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|One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche|
November 15, 2009
Them Crooked Vultures - S/T
This is a classic rock album crafted by composition that makes sense conversationally as organic tales of the universe with counterpoint and open space so notes can linger and breath. Sensual slides and bends frame songs with texture, giving this album an abundance of "feel" with endless groove and rhythm inspiring dance. While QOTSA's Skin on Skin is a soundtrack for sex, this whole album provokes and accompanies desirous passion.
Connected to the great rock of the 70s but with the harder punk sensibilities of Dave Grohl driving on drums, this release shows the way to revive a genre that has been either sleeping or dead for decades.
Play, not deliberation
The Dutch are so beautiful and clearly smarter than average, but so deliberate, crushing every free flow. Honest, but rarely playful, aware yet detached. Defensive mechanism par excellence contra modernity?
I've seen hints of this in Holland but it stands out unmistakably in the Dutch students interning in Aruba, even when the students and visitors are both there for the same purposes.
Even a surplus of beauty cannot make up for or begin to mask defects in character or personality.
Life is fun and necessitates vigorous and absurd play. To suffocate that possibility with seriousness is a sin.
This year I went into overdrive flirting with every woman I meet in any situation. Whether she's the mother of the girl I'm seeing that night, someone random I meet while passing through a city I'll never visit again, or a girl I immediately know is not for me, they all get treated playfully because life is playful and we should reflect the same.
It's not about getting the girl, but drawing out character. Flirting is another approach like provoking a passionate argument to quickly remove shields of politeness and instigate interesting conversation in its place, though flirting is more gentle and fun. By killing any opportunity for cliche and rote appropriateness, something real can take its place.
After shewing the fly out of the ointment, anyone with a living soul has a chance to show themselves. What is better than that?
Aggressively asserting my expanded sphere of influence
Geopolitical opportunity presented herself -- such charming and pleasant company. At first it looks like wanderlust, but all actions for a purpose!
I considered what I most demand of locations, how few essential destinations exist, how absurdly the best offerings are scattered across various cities, and how close and accessible many of them are.
I tolerate cities because they are the best way to keep living art created centuries ago. Sometimes there are interesting people in cities, if they have a plan for life and haven't fallen into the convenient abyss of drinking, drugs, entertainment, and other empty distractions. And sometimes cities are central locations to great nature just hours away.
Therefore, be it resolved that my SPHERE OF INFLUENCE encompasses the following.
IMMEDIATE: Washington DC, New York City, Chicago. These cities are subject to spontaneous day trips.
WESTERN: Headquartered in San Francisco, extending from Seattle to Baja California Sur.
EASTERN: Western Europe, specifically Spain, France, Germany, Norway, and Sweden. Able to hop further from there for tempting adventure.
NORTHERN: I claim the whole of Canada, especially Montreal. Will exchange sparse regions for a good meal.
SOUTHERN: Southern Florida until Key West, satellite offices in the Caribbean headquartered in Eagle Beach, Aruba.
If you live within my sphere of influence and have something interesting to share, please stay in touch.
We reach the edge in short order. We know what we must do and where we must go. Nothing anyone says or does can dissuade us or makes any great impact as we've already considered the usual (sometimes sensible) objections and left them behind. Not a limit of language, as general communication remains possible, but of sociality, specifically shared space. In a sense it's total disagreement, but without malice or really any concern necessitating opposition.
When words ring hollow from automatic reflex
"She's not a girl that misses much"
We could do better
But "we" becomes "me" because others are not motivated. They'll agree on "should", even "must", and then remain still and unstirred. Consequently words and assertions have to be disregarded and any exceptions that actually match words with reality will impress and distinguish their actors.
For most people the future consists of being drugged up in front of the television getting fat.
If you want to meet drunks and whores, just about any bar will do. At best the normal crowd consists of people with lives so empty they have nothing better to do with their free time than drink, which also means they'll quickly go home with you when sufficiently intoxicated, comfortably blaming alcohol for their perpetual indiscretions and chaos.
Or if you want a cultured girl with a brain who speaks a few languages, appreciates art, and probably knows a few things about life, you might want to pick up a girl who also realized even a Molière reading is worth seeing. She'll have a soul, be far less compelled to attract attention from strangers, and will be without the bitterness that bar girls are trying to drink away, seemingly unaware or in denial that they are only increasing their rancor and dissociativity. And she values her time with interests more dynamic than drinking.
She'll probably go home with you too, but the important part is that she's a thousand times more likely to be interesting beyond one night. Why not exclusively spend our time with beautiful and inspiring people?
What you catch depends where you fish and what you're looking for.
Uncovering what you really know
The words people use and drama they spin into form out of usually nothing of substance are all part of a show put on by bad actors. We can tolerate a little bad acting, more if we love them and understand their suffering, or we can fix our gaze upon the core of the situation and ignore the artifice squandered on a poorly conceived amateur performance. Underneath all of the drawn out pretense is the actual communication.
