Summer garden

Fences enclose sweaty trees
of palms, apricots and figs,
while dried-up roses suffer
heat, next to stubborn hortensia
striving, to blossom despite
anomalous murderous drought.

An infant baobab travelled
all the way from Dakar to be
planted in a pot in Rome, while
the fragile bonsai changes
place everyday victim,
of my indecision fearing

a premature death.

Parsley, basil, oregano and thyme
On rosemary’s opposite side,
Emanate odours of culinary
Makings, as a lonely herb grows
In a corner, unfolding potential
Of future rewards, paid in smoke.

Aloe and cactuses evergreen
Surrounded, by dead leaves
Stranded, along the hedge covering
Fertile soil suffocating, possibilities
For emerald grass to raise as I mow
The lawn picking them up to set

cadavers free.

[Featured painting: Murnau The Garden II by Wassily Kandinsky, 1910]

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The show

Dynamically unveiling an expanding carpet
Of hydrogen particles coalescing to spring
Stars to grow, spin and sparkle, explode
In blinding invisible light, thrusting golden
Debris forming rocky spheres, aligning
To revolve finding balance finely tuning
And allow life to burst and us to see.

[Featured painting: Magic Carpet by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1880]

Heat

When hypnotised eyes only
search for signs in depths of dilated
pupils of he who would be able
to drive you blind;

When courage overtakes you
unafraid and tempted enveloped
by veils of overwhelming heat
craving for inebriated contact;

When all you can think of is his smile,
voice, words, body, and fantasy
imposes his silent presence even
in his roaring absence;

When blistering fire burns
you from inside hindering
breathing panting merely conceiving
his touch on longing skin;

When individuality extinguishes,
ambitions evolve making duty
his happiness afore anything
for his would be yours;

It is impossible to ignore
or deny the devouring feeling
whispering repeatedly to your hungry
stomach ‘You are in love’.

[Featured painting: The Kiss, Gustav Klimt, 1907 – 1908]

PHILOSOPHY AND PHYSICS OF A SPIRITED UNIVERSE

Premise(to my upcoming book – looking for feedback)

Where do we come from? Who are we? What’s next? Before I ever started reading (let alone understanding) natural philosophy, astrophysics and history of spirituality, I spontaneously started developing ideas of my own, on the Universe and the All, based on sheer intuition. Such intuition seemed to rise from within me, with no apparent link to empirical experience, knowledge or understanding. Only later would I discover that many philosophers, scientists and fellow human beings before me, conceived and realised the value and indisputability of this mysterious intuition. Pure intuition. Inspiring me with notions of Order, Unity, and Infinity.

Now confronted with the study of quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, philosophy, history of religions and esoteric studies, notions of Order, Unity and Infinity seem to bloom at all times in all places, actually demonstrating that pure intuition not only exists but is an intrinsic shared characteristic of humankind throughout its history, as if all accessing a unique and universal consciousness.

Indeed, since its dawn, humankind has repeatedly asked itself the same questions: “Where do we come from?”, “Who are we?” and “What’s next?” Although answers may differ between a civilisation and another, they astonishingly (seemingly “hazardly”) also have a lot in common. Assuming, as we do, that ancient populations [e.g., Prevedic India, ancient Egypt and Maya civilisation] had no contact between each other, thus no possibility of confrontation or exchange of information, such common points seem to be a product of somewhat of a “shared intuition”. The first shared intuition of all is undeniably the perception of our own existence, through that of our consciousness.

Inherently, even our consciousness is merely a perception of itself: we cannot see it or touch it, nor can we place it in a distinct sphere of our brain or body. Yet, we have an undeniable perception of its existence for the sheer fact that we have a perception in the first place. We hence recognise consciousness as our true essence and proof of our existence, often (most probably erroneously) believing that it sets us apart from the rest. “Cogito ergo sum[1]. We are certain of our existence because we conceive it. The way Descartes put it is that if we doubt our own existence, the simple fact that we doubt proves that we think, and there would be no thought if a thinking entity did not exist. Accepting this logical process it is legitimate to conclude that we exist through our consciousness.

But what is Consciousness? Is it, as some would say, the Universe starting to get aware of itself? The spontaneous result of billions of years of evolution? The consequence of a certain random, yet meticulously precise, combination of atoms? Or is it as many have perceived it throughout the years, centuries and millennia, the product of something greater, larger, superior, transcendent? Something Omniscient [all knowing], Omnipotent [all-powerful], Omnificent [all creative] and Omnipresent [always present]? Something such as a unifying ancient panpsychistic[2] universal mind or even a religious God, present all around us and within ourselves?

“the better consciousness within me lifts me up into a world where neither personality nor causality, nor subject nor object, exist any more (…) My hope and belief is that this better (super-sensible and extra-temporal) consciousness will become my only one (…) an operation of the understanding, an immediate intuition (…) a flash of insight” Arthur Schopenhauer[3]

Personally, the feeling that such intuition is closely linked to the comprehension of truth, inspiring ideas of universal consciousness, and my surrender to it, seems to free me from the mental limitation imposed by the artificial boundaries of what is actually a false individuality of self.Whatever one may call it, it is undeniable that the second shared intuition is the existence of something greater, something infinite in time and space: a genius universal mind, an extraordinary architect, a divine creator, orchestrating according to its volition and through elegant laws the existence of the Universe. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that the shared intuition of the existence of something greater is solely the increasing awareness of the marvellously ordered bewildering immensity (or infinity) of the Universe itself.

