Walking through millions of years of image-making evolution

Jul. ’Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O! be some other name:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.
Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare

Themes: 
identity

We are not who or what we think we are

“Egos exploiting egos is the source of all our problems.”
Samdhong Rinpoche

The deeper we look the more distilled and obvious Rinpoche’s insight grows. Whether our focus is personal depression, illness, greed, jealousy, addiction, crime and rage or global conflicts including compounding environmental poisoning, the feelings, images and perceptions we hold about ourselves and others affect everything we do. The therapist couch, doctor’s office, substance abuse center, our prisons and politicians, not to mention the global military-industrial complex are all sustained by this image and its effect on the human body, emotions and mind, encompassing the full spectrum of human relationships including our relationship with nature. We mistakenly reify the abstraction as an independent and very concrete reality. As central and pervasive as this image-as-self is, precious little attention is given to its actual form, structure, how it originates or what our lives would be like without it. The assumptions that surround what we call ‘me’ are often tacit and therefore reincarnate unquestioned. Quite strange when you think about it.

Themes: 
identity

Surrendering to Carly’s Time

Our adult world is overflowing with highly complex and compounded abstractions. At thirty-months and counting Carly’s world is still very concrete, sensory and in constant movement. There is inherent conflict in these two paradigms: Carly time and adult time. We create this conflict by the endless chatter between our ears that so easily pours out our mouth filling the spaces between us and the sky.

Mass Education and Mass Media Do The Same Thing, But Differently

Speaking with a colleague whose husband had, what we plebeians (commoners) would call, an aristocratic title, noted, “He was bred to believe he was superior.” From his perspective what we might call arrogant is simply how reality is. When one’s republic dumbs-down into an Oligarchy, as former President Jimmy Carter describes has taken place in the United States, all the underlying assumptions regarding democracy, the rules and morality that govern society we are taught in school are off. We are witnessing what Chris Hedges, John Taylor gatto and Noam Chomsky call class warfare, a very old story indeed.

Themes: 
democracy
media
education

The 45 Million Word Difference

Every Picture Replaces The Need For 1,000 Descriptive Words

Words are symbols. Developmentally, spoken language precedes reading and writing by five to six years. In neuroscience terms, this is galaxies apart. Spoken language is auditory. Classically storytelling, without pictures, is how this capacity for language is developed. Every word is a story. Connect word-stories together and you have a stream of changing meaning that grows more complex and more abstract. Language and therefore cognitive development begins as concrete representations and moves to more and more abstract forms, from ‘hat’ or ‘dog’ to E=MC2.  Here is how it works.

What Makes The Difference

What is it that makes my response to Carly Elizabeth different? Two things. First, I make sure that she knows that I see her for who she is, what is important to her this moment and what she is feeling, and second, I do my best to see that she does not feel wrong or blamed for what is happening.

Themes: 
attunement
parenting

Amazing and Chilling

While a simulation this holographic display projects the coming advances in image manipulation is both amazing and chilling.

A colleague writes: 'Snopes says it's not true, just an idea what they might be able to do in the future. This was trick photography.'
While discouraging on the Amazing side don’t toss out the Chilling observation with the splashing whale.

Themes: 
understanding reality

At The Crossroads

Walking with Carly to the park today, I realized that my anxiety had disappeared. The warm sun was bouncing off the freshly watered leaves after five years of drought in California. Emerald green grass rolled over the hills. My forehead, which usually is furled with cascading thoughts and imagined images was soft, still and expansive. I could almost hear Louis Armstrong singing What a Wonderful World. A deep feeling of sanity returned. Later I mused:

My Sanity-Survival Handbook

Themes: 
intelligence of the heart
freedom

Nipping The Roots Of Violence

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails
And what are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice… Really?

Themes: 
violence
sexual violence
gender equality

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