Discovering Our Place In the Universe
Martin LeFevre: That a single species has the power to decimate the planet that gave rise to it is an existential mystery, and poses a question about the evolution of consciousness itself. ... The universe unfolds in immeasurable levels of order, which science will never completely discover and render into knowledge. ... Chaos is the outcome of the disorder generated by thought. ... Our self-understanding as a species cannot wait until astrobiologists confirm that the emergence of life is nearly as much a property of the universe as the formation of planets...
Feb 23, 2021, 9:35am
Insight Is the Real Promethean Fire
Martin LeFevre: A flock of small birds lands in the shallows of the stream, and a few begin furiously beating their wings in the water. More join in, and suddenly there are a couple dozen sparrows taking a bath at the same time. ... They all seem to be great friends, thoroughly enjoying the afternoon splash. ... Culture, education, religion and even the climate affect how we see things, which varies from place to place and person to person. Superficially, these varying backgrounds make for variety, also known as 'diversity.' But below the surface adhering to 'my perspective' generates conditioned differences, division and conflict...
Feb 15, 2021, 1:49pm
Negation Is the Essence of Meditation
Martin LeFevre: Whether one calls it meditation, mindfulness, or simply awareness, learning the art of undivided observation is essential to during inwardly alive during this dark age. ... The human mind, for tens of thousands of years, has cultivated an accumulative brain. The human adaptive pattern involves noticing and storing all the information about our surroundings that we can. ... This accumulative tendency does not stop with useful information however. The brain records virtually all experiences, as well as every fear, hurt and grudge, real or imagined. That content forms the dark core of individual and collective darkness ... For the mind’s habitual accumulative pattern to be reversed, and the mind and heart to empty useless and destructive content ...the automatic mechanism of separation as the observer has to end....
Feb 8, 2021, 11:54am
Extinct Humans Or Exapted Human Beings?
Martin LeFevre: The question is: Can our prematurely named species, Homo sapiens, make the conscious leap from a potentially intelligent life form to an actually intelligent life form? ... And we are a sentient, supposedly sapient species. (For the Buddhists out there, who believe all life is sentient, I'm using the word to mean "conscious of sense perceptions." And by sapient I mean, "wisdom, sagacity.") ... As Roy Scranton says in an op-ed entitled, "I've Said Goodbye to Normal. You Should Too": "Going back to normal now means returning to a course that will destabilize the conditions for all human life, everywhere on earth...
Jan 30, 2021, 10:38am
Do Stories Convey Or Create Meaning?
Martin LeFevre: Being of Irish extraction, despite my surname, I have a weakness for stories. I say weakness because stories have their place - just not first place. ... Here's a story. I met the devil once in Russia, not long before the Soviet Union collapsed. It came through my charismatic and powerful host, tested me to the depths of my being, and changed the course of my life. ... The meaning is that there are dark forces in human consciousness that intend to destroy us if they cannot possess and control us. So are we are here for a reason, not just reasons of our making?...
Jan 24, 2021, 10:51am
Thought, Brain and Mind
Martin LeFevre: The afternoon was gray and chilly, with only the saddle-shaped opening to the canyon visible in the hills beyond town. Sitting on plastic and pads, I welcomed the sun as it poked through near the horizon in the western sky. ... Beyond personal interpretation or imagination, a reverential quality came over the land and flooded into one. One felt, as never before, that the Earth is love. ... Generally speaking, the human brain is full of thought, and the mental and emotional residues of thought. Thought is like the noise of a busy freeway that never stops, and hardly ever slows...
Jan 15, 2021, 12:20pm
An Inverse Vatican?
Martin LeFevre: With respect to today, Biden's aside reflects an antiquated worldview, one that maintains the tautology that "America is great because America is good." Biden plans to restore American exceptionalism, and that could prove even more dangerous to the world than Trump's isolationism. ... As unimaginable as it seems at this rusted and corroded hinge of history, what is required is creating and building an inverse Vatican. ... The Vatican is ostensibly a spiritual institution with a decidedly political core, whereas a true center of reference for humanity will be an ostensibly political body with a genuinely spiritual core...
