Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Forest of Enchantments

The Forest of Enchantments is my muse, a place of magic and wonder. Home to wizards, witches and little fairies, wherever the land exists in its wildly noble, natural state is where fairy tales begin. 

Unsuspecting travelers who rarely travel far from their villages sometimes whimsically wander off,  encountering Enchanted Beings when they do. Fascinated and enthralled by their presence, they continue navigating her many labyrinths and towering high cliffs, seeking only to remain in her presence. 

But how does one arrive to the Enchanted Forest? How does one recognize her presence in another?


One must wander away from home if one seeks to find the Forest of Enchantments. A journey through imaginary places and the marvels they behold, delivered under the similitude of a dream, whispered in discovery, and across the river ... this is where our story begins.


The tracks through the forest are difficult to find and dangerous underfoot. At times they are almost impossible to follow because of the dense undergrowth. Travelers are warned that at one spot in the forest there is a bottomless pit into which they are likely to stumble. 

There are no inns or houses in the forest; there are several arbors but they should be avoided, as those who fall asleep in them will never again awaken. 

In fact it is dangerous to fall asleep anywhere in these Enchanted Lands because thieves and monsters abound. It is during the wee hours of the morning that the forest is her most lively. 

The forest is under the spell of the Mistress of this Land, who makes all those who travel here happy. She is tall, regal in stature, and carries her head erect with a dignity identifying her as goddess. There are no colors to paint such freshness, such delicate tints, which alone are hers, and which has been seen in no other being. 

She welcomes pilgrims on their journey, speaking gently and smiling at them; those who surrender to her vision of beauty will never again return home. She is the Goddess of Freedom, no soul leaves her. 

She is fond of feasting and can often be found at banqueting tables. A Queen in exile, she promises crowns and kingdoms by appealing to desires and ambitions, but only those with pure hearts receive her treasures. An enchanted crown may only be placed upon the head whose flesh and heart are in harmony.

Beyond the River of Deeper Slumber, travelers encounter the tunnels of twisted wood, whose low prodigious oaks extend their groping boughs laden with blossom and shine dimly with a phosphorescence of strange and magical fungi. 

Here the furtive and secretive creatures of the forest lurk. It is where the most obscure secrets are hidden. Those with a taste for her sweet nectar enter the Forest of Enchantments and never return. 

Her land is where heroes of legend are born. Their affinities and hers naturally unfold and reveal themselves to one another. Once the hero spends the night in the forest, this union endows him with the ability to evoke her enchantments. 

Bears, butterflies, and all magical creatures follow in her very footstep. Extensions of her essence, they bewilder travelers, greeting only those whom the Queen welcomes. Her choices often bewilder, for only those who can harmoniously traverse her labyrinthine complexity receive her gentle guiding hand. 

The quest for her enchantments become the stories of folklore. 

The Forest of Enchantments is a safe haven and refuge for those who have not been affected by the Dark Curse. Travelers are advised that the only safe time to enter is while she is in repose.

Her land remains unknown. Her graceful shadowy form is an infinite forest with the power to magically restore all that has been lost by restoring something that never leaves us ... our true essence. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Culinary Renaissance

Compliments to the Chef

Foods and their tastes represent and express significance in distinctive "holiday" fashion come fall. Each family has tales of food and their meanings, be them whimsical or profound by considering candy canes, honey hams, turkeys, pickled fish, or Grandma's famous pudding. 

Holiday rituals make food part of our so-called sacred offering, part of the experience associated with a given holiday. The array of foods shared during this season blend childhood, nourishment, and soothing calm into each delicious bite.

Culinary Renaissance

There is a culinary renaissance sweeping the western world. With tastes and techniques from so many countries blending society from across the dinner table, people are more eager than ever to seek out new tastes and incorporate them into their lives.

Once an individual is introduced to a new taste, flavor, or sensation, his or her curiosity follows; the floodgates open and the preference for new tastes drives the individual toward informing their desires with new food choices.

Food serves as an important and palpable aspect of cultural value transmitted across the globe. The simple act of eating another's food is a symbol of accepting their offering, signifying trust.

Whether we are giving or receiving the gift of food, something as simple as a shared meal has the power to connect the world in a way that individual people can incorporate the cultural heritage from other regions as part of their own.

Recall... there was a time on the Earth when we were one heritage, when all the continents of the world were connected. In reality, reconnecting at the dinner table with our global neighbors honors our shared global heritage. Since food is one of the most delicious ways by which we can connect with our global family this holiday season...

Bon appétit!

Smaaklike ete!
T'bëftë mirë!
E Güeter!
Bil hana!
On egin!
Su tripti!
Da vi e vkusno!
Que vagi de gust!
Buen prubechu!
Sihk faahn!
Mang-mang sik!
Bon appetitu!
Dobar tek!
Dobrou chut'!
Jätku leiba!
Da kana!
Hyvää ruokahalua!
Bo proveito!
Guten Appetit!
Kalí óreksi!
E 'ai käua!
Kripyä bhojan shuru kijīyai!
Jó étváyat!
Selamat makan!
Bon appetito!
Buon appetito!
Jal meokkesseumnida!
ylSop! (Klingon)
Bonum appetitionem!
Labu apetīti!
Gudden Appetit!
Mazotoa homana!
Selamat menjamu selera!
Saihan hoollooroi!
Xitlacua cualli!
Vær så god!
Noosje jan!
Bom apetite!
Prijatnovo appetita!
lth gu leòir!
Dobrú chut'!
Dober tek!
Ha kuu macaanaato!
Buen provecho!
Furahieni chakula chenu!
Smaklig måltid!
En Guete!
Tayo'y magsikain!
Tamaa maitai!
Magizhnthu unnungal!
Afiyet olsun!
Mwynhewch eich bwyd!
Es gezunterheyt!
Ku méejtech uutsil!
Thokoleza ukudla!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sun and Moon

Sun and Moon (2014)
Soph and Shenn
Digital Photograph, Private Collection

In Sun and Moon, Shenn appears left embracing a moon lit sky with its varying hues. Soph, meeting Shenn compositionally half-way, appears right enveloping the day with its corresponding hues. Pictured cheek-to-cheek the depth and light-heartedness that radiates from their eyes indicates a connection of the highest order. A mother and daughter symphony. Besti~mates! 

The photo is a praise to the Academies, to those pompous snappy dressers whom we love to disprove. Bucking the natural order, only to house it again in our finest institutions. Voilá! 

Originally intended for private appreciation, displayed publicly on 17 November commemorating Soph's declaration of motherly love to her lovely daughter, the modern embodiment of Raphael's 


extraordinary inventiveness, technical perfection, and unequaled sense of grace. The photograph was designed to honor the journey as explored by Shenn and Soph. 

Sun and Moon represents a simple homage to Earth's satellite and the important role its regular phases have played throughout Earth's history. Equal homage is payed to its allegorical opposite, the Sun. The star at the center of the Solar System. 


The Sun's influence is prominently displayed in the world's mind. The Sun, the Earth, everything ever observed with our telescopes, all known matter - adds up to less than 5% of the Cosmos. Space has amazing properties. The space below the bottom of their chins and between the meeting of their jaws can be identified here as a cosmological constant, a space that possesses its own energy: a scarf, a necklace, lighter colors, darker colors, highlights vs shadow, while only 5% of the space connecting the figures is lit. 

The delightful thought here is that the mother, Soph, has an affinity for morning, whereas her daughter, Shenn, has an affinity for night. The two work in harmony and delight in their sharing of both perspectives. Growing like an expanding universe, the two share an appreciation for existence and her many benefits. 

An inherent question resides in the symbolism of this photograph from the quantum theory of matter. Whether empty space is actually full of temporary ("virtual") particles that continually form and then disappear, whether it is a new kind of dynamical energy fluid or field, or whether it is a quintessence (Greek; fifth element) it is for every mind to contemplate. 

Theosophie & Philosophie & Musik (1617)
Robert Fludd
Segment of the macrocosm showing the elemental spheres 
of terra (earth), agua (water), aer (air), and ignis (fire).

More than the sum of our parts, high concentrations of delight and enjoyment reside in the combining of our elemental forces. Sun and Moon represents our appreciation for the independent phenomena in the natural world. 

Whether a primordial element from which everything else is made is ever found, the time, space, balance, gravity, cosmic, universal, multi-elemental cosmos makes for a wonderfully delightful and intensely perceived playground. 

This declaration refers to the duo's shared appreciation for each bead of time they have together. 

Happy Birthday, Beautiful! 

Enjoy the moments...


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

On the Notion of Heaven

Rosa Celeste: Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest heaven, The Empyrean
Gustave Dore (1832-1883), Divine Comedy

The Empyrean, from the Medieval Latin empyreus, an adaptation of the Ancient Greek empyrus "in or on the fire (pyr). Empyrean Heaven is the place in the highest heaven, which in ancient cosmologies was supposed to be occupied by the element of fire (or aether in Aristotle's natural philosophy). 

The Empyrean was thus used as a name for the firmament, and in Christian literature, notably the Divine Comedy, for the dwelling-place of God, the blessed, celestial beings so divine they are made of pure light, and the source of light and creation. 

Cosmographia (1524)
Peter Apian

The celestial spheres, or celestial orbs, were the fundamental entities of the cosmological models developed by Plato, Eudoxus, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus and others. Less concerned with mathematical calculations than with the nature of the celestial spheres, their relation to revealed accounts of created nature, and the causes of their motion (and their existence), I think back to the date among Islamic scholars in the twelfth century (Fakhar al-Din al-Razi) about whether the celestial spheres are real, concrete physical bodies or "merely the abstract circles in the heavens traced out... by the various stars and planets."

Tycho Brahe's investigations of a series of comets from 1577 to 1585, aided by Rothmann's discussion of the comet of 1585 and Michael Maestlin's tabulated distances of the comet of 1577, which passed through the planetary orbs, led Tycho to conclude that "the structure of the heavens was very fluid and simple."

Filling in the consequent gaps between planetary spheres implied by the Copernican system, Kepler's Platonic cosmology filled the large gaps with the five Platonic polyhedra, which accounted for the spheres' measured astronomical distance. In his mature celestial physics, the spheres were regarded as the purely geometrical spatial regions containing each planetary orbit rather than as the rotating physical orbs of the earlier Aristotelian celestial physics. 

In Cicero's Dream of Scipio, the elder Scipio Africanus describes an ascent through the celestial spheres, compared to which the Earth and the Roman Empire dwindle into insignificance. Macrobius did much to spread the idea of the celestial spheres through the Early Middle Ages in his commentary on the Dream of Scipio, in which he included a discussion on the various schools of thought on the order of the spheres. 

Le livre du Ciel et du Monde (1377)
Nicole Oresme
Paris, BnF, Manuscripts, Fr. 565, f. 69

Some figures during the late medieval period noted that the celestial spheres' physical order was inverse to their order on the spiritual plane, where God was at the center and the Earth at the periphery. 

This is precisely how my brain has interpreted the notion of the concept called Heaven. Some central presence from which everything is peripheral. Whereby a human being, by nature of their imagination, can travel to any point imaginable in all that is imaginable and beyond by merely projecting their thoughts to that space. A flow of energie from this perceived connection brings these two spaces closer together, in manifested form. How they form, the shapes they create are entirely manifest in the mechanics of the manifested matter they share. Whether they create a sphere or a smooth, long wave of flowing frequency, or whether they burst and form smaller particles or undulations is entirely a matter of cosmological mechanics, but the notion that such is the movements held within is enticing to the curious mind. 

Copernicus' work, reforming the model of astronomy by displacing the Earth from its central place in favour of the Sun in his great work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), Copernicus does not treat the nature of the spheres in detail, his few allusions indicate he accepted non-solid celestial spheres. 

Undecided as to whether they are abstract or solid spheres "on which the stars turn... " (Setia), Al-Razi said: "In truth, there is no way to ascertain the characteristics of the heavens except by authority [of divine revelation or prophetic traditions]." 

No intellectual commitment can be made as to the nature of the spheres with the exception of the description and explanation of what has been said heretofore. Thus, they could be black holes, as depicted in Interstellar: 

They could be felt but unseen forces of nature, such as love or curiosity, happiness or joy. Whatever they are: 

Then was not non-existent nor existent:
there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
What covered in, and where?
and what gave shelter?
Was water there, unfathomed depth of water?
Who verily knows and who can here declare it, 
whence it was born and whence comes this creation?
The Gods are later than this world's production.
Who knows then whence it first came into being?
He, the first origin of this creation,
whether he formed it all or did not form it,
Whose eye controls this world in the highest heaven,
he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.

[Rig-Veda 10.129.1-7]

Wednesday, November 5, 2014



Togetherness is an advantage to the soul
as glances enhance the affections mysteries
and breath refreshes the lungs.

The moment ironically summons us
to account for how it sprang forth
knowing the moments, we define - 

What does it matter from whence it arises? 
it is lovely - it is.
the truest hymn, pearls shed in our eyes.

Even hearts crowded in solitude
are purified by spreading clouds of joy
harkening to the air it breathes.

Last, to define our moods with madness, we
whose monstrous pleasures host it,
dance free amid its shine.


Love Emergence

Love Emergence is a one-time non-ordinary event. Love emergence is a developmental concern. The spontaneous opening of the love experience in contemporary westerners signifies a special, "fast" track in overall love-span development. Spontaneous love experiences are both the manifestation of, and catalysts to individuation/ego-development. They serve to open the sense of shared identity, are beyond the ego, change the emotional structure and ethical position of the person, change the attitude toward others etc.

