Strange as a sphinx am I: From C. Baudelaire, "Beauty" (La Beauté). Main components of the animation are A. Rodin, "The Thinker" (1880), and J. Weishaus, "Sophia" (1980).

candle: For illumination, Cro-Magnon Man used a fibrous wick fed by animal fat in a stone lamp. The Egyptians lighted their homes and temples with vegetable oil lamps; various available oils were used around the world. The earliest mention of candles is in the writing of first century A.D. Rome. Made of tallow, these candles not only gave light but, like oil, could, in an emergency, be eaten. Tallow candles had to be "snuffed" (snipping off the wick's charred end without extinguishing the flame, an operation so delicate that "snuff" came to mean "extinguish") about once every half-hour. Matches had not yet been invented. Semi-evaporating beeswax began to be used in the 1600s. The nineteenth-century saw the use of clean-burning mineral oil and kerosene become widely available, along with gas lamps. Patents for an incandescent light bulb using a carbon filament were filed in England in 1878, by Joseph Swan, and in America by Thomas Edison, in 1879.

focused on: "Most 'looking' goes on automatically. It expresses our strong, innate tendency to gaze at an object, a kind of 'visual group reflex.' Much of this reflex stems from the superior colliculus of the midbrain. Yet we can choose where we want to look. Our higher frontal lobe 'gaze centers' can override our reflex eye movements, using circuits that descend to the midbrain and pons." J.H. Austin, Zen and the Brain. Cambridge, MA., 1998. p.278.

shadows: "The greatest genius of modern times (Michelangelo) celebrated the epic of shadow while the Ancients glorified light." -A. Rodin.

shapes: "Rodin wished to create the original thinker, the thinker who enabled man to rise above the animal, the first animal inspired by the spark of divine wisdom, who struggles with convulsive pain to give birth to the first thought. It's this prehistoric man, the first, the greatest of all men, whom Rodin wished to immortalize in his statute." O. Mirbeau, Auguste Rodin. Paris, France, 1981,. p.22.

sulci and gyri: "The folded surface of the cerebral cortex contain a mosaic of functionally distinct areas which connect via a network of nerve fibres in the sub-cortical white matter. This network determines, in part, the computations that the cortex performs. The folds help to fit the large sheet-like cortex into a compact space...a simple strategy that helps keep cortical connections short...Local connections are denser within gyri (valleys) than across sulci (bulges)." J.W. Scannell, "Determining Cortical Landscapes." Nature. Vol. 386, p 452. (1997)

when a crowbar: V.S. Ramachandan and S. Blakeslee, Phantoms In The Brain. New York, 1998. p.248.

sister: "To Sophia say, 'My sister!'" Proverbs 7:4

Auguste: Francois-Auguste-Rene Rodin was born in Paris on Nov. 12, 1840. At fourteen, he entered the Petite Ecole, a school of decorative arts. He was rejected three times to study at the renowned Ecole des Beaux-Arts. At age eighteen, he began to do decorative stonework in order to make a living. Four years later, the death of his sister Marie so traumatized the young man that he entered a sacred order. Recognizing Auguste's talent for art, and not for the religious life, the Father Superior encouraged him along this path, and Auguste Rosin was to become one of the first "modern" sculptors. "No artist was more contested or more insulted than Rodin. No artist had more ardent and faithful admires." I. Jianou, Rodin. Paris, France,1970. p.7.   

Drawing: self portrait. age 18.

Marie's faith: Sophia (Gr. Wisdom) arises in the In the Paleolithic as the nameless Great Goddess. In Sumer she was known as Innana; Assyria and Babylonia named her Ishtar. Cybele was her name in Asia Minor and Rome, Astarte in Phoenicia. In India she was Shakti, and Kali. Tibetans called her Tara; the Chinese, Kwan Yin. In the New World she was known by many names, Changing Woman, and Spider Woman, among them. Demeter in Greece, and Mary (Marie) in the Judeo-Christian World. In Dante's great poem, Beatrice is "often looked upon by commentators as representing wisdom." (W. Fowlie, A Reading of Dante's Inferno. Chicago, IL., 1981. p.27.)

chaotic: "Chaos in the brain would manifest itself as unpredictable and seemingly random electrical activity in a population of nerve cells, or neurons. Chaos may have an important neurological function: it could provide, as researchers have speculated, a flexible and rapid means for the brain to discriminate between different sounds, odors, and other perceptual stimuli…In the present work, the researchers model the behavior of two large populations of neurons: excitatory (which bring other neurons closer to firing) and inhibitory (which make it more difficult for other neurons to fire). Specifically, they look at the 'mean soma membrane potential,' the electric potential between the outside and inside of the neuron's cell body (higher potential means more frequent firing)…Varying the rate of external electrical impulses to each neuron population, they found the mean electrical activity was irregular and noise-like (it looked like noise but really wasn't) for a wide range of external inputs. Quantitatively such behavior is associated with a positive Lyapunov exponent, a hallmark of chaos. The existence of chaos, the researchers say, would provide a means for the brain to change its response rapidly to even slightly different stimuli. "Evidence for chaos in the neocortex.”

heart: "While neural counting is often controversial, estimates are that half or more of the cells of the heart are neural cells like those making up the brain. Some reports claim 60 to 65 percent of heart cells are neurons, all of which cluster in ganglia, small neural groupings connected through the same type of axon--dendrites forming the neural fields of our brain...An ongoing dialogue takes place between the heart and brain through these direct neural connections." J.C. Pierce, The Biology of Transcendence. Rochester, VT., 2002. p.64.

injuries suffered: J. Taylor, The Race For Consciousness. Cambridge, MA., 1999. p.197.

