Monday, December 20, 2010

The Residue of Dreams

I sometimes awaken with the residue of dreams still on my mind. Not just a memory of events that have transpired in my sleep, but the electrified thought of an idea, a concept, a flash of insight obtained in the dreamy darkness of unconsciousness.

I woke up this morning with this pervading notion that everything I've ever thought, felt, sensed, and experienced is recorded in a file located in my body/brain/consciousness, what is referred to as 'the unconscious'. I woke up not just knowing of it as a theory, but knowing it as an experienced reality, and indisputable truth. As if I explored the physical location of this file in my sleep, got a glimpse of some of its contents, but upon waking only a distant dreamlike fading memory remained.

In other words, I was dreaming about this, and woke up thinking about it.

If only I knew the password, the key to tap into this stored knowledge at will, to be able to return to the memory of any moment in my life, with the exact precision of seeing it unfold frame by frame on a movie screen. Most interesting of all, I think would be to return to the moment of birth, the moment whenever consciousness first arises, whether it begins in the womb, or later after birth, and if so when exactly.

I have very little memory prior to the age of four, but somehow or another, I have this vague memory of understanding English long before I knew how to speak. That as an infant, perhaps even as a newborn, maybe even in the womb itself, I could understand everything spoken around me. And that I also have this foggy memory of not only understanding the meaning of language prior to being able to communicate this understanding, but also being able to sense people's feelings and internal emotional states as clearly as the spoken word.

That for a short period of time during the first years of my life, prior to the age of speech and reason, I was able to tap into this non-verbal language, a language far more powerful than words alone, a sort of direct telepathic perception of thoughts and feelings. I have a vague memory of this that I have carried with me all this time going back to the earliest years of my life. But as I get older, and my memory of these earliest events become cloudier and less vibrant with each passing year, it's hard to say how much of this is actual memory, and how much of it is imagination...but whether it was fact or fancy, I do have a memory of experiencing it.

I sometimes have dreams like this, teaching dreams, dreams of insight, where I wake up with an idea learned directly from my dream. Been awhile though, but I just had to write it down. It reminded me of my dad's near death experience, as recollected to me in my childhood. Where he saw his entire life flash before his eyes, like a reel of film played back in fast forward, having recorded every single moment of his life from birth to death. That's what he said, that the whole story of your life is like a ribbon of film, whereupon everything is permanently recorded without exception.

When you get to the end there is nowhere to hide, no lies to conceal the deeds of your life, all is recorded, every thought, feeling, spoken and written word, every action and experience is an unerasable truth, permanently etched in the conscience of your heart, to be weighed at the end of your life, to determine where you go from there. Heaven or hell? Evolution or devolution? Another planet? Another dimension? Another incarnation, as human, animal, or something higher and more evolved? Who knows.

The first Law of thermodynamics states that "energy can neither be created or destroyed. It can only change forms."

Something tells me that insight into the mysteries of life and death, creation and destruction, transformation and reincarnation, can be partially apprehended from a scientific point of view, through close and careful study and intuitive contemplation of these Laws of Thermodynamics.

Monday, December 13, 2010

As I Am Today

I had a good walk today down by the wash. After having a few weeks of extremely cold weather (at least by Arizona standards) we're now having a heatwave. It was 80 degrees today, making southern Arizona the current hotspot in the country. It was awesome. If only it were 80 degrees all year round I would be very happy. The 100s I could live without, same with the 90s, but I'd say that 80 is about right.

I need to walk more. It's very therapeutic for me, not just for the physical exercise, but for its mental benefits - it grounds me, relaxes me, makes my thinking clearer, sharper, more focused and refined; and it improves my overall mood, making me feel ten times better than before.

I found this great spot down in the wash, that I'd never been to before, a sort of oasis of trees in the sand. I'll have to return there again. It was very quiet and peaceful there. All I could hear were a few birds, and leaves rustling in the wind, intermingled with momentary periods of absolute silence.

Outward silence, is conducive to inner silence. The quieter it is outside, the more you can hear yourself think, and the sharper your awareness becomes to self and surroundings. I was alone. I know it's more dangerous hiking alone, but I prefer it. I don't like to talk while I walk. I look upon walking as a moving meditation, and speech disturbs the peace of the moment, so I prefer walking alone.

I've had no problems with people so far, but I am armed with pepper spray and a walking stick just in case. My main fear is encountering wild dogs and venomous snakes; and also the thoughts of stumbling upon a patch of quicksand are always lingering in my mind as well, especially down by the wash (which in case you didn't know, is a dry riverbed) - just the sort of a place where quicksand has been known to occur - but so far, so good, no problems as of yet.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nature Solitude

I find it very therapeutic to spend at least a few minutes outside everyday, just listening and observing nature, without uttering a single sound.

No talking, no conversation, just listening to the sounds of nature, and observing whatever is within your field of space, be it a leaf, a flower, a rock, a bug, the birds, the trees, the sky. Just spend some time with it, taking note of everything, soaking it all in, noticing what thoughts and feelings it triggers. Therein lies the fruits of nature's inspiration.

Observing nature without speaking is important, because when you are speaking you are not listening. It's good to take a break from human speech from time to time, and the same can be said of the intrusive noise of machines, take a break whenever you can.

That's the one thing I dislike the most about computers, is the noise they make, that annoying hum, it surely must have some kind of subconscious influence on your bodies brainwaves and biorhythms. There's got to be a study somewhere on it, if not, there should be.

I try to sit outside in silence in a mindful eyes-wide-open meditation of nature on a daily basis. Sometimes it's hard for me to find some peace and quiet. The people I live with talk incessantly, sometimes I have to wear earplugs just to get a bit of peace of quiet around the house. Which is another reason why I often stay up well past midnight, because its the only time when the house is quiet.

