Forest Essentials Quotes

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Every man who has reached even his intellectual teens begins to suspect that life is no farce; that it is not genteel comedy even; that it flowers and fructifies on the contrary out of the profoundest tragic depths of the essential dearth in which its subject's roots are plunged. The natural inheritance of everyone who is capable of spiritual life is an unsubdued forest where the wolf howls and the obscene bird of night chatters.
Henry James Sr.
Book beautiful book, miniscule forest, leaf after leaf your paper smells of the elements. . . .
Pablo Neruda (The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems)
People who take on complicated creative projects become lost at some point in the process. It is the nature of things—in order to create, you must internalize and almost become the project for a while, and that near-fusing with the project is an essential part of its emergence. But it is also confusing. Where once a movie’s writer/director had perspective, he or she loses it. Where once he or she could see a forest, now there are only trees. The details converge to obscure the whole, and that makes it difficult to move forward substantially in any one direction. The experience can be overwhelming.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Suppose we were planning to impose a dictatorial regime upon the American people—the following preparations would be essential: 1. Concentrate the populace in megalopolitan masses so that they can be kept under close surveillance and where, in case of trouble, they can be bombed, burned, gassed or machine-gunned with a minimum of expense and waste. 2. Mechanize agriculture to the highest degree of refinement, thus forcing most of the scattered farm and ranching population into the cities. Such a policy is desirable because farmers, woodsmen, cowboys, Indians, fishermen and other relatively self-sufficient types are difficult to manage unless displaced from their natural environment. 3. Restrict the possession of firearms to the police and the regular military organizations. 4. Encourage or at least fail to discourage population growth. Large masses of people are more easily manipulated and dominated than scattered individuals. 5. Continue military conscription. Nothing excels military training for creating in young men an attitude of prompt, cheerful obedience to officially constituted authority. 6. Divert attention from deep conflicts within the society by engaging in foreign wars; make support of these wars a test of loyalty, thereby exposing and isolating potential opposition to the new order. 7. Overlay the nation with a finely reticulated network of communications, airlines and interstate autobahns. 8. Raze the wilderness. Dam the rivers, flood the canyons, drain the swamps, log the forests, strip-mine the hills, bulldoze the mountains, irrigate the deserts and improve the national parks into national parking lots. Idle speculations, feeble and hopeless protest. It was all foreseen nearly half a century ago by the most cold-eyed and clear-eyed of our national poets, on California’s shore, at the end of the open road. Shine, perishing republic.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
If I love freedom above all else, then any commitment becomes a metaphor, a symbol. This touches on the difference between the forest fleer and the partisan:this distinction is not qualitative but essential in nature. The anarch is closer to Being. The partisan moves within the social or national party structure, the anarch is outside of it. Of course, the anarch cannot elude the party structure, since he lives in society.
Ernst Jünger (Eumeswil)
Be fruitful. God’s command in Genesis 1:28 is most often understood as referring to procreation, but filling the earth with people is only part of the meaning. The Hebrew word for fruitful means more than just sexual reproduction; it refers to being fruitful in either a literal or a figurative sense. Fruitfulness can be qualitative in nature as well as quantitative. Mankind has never had a problem being procreative—a current global population of over six billion is proof of that—but we do have a problem with being fruitful in the other ways God desires. Essentially, being fruitful means releasing our potential. Fruit is an end product. An apple tree may provide cool shade and be beautiful to look at, but until it produces apples it has not fulfilled its ultimate purpose. Apples contain the seeds of future apple trees and, therefore, future apples. However, apples also have something else to offer: a sweet and nourishing food to satisfy human physical hunger. In this sense, fruit has a greater purpose than simply reproducing; fruit exists to bless the world. Every person is born with a seed of greatness. God never tells us to go find seed; it is already within us. Inside each of us is the seed potential for a full forest—a bumper crop of fruit with which to bless the world. We each were endowed at birth with a unique gift, something we were born to do or become that no one else can achieve the way we can. God’s purpose is that we bear abundant fruit and release the blessings of our gift and potential to the world.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
Interbeing: If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are. If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is. Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Essentially these books consist of asking the reader to forget about the forest of Churchill’s life and instead focus on a few trees that a given writer believes deserve more attention
Thomas E. Ricks (Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom)
Intact forest ecosystems, by comparison, provide more ecological services than just board feet of lumber. They clean the water, provide shade, and give communities plants, insects, and animals. Protecting our forests is essential not only for our survival now, but also for the survival of generations to come.
Paul Stamets (Fantastic Fungi: How Mushrooms Can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet)
Retreating from the world will not liberate you. Happiness is not found in a secluded forest hut or an isolated cave. Enlightenment comes when you connect to the world. Only when you truly connect with everyone and everything else do you become enlightened. Only by going deeply and fully into the world do you attain liberation.
Guo Jun (Essential Chan Buddhism: The Character and Spirit of Chinese Zen)
Narrative cannot sustain formlessness any more than light can sustain darkness - it is the antithesis of formlessness, and so it can never truly communicate it. Chaos is the one truth that narrative must always betray, for in the creation of its delicate structures that reveal many truths about life, the portion of truth that has to do with incoherence and disorder must be obscured. More and more, it had felt to me that in the things I wrote, the degree of artifice was greater than the degree of truth, that the cost of administering form to what was essentially formless was akin to the cost of breaking the spirit of an animal that is otherwise too dangerous to live with.
Nicole Krauss (Forest Dark)
The tree is waiting. It has everything ready. Its fallen leaves are mulching the forest floor, and its roots are drawing up the extra winter moisture, providing a firm anchor against seasonal storms. Its ripe cones and nuts are providing essential food in this scarce time for mice and squirrels, and its bark is hosting hibernating insects and providing a source of nourishment for hungry deer. It is far from dead. It is in fact the life and soul of the wood. It’s just getting on with it quietly. It will not burst into life in the spring. It will just put on a new coat and face the world again.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
Bathing is not just about a quick rinse. Taking care of your whole self is essential in maintaining balance and contentment. And rituals around bathing play their part - they provide time in the day when you can focus on yourself, and clear your mind and body.
Erin Niimi Longhurst (Japonisme: Ikigai, Forest Bathing, Wabi-sabi and more)
Nabokov calls every great novel a fairy tale, I said. Well, I would agree. First, let me remind you that fairy tales abound with frightening witches who eat children and wicked stepmothers who poison their beautiful stepdaughters and weak fathers who leave their children behind in forests. But the magic comes from the power of good, that force which tells us we need not give in to the limitations and restrictions imposed on us by McFate, as Nabokov called it. Every fairy tale offers the potential to surpass present limits, so in a sense the fairy tale offers you freedoms that reality denies. In all great works of fiction, regardless of the grim reality they present, there is an affirmation of life against the transience of that life, an essential defiance.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
The water from a 2-inch downpour, for example—more than 54,000 gallons per acre—is captured almost entirely by an oak forest’s leaf litter and the organic humus it creates. Litter and humus don’t hold this water indefinitely, but they do corral it on-site just long enough for it to seep into the ground, replenishing the water table on which so many of us depend. In areas with no leaf litter, the same 2-inch rainstorm causes a flood.
Douglas W. Tallamy (The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees)
There are certain prejudices attached to the human mind which it requires all our wisdom to keep from interfering with our happiness; certain set notions, acquired in infancy, and cherished involuntarily by age, which grow up and assume a gloss so plausible, that few minds, in what is called a civilized country, can afterwards overcome them. Truth is often perverted by education. While the refined Europeans boast a standard of honour, and a sublimity of virtue, which often leads them from pleasure to misery, and from nature to error, the simple, uninformed American follows the impulse of his heart, and obeys the inspiration of wisdom. Nature, uncontaminated by false refinement, every where acts alike in the great occurrences of life. The Indian discovers his friend to be perfidious, and he kills him; the wild Asiatic does the same; the Turk, when ambition fires, or revenge provokes, gratifies his passion at the expence of life, and does not call it murder. Even the polished Italian, distracted by jealousy, or tempted by a strong circumstance of advantage, draws his stiletto, and accomplishes his purpose. It is the first proof of a superior mind to liberate itself from the prejudices of country, or of education… Self-preservation is the great law of nature; when a reptile hurts us, or an animal of prey threatens us, we think no farther, but endeavour to annihilate it. When my life, or what may be essential to my life, requires the sacrifice of another, or even if some passion, wholly unconquerable, requires it, I should be a madman to hesitate.
Ann Radcliffe (The Romance of the Forest)
The American chestnut may well be the greatest and most useful forest tree to ever grow on this Earth. Its decline is considered by many ecologists to be one of the greatest ecological disasters to strike the US since European contact.
