The philosophical principle of maximum diversity, says Dyson, states “that the laws of Nature are constructed in such a way as to make the universe as interesting as possible.”

The Guardian reviews the scientific futurology of Freeman Dyson

1 November 2014

Igniting in you a light not my own

A genie funneling into a lamp,
Subliming as a gift to you, rapture
I have not known.

                With these words, come a light
Now I offer you transfiguration
(If you want it)
                You will not be the same
Hereafter, in times when you remember

— Josh Mitteldorf

2 November 2014

Looking reality in the eye

Facing the truth upfront rather than turning from it will keep your life moving in a forward and positive direction.

Most of us have had the experience of being in possession of a piece of truth that we were afraid to share because we knew it would not be well received. There are also instances in which we ourselves have been unable to handle some truth confronting us…Usually the truth is evident, and we can see it if we choose, but…

We avoid the truth because it scares us…Nevertheless, we can only avoid the truth for so long before it begins to make itself known in ever more forceful ways.

…so the sooner we let down our defenses, the better… At the same time, we can be patient with people around us who have a hard time seeing the truth, because we know how painful it can be. Whatever the truth is, we make a sincere effort not to close our eyes to it, but instead to be grateful that we have access to it.

Daily Om

Though I believe in the wisdom of these words, I also think they can become a way to reinforce our despair. If you find yourself saying, “The reality is that there’s nothing I can do” then maybe it’s wise to ask if this is your clear perception or something less robust. Maybe it’s safer to say, “pay attention to subjects you are tempted to avoid, and see where that leads.” —JJM

3 November 2014

Where you stumble, there your treasure lies.

— Joseph Campbell

4 November 2014

Oswaldo Ferrari interviews Jorge Luis Borges, 1984

Ferrari: Throughout your writing, you have referred to what’s divine, including the supernatural. You have also accepted, in one of our dialogues, Murena’s words about beauty being able to transmit an otherworldly truth. That is, you seem to admit that transcendence exists but you don’t call it God.

Borges: I do think that it’s safer not to call it God. If we call it God, then we are thinking of an individual and that individual is mysteriously three, according to the doctrine of the Trinity, which to me is quite inconceivable. On the other hand, if we employ other words, perhaps less precise or vivid ones, then we could approach the truth, if an approach to truth is possible. Or it could be something that we ignore.

read more

5 November 2014

The Blue

A jaded traveler with an invisible passport,
I am at home with this heaven of the unforeseen,
waiting for the next whoosh of sudden departure
when, with no advance warning, to tiny augery,
the unpredictable plummets into our lives
from somewhere that looks like sky.

— Billy Collins (fr Panhala)

6 November 2014

with thanks once again to Joe Riley and

Grass roots politics

In the end, the people’s movement will triumph. We don’t know how long it will take or what will be effective.

Occupy Wall St was quelled for now. But the anti-fracking movement has had substantial success, under-reported in the news, in making this particular environmental travesty less attractive to the profiteers

The growing tide of tar sands resistance—seen in blockades, tree sits, petitions, education efforts and calls to divest—is having a measurable negative impact on the bottom line of the tar sands industry, according to a new report, prompting researchers to declare that “business as usual for tar sands is over.”

from “Tar Sands Resistance Blowing Huge Hole in Oil Industry's Bottom Line. 'Business as usual for Big Oil—particularly in the tar sands—is over.”
— read more at Common Dreams

7 November 2014

Listen to November Woods, tone poem by Arnold Bax, born this day in 1885.
Scottish National Orchestra

Movie music (before there were movies) interwoven with Debussey and a touch of magic.

8 November 2014

Celebration of amateur music

As an amateur, I feel free not just to make mistakes, but to render an interpretation that is more personal, even idiosyncratic, than would be acceptable for a professional concert or a commercial recording.

In this, recorded today, I am playing the Prelude and Fugue in G minor from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2

— Josh Mitteldorf

9 November 2014

Economics of sustainable farming

Organic farming is getting smarter. Industrial farming is running up against the consequences of decades of short-term thinking.

Organic is already superior in every way except labor intensivity. Expect a threshold to be crossed in the near future, after which organic will have a clear economic edge.

The latest permaculture methods can deliver much more than just double or triple the yield of conventional farming. I recently came across this article by David Blume chronicling his nine-year permaculture enterprise in California. Running a CSA for 300-450 people on two acres of land, he achieved yields eight times what the Department of Agriculture says is possible per square foot. He didn’t do it by “mining the soil” either – soil fertility increased dramatically over his time there.
read more from Charles Eisenstein

10 November 2014

Veterans’ Day

War-weary Americans are ready for a new direction, whether official Washington is ready or not.
— Dennis Kucinich

11 November 2014

A life dedicated to peace

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”

— Thích Nhất Hạnh

12 November 2014

“You cannot run away from a weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?”

