by j-a

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Apr 2004


There is no reason why I should be feeling so skittish.
Everything has been going so well lately.
I meditate. I go deep, inside, my mind...
Wait a minute! Where is that, exactly?

I am not inside, anything. Or rather, my mind is out in front of me. I project my "mind" onto the infinity of space that exists between my eyelids and the "outside" world.

[I do this also when I am in a normal state of consciousness and operating in that real world that meditation is an escape from, though it should not be; yet there is the stress;

but I am not so much aware of it then, that I exist beyond myself, there also. I am as much inside my mind as well, retreating in order to think and plan and scheme.

We are never so much contained as we think we are, when functioning in the physical world under the illusion that we are individual entities. We extend beyond our egos.]

This infinity, I guess, exists within cranial folds where the Higgs boson "ether" drags speeding sub-nuclear energy into a reality of particulate matter, no matter how we perceive it.

I am creating myself out of the stuff the universe is made of.
Increasingly differentiated smitches build masses of matter.
We extract ourselves out of this state through distraction.
The illusion we create of separation establishes our identities.
Personalities formed through adaptation percolate into selves.
But the pyramid of meta-personalities is not a pyramid at all.
That's only a convenient metaphor. Its height is not literal.

The structure is rather more recursive, folding in on itself, like the folds of the brain or the extra-dimensions beyond space and time that are only now mathematically verified.

There is no "up there" just as there is no "out there" where we all come together, but there is an "in there" where increasing density ties us closer and closer together until we fuse.

Out here, then, in the "real" world, where we believe through the magic of illusion that we are separate individuals, when we discover correspondences between others and ourselves, we begin to feel the connection. But when we think that the connections between people are "in there," more deeply than we can know, we have deluded ourselves into an inability to perceive them. (They're unconscious). But "out here," where we think that we are separate, when we see the slightest hint of connection, we feel it more profoundly because it is becoming conscious. If we follow the correspondence/connection more deeply" (i.e., more recursively; it's not really any more deep than it is high above us, except perhaps if we're considering the folds of the brain, which is hardly literally deep at all. In fact, they're quite shallow), we become aware of an increasing connection as we watch the correspondences increase and the delusions of difference melt away, and we see how others join us at the various meta-levels "above" us (inside the meta-"soul").

At some point, closer maybe for people who feel correspondences, than for those who don't, we each become part of a meta-personality, which takes on a personality of its own. The energy that joins us (or, more correctly, that energy we share, ala the theory of energy-particles shared between dimensions) exists at the level of Higgs bosons (etc.), which become manifested in matter perhaps thousands of miles (or light years) apart. Conventional perceptions of interconnection (telephony, the Internet) are just now beginning to catch up with the mystics who have known these kinds of phenomena for millennia. When computing power reaches a certain level and ties more of us together in a more than superficial, external way, we will exceed another threshold analogous to that of self-awareness. This, combined with new theory derived from super-collider research, will establish a new ethos where science and religion fuse. (Watch out for orthodoxy here when this will happen.)


I used to be quite awkward at meeting people, never knowing what to say. (Hell, I still am.) Then, in conjunction with advancing my career, I began a systematic effort to develop social skills. I learned to talk about the weather, sports results, and insipid news items while, at the same time, realizing what I already unconsciously felt, that most of what people spoke about when socializing was of little significance. I progressed, resolving, as the final step of my new learning, to find a way in conversation to dig right into the heart of a matter, into the profundity, without all of the preliminary crap that nobody really cares about, but just uses to oil the machinery of society.

And then, due to circumstances that I wanted to believe were beyond my control, I gave up the attempt to schmooze people and began to work exclusively on personal concerns. Several years passed and I forgot all about my ill-perceived necessity to learn how to be "sociable." Now, all of a sudden this afternoon, I realize that without ever intending to, I took that final step, some years ago. I gave up small talk when I abandoned my career development, but I didn't quite give up developing my communication skills. The learning proceeded on it's own, unconsciously.

When I was very young, I talked only to people I knew well. I was socially anxious and therefore quite shy. I carried this social disability into young adulthood, when I corrected the problem (more or less, overcompensating). And then I reverted back to the way I used to be, but without so much social anxiety as previously. I was still reserved, out of habit, even anxious if I hung back and thought (worried) about socially engaging, but I could enter spontaneously into conversations quite easily serendipitously. In this sense, I advanced, because I was never like this as a kid.

But the whole point here is, I still never engage in small talk. I jump right in. I figure, if people want to talk to me, why bother with all of that ritual beating around the bush? It's such a waste of time. It bores me now as much as it always has. When I was a kid, I felt that people were such phonies. I easily saw through their pretenses, of caring about each other when they didn't, expressing false sentiments, of adopting (men, mostly) braggadocio attitudes, compensating for feelings of inferiority, etc. So I shied away. Now, I skip right by those awkward moments. If you want to talk to me, great. Let's skip the bullshit and get right down to it. This, as you might expect, puts people off. They don't expect it, and most of them don't even want it. Most people want to engage others on a superficial or at least on a simple level, never being comfortable with profundity or complexity in life. A lot of the time, except among very close friends, they want shallow conversation and black and white issues. Shades of gray are like rainy days. Everyone wants to see the sun during the day and to sleep well at night.

But there is an unseen side to this whole issue. When I respond to people, typically, I'm not saying what they think I am. But sometimes I'm not saying what I think I am either. I skip over the niceties and drill right into the heart of the matter, but it's my matter. Without warning, I change an initiating topic and substitute one of my own, taking cues from themes and keywords others' propose, but using them as springboards to expose my own concerns, relative to the ongoing conversation only peripherally or accidentally.

[Everybody does this to some extent. Very few people are capable of staying precisely on topic, and even fewer are capable of giving other people and their topics/issues full attention. As you read this, you're probably substituting your own interpretation for what I'm trying to say here. Are you really getting this at all, or do you only think you are, selecting bits and pieces that you input into your own system of beliefs, hearing your own inner voice saying these words to yourself, as if you are composing them yourself, editing and filtering them as you do?]

On the other hand, sometimes, thinking back, I realize that what I was trying to say was not what I was really saying at all, that the "deep" subjects I was trying to elucidate, feeding off others' themes and keywords, were a subterfuge, or at best only half of a dual communication. Intuitively, I was also spinning the material back toward the other person's intent as my unconscious mind handled both sets of material, more or less accurately, depending on how adept my ego had been at thwarting the originating content and asserting it's own intentions exclusively. When you, then, recognize any unconscious threads in my monologue (lots of times in conversation, we engage in simultaneous monologues instead of dialogue) that are in fact your material or correspond to your beliefs, you understand that communication is happening; but in these cases, we seldom recognize at what level that communication is taking place, that what I am consciously intending has nothing to do with what you are hearing, that which I unconsciously intend. Sometimes people label this phenomenon as "psychic"--and it is, but only in that it is occurring within and between obliquely-engaged psyches. We make profound connections all the time that we are not aware of.

Often, casual, "shallow" conversation is a disguise, masking an affective relationship that is invisible to others and that sometimes even the participants don't fully realize. We're talking about the weather, but we're feeling something else entirely, camaraderie, true (as opposed to superficial) sociability, an intuitive response that has very little to do with what is verbally expressed, except perhaps on a symbolic or metaphorical level. For the most part, however, this aspect of socializing is not an exception to the superficial/simple response mentioned above, but a way of hiding from true interaction in the present relationship what we otherwise are enjoying, more or less unconsciously (at best, semi-consciously), depending on our particular level of self-awareness. We interact, always, on the deepest of levels, whether we are making small talk, engaging in complex intellectual conversation, or talking intimately with family and friends. We are totally engaged, at the deepest core of our being, but only hide that fact from ourselves to whatever degree necessary to protect the fragile little illusions that are our egos.

So, anyway, how about all this rain we've been having lately, huh?


When I dream about my old workplace, it could be with the unconscious intent of mastering the job in a way that I couldn't before, of practicing it, over and over again, correcting my faults, as in the dream I just had where I approached the problems being presented in a calm and peaceful manner, not at all worried and anxious about negative outcomes, thereby imparting to the workers a sense of competence and appreciation. And I sat beside Eileen at the desk without undue attention, where I felt that my presence or my absence had little relevance, that I could take the job or leave it, that it was of little importance to me any more.

When I dream about a new dog, one I never had, but which I treat as if it were the last dog I did have, it could be that it represents a certain ability to love that I am developing, above and beyond the simple, sexually-based love that I've known all my life, as in the dream I just had where the dog is tied up outside the window, running back and forth happily on his chain on a relatively cold day, barking to be let back into the house, which is a standard symbol for my psyche. I'm happy that the dog is happy and I let it into the house where I can more closely enjoy its happiness.

I waver between the extremes of feeling quite competent and doubtful or worried. But wait. These are not extremes. This is quite normal behavior. It's manic omnipotence and paranoia that are the extremes of this syndrome. And I realize that I've been avoiding both of those states quite well over the past few years, existing, wavering not between the extremes, but between two states nearer to the mean.

When I begin to rant and rave and generally think those kinds of things that indicate that I'm unhappy with the world and its grievous contents, I should take a minute and examine the extremes of thought, find the polarities, and then consider the middle between them, which is probably where I need to be. Personifying and/or expatiating extremities is a caustic and taxing way of live.