In order to be able to hear more clearly my own inner voice of wisdom and intuitive insight, I have a profound need for solitude, silence and nature. We all have access to intuitive insight, it's our birthright. Problem is, many people out of habit and distraction, have conditioned themselves to block it out, to such an extent, that this ability calcifies and the connection is lost.

There are all kinds of distractions in our world that interfere with psychic perception. To me, the sound of machines, especially those of an electrical nature, create a sort of artificial fog, made up of noise pollution and electromagnetic fields, that interfere with and obscures our capacity for intuitive insight.

Of course machines and computers have their useful purpose, but their usefulness comes at a price to our health.

How many people look closely into the depths of their soul, the depths of their heart, the depths of their mind? How many people spend hours of the night looking up at the night time sky without naming what they see, just simply observing it as if it were the first time they beheld it, having no preconceived notion of what lies out there, just looking, listening, and feeling the star filled sky with your eyes?

There are many benefits to be gained from this. Inspiration. Clarity of Vision. Insight. Foresight. Depth of Perspective.

When two objects meet, there is an instant communication, an exchange of energies. When you look up at the sky, in a way, the sky is also looking back down at you. Everybody is communicating with everyone and everything they encounter, even if there is no exchange of words, or direct touch, whatever your senses apprehend there is a mutual exchange of communication occurring.

So make it a point to spend some time alone with nature, listening without speaking, observing without teaching, soaking in the psychic healing, that comes from tuning in and realigning yourself with the resonance of the earth and the sky.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Value of Honesty

When asked, "What is a lie?" Augustine responded: "Any statement meant to deceive another." And he also said, "No lie is ever justified for it sets up a dichotomy between what we say and what is in our hearts."

I would say that I am a very open and honest person, and that I put a very high value on honesty and sincerity. I absolutely despise liars and cheaters, brown nosers and backstabbers, people who will say or do anything to get ahead, when it is at odds with what is in their own hearts.

But honesty is not always kind or pleasant. A person could be brutally honest. A person could be cruel and disrespectful and hateful, while at the same time being completely honest about it. So honesty is not necessarily kind or noble, but it is clear and direct, where you at least know that whether you like it or not, what you see is what you get.

Making your intentions clear from the beginning, saves a lot of trouble later down the road. Dishonesty causes many problems in relationships of all kinds, and is a major reason why I think marriages fail, because people were not being completely honest about things from the start, perhaps trying to be someone their not in order to impress the other, or by trying to force an unsuitable relationship to work. But that only works for so long, eventually the real you is going to make an appearance, and it may not be to the other person's liking.

So it is better to be honest from the start. At least you know where a person stands, and you can decide whether you wish to stand with them, or apart from them, to stand for them or against them.

I'm a strong believer in saying what you mean and meaning what you say. If you are honest, there is clearer communication, and less likely to be misunderstandings. You may not like what you see, there may be disharmony and disagreement, but at least you'll know what you are up against, and be less likely to end up wasting energy in counter productive relationships (whether business or pleasure) with people you are not compatible with or who have conflicting objectives.

Why do people lie? Many reasons, but mostly to get what they want, when telling the truth would fail to do so.

Sometimes people may lie due to a personal weakness, perhaps out of cowardice. They are afraid of owning up to the truth, so they find it easier to lie in order to avoid having to taking responsibility for their actions, or having to face conflicts and hardships or unfavorable outcomes.

Other people lie for more devious purposes, not because they are personally afraid, but in order to exploit other people's fears and weaknesses. People lie to control others, to get people to do what they want them to do, when telling the truth would not achieve those ends.

But a lie is doomed to fail from the start, because just like the sunshine, the truth has a way of coming out, and dispelling the darkness of confusion and falsehood, while bringing the truth into the light day.

The sun is a perfect symbol for truth: light, illumination, clarity, perception, understanding. A lie on the other hand, is more aligned with darkness, misunderstanding, confusion, deception, ignorance, and falsehood.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Love and Hell

When asked "What is hell?" Fyodor Dostoyevsky responded, that hell is "the suffering of being no longer able to love."

I would agree. And put another way, you could say that hell is the absence of love, the inability to either love or be loved, to feel love or to express love. Hatred, cruelty, and what is typically considered evil, are all characterized by the absence of love, and as such, are hellish states of being.

Love is about respect, fondness, compassion, kindness and goodwill. There are many degrees of love. Not just romantic love, but the love between parent and child, between siblings, between platonic friends. Or love may take the form of admiration for someone that you may not know very well. Someone you look up to, that you have great respect for, perhaps a teacher, entertainer, humanitarian, or anyone else that you admire.

But love and admiration may not always be mutual. And that is okay. Real love is about appreciation and respect, not about control or coercion. As Sting says, "If you love someone set them free". There is no love in possession, no love in seeking to contain, to coerce, or to control another against their will.

Love is not just a feeling shared between people, it is a state of mind, a way of thinking, and regarding the world. It may be directed toward people, animals, certain activities, experiences, ideals, or things. For instance, I love pizza. I love watching the sunset. I love the scent of fresh flowers. I love looking at beautiful works of art. That is a form of love too, but it is not mutual. The love of objects or things is of a lower quality than that of the love shared, between living consciously aware beings.

There is a critical difference between obsession and admiration, between infatuation and love. Both love and admiration involves the selfless appreciation and respect for another. Whereas obsession and infatuation differs, in that it is entirely selfish, and somewhat objectifying, by seeking the possession and control of another, irrespective of their feelings or lack of mutual interest.

Selfishness is not self love, it is an obsession with self, without regard for the feelings or well being of others. Love is selfless. Obsession is selfish. The inability to love, respect, and empathize with another, indicates the inability to love oneself. Those who are consumed with hatred, and commit acts of cruelty, are in a state of self inflicted hell, "the suffering of being no longer able to love" either themselves or others.

However you treat others and whatever you put out in the world, whether you act in the spirit of hatred or love, is reflected back at you, and retained by your conscience in the permanent memory of your heart.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Going with the flow

I used to get angry whenever things did not go my way. Even little things would bother me. Like going to the store with the idea of getting a specific type of bread, or a specific brand of beer, only to discover that they were all sold out. It annoyed me. Kind of ruined my day. No not really ruined it, but just put me in a sour mood, particularly if that was the only store that carried what I was looking for. Or if I applied for a job, something I've been doing a lot of these past six months, and don't even get an interview, don't even get any kind of a response whatsoever. Not a yes, a no, or a maybe, just dead silence, nothing. This used to bother me. Not anymore.

I'm trying to become less attached to my expectations. This is somewhat difficult for me though because I'm the kind of person that is always thinking ahead, planning things, likes to have some control of the situation, to know exactly what is going on. I like to know the who, what, when, why, where, how of everything I'm involved in. I'm always thinking. I have plans, carefully thought out plans, but then when they don't go the way I anticipate them going, it is hard for me not to be bothered by it.

There is nothing wrong with thinking ahead and making plans, but I've found that no matter what you do, and no matter how well prepared you are, sometimes things just happen that you have no control over. And instead of resisting it, sometimes it is better to just go with it. To go with the flow and to make the best of it. See what you can learn from the change in plans, to see what can be learned from whatever unforeseen events have fallen your way.

I really do believe that every single moment in time, every single experience in life contains a valuable lesson, provides an opportunity to learn something, or to see something in an entirely new and different and interesting way. When you have plans, you have this specific picture in your mind of what you want to happen. But if something different happens, something that is entirely unexpected or undesirable, instead of resisting it, instead retreating from it, or immediately trying to change the situation to go your way, it can be valuable to just stop and look around you and observe what is happening. Look at the situation without resistance, without expectation, and maybe you'll see something there that is important for you to see, something that could be valuable to you, an unexpected blessing, or just an opportunity to look at the situation in a different way, that could give you added insight into something you didn't see before.

For instance, I go to the store and find that my favorite style of bread and beer is all sold out, but instead of getting angry, or trying to figure out all these elaborate plans of going all over town trying to track down some other place that sells these things, it could be seen as an opportunity to do something entirely different, maybe even something better. Maybe you'll use the opportunity to take an honest look at some of the other types of breads or beers you haven't tried before or that you haven't ever paid much attention to. Or perhaps you'll look at something else entirely different, maybe wine, or tea, or whatever.

The point is that whenever you find your routines abruptly altered, and your regular habits suddenly denied, is an opportunity to do something different, something that you may not have otherwise done, but that may turn out to be just as good, if not better than your original plans. Sometimes what at first seems like a misfortune, may later turn out to have been a blessing in disguise.

It's perfectly okay to make plans and to have habits and routines, but when things do not go according to plan, when habits and routines are altered, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, I've found that rather than getting angry or stressed out about it, and trying to resist the irresistible, or trying to change the unchangeable, sometimes it is just better to go with the flow, and see where it takes you. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised that it could be someplace even better than you have ever imagined.

I look at unforeseen events, even unpleasant ones, as acts of synchronicity that are worth paying attention to. It's like, hmm, I didn't plan this, this is not the outcome I expected, or the outcome that I desired, and yet it happened this way, what can I learn from it? It can't be all bad, right? There must be something good in this somewhere. It's like a message, or a sign, altering your course, and pointing your attention in a different direction, that you wouldn't have otherwise noticed, without your plans being abruptly changed, your routines all shook up.

Another thing I do, along the lines of finding blessings in disguise, is when web searching, and I misspell something that brings me to a totally different set of search results, or a totally different website than the one I intended to go to, instead of clicking away right away, instead of quickly correcting my mistake, I stop a moment and look around me, to see what different results synchronicity has brought me to see. And you know what, very often those search engine typos, bring up some pretty interesting results. You should try it sometime. Don't be so quick to correct your mistakes, but instead pause for a moment, look around you, and go with the flow, see what blessings in disguise synchronicity may have brought you today.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Lonely Road to Enlightenment

Knowing that this blog most likely will be obliterated someday, I feel that I have free reign to write anything here at all, anything. Imagine that, such open-ended freedom, such unlimited potential and possibility, to create anything you can imagine, or at least to create the idea of anything, if not the actual thing itself.

So I sit outside in my courtyard, though it's not mine really, I'm just a squatter here, occupying this space on borrowed time. But it is a courtyard nonetheless, which may as well be the courtyard to a royal palace, where I sit in relative peace and quiet and comfort, reposing amongst the cactuses and flowers and hummingbirds and statues.

I sit out here at different times, both day and night, but lately I've come to prefer the night, because it is cooler and quieter outside, and I enjoy being alone with the night under a star filled sky. Watching the stars inspires all sorts of philosophical thinking, and triggers many more questions than answers. I wonder if I will ever transcend my human limitations, and evolve into a more enlightened being, someone who is no longer controlled by feelings of selfishness, or held back by negative thinking and emotions.

So let's just say, what if? What if you were enlightened?

To put it bluntly, let's say that just when you think you've gotten your shit together, in terms of personal growth, psychological maturity, self-knowledge, and self-mastery, that you have become an enlightened being. That you see and understand everything with crystal clear lucidity. You know yourself, you know other people, you know the world, and you know exactly what you want, what needs to be done, and how to do it and why.

You have a clear vision. You see the problem and you know the solution. Not idle speculation. Not a theory. Not maybe this will work, but knowing that this will definitely work, that this is what needs to be done, and it is the best course of action to take. There is no hint of selfishness. No personal ambition. No lust for personal wealth, power, or recognition, just a selfless act of charity, of providing a solution to a problem, that would benefit the entire world.

Let's say this is the case. What happens next? Then the reality may sink in that you suddenly find yourself an enlightened being living in a very unenlightened world. Most of your fellow human beings are not enlightened, and they are not receptive to your message. You have the solution to their problem, but nobody is willing to listen. It's like in that movie Idiocracy. The idiots won't listen to reason. It's an upside down world, where the fools rule, and the enlightened are either ridiculed and dismissed as fools, or they're assassinated.

So what does an enlightened person do in this situation? How does the wise person relate to the foolish? How does the reasonable person reason with the unreasonable? How does an enlightened person communicate their message to an unreceptive audience? What do you do when you give excellent advice and wise council, but your words go unheeded? Or when you know exactly what to do to improve the lives of others, and yet nobody will listen?

Obviously I myself am not enlightened, because if I were I suppose I would have the answer to these questions.

But I do experience temporary moments of lucidity, enough to know that the more you know, the more you see that other people do not know. That the wiser you become, the more foolishness you see around you. That the less selfish you become, the more selfishness you see in others. And that the more you perfect yourself, the more aware you become of the world's imperfections.

In other words, you are where you want to be, but the rest of the world is not up to speed. So what do you do? You've perfected yourself and attained enlightenment, but you still have to deal with an imperfect and unenlightened world. How do you manage in this situation?

Are you a kind hearted person, having removed all traces of hatred and maliciousness from your heart? What happens when you are confronted with someone who is filled with cruelty and hate? How does that affect you? How does it affect you when you show someone compassion, when you show them loving kindness, and they spit in your face?

What happens when you have purged yourself of all your lower qualities, removed all traces of selfishness, hatred, jealousy, dishonesty, only to encounter these qualities in another? What happens when you are doing everything right, acting perfectly noble, kind, loving, truthful, and just, but you are treated like shit?

What happens when your kindness is returned with cruelty? When your love is returned with hate? When you help someone, and they hurt you in return?

What should an enlightened person do in such instances? How does the wise person get through to the unwise? How does the enlightened person enlighten the unenlightened?

I suppose only an enlightened person would know.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Starving Artist, Reader, Writer, Poet

The Poor Poet by Carl Spitzweg

I think this is a really funny picture, because although I look nothing like the character portrayed in this picture, this could be a scene taken from my life. Well not the part about sitting under an umbrella attached to the ceiling. What is that supposed to be some kind of protection from a leaky roof? That's funny, it definitely gives some extra character to the picture though. Kind of gives you the impression like they would be equally at home camped out on a park bench somewhere, with their pile of books next to them sheltered from the rain under their trusty umbrella.

But the similarity I see between myself and this picture, is mostly the part about lying in bed next to a pile of books, taking notes, or writing something of my own after being inspired by something I've recently read, and having my books close at hand for quick reference and inspiration.

I like books, not all books, but great books, books that I learn something from, that I find interesting, inspiring, and thought provoking. I like learning things and reading is a great way to learn. It's also an extremely convenient and affordable habit to get into. And if you are really eager to learn, who better to learn from then from the greatest minds that have ever lived?

Books give you that opportunity, to learn from the greatest, the smartest, the most successful and knowledgeable experts in any field. Where else would you get that opportunity in such a great wealth and abundance, if not for books? You most likely wouldn't. Therefore reading is a very special privilege, but unfortunately it is a privilege that very few people take advantage of as adults. At least according to statistics, where it says that very few Americans actually read books once their out of school.

But what does this mean, that most people stop learning as soon as they stop going to school? Or is that they become so preoccupied with other aspects of their lives, like working and socializing or raising a family, that they lose interest in learning? Or could it be that they put more of an emphasis on different methods of learning, like learning through direct experience and personal observation, the kind of learning that comes simply from living life?

Certainly there is no substitute for real world experience, but books I think when used as a supplement to learning through direct experience, are an extremely valuable source of solidified knowledge, a very concentrated food for thought, that once it is thoroughly absorbed and digested, becomes a part of you. And so when you read books written by the most intelligent and most knowledgeable people in the world that have ever lived to record their thoughts, some of their knowledge is imparted to you, where you now get to know some of what they knew, and without books that likely would not happen. How great is that? I say that's really great.

So where does that leave me? I need time to read. I cannot be working all the time, so that I do not have time to read. Therefore, if it means being a poor starving reader, to fund the time to read, so be it. Just like the starving artist, who hopes to one day create a masterpiece that will finally pay off and put an end to their starvation, one of these days I'm sure my reading habits will pay off too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ebooks: Pros and Cons

What is a great book?

I'll make this simple. A great book is a book that has rereadability. It's something that you may want to read more than once, and each time you read it again, you enjoy it just as much, if not more, with each successive reading.

In other words, like a fine wine, a great book never gets old, but just gets better with time. And great books are in my opinion more enjoyable reading in paper format. Paper is easier on the eyes, and there is perhaps a certain romantic quality about a traditional paper bound book, that will always make them more appealing to me than their digitized counterpart.

But an ebook may be a great format for a not so great book, and more suitable for lighter reading, supplemental reading, preview reading, and for reading on a budget, something that you use temporarily until you can afford to acquire the hardcover version for your permanent collection.

I like to collect free ebooks, to read, or skim through as I see fit. I don't have an actual ebook reader yet, but I use my netbook or my older, larger, dinosaur of a laptop, to read ebooks on. I've never purchased an ebook in my life, but whenever I can find them free online, I save them to my portable flash drive, which houses hundreds of titles in my virtual ebook library.

