Saturday, August 05, 2006

Get Your Blog's DNA Signature

Every blog has a unique DNA signature. As explained at J-Walk Blog:
The system first retrieves the website, then it is parsed like WEB2RSS, stripping away everything that is not part of the body tag, scripts elements, and iframes.

It then analyzes the content. Words in the content are displayed as empty spaces (the gabs you see between the lines). The HTML tags are displayed as colored lines.

The brightness of the lines is determined by the importance of the tags in terms of structure.

Basically a semantically rich site will appear brighter than one with messy old-style code.
So here is the signature for Integral Options Cafe.

Get your DNA signature here. Just enter your blog's URL at the top and hit "create."

Parable: The Burden

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Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk accross because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her in his alms and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.

In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, "Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman?"

The elder monk answered "yes, brother".

Then the younger monk asks again, " but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside?"

The elder monk smiled at him and told him " I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her."

Sogyal Rinpoche on the Foundations for a Peaceful World

[image source]

Here is the Glimpse of the Day:
Considering others to be just the same as yourself helps you to open up your relationships and give them a new and richer meaning. Imagine If societies and nations began to view one another in the same way; at last we would have the beginnings of a solid basis for peace on earth, and the happy coexistence of all peoples.

Too bad there isn't more of this view in the Middle East.

Speedlinking 8/5/06

Today begins with a word of advice: Don't download the Google Accelerator thinking it might speed up your web experience. It actually slows things down considerably. Probably because they are collecting so much personal information on you.

That said, there's lots of fun stuff to read this morning.

~ Justin at ordinary extraordinary has a nice post on Zen and therapy. While he doesn't frame the post in integral language, some of what he is looking at is the drive in the West to evolve Buddhism away from magical thinking and mythic beliefs and into a more secular and rational spiritual path not unlike some forms of Western pyschology.

~ The Zero Boss sings the praises of George Carlin, one of the funniest men (along with Richard Pryor) from my mispent youth. As you might guess, this post contains some foul language. Jay also has a fine post on bigotry and censorship.

~ Kevin Beck of Transmillennial has a new post up at Presence on his process following the discovery of a lump.

~ Mike at Unknowing Mind offers a post on the Buddha as doctor. In essence, Mike is providing a brief introduction to the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Check it out.

~ For Wilco fans (and who isn't?), The Daily Goose has posted three YouTube clips. You can see them here(I'm a Wheel), here (At Least That's What you Said), and here (Ashes of American Flags).

~ M Alan Kazlev at Integral Transformation offers a new post on Meta-states of Consciousness - a preliminary paradigm. His formulations are based in part on the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and partly on Western philosophy. I'm not sure what to make of his work because I honestly haven't given it a lot of time. So I'll be curious to see what the rest of the integral community thinks.

~ There is an interesting discussion of holons and AQAL going on over at Open Integral. Check it out.

~ Ray Harris has some thoughts on consciousness that he has posted at Open Integral. I just have to say that this site is getting better and better.

~ Laura at a mindful distraction has a post about her feelings after watching A Clockwork Orange. I think she failed to understand that Burgess was warning us against the use of mass behavioral modification techniques. He has since rejected the book as the worst thing he has ever written. Nothing like a good dose of conversion to mainstream religion to dissolve the Green meme.

~ P2P Foundation reviews a book called The World Cafe, which offers some guidance on how to organize a conversation cafe -- one of the hottest trends from a couple of years back.

~ Check out the Roundup at Blogmandu for many gems I've missed here.

~ Pema Chodron was on Faith & Reason with Bill Moyers last night. I missed it. But you can watch it on the website. Thanks to Amadeus at Dharma Vision for the reminder.

~ Ray Harris (again) at Open Integral took issue with a comment I made in a previous post. So he is condemning a point of view I never held. I explain my point in the comments. Did you follow all that?

~ Charles Haltonn at Change This offers his manifesto on Never the Same: How to Create Transformational Experiences. He offers 18 characteristics to create a transformational experience.

~ Image of the day is from Shakespeare's Sister.

Okay, that's enough for this morning. I didn't have the patience to read any of the political stuff today, so you're on your own for that. Have a great Saturday.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Animusic: Future Retro

It never occurred to me until I just saw a new segment on PBS to look for this at YouTube, but they have a load of videos. This is one of the early ones. Enjoy.

More on the End of the World (humor)

Jon Stewart did a roundup of Armageddon “news” coverage. Here is what Truthdig had to say about it:
Behold this montage of shame, in which every TV news outlet from “Good Morning America” to MSNBC seemed to make an appearance. CNN, in its quest for fact, checked something called a “rapture index,” while Fox News demanded a rapture timetable, prompting Stewart to comment, “that’s the timetable Fox News is demanding we have. ‘Mr. President, when will our troops withdraw to the hill of Megiddo to fight the army of Satan? I want answers!’” It’s comforting to know that while that guy with the sign in front of Costco has to take a break every now and then, the cable news networks can get the word out about the end of the world 24 hours a day.

Daily Om: Reclaiming Your Power

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This is a great article from the Daily Om -- I think it speaks to a lot of us who suffer with an overly harsh inner critic. Take a minute to read this. Even if it doesn't apply to you, it will surely apply to someone you know and love.
Reclaiming Your Power

There is an innate awkwardness to being human. With each decision we make, there is the potential for self-doubt and it is this-self doubt that forms the root of insecurity-a complex emotion that is a mix of equal parts inadequacy, isolation, fear, and hopelessness. Yet these feelings of insecurity that prevent us from fulfilling our potential by inducing us to abide by arbitrary self-limitations are nothing more than erroneous perceptions. We feel unconfident and unsure of ourselves because we judge ourselves to be so. Banishing insecurity is often simply a matter of challenging ourselves in order to prove that we are indeed intelligent and able.