Thunder and lightning assail my delicate perception.
The messages are coming through quite clearly now.
Tiny lights turn on at the farthest reaches of periphery.
A consensual reality is breaking down in flashbacks.
Contact is re-established, eye of the storm overhead.
A peaceful calm descends like the ubiquity of love.

A part of my disability is mental, when I experience an anxiety and/or paranoia that are symptoms/causes (feedback loop) of stress and am unable to function effectively because I see (or think I see) the unconscious intent of others.

I pick up on a signal, decode it, or if I can't, suspect it, my hackles up, and the paranoia begins--or maybe it had already begun unnoticed, which enabled me to detect the signals in the first place (paranoia being a mechanism that opens the psychic doors of perception by breaking down the consensual filters and allowing a wider spectrum of information to flow through, not unlike psychoactive drugs, but far less effectively).

Or else this is all an illusion (which it is in any case, because everything is an illusion in a world where only energy exists). But even if this is true, still, the information pertains to me, projected onto a world of others, to whom it may or may not apply, they also being illusions. There is no "I" but I. We are all the same essential oneness.

The storm picks up again, wind rattling everything.

Next, I worry, maybe becoming anxious, I brood; I connect the dots [You've got to collect the dots before you can connect them,1 and paranoia is one of my methods of collection] until I manage to put together an expansion that enables me to feel okay again, because unless I understand what's happening, even if it is only an illusory understanding, a delusion, I can't feel secure, I can't feel that someone who is "out to get me" can't harm me in any way, physically or psychologically (via manipulation, intimidation, etc.)

After the storm passes, I listen to the BBC on the Internet while playing simple-minded video games and voicing my comments and objections to the news. If this isn't a symptom of something (I don't know exactly what), talking to a taped feed, I don't know what is.


I'm crazier now than I ever was. (Or I just allow myself to see it.)
If you want an explanation for that, just ask Marlon Brando.
Another day gone by where I didn't go out and spend any money.

I have these moments of clear sight where I realize this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, and then I think that I am so lucky to be able to do this, even though it probably has as much to do with intelligence, wit, and planning as it does with luck. And there's also the fact that I live at this time in history in a country that provides me with the freedom and opportunity to be what I am. I criticize this country (and the world, and the human race) a lot, but isn't that exactly what I'm saying here, that I have the freedom to be able to do that? And speaking of clear sight, not only do I realize that I am in fact free, it seems that somewhere along the line without realizing it I became enlightened.

In all of the Oriental religions great value is placed on the Sanskrit doctrine of Tat tvam asi, "Thou art that," which asserts that everything you think you are and everything you think you perceive are undivided. To realize fully this lack of division is to become enlightened.
Robert M. Pirsig,
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Funny. I thought there would be a big Aha!, a wonderful eternal moment of great insight. Instead, it's been a long, slow, gradual coming to awareness of the unity of all being, which is not yet complete, my awareness, that is, not the unity, which is ubiquitous (of course). I lose this awareness for long periods of time. But when my attention is called back to it for whatever reason, through meditation or reading or merely some simple comment someone makes, there I am again, enlightened. Now, thanks to the quote above, it seems I am enlightened about enlightenment.

Another little enlightenment:

Perhaps I should reproach myself for having so little that is objective to report...if I were not writing primarily for my own amusement and only secondarily for any public I may have. I am not bent on sustaining dramatic suspense, leaving such effects to the writers of imaginative tales, who must contrive to give their inventions the beautiful and symmetrical proportions of a work of art--whereas my material is derived from my own experience alone and I feel I may dispose it as seems to me good. Thus I shall linger upon such events as were of especial value or significance to me, neglecting no necessary detail to bring them out; passing over more lightly those of less personal moment.
Thomas Mann "Felix Krull"
I could have written this myself, of myself, except I would have substituted the words self-elucidation and therapy for 'amusement.'


If I have any more fucking insights without a long break, I think I might go insane. But this is what I want, isn't it? Not to go insane, but to be motivated by the inundating spirit of insight and not have to go for long periods of time without them. It doesn't rain, but it pours.

He's a real nowhere man,
sitting in his nowhere land,
making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.

Doesn't have a point of view.
Knows not where he's going to.
Isn't he a bit like you
and me.

John Lennon,
"Nowhere Man"
There is nothing which is real.
There is nothing, which is real.
There is no thing, which is real.

another intuition from a meta-state in meditation

Inside the sub-atomic particle when the sub-nuclear particle/forces are split apart, we recognize a kind of "energy-ether" out of which "pre-particles" begin to slow and form; or put another way, in which "energy-forms" begin to drag. That which they are dragging out of is, for lack of a better word, God. But it's not enough to say that God exists as the sum total of all of the tiny energy packets contained inside all of the near-infinite number of sub-nuclear particles (in addition to all of the electrons, neutrinos, photons, etc.) in the universe [which theory is merely pantheism in a more scientific cloak]. The nature of each particulate "sub-ether" is such that it is not merely in contact with all of the other S-Es, but that it is identical with them, so that a pre-sub-nuclear particle can exist at the same time at opposite sides of the universe, which is to say that all pre-particles exist at all sides of the universe (and the middle too) at the same time, which is to say that the entirety of the universe is one whole undifferentiated thing prior to sub-division into particles with mass, which is nothing more than an illusion, that which we as illusory discrete individuals think we see when we peer into our electron microscopes and colliders and discover smaller and smaller "particles" that seem to come out of nowhere.

...the study of entanglement physics--the study of interconnectedness...miraculous communications every day--twin sea-turtle eggs separated and placed in labs thousands of miles apart hatching at the same instant. . . acres of jellyfish pulsating in perfect rhythm as if of a single mind There are invisible lines of communication everywhere...
Dan Brown, Angels & Demons
And there are better examples from the science of physics/cosmology that I am too lazy to look up right now, experiments with the transmission of light that resulting in theories proposing things like a photon being capable of existing on both sides of the universe at the same time--and this is not from crackpots, but from the foremost experts in the field.


I find myself, at certain moments, saying to myself, or sometimes out loud, "I love you," meaning, most superficially, that I love myself. I say this most often when I've caught myself, usually remembering some past event, thinking of myself in less than favorable, or even in highly critical ways.

But what I am further saying is that I love God. This will pop into my head from time to time, especially lately when (pretty much routinely now) I mean it consciously only referring to myself, but then realize the connection. (In other words, it's becoming nearly as much of a habit thinking that I love God as much as thinking that I love myself.)

This, I realize, is a petition to God to bestow on me Its love and mercy because I am suffering a brief lapse in my own self (consciousness) in this regard at this particular moment and thus need some of what I want to believe is external encouragement and validation. [That is, I try to project God "out there" somewhere.]

I have not in the past done this so consciously as I do it now; that is, I haven't previously thought of this as so much of a petition as I do now. Consciously, it's been more like self-encouragement, because I've never believed that any god actually interceded in human affairs. But my idea of god is changing as I learn more and more, scientifically, about the true nature of reality.

Today, I realize that the petition aspect of this practice is more profound than I ever knew. Today I tie some concepts together that I've previously been keeping far apart: By saying "I love you" I realize that not only am I saying that I love myself and that I love God and that It loves me, but that I love everything else too. The petition that extends beyond myself to God by God's very nature includes everything else in the universe, because the self that I love and intend to encourage is composed of sub-nuclear particles containing God. The God-stuff that I am made of is identical to that same God-stuff that makes up the universe and everything in it. So, since there is no real distinction between people/things on the pre-sub-nuclear level (at that level, or just below it, we are all one, "That art Thou"), then when I express my love to that God-substance (which comprises everything that I am), I express it, not to some "pie in the sky" father-god "out there" somewhere, but to a very real, personal, in-dwelling presence, not inside me, but composing the literal fabric of the being I choose, through illusion, to perceive as a separate existence, and in every other person/thing in exactly the same way, here and now, eternally forever (monism), that anti-stuff that we've built up a resistance to seeing/knowing due to the nature of the organism/ego that must filter out significant amounts of data in order to perceive and attempt to understand via breaking unity into categories so that it may contrast and compare between them.

In a larger sense, when we say "I love you" to anyone and really mean it (as opposed to using it as a ploy to get what we want--which we do more often that not, I suspect), of necessity we extend the love to the entire universe, and thus to God, because by its very nature, true love of self and/or another is the love of God, the anti-substance out of which we all coagulate into existence. True love is, a priori, a universal phenomenon because the Stuff that composes that which we love is ubiquitous and indivisible, one identical thing across the entirety of existence. You can't truly love a part of It without loving the whole thing. (But you can limit your awareness of the love to such a degree that you feel deprived of It and so must petition again and again to be let back in on the great universal secret.)

Thus, when people (particularly women) say "I love you" and expect a similar response--or else, they're suffering from a restricted awareness of the true nature of love, which is all-encompassing and needs no verification. Asking for love (or the verification of it) is like asking to be let in on a mystery; if you don't already know it, you won't really understand it after an explanation (although you might think you do). Asking to be told that you are loved is simple lack of confidence in your own feelings and perceptions. It has very little to do with love at all.

