Category Archives: shameless self promotion

i’m famous?

a few weeks ago, there was a 35mm camera posted on freecycle, to which i responded. i didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks, and i didn’t see the corresponding “taken” notice, so i responded again, and still didn’t hear anything, so i gave up on it and went on to other endeavours.

today, i got email from an anonymous, unknown person. the email address was “false <pigslock@_____.com>” (i have deleted xes mail carrier) – although the return path was to “tfts35@_____.com” – informing me that the 35mm camera was still available, if i wanted it, although it came along with a couple of pre-conditions:

if you are the Seattle musician who sells incense, you will have to allow me to take your photo and buy a pack of your Tibetan incense.

things that make me go hmmmmm…

this has me wondering… in the past, i would think that this person is likely a cop, or some form of “law enforcement professional” who is looking for a way to get me to voluntarily connect my physical appearence with one or more email addresses, as a part of some unknowable investigation… it may well be exactly that, even now, although the probability is somewhat less than it would have been in the past.

however, i also have to keep in mind that i am not completely unknown in this community, and xe has pretty much nailed several defining characteristics of me, which are known by people who know who i am: seattle, musician, and incense… so xe could be one of those people who has stopped and talked to me at the fremont sunday market, or any of a number of different art car shows where i’ve sold incense… it could also be someone who has seen snake suspenderz, or, possibly, the fremont phil… and there have been literally tens of thousands of those kind of folks.

one way or the other, i imagine that this is what really famous people have to deal with all the time. which makes me think that it’s probably a good thing that i’m not that famous, because i’m too paranoid for that kind of shit. πŸ‘Ώ

wow…

i went to bellingham for the first time in a while, yesterday. i didn’t stay as long as i would have liked, but it’s okay because it still gets dark really early at those northern latitudes, and besides which i was really tired and if i had stayed any longer i would have had to spend the night – which was do-able, but i hadn’t made arrangements, so i just came home last night…

but, the important part…

i visited a couple of friends yesterday, one of whom is my friend ken, with whom i have been playing music on and off for 30+ years, and while i was there, he gave me 7+ gigabytes of the 20+ gigabytes of music that we have made over the past 30+ years, most of which i haven’t heard for a long time, due to the fact that it was recorded on cassette, and i haven’t actually owned a cassette player since before i got married…

DAMN we’re good!

i’ve now got 7 complete “albums” and around 200 individual tracks which are, for all intents and purposes, ready to be put on CDs and distributed… and that’s only a small fraction of what’s there (we only had a flash drive and a limited amount of time to move files from his computer to mine). the current fantasy is that we’ll put the whole lot up on the web somewhere and offer low-quality mp3s for download for free, OR high-quality ogg files (or something like that) for a small quantity of money, OR a “generic” CD with “generic” art for a bit more money, OR a custom, one-of-a-kind CD with tracks that you choose, and custom, one-of-a-kind artwork for a bit more money.

i just realised, however, that ALL of the files that i got yesterday are Free Lossless Audio Codec (flac) files, which won’t play reliably on any of the “standard” music players for the two “major” platforms, so it’ll probably be a couple of days until i get representative samples converted to a format that you windows and mac people will be able to play… click on the title to hear the song… for now i’ll give you some sample titles to whet your appetite:

Acetylene – this is even more astonishing when you realise that we were improvising.
Satisfaction Factory Satisfactory, Dissatisfaction Factory Dissatisfactory
Yes! Ugly Sillymusic
Bach Whomp – this is the Bach Two Part Invention in C… really… πŸ™‚
The Very Big Godot
Grump & Bind – another “improvisation” with very little added.
Tenor Leak Fellatio
Wraith Ugly – a pseudonym of mine, and a really funny piece of music. πŸ™‚
Jazzbo Proctoscopy Parts I through IV – which is too long to post, but you get the idea…
Blind Green August
Encrusticated Preachment
The Word
Cholinesterase Inhibition

it’s my opinion that the titles are almost as good as the music itself… 8)

aha! … ‽ … !!

the unauthorised “authorisation dialogue” dialogue went away. i didn’t change anything locally (i did use NoScript to automatically block flash, but that was after i noticed that it was gone), or on the blog, which means that somebody must have noticed that something was wrong at the twitter end of things.

i’m not exactly sure how to approach this subject, but since i already have the reputation of being a little weird, i’ll start with an explanation of where i’m coming from:

POINT 1) for some time now, i’ve been under the distinct impression that my view of “reality” differs pretty significantly from just about everyone else’s view of reality. the most recent example of that is this public display, sponsored by a musem in california, which contained a tapestry house from a hindu family, that contained a swastika. the museum got complaints from the general public, so they posted a sign that basically said “this is an ancient hindu symbol, not the relatively recent nazi symbol that everyone seems to think it is, and we’re not going to remove it, thank you”, and even went so far as to get the local rabbi to say that he didn’t object to it, because it was a hindu symbol, and not a nazi symbol, but the museum continued to get complaints from people who were probably not even born when the swastika was actually used as a nazi symbol, and the museum finally caved in and removed the tapestry. when i pointed this out to a friend, he said “people are dumb”, but i think it’s more than that. philip k. dick said “reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” and that’s the kind of shift in reality that i am seeing here: i “believe” that reality is one way, most of the rest of the world “believes” that reality is something completely different, and people who i would expect to not only know the difference, but who are supposedly expert in teaching dumb people how to be smart, actually go along with the “dumb” people and remove something that is decidedly not nazi, simply because these “dumb” people thought it was.

what⁈⁉

but it goes back a lot further than that. i pretty regularly find myself totally at a loss to determine why someone who was faced with an eminently apparent and logical choice to do one thing, deliberately and blatantly chose to do the exact opposite, and was cheered by society for doing so.

POINT 2) ever since i first started learning about spirituality, i’ve heard one basic message from every single bona fide spiritual teacher i’ve ever met (there are a number of scam artists who people think are spiritual teachers that don’t teach this message, and they’re not the ones i’m talking about), which is that you don’t “pretend” to to something, you don’t “try” to do something. it’s like yoda said: you either do, or do not. there is no “try”. you don’t “pretend” to be an artist, or an engineer, or a truck driver: you either are, or you’re not. in the same way, you don’t “pretend” to be enlightened: you either are, or you’re not. and (a very important point to remember) nobody can say conclusively whether a person is, or is not enlightened: they generally have to rely on what the person claims for themselves. my experience, in general, is that you don’t often get people going around saying that they’re enlightened, and in general, i would be extremely suspicious of anybody who was doing so (so don’t expect me to make a big thing out of this), but you have to start somewhere, and this as good a time as any (rabbi hillel said that).

POINT 3) for a long time (upwards of 35 years now) i have been learning a lot about spirituality and have developed what i believe to be a unique path. i’m not interested in finding other people who agree with me spiritually, much as i’m not particularly interested in what people think of me when i walk into home depot wearing a kilt, a pink long sleeve shirt, and a fez (and, believe me, there were definitely some eyes cast askance in my direction when it happened, but at the time i was totally oblivious to everything except the project that i was working on). i’m firmly convinced that the path i have discovered is exactly the right path for me, in spite of the fact that, when it comes to explaining that path, many have come to the conclusion that i am totally crazy. i don’t let opinions like that dissuade me from pursuing that path, however, and so far (again, for me) i haven’t been wrong.

POINT 4) i experienced what i can only describe as a “shaktipat” moment (specifically, तीव्रमध्यशक्तिपात tīvra-madhya-śaktipāta) while i was driving in the car this afternoon. i was thinking about the fact that my perception of “reality” appears to be so skewed and i realised that either there is something “wrong” with society, or something “wrong” with me. as i find no compelling reason to think i’m crazy, seeing as how my perceptions tend to be more “what people should do” than what they, themselves, do, i was forced to this conclusion:

i get the distinct impression that i am “enlightened”.

!

this was such a profound revelation to me that, in spite of the fact that, during the time when i was experiencing shaktipat, traffic in my lane (and only my lane) suddenly went from 65 miles per hour to a dead stop in two seconds, and the guy behind me layed on his horn when we didn’t move forwards quickly enough to suit him, i was really enjoying myself, turned up the radio (which was playing classical music) and laughed out loud.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

there is a famous zen saying, which goes: before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.

what i take this to mean is, that it doesn’t matter whether or not you have enlightenment. you get no special powers or priveledges from being enlightened: it is a purely spiritual experience, and can only be appreciated on a spiritual level. anything having to do with my body, or my physical surroundings will not be affected by my enlightenment in the least, and very likely nobody else will notice…

but the way i perceive “reality” will be drastically altered forever.

instead of wondering why society is so screwed up, and why i’m so different, i have an entirely different view: one where it’s okay for people to do screwed up things that don’t affect me, because people are going to do screwed up things whether i am here or not. of course, i will do my part to make sure that people don’t do screwed up things, and to help people see the screwed-up-ness of what they have been doing, if they ask, but if they don’t, i won’t worry about it.

you don’t have to be a monk to be enlightened: Shyama Charan Lahiri was an enlightened householder, and one of his main messages was that anyone could become enlightened. i feel it is quite an honour to follow in the footsteps of Lahiri Mahasaya, which i have been doing for 25 years…

my impression, based on the behaviour of people i suspect to be enlightened, i would guess that i will develop ways to “trick” people into doing things that i know will be more beneficial to them than the things they were going to do, but my guess is that it will take a while and i’ll probably face abject failure more than once before i get the knack of it.

i’ll probably get frustrated and angry about injustice, but i got frustrated and angry before i was enlightened: before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. nothing has changed on the physical level.

other than that, i don’t know how being enlightened will affect me, because i have never been enlightened before. if anything interesting comes up, i’ll be sure to clue you in. 8)