All Posts Filed in ‘mindfulness

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Psychological Space

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We have space psychologically and, for most of us, it is very limited. Everyone seems to have a space between the so-called central “I” (or “me”) and the “other” thoughts that this “I” is purportedly thinking. People do not realize that this “I” (or “me”) is neither central nor truly “in control” of the so-called “other” thoughts. The image of a center is just a projection of the psychological process and (as such) it is not truly manipulating anything. However, unfortunately, minds conditioned and taught to perceive through this illusory mode of operation tend to be very uncomfortable about going beyond it. The “I” was not designed for one to have insight and holistic perception; the “I” formed as an extension for self-preservation. Preservation and care for the body are crucial and very necessary. “Thinking” was to tool to help in regard to that. But then thought began to make itself out to be the essence of the organism. Then it began projecting the “I,” the “me,” imagining the “I” or the “me” to be a central regulatory entity that dominates or produces the so-called subservient thoughts.

People have, psychologically, created a space between the “I” and other thoughts, (thoughts that the “I” allegedly manipulates). They have space between the perceiver and “that which is perceived.” Such (limited) space is often internal (i.e., between the “me” and the other thoughts). It also, all too often, deals with the external… “me” separate from the animal that is hunted by me.

Going beyond the “I” due to keen insight is what negates these false constructs within the mind. Going beyond the “I,” the “so-called center,” the “me,” is not dangerous. On the contrary, it is only a very intelligent, aware mind that does so. And in so doing, it transcends friction, separation, conflict, illusory fabrications, and internal falsities. Then the body and the mind are in perfect harmony beyond the need to control. This lack of control is not chaos; on the contrary, it is an orderly movement involving insight from a profound whole.

When most people observe, they are observing fragmentarily, with — and from — learned separation. They are observing through a conditioned screen of thought/thinking (involving labels, categorization, and separative distance). This separative structure is of a very crude nature and it is very limited. Such limitation allows very little room for true joy and insight.

Deep compassion occurs when the mind transcends the illusoriness of the supposedly separate “central I.” When other life forms are not merely seen from a separative distance, then a real (much more profound) kind of intelligence manifests; it may involve a space that is not limited. This manifestation is of order and right action. Such right action is not merely a series of dull, learned routines reoccurring as mundane, dead-from-the-heart-up reactions.

Turkey Tail Arms … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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About “Prayer”

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The following is not meant to offend those who pray. If you are into “praying,” please read this as objectively as possible.

Praying is still what a lot of people do. Why do people pray and what does praying involve? We must be careful not to overly or subjectively analyze it, since (psychologically) the analyzer is not something truly separate from the analyzed.

People who pray will tell you that they are praying to God, to what they consider or think/feel God to be. Fundamentally, in all actuality, they are praying to an image (of what their thoughts consider God to be). This image is a protrusion of their thinking process. It is a product and fabrication of thought/thinking. One of the associative feelings or suppositions regarding this projected image, regarding what “God” is considered to be, involves attributes of power, dominance, (and all of this with a heavily anthropomorphic bent). In other words, this image of God — within people, constituting part of their minds — consists of human (often fatherly) attributes; these images, for instance, tend to be formulated of human attributes involving such things as great strength, power, endurance, fortitude, fairness, awareness, and keen judgment. (Most people do not harbor internal images of a lazy, indifferent, weak God. Most brains do not harbor associative constructs tying images of God to inefficiency, indolence, and to a complete lack of awareness.)

Many ardently cling to this image involving domination and power — whom they call “God” — and will insist that it is more than a self-projected image that they carry. Curiously, if one examines honestly, there is another image that they carry that (coincidentally) also involves great domination and power. Do you realize what it is? It is the image of the self. It is the image of the “I” and/or the “me.” However, most of us do not see it for what it is (i.e., a projected, concocted image); most of us see it (or feel it) to be the permanent, separate, central orchestrator and core regulator of all of the other thoughts. Most of us see it as what has true domination and power; it (to us) is what is having domination and power over the “other” thoughts (and is separate from them). (So there exists domination and power regarding “God” and domination and power involving the “I” or the “me.”) We don’t see the “I” for what it really is… another protrusion of thought/thinking that (in reality) is neither powerful, dominant, nor truly central. However, most all of us cling to this psychological structure because it fits in well with what everyone else has absorbed and accepted as legitimate. We evolved from primitive hominids in an environment where domination and power were critical and extremely important. Following leaders of power — or forces of power — was critical and necessary way back then, wasn’t it? We haven’t dropped those old-fashioned ways.

A few additional points:
So when people pray to God concerning things that need to be done for others, for instance, are they pointing out things that this God may be negligent about understanding or that this God is not quite fully adequate at being aware of? If mentally handicapped people and animals are not gifted enough to pray to what may involve dominance and power, does this mean that they are largely plum out of luck? When a person prays, may it be that that person feels that he or she is involved in a direct pipeline to something considered powerful and dominating (i.e., which — let’s face it — is that person’s image of God) with, all the while, this pipeline being something considered special? And could it be that the previous question implies that psychologically imagining that one has such a pipeline, in oneself, nourishes a form of self-aggrandizement, blowing up the ego of the one so imagining?