My ebook collection is primarily non-fiction. I cannot enjoy reading fictional stories in electronic format. There is just something that doesn't feel quite right about it to me. I am a romantic, and at least when it comes to reading literature, I much prefer the kinesthetic experience of hearing the crisp sounds of the turning of the pages and the feeling of the paper in my hands. I enjoy that especially if it's a great book, otherwise if not, it doesn't matter so much. It's just not quite the same reading online, or in electronic format. There is something dehumanizing about this virtual experience, this reading or interacting in electronic cyberspace. It has its place certainly, but when it comes to books, sometimes reading an actual book is a much richer and more satisfying experience than reading it online.

Of course there are benefits to ebooks, aside from their portability and relative low cost, one of the most noteworthy features is in the interactivity and multi-dimensionality of the medium, with hyperlinking, and fast as a speeding bullet information retrieval, where you have the ability to search an entire library for a single piece of information, whether that be a source or a specific quote, in a matter of minutes or seconds, something that could take you hours if you had to do it all by hand kinesthetically.

So if its purely information your after, which is most often the case when reading non-fiction, I have no problem reading it or previewing it on an e-book. But if it's a great book with rereadablity I'd much prefer reading its paper version. And especially if I'm reading classic literature, where speed or time is not a issue, and I just want to sit back and enjoy a leisurely read, nothing compares to holding and reading an actual paper bound book in my hands.

Anyways, most of my ebooks are non-fiction. The only exception to this rule would be when the fictional title may be out of print, or when I would have a hard time finding a hard copy of it, or if I simply want a quick preview of it for whatever reason. Then by all means if I can find it in ebook format, I'll take that over not being able to read it at all. Many of my ebooks are ones that I come across by chance, and similar to browsing a title in a library or a store, may warrant only a brief skimming or quick overview inspection of, and is not something to purchase and take home with you and explore more in depth.

But other ebooks I have that don't fall into this category, books that I would consider great and worthy of a place in my lifetime collection, are simply those that I can not currently afford or do not have the space to keep them. So these ebooks are temporary, a temporary means to a less temporary end. All ebooks, both good and bad, are temporary. In fact, all books are temporary. Just as all life is temporary. Paper deteriorates over time, as do our bodies deteriorate over time. Nothing lasts forever. But a good hard cover book printed on acid free paper, should at least last you a lifetime.

Whereas ebooks, and ebook readers, I think will not last as long. They are more ephemeral, and less dependable. If your electricity goes out, you're out of luck. So you can enjoy your ebooks while you can, use it as a tool to preview what's out there, but if you really love books, make sure to get a hard copy of your favorite books, the greatest books ever written, or anything with rereadability. Being the creme of the crop, the pinnacle of the peak, the best of the best, it will be something that will last you much longer, and that you'll never get tired of. In other words, it will be a worthwhile investment.

Here's a picture of my netbook and old laptop I use to read ebooks on.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cosmic Influences and Earth Changes

I recently read a couple hundred pages of the Criminal History of Mankind by Colin Wilson, but have since grown weary of it, and have retired it to the may continue reading someday shelf.

Basically that book is about the psychology of criminality, but I would like to mention one thing of interest which the author briefly discusses as a sort of minor digression from that subject, pertaining to the topic of cosmic influences affecting or altering the brain chemistry and consciousness of life on earth. The author speculates that such cosmic influences may have historically been responsible for triggering sudden evolutionary leaps in consciousness, coinciding with golden ages of human creativity, and widespread cultural advances happening all over the world at the same time, seemingly in isolation from one another, in the areas of religion, philosophy, science, and the arts.

One of the most profound cosmic influences in particular, were those triggering major changes in the earth's magnetic field, for instance in that phenomenon known as a magnetic pole reversal. The fact is that pole reversals do happen, have happened, and will happen again. Every few thousand years, the magnetic poles of the earth switch places. The north pole becomes the south pole, and the south pole the north pole. It will be accompanied by extreme earth changes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, extreme changes in the weather, hotter summers, colder winters, excessive rains and floods, droughts and famines, and basically the whole entire planet will undergo a complete geographic and climatic face lift. It doesn't happen over night though, it's a gradual process, that gradually increases in speed and builds in momentum over time. And things will probably become extremely chaotic and unpredictable before these new arrangements and patterns settle into a more stable equilibrium.

But the one thing I found very interesting about this whole thing, is that it is said that during the times leading up to the pole reversal, the earth will experience an extreme elevation in temperature. It will be extremely hot, and extremely wet. Record heat waves, and record amounts of rain are the precursors of a pole shift. Is this what we are experiencing now? I have no idea. But they say this was the hottest summer ever on record. So who knows? Something is definitely up, I can tell you that much, and no I'm not referring to the sky, but I think there are big changes on the horizon. And I don't mean end of the world stuff, but you've seen for yourself how the government responded to Katrina. Well imagine if a disaster of that magnitude struck every city, or most major cities having high population densities, all at once. Can you imagine what would happen? I don't know where in the world a safe place would be, probably very few such places exist, but I don't feel secure that I am presently living in one of them. So if you are in the know, and are privy to such information, as to the whereabouts of the new world's Noah's Ark, let me know about okay, as I feel I would be an asset to the future.

Another interesting assertion worth exploring, is what exactly is meant by cosmic influences? What are they specifically, and how do they affect us? Well, the earth is a giant magnet, and all the lifeforms on this planet, including human beings, are of a magnetic nature; we each generate a magnetic field and are influenced by other magnetic fields. And all the celestial bodies, our sun (including all the sun spot, solar flare activity), the moon, the planets, and all the stars are magnetic. The larger the body the larger the magnetic field, and all these magnetic fields influence our planet, and also influence each and every one of us, subtly, but assuredly. As I mentioned recently in an earlier post, not only is our planet spinning on its axis while orbiting around the sun, we are also orbiting with the sun along with the rest of our solar system, around the center of the milky way galaxy.

