Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein
Scientists have coined a new term to describe our absence from the natural world during the pandemic – Anthropause – the temporary disappearance of humans from the natural environment. The wretched covid-19 pandemic has given us a peek at the natural world with fewer humans present. This glimpse is both marvelous and disheartening. Because hundreds of millions of people were self-isolating, wildlife roamed more freely and began to reclaim portions of their ancient territories.
Transportation was nearly ground to a complete halt globally and animals crossed the road to explore our temporarily vacated territory. Modern human civilization has become a geological force surpassing such natural forces as earthquakes and volcanoes. At first, the construction of cities carved out strongholds to protect against nature. Transportation networks where then added in order to support mankind’s artificial habitats. These manufactured trackways interrupted primeval pathways. The human animal then greedily dominated those subdivided areas no longer simply for survival but for gain. This civilized environment, separated from creation, became spiritually discordant and hollow.
All manner of wild animals have been roaming through the vacated cites. They approached warily at first sensing that the top apex predator is still nearby. The populations of animals that depend on garbage have declined or are reverting back to their instinctive behavior. Sadly, some animals that rely on human benevolence, such as through tourism and donations, are declining. While other animals see the vacated space as an opportunity to expand. As the pandemic restrictions ease, we must see these lessons and adapt our own behavior to further benefit nature. With more people moving towards virtual work, and migrating away from large cities, humanity should live more attuned to nature. Our spirits are calling out for this natural reconciliation.
Let’s walk the path to a brighter future of a more peaceful coexistence with the natural world. Over the coming decade great technological leaps can enhance the lives of a large portion of humankind, or further isolate us from one another and from a greatly diminished natural world. Our human civilization has reached one of the long anticipated crossroads for survival. The chronicles of human history contain scores of tales of collapse and downfalls. Choices we make now will create the paths forward for the future of humanity. Let us choose wisely – together.
I am very happy to say, my new book is slowly rising in the Amazon rankings for Spiritual Self-Help books. The world needs more positivity, and so I am offering my book for free on July 5.
We are all wandering timelessly through paradise. Unwrapping the gift that is life reveals who we truly are. There are many stages on your life-journey. After an unexpected epiphany changed my life forever I decided to write this book. I hope by reading it you can discover your own unique way to unbox your soul and discover the godlight within.
Many self-help methods prescribe a series of steps necessary for your advancement, but the real world does not always work that way. Religions offer paths to the same end – connecting to the Divine. And dozens of philosophies offer techniques to prepare for the journey towards enlightenment and transcendence. Just as water flows to the sea by discovering a wandering path, your life will meander down many paths before discovering the Godlight within you. I have compiled and organized many of my best blog posts in Unboxing Your Soul: Discovering the Godlight within. There are over one hundred fifteen reflections in five sections through progressively deeper layers of the Self: Self-Expression, Self-Esteem,Self-Awareness, Self-Actualization, and Self-Transcendence. There are nearly one hundred fifty inspirational quotes and terms to encourage your journey. Additionally, there are two hundred tips for improving your life from general wellness to transcendence. I sincerely wish you peace and happiness on your journey. Everyone’s journey is different, but the broad steps are similar.
If you can’t wait until this Sunday :-), or if you would like to support my writing, please consider buying a copy of the eBook or paperback.
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. – John Muir
There are great wonders in this heaven of a world of ours. One does not have to wander to the ends of the earth to find mystery and magic. Nature’s grandeur is on display wherever you look. So many people do not set foot on soil for weeks on end. Returning to nature, if only for a few minutes a week, offers enormous benefits to once psyche. Spirits soar with the sound of the wind in the trees. The body sympathetically vibrates when encountering wildlife. No price can be put on the joyous sensations rippling through the mind when interacting with resident wild denizens.
Nourished by rainfall and sunlight, vast varieties of glorious greenery burst forth from rock, soil, and sand. Capturing stellar energy through paper-thin membranes, wondrous vegetation provides the foundation for life itself. Life paints the landscape with a myriad of textures and hues. Following a sophisticated, flexible strategy, life adapts to its surroundings. Nature’s malleable elements glow with sumptuous offerings to fortify and invigorate both body and spirit. This week, reach out and touch a tree for a few minutes. In Japanese Shinto beliefs, trees are often viewed as sacred objects capable of housing the nature spirits known as “kami”. Kami personify the sacred energy arising from nature.
