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What are UFOs? [17 Aug 2011|01:01pm]

Yesterday I saw some flying things that I could not identify. It was 7pm, the sun was low in the west, not yet below the treeline, and the sky was vibrant blue. I was laying on my back in the playground of my old Kindergarten, watching the "floaters" and "stars" dart around in my vision against the field of blue. One "floater" looked particularly bright, a pale white bird-like shape, and it slid smoothly across my field of vision towards the west. Then I suspected that it was not a floater, but actually something in the sky that I was looking at. I looked away and looked back (knowing that eye-floaters will slosh around with that motion). The object was still there, maintaining it's swift course. A bird? It wasn't flapping it's wings, and it was going too fast. An airplane? If it was the size of a commercial airliner, it was going about 10 times the speed possible for those things. A satellite? Maybe. I t was very small and difficult to see, but I watched it head west, then I saw a glint which looked like the blink of a fuselage light (or the flash of an imperfect vision grain), and I had lost sight of it.

I pondered this for a few moments. I saw some birds flying high above me. They looked very different from what I'd just seen. Then I saw another one, following the same course. It's shape, perhaps a pale speck, I can't remember, but it was definitely moving fast. In the distance, it seemed to suddenly fade away into nothing. Odd. "Probably a satellite glinting off of the setting sun. Cool," I thought, "or... maybe not? They seemed a little big and visible to be satellites. I mean, I can't really tell."

I lay there thinking about it some more, watching the sky for objects. I saw a couple commercial jets, about the same size (relative to my vision) as the objects I'd seen, but definitely travelling quite slow across the sky. Soon, I saw a third object, heading generally in the same direction, but not along the exact same course as the other two. This is amusing, I thought. I can't tell what these are. I guess that means they're UFOs, right? I guess I can tell people I've seen UFOs now, huh?

I kept looking for objects. I saw another plane, more high altitude birds, plenty of floaters and crazy gyrating flashy visual grains, and even a strange white orb hovering directly above me, which turned out to be a fluffy airborne seed 5 feet above me.

Then I saw a 4th strange object, this time heading south. It was shaped weird, so I blinked to adjust my contact lens (I was only wearing one), and the shape changed. It might have been more tree fluff, falling not far from me, so I stood up and began to run towards it, to better make out it's distance. It was not tree fluff. It looked like two dart-shaped things flying very close to each other at a pretty fast clip. Then it was gone behind the treeline.

I hung out for a while and didn't see any more. "Golly! 4 genuine UFOS! I guess? Are satellites that visible in the daytime? And that big? Or was the size of these objects just the result of my contact lens making them a little blurry? Were these really UFOs?"

I found that question to be enormously silly. Is a UFO something you cannot explain? In that case, the "alien spaceships" people see are not UFOs, because people go out of their way to explain exactly what they are: alien spaceships. You can "explain" anything. But it doesn't make your explaination correct. I think what I was "actually" seeing were flying unidentifiable objects. FUOs. In other words, I don't know what they were. Does that mean I can tell people I've seen UFOs?

I used the term "UFO" with my dad and my brother before describing the incident to them. My dad said "why would UFOs come to Corvallis?" Huh? Why would things I can't identify come to corvallis? I don't know? When I told my brother, he tried to warn me that UFOs/aliens are actually demons. Hmm. Well then I'd better decide that they were something I'm familiar with, pronto, before the bogeymen get me!

Ok, so in our culture, "UFO" has come to mean "I don't know! Probably an alien space ship! Who knows!" I can deal with that. In that case, I could not identify them as UFOs. They were FUOs. I'm sure of it.
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0=2, aka "ain't nothin but a thang" [30 Mar 2011|10:47pm]

I've noticed a recurring idea cropping up in my life. “Idea” might not be the most complete way to describe it- I certainly have lots of ideas about it- but it could just be a universal law, or a pragmatic way-of-living or a philosophical imperative or some such. But I've started noticing a bunch of different ways in which it can be expressed. Reading books and watching YouTube videos and shit, and just kind of toying with different ways of living my day-to-day life, I've found a few different ideas that seem to express this principle.

One way it's expressed is from Huang Po, the grandfather of the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism. He says, “Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw from them.”

One major characteristic of this principle is that it consists of two opposite aspects: one active, or outward (e.g. being involved with your daily life); the other non-active, or inward (e.g. being unbound by your daily life) . The second major characteristic of this principle is that both the active aspect and the non-active aspect are simultaneously lived. This is a bit like a paradox, because it refers to an action and an un-action co-existing at the same time. Outward and inward orientations at once. I'd like to show a few other examples of this that I have encountered. I hope to demonstrate that this principle I'm talking about is not an idea arising from one school of thought, but is encountered by many people in many ways.

The form in which I was first introduced to this approach to life was in the Thelemic text, The Book of the Law, wherein it says in the 44th verse of the first chapter, “For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.” “Unassuaged” means full, unmitigated, or not held-back. “Purpose,” etymologically, means putting-forth. When I think of “unassuaged of purpose,” I think of an extremely active state of giving, sharing, or devotion. Like throwing energy into life. Put that together with “delivered from the lust of result,” and you having something like giving whole-heartedly, free from the restrictions that the expectation of reward or payment imposes on your life. To me, this doesn't necessarily mean an absence of feeling any expectation, but just not being controlled and led around by those expectations. Stepping back from them, even while allowing those feelings to be present.

Last fall, I read a thrilling little book by Jake Horsley called “Matrix Warrior: Being the One.” I'd recommend against reading that book if you're a stoner, or if you're paranoid, or if neo-psychadelic Gnosticism makes you throw up, cause it's a little far-out in a very ham-fisted way. But it's still a surprising book. At one point, the author is describing the teachings of Carlos Castaneda, author of many books, and self-proclaimed sorcerer. Castaneda says that one of the primary modes of activity of a sorcerer moving about in this place that we call the every-day, social, “real” world, is an activity which he calls “stalking”. Now, quoting from the book:

“The art of stalking is centered around acceptance of death as an inescapable force in our lives. In the light of coming death- a force which cancels out all our acts forever- all beings and all decisions are equally insignificant (or equally important), and so are reduced to folly. The advantage of one who stalks is that, in recognizing his own folly and that of others, he has control over it. He is no longer attached to his acts or desires, nor concerned or worried about the outcome. He already knows and accepts that the outcome may very well be his death; in which case, whatever happens, it can't be any worse than that. So, in his acceptance of the equality of all things- from a speck of dust to a universe, a gnat to a messiah- and in his awe and wonder at the mystery of existence in the light of inevitable death, one is free to act without fear or regret, with abandon and control. Since every one of his acts may well be his last, he gives it his total attention; that's control. Since he has nothing to lose, being already dead, he can allow his passion for life to consume him, and gives everything he has to his acts; that's abandon.”

Stalking, as defined here, means not letting the events of your life bind you (because an awareness of impermanence frees you from the grip of their apparent significance), while simultaneously remaining very involved in those events (because that is what happens when love is expressed).

Another place that I found this principle described, but in different terms, was in integral philosopher Ken Wilber's book, “The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion.” He uses the term “holon” to describe any entity, any thing that you can imagine or observe or that exists, so, any (noun). He says,

“[Every entity] is a whole that is simultaneously a part of another whole: a whole atom is a part of a whole molecule, a whole molecule is a part of a whole cell, a whole cell is part of a whole organism, and so forth. Each element is neither a whole nor a part, but a whole/part...

The fact that each holon is actually a whole/part places it in profound tension: in order to exist, it must in some sense retain its own identity or its own agency as a relatively autonomous whole; yet it must also fit in with the other holons that are an intrinsic part of its environment. Thus, every holon must maintain not only its own agency, but its own communion, its extensive networks of relationship upon which its own existence fundamentally depends. If any holon profoundly disrupts either its agency (as a whole) or its communion (as a part), it simply ceases to exist.”

Too much individuality, or too much communion, and you will be in a severe state of imbalance. Looking at what Wilber says here through the lens of this life principle that I'm writing about, I see communion (of a part) as an outward orientation; an involvement in the events of your life, giving your energy to the people and circumstances and empty regions that make up your environment. I see the agency of an individual, or autonomy of a whole as an inward orientation, a stepping-back and recognizing that you are whole and sufficient and complete in yourself, very simply and quietly, as you are right now. You need nothing but the presence of being.

To synthesize the pieces so far: do not permit the circumstances of your life to distract you from your wholeness, but never withdraw from communion. Pure will's purpose flowing outward into life's web, unconcerned about the end results, because the end (not to mention the beginning) is always contained within you.

I saw a video on the YouTube a few weeks ago, and noticed it was being passed around on the Facebook. Here, I'll share it. I see it discussing this very same life approach, but once again, coming at it from a slightly different angle.




“To love with our whole hearts (involvement), even though there's no guarantee (unbounded).”

“When we work from a place that says 'I am enough,' (involvement from an unbounded bedrock) then we stop screaming, and we start listening.”

The wholeness of “I am enough,” as Brown points out, only comes from authenticity: being unbound by what you think you should be. Letting go of that stuff, and expressing what we really are. We bind ourselves up with the events in our lives when we try too hard to grasp and control them. When we try too hard to make the uncertain certain. When we try too hard to attain or maintain perfection. We grab hold of what we think is the “substance” of our lives and intentionally wrap ourselves up in it, saying “this substance is ME! It defines me!” Then we wonder what freedom is supposed to be. I think this is a case of too much communion, using Wilber's terms. We forget ourselves.

I'll share one more place that I found this principle being expressed in a unique way. It's worth watching all 9 parts of this interview, but part 1 is enough to express the idea clearly.

 


I noticed that this “Ho'oponopono” technique encapsulates the simultaneousness of the inward, “letting-go” orientation (assuming responsibility and seeking deep reconciliation by inwardly saying things like “please forgive me for generating whatever restrictions are holding you back”) and of the outward, active orientation (by allowing yourself to express gratitude and appreciation through authentic activity, as if saying to life, “I love you, I want you to be free”).

According to Dr. Hew Len, it is the old data that binds. I've often thought of that data as the narratives, notions and dreams (literally) that we identify with and have yet to let go of. That dream world (consisting of static data) keeps us stuck in our loops or stuck in our tracks and scripts. Brene Brown points out that our job is not to try to maintain perfection. I see this also as meaning that our job is not to try to rebuke and eliminate our notions, tracks and scripts, or to try to destroy our old, static data. Brown says our job is to say to our children (and aren't our mental constructs our children too?) “you're imperfect, but you're worthy of love and belonging.”

A few days ago in a movie theater, I overheard some dude talking to his hot date about his love of dance. He used two words that I think can be used to sum up this “non-dual imperative” that I'm writing about. He said in order to really, really dance, you have to “lose yourself.” I like that. Lose yourself: no more self concern. Lose yourself: make the dance floor burn.

Who am I? Living, breathing Nothing.

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Inherent purpose [16 Feb 2011|10:42pm]

I was hanging out with some Christians today, and the conversation was rambling aimlessly over various topics like a drunken redneck on a 4-wheeler lost somewhere on his 10-acre lot. At some point we started talking about sex. About whether dirty, S&M, gagging-on-shit, electro-waterboarding sex is still okay in the eyes of the Lord if it's with your married spouse. One of them (they were dudes) made the claim that the penis is meant for 2 things: pissing and ejaculating. I said that he was wrong: those are 2 of the things that the penis does, not what it's meant for. A penis can be used for far more than just pissing and ejaculating. He looked at me incredulously and tried to imagine something else the penis might do, “but those are the only things that should come out of it, poop doesn't come out of it, blood shouldn't.”

Right now, I feel like making a brief list of a few more things that a penis can do. Indeed, things that you can “mean” a penis to do. Things that, in the Grand Scheme of things, the penis, it may be argued, may have in fact been “designed” for, given the nature of free will:

You can tie it up into interesting shapes for the amusement of crowds.

The penis can be used to experience orgasm, even without ejaculation.

Apparently there are techniques which allow the penis to be used to encounter raw spiritual experiences.

It can be used to bring sexual pleasure to a woman.

It can be used to bring sexual pleasure to a bro.

It's proportions are used in some cultures to judge social status.

It's form can be replicated in ceramic and displayed tastefully on your night-stand.

It's form can be replicated in silicone and given to a dog to chew on so that you can take pictures of it and post them on facebook to make your friends laugh.

It can be used, with practice and care, to lift heavy objects in a testament to human stamina.

It can be displayed carelessly to communicate your advanced level of easygoingness.

Like the above, you could probably develop a surprisingly complex form of communication with it.

You could use it to stir your yogurt in the morning.

You could use it to explore the depths of pain and humiliation.

Feel free to think of some other things the penis can do, my friends.

 

I enjoy the view that, for example, a bird does not have wings “so that” it can fly, but rather a bird can fly because, among other things, it has wings; that no form in existence is inherently limited to the uses you can imagine for it. Men do not have a penis so that they can engage in vanilla sex. Rather, that is one thing that the presence of the penis allows. Birds can use their wings for so many other things. Raindrops do more than simply wet the ground. The earth does far more than simply spin and provide a place to stand on. Love does far more than propagate a species. I read somewhere that some scientists thought of 32 different biological actions of the human nose. Another way of looking at this is that a bird (or any form) has wings (or whatever characteristic) “so that” it can do whatever it will with them.

 

Nothing is merely what it seems to be.

The limits of any particular form largely consist of your thoughts alone.

“God” is a verb.

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My Superbowl commercial [07 Feb 2011|06:54pm]
I wrote a commercial that they should have played during the Super Bowl. Actually, they did, over and over again, but it had a variety of formats. This is my uber-commercial.
---------------

The world becomes static. It spreads from the screen.

“This is the emergency broadcasting network,” a voice says, “there is a problem with the server. The world is a mess. Your climate is being destroyed. The streets of the world are plagued with terror. The streets of home are plagued with boredom. You are tired of being unhappy, of being imperfect, of being in the dark. But now is the time to fix all of that. Now is the time for (r)evolution.”

The static stutters and you see visions of your life. Your arms, so familiar in front of you, cutting an onion. The sun on your face. The tension in your shoulder blades and a shallow sigh.

All is static again.

“You have been living in a prison, where your true potential has been suppressed.”

Visions of oppressive governments and of a gray race of business drones filling the city streets.

“But now the servers are being reset. Now you will be free. Now you will shine. The new world is a place where the music never ends. With the power of the imagination alone, you will be free to manifest anything that you desire. You will know power. Fame. Beauty. Love. The true meaning of luxury. You will be limitless. And you will not be alone.”

Visions of the people of Earth, staring hopefully up into the sky. The Black-Eyed Peas sing "Tonight's gonna be a good night." The sun rises and washes the world with golden light, as if for the first time. The spark within the eyes of each person expand and fill their bodies with radiant golden light. A wave of gold explodes across the globe. The music crescendos.

The vision goes black.

“We'll sell them a piece of blue sky,” he says. The company logo appears. Freeing us from reality.

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The laugh button [25 Jan 2011|07:11pm]
I found this in my (offline) journal from last May, and thought I'd share it:

Biking back from the park, I considered the practice of laughter. It is apparently as good for your health as exercise, so I hear. I began to laugh. Practicing laughter. Forcing laughter. Inducing laughter.

It is funny that we (I) have a belief that one must have a reason to laugh. There's this assumption that making yourself laugh, without having something "genuinely funny" to trigger it, means the laughter is not real. But the fact is, inducing laughter does cause “real laughter”. Try it. Even the fact that there's no reason behind the laughter becomes funny. Laughter is not reasonable. Reason can be included among those things that are “funny”, but The Funny does not obey reason, by any means.

I noticed that my reason is threatened by purposeless, reasonless, meaningless laughter. And I laugh at that. It is threatened by the idea that if you contort your face in a certain way, and exhale rhythmically in a certain, spasmodic way, your brain will begin to release certain chemicals that are experienced partially as a further desire to continue this spasmodic grimace and chemical release. It makes my reason afraid that I am basically just like a robot. A really complex, but empty robot nonetheless, consisting of nothing but on and off switches. It makes my reason fear that pretending- faking to a convincing degree- creates reality. This is fearsome to my reason because it thinks that if faking can create reality, there may be no difference between "the fake" and "the real". i.e. there's no such thing as the real. My reason is threated by this because Reason operates entirely upon the assumption that "reality" exists. Of course, reason considers the other side of this coin: that there's no such thing as "the false"- everything is real. Mr. Reason doesn't think this shit is very funny- just very confusing.

Anyway, as a result of this practice, I felt pretty light-hearted and relaxed for much of the day. Easy to smile and laugh.

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Manipulation [17 Jan 2011|10:44pm]
This is the same subject I was rambling about in my last post (equipment-thinking), and an attempt to express to myself (the rapt and nodding audience I pretend to have) a new viewpoint on the subject.

I remembered the several times I've had discussions about the concept of manipulating other people. A script that seems to come up automatically in those discussions is someone (usually me) saying, "well, we are always manipulating each other. But there's good manipulation and bad manipulation." Now I don't think that's necessarily true. It sounds a bit like an effort to re-enforce the idea that everything, including a person, is a tool (that has a purpose), and that this is an unavoidable fact. An effort to retain the ability to "manipulate," as if it's the only path to Power and Wealth.

It can be a fact that everything is a tool, but it's not the only fact. There are other regions of this elephant that we're blindly feeling up. There are other ways of seeing the world. Speaking to the "everything is a tool" perspective, I would say, "In order to acquire and encourage freedom, it would be useful to first allow, in your mind, everyone and everything to be free, and to avoid forcing your worldview or desires or needs onto them. Utilize your imagination as a tool to visualize everything that you encounter as a free agent, here under it's own will."

To a "no thing/person is a tool" perspective, I would say, "We don't manipulate, we interact. We don't use, we dance. We don't control, we co-operate. But we sing the song of slavery when it's time to see what it is. We build the machine when it's time to carve ourselves apart. That time is nearly over when we begin to remember love. When it seeps into our song and kisses the gears and floods the punch-card holes that we once called our goals. When we've said Yes to the End, to the cold grasp of the dark, to the threat of the Other, we find ourselves returning to the dance."

Thanks for reading.
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Thinking like a Tool [12 Jan 2011|06:58pm]
Sometimes I find myself questioning the usefulness of a relationship, or the purpose of doing some activity or another. Or I'll be walking somewhere and my mind will start to think about all the things I should get done today and then I will get impatient. Sometimes during my day a restless knot in my stomach will grow, and anything that I happen to be doing seems to feel 'not good enough,' and my mind will yearn for something useful or productive to occupy itself on.

I was noticing these things today. I was walking to a film screening on campus and I was 30 minutes late. I imagined that being late was destroying my reasons for going in the first place, and I found myself thinking "what's the use?" Also today, I was thinking about a new friend who has turned out to be very different than I had previously expected, and finding that I had no more "plan" for the relationship, I found my mind asking "ok, then what's the use?"

It's come to my attention that we often try to think of everything in terms of equipment. We tend to think of things as tools. We tend to try to discover the purpose for every thing, person, or situation that we encounter. "What purpose does life have?" is, you know, a super important question to our culture. I don't think this way of thinking is bad, but I do think it's easy to get hypnotised by this way of thinking and to believe that it is always the best way of thinking. After all, it's very useful, am i rite? That is, it appears to justify itself with it's own narrative. Like a religion. Everything from specks of dust to air to emotions and life forms and people can be evaluated in terms of their perceived usefulness to what you happen to think is important. Anything can become a tool to your mind, the world can become a machine.

