A Smokeless Flame

The wind was unnaturally still the night my Uncle Ali died. In the morning after I first obtained the ornate lamp that has made a mess of my life ever since. I have since buried it in an attempt to prevent any other person from experiencing the infinite terrors summoned by that hellish brass object.

My now deceased Auntie brought it out to me with a forced smile. I also equally forced appreciation, but in reality I was expecting a crown of jewels or a fleece of golden threads. My Uncle had traveled almost all 7 seven seas (‘The 6 that mattered!’ he would always say). My disappointment at receiving the simple lamp was immeasurable to the grief I felt at the loss of my Uncle. He died not from a Bengal tiger or wild natives in distant lands. But instead suffered slowly from lung cancer, a side effect from his second favourite habit after traveling; smoking.

It was specific however that I was to receive this lamp. I thought immediately perhaps it was a some jest, as a child I was always thrilled when he read me stories about Djinns in A Thousand and One Nights as child. Perhaps he had found one in his travels. I scoffed at the idea, perhaps he had forgotten that I was 16 and had long since stopped believing in those irrational tales. He had started to drift at the end, apparently talking “endless nonsense” is what my mother called it.

It could have been a warning he was shouting out in his bouts of consciousness, more than anything I wish-… Aghh.

A wish. I curse the entire concept of wishing, desire is the cause of all unrest within us.

God save me, I am starting to speak like it.

I treasured the lamp, never used it but just left it by my bedside table.
Its appearance grew on me slowly. In a way it reminded me of my Uncle, it was short and rough around the edges but charming in its own style nonetheless.

The true start to my troubles are fresh in my mind and I can vividly remember the proceedings.
One day in my final year of schooling as packing away my evening studies in preparation from the evening prayer when  I was distracted by a sudden blinding light. As the sun set it reflected off the lamp I had neglected for so long. It was covered in a thin layer of dust, I went to rub it clean with my sleeve when I hesitated. Maybe it looks better with some dust I asked myself.

What would my uncle think of these unreasonable superstition? I was to become a scientist, I told myself. I cast aside the innate fear I felt in my belly which I will never again ignore for the rest of my life. With a wipe the dust cleared and I coughed.

Three loud knocks came and I almost dropped the fragile memorial.
What a coincidence. Surely a coincidence I told myself again, mother must have finished teaching early I… I better go get the door.

At the door stood a man dressed in a white.

“I am sorry for this intrusion, may I pray within your house. I am a long way from home and am in great need.”

“Yes” I immediately said with no inclination afterwards of why I agreed.

I should have noticed his ghost stare and the slippery nature with which he walked as if a young man dressed in elderly man’s loose leathery skin. When he smiled the wrinkles on his face neither sagged nor stretched.

Maybe the greatest trick he played on me was my expectation for a Djinn to appear with a dramatic burst of smoke and flame
and not a simple knock at the door…

Flesh Life

Bury me under a tree,
So I may be free from fake tears
And feel the sun on me.

Cast my ashes upon the sea,
So I may care for nothing
and nothing to care for me.

Drop me in a tomb,
Let me be forgotten
and my name fade into dust.

-~-

A gravestone is the desperate scratch marks
Of a man dragged tooth and nail by the Reaper.
‘Remember me’ he begs
Stating dates beginning and end
And quotes said by a better man.

The ether takes all, your pattern is not long
nor honoured in this world.

Life; it’s all we have, why wouldn’t it be overrated?

Twenty-Eight Element Expression

bio

In previous discussions I concluded that life can only truly be defined as a specific pattern, this was the logical end to the materialist stance. However I alluded to the the Buddhist principle of Annicca, which states that the universe is in a constant flux. This statement is supported by scientific research that show that the human body replaces all its living cells every 7 years (not all at once obviously).

I would then argue that there is no real separation between the inanimate and the living.

What is man but a pattern of matter? And what is the water cycle but a pattern of matter?

The current definition of life which stops at including virus and prions. I find this definition baseless and an artificial line in the sand that someone simply decided would be appropriate. In light of this new information I would suggest a more appropriate definition of life measured by degree. For example say a dog has a 70% degree of life then a tree has a 50% and so on, but does not exclude from items we would normally define as inanimate. A river could have a 30% rating while a rock on its shore could have 15%.

Appropriately 100% would be ourselves, it is natural we measure the worth of different forms of life in its similarity to human kind. What other reason do we create creatures of fantasy and science fiction, that regularly speak our language and have two arms and two legs. Mankind has only ever worshipped itself.

Scottish philosopher David Hume argued that humans are irrational in their grouping of items of similarity as being the “same”. This logic is again procured by Heraclitus that we “never see the same river twice”. It is of course logical to name the river for practicality, but in terms of discussions on the nature of the life this practicality is not a counter to the conclusions of this discussion.

However the conclusion can be explored further in that the pattern being expressed by these object is simply reacting to external influence by other forms of matter. You were brought up by your parents who were brought up by theirs and so on. However it is not just upbringing, it is every action in the universe. In an endless variety the cycle of cause and effect goes on. Where did it start your asking? This is the question that has been pondered since time began, and forgive me for using such a terrible cliché but it is entirely applicable to the topic of my next discussion; the origin of the universe.