Dreams are for me a wonderful way to look at the people in my life. A drama unfolds based on characterizations and feelings observed but never articulated or deeply considered. Now these impressions are made into a story and personalities emerge in the world of the dreamer who is creating everything. The observer and critic watching, who is also the writer, director, stage manager, caterer, and key grip, must be sufficiently convinced this is the person he knows and that their distinct traits are exhibited believably. In doing so, their essential aspects are on display and how they respond in various scenarios will immediately strike you as either foreign or believable depending on whether they match what you think of them. Suddenly their persona is seen under a spotlight, illuminating good or bad traits you've seen in other forms previously.
Neuroscientist Allan Hobson explains his interest is in the grammar of dreams rather than their narrative, which seems sensible because dreams are like a musical improvisation governed by bendable rules. Though a narrative written on the fly cannot claim deep development or a clearly constructed investigation of any topic or thesis, themes and ideas contained within can still be honest, worthy of expression and insightful though the whole may be inartistic, disjoint, and banal. A personal grammar might be more fruitful than the definitive and probably unattainable scientific model Hobson seeks and defends. Once declaring and thus sworn to a doctrine, how do you back out when reality doesn't match it? Academics mostly stonewall, hold the line, and sacrifice aspiring students like cannon fodder for a pointless war to defend presumptuous ego-laden babbling decades ago. These educated morons only construct mazes and greater confusion when putting all of their intelligence and political power into literal, linear interpretations.
Explanations fall prey to the technological metaphors of their era because those are closest at hand, even if wrong. Neuroscience is predominantly swayed by nihilistic mechanical and chemical explanations that in some cases are physically correct while overlooking the systemic or evolutionary purposes of those mechanisms, getting lost in the trees and missing the forest completely. To say dreaming is a random process might seem the case when studying moderns whose minds are so polluted with long hours of television and pointless drugged up existence that their dreams are an echo of their insane lives, but the brain in its natural and organic state has a type and quality of dreams quite different from the pathological case common today. Modern progress is a sick aberration and degeneracy, hardly a suitable measure of healthy people or society worth studying if you want to understand human potential and purpose. The lasting scientific narrative is a dismissal of dreams just as it once said the appendix was a useless vestigial organ, only to discover many decades later it didn't understand but was eager to make authoritative statements about topics it didn't grasp.
Through dreams you can get great perspective on what is wonderful about a person, how their life is a disaster, how you really feel about them, and plausible possibilities in adventure, struggle, romance, and new ways of living. It is all laid plainly in front of you to see, sometimes in metaphor, sometimes as a ripe fruit almost begging to be plucked or seduced into offering its sweetest treats. What you see is not real in that it did not happen, yet dreams can bring truths that become inevitable. If you have a stream of penetrating visions that stir you then these realizations are merely waiting to be written into eternity.
I almost killed myself a few days ago. It happens every year or so. I enjoy high speed driving and keep my voyages as thrilling as when I was a teenager, one of just a few lifelong pleasures. As I performed my patented acceleration into the curve, my speed was about 80kmh above the recommended limit. Deep into the diminishing radius ramp (with GGL lecturing with a wagging finger), the car started slipping. Traction control kicked in and a quick steering correction saved the situation from disaster.
Each time I nearly perish, I reflect on my serenity that both saves me with relaxed instinctive action, and is clear headed afterward in understanding what went wrong and was averted. After the danger has passed, I keep a straight face for a few seconds before powerful laughter overtakes me. Calmness toward horrors allows one to see fully. These rich truths are only won by those who do not flinch or avert their eyes. Even the ugly and terrible is worth seeing because nothing should ever be off limits to those capable of handling it.
We play in spring, love in summer
On the precipice of a promise
Invert the transitory malaligned
Remove your notion of self
More risk, more reward, more wanderings and bold attempts far from any path known or heard of, more rejection of tamed humanity in favor of unhesitating animal nature, wild and beastly instead of falsely restrained in polite obedience, deference, and convention.
Prolonged discomfort and instability as a sinister joy. We are unhurt and unbothered by the moment, even prolonged distress, because we know our fate awaits and we go off to meet it.
Greater threat of destruction willfully undertaken, greater chance of utter ruin to begin from nothing once again. We make ourselves ready and vault into the unknown, uncertain, and unmeasurable, where there is also greater opportunity and options, wider possibilities, more truth, and better company than the timid souls who desire safety more than life.
Essential question to make or break a spirit: do we trust in ourselves when we have only ourselves? Those who affirm this can do no different and therefore create an unbridgeable distance from those who do not create their own destinies.
No comfort or guarantees
Illusions are worse than lies. Let us quickly discard them.
