Posts Tagged wisdom

curious

 

The sad thing is that

the only people I’ve harmed

have been those I loved.

 

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why what is

 

What I find most fascinating about science is that, when combined with a natural human inclination to wonder, and therefore to invent religious perspectives – read metaphysical and contemplation – a real potential for true understanding emerges. true observation of what really is combined with intuitive understanding of why.

Science by itself isn’t enough, although it’s discipline and focus and precision are wonderful, and it’s ability to reveal actual process, and to show how the world about us operates. But it has to be combined with an open mind and a sense that anything is possible in order to deal with the why question. And for that to happen, you have to be infatuated with the puzzling, astonishing and beautiful nature of what you’re seeing, and to want to understand it, and the truth that underlies it. And to wonder why and how it’s beautiful, and what that might mean.

This doesn’t imply a religious – and therefore inexplicable and often nonsensical – requirement to true understanding. It means that science and the scientific method can take us so far at any given point in understanding, and to progress further, we need also to accept intuition and imagination as useful tools in determining the veracity of what we know, and how to determine a way forward. Sometimes intuition gives us a picture of scenarios that seem to be outlandish and unlikely.  Or they might suggest factors that are a result of process – for example, if math explains all process, perhaps beauty is an emergent property of a level of understanding that we should appreciate having been achieved as a result of process.

This combination of wanting to understand the process, but also needing to know the why, and to be willing to accept that beauty is also a significant factor, must surely be why intelligence has come to be. The universe must know itself, otherwise why is it?

Careful analysis and understanding of the process needs to be combined with a deeper knowledge, which is why what is is, in order to sum a truth that’s beyond merely factual. Because it’s only subjective experience that gives rise to factual experience. So where does that deeper interpretation of why that experience was possible come from? Where does objective understanding come from?

This is the thing that puzzles and intrigues me. Understanding how things happen is one thing, understanding why they are is something at a different level.

EDIT: Quote ” Something there is that can refresh and revivify older people: joy in the activities of the younger generation — a joy, to be sure, that is clouded by dark forebodings in these unsettled times. And yet, as always, the springtime sun brings forth new life, and we may rejoice because of this new life and contribute to its unfolding; and Mozart remains as beautiful and tender as he always was and always will be. There is, after all, something eternal that lies beyond the hand of fate and of all human delusions. And such eternals lie closer to an older person than to a younger one oscillating between fear and hope. For us, there remains the privilege of experiencing beauty and truth in their purest forms.” (Albert Eintein)

 

 

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Other creatures.

 

Humans tend to assume that they have a degree of intelligence that gives them awareness that isnt afforded other species.

Criteria that are used to justify this perspective include lack of evidence of empathy, of emotions including fear and sadness, and of gratitude. Or an ability to assess a given context, and to calculate an appropriate response to it.

Every day, visible instances occur that prove these assumptions are just wrong. They imply an arrogance in humanity that is breathtaking. Other creatures are sufficiently sentient to respond to both circumstance and to other creatures as we are. How could they be alive otherwise?

Here’s a small example:

http://www.trueactivist.com/swan-hugs-man-after-being-rescued-from-chain-link-fence-photos/ .

We have to reappraise our relationship with the rest of the world. To imagine that we’re somehow seperate from it is folly. The whole system that we observe and are able to analyse because its systemic, includes us as a key component. As it does every other creature. This is what makes it a system. How to extrapolate this? Discussions about ‘universal conciousness’? Perhaps. How is a component within a system able to see the system from outside? We can’t know this external perspective. We can only know what we see and experience, and deduce. And we can clearly experience sentience and awareness in other creatures, even with our own emotions and intuition, as opposed to powers of analysis. And deploying this experience usefully, must surely lead us to deduce that we arent a seperate cognitive function of the universe but just a part of a mathematical curve that, if we allow it, will extrapolate. And this is the ultimate goal of evolution.

So, some compassion and respect is called for I think… and a little humility. Otherwise we risk compromising the very system that defines us.

 

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Understanding

 

It’s all too complicated. I’m tired of complicated.

I want to get up in the morning, attend to those things I need to do in order to exist, with respectful regard to whatever it is that provides those means, and then to go to sleep again.

