5 September 2004
The decisions which you ponder, the contingencies that you
anticipate with agitation – these will not fix your destiny.
Fate arrives without heralds, and when the bell sounds, you respond
in an instant, yea or nay. Years of small choices and habits, all your
daily disciplines have prepared you for this moment, and you cannot
help but choose as you do.
4 September 2004
Lest we take it for granted...
The World Wide Web is a tribute to the generous and
cooperative characters of a billion human beings. In 1992, there were
a few people like Tim
Berners-Lee and Marc
Andreessen who had a sense that a large number of people would
benefit from global information sharing. But no one could have
predicted the cornucopia of facts, opinions, art and entertainment
that would shortly be at the fingertips of us all.
Why did a genius like Richard
Stallman work for years in an MIT basement to create software to
give away, when he could have hired himself out for millions?
Why was Linus
Torvalds able to recruit thousands of programmers worldwide to
work without compensation on an all-encompassing project, results to
be distributed free? What motivates people to share freely the best
gestures of their brains with others whom they've never met?
teen bloggers to university scholars, from rock stars to the New York
Review of Books, a lot of us have been doing it, and after our first
ten years, we have 4 billion web pages to share with each other.
3 September 2004
then is the creative state of mind, which so few have been able to be
in? It is first of all, one whose interest in what is being done is
wholehearted and total, like that of a young child. With this spirit,
it is always open to learning what is new, to perceiving new
differences and new similarities, leading to new orders and structures
rather than always tending to impose familiar orders and structure in
the field of what is seen."
Bohm was a physics teacher, author of a textbook
on quantum mechanics. Early in life, he wrote a journal
article that showed one way of looking at the Uncertainty
Principle was not as randomness but connection
that is so widespread (and instantaneous) that it appears random to
us. Late in life, he developed the idea of the hologram
as a model for the workings of the universe, and became a disciple of Krishnamurti.
2 September 2004
Remember, in times like these, that the broad sweep of history is in
the direction of democracy and human rights. War and slavery may
still be worldwide scourges in 2004, but they were more so in the past.
One of the brightest beacons of hope this year shines from the
progress toward acceptance of gay marriages. This breaks through
thousands of years of bigotry, and would have been unthinkable just a
few years ago.
authority: (Lev xviii)
"Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in
all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the
iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her"
In the Holy Roman Empire, Emperor Justinian imposed
severe penalties because, "as everyone knows, sodomy is a
principal cause of earthquake."
Sodomy laws have been repealed or struck down in 35 states, and
remain on the books in 13, (as tracked by ACLU).
1 September 2004
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a
miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
- Albert Einstein
31 August 2004|
Is it defeatist for us to accept pain and suffering? It's
certainly un-American. But, in addition to JS
Mill, there is
wisdom of the Orient to suggest that suffering is only temporary, but we
only extend it if we fear to feel it, or stray into the illusion
of unrealistic expectations.
"You know quite well, deep within you, that there is
only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is
Well then, love your suffering.
Do not resist it, do not flee from it.
It is only your aversion to it that hurts, nothing else."
"One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night."
- Kahlil Gibran
How does one know when to acceppt suffering and when to fight like
a revolutionary? This is an essential wisdom; by its nature, one
that must be asserted when one's intellect is compromised by
30 August 2004
"A state of exalted pleasure lasts only moments, or in some
cases, and with some intermissions, hours or days, and is the
occasional brilliant flash of enjoyment, not its permanent and steady
flame. Of this the philosophers who have taught that happiness is the
end of life were as fully aware as those who taunt them. The happiness
which they meant was not a life of rapture; but moments of such, in an
existence made up of few and transitory pains, many and various
pleasures, with a decided predominance of the active over the passive,
and having as the foundation of the whole, not to expect more from life
than it is capable of bestowing."
- John Stuart