Sean Hannity twisted things further. "If we are attacked before our election like Spain was, I am not so sure that we should go ahead with the election," he reportedly said. "We had better make plans now because it's going to happen."
So much for your flag-wagging, freedom-loving Republicans. We (of like mind as I, that is "left-wing") are the rebels and people like Hannity and O'Reilly are the Tories.

It's pretty sad when you have to define yourself as a "left-wing" liberal in order to distinguish yourself from the mainstream middle-of-the-roader liberals who look more like the middle-of-the-roader conservatives than they look like you.

I can work myself into a state where I can go for weeks at a time in a trance-like condition, eating only protein and the barest minimum of occasional carbohydrates, slimming myself down, concerning myself with the esthetics of my work, and spending the remainder of my time absorbing one or another form of postmod culture while remaining confined within my home, leaving it only to get the mail. This is a kind of active meditation/contemplation I perform.

a semi-outline for meditation

Oh. The four "private contractors who were killed in Iraq the other day were mercenaries. That put things in a different light, not only re the Iraqi reaction to them, but re attitudes toward them back home. Innocent contractors being killed is one thing; hired guns is a whole other thing entirely. And now we're sending in the Marines to avenge their deaths, and the death toll is climbing drastically. But, really, this is just an excuse, the death of the contractors. It's a reason for wiping out a lot more Iraqis. I think I'm beginning to understand the Palestinian position a lot better because of Amerika's involvement in Iraq.

Chocolate cherubs Researchers have uncovered the perfect excuse to eat lots of chocolate Easter eggs this year, for pregnant women at least. The study of 300 mums-to-be showed those that ate chocolate every day had babies who smiled and laughed more. Also, the babies of stressed women who enjoyed chocolate regularly showed less fear of new situations than babies of stressed women who did not. The cause of the effect is not known, but some chemicals in chocolate are associated with positive mood.
Well, duh! Of course they're in a better mood, smiling and laughing more. They're all hyped up on the natural drugs that chocolate contains. Why not have the mothers drink five or ten cups of coffee a day and see how that would affect the babies.


Conservatives think Condi Rice did just fine in her appearance before the 9-11 investigation committee. I think she was overly defensive and showing her seams, so that I have to ask myself, what is it she has to be defensive about? People who do not feel guilty about something have no reason to be defensive. It's not too hard to believe that her co-conspirators could be setting her up to throw her to the wolves if the 9-11 investigation begins to extend beyond The Regime's control. I don't think they ever really liked her very much anyway. She's too...I don't know. What is she? Too much like a man, I guess they feel, and therefore too much of a threat to them.

My childhood and young adulthood problem of "stooped shoulders" (as my mother had labeled it) was indicative of low self-esteem and a severe inferiority complex (itself caused by early "mother-rejection") that caused me to retreat from society and exist on my own, which I translated into a lifelong goal of achieving an increasingly independent lifestyle. The entire focus of my ongoing therapy has been (I see now) to reverse this psychology. Not only have I mentally pursued this therapy with dedication, I realize now that I pursued it physically as well. I went to a great deal of trouble with chiropractors and with personal exercise and training to learn to walk erect. And over a long period of time, I managed to correct my posture "permanently," not without difficulty since at least a part of the problem is a physical affliction (whether it existed from early on or only developed as a response to poor posture, I don't know), ankylosing spondylitis, a disease whose typical symptom is the severe bent back you see in older people who awkwardly walk around with their heads facing the ground and their backs bent parallel to it. I fight the continuing development of this condition by striving to remain erect through exercises and dedicated attention, even as calcium deposits continue to build around my vertebrae.

So, I can only assume that, having corrected by back problem, I have made equally significant psychological improvements, straightening out my bent esteem, achieving a genuine, if tentative, self-confidence, and balancing the childhood feelings of inferiority with the over-compensatory affects of independent adult over-confidence. And after all, balance is the key to all aspects of life, isn't it?

[Originally intended to be posted as a response to someone's livejournal, but I never got around to posting it]:

I was never bullied as a child, and don't know why. And I certainly never bullied anyone else. Looking back, I think I felt then like a kind of kid who would have been bullied. But maybe I was cooler than I thought I was at the time. I've always had episodes of low self-esteem tucked away amid the overly high self-esteem crap--which was (still is) compensation). Maybe I was unconsciously cool. Most people treated me far better, I think, that I (unconsciously) felt I deserved.

[Wait a minute. I just realized that I was bullied--in two different colleges, for having become a hippie with long hair. 'Cool' changes between generations.]


I walk into a dimly-lit, deserted bar in the afternoon. It's a nice place, almost posh. I watch myself in the mirror behind the bar walking across the room toward it. The low light level fades all color into dull sepia, as if I'm in an old fifties movie.

The bartender is sitting in a chair behind the bar reading a newspaper. His head is below bar level, so I don't see him until I'm at the bar. He's aware that I'm standing here, but he ignores me. Finally I say "Can I get something to drink?"

Begrudgingly, he sets his paper down and slowly stands. He walks over and plants himself opposite me behind the bar. He doesn't say a word, but only looks me over, as if he disapproves of the way I'm dressed--in an old paint-stained sweatshirt and Levi's.

I say "Give me a double scotch. Straight up."

"We serve only top-shelf liquors here," he says, as if I would decline high-quality booze, hoping to score some rotgut instead.

I say "Sure. Whatever ya got. The best."

He turns away, reaches for a bottle, and pours the drink.

I think that maybe what he actually said was "We serve only top-shelf lickers here," implying that I was too low class, unqualified to lick his ass. I almost laugh out loud, but I manage to stifle myself.

I hear the door open behind me and look up into the mirror to see a well-dressed guy enter. He walks quickly straight back into the room along the far wall. As he nears the bar, he slows a bit. I see him glancing sideways toward me.

The bartender looks over at him, nods as if he knows him, and then they exchange glances back and forth between looking quickly at me. Before the guy disappears past the bar into the back toward the restrooms, he gives me a final sideways glance down his nose, as if he's saying "Who the hell are you to be drinking here?"

I take a quick slug of the drink the bartender sets in front of me.

Suddenly the door jerks open and Steve rushes in. He doesn't notice me sitting here, but heads straight toward the back, past the bar, followed by a definite cold stare from the bartender. Shortly we hear sounds of a scuffle, loud sharp and muffled noises as if chairs are being broken and bodies are being tossed off walls.

The bartender is frozen for a moment, indecisive. By the time he begins to move toward the back, Steve is already heading back out of the bar. Again, he never sees me.

And then, incredibly, I hear someone yell "Cut" and immediately the mood lightens, the bartender's dour face breaks into a smile, Steve returns in his typical casually loping gait, and the guy comes out from the back. Others show up too, as if they'd been here, hidden, all along.

I am immensely impressed that, even though this film is just a short short, Steve is in it. I never considered him to be an actor, or any kind of creative person at all. It never dawns on me that I am an actor too. It never occurs to me to think of myself in that way.

In fact, I realize after awakening, the whole time they were shooting, my point of view was from behind the mirror watching the entire scene, myself included, as if I were watching a short film with the mirror as the frame.

Steve had rushed in to defend me, because the bartender and his friend were dissing me.

Half-awake, I feel honored; but having fully awakened a few minutes later, I realize that it was an empty, hollow, Hollywood gesture, unreal. After all, it was just a movie dream.

I finally did it. I finally bought an mp3 player. Sears had one on sale for $35. They also had a CD-R/RW/mp3 player on sale for the same price, but since it didn't have a computer interface, I got the mp3 player instead. But now I kind of wish I had gotten the other one. It's no big deal to copy the mp3s onto a CD-RW. Maybe I'll go back out tomorrow and get it too, if it's still available. They only had one left.

I also got circular knitting needles to knit myself a seaman's cap. Now I can start that project and have it finished just in time for summer. I think I'm six months out of sync here.


If this isn't the American GEheimeSTAtzPOlitzi in the making, then I'm just an old paranoid fart. However, with people like John Ashcroft running things I think we are in serious trouble. Our National Karma is in serious jeopardy. If we are not careful we will reap the same "crop" that Germany did from 1933 to 1945.

If they make an "example" of someone as harmless as Tommy Chong, who (to my knowledge) has never consiously [sic] harmed another living creature, then "Radicals" like us will surely feel the weighty hand of justice from Bush & Ashcroft's "Protection Squads" (schultzstafflen). The first American Concentration camp is already in operation @ Gitmo...will the next be on US soil?

..& all I ever wanted to do was play music & smoke a little rope now & look what they made me do... [i.e., write this post].

Lee Sloan, Free Chong (Yahoo Group)
Religion should pick up where science leaves off and guide people around the unknown territory of the mysteries of the universe by proposing theories (that's what religions really are, theories based on conjecture instead of science) of existence beyond current explanations. It should not fight science at every turn and hold out against progressive changes in thought and philosophy. Legitimate religion today should be dealing with the unknown essence of sub-nuclear particles, the nature of black holes (where all that matter/energy that gets sucked up actually goes), how the Big Bang came about (where all the matter/energy came from in the first place), what is out there beyond the deep space field and the event horizon, etc. Forget about whether Eve offered Adam an apple, whether or not we should abstain from eating pork, whether the sun revolves around the earth or vice versa, or whether humans evolved from apes. Those are settled issues. Religions that are still dealing with them are misleading followers into the pit of ignorance, which is the real hell.