I want space and time within this simple process that allows me to reflect on its beauty or its ugliness, and to express my responses to those in words and images. To have my quiet say.

And I want to know my place amongst others, and the world around me, and not to have to worry about whether I deserve that place or whether I understand it.

I want my process of existence to contribute to my context simply by virtue of its being.

For my love not to be considered but naturally emergent, and for other’s love to be naturally received, without thinking.

I want to be, and to understand naturally, so that I may move on with greater understanding.

 

 

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Original Source

 

Sitting in bath warm water,

waves lapping up my thighs,

leaning on one hand on the yielding sand,

watching the moon sink into the sea.

 

The natural world is all that’s real.

The rest is construct and hubris.

 

Watching that sinking moon

over the turning world,

and the whirling cosmos of a trillion lights,

all ticking step by step in time.

 

And then it came to be known

amongst all sentience

that the Original Source is me,

and we are the Original Source.

 

 

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Tears

 

I wear my tears like

a Warrior who weary,

has become gentle.

 

 

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We need to wake up

 

Humanity has to find a way of massively reducing its per capita use of resources – be that energy, minerals or land – or we actually do face a potential reality of the collapse of modern civilisation. This isn’t hysteria, or the imaginings of a treehugger. It’s simple reality. We have to find a way of living with less impact. And career politicians are not going to achieve this. They can’t, however well intentioned, because our voting systems would not allow them to do what is required. So its down to each of us, across a world of 7.3 billion people, most of whom live in abject poverty. It’s quite a challenge. But the first step has to be for everyone to start to open their eyes and read, and let go of pre conceptions, and political assumptions. The way we live now isn’t the only way. It wouldn’t actually take much to make the adjustments required. More local – work, travel, food etc. – would probably do it.

With proper attention and investment into developing country cities to provide clean energy and vertical farms.

It can be done, but we really need to move now, and even then, it may be too late if certain greenhouse gas release mechanisms have kicked off as a result of existing warming. We can’t tell yet. But we have to assume that there’s still a chance, whilst there might be one.

So many of our great cities are surrounded or permeated by squalid poverty – tin shacks and people shitting in the street where children play. Humans are more than this. What we regard as the lowest forms of mammalian life don’t live like that. Rats.

How have we allowed this to happen thus far? A revolution is required, in people’s aspirations and expectations. And in how we interact. And how our societies, given that hierarchies will emerge, are structured (and they’re not God given things; we make them) to ensure that all of us are at least warm and fed. The rest is frippery and excess luxury. Fine if it isnt made available at the cost of the squalor of others.

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Laughing

 

This is a poem.

I can say whatever I like.

 

Poetic licence and all that.

 

I can say without fear of ridicule

that I am lonely and mystified by life.

 

The whirlpools of logic and illogic

and unfathomable stupidities.

 

And the wonders and astonishing things.

Aspects of grand realities

that seem distant and huge.

 

And I’m allowed to confess that I cry,

often and loudly,

because I’m a two sided coin.

 

And other things too.

The sense of smallness

that makes me gently humble as I look around.

 

That sense of contiguity with all that is

that occurs occasionally.

My smallness and my scope.

My all encompassing modest place.

 

Watching wise if I’m lucky,

defined by my context,

laughing and crying without doing either.

 

 

 

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Rainbow

 

Over drab hills held down

by scudding clouds,

a gap opened and sun’s rays shone down.

 

Splitting into a million colours

through a million tiny drops,

as the light of a star showed itself to us.

 

Its million aspects viewed with awe

by the only entity capable of seeing.

That’s you.

So see yourself like this.

 

 

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The point

 

As he died and saw the world fade away,

he also saw his life spread out

like a two dimensional fan in front of him.

 

Then flames appeared and a charred black hole

spread out from the source into the delicate fan spread.

Each blade a part of his life,

crumbling to charred paper and blowing away on the wind.

 

And so he returned to his original state.

Now able to play a part in the way

he spent his life hoping he might.

 

Wiser now and on a universal stage

rather than a bit part in a sideshow.

But having learned to understand this.

 

 

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A happy soul

 

A happy soul is one

that’s learned to let go.

