Saturday, December 29, 2012

Removing the sting of failure....and discovering our infinite nature.

"Life is liquid, cleansing, nourishing. I lie in the white mind of the universe; knowing what I know, it knows me. The fruits of the land are abundant. With the quick, bright blade of spirit I turned new ground, planted seed. I struggled with the donkey. Beneath my hand things happened - grapes and wheat. In time I drank wine and ate bread. The field ploughed feeds a man, the spirit cultivated nourishes. I keep one eye on heaven and one on earth, following the seasons, walking the rhythm."

"I lie on sweet hay. The sparrow's song cuts the silence. I hear it now as I heard it ages ago. The birds are gods. I carry their song in my belly. I'm carried in the egg of silence. Even now in the long pause of possibility, quiet beneath its shell, there rises a wild honking, long flights against an autumn moon, smooth eggs waiting to be laid. An old man lying in a field feels embryonic."

"Learning peace itself is a struggle. More often I know the air as it whips my face. When the wind is still, I forget the wind. Walking through town, I turn longingly to the mountain. On the mountain I gaze back on the town. When there's much talk I withdraw into silence. When it is quiet I strain to hear some song. Having no trouble, I create some to keep the day interesting. We misunderstood the quiet. in the heat of the day I seek shadows. At night I praise the light of stars. The moon grows legs and wanders through an old man's heart seeking some dark corner to inspire. At midday the gods walk through town invisible as cats. Only children and wise men know the difference."

"Even night and day struggle, make peace between themselves. We call that beautiful sunset and dawn. In the spirits of men we call it a state of grace. Unless the earth enveloped the seed and the seed struggled against the darkness, there would be no corn. The moment we are born we begin to die. In each death we are born again. We take in the air and the air escapes us. Call it the breath of life. I no longer call loss disaster. It is the empty heart waiting to be filled. From the act of love, two bodies straining against each other, there rises the star of children. After opposition comes unity. Knowing that removes the sting of failure."

from the Egyptian Book of the Dead 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Cosmos Within...

"The space you discover in meditation is not just a quiet place in your own head. It's a dimension of reality itself - a dimension of the cosmos. It's the interior of the cosmos. The interior of the cosmos is not inside that mountain- that's still the exterior dimension. The interior of the cosmos is your experience of consciousness. The exterior of the cosmos is matter.  It's what we see all around us, and what we can see if we look through a telescope- apparently we can see back to the earliest beginnings of our material universe. But the interior dimension is consciousness. The cosmos is not just 'out there'; it's 'in here.'" - Andrew Cohen

Sunday, September 09, 2012

New science in Brain - Vagina Connection?

Feminist Naomi Wolf's book called "Vagina" asks "Could a profound connection between a woman’s brain and her experience of her vagina affect her greater sense of creativity—even her consciousness?"

That concept is revolutionary for some - and experience for many.

Naomi shares some of her inspiration to write the book in her recent article "A New Sexual Revolution:"
"The main answer is that new neuroscience, which has been very little reported outside of scientific journals, is providing truly revolutionary new information about what the vagina is and does – information that, in my mind, makes our entire way of seeing that organ, which is regarded generally, in this culture, as merely a sex organ – obsolete. New information in related fields is also transforming, or should transform, our understanding of sex itself for women."
"The main headline in my view? The new science has established a radically new insight: that there is such a strong brain-vagina connection in women that many of the neuroscientists whom I interviewed called it "a single system". More remarkably, few of us know that when a woman has an orgasm – and, even before that, when she feels empowered to think about pleasurable sex, anticipate it, focus on how to get it, and feels in control of and knowledgeable enough about her body to know she can probably reach orgasm during sex – her brain gets a boost of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Then, in orgasm, opioids and oxytocin are also released. This experience does not just yield pleasure, a fact that is well known; it also yields specific states of mind."  
"Dopamine is what I call the ultimate feminist neurotransmitter: it yields motivation and goal-orientedness, trust in one's own judgement and, most notably of all, in my mind, confidence. (Cocaine, for instance, powerfully stimulates release of dopamine – hence the crazy confidence and sociability of coke users, at least under the influence, responding to that boost). Opioids give the brain the sensation of ecstasy or transcendence; and finally, oxytocin – which can be released both when a woman's nipples are being stimulated and during the contractions of orgasm – creates a sense of bonding, caring and intimacy. Oxytocin has been shown in studies to give people with heightened levels an advantage in reading the emotions of faces."  
"So, given this chemical bath, it is fair to say that the vagina is not just a sex organ at all, but a powerful mediator of female confidence, creativity and the sense of the connections between things."
Since I have not read her book - I may end up agreeing with some who say that her scientific references are not grounded enough by "real scientists."  Agreed -  perhaps she's more in the realm of psychology/sociology/anthropology rather than neuroscience.... perhaps she's touching on the undefined area between those legs of science - and it's touching a soft spot and awakening some  feeling-over-thinking for some of the hard core neuroscientists who resist anything resembling the soft sciences? Hmmm.... would some of those critics opinions change if they in fact had a Vagina?