The same amazing power, drives galaxies, explodes stars, and energizes Earth’s vastly diverse life. Life occupies every hospitable niche from the top of the highest mountains to the deepest ocean bottom. Pause and consider odd nature of the hidden clam. Down beneath the sand the clam whiles away its time siphoning nutritious bits in and out a two-way gritty siphon with its tubular foot standing ready to dig deeper. Surrounded by sparkling grains of shattered mountains and lost continents, I feel I am very lucky to occasionally share the beach with such a well-adapted being.
It is said that our primitive ancestral life erupted on this planet over 3,500,000,000 years ago. But where did it come from before that? Who could believe that in all the universe, life only exists here? The universe is within us all, and in our blood we feel the pulse of life throughout the starry sky above. Take the time to get into nature this week. Let go of the chatter and stress for a while and wander down some dirt paths. Or make your own path. …and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough? – Vincent van Gogh
It is my wonderful youngest daughter’s birthday. I woke up thinking of the first time I looked into her beautiful blue eyes. When she was born, I was allowed to wheel her back to the nursery and I kissed her little forehead and looked into her innocent eyes and knew with absolute certainty, I would love her forever.
Blue has many connotations. For instance, Blues music got its name from the blue color of sulfur flames when the Devil was near. Blues songs are cathartic and chase away the sadness, in exhortations to the joy of living. When it comes to the color blue, the ancient Egyptians first produced blue pigment over 4,000 years ago. They heated limestone, sand and copper-containing minerals to produce a blue glass that was crushed and combined with egg whites to make paint and glazes.
So-called “true blue”, made from the gemstone lapis lazuli, was first used as a pigment in Buddhist paintings in Afghanistan 1400 years ago. Historians say that the ancient Greeks did not even have a word for Blue. Homer described the sea as “wine dark”. In English, Blue was the last of the basic color words to be added to the language. The deep blue lapis lazuli pigment was renamed Ultramarine, “beyond the sea”, about 600 years ago and was incredibly expensive. Painting changed when cobalt blue became available in the early 19th Century. Renoir and Van Gogh relished the less expensive blue. You can see the readily available cobalt blue liberate their creativity.
Indigo has been used to dye cloth blue for centuries. Above is a photo of natural indigo dye being made for batik art (Zhaoxing, Guizhou China). My wife and I spent a week in the area living in and around the various ethnic minority people. I enjoyed watching the batik process from start to finish.
Over 1600 years ago the Catholic Church decided Mary would have a blue robe to distinguish her in paintings. Over time the shade of blue became known as Navy Blue. Because Mary stood for innocence and honesty the color was seen as a symbol of being trustworthy. Navy Blue has been the official uniform color of the British Royal Navy for nearly three hundred years. Due to the symbolic trustworthiness, police use the color for their uniforms.
Pablo Picasso used Prussian Blue throughout his Blue Period , and the great master Katsushika Hokusai incorporated the color into many of his masterpieces. Throughout history the availability of pigments has opened new avenues for creativity and more practical applications. Prussian Blue is also the color still used today for “blueprints”. Take some time to enjoy the various shades of blues in your life. Chillout to my newest short music video on Youtube.
You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul. – George Bernard Shaw
Can you remember the first time you doodled something on a piece of paper? Think way back to when you were little and your world was like a colossal field of blooming flowers unfolding petal by petal. Remember the joy of playing with: glue, paints, clay, markers, or a simple pencil and eraser? Lost in the joyous revelry of imagination acts, the youthful spirit drifted atop the unconscious flow. As far as we know humans are the only creatures that create art. It is ingrained in human nature to witness the wonder of it All and want to unveil our awareness through our own artistic creations.
