Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Realizing True Wealth

(This article, written by Americ Azevedo, originally published in What is True Wealth & How Do We Create it? Edited by Verna Allee & Dinesh Chandra. Indigo Press, New Delhi, India. 2004. Pages 124-130. Note: Book was inspired by the His Holiness the Dalai Lama; an interview with him on true wealth is included.) 

We are born with true wealth, but constantly forget to realize the wealth we already have.  Failing to acknowledge our true wealth we keep grasping for more, like hungry ghosts who are never satisfied while constantly eating!  Thus, we go about despoiling the earth, corrupting relationships, and twisting societies into grotesque forms that promote needless suffering for ourselves, others, and the earth-at-large.   Realizing true wealth leads to personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal fulfillment.  Furthermore, the long term survival of life on earth depends upon true wealth realization.

We need deep psychological and spiritual healing of individuals, groups, communities, nations and the earth at large. The bedrock of this healing is a return to this present moment, not in a selfish, narrow way, but in a way that includes the totality of what is here-there as well as past-present-future.  It is nothing less then the ancient ideal of enlightenment of all sentient beings. 
The Paradox of Wealth

We may have money but little time.  We may have time but no money.  We may have love but neither time nor money.  Coming to a point of balance between these factors is mastery of the art of living which is true wealth.

It’s been said, "He who dies with the most toys, wins!"  This is both true and not-true.  Some say, “money does not matter" -- but quietly and privately we fear poverty.  Fear of homelessness, hunger, and a drop in social status drives many to insane focus on money at any cost. If you are poor with a positive state of mind, you may still suffer a sense of emotion degradation just from the social stigma of poverty.  Such fears are well founded in societies that fail to attain true wealth, since the members of those societies know they can and do fall into poverty.  A world based on fear cannot be wealthy in any real sense.

Our possessions can own us.  Attach ourselves to our possessions and we immediately loose our sense of true wealth.  The very desire for possessions not yet owned breeds greed and lust.  We suffer endless rounds of grasping for the goods that will make us “happy and full”.  We get “more”, but immediately need to get “more” again.  There is no end in sight.

“Business as usual” means a life filled with urgency, running to keep up, and without time. “Oh! If only I had more money, I would do the work I love.”  Or, “If I had that big new house on the hill, people would respect and love me.  My wife would stay with me.”   Such conceptions of wealth are very childish. 

Many of the “richest” people in the world are always “hungry”.   Much shopping is for useless trinkets which act as displacements for lack of meaning and love in life.  Many a parent, for example, who has no time for talking with their children, will just buy toys.   Most people identify with the stuff that they own as an extension of their personal ego.  Consider automobiles and houses which function as symbols of wealth, but are also destructive to the natural capital of nature.  

True wealth goes beyond the concerns of the skin encapsulated ego.  True wealth includes the social, political, and transpersonal levels.  What about a friend or relative who needs help?  What about broader environmental concerns?   True wealth goes beyond the individual, and even national, egos.  What you spend your money on, changes, impacts society.  Buy an SUV because you like personal leg room, but consume the air and warm the environment for everyone else as well as yourself.
Time, Love, and Money
  
An old man asked me, “With what do you buy your money?”

I said, “With your life.”

He said,“Right!  I wish I had known that when I was young. I spent my life working for money instead of living.”

Time, love and money are the three legs of truth wealth’s stool. The time allotted to your life is utterly fundamental; a finite constantly depleting resource.  Have you loved enough?  Have you made money, invested money, and spent money in a way that sustains life on this earth for seven generations to come?  Most don’t think we have time for these questions.  We can be occupied working for money that we buy cars, drive to places, buy food from thousands of miles away, thus depleting earth’s natural capital without noticing it. 

Many people will say that they are making good money, but have no sense of free time.  They hope that someday in the future they will have time for the things they really enjoy like family and nature.  Often that day never comes.  I once worked at the headquarters of Standard Oil.  My life had become the company. When I went home, my mind was preoccupied with Standard Oil.  One day I awoke to realize that I worked in an environment that was loveless.  I had money, but love and time where in short supply.