that Sophia: J.C. Engelsman, The Feminine Dimension of the Divine. Wilmette, IL., 1994. p.75.

suddenly gone: One technique to retrieve a lost soul is for the shaman to go into the bush with a bird cage and capture several escaped "soul birds." The shaman then places the patient on the ground at some distance from the cage and lays out a trail of seeds that leads to the forehead of the patient. The birds then peck their way along the trail, and the one that gets the last seed is the escaped soul, which the shaman then ritually reintegrates with the patient. (See, C.A. Meier, "Localizations of Consciousness." In, G. Hill, Editor, The Shaman From Elko: Papers in Honor of Joseph L. Henderson. Boston, MA., 1991. p.104.)

soothing layer: "When man had come to thinking, Auguste reflected, he had come to it only after the most laborious effort--even now it was as painful as it was difficult. To think was to suffer." D. Weiss, Naked Came I: A Novel of Rodin. New York, 1963.

anxiety waiting: "(Joaquim) Frisyer argues that the frontal cortex, particularly the more forward prefrontal area, plays an especially important role in integrating behavior in the time domain. For one thing, the prefrontal cortex appears to regulate the processes of memory and anticipation, allowing you to form goal-directed and temporally extended sequences of behavior, to link what just was with what is to be." L. Miller, Inner Natures: Brain, Self & Personality. New York, 1990. p.48.

The Gates of Hell: I Jianou, Rodin. Paris, France, 1970. p.22.

barbed smell: Schizophrenics react strongly to unpleasant odors but often do not appreciate pleasant ones and their brains' response to smells may provide a clue to their paranoid thoughts...When schizophrenics in the study were exposed to an unpleasant odor emitted by a type of acid, brain scans showed an increase in blood flow to their prefrontal cortex, a region normally used to recognize pleasant stimuli. The prefrontal cortex was apparently ``hijacked'' in the brains of  schizophrenics to detect a potential threat, and was not available to respond when they sniffed a pleasant lemon odor." 24 July 2002.

"The plant contemplates by contracting the elements from which it originates--light, carbon, and the salts--and it fills itself with odors that in each case qualify its variety, its composition: it is sensation in itself. It is as if flowers smell themselves by smelling what composes them, first attempts of vision or of sense of smell, before being perceived or even smelled by an agent with a nervous system and a brain." G. Deleuze and F. Guatarri, What Is Philosophy? p.212.

headgear: "His head is covered by a thick cap of hair, which appears permanently smoothed as if by the prolonged wearing of headgear."  A.E. Elson, Rodin's Thinker and the Dilemma of Modern Public Sculpture. New Haven, CT., 1985. p.7.

perhaps: W.S.Brown, "A Scientific Study of Wisdom (Or It's Contributing Parts)." In, W.S. Brown, Editor, Understanding Wisdom. Philadelphia, PA., 2000. p.311.

practiced motions: "Preliminary integration of all stimuli reaching the organism and the attachment of informative or regulating significance to some of this--the formation of the 'provisional basis of action' and the creation of complex programs of behavior; the constant monitoring of the performance of these programs and the checking of behavior with comparison of actions performed and the original plans; the prevision of a system of 'feedback' on the basis of which complex forms of behavior are regulated--all these phenomena in man takes place with the intimate participation of the frontal lobes, and they account for the exceptionally important place of the frontal lobes in the general organization of behavior." A.R. Luria, Higher Cortical Functions. New York, 198o. p.248.

valentines: "Sophia, so Valentinus informs us, in her hubris lusted for the impossible task of personally comprehending the fathomless Abyss. Thus she fell into the dark anguish and pain, imprisoned by the elements of earth, water, fire, and air, which arose as projected manifestations of her grief, fear, bewilderment, and ignorance, and she gave birth to monstrous children of arrogance, who became rulers and lords of limitation of her very consciousness." Stephan A. Hoeller, The Gnostic Jung. Wheaton, IL., 1982. p.203.

white jeans: "Beatrice is eighteen years old and walking along the street between two women. Dante perceives her in white...He removes himself from the street to the privacy of his bedroom, which recalls the "secretissima camera de lo cuore" that felt the effects of Dante's first vision of the nine-year-old Beatrice." R.P. Harrison. The Body of Beatrice. Baltimore, MD., 1988. p.17.

unconscious movements: "No sharp dividing line separates these higher-order, more 'strategic' and willfully intended mechanisms from the lower, non-tactical decisions which automatically fix our attention. Normal subjects use the upper inner part of their prefrontal cortex when they perform the more automatic types of motor tasks which have been so 'overlearned' that they are habitual. J.H. Austin, Zen and the Brain. Cambridge, MA., 1998. p.274. 

gnosis kardia: "Knowledge of the Heart."

Can the city?: Sophia calls aloud in the streets,
                      she raises her voice in the public squares'
                      she calls out at the street corners,
                      she delivers her message at the city gates,
                      'You ignorant people, how much longer will you cling
                      to your ignorance?'

                                                    Proverbs 1:20-22

at the age of nine: In 1287, Beatrice married. She died in 1290, at the age of 24. During the next ten years, Dante Alighieri became a scholar, married, and fathered four children. Elected to the priorate of Florence, he got himself involved in a feud between two powerful families and was responsible for banishing from Florence a friend and a member of his wife's family. In 1301, he himself was banished, and lived the rest of his life in exile, dying in 1321.  

clay.jpg (5567 bytes)sculpted: "set within the quiet, enclosed space, is the figure of the Thinker,
the man who sees the whole immensity and all the terrors of this spectacle because
he thinks it. He sits silent and lost in meditation, heavy with visions and thoughts, and,
with his whole strength (the strength of a man of action), he thinks. His whole body has
become a skull and all the blood in his veins has become brain. R.M. Rilke, "The Rodin
Book" (1903). In, Where Silence Reigns: Selected Prose by Rainer Maria Rilke. New York,
1978. p.110.

created: "Guided by (Dante thinking of the plan of his poem) I conceived another thinker, a naked man, seated upon a rock, his feet drawn under him, his fist against his teeth, he dreams. The fertile thought slowly evaporates itself within his brain. He is no longer dreamer, he is creator." Rodin, Gil Blas. 7 July 1904.

