An uplifting news item, poem, thought or quotation each day. Archive of past entries
8 August 2004

We are gold miners, exploring the depths of our minds with only our headlamps for illumination. Wherever the light of self-awareness penetrates, discoveries will eventually be realized, and we will be enriched with new insights, new ways to respond to our world.

-Josh Mitteldorf

7 August 2004

In this week’s medical news, there is another hopeful sign that effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is within sight. Agglomerations of amyloid proteins have been identified as the causative agent, and an experimental vaccine effectively attacks these proteins and reverses dementia in mice. 

We seldom take notice, but medical science has been making steady progress against diseases of old age for decades. In the 1960’s, just as life expectancies were expected to start flattening out because all the "easy" (infectious) diseases had been conquered, research started coming to fruition that extends the human life span at the upper end. The human life span in industrial societies has been increasing at more than 3 years per decade! for about 16 decades now. No end is in sight, and if anything, the trend is accelerating.


6 August 2004

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. The point is: to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps, then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet


5 August 2004
The wooden rule: Do unto others as you would.
The iron rule: Do unto others before they do unto you.
The silver rule: Do unto others as they have done unto you.
The golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The platinum rule: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.

- Ron Moyer

4 August 2004

No man is useless who has a friend, and if we are loved we are indispensable.

Robert Louis Stevenson, misquoted

3 August 2004


This Dharma, incomparably profound and minutely subtle, is rarely encountered even in hundreds of thousands of millions of ages.

Now we can see it, Hear it, hold and maintain it.

May we completely realize the Tathagata's true meaning.

-The opening verse


2 August 2004

Plants use photosynthesis to turn CO2 into organic matter, and animals eat the plants, further transforming their chemical energy. That's what we think of as life. But life on earth is vastly more diverse. Sulfur-eating archaea may have been the first life to evolve on earth.

Ten km deep in the ocean, far below where light can penetrate, giant tube worms are adapted to the dark and the tremendous pressures. 

They hang out at sulfur vents and make a living from the chemical energy in the H2S that wells up from the earth. Fish and shrimp eat the worms, and a whole ecology is founded.

Deep under the soil of the earth, the total mass of anaerobic bacteria exceeds the biomass of all living things above the surface. Life extends at least several kilometers below the surface. Underground bacteria make their living from the inorganic chemistry of iron and dissolved oxygen.

Life on other planets? We don't know, but it may be inconceivably more different than "little green men".