What is money?  It’s a symbol for value, it is information; it is abstract.  Humans are driven by symbols to go to war and fight for abstract causes.  Money, being utterly abstract, is often valued more for itself than for what it actually buys – it is the ultimate “field of dreams”.  Individuals and societies measure self-worth by financial net-worth, but this devalues the deeper qualities of awareness and soul that are the true source of all value.
 
Walking by a beautiful garden filled with iris flowers, someone might think: “I don’t own it, how unfortunate!”  So they miss the simple of joy of the experience.  You don’t need to own things in order to enjoy them. To really “have” something we must be present to it. Taking time to appreciate the existence of an object, a friend, or a place is really having that object before us.    

Wealth is transpersonal because it is “beyond the personal”.   Everything that we do to accumulate wealth depends on past human efforts; as well as the Earth, the solar system, and the cosmos at large.  You are not your own source of supply.  Companies create private wealth by extracting resources from nature as if nature is "free" and unlimited.  Water, for example, was always free.  Industrial pollution turns water into another commodity with price barriers for the poor and helpless.  This situation creates transpersonal poverty. 
 
There can be a wealth of time.  Societies can make time for living, for singing, for family, for just sitting and watching.  This wealth is greater than the focus on consuming goods and working to pump up the "gross domestic product".

A man can become homeless and starve to death in a big city filled with apartments, hotels, and food.  It is not just lack of money that brings us to the homeless state.  Depression, lack of faith in life, lack of friends, and lack of family ties can bring one to this place.  Call it lack of love

We cannot be truly wealthy in such societies with extremes of poverty and riches. The expansive homes of the few wealthy are beautiful, but the society is really poor and ugly. So many become restless and debased is such a society.  I cannot relax in a mansion without security systems and insensitivity to the disparity around me. Just like the Buddhists who say they cannot become enlightened until everyone is enlightened, you and I cannot be truly wealthy until all are “wealthy”.  Clearly, a new meaning of wealth needs to emerge for the culture at large. 
Balanced Wealth Portfolio

An investor will diversify her assets into different categories of assets so as to balance out risk with the changing tides of market fortunes.  The seeker of true wealth balances the assets of time, love and money across the dimensions of personal, interpersonal and transpersonal – thus optimizing abundant life for themselves, neighbors, future generations, and Earth.

A balanced wealth portfolio can be attained by disciplining the ego and personal pride.  This spiritual practice has ramifications for self, society, and life on earth.  Portfolios are lists of assets by categories.  We could begin by playing with lists of “assets”.  One simple list of categories for grouping our assets would look like this:

1.     Personal-money
2.     Personal-time
3.     Personal-love
4.     Interpersonal-money
5.     Interpersonal-time
6.     Interpersonal-love
7.     Transpersonal-money
8.     Transpersonal-time
9.     Transpersonal-love

These categories are not absolute; they are starting points to help us on the road to true wealth realization.  Make up your own categories and lists.  Begin from where you are, and expand to include larger dimensions of wealth.    

True Wealth Realization Practice

Wealth is usually defined by external measures: affluence, millionaire money levels, ownership and control of companies, and influence over people. Look deeper; and, there is the feeling of being wealthy or poor more or less independent of external wealth measures.  Work with that feeling so as to become more independent of the strictly personal illusions of money-wealth and poverty.

Remember who you really are.  This means giving yourself the time to contact your own ultimate wealth:  the soul.  Your own soul is your own ultimate wealth.  As you begin to be wealthy in yourself, you will be able to extend your sense of wealth to include others and reality at large.  Every soul is the same soul – only covered by different personality, history and circumstances.  I could have been any one of the other people that I see everyday.   

To awaken to this very moment is truth wealth.  This moment is in truth all we really have and own.  Everything else is just on loan; we must give it all back in the end.  




Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Stillness, Creation, and Annihilation


Stillness, creation, annihilation, stillness ... over and over. A cosmic cycle reflected in daily life. The ancient forest dwellers of the Indus Valley understood this better than us. ● Within deep stillness is a source of life and light;  a  "quantum stillness" singing a silent song, waiting for a hearing. Listen, listen, listen to your heart's song. ● You're here now. Stay a while.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Being, Doing, Having, and Giving


Awareness of being, doing, having and giving transforms life. Discover being - and all else follows. Being is the ground of all that is. We reflect being within ourselves. Doing follows naturally once being is established in our minds, hearts, and bodies. In that doing, comes our having, and the capacity for giving. The path back to being is in our capacity for discovering and sustaining stillness within, even while "in the world".

Monday, June 15, 2020

A Secret of LIfe


A Secret of Life is that Life is eternal (when seen beyond the ego), but always moving toward aging and death when ego clouds our view. Therefore, see with ego-less eyes! With ego-less eyes we are blind to the boundaries between us. 
The ego, however, hangs on to "little life"; and may convince us of our near total separation from one another. Don't believe it. The eye of the needle may be small, but big mind can surrender into "big Life" - and it becomes mystically clear that "all is one".

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Heaven On Earth

Even on a loud street - we can find "heaven on earth" 
in a still quiet place within ourselves.



Saturday, June 06, 2020

Right Now

Right now
In this moment
There is nothing at all
Except a sense of "is-ness"
Of nothing "but-ness"
Leading nowhere at all
Except this exact
Place and time
Right now
Right here
As if forever

Friday, June 05, 2020

Stillness


Stillness is like an old friend within our deepest Self. My first glimpses of deep stillness happened during childhood and adolescence. Those moments seemed more important than the rest of life. Perhaps everyone encounters stillness but few talk about and share its power and beauty. Among places and situations where I found deep stillness:

• A freshly painted room in my parents house. I was maybe 4 or 5 years old.
• Walking home from school looking and feeling each step along the way.
• In my room, as an adolescent, slowly watching the twilight turn to night.
• By the ocean shore looking toward the horizon.
• First formal meditations sitting on the floor.

Cultivating stillness, which is also called "meditation" or "mindfulness" is an important medicine for the ills of our times. Why not take a few minutes, now, to be still? Mind quiet, body motionless, breath steady. Neither grasping nor rejecting what is happening all around, just let it all "pass through you". Stillness. Stillness. Upon returning to activity - one may be blessed with a sense of greater ease in life.



Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Meditation, Nonviolence, Peace

To sit, to meditate is 
already making a statement
for nonviolence and peace. 
It's inside-out; as within, so without. 
Peace begins right here 
as the inner knots are untied; 
and, love unfolds.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Money and God

For several years I gave an annual talk for The Applied Philosophy Institute in Sunnyvale, California. One year the topic was "Money and God." Almost everyone in the audience had deep feelings about the subject. I struggled to bring God and money together in the same breath. One businessman wanted to make it simple. He said, "Money is God. Anything you can say about God, you can also say about money."
"What do you mean?" I responded. "Well, think of the traditional statements about God," he said. "Okay. God is love. God is everywhere. God is infinite. God is all-powerful," I remarked.
"That's it!" he said with delight. "Money is love. Money is everywhere. Money is infinite. Money is all-powerful. People treat you as if they love you when you have lots of money. Everywhere I go there's money -- an ATM machine or bank in every part of the world. Money is so powerful we go to war and give up our lives for it. And, since money is abstract, we can create infinite numbers out of it. Therefore Money is like God, Money is God."
This businessman was serious. He was also deeply disturbed by his position. He was admitting an awesome truth that most people would not take seriously.
Ultimately, all investments start with how we use time. Some say "Time is money." Time is more fundamental then money, and a little closer to God and life. Life is the time we have, so use time well.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Today. Today. Today.

Today. Today. Today.
What is today?
A passing moment in "our" universe.
A travelling point in space-time
wrapped up with our
individual lives
always moving on to
a future. Hello today!
I am here now. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

New Beginnings


New Beginnings
are often
disguised as
painful endings.

