Category Archives: enlightenment

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The Egg

The Egg
By Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

okay, here’s the thing…

i used to post a lot of political news and some commentary… i was obsessed with the news, and gulped it down in great quantities.

and what i discovered is that it stressed me out. things are going to be shitty all over regardless of whether i know about it or not, and the less i know about stuff, the less i care when shitty things happen…

and they WILL happen. whatever i do to stop them won’t make a damn bit of difference, because that’s just the world we live in. some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you.

so when i have the choice between reading about how the egyptian army is getting set to overthrow the egyptian president and watching a video of somebody using extremely detailed, plastic, miniature utensils and food to cook and assemble a complete bento box and more, i’m sorry to say that, these days, i’m a lot more inclined to watch the teensy plastic chef than i am to worry about what’s happening in egypt.

it may not be particularly socially conscious, but it’s what i have discovered does the best for my state of mind.

in the middle of now here

i went out for a walk today. it was the middle of now here. to give you an idea of how far out in the middle of now here we are, i submit this photo, without further comment:
heppner, oregon
it was during this walk that i learned what it is to hear the voice of God as the wind blowing through the grass.

many, many years ago, before my son was born, i discovered The Tree Of Being, a tree whose existence justifies the exitsence of everything else on the planet. at this point, i don’t remember exactly where it is, but it is on the west side of sehome hill, and i’d know it if i saw it. this was a very similar experience. as i sat, meditating, in the middle of now here, i heard the voice of God as the wind blew through the grass. all around me was the voice of God. i didn’t have to try to perceive it, because i was in the middle of it, and it was all around me. i would have had to try not to perceive it, and if i had, i would have failed, because it was the voice of God.

and it said, “I am Tina Chopp!” 😉

ETA: some of what i say is a lie. like aleister crowley, i have realised that if i don’t say that some of what i say is a lie, some day people may read what i have written and assume that it is all true. this is a warning to those people. don’t take some of what i say seriously, because it is a knowing falsehood.

Peace Be Upon You

Peace Be Upon You
Internet videos will insult your religion. Ignore them.

By William Saletan, Sept. 14, 2012

Dear Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Jews,

You’re living in the age of the Internet. Your religion will be mocked, and the mockery will find its way to you. Get over it.

If you don’t, what’s happening this week will happen again and again. A couple of idiots with a video camera and an Internet connection will trigger riots across the globe. They’ll bait you into killing one another.

Stop it. Stop following their script.

Today, fury, violence, and bloodshed are consuming the Muslim world. Why? Because a bank fraud artist in California offered people $75 a day to come to his house and act out scenes that ostensibly had nothing to do with Islam. Then he replaced the audio, putting words in the actors’ mouths, and stitched together the scenes to make an absurdly bad movie ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed. He put out flyers to promote the movie. Nobody — literally nobody — came to watch it.

He posted a 14-minute video excerpt of the movie on YouTube, but hardly anyone noticed. Then, a week ago, an anti-Muslim activist in Virginia reposted the video with an Arabic translation and sent the link to activists and journalists in Egypt. An Egyptian TV show aired part of the video. An Egyptian politician denounced it. Clerics sounded the alarm. Through Facebook and Twitter, protesters were mobilized to descend on the U.S. embassy in Cairo. The uprising spread. The U.S. ambassador to Libya has been killed, and violence has engulfed other countries.

When the protests broke out, the guy who made the movie claimed to be an Israeli Jew funded by other Jews. That turned out be a lie. Now he says he’s a Coptic Christian, even though Coptic Christian leaders in Egypt and the United States despise the movie and want nothing to do with him. Another guy who helped make the movie claims to be a Buddhist. The movie was made in the United States, yet Sudanese mobs have attacked British and German embassies. Some Egyptians targeted the Dutch embassy, mistakenly thinking the Netherlands was behind the movie. Everyone’s looking for a group to blame and attack.

The men behind the movie said it would expose Islam as a violent religion. Now they’re pointing to the riots as proof. Muslims are "pre-programmed" to rage and kill, says the movie’s promoter. "Islam is a cancer," says the director. According to the distributor, "The violence that it caused in Egypt is further evidence of how violent the religion and people are and it is evidence that everything in the film is factual."

