooded River (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Flooded River (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Glas Kristall Garten

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When lucid ways mutate into wing
             in a glass crystal garden
there
             where four legs not six legs cling

Only a short mayfly shimmer of time
             in a lush limpid garden
where
             fragile crystalline things hang and delicately rhyme

If all of the mirrors vases and glasses went crashing
             in a perfect world so wonderfully and glaringly clear
there
             would always be your beaming beauty ever so smashing

 

 

 

Crystal Winged Mayfly (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Crystal Winged Mayfly (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Short Video of me Curling at the Winter Olympics

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I take Curling very seriously.

Even my potato chips are into Curling.

So far i am in line for winning Silver… a silver set of hair, that is!   🙂

Notice that my sweeping technique is not top-notch Gold; (i am not foolish enough to let Marla think that i am good at sweeping!)

Besides, who needs to sweep if there is a Roomba in the area?!

 

 

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Depression and Sorrow

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Many people suffer from depression and sorrow. Many take pharmaceutical antidepressants and regularly go to clinics to receive therapy. Most, when they were much younger, did not have such issues; in youth, they were filled with wondrous curiosity and inner, refreshing vitality.  Many, as they age, become jaded and unhappy, bored with the same-old-things and with the gray monotony of it all.

A large part of the problem lies in wrong education. Most, throughout their education, were not encouraged to be keenly aware of their own minds… to be aware of the essence of thought and thinking and to explore beyond the realm that thought and thinking manifest as. Most, from society as it currently is structured, were taught to cherish and exclusively dwell in (and “as”) the process of thinking; it was taught that the more thinking and the more reaction… the better.  Few were encouraged, in their youth, to question everything and to be free from mere standard ways/procedures. These days, almost all of us are immured within the walls of thought/thinking. Many exclusively dwell in (and “as”) thought/thinking… and very few value going beyond that very circumscribed domain. Most have put all of their eggs into that one basket; in that, they dwell.  (Ironically, though most everyone exists as “thinking,” few are in a direct, intimate relationship with such thinking, such that they can go beyond it; they see “thinking” as what some alleged independent center is “using from some sort of internal distance.”)  Some delude themselves, by others’ methodologies, into practicing going beyond thinking (which is, in reality, an extension of thinking and, each time, a self-imposed hoax); a concocted silence that is part of a perpetuation of backward and spurious ways is not any kind of legitimate silence at all, though many believe that it is.   

As one has said so many times before, thinking is always symbolic, always second-hand, limited, and merely representational. Yet so many cling to thinking and unquestionably exist almost exclusively as what it is. Even when most of us look at things, we are looking with (and through) the screen of thinking; such thinking involves labeling, categorizing, classifying, identifying, and pigeonholing. When many look at things, they are mostly looking with the memory bank (i.e., through retained knowledge). Such a memory bank is from the past and is always old, always of stored data. Many look with (and from) the stored (old) past… and they inevitably get bored while they feel stale and full of the mundane. With this situation, antidepressants and clinical so-called experts can only help so much.  The selfish “I” is created via concocted psychological distance and learned walls of demarcation; this distance and these very walls are an incarceration that ensures that suffering will continue.  

A mind of constant thinking is a mind of sorrow.  A mind of deep awareness, however, can often perceive without merely using  (and being) the storehouse of old and stuffy memory. To perceive without relying on the storehouse of dead memory and to perceive without depending upon the stale patterns of remembrance is a living art.  There is no method or blueprint-oriented practice to this art. It does not involve old patterns that you can absorb to improve yourself with over time.  It does not involve intentionally sitting crosslegged for long periods of time, mesmerized by some kind of self-fabricated so-called silence.  Being aware (without method) throughout each and every day, being “thinking” when it is necessary but often effortlessly going beyond it, the wise mind sagaciously realizes that profound bliss is not a mere remembrance.  Profound joy is not labeling everything and then looking at everything through (and “as”) dead labels. To perceive without the burden of the past is real living. Real living is not the past perpetually relabeling things (with endless symbols) into, and through, the present and future. The mind that goes beyond “perception through mere symbolism and fragmented mental constructs” is a liberated, whole, caring, free mind… full of joy.

 

 

 

Family Photo (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Family Photo (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

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Knowing Yourself…

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There have been blogs, by others, wherein they write all about themselves.  They write about their likes, special preferences (such as favorite foods, books, and movies), social relationships, and so on and so forth.  Others write about the need to love oneself; they write about the beauty of really caring about oneself (first and foremost).  

What is oneself?  Most of us, one suspects, were educated to see the self as we were all programmed to see it.  This education is often very similar to the education that other countries have stuck to in the past, even the one which Adolf Hitler emerged from (who, by the way, loved himself dearly and who passionately encouraged others to adore him too).   

So, what is the self?  Is the self an autonomous entity separate from the environment, the whole, the rest of mankind, the animals?  When a person says that he knows himself, what does he — actually — know?  Is such knowledge a lot of recalled patterns of bygone preferences, tendencies, opinions, images, and methodologies that have occurred in (and “as”) the past?  Recalled patterns (of the past) are from the storehouse of memory.  Recollections, from (and “as”) that memory, are always old (i.e., of the past), limited (i.e., snap-shot-like), partial, and (therefore) incomplete.  Those recollections of self, additionally, are heavily influenced by the past education and culture in which one was raised.   One’s fundamental conceptions of self were poured into one (and absorbed) during one’s youth.  Recollections and labels “about the self” are always of the past.  They are images or linguistic symbols from (and about) “what was.”  

Many people feel empowered by an elevated sense of self.   Many are enamored about themselves and they write about themselves a lot (either positively or negatively), or they are very obsessed about their physical appearance.   However, the self may not necessarily be what society has had each of us accept and take for granted.   There is a very good chance that a lot of primitive miseducation has taken place for many years.  

Unfortunate is the man or woman whose self is a fenced in, segregated, walled-off conglomeration of past images and symbolic thoughts convinced that a special space isolates what they are (or what “one is”) from the rest of life on earth.  Being walled-in is a surefire recipe for depression, no matter how financially fortunate one’s life has been, no matter how wonderful one may (superficially) think one appears physically.  To have private dominion apart from the rest of life, as something special and separate, is no cup of tea that real perception is interested in sipping.   It may be that real liberation does not come from coddling and worshipping the isolated self, as so many immature and egocentric people tend to do, but (instead) comes about when the self is understood and joyfully transcended.   The circumference around an egocentric mind is always limited, primitive, self-concocted via absorbed patterns… and is standardized, mediocre, and regimented.  Most people are very immersed in (and “as”) such a circumference; very few of them will care anything whatsoever about prudently going beyond it.  A limited, walled-in circumference inevitably brings sorrow.  All of the psychological therapy and superficial entertainment in the world will not put an end to that sorrow.

Instead of coming up with notions about “oneself,” go out (for an enlightening change) and perceive without the separative boundaries and isolated perspectives that were implanted in (and “as”) the past.  Is the perceiver so very separate from the perceived?  Walls of delusion may experience a lot of things; however, walls of delusion will never understand and see the uncontaminated truth and the eternal.   Real understanding, bliss, and balance are not of dead limitation, stale recognition, and segregation.

From the poetry of Stephen Crane:

 

The sage lectured brilliantly. 
Before him, two images: 
“Now this one is a devil, 
And this one is me.” 
He turned away. 
Then a cunning pupil 
Changed the positions. 

Turned the sage again: 
“Now this one is a devil, 
And this one is me.” 
The pupils sat, all grinning, 
And rejoiced in the game. 
But the sage was a sage. 

 

 

Super Thin Model (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Super Thin Model (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

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Two Different Minds

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When wily mediocrity mingled

           impressing dozens of cadaverous friends

When superficiality stagnated

           content with parts and very dead ends

 

Where innocence’s insight fully flowered

           near caring doubt’s entwining now

With timelessness everlastingly

           not separate from the whole of life somehow

 

 

 

 

Soldier Beetle in Chives (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Soldier Beetle in Chives (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Group Mentality

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Scientists say that we evolved from fish (over millions of years of evolutionary time). Many fish remain together in large schools.  We, as human beings, still cluster together in groups (often, just as the fish do, out of fear or out of the desire to be associated with something more substantial). When one “belongs” to a sizable group, it allows one to identify oneself with (and “as”) something larger and (apparently) much more significant. One identifies with (and becomes) the group. “It is ‘my country'”… which is so vast, powerful, and beautiful… and, so they say, “It is what I am willing to die for.” The aforementioned sentence is a typical thing stated often in various countries, each thinking that their ways and systems are better and more righteous.

Similar things happen with political parties and organized religions. Each person identifies with that large organization (which takes him away from his obscure, unsung, little self). Or, similarly, one identifies with one’s images of God; one identifies, then, with images (that one is) of something powerful, large, and almighty. People identify with something larger that is (they believe) “protecting them,” keeping them safe in a world of full of disorder and chaos.  Some people — full of indoctrinated prejudices — exclusively identify with their race, culture, political group, or family units (apart from all others).  Often, unfortunately, it is mostly about their race, or their culture, or their political group, or their family… and the rest can (more or less) go to grass.  Few of us identify with the little, poor woman or man who labors all day in the vegetable fields under a very hot sun and who gets next to nothing for payment; few actually see a little, defenseless animal as a reflection of the whole.  

Many of our man-made groups, however, are usually not as safe or as necessary as we have been lead to believe. People clinging to individual countries and religions have created wars (against each other) for millennia. People have fought about their different projections of God — and about their little idealistic groups and separate systems — for eons.

Fortunately, there are those who see beyond mere boundaries and groups and who simply help all others.  This affection and care for all others goes beyond the realm of humans and extends into the beautiful realm of animals and plants.  Some help, with real action, not for mere monetary reward but, instead, because they have real love in their hearts for all (beyond what any herd-mentality dictates).  

Can real intelligence stand alone? Without being a hermit, can one not identify with — or belong to — anything (i.e., to anything that, through limited groups and systems, separates man)? It may be that real and lasting peace may come when we go beyond the limited groups, systems, and images that we — so robotically — identify with. The mind that is seriously and intelligently aware transcends separative borders and, hence, goes beyond conflict.  (This “going beyond borders” goes beyond mere external borders and, additionally, involves transcending internal borders, false separation, and internal mental conflict.)  Such a mind, if it is truly intelligent and pristine, is beyond belonging to separative groups that cause havoc, friction, and indifference in the world.  (Our inner conflicts and separations project out into society as outer conflicts and separations.)  Prudent emptiness (which is freedom beyond being lead) — beyond crude traditions and beyond images of the past — does not need to identify with anything. Humility and real innocence need not clutch at (and identify itself with) something “larger.”  Profound innocence is a vulnerability that does not merely turn to violence (i.e., violent ways) to achieve continuity.

 

 

Group of Aphids (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Group of Aphids (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

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Mushrooming Love

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The magical multiplicity of nature

           needs integrity and care

           not ramshackle mumbo jumbo

           from insipid intellectualism sitting in choice underwear

 

A gustatory dive (without papaya or mangoes)

           of simple mushrooms and assimilated provisions

           can be polished off near a larder and fridge

           without cold emptiness’s voracious decisions

 

Mushrooming love

           There’s plenty of room for more

           not emaciated hate and indifference

           Pass on a plate to feed the poor

 

 

 

 

Mushrooming Love (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Mushrooming Love (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018