When we feel insecure, we not only perceive ourselves as incapable of meeting life's challenges but also fraudulent and unworthy of true happiness. We move through life plagued by a sense that others have judged us and found that we are lacking. As a result, we are robbed of our personal power and rendered unable to feel positive about the choices we make. Everyone feels insecure from time to time because each of us is born into the world with unique strengths. If you should find yourself with feelings of insecurity, however, endeavor to understand its source. Perhaps you were repeatedly berated as a child or seldom receive positive reinforcement in the present. A tendency to withdraw from risk or uncomfortable situations can amplify feelings of insecurity. When you have pinpointed the origin of your insecurity, focus on your abilities. The more you utilize your personal power-by taking risks, boldly facing challenges, and acting decisively-the stronger it will grow.

Remember that insecurity is not objective. Rather, it is an emotional interpretation of your value unconsciously based on doubt, shame, and fear. As you overcome those underlying emotions through courageous action and copious self-love, you'll discover that you are capable of achieving more than you ever thought possible.

Speedlinking 8/4/06

The normal monsoon returned to Tucson yesterday with a wonderful late afternoon thunderstorm. All is well in the world again -- well, not really, but I love rain, so I feel better.

~ I'd like to start this fine day with some news I somehow find very comforting: Children who are breast-fed cope better with stressful events later in childhood than kids who aren't breast-fed. Adds a whole new dimension to "Got Milk?"

~ Killing the Buddha reprints a great article by Jill Hamburg Coplan, called Searching for Sufis. The article presents a unique look at Islam in the countries surrounding the Middle East.

~ Colmar reminds readers to take a look at Nothing New About Yellow, the foundation for his philosophy.

~ Blogmandu couldn't stand idly by and watch other bloggers assume its niche, so it's back. Nah, just joking. Blogmandu is back, but it offers it's own take on the blogosphere that is crucial for those of us looking for new blogs and good content. Welcome back!

~ Dance of the Mind is moving fom Typepad to Blogger. Arulba's new site will be Mindful Distraction. Be sure to make the change in your feed readers.

~ Ken Wilber seems to be getting better quickly. Again, please send him prayers and healing thoughts for a speedy recovery.

~ Check out Jay's Sugar Rush -- you know you want to.

~ Umguy at ideological putty shares a feeling . . .

~ There is a great article on The Political Economics of Stephen Colbert at Catallaxis. Among other things, the article looks at Colbert's introduction of the words "truthiness" and "wikiality."

~ Integrative Spirituality finds that the Brits are increasingly choosing non-traditional songs for funeral services. Sounds good. When they roll my box into the furnace, U2's "One" would be a nice sendoff.

~ As both Blogmandu and the Sugar Rush report, Matthew Dallman thinks that traditional liberalism is dead. Personally, I think that academic liberalism is dead (which is what MD is actually arguing), that the Democratic party is in its last throes, but that progressive thinking is being reborn within the faith-based and scientific communities. More on this later if I have the time.

~ Steve Pavlina offers 10 ways to become more conscious. It's a good post, so check it out. Number one, with a bullet, is tell the truth.

~ Check out Between a Rocket and a Hard Place, a blog by Israeli women from academic and media backgrounds. Get a different perspective on what is happening in Israel and Lebanon.

~ ProBlogger offers some good advice on how to reinvent your blog -- just in case you might want to.

~ Image of the day comes from Wikipedia Commons, Featured Pictures. This was the featured photo on
23 June 2006 (11:00) Buddhistic statues on Lantau (Hongkong) - created, uploaded and nominated by AngMoKio.

May you all find peace and joy as you go about your day.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Crop Circles Are Back

Wired is reporting that crop circles are back -- and in trendy new designs that perfectly complement your choice of crops. Okay, so they didn't quite say that.
Crop circles have started appearing again in the English countryside, but this time in a new permutation.

A crop circle in a complicated three-dimensional design was discovered in the first week of July near Ashbury, Oxfordshire. The exaggerated perspective of the formation, which is approximately 360 feet in diameter, suggests a bird's-eye view of a group of skyscrapers, as though the viewer was looking down on a city center from directly overhead.

The new circle is located near the famous Uffington White Horse and a Neolithic burial chamber called Wayland's Smithy, which dates back to 3700 B.C.

The formation was originally spotted by the pilot of a microlight aircraft. When Steve Alexander heard about it, he immediately hired a helicopter to get a better view. The 34-year-old crop circle researcher, who is the co-author with Karen Alexander of a series of crop circle yearbooks, was stunned by the unique pattern in the wheat field.

"Of late, the crop circles seem concerned with the moving of one dimension into another," Steve Alexander said. "This is perhaps one of the most striking and overt expressions of that idea to date."
Read the rest here. Check out the gallery of trend-right designs here.

Movie: America: From Freedom to Fascism

America: From Freedom to Fascism has been getting some buzz in the blogosphere, and got a good response at the Cannes Film Festival. It opened in a few US theaters on July 28.

Here is a blurb from the film's website:
Determined to find the law that requires American citizens to pay income tax, producer Aaron Russo ("The Rose," "Trading Places") set out on a journey to find the evidence. This film which is neither left, nor right-wing is a startling examination of government. It exposes the systematic erosion of civil liberties in America since 1913 when the Federal Reserve system was fraudulently created. Through interviews with U.S. Congressmen, a former IRS Commissioner, former IRS and FBI agents and tax attorneys and authors, Russo connects the dots between money creation, federal income tax, and the national identity card which becomes law in May 2008. This ID card will use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips which are essentially homing devices used to track people. This film shows in great detail and undeniable facts that America is moving headlong into a fascist police state. Wake up!
Here is a 15 minute preview for the film. There are other shorter trailers at the film's website.

