Archive for November, 2007

Limited chances

Posted in gurdjieff on November 29, 2007 by ewakening

Everybody has a limited number of chances. If people live an ordinary life and do not accumulate right influences, and do not form a magnetic center, after some time they lose even the possibility of forming one.

— Ouspensky, from The Fourth Way

Ouspensky on entropy

Posted in gurdjieff on November 29, 2007 by ewakening

If one does not develop, one goes down. In life, in ordinary conditions, everything goes down, or one capacity may develop at the expense of another. All capacities cannot develop without the help of a school, for system and method are necessary.

— Ouspensky, from The Fourth Way

Mapping Neural Networks

Posted in brain on November 27, 2007 by ewakening

New technologies that allow scientists to trace the fine wiring of the brain more accurately than ever before could soon generate a complete wiring diagram, including every tiny fiber and miniscule connection, of a piece of brain. Dubbed connectomics, these maps could uncover how neural networks perform their precise functions in the brain, and they could shed light on disorders thought to originate from faulty wiring, such as autism and schizophrenia.

With an estimated 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses in the human brain, creating an all-encompassing map of even a small chunk is a daunting task. Using standard methods, it would take roughly three billion person years to generate the wiring diagram of a single cortical column.

But neuroscientists at M.I.T. have now developed a new technique to make more fine-scaled wiring maps using electron microscopy. Starting with a small block of brain tissue, the researchers bounce electrons off the top of the block to generate a cross-sectional picture of the nerve fibers in that slice. They then take a very thin (30-nanometer) slice off the top of the block and repeat the process. Scientists go through the images slice by slice to trace the path of each nerve fiber.

Some of the Dharma

Posted in Uncategorized on November 26, 2007 by ewakening

Mountains, river, earth, are fantastic blossoms which you see owing to misconceptions that result neither from the mind’s misconception nor the mind’s right understanding but because your sense of direction has not been recovered through simple enlightenment….

— Jack Kerouac, from Some of the Dharma

Inner Vision (Steiner)

Posted in enlightenment on November 26, 2007 by ewakening

As long as Earth is opaque, the separate parts appear inhabited by people of different faiths, but the unifying bond is not there. . . . But to the degree that people begin to look through the Earth into the Sun by their inner power of vision, to the degree that the “star” appears to them through Earth, their faiths will flow together into one great, united brotherhood.

– Rudolf Steiner, from The Secret Stream, p. 99

Crack in the Cosmic Egg

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2007 by ewakening

Ultimate allegiance to a symbol of openness really does open things.

— Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Crack in the Cosmic Egg (p. 178)

Our cosmic egg is the sum total of our notions of what the world is, notions which define what reality can be for us. The crack, then, is a mode of thinking through which imagination can escape the mundane shell and create a new cosmic egg.

— p. xiv

Metaphysics of Quality

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2007 by ewakening

A subject-object metaphysics is in fact a metaphysics in which the first division of Quality – the first slice of undivided experience – is into subjects and objects. Once you have made that slice, all of human experience is supposed to fit into one of these two boxes. The trouble is, it doesn’t. What he had seen is that there is a metaphysical box that sits above these two boxes, Quality itself. And once he’d seen this he also saw a huge number of ways in which Quality can be divided. Subjects and objects are just one of the ways.

– Robert M. Pirsig, from Lila (p 124)