With every increase in the degree of consciousness, and in proportion to that increase, the intensity of despair increases: the more consciousness the more intense the despair.* ~Søren Kierkegaard

(Book: The Sickness Unto Death

*Now this sentence really needs to be parsed, not for grammar of course, but for meaning. Be careful of the use of “consciousness.” In my experience there are more levels to consciousness itself so as to urge caution in its application of use. (Forgive, please, I’ve been reading dear Søren) It is so very easy for me to slip into an accent, a tone, a language.

To think this through and apply your own experience, I do believe you will find the statement true.

And I do believe he is also saying that anyone who is conscious at all, aware in the slightest, will suffer the equal counter-part of Despair.

And that makes for an “Oh dear!” if anything does.

Now, that accepted, we must (most likely anyway) also accept that any one would want to be relieved of this Despair.

Note: Despair, as without Hope. Not Depression. Not Melancholia. Not Down. Not Sad. Despair—its very own category.

And therein lies the rub. The conflict begins. In order to resolve the situation I’ll needs must read a bit more of our dear philosopher. Suffice it to end here, for today. But for those of us who suffer, and that means (most) everyone according to SK, I’m sure there will be an interest in the answer. Stay tuned!


Yet another post from our pal: Psyche’s Call with Donna May

“Our psyche can function as though space did not exist. The psyche can thus be independent of space, of time, and of causality. This explains the possibility of magic.” – C.G. Jung.

And the photo is so beautiful and contains that wondrous invitation of a gate. Of course the symbolism is so clear with there being no fence or wall next to the gate. Have we all not seen a gate or a door or an opening somewhere that we know we are to go through? Have we not also known, from time to time, that our body is just a container, a something that our spirit or soul or consciousness is to inhabit as we spend time in this body, this earth, this time.

Ophelia’s Call

Image may contain: one or more people and plant
Psyche’s Call with Donna May

“The mythological answers are symbolical, like all answers that come from the depths of the psyche, the unconscious.” ~Erich Neumann, The Origins and History of Consciousness

Quote via @SophiaCycles1
Art: Aaron Slevin

And our call, to ourselves “…other voices wake us/and we drown” from The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock” ~T S Eliot~

Alex The Plant Thinks

I just listened to a program on NPR about plants. Apparently plants think. This is arrived at by observing plants learning; that is, new behavior being repeatable. Not just that, but plants defending themselves when it seems they will be harmed, based on a new negative action they were originally receptive to. In other words, Alexander the plant allows a pin prick to be delivered by a pin. The next time a pin appears, Alex closes his leaves. This is in the plant type that Alex is, one capable of closing its leaves.

This is only a slight exaggeration, I’m sure there are many more limitations other than capability. Or at least I would think so.

But this leads to further observations within the thinking-plant continuum.  For instance, this does not mean that plants are conscious. Though they may well be and articles have been written on such. The point is—thinking alone is not proof of consciousness. Alex the plant may well think, but he may not be aware he is thinking. Another step is involved with this—Alex may be aware he is thinking, but not be aware that he is Alex. Or Alex doing the thinking. Awareness of agency, awareness of self.

The mind jumps to humorous applications of this knowledge, or at least mine does. There are singing ants. Just because Joey the ant can sing, it does not necessarily mean he can learn new notes. Even if Joey can learn new notes, I doubt very seriously that Joey will be writing any new songs. At least he won’t be writing and printing the “New Songbook For Ants” anytime soon.

A photo of Alex the plant in bloom

Yes, But


Photo by Bent Schultz

“One night after a dharma talk, I asked Suzuki Roshi a question about life and death. The answer he gave made my fear of death, for that moment, pop like a bubble. He looked at me and said, “You will always exist in the universe in some form.” ~David Chadwick

Yes but. In some form certainly. Everything decomposes and becomes food or fodder, air or soil, ocean or pond…  Energy. Then isn’t the real question the one of consciousness? Even if there is reincarnation into a new being—either better or the worse for karma—will the you that is you now, the You asking the question, still exist? If not, it seems irrelevant to me as you, the current You, won’t know.