Like a seed from a dandelion head

in a sunny breeze,

 

that let go

of its anchor point

and turned to face the breeze

and the skimming land below.

 

To arrive where what is.

is sufficient.

 

 

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Hands

 

All we can see of ourselves,

that tells our tale,

is our hands.

 

Smooth and then

suddenly not so.

 

This process of

the compression of one’s life

cannot be seen

by seeing yourself.

 

That would be to try

to describe your face

without a mirror.

 

But you can see

the hands that lie there

looking back at you,

and they tell no lies.

 

Wrinkled a little now,

they represent your life.

Its good and bad

and ultimately tired understanding.

 

 

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The inevitable

 

For the past ten years or more, I’ve pondered the state of humanity and the world we believe we’ve created, dependent as it is upon a natural environment that we continue to take for granted. I’ve looked at most issues – from antibiotic resistance to population growth via land use, deforestation and biodiversity reduction, economic inequity and excessive consumption, pollution and climate change. I’ve seen how all of these problems are interlinked and are interdependent. How all cause each other.

I’ve seen how our political and economic systems manage these issues as stovepipes, independent from one another. And I’ve seen how religious and political dogma work against the human ability to rationally assess contexts and solutions. How ignorant people are led by ego driven fools. And I’ve seen how our simple minded greed is driven by our selfishness.

In short, I’ve seen how our ignorance is driving our demise, as well as that of most other species, compounded by our stubborn stupidity and ego.

I believe that human civilisation, as we understand it to be, will be no more eighty five years from now. And that within four decades, we’ll be experiencing a sense of upheaval that will render most people’s lives unpleasant at best, untenable at worst.

That by the end of this century, humanity will comprise some ten percent of its current volume, some existing self sufficiently, growing their own food and living a simple life, whilst a minority contiue to try to utilise our knowledge to our advantage, but in doing so come to represent an elite that may have complete control over the rest. The ignorant will finally become subsumed, and the fate of humanity will rest with the ability of those with knowledge to resist becoming arrogant. Our final destiny lies with these people.

I don’t have much hope.

 

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Rose

 

Blank hard walls

and in a window that doesn’t care what it sees,

I see reflected a me that used to be.

 

There are so many.

 

So many ways

a rose might have opened.

A butterfly might have emerged.

 

In the eye of the beholder

my fate is decided,

and then I fade away.

 

 

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Stukas

 
 
Standing on the Chain Bridge
Over Budapest’s Danube,
Watching the water flow by.

Gellert Hill stands in the background,
Where the Nazis had their headquarters
In the second world war.

How many Stukas lie buried in river mud?
Bleached skulls gazing up at passing pleasure boats now,
Wondering what it was for.
 
 

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The modern way

 
 
I’m dying. My feet tell me so.
As I pace back and forth
Between hope and despair.
There’s no stairwell to heaven here.

There’s no way to wisdom
Or any such feast.
Just meagre scraps that fall
From processes I don’t understand.

And as for love,
There’s no such thing.
Instead there’s a place in an hierarchy
That deserves regard or doesn’t.

Take your heart and crush it underfoot.
I might have loved you
If you hadn’t looked at me like that.
When I confessed my nature
Didn’t fit the modern way.

 
 

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Education that teaches what matters, and a media that informs.

As science and technology define what we can achieve in a material sense, knowledge and understanding informs us as to how to best use our technical ingenuity. Education should give the individual person a framework within which to grow their knowledge and also to use it wisely. And that’s the key. Education needs be such that it encourages the wise use of knowledge. And in todays world, where the issues are global and interlinked, that means it needs to have a wide perspective.

I’m not just talking about school education here, but education in a broader sense as well. School education does need to provide a greater sense of context for pupils – why they’re learning what they’re learning. I’ve always been careful to try and explain this to my own sons. Discussing science and global issues with them after school hours so they become more aware of the world for which they’re preparing themselves. Whilst they of course have made their own minds up, independently of any input from me, I like to think that our talks have at least been partly responsible for one son deciding to train as a medical doctor, and the other being committed to a working life in nature conservation. School education should leave pupils with an understanding of the disparities in the world and the differences and relationships between people. Poverty is a relative thing – schoolchildren in the developed world should be far more aware of true poverty, where children die from lack of food and why. And pupils in the developing world should be more aware the needs of their country in terms of water management, land tenure rights and basic economics. Just an awareness, that’s all. Give them the building blocks from which to establish their own persepctives, values and intentions. These are the real things of life that the education process is supposed to prepare them for. Basic education means nothing if no context is apparent to which they can apply what they learn.