The hero: W. Stevens. From, "Examination of the Hero in a Time of War."

We need a new set of heroic models, just as we need new models for the gods, yet grounded in the old mythic
patterns of our imagination. The "posthuman" still drinks from the River Styx. New and old, pre-and post-, are not
oppositional, but a spiral motion that brushes against itself. Not new, but further.

cloud: "(Sophia) is clearly spirit emerging from the mouth of the Most High as a mist, breath or effluence. She is also cloud; she is smoke; she is light." J.C. Englesman, The Feminine Dimension of the Divine. Wilmette, IL., 1994. p.82. In one of the Gnostic creation myths, Sophia wanted to give birth to someone like herself without God. Instead, the child, Demiurge, was imperfect and looked different than her. Ashamed, she banned it from heaven and, ironically, hid it in a cloud.

if Sophia: J.C. Englesman, The Feminine Dimension of the Divine. Wilmette, IL., 1994. p.75.

reminds me: N. Holland, "Music Coupling and 'mirror neurons.'" Psyart-L,  17 January 2002,

things consecrated: R. Merrifield, The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic. London, England, 1987. p.44. "Animal remains are much more frequently found as deposits in wells (than are human remains)...sometimes skulls alone, sometimes other parts of the body, and sometimes whole skeletons. In such cases it may be impossible to distinguish ritual deposits from domestic rubbish, which may include the bodies of inedible animals, animals that have died from natural causes, or inedible parts of animals that have been eaten." Ibid.; p.46.                    

Does discernment: Proverbs 8:1-11.                    

blue sky:"What is it that puzzles philosophers? Broadly speaking, it is qualia --the blueness of blue, the painfulness of pain, and so on. This is also the layman's major puzzle. How can you possibly explain the vivid visual scene you see before you in terms of the firing of neurons? The argument that you cannot explain consciousness by the action of the parts of the brain goes back at least as far as Leibniz (1686). But compare an analogous assertion: that you cannot explain the "livingness" of living things (such as bacteria, for example) by the action of 'dead' molecules. This assertion sounds extremely hollow now, for a number of reasons. Scientists understand the enormous power of Natural Selection. They know the chemical nature of genes and that inheritance is particulate, not blending. They understand the great subtlety, sophistication and variety of protein molecules, the elaborate nature of the control mechanisms that turn genes on and off, and the complicated way that proteins interact with, and modify, other proteins. It is entirely possible that the very elaborate nature of neurons and their interactions, far more elaborate than most people imagine, is misleading us, in a similar way, about consciousness." F. Crick and C. Koch, "Consciousness and Neuroscience." Cerebral Cortex. 8:97-107 (1998).

behind foreheads: "set within the quiet, enclosed space, is the figure of the Thinker, the man who sees the whole immensity and all the terrors of this spectacle because he thinks it. He sits silent and lost in meditation, heavy with visions and thoughts, and, with his whole strength (the strength of a man of action), he thinks. His whole body has become a skull and all the blood in his veins has become brain." R.M. Rilke, "The Rodin Book" (1903). In, Where Silence Reigns: Selected Prose by Rainer Maria Rilke. New York, 1978. p.110.

recalculating: "Thanks to (the frontal and prefrontal lobes), which are more evolved in the human brain than in the brain of any other creature, we can mentally access information and keep it on-line (i.e., in mind) until it is integrated into one's ongoing plans. Thanks to this ability to bind time, we are able to hold on-line real or imaginal ideas that form the basis for creativity. We can internally rehearse and anticipate the consequences of our actions and introduce innovative and novel responses." R.M. Restak, The Modular Brain. New York, 1994. p.167.

he's hearing: "The prefrontal cortex is presumably having some influence not just in the way events are remembered, as occurring at a certain time and place, but also in how they are associated with related events at presumably a similar time and place." S.A. Greenfield, The Human Brain. New York, 1997. p.128.

Aboriginal sense: "As the Ancestors awoke and wandered they camped and their songs and dances became the shape and character of the earth's topography. This metaphor of traveling and creating through song gives rise to the concept of 'song-lines.' So, actually, the earth is the memory of the creation of the universe. It is the imprint and it is sacred because without it we cannot remember the origin of creation and hence we cannot remember who are what we are.. To the Aborigines, any disturbance of the earth obliterates one's understanding of the nature of reality, as well as being the destruction of the memory of creation." R. Lawlor, "Dreaming the Beginning: An Interview with Robert Lawlor." Parabola. Summer 1993. p.14.

