The book starts out with “The Daily Miracle” – that we all wake up with the same portion of time available to us. Time is the most precious resource, more precious than money, and it is also the most equally available.
The point of his book is that most people waste their time – their lives – unnecessarily, and his aim is to help them to avoid that.
The book could be re-written and re-published as a modern self-help book (and one that might help more people than some of those moderns – similar in that way to many of the self-help literature of the early 1900′s). Heck…maybe it already has been.
Chapter 7 details how to train concentration – by picking a topic (hopefully an important one) and focusing on it for an extended period of time – constantly bringing your mind back to it should it stray (and it will).
Funny, this is like “mindfulness meditation” but focused on a topic of interest.
What is the best subject for study?
Chapter 8 – Reflect on your own nature and path. Know thyself.
“we do not reflect upon the genuinely important things; upon the problem of our happiness, upon the main direction in which we are going, upon what life is giving to us, upon the share to which reason has (or has not) in determining our actions, and upon the relation between our principles and our conduct” (pg. 52)
Happiness comes “from the development of reason and adjustment of conduct to principles.”
Engage in the arts, in any way possible. Glory in the wonder of nature.
The book is short – 88 pages or so. And free to read.
Have I posted thoughts on mushrooms before? Maybe not. I had the opportunity to hear Paul Stamets speak last Sunday at the NorthWest Naturopathic Physicians Conference (NWNPC) in Portland, OR, and at the end of his talk he showed this brief video:
His talk and the video resonated on so many levels – because they connect, and are about connection (or maybe more importantly – they represent a praxis of connection).
I’d walked to Powell’s (the famous used-book store in Portland) the day before with quite a long book list and ended up leaving with only one book that was not on my list at all – another copy of Nietzsche’s “Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, and Ecce Homo” (probably my favorite of his works, though it’s hard to grade them…they all represent different physiologies) – but that subject will have to wait for another post.
Stamets is right. If you were to find the path of knowledge that teaches the Land-guage of Nature (the learning and communicating of which saves lives) – wouldn’t you run down it as fast as you could? And shouldn’t we all be trying to learn that land-guage?
What is that path?
Dr. Stamets doesn’t say “land-guage,” and I’m not sure if he’s familiar with the term, though I do know that he has met the person I learned the term from – Mick Dodge, the Barefoot Sensei.
What does the word “land-gauge” mean? It’s easily summed up by another of Mick’s phrases – “Movement and habit are formed in habitat.”
That is, we are inseparable from our environment, and our speech – a product of our physiology – reflects our habitat, from its very inception.
I may or may not have tracked the English Alphabet on this site before, so I’ll go through a brief few examples now…
Let’s take the word Exuberant as an example.
Ex – from
Uberare – abundance
An overabundance. Simple etymology. Look at the root-land-guage. But that doesn’t really tell you much about land-guage.
“B” is the “I” with two cups (“U”). With two cups you gather some things and pour them back and forth. That is B-eing…you are B-eing whatever those cups hold.
What is an “E”?
e is a smile – an eye with a smiling mouth underneath. Make the sound “eeeee” and see what your mouth does. It is also the E-ast. The eYe looking for the Sun as it rises.
“M” is the mountains. “W” is the Double-U, two cups together, the valley-aspect of the mountains, the funnel.
“L” is the “I” the land-heaven connection, the upright Man, with the foot-landing.
“S” is the sun – “S” is the path of the sun in the sky over the course of the year. It doesn’t always rise and set on the same arc, but gets higher or lower in the sky as the seasons change.
And there is so much more. This type of land-guage-tracking is an older tracking.
The point is that tracking is tracking. Tracking goes to the root-connection, which is always the same thing/place/activity – whether it’s the Ancestral/Ancient tracking, the Historical/Recent tracking, or the Social/Current tracking.
The ancient-connection, which is another facet of the now-connection is also the mycellial mat – the weft of mycellial fibers holding the Earth together, sprouting mushroom fruits here and there, carrying and communicating its ancient intelligence throughout the soil.
It is another reason for barefooting. If you think we aren’t communicating with the microbes or fungal organisms via our bare feet, your definition of “communication” needs help. Any physical contact is a communication. We exchange hormonal and chemical messages with the Earth and the organisms “in” it, along with receiving “somatic” information – tactile, temperature, etc.
At the center of the heme molecule is an atom of iron. Around it are attached four pyrollic rings. Oxygen bonds to the iron ion and is carried to the cell. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, binds to the ring portion, not the iron ion.
In the land-guage interpretation of alphabetical imagery, the “I” is the “individual” – the link between earth and sky. What is the connection between the iron ion that connects the air to our blood to be delivered to our tissues (and to re-cycle the CO2 to our external organs) and the earth element – the geomagnetic force?
What is the intelligence created by a communication like that? An animal intelligence?
What is the animus? The animating part? The Spirit? “Life?”
The Spirit lies somewhere between – the Force generated by the interaction of the linkage.
What are the consequences of a disconnection of the bonds mentioned above? A disconnection of the iron from oxygen or from GMF? We know what the effect of oxygen-loss is. And we can guess the effect of the loss of GMF (given what we know about the effect of connection). Both result in the death of the animal – the loss of Animus.
Meanwhile, all “components” are several hundreds of other animals – other intelligences or ways of knowing, perspectives, whatever you want to name it – that filter and interpret connection in their own way, providing greater and greater enrichment of the whole through their own development, and interaction-in-development.
The fungi do this same thing – ancient sources of knowledge, maybe more importantly – ancient ways of knowing.