But it’s not just about education in schools. It’s about increased awareness in society generally. All tertiary education should include ‘context’ in its curriculum. A geneticist should know about global socioeconomics, including such issues as why antibiotics are losing their effectiveness (poverty plays a role here) to help them judge where best to aim their research for the most effect. A Builder should know why it’s important for buildings to be thermally efficient (emissions and climate change), and be informaed about social issues associated with housing. Accountants should be more aware of inequity in society and how wealth is being distributed. Journalists should receive broad training in everything from economics to nuclear physics to enable them to understand better what they’re trying to report. Virtually any occupation needs to have this more contextual awareness to enable them to apply their skills in the world in the most appropriate way.

In the west, we’re plagued by a media that trivialises life. Teenage magazine and so called newspapers that are focused on mindless celebrity culture and irrelevant issues. Whilst it’s obviously fine to have an extensive entertainment media, don’t let it parade as news. I once spoke to a bloke in a pub who was reading a copy of one of these papers (The Sun – a UK tabloid) and asked him why he didn’t read something more informative. His answer was that those big papers are too clever for him and he wouldn’t understand them. So we go back to the inadequacy of school education again, and false perceptions. I can’t help believing that if readers of these ‘newspapers’ were more aware of how they were being talked down to and patronised, and how an assumption was being made that they were indeed too stupid or ignorant to want to know about the bigger issues facing them and the way their governments (for whom they vote) and the world as a whole works – if they were made more aware of the world – then they may take an interest and want to know more. Then the world just may stand a better chance of overcoming the problems it faces as the people who vote for governments in democracies would be better informed as to how to vote. And Governments would have more flexibility to be able to implement policies that would currently see them voted out of office, such as green tax legislation for example.

I realise that I’m talking about a widespread cultural shift here that’s starting to verge uncomfortably on the idealistic. But we could certainly do more than we are at the moment, and it may only take a consequential shift in awareness amongst a relatively small group to lead to wider societal change in due course.

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Why you exist

 
 
If you wonder why you exist,
It’s because life is a fundamental component
Of an inevitably evolving universe.

As fundamental as hydrogen or carbon atoms.
A reflection not of bits but of process.
Of how these and others interact.
And of the evolution of these interactions.

And as this interaction evolves,
It acquires ever evolving conciousness.

If you want to know how to be happy,
Understand this fact.
One life everywhere
Happening simultaneously.

So look skyward and see
That one day we’ll blend.
And at that point
The discreet existences we all know
Will come to an end.

As entropy finally converts all matter
To nothing more than understanding
And everything finally stops.
Because there’ll be nothing more to know.
 
 

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Greek island

 
 
And so I’d like to go
To a place where it’s warm.

I’d lie and fade away under
Some wise-wrinkled olive tree.

Even as round and brown little
Beetles crawled over me.

Dispassionate cicadas
Singing nearby.

The sighs of the ghosts of gods
Mixing with mine.
 
 

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Purpose

 
 
Your life’s purpose is
To understand the void
And to see its truth.
 
 

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Fly watching me

If I were a fly on the wall
Watching me,
What would I see?

Firstly,
What’s my perspective?

Do I see an area of moving stuff?
As though I were part
Of the sea looking up
And seeing part of a wave.

Do I see a bleating thing there
That sees through slitted eyes
A world that’s always wrong?

Or do I see the icy flow of life
Flow past it like stream over rock?
As it sits shining,
Sticking up into the flow

And casting a shadow
Like two fingers inserted
Into a beam of light.

A separate thing experiencing
Just myself in relation.

Do I see a transparent thing?
Drifting through some dark ether?

Belonging to the vast space
Between our atoms.

Some say we’re chemistry.
Some say we make the chemicals.

But whatever truth it is
That you behold
It’s unlikely to be
Less valid
Than hers
or
mine.