Dr. Daniel Siegel may have opened a pathway for more integrative views like Naomi's in his books "The Developing Mind"  and "Interpersonal Neurobiology" where he reveals the brain-personality and relationshps as a single system more through the unconventional approach of complexity and systems thinking - which views the mind/neurology/society as a complex integral system which led to insights which previous, more mechanistic approaches could not discern - I feel she's going down a similar pathway.

Along these lines - Dr. Leonard Schlain's book "Sex, Time and Power - How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution" is moving in the same direction of an integral approach where our bodies, minds and society are intertwined in a complex web over time to shape every person's interaction with human society.

The mechanistic view of our bodies holds that the organs are simply parts of a machine designed to fulfill physical functions and not more. Thankfully, there's more work being done to move beyond the overly reductionist view of our bodies. In similar vein there's a fair amount of science pointing to the possibilty that the heart is far more than a simple blood pump. The article I found a while back "The Heart as an Organ of Perception" spells out some of the narrative, all  based on the work of the Heart Math Institute which recognizes that the heart does far more than pump blood and deeply informs our perception of the world around us. Now since I'm in a male body, I can only conjecture about the role of the Vagina from this vantage point. That said as a systems thinker I'm very glad to know of Naomi's view that the vagina is also an organ of intelligence and perception to help women and girls evolve in the navigation of complex human society.



Tuesday, September 04, 2012

It's time to embrace evolutionary cooperativeness!

"There is simply nothing in our cultural history that adequately prepares us for the evolutionary challenges we now face, challenges that will demand more robust and sophisticated answers to the question of how human beings are actually related to the natural world out of which we have emerged."

"Given these unprecedented realities, I think we can say that the bar has been raised when it comes to cooperation. We are facing a moral, spiritual, and interpersonal challenge that test and transcend everything evolution has ever learned about how to make a community - large or small; bacterial, mammalian, or human - work. Our success, and even our survival may depend on how we are able to walk the delicate line between cooperation and self-interest as the cycle of evolution takes a new turn, embracing the extraordinary interconnected diversity of our global community." from Carter Phipps's book "Evolutionaries"

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wormhole surfing music.

Wormhole surfing: Our Black holes may be Big Bangs for other Universes and we are likely in someone else's black hole. And perhaps black hole phenomena happens on a quantum scale too?

The Power of Personal Narrative

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Are "Men always this way...." and "Women always that way..." a deeper perspective....

I have always recognized that gender roles and archetypes are not fixed, as much as our society likes to believe that they are, there is much to be learned from myriad times, places and peoples. Here's an excerpt from a book calle"The Great Cosmic Mother - Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth"  which  points to the history of different ways we live together as men and women in society:

"In Truth, Western Christianity's stereotypes of 'weak femininity' and 'strong masculinity' are among the most extreme in history. Many of these sex-role traits originated among the privileged classes - the only people who could afford passive and dependent women, and for whom a bored and indulgent lifestyle made sex-role playing 'an amusement.' Bound feet among the wives of wealthy Chinese men of the past served the same 'aesthetic' and entertainment function, and were a sign of privilege. In the modern West, with its relative economic abundance, many strict sex-role traits once indigenous to the wealthy have been passed on, via the media, to the 'masses.' So we see female office workers tottering to the job on spiky high-heeled shoes; such shoes were worn only by royalty, by 'courtiers and their ladies' - and were originally devised to be worn by sacred priests, to keep their mana from escaping into the ground. Once thing 'democracy' does is spread the silliness around. Unfortunately, with many of the sillier sex-roles, people tend to forget their origin in culture and class, and believe they come directly 'from nature,' or 'from God' - and so we see the silliest of customs enforced with humorless severity, and sometimes the most punitive laws." 

