Monday, December 11, 2006

Exquisite Pain

I woke up to pain at 3am this morning. When pain is bad enough it can be called exquisite.

Unless you are familiar with mind consuming pain you are likely to skip over this word as just an adjective meaning roughly "bad". Exquisite pain crumples the egos of grown men like paper, and brings a perspective that makes your previous state of mind embarrassingly ephemeral, as if your personal state vector was written out on the paper being crumpled. There is an edge of the map aspect to severe pain, you want nothing more than to do whatever is necessary to relieve this pain. In a moment, an instant, you are completely and absolutely devoted to the needs expressed by your body as searing pain. Free will? Free will is a luxury of the healthy and wealthy. The less health and wealth a person has the less real freedom they can exercise. As health is constricted so is the sphere of possible freedom, until there is nothing left but adjusting positions and furious thinking, seeking for a solution.

Plans are gone. Habits unusable. Exquisite pain is a small rebirth. Strength is turned on its head. The masculine ego strives to not whimper, and a smile is a victory and a macho exhibition. Writing a blog entry is a critical but pointless expression of what will the pain has left to me. I am in control, at least this much. I can express myself. Some scientists say communication is the definition of life, and this communication is my assertion that I can still be productive, and that this exquisite pain has not brought me to my knees.

This was exhausting, I must now beg rest from the pain.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thoughts on Change

Change is often resisted on a personal level, and
just as often healthy to everyone involved.
-

Change seems to be something that must be practiced
before it can be handled well.
The practice of change is not yet taught
or instructed
in a scientific fashion.
-

We are strangers to change.
We resist change that effects ourselves,
while celebrating change that effects others
(but could indirectly benefit ourselves).
-

We come back stronger from change,
or we don't come back.
This is evolution in action.
-

An aware and fully conscious adult should be
willfully practicing change.
So that when change comes it is not strange
and threatening
but familiar.
-

Two Week Purgatory

I received a new job offer.
Accepted.
Gave notice to current employer.
Accepted.
Now I'm counting the days,
ready for new problems, and
new pressures.
Ready for,
new.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Little Nervous

I feel a little nervous this morning,
  a little anxious.
I’m not shaking
  or curling up into a ball.
Just a little, nervous.
Waiting to be unexpectedly accused
  of something for which I’m innocent
  or guilty.
It’s an awkwardness, that
  leaves me unsure,
  which is not true to
  my nature.
I know this will pass with
  sleep or smoke, and that tomorrow
  I will feel strong and resolute.
But today remains, and I feel
  just a little
  nervous.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Not Knowing is a State of Wisdom

There are many things I struggle to say
Cough, stammer and stutter
I’m daily looking for a way
To communicate
I want, I need, this I believe
; A verbal outlet
; A window to take my bet
If there were only meaningful risks
Long shots are still shots
I wouldn’t be so stiff
with unreleased need.
Life is far too easy.
Survival is free.
Relevance has been re-keyed,
And no one really knows what to do
; With themselves
; Their lives
; Their resources
; Their will
The bookshelves are full
of pages and ineffective answers.
The podiums are manned
with gurus, holy men, and handsome faces
none of which can stand on their own.
They need our need to lean on.
It answers questions for them,
but not us.
I keep coming back to a single purpose
that I never regret:
struggling to say.

Good Grip is Hard to Come By

I’m ready for a new religion
A new belief
A purpose I can hold on to
With handles
And straps

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Always looking up, will trip you up

What is it about the modern mind that leads so much of the population to feverishly reach for the top of Maslow's heiarchy while letting the foundations crumble due to disrepair. The most obvious neglect is exemplified by eating and sleeping habits. Poor diet and constantly insufficient sleep decrease our natural energy levels and creative capabilities, so that the attempts to be more productive by convenience foods and lengthening the waking day ultimatily lead to less productivity.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Emotional Attacks

When you are in doubt, do what you know to do. Do the mundane, the preparatory and the simply useful.

When under emotional threat be slow to action, don't make decisions or force change. Conserve your tenuous energy. Play defensively and be careful while under emotional turmoil. Avoid depressants and embrace distraction. Plan and wait until this passes before you make significant preventive changes.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A small coffee and a sausage biscuit

"A small coffee and a sausage biscuit please"
"Is that all sir"
"Yes"
"That will be one dollar and sixty one cents."