I do not hold many lofty preconceptions of what art is. According to the dictionary art is: … a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts, expressing the author’s imaginative, conceptual ideas, or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. On one end of the scale there certainly are masters and on the other end a fair amount of “art”-crap, but the urge to create is the same more or less. The alluring power of the irresistible yearning sparkles from the everyday. The heart fills with indescribable satisfaction as tantalizing insights come into being or simple scribbles. On another level, artistry is expressed through daily adaptations to life’s changes.
Self-expressions frees the spirit. Our choices over time become a personal style or aesthetic. The things you like, the clothes you wear, hobbies, music, foods you enjoy – in a way all these things involve an element of creativity and artistry. We evoke – produce/elicit/summon – our impression of reality through choices / judgments / preferences tempered by a galaxy of unique experiences. This finessing of our surroundings is the underlying artistry of living which we share with all life. And strengthening the personal connections to this bountiful force will improve one’s life immensely.
In the modern era, as science calculated the immensity of the Universe, the message many people heard was – humanity is insignificant in the overall grand scheme of the cosmos. But in fact each of us evokes the Universe into being. We aren’t different from the Universe, we are It. Pick up a brush, needle and thread, pencil, pen… and create. Artistic creation is a blessing. Peace
Take a look at my new book on Amazon. If you read it an enjoy it, please consider leaving a review. Thank you.
I am offering several books and long reads for Free on Amazon this coming weekend.
Friday June 26 : Chinese Dreaming
China’s over three hundred million Millennials remain relatively unknown internationally. They are the wellspring for the Chinese Dream. Chinese, Dreaming is a collection of writing and cultural observations about modern China selected from thousands of university students. Their lives are integrated with the digital realms of the Information Age. But China’s younger generation remains a mystery outside China. While working in China at two top universities for twelve years, I tried to inspire this amazing generation to find their voice and express their ideas by merging ancient literary traditions with digital native cyberspace sensibilities
June 27: Positive Light
Positive Light is the shining light within us all. Even if one travels millions of miles, memories of the first miles walked with a friend endure forever. As we mature, many of us ache to fulfill youthful promises, and no matter how much time has past, we can always honor old friends and reveal our true selves in the process. Samuel Coffman, reinventing himself as a writer, discovers the timeless force of living authentically while interviewing William the worldly director of Involution, a private foundation dedicated to peace and understanding. Throughout the book, William enlivens his story of a childhood promise made to a since departed friend with rich details from the multicultural tapestry that is his life. To move on with his life, the protagonist must transform negative thinking into positive action. Read My most recent novella for free on Saturday.
June 28: Luminous Science Fiction short story. The story begins in a dystopian world where out of control AI systems have attempted to eradicate humanity. Humanity’s extinction is halted by benevolent aliens who momentarily stop the AI hives. The Guides, humanity’s benefactors, announced they had come to take the Earth’s population to the stars. Powerful nations and corporations reacted to the aliens’ presence fearfully due to their unwillingness to surrender their grip on the global populace. As the Guides mingled with the people of Earth, the powerful decided to counter the Guides benevolence with propaganda and rebuilt meta-AI hives. When the security forces struck, the Guides transported humanity to the stars and struck down the malevolent forces of greed. Experience a future where aliens help us reveal our true humanity.
Enjoy. If you download and enjoy my writing, please leave a review.