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To see

 
 
I wanted to see,
And a writer said just be.
But what does that mean?
 
 

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Birdsong

 
 
I’m sure I knew a world once that was round
And not sharp and jagged and jarring,
But which ululated
Sibilant sine waves
Of gentle experience.

Slow knowing and emergent wisdom
That felt right relative to
A gently shifting world.

Not this blind frantic electronic rocket
Through twisting changes so fast
That I can’t see what’s right and what’s wrong
And where there’s no chance
To stop and think.

Cast off your uniform
And throw back your head
To watch the clouds and see
How they do what they do regardless.
And hear the birdsong.
 
 

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Sine waves

 
 
Life comprises many strands. Like sine waves, they overlap each other. Some peaking as others dip.

Music is one such sine wave. As a cultural phenomenon. In the West, the music sine wave peaked in the 18th century with the advent of music from the likes of J S Bach.

In terms of happiness, that wave probably peaked just prior to the First World War. Or perhaps shortly after it.

The sine wave for the visual arts has a longer wavelength, and probably last peaked in the 19th Century.

The wisdom wave arced high in the 1960’s, even as it became dissipated and high jacked by perceived economic necessities.

Economically, in terms of managing money within our societies, we probably last knew a peak in the 1950’s and again the 60’s.

But one thing is for sure. With the noble exception of the technology sine wave, all are at a low right now.

 
 

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Be careful who you are

 
You’re sitting on the shore
Of a glassy lake at dawn,
Surrounded by mountains
With tops hidden in cloud.

Behind you is the house,
With warm orange lights.
Your life glowing mellow
Against the blue dark.

Then a fog sweeps in over cold water,
Silent and ghostly.
And gentle and beguiling.

The sounds of the house fade away
And everything is smothered
In milky uniformity.

You sit alone in a space that has no echoes.
That offers no view.
That offers no perspective.
That’s silent as the grave.

What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you sense?

You know nothing of where
Or when you are
Bar your memories
And your preconceptions.

So be careful what you hold to be true.
Because when eventually you face
The dispassionate silence,
You will need to know yourself better than you do.
 

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Music, the material and the transcendent

I’m listening to Bach. There are two ways I can listen… one is in a thoughtful way, where I assess the music and consider how it’s affecting me and ponder its complexity.

The other way involves shutting down any form of analysis and stopping thinking all together. Then the music washes over me as though I were lying on a beach, letting waves break over my body. Now the music is an occurrence that blends me with the world and the universe around me. Now the boundary between my skin and everything else becomes less significant. As the vibrations of the music pass through the air and into me, I become part of the same contiguity. Part of the vibrating air. Part of the world around me that’s vibrating with these sounds that evoke in my consciousness, emotional responses and deeper perceptions.

How can a mere vibration through air induce me to tears? There’s something happening that is profound and revealing. Something that hints at the true nature of what I am. I am contiguous with everything else, if I let myself be so. I am capable of becoming part of something so much greater them the self contained package that part of me sees me as.

There is an underlying intelligence in all that is, and I am part of that. This material manifestation that I find myself in is wonderful, but it’s a temporary thing. A necessary lesson. Required in order to understand the vastness of the underlying power. To experience the material is to understand the transcendent that powers it. We live in order to make sense of what is. There are always two aspects to everything. The transcendent cannot be without its material opposite. And to know the transcendent, we need to experience the opposite, the material manifestation. And that is why we are alive.

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Ponder

 
 
Sometimes slow ponder
Is needed to understand
Underlying truth.

Stop to consider
The sighing life around you.
Instead hear its song.
 
 

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Generations

 
 
Then the shell that you made,
Flexible as far you could make it,
Burst suddenly and the yolk
Sprang forth as a bird
And flew away.

Broken shells are your reward,
And you ponder why and question your virtue,
As the air that filled the volume of your life escapes,
And you scramble to find something
To bind your essential elements together.

Synthesising a new mode from remnants that seem stale.
To find a new world is hard.

Especially as there’s so little time.
The potential frame of reference is more confined.

Regardless of your best intentions,
I’m afraid
You’ve yet again
Passed the big questions on to the next generation.
You just didn’t have time.
 