And while I'm on that subject, modern governments are a lot like religions in this sense--even worse: they mislead people intentionally, trying to divert mass attention away from the evil, misguided, and/or supercilious things they do.

I could complain about the Bush administration here, but they all do it, Democrats as well as Republicans, foreign as well as domestic governments. Yeah, maybe some governments do it less than others do, maybe some governments are less misguided than others are; but they all do it. They spin facts, intentionally trying to divert people's attention away from the truth, and not for some noble, paternalistic, protective reason, but in order that the people don't become aware of the evil things that they've been up to. Governments can be as ignorant as religions are. Both should be leading the people in an intelligent direction. But they're not, with the possible except of (some aspects of) Zen Buddhism. But that's another subject entirely.


I absolutely do not want to go out today for Easter dinner. For the past twenty-four hours or so nothing seems to be going right. This is such an unusual experience for me lately that I have to wonder what's up. It used to happen to me all the time, of course, just like anybody else. But since I've learned to take life as it comes instead of pushing to make it happen the way I want it to, that former mentality seemed to have dissolved away. But now, here it is again. I'm thinking that it may not be so much that things are going wrong (things always go wrong from time to time) as it is that I am feeling nasty and irritable and unable to accept the way things are, and then looking back, subconsciously observing the way I am reacting to these events, and then concluding that I am nasty and irritable, influencing my perception of the events from that perspective. Are we victims are of a nasty environment when we feel this way, or are we victims of our own selves? Which came first, the chicken or the horse? Am I putting the cart before the egg here? Happy Fucking Easter.

Women Drive Changes in Car Design

Volvo unveils a concept car at the New York Auto Show designed with a woman's touch -- eight of them, actually. An all-female team of engineers put it together.

I'm at my brother's house. We're eating Easter dinner.
The kids are talking about cars. Their conversation wanes.
After a brief pause, Jay, the second youngest boy, announces:
"Mr. Edwards has a vulva."
"What!" his mother says.
"Mr. Edwards has a vulva."
Everyone looks at him.
"Mr. Edwards' car is a vulva!" he says.
The adults laugh.
"No, honey," his mother explains. "That's a Volvo. A vulva is something else."
"Oh," Jay says. "What's a vulva?"
"You'll learn all about that soon enough."
His father says "You had me worried there for a minute."


Etna, entrance to Rte 8: I'm in an "outdoor" building, as if it's a bookstore/ink storage shelving on the streets, i.e., a business establishment, but outside. I'm "hiding out" from an old employer, even though he's not much interested in finding me. [= I'm hiding from authority figures.] A girl, i.e., a young woman, [like Jennifer Connelly in A Brilliant Mind, which I saw last night] is helping me (I don't know how, exactly. Her simple presence is a benefit to me.) [Okay. This may be clearer than I'm allowing it to be: if the woman is Jennifer, then I must be Russell Crowe, a potential basket case heading toward disaster.] Cut to:

Maple Drive: I'm across the street from Mason's house, hiding in a house, observing the house across the street. [In the dream, there's no awareness that this is Mason's house I'm watching, although there is the idea that his house is near here, maybe down the street a slight bit. (It's interesting that Mason is the spy, i.e., investigator, not me; but I guess I am also, in that I do spy on, i.e., observe, people--secretly) There is no awareness at all that db also lives on this street, except after I awaken.] A girl/woman lives in that house, and it's her that I'm waiting to observe. I can't see her, but I know she's in the house. In the house I'm in, Jennifer is helping me; in fact, it's her house. She's keeping me hidden from her family, esp. her father. A dying Civil War soldier comes down the chimney and petitions us for help. [down the chimney = smoke goes up the chimney, so a smoke-like being (spirit) is reversing its direction, i.e., entering this world after having left it, ala the fact that he's a Civil War soldier, a very old war, thereby making certain that he could not actually be alive today. And Civil War: it's an internal battle?] Jennifer goes and gets her father, who's a doctor, because the man is severely wounded; in fact, only the upper half of his torso remains, the lower half having been torn away by gunfire, but replaced by the lower half of a man whose upper half has been torn away. When Jennifer's father comes to examine him, the guy states that he knows he's dying, but he needs our help to "join" him to another person, ostensibly to the guy who's lower half he's with, but not quite connected to. Cut to:

Outside the house in the street, which is also the Parkway East at the Wilkinsburg entrance ramp: a long line of Civil War soldiers is queued along a ramp toward the west (which doesn't exist in reality; the entrance ramp that I/we are on enters the Parkway from the east). The soldiers walk slowly toward the east, each waiting his turned to be joined to a "soul" in a long line of people who travel on the Parkway, heading west. Each set of souls, in its turn, joins up, the soldier turning 180 degrees as he joins the other soul and heads west with it, as its partner. I (and Jennifer, although her image is no longer present; yet I feel her) facilitate the connection in some mysterious way. [This would suggest that she and I are joined, and that feeling was present in the dream, but not at all overt.] When I awaken, I am a bit frightened at the feeling of being "visited." I turn on the light, even though I have no intention of getting up. And then I ponder the dream. I want to think that this is the process of connecting/creating "meta-souls," and I try to understand how this works and what my part in it is. Apparently, I/we facilitate the process of creating meta-souls (not meta-souls in the sense that I've recently explained, but in a larger sense, including the dead as well as the living, that we, the living, connect with dead (ala the Civil War soldiers) by (as a first step) pairing up dead (and living; there is some question as to whether the souls on the parkway are dead or living; I would say dead, except that they could represent living people going to work in the city, lined up in traffic).

Yesterday afternoon at Jim's, while Joyce and I were watching a movie on the tv in the kitchen while Joyce was making dinner, the subject of ghosts came up, and Joyce asked me if I believed in them. I told her no, I didn't. She asked me if I thought I had a soul. I told her, yes, but not in the way that she meant it. I wanted to explain further, to qualify my beliefs so that she'd know that I really did believe in spirits, but in a more "scientific" way that she had indicated that she believed; but we were interrupted. This dream, I think, is a part of that qualification, informing me of a spiritual reality that I am not quite aware of. [Joyce later, I think, tried to re-introduce this topic as I was leaving. But she never got to it directly. See this.]

Writing could be like jazz for me, the reiteration of content/themes that I practice, regurgitation the content at any opportunity, repetitively, as if I were performing for an immediate audience (because I am, though the audience is abstract, i.e., readers who may one day read this stuff). Thus far I've tended to regard writing each piece as a one-time shot, and once written, I want it to stand for what I believe. And once I've written it out, I tend not to want to repeat the process, wanting to move on.

But belief evolves. Participation in online forums is changing, if not my style of, at last my approach to writing. I am becoming a jazz writer (like Kerouac), although I haven't, at all, given up a painstaking editing/revision process before posting; yet I post more immediately now in some forums, on the same day, or on the next, after a brief period of re-consideration. A growing segment of my work is no longer delayed a month (my main online journal method, which was itself a departure from my previous method of delaying publication for years until I accumulated/revised enough "quality" material). I'm becoming more topical, more spontaneous, more free. Pretty soon I'll be publishing like a journalist perhaps--except that I'll still be doing all of my own editing, which is dangerous, the awareness of which is exactly what has prompted me to adopt my delaying tactics. But if I continue to progress (or devolve), maybe I'll give up writing altogether and begin talking to people as an art form. Now wouldn't that be normal. [no question mark]

I love the days, usually occurring just before or after a holiday and/or when it's raining/snowing, when I get up early, usually before dawn, work for several hours, and then am able to justify going back to bed, both because I haven't had enough sleep and know I owe it to myself to remain well-rested in order to stay healthy and because I've managed to lower the inordinate expectations that I almost always place myself under. And thus having diffused the bomb of the protestant (I protest) work ethic (which, if I do not, will go off and blow me up in an episode of stress), before going back to sleep, for a few hours I watch recorded tapes that I've been hoarding for just these times. Delicious decadence, lounging late morning and afternoon in bed, napping and meditating.


and i can't bear to see one more of those stupid mud slinging commercials between bush and kerry *gag* they both are members of skull and bones. it's like giving us the option of heads or tails but, in the end, it's the same coin.

i wish i had any faith in politics. but i don't. i have zero faith in any of it. to me it's all one big lie/game/joke. all of it, and i mean ALL of it makes me sick.

i am disengaging from it all.

Welcome to the club. I joined back in the sixties.
(Or maybe it was in the fifties; I can't remember.)
It's a point of pride that I have never voted--ever.
People argue, that I have no right to voice dissent;
that I have no right to complain, not participating.
I do participate, by choosing not to vote; I abstain.
In any election there are at the least three options:
yes or no (that is, this, that, or the other candidate);
and abstention: the right to withhold one's assent.
I demur. I do not like what's going on. I never have.
But, I'm a citizen. I have a right to make this choice.
To deny this right is unpatriotic and undemocratic.
But what do you care, huh? You're a fascist anyway.
(Not you, ana. You're sweet. That's a general remark.)

Because we're unaccustomed to it, we don't usually see that there's a third possible logical term equal to yes and no, which is capable of expanding our understanding in an unrecognized direction. We don't even have a term for it, so I'll have to use the Japanese mu. [I have a term for it: abstain. -j]

Mu means "no thing." Like Quality it points outside the processor dualistic discrimination. Mu simply says, "No class; not one, not zero, not yes, not no." It states that the context of the question is such that a yes or no answer is in error and should not be given. "Unask the question" is what it says.