    ~ attributed to Lao Tzu ~ 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Quantum Strangers

Sliding into spacetime
Again quite lost
Feeling okay with uncertainty
Of nonlocality 
Knowing that it's all entangled 
Like an Argentine tango 
Between two strangers 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Trapped in a Back Room


SOMETIMES A FLY GETS TRAPPED in a back room, attracted to the glass windows. Eventually it dies, not seeing the way out through a darker hallway to an open window. Humans get attached to the bright lights, big billboards, loud sounds, and media distractions. Eventually they can't change of direction back to the quiet voice of truth. They die unfulfilled. ∆

Monday, May 18, 2020

Dawn Breaks

A day of darkness
Lost, lost in worry dreams
Until dawn breaks
Across the night skys

Monday, May 04, 2020

Live in Direct Relationship to Reality


Turn away from
books, ideas, and theories. 
Enlightenment can only be realized
by living in direct relationship to reality.
Books, ideas, and theories 
don't go deep enough.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Hold the Morning


Hold the morning in your hand
Lift your eyes up to the sky
Timeless void surrounds our days

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Monday, April 27, 2020

Who are We

Who are we? Golden rays of light moving around on the Earth's surface. Mostly, we forget how wonderful and wondrous we are. Sometimes we act in the worst of ways. But most of the time it is loving kindness. Don't forget that. Don't believe the news. We are creatures born of love, born to share millions of moments of kindness with one another. This is so. If not, we would not be here today.

(Haku’s personal note: I apologize for such a long delay but quarantine is warping my sense of time)

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Stop, start

Think of all
of it as One
thing that is
not a thing.
Stop, start.
You don’t
know anything
in completeness.
You just are.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Spontaneity

Spontaneity as a result of meditation practice. Meditation class talk.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Presencing

Engaged in endless desires 
mind darting place to place
forgetful of true deep nature
looking for jewels of enjoyment
within illusions and flickering desires
water passing through our fingers 

Living is showing up for our own lives. No one else can do it for you! Where would you “be” if you don’t know you’re here?  “Presencing[1]” is the process of coming to full presence. Real presence is quiet and still.

An old friend asked, "What happens after you die?" Without thought, I said, "Nothing". They looked stunned.  Either way it is nothing. If you really don't die – nothing changed. You die – nothing changed. Consider this deeply.

It is not so much about being alive or dead; it’s being awake to this moment that is life. The intensity of wakefulness is how alive you are. Good sleep, paradoxically, is a sound basis for stable wakefulness. Waking up requires going to sleep. Remember to exercise, eat good food and keep good company. Attend to the general environment all around – the air, the ambient sounds, the tone of the times, and so forth. That means to adjust your distance closer or further away as needed.  Enhance your inner resolve to be alive, to be awake.

Modern civilization’s great “dis-ease” is intentional distraction. Our everyday world is built on distractions. Technology, new products, advertising, sales people – all of them want our attention – their livelihoods depend on your attention

Your real livelihood is your real life which depends on bringing your attention back to the present here and now. Every morning, our place on earth turns toward our local star – the sun. And, we, over and over, need to turn toward the life experienced – this very present, ever present moment here and now. This is active intention called “presencing”. 

Feel with the whole being, be present to the rich textures of body, mind, and heart! Face life. Live life. Live today.





[1] The word “presencing” was introduced to me by Frederika Kreitzer, who was a graduating Philosophy student at UC Berkeley. Thereby turning the noun (present), into a process, a verb (presencing).

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Eternal life belongs to those who live in the present

"Death is not an event in 
life: we do not live to 
experience death. If we take 
eternity to mean not 
infinite temporal duration 
but timelessness, then 
eternal life belongs to those 
who live in the present." 

~ ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein ~~

Friday, April 03, 2020

Torrent of Time


TIME IS LIKE a torrent of water rushing through our lives. Time cannot be stopped - and life cannot be separated from time until there is deep transcendence of all the cares and concerns of daily life. Few ever learn to live with abandon without attachment - at peace with the passing parade of phenomena. Yet, yet, and yet again - there's something within us that does not change. Something unchanged since our first awareness of being here in our lives. ∆

Monday, March 30, 2020

Face reality


Face reality 
Live in truth 
Be honest with yourself 
Integrity deepens

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Alignment with Being


Most people live in a fog - moving between tasks, situations, and pleasures. Often in a mental fog of remembrances and fantasies. Live life fully. This could just be the only life you know. Pre-life and after-life are matters of speculation and faith. A full life is not measured in number of years, but by depth of understanding and experience. Some die young but had rich lives. Others live long but accomplish little. It's not how long we live, but how we live that counts. We become happy, wealthy and wise in proportion to our alignment with being.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

What a World


WHAT A WORLD we created! So much technological progress. I see glitter at the expense of much noise and endless distraction. Teaching meditation becomes a noble calling. Some say this is the bottom of the Kali Yuga - the darkest moment of the darkest age. It’s exactly at such extreme moments that things begin to turnaround.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Professor Americ Azevedo's Last Class at UC Berkeley

The photos are blurry but I felt it was important to represent this crucial time in Americ's life.

-Haku



(Written from my handheld.)

Monday, March 16, 2020

Ancient Agora

How do we reconcile all of the events which are going on in the world right now?

Silence. Stillness. Serenity.
It isn't passive. 
It isn't selfish. 
It isn't easy.

Join us?

Send your poems, stories, artwork, articles, ramblings and anything else:

Hakudesu0@gmail.com

We are a community. 
We are always growing together. 
We are always listening.

A thought, thought several times!

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
— Henry David Thoreau
(Suggested by Marianne Henry)

Sunday, March 15, 2020

A Budding Biologist (to Richard, wherever you are these days)

Poem by Richard Pauloo


hiking in the Berkeley hills
a seed crests by my body
white sphere of life
nearly weightless in the wind’s breath
i turn back with an urge to capture it
to understand its beauty
and dissect it with logic
i pause
ashamed
my hands cannot hold
the true beauty of the seed which is

its effortless waltz with gravity
its gentle surrender to the ground beneath
the promise of new life it carries
the first green sprout
the animals that will play
on its gnarled branches
the growth and decay
of a forest
all contained within the soft small shell
of a seed
trailing
in the wind



Saturday, March 14, 2020

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Wuhans Message to the World (Stand Together)


I felt everyone should see this right now. Incredibly powerful.
-Haku

Roots of the Golden Rules

The world's religions are rooted in experiences of cosmic consciousness. Often these experiences came after long periods of isolation and fasting. By looking at this common root, we can come to greater understanding of the unity within the diversity of religions.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Ordinary and Extraordinary Life

Ordinary life flows on until there's an opening into the extraordinary; a vision of the absolute, transcendental, vertical dimensions of reality. Ordinary life dominates our awareness. The chores, the tracks laid down by education, family, childhood, youth, middle and old age. Sometimes, it feels good; sometimes disarming. We may entertain or distract ourselves for we can't always bear the ordinary condition.

Into every ordinary life come truly difficult events that break the habitual patterns; creating openings into the extraordinary. Amazingly, the extraordinary just shows up by way of grace alone - arriving into a humble simple ordinary moment - while washing dishes by hand! Or, walking with a young child.

Friday, March 06, 2020

Doing Not Doing

"Doing not doing" one possible translation of the Chinese phrase "wei wu wei". It suggests a state of effortless being and action. This is one of the most important ideas within the Tao te Ching.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Getting It All Done


GETTING IT ALL DONE is impossible. Sometimes I feel as if my world will fall apart if it all does not get done right away. This "getting it all done now" idea is mostly self generated - and passed around to children, parents, friends, mangers and subordinates. Does "it" really have to be done? Now? Later? Never? Be realistic.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Still Point of the Turning World

Meditation talk at Berkeley City College, June 24, 2014. Title of talk comes from a line in T.S. Eliot's "Burnt Norton" within the Four Quartets.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Being a Philosopher-at-Large

