Category Archives: spiritual

in the humdrum

monday moe was in vegas. i got a whole bunch of spam, DIDN’T have my regular counselling appointment because of a misread calendar, two weeks ago, DIDN’T get my tires rotated in spite of waiting around for an hour while they DIDN’T rotate my tires… 😒 i’m still not totally sure what happened: i made an appointment, showed up before i was supposed to be there, told the guy that i had an appointment, which he confirmed, and then… i waited for an hour, went up to the counter to inquire when they were going to get to my car, and was told “within the hour”, but i had other places to be, so i had to bail and come back later in the week…

and i was already ripe for mushrooms… 😒

wednesday, the smoke from wildfires (i never bothered to find out where they were) was bad enough that both seattle and portland had the WORST air quality in the world — worse than singapore or hong kong. also, apparently, someone dumped, and burned, a human body just up the street from the trailhead to the back side of taylor mountain, where i walk a lot… where i saw the bear… 😒 moe came home. i picked up quill at the puppy-sitter’s place near lake desire at 8:30, and picked up moe at the airport at 9:30.

thursday i had my circus class, and on the way back home, driving down I5, the smoke was bad enough that i couldn’t see more than a mile or so in front of me. 😒 then got my tires rotated — for real, this time. i was in and out inside of 15 minutes. a guy i had never seen before, but who i assumed was one of the managers, said that he “knew all about” the fiasco on monday, and that they’d get to my car right away… and they did, which kind of surprised me…

friday i decided that i was not going to take as many mushrooms as i had planned, because, by that time, the smoke from the wildfires was really awful. we bought some inflatable halloween decorations — a unicorn skeleton, and two enormous, flashing eyeballs. when it got dark, it started raining, so, naturally, monique decided that was the time to put them out… and the eyeballs (which were my part of the deal) only had one set of tethers, which meant that i had to cut and singe nylon string, in the dark-and-rain…

saturday i actually took mushrooms. instead of four capsules, i only took two, but — as is seemingly fairly typical — all the “good stuff” had filtered to the bottom of the bag, which meant that two capsules was SIGNIFICANTLY more than the past couple of times i had taken four capsules… and it was raining REALLY HARD, so even if i wanted to go up to taylor mountain and risk being high on mushrooms in the vicinity of an actual murder investigation(!!), it was raining hard enough that there was standing water in our back yard, which usually indicates that the trails on taylor are flooded, as well.

it was weird not being able to walk around while tripping balls, as is my usual habit, but i got through it okay… although i REALLY need a beanbag chair, because the only “comfortable” chair in the house is directly in front of the TV set (because that’s where moe usually sits), and, while it is actually big enough for two of us, i REALLY DO NOT want to watch TV while high on mushrooms… so i sat for a couple of hours in the 2nd-most comfortable chair in the house, which is on the opposite end of the house, until i got done peaking, and then it was — more or less — life as usual, only “usual” included being high on mushrooms this time.

we had a karaoke party last night — about 10 people… including one of our next door neighbours, kelly, who i talked to fairly extensively regarding our respective weed crops this year… it still ASTOUNDS me that it is legal, and, while still not technically legal, i have a mental health professional RECOMMENDING that i take mushrooms… 😲

today was the last unicycle class of the session — a new session starts next sunday — and i think i may have gotten back to the point i was at the end of spring session, before “the summer from hell” (which is how i have been referring to the summer of 2022), during which i had very little time, and even less motivation, to practice unicycle.

i have a sousa band rehearsal on tuesday, a circus class on thursday, tracy and kelly (next door neighbours) are having a “costumes optional” halloween party on saturday, and halloween, proper, is on sunday. i have been making more Operation Mindfuck envelopes to be distributed to random people, while in costume, over the coming week.

RT

220106 RT
220106 RT

i’ve been playing around with illustrator (mac), photoshop (mac), frax (tablet), procreate (tablet), inkscape (mac/linux), and the GIMP (linux), for a few days, and this is the result. i’m thinking of making stickers out of it. i wanted to play around with making the QR code an integral part of the artwork, so that you don’t have to go to the QR link to appreciate the art, but if you do hit the link, you’ll get even more information.

blasphemy?

okay, this is discounting the fact that gods only exist in the minds of those who worship them… this is a purely practical examination of the aspects of hindu gods, in particular… and to be precise, an examination of their clothing.

most depictions of deities are clothed. there are deities which are naked, and part of the devotion to these deities is dressing, undressing, and bathing them, but i’m talking about the deities that are depicted as clothed.

i wonder…

a depiction of the multiple arms of Kali Maa, in Goa
a depiction of the multiple arms of Kali Maa, in Goa

how is Kali Maa supposed to put on that shirt?

😲

so, for some time now, i have wanted to make a reproduction of The Stele Of Revealing, and i got started the other day. but very quickly, i realised that, if i want to make it a “good enough” reproduction rather than a reproduction that would only look good if you didn’t look too closely, i would need to know the original dimensions, and have a reasonably accurate idea of what the heiroglyphs look like, and what the other artwork looks like, and i would, then, need to reduce them from their original size to the size that i ended up deciding i was going to make it — approximately a 40% reduction.

because i’m an artist, i know that, usually (in the absence of photocopiers, or proportional cameras), the tool used to make miniature reproductions is a proportional divider. i have used them before, know what they look like, and know that they can be very expensive. i didn’t want a really expensive one, but i also did not want something that somebody (most likely me) made out of plywood, because it wouldn’t be accurate enough, so i went to ebay, and discovered the exact tool i needed — from the picture, i deduced that it was, largely, the same tool i used in high school, when i was first learning about proportional dividers.

210515 proportional dividers
210515 proportional dividers

they arrived in the mail today. they are… um… not what i expected.

what arrived in the mail was a finely machined set of proportional dividers with sharpened tool steel points, and an engraved scale for both circles and lines. it is stamped “J.H.Weil & Co.” and it came in a velvet-lined case with antique gold writing on the outside that says U.S.C.E., which i take to mean U.S. Army Corps of Engineers… my impression is that, under normal circumstances, this could be as much as a $200 tool, but, because of the fact that it appears to be a vintage, military tool, it could be worth a lot more… this is a tool that is, pretty much GUARANTEED to be accurate to at least one thousandth of an inch… and it cost me less than $50!

so, i just wanted to give a shout out to Next Stage Vintage… they suprised the hell out of me! thank you! 😉👍

and i am going to use it to reduce The Stele Of Revealing… 😲

bounded chaotic mixing produces what?

this is an example of bounded chaotic mixing producing strange stability:

210504 Carrey Creek, Taylor Mountain – Hobart, WAalthough it’s not as high resolution as i would have liked… however, at almost 500mb, i couldn’t be too choosy.

this exact phenomenon is what people are talking about when they’re talking about God, in whatever form. 😉👍

okay, there is a mathematical theory (which is NOT what most people THINK is a theory) which says “bounded chaotic mixing produces strange stability”.

i have gotten in trouble with mathematicians for “taking this too liberally”, but it works, regardless of what they think.

the theory is that if you have an instance of bounded chaotic mixing — in this case, the “chaotic mixing” of H2O molecules, “bounded” by the banks of the stream, that if you take away that boundary, temporarily — say, for example, a waterfall — that the boundaries will, more or less, hold, until that chaotic mixing is forced into another boundary. in the case of a waterfall, “bounded chaotic mixing produces strange stability” is the reason why you can stand fairly close to the base of a waterfall, without getting wet, but eventually — and nobody can tell exactly when, but the probability increases the closer you get — you WILL get wet.

men will be familiar with this phenomenon when they pee… 😉

in the case of this video, the bounded chaotic mixing is violently changing course, and the strange stability is, just before it does so, there’s a place where, even when the video is slowed down, you can see a roundish, perfectly clear patch of water, that stays more or less in the same place… strange stability: nothing is keeping it there, no bubbles go through it, even though, everywhere around it, are bubbles and ripples…

and it is exactly the same phenomenon that people are talking about, when they talk about God.

somebody else says “god” did it. i say, bounded chaotic mixing produces strange stability.

when i say i believe that God both exists, and doesn’t exist, at the same time, creating no contradiction, this is what i am talking about.

you’re probably wondering why i posted this…

मनोबुद्ध्यहङ्कारचित्तानि नाहं
न च श्रोत्रजिह्वे न च घ्राणनेत्रे ।
न च व्योमभूमिः न तेजो न वायुः
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहं शिवोऽहम् ॥ १॥

The processors
Manas, buddhi, ahaṅkāra and chitta are the qualitative differentiation within the mind. They are used interchangeably based on context, and yet they are different.

Manas is the faculty of perception, the instrument by which the objects of senses affect the Atman. It is the faculty of thought, desire, imagination. Buddhi is the intellect, by which one discerns, comprehends. Ahaṅkāra is the sense of identity, that which creates ‘I-ness’, ego. Chittam is the one that observes, is aware. All these are the faculties that process what comes from outside.

I am none of these processors.

The instruments
Shrotra is the ear, the organ of hearing. Jihvā is tongue, the organ of tasting. Ghrāṅa is nose, the sense of smelling. And netra is eye, the sense of seeing.

