Posts Tagged ‘Cosmos’

From the Tiny Acorn Grows

There is an old saying. You’ve probably heard it. ‘From a tiny acorn, the mighty oak tree grows.’ It is a truism, oak trees grow from acorns; ‘acorn’ being the name given to the oak tree seed. This old saying is used as an analogy to demonstrate growth, or growing into. It is most often applied in my culture to give heart to children feeling diminutive, and insignificant.

This is a good saying to encourage children to look forward, to hope, and to dream about what they may turn out to be. However, there is much more wisdom in this saying than is commonly gleaned. It demonstrates much more than the potential for growth and greatness.

The acorn already knows what it’s going to be. It doesn’t even think about it, it is genetically programmed to become an oak tree. The acorn is not distracted by the glories of becoming a fireman, nor an astronaut. An oak tree is what it will become, come Hell or high water.

The acorn is focused on becoming an oak tree. It is genetically programmed to be so. In every moment of every day its every action is taken to become an oak tree. It doesn’t care about the weather, nor the Stock Market, nor its neighbors opinion. It will become an oak tree.

The acorn gathers to it all the resources at its disposal, and applies them to becoming an oak tree. It is genetically programmed to do so. It doesn’t bother with what it doesn’t need, nor does it waste the resources it has. If an acorn doesn’t need a second blender, it doesn’t buy one, no matter how shiny it is, nor how much it’s on sale.

Humans are not like acorns. Humans have so many things from which to choose, from what to become, from what to own, from what to do. While it is impossible for the acorn to become distracted in any way from its end result, it is difficult for the Human not to.

Conversely, the acorn can only become an oak tree. It can not become an astronaut, nor a fireman, nor a butcher, nor a baker, nor a candle stick maker. It will never be able to calculate a trajectory to the Moon, nor Mars, nor the Crab Nebula. It will never be able to write a book on stamp collecting, nor playing marbles. It will never be able to look up in the night sky and wonder of what the stars are made, nor how much force it would take to throw a rock from the Earth to the edge of the Cosmos, nor even question whether there is an edge to the Cosmos or not.

What can humans become that an acorn can not! The choices are theoretically endless. However, we need to make those choices if we are to become our own oak tree. We need to be our own type of acorn. We need to take a dream we have, and say ‘This is the one.’ We need to turn that dream into a goal. We need to stay focused on that goal, no matter what anyone says, and no matter what else is going on around us. We should apply our resources toward that goal, and not be wasteful of them. We may admire other endeavors, but we should stay diligent toward our own.

We should also remember, the acorn does not turn into an oak tree over night. It takes around 30 years for an acorn to become an oak tree; and even then, it’s still considered to be in its youth. It takes time to become an oak tree, but not to worry. The oak trees growth is marked in stages. It’s an acorn, and then it’s a sprout. Then it becomes a sapling, then a little tree, then a bigger tree, then a bigger tree still, and then, a dominating, prolific, majestic oak tree.

Dream a dream. Turn that dream into a goal. Plan to reach that goal. Work on that goal, stay with it, do not become distracted. You are spectacular, and how much more than an oak tree?


Dream a Little Dream

A while back, the blower on my old van wore out. I’m one of those old guys that don’t like to spend money unless he has to. I just let it go, as I really didn’t need it replaced at the time. However, winter is coming on out here in Nebraska, where one will often go outside to find a quarter-inch of ice on their windshield during the winter months. There is a need to have hot air blowing on ones windshield out here during winter, and, subsequently, and operating blower.

I’m not going to put a new blower in a twenty-one year old van. There’s a junk yard out here in a little town called Utica which seems to have just about any spare part for any vehicle a person would drive. Utica is about 25 miles West, and another 10 miles or so North of where I sit. So, off I went to secure myself another blower for the van.

The most efficient way to get to Utica from where I live is to get up on the interstate, and exit at another little town called Gohner. Gohner has all of 192 people living in it. Nebraska tends to be pock-marked with micro townships all over the place. Anyhow, one needs to get off at Gohner, drive a few more miles North, then West again several miles till one makes it to Utica.