Gray: "Gray was the universe in its beginning." E. Jabès, The Book of Shares. Chicago, IL., 1989. p.30.

dreaming: Animation based "Water Dreaming," by Australian Aboriginal painter Ronnie Tjampitjina.

precarious ledge: "The prefrontal cortex, the latest outcropping of the human brain, includes our awareness of our own life process. No other animal seems to have this awareness, which makes identification with other life processes possible and may cause the first inklings of empathy, from which may flower compassion and foresight." F. Frank, "The Human Face: An Interview with Frederick Frank. In, Gathering Sparks: Interviews from Parabola Magazine. New York, 2001. pp.93-4.

amygdalic violence: "The amygdala is the mind's emotional engine and research into its operation has become one of the hottest topics in brain science…'We don't know why we feel emotions and what good they are,' said Dr. Rashid Shaikh of the New York Academy of Sciences.' Now we have the means to begin to get an answer. 'Research on rat brains in the 1980s revealed that the amygdala controls the expression of fear and anxiety. Scientists then turned to the human brain to determine if ours worked in a similar manner, armed with newly developed magnetic resonance scanners that measure brain activity by analysing 'In schizophrenics we find amygdalas that are much smaller than those in most individuals,' (Dr. Stephen) Lawrie (of Edinburgh University's psychiatry department) said. 'In other words, the emotional barometers they use to measure the outside world are damaged. They may feel anxious or fearful about innocent objects or passers-by, which can trigger all sorts of paranoid responses.'" R. McKie, "How Science Tells Us How We Really Feel: Scans of 'emotion engine' spot if we mean what we say. The Observer. 10 March 2002.

depending on: L. Miller, Inner Natures: Brain, Self & Personality. New York, 1990. p.45.

Your Thinker: D. Weiss, Naked Came I: A Novel of Rodin. New York, 1963.

Walking the path: "The upper flank of the prefrontal cortex, the dorsal prefrontal cortex, sees the reemergence of the location-and-motion mapping stream of the parietal cortex--it thinks a lot about questions of place. The lower half of the prefrontal lobe, the ventromedial region, then takes the output of the object identity stream of the temporal lobe--it focuses on events and what they might mean." J. McCrone, Going Inside. New York, 1999. p.200.

landmark: "The strikingly convoluted appearance of the surface of the human cerebral cortex was noted in an Egyptian papyrus of about 1700 B.C., which compared it with the film and corrugations seen on the surface of molten copper as it cools...the comparison is, anyway, misleading for it suggests that the convolutions are arbitrary and unconstant. In fact they are sufficiently similar in different brains to be used as landmarks; and in exploring the working of the cortex we need landmarks." I. Glynn, The Anatomy of Thought. New York, 2000. p.168.

clue: "In the frontal patient, the appropriateness of behavior has come to be dictated by momentary, immediate clues. Actions occur in detached isolated snippets, intact in themselves, but unconnected to the overall context of the situation or behavioral goal." L. Miller, Inner Natures: Brain, Self & Personality. New York, 1990: p.46.

anticipation: "(H.L.) Teuber suggested that the frontal lobes 'anticipate' sensory stimuli that result from behavior, thus preparing the brain for events about to occur. The expected results are compared with actual experience, and thus smooth regulation of activity results." M.H. Thimble, "Psychopathology of Frontal Lobe Syndromes." Seminars in Neurology. September 1990.

over-built: "I want to suggest that the neuroanatomical evidence of massively altered brain proportions and the anthropological and clinical evidence for universality of symbol learning across a wide spectrum of circumstances indicate that the human brain has been significantly over-built for learning symbolic associations. Human brain structure is an exaggerated reflection--a caricature almost--of the special demands imposed by symbol learning, but for fail-safe symbol learning." T.W. Deacon, The Symbolic Species. New York, 1997. p.413.

stunning: "Speaking of the Angel, the poet Rilke says that its beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror we are just able to bear. It is this terror of the beautiful which erupts in the imaginal. Like those of old who were struck dumb by the eruption of the Angel into their world, the imaginal initially stuns us with its presence. Like one of those big dreams which upon awakening leave us speechless for a moment." R. Romanyshyn "Robert Romanyshyn On Technology as Symptom & Dream: A Conversation with Dolores Brien."

or: "The psychic androgynation envisioned by psychology as the result of the process of individuation has apparently been anticipated (and sometimes achieved) by the protopsychologists called Gnostics. The death from which this union redeems humans may be envisioned as the death of consciousness induced by the lack of integration of the psyche." S.A. Hoeller, Jung and the Lost Gospels. Wheaton, IL., 1989. p.208

gliding: "The supplementary area (of the frontal lobe) is involved in programming and initiation of movement sequences, frontal eye fields participate in controlling eye movements, and Broca's area is involved in voluntary speech." G.R. Taylor, The Natural History of the Mind. New York, 1979. p.198

a rainbow: "In the Shou-yang Mountains a rainbow descended at evening and drank at the source of the river," then transformed into a woman. "Ming Ti (the reigning monarch of Wei) summoned her into his palace and saw that she was excellently beautiful of face and form." She declared herself to be "the daughter of Heaven." When Ti tried to possess her, "she changed herself into a rainbow and so ascended to the sky." In, E.H. Schafer, The Divine Woman: Dragon Ladies and Rain Maidens. San Francisco, CA., 1980. p.168.

brooded: One form of brooding is couvade, which is "a father 'brooding' over a child, even in the mother's womb. N.Hall and W.R. Dawson Broodmales. Dallas, TX., 1989.

"Several studies have found that depressed patients show relatively reduced activity in parts of the left frontal lobe,
mainly on the lateral surface (the dorsolateral frontal region), either when they are resting comfortably or performing
cognitive tasks." D.L. Schacter, The Seven Sins of Meaning. New York, 2001. p.172.

smooth: "The promise of a flowing text, a text mimicking smoothness, a text that first carries us along (perhaps the most dangerous). gives rise to bad habits. We want texts the pass through us instead of allowing ourselves to grope through the text, stumbling against unwieldy fragments, aware and puzzled by our discomfort." SW. Molloy, Signs of Borges. Durham, NC., 1994. p.2.

muscles flexing: "What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with his brain, his distended nostrils, and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back and legs, with his clenched fist and gripping toes." A. Rodin. In, Saturday Night. Toronto, Canada, 1 Dec 1917.

breast: "In contemporary Aboriginal desert art circles usually designate locality, but Aboriginal interpretations of circles engraved or painted on rock more frequently describe them as women's breasts." J. Flood, Rock Art Of The Dreamtime. Sydney, Australia, 1997. p.159.