Life is but a day; / A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way / From a tree’s summit. – John Keats
Life binds time and space together with transitory mortal fibers / Awakened from the Void / The mind stirs / Strains against annihilation / Tears at the fabric of reality / Fashions ornaments of hope / Offers up prayers / Evolves Love
Afloat on the immensity of eternity / Circuits of ever-dying-ever-living souls / Inhabiting numinous robes / Whirl and swirl around / Awash in disregarded glory / Searching for the ends of their noses – – No permanence is ours; we are a wave / That flows to fit whatever form it finds. / Through night or day, cathedral or the cave / We pass forever, craving form that binds– Hermann Hesse
Playing follow the leader / Lining up daily to be vaccinated against reality / Multitudes shield their eyes from illumination / Willfully denying the limitless wealth of their eternal nature / Sanctifying monetary goodies instead – – As wave is driven by wave / And each, pursued, pursues the wave ahead, / So time flies on and follows, flies, and follows, / Always, for ever and new. What was before / Is left behind; what never was is now; /And every passing moment is renewed. – Ovid
Live with a buoyant spirit instead / Evanescing existence / Flares and fades / But o’ the heavenly light it casts / Can last to the ultimate end – – But life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last. – Prince
My soul is in the sky.William Shakespeare – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
World civilization is transforming. The reality of Now voided the future imagined on New Year’s Day. The half a year journey from then to Now imploded global predictions for everything. Nearly a half million people have died, and the lives of each and every one of us have been impacted. But we are here. We are continuing on a new journey. This is the departure point for the re-imagined future. Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. – Matsuo Bashô
It is Midsummer’s Eve. June 24 is Midsummer. Since ancient times, great solstitial wheels were set on fire and rolled downhill to signify the sun reaching its highest point in the sky. For Christians it is a time to celebrate St. John the Baptist. This is a time of great magic and potent energy. For Taoists, the summer solstice represented pure Yang energy, and afterwards a time of growing Yin energy. This is a time of expanding creative energy. People are mistaken when they view Yin and Yang as opposites, when in fact they are a unified whole. They are relative to each other. One contains the other. A waves crest is Yang and the wave’s trough is Yin. The Yang starts and action, and the Yin receives it. This is the departure point for Change.The only journey is the one within. – Rainer Rilke
The mighty force within you connects you to this Universe. Lives have been simplified out of necessity. Choices, once varied and abundant, are reduced to the essentials. This reduction of outward life needs to be met with an expansion of the inner life. Many people are suffering from loneliness and anxiety. Humans are social animals. Being forced apart, separated by barriers and masks impacts us in ways that are difficult to express. Our bodies respond despite trying to bolster our spirits with positive happy thoughts. These are of little use against ancient fight-or-flight responses to a life out-of-balance. To increase inner peace, counter the unbalancing social estrangement with a counterbalancing connection of your soul to the omnipresent soul. This is the departure point for the inward journey.If light is in your heart / You will find your way home.– Rumi
In the ancient past, after the fiery solstitial wheel stopped at the bottom of the hill, households would take embers of the fire home to light their hearths. Our heart-hearths glow with an eternal flame. That flame was lit not at our birth, or the birth of our parents, or even the first life on Earth. That perpetual spark was ignited at the birth of the Universe. All that is and ever was radiates with primordial first-light. Wander into nature and sense it all around. See it shining in the eyes of those you meet. Feel a universal kinship and make yourself at home in the world we share with one another. The is the departure point for transcendence. You haven’t really been anywhere until you’ve got back home. – Terry Pratchet
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come. – William Shakespeare
Happiness cannot be purchased. Joy springs from the spontaneous interactions with the present. Pale echoes of nostalgia lay back in the past; abstract fantasy apparitions float off in the future. Being happily active in creation sprouts well-being into the heart like seeds bursting through the ground. Living close to nature brings a sparkle to the eyes, laughter to the spirit and mellow ripeness to the mind.
Family unites the past, the present and the future. Families come in all manner of configurations nowadays. And simply put love should unite them all. With Father’s Day approaching my thoughts are filled with joyous thoughts of my three kids. I cannot stop my thoughts from drifting back to the golden days we spent together as they were growing up. Our world was small in size but infinite in space. The happy times we had far outweighed the occasional troubles. All families have difficulties but laughter will allow the heart to soar over those rough patches. If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. – George Bernard Shaw
Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow. – John Lennon When you love someone you must love the real person and not some idealized personality. The joy of being near the ones we love makes our lives thrive with timeless blossoms of joyous memory. As a father I accepted and encouraged the emergence of my kids’ nature. Their individual experiences, and our experiences together created a worldview unique to their spirits. The celebrations and the losses shaped portions of our character, but do not decree over who we can be. Our love spreads potentiality like morning dew.
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? – Hunter S. Thompson. Love simply and with all your heart. Life offers both thorns and sweetness. Moment by moment, life unfolds. If our lives our lived not only for ourselves but for others as well, age will not matter. By loving others, our hearts will bear the treasured fruit of the Joyous Now.