Bare Bones Biology 337 – The Song

161011-creation-asc_7028rss“And the spirit of God was brooding over the face of the waters.”(a)

 

Genesis contains one early telling of our age-old metaphor; and of course there are many others.(b) Each time we re-tell any of them from our current knowledge-base, our understanding of the metaphor falls more closely into line with the reality of the actual process of the Creation of the universe, because the new metaphor incorporates our greater knowledge about the reality of the universe. And with every new telling, the universe seems to grow, because it really is humongous. And the natural laws that generate, sustain and maintain the universe seem more awe-inspiring. Though the natural laws don’t change, we do. We never will know everything there is to know about the creation because we are the created, and not the creator.

 

So we have metaphors of several kinds; the good thing about scientific and mathematical metaphors is that there are ways to test them before we decide what to believe. And the good reason to do this is because we humans today have more power than we have knowledge or wisdom.

 

A new(h) version of our creation myth incorporates our new knowledge of the quantum level, and is explained for us by Dr. Seth Lloyd(c)(g)and previously by Nobel Prizewinner Dr. Murray Gell-Mann(f). It is in line with current cutting edge physics and biology, and is not out of line from previous metaphorical explanations of The Creation.

 

Each creation story, old and new, can be thought of as a “Song Flung up to Heaven,”(d) that we can use to help us know how to survive with poise, rather than bash our heads against a humanly indestructible universe.

 

The function and purpose of a human creation story is to generate human behaviors that are aligned with human survival within the reality that is what it is — because that simply is what it is (was). And that “was” makes it a historical fact that we cannot change and can only dimly perceive. Yet, through the ages and the people and their stories, we try always to better understand. Not to make ourselves rich and powerful – not if we are wise — but for our very survival as part of the whole of Life, for indeed we are dealing with an enemy to our survival.

The enemy is us. The Creation (including the Biosystem) is not our enemy – it is our current dominant ego-permeated world view that drives us to destroy, rather than nourish, our relationships with our biological environment.

 

We can’t win a war against the Biosystem because it is a war against ourselves; the Biosystem feeds us; it is the whole living earth, and it will do what it will do according to how it was created to function. So the more accurate our information about how it functions, the better our chances of survival, so long as we stop trying to fight against nature and natural law and use the power of our knowledge to align ourselves with it.

 

And life is ever-so-much easier in our chaotic culture, if we take the trouble to learn the rules, the laws of nature, as we are deciding what human metaphor to believe. Our proper place in the whole of Life is not bigger, more powerful, “richest” or “fittest” as that word us usually envisioned. Our best place would be wisely integrated.

 

We need an origin story that puts us in our proper human place relative to the Life of Earth.

We already learned these lessons. For just one beautiful example from Thich Nhat Hanh,(c) the so-called “emptiness” inherent in the “dependent arising of all sentient beings” represents reality in our world that is made of interconnected, interdependent, complex adaptive systems that evolved together – co-evolved — as a result of natural law.(b)(f)(g)

Drs. Murray Gell-Mann and Seth Lloyd (among other scientists whom they reference) have given us a creation hypothesis that does align with current scientific understanding of how the universe functions. I will try to paraphrase it for you next week. The required elements are natural law (I include natural selection) operating at the quantum level and above, on free energy, entropy and information.

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(a) The Christian and Jewish Bible, Genesis 1:2

(b) Campbell, Joseph. 1976. The Masks of God. Viking Penguin

(c) Lloyd, Seth. 2006. Programming the Universe. Vintage Books.

(d) Angelou, Maya. 2002. A Song Flung up to Heaven.

(e) The concept of emptiness, wholely in line with modern thinking, but stated differently, can be found in: Thich Nhat Hahn IN: The Buddha and his Teachings, Chapter 25. 1993. Ed: Samuel Berchold and Sherab Chodzin Kohn. Barnes & Noble Books.

(f) Gell-Mann, Murray. 1994. The Quark and the Jaguar. W. H. Freeman & Co.

(g) Lloyd, Seth. 2016. Two recent video lectures at Santa Fe Institute.

https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/bare-bones-biology-337-the-song/

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This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_337_-_The_Song.mp3

 

Bare Bones Biology 152 – Meditation for an Easter Sunrise

This past Easter, Bitsy and I sat at the picnic table behind Los Sueños Trailer Park in Santa Fe. She upright and watching, I slumping awake with a cup of coffee. It was a wandering meditation and I let it wander.