He was becoming: T. Anton, Eros, Magic, and the Murder of Professor Culianu. Evanston, IL., 1996. p.85.

hooked up: M. Spitzer, The Mind Within the Net: Models of Learning, Thinking, and Acting. Cambridge, MA., 1999. p.180.

Botticelli's enigmatic figures: Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510.) "The patron who commissioned ("The Birth of Venus") for his country villa was a member of the rich and powerful family of the Medici. Either he himself, or one of his learned friends, probably explained to the painter what was known of the way the ancients had represented Venus rising from the sea. To these scholars the story of her birth was the symbol of mystery through which the divine message of beauty came into the world. One can imagine that the painter set to work reverently to represent this myth in a worthy manner. The action of the picture is quickly understood. Venus has emerged from the sea on a shell which is driven to the shore by flying wind-gods amidst a shower of roses. As she is about to step on to the land, one of the Hours or Nymphs receives her with a purple cloak."  E.H. Gombrich, The Story of Art. New York, 1966.

I trip: "In practically all individuals who faced death through accidental falls, a similar mental state developed. It represented quite a different state than that experienced in the face of less suddenly occurring mortal dangers. It may be briefly characterized in the following way: no grief was felt, nor was there paralyzing fright of the sort that can happen in instances of lesser danger. There was no anxiety, no trace of despair, no pain; but rather a calm seriousness, profound acceptance, and a dominant mental quickness and sense of surety. Mental activity became enormous, rising to a hundred-fold velocity or intensity. The relationships of events and their probably outcomes were overviewed with objective clarity. No confusion entered at all. Time became greatly expanded. The individual acted with lightning quickness in accord with accurate judgment of his situation." A. von St. Gallen Heim. "Remarks On Fatal Falls" (1892). Quoted by R. Noyes, Jr., and Roy Kletti, "The Experience of Dying from Falls." In, R.A. Kalish, Editor, Death, Dying, Transcending. Farmingdale, NY., 1980. pp.130-31.

breaking the fall: "Wisdom suddenly shows a side of her nature which is different to that of cosmic law. She rejoices with us--and most important--instructs us...There is no guilt, no Fall, no sin." A.P. Long, In a Chariot Drawn by Lions. Freedom, CA., 1993. p. 28.

"The biblical view, placing the Fall within the frame of human history as an offense against its god, cuts out the wider reach of a challenge to the character of that god, denigrates the character of man, and fosters, furthermore, an increasingly untenable insistence on the historicity of its myth; while the other, cosmic view of the problem is actually symbolized philosophy, and, as later centuries would show, was to become one of the leading inspirations of every major spiritual threat to the hegemony of biblical literalism in the West." J. Campbell, The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology. New York, 1976. p.208.

silently: "The neurological literature on the relation between frontal lobe function and language provides good evidence that the motor components of language production typically are represented in the posterior, inferior left frontal lobe. Indeed, damage restricted to this region often produces speech disturbances such as dysarthria (trouble moving the mouth region)." S.M. Kosslyn and O. Koenig, Wet Mind. New York, 1992. pp.250-1. (Nerves cross over, so that the right side of one's body is relevant to the left side of the brain.)

i run down steps: "The frontal lobes are most important for dealing effectively with situational novelty, while preserving the integrity of the goal." L. Miller, Inner Natures: Brain, Self & Personality. New York, 1990: p.49. 

I rise: "The period we are talking about is the middle of gestation, when the brain is developing distinct lobes, and when its surface is beginning to be furrowed. The brain is swelling like a balloon during this period, exploding like fireworks, blossoming like a flower--but none of those metaphors really convey the effort that is being expended. There are 100 billion neurons in the adult human cortex, and they all got there by migrating from the center. Most if not all got there at the end of a strenuous climb." R. Kunzig, "Climbing Through the Brain." Discover. August 1988. p.66.

hands: "He spent most time on the hands. There are hands that pray and hands that weep, hands that question and hands that give in, hands that bless and hands that blaspheme. Violent hands and tender hands, clenched hands and resigned hands. Eyes and lips may deceive. Hands cannot lie!" I. Jianou, Rodin. Paris, France, 1970. p.73.

adam-1.jpg (11197 bytes)fingers hyperextended: "Precisely here, where man the microcosm and incarnate Word made in the divine image, the Adam Kadmon of Cabalistic doctrine, issues from the hand of God as the fingers of the Father and the son touch in a loving gesture, it is significant and convincing that the Eternal is circumscribed by the ellipse (symbolizing the 'cosmic egg') of his celestial mantle and angelic spirits, while Adam forms only an incomplete oval. Through the extended hands and arms the creative flash passes from one orbit to the other. Love radiates from the face of God and from the face of man. God wills his child to be no less than himself. As if to  confirm this, a marvelous being looks out from among the host of spirits that bear the Father on their wings; a genius of love encircled by the left arm of the Creator. This figure has intrigued commentators from the beginning and has been variously interpreted as the uncreated Eve, or Sophia, divine wisdom."

