Friday, September 23, 2016

Enjoy Your Life

On Reddit, I saw this ancient mosaic, found along the border of Turkey & Syria. It was from the ancient Greek/Roman city of Antiocheia.

It shows a skeleton lounging by bread & a jug of wine. It's a statement on appreciating our own mortality and the time we get to spend in this lifetime.

It reads "Be cheerful, enjoy your life."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Poconos Blue Heron

This summer, I went on vacation with my family in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.

The house that we rented was on Big Bass Lake, which was very scenic and enjoyable. I would regularly go out on a kayak fishing and just enjoying being on the lake.

There was a large blue heron that I would see fly across the lake and land at different spots along the water's edge. I tried to paddle quietly in the kayak and get close a few times, but it would notice me & fly away.

I was finally able to see him fairly close by, while it was busy looking for fish in the shallow area by the shore. By paddling very slowly and drifting toward it, I was able to use my iPhone that I had with me to take some pictures & video. The quality was good enough for me to edit together a montage of the footage and upload to MonkeyBuddhaVids.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Roko the Robo-Monkey

I can't resist posting about any story that combines technology & primates.

Recently I saw this article about Roko, a concept for a biomimetic robot that would simulate the movement of a chimpanzee swinging through the trees. The concept was designed by Kaan Yaylali, and is a unique take on the form & function of robots.

Daily Mail:

Roko is meant to be a sort of rescue or delivery robot, that can reach areas that would be difficult to access in other ways. It could travel through thick jungle or other remote areas to reach people who need rescue or supplies.

Although it looks like a Monkey Terminator, autonomous machines like Roko could perform many useful tasks that could be of great help to humanity.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Resonance: Beings of Frequency

While working on photo retouching, I often listen to talks or documentaries that interest me. I came across this film that looks at the possible effects of the electromagnetic frequency (EMF) given off by the digital devices that are so ubiquitous in the modern world.

We are truly beings of frequency, arising from the energetic source of the quantum field. We are also connected to natural energies that we have evolved to be attuned to, such as the visible light spectrum and the Schumann Resonance

Therefore, the fact that we are literally awash in electromagnetic fields of all kinds has to influence us in some way.

For example, this is a visualization of just the fields emitted over New York City by cellphone signals blanketing the urban landscape:

Nickolay Lamm

These and many other energies are permeating our bodies almost continuously, every single day.

Although I love the miraculous advantages that electronic devices and digital tech provide, I often wonder how it interacts with our biological processes. I work on a computer all day and always have my cell phone on me, so it is cause for concern & further study.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Disappearing Black Dots Illusion

Being a visual artist, I love optical illusions and other ways of hacking the visual processes of the brain.

The Monkey Buddha Archives: 

Created by Jacques Ninio, a French researcher in visual perception, this is one of the more striking visual tricks I've seen. The black dots in your peripheral vision disappear as your eyes focus on different areas of the grid.

I first saw it on a Reddit thread, and also found good explanations of the phenomenon:

"Your visual system is built with nerves cells that fire in response to different arrangements of dark and light. You should be able to see a circle in your peripherals, but the criss cross pattern really messes with that ability. It surrounds the dots with information that severely interferes with the visual system's way of signaling "here's a bright edge around a dark circle"

The strength of the grid pattern (at this level of contrast) overpowers the ability of the brain to detect the circles when they are so spaced out. Our mind is basically filling in the blanks with the bold, regular arrangement of lines. When the grid is lightened, the circles become easy to see all at once.

Also for comparison, see this similar pattern, but with the circles in a more tightly arranged, regular spacing:

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Book Review: "Cannibals and Kings"

I recently finished my summer vacation reading, "Cannibals and Kings" by anthropologist Marvin Harris. It was a book that my brother had read for one of his classes as a history major. He correctly thought I'd like it & gave it to me.

 Among my favorite topics are cultural anthropology & ancient history. I've read a lot about peoples around the world and consider myself pretty well-informed about various cultures. However, this book gave me a completely new perspective on the dynamics of human civilization. It was very enlightening and opened my eyes to the processes that cause human collectives to act in certain ways.

The main purpose of "Cannibals and Kings" is to analyze the environmental pressures that result in seemingly peculiar cultural norms. The behaviors & institutions Harris studies are widely varied across time & geographic location. I'll sum up some of the thoughts he presents:

• Animal sacrifice characterized by the earliest religions, including Old Testament Judaism, served the function of valuable protein redistribution by the priestly class. Relatedly, many of the culinary taboos instituted as religious law by these societies were a result of the inability to sustain certain types of animals for food in a particular location. For instance, the pig was outlawed as "unclean" by Jewish law due to the fact that pigs are environmentally detrimental to maintain in the climate of the Middle East, more so than because of the possibility of parasites or other factors.

• Human sacrifice and cannibalism practiced by the Aztecs and other people was the result of the need for protein sources. It was also an institutional form of population control. The Aztecs, for example, had little in the way of abundant animal protein and this was a way to provide it, while keeping the exploding population, resulting from urbanization & expansion, in check. Of course, the major social drive for insitutionally-sanctioned murder was (and still is) to maintain the power structure of the elite class, by instilling fear in the population.


• Certain rigid political hierarchies arise as a result of the need for the social organization. That high level of bureaucracy is required when implementing large-scale hydraulic engineering for agriculture- such as that of the pharaonic dynasties of ancient Egypt and it's reliance on the sustenance of the Nile River.

• In India, the reverence of the cow as a sacred animal that cannot be eaten comes from the value of the animal as a source of agricultural work, which outweighs it's nutritional importance.

There are many other anthropological situations analyzed in the book, all of which I found truly fascinating and thought-provoking. As I said, it completely changed my understanding of these cultures of which I thought I had a relatively good understanding.

Most importantly, the author takes the cautionary tales presented by these studies of past societies and talks about our own precarious environmental situation. It is truly a case of "those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it." For all our accumulated knowledge and technical advancements, we just as susceptible to disaster if we mismanage our resources, especially food and water.

I would highly recommend "Cannibals and Kings" to anyone with a deep interest in history, anthropology, ancient cultures, human behavior, or the development of civilization. It was a rewarding read that changed my perspective and gave me greater insight into the human condition.

Monday, September 05, 2016

History of Labor Day

For many people, Labor Day means a day off from work, and holiday cookouts.

However, the real significance of Labor Day is the fight by workers to maintain their dignity and human values, in the face of continual exploitation and de-personalization by those powers driving cultural institutions & means of production.

Graphic from

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Monkey Buddha is Engaged!

I don't post a lot about my personal life on this blog, but a very important event happened recently that has brought me much joy.

While on vacation with my family in the Poconos, I proposed to my girlfriend of 2 1/2 years. Although we've been dating for a couple years, Loretta was my close friend for much longer... and for most of that time, I had a not-so-secret crush on her. Everyone wondered why we weren't together, including both of our parents. Looking back she says she just wasn't ready, and perhaps I really wasn't either.

However, once she opened her heart to me, our love skyrocketed and we've become inseparable. We're both in our 30's now and have had many relationships in our past. I think this breadth of experience has given us the wisdom to really understand what we want in a relationship. We wake up every day full of love and gratitude for each other, and truly cherish our connection.

So, after secretly planning for about a month, I found an antique ring that was exactly what both of us had talked about previously. I was looking at all kinds of different places, but was pulled by some unexplainable force into a particular shop, where the ring jumped out at me. I excitedly sent pictures to my Mom, who told me to wait a day so she could see it and so I could think about it. The next day, she came with me and said it was very pretty, but we still went to look at a couple more places. Nothing else caught my eye, & I was pretty determined to buy that ring... so I did! After taking it to a jeweler to get verified, resized, and refinished, I was ready.

While we were on vacation in the mountains, I had planned on proposing on the day of our 2 1/2 year anniversary, which was on a Sunday. Of course, things never go exactly as you plan them. Loretta got violently ill from food poisoning or a stomach bug on that day, which put a hold on my plan. Thankfully, she has a strong immune system & fought the sickness of by Monday, when we went running and she was back to eating her healthy meals.

So, on Monday night after we ate dinner with my family, I suggested we go to down to the lake to watch the sunset. She asked if anyone else wanted to come down, but I brushed it off & said they'd join us later. I'd been slightly anxious, but I have pretty good self-control, so I was pretty cool up to this point. Once I actually got down to the dock with her, I started to get nervous.

After talking for a little bit, I told her I had a little anniversary gift for her. She looked at me kind of funny & said "...but P,... I don't have anything for you!" I told her it wasn't just a gift, it was a commitment- my life that I want to share with her. I took the ring out and she was stunned, and went to hold it before saying, "Yes! Yes, of course."

We shared some time alone on the dock watching the sun setting over the lake, then we went back up to the house to break the news to my family & share a toast with everyone. My sister came back down to the lake with us to take some pictures to remember the moment.

We, and our families, are very happy and excited to celebrate this important event in our lives. It is something that means so much to me, and I wanted to share my happiness here.

Paul Micarelli & Loretta De Stefano
Enagaged 8-15-2016
Big Bass Lake, Poconos PA

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

India's Clean Energy Plan

I have been a true believer that humans can (& should) find ways to make energy accessible for all people, without the unnecessary cost involved in our current methods of primitive extraction.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

It is possible to have a world with minimal suffering and shared benefits for all people. We just need the vision & the drive to make it happen.

The current systems of control & distribution are actually set up to create hardship for people- for the benefit of the few who are making a profit from it.

It appears that some nations are finally realizing that the way we use power and resources are unsustainable, and are trying to find ways to address the problems we face.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Translating Client-Speak Like a Pro

I saw this set of images on Sad & Useless that I (or any designer) can relate to, when it comes to figuring out what a client wants to see in a design.

Being a graphic designer or any commercial artist requires being part mind-reader- being able to understand what your client wants, even when they don't quite know themselves!

I posted some of my favorites, but click the link to see the whole set:


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Japanese Donald Trump Commercial

Despite my deep interest in politics, I haven't commented much on this Presidential election. Since Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race, it's just become a pathetic shitshow- the ultimate choice of a lesser of 2 evils.

However, this election season has been a rich source of absurdity & downright insanity. Just when I think things can't possibly get any stranger... it inevitably does.

I saw this video this morning, and was in awe of its craziness & pure genius.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sloth Philosophy of Living

This is pretty much how I try to approach life...

--- Live Slow ---
--- Die Whenever --

Monday, August 22, 2016

Litany Against Fear

I've been on vacation for the past week. I usually refrain from interacting with my websites or social media while I'm away. Now that I'm back, I will start to post more regularly again.

I have been going through a lot of personal changes recently. In the midst of these transitions, I try to be aware of the fact that the biggest obstacle in life is one's own fear.

Although I have never read the Dune books by Frank Herbert, they seem very interesting & I plan on reading them one day. I came across this quote awhile ago, that spoke to the effect that fear has on us and how we must address it.

Wallpaper from

"I must not fear. 
Fear is the mind-killer. 
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. 
I will face my fear. 
I will permit it to pass over me and through me. 
And when it has gone past 
I will turn the inner eye to see its path. 
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. 
Only I will remain."

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monkey Rock Tools

Tool-using ape from 2001: A Space Odyssey

In my last post, I shared a video about the origins of humanity. One of the traditional benchmarks to measure our "human-ness" has been the use of tools.

However, it's becoming increasingly clear that not only did our ape-like ancestors use primitive tools, but other species of animals are able to manipulate objects to achieve intended results. This shouldn't surprise anyone who understands that life other than human beings are capable of possessing intelligence.


Here is an article & video showing the use of rocks as tools by monkeys, a behavior that goes back at least a hundred, and perhaps thousands, of years.


Friday, August 12, 2016

In a Nutshell: Human Origins

 It's hard to imagine that all our information that makes up what we know as "human history" is a tiny percentage of the total existence of homo sapiens sapiens.

There is so much of our heritage that has been forgotten or lost over time. Even after the rise of organized society & civilizations, many aspects of our history have still faded into obscurity. Only now, with the growth of archaeology, technology, and the collaboration of a wide range of disciplines, has some light begun to be shed on the vast darkness of our past.

At the same time, we are using the accelerating accumulation of knowledge that started in the distant past to create a future that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors.

This video is an entertaining, yet informative, summary of our ancient origins.  It is a look at the amazing legacy each of us carries within us, as a part of the ever-progressing human story.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Nature Photography- Leaf Bug

I was taking a walk outside at my parents' house this weekend, & I came across this large leaf bug.

It was sitting on the white cover on my Dad's boat, otherwise I would have never spotted it.

This is close to actual size, next to my thumb.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Technology & Truth

This Presidential election season in the US has been the craziest, in every sense of the word, so far.

Despite my prediction of a showdown between Bernie Sanders & Donald Trump only being half right, I think it's still very much a battle between ideologies & worldviews.

One thing that this election has brought to the forefront is the self-reinforcing "echo chamber' that can result with any party, when supporters of a candidate or cause have limited sources of information. People tend to practice confirmation bias, and only seek out media or narratives that fit their existing conceptions.

I try to avoid this with my own views, by approaching media that doesn't necessarily fit my thinking. I am registered as an Independent voter, but I tend to see myself as a progressive thinker. Therefore, I often expose myself (begrudgingly) to conservative media such as Fox News, or right-wing comment boards. This gives me some insight into the mindset of people with different perspectives. Sometimes it actually changes the way I view a particular topic, and sometimes it makes me shudder in horror.

This article was an excellent look into how the seemingly vast and diverse resources of information on the Internet & other media can actually lead to the propagation of misinformation and outright falsehoods.

The Guardian:

I try to be very aware of what content I'm consuming and how it reinforces or contradicts my worldview.

If the population at large did this, we'd have a much more discerning group of citizens. It would go a long way to improving the dismal state of political dialogue in this country & the world.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Flower of Life Artifacts

Recently, a reader left a comment on one of my posts about "The Flower of Life".

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

The Flower of Life is an ancient symbol, made of interlocking circles, that represents the interconnected nature of reality & the myriad forms that arise from it. It has been used in art & architecture throughout history.

I created the strategy game, "Da Vinci's Challenge," based on this beautiful & profound symbol.

Official Facebook Page:

The reader I mentioned above is Marko Manninen, and he has done very extensive research into the legacy of The Flower of Life. He has also compiled image galleries with examples from around the world of both the pattern & it's base visual component, the 6-petal rosette.

Here are a couple of his links:

Pages 1-9 of this document
have numerous examples of this symbol

This is his main website, with a vast amount of information 
about the history, geometry, and artistic use of The Flower of Life

One of the oldest examples of the use of The Flower of Life motif is this cosmetic box from Egypt that Marko posted in his gallery- and there are many, many more examples on his website:

Circular Cosmetic Box with a Swivel Lid, Thebes, Egypt (1500 BC)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Terence McKenna: We Are Monkeys Trying to Understand Reality

 Recently, I've been listening to many talks & lectures, and I just finished a compilation of Terence McKenna, called "True Hallucinations". It was a great collection of audio, video, and stories from the mind of perhaps my favorite speaker & thinker.

At one point in this video, he has a great bit that I've heard him ask in other variations, questioning our ability as simians to truly comprehend the reality we live in.

The quote comes at 2:27:10 in the video:

"Ultimately what you're thrown back on is that you are a monkey! 
It's nothing to be ashamed of, but on the other hand, it's nothing to write out of the equation either... You're a monkey, for God's sake, and yet you're asking to understand the nature of reality! What would you think of a squirrel that ran around with that as a goal?"

 - Terence McKenna

 This is an example of Terence's great wit & insight that allowed him to expand the minds of so many people during his life, and even more after his death. 

It echoes another quote of his, that I posted in one of the very early entries in this blog, waaay back in 2005:

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

 "For talking monkeys to speak of truth is hubris of the highest degree. Where is it writ large that talking monkeys should be able to model the cosmos? If a sea urchin or a racoon were to propose to you that it had a viable truth about the universe, the absurdity of that assertion would be self-evident, but in our case we make an exception."

 - Terence McKenna

Also highly relevant- the totally crazy & awesome animation based on McKenna's ideas, Stoned Ape Theory:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ray Kurzweil: The World Isn’t Getting Worse

The all-time most viewed post on this blog features the cover of a fake book- The World Was Always Awful.

It reflected my feeling that horrible things have been going on since the beginning of the human species. It seems so bad now because of our instantaneous access to information.

People from older generations, who grew up in the 50's & 60's or earlier, refuse to believe that crime statistics are going down, and that we generally live in an overall less violent world. With the 24/7 news headlines, it seems like bad things are happening constantly... which they are, and always have! The only difference is that now we have a deluge of media bringing it to our attention.

In the "good old days," there were still horrific things going every day, all around the world. The only difference was that the people who lived back then (who were mostly kids at the time) were kept in the dark due to lack of media.

Anyhow, futurist Ray Kurzweil seems to agree with me and elaborated his views on the matter in a recent talk.

I couldn't find a video, but here is the relevant excerpt:

On the effect of the modern information era: "People think the world’s getting worse, and we see that on the left and the right, and we see that in other countries. People think the world is getting worse. … That’s the perception. What’s actually happening is our information about what’s wrong in the world is getting better. A century ago, there would be a battle that wiped out the next village, you’d never even hear about it. Now there’s an incident halfway around the globe and we not only hear about it, we experience it."

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Tao" by Paul Micarelli

I don't really post about my art as much I should... but I guess I don't see this blog as a commercial venture. I've written here for 10 years because, as a professional graphic designer, it is another creative outlet for me that I enjoy.