I am none of these instruments.

The building blocks of matter
Vyoma is the space, the gap between the matter. It is the space between planetary bodies as well as the space around Earth, and even the space inside anything. It is also one of the five basic elements.

Bhūmi is the Earth, or the solid matter.

Tejas is the heat or light (both interconnected) like the fire or the Sun.

Vāyu is the wind, the circulating forces, not just on Earth but also inside our bodies, responsible for circulating whether nutrition or blood etc.

I am none of these building blocks of which the material world is made.

The faculties get the information using the senses about the outside world.

I am none of them.

I am pure bliss form of consciousness.
I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

— Practical Sanskrit

—–

it is Adi Shankara‘s birthday, and, if i can be said to “follow” a “religion”, it would probably be the one espoused by adi shankara.

the reason for this is that adi shankara spoke of a “god” which exists beyond what we experience as “good” or “evil”. this “god” is neither (or, possibly, both) “good” and/or “evil”… which is, pretty much, EXACTLY the kind of “god” i feel, which “operates” this plane of existence. this “god” both “exists” and “does not exist”, at the same time, creating no contradictions. this “god” is both “illogical” and “logical” at the same time, creating no contradictions…

and if you don’t understand this, you probably think i’m crazy.

so be it.

this sanskrit shloka, part of Nirvanashatkam is, pretty much, exactly what i believe about myself: i may have all these things holding me back; depression, anhedonia, a brain injury, etc., but those are relics of 60 years of living in this plane of existence. in spite of how “real” these things are, in spite of how “real” these things seem to be TO ME, they are NOT “who i am”, in the “real” sense of the word. i am beyond all this: i “really” exist in a realm where “good” and “evil” are two sides of the same coin… and that “coin” is worth less than a penny.

Tina Chopp is God! Praise Her OR DIE!!

Tina Chopp is God! Praise Her OR DIE!!*
June 6, 2019
by Paul Krugman
nytimes.com

Tina Chopp claims that she can “fix anything!” I don’t know about the results of any business big or small, but I certainly know about the results of electing a God.

Citizens of the United States were tired of political campaigns in which voters were supposed to make an informed choice, and come November they chose not to do so. Perhaps that was because political campaigns are often tedious, or because, in 2018, the choices were so severe, or perhaps, as I argued yesterday, because the traditional definition of democracy, which involves an informed choice by voters, had been rendered absurd by the rise of special-interest money in politics. Voters may understand politics in idiosyncratic ways, but they are not rational. They can’t know everything; the information they have is too incomplete and cluttered for anyone to take proper stock of the candidates.

But citizens have not been irrationally inert in general, either. There are times when an informed opinion is just as right as the next one, and there are times when an informed opinion is just as bad as the next one. It is sometimes not even possible to know the difference between them — in recent days, for example, a number of the #MeToo protesters spent all day in the public square, insisting that they knew a lot more than they seemed to, and finally decided that the house was haunted.

The election of a God enables one to ignore the matter altogether, and the designation of such a God, apparently, is self-explanatory. This should not be any kind of problem, because the Bible is faith. And faith does not need to be backed up by anything, and certainly not by objective knowledge, so Chopp can rewrite the Bible as she likes, just as she will rewrite your favorite movie, or your favorite TV show, as she wants, without a single backward glance toward theological detail.

People who mock the idea of electing a God often find themselves apologizing when, like Chopp, they refuse to back up the idea, insisting that a deity is just not necessary. (Especially when a deity so obviously favors Israel!) But it is necessary; this is not a joking matter, in my view. The natural condition of people is self-referential, and we not only judge other people’s quality, but we judge ourselves. Many of us would naturally opt for a God who is on our side.

And the sad truth is that Chopp and her kind seem to be, if not quite an entirely new threat, then a near-complete one. They have replaced democracy, which is now generally pretty awful (but which gives us some rare gains in some areas — civic organizing, campaigning, electoral infrastructure, resistance) with religion, which, while superficially attractive, is also pretty distasteful. Christianity, of course, has always been toxic, but churches even in countries with relatively strong traditions of democracy — Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Iceland, Iceland again — have been susceptible to corrupting tendencies. So too, it seems, has the idea of electing a God.

Some combination of middlebrow and educated parents will remain ready to do their children the honor of having them baptized into a god whose politics are unclear, and who tells her followers to “immediate action!” And if anyone even remotely similar surfaces, but even a relatively uneducated or educated churchgoer won’t mind telling an unbeliever to “please pray.” The fundamental question is this: Are we really serious about denying Chopp her God, or are we just sending a message to those who might — and the decline of political parties makes this more and more certain — become moderates by necessity?

Continue reading Tina Chopp is God! Praise Her OR DIE!!

buskingniksub

190511 salamandir, by jon leach
190511 salamandir, by jon leach
when you hang around the pike place market enough, particularly if you don’t look exactly like pretty much everybody else, you will eventually end up having your photo taken by one of the multitude of street photographers who descend in droves on the market thinking that they will get “that shot” which will propell them into the realm of famous photographers like ansel adams or robert mapplethorpe. in this case, it was a chap called jon leach, who has been doing street photography for about 5 years — no clue what he did before that — and he took a photo of me that i like, because when you look at the whole, reduced photo, i look serious, almost frowning, but if you look at the photo up close, i’m actually smiling.
190511 salamandir, up close
190511 salamandir, up close

busking this week has been a mass of contradictions: yesterday, we played two sets, after having been displaced at 11:00 from the place where i had added us to the list at 8:00 because an amplified band (which is “banned from busking at the market”) was setting up to play in a “flower festival” which the market managers had neglected to tell us buskers about until we actually got there — and they posted a new notice regarding the closure in exactly the same place where the “get your new buskers’ permit” notice had been, so the people (including me) who signed up on the list didn’t notice it until it was too late… so we went up the alley, behind the iron stairs, and busked for an hour, took an hour break (because “the official rules” say you have to), and played most of a second set before we got fed up — in the middle of a song — and said fuck it.

the reason we got fed up is because there were probably 20 people, from people taking pictures with their cell phones all the way up to people who had professional camera equipment, taking our photos, which includes a sign in a very prominent, central location, which says, in large letters “TIP FOR PHOTOS”, but NOT TIPPING FOR PHOTOS! 😠🤬

seriously! some of these people came in pairs, one of them standing next to, or behind us, and the other person, with the camera, lining up the shot so that we were both in the frame, with the sign that says “TIP FOR PHOTOS” in the frame as well, and when they were done mugging for the camera, they just turned around and walked off as though we were plastic manequins… and not starving musicians who have a combined total of more than a century of experience playing music.

my understanding is that the problem is partially because of the cruise ship companies which offer fares that “include all gratuities”, and partially because of the common myth that buskers are paid by the market. both are WRONG!! and it make life particularly awful for folks that have to make their living busking when people act like buskers are free.

on the other end of the scale are days like today, when we played 3 sets and made almost $50 a piece, which works out to around $16 an hour… which is not outstanding, but it’s enough that it makes you want to come back out and try it again tomorrow.

and then there’s the pike place market foundation. back in the ’80s, when the market was being renovated for the first time, i bought an inscribed tile, which was originally placed outside of the athenian tavern…

i had a picture of it, at one time, but i can’t locate it currently. 😒

anyway, they had to replace the floor in front of the athenian, in the ’90s, because it was unstable, and they tore out the section of floor that had my tile in it, and replaced it with somebody else’s tile.

when i bought that tile, i was in the tech school, and the price of the tile was in lieu of half a week’s groceries, but when i asked the market foundation about it when i discovered it was missing, in 2016, their response was to say that if it was not there, then it was not going to be replaced, and my money meant nothing. they offered me a “market charm” to be installed in the new section of the market (which they hadn’t even built yet) as a replacement, to which i agreed.

but it was, apparently, never installed. yesterday, i asked the lady custodian of the market charm database to check, and she couldn’t find it. so i filled out another market charm request, and she said it should be installed this fall, and i can check at their database at PikeUp dot org. while i was at the market foundation booth, i also bought a “pig pin” which came with this interesting printed card:

Pig Pin card
Pig Pin card

i noticed a design detail on the card, which caused this conversation between me and the lady at the booth:
ME: this card has swastikas on it! cool!
Lady At The Booth: those aren’t swastikas.
ME: they’re swastikas, they’re just not what you expected to see when i said “swastika”… they’re not nazi swastikas, they’re ORIGINAL swastikas, from before the nazis got hold of it: they’re “little good luck charms”, which is what the word “swastika” means, in sanskrit.
Lady At The Booth: yeah, but they’re not swastikas, there’s another name for it.
ME: the german word for a swastika is “hakenkreuz”. the reason english-speaking people use the word “swastika” is because nobody could figure out how to say “hakenkreuz”.
Lady At The Booth: but there’s another name for them.
ME: the word “swastika” is a sanskrit word that means “little good luck charm”. it’s the perfect symbol to put on the pike place market “good luck token”, and most people probably wouldn’t even realise that it’s a swastika, because it’s not a nazi swastika. the swastika is one of the world’s oldest symbols, and it was around, as a symbol of good luck for, literally, thousands of years before the nazis got hold of it! it’s about time we started taking it back, and making it into a symbol of good luck again!
Lady At The Booth: really? cool! 😊

allegedly, they’re going to snail-mail me when the charm is installed, but they said they were going to install it in 2016, and they didn’t, so it remains to be seen what they’re really going to do.

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex

pat robertson should not be allowed to broadcast his hate on national television. it astounds me that he still has a platform… although it astounds me that people still go to church, so maybe i’m the crazy one here… although i would much rather be considered “crazy” than i would to convert to that sex-crazed mainiac’s way of thinking. seriously, i don’t understand why HOMOSEXUALS having sex the way they do threatens anybody, and certainly not to the depths of the fabric of society. the fact is, whether pat robertson likes it or not, people have been “doing sex” the “weird way” since long before pat robertson was around, and they’re not likely to go away just because pat robertson and his ilk somehow get a law passed. people like him would do well to pay attention when someone like, oh, i don’t know, Jesus Christ, maybe, says “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

it makes me wonder about the beam in pat robertson’s eye, particularly since he seems to be obsessed with “weird” ways of having sex. it makes me think that he might not be getting enough, himself. 😒

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex
by Rev. Dr. Guido Super DeLuxe, 190226
download here

The Trash Issue

as i mentioned the other day, i found a whole pile of black and white negatives that are between 25 and 35 years old, quite a few of which were taken by my friend randy, for inclusion in an issue of Tina Magazine that never got published. we first started talking about “The Trash Issue” when we both were living in bellingham between 1990 and 1993. it gets sort of fuzzy after that, but my recollection is that randy moved away from bellingham in the middle of 1993 and took all of the writings for The Trash Issue with him.

90s COTC publications
90s COTC publications

i also have a picture of a whole pile of Tina literature that now, strangely, seems to be for sale at Alta-Glamour… in fact, i have narrowed it down to, either randy’s collection (which is more likely), or less likely it is jim’s collection… but, one collection or another, they somehow went from being in a photo that i took with my camera, with very few changes (none of the tracts, and the addition of The War On Drugs Issue, which is the reason i think it is randy’s… and if they have a ritual object, it is one of the bronze ones, because i have the silver one with the mystic emblems on the reverse side), some time between 1990 and 1993 to being for sale (at OUTRAGEOUS prices) at some rare bookseller, a fact which makes me angrier every time i think about it… 😠

but i digress…

anyway, i have a contact sheet which was marked up with indications of which pictures were to be used in The Trash Issue, and if i could think of some words to put with it, i would publish the posthumous Trash Issue on the church’s web site… because the internet was MADE for The Trash Issue.

Blob Lardstone

Blob Lardstone – 190119, by Ralph Ewggleigh

this is my interpretation of the introduction to a cassette by Bob Larson, a toxically obnoxious evangelical so-called “christian” radio preacher who bills himself as “the real exorcist”, with whom i have been interacting, on and off, for the better part of 40 years. he, too, is likely a member of my karass, because, despite my repeated attempts to get him out of my life, he keeps popping up, and i keep responding to him.

समाधि पीठ

sivaite samadhi peetham
sivaite samadhi peetham

i found a whole pile of black and white negatives that are between 25 and 35 years old. possibly older, as i don’t have a great memory for these things, so i keep a list of when things happened. according to that list, the picture above was taken in 1991 or 1992. it was taken to honour the fact that i had just experienced sabikalpasamadhi (सविकल्पसमाधि) for the first (and only) time, on the banks of the skagit river.

jim robertson
jim robertson

i just got back from picking up 182 4″x6″ prints. there are a bunch of pictures of ezra, the PHBFH, randy, and ruth. there are a few pictures of other people, including me, and jim robertson.

there are also a lot of pictures for the legendary “Trash” issue of “Tina Magazine”, which was never published, as well as several pictures of the Tina literature which is now, suspiciously, for sale at Alta-Glamour.

now i gotta get started scanning them. 😉

more tina chopp

Alta-Glamour Inc. (Seattle, WA, U.S.A.) apparently has a whole pile of vintage Tina literature (which i do not have, which makes me kind of wonder exactly where they got it), including two by me, for vastly inflated prices… i wrote to the seller, saying that i was the original publisher of these items, and what did they think trying to sell my stuff for so much. their response was:

Our zine pricing often indicates the importance we ascribe to a certain item. People often look to our website to establish values of their collection items, and we want to demonstrate, through pricing, that we think these zines are culturally significant.

The price is therefore not necessarily what we can sell the item for, at least now. Our zines are priced to sell — in 15 years, when zines are even more significant and scarce representations of the creativity emanating into the world.

i guess i sort of understand where they’re coming from, but, as the original publisher of those items, i think it’s ridiculous to imagine that they’re ever going to get so much for them. especially as they make no effort whatsoever to acknowledge my work in all of this. i guess i would feel differently if they offered me a cut, and i would definitely feel differently if randy were alive… my guess is that randy would have already raised hell with them over the prices… but, then again, since their collection appears to include a ritual object, there’s an outside chance that they actually acquired them from randy’s father, after his death.

also, i am somewhat alarmed to learn that they have jim robertson’s publication mixed in, as though he was as prominent a Tinite as randy, ian or i. they say “A bullying joke gone too long, these guys are proto-alt-right trolls.” which indicates that they believe jim was connected with the Church of Tina, even though, by the time he published “A Snake!” he had been excommunicated for two years, primarily because of his hateful, politics-obsessed rantings, which is why his publication is “The Journal of the Last Rhythmic Tantrist Church of Tina Chopp (Heretic)”… can’t they tell that it’s an entirely different cult? 😒

george

i met george today.

i was getting gas in my car, and this tall, weedy, semi-suspicious looking guy came up to me and said “tell me about your bumper.”

inevitably, this means that he’s a “christian” who is offended by the message of my bumper sticker, which says JESUS IS A GATEWAY DRUG, but i feigned ignorance, partially because there was a HUGE line of people waiting behind me. but then he left no doubt, by pointing at it and reading it out loud. i responded by saying that it was a pretty simple message, and what more did he want to know.

so he started to say “i’m a christian, and…”, at which point i interrupted him, saying “i’m a christian, too”, at which point he asked me if i was jewish “because of your license plate” — i guess he hadn’t seen, or hadn’t been able to identify the huge picture of panchamukhi ganesha on the hood — but i said, no. i learned about jesus, and that gave me the opportunity to learn about all of the world’s religions, and i learned that they are all the same, and all point towards the same God.

at that point, i was done pumping gas, and, as i was taking the hose back to the pump, he said something that i didn’t hear, but it started with “no…” so i probably didn’t miss much…

180905 gonowtogeorge
180905 gonowtogeorge
then he handed me a card, and said “this is my web site”. so i handed him one of my own cards — the one that says “Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability” — which he stood and stared at until i got in my car and drove off.

check out his web site… it’s hillariously “old school” (complete with dark-coloured background and rainbow-coloured font) and is, literally, “George’s Links To The World” in that, if it’s on internet, and george has read it and agrees with it, it’s on his site, somewhere. it’s not quite as single-focused as Time Cube, but it’s just as entertaining.

a few years ago, i was driving through south-of-seattle afternoon traffic, and i saw, on the car ahead of me, a bumper sticker that said “TRY JESUS”, and, immediately, i thought “that guy’s a ‘pusher'”.

then i thought about my own experiences with jesus, jeezis and “christians”, and i thought, if that guy is a “pusher”, then, in my experience, at least, jesus is a gateway drug: i learned about jesus, then i learned about other religions, then i learned that they are all the same… but my initial exposure to all of this was jesus.

thus, the bumper sticker.

i wish i hadn’t been so flustered, because i would have really liked to explain that to george. it is my impression that it would have blown his mind even more than it already was. 😈

MA⸘G‽A

MAGA — or Make America Great Again — has become the rallying cry of the right wing, these days, but i have a few questions about whether america was that great to begin with, compared to other countries.

first, i have to consider how we determine what “great” actually means? how is america more “great” than france, or india, or estonia? what measures do we use to determine how “great” a country is, compared to another country, especially when there are countries that have more than a million citizens, and, at the same time, there are countries that have only a few thousand citizens. presumably, they’re not saying that a country is “more great” because it covers more of the surface of the earth, or that it has more occupants than another country.

it has always been my impression — and this was the case WAY before #drumpf was president — that a country is sort of like a football team, or a soccer team: you root for the people who are the closest to where you are. in the same way, barring any other difference, a person who was born in germany thinks that germany is the “greatest” country, and a person who was born in ethiopia thinks that ethiopia is the “greatest” country, regardless of ANYTHING ELSE that may be different about those two countries, compared to each other.

to continue, my impression has also been that, pretty much regardless of what the german, or ethiopian, may say about what the “greatest” country is, a person who was born in america would, very likely, disagree with them, which makes me wonder what a person from another planet — let’s say “jupiter”, for conversation’s sake — would think about these earthlings and their petty squabbles over whose piece of earth is “greater” than anywhere else on earth.

