Monday, October 31, 2011


My pumpkin can eat your pumpkin's face off.

Halloween is my favorite holiday, though I'll admit I don't get too jazzed up over holidays much anymore. Why Halloween? Well, it's a fun holiday, and fell during my favorite time of year, autumn. Also, I always kinda liked the pagan aspects, given my sympathies with that belief system, partly stemming from my environmentalist attitudes, and maybe also from a strange attempt to identify with my Irish roots). I especially like that it's a purely pagan holiday, and totally unChristianized, which makes it unique. Yeah, All Saints Day comes the next day, but Halloween is still just Halloween. But let's face it; my love of Halloween probably has most to do with childhood conditioning wherein I got a huge bag full of free candy just for dressing up in a costume, which was fun anyways, and walking around the spookified neighborhood after dark.

You might think that Christmas would take first place, if the conditioning thing holds true, because toys and other cool stuff are better than candy, but Christmas was ruined for me by working for years in retail. Mainly, being forced to listen to a month and a half of that horrible Christmas music, the same fifteen or twenty old songs on endless repeat, most of them on the down side of good. Also, the general consumerism, to say nothing of the syrupy sentimentality, of Christmas turns me off, and, no longer a Christian, the Jesus stuff is largely lost on me. Plus, again, the month and a half or more of hype, which leaves me with the feeling of just wishing it was over, because it's never so amazing as to deserve that kind of run-up.   /tangent

One cool aspect of Halloween is the notion that the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead disappears or at least becomes permeable. This resonates with the notion of "thin places," which were areas the Irish of old considered special in that there, more than in other places, the connection to the spirits, or to God, was stronger. I don't have any Halloween poems on hand, nor am I feeling particularly inspired to write one, but here's a link to my favorite spooky poem, Poe's The Raven (or watch The Simpson's version); and then there is this from my archives, on the related topic of thin places:

Thin Places

Some say they built the standing stones just so,
to mark the places they had come to know
as holy land, as where the veil was torn
between the world of dead and of the born,
and where a quiet minded man could feel,
just barely touch, a bit of more-than-real.
The spirits there could now and then be heard,
by those with ears to hear, a holy word,
and time would pause, eternity be known
in falling raindrops, waterfalls, and stone

Those days are yet these days, today is then--
for still those stones can speak to humble men
and still they stand as markers on a land
where spirit walks with matter hand in hand.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Orality and Literacy

I briefly mentioned in my previous post the differences between the desert religions that came out of the Middle East and the religions of lush, fertile India. Thanks to a book I'm reading currently, Orality And Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word, by Walter J Ong, here's another instance of such a split. This split in cosmologies depends on writing, which is what the book is about: how moving from oral culture to a culture that uses and progressively interiorizes writing has also progressively changed how we experience the world.

A major idea in the book is that sound, unlike other senses, exists only as it is going out of existence. His example is, as I say the word existence, by the time I get to "-tence" the "exist-" is gone-- sound is an event. Writing turns a word into an object, visible and immobile on the page, while the original spoken word is a happening, a movement of air, uniquely ephemeral. You can see a violin, touch it, smell it, taste it (weird), and it will always be there for you to do so; but to hear it, it has to be played, and you can't play all the notes at once. Sound is not static, ever; it is always linked to movement and change.

The author gives another example, about how primitives consider that words have power; they are magical in that way. This makes sense since sound, being an event, requires power: you can look at a buffalo, dead or alive, but if you hear a buffalo, you know it's alive and you'd better look out. Sound is sounding, he says, requires energy to occur: power. So far he hasn't talked much about religious views and how they have been affected by this shift, but they would seemingly run quite deep. It's hard for us who are deep in a writing culture to understand the world as a nonliterate oral culture sees it. You'd really need to read the book, he gives so many instances and areas that are different; I really should be taking notes. But when you consider the differences between animist, shamanistic "religions" and your text-based religions (which includes the Judeo-Christain-Islamic, as well as Hindu-Buddhist, and to a degree Chinese religions), and apply some of the points Ong is making in this book, it's mind blowing.

Language is central to humanity. It is probably the most important basis for our lives, personally and socially, it's how we understand the world, and possibly the thing that most separates us from the animals. Obviously sight is a vital sense, but words (and thus thoughts) are sound-based originally. Even today, we speak years before we read and write. So think of how sound places you in your universe. Sound comes from all directions, sight only in front, and a bit from the sides, fuzzily. As Ong says, vision is divisive, in its ultimate it is clear and distinct. Sound, however, in its ultimate is harmony, unifying. Ong writes that sound was thus centering, and oral man knew himself as the center of the world, umbilicus mundi, and only after we became used to visual representations of language, and came to think of the world not as all around us but as laid out before us, as on a map, did we begin to become divorced from the world.

