The Open Secret

14 billion years of evolution since the Big Bang.

This planet, the solar system, the Milky Way – our galaxy… an endlessly large universe.

This moment, this experience now, you and me… all time and space in a conspiracy to awaken in you and me right now.

And so immensely rich is this cosmos that it gives itself away every moment again – it cannot keep anything for itself. All change is a witness to the unending richness of the mystery called reality – so rich that every moment it has to give itself away.

All that we can have, you and me, is this moment – the experience, the consciousness, the surrender to this moment.

Fish egg ‘miracle’ needs cracking

3 minnows in an egg
The academics say that there were no breaks in the egg
Biologists at the University of Manchester want help in cracking their “miracle” discovery of three fish inside a sealed egg.

The group found the duck egg in a small pond on a field trip to the French Alps and noticed something moving inside it.

When they cracked open the shell, three live minnows were inside.

They have enlisted the help of other experts, but despite their extensive combined knowledge, the biologists admit they are “baffled”.

Dr Matthew Cobb, a lecturer in animal behaviour at the university, said: “As 21st century scientists rather than 17th century antiquarians we think it’s unlikely this represents a hitherto unknown mode of fish reproduction.

Predatory attack

“Perhaps the egg fell into the pond following some kind of predatory attack but we’re baffled as to how the minnows got to be inside.

“Certainly, we didn’t see any crack in the egg.”

Dr Cobb and his colleague, Henry McGhie, head of natural sciences at the Manchester Museum, have written to the New Scientist magazine in the hope readers will help solve the mystery.

Minnows are small freshwater fish, often used as bait by anglers.

From: BBC NEWS | UK | England | Manchester | Fish egg ‘miracle’ needs cracking

Voices in the head ‘are normal’

Hearing voices in your head is so common that it is normal, psychologists believe.

Dutch findings suggest one in 25 people regularly hears voices.

Contrary to traditional belief, hearing voices is not necessarily a symptom of mental illness, UK researchers at Manchester University say.

Indeed, many who hear voices do not seek help and say the voices have a positive impact on their lives, comforting or inspiring them.

BBC NEWS | Health | Voices in the head ‘are normal’

Russian Walk

I found a really new way to take a walk recently on video.google because the title turned me on – and then the video blew my mind really. I could feel the energy coming from this way of using obstacles that are in the way – or so I thought…

“We go our own way,” this statement gets another meaning after you’ve seen this video.

The inventor of Parcours, David Belle, has a website dealing with this way of life in six languages, and a whole bag full of videos about this ‘sport’.

More Americans have now died In Iraq than died On 9/11

Boing Boing: More Americans have now died In Iraq than died On 9/11

That’s maybe interesting to know as the US-government pretended to wage a war on terrorism.
But what truly baffles me is that not even a mention is made of the many thousand Iraqians who have been killed because of this war…

In Dark Arms

Not blinded by the sun, at night, looking up:
Around us all space, cosmos.
Amidst the glistening darkness we are
breathing, we become
embraced by everlasting darkness.
Held by the moment
carried in the arms of dark open space
we, orbiting, turn towards the luminous body
warming and enlightening us.

Rising from nights embrace
we go about our manyfold business of light.

Until twilight when we can see
where this globe we are twists and turns:
And we are embraced again by the darkening night
in which our central luminary is among countless sparkling beings.

Being radical

Sitting in the bathtub just a moment ago, considering the situation I cooperated towards in ‘my’ life I found what the very radical way I go about things – burning bridges often, or at least kindling a strong fire – is all about.

I mean, I could really take it a bit slower, turn the things I’m doing into some kind of entrepeneural succes before I move on to the next thing – instead, so far, I discovered something deeper, more true, and instead of first exploring I think I should drop what I have, sacrificing it for it.

So why?

I guess, it’s my father. A radical in his own right – so I had to be more radical then him to show him!

I don’t know if that’s the true reason, but from what my feeling says – feels as if some heavy weight has lifted from my shoulders – it is satisfying. So I guess, I can take it from here.

The Lure of Cognition

As I was watching one of the I-I videos I downloaded a week ago I was again struck by the enormous cognitive slant in the presentation of the “self” – what the self is, who we really, really are…

Not that there is no talk about feelings. Not that there is no mention of the shadow, and all of that. No, all these ‘matters’ are mentioned and talked about at length sometimes. Nevertheless is is all this cognitive understanding that somehow gets on my nerves – I’m positively irritated.

