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Descartes is, of course, perhaps most famous for the ideas he laid down in his Discourse on the Method and Principles of Philosophy. It is here that he decides that the only thing we can know without any doubt is that we are thinking beings.

That we think, and therefore we are.

My second wish is that we will continue and finally complete the work of undoing the false assumption expressed so powerfully by Descartes that it is our minds—our intellects—that are our only Truth. That our bodies are merely the vessels in which we live. I want to find a way to convince you to understand that we think with our bodies, and feel with our minds.

That we feel, and therefore we are.

N.A. Sulway’s Acceptance Speech for Rupetta

(Read the full speech.)

I walked off with the bee for a moment for a little privacy, and then thanked the bee out loud for both the visit as well as for the lesson on fear from the first bee. A few minutes later, the bee flew away just as the first one did, but the bees definitively tagged me that day and never truly left me from that moment forward. Since that day, I constantly see bees; I regularly talk to bees. The bees have staked out a permanent place in my thought processes, and bees are a recurring theme in my dreams. – See more at: http://wildhunt.org/2014/07/premonitions-of-melissa.html#sthash.njnwVrCF.dpuf

The Limits of a Religious Materialism

I walk into an empty room and see a billion sacred things. Another person meets me and there’s a billion upon a billion more. Each thing, each Being no matter how tiny, a billion upon a billion points of sacredness. Ecosystems of rooms, holy. Human beings, holy down to the mitochondria, endogenous viruses, and monerans of which only a small faction have been classified. Ecosystems within layers of paint, holy. In the sublayer of the carpet, holy. Relationships between, holy. Predator and prey, holy. Parasite and host, holy. Discourse from plasmids and retroviruses all the way up to words and rhetoric, holy.

That’s the shallow holy. That’s the superficial, the minimal, the glance into the bedroom filled with holy Matter and holy Beings. That’s not taking the time to listen and attend over holy cycles ranging from seconds to years. To look like an idiot, slack-jawed staring as long as you dare listening and watching holy. To realize as you put the cup to your lips that you sip from the bones of holy on the flesh of the holy and to loose your appetite because those relationships demand conscious consideration about what you’re about to do.

Those are the limits I acknowledge, to not only step over the Spider or gently carry the Wasp out the door, but to change diet, change career, change methods of transportation, change housing. Because other things pay that price.

The difference between us is not that I deny your gods, but that you deny mine, and cry “Disenchantment” because you can’t see dancing and singing Matter. But what’s seen can’t be unseen. I’m getting middle-aged and won’t go back to taking it for granted.

2 July 2014: Libertango

Is it possible for a composition, a made thing to be a Being, to have a voice beyond the notes of the composer, the arranger, and the performers? Is it possible for a work of art to demand to be heard and understood, not in the manner of being merely attractive, but in the manner of a person who interrupts your dreams to urgently tell you of their own?

It’s one of those things that doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t have to. But it happened.