I hadn’t been out that way for three, or four years, so I was really enjoying the view. Where I live, the land sort of roles in long, lumbering hills that one often can’t even tell they’re going up unless they’re on a bicycle. Out there toward Gohner, and Utica, the land gets flat as a pancake, and one can see trees balancing all the way out on the edge of the horizon.

I’m driving along, taking in the landscape, when the Gohner exit comes up on me, and I need to get off the interstate, and get on a regular state road. Just off the interstate, on the outskirts of the little town of Gohner, someone had constructed a frontier village. The village wasn’t very accurate historically for the area, as the buildings were made of logs, and not sod. I’m guessing sod is pretty hard to come by these days, so logs must have had to suffice. Anyhow, there was a livery stable, a saloon, a general store, all set up for tourist to stop in and recreate, including what appeared to be a frontierish looking playground for the kids.

Sadly, the project must not have worked out for the projector. Leaning up against the fence lining the frontier village was a large piece of plywood. Painted neatly in large letters on that piece of plywood leaning up against that fence were the words, ‘A dream died here.’

Seeing this sign didn’t ruin the rest of my jaunt, but it did make me feel sorry for whatever entities put this project together. There is something I may never have the opportunity to tell them, but I am going to take this opportunity to tell you. Dreams don’t die, they get abandoned. They may run into all kinds of problems, and setbacks, and oppositions, but they do not die. They get abandoned along the side of the interstate like a dog your landlord tells you you’re not allowed to have in the apartment.

Dreams don’t die. They are composed of thought energy, and sort of bounce around the Cosmos like radio waves. Leonardo da Vinci dreamt of a flying machine, but it didn’t come into fruition till a couple of hundred years later … others along the way picked up on the dream, and did what they could with it. Thomas Edison dreamt of illuminating the night, and he picked at it till it happened.

The idea that dreams die is defeatist. If you have a dream you can’t get put together, someone else will pick it up, and run with it. Go get another dream, and see how far you can take it.

You’re spectacular, dynamic. Stay that way. Get a dream, and work it.

A Pondering

Humans are monkeys, nearly hairless as they are, and living in houses as they do. They are a very complexly developed functionary of the Cosmos. For whatever reason the Cosmos feels the need for a functionary such as me, I am clueless. I’m just happy to be here as I am, and not still a mud puddle by the ocean somewhere.

The Cosmos experimented with the concept. It set up a nice laboratory where dirt and water could flourish as flora and fauna. The dinosaur wasn’t working out, so it abandoned that project almost entirely, and it ignored the mouse for much further research nor development … and the shark it’s left pretty much alone for a very, very long time. The Cosmos settled on an obnoxious creature living in trees, very clever, and ever so inquisitive. Intrigued, the Cosmos singled out and shepherded certain of these creatures toward the station of Humanity.

This all brings up a question I’ve often pondered since my childhood. Where are we going with this? Next year, we pretty much know what Humanity will be doing, pretty much more of the same. The process is excruciatingly slow from the perspective of an impatient advanced monkey with extreme restrictions on its ability to experience time, and space.

What about 10,000 years from now, or 50,000 … and I know you’d still spoil your childrens childrens childrens children. What will they be like? What will they be doing? Will they have big bumps on their heads and saber – tooth fangs? Will they still yearn for a day off so they can go enjoy an ice cream cone in peace and unhurried?

I do know that this planet we are on, and this stellar system of which we are part is just a little over half way through its life span. I do know that at some point within the next 5,000,000,000 years (that’s billions with a ‘B’), we … Humanity, and all of our couches, and chairs, and pets, and farm animals, and corn stocks … need to be up, and off this planet. At some point in the very distant future our star, the Sun, will peter out, and go into what could be considered a pathetic, weak, wimpy Super Nova. Weak, and wimpy as this event will be on stellar scales of catastrophes, this event will emaciate, and then devour the Earth. The Sun will swell up into a reddish-orange ball of fire engulfing most of the stellar system of which we are now a part.

