Emerson on objects

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps theses subject-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.

“From I-It to I-Thou” by Mike Zonta


The accusation phase of an RHS (referring to The Prosperos class Releasing the Hidden Splendour) is the I-it stage and the release is the I-thou stage.

Lots of people have sex in the I-it state of mind. Fewer have sex in the I-thou state of mind.

Wherever we look at other people as “its” (kudos to Martin Buber above) we are in trouble. The more we see others as “thous” the more we live in the kind of Kingdom of Heaven which Jesus (as historical figure or metaphor) talked about.

Female bonobos shut down violent males


Here’s what humans can learn from them. Who run the bonobos world? GIRLS!

August 3, 2016 By Ally Hirschlag (Upworthy.com)

Hey ladies, you know that uncomfortable moment when you’re at a bar with your girlfriends and some sketchy dude comes over to hit on one of you?

Maybe this dude elbows his way into your conversation or maybe he leans too close and tries to buy a round of drinks. Then maybe he not-so-subtly drapes a sweaty hand on one of your shoulders? Yeah, it sucks.

If that sounds familiar to you, then you’ll probably recognize what happens next because it’s kind of awesome: Your friends close ranks and block the dude’s unwanted approach.

Even more awesome? It turns out this behavior isn’t limited to humans.

Female bonobos have been observed employing a similar type of of defensive behavior toward aggressive male bonobos when a female in their group feels threatened.

In fact, according to a four-year study on bonobos (cousins to chimpanzees) conducted in the Congo by the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University, female bonobos purposely form all-female groups to keep aggressive males at bay.

The most surprising thing the Kyoto University study found is that these groups of protective female bonobos aren’t usually related. They’re made up of females of all ages from different families, with the older bonobos looking out for the younger ones by keeping them in the center of a protective circle.

The study also found that female bonobos from different families were incredibly tolerant of one another, and that female-on-female bonobo aggression is very rare.

Nahoko Tokuyama, leader of the study, believes this ability to get along with one another (without the posturing and displays of dominance that male bonobos are prone to) is the key to female dominance in the bonobo population.

If there’s one thing males in pretty much every species know, it’s not to mess with a group of angry women. Photo by Mark Dumont/Flickr.

In species that display what humans might call “stereotypically gendered behavior,” males are more often observed using aggressive tactics to coerce copulation and/or acquire higher social status (sound familiar?).

In the groups of bonobos Kyoto University studied, however, the female bonobos seemed to have discovered the perfect way to prevent that kind of male aggression through forming what researchers called “female coalitions” — or, as you or I might describe them, “deep female friendships.”

According to Tokuyama, 69% of the female coalitions were observed forming after or during an incident of aggressive male behavior.

Aggressive behavior could be anything from a male trying to mate with a female to a male bonobo feeding on a tree that a female bonobo has claimed as hers. It’s a broad definition of “aggressive” behavior, but that doesn’t seem to make a difference to the female coalitions. If one female in a coalition attacks a male, no matter the reason, the rest follow suit and come to her aid.

A coalition of female bonobos attacking an offending male. GIF via animal coalition/YouTube.

Meeting aggression with aggression might not seem like the best solution, but it’s actually worked to virtually eliminate violent outbreaks in the bonobo population.

“Males frequently direct display and charge toward females, but they seldom attack females physically, even though males are bigger,” Tokuyama told Upworthy.

Female coalitions rarely (if ever) lose to a male aggressor, and because the male bonobos know they can’t win, they’re less prone to acting out with aggression or violence in the first place.

This isn’t to say that bonobos of all genders are inherently violent either.

Another reason researchers think bonobo groups are less aggressive than their cousins is because of all the sex they’re having.

Bonobos are known to rub each others genitals as a form of greeting or when a new group comes to the area. While we humans might be inclined to label bonobos “kinky,” to them, sex is more like a friendly “how’re you doing?” than anything else.

Researchers have observed bonobos engaging in all kinds of sexual acts — not just heterosexual sex, but everything from same-sex sex to masturbation to oral sex and even group sex.