Akiva Silver (Trees of Power: Ten Essential Arboreal Allies)
Fear can accumulate in our body, causing stress and tension. Rest is a precondition for healing. When animals in the forest get wounded, they find a place to lie down, and they rest completely for many days. They don’t think about food or anything else. They just rest, and they are able to heal themselves quite naturally. When we humans become fearful and overwhelmed with stress, we may go to the pharmacy and get drugs, but we rarely have the wisdom to stop our running around. We don’t know how to help ourselves.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm)
When architecture is viewed from a capital stewardship perspective, we see that the architect can have a beneficial impact on how vital resources are utilized. Right from the beginning of the design process, the architects choices have the power to influence forests, factories, jobs, land use, community dynamics and so much more. When these things are viewed as capital, and the process of appropriating them is approached with a spirit of stewardship, all of these things are influenced for better instead of for worse. And this results in multiplicative value effects.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr. (Business Essentials)
Cosmopolitanism gives us one country, and it is good; nationalism gives us a hundred countries, and every one of them is the best. Cosmopolitanism offers a positive, patriotism a chorus of superlatives. Patriotism begins the praise of the world at the nearest thing, instead of beginning it at the most distant, and thus it insures what is, perhaps, the most essential of all earthly considerations, that nothing upon earth shall go without its due appreciation. Wherever there is a strangely-shaped mountain upon some lonely island, wherever there is a nameless kind of fruit growing in some obscure forest, patriotism insures that this shall not go into darkness without being remembered in a song.
G.K. Chesterton
1:354-355 BEING TAKEN When you begin to surrender, forget yourself. Become senseless with no motive, so you can be blown from east to west and back without knowing anything, or caring either. It would not be surprising if in such mindlessness your essential being went hundreds of miles without you being aware of it. We see such wandering in the clouds and the waters. The forests and the crops too in their ways travel with caravans of people along the earth. God takes our souls on journeys he knows nothing of. Why? We don't know, being as we are the passed-out reveler laid in a wagon and driven elsewhere. What we love, what we want, is this being held in the presence, this being taken. That is the satisfaction, not learning why or how or where we are, or when we'll arrive somewhere else.
Bahauddin (The Drowned Book: Ecstatic and Earthy Reflections of the Father of Rumi)
The palliative of the primitive hut. The place where you are stripped back to essentials, to which you return—even if it happens not to be where you came from—to decontaminate and absolve yourself of the striving. The place where you disrobe, molt it all, the uniforms you’ve worn and the costumes you’ve gotten into, where you shed your batteredness and your resentment, your appeasement of the world and your defiance of the world, your manipulation of the world and its manhandling of you. The aging man leaves and goes into the woods—Eastern philosophical thought abounds with that motif, Taoist thought, Hindu thought, Chinese thought. The “forest dweller,” the last stage on life’s way. Think of those Chinese paintings of the old man under the mountain, the old Chinese man all alone under the mountain, receding from the agitation of the autobiographical. He has entered vigorously into competition with life; now, becalmed, he enters into competition with death, drawn down into austerity, the final business.
Philip Roth
Only a few miles from any city centre one would find oneself already in the backwoods, where there were bandits living in the forests, where roads turned into muddy bogs in spring, and where the external signs of life in the remote hamlets had remained essentially unchanged since the Middle Ages. Yet, despite living so close to the peasants, the educated classes of the cities knew next to nothing about their world. It was as exotic and alien to them as the natives of Africa were to their distant colonial rulers.
Orlando Figes (A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891 - 1924)
Beautiful was the world, colourful was the world, strange and mysterious was the world! Here was blue, here was yellow, here was green, the sky and the river flowed, the forest and the mountains were rigid, all of it was beautiful, all of it was mysterious and magical, and in its midst was he, Siddhartha, the awakening one, on the path to himself. All of this, all this yellow and blue, river and forest, entered Siddhartha for the first time through the eyes, was no longer a spell of Mara, was no longer the veil of Maya, was no longer a pointless and coincidental diversity of mere appearances, despicable to the deeply thinking Brahman, who scorns diversity, who seeks unity. Blue was blue, river was river, and if also in the blue and the river, in Siddhartha, the singular and divine lived hidden, so it was still that very divinity's way and purpose, to be here yellow, here blue, there sky, there forest, and here Siddhartha. The purpose and the essential properties were not somewhere behind the things, they were in them, in everything.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
Understand the power of the “cleansing storm.” In nature, cleansing storms are big infrequent events that clear out all the overgrowth that’s accumulated during good times. Forests need these storms to be healthy—without them, there would be more weak trees and a buildup of overgrowth that stifles other growth. The same is true for companies. Bad times that force cutbacks so only the strongest and most essential employees (or companies) survive are inevitable and can be great, even though they seem terrible at the time.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
Spend more time in nature to boost your own natural killer cells and enhance your immune system; bonus points for frequently visiting a forest with lots of evergreen trees. Or at least use some forest-based essential oils like cypress. •​Consider boron supplements for stem cells, as well as the other listed stem cell enhancers. Calcium fructoborate or food-grade boron (tetraborate) work well. •​Make sure your sexual function is that of a young person. If it isn’t, get your hormone levels checked and look at any prescription meds that may be causing a problem. To improve sexual function, consider GAINSWave treatments or simply practice Kegel exercises on a daily basis.
Dave Asprey (Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever)
Help. We can be freed from a damaging insistence on forward thrust, from a commitment to running wildly down a convenient path that might actually be taking us deeper into the dark forest. Praying “Help” means that we ask that Something give us the courage to stop in our tracks, right where we are, and turn our fixation away from the Gordian knot of our problems. We stop the toxic peering and instead turn our eyes to something else: to our feet on the sidewalk, to the middle distance, to the hills, whence our help comes—someplace else, anything else. Maybe this is a shift of only eight degrees, but it can be a miracle. It may be one of those miracles where your heart sinks, because you think it means you have lost. But in surrender you have won. And if it were me, after a moment, I would say, Thanks.
Anne Lamott (Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers)
The etymological meaning of Veda is sacred knowledge or wisdom. There are four Vedas: Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva. Together they constitute the samhitas that are the textual basis of the Hindu religious system. To these samhitas were attached three other kinds of texts. These are, firstly, the Brahmanas, which is essentially a detailed description of rituals, a kind of manual for the priestly class, the Brahmins. The second are the Aranyakas; aranya means forest, and these ‘forest manuals’ move away from rituals, incantations and magic spells to the larger speculations of spirituality, a kind of compendium of contemplations of those who have renounced the world. The third, leading from the Aranyakas, are the Upanishads, which, for their sheer loftiness of thought are the foundational texts of Hindu philosophy and metaphysics.
Pavan K. Varma (Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism's Greatest Thinker)
Another misconception is that we don’t need to worry about the local supply of insects because insects are everywhere all the time. If this is true, where do all those insects come from and what do they eat? Do they just appear out of nowhere? Is Aristotle’s theory of spontaneous generation alive and well in our popular culture? I hope not. The fact is that all insects, every last one of them, are produced directly or indirectly by plants. They either eat some plant part, or they eat another animal that ate some plant part. What follows logically, then, is that when we reduce the amount of plants in any given place, we reduce the diversity and abundance of insects. Alarming headlines from around the world are reminding us of the critical linkage between plants and insects; we have removed more than half of the forests on earth and, not surprisingly, insect populations have declined globally by at least 45% since 1979
Douglas W. Tallamy (The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees)
Some tasks that require good systemizing, such as tracking animals or inventing a new tool, take a long time. They might take days, months, or years. Many such tasks benefit from a lack of distraction and lots of hard concentration, preferably in solitude. So it might be that even if you were good at systemizing you might never accomplish anything great if you were also good at empathizing, since you might then have an equally strong drive to socialize. But supposing you were low on empathizing. You might then be content to lock yourself away for days without much conversation, to focus long and deep on the system that was your current project. In pre-industrial societies this could involve fixing old axe-heads, or perhaps a four-day trek into the forest in search of food for your family (this might be the ancestral equivalent of the modern day pilot). The pay-off from not needing people as much as others do could be great
Simon Baron-Cohen (The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism)
SIDDHARTHA LEARNED SOMETHING NEW ON every step of his path, for the world was transformed, and his heart was enchanted. He saw the sun rising over the mountains with their forests and setting over the distant beach with its palm-trees. At night, he saw the stars in the sky in their fixed positions and the crescent of the moon floating like a boat in the blue. He saw trees, stars, animals, clouds, rainbows, rocks, herbs, flowers, stream and river, the glistening dew in the bushes in the morning, distant high mountains which were blue and pale, birds sang and bees, wind silverishly blew through the rice-field. All of this, a thousand-fold and colourful, had always been there, always the sun and the moon had shone, always rivers had roared and bees had buzzed, but in former times all of this had been nothing more to Siddhartha than a fleeting, deceptive veil before his eyes, looked upon in distrust, destined to be penetrated and destroyed by thought, since it was not the essential existence, since this essence lay beyond, on the other side of, the visible.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
Statement Preliminary to the Invention of Solace Whether they bend as compliantly as black leaves Curved and hanging in the heavy dew in the grey dawn, Or whether they wait as motionless as ice-coated Insects and spears of roots on a northern cliff; Whether they tighten once like the last white edge Of primrose taken suddenly skyward By a gust of frost, or swallow as hard as stones Careened and scattered by a current of river; Whether they mourn by the bright light of grief Running like a spine of grass straight through the sound Of their songs, or whether they fall quietly Through indefinite darkness like a seed of sorrel Bound alive beneath snow; whether they mourn in multitudes, blessed like a congregation of winter forest moaning for the white drifting children of storms they can never remember, or whether they grieve separately, divided even from themselves, parted like golden plovers blown and calling over a buffeted sea; something must come to them, something as clear and fair and continuous as the eye of the bluegill open in calm water, something as silent as the essential spaces of breath heard inside the voice naming all of their wishes, something touching them in the same way the sun deep in the pit of the pear touches the spring sky by the light of its own leaf. A comfort understood like that must be present now and possible.
