Category Archives: Consciousness

Things I like – Vidya Ray –

Things I like – Vidya Ray –


Kyle Thompson

A penny for your thoughts…

This is a post reblogged from Dr Leaf! 

I have been wondering a lot about my own future and of those I love and have loved and lost.

I ask myself after studying Buddhism in a temple for many years and struggling with it,  I must add, am I thinking thoughts or are they thinking me?  We give so much power to the individual and we are suddenly God’s of our own mind.  If  indeed we are the God homunculus of our own minds, this article is food for thought.  I have begun to wonder when I have had toxic employers how I could have coped better.  I worked at Takashimaya for a few years and the serene environs did not always mirror the infrastructure within, nevertheless working with sensitive artist types is never going to be a piece of cake but perhaps a delicate case of the loony beautiful mind macaroons!  Wonderful colors and intense emotions of a delicate navigation.  I wrote before about my toxic boss and how painful it was to my health and in fact sensitive genius sorts are in fact requiring special amor.  I ask myself many questions but most of all how different the notions of mind has developed from a historical perspective.  Shaman’s felt that they could go out into the etherspheres and connect with conflicting forces that were eating at their patients.  They made deals with the moguls whom bossed our brains around and managed to assuage the demons.  We don’t believe in outside forces anymore so we are the big cheese.  There are no demons hacking into our personal ecosystemic defense systems nor angels and Saints to protect us.  It is all “every man for himself”


My personal attitudes have changed in my 52 years of life.  Alas, without getting into it?  The techniques of a higher power have saved countless lives from the horrors of addiction. We don’t know how or why.  If we are suddenly the sole proprietors of our emotional brain stuff then it seems as though it is a very good idea to watch for invasions of toxic behaviors and to be gentle and forgiving most of all with ourselves and others.  Yet, I have heard that being like an official bouncer is not so bad when it comes to employers whom bring their toxic emotions into our lives with gossip and swaying us to take sides or involve us in toxic choices especially when or if we are sick.  I notice that when I am upset I gravitate towards fried toxic food!  I seem to crave more of what mirrors my toxic mind.  I am weak and I am wild. I am a child however of great faith in imagination. I believe that there are forces much too powerful and beyond me.  I feel that many illnesses as they say are not only simply genetic but what does genetics truly mean on a psyche-spiritual scale?  Tibetan Buddhists often cite the victory of a karmic illness afflicting ones body as genetic.  Our Karma follows us?  I find this so hard and inflexible.  Frightful even!   I hope that nature is much more forgiving and healing. Ressurecting as always from bad dreams, cuts and surges. Most of all from painful traumatic experiences.  If only guardian angels truly tuck us in at night and ward off evil.

Yet, the idea that our genetic coding involves data which we are not privy to in our simple human shells, begs question as to whether there are contributing forces from another world?  Hungry ghosts they are called in Buddhism which whisper in your ear or eat up your cells. During the most important Buddhist holiday, Ullambana we leave out special meals for the ghosts and we pay special care to give alms to those whom work in the spiritual world such as Priests, monks, Nuns, and those of the arts whom are channels for the untapped sources of inspiration and “Mono”   In Japan we call it “controlling the Mono”  or life forces of the living and the beyond and how they influence this world. Of course which are all purely personal choices.  Genetics to me are not simply a hard, fast, fixed and unpliable dimension. So, I pray and beg the powers that be for their help.  Just my bag.  So before I can take credit for any great ideas which come to me?  I must thank nature first.  Anyway, some thoughts on wellness and avoiding toxic environs.  I wish my invisible friend Giorgio was still here.  When he found out that his cancer had metastasized?  How harsh. I cannot judge him nor decipher what may have pained him, he did tell a close confidant that his heart and soul were broken, as if he had no feet to stand upon in this world. I don’t know why or what this meant.  I know that cancer is never simple, but I do beg the God’s everyday to pull a magic trick out of his hat and stop this menacing killer. Malicious is how Giorgio saw it. Like scissors it cuts one up and makes mince meat with intrepid oxidative stress on ones cells.  I beg the world to stop such stressful lives.  To avoid stressful people. How can we in New York?  I feel so helpless in helping. I get abscesses and infections when I am deeply stressed.  I have realized that with acceptance, prayer, diet and a stress outlet and philosophical inquiry these infections are less and less .   Our thoughts can be magical castles that build wondrous lives to serve others and like bodhisattvas and angels help others or we can blindly terrorize for money and power.  How we aid to the harm of others is impossible to see?  Yet when we loes a loved one due to the violence of ideas which self replicate like cancer.  The toxic effects of the holocaust and to some degree the Japanese internment will be long term.  I pray for peace and for beauty.  I pray. I pray.  In the meantime, lots of love and garlic during the winter.  Love to all.  The blackout was hard here in NYC but frankly I saw electricity must be a friend not a source of addiction and terror.