----

Ritual morning conversation. Preceding the daily ablation of time on the freeway. 1.61 is the price of my breakfast, and the first three digits of Phi. Phi is etched inside my wedding ring out to eleven digits. It is the balance and golden rule of nature. Some think it is a foundation of beauty. Every morning I hear this number and count it up.

There is a certain emptiness to the mind during a commute to work. Its a modern ablution, during which I meditate on the price of my breakfast.

--

Humans have a natural capacity for religion and superstition. So I'm not suprised at my reaction. I'm human. I keep ordering this breakfast, as if there is some lesson in the activity, I flutter about this confluence of events looking for meaning.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Role of the Cloister

I realize tonight that I sought a cloister for most of my young adulthood. First in the church, then in decadence, and finally I found a sustainable brotherhood in programming; a cloister always. I was not wrong in seeking this, but in thinking that this was a forum self-realization, instead of truly a place for my rest. In our caves we rejuvenate and strengthen who we are, only outside of this repose can we change who we are. We are social creatures and we cast our distinct shadows in the light of others. We are not unique when alone, but when in contrast with others.
--

I distrust monotheism now. When we are consumed with one god we forget all men, and it is the men who need us and our thoughts.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Force Follows Pity

The Christian church extinguished the ancient pagan religion with laws, threats and fears; tools still used today to productive effect. Will these ancient and practiced tools of impression ever pale in the light of the real benefit faith? Can a monotheistic religion ever feel secure in its position and future among the populace if another religion exists? It can not, and when conversion is not sufficient for the rapine of spiritual drives, force must be used, and where fear fails, the followers of a different God must be forcibly reminded of their folly.

“Would you let a blind man walk into the street? Certainly not! You would stop him, by words at first, but by force if necessary. To do otherwise would be to fail in your duty to love your neighbor as yourself, and speaking for myself, ‘I don’t want to be run over in the street’.”
Evangelical Pastor


Monotheism demands uniformity of religious thought. The “us” and “them” of humanity become partisan and divided by any difference considered significant by the currently reigning clergy. The historical evidence that these opinions change throughout history rarely deters the current sensibilities from stamping themselves eternal and looking with pity on the poor misguided souls living in the darkness of a different opinion.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Path of Inquiry

“The faith of a soldier is commonly the fruit of instruction, rather than of inquiry;”
Edward Gibbons

I’m reminded of the hymn sung on Sundays in the Baptist houses of worship, “onward Christian soldiers”, and on the almost complete trust and weight of discipleship resting on the foundation of instruction in the modern church.

I’m chastised and forcibly reminded that Jesus never recruited soldiers, unless to convert those into friends and brothers, and that he only ever led us into his imitation in discovering and communicating the underlying truth of man’s nature and purpose. The path of peace, as some generations of Christians have embraced, bends the partisan sword of soldiers into the patient understanding of neighbors.

The path of inquiry is where we will see the footprints left by an elder brother we remember and still hold up as a mirror and measure of our own behavior. Where we don’t yet understand, and there will always be considerable amounts, we should rest on the wisdom of our family and the good knowledge of our friends, until we have the time to personally inquire and investigate the truth for ourselves, both enlightening and exercising our own minds in this prescribed and singular practice of faith.

We are not the soldiers of a sovereign but the friends and little brothers of truth.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Always Ready

Ready to fight
Ready to fly
Directionally confused
Tired
Still, but ready to move
Happy in spurts
Hopeful in episodes
With panic experienced briefly in between
And above all
Completely distrustful of all these feelings.
Is this a normal
human
condition?

Monday, July 10, 2006

One Management Opinion

The state to keep
your creative assests
at peak productive potential:

Not under the thumb, so much as
ready to run
dogs straining chains
creative
bound up
ready to rip throats out in whole new ways

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Understanding Experience: Notes

The fundamental difference separating the tiers of human experience is the dilation of time between bounding cause and effect for related units of experience.

