Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

288 – On Consciousness …

Friday, April 15th, 2022

What is Consciousness?

The presence I am born with, wired in my makeup. The presence with the power to give me life or destroy me. The presence that makes me soar in my successes or slither in my failures. The presence that opens the doors to the imagination or closes them with a sad, horrific sound.

The presence that makes me aware of my own awareness and helps me see myself in the world, of the world.

The presence that, although common to everyone, makes me unique as no other being in the world.

The presence that focuses on single attainments like a laser beam or flutters away in myriad things     like pollen in the wind.

The presence that senses the world inside and outside me, the world in which I exist and will dissipate, the world I manipulate and manipulates me, the world in which I navigate and must learn to adapt.

The presence that creates the reality that allows me to remember my past – the feelings, the emotions – to envision my future – the hopes, the dreams – and to give me intention, insight, and the will to exist.

The presence that in moments of pain and sorrow can engulf me in excruciating loneliness and in moments of love and happiness can release me into flights of ecstasy.

The presence that is tangible and intangible, near and distant, incomprehensible and knowable, mysterious and self-evident, ethereal and physical.

The presence that eons in the making comes into life out of the communion of every particle in my body to become the link to something beyond comprehension and to give me the power to forge it, to transcend it, to strive to understand it.

This presence – a semblance of all the above and so much more – measuring, sensing, instigating, examining, judging my thoughts, my life, my actions       is the wonder of my consciousness.

Note: New posts are published on the 1st and 15th of the month.

286 – The Tragedy of Man …

Monday, March 14th, 2022

The tragedy of man … starting a senseless war amid an environmental crisis threatening Humanity’s own existence to upend the peaceful order of an entire region, destroy what’s taken centuries to build, murder the innocent for no other reason than to appease the terror of his own inconsequence.

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279 – It is Horrendous …

Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

The killing of human beings by other human beings, especially when incited by hate, is a horrendous act.

It is horrendous to see the normalization by educational systems and religious organizations of hate-incited killing of human beings by other human beings as a natural side of our humanity.

It is horrendous to see filmmakers, politicians, scientists, authors, make the hate-filled killing of human beings by other human beings a common, acceptable, necessary, entertaining act; the winning prize of control and superiority.

It is horrendous to see the militaries of the world inculcating in the mind of the young and vulnerable that the killing of human beings unworthy of our righteousness is something to be proud of, even if it is oftentimes genocidal.

It is horrendous and deranged to see socio-political and religious factions proudly claim responsibility for the hate-filled massacres of human beings by other human beings.

We claim to have evolved beyond the savage behavior of the ‘lower’ animals, but our behavior is no less savage; we are the only ones who kill our own with levels of cruelty and cognition unseeing in Nature.

It is horrendous to see how we, the recipients of the highest and most far-reaching intellect so far known in Nature, kill our own in the name of hate. It breaks my heart.

What has turned us to be like this?

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271 – Have you ever thought … ?

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

Have you ever thought about the process in which two cells, an ovum and a sperm, each from a different body, became You? How did you, then a zygote,[i] know how to follow a process that unfolding for eons of time initiated your own self-generation … one cell into two, two into four, four into eight, and so forth … and got going the development of your existence?

Have you ever thought about the level of organization and planning that was already embodied in those pioneering cells? How did they determine the distinctiveness of you … the color of your eyes, the pigment of your skin, the type of your blood … and how was this information reiterated in every new cell, and how specialized cells were created to focus on the organization of your skeleton, your heart, your reproductive system, and a nervous system with a level of self-awareness that allows you to interact with the world without having to be aware of the shaping, the regulating, the replacing processes going on all the time within you.

Have you ever thought about the primordial forces that made you develop a male or a female reproductive system? How did you, when that critical decision was made, recognized the call of a species that tends to equilibrium between the sexes (the sex ratio of most species that produce offspring through sexual reproduction, notwithstanding events that decimate or slow its growth, is approximately 1:1 between males and females).

Have you ever thought about the fathomless process of self-organization going on right now inside your body so you can be You? Have you ever thought about how the pre-meditated process of organizing and giving you life is done almost entirely without a hint from you? Have you ever thought about asking Who, if it is not you, is doing the organizing?

Have you ever thought …?

[i] A zygote is a eukaryotic cell formed by a fertilization event between two gametes (reproductive cells). The zygote’s genome is a combination of the DNA in each gamete and contains all of the genetic information necessary to form a new individual. In multicellular organisms, the zygote is the earliest developmental stage. Wikipedia

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258 – I cannot Stop Wondering Why …

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

I cannot stop wondering why, with all the technological advances we have made, with all the scientific knowledge we have accumulated, with all the wisdom great minds have taught us, we still insist on perpetuating a paradigm in which we perceive Nature as something alien and separate from us. This is the reason why, because we cannot see the wind softly blowing around us nor understand it as a form of Life that gives us life, we poison it.

For the sake of a simple analogy, let me compare us to some stubborn little fish that, because he cannot perceive water as the medium that gives him life, thinks he has a separate existence from it. But fish him out of the water, and he is dead in minutes. We are not much different. Supporting destructive ideologies like ‘limitless consumerism’ and ‘unlimited growth’, we tenaciously cling to the belief that we can ravage the environment that gives us life because we think we can exist without Nature.