I posit that this is the basis of the salvation-orientation in our text based religions, be it salvation from evil, the Devil, Hell, samsara, or disharmony. Animistic religions are not concerned with that and often don't seem understand the friendly missionaries' concern.
A sound-dominated verbal economy is consonant with aggregative (harmonizing) tendencies rather than with analytic, dissective tendencies (which would come with the inscribed, visualized world: vision is a dissecting sense). It is consonant also with the conservative holism (the homeostatic present that must be kept intact), with situational thinking (again holistic, with human action at the center), rather than abstract thinking, with a certain humanistic organization of knowledge around the actions of human and anthromorphic beings, interiorized persons, rather than around impersonal things. (p. 73-4)
If there is no division away from the whole, from the "spirits," then there is no need for salvation, for religion, a word with means basically "to retie" in the sense of reunion. An animist lives in the center of a world that is fundamentally alive. It's also interesting to think about how shamans and animist societies use drumming and chanting to inspire trances or soul flights, and even in the Bible, where it says "in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God... Read from the perspective of a still largely oral culture, only superficially influenced by writing, that can take on a new meaning (actually, reading the Gospel of John from a mystical or Eastern, rather than literal, perspective gives huge depth to it). You see this even in the major meditation techniques; one is "watching" the breath, but another huge one is sound, simply hearing without comment or analysis of what is heard. Chanting, gongs and bells still remain, and liturgical music in many religions is vital.

In a way, this book is sort of the flip-side to One Square Inch Of Silence, in that it is giving me a whole new way of thinking about the world, again through sound, in this case not the pure lack of it, but the way it was pushed into a sort of second-class citizenship compared to vision. I'm only half done with this book but can't recommend it enough; it's very scholarly and almost text-book like, with lots of citations and references and scholastic phrasing, and it starts a bit slow;but stick with it, it's worth it, at least if you are into widening your perspectives and understanding. It's a lot of fun to ponder the implications, what life would be like if writing wasn't in the picture.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Time in the Tropics

Well it's getting towards Halloween here in the subtropics of Florida. Driving around you see a few people who have decorated their houses with Halloween paraphanalia; the pumpkins, hay bales, chinsy ghosts and witches hung from the palm trees. It's too weird. What meaning can a fall holiday that marked the final harvests mean in a place that has no real autumn, no real harvests (Florida is for cows and citrus, and little else, and what other crops are planted, they're still being planted now), and a bunch of suburbanites that don't have any real connection to the seasons anyway? We get the same food in winter that we get in summer, only the prices change some. I figure most of the people decorating for the holiday are transplants from up north.

Which got me to thinking. Holidays like this are how we mark the year and its seasonal changes. Here in the subtropics, there isn't much of that kind of change: it cools down in the "winter," maybe even getting some frosts for a few weeks in December and January, but it's sandals-and-shorts weather most of the time, and the seasons are more about rainy season and dry season than anything else. So the old holidays, while observed out of tradition, mean even less down here than they did in the northern cities, where people are still divorced from the land but at least still have the seasons.

I was wondering how people in the tropics proper mark the year-- do the tribes in the Amazon or the South Pacific have holidays in any way reminiscent of those of northern Europe? I wonder if they don't mark the year at all, and whether their sense of time is moreso one of constancy than change. I can't even get my head around it. And could this be why paradise is so often associated with the tropics, a place of seemingly no change? The prefect weather the same every day, the sun always high in the sky, never seeming to "die" or leave for the south.

If this is the case, that they don't see the world as going through a life and a death or dormancy, than it must greatly affect their cosmology. A people who know winter will end up with a cosmology of salvation, a sun god who dies and returns. Such a cosmology would probably be largely unintelligible to a tropical people, who don't see the world in this life and death struggle that needs saving.

I say this because you can look at the religions of the Middle East, clearly shaped by the empty desert and it's single, austere, harsh god, and compare it to the lush and fertile India, with its endless count of gods, its cyclical, constantly returning cosmos of no end, Brahman's dream. And then to China, a temperate land of seasons, summer and winter, with a strongly dual concept of yin and yang. Where people live can really affect their understanding of the world. Not that it's the only thing, and let's not get carried away here, but it's an interesting thing to think about. I don't know much about tropical peoples and their basic beliefs, I wonder if this is true.