 

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Those moments

 
 
Those moments,
When I’m walking through the beautiful world,

And I suddenly see the uniformity.
The same stuff and consistency,
Of everything.
Including me.

Those moments that last so long
And yet you always forget.

When you know with absolute certainty
The true nature of everything
And its contiguous homogeneity,
And that your place is so small.

 
 

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Resolute wisdom

 
 
As soft water crashes onto hard, dark rocks
There are two ways to be.

One resilient and firm.
Convinced and sure and resolute.

The other fluid and waiting.
Seeking a shape that feels right.

One so convinced.
One waiting to be so.

One that drives
And one that wants to enable
And to be wise.

The right way, as always,
Is to see the benefit of the blend.

Flexible understanding
Whilst resolute in doing.
To do wisely is the challenge.

 
 

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Wise view

 
 
There’s no wiser view
Than that of a poor person
Who yet can laugh.

 
 

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Be quiet and let it happen.

 
 
One thing is for sure, and that is that a new world is emerging. A debate about what form that might take, as occurs on a lot of fora, is futile. Change is happening at an ever more rapid pace. Debates by supposed wise people of a certain age, like me, are more likely to be wrong because change is so rapid, based on newly emerging, networked paradigms that are evolving so quickly that I suspect the dignified thing to do might be to shut up and see what the 20+ generation make of things. Listening to their music, I suspect it’ll be pretty good, if they’re allowed to thrive.
 
 

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Quiet

 
 
I wanted to see and to know
And after much effort climbing up slopes of
Shock absorbing snow,

I arrived breathless at a place that was cold and still.

I turned to look behind me
And saw a long trail of footprints
That curved away through rocks
To the valley below.

After all those trials
And all that striving
And all those excuses
And all of that hurt,
Both mine and other’s.

And at the end
All there was was silence.

Crystalline quiet
That let my soul finally feel.

How the noise distracts us
From the purity and simplicity
Of what it is to be alive.

 
 

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Stages

 
 
Life stages pass by
As seasons move in circles.
We begin again.
 
 

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Religious dogma

 
 
Religion mocks me and makes me angry.
Faith that allows anything to be the truth.
We’re told to believe.
As if we’re incapable of
Otherwise conceiving anything profound.

Insight and understanding comes
From something inside
That gives us grace to understand
And to turn and look at those who strive
To know more and struggle.

To say that you’re right and I’m wrong
Is contrary to true understanding
Of the nature of the solution.
Rationality plays a part
And may even be the only way.

Each insight is our own.
Quietly accept that and don’t presume
To be right.
We don’t know.
We.

But give room to those who claim to know.
Quietly and with gentle understanding
Of their need to believe they’re right.
And then continue to live your life
Illuminated by your own light.

And when you die, you’ll rise
To some place and be able to wave
To those others who are also rising
Up there through the shimmering fog
In their own way.
 
 

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Natural fate

 
 
One day there’ll be a world
Where people understand the commonality
Of their experience
And recognise the interdependence
Of their lives
With all others and
The contiguous nature of nature
That ensures a similar fate
For all despite
Any mad conception
Of difference from each other.
 
 

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Old happy wise

 
 
Sitting there in that waiting room
In that garage with six other people
All staring straight ahead
I sat quietly by myself
Inside my head.

How daft it was we that had nothing to say.
Even though we did.
But six strangers dare not.
One Irish man though who couldn’t stand
Without his short stick spoke up.

His life was worth speaking of.
And did he speak of it?

On and on and on he went,
This happy man who loved his wife
And his life.
This plasterer who knew
Every way to make any wall smooth.

He had wisdom
Did this droning man
That at first I made myself politely
Listen to.

And as he spoke I became transported
Into a world that was smaller but wealthier
Than mine
In contentment.

He was a happy man.
And I was not.
And his happiness derived
From not knowing too much,
From being what he was
And not thinking about being more.
 
 

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Coalescence

 
 
And he sat there on a bamboo veranda, watching the warm ocean roll in and out, below the bowing palm trees that sighed gently in warm wind. And he reflected quietly on his life and his place in the various machinations of the world that he moved within, and in which and of which he played a part.