From time to time, I feel that I'm really a "philosopher-at-large". It's one of my jobs in this life. I reflect on things. I am not a writer, but more a speaker. That's why I use audio so much. That which appears real to me is often unspeakable and un-writable. The best I can do is sing or write a spontaneous poem. So here I am - reflecting on myself, in public, about this occupation of philosopher-at-large. Thankful for so many people who keep visiting this philosopher-at-large blog over all these years. You keep me going.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

1% Rule


Work for a 1% improvement each day. 
This seems modest.
But after 100 days that is a 
100% improvement 
from where you started.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Merlyn Is Back



Wizard's never go away. 
Sometimes, however, they take long journeys.
Let's just say, I had a long vision quest.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Not Knowing

Young people in competitive universities often find "not knowing" to be utterly frightening. For them, it feels like life depends on "getting it right". That lesson learned in school often extends into the rest of life. This is unfortunate. Embracing not knowing is "divine ignorance" - it opens us to the possibilities of all that can be. Learning to live with the unknown and knowing that we don't know - may well be the beginning of true wisdom. It is absolutely humbling how little we do know about anything - including our deepest selves. Coming to knowing that we don't know is the cutting edge of wisdom. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Contradiction and Reconciliation

Every contradiction is a reconciliation.
We live in time while abiding in eternity.
Happy are they who surrender to Being.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

So Many Years

Coming of old age is easy - it just happens. Difficult are the goodbyes coming one upon another with accelerating velocity - demanding new levels of self mastery. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dark nights; bright days

There are dark nights of the soul, when all looks doomed.
Don't believe it.
Such views are born of fatigue.

There are moments when it seems all can be done with brilliance and ease.
Don't believe it.
Such views are born of excess energy.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Wake Up to Who You Really Are


Wake up to who
you really are.
Being anything
else comes at
too high a cost.
"Who you really
are" is love.
Perhaps you
forgot that you
are love; if
you did forget, go
visit or see
someone with a
new infant child.
The teaching will
be clear.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

This and That

Years ago there was a bohemian group that held parties at the ramshackle home of an old painter in Canyon, far back in the Oakland Hills.  His son and I used to hold long discussions on all sorts of subjects, including physics, math, philosophy, music, literature…  One night, both of us having consumed a fair amount of wine, the subject of Zen came up.  We wondered if we could make our own contribution to Zen enlightenment.  The result was the following.

 “In a Zen monastery, a monk was given the opportunity to ask the Master one and only question, with the promise that the Master would answer it.  When the appointed day arrived, the monk was presented to the Master.  ‘You may state your question,’ said the Master.  The monk replied,  ‘My question is this: What is the most important question I can ask you, and what is the answer?’  To which the Master replied, ‘That is the most important question you can ask, and this is the answer.’”


Contributed by John Franklin 



What's it all about?



(In mid-2008, I
had a compelling dialogue on The WELL
 with people I never met in person on the topic of "What's It All About?" Here are my own posts. All the other responses are deleted, following the rule that "you own your own words" applies to posts on The WELL. It's the unquoted writers who took me to deeper levels of understanding - they drove these notes into being!)

Life has taken me into many phases and experiences. I'm sixty years old now. Long enough to know what little I know; long enough to feel that I have lived. I am thankful for that.

What's it all about? Each day the answer to this question could be different.
Death and limitation have been the most powerful teachers. As we age, people around us get sick and die. I was thinking about some of those people this morning. One was 20 years older and like a father to me. He came to memory. I realized that in a way - this was how he "lives on" - in the memory of friends and relatives. His motto was, "Life is good!" I try to remember that one.

Last year, two people that I work with lost their children (one was eight and the other thirty years old). It was unspeakable. I was deeply affected.
Death pushes us out of abstraction. (Wow! and this statement is an abstraction). A big problem with philosophy is that philosophy "wants" to abstract. But, reality is not abstract - reality is real. :) Death must be painful because we love.

I think "it's all about love". I remember an opera with a song that goes, "Love is the heartbeat of the Universe." I think so. Without love, we have nothing, nothing at all. Even all the jewels and gold hardly make it worth it. Is not the meaning of life Love?
And, yes, I have been hurt in love; and have grieved because of love - through death and separation. Love comes in all forms: with job, God, children, mate, etc....etc.

