each new day

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New day is dawning fresh with morning dew.

Each new day a gift to marvel at anew.

Each seems so perfect arising with the sun.

Yet our days are numbered, until we know not when.

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What will come to pass before this day is done?

We cannot know, each has their course to run.

Onward, always onward, one day from the next.

Yet our days are numbered, until we know not when.

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What would be if we could see a little bit ahead?

Our fear is such, we would clutch each minute filled with dread.

Time watched, time stilled, it suffocates the soul.

Yet our days are numbered, until we know not when.

photo and text geoff clements

june 23 2013: largest full moon for 18 years

As the moon circles the earth in an ellipse the distance between them varies, at the nearest (perigree)  it is 363,300 km and at the furthest (apogee) 405 355 km .
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The size of the moon as seen from the earth will vary depending on the distance between them.  The position of the moon in its orbit round the earth when it is full will determine its size.  The nearer the apogee the smaller it will appear to be, the nearer the perigee the bigger it will appear.

The changing position of the full moon can be plotted as a graph:

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A lot is known about the moon and it is the only heavenly body to have been visited by humans.This is a site providing up to the minute information about the moon.
http://nineplanets.org/luna.html

Most of this knowledge has been gathered recently. Here is an entry in Arthur Mee‘s Children’s Encyclopedia written in 1930:

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the rosetta stone

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photo geoff clements

The Rosetta Stone is the object that is most frequently looked at by visitors to the British Museum. It was found in 1799 by a French soldier as part of a wall in the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in the Nile delta. Its importance was immediately recognised. (Virtually) The same text is written in three different sets of symbols: from above Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script and Ancient Greek, but they are incomplete as the stone was found broken. Much of the upper part of the stone with the hieroglyphs is missing.   It is a decree by Ptolemy V in 196 BP and the stone had originally been placed in a temple. At the time of the discovery of the stone ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs were undeciphered so it was of immense importance. There is still controversy about the deciphering of the stone’s message by Thomas Young and Jean-François Champollion, a very difficult process which took twenty years to establish a basic understanding. Foreign names were written phonetically in both the Demotic script and the Egyptian hieroglyphs, providing an important key to the transliteration. It has taken much longer to learn to understand Egyptian hieroglyphs more completely.  The use of  Egyptian hieroglyphs had ceased and their understanding forgotten after the banning of non-Christian  cults by Emperor Theodosius I in 391. This understanding has allowed a study of  Egyptian life and history.

The term ‘Rosetta Stone’ is used to describe a bit of information that is the key to solving a problem.

Egypt has issued a request for the return of the Rosetta Stone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_Stone

reflections on a summer’s day: hold one’s breath in awe!

Some things are so perfect One holds one’s breath in awe! Not a ripple, not a breeze, One holds one’s breath in awe! There is nothing there that moves One holds one’s breath in awe! The surface of the lake is flat and calm, One holds one’s breath in awe! The reflections at the edge So perfect and so true. We hold our breath in awe! photography and text geoff clements

north american prehistoric rock art: a cosmology

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This carved rock surface is about 6,000 years old from the Cumberland  Plateau of the Appalachian mountains.

http://phys.org/news/2013-06-professor-prehistoric-art-cosmological-belief.html

i ching, the book of changes

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The online translation of this classic Chinese text which is used as a book of divination.

http://www.pantherwebworks.com/I_Ching/

Jung’s forward to the I Ching:

http://www.iging.com/intro/foreword.htm

An online version of the I Ching that one can consult:

http://ichingonline.net/index.php

the dhammapada, the earliest written sayings of the buddha

Under the Bodhi tree where the Buddha reached enlightenment.
Under the Bodhi tree where the Buddha reached enlightenment.

The Buddha’s teachings were not written down while he was alive.  They had  initially been transmitted orally.  Eventually they were written down in Pali, a language close to what the Buddha would have spoken.  These succinct teachings, known as the Dhammapada are the closest to the original sayings of the Buddha.

http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/dhammapada.html

A reading of the Dhammapada

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD6TCxizFjs

A modern musical interpretation of the Dhammapada by Ronald Corp

http://ronaldcorp.com/#/dhammapada-press/4547509168

neuroplasticity: our brains change continuously during our lives

twins_MM7780_jan007_sethttp://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2013/05/09/how-twin-mice-develop-different-personalities/#.UYvy9KKLAQI

Identical twins have always been fascinating. How can one tell them apart? How do two individuals with identical genetic information in their body cells grow up to be separate different people? Previous work with twins showed that the influence of their genetics and environment on average each contributed 50% to their behaviour.

Modern work on the cells of the brain indicates that there is much more flexibility than previously thought and that in many ways the brain is very malleable. Not only do nerve cell processes change with time, but new nerve cells can appear. So although there is an intrinsic pattern laid down initially, this is continually being modified as the result of experience of environmental stimuli. As no two people’s experience is identical, even twins, their brains gradually diverge, becoming more and more different. Recent work by Julia Freund and others on mice has examined this process in greater detail than ever before.

This neuroplasticity is important because it provides the potential for change under the right circumstances: For example in education, recovery after injury and in therapy. For example learning a foreign language or to juggle three balls in the air can be shown to lead to changes in the pattern of brain scans.  During meditation in some cases specific changes can be seen- in other words the brain can change itself!  This has been called self-directed neuroplasticity.