A Future Dialog

Dog Growls.

Man: “I don’t want that sort of expression around me.  I appreciate free speech, but keep the aggression to yourself.”

Dog hems and haws plaintively.

Man: “Look, I know you just recently stepped out of the woods, yourself, by invitation, due to we human’s originally prizing, shall we say, your less indirect talents.  Nevertheless, with your shorter generation span and your particular breed’s focus on docility, I expect more out of you.  Or, more accurately, less.”

Dog lays head on paws resignedly.

Man: “Your restraint does you even more good than it does me.  Remember that next time you hunt dinner in the holograph room.”

DNA Beings

I’m probably going to seem ignorant to some, but I think the following:

The fact that DNA exists and unravels into the staggeringly complex forms it does necessarily indicates that there is some mechanism that writes experience back into DNA.  The orthodox mechanism, however, is abstract, a “Law”, that of Natural Selection.  But that is one level too removed.  There is something closer to the thing itself.  A Lamarckian something.  Something that developed early on (planetary timescale), or came from somewhere else (cue Twilight Zone muzak).  The thing itself, really, when you get down into it: “ding an sich”.

We identify the point of life with our mind, our present self.  And there’s a good case to be made for that.  It is our knowledge of the present which keeps us fed and from falling.  But we are here because of the reproductivity of our parents, as much for their past “present nowness”.  What goes into that reproductivity?  To the combination of chromosomes that purportedly happened once upon a time?  Half from half and the other half from the other half (is it truly halves?).  This blend, me.  This smart blend, I guess is my point: the process that goes into fissuring a child from totality.

Viewing things with an evolutionary lens, it is relatively clear that eukaryotic organisms like ourselves, and our means of reproduction, are emergent from those of the prokaryotic, single-celled lifeform.  A single-celled organism reproduces by splitting itself in two, nucleus first (as far as my understanding goes).  When the self-same goal of reproduction is translated to the eukaryotic reality, we still have, at root, the splitting of a cell in half (male and female gamete) – however, instead of self-building (completing) the half, the half is ferreted through a process that combines it with another half that was created by another eukaryotic instance of one’s self. (I can see in this a possible narrative about how eukaryotes evolved: prokaryotes split in normal reproduction, but instead of floating off, stayed together)

There’s a secret in that process.  Something beyond pure randomness that catalyzes the complexity of eyes and nervous system.  There is a source of creativity in there somewhere.  I guess that is my insight.  And my further insight is that that source of creativity is our felt experience of consciousness itself.  The creativity inherent in existence’s raw ability to keep persisting (self-organizing into atomic and subatomic particles and molecules, etc, stable configurations) is what we experience in each moment as consciousness.

Or, as worded in the Tibetan Book of the Dead:

This intrinsic awareness, which is not extraneously derived, is itself the genuine introduction to the abiding nature of [all] things… One’s own immediate consciousness is this very [reality]! [Tibetan Book of the Dead, pg. 42, Penguin Classics]

I’d love to see a study that computationally analyzes the differences between the hundreds of millions of sperm in a single male ejaculation.  And then do that analysis on a lifetime of such instances.  And then do a comparitive analysis.  Try to factor in life experiences.  This could probably be done with a rodent, although a human would be interesting too.  The point is to try to identify patterns within and between the environment of the male and the DNA of the male’s gametes.  I suggest male’s since, unlike females, their gametes are produced throughout life, vs early on during a single phase.  Have studies been done to try to extract an image of a parental environment from the differences between the DNA of a parent and a child?

The pixels would be in the form of the representational units of the organism itself.  And that probably doesn’t change even from kingdom to kingdom.  It’s a DNA thing.  I wonder how the world is represented in DNA?  Or better yet, the metabolic processes within the cell that read and write their little windows onto the world into DNA.  This all could mean that I identify consciousness (not intellect, mind you) with something that is occurring in DNA rather than brain.  It would be amusing if that turned out to be more accurate.  Although, I’m not actually even saying it occurs in DNA.  I’m saying it occurs in energy and that what we recognize as life is a harmonic emergence of that raw existingness into different scales of expression (cell, person, society, Gaia global superogranism, [universal consciousness background radiation?]).