Congratulations, rioters. You followed the script perfectly. You did the propagandists’ work for them.

And the provocations won’t end here. Laws and censors won’t protect you from them. Liberal democracies allow freedom of expression. Our leaders and people condemn garbage like this video, but we don’t censor it. Even if we did, the diffusion of media technology makes suppression impossible. The director of this movie was forbidden, under his bank-fraud probation rules, from using computers or the Internet without approval. That didn’t stop him. Nor did it stop the Arabic-language distributor from reposting the video and disseminating it abroad.

Online propaganda is speech. But it’s also part of the global rise of lethal empowerment. It’s easier than ever to kill people. In Muslim countries, mass murderers favor bombs. In the United States, they prefer guns. In Japan, they’ve tried sarin nerve gas. The Oklahoma City bomber used fertilizer. The Sept. 11 hijackers used box cutters and passenger planes. Then came the letters filled with anthrax.

Derision is that much harder to control. The spread of digital technology and Internet bandwidth makes it possible to reach every corner of the globe almost instantly with homemade video defaming any faith tradition. It can become an incendiary weapon. But it has a weakness: It depends on you. You’re the detonator. If you don’t cooperate, the bomb doesn’t explode.

This isn’t just a Muslim problem, though that’s been the pattern lately. On YouTube, you can find videos insulting every religion on the planet: Jews, Christians, Hindus, Catholics, Mormons, Buddhists, and more. Some clips are ironic. Others are simply disgusting. Many were posted to bait one group into fighting another. The baiters are indiscriminate. The promoter of the Mohammed movie founded a group that also protests at Mormon temples.

The hatred and bloodshed will go on until you stop taking the bait. Mockery of your prophet on a computer with an Internet address somewhere in the world can no longer be your master. Nor can the puppet clerics who tell you to respond with violence. Lay down your stones and your anger. Go home and pray. God is too great to be troubled by the insults of fools. Follow Him.

interesting…

10 Signs That You’re Fully Awake – this is an article that is intended to be read from a political point of view, but, with very little change, it can also be read from a spiritual point of view and have exactly the same meaning… while i doubt that the people who wrote it were considering a spiritual point of view when they were writing it, it is rather unusual that it can be read that way and have it mean exactly the same thing.

so, “what kind of world do you want to live in?”

Continue reading interesting…

The wrong side absolutely must not win on November 6

The wrong side absolutely must not win
By: A. Barton Hinkle
August 19, 2012

The past several weeks have made one thing crystal-clear: Our country faces unmitigated disaster if the Other Side wins.

No reasonably intelligent person can deny this. All you have to do is look at the way the Other Side has been running its campaign. Instead of focusing on the big issues that are important to the American People, it has fired a relentlessly negative barrage of distortions, misrepresentations and flat-out lies.

Just look at the Other Side’s latest commercial, which take a perfectly reasonable statement by the candidate for My Side completely out of context to make it seem as if he is saying something nefarious. This just shows you how desperate the Other Side is and how willing it is to mislead the American People.

The Other Side also has been hammering away at My Side to release certain documents that have nothing to do with anything, and making all sorts of outrageous accusations about what might be in them. Meanwhile, the Other Side has stonewalled perfectly reasonable requests to release its own documents that would expose some very embarrassing details if anybody ever found out what was in them. This just shows you what a bunch of hypocrites they are.

Naturally, the media won’t report any of this. Major newspapers and cable networks jump all over anything they think will make My Side Look bad. Yet they completely ignore critically important and incredibly relevant information that would be devastating to The Other Side if it could ever be verified.

I will admit the candidates for My Side do make occasional blunders. These usually happen at the end of exhausting 19-hour days and are perfectly understandable. Our leaders are only human, after all. Nevertheless, the Other Side inevitably makes a big fat deal out of these trivial gaffes, while completely ignoring its own candidates’ incredibly thoughtless and stupid remarks — remarks that reveal the Other Side’s true nature, which is genuinely frightening.

