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

17 July 2005

Events that upset us most are the ones that hurt our pride, or remind us of old fears; often the consequences are not objectively dire.

Our trust that all will turn out as it should is shaken, just when we need it most...and when that trust may best be warranted.

-Josh Mitteldorf

16 July 2005


We make ourselves a place apart
Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
Till someone find us really out.

'Tis pity if the case require
(Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
The understanding of a friend.

But so with all, from babes that play
At hide-and-seek to God afar,
So all who hide too well away
Must speak and tell us where they are.

-Robert Frost

15 July 2005

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn't make any sense.

- Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi 1207-1273

14 July 2005

Evolutionary biologists frankly don't understand the pervasiveness and tremendous variety of cooperation in nature.  Currently popular interpretations of Darwinism are based on the "selfish gene" idea popularized by Dawkins.  According to this, everything that looks like cooperation can really be explained by a gene's propensity to promulgate more copies of itself, disregarding or even battling for turf with other unrelated individuals, but helping in a limited way the close relatives who have a calculated chance of containing this same cooperative gene.

But the theory can't begin to encompass all the varied forms of cooperation, altruism and self-sacrifice reported in observations of the natural world.  Fish live in cooperative breeding groups, where most are content not to mate.  Ants and bees working together and sharing in a hive are not all close relatives, as was once thought.  Even one-celled micro-organisms regularly form cooperative groups: when starvation threatens, some cells sacrifice their lives for the sake of a few that survive.

In the realm of human behavior, classic economic theory stubbornly insists that we are all as selfish as we can be, while in the real world people continue to volunteer, to teach, to work hard for causes we believe in, and to accept lower wages so that we can do work we feel good about.  

Science Daily article on cooperation in fish.
How cooperation evolves is one of the 125 unresolved questions featured in Science magazine last week.
Description of article on yeast cells that sacrifice their lives for each other.
Unto Others, by Sober and Wilson

13 July 2005

Dreams are active parts of our inner being that speak to us in the vocabulary of personal association and feeling states. Whether or not you believe in the dream world as another dimension, dream signs are messages to the self, pointing to the outcome of present situations and predicting future occurrences. The world of dream speaks in the language of Symbols.

Dialog with dreams (active imagination), lucid dreaming and dream analysis are all powerful formats for developing inner guidance and discriminating intuition. Enter the Dreamtime and see what messages your unconscious and/or other-worldy beings are trying to tell you. 

From a website that offers free dream analysis via email. Submit a dream by email to:

12 July 2005

"Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be."

-Henry David Thoreau, born this day in 1819

11 July 2005

Over the last decade researchers looking for ways to help the sick and injured have stumbled onto techniques that enhance healthy animals – making them stronger, faster, smarter, longer-lived, even connecting their minds to robots and computers. Now science is on the verge of applying this knowledge to healthy men and women. The same research that could cure Alzheimer’s is leading to drugs and genetic techniques that could boost human intelligence. The techniques being developed to stave off heart disease and cancer have the potential to halt or even reverse human aging.

 More than Human, by Ramez Naam