Love is the Answer

Hold me close she whispered
Feel the brush of breath on your ear
The flush of the words
Calling to the heart
Beating with every movement
Of the tongue
Alive and tumbling like water
Over the falls and into the river
Calm would come by the bend
Rapids churning knowing
Where this watery foam
Would ebb into ripples
Of the day settling in the flow
Knowing this one truth
Love is the answer to every question
Left hanging in the air
In a cloud of frosty breath
On a cold October morning

“River Rocks” near Avon, CO – photo by gfs

Paradox of Consciousness 5

“Land, water, and air” – Ocean Beach, MD – photo by gfs

Does consciousness begin or end, and how do we know we are – conscious? Through the course of our existence there remains, always the paradox of consciousness – being aware of itself – conscious of being conscious, and does it obscure itself?

The best analogy is the fish being in the water. Is there any awareness of the all that surrounds them. Clues maybe, such as being hooked and pulled through the surface and into the air. Or for cetaceans, always having to surface to fill their lungs with air, and perhaps to renew the awareness of their surroundings. When do we come up for air? Is it when human consciousness finds itself aware of itself, aware of the process of looking at nature and feeling, realizing, the connection; the link that is broken somewhere in our learning to be. Realizing that we are connected to nature, and in that we are all connected to each other. The earth is us, and we are the earth. Or as the whale surfaces to breathe, is our first glimpse of heaven only when the spirit emerges from the confines of the body through existential experience, possibly for the first time only in death?

How are we to know, to understand, the distinction of consciousness when it is only through its awareness can we know. It is, in a sense mystical, yet when fully immersed in sense perception, if we allow an understanding, a separation to take place between awareness and feeling, in that middle ground, between body and mind, we feel the reverberations of consciousness, of eternal beauty.

This then is the mystery searched for over ages of time, the philosophers stone, the Holy Grail, the wisdom of the ancients. No matter how far we search we will never find it until we look within. Our heart and our mind in a flash (of consciousness) come to know we are, they are wholly separate, and always, wholly (holy) one.

Scientists search the depths of space, and the depths of the microscope for what? For what they already know, consciousness creates the universe, even as a consciousness creates an awareness of, and even still is – the universe / multiverse. What is being revealed is that the real world, the true awareness is a Quantum world, lines of force we call reality are constructs of consciousness, not the reverse. The universe (multi-verse) did not happen to unfold consciousness. Consciousness has forever been, and will ever be. The endless varieties of experience are its coming into existence, expression, to know itself forever for the first time. A cosmic, all surrounding, great cycle, consciousness being its own creation, in the paradox of time …

The Last Temptation

Reblog for Easter 2021

grandfathersky

(Updated from Easter 2012) In the spirit on Nikos Kazantzakis’ book The Last Temptation of Christ, I came to imagine the carpenter, perhaps in the forests of Lebanon, searching for lumber and pausing to know the sanctity of the place, sitting there wondering, knowing, what was to transpire and proceeding with the work; A destiny he would carve into the wood.
Being a Roman citizen the carpenter was well aware of the rules, of the taxes, and the administration of the law, but as a Rabbi he also knew what belonged to Rome and what belonged to the Almighty.
In the years of his ministry he cast his nets on the waters of our emotions, and brought many souls to the shores of salvation, yet just as many slipped away. He dreams of their return to heaven, yet knows it must be their will, not his, that brings them…

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Left for dead

Earthrise

Do not confuse the god of dogma with Source / Universal Intelligence. We are in the midst of a crisis that goes mostly unrecognized in the day to day, unless one were to stop and reflect on our subtle social changes in the decades since two World Wars and the advent of Keynesian Economics. Take a drive past your local church(es) on Sunday morning, and then take drive past your local gym franchise, and compare the cars in the parking lot. There is a remarkable shift in our attention from the spiritual to the physical.

To be more accurate, the shift is more from the dogma of religion to the practicality of living in a modern technocratic society. Religion is largely belief based – A way of thinking that has been passed up by a large portion of the worlds population in favor of sense based reality. A way of thinking, that given any proof it accepts a falsehood as truth. That a science capable of ending all life on earth with a nuclear exchange, has or will have the ability to save our lives – especially when the desperation of a looming disease and death sets in. All we need to do is be able to afford the cure. We have renounced miracles in favor of the tangible scientific cures. We have sold our souls for thirty piece of silver that are supposed to bring us the physical blessings we think we deserve for following the path of the world.

I refer back to my article on Transhumanism and encourage the reader to become familiar with the concept and the name Ray Kurzweil. The debate rages on (or not) but trust that slowly, almost imperceptibly, the human race is usurping its divine right of free will, by accepting that technology will save our souls. Believing the ego to be our everlasting self and by saving the body we save ourselves. There is a war going on today, completely unnoticed by most of those wrapped up in the day to day, simply because the media, especially television, and now the internet, have so fully absorbed the attention of nearly everyone. Television is not truth, it is not real life, not even close. For example, tune in an older color movie from the 60s. Peoples’ teeth were natural, slightly flawed, and showed the true color of their age. No actor or TV personality today has anything less than pure white, bleached, teeth. How many times in a evening of cop shows do we see gun fire on television, compare that to how many times we see it in real life? Most never do, and yet we are shocked and awed when bloodshed comes to our home town. When dozens are killed in random acts of violence. They are not random, they are our collective unconscious surfacing to show us that all in not right in the state of Denmark. We need to go outside and smell the roses. What we may find there is that many things out there stink.

Regarding the title – Left for Dead – and drawing on this stream of thought. What if as Elon Musk, among others, has stated publicly that AI (Artificial Intelligence) becomes commonplace? Based on the description of the word, AI is all about machine learning, so for everything a machine’s array of sensors detects, and every input / output it participates in, it learns, grows, becomes more intelligent. Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity is the point of convergence to where machine intelligence and human intelligence reach equivalence. Then who – or what – continues to grow? It is described as the point where knowledge doubles moment by moment. Except where is that knowledge and how is it used? Left for dead is the point where the creators must leave the planet, for their only hope is that their creation runs out of juice, that one day they can return when the AI has burned itself out, has run it’s course

Did the God’s leave us for dead? Were we their AI that got out of hand, forcing them to leave us behind. Who is watching and waiting? In that light are we destined to repeat the past?

Image: https://www.skyimagelab.com/kaguya-earthrise-pan.html   

Sitka Soup for the Soul

How do we imagine life leading us somewhere, and the randomness of it all. The synchronicities and consequences of our actions? Unless we, looking over our lives, reflect on who we are, and how we got to be this person, we might miss the importance, the value others have had on our thinking, and as a direct result, our lives, and experiences.

This world lost the presence of a great soul Easter Sunday morning, while so many of us were celebrating the resurrection of one, I found myself reflecting on the loss of another. Will Swagel and I met at New York University – we grew up barely 20 miles from each other on Long Island, but it took 18 years of life for our sacred contract to bring us together. The day I walked into room 601 at the Brittany Dorm on 10th St. was one of those rare occasions where, when you meet someone you feel a connection, in the minds eye, that goes back centuries, millennia. Thinking back, it may have been to the wisdom schools of Greece, because to me, it was as much philosophy (love of Sophia – knowledge) as it was friendship. It was Will who put Isabel Hickey’s book Astrology: A Cosmic Science in my hands. He introduced me to the poetry of Joni Mitchell, and Marshall McLuhan’s – The Medium is the Massage, James Joyce, Beethoven’s Symphonies, and there is the night to remember in New Paltz, NY, under a icy, starlit winter sky, where we concluded that Prometheus may have given us fire – but that “Man took the fire, and there was hell to pay”.

Will was born in the sign of Aquarius, the water barer, in the crisp cold electric air of winter, and I a Scorpio, a fixed water sign – ice … We had a connection. Aquarius, Hickey says, is the most human sign of the Zodiac, and while we all have flaws, Will’s humanity lives well in my mind; He freely shared whatever was his to offer, he had a unquenchable thirst for knowledge, a love of the arts, and literature, and of course his own self-expression in his assenting voice and always through his writing.

In the 1970’s everyone drove Volkswagen’s, and another connection we had was “Jerome” (named after Jerome Ave in the Bronx, NY) a sky blue 1967 VW Beetle – any collector today will tell you they were the best year made and he proved it. When we left NYU, Will and his two closest friends, Renee and Jerome left to go on a cross country adventure, while I turned wrenches at at Bell Bug works and listened to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High. But our bond remained and not more than 6 months after they returned Will and I were roommates again on Misty Road, Rocky Point, NY – Cats and kittens, lot’s of maryjane, and endless conversation about the meaning of life. We both drove our beetles, rode my motorcycle, and listened to a collection of LPs, many of which I still do. We read a lot and we never owned a TV. It was the end of the Vietnam era, and our country was changing, as were we – leaving Misty Road to continue our education, me to the car dealers, and Bill to SUNY New Paltz, to finish his degree.