My Side has produced a visionary program that will get the economy moving, put the American People back to work, strengthen national security, return fiscal integrity to Washington, and restore our standing in the international community. What does the Other Side have to offer? Nothing but the same old disproven, discredited policies that got us into our current mess in the first place.

Don’t take my word for it, though. I recently read about an analysis by an independent, nonpartisan organization that supports My Side. It proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that everything I have been saying about the Other Side was true all along. Of course, the Other Side refuses to acknowledge any of this. It is too busy cranking out so-called studies by so-called experts who are actually nothing but partisan hacks. This just shows you that the Other Side lives in its own little echo chamber and refuses to listen to anyone who has not already drunk its Kool-Aid.

Let’s face it: The Other Side is held hostage by a radical, failed ideology. I have been doing some research on the Internet, and I have learned this ideology was developed by a very obscure but nonetheless profoundly influential writer with a strange-sounding name who enjoyed brief celebrity several decades ago. If you look carefully, you can trace nearly all the Other Side’s policies for the past half-century back to the writings of this one person.

To be sure, the Other Side also has been influenced by its powerful supporters. These include a reclusive billionaire who has funded a number of organizations far outside the political mainstream; several politicians who have said outrageous things over the years; and an alarmingly large number of completely clueless ordinary Americans who are being used as tools and don’t even know it.

These people are really pathetic, too. The other day I saw a YouTube video in which My Side sent an investigator and a cameraman to a rally being held by the Other Side, where the investigator proceeded to ask some real zingers. It was hilarious! First off, the people at the rally wore T-shirts with all kinds of lame messages that they actually thought were really clever. Plus, many of the people who were interviewed were overweight, sweaty, flushed and generally not very attractive. But what was really funny was how stupid they were. There is no way anyone could watch that video and not come away convinced the people on My Side are smarter, and that My Side is therefore right about everything.

Besides, it’s clear that the people on the Other Side are driven by mindless anger — unlike My Side, which is filled with passionate idealism and righteous indignation. That indignation, I hasten to add, is entirely justified. I have read several articles in publications that support My Side that expose what a truly dangerous group the Other Side is, and how thoroughly committed it is to imposing its radical, failed agenda on the rest of us.

That is why I believe 2012 is, without a doubt, the defining election of our lifetime. The difference between My Side and the Other Side could not be greater. That is why it absolutely must win on November 6.

dualism

the fundamental basic for most people is dualism: the concept of light/dark, up/down, good/bad, male/female, and so forth. it is what is visible, obvious, and logical to even the most uneducated person.

but dualism can only get you so far. if you realise that God exists beyond the distinctions of dualism, it becomes a lot easier to understand why miracles, or disasters happen: because, to God, it doesn’t matter whether what Xe is giving us is good or bad, to God, it’s all experience.

i’ve seen a couple of news articles within the past couple of days that really exemplify the way people are stuck on duality recently: news articles in which the “answer to all their problems” involved people seeing beyond duality, which, of course, nobody realised. i thought about bookmarking them a couple of days ago, in preparation for writing this post, but i didn’t, and now they’re lost. so it goes.

it just makes me think of how much i am like the guy in When The Waters Changed, except that, at least so far, i am not interested in drinking any of the new water. i’m perfectly satisfied with people thinking i am a madman, because i know The Truth.

i’ve been puzzling myself with this for some time now, and i thought i would put what i’ve figured out so far into actual words that i can see and attempt to appreciate…

i’ve wondered for some time about my tendency to be a believing athiest. in other words, i don’t believe God exists, but i believe God exists, if you know what i mean. i believe that God exists, and God talks to me constantly, prodding me to investigate further, or guiding me away from things that might distract. and i believe that the very same God who talks to me, talks to everyone else, as well, whether they know it or not… but at the same time, because of the fact that i can’t prove, and, honestly, have no interest in proving that God exists, i have to say, and i can, honestly, say that God doesn’t exist.

it’s interesting, because by saying that God both does, and doesn’t exist, at the same time, would frequently get people committed to the loony bin… but my impression is that to say God exists without also saying that God doesn’t exist exhibits an incomplete understanding of God which is typical of “christians” and other nefarious doodlehums who want to control other people for profit, and other entertainment. a good example of that is glen, who refuses to talk to me – with the exception of ordering new business cards every few months – because i continually responded to his jeezis arguments with counter-arguments that didn’t make any sense from his point of view.

it all goes back to that chapter of Liber CCC – The Book of Lies called The Looby, which says:

Only loobies find excellence in these words.

