Saturday, November 14, 2020

Dao De Jing Chapter 26

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 26


"The Place of Peace ...
The heavy is foundation for the light;
So quietness is master of the deed.
The Wise Man, though he travel all the day,
Will not be separated from his goods.
So even if the scene is glorious to view,
He keeps his place, at peace, above it all.
For how can one who rules
Ten thousand chariots
Give up to lighter moods
As all the world may do?
If he is trivial,
His ministers are lost;
If he is strenuous,
There is no master then."
-  Translated by Raymond Blackney, 1955, Chapter 26   

"As the heavy must be the foundation of the light,
So quietness is lord and master of activity.
Truly, “A man of consequence though he travels all day
Will not let himself be separated from his baggage-wagon,
However magnificent the view, he sits quiet and dispassionate”.
How much less, then, must be the lord of ten thousand chariots
Allow himself to be lighter than these he rules!
If he is light, the foundation is lost;
If he is active, the lord and master is lost."
- Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 26



"The weighty is the source of the light; stillness dominates disquietude.
Wherefore, while the Sage proceeds the whole day according to Tao, he never departs from either calmness or gravity.
Although there may be spectacles of worldly glory to attract him he sits quietly alone, far above the common crowd.
How is that a Prince of Ten Thousand Studs of Horses can regard his own person  as of less importance than his regal dignity?
This lightness on the part of the Prince loses him his Ministers, while restlessness on the part of the Ministers loses them their Prince."
-   Translated by Frederic H. Balfour, 1884, Chapter 26    


"The Solid is the root of the light;
The Quiescent is the master of the Hasty.
Therefore the Sage travels all day
Yet never leaves his provision-cart.
In the midst of honor and glory,
He lives leisurely, undisturbed.
How can the ruler of a great country
Make light of his body in the empire by rushing about?
In light frivolity, the Center is lost;
In hasty action, self-mastery is lost."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 26



"The heavy is of the light the root, and rest is motion's master. 
Therefore the holy man in his daily walk does not depart from gravity. 
Although he may have magnificent sights, he calmly sits with liberated mind. 
But how is it when the master of the ten thousand chariots in his personal conduct is too light for the empire? 
If he is too light he will lose his vassals. 
If he is too passionate he will lose the throne."
- Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 26 


"Prudence is more stable than frivolity.
Rationality is superior to impatience.
Therefore, the sage always behaves prudently and rationally.
Even when successful, he is not carried away.
How could the king of a big kingdom rule without prudence?
Frivolity results in the loss of stability.
Impatience leads to the loss of superiority."
- Translated by Thomas Z. Zhang, Chapter 26 



重為輕根.
靜為躁君.
是以君子終日行, 不離輜重.
雖有榮觀.
燕處超然.
奈何以萬乘之主, 而身輕天下.
輕則失臣.
躁則失君.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 26


zhong wei qing gen.
jing wei zao jun.
shi yi sheng ren zhong ri xing, bu li zi zhong.
sui you rong guan.
yan chu chao ran.
nai he wan sheng zhi zhu, er yi shen qing tian xia.
qing ze shi gen.
zao ze shi jun.
-  Hanyu Pinyin Romanization, Daodejing, Chapter 26 
 
 
"Gravity is the source of lightness,
Calm, the master of haste.
A lone traveller will journey all day, watching over his belongings;
Yet once safe in his bed he will lose them in sleep.
The captain of a great vessel will not act lightly or hastily.
Acting lightly, he loses sight of the world,
Acting hastily, he loses control of himself.
A captain can not treat his great ship as a small boat;
Rather than glitter like jade
He must stand like stone."
-  Translated by Peter Merel, Chapter 26    


"Heaviness is the basis of lightness.
Stillness is the standard of activity.
Thus the Master travels all day
without ever leaving her wagon.
Even though she has much to see,
she is at peace in her indifference.
Why should the lord of a thousand chariots
be amused at the foolishness of the world?
If you abandon yourself to foolishness,
you lose touch with your beginnings.
If you let yourself become distracted,
you will lose the basis of your power."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 26



