Saturday, December 31, 2005


"That's the remarkable thing, isn't it?
Enlightenment is ruthlessly intelligent.
Peace doesn't get involved in any of the
details -- one's historical, moral, religious,
spiritual, racial, political, educational,
or social background and so on. Not one iota.
Wisdom cares nothing about these things.
Freedom only knows of this one eternally present
moment. That makes it all very, very simple -- no
need to complicate it. With no
historical or future entanglements, there is just
this one immediate choice: Are you completely
willing TO BE that which you say you love and
revere, no matter what the circumstances?
No pause, no hesitation, no deliberation.
If you say yes and proceed to speak or think
or act in a way that contradicts it, then it
begs the question, are you serious about this?
This simple question, "The way you are living
this instant, does it work?" is profoundly useful.
If it isn't working, then what will it take?

If we are not wisdom, if we are not freedom,
if we are not serenity this very instant,
then what good is any of this? If we are,
then in our very being here, we offer the most
precious and joyful gift in the world to everyone
around us. Infinitely more than thousands of
philosophies or religions, or millions of words.
It's that simple.

from openmindopenheart dialogues Scott Morrison

Friday, December 30, 2005


The aspects of things that are most important to us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.
~Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

When I'm here
you don't come
when I'm gone
there's just you

Steve Toth

Sunday, December 25, 2005


You feel like an imposter
because you are one
We all are
posing as separate beings

We don't need to know
all the services
we're performing
at any given moment
So we don't

When you become
a lover
everything you do
what a lover does

Steve Toth


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lagoa
Christmas Tree,
a floating megastructure standing 82 meters
tall over the Rodrigo de
Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, has
become a holiday tradition for
thousands of tourists visiting
the city from all over the world.
Considered the largest
floating Christmas Tree in the world by the
Guinness Book
of Records, the tree has been assembled for 10 straight

years, with $1.1 million in funds provided by Grupo Bradesco
Seguros e
Previdencia. Since its opening on Nov. 26, the tree
has attracted 80,000
people a day to the area surrounding the
lagoon. The tree, the third most
important tourist attraction
in Rio de Janeiro after Carnival and
Reveillon (end-of-year
celebrations), will remain lit until January 6.

Close to 600,000 tourists, including 300,000 foreigners, are
expected in
Rio de Janeiro to participate in Reveillon this year.

The Christmas tree is supported by 11 floating steel
marine blocks,
forming a 810 square meter base bearing
the tree's 450-ton weight. 2,228
KVA of power are required
to light the tree. Candles, wheat stalks and
Christmas tree
balls (traditionally used on Christmas dinner table

arrangements) adorns the tree. 2.8 million small lights and
35,000 meters
of rope lights are also used. The Christmas
tree is 82 meters tall, the
equivalent of a 27-story building,
and can be seen from anywhere around
the Rodrigo de
Freitas Lagoon.

This year, the Christmas tree features water ballet.
Every day at 8 p.m.,
spectators will marvel at the
beauty of water in movement, with lighting
and color
effects. Forty-eight pumps positioned around the tree
shoot jets
of water 20 meters up into the air. On
weekends, the water shows are
enhanced by music,
and are presented every half hour from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.


if you distance yourself
only for an hour
from your endless thoughts
what do you think will happen

if you let yourself sink
just like a fish
into the ocean of our love
what do you think will happen

you are merely
a piece of straw
and we are
that eternal amber

if you leap forth
from your lowly house
to fuse with the amber
what do you think will happen

a hundred times
you've promised yourself
to depart from self-claim
to be humble as earth

only for once
if you keep your word
what do you think will happen

you're a precious
hidden diamond
sunken in the mud

if you wash away
all that impurity
from your gorgeous face
what do you think will happen

if you abandon
for a little while
your ego and greed
tear down your shield
rise with a quest
to unite with the divine
what do you think will happen

-- Ghazal (ode) 844
Translated by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A hypocrite is a person who--but who isn't?
- Don Marquis
- Also more here...

Monday, December 19, 2005

The trees of the forest silently await God's blessing.

The law of gravitation is working from two sides:
from the side of the earth which draws all that
belongs to the earth, and from the side of the spirit
which attracts the soul towards it. Even those who
are unconscious of this law of gravitation are also
striving for perfection, for the soul is being continually
drawn towards the spirit. They are striving for
perfection just the same. In the small things of everyday
life a man is never satisfied with what he has. He
always wants more and more, be it a higher rank,
wealth, or fame. He is always striving for this.