And so we grew, up and apart, but there were letters, photographs, phone calls, and families to raise. I admired his move San Francisco, he knew what was right, and did it, he knew how to love, and shared it well.  I always felt our connection, no matter the years, a phone call always brought us back to our own Ode to Joy.

Step by step he was lead to Sitka – the old Russian Capital, this Russian Jew, who got beat up when he was a kid for killing Jesus, found his home in Sitka. The ocean, the nature, the people. I always felt a warmth from him when he talked about his life there. The place that held him warmly in its heart, as I know he felt the same.  I can only wonder at what fond stories his neighbors will tell, but I do know this man, who lives as a brother in my memory.  He will be missed, by me and by people I will never know, in ways too numerous to describe, except that we share a common bond; We knew the man, his sometimes sly laughter, his cigarettes, his unbuttoned coats, who wrote ten times ten thousand words, touched just as many hearts and will live lifetimes over and over in all of our hearts.

A Hard Rain’s A-gonna fall…

I need to apologize and reflect on why so much time has gone by, life events, or just days melting into the past, makes me wonder about myself and my shadow.
I cannot write / publish to WordPress using my tablet, even though that is where I spend most of my time reading these days. Yet as many reviewers of eReaders note, a tablet is a terrible distraction, a book does not have a web browser built in, and there is no YouTube to drift into.
I am a fan / follower of Marshall McLuhan, ever since I heard “The Medium is the Massage” many years ago, after it was produced in audio form by Columbia special records.”There ain’t no grammatical errors in a non-literate society”
There are many distractions to my life in recent years, not the least of which is our relocation from New England, back to New York. Only this time not Long Island, but the foothills of the Helderberg’s in what has been called the “Burned Down District”. It is a region of the state where so much of the Revival Movement took place in the 19th century. Along the corridors of the Iroquois and the Mohawk, Leatherstocking region, and only a few hours drive from Herkimer Diamond Mines, and Palmyra, the place where Joseph Smith found the (in)famous Golden Tablets, that started the LDS movement.
In a sense I feel I belong here, yet I miss the ocean. I replace the smell of salt air, with fields of grass, and decaying leaves turning to clay, and layers of million year old slate.
I hike the Helderbergs, and have become friends John Boyd Thatcher State Park and its Indian Ladder trail, a huge escarpment that overlooks the Mohawk Valley, with sights that have stood unchanged for eons of time.
To the east Vermont, and the Green Mountains, to the north Saratoga and Fort Ticonderoga, Lakes George and Champlain, and the Adirondack Mountains – the foundation of some of the oldest rock on the face of the planet. Being a Scorpio I am absorbed in my work, having been laid off in 2016, and starting a new position as an IT manager at a local company in 2017. I’ve realized I’m good at what what I do, or best to say what I put my mind to, so whether it is IT , or blogging, it generally comes across well.
So, you see, there are distractions from my blog, yet I realize more and more, that in this time and place, this blog, this pseudonym of grandfathersky, is a calling, a way to share that “still small voice” with the world at large, even if at times it feels that I am singing to the choir.
So my friends, in so many words, I have been distracted, yes, I continue to write, and yes, I will share those words with the world, again, and again, and again … From my heart I say “Thank you” all for caring, for your many returns to the well. For those who thirst, like the Springs at Saratoga, there is always a new source of water finding its way through the shale to the light …

Photo : “The Dunes Sunrise” gfs 2018

The Hegelian Dialectic

flat earth

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis …

Simple enough, but make no mistake this is a well thought out confidence game. You may have heard reference to the Hegelian Dialectic, it is bantered about with some regularity, taught in university curricula, and generally misunderstood.

Hegel, didn’t even define it as his own, but our children usually bear our names and that seems to be the case here, as the moniker adds a mystique to the name – it’s not a “yogi-ism” it’s “Hegelian”. It sounds serious, intellectual, above our pay grade. It’s not, and it needs to be understood, and its presence in history past and present recognized, and reacted to. Think of it in this light – Order, chaos, solution.

