If the eyes are the gateway to the soul what, then, are sunspots?

When we see an image of the face of the sun we get a true glimpse of eternity.

And when we consider the images of sun-spots, what are we seeing?

Mystery.

But despite the odds, and there can be no denying it, we exist.

But the question arises "What are we?"

Stardust, so some say.

Tell it to all those who fell pitting their young bodies against bullets from machine guns in World War 1. Just what kind of stardust is this?

Stardust in search of life’s voices.

Casting an eye over ‘history’ – and glancing around the hood – it is as though there was an experiment underway testing to see how many forms of bizarre death is possible.

We are not the living ectoplasm for the unearthed fantasies of others.

Life is as eternal as stardust, and we are a part of life. Are we part of a living cosmos?

To say that we are "human" is to invoke a cultural category not to issue an objective statement. And a cultural category of fairly recent invention.

The derivation of ‘homo’ demonstrates its a split in from an  earlier term which may be represented as "Earth-Being". Homo-humus.

Homo sapiens – the killer ape. Homo ludens – Let’s play!

The hold over us is made possible by a whole belief system which requires us to fear an end of existence by way of a personal bodily death. And a belief that we are separate – so that when you kill me, yet again my wrongheaded Brother, you don’t realise you are merely killing yourself.

A  wearisome and tiresome business it has become.

Let us put an end to it, and find other games to play – worthy of eternal life.

Fashioning a new cosmology – one that we may all live full lives by – is a worthy game.

Not for the domesticated, though. Not for the suburban comfort zones, the protected workshops of academic studies, or those in the thrall of the modern nation state.

Our singing selves, becoming Other-wise.

New languages required, new ways of relating to each other and our surroundings (our generative context) – new Ways of Being.

In some cosmologies of Australia’s First Peoples "Sun" is a form of an eternal feminine, and "Moon" and eternal masculine.

A "Sun-woman" and a "Moon-man".

We may not be able to pass through the cosmic iris of sunspots into the soul of our star, but we are able to pass from a Western cosmos into into that of another – but different – peoples.

From this experience we will learn that, while modern science can detect the presence of  "carrier signals" (objects etc), it has no hope of decoding the messages carried by those signals.

From Nature and/or Culture to Cosmos

During the 20th century the distinction between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ has played an important role in modern intellectual life.

The notion of ‘nature’ presumes some kind of privileged ability on that part of ‘naturalists’ to directly access ‘reality’.

In  ‘reality’ Naturalists employ a cultural code to craft representations and to judge the well-formed-ness of such representations.

And ‘culture’ – seen so often in opposition to ‘nature’ – is itself part of what we would classify as ‘nature’ if we opted to use such a category.

There is no resolution to such a paradox.

Rather, accepting the implications, accepting that ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ have their limits as conceptual tools, we may gain a fleeting insight into an almost electric ‘thing’ which is greater than either of those parts of life when viewed through there prism like filters.

I find that defining "cosmos" as "nature+culture" provides an ability to move beyond those limits.

In place of cross-cultural studies and cultural fieldwork, i prefer to talk of cross-cosmos explorations, in which it is necessary to attempt to gain some understanding of how life must be experienced in different Ways.

Not that i  have it all figured out – far from it.

But – this i know – we in the West must stop looking so hard with Westernising eyes at the Ways of other peoples.

We must cease this process of trying to ‘objectify’ the lives of different peoples.

The task we set ourselves by such presumptions – the study of other peoples –  can never be achieved. The presumptions of privilege are misplaced.

What we can achieve are better means of relating from one cosmos to another.

And then we realise that what other peoples require at this time is not to be better understood in terms of modern anthropology but to have the space to breath!

A lot more Zen is required, and a lot less modern academic ‘stuff’.

My Warumungu/Alyawarra mentor D. Riley Jappanangka

Mentor D R Jappanangka

The blogger (as a younger man) under careful instruction from the late D. R Jappanangka during research for the original Warumungu land claim in the early 1980s. Somewhere near Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, where flour drums make both damper and the perfect seat. Note tin of log cabin tobacco (for chewing with  stimulating Wuppa – the ashes of a certain tree). There may have been a billy of tea not far away – life was not all bad when these things lined up.

Over a million ounces of gold had been taken from Warumungu country by this time – at Nobles Nob alone –  without a cent to him and his family. A big hole in the ground, and much trouble from miners – and all that goes with them.

You may know someone who is wearing some stolen Warumungu gold?

Jappanangka insisted that we deal with one thing at a time. He knew full well that "Papulanyi (whitefella) got no idea."

He now lies in his eternal Wirnkarra (Dreaming) country – where once the great Dreamtime fire swept through the cosmos, transforming the whole of life…

Well, it’s  a big story to tell. You have to get the right people present for starters.

"Papulanyi" – from Warumungu language  for ‘enclosure dweller’.

Photo credit J.Lloyd (as i recall it).

biodiversity declines by one third in 35 years (WWF)

Reuters  "World biodiversity has declined by almost one third in the past 35 years mainly due to habitat loss and wildlife trade. WWF’s Living Planet Index tracks about 4000 species of birds, fish, mammals and reptiles. The results show land-based species fell by 25 per cent, marine by 28 per cent and freshwater by 29 per cent between 1970 and 2007."

This story, in the Sydney Morning Herald of 17-18 May,  was not front page news. Rather it was hidden away in a little single column series of bits on page 24. I have reproduced in here in toto as it is of great importance.

You can download full Living Planet index ((4.39 Mb pdf) from link on:

http://www.panda.org/news_facts/publications/living_planet_report/living_planet_index/index.cfm

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and PEOPLES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and PEOPLES

The true Guardians of Australian knowledge are the Senior
Law People. Respect for their protocols is basic if knowledge is to be properly
transmitted across generations and across cultures.

This writer acknowledges the First Peoples of Australia as
the true Guardians of life in this country we call Australia.
The only reason for writing is to seek to put forward some ideas which may help
to open the eyes of others to this same recognition.

It is by learning to see something of life through their eyes that we may begin to see something of our cosmos.

My thanks to my Warumungu and Alyawarra mentors, with whom I
worked in the 1980s and 1990s. In their spirit I put this work forward, and
must begin with some words of homage.

MAKING SENSE OUT OF NONSENSE

For long eons the forms of life we embody have been able to
order experience by making use of a variety of means such as mythology. By
these means we have been able to develop extremely powerful conceptual and
practical tools.

By means of these complexes of metaphors, we are able to relate to (and connectt with) our surroundings. Our cosmos becomes signified – we live in local universes of meaning – and we are able to participate in a great flow of messages.

In place of ovewhelming chaos – we live in a world of signs (in the semiotic sense – the sign being a relationship between a signifier and a signified). Much of the strife in the world arises out of various control trips which seek to ‘fix’ that relationship so we will only ‘see’ things certain ways.

While modern forms of reason seek to push the boundaries of
abstraction to their limits, much of human life has found sufficient order by
making use of more ‘sensory’ levels of understanding, when abstraction is less removed from the things we encounter in life. The sun and moon – and much else – come to carry life’s higher messages in ways which inert bodies never can.

In the 21st century we know that Ways which did
not ‘make sense’ to modern Western Europeans in previous centuries does not
mean they are nonsense.

When viewed from very important perspectives – such as
maintaining  balance for life on this
planet – those different Ways may make perfectly good sense.

We can regard some of these different Ways as making it a covenant to take serious the role of human life in keeping our cosmos
well-groomed in order for it to last an eternity.

 The logic First Peoples follow may not be the ‘linear’ forms
insisted upon by those who belong to the cult of progress.

Well,  we need to start to get used to it – instead of
dismissing other forms of reasons the real challenge is to wrap our heads
around them.

Rather than seeking to make contact with potential life on
distant planets, our immediate challenge is to start to make contact and
communicate with our other human relatives on this planet. We in the West have
much to learn, and a big backlog to catch up on

Much of the Ways of First Peoples appear to have forms of
logic which ensure that the whole of life can reproduce itself in good order.
This is quite different to the bundles of metaphors which were acquired in by
the people who took up gardening and sought to ‘improve’ on life.

Australia’s First Peoples remained true to an eternal life design. The
twin Rainbows of what is called “Rainbow Serpent” is a fitting image of this
eternal life design.

