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…
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.
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.
[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. ]
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.)
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
[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).”]
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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).
—- 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.)
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.
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.
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?
Violence not only involves shooting bullets, war, causing bloodshed, and physically abusing people. It often occurs in (and “as”) more subtle or less obvious forms that people do not perceive as what is involving violence. Conformity, remaining in a mold that you were programmed to be in, indifference, and imitation are indicative of violence. Many lick the boots of authority, stay trapped in narrow, separative views about being a superior race, country, or religious group. Many of these things tend to separate people socially, religiously, globally, psychologically and otherwise… and are (whether we like to admit it or not) forms of violence, conflict. Many of us worship authority and power, the people with a lot of money and influence, and many of us ignore the person who is bereft of much intelligence and financial success. Many of us are ruthlessly competitive, which is a form of violence (that we were miseducated to accept and think is normal and wonderful)… while real compassion, much cooperation, and holistic awareness (in the classroom) are still rarely touched upon.
Educating children in a run-of-the-mill, standard, ordinary fashion is a form of violence. Cramming 30 kids in a stale classroom and indoctrinating them to conform to a lemming-like existence, to be slaves and victims of comparison, competition, and separative views, is violence.
Mindlessly doing things that pollute the environment, without deeply considering the consequences or trying to alter one’s behavior, are forms of violence. One can go on and on, further upsetting people about the forms of violence that they contribute to (or that they may be involved in). What about violence ending? Merely trying to control violence may not be a full, prudent answer to ending violence. Psychologically, the controller is not really separate from the controlled. A broken, miseducated, limited mind, trying to control violence, will only go so far… to a very limited extent. It will operate within (and “as”) the confinements of its limitation. For violence to fundamentally end, the mind must go beyond its conditioning and limitations; it cannot likely do that if it comfortably remains circumscribed by the limitation of others. Most people, of course, will just not care about this. Limitation, imitation, and mere conformity seem to be the norm.
A true love of nature stays local as much as possible and avoids using deadly fossil-fuel jet planes and fossil-fuel road vehicles to travel world-wide to go to “exotic” nature places; such worldwide-sight-seeing (and picture-taking) is not loving nature; nature is not a Disney Amusement Park. Our globe is very delicate, fragile, and we have been brainwashed and conditioned to think nothing of traveling long distances for mere amusement purposes. Aircraft emit staggering amounts of CO2, the most prevalent manmade greenhouse gas. If you love nature, stay local.
His inquietude made him what he was… a repetitive jumble of endlessly clamoring mental symbols that were not realities (i.e., they were the typical unreal, fabricated images of the mind).
Her quietude was the immense beauty that she was… a comprehensive wholeness of undivided reality, actualities of timeless life movement beyond the known (i.e., beyond mere superficial symbols of thought).
Neural Networks Personified … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
The very wise ToadMaster perched near the toadstool, and with his croaky voice, he summoned all of the little tadpoles to swim up to the riverbank to hear another lesson.
He, in his sagely way, bellowed, “Unfortunately, many of the upright, large apes — that we have mentioned in the past — foolishly refuse to judiciously see that they too evolved from swimming fish, even as you here, as swimming tadpoles (through a long passage of time), will soon be leaving your aquatic existence to join our terrestrial lot. What is even more unfortunate is that the upright apes continue to mindlessly throw toxic debris into our water habitats and also onto the beautiful terrestrial domain that you will all soon be graduating to. The upright, large apes continue to make things that destroy things. The upright apes can be downright destructive and dangerous, though some of them are very kind and considerate. Overall, the whole world’s life forms are all rapidly disappearing due to what these, large bipedal creatures are mindlessly doing. Even as they claim that one of their kind is a God, they endlessly continue to pour cement and plastic over living things and spew out much toxic debris, killing our planet. They often do what is called “mowing their lawn,” which they think is very beautiful (though such activity callously cuts and kills many precious creatures, including us amphibians.) When you hop on land — which you all will be doing soon — do so with extreme caution, and avoid these large, bipedal creatures at all costs… and please
do your best to survive in the excessive heat (due to the climate rapidly changing).”