from a person from jupiter’s point of view, ALL places on earth probably have good points and bad points, some places on earth are probably more scenic than others, more crowds, or more serenity, but, from the point of view of someone from jupiter, they’re all just places on earth: nice places to visit, but why would anyone want to live somewhere other than jupiter?

forget “Make AMERICA Great Again”, lets “Make EARTH Great Again”! earth is the only planet we’ve got, and if we ruin it, we don’t have another planet upon which we can fall back…

but that brings up my next point: how can we say that earth is the greatest planet in the solar system? if ANY of the other planets weren’t there, or some other planet WAS there, life as we know it on earth would, very likely, be considerably different. and, of course, if the sun wasn’t there, or was in a different place, or a different size, life as we know it on earth may not have come into existence at all, in the first place. so how can we be so egotistical as to say that “earth is the greatest planet in the solar system”? all it would take would be for one thing to be slightly different, and the world that we know would be unrecognisable.

personally, my belief is that we would all do a lot better if we were to give up the notion that america ever has been “great”, if for no other reason than it would necessarily make every other place on earth “less great”.

america is the place where i was born, but i don’t hold some attraction to america that i don’t hold for every other place, even though i haven’t even been to those other places. for me, america is not, and never has been “great”, it just “is”… in the same way that jamaica or ethiopia or denmark just “is”. nowhere and nobody is “greater” than any other place or person, just as nowhere and nobody is “lesser” than any other place or person: they all have value.

the sooner we realise that, the more likely it is that we will be able to do away with #drumpf and his ilk.

The Man Who Walked on Water

A conventionally-minded dervish, from an austerely pious school, was walking one day along a river bank. He was absorbed in concentration upon moralistic and scholastic problems, for that was the form which Sufi teaching had taken in the community to which he belonged. He equated emotional religion with the search for ultimate Truth.

Suddenly his thoughts were interrupted by a loud shout: someone was repeating the dervish call. ‘There is no point in that,’ he said to himself, ‘because the man is mispronouncing the syllables. Instead of intoning YA HU, he is saying U YA HU.’

Then he realised that he had a duty, as a more careful student, to correct this unfortunate person, who might have had no opportunity of being rightly guided, and was therefore probably only doing his best to attune himself with the idea behind the sounds.

So he hired a boat and made his way to the island in midstream, from which the sound appeared to come.

Sitting in a reed hut, he found a man, dressed in a dervish robe, moving in time to his own repetition of the initiatory phrase. ‘My friend,’ said the first dervish, ‘you are mispronouncing the phrase. It is incumbent upon me to tell you this, because there is merit for him who gives and him who takes advise. This is the way you speak it.’ And he told him.

‘Thank you,’ said the other dervish, humbly.

The first dervish entered his boat again, full of satisfaction at having done a good deed. After all, it was said that a man who could repeat the sacred formula correctly could even walk upon the waves: something he had never seen, but always hoped — for some reason — to be able to achieve.

Now he could hear nothing from the reed hut, but he was sure that his lesson had been well taken.

Then he heard a faltering U YA as the second dervish started to repeat the phrase in his old way…

While the first dervish was thinking about this, reflecting upon the perversity of humanity and its persistence in error, he suddenly saw a strange sight. From the island the other dervish was coming towards him, walking on the surface of the water…

Amazed, he stopped rowing. The second dervish walked up to him and said: ‘Brother, I am sorry to trouble you, but I have to come out to ask you again the standard method of making the repetion you were telling me, because I find it difficult to remember it.’

Continue reading The Man Who Walked on Water

Enlightenment

ENLIGHTENMENT
180406 by Om Swami

“How do I gain enlightenment?” someone said to me the other day. “Can you not grant me some deep experience? I want a radical change in my life.”

I get this asked frequently by many enthusiastic seekers. They are in search of a panacea, some mystical reality that will solve all their problems (spiritual and emotional) forever. While many aspirants understand the importance of persistence and individual effort, most others are looking for a quick fix. Here’s a beautiful quote by Adya Shanti that mirrors my own thoughts in ways more than one:

Many seekers do not take full responsibility for their own liberation, but wait for one big, final spiritual experience which will catapult them fully into it. It is this search for the final liberating experience which gives rise to a rampant form of spiritual consumerism in which seekers go from one teacher to another, shopping for enlightenment as if shopping for sweets in a candy store. This spiritual promiscuity is rapidly turning the search for enlightenment into a cult of experience seekers. And, while many people indeed have powerful experiences, in most cases these do not lead to the profound transformation of the individual, which is the expression of enlightenment.

One of the greatest misconceptions about enlightenment is that it will just happen. Not so. It has to be earned, it has to be lived. Sometimes I find it challenging to explain to seekers that true enlightenment is not a one-off special moment, but more a culmination of lifelong experiences and practices that result in the dawning of a great insight. I don’t blame them for thinking that by the magical touch of some guru or maybe by being struck by lightning, they will arrive at a moment of enlightenment. Partly because we have plenty of spiritual books out there that give that impression. Even I may have inadvertently conveyed the same by sharing one of my most defining spiritual experiences in my memoir. For that matter, Buddha’s enlightenment under the Bodhi tree is often construed as an isolated event of extraordinary significance. It was anything but that.

In comprehending and highlighting such experiences, we tend to overlook the tremendous amount of effort that goes in realizing that state. For a moment, think of enlightenment as winning the Nobel Prize. We can’t have it just by visiting other Nobel Laureates and we certainly can’t be awarded it just because we want it. After a lifetime of commitment to a cause or producing a phenomenal body of work, and assuming the circumstances are favorable, the committee might consider your nomination and grant you one. No doubt winning the Nobel Prize will bring about a change in your life and lifestyle to a degree, you will inspire more people and so on. But, beyond that, there’s not much. It’s not going to improve your relationships, it’s not going to fix your physical health etc. Those challenges will remain.

Without preparation and readiness, any spiritual experience is hardly transformational. And if an experience doesn’t trigger some kind of lasting transformation in you, however subtle, it holds little meaning ultimately. When you continue to walk the path sincerely, diligently, many learnings, lessons and experiences give you the wisdom to lead your life differently. Differently so in a manner that it’s more conducive to retaining a state of bliss. Having said that, even if you are enlightened, it doesn’t mean that you won’t experience pain or that you will always find joy in everything that goes on in your life.

R.K. Laxman (1921 – 2015), one of India’s most famous cartoonists ever, writes a lovely passage in his travelogue The Distorted Mirror.

People are curious about my profession and try to clear their doubts by putting all sorts of questions. Recently a lady asked me, “Do you do the drawings for your cartoons yourself?” I answered, “Yes, I do.” Then she questioned, “And the captions to the cartoons, do you write them too?” “Of course,” I said. And, finally, she asked, “The ideas for the cartoons, don’t say you think them up too?”

There is one [question] that is rather rarely asked but which makes me go into deep introspection. This is: “When you look around, does everything appear funny to you?”

A cartoonist does not lead a charmed life of perpetual fun out of the reach of the cares and worries that bedevil his fellow men. The fluctuating prices of onions affect me in the same way as they delight or outrage a primary schoolteacher. Likewise, taxes depress my spirit. Bores at the mike, and traffic jams drive me crazy. Surely a doctor does not always look at life in terms of coughs, colds, allergies and bronchial inflammations. A star of the silver screen, I am sure, has enough sense to know that beyond the range of the camera life does not continue to be full of idyllic scenes, sex, songs and ketchup-blood. Why, then, should a cartoonist see living caricatures and hear rib-tickling dialogue all around him? So I comfort myself with the self-assurance that my view of life is normally as banal as that of the next man in the queue for sugar or kerosene.

Enlightenment is something like that. It does not mean that you don’t feel the pain or remain eternally unaffected by everything that goes around you. All of that we must go through based on our karma, temperament and attitude towards life. The only thing that changes is that you grow into a more spiritual being, you become increasingly resilient and kind. What life hurls at you doesn’t change, how you catch it or dodge it, does. When it builds to a tipping point, you become kind of independent, very independent. Less worried about what the world thinks of you, how it perceives you and so on. In other words, you draw your own cartoons, write your own captions and, much to the fascination or disbelief of others, come up with the ideas too.

As the famous Zen saying goes, “Before enlightenment: chop wood, fetch water. After enlightenment: chop wood, fetch water.”

Being a jivan-mukta, a liberated soul, or an enlightened person does not relieve one of his/her duties. Self-realization is not, as Eknath Easwaran put it, a compensation for one’s good deeds. It is but simply an outlook towards life that you gain from experiential understanding. If you really wish to get a grip on the notion of enlightenment then look upon it as a way of life, a commitment to virtues, as a promise to carry yourself a certain way and leading your life in a manner that befits you.

Liberation is not plonking a glorious flag on top of Mount Everest, it is but a mindful and diligent journey meandering through many treks and hikes, stopping and camping along the way, meeting and greeting fellow travelers, absorbing the breathtaking views, appreciating the challenges, rejoicing in where you are already. All this while you remain inward focused but goal-oriented.