On my Cafepress shop, The Monkey Buddha Bazaar, I have abstract images, some that I've never posted about.

This one sums up my artistic sensibilities & personal philosophies. It's simple, but represents the merging & emerging of dual polarities. This dance of creation & destruction is happening at all scales in the Universe. It is the oscillation & vibration of reality. It is Creation, God, The Field, Tao...

Click here to buy a print or other product. The image below is a hi-res digital wallpaper. Thanks!:

by Paul Micarelli

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I haven't posted in a week, since I had some vacation days & really haven't been on the computer.

When I logged on, though, I noticed an uptick in page views for some reason. I appreciate anyone who takes time to read posts on this blog, but today I have about 5x as many views as usual! It seems like my post about Star Wars Day from a couple years ago got linked somewhere. Thanks to any new visitors, and I hope that you read through The Monkey Buddha archives.

Speaking of space themes, I came across this awesome image on Inner Cosmos, of a boy looking upon our world through a window of a space station or ship.

by Dmitry Bogolyubov

This painting is reminiscent of another image I posted about awhile back, "Grandma" by Chase Stone.

It speaks to the sentiment that most of humanity has not felt yet- the complex emotions that undoubtedly arise when a person views the planet of our ancestry from off world.

The Overview Effect 

& Cosmic Consciousness

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tiny Robot Buddhist Monk

Buddhism, at its essence, is more of a philosophy of mind than a religion, as most Western cultures understand the term. Although certain sects worship deities & believe in a Pure Land, the historical Buddha simply taught people how to awaken their consciousness and cultivate awareness.

Because of this philosophical trend, as opposed to religious dogmatism the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism has been uniquely open to scientific inquiry. The Dalai Lama has fostered extensive conversations about the mind, quantum physics, and other scientific disciplines.

Scientific American:

This embrace of science & technology has manifested in the playful, yet functional, development of a little robotic monk, named "Xian’er", by the Longquan temple in China.

I saw this linked on fUSION Anomalog and thought it was interesting development in the approach to studying spiritual matters.


Xian'er can answer simple questions about Buddhist ideas, chant mantras, & move around via voice commands.

The merging of spirituality and technology is one of those things that seem paradoxical- but only if your perspective is still immersed in the duality that Buddhism & meditative practice seeks to dissolve.

See also:

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Telepathic Posting

This is a test...

I'll be using my telepathic powers to post here:

"I will be posting telepathically today.
So, if you think of something funny, 
that was me."

Seen on All Hat No Cattle

Motion Capture with 3D Effects

This video that I saw on Neatorama is a impressive demonstration of the use of motion capture technology, combined with cutting-edge 3D animation effects.

The video was made by Method Studios, as a demo reel for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers

Method Studios:

2016 AICP Sponsor Reel - Dir Cut from Method Studios on Vimeo.

It's amazing what realistic (and surrealistic) results can be achieved through digital simulations. We are truly blurring the line between reality & fantasy.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Future of Food: World's Largest Vertical Farm in NJ

I have been exploring the future of agriculture, nutrition, & food tech in my "Future of Food" series.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

One development that holds a lot of promise for changing the dynamics of food production & distribution is the vertical farming approach. This is the modern method of using tall buildings with indoor aeroponics or hydroponics & LED lighting to grow plants in a more efficient way.

There is no soil to be depleted, much less water used, no insects to destroy the crops, and a fraction of the land area needed in traditional farming.

I was just reading that AeroFarms, a company that has developed environmentally low-impact vertical farming techniques, is planning on opening the world's largest facility in my home state of New Jersey. We have many traditional farms and produce distributors in this area, but I'm glad to be close to the cutting edge of this kind of food-production technology.


There are many food-related advancements that will completely change our relationship with what we eat in the near future. I think vertical farming is a major game-changer, and we will see many more facilities popping up as the process becomes more cost-effective and productive.

Monday, July 04, 2016

July 4th Celebration

 From the album Political Madness

Today is Independence Day in the USA, and I'm glad to be living in this country with all it's strengths and faults.

I'm definitely not a nationalist or a very patriotic person, but I'm happy to celebrate the freedom I have with a weekend of BBQs & parties. Here I am eating clams & crabs yesterday, while sporting a USA tattoo & wristband.

 I was drinking Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale, from the Yards Brewing Company's "Ales of the Revolution"- based on recipes by the founding fathers.

