Monday, September 10, 2007


The life force of the one whose multitude is called infinity, the universe or any other name for totality of existence and each of its variations is the dynamo of duality. Consciousness of any part of the one could not exist without differences detected by senses capable of comparing instances in sequence. There is a duality going loggerheads with itself over whether the senses are perceivers or projectors of the multitude by folks who believe wisdom is gaining the acuteness of intelligence to be able to define the difference in everything debating those who believe wisdom to be the ability to see the theme of the one in all variations of existence.

The best physical metaphor from my experience would be a time I was wandering the Big Bend desert wonderland and picked up a rock that seemed fresh, bright and unworn by millennia of streams and winds like all the rocks around it. I might have put it in my pocket, taken it home and looked it up in a rock expert’s book to learn its official name to remember instead of the context of the moment, but I didn’t. In looking around me in widening circles reinforcing my initial impression of its uniqueness my eyes rose to the horizon to behold the mountain, so large it was the horizon with an outline, colors and features identical to the dead skin cell I held in my hand. My mind’s eye movie projector did a David Attenborough time-lapse of nature’s time scale and saw the sequence of dualities: rain and drought, water and ice, the mountain and its cracking surface, flaking of the shard into a torrent during a long rain and reaching this point in its journey in the same day with minimal abrasion. Like that.

Big Bend is a vast source of astonishing twists on duality for me. The first time I went, humming along in my little MG running like a sewing machine, when I passed the last telephone pole it began. I listened more intently to see if maybe the engine was covering it up when it got quiet. I stopped the car to stop the engine and got out. It was true. The locusts that only I can hear in my head, which I attributed to either nerve damage or the sound of the post office of my mind’s synapses firing, turned out to be neither. When I was miles from the nearest live circuit the locusts shut up. Something ceased resonating to the airborne and wired electrical signals rampant in the human hives.

Later, on that same visit, and because my internal whine had silenced, I had just as startling a revelation once again involving the whine of insects, only they were the real kind this time. It is so ubiquitous on walks in the desert one must focus to even detect the change in the sound of the myriad of buzzing, whining, singing insects in the locality of your being. There is a dropping of pitch in those insects becoming aware of your approach as they assume defensive silence and the raising from silence the pitch of those feeling safe once again behind you. Experiencing this is very cool in itself, but having noticed the phenomenon all about myself I had occasion later to be sitting still and silent long enough that the insects had returned to full swing everywhere until … I heard … no, until I didn’t hear … something less than fifty yards away moving across in front of me. Focusing on the pool of silence I made out the blended colors and outline of a coyote trudging to the watering hole I was there to observe. This was a wisdom all animals had, to track each other by the change in the environment that located where each was active, and that stillness seals the hole in the hum.

Because some aspects of the dynamo of duality bode more dire consequences for life here on earth than a beamer with or without stick shift, the concept of good and bad for continued existence were at the center of the search for and maintenance of food and shelter by the earliest signs of life. One might assume that through the eons of evolution it took to develop our mighty clever brain the ability to recognize activities good and bad for continued existence would have risen to its most acute peak.

Something happened along the way. As the human evolved this cleverness it seems his pride in new ideas and gadgets blinded him to his essential interdependence on his environment. Once those basic necessities were fulfilled improvements were created to satisfy new considerations of comfort and efficiency. Fire was challenged to gain warmth in the winter and more tasty, sanitary food. All was good. The tribes and the herds and the forests continued to evolve in balanced adaptation to the periodic variations in the the planet's natural theme or die out for the insanity of refusing to adapt. Nature fed and consumed itself in the dynamic rhythm of physical existence. Then one day it must have occurred to someone while harvesting an avocado tree, found in the forest and since husbanded for generations by his tribe, that he wouldn’t have to walk so far to the next one if he ripped out the other plants around this one and planted its seeds. Despite the shaman’s warning of the evil of caring for only your own life, disrespecting the spirit of other lives and the karma of killing without consuming, the idea caught on and pretty soon, on the time scale of evolution, acres were denuded of all previous animal and plant life to make room for rows and rows of corn and silos to lock it up in. "Bring me what I want and you may eat another day." How persuasive was the snake that sold the golden apple to people who already had open access to nature's bounty for the gleaning? Civilization had announced its arrival.

With farmers, lumber companies, exploitive geologists and a minuscule portion of tree huggers being the only humans that leave the vicinity of the modern silo – the city within which one earns admission to the silo and the toy store next door and the movie house next to it – for longer periods and on a more regular basis than commuting between silos or doing penance to their better instincts for two weeks on vacation, it only follows that the great majority of these big brained boobs find no need to know the realities of the world god gave them the gift of, beyond what’s in it fer me.

Besides, the newspaper has everything else anyway, right? So when scientists warn us of global warming our leaders cheer longer growing season and better tans, and remain our leaders. They can be caught having oil company writers edit ecology reports before issuing them, and remain our feeders. They can favor corporate profit taking over a history of pollution making and remain our bleeders. They can kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people to continue the use of fossil fuel rather than subsidize renewable energy alternatives with a fraction of the cost of war to shift the economic paradigm, and remain our …

Yeah, I know. I’m talking to myself again and perhaps a fond few. If there’s anything to the butterfly effect I might be of some small aid to mother earth’s plight. I think I lost my target audience when I added boobs to the big brained part, not that they don’t like boobs. Ah, well, I have to enjoy myself when discussing such disgusting subjects as willful ignorance and exploitive fear and destruction, because I love discussing their dualistic opposites: whimsical wisdom and shared love and creativity.


Anonymous said...

A lovely rant, and spot on, boobs and all.
Amber :)

leslie said...

Big Bend is a most extraordinary place.
I love the observation of the silence of the insects to alert to the presence of the coyote.
I hear you, very clearly. You're not talking to yourself.
Thanks for this post.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

The more we learn the less we know, the more we progress the more we regress. Duality eh, we've forgotten the fundamental yin and yang of all things, lost touch with the universal chi and absorbed in our own self importance are slowly sucking our brains out our rear ends.

gregra&gar said...

Aloha Amber, send me pics

Hello Again Leslie, nice to see you around the place. Sometimes I don't think its even me talking or you hearing when I find the threshold path between any pair, as with your comment. If you were standing here, I'd probably try and hug you.

To paraphrase Tonto to the Lone Ranger, when surrounded by indians, "What's this 'we' shit, Vanilla one?" Your reminding me of what my post suggested we've forgotten belies the fact that you think neither of us has forgotten nor should be included in the "we" that have. I think enlightenment is basically remembering what was clear in our cribs before swallowing the civilization pill and seeing the meaning of the whole trip. It is a long uncovering and the most joyous endeavor of my life.

As far as my gray matter becoming brown matter, good riddance to premature conclusions, stereotypes, and all matter of pigeon holes and nomenclature in the library of lazy thinking flab by allowing an unchained curiosity spontaneously to romp in the long forgotten fields of genetic memory now equipped with experience in the modern world to explain its insane novelty by metaphor. Thanks for the evocation, your are always welcome.

troutsky said...

Thanks for the balancing act.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Great post Greg - apologies for my inability to comment recently - big brother has blocked blogger at my place of employments so I can only post and comment on weekends.

Minx said...

There are many who will continue to sleep the sleep of the ignorant. Even those of us awake are only yawning in the first light of the dawn.
The many levels of duality are an eternal conundrum and one that we can all tackle after a long stretch and a good breakfast.

Talking to yourself? I think not.

gregra&gar said...

… and rightly so! Why would big brother have need of sublime poetry in the work place. It is like making the windows larger in a classroom teaching creationism and other of civilization's lies about nature just outside.

As much as I love Audry, I much prefer your picture.

When I go as deep inward as this post took me, the self I feel like I am talking to may be the same one everyone calls "myself" — selfness. Many tree, treeness. The selflessness of total connection. As I blogged several posts ago, the Observer.