Pattiann Rogers (Quickening Fields (Penguin Poets))
I am not against playfully imagining possible decivilized worlds. But for such imaginings to be truly playful and to have experimental potential, they cannot be models worked out from abstracted conceptions of either past or future societies. In fact, in my opinion, it is best to leave the concept of “society” itself behind, and rather think in terms of perpetually changing, interweaving relationships between unique, desiring individuals. That said, we can only play and experiment now, where our desire for the apparently “impossible” meets the reality that surrounds us. If civilization were to be dismantled in our lifetime, we would not confront a world of lush forests and plains and healthy deserts teeming with an abundance of wildlife. We would instead confront a world full of the detritus of civilization — abandoned buildings, tools, scrap, etc., etc. Imaginations that are not chained either to realism or to a primitivist moral ideology could find many ways to use, explore and play with all of this — the possibilities are nearly infinite. More significantly, this is an immediate possibility, and one that can be explicitly connected with a destructive attack against civilization. And this immediacy is utterly essential, because I am living now, you are living now, not several hundred years from now, when an enforced program aimed toward a primitivist ideal might be able to create a world in which this ideal could be realized globally — if primitivists have their revolution now and enforce their program.
Wolfi Landstreicher
In the car ahead, Jane was thinking fast and furiously. She had felt the purpose for which Tarzan had asked a few words with her, and she knew that she must be prepared to give him an answer in the very near future. He was not the sort of person one could put off, and somehow that very thought made her wonder if she did not really fear him. And could she love where she feared? She realized the spell that had been upon her in the depths of that far-off jungle, but there was no spell of enchantment now in prosaic Wisconsin. Nor did the immaculate young Frenchman appeal to the primal woman in her, as had the stalwart forest god. Did she love him? She did not know—now. She glanced at Clayton out of the corner of her eye. Was not here a man trained in the same school of environment in which she had been trained—a man with social position and culture such as she had been taught to consider as the prime essentials to congenial association? Did not her best judgment point to this young English nobleman, whose love she knew to be of the sort a civilized woman should crave, as the logical mate for such as herself? Could she love Clayton? She could see no reason why she could not. Jane was not coldly calculating by nature, but training, environment and heredity had all combined to teach her to reason even in matters of the heart. That she had been carried off her feet by the strength of the young giant when his great arms were about her in the distant African forest, and again today, in the Wisconsin woods, seemed to her only attributable to a temporary mental reversion to type on her part—to the psychological appeal of the primeval man to the primeval woman in her nature. If he should never touch her again, she reasoned, she would never feel attracted toward him. She had not loved him, then. It had been nothing more than a passing hallucination, super-induced by excitement and by personal contact. Excitement would not always mark their future relations, should she marry him, and the power of personal contact eventually would be dulled by familiarity. Again she glanced at Clayton. He was very handsome and every inch a gentleman. She should be very proud of such a husband.
Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan of the Apes (Tarzan, #1))
This might be perhaps the simplest single-paragraphy summation of civilizational advances, a concise summary of growth that matters most. Our ability to provide a reliable, adequate food supply thanks to yields an order of magnitude higher than in early agricultures has been made possible by large energy subsidies and it has been accompanied by excessive waste. A near-tripling of average life expectancies has been achieved primarily by drastic reductions of infant mortality and by effective control of bacterial infections. Our fastest mass-travel speeds are now 50-150 times higher than walking. Per capita economic product in affluent countries is roughly 100 times larger than in antiquity, and useful energy deployed per capita is up to 200-250 times higher. Gains in destructive power have seen multiples of many (5-11) orders of magnitude. And, for an average human, there has been essentially an infinitely large multiple in access to stored information, while the store of information civilization-wide will soon be a trillion times larger than it was two millenia ago. And this is the most worrisome obverse of these advances: they have been accompanied by a multitude of assaults on the biosphere. Foremost among them has been the scale of the human claim on plants, including a significant reduction of the peak posts-glacial area of natural forests (on the order of 20%), mostly due to deforestation in temperate and tropical regions; a concurrent expansion of cropland to cover about 11% of continental surfaces; and an annual harvest of close to 20% of the biosphere's primary productivity (Smil 2013a). Other major global concerns are the intensification of natural soil erosion rates, the reduction of untouched wilderness areas to shrinking isolated fragments, and a rapid loss of biodiversity in general and within the most species-rich biomes in particular. And then there is the leading global concern: since 1850 we have emitted close to 300 Gt of fossil carbon to the atmosphere (Boden and Andres 2017). This has increased tropospheric CO2 concentrations from 280 ppm to 405 ppm by the end of 2017 and set the biosphere on a course of anthropogenic global warming (NOAA 2017). These realities clearly demonstrate that our preferences have not been to channel our growing capabilities either into protecting the biosphere or into assuring decent prospects for all newborns and reducing life's inequalities to tolerable differences. Judging by the extraordinary results that are significantly out of line with the long-term enhancements of our productive and protective abilities, we have preferred to concentrate disproportionately on multiplying the destructive capacities of our weapons and, even more so, on enlarging our abilities for the mass-scale acquisition and storage of information and for instant telecommunication, and have done so to an extent that has become not merely questionable but clearly counterproductive in many ways.
