Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wild Baby Buffalo Heads Just $1

This is a piece I wrote two years ago:

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Columbus Delano, speaking in 1873: "I would not seriously regret the total disappearance of the buffalo from our western plains, in its effect upon the Indians. I would regard it rather as a means of hastening their sense of dependence upon the products of the soil and their own labors."

When I headed to West Yellowstone, Montana to observe Montana's Department of Livestock (a group with absolutely no background in any biological sciences) in their inexplicable war upon North America's last wild herd of bison, I had two motives. The primary concern was the bison themselves. After about three years of hearing sporadic reports of their ongoing slaughter, I must admit I was a bit baffled as to how this could still be going on. From everything I had heard, this issue had everything going for it to attract the public attention. I kept thinking, "This has all the elements of the sensational"; after all, the bison are, next to the bald eagle, the single most revered symbol/totem of the "New World." There was the MDoL's refusal to accommodate an offer to have all the cattle in question vaccinated from a microorganism that, although potentially dangerous, had NEVER been known to transmit from bison to either human OR cattle. Elk - yes. Bison - no! Another reason of mine for plugging into the Buffalo Field Campaign was that in the past four years my focus as an activist and a journalist had strayed from being primarily ecological to other, less universal concerns. I make no apologies; they are important issues. Yet without nutritive soil, decent air, healthy water, and a biodiverse ecosystem, what befalls Yugoslavia, Colombia, Afghanistan, Palestine, Venezuela, or Indonesia matters not at all.

One of the first things that grabbed my attention during my week long tutelage, workshop, and exercise in setting aside my personal differences with people for the attainment of a common goal, was that the bison had NEVER been listed as an endangered species. Apparently, the "reasoning" behind this fallacy is that they are, genetically, not appreciably different from cattle. This is baseless as such a study has never been conducted. So goes the argument, a female bison's ovum can be fertilized by the sperm of a domesticated bull, something that never occurs in nature, i.e. all "beefalo" are a result of artificial insemination. By this reasoning, your Rottweiler is a wolf merely because it can become impregnated by one and this DOES occur without the meddling hand of man.

In fact, Yellowstone's bison don't even officially exist, managing to not be listed as a species even present there by the National Park Service. They're there alright - and they're big. You can't miss them. Given the fact that there is a considerable mandate for their protection, one can only conclude that their exclusion is political in nature. Perhaps putting the bison on paper would open legal doorways for their protection. It seems that there have been people in key governmental positions for some time with interests vested against such a scenario, and the bison; perhaps for a hundred and fifty years.

Think on this: a yearling calf that is not infected with brucellosis and is not posing a problem for anyone can have his/her head auctioned off. These "trophies" have gone for as little as a dollar, indicating that people who attend such auctions find it distasteful - not Montana's Department of Livestock! Such auctions netted the MDoL, last year, over $180,000 - an established motive?

Is it any wonder many Montana reservations refuse the meat offered by the MDoL obtained from such crimes?

BRUCELLOSIS

There is not a single recorded incident of transmission of brucellosis from bison to either cattle or human. A Texas A&M study is often cited to argue otherwise but in that study bison were HEAVILY dosed with the microbe and the bison and cattle were confined together in tight quarters.

Human health arguments are, as well, severely flawed. Despite hundreds of people butchering Yellowstone bison, many with their bare hands, not one of those contracted the bacteria. There ARE five known cases of transmission from elk to human, however.

The principle route of transmission of this protist is through contact with an infected, aborted fetus. As such, pregnant bison pose a theoretical risk of transmission yet the window for such an occurrence, as I shall demonstrate, and as is ALREADY demonstrated by its never having occurred, is infinitesimal.

Some have argued that cattle could become infected by licking a live, newborn calf. After spending a week watching these monolithic, four- legged forces of nature playing, grazing, and battling for dominance, I am pretty sure that any domestic cow or bull that tried to get near one of the bison's young would be quickly and properly escorted from its erroneous ways.

In order for brucellosis to be transmitted from bison to cattle, the following factors must ALL be in place:

1. A pregnant female bison must walk out of Yellowstone National Park between June and October (when cattle are present in the general vicinity) and this is uncommon.

2. The female must abort - something that is extremely rare.

3. The aborted fetus must remain un-scavenged until cattle enter the area. I was just there and there are scavengers aplenty of the kind that aren't affected by brucellosis. Besides, the herd will almost always eat the aborted fetus, the placenta, the mucus - everything.

4. Cattle must arrive within four hours if the fetus is left in direct sunlight after which, it dies.

Despite all of this, Montana's MDoL has shown that they are willing to kill any bison of any age or sex, regardless of whether or not it is known that they are brucellosis-free, that steps out of the park.

Know that a 30-60 day period of separation between bison and cattle is observed, further diminishing this already microscopic window of risk. When ranchers were offered to have the cattle vaccinated (the vaccine has been shown to be 70% effective) they declined. This would have reduced the hair-thin risk window by another seventy percent.

RECENTLY A couple of weeks ago, a judge ruled that this year's grazing allotments must be canceled because an Environmental Impact Statement, required every ten years, was not done. A few days later, the MDoL killed twenty-nine of these creatures. They posed no threat to any cattle or human yet the MDoL, in their arrogance, were sure that an appeal with absolutely no base would go through. It didn't. Another judge ruled the same. No cattle this year. Do the EIS. Too late for those twenty-nine.

A few days later, after the capture facility had been packed up for the season, in their spite, they came back out for the sole purpose of shooting two bison that were practicing something that Shane (head cowpoke) and his boys do not: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This was a new experience for me, losing a bison I had actually known, though it happened after I left West Yellowstone.

He was magnificent. He was peaceful. He practiced a creed we usually only speak about practicing: live and let live.

This mighty manifestation of the same force that powers the universe was marked - in two ways. He was marked and tagged from having been already tested for brucellosis - meaning he was KNOWN by his murderers as not being a carrier. He was also marked in a different way, targeted to satisfy the urge of a few deranged primates who get off on playing the hunter.

CULTURE WAR?

The bison were the livelihood of millions of people indigenous to the Americas. As it turns out, it is for this reason that at the turn of the century, only twenty-three remained.

In 1871, R.C. McCormick, the congressional delegate from the Arizona Territory, introduced a bill in the U.S. House for the protection of the bison, but it never made it out of committee. He tried again the next year by showing other congressmen an illustrated article in Harper's Weekly that warned of their impending extermination.

McCormick also read letters on the House floor from army officers, Indian agents, and the head of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, all of whom urged that the federal government take action.

McCormick overplayed his hand, however, when he read a letter pointing out the devastating effect the loss of the bison had on the plains Indians. It reminded congressmen who favored a "hard-line" Indian policy that allowing the destruction of the bison would expedite their goal of undermining the native population. Widespread newspaper reporting of the continued decimation of the bison generated support for protective legislation, so that a bill finally passed both houses of Congress in the spring of 1874. President Ulysses S. Grant pocket-vetoed the measure. Secretary of the Interior Columbus Delano had recently reported to the president that "the total disappearance of the buffalo" was an effective way to encourage the Indians to adopt an agricultural lifestyle, which (white) reformers desired. Grant's chief military advisors on Indian policy, Generals William Sherman and Philip Sheridan, argued that the Indians would be forced to capitulate to the army once the bison were gone.

By the mid 1880's, only a few hundred bison existed, located primarily in the area of Yellowstone National Park. The 1872 law establishing the park prohibited the "wanton destruction of fish or game for the sole purposes of merchandise or profit." Poachers, though, took advantage of the absence of enforcement mechanisms and lack of funding for the park's first five years. Conditions were so bad in 1886 that a U.S. Cavalry unit had to police the park. The situation remained much the same until 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed the Yellowstone Protection Act into law. It banned killing game, cutting timber, or removing mineral deposits upon penalty of fines and jail time.

CONCLUSIONS

Just as in the nineteenth century, white man wages war on something that does not threaten him. That was the legacy we as Americans inherited. We railed, at times, for being held accountable for the sins of our grandfathers. Shall we rail against being held accountable for the sins of OUR age? Well who else WOULD be responsible? Who is there to account for such if not ourselves? Will our children get by in spite of our apathy? I offer a different scenario - a vision that I hope you can identify with: may they thrive BECAUSE of our EFFORTS!

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


References:

Slaughter on the Montana Range

Sacred Buffalo, Holy Cow: The Struggle for the Western Range

Dispelling the Cowboy Myth: an Interview with George Wuerthner


Stateless Socialism: Anarchism by Mikhail Bakunin

The Basic Principle of Socialism: We do not propose here, gentlemen, this or any other socialist system. What we demand now is the proclaiming anew of the great principle of the French Revolution: that every human being should have the material and moral means to develop all his humanity, a principle which, in our opinion, is to be translated into the following problem:

To organize society in such a manner that every individual, man or woman, should find, upon entering life, approximately equal means for the development of his or her diverse faculties and their utilization in his or her work. And to organize such a society that, rendering impossible the exploitation of anyone's labor, will enable every individual to enjoy the social wealth, which in reality is produced only by collective labor, but to enjoy it only in so far as he contributes directly toward the creation of that wealth.