Many books could be filled by a study of the role of
Rainbows and Serpents  as signs in human
life – but this  life is too short for
that. We will have to leave that task for others, and proceed in a different
method.

Typically, the Western approach has been to treat such
stories as nonsense and to attribute some form of inferior mental ability to
the minds of the native peoples  who
believe such stories.

Placing a rainbow in the sky as a sign of a covenant between
humanity and a supernatural creator , however, has played a role in Western
life. We are familiar with this story and know that we have to treat it with a
little more respect than that which the West has typically shown to the
myth-narratives of other peoples. (We note that the Serpent seems to have been
largely left behind in the Garden of Eden for those who embrace the Biblical
story, although a closer study may reveal this to be incorrect.)

For those Christians who came to see the Devil in the
detail of the behaviour of others-  much suffering has resulted. The treatment of the peoples of the New World  in th ename of saving their soul stands as a shameful chapter of genocide and ethnocide (far greater than any scandal of how priests treated children).

Those of us who do
not share a belief in monotheistic Creators, regard this as yet another example
to the role of fantasy structures in determining what the eye ‘sees’ – and the fundamental important of seeking to having our healing vision as correct as possible. The only safe test, in this regard, is for those in our gaze to respond accordingly. There can be no self-regulation in this regard.

The acceptance that we can not see the world as it is – but that we see how our eyes are constituted by our membership in a vast life formation –  is acceptance of a limit on our condition as a form of intelligent
life, somewhere here in eternity.

There can be no ‘objective’ direct perception of ‘reality’ –
no means of actually seeing what there is to see as a result of the fortunes of
good birth or extraordinary talent – of membership in a privileged  and exclusive club.

Modern science – and all those who aspire to align with
modern science – has to learn to embrace this fundamental limit just as it did
with other aspects of Uncertainty.

While the members of the scientific community continue to promote the pretence
that they are somehow immune to the workings of the constraints upon the rest of
us, their resulting false consciousness will have dire consequences. They will
fail to discharge a duty of care towards ensuring the well-being of all life.

The task of fashioning new forms of representation of life
is one of the key challenges of our times. It is clear that we must engage in
acts of partnership with First Peoples and with those members of the scientific
community who realise that there is more than a black hole at the core of
modern scientific practice.

One of the major problems with modern science is what it systematically factors out – what it systematically excludes – in its relentless search for ‘invariants’. This results in forms of representation of life which are seriously incomplete.

Modern scientists and all those who priviliege science suffer a form of professional deformation – and only
when they begin to seriously question their own practice – that which
systematically privileges a very narrow interpretation of ‘reality’ – will they
begin the healing process. Supreme arrogance prevents their minds from
appreciating other important aspects of life.

The work of Primack and Abrams – and even the passing  reference to Dreaming stories in Paul Davies
book – demonstrates that this healing process is underway in some places. Long
way to go on that front judging from progress during the 2th centtury, and now the question is "How much time remains to cover that distance?"

As the shift from the classical physics to relatively demonstrates, some  changes can take place very fast when the time is right.

Ttime is – right now!

Life seeks its voices

LIFE SEEKS ITS VOICES

I have been reading this Large Hadron Collider material from
CERN  as it follows on from two books on
cosmology I have been reading.

One by Paul |Davies is “The Goldilocks enigma”  How come the universe (or our local
multiverse) is ‘just right’ for life? Interestingly, he makes very quick
passing reference to cosmologies of Australia’s
First Peoples. A taste of things to come?

The other on the need to fashion a new cosmology which
re-centers life after the last lot of bad news about the relative positions of
the earth and the sun.

Joel R Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams book “The view from
the Centre of the Universe” makes a really brave attempt to tackle this
challenge.

In the second book, the authors seek to demonstrate how life
occupies a central position in the scheme of things on the level of matter
which goes by powers of 10 from the level of quarks (extremely tiny indeed) to
the outer reaches of light travelling over all the eons there can be so far
from an initial big banger (fabulously enormous).

Drawing inspiration from other peoples mythology (which
provided for a real sense centred life for the peoples concerned), they
represent this scale as the Cosmic Uroboros – with the head of the Serpent at
10 to the 30th cm and its tail in its mouth at 10 to the minus 25th
cm.