--

The dilation of time, between bounding cause and effect, separates the tiers of experience. A fundamental difference between sensation, percept, concept, and understanding is the distance between beginning cause and closing effect measured along the time axis.

This progressive time dilation helps explain why the cone of finite experience expands. It is not the only reason for the shape of the cone; recombination or progressive experiential abstraction also contributes. A third factor, mostly unexplored, lies in how bounds are assigned within the stream of experience for a unit of experience (i.e. sensation, perception, conception, understanding). Clearly time is a factor, as stated above, but there is a variability here that is unexplained. I’m also unclear how lower level units of experience are chosen to form a CE chain, if this is subjective or concrete. How subjective is our experience of the CE chain, are there several, is it a cloud that we pull together to meet other goals?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Considering Nice Leaders

Nothing is more pathetic and harmful than people in authority that avoid conflict. They choose the easy path now while letting problems grow to a point that those within their authority will suffer under what their passivity has allowed to grow. These leaders often want to be liked and thought to be nice people, this is why they will fail and ultimately loose their talented and capable subordinates. They are weak because they will not fight, and they are even weaker because others understand this.

A dissembler can act with impunity in this environment. Under a passive and feckless leader there is no justice. A leader must be willing to defend himself and his interests, and he must be willing to attack. In a world of passive aggressive personalities and self righteous lazy complainers who feel entitled to what others have earned, there is often no choice but to call them out for what they are, and for what they are doing. Only darkness, neglect and a blind eye allows these ills to fester and take hold. This very disease has taken down or crippled companies of great size and strength, it is fatal to small companies.

A good leader must identify these problems, expose them, and attack them. This same leader must also determine the extent to which he can separate his interests from those of the weak leaders. The best fortifications are distance and independence. Weak leaders will always try to leach off of a strong team. Their weakness leaves the strong partner holding more of the weight, and almost always all of the responsibility. One signal way to spot this feckless, spineless, nice leader is to identify what they are accountable for – you will find them with responsibility but no accountability. In reverse you will often find your better leaders with accountability but little authority.

There is nothing more despicable than the weak leader. They make daily lives worse with their desire to be liked, considered nice, and avoid conflict. They do not honor their responsibility, or assume fault when they fail, and they will scream and complain if you even begin to shine a light on their continued slow daily failure.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Personal History: Brief Entry on Religion

I was the most religiously devoted youth in high school. I was licensed as a Southern Baptist preacher at 18. I was actively evangelical. I arranged and led foot washings, bible studies, and interdenominational youth prayer chains with all the willing churches in town. I was studying ancient Christian texts and writing on church reform before I entered college.

I was one of many in college. There were hordes of young preacher hopefuls with similar small pond credentials. We were of all colors; a variety that only a myopic world view can appreciate given such a monochrome illumination. We debated, exercising the details of our belief and setting up a new ego order in this larger pond. In such competition, specialization is a path to influence, and I quickly became known on campus. I promoted disaffection and speculation; reform filtered though a humanitarian lens. I started a church, unaffiliated with the unreformed Baptist corpus division, decided by vote. I published an anonymous underground newsletter on a weekly basis, with a group of volunteers distributing the issues at predetermined locations. It was anonymous because unauthorized expression of opinion was strictly prohibited. Several individuals delivered the issues because authority would investigate, and a single person makes a signal target.

I was overcome by the dean of religion. An ex-girlfriend’s brother had turned me in as the unknown assailant to established belief. He did it out of spite and a juvenile desire for mischief, he was broken, and I didn’t hold it against him. I held it against the adults administrating my education, and entrusted with my development. They were broken too, but reform was not ready for these patrons of Christian youth; neither was understanding or forgiveness. My every submitted paper was entered as evidence, as was anonymous testimony, and a laundry list of bible passages rudely ripped from context and cast at my feet. I was found guilty, no peer opinion involved, and kicked out of the ministry programs, relieved of my scholarships. I was labeled a danger to other tender ministry students, all my investment discarded.

I was disabused of many illusions.

Investment Children

Parental Investment
Species invest time, energy and other vital resources into their offspring. They take critical calories and burn them in service to their progeny, calories they could be using to get stronger or more secure in their characteristic struggles. Some leave eggs on the beach, others raise them for a season, and still others raise them for years. Humans take significantly longer than other species to reach adulthood. There is a critical amount of investment needed to bring offspring to adulthood, at which point they are understood to have a sufficient chance at survival and procreation. Humans have in recent history counted children at age eighteen to be adults. I reference history because healthy modern eighteen year old humans are still fully or near-fully dependant on their parents. Other human cultures allow an earlier maturity and independence, but modern western cultures have been pushing this number back. I would guess a national average is closer to twenty now, and for the affluent and educated it would probably rest closer to twenty five before full independence is reached.

Surplus
There are significant elements of the human population that are investing more in their children than historically normative. We are in a transition. Education levels for men and women of all economic classes are higher than their economic and working situations demand. We have a surplus of education in our culture. We have also begun to get more and more free time and free income for these same groups. This secures, at all but the lowest levels, a group of parents with education and intelligence that goes unchallenged during their work day, and the time and money to exercise their atrophied mental limbs outside of work.

Meritocracy
A contributing factor is the idea of the meritocracy. The belief and trust that merit will win out in the end, maybe not in every specific situation but in the majority of situations, the best will be rewarded. Whether this is true or not is not as important as the belief of the populace that it is true.

Unprecedented Investment
This leaves modern affluent parents in the western world in a unique situation to provide unprecedented investment in their children. We still do not know what this radical change in parenting investment will yield. The children of the sixties became the first of these parents, and they had generation X, to whom we should credit the explosion of the information age. It was this generation of offspring who were sufficiently invested in, that they could dive into the primitive computers with active imaginations and a nurtured intelligence and bring in a new era of mankind. History will look back at this primitive information society and wonder at our rapid adaptation. Marvel at the type and amount of labor required to build programs that support our new economy.

Observation of Acceleration
This is an example of what the first generation of investment children have accomplished. They still live and work, and have much time left to add to this record. They have yet to fully take political power from older generations, although this is not too many years away. In the meantime they are having children of their own. On average they have waited later, and the more affluent and educated they are the truer this proves. They have waited till they were more capable and mature than their parents were, and if observation proves true they are investing more in their offspring than their parents did in them, possibly double or triple the investment of critical resources.

Speculation on Division
What will this accelerating investment cycle bring us? What will our first and second generations of investment children bring forth upon this planet? My speculations on this topic bring more hope than fear. I wonder if the cultural singularity will come or if we will evolve with too much speed leaving ourselves vulnerable to the still savage and brutal parts of the globe. This will cause upheavals and forced balancing of power. We see it beginning now.

Investment Divide
Mankind will change dramatically, at a rate unprecedented, within the next three or four generations. They have the potential to fulfill our hopes for human kind, but we have a global concern; certain parts of the world will enjoy this and others will not. Those who do not are a threat to our offspring. We must equip them with similar advantages, or we must equip our children with the power to subdue them.

Those Standing to Loose and the Final Minority
The future is always opposed by those whose way of life will have to change to thrive. These peoples will wish to hold back change and even regress into our past where their ways of thinking were dominant. They will look ahead at the change these investment children bring and dread the future. Our offspring must advance to a point they can peacefully bring the majority of these people along with them, they can not be ignored or deprived. Their dread must be combated with hope, and assurance that they and their children can participate and thrive at an equal level. Once the majority of hold backs are convinced of this we will be left with the minority. The minority of these will have to be subdued and forcefully dominated until their generation dies off. With every generation the minority will find itself decreasing, and becoming more marginalized and irrelevant to the new world around them. Our investment children must woo and encourage each generation to join into their present; still our anticipated but future.

Undetermined Potential
We are living in a historical time of transition. We would like the world to slow down, but we keep doing every thing we can to speed it up. How else to give our children a better life? What is the limit of investment that we would make in our children? Our only limits are our willingness and our capability, both of which are reaching levels never before seen in such a large section of human society.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Happiness is positive change

I’m asking myself how much of happiness is progression, achievement or moving forward; “things are really looking up”, “life’s getting better all the time”, “I just got a raise, a promotion, or a new baby”. A brief and cursory review of human history makes me wonder if we don’t find our greatest happiness in positive change and our greatest misery in negative change.

Contrast this with the little utopian dreams we nurse in our hearts and minds. Utopias are static; they are perfectly designed and thus never need to change or progress. These are our refuge when negative change has made us unhappy, we dream of a future where we don’t loose and no one suffers; nothing but an escape from negative change. Utopias could never last in reality because man is always inventing, building and creating. Not always for the better, not always good but always forward – direction is qualitative.

So our happiness comes from positive change, but we harbor little utopias in our hearts as a protection against negative change. Everything is purposeful, but I’m just now beginning to see just how pragmatically purposeful we are, even in happiness and utopias.
--

A utopia could never survive the men it was composed of. After an initial calm and golden era, as remembered, the inhabitants of this paradise will begin to agitate for change, and with change will come trials and errors. With change comes work, and with men will come change. Change is work.
--

Men bring change, change is work, and men are always working. We respect those individuals that work the greatest change. We decide whether to loathe or love them depending on how we perceive the change affecting our lives. If these prodigies of man produce signal events that work positive change in our lives then we love them, otherwise we equally hate them, but respect is reserved for them both.
--

A utopia ceases to be utopian when it first changes, and man ceases to be happy when he first ceases to change. Man is incompatible with his utopian dreams, but he will always harbor them because they are a safeguard and comfort to the pains and suffering of this life.
--

Utopias become onerous and subject to neglect when the nature of the men composing them significantly differs from their founding ancestors.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Part Five

It takes a great deal of time to gestate a truth. Tides of conception must sweep our shores before the beach is changed. Every conception must fight for its place within us. There is no more savage struggle; a mind can be overturned in a night. You can be reborn from a conversation, and the exhausting conflict that follows.

At best two people sharing identical mental structures could deconstruct, transmit, and reconstruct a truth without loss. It is unlikely two such people exist. Man does his best to deconstruct, communicate and reconstruct with chronic misunderstanding as his result. Accurate communication depends on the audience’s ability to reconstruct. Whether they have the symbols, intelligence, and will necessary to reconstruct a communication determines whether they understand what they are told.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Redeeming Habit

I like drinking black coffee,
some mornings
more than others, but
I drink coffee
every morning
of every week.

Habit keeps me going anyway;
momentum.

Addiction: reelected once a day;
incumbent.

This morning,
the warmth in my hand,
the steam in my eyes,
make the daily addiction
worth it.
All those mornings of habit
are redeemed
when it makes a morning,
any morning,
feel like college
or that coffee you had on the deck of the ship
staring at jungle coastline
feeling refreshed
and ready.

I think of my other addictions like this too:
one wife,
two kinds smoking,
and all kinds of drink.

The thing to watch out for,
is a significant delay in redemption.
This is when the
Redemption of Habit,
has been a long time coming.

I should keep a journal,
of those perfect mornings
when I feel so well
constructed.
Then I could determine the standard
deviation of my addictions.
Rehab would always occur before
four standard deviations had been reached.
Maybe five.

Another thing I should do is remember.
I must remember,
when the anticipated and
unforeseen moment arrives,
at that moment,
that signal moment of a good addiction,
I must do nothing but soak
And bathe
And breathe
Until I feel so exceptional, that
I have no need to do anything else.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I Hear What You're Saying

There are mornings, sitting at my desk, when I long to move to an unknown city, be poor, be lonely and hungry for success again. I miss the happy care free parties of my youth when we were all clueless and free of responsibility. We had little to loose because we had done so little that was productive. We had just enough education to feel sharp and insightful, and not nearly enough to humble and weight our thoughts, they were light because they were empty. Have I ever enjoyed conversation so much?

Now, I know these are thoughts not meant to remember, but meant to be a prelude to change. Everything has purpose, we are pragmatic machines. So instead of enjoying the memory I wonder at what changes are brewing and bubbling up inside, what tides of drive must I contend with, and how long do I have before the struggle. I welcome it, but that never makes it easier.

Come change, you are welcome here, but I dread all that will transpire. I'm convinced utopias all have a similar element; freedom from change. All utopias are imagined to last forever, in a perfect state set forth by their inspired founders. I struggle with little unnamed utopian dreams, as I imagine everyone does. Working to get something just right, put that last piece in place, and just cruise in a perfect space... Then change comes and blows away the thick smoke of these working class blankets and comforters.

Change is coming, that natural inescapable force of my nature, and I will welcome it and let it rob me of my comfort and imagined futures. I will cling for a short time, not hard enough that it can't over power me, and not long enough that it passes. I will not resist too much.

These innocent seeming memories, of past exploits and pleasures, they come to you on occasion. They always come for a reason. I've described mine, there are many. We are pragmatic purposeful machines, and these memories are a language of argument and persuasion employed between parts of your sub conscious mind. Its all you, but you are many. Attune your ear to hear their words and read their intentions and you will be a better manager of your self.

Don't Pet Me!

When you stop petting your pet dog it ceases to be your pet and reverts to being a dog.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Mild Positive Psychosis

I believe there are people better at living than I am. I think a majority may be. This belief stems from a constant impression that I am not very good at it, and so I believe that someone must be. Contra-observation: I have not met one of these people. More to the point I have never realized them at the moment. Years later, when recalled from that naturally efficient and imperfect quality called memory, I begin to imagine that certain people were perfectly adjusted, resting in the warm center of expectation. I may be better able to understand them now, or it could easily be that I’ve begun to impress my own symbologies and world view on them, as actors, in a play I’m writing for myself, that we all write for ourselves. I still believe they are out there, these happily centered people living well and with ease. I’ve never met them, though I may have remembered them, but how can I help believe when they are always across the edge of the map. How can I alleviate my belief, though it causes undo strain, when my eyes are always in their direction, never seen? My eyes are fixed on a point across the edge of the map and I believe people live there, not yet seen.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Work Spends Me

I haven’t written much lately, and
my recent ideas feel undernourished,
and skeletal, to the touch.

A common poverty

Work spends me,
spends
and spends
until I’m spent.
Good ideas flow
in and back out
not captured.
They will have to come again
when I’m rested
relaxed, and
refreshed.

Maybe after the next
objective, deadline or strategy
is realized
i’ll be better able
to save my time
and energy.
Then I’ll be rested
relaxed, and
refreshed.

A common hope

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dallas in February

Dallas in February, depressing in a truly urban fashion, traffic slowed to a crawl by a persistent two day old drizzle. Everything is wet. I’m late for a job I daily dread. Sitting in traffic, hated habit, out my car window I can see a huge mass of birds infesting bushes, trees and drooping power lines. They make the concrete and glass look pale and sick. In a commuter’s daze, blank eyed, consciousness condensed to driving, I’m fascinated by their numbers, content to think about anything that does not involve my progress or my destination, I wonder how so many survive. The birds, in a twisting cloud of black, lift from their wet urban perches almost as one. My commuter eyes track their movement. In detail they have no organization, pure chaos, every bird moving independently, but in mass they are a fluid cloud, like the exhale of some thick tobacco filled lung. I watched them go, watched them dwindle out of sight, before hunting for a way into the right lane.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Serious Complications

(Follow-Up to Reality Mine)

Most people are tired. They want to be liked and accepted and have little strength left to figure out who they are or what they “really” want out of life. Where is the pay back? They’re too often struggling to not fail, and in the mean time to not feel.

If you reject the world view you are socially expected to hold, you will be rejected. In a world moving past religious, ethnic, and national separations it is your world view that defines “us” and “them”. Otherness has been stripped down to its pure and potent core. Strong individuals will take advantage of the uncertainty caused by this shift, and they will promote world views of their own, gathering up the fearful masses; one vision for the future, one understanding of the “good life”. How long until several of these Reality-Dictator’s clash and we fight fresh wars over nothing, so much as corporate realities. This will signal the fall of nations as the major divisions of mankind. They will have been dead long before but no one will admit it until we join the armies of our human kind’s new dictators.