So…

Personally, one does not pray in the traditional sense. One rolls up one’s sleeves. My prayer — if it is any form of prayer at all (which it really isn’t) — is the “doing.” I worked throughout life with the handicapped, with the mentally disadvantaged, and with those in real need. If we perceive with real intelligence and understanding, then compassion is there, the sacred is there. But it is not of dominance and power, and all of that traditional, projected, nonsensical crap.

Praying Angel with the Golden Wings … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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When one was young…

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When one was very young, one loved nature a lot. Nearing 70 years of age, one still loves nature a lot.

Starting at the 5th Grade level, they put me in parochial school; we had to attend mass every morning. As a child, one thought, “They don’t have God locked up in a golden box on the alter; God (i.e., what is sacred) is outdoors in nature, with life… with all of the trees and creatures.” One still feels the same way.

In the playground, as a kid, they had us pledging allegiance to a flag. As a child, way back then, one saw it as a rag on a stick; one saw how so-called separate countries were in battle with each other (each with their own so-called “special flag”). As a kid, the whole thing seemed so mindless and totally absurd. One kept silent as the other kids endlessly repeated the pledge. At around 70, one still feels the same way.

As a child, one was the only kid in our grade school class who would help a fellow student (in class) who happened to be mentally retarded. At the end of the grade school years, his mother saw me in a department store and passionately thanked me. I also helped foreign students who were struggling to learn English. Much later on in life, my adult profession was being a teacher for the multiply handicapped.

While in grade school years, while one was sitting in one’s room alone, one suddenly went beyond the thought/thinking process; one realized how “special,” “magical,” “intelligent,” and “whole” it was. It was instantaneous (i.e., timeless) whereas thinking was a process that took time. One continued to engage with (or “as”) whatever it was; one continues to be appreciative of it to this day. One can call it “meditation,” but what it involves transcends all words and labels.

One was always amazed at how cruel and indifferent other fellow grade-school students could be. For instance, they would often tease and mock the boy who happened to be mentally retarded. Now, at around 70, one is amazed at how cruel and indifferent adults can be. For instance, former President Trump openly mocking a handicapped man (and mindless masses still voting for him — even with all of his cruelty and racism — and ardently supporting him).

When one was young, one didn’t just regurgitate what was poured into one; one questioned things and pondered things for oneself. After all of these years, one still (thank goodness) questions things and ponders beyond the stagnant, normative traditions.

Does my blogging help much if that person hasn’t previously already figured a lot of it out as a kid? One wonders, one really wonders…

One was here in the past… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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Nothingness and the ego or “I”…

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Most of us equate nothingness with worthlessness, with triviality, with insignificance. We are terrified of psychological nothingness, and when nothingness occurs, psychologically, we hurriedly run away from it with chattering thoughts, beliefs (that are extensions of thought/thinking), suppositions, and all kinds of entertainments, including television shows (with their sports and movies), radio shows, and internet correspondences. We were all taught to be something, to constantly pursue things with motives to achieve more and more (and still more). Most of us are internally prejudiced against psychological nothingness; it tends to frighten us and we automatically run away from it.

We were taught (directly or indirectly) that the “I,” the psychological center, the ego, the inner “controller” is very substantial. To most of us — let’s face it — it is the most substantial thing of all. Everything revolves around the “I” and the “me”; to suggest that the “I,” the “me,” is very insubstantial and false would be considered blasphemy by most people. (Such talk goes against their core values, their core essence.) Has your mind ever significantly pondered about what the “I,” the “me,” actually is? Most people don’t bother to ponder about it but they merrily go on referring to the “I” and the “me” and habitually function with such manifestations (that they didn’t bother to deeply ponder about).

Without thought/thinking, there can be no internal “I” or “me.” The “I” and the “me” are dependent upon thought/thinking. Without “thinking,” there is no “I” or “me.” The “I” and the “me” are protrusions of thought/thinking and are (in fact) fabrications (i.e., extensions) of the thinking process. The mind can perfectly function just fine without the inner notion of “I” or “me,” and can often do so with compassion, holistic awareness, empathy, and intelligence. In fact, a brain that exclusively functions with or from an “I” or “me” is a brain of separation, isolation, limitation, and division. A brain of separation, isolation, limitation, division, and imitation, may be considered to be intelligent by many people, but it may not be very intelligent. The “me” is considered separate from other thoughts, people, and organisms. It functions from (and “as”) a limited, separative, isolating space that thought/thinking has concocted. It may be that this concocted limited, isolating space is what is truly illusory and (hence) essentially (in a very limited way) nothing. And it may be that a rather egoless mind — without often depending on projections of “I” and/or “me” — can function as (or “with”) a vast, boundless emptiness. Such a vast emptiness (i.e., vast nothingness) is beyond motive and may be sacred, timeless, inclusive, immeasurable, highly sensitive and intelligent, and of a bliss far from what petty minds can fabricate. A brain consisting of a limited, little ego made up of a learned and fabricated “I” tends to be rather superficial and illusory; a mind of a truly holistic, vast, dynamic, immeasurable nothingness tends to be of true intelligence, understanding, compassion, and deep perception.

Curiosity Overview … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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Death

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It’s not a subject that most of us care to consider. We, most all of us, tend to push it off, avoiding thinking about it. Shortly before my wonderful wife Marla recently passed, i tenderly said to her, “If things should happen to go south with this, death will not keep us apart for very long; death is too superficial, too shallow.”

I am very appreciative of the warm condolences within my previous blog posting and in cards and letters that people have sent to me. It means a lot.

Death is not (at all) what most people think. As Walt Whitman sagaciously wrote, “And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” There are different kinds of death/dying. There is the death of the physical body; there is the death of a mind that merely goes through life blindly accepting things according to tradition, organizations, and leaders (who, themselves are not truly living). There is the death that permeates a mind of indifference, callousness, and narcissistic behavior. (Perhaps such a mind was never truly alive whatsoever.) So many of us assume that we are living and free; we may not be.

There is, however, a dying, a “good dying,” throughout life, that can exist, psychologically, that may truly be a very highminded, splendid, and vibrant kind of living. A wise entity, who is frequently psychologically dying to dead, stale, stagnant, second-hand thoughts, may be engaging in one of the highest forms of living. As one has often said, thoughts and words are merely symbols and are, for the most part, never the actualities that they stand for and represent. However, most of us live in (and exist through) the domain of thought/thinking. (And we perceive through the screen of thought/thinking.) It’s tragic, really, and (actually) few of us are truly living. We accept authorities and organizations that are, in themselves, rather static, barbaric, and dead. We are followers, rarely thinking and discovering for ourselves. To be second-hand, repeating what was fed into you, is what computers are essentially capable of; it is also what too many of us exclusively do. We were trained to imitate and copy… not to feel and question.

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To measure your life in terms of time
may not be truly living
Slaves of space and time read poems from
a separation
from a calculated learned distance

And since real poetry is living and is dynamically immeasurable
most readers are incapable of being the read

so they go on in superficial ways that are
not nearly alive and not quite fully dead

The very next line goes from here to there
like the measured time
that you likely exist as

And a poem may come to an end

In the backyard… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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My Beloved Wife Marla Passed

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My beloved wife Marla passed away on 10/07/20 due to complex complications from Wilson’s Disease. Her Hepatologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center said that it was amazing that she lived as long as she did. This makes me feel that i succeeded rather well at helping her with her illnesses. Marla was very brave and went through a lot of suffering. She was born with Wilson’s Disease, an autosomal recessive genetic disorder rendering the body to be unable to eliminate excess copper naturally. She had an auto-allergic reaction due to the penicillamine medication that she was on for Wilson’s in the past; penicillamine has a lot of very bad side-effects. At that time, she almost died from ARDS and ended up with only half-lung capacity. She suffered from dystonia — a strong tightening of the muscles involuntarily — and had to have Botox injections deep in her neck every two to three months. Due to the chronic dystonia of her neck, she had to have 8 cervical vertebrae replaced with titanium implants. She then lost the ability to swallow and had to (permanently) eat via enteral feeding (i.e., by a tube going into her stomach area). Before i retired, i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped, and — for decades — helped with enteral feeding (i.e., stomach feeding tubes) with some of my students; so i was very experienced with helping Marla with hers. Marla then had to have shoulder surgery… and then reconstructive shoulder surgery. She had Elastosis perforans Syndrome, a skin disorder (on her thighs) caused by having been on the penicillamine for years before getting on the better (less intrusive) new zinc therapy. She often told me that she had a low threshold for bearing pain but she was way more brave and stalwart than i could have ever been. Despite her pain and struggles, we had a whole lot of great, joyful times together.

I fell in love with Marla largely because of her warm and compassionate heart. She always put others first and was always thinking of others. She often made things for others, like quilts, fancy embroidery things, and homemade lotions. She was a nurse and often would take her elderly mother to the doctors. Everyone who met Marla loved her radiant, caring personality. I am so honored to be her husband.

Please consider donating to the Wilson Disease Association at http://www.wilsonsdisease.org

The following is one of the E. E. Cummings poems that i read at her beautiful outdoor memorial service along the Kankakee River:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

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The first photo is from our Wedding Day. The second photo is Marla, many years later, with one of our puppy-dogs. Marla always loved dogs.

Our Wedding, November 9, 1985
Marla Pic 2
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Staring at the Soft Moon One Night

19 comments

[Note: The following poem was written days ago and was prescheduled. This note was written on 10/1/2020. Marla, my wife was taken to the emergency room today regarding sudden serious problems with her liver. She has Wilson’s Disease. I will be absent from blogging and will not be able to respond to comments. Take care and stay safe. ]

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staring at the soft moon one night
the next hard morning was driving home
past lawyers past schoolgirls
past praying bugs and all alone

like wind-up toys they judge and vote
and next some raking leaves work fast
then eating sleeping peeing dressing
wondering how long life will last

to wake up dead or alive or between
an eternal fleeting poem continues on
scanning eyes from word to word
your story starts with Once upon

to kiss or hate or just sit still
to get to want to follow
while compassion sings the best of all
Beyond self-deception hard to swal

low

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Note: This is a Praying Mantis. She is a female, laden with eggs. Because of the rotten, declining environment, there are fewer Praying Mantises in our area every year. Years ago, we used to see Mantises frequently; now we rarely see any. I found this one in a hospital garden, along a river, that used to have a lot of them. This was the only one that i saw. Fortunately, female Mantises do not need males in order to reproduce; they can produce fertile eggs and young that are exact clones of themselves. (It sure seems like my childhood premonitions about man ruining the environment are, many decades later, turning out to be true.)

Praying Mantis … Photo by Thomas Peace c.2020
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Language and Meditation/Mindfulness

11 comments

One would like to reiterate that language oftentimes plays a tremendous role in regard to how we view the world. Language, whether we care to admit it or not, predisposes us to see the world… usually in rather primitive, erroneous, crass ways. After all, language evolved millennia ago (in its basic forms) and we, for the most part, continue on with — and accepting — the same crude, old thing. Our conditioning goes much further in its entrapment by language, further and much deeper than we realize.

As i’ve mentioned before, Professor David Bohm, Einstein’s protege, whom one has talked to a lot many years ago, developed new ideas for a more evolved style of language (via the Rheomode) wherein verbs play a much more predominant role, rather than nouns (as the rather isolated, static objects that nouns generally are). These days, we continue to use language rather primitively and wrongly. The extent of this goes far deeper than many of us suppose. Language loads us with presuppositions and inaccuracies that have trickled down from the primitive past.

When someone says, for example, “I had an insight,” it presupposes that the observer is separate from the observed; it presupposes that some supposed “static” center was at some psychological distance from what the process of insight was and “had it”. In reality, deep insight exists as a movement that no central, isolated “I” actually “has” or can legitimately take credit for. A supposed central agency (that is not really central whatsoever), being static, conceptual, essentially virtual, and essentially fragmentary, cannot justifiably take credit for having what is a movement of substantiality, a holistic movement. An empty sealed jar cannot hold the wind.

When we look, we see — via language, as we were taught — a world of separate things. We see fragmentarily, in a (set, prearranged) sequence developed by language. “This” as separate from “that,” “this” following “that.” Language consists of sequence and fragmentary movements through (and “as”) time.

Do not be a slave to language. This movement asks you to please look deeply beyond it.

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A poem from E.E. Cummings:

n

ot eth
eold almos
tladyf eebly
hurl ing
cr u

mb

son ebyo
neatt wothre
efourfi ve&six
engli shsp
arr ow

s

Butt er fly upcl ose … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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Timelessness and Time

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We function in (and “as”) time. Time involves distinctive patterns in sequences. Thought/thinking is of time; thought/thinking is time. Distinctive, disparate patterns in (and “as”) time allows for conflict, friction, and discord to take place. Needless to say, a lot of friction and disharmony takes place in today’s world; just look at the newspapers to see plenty of that going on.

There is a nameless, sacred timelessness that exists at (or “as”) another dimension completely. It is not of conflictive patterns; it is not of sequences of discord; it is not of fragments involving disorder. It is coherent and is of a harmonious whole, beyond mere conflict and chaos.

Organized religions cannot take you there; organized religions are based on achievement, progress, and movement to goals (in time)… all involving calculated (man-made) patterns. That namelessness is beyond the cause-effect parameters of patterns; it is not some causally induced “effect achieved” or end result.

Thought/thinking, though oftentimes very necessary in functioning, cannot take you to that otherness. Thought can play all kinds of tricks but it cannot take you to where it cannot function… to where it has never functioned (and to where it never will function). (Thought/thinking can easily imagine that it is of wholeness and that it is in great silence and in the special quietness of “not being thought”… while — all the while — it is deceiving itself.) Thought/thinking is always conditioned, always in (or part of) a cause-effect sequence, always reactionary, always rather virtual, always fragmentary, and always rather secondhand. Well, that’s enough thinking for now.

Pale Green Assassin Bug, waiting with his different-colored bait … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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The Limited Consciousness

15 comments

Can consciousness actually be in contact with the infinite when such a consciousness always functions with (and “as”) the limited? It cannot. The mind can think or feel that it is in contact with the infinite, but that is mere reaction and not the actuality. It is immensely easy for the mind to delude itself and trick itself into believing and thinking all sorts of things. A consciousness of fragmentation, for example, can convince itself that it is of wholeness and freedom… while, in actuality, that is not the case whatsoever.

Unfortunately, most people are quite content to merely — in very limited ways — accept the traditions and beliefs that were handed down to them. (Curiously, this is even the case with many of those writing on meditation or mindfulness in books, blogs, and such, as if they have transcended something, when fundamentally they have not.) Most people in limitation — which is of confinement — feel “safe.” They do not truly reexamine all that they were taught. They do not fully question what was spoon-fed to them. (Many assume that they have broken from the standard, run-of-the-mill consciousness but, fundamentally, they have not.) They, among countless others, were taught to conform, obey, absorb, accept, and adhere to all of the traditional outlooks and images. Is a consciousness raised in such a way, and programmed in such a way, much more than a bundle of reactions?

One reaction after another, in life, is limitation, is fragmentation. Holistic contact is much more than mere reaction, but far too many people are merely reacting and are not involved with (or “as”) what is beyond. It is beyond what they spoon-fed into you. It is beyond beliefs, conditionings, and symbolic, sequential thoughts and ordinary feelings (which are all limited reactions). Though the physical organism is important to maintain in time, the old “you” cannot merely psychologically exist (for that immensity and nameless eternity to visit).

Among the Coneflowers … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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On Becoming Whole

24 comments

Recently, within the last week or two, one of the regular blogs that i visited, as part of a rather poetic posting that it had about things to accomplish, mentioned — among other things — “becoming whole.” Not wishing to criticize here, but that posting — like so many blogs that are similar to it by well-meaning others — has very good intentions but (one feels) misses the mark (so to speak). (Unfortunately — for others — people who write about wholeness and mindfulness, but who have never actually gone through deep and profound enlightenment — though their intentions are good — are like blind men writing about the beauty of good photography.)

To have the aspiration of “becoming whole” may seem well and good but it may actually have the unintentional backfiring effect of being quite misleading and misdirecting. For instance, do any of us deeply question “what” or “who” is going to be “becoming whole”? If what purports to become whole is some illusory “center” that one has accepted (via miseducation) as some kind of core controller in the middle of consciousness that is (supposedly) orchestrating things, then one may be wasting time with fictitious, barbaric paradigms. Frankly, as one has pointed out in numerous blogs (previously), there is no legitimate “center” that is in control. (And do not misconstrue this; this does not mean, because of a lack of a true center, that one should get all depressed about a lack of security and eternity in life; nothing could be further from the case. Security, order, and eternity are there in abundance with right understanding.)

If there is no legitimate center, and there isn’t, then what is it that is going to psychologically “become”? One may become a better cook, a better gardener, a better photographer (over time). These all have to do with physical improvements over (and in) time regarding fragmentary and sequential frameworks… and in such frameworks, they are quite valid. However, wholeness — real wholeness, not silly mental constructs and fabrications about what wholeness is — may be beyond the framework of time. Time, thought, and everything in time (including thought) is fragmentary and sequential. Real wholeness is a timelessness beyond all of this. And an illusory, petty little “center” — that one has blindly accepted from society (from your parents and educators) as being legitimate — purportedly thinks that it can progress (in sequential time) to what it says is whole. It cannot. An illusory fragmentation (as an accepted image of something “central”) cannot become what is pristine and what is beyond sequential, time-oriented paradigms.

It would be prudent, before proceeding on a quest for truth, to do so without carrying a heavy load of preconceptions/presumptions (i.e., a heavy load of baggage). And without the psychological baggage, it may be that there would not be a false, fragmentary network seeking what it could never be. And there is great beauty in that.

Not an Electrical Array … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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Suffering and Beyond

17 comments

We all suffer in the journey of life. The rich and the poor suffer. The rich may think that they suffer less, but what are they rich in? If they are well-to-do with lots of money but are short on real compassion, insight, and wisdom, are they truly rich? Most of us were miseducated on what true richness in life entails; then we go through life bereft of the real treasures, empty of real substance.

Animals (other than our own species) also suffer. Many are currently suffering because of the overindulgence of man… too much cement, too much pollution, too much loss of habitat. There is also the competition in nature between the many animals; many have to struggle among themselves for survival. It’s a tough world out there.

When one looks with barriers, through psychological walls of separation (as one has been mistaught to), then one doesn’t do much about the suffering. Ironically, these very walls (i.e., psychological walls) tend to enclose and greatly contribute to one’s own so-called personal suffering.

True intelligence not only helps much suffering to end in the exterior world — via compassion and action (because “others” aren’t so separate any longer) — but also transcends suffering internally (or psychologically, so to speak). When a mind goes beyond crude ways of perceiving, then a totally different dimension may take place (that is — to a large degree — beyond the friction and pain of regular life). A mind that consists of reaction after reaction is bound to suffer; a mind that does not always react like a programmed robot may transcend much suffering.

Vertical Ascension … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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Environmental Thunder

27 comments

[Note: I despise politics, but these are critical, precarious times when one must get somewhat “political.” The current diabolical U.S. administration is endorsing coal and fossil fuels and is deregulating and dismantling environmental mandates/regulations, not to mention destroying democracy and free-voting. Each year there are fewer butterflies, fewer bees, fewer lightning bugs, fewer of myriad types of wildlife creatures… not to mention fewer healthy people.

The cover of a recent Sierra Club environmental magazine stated: “Vote like the Planet depends on it (because it does).”]

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Clear-eyed lightning thundering into people
as a person whose booming tinkering
blew separative self-seekers into roaring trepidation

Powerful winds upsetting murky, muddy minds of seem
groundlessly thinking they were of clear, illuminated skies
but falsely emancipated in dead houses of opaque beliefs

Earth’s life creatures were dying, not from the tempest
but from the stale, stagnant home-dwellers indifferent,
enclosed abodes of security hiding from the perfume of life

The tumultuous clapping was earth desperately tenacious
among the sullied world of gadgets, plastic, and fossil fuels
(Their adherence to self-gratification… not worth the price)

Two Insects … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020


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Freewill and Deception

11 comments

Ambrose Bierce defined “decide” as ‘to succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another.’ But let’s inquire further. What is it that is doing the “succumbing”? It may actually be — which many people will not care to face — that conditioned reactions help to constitute what one set of influences does over another… and that the knee-jerk concept of “I” or “me” is basically a conditioned protrusion of thought that occurs later (as it falsely appears to take the credit for “deciding”). Additionally, it may be that the conception of “I” or “me,” before any apparent “deciding” takes place, is also merely a learned social projection (of thinking) that is (essentially) unnecessary. Transcending this illusory “center” — that never truly was a center in the first place — takes the intelligence of wisdom. (Such wisdom is of an eternity beyond the falsity of a learned center.)

Are we merely at the mercy of inevitable conditioned responses that render us to be merely rather robotic and computer-like in nature? We say, “Not necessarily.” The (healthy and wise) mind can look holistically, in a manner that is more in-tune with the whole and not merely immersed in (and “as”) fragmentary parts and conditioned robotic reactions. However, there is no “green flag” that pops up in the mind, revealing that one is looking holistically. One cannot “know” that holistic mindfulness is happening. In truth, this may tie into the fact that holistic insight (as profound understanding) is beyond the field of the known.

Real compassion — not the phony kind set up for everyone to see — relies very little on the “I” or the “me.” The poor bloke who is in love with himself (i.e., in love with his “I” and “me”) cares little, for the most part, for others. The real jewel in life may not be what you were taught; it may not be what is construed as being your special center. There is, psychologically, no special center. Thank goodness!

Long-Legged Fly … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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Living and Enlightenment

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Note: (I’ve dropped out of blogging for a while because i’ve been very busy with other projects. I may — or may not — be doing much blogging in the future; it depends upon my time and some other factors. For those who are truly “inquiring” in all of this, what i have written is always there — and elsewhere — if you know how to look. Regarding the blogging, posting close-up nature pictures has always been a small part of my offerings, although the main focus has always been the philosophy. Followers who have primarily focused on the pictures have really missed the whole point; it’s like focusing on the tie that a good philosopher is wearing, rather than actually listening to what he has to say… which is sad in regard to the picture — or mere tie — lover. That being said, the number of insect species and other small species disappearing in the environment is alarming, to say the least. It breaks my heart to go picture-taking and seeing fewer wildlife species each year, and it is not just in our area; it is all over. Additionally, so many millions of people, such as in America, succumbing to heartless political propaganda — that includes indifference to the health of the environment — is equally cataclysmic… and, of course, the two situations are closely related.)

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So many of us have assumed that we are fully living. However, a person who has been through true satori (i.e., true visitation from that eternal, sacred energy) realizes that people are only “alive” and “living” to a very limited, fragmentary extent. Such so-called “living” is only a rather seed-like state that has never really blossomed whatsoever. To truly change fundamentally, the instrument that is looking is perceiving beyond distortion. That instrument is the mind (and perception of the mind is not separate from what the mind is). Before one starts “cleaning” the mind into what one thinks it “should be” one must realize that there is no separate “cleaner” or “changer” and that time is not a necessary factor. And the “should be” is a projection of the mind that may help create illusions of separation, such as (psychologically) the so-called separation between the “changer” and the “changed.” Thought takes time; thought is psychological time and is separative and fragmentary. A vast, whole, timeless intelligence does exist.

Covered in pollen… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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Fundamentally Erroneous

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To be fundamentally wrong is one thing. But to be fundamentally erroneous with regard to the basic framework or essence of one’s whole psyche is extraordinarily significant. From the day that you were born, they coddled you with warm words that supported the imagery of a center… a central dominating “controller” that is at the core of consciousness dominating and running everything. However, as we’ve mentioned in past blogs, scientists have split the brain (via splitting the corpus callosum) and have created two separate fields of consciousness. The center is fictitious (yet everyone believes in it).

The repetitive operation of a fictitious center — that is not really central at all — creates much mischief; it is separative, illusory, fragmentary, and power-oriented; it depends upon separative borders; it creates a circumference around itself. It, additionally, is a waste of time and energy. Little wonder why there is so much human havoc in the world. We operate with distorted (mental) equipment. Most humans are “off the beam.” Look at the world around you. Look at the narcissistic, sociopathic leaders in America and the world.

How can stability and harmony deeply exist if the essence of consciousness is based on a false premise? We say things like, “I’m working at improving my memory.” You are your memory… and there is no you separate from memory (using it from a distance). Then we surmise that without a center, we will not be secure in eternity. On the contrary, it is the very clinging to a dominating, illusory center that negates the full and comprehensive understanding of beautiful eternity. Distortion cannot perceive the fundamental nature of eternity clearly.

Mr. Lightning Bug waiving Hello on the Fern Plant… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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Tadpole to Frog/Toad Metamorphosis, Quantum Mechanics, and Psychological Boundaries

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The following short video explains how Quantum Mechanics is involved in the transition of a tadpole into a mature frog or toad. Such metamorphosis is simply amazing; a lot of what nature does is very spectacular. The video probably explains it much better than i could with written words, and the video is a clip from that excellent Curiosity Stream segment that i mentioned to everyone in my previous blog posting. It’s certainly worth a watch! (When you were an embryo early-on in the womb, you had a tail.)

In the quantum world, boundaries can be penetrated. More of that needs to take place in the human psychological realm as well. When boundaries are truly transcended… that is when real eternity and sacredness can be perceived. But most of us are stuck in limited psychological boundaries. Too many of us hide behind (learned and absorbed) walls of racism, behind learned walls of indifference toward the handicapped and less fortunate, and behind (and “as”) learned walls of a “me” somehow separate from “others.” Have you ever considered that the learned walls of separation may actually help constitute what your consciousness is… and that without these mental (mis)conceptions, the separate “me” or separate “I” would not exist? Apparently, illusion and being “duped” is common, and “most-people” just accept it wholeheartedly without question. Little wonder why the world is quickly being ruined by a particularly odd, obtuse bipedal species. Will we wake up and transform beyond what is causing so much havoc in the world? Our biological clocks are ticking and there may not be much time left.

Please note the remnant tadpole-like-sucking-lips at the central area of this toad’s mouth. 🙂 Please note the eyes that are still very fish-like. Many of us — with our biological clocks — evolved (over time) from fish (but i won’t be eating our pet tropical fish’s food any time soon).