Modernity demands living in a warlike posture. Opportunity is transient and people are capricious. Perhaps nothing abundant today will be available tomorrow. Depend upon nothing and expect nothing. Everything must be treated as expendable, at best a temporary amusement or convenience. What you believe in might be overturned and overthrown tomorrow. Ignore what people declare as their intent; instead watch actions and tendencies with skepticism. Discard the notion of stability and embrace the normalcy of destruction, conflict, catastrophe, risk, new lawbooks, exile, violence, and social upheaval. Life is short. Yours might be also.
Everything you have might be taken away. Rely only on your ability to create it all again. Complete distrust in others but total faith in oneself. And Realpolitik.
Security is an illusion, at best a break in the storm. Comfort makes weak, fat, and lazy. Housecats and other sleeping spectators have comfort and security -- and are only technically alive. Plan for war, not peace -- peace is boring but in war the raw nature of life surfaces (the only thing that is not a lie) and peak capability emerges as you become fully alive.
Throw everything away, or at least free yourself from the idea of ownership, permanence, and permission. Your essence and instincts for creating a future are what matter, not temporary conditions. Slash and burn, scorch the earth, nuke at will, ritually sacrifice, and bestow as offerings to the gods -- for what you have today is unimportant and threatens you with weakness.
Play time is quality time
Not more communication -- if you are struggling to express yourself and be understandable then quantity doesn't help.
Everyone either knows where they are and can tell you, or they are confused and wandering through the wacky dreamworld in their head.
Languages are fine to communicate basic ideas but are insubstantial beyond that, flailing about with gestures, lunges, imprecise approximations -- leading to skepticism towards language. How to say more, completely? - less structure, willful informality, abstract forms, art, and breaking rules because it makes more sense to escape forms that constrain the possible range of communication.
Lately I've been especially enjoying playful, vivid, feminine women and like what they broadcast (we act on natural signals, not logical value propositions; attraction is its own proof). I generally pick out the cutest girl in the room, watch her a little to get a vibe, then we make eye contact and in a few seconds she tells me everything about how the night's going to go, and then we begin exploring.
I don't care about the boring daily life stuff (job, college major, etc) and don't even ask about it, but love to find out everything about their personalities and spirit which is where they are really alive and tingle. Playful talk gets to the heart of chemistry and lets us show each other everything that can be shown in public.
Premise: two humans face one another to share expression but any formality suffocates everything into polite banality. The play of the virile and fertile must not be impeded by stultifying social conventions that serve neither, so discard and violate them at will for everyone's benefits.
No rational thought is needed or helpful - it kills everything. Live bare, fearless, and trust in the moment. Your instincts will do everything perfectly as she melts for you.
Every perfect moment of romance repeats this truth. Suckle its marrow! And from the lack of deliberation, the essential facts of life undeniably appear before you.
Hint: It is in the way she says yes to everything.
Quickly undressing costumes
i. Are they effective? Does talk match reality or is it idle babble?
ii. Are they creative? Or just a repeater and recombiner?
iii. Are they inspired? Dreamy? Vivacious? Jaded? Broken? Lost?
iv. Are they desirous? Willful? Driven? Timid? Small? Shadow dwellers?
v. Are they daring? Attempters? Skeptical? Faithless? Saboteurs.
She is delightful trouble
You can get your training from the fast pace of cities or the calm open rural farmlands. What matters most is "getting it" -- a quality that can be assessed in mere seconds when meeting someone. Are they tuned into reality, alert, aware, and alive, or another passive soulless droid?
"Every great pain, whether physical or spiritual, declares what we deserve; for it could not come to us if we did not deserve it."
No struggle, not a forced reconciliation, not even intoxicated seduction, but considered reflection. You cannot make yourself love what you don't understand and appreciate, nor frame into comprehension what will eternally elude erroneous suppositions religiously clasped. A good life is absurdly easy and attainable, but also necessarily subtle and multifarious.
Who could make a decision or be seriously held to an opinion when quite fairly they know almost nothing, have no significant reference points, and rarely think beyond the immediate? Life's natural wisdom is like a community's elders that can arrange a happier marriage than a couple in love -- a greater wisdom beyond temporal considerations that defers to the experience of seeing how dramas play out for better or worse, a realism that most individuals are blind to and pay dearly for.
It is a blessing from the universe to face adversity and strangeness for we emerge stronger, more certain, and more discerning after it. The past is gone and unchangeable. Instead we perpetually have a future we could not have imagined and would be forever indebted to if only such debts were imposed for each new day instead of freely given. We are gifted with the improbable and vivid, beautiful people with loving souls -- and this is more than enough.
[smoldering earth, hopeless fractures, perpetual dusk, entombing fog, eternal enslavement, fantastic post-apocalyptic landscape - all imagined]
We make the home suitable for us, and thus a life of aspiration or ghetto sprawl as "things just happen" when we give up. Either self-belief because we know what we are and what we want, or disbelief in tomorrow along with anger, excuses, blame, and dysfunction to passively join the ghetto sprawl.
Sycophantic friends crazier than you will not disagree.
The Voyage of your Life
[for R. who knows what she likes and is boldly chasing her dreams to write them in stone]
We fly through a universe 14,000,000,000 years old as pieces of dust considered very old if we reach 100 years. We get to meet just a few thousand people out of the 6,000,000,000 here, and of those will only find commonality and a connection with others who have independently walked a similar path, shared experiences, considered the same thoughts as us, and dreamed comparable dreams. To communicate, we need not only a common language but compatible spirits if we are to be friends, lovers, or companions.
Our tiny domain in the vast universe, the improbability of every interaction, and the certainty of our obliteration after an absurdly short lifespan make any meaningful connection immeasurably valuable. Finding someone incredible, a product of several hundred years in the making, and distinguished from their mediocre contemporaries by the most strangely varied and delicate traits, strikes us with reverence for what we are touching. If we lose someone great who will never return, we do with the loss whatever is appropriate, but life goes on because it must.
When we marry the love of our life, we merge into the infinite and make peace with death. Assuming we are signing up until the end, come what may, we affirm that we will remain together until death do us part. One of us will be forced to watch the other die and be left alone on this vacant planet forever without the person who made their life better, now reduced to mere memory.
To willingly accept having to see someone you love die, or forcing them to watch you die means you are ready for your voyage.
Healthcare: Treating mass wreckage is expensive
In the U.S., every professional has excellent healthcare provided by their employer. There is a currently a debate about whether professionals should buy healthcare for non-professionals. But the issue of taxes and services is larger than this. Professionals pay about the same tax rates as Europeans while receiving far fewer governmental services, of which healthcare is only one. It's baffling at first, until you see how the economics work.
It costs about the same to support a legal citizen or an illegal alien. Both need food, shelter, transportation, roads, schooling for their children - and the additional "free" hospital care, prisons, and other expenses are just hidden costs shifted onto the public. The cheap labor isn't so cheap, though the direct employer might not have to pay all of the costs.
So why is American healthcare 2.5 times more expensive than European healthcare? The problems being solved are necessarily more intense.
Modernity is about denying reality and pretending you don't notice
"Our relationships crack up, our marriages break down, we fail as parents and as citizens just like everyone else. But if the result of this is a stultifying silence about things that really matter, we re-double the failure. Refusing to use these words - right and wrong - means a denial of personal responsibility and the concept of a moral choice."
"We talk about people being 'at risk of obesity' instead of talking about people who eat too much and take too little exercise. We talk about people being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion: it's as if these things - obesity, alcohol abuse, drug addiction - are purely external events like a plague or bad weather."
"Britain risks creating a society where nobody is prepared to tell the truth about what is good and bad, right and wrong Society has become far too sensitive to peoples feelings with no one prepared to say what needs to be said. Instead, we prefer moral neutrality, a refusal to make judgments about what is good and bad behavior, right and wrong behavior. Bad. Good. Right. Wrong."
"We have seen a decades-long erosion of responsibility, of social virtue, of self-discipline, respect for others, .. of deferring gratification instead of instant gratification."
"Of course, circumstances - where you are born, your neighbourhood, your school, and the choices your parents make - have a huge impact. But social problems are often the consequence of the choices that people make."
He added: "There is a danger of becoming quite literally a de-moralised society, where
nobody will tell the truth anymore about what is good and bad, right and wrong."
[Ha - the truth is "offensive" so no one dares speak it. Reality is banned precisely because it is real and intrudes on comfortable denial, thus it "hurts" the modern.]
Insisting on fresh air and light for the soul
Why am I so demanding? Je demande et dois savoir! For everyone else I can accept nothingness and resignation as answers, even a whole life of fear, inaction, and planned avoidance -- but I have seen something alive within you that is incredible and does not deserve a prisoner's bitter existence.
New York City as example
NYC is awesome, like going to the moon: an insanely artificial, hostile, and deadly environment with the dystopic conditions of progress. Pollution, overcrowding, paranoia, and absurd aggression abound -- the distrustful animal is always on guard with all senses heightened, ever alert! And how this takes a toll so that no one over 25 retains a remotely healthy appearance, but instead screams out how this lifestyle makes them ragged.
Still it is impressive to visit. I prefer living among lions, sharks, and crocodiles than among antelope. The fierce and willful are energizing companions and agree that conceived outcomes are attainable and attained, rather than imposed by external forces. Yes, life is dangerous - so be it! This worldview is appropriately innate and natural to the beasts that hold it. To set sights and apply will tenaciously - that too is normal and perhaps frightening to others of dissimilar traits. How impressively they mutually disagree about fear and uncertainty! Instead of paralysis that makes one prey, destiny is created by acting on the best information at hand. Waiting a little is a small loss and injury, and those who wait frequently make a whole life of prolonged death from inaction.
