Saturday XIII • 2 June 2007

Today: dissertation. Punctuated by: needles. Yes.

This journey of the traveling back tension, which began April 1, crossed over into the two-month territory yesterday. I said early that if things had not resolved in two months, I’d tap the grad-school-delimited body-budget. The intimates who know my derision for bourgeois “needs” and consumer services (especially in light of the real body trauma that physical laborers endure), point out that I’ll be a sucker for massage and acupuncture and Rolfing in future bourgeois days. Guilty as charged. But in the meantime, going through a this thing without reliance on body-service providers has, in honesty, been good. It puts me in a frame of mind today of excitement to see how things will respond to the needles, with a recognition that in a decently-insured world I’d be quicker to categorize the treatment like westerners do the rest of medicine—as a fix-it measure. The past week’s experiments—with deepening practice rather than backing off, and with keeping sitting meditation completely somatic in its focus—have been revealing if not blissful…. We’ll see what comes of today’s experiment.

Meantime, some early morning Saturday links—

? After deepest anticipation, Veneer.

I cannot undo the bigger puzzle, but the first issue is in any case exciting. Including a debate on the singularity between Wired founder Kevin Kelley and futurist Ray Kurzweil.

Subscribe to the 18-issue edition here, or purchase the first issue here, or look for it starting next week in limited indie bookstores across North America and Europe.

? Steve Dwelley’s comments on going deep because we have to, and on coping with chaos when it arises in the body, inspired me this week. (In the comments, InsideOwl plays the sucker.)

Stop the Clash of Civilizations, youtube agitprop to launch the Avaaz campaign “to galvanize an independent, international movement calling for real Middle East peace talks.” Music by DJ Spooky, graphics by Ruckus Productions.

? Granta 97: contemporary fiction in yet another pretty lame moment. The TLS review advises: don’t mistake the earnest for the honest.

? Republican Candidate Brownback’s dim-witted, somewhat sleazy apologia in the NYT“What I think about evolution,” justifies his claim not to believe in evolution with the old “religion is for the spiritual realm, science is for the material realm” saw. Real service to society there. On the other hand, this sweet, thoughtful, engaging piece in Edge, written 36 years ago by the lovey genius Heisenberg (of the principle, yes) and just republished in Physics and Philosophy, goes beyond divisions of the world into spiritual/material or subjective/objective:

But if [the average person] is to live by [religion’s] values, [s/he] has to be convinced that the spiritual framework embraces the entire wisdom of his society. That is why society is in such danger whenever fresh knowledge threatens to explode the old spiritual forms. The complete separation of knowledge and faith can at best be an emergency measure, afford some temporary relief…. Einstein’s conception is closer to mine. His God is somehow involved in the immutable laws of nature. Einstein has a feeling for the central order of things. He can detect it in the simplicity of natural laws…. I don’t believe Einstein is tied to any religious tradition, and I rather think the idea of a personal God is entirely foreign to him. But as far as he is concerned there is no split between science and religion: the central order is part of the subjective as well as the objective realm.

More from Chris Jordan, artist of American Consumerism.

? Finally, not that this is why I do it, but this article makes quick scientific sense of meditation. Good references, too.

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