State Socialism Rejected: The carrying out of this task will of course take centuries of development. But history has already brought it forth and henceforth we cannot ignore it without condemning ourselves to utter impotence. We hasten to add here that we vigorously reject any attempt at social organization which would not admit the fullest liberty of individuals and organizations, or which would require the setting up of any regimenting power whatever. In the name of freedom, which we recognize as the only foundation and the only creative principle of organization, economic or political, we shall protest against anything remotely resembling State Communism, or State Socialism.

For more, see Stateless Socialism: Anarchism.

What Is Permaculture?

"Let's look at the etymology: 'permanent' is a Latin word meaning to endure or to persist throughout, and 'culture' is any of those activities that support and distinguish human communities. Probably the easiest way to understand it is through subsets of words like 'agriculture.' When I say the word 'agriculture,' you think, oh, that is the activity which produces food for the community - and you would be wrong. Agriculture is that activity that produces commodities for the international market."

See What is Permaculture?.

Also see Permaculture.Net.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

John Trudell Speaks at Judi Bari Memorial - April 26, 1997

John Trudell is a former American Indian Movement member and first nations activist. Judi Bari spent much of her adult life attempting to publicize the rape of the forests of our land. For her stance, a bomb was planted in her car disabling her.

Please see John Trudell Speaks at Judi Bari Memorial - April 26, 1997

Monday, September 27, 2004

Long Overdue

So far, I have posted some forty items on issues that, I believe, affect us deeply often though we aren't even aware of it. What I have not done is offer up some of my own words and this is because I have, quite frankly, been stretched too thin to devote the personal time to the things that matter most to me. These things would include the best listservs I am on, my blog, and Memes.org where I have recently taken on the responsibility of co-editor. First, a word or two about that website and then a bit more about me. It has been a few months since I was writing my own pieces and I hope to be back to that soon.

Memes.org has showcased some groundbreaking research into metaphysics, investigation of federal and corporate corruption, memetics, and quite a few other bodies of knowledge. The site often carries posts by a person, one who posts anonymously, that seems to have quite an inside track on some issues. I do not know who he is but I sure do wish he would post with capital letters and proper punctuation and spelling. Personally, I don't give a rat's behind about such things but because I like to promote the information carried by Memes.org and because I provide lots of information to lots of people and a lot of people do mind such things. Unfortunately, such sloppy text-work does not help spread the memes he presents. While I do not agree with all of his conclusions, I do believe he has quite a few intriguing vectors of research going and I highly recommend challenging your worldview with his stuff and, indeed, with Memes.org in general.

~

In my profile, I write this:

"I'm not sure how much more eclectic a person can be but I am sure that a lot of individuals consider themselves to be more unique than most - a definite contradiction of course. I was born on the first day of the summer of love and I have been an activist, a geek, a hippie, a bit of a punk, a nomad, a sailor, and a bunch of stuff all in between. I have been a pagan, a buddhist, a zoroastrian, an atheist, blah blah. Labels aside, scanning my posts are a better guage of my interests than any paragraph I can write. Yet I am so much more. Aren't you?"

Now, I will go more into this.

The first day of the summer of love was June 21, 1967. It was also the day I was born. I was not aware of this fact until I was about eighteen, the time when I started my own journey into tye-die's, classic psychadelic and progressive music, mind-alteration, metaphysics, and so on. Mind you, this was no attempt to fit into a local counterculture. In fact, for quite a time I was the only person I knew that wore tie-dye being a young man in suburban Detroit in the mid-eighties. Soon, to my delight, I would happen upon a small, tight-knit circle of highly creative people.

Then, something out of my fledgling character happened. At twenty, in 1987, I was without clear direction in life and I needed to get out of my living situation, an old story. I was also young enough and male enough to get caught up in the testosterone of false-patriotism that I was moved by the power of machines of war as we watched them on the boob tube. Yes, as you may have guessed, I joined the military, specifically - the navy.

Boot camp sucked. At one point I wanted out. Let me tell everyone that thinks, erroneously, that I knew what I was getting into. FEW people actually know the full extent of what they are getting into in the military. If everyone were actually on the up and up with all of it, recruiters would not still be lying to potential recruits. Boot camp teaches anger. That anger becomes a contained pressure that is carefully cultivated and controlled. When one gets in a situation, like war, where one is allowed to let that rage out with the sanctioning of the American system(which is often supported by family and friends and thus becomes a proxy sanctioning of loved ones) and immediate superiors, then those not too blinded may see what it has all been about. People in general in this country are justice-starved and this is directly responsible for the lustful hatred and calls for lynching of whoever the system tells us is the bad guy. People in the military are expression-starved and after years of training and being emotionally and psychologicall beat up, that expression, waiting to be let out, is an angry one. Deprivation of justice also explains the uncanny ability of people to just KNOW who did it and who did not in any highly publicized court case on the television (the medium is the missile) and to cheer 'their' side in a case that, in reality, they have nothing to do with and know nothing about. It continues to amaze me how people can at once admit that the media lies and at the same time embrace some of those lies merely because they tell the spectator what he/she wants to believe is true.

After boot camp, it was off to Virginia for training as an Operations Specialist. An OS has a variety of things to learn as operations refers to anything conducted by the military that has anything to do with battle or preventing such. Logistics support operations. As such, an OS must learn military strategies and tactics, navigational skills, the specifics of enemy and friendly offensive and defensive systems.

At this point, in the wake of bootcamp, I felt quite free. I actually was not but I didn't know that; I merely felt free because of the lack of freedom I had just experienced in the extreme. It is not unlike how a tortured person usually volunteers the information after the torture is done and some person is scripted to come in to a torture situation, save the person, condemn the torturers and show the tortured how the real system represented by the torturers is not actually made up of such things. If you are completely unfamiliar with what I am talking about, well, I will move on because I could spend twenty pages just explaining this. Try looking up torture techniques online. One ends up falling in love with this alternate life to what was just existent.

I graduated at the top of my class and got my choice of assignments, within certain parameters. I took this specialty in the navy because I knew my strong point was my brain and the occupation was the closest thing I would find to chess. I chose Long Beach, California. Finally, like one of my hippie mentors, I would go to California though under far different circumstances. One thing was sure though, I was at least as free as I was under the umbrella of the parental home and I was, at least, having new experiences.

Long Beach, I would find out, was merely an extension of L.A. so I would end up ducking gangs on payday to make it on the bus to Belmont Shores in order to have a little off-base fun. Eventually, I would merely go and get drunk at base's club and spend much of the next few months trying to have a good time there all the while dodging westpac widows. Westpac is west pacific tour, a tour that west coast sailors make eventually that includes Hawaii, the Phillipines, Thailand, Japan, Austrailia, and the Persian Gulf, among others. Westpac widows are the wives left behind for six months who will tell a drunken sailor anything he wants to hear so long as he will have sex with them. Unfortunately, on a given night at Long Beach Naval Station, anywhere from five to thirty married women would show up to get the, sometimes unsuspecting, sailor to help her cheat on their men. Now, I am not much for the institution known as marriage, personally. Still, this is a little sad. I sympathize, now, with both the men and the women.

Soon, I would befriend a couple of people stationed on my ship, the USS Gary FFG-51 (anti sub ship), and we would use Gus's vehicle to expande our repertoire of weekend fun to make trips down to Tijuana. At least here, we were seeing mostly women from San Diego that were college students. The westpac widows largely stuck to the bars at U.S. naval bases. Still, it was more of the same, in a general sense, and this too got boring.

On one fateful day, while in Belmont Shores, I was walking down the main avenue (I cannot recall its name but I believe it was a part of the Pacific Coast Highway) and a hippie girl was posted out on the sidewalk, next to a few friends, trying to sell a few tapes and magazines created at the commune she lived at. They were trying to raise money to stay alive as a community and, according to her, trying to further the revolution. This sounded like the revolution I believed in - a revolution not of arms but of the mind. They called their project Zendik Farm.

I bough a tape and a magazine. I read the magazine and listened to the tape. The music was not my type but the words were. Wulf Zendik wrote the kind of things that, I realized, I USED to think about in my own meanderings. His words, and the words of others, reached deep into my psyche and activated my long dormant conscience. I suddenly remembered who I was and at that point (seems sudden in retrospect - it actually took a few days), I knew I was involved in something that was wrong. You see, there had been something I had been noticing about the operations that our ship was involved in, something troubling. Until now, I had had the disassociative ability (cultivated by boot camp) to bury what I was seeing beneath a sea of distractions, i.e. wine, women, and song.

I would tread very dangerous ground here by providing specifics as to what I am talking about. I have been a rather high-profile activist at times and I have, at times, been thoroughly watched and even harrassed by corporate and governmental entities for some of my research. As such, here, I will only say that I was stationed in Long Beach, California and worked closely with the Coast Guard during the height of the crack epidmeic (1988-89) ala Iran-Contra. Nuff said.

Soon, I would be AWOL. Within a couple of days I would be at Zendik farm. I will never forget it. Though I was only there about three days, the impact would last forever. It didn't take long, however, for me to realize that I was not ready for a life of exile and hiding and this community I was experiencing never asked to be subject to the long eye of the man. They had enough problems in that day and age without harboring a semi-known fugitive.