He said 'Excuse me' but didn't really mean it
Le baiser au revoir
Je vais la voir ce soir
The thing, this situation, principle, aspect, compendium
From this one alone abstract a million more
Speak your mind, consequences be damned
"...or forever hold your peace" - ha, no. Unrest beats tranquility.
We live in too timid a world where most people are lost, overburdened (with imaginary troubles), pessimistic, fearful, resigned, and withdrawn -- walking around with shields, routines, fierce coping mechanisms, and powerful narcotics. How to get any honesty into or out of such cloistered creatures intent on negating their spirits?
Answer: stop pitying them and playing to their supposed defects.
People aren't the weak, incapable, boring, hopeless invalids they pretend to be. If you say something honest, most will immediately warm to the opportunity and join you for more. The others might feign initial protest until it becomes too absurd to resist frank discussion. With a little persistence they will throw off their ridiculous costumes and permit themselves at least modest exposure to reality.
It is better to risk "offending" someone with true thoughts than to not speak your mind.
"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."
No! You can know little from the outside when speculating about appearance that often differs from substance. Join all clubs that provoke your curiosity and find out what they really are. Most members of any group are idlers and dabblers, but a small minority are interesting. Nature is not a democracy -- we are forever seeking the few, not the majority of the stupid, lazy, bored, or soulless.
How I reorganized myself into a tiered government
When the sovereign citizen defense failed at my last sedition trial, I began looking for a legally defined organizational scheme that provided shielding from meddling outsiders and established a comprehensive and robust framework for dynamic global transactions and partnerships.
My legal staff determined I was best served by incorporating myself into a governmental system where I could personally serve most roles, whether on a voluntary basis or by conscription.
At once I became a brave, bold nation! I immediately set out to establish formal peace treaties and trading arrangements with others reciprocally recognized as nations, clearly stating my intentions and desires for positive dealings. As a statesman I was professional and respectful, at no time telling beautiful nations that I'd like to annex their hilly regions, speaking too fondly of their ample natural resources, or boasting about how firmly our ruler ran the government.
As a diplomat, I was dispatched to talk and play with other nations, deliberately and openly expressing interest while looking for mutual opportunities. Diplomacy is largely informal, consisting primarily of socializing, travel, and parties. Diplomats are beautiful people.
My greatest stroke of genius was making the loyal opposition useful instead of a drag on the nation. Most people who define themselves as opposing something are not supporters of any positive vision, but only seek to slow, stop, or hassle others. Impressive deranged antisocial parasites! At best they are blustering loud mouth know-nothings hiding behind untested theories they advocate as proven solutions. But a few in their camp might have a good idea of two, though you'd never be able to pick it out because they have no demonstrated record of good ideas or the ability to validate a new one. So I called their bluff by requiring them to try out every idea they championed. Now instead of babbling empty words, they test and experiment to find out what is true and then they have something to actually talk about.
My next sedition trial is in November. My defense will be that I was acting lawfully in accordance with my role in a legally established governmental system. If I don't win, I reserve the right to continue referring to myself as a government rather than merely in the third person as the lesser sovereign do.
Emergency Court Ruling and Declaration of War
A realization I've been considering for several years has become undeniable, and thus is became necessary to gather the wise elders of my nation and make a final judicial ruling.
Effective immediately, all thought is forbidden as unnecessary and generally wrong. The "educated" are but ponderous formulaic speculators who overthink the trivial, mishandling everything their once adroit minds touch. Through bad abstractions and paralyzing passivity they misunderstand everything simple while mastering the imaginary.
Everyone naturally knows everything they need to know when it is necessary to know it. A fertile mind generates infinite thought without needing to be reduced to rehashing dull rote responses.
Worse is the arrogance of constantly getting things wrong, but not having awareness that the emulated methods and teachings are repeatedly faulty. Thinking is not only a handicap, but an unnecessary complexity separating people from reality.
These are busy days in my kingdom!
My legislature had an emergency session to declare war against all English style politeness. Masters of indirectness and evasion, the English style is also famous for shaping the most effeminate men on the planet, pathetic creatures completely unable to face anything.
Where decent people speak honestly, openly, and directly, politeness is an affront to reality that avoids necessary and essential communication by steering around it and then trying to ignore and deny the implications of doing so.
As all agree truth is more honorable than comfort, politeness has been banished and its practitioners expelled as felonious deceivers who give aid and comfort to the enemy.
Behind Door #3
Unknown of unknowns, looming questions marks, believers in conventional propriety: is it honorable to leave essential mysteries unseen? The fish that got away but held your hand before it vanished happily reacquaints in private recollections.
What is "supposed" to happen is just a guarded barbed wire assumption. One "supposes", i.e. projects expectations, and this immediately assumes an answer as an echo to the projected expectation, avoiding anything that could be an experience or discovery. Bold inaction! Heroic resigner! Solipsistic sloth!