This feels like good old fashioned libertarianism. I'd have to see the film to know for sure. Take a look at the preview and decided for yourself. This could be an important film if there is anything to its claims.

New Poem

I think this is a poem. I'm not sure. It came to me in that diffuse period between waking and sleeping, so I wasn't quite sure how to work with it.

I'm also not sure it's very good, so I'll let you be the judge.

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I am kneeling
in the dirt, my child
pressed against my chest,
she squirms and cries,

her hair tickles my neck
I am crying, pleading
for my life,
"I am a mother! I am a mother!"

and the soldier stares at me
seeing only a threat

as I

pull the trigger,
her body
to the ground

and I feel cold,

body shaking,
throat dry,
mind blank and racing,
convinced she concealed
a bomb,

an IED,

to explain the fear,
the survival instinct,
the need
to pull the trigger
and it's
my blood,
my gun,

my child,
my screams,
all of it mine,

my eyes
watching myself

bleed to death,
my blood in the dirt,
my dirt,
my death and my kill,
and I am
the dead woman
the soldier
the crying child
all of it
mine . . .
and yours

Speedlinking 8/3/06

Good morning! It's a rare morning that I get to sleep in until 5 am on a weekday, but my early clients all canceled so I took advantage of that and slept in.

In other news, I'm trying out a new browser today. I downloaded Flock last night, an open-source browser much like Firefox (in fact it can convert Firefox extensions into Flock extensions). I easily down-loaded a whole mess of extensions to increase functionality, including a technorati tag generator. The best part is that Blogger blogs load correctly in Flock -- they don't in Firefox. It's a little slow, but not awful.

Enough smalltalk, down to business.

~ Lin Jensen at the Tricycle blog has a nice post on trying to manage other people's impressions of us. It's a losing effort for us as individuals and an obsession that creates wars when cultures or nations engage id such ego-driven begavior.

~ Integrative Spirituality has reposted their manifesto -- it's well thought out and worth taking a few moments to look at. This originally was posted a month or two ago.

~ Tyson Williams points us to a CBC News article about Toronto's decision to join the Clinton Climate Initiative to stop or slow global warming through "increasing energy efficiency in everything from street lights to building materials and promoting clean-burning fuels and energy conservation." So far, 22 cities have signed on.

~ Nagarjuna has a quick but important thought on how we treat each other. He's right.

~ Image of the day comes from Jean at the Human Bean (may not be work-safe):

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~ Jay at The Zero Boss has his own version of speedlinking called the Sugar Rush. Check it out and add it to your feeds.

~ Vishen at MindHacks has an article on how to use affirmations. I have to admit that I'm not someone who takes this route, but I've seen it work well for others by creating a kind of intention focus.

~ Digital Buddha Vacana has a nice entry this morning of the Three Jewels:
The Buddha is like a steadfast man who gives protection from fear. The Dhamma is like the protection from fear, and the Sangha is like those who have found protection from fear. The Buddha is like a good consoler, the Dhamma is like consolation, and the Sangha is like those who have been consoled. The Buddha is like a true friend, the Dhamma is like helpful advice, and the Sangha is like those who have achieved their wishes by following that helpful advice.
~ John Nichols at The Nation thinks that Chuck Hagel is the most outspoken -- and clearly spoken -- critic of the Bush foreign policy agenda.

~ And in the most important news of the day, Freedom Toast and Freedom Fries are now, once again, known as French Toast and French Fries in the cafeteria at the US House of Representatives.

That'll do it for this morning.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How to Create Your Own Cult at Work Without Getting Caught

Yep, you read that right.

WorkFriendly created a browser interface that looks like Microsoft Word so that you can surf the web at work and look like you might actually be doing something productive. Just enter the URL you want to visit and it pulls up a Word-like page. The only drawback (but a good safety feature) is the lack of pictures, so some websites will lose their, uh, luster.

So let's put this great new technology to use and create our very own cult. Cultspace offers us the opportunity to create that cult we've always wanted to have. This is from their mainpage:
Cultspace is a community of fictional priests, preachers, prostelytizers, and problem children. We have just gone live on July 1st. To get started, you can check out existing cults or the FAQ.

Warning: Cultspace prominently features freedom of speech, religion, and assembly! Parents, beware!

Real cults are not cool. This site is just for fun. Please play nice.
The cults here cover the whole spectrum from deranged to bizarre. So why not create your own? If it takes off, you can rent some cool space in the city, put up a sign, and apply for tax exempt status -- it worked for the Scientologists and look at them now.

[Thanks to the J-Walk Blog for these links.]

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Videos: Climate Change in China, Tibet and India

These two videos document the extreme changes that have occurred in such a short time.

I'm on my way out the door to see An Inconvenient Truth, so these are just setting the mood for an afternoon of environmental horror.

Whether the changes are man-made or not (and they are), we should be doing everything we can to make sure it doesn't get worse. But nah, profits come before the lives of our children and grand children.

The videos are each about 4 minutes.

China and Tibet:


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Poem: Du Fu

[image source]


Who is lovelier than she?
Yet she lives alone in an empty valley.
She tells me she came from a good family
Which is humbled now into the dust.
...When trouble arose in the Kuan district,
Her brothers and close kin were killed.
What use were their high offices,
Not even shielding their own lives? --
The world has but scorn for adversity;
Hope goes out, like the light of a candle.
Her husband, with a vagrant heart,
Seeks a new face like a new piece of jade;
And when morning-glories furl at night
And mandarin-ducks lie side by side,
All he can see is the smile of the new love,
While the old love weeps unheard.
The brook was pure in its mountain source,
But away from the mountain its waters darken.
...Waiting for her maid to come from selling pearls
For straw to cover the roof again,
She picks a few flowers, no longer for her hair,
And lets pine-needles fall through her fingers,
And, forgetting her thin silk sleeve and the cold,
She leans in the sunset by a tall bamboo.

