pure concrete

Kunsthaus Bregenz, Peter Zumthor, 1997

Bregenz, Austria. 2015

The Self (devoid of concrete contents, pure being) is the energy source which enlivens the superconscious (activity, the place where elation, delight, rapture, universal adoration emanate,it;s gushy, we transition through the superconscious on the way to Higher mind). The relationship of the Self to the superconscious is like the source of electricity in a large city is a national grid or a generator which has all the electricity for the city stored there. This electricity, however, is stepped down through cables and transformers into various areas. This is similar to how the Self channels its energy to the superconscious. The Self sends messages through the superconscious. It’s all related to to the idea that the Self speaks to us through symbols and dreams. It sends messages to the superconscious.

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John Glenn, the World’s First Astronaut!

Yesterday the world received the sad news of the death of the very first astronaut, John Glenn.  Yes, yes, Yuri Gagarin beat us Americans and speakers of English into space, but Gagarin was the world’s first cosmonaut!  A small, nit-picky distinction that only a word nerd would make, but this blog is all about words, so the distinction matters.  Astronaut John Glenn piloted the Friendship 7 spacecraft in February of 1962 as part of the Mercury program, a significant American technological milestone that represents one of the few words in the English language to move from pure theoretical abstraction to concrete reality in a single day. 

While humans have been dreaming of flight since the dawn of time, it wasn’t until the turn of the nineteenth century that the Wright brothers achieved that magical 59 second flight covering 852 feet, skimming over the beach not more than twenty feet off the ground. The new science of flight and aeronautics was born and after thousands of years of dreaming about flight, it only took another two and a half decades to coin the term astronaut and set the bar higher for flight. A combination of two Ancient Greek words aster meaning star and nautes meaning a sailor, an astronaut was a sailor of stars.


On April 9, 1959, the word took on a new meaning when NASA announced the first seven American astronauts: Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton. These seven men would become known as the Mercury Seven. More than simply a new word though, these early pioneers of both space and technology became heroes of popular imagination. They inspired generations of young boys and girls into science and technology and the technology derived from the space program has enriched our everyday lives from breakfast foods to automobile safety.  

John Glenn was the most famous and prominent member of the Mercury program and he would go on to a long career in the Senate and returned to space at the age of 77 with the Shuttle program.  A pioneer from the beginning of his career to the end! 

Image of the John Glenn and the Mercury 7 astronauts courtesy NASA.