I've noticed that my logical desires and plans are as limited in scope as my thinking brain, which is pretty fucking ignorant about the totality of what's actually happening at any given moment. The things that my thinking, planning, pragmatic mind considers to be valuable and worthy are just as limited. And so when I can't think of a reason or purpose or use to some thing, person or event, I tend to believe it has no value. This kind of appraising the world means you don't value what you don't understand, even if it's something (like an uncomfortable experience) that has necessarily appeared in your life as a direct result of your thoughts and actions. I think this is why we often ignore the things that we need to learn from the most.

Appeal to the Merchant:
life is made of gold
life is everywhere alive
appraise life thusly
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I got hit by a car last night [10 Jan 2011|02:08pm]
I got hit by a car last night. I was walking home from the downtown coffee shop in the frosty, foggy cold of a mostly dead sunday night. I was singing songs to myself lighten my spirits. When I finished my last song, I crossed 9th street along Harrison (the light was green for me.) I tend to put my faith in the traffic lights and the good sense of drivers. This is one reason I got hit.

There was suddenly an old blue sports car turning into me. This has happened before, but in the past, the driver has stopped, or I've had the time to jump out of the way. Neither happened this time, so I shouted in slow motion "ooohh ssshhiiittt!" as I turned my back on the car and tumbled up onto the hood. My body instructed me to continue getting out of the way of the car, so with my legs flying in the air I continued to try to roll off of the hood. Eventually I found the pavement, with my body saying "Keep moving! Get away from the wheels!" The glistening, frosty bumps of the pavement looked so very soft and inviting. I was glad to see them, and I rolled on them.

I found myself standing, looking at a stopped blue sports car, its windshield so frosted that I could not see inside. There was someone getting out making a loud groaning noise, "OOOOHHHHHH!!" Was I going to get into a fight now? He was a slightly dishevelled middle-aged man, and my first impression was that he was drunk. But maybe he was just slurring and shaking with fear and adrenalin. As he paced back and forth shaking his head and making heavy remorseful sounds, I considered the condition of my own body. I breathed in and felt unhurt. I've heard stories of people getting seriously injured and their mind just blocking out the fact, so I considered that this might have been the case. But all in all, it seemed like the guy in front of me was more injured than myself.

I tried to assure him that I was ok. And then I started to feel light headed and funny, and everything started seeming a bit like a dream. I laughed a bit and didn't know what to say, so I said stupidly to him, "Hey man, thanks for your concern." He responded loudly, "Damn right I'm concerned! You shouldn't be thanking me, it's my god damned duty to be concerned god damnit! ooohhh! It's just- it's just a good thing I wasn't drinking tonight! oooh!" He stamped up and down the road looking this way and that, looking at me and rubbing a drunken hand through his drunken hair.

I told him that I was going to go now, and after a bit more "you sure you're ok?", "yes" stuff, he stumbled and with a shaking hand pulled out his wallet saying, "you you know what?" He breathed heavily and his fast twitching fingers pulled out a bill and shoved it into my hands. I tend to feel a bit uncomfortable getting paid for things that I've had no intention of getting paid for, but I've learned that people really want to pay me sometimes and they don't like it when I tell them to stop. So I just took it and refused to look at the bill. I did not want to know how much I was getting paid to get hit by a car. But a part of me hoped that this guy was shaken up enough to hand me something big. "Get yourself something to drink tonight!" he said.

So I walked to Sam's house laughing all the way. Super euphoria time as the emergency-chemicals in my blood danced with my lower astral-body. Had that been my death, my last words would have been "oh shit," but I would have died doing an activity that just a moment before I had noticed was one of the activities that gives me the most joy in life: walking and singing.

Later I discovered that he'd given me a $10 bill, and then I drank a bottle of wine with one of my best friends.
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omnipresent commercials in my dreams [09 Jan 2011|10:54pm]
I furrow my brow often when I think about the future. It's like each time I furrow my brow, I drive the concern deeper into my brain. Now I'm dreaming about the future of advertising.

I found myself watching a large, cooperative version of air-hockey (the crowd reaching their fists in to bat at the puck). The team on the opposite side of the court kept scoring against the team on my side. I wanted to humiliate them, so I placed a can of Pepsi in our goal box. When the puck hit the can, it burst open, and an omnipresent advertisement-seeking program saw this event as an opportunity to record a Pepsi advertisement. A massive Pepsi sign began flashing repeatedly on the wall behind the opposing team. All of this was now being broadcast. Everyone in the ad cheered and loved it because they were now in a commercial (everyone in this world wants to be in a commercial). I took the can and held it up to the commercial group and said "fuck Pepsi!" and smashed the can. It felt good, and probably pissed everyone off, but I felt the gesture to be mostly ineffectual because I knew that my actions were automatically being edited out of the commercial and would not be broadcast.
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Pity for the Alien [05 Jan 2011|07:01pm]

The human world sometimes seems barren when I try to look at it from the perspective of an insect. The table I stare down at is an alien desert and the brown fruit fly looks like a moving crumb. Frantic, darting about randomly, no food or water for miles. Vast empty surfaces, swept clean. Glistening towers of polished wood. Miles of repetitive vinyl patterns- an empty terrain, deceptively treacherous. Huge and blind, uncaring feet fill the space without warning, shuffling around faster than an ant can hope to move. Vast and empty. When I despair for the insect explorer, it is because I think of the open spaces I have seen. The mountains and the cities and the 24 hour car-rides and the mile-high palaces of clouds below my window during a flight. “There's so much out there that you will never see! You're trapped here in this empty sterile room and you think this is a countryside. Within the hour you're probably going to die.” But recently I learned that a fly's feet are a billion times more sensitive to sweetness than the human tongue. Though utterly alien to human sensibilities, perhaps things are rich at all levels.

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The Normal Catasrophe [13 Dec 2010|05:51pm]
There's a trope that says that ancient people, upon witnessing a solar eclipse may have become afraid that the world was coming to an end, and so may have turned to the priests or kings to help end the calamity. In this myth, it's the people's ignorance of natural cycles that causes the panic.

Today, those of us who are capable of considering the magnitude of the techno/psycho/enviro/political catastrophe that has been unfolding before us as the years go by, will recognize that the things we will witness in our lifetimes will be unfathomably weird, and maybe more than a little terrifying. For many, it may seem as though the sun is slowly being blotted out, and the "end of the world" is inevitable. We will be very tempted to turn to our "priests" for aid. Note that our priests these days are simply the figures who appear to be in charge (politicians), who appear to have access to privileged knowledge (scientists), who offer us hope and comfort and distraction (celebrities, merchant-kings).

But I think our greatest benefit will come from educating ourselves about the natural cycles of things. I suspect that even our view of death is just as ignorant as that of an "ancient yokel" witnessing an eclipse, or a dog trembling at a thunder clap.

I wish you all a revealing winter solstice.

P.S.
When I posted this entry, a banner advertisement was present that I just felt would be relevant to share:

What are these poor saps going to do when the rivers overrun? The greatest insurance is correlation with "mother nature", not dissociation.
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"Black and white" thinking Vs. "multicolored" thinking. [13 Nov 2010|08:25pm]

I've had the chance lately to be reminded what the world looks like from the perspective of the "black and white". It's a somewhat traditional way of viewing the world, I suppose. "Pre-modern," sort of, though plenty of us think in this way about many subjects even if we could be considered to have "post-modern", "post-post-modern" or "whatever-the-fuck" perspectives regarding certain subjects. Examples of black-and-white thinking: "good or bad", "true or false", "harmful or not harmful", "God or Satan."

My recent encounters with staunch black-and-white thinking are primarily encounters with the thoughts of religious people. Christians. Reactionary Christians in particular. There is a view that the forces of God and the forces of Satan are at war at every level of our world, and that at this point in time, the forces of Satan are "winning," that is, Satan's forces are more prevalent, and hold more positions of power and manipulation than ever. It's easy to dismiss this viewpoint as stupid/crazy delusions. But an interesting thing happens when you actually put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what might cause some (a relatively large number of) people, sometimes even intelligent ones, to believe that this is the case. It's really interesting to see what "multicolored thinking" looks from the perspective of a "black-and-white thinker". What it looks like is a tide of destruction. A frothing army of spirits who turn on each other when one grows weak. A great lie called "freedom of thought" and "diversity" and "relativity", which is in fact a trick played on human minds by the devil.

From the perspective of a Black-and-white thinker, Truth and Light and Good are simple, unambiguous, clear, free of any "ifs" "ands" "ors" "buts" or "maybes" and NEVER changes. Sure, the Truth may be painful and hard to take, but that's expected if you're a creature with a legacy of being imperfect (i.e. if you're a human). If something is unclear, might change value and validity depending on the situation, may cause or lead to confusion, creates more questions, might require you to inquire within or accept something that you have strong negative feelings about, then it's definitely from the Devil. See? Very simple. This criteria is so easy to adopt, it obviously comes form an innate "sense of Good and Evil."

I know the appeal of Black-and-White thinking. I often find myself attracted to it, largely because it seems to be so simple and clear-cut. It would be very nice if I didn't have to keep asking questions, and if the answers would just come to me in a simple way: If the source is Good, then it's probably True. I wouldn't have to sift through bullshit, get pulled this way and that through life by conflicting emotions. I wouldn't have to investigate the motives I have for clinging to this or that idea. I wouldn't have to challenge my beliefs and I wouldn't suspect that I may keep breaking them down and building up new (temporary) ideas/beliefs/delusions for the rest of my life. I wouldn't contemplate the Void. I wouldn't have dizzying thoughts like "truth is constantly changing". I wouldn't confuse myself, and I wouldn't sometimes get the feeling that I could be wrong about everything.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be able to feel as comfortable with the idea of being wrong as I do now. I wouldn't be as capable to putting myself in other people's shoes. I would likely be a lot more judgemental than I already am. I would have refused to accept many parts of my personality that have in the past made me so uncomfortable that I've repressed them. I doubt I'd be able to see beauty in the idea that "everything in existence(/nonexistence)" is a laughterful dance of nonsense that pulls all it's nonsense together like fabric for self-emergent fractal structures of meaning- an eternal heartbeat of light and nothingness, growth and destruction, suffering and love... and other pretty epic stuff.

Of course, if I were a black-and-white thinker, I might feel comfortable with other things, capable of other feats, find great uses for judgementalness, be able to accept other things that might have made me uncomfortable, and be able to see beauty in other ways. Even if "On" and "Off", or Black and White are temporary, emergent properties, they still are properties and can be worth exploring, I think. Would it be Satanic of me to say Black-and-White thinking isn't all bad?

Tool's song "Forty-six and 2" I think is a great poem about the internal process of "multicolored thinking," or intellectual probity/skepticism.

My shadow's
Shedding skin and
I've been picking
Scabs again.
I'm down
Digging through
My old muscles
Looking for a clue.
I've been crawling on my belly
Clearing out what could've been.
I've been wallowing in my own confused
And insecure delusions
For a piece to cross me over
Or a word to guide me in.
I wanna feel the changes coming down.
I wanna know what I've been hiding in
My shadow.
Change is coming through my shadow.
My shadow's shedding skin
I've been picking
My scabs again.
I've been crawling on my belly
Clearing out what could've been.
I've been wallowing in my own chaotic
And insecure delusions.
I wanna feel the change consume me,
Feel the outside turning in.
I wanna feel the metamorphosis and
Cleansing I've endured within
My shadow
Change is coming.
Now is my time.
Listen to my muscle memory.
Contemplate what I've been clinging to.
Forty-six and two ahead of me.
I choose to live and to
Grow, take and give and to
Move, learn and love and to
Cry, kill and die and to
Be paranoid and to
Lie, hate and fear and to
Do what it takes to move through.
I choose to live and to
Lie, kill and give and to
Die, learn and love and to
Do what it takes to step through.
See my shadow changing,
Stretching up and over me.
Soften this old armor.
Hoping I can clear the way
By stepping through my shadow,
Coming out the other side.
Step into the shadow.
Forty six and two are just ahead of me.

P.S.
Being a Star Wars fan, I just reflected on Obi-Wan's frantic cry to Vader in Ep. 3, "Only Sith deal in absolutes!" How's that for an absolute statement?
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suchness and the snare of standards [06 Sep 2010|06:11pm]

Christian doctrine has it right when it says that all human pleasures are pleasures for illusory, mortal phenomena, all of which will inevitably, and very soon, pass away. Anything you give your energy to, you are worshiping. They say that efforts to improve oneself is the worshiping of a false idol, because the ideal that is worshiped is an arbitrary construct, an image with no reality behind it. What some Christians cherish is the notion that because we have the tendency to lust after false things, that we are in fact flawed creatures. They perceive that the answer to the question of the human condition lies outside the human condition. This, they call Jesus Christ. I think they have it half right. What's not generally acknowledged among Christians is that all human fears are also fears of illusory, mortal phenomena, all of which will inevitably, and very soon enough, pass away. The efforts to distance oneself from the imperfect, “sinful beast”, the hungry ape who shivers in the rain with an erection while jealously chewing on a bloody leg-bone, is just as empty as trying to imitate their interpretation of what Christ was/is like, or trying to live up to what they think God's expectations are.

There is a valuable, though ill-understood doctrine in Christianity that “good works” alone will not get you into the kingdom of heaven- only accepting Christ will. And yet, accepting Christ is treated by most Christians as a “good work.” Will accepting Christ make you a better person? Believing such is no different than believing that making $100k a year, or being smart and funny, or having a girlfriend, or being happy all day, or becoming a doctor, or a monk, or a philanthropist will make you a better person. Sure, the definition of a “better person” depends on your perspective, and perhaps it's possible for you to meet that (arbitrary) definition. In this case, you are still just as much a compulsory servant of mortal, conditional standards than before, all of which are in constant flux, like a flag blowing in the wind. In this case, your “free will” is an illusion because your actions are chained to the fears and hopes of a limited phenomenon. But if you are not, in truth, a “person” at all, how then can you be judged according to the standards of one? Consider this idea: your career and education, your possessions, your style of dress, your body, and your personality and thoughts are merely patterns of energy swirling in the wake of the big bang. Which clump of stardust floating through the infinite night is better or worse than another?

Imagine a Buddha sitting by a river at night, staring by the moonlight into a little swirling whirlpool by the bank. His power of concentration and imagination was so strong that he came for an instant to believe that he was that whirlpool. This instant seemed to last a lifetime, for it was the lifetime of that whirlpool. Sensing, somehow, that his life was limited, the whirlpool felt afraid, and thought that perhaps there was something wrong with him. So this whirlpool decided that it was the froth at his edges that was to blame, and so he tried to make himself into a better whirlpool by trying to get rid of the froth, and aspiring to make his edges sleeker, so that he could cut through the water better and perhaps survive longer! Somewhere, he felt that high above him was a God who watched him, a God who had no froth at all. He felt ashamed of his froth and he longed to let that God into his heart, so that this God could guide him to become a better, frothless whirlpool. “Guide me, O Lord! Heal me!” The froth remained, and soon the beautiful frothy whirlpool's energetic pattern dissipated into the rest of the river. Then the Buddha laughed and moved on into the night's jungle.

When observing the fears and desires that tend to arise in my mind, and the implications of the fact that they are not actually me, I frequently find myself falling into the same old net that has had me snared through most of my life: “identifying with the characteristics of my life, body and personality is bad, and if I stop, I will become a better person,” or, “If I stop trying to become a better person, I will become a better person. I should try harder to do this.” There is the persistent belief that being snared in such a way is bad. I think this tendency is the source of the teaching, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha.” But I suspect it is no use trying to kill all standards of perfection unless it is being done out of love. Otherwise, nothing has changed besides words and appearances.

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Projection in "Notes on Kabbalah" [23 Aug 2010|10:35pm]
This is an excerpt from the book "Notes on Kabbalah" about the psychological phenomenon called Projection. The author, Colin Low I think is a bastion of good sense. This excerpt is from the section on Netzach, the sphere of Ve

We all tend to identify feelings and characteristics in other people which we
find in ourselves and when we get it right it is called "empathy"
or "intuition"; when we get it wrong it is called "projection",
because we are incorrectly projecting our feelings, needs,
motives, or desires onto another person and interpreting their
behaviour accordingly. Some level of projection is unavoidable,
and at best it can be balanced with a critical awareness that it
can occur, but projection is insidious, and the strength of
feeling associated with a projection can easily overwhelm any
intellectual awareness. Projection usually "feels right".

One of the most overwhelming forms of projection accompanies
sexual desire. Why do I find one person sexually attractive and
not another? Why do I find some characteristics in a person
sexually attractive but not others? In my own case I discovered
that when I put together all the characteristics I found most
attractive in a person a consistent picture emerged of an "ideal
person", and every person I had ever considered as a possible
sexual partner was instantly compared against this template. In
fact there was more than one template, more than one ideal, but
the number was limited and each template was very clearly
defined, and most importantly, each template was internal. My
sexual (and often many other feelings) about a person were based
on an internal and apparently arbitrary internal template. This
was crazy; I found my sexual feelings about a person would change
depending on how they dressed or behaved, on how well they
"matched the ideal". It became obvious that what I was in love
with did not exist outside of myself, and I was trying to find
this ideal in everyone else. Each one of these "templates" was a
living aspect of myself which I had chosen not to regard as "me",
and in compensation I spent much of my time trying to find people
to bring these parts to life, like a director auditioning actors
and actresses for a part in a new play. If a person previously
identified as ideal failed to live up to my notion of how they
should be ideally behaving then I would project a fault on them:
there was something wrong with *them*! Madness indeed.

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung [1] recognised this
phenomenon and gave these idealised and projected components of
our psyche the title "archetype". Jung identified several
archetypes, and it is worth mentioning the major and most
influential.

The Anima is the ideal female archetype. She is part
genetic, part cultural, a figure molded by fashion and
advertising, an unconscious composite of woman in the abstract.
The Anima is common in men, where she can appear with riveting
power in dreams and fantasy, a projection brought to life by the
not inconsiderable power of the male sexual drive. She might be
meek and submissive, seductive and alluring, vampish and
dangerous, a cheap slut or an unattainable goddess - there is no
"standard anima", but there are many recognisable patterns which
can have a powerful hold on particular men. Male sexual fantasy
material is amazingly predictable, cliched, unimaginitive and
crude, and contains a limited number of steroetyped views of
women which are as close to a "lowest common denominator anima"
as one is likely to find.

The Animus is the ideal male archetype, and much of what is
true about the Anima is true of the Animus. There are
differences; the predominant quality in the Anima is her
appearance and behaviour, while the predominant quality in the
Animus is social power and competence. In the interests of sexual
equality it is worth mentioning that female romantic fantasy
material is amazingly predictable, cliched, unimaginitive and
crude, and contains a limited number of stereotype views of men
which are as close to a "lowest common denominator animus" as one
is likely to find.

The Shadow is the projection of "not-me" and contains
forbidden or repressed desires and impulses. In most men the
Anima is repressed and in most women the Animus is repressed, and
so both form a component of the Shadow. The major part of the
Shadow however is composed of forbidden impulses, and the Shadow
forms a personification of evil. Much of what is considered evil
is defined socially and the communal personification of evil as
an external force working against humankind (such as Satan) is
widespread.

The Persona is the mask a person wears as a member of a
community when a large proportion of his or her behaviour is
defined by a role such as doctor, teacher, manager, accountant,
lawyer or whatever. Projection occurs in two ways: firstly,
someone may be expected to conform to a role in a particularly
rigid or stereotyped way, and so suffer a loss of individuality
and probably a degree of misplaced trust or prejudice. Secondly,
many people identify with a role to the extent that they carry
that role into all aspects of their private lives. This
"projection onto self" is a form of identification - see
the section on Tiphereth.

The archetype of Self at the level of Hod and Netzach is
usually projected as an ideal form of person; that is, someone
will believe that he or she is highly imperfect creature and it
is possible to attain an ideal state of being in which the same
person is kind, loving, wise, forgiving, compassionate, in
harmony with the Absolute, or whatever. This projection will
either fasten on a living or dead person, who then becomes a
hero, heroine, guru, or master with grossly inflated abilities,
or it fastens on a vision of "myself made perfect". The projected
vision of "myself made perfect" is common (almost universal)
among those seeking "spiritual development", "esoteric training",
and other forms of self-improvement, and in almost every case it
is based on an abstract ideal. The person will probably insist
that the ideal has existed in certain rare individuals (usually
long dead saints and gurus, or someone who lives a long way off
whom they haven't met), and that is the sort of person they want
to be. It should be comical, but it isn't. There is more to say
about this and it will keep till the section on Tiphereth.

The book is available only online, and is really, really well worth a read for anyone even vaguely interested in this thing called "Kabbalah."
http://www.digital-brilliance.com/kab/nok/index.htm
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Projections onto the screen of reality [16 Aug 2010|01:54pm]

For the past few weeks I've been focusing a lot of my attention on the psychological projections that I create throughout my daily life. If you're unfamiliar with the term, "projection" is a mostly unconscious process whereby your mind takes an internal situation- feelings, thoughts, desires and so on, and projects them "outward" onto the world. An example would be when you see something you dislike in another person, you are likely looking at what you dislike in yourself. The same goes for seeing traits or situations that you enjoy- you're likely seeing what you wish was a part of you. The other day I stumbled across an article by Brugh Joy on projection called "Projections onto the screen of reality." He introduced to me some new ways of thinking about projection. The new concepts mentioned in this paper seemed to connect a few conceptual dots for me. “Dots” being major trains of thought.

At the bookstore today, I picked up a book called “Black Swans,” which is about the predominance of low-probability, high-consequence events in our world. I wondered at how I had just happened to stumble across that book at a time when that very topic seemed to be extremely relevant to my thinking.  I've been thinking a lot about the idea that the most persistent principles in the universe are accident and error. Was my stumbling upon this book itself a low-probability, high-consequence event (an accident)? The thought occurred to me, “ or is this a synchronisity?” A synchronisity is the occurrence of two or more events which appear to be unrelated causally, but have a strong correlation in meaning. Did this event mean something? Or was it in reality a meaningless accident?

Consider this idea: meaning, as we usually think of it, is a mental construct. It's a construct in just the same way that stories or narratives are mental constructs. The narrative, meaningful, story-like aspect of your life (and of the advent of life on earth) is a mental construct. But what is the nature of this mental construct?

It occurred to me that I could have picked that same book up anytime, when it wasn't as relevant to me, and I wouldn't have noticed any significance. Or I could have picked up any book at this moment and likely found something in it that seemed relevant to what my mind was already focused on because my mind is at the moment filtering things through the frontal lobe's relevancy filter. Things that are familiar and relevant to my thoughts seem to pop out, and I am attracted towards things that might have familiarity to my brain's neural canals.

Brugh Joy's paper connected my "dots" thusly: “This phenomenon (projection) is actually an example of the operation of the principle of correspondence. When a pattern of forces is active in the Unconscious of an individual, and outer reality contains an event, person or action that even remotely resembles that pattern, the individual will “project” the unconscious pattern onto the outer reality.” It seems to be saying, to me, that (all of, or at least some of) our experience of narrative and purpose and meaning in life, and the confirmation biases we have are the results of projection.  The perception of synchronisity is the same operation of the principle of correspondence and selective perception, which is a significant operation of the forebrain.

I've always found that evidence of meaninglessness or the deconstruction of my ideas of narrative to be threatening. It makes me afraid that my life has no real purpose, and that there is in fact nothing resembling a higher intelligence guiding my life. It makes me afraid that there is in fact no protective guidance deep within me or without me, that I am not special, that I do not live in the apex of existence. It gives me the feeling of being bits of random dust floating through space, nothing more. Or as Bad Religion says it,

"
Your achievements are unsurpassed, you are highly-ordered mass,
But you can bet your ass your free energy will dissipate.
Two billion years thus far, now mister here you are,
An element in a sea of enthalpic organic compounds.
The world won't stop without you."

Or as the Buddhists say it, nothing is permanent.

Or as the Thelemites say it, the stability of the universe is change. Every change is the effect of an act of love. All acts of love contain pure joy. Die daily.

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Bryan's Poetry Slam [14 Jul 2010|10:06pm]
This first one I did not write. I found it on facebook from a fellow named Lance Lowman. Scribbled it down and, after watching the movie "Wizards", drew a fairy.


This one is the result of mixing zazen and coffee:

Dancing nimbus. No fear.
Soft feet on hard concrete.
Watching every flicker of your sea.
She can see every detail of your desires: your relationship
with every texture, every smell, every shape of supple flesh.
She waits behind every phantom. Every dream of the world
is a dream of her.
Even in the deepest night of human ignorance,
Life knows. No fear.
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Workin in the Dream [21 Jun 2010|03:15pm]
This weekend I started my new job at American Dream Pizza. I'm washing dishes for 7 hours a day on the weekends. It's pretty fun. One thing that makes it fun is the fact that I like everyone who works there. The work atmosphere is very unoppressive, and I feel pretty comfortable with acting how I really want to act. That's awesome for a work environment. I'm glad I got the job.

The other reason I've been having fun with the job is because I've been observing the psycho-physical effects that the work itself has been having on me. I basically learned a new skill and practised it for a total of 17 hours over 3 days. After the first day, I could hardly sleep because whenever I closed my eyes, I saw nothing but stacks of dishes and a hose, and could feel nothing but hot water and the physical movements of throwing plates into racks and turning on the sterilizing machine. I realized that this was happening because my brain was very busy at work building new neural pathways. A new ravine was being dug through my brain and rehearsed unconsciously over and over again. That night I dreamt in the language of dishwashing. I realized that this is something that happens everytime I first begin to learn a new skill: for the first few nights I dream in the language of that skill. I noticed it with martial arts, and with chaos theory, permaculture, and with sprinkler  systems and landscaping.

Dish washing is pretty repetitive, but very fast-paced and energetic. I noticed that it seemed to bring on an interesting trance-like state of mind. My brain would enter such flowing autopilot mode, the brand-new ravine gushing such high amounts of electricity, that it was literally making me feel high, like I had just taken some LSD. It was exhausing but strangely addictive, my glands pumping feel-good juice through my body whenever a glistening, steamy-clean dish hit the rack. I noticed something like this during the last week of my landscaping job when I no longer cared about being fired, so I just worked hard and fast with my mind on nothing but the work.

Action is divine light washing upon the breakers of existence, solidifying to become the ever-changing rocks themselves.
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Childish parents [08 Jun 2010|10:01pm]

The other day I was in the public library to access the internet on my laptop. I was sitting at a table and a mother with two young children came along. The mother was accessing the library database and the children were rolling around on the floor, climbing on the couches and giggling to each other. The mother, of course, tried to tell them to stop, to be still and be quiet. I had turned my head by now and was watching with great amusement as the children played. I had a smile on my face- I couldn't help it. The mother, frustrated, addressed the children more sternly, telling them to be quiet. “That man is trying to study!” She said, pointing to me as I sat 10 feet away smiling at the children.

It felt unfair to be used impersonally as tool like that- as an excuse- as something to hide behind. I said to her “It's ok. I'm not bothered by it at all.” Her tool was now useless, so the truth came out, “Ok, but I am,” she responded and began shuffling her younglings away. “That's fine,” I found myself saying, and turned back to my work.

Today as I was carrying my bike up the steps to my apartment door, I said hello to the little girl and her grandfather who live next door. They were hanging out in the common area. The little girl is about 7 years old and is very friendly, and she likes to talk to me whenever she sees me. Her grandfather (and her mom and dad, when they're outside as well) don't seem to be as amiable as she is. When they think she's asking too many questions, or worry that I may be being inconvenienced by her desire to socialize, they say her name in a warning tone of voice. Their worry and fear makes me uncomfortable. Yesterday, she asked me where I lived, and I said next door and pointed at my place. Her grandfather must have assumed that this was slightly too personal a question, so he said her name in a warning tone of voice. Today, I was talking with them and then I walked over to my door to go inside. The little girl ran over to look into my front door and said “I want to see what the inside of your house looks like.” Immediately, her grandfather barked at her to “get back here!”

His fierce worry made me feel even more uncomfortable. It was that same unfair feeling. A very shallow guise of “Sorry fella, I don't want her to bother you, heh heh!” covering up “Little girls shouldn't be so friendly with 25 year old men!!” covering up “Oh shit! She's doing something I would be terrified of doing!!!” At least that's how I read the situation with my awesome powers of psychological projection. Nevertheless, his reaction made both the little girl, and myself feel as if what was happening was wrong, bad, no no, forbidden.

These are both pretty mild examples, but it's something that I see all the time. I've been considering this a lot and I've got some strong opinions. Granted, I'm not a parent, but I am a person who claims to somewhat understand people. I would like to make a request to all parents and would-be parents: please make yourselves very familiar with your own fears, insecurities, egoisms, neuroses, complexes, and so on. Please exercise continual and growing awareness of those and all of your emotional reactions. I think that would be awesome. There must be a difference between actively ensuring a safe, educational life-environment for your child and restricting your child because you feel insecure about something. Do you want him to put that glass down because you're legitimately concerned for his safety, or simply because you're afraid of being thought of by others as a bad parent? I think that feeling afraid, guilty, insecure, and all that stuff is perfectly normal and permissible (though not always healthy). But I do not think that forcing one's children to pander to those prejudices creates a safe, educational life-environment for them. Naturally, in any close relationship, one person's emotions are likely to offer a limitation to the other person's actions. You're emotionally tied together. However, I think that the parent-child relationship is one that requires special care to be taken by the parent, due to the fact that parents have vastly more power than children. You have to be physically gentle with a child. In the exact same way, I think you have to be emotionally gentle. Know your muscle-power, and know your suggestive-power.

I'm reading this book called "Wholesome Fear". Wholesome fear is an interesting concept to me because for most of my life I have been largely under the sway of rather strong, unwholesome, restrictive fears- so my basic reaction is to think that all fear is shitty. But the author makes a good point: “It all depends on what we're afraid of, on whether the danger is real or imaginary, and on how we deal with and respond to our fear. If there is a real danger, and we deal wisely with our fear, it will motivate us to avoid or somehow address what we're afraid of.” However, imaginary, or exaggerated fear, when undealt with, can overwhelm and immobilize.

Wholesome fear is adaptive. Unwholesome fear is maladaptive. This is why I think that it's important (whether a parent or not) to become highly aware of your fears. All of them, even the little ones. Fish them out from the depths of unconsciousness and practice bringing them under the observation of the conscious, rational mind. Bounce them off of reality and see if the danger is real or imaginary. If it's real, get moving. Be honest with yourself and with other people about the presence of those insecurities or fears. Suffer the wound: it's ok to be vulnerable. Don't judge yourself or other people for having insecurities or vulnerabilities. Become aware of your projections, assumptions and judgments. Honesty is light. Give it, and your children (or anyone else) will absorb it, and become light-bearers themselves.

It might be a little bit too epic to say that this era we live in is an evolutionary tipping point. But I honestly feel that it is. I think that the actions that we take as individuals today is the very force that's shaping our evolution as a species. I also know that the adults of the future are the children of today. At this rate of change, they're going to be facing a much stranger life than we can even imagine. I think it's up to us to allow them to develop their innate power of adaptation and creativity.

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My life's movement expressed through Calvin and Hobbes [22 May 2010|04:38pm]
This has been me over the past 4-5 months:


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This has been me since I lost my job this month:


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Occasionally, Nothingness sparkles.
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[12 May 2010|01:51pm]
“If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children; and if they grow up in their natural innocence, we won’t have to struggle; we won’t have to pass fruitless, idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which consciously or unconsciously the whole world is hungering.” --Gandhi
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