Is this why I'm so uncomfortable here in Florida? I mean besides the awful heat and oppressively strong sun, of course. I keep expecting, subconsciously, a shift that never comes, a cool down, a time of rest and silence that is winter, and it never arrives. I'm a man of the North, so that makes sense. But I wonder what it'd be like to be a man of the South, or more precisely and less Northern-Hemispherecentric, a man of the Equator.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lawns Redux

Not to beat it to death, here's a few more thoughts on lawns.

I was walking the dog this morning in our partially developed subdivision; which is to say, among vast lawns. Fortunately the mowers haven't come in a while, and I was treated to the mottled, textured acres bending gracefully in the plentiful wind. The tall seedheads, in places taller than at others, random patches of almost red colored grass, a liberal sprinkling of pale blue flowers... I can't believe people can look at this and think it looks unkempt and undesirable.

One of the most irritating things about lawns, for me, is the spirit of them. The monolithic idea of them. It's such a dictatorial, fascistic mode of landscaping. It is as if an edict had been passed:
Henceforth, there shall be but one species of grass growing here, and a ceaseless, unrelenting war of attrition shall be waged against dandelions, clover, sedges, and all other plants, through the use of mechanical removal, or the targeted and/or general application of poisons. Furthermore, said grass shall be uniformly cut, and cut often, to a short height, eliminating all or most reproduction via seed, as well as drastically reducing movement in the wind. We shall have nothing but flat green textureless squares, unless these squares be striated by the mowing implements. Thus shall the world know that I am the lord! Mwa ha ha ha ha!
It's all a little ridiculous when you stop to think about it. Here's a poem I wrote years ago. I was working then as a courier, picking up medical specimens (blood draws, urine vials, etc) for analysis at the lab. There was this field behind one of the doctor's offices on my route; that spring, every evening I'd admire it getting longer and longer, the variously taller or shorter tufts, the occasional deer even, and always birds. Then one day I showed up and it'd been cut; massacred was more like it. Now it was shorn evenly, no play in the breeze, and there was ugly heaps of dead grass laid out in lines. Yet, no one was using the field, and it was behind the offices in an undeveloped area. Why? Why cut it?

A Forgotten Lawn

Free to be a meadow.
Free to go to seed.
Free to grow hip-high,
and to give full speech with the wind,
waving and bowing when it comes.
Free to be habitat, half-light
for field mice and the hidden snakes.
Free to be many shades of green,
also russet red and purple
Free to love rain.
Free to brown in drought.
And free at last, to make friends
with weeds who are themselves free
to be wildflowers again.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Independent Being in the Common Dream

What I was talking about in Illusion Ultima was what I consider the most important moment of my intellectual life. Staring at the stars and thinking about time and perception, all this struck me like a real satori moment. From there the rest of those ideas flowed as I tried to work it out. But then I stopped; I never really developed further what I considered to be a real satori moment. It was like writers block on a deeper level. But if space and time are not real, then I need to reevaluate what an object is.

I admit, where I ended up to start isn't new territory. I feel I came at my realization from my own angle, but know I've also been influenced. I find the the empiracists fascinating, especially George Berkeley. I've been reading up on him a bit lately. He too shows that material substance doesn't exist; everything is mind. He also said that "to be is to be percieved." He distinguishes between ideas and spirits: that is, the passive "things" minds percieve, and active minds themselves.

But, influence or not, I have to wonder: are the objects around me merely ideas, "things" that disappear when I stop thinking about them? It may be true that the car is not sitting out in the driveway unless I'm looking at it, or thinking about it sitting in the driveway: when it's out of my mind, it isn't there at all as far as my reality is concerned. That car, he would say, is a passive idea with no independent existence. But how is it that others can walk by and see the same car? Something must be there, right?

Berkeley answers this with the notion that what we preceive as passive objects are ideas sent by God, a Spirit that is present "everywhere" and "always" (I am not equipped to speak without the use of space and time, thanks to our language's structure), and that is where consistency in the world originates. But what, really, is this God? Berkeley was a Catholic bishop, so he was thinking of and defending the Christian God. I take a different tack. God is, at least, the sum of everything that is. So my main disagreement with Berkeley is the notion of passive ideas. The objects around me do not need me or some convenient God to precieve them, they are "spirits" in their own right.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, does it make a sound? Does it exist at all? I say yes, for it is percieved by the other trees, the air, the soil, and of course the birds and squirrels and beetles. Maybe there is a dependence between things in this way, like a rainbow needing the sun, rain, and viewer all present at a specific angle to exist. But I go further and say the tree is an active perspective in itself. It has its own perceptions, of moisture, light, and chemical messages from other trees. But, I think even the rocks are active.