This shows that the heart is like a magic bowl.
However much you pour into it, it only becomes deeper.
It is always found to be empty. The reason why man is
never satisfied is that he is unconsciouslystriving for
perfection. Those however who strive consciously after
perfection have a different way. Nevertheless, each atom
of the universe is meant to struggle and strive in order to
become perfect one day. In other words, if a seer happens
to be in the mountains he will hear the mountains cry
continually, 'We are waiting for that day when something
in us will awaken. There will come a day of awakening,
of unfoldment. We are silently awaiting it.' If he went
into the forest and saw the trees standing there they
would tell him that they too were waiting patiently.
One can feel it. The more one sits there the more one
feels that the trees are waiting for the time when there
will be an unfoldment. So it is with all beings. But man is so
absorbed in his everyday actions and his greed that he
seems to be unaware of that innate desire for unfoldment.
It is his everyday tasks, his avariciousness, his cruelty to
other beings, that keep him continually occupied, and that
is why he cannot hear the continual cry of his own soul to
awaken, to unfold, to reach upward, to expand, and to go
towards perfection.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Thursday, December 15, 2005

TODAY a turning point

There is nothing to explain.
There is no answer, nor any
legitimate question.

When old Yu was asked about the One
he got up and walked out of the room.

Sitting here I feel a comfort in knowing
there is nothing to know.

How do I know?

Is it just the end of the questions?
That the wondering was extinquished,
snuffed out in the silence?

Such ponderings can lay fallow,
waiting for the ages to leaven them.
There is no need to clarify any of this.

What is defunct is defunct, past,
utterly gone.

Yet the meanderings of the mind still
play in the wind.

There is no harm in that.
And if there were, what could be done?

Nothing matters, and yet the simplicity
of the play of these musings
unravels as it will.

Need for justification too is defunct.

Such is real freedom.

a great master

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Pause for a moment,
come closer -- beloved fool.

Is it because you found me among gods
that you rattle bones and dance around fires?
Never was I right or left, high or low, within or without,
yet you say I am the 'unity of things'.

Look! While you search clouds and stars
I am the eye within your eyes.
As you cry out I am the sound of your voice,
your hearing within hearing.

You reach for book, holy cup, bell and flame,
yet I am the touch within touch,
scent within scent,
savor within savor.

Ten thousand miles you walk to the sacred well,
yet all the while I am the sandals on your feet,
and the brief emptiness between your strides
I fill with suns and moons.

See, hear?
The lover's tune is playing again
in the springs beneath your busy mind.
The lamp still burns in your shadows, unseen.

Come home, beloved fool --
come home.

Frank Gorin

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

West Wind #2

You are young.

So you know everything. You leap
into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me. Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life toward it.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Sunday, December 04, 2005


"This silence, this moment, every moment, if it's genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There's nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, 'Be more silent.' Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you've died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence." ~Rumi

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Thanksgiving day I met a new friend, shared a sample plate of a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast she had prepared, AND shared a Who and Where we are on this journey.
Later that evening after returning home this bit from a longer work by this unknown Sufi poet came in the mail and rather summed up the primary subject of a remarkable conversation after a remarkable meal with a remarkable Mystic.

I sought her from myself,
she was there all along;
how strange that I
had concealed her from me.

I kept going back and forth
with her, within myself --
my senses drunk,
her beauties, my wine --

Setting out
from certain knowledge
to its source and truth,
reality my quest,

Calling to myself from me
to guide me by my voice
to that part of me
lost in my search.

Me begging me
to raise the screen
by lifting up the veil,
for I was my only means to me.

I was gazing
into the mirror of my beauty
to see the perfection of my being
in my contemplation of my face,

And mouthing my name, I listened
and leaned toward me,
looking to one who could make me hear
mention of me in my voice,

Placing my hands
upon my heart,
hoping to hold me
there in my embrace,

Rising toward my breaths
pleading they would pass by me
that I might find
me there.

Until a flash appeared
from me to my eye;
the break of my dawn shone clear,
my dark sky disappeared.

There, where reason recoils,
I arrived,
and my bond and union
reached to me from myself.

Then I glowed in joy,
as I attained to me
with a certainty that spared me
from my journey's hard ride.

I led myself to me
after I called me back;
my soul my means,
my guide to me.

When I pulled away
the curtains of sensuous disguise
brought down
by the mysteries of wisdom,

I raised the screen from my soul
by lifting up the veil,
and so it answered
my question.

I had rubbed the rust of my attributes
from the mirror of my being,
and it was encircled
with my beaming rays,

And I summoned me to witness me
since no other existed
in my witness
to rival me.

My mentioning my name
made me hear it in my recollection
as my soul, negating sense,
said my name and listened.

I hugged myself --
but not by wrapping arms around my ribs --
that I might embrace
my identity.

I inhaled my spirit,
while the air of my breath
perfumed scattered ambergris
with fragrance,

All of me free
from the dual quality of sensation,
my freedom within,
I, one with my essence.