Thought Life

Thought Life

87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.

The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. There are INTELLECTUAL and MEDICAL reasons to FORGIVE! Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few. Consciously control your thought life and start to detox your brain!

Medical research increasingly points to the fact that thinking and consciously controlling your thought life is one of the best ways, if not the best way of detoxing your brain. It allows you to get rid of those toxic thoughts and emotions that can consume and control your mind.

Change in your thinking is essential to detox the brain. Consciously controlling your thought life means not letting thoughts rampage through your mind. It means learning to engage interactively with every single thought that you have, and to analyse it before you decide either to accept or reject it.

How do you go about doing that? By “looking” at your mental processes. That may sound like a strange, if not impossible thing to do. After all, it’s not as if you can just crack open your skull like an egg and have a look at what is going on inside your brain.

It is possible, however, to look at your mental processes. In fact, it is not just possible, it is essential.

For example consider the following:

  • How many “could-have”, “would-have”, “should-have” statements have you made today?
  • How many “if onlys” were part of your inner vocabulary today?
  • How many times have you replayed in your head a conversation or situation that pained you, or one that hasn’t even occurred yet?
  • How many scenarios have you created of the unpredictable future?
  • How much is speculation taking out of your day?
  • How passive is your mind?
  • How honest are you with yourself?
  • Are you at cross-purposes with yourself – going through the motions, but not really committed to the goal, saying one thing but meaning another?
  • How distorted is your thinking? Are you forming a personal identity around for example, a disease? Do you speak about “my arthritis”, “my multiple sclerosis”, “my heart problem”?
  • Do you ever make comments like “nothing ever goes right for me”; “everything I touch fails”; “I always mess up”?

If you answered yes even to just one of these, your thought life needs detoxing right now.

A potential pitfall on the path towards detoxing your brain is the fact that toxic thoughts come in many guises. On the surface, a thought like “I must do well” seems positive enough. It is only when you look at it closely, and check out the feelings it generates and their effects on your body and mind, that you will be able to judge fairly and squarely if this is a thought that serves you well.

If you base your thought life on assumptions like the above the foundations will be shaky and the edifice (your body mind) that you create thereafter will be highly unstable. As you think more toxic thoughts and generate more toxic emotions, that edifice will show cracks, cave in and eventually collapse altogether as burgeoning illness and disease takes hold.

Right off, you need to ditch unrealistic thinking and keep in mind some key principles to kick-start the process of controlling toxic thoughts:
Thoughts create your moods
When you experience a fear-based emotion you will feel depressed and your thoughts will be characterised by negativity
A negative thought linked to emotional turmoil will be distorted
“…bringing all thoughts into captivity to Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 10:5) becomes the golden rule of safe thinking

There are four simple techniques involved:

  1. Understanding that thoughts are real and have an actual anatomy
    Thoughts are real things: they have a structure in your brain and occupy space. Thoughts are the same as memories. Thoughts and memories look like trees and are called neurons or nerve cells. You build a double memory of everything as a mirror image of each other. This means that the memory on the left side of the brain builds from the detail to the big picture; and the memory on the right side builds from the big picture to the detail. When you put these two perspectives of thought together, you get intelligent understanding taking place. As information comes in from the five senses, you process it in certain structures of your brain, then you grow branches on the “trees” to hold this information in long term memory. In fact, as you reading this, you are growing thoughts, because, thoughts are the result of what we hear and read and see and feel and experience. This means that whatever you grow is part of you, actual branches in your brain that create your attitude and influence your decisions.
  2. Increasing conscious awareness of your thoughts and how you are feeling.
    Knowledge of the anatomy of thought naturally leads into the process of actively analysing incoming information and thoughts constantly. You should never let a thought or thoughts roam chaotically and unchecked through your head. Examine every thought you have and ask yourself: is this good for me? Is it from God or the devil or my own confused thinking? Conscious awareness of your thinking should become like a habit. A habit takes twenty-one days to create. Today is the first day of that twenty-one…
  3. Doing something once you have analysed the thought.
    So, whilst technique two is developing a conscious awareness of what you are thinking about. Now technique three is doing something about the thought. This means making a conscious decision to actively accept the thought (if it is good for you) or reject it (if it is bad for you). This means you use your God-given ability of free will (this also has actual structural position in the brain) to do something about the thought you are consciously aware of. Thoughts have as much control as we give them.
  4. Building new memories over the old.
    This is the really exciting part in dealing with our thought life because, accepting or rejecting the thought is changing the neural circuitry of your brain: you brain is growing while you think and you have control over the process. Technique four happens when the brain steps in and creates a structural representation of what you have chosen to accept (adds more branches on the tree) and converts what you have chosen to reject into hot air!