So, I went back and was soon discharged, honorably! This blew my mind a little. Later I would find out that often people who were discharged due to sudden conscientious objection AND had access to highly classified information would be given honorable discharges as sort of a friendly pat on the back, as if to say, "Now, now. We've been nice to YOU."

A couple of years later I would meet my first circle of all-out Deadheads and on my twenty-fourth birthday, would see The Grateful Dead for the first time, WITH Jerry, and with the help of lots of 25.

Needless to say, it was life-altering.

A few months later (tryint to expedite the last part of this piece - I might've gotten carried away so far) I was on my way to live at MY first communal experience though it was also quite a resort, a massage school, and a new age retreat of renown such that it once housed Aldous Huxley. It was there I would first meet Wavy Gravy.

This place is a place I cannot say enough about. I got in touch directly with the shamanic while experiencing Harbin Hot Springs. I was happier than I could recall. My love life, my shamanic sense, my pagan attitude, my buddhist mind, my bohemian endeavor - all of these things were catered to in a perfect way and for the first time, I felt I was experiencing California for what it was. Talk about extremes. I would later find out that like every other place, California had every shade of good and bad as well. Today, I consider most of northwestern California to be a wonderful place but as far as I am concerned, if the rest falls into the ocean, I only hope Texas and Florida join it.

Have you figured out yet that I am opinionated? I think opinions are formed by intense experiences, at least the opinions that are not merely adopted from others.

In June of 1992, while still a resident at Harbin Hot Springs, I would meet a man who once worked with Black Elk. He was a man of strict indigenous tradition, something pretty rare for a white man and when I say this I mean STRICT. According to some native Americans, a ceremony involving prayer and sweating that is mostly indigenous people is a sweat lodge while one that involves a red man leading it, attended by mostly white people, is a hippie lodge and one that has no red man present is a cowboy lodge. I tell you that regardless of who attended this man's lodges that they were SWEAT lodges. I hope you get the idea.

Anyway, that June I would follow this man to South Dakota in order to attend my first Rainbow gathering, an event surrounded by rumour little of which has any truth to it. Also occurring at the time, in Custer, was something called the Gathering of the Eagles. Representatives from tribes all over the Americas were present, expressing unity among first nations. There were runners, bearing a torch that was on its way from Alaska all the way to Mexico City. As it happened, I found myself sharing pipe ceremony with Yellow Horse, chief, I was told, among the Native American Church. I was honored. It was my birthday.

It was also here, in the Black Hills, that I would witness strange experiments in the wild of those hills that to this day I do not understand. I can only, half-surely, call them Teslian.

After the gathering, I would end up travelling a bit, taking up a nomadic life that consisted of drumming, fire-tending, cooking for thousands, and praying. Oh yeah. We partied too.

I did this for a long time.


SHORTENING ALL OF THIS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In 1997 I would catch a face full of teargas for attempting to witness a legal demonstration against an illegal tree-cutting in Eugene, Oregon. I watched a tree-sitter get ten cans of pepper-spray emptied onto him. First, they cut down all branches below him so that he could not scale down if he wanted to. They had nets nearby but they refused to set them near or under the tree. They cut his pants and sprayed his genitals. They removed his boots and sprayed the bottoms of his feet. They were trying to get him to fall. A nearby television camera turned off when the torture began.

So that no one could see what would happen, I presume, the crowd which had every legal right to be there (they were fenced off of direct contact with the area in question), the crowd was ordered to disperse. The twenty or thirty percent that did so immediately were the first to catch teargas as the police, who had shown up without their badges, aimed the first rounds a half a block away from the crowd that stayed in order that these people would not escape punishment for their audacity to have been there in the first place. I watched as a man ran with his eight year old son in his arms, trying to get away from the fray. I watched as a police officer chases both of them spraying. I saw children and the elderly get teargassed.

The next day the media reported that police were responding to rioters - the supposedly liberal media - the Eugene area media! I will never forget June 1, 1997.

~

By 1999, I had been involved in a degree of online activism for about two years. I was just becoming aware of the level of online surveillance that occured, managed by the National Security Agency. The full extent of it would not be made plain to me until about three years later but what I had already found out necessitated resistance, I thought.

So we devised a plan to get millions of people, worldwide, to send out emails on October 21, 1999, that would contain a long list of known keywords in the NSA's Echelon dictionary. Echelon monitors phone calls and emails for known keywords and other 'suspect' patterns. If you mention the word 'bomb', for instance, a hundred times in a months, a human will be reading your emails and evaluating you as a potential threat. If you set up a Hotmail account and send an encrypted email, the same day, to Baghdad, a red flag most definitely will go up. I think you get the idea.

The alert we sent out globally managed to get translated into at least seven languages. Very soon, though I had conducted all of this via webmail, I was getting vaguely threatening emails in my home AOL account. I left family, house, and home in order not to endanger them and went underground for a while. I thought that I would be safe. What I would soon find out was that my interests had been recorded as a signature in some surveillance CPU. I was alright for about a week but when I got online on a public computer in Santa Cruz, California and began to merely catch up on news, suddenly a two-year period of intense harrassment would begin.

Jam Echelon Day had targetted the premier surveillance outfit in the world. What had I expected - that they wouldn't find me? We had brought awareness of Echelon from conspiranoia trash to the spotlight of Sixty Minutes. I had personally done an interview with the Village Voice. Yeah, they had figured out that Robert Kemp was Eric Stewart and I was on their shit list.

Today, according to the Patriot Act, such a fight to publicize a lack of American privacy is categorized as terrorism. We knew we would not jam up the computers but we knew that by getting people to participate we would raise awareness.

Over the next two years I would be harrassed and come to know the meaning of hell, at least my own personal one. When one is homeless, and one has few options, cornering such a person into certain situations becomes easy. Soon, I was experiencing sleep deprivation, constant inuendos by people I didn't recognize, attempts to hook me on methamphetamine, and on and on...

A woman who was a very close friend of mine for over a year, one day, told me she had been assigned to me. With the Aryan overtones that had managed to make their way into my life, I dropped her like a sack of potatoes and have not returned to California since. I went to Boulder, Colorado which turned out, as well, to be a mistake. While California is behavior modification central, Boulder is defense contractor central, where the harrassment is less subtle and more direct.

Here, near the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and CU's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, near umpteen NRO, NGIA, CIA, NSA, and DOE contractors, I would happen upon a vein of research that would open a Pandora's box of revelations regarding 9-11 (Operation Two Towers) and...here is that "C" word...chemtrails.

If you, the reader, are interested in more on this, email me personally. This blog is intended for other pursuits.

It was at the Boulder RTD bus depot that I would receive the first in-person death threat that I had ever had. An Alabama boy (judging by his drawl) with war written all over him would say these words: "I am going to kill you."

To put a long story short, I grew weary of being on the front line. I have largely retired from the foxholes. I still keep up and do a little word spreading but I have done my time. I need a life now. I now live in Michigan, I fish, I spend time with my family, and I pursue, largely, spiritual matters.

It could be that this is the greatest enemy of the system. I don't mean religion - I mean spirit.

Damn, my fingers are tired. I am going to end this post. More will be revealed in time. If you have questions, feel free to email me.

Namaste.

*

Also see The Buffalo Field Campaign. They need your help.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth

S T A T E M E N T O V I N T E N T

Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY) exists to promote a system ov functional, demystified magick, utilising both pagan and modern techniques. It is a process ov individual and collective experimentation and research with no finite answers, dogmas or unchallengeable truths. It is for each to discover his or her own understanding ov thee questions that suggest themselves, and through that voyage ov discovery to find their personal and true identity, thee True Will.

We are an organization of Individuals dedicated to updating and de-mystifying religious thought. We are also dedicated to creating a world where Individuals can be free to express themselves by whatever means they wish to. We wish to break Control at all levels. We experiment with whatever methods we can utilize to accomplish these goals - magick, technology, poetry, musick, whatever!

As first steps towards change, we attempt to cultivate an awareness ov thee consequences ov our thoughts and actions, and to direct our energies in constructive directions. All this is done on thee understanding that our thoughts and behaviour form thee interface between our lives and thee lives ov others, and their repercussions are therefore endlessly returning.

Awareness is consequently a requirement for our personal and collective survival and evolution. Still, we recognise that awareness itself is dependent on information, communication, and personal commitment. Our work is subsequently practical, exchanging models and methods we have found useful to ourselves. Thus we do not dictate, but rather focus on expanding thee available possibilities through thee cross-fertilisation ov suggestions, successes, and failures. And for us this is a full-time commitment, a continual process ov being, an endless myriad ov becomings.

See Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth

Friday, September 24, 2004

Creativity and what blocks it..

Creativity and What Blocks It
from Science, Order, and Creativity
by David Bohm and F. David Peat

In the introduction, a call was made for a new surge of creativity in science. By now it will be clear that such a surge must extend into all areas of human activity if the actual challenge, which has finally revealed itself, is to be met. But does this mean that creativity must somehow be elicited from an organism that does not have in itself a natural potential for creativity? It is proposed that, on the contrary, human beings do indeed have such a potential. However as children grow older, this creativity appears to be blocked.