"Lo pesado es la raíz de lo ligero.
La calma somete a lo agitado.
Así, el sabio cuando viaja
no se aleja de la caravana.
Aunque pudiera divagar por los paisajes más excelsos,
conserva su paz y se hace superior.
¡Cuanta más atención debería poner el señor
del imperio en la esfera terrestre de su persona,
en vez de ocuparse de sus diez mil carruajes!
Quien se comporta superficialmente
pierde la raíz de su poder.
Quien se ofusca,
se pierde a sí mismo."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013, Capitulo 26  


"Weight is the root of lightness, stillness the master of motion,
And the daily way of the sage departs not from his base,
Although he have brilliant prospects, he is unconcerned and quiet,
Should the lord of ten thousand chariots be too light for his place?
Then he will lose not supporters alone,
But, being too restless, loses his throne."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 26    



A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   


Chapter 26, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu






Friday, November 13, 2020

Gardening Information for Vancouver, Washington

It is now raining heavily in Vancouver, Washington.  The Cascades will get some heavy snow at the higher altitudes.  Temperatures in the 40's.  

The annual average rainfall (AAR) in the different places I have lived is of note for me:


1946-1967  Unincorporated East Los Angeles, Bandini Neighborhood/Varrio,
                  City of Commerce, Southern California   
AAR = 15”
1948-1958  Karen grew up in Alexandria, Central Indiana   AAR = 42"

1969-1973  Biloxi, Mississippi   AAR = 65”
1973-1983  Bell Gardens, Southern California   AAR =  15”
1983-1998  Hacienda Heights, California   AAR = 15”
1998-2017  Red Bluff, Northern California   AAR = 25”
2017–         Vancouver, Southwestern Washington, Northwest USA  AAR = 42”


Vancouver, Washington, is rated as USDA Agricultural Zone 8B.

Zone 8b means that the average minimum winter temperature is 15 to 20 °F. 


Gardening Information for Vancouver, Washington:  

Understanding your gardening environment is essential to success.  What are the climate conditions in your area during a year's cycle?  What is the soil like?
What kinds of plants are grown successfully in your area?  What nurseries are nearby.  

Vancouver, Washington, USA, Zip Code: 98662

Hardiness Zone:  Zone 8a: 10F to 15F
Average First Frost:  October 21 - 31
Average Last Frost:  April 1 - 10
Koppen-Geiger Climate Zone:  Csb - Warm-Summer Mediterranean Climate
Ecoregion:  3a - Portland Vancouver Basin
Palmer Drought Index:  Extremely Moist
Average Annual Rainfall:  43.55 inches
Heat Zone Days:  Rare Over 86F 
Elevation:  171 feet above the Pacific Ocean

Soil:  

Nurseries:  Yard and Garden, Shorty's, Tsugawa in Woodland, Lowe's and Home Depot.  
General Geography: 
The Pacific Ocean and Astoria, Oregon, is 100 miles to the West from Vancouver.
The south side of the City of Vancouver is the Columbia River, and across the river is Portland, Oregon.  The Cascade range and Columbia Gorge is to the East.  Looking north: 165 miles to Seattle, 494 miles to Vancouver, Canada; 105 miles to Olympia, and 45 miles to Mt. St. Helens.  
January Average: 33F low, 46F high, 6" Rain
February Average: 35F low, 50F high, 4.99" Rain
March Average: 37F low, 56F high, 4.38" Rain
April Average:  40F low, 60F high, 3.28" Rain
May Average:  45F low, 67F high, 2.67" Rain
June Average:  50F low, 72F high, 1.88" Rain
July Average:  53F low, 79F high, .8" Rain
August Average:  57F low, 82F high, .5" Rain
September Average:  49F low, 75F high, 1.91" Rain
October Average:  42F low, 64F high, 3.41" Rain
November Average:  38F low, 52F high, 6.49" Rain
December Average:  34F low, 46F high, 6.68" Rain


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Revealing the Human Body

I have attended two of the Human Bodies Revealed exhibits.  The first exhibit was in Redding, California, at the Turtle Bay Museum, where I also conducted three introductory Qigong classes.  The second exhibit was at the OMSI museum in Portland, Oregon.  The OMSI exhibit was quite large and impressive, and well attended.  I am a supporter of more education in the medical sciences and technologies.  























Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Cultivating Taste

I have been reading books by and about John Dewey 1859-1952).  I favor many of the positions of the American Pragmatist philosophers.  

The mind-Body arts and disciplines I practice and write about are useful for maintaining fitness and good health, helping with self-defense at a number of levels, encouraging oneself and others to be peaceful and calm, reducing anxieties and tension, balancing internal forces, opening one up to interesting cultural and philosophical Eastern traditions, and having a dignity and beauty associated with their practice.  I judge them to be "good," and exemplars of "good taste."  They seem right and noble to me, based on broader judgments as to value, and not just my personal preferences or habits.       

"Well, a vast number of our moral perceptions also are certainly of this secondary and brain‑born kind. They deal with directly felt fitnesses between things, and often fly in the teeth of all the prepossessions of habit and presumptions of utility. The moment you get beyond the coarser and more commonplace moral maxims, the Decalogues and Poor Richard's Almanacs, you fall into schemes and positions which to the eye of common‑sense are fantastic and overstrained. The sense for abstract justice which some persons have is as eccentric a variation, from the natural-history point of view, as is the passion for music or for the higher philosophical consistencies which consumes the soul of others. The feeling of the inward dignity of certain spiritual attitudes, as peace, serenity, simplicity, veracity; and of the essential vulgarity of others, as querulousness, anxiety, egoistic fussiness, etc‑-are quite inexplicable except by an innate preference of the more ideal attitude for its own pure sake. The nobler thing tastes better, and that is all that we can say. “Experience” of consequences  may truly teach us what things are wicked, but what have consequences to do with what is mean and vulgar?"  ....


"The word "taste" has perhaps got too completely associated with arbitrary liking to express the nature of judgments of value. But if the word be used in the sense of an appreciation at once cultivated and active, one may say that the  formation of taste is the chief matter wherever values enter in, whether intellectual, aesthetic or moral.  Relatively immediate judgments, which we call tact or to which we give the name of intuition, do not precede reflective inquiry, but are the funded products of much thoughtful experience. Expertness of taste is at once the result and the reward of constant exercise of thinking.  Instead of there being no disputing about tastes, they are the one thing worth disputing about, if by "dispute" is signified discussion involving reflective inquiry.  Taste, if we use the word in its best sense, is the outcome of experience brought cumulatively to bear on the intelligent appreciation of the real worth of likings and enjoyments.  There is nothing in which a person so completely reveals himself as in the things which he judges enjoyable and desirable, Such judgments are the sole alternative to the domination of belief by impulse, chance, blind habit and self-interest. The formation of a cultivated and effectively operative good judgment or taste with respect to what is aesthetically admirable, intellectually acceptable and morally approvable is the supreme task set to human beings by the incidents of experience."
-  John Dewey, The Construction of Good in the Quest for Certainty, 1929




Sunday, November 08, 2020

Onward in America

Over, 145,000,000 million Americans voted in last Tuesdays national elections.  Joe Biden and Kamala Harris gathered 75,000,000 votes and will be inaugurated in January of 2021.  Karen and I voted for the Democrats.  

I started voting in 1967.  I have never heard any President, win or loose, say the American voting process was rigged, a fraud, or that an election was stolen.  Shame on you, Mr. Trump, for your disrespect for our democratic process.  How undignified a looser, and such a rude and contrarian President.  

One in five coronavirus patients develop mental health problems. Unfortunately, might President Trump be struggling with depression, insomnia, anxiety, aberrant thinking, etc. Hopefully, others will help him return to better health and transition to being antother ex-President. https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/longevity/525421-one-in-five-coronavirus-patients-develop-mental-illness

The real "Blue Wall": California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and likely Arizona. 105 Electoral votes, 38% of the 270 total. The popular vote from the "West Blue Wall" was significantly responsible for the 5,000,000 vote lead in the popular vote overall for President-Elect Joe Biden. The West Coast support for Biden/Harris was very strong!