Here is portrayed the divine synapse, the bridge between mundane brain and ethereal mind, where the "gnostic neuron;" e.g., the center of consciousness, is theoretically conceived. But consciousness It is not a center; it's a gap. Unbridgeable under normal circumstances, this non-site doesn't transmit. It transforms. From another perspective: "This brings me to the gap which is to be bridged. Clearly this is not simply a matter of passing from one side to the other. It's actually about collapsing the two sides into a whole new environment, a fluctuating field of potentiality, in which new forms of human identity, living systems, architectures, cultures and connectivities can be planted, grown and nurtured." R. Ascott, "The Bridge is Not the Gap: Mapping New Territories of Media and Mind." Leonardo Electronic Almanac, February 2002. 

On the map: "Maps need not represent simply physical realities, but can be used to depict abstract concepts, temporal patterns, or theoretical constructs." They can also describe "regional blood flow, metabolism, receptor density, fiber connections, and so on." J.C. Mazziotta, et al. "Atlases of the Human Brain." In, S.H. Koslow and M.F. Huerta editors, Neuroinfomatics. Mahwah, NJ., 1997. p. 256.

now superseded: "The history of Highway 99 can be traced back to the military road that was established along the route of an old American Indian trail during the Indian Wars of the 1850s.  The federal government built the Pacific Highway over parts of this old road in 1915 creating one of the nation's "auto trails."  In 1926 the Pacific Highway was renamed United State Highway 99 from Blaine, Washington to Calexico, California.  United States Highway 99 would be the preferred choice for those traveling by automobile between major cities in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California for the next several decades.  It should be noted that there splits in the highway at three areas along its route.  The highway splits into 99W and 99E from Portland, OR to Junction City, OR; Red Bluff, CA to Sacramento, CA; and Stockton, CA to Manceta, CA.  During the 1960s Interstate 5 was completed and it effectively bypassed United States Highway 99.   Oregon was the last state to decommission or retired United States Highway 99 in 1972.  Although many parts of Highway 99 have been incorporated in Interstate 5, much of the route remains the same as when it was retired as United State Highway 99 in 1972."  Andrew VanDerZanden, Oregon Historical Society.

Mount Shasta: Standing at about 14,162 feet tall, "Mount Shasta's magical reputation is very old; it existed long before any white settlers came to California. The Modoc, Shastika, and Wintun people living near the mountain considered Shasta the home of the gods, the pivot of the earth, and the pillar reaching up into the heavens and rooting down into the underworld." W. Kafton-Minkel, Subterranean Worlds. Port Townsend, WA., 1989. p.120.

mysterious lights and sounds: "Another notable sacred mountain is Mount Shasta in California. It may be one of the oldest geological formations in the world. Five glaciers cling to its slopes, and yet from its higher crevices issue steam and molten sulfur bubbles. Neighboring Indians believed it to be the abode of the Great Spirit when on wrath. Many strange tales are still told of its mysterious lights and sounds..." Ed. nt., W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Cuchama and the Sacred Mountains. Athens, OH., 1981. F. Waters and C.L.Adams, Editors.   p.72.

buzzard: "Even so, I didn't get it for a long while. It finally came / in a trance, a coma, half in sleep and half in fever-mind. A Turkey / Buzzard, wounded by a rock on the mountain. He wanted to die alone." L. Welch. From, "Song of the Turkey Buzzard."

Was this: "The prefrontal cortex, with which the hippocampus and medial thalamus both have connections, coordinates facts with an appropriate time and space context to ensure that the event is remembered as a unique happening." S.A. Greenfield, The Human Brain. New York, 1997. p.131.

serpentine road: “Seeking to enslave and fragment the light from above, the Chief Ruler cloned Adam and tried to rape Eve. Little did he realize that he had been tricked - Sophia (the world soul) had planned this all out from the beginning! Before the Rulers even had a chance to begin plotting their next crime, Sophia bore a child called the ‘Instructor,’ a serpentine, androgynous light being destined to liberate Yaldaboth's experimental primates.”

The Path Through Mount Utsu: (Scene From "Tales of Ise.") R. Roshu (1699-1757). A poster here:                    

utsu.gif (52414 bytes)

intestines: "Some of them say that the serpent was Sophia herself; for this reason it was opposed to the maker of Adam and gave knowledge to men, and therefore is called the wisest of all Gen. 3:1]. And the position of our intestines through which food is taken in, and their shape, shows that the hidden Mother of the shape of the serpent is a substance within us." St. Iranaeus of Lyon, Against Heresies: The Sethian-Ophites, A.D. 180. In, W. Barnstone, The Other Bible. San Francisco, CA., 1984. p.664

pacing roar: "Trials carried out by US doctors on an anti-depression 'pacemaker' found the electrical device can significantly improve the mental health of patients.The pacemaker, which is implanted in a person's chest, sends intermittent signals to the left vagus nerve in the brain. The device was originally used to treat patients with epilepsy. However, it was later found to have a positive effect on the part of the brain that regulates mood prompting these latest trials."

Bacchus bleeds: "Dionysus or Bacchus, is the Green Man from the Greek-Roman period. He was also a God of vegetation as well as a God of ecstasy and Divine Rapture. One of his lessons was to teach humility and to make wine from grapes. This is symbolic of the alchemist who turns lead to gold. Wine can be preserved a long time and even has medicinal value. Later, Jesus used wine as a symbol of His Blood - the Blood of a Sacred Covenant between the Divine and the lower ego." V.H. Frater, "The Green Man."

Dominican College: Founded by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael and chartered in 1890, Dominican College is now Dominican University of California.

rikyu.gif (14195 bytes)The Japanese Garden: "In San Rafael, California, a redwood mansion, 100 years old, sat on 2 acres of upper-class land, where lived an assortment of human and non-human beings, along with John Bell (Swami Satprem), with whom I had travelled in Japan. Here we built a tea house, two ponds, a rock garden, and a bridge that arched over a self-supporting sky." J. Weishaus Introduction to "The Garden Poems."