More, yet again, is presented here on psychological time. Most of us still function — in the psychological-sense — as if we are in time, as if we are (somehow) something separate from (or apart from) time. The best scientists, including Albert Einstein, have told us that time and space are not two separate things; they have told us that spacetime is one holistic thing. Yet we go on in this barbarian, primitive way… acting as if we are merely “in time” and not acting with the intelligence that sees that we are indeed what time is. The thoughts that we exist as actually exist as networks of neurons and neural components in (and “as”) matter in our brains. Our thoughts emanate from (and depend upon) a very material process… involving matter. This matter — this brain oriented matter — must be constituted of physical materials just like what is contained in stars and planets. This matter is, per se, a form of space. And space and time are not two separate things; they are one. They are different in their aspects, but they are one. We are time (not merely in time).
Now here is the crux of the matter (that we are pointing to). Let’s say you wish to (psychologically) “get better” in time. That distance, that is from where what exists “now” to what “you say you ‘will be'” takes up psychological space. It is a limited (psychological) space projected concerning a “here” to “there.” When you see someone of a very different familial or racial heritage than you, there often exists — in each of many people — a psychological space between “you” and “them,” between your group and their group. What we are suggesting is that the limited space of “here” to “there,” with your “I” or “me” psychologically “getting better in time” situation, is remarkably similar to the space separation with your “you” and “them” situation. We are all extensions of the same holistic spacetime movement, and “as it,” in reality, we are not separate things. Some perceptive people will see this; others (i.e., most) will just go on being stuck in primitive perspectives and will go on being greedy about the future and indifferent about others. You are time; space too is what you are… and if that space is limited and illusory, consciousness will be limited and illusory. If you merely remain as that limited space between “now” and “tomorrow,” and if you merely remain as that limited space between “you” and “them,” then primitive illusion is what you are; and primitive illusion is not separate from what suffering and ignorance is.
Right now we are a society that gobbles up tons of synthetic pills (instead of solving the real, fundamental problems about health and mental wellbeing); we overpopulate the planet and do all kinds of hateful and callous things to “others”… including “other life forms.” Many of us were miseducated to be stuck in indifference, separation, and blindness… and the wealthiest powers that be (at the top) are delighted… (although, in reality, they are suffering and are a tremendous cause of suffering).
That timeless and immense perception can only occur when limitation is understood… when limitation ends psychologically.
Wild Blue Vervain and Bumblebee … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Looking beyond the darkness … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
9/11 was an extraordinarily tragic thing. Far worse than 9/11 is losing the ecological balance of the earth. The earth is currently collapsing, nature-wise, because of our shortsightedness. Heartless political forces, so-called big business, and indifferent so-called humans are zealously steering many of us in the wrong direction. We all need to do much more. A collapsing earth is a most terrible thing. Stay local, use alternative energy, recycle, and vote green.
Marla, my wife, said that my poems occasionally need to be more uplifting, so the first poem (here) is meant to fulfill that end. The second poem is what was written before her comment.
Here in his hands is a flowery treasure with sweet petals and leaves much joy beyond measure
He is of hopes and images where as he ascends up in the elevator flowing fields of smiling imaginary angels open doors that were dreamt of later
Can we lift a luminous whole and bring new minds out of below rise to the top ever so mindfully in a towering highrise deep in the heart of Chicago?
(Well, elevators are uplifting, aren’t they?)
Poem # 2
There was a pond and every time a frog jumped into the pond the pond became a little froggier a little splashier
There was a grasshopper and every time he landed upon a weed the weed became a little leggier a little jumpier
There was a propagandizing political news-channel and every time a person watched it the television became a little duller and a lot more dim-witted
Leopard Frog, a species that will not survive long in a world filled with crass people who do not act diligently to prevent global warming and who think that “Windmills cause cancer.”. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Whom are we kidding? Most people do not change fundamentally no matter what you tell them, no matter what you write about. We are writing here about changing immeasurably beyond what most people consider “changing” to be. I do blogging mostly for one reason only: to help people to explore their true relationship with everything and look into the possibility of discovering something really sacred (beyond what most of us merely conceptualize about by what was implanted into us by old traditions and antiquated customs). Medals aren’t given to those very few in the world who were truly enlightened (i.e., visited by that ineffable, eternal energy). Halos aren’t given either. (Far too often, unfortunately, it is the blind leading the blind and it’s one hell of a mess out there; a lot of people assume that they can clearly see… according to what was spoonfed into them.) Real perception is a radical and beautiful explosion beyond what you were merely taught.
Speaking of seeing, my macro-nature photos are all well and good but, fundamentally, they are two-dimensional snapshots of the past that are rather trivial in their own superficial way. (The photos are squat compared to the prose writings offered in terms of the possible value to people’s lives regarding going beyond gross conditioning and limitation.) Much of what i write — we are referring to the prose stuff here — is only mildly deep (i.e. we could go much deeper), though a good portion of it does go somewhat deeper. Will what i write help many people to change fundamentally? (Probably not.) A real, fundamental change would leave a person totally shocked at what the implications are… and totally shocked by what actually, phenomenally happens; a totally different kind of human being, from the standard, same-old fare, would emerge. But the chances of that occurring are very small indeed. People, in this sense (i.e., the sense that we are talking about) — due to deeply ingrained conditioning, etc. — just do not change. They basically (fundamentally) remain the way they were.
Yellow Tiger Swallowtail … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Hermann Minkowski and Albert Einstein taught us about how space and time are not two entirely different things but are, together, one. However, most people just do not get what that means, psychologically and fundamentally, including a lot of supposedly smart scientists. Years ago, when i was much younger, i used to hang around the quantum physicist Professor David Bohm, whom Einstein fondly called his “spiritual son.” Bohm was a famous scientist in his own right and when we discussed things, i was already well aware of the implications of spacetime and what that meant psychologically and on a larger scale.
Space and time are not two separate entities; together they are one. If you look at nature and people merely with psychological separation, with psychological space, as most people do, that very separation helps to support and produce an abstracted, psychological “I” or “me.” If you perceived without such (learned) separation, the “I” or “me” need not exist (which would be fundamentally way more accurate). If you say, “I will be trying to be ‘good’ so that I can eventually get to heaven,” you are supposing that you are something separate from time (in time)… rather than the actuality of being what time is. Your brain consists of matter (which often functions to react as thoughts), and matter is space, spacetime. Of course, we have to use time (in the physical world) to get to work on time or to be at a specified meeting on time. To use time to get somewhere psychologically or spiritually, however, is largely fallacious. Wishing to advance over time spiritually presupposes that you are “in time” and are not what “time is.” Mentally manufacturing a separation between you and time (except for certain time-oriented physical things, like the ones mentioned… and for using our crude, unfortunate language system) is often a process of wasting energy and is inviting great deception. Both the aforementioned psychological space separation and the psychological time separation are illusory; together, both help to create the fallacious and selfishly separate ego. (One cannot be in communion with the timeless if one is a series of fragments of time that erroneously presuppose that they are “in time” advancing spiritually.)
Eternal and orderly phenomena can exist (in humans) without the ego (i.e., without any psychological center). As we have often suggested, the central ego is essentially fallacious and illusory. Habitually looking from (and “as”) it is an illusion; it is a fallacy that most people habitually cling to. Like a man who thinks that he sees vast water in a desert — you know that age-old mirage — and insists on fishing in it non-stop, stay completely with the ego if you wish.
When discussing things in public with people, we can still politely use the word “I,” while (all the while) being fully aware of its fallacious and deceiving attributes; it is one of the misfortunes of living in a society with a barbaric system of language. Professor Bohm diligently worked on helping develop a more accurate and scientifically evolved system of language, which he called the Rheomode. Later in life, Bohm learned of the Native American Blackfoot language, and also of other members of this Native American language family, all of which are very strongly verb-based and do not divide the world into solid categories (i.e., nouns) but, instead, describe in terms of processes and related movements. Link to short Professor David Bohm Video.
?what kind of heathen sacrilegiously writes on a consecrated,wordless day, asking us to transcend all of our mindless traditions
[Note: Today’s posting was inspired by a comment by a wonderful blogger that i follow who, last Wednesday, in a “Wordless Wednesday” that i posted, graciously commented that my words were missed. Thank you much, A Curious Introvert ! … and hugs to Cutie Fuzzy Doggy.]
Let’s follow Daddy-Long-Legs … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Is it worth all of the time & competition? Is surpassing and suppressing those below and impressing those above worth it? When you finally get to the top, is there really genuine happiness there or is it an empty lie?!
Getting to the Top … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Our neural networks — much like a computer — are hardwired and conditioned to accept and fully believe in a central (free-will oriented) regulatory agent whom we call “I.” This “I” to each of us, seems very concrete, dependable (i.e., always there to control), and stable. We never deeply question whether such a “center” really exists in the first place. I maintain that there is no legitimate “I,” which, of course, seems contradictory, (due to the crude structure and barbaric evolutionary phase of our current language system).