Every 2000 years or so, we pass through a different constellation of the zodiac. It takes about 24,000 years or so to pass through all 12 signs, also known as the precession of the equinoxes. We are presently in the sign of Pisces, which you could say began around the time of Jesus (Pisces the fish, Jesus fish; See: Zeitgeist the Movie Part 1 for reference) and entering the sign of Aquarius. You've heard of the age of Aquarius, right? This is not just some new age speculation, but is based on an astronomical fact. It corresponds to the actual fact that our planet is literally moving through the galaxy and will physically be passing through the star constellation of Aquarius. And you could conjecture that being in different regions of the milky way galaxy, may affect the magnetic field of the earth in different ways. They say that at the center of the milky way galaxy there is a massive black hole. Some people say that at or around December 21, 2012 we will be dangerously close to that black hole, which may among other things trigger a pole reversal. And that not only will such an event trigger widespread earth changes, it will also trigger widespread changes in our brain chemistry and consciousness.

Whether or not this is really going to happen any time soon, on or near December 21, 2012, I really couldn't tell you. But the fact is that the phenomenon of pole reversals is not an idle speculation, is not new age end times paranoia, it is an established scientific fact. What is speculation though, is exactly when the next one will occur, exactly what will happen, and whether or not it will in fact usher in an expansion of consciousness, and a new age of Aquarius, as it pertains to our planet literally entering the constellation of Aquarius.

Picture of the Day: Universum Flammarian Woodcut (1888)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Personal Reading Inventory August 2010

I'm taking a temporary break for awhile from my studies of imperialism and the globalist agenda. It's been kind of burning me out, there's only so much I can take reading about all the CI@'s and the Pent@gon's dirty little secrets, such as complicity in drug trafficking, training terrorists, the intentional sabotage and destruction of self-sufficient local communities and economies, and the assassination of anyone standing in the way of their globalist agenda. It's really depressing stuff. Especially when you see that most of what you've been taught in school and see on television has been a lie.

The whole thing is very tiring, all the negativity, the evil, the corruption, the injustice. It needs to be known, but you've got to counteract it with something positive, something life affirming, something that gives us hope, real hope that can be practically implemented. Not with violence though, that is the worst thing in the world, that just fuels the seeds of your own destruction. But rather it takes a profound shift in consciousness, a global reawakening, and I think the key to that lies in the actual soil of the earth, in the outdoors, in changing our entire relationship to the natural world, reestablishing our roles as sacred stewards of the earth, and putting the health and harmony of natural ecosystems and the quality of life for all people at the center of all economic decision making processes.

I've been spending quite a bit of time, probably too much time, scouring the web for free ebooks to add to my personal collection, many obscure hard to find titles of a more counter cultural persuasion, specifically those that aren't available at my public library. I've got several of Chomsky's books saved as pdf files on a flash drive that I'd like delve more deeply into sometime, though i'd much rather have the hard copies, as there much easier on the eyes. And have quite a few of The Club of Rome's publications, State of the World publications, several psychology books, new science, along the lines of Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics, The Dancing Wu Wei Masters, The Holographic Universe, Buddhist texts, Yoga, Qi-Gong, health and nutrition, several books on symbolism, anthropology, philosophy, esoteric studies, freemasonry, theosophy, several of Rudolf Steiner's foundational books, organic gardening, bio-dynamic gardening.

I really want to learn all about the soil in a spiritual sense, grow some vegetables, study plants as an art form, as an eyes wide open meditation in movement, as a spiritual study of life. I can't have a garden where I'm currently living. I won't be living here too much longer, the house is for sale, but the housing market here is so bad, it could still be awhile. But I think I may experiment with growing a few potted vegetable plants, maybe tomatoes and chili peppers, on a very small scale, something that is somewhat portable, or wouldn't be too much of a loss to leave behind.

I'm kind of annoyed with myself that I am already in my 30's and still living my life like I'm in my early twenties. I look very young though, still, could easily pass for twenty, but the reality is that I'm not twenty, it's been over a decade since I've seen my early twenties. I must have been caught in a time warp though, because I haven't aged much at all. However, appearances aside, there is this expectation that by the time you're in your 30's you tend to be more established in your life, well, I must have really fucked up somewhere along the line, taken a turn for the worse, because established I am not. Oh well, can't let it get me down. The past is over, today is where it counts the most, never too late to realign yourself to where you'd like to be. Attitude really is everything. If you change your perception, you change your reality. Sacred geometry applied to your life.

I've got a whole lot of books to read, plus I'm also supposed to be seeking full-time employment. Something I dread, because it's so hot, and I'm having problems with my ear, but it has to be done, because I have to move, hopefully someplace cooler before 2012, and I do not presently have the money. But I also must read, so I'm taking a break from the seriously depressing business of studying imperialism, global justice, and corruption, and back to the esoteric studies for awhile, and hopefully some organic gardening too.

I'm thinking it's about time I give the two core texts of theosophy a try. Is it a waste of time mumble jumble, or something deeply insightful? Maybe, Maybe not. Only time will tell. I'd rather read it for myself, and decide for myself, rather then going by someone else's possibly flawed assessment. These are huge books, with a combined total of over 2000 pages. I may not read it all at once, but we'll see how it goes. Both are by Helena Blavatsky, credited as being the founder of the Theosophical Society, written in the late 1800's.

Isis Unveiled
The Secret Doctrine

Picture of the Day: Luca Pacioli teaching sacred geometry (1495)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Computer: First Impressions

My netbook arrived Friday evening, a day later than expected. And what do I think of it so far? Well, I’ve only had a couple hours with it, but my first impressions are mostly positive. It’s fast. It’s silent. It does everything I need it to do flawlessly, even better than my seven year old $1500 laptop did, but at a tiny fraction of the cost.

So I pretty much love everything about it, except for its screen size.

Now I knew going into this that it would be small. That was the whole point. The whole objective being portability and long battery life, without sacrificing too much in the way of overall comfort and performance.