"Extremely sex-biased roles are the product of rigid heterosexuality, intellectual dualism, and a labor-exploitive culture. They didn't exist in early societies. And many of the sex customs that did exist were just the reverse of 'ours.' For example, among the hunting-and-gathering people worldwide, the 'home' is not only the property of the woman, but is built by her - and, if portable, carried around on her back when she moves. Among the traditional Chinese the women wore pants, men wore skirts. Among the people with couvade the women usually give birth in relative ease, while their husbands writhe and howl and grind their teeth. And, among the still-pagan twelfth century Irish (to the horror of their chronicler...), that it was the females who pissed standing up, while the males squatted-! With sex-roles and customs, it is very hard to make an absolute statement- 'women always do this,' 'men always do that' -without having it immediately contradicted by some culture, some place, at some time."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hymn to Osiris

I have come home. 
I have entered humanhood, bound to rocks and plants, men and women, rivers and sky.
I shall be with you in this and other worlds.
When the cat arches in the doorway, think of me. I have sometimes been like that.
When two men meet each other in the street, I am there speaking to you.
When you look up, know I am there—sun and moon—pouring my love around you.
All these things I am; portents, images, signs.
Though apart, I am part of you.
One of the million things in the universe, I am the universe, too.
You think I disguise myself as rivers and trees simply to confuse you?
Whatever I am, woman, cat or lotus, the same god breathes in every body.
You and I together are a single creation.
Neither death nor spite nor fear nor ignorance stops my love for you...

—Excerpted from "Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead"   ©1988 Normandi Ellis, trans.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I wake up laughing.

"As if I'd slept a thousand years underwater I wake into a new season. I am the blue lotus rising. I am the cup of dreams and memory opening--I, the thousand-petaled flower. At dawn the sun rises naked and new as a babe; I open myself and am entered by light. This is the joy, the slow awakening into fire as one by one the petals open, as the fingers that held tight the secret unfurl. I let go of the past and release the fragrance of flowers."

"I open and light descends, fills me and passes through, each thin blue petal reflected perfectly in clear water. I am that lotus filled with light reflected in the world. I float content within myself, one flower with a thousand petals, one life lived a thousand years without haste, one universe sparking a thousand stars, one god alive in a thousand people.”

"If you stood on a summer's morning on the bank under a brillant sky, you would see the thousand petals and say that together they make the lotus. But if you lived in its heart, invisible from without, you might see how the ecstasy at its fragrant core gives rise to its thousand petals. What is beautiful is always that which is itself in essence, a certaintly of being. I marvel at myself and the things of earth."

"I float among the days in peace, content. Not part of the world, the world is all the parts of me. I open toward the light and lift myself to the gods on the perfume of prayer. I ask for nothing beyond myself. I own everything I need. I am content in the company of god, a prayer that contains its own answer. I am the lotus. As if from a dream, I wake up laughing."

From The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Translated by Normandi Ellis

Friday, January 06, 2012

Spirit manifesting in Nature

"Aurobindo saw humanity at a crossroads in its evolution: [he wrote] "If a spiritual unfolding on earth is the hidden truth of our birth into Matter, if it is fundamentally an evolution of consciousness that has been taking place in Nature, then man as he is cannot be the last term of that evolution: he is too imperfect an expression of spirit, mind itself is a too limited form and instrumentation; mind is only a middle term of consciousness, the mental term of consciousness, the mental being can only be a transitional being. If, then, man is incapable of exceeding mentality, he must be surpassed and supermind and superman must manifest and take the lead of creation. But if his mind is capable of opening to what exceeds it, then there is no reason why man himself should not arrive at supermind and supermanhood or at least lend his mentality, life and body to an evolution of that greater term of the Spirit manifesting in Nature."

It's time that we completely wake up as a civilization to reality as it is: EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.

Carl Sagan said it decades ago, "the new consciousness is developing which sees the Earth as a single organism, and recognizes an organism at war with itself is doomed."

We must evolve from using war to get our needs met. This means every one of us. Starting with the language you use. Become aware of all of the ways that you use military and warfare lexicon in your daily life - do you really want to war if you are here to create peace?

From this recognition we must build an economy of connection, of relationships. An economy of peace, rather than one of war. Simply that.

Enjoy the video!