Archive for the 'Research/Extracts/Abstracts of Interest' Category

The Thorns

May 3, 2017

Portland Phoenix 1/17

January 13, 2017

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION – because you’re already in it

topic surveyed and astutely cut apart into palatable pieces by Nick Schroeder

From what i can gather giving credit where credit is due one decent reparation for what may seem “stolen” . Taking with gratitude and acknowledgement of ones own awe in otherness or observing and weaving in admirable parts of otherness with awareness to where and how such an addition came about challenges us to dig into history, to follow a thread that has crossed our paths backwards. sometimes we are hit with the full story but more often than not a pieces of things fall from context. It almost like instead of being in love with a thing, good appropriation is going slow enough by it or scooping the thing up with a statement of “i would like to know more about where you came from” or even of consent ” can you tell me more about where you came from? “


November 28, 2016



  1.  Is the “Holy Land” a construct of exclusivity?
  2. How does one challenge empire in a spiritual practice?
  3. Does Mother Earth have rights?


OZENFANT – Foundations of Modern Art

May 11, 2016

The search for intensity dominates the whole of modern painting.  There can be no intensity without simplification, and, to some degree, no intensity without distortion: the distortion of what is seen, naturally.  Simplification, distortion of forms, and modification of natural appearances, are ways of arriving at an intense expressiveness of form.  All such means are analogous because they succeed in establishing certain dominants.  in this respect the most important influences on Cezanne were El Greco in regard to distortion, Corot for simplification, and doubtless Manet for colour.   p.60

But the only purpose of Corot and Manet is to create in us the emotion they themselves felt in contact with something objective or imagined.  Frenchmen, they did not go beyond what was indispensable, which is one way of submitting without servility to the natural laws that govern our sensibility…

…but there is one historic reality which must be emphasized, and that is the Impressionists…They were individualists who had accepted a conventional mode of expression…

…Cezanne’s problem is always how to find in nature communicable formulas adequate to the expression of interior concepts.  p 61


Deadbeat Presents: Day One of Winter, Enter Derrick Jensen

December 22, 2013

p. 303-304 of “The Culture of Make Believe”

“Don’t.  Don’t look.  Don’t listen.  Don’t love.  Don’t let the other be.  Don’t.  The best way to gaurantee you won’t be in relationship with something is to not see it.  The best way to make certain you won’t see something is to destroy it.  And completing this awful circle, it is easiest to destroy something you refuse to see.  This in a nutshell, is the key to our civilisation’s ability to work its will on the world and on other cultures: Our power (individually and socially) derives from our steadfast refusal to enter into meaningful and mutual relationships.

This refusal — this key to power — was carried forward and used by slavers, Columbus, Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers, Hitler.  It is put forward today by politicians who send soldiers to kill at a distance, and by soldiers who do the killing.  It is pushed by CEO’s and ohers who wish to reap the benefits of our economic system, and by purveyors of porn who tell us it’s OK to represent women as objects to be “fucked in every hole” (or, judging by my Alta Vista search and the prevalent statistics, to be raped) but fail to mention any form of relationship at all.  It is okay, we are told incessantly (for incessant repetition is necessary to make this painful and eventually numbing lesson stick) to utilize resources, whether the resources are trees, fish, gold, diamonds, land, labor, warm, wet vaginas, or oil.  Bu one must never enter into relationship with this other who owns or who is a resource.  To do so would be to break the covenant with your God, whose name is Jealous, whose name is Power, because our power comes directly from your unwillingness (or, perhaps, in time, your inability) to maintain relationship: it is much easier to expl0it someone you do not consider a living being — a You, as Buber would have put it — much less a friend, a lover, a member of your family.  This is the key to understanding the difference beween indigenous and civilized warfare: Even in warfare the indigenous maintain relationships wih their honored enemy.  This is the key to understanding the difference between indigenous and civilized ways of living.  THi sis only one of many things those we enslave could tell us, if only we asked: They, too, are alive, and present another way of living, a way of living that is not — in conradistinction to our God and our science and our capitalism and everything else in our lives — jealous.  It is an inclusive way of living.  THey could tell us that things don’t have to be the way they are. “

June 23, 2013

The Velvet Underground – I Found a Reason

May 21, 2013

Snakes as Newscasters — Jeremy Narby

March 23, 2013

     “In my opinion, this is a typical example of a reductionist, illogical, and inexact answer.  Do people really venerate what they fear most? Do people suffering from phobia of spiders, for instance, decorate their clothes with images of spiders, saying, “We venerate these animals because we find them repulsive”? Hardly,  Therefore, I doubt that Siberian shamans embellish their costumes with a great number of ribbons representing serpents simply because they suffer from a phobia of these reptiles.  Besides, most of the serpents found in the costumes of Siberian shamans do not represent real animals, but snakes with two tails.  In a great number of creation myths, the serpent that plays the main part is not a real reptile; it is a cosmic serpent and often has two heads, two feet, or two wings or is so big that it wraps around the earth.  Furthermore, venerated serpents are often nonvenomous.  in the Amazon, the nonvenomous snakes such as anacondas and boas are the ones that people consider sacred, like the cosmic anaconda Ronin.  There is no lack of aggressive and deadly snakes with devastating venom in the Amazon, such as the bushmaster and the fer-de-lance, which are an everyday threat to life – and yet, they are never worshiped. 18