Shaykh Umar Ibn al-Farid

from The Poem of the Sufi Way

The poetry of Shaykh Umar Ibn al-Farid is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Arabic mystical verse, though suprisingly he is not widely known in the West. (Rumi and Hafiz, probably the best known in the West of the great Sufi poets, both wrote primarily in Persian, not Arabic.) Ibn al-Farid's two materpieces are The Wine Ode, a beautiful meditation the "wine" of divine bliss, and The Poem of the Sufi Way, a profound exploration of spiritual experience along the Sufi Path and perhaps the longest mystical poem composed in Arabic.

When he was a young man Ibn al-Farid would go on extended spiritual retreats among the oases outside of Cairo, but he eventually felt that he was not making deep enough spiritual progress. He abandoned his spiritual wanderings and entered law school.

One day Ibn al-Farid saw a greengrocer performing the ritual Muslim ablutions outside the door of the law school, but the man was doing them out of the prescribed order. When Ibn al-Farid tried to correct him, the greengrocer looked at him and said, "Umar! You will not be enlightened in Egypt. You will be enligthened only in the Hijaz, in Mecca..."

Umar Ibn al-Farid was stunned by this statement, seeing that this simple greengrocer was no ordinary man. But he argued that he couldn't possibly make the trip to Mecca right away. Then the man gave Ibn al-Farid a vision, in that very moment, of Mecca. Umar Ibn al-Farid was so transfixed by this experience that he left immediately for Mecca and, in his own words, "Then as I entered it, enlightenment came to me wave after wave and never left."

Although hailed throughout the Muslim world as one of the great spiritual classics, Ibn al-Farid's Poem of the Sufi Way has also been controversial because in it he refers to the Beloved -- God -- as "her," rather than in the more traditional masculine gender.

I sought her from myself,
she was there all along;
how strange that I
had concealed her from me.

These lines say so much. Spiritual seekers tend to look everywhere for the Divine -- by visiting holy places and teachers, through spiritual practices and austerities, through service -- but at a certain point we are surprised to discover that "she was there all along." The Divine, the living sacred source, is discovered to be present within us, within this very moment -- and most surprising of all, we recognize that It has always been there, that we have never been separate or apart from It. In truth, God is found to be the very Self of our self; we could never possibly be apart from That. Yet, how could we have missed this overwhelming truth of our own being? How could we have thought we were separate from God? "How strange that I / had concealed her from me."

There is so much depth and splendor in this selection from The Poem of the Sufi Way. The only other thing I'll point out is the general theme Ibn al-Farid here plays with: the psychic dilemma of how the dualistic state of the lover melts into the nondual unity of the Beloved. It is a dilemma because the normal consciousness can't conceive of it even when it is directly experienced. What can one say about "self" and "God" when the veil has been lifted and the two pour into each other as one?

To try to put this into the conceptualized world of words becomes farcical, and Ibn al-Farid plays mastefully with this:

Calling to myself from me
to guide me by my voice
to that part of me
lost in my search.

And what a perfect summation, the final line of this selection:

I, one with my essence.

Ivan Granger

Friday, November 25, 2005


"Pulsar Advanced Technologies has announced that, starting next week, they will launch the MK4, a microwave-powered on-demand water heater. Why is this cool? Well, until now, you had two options: electric heaters that keep a large amount of water hot at all times, or natural gas heaters that heat up water on-demand. The first is very costly and wasteful, and the second is not available to everyone, especially those in rural areas. You can't heat water up quickly enough with conventional resistance-based electric elements, as it would require huge amount of electricity. Not so with microwaves. The Vulcanus MK4 can heat water from 35 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in seconds and can source multiple applications at once: showers, dishwasher, sink usages and more.
Hat tip Slashdot...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2005


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I have never seen a Party so full of shit when it comes to supporting the military. They fight wars on the cheap and get people killed unnecessarily, instead of fighting with everything we’ve got under a coherant and cohesive strategy that ensures military victory. They let domestic politics trump military necessity, preferring to lie and shift the blame rather than address the problems and solve them like real men. They care about image rather than substance, empty rhetoric instead of courage, mediocrity instead of excellence, and machiavellian maneuvering instead of strong moral character. They have demonstrated nothing but contempt for us and for those that have served honorably in the past. They play us for suckers and weep crocodile tears at our deaths as their stock values rise. They are strangers to integrity and completely bereft of the basic values that we hold dear. They are without honor. They can go to hell.
If this is what Republicans mean by 'supporting the troops,' then they can by all means support the insurgents. (If they did,) We'd have a free and democratic Iraq by the end of the year."
by Stryker at DIGITAL WARFARE...
hat tip DAILY DISH...


One of Basho's fans, a poetry student ... came to him and said, "I've got a great idea for a poem! It goes: 'Pull the wings off a dragonfly, and look - you get a red pepperpod!'"

Basho said,
"No. That is not in the spirit of haiku. 'Add wings to a pepperpod, and look - you get a red dragonfly!'"