Mu becomes appropriate when the context of the question becomes too small for the truth of the answer. When the Zen monk Joshu was asked whether a dog had a Buddha nature he said "Mu," meaning that if he answered either way he was answering incorrectly. The Buddha nature cannot be captured by yes or no questions.

A very strong case can be made for the statement that science grows by its mu answers more than by its yes or no answers. Yes or no confirms or denies a hypothesis. Mu says the answer is beyond the hypothesis. Mu is the "phenomenon" that inspires the scientific enquiry in the first place!
Robert M. Pirsig,
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
I abstain. Look somewhere else for your answers.


In the afternoon (and sometimes when I'm up late at night), after the "work" is done, while listening to the BBC (and/or now, Air America) on the Internet, I play lame video games to pass the time. My favorites are Solitaire and Winmines. But I've been playing the latter so much that I'm beginning to "see" the format in my mind as I lay idly around watching tv. I see myself clicking the blocks in my mind and exposing the numbers. But, interestingly, I never uncover a mine. And if the numbers I expose are wrong, they magically change to the correct ones. I can't lose. I think I need to get a life.

American Airlines becomes the third airline in eight months to admit it has shared passenger data with the government. But for months the government has claimed it never asked for or received any data.
And the lies just keep on rolling in.

Despite the persistence of online piracy, U.S. music sales shoot up. Although there are signs that the rise and fall of sales has more to do with shifting musical tastes than anything else, the music industry remains fixated on piracy as the source of its woes.
It's kind of like the Bush administration insisting, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Iraq still has weapons of mass destruction and that everything is progressing well over there.

This was originally intended as a response to a livejournal entry. But I got sidetracked over a period of time onto other things and didn't get back to logging into my livejournal until many days later, when the issue was no longer topical. So I include it here, mostly because I hate to leave anything hanging. (Everything must be used, in one way or another. It's a dis-ease I have.)

[See the original posts for context]

1) Of course! *slaps forehead* I should have known that. It's been a long time since I've read any Hindu philosophy. I've been so caught up in a "scientific" state of mind the past few years. Which brings me to your second answer:

2) scientific/spiritual--a false dichotomy, I believe. [Actually, all dichotomy is false, a vain attempt of the intellect to categorize perception in an attempt to understand the (thereby impoverished) world.] Two different ways of approaching the same material--that is, when each is done correctly. Religion (as the practice of spirituality) can become very dogmatic and attempt to thwart science, but science can pursue its single-minded "objective" purpose and crowd out the spiritual completely. But a common ground between both has been opening up over the last fifty to a hundred years in the pursuit of an understanding of the nature of the sub-nuclear state. To wit, everything you say about spiritual existence I see as applicable to a scientific one as well. It's just that we haven't been able to develop science that far yet. When I put my ideas into (quasi-) scientific terms, it is my attempt to bridge these two arenas of thought. I survey recent scientific developments for insight into how they apply to spiritual matters--and vice versa, although I haven't seen much advancement in spiritual theory (but then, I don't look so hard in that direction). The focus has shifted toward science as the field of discovery. This is not a disparagement of the spiritual. It's rather a coming together of two approaches long held separate, resulting in an enrichment of both.

[I've done it again, gone on and on until I have to split this into two separate posts. I've got too much time on my hands.]

3) What you say about ego attachment is of course very true. I was thinking far longer term than that, though--thousands or tens or hundreds of thousands of years, perhaps, to a time when we will have evolved to a point where we relinquish some of our ego in favor of the purpose of the larger Earth-organism, where we might be "plugged in," not hardwired, but via the "software" of "psychic" (an awareness/conscious perception of sub-nuclear existence) interaction, so that we readily/intuitively understand the mechanics and consequences of interpersonal connection. Isn't this what the metaphor of The Millennium is, a time where we all have consciously and/or intuitively come to understand each other and the processes of the planet so well that we develop the immediate communication necessary to, for example, control the weather, audit and manage the "lesser" life forms (when the lion lies down with the lamb), in fact, all aspects of planetary existence, as well as our own "individual" selves (we're not really individuals even now, only egos caught up in a great illusion, but totally dependent on each other psychically as well as physically) so as to enable a state of existence without war and strife [the lion and lamb is also a metaphor for the hawks and the doves (heh. A metaphor of a metaphor of a...)], because we will know/intuit what's in the minds of "deviants" and therefore be capable of heading them off before they even start to cause trouble?

I'm not proposing that this is a necessarily a good future, just an inevitable one, where humans (in the way that we know them now) are either extinct or relegated to a second class or underground existence (cf., The Terminator, Demolition Man), In fact, it could be an intolerable future when viewed from our present day standards. But then, today's existence is somewhat intolerable from the point of view of only fifty years ago, not only because social and international circumstances have changed so much, but because we are more aware on a mass level of what is really going on, and has been going on for quite some time, but kept hidden from the world's masses. Eventually, though, we're all going to become educated and aware [unless we are herded into vast work camps and utilized as mere uneducated labor; but then we will have become, although unwillingly, cogs in the great biomass machine anyway. This is as much a metaphor for the present as a prediction of the future (cf., 1984, Brave New World). In a certain sense, we are already a thinking planetary organism, indivisible and entirely codependent. It's just that our conscious "selves" (egos) haven't caught up with our interconnected unconscious nature.] Project this growing awareness out a thousand years and imagine where we will be, a species of "individuals" each of whom is capable not only of perceiving malicious, anti-social intent, but able to broadcast that awareness immediately to any corner of the globe where action can be taken to immobilize social miscreants. This is where I see evolution (both physical and technological) taking us. If we ever will evolve, that is. Your argument re ego-separation could be the fate of humans, in perpetuity. But then again, there's always the possibility that evolution will shoot off another branch, perhaps as a human/computer hybrid, or even a "race" of pure computerized beings, leaving our species behind as we have left the apes. I don't believe that a future compromise of ego-purpose will negatively affect our perception of "the myriad manifestations of the single spirit." In fact, it could enhance it, as awareness in immediacy that existence is an individual manifestation and at the same time a part of a larger organism whose consciousness we may "tune into" (or into any separate part of it) any time we choose (cf., the Borg in the "Star Trek" spin-offs). But I admit that I could be wrong on these points. After all, we each have the potential now to choose to perceive/understand the world in ways that are greater than our ego-selves, but often we do not make that choice, opting instead to live our lives selfishly for long periods of time. But then, this future potential I'm describing would be more a matter of biological necessity than choice, I think.

I could go on and on qualifying all of this for a long time, but I'll stop. I think I've conjectured enough for now.


The weather is supposed to turn around tomorrow. Bright and sunny, seventy degrees. Poor weather has been a bad excuse for me to stay inside. But I have things outside that I need to get done. Tomorrow--maybe.


Today's the day to go out and do a lot of things I've been postponing: food shopping, returning stuff, etc. It's seventy degrees and brightly sunny. But it's already two-thirty and I don't want to go.

Last night (late this morning) I had a great dream about Angelina Jolie and Mary Matalin (who morphed into Mercedes Ruehl). I'll spare you the details and save myself some embarrassment.

As it turns out, I didn't go anywhere today. I need to re-develop my social being, every spring. I need to re-focus my creative energy outward. Every spring. Just do it, I tell myself. But I haven't, yet


I study current world events in order to accumulate and collate information. I'm assembling a panorama in my mind, a microcosm of reality. I don't know why. It's almost an obsession that I hide away from at times, despondent.

Geophysicist Warns 6.4 Quake To Hit L.A. By Sept 5
Okay, then. Let's follow this and see if it comes true.

Making the World Safe for Free Software
(paid subscription or sponsored day pass required)
How about let's make the world safe for free online news?


Is a 'high wind' simply one that blows strongly, or is it a wind that is high up above the Earth and serves to move the clouds along at great speed, such as in the 'jet stream?' Hmm?

A single spurt of wind rattled the house just now. And now it's gone and all is calm again. This is the edge of a front that is supposed to be coming through this afternoon.

Good. I need a change. I feel so...what? Unimaginative, I guess. I'm stuck. I'm lost. I have no focus. I'm being blown around by whatever breeze happens by. I'm scattered and uninspired.


I really do like this shit, writing and posting my life into this journal and onto online blogs, etc. When I force myself to sit down and do it, catching it all up, I find myself enjoying the process.

But most of the time I just can't fight the ennui I settle into, especially in the spring, when most men's fancies are turning to love--or at least to sports, or sports cars, or whatever that gets him outside.

Last night I imagined I would get the motorcycle running again. I'd do it in a minute except that the gas tank is rusted inside and I don't want to fight that problem. Guess I could just go and buy a new tank.

Every spring I think about doing this same thing, but by the time I get up the gumption [I'm currently reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance] it's summer and I'm off on other projects.

All I have to do here is get through the next month or so and I'll be fine until next winter. I think I should be following the sun. Right now, I should be thinking about returning north for the summer.

But I just don't have the motivation or the wherewithal to live that kind of lifestyle. I'm relatively comfortable being sedate, and I know what it was like when for years I was an assertive businessperson.

No more of that shit, thanks. I guess I've got to learn acceptance of the laid back type of person that I really am and stop fighting my basic nature, which has kept me quite safe over the years, after all.

