Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

222 – How can a mind … ?

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

How can a mind that has evolved to such a degree as to be able not only to conceptualize the Universe, but to be awed by its splendor, its ingenuity, its order, its monumental power;     a mind that upon acquiring the knowledge of its insignificance in the scheme of the Universe, and its significance in the scheme of the atomic world, has grown intent on understanding the meaning, and the wonder, of being a central ground where both, significance and insignificance, fuse into One;     a mind that growing so ingenious as to devise smaller and smaller machines, and instruct them to carry sequences of logical operations to connect not only with hundreds of millions of other machines, but with the minds of their users;     a mind that, upon seeing photos of Earth taken from space, could not but be awed by the spectacle of the incredibly beautiful sphere – its home in the Universe – from which it comes alive with the power to discern patterns of complexity, order, beauty, meaning, and begin to understand what its Destiny is.

How can that same mind, in a few individuals holding power and wealth, come to be so tortured, so unhappy, that it believes the path to forging ahead is that of self-destruction?

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221 – It is hard to look out the window …

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

It is hard to look out the window, and see hummingbirds, begonias, bees, ferns, us, all in danger of disappearing

because of what we do.

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212 – My mind …

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

How can we ever stop being amazed, mystified, awed by our minds, by what we can do with them?

How can myriad neurons – billions of them – independently and communally bond together to become the phenomenon of the mind; a phenomenon that allows me to project outward into the world, and inward into myself, into my own experience, into my own existence?

How can myriad neurons build, and constantly fine-tune, a network of connections that stores my experiences with varying degrees of accuracy and importance, creating a phenomenon that responds to the world according not only to the perception of my senses, but to the influence of my culture, my upbringing, my fears, desires, dreams, metabolism, environment?

The mind is a form of energy that can be redirected, focused, expanded, manipulated; a form of energy that can be wrought by music, anger, fear, death, love, beauty; a form of energy that can objectify visions, ideas, concepts. But because our experience of the mind is intangible and immensurable, it is difficult for us to accept the fact that it is as physical a force as the one synchronizing the beats of our hearts, or the force carrying oxygen to every niche in our bodies.

We don’t know of any other creature that possesses a mind with a degree of conscious self-reflection as developed as ours. We can perceive degrees of self-reflection in other animals, but whether it is conscious, we do not know. The capacity of the human mind to reflect upon itself is a major step forward in the evolution of Life, an achievement in its unequivocal movement towards greater levels of complexity and order. But although this is an amazing insight about the nature of the human mind, it does not bring us any closer to understanding the intangible yet incontestable presence of our conscious mind.

It therefore continues to be baffling to try to understand how myriad neurons can create a phenomenon so utterly individual in its experiences, so unique in the physical connectivity of its neurons, and yet, like the wonder of murmurations, how it dances with its kin creating patterns and rhythms of increasing complexity.

I wish I could understand how is it that my mind can reach so far beyond the grasp of my senses, when I know it is limited by what I am, by what I know, by what I perceive; how is it that my mind is so present in me, such part of me, when I know it is older than old and greater than itself; how is it that my mind creates itself moment by moment, day by day, when I know it is being aided not only by what is immediate, but what is eternal; how is it that my mind can converse and connect with other minds, when I know it is inscrutable amid the beauty and uniqueness of its own music.

– this is why I feel so lonely when I am alone with it, yet I know it is the greatest possession to connect with the world ever given to me.

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201 – Presence …

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Although I don’t actually feel it, my body is constantly changing: Cells die and are replaced with new ones that already know the functions of those they are replacing; my heart constantly pumps re-oxygenated blood to revitalize every niche in my body; my brain and nervous systems constantly adjust to meet emotional and physical changes.

These are but a very few of the many amazing feats my body is constantly accomplishing. But there is another one: A mysterious, astonishing feat, yet so fundamental I could not exist without it. I refer to the process through which the combination of the myriad components of my body collectively generates the Presence, the Persona, I project into the world.

And as astonishing as this is, there is something even more astonishing about me: Of all the living species I know of on Earth, I … homo sapiens … have become self-conscious of that Presence to an extent that I can trace its development, not only through my own personal history but through the evolutionary history of the species. But somehow I have become incapable of taking responsibility for the impact my Presence makes on the world. And as a consequence, I am facing an impending environmental upheaval of terrifying proportions.

Is it not astonishing? It has taken homo sapiens eons of grueling evolutionary processes for me to become conscious of my Presence in the world, but because I don’t want to take responsibility for what it is doing to the world, I might be wiped out, without a trace, from the face of the Earth.

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190 – How can I forget? …

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

I live in a culture that tells me to forgive, so I can forget the horrors of the past.