A thesis is not just something that gets written in college. In any circumstance we as people, reason about what is happening around us, in our world. Our fundamental observation of our circumstance becomes thesis in our mind. It is the recognition of details, order or chaos, resolved into meaning against our background of experience.

Antithesis is the contradiction, or the ultimate betrayal of our thesis. Think disaster movie; Everything is fine, life in Southern California is sunny, then … Wham! An earthquake rocks the protagonist’s world to the core. The antithesis works best on the crowd when it involves thought, feeling, and emotion. The more we are engaged by it, the more our world is rocked, the more unwitting we will be for the next aspect – synthesis …

While it doesn’t have to be, in my opinion the synthesis, is used more and more in a deliberate manner to achieve a nefarious result,  a solution, resolution, a war, a blame placed and new laws created (that were sitting on shelves waiting for their time). Personal freedom is usurped, and people are taken advantage of, under the guise of protecting them from a great evil. The dialectic complete, mission accomplished a new normal established.

Why do we ignore the signs. Look at the news for any period of time and it should be easy to see that the thesis is ever present, then in a moment, often out of the blue, the antithesis rears its ugly head, followed by the Knight wielding his synthesis; Saving souls, and promising protection in the coming dawn, while the protected never seem to miss that little piece of their soul given up in the process.

Beware the nightfall, the witching hour, and the coming dawn – You that have eyes; let them see!

Image: https://www.geek.com/culture/internet-gutter-welcome-to-the-flat-earth-1659303/

The Paradox of Consciousness Part 3


Kahlil Gibran states in “The Prophet” that beauty is eternity gazing at itself in the mirror, only you are eternity and you are the mirror. This is the continuing paradox of consciousness. Is the universe conscious of itself, or is it conscious of itself by seeing itself through our eyes? I’m taken back by the common hours, the days I spend in support of myself, family, and the things that surround me, realizing how temporal all of this is, and yet how important it remains to being. For without it, there would be only void – paradox indeed! Ray Kurzweil and others tell us that the world around us, is a singularity, a construct of our biological computer, where what we see – perceived light reconstructed from the tuning mechanism of our eye, into a construct of the world – realm – around us. The same can be said for sound, for smell, for touch, and for taste. Who is to say that what I see as green, you see as yellow, what I smell as mint, you smell as sage, and what I hear as water rushing you hear as wind. Shall we believe we are simply a biological computer and consciousness is nothing more than the sum total of a collection of elements and electrical discharges that begins at our first breath and ends with our last?
Then there is The Matrix, a construct of intelligence far beyond our own, something with a closer understanding of consciousness so it / they are able of manipulating our state of being, our thinking, into abdicating our free will, and handing over all our free energy to them. Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan talk of the The Flyers, reminiscent of Dragons, a Quetzalcoatl who controls the destiny of humanity.
What I can most assuredly state is we live in a consensus reality. Keep this in mind every time you listen to the news, stand up for your flag, or bow your head in prayer – Are you making a conscious decision, or are you assuming a consensus? Had I been raised in New Delhi instead of New York, my consensus reality would be far different than what it is today. So the question is – In consciousness do you question? Do you ever question? Do you question everything?
Consensus reality can be easy, and it can be very dangerous. Any behavioral scientist will tell you that mammals, including humans, are relatively easy to train, to program, in a sense, to carry out tasks with little or no interference from reason or will. We live in a free will universe for certain, and the reality is we are all acting on our own free will, except that will is easily co-opted, once we decide we are “this” or we are “that” (insert label).
Jung talks about our Shadow Self. If we are to believe that we are more than elements miraculously merged into a thinking machine, we have to delve into thought, and the idea that even as light casts a shadow, then it follows that thought, as energy, casts a shadow as well. Alan Watts tells us that we can’t see our self, we cannot take our eyes out of our head and look back at our self. Movies might be as close as we can get, but who can stand seeing their bare- naked self on a screen. (Except for selfish narcissism, in my experience, most people do not like to be filmed). Yet our shadow self, is where darkness follows behind us, the part of our being – ego if you like – that haunts us every waking hour, gives us headaches, the common cold, and a thousand other maladies, we define as illnesses, not accepting them as shadows.
Consciousness sets us free or haunts our lives, our being, without it all of these words are just ink stains, are just wind blown autumn leaves, yet metaphors make the argument ever more certain that consciousness may only be a paradox to those who question it. Otherwise, thought is simply a means to an hollow, nihilistic end, a shadow lengthening in the twilight, and dust returning to dust.