I'm off to another party today, and am grateful to have time to enjoy after weeks of packing, moving, and having yard sales.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Baby Gorilla Beating Chest

I'm almost done moving from my current place of residence- with all the organizing, packing, cleaning, and weekend yard sales that it entails.

I've been living at this place for 10+ years, even before I started The Monkey Buddha... in the early days of blogging! :) The house I lived in was built in the 1800's & had a lot of history. I've had a lot of great memories & time spent there. However, the nature of the Universe is change, so I'm ready to move out & move on.

Until I'm settled & can blog regularly on my free time, my posts have a bit more been sporadic than usual. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled anti-programming soon.

On Reddit I saw this great GIF of a little gorilla beating his chest and taking a fall. The look on his face after he looks up is priceless.

Here is a video, with more of his reaction afterward:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Original Light of the Unified Field

 From the "Chakra Ascension" series
 by Paul Micarelli

Last night, my girlfriend & I were having one of our usual deep discussions. She had read something by Osho & asked me what I thought of him. When looking up information about him, this led to our discovery that Osho's parents practiced Jainism. I told her that she would identity with that belief system- because they were not only vegetarians, but they avoided harming or killing all living things, including plants.

This, in turn, led to me discussing the idea that our human consciousness is only one form of consciousness. Any living system that receives input, then interacts & communicates with other living systems is fundamentally conscious.

Even vegetarianism is narrow-minded, in the sense that thinking it's okay to kill a plant, but not an animal, ignores the fact that you are still destroying & consuming a living system to absorb it's stored energy and physical nutrients. Just because it doesn't have "consciousness" in the form of human senses & thought-language, does not mean that it does not have some form of consciousness. A plant can sense changes in its environment, send signals to other plants or animals, and react to stimuli.

Then, I took it a step further & said that on a quantum level, consciousness is all-pervasive, even in seemingly non-living forms. The base energy field, from which our reality arises, is inherent in all things, and must be able to store and transmit information for any observable coherence to exist, at all.

This information snowballs into ever-increasingly complex systems & forms:
Quantum fluctuations give rise to -> atomic waveforms -> elements -> molecules -> larger biological & elemental structures.

This cumulative formation of complexity is nothing more than a infinitely intertwined play of energy- originating at the deepest level of the single, unified field of all being.

This "unified field" is talked about frequently in religious philosophy & spirituality, as well as physics. It can go by any name you'd like - God, Tao, Quantum Field, Brahma, The Source, etc. As soon as we name it, however, we lose it. It is not something that can be conceptualized. It is beyond conception.  

It is EVERYTHING, on all dimensions & scales.

Anyway, what really spurred me to write this post was seeing the quote below on Daily Zen. It describes the difficult notion of a single, seamless reality- "The Clear Light" -that is beyond our limited conceptions of separateness and individual phenomena.

"When the stains from old habits
Are exhausted,
The original light appears,
Blazing through your skull,

Not admitting other matters.
Vast and spacious,
Like sky and water merging
During autumn,
Like snow and moon
Having the same color,
This field is without boundary,
Beyond direction,
Magnificently one entity
Without edge or seam. "

- Hongzhi (1091-1157)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Amish Hex Sign Rosette Patterns

I haven't been able to post because been very busy lately, moving out of my current home. I've been clearing out the place I rent, packing up my belongings, & having yard sales. Once I make the move & finish the transition, I'll have more time to post here.

My girlfriend's parents sell items they find at auctions and estate sales on eBay. Their store is called "Posha '05", and I designed their logo & eBay banner. Anyway, they always come across interesting things I've never seen before.

Last night, I was looking through their latest set of finds & saw a folder with the rosette pattern, which is found in the center of the "Flower of Life" symbol. This is a geometric construction of interlocking circles that is the basis for the design of the strategy game I created, "Da Vinci's Challenge".

The Official Facebook Page: 

Since my eye is trained to look for this symbol now, it jumps out at me whenever I come across it. I knew that the rosette design is common in Pennsylvania Dutch, or "Amish", art.

When I looked at the contents of the envelope, there were several patterns featuring the rosette in a circle. These templates were used to guide artists who wanted to create are with these features.

I thought it was pretty cool, so I took some photos of the cover envelope & pages to post:

Legendary Pennsylvania Dutch
Hex Sign Patterns
©1964 Jacob & Jane Zook

The rosette pattern is much older & more widespread than just the use by the Amish. Here is a Flikr photo gallery showing ancient uses of "The Flower of Life", and the simpler "Seed of Life" & rosette designs:

scroll down to see examples