Jan 10, 2021, 11:42am
When Democracy Becomes Mob Rule
Martin LeFevre: This column by Martin LeFevre was written before Donald Trump became president in 2016... ... Democracy works, in its imperfectly compromising way, when a given people are essentially aware and decent, and do not revel and roar in ignorance. But when a people are willfully ignorant and indecent, and when intellectuals refuse to see and address it, democracy degenerates into mob rule. ... Obtusely, progressive pundits continue to ‘celebrate the progress we have made, for change is incremental.’ They don’t ask: Why do so many people want to burn everything down and start over?...
Jan 7, 2021, 11:25am
China in Context
Martin LeFevre : The title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, since to China, and many people outside China, China now is the context of the international (dis)order. As true as that may be, no nation, however humongous its economic power, can be the context of a workable global order. ... The world faces a choice: stick with the crumbling, post-World War II international order, and be dominated by the communist/capitalist Chinese juggernaut; or supersede the nation-state and form a genuine, minimally workable global polity. ... Don't count out the human spirit yet...
Jan 5, 2021, 10:39am
Forget the Personal Resolutions
Martin LeFevre: Is human ingenuity sufficient to meet the crisis of climate change and species extinction, or will only a radical change in human consciousness itself, beginning within the individual, be adequate? ... The truth is that the advocates of "human ingenuity" venerate man and thought more than they venerate the Earth. ... while questions of vision, political strategy, technology and policy are important, the deeper, more critical and rarely examined challenge is the fundamental question of whether human beings can bring about a revolution in consciousness....
Dec 30, 2020, 10:48am
This Darkness Is Here To Stay, Unless and Until...
Martin LeFevre: Conflating the natural cycles of light and dark with man-made darkness is an existential mistake. ... Man-made darkness is here to stay because it comes from within us. The weight of it will increase until enough of us turn, face and take responsibility for it, and in doing so, transmute ourselves, and the human species. ... Since our darkness as individuals, peoples and a species is being reflected back to us, let us seize this interregnum between presidents, wars and man's destructiveness to learn within ourselves, and teach children about thought and time, death and love, nature and humanity...
Dec 22, 2020, 12:42pm
Death, Love and Creation Are One
Martin LeFevre: After spreading plastic and pads to ward off the dampness, a flock of robins greet me as I take my seat amidst the wet leaves. They land close by, and one swoops down and swerves within inches of my head. It seems more like play than aggression. ... What is consciousness? ... I understand consciousness in a twofold way: the clamorous, disordered consciousness that we know; and intrinsically ordered consciousness that that emerges when the movement we know is silent, negated in undivided and undirected attention. ... The consciousness we know is comprised of words, images, memories, experience and knowledge. Whereas the consciousness we don't know can never be part of the known, since it is always of the present, perpetually beginning...
Dec 20, 2020, 11:42am
Human Beings Live In the Cloud of Unknowing
Martin LeFevre : What do fake news, misinformation, disinformation, virtual reality, Q-Anon conspiracy theories, and AI have in common? All are products of the human mind, and none have anything to do with truth and actuality. .... The commentariat is beginning to realize that “the chorus of angst over misinformation has focused too sharply on the channels supplying it, when the bigger problem is the public’s appetite for consuming it.” But no one is sufficiently asking: Why is there such a demand for disinformation and conspiracy theories? ,,,,
Dec 16, 2020, 9:13am
The Strangeness and Mystery of Being
Martin LeFevre : The color has faded from the parkland, and most of the brown leaves are down. I meditated for an hour and a half at creekside as sunlight drained from the treetops, and dusk descended on the short day. ... One simply passively observes the movement of thought and emotion without the observer, that is, without judgment and choice. Attention gathers within one , a and acts on the ‘me’ and all its contents, quieting the mind and opening the heart. ... Teilhard de Chardin’s cliché quote notwithstanding, that “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience”, the problem of time and temporality remains unaddressed. .... big>
Dec 12, 2020, 8:42am
Metaphysics of Covid-19
Martin LeFevre: Ask the right question and let it percolate, and, when you least expect it, you gain insight and understanding. Ask the wrong question and seek an answer, and you stay stuck and even regress. ... Leave it to a British comedian to hit the nail on the head, and then miss it altogether. In an op-ed entitled, “Brexit: What Were We Thinking?” actor and comedian Russell Brand lays bare the zeitgeist of our time: Perhaps even before the virus, before Brexit, we had all been quarantined in our own naked individualism — an isolation far more toxic. There we were, incarcerated and alone inside the penitentiary of our temporal identities with no faith or care for anything other than the fleeting fulfillment of our wayward wants.” ...
Dec 10, 2020, 10:20pm