Mr. Toadster Head Study… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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Photosynthesis in Plants, Quantum Waves, and the Mind

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—- In memory of George Floyd — (and those countries that were once free of dictators)

There exists some good evidence that plants, during photosynthesis, employ quantum processes to convert the energy that was captured from the sun into usable energy. During the light-absorption of photosynthesis in plants, a photon excites an electron in a chlorophyll molecule to create a structure called an exciton—an entity containing both the excited electron and the positively charged hole it leaves behind. This exciton then searches by moving until it reaches a protein complex called the reaction center where further processing of the energy is necessary.  According to traditional, incoherent processes, the exciton would have to hop from one chlorophyll molecule to another to randomly search for the reaction center. But that would take too long. In taking too long, its energy would be lost. It has to find the reaction center almost instantly.

In order to get there almost instantly, the exciton may actually be “quantum coherent” such that it travels like a wave, it can explore all possible paths simultaneously and only take the most efficient route. A television show that is featured on the Curiosity Channel offers excellent examples of this, but most of you probably do not subscribe to the Curiosity Channel. The Curiosity Channel explains that it is like a blindfolded man in a thick forest who has to get to the reaction center (which is somewhere within the forest). He can randomly search by bumping into tree after tree until he bumps into the reaction center; that is the standard way. But if he acts quantumly, he travels in all directions at once and quickly finds the reaction center. (It’s rather super-computer-like in a way!) If you throw a rock into a pond, the waves travel (in a way) in all directions at once. That is how the exciton may search; quantum tunneling may also be involved.

People who have clairvoyant tendencies may also somehow tap into this quantum oriented realm. Especially, a brain that does not merely depend on a man-made, illusory center may be able to penetrate beyond the ordinary, mundane barriers that restrict, that keep most people confined. That is when real meditation takes place. But there is no psychological center that can “make” real meditation happen. Eternity exists well beyond the confined, the restricted, the ordinary.

From Walt Whitman:

“The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”

(Also please watch the short included video if you have time.)

Wild Lamium … Photo by Thomas Peace c.2020



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RSKI5A_lsg

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Turtles and Freedom

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My wonderful, nature-loving wife, Marla, discovered this young, freshly-hatched Snapping Turtle wandering around in our yard and called me to take pictures. Snapping Turtles lay from 20 to 30 eggs on land — in sand or soil — and when the little “snaplets” hatch, they (hopefully) head for water. I took photos of this little fellow and then tossed him in the river that we live on. I saved him a lot of walking/wandering time and prevented him from being eaten by crows, raccoons, and such.

When i was very young — at grade-school-age — i went fishing one day with my grandfather and father. They caught a big turtle — it wasn’t a snapping turtle — and wanted to take it home to make Turtle Soup out of. Yuk! They kept the turtle in a huge fishing net (high up on the bank); the turtle was trapped in the net as it faced the water… wishing to run in. I felt very sorry for the turtle… and gave the big net a swift kick. The turtle managed to get out of the net; i never saw a turtle run so fast; it ran, like lightning, straight into the lake and quickly swam off. Of course, i got a good “yelling-at,” but felt that it was well worth it! That lovely creature got away!

Most humans are trapped and don’t even know it. The net is their traditions, their societal norms, their iron-clad religions, their immoral habits, their separative ways of looking at the world and its so-called separate parts. They think that their net, their beliefs, religions, prayers, mental projections, meditative techniques, and customs are ensuring that they remain very safe. But the net is a net… a limiting, fragmentary, man-made trap that is not helping in a holistic and truly healthy way. One cannot easily kick or leave the trap because one’s very foundation and mental constitution consists of the trap. It is very arduous to go beyond the trap but it is not so difficult if wise/keen and very pure perception occurs without all of the nettings that were crammed into (and around) one over the many years. To look without the known involves no learned technique, no remembered procedure.

That turtle, many years ago, cared more about freedom than most people do in this very nutty age… (with callous, narcissistic, dictatorial leaders popping up worldwide like mushrooms). Their well-designed traps were carefully fabricated to entrap you.

Baby Snapping Turtle (1) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

Baby Snapping Turtle (2) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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Something is Fishy about Staying at Home Here… (2 pics and a video)…

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A man who doesn’t merely sugar-coat stuff and (lie like a snake), Governor Andrew Cuomo recently stated, “Do not underestimate this virus. It has beaten us at every turn, and it has surprised us at every turn. Don’t take it lightly. Don’t underestimate it. I believe the facts will change as we go forward. The more we learn about the virus, the more the facts change, and the worse it gets.”

With this Covid-19 situation going on, some people are going absolutely bonkers with regard to staying at home. Some people are vehemently protesting the staying at home orders. All this while most people see professional medical experts’ recommendations to stay home as being very insightful, intelligent, fact and data-based, and beneficial; many people don’t mind staying at home. We live in a very rural area, so we can go to nature areas without contacting people. At our home, we don’t have to go out to be close to nature; nature is part of the essence and foundation of our living space. (We have — and have had — dogs, birds, tropical fish, shrimp, and praying mantises; not that animals can ever truly be “owned”.)