Friday, November 06, 2020

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25


Dao De Jing, Laozi
Chapter 25


"There was something undefined and complete, coming into existence before Heaven and Earth.
How still it was and formless, standing alone, and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere and in no danger of being exhausted!
It may be regarded as the Mother of all things.
I do not know its name, and I give it the designation of the Tao.
Making an effort to give it a name, I call it The Great.
Great, it passes on in constant flow.
Passing on, it becomes remote.
Having become remote, it returns.
Therefore the Tao is great, Heaven is great, Earth is great, and the sage king is also great.
In the universe there are four that are great, and the sage king is one of them.
Man takes his law from the Earth.
Earth takes its law from Heaven.
Heaven takes its law from the Tao.
The law of the Tao is its being what it is."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 25 



"Something formless yet complete,
existing before heaven and earth.
Silent and limitless,
it stands alone and does not change.
Reaching everywhere, it does not tire.
Perhaps it is the Mother of all things under heaven.
I do not know its name
so I call it "Tao."
When I have to describe it I call it "great."
Being great it flows.
It flows far away.
Having gone far away, it returns.
Therefore, the Tao is great.
Heaven is great.
Earth is great.
People are also great.
Thus, people constitute one of the
four great things of the universe.
People conform to the earth.
The earth conforms to heaven.
Heaven conforms to the Tao.
The Tao conforms to its own nature."
-  Translated by Tolbert McCarroll, 1982, Chapter 25   

"There was a Thing, all-holding, all-complete,
Which was before existed Heaven and Earth,
Changeless! Formless! Solitary! Calm!
All-pervading! Unlimited! the birth
Of all the mighty universe concealed
Within the Motherhood not yet revealed.
I do not know its name; the Way; the Course;
The Tao, I call it; if constrained to make
A name, I call it furthermore The Great!
And Great, it passes onward and away,
Tis afar, and from afar returning flows,
The ebb of that great tide which sourceless rose.
Now then the Tao is great, and Heaven is great,
And Earth is great, and greatness is of Kings;
Within the world the greatnesses are four,
And one is he who rules over men and things;
Man takes his law from Earth; from Heaven this:
Heaven from the Tao; the Tao from what it is."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 25 


"Before creation a prescience existed,
Self-contained, complete,
Formless, voiceless, mateless,
Changeless,
Which yet pervaded itself
With unending motherhood.
Though there can be no name for it,
I have called it 'the way of life.'
Perhaps I should have called it 'the fullness of life,'
Since fullness implies widening into space,
Implies still further widening,
Implies widening until the circle is whole.
In this sense
The way of life is fulfilled,
Heaven is fulfilled,
Earth fulfilled
And a fit man also is fulfilled:
These are the four amplitudes of the universe
And a fit man is one of them:
Man rounding the way of earth,
Earth rounding the way of heaven,
Heaven rounding the way of life
Till the circle is full."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 25  




有物混成.
先天地生.
寂兮.
兮獨立不改.
周行而不殆.
可以為天下母.
吾不知其名.
字之曰道.
強為之名曰大.
大曰逝.
逝曰遠.
遠曰反.
故道大, 天大, 地大, 王亦大.
域中有四大, 而王居其一焉.
人法地.
地法天天法道.
道法自然. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25 


yu wu hun ch'êng.
hsien t'ien ti shêng.
chi hsi.
liao hsi tu li pu kai.
chou hsing erh pu tai.
k'o yi wei t'ien hsia mu.
wu erh chuh ch'i ming.
tzu chih yüeh tao.
ch'iang wei chih ming yüeh ta.
ta yüeh shih.
shih yüeh yüan.
yüan yüeh fan
ku tao ta, t'ien ta, ti ta, wang yi ta.
yü chung yu ssu ta, erh wang chü ch'i yi yen.
jên fa ti.
ti fa t'ien t'ien fa tao.
tao fa tzu jan.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25 


