I loved this from from Neytiri, scolding Jake Sully.  But I also loved the “I see you” lines.  Both are highly loaded with deep connotations, and I dig deep stuff!

But what I am writing about today has to do with our human consciousness.  We truly are “babies” in the scheme of what we may become one day, and very likely within the multi-dimensional universe(s) that in my belief system is the One Mind, or ultimate Consciousness.

With all of our theories and experimental data today we really just have a hat full of puzzle pieces.  We don’t even really know for sure much  of anything about even our own self-awareness, our human consciousness, how it relates to the physical universe – including our own bodies – or how each of our individual consciousness and that of the animal and perhaps plant kingdom generates the physical presence we apprehend in space/time.  There are many theories, many long equations, and endless papers and books written as we attempt to bring together cosmology, quantum theory and the elusive “consciousness.”

So, we really are babes in the woods generated by our own mind.

Probably most people do not give much if any thought to why they perceive what they do.  However, many do, including myself.  It has become my hobby of sorts, trying to put together all the research and theories and speculation of others, so I can generate my own insight that “makes sense” to me.  Sort of following my intellectual bliss.  Were I smart enough to be a scientist I am afraid I would just get bogged down in the details, so it is fun to just be able to “belly surf” all this information.

It’s funny how most of us just take for granted that what we apprehend around us is “the way it actually is.”  Really we apprehend only what our senses and converters bring to our brain, mostly in the interest of natural self preservation.  But were we able to add to our senses, to “see” other forms of radiation for instance, or astral auras, or who knows what, the world that we would create would be so much different than what we now see.  But then our little brains would be overloaded with input, and likely just fry.

I got to thinking this morning about “what cat’s see” and “what dog’s see.”  Researchers seem to think they know, but I doubt they really do.  They can only externally  “see” how animals behavior responds, plus research of brain activity and so forth.  But they don’t really know what the animal sees or hears or the sum total of the full picture that is generated in the animal’s brain.  Of course we don’t even know if dogs and cats have self-awareness, although we do know they behave as if they have feelings that we humans identify with.  It seems all we can do is assess to what extent dogs, cats, and other animals respond in comparison to our own information processing.  But is it valid to make such a comparison?

By the way, sequels to Avatar are coming out! Can’t wait!!

Jazz, America’s Classical Music

If you are not a student of jazz, nor even very familiar with its vastness, that’s ok, I just hope you will hear me out on this, and then think about how what I say applies to the music idiom you prefer or love even.  I assure you it will apply, you may just need to do some substitution.

I chose the photo above, two empty park benches, side by side.  Now imagine, on one bench is seated a single musician, playing jazz, all alone.  My vision is of a sax player, but maybe it’s a cat or a lady horn player blowing on the trumpet or coronet or …….you name it.  Now it could even be a guy on a trap drum kit, but I prefer to think in terms of a horn’s vibration.  An acoustic guitar will do well though, in this discussion.

Here you come, out for a leisurely walk before it gets too warm, and hearing the wafting notes of extemporaneous composition floating through the trees, you follow these, curious and perhaps bewitched.  Finding the player, who only acknowledges you with a quick glance, after standing a moment listening, you say to yourself, “I think I will just sit and listen for a while.”

Being a jazz aficionado of many years, you just close your eyes, and listen, non-judgmentally, as the player experiments, stuttering on this note, then hesitating, then repeating and repeating again, until satisfied with that stroke of the painting.  Each note you hear takes you somewhere in your soul, your memories, your very primordial essence, carrying you along the strands of your DNA to experiences and relationships of your countless ancestors, and even (in my way of thinking) your many reincarnations.  You sit listening, hearing but not analyzing, for it cannot really be analyzed, as it is “jazz,” a fully-constituted quantum wave/particle having only the smaller parts that make up your very body and all that you perceive around you and all that you do not yet perceive, the very web of the Potentiality that is what many call God, others just know no name may be assigned, for It is neither this nor that.  Of the infinite possibilities of each note you take in, your neurons fire collapsing at each moment the probability wave into that special note that you and only you can claim.  You own each note, just as much as the lady playing.  You become an Eulipion.

The thought may come to mind, does the player hear her notes and feel what you feel listening to his notes?  A little perhaps, but what she is laying down is a river, she is pouring in the sacred water, shaping the twists and turns and rapids and falls, which she navigates, but you are in your own boat, free to also navigate as you feel, or are drawn to do by inexorable forces that you have little control over.  It is her journey, her creation, but she gives openly for you to enjoy in your little “mind skiff.”

A large part of listening to jazz is just relaxing into what you hear, letting the mind and spirit, mind/spirit, synthesize the extension of the notes that are only yours alone to enjoy in the way that you do.  Each person will enjoy the same music differently, because what we hear is what each of us process as our personalized perception of those lyrical dimensions.  This is also true of what we touch and what we see, but that’s another story. All is Mind.

Of course, as I said above, please feel free to substitute your own idiom, your own instrument, and then just visualize mentally, let it be a brief meditation.  Your surely will “see” that of which I write this morning.