When you realize this, a better sense of wellbeing and happiness shrouds you. You understand that there are no dark moments, that you are already enlightened. You just need to live a certain way to experience it. Then you laugh at the discovery that how unnecessarily seriously you’ve been taking yourself. As Thích Nhất Hạnh said:

I laugh when I think how I once sought paradise as a realm outside of the world of birth. It is right in the world of birth and death that the miraculous truth is revealed. But this is not the laughter of someone who suddenly acquires a great fortune; neither is it the laughter of one who has won a victory. It is, rather, the laughter of one who; after having painfully searched for something for a long time, finds it one morning in the pocket of his coat.

A religious man called a monk and invited him to bless his new home. The monk politely turned down the request saying he’s busy.
“But, what are you doing?” the man insisted.
“Nothing.”
Thinking that the monk was perhaps not in a mood to visit that day, he let it be and phoned again the next day. “Can you come today to bless my home?”
“Sorry,” said the monk, “I’m busy.”
“Doing what?”
“I’m doing nothing,” replied the monk.
“But that was what you were doing yesterday!” said the man.
“Right,” the monk replied. “I’m not finished yet!”

Enlightenment too is an ongoing affair. No doubt, there can be a transformational moment that changes something in you forever. Living that change, however, is a matter of mindfulness and more. True enlightenment, that.

This is it. This life. It’s beautiful. Live it. Love it. For yourself, for others. Laugh it away. That’s all there is to know. Most of the rest, life can do without.

WTF?

some back-story: a sheriff’s department in tenesee was arrogantly posting on farcebook about how they’ve gotten new stickers for their (publically owned) vehicles that say “IN GOD WE TRUST”. i wrote the following response to their boastful bragging.

161005 sheriff farcebook comment
161005 sheriff farcebook comment

my comment received several likes, and a number of supportive comments, despite the sheriff’s complaints, but, eventually, he deleted the entire thread, along with several other comments from other people.

i was somewhat taken aback, as it was my understanding that deletion of comments on a page that is intended to represent a governmental entity such as a sheriff was, at the very least, discouraged, and could potentially be taken as a blatant violation of the laws concerning such things.

so, i upped the ante, and left a review on their page:

161005 sheriff farcebook review
161005 sheriff farcebook review

after i left the review, i was promptly banned from leaving any comments on the henderson county sheriff’s department farcebook page… which means that i am immortalised on their page, and can’t do anything to change the settings, or respond to any comments.

at the same time, i left the review yesterday, and despite everything, i’ve still got four likes, which i consider to be pretty good, considering everything.

however, when people like Nathan N Angela Reeves posts an absolutely ignorant, idiotic comment, i can’t respond to how stupid they are… so i’m posting it here, because WTF?!?!?!? seriously…

We love God here and we also love Trump. Once he is elected, your voice will truly be less effective.

so… you think that, once #drumpf is elected, people like me will just vanish? you think that we’re going to just let drumpf and his ignorant, ass-backwards policies just run roughshod over the country without making any attempts to stop him. you think BLM is annoying now, just you wait… people like me are going to be making your life orders of magnitude more difficult, and that will just be the beginning.

You are a secular

where did you get that idea? certainly not from me, or anything i wrote… i disagree with you 100%, but the idea that my life is not governed by “anything other than what i want to do” is way out of line.

The bible “which you will not believe I’m sure”

what do you want to bet i know more about the bible than you do?

the bible also says “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

I hope you’re right about “no God”

again, i wonder where you got the idea that i’m saying there’s no God… if you do your research, you’ll discover that i say BOTH that there is no God, and that God exists, at the same time, without contradiction, but i certainly never said that there is no God in any place where you have looked… did you actually read my comments, or did you just knee-jerk respond without even looking up?

I’m a preacher

i’ll just bet you are… i am too, and i guarantee you, i can preach circles around you, buddy… 😉

I’ve been called to the bed of 5-6 dying Atheist

oh, so now you know everything there is to know about every single atheist on the planet… do you realise how mind-bogglingly STUPID that sounds?

obviously, you don’t. 😕

and, once again, i never said anything about being an atheist. in fact, i said, very clearly, at the beginning of my post, that i am a hindu, which leads me to suspect that you don’t know the difference between hindus and atheists. i’m not sure how you got the impression that i am an atheist, but you’re entirely, 100% wrong.

You to sir, will call on the Name of Jesus as you slip into eternity.

fat chance. 😛

the actual review can be seen here.

श्रीभगवानुवाच

स्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात । स्वधर्मे निधनं स्रेय: परधर्मो भयावह: ।।

This is better, that one do his own task as he may, even though he fail, than to take tasks not his own, though they seem good. To die performing duty is no ill, but who seeks other roads shall wander still.

— Bhagavad Gita, 3.35

spiritual rant

good or evil, black or white, up or down, in or out… it’s all dualism.

and dualism is fine for everyday living. some might say that dualism is essential for everyday living. but i’ve been discovering more and more, recently, that the dual state is not the way to advance much beyond the everyday world.

and why would anyone want to advance beyond the everyday world? in my case, i want to advance beyond the everyday because the everyday world is BORING when it is not, actively, out to make my life difficult.

and, ultimately, dualism isn’t real anyway. everybody from zarathustra to jesus to yoda says, essentially, that dualism is the second stage, and there is one above that transcends dualism. the problem is that there is so much about religion that is adversarial, to the non-believer, to different sects of believers, and to different religions. in that regard, religion is also dualistic in nature. the problem is that, when one accepts one religion and rejects all others, basically, one is saying that they are not quite as atheist as the people who are wholely atheist, and when one is entirely atheist in their thinking, there are a lot of “mysterious” things that happen, more-or-less regularly, which they are totally incapable of explaining. both leave me wanting something more.

what it comes down to is that these “pairs of opposites” (to use the hindu term) are both exactly the same thing. good isn’t the opposite of evil, good IS evil. black is not the opposite of white, black IS white. there are always two sides to every coin, but it is the same coin… you can’t separate heads from tails.

this extends to people, as well. there are not 7 billion people on this planet, there is 1 person with 7 billion different manifestations. that is why people like jesus said “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25.40)

we aren’t all different people, we are all the same person. it doesn’t matter that you perceive a difference, when you slight someone, you’re doing it to yourself… which, i suppose, is one of the reasons why it is customary to be polite to people, regardless of which people-group you’re talking about, rather than running rough-shod over anyone who happens to get in your way. it is also one of the reasons why we feel sad or angry when something bad happens to us: that part of me which is also a part of you, is grieving that we would choose to do that to ourselves.

it’s the definition of the word namasté that puts it all together for me: namasté — there is a part of me, and there is a part of you, where, when you are there, in you, and i am there, in me, we are one being with no differentiation. i salute that place.

ASIDE this would make a GREAT magic trick: you show the audience a big coin (a silver dollar, or something similar), show them that it has both a “heads” and a “tails”. you invite a volunteer to put their initials on the “heads” side of the coin. then you procede to “do your magic” and separate heads from tails. you show the audience the coin, with the volunteer’s initials on BOTH SIDES. you then show the audience an entirely different coin, which has two “tails” sides, and no initials. then, with a little more “magic” you put the heads and tails back together, and show the audience one coin, with the volunteer’s initials on one side and “tails” on the other. talk to joe about making this happen.

then there’s this…

5 types of swastika buttons
5 types of swastika buttons

i think i may have found a way to market these online so that people will be able to get what they want without having it be a random selection chosen by me. it’s difficult, because no two buttons are exactly the same, but i discovered, quite by accident, that there are five different general categories that they fall into. i suppose, if i wanted to get really technical, i could separate them even further into a predominant colour, but i think that may be a bit more complex, because then it would be possible, theoretically, for someone to come up with a colour and category that doesn’t exist, and that would be embarrassing.

they are all swastikas: category 1 buttons have more of an abstract swastika, because you can’t actually see it, but if you can look beyond the borders of the button, you might be able to imagine where it would be. category 2 buttons are a little less abstract, but it’s still not a visible swastika, although it might be easier for some people to figure out where it is. category 3 buttons have at least one definite swastika. category 4 buttons have at least three definite swastikas, and category 5 buttons have EITHER no less than 6 swastikas, OR at least one swastika, and a significant area where there are no swastikas.

they’re all $1.00 or more a piece… i say “or more” because if people want to pay more for them, i won’t complain. 😉

WTF?!!?

so, i’m at the fremont solstice festival, and i’m wandering around, and i wander past this security-guard/bouncer-type person who compliments me on my “shrine hat”. i say it’s called a “fez”, and that, technically, i would not be allowed to wear a “shrine hat”, because i am not a shriner, but i can wear a fez that doesn’t have the shrine regalia, and this particular fez has an image of Ganesha, the hindu God of Removing Obstacles. the guy said that he’s wearing a “muslim” fez in the image, so i took off the fez to see what he was talking about… the fez that ganesha is wearing in the image has an aumkara (the sanskrit letter “AUM”: ॐ) on it, which i told him. his response: yeah. muslim…

um… okay…

so i said, no, it’s hindu. it’s the sanskrit letter AUM. he says, no, it’s muslim. i disagree, and he says, have you done the research? i say yeah, and he says “well i’m muslim” to which i respond “and i’m hindu.”…

do american muslims really know that little about islam? if so, it makes me understand a little better why there are so many american “christians” who are worried about sharia law… 😕

and, as i was typing this into my phone this afternoon, i was standing next to the fremont studios, and there was a group of people standing about 10 feet away from me, and the guy that i could hear clearly was talking about a video with paul simon and chevy chase in it, and one of the other people said “who is paul simon?”…