"There is a thing inherent and natural,
Which existed before heaven and earth.
Motionless and fathomless,
It stands alone and never changes;
It pervades everywhere and never becomes exhausted.
It may be regarded as the Mother of the Universe.
I do not know its name.
If I am forced to give it a name,
I call it Tao, and name it as supreme.
Supreme means going on;
Going on means going far;
Going far means returning.
Therefore Tao is supreme; heaven is supreme; earth is supreme; and man is also supreme.
There are in the universe four things supreme, and man is one of them.
Man follows the laws of earth;
Earth follows the laws of heaven;
Heaven follows the laws of Tao;
Tao follows the laws of its intrinsic nature."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 25 

"Antes aún que el cielo y la tierra ya existía un ser inexpresable.
Es un ser vacío y silencioso, libre, inmutable y solitario.
Se encuentra en todas partes y es inagotable.
Puede que sea la Madre del universo.
No sé su nombre, pero lo llamo Tao.
Si me esfuerzo en nombrarlo lo llamo grande.
Es grande porque se extiende.
Su expansión le lleva lejos.
La lejanía le hace retornar.
El Tao, pues, es grande y el cielo es grande.
La tierra es grande y también lo es el hombre.
En el universo hay cuatro cosas grandes, y el hombre del reino es una de ellas.
El hombre sigue la ley de la tierra.
La tierra sigue la ley del cielo.
El cielo sigue la ley del Tao.
El Tao sigue su propia ley."
-  Spanish Version Online at RatMachines, Capitulo 25 

"What's behind it all?
There is a thing-kind made up of a mix.
It emerges before the cosmos.
Solitary! Inchoate!
Self grounded and unchanging.
Permeating all processes without extremity.
We can deem it the mother of the social world.
I don't know its name. When put in characters we say dao.
Forced to deem it as named, we say 'great.'
Being great, we say 'comprehensive.'
Being comprehensive, we say 'far reaching.'
Being far reaching, we say 'reverting.'
So our dao is great;
Nature (heaven) is great,
Earth is great,
and kings are also great.
Within a region are four 'greats.'
And the King occupies one of those [lofty] statuses.
Humans treat earth as a standard.
Earth treats constant nature as a standard.
Constant nature treats dao as a standard.
Dao treats being so of itself as a standard."
-  Translated by Chad Hansen, Chapter 25  




"Before the Heaven and Earth existed
There was something nebulous:
Silent, isolated,
Standing alone, changing not,
Eternally revolving without fail,
Worthy to be the Mother of All Things.
I do not know its name
And address it as Tao.
If forced to give it a name, I shall call it "Great."
Being great implies reaching out in space,
Reaching out in space implies far-reaching,
Far-reaching implies reversion to the original point.
Therefore:
Tao is Great,
The Heaven is great,
The Earth is great,
The King is also great.
There are the Great Four in the universe,
And the King is one of them.
Man models himself after the Earth;
The Earth models itself after Heaven;
The Heaven models itself after Tao;
Tao models itself after nature."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 25  


"Before the creation of Heaven and Earth,
there was something complete and without purpose.
Silent and desolate. Standing alone and unchanging. Cyclic and untiring.
Able to be the Mother beneath Heaven.

I do not know its Name. Its character is 'Tao'.
Powerful and Great; its Greatness spreads,
spreads into the distance, and from the distance, returns.

Hence Tao is great. Heaven is great. Earth is great.
The King also is great.
The Middle Kingdom has four greats, and the King is one.

Man follows the ways of the Earth.
Earth follows the way of Heaven.
Heaven follows the way of Tao.
And Tao follows its own ways."
-  Translated by Karl Kromal, 2002, Chapter 25 




A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   

Chapter 25, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu




Thursday, November 05, 2020

From the Front Porch 2

Creating A Raised Bed Garden Over Grass


On the west side of our home, there are a few pruned shrubs near the house, then there is unwatered grass in the side lawn down to the street curb.  There are no trees or shrubs in this area of the west side lawn to block the direct sunlight all afternoon.  I wanted to convert some of this unused sunny ground into a raised bed vegetable garden for future planting.    

I started working in 9/2019, and created the raised bed you see me sitting on below.  I've been working in 11/2020 on expanding that first raised bed garden.  Thus far, I have added 52 square feet of new raised bed garden space this month.  