The authors locate our level of life in more or less the
centre of the cosmic scale  as midsized
forms of matter, bounded by microbes and mountains.

Borrowing from Norse creation myth they call this realm Midgard.
Check it out on google. I did – and found out about Bifrost – the rainbow
bridge between Asgard (Heaven) and Midgard (Earth). Bifrost is protected by
Heimdale, the perfect guardian who can hear the grass grow and needs no sleep
at all (Wikipedia).

This rainbow bridge, to make use of a similar kind of
approach as that employed by Primack and Abrams, takes us beyond the world of
matter measured in terms of cm to the power of ten and into another realm – one
which doesn’t feature much in the workings of science – that of the creative
imagination.

Within the realm of the creative imagination lie some of the
rarest treasures of the whole of creation – intangible beauties similar to
those of rainbows.

Rainbows are truly relational phenomenon requiring a light
source, water in some form, and an eye.

While I would hesitate to say that heaven lies in the
imagination there is something extremely important which is only to be found in
our imaginations – something which adds important dimensions to ‘reality’.

Come on, all those alive to the magic of Rainbows, lets cross this rainbow bridge – seeking our
freedom from the constraints of mere matter and the material men  – it is important we tackle this if
life is to find our own voices, and we are to develop a new cosmology by which
we may all lead full lives.

First, let’s approach the guardian for approval… (to follow).

 

Can we really afford CERN’s Large Hadron Collider experiment?

While the modern material men are splitting nano-hairs (but not the
bills for billions) over at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland,
what are we to make of the ongoing and unfunded need for fashioning new forms
of representation for life itself?

I have just read the
document from CERN providing the FAQs for the LHC experiment. Easy to read too (see url below).

But what it does not say in the CERN FAQ is this – what are the real
social and environmental costs of this massive experiment?

What, for example, is the carbon footprint for constructing
and running the massive accelerator and for all the associated expenses (including the careers of scientists in associated research centres around the world; including airconditioned offices; air travel and the rest of it). Just what is the real cost?.

And what counter-measures has CERN put into place –  or proposes to be put in place –  to offset these negative social and environmental impacts? We must insist on best practice from CERN.

Aren’t there more pressing issues on our home planet which require
our attention at this crucial life-juncture than re-creation of mini big bangs?

Some may be concerned about the risk of black holes.  “Should we risk the creation of even tiny
black holes in the Higgs field, Professor?” Could this be the fabric of
creation itself, and due some respect from a heritage angle?

We are assured this is not a risk.

But, given our planetary resources are limited, isn’t there
something else we should be attending to at this time which is of equal – if not greater – importance?

Can we not at least ask the question and have it seriously debated by our Brothers-in-science?

With nuclear energy having failed to deliver its miracles
(but offering much in the way of destruction in direct and indirect forms)
there are good reasons for questioning the self-privileging which attaches to
modern science.

Nulcear energy is not the solution.We need to reform our Ways. That will include shedding the constricting skins provided ready-made (one size only though) by the modern nation state.

There are especially good reasons for insisting on a very
different set of research priorities of such massive scales as the LHC
experiment.

Should we be more focused, at this time, on finding ways to
slow down and stop the rate of species extinction on our home planet?
The web of living things on earth is the very fabric of life!

Isn’t this major issue one of the real challenges which faces us at this time. Those other species are part of the generative context which shapes our form of life.

Without them, what form of life – if any – we will take?

And, another challenge requiring urgent attention, is the
need to plan our economies and ways of living to function with a declining
supply of energy in the form of oil.

We should be doing this now. We should be moving on this now. But this will require us to change our self-image from that placed upon us by the narrow cash-flow ambitions of others. Our politicians will not query the forces of that fetish they call "the market."

We should now be
focusing on task of reforming our sense of who we are and how we relate to the
rest of life.

Rather than ramping up the revs to generate 800 million
sub-atomic collisions, we need to creatively fuse a  new cosmology – one that reconnects our
singing dancing Being with our living Cosmos – and which has a role for us in keeping the cosmos in the very best of well-Being.

For more on the Large Hadron Collider experiment from the
CERN point of view see:

CERN-Brochure-2008-001-Eng

url http://public.web.cern.ch/Public/en/LHC/Facts-en.html