Rikyu: Sen-no-Rikyu (1522-1591) is Japan’s best-known tea master. He served the shogun Oda Nobunaga, and later Hideyoshi, who unified Japan for the first time in its history. However, over a disagreement--Hideyoshi's aesthetics was more ornate than Rikyu's austere wabi-cha--, the shogun ordered Rikyu to commit seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment).

immortalized on film: A brief scene from the 1972 film, "The Candidate," starring Robert Redford, was shot in the mansion. In it, Senator Crocker Jarmen (Don Porter) descended the main staircase, the large stained glass window framed behind him, into the lobby. For that evening, our home was imbued with the aroma of hamburgers and coffee.

Minerva: The Roman goddess of wisdom (thus a direct connection with Sophia), the patroness of physicians, the arts and sciences;  also of war. The church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva was built atop one of her temples.

Clearly: In Greece Minerva was known as Athena. "It is here that we find the daughter of Metis ('wise counsel'), of insight and reflection, banging at the door of ego-consciousness to get out. Athena was known as the goddess who gave courage to the warrior, who replaced passion with reason and reflection thereby causing many a hero to put up his sword rather than impulsively strike. Whereas her mother symbolized practical understanding, she represents illuminating clarity." C. Poncé, Working the Soul: Reflections of Jungian Psychology. Berkeley, CA., 1988. p.112-13.

bluish-gray: "From two elite cadres of neurons based deep in the brain stem, each comprising no more than twelve thousand cells (the locus ceruleus, or 'blue nucleus'--so called because of its bluish-gray cast in human brain tissue--, forebrain-bound noradrenergic axons carpet target sites in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, and especially, the cerebral cortex." D. Niehoff, The Biology of Violence. New York, 1999. p.119.

Not paying attention: "Many absent-minded errors are probably attributable to a kind of 'divided attention' the pervades our daily lives. Mentally consumed with planning for a critical presentation the next day, you place your car keys in an unusual spot as you are reading over your notes...activation in the lower left frontal region during encoding is closely related to subsequent remembering and forgetting....dividing attention prevents the lower left frontal lobe from playing its normal role in elaborative encoding."  D.L. Schacter, The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind forgets and Remembers. Boston, MA., 2001. pp.44,47. Other "investigators have stressed the importance of a corticothalamic-retucular arousal loop, whose cortical representation in humans is found in the dorsolateral ('upper-outer') portion of the frontal lobe, the part of the brain most involved in directing and controlling mental processes such as attention." L. Miller, Inner Natures: Brain, Self & Personality. New York, 1990. p.162.

continuous loses: "’The frontal lobe is the site where the earliest and most consistent effects of aging occur in the brain,’ said P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., a psychiatrist at Duke and lead researcher on the study. "Virtually every mental symptom of normal aging results from decline in frontal lobe functions. When we examined this vital area of the brain by following a particular genetic marker, we found a single gene variation that can result in significant nerve cell changes associated with aging.” “Dementia Gene Located.” Science News.

this and other: A.R. Damasio, Descartes' Error. New York, 1994 (?)

steering mechanism: "The earliest uses of the word "sophia" is the tiller—the man at the tiller of a boat. He’s always making little moves to keep you on course. That’s all it is. It’s not big sentences. It’s just little moves. J. Hillman, "Authenticity, Character and Destiny: An Interview With James Hillman." Interview by B.H. Hoff. MenWeb, 1998.

I laughed: "A new study has found that people with damage to the right frontal lobe of the brain have trouble getting punch lines and show a preference for slapstick humor....The study is the first to show that the frontal lobe plays a pre-eminent role in our ability to appreciate humor and have a good belly laugh. Previous studies have implicated the right hemisphere and frontal lobes in general. The study found that people with right anterior frontal damage had the most disrupted ability to appreciate written and verbal jokes -- and funny cartoons -- compared to the normal control group and people with focal lesions elsewhere in the brain. Individuals with right frontal damage chose wrong punch lines to written jokes and did not smile or laugh as much at funny cartoons or verbal jokes. They showed a preference for silly slapstick humor -- surprising but illogical endings which are the hallmarks of such acts as The Three Stooges...The ability to understand and produce humor requires the concerted functioning of several cognitive processes: working memory (holding a piece of information in mind while you manipulate it); cognitive shifting (looking at a situation in different ways or from different perspectives) and abstract thinking." "People With Brain Injury To Frontal Lobe Don't Get Punch Lines -- Prefer Slapstick Humor."

he complained: "Many factors besides physiology are responsible for personality, and other parts of the brain are involved in emotions. But researchers say the circumstantial evidence indicates that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex acts as a sort of volume knob for emotions. While the emotions may be produced elsewhere in the brain in response to stimuli, this region of the brain can make them deafening or muted. As a result, some people may react sharply in a situation, while others appear unruffled. The volume knob, in other words, may be what people interpret as temperament...Although negative affect may seem like the opposite of positive affect, researchers do not find that people with diminished activity in this part of the brain are "happier." Instead, patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex have previously been found to lack normal responses to emotional cues..." S. Vedantam, "Brain Part Appears to Accentuate Negativity." Washington Post 12 Feb 2002. p.A08.

Mt. Tamalpais: Just north of San Francisco, and peaking at 2,571 feet, its west slope rises from the Pacific Ocean. Tamalpais is a holy mountain of the Coast Miwok Indians, and the site of an annual circumambulation by students of Buddhism during the 1960s and 1970s. Background picture is Mt. Tam at sunset. 