It is easy yet disturbing to see why this old paradigm has taken such a stronghold on us. Amid all the destruction they bring upon our world, we have not gotten over the fallacy of Descartes’ separation of mind and body, nor those religious beliefs that enslave us under fear and ignorance with empty and deceitful promises, nor those political and economic ideologies that brainwash us into promoting the devastation of the same environment that sustains us and gives us life.

The truth the promoters of these fallacies are afraid to acknowledge is that Nature – atoms, the Universe, us – is a unity. But in the urge to perpetuate their dominance over us, our institutions of learning and governance are unable to accept this unity and the fundamental part we play in it. It is thus that, to our detriment, they either ignore it or deny it.

I cannot say it enough: Our current beliefs are based on destructive fallacies. And under the dominance of institutions bent on promoting them for their selfish benefit, it is about impossible for us to comprehend the beauty and significance of being human in a deeply interconnected Universe. And yet, this is what we are.

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253 – Cusp …

Thursday, October 1st, 2020
  1. a point of transition between two different states.
  2. a pointed end where two curves meet. [1]

 

The world in which we exist appears to be not only in the cusp between the microcosm and the macrocosm

but equivalently affected by both …

We are made up of the stuff of one,

embedded in the stuff of the other,

and configured,

loosely,

by the rules of both.

 

The world in which we exist is a world of transition and integration,

a world in which we seem to be a meeting point

between the world that configures us – our bodies, our instincts, our transformations,

and the world that sets us free – our minds, our imagination, our hopes.

Two seemingly separate worlds

come into one.

 

[1] Google’s English Dictionary

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246 – What has happened to Us? … 

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Isn’t it terrible to see what we do to each other?

How we train the disadvantaged, the poor, to kill for our benefit,

how we send millions of us into poverty, humiliation, agony, despair,

without a place to live,

without a meal to eat,

without a bed to rest,

as we bask in disregard and luxury.

 

Isn’t it terrible to see what we do to the poor children of the world?

How we steal their future by robbing them of an education,

how we close our eyes to avoid seeing their plight,

their hunger,

their deaths,

so we can enjoy our comforts – oftentimes in obscene excess – without guilt.

 

Isn’t it terrible to see what we do to animals?

How we destroy their environments,

their livelihoods,

their homes,

how we submit them to slow, painful, horrific deaths,

without caring nor feeling a thing for their suffering.

 

Isn’t it terrible to see what we do to Nature?

How we think of her as a ‘slave’ so we can ravage her beauty,

her nurturing,

her balance,

without seeing that it is ourselves we ravage.

Where has our compassion gone? Our intelligence? Where is all the knowledge?

It was heartbreaking to read that our dominant economic ideology is based on the premise that “the share of national wealth distributed as wages must be kept as low as possible to prevent the cost of labor from reducing national wealth.”[1] Have we become so irrational, so utterly selfish, so compassionless that we believe this inhumanity to be the best way to create a better world!!!?

What has happened to us?

 

[1] Excerpt from “What Kind of Country Do We Want? by Marilynne Robinson. New York Review. June 11, 2020

Revised March 2022   

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244 – And then we wonder why …

Friday, May 15th, 2020

For millennia, the human-animal has slaughtered its own kind under justifications the likes of It is a rightful act to reign control at any cost over those who do not follow our doctrines, or We must either conquer or vanish from the face of the earth those who we contrive as an ‘enemy’ … the ‘scapegoat’ whose livelihoods we deem expendable.

Animals, insects, microbes slaughter each other in predatory killings in which they kill in greater numbers than they can immediately eat, usually to procure food for their offspring, gain valuable killing experience, or store for later times when hunger comes again.

But not us. Our predatory killings are instigated by greed and hate and are normalized and popularized in political and religious discourse oftentimes as heroism. But now, with the help of electronic devices which are not only widely available but highly desirable by younger generations, predatory killings are normalized and popularized as the main attraction in the playground of violent ‘games’ where the greater the slaughter and destruction, the greater the feeling of power, success, and victory they incite.

And then we wonder why we grow up believing that to be successful we need to be aggressive and heartless.

And then we wonder why we have grown up to be the only species we know of that uses its high degree of ‘intelligence’ to devise the cruelest forms of torture and destruction with the purpose to send others – generally the vulnerable and defenseless – into inhumane levels of poverty and degradation.

And then we wonder why we are a civilization where greed and hate are constantly throwing us in the midst of conflict and war, killing our own, oftentimes by the hundreds and thousands, without a hint of remorse.

Revised March 2022  

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239 – How can we? …

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

How can we, the lucky ones, the people with ‘residual incomes’ who, with full knowledge now that what we are doing to the environment can be the end of us – all of us – continue doing it as if we are untouchable?

How can we?

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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 in which it exists, 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 universal scheme, 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 incredible beauty of the sphere – its home in the Universe – from which it comes alive with the power to discern not only patterns of complexity, order, beauty, and meaning, but to 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 twisted, so unhappy, that it believes the path to forging ahead is that of self-destruction?

Revised January 2022

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