And to what degree were his actions consequential? As each wave rolled up the ruffled sand, he saw how each decision he’d taken had made change. Not only in his own life but in the lives of others. And his actions echoed down through the world. He had a place. As the cicadas sang, and the sea hushed it’s complicated language over the shifting sands, he saw how his life played a part. Just a little part.

And as he sighed his last, and his vision blurred, and the sea melded with the sky, he knew that his life wasn’t without consequence. As his children laughed and played in the growing distance. And even as the cicadas continued relentless, he understood that the difference between snow and warm sea is that one is set and decided and crystallised, whilst the other is warm and fluid and undecided. And he knew that being alive was warm water, and that it took death to crystallise one’s view to one such that it held a perspective. Prior to that, only warm and tangled currents could define any view. Confusion. Something yet to form. Yet to crystallise. And only some frozen form that came from the cessation of fluid indecision could ever define him. So he came to know that his death coalesced his life into something recognisable.
 
 

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small stuff

 
 

 

Earth photographed by the Voyager spacecraft from 3 billion miles away. Still within our solar system.

One small planet in a solar system. Trillions of solar systems in our galaxy. Trillions of galaxies in our universe. Earth like a grain of sand on a very, very big beach, with seven billion atom sized entities clinging to it, all proclaiming their importance and their opinions and their understanding of the nature of things.

If we’re not alone, we’re pretty insignificant. If we are alone, we’re still pretty insignificant. Even collectively as a species, a phenomenon. Never mind as individuals.

I don’t know whether we have meaning, or what that meaning might be, but I suspect that either what we perceive, vis à vis this photograph, is illusory and we actually stand a chance of meaning a great deal in some unappreciable way in a different kind of universe that we can’t imagine, or it’s not illusory, in which case we’d better get our heads out of our arses and grow up a bit, because no one is going to give a shit if we decide to cease.
 
 

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As I’m pushed

 
 
As I’m pushed and shoved
Through the heaving crowded chaos
Of life’s fast race to somewhere,
I look upwards and see reality,
The tumbling clouds white against blue,
And am carried by some knowing that all will be well
If I stay my course and see from above
To gain a true view of where I am.
To stop the screaming confusion of words
And views and things thought
That make life so fraught and full of indecision.
Instead to listen more quietly to that voice
That comes from a deeper self.
A part of some wider whole that knows better.
That voice with no words that lets me be calm.
 
 

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Make yourself

That still and stagnant puddle you call your life,
that you sit and stare at watching reflections
that wobble and shake.
Isn’t your bum sore sitting there?

Just throw some causal random into that mirror
and make waves and see what happens.
See your slime smeared emotional vehicle
that drags itself oh so slowly through the mud of life.

It could be a soaring plane that dips and dives
through a sparkling sky of alternatives.
One small move is just enough to break the scum
and show the clear water beneath.

I know this is true. I’ve done it.
Laugh at despondency. It’s all illusion.
Shape your own vision of the universe.
It’s yours. You are it.

Howl back at the demigods and half dead.
Don’t take excuses or make them.
Grab the damn thing by the balls
And scream your own opera.

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The path to hell

 
 
The path to hell is slippery smooth
And gleaming with promise of easy path
Whilst the way to heaven is lined
With broken glass and pain of proving

That what we know is worth more
Than the oil that helps us glide serenely
In blissful ignorance of our own choosing
As we slip down well meaning.
 
 

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I think I may be

 
 
I think I may be
Some smoothly blended entity
Merged with some other
Seamless contiguity as one.
I don’t believe in the space
Between me and all others.

There are too many strands
Of coincidence and coordination
For any of us to be discreet.

Whoever heard of a bit of a dance,
Or a fragment of swirling fog,
Or a drop of water underwater in an ocean.
 
 

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Now

 
 
Reflection is a dangerous thing.
It sits like a sack full of scatter bombs
Around our shoulders.

Now is the only truth.
Born of the past
And frightened of the future
If we consider too much.

But the frozen moment that we live
Holds all that we need to know.
Sadness is gone now
And hope is yet to be born.

Live now and see that life is form
And our soul can sit
In judgement and make
This life to be our own.

As we will one day be judged
By ourselves or someone
Outside of the rush that distracts
And makes us weep.

Permanent sleep is
Outside of the dream.

It sees what we know
If only we knew.

But it really is there
For us to see and to know.

Just deal with the moment
And its richness will sow

The seeds of wisdom
And calm being.
 
 

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Identity

 
 
I gorge peach becomes human.
I breathe air becomes me.
I breathe out my body.
The water that makes me
Once ran down the Nile,
Once formed a crocodile.

Where is the edge between this world and me?
All is contiguous,
One blended entity.
We exist as a drop of water
In the sea. No distinct identity.
Our sense of self then is immaterial.

This is the greatest proof
Of soul as a truth,
Which allows us to feel whole and discreet.
It exists like a permeable membrane in water
And contains us. Defines us. Each.
But the atoms and stuff of the universe we see

Flow through and between us
As we eat, live and breathe.
Our bodies are bubbles of identical matter
To the earth and the air and the trees.
It’s only our souls that allow us to care
And to know and to love and to see.

And when we move on from this liquid domain
And become free of illusory form,
We shall see what we are and meld yet again
To a more vaporous medium by far.
Where all of us join in one uniform sphere
Of pure harmonious joy.
 
 

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Dilemmas

 
 
I defy the dark
And see with eyes wide open
That this life is rich.

All I need is here
If I would just concede that
I starve to be fed.

But I myself am
As I try not to deny
The man that would be.

As the storm blows strong
And I bow to take the strain,
I stand and know peace.

Others cry with me
And laugh at the irony
Of such small gestures.

But mutual sight,
And in moving together,
We light the darkness.

Common dilemmas.
And alone we spend our pain.
Singular joy.

And sadness of course.
As wonder given to us.
Shines in the darkness.

Other’s light we see
But unless we think to know,
We love despite us.

So now Eden’s dead.
New man’s world is here instead.
We are such rich apes.

But we need to move
As one with the rest of  us
To learn to be still.

We don’t stand alone.
One life has many aspects.
Some are not our own.

Perhaps we’ll flourish.
But we may die in darkness,
In our brilliance.

Such dilemmas.
 
 

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Flight

 
 
I wish I could fly
High above all this stuff
That seems so grounded
And dull.

To rise up above it all
And look down and know
What it all is.

That would be good.
And would help me to see
What’s worth being this way.

Because I don’t like it much.
And it irks that my blood
Should be ticking my life away
Whilst I’m confused.

I’d like to know what to do.
A higher view might help me to see
Where I am and avoid me
Being damned by ignorance.

Wisdom you see
Would let me be right
But to gain that golden fleece,
I need flight.
 
 

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Ha ha

 
 
Ha ha I laugh and look upwards at the spitting clouds
Garnering their stupid gloom to drench me wet.
What do I care what they do.
I saw through the folly of wondering
A long time ago.

And so I move on my way
Trusting quietly in my small torch
And the small pool of wisdom it throws
That shows up the dark for what it is.
A peace that knows nothing.

But out there would I dare
To ask questions?
To consider my lot
And to shout at the heavens?

The bloody grime of real life
Lies in those shadows.
So what is revealed
By my poor glimmering thought?
 
 

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No wisdom

 
 
There is no wisdom.

There’s just the ability to see
Where we came from
And what we’ve become.

And what we could have been

In between.

Which is always far too obvious.
 
 

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What are you doing?

 
 
This is all bollocks isn’t it?
All crap and bullshit.
I mean, you’re not telling me you take it seriously?

Do you?

The mortgage and the bank balance,
The terribly so dinner parties,
The right sort of suit.
The right badge of car.

Really?

This is your life?

Or are you perhaps more earthy?
Your domain is nuts and bolts and things that work,
For other people.

Earn a wage,
Don’t make money.

More honour in that perhaps.

Yet still…
As those sparkling stars turn slowly overhead,
And small birds sing their small part
On quiet, still misty mornings,
And all creatures wake and do their thing
So naturally,
Is your contrived vision really worth their beauty?

What are you doing? And why?
I don’t think you know,
And if you did, you’d surely cry
If you had any awareness of the place of your soul
In the many dimensional universe
That you think you know.
 
 

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