I just experienced a perfect day. It wasn’t that anything remarkable happened. What made the day feel perfect was that I wasn’t struggling against it; I was part of it. This is the key to happiness. “Go with the flow” doesn’t mean to lack agency or to be unmoored in the drift. Rather, it is to feel on a very deep level that you are an expression of this beautiful sentient universe and that everything you do is part of a flow of life energy, of Qi.
Let’s start with the premise that the universe was created by God. If so, in the beginning there was only God. Everything, therefore, came from God; everything in creation is of God. Because God comprises all that is, we can say that God is infinite. And, since everything that exists is a piece, as it were, of the infinite source of all being, it follows that everything – from the largest system to the smallest single particle – is infinite. This means that all possibility exists within all of us, and within all things that make up the universe. If an apple tree is the universe and from itself that tree creates thousands of seeds, in each seed is the potentiality of the entire tree. In the end, we have to conclude that, as in the beginning, there is only God, and God is us.
Twin trees on the sand at Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, California
You know those double trees that you see now and then? The twins that apparently grew from a single seed but immediately differentiated into what appear to be two independent trees? They are great examples of the dichotomy between individual and group life. We are all like those trees. In fact we are those trees. All life on Earth is composed of living cells, sometimes specialized to function with others in a larger organism. Everything that makes us up – all the matter and energy – is recycled from other living beings and exchanged with others all the time. We are like the cells that make up our bodies, part of a larger life system we may not pay conscious attention to. Our brains have developed egos that can get in the way of understanding that we are not isolated; we are parts of a whole.
The dentist says I have to have my wisdom teeth extracted. She says there’s all sorts of bone loss and infection and if I don’t have them out I will lose my other teeth and probably die. But I have started an alternative therapy. I have been cultivating fly larvae. I grow them in buckets of stagnant water on my porch. When they hatch into maggots, I scoop out handfuls and fill my mouth with them. The maggots are small enough to crawl into the tiniest crevices surrounding my teeth, even down under my gums through any cavities. They eat all of the bacteria and infected flesh. I am very careful not to swallow them, or too many of them; it’s impossible not to swallow a few.
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This is my 2006 report on the structural violence of institutional racism and poverty that produce an inadequate and unequal public school system in the United States. The case study is of Central High School in Providence, Rhode Island:
Central High School
Here are two large posters that I created that show the Citric Acid Cycle and Photosynthesis: