Monday, August 28, 2006


I hear a lot of philosophers talk about the illusions we live by.
I've thought about this, wondered about some illusions in particular:

Time, of course, is one. We are physical creatures that are born by the circumstantial coupling of our physical parents... and then we die when our bodies can no longer stay alive. Humans have figured out a way to log this period of consciousness by creating the system of time. Amazing that humankind existed before time. Even as children we live simply as moments between nighttimes before we understand what time is and how it works. And then as we become more and more disillusioned by the numbered years, we convince ourselves that we cannot do certain things because of age without ever even trying.

Another illusion is pain. I saw a man on TV having varicose vein surgery and they cut open his leg while he just lies there without the aid of any drugs at all. He held warm saliva in the middle of his tongue and thought about a beach paradise. I think anyone could be capable of this with a little work. Pain is a signal that our bodies send to our brains to alert us of potential damage. We know that having a leg cut open is perfectly fine when performed cleanly and carefully, so why do we flip out anyway? Is it possible to ignore the signal when knowledge of the situation overrides it?

Off the top of my head, I can think of two other illusions: the pleasure of sex and the taste of food. I know there are many others, and becoming aware of them is the first step toward controlling them.

So therefore I know I am still being deceived…

Saturday, August 19, 2006

another lesson for me

My goal is to progress from one psychological stepping-stone to the next throughout the course of my life; the journey will never end, because perfection is subjective. (Each stepping stone, in truth, is an analogy for confidence: a "progression from one stepping-stone to the next" is the changing of a belief into knowledge.)

I fail every time I try to advance from one frame of mind to the next, because what I am really doing is projecting false confidence in order to will it within myself.

And then in cases when I feel like I have grown in some knowledge, the success was due to what I learned from the failure. (To make the analogy more literal, it's like falling off one stone as I try to get to the next... and then I have to get back on the first stone again and learn how to do it right.)

I fail when I act on behalf of myself. The answer never has to do with me.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

fellowship with Existence et al.

i have thought about my relationships with animals.
we only had one pet while i grew up. she was a dachshund named winnie. she was very kind and very loving to us, as we were to her. i know now that as a child i waited for her to become kind and loving before i did.
frick and paddy, the cats i have now, are comfortable with me because i am comfortable with them (and none of us are potential food sources for the others, so i'm sure that helps).

i was sitting outside today on a concrete block behind my house and i noticed a spider on my jeans. i would have normally jerked and swatted him off in one motion, but today i watched him.

i even felt the surge in my chest that always follows the discovery of insects coming into contact with my person, but i just watched him and stayed perfectly still. he was a little wigged for a moment, as i'm sure he could sense my anxiety. when finally i relaxed and went about my normal breathing, he seemed to be alright. he even hung out for awhile. we probably would have had some good conversation too if we could have.

point is, i think i'm starting to understand how love can open doors even between species. i imagine a terrified human would look more like a terrifying human to another animal. fear kills everything.

we live our lives in fear of the worst that could happen, and fear lives our lives for us.

i don't fear the things i love and understand.

definition of wisdom

to have wisdom is to know what love is.

to know the difference between love and what you think is best for someone else.
to know the difference between love and pity.
to know the difference between love and sacrifice.
to know the difference between love and lust.

these are things you can experience with a loved one, but they are also things you can do for selfish reasons.
The biggest mistake we can make when giving love is to expect it to be given back.

Friday, August 11, 2006

religion as a financial prospect...?

i was thinking recently about the many "spiritual gurus" who have made their ways into the media by being such idealistic images of the enlightened (i.e. people who run off to india for their spiritual journeys and dress in robes and paint their foreheads and all that).

that's fine and all if they need that in order to improve their relationships with their "gods", but i wonder what kind of spiritual journey they are on. if someone's journey doesn't involve other people,... well then... what are they doing? and if that IS what they are doing, what's so wrong about the people here in the states? are they not as worthy of the guru's time and effort?

do people need their spiritual leaders to play a role and dress in costumes? i wonder if these leaders are doing so in order to fulfill some prerequisite they themselves have determined... for the purpose of impression, which can only lead to money through the sales of books and audio tapes. because if any "god" requires something so materialistic as a dress code, i have to question that "god". that's for man-made religion to take care of.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

the path

Anything that may be keeping you from enlightenment is a result of selfishness (enlightenment is not exclusive to buddhism). Light is a result of love and goodness, because light could not exist without creation. To be filled with Goodness and Love is to be "En-lightened".

It is difficult to remove selfish intention from one's life, and this gets more and more difficult as a person's mind becomes more and more reprobate to his own selfishness (i.e. a selfish person who is never challenged fails to see his actions as selfish and finds justification through pride).

A "wise" man, I'm sure, once said there is no praise or blame on the path to enlightenment. I agree there is no praise, but the word "blame" fails to represent what it is suggesting. True, blaming anyone for your own spiritual shortcomings is ridiculous and lazy. But finding responsibility and isolating the problem source is the only first step one can take if his intention is to defeat it. Is this "blame"? Or is this maturity? Anyone who is searching for the real problem source will find the answer lies inside his own mind, and will most likely require the individual to deny himself some "right" he feels entitled to.

It's all about eliminating your own entitlement. We deserve nothing, because there is always someone who needs it more. And giving love to someone for no reason is what God does, and is what God would have us do.

Say what God himself would say,
Live how God would live your day.
Do what God himself would do,
and God himself will live through you.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

thoughts on conflict...

Just got back from WI and that was kind of okay. Not as good as I was hoping. Long drive,too. Got caught in 2 hr. traffic in chicago both ways and then got detoured in KY for two hours.

But the time was good and I saw my parents and that was nice. Tim went along with me and so of course we found ways to entertain ourselves. Watched a movie, played some pool, had some beers.

Talked a lot about the psychology of interaction. A person's behavior can be very influential to the others around him/her. A person who walks into a bookstore with a crappy attitude will have the tendency to treat other people crappy and those people will be affected, and may likely become crappy as well... like the incident I spoke of in the car parts store.

I find that love is very powerful because of what it can accomplish and what it can teach the person feeling love. The more you genuinely love something, the more genuinely interested you become in it and the more you learn about it and understand it. The less you consider yourself in a situation, the more you keep on the outside by not involving yourself. The intensity of love is determined by the issues that divide two individuals.

Watch any kind of fighting match (boxing, ufc, etc...) and the guy with more hatred for his opponent will lose. He summarizes the person into a simple image and hates him without considering his ability.

The man who loves his opponent will learn him and understand him the moment they meet. It's easy to defeat someone who hates you because anyone who hates is unintelligent and wrong. If he doesn't know you, he can't hate you for any reason that even has to do with you. He hates you for his own reasons... and I laugh with that person, because there is nothing else to do but counteract his absurd hateful action with an absurd loving one.

Hatred is easier than love, because it doesn't take any work; just one lazy decision.

But love is more rewarding because it requires a sacrifice. You have to knock yourself down a notch for that Thing you love, and sometimes that can hurt, especially when you aren't at the top of anyone else's proverbial ladder.

I hope I am never again at the top of someone else's ladder (I'm sure my parents felt this way at one time). I would feel it was wasted on me :)

Friday, August 04, 2006

leaving for Madison, WI today...

scurrying around right now trying to get ready for Ayla's show in madison this weekend... just signed up four days ago (they are so nice to us, letting us in at the last minute. :)
i've been putting bob burkett's beads on the site slowly, but it's hard to keep them in stock. i should have all of them up within a few days.

been thinking about a screenplay, too. maybe not a fairy tale yet. more of an observation of humanity: i had an altercation at a car parts store with another customer and left feeling like an a-hole just because i allowed him to pull me down to his level. I've also been working on a piano piece for the past several months and I've been stuck at the end of the bridge for a while now. so i put the two together and decided that the character in my story will use his experience at the car parts store (and what he learned about himself) by applying it to his music, showing him how to harmonize the uplifting primary melody with the depressing bridge melody, forming a duet of two voices: his desire for pure joy and light of love made stronger by a negative experience that has been magically transformed into goodness by someone who has simply shown love and understanding.

Or in other words, "Selfishness" is when you break a chain of goodness that has naturally made it's way to you. Allowing an act of negativity to continue through you is a result of "Lack in a Sense of Self-Love" (i.e. one selfish act justifying another). "Selflessness" (which is sort of an absurd word, if you look at it literally...but for my purpose here is being used simply as an opposition to selfishness... maybe "Ego-lessness") is when you break a chain of negativity by absorbing it's full force (unconcerned with entitlement, no need for justice or praise for oneself, not looking to blame anyone) and transforming it into love before you either send it on or say goodbye to it.

that's my story, briefly. i'm debating whether i want to go to the show by myself and write this, or if i want to take t.j. or tim up on their offers to come along just for the ride. Conversation is always better than listening to music. And although I have made some very important discoveries about myself while driving, nothing is better than companionship. I will ask tj first and then tim (he went last time)