WTF??? i can’t be that old… 😕

“god”…

i was listening to “pastor” david mitchell on the radio this evening, and what he had to say really angered me for a number of reasons.

he’s a predestinarian, and he believes that “god” made two different kinds of people: sheep and goats. sheep need a shepherd, and will go to heaven, but goats don’t, and won’t. goats are, basically, canon fodder. find a job that is too disgusting, degrading, dehumanising, or what-have-you for a sheep to do, and there’s a goat that is perfect for the job.

or, at least, that’s what “pastor” david mitchell would have you believe.

problem is, for “pastor” david mitchell, that the same “god” that created sheep also created goats, and, while sheep get to go to heaven, there are a lot more goats that end up going to hell… which isn’t very “fair” for a “god” that’s supposedly a loving being who would not that any should perish, but that all should come to everlasting life.

what it comes down to is that i’m a goat: regardless of how much “christians” like “pastor” david mitchell would try to convince me, i’m not interested in worshipping a “god” who made me a defective being whose fate is sealed from the beginning to suffer eternal torment. if i’m a goat, then it won’t do me any more damage to blaspheme the “holy spirit” or to say that Tina Chopp is God, because i’m going to hell, regardless…

on the other hand, if i were a sheep, i could blaspheme up one side and down the other, and then accept jeezis as my “saviour” and everything would be all right again.

which, i suppose, is why “pastor” david mitchell assumes that people don’t know whether they are sheep or goats, because even the goatiest goat could change their mind, some day, accept jeezis, and get a free pass to glory…

and how, according to “pastor” david mitchell, is one to determine whether one is a sheep or a goat? if you are “concerned” about your “salvation” then you are a sheep. if not, you are a goat. simple as that.

problem is, for “pastor” david mitchell again, people like me, who are concerned with what he calls “salvation”, but are not inclined to worship a “god” who can’t — or won’t — create all people to be “saved”… are not inclined to worship a “god” who creates sheep and goats, and says that the sheep are “saved” but the goats are “damned”…

if someone can come up with a “god” that doesn’t discriminate between his creations, who says that EVERYONE is welcome, leaving none out — including gays, athiests, hindus, muslims, tri-sexuals and hippopotami — because they don’t “believe” the right way… then i’ll take notice.

until then… watch out, because when i start talking about God, everybody’s going to run away, screaming and covering their ears. 👿

200-year-old Mongolian mummy may still be alive

200-year-old Dashi-Dorzho ItigilovThis extraordinary picture shows the mummifed male body which is believed to be several centuries old. It was found at 6.30 pm 27 January 2015 in Songinokhairkhan province, reported Mongolia’s ‘Morning Newspaper’.

‘The mummified body sits in a lotus position, as if still meditating.

‘Experts that only had time to carry basic visual test say they believe the body can be about 200 years old’.

The report added: ‘So far there is no information as to where the body was found. The only details we learned was that it was covered with a cattle skin’.

It was not clear if it was the skin of a cow, horse, or camel, said the report. The mummy was delivered to Ulaanbataar National Centre of Forensic Expertise’.

Initial speculation is that the mummy could be a teacher of famous Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov.

Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, born in 1852, was a Buryat Buddhist Lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, best known for the lifelike state of his body.

His remains were reported not to be subject to macroscopic decay.

source

——

As police say lama found in lotus positon was destined for sale on black market, there are claims it was one step away from becoming a Buddha.

A mummified monk found in the lotus position in Mongolia is ‘not dead’ and is instead one stage away from becoming a real-life Buddha, it has been claimed.

Forensic examinations are under way on the amazing remains, which are believed to be around 200 years old, having been preserved in animal skin. But one expert has insisted the human relic is actually in ‘very deep meditation’ and in a rare and very special spiritual state known as ‘tukdam’.

Over the last 50 years there are said to have been 40 such cases in India involving meditating Tibetan monks.

Dr Barry Kerzin, a famous Buddhist monk and a physician to the Dalai Lama, said: ‘I had the privilege to take care of some meditators who were in a tukdam state.

‘If the person is able to remain in this state for more than three weeks – which rarely happens – his body gradually shrinks, and in the end all that remains from the person is his hair, nails, and clothes. Usually in this case, people who live next to the monk see a rainbow that glows in the sky for several days. This means that he has found a ‘rainbow body’. This is the highest state close to the state of Buddha’.

He added: ‘If the meditator can continue to stay in this meditative state, he can become a Buddha. Reaching such a high spiritual level the meditator will also help others, and all the people around will feel a deep sense of joy’.

Initial speculation is that the mummy could be a teacher of Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov.

Born in 1852, Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov was a Buryat Buddhist Lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, best known for the lifelike state of his body.

Ganhugiyn Purevbata, who is the founder and professor of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulaanbaatar Buddhist University, said: ‘Lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolizes of the preaching Sutra.

‘This is a sign that the Lama is not dead, but is in a very deep meditation according to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas’.

The mummified remains, which were covered in cattle skin, were found on January 27 in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia.

However, there is more to the story and now police have revealed that the monk had been stolen from another part of the country and was about to be sold off.

An unnamed official said that it was taken from a cave in the Kobdsk region by a man who then hid it in his own home in Ulaanbaatar.

He had then been planning to sell it on the black market at a ‘very high price’, with local media claiming he wanted to take it over the Mongolian border. Police uncovered the plot and quickly arrested a 45-year-old, named only as Enhtor.

According to Article 18 of the Criminal Code of Mongolia smuggling items of cultural heritage are punishable with either a fine of up to 3 million roubles ($43,000) or between five and 12 years in prison. The monk is now being guarded at the National Centre of Forensic Expertise at Ulaanbaatar.

source

elephant

i got my annual enormous shipment of incense today, and turned around and got half of the shipment i received, ready to ship out again… it came from maspeth, new york, and is being shipped to minneapolis, minnesota, by way of seattle…

weird, but whatever works…

also, i got the latest Operation Mindfuck element today, which is a sticker that says “WARNING! This object does NOT exist!“. 👿 now i just have to figure out what to put it on… or, more acurately, what NOT to put it on… 👿

i shipped out a devotional statue to basel, switzerland, after going back and forth with the guy in email since saturday. first he didn’t read the we DO ship internationally, BUT…” page and then he took his time when it actually came to making the extra payment, but it all worked itself out in the end, and his statue shipped out today.

nooze

i went to bellingham saturday, and came back today. there are a number of interesting developments that came about as a result:

apparently there is a “bullet shuttle” that runs from downtown bellingham to downtown seattle and back, that only costs $11… which means that there’s a good chance that i will be taking it to bellingham, and/or whitley will be taking it to seattle more regularly, for the purposes of, basically, getting And More back together. along the same lines, whitley and kamalla have offered to house my keyboards in their house, which means that when i go to bellingham, my keyboards will be set up and ready to go, and when i’m not there, other people will be playing them. the piano (which is missing three tines) has been packed up in a box and sitting behind the couch for about 7 years, and before that it was in a box in the hallway… i haven’t actually had it set up since we moved in to this house… so putting it to good use again is most desirable, and this seems like a prime opportunity.

while i was on my way to bellingham, yesterday, i took sort of a detour through mount vernon, so that i could go by the places i used to live. while i was in mount vernon, it started to rain, and then, quite suddenly, it started to rain so hard that, after slowing down, and slowing down, and turning my windshield wipers to their highest settings, i still could not see, and was forced to take refuge in a parking lot for about half an hour, until the rain let up. as i was pulling out of the parking lot, i saw a building across the street that was, literally, pouring water, tens of gallons a minute, from all of the downspouts… and the streets were flooded in several places, to the point where, when i had to drive through a flooded part, i was concerned because it was over the floorboards of my car… i haven’t seen it rain that much in that short a period of time more than once or twice before in my entire life.

the main reason i went to bellingham in the first place was that kenyth’s 80th birthday was last week, and i went to deliver a birthday present (Operation Mindfuck) on monday. while i was there, i heard that there was going to be a music jam (which is what they’re calling the stairway jam these days), and it was suggested that i come up for it, so i did. another thing that we discussed while i was there was the fact (in my opinion) that kenyth really needs a wikipedia page… a fact that is complicated by the fact that kenyth has kept absolutely ZERO archives of the work that he has done, class notes from classes he has taught, personal correspondence, and that sort of thing, and further complicated by the fact that, to be a wikipedia page that isn’t deleted immediately, a lot of the information posted has to be backed up by stuff that is publically available from internet, which, in this case, would be practically impossible in anything like a realistic way. the upshot is that i am going to help the community of people who want to see this happen, by registering a domain (how about http://KenythFreeman.dance/ or http://JosephPFaddlefum.name/ or something like that? 😉 ) and pointing that domain name towards a blog that i can set up, and then give to the people who actually know what content there is, and can organise it the way it’s supposed to be.