Just went outside to get the mail and found a dead rat lying in the driveway. The cat across the street must have killed it and left it for me as a gift. Nice. I found a dead leaf and wrapped it around its tail and picked it and carried it up behind the shed where I tossed it into the woods. Ah, the essence of spring--dead animals.

Pittsburgh International could become the nation's first major airport to get the OK to abandon the post-Sept. 11 rule that says only ticketed passengers are allowed past security checkpoints.

Pittsburgh is a strong candidate for the experiment for two reasons: It has a centralized security checkpoint in one terminal. And it has a full-scale shopping mall that has suffered a drop-off in business because it is reachable only by ticketed passengers.

Oh, well, if it's a matter of money, that's different. What's safety and security when measured against a loss of revenue?


You look at where you're going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you've been and a pattern seems to emerge. And if you project forward from that pattern, then sometimes you can come up with something.
[Robert M. Pirsig,
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance]
I get lost for long periods of time. Not really, but...
I get lost to people, when I'm not lost at all.
That is, people think I'm missing, but I'm not.
Because the world that they inhabit is so small.
Each of them, living in a separate small world.
I visit each of them, like I study various subjects.
Back and forth, between them; otherwise alone.
I'm never lost, really, when they think I'm away.
But sometimes I'm lost to my own purposes.
Like now. I'm not lost to others, but myself.
It seems like it has to be either them or me.


Guru You

You say you think I'm wise and so you want to talk to me. I'm not wise. Yes, okay. Maybe I have dispensed a few words of wisdom, but I have none for you and your problem. My wisdom comes from nature, where animals kill each other, where they die as food, where they perish in storms, get struck by lightning, drown in dry riverbeds suddenly engorged by water. They die, and life goes on. And sometimes life goes on because they die. In any case, it's a natural process, an evolution, if you will. If you're seeking to derive some comfort, look for it elsewhere, in human cultural rituals and sentiment perhaps, from people who dispense platitudes and cater to human weakness. But don't confuse that comfort with natural wisdom, which may, sometimes, be comforting in some small way, but is often harsh, even seeming sometimes cruel. But cruelty, like comfort, is a human concept. My wisdom is less human: people die. Get over it. It's been two years already. Move on.

I am not a guru. You like me because you think I'm cool. I'm not cool. I'm a fool, entertaining in the courts of kings, playing around with rings and things. So what are you? You think you love me, but you attend to what I have, what I can do for you, how well off I am, what a catch. Love is an ease I experience that is often misinterpreted more than understood by others, and least of all accepted. We've become love lords, with lust for money in our hearts, more akin to Michael Milken than to holy men on mountains. We're suffering from affluence, but we don't know it yet.

Suffering brings you close to God, says Dumb Ass Ram Dass, or rather, says his guru, the Marharishi. Okay. When you realize its purpose, suffering enables your spiritual development. Fine. My life certainly teaches me this lesson, although I question the use of the word "purpose" in this application, doubting reincarnation in its most literal sense. (A metaphorical interpretation is fine, as we each return to the cosmic dust out of which we are composed and so transition into other forms composed of our same stuff.) I suffer, often, in various ways, mostly mental. And I learn a lot from the process. I'm a better person for it. So where are you, anti-guru? Suffer a little. It's good for the soul. Stop trying so hard to avoid it by looking for people who can "help" you. Help yourself.


Outside. It begins. There may (probably will) be many days yet where I will be interred inside my house by inclement weather, but the winter barrier has at last been broken: I sat outside all afternoon in quasi-sunlight and finished reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I'm in heaven.


April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
T.S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"
Awake and waiting to awaken, knowing poets become famous not because they're better so much as because they do it first.

Having not much hope then of success or even publication, I wonder if I could become well known for doing it the worst.

I pretend to meditate; because...

The observers whose job it is to monitor my activity cannot know that I am doing nothing with success when they believe me to be pursuing some non-thing, which is doing nothing nonetheless.

But it's okay, to do nothing, when it's your purpose, sitting properly correct, positioned, embrionic; thus, I am admired, whereas others in my situation, unwilling to re-contact occasionally, might be labeled catatonic.

But they're not real, the observers, they're the ones who pass figmented judgment, good or ill, upon the ego I will choose to still. And with it, them. Hoorah? My headpiece is not filled with straw.

The Maharishi became famous for a while, basked in the warmth of his self-perceived reward, and then returned to his quiet solitude in the glow of the setting sun. He discovered the great secret. It was fun.

A night bird squeals in a tree in an empty lot across the street.
A raccoon answers it with a shrill warning every time it calls.
I am not here. The phenomenon observes itself without me.
The next morning, an owl hoots in the woods behind the house.
The same night bird sounds a reply. Again. But I've returned.

The sky after a sunless dawn
goes darker silver
clouds blanketing the heavens.

Haikus are supposed to be devoid of abstraction and even the mere suggestion of thought process, and their content is supposed to be descriptive of natural phenomena so as to suggest satori.

Outside rain washes the camp
with cool spring weather
inside a small nylon tent.

We used to go camping all the time.
Spring memories of it awaken swells
of deadened feeling, like the driveway rat
left by the neighbor's cat. It smells.

BUS drivers in Edinburgh are to be issued with DNA kits in an effort to catch people who spit on them while they are working.
[The Scotsman]
Instead of trying to catch the offenders, it might make more sense to try to discover why passengers feel it necessary to spit in the first place. There's obviously some kind of a social problem here. It's typical that law enforcement focuses on the act instead of the motivation, thus promoting an advancement of a police state mentality instead of actually acting to solve social problems.


Keep doing what you're doing and you
will keep getting what you're getting.
[website advertisement]
I'm waiting. For what? If I keep doing what I'm doing, I'm going to wait forever, which is just all right with me.

I'm waiting for myself, to act, to find the motivation. It comes, occasionally, when my physiology catches up.

I schedule my activities in order to enable a waiting methodology, which purposes/desires I seldom actualize.

Desire is most dangerous when you act on it: it's human to have desire; it's action that's most dangerous.

Cycles of self intermit the selflessness I want to think I am, which is a paradox. Meanwhile, I endure stasis.

Drop-Out is a strategy against the Corporate Machine. The latest tactic: no more milk. Deregulation's price.

The staple of the diet of the poor, milk was held in place, but now the corporate agenda is finally taking hold.

Just another way to divert money away from the poor and into the hands of the rich, in the guise of farmers.

Buy only cheap products. Make do. Wait for sales. Raise expensive meats and vegetables on backyard farms.

And meanwhile log your thoughts in online journals and forums and try your very best to raise alarms.

I can be in "in the zone," which I think is the postmod term for what Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is writing about re paying attention to Quality in your work/activity. I can have "gumption" and not necessarily be engaged in producing a Quality product, as when I do my job in an organization that manufactures poorly-designed, insignificant, assembly-line items, but I engage myself in the boring routine in such a way as to maximize my efficiency and immerse myself in the work in a kind of physical meditation, using my native intelligence and wit to clean and organize my immediate environment and work in a fashion so as to please myself and occupy the time I must put in anyway in order to get paid, even adding a personal component of, say, spontaneous poetic composition into my work routine, acting enthusiastically at doing nothing of importance, existing for the act of the all-but-mindless doing.

...if he takes whatever dull job he's stuck with--and they all are, sooner or later, dull--and, just to keep himself amused, starts to look for options of Quality, and secretly pursues these options, just for their own sake, thus making an art out of what he is doing, he's likely to discover that he becomes a much more interesting person and much less of an object to the people around him because his Quality decisions change him too. And not only the job and him, but others too because the Quality tends to fan out like waves.

The examples that Pirsig goes on to use to explain how one may scale down one's scope and expectations in the face of "value traps" (like impatience) are similar to those I myself used when I was working in production. I used to clean and organize my work area as I worked, and/or I'd compose and memorize poetry, using tiny bits of "free" (i.e., thought-devoid) time "productively." I was praised by management for maintaining my work space and equipment in the best of shape while at the same time having the highest production rates, all while producing products that were all but insignificant to me.

In one of my jobs, I participated in the manufacture of circuit boards, specifically in screen-printing the nomenclature onto them. It was not the "high-tech" process that making the board itself was, but it was critical enough to require diligence in order not to ruin any single piece, each of which by the time it got to my work station had become quite valuable due to the investment of raw material and person-hours. Even the simple act of baking on the epoxy paint could end up ruining a whole batch of boards if you were not careful. I witnessed the dismissal of a number of co-workers because they could not be attentive enough to the process to set the oven temperature correctly or to remember to remove the boards from the oven at the right time or to adjust the conveyor speed and oven temperature correctly on the boards that were sent through the flash-cure oven. And yet it was, ultimately, boring work once the techniques and technology were mastered. I was sent to seminars to learn the science of screen printing technology, so that I might apply it to the work processes. And I did. And after that, it got boring again.