I’ve kept tropical fish for around 59 years so far. Right now i maintain around 700 gallons of aquariums. Aquariums are a very relaxing, educational, and beautiful way of keeping nature within your own home. (Many apartments, where pets are not allowed, allow aquariums.) Think about getting one for yourself. Many can be maintained without a heater. Most tropical fish, despite what the stores tell you, do very well in aquariums kept at room temperature. Petco periodically has “$1 per gallon” sales, wherein you can get a 20 Gallon Long aquarium for $20 or a 40 Gallon Breeder aquarium for $40. Air pumps from Walmart cost around $10 and can run 2 or 3 aquariums at only 4 watts. Walmart sells natural gravel. Many home-bred fish, like Endlers Guppies or hardy Corydoras Catfish (or very colorful Shrimp), can be purchased on eBay.

Most all of my aquariums have live plants. There are all kinds of very beautiful live plants that you can get and they can be very enjoyable to raise and reproduce. Some of my aquariums have shrimp instead of fish, or shrimp combined with small fish.

The following well-done, short video is by Lucas Bretz, where he talks about the “Staying at Home” thing and aquariums. I disagree with him on a number of things regarding the way aquariums should be maintained but there are a number of good ways to keep aquariums that all work well. I met Lucas at an Aquarium Auction/Swap in Champaign, Illinois, and i gave him some young Daisy Neon Blue Ricefish that i bred. Daisy’s are extinct in the wild — due to pollution — and only aquarium enthusiasts like myself and others are keeping them alive. Cory (of Aquarium Co-op) is another great source for videos and aquarium plants and supplies. Prime Time Aquatics is also a great video source. LRB Aquatics sells home-bred fish, shrimp, and plants online.

Below are two different shots of my 8 feet long Angelfish aquarium.

Angelfish and Italian Val Plants … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
Large Aquarium with Angelfish, Emerald Corydoras Catfish, and Ivory Mystery Snails … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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Goodness and Fear

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It is intelligent to be fearful during this Covid-19 thing. Not being fearful would be a form of foolishness and ignorance. Fear has its place. Is one separate from the fear that one has? Well, one doesn’t merely “have” or “own” fear. Psychological fear is actually part of what one is. If that part gets to be too habitual, too excessive, too dominant… then unnecessary disorder manifests. What is it that is going to “get rid” of excessive fear? What is it that is going to “control” fear from a distance? Is it going to be a supposedly separate set of habitual fabricated images and “learned mental patterns” that are designed to think that they are manipulating fears that are “there” (at a distance) to manipulate? (Such supposed psychological distance is fallacious and is a barbaric inheritance that maintains conflict and illusion. The internal psychological distance creates a false duality; it manifests as the “controller” and the supposed separate “controlled.”)

Security is important in terms of being healthy with food, clothing, and shelter. However, in the quest for mere self-oriented security, the mind-heart can become cold, mechanical, robot-like, over-anxious, and dependent upon strange and unethical patterns. Of course, in the present crisis, if you do not have enough food, fear is a very legitimate factor; good governments and groups need to do more to help people; currently, they are not doing enough. When i was young — and not so young — i quit a good number of jobs because i did not feel that what they were doing (or making) in them was ethical. I left quickly without much concern for what may happen to me. I like what Senator Bernie Sanders recently said: “We must break away from the worldview that everybody should try to become a billionaire — and you can lie, cheat, and steal if your goal is to make billions and not pay attention to the suffering of others.”

Life, real life, is so much more than a Monopoly game.
Compassion, these days, is not prevalent enough. But $ in people’s brains certainly is. Many cling to the apron strings of $ and security… and the real joy, extraordinary spiritual bliss, and meaning of life, unfortunately, pass them by. (Kudos to truly dedicated medical staff and other critical needs and essential needs people working at risk — selflessly — to help others in these very precarious times.)

We think internal fear is there to manipulate (at some kind of distance) and we think organisms that suffer are merely “there at a distance.” We may have been taught wrongly.

Mushrooms don’t have to Social Distance. Photo by Thomas Peace (from a distance) c. 2020.
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Why are so few of “wholeness”?

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Why do so few people perceive the whole? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Perhaps the question itself is a wrong (i.e., faulty) question. It may be that wholeness is simply “what is” beyond the dualistic, separative perception involving an “observer” and “that which is observed.”

Very few people are of wholeness, though (certainly) a good number think that they are. Most people are of fragmentation… perceiving from — and through — that fragmentation. We were taught, by elders, about how to perceive, how to react, and about what to believe in. We live in (and “as”) mental symbols; we accept those virtual-mental symbols as true realities. Most of us stay in the rut of that limitation, that conditioning, and remain that way until the day we die. Is that ever really living?

Throughout school, we were not encouraged to question things deeply; we were not encouraged to go beyond the accepted values and the accepted ways of perceiving things. Man, throughout the ages, evolved from animals; we (being so-called sophisticated animals) still harbor basic instincts for focusing on elemental parameters, (just like the animals do… only what we do is a bit more “sophisticated”). Few of us go beyond that. You could count those (living wholly) on one hand. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Through eons of conditioning over generations, people are locked into reacting as they inevitably do. The following video, by Donald Hoffman, is worth a watch; it has its limitations, but it helps to illustrate some about what one has been saying for a long time. (With other of his video/audio sessions, one feels that he relies too much on old, fragmented, mathematical, and speculative approaches that can leave us merely analyzing ad infinitum.)
Is, by the way, the watcher separate from the watched?

This is not a toad… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020