It's like this:
Love to be love that is real love is love that sees the self in the other. Thus, the Golden Rule follows. But, love that is conditional to "me being more important than you" as fundamental - that is love perverted. Even bankers can be loved, once we see them as they really are - as, perhaps, misguided. In ancient days, it was something to have dinner with tax collectors. Yet, they, too, could be loved. Anyway, I believe there is a high path of love that holds the universe and the human world together. A love that is even stronger in the long run than hate. Mundane matters, yes! Love is totally mundane - it is what holds the world together. Our mundane work is tangible love. Deep nature is a dynamic balance of attractive and repulsive forces; so, suggest the laws of physics. This balance of forces sustains our everyday macro world - that we mostly take for granted. I come to this conference because I love philosophy; and, I love to run into other people (YOU) who struggle with difficult, hard to pin down ideas. Is it not love that brings us together?

Perhaps, this question "What's it all about?" cannot be answered. But, it is in the "answering" that love is. Love is like the background, like the air that we take for granted. Most mundane, most divine it is. I have seen many wish to be transported and transcending. This is not much better than taking drugs or alcohol. The real thing, I believe, is to be-here-now. It takes real love to really be-here-now with what-there-is."Attentiveness" is as close as possible to being honest with the experience of being human in our world in all its dimensions as possible. That's why I am not comfortable with the idea that we "are just evolved mechanisms that are useful to the replication of our genes". I have no problem with the genes being part of what we are attentive to, but genes are only part of the show on one of the many levels of reality which we live in. I don't have a conflict with the genetic explanation as long as it is not a reductionist program that makes the experience of being-human "nothing but" the play of genes. The genetic is deeper level below the subconscious mind of the human; and, of course, the quantum level is deeper than genetic. That does not mean, however, that these levels are more real than human. But, I am not sure that the human experience is fundamentally real. It is, however, our experience - the experience that we start with as we grope for what is beyond human.

You know, to live without a narrative might just be total freedom, total enlightenment. Narratives are either internal monologues or "polylogues" among people. For example, we could have a narrative that explains everything (yes, "what's it all about?") in terms of genes. And, why not? We can "reduce" everything (i.e. map it) to any level of another or reality. The main advantage of not reducing everything to genes is to keep the narratives simple for humans to understand human life in human-terms not genetic terms.

Poetry reduced to genetic relationships would require a lot of decoding to be meaning to one living an ordinary life.
Daily life requires a narrative. Without narratives we would slip either into the absurd & schizoid or cosmic consciousness. You know it's interesting that recent cosmology talks about the "sound of creation" - that ripples in the early Universe produced a sound, a kind of music. This accords with mystical Hindu concepts of the universe beginning with a sound; like God in the Bible speaking the Word. Vibration, sound, light. Even before there are genes.

What's it all about? What do we know, anyway? :)
Even if it is just chaos or actually intelligent design - it might just come down to interaction. There's no "final answer" - it's a journey that takes us beyond questions and answers. I believe that everything by change or by law is totally interrelated, so everything must be interacting.

I love interaction. That's one of the reason I love The WELL.
I've the greatest respect for "logo therapy" as developed by Viktor Frankl in his book *Man's Search for Meaning*. It taught me that I am my own meaning maker; and, also to respect other people's ways of finding/making meaning. If memory is right, he discovered in a German concentration camp during WWII that those who found a specific meaning had a greater chance of making it out alive. I figure that may be true for all of us: with meaning we have a greater chance of getting out alive!

When I started this topic, I had no idea where this question would lead. to me it is a matter of mystery and wonder. human beings appear to have evolved out of the soup of matter and life.
it's a wonder we are gifted with reflective consciousness. it's worth asking such questions just for the pleasure of expanding reflective consciousness and solving problems and much more.....

