Fungi Amongi

Merlin Sheldrake talks about the amazing world of fungi. Warning: your basic ideas of what life is and how it all works may experience dizziness. He is a biologist with a PhD and a mesmerizing speaker.

Rocket Science

Sorry, rocket science, but your reputation as the
ultimate intellectual challenge is based on the fact that
the maths used to have to be worked out manually by
savants with slide rules, something beyond the grasp
of ordinary citizens.

Now, rocket science is something that can be easily
worked out in a background thread on an iPhone
streaming YouTubes of Taylor Swift shaking it off.

Back in the day, though, you were indeed phat. The
key component in a shiny, barely imaginable future
full of space exploration, flying cars, medical
invincibility and world peace.

We thank you for your service, and honor you
in your retirement, as we introduce the latest
discipline to represent high achievement through
skill, power of reason, and perseverance:



how galaxies form

Something on the tip
of the universe’s tongue
no more than an unclaimed
memory: a vanished recollection
that picked up a few

carbon atoms, like sticky-burrs
on its pant leg, on the way
through some asteroid belt

where it began to accumulate
the stuff of it, mass, hording
the entire periodic table
and packing every room
to the ceiling with it, no order
to it, no time to sort it out
the spiral arms of a neglected hallway
closet, packed full and slinging
merciless gravity waves

like a kleptomania of the cosmos
or, something else, it’s just on the tip
of everyone’s tongue

The Thingularity

my barber asked if I believed in evolution
“I didn’t come from no ape,” he said

I told him he came from his mother
that we all come from our mothers
although it is the paternal line
that everyone seems to focus on

my own mother, Christian, a Catholic
settled the matter when she said
that God used evolution to create us

she was a peace-maker, not a theologian

I do not have the body of my ten-year-old self
any more, but it does look a lot like
the one I had yesterday

the world of appearances percolates up
from somewhere, one supposes, in
a kind of maternal line with things
pregnant with the possibility

of thing-cum-thing, of change itself
whatever on earth that means

I get suspicious of things
when they start to seem too important
and I remember, one day a stranger

saw me all worked up and rushing around
in an aggravated bustle
and said, “relax”


atoms are more jellyfish
than armadillo, but we sort
our rocks from our stars
with our heads in a sack

of named things, cinched shut
and tied at the neck, the
dress code of the party
of material and signal

a surgical strike at the
heart of matters, will dissect
it to the point of complete
understanding, don’t you see


Science is confounded by consciousness because it cannot be objectively observed.

The fundamental belief of this scientific materialism is that the whole of reality consists only of space-time and matter-energy, and their emergent properties. This implies that the only true causation is physical causation, that there are no nonphysical influences in the universe. When applied to human existence, this worldview implies that subjective experience is either physical—despite all evidence to the contrary—or doesn’t exist at all, which is simply insulting to our intelligence.”
—B. Alan Wallace

And this, from the same source:

Earlier materialists argued that there aren’t any such things as separate mental phenomena, because mental phenomena are identical with brain states. More recent materialists argue that there aren’t any such things as separate mental phenomena because they are not identical with brain states. I find this pattern very revealing, and what it reveals is an urge to get rid of mental phenomena at any cost.”
—John R. Searle

Mind itself is certainly not easy to observe, even subjectively, due to its tendency at the conscious end to hyper-actively glom on to absolutely everything. I think this is why a formal introduction to effortless meditation by someone who is an expert is almost always required. It is simply non-intuitive. But subjective observation makes scientists very nervous due to a rather dogmatic belief that the scientific method, as it is understood and practiced today, is the one and only true scientific method and is ironically immune to the process of evolution which is misunderstood to be a strictly biological process.

Here’s to common ground among all who seek to understand themselves, each other, and the universe. Onward, into the fog.