    • Lets see how these four techniques work if you have an unforgiveness in your memory trees towards someone:
    • Technique one: this unforgiveness looks like a thorn tree and will hurt you – visualize the twisted bitter thorn tree.
    • Technique two: be consciously aware of this thought of unforgiveness – where it comes from, how long it has been there, and so on.
    • Technique three: ask the Holy Spirit to help you use your free will to make the wisdom decision to reject unforgiveness and forgive. Picture the unforgiveness disappearing as hot air.
    • Technique four: now build a new de-thorned memory to replace the thorny unforgiveness with for example, quoting scriptures, singing a worship song, praying for the person, and so on.

When I was young by Eric Burdon and the Animals

I thought Eric Burdon was the coolest when I was 7 years old.  I still do.

Another tribute to my life growing up in a military family.  The main component which rubbed off on me based on military training was my Father’s obsession with how he ran the kitchen.  You would be in the proverbial woodshed if you did not wash the dishes as you went a long.  Pretty much most of my Father’s wisdom which rubbed off on me has to do with his philosophy of cooking.  For example if you cook two pies and one  taste better than the other?  Then you probably should have only cooked one!  Meaning don’t expand your enterprises in business or relationships if it makes you compromise on quality.  His main motto was “Stop trying to be a big shot, just be a little shot and get the job done”  It’s terribly wise, why defend this huge ego when you can have a smaller one and have a lot more free time.  he he…  Eric Burdon personified being cool and having this psychedelic country thang.  To prepare for peace, prepare for war…  To prepare for war?  Prepare for peace?  Maybe Spill the Wine is my favorite song by them?  Yes, definitely.

Must be karma for me to see this! We live in twittering times where facebook takes the place for real faces. We are in such an over saturation cosmodrama. We can monitor others conversations which affect our own egos and suddenly our voices at times even against our own permission take on a life of their own. All the while all of the intimacy and courage of beauty is lost. I for one must confess I have not followed these extremely wise words enough. In atonement or “at- ONE- ment, i have edited the Crow article of my usual preface of anecdotes.  The heart so often needs no words? Do we live in an even more cerebral era? Thank’s to Sloppy Buddhist!  Have a Buddhaful Day!

Angry Crows Attack Police Officers In Everett, Washington

Thank you to Sloppy Buddhist for finding this unique blackbird incident!  I simply love them and they have always been my dearest affectionate muses. Thank’s a lot for this article to the Sloppy Buddhist!

EVERETT, Wash. — Officers at a Seattle-area police department have found themselves in a flap with some unusual suspects: an angry flock of birds.

Crows have been attacking police in the parking lot of an Everett Police Department precinct station. They’ve been swooping down and dive-bombing the officers as they walk to and from their cars.

Lt. Bob Johns said he recently was flanked by the aggressive birds and “got zinged.”

“They’re like velociraptors,” Johns said.

One officer used his siren to try to scare away the crows, but it didn’t work. The birds responded by decorating his car with droppings, The Daily Herald reported.

State Fish and Wildlife Department biologist Ruth Milner said the birds are simply protecting baby crows that have been kicked out of the nest and are learning to fly. Adult crows are quite protective of their young – a common trait among larger birds and birds of prey.

“All they’re doing is defending their nest,” Milner said.

She noted crows also can recognize people’s individual features. And they hold grudges.

“If your cops have done something that (the crows) perceive as a threat, they could be keying in on them because they’re all wearing the same kind of uniform,” Milner said.

In addition to the officers, at least a dozen city employees have encountered the angry crows, and some have complained about being attacked, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said. But she said police and city workers have agreed to let the crows be, and wait out the aggression.

She said the employees will be cautious but can use umbrellas to defend themselves if need be.

Everett is about 25 miles north of Seattle.


Information from: The Daily Herald,

via Angry Crows Attack Police Officers In Everett, Washington.

The Transcendentalist

The Transcendentalist

from Lectures, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Lecture read at the Masonic Temple, Boston,

January, 1842

The first thing we have to say respecting what are called new views here in New England, at the present time, is, that they are not new, but the very oldest of thoughts cast into the mould of these new times. The light is always identical in its composition, but it falls on a great variety of objects, and by so falling is first revealed to us, not in its own form, for it is formless, but in theirs; in like manner, thought only appears in the objects it classifies. What is popularly called Transcendentalism among us, is Idealism; Idealism as it appears in 1842. As thinkers, mankind have ever divided into two sects, Materialists and Idealists; the first class founding on experience, the second on consciousness; the first class beginning to think from the data of the senses, the second class perceive that the senses are not final, and say, the senses give us representations of things, but what are the things themselves, they cannot tell.


The materialist insists on facts, on history, on the force of circumstances, and the animal wants of man; the idealist on the power of Thought and of Will, on inspiration, on miracle, on individual culture. These two modes of thinking are both natural, but the idealist contends that his way of thinking is in higher nature. He concedes all that the other affirms, admits the impressions of sense, admits their coherency, their use and beauty, and then asks the materialist for his grounds of assurance that things are as his senses represent them. But I, he says, affirm facts not affected by the illusions of sense, facts which are of the same nature as the faculty which reports them, and not liable to doubt; facts which in their first appearance to us assume a native superiority to material facts, degrading these into a language by which the first are to be spoken; facts which it only needs a retirement from the senses to discern. Every materialist will be an idealist; but an idealist can never go backward to be a materialist.

The idealist, in speaking of events, sees them as spirits. He does not deny the sensuous fact: by no means; but he will not see that alone. He does not deny the presence of this table, this chair, and the walls of this room, but he looks at these things as the reverse side of the tapestry, as the other end, each being a sequel or completion of a spiritual fact which nearly concerns him. This manner of looking at things, transfers every object in nature from an independent and anomalous position without there, into the consciousness. Even the materialist Condillac, perhaps the most logical expounder of materialism, was constrained to say, “Though we should soar into the heavens, though we should sink into the abyss, we never go out of ourselves; it is always our own thought that we perceive.” What more could an idealist say?

The materialist, secure in the certainty of sensation, mocks at fine-spun theories, at star-gazers and dreamers, and believes that his life is solid, that he at least takes nothing for granted, but knows where he stands, and what he does. Yet how easy it is to show him, that he also is a phantom walking and working amid phantoms, and that he need only ask a question or two beyond his daily questions, to find his solid universe growing dim and impalpable before his sense. The sturdy capitalist, no matter how deep and square on blocks of Quincy granite he lays the foundations of his banking-house or Exchange, must set it, at last, not on a cube corresponding to the angles of his structure, but on a mass of unknown materials and solidity, red-hot or white-hot, perhaps at the core, which rounds off to an almost perfect sphericity, and lies floating in soft air, and goes spinning away, dragging bank and banker with it at a rate of thousands of miles the hour, he knows not whither, — a bit of bullet, now glimmering, now darkling through a small cubic space on the edge of an unimaginable pit of emptiness. And this wild balloon, in which his whole venture is embarked, is a just symbol of his whole state and faculty. One thing, at least, he says is certain, and does not give me the headache, that figures do not lie; the multiplication table has been hitherto found unimpeachable truth; and, moreover, if I put a gold eagle in my safe, I find it again to-morrow; — but for these thoughts, I know not whence they are. They change and pass away. But ask him why he believes that an uniform experience will continue uniform, or on what grounds he founds his faith in his figures, and he will perceive that his mental fabric is built up on just as strange and quaking foundations as his proud edifice of stone.

via The Transcendentalist.

FICTIONAL FILM CLUB: Klaus NomiLE PAROLE (THE WORDS, aka TALEBAIT) (Mario Monicelli, 1973)

LE PAROLE (THE WORDS, aka TALEBAIT) (Mario Monicelli, 1973)


Mario Monicelli and Italo Calvino appear on-screen. Calvino stands over a typewriter. Monicelli reads what he types: ‘When you get your tenses wrong, tectonic plates swallow houses somewhere warm. When your sentence srtucture is unsound, skyscrapers topple in another city. Words are everything.’ What follows is a succession of short films, all written by Calvino, and directed by Monicelli.


Stories, of course, are not invented. They have to be caught. Some move slowly, like trees, and can be cut and stripped easily. Others, by which we mean the better, rarer ones, have a quicksilver movement that means they must be tricked. The Story Hunters of Italo Calvino’s fable are not wilderness wanderers with spears, but lateral-thinking architects. Distant diggers obey subsequent clauses, and despite trundling through the tenses, from future perfect back to shrunken present, and manage to lay solid enough foundations. The machines pivot, laying scaffold to support word brick lines. These sentences can act as mazes, forcing stories down dead end alleys and into convenient corners. This results, hopefully, in capture. The words are abstract traps. For the Story Hunter, they can be everything, the poison that drugs the tale, the wall that prevents convenient getaway, but also (and this is crucial), they can serve to delay the hunter, for it is possible that he too may be rendered woozy and confused by the structures, and drunk on their horny potentials, be rendered babbling into ever diminishing tunnels of chatter, where letters, symbols, and punctuation haunt his direction (parentheses, often a clarifying pair of friends, only adding to the disruption by building roadblocks where doors should be (and building doorways inside smaller doorways, ever onwards) and offering little defence when truly required (when the tale shakes its fur and sidesteps at top speed, once, twice, a pirouette, a hop, all punctuation trips; in panic, over itself, over each other), and so the tale, so ripe for grasping and pinning while still alive into the display case (for sombre repeats, ad infinitum) one moment, is gone from view the next, tracks disappearing in the high winds/ heavy snowfall/ persistent drizzle.


‘I shall be attaching myself to you like starfish for the rest of the night’. A writer (Vittorio Gassman) attempts to write down every detail of a woman (Gigi Proietti). She moves, and his notes are blurred.


New York, 1899. When The Professor (Donald Sutherland) designs a machine that writes plots for stories, he is inundated with visits from budding novelists high in descriptive talent but lacking the requisite organizational story-telling abilities to wow. At first the existence of the machine suggests the unimaginative rut that Man has run into by offering wondrous and complex storylines that are used by the writers to garnish the theatre and novels of the time. The Professor tours America with the machine, accompanied by his money-seeking agent (Warren Oates) and his daughter (Lily Dragoon), sprinkling inventive narratives on writers everywhere at $10 a pop. But soon there are problems: A protest group, known as the Pro-Imaginatives, follow the tour and as attention for the Professor’s invention grows, so does their opposition. They believe that ‘man should stand or fall by his own ideas, and that using a machine to create thoughts is blasphemous and false’.


Transcendentalism and the Light Witch


Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty)  by Anne Sexton

a girl who keeps slipping off,
arms limp as old carrots,
into the hypnotist’s trance,
into a spirit world
speaking with the gift of tongues.
She is stuck in the time machine,
suddenly two years old sucking her thumb,
as inward as a snail,
learning to talk again.
She’s on a voyage.
She is swimming further and further back,
up like a salmon,
struggling into her mother’s pocketbook.
Little doll child,
come here to Papa.
Sit on my knee.
I have kisses for the back of your neck.
A penny for your thoughts, Princess.
I will hunt them like an emerald

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Courtney Brooke is a New England based photographer who grew up in a dreamy place where Transcendentalism met with Utopian wonder and wooded ritual. While she travels frequently, Courtney will forever call the rolling foggy New England hills her home. She pulls inspiration from photos taken in earlier dates and the rich history of the environment that surrounds her. Self-discovery and personal conviction came quite easy for Courtney as she spent much of her time alone as a child which has been the precursor to a vigilant creativity, sensory sensitivity and vibrant imagination that cannot be destroyed. Courtney identifies herself as an artist rather than a photographer; photography is simply her preferred medium. She is both a sleepwalker and daydreamer with a camera in hand. In love with the human form and experience, she collects a strange history on film. Seeing the beauty in everything, even flaws, comes as a natural gift to her. Her images solidify the feelings of romance and awe, with rich colors and haunting natural light. You can feel her inspiration when you see the heat of an orange summer sun on the horizon. One can see her love for the 1960s and 70s in her models’ clothing, haunting expressions and tantalizing colors. Her work reveals an overwhelming sense of nature and mystery.


%d bloggers like this: