People are told (for example, by gurus of the East) about how to meditate. Often they are given what is considered a “special” word or mantra to repeat and concentrate upon. However, doing that is merely a limited form of self-hypnosis. There is no “how” to meditate. Any “how” involves a method that takes time. One cannot reach the timeless via a time process.
Beauty exists when the intelligent mind does not merely operate from sequences (of thoughts) to further sequences (of thoughts) exclusively. Thoughts are (limited) symbolic, sequential patterns that depend upon time; indeed, they are time. Most people are habitually existing as them. It is often beneficial to exist as thoughts when necessary but it may also be prudent to psychologically die to them (when they are unnecessary). Such psychological dying does not take time. Psychological dying is fine; physical Death, on the other hand (as i’ve said before) is not my cup of tea. Additionally, one might mention that merely being a corrupt person on this sweet planet, while endlessly robotically moving from fragmentary thought to fragmentary thought (sequentially), may be a form of Death.
And here’s a little poem by E.E. Cummings:
dying is fine)but Death
?o baby i
Death if Death were good:for
when(instead of stopping to think)you
begin to feel of it,dying ‘s miraculous why?be
cause dying is
perfectly natural;perfectly putting it mildly lively(but
is strictly scientific & artificial &
evil & legal)
we thank thee god almighty for dying (forgive us,o life!the sin of Death
There is here We are them “I” is not When is where Past is future Future is past We are water Up is down Uncurled is curled Tears are joy Hate is mindless Poem is reading Awake not dreaming See not knowing Pour was spill Clean was dirty Little is big Born was dead Left to right Wings are resting Desert was thirsty Jungle was noise War is sorrow Flowers are calling She is he Silence is golden Once is always Time is ticking
Maybe humans could learn a thing or two from some simple, natural creatures. What humans are doing to the earth is unnatural and cruel. We need to change.
(Please consider going green more, and please consider donating often to such places as the Environmental Defense Fund and The Sierra Club. I donate to these monthly.)
Safe in the crimson spread of things
the foliage is my home and my guardian
I will eat it little by little
but will not eat too much of its purply protection
It will guard me, protect me, and feed me
It will become me
It is my world, my universe, my abode
It is not what i will merely destroy and abuse
Reaction is fragmentation in (and “as”) time. The entire thinking process is essentially one set of reactions after another. These mental reactions are largely symbolic, virtual, secondary, and are parts within a sequential cause-effect continuum. Most people exist in (and “as”) these reactions, one following another. One’s consciousness largely consists of these reactions. Even when one thinks one is merely “looking at things,” those things are recognized (i.e., re-cognized) by the brain, which is essentially a continuation or extension of the sequential reactions involving the thinking process.
Many associate “not thinking” with stupidity, with not being intellectually capable. However, there is, we say, a “going beyond thinking” that is of marked intelligence, insight, and wisdom. This intelligence goes beyond the limitations of thought/thinking, beyond the fragmentation of limited symbols, beyond conflict, and beyond mere patterns of reaction; this intelligence is of a pristine wholeness that is of vast order and compassion. (True compassion naturally exists beyond the conflict, the illusions, the needless fragmentation.)
There was a man
and everything he looked at was a fragment in time.
As time went by, he continued to merely exist as fragment after fragment;
He saw others as part of the fragments and he helped them a little but not a lot.
There was a woman
and she would often perceive beyond the fragments, beyond mere sequential time.
As time went by, she was not merely what was always clutched by time's partitive claws,
and she often helped life's inhabitants (whom she did not perceive from a dead, learned distance).
Holistic silence cannot be induced. It is not merely the result of some cause, either physically or mentally. One cannot make oneself be holistically silent. All effort, by the brain, involves motive… and motives are a result of desires and goals; with such effort, there is always a thing to be achieved, a reward to acquire.
A dynamic mind, that does not merely robotically bounce from one desire or one goal after another, may perhaps come upon (or manifest as) holistic silence. Holistic silence is not the result of any calculated direction, nor is it what merely radiates in limited and calculated directions. It cannot — as so many mundane things are — merely be recognized and pinpointed; this is one reason why one cannot “know” that one’s mind is of a holistic silence. It, being rather timeless, is beyond mere possession and acquiring. But perhaps it may occur when the mind perceives the conflict and limitations of thoughts, noisy mental images, and concocted mental patterns.
Holistic silence, perhaps a bit like the sun — we are using a crude analogy here — though it does not radiate in one, limited direction, can emanate with beautiful, miraculous effects. If we merely darkly, robotically, and habitually cling to one reacting thought after another — which most all of us do — then there will be little possibility (and space) for such dynamic, natural, bright silence to manifest. Thoughts are generally old, second-hand, residual, limited, of the past, and merely symbolic. If the mind — as most minds — is merely content to exist as one series of sequential thoughts after another, then (like what the previous sentence suggests) it is darkly moving from one sequence of old, limited, symbolic images to another. The new does not take place where the old merely is what is constantly repeating endlessly.
Understanding the mind, understanding thoughts and going beyond the habit of foolishly always merely being them — without technique — may perhaps open a door. Whether the magic of holistic silence flows through or not… well that is another matter…
Once there were three little birds effortlessly sitting in a tall tree
They watched a man down below
with his legs firmly crossed while trying to meditate
The birds were very curious as to why the man did not move
They flew away, enjoyed life, and a good while later returned to the tree
One of the birds defecated on the man's head
The man did not notice
He was too busy craving for something to descend upon him
He later went home (weighing a bit more than before)
Integrity is very significant in life. A mind that is merely a sponge, just robotically spewing out what it absorbed, is likely not of integrity. A mind without integrity and order is limited and fragmentary. Integrity means wholeness, soundness. Integrity is of an unadulterated innocence. A mind full of limitations is of conflict and is bound to do divisive and chaotic things. Wholeness exists beyond the limitations. Many of us, when we were younger, accepted behavioral patterns — which society spoon-fed to us — based on competition and conflict. Most of us have accepted such behavioral patterns — largely based on fragmentation and conflict — and have gone on in existence, adhering to these patterns of limitation and conflict. True bliss, however, is not of limitation and fragmentation; true bliss exists with (and “as”) wholeness, integrity. But so many of us have merely accepted what was poured into us when we were young… and we have gone on in the old ways; we have gone on in the antiquated traditions.
Limitation, being based on conflict and tending to produce conflict, inevitably contributes to the divisive and chaotic attributes of society. Limitations — based on conflict — are restrictions, and they snag the mind and keep the mind within (and “as”) constrained and blocked realms. Blocked mental realms often manifest as disorder and conflict. Disorder and conflict do not generally reflect wholeness and integrity.
Interestingly, our very concepts of time are based on fragmentations and limitations. We accepted these time-oriented fragmentations and limitations from society; we fully accepted them as being totally legitimate. However, it may be that we have largely accepted what is fundamentally erroneous and distorted. Our limited conceptualizations of spacetime may be largely fragmentary and perverted; we see what we were programmed to see. Our time conceptualizations may be somewhat relevant physically — in getting actual physical things done — but in the psychological realm, they may be rather absurd, limited, and illusory. One says, “I will try to be less envious of others tomorrow,” but then (at that moment) one creates a space between what one considers to be “oneself” and “others”; one additionally fabricates a “tomorrow” that is separated from “now” by psychological time (which also is of a concocted space). This concocted space is of conflict, which was a distorting factor (initially) in the situation. To live in limitation, conflict, and distortion may not be order, may not be bliss. Deep joy and order may come when distortion ends, when limitation is not just overwhelming.
his looking, day after day year after year,
Was through the mental screens and motifs that They provided
Hence, it wasn’t his “looking” whatsoever; it was Their “looking”
And it wasn’t “seeing” whatsoever; it was the death-like absence of really seeing
[NOTE: This poem and this posting is just designed for some innocent, scary, Halloween fun. It is not meant to reinforce anyone’s hatred of spiders. When i see a spider in the house, i gently grab it in a soft Kleenex and subsequently release it (gently) out-of-doors. Spiders are generally harmless, are great pest removers, and can be admired for their own intrinsic beauty; humans probably look ugly to a lot of perceptive animals!]
Each wish came upon an intangible dream. All dreams are intangible, being the virtual aspirations or speculations that they are. In a world past dreamers, he or she who sees things as they are (beyond distortion), ironically, does not merely see things… because things are of thought’s plurality that is largely illusory and superficial (though important to respond to accordingly at times).
Life, despite what most people think, isn’t a series of things. Life is beyond the plurality of appearances that are tricks upon the mind. Life is not wholeness either, for such wholeness, for most, is just another thing, just another abstraction to dream about.
While in the garden, the handsome blue Hostas and the attractive, purple Columbine flowers were not separate from the mind; then they were beyond mere labeling and definition; spontaneously, they transformed into what cannot be described or dreamed about. Then beauty was the “observing” and was beyond mere “observing.”
In that garden, there was careful “observing” and there was “beyond observing.” The two danced in harmony beyond fabricated plurality and wholeness. Curious, the ants, as to what moved past them in a vastness.
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.
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
[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.
[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).”]
With this coronavirus thing going around, stay safe and intelligent, use social distancing, wash your hands often, refrain from touching your face, take vitamin D3 and natural vitamin supplements, and (like i’ve been suggesting for eons) stay local (in your own home and yard). Even after this crisis is over, refrain from long-distance traveling, long-distance vacations and excursions in heavily polluting jet planes (all of which are non-green and contribute to a sick planet).
I am not going to give you some “mindfulness techniques” to (supposedly) get you through this crisis with less fear. I myself am afraid (for my wife, myself, and for so-called others). Marla and I are both high-risk. (My recent cardio-stress-echo test, by the way, showed that my heart is in great shape… which was a relief to find out after having had that heart attack in October.)
Being fearful — at this time (with our inept, corrupt, science-denying government and rotten system) — is intelligent. The so-called U.S. government leader(s) — with $-signs in their eyes — are talking about businesses opening again soon, defying Public Health Experts. Bill Gates says we can’t restart the economy soon and simply “ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner.”
with- out a there there isn’t a here and with- out a here there isn’t a there and with- out a future there isn’t a past and with- out a past there isn’t a future and with- out a with there isn’t without and we won’t just be those things that they taught us because they are immersed in illusion and are it
If one knows that one is meditating, meditation isn’t there. If one knows that one is whole, wholeness isn’t there. If one knows that one is humble, humility isn’t there. If one knows that one is quiet, quietness isn’t there. If one knows that one is spiritual, spirituality isn’t there. If one cultivates simplicity, simpleness isn’t there. If one cultivates perception, insight isn’t there.
When Barney, the bulky, bullheaded Bullfrog decided to take up residence under my car tire, i told him politely, “Barney, that is quite a perilous spot at which you can — most definitely — easily expire.”
Barney just sat there without a trembling twitch and said, “You sure are a very worrisome bloke; i can assure you, most greenheartedly, that we brave Bullfrogs are, indubitably, not afraid to croak.”
Then i realized that all of my careful cautions and pale-lectures would not cause Barney to fearfully quiver, so i grabbed his humongous, bullheaded, brown-old butt and — despite his slimy objections — threw him into the river.
[Note: Tree Crickets are very elusive; if they see (or hear) you coming, they hide on the opposite side of the bush or foliage that they are on. Please note the tympanal membrane on the front leg of this specimen; it is used as a hearing mechanism… an ear.]
With this third time of me bringing fresh meat to the Colony, i am sure to finally get the recognition that i deserve. Hopefully, i will be promoted up the ranks and will be remembered as “The Great Provider” by the Colony. (All of this voluminous Beetle Meat is tough to move, by the way!) I will persevere and will get this wonderful bounty to the Colony.