The solid faithfulness of Notre Dame Cathedral. I couldn’t stay for the services – all that smoke and perfume drove me away, but the building – the building that welcomes all. In the off season I came often to sit inside its truths. I remembered the time I sat behind a woman, just the two of us, widely separated, she weeping and I letting myself feel her tears and return what I could of a blessing. We never spoke, she didn’t know I was there,and I will never see her again, but she is a part of my life, sheltered within that building – not the tourists and not the ceremonies, at least not for me. The building took three generations to build, by hand, in the middle ages, and if you listen you can feel the tears, the millions of human hands, the love, the joy, and the patience. Above all the patience. The stone blocks of the stairs hollowed out by our feet. The building carries forward a truth of human community.

Notre Dame made me think of Jesus, and I wondered what it felt like to be Jesus, the man who cried out: “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” And I thought again of the building, and the tourists who file around the periphery in dumb awe of truth, ignorant of those who weep in the seats under the central dome of real life. 131328-sunrise-ASC_2832s

And that made me think of my favorite audio tapes that I carry when I travel. Stereo – with earphones. I pulled it out and plugged it in. One individual, not counting Bitsy, sitting at a picnic table, meditating and watching the sun rise while listening to The Messiah. EC gave it to me. How many individual people and other organisms have given me my life? Back in time and spread out across the living Earth? How wondrous a thing is Homo sapiens. How amazing a creation am I, arising within and nurtured by the glory of God’s Natural Laws. Sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Nurtured by a tough Texas lady. Somehow connected with an unknown, weeping French woman.
Eileen Farrell, soprano: “And he shall feed his flock.”

Jesus, representing the facts of life for humans. We are born, we live, we die so that Life itself, the whole churning brew of perfectly interacting processes, may take its rebirth in every moment. Ever changing.

Not even the most brilliant scientists can map that churning brew of Life, but the truths of it are true, no matter who interprets them, be it Jesus or the Buddha or any other saint, or Handel, or science. And what will I give back?

Our job is to sort out the truths from among our own ego trips and corposystem propaganda — greed, hatred and ignorance. Our job is to understand the power that we hold, lest it harm all the generations of our future Our job is to continue to learn about, and not to fight over, any truth of God’s Living system, because – we only understand part of it and a lot of what we do understand is wrong. Because we are not God. We are nothing more than a bit of life in the great stream of God’s system of Life.

And “We, like sheep” go often astray.

God is what it is, not what you or I have decided that it is. Our job is not to war against it or the Life that it is creating in every moment of time, but to honor it’s process and receive its blessing.

“Hallelujah”

And after Easter comes Earth day. I’ll see you there on Saturday, April 20.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a weekly production of FactFictionFancy.com, and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM, in Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be downloaded at:

Bare Bones Biology 145b – Power

Y’all remember the Peach Clubhouse (which is still functioning by appointment, and you might be surprised what we are up to).  We learned quite a number of important things from the Peach Clubhouse.  One is that we aren’t going to change anyone’s mind, which is really, really sad because if we collectively continue our current world view, then this generation will be responsible for the unnecessary suffering of the children of man on into the foreseeable future.

Pipelines mapPeople look at me askance when I say this.  “Dotty old ladies have a right to their opinions,” they seem to think. In any case, they don’t bother themselves to find out whether or not I know what I’m talking about (http://www.radioproject.org/2013/02/putting-the-eco-back-into-economics-with-david-suzuki/).  Apparently they don’t understand that the biological laws of God and nature are what they are, and do not change according to our opinions.  That’s why we call them facts. (Romans 1:20.  “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made  . . .”)

The generation that is currently in control of our society is so ignorant of reality and so arrogantly confident in the power of its toys that they actually believe they invented systems that can compete successfully against the systems that God created. Compete with the earth

Nonsense.  Not to mention blasphemy and astronomical ignorance.  The laws of nature are natural laws – facts of life — with or without God, no matter what anyone believes or how powerful Chevron may be.

Personally, my goal is to do less harm than good on this earth, and to grow a vision of a social structure that might succeed after this one crashes.  (Yes, I know you are happy with this one, but any social structure that can’t tell the difference between a law of God and nature — and a Managing Director — will not survive on this earth.)

And because it is the responsibility of elders to share what they have learned in their long lives, therefore my goal is to figure out and share the skill-set necessary to grow a sustainable, reasonably comfortable and rewarding human lifestyle within our earth ecosystem for our future generations.

For the do-gooders who are working hard to do whatever you are working to do – all of you out there who believe that a one-track vision is enough (compassion, saving every fertilized egg, growing bigger web-based pyramid schemes, good grief, happiness) – you are wrong, and it is your responsibility to fact-check what you are doing against the needs of the ecosystem rather than the applause of the corposystem.  The requirements for contributing to a positive human social structure are that each of us take the responsibility for our fact-based education – minimally – about:

1. The basic physical requirements for the ecosystem to be healthy. Because the healthy functions of earth ecosystem give us everything we need to stay alive — soil, food energy, air, water, shelter.

2. Practical, applied compassion. Because humans require compassion to lead reasonably comfortable and rewarding lives (www:Bare BonesBiology 080-The Golden Rule).

3. A rule of law that recognizes the different and sometimes conflicting needs of different levels of life on earth — individual, population, ecosystem — and strives for the overall viable balance.

Photo from 350.orgsmallIn other words, the minimum responsibility of one human to her fellow humans is her sincere effort to learn, understand and discuss together the facts of life around the Laws of Nature, Practical Compassion, Rule of Law.   An arrogant, one-pointed meditation on whatever you already know will not resolve our current problems.  It will require study of what you do not know for us to succeed.

As for me, I’m glad that the revolutionary American Dream is not totally dead, though it has been mortified and driven underground by the corposystem and the biologically ignorant solutions proposed by the TEA party and its hangers on who fail to respect the works of God and nature that permit Life to exist on earth

This last weekend, Americans expressed themselves FOR the ecosystem 40,000 or more strong in Washington DC.  You might not hear about this on the corposystem media, so check it out on the web. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/17/climate-rally-washington-organizers_n_2707886.html.

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

 

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at:

Recommended References

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/17/climate-rally-washington-organizers_n_2707886.html

The New Testament, Romans 1:20 (“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made  . . .”)

http://www.radioproject.org/2013/02/putting-the-eco-back-into-economics-with-david-suzuki/

http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

http://www.BareBonesBiology

http://350.org

Bare Bones Biology 140 – Coming Home

This post will be entirely pictures tomorrow when I finish it. Except for the audio.

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Bare Bones Biology 138 – Happiness

Good Morning. It’s 2013. What is your function in Life?

Joseph Campbell says that Life is: “a wonderful, wonderful game, and the hero is the one who can participate in it decently, in the way of nature.”

Lately, more people seem to believe that our function in this enterprise is to be happy; especially the corposystem wants you to believe that your value as a human person is to buy stuff, and that will make you happy. H.H. The Dalai Lama (Pursuing Happiness, October 17, 2010, Emory University) has said: “When I say happiness I mean deep satisfaction.”

120908-Dogs-ASC_0561SsSomehow, I don’t think all these varied opinions compute. I think our biological role may very well express itself in our feeling of deep satisfaction, and our deep satisfaction may be found in human interactions with each other and with our environments. That is, in family, in human communities, and in biological communities as I defined them in previous posts. I think our deep satisfaction is best found in the knowledge that we are doing a good job of fulfilling our obligations to community and to Life itself.

Deep satisfaction is not the same thing as fun, and it is not found at the corner bar, the TV or computer games. Our primary role in Life is not spirituality or sexuality or religion or politics or winning anything or becoming a star. If it is true that deep satisfaction for individual humans is gained by participating in life decently, in the way of nature, then we really do have the obligation to ourselves to learn about what nature requires for Life and what the other members of our communities require for their satisfaction.

A human community is any group of humans that shares Life within a biological community. The successful human community teaches its young the skills needed to survive in the biological community. Not the corposystem. The corposystem is a temporary aberration. The biological community is the actual source of our Life: our food, air, water and shelter.

In that context, my “American Dream” was to help grow a human community that can sustainably meet the physical and emotional needs of the people indefinitely into the future.

120804-Nukes-ASC_8932LSsIf you share this dream, then heroism is not enough; we must also understand the needs of nature and how they differ from our own. Heroism and happiness and compassion and love and spirituality are good, but they cannot accomplish the goal of sustainability if they impose themselves upon, or stand aloof from, the needs of nature.

Religion is good, but only if it aligns itself with The Creation. Technology is sometimes good, but only if we take charge to ensure that its use will serve the long-term survival needs of the biological community.

No matter what your expertise or your “passion” it cannot achieve your goals unless you are willing to share it with others in the community and avail yourself of what they have to offer toward the common root goal. That really is the primary function of good human community.

As far as I know there is only one way for us to work together to grow a human community that can sustainably meet the physical and emotional needs of the people indefinitely into the future, and that is to first proclaim that as our common goal. Stop beating around the Bush and throwing up arrogant proclamations and accusations and lies to get what we individually want. Instead, proclaim the goal, and challenge everyone in the community of like and unlike mind to evaluate themselves according to their own responsibility toward fulfilling the common goal.

Nothing is stopping us except corposystem greed and our failure to respond to it heroically, in the way of nature.

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play
next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely
nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at
http://barebonesbiology.com/bare-bones-biology-138-happiness

Recommended References:
Bare Bones Biology Ecology Energy Handbook
Go to the right side of the page under Chapters and download your free no strings PDF.
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers. http://www.jcf.org
H. H. The Dalai Lama (Pursuing Happiness, October 17, 2010, Emory University) Or go to Krista Tippett, On Being.
biological communities https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/10/24
human communities https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/10/07.

Definitions:
Biological Community – all the species of organisms in a given area, and the environment they have created there.
Human Community – all the people in a given area
Life. Life is characterized by the ability to change in response to its environment.

Tags: Responsibility, 2013, Life, whole earth ecosystem, corposystem, happiness, human_community, biological_community

Bare Bones Biology 134 – Community and Ego

I had a dream last night about human ego, whatever that is, I will not try to define. In the dream, some guy was driving the bus and I was picking up the pieces. Literally, I mean, I was picking the pieces of newspaper and trash, old egg shells, gum and plastic wrappings — out from under the gas pedal — as they kept rolling back in there — while two other people sat behind, telling me what I was doing wrong, and the trash kept piling higher and deeper.

You will never guess what this dream was trying to tell me, because I didn’t until I started to write it down, and immediately came to mind my persistent question: “Why did The Creator give us our ego in the first place?” The thing causes so much pain and suffering to us and our communities, convincing us that our own belief system, our own need to be more right, is more real than reality. It isn’t, you know. Nobody is “right,” because nobody understands everything. And if we believe that our mind, emotions, intellect (reference), or our world view (reference), are more powerful than the biological reality. Well, that’s a pretty good definition of pain and suffering, now or later.

Pain is life enhancing. It guides our choice of behaviors so that we avoid drowning in the river when its currents are swirling in flood, or burning our little hands on the stove. Because we were formed within the biological community – our response to pain is biologically life enhancing.

To understand why we were given an ego is more difficult. What good is the blasted thing, if the use of it causes us emotional pain and suffering, but it doesn’t tell us what the danger is? Well, of course, that’s one function of community – to help us avoid emotional suffering by passing down the wisdom teachings of the ages. The harm caused by our ego-trips is well and often explained in all the wisdom teachings, and better behaviors described.

Maybe that’s what the ego is meant to do. Maybe our ego suffering is meant to enhance the welfare of the community by passing on some wisdom from now to benefit the future. I hope so, because our age is growing new problems faster than any before, and with these new problems, we must learn new lessons (or apply the old ones) about what not to do if we don’t want to suffer.

Our origins designed us genetically and behaviorally to live in a biosystem that functions to support life, but our human culture now has grown an artificial corposystem that functions to make money. And the power of this corposystem seems to lie mostly in our human ego needs.

So many people so filled with the fear of not being better than other people. Is that our ego? Why do we feel that we must be better than someone else? We can’t discuss the important issues, because someone might go into a one-up or one-down tizzy, or just turn their backs and walk away for fear that we might know something they don’t know. But isn’t that the point of discussion, that everyone knows more than only one? Don’t we WANT to deal with the problems? We keep saying that we do, and then the next thing you know we are debating irrelevant questions for no better reason than to satisfy our never-ending need to win. Even though the floods of climate change (climate change series Bare Bones Biology 092 through 100) are already tickling our toes – even though everyone really does know the end result of these ego trips, in our modern times, will be disaster.

So now my question is: how can we be aware of our ego, and all the negative, painful behaviors that it generates — how can we use that knowledge to grow a more positive, life-supporting human community?

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at

Recommended Action/Question for Discussion: I’m tempted to suggest that you start an argument and consider what methods you use to win. And what are the results. But in fact I doubt that you need to know more about how to argue. So instead I suggest you find a person with whom to discuss an issue and see how long you can keep it going without either of you having an obvious emotional reaction (because this will be a serious subject.) Maybe you could try this one – http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/26/why_birth_control_is_still_a_big_idea
“In the United States, especially this year, any occasion when contraceptives and public policy overlap seems to be an excuse to fight about other issues.”

Bare Bones Biology 133B – World Community

Last week I described, in a very general way, how I imagine the human brain processes information. The primary take-away message is that our brains are not universal. We are one species out of billions that are required to operate the functions of the living earth — just as any one cell of our brain is only one out of billions that are required to operate our amazing human brain. Secondly, there are levels of function of the human brain that we do not control – they control us. They control the basic functions of our bodies, and the basic nature of our emotions.

However, we also have higher levels of function in our brains that can adapt to our environment in a conscious way. One of these qualities is how we are learning all the time. Another is our intellect, that we can use to evaluate ourselves and our surroundings. If we try, we can figure out the difference between our perceptions — that is what our reality feels like according to our world view – and what the world really is according to facts that we study in physics, chemistry and biology. For example, we can measure the speed of light using tools designed by our intellect, but according to our perceptions, we would not know about the speed of light. We wouldn’t know that light is energy. We wouldn’t understand energy and would not have learned how to control fire, for example, during the millennia of our origins.

In all those millenia, the problems we faced had to do with how to interact with an overwhelming environment. For example, I was very touched by the last story in the most recent National Geographic. It is the story of an interaction between today and a primitive tribal culture. I won’t tell you the end of the story, but for me it was a heart-wrenching illustration of the choices we must make if we are to survive within the requirements of our environment. (National Geographic, February, 2012, Cave People of Papua, New Guinea.)

Today, we no long live sheltered in the broad green arms of our ecological home. I think that’s one reason why we experience the levels of discomfort, dis-ease and discontent that we do in our culture, but that’s not something we can deal with now. We have already destroyed that long-distant Garden of Eden. We can’t go back and change the mistakes of yesterday. You younger folk don’t realize that yet probably, but it can be demonstrated using, that intellect of ours, that the earth has modified herself to our needs about as much as she can. Our choice now is whether to push the environment even more. If we do, it’s likely to change so much that it can no longer support our needs for air, water, shelter, earth and human companionship.

We can do this, I know our brain is capable of understanding the problems that we face, and we can join together communally to deal with them. However, we cannot face these challenges using only our inborn instincts. If we are to succeed, it will require our intellect in two ways. First, we must educate ourselves about the ecosystem, how it functions and what it needs from us in order to sustain itself; second we must use our intellect to grow a new culture, based in what we know about basic instincts, and on what previous cultures have taught us, and incorporating our scientific knowledge and changing our attitude toward technology.

We now must decide together whether we, as a culture of the world, want to continue using technology to dominate and to make money – or if we will choose to, find a better way, based on a better goal-set than winner/loser. We do know there are better and more satisfying ways for humans to live, and the first thing we need to understand — we are not God. We do not understand the infinite meaning of life, nor can we control it. Our need to control, our ego, our desire to grow life in our image, whether the image be evil or even if it is a good image – that is the source and cause of our man-made disasters.

Lynn Lamoreux
Photo by Lynn, Lucky B Bison

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_133_-_World_Community.mp3

Recommended Action/Question for Discussion: Identify the source, and the path from source to table, of each item of food that is part of your Thanksgiving meal. In countries without a day of Thanksgiving (or with one), give thanks for your food at every meal and remember that it comes from the living earth. What, I wonder, is the difference between our living earth, and your God? Or mine?

Recommended References
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/

Bare Bones Biology Ecology Handbook, free, no strings – https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/
On the right side of the page click on the link under “Chapters” to download the PDF.

National Geographic, February, 2012, Cave People of Papua, New Guinea, by Mark Jenkins, Photos by Amy Toensing.