Vaclav Smil (Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities (Mit Press))
We see three men standing around a vat of vinegar. Each has dipped his finger into the vinegar and has tasted it. The expression on each man's face shows his individual reaction. Since the painting is allegorical, we are to understand that these are no ordinary vinegar tasters, but are instead representatives of the "Three Teachings" of China, and that the vinegar they are sampling represents the Essence of Life. The three masters are K'ung Fu-tse (Confucius), Buddha, and Lao-tse, author of the oldest existing book of Taoism. The first has a sour look on his face, the second wears a bitter expression, but the third man is smiling. To Kung Fu-tse (kung FOOdsuh), life seemed rather sour. He believed that the present was out step with the past, and that the government of man on earth was out of harmony with the Way of Heaven, the government of, the universe. Therefore, he emphasized reverence for the Ancestors, as well as for the ancient rituals and ceremonies in which the emperor, as the Son of Heaven, acted as intermediary between limitless heaven and limited earth. Under Confucianism, the use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions, and phrases all added up to an extremely complex system of rituals, each used for a particular purpose at a particular time. A saying was recorded about K'ung Fu-tse: "If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit." This ought to give an indication of the extent to which things were carried out under Confucianism. To Buddha, the second figure in the painting, life on earth was bitter, filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering. The world was seen as a setter of traps, a generator of illusions, a revolving wheel of pain for all creatures. In order to find peace, the Buddhist considered it necessary to transcend "the world of dust" and reach Nirvana, literally a state of "no wind." Although the essentially optimistic attitude of the Chinese altered Buddhism considerably after it was brought in from its native India, the devout Buddhist often saw the way to Nirvana interrupted all the same by the bitter wind of everyday existence. To Lao-tse (LAOdsuh), the harmony that naturally existed between heaven and earth from the very beginning could be found by anyone at any time, but not by following the rules of the Confucianists. As he stated in his Tao To Ching (DAO DEH JEENG), the "Tao Virtue Book," earth was in essence a reflection of heaven, run by the same laws - not by the laws of men. These laws affected not only the spinning of distant planets, but the activities of the birds in the forest and the fish in the sea. According to Lao-tse, the more man interfered with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance. The more forcing, the more trouble. Whether heavy or fight, wet or dry, fast or slow, everything had its own nature already within it, which could not be violated without causing difficulties. When abstract and arbitrary rules were imposed from the outside, struggle was inevitable. Only then did life become sour. To Lao-tse, the world was not a setter of traps but a teacher of valuable lessons. Its lessons needed to be learned, just as its laws needed to be followed; then all would go well. Rather than turn away from "the world of dust," Lao-tse advised others to "join the dust of the world." What he saw operating behind everything in heaven and earth he called Tao (DAO), "the Way." A basic principle of Lao-tse's teaching was that this Way of the Universe could not be adequately described in words, and that it would be insulting both to its unlimited power and to the intelligent human mind to attempt to do so. Still, its nature could be understood, and those who cared the most about it, and the life from which it was inseparable, understood it best.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
Even if I ultimately do not know this stone absolutely, even if knowledge about the stone gradually approaches infinity but is never completed, it is still the case that the perceived stone is there, that I recognized it, that I named it, and that we agree upon a certain number of claims regarding it. So it seems we are led into a contradiction: the belief in the thing and in the world can only signify the presumption of a completed synthesis--and yet this completion is rendered impossible by the very nature of the perspectives to be tied together, since each of them refers indefinitely to other perspectives through its horizon. There is indeed a contradiction, so long as we are operating within being, but the contradiction ceases...if we operate within time, and if we succeed in understanding time as the measure of being. The synthesis of horizons is essentially temporal, that is...it does not suffer time, and it does not have to overcome time; but rather, it merges with the very movement by which time goes by. Through my perceptual field with its spatial horizons, I am present to my surroundings, I coexist with all the other landscapes that extend beyond, and all of these perspectives together form a single temporal wave, an instant of the world. Through my perceptual field with its temporal horizons, I am present to my present, to the entire past that has preceded it, and to a future. And at the same time, this ubiquity is not actual, it is clearly only intentional. The landscape that I have before my eyes can certainly announce to me the shape of the landscape hidden behind the hill, but it only does so with a certain degree of indetermination, for here there are fields, while over there might be a forest, and, in any case, beyond the next horizon I know only that there will be either land or sea, and beyond again, either open sea or frozen sea, and beyond again, either earth or sky, and, within the confines of the earth's atmosphere, I know only that there will be something to see in general. I possess no more than the abstract style of these distant landscapes. Likewise, even though each past is gradually enclosed entirely in the more recent past that it had immediately succeeded--thanks to the interlocking of intentionalities--the past degrades, and my first years are lost in the general existence of my body of which I know merely that it was already confronted with colors, sounds, and a similar nature to the one I presently see. My possession of the distant landscape and of the past, like my possession of the future, is thus only a possession in principle; my life slips away from me on all sides and it is circumscribed by impersonal zones. The contradiction that we find between the reality of the world and its incompleteness is the contradiction between the ubiquity of consciousness and its engagement in a field of presence...If the synthesis could be actual, if my experience formed a closed system, if the thing and the world could be defined once and for all, if spatio-temporal horizons could (even ideally) be made explicit and if the world could be conceived from nowhere, then nothing would exist. I would survey the world from above, and far from all the places and times suddenly becoming real, they would in fact cease to be real because I would not inhabit any of them and I would be nowhere engaged. If I am always and everywhere, then I am never and nowhere. Thus, there is no choice between the incompleteness of the world and its existence, between the engagement and the ubiquity of consciousness, or between transcendence and immanence, since each of these terms, when it is affirmed by itself, makes its contradiction appear. What must be understood is that for the same reason I am present here and now, and present everywhere and always, or absent from here and now and absent from every place and from every time. This ambiguity is not an imperfection of consciousness or of existence, it is their very definition.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Phenomenology of Perception)
TO UNDERSTAND WHAT the Braintrust does and why it is so central to Pixar, you have to start with a basic truth: People who take on complicated creative projects become lost at some point in the process. It is the nature of things—in order to create, you must internalize and almost become the project for a while, and that near-fusing with the project is an essential part of its emergence. But it is also confusing. Where once a movie’s writer/director had perspective, he or she loses it. Where once he or she could see a forest, now there are only trees. The details converge to obscure the whole, and that makes it difficult to move forward substantially in any one direction. The experience can be overwhelming.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: an inspiring look at how creativity can - and should - be harnessed for business success by the founder of Pixar)
[A] group of leading academics argue that humanity must stay within defined boundaries for a range of essential Earth-system processes to avoid catastrophic environmental change. . . . They propose that for three of these—the nitrogen cycle, the rate of loss of species and anthropogenic climate change—the maximum acceptable limit has already been transgressed. In addition, they say that humanity is fast approaching the boundaries for freshwater use, for converting forests and other natural ecosystems to cropland and urban areas, and for acidification of the oceans. Crossing even one of these planetary boundaries would risk triggering abrupt or irreversible environmental changes that would be very damaging or even catastrophic for society.
Jonathan A. Moo (Let Creation Rejoice: Biblical Hope and Ecological Crisis)
He imagined the world without men. Cities would be reclaimed by nature and overgrown until, hundreds of years hence, they would look much like the mysterious ruins sticking out of the jungles of Asia and South America. Ruins, relics, no more. He honestly did not believe the entire race would be exterminated, just the lion’s share. What was left would be very little different from Neolithic man—hunters and scavengers. Beasts that would rob from each other, rape, murder, and hunt each other down as prey. Essentially, what men were now, but without anything but the most rudimentary tribal traditions to support them and absolutely no laws to prevent them from acting like the slavering beasts they indeed were. Hunters and killers, apex predators that would abandon their churches to worship in the forest and give praise to the cycles of the moon. Given time, things like ethics and morality and even higher culture itself would be forgotten.
Tim Curran (Hive (Hive, #1))
Interbeing If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we ha vea new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are. If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And wesee the wheat. We now the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is. Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.
Thich Nhat Hanh
INTERBEING If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper “inter-are.” “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, “inter-be.” If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist. Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here in this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here—time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything coexists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. To be is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is. Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper would be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without non-paper elements, like mind, logger, sunshine, and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh (Shambhala Pocket Classics))
The more we mystify value differences as ultimately personal, subjective, irrational, or intimately spiritual, unfortunately, the more we pull the wool over our own eyes, the more we will misunderstand what value differences involve. The more we presume that value differences are so personally subjective that they are virtually beyond discussion, the less likely will we be even to try to discuss such differences. The more that our own rhetoric of "deep" and "fundamental" value differences presumes unbridgeable chasms between people with differing values, the more likely we will be wring our hands, and the less likely we'll be to look for practical ways to live together, acknowledging and honoring rather than fearing, recognizing rather than shunning, understanding rather than obfuscating whatever real value differences we may have. Deep value differences deserve serious attention, to be sure, but our common ways of speaking about those differences—with the labels fundamental, essential, unbridgeable, for example—can often just make our problems worse, not better.
John Forester
Forest Fires: the Fractal Boundary Imagine a plantation of evenly spaced trees on a very hot, dry day. As the temperature soars, the odd leaf or twig ignites, sending a whole tree up in flames. This is an essentially random process – the factors involved are beyond our powers of prediction. But once a tree is in flames, the fire easily spreads to neighbouring trees, and this process can now be modelled with iterative techniques.
Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon (Introducing Fractals: A Graphic Guide (Graphic Guides))
More Phase Transitions This principle applies just as much to the spread of infectious diseases or magnetic polarity as to forest fires. It is essentially the same process unfolding.
Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon (Introducing Fractals: A Graphic Guide (Graphic Guides))
In one unusual study, people were asked to classify over a hundred examples of local specimens into related species. The people who took part in this experiment were the Aguaruna, a tribal people living in the forest in northern Peru. The following results were found: men’s classification systems had more sub-categories (in other words, they introduced greater differentiation) and more consistency. More striking, the criteria that the Aguaruna men used to decide which animals belonged together more closely resembled the taxonomic criteria used by Western (mostly male) biologists.
Simon Baron-Cohen (The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism)
Most of us have very scheduled lives and very full calendars. But do we have enough lazy days in our calendar? A lazy day is a day for us to be without any scheduled activities. We just let the day unfold naturally, timelessly. On this day we have a chance to reestablish the balance in ourselves. We may do walking meditation on our own or with a friend, or do sitting meditation in the forest. We might like to read a little or write
Thich Nhat Hanh (How to Relax (Mindfulness Essentials Book 5))
Every man who appreciates the majesty and beauty of the wilderness and of wild life, should strike hands with the far-sighted men who wish to preserve our material resources, in the effort to keep our forests and our game-beasts, game-birds, and game-fish—indeed, all the living creatures of prairie and woodland and seashore—from wanton destruction. Above all, we should recognize that the effort toward this end is essentially a democratic movement. It is entirely within our power as a nation to preserve large tracts of wilderness, which are valueless for agricultural purposes and unfit for settlement, as playgrounds for rich and poor alike.… But this end can only be achieved by wise laws and by a resolute enforcement of the laws.