Some insight into the nature of this block can be gained from the work of Desmond Morris, published in The Biology of Art. In one experiment chimpanzees were given canvas and paint and immediately began to apply themselves to make balanced patterns of color, somewhat reminicent of certain forms of modern art, such as abstract expressionism. The significant point about this experiment is that the animals became so interested in painting and it absorbed them so completely that they had comparatively little interest left for food, sex, or the other activities that normally hold them strongly. Additional experiments showed somewhat similar results for other primates. When very young children are given paints, their behavior is remarkably like that of the chimpanzees.

This seems to indicate that creativity is a natural potential. Yet somehow, in most cases, the urge to create fades as the human being gets older. Or at best it continues in certain limited areas, such as science, music, or painting. Why should this happen?

An extension of Morris's experiment involved rewarding the chimpanzees for producing their paintings. Very soon their work began to degenerate until they produced the bare minimum that would satisfy the experimenter. A similar behavior can be observed in young children as they become "self-conscious" of the kind of painting the believe they are "supposed" to do. This is generally indicated to them by subtle and implicit rewards, such as praise and approval, and by the need to conform to what other children around them are doing. Thus creativity appears to be incompatible with external and internal rewards or punishments. The reason is clear. In order to do something for a reward, the whole order of the activity, and the energy required for it, are determined by arbitrary requirements that are extraneous to the creative activity itself. This activity turns into something mechanical and repetitious, or else it mechanically seeks change for its own sake. The state of intense passion and vibrant tension that goes with creative perception in the way discussed in Chapter 1 then dies away. The whole thing becomes boring and uniteresting, so that the kind of energy needed for creative perception and action is lacking. As a result, even greater rewards, or punishments, are needed to keep the activity going.

Basically, the setting and goals and patterns of behavior, which are imposed mechanically or externally, and without understanding, produces a rigid structure in consciousness that blocks the free play of thought and the free movement of awareness and attention that are necessary for creativity to act. But this does not mean that rules and external orders are incompatible with creativity, or that a truly creative person must live in an arbitrary fashion. To write a sonnet or a fugue, to compose an abstract painting, or to discover some new theorem in mathematics requires that creativity should operate within the context of a particular artistic or mathematical form. Cézanne's particular creativity in art, for example, was directed toward the discovery of new forms and orders of composition within the context of a particular form of freedom that had been previously established by the Impressionists. Some of Bach's greatest works are similarly created within the confines of strict counterpoint. To live in a creative way requires extreme and sensitive perception of the orders and structures of relationship to individuals, society, and nature. In such cases, creativity may flower. It is only when creativity is made subservient to external goals, which are implied by the seeking of rewards, that the whole activity begins to wither and degenerate.

Whenever this creativity is impeded, the ultimate result is not simply the absence of creativity, but an actual positive presence of destructiveness, as was suggested in Chapter 5. In the case of the painting experiment, this shows up as a false attitude. Both the chimpanzee and the child are engaged in an activity that no longer has meaning in itself, merely in order to experience a pleasant and satisfying state of consciousness, in the form of reward or the avoidance of punishment. This introduces something that is fundamentally false in the generative order of consciousness itself. For example, the continuation of this approach would eventually lead the child to seek pleasing words of praise from others, even if they are not true, and to collude with others in exchanging flattering remarks that lead to mutual satisfaction. This, however, is achieved at the expense of self-deception that can, in the long run, be quite dangerous.

What is even of greater danger to the child, in such an approach, is that it eventually brings about violence of various kinds. For creativity is a prime need of a human being and its denial brings about a pervasive state of dissatisfaction and boredom. This leads to intense frustration that is conducive to a search for exciting "outlets," which can readily involve a degree of force that is destructive. This sort of frustration is indeed a major cause of violence. However, what is even more destructive than such overt violence is that the senses, intellect, and emotions of the child gradually become deadened and the child loses the capacity for free movement of awareness, attention, and thought. In effect, the destructive energy that has been aroused in the mind has been turned against the whole creative potential itself.

Most education does in fact make use, in explicit or in more hidden and subtle ways, of rewards and punishments as key motivating factors. For example, the whole philosophy of behavior modification and positive reinforcement, which is particularly prevalent in North American education, holds that a system of rewards is essential for effective learning. This alone is a tremendous barrier to creativity.

In addition, education has traditionally given great value to fixed knowledge and techniques. In this way it places an extremely great importance on authority as determining the very generative order of the psyche. What is involved is not only the authority of the teacher as a source of knowledge that is never to be questioned, but even more, the general authority of knowledge itself, as a source of truth that should never be doubted. This leads to a fundamental loss of self-confidence, to a blockage of free movement and a corresponding dissipation of energy, deep in the generative order of the whole of consciousness. Later on, all of this may show up as a disposition to be afraid of inquiring into fundamental questions, and to look to experts and "geniuses" whenever any difficulty or basic problem is encountered.

Of course, a certain reasonable kind of authority is needed to maintain necessary order in the classroom. And the student has to realize that, in broad areas, the teacher has valuable knowledge that can be conveyed in an appropriate way. But what is important is the overall attitude to this knowledge. Does it seek to impose itself arbitrarily and mechanically deep within the generative order of the mind, or does it allow itself to be discussed and questioned, with a view to making understanding possible? Similar questions can be raised with regard to conformity to arbitrary norms, which come not only from the teacher, but even more from the peer group and from society at large.

Beyond school, society operates in much the same way, for it is based largely on routine work that is motivated by various kinds of fear and by arbitrary pressures to conform as well as by the hope for rewards. Moreover, society generally regards this as necessary and valuable and, in turn, treats creativity as irrelevant for the most part, except in those special cases, such as science and the arts, in which it is rewarded. In fact, no society has thus far managed to organize itself in a complex way without using a system of rewards and punishments as a major inducement to bring about cooperation. It is generally felt that if society tried to do without these, whether in the family, in the classroom, at work, or in broader contexts, it would incur the risk of eventual total disruption and chaos. Creativity is nevertheless a major need of each human being and the blockage of this creativity eventually threatens civilization with ultimate destruction.

Humanity is therefore faced with an urgent challenge of unparalleled magnitude. Specifically, rigidity in the generative order, to which control through rewards and punishments makes a major contribution, prevents the free play of thought and the free movement of awareness and attention. This leads to false play which ultimately brings about a pervasive destructiveness while at the same time blocking natural creativity of human beings.

A proper response to this challenge requires the kind of overall creativity in society that is implicit in the call being made in this book for a general creative surge in all areas of life. Clearly from this it would follow that the various forms of rigidity that have already been discussed would all change fundamentally. But such a change cannot be restricted to a single overall flash of insight. Creativity has to be sustained. For example, in Chapter 4 it was shown how the artist has to work constantly from the creative source in the generative order. An artist does not have a creative vision and then apply it mechanically, in a sequential process by means of rules, techniques, and formulae. Rather, these latter flow out of the sustained creative vision in a creative way.

To pay serious attention to this need for sustained creativity is extremely relevant for bringing about a creative change in culture and society. In most cases, however, creative new discoveries are generally followed by an attempt to reduce them to something that can be applied mechanically. While mechanical application is necessary for certain contexts, the basic impetus for each individual must come from the creative origin, and this is beyond any mechanical, explicate, or sequential order of succession.

It is possible to point to specific areas in which a creative change would be of great benefit to society and the individual. For example, by means of a tremendous creative common action, education must no longer depend on rewards and punishments, no matter how subtle these may be. It must also cease to place an excessively high value on arbitrary authority, fixed knowledge, and techniques and conformity. Some partial and preliminary work in this direction has been done from time to time. For example, there has been an effort to present the child with a great deal of meaningful material to arouse interest, so that the child does not have to be offered a reward to learn. Also, some people working in this field have emphasized free play as a way of arousing creativity. Others have given much attention to relationships that avoid unnecessary authority and conformity. By the further development of such approaches, it should in principle be possible for children to learn without the inducement of rewards.

However, there are deeper difficulties, which prevent these approaches from actually working in the long run. The problem does not stem primarily from the field of education alone. Rather, it arises ultimately out of the tacit infrastructure of the entire consciousness of humanity. This is deeply and pervasively conditioned, for example, by general tradition that takes the absolute necessity of rewards and punishments for granted. Both teachers and students are caught up in subtler forms of the same false structure that they are explicitely trying to avoid. This may, in the long run, be at least as destructive as was the original pattern that the whole experiment in education was designed to avoid.

It seems that the whole conditioning of all who take part must in fact change: society, the family, and the individual. It is thus clear that there is no single stationary point at which these problem might be attacked. The educational system, society, and the individual are all intimately involved. But it is ultimately the overall order of human consciousness that has to be addressed.

Hmmm...

George Bush goes to a primary school to talk about the war. After his talk he offers question time. One little boy puts up his hand and George asks him what his name is.

"Billy."

"And what is your question, Billy?"

"I have 3 questions.

First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN?

Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes?

And third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?"

Just then the bell rings for recess. George Bush informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess.

When they resume George says, "OK, where were we? Oh that's right question time. Who has a question?"

Another little boy puts up his hand.

George points him out and asks him what his name is.