Now that might be, of course, because I’m just one of these dumb guys – easily irritatable, fast in their judgement, and so on. Maybe. But maybe there is something to this: “I miss the feeling side of things.”
As if we knew what we are dealing with when we cognitively know phenomena. ..

So here is a question for you: When Adam knew Eve and she begot their first son Kain, what kind of knowing is meant there?

Well, I think it’s called “carnal knowledge” and making love is just a prt of it, I presume – I’m not English (my mothers tongue is German and I grew up speaking Dutch). So there is this cognitive knowledge which is what people at I-I are very good at, I think. And there is feeling knowledge which, in my understanding mind which deals with language, is more like an expert participation in what’s going on.

And then there is mystic knowledge. I think it fuctions in everyone as ‘intuition’ and comes into bloom when you’re into all kinds of spiritual practises of which meditation is the quietistic one. That’s the kind of knowledge that goes by the name of ‘revelation’ or ‘enlightenment*’ I think.

I simply wish that I-I could go more into those kinds of ‘presentations’ – but don’t ask me how, because I have no idea.

Some good news…

… is always nice to find.

Here are the Top Ten Good News Stories of the Week, published every weekend . . .

1) Encouraging Results in Iraqi Police Recruiting More than 500 Iraqi men have joined the police in Anbar province — the most violent area of the Sunni Arab insurgency — in what militarysunsetoverreeds leaders called the most successful recruiting drive in the region ever by U.S. and Iraqi forces… (Civics)

2) Wetlands Restored After 107 Years – Not many wetlands have been restored in the world, or in California “where 95 percent of saltwater marshes have been given over to development”. But, this week environmentalists watched the ocean flood back over historic tidewaters, the culmination of a 30-year effort to restore the massive Bolsa Chica wetland. (Earth)

3) Judge Rules Bush’s Relaxed Pesticide Law Illegal – A federal judge in Seattle overturned new Bush administration rules that weaken the governing of pesticide use and their effect on endangered plants and animals. The court struck down the EPA’s new rules and restored prior standards that provided greater protection. (Earth)

4) Fighting Terrorism by Building Peace… One School at a TimeGreg Mortenson is an anti-terrorism warrior in the Islamic strongholds of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and his main weapon is building schools… “Americans are now learning that we can’t fight the war on terrorism with bombs.” (Inspired! Individuals)

5) Camp Grows Friendship Between Middle Eastern Kids, Traditionally Foes – If you were invited to sit down with your enemy for a cup of tea and discuss your conflicting views, would you do it? … More than 2,500 Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, Pakistani and Indian kids spent three weeks with their “enemies” at a summer camp in the US arguing, understanding, and ultimately coming to respect the humanity behind every face – even their enemies. (Civics)

______________________________________________
______________________________________________blackrhino

6) Black Rhino Numbers Up 20 Percent Over Two YearsBlack rhino numbers are on the rise in Kenya after years of decline from poaching and habitat loss. According to officials, the country’s black rhino population has increased 20 percent over two years… (Earth)

7) Katrina, Rita Create Unexpected Boom – Despite dire forecasts that Gulf Coast governors would have to slash state budgets in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita one year ago, a new report finds that booming “hurricane economies” have fueled state revenue surpluses across the region. State revenues in hardest-hit Louisiana and Mississippi swelled since the storms. (Civics)
8) Costco to Eliminating Customer-Infuriating Plastic Clamshell Packaging – Great news about those horrible plastic shell encasements that seem to require super-human strength — and stabbing motion with scissors — to extract anything from their clutches. Costco will begin to use recycled cases that are easy to open… (Home Life)

9) Scientists Flock to Test ‘Free Energy’ Magnetic Field Discovery – Sean McCarthy says that his small hi-tech firm in Dublin has hit upon a way of generating clean, free and constant energy from the interaction of magnetic fields. He took out an advertisement asking for scientists to test his product. The response was overwhelming. (Science)

10) Trapped Cat Tugs At Hearts Of 4 Youths Who Rescue It – Frantic cries rose from a sewer drain that was quickly filling with water. Four boys found a cat hanging on for dear life. They couldn’t reach it by themselves but figured out a way to help. With a happy, but also a very surprising ending, this story will cheer all pet-lovers. (Pets)

more of this here

Happiness is easy…

… at least when you’re a mouse who is missing a certain gene called TREK-1. I wonder how long it takes, before the pharma-industry comes up with a means to knock out what TREK-1 does for us (presuming that it’s similar for us.

“A new breed of permanently ‘cheerful’ mouse is providing hope of a new treatment for clinical depression. TREK-1 is a gene that can affect transmission of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is known to play an important role in mood, sleep and sexuality. By breeding mice with an absence of TREK-1, researchers were able create a depression-resistant strain….” 

You find the whole article here.

“The Dis-Integration of Ken Wilber”

I found quite an interesting free online book from one of the most ‘biting’ critics of Ken Wilber, whom Geoffrey D. Falk calls “Norman Einstein”. And here is how he introduces it:

Ken Wilber is the “long-sought Einstein of consciousness research,” having been generously regarded as such since the late 1970s.
Ken Wilber is “a genius of our times.”
Ken Wilber is “the world’s most intriguing and foremost philosopher.”

Ken Wilber’s ideas have influenced Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jeb Bush, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, and a host of other luminaries, spiritual and otherwise. Writer Michael Crichton, leadership guru Warren Bennis, playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues), alternative medicine’s Larry Dossey, the Wachowski Brothers (directors of The Matrix), and a handful of rock stars have all lent their voices in support of the “integral” community.

Yet Ken Wilber, his celebrated theories of consciousness, and the increasingly unquestioning population of “second-tier” spiritual aspirants surrounding him and participating in his Integral Institute (I-I) and Integral University, are not what they appear to be.

“Norman Einstein”: The Dis-Integration of Ken Wilber will show you why the community around Wilber is being increasingly called a “cult,” even by former founding members of I-I who have seen it first-hand.

Read the online-book here

O Rapture!

So, I thought it might be appropriate to list some of the many other times in history that religious fanatics of all kinds have decided the world was about to end, what they did about it, and what really happened to those who followed them when the world did not end as scheduled.

Read more here: What really happened

Peace?! What a Foreign Concept…

just wanted to share this post on Elza Maalouf’s blog here with you.

It was much easier for me to think rationally about the war in Iraq. Like others who are interested in the Middle East or come from it, I was able to analyze the situation in Iraq to the best of my ability, discuss the issue with Iraqi friends or on the various listserves, and try to use developmental theories to justify certain decisions made by the US or by the Iraqis.

With this Lebanese tragedy, I find myself struggling not to scream at people who don’t see the situation from my perspective. All the socio-political, psychological and spiritual theories are reduced to a reactionary thinking on my part. I guess that the loss of souls and the pain of so many people with whom I share history, roots and DNA made me regress to a narrow ethnocentric mindset. Nothing is wrong with that, I know. However I wonder why I don’t feel the same intensity when I read about the genocide in Darfur, and the famine that the world can prevent in Niger.

When I say I have a worldcentric view, I know that I mean it on a ‘good day’…not when Ali, Fatima, George, Mohamad and Marie from Southern Lebanon, Beirut or the Bekaa Valley are displaced, wounded or in pain.

I do feel for every Israeli and Lebanese mother suffering for a child, a husband or a brother. They have nothing to do with politicians, militias and war. They just happen to be there living with hopes and dreams of a happy family and a better future…

(Source)

Beirut

Two Pictures taken by sattelite of Beirut on July 12th & July 31st 2006 (published here first)

Need I say more?

Beirut

Acts of Helplessness – by Rumi

Here are the miracle-signs you want: that
you cry through the night and get up at dawn, asking,
that in the absence of what you ask for your day gets dark,
your neck thin as a spindle, that what you give away
is all you won, that you sacrifice belongings,
sleep, health, your head, that you often
sit down in a fire like aloes wood, and often go out
to meet a blade like a battered helmet.

When acts of helplessness become habitual,
those are the signs.

But you run back and forth listening for unusual events,
peering into faces of travelers.
“Why are you looking at me like a madman?”
I have lost a friend. Please forgive me.

Searching like that does not fail.
There will come a rider who holds you close.
You faint and gibber. The uninitiated say, “He’s faking.”
How could they know?
Water washes over a beached fish, the water
of those signs I just mentioned.

Excuse my wandering.
How can one be orderly with this?
It’s like counting leaves in the garden,
along with the song-notes of partridges,
and crows.

Sometimes organization
and computation become absurd.

Climbing knowledge mountain

Climbing knowledge mountain
to its trancendental understanding summit
insightful vistas brightly abound

The green unfathomable dragon shape
Its rythmic curves and jewel sparks
meanders deeply and alive
through the valley

The climber shouts,
“Join me up here in the clear air of light.”
The dragon grumbeling,
“Where would you be with out me?”

