5 February 2006
What to remember in the midst of a crisis
Heavy emotion clouds our thinking. Avoid making major decisions until your head
clears (if this is an option). Just manage the situation for now.
Reach out for support if there are friends whom you know you can trust. Reach out for support even if you’re afraid you can’t trust anyone.
(Remember that the crisis may be making trust difficult for you.)
Reserve a portion of your attention for observation of your feelings and your responses; this is a special opportunity for learning and growth.
But do not hasten to form conclusions about what the situation's lessons may
~ Josh Mitteldorf
4 February 2006
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."
Abbey, 20th-century polemicist and desert anarchist, a character of elaborate
contradictions and eccentricities whose words either infuriated or delighted
3 February 2006
exploration is well worth while. For there is something within the
mind of man and beast, something that is neither intellect nor feeling, but
deeper than both, to which the name of intuition may fitly be given.
When science can truly explain why a horse will take its drunken rider for
miles through the dark and find its own way home; why field mice seal up
their holes before the cold weather comes; why sheep move away toward the
lee side of a mountain before severe storms; when it can tell us what warns
the tortoise to retire to rest and refuge before every shower of rain; and
when it can really explain who guides a vulture many miles distant to the
dead body of an animal, we may then learn that intuition is something of a
better guide than intellect. Science has wrested from the clasp of
Nature some astonishing secrets, but thus far it has not discovered the
source of intuition."
Paul Brunton, The Secret
In the 70-odd years since
these words were written, science has successfully explained some of these
phenomena, but abandoned others as 'anomalies', while holding to a rigid
conviction that the known physical media and the known five senses must be
adequate to the task, though we may not at present perceive the
mechanism. Part of the problem is that some of these abilities appear
sporadically, and are replicable only in a statistical sense; and yet the
same can be said of particle physics, and that is not held to be a barrier
to the latter's scientific legitimacy. New
Scientist last week makes the oft-repeated, misleading claim that "Decades
of scientific research into parapsychology have produced no convincing
demonstration of the paranormal that can be reliably reproduced - the acid
test of scientific inquiry."
Mysteries and challenges
remain in the extra-sensory abilities of both man and beast, and until
science fully engages with them, science will be the poorer - while people
inclined to superstitious belief systems will have less reason to put their
faith in science.
2 February 2006
As a performer, Fritz Kreisler made music his own. He freely edited the music, and composed his own cadenzas to the great romantic concerti. His expression was always very personal, and reached right to the hearts of his listeners.
A generation later, Jascha Heifetz “introduced the modern school of violin playing which prizes complete technical command, cleanness of execution, and fidelity to the score…
“…all violin partisans have to acknowledge the singular figure of Heifetz who perfected every apsect of violin craft and infused his playing with a rugged and disciplined musicianship and sophisticated artistry. No other field of music has been so decisively dominated by one musician. No other performer has mastered his or her instrument so completely. No other artist has sustained his or her performance standards and musical integrity over so long a period of time and over so vast a repertoire.”
(from an Amazon
Review by Edward H. Oh)
recording of Kreisler playing Schumann Romance
recording of Heifetz playing a Sarasate showpiece
Fritz Kreisler and Jascha
Heifetz were born 26 years apart, both on 2 February
1 February 2006
important corollary of the Uncertainty
Principle of quantum mechanics is that nothing can ever be perfectly
still. (Otherwise its position
and velocity could both be known arbitrarily well.)
For example, even at absolute zero temperature, when all the energy
is drained out of a crystal that can possibly be drained out, there is some
residual wiggling and jiggling that remains.
what if there’s no crystal to wiggle and jiggle? Turns out, the vacuum, too, does its
own dance. Particles
of all sorts pop into existence for a few femtoseconds, then disappear
before you can pin them down, but their transient existence is believed to
physicists think that the negative
gravity that is driving the cosmic expansion might be traceable to
zero-point oscillations of the vacuum of space.
One problem with this theory is that the calculated zero-point
energy of the vacuum is enormous, while the observed cosmologic
acceleration predicts a tiny zero-point energy. The
is hypothesized to have occurred in the first fractional second of the
universe was driven by vacuum fluctuations of a particular field.
Daily routines foster the
illusion that the world is “ordinary”, logical, and well-understood. Those
of us who take a rational, scientific view of the world presume that this
view is founded in science. Physicists
31 January 2006
"Whereas Beethoven was the first composer to assert himself as independent from the constraints of the 18th century aristocracy,
Franz Peter Schubert, born a generation later in
1797 [31 January], was perhaps the first bohemian. The son of a school teacher, Schubert declared himself fit for nothing but composing music, and lived a modest existence with the support primarily of friends while he quietly revolutionized the art in his brief thirty-one years on earth. The first of the great Viennese composers who was actually from Vienna was barely known, except for his songs, in the city that was mad for Rossini and other more flamboyant forms of entertainment…Of all the great composers, we perhaps know the least about Schubert. He was always poor and unworldly and relied on the support of his circle of friends. Many masterpieces were only performed at the middle class parties dubbed as
Schubertiads by his inner
Where Beethoven is ultimately a classical composer, Schubert truly paves the way toward the full flowering of Romanticism with his lyric songlike themes that develop discursively and episodically."
- from a biographical sketch by
to Fantasy for Violin and Piano
30 January 2006
TO REMEMBER WHEN WAKING
that first hardly noticed moment to which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other more secret,
moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.
What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.
To be human is to become visible
carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.
You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.
Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be,
what urgency calls you to your one love?
shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the waiting desk?
~ David Whyte
House of Belonging)