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Jerry Katz
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#1447 - Sunday, June 1, 2003 - Editor: Gloria

The real voyage of discovery consists
not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.
-- Marcel Proust   

Grand Prismatic Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, USA

aerial photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Choose: Francais,  English, or Espanol

Earth from Above: The Photos

Clicking on the thumbnail will show the photo, then clicking on the photo as shown will further enlarge it.

Earth from Above: The Project

A portrait from the air.

In 1995, Yann Arthus-Bertrand embarked at last upon a long cherished project: a thorough survey of the state of the Earth on the eve of the twenty first century.
This in depth sum of work testifies to a geographical and historical reality through images that may be disturbing or striking, but are always pregnant with meaning.

Earth From Above is not a mere geographical inventory. It constitutes a human and ecological testimony. With the firm conviction that only proper knowledge makes for efficient cure, Yann endeavours to bring his own contribution to our knowledge of the planet. He shows us what it looks like today, its many beauties and awesome vastness as well as the often problematic imprints man leaves upon it.

A visual data bank.

The project equally aims at providing an inventory of significant ecosystems. Earth From Above is thus only a beginning, the first step in a larger scheme which Yann initiated and that others, no doubt, will pursue after him.
The idea is to create an efficient working tool for the long term, to lay the foundation of a historical reference library in progress.

Upon returning from each photo assignment, Yann and UNESCO work together at creating a photographic data bank.
Pictures are selected for their aesthetic and pedagogical value; each one is then commented in writing by a scientist so as to provide the technical data necessary to the understanding of the visual testimony. This sum of documents to be progressively enriched will, in future times, provide a precious tool to reflect upon the changes wrought upon our environment and their consequences.

click on  Understanding the Earth for facts and figures about current resources and sustainable development

      With the success of Earth from Above, a great number of you have asked Yann questions about our planet, which he is unable to answer. Hence the idea of this new page about environment, built around Yann's pictures and texts by the BeCitizen team, which specialises in sustainable development.

Over and above the pure information, we hope to bring each one of us to act at his level on an everyday basis.

Folgefonni glacier on the high plateaus of Serfjorden, Norway

aerial photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand


Gill Eardley ~ Allspirit   Joe Riley ~ Panhala

Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness.
If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great
deal of what it is the world needs most.

~ Pablo Casals

What I know in my bones is that I forgot to take time
to remember what I know.  The world is holy.  We are
holy.  All life is holy.  Daily prayers are delivered on
the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses,
the shimmering of leaves.

~Terry Tempest Williams

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or
unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can
be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should
be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the
simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it
certainly always will, I know that then there will always
be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances
may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in
all troubles.

~Diary of Anne Frank


The Untaught and the Wrongly Taught (Excerpt)

'Hindsight shows how often yesterday's so-called truth
may become today's absurdity. Real ability is to respect
relative truth without damaging oneself by refusing to
realize that it will be superseded. When you observe that
today's controversies often reveal not relevance but the
clash of the untaught with the wrongly taught, and when
you can endure this knowledge without cynicism, as a
lover of humankind, greater compensations will be open to
you than a sense of your own importance or satisfaction in
thinking about the unreliability of others.'

From 'A Perfumed Scorpion'   Idries Shah

In the practice of tolerance,
one's enemy is the best teacher. 

~Dalai Lama

Allspirit Website: 


Eric Pariossien ~ NDS 

la non-dualité est une religion

coming to nonduality
getting rid of all the rites
the superstitious attitudes,
the big fatherly authority projected on a god,
the social fear instilled by my mother,
(jung wouldn't like what i'm doing to his archetypes)
to be more surely in close contact with you here
without fear or power or expectations
yet very aware of your sensitivity
and respecting your feelings;
standing as naked as possible
but with a desire to be unnoticed(?)
at last in this sacred place
where i can rest and enjoy
each pulsation of light coming through,
through my flesh, blood, and eyes

David Hodges ~ NDS

Re: Wu Wei Wu does the Matrix

It seems to me that the issue in Matrix ReLoaded that is worth looking at
is the issue of control. This was brought up implicitly and explicitly in
the movie.

In computer programming, a "control" is an object that has properties but
that can also execute actions. In the movie, Agent Smith is a control.
Agent Smith exists to root out threats to the overall order of the Matrix.
In computer programming, there can be many instances of a control -1 or
100. In The Matrix, Neo has to deal with 100 Agent Smiths at one time.
The philosophical point about control is that any orderly world has to have
means to deal with chaos and disorder. The Architect makes a point of
telling Neo that his arrival on the scene of the Matrix was expected and
planned for. The Oracle was as much a control as Agent Smith.

Is there a point for we humans seemingly locked in our own Dualistic
matrix? It is to wake up and look at the invisible controls that exist to
perpetuate the illusion. As Wu Wei Wu says, our experience is "psychic
phenomena"  (the Skandha). Unlike in the movies, I don't think there is any
malevolent intent from this ceaseless attempt by these controls to keep the
world of appearances going. I think it is part of the cosmic play and
dance, and can be quite delightful in itself. But the way out of suffering
is to look at the Controls that bind one and to de-instance them one by
one, or, (as Gene says) to hack to Root and disable them all in one fell swoop.


The movies like to portray the world of the Machine as malevolent. The
Matrix does this. Certainly The Lord of the Rings did, with its legions of
soulless drones that were manufactured inside the earth. Certainly the
world of the Terminators does (a new Terminator movie is coming out
soon!!!!). I am very curious as to why that metaphor seems to work so
profoundly in the popular movies, while we who love these movies also still
live a life increasingly dependent on these very machines and we don't
object a bit, in fact, we always want the latest and greatest model of the

Joe Riley ~ Panhala

                So Much Happiness

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
A wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
Something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
And disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
And now live over a quarry of noise and dust
Cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
It too could wake up filled with possibilities
Of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
And love even the floor which needs to be swept,
The soiled linens and scratched records….

Since there is no place large enough
To contain so much happiness,
You shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
Into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
For the moon, but continues to hold it, and to share it,
And in that way, be known.

~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

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