There will be men who choose their own realities or share reusable pieces from ancient and modern times and synthesize a world-view that suits their nature. Yes, there will still be these men, just as there are now. They will be lonely and few. They will be the small strain of hope that will remain after the Reality Dictators have spent themselves on destructions and vain attempts to control the minds of other men. These individuals will remain, and they alone will still enjoy their lives and have hope within reach. These men of free mind will pick up the pieces and put it back together, and if we are lucky we will all be free to be ourselves; finally.

Reality Mine

The difference between a good life and a bad one is usually expectation and perspective.
Each of us chooses how our expectations are set.
Each of us chooses how our expectations are set.

I’ve too often allowed popular culture, the media, an administration or other people to define my reality. Real personal freedom must include reclamation of individual authority to author reality. Personal enlightenment, freedom from psychological oppression, includes by necessity a personal redefinition of expectations, and actively reshaping the lens of perspective.

My recent frustrations and musings lead me to this conclusion, I am not free until I free myself from the worldview I’m being sold. There is an experiment in front of me now, trial and error; this is my new threshold.

Pre-Colonization Religious Fragment

"Good and evil composes each of our lives, none of us is perfect or constant. We often act wrongly and this builds up, like a layer of ash. When we die, the lifeless ash covering us dissipates into the void. The good in us, which we are born with, that had not been turned to ash and that which built up when we would often act rightly, is pulled back towards the earth. Pulled by a spiritual gravity, drawing us down once again into the ancient home of humanity. Earth herself gives you a new body as you meet her again. She gives you a life that fits you. We are humans because we had enough goodness in us to fit this form and these lives. We are on our way, and this is an advanced leg our race. We are close. Some of our faith believes that there is a great sun of purity and peace burning in the heart of the earth and that is what draws us back from the void and into the embrace of life over and over. Others believe that it is the collective weight of the teaming body of life that makes this world pulse that draws us back and gives us form once again."

"What is your opinion teacher, what draws us back?"

"Either way we are drawn back, and that to me seems the superior understanding. As to what draws us back, I believe that the fire in the heart of the earth is simply chemical reactions and that we are life drawn back to life; clinging to each other. How would another planet have enough life in its belly to draw us back? No we are life, and ash covered as we are it is this life that draws us back and gives us form. We take life with us into space, and it is this belief that will give us the courage and faith to settle our new homes."

"When will we reach out, and add life to new planets?"

"When is in the hands of the technologists, we must put our faith in them. Who will go, is another matter. We must send our greatest souls, so that if they meet an alien form of life they will act with wisdom and consideration. Also, they must have enough goodness in them to draw back those of their numbers who will surely die in the harsh new worlds."

"Those of you who train to be an astronaut remain, all the rest are dismissed."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Quote on the Bush Administration

"Those who propose to take charge of the affairs of government should not fail to remember two of Plato's rules: first, to keep the good of the people so clearly in view that regardless of their own interests they will make their every action conform to that; second, to care for the welfare of the whole body politic and not in serving the interests of some one party to betray the rest. For the administration of the government, like the office of a trustee, must be conducted for the benefit of those entrusted to one's care, not of those to whom it is entrusted. Now, those who care for the interests of a part of the citizens and neglect another part, introduce into the civil service a dangerous element - dissension and party strife. The result is that some are found to be loyal supporters of the democratic, others of the aristocratic party, and few of the nation as a whole."

Cicero, On Duties, Book 1, XXV

Civil War Thoughts

The civil war was more about slavery than I had previously thought, although it still clearly seems to have little to do with the black man.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Quote Related to War in Iraq

"For arms are of little value in the field unless there is wise councel at home."

Cicero, On Duties, Book 1.76

Friday, March 10, 2006

New Reality: Proof Number Three

A lens of perspective does not limit input
A lens of perspective does not preclude actions
Any lens of perspective can bring change
Any lens of perspective can be critical or affirming
Optimistic lens are constructively critical
Pessimistic lens are deconstructive critical
Optimistic lens are affirming in comparison to a positive
Pessimistic lens are affirming in comparison to a negative
Optimism generally encourages topical increase or continuation
Pessimism generally encourages topical restriction or cessation

New Reality: Proof Number Two

Aspects of our reality can be rationally neutral
These experiences make up a majority of our personal experience
Rationally neutral experiences can be viewed optimistically