The answer, for me, lies elsewhere — which does not mean that primates do not suffer from an instinctive, or even a “programmed,” fear of snakes.  My answer is speculative, but could not be more restricted than the generally accepted theory of venom phobia.  It is that the global network of DNA-based life emits ultra-weak radio waves, which are currently at the limits of measurement, but which we can nonetheless perceive in states of defocalization, such as hallucinations and dreams.  As the aperiodic crystal of DNA is shaped like two entwined serpents, two ribbons, a twisted ladder, a cord, or a vine, we see in our trances serpents, ladders, cords, vines, trees, spirals, crystals, and so on.  Because DNA is a master of transformation, we also see jaguars, caymans, bulls, or any other living being.  But the favorite newscasters on DNA-TV seem unquestionably to be enormous, fluorescent serpents.

This leads me to suspect that the cosmic serpent is narcissistic — or, at least, obsessed with its own reproduction, even in imagery.”

Chapter 8 Through the Eyes of an Ant p.115-116

” During my readings, I learned wih astonishment that the wavelength at which DNA emits these photons corresponds exactly to the narrow band of visible light: “Its spectral distribution ranges at least from infrared (at about 900 nanometers) to ultraviolet (up to about 200 nanometers).”22

This was a serious trail, but I did not know how to follow it.  There was no proof that the light emitted by DNA was wha shamans saw in their visions.  Furthermore, there was a fundamental aspect of this photon emission that I could not grasp.  According to the researchers who measured it, its weakness is such that it corresponds “to the intensity of a candle at a distance of about 10 kilometers,” but it has “a surprisingly high degree of coherence, as compared to that of technical fields (laser).”23  How could an ultra-weak signal be highly coherent?  How could a distant candle be compared to a “laser”?

After thinking about it at length, I came to understand that the coherence of biophotons depended not so much on the intensity of their output as on its regularity.  In a coherent source of light, the quantity of photons emitted may vary, but the emission intervals remain constant.

DNA emits photons with such regularity that researchers compare the phenomenon to an “ultra-weak laser.”  I could understand that much, bu still could not see what it implied for my investigation.  I turned to my scientific journalist friend, who explained it immediately: “A coherent source of light, like a laser, gives the sensation of bright colors, a luminescence, and an impression of holographic depth.”24

Chapter 9 Receptors and Transmitters p 126-127

The rational approach starts from the idea that everything is explainable and that mysery is in some sense the enemy.  This means that it prefers pejorative, and even wrong, answers to admitting its own lack of understanding.

The molecular biology that considers that 97 percent of the DNA in our body is “junk” reveals not only its degree of ignorance, but the extent to which it is prepared to belittle the unknown.  Some recent hypotheses suggest that “junk DNA” might have certain functions after all. 14 But this does not hide the pejorative reflex: We don’t understand, so we shoot first, then ask questions.  This is cowboy science, and it is not as objective as it claims.  Neutrality, or simple honesty, would have consisted in saying ” for the moment, we do not know.” It would have been just as easy to call it mystery DNA, for instance.

The problem is not having presuppositions, but failing to make them explicit.  If biology said about the intentionality that nature seems to manifest at all levels, “we see it sometimes, but cannot discuss it without ceasing to do science according to our own criteria, “things would at least be clear.  But biology tends to project its presuppositions onto the reality it observes, claiming that nature itself is devoid of intention.

This is perhaps one of the most important things I learned during this investigation: We see what we believe, and not just the contrary; and to change what we see, it is sometimes necessary to change what we believe.

Chapter 10 Biology’s Blindspot p139-140

14.  According to several recent studies, non-coding DNA might actually play a structural role and display the characteristics of a language, the meaning of which remains to be determined.  See Flam (1994), Pennisi (1994), and Moore (1996).

18.  Drummond (1981), one of hte rare critics of Mundkur’s theory, writes: “Mundkur finds that the relevant empirical feature is its venom: ‘The serpent, in my view, has provoked veneration primarily through the power of its venom.’ In making this generalization, he apparently forgets the several examples of venerated but nonvenomous serpents (i.e., boas and pythons) cited in his useful survey of the ‘serpent cult.’  Indeed, it would be difficult to make sense of ‘The Serpent’s Children’ and other Amazonian anaconda myths in an ethnographic context where the fer-de-lance and bushmaster are an everyday threat to life” (p.643).  Meanwhile, Eliade (1964) writes about the costume of the Altaic shaman: ” A quantity of ribbons and kerchiefs sewn to its frock represent snakes, some of them being shaped into snakes’ heads with two eyes and open jaws.  The tails of the larger snakes are forked and sometimes three snakes have only one head.  It is said that a wealthy shaman should have 1,070 snakes on his costume” (p 152)
22.  Popp (1986, p. 207)
23.  Popp (1986, pp. 209, 207).  See also POpp, Gu and Li (1994) regarding the coherence in biophoton emission.
24.  Suren Erkman, personal communication, 1995.

