A Rise of Color

To know deeply who we are helps us stand with each other. 

Apathy makes us an accessory to murder. Inaction makes racism our legacy. If we are tired of hearing about injustices against black lives, we almost surely benefit from institutionalized oppression. We who have the luxury of ignoring this struggle are those who are now called to engage, to speak up, to avoid being complicit in systematic murder through silence.

Read More

The Scientific Method and Other Mass Delusions

Scientific observation has confirmed the interdependence of all life. Everything, it turns out, is joined at the hip. But for some reason, our scientific practices do not acknowledge interdependence. The act of observation changes that which is being observed, from the medium-sized science of clinical trials to the infinitesimal realm of quantum oddities. How can we not affect stuff? How can stuff not affect us?

Yet when we design experiments, we reinforce our first major delusion: that we are separate from the universe, and that the universe itself is made up of other, separate things, which can be studied in isolation to further isolate more things. Enter René Descartes, who taught us that the world is made of discrete parts. If science is the observation of phenomena over time, then the only agreed-upon result that any enduring observation yields is that things are temporary. We can even say that they do not exist at all, at least not in any solid way. I'm not talking Nihilism here. I'm talking endlessly-bursting-forth-in-every-moment life. I'm talking about the exhilaration of groundlessness with no parachute. 

Phenomena exist in the way that constellations exist, patterns generated into contexts by shared hallucinations, repeated. Imagine far-flung stars hundreds of millions of light-years apart, made of an arrangement of interactions we have named "light," which is literally ancient history. What we are seeing has often already exploded, and transformed into its next phase of being. Yet we construct a relationship we can hold onto, grasping for a 2-dimensional Orion in an infinite expanse of space that is often "too chaotic to be noticed or named." [4] As Vi Hart says, "I wonder if a proton plus an electron making a hydrogen atom […] is any more real than these stars making Orion. I mean, is it an atom, or does it just look like an atom?"

Read More

In Sickness and in Health

"Everything shines by perishing."—preacher, Albany, GA

From the commencement address for Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College:

My wish for all of us is that we live a life that is already healed. That we recognize our terminal diagnosis without literally receiving one. That we see ourselves in the ocean so that our deeply-natural self-centeredness assumes value. There is nothing to lose, except the things that took up too much space anyway. Until death gives us his fond wave of equanimity and the only true cure, we share this body. This astounding feat of biology, this writhing mass of meat and miracle. This is who we are, absolutely replete and undeniably whole, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

Read More