Monthly Archives: August 2012

New "Biology"

Here is a new version of the
multimedia piece, “Biology”, created by Pery Burge and me earlier this year. In
this version, the text appears on screen.


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Compassionate Life


on the very few things that count – living things.

happiness does not issue from attachments.

are, at heart, simple beings.

Many thoughts are the product of fear – anticipation of what may occur at any given
moment, worry about things not turning out well, desire to control what is out
of our control, fear of loss.

drains our energy and our strength.

fear, our power is all ours.

care of yourself and those around you.

moment spent in appreciation of what you have is a moment of bliss.

one can take the real things you possess away from you.

You have them now and in every moment.Allow yourself to feel what others are feeling.We have this capacity in our very neurons.It is one of the best things about being human.We can help to reduce suffering in the world by simply caring more for ourselves and others.Without compassion, this vast networked machine we are creating will have great intelligence. But it will be an inhuman place.We will not want to live within it.By then, we will have no choice.

Image: “Compassion” by Tullio, altered ink drawing, 2012


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The New Knowledge


How can we rescue ourselves and each other from the dangerous
world we have created?

At first glance, we seem to know so much. Our science has
produced technologies which evince tremendous power. We are able to move
great objects at tremendous velocities. Our machines perform trillions and
trillions of calculations in fractions of a second. Everywhere around us our
knowledge of material processes has refashioned the world of our experience. We
have changed the planet and ourselves in ways unimagined by previous

But all this scientific and technological progress has
also produced processes that threaten to bring us great harm – harm to ourselves
and to our world. Our knowledge turns out to be limited. By focusing our minds
on abstract, reductionist, and materialist conceptions of existence, we
produced a century of physical and psychological horror on a scale
unprecedented in all of history.

As we look back upon the twentieth century, we must ask
ourselves, what is it about the way we have conceived of the world and our
place in it which has resulted in such monstrosities in the name of reason and

Our search for order amidst the apparent chaos of life
has created, on the one hand, systems of order so rigid that they have banished
all forms of novelty and dissent, and on the other hand, the chaos of unending
war and political strife. Even our entertainment media, which we have ostensibly
created as havens from the roughness of the real world, are replete with
violence and images of inhumanity.Prodded by our fears we have been impelled to create
shells of safety and security and yet, each time, we fail to notice until it is
nearly too late, we have the most dangerous thing still within the
fortress. The most dangerous thing is
us, of course. We have the power to multiply the natural dangers of the world a
thousandfold. When we desensitize the connections of empathy and feelings of
compassion for others, we lose empathy and compassion for ourselves as well.

We are learning that we must reformulate our very ideas
of the world and our place within it. The end of our old science of separation,
reductionism, inflexible logic, and certainty leads us ineluctably toward the
new science of connectedness, relativity, complexity, and possibility.

As we learn to listen more attentively to the beating of
our hearts and more deeply feel the breath in our lungs, we come closer to our
common humanity. As we begin to ask the right questions, we observe the answers
are already here within us. Our minds begin to move inevitably toward the
evolutionary notion that empathy and compassion are the purpose and meaning of our

Image: “Moon in Me” by Tullio, altered ink drawing, 2012


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