Monday, December 29, 2014

Paradise

Doing my usual nightly routine, reading a little bit, and watching a movie. I usually always have a pile of DVDs checked out from the library. I go all the time, because I live near one, and pass by it nearly everyday. Even if I've got nothing to return, or don't need any books, I usually stop in to take a look at the DVDs, only takes a minute, new stuff is shelved daily.

I found this intriguing documentary called The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden, a true life story about a group of people that attempted to drop out from civilization back in the 1930s and settled on a remote island in the Galapagos, but things take a sinister turn.

I haven't watched it yet, well, I started to, and realized it was the wrong night for it, needed something lighter, but it does look very interesting, will return to it some time this week and write a proper review. Anyway, I watched a little bit of it and this quote struck me, first by Nietzsche, and another immediately following it by the narrator of the film:

"To live is to suffer. To survive is to find some meaning in the suffering." - Friedrich Nietzsche.

"We cannot expect to find a paradise anywhere, unless we are willing to create it." - The Galapagos Affair

Yeah. Still looking for paradise. I do not think it is in Arizona. But you know what, it could be, in the sense that there is no such thing as an objective, universal paradise for all, at least not in the human earthly mundane realm of existence, but a paradise could be anywhere in the universe, yes universe, not just world.

It's about finding harmony between mind, body, and spirit. Find harmony between your thoughts and the environment, between yourself and the world. You've got to be on the same wavelength, a complementary state of mind, in a way, sympathetic magic, and such. Whether or not a place complements you, depends on whether or not you complement the place. It's a give and take.

Sometimes it's as arbitrary as liking the color blue, whereas someone else may prefer the color yellow. Neither is objectively better, or any truer than the other, but still that doesn't change the fact that some people feel better around the color blue, and others the color yellow. Same thing with paradise. Same thing with any place in the world. I can see that it's not just a matter of finding the perfect place, as if you don't have any involvement in the process, as a place is effected by all of its inhabitants, is shaped and influenced by the thoughts and deeds of its people. In a way, landscape and people are inseparably one.

Don't like where you're living, but stay anyway, you sending out a vibe of hate, discontent, anger, frustration, you're just making the place even worse than it was before. Even if you don't say anything, keep the whining to yourself locked up in your own head, it shows in your bearing, in your face, in your eyes, and in your voice. Because whether a place is a paradise or a hell, is a creation of the thoughts and deeds of the people living there. And that is all I have to say about that.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Split Second Changes

Got woken up by the police early this morning, banging on my door. They were large men, very tall, huge chests, white. Looked like storm troopers. Very intimidating. I felt like a tiny toothpick. Like a flimsy twig that could easily break. Thought they were going to break the door down. Neither I nor the people I live with have committed any crime, so the first thought that came to mind is that maybe one of us was a victim of a crime;  like maybe hacking, or identity theft or something.

It turns out they were here to give a notification of a death in my family. I can't say who, but it was a relative in the UK. Good thing I've got a lawyer in the family, who travels extensively around the world, and will be handling everything. Sort out whether the inheritance goes to charity, or if maybe some of us will see a piece of the pie. It's a huge job. A lot of property. A huge amount of personal effects. At this point don't know much of anything, not even the cause of death, whether it was natural or not. And with the holidays, it may be awhile before we know much more.

Still in a state of shock. Thought this person would live to be 100. It just goes to show you just how rapidly things can change in a split second. Just when you're feeling comfortable, at peace, like all is well, on top of the world, you are plunged in a state of chaos, like bombs dropping out of thin air. 

I'll be alright, not really grieving about it, but I am effected. It's a shock, but more so it makes me think of my own mortality. The fact that, because of my loner tendencies, if I live into my 80s and beyond, I very well may find myself all alone, no children, no spouse, no family, maybe even no friends; which isn't a problem, until you have a problem, and you get really sick, or you die. I value my solitude, but there is still the question of who deals with my stuff when there is no next-of-kin. Of course, I will achieve immortality, so it won't be an issue, but if by chance I don't, it's something to think about. 

Nature Meditation

Sitting outside on the patio before I go to bed has been a frequent ritual of mine over the years, but lately, as in what I've been doing for several months now, is that instead of just sitting out there meditating, I've been reading, and not really paying much attention to my surroundings. And there is much more to your surroundings than what you can see. It's about being present, paying attention, not just looking, but listening, feeling, sensing, and of course thinking, but more so being, in harmony with your surroundings.

Of course, this post is based on an actual experience, as opposed to a theoretical possibility, something I experienced tonight, when at the last moment, after not going out on the patio for a couple of days now because it's been colder than I like, I decided it was a good night to do so. The moment I had this realization, I had only had one beer. So I decided to have my second beer outside, but instead of reading, I would simply sit in silence, watching and listening. It seems easier for me to do when under the influence of a small amount of alcohol, because when completely sober, I get bored easily, would rather be reading. In this sense, I have found that for myself, small amounts of alcohol, when used with a mindset focused on meditation, is somewhat psychoactive. It stills my mind, in a way that let's me experience things in slow motion. I wasn't drunk. Like I said, I only had one beer, and when this experiment was over I had two. Not the ingredients for being falling down drunk, but just comfortably in the zone.