If you don't climb the fence you will forever be self-immobilized and left outside. You might get scratched when you climb, but wounds are made to heal. Treat discomfort like pain, a signal that something with potential is in motion, but do not oppose, avoid it, or take it too seriously. Consider also that there is no discomfort in vapid routine, but often numbing, so the opposite of what brings that result should be an inviting suggestion.
Become comfortable with discomfort to the extent of seeking discomfort when there is something calling you to make your appearance. Fences are there to be climbed and there is surely someone who wants to meet you on the other side. Do not deny your potential companions or yourself.
Crooked Ghetto Hash Play
I decreed you'd agree
Buddhism as Annihilation
The traditional Western instinct is perseverance despite all tragic happenstance and misfortune. Not to feel sorry for oneself or others, but to take pause to understand and then shrug off a temporary setback, and to keep going without holding on to failure. There is a natural resistance to internalizing grudges, becoming mean, or creating emotional baggage as misplaced revenge upon the innocent randomness of life. Misunderstanding and misstepping are forgivable, but lashing out only multiplies and distorts the original error.
When we disregard pain, we go farther and see more. We pay with pain and come to regard it as benevolent and honest, for it delivers exactly what it promises and brings a gift of wisdom when it makes its appearance. Pain is an honest visitor whom we can always respect and welcome. It means no harm by awakening and you can be thankful later for not raising the sheets to sleep away the day.
Then Socrates, sitting up on his bed, began to bend his leg and rub it with his hand, and as he did so remarked, "How strange is the thing called pleasure, and how curiously related to pain, which might be thought to be the opposite of it! For they never come to a man together, and yet he who pursues either of them is practically compelled to take the other too. They are two, and yet grow together out of a single head. If Aesop had thought of it, he would have made a myth about how Pleasure and Pain were at war with one another and God wanted to reconcile them. But as he was not able to do that, he joined them together at the head, which is why when you meet with either pleasure or pain, the other one soon follows."
Buddhism fears and avoids pain, as well as honesty about life. It hides and rejects possibility, desiring solipsism and retreat. Instead of honorably facing life, it seeks a quick way out, demanding amputation for a scratch and a diet of opium so as to not feel or experience, for it lacks the constitution to endure and more importantly: faith that life is just.
This faith can be hard especially under modern conditions. We are topsy-turvy, disbelieving of the future, skeptical of society, and cynical about others. Compounding disaster, witnessing casualty begets more casualties.
Like monkeys exchanging knowledge through mimicking, we teach each other self-destruction as a normal behavior to tolerate, even calling it a "choice", simultaneously aware of and in denial of the inevitable consequences it brings. Cognitive dissonance swarms under the surface of a creature that otherwise presents a calm appearance, but storms surges will always find a way out and the tornadoes leave a wreck in their path before they collapse in shambles.
By the time realization arrives of the gifts and rare opportunities that were squandered, it is too late to recover them. Negative sum games leave all participants impoverished, eventually encouraging withdrawal from the whole. Thieves and squanderers add to the farce by stealing from each other while dressing up to appear healthy like the normal people they curse.
Christianity's hollow promises and demands to believe in imaginary forces have eroded the meaning of "faith" by making it into a laughable premise of believing in supernatural happenings that everyone knows don't exist.
Faith is not belief in the imaginary, but is an accurate sense of how things will tend to turn out when participants work towards a shared goal. We can choose to make a heaven on earth and live a meaningful life, or we can sabotage and doubt everything, leaving us with the alternative of a miserable existence that requires every denial, forced blindness, and extreme coping mechanisms for which there is never enough sugar to mask the bitter taste.
Our hands and will can craft almost anything, but more important is keeping our bare souls from nihilism. Everyone decent wants roughly the same love, lasting passions, and thrilling magic -- but few know the language to express that or their honest desires and dreams. Without faith, eventually doubt creeps in and soon Buddhist caves are sought as hiding places.
Seen from the outside, this is tragedy as are severe consequences from all petty misunderstandings, squabbles, lost soulmates, broken loves, and missed connections. A few errors, suspicions, or speculative dreams of no real consequence can derail great potential, and though it could be trivially uprighted, there is instead muddled spite that snarls and cripples. Nowhere else is an all powerful god concerned with human affairs more necessary and absent.
We who have great love and belief in the essential character of others can see how forgiveness and a blank slate can resurrect even a disaster to restore pristine youthful vitality. A soul becomes dry and weak through lack of reverence and lost desire for one's special fate. But even rolling blockades cannot prevent the aspiration that brings destiny.
Not denial of life, but desire for more life! Essentiality, not escape; recognition, not fleeing; not denial of pain, but paying tribute to pain and passing through its gates.
