Los Alamos Demonstration

At Los Alamos


And I was just thinking about writing a population story for my next newsletter.

Still, I think I should go ahead with it, because reporters simply do not process all the parameters. For one thing they are not scientists, nor historians (what was the first thing I noticed here? The populations exploded at and following the time when the major new religions formed and grew.) Does that mean religion is bad? No way. I think humans require religion to implement our instinctual social values. HOWEVER, I also believe that these ancient religions have been changed dramatically from an ethic that paralleled the laws of nature TO an ethic now that sees its mission as overpowering nature.

Of course, it won’t work, will it? Our earth, water, food and air come from nature. If we kill nature (and that would not be impossible) we kill ourselves. Keep these thoughts in mind as you check out the below that came to me from Population Media Center (PMC).

Ken Weiss, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and editor for the L.A. Times, emailed me yesterday to announce a major special feature report, which is the result his travels with staff photographer Rick Loomis. The two men traveled across Africa and Asia to document the causes and consequences of rapid population growth. They visited Kenya, Uganda, China, the Philippines, India, Afghanistan and other countries.

I have yet to fully explore the numerous stories, maps, photos, narrated graphics and videos on the L.A. Times website, but the content certainly seems worth your time. I have pasted below the text of the first major article, which is merely the first of a five part series. I strongly encourage you to click through, however, because numerous videos and graphics are embedded in the story on the website. The remaining articles will be published in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and wrapping up next Sunday, July 29.

In the meantime, you can access the main L.A. Times web-portal here:


Upaya 03

When we talk about way-seeking mind, those without it become resentful instead of reflecting on themselves. . . People nowadays rarely seek the truth. Deficient in practice and realization, they seek recognition for their effort and understanding. This is delusion on top of delusion.”
Dogen, trans. Tanahashi

Bare Bones Biology 109 – Communication

In the past two Bare Bones Biologies, that’s 107 and 108, we tackled one of the most complex of human topics, communication. There are people who specialize in this area, and I probably should consult such an expert, because I confuses me. We so seldom use communication to communicate our reality, and then we have to translate, or guess, what people mean by what they say, and I’m not a good guesser. I finally did figure out the reason people don’t listen to what I say – that’s one of my biggest complaints – is because they’re listening instead to what they would have meant if they had said it.

This is not necessary by the way. If we did understand each other it would eliminate a lot of confusion, and it would only require asking a few questions. But now I find a generation or two of people who are offended by questions, because they equate questioning their meaning with – “dissing” them. (To diss = to disrespect.)

I can understand this, because so many people in our culture are addicted to – or afraid of – power. So we often use words as we would money, or expertise, or machismo or whatever we have at hand to reinforce our own sense of dominance or of defence. The result is not very useful.

I remember a time when expertise was envisioned as useful, not because it gave us an individual edge in a world of fearful competition, but because our individual expertise, whatever it is, can be used to contribute to the welfare of the community. There still exist communities, and some new ones growing, in which each person within the community supports the efforts of the other (even if by support we mean pointing out the flaws so together we can grow a better effort).

Every effort has value, and the values among the many can be discussed. They have worth. None is perfect and none is expected to be perfect. But all together, if the information is made available for solving problems, the community is in a position to deal with the real problems as a group, and so the community has more power than the individual to build a better future for the whole.

Generally, in our culture, we tend to view these communities a primitive, but let’s face it, primitive peoples lived sustainably for thousands of years until we came along with the so-called advanced cultures that are not sustainable within the factual reality of the earth ecosystem. Loving the ecosystem will not change this fact. Neither will technology. Until the spiritualists and the technologists are willing to learn about limiting factors, our advanced human cultures are on a fast track to destruction. Because we do have responsibilities to the earth itself, and unless we know what they are, and fulfill them, well, then our spiritual and technological good intentions are, and I quote St Bernard of Clairveux: “the road to hell, paved with good intentions.”

In a society of competition, where everyone is afraid of everyone else, we cannot use our expertise compassionately to benefit the whole, because the whole is composed of other people, most of whom are more concerned with their own physical or emotional survival.

The result is useless and fruitless power struggles rather than a compassionate intention to address real problems. And in a society where people are hooked on feeling good, or aspiring to feel good, there can be very little compassion, because in a crisis situation, compassion most often does not feel good. Doing what’s best to benefit the whole, often does not feel good. But that is what compassion is – doing what is best for the long-term interests of the other and the whole.

When a solution to a problem is well documented in fact, then it is the responsibility of compassion to study these facts and use them to promote the overall welfare, that is the least suffering, of the whole. For that, we must learn to listen and to discuss. Without listening and discussion of the impact of the facts on all the levels of life, from the individual through the ecosystem, there can be no deep, sustainable, compassion.

Bare Bones Biology 108 – Communication
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Owl photo taken in New Mexico at TheWildlifeCenter.org
Discussion photo taken in California at the conference of: TheEconomicsofHappiness.org

Santa Fe to Taos

Yesterday the smoke rolled in from the “fires to the south,” and we rolled out in a search for clean air — or rather to find out if there is any. Of course, it depends upon the wind, but we ended up traveling to Taos with the intention of a short, inexpensive overnight stay. Then we would come back behind the mountains. But by the time we and hundreds of hundreds of serious motorcyclists. In all that wind, I can not imagine travelling long distance on a motorcycle. It was all smoke and overcast, and we were tired and we clearly are not going to live here long term, so – – – why waste the gas=money.

On the way we visited the Wildlife Center that I have mentioned to you several times as the place that is doing a good job of this tough task. Their latest newsletter just out.

Carson and Barnes — Come and Gone in three days, what a life.

Credit Photos by Lynn