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My Interview with John at Craig Photography

John graciously made me his first interview (thanks, John!) for a new series he is launching. Please stop by Craig Photography and check it out. And stick around to see what else he is up to -- John has a fine blog.

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Speedlinking 8/2/06

The rains here have stopped for a couple of days and the irregular monsoon activity is shifting back to normal. In the last five days we have exceeded the rainfall figures for all of last year. Too bad most of it ran off into the washes and headed toward the ocean.

The storms left serious devastation in the canyon where so many people hike -- picnic areas covered with boulders, 80 year old bridges washed away, trails that have simply disappeared down the hillside. Still, I am grateful for the much-needed rain.

Okay, then, here's what's happening elsewhere:

~ Will at thinkBuddha has a good post on Unpacking the Self.

~ Brian at Zaadz has a post about Yasuhiko Genku Kimura, author of Elegant Business Leadership. Mr. Kimura is a Soto School Zen monk. Check it out.

~ Mike at Unknowing Mind continues his exploration of animal consciousness.

~ Image of the Day from Matthew Dallman at The Woodshed:

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I don't think there's anything intelligent I can say about this image. It's just wrong on so many levels.

~ Steve Pavlina writes about how to set goals that we might actually achieve.

~ Tom at Thoughts Chase Thoughts likes Morgan Spurlock's television show (this is the guy from Super Size Me). Tom has made Spurlock an honorary Buddhist whether he likes it or not. The show is called 30 Days and it asks people to live for 30 days in a way that is totally opposite of what they normally do. This is a great exercise in taking the role of the other, an important capacity in psychological development.

~ Jay Allen is now The Zero Boss and blogging more about parenting than integral, but still has an eye for the good stuff. So all you parents ought to go check him out.

~ Dan Allison at The Woodshed has an excellent post on art and propaganda.

~ Orion magazine has an interesting article on how workers in Argentina survived the economic collapse of 2001-2003 -- by forming worker run co-ops to take over bankrupt factories. The article discusses how this happened and how it changed the lives of the workers.

~ Mel Gibson is the target of a lot of jokes these days, and even Al Franken has gotten in a jab.

~ Andrew Sullivan looks at Mel and Ann.

~ Shakespeare's Sister has a few thoughts on the Mel Gibson episode, and it has very little to do with Mel. Read this -- it's good.

~ Some good news for the kids in Kansas: They will no longer be at the bottom of the list for college admissions due to a fundamental lack of science education. The Kansas board of education is no longer controlled by "creationists."

And that's a wrap, folks.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

When Heroes Aren't Heroic

Following the end of the Tour de France, I posted a piece on the Human Spirit in Sports that praised Tiger Woods' effort at the British Open and Floyd Landis' comeback at the Tour.

It pains me to read today that Landis' positive test for testosterone levels over the legal limit appears to be due to exogenous steroids, not a result of his naturally high hormone levels as he has claimed since testing positive.

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I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and had defended him in conversations at work. But I feared the reality would come out the way it has. He doped. He got caught.

There are many who say that everyone dopes at the highest levels of many sports and only the dumb ones get caught. I have said this, and for the most part, I think it's true. And it saddens me that I believe that.

When I was growing up watching the Dodgers or the Steelers on television, the players on those teams were super heroes. Steve Garvey was a god, not a womanizer; Terry Bradshaw was my hero, not a drunk and a wife beater. I wanted to be those guys.

We seldom heard about those things as kids back then. We weren't so bombarded with media as kids are today. Now when an athlete commits a crime or tests positive for drugs, kids know about it. They might even see it as a badge of honor. How else do you explain the popularity of Allen Iverson?

Some days, I wish I still had the innocence I once had. I wish kids could grow up with that innocence now the way I was fortunate to do.

When Landis won that 17th stage with such a brave and powerful performance on the bike, I really wanted it to be heart and passion and courage that pushed him up those mountains, not an injection of testosterone.

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Humor: Bin Laden Offers Gibson Anger Management Lessons

This is satire -- it makes fun of Mel Gibson's recent difficulties with law enforcement. Please do not read this if satire is likely to offend you.

From Andy Borowitz, as posted at MSNBC:

Bin Laden Offers Gibson Anger Management Lessons
The Al Qaeda leader calls the actor's drunken rant 'a cry for help'.

Aug. 1, 2006 - In an extraordinary appearance on the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera network today, terror mastermind Osama bin Laden reached out to Mel Gibson and offered the Hollywood actor lessons in anger management.

Millions of viewers tuned in expecting to see the Al Qaeda leader in one of his trademark terror videos, only to find the world's most wanted man giving career advice instead.

Bin Laden said that while he did not know Gibson personally, he decided to offer his help after hearing about Gibson's anti-Semitic rant to an LAPD officer, which the Al Qaeda kingpin called "a cry for help."

"Listen, I'm all for blaming things on the Jews,” said bin Laden, “but this guy went too far."
The Al Qaeda leader said that the next time Gibson feels the urge to spew hateful rhetoric, "count to ten first."

"There's a time and a place for everything," bin Laden said. "And the time to launch into an anti-Semitic tirade is when you're speaking on Al-Jazeera from the comfort and safety of your cave — not when you're stopped by the cops."

In Malibu, Gibson was tightlipped on the topic of bin Laden's recommendations, but issued the following statement through an official spokesman: "Mel Gibson is not now nor has he ever been anti-Semitic, and is looking forward to putting this incident behind him so he can get to work on his next film, 'Lethal Rabbi.'"

Elsewhere, a new scientific study says that it may be possible for human beings to become invisible, particularly if they are the Secretary of Defense.

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Poem: Wang Wei

[image source]

In Reply to Su, Who Visited My WheelRim River Hermitage When I Wasn't There to Welcome Him

I live humbly near the canyon's mouth
where stately trees ring village ruins.

When you came on twisted rocky paths,
who welcomed you at my mountain gate?

Fishing boats frozen into icy shallows,
hunting fires out across cold headlands,

and in all this quiet beyond white clouds,
wild gibbons heard among distant bells.

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Speedlinking 8/1/06

The big news from last night is that Ken Wilber is very ill again with "a pretty bad REDD/CFIDS flare-up with suffocation and a raging fever." Let's all pray for an end to his pain and a quick recovery.

In other news:

~ Open Integral has a new post mostly by Ed Berge that attempts to answer the question of what consciousness is. The post is made up from comments that appeared in another post on the site.

~ The Daily Goose posted an excerpt from a review of the new book by Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment. MD is looking for a more neutral definition of neoconservative and seems to like what he found in the review.

~ Dave at Via Negtiva has a nice post called Psalm for the Rapture.

~ Daniel O'Connor at Catallaxis has a great post on Sustainable Growth -- it's long and it requires some attention, but it's definitely worth reading.

~ The second Festival of the Trees is up at Roundrock Journal -- stop by and have a look at the variety of tree-inspired posts that have been collected.

~ Glen Greenwald thinks Bill Kristol might be writing Bush's Middle East speeches.

~ Common Dreams has an article up about a scientist who thinks he may have found an "escape route" from global warming.

~ NICHOLAS LEMANN, writing for The New Yorker isn't very impressed with the blogging world -- he would rather see real journalists blogging than have bloggers replace "real" journalists.

~ TruthOut reports that John Kerry is preaching affordable health care for all Americans. Looks like he's planning his attack for 2008. Where was this all-too-familiar idea back in 2004? This is Kerry's response, it would seem, to John Edward's new war on poverty. Meanwhile, Hillary is trying to prevent me from burning a flag if I feel like it. Welcome to Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest.

~ ProBlogger has an informative intro to desktop blog editors. Where was this a few months ago when I was trying to find a good one?

Okay, that should keep you all busy for a few minutes.


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Monday, July 31, 2006

Ken Wilber Is Very Ill

This was just posted at KW's blog:

July 31, 2006 20:48

Dear Friends,

I have some extremely unfortunate news to report concerning an incident that happened late last Sunday night (July 23rd). The following letter—written by Ken to the I-I managers—explains a series of unfortunate accidents that have left him not that much far removed from functionally quadriplegic. Without assistance, he can’t stand up, walk around, sit down, lie down or any other of the 100 simplest actions. We believe that he will make a recovery but we expect it to take six months to a year. The following e-mail is self-explanatory, and is the very first thing he wrote about his situation. You will see the humor and wit and Lightness with which he carries even these difficult things. Please stay tuned to the site, and we will give you more of the medical facts as they become available. But we wanted to rush this early announcement as soon as we possibly could. Below the letter you will see that we have included five photographs of his pretty badly smashed up body.

Some people have wanted to know if they can get Ken presents or make some sort of contribution in his name to a charity. Ken has requested that if you are not a member of Integral Institute, please become one and if you already are please make as many gift memberships for your friends as you can. Click this link to Join I-I



Dear Friends,

I believe Colin conveyed to you that I was not only sick, I was sicker than he’s ever seen me. And frankly, I don’t wish to alarm any of you, but I feel a hell of a lot sicker than that. In other words, I think he was being polite in order not to scare you. Here’s what happened: I have indeed been having a pretty bad REDD/CFIDS flare-up with suffocation and a raging fever. Late Sunday night, I was still planning on making it to the ILP Seminar (Integral Life Practice Seminar), difficult as it would be, because I love working with you guys and I know it means a lot to people to have us all show up. About two o’clock that night, I got up to go to the bathroom and basically slammed face first, hard, right into the edge of the open door, which of course did smart. Things then accelerated because it in a sense knocked me out and I fell on the floor, this time landing primarily on my left shoulder, and it appears that I now have a rotator cuff injury in that shoulder as well.

But the fun continues. Wanting a good yuck that night, apparently what happened when I fell to the floor from smashing myself in the face, the primary thing that was hurt was indeed the left shoulder, but it sent shockwaves all the way across my back, blew out a disk and re-injured my right shoulder, the one that I hurt so badly last year. Rebecca generally stays in Boulder on the nights she works, I called and she came out and was shocked at my appearance because first of all, when I landed on the floor, I apparently also landed on my face, that thing of beauty, and fashion photographers the world over were heard to weep. Dr. Mike of course wanted me to go to the ER immediately, but unfortunately, my experience of all the doctors at the ER is they just tell you that you are going to die, and heck, I can stay home and face better odds than that. Nevertheless, Mike wanted me to go to the ER with him, and I told him that I would be glad to do so when he gets back next week.

Okay, here’s the bad news: I basically have no use of either of my arms. I can’t stand up. I can’t even get out of bed. I can’t even roll over in bed. Fortunately I can still think, which is good, but things are so bad I actually had Colin make out my will. I don’t know how long this will last judging from the damage to my right arm, which was relatively mild in comparison. We’re looking at probably the better part of one year. Of course I presumably could have surgery but for both arms that would be a recovery period of six months minimum. Plus, it means I have to go back to that place where they keep telling you you're going to die. Plus, have you seen the decor at those places? All I have to say is that Oscar Wilde is reputed to have said on his death bed, "Either these drapes or I have just got to go!" Anyway, will keep you posted.

Sending much love,


I send him blessings for an ease to his suffering and a quick recovery. No human should have to suffer such pain and debilitation.