Take care as you make your way through the world - a single shot of Buddhism can poison the well.
No Reservation Required
Benevolent censorship: "I love you, but..." (This phrase banned by Universal Directive 9.17.b(7) § 127.2)
Love anyway, flaws and all, for to make demands that something be other than itself is madness. We will not wait for botched proofs by self-professed authorities or the "objective" who produce arbitrary guesses. We only acknowledge and venerate the honest before and beyond us.
Reservations and conditionals suffer the same problem as waiting. The world is a kaleidoscope of entropic chaos, never linear, never to return. Waiting and hoping have never yielding anything but disappointing self-torture. Revere yourself and totality by reserving nothing but instead seizing possibility before it vanishes forever.
If you share a desire and can meet someone halfway, everything else will follow as it should.
As unschooled alchemists, we forgive ourselves for we know not what we do, except that we cast magic and live the most beautiful strangeness. From time immemorial we have experienced unknown chemistry that repeatedly yields delightful miracles that we hide and cloak from the uninitiated. With too many coincidences to dismiss we begin to nod in acceptance and even come to anticipate the improbable as it is repeatedly given to us.
All of nature plays out its cards, acting within its abilities. Brambles, weeds, poison, stingers, snarls, and fangs are not negative things to slander, but are mere shields and property lines. A thorn is a fence like a mountain range, signifying a breachable barrier, just as a closed door requests a knock. Not to see too much or too little - that is our gift.
What are we doing and why? If it is magic then I will bet my fate on it each time, especially when we are beyond words and practical concerns.
When We Were Children
No longer content to feign satiety, we turned away from childish ways and set aside childish things. We banished hope, mocked the liars, and excommunicated the repeaters of untruth. We did not want illusions, self-deception, empty promises, and sweet fairy tales of unreality. We did not desire a drugged stupor of robot smiles and cheerful platitudes, nor prophecies that demanded waiting for the impossible that will never become true.
We have seen and experienced too much to stay silent. We see it cruel to sell fables; brutal to paralyze others with delicious but fraudulent explanations. Not only do these weigh on another's temporal life, but we do not wish to be associated with writing such behavior into eternity.
We left the blind and comfortable multitudes. We found ourselves unable to participate in mendacity. We could not conspire against and curse life. We we unrecruitable for Sisyphean missions.
We saw ourselves outnumbered, outgunned, and surrounded -- yet suffering no threat of defeat because we saw through every illusion in our path, and all that opposed us was but a paper tiger unaware of its feebleness. How could we be untrue to ourselves? We were from birth sworn enemies of the lingering uncrushed infamy.
We turned toward one another, looked deep in each other's eyes and spoke in plain and total honesty. Did we sometimes speak of what is dark and bare? Yes, just as we do not step away from what is beautiful, vivid, tender, and delightful. Our souls are vast and rich continents with turns, mountains, valleys, forests, gardens, graveyards, and unseen multitudes.
We had too much love to hide or wait. We left behind the safety of the numbing bubble and made our way into the wilderness that was still alive.
Validating California liberalism
Bandit of bandits! I found a way to validate the downtroden by stealing from them and thus generously affirming that they once had something of worth. I stole from the California liberals the idea of removing all negativity immediately around them -- and then promptly expanded the criteria of undesirable behaviors.
Witnessing a Guilty Confession
What are you thinking about?
I overthrew my austere king's cabinet, discarded archaic lawbooks, and combined the loyal opposition with an expanded research center that abolishes speculation by testing all worthy possibilities.
As self-appointed prime minister, district selectman, and captain of my soul, I decreed amnesty and safe harbor to all old enemies, vandals, pirates, mental patients, severed relationships, lost opportunities, and other botches to be named later. With everfaith that everyone does and is doing the best they can, how could anything turn out other than it has? We simply weren't up to it; our constitution unable to muster the glue to hold together our thirst for expansion, so we fell into smaller, simpler, lesser restful pieces and retracted thereby.
Are they even enemies? Some are malicious surely, but there is no fruit in fictionalizing motives about the wicked who must lash out in their torment. Let us understand without moralizing.
Nothing can be different from what it is, so teaches the mirror. And if it cannot be different, so too is it not responsible for its essence and contingencies. Hallelujah!! All is forgiven, all is accepted, victory and failure alike.
Sweet France - to live, love, suffer, and laugh
I have taken France as a mistress
Horizon of the soul
The World We Dreamed
Under endless skies, clear, blue and fertile
Heated touch, warm blood rising
You could not "save" the world
One Good Argument
I have previously considered arguments to be a pointless battle of monologues, and though they are useless for deciding the truth of a matter with someone who defends or asserts an ideology they feel attached to, a good argument reveals discordant interpretation.
A friend and I got into a furious argument in a highly public location, neither of us caring who saw and heard. We had at it like a bitter married couple, with awesome yelling, absurd name-calling, and wildly venomous accusations. It was a sustained explosion, but after the release, we traded interpretations of the problem, which was found to not actually exist, and then we laughed at the ridiculous behavior just displayed.
Often what someone says with great emotion is not what they really care
about, but is the best approximation they can summon up at the moment and
reasonably approximates feelings they don't understand and are often
separate from reality. It doesn't hurt to listen with a curious ear, but
the conflict has to eventually contact the real issue. Consider it abstract
art, taking none of it literally because it is trapped in language.
In this case, she was honest and comfortable with directness even after the storm subsided - an unusual but valued temperament. A friend's fundamental fairness and acceptance of reality is reassuring and obviates the need to strongly dilute real life with comfortable cliched lies. It also lets you know someone is honest and a straight player who can be trusted with anything. The worst is when you come to expect everything someone tells you to be a fraud.
It's also a good way to find what someone is made of. I find myself now sometimes instigating even petty arguments with people I size up as difficult, just to more quickly get to their substance. If that's the fastest way to truth, strap in - we're going for a wicked high speed ride on unpaved roads. There's a really beautiful landscape around the bend that could take months or years to get to by conventional paths, if it's even reachable that way.
Discard your travel habits and enjoy navigating the rough roads. They are more honest.
I wish I could point to the origin of what might be the second greatest gift of my life, but its core has always been present in me. I've always enjoyed peeking behind the curtain to quietly watch bad actors put on their shows and offer silly explanations to mask their motivations.
What moderns say is often a world apart from they are thinking and what they do, so language gets thrown out from the start and everything has to be filtered through a prism that accounts for their denial of basic reality. Such adroit contortions to try to meet halfway!
My last year was quintessentially bizarre, but also brought a necessary rebirth. As it ended, I took stock of everything, threw most of it away as useless and confining, and realized what I liked most was the enjoyment of life: its mysteries, bounties, possibilities, and perpetually blank slate - and being around others who also understood and shared this. Not people drowning in fear, foolishness, escape, routines, safety, and comfortable lies. Red raw life as it truly is, not transparent evasions or childish dreams for imaginary realities.
Immediately I was again attracted to everything beautiful and vivid. In turn, I made everything around me this way: bright, joyful, fertile, fun. I deserved and had a right to it. Laughter at foolishness, unable to take nonsense seriously even if it is someone's everything. I fled to sun and warmth and rediscovered my essence that had become bogged down in numbing domestication and trained housecat routines. We often learn best from painful errors, however well intended, and should welcome them as beneficent teachers who save us from that type of repeated suffering.
Spring is my one of my favorite metaphors and realities. After a long slumber everything comes back to life. Flowers rise from nothingness and blossom. Birds sing with effortless pleasure. Light playfulness abounds. Not only is the air warm, but women too go into heat and remind how alluring they can be after a winter of androgynous multi-layered attire. They frolic and play, luring us toward their essence. Anything is possible once again and so much should be attempted. Destiny is forever at hand.
All of this is undeniable nature captured in a feeling, but what matters is what the feeling inspires. Why not perpetually carry this within you?
Six Summer Verses
Failure is normal
The normal state of the world is failure. The appearance of civilization, culture, intelligence, quality, and organization is a rare and fragile exception, usually noticed only when waning. Anything valuable is easily destroyed, and sure to be targeted by the jealous who do not possess it, but to assert protection even from innocent vandals requires a consuming defensive posture -- a psychological casualty often worse than what it attempts to defend against.
If scavengers remove something of value, this is just the erasing of an exception. One sees this comedy in former colonies that inherited the gifts of previous organizers but lack people who can uphold them. A normal state of civilization returns despite the temporary aberration.
Successes are typically effortless applications of vision and will upon the blank slated world, but you can learn more from disasters than successes, especially great disasters where much value is lost. This is why breakups, financial collapses, and unnecessary deaths are so interesting, especially when they result from phantasmagoria, instability, or speculative gambits. After destruction appears, the cause no longer matters, but the type of wreck often gestures at a larger repeating idea of which the event was only a single instance.
Thus there is greatness revealed in the terrible as a wonderful example of a type. What more could one desire but to see well formed examples? The car wreck, the biting snake, or the collapsed hedge fund are all performed by splendid actors quite believable as the exemplary villains or innocents they portray.
Spending time in third world nations and sensing the tempo and substance of daily existence is a great reminder of the normal conditions of life. The third world is a great liberation because it punctures the bubble of first world unreality.
Life here is easy and beautiful. The eternal feminine draws us onward.
Chinese Democracy: Axl Rose and Romanticism
Axl Rose finally released "Chinese Democracy" after 15 years in the making
and a rumored development cost of over $10 million. It was a dream of
perfection, crafted with precision and knowledge that any release gets
only once chance to be unveiled, and those who rush and misspeak never
receive a second opportunity to express themselves.
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