Enjoy your day.  Listen to some great music!

Just Being…

We had some hard rain yesterday, but after some hours it let up so I could take a short walk to the grocery nearby.  On the way back it occurred to me that a topic for today should be about “being in the present.”

As I walked along I traversed fallen twigs, leaves, and other unrecognizable “stuff,” much of it left by the force of the rain, knocked from bushes above, or blown from some other spot by the winds.  I allowed myself to become very thoughtful about this, and yet allowed my mind to just be open to blending with what I perceived, visually and mentally.  I thought about how each leaf stuck to the sidewalk had a history that was infinite.  The same for even the bird poop, and how leaves and poop were directly connected and essentially part of the whole.

Take one leaf for example. We can examine how it came to be a leaf, and we can examine how it came to be one of the leaves that was displaced by the rain water, and how the wind and the rain and gravity all conjoined to place the leaf in the exact position and orientation that I saw it in.  We can trace this history of the leave, from being a sprout on a twig, to being part of the bush or tree, to the seed that the tree came from, to what carried or placed the see where the tree grew, and if carred there, how and why, did a bird carry it, and what kind of bird and the full history of that one bird, such as its migration, the food it consumed…..and well, as one quickly sees there is no end to the investigation that one can do if one wishes.

The “bottom line,” (a favorite term in the West, since we are all about the almighty dollar) is that all things if explored thoroughly, are seen to be part of the web of life, and more so, the quantum web when we drill down to the ultimate state of perception.  This is what is called “sunyata” in Sanskrit.  It is the “emptiness” of all that we perceive, meaning empty of inherent existence.  The entire universe contains nothing that is not interdependent with everything else.  It’s really quite simple, yet so illusive to those never presented with such philosophy (and physics).  By just being in the present, observing each thing and phenomena and our own thoughts at the moment, we can be transported into the heart of this concept, and for at least a few seconds, or minutes, arrive in this suspended “place” that has no time nor space nor gravity.

That we can readily access this state of being anytime, anywhere, is really “pretty cool.”  If we do practice this, the least benefit we will attain is the realization that we as a person are fully connected with the ultimate creation.  No need to do much more than this, no need to prostrate, no need to cross the heart, no need to go to a formal place of worship (except for the social experience and support).  We each are given the full throttle power to simply, “Be.”

Enjoy Being today.

Adulthood & The Human Brain

I have been bothered for many years with the fact that we draw exact lines across the continuum of human aging, to define for societal values what is regarded as a person having reached adulthood.  These “lines in the sand” vary across the globe, depending on each culture’s history and values.  Here in the USA, such lines tend to be left to each state, when it comes to such matters as the minimum age at which one may marry, at what age may one consent to having sex, the minimum age to consume alcoholic beverages, driving and so on.  Given that these various age limits vary considerably and with many exceptions across the nation, it is clear that these have little at all to do with the capacity and capability of the brain to make adult decisions.

Most such laws are predicated on “religious” norms, historical cultural practice, and better yet, rarely, are evidence-based.  For instance, there is ample evidence that young girls becoming pregnant put them at very increased risk for themselves and the babies.  Nationally there is a movement to raise the minimum age for smoking tobacco to 21, and it goes without saying there are decades of evidence to support that if we want our youth to have a chance at a maximum life span.

In many tribal societies there are rites of passage – ritual initiation – that marks a person’s traversing the local customs of moving from childhood to young adulthood, and then to joining the elders later on.  Clearly we have no such customs in our “advanced” society.

And then there are the matters that really bother me in particular, relating to criminality, which “kid” gets sentenced as an adult, and the big one for me is the age at which we allow our youth to enter the military and fight, become wounded and die for our causes (usually fostered by politicians who generally have never served in the armed forces.)

Research in recent years has shown that the human brain does not really reach maturity until around the age of 25 (or even beyond for some, and it varies between sexes it seems) in terms of its ability to cognitively differentiate, to critically analyze, its situation and the complexity of factors that in theory should append to various decisions, daily ones and life decisions.  Anyone who is well up into adulthood can clearly recall the many stupid things we did when 18, and then well into our early 20’s.  I damn sure did my share!  And yet, still send out youth off to war.  I have to question whether this is not one of the higher forms of child abuse, really.

I clearly recall being 23, going off with my gold 2nd Lieutenant bars on my shoulders to fly jets in the Air Force.  Well, that was interrupted, but at the time I never gave a thought to the fact that I would possibly be flying in Viet Nam.  I was just on “auto pilot,” following a program that was modeled on my own father’s WW2 action.  There was no cognition of risk, of why, of consequences physically, mentally or morally.

So how could we do it differently I wonder?  Should we use some additional testing to determine the level of development of the young person’s brain with respect to making adult discriminations? Or should we keep the younger person in the rear echelon until the age of say 25? I don’t know, but I do know that our society needs to really think about this, if we are to move out of the shadow of the Dark Ages upon which the present notion of adulthood thrives.