Thanks to


I have come to the realization over the last few days just how lazy I am, how, although I say I want to be awake, in truth, just how little I'm willing to commit to the goal of freedom from fear.
Then this admonition arrived in my email from a Wise and Great Teacher. Exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I was ready to hear it. Dear Hafizullah, for the Inayat Khan AND the ZY Qigong, Thank you.

"The path of freedom does not lead
to the goal of freedom. It is the path of discipline which leads to the goal of liberty." ---Inayat Khan

And another beautiful take:

Truly, discipline is the road to liberation….
Sooner or later, without fail, every seeker
learns this. He comes to understand that by
applying himself to spiritual discipline he
is placing his life in God's hands. And at
that moment, his sadhana takes off.

--Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
Thanks to Bondzai

These two pointers arrived this morning.

Friday, November 18, 2005


“Still, the spiritual quest is no different than the quest for the candy bar. Same old story, only you have refined the candy bar and made it abstract and holy and blessed and so on. So it is with the higher self. The higher self is your same old ego, but you sure hope it is eternal, indestructible, and all-wise."

Alan Watts
The Way of Liberation

Pages 60-1

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Last night as I was sleeping I dreamt a marvelous illusion
that there was a spring breaking out in my heart.
I said, "Along what secret aqueduct are you coming to me
Oh water, water of a new life that I have never drunk."

Last night as I was sleeping I dreamt a marvelous illusion
that there was a beehive here in my heart.
And the golden bees were making white combs
and sweet honey from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping I dreamt a marvelous illusion
that there was a fiery sun here in my heart.
It was fiery because it gave warmth as if from a hearth
And it was sun because it gave light and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I was sleeping I dreamt a marvelous illusion
that there was God here in my heart.
God, is my soul asleep?
Have those beehives who labor by night stopped, and
the water wheel of thought, is it dry?
The cup's empty, wheeling out carrying only shadows?
No! My soul is not asleep! My soul is not asleep!
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches, its clear eyes open,
far off things, and listens, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.
It listens at the shores of the great silence

~Antonio Machado

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

~Ellen Goodman

Monday, November 14, 2005


The fifth tenet of my teaching says I want to be free not for my own sake but for the sake of the whole. When this becomes our spontaneous response to the longing for liberation, something very significant has occurred. What began as a freely made choice has become a choiceless obligation. Our fundamental motive has evolved from one that is self-serving to one that is not separate from the very motive behind the expanding universe—the pure passion of the big bang, the God impulse, which is our own authentic self.

When that pure passion becomes our own passion, human life becomes ennobled—it becomes the holy life, the spiritual life, a life of meaning and value. We discover that we have come home and have found our place in the whole matrix of the cosmos. We know who we are and why we are here. As long as our fundamental motive is personal and self-centered, life will never deeply make sense. But when we embrace a motive that transcends ourselves absolutely, every moment becomes infused with a powerful sense of purpose. That's the death of the ego. All our petty self-concern is radically displaced because we are no longer living for our own sake but are now living for the sake of the whole, consumed by a passion to be utterly free so that nothing will inhibit our ability to participate wholeheartedly in the evolutionary process.
~Andrew Cohen



Once I lived as a rock
& let things happen to me
One thing that happened
was I broke down
into soil & a plant
took me into its roots
& I grew another leaf
Then a lizard ate me
& I walked about
on my own legs running
down some prey
until a bird snatched me
& I traded my scales for feathers
I beat my wings
against each other & rose
haltingly at first
but I grew stronger
I made friends with the wind currents
I opened my beak
& broke the long silence

Look for me on the sidewalk
Look for me on the mudflats
on the pebble beach polishing myself
rolling with the waves
Look for me in bed
bundled against the cold
with my broken foot propped up
Look in the woods behind every tree
at the grocery store in the aisles
in the alley where they smash the pumpkins
in the back row of a movie

Look for me with your glasses on
Seek me out with a hose
or a book of matches
Look where the sun comes up
Look for me by moonlight
Look with your brain
Look with your heart
Keeping looking
until you find me
I want you to find me

Steve Toth

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


A wonderful piece from my very wise
Israeli Sufi Friend of the rose with
one thorn signature and a glowing
example of why the 21st Century
may be called The Age Of Fusion.

My friend, the traveler

We are here,
Hidden under various disguises,
As guards, guides and companions
Along your life's journey,
To give you assistance
To extend a helping hand
To provide succor.

We are
But a reflection of your virtues
Manifesting in time
Of necessity.
Placed by your forgotten
Selfless deeds
In the inexhaustible
Yours for the taking
When the need arises.

We are
The friend
Of friends
Whose face is always hidden
Yet ever revealed
In the silent smile
Of your heart,
In the caress of the wind,
In the soothing coolness of spring water.

And the secret is
Forgetting yourself
You too
Are one


Friday, November 04, 2005


And The Future of Gay Life

An excerpt from an op-ed written by ANDREW SULLIVAN for THE NEW REPUBLIC, November 1, issue.