But that was a different place of employment from the one I finally settled at. That was a place where someone with my delicate sensibilities and sharp wit could flourish, because they didn't have strict production-time standards and relied instead of the "quality" of their employees to get the work tasks done with efficiency. But the place I ended up at (for thirteen years; it still amazes me that I stayed that long there, suffering as I aged from a growing fear of being without employment, a silly fear, I now see, a paranoid fear, that was encouraged by the "ethos" of the place, but that's a whole other story) went to great effort to assure that tasks were completed, not only on time, but with specific quality standards built into (as opposed to "inspected into") the products, which meant that the process of innovation at the employee level tended to become thwarted [because innovation represented a violation of "standards," so that only the most intelligent and diligent employees were both capable of insight into the processes and possessed the skills and willingness to communicate proposed changes to standards; and if we latched onto an employee who demonstrated these skills, the likelihood was high that (s)he would soon realize that there was a lot more money to be made elsewhere for a person so skilled--because wages were kept quite low)]. The net result of this attitude toward production (which increasingly became the standard in manufacturing in general over the ensuing years) was a suppression of innovation, and especially of an ability of most employees to work "in the zone," because they had to restrict their activities to well-established procedures and standards, which were quite difficult to master and remember, so that there was little time at all to "master" the work environment so as to freewheel and use it as a meditative tool in the way that I had in every previous job I'd ever had. You had to pay attention to the product every single step of the way. It was highly demanding of time and attention, and as a result it was way under priced in the labor market.

But for a long time I thrived in this environment anyway, because I was hired as a supervisor with well-established production skills. I knew how to analyze, establish, and control production environments as well as to communicate that established knowledge. I fit right into the management scheme. I tightened work schedules and production standards in my department and every time an employee demonstrated that s(he) was capable of exceeding those standards on a continuing basis, I raised them, the net effect of which was to drive "sub-standard" employees out, either because they were fired for "quality" mistakes (or attendance problems, the standards for which were ridiculously high) or they quit, feeling like failures or "projecting" blame onto a "bad" company/management because the employees didn't have enough insight/verbal ability to vocalize the real problem, the one that I am outlining here.

We (the company ethos/upper management conscious intent with me as their instrument) raised production standards at the expense of employee satisfaction/ability to work in the zone. The zone was always too high for all but the most gifted employees. Most employees had to struggle long to achieve even the minimal standards set by the gifted few; and when they achieved even limited success, as likely as not they'd find the standards being raised once again because others had surpassed them. (While the rest of the departments found themselves needing more and more employees to handle the increasing workload, I lowered my workforce by a third.) And we raised standard "product quality" at the expense of Pirsig's Quality. This is the critical point here, I think. Raising standards is inevitable, perhaps; at least within the ever-tightening capitalist system we have chosen. But attenuating Quality is the flaw of this system that will bring about its eventual fall or extreme modification. If you work in a profession you are suited to and see it as your Quality arena (such as in some professions, medicine maybe, or research science), you can thrive under a system that severely restricts time and resources to the job at hand. But when you must exist in that same kind of environment working at a job that you have no interest in, a job that has no inherent value other than to produce mass goods for a mass culture, then the lack of an ability to zone out can be devastating, as it was to most of my employees and to myself as well. I stressed out, broke down, and was forced to resign

When people criticize you or make fun of you, especially behind your back, which you may come to know about via intuition, which you might suspect, thinking you're being paranoid (and maybe you are, but...intuition and paranoia often go hand-in-hand)--or especially when they do it to your face--you may take comfort in the fact that they are acting to their baser natures, and if you ignore them and continue doing what you know to be the right thing, you are in fact acting to your better nature. Thus, although this is not so humble an insight, you may know that you are in fact better (at least re these events) than they are, or rather, that you are acting better. Others, in their turn, may then choose to criticize you for thinking you are better than they are. Let them. Even agree with them. They'll hate you for it, which will just further prove the point. Be yourself, forget about others who are "less" than what you are, and above all else, don't return the criticism, because when you do, you lower yourself back down to their base level.


My ass is dragging, and the rest of me, unfortunately, is attached. [This is my way of saying that I think the problem is physical, not mental.]

The truest state of my existence occurs when I first awaken. It's then, before my defenses are fully reconstructed, when I am most my natural self.

I can't manage to get enough sleep. Six or seven hours a day/night, at most, even when I take melatonin. I need eight hours or else I'm useless.

I feel profoundly unconscious, just barely hanging on, to a single thread of awareness, like a dream without ideas or images, a resting reptilian pre-perception, preconscious or pre-unconscious, stuck, unable to move in either direction, perfectly awaiting motivation to occur.

A single cup of coffee tips the balance, finally, an artificial stimulant to turn me into something I am not. Caffeine helps for an hour or two, at best.

But not today. Today, it awakens me enough to create the notes to type this out later, and then I sink back toward primordia.

Thunder. Long and loud, but far away. Now that's different. But already the caffeine has worn away. If I could only go to sleep right now, life would be so simple.

And then, rain happens. But I'm quite dry inside my hollow space in the rocks. I hope I'm more fully awake when opportunity knocks.


Coming out of it is the best experience of all, when I start to want to actually do all of the things I've planned out in detail, having wanted to do them all along, but never really wanting to go to the trouble of acting to get them done.

But now, all of a sudden, and for a few brief hours, I am motivated. But then I get eleven hours sleep, and I am back to where I was before. But it'll come around again, the motivation. I can feel it lurking in the shadows of my mind.

This is the spring, when this kind of dualistic attitude prevails.


80% of life is just showing up.
Woody Allen
Since 90% of the time I don't show up, I guess I'm not doing much living. (That's sarcasm, in case you missed it.) You may be what you do, but life is not what you do, but what you are. A fundamental practical application of daily meditation is the growing awareness of identity with, not the ego, but a higher form of life. What you do is ego. What you are is something more, more of your whole self. (Of course, it's possible to restrict your awareness of what you are to your mere ego, in which case you know no higher form of life.)

The difference is basically the same as the one between the liberal humanist and fundamental conservative points of view. (This is crass generalization. In a practical everyday world, individuals are such a complex mix of "liberal" and "conservative" traits that it's all but impossible to sort most people into clear-cut categories. LIfe is not so black and white as politicians want us to believe it is.) Liberals tend to focus on the basic worth of the individual despite the particular details of the life being lived. Conservatives tend to focus on the value of the individual, usually in social or cultural terms where the details are significant.

Thus, liberals tend to adopt more "Christian" viewpoints (in the sense of Jesus' liberal teachings. Yes, Virginia, Jesus was a humanist.) Conservatives tend to adopt a more fundamental approach to Christianity, opting more for the Holy Roman Empire adaptation of the religion (dogma as opposed to Jesus' teachings; the practical application of the religion for the purpose of controlling people and establishing a social order/empire). [Maybe the astute reader can see where I am heading here.]

Liberals, then, are more focused on what a life is, how it has a basic worth independent of the value assigned to it within a society/culture that is concerned with what a person does (who it is that does the assigning is a significant consideration here), while conservatives remain focused on what people are in relation to the social system. [Again, to be clear, I'm talking about the prototypical liberal or conservative here, not any specific example of one of those classes.]

These basic definitions should make clear the rationale for why liberals believe in social welfare systems, environmental conservation, etc. while conservatives tend not to support them. Liberals are out to protect each specific instance of life; conservatives value specific life based on its rank within a social hierarchy. It should also be clear here as to why conservatives generally fare better within political systems. Yes, liberals compete well within political systems, but only when they adopt traits defined as "conservative" by these definitions. To be practical, liberal politicians must compromise their "spiritual" beliefs. Conservatives do not have to carry that kind of baggage around with them. Their spiritual compromise occurred when they became fundamentalists.

Finally, I find it somewhat ironic that Christian fundamentalists are most easily identified with Christianity. Christian fundamentalism, as it turns out, is not at all "true" Christianity. [I can hear the vociferous objections now. If this were the middle ages, I would be burned as a heretic, which of itself is quite revealing.] That is, fundamentalism is not the beliefs that Jesus taught. (There was no New Testament when Jesus lived; and the Old Testament was the "Law," which Jesus claimed that he came to override, as a New Covenant.)

Fundamentalism is what the church in conjunction with the political system of the day coded into the Bible, that document that professes to be The Word of God, but which in reality turns out to be the excuse that conservatives of the day created in order to dominate the masses. And it still functions in that same way today, especially in Amerika.

It is no accident that the worst president in the history of the United States (even worse than Nixon; can you believe it?) turns out to be a fundamentalist Christian. But is he, really? Nevermind that he has a long-established history of being a born again "Christian." It was the sensible thing for him to have claimed at the time, to save his marriage and jumpstart his political career. Is this, then, just a politically convenient cloak to wear so that he may do the evil things he does under the guise of acting in a holy way? And make no mistake about it, the man is evil.

It's taken me a while to recognize this. Maybe my own evil nature has been getting in the way. (That is, maybe I'm projecting. But if so, Georgie is a convenient hook.) I've never been a supporter of our King George, but I've admired him. Mostly, I've admired his balls. I like cowboys. I used to be one myself.

[That's a metaphor. I've never actually wrangled cows, but I've "wrangled" deer and elk and, more importantly, a lot of people in that same way, I'm ashamed to say. But I've since repented; but only by dropping out. I doubt very much that if I went back to participating fully in the system once again that I could prevent that old A-type mentality from creeping back in. Maybe I could, maybe I've developed a bit since my last long stint within the system, but it would still take a whole lot of effort and moral courage to keep those evil tendencies in check.]