Bitter Thankless

The Poem That Two-Hundred-Sixteen Elements Wrote

Like a flat circle my life goes round and round.
Free will is a dream within this incredible dream.
Incredible feels like the wrong word,
Miserable is more accurate.

A form of carbon, phosphorus nitrogen oxygen,
And finally hydrogen.

I wish I had a brother or sister at my side,
But I do not.

I wish I had a calm father to look up to,
But I do not.

I wish I had a mother who saw my success,
But I do not.

Perhaps it is unfair to blame the external.
I see the action I should take.
The example;
Its form and feeling.
Instead I give low whimpers in the dark,

And instead of the cheerful welcome,
I am given cold indifference.

Life has certainly been a gift.

I was given the genetic code,
Which forms me.
My bones,
Flesh,
and all that makes a wretched me.

I was given the guidance,
From a broken fool,
From a broken wench.
Which I unjustly am ungrateful for.

Perception in the presence of ignorance
Proves there indifference.

Such is my life,
A constant contradictory paradox to the rules I have been given.
And a constant embarrassment to the audience in witness.

That Which Twenty-Eight Elements Wrote

A specific tribute to

  1. Oxygen (65%)
  2. Carbon (18%)
  3. Hydrogen (10%)
  4. Nitrogen (3%)
  5. Calcium (1.5%)
  6. Phosphorus (1.0%)

from which these words spring from,
and also to which you owe your recognition of what would otherwise be an unintelligible sequence of symbols.


The aforementioned six elements compose 99% of the human body (the remaining 1% is 22 trace elements of various toxic and non-beneficial elements so we will discount them). If we suppose that the atheistic thinkers throughout centuries are reasonable in their assumption that humankind is entirely material and that the soul is a fabrication, than these six elements consist of our entire existence.

Of course it’s is worth mentioning that the combinations, sequences, and structures are incomprehensible.

This conclusions are made in the absence of the findings made by quantum theory. As these findings seem to only apply to the very small and often conflict Einstein’s theory of relatively, which contrarily are more reliable in calculations of the physics similar to our own size. This is the reason why I won’t go into the  interesting but nonetheless irrelevant behaviour of sub-atomic particles.

The focus of this discussion is focused on us and more broadly on life itself.

Life is defined under the following criteria:

  1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.
  2. Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells — the basic units of life.
  3. Metabolism: Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
  4. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.
  5. Adaptation: The ability to change over time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism’s heredity, diet, and external factors.
  6. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion; for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism), and chemotaxis.
  7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms

However these biological terms are only of use in the scientific world.
These behaviours are more simply described as patterns of matter.

Pattern: a regular and intelligible form or sequence discernible in the way in which something happens or is done.

It is therefore reasonable to conclude that;

The universe is a contained within a supreme pattern of everything.
I am a pattern. You are a pattern. 


In this manner it appears that the Buddhist principles of Anatta (No self) is expressed in scientific findings.
Further evidence is also shown in the principle of Anicca (the impermanence of the world) which is reflected in the constant flux of molecular biology.
However I will leave that for another post, follow and/or comment if these ideas spark some interest.

 

The Hound and his Man

The man stripped off his wet fur loincloth, the last of his clothes. Tenderly he added it to the fire, it burned for a few moments of ecstasy. He sat starving and naked. Outside a dark swaying forest battled with the ferocious blizzard. His hound leaned against him conserving what little warmth they sustained. The man cradled him like he had so long ago when he was but a pup.
Another twig crumbled to its fate among the dying coals. Their stomachs screamed for food. His dog sniffed the air and went deep into thought. Now with death looming the man reminisced of the beginning of their friendship, which was the bloody affair of cutting the pup from his mother’s womb. He wrenched up the pup and brought his spear point to its throat, but something stopped him. The same spear which pierced the mother’s womb now sat idle and frozen against the wall, long icicles hanging off its shaft. The man often wondered after all this time if there was an ancient grudge that the hound held deep inside.

The dog whimpered and shook off the man’s weak grasp. The man attempted to pat him. He shot up with a guttural growl and paced the room. The freezing man shouted angrily. The dog bared his fangs in terrorised delight and paced faster- warming his aching muscles. The terrible realisation came to the man in a flash of innate instinct. He went silent.

The man stood exposed, and it became clear to him. Only one victor would leave the dusty gloom to meet the morning sun. The man tried the spear but hadn’t the strength to pry its frozen place. Their eyes met with cold isolation, both slowly circling. There was no more room for rational thought; fantasies of hot flesh being clenched beneath their jaws were the only occupants in the minds of both the wolf and the man. The man imagined slipping into that warm fur once again. Within the wolf vengeance plotted against the monster that ate his mother and wore her skin. The man leapt, the wolf pounced.

The wolf sank his fangs into his sluggish thigh with glee. The man grasped a nearby rock and beat down with it. A brutal blow impacted on his paw. The man kicked the wolf off his thigh. He knocked into the spear, shattering the ice. The man despairingly reached for his weapon, the wolf pounced again. They tumbled and turned over the long dead fire pit, flinging soot into the air as they shouted and snarled.
A moan cut through the screaming blizzard.
The dust settled.
A single silhouette panted.

A figure emerged.
A warm breeze blew across the bloody fur on his back telling of the coming spring. He limped out with the old spear at his side, his gullet filled and his heart emptied.
Leaving a track of three prints in the snow with every step, he went out into the lonely wilderness.