Goodness! I keep hearing the huge, bipedal ape up above, with his camera, singing the following song to me:
“Getting to know you Getting to know all about you Getting to like you Getting to hope you like me…”
[Note: This is a very unusual (very rare) Praying Mantis for our north-central Illinois area. It is probably a Carolina Mantis. These are southern mantids but, due to global warming, are moving more north. This one has wonderful chameleonic abilities. Note how it amazingly blends in with the different color tones of the park bench. It is a female and seems to be loaded with fertile eggs. It may not have mated with a male at any time whatsoever. Female mantises can lay many completely fertile eggs without a male. When this happens, the offspring are perfect clones of the mother.]
I am not overly interested in the words that the Buddha allegedly said, since, over long stretches of time, words and translations get distorted. I am not overly interested in the words that Jesus allegedly said, since, over long stretches time, translations go askew, words get added and distorted. Even the early Coptic versions of the Gospel of Thomas (which many top scholars say preceded the other four gospels), and which the power-hungry Roman-appointed hierarchical bishops rejected, was not as pristine as the even earlier papyrus Greek fragments found of that cornerstone gospel. I am not overly interested in the words that Lao Tzu allegedly said, since, over long stretches of time, words and translations get distorted. (And each of the many translations of the Tao Te Ching is different.) I am interested in discovering spirituality on my own, and learning directly, without distortion, without merely depending on old words, organizations, translations, and ancient documents. They tried to get Walt Whitman to alter his poetry; he wouldn’t. They tried to get E.E.Cummings to alter his poetry; he wouldn’t. They tried to get me to alter my poetry; i wouldn’t. They like to stealthily insert their ideologies into the works of others, to suit their own ends, to suit their own self-serving needs. They often (over time) like to get their conniving, little hands into the works of others (and twist things around).
And here is an excerpt from the Monster in the Mirror song sung by Grover… (not that i ever watch Sesame Street with my big bird friends).
If your mirror has a monster in it, do not shout This kind of situation does not call for freaking out And do nothing that you would not like to see him do ‘Cause that monster in the mirror he just might be you
Singing “Wubba wubba wubba wubba woo woo woo” Wubba wubba wubba and a doodly do Wubba wubba wubba you can join in too
one budding diminutive why staring at the sky in that beautiful youthful wonderment of innocence beyond piggish power and far from cultivated fear so beyond the grip of authority beyond stuffy temples and stale priests and gurus beyond tests and drunken parties
sweet sky staring further than thought’s weary boredom and so far away from cold shoulds and musts
alive whole and unprogrammed
also looking down of course at tiny grasshoppers and katydids
Fourteen steps climbed to the top from the bottom An hour and fifteen minutes moved a short hand and a long hand One fishing line ignorantly reeled in what it thought it wasn’t Three opinions typed what was surely right Seven sayings scanned the screen in a zigzag fashion Thirty-seven pieces of candy looked forward to Halloween Twenty-five Black-Eyed Susans were arrested for trespassing
It takes a lot of hard work to keep the colony healthy and thriving but i realize that the colony and i are one. We are each other. What each of us does is done for all. (Unlike those ruthless, competitive, bipedal apes, we are 100% cooperative and act for all.)
So here i am, hauling another large bounty of meat for the colony to feast upon. Maybe now i will finally get the recognition that i deserve. Maybe now i will be the great worker-ant that all of the other ants will aspire to be like.
But first, i must get this great bounty to the anthill. While they are feasting, they will be thinking of me. Oh lucky me for finding this treasure of voluminous, wonderful meat!
P.S. — Don’t cringe! (I know that you bipedal apes are watching… and judging.) You bipedal apes eat hairy cattle and pigs and unquestioningly think and feel that it isn’t gross in the least. So don’t judge!
It was such tremendous luck finding this big green meal for the colony
It is very difficult to move all of this fine meat toward our anthill but when I get it to the colony I will become a great heroine
I will be known as the one who courageously brought a lot of protein for the many larvae all the while risking being stepped on by those giant frightening bipedal apes I will be revered and may even be promoted to the job of attending to the Queen
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).”
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
?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