I consider consciousness as fundamental, the basic is-ness. This is not to say that I believe only my personal consciousness exists, that you are all my personal dream-- solipsism. I mean, it could be true. It could be that my entire experience is someone's dream, and when they wake, the universe I know will disappear; or that I am the projection of some madman sitting in a strait jacket in his padded cell, drooling on himself and having outrageous hallucinations. I guess you can never disprove solipsism. Still, it doesn't feel true.

I see the universe more as a great field of consciousness, and, here I will speak of it from the outer, objective sense for a moment. That field of consciousness has particulated, or as I call it, perspectivized. Each individual perspective is a node or a center in that field, what the physicist calls a quantum. As quanta get togehter, they self-organize and become more complex through relationship, becoming quarks, which get together in more complex ways to form electrons (actually a charged quark), protons, and neutrons, from there atoms, then molecules... and so on. Each level up of complexity is an ever greater concentration of consciousness, so the perspective gains more depth. And the point isn't just the density, but the number of connections between nodes. Otherwise rocks would be far smarter than we.

(This makes much more sense to me than it does to say that consciousness is a recent development in evolution that came out of nowhere in a non-conscious universe, somehow tacked on to human experience as a sort of epiphenomenon, not actually useful in what is a basically material world of input and output: consciousness lets us be aware of the input and output, but isn't actually involved in any of it. Bunk!)

I think what science does is brilliant, but ultimately wrongheaded. You can't stick to the objectivity, because objectivity is only an interpretation of our immediate perception. What I'm after in this line of thinking is the Zen beginner's mind, before interpretation. But as I've said before, science in its ever-present analysis can figure a lot of things out, but, in the end, if you break open a rock to see what the inside looks like, you don't. You see what the new outsides look like. And though this may seem like splitting hairs, it's true: you may find crystals "inside" that rock, but in truth there is always more inside that is hidden. Keep breaking rocks, keep dissecting brains, keep splitting the atom, but you'll never get inside to what hides within: meaning, being, consciousness, Light, God... that mysterious essence that keeps that supposedly passive vase standing there all on its own, day after day, by the window, set to burst with its own being that is barely contained behind the thinnest of surfaces.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Fragrant smoke drifting to the four winds,
the sage seemed to say, keep searching;
and the snake slithered away so I'd know
the road would not be straight.

The pictures on the old rocks spoke enigmas,
mystery spread upon the silence of stone;
and the canyon walls just fell to pieces
when I asked where the water went.

A lone raven croaked his way overhead,
dry laughter in a desert of stillness,
and I wondered if he was really there at all.
A mind can crack. Everything does in the desert.

Eyes mere squints from the sun and confusion,
I squat by the fire, contemplating truth, the layered
memories of rocks, the unfathomed galaxy above—
and the sagebrush burns, and says to keep searching.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Lawns. What a ridiculous waste of land. It's worse than a parking lot in some ways, because, although it has the benefit of being alive and permeable to rain and runoff, it's still largely useless. I drive down the highways looking at acres, no, square miles, of mowed grass. Banks and businesses set on grounds too big for them, and thus surrounded in lawns. I see undeveloped lots everywhere being mowed. What gives?

A man's home is his castle;
in some cases, literally.
Lawns started off as cleared spaces around castles. It is a military design element, open, unwooded areas so as to provide sight lines for defenders and a lack of cover for attackers. They were kept cleared by workers, and grazing livestock. Later, after castles became militarily obsolete, they continued to surround the manor house, the local rich guy who owned everyone's land and could afford to keep up appearances; which is to say, he could hire the peasants keep his acres of non-productive grass shorn. It still served a bit of a defensive purpose, in case his tenants decided to rise up against him. They also made the house look more grand and imposing. Later still they began to be incorporated into the estate gardens as an aesthetic element.

It wasn't until the late 1800s that they began to be seen outside of the realm of the rich. Regular people had no time for, nor money to hire, the scything of great swaths of grass. They grew food or flowers. It wasn't until the invention of the lawn mower that the underclasses could finally realize their dream of aping the rich with these useless patches of boring green squares. That's all it is. It's pure pretension. And I find it interesting that they originated as martial works. Lawns are so much a symbol of the conquest of nature, you can picture a guy standing arrogantly, RoundUp in hand, flanked by his power mower, weed-whip, and other weapons, ready to force Nature to submit to his hand.