Edmund Morris (Theodore Rex)
And that's how it was, that night, shadow and space, earth and time, something that runs and falls and passes. And that's how all the nights go over the earth, leaving only a vague black odor. A leaf falls, a drop on the earth muffles its sound, the forest sleeps, the waters, the meadows, the bells, the eyes. I hear you and you breathe, my love, we sleep.
Pablo Neruda (The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems)
Crews that fight forest fires in Oregon are now so heavily Hispanic that in 2003, the Oregon Department of Forestry required that crew chiefs be bilingual. In 2006, the department started forcing out veterans. Jaime Pickering, who used to run a squad of 20 firefighters, says the rule means “job losses for Americans—the white people.” Zita Wilensky, a 16-year veteran, was the only white employee of Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Unit. Her co-workers made fun of her and called her gringa and Americana. Miss Wilensky says her boss gave her 60 days to learn Spanish, and fired her when she failed to do so. It is increasingly common, therefore, for Americans to be penalized because they cannot speak Spanish, but employers who insist that workers speak English are guilty of discrimination. In 2001, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission forced a small Catholic college in San Antonio to pay $2.4 million to housekeepers who were required to speak English at work. There are now about 45 million Hispanics in the country. What will the status of Spanish be when there are 130 million Hispanics, as the Census Bureau projects for 2050? In 2000, President Bill Clinton decided that the prohibition against discrimination because of “national origin” in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant that if a foreigner cannot speak to a government agency in his own language he is a victim. Executive Order 13166 required all local governments that receive federal money (all of them, essentially) to translate official documents into any language spoken by at least 3,000 people in the area or 10 percent of the local population. It also required interpreters for non-English speakers. In 2002, the Office of Management and Budget estimated that hospitals alone would spend $268 million every year implementing Executive Order 13166, and state departments of motor vehicles would spend $8.5 million. OMB estimated that communicating with food stamp recipients who don’t speak English would cost $25.2 million per year.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
princes continued walking in the forest with the sage. They stopped at a place where the rivers, Saryu and Ganges met. They crossed the river in a boat. After that they reached another dense forest. They could only hear the sounds of animals and birds. The sage said, “The forest is essentially a peaceful area except from the danger of Tadaka and her sons. Suketu, a powerful Yaksha, performed a penance for a son. Pleased with him, Lord Brahma offered him a boon that he would have a child. Suketu brought up Tadaka like a son as she was blessed with the strength of thousand elephants. Since he wanted a son, Tadaka married Sunda and had two sons, Maricha and Subahu. Once, Sunda irked Sage Agastya so the sage cursed him to death. Angered with this, Tadaka and Maricha troubled the sage, who cursed them too that she and Maricha would become demons. Since then, Tadaka, Maricha and Subahu began to destroy the beautiful forest and frightened those who came there.
Maple Press (Ramayana Tales (Illustrated))
As a result, much of the red Amazonian soil is weathered, harshly acid, and almost bereft of essential nutrients—one reason ecologists refer to the tropical forest as a “wet desert.
Charles C. Mann (1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus)
• Lodging REITs (e.g., Hospitality Properties Trust [HPT]), which hold properties such as hotels, resorts, and travel centers. • Self-storage REITs (e.g., Public Storage [PSA]), which specialize in both owning self-storage facilities and renting storage spaces to customers. • Office REITs (e.g., Boston Properties [BXP]), which own, operate, and lease space in office buildings. • Industrial REITs (e.g., PS Business Parks [PSB]), which own and manage properties such as warehouses and distribution centers. • Data center REITs (e.g., Equinix [EQIX]), which own data centers, properties that store and operate data servers and other computer networking equipment. • Timberland REITs (e.g., Rayonier [RYN]), which hold forests and other types of real estate dedicated to harvesting timber. • Specialty REITs, which narrow in on very specific properties such as casinos, cell phone towers, or educational facilities.
Michele Cagan (Real Estate Investing 101: From Finding Properties and Securing Mortgage Terms to REITs and Flipping Houses, an Essential Primer on How to Make Money with Real Estate (Adams 101 Series))
In their urge for survival, the seed-bearing trees hit upon countless different devices for carrying pollen from one flower to another, but essentially the methods fall into two main categories. The first is wind-pollination, which requires the presence of light, small, dry pollen grains, easily shaken from the stamens, or male flowers. To receive the tiny bits of pollen that are blown about by the wind, the stigmata of flowers must be long, or feathery, or sticky, or so constructed as to trap the fine dust. All conifers are pollinated this way, as are the poplar, ash, birch, oak, beech, and certain other species. But since this method is so haphazard, a disproportionately high percentage of pollen is wasted and these trees must produce immense quantities of pollen in order that even a tiny amount will be effective. Scientists have estimated that a single stamen of a beech tree, for example, may yield 2,000 grains, while the branch system of a vigorous young birch can produce 100 million grains a year. One pine or spruce cone alone releases between 1 and 2 million grains of pollen into the air: In Sweden, which is covered with spruce forests, an estimated 75,000 tons of pollen are blown from the trees each year.
Richard M. Ketchum (The Secret Life of the Forest)
Conflict was not allowed between us, let alone fury; everything had to go unspoken, while the surface remained passive. In this way, I’d found myself returned to a boundless loneliness that, while unhappy, was at least not foreign to me. “I am essentially a buoyant person,” my husband once told me, “while you are a person who ponders everything.” But over time the conditions both within and without had proved too much for his buoyancy, and he, too, was sinking in his separate sea. In our own ways, we had each come to understand that we had lost faith in our marriage. And yet we didn’t know how to act on this understanding, as one does not know how to act on the understanding, for example, that the afterlife does not exist.
Nicole Krauss (Forest Dark)
THE MAGNET …I heard him coming through brambles, through narrow forests, I bid my nights unwind, I bid my days turn back, I broke my windows, I unsealed my locks.
Ruth Stone (Essential Ruth Stone)
A telling experiment on ape pointing was conducted by Charles Menzel at the same Language Research Center that is home to Kanzi. Charlie let a female chimpanzee named Panzee watch while he hid food in a forested area near Panzee’s cage. Panzee followed the food-hiding from behind the bars. Since she could not go where Charlie was, she would need human help to get the food. Charlie would dig a small hole in the ground and hide a bag of M&M’s or place a candy bar in some bushes. Sometimes he would do this after all people had left for the day. This meant that Panzee could not communicate with anybody about what she knew until the next day. When caretakers arrived in the morning, they didn’t know about the experiment. Panzee first had to get their attention and then provide information to someone who did not know what she knew and who at first had no clue what she was “talking” about. During a live demonstration of Panzee’s skills, Charlie noted as an aside to me that caretakers generally have a higher opinion of apes’ mental abilities than the philosophers and psychologists who write on the topic, few of whom have interacted with these animals on a daily basis. It was essential for the experiment, he explained, that Panzee dealt with people who took her seriously. All those recruited by Panzee said they were at first surprised by her behavior, but soon they understood what she was trying to get them to do. Following her pointing, beckoning, panting, and calling, they had no trouble finding the item hidden in the forest. Without her instructions, they would not have known where to look. Panzee never pointed in the wrong direction or to any location used on earlier occasions. The result was communication about a past event, present in the ape’s memory, to people who knew nothing about it and were unable to give her any clues.
Frans de Waal (Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are)
Even as the leaves are falling, the buds of next year’s crop are already in place, waiting to erupt again in spring. Most trees produce their buds in high summer, and the autumn leaf fall reveals them, neat and expectant, protected from the cold by thick scales. We rarely notice them because we think we’re seeing the skeleton of the tree, a dead thing until the sun returns./ The tree is waiting. It has everything ready. It’s fallen leaves are mulching the forest floor, and its roots are drawing up the extra winter moisture, providing a firm anchor against seasonal storms. Its ripe cones and nuts are providing essential food in this scarce time for mice and squirrels, and its bark is hosting hibernating insects and providing a source of nourishment for hungry deer. It is far from dead. It is in fact the life and soul of the wood. It’s just getting on with it quietly. It will not burst into life in the spring. It will just put on a new coat and face the world again.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
Touch was a main channel of communication among the forest people. Among Terrans touch is always likely to imply threat, aggression, and so for them there is often nothing between the formal handshake and the sexual caress. All that blank was filled by the Athsheans with varied customs of touch. Caress as signal and reassurance was as essential to them as it is to mother and child or to lover and lover; but its significance was social, not only maternal and sexual. It was part of their language, it was therefore patterned, codified, yet infinitely modifiable. “They’re always pawing each other,” some of the colonists sneered, unable to see in these touch-exchanges anything but their own eroticism which, forced to concentrate itself exclusively on sex and then repressed and frustrated, invades and poisons every sensual pleasure, every humane response: the victory of a blinded, furtive Cupid over the great brooding mother of all the seas and stars, all the leaves of trees, all the gestures of men...
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Word for World Is Forest)
Similarly, I ask our teams what's the one thing we should be doing urgently that we are not doing for some reason? This is to avoid getting too engrossed in day‐to‐day activities and failing to see the forest for the trees. Always be paranoid about what you are not doing but should be. And, conversely, what are you doing that's of marginal value but crowding our more essential ways to use our time and resources?
Frank Slootman (Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity)
Suppose we were planning to impose a dictatorial regime upon the American people — the following preparations would be essential: 1. Concentrate the populace in megalopolitan masses so that they can be kept under close surveillance and where, in case of trouble, they can be bombed, burned, gassed or machine-gunned with a minimum of trouble. 2. Mechanize agriculture to the highest degree of refinement, thus forcing most of the scattered farm and ranching population into the cities. Such a policy is desirable because farmers, woodsmen, cowboys, Indians, fishermen and other relatively self-sufficient types are difficult to manage unless displaced from their natural environment. 3. Restrict the possession of firearms to the police and the regular military organizations. 4. Encourage or at least fail to discourage population growth. Large masses of people are more easy manipulated and dominated that scattered individuals. 5. Continue military conscription. Nothing excels military training for creating in young men an attitude of prompt, cheerful obedience to officially constituted authority. 6. Divert attention from deep conflicts within society by engaging in foreign wars; make support of these wars a test for loyalty, thereby exposing and isolating potential opposition to the new order. 7. Overlay the nation with a finely reticulated network of communications, airlines and interstate autobahns. 8. Raze the wilderness. Dam the rivers, flood the canyons, drain the swamps, log the forests, strip-mine the hills, bulldoze the mountains, irrigate the deserts and improve the national parks into national parking lots.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
Kuznets created a metric called Gross National Product, which provided the basis for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) metric we use today. But Kuznets was careful to emphasise that GDP is flawed. It tallies up the market value of total production, but it doesn’t care whether that production is helpful or harmful. GDP makes no distinction between $100 worth of tear gas and $100 worth of education. And, perhaps more importantly, it does not account for the ecological and social costs of production. If you cut down a forest for timber, GDP goes up. If you extend the working day and push back the retirement age, GDP goes up. If pollution causes hospital visits to rise, GDP goes up. But GDP says nothing about the loss of the forest as habitat for wildlife, or as a sink for emissions. It says nothing about the toll that too much work and pollution takes on people’s bodies and minds. And not only does it leave out what is bad, it also leaves out much of what is good: it doesn’t count most non-monetised economic activities, even when they are essential to human life and well-being. If you grow your own food, clean your own house or care for your ageing parents, GDP says nothing.
Jason Hickel (Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World)
Forests renew themselves through natural disturbances such as wind, fire, insects and disease. These disturbances result in the creation of areas of dead trees within which a new forest will grow. You see, the nature of Nature is unyielding change. And sometimes the foundations we stand on must fall so that they may be replaced with even stronger ones. Breakthroughs require breakdowns. Progress cannot happen without upheaval and the birth of something better always demands a death of something familiar. Uncomfortable disturbance is essential not only for your evolution but for your very survival. Just like within my forest.
Robin S. Sharma (The Titan Playbook: Aim for Iconic, Rise to Legendary, Make History)
A reverence and respect they’d bestowed upon the natural world captivated the youngster, an element of their literature to which she could wholly relate; the worship of Nature as God. During this period of rapid growth, an occasional pause for reflection was called for as a Natural conversion began; transformation, turning her away from organized religion and into the woods. She came to consider religion incompatible with common sense and sensibilities. Seeking inspiration, she’d gone to the forest, looking down, then up. Locating a proper niche; perhaps she was a pagan. The recovering Catholic was not offended by the dismissal, knowing in her heart and mind she did not belong there in the first place. Her concept of God was unrestricted; not based on the limitations imposed by doctrine or dogma. Essentially, it was bigger than they could imagine, continually evolving as a perception of power as being; God as infinite mind. Not harsh or judgmental in application of Natural law; not cruel or exclusive; no intolerance allowed. A not-so-subtle predisposition toward natural science was taking root in her consciousness. The notion of Original Sin was, in particular, pure absurdity: anathema to the young lady who knew the difference between good and evil, right and wrong; darkness and light. Self-righteously policing her behavior; recognizing it as a matter of personal responsibility, the idea of being born in sin was idiotic. Andrea did not rely upon a higher authority. She was a higher authority; a living manifestation of God-consciousness. Ultimately, she alone would determine how best to live her life. Neither Holy Ghost nor dastardly demon had the right to interfere or intervene in a supremely personal process.
Andrea Perron (House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story Volume One)
And we might also give thought to the legacy that they have created, by which the people continue to live today. What is this legacy? We often remember ancient or traditional cultures for the monuments they have left behind--the megaliths of Stonehenge, the temples of Bangkok, the pyramids of Teotihuacán, the great ruins of Machu Picchu. People like the Koyukon have created no such monuments, but they have left something that may be unique- greater and more significant as a human achievement. This legacy is the vast land itself, enduring and essentially unchanged despite having supported human life for countless centuries. Koyukon people and their ancestors, bound to a strict code of morality governing their behavior toward nature, have been the land's stewards and caretakers. Only because they have nurtured it so well does this great legacy of land exist today. Here, perhaps, is the greatest wisdom in a world that Raven made.
Richard K. Nelson (Make Prayers to the Raven: A Koyukon View of the Northern Forest)
Pack warm- and cool-weather clothes; don’t forget essentials: medicine, Social Security cards, underwear, toothbrushes, contact numbers.
Melissa Payne (A Light in the Forest)
Tm merely trying to do my job. God, Scholscher, how can we talk of progress when we’re still destroying, all around us, life’s most beautiful and noble manifestations? Our artists, our architects, our scientists, our poets, sweat blood to make life more beautiful, and at the same time we force our way into the last forests left to us, with our finger on the trigger of an automatic weapon, and we poison the oceans and the very air we breathe with our atomic devices. Perhaps this madman Morel will succeed in rousing public opinion. By God, I feel I could join him in his maquis. We’ve got to resist this degradation. Are we no longer capable of respecting nature, or defending a living beauty that has no earning power, no utility, no object except to let itself be seen from time to time? Liberty, too, is a natural splendor on its way to becoming extinct. I’m speaking for myself to get it off my chest, because I haven't the courage to act like Morel. It’s absolutely essential that man should manage to preserve something other than what helps to make soles for shoes or sewing machines, that he should leave a margin, a sanctuary, where some of life’s beauty can take refuge and where he himself can feel safe from his own cleverness and folly. Only then will it be possible to begin talking of a civilization. A utilitarian civilization will always go on to its logical conclusion-forced labor camps. We must leave a margin. And besides, let me tell you . . . There's nothing to be so proud of, is there?
Romain Gary (The Roots of Heaven)
But from the height where we were I could see, on the other side of the ravine that hid the stream, a whole part of the forest quivering as though shaken by a cruel fear, and the tops of the trees suddenly tilting, and falling like feathers; and then I saw them, packed closely against one another, the great gray shapes I knew so well. I thought: Soon there will be no more room in the modem world for such need of space, for such royal clumsiness, such magnificent freedom. And I could not help smiling, as I did each time I saw them, with relief, as though the sight of them reassured me about an essential presence. In this age of impotence, this age of taboos, of slavery, inhibitions, and almost physiological submission, when man is triumphing over his most ancient truths and renouncing his deepest needs, it always seemed to me, as I listened to the earth’s most ancient thunder, that we had not yet been finally cut off from our sources, that we had not yet lost ourselves forever, that we had not yet been once for all castrated and enslaved, that we were not yet altogether subdued.