When one talks to people about there being no “I” they tend to feel rather apprehensive, threatened, and psychologically uncomfortable. After all, to them, one is threatening the very core of their psychological framework. Our physical body, the organism, perceives largely through the eyes. The eye tends to be what focuses on and examines things. A similitude exists in us (mentally) between the physical “eye” and our concept of the “I” of the mind. We say that the “I” examines; we say that the “I” perceives; we say it was decided by “me.” The brain’s associative patterns are, in pretty much everyone, deeply hardwired and conditioned to constantly be referring to and depending upon this “I.” (The physiology of the brain is much like a walnut, and scientists have — repeatedly, in different human individuals — surgically divided the two halves, producing two separate fields of consciousness in each skull, each permanently existing with no clue as to what the other half is thinking.) Our conditioning for so many mental things is deeply pre-programmed in us, and many factors, including physical health, past education, brain chemistry, and genetic influences, pretty much nullify any real “free-will” completely, whether we like it or not. We must act — not react — carefully and diligently, and we cannot do that if we believe in a lot of crap that isn’t true. In 1932, Albert Einstein told the Spinoza society:
“Human beings in their thinking, feeling, and acting are not free
but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.”
What we are saying is that this “I,” in a tremendous way, is fallacious and unnecessary. Clinging to it is like clinging to that childhood Raggy Ann Doll that was mentioned years ago in one of my earlier blogs… clinging to it as if it was real, alive, and a dependable pal. We could live perfectly, compassionately, and timelessly without clinging to our fallacious “I”s. Scientists, as was mentioned before in my blogging, have suggested that our universe likely operates in a totally different way than what we think is happening now… and they, the writer maintains, are correct. It was, many years ago, when i understood the fictitiousness of the “I” and the foolhardiness of the concept of “free-will,” when real security, profundity, insight into eternity, and real order came… (and not before).
This life is relatively short — in the few years that we have to live — and if you don’t get it right, via understanding and insight, if you (instead) continue to cling to a lot of rotten, crude fallacies, then the consequences are eternal (and not nearly as sweet as they could be). There is great beauty and timeless splendor in life if life is seen without much illusion.
Neural Networks or maybe just Queen Anne’s Lace … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
The comatoseness of the average-ordinary mind is the result of a cadaverous education.
Merely looking at life through a screen of symbols and labels — as most do — isn’t really looking at life at all.
Taking a shower isn’t good enough; cleanse yourself of the dusty, stale past.
One cannot be visited by that pristine ground of eternal sacredness unless one’s mind is of intense order and purity.
There is, despite what we were taught, no (real) separate ego or central “I” controlling thought/thinking; what occurs — other than what holistic insight and direct perception reveal — is mostly all conditioned reactions that one is not separate from.
Being photogenic isn’t important. Being whole, compassionate, and perceptive is important.
Yes, dears, I am your long lost auntie. We finally get to meet, my sweet loved ones! Life’s been tough, as you can see by all of the many timeworn scratches on my aged back. Come, come, I have some sweet, fresh salad for you to enjoy! You had better eat it while it’s fresh… that way, you will get all of the best vitamins that will help you grow.
Eat plenty, eat! After we eat, that is when your loving auntie will hug you dearly. We’ll hug and hug to make up for all of the lost time that has befallen us. Now, let’s eat, dearies, let’s eat!
Photo of Your Long Lost Auntie … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Experience… what is it, and why do we exclusively depend upon it? A lot of people say, “I’ve learned from experience”; or they say, “I will learn from my experiences.” Many people go on expensive and lengthy vacations to far distant places to get “exotic experiences.”
Experiencing has its place. However, it is very limited. Many crave “new” experiences… but are such experiences — all based on patterns of recognition — really all that “new”? I am suggesting that fundamentally, intrinsically, they are all very much the same and are not really so “new”; they all depend on — and add to — patterns within the field of the mundane known. (That is why many of us retain a deep, inherent sadness, even though we travel to places that should seem new and exciting. Merely existing as a brain that is based primarily on patterns and the recognition of patterns… is sorrow. But that is what most of us were trained to exist as.) Most of us were brainwashed to crave various “wonderful” experiences (i.e., more and more experiences)… through commercials, magazines, examples in books, and by what friends and relatives say and do. (Experiences are never enough, though, because they are essentially limited. But nobody tells you that.)