But back to Bush [remember Bush? This is a diatribe about Bush] He's leading the world toward Armageddon, and I believe he may be doing it intentionally. Hell, he may even be the anti-Christ. I mean, look at the facts: he's...oh, the hell with it. You know what I mean. I think I've made my point here.


To continue along on yesterday's theme, war is the greatest evil of mankind. We all pretty much agree on this. And yet leaders will prosecute a war out of a mis-informed sense of self-defense. The best defense is not an offense. That's an offensive idea. An offense is an offense, no matter how much you try to claim the opposite.

Okay, this is it. Come and get me. This is wrong, what you're doing, little Georgie. You take my money and you give it to the rich and burn it up in munitions that kill innocent foreigners. And then you sit down there on your Texas ranch and watch the suffering from afar.

This is why I am maintaining that King George is a reincarnation of his namesake, the old tyrant: he sent the troops into another country to dominate it in order to take advantage of the resources, in this case, cheap oil gained via exclusive contracts with the new government.

And, of course, he promotes our way of life (ostensible democracy) as being the solution to the world's problems, even as he subverts the same democracy at home by sicking his bloody bulldog Ashcroft on the subjects of the realm, expecting them to comply.

And he justifies his exploits under the guise of a Christian flag. God told him to do it. Tomorrow on PBS' Nova, there's a program on entitled "The Jesus Factor" about this very thing. I'm going to have to watch it. It's a zeitgeist theme. Depose the tyrant.

When guys went home from Vietnam, they were changed, some with bravado revealing what the rest of them allowed to show more visibly in their countenances and demeanors. I processed them through a halfway station. I saw the results of that war second hand.

Years later, some of them still suffered silently, remaining aloof and unable to join in the mainstream culture. Sure, it's an excuse, a refusal to deal with unconscious content or, more likely, to reveal the conscious stuff they hold inside. That's what they are--tough.

But what about me? I suffered too, and still do, in a different way, but from the same set of causes. I hide out now in the very same way. But (it is argued, by therapists, whom I have chosen to ignore) that mine was a pre-existing condition, that I am not a war casualty.

I am a mommy casualty, maybe. But that's a war too, childhood. And any war of the future reestablishes early conditions. I am a casualty of Vietnam as much as any soldier who actually fought there. Just because I happened to be smart enough to do paperwork...

Why am I like this? you ask. Why don't I join in? Why am I the recluse of my neighborhood? Why do I no longer participate in the social order? I do participate, but at a different level now. I am in the process of becoming a spiritual being. Do not confuse me with the facts.

Suffering. That's what I've been wanting to get at. The suffering. Prices rise from corporate gouging, spreading the suffering thinly across the populace so that it is less able to detect the cause. Television does the same thing, playing the suffering as if it were entertainment.

I keep gearing back on purchases, hoping to keep the positive cash flow flowing as interest rates drop and expenses rise. Corporate markets manipulate basic staples. The basics are being threatened with taxation. The burden is being shifted to the lower classes.

Meanwhile, I search for cheaper forms of protein and shift my diet further toward cheaper carbohydrates. Sooner or later, the economy has got to turn around, right? I hope it does before I find myself out in the backyard planting a garden again and digging up grubs and worms.

Martin Luther's basic complaint was that Vatican officials lived a luxurious life by extorting money from the poor in the form of tithes and fees for indulgences, that and the fact that the church had deviated from the basic teachings of Christ, substituting a secular agenda.

This is my basic complaint about this society today, as it is represented by King George and the chickenhawk administration: they are living off of the American public while transferring money and resources to the wealthy through advantages and influence peddling.

This is the evil that is being perpetrated by the administration on the American people: a fundamental disregard for anyone who cannot help himself by competing in the great Amerikan dream of grabbing all (s)he can at the expense of others. Okay. So be it. Revolution.

I want George Bush's money. And I'm going to get it. My weapon: psychic attack. (It's okay if the money appropriated is dispersed across the population.) First, depose him and deprive him of his presidential income. Second, strip him of his holdings. This can be done.

Psychic will power, especially when it is spread across a population, is a powerful tool. Reaction to evil can be a positive experience. We do not have to suffer, but if we will, we will be in good company: the suffering of the saints to attain psychic reward.

You may know what a man is by the way in which he conducts his business. If he acts to kill people, apart from any blatant attack upon his own being, he is evil. Yes, it may have been right to attack the Taliban, trying to dislodge Osama. Iraq is a whole other matter entirely.

Are we better than others are when we do not kill? Are there in fact some people in the world who are more advanced than others? This is a criticism leveled against people, that they are no better than anyone else is. It's a justification used against liberals by conservatives.

But some people are throwbacks to less advanced forms of being. Some people are tolerant to a fault, while others are quick to physically beleaguer fellow humans. There are mediators and there are warmongers. Some people revel in the mindset of the past.

There are environmentalists and there are hunters who call themselves conservationists. There is intelligence (unable as yet to be accurately measured, as it is a matter of the complexity of brain/societal interaction) and there is simplemindedness, which is black and white.

Some people are benign and forgiving, others are cruel and vindictive. Throwbacks wallow in the history of the naked ape and strive to continue the heritage, regardless of the effect that is produced on the planet and its population. These are the simpleminded.

The fact that someone believes he is exclusively doing "good" is of necessity indicative of the fact that he is repressing the evil within himself. (Sorry, but it's an undeniable truth of the human psyche.) The evidence is clear. Evil is as evil does. Amerika is possessed by evil.


Big shopping day today, traveling around the area in beautiful summer-like weather: food; canvases (real, stretched) to paint on ($1.60 ea.--a great deal); and (ta da!) a digital camera ($19.97. It works great, for what it is, cheap.)

Okay, now. Back to work after a long evening nap. The motive to work is returning big time. I'm starting to apply myself to my schedule again, to take scheduling of my time seriously. It's been a long winter.

UMass Student Apologizes To Tillman Family For Column
Man Admits Article Was 'Insensitive'

AMHERST, Mass. -- A University of Massachusetts at Amherst graduate student is apologizing to Pat Tillman's family.

Rene Gonzalez had written a column for the campus paper saying the football player-turned-soldier who died in combat in Afghanistan wasn't a hero -- but a "G.I. Joe guy who got what was coming to him."

Gonzalez said in an e-mail to a Boston TV station that he was trying to say Tillman's celebrity had factored into his being labeled a hero. He admits he tried to prove his point in an "insensitive way" and that the article wasn't worth publishing.

The school's president issued a statement calling Gonzalez's column "a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack" on Tillman. The paper ran a letter to readers today saying the column didn't express the paper's views.

[The Pgh. Channel]
Just another example of political correctness forcing a person to recant, ala The Vatican and Galileo. You can't express your opinion any more in Amerika. This is no longer a free country. (Actually, it probably never was.) It just so happens that I'd thought this very same thing about Tillman. You volunteer to fight for the fascist regime, you take your chances. It's your own karma, after all. Good thing I never published these opinions, huh?


I've been remiss about posting to my lj journal. I get distracted into other projects (always) and forget about...

Oops. I almost did it again. I went outside and sat out back for a few hours in the sun, reading, and now...

I'm reading this pre-post in my computer journal tomorrow. Time warp time, like when you go to bed and...

I dream I awaken on the previous day, and awaken confused just before reading the first unfinished line.

I wrote the second unfinished line just after I got up, and then went off to do something else and forgot it again.

Then, I wrote the third unfinished line, and...well, you know. Finally, three days later, I'm posting this.

Does anyone know what day it is? I'm thinking I may be dreaming and have to start all over again when I awaken.

You never gain something but that you lose something.
[Henry David Thoreau]

Every time I learn something new,
it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.
[Homer Simpson]
I abandon projects in order to do other things. But I seem to retain knowledge gained via the past projects that are superseded; that is, I don't actually believe the idea that the quotes above propose. I do believe in mental advancement. But for all practical purposes, I put projects out of mind when new ones come along to take their place. I start to paint a picture, work on it for a few days in a row, then get sidetracked onto some other project, like learning to play the piano--correctly (I know how to play, but I'm self-taught, commensurate with the sounds I'd wanted to produce at the time), or like starting a new writing project, or cleaning up the driveway, or cutting the grass...whatever. The particular list of projects is irrelevant. What's relevant is my lack of focus. Most of the time I'm so distracted.

I'm going to go and do something else now. I'm bored with this.
Life is but a dream...
Hey! Why would you row a boat down the stream?
Row up, drift down. (I, myself, prefer drifting.)

Cheney Praises Fox News Channel...Vice President Calls Network 'More Accurate' Than Others
[Wash. Post]
Considering the source, that just about says it all, doesn't it?

The Sinclair Broadcast Group will yank Nightline from its seven ABC stations tonight because of a plan to devote the show to reading the names of the hundreds of American service members killed in Iraq, which Sinclair says is intended to damage support for U.S. actions there.
[Balt. Sun]
Sinclair is censoring Ted Koppel for being biased. But isn't refusing to allow the show to air a bias in the opposite direction? I saw this show. There was no bias, not in any way. It was as straightforward as it could have been, an honest memorial to people who have died for their country. Thus, the bias against a "liberal" media censors a bid to honor our troops.

Click on footnote number to return to that respective point in the text.
1. Suggested by a statement made by David Kay in one of them there hearings in Washington recently.