This isn’t such a bad thing, when you sit down and think about it. It’s a motivation. This future event will give us a really good reason to move before the old dam breaks, and the valley gets flooded. This’ll give us a really, really good excuse to get up off the couch, and go see what else is out there, and maybe even socialize a little bit with other advanced – monkey type things the Cosmos has running around. You never know, there might be a tree out there with advanced intelligence … just a thought, but wouldn’t that be neat thing with which to sit down and talk.

This is going to be a very complicated, difficult, wrought – with – trouble project of which to undertake. It may take the next five billion years to figure it out, till it’s an adequately operational endeavor. We already seem to be pointed in that direction.

Till the time comes, we maybe ought to appreciate what we have going for us as a group, and take care of what we’ve got right now, and continue to develop as Humans.

You’re spectacular.

Who Says the Words?

“Who says words with my mouth?” This is probably the most profound question for introflective thought I’ve ever heard. It was posed to me through an ancient poem written by a 13th Century Persian poet, the Sufi philosopher Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, more commonly referred to as just Rumi today.

I heard this question, and I thought to myself, ‘Ok! I’ll play your silly game. Who does say words with my mouth?’ I shut my eyes, and went looking. I quickly found the mechanism for saying the words, but not the director. My modest and humble knowledge of brain housing group function and physiology assisted me in finding where the words were stored, but I didn’t find who strung the words together. I looked deeper.

I found myself standing on the stage of my mind. ‘You big dummy!’ I said to myself standing on the stage of my mind, ‘You are the one who says words with your mouth.’ However, if I am standing on the stage of my own mind talking to myself, then to whom is the me standing on the stage of my talking? This started a descending spiral of antilogic which I quickly abandoned.

Who does say words with my mouth? Who does see things with my eyes? Who does taste things with my tongue, and who feels things with my fingers? The mechanism The – I – That – Is – Me occupies perceives them, interprets them, and stores them in memory. These are all superficial functions. Where is the observer? I never did find The – I – That – Is – Me.

My own speculation is that the Observer is Consciousness. I also speculate that Consciousness is one of the Basic Constructs of the Cosmos, the others being Time, Space, Matter, and Energy. We all know that Humans, like everything else we discern, are made up of Matter, propelled by Energy, occupying Space, in Time. Consciousness is a little harder on which to grasp as it is that which actually does the discerning.

Carl Sagan proposed that Mankind is a mechanism for the Cosmos to gaze back on its self. I, myself, adhere to that proposal … and I’m really glad my own, particular belief system lacks the dogmatic restrictions which would prevent me from exploring the minds of ancient Sufi poets, and modern Atheist scientists.

I’ve provided a nice, jazzy, multi – media, Modern English interpretation of the poem Who Says Words with My Mouth? by Rumi for your enjoyment, below. And, just remember, you are spectacular.


Consciousness and the Production of Heat

There is a chain of thought out there that says Human consciousness is a byproduct of the Human brain.  This chain of thought describes consciousness as a physiological effect brought about by chemical and physical reaction.  The same is said about the production of heat in those of us whom are warm-blooded animals.

Science knows a lot about how a body produces heat.  On the other hand, we’ve hardly gotten our toes wet in our understanding of the dynamics of consciousness.  However, lets go there; lets examine consciousness from a perspective comparing it to the generation of heat.

We’ll use humans as an example, since there are so many different species of which to compare, and we are most acquainted with the human mechanism.

Humans generate heat.  It is outside of my field of study, so I’ll not even come close to attempting an explanation as to how this is accomplished.  Therefore, we’ll stop at the self evident to save me from over stepping my bounds.

Heat … temperature ranges … existed in the Cosmos long before Mankind appeared on the scene.  Temperature ranges existed even before the formation of the Earth, and the Sun, and the Moon.  I’m pretty sure temperature ranges were around even before the constituents of the Milky Way huddled up together to form a Galaxy.

Temperatures vary from place to place throughout the Cosmos.  Some places are very hot, while others are very cold.  Meanwhile, some places are just right for me, as a Human mechanism, to feel very comfortable.  The point is, every spot in the Cosmos has a temperature.  Heat, in it’s various forms and degrees, permeates the Cosmos.