Evading experience (on the other hand) can be a very childish thing, wherein one endlessly sits cross-legged, for example, thinking that one is accomplishing something special. (You know… all that phony so-called meditation stuff, which is really a glorified form of self-hypnosis.)
Is the experiencer all so separate from what the experience is? If one examines intelligently, the answer is rather obvious: “No.” We look with (and “as”) accumulated patterns and labels at things, pigeonhole them in the rather musty memory bank system and call the experience “new.” To really see something new, perception itself must be dynamically new, fundamentally different, and not based on old, stale systems (and patterns) of observation. Most people are incapable of that, and you don’t get it by sitting in a corner with your legs crossed. Additionally, you don’t get it by reading traditional so-called “religious” books that have been severely distorted over time.
There is a deep, orderly intelligence that is a true spiritual blossoming that is beyond the thoughts and fabrications of man… beyond all of the rituals, stone temples, and concocted patterns. (Those fabrications are all old, and the timeless, miraculous new does not dwell as them.) Deep intelligence is a dynamic harmony, a deep order that effortlessly flows between experiencing and going beyond experiencing. (Constant experiencing and “accumulating” only builds up the illusion of the self.) The “going beyond experiencing” factor (or dimension) is never planned or mentally arranged for. Deep, spontaneous newness and dynamic creativity are never part of a plan or contrived methodology.
[Note: While photographing this Monarch caterpillar, it noticed the camera and suddenly went from high activity and movement to total stillness. More of us would be better off by letting total stillness — of the mind — occur more often (even though it is not merely an occurrence and has nothing to do with time or effort).]
Monarch Caterpillar … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Once there was a very rich man who, every time he saw people in need, would quickly pass them by, saying, “Sorry, I don’t help strangers.” Then, over a short span of time, the man lost everything. When he reached out for help, the first person who passed him by mumbled, “Sorry, I don’t help strangers.”
There was a man who, every time he looked up, worried about what was down… and every time he looked down, worried about what was up. He suddenly died. They buried him way down in the ground, facing up of course.
Monarch Butterfly on Cone Flower … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
A kind of postmortem examination was done on him long before his actual physical death
because unfortunately, his brain became quite un-alive after the innocent age of childhood.
Miseducation, brainwashing commercials, propaganda-oriented news networks, and being satisfied with remaining in one dull routine after another
all contributed to his cadaverous pseudo-existence. He often watches television and, of course, likes sports. However, the little birds who nest in his yard have far more compassion and life than he ever did.
Red House Finch Eggs … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Earth’s glaciers are shrinking five times faster than they were in the 1960s.
The United States used more energy in 2018 than ever before, partly because Americans drove more: 3.225 trillion miles, 12.2 billion more than 2017.
Wolves return to the Netherlands after an absence of 140 years.
A suspected rhino poacher in South Africa is trampled to death by an elephant, then eaten by lions.
The last time Earth’s atmosphere had as much carbon dioxide as it does today, there were trees growing near the South Pole.
Thawing ice on Alaska’s Denali is exposing the 66 tons of feces left by generations of mountain climbers.
Sea level rise has cost property owners on the East and Gulf Coasts more than $16 billion since 2005.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah says that the solution to climate change is to “fall in love, get married, and have some kids.”
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede who inspired the Youth Climate Strike, is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The stomachs of dead whales found in the Philippines and Italy are full of plastic trash.
Scientists discover a new species of orca of southern Chile — “The largest undescribed animal left on the planet.”
Trump’s proposed federal budget would cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent.
Composite photographer Nick Brandt, whose profound works show how nature in the world is quickly dying away due to man’s indifference, says, “My motivation is my anger and despair at what we are losing, that the human race is sleepwalking its way to oblivion.”
Walking just walking along gingerly and slowly swaying waltzing alien-like from leaf to leaf
Stalking just stalking along stick-like & Oh so lean happily wondering whom next i can eat
Suddenly out of nowhere a huge ominous creature appears thrusting a blackish lens-thing right up to me
In a flash, I quickly leap away and am so very glad that the huge hideous creature didn’t eat me
[Note: This photo was taken about a month ago. This was the first Praying Mantis that i’ve seen this summer; it was young, just around 3cm long. And, yes — with blackish lens-thing macro camera in hand — i am the ominous, hideous creature. (You must admit, we ominous, hideous creatures are pretty huge.)]
Young Praying Mantis (praying that I don’t eat him) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019