Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rob Breszny: Evil is Boring

I don't know if you've run across Rob Breszny before. But if not, you might enjoy his message. I find what he has to say refreshing, if perhaps overstated.

Since running across Rob's work, I've learned to break a long-standing habit of "keeping informed" by reading newspapers, listening to the radio often Pacifica, NPR.

These days I prefer to listen to slack key guitar music. That's what's playing in the background right now as I type this. Instead of hearing depressing news over which I have effectively zero control, I fill up with harmony and images of green islands, white beaches, and the blue Pacific Ocean.

I'm a whole lot happier thanks to Rob.

Today I get much of my news from plants and animals, especially wild ones. It's local news and it's real news.

Here's a passage that appeared on Rob's website today:

When an old tree in the rain forest dies and topples over, it takes a long time to decompose. As it does, it becomes host to new saplings that use the decaying log for nourishment.

Picture yourself sitting in the forest gazing upon this scene. How do you describe it? Would you dwell on the putrefaction of the fallen tree while ignoring the fresh life sprouting out of it? If you did, you'd be imitating the perspective of many modern storytellers, especially the journalists and novelists and filmmakers and producers of TV dramas. They devoutly believe that tales of affliction and mayhem and corruption and tragedy are inherently more interesting than tales of triumph and liberation and pleasure and ingenuity.

Using the juggernaut of the media and entertainment industries, they relentlessly propagate this covert dogma. It's not sufficiently profound or well thought out to be called nihilism. Pop nihilism is a more accurate term. The mass audience is the victim of this inane ugliness, brainwashed by a multibillion-dollar propaganda machine that in comparison makes Himmler's vaunted soul-stealing apparatus look like a child's backyard puppet show. This is the engine of the phenomena I call the global genocide of the imagination.

At the Beauty and Truth Lab, we believe that stories about the rot are not inherently more captivating than stories about the splendor. On the contrary, given how predictable and ubiquitous they are, stories about the rot are actually quite dull. Obsessing on evil is boring. Rousing fear is a hackneyed shtick. Wallowing in despair is a bad habit. Indulging in cynicism is akin to committing a copycat crime.

To read the rest of "EVIL IS BORING," go here: http://bit.ly/EvilisBoring

To hear the audio version:http://bit.ly/A9cl4D

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shake, Fold

Worth your time.

Pass it on.

All the Water on Planet Earth

If you read through Buddhism's  Pali Canon, every now and then you come across quaint metaphors using the ocean as a symbol of vastness. I remember statements about how the oceans' vastness make it invulnerable to poisoning. I get the idea: a bucketful of toxins thrown in the ocean will soon disperse and leave behine no discernible harm.

More than 2000 years later such metaphors seem outdated. Vastness belongs to space itself.

Today we understand that our precious little planet's oceans are finite. They have proven themselves vulnerable to humankind's disregard. We are managing to pollute the oceans.

Just how finite is illustrated quite powerfully by this image that appeared on the NASA website.

All the Water on Planet Earth 
Illustration Credit & CopyrightJack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Howard Perlman, USGS
Explanation: How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. The above illustration shows what would happen if all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of theEarth's Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn's moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. How even this much water came to be on the Earth and whether any significant amount is trapped far beneath Earth's surface remain topics of research.

Nuclear power plants come to my mind as spectacularly bad things to build. I heard that debris from the Fukushima tsunami disaster has drifted across the Pacific. Most of it sank to the bottom of the ocean. But quite a lot of debris is now making its way to our shorelines here on the West Coast. There is concern I guess that drums of toxic waste might land here and release their contents as they pound against rocks in the surf.

So, I'll remember to say thank you to water each time I encounter it today. The stuff is as precious as life itself.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May 5th Moon Paddle

May full moon paddle
two friends, myriad bat rays,
coyote, osprey.