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Ongoing Process » 2007 » October

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Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26
October, 2007


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26

This looks like a good one


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Wristcutters


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26

An Axial Hypothesis


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26
Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Around 800-200BCE, there was a phenomenal transformation of human culture which philosopher Karl Jaspers dubbed the Axial Age. During this time, what we generally consider to be the great philosophies and religions were born around the world, largely independent of each other. I’ve not read any of Jaspers’ work and can’t comment on any specific interpretations he may have, but I think he’s quite right to point this out as a significant turning point in the history of humanity.

I’ve recently been reading some of Daniel Quinn’s work, which I have very mixed reactions to, but he raises a number of critical points which have given me pause to reexamine many of my views. Among these is my understanding of the Axial Age. Specifically, I find myself reconsidering the basic nature of that transformation and the particular ways that it has and continues to play out in our lives.

I have formed a preliminary hypothesis. As such it is limited and merely seems to fit the circumstances. I have a sense that it’s not the whole story, but perhaps it’s getting at part of it.

Whatever is at the heart of the Axial Age is clearly rooted in the Sacred (for lack of a better term). However, humanity has equally clearly had a sense of the Sacred ever since we could be described as human. So it seems that in some manner our existing relationship with the Sacred changed at a fundamental level. But how?

In thinking about what the various developments of the Axial Age have in common, it seems to me that they all involve the construction of a larger model of reality. Specifically, a universal model in which all things are seen to be united in some fundamental way. Of course, these models were formulated in any number of radically different ways, but the underlying commonality seems to be one of building a bigger big picture.

The challenge with comparing this to pre-Axial Age culture is that we just really don’t know very much about what people believed before that. We have various bits of evidence to suggest this or that, but for the most part there aren’t any clear records for us to refer to. So I’m pretty much going to have to wing the next part.

We suspect that the general way of viewing the world prior to the Axial Age was what anthropology has called animism. When I compare this to post-Axial Age systems, I have the impression that animism tends to view reality as a set of interrelated but discrete elements. Humans, animals, plants, the earth, and their accompanying spirits might be compared to how a community is typically viewed today. Each member is valuable and dependent upon the other members, but they are all individuals who are ultimately separate from each other.

On the other hand, the big picture presented in post-Axial Age beliefs can be viewed from a perspective of mystical monism (many people do not agree with this, but it’s how I see things). That is to say that while humans, animals, plants, the earth, and their accompanying spirits are in one sense distinct individuals, they are also in another sense all one being; they are God (again, lacking a better term).

So, having an unconscious awareness of our underlying unity, humanity is now faced with a very serious problem. I believe that this problem is ultimately about the tension between opposites, but the best way I know to formulate it at the moment is this: we have to kill to live. Previously, we could respect and even revere the plants and animals whose lives we took, but they were ultimately not us so there was no reason to feel bad about it. But now, the deer isn’t just the deer, the deer is me. And I am the deer. Suddenly, to continue surviving I have to kill myself and allow myself to be killed. Even though the vast majority of humans have no conscious experience of this, to this day we have this tremendous sense of underlying conflict that we can never quite figure out how to resolve. As you might imagine, this could very easily lead to the multitudes of insanity we visit upon ourselves and each other on a daily basis.

As I said, this is a very limited picture. Some or even most of it is almost certainly wrong. But perhaps it is a step in the right direction.


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 26

Love


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 12

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 21

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/10/d160031109/htdocs/ongoingprocess.net/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

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Sunday, October 14th, 2007

One of the most fundamental human needs is love. More specifically, we need an experience of love, which is a conscious awareness of simultaneously being loved and loving in return.

Most of the time, most people seek and find this love in another human being. But as we all know, this means of experiencing love is fraught with hazards. Insecurities, deceit, miscommunication, or just evolving personalities routinely threaten love relationships. But even the most stable and lasting love between humans never completely satisfies that deepest yearning. While our relationship with our human lover may create a beautiful microcosm of love, at some level there always remains an awareness that our deepest need is for something larger, for the macrocosm of love.

But what is that macrocosm? Since the Axial Age, our prophets have been attempting to tell us, though their messages have been composed in countless ways in the context of each culture. However it is formulated, the basic message seems to be that the macrocosm is a love relationship with Life itself.

