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Archive for May, 2012


i think one thing that would change politics forever if we could find a way to bring it to the fore-front of our awareness more often is the fact that all the atoms in our body, every single one, came from some dying star somewhere, probably billions of years ago. and in another billion years we’ll probably all be back inside some other star.

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for example, stephen hawking has proposed his famous chronology protection conjecture which states that stable worm holes allowing macroscopic transportation of matter through time would be instantly destroyed in the moment of their creation, even though general relativity predicts their theoretical possibility due to the curved nature of spacetime. he makes this assertion to preserve a notion of cause and effect in which causes always precede their effects. without such a “time always flows forward”-rule, he supposes, the universe would collapse upon itself because without such a rule, events could become their own undoing. yet the notion that the universe requires some sort of guarantee of existence is nothing more than yet another rationalist metaphor. kant pointed out long ago that it is a mistake to view “existence” as a predicate condition, i.e. an attribute of something. to say that the universe needs time to always flow forward it to say that the existence of the universe is a predicate condition requiring something to guarantee it. in other words, the chronology protection conjecture is just another word for “god.” straight line metaphors often seem to carry this flavor of the divine. certainly i can concede to professor hawking that such a notion seems to be indispensable to our understanding of our own limited experience. but who are we to claim to know the mind of god?



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one could very well then ask: what do you propose to put in place of cause and effect? a metaphor of correlation? a metaphor of systemic selection of adaptive variations (contingency dependent shaping)? does this not just dress up cause and effect in different clothing? well perhaps it does. from a god’s eye view it’s indeed possible that talking about “systems” instead of “causes” amounts to the “same thing.” problem is, i don’t have a god’s eye view and for me to invent new metaphors i seem bound to use some of the language of old metaphors. kant’s effort to synthesize the dialectic of rationalism vs. empiricism required him to use the language of both, and i suspect he used a bit more of the former than the latter due to the context in which he matured and lived his entire life. metaphors don’t seem to change overnight—neither do neural connections. we know that to change a system requires energy. the universe left “on its own” seems to favor entropy. randomness. the question for me is: how can we act in such a way that “the system” develops novel characteristics, and do these take us in the direction we want to go?



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these days i am trying to be less drawn toward using the metaphor of cause and effect. instead i’m trying to stick to describing my experience and figuring out what i want to be different in the future. why is a very seductive word for me. i’m beginning to see that it’s often a fruit best left untasted.


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a thousand sails saw i swimming on the sea
and not one of them a dolphin fin
come to take me on a trip or blend
the waves in a love of all of me.
so i balanced upon the stern of my own home
grown boat and there beheld a sight of thee
that once upon a dusk or midnight clear of love
did dash my dreams upon the shore.
this day you see was not like all the rest–
myself i lost in thine eyes, i took a test
to see if in you beat my own heart of love. tired of that
you tore my open heart from out my chest. in-
        sensate then i sank to troll the ocean floor
        for all i remembered of life above.



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we grow old
our cells senesce,
what stirs
our heart is less
than a cane
in the dark.
of course
one could say
it’s all one
odd hope for
change,
in the mind
of a lonely god.



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too late we learn of all that is dear
and build our boat upon the waves
that toss us to and fro
and take us to our graves.

the day spent as a lie i told you once
was no truth you cannot see
for yourself any time
you walk upon the sea.

and hence i beg you bargain not
with your future oh so dear
the price is cost, silence
is almost a day worn out

in all you held in fear.


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oh dearest love i thank you now
for the authenticity you shared with me,
i thank you for the flowers of your heart.
i thank you for your secret
eternal tenderness.
i thank you too for the vision of your child
and the way you quickly smiled a smile
that wept my heart,
that bound me up in some eternal way
of thought in the kindest eyes
god ever did impart.


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i remember love
the way a river
remembers
mountain snow
waiting for the voice
that will take it
over the falls



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you were the shadow
when i wanted light.
i asked too many questions.
the no you said
didn’t really take me by surprise.
but then how often does it happen
that we tarry under a full grown moon,
knowing it only as it is, loving
only its light?



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