One point I found particulary Provocative in Sully's essay is hightlighted in the excerpt below ...

And, while social advance allows many of us to contemplate this gift of a problem, we are also aware that in other parts of the country and the world, the reverse may be happening. With the growth of fundamentalism across the religious world--from Pope Benedict XVI's Vatican to Islamic fatwas and American evangelicalism--gayness is under attack in many places, even as it wrests free from repression in others. In fact, the two phenomena are related. The new anti-gay fervor is a response to the growing probability that the world will one day treat gay and straight as interchangeable humans and citizens rather than as estranged others. It is the end of gay culture--not its endurance--that threatens the old order.

Complete article HERE...

Monday, October 31, 2005

The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.

- Sophocles

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Neo-Advaitist Scientist?

"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as the result of my research about atoms this much:

All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter."

Max Planck

BIRTHDAY: Ezra Pound

originality is,
of course,
out of the question."
Ezra Pound
Oct. 30, 1885

Ezra Pound, 1939, Oil on Canvas by Wyndham Lewis, Tate Gallery, London.


You may try a hundred things,
but love alone will release you from
So never flee from love--not even from love in an earthly
guise--for it is a preparation for the supreme truth.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Easter Morning in Wales

A garden inside me, unknown, secret,
neglected for years,
the layers of its soil deep and thick.
Trees in the corners with branching arms
and the tangled briars like broken nets.

Sunrise through the misted orchard,
morning sun turns silver on the pointed twigs.
I have woken from the sleep of ages and I am not sure
if I am really seeing, or dreaming,
or simply astonished
walking toward sunrise
to have stumbled into the garden
where the stone was rolled from the tomb of longing.
David Whyte

Something and Nothing

There is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Somewhere in the world a man has abducted a little girl. Soon he will rape, torture, and kill her. If an atrocity of this kind not occurring at precisely this moment, it will happen in a few hours, or days at most. Such is the confidence we can draw from the statistical laws that govern the lives of six billion human beings.
The same statistics also suggest that this girl’s parents believe -- at this very moment -- that an all-powerful and all-loving God is watching over them and their family. Are they right to believe this? Is it good that they believe this?
The entirety of atheism is contained in this response. Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the obvious is overlooked as a matter of principle. The obvious must be observed and re-observed and argued for. This is a thankless job. It carries with it an aura of petulance and insensitivity. It is, moreover, a job that the atheist does not want.
It is worth noting that no one ever need identify himself as a non-astrologer or a non-alchemist. Consequently, we do not have words for people who deny the validity of these pseudo-disciplines. Likewise, “atheism” is a term that should not even exist. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma. The atheist is merely a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (eighty-seven percent of the population) who claim to “never doubt the existence of God” should be obliged to present evidence for his existence -- and, indeed, for his benevolence, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day. Only the atheist appreciates just how uncanny our situation is: most of us believe in a God that is every bit as specious as the gods of Mount Olympus; no person, whatever his or her qualifications, can seek public office in the United States without pretending to be certain that such a God exists; and much of what passes for public policy in our country conforms to religious taboos and superstitions appropriate to a medieval theocracy. Our circumstance is abject, indefensible, and terrifying. It would be hilarious if the stakes were not so high.
Consider: the city of New Orleans was recently destroyed by hurricane Katrina. At least a thousand people died, tens of thousands lost all their earthly possessions, and over a million have been displaced. It is safe to say that almost every person living in New Orleans at the moment Katrina struck believed in an omnipotent, omniscient, and compassionate God. But what was God doing while a hurricane laid waste to their city? Surely He heard the prayers of those elderly men and women who fled the rising waters for the safety of their attics, only to be slowly drowned there. These were people of faith. These were good men and women who had prayed throughout their lives. Only the atheist has the courage to admit the obvious: these poor people spent their lives in the company of an imaginary friend.
Of course, there had been ample warning that a storm “of biblical proportions” would strike New Orleans, and the human response to the ensuing disaster was tragically inept. But it was inept only by the light of science. Advance warning of Katrina’s path was wrested from mute Nature by meteorological calculations and satellite imagery. God told no one of his plans. Had the residents of New Orleans been content to rely on the beneficence of the Lord, they wouldn’t have known that a killer hurricane was bearing down upon them until they felt the first gusts of wind on their faces. And yet, a poll conducted by The Washington Post found that eighty percent of Katrina’s survivors claim that the event has only strengthened their faith in God.
As hurricane Katrina was devouring New Orleans, nearly a thousand Shiite pilgrims were trampled to death on a bridge in Iraq. There can be no doubt that these pilgrims believed mightily in the God of the Koran. Indeed, their lives were organized around the indisputable fact of his existence: their women walked veiled before him; their men regularly murdered one another over rival interpretations of his word. It would be remarkable if a single survivor of this tragedy lost his faith. More likely, the survivors imagine that they were spared through God’s grace.
Only the atheist recognizes the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved. Only the atheist realizes how morally objectionable it is for survivors of a catastrophe to believe themselves spared by a loving God, while this same God drowned infants in their cribs. Because he refuses to cloak the reality of the world’s suffering in a cloying fantasy of eternal life, the atheist feels in his bones just how precious life is -- and, indeed, how unfortunate it is that millions of human beings suffer the most harrowing abridgements of their happiness for no good reason at all.
Of course, people of faith regularly assure one another that God is not responsible for human suffering. But how else can we understand the claim that God is both omniscient and omnipotent? There is no other way, and it is time for sane human beings to own up to this. This is the age-old problem of theodicy, of course, and we should consider it solved. If God exists, either He can do nothing to stop the most egregious calamities, or He does not care to. God, therefore, is either impotent or evil. Pious readers will now execute the following pirouette: God cannot be judged by merely human standards of morality. But, of course, human standards of morality are precisely what the faithful use to establish God’s goodness in the first place. And any God who could concern himself with something as trivial as gay marriage, or the name by which he is addressed in prayer, is not as inscrutable as all that. If He exists, the God of Abraham is not merely unworthy of the immensity of creation; he is unworthy even of man.
There is another possibility, of course, and it is both the most reasonable and least odious: the biblical God is a fiction. As Richard Dawkins has observed, we are all atheists with respect to Zeus and Thor. Only the atheist has realized that the biblical god is no different. Consequently, only the atheist is compassionate enough to take the profundity of the world’s suffering at face value. It is terrible that we all die and lose everything we love; it is doubly terrible that so many human beings suffer needlessly while alive. That so much of this suffering can be directly attributed to religion -- to religious hatreds, religious wars, religious delusions, and religious diversions of scarce resources -- is what makes atheism a moral and intellectual necessity. It is a necessity, however, that places the atheist at the margins of society. The atheist, by merely being in touch with reality, appears shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of his neighbors.