I mix God and consciousness into the strew here. Suppose God as some kind of pure Source Energy did utter a Sound, a vibration that caused the Big Bang. If so, the whole of creation is infused with consciousness seeking to organize itself itself here and there. That self-organizing here and there leads to all kinds of practical results - until consciousness seems to have holographic capacities for resonating with the whole universe back to the time of the Big Bang.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Genius & Idiot


Sooner or later, 
everyone gets to be 
both a genius and an idiot. 
It's merely a matter of time.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Old Men

Walking this early morning. Birds singing. I imagined great men turning very old in rest homes - with their minds slow and often confused. Their worldly powers gone. Many just lost. A few shining with the light of love in their eyes. Oh! What a surrender, a giving up - being weak meek and older and dropping away worldly powers and fame. Nothing remaining except treasures stored in the soul. Most will be so poor - with lives spent in achievements. A few learned harmony and wisdom along the way: going into the light with the greatest letting go, in love. May I become so fortunate. True humble greatness.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Here and Now


From http://www.thechicclassmate.com/2012/06/here-and-now.html

Sunday, January 26, 2020

River of Thoughts

a river of thoughts flowing
through my days
returning to the ocean
never ending, always waving

Friday, January 24, 2020

Subterranean Powers


Subterranean powers run our lives. We are not really in control of ourselves and destinies as much as we think. The illusion is that we have conscious control over our lives; the reality is that our preferences, desires, goals, objectives, loves, hates, etc. are all affected and determined by "forces" inside of us evolving along with our bodies over millions of years. Sometimes, I think that these "forces" are the real expression of God (and that they actually help us understand what God is as an actor in the universe). But perhaps it's best to just live with the mystery of it all.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Frequency of the Universe


One of my the most heart warming projects is a decade long project of posting short audio teachings on Internet audio sites. One of the thousands of listeners gave the greatest of complements:

your words always give me hope
that there is someone on the same frequency out there.
the frequency of the universe.

What could that frequency be? Perhaps the ringing echoes of the Big Bang creation event. Maybe the sound of Aum (om) as suggested in the ancient Upanishads. Or, is it the frequency of truth - so sublime that only a quiet soul can hear?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020

Life's Breath




Life plays us like flutes. The flute's openings are mind, intellect and the five senses. With egos put aside - these flute openings become pure. Life's breath passes freely though us. Our lives become harmonic.  

Image from http://www.oldworldmusicandgifts.com/img/flutesmall.jpg  

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Floating

 The mystery and secret of life. Learning to be. Relaxing into this present moment. A metaphor for living well.  

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Don't Pick the Flowers Today


Please don't pick the flowers today
Stop the destruction now
Let everything live and die
    for good purpose
Eat the flowers if you need food
    But don't condemn the
    flowers to decoration - it is
    life that must give life 




One Step in Mindfulness

"Taking even one step in mindfulness
can benefit all beings on Earth."
                        -- Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, January 10, 2020

Berkeley Farmers' Market (Published May 30th 2012)

Walked into the Tuesday Berkeley Farmers' Market. The day was wonderful. The atmosphere peaceful and healthy. Talked with farmers and musicians. So real. So good. 

Begin Again



Could I begin again, 

as if this is the first day?
Could God the Omnipotent
redo the creation -
and again say
"Let there be light"?

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Green Oak


Green oak tree in desert
Oasis waters all around
Children holding hands
Singing "To life, to life"

Monday, January 06, 2020

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Ecstasy of Learning



"If you're not having fun, you are not learning." That was my teaching motto during first lecture of Data Base Theory and Administration at Golden Gate University. Fun and learning go together. Children at play learn effortlessly. School gets too serious and we forget that learning is a natural human pleasure. Life itself is the school. During class a student suddenly echoed back: "If you're not having fun, you are not learning!"

Learning is ecstasy - naturally moving us outside ourselves. We are born learners. Humans learned to live on land, the sea surface and underwater, and outer space. There is a pleasure in learning about anything. In extending ourselves personally and collectively into new frontiers.

If you want to stay young keep learning something new everyday. Open up a different kind of magazine. Keep changing the environment what you're looking at so that your mind works at mastering new vistas. You're old when you can't be bothered learn new things.
~~~