What I learned from this is that I need to do this more often. Just sitting, watching, listening, and not judging. Staring at a leaf, staring at the sky, listening to the wind, listening to a bird, just totally immersed into that nonverbal experience. That has been a huge thing (a major deficit) missing from my life, the ability to relax, to ground myself in the physical reality of the moment, feeling totally alive and at peace. Yes, I've been there before, but lately, not so much. Apparently small amounts of alcohol aid me in that process. I wish I could do that without it, and sometimes I can, but it's not the same. Most importantly for this to work, you must have the proper mindset beforehand. Otherwise, without it, the alcohol on its own has the opposite effect, a dumbing down, closing your psychic channels, effect. But with the proper mindset,  alcohol, and in my case beer, can help.

In small amounts, used in moderation, it's an aid to a certain type of free form nature meditation. The ability to intuitively focus on the mundane things of nature, without being in a hurry, or being bored, or stressing out about it, Listening with all of your heart in the open minded spirit of curiosity and reverence; what you would call prayer without words.

My major problem is that I'm filled with a huge amount of judgmental hatred, which makes me sick, heart sick. But when I slow down and experience nature, I don't feel that. And so it's good for me. Mellows me out.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rio

Ah, yeah, not that it's necessary but, I wanted to alert YOU, the readers of this blog, that I probably won't be updating until the new year. Though it could change, but if it does it wouldn't be until next week at the earliest. Either way, in a sense, you could call this my 2014 farewell post.

Now for an obligatory status report:

I'm doing a lot of reading. I've got a huge amount of books to read, interlibrary loan, which take priority over everything else, because they cannot be renewed, but also a few other great finds I stumbled upon that will be read as soon as I can. I'm just kind of bogged down in reading material right now, spending less time on the computer, more time unplugged and in front of a book, but I've settled into a good rhythm, reading steadily without feeling pressured, so that I don't lose the joy. It's all about the joy of learning, the knowledge, what is gained, inspiration and information. Not looking for trivialities, but mind expanding stuff, and usually it's not labeled as such.

Still exercising. Intending to get serious about it, in the sense of elevating myself to the standards of the triathlete. Just for the record, I'm nowhere near there. Slim, I would say somewhat athletic looking, but as far as really being there, got a way to go, and I'm thinking I need to go there. That really is a primary center of my attention, reading and exercising, not a whole lot much else though. It's like those things need to fall into place in preparation for what follows.

Anyway, on a lighter note, been rekindling my love for 80's music, listening to some old stuff I haven't listened to in like over a decade, thinking I'll put together a "My favorite Songs of the 80's Mix Tape". Yeah, it's fluff, not the best music in the world, but I've been there, and I enjoy the memory. I hadn't really thought of it in awhile, but I was a huge fan of Duran Duran back then, I was just a kid but for a brief period of time they were one of my favorites. And so as I reminisce, putting together my 80's mix tape, I wanted to share one of my favorite 80's songs, definitely up there in the top five, and also probably my most favorite Duran Duran song. Yeah it's fluff, but I like it, I like the melody, and the scenery, there's something I find romantic about sailboats and Rio. Never been there, but in my fantasy world of my ideal self, I am an aspiring sailor, sailing around the world, touring Rio, looking for the New World.

Here it is. I hope you can see it. It's a classic. I'll be back in a week or so. Bon Voyage.



Update: Just found out that this video wasn't actually filmed in Rio, but on the island of Antigua. That's in the Caribbean. Notable residents include: Oprah Winfrey, Eric Clapton, and Timothy Dalton.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Exterminator!

Just finished another William S. Burroughs book, Exterminator! a collection of short stories overlapping science fiction and memoir, which has so far been the worst book of his I've read yet.

I oscillated between giving it two stars or one, two stars out of respect, and the fact that there were a few lines here and there that were pretty good, but finally settled on one, only because it was just too much incoherent rambling, most of it unreadable, and boring, like a series of drunken blog posts written in the middle of the night, that should be deleted the next day once you've come to your senses, certainly not something you'd publish in a book.

That being said, the entire book is not very long, only about 160 some pages, containing thirty stories, mostly between one and five pages each, and couple ten to fifteen page ones.

Some stories were more readable than others.

By the title I assumed that all the stories would somehow be related to, or based upon Burroughs's own experiences working as a bug exterminator, with certain science fiction elements added in, but in fact, most stories have absolutely nothing to do with that. Only the first story, Exterminator!, which evidently is the source for the title of the book, is directly connected to that. That one is actually very readable, and probably the most linearly straight forward story in the entire book, but unfortunately it's not very interesting.

Other than that, I would say that the best stories in the book, are:

Astronaut's Return

Talks about the white race being a mutation originating from a nuclear explosion 30,000 years ago in what is now the Gobi Desert.

My Face

About body possession, switching bodies, transplanting consciousness into another body; see the movies Being John Malkovich and The Skeleton Key.