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If the right can accuse the left of denigrating America and not upholding America as the pinnacle of democracy, why can't the left accuse the right of turning a blind eye to the abuses America perpetrates around the globe and of refusing to take responsibility for America's creation of puppet dictators?

Are not both accurate views of reality? Are not both sides guilty of seeing only what each wants to see?


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Area Man Calls For Immediate Release Of His Endorphins

A bit of humor from the Onion:

TALLAHASSEE, FL—With tensions already at an all-time high, the nearly 96-hour standoff between area resident Anthony Shepard and his hypothalamus came to a head Monday when the 32-year-old called for the immediate release of all endorphins back into his bloodstream.

Shepard says he refuses to negotiate and demands an end to all hostilities.

While motivations behind the assault remain unclear, it now appears that Shepard's hypothalamus seized control of his nervous, limbic, and endocrine systems late Thursday night, killing several innocent physical desires such as appetite and sexual drive in the ensuing synaptic fire.

"Earlier this week, events took place between my cerebrum's temporal lobes that can only be described as criminal," said Shepard, who told reporters he was first saddened, then angered, abruptly overjoyed, and saddened again to hear about the complete deregulation of his emotions. "To the nefarious gland responsible for this cowardly act, I know you can hear me. I demand, in no uncertain terms, that you surrender and cease all hostilities at once."

"We have you completely surrounded." Shepard added.

Shepard, who has been thrown in the middle of many intracranial hostage situations, including a three-day confrontation with hostile serotonin-detaining neurons in 2004, said he was initially confident that a peaceful resolution could once again be reached. Despite working tirelessly with his body's natural-crisis unit, however, Shepard has so far run up against a brick wall, failing to
convince the hypothalamus that freeing the endorphins was in everyone's best interest.

"Every reasonable alternative has been examined and exhausted; every rational avenue, from acupuncture to chocolate, explored to no avail," said Shepard, who eventually gave in to three of the gland's physical demands Friday, delivering bouts of uncontrollable crying over breakfast, six hours of fitful sleep during the afternoon and early evening, and the complete omission of supper in exchange for the recovery of two anti-stress hormones. Neither has been freed.

"This is your final warning," said Shepard, addressing the hypothalamus from his kitchen table. "I don't want to have to resort to force, but if left with no other option, I will. Time is running out for all of us."

Although Shepard is outwardly calm and collected, inside sources claim the standoff has begun to take a psychological toll.

"His mood swings are becoming increasingly erratic, he complains about having difficulty concentrating, and it often feels like he's lost all interest in previously pleasurable activities," said close friend Dorothy Janis, who claims Shepard has also exhibited excessive guilt over the tense situation. "I know Michael is trying his best to stay positive, but with each hour that passes, I can tell he's losing hope."

"I worry that unless the endorphins are released soon, Michael may try something desperate," Janis added.

With his hypothalamus' deadline fast approaching, Shepard told reporters he was prepared to take "drastic action" in order to avoid potential backlash from "countless bodily functions."

As of press time, Shepard was traveling to a Blockbuster Video store, where he intended to rent the films NottingHill, The Runaway Bride, and Sleepless In Seattle for immediate viewing.

"These are the difficult and painful decisions we sometimes have to make," Shepard said. "I didn't want for it to have to come to this. God knows, I really didn't want it to have to come to this."

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Feeling Crazy

[image source]

This was the Daily Om from a couple of days ago -- some good wisdom here.

Losing It
You Are Not Crazy

Most of us feel a little crazy from time to time. Periods of high stress can make us feel like we're losing it, as can being surrounded by people whose values are very different from our own. Losing a significant relationship and moving into a new life situation are other events that can cause us to feel off kilter. Circumstances like these recur in our lives, and they naturally affect our mental stability. The symptoms of our state of mind can range from having no recollection of putting our car keys where we eventually find them, to wondering if we're seeing things clearly when everyone around us seems to be in denial of what's going on right in front of their eyes. For most of us, the key to survival at times like these is to step back, take a deep breath, and regain our composure. Then we can decide what course of action to take.

Sometimes a time-out does the trick. We take a day off from whatever is making us feel crazy and, like magic, we feel in our right mind again. Talking to an objective friend can also help. We begin to see what it is about the situation that destabilizes us, and we can make changes from there. At other times, if the situation is particularly sticky, we may need to seek professional help. Meeting with someone who understands the way the human mind reacts to stress, loss, and difficulty can make us feel less alone and more supported. A therapist or a spiritual counselor can give us techniques that help bring us back to a sane state of mind so that we can affect useful changes. They can also mirror our basic goodness, helping us to see that we are actually okay.

The main purpose of the wake-up call that feeling crazy provides is to let us know that something in our lives is out of balance. Confirm for yourself that you are capable of creating a sane and peaceful reality for yourself. Try to remember that most people have felt, at one time or another, that they are losing it. You deserve a life that helps you thrive. Try and take some steps today to help you achieve more balance and a little less crazy.

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Speedlinking 7/31/06

Happy Monday morning everyone. It's raining again here in the Sonoran Desert, which is a very strange thing. The monsoon has gone all early a.m. instead of middle p.m. Whatever. As long as it rains!

And on with the show:

~ Aaron over at Anxious Living kindly invited me to do a guest post, which is up this morning. Please stop by and have a look.

~ Tusar N Mohapatra at SELF Forum has posted a list (with links) of writers he feels have contributed to the integral movement. See this post as well.

~ Jay has posted a new podcast: The Zero Boss: Reflections of an Imperfect Father.

Join me and a bottle of Columbia Crest Shiraz as we drunk-cast the struggles involved in adapting to fatherhood as a 21-year-old college dropout, earning minimum wage in New York City while nurturing an addiction to Ayn Rand.
~ Colmar thinks ~C4Chaos accused him of attacking the left, but it was yours truly. Sorry ~C4, you get blamed for enough already without taking my heat. And no, it was actually the Keith Thompson article I was referring to, although yes, Paul Berman's article did seem to be attacking the left.

~ My RSS feed to KW's blog seems to be working again, just in time to be "gifted" with the "spontaneous creative genius that tumbles out of Becca as easily and naturally as water down a fall." Uh, yeah, okay. Whatever. Moving on. . . .

~ Katherine Turner of Dating God on Following the Yes. Check it out -- it's about work and going back to school and stuff.

~ Mike of Unknowing Mind continues the discussion of the sacredness of animals -- specifically, animal rights and human power and the limits therein.

~ I found this site dedicated to helping women around the world through Sean at Zaadz. Check it out, then check out his new pod.

~ From Think Progress, Chris Matthews gets one right for a change -- watch it here.

MATTHEWS: Two years ago, King Abdullah of Jordan warned me of what was coming in the mideast. His prediction was dead. He spoke of his fears and what the United States was doing in iraq, toppling one government, electing another, was creating what he called a shi’ia crescent, from Tehran through Baghdad to Beirut that threatened to dominate the Arab world, challenging modern Sunni governments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and others with an axis of Shia power based in Iran.

When I look at the map today, that Shia crescent the King foretold has come to light. It is hard for us westerners to understand the internal politics of another region when we can’t predict whether the Democrats will take congress from the Republicans three months from now, how could we see the Shi’ia grabbing the high ground from the Sunni in the mideast three years ago? That’s what happened. We converted Iraq from a country which has fought revolutionary Iran for eight years to a bloody stand still to a Shia dominated ally of Iran and created a boulevard of common religion and common regional politics.

Did you hear the new Iraqi leader take sides with Hezbollah in a struggle with Israel? This is the emerging threat, not just to the moderate Sunni countries including Egypt and Jordan who formed and honored treaties to Israel and us. Our brave soldiers have fought, died and been dismembered in Iraq only to connect the disparate pieces of Shi’ia radicalism into a frankenstein monster that has come to life right there on our TV screens and worse yet in the vicarious mideast where young arabs found a hero named Hezbollah.
~ David Brin on "the coming singularity," as posted on

~ Kevin Kelly thinks civilizations are creatures. Interesting article.

Okay, then, that'll do it for this morning. Have a great day.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Integral Fitness at Zaadz

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I've just started a new pod over at Zaadz, the Integral Fitness pod. I'm joined by Kira and Damon as co-facilitators. Here is the pod description:
The Integral Fitness pod seeks to explore and implement an AQAL approach to health and fitness. However, we will not limit ourselves to Wilberian versions of integral; we seek all forms of integral understanding that can help us live healthier lives.

While the quadrants are an important part of an integral model, we also believe that the experience of deepening states (gross, subtle, causal, non-dual) through different integral practices, including fitness, are an important area of exploration.

We believe that no one approach holds all the answers, so this pod will have three moderators: a personal trainer/nutritional consultant (Bill), a life coach (Kira), and a yoga practitioner who also weight trains (Damon).

Please join us as we seek an integrated fitness and health model that can support and sustain our lives and our growth.
You can always visit the pod, but why not join Zaadz and be part of the discussion?

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Sunday Poet: Gertrude Stein

This first selection of Gertrude Stein's work is all from one volume, Tender Buttons, which is available online in whole.

These are only "sort of " poems. They are cubist inspired prose-poem explorations of the common world, arranged into three sections: Objects, Food, and Rooms. Food and Rooms are both longer pieces, with Room being one long meditation. What follows are selection from Objects.


In between a place and candy is a narrow foot-path that shows more mounting than anything, so much really that a calling meaning a bolster measured a whole thing with that. A virgin a whole virgin is judged made and so between curves and outlines and real seasons and more out glasses and a perfectly unprecedented arrangement between old ladies and mild colds there is no satin wood shining.


Colored hats are necessary to show that curls are worn by an addition of blank spaces, this makes the difference between single lines and broad stomachs, the least thing is lightening, the least thing means a little flower and a big delay a big delay that makes more nurses than little women really little women. So clean is a light that nearly all of it shows pearls and little ways. A large hat is tall and me and all custard whole.


A widow in a wise veil and more garments shows that shadows are even. It addresses no more, it shadows the stage and learning. A regular arrangement, the severest and the most preserved is that which has the arrangement not more than always authorised.

A suitable establishment, well housed, practical, patient and staring, a suitable bedding, very suitable and not more particularly than complaining, anything suitable is so necessary.

A fact is that when the direction is just like that, no more, longer, sudden and at the same time not any sofa, the main action is that without a blaming there is no custody.

Practice measurement, practice the sign that means that really means a necessary betrayal, in showing that there is wearing.

Hope, what is a spectacle, a spectacle is the resemblance between the circular side place and nothing else, nothing else.

To choose it is ended, it is actual and more than that it has it certainly has the same treat, and a seat all that is practiced and more easily much more easily ordinarily.

Pick a barn, a whole barn, and bend more slender accents than have ever been necessary, shine in the darkness necessarily.

Actually not aching, actually not aching, a stubborn bloom is so artificial and even more than that, it is a spectacle, it is a binding accident, it is animosity and accentuation.

If the chance to dirty diminishing is necessary, if it is why is there no complexion, why is there no rubbing, why is there no special protection.


Out of kindness comes redness and out of rudeness comes rapid same question, out of an eye comes research, out of selection comes painful cattle. So then the order is that a white way of being round is something suggesting a pin and is it disappointing, it is not, it is so rudimentary to be analysed and see a fine substance strangely, it is so earnest to have a green point not to red but to point again.


A kind in glass and a cousin, a spectacle and nothing strange a single hurt color and an arrangement in a system to pointing. All this and not ordinary, not unordered in not resembling. The difference is spreading.