I'm kind of thinking that I may have to be moving soon, perhaps rather abruptly. And I know I've been mentioning that on and off for the last couple of years now, but the possibility of moving, of actually be forced to move, are looming closer and closer every week that goes by. There is actually a very strong possibility that I may be moving in with my aunt for awhile, because the housing situation I'm in right now has become very precarious, not just for me, but for all parties involved. It's really bad.

Anyways, my whole objective is to pare down my belongings. To get rid of most of my stuff. To travel light. And since I wish to stay connected to the internet and continue blogging, no matter what my housing situation may be, I thought a netbook was the best route to go.

Now I've had no previous experience with netbooks before. This is my first, and will certainly not be my last. But after just a couple of hours, I can see that ten inches is just a tad bit too small for my needs, as I've noticed a bit of eyestrain from it. So next time around I think I'll probably go for a slightly larger size screen, perhaps a 12 or 13 inch model.

Though despite its small screen, I have no problems viewing pages with it, everything is clear and vibrant, and the screen resolution is pretty good too, but my main complaint so far is the eyestrain factor. That's really the last thing I need, but I'm hoping it passes, and is just a temporary adjustment, because otherwise it will just mean spending less time on it.

Other then that, I have very few complaints. The only other problem I noticed right off the bat is that the built in touch-pad sucks, as does the built in web camera. Now, I'm a healthy, youthful looking, and fairly attractive person, but let me tell you, its built in 1.3mp web camera makes me look like I've gotten hit with the ugly stick. So I doubt I'll be making my web camera video debut in blog land anytime soon.

Anyways, I haven't tested out the battery yet, but I'll probably test it out quite a bit this weekend. And tomorrow, or rather later today, being that it's after midnight already, I'll probably compose a more thought provoking post, quite possibly even a poetic post, while sitting outdoors listening to the birds and blogging from my new netbook.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What I'm Reading: March/April 2010

My mood and state of mind is very much influenced by the books I read. I'm always reading something, so I guess I am a bookworm, but not a pasty faced bookworm, no way, far from it, I get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. So it's not all books, but they are an important part of my life. If it's a great book, it tends to make me feel great, inspiring and energizing my entire outlook, stimulating a Renaissance of fresh ideas and insights.

On the other hand if the book sucks, well then, it just sort of sucks out my entire enthusiasm and creativity for the day. So often times when I'm feeling uninspired to write, or am having a blogging dry spell, it tends to coincide with a series of disappointing reads.

Books are food for thought. Just like I need good quality nutritious food, I also need good quality thought provoking books, providing me with nutritious brain-food and creative stimulation. And if I'm creatively inspired, then so too can I hopefully do the same for you. This is one way I'm not selfish. I genuinely want to share what I know with others, to inspire others, while also inspiring myself. I take pleasure in it.

And although I may not be very educated, and will likely never again set foot in a classroom, I consider myself to be a lifelong student, and will be a reader for the rest of my life. I like books. Like to be surrounded by them. But not just any books. Great books. Classics. Books of Practical Knowledge and Wisdom. Intellectual Antiquities of Esoteric Studies and Alchemical Mysteries and Magic. I just made that one up, like the way it sounds. People say I should be a librarian, but I don't want to be a librarian. I don't want to work in a library, I just want my own library, filled with great books, antique maps and astronomical charts and Pre-Raphaelite paintings gracing the walls, and globes and statues and fresh flowers and plants beside every row of shelves. I had a dream of this library. Maybe it's my yogic astral travel dream library, where I go and read in my sleep, waking up with all sorts of profound new knowledge, intuitive realizations and mystical revelations of the highest order.

I plan on reading everything by Rudolf Steiner at some point. That's one of my long-term projects. Thanks Zee. But for now, I have a new pile of books from the library, and for the sake of keeping the continuity of this blog going, I thought I'd list them here, as these books will pretty much be my main influence over the next month or two. I've already read Walden back in high school, but I need to read it again. And I've pretty much read most of a Brief History of Everything, but I think I need to read it once more, because I was having major sinus problems and splitting headaches (all last week) throughout most of it, so consequently my retention and understanding of it is a bit cloudy.

1. A Brief History of Everything. Ken Wilber.

2. History of Beauty. Umberto Eco.

3. Worldly Wisdom: Great Books and the Meanings of Life. James Sloan Allen.

4. Ancient Philosophy. Sir Anthony Kenny.

5. Pilgrims to the Wild. John P. O'Grady.

6. Transcendentalism: A Reader. Joel Myerson.

7. Walden. Henry David Thoreau.

8. The Four Yogas: A Guide to the Spiritual Paths of Action, Devotion, Meditation and Knowledge. Swami Adiswarananada.

9. The Complete Essays of Montaigne. Translated by Donald M. Frame.

10. The Writing Life: Writer's on How They Think and Work. Marie Arana.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lessons From Centenarians: Ingredients For Living Beyond 100

I recently finished reading The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner.

This book documents the author's around-the-world search for the longest living people, which brought him to four longevity hot spots, places with a higher concentration of people living over the age of 100 then can be found anywhere else in the world.

These four longevity hot spots are:

1. Sardinia, Italy. The mountainous bargagia dwelling people on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Italy.
2. Okinawa, Japan. The indigenous island dwellers of Okinawa, Japan.
3. Loma Linda, California. The Christian Seven Day Adventists community in Loma Linda, California.
4. Costa Rica. The indigenous Nicoya of Costa Rica in Central America.

What did all of these centenarians have in common? What common ingredients did they share that may have contributed to their long and healthy life?

In a nutshell, the most common ingredients for longevity shared by all the centenarians profiled were:

  • A lifetime of regular low impact physical activity
  • low calorie, nutrient dense, unprocessed meals, with minimal meat
  • simple back to the land, low stress, slow paced lifestyle
  • relatively clean environment, with minimal exposure to industrial pollution, or other man-made environmental toxins
  • mild weather climate, with an abundance of fresh air and sunshine
  • a close network of family, friends, and community
  • a community based on shared spiritual values
  • happiness and contentedness, frequent smiles and laughter
  • a strong sense of meaning and purpose to their lives

All but the most modern city dwellers of Loma Linda California, lived what you could call rural peasant lifestyles, living somewhat primitively, close to the land, with minimal modern technological conveniences or distractions.

All lived simple relaxed paced low stress lifestyles, were close with their families, had many friends, had a strong sense of cultural cohesion, and shared community values based on a common spirituality and culture.

All were happy, content, had a good sense of humor, smiling and laughing often, having a sense of purpose to their lives, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning and continue living.

The physical activity favored by all, were low impact exercises having utilitarian value, especially walking for transportation, housework, gardening, landscaping, chopping wood, tending to animals, carrying groceries, etc. In other words, exercise was not something that was done just for the sake of exercising, it was not seen as being something separate from the daily activities of their lives, but was integrated into their daily patterns of work, transportation, and play.

All were fit, had strength and endurance, but none were super athletes, none were big muscle men, or marathon runners. They looked like average people, more like a slim tai chi practitioner, than a triathlete, or a body builder.

The idea was that low impact exercises, like walking, gardening, and carrying groceries, were more beneficial and more likely to promote longevity then high impact workouts, that wear your body down over time. Light weight lifting is okay, but huge muscleman body building work-outs may actually be self-defeating in the long run. Perhaps the same could be said about marathon running, which may be a great cardiovascular exercise, but its hard on your joints, and over time can ruin them. So regular walking may actually be more conducive to promoting longevity than running.

Most were primarily vegetarian, or if they did eat meat, if was lean cut, eaten minimally, perhaps only once or twice a weak, or reserved for special occasions. All ate low calorie nutrient dense meals containing whole grains, legumes, or tofu, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and except for the seven day Adventists in Loma Linda California, most drank some alcohol with meals. The heaviest drinkers were the Sardinians, who primarily drank red wine, in copious amounts.

And no processed foods at all were consumed. Everything was fresh and in its whole unprocessed state, organically grown, often grown themselves in their own gardens, with no artificial additives or preservatives.

Another thing these centenarians had in common, beyond their longevity, was that they were all in pretty good health, many appearing to be 20 to 30 years younger than there actual age.

All stayed active, and many continued working well into their nineties, and in some cases even into their hundreds. And those who continued working well into old age, enjoyed what they did, they enjoyed their lives, and their livelihood, and it was perhaps their work that imbued their lives with its greatest meaning and pleasure.

So diet, environment, genetics, and frame of mind, certainly played a large role in contributing to their longevity, but the most noteworthy factor, in my opinion, that all shared without fail, seemed to be a lifetime of regular low impact exercise.

You've got to keep moving, keep your blood flowing, your bones strong, your body strong, flexible, and on the move. You can either use it or lose it, but just don't overuse it. Pace yourself, go slow and steady. What do you think you're in a race? Are you in a hurry or something? Eager to die? Because the faster you run, the faster you move through life, might just bring you closer to that final finish line then you think.

So slow down a bit and enjoy the view, because the slower you cruise, the better the view, and the longer it will last.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Strange Dream, BioFeedback Machine, Virtual Reality Stream

I had a very unusual dream last night, a very powerfully lucid dream. I was with my dad in his car, and he was speeding well above 100 MPH, and he misjudged a turn, and we crashed. The car was totaled, but we survived it. At first he appeared to be unconscious, but apparently was just a bit stunned, with some minor injuries. Got out of the car wreck and found that we were right outside my old high school, which was on the fringe of a predominantly black ghetto, with many rough gangsta thugs standing around in groups checking us out.

My dad went inside my high school ostensibly to get help, where for some reason I waited outside alone, but nobody gave me any trouble.

Seemed like hours went by, with no sign of my dad. So finally I went into the school. Normal classes were not in session. There appeared to be some type of military, law enforcement, and martial arts training being conducted in the hallways. Rows of soldiers in training, both children and adults were standing in line in the hallways. Their uniforms were tactical gray camouflage, for urban warfare.

I ventured down into the basement without speaking to anyone, and passed by several people lifting weights. I came into a more normal looking office lobby, but it too was in the basement. At the counter were a few of my old teachers. Mary Ann, an English teacher, and Diane, my psychology, civics, and French teacher. Yeah at my school we addressed our teachers by their first names. I was going to ask them if they would page my dad, so I could talk to him. I asked Mary Ann, but before I could say anything else she says, so Cym it's been 15 years, have you become a famous writer yet?

I stammer, and say, no, but that I still write all the time, and have a blog, but I don't make any money at it. My complete attention was on Mary Ann, but then Diane speaks, where she asked something along the lines of why I don't like her. I guess because I must have been ignoring her or something. I was like, that's not true.

But then before I know it she gave me some ticket, key, or hand held electronic device, and directed me over to another room where there was some sort of psychological workshop or experiment being conducted. She pointed over to some booths containing some type of biofeedback, EEG, and virtual reality brain stimulation machines.

I was lead into a little isolated booth, seated in a chair, where I put on dark glasses, headphones, and some EEG brain electrodes. The booth that I was brought to was intended to stimulate one to revisit the emotional experiences associated with childhood. The glasses contained a computer screen, feeding me a collage of changing images of people and places, meant to trigger certain emotional states, and to monitor the users responses to them.

I think the implication was that there was something I failed to learn in childhood that was holding back my psychological evolution as an adult. There were several other people sitting in their own booths, and different booths were associated with the different psychological and emotional stages of human maturation and development.

I remember feeling relaxed by it, and after wards wanted to try out different level machines, but before I could, I guess I woke up.