on my way back, today, i mostly took surface streets, and only hit the freeway once or twice. i was north of burlington on what i think was Highway 99, and i found the new location of “The Music Shoppe”, which was a place i worked a couple of times a VERY long time ago: the first time was right after i graduated from the tech school, and ended when i got fired for telling sam, the owner, that the “chemical tank” that he bought, ostensibly to “dip musical instruments”, was full of the chromic acid that he bought and then discovered he couldn’t use because it’s carcinogenic (and, generally, only used as a “bright dip” for brass instruments before they are buffed and refinished), and it was beginning to leak, because it wasn’t really a “chemical tank” but, rather, a stainless steel dairy tank with a bright brass stopper… and the chromic acid was dissolving the bright brass stopper, because, well… chromic acid dissolves brass… 😐

anyway, the second time, he actually subcontracted my musical instrument repair business to repair musical instruments for “The Music Shoppe”, and that ended when he refused to pay me for an instrument that i had fixed, that his customer had refused to pay for. basically i said that, until i got paid i wasn’t going to fix any more instruments for him. he said that he hadn’t paid me because his customer hadn’t paid him, and i pointed out that his customer was HIS customer, and that MY customer was him, but that didn’t seem to make any difference. they apparently moved from their shop in the fountain district in north bellingham, some time in the past, and they are, as of 1st november, moving in to burlington. i left Operation Mindfuck in the front door for them to find when they open up tomorrow. 👿

Master Foo and the Script Kiddie

Master Foo and the Script Kiddie

A stranger from the land of Woot came to Master Foo as he was eating the morning meal with his students.

“I hear y00 are very l33t,” he said. “Pl33z teach m3 all y00 know.”

Master Foo’s students looked at each other, confused by the stranger’s barbarous language. Master Foo just smiled and replied: “You wish to learn the Way of Unix?”

“I want to b3 a wizard hax0r,” the stranger replied, “and 0wn ever3one’s b0xen.”

“I do not teach that Way,” replied Master Foo.

The stranger grew agitated. “D00d, y00 r nothing but a p0ser,” he said. “If y00 n00 anything, y00 wud t33ch m3.”

“There is a path,” said Master Foo, “that might bring you to wisdom.” The master scribbled an IP address on a piece of paper. “Cracking this box should pose you little difficulty, as its guardians are incompetent. Return and tell me what you find.”

The stranger bowed and left. Master Foo finished his meal.

Days passed, then months. The stranger was forgotten.

Years later, the stranger from the land of Woot returned.

“Damn you!” he said, “I cracked that box, and it was easy like you said. But I got busted by the FBI and thrown in jail.”

“Good,” said Master Foo. “You are ready for the next lesson.” He scribbled an IP address on another piece of paper and handed it to the stranger.

“Are you crazy?” the stranger yelled. “After what I’ve been through, I’m never going to break into a computer again!”

Master Foo smiled. “Here,” he said, “is the beginning of wisdom.”

On hearing this, the stranger was enlightened.

ॐ ༀ ૐ ੴ

the typewriter has been left in the capable hands of the guy who is either going to fix it and give it back to me, or take it and sell me another one at a discount… and, honestly, i hope he wants to take it and sell me another one at a discount, because he’s got an underwood manual typewriter that doesn’t require electricity, and that’s what i really want… if there’s no electricity, an electric typewriter is an expensive door stop, but a manual typewriter works anyway… 👿

glow-in-the-daylight house
almost finished, and it glows in the daylight as well…
140909 milestone 666666
666666 outside of bellevue, appropriately enough…

ॐ AUM ༀ OM

i manifested a typewriter that is mostly functional, but it doesn’t like to print on the envelopes, because of the ribbon, so i’m taking it to a guy, tomorrow, who thinks he may be able to get a fabric ribbon which will print on envelopes…

i’m surprised at how many people i have been meeting who seem to understand and/or relate with what i am doing, who have entirely mundane occupations… like the typewriter repair guy, or the artist who rendered my pixel graphic as vectors… i wouldn’t expect then to be anywhere close to understanding, and they not only understand, but are able to make suggestions as to how i can do things in a way that i hadn’t thought of immediately…

and the typewriter i manifested makes me chortle with evil glee… it’s a IBM correcting selectric II, the kind on which i learned to type, and i even have a “ball” for it, that is prestige pica 72… 👿

peek tures

this is the latest incarnation of Operation Mindfuck:

140831 operation mindfuck

imagine you’re walking down the street in downtown seattle, pushing a baby carriage and probably thinking about going shopping at the pike place market. as you are crossing the street you encounter a strange guy going the other direction, who hands you this tiny envelope and then walks off…

THIS is Operation Mindfuck… 👿

within the next week or so, i AM going to manifest a typewriter, which i intend to use to write cryptic messages on the outside of the envelopes.

chirp

okay, this is probably supposed to say “crip”, but it’s my impression that it says “chirp”… woo… i’m really afraid of the illiterate gang-member-wannabe who imitates birds that lives in this remote “suburban” neighbourhood… woo… 😐

the front half towing the back half

this is a picture of a sign. the sign is a picture of the front half of a car towing away the back half of the car, right?

thought so…

Ebeneezer Squeezer The Second

Ebeneezer Q. Squeezer The Second — The Apprentice Holy Snake

frank lies in the sun

Frank Zappa enjoys a puddle of sunlight

operation mindfuck

140817 OM business cardannouncing Operation Mindfuck. in the grand old tradition of very weird and/or subversive lives of such luminaries as kerry thornley and greg hill, and with inspiration from people such as robert anton wilson, buckminster fuller and aleister crowley, i have undertaken to join the fray and started my very own attempt to jolt people out of their everyday existence in a way that — just maybe — might bring about some shred of enlightenment into their dull, padded minds.

for a while now, i have had this directory entitled “do this”, which contains ideas for future art projects. i combined an idea that i thought was particularly inspiring with an idea that had been sitting in my “do this” directory for a while and had some business cards made… and they have already been supremely effective!

yesterday, when i was taking my morning constitutional, i encountered a bevy of jehovah’s witnesses out canvassing the neighbourhood. there were at least two cars full of them, and they were hitting up the neighbours without remorse. as i was walking by, one of them came out from a neighbour’s front door (no doubt, after having been told in no uncertain terms to get off the person’s property), and handed me a pamphlet and asked if i had seen this. i took his pamphlet, and asked him if he was so insecure in his own belief that the only way he could feel justified in believing it is by convincing others to believe the way he does. he responded by pulling out his well-worn bible and saying “here’s why we do what we do…” to which i responded, pointing at the verse he was about to read, “it doesn’t matter”…

whereupon, i pulled out my cards that say “THERE IS NO ENEMY ANYWHERE” and handed one to him. he said no, and pulled away, but i put the card on the dashboard of his car, and it slid off, so he bent down to pick it up, and then i handed a card to an older guy who had come up, and was on the passenger side of the car, and then another card to a teenager — who was wearing a too-large suit and looked very uncomfortable — and then i walked away.

i got about half-a-block away, and looked back… and they weren’t there. both of the cars had packed up and split in the time that it took me to walk half a block…

and that was just from the “THERE IS NO ENEMY ANYWHERE” side… i hate to think what happened to their insulated, beige world when they turned the cards over and discovered that the bearer of this card is a genuine, authorised OHO… i imagine the teenager probably wouldn’t know who baphomet is, but there’s a good chance that the two older guys who got the cards will know…

tee hee hee… 👿

then, later on, i went to a snake suspenderz gig in georgetown, for a birthday party for a bunch of aging hipster/steampunk-wannabes, and passed out a few cards to them, as well. the birthday party people had a much more positive reaction to them.

vedanta

i went to the vedanta society this morning, for the first time in a very long time indeed. swamiji’s talk was on the utility of being a fool, which is a talk that i am sure i have heard before, but it was probably before my injury, because i don’t remember exactly when. it is full of relevant quotes from everyone from socrates, who, after his wife poured a bucket of water on him during an argument, said “it is very common that after a blustering wind, you get rain” to swamiji, himself, who said “politicians are like toilets in your home: it’s impossible to get on without them, but they are difficult to keep clean and require frequent flushing”.

what i took away from it is that it is far easier, and far more fun to say that you know nothing than it is to claim to know it all, even if you do know it all… which nobody does, because knowledge is infinite.

ramakrishna said “i am the worst of the fools (nirakshara = unlettered), but i know akshara (the infinite)”.

the chapel is exactly as i remember it from years ago, down to the pattern in the brocade cover on the lectern… i suspect that even the fake flowers in the sconces on the walls are the same as they were 40 years ago. the guy who was greeting people at the front door chuckled and said that he hadn’t seen me in a while…

my recollection is that the last time i went to the vedanta society was shortly after my injury, when we were still living in renton… and before that was probably while we were living on beacon hill.