Wherever I go
I revere the local godheads.

***

I don’t really know what this poetry means but it came to me – in English! – two days ago and I wanted to let you partake in my wonder…

The Living Field Inspiration Newsletter – Issue 4/06

Hi,

I took a distance from what I call ‘vertical spirituality’. If you want to know how and why then you will find reasons here in a short essay.

Actually I’ve had this coming for a long time as you can see from the article that I wrote originally in 2003 “Why God does not need a Throne“. And it does have consequences, of course. A friend, who recently visited, wrote, “It was also a lot of fun to be with you and the people of the Community. It’s beautiful to feel the changes time and again, and see that you guys nevertheless manage to use the chaos productively. Anyway, I think it is great that you let go of the vertical structures and guru-dom (even if this revolution comes from ‘above’ 😉 )”
Well, in my events and seminars things are not as chaotic as S. writes about the community’s development even though the vertical structures are disappearing more and more.

I call the direction in which I see us moving cooperative spirituality. All of this leads me to tell you what I have found useful these last weeks:

  • After waking up in the morning I remember the many fields and dimensions in which I am embedded ( body, family, friends, neighbourhood, country, continent, planet, galaxis, flexiverse… and the subtle dimensions as well: the aura, fields and energies between us, the dimensions of the predecessors and disincarnate entities, the very subtle fields, the realm of archetypes and godheads, the nothingness and fullness: the whole unspeakable mystery…)
  • Remembering that we ourselves are the highest authority – this is our reality, our life, our destiny, our development and opportunity…
  • Remembering that reality always also is a co-production between me, the ones I’m with and all I am embedded in.
  • Remembering my heart’s resolution: May the fullness and richness of all fields and dimensions be with me and all living beings.
  • If I feel like it : sing, dance and express in any way what bubbles up from deep within.
  • And then I let go of it all and move to do what’s next …

This is just a trial run of a new ‘morning exercise’ – and I would like it very much if you would use some similar process and tell about it, for instance in this weblog.

Much Love ,
Mushin

PS.: Short remark re. “Silence & Celebration” from August 24th ’till 27th: We will also be silent outside the group-room (There will only be a very short possibility each day to confront burning questions).

Moving beyond the Patriarchal Temptation

This article is to be published on a German magazine soon – please do not publish or copy to other sites or places. Once it is published, I’ll put it up here regularly… and take this note away. So until then, feel free to link or comment.

Vertical Spirituality and the Suffering it Causes

Let’s start with two examples for the suffering recently caused by vertical spirituality:
Ken Wilber is an intelligent theoretician of spirituality and also an enlightened practitioner living what he speaks and writes about. If you’ve read his diary-like book “One Taste” you know that he has indeed realized the level of consciousness that he describes in his books as the highest.
All right then: June 8, 2006 Ken Wilber throws up a appalling rant against his critics on his weblog.

The whole article here.

A Bold, Comprehensive, and Integral Strategy for the Middle East

I can only support this initiative with all my heart.

Hard Truths & Fresh Start:
A Bold, Comprehensive, and Integral Strategy for the Middle East
East Don Edward Beck, Ph D

The safest place in any crisis is always the hard truth. Distorted recriminations about the past and naïve idealism about the future can be just as blinding as the tear gas. Personal or political agendas, whether obvious or hidden, protect no one from simplistic suicide bombs or sophisticated air-borne rockets. The smell of cordite has a way of cleansing one’s filters, or at least focusing on what is real. Alas, we often refuse to deal with the hard truths until all sides lie bloody, exhausted, vanquished — having jointly destroyed the relationships and physical resources necessary to invent a better future. The mythical phoenix that rises from the ashes is too often a vengeful vulture.

But what are the ‘hard truths’ about the Israeli/Palestine crisis? What if we had the visionary minds and courageous hearts to address these core realities? Would a fresh start, one that transcends the current stalemate and repetitive cycles of violence, become a possibility? If so, what are its principles and contours? Who can introduce it? How might it self-organize into the mainstream?

Read the rest of the fresh start possible here.

The Dalai Lama about interdependency

“In today’s highly interdependent world, individuals and nations can no longer resolve many of their problems by themselves. We need one another. We must therefore develop a sense of universal responsibility… It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members, and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.”

THE DALAI LAMA