A large box is handily made of what is necessary to replace any substance. Suppose an example is necessary, the plainer it is made the more reason there is for some outward recognition that there is a result.

A box is made sometimes and them to see to see to it neatly and to have the holes stopped up makes it necessary to use paper.

A custom which is necessary when a box is used and taken is that a large part of the time there are three which have different connections. The one is on the table. The two are on the table. The three are on the table. The one, one is the same length as is shown by the cover being longer. The other is different there is more cover that shows it. The other is different and that makes the corners have the same shade the eight are in singular arrangement to make four necessary.

Lax, to have corners, to be lighter than some weight, to indicate a wedding journey, to last brown and not curious, to be wealthy, cigarettes are established by length and by doubling.

Left open, to be left pounded, to be left closed, to be circulating in summer and winter, and sick color that is grey that is not dusty and red shows, to be sure cigarettes do measure an empty length sooner than a choice in color.

Winged, to be winged means that white is yellow and pieces pieces that are brown are dust color if dust is washed off, then it is choice that is to say it is fitting cigarettes sooner than paper.

An increase why is an increase idle, why is silver cloister, why is the spark brighter, if it is brighter is there any result, hardly more than ever.


What is the current that makes machinery, that makes it crackle, what is the current that presents a long line and a necessary waist. What is this current.

What is the wind, what is it.

Where is the serene length, it is there and a dark place is not a dark place, only a white and red are black, only a yellow and green are blue, a pink is scarlet, a bow is every color. A line distinguishes it. A line just distinguishes it.


Here is a little biography on Ms. Stein:
Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in 1874, to wealthy German-Jewish immigrants. At the age of three, her family moved first to Vienna and then to Paris. They returned to America in 1878 and settled in Oakland, California. Her mother, Amelia, died of cancer in 1888 and her father, Daniel, died 1891. Stein attended Radcliffe College, where she studied under noted psychologist William James. After leaving Radcliffe, she enrolled at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, but left without a degree in 1901.

In 1903, Stein moved to Paris: she did not return to the United States for over thirty years. She and her brother Leo, an art critic and painter, took an apartment on the Left Bank. Their apartment, 27 rue de Fleurus, soon became gathering spot for many young artists and writers including Henri Matisse, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso, Max Jacob, and Guillaume Apollinaire. Stein was a passionate advocate for the "new" in art, and her literary friendships grew to include writers as diverse as William Carlos Williams, Djuana Barnes, Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway. It was to Hemingway that Stein coined the phrase "the lost generation" to describe the expatriate writers living abroad between the wars.

In 1907, she met Alice B. Toklas, who became her lifelong companion and secretary. By 1913, Stein's support of cubist painters and her increasingly avant-garde writing caused a split with her brother Leo, who moved to Florence. Her first book, Three Lives, was published in 1909. She followed it with Tender Buttons in 1915. Tender Buttons clearly showed the profound effect modern painting had on her writing. In these small prose poems, images and phrases come together in often surprising
ways-similar in manner to cubist painting. Her writing received considerable interest from other artists and writers, but did not find a wide audience. Sherwood Anderson in the introduction to Geography and Plays (1922) wrote that her writing "consists in a rebuilding, and entire new recasting of life, in the city of words." Among Stein's most influential works are The Making of Americans (1925); How to Write (1931); The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), which was a best-seller; and Stanzas in Meditation and Other Poems [1929-1933] (1956). Gertrude Stein died at the American Hospital at Neuilly on July 27, 1946, of inoperable cancer
Finally, here is a selection from Stanzas in Meditation:

Part I

Stanza XIII

She may count three little daisies very well
By multiplying to either six nine or fourteen
Or she can be well mentioned as twelve
Which they may like which they can like soon
Or more than ever which they wish as a button
Just as much as they arrange which they wish
Or they can attire where they need as which say
Can they call a hat or a hat a day
Made merry because it is so.

Part III

Stanza II

I think very well of Susan but I do not know her name
I think very well of Ellen but which is not the same
I think very well of Paul I tell him not to do so
I think very well of Francis Charles but do I do so
I think very well of Thomas but I do not not do so
I think very well of not very well of William
I think very well of any very well of him
I think very well of him.
It is remarkable how quickly they learn
But if they learn and it is very remarkable how quickly they learn
It makes not only but by and by
And they can not only be not here
But not there
Which after all makes no difference
After all this does not make any does not make any difference
I add added it to it.
I could rather be rather be here.

Stanza V

It is not a range of a mountain
Of average of a range of a average mountain
Nor can they of which of which of arrange
To have been not which they which
Can add a mountain to this.
Upper an add it then maintain
That if they were busy so to speak
Add it to and
It not only why they could not add ask
Or when just when more each other
There is no each other as they like
They add why then emerge an add in
It is of absolutely no importance how often they add it.

Part V


Which I wish to say is this
There is no beginning to an end
But there is a beginning and an end
To beginning.
Why yes of course.
Any one can learn that north of course
Is not only north but north as north
Why were they worried.
What I wish to say is this.
Yes of course

Stanza LXIII

I wish that I had spoken only of it all.

From Stanzas in Meditation by Gertrude Stein, published by Sun & Moon Press. © 1994 by Gertrude Stein. Used by permission of the Estate of Gertrude Stein. All rights reserved.
Gertrude Stein on the web:
The Academy of American Poets
Photographic portraits of Gertrude Stein, by Carl Van Vechten, in the public domain
A letter by Alice relating Gertrude's thoughts about Pittsburgh
The World of Gertrude Stein, extensive biography site
[4] - several photographs.
Gertrude Stein Links
The Work of Gertrude Stein by William Carlos Williams
Works by Gertrude Stein at Project Gutenberg
Interview with Paul Bowles on Gertrude Stein

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