but as familiar as it was, and as nice as it was to be there, i wasn’t overwhelmed with a desire to be a part of that community, as i was 40 years ago. it was really good to hear swamiji speak — he hasn’t changed a bit, which is somewhat surprising considering how long it has been — but, after the talk he said “haven’t i seen you before?”… yeah, you’ve seen me before: i was a student of yours for 15 years, i asked you to officiate my wedding, and i’ve been coming here since the mid-’70s… i was just thinking about it this morning: i have been coming to the vedanta society since shortly after someone planted a bomb near the front door and tried to burn the place down. i started coming while they were still in the process of rebuilding. i’m not particularly surprised that he didn’t remember me, though, because he sees thousands of people in a month, and he interacts with them far more than he has with me for the past 20 years or so… and it is a 45 minute drive to get there now…

the way i feel now is that if i’m going to drive 45 minutes to go somewhere, i’m going to choose places that challenge me to learn new things, and, to be honest, i’ve heard all of swamiji’s talks several times over. it is nothing against swamiji, or the vedanta society, but if i’m gonna drive 45 minutes, that early in the morning, i would get a lot more out of it if i were going busking. 😎

internal dissent

let me preface this by saying that I KNOW this kind of dissent is prevalent in every other religion on the planet, and that’s not stopping people from believing it (whatever “it” is) anyway, but it’s things like this that make me suspicious of ALL religions, and this one in particular.

and that’s also not to avoid the subject of “the really big” dissent, which is the difference between catholicism and protestantism, which far outweighs any other, relatively minor dissent that comes after it, but that also does nothing to negate the fact that these are two protestants who disagree with one another… one to the point of hanging up on an interviewer who has taken “the other side” of the argument, despite the fact that he really should be answering some of the questions the interviewer is asking.

if you haven’t figured it out by now, i’m talking about the feud that is brewing between hometown right-wing nut-job mark driscoll, and equally right-wing nut job, national “christian” broadcaster janet mefferd. i think it’s really instructive to see these two right-wing nut-jobs battle it out, to the point of one of them hanging up on the other one. quite apart from the fact that great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them (psalm 119.165, hat tip to bruce gerencser for the reference) and mark driscoll definitely seems offended by janet mefferd’s line of inquiry, it’s not an athiest pointing out the fallacies of a “christian’s” argument, it’s two “christians” battling it out over who has the “right-er”, wrong position… 😐

as much as i hate to say it, i agree with janet mefferd this time. mark driscoll has some extreme soul searching to do, as well as quite a bit of going back over old publications to find the plagiarisms and footnoting them correctly… if nothing else.

and it makes me seriously wonder how anyone can take him seriously after this… i mean, my philosophy makes people think i’m out of my mind, and that’s okay with me. but mark driscoll preaching against plagiarism, while, at the same time, plagiarising, himself, follows what i believe in a technical sense, however, there are limits to how meaningless it can be, before it actually becomes meaningless… and it is my impression that mark driscoll crossed that line a while ago. any credibility that mark driscoll may have had disappeared a long, long time ago, and judging by how he responded to janet mefferd’s line of questioning, it’s not going to reappear again any time in the forseeable future.

backwards masking

i’ve been interested in the phenomenon of backwards masking ever since i first became aware of it, which was probably shortly after it was first reported in the late ’70s. it was incredible to me that people could be saying one thing, forwards, and, completely unconsciously, be saying a completely different thing, backwards. so, naturally, when i went to college and had access to a “professional” recording studio, with the ability to record things and play them backwards, i investigated this phenomena quite extensively. and, naturally, what i discovered is that 99% of the people who talk about “backwards masking” are completely full of shit and don’t know the first thing about the subjects in which they claim to be experts… or, for that matter, any other subject.

at this point, i would be thinking “big surprise”, but, at the time, i was still an impressionable 20-something, and was under the impression that these people “didn’t know” something on purpose, as though they were lying to the rest of us, or talking from ignorance. since then i have become aware that these people are just plain stupid, and no amount of “compassionate” education will sway them from their improbable course.

i started my “education” on the topic of backwards masking with a record (remember them?) called “Flee Pasts Ape Elf” by Orchid Spangiafora, in the late ’70s. at this point, i knew what i had heard on the news-media of the time, i.e. newspapers, radio and television, but when i was confronted with this album, it gave me a whole new perspective on what they were really talking about, and i started experimenting with my own sounds. one of my first finished examples was This Should Be A Love Song in 1979, which, among other thing, demonstrated that all speech didn’t have “ulterior motives” when played backwards. i then went into a period of examining language and developing an “alphabet” of symbols that i could use to transcribe what i heard backwards into a phonetic schema that i could then, recite forwards, record, and reverse, to make intelligible speech when played backwards, despite the fact that, when i was reciting it forwards, there was no hope of understanding what i was saying. i remember working the phrase “ritsbal yeh nawkus!” into a presentation that i was giving to my cross-cultural perspectives class, knowing full well that nobody in the class knew that i was really telling everyone to “suck on a lobster”.

i have, since, become aware of people like david oates of Reverse Speech and other people, like him, who claim that people unconsciously say things in reverse that they might never say, or even imagine, if they were saying them normally. it is my impression, having studied this phenomeonon since the mid-1970s, that people are far too stupid, forwards, to expect that, even subconsciously, they would be planning their speech to reveal the innermost secrets of their lives, in reverse, at the same time. a good example of that is the famous speech given by gary greenwald, in which he claims that Aleister Crowley was one of the most feared satanists of the 16th century. quite apart from everything else, aleister crowley would have been the first person to tell you that he was NOT a satanist, and he most definitely did NOT live in the 16th century — greenwald was only 400 years off, but who’s counting? with that level of obvious scholarship, why on earth would anyone believe that anything else he has to say is anywhere close to accurate?!? and yet, approximately 51% of americans currently believe the drivel he was spouting 25 years ago.

it is this sort of thing that convinces me that i am not human: i had to have been born somewhere else, and was kidnapped and adopted by my human parents and raised as human, because this sort of deliberate ignorance on the part of the majority of people, makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

TRIODE

TRIODE.TXT
————————————————————————-
a story of people[0xCF36] as told by shaman.Accumulator.Overflows(true)

In the beginning, there were too many numbers, and nobody could tell exactly what they were. Everybody was confused about what was big and what was small, because everything was kind of big, but also kind of small. Nobody knew anything for sure.

Someone wanted to know how much energy the people had, but no one could agree. One person said they had about 36.63 trillion joules, and another said maybe 36.64 trillion joules. Someone else wanted to know if this was a lot, but the people couldn’t agree about that either. Some said it must be a lot because it was more than 1 joule. Other people said it couldn’t be much because it was less than 100 vigintillion joules. They argued about it until Slide Rule Demon came and laughed at them. He owned all the land, because the people were clumsy and slow.

In these days, Sun had all the binary. He was in the sky during the day, and gone at night. Sun was either there or not there, and he was the only thing that could do this. Capacitor wondered about Sun, and asked the old vacuum tube, Grandmother Triode. She told him about 0 and 1, and how only Sun had these, so only he could be absolute.

Capacitor thought to himself, “If I had 0 and 1, I could be absolute too.” He sneaked up to Sun’s house, and swallowed a big handful of 0. He started to feel sick, so he ran back to the earth as fast as he could. When Grandmother Triode saw what he had done, she scolded him. “Oh, Capacitor, that was very foolish. The 0 you have swallowed has fallen down inside you, and now your heart is gone.” Ever since that day, Capacitor has been unable to conduct electric current, because he is empty inside.

Insulator also tried to steal from Sun. He climbed up into the sky, and grabbed as much 1 as he could carry, but by the time he got back home, the 1 had gotten all over him and soaked into his body. “Oh, Insulator,” cried Grandmother Triode, “that was very foolish. The 1 has filled you up completely, and now you can’t carry anything.” That is why, even today, Insulator cannot transmit data. He is all solid, and nothing can get through.

Finally, Grandmother Triode decided to get 0 and 1 herself. She drank from the people’s energy until her cathode became very hot and started to glow. She climbed up to the house of Sun, and swallowed a big pile of 0. The 0 tried to empty her out, like it had done to Capacitor, but Grandmother Triode was filled with vacuum, so there was nothing to take away. Next she filled a big bag with 1 and placed it on her positive plate. Quickly she charged up her control grid as high as she could. The 1 could not make her solid, like it had done to Insulator because it was trapped on the plate by her strong electric field. “Ha,” laughed Grandmother Triode, “I have captured you both, and now you are mine.”

Sun had lost so much 0 and 1 that he no longer had enough to last all day. He had to start being partway there and partway not there. When he did this, the people called it “dusk” and “dawn”, and we have had them ever since.

Grandmother Triode shared her 0 and 1 with all the people, and because she was very wise, she declared that 1 should mean “all true” and 0 should mean “all false”. “Now,” she said, “we can be sure of things, and never be confused”. She also taught the people how to make any number they needed from just 0 and 1. The people looked at their energy again, and found that they had exactly 36,637,215,626,189 joules. Slide Rule Demon became angry, because he could not make numbers like this, but the people had become fast and strong. They chased him away, and Slide Rule Demon never came back.

Grandmother Triode had a daughter called Transistor Woman, and she taught the people logic, arithmetic, and everything else they needed to know. Soon the people owned all the land and were very happy.

————————————————————————-
END OF FILE