One result of both male and female bonobos getting so much pleasurable action — whether the bonobos are engaging in it to this end or not — is many fewer tense confrontations between individuals and groups. When every bonobo in the community is regularly engaging in a pleasurable sexual experience, the group has been shown to be calmer and less violent.

Contrast this to the observed behavior of chimpanzees, cousins to the bonobos: They have lots of sex but don’t often do it for pleasure alone. Chimpanzees have been documented engaging in rape, murder, and infanticide, and they are more likely to have violent interactions with newcomers.

The combination of female coalitions of bonobos defending their own and bonobos of all genders engaging in casual sex seems to have resulted in a less violent ape society.

To bring it back to the initial scenario of a strange man approaching a group of women at a bar — is there anything we as humans can learn from how the bonobos created a less violent society?

Obviously, the answer to male society aggression is not (I repeat not) that dudes need to get laid more. That’s an antiquated notion that results in a society where men are owed sex in exchange for peace, and when people feel entitled to sex, we all know bad things happen.

But there are three things we can learn from bonobos about creating a more peaceful, less violent human society:

1. If you’re a dude and you approach a woman at a bar and her friends close ranks around her, it’s because she’s not interested in you and they know it. Instead of getting frustrated by the rejection, take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s her right to feel that way and that it’s in your best interest to find a partner who enthusiastically accepts your offer to buy her a drink.

2. The bonobos use sex, but in the case of humans, let’s take “sex” to mean “pleasure and fulfillment.” People who act out violently often do so because they’re angry at a person or frustrated with their lives or because they feel threatened. If we work to ensure that our human society has an abundance of opportunities for everyone to feel fulfilled and to feel pleasure on a regular basis, we may find ourselves living in a less violent, less aggressive society.

3. OK, fine — if we’re talking about what we as humans can learn specifically about sex from bonobos, anthropological data analyzed by neuropsychologist James Prescott suggests that societies that are more sexually open are also less likely to be violent. The key to understanding this correlation, however, is that it’s the society as a whole that is more sexually open and not just a small percentage of individuals.

A more sexually open society is less likely to assign value or social status to individuals based on their sexual activity or behavior. Therefore, people in that society are more likely to have casual sex for pleasure instead of to increase their social standing or value, which brings us back to number two on this list — when society is full of people who engage in pleasurable, fulfilling activities (sexual or otherwise) on the regular, the people in that society are more likely to be less violent overall.

So, no, bonobos behavior doesn’t exactly translate to modern human society as we know it for a number of reasons.

It is a reminder, however, to think about the importance of pleasure and fulfillment and what that means — not just for us as individuals but for human society writ large.

Of course, even in a sisterhood-embracing, life-fulfilled, and sex-positive society, there will always be some individuals who didn’t get the memo … in which case, ladies, you know what to do.


In the New Testament, Chapters 14-17 of the Gospel of John are known as the Farewell Discourse given by Jesus to eleven of his disciples immediately after the conclusion of the Last Supper in Jerusalem, the night before his crucifixion. Wikipedia.org

1 Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: that I go to prepare a place for you:

3 And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you: I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be.

4 And whither I go you know, and the way you know.

5 Thomas saith to him: Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

7 If you had known me, you would surely have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him, and you have seen him.

8 Philip saith to him: Lord, shew us the Father, and it is enough for us.

9 Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you; and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me, seeth the Father also. How sayest thou, Shew us the Father?

10 Do you not believe, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works.

11 Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?

12 Otherwise believe for the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he shall do also, and greater than these shall he do: because I go to the Father.

13 *And whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14 If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.

15 If you love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever,

17 The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you.

19 Yet a little while: and the world seeth me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live.

20 In that day, you shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them: he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith to him, not the Iscariot, Lord, how is it, that thou wilt manifest thyself to us, and not to the world?

23 Jesus answered, and said to him: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him:

24 He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard is not mine: but the Father’s who sent me.

25 These things have I spoken to you, remaining with you.

26 But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world giveth, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.

28 You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come again to you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I.