Humans contribute to these variances in temperature.  We are part of the Cosmic Temperature Matrix.  In the same way, consciousness permeates the Cosmos.  Like heat, we can’t look out and see consciousness, we can only see its effect.  Human Consciousness is part of the Cosmic Consciousness Matrix.

Whether Humans act as receptors of Consciousness, or as producers of Consciousness is beyond the scope of this blog post.  Those are arguments for another title and heading.  However, it is my speculation that we do quite a bit of both.

Till next time, remember, you are a vessel for consciousness, and that makes you spectacular.

A Modern English Interpretation of The Lords Prayer

I grew up with The Lords Prayer.  I should say I grew up with The Lords Prayer at arm’s length.  I was born, and raised in a Jehovah’s Witness household, though now I follow a religious philosophy that can only be described as freestyle Eastern Orthodox Christianity … I’m very fond of Sufi poetry and Carl Sagan.  In the household of my childhood, it was kosher to read The Lords Prayer in passing, as part of the Bible in its entirety.  However, to pray The Lords Prayer, or to contemplate the depth of its message, was expressly forbidden … idolatry, and all that.

What happens when you tell a boy not to do something?  What happens when you harp into the ground at some kid that chewing tobacco and smoking a pipe is evil and bad?  He’s going to hide his tobacco pouch in his gym shoes, and stash his pipe outside in some old tree stump, sick and woozy as both practices make him.  So it is with The Lords Prayer.

I had difficulty grasping the meaning, and the message behind The Lords Prayer.  You know, my father went around the country selling pumping jacks to oil companies.  My ancestors fought horrific wars to get rid of kingdoms and lords, and such other nuisances.  As far as evil goes, there’s that chewing tobacco and pipe smoking dynamic creeping right back up to the surface once again.  Furthermore, if you loan someone $10 because they forgot their lunch, you’d be buying their lunch every day if you didn’t expect them to pay you back … you‘d go broke.

I had difficulty grasping the meaning, and the message behind The Lords Prayer.  I had difficulty grasping the meaning, and the message behind The Lords Prayer, till I examined The Lords Prayer critically, in its historical context.  The concepts, the message behind The Lords Prayer were not originally expressed in English by a 20th Century Hillbilly, with a lexicon of around half a million words from which to draw.  The concepts and message behind The Lords Prayer were originally expressed by a 1st Century Judean Heir Apparent being financed by remnants of the Persian Empire, and more than likely several other political entities, including Ethiopia.

This 1st Century Judean Prince expressed himself in Aramaic, a member of the Semitic Language Family.  The language as it was spoken was almost entirely influenced by Ancient Hebrew, which had been a static language for about 200 to 300 years before The Lords Prayer was first uttered.  Mutations of pronunciation, variances in emphasis, and slight differences in the funny way Hebrew and Aramaic shove words together … called ‘constructs’ … classify Ancient Hebrew and Aramaic as two different languages.  Ancient Hebrew had a lexicon of about 10,000 words, Aramaic may have had a few thousand more, if it was lucky.

Jesus, Jesus Ben-David, the 1st Century Prince to whom I’ve been referring, was attempting to express concepts and ideas of which the language he was using simply could not facilitate.  He wasn’t speaking English, He wasn’t speaking Greek, and He wasn’t speaking Latin … He was speaking Aramaic, a language of goat herding philosophers who didn’t normally have to say a lot of things to a lot of people.  Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, resorted to the use of  parables, and idioms in His teachings.

The Lords Prayer is idiomatic in its entirety.   Unfortunately, the ancient translators of The Lords Prayer simply exchanged Aramaic words for English words, then rearranged the words so they’d sound pretty in a sentence.  The idiomatic context of the verbiage was ignored entirely.  Luckily, we have a modern language which is directly descended from ancient Aramaic, which we find in modern Syriac.  Serendipitously, Syriac has retained the tradition of idiomatic expression from its roots in antiquity, to the extent that many of the idiomatic expressions used in the language today are very ancient.