Green Gulch Farm: Owned by the San Francisco Zen Center, "the farm is a curious mix of elegant new and funky old buildings, of natural and cultivated vegetation, spread out over a beautiful valley and surrounded by national parkland." D. Chadwick, "Profile: San Francisco Zen Center." Shambhala Sun. March 2002. pp.56-63. Stopped in on the way back, driving down the one-lane eucalyptus-lined road, parking, walking, exchanging a greeting with a passing monk. Sat on a bench by the farmhouse, a student passing by looked the other way. It no longer felt right where Zen is consciously practiced--robes, bells, gongs, shouts...

slide.jpg (4238 bytes)Slide Ranch: The house was owned by Doug Ferguson. “In the late 1960's, Doug Ferguson was driving up Highway 1 from Stinson Beach and happened to glance down at Slide Ranch. He was struck by its unique site and beauty. His curiosity led him to the county assessor's office where he learned that the land was owned by a Southern California screenwriter who hoped to develop a hotel on the site. Doug initiated a two-year correspondence with the landowner and eventually succeeded in persuading him to sell the property to The Nature Conservancy…In 1969, The Nature Conservancy bought the land and Slide Ranch was incorporated as an education center. Concurrent with Slide Ranch's founding, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Trust for the Public Land...”

Bolinas Lagoon: "Fly / 12 miles north from where you're at, / on the back of a Blue Heron / land in Bolinas Lagoon, / rift valley of the San Andreas Fault, / southern tip of Point Reyes peninsula, / Rialto Cove, Bolinas Lagoon now..." From, J. Weishaus, "Arrived." J. Weishaus, Editor, On The Mesa--An Anthology of Bolinas Writing. San Francisco, CA., 1971.

covered with flies: "Let us take the example of a single fly in a closed room, being chased by an irate human, hundred thousand or more its weight and size. On top of this, the person is armed with a lethal weapon, viz., a fly-swatter. The fly senses the change in intensity and direction of the air pressure caused by the swing of the swatter and the alteration in the amount of light in its many compound eyes and is pre-programmed to fly away in an appropriate direction to evade the fatal descent of the swinging contraption. The insecticidal maniac with premeditated malice persists and the scene is replayed, until the hapless, ignorant fly is squashed to death. If the fly…was evolved enough to have a prefrontal cortex, it would reflect upon the hopeless outcome and have a foretaste of its oncoming mortality. It would be sad and depressed and may even entertain the futility of its effort and life itself. If a fortuitous and fortunate gust of wind succeeded in opening a window in a timely manner during its escape flight path, it would exit the room with a sigh of relief.” G. Bhatt, M.D., “The Genesis, Evolution and Extinction of God.”

the poetry was gone: "No biography no bibliography! Too stoned to try explaining my feelings that either of those graphys are no longer the least iota relevant." B. Brown. In, On the Mesa--An Anthology of Bolinas Writing. San Francisco, CA., 1971. p.126.okamura1.jpg (6757 bytes)

in Samoa: "Cheating is de rigueur in Samoa. Trickery abounds. State of the Art. Win! Be numba tasi! Win! There's the whole magillah. Honors heaped on the winners. Heroes to the village. The hero's take is just-fine, Sex&Drugs&Rock 'n' Roll. Money enough to buy the spoils of victory. Trick and cheat to win. Devilry and Deviltry reign." J.W. Doss, M.D., Where the Hell is Pago Pago? (In MS.)
Picture: "John Doss," by A.Okamura.

greener than thought: "He had a green helmet. Inside the green helmet he had a green face, green armor, green shield and even a green horse. When he was decapitated, he continued to live, symbolically personifying the regeneration powers of the plant realm. The symbology of losing the head is a striking resemblance to the teachings of virtually all Mystery schools that teach about losing the ego, and the turning of oneself over to the Higher Self, or to the Divine." V.H. Frater, "The Green Man."

Arthur Okamura: Arthur Okamura was born in Long Beach, California, February 24, 1932. After World War II the Okamuras moved to Chicago, Il, where, after graduating from high school, Arthur attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While still in high school, he worked at a silkscreen poster studio where he worked for twelve years as a layout artist. Graduating from the Art Institute in 1945, he received the Edward L. Ryerson Foreign Travel Fellowship and went, with his wife, to Mallorca in the Balearic Islands to paint. In Mallorca he met the poet Robert Creeley, becoming life-long friends and colleagues. Arthur, his first wife and their first child, moved to San Francisco, CA., in the early 1950s, and Bolinas in 1959. In 1971, Okamura and Joel Weishaus collaborated on Oxherding: A Reworking of the Zen Text. (Cranium Press, San Francisco, CA.) In 1997 Arthur retired from teaching at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, where he taught for 31 years.

that the neuroanatomical: T.W. Deacon, The Symbolic Species. New York, 1997. p.413.

Alone: Young Nyogen Senzaki, who could not yet speak English, had just lost his houseboy job. His teacher, Zen Master Soyen Shaku, and he were walking through San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Shaku suddenly stopped and said, "You must face this great city and see whether it conquers you or you conquer it." Then he walked away, never to be seen by his student again.

Talan Memmont: Talan Memmont is a digital writer, artist, teacher, and editor of BeeHive, an on-line hypertext journal.

Presence: As I told you, I cannot grasp them. not by their faces, not by their gestures, not by their words; for their Being is no longer anywhere, indeed they are no longer anywhere." H. von Hoffmannsthal, "Letters for a Traveller Come Home."

How will I know:
But since then there have remained between us
                           signs and special marks
                           like those exchanged by people who don't know each
                           when they plan
                           to meet in places where they have never been.

                            -Y. Amichai. From, Travels. #67.