But how can I forget?

How can I, if my body won’t let me?

Forgiving is easy:

there is nothing in the past I can now change,

whatever happened happened,

what was done was done.

The main thing is that I made it,

a bit crippled, a bit awkward,

but I made it.

And in every experience I now experience,

in every emotion that overwhelms me,

in every feeling I cannot feel,

in every cruelty I wish I had not seen,

my body remembers,

it is what I’m made of.

There is no horror I can now change.

The past is all forgiven

and forgetting would be erasing a part of me.

 

To forget with intention of erasure is possible,

and oftentimes … for the sake of survival …

we do it unintentionally,

but to intentionally erase the past from our history

is inducing a replay of what we are trying to forget.

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182 – Destiny …

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

The greatest challenge of my life is to try to answer the question What is Life, because even if I know that I am one of its manifestations, and that it is manifested all around me and far away from me, I don’t seem to be capable to fully know what Life is. But there are things I do know about Life: 1 – Life has a purpose, which is to recreate itself with a degree of freedom and inexhaustible ingenuity into higher and higher manifestations of complexity and beauty, and 2 – within my monumental limitations, I am one of the lucky ones able to give my life a direction towards a destination, and to strive to reach that destination.

One of the incredible things about my childhood is that from the constant oppression of Deceit, Poverty, Cruelty, Hunger Ignorance, Hate, Fear, a curiosity to find Beauty, Knowledge, Happiness, Tolerance, Truth, somehow emerged in me with a force that overtook my life. What is this formidable force? What is this part of Life urging me to do something with my life? What is this captivating curiosity to find out what Life is, what I am? Is this what we call Destiny?

There are two definitions for Destiny in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: 1 – something to which a person or thing is destined, and 2 – a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency. *

There is no question in my mind that everything in Nature is destined with innate degrees of curiosity … it is the key for adaptation and survival … it is how flowers come up with amazing designs to attract pollinators; it is how molecules have come to build the complexity of the double helix; it is how language has attained such a high degree of sophistication; it is how a newborn baby learns to manipulate, to adapt, and to be manipulated by its world; it is how my brain, my organic brain, has come to develop a subjective mind irrepressibly curious about my capacity to reflect upon myself, about what my future … my destiny! … will be.

There is no question in my mind that Life is pre-determined by a relative course of events … the environment in which I was born, the sources of Life from which I was engendered, the forces that have shaped and continue to shape my perception … and that this pre-determined course of events is always accompanied, if encouraged to thrive, by the irresistible power of a degree of curiosity that oftentimes leads us to alter our Destiny.

*Highlights are mine

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180 – My Life Meanders between Opposing Complements of Existence

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Right  <>  Wrong

Temporary  <>  Lasting

Supple  <>  Rigid

Free  <>  Dependent

Creative  <>  Destructive

Sobering  <> Trivial

Knowledge  <>   Ignorance

Tolerance  <>  Prejudice

Courage  <>  Fear

Security  <>  Danger

Dynamic  <>  Passive

Organized  <>  Chaotic

Self-determined  <>  Pre-determined

Conscious  <>  Instinctive

Open  <>  Closed

Love  <>  Hate

Happiness  <>  Terror

Compassion  <>   Cruelty

Feminine  <>  Masculine

Health  <>  Illness

Pleasure  <>  Pain

Truth  <>  Deceit

Light  <>  Darkness

Soul/Mind/Spirit  <>  Body

Life  <>  Death

Etc., etc., etc.

My Life is like the flow of a river meandering between a spectrum of the opposing complements of Existence, as I choose, oftentimes consciously, but mostly by instinct, which side of the spectrum to lean towards to, which one to move away from. There are times when I take measure of the power of a side, which one is strongest, which one weaker, which one can change my life, which one just the course of a day. There are times when a side has the power to overtake me, even if I don’t want to … prejudice, for instance, instead of tolerance … and there are times when I have the power to overtake them … courage, for instance, instead of fear. There are times when leaning towards a side makes me feel ugly and scared, while moving towards the opposite side makes me feel beautiful and happy.

It is uncanny and utterly fascinating to be able to look back into my past, recollecting, examining the decisions I made or those that were made for me; remembering the push and pull of opposites on those decisions, how they shaped me, how I shaped them, how they led me into corners … as when I was enrolled into a school controlled by religious dogma, or when my father would made me stand for hours with my face against a corner in his room as punishment for being a child … or how they opened doors to new horizons … as when I followed my mother’s example to look for beauty in the midst of chaos, or when I gathered the courage to leave a world intent on constricting the mind, for a world where Knowledge was readily available.