29 And now I have told you before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe.

30 I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not any thing.

31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, *and as the Father hath given me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

“Forgetting We Are Not God” by Vaclav Havel


March 1995 (firstthings.com)

Recently I read a remarkable book from the pen of a Czech-American psychotherapist. In it the author describes in great detail methods that have over the years enabled him to recover from the unconscious experiences that, until recently, very few were aware of at all: the prenatal experiences of the human embryo from conception until the moment of birth.

The author then demonstrates that the wealth of these experiences corresponds remarkably with all the basic archetypes and archetypal visions or stories we find—in thousands of specific forms—in all ancient myths, legends, and fairy tales, and above all in all religions. Cultures formed many thousands of years ago, cultures that developed their myths and ritual practices quite independently of one another, operate with the same basic archetypes, the prefigurations of which modern science is now discovering in the depths of the human unconscious as prenatal experiences. Naturally, there is no claim that this is the only source of those archetypes or of all the tidings contained in the different religions. It is probably only an incidental, secondary source of inspiration, one that helps us fill in the broader picture. Still, I was unusually taken with this finding. It shows that there exist deep and fundamental experiences shared by the entire human race, and that traces of such experiences can be found in all cultures, regardless of how distant or how different they are from one another.

This, of course, is only a single example, taken from my recent holiday reading. From many other modern studies—and even from comparisons every unprejudiced layman can make for himself—it follows that all human cultures and religions have infinitely more in common, hidden somewhere deep in their sources and foundations. There are principles, experiences, and what we might call prescientific knowledge that are more essential and mysterious than our prenatal experiences. At the same time—somewhat paradoxically—it often happens that the leading discoveries of contemporary science themselves provide confirmation of this and so, by a circuitous route, bring human understanding back to something that all cultures have known intuitively since the dawn of time, something that until recently modern science has treated as no more than a set of illusions or mere metaphors.

It turns out, for example, that many other experiences, far more difficult to explain, slumber in our collective unconscious. In various forms, these experiences surface again and again in the cultural achievements of humanity—and often in individual human experiences as well. In a way that we scarcely understand, they transcend what a person might know in himself or inherit from his ancestors. It seems rather as if something like an antenna were picking up signals from a physically indeterminable transmitter that contains the experience of the entire human race.

Another thing: It would appear that the whole history of the cosmos, and especially of life, is mysteriously recorded in the inner workings of all human beings. This history is projected into man’s creations and is, again, something that joins us together far more than we think.

But something else seems to be the most essential of all. It cannot be an accident, or a mere concurrence of countless misperceptions, if, after thousands of years, people of different epochs and cultures feel that they are somehow parts and partakers of the same integral Being—carrying within themselves a piece of the infinity of that Being—whose very relative aspects are not just categories of space and time, but of matter and consciousness as well. I do not believe it is merely by chance that all cultures assume the existence of something that might be called the “Memory of Being,” in which everything is constantly recorded, and that they assume the related existence of supra-personal authorities or principles that not only transcend man but to which he constantly relates, and which are the sole, final explanation of a phenomenon as particular as human responsibility. Nor do I believe that so many modern scientists who in their work have touched on matters difficult to understand, such as the mysteries of the origin and history of the cosmos, the secrets of matter and of space-time, and the mystery of life, have taken leave of their senses when they speak of transcendence. On the contrary, it seems to me that such philosophical speculations are an inseparable part of their findings.

I know that by saying all this, I am running the risk that whole armies of scientists and journalists will label me a mystic spreading obscure opinions. I will not hold it against them, because I am well aware that in the eyes of modern man thoughts of this nature inevitably carry with them a hint of obscurity. And many times this attitude brings complications into my own life. I know that to my own detriment I am too suspicious of many things. The risk of ridicule, however, is insufficient reason for me to remain silent about something I am persuaded is true.

Continue reading “Forgetting We Are Not God” by Vaclav Havel

“The Undiscovered Self”

Carl Jung's come on look
Carl Jung as a young fox

“A mood of universal destruction and renewal…has set its mark on our age. This mood makes itself felt everywhere, politically, socially, and philosophically. We are living in what the Greeks called the kairos – the right moment – for a “metamorphosis of the gods,” of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious human within us who is changing. Coming generations will have to take into account of this momentous transformation if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology and science…So much is at stake and so much depends on the psychological constitution of the modern human.”

–Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875 – June 6, 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and religious studies. Wikipedia

“The Spiritual Roots of Democracy”


“Planetary democracy does not yet exist, but our global civilization is already preparing a place for it. It is the very Earth we inhabit, linked with Heaven above us. Only in this setting can the mutuality and the commonality of the human race be newly created, with reverence and gratitude for that which transcends each of us singly, and all of us together. The authority of a world democratic order simply cannot be built on anything else but the revitalized authority of the universe.”

–Václav Havel (October 5, 1936 – December 18, 2011) was a Czech writer, philosopher, dissident, and statesman. From 1989 to 1992, he served as the last president of Czechoslovakia. He then served as the first president of the Czech Republic after the Czech–Slovak split. Wikipedia

LEO NEW MOON, August 2, 2016 (11 degrees) 1:44 pm PDT


Written by Wendy Cicchetti

This is a good time to connect with our light and let it shine. We have the New Moon and the Sun in Leo. Each Sun sign has a Divine and inner spark that must come forward to fully actualize who we are and who we came here to be. Our Sun sign reflects our outer personality our essence and who we instinctively are, what we enjoy doing and how comfortably we feel doing it. What sign our Sun is in is our forward drive. Leo energy puts the peddle to the metal to be visible in the tribe, to stand out and be noticed and praised. Praise and recognition are Leo’s fuel.

So, what sign is your Sun in? Are you clear about your desires and goals to be doing what you were born to do? Not everyone is born to be in the spotlight. Many don’t want public visibility and are content working quietly behind the scenes. With the Sun and Moon together in Leo, we get double the energy for fueling that Divine spark into a satisfying flame.

Whatever it is that you are becoming, now is the time to either overtly make your light felt and for inspiring others with a helpful zap toward their desires and needs. We are all in this together. When we let our light be felt, we impact the world. Don’t be shy. Step forward owning your power and do something to empower others.

Saturn is in a trine to this Sun and Moon in Leo guiding us to be realistic with our goals and to add the necessary structure to bring ideas into usable form. Mercury is inVirgo, in its dignity, also assisting us to think things through and look carefully at the details and the technique as we put our plans into action.

Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries are still in a challenging and tension producing square energy. Global chaos abounds and it is likely things will not settle down until we evolve forward into a more compassionate, fair and loving world. Remember, pluto is the energy of evolution, the end of the old and the birth of the new. In Capricorn it involves big governmental, business and financial structure. The world is in crisis in all of these areas. Uranus in Aries is the quick and sudden twists and turns we see that are facilitating the exposure of corruption so that the people can come up with solutions to put us in a better place for the next 250 yrs. This is not trivial activity, it is essential to our survival.

Venus is also in Leo, lighting the way for our creative ideas, to support our relationships, (intimate and otherwise), with love, acceptance and an understanding that each of us has come at this time in our evolution to exemplify the change we know must take place for harmony and peace to prevail on our planet. The Astrological energies engulfing our planet are not arbitrary but purposeful. So find your creative center in the madness and don’t allow any forces to stop your forward momentum.

Written by Wendy Cicchetti

PLAN YOUR OWN NEW MOON CEREMONY. Give yourself some quiet time in meditation to see where you need to seed new ways of becoming. List these areas within your life you want to change. What areas do you want to break free from the norm and become more productive and discerning? The NEW MOON is the time to manifest the personal attributes you want to cultivate as well as the tangible things you want to bring to you. Possible phrasing: I now manifest ____ into my life. I am now _______ . Remember, think, envision and feel with as much emotion as possible, as though you already have what you want. Thoughts are things and the brain manifests exactly what you show it in the form of thoughts, visuals and emotions. The Buddha said, and I am paraphrasing, “We are the sum total of our thoughts up to today. ” If we want to be different then we must change our thoughts. “If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” CONSCIOUS CHANGE is the key.

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