— Robert Louis Stevenson, born this day in 1850

13 November 2014

"There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.”

— P Teilhard de Chardin

14 November 2014

The web of domination has become the web of Reason itself,
and this society is fatally entangled in it.


— Herbert Marcuse

That which is cannots be true. –HM

15 November 2014

Give up all pretense of dignity.
Embrace love wherever you find it.
Never fear to be ridiculous.

— Josh Mitteldorf

16 November 2014

Ed Balcourt


THE BURIED statue through the marble gleams,
Praying for freedom, an unwilling guest,
Yet flooding with the light of her strange dreams
The hard stone folded round her uncarved breast.

Founded in granite, wrapped in serpentine,
Light of all life and heart of every storm,
Doth the uncarven image, the Divine,
Deep in the heart of each man, wait for form.

Eva Gore Booth

17 November 2014

“Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other.”

— Sojourner Truth

18 November 2014

Listen to Oriental Moods of Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, born this day in 1859

19 November 2014

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.  It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.  Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

— Robert F Kennedy, born this day in 1925

20 November 2014

These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed.

— Abigail Adams

...that she might have lived to experience the cascade of surprises, crises,
and unexpected marvels that is the 21st Century.             – JJM

21 November 2014

Whose children?

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.

— Kahlil Gibran

22 November 2014

The future depends on innovation.

Innovation depends on creative inspiration.

Creative inspiration depends on playing when you were supposed to be hard at work.

— Josh Mitteldorf

23 November 2014

Things to do with your feet

1. Catch crabs
2. Shuck peanuts
3. Wash your face
4. Thread a needle


24 November 2014

« Il y a des choses qui viennent à l'esprit même de ceux qui n’en ont pas.»

“There are truths that arise in the spirit, even of those who don’t have one.”

— Eugene Ionesco, born this day in 1909


It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.

25 November 2014

Breathing in the Golden Ratio

Fibonacci numbers are each about 1.62 times as big as the last. The number is called the golden ratio, and has been known at least since the time of Pythagoras (500 BC) both as a fertile mathematical idea and as proportion found in natural plants and in art.

3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…

In yogic breathing, the outbreath is longer than the inbreath, and the breath held at the top can be longer than either. Time your breathing to your pulse. Slow the breath and the pulse simultaneously. Here are some breathing rhythms to try:"

Simple Fibonacci: Count 3 heartbeats breathing in, 5 breathing out. When you are comfortable slowing down, count 5 in and 8 out.
Continue with 8 in, 13 out, and if you’re comfortable with slower breathing, move on to 13 in, 21 out and then to 21 in, 34 out.

Variant: Try slowing gradually, adding one heartbeat each breath to either the in or the outbreath, maintaining the ratio as close to 1.62 as possible. I like the way it keeps the computational mind engaged while slowing the brain waves, but it may not be right for all.

Add breath retention: Breathe in 3 heartbeats, hold for 8, breathe out 5, hold the outbreath 2, breathe in 3…
Slower: Breathe in 5, hold 13, breathe out 8, hold 3, breathe in 5…
Even Slower: Breathe in 8, hold 21, breathe out 13, hold 5, breathe in 8…
Samadhi: Breathe in 13, hold 34, breathe out 21, hold 8, breathe in 13…

This can also be done with gradual increases in duration, and requires so much mental concentration to keep track of the numbers that this alone is a form of single-pointed mind.

Any of these exercises can be done through alternate nostrils, in the style of yogic cleansing.


26 November 2014

Thanksgiving Dispensation

You are not a thief, but a great deal of plundering has occurred, of which you are a minor beneficiary.

You may partake freely of what is freely offered for your convenience and enjoyment.

You may stand strong for justice on behalf of the Earth and those who have been mistreated.

You may not complain that the world has been unfair.


27 November 2014

Wishing you and your loved ones the blackest of Fridays

Look, I’ve got to run right now, no time to explain. But until I can get back to you, please don’t buy anything. Yes, I know it’s a strange request. I’m asking you to trust me. I’ll explain later.

Please don’t buy anything.


28 November 2014

“Our deepest fears are the dragons that guard our greatest treasures.”

„Unsere tiefsten Ängste sind Drachen vergleichbar, die unsere tiefsten Schätze bewachen.“

— Rainer Maria Rilke

29 November 2014

Be the change you want to see
in your children.

— Josh Mitteldorf

30 November 2014

Queen of Hearts — Archive of past entries. Bullfrog Design