This capacity to examine events that have shaped my life, and to remember, oftentimes vividly, the strength of the forces behind those events, have let me delve into the world of the primal instincts that urge me to survive, to bond, to engender, to learn, to love; and into the world of the spirit that endows me with the power to manipulate those urges, and the wisdom to know when to let them conquer me. This capacity, although not a given, but a privilege, makes me realize what a wondrous creature I am; it gives me insight into the ingenious force that created me from the bond of two minuscule cells, already having the power to envision a path between the opposing complements of Existence, and to choose.

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179 – I Am One of Their Ascendants

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

The way I think, the way I speak, the way I breathe, the way I walk, the way I love, the way my body is organized, the way I understand and perceive Reality, the way I produce the energy to power my constant transformation, all are the result of the ongoing evolutionary process in which I am embedded; the ascent of an amazing species that, amid a relatively propitious period in the planet’s own evolution, has populated every inhabitable niche on the surface of the earth, and was born to the awareness of self-awareness.

Through this ascent, the human brain has come to develop the complex neuronal connectivity that endows me with a high degree of intelligence, dexterity, a level of inquisitiveness rare in Nature, and the awareness of my own awareness.

But the insecurity, fear, trauma, abuse of a dysfunctional upbringing, and the oppression of an educational system heavily tilted towards dogma and indoctrination to control the young, vulnerable mind, stunted the development of my intelligence to be able to understand and perceive the world that exists beyond the limitations of my organic senses. The combination of these two harmful factors forced the natural defenses of my body to numb not only my feelings, but also my empathy; the wisdom of Nature to halt the complete annihilation of my rebel mind, allowed me to feel nothing, to care for nothing. It has taken me a lifetime to get my feelings back, to awaken my compassion.

It is heartbreaking to realize that I am not an exemption, that the history of my upbringing is accepted as ‘normal’ in most of our cultures.

But the force of a legacy passed along in the lessons of flourishing civilizations and the wisdom of great thinkers, eventually overcame the traumatic events of my upbringing, awakening in me an insatiable need to understand what I am.

I was born with the soul of a rebel, the hunger of a questing mind, the capacity to perceive patterns that sustain the creative order of Nature. And so in my quiet ways I fought any so called ‘authority’ wanting to dictate, oftentimes forcefully, the way I think, live, love, and understand Reality. And so I devoured books, especially those that opened my mind to new horizons and dared question the status quo. And so I learned to love science, philosophy, poetry, music, especially classical music, because they fed my uncanny capacity to perceive balance and beauty out the chaotic world we have created.

My rebelliousness, the hunger of my mind, my capacity to perceive patterns, have taken me, as someone said, to places I would not know how to get to. They have helped me feel my participation in the magnificent order, equilibrium, and astonishing beauty of our Universe; they have helped me clearly see that I could not have attained a highly evolved level of perception without the heritage of innumerable generations of thinkers, lovers, dreamers, rebels, pioneers, wanderers, visionaries, untiringly seeking knowledge through the mysteries of the mind, tenaciously wanting to unravel the Source that engenders the boundless creativity and beauty of the evolutionary process we call Life.

I am one of their ascendants.

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177 – The Universal Language …

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Upon genesis, everything in Nature is infused with the self-propelled universal process of Becoming: Self-organizing, bonding, self-generating, adapting, self-perpetuating, transforming. This process is written in the ovum and the sperm that created me. And from the moment those two cells became One, a Self was infused with the process of creating what ‘I’ will be.

Not knowing that I have known from the start, I instinctively followed what everybody else has followed before me; creating the language through which I instruct every cell I engender within me, with the common makeup of the human species, and with that makeup, my cells recreate and recreate the uniqueness of me until the day I die.

This language … this intimate conversation between what I create and what creates me … is the most important thing there is; my life depends on it.

This language … this conversation … is how my body unfolds and creates my mind; is how species are created and evolve; is how solar systems form and bind together; is how spiral galaxies keep myriad stars spinning in a synchronized dance within their arms; is how billions/trillions of galaxies, and all their contents, create a Universe that can engender me, like everyone else – unique – yet Oh, so common.

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124 – History is Full of their Ruins …

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Any system of governance that steals from its working class, its poor and its disadvantaged with the sole purpose of its own empowerment; that without any sense of Vision for the Future completely disregards the ravages of its blind greed, is an Aberration that … like a cancer … ultimately ends in self-destruction.

History is full of their ruins.

Why is it then that our dominant systems of governance continue to be intent on making the same mistakes over and over and over, thus perpetuating this aberration as if there were no intelligent, progressive and sustainable alternatives; like governance based on knowledge, tolerance, respect, love?

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