"Steve."

"And what is your question, Steve?"

"I have 5 questions.

First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden? Fourth, why did the recess bell go 20 minutes early? And fifth, what the fuck happened to Billy?"

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Biocentrism & Deep Ecology

Revolutionary Ecology
Biocentrism & Deep Ecology
by Judi Bari

I was a social justice activist for many years before I ever heard of Earth First!. So it came as a surprise to me, when I joined Earth First! in the 1980s, to find that the radical environmental movement paid little attention to the social causes of ecological destruction. Similarly, the urban-based social justice movement seems to have a hard time admitting the importance of biological issues, often dismissing all but "environmental racism" as trivial. Yet in order to effectively respond to the crises of today, I believe we must merge these two issues.

Starting from the very reasonable, but unfortunately revolutionary concept that social practices which threaten the continuation of life on Earth must be changed, we need a theory of revolutionary ecology that will encompass social and biological issues, class struggle, and a recognition of the role of global corporate capitalism in the oppression of peoples and the destruction of nature.

I believe we already have such a theory. It's called deep ecology, and it is the core belief of the radical environmental movement. The problem is that, in the early stages of this debate, deep ecology was falsely associated with such right wing notions as sealing the borders, applauding AIDS as a population control mechanism, and encouraging Ethiopians to starve. This sent the social ecologists justifiably scurrying to disassociate. And I believe it has muddied the waters of our movement's attempt to define itself behind a common philosophy.

So in this article, I will try to explain, from my perspective as an unabashed leftist, why I think deep ecology is a revolutionary world view. I am not trying to proclaim that my ideas are Absolute Truth, or even that they represent a finished thought process in my own mind. These are just some ideas I have on the subject, and I hope that by airing them, it will spark more debate and advance the discussion.

The rest is here.

Also see The Judi Bari Website.

David Bohm and the Implicate Order

David Bohm and the Implicate Order
By David Pratt

The death of David Bohm on 27 October 1992 is a great loss not only for the physics community but for all those interested in the philosophical implications of modern science. David Bohm was one of the most distinguished theoretical physicists of his generation, and a fearless challenger of scientific orthodoxy. His interests and influence extended far beyond physics and embraced biology, psychology, philosophy, religion, art, and the future of society. Underlying his innovative approach to many different issues was the fundamental idea that beyond the visible, tangible world there lies a deeper, implicate order of undivided wholeness.

David Bohm was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1917. He became interested in science at an early age, and as a young boy invented a dripless teapot, and his father, a successful businessman, urged him to try to make a profit on the idea. But after learning that the first step was to conduct a door-to-door survey to test market demand, his interest in business waned and he decided to become a theoretical physicist instead.

In the 1930s he attended Pennsylvania State College where he became deeply interested in quantum physics, the physics of the subatomic realm. After graduating, he attended the University of California, Berkeley. While there he worked at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory where, after receiving his doctorate in 1943, he began what was to become his landmark work on plasmas (a plasma is a gas containing a high density of electrons and positive ions). Bohm was surprised to find that once electrons were in a plasma, they stopped behaving like individuals and started behaving as if they were part of a larger and interconnected whole. He later remarked that he frequently had the impression that the sea of electrons was in some sense alive.

In 1947 Bohm took up the post of assistant professor at Princeton University, where he extended his research to the study of electrons in metals. Once again the seemingly haphazard movements of individual electrons managed to produce highly organized overall effects. Bohm's innovative work in this area established his reputation as a theoretical physicist.

In 1951 Bohm wrote a classic textbook entitled Quantum Theory, in which he presented a clear account of the orthodox, Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics. The Copenhagen interpretation was formulated mainly by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in the 1920s and is still highly influential today. But even before the book was published, Bohm began to have doubts about the assumptions underlying the conventional approach. He had difficulty accepting that subatomic particles had no objective existence and took on definite properties only when physicists tried to observe and measure them. He also had difficulty believing that the quantum world was characterized by absolute indeterminism and chance, and that things just happened for no reason whatsoever. He began to suspect that there might be deeper causes behind the apparently random and crazy nature of the subatomic world.

Bohm sent copies of his textbook to Bohr and Einstein. Bohr did not respond, but Einstein phoned him to say that he wanted to discuss it with him. In the first of what was to turn into a six-month series of spirited conversations, Einstein enthusiastically told Bohm that he had never seen quantum theory presented so clearly, and admitted that he was just as dissatisfied with the orthodox approach as Bohm was. They both admired quantum theory's ability to predict phenomena, but could not accept that it was complete and that it was impossible to arrive at any clearer understanding of what was going on in the quantum realm.

It was while writing Quantum Theory that Bohm came into conflict with McCarthyism. He was called upon to appear before the Un-American Activities Committee in order to testify against colleagues and associates. Ever a man of principle, he refused. The result was that when his contract at Princeton expired, he was unable to obtain a job in the USA. He moved first to Brazil, then to Israel, and finally to Britain in 1957, where he worked first at Bristol University and later as Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College, University of London, until his retirement in 1987. Bohm will be remembered above all for two radical scientific theories: the causal interpretation of quantum physics, and the theory of the implicate order and undivided wholeness.

In 1952, the year after his discussions with Einstein, Bohm published two papers sketching what later came to be called the causal interpretation of quantum theory which, he said, "opens the door for the creative operation of underlying, and yet subtler, levels of reality." (David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order & Creativity, Bantam Books, New York, 1987, p. 88.) He continued to elaborate and refine his ideas until the end of his life. In his view, subatomic particles such as electrons are not simple, structureless particles, but highly complex, dynamic entities. He rejects the view that their motion is fundamentally uncertain or ambiguous; they follow a precise path, but one which is determined not only by conventional physical forces but also by a more subtle force which he calls the quantum potential. The quantum potential guides the motion of particles by providing "active information" about the whole environment. Bohm gives the analogy of a ship being guided by radar signals: the radar carries information from all around and guides the ship by giving form to the movement produced by the much greater but unformed power of its engines.

The quantum potential pervades all space and provides direct connections between quantum systems. In 1959 Bohm and a young research student Yakir Aharonov discovered an important example of quantum interconnectedness. They found that in certain circumstances electrons are able to "feel" the presence of a nearby magnetic field even though they are traveling in regions of space where the field strength is zero. This phenomenon is now known as the Aharonov-Bohm (AB) effect, and when the discovery was first announced many physicists reacted with disbelief. Even today, despite confirmation of the effect in numerous experiments, papers still occasionally appear arguing that it does not exist.

In 1982 a remarkable experiment to test quantum interconnectedness was performed by a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect in Paris. The original idea was contained in a thought experiment (also known as the "EPR paradox") proposed in 1935 by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen, but much of the later theoretical groundwork was laid by David Bohm and one of his enthusiastic supporters, John Bell of CERN, the physics research center near Geneva. The results of the experiment clearly showed that subatomic particles that are far apart are able to communicate in ways that cannot be explained by the transfer of physical signals traveling at or slower than the speed of light. Many physicists, including Bohm, regard these "nonlocal" connections as absolutely instantaneous. An alternative view is that they involve subtler, nonphysical energies traveling faster than light, but this view has few adherents since most physicists still believe that nothing-can exceed the speed of light.

The causal interpretation of quantum theory initially met with indifference or hostility from other physicists, who did not take kindly to Bohm's powerful challenge to the common consensus. In recent years, however, the theory has been gaining increasing "respectability." Bohm's approach is capable of being developed in different directions. For instance, a number of physicists, including Jean-Paul Vigier and several other physicists at the Institut Henri Poincaré in France, explain the quantum potential in terms of fluctuations in an underlying ether.

In the 1960s Bohm began to take a closer look at the notion of order. One day he saw a device on a television program that immediately fired his imagination. It consisted of two concentric glass cylinders, the space between them being filled with glycerin, a highly viscous fluid. If a droplet of ink is placed in the fluid and the outer cylinder is turned, the droplet is drawn out into a thread that eventually becomes so thin that it disappears from view; the ink particles are enfolded into the glycerin. But if the cylinder is then turned in the opposite direction, the thread-form reappears and rebecomes a droplet; the droplet is unfolded again. Bohm realized that when the ink was diffused through the glycerin it was not a state of "disorder" but possessed a hidden, or nonmanifest, order.

In Bohm's view, all the separate objects, entities, structures, and events in the visible or explicate world around us are relatively autonomous, stable, and temporary "subtotalities" derived from a deeper, implicate order of unbroken wholeness. Bohm gives the analogy of a flowing stream:

On this stream, one may see an ever-changing pattern of vortices, ripples, waves, splashes, etc., which evidently have no independent existence as such. Rather, they are abstracted from the flowing movement, arising and vanishing in the total process of the flow. Such transitory subsistence as may be possessed by these abstracted forms implies only a relative independence or autonomy of behaviour, rather than absolutely independent existence as ultimate substances.
(David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, Boston, 1980, p. 48.)
We must learn to view everything as part of "Undivided Wholeness in Flowing Movement." (Ibid., p. 11.)

