Thursday, December 24, 2009

delete and defer

From the Wake Up Call email I subscribed to at Dr. Laurie Helgoe's site.

Wake Up Call for your holidays:

Delete and Defer.

Here’s my wish for you: Write down everything you think you “have to” do right now. Ask why. Delete what doesn’t give you joy. Defer what can wait. And have a lighter, more peaceful holiday.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Daydream Power!

I'm an unreformed daydreamer ...

Surprise! Daydreaming Really Works The Brain.

"Contrary to the notion that daydreaming is a sign of laziness, letting the mind wander can actually let the parts of the brain associated with problem-solving become active, a new study finds."

I wish I could send this to one teacher in particular, from 6th grade, I remember her saying "where are you now, India?!" Well, for a minute, I wasn't stuck in a room with her under fluorescent lights having to attend to something that didn't interest me and might have been developmentally inappropriate. And I MIGHT have been letting my mind work on real problems! Sure glad I unschool my kid (and myself) nowadays!

Here's to the imagination.

P.S.: this is just a quibble, perhaps, but looking over this post again I see the term "problem-solving" and I recall once seeing the phrase "to problem solve" and wondering what happened to the ability to just solve problems. I google "to problem solve" and there are a ton of hits (literally!). Language evolves despite the efforts of hypercorrect grammarians--perhaps that's an example of institutional counterproductivity. I remind myself that I'm a descriptivist, not a prescriptivist, though my stint as a proofreader in a legal office with The State impressed grammar deeply into my brain. Here's to universal relocaldiversification. Mutually intelligible dialects for all!

Friday, April 3, 2009

thinner than the paper on which it is printed

I smirk and shrug at the paradoxes of a) reading Thoreau's journal online, and b) usually not even reading it--not enough time. But sometimes something catches my eye:

The last two Tribunes I have not looked at. I have no time to read newspapers. If you chance to live and move and have your being in that thin stratum in which the events which make the news transpire,—thinner than the paper on which it is printed,—then these things will fill the world for you; but if you soar above or dive below that plane, you cannot remember nor be reminded of them.

From the Blog of Henry David Thoreau, 3 April 1853

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Green Hermeticism

I read the book Green Hermeticism last year, and enjoyed it. Recently a pal pointed me to this conversation on the topic, between David Levi Strauss, Peter Lamborn Wilson, and Christopher Bamford. Highlights:

Wilson: .... As a writer, and we’re all writers, the temptation is to look upon the Green Hermeticism book as the real product here, but I continually struggle against that, or the conference as the product, or even the academic course as the product. That’s not enough. If there isn’t a garden, if there isn’t a laboratory, if there isn’t a bioremediation project, if there isn’t something that can move into the real world as well as the intellectual world, it isn’t enough.

One reason that Chris and I are so interested in Hermeticism is that it’s the western way, without not being the oriental way. I mean, since Hermeticism exists in Islam, and Hinduism, and even Taoism, it’s also the oriental way. It seems like the way which doesn’t get in the way of anybody else’s way. Which seems like a real advantage, possibly. That it’s not only Buddhism, or only Christianity, or only secular science. But it could be all those things together with an overarching, unifying imagery.

Bamford: What’s fascinating about the whole alchemical, Hermetic picture is that it is absolutely universal and goes right back to the beginning—to the primordial revelations, to the first prophet or shaman. How could it be otherwise? Humanity has its being in nature, on earth, under the stars. Therefore nature, the earth, and the stars are common to all spiritual traditions and cultures. Every spiritual tradition and religious epoch has its sacred science, that is taught by nature. All traditions have an alchemical or Hermetic cosmological aspect.


Bamford: One of the pathologies we suffer from is an extreme confusion of means and ends. And Hermeticism and alchemy are always means to a single end, which is, depending on who would say it, divine service or healing—so that the divine may become all in all, the hidden treasure known, and the gods rejoice, and put forth their being with us on earth. Those are always the ends. Hermeticism is a means. But when you say “green capitalism,” the end is capitalism. It just happens to be green. Green has more of a true end, which would be service, healing.

(hmm, sounds a little bit like permaculture to me)


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Do-Nothing Movement

Shaykha Sharqi recently read Masanobu Fukuoka's The Natural Way of Farming, a sequel to his One-Straw Revolution. She kept reading me sections from it that we both loved. Fukuoka-sensei is a Yoda of gardening, deeply rooted in the Source.

"Man created with his own hands the need for labor and toil."

"To achieve a humanity and a society where nothing needs to be done, man must look over everything he has done and rid himself one by one of th efalse visions and concepts that permeate him and his society. This is what the "do nothing" movement is all about."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Free and Lawless

From The Blog of Henry David Thoreau:
Essentially your truest poetic sentence is as free and lawless as a lamb’s bleat. The grammarian is often one who can neither cry nor laugh, yet thinks that he can express human emotions. So the posture-masters tell you how you shall walk,—turning your toes out, perhaps, excessively,—but so the beautiful walkers are not made.