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

23 October 2005

Why does the software lag so far behind the hardware?  Why is it we're still waiting to drive those GM prototypes from 1978 that got 200 miles per gallon?  And how about the unlimited cheap energy from fusion power - just 30 years in our future, same as it was 40 years ago?

When I get impatient with the pace of technological change, I like to remember a (true) story about how it used to was.  

The first human tools were stone scrapers, manufactured according to the "two-stone method".  Our ancestors learned to take a small stone in hand and crash it down hard against a large stone, so that the small stone broke into pieces that had sharp edges, useful for cutting sinews, or getting the meat off the bone.

Later, the "three-stone method" was invented.  The small stone was held down against the large one, while a third stone was used as a chisel to shape the tool into a crude knife or spearhead.

From the advent of the two-stone method, the discovery of the three-stone method required 35,000 years.

~ Josh Mitteldorf

22 October 2005

Here's how Brian Browne Walker concludes his translation of the Hua Hu Jing of Lao Tzu:

With all this talking, what has been said?
The subtle truth can he pointed at with words, but it can't be contained by them.

Take time to listen to what is said without words, to obey the law too subtle to be written, to worship the unnameable and to embrace the unformed.

Love your life.  Trust the Tao.

Make love with the invisible subtle origin of the universe, and you will give yourself everything you need.

You won't have to hide away forever in spiritual retreats.  You can be a gentle, contemplative hermit right here in the middle of everything, utterly unaffected, thoroughly sustained and rewarded by your integral practices.

Encouraging others, giving freely to all, awakening and purifying the world with each movement and action, you'll ascend to the divine realm in broad daylight.

The breath of the Tao speaks, and those who are in harmony with it hear quite clearly.

21 October 2005

Gently I took that which ungently came,
And without scorn forgave : – Do thou the same.
A wrong done to thee think a cat's-eye spark
Thou wouldst not see, were not thine own heart dark.

from Forebearance, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born this day in 1772

20 October 2005

"It has been over two years now since I discovered that I have a fatal disease. (My illness has allowed me time to prepare my family for a future in which I will not be physically present to them. It has given me the opportunity to tie up all the loose ends that everyone's life always has. I have been given the opportunity of reconnecting with those who have taught me, and those who have shared their lives with me, and those who have touched me. I have been able to reconnect with those from whom I had become estranged over the years. It has given me time in which to apologize for past wrongs and to seek forgiveness for past mistakes. But even more than all these, I have found out what it is like to live in the light of death, to live with death sitting on my shoulder. It has had a powerful effect on me. It has changed my perspectives on the world and has altered my priorities. I like the person that I am becoming much more than I ever liked myself before. There is a kind of spontaneity and joyfulness in my life now that I rarely knew before. I am free of the tyranny of all the things that 'have to get done'. I realize more than I ever did before that I exist in a web of relationships and support that nourish me, that clinging to each other here against the dark beyond is what makes us human. I have come to know what it means to give and to receive love unconditionally. To live in the bright light of death is to live a life in which colors and sounds are more intense, in which smiles and laughs are irresistibly infectious, in which touches and hugs are tender, almost beyond belief."

Bill Bartholomew

19 October 2005

"One of the functions of intelligence is to take account of the dangers that come from trusting solely to the intelligence"

~ Lewis Mumford, born this day in 1895

Mumford was a thoughtful critic of human architecture and technology, chronicling what is most promising and most troubling about the accelerated and intermingled changes, social, technical and political, that made the twentieth century.

"If we are to create balanced human beings, capable of entering into world-wide co-operation with all other men of good will--and that is the supreme task of our generation, and the foundation of all its other potential achievements – we must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization."

18 October 2005

"The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home."
~ David Suzuki

17 October 2005

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

~ Antonio Machado
Tr Robert Bly