This is an excerpt from An Atheist Manifesto, to be published at in December

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.

Bertrand Russell

One Taste, The Journals of Ken Wilber

"So Who Are You?"

he witnessing of awareness can persist through waking, dreaming and deep sleep. The Witness is fully available in any state, including your own present state of awareness right now. So I'm going to talk you into this state, or try to, using what are known in Buddhism as "pointing out instructions." I am not going to try to get you into a different state of consciousness, or an altered state of consciousness, or a non-ordinary state. I am going to simply point out something that is already occurring in your own present, ordinary, natural state.

So let's start by just being aware of the world around us. Look out there at the sky, and just relax your mind; let your mind and the sky mingle. Notice the clouds floating by. Notice that this takes no effort on your part. Your present awareness, in which these clouds are floating, is very simple, very easy, effortless, spontaneous. You simply notice that there is an effortless awareness of the clouds. The same is true of those trees, and those birds, and those rocks. You simply and effortlessly witness them.
Look now at the sensations in your own body. You can be aware of whatever bodily feelings are present-perhaps pressure where you are sitting, perhaps warmth in your tummy, maybe tightness in your neck. But even if these feelings are tight and tense, you can easily be aware of them. These feelings arise in your present awareness, and that awareness is very simple, easy, effortless, spontaneous. You simply and effortlessly witness them.

Continue here...


The question of what cloud nine must be like for Chicago’s Manager Ozzie Guillen, in this element of surprise caught on camera after the World Series win against the Houston Astros Wednesday night in this spontaneous celebratory kiss must have been answered. Surely either Geralso Rivera or (more likely) Shep Smith had something to do with the jury-rigging of this photo op, ya think?
Thanks to Fox News...

Moslem Messianic Madness

Messianic madness
of nuclear Osama

Heavenly signs, bin Laden's Mahdi complex raise current threat of 'American Hiroshima'

Signs in the heavens and a popular notion in the Islamic world that Osama bin Laden is the "Mahdi," a long-awaited messianic deliverer, increase this month's risk of mega-terror attacks on the U.S. – including raising the threat of al-Qaida's nuclear "American Hiroshima" plan, says an author and expert in a report released today to WND.

Paul L. Williams, author of "The Al Qaeda Connection" and a former FBI consultant, warns in a report that first appeared in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin terror attacks on the U.S. before Nov. 2 would have special spiritual significance.

"Islamic clerics point out that the signs in the heavens are propitious for such an event," writes Williams. "This year, Muslims will experience solar and lunar eclipses during the holy month. These great heavenly signs, according to Islamic visionary Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Sahib, foretell the coming of the "Mahdi," the mighty warrior of the Apocalypse, who will defeat the army of Yajuj wa-Majuj ("the infidel unbelievers"), led by the Dabbah or "the Beast." He will lead the Muslims to great victory and bring forth the Day of Islam, when all of creation falls before the throne of Allah."

