All Posts Tagged ‘wisdom

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Psychological Motivation (and Beyond)…

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Motivation is oftentimes a very good thing. Your teachers wanted you to have plenty of it when you were a youth in elementary school. Most people look at a man or woman who has very little gumption as being rather mediocre and unproductive. Motivation helps one to accomplish things; oftentimes these things are necessary for good health, community prosperity, and the planet’s wellbeing.

It is prudent to have motivation for one’s so-called self and immediate family. It would be even more prudent to engage in motivation that helps the environment and the planet as a whole. Too many people were educated and conditioned to have motivation for the “self” while, all along, not seeing this self as including and being other life forms and the planet as a whole. Most of us were educated and conditioned to strive for a small, fragmentary self that is (for the most part) considered to be something apart from the whole. Most of us graduate from school, being so very proud of our graduation, and then go out (conditioned and programmed to have motivation for fragmentary concepts of rather separate selves and separate groups); then we ruthlessly compete, struggle, disagree over our separative images and beliefs… and continue to cling to motivational patterns that are isolating, divisive, and devoid of real, holistic compassion.

Although motivation has its place, it is wise to go beyond motivation at times. Thought/thinking is always tied to motivation. Thinking occurs for a reason (usually a very conditioned reason); thinking always involves moving in some direction, acquiring, avoiding, or getting… (all involving motivation). However, a very intelligent mind can see the limitation and the fragmentary nature of motivation; then, if it is lucky, it can sometimes be where motivation is not necessary, where motivation is no longer needed. This motivationless state is where thinking is transcended (without effort) and put aside (for the time being); it is of a causeless bliss and joy.

Can one, out of psychological strife and motivational effort, bring such a state into being? Of course not. The psychological ending of conditioning does not merely depend upon motivational patterns. Thinking (as internal, psychological motivation) has its place, but wisdom goes beyond what is of no use in terms of wholeness and profound awareness. One of intelligence does not set aside a special time to “go beyond motivational thinking” or to “indulge in meditation.” It is not what one can arrange to happen via set motivational undertakings. It happens naturally, spontaneously, without pre-programmed calculation… or it does not happen at all.

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Pearling is what occurs in aquarium plants that — when in enough light — emit bubbles of oxygen into the water (that naturally stream upward during photosynthesis). The photo is of some of my Corkscrew Vals pearling. All plants, terrestrial plants included, emit oxygen into the atmosphere during photosynthesis — thank goodness for us — as a natural by-product.

Pearling of Corkscrew Val Aquarium Plants … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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Psychological Space

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

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

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

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

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

Turkey Tail Arms … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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About “Prayer”

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

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

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

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

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

So…

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

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

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When one was young…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nothingness and the ego or “I”…

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

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

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

Curiosity Overview … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And a poem may come to an end

In the backyard… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2021

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My Beloved Wife Marla Passed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

low

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A poem from E.E. Cummings:

n

ot eth
eold almos
tladyf eebly
hurl ing
cr u

mb

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

s

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

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Timelessness and Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among the Coneflowers … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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On Becoming Whole

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

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

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

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

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

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Suffering and Beyond

17 comments

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

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

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

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

Vertical Ascension … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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Freewill and Deception

11 comments

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

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

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

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

32 comments

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

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

Covered in pollen… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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Tadpole to Frog/Toad Metamorphosis, Quantum Mechanics, and Psychological Boundaries

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

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

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

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

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Something is Fishy about Staying at Home Here… (2 pics and a video)…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angelfish and Italian Val Plants … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
Large Aquarium with Angelfish, Emerald Corydoras Catfish, and Ivory Mystery Snails … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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Why are so few of “wholeness”?

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

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

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

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

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

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People, animals, and plants all exist in (and “as”) time. Thought/thinking is fundamentally sequential and is of time. It (i.e., thought) takes time in cause and effect (causal) sequences. Few seriously question about whether or not humans can exist beyond time’s framework. Fewer still ever exist in communion with the timeless.

Timelessness is, itself, a symbolic word and, like all words, has real limitations; the word is definitely not the thing. People tend to live with (and “as”) words and mental images, all of which are sequential symbols that basically are not the things that they represent or stand for. The word “energy” is not the energy; the word “sacred” is not the sacred. Yet we accept words and cling to words and mental images — habitually — and go on in that superficial way until we die.

If people could somehow be visited by the timeless, they surely would perceive it as being sacred, beyond the ordinary, beyond the mundane. That sacredness is never part of the field of time. It is not composed of patterns that you can see; it is not composed of patterns that you can hear; it is not composed of things that you can feel. The timeless and time never fully meet at any point. For it to visit one — and “visit” is a very crude and limited way of putting it, as all words are — one cannot merely be composed of sequential images, thoughts, patterns, fears, prayers, wishes, and desires. Most people are incapable of that — with all of their innumerable habits — and so they remain as they have for generations upon generations.

You cannot invite timelessness. It can never come if you are craving for it. It (i.e., timelessness) is not responsible for what takes place in the field of time, for neither did it create the field of time nor does it get involved with changing things (i.e., manipulating things) in the field of time.

So one who is wise can go beyond merely habitually existing as superficial symbols and other sequential mental patterns; then being beyond mere habitual routine, the timeless may or may not occur. But there is more to being wise than meets the eye.

From E. E. Cummings:

there’s time for laughing and there’s time for crying— for hoping for despair for peace for longing —a time for growing and a time for dying: a night for silence and a day for singing but more than all(as all your more than eyes tell me)there is a time for timelessness

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The photo is of some diminutive wild plants that grow amongst our lawn-grass. There are two or three insects in the photo. Do you see them?

Growing amongst the grass… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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Wisdom, Viruses, and existing beyond Chaos

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These are very tough times for the world’s people right now. There is the virus going around, many governments (worldwide) are becoming more and more dictatorial, suppressing such things as human rights, the right to vote, and fair and balanced systems. I’ve included another video, down below, by Dr. Campbell, for you to look at if you have not seen it already. He sagaciously suggests something similar to what i have been blogging about for a very long time… that we should stay local — not pollute the air by (needlessly) flying in jet planes (that most all of us ludicrously assume we have a “right” to fly around in) — and produce and consume more goods locally, rather than (cheaply) getting them from overseas. Our population, too, needs to be kept in check. The over-populated (crowded-in-large-groups-cities) Native American Hopewell culture likely descended from the earlier low population hunter/gatherer Adena culture. With much larger populations concentrated together (in large “towns”), the Hopewell culture went through devastating periods of human to human disease transmissions (i.e., devastating viruses); this may have been the primary reason for the Hopewell culture’s demise. Sound familiar? But people tend not to learn; they tend to follow and merely imitate; hence, dictators and lack of freedom are popping up again as phenomena. Few people, in the many nations, are really talking about lowering population levels. So my premonitions (from childhood) about deadly viruses and a deadly-polluted globe seem to be, indeed, transpiring.

To compromise a lot and to look the other way and make excuses is not great order. Only great order as (and of) the mind can allow the possibility of a true (not fabricated) visitation by that sacred, eternal energy to take place. Then there is a real communion, not all of that phony stuff. If it (i.e., such a visitation) never takes place in one’s life, then one’s life may have, unfortunately, turned out to be like a seed that never germinates, an egg that never hatches. With such visitation may come real wisdom about the whole, and not all of that phony stuff; with it, eternity is revealed deeply, and superficiality continues to significantly dissipate.

Dr. Campbell is right, we need to be close to nature and the outdoors. We need to be responsible for our little, delicate planet. We need to care.

Please, if you are able, donate to your local food bank (as we have been repeatedly doing).

Cutleaf Toothwort Wildflower and Insect in the Woods… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
The March of Snow -- Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
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STAY SAFE! The hours tick away… the cells tick away…

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The March of Snow -- Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020
The March of Snow — Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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.”

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A Poem i wrote the other day…

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

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Two pertinent songs by Rush. Neil Peart, their excellent, top-notch drummer and lyric-writer, recently passed away.

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The Controller of Thought

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[This post is very similar to a recent post, but reiterating some things is necessary (for it to possibly “sink in”); there are also some new twists.

This will end my posts now for a while (as i had scheduled them); i will take a break (after my recent heart attack) and will not be posting for a while. My cardiologist said that my heart sustained minimal damage, which is good. He said, “Let this be a warning sign.” Warning sign! I was living like a monk and doing everything right! Hopefully, the medication that they are giving me will help keep the bad things from progressing… even though i am no huge fan of Big Pharma.]

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Is there a separate controller of thought? Or is such a “separate controller” a product (an extension) of thought itself? Despite what we were taught, it really is the latter. Thought/thinking is a field or sequence of reactions. Positing that a separate controller exists just extends one’s (learned) attachment for some dominating factor, imagined powerful center, or “internal boss.” A very orderly mind can function quite nicely, thank you, without believing in some fictitious (imagined) boss as its “center.”

When someone states “I meditate for 20 minutes a day,” it implies, for one thing, that meditation is something that one can “decide” to do, and it additionally implies that there is a separate “controller” or “regulator,” a dominating entity that makes decisions controlling the thought process.
However, the real facts may be that all thoughts are totally conditioned reactions (i.e., symbolic responses to stimuli) and that positing a real “center” or “controller” directly contributes to crude, limited fields of separation. For example, there is the supposed separation between the controller and his or her thoughts. But the inner “controller” is an extension or protrusion of thought and is not at all separate from what thought is. (As we’ve said before, when one speaks to others, one must occasionally use the words “I” or “me,” even though such usage is rather primitive and involves a rather barbaric language system.) However, often thinking (or projecting) a central “I” internally tends to give one a fragmentary, separative view towards others, toward other life forms, and it even creates internal separation/conflict: “me” and the separate thoughts that “I” manipulate. This internal separation then (obviously) extends outwardly into the world. “I” am separate from their suffering… or nature is separate from “me.” The aforementioned sentence is an example of a very primitive, distorted, mindset; such mindsets are, unfortunately, very common, hence all of the indifference and lack of love existing in the world.

True meditation does not occur as a result of some thought process. All thought processes are secondhand (conditioned) reactions (i.e., aftereffects) and a mere secondhand reaction (or set of reactions) can never decide to be what is whole and beyond reaction. Meditation is a thing that occurs uninvited when the mind is not foolishly trying to make it happen. Realizing that one is not something separate from a series of thoughts (as those thoughts are taking place) involves wisdom that allows true meditation to take place. And, as we’ve written before, one cannot merely “know” that one is meditating; it is beyond the field of the known.

The beauty of meditation is that its wholeness and purity may allow the mind to see and exist beyond limitation. That limitlessness is of the eternal, beyond distortion.

Ant on Wild Celery Plant … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Aloneness

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Real aloneness is that independence from all “influence.” It is that innocence that occurs when the mind is not tethered to achieving more and more and still more. It is to stand alone away from all influence, from all beliefs, traditions, suppositions, habits, fears, and conclusions. (Besides, beliefs and many iron-clad traditions tend to divide people and cause havoc in the world.)

Aloneness is when, without planning or effort, the mind is of an intelligent emptiness beyond mere thoughts and thinking. It does not occur when the mind consists of desires to get something out of such emptiness. Ambition and expectation have nothing to do with such emptiness manifesting. There is no acquisition or reaping involved with such emptiness. You don’t make yourself empty to “get something.”

When the limitations of thought/thinking in (and “as”) consciousness are intelligently seen, then there may be an abnegation due to seeing the false as the false. Clinging to falsities and limitations may involve effort akin to hugging onto shadows persistently.

That aloneness, that emptiness that is beyond falsities, is like an uncontaminated sky that is open, pure, and unspoiled by the activities of man.

An alone Grasshopper … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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If one knows that one is meditating, meditation isn’t there.

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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.

Who is pulling my leg from down there? Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Human Motives

8 comments

Much of what we do involves motive. Our reactions, throughout the day, largely emanate from motives. Oftentimes these motives are learned (i.e., absorbed) habitual responses, and the end-products (that they unfold into) usually are rather mundane and ordinary. The ramifications of this tend to be conformity, sameness, and a lack of real perception and real creativity.

Such sameness and conformity may not at all be beneficial for life as a whole. Superficial motives often keep one in stagnation, while imitating others. Such habitual motives are a form of inaction and are a wastage of energy. Beliefs stem from motives, and beliefs (with their separative groups) tend to cause division in the world.

The innocent/wise mind, throughout the day, can often look without mere motive. Such looking, such perception, is uncontaminated, whole, and pristine. Seeing beyond the ordinary, it flowers in insights and depth not merely dependent upon direction. Mere motive always has a direction. Such direction corrupts. Only what is beyond direction and motive can, perhaps, commune with the timeless, the immeasurable whole.

Hover Fly on Eastern Daisy Wildflower … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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To Exist as Nothing Psychologically

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To exist as nothing, psychologically, is not an unfavorable, weak state. Going beyond everything that you have been and believe in — instantly, without motive — is one of the most positive things, for it is of innocence, wholeness (beyond fragmentary reactions), and freedom. In fact, always continuing as mere reaction (from the old memory bank of stale ideas and images) is the continuation of sorrow. Sorrow must inevitably occur when mental things are second-hand and are constituted of mere reactions. Of course, thought/thinking must frequently manifest for one to do certain necessary things proficiently, with care. However, remaining in (and “as”) thought/thinking habitually, when such thinking is unnecessary, is sorrow and over-reacting. (It’s like endlessly clinging to a stream of shadows when — with deeper awareness — such shadows can be seen to be superficial and often rather insignificant.)

We, unfortunately, were miseducated to associate internal emptiness with internal poverty. Pure, uncontaminated, psychological emptiness is the most positive action, for it is of a pristine, orderly wholeness; merely being the reaction of thinking, however, is essentially inaction… dullness. Unfabricated emptiness is of a wholeness that is beyond mere sequential reaction in (and “as”) time; in that is vast energy, real freedom.

Monarch Madness … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Halloween Praying Mantis

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She prayed,
and when she prayed,
the whole world prayed with her.

Her eyes, those large bulbous eyes,
saw everything worth praying for,
and everything needed preying.

She preyed on butterflies, bees, moths,
and on a number of other things.  It was what she preyed
that mattered, and it was the way she preyed.

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[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.]

Chameleonic Praying Mantis. … Photo by Thomas Peace c.2019
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Latest Sierra Club News as of October 2019

20 comments

(Please “like” this post if you perceive the seriousness of it, not because you like what is happening.)

The remote Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean are covered by 413.6 million pieces of plastic debris weighing 262 tons.

People around the world could be ingesting five grams of microplastic each week, the equivalent of eating a credit card.

July 2019 surpasses July 2016 as the hottest month in recorded history.

Emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane from ammonia-fertilizer plants are 100 times greater than what’s reported by the industry.

So far this year, 182 dead gray whales have washed up along the Pacific Coast, many likely having starved to death because of changing fish populations in warming waters.

In April 2019, for the first time ever, more US electricity generation came from renewables than from coal.

Human activity threatens 1 million species of plants and animals with extinction.

A heatwave bakes India. Temperatures in Rajasthan reach 123 degrees F, and the four reservoirs that supply Chennai (population 9.1 million) go dry.

Republican lawmakers in 18 states want to criminalize protests against fossil fuel infrastructure, like pipelines.

By the end of 2018, 11 million people were employed in renewable energy worldwide.

Current White House officials suppress State Department testimony that human-caused climate change will be “possibly catastrophic.”

More than 1.8 million people object to a Trump proposal to strip gray wolves of endangered species protections.

Wild Thistle … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Standing Alone

32 comments

 

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).  
    

The Monarch that stands alone. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Eyes of Starry Nights

26 comments
 
 
 
Prepare the later afternoon of me myself—prepare my lengthen-
ing shadows,
Prepare my starry nights.   — Walt Whitman
 
 
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­
 
 
­
­
Being that
the perceiver is the perceived,
these soon to be starry nights
find themselves in your foreseeing eyes.
 
My long shadow and yours will coincide.
May we blend in a timeless wholeness
so very much vaster than mere ending
and so very truer than mere fragments.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Grasshopper Shadow & Eyes … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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one budding diminutive why

17 comments

 

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

 

Sweet little Katydid … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Meditation

20 comments

 

I’ve read statements by people, in blogs and elsewhere, where they say, for example, “I meditate for 20 minutes a day.”   

Please!

Meditation cannot be practiced.  It is a quietude of the mind that is not made by some projected image of a central controller.  There is no central controller, or “I,” or “me” that can cause meditation.  Meditation is not a mere sequential effect or event (in time) brought about by some predetermined cause (i.e., by some form of causality).  True meditation is timeless and is not what can occur by any methodology in (and “as”) psychological time.  If you think that you are causing so-called meditation to happen for a specified period of time (each day or whatever), it is —  unfortunately — a form of glorified self-hypnosis. 

Real meditation is not even what one can “know” is happening.  It is beyond the field of the known.  One can neither practice it nor know that it is happening… and that is its beauty.  But most people are so addicted to their need to categorize and “know” things that they feel frightened or insecure with not existing (mentally) as the known.  They perpetually cling to the apron-strings of the known.  They have to know that they are meditating or know that they are practicing meditation… all of which are not real meditation whatsoever. 

Or they say such things as, “Well I am working on perfecting my meditation,”… or “I am practicing my meditation more and more each day.”  Who (or what) is this so-called “I” that is supposedly doing such things?  Really, if we are at all honest, it is a protrusion of thought (i.e., an image created by thought) that takes credit for being a central controller or central (mental) orchestrator, of which it is (in actuality) neither.  Most people — plain and simply — are afraid to transcend the false sense of security that the primitive notion of a central “I” projects as.   However, a false (fabricated) central “I” that thinks it is meditating is neither meditating, nor an actuality, nor truly central.  (Past blogs that one has written explain this more; read them if confusion exists at this point.) 

Real meditation may occur when the mind, without effort, is aware beyond superficiality.  That means that it is not merely attached to the field of the known.   The known is always limited; it is grossly circumscribed.  Wisdom is meditation, a non-concocted quietness, which may happen throughout the day without deliberate intent.  Then, perhaps, what is eternal, sacred, unlimited, and beyond words may enter.  But it does not enter if false notions, false practices, and false images are perpetually clung to.   

Real meditation can be a blossoming of the mind.   But if you (metaphorically) cling to fake, fabricated flowers all of your life, nothing profound will happen.

 

The Beauty of Real (not fake) Flowers. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Post

Wordless Wednesday … Not!… Halloween Toad

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Don’t be a torpid, sluggish mind, indifferent about the environment, about others, and about goodness.   We’ve been donating a lot, over the years, to all of the Hurricane victims (both to charities for humans and for dogs), including (recently) Dorian.  These hurricanes are worsening over the years due to global warming.  I see some bloggers who claim to love nature, yet they travel — in jets and planes that spew out tons of pollutants — to distant countries or far distant places to get “great nature photos.”   I’ve been unfollowing such hypocritical behavior blogs.  I’m not afraid of devils or goblins around Halloween.  I’m more concerned about people who treat the earth wrongly, indifferently.   We all can do more to help nature; we all could do less harmful things.  Please watch the following Greta Thunberg video.  I feel very sorry for kids these days; if things do not change, they — because of the increase in carbon dioxide — will not be able to breathe properly in a few short decades.  30% of all birds in North America (alone) have gone extinct in the last 50 years; they are the canaries in the coal mine, but most adults just don’t see it enough.

During the Halloween season, this is the new greeter at Walmart stores. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Fourteen Steps Climbed to the Top

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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

A breach on humanity. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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That Sacredness

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There is a vast, timeless sacredness that is beyond the illusory patterns of the world.  It did not create this world and it rarely manifests itself to those in it.  (The creation of the world or universe by a separate, calculating deity is a rather barbaric conceptualization inherited from our ancient forebearers.)   This sacredness is ineffable; it is beyond words and the representation of words.  (Most all words are symbols and are merely representations.)  It is beyond the framework of time.  All sequential patterns of words (and mental images) are time.  What is merely caught in time cannot touch or approach the timeless.  There is an innocence, a wholeness of mind, beyond thought/thinking, that can be open to a visitation of this timelessness, (and that can also involve insights that may be reflections from such timelessness).  Theories and beliefs have nothing to do with it.  

It can only visit you; you cannot visit (or approach it).  The “you” (i.e., that learned image of a “central me”), anyway, cannot merely exist as the illusion that it is (for a likely communion with that timelessness to take place).  Mankind, for the most part, being caught in rather vapid sequential symbols of thought/thinking, tends to go on suffering, go on in limitation and time.

 

Buckeye Butterfly in nice Fall colors … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Clock of Prejudice and Non-

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There was a clock
      with many hands

And the space between a certain hand
      at a specific area of the face
      (i.e., that limited space between the hand and the face)
      constituted a certain consciousness

Now each of the hands had different lengths and colors
      and different numerals and experiences upon the face
      to go through

There were black hands with long lengths
      there were white hands with short lengths
      there were wide little yellow hands
      there were thin long red hands

For one space of a hand to hate another space of a distant hand
      was insanity
      since each hand was a part of the same one clock

For one space of a hand 
      at four
      to want to eventually be wiser at eight
      was foolish
      since the space at four 
      could never really be the space at eight

Unless the space at four
      could fully realize that
      it was the space of all of the other hands

There is the limited little dull space of the segregated self
      and there is the not-so-limited timeless space of vast intelligence
      vast compassion

Which would you rather be?

One takes no time whatsoever to get to

Timely Droplets within Spiderweb … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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The Sensitivity of Living Creatures

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Each living creature of life has a sensitive vibration of feeling, and many have a cherished awareness.  We human beings somehow think that ours is “superior,” better, and magnificent.  However, with much of our fancy ideas and thinking, we are destroying the ecological balance of the whole… of the globe.  We perceive and think in the ways that we were taught to perceive and think… primarily in parts, fragmentarily.  We see the so-called “outer environment” fragmentally, as what can be used piecemeal, to be exploited, manipulated, and used.  

However, the so-called outer is really not separate from the inner.  The observer is not separate from the observed.  Similarly, space and matter are not separate from what time is.  We are of matter’s (thought’s) doings; we are thought, time, and the movement of time.  The intelligence of meditation takes place when thought is not merely habitual and endless.  Thought/thinking is always partial, always fragmentary, and sequential.  Real meditation is consciousness beyond the stirrings of its content; it is an effortless, unplanned, holistic quietness beyond mere fragmentation and sequential patterns.   The timeless can only reveal itself when the mind intelligently perceives beyond the fragmentary movement of its content.  

 

Grasshopper enjoying the view … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Winged and Ready

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Winged and ready
         to softly swirl
a long way off from
         man’s sad sordid fabrications and smoggy surgings

Bright eyes see
         beyond miserable madness(musts and can’ts)
and will fly
         beyond stale circumscriptions

Will we succumb to whirlwinds of hard
         indifference?
Will they plant their deadness into
         our innocent minds?

That is up to you

Winged and Ready (Painted Lady) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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Violence

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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. 

 

 

Long Dash Skipper Butterfly … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
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His inquietude made him what he was…

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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

 

 

 

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Whom are We Kidding?…

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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

 

 

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Wordless Wednesday… Not!

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Resting on a leaf
                                   this Wordful Wednesday
and
                         being wordless doesn’t matter one damn bit if

           you don’t do very compassionate things

                                                                                           for people and for animals and plants

 

 

 

Damselfly Resting ..,. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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Trying to Get to the Top

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                                                                 O
                                                                 h $

                                                               that
                                                           top that
                                                       so many are
                                                   struggling to get to

                               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

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Our Neural Networks and the fallacious “I”…

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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

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Insights or Non- (Part 11)

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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.

 

 

After a Shower … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

 

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May I Understand Why People Don’t Understand

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May i understand why people don’t understand.
And why is there such a disconnect in people’s minds
betweenthings,
between them and all other things?
They look with (and “as”) sep
             ar
    ­A
tion,
each from a center that never was a true center
and that never will be a true center…
like bubbles floating in a glass of milk
each thinking that they are separate from
the milkiness.  

 

 

Beyond Separation … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

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Love exists beyond mere separation…

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Instead of being images “about things,” can the mind perceive beyond all of the absorbed mental patterns and labels that it has accumulated?  In actuality, most minds are a result of the accumulation; (i.e, they actually are the accumulation).  This “accumulation” often intrinsically involves “looking at things via separation” as one of its core attributes.

Perception beyond mere pigeonholing can take place.  (We are not suggesting that one should not label things; we are suggesting that one need not always be doing it habitually.  It takes dynamic intelligence to go beyond robotic habit.)  Real perception, beyond the mere separation between subject and object, can take place.  However, it takes real innocence, real simple-purity to do that and, unfortunately, the masses are (for the most part) incapable of that.  (However, corruption does have its trivial perks.)

 

 

Nothing between us… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019