Lawns demand huge inputs of water, energy in the form of mowing, and, typically, vast amounts of chemicals in the form of fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide, which are ruining water quality in our lakes, rivers, and oceans (about half of all such polluted runoff stems from residential lawns). They are often planted in non-native grasses, which tend to escape and become invasive species in the surrounding environment. They also absorb far less CO2 than trees, as well as having little shade value, thereby allowing the groud to heat up more, both of which contribute to global warming.

I've hated lawns for years. You can go down rural roads and see these struggling farmers (and what farmer isn't struggling these days?) who have to spend at least half a day mowing their enormous lawns, to say nothing of the cost of fuel and mower maintenance. Or here in Southwest Florida, where, in the rush to develop (going back decades) they cleared miles and miles of forest, built roads, and waited for them to be developed. The subdivision I live in is about 1/3 developed, and there are areas nearby that are far less developed than that.

How ugly. I wish I had a green square.
The scourge of rampant single-family home development is another rant altogether; but here someone has to mow all those miles of what used to be wildlife habitat or at least productive agricultural land. I don't know why they feel they have to keep it mowed, but they do. Personally I'd rather see them let it go back to pine forest, or at worst mow it once a year to keep the trees out-- but let it be a meadow in the meantime, where weeds are again wildflowers, and the grass bends beautifully in the winds that blow off the Gulf. Instead, the city or the developer has to hire mowing companies to cut these endless lawns, and have had to do so for decades. Think of the cost, the fuel usage, the pollution! What waste!

And meanwhile, the typical homeowner sits on his quarter acre or so of land, most of it is useless lawn. You can grow a lot of food on a quarter acre if you know what you're doing. You can use it as a net gain, rather than a net loss where you pour money and time into maintaining something that gives very little back to you. Alright, it's a good play surface for kids, but it might be a better idea to save the lawns for the public parks, where children and adults alike can get together to socialize. Might even have some good side effects on the greater society. I know when I lived in Texas last winter, I'd hang out at this one park sometimes, and watch the Mexican families show up and have a barbecue, which I though was pretty nice; gathering in public spaces rather than hiding in your home. But the family and social values of our Mexican immigrants is also another topic... yet you see how so many things can be related. Lawns connect to public space (and the loss of it), social isolationism, dead zones in the ocean, energy use, the distance of travel for the food one buys...

I guess the point is, as I said in this other post, is that here we have a non-functional landscape of negative benefit, as well as a situation where we can take actual steps towards benefiting ourselves, society, and the environment. Kill your lawn!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Poker Without Cards: Book Review

I read this book about a month ago, Poker Without Cards by Ben Mack. It's another e-book, but the site I downloaded it from,, isn't working, and I'm having a hard time finding it at other supposed download sites (EDIT: I think this one works, it's probably easier to read if you download it); fortunately for me I have it saved; finally, it is available on Amazon in paperback. I was going to write a review on it, but I wasn't sure how to, and then I got busy with work and other things. But I found it fascinating, read it twice.

Like the last book I reviewed, God's Debris, Poker Without Cards is more about the ideas than any plot, though it too is nominally fiction. The book takes the form of a transcript of a series of supposed interviews between a psychiatrist, Dr. William Fink, and the interviewee, Howard Campbell. Dr. Fink has contacted Campbell over a patient he has in his mental hospital, Richard "Bucky" Wilson, a catatonic who was found with a note on him saying, "My dearest friend Howard, please explain."

From there, the book delves into such wide ranging topics as memes, psychology, advertising, sanity and insanity, mind control, religion, corporations, pirates, government, capitalism, left brain/right brain, history, and other such things, much of it revolving around Bucky's eventual mental breakdown several years before when he and Campbell attended Bennington College. Most of the discussion seems to be based on ideas from Buckminster Fuller and Aliester Crowley, mostly the former, though there are many other references. There are a ton of books mentioned which I intend to look into. (Two that are mentioned that I have read and also recommend are Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and its sequel Lila, both of which are well worth reading).