Movement Mind and Breath

In the fantastic book Job’s Body by Deane Juhan, I read (pg xxv):

Movement is the unifying bond between the mind and the body, and sensations are the substance of that bond.

Being a meditator of sorts, this brought to mind breath (of sorts, because, apparently, it was out of mind when what I described occurred  :).  Breath is perhaps the greatest deliberate tool for achieving meditative states.  What I’ve long found so powerful about breath as a tool for concentrating focus is how it is continuously moving.  It is a moving anchor.  Kind of like how a candle flame is a moving anchor.  Staring at something that is unmoving, especially in partial light, or continuous light is an exercise in flowing with the physiological goings-ons within the eyes, as lights and darks invert and cloudiness undulates about.  That is its own sort of meditation in/on pratyahara, or detachment from the senses.  Or like hearing blood flow in your ears to the exclusion of other sound.  Metasensing.

Kind of like exploratory writing, too.  [“Without focusing on the view, search for the observer! {Tibetan Book of the Dead, pg. 48}]

Breath is great because the movement of it ripples throughout the body and even back into its next instance.  Perhaps there are reverberations of our first breath?  Still?

Breath is great because while it is an instance of continuous movement, it isn’t superfluous, like kata or asana.  There is only one movement that we have to be involved in at each moment, and that is breath.

Breath is great because it serves as an organizational framework for the self.  As the breath moves through the body a characteristic pattern of sensations can be detected and cultivated.  Awareness of the expression of this pattern can be used not only to anchor a structured sense of self, but as a reflection of the self and a tool for evolving the pattern and form of the breath and the body.

Is there only one such moving anchor within our bodies?  There are many, but another likely candidate is our heart beat.  This muscle too moves continuously throughout our living.  I can actually feel it in there, sort of galumphing away, feeling just like it sounds on TV, seemingly a little behind and under my head-centered self.

I won’t dig too deep into that well, for the now.  A lot of responsibility, one’s beating heart.  But it sure is fun to (watch the) heart beat to breath.  Breathing to the heart beat is probably a doorway into the autonomic process (as speech was into breath?).

In other words, just as the mind organizes the rest of the body’s tissues into a life process, sensations to a large degree organize the mind.  They do not simply give the mind material to organize, they are themselves a major organizing principle. (ibid, xxvi)

Semi-Yogic Reflections

Human beings are cursed with the most abject of stupidities.

Pulse an awareness through the entire body – with breath, after breath, with pulse.  So, don’t start at the extremities and go inward.  Start at the heart and pulse like sonar intout.

Movements should begin with breath, not belatedly take breath into account.  That becomes a revolution of experience.  the deeper and more broadly it is applied the more complete the transformation.

Don’t worry about the one true view.  It’s too confusing, anyway, what, with all the probabilities of sub-atomic happenings.  I prefer to collect contradictory facets of the jewel, just those that catch my eye.  I visualize, although this isn’t just visualization, it’s more feeling-fantasy, that I’m wrapped in breath, all sensation and experience and thought and movement and feelings – all in breath.  The continuous breath that ebbs and flows and will do so with the moon of my energic need until that fire is extinguished in death.

Grapes and more general concerns

Don’t you hate that waxy stuff on grapes?  I do.  I know the wax itself is produced by the grape to preserve moisture, but of course a film of pesticides and dust also layers on top.  For years I rinsed in the sink and just dealt with it.  Then a couple years ago I started rubbing each grape on my shirt before I ate it.  Slows down grape eating quite a bit.  Finally, I got sick of that and looked for a better way.  Shaking the grapes around in a closed bowl with salt and baking soda works well.  But that led me to the question of why aren’t these things being cleaned somewhere in the middle before I buy the grapes.

Why are we being given pesticides to eat?  I guess because getting the grapes wet speeds up their decay?  Maybe we could package them more intelligently?  I’m sick of being served up poison by an industry that keeps saying “it’s been found to be safe” up until the point where it’s found not to be safe and we have to hear about it from someone else.  Things aren’t found to be “safe”, the “harm” hasn’t been identified yet.