Romain Gary (The Roots of Heaven)
Because trees grown in isolation without competition from other trees for light, water, and nutrients usually grow more massive, achieve a larger crown, and present a grander aesthetic than trees that grow close to other trees, we almost always plant trees as isolated specimens. But this practice invites the very disasters we pray will never happen. In most treed areas of the country, trees grow in forests, not by their lonesome. Yes, each member of the forest is a bit smaller than it would be on its own, but it is also far more stable. Trees that grow at a spacing found in most forests interlock their roots, forming a continuous matrix of large and small roots that is extraordinarily difficult to uproot. When the big winds come, grouped trees may lose a branch or two, or in the extreme winds of a hurricane or tornado, their trunks may even snap off some feet up from the base, but they rarely blow over entirely. With this in mind, an easy way to reduce the risks from treefalls in your yard is to plant trees in twos or threes, maybe on a 6-foot center, creating small groves that the eye will take in as if it were a single tree. Trees planted in this fashion weave that stabilizing web of roots that will hold them upright even in extreme weather. There is a catch, however. You have to plant such trees when they are young. In fact, the smaller the better. This way your trees will have every opportunity to interlock their roots as they grow.
Douglas W. Tallamy (The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees)
We tend to think life should be the way we want it to be, the way we planned. But often, things don’t turn out that way. In fact, they rarely do. And there’s wisdom in not expecting life to turn out the way we think or feel it ought to. There’s wisdom in understanding that we are essentially clueless.
Björn Natthiko Lindeblad (I May Be Wrong: And Other Wisdoms From Life as a Forest Monk)
The tree is waiting. It has everything already. Its fallen leaves are mulching the forest floor, and its roots are drawing up the extra winter moisture, providing a firm anchor against seasonal storms. Its ripe cones and nuts are providing essential food in this scarce time for mice and squirrels, and its bark is hosting hibernating insects and providing a source of nourishment for hungry deer. It is far from dead. It is, in fact, the life of the wood. It's just getting on with it quietly. It will not burst into life in the spring. It will just put on a new coat and face the world again.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
A major challenge in constructing theories and models is to identify the important quantities that capture the essential dynamics at each organizational level of a system. For instance, in thinking about the solar system, the masses of the planets and the sun are clearly of central importance in determining the motion of the planets, but their color (Mars red, the Earth mottled blue, Venus white, etc.) is irrelevant: the color of the planets is irrelevant for calculating the details of their motion. Similarly, we don’t need to know the color of the satellites that allow us to communicate on our cell phones when calculating their detailed motion. However, this is clearly a scale-dependent statement in that if we look at the Earth from a very close distance of, say, just a few miles above its surface rather than from millions of miles away in space, then what was perceived as its color is now revealed as a manifestation of the huge diversity of the Earth’s surface phenomena, which include everything from mountains and rivers to lions, oceans, cities, forests, and us. So what was irrelevant at one scale can become dominant at another. The challenge at every level of observation is to abstract the important variables that determine the dominant behavior of the system.
Geoffrey West (Scale: The Universal Laws of Life and Death in Organisms, Cities and Companies)
What is food for one creature might be garbage to another. But the carbon keeps cycling along, which is essential for the sustainability of our planet.
Keith Seifert (The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi: Exploring the Microscopic World in Our Forests, Homes, and Bodies)
Sound occurs in the ears. Sound does not occur in the atmosphere. It occurs essentially within the human being, and that’s Descartes’s great contribution to psychology and philosophy. Which is where that thing comes from where they say if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there, does it make a noise?
Philip K. Dick (What If Our World Is Their Heaven?: The Final Conversations of Philip K. Dick)
Sound occurs in the ears. Sound does not occur in the atmosphere. It occurs essentially within the human being, and that’s Descartes’s great contribution to psychology and philosophy. Which is where that thing comes from where they say if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there, does it make a noise? And that—that joke question which comes up on the Johnny Carson show every once in a while didn’t exist before Descartes, which is, you know, the seventeenth century. Descartes was the person who formulated that; he said sound occurs in the human sensory apparatus. It doesn’t occur in the atmosphere. It occurs within the body.
Philip K. Dick (What If Our World Is Their Heaven?: The Final Conversations of Philip K. Dick)
So they must be able to define and clearly communicate the mission and goals (what), the core capabilities (who), the strategy (how), and the vision (why) for their businesses. Additionally, they must be able to switch gears with ease, seamlessly shifting between tactical focus (the trees) and strategic focus (the forest). Critically, they must learn to think strategically, by which I mean honing their ability to (1) perceive important patterns in complex, noisy environments, (2) crystallize and communicate those patterns to others in the organization in powerful, simple ways, and (3) use these insights to anticipate and shape the reactions of other key “players,” including customers and competitors.
Michael D. Watkins (Master Your Next Move, with a New Introduction: The Essential Companion to "The First 90 Days")
The biggest drawback to incremental development is that by building in pieces, we risk missing the big picture (we see the trees but not the forest).
Kenneth S. Rubin (Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process)
The greatest wealth and satisfaction of our desires lies not in clear-cutting forests, stripping the oceans, or spewing billions of tons of toxins into the atmosphere but within the forces of nature's wild movement and growth. Nature is the mother of all invention and many of humankind's greatest achievements have been made by copying nature. However, our copies have been rough. We haven't succeeded in mimicking nature's grace, efficiency-and most importantly-sustainability. We're coloring outside the lines and making a mess. Let's look again, using nature as our model as the earliest humans did, but aided by the tools of science. With nature, it's never too late. Nature is a survivor. Nature never gives up. She heals all wounds. Nature pushes up tiny little blades of grass through city concrete and asphalt and overgrows Mayan cities. She keeps putting out billions of seeds, spores, and baby spiders, growing mountains, evolving new species. She is always creating. It's not just okay to feel optimistic, it's natural, and essential. Combining our human intelligence with optimism is the best way we can give back to our earth. Right now, across the globe, we humans, the products of nature, have the skills and the technology to solve just about any problem we're facing, without sacrifice-if the will is there. There is a way, if we allow ourselves to be guided by nature's optimism and nature's wisdom. We can do it.
Jay Harman (The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation)
Dedication   Chapter 1 - Introduction Chapter 2 - Pray and Live Chapter 3 - At the Threshold of God’s Time Chapter 4 - Where God Dwells Chapter 5 - All the Trees of the Forest Sing for Joy Chapter 6 - At Home in the Psalms Afterword - My Life with the Psalms Acknowledgments Scripture Index   About the Author Also by N. T. Wright Credits Copyright About the Publisher Chapter 1
N.T. Wright (The Case for the Psalms: why they are essential)
How could people manage without a forest? It was essential as water.
Lucy M. Boston (The Stones of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #6))
Certainly, I believe that wilderness experiences are both restorative and essential on many levels. I am constantly contriving to get myself and my family out of the city to go hiking or camping in forests, mountains, and meadows in our Pacific Northwest home and beyond. But in making such experiences the core of our "connection to nature," we set up a chasm between our daily lives ("non-nature") and wilder places ("true nature"), even though it is in our everyday lives, in our everyday homes, that we eat, consume energy, run the faucet, compost, flush, learn, and live. It is here, in our lives, that we must come to know our essential connection to the wilder earth, because it is here, in the activity of our daily lives, that we most surely affect this earth, for good or for ill.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness)
As Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don’t, points out, “ice cream sales and forest fires are correlated because both occur more often in the summer heat. But there is no causation; you don’t light a patch of the Montana brush on fire when you buy a pint of Häagen-Dazs.” Of course, it’s no surprise that correlation isn’t the same as causality. But although most organizations know that, I don’t think they act as if there is a difference. They’re comfortable with correlation. It allows managers to sleep at night. But correlation does not reveal the one thing that matters most in innovation—the causality behind why I might purchase a particular solution. Yet few innovators frame their primary challenge around the discovery of a cause. Instead, they focus on how they can make their products better, more profitable, or differentiated from the competition. As W. Edwards Deming, the father of the quality movement that transformed manufacturing, once said: “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” After decades of watching great companies fail over and over again, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is, indeed, a better question to ask: What job did you hire that product to do? For me, this is a neat idea. When we buy a product, we essentially “hire” something to get a job done. If it does the job well, when we are confronted with the same job, we hire that same product again. And if the product does a crummy job, we “fire” it and look around for something else we might hire to solve the problem. Every day stuff happens to us. Jobs arise in our lives that we need to get done. Some jobs are little (“ pass the time while waiting in line”), some are big (“ find a more fulfilling career”). Some surface unpredictably (“ dress for an out-of-town business meeting after the airline lost my suitcase”), some regularly (“ pack a healthy, tasty lunch for my daughter to take to school”). Other times we know they’re coming. When we realize we have a job to do, we reach out and pull something into our lives to get the job done. I might, for example, choose to buy the New York Times because I have a job to fill my time while waiting for a doctor’s appointment and I don’t want to read the boring magazines available in the lobby. Or perhaps because I’m a basketball fan and it’s March Madness time. It’s only when a job arises in my life that the Times can solve for me that I’ll choose to hire the paper to do it. Or perhaps I have it delivered to my door so that my neighbors think I’m informed—and nothing about their ZIP code or median household income will tell the Times that either.