I don't really know how to review it, though. To comment on the ideas discussed would take a long time, and you'd be better off just reading the book rather than my summary of it. As for the storyline, well, it's hard to imagine such a conversation actually happening, it seems rather contrived but does build into a rather unexpected finale. So, instead of a real review, I'll simply recommend reading it if you're interested in any of the above topics, and will leave you with a few quotes.

one of the reasons I find the Bible incredulous is that when god speaks to people, nobody ever really freaks out and questions their sanity. I find that awfully convenient. Or, when these preachers on TV say god spoke to them, what the fuck. Shouldn't this be front-page news? Either god is speaking to them and we have a modern day prophet and the newfound words of God should be published everywhere, or they are insane.

Look at the way capitalism is set up: Fuller cautioned that year after year, less and less "money" is available to the average person. The rich are getting richer. At a certain point, this system will fall apart. You don't hear politicians discussing this.

Foucault asked if the legal ramifications of insanity was just a device that a society could use to discredit and invalidate minds that didn't think according to the society's ordained patterns. Is there much of a difference between a jail and a hospital if they won't let you leave?

Psychoanalysis is the disease it purports to cure

Centuries ago, Christian Huygen noticed how separate entities will fall into rhythm with one another. Specifically two pendulum clocks placed in close proximity that began to keep the same time. In 1665, he coined the word "entrainment" to describe this phenomenon

Most people entrain with the masses. This binds the illusion of free will.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Illusion Ultima

1)  Time and space are one and the same, or so fundamentally connected that they cannot be considered separate; they are actually qualities of one single thing that has more recently been creatively termed space-time. This is proven rather simply: to “happen” is to change or to move in some way, which takes time, but also space. You can pinpoint a thing in the three dimensions of space, x, y, and z, but you also need t, time. If your friend goes to the cafĂ© at 3 pm, and you go at 8 pm, you will not see her even though you got the location right. We can separate space from time only symbolically, by playing with words, but never in reality. Equally inconceivable is the idea of time without space: how can something happen (since time is movement) without space? This unity of space and time is commonly accepted, and used daily: speed is a measure of space traversed over time (miles/hour, feet/second).

All things exist in the "now" for, by definition, the past is over, and the future has not occurred. The Now is a point in time, in the mathematical sense of the word point: no length, width, or breadth… and as space and time are one, to occupy no space, it also must occupy no time. Otherwise it would exist partially in the future, partially in the past, and only partially in the middle, now; and how can the Now only exist partially in the Now? That is nonsense. So, it is timeless and spaceless. Yet it obviously exists. It is the only thing that we can be sure does exist.

2) As regards human (or any) perception: As I look at the stars, I may see one that is 10 light years away, and next to it, at the same moment of looking, one that is 50 light years away. Thus, I see one star as it was 10 years ago, and the other as it was 50 years ago. Truly, all perception follows the same rule. If I'm talking to a person at a table, their face is light-nanoseconds away, and thus I see into the past slightly. This is easily seen with thunder and lightning; the sound takes a much longer time to reach me than the light; if you were blind, you would not know lightning had struck until the thunder's sound arrived at your ears some seconds after the fact. Yet we are all blind in a sense, in that we the sighted don't know lightning has stuck until the light arrives at our eyes, which takes time as well.

In the end, perception is composed of seamless, progressively older times, ever older the farther away the thing is; only the perception itself is "now." Yet, it is a fiction, composing into one time that which is of many, or infinite, times; and always of times that are past. We never see things as they actually are, as they exist in the same concurrent Now as the perception, we're always at least a little behind the times.

This perception-as-past even includes our own body, as sensations take time to cover the distance to our brain. Yet this is seemingly an important point, and perhaps the crux of this chain of thought: where does perception happen?

3) "The brain" one might answer. But the brain is not a point, as it takes up space and thus time. The neurons must communicate and send their signals; sending implies distance and thus, another time lag. It is ridiculous to assert that one key neuron is the "seat of self," the place of perception. Besides, even a neuron is not a point, and must communicate internally. Tiny spans of time are not equivalent to being timeless.

4) So, the world whittles down to nothing: it follows that our perceptions happen outside of time and space, which are properties of the mind or productions of the mind, but not of reality.

5) The Now, being timeless as well as spaceless (for, as I have shown, space and time are one), brings up the problem of: if everything happens out of time and space, is it actually happening at all? Or else, conversely, do space and time truly exist? Obviously something is happening, there is some experience, some perception we are having— of what we cannot say just yet— so it seems to indicate that space-time is a property of the mind, not of reality.

6) Can we ever experience the world “out there” as it is, rather than as it was? And, what is the world “out there,” what can it mean to say “out there” if space-time doesn't exist in reality? What is reality?