Millions of Muslims worldwide already regard bin Laden as the "Mahdi," say Williams and other analysts of Islam.

"Islamic tradition says that the Mahdi will be a descendant of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima," writes Williams. "He will have a distinctive forehead, a prominent nose, and a black mole on his face. He will arise from Arabia and will be called from a cave by Allah to serve as the savior of all true believers."
Continue here...

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Gerald Ford


(Now, quickly get this concept to the Chinese, get it massproduced, drench the world market with it at around 15 thousand dollars and China will rule the world.)

A unique system that can produce Hydrogen inside a car using common metals such as Magnesium and Aluminum was developed by an Israeli company. The system solves all of the obstacles associated with the manufacturing, transporting and storing of hydrogen to be used in cars. When it becomes commercial in a few years time, the system will be incorporated into cars that will cost about the same as existing conventional cars to run, and will be completely emission free. (Or is this a cruel hoax)
Read on...

Also, from the same company. Hydrogen from the Sun.


...The waking state comes and goes, but the Witness is ever-present. The dreaming state comes and goes, but the Witness is ever-present. The deep sleep state comes and goes, but the Witness is ever-present. Extraordinary and remarkable states of consciousness can be reached and practiced and attained in the gross, subtle, and causal realms. But the Witness cannot be attained, because it is ever-present. The Witness cannot be practiced, because it is ever-present. The Witness cannot be reached, because it is ever-present. As Sri Ramana Maharshi often said, "There is no reaching the Self. If Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not here and now but that it has yet to be obtained. What is got afresh will also be lost. So it will be impermanent. What is not permanent is not worth striving for. So I say the Self is not reached. You are the Self;you are already That." Or the great Zen Master Huang Po, " That there is no reaching enlightenment is not idle talk, it is the truth. Hard is the meaning of this saying!" You can no more reach enlightenment or attain the Self than you can attain your feet or acquire your lungs.

Notice: the clouds float by in your awareness, thoughts float by in your mind, feelings arise in the body, and you are the Witness of all of those. The Witness is already fully functioning, fully present, fully awake. The enlightened Self is one hundred percent present in your very perception of this page. Enlightened Spirit is that which is reading these words right now: how much closer can you possibly get? Why go out and start looking for the Looker? The great search for enlightenment is not just a waste of time; it is a colossal impossibility because the enlightened Self is ever-present, as the Witness of this and every moment...
More here...


So why am I weeping?


See for yourself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Well worth a bookmark.

THE PLANK here...

And don't miss "What is the Plank", clever stuff this.


Moscow Federation Tower to be the tallest building in Europe.
On the 9th of February of this year, the construction of Federation Tower began in Moscow and projected to be completed in 2007. The 500 million dollar building was designed by German architect Peter Schwegar of Schweger Assoziierte Architekten and by Russian transplanted in Germany, Sergei Tchoban of NPS Tchoban Voss.
The building will rise to a height of 440 meters including the antenna, and will be the tallest in Europe. More here...


On September 22 I published a blog on a group of single, bright and upcoming male TV news types or pundit/authors and called it Talking Heads, read it here.
However, there was a fellow named Jake Tapper, 36ish, who should have been included as a member of that group, but alas was left out pending the grand launching of his much touted (in some circles, hint, wink, nudge) new blog, DownAndDirty, for some reason having it's opening several months later than announced. It's happened, DownAndDirty had it's first post around the first of this month, (October).
Jake appears at Amazon with Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency.
Also word out he's engaged to be married.
Several videos out, One Here....


Interesting woman, Harriet Miers. She was a Democrat, found God and then became a
Republican. Which is kinda Backwards. Usually in Washington, you become a Republican, get indicted, go to jail and then find God. ~Jay Leno



Do Watch.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


After the press around Delays non-mug shot, PhotoShop was going to be busy, More here...


I cain't figure out how this works.

Click here...

If anyone can explain, please email.


The ground of being is empty of everything. It is an objectless, spaceless, timeless, thoughtless void. But everything that exists has come from this no-place, including you and me. This empty ground that we all emerged from is the womb of the entire universe. When something came from nothing fourteen billion years ago, the nothing didn't disappear. That unborn, unmanifest dimension is the ever-present ground out of which everything is constantly arising.

The experience of meditation enables you to know this empty ground within your own self. Even in the midst of the chaotic movement of thought and feeling, you can discover a current of stillness that is the echo of the ground of being. And there is a great mystery in that current—a miraculous, enlightening depth that seems to answer all questions and relieve all doubts.