Clayton M. Christensen (Competing Against Luck)
Why did you try to control me? It wasn’t purely an intellectual question, as she wanted it to be. He sensed he had hurt her in some way, disappointed her. She moved restlessly, as if waiting for her lover. The thought of her with another man enraged him. Feelings after hundreds of years. Sharp, clear, in-focus. Real feelings. It is my nature to control. That was the stark truth. He was a powerful being, and one responsible for his entire species. Control of such power was essential. He was exhilarated, joyous, yet at the same time all too aware that he was more dangerous than he had ever been. Power always needed control. The less emotion, the easier the restraint. Don’t try to control me. There was something in her voice, something he sensed more than the actual words, as if she knew he was a threat to her. And he knew he was. How does one control one’s nature, little one? He saw her smile even as it filled his emptiness, as it registered in his heart and lungs and sent his blood soaring. Why would you think I was little? I’m as big as a house. I am to believe this? The laughter faded from her voice, her thoughts, lingered in his blood. I’m tired, and again, I apologize. I enjoyed talking with you. But? He prompted gently. Good-bye. Finality. Mikhail took flight, soaring high above the forest. It wasn’t good-bye. He wouldn’t allow it. He couldn’t allow it. His survival depended on her. Something, someone, had aroused his interest, his will to live. She had reminded him that there was such a thing as laughter, that there was more to life than existence.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
With supervised learning, an algorithm is presented with a set of inputs along with their desired outputs (also called labels). The goal is to discover a rule that enables the computer to essentially break down and learn what the input is, which technically is called mapping the input to the output.
Chris Smith (Decision Trees and Random Forests: A Visual Introduction For Beginners: A Simple Guide to Machine Learning with Decision Trees)
Just as a weed is a flower in the wrong place, our microbes might be invaluable in one organ but dangerous in another, or essential inside our cells but lethal outside them. “If you go immunosuppressed for a little bit, they’ll kill you. When you die, they’ll eat you,” says coral biologist Forest Rohwer. “They don’t care. It’s not a nice relationship. It’s just biology.
Ed Yong (I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life)
War is a forest fire. When the woods become too cluttered to grow new trees, a fire starts, cleanses the ground along with much of the mature forest, but it’s essential. When it’s over, things begin anew. The ash from life breeds new growth, a fresh start. As ugly as it is, that’s the truth. Every end is harsh before a beginning.
Joe Hart (Widow Town)
Few records exist to establish a definitive date as to when the first ships were built in the Piscataqua region. Fishing vessels were probably constructed as early as 1623, when the first fishermen settled in the area. Many undoubtedly boasted a skilled shipwright who taught the fishermen how to build “great shallops”as well as lesser craft. In 1631 a man named Edward Godfrie directed the fisheries at Pannaway. His operation included six large shallops, five fishing boats, and thirteen skiffs, the shallops essentially open boats that included several pairs of oars, a mast, and lug sail, and which later sported enclosed decks.5 Records do survive of the very first ship built by English settlers in the New World. In 1607, at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine, the Plymouth Company erected a short-lived fishing settlement. A London shipwright named Digby organized some settlers to construct a small vessel with which to return them home to England, as they were homesick and disenchanted with the New England winters. The small craft was named, characteristically, the Virginia. She was evidently a two-master and weighed about thirty tons, and she transported furs, salted cod, and tobacco for twenty years between various ports along the Maine coast, Plymouth, Jamestown, and England. She is believed to have wrecked somewhere along the coast of Ireland.6 By the middle of the seventeenth century, shipbuilding was firmly established as an independent industry in New England. Maine, with its long coastline and abundant forests, eventually overtook even Massachusetts as the shipbuilding capital of North America. Its most western town, Kittery, hovered above the Piscataqua. For many years the towns of Kittery and Portsmouth, and upriver enclaves like Exeter, Newmarket, Durham, Dover, and South Berwick, rivaled Bath and Brunswick, Maine, as shipbuilding centers, with numerous shipyards, blacksmith shops, sawmills, and wharves. Portsmouth's deep harbor, proximity to upriver lumber, scarcity of fog, and seven feet of tide made it an ideal location for building large vessels. During colonial times, the master carpenters of England were so concerned about competition they eventually petitioned Parliament to discourage shipbuilding in Portsmouth.7 One of the early Piscataqua shipwrights was Robert Cutts, who used African American slaves to build fishing smacks at Crooked Lane in Kittery in the 1650s. Another was William Pepperell, who moved from the Isle of Shoals to Kittery in 1680, where he amassed a fortune in the shipbuilding, fishing, and lumber trades. John Bray built ships in front of the Pepperell mansion as early as 1660, and Samuel Winkley owned a yard that lasted for three generations.8 In 1690, the first warship in America was launched from a small island in the Piscataqua River, situated halfway between Kittery and Portsmouth. The island's name was Rising Castle, and it was the launching pad for a 637-ton frigate called the Falkland. The Falkland bore fifty-four guns, and she sailed until 1768 as a regular line-of-battle ship. The selection of Piscataqua as the site of English naval ship construction may have been instigated by the Earl of Bellomont, who wrote that the harbor would grow wealthy if it supplemented its export of ship masts with “the building of great ships for H.M. Navy.”9 The earl's words underscore the fact that, prior to the American Revolution, Piscataqua's largest source of maritime revenue came from the masts and spars it supplied to Her Majesty's ships. The white oak and white pine used for these building blocks grew to heights of two hundred feet and weighed upward of twenty tons. England depended on this lumber during the Dutch Wars of the
Peter Kurtz (Bluejackets in the Blubber Room: A Biography of the William Badger, 1828-1865)
Thirty-Nine Ways to Lower Your Cortisol 1 Meditate. 2 Do yoga. 3 Stretch. 4 Practice tai chi. 5 Take a Pilates class. 6 Go for a labyrinth walk. 7 Get a massage. 8 Garden (lightly). 9 Dance to soothing, positive music. 10 Take up a hobby that is quiet and rewarding. 11 Color for pleasure. 12 Spend five minutes focusing on your breathing. 13 Follow a consistent sleep schedule. 14 Listen to relaxing music. 15 Spend time laughing and having fun with someone. (No food or drink involved.) 16 Interact with a pet. (It also lowers their cortisol level.) 17 Learn to recognize stressful thinking and begin to: Train yourself to be aware of your thoughts, breathing, heart rate, and other signs of tension to recognize stress when it begins. Focus on being aware of your mental and physical states, so that you can become an objective observer of your stressful thoughts instead of a victim of them. Recognize stressful thoughts so that you can formulate a conscious and deliberate reaction to them. A study of forty-three women in a mindfulness-based program showed that the ability to describe and articulate stress was linked to a lower cortisol response.28 18 Develop faith and participate in prayer. 19 Perform acts of kindness. 20 Forgive someone. Even (or especially?) yourself. 21 Practice mindfulness, especially when you eat. 22 Drink black and green tea. 23 Eat probiotic and prebiotic foods. Probiotics are friendly, symbiotic bacteria in foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Prebiotics, such as soluble fiber, provide food for these bacteria. (Be sure they are sugar-free!) 24 Take fish or krill oil. 25 Make a gratitude list. 26 Take magnesium. 27 Try ashwagandha, an Asian herbal supplement used in traditional medicine to treat anxiety and help people adapt to stress. 28 Get bright sunlight or exposure to a lightbox within an hour of waking up (great for fighting seasonal affective disorder as well). 29 Avoid blue light at night by wearing orange or amber glasses if using electronics after dark. (Some sunglasses work.) Use lamps with orange bulbs (such as salt lamps) in each room, instead of turning on bright overhead lights, after dark. 30 Maintain healthy relationships. 31 Let go of guilt. 32 Drink water! Stay hydrated! Dehydration increases cortisol. 33 Try emotional freedom technique, a tapping strategy meant to reduce stress and activate the parasympathetic nervous system (our rest-and-digest system). 34 Have an acupuncture treatment. 35 Go forest bathing (shinrin-yoku): visit a forest and breathe its air. 36 Listen to binaural beats. 37 Use a grounding mat, or go out into the garden barefoot. 38 Sit in a rocking chair; the soothing motion is similar to the movement in utero. 39 To make your cortisol fluctuate (which is what you want it to do), end your shower or bath with a minute (or three) under cold water.
Megan Ramos (The Essential Guide to Intermittent Fasting for Women: Balance Your Hormones to Lose Weight, Lower Stress, and Optimize Health)