The trouble is that “Life itself” is typically very difficult for us to love. For whatever reason, humans are deeply predisposed towards subject-object relationships. We find it relatively easy to love another human, an animal, a place, a thing. As we mature, we can even love more abstract objects such as a community, a cause, or an ideology. But the macrocosm of love relationship is just too big. Indeed, the mystical tradition tells us that it is quite explicitly too big. It transcends the relativistic nature of words and ideas; it is not of the nature of object-ness. From a subjective perspective, there’s just nothing there to love.

Of course, our prophets (and especially the institutions which took up their cause) gave us all kinds of words and ideas. God, Brahman, Tao, Heaven, Void, Karma, Salvation… untold volumes of thought attempt to capture the macrocosm of love relationship. But they never seem to really work out for the vast majority of people. Literal interpretations on the one hand leads to fundamentalism and its inevitable violence, while liberal interpretations on the the other hand reduce the message to a meaningless mass of relativism. As the classic Zen wisdom goes, a finger may point to the moon, but one will never see the moon if one keeps looking at the finger.

So then what are we to do? This macrocosm of love is reported to be available to us everywhere and all the time. I think most of us have even tasted it to one degree or another, even if only for fleeting moments. Yet most all of us seem helpless to experience it consistently.

It has also been reported that this macrocosm of love relationship is preexistent and perpetual. That we can never “find” it because it was never lost to us. We simply do not know how to recognize it. We are stuffed full of preconceptions of what that relationship must feel like or what it must bring into our lives and, it failing to mold itself to our expectations, we conclude that it isn’t present.

How then shall we open ourselves to the experience of this love which is already here? When we open ourselves, all too often we feel pain. And we are conditioned down to our deepest instincts that pain is the most fundamental characteristic of that which is dangerous, that which must be fought or fled from.

Perhaps that, then, is the answer. To know the macrocosm of love relationship, we must let in the pain. We must learn to overcome the reflexes that served us when we were less conscious but now hold us back. We must learn that the pain of Life is somehow part of the love of Life.


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Correspondences


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Saturday, October 13th, 2007

I like to think about correspondences, looking for patterns and connections among seemingly disparate things. One that perpetually seems to return to me is the four basic elements of any number of systems. North, south, east, west; air, earth, fire, water; time, space, matter, energy; etc.

It just occurred to me that there could be another fundamental set, the basic physical needs for survival: air, water, food, and shelter. Air and water would have the obvious elemental correspondences. Food seems earthy as what we eat either grows or runs upon the earth. And fire makes sense for shelter as warm and dry are the key factors most of the time.

As with the elements, air would seem to correspond with space and time with water. Food is a reasonable fit with matter and fire seems obvious as energy.

I never did find a satisfactory correspondence with the cardinal directions. I suppose my culture never presented me with any meaning for them other than geographical, so it’s harder for me to feel what their connections might be.

I find it interesting that of all these sets, survival needs are the only ones with a clear sequence of priority. We can live minutes without air, days without water, weeks without food, and an indeterminate length without shelter (depending upon one’s environment). I wonder if the connections drawn to other sets also give any indication of priority. Air before water before earth before fire? Space before time before matter before energy?

Having a distinct order also makes me think about the yin and yang qualities of the pattern. It seems that it would be yang (air, air, space), yin (water, water, time), yin (food, earth, matter), and yang (shelter, fire, energy). That reminds me of the connections typically drawn with the cardinal directions. They’re usually divided into two polarities, north-south and east-west. So if one were to face a yang direction and rotate in the corresponding manner, one would find the survival sequence (yang, yin, yin, yang). But that feels pretty tenuous, so maybe it’s happenstance.

Thinking is fun. :)


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The Story


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Monday, October 8th, 2007

Life is a story.  Like any story, it requires a medium to be told.  Some stories are carried on a voice, some on a page, some on a screen.  Life is told on the physical world.  In the past, we made no distinction between the story and the medium.  The world was the story, the story was the world.  But then we began to see the world on its own, to understand the mechanical nature of the medium.  Eventually, we came to wield great power over the world.  But we forgot its purpose.  We forgot the story.  Now we’re lost, stumbling from one world-thing to another, never satisfied and never understanding why.

We must remember the story.

If you learn to do nothing else, learn to listen to the world.  The world is speaking to you, everywhere and all the time.  It murmurs, it sings, it cries, it shouts.

Listen to the world.  The world is telling your story, our story.

Listen, even if you don’t hear at first.  Keep listening.  The whole world exists only to speak.  You will hear.

Listen.  Right here, right now.

What do you hear?