"Johnny 23"

Excerpt:

"he was a man who did not like to be disturbed...he decided to end the whole distasteful thing once and for all by turning everyone into himself...this he proposed to do by a virus an image concentrate of himself that would spread waves of tranquility in all directions until the world was a fit place for him to live...he called it the "beautiful disease"...he had convinced himself that "johnny 23" would simply remove from the planet hostile alien forces manifesting themselves through other people that would come about through peaceful penetration in the course of which no lives would be lost..."

The Discipline of DE

That's Do Easy, the way of wu wei, viewed from a Scientology angle.

The Coming of the Purple Better One

A Political protest rally in 1968, Grant Park, Chicago. Reads like a travel memoir, slash political commentary, mixed in with drugged out stream of consciousness ramblings.

I found these stories to be the most readable and the most interesting ones in the entire book, the rest is mostly gobbledygook. But still, even this, is nothing special, if anything they are good starting notes, intriguing ideas to build off of, and maybe he did. On there own, it seems incomplete, like fragments, too short even for the short story format.

I'm not a fan of the cut-up method at all, which apparently some of this book utilized, although I am still planning on reading his Naked Lunch, and maybe Nova Express, but it will probably be a major challenge.

The Red Pill

My face is a screen.

I look at my computer, and my cat walks in front of the screen, blocking my view of it, for he wishes my attention directed toward him, rather than it, rather than this. I divert his attention away, moving to the side, using my hands to guide him, like the shepherd to the sheep.

He looks at me, as I look at this, I'm his version of a laptop, a television, a blog, seeking my attention, looking, as I look, seeking a connection, perception, attention, and mutual affection, or so we hope. One on one. Face to face. One screen to another.

In many ways our eyes are like screens. Each eye like a computer monitor.

There is some deeper truth to that that I am unable to articulate at this moment. I think of such books as The Holographic Universe or David Icke. I've read it, both of them, but would have to read again to give a book report, such is the extent of my unconsciousness.

I reminds me of The Matrix the movie. You know it? Sure you do. If you look at that film as being more than science fiction fantasy, but of revealing deeper philosophical truths applicable to the real world we live in, I would suggest you look at the mass media as being a matrix of sorts, that, coupled with that whole apparatus of government, military, the rule of law, the notion of separate nation states, as being a sort of matrix, manipulating consciousness in a way that is not reflective of reality.

If you want to recognize the real life matrix in our lives, the lies before our eyes, you need to concentrate your attention toward advertising, public relations, and all aspects of mass media, particularly that which is officially sanctioned. That's where it's at. That's where all the bread crumbs lead. That area of research is the real life equivalent of taking the red pill as seen in the movie the Matrix.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Magical Nature of Birdsong

Cool title, eh? Yeah, I just thought of it, which is about as spontaneous of an insight as they come. Well, actually, it embodies a feeling, a feeling that arises not so much from thought, but experience, actual, real, physical experience, the realm of feeling grounded in fact; whatever the hell that is. I say that because you could get that feeling in a dream, too, which isn't reality, but is experienced in a way that seems more real than an abstract thought, realized while wide-awake but disconnected from experience.

Anyway, the magical nature of birdsong is something I experienced today, really experienced, as in I was there, being in the full space of time materialized before my eyes and ears and all of my senses. You can't get that from a book, or a movie, or an audio recording. Being in the space of actuality, the space of being present, up close, for real, there is no virtual reality substitute; anything else is a diluted, abstract presentation, a pointing at the moon, not the moon itself.

Birdsong. Awesome. I love birds. Real birds. Not machines. Not recordings. But the real deal.

I was riding my bike, sorry no pictures, did some errands, grocery run to Trader Joe's, took the long way home through ranch country, passed by a pecan farm, and there were hundreds of glorious birds, making the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life. I had to stop. Soak it in for a moment. It was truly magical. I want to revisit that place. That moment. That feeling. But, you know, you can't force it. You go back, and they are not there. It's not the same. The same music does not play whenever you want it to.

The sacred birdsong is not motivated by fear or money or the ambitious strivings for success. They are neither slaves or employees. They sing when they wish. No guarantees. Though there may be some predictability to their schedule, feeding time at the zoo, etc., to tap into the right frequency, the right vibe, of harmonic resonance, of sacred space, that is something that is more of a spontaneous blessing, a rare gift that can neither be purchased or planned. And I got that gift today, and I'm still feeling it. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bike Ride - Scenic 4 Mile Loop

I made some adjustments on my bicycle last night, and needed to take it for a test ride, so I went for a short 4 mile ride today to see how it handled. The problem I had was with my seat post slipping down pretty much every time I road it, no matter how much I tightened it. So last night I removed it, wiped it clean, and applied new grease to the seat post, seat rails, and attachment screws, and it appears to have done the job, because I purposely road along some very hilly and bumpy roads, and it held firmly.

I've walked this loop dozens of times, but this was the first time I did it on my bike. It was fun. Went amazingly fast, compared to walking. I'll have to do it again, soon. Maybe later this week I'll head on down to the old citrus trees growing down by where I used to live, and maybe if the conditions are right, if the fruit is ripe and nobody chases me away, I'll come back with my bicycle rack trunk full of freshly picked lemons and oranges. And if it's a success, you can count on pictures.

Here are a few pictures from today doing the scenic 4 mile loop: