Monthly Archives of: August 2018

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Upon Awakening

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I am not the problems, this morning,
upon waking up,
that i went to bed with.
This waking is a real awakening,
a true awakening.
It is not an awakening to some second-
hand religion or separative flag
that was shoved down my throat.
It is not an awakening to what others 
have said that i was in the past.
It is even beyond what i thought i was
in the past.
It is, very possibly, a true renewal,
a true awakening
beyond the past images and labels
about myself and others.
It is not the old and stale past
getting out of bed; it is
newness, pristine perception,
and whole, healthy action
beyond mere reaction.
It is perception beyond the secondhand images

implanted by a largely immoral society.
We’ll not miss that nightmarish,
assembly-line-brain of conditioning!
The old, jaundiced brain upstairs is dis
              ­app
ear  (arh-whoooooo)

               ing
“So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plow!”  

 

 

Mushrooms deep in the woods… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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I Cried When i Took This Picture… (2nd pic)

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There is no way that someone would “like” this heartbreaking blog posting, but please “like it” if you see the seriousness of it, the environmental implications of it.  

I, not long ago, posted some information from the Sierra Club, that i belong to, about Monarch Butterfly populations declining in North America since 1997.  The Midwestern United States has seen an 88% decline.  I also recently sent in a check to a Sierra Club supported drive to get Monarch Butterfly plate decals (which would help fund the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources to support Monarch habitats).  However, nothing prepared me for the dismal discovery that i made while photographing insects in a wildflower field that was across a rural road from a farm cornfield.  I knew about how important Milkweed plants are for Monarch caterpillars, and when i’ve been out photographing lately, i’ve been curious about the Milkweed plants.  I’ve been seeing Milkweed plants that were eaten and chewed up… but no caterpillars.  Then, one day, while in the wildflower field across from a cornfield, i saw some Milkweed plants.  One Milkweed Plant was chewed up, and when i lifted a few leaves to get a closer look…  a very — and unnaturally — dead caterpillar is what was seen (i.e., the second photograph).  When i was young, corn often had a few grubs or insects around the silk end, and that little part was simply chopped off.  These days, there are never such “intruders”; heaven forbid!  People would vehemently complain!  However, the pesticides — these over-kill overly potent pesticides — you can be sure, are residually still there and are far more precarious and unhealthy than the little pests.  Little wonder why Europe doesn’t even want to get U.S. pesticide riddled corn/soy.  Additionally, another factor:  A recent study by Bret Elderd and Matthew Faldyn from Louisiana State University suggest climate change can alter the chemical composition of Milkweed making it poisonous to Monarchs.   The increase in temperatures — due to global warming — causes Milkweed plants to be stressed and produce more toxins, toxins which then become deadly to the very Monarch caterpillars that they had protected.  There are tons of people out there, unfortunately, who ignorantly deny man’s role in climate change and who do little or nothing to help change things for the better.  Sad and immoral!  

All the factors involved with this are far too vast for me to go into.  For one thing, we need to reduce our human population; in other words, keep it at more reasonable levels, live more environmentally conscious, and grow food in more organic and considerate ways.  Too few are talking seriously about any of this and it is unlikely that things will change any time soon.  The bees, too, are dwindling, and many realize that when they go, we go.

The poor Monarchs are yet another unfortunate, beautiful species harmed by man.  

 

 

Monarch Butterfly in a Wildflower Field… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Monarch Caterpillar dead 40 feet from a nearby cornfield… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Dreams

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Dreams are often a means for the mind to cope with everyday life, involving the past and the possible future, and all are projections from (and “as”) the mind.  Phantasmagoria, in most minds, are the self-protrusions of thought, stemming from the old past (though often concerned about the future).  Dreams, though superficial as they are, are an attempt by the mind at adjusting and dealing with life’s ups and downs.  Dreams are often a scenario of what may occur that is challenging; they are often a postulated sequence of future events.  Usually, though, they are far more superficial than what the waking brain would actually benefit from.  If the mind is full of conflict, problems, fear, frustration, anger, friction, and manipulation during the day, chances are that it will dream with a great deal of these “scenarios” going on.  A mind of great harmony, mindfulness, awareness, and wholeness, on the other hand, need not dream with such “scenarios” much at all.   Dreams, for such a mind of awareness, would be few and far between.  A mind of wholeness and integrity would not often dream; dreams, for such a mind, may occur, however, if certain unusual (rather incompatible) foods have been inadvertently consumed.

With a mind of great mindfulness, wholeness, and awareness, sleep is an extension of the quietness, awareness, and harmony that has gone on during the day.  That quietness is natural and is not the result of some secondhand method or stale blueprint.  Silence, during sleep, can be a motiveless vastness that is beyond accumulation, greed, fear, struggle, strife, wanting, getting, being, not being, conflict, opposites, time, concocted images, and disorder.  Then, occasionally, such a mind may see images or patterns of what will actually happen in the future; however, these insights would not merely be speculative protrusions of the mind; rather, they would entail flashes concerning what actually takes place in the future.  

Sleep can be when regeneration and rejuvenation take place, washing the mind free of habitual garbage from the past.  Silence can be of clarity and great order.  A mind without the beauty of real silence and harmony is an impoverished mind. 


 

Giant Robberflies rival dragonflies in their effectiveness as predators.  They easily catch other flying insects in flight and are voracious hunters.

 

Robber Fly … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Lo Zu regarding the Best Clouds… (Another short Lo Zu tale)…

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One young student of life asked Lo Zu, “Of all the various types of clouds in the sky,
which is the one that you deem best?”

The great sage’s penetrating eyes sagaciously looked up and he said,
“Not the huge, mountainous, white towering clouds that have accumulated much.  Neither the
saturated, heavy clouds, for each is darkly full of itself; nor the clouds that stretch, sheet-like,
blanketing the whole sky; they think that they know everything.
However, there is real beauty in the little, truly humble, faint cloud of no-mind that one can barely see,
that no one notices; it lets the sun through and helps illuminate the darkness.
  Fireflies can illuminate
darkness too; very few people love them like I love them.”

 

 

 

Firefly Illumination Happening!… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

 

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The Trashcan of the Mind

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A trashcan that is full of leftovers and rubbish cannot receive something precious, such as a priceless treasure.  We hold so much information, filling us, satiating us to the brim, and we think we are doing just wonderfully; however, the world is not, for the most part, better off because of it.  It is important to think a lot and to think in ways that are significant and that have profound meaning; too many of us, however, habitually think all kinds of needless things over and over, repetitiously.  There can be an intelligence of silence that exists beyond mere repetitious words/symbols.  This silence involves an emptiness that penetrates and that is full of life.  To be empty — truly empty — is the action of true humility.  That true humility brings about real order and the purity of “harmonious action.”  It is no longer filled with secondhand beliefs, opinions, primitive perspectives, and dead traditions; it is whole, unsullied, and pristine beyond the rubbish of propaganda and learned distortion. 

If procedures and systems involving time are needed to (supposedly) empty the mind, that is questionable; because the “cleaner/eraser (i.e., the one supposedly doing the emptying)” and the contents to be emptied are (psychologically) one and the same.  When one is engaged in such attempts at emptying, a false conflict often ensues.  One cannot, via some concocted will, make the mind empty.  With intelligent, uncalculated perception, however, there is a possibility that a timeless emptiness can exist without illusory effort.  That timeless emptiness, if it really is timeless emptiness, is what perceives beyond distortion and secondhand rubbish.  Such perception is beyond tainting, beyond corruption, beyond habitual (sequential) repetition, beyond ugly, robotic manipulation.  Such perception is a danger to all that is false.  

 

 

Monarch Butterfly on Coneflower… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

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Before After Came

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Before after came
it took some time to remember
which, of course, came before
now was ever formulated

Supposedly, depending on circumstances,
once upon a time
was reading this 
before the story’s ending was
conceived
like a grin without a face
or a tear without an “I”
as what was up
reads
d
o
w
n

 

 

Note:   Buffalo Treehopper…  The eye is not a double-exposure; that is how the eye and eye edge actually look.

Buffalo Treehopper… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Beauty Needs No Reason

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Beauty needs no reason
like bourgeois businessmen do
who strut with the deepest frowns
competitively struggling for what
beauty is not

The faceofthewings(lookclose
ly)has eyes
a dimple and a smile
That smile transcends
sorrow  

 

 

 

[Note:  Do you see the “Smiling Face” in the Swallowtail’s wings?]

The Face on the Wings of a Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Butterflies On Blooming Mexican Bird of Paradise — A Photo Essay (A Reblog of a Ken Turner Posting)…

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Becoming is Superior to Being

Variegated Fritillary On Mexican Bird of Paradise

Variegated Fritillary On Mexican Bird of Paradise

Fiery Skipper & Cloudless Giant Sulfur On Mexican Bird of Paradise

Variegated Fritillary On Mexican Bird of Paradise

Cloudless Giant Sulfur On Mexican Bird of Paradise

Cloudless Giant Sulfur On Mexican Bird of Paradise

Fiery Skipper On Mexican Bird of Paradise — Images by kenne

I’ve watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly!  Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! – not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

~William Wordsworth, “To a Butterfly”

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Habits

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Many people do things habitually, mechanically, without thinking, without much awareness, in very robotic ways.  The mind gets used to functioning in (and “as”) habit; dullness, and incessant routine set in, making the mind more and more repetitive, more and more machine-like.  People get so used to repeating the same set of routines day after day, month after month, year after year, such that they hardly know (or try) anything different.  (Air-polluting, fossil fuel spewing vacations aren’t a way out of this, by the way.)