So, following is the end result of a life time of exploration, and contemplation.  I would like to point out here that I am fluent in Hebrew, but speak about three words of Aramaic.  I’ve had to rely on others interpretations of the idioms being scrutinized, as well as my own common sense and humble knowledge of the subject in general.

A Modern English Interpretation of The Lords Prayer

Our Father Who Art in Heaven,
Cosmic Entity, Providential, our Originator and to  our Kindred,

Hallowed be Thy Name,
Whose Very Name fails to describe Your Completeness,

(NOTE: In Ancient Israel, to know the name of something was to have control over it. This concept has a basis in reality. Try this experiment. The next time you see your buddy Bob walking down the street, holler at him.  Say, ‘Hey, Bob!’ Your buddy Bob will stop his progress, turn to you, and say something like, ‘Yes, Jerry! What can I do for you?’ Now, if your buddy Bob was busy doing something important, and you interrupted him for trivial, superfluous reasons, old Bob would probably not be very happy with you. In Jewish Tradition, one does not directly utter the name of God, as ones plight might not be nearly as critical as one thinks it is.)

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven,
When we come to live according to our true nature and purpose we will be in harmony with You,

Give us this day our daily bread,
Let us focus on the present,

And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,
Let us not focus on past events,

And lead us not into temptation,
Nor let us focus on expectations of the future,

But deliver us from evil,
But let us harmonize with our true natures,

For Thine is the Power, and the Glory of the Kingdom of Heaven, both Now, and Forever, and unto the Ages of Ages,
For You are all of Everything in all of Time and in all of Space.

There it is!

A young woman named Mary praying The Lords Prayer in Aramaic at St. Serge and Bacchus Church in Maaloula, Syria.

Exit Stage Right

I’ve contemplated death Platonically, as an academic exercise.  To study death otherwise would be a waste of time, as one could not publish their conclusions.

Brian Reed with a camel in Iraq.In my personal life, I’ve recently had an event that caused me to revisit my contemplations on the subject.  This is a picture of my cousin, Brian Reed.  Brian was an adventurous man who died tragically in a motorcycle accident just a day or so ago.

This blog post is dedicated to the memory of my comrade and cousin Brian.   As such, it is also a venue to shamelessly garner sympathy for the loss of Brian from as broad an audience as possible.

Carl Sagan said that the purpose of Humanity is to be a venue for the Cosmos to examine Its Self.  Somewhere in my study of religion I came across an ancient Christian text that proclaims it is the nature of Humanity to seek God … I can’t seem to find this passage again, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was written.  Though the two expressions use different verbiage and are from divergent camps on the subject, they say the same thing.  In any event, using the criteria that Humans are intended to be vessels for experiences, Brian was an expert practitioner of Humanity.

This is what I came up with.

The human is comprised primarily of two distinct  rudiments, matter and consciousness.  Time, Space, nor Energy are directly discussed at this juncture, as they impact the subject matter to a much lesser degree. Matter is very easily discernible, to the extent that most of us come to believe that matter is all we are.  On the other hand, consciousness is so ethereal that it is undelineateable scientifically … yet we experience physically through consciousness.  Life is the state of consciousness and matter becoming a team.

There comes a point to all of us when the body sustains wear and damage to the extent that matter is no longer able to retain consciousness, and consciousness is no longer able to sustain matter.   The team is forced to dissolve, and the constituents go their separate ways.

The fate of our matter after death is obvious.  After death our physical being is recycled by nature  … “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  The very atoms of which we are made then have the bragging rights to a most spectacular adventure.

The fate of our consciousness is far less obvious.  The question of the disposition of our consciousness after death has been a subject of debate and speculation for thousands, and thousands of years.  I don’t think anyone really knows, and I won’t even pretend that I have a definitive answer.  However, it seems logical to me that if our matter is assimilated back into the infinite store of Cosmic matter, it must be so with our consciousness.  I believe that our consciousness is absorbed by the infinite consciousness of the Cosmos.  I also believe that whatever ethereal construct of which our consciousness is made then has bragging rights to a most spectacular adventure.

Till next time, remember, you are yourself spectacular, and, if I had my druthers, I druther you didn’t run with scissors, nor ride motorcycles.