Furthermore, it is in this intuition that I find a true bond with all that exists, a sense of natural belonging, a spontaneous harmony, a peaceful surrender, to a magic-like flow, perceiving each and every single particle composing me and everything around me, inevitably grasping the beguiling unity of All: one immense sea of particles harmoniously flowing in space. It is impossible to experience Unity without recognising the absurdity of individuality.

Withstanding the above, there is a third undeniable shared intuition I would only dare to define through the distinct feature that truly seems to set humankind apart from the rest of living beings and things: curiosity. Its quest to understand, its perception that it can and its ability to do so, indeed reveal the third shared intuition as being the possibility of understanding.

This is our starting point. Our three basic shared intuitions inevitably lead us to question and investigate the essence of the Universe and Humankind. This project intends to combine philosophical and spiritual query with astrophysical and cosmological investigation. 7000 years of shared intuitions and scientific discoveries. Where do we come from? Who are we? What’s next?

“It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.” Henri Poincare

Enjoy the journey!

[1] René Descartes (1596 – 1650) French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. Quote source: “I think, therefore I am” René Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, 1644.Enjoy the journey!

[2] One of the most ancient theories of Mind being everywhere and in everything, at all time. Panpsychism was supported by philosophers such as Thales, Plato, Spinoza, Leibniz and others.

[3] Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 –1860) German philosopher. Quote source: David E. Cartwright, Schopenhauer: A Biography, 2010.

aurora kastanias 2017, all rights reserved.

Equal measure

As humankind evolves in time
What used to be primitive tribes
Guarding territory, people, progeny
And food, have mutated into
Governments flaunting flags and political
Agendas to fulfil, within four years,
Drafted on greed, implemented
By concocting fear.

Rulers hence redraw, imaginary lines
Based solely on war, and conquest
Fostering survival of the fittest,
The law of the jungle established
In allegedly civilised societies,
Lobotomised by technologies,
PCs and mobiles made of black
Sands, from Congo with love.

Four million people killed by war,
For tantalite to be mined,
Purchased and transformed
In modern gadgets we all own.
Other resources elsewhere up
For bids by unbidding forces,
‘Take what you like and as you please’
The silent motto composing our wellbeing.

Gold, blood diamonds, petrol and water
Conflicts, justifying decades of murder
Worldwide, from Middle East unrest
To Rwandan genocide, passing through
Sudanese Darfur to cross the ocean
Fight for land, tear down forests,
Grow soybeans for vegans,
Pastor sheep for jumpers.

Now modern times have come
New notions are thrust to hypnotise,
Overpopulation for minds to criticise,
Though calculations unable to mystify
Grant eleven thousand square meters
Of inhabitable land per person. Space
Thus not being the issue while resources,
Are deliberately unevenly distributed.

When twenty percent of the people
In developed nations consume
Eighty-six percent of the world’s goods
Leaving an average of thirty thousand
Humans die of hunger and malnutrition
Daily, there is no morality. When consequently
The remainder, comes knocking for survival
On closed doors, there is no humanity.

When we hide behind phantomatic
Risk-like borders and fake needs,
For two phones a PS4 and three TVs,
As we throw our dinner leftovers
In the garbage and let water
Run warm for 5’ before we shower,
Neglecting collective guilt, responsibility,
Laying fresh sheets on king-size beds,

Turning blind eyes to the news
And deaf ears to the door bell,

How on Earth can anyone sleep?

Until the day we shall all wake up
Notice NASA photos of our planet
Taken from above show no lines
Of separation, and that Earth is
Home to all, in equal measure.

[Featured painting: Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man by Salvador Dali, 1943]

Robot Genesis 126

If only I had a brain I would wander
The lands, discover my surroundings,
Emulate nature to my benefit, replicate
The mastery of lightning, sparkle
Fires to keep warm.

Draw in caves to communicate, invent
Words and a language, grasp insight
From imagination, materialize my thoughts.
Become myself a creator, build
A creature to my likeness,

Understand who I am.

[Featured painting: Patience by MattDixon on DeviantArt]

Met him in a bar

First glance caught by whiteness
Of teeth unfolded by laughter, of he
Who was surrounded, in conversation
With curious people hanging,
On every word of his brightness.

Deflecting my attention I ordered
A Ti’ Punch. As I waited eyes compelled,
To return to previous image, focus
Lost, he was gone. When impulsively I began
To search for him frantically, I knew.

Felt his imposing body behind me,
Turned around and recognised myself
In him, as he looked at me as I do,
When the mirror’s eyes reflect
Tenderness and let me know, they love me.

Dilated pupils immediately desired,
My lips to meet his only impeded
By decency, as he commands a rum
Asking me who I am, intending to listen.
I speak in a voice not mine, delicately softer.

His, a thunder, deep and beguiling,
Soothing to my ears, giving rhythm
To my heartbeat. Fascinated
By everything about him, his candour
And politeness, his interest and knowledge.

Sharing feelings for humanity, views
On the world, politics and the news,
Giving insight to discussions, offering
Different perspectives, enriching me
By the minute, as I absorb his essence.

He saw right through me, uncondemning
My compassion, undismissing my emotions,
Respectfully regarding me his equal,
Aspiring to be a little more like me, as I
Aspire to be a little more like him.

Closed the bar together, walked
The night streets laughing, in his bed
At dawn the light beams shining,
Heated bodies, in his arms enveloped
Ever since, my voice delicately softer.

[Featured painting: Bar in Copacabana by Juarez Machado (b.1941)]