Another metaphor Bohm uses to illustrate the implicate order is that of the hologram. To make a hologram a laser light is split into two beams, one of which is reflected off an object onto a photographic plate where it interferes with the second beam. The complex swirls of the interference pattern recorded on the photographic plate appear meaningless and disordered to the naked eye. But like the ink drop dispersed in the glycerin, the pattern possesses a hidden or enfolded order, for when illuminated with laser light it produces a three-dimensional image of the original object, which can be viewed from any angle. A remarkable feature of a hologram is that if a holographic film is cut into pieces, each piece produces an image of the whole object, though the smaller the piece the hazier the image. Clearly the form and structure of the entire object are encoded within each region of the photographic record.

Bohm suggests that the whole universe can be thought of as a kind of giant, flowing hologram, or holomovement, in which a total order is contained, in some implicit sense, in each region of space and time. The explicate order is a projection from higher dimensional levels of reality, and the apparent stability and solidity of the objects and entities composing it are generated and sustained by a ceaseless process of enfoldment and unfoldment, for subatomic particles are constantly dissolving into the implicate order and then recrystallizing.

The quantum potential postulated in the causal interpretation corresponds to the implicate order. But Bohm suggests that the quantum potential is itself organized and guided by a superquantum potential, representing a second implicate order, or superimplicate order. Indeed he proposes that there may be an infinite series, and perhaps hierarchies, of implicate (or "generative") orders, some of which form relatively closed loops and some of which do not. Higher implicate orders organize the lower ones, which in turn influence the higher.

Bohm believes that life and consciousness are enfolded deep in the generative order and are therefore present in varying degrees of unfoldment in all matter, including supposedly "inanimate" matter such as electrons or plasmas. He suggests that there is a "protointelligence" in matter, so that new evolutionary developments do not emerge in a random fashion but creatively as relatively integrated wholes from implicate levels of reality. The mystical connotations of Bohm's ideas are underlined by his remark that the implicate domain "could equally well be called Idealism, Spirit, Consciousness. The separation of the two -- matter and spirit -- is an abstraction. The ground is always one." (Quoted in Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, HarperCollins, New York, 1991, p. 271.)

As with all truly great thinkers, David Bohm's philosophical ideas found expression in his character and way of life. His students and colleagues describe him as totally unselfish and non-competitive, always ready to share his latest thoughts with others, always open to fresh ideas, and single-mindedly devoted to a calm but passionate search into the nature of reality. In the words of one of his former students, "He can only be characterized as a secular saint." (B. Hiley & F. David Peat eds., Quantum Implications: Essays in Honour of David Bohm, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1987, p. 48.)

Bohm believed that the general tendency for individuals, nations, races, social groups, etc., to see one another as fundamentally different and separate was a major source of conflict in the world. It was his hope that one day people would come to recognize the essential interrelatedness of all things and would join together to build a more holistic and harmonious world. What better tribute to David Bohm's life and work than to take this message to heart and make the ideal of universal brotherhood the keynote of our lives.

(Reprinted from Sunrise magazine, February/March 1993. Copyright © 1993 by Theosophical University Press)

Einstein, pantheist

Quotes from Albert Einstein:

"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." [Telegram of 1929, in Hoffman and Dukas]

"The religious feeling engendered by experiencing the logical comprehensibility of profound interrelations is of a somewhat different sort from the feeling that one usually calls religious. It is more a feeling of awe at the scheme that is manifested in the material universe. It does not lead us to take the step of fashioning a god-like being in our own image-a personage who makes demands of us and who takes an interest in us as individuals. There is in this neither a will nor a goal, nor a must, but only sheer being." [Dukas and Hoffman]

"But, on the other hand, every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive." [c. Dukas and Hoffman]

"The cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion without which pioneer work in theoretical science cannot be achieved are able to grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand. . . It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength." [The World as I See It]

"In human freedom in the philosophical sense I am definitely a disbeliever. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity." [The World as I See It]

"His [the scientist's] religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection." [The World As I See It]

More here.

Also see Albert Einstein Online.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

IS THE VIRGIN BIRTH PAGAN?

"The Christian belief that God performed a miracle within the Blessed Virgin Mary, causing her to conceive Jesus Christ without being impregnated by human seed. While remaining a Virgin, she gave birth to God Incarnate without the help of any man. Some skeptics claim that Christians copied the Virgin Birth doctrine from pagan religions which told of virgin-born gods and heroes. This article will examine whether or not this charge is true."

See IS THE VIRGIN BIRTH PAGAN?

Lynx fur "hoax" story shows the power of right-wing media

Contrary to most news reports, the biologists did not "plant" fur in national forests, and they were not trying to--nor could they have--use the Endangered Species Act to "shut down" the forests for human use. The actual story, according to a U.S. Forest Service investigation, is that biologists for the U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and the state of Washington--studying where (not whether) lynx live in the state's national forests--sent unauthorized "control samples" of hair obtained from captive lynx and a stuffed bobcat to a DNA lab in 1999 and 2000.

See Lynx fur "hoax" story shows the power of right-wing media.

I like to fish.

In the first year of Bush's presidency the U.S. Coast Guard reported a two-fold increase in cocaine importation via Florida.

Monday, September 20, 2004

PRINCIPLES OF REVOLUTIONARY LUMINISM

The goals of Revolutionary Luminism are the total liberation of the human race, individually and collectively, and a worldwide expansion of human consciousness into higher, more inclusive states from which the realities of our present historical and evolutionary situation can be accurately perceived and properly addressed.

Revolutionary Luminism seeks to enable the self-actualization of every member of the human race, and seeks to implement a worldwide society that will insure full liberty, autonomy, and security for every woman and man on Earth — not a “world government”: rather a worldwide grassroots free-market anarchocommunist commonwealth based on voluntary cooperation, individual liberty and personal responsibility — “all for (every) one and (every) one for all”.

This vision has been the goal of all true revolutionary movements in history, though it has never been realized due to the unripeness of human evolution and the counter-revolutionary strategies of a privileged elite addicted to tyrannical power and personal profit.

The vision of a worldwide libertarian commonwealth has also been the secret goal of an underground tradition which has existed within and outside of the Freemasonic Fraternities of the world — a tradition which traces its history through the Theosophists and Rosicrucians, the Illuminati and the Knights Templar, the Gnostics and the Essenes, Hermeticists and Pythagoreans, and on back into the mists of pre-history.

We are now entering an era in which these strands are twining together and this elusive dream of liberty is becoming both a real possibility and a real necessity — at the least a necessity for the preservation of civilization, and ultimately a prerequisite for human survival on Earth.

The forces which oppose our goal are also uniting, and are in fact in virtually complete control of Earth at this moment. Their motivation is to squeeze Earth like a grape and quench their lust for short-range profits on Her final agonies. As Jim Keith writes: “If you haven’t gotten the idea that this world is run by a criminal elite lacking the slightest concern for the welfare of mankind, then you haven’t been paying attention.”

This opposition is led by a dark cabal of ultra-rich elitists who are plotting the establishment of a totalitarian world government, a “new world order” in which the institutional violence and coercion of State Authority will be cemented into permanence. The top 3% of Earth’s population who own or control 97% of our substance seek to realize their 6,000-year-old objective of world domination. They plan to use their technologies of mass brainwashing and mind control, genocide, genetic manipulation, and ecocide to totally enslave or eliminate entire cultures, classes, and races of humanity. They plan to establish an omnipotent, monolithic, hierarchical, insectoid technocracy which will crush human liberty into extinction beneath its jack-boots.

We will not allow them to achieve their twisted apocalyptic dream. A signal has gone forth through the synapses of all sentient life, an alarm bell to wake the sleeping masses. We must rouse ourselves from our somnambulistic trance, shake off the chains of State and Corporate conditioning and indoctrination, and take our places in the spontaneously arising Legions of Light, Life, Love, and Liberty that are unfurling their banners throughout the world.

The entrenched late-20th-century power structures of Earth comprise the ultimate and absolute enemy of human liberty, equality and fraternity; of biodiversity and ecological health; of truth, justice, and love; of the survival of life on Earth.

Revolutionary Luminism is a flaming sword that can slay this world-consuming Leviathan.

For more see PRINCIPLES OF REVOLUTIONARY LUMINISM.

THE HOW AND WHY OF THE MAYAN END DATE IN 2012 A.D.

Why did the ancient Mayan or pre-Maya choose December 21st, 2012 A.D., as the end of their Long Count calendar? This article will cover some recent research. Scholars have known for decades that the 13-baktun cycle of the Mayan "Long Count" system of timekeeping was set to end precisely on a winter solstice, and that this system was put in place some 2300 years ago. This amazing fact - that ancient Mesoameri- can skywatchers were able to pinpoint a winter solstice far off into the future - has not been dealt with by Mayanists. And why did they choose the year 2012? One immediately gets the impression that there is a very strange mystery to be confronted here. I will be building upon a clue to this mystery reported by epigrapher Linda Schele in Maya Cosmos (1994). This article is the natural culmination of the research relating to the Mayan Long Count and the precession of the equinoxes that I explored in my recent book Tzolkin: Visionary Perspectives and Calendar Studies (Borderlands Science and Research Foundation, 1994).

See THE HOW AND WHY OF THE MAYAN END DATE IN 2012 A.D..