Examination of the self-development of consciousness as it is reflected in live accounts of adults after loving experiences with the gestalt of pure consciousness stand out in their awareness of the interior of their consciousness, and in the awareness of their own development. It is as if their whole being gets "illuminated by love" by the sudden opening of blazing pure consciousness, and its deepest content, including dynamic processes related to development, and become available to awareness and pre-reflective and reflective verbalization.

Phenomenological analysis would potentially classify these experiences as catalytically connected to ego-development given their subsequent processes, such as birth of the new archetypal and meaningful concepts, structure-building, and archetypal transformation. The psyche reformulates itself from the primordial chaos to the order of love, and acquires a "flexibility", "liquidity", and "drive towards integrity of the self and others", which makes it into a field of conscious expression. The phenomenon of wholeness of the self in relation to another could be looked upon as a result of a specific psyche, charmingly identified as a type of Platonic restoration.

Synergy and Consciousness

Falling in Love
Miki De Goodaboom

Synergy, an abstract concept whereby the combination of multiple inputs yields a result greater than the basic summation of each individual component contributed. Such is the nature of consciousness, that elusive sense that I exist

Let me explain.

Consciousness is not simple. For instance, two neurons swapping electrochemical signals across their axons and dendrites cannot possibly be conscious. Nerve cells are simple devices, less complex than my can opener, and they do one simple thing, namely, react to the chemicals that reach them by releasing chemicals of their own. Theoretically a million of these so-called simple devices would produce one million simple effects. But what about one billion or ten billion? What do they produce? Well, it would appear they produce consciousness

In this respect, consciousness is similar in effect to synergetic connections. Synergy is just another word for consciousness. 

"Consciousness," according to Daniel Gilbert, "is precisely this sort of emergent property - a phenomenon that arises in part as a result of the sheer number of interconnections among neurons in the human brain and that does not exist in any parts or in the interconnection of just a few. 

Heart in a Lightbulb
Setsiri Silapasuwanchai

What about synergy? 

Synergetic combinations, on the surface, appear to only need two inputs. For example, two people in love. When these individuals fall in love they share in a force that is greater when they are together than when they are apart. What is this love force they feel? Is it synergy or is it consciousness? Can we use the words interchangeably? Or is it that synergy produces consciousness? 

English School

When two people fall in love they are not just two simple devices reacting to the chemicals that reach them by releasing chemicals of their own. There is a force existing between them, a presence that is independent of who they are as individuals. Extinguishing this force is akin to extinguishing a life force. 

The word synergy comes from a Greek word meaning 'working together'. In this respect, two or more forces interacting may be regarded as a synergy. Two people embracing, two people texting, a bee pollinating a flower, even two armies at war might be regarded as synergies. Contrary to popular belief, synergy is not always working together toward a common purpose. Common-purpose synergies are organisms or organizations. 

When two beings share a synergy, when two beings are in love, the love force that arises between them may share many of the qualities we ascribe to consciousness. Consciousness, as it is commonly described, is defined as being aware of an external object or something within oneself. In the case of love, people often describe something "between" them, something that "arises" when they are together, a "force" they are drawn toward. Whether or not this love force has sentience, awareness, or the ability to experience or feel, or have a sense of selfhood, an executive control system, it is unknown, but the idea that it comes into existence gives us reason to question the nature of consciousness outside the human experience. 

Could consciousness exist in other forms? The question sounds so simple it is difficult not to immediately say "Yes"(for an open mind) or "No" (for a pre-biased mind). If we define consciousness as awareness, one could argue that every aspect of existence is conscious, expressing this state differently according to its own state of existence, but conscious, nonetheless. 

Standard models of consciousness call for a human being, but if we do not know how or from whence consciousness arises, how can we be certain that it is held within the human mechanism? The human mechanism may participate or serve as a conduit for this force - whether this force only occurs inside a solid, by a synergy that occurs when forces between particles are so strong the particles cannot move freely and can only vibrate - but the force itself appears independent of the shape and leaves the body once the life force expires. 

Thus it is reasonable to consider the love force that arises between lovers as a kind of consciousness held in a different state. Perhaps physicists will someday have the ability to measure states (solid, liquid, gas, and plasma, Bose-Einstein condensates, neutron-degenerate matter) more exotic (a quark-gluon plasma) than those currently considered, or to measure theoretical states such as the love force that exists between human beings. 

Red Couple
Irina March