My grandmother had always referred to the universe as the Great Mystery.
Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse, page 65.
“We need mystery. Creator in her wisdom knew this. Mystery fills us with awe and wonder. They are the foundations of humility, and humility, grandson, is the foundation of all learning. So we do not seek to unravel this. We honour it by letting it be that way forever.”
The transformation that comes from practice and doing the same tasks over and over for many days. The chores build strength and speed and competency. The isolation fosters individuation and delight at the ability to accomplish and notice the changes that come with being able to simply do and with time master at what was once impossible.
I was looking for an interview of/with Dorion Sagan revolving around Notes from the Holocene, which I’d borrowed from the library a few weeks ago. I have yet to read a page, though sometimes these internet-parallel searches offer just enough carrot to lead me to open a book tomorrow. So, for Dorion, there is tomorrow.
I cannot recall how I came to learn about Dorion Sagan though it was following the reading about his mother, Lynn Margulis.
Not finding any interview, I did encounter a summary and review of the Powell’s bookstore website that included these 12 questions lifted from the book:
- Why does life exist?
- Why do we drink water?
- Can we save the Earth from global warming?
- Are human beings central and special?
- Is it possible that we’ve arisen by pure chance?
- Is the Earth an organism?
- Are we part of it’s exo-brain?
- if it is alive, can it reproduce?
- Can the universe?
- What does the future hold in store for us?
- Does God exist?
- What is the nature of ultimate reality?
Earlier tonight, I spent 10 minutes flipping through pages of the online encyclopedia better known as Wikipedia where I read about: the Holocene, the Pleistocene, the Meghalayan stage and the caves of Meghalaya, the Younger Dryas, regolith, and the Mid Pleistocene Transition or Mid Pleistocene Revolution.
All of this after the weekend’s atmospheric events surrounding the Hunga Tonga Volcano that was somehow heard in Alaska (5,000 miles across the Pacific) and initiated some 70,000 lightning bolts in some short span of time (maybe 60 minutes) where there were 15 lightnings per second and seemingly 1/50th the severity of the 1991 explosion of Mount Pinatubo.
I read decades ago that something along the lines of, “the universe is so big, human brains are so small” was attributed to Osho.
As I lay down for a second round of snuggles before bedtime, the five year old said:
“Poppa, I have always wanted you to be my roommate.”
I replied by smiling in the dark. I basked in the glow of this sentence as I looked out the window at the silhouette of the trees in the twilight. Then I said:
“I will always have your back. I will always love you even when I’m frustrated, sad, or angry. I will never leave you. You will live with Momma and me until your an adult and you decide where you want to live.”
It was a dignifying for me. I’m moved by the always of five years because these five years have been so enormous and consequential and so quick. And that some facets from a few months ago have been long forgotten. So always is so long.
And, it was a statement of right now. At times, she has the ability to recall some detail or moment or specific from months ago that has not been named and she can bring it up and remember some thing that I forgot. And throughout the day, a five year old can offer immediate feedback about how things are in any exact moment. And that’s what being told that I’m a roommate who has been wanted forever feels like some special love as a father finding my way in these unknowns.
In 1975, Ursula K. Le Guin named the pitiful norms and dominance of othering, blind cultural superiority of men writing science fiction books in an essay called American SF and The Other (pages 93-96 in The Language of the Night).
It’s amazing how pervasive and entrenched this white male complex is:
In general, American SF has asssunmee a permanent hierarchy of superiors and inferiors, with rich, ambitious, aggressive males at the top, then a great gap, and then at the bottom the poor, the uneducated, the faceless masses, and all the women.
Such notions of self and character development enable rape, belittling, disgust, and false senses of supremacy.
If you deny any affinity with another person or kind of person, if you declare it to be wholly different from yourself—as men have done to women, and class has done to class, and nation has done to nation—you may hate or deity it; but in either case you have denied it’s spiritual equality and its human reality. You have made it into a thing, to which the only possible relationship is a power relationship. And this you have fatally impoverished your own reality. You have, in fact, alienated yourself.
These last two sentences are intriguing because they distill what happens when men orient by wanting or having power over. It is a position to prohibits us from getting reciprocity or being able to benefit from learning, and prohibits us from being able to benefit from the experience, wisdom or wealth of others since the experiences and knowledge and resources of others are not seen or seen as only serving some pre-conceived idea of how others will be KF service.
Paulo Coelho writes on page 93 of The Spy that:
“For millions of years, [humans] spoke only to what [they] could see. Suddenly, in one decade, ‘seeing’ and ‘speaking’ have been separated. We think we’re used to it, yet we don’t realize the immense impact it’s had on our reflexes. Our bodies are simply not used to it.
“Frankly, the result is that, when we talk on the phone, we enter a state that is similar to certain magical trances; we can discover other things about ourselves.”
This in a story set in Paris in the 1914 — after the Exposition Universelle (nee World’s Fair) of 1889 and before World War One.
A few, notable passages from previous pages include:
“A nice cup of coffee will salvage the rest of your day.”
“Maybe you’re looking for things you haven’t yet found…. And suddenly life turns into utter boredom.”
There are a couple of approaches to poverty. One is what you would call charity. Mother Teresa chose to pick the babies our of the gutter, to do direct service with God’s most vulnerable. The other is called justice. It has to be both-and. It can’t be either-or.
– Sister Florence Deacon, on pg 12 of the NYT Magazine, October 28, 2012. Sister Deacon is a part of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
reading “The Game of Life and How to Play It,” originally written by Florence Scovel Shinn in 1925. A few excerpts are:
“to play successfully the game of life, we must train the imaging faculty.”
“the imagination has been called ‘The Scissors of The Mind,’ and is ever cutting, cutting, day by day, the pictures man sees out there, and sooner or later meets his own creations in his outer world.” (4)
“Owing to the vibratory power of words, whatever man voices, he begins to attract…. The metaphysician knows that all disease has a mental correspondence, and in order to heal the body one must first ‘heal the soul.'”
“A person knowing the power of the word, becomes very careful of his conversation. He has only to watch the reaction of his words to know that they do ‘not return void.’ Through his spoken word, man is continually making laws for himself.” (21)
old-fashioned chat: an hour of five hundred to a thousand destructive words, the principal topics being loss, lack, failure, and sickness.
new-fashioned chat: talk of what we want, to heal, bless and prosper.
subconscious: is simply power, like steam or electricity. does what it is directed to do. with no power of induction.
conscious: the mortal or carnal mind.
superconscious: the god mind within each human. The realm of perfect ideas.
There is a perfect picture of this in the superconscious mind. It is usually flashes across the conscious as an unattainable ideal — ‘something too good to be true.’ in reality it is human’s true destiny (or destination) flashed to him from the Infinite Intelligence which is within one’s self.” (5)