The Clear White Light

The Clear White Light
by Master Subramuniya
A Western Mystic's transcendental experiences

Introduction

The experience of the clear white light is a mystical vision seen with the mind's eye as vividly as one would see with the physical eyes. We are always seeing light with the third eye in some degree. Close your eyes and envision a large tree standing alone upon a hill covered with flowers bursting out of lush green grass in the field around. Imagine the scene taking place on a sunny day; the clear crisp air in the high altitude brings forth the images distinctly. Put a cloud in the sky for contrast.

The light you have been seeing, as you have been creating these suggested images, one at a time, with your thoughts inspired by what you have been reading, is the inner light flooding through the external mind. Remove the cloud from the picture - the flowers, the grass, and the tree. Inner light alone would remain. This inner light intensified one thousand times would be called "the clear white light".

For more see The Clear White Light.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Programming and Metaprogramming in The Human Biocomputer

Programming and Metaprogramming in The Human Biocomputer
By John C. Lilly

All human beings, all persons who reach adulthood in the world today are programmed biocomputers. None of us can escape our own nature as programmable entities. Literally, each of us may be our programs, nothing more, nothing less.

Despite the great varieties of programs available, most of us have a limited set of programs. Some of these are built in. In the simpler forms of life the programs were mostly built in from genetic codes to fully formed adultly reproducing organisms. The patterns of function, of actionreaction were determined by necessities of survival, of adaptation to slow environmental changes and of passing on the code to descendants.

Eventually the cerebral cortex appeared as an expanding new highlevel computer controlling the structurally lower levels of the nervous system, the lower builtin programs. For the first time learning and its faster adaptation to a rapidly changing environment began to appear. Further, as this new cortex expanded over several millions of years, a critical size cortex was reached. At this level of structure, a new capability emerged: learning to learn.

-John C. Lilly. M.D.

More here.

Hierarchy

The Plan

In the beginning, there was a plan,
And then came the assumptions,
And the assumptions were without form,
And the plan without substance,

And the darkness was upon the face of the workers,
And they spoke among themselves saying,
"It is a crock of shit and it stinks."

And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said,
"It is a pile of dung, and we cannot live with the smell."

And the Supervisors went unto their Managers saying,
"It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong,
Such that none may abide by it."

And the Managers went unto their Directors saying,
"It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide by its strength."

And the Directors spoke among themselves saying to one another,
"It contains that which aids plants growth, and it is very strong."

And the Directors went to the Vice Presidents saying unto them,
"It promotes growth, and it is very powerful."

And the Vice Presidents went to the President, saying unto him,
"This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor
Of the company With very powerful effects."

And the President looked upon the Plan
And saw that it was good,
And the Plan became Policy.

And this, my friend, is how shit happens.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Restore America's Ability to Discuss Ideas

Published on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 by the Miami Herald
Restore America's Ability to Discuss Ideas
by Robert Steinback

Published on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 by the Miami Herald
Restore America's Ability to Discuss Ideas
by Robert Steinback

For at least the last two years, I've been a man obsessed.

I intrude on the conversations of strangers to debate my concerns and criticisms of the U.S. involvement in Iraq specifically and the Bush administration generally. I argue loudly with people on my television and radio, though of course they can't hear me. I struggle to write columns that don't include the words Bush, Iraq or terrorism. (My editors are nodding as they read this.)

What's motivating me? Everyone I meet seems to have a theory -- but I don't believe any of them.

The most curious motivation ascribed to me is ''hatred.'' I am accused of believing as I do because I hate President Bush, Republicans, conservatives, Christians or perhaps even America itself. This allegation always puzzles me -- I don't even hate anyone I know personally. Why would I hate people I haven't even met? And the claim that I hate America is beyond silly. I should hate the country whose core principles overcame innate human cruelty, enabling my forebears to climb from slavery to prosperity? Nonsense.

I've deduced that what people really mean when they accuse me of hatred is, ''If you loved America, you wouldn't dare criticize what it does.'' But can't criticism sometimes be an expression of love?

Another accusation is that I take my political stances because -- because -- I'm a Democrat and/or a liberal. When considering an issue, I allegedly ask myself, ''What's the Democratic and/or liberal position?'' and then mindlessly adopt it.

This is a clever gambit, as I am indeed a Democrat, and since January 2001 for sure, a comfortably self-described liberal. But my political orientation doesn't define my stance on issues. I don't need anyone to tell me what to believe; I'm quite capable of determining my own beliefs.

My easy counterpoint: If it were true that partisanship defined my positions on issues, my alarm at talk of war in Iraq should have been soothed by the many Senate Democrats who blindly voted to give Bush the authority to go to war in October 2002. In fact, my outrage was greatly intensified when the ostensible opposition party couldn't find the backbone to rise in opposition. So much for partisan boosterism.

I've also heard the claim that I'm lying to advance the liberal media's insidious agenda and thus my career. Aside from the utter idiocy of trying to advance a journalism career by choosing to lie -- Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass might testify to the folly in this -- if advancement were my aim, I've surely picked the wrong track. A conservative black commentator can go far these days, if on novelty value alone (I'd have been a regular on Fox News by now), while black middle-to-left commentators are a dime a dozen.

There are other accusations -- I'm enthralled by Bill Clinton, I'm a socialist, I'm parroting talking points from the Democratic National Committee -- you get the idea. They're all designed for one purpose: to head off a debate on issues.

So what does motivate me? I'm only doing what I've always done: following my intellectual passion. I review the evidence, both hard and circumstantial, apply the logic that seems most persuasive to me, and refract it all through the prism of my principles. These have combined to create in me a belief that America, under this administration, is headed down an ill-advised, regressive path.

But I recognize this is only my opinion. I expect some people to agree and others not to. I would never just assume I'm right; my obligation is to present my argument anew in each conversation, in each column -- that's why I love, and live for, debate.

What I can't grasp is why so few people who contest my opinions can accept them as genuine. With breathtaking, but fairly predictable speed, the ''debate'' turns into an analysis of my motivations for taking the positions I do. It no longer is about what I am saying, but why I am saying it.

I'm sure it goes both ways; there must be issue-focused conservatives tired of accusations they are motivated by racism, greed, fascism or that old standby, hatred. I just don't seem to run into many. Perhaps we are mutually endangered species.

Our society is becoming increasingly unwilling to -- and sadly, incapable of -- debating ideas. Some might attribute this to the current presidential manure-slinging campaign, but I rather suspect this campaign is a reflection of us. This is more likely a trend than an anomaly.

Ours is a demand-and-supply world: We get what we ask for. We're sold whatever we're willing to buy. We receive only what we demand.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Crime of Galileo

Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vincenzio Galilei, of Florence, aged seventy years, were denounced in 1615, to this Holy Office, for holding as true a false doctrine taught by many, namely, that the sun is immovable in the center of the world, and that the earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion; also, for having pupils whom you instructed in the same opinions; also, for maintaining a correspondence on the same with some German mathematicians; also for publishing certain letters on the sun-spots, in which you developed the same doctrine as true; also, for answering the objections which were continually produced from the Holy Scriptures, by glozing the said Scriptures according to your own meaning; and whereas thereupon was produced the copy of a writing, in form of a letter professedly written by you to a person formerly your pupil, in which, following the hypothesis of Copernicus, you include several propositions contrary to the true sense and authority of the Holy Scriptures; therefore (this Holy Tribunal being desirous of providing against the disorder and mischief which were thence proceeding and increasing to the detriment of the Holy Faith) by the desire of his Holiness and the Most Emminent Lords, Cardinals of this supreme and universal Inquisition, the two propositions of the stability of the sun, and the motion of the earth, were qualified by the Theological Qualifiers as follows:

1. The proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures.
2. The proposition that the earth is not the center of the world, nor immovable, but that it moves, and also with a diurnal action, is also absurd, philosophically false, and, theologically considered, at least erroneous in faith.

Therefore . . . , invoking the most holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Most Glorious Mother Mary, We pronounce this Our final sentence: We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo . . . have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world; also, that an opinion can be held and supported as probable, after it has been declared and finally decreed contrary to the Holy Scripture, and, consequently, that you have incurred all the censures and penalties enjoined and promulgated in the sacred canons and other general and particular constituents against delinquents of this description. From which it is Our pleasure that you be absolved, provided that with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, in Our presence, you abjure, curse, and detest, the said error and heresies, and every other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Church of Rome.

1630 A.D.

The Crime of Galileo

More here.

Monday, September 13, 2004

"Self-Empowerment" Who is Watching Out for You?

Free market economies work well when there are intelligent, informed consumers and competition. Corporate monopoly-based economies work well for the corporations. Consumers/customers must purchase needed goods and services and if there is o­nly o­ne source available, the right to vote has been lost. Corporate monopolies exist because we allow them to exist and they have power because we give it to them. We can support our free market economy and assure its existence by supporting competition and voting for politicians that have a track record of doing the same. Would you expect a politician who has support from the petroleum industry and family interests in petroleum, to act in the petroleum industries best interest? Would you expect them to support your interests by actively developing alternative fuels and not going to war to facilitate petroleum fuel monopolies?

For more, see "Self-Empowerment" Who is Watching Out for You?.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Someone Had To Say It

On this day three years ago a total of 2,973 people died in America at the hands of 19 Islamic terrorists in the most devastating domestic attack the US had ever experienced (the War of 1812 only killed 2,260 Americans, even though the Brits burned down the White House).

The 9/11 event was immediately denounced as an act of war, which it was (though by whom?), and the Bush administration quickly promised constant war against terrorist "evil" in reply, a notion the president continues to re-iterate.

But Americans have yet to be offered 9/11 in any historical context. Indeed, any discussion of terrorism as acts of war that is not 100% condemnatory is branded as unpatriotic. Because of this, U.S. citizens are missing important truths and cannot weight the attack of three years ago in any sensible way.

More here.

Obedience and Disobedience

Obedience and Disobedience
from Howard Zinn's Declarations of Independence

Are we not more obligated to achieve justice than to obey the law? The law may serve justice, as when it forbids rape and murder or requires a school to admit all students regardless of race or nationality. But when it sends young men to war, when it protects the rich and punishes the poor, then law and justice are opposed to one another. In that case, where is our greater obligation: to law or to justice?

See Obedience and Disobedience

Forests as Sanctuaries

Forests as Sanctuaries
by Henryk Skolimowski

We all know how intricate are the relationships between a single tree and the forms of life that live with it, and around it. But why are trees so important to human beings who are after all--as forms of life--so distinct and different from trees? Though distinctive and different, human beings are part of the same heritage of life.

The reason that trees and forests are so important to us, as human beings, has to do with the natural geometry of the universe. We must therefore distinguish between man-made geometry, stemming from Euclidean geometry, the geometry we learn at schools, from the natural geometry, especially the geometry of the living forms.

When Euclid was inventing his geometry, which has become the basis for man-made forms, the Greek reason was already corrupted by Aristotle's analytical and classificatory approach to the world. With Socrates and Plato the Greek world is still held in unity and harmony. With Aristotle, we begin to divide and chop and atomize--put things into separate compartments, where they are identified by special labels called definitions.

Euclid and his geometry only reinforces the tendency to atomism, separatism, thinking in neat logical categories--here are the axioms, here are the rules of derivation, here are the theorems derived from the axioms through the accepted rules of derivation. All very neatly and rigorously defined. A triumph of the rational Western mind which is going to depend so much on the power of formal reasoning, on the meaning of axioms which will become the ultimate bricks out of which other things are to be constructed.

What should not escape our notice, in particular, is Euclid's emphasis on the importance of the point, and of the straight line. Let us be aware that we never see the point because the point as such is invisible; we hardly meet a straight line in nature. Yet the architecture of the human world, or to be more precise of the world as constructed by modern man, is founded on the straight line and those invisible points.

Let us put the proposition in general terms: the geometry that dominates our lives, when we live in a city, in a modern house, or when we drive an automobile, is the geometry derived from the abstract system of man-made geometry. It is a geometry which, after a while, constrains and suffocates us.

We have distinguished natural geometry from man-made geometry. But what is natural geometry? The forms by which and through which the universe has evolved, the forms by which life has evolved. What are these forms? These forms are circular, spiral, round, womb-like. When we contemplate the architecture of the universe: the galaxies and the atoms, the amoebas and the trees, then we immediately see that the dominant forms and shapes of nature and of the universe are round and spiral and so often amorphous.

The dancing universe does not move in straight lines. It moves in spiral, circular and irregular motions. The life dancing in, and through the universe, is not choreographed by the computer and its linear logic. The quintessential symbol of life is that of the womb.

All life has emerged from the primordial womb which is irregular, amorphous, full of connecting loops and spirals. We individual human beings, were conceived and nursed in the wombs of our mothers. Natural geometry had conditioned our early impulses. Natural geometry has shaped our early growth. Natural geometry has formed our bodies which are but an expression of this geometry. Now, look at your own body and see it in terms of natural geometry. Your body is full of irregular shapes--round, oval, asymmetrical. There is hardly any straight line within the architecture of our body. The head is such a funny irregular egg. The hands and legs are irregular cylinders. The eyes and the mouth, the neck and the stomach are but endless variations on the theme of natural geometry.

Being nursed and conditioned, shaped and determined by natural geometry, we respond to it in an intuitive and spontaneous manner. Why do we rest so well in the presence of a tree? Because in it we find an outlet for our natural geometry. The communion with the trees, being surrounded and nursed by them, is for us a return to the original geometry of life. That is why we feel so good in the act of this communion. We were born and nourished by natural geometry and to this geometry we long to return. By dissolving ourselves in the geometry of the tree, we resolve tensions and stresses accumulated through, and thrust upon us by artificial geometry. We must clearly see that artificial geometry of man-made environments is full of tension and stress.

To dissolve in the primordial matrix of life--this is sanity.

To enter the communion with the shapes which spell out organic life--this is a silent joy.

To lose oneself in the forms soaked in the substance of life--this is a fundamental renewal.

Trees and forests are important for deep psychological reasons. In returning to the forest, we are returning to the womb not in psychological terms but in cosmological terms. We are returning to the source of our origin. We are entering communion with life at large. The existence of the forests is so important because they enable us to return to the source of our origin. They provide for us a niche in which our communion with all life can happen.

The unstructured environments which we need for our sanity and for our mental health, as well as for the momenmts of silent brooding without which we cannot truly reach our deeper selves, should not be limited to forests only. Rugged mountains and wilderness areas provide the same nexus for being at one with the glory of the elemental forces of life. Wilderness areas are live-giving in a fundamental sense, nourishing the core of our being. This core of our being is sometimes called the soul.

To understand the nature of the human being is ultimately a metaphysical journey; in the very least it is a transphysical journey. Transphysical translated into the Greek language means metaphysical. The metaphysical meaning of forests has to do with the quality of spaces the forsts provide for the tranquility of our souls. Those are the spaces of silence, the spaces of sanity, the spaces of spiritual nourishment--within which our being is healed and at peace.

We all know how soul-destroying and destructive to our inner being modern cities can be; and actually are. The comparison alone between the modus of a technological city and the modus of a wilderness area informs us sufficiently about the metaphysical meaning of the spaces of forests, of the mountains, of the marshlands.

Though the trees are immensely important to our psychic well-being, not every tree possesses the same energy and meaning. The manicured French parks and the primordial Finnish forests are different entities. In the manicured French parks we witness the triumph of the Cartesian logic and of Euclidean geometry, while in the Finnish forests, immensely brooding and surrounded by irregular, female-like lakes we witness the triumph of natural geometry.

What is natural and what is artificial is nowadays difficult to determine. However, when we find ourself among the plastic interiors of an airport, with its cold brutal walls and lifeless plastic fixtures surrounding us, on the one hand, and within the bosom of a big forest, on the other hand, we know exactly the difference without any ambiguity. In the forest our soul breathes, while in plastic environments our soul suffocates.

The idea that our soul breathes in natural unstructured environments should not be treated as a poetic metaphor. It is a palpable truth. This truth has been recognized on countless occcasions, and in many contexts--although usually indirectly and semi-consciously.

We go to a lovely old cottage. The old wooden beams supporting the ceiling attract us immensely--as no concrete and iron beams will ever do. We go to a modern flat, undistinguished otherwise except that there is a lovely wooden panelling along the walls of the rooms. We respond to it. We resonate with it. We do so not because we are old sentimental fools, or for aesthetic reasons alone, but for deeper and more fundamental reasons.

Life wants to breathe. We breathe more freely when there are other forms of life which can breathe around us. Those old beams made of oak in the old cottage breathe. Those panellings made of wood in the modern flat breathe. And we breathe with them. Those plastic interiors, and those concrete cubicles, and those tower blocks, and those rectilinear cities do not breathe. We find them 'sterile,' 'repulsive,' 'depressing.' Those very adjectives come straight from the core of our beings. And those are not just the reactions of some idosyncratic individuals, but the reactions of all of us, at least a great majority of us.

A plastic interior may be aesthetically pleasing. Yet after a while, our soul finds it uncomfortable, constraining, somewhat crippling. The primordial life in us responds quite unequivocally to our environments. We have to learn to listen carefully to the beat of the primordial life in us, whether we call it instinct, intuition, or the wholistic response. We do respond with great sensitivity to spaces, geometries and forms of life surrounding us. We respond positively to the forms which breathe life for these forms are life-enhancing. Life in us wants to be enhanced and nourished. Hence we want to be in the company of forms that breathe life.

It is therefore very important to dwell in surroundings in which there are forms that can breathe--the wooden beams, the wooden floors, the wooden panellings. Lucky are the nations that can build houses made of wood--inside and outside. For the wood breathes, changes, decays--as we do. It is also important to have flowers and plants in our living environment. For they breathe. To contemplate a flower for three seconds may be an important journey of solitude, a journey of return to original geometry--which is always renewing. We make these journeys actually rather often, whenever plants and flowers are in our surroundings. But we are rarely aware of what we are doing.

Forests and spirituality are intimately connected. Ancient people knew about this connection and cherished and cultivated it. Their spirit was nourished because their wisdom told them where the true sources of nourishment lay.

~

There is more here.