Traditionally, enlightenment has been defined as this profound awakening to the ground of being—an awakening in which the seeker finds liberation through transcending the world of time and space. But in the new enlightenment, which is redefined in an evolutionary context, the discovery of this primordial ground is not an end in itself. It becomes the essential foundation from which the individual is freed to participate wholeheartedly in the evolutionary process. What arises out of that ground is an impulse to evolve, an impulse that is not separate from the explosion in motion that emerged from nothing when the universe was born. I call this the Authentic Self, and the goal of Evolutionary Enlightenment is to liberate this creative principle in human consciousness so that it can transform us and the world around us.

Tony Cohen web site...

Monday, October 24, 2005


Side by side photos of an average family's household possessions, one family from California, and the other family from Bhutan taken from an amazing book, Material World, by Peter Menzel.

Here an excerpt from Amazons' review:
In honor of the United Nations-sponsored International Year of the Family in 1994, award-winning photojournalist Peter Menzel brought together 16 of the world's leading photographers to create a visual portrait of life in 30 nations. Material World tackles its wide subject by zooming in, allowing one household to represent an entire nation. Photographers spent one week living with a "statistically average" family in each country, learning about their work, their attitudes toward their possessions, and their hopes for the future. Then a "big picture" shot of the family was taken outside the dwelling, surrounded by all their (many or few) material goods.
Also an optimistic take from a blog about US garbage problem called Garbage Land, which gives great advice on what we can all do.


Interestingly enough, named the Damn Interesting site, it more than lives up to it's name.


LONDON -- Telecom giant Inmarsat is weeks away from launching the second in a series of two super-satellites -- designed to be among the most powerful commercial communications spacecraft in orbit -- that will beam broadband data and voice services to almost any location on the planet.

The I-4 satellites will serve as switchboards in the sky for Inmarsat's Broadband Global Area Network, or BGAN, service, scheduled for rollout in 2006. Instead of cruising for a Starbucks, BGAN subscribers can hit the road with a portable terminal as small as their laptop computer and surf the web -- or connect with the office LAN -- at broadband speeds of up to 492 Kbps.

"The network will cover 88 percent of the globe's landmass," said Chris McLaughlin, vice president of corporate communications for Inmarsat in London.

More here...

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Hard to describe

Thursday, October 20, 2005


The spiritual challenge of our time, put very simply, is the demand to literally create the future ourselves. The structures of consciousness that lie in front of us don't yet exist and it's up to us as individuals, together, to actually create those new structures. It's a deadly serious matter. Creating the future at the leading edge is dependent upon each one of us waking up, transforming, and developing as individuals, and making whatever effort is necessary to transcend our attachment to the endless fears and desires of the ego, or separate self-sense.

Traditionally, the spiritual seeker would aspire to become enlightened, which means to transcend ego, in order to escape from the suffering of this world and abide in the timeless ground of being. But enlightenment itself is evolving. I don't think that what the world needs now is more people resting in the timeless ground of being. I think we have to resist the temptation to get lost in timelessness and begin to embrace the overwhelming urgency of the evolutionary crisis we're in—which is a crisis of consciousness, a crisis of understanding, a crisis of development. Many of us can intellectually appreciate our predicament, but that's not enough. We have to bridge the gap between our capacity to cognitively appreciate the problem and our willingness to actually become the solution as ourselves, as truly enlightened human beings.

Andrew Cohen

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


"The substance itself is light years ahead of glass," he said, adding that it offers "higher performance and lighter weight."

Traditional transparent armor is thick layers of bonded glass. The new armor combines the transparent ALONtm piece as a strike plate, a middle section of glass and a polymer backing. Each layer is visibly thinner than the traditional layers.

ALONtm is virtually scratch resistant, offers substantial impact resistance, and provides better durability and protection against armor piercing threats, at roughly half the weight and half the thickness of traditional glass transparent armor, said the lieutenant.

Read on...


A great many internal and external portants (political and social upheaval, moral and religious unease) have caused us all to feel, more or less confusedly, that something tremendous is a presant talking place in the world. But what is it?
~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

When I do not know who I am, I am bereft.

~Tony Parsons
As It Is


The horrors of the Pakistan-Kashmir October 8 earthquake continues to unfold and the destruction of human life and property is indescribable. As of today the estimated deaths are over 41,000, and that number continues to rise, tens of thousands of severely injured unable to receive medical care, and the homeless count is well over 2 million with winter’s bad weather moving in.
This area of the world sits on major fault lines and has in the past been the scene of earthquake devastation which begins to beg the question, why is it not possible for engineers and architects in this the 21st century to create designs for earthquake proof housing for these people living in these tremor areas worldwide.
Housing which could built from inexpensive materials available in the area and with simple plans easily followed. Why couldn’t this be a prime objective for say the UN, or, even the USA, desperately needing goodwill as we do since the Iraq debacle.
Several articles today are focusing on the lack of tents for these people, and Wired Magazine mentioned an “origami” tent specifically geared for disaster relief which is being shown at, of all places, MOMA.