Many people mindlessly and habitually cling to what they were taught, religiously, politically, nationally, ethically, socially, culturally, at home and in the office.  To them, “THIS IS THE WAY THINGS MUST BE DONE,” and that is that.  Then they remain teaching their children to dwell in the same grooves, to function in the same patterns.  Anyone who questions the status quo is considered a trouble-maker or some kind of freak and is cast out.  It may be, however, that, in such an atmosphere, true creativity and true “aliveness” is squelched.  In such an environment, the truly insightful and the truly creative person is considered an oddball.  

Be one of the lemmings if you want to (like most want to), but as for that… well, it’s not for me.  Like Einstein, i don’t give a rat’s behind about “fitting-in” or about superficial appearances.  It’s the deeper things that matter, and you can’t go deeper if you are stuck in superficial paradigms and one-dimensional routines.

 

 

Blue Damsel… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Current News Regarding the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S.A. (and overcoming real corruption)…

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The EPA will roll back the Obama-era auto-fuel-efficiency standards.  The agency threatens to revoke California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act, which allows it to require cleaner cars.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke denies that his department censors science.  A National Park Service report on how it will deal with climate change omits all references to human causation.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t want to give threatened species as much protection as endangered ones.

The Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program wins multiple court rulings: Now the BLM must disclose the climate impacts of fossil fuel development in the Powder River Basin; the Trump administration can’t overturn the ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic without judicial review; and the administration can’t delay increased penalties for automakers to violate fuel-economy standards.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry calls moving away from fossil fuels “immoral.”

The Bureau of Land Management blames a “breakdown of technology” for its failure to note 42,000 public comments in support of protections for the greater sage-grouse.

“I really don’t know” if humans cause climate change, says the head of the EPA’s scientific advisory board.

(The above information is from the Sierra Club that i belong to.)

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“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”  — Albert Einstein

 

Overcoming Real Corruption… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Especially I Just Want to Breathe

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Especially i just want to breathe
     when air is getting dirtier
Especially i just want to see
     when the world’s views are getting cloudier
Especially i just want to hear
     when so few are really listening
Especially i want to smell
     when so many just pass the flowers by
Especially i want to feel
     when many are just indifferent
And most especially i want to live
     beyond a cadaverous respectful comfort

 

 

Question Mark Butterfly, and why not? Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Comparison

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Comparison is often such a vulgar and unnecessary thing.  Many people, throughout life, continue to habitually compare themselves with others.  Those “others” are often very standard, ordinary, bourgeois, and dull.  People compare their home, livelihood, lifestyle, and overall life, with others.  Comparison invites imitation; imitation reinforces “second-handedness” and conformity to formulated, standardized “set patterns.”  Fear often emanates from comparison…  “Will I be as successful as them?”   “Am I too different?”  Comparison often paves the way to jealousy and superficial showing-off and boasting.  (Some people, for instance, go ga-ga, trying to have the hugest and “most pretty” home; this is so childish and superficial.)  Taunting another may often involve comparison.  Comparison thrives in the world of the opposites (where differences are often magnified).  Comparison can make the mind dull; it can be what nourishes mental sorrow. 

The wise mind can exist where comparison is seen for what it is and where it is put in its appropriate place (where its limited aspects are seen).  Such a mind can be of a profound joy where comparison does not often needlessly enter.  When the mind compares, the mind is comparison (within the limited corridor of the opposites).  Uniqueness and spontaneous insight usually do not ever depend upon comparison.  Comparison and contrasting correlations can be very useful at times, but the mind need not depend upon them as deeply as it usually does.  Perceiving directly, without employing comparison, is often very significant and profound.  

 

 

No need to compare! Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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How many legs do you really have?… another short Lo Zu Tale…

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As a young student was walking by, Lo Zu asked, “How many legs do you have?” 
The young student replied, “Two!”
Then Lo Zu remarked, “That is a shame.”

Many weeks later, the same young student observed Lo Zu and asked,
“Why is it that you often bend down and focus upon the insects and spiders?”
After some silence, the great sage answered,  “What you think you are, you are not… and what appears to be what you are not, you are.  For instance, when an ant is looked at, a deep perception consists of six legs.  When a spider is examined, a great perception consists of eight legs.  When butterflies are seen, a deep perception embodies wings, and when bees are observed, there is diligence and responsibility.
There is no “I” or “me” regarding this, since both are merely empty, delusive, learned abstractions.
Therefore, this does not involve mere identification; it is much deeper than that!
Most people merely 
see things with lazy eyes of delusion and separation.”
“I don’t quite understand,” said the student.
With a tender smile, Lo Zu warmly replied, “That is OK; maybe someday you will understand and no
longer be
just another one of the two-leggers.”  

 

 

Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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Human Overpopulation

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It’s supposed to be
pockets of human beings,
not pockets of the whole of nature!

 

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I speak from the heart on this.  My wife and i do not have any children.  I love kids and had worked for my career as a teacher for the multiply handicapped, but this planet has way more than its share of humans.  In the past, i have lost a number of girlfriends because of my stance on this.  It is very interesting (and tragic) that this most vital subject — that directly impacts the whole earth and all of its creatures including man — is mostly neglected (and not seriously considered) worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

In too limited of a space… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018