It is thinkable that A is not-A; to reverse this is but to revert to the normal.

Yet by forcing the brain to accept propositions of which one set is absurdity, the other truism, a new function of brain is established.

Vague and mysterious and all indefinite are the contents of this new consciousness; yet they are somehow vital. By use they become luminous.

Unreason becomes Experience.

This lifts the leaden-footed Soul to the Experience of THAT of which Reason is the blasphemy.

But without that Experience these words are the Lies of a Looby.

Yet a Looby to thee, and a Booby to me, a Balassius Ruby to GOD, may be!

it has taken me years to understand what uncle al was talking about, and more years to actually realise, in my own body, the experience he is referring to when he talks about “a new function of brain”… but he is right that THAT, after all, is what one experiences when one undertakes “to accept propositions of which one set is absurdity, the other truism”, which is EXACTLY what i am doing when i say that i believe that God both exists, and does not exist, at the same time… WITHOUT CONTRADICTION.

as rational and realistic as i have come to be over the years, i can still say, with pride, that i am a crazy mystic that belongs in a loony bin, because that’s exactly what i am.

here’s a bizarre tale…

a long time ago, before cell phones, internet tubes, and the evil koch brothers…

during the mid-1980s, i had been living in a rooming house on capitol hill, whose landlord was a young guy whose father actually owned the house, and he was “gaining job experience” by being the live-in landlord. i really didn’t know him that well, but he was very lax in keeping up the house: he did nothing about the windows which were leaking water when it rained, he did nothing to fix the central heating of the house, which meant that the upper floors (including where i lived) had no heat at all, he wasn’t too concerned about the fact that i regularly bought my own food, but had nowhere separate to store it, and if i left it in the “common areas” it would get eaten by the other housemates (including himself), even if it was clearly marked… when he refused to address any of these issues, i went to the city housing authority, who informed me that he didn’t have a permit to have a rooming house, and it was in a residential area that didn’t allow rooming houses, so the housing authority came in and shut the guy down, which meant that i had to find another place to live, fast.

i looked at an apartment on terry belmont and east union (terry and east union was where i lived in the mid-1990s), where it appeared that they were in the process of completely remodeling the place. as it turned out, the apartment had been inhabited by an old lady, and her cats, who had lived there for 50 years… but nobody knew she had cats, until she was out shopping one day, and had a heart attack (or something like that) and was taken to the hospital, where she died. she apparently didn’t have any relatives, and she had paid her rent in advance, so nobody bothered to access her apartment until several months (like “more than six”) later, at which point they discovered what used to be the cats, which had clawed open the refrigerator and eaten the food that they could before dying of starvation… which resulted in a BIG mess, which they were in the process of cleaning up when i came around to look at the place.

at that point, i really didn’t care who used to live in the apartment, or their cats. i was just interested in getting out of the rooming house before something (or someone) blew up, so i said that i was moving in whether they were done cleaning up or not. it turned out that they did a pretty good job of cleaning up everything except the refrigerator. while it was “clean”, it had a smell like rotten death, and the only thing i could find that would successfully mask the smell was pine-sol, which, of course, made everything that i kept in my refrigerator taste of pine-sol… believe me, it was WAY better than tasting of rotten death.

anyway, about a week or so after i moved in, i had this really weird dream, where this little old lady was ranting and fussing about because there was some unknown person in her apartment, and she couldn’t find any of her cats. i had the same dream for a couple of weeks, with minor variations in the plot and the cast, until i consciously realised that this was the old lady who used to live in my apartment… at which point, the next time i had the dream, i told the old lady that i was the person in her apartment, and she could hang around as long as she left me alone. after that, i started noticing that somebody was calling my name from the kitchen when i was in the living room… or someone was opening latched cupboards or slamming the bathroom door, when i was in the kitchen… friends of mine commented on these bizarre phenomena on a regular basis. even when whe wasn’t making her presence physically known, i could tell she was around, because everything would smell of pine-sol, instead of incense or cannabis…

adopt a ghost

at some point, i found a piece of cardboard with the words “ADOPT A GHOST” on it – i think it was on a pizza box, but i can’t be sure – which i still have.

eventually, after about 2 years, i moved out, and back to bellingham… and the ghost came with me. she would call my name from the kitchen of the new house i lived in, and open the closed cabinets, but it seemed like she was fading away. probably a year later, i didn’t notice these things happening any longer. my guess is that she moved on.

at this point in my life, i would say that, quite apart from my being enlightened, my belief system falls somewhere between athiest and esoteric shivaite (with hints of buddhism, judaism, and unorthodox christianity thrown in for good measure), and i’m not sure i would believe a story like that if it hadn’t happened to me… for that matter, i’m not sure i would believe a story like that in spite of the fact that it happened to me… i guess i may just be waiting for someone to tell me that i’m crazy, so that i can tell them “i know, i know…” 😐

not so random rant about the shit box

the other day i was “confronted” by a customer (it’s sort of difficult to say that it was a “confrontation” in the normal sense of the word, because the entire interaction took place over email, but bear with me, because it was a confrontation) concerning the fact that, along with the religious items and incense i carry, “there is a product called a ‘shit box‘”. he was concerned that i am causing my customers offense, and he demanded that it be renamed or removed at once. when i told this customer that i didn’t have the power to rename the “shit box” he accused me of “writing an essay” about it, when, actually, i wrote three or four very terse statements. this is the “essay” that he accused me of writing.

thanks for the advice, buddy, but i don’t do business that way, and here’s the reason why.

St. Francis of Assisi said “when the devil says to you again, ‘You are damned,’ you answer him confidently, ‘Open your mouth and I will shit in it!'” and Yunmen Wenyan said, basically, “The Buddha is a dried shit-stick.” if such illuminated personages as St. Francis and Ummon used the word “shit”, then it’s apparently okay for me to use the word. not only that, but jesus said “that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” and if saying the word “shit” defiled a person, then St. Francis would not have said it.

at the same time, i am quite familiar with people who are pretty well defiled, despite the fact that nothing but bible scripture spews out of their mouths: people like jerry falwell and james dobson and robert schuller and harold camping and creflo dollar and benny hinn and jim bakker and peter popoff and bob larson and…

on the other hand, if it is automatically assumed that anything with the exact combination of letters “S”, “H”, “I”, “T” defiles a person, then, automatically, that makes referring to shittim wood (a common feature of the old testament book of exodus) something that a “christian” would not want to recite, for fear of “the word”…

and that doesn’t even take into account those people for whom english is a foreign language, and to whom the letters “S”, “H”, “I”, “T” are meaningless and something else is used in its place… which includes, by the way, both St. Francis and Ummon…

further, if people are going to be offended by the “shit box” what would they have me call it? Eco-Friendly, Portable Toilet is an accurate description, but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue the way “shit box” does, and calling it an “eco-friendly, portable toilet” won’t really help you when you need to go, and you’re in a tent, asking for it in the pitch darkness of the middle of the night…

not only that, but i didn’t actually name it myself, anyway. that honour goes to the people at The Brown Corporation and i wouldn’t presume to rename something simply because a person like one of these tells me to to do so… even if i did have the power to do so…

WHICH I DON’T!!

finally, i am a weird duck. i don’t do things for the same reasons that most other people do them, and that includes being in business. i am in business PRIMARILY to give thanks to Ganesha, and then to provide quality products and servies to my customers… and i do that in spite the fact that i use language differently than most people, and that i am not offended when someone says “shit”. if a person is offended by the fact that i carry the “shit box“, there’s nothing i can do about it, and if they’re so offended that they choose to buy their incense or devotional statues somewhere else, there’s nothing i can do about that, either… and, to be honest, i would rather that they go somewhere else anyway, because their uptight, holier-than-thou attitude is just going to piss me off.

The language and concepts contained herein are guaranteed not to cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business.
     — Frank Zappa

Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability

Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability
Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability

i had the opportunity to wander for several hours down by the puyallup river this afternoon, and i made one of those kind of discoveries that you would expect from time to time, from enlightened people. like most discoveries, it wasn’t really a discovery so much as it was putting familiar things together in a way that makes ultimate sense — and it produced a feeling that i probably should have thought of it a lot earlier than i did, because one of the “familiar things” that was put together was the phrase “Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability”.

this phrase probably has a very specific meaning to physical scientists, and it is from that, that i have taken the phrase and “expanded” on it. fundamentally, “Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability” refers to the way atoms combine and interact with one another, in very much the same way as water going over a waterfall: “Bounded Chaotic Mixing” is the water, in a riverbed; it is “bounded” by the riverbed, but the individual water molecules have the freedom to move wherever they want, within those boundaries. when it goes over a waterfall, the “mixing” gets decidedly more “chaotic”. “Strange Stability”, once the water has gone over the waterfall, it is “stable” in that most of it falls more or less in the same place, most of the time, but it is “strange” because, occasionally, some of the water falls in a place that is dramatically different from the majority of the water: you can be standing right next to a waterfall, and not get wet most of the time… but occasionally, and you can’t predict precisely when, you will get wet.

this is a phenomenon that i have known about for most of my life, i learned that the phenomenon could be summarised by the phrase “Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability” about 20 years ago, and for the past 10 years or so, i have been noticing that “Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability” can be used to describe a lot of things that happen in life, but while i was watching the river ripple, this afternoon, i realised that “Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability” is what people are talking about when they talk about “The Meaning Of Life” — “Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability” is THE reason, whether you’re talking about why your car broke down today, or why you and your next-door neighbour don’t get along, or whether you’re talking about the evolution of human beings from single-celled life.

“Bounded Chaotic Mixing Produces Strange Stability” is, for all intents and purposes, “God”… and this is coming from an enlightened person, so it carries more weight than it would otherwise.

enlightenment

Ma-tsu (709-788) was a disciple of Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch and author of The Platform Sutra, and was awakened when Hui-neng asked him why he meditated. To become a Buddha, responded Ma-tsu. At this Hui-neng began to polish a brick with a stone, and when asked what he was doing, replied, making a mirror. How can you make a mirror from a brick, asked Ma-tsu. How can meditation make a Buddha, replied Hui-neng. With this, Ma-tsu was enlightened.

i’ve got this problem…

one of the blogs i subscribe to is The News Biscuit, which is sort of like The Onion, only from britain. i’ve even got it classified in my RSS reader as “humour”, so there’s no doubt about the origin of such articles…

the problem is that twice in one week, now, the news biscuit has printed an article that i read all the way through before i realised that it was from the news biscuit. they’re apparently good enough at imitating legitimate news sources that, while i found the subject of both of the articles to be somewhat bizarre, neither of the articles seemed entirely out of the question, especially considering how bizarre society has become over the past 50 years or so.

the first one, on wednesday, was Environmentalists to withdraw protection for ‘Rubbish Animals’, and then there was Ancient lump of coal saved from arson attack to be displayed in museum today.

i think i need to start paying more attention… 🙂

also…

i had some maintenance to do on my flickr account, and when i logged out, i was delivered to the front page of Yahoo!

i don’t know for sure that they’re tracking what kind of news stories i read, especially when i’m not logged in, but i think that, when i’m not logged in, they don’t really care – plus i’m paranoid enough that i register every cookie from every web site i visit, and i know for a fact that i don’t have a tracking cookie from yahoo or any of its affiliates…

which makes my experience all the more telling. with all the furor and hoopla that’s going on in the world, the FIRST link that showed up at yahoo was about increased speculation that barack obama dyes his hair… 😐

i guess that’s a drawback of being enlightened: you see where people really need to be taught, and those are the exactly the same times you are effectively prevented from teaching. as uncle al said, it is no good trying to teach people who need to be taught.

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)