The Cosmic Serpent — DNA — and the Origins of Knowledge.



March 5, 2013
It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we may not remain standing. – R. M. Rilke
Photo 2343

Ganga White

November 17, 2012

“What if religion was each other?
If our practice was our life?
If prayer was our words?
What if the Temple was the Earth?
If forests were our church?

If holy water—the rivers, lakes and oceans?
What if meditation was our relationships?
If the Teacher was life?
If wisdom was self-knowledge?
If love was the center of our being

Properly used, …

October 6, 2012

Properly used, danger can have an important meaning as a protective measure. Thus heaven has its perilous height protecting it against every attempt at invasion, and earth has its mountains and bodies of water, separating countries by their dangers. Thus also rulers make use of danger to protect themselves against attacks from without and against turmoil within.

My questioning returned 46  SHENG
the transformed hexagram with changing third and fifth line switched this to:
The Abysmal repeated.
If you are sincere, you have success in your heart,
And whatever you do succeeds.


Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its goal:
The image of the Abysmal repeated.
Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue
And carries on the business of teaching.

Water reaches its goal by flowing continually. It fills up every depression before it flows on. The superior man follows its example; he is concerned that goodness should be an established attribute of character rather than an accidental and isolated occurrence. So likewise in teaching others everything depends on consistency, for it is only through repetition that the pupil makes the material his own.

Six in the third place means:
Forward and backward, abyss on abyss.
In danger like this, pause at first and wait,
Otherwise you will fall into a pit in the abyss.
Do not act this way
Here every step, forward or backward, leads into danger. Escape is out of the question. Therefore we must not be misled into action, as a result of which we should only bog down deeper in the danger; disagreeable as it may be to remain in such a situation, we must wait until a way out shows itself.

Nine in the fifth place means:
The abyss is not filled to overflowing,
It is filled only to the rim.
No blame.
Danger comes because one is too ambitious. In order to flow out of a ravine, water does not rise higher than the lowest point of the rim. So likewise a man when in danger has only to proceed along the line of least resistance; thus he reaches the goal. Great labors cannot be accomplished in such times; it is enough to get out of the danger.

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Death by Sugar + Montaigne

July 17, 2012

“Premeditation of death is premeditation of freedom.  He who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.  Knowing how to die frees us from all subjection and constraint. . . He who would teach men to die would teach them to live. ”    – Montaigne

Bird Trail no. 1

May 21, 2012

When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.”  — Ursula K. LeGuin.

Mixed Rain, Body-Curls

February 12, 2012

Again we could only use the empty word “instinct” to explain the inaudible voice of nature that instructed this creature, as a tiny youngster, to search for an abandoned snail shell of suitable dimensions to put on as a suit of armor.  Crawling alone into the big world, it was never in doubt about what to do.  Inspecting old and vacant snail shells for one of suitable size, it seized the one of just the right dimensions and skillfully threaded it on behind as a protective covering to its soft and shrimp like body.  The body curl had been made by nature to assume the shape of the spiral in the snail shell, and one claw was made much larger than the other and of precisely the right shape to serve as as a close fitting lid to shut the door of the stolen house.  With time, the young hermit crab out grew its childhood dwelling and began to look for a more spacious apartment.  With all its vulnerable hind body curled up inside the snail shell, the long legged hermit stalked about with its borrowed house always on its back, inspecting the available supply of empty shells in the sea or on the beach.  When it found a vacant shell, seemingly tailor made for the period ahead, the dissatisfied tenant positioned himself with his old house beside the new one and only if the size was correct did he cautiously extract his long body-curl from one house and thread it into the next.  His brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles did like-wise and although no other vulnerable animal would think of this ingenious solution for body protection, hermit crabs in all oceans know this is just the right thing for them to do.

Thor Heyerdahl
Fatu – Hiva

p. 115 (Taboo)

Susan Sontag “On Photography”

December 29, 2011

Unlike the fine-art objects of pre-democratic eras, photographs don’t seem deeply beholden to the intentions of an artist.  Rather, they owe their existence to a loose cooperation (quasi-magical, quasi-accidental) between photographer and subject — mediated by an ever simpler and more automated machine, which is tireless, and which even when capricious can produce a result that is interesting and never entirely wrong.  (The sales pitch for the first Kodak, in 1888, was: ” You press the button, we do the rest.” The purchaser was guaranteed that the picture would be “without any mistake.” ) In the fairy tale of photography the magic box insures veracity and banishes error, compensates for inexperience and rewards innocence. ”  1973, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, p. 53.