Author Archive | drokhole

Send in the Cows (or, How to Reverse Desertification, Build Soils, and Sequester Carbon)

In light of last week’s post highlighting our death march towards Peak Soil, it seems appropriate to look at how we can go about building (i.e. adding organic matter to) the damn thing.  Various permacultural methods exist that help build soil and heal the land, but the organic apple of this article’s eye is a technique known as “managed grazing.”  In the words of Joel Salatin, “Nothing builds soil like intensively managed grazing on grasslands.”

As noted, left to its own devices, it takes nature roughly 500 years to build just 2 centimeters (cm) of living soil.  When done properly, grazing – or, more specifically, management-intensive grazing – can more than double that rate in 50 years time.  Meanwhile, Salatin’s farm has been building one inch of topsoil annually (along with increasing their organic matter from 1.5 percent to 8 percent of soil content over the past 50 years).

“The critical thing to understand is that grazing can be done in a way that builds soil and heals the land, or it can be done in a way that destroys the land.  

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Useful Work versus Useless Toil

sisyphus130 years.  130 years (roughly), and it’s the same old shit.  William Morris’ lucid commentary on meaningful work is just as relevant today (almost moreso) as it was when he wrote it in 1884.  It’s a long-read, and the beginning bits don’t do it justice, but here’s how the roller-coaster climbs:

Useful work versus useless toil – William Morris

The above title may strike some of my readers as strange. It is assumed by most people nowadays that all work is useful, and by most well-to-do people that all work is desirable. Most people, well-to-do or not, believe that, even when a man is doing work which appears to be useless, he is earning his livelihood by it – he is “employed,” as the phrase goes; and most of those who are well-to-do cheer on the happy worker with congratulations and praises, if he is only “industrious” enough and deprives himself of all pleasure and holidays in the sacred cause of labour.

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Scientists Get a TASTE of the Transcendent

its-full-of-stars“The potential for a mystical experience is the natural birthright of all human beings.” – Stanislav Grof

“Man may intellectually argue himself in and out of anything. But he can only defend it as long as he has not experienced the fact that he is wrong. Once he has come to the interior realization that a situation is not right, he cannot rest until he does something about it.”Manly P. Hall

“Its persuasiveness seems to hinge on an experience of this interconnection…”Richard M. Doyle


What has been generally termed a “mystical experience” is something that has been reported throughout time and across disparate cultures.  At its core, it’s a direct, non-verbal experience wherein an individual feels an expansion of the self to union with, to borrow a phrase from Alan Watts, “the whole works.”  Themes of euphoria, harmonization and interconnectedness are commonly relayed, along with the ultimate ineffability of it all.  … Read the rest

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After Brutal Beating, Man’s Field of Vision Fills With Fractals

Quantum-hand-crunchGives “knock some sense into you” a whole new meaning.

Via ABC News:

Working behind the counter at a futon store in Tacoma, Wash., is not the place you would expect to find a man some call a mathematical genius of unprecedented proportions.

Jason Padgett, 41, sees complex mathematical formulas everywhere he looks and turns them into stunning, intricate diagrams he can draw by hand. He’s the only person in the world known to have this incredible skill, which he obtained by sheer accident just a decade ago.

“I’m obsessed with numbers, geometry specifically,” Padgett said. “I literally dream about it. There’s not a moment that I can’t see it, and it just doesn’t turn off.”

Padgett doesn’t have a PhD, a college degree or even a background in math. His talent was born out of a true medical mystery that scientists around the world are still trying to unravel.

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British Guy Takes Mescaline, Polite and Measured Reflection Ensues

It’s been said that one of the reasons Humphry Osmond gave Aldous Huxley mescaline was because he knew Huxley had a mastery of language and was uniquely capable of conveying the experience in a way better than most others. The outcome, of course, was hallmark of psychedelic literature The Doors of Perception. Well, here Osmond is at it again with another gent possessing a gift of the gab.

Christopher Mayhew had been the president of a debating society while attending Oxford and at the time of the taping was, believe it or not, a Member of Parliament. Commenting on his experience decades later, he remarked:

“Perhaps half-a-dozen times during the experiment I would be withdrawn from my surroundings and from myself and have an experience, a state of euphoria, for a period of time that didn’t end for me. That didn’t last for minutes, or hours, but for months.”

See some of the original footage, including a follow-up interview decades later, here:

For some more interesting background, from the video description:

Humphry Osmond was the British psychiatrist who coined the term “psychedelic”.

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Manly P. Hall Gets to the Heart of Homer’s “Odyssey”

mphall_89yearsYou won’t hear this interpretation in the storied halls of academia.

Manly P Hall – author, mystic, examiner of all things esoteric – teases apart the obscurities of Homer’s epic to reveal its secret meaning. Namely, what certain elements represent and how it relates to the inner life of man (mental/emotional/spiritual) and consciousness by and large.

Clocking in around an hour-and-a-half, it’s a bit of an undertaking – but it’s well worth the listen:

For more of Hall’s complete talks, check out the Apollyon Productions channel on YouTube:

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