How?  Method?   I lay down the concrete blocks (16"x8"x8") in the pattern desired.  Then I lay cheap doubled cardboard over the grass.  On top of the cardboard I add, at various times in the year: small wood chips, leaves from our sweet gum tree, grass clippings, composted cow manure, kitchen vegetable garbage, bags of raised bed soil, back yard soil from digging, bags of vegetable and flower soil, 16-16-16 fertilizer, , etc.- in short, organic materials.  I get my blocks and bags of organic material from Ace Hardware or Lowe's in the nearby Orchards' neighborhood.

Here is how the west side raised bed garden looked in August-September 2020.  We enjoyed eating many tomatoes, squashes, peppers, zucchini, garlic, onions, and cabbages.  We also enjoyed sunflowers, nasturtiums, marigolds, and other summer annuals.  

 


September 2020

There are a few pictures below that show some of the ongoing process of creating an expanded raised garden bed in 2020-2021.  

"We seem to have lost contact with the earlier, more profound functions of art, which have always had to do with personal and collective empowerment, personal growth, communion with this world, and the search for what lies beneath and above this world."
- Peter London, No More Second Hand Art, 1989 

For me, this gardening project involves my personal empowerment: gets me moving, keeps me physically active, provides for regularly scheduled enjoyable work assignments, and allows me to create something useful pretty much on my own.  Family members help a little and we all share in the beauty and productive output of the new raised bed garden.  I always have personal growth in my knowledge and appreciation by doing, by refining my planning skills, by using good judgments to balance means and ends, and in creating something beautiful.  Gardening generally brings people into closer communion with fundamental aspects of our world- a communion of touch with the soil and the spirits of the seasons.  Here I searched beneath the new fertile soil; and, from above, maximum sunlight.  Here I searched with my own hands and body by nurturing fertile soils; integrated with a few aspects of the scope of the mind of gardening language and gardening tradition far above me.  



"Nothing is more completely the child of art than a garden."
- Sir Walter Scott

Gardening and Art

The Spirit of Gardening

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

From the Front Porch 1

I plan to start two series of posts about our home gardening experiences in Vancouver, Washington.  We moved here in July of 2017 from a rural home south of Red Bluff, California.  We have maintained gardening activities in all the homes we have lived for over five decades.  

The first series will be titled "From the Front Porch."  Posts in the series will be numbered.

The second series will be titled "From the Back Porch."  Posts in the series will be numbered.  

My Spirit of Gardening website has been online since 2000.  



Karen and I gardened on five acres of land 
south of rural Red Bluff, California from 1998-2017


We maintain a large sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua), in our current 2020 front yard.  It was pruned a little last spring by Clark County road crews before the street was repaved this past summer.  We enjoy this lovely large deciduous tree.  Its autumn colors are quite spectacular.  




Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Remember to ...

 

George Carlin (1937-2008) was an American comedian and social critic who became popular in the 1970's and 1980's.  His second wife died early in 2008, and George followed her, dying in July 2008 of heart failure.  He did is last comedy routine in Las Vegas a week before he died.  

Here is one short essay by George Carlin:  

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

Monday, November 02, 2020

Entheogenic Use of Cannabis

 

Here is an excerpt from a longer article titled "The Entheogenic Use of Cannabis," from Wikipedia, 2020.  The agricultural history of marihuana growing and its uses all around the world is succinctly covered in the article.    

"Cannabis has served as an entheogen—a chemical substance used as an entheogen—a chemical substance used in religious or spiritual contexts[1]—in the Indian subcontinent since the Vedic period dating back to approximately 1500 BCE, but perhaps as far back as 2000 BCE. Cannabis has been used by shamanic and pagan cultures to ponder deeply religious and philosophical subjects related to their tribe or society, to achieve a form of enlightenment, to unravel unknown facts and realms of the human mind and subconscious, and also as an aphrodisiac during rituals or orgies.[2] There are several references in Greek mythology to a powerful drug that eliminated anguish and sorrow. Herodotus wrote about early ceremonial practices by the Scythians, thought to have occurred from the 5th to 2nd century BCE. Itinerant Hindu saints have used it in the Indian subcontinent for centuries.[3] Over the last few decades hundreds of archaeological and anthropological items of evidence have come out of Mexican, Mayan and Aztec cultures that suggest cannabis, along with magic mushrooms (psilocybin), peyote (mescaline) and other psychoactive plants were used in cultural shamanic and religious rituals.[2] Mexican-Indian communities occasionally use cannabis in religious ceremonies by leaving bundles of it on church altars to be consumed by the attendees.[4]

Here was an October 2020 Facebook Post of mine:

I favor the Federal decriminalization of marihuana. In the State of Washington, since 2012, marihuana farms are prospering, tax revenues are growing from pot sales, investors in commodities are benefitting, law enforcement can focus on more important matters, people have more access to new CBD products, tourists are attracted to our state, and some folks can just enjoy a pleasant puff now and then purchased at a local pot shop. The Federal marihuana laws are unnecessary, costly, unjust, and out of date. I don’t smoke or drink now, but others can now purchase and use marihuana in Washington without being treated as a criminal. Many Democrats, Independents, and Libertarians support the Federal descheduling of cannabis.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

All Knowing is Doing

"Our experience is moored to our structure in a binding way.  We do not see the "space" of the world; we live in our field of vision.  We do not see the "colors" of the world; we live in our chromatic space.  Doubtless, as we shall show throughout these pages, we are experiencing a world.  But when we examine more closely how we get to know this world, we invariably find that we cannot separate our history of actions - biological and social - from how this world appears to us.  It is so obvious and close that it is very hard to see."

"All doing is knowing and all knowing is doing." 


The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding.  By Humberto R. Maturana, PhD and Francisco J. Varela, PhD.  Boston, Shambhala, 1987.  Revised Edition, 1998.  Index, glossary, 269 pages.  ISBN: 9780877736424.  VSCL.  Subjects:  History, Philosophy, Knowledge, Science, Evolution, Philosophy.    




Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Two Realms Mingle

 


 
Here is how our front porch looked when decorated for Halloween Day.  
We decorated our home in Red Bluff, California, from 1998-2017.  
Notice the five spherical white spectral (ghostly) visitors coming to "trick or treat" at our front door.    

"To all the ancient ones from their houses, the Old Ones from above and below. In this time the Gods of the Earth touch our feet, bare upon the ground. Spirits of the Air whisper in our hair and chill our bodies,  and from the dark portions watch and wait the Faery Folk that they may join the circle and leave their track upon the ground. It is the time of the waning year. Winter is upon us. The corn is golden in the winnow heaps. Rains will soon wash sleep into the life-bringing Earth. We are not without fear, we are not without sorrow...Before us are all the signs of Death: the ear of corn is no more green and life is not in it. The Earth is cold and no more will grasses spring jubilant. The Sun but glances upon his sister, the earth..... It is so....Even now....But here also are the signs of life, the eternal promise given to our people. In the death of the corn there is the seed--which is both food for the season of Death and the Beacon which will signal green-growing time and life returning. In the cold of the Earth there is but sleep wherein She will awaken refreshed and renewed, her journey into the Dark Lands ended. And where the Sun journeys he gains new vigor and potency; that in the spring, his blessings shall come ever young!"
-  Two Samhain Rituals, Compost Coveners, 1980 
  


"Tonight as the barrier between the two realms grows thin,
Spirits walk amongst us, once again.
They be family friends and foes,
Pets and wildlife, fishes and crows.
But be we still mindful of the Wee Folke at play,
Elves, fey, brownies, and sidhe.
Some to trick, some to treat,

Some to purposely misguide our feet.
 
Stay we on the paths we know
 
As planting sacred apples we go.
This Feast I shall leave on my doorstep all night.
In my window one candle shall burn bright,
To help my loved ones find their way
As they travel this eve, and this night, until day.
Bless my offering, both Lady and Lord
Of breads and fruits, greens and gourd."
-  Akasha, Samhain Ritual  




 






  

The entrance to our front driveway in Red Bluff featured a seasonal display that Karen prepared from 1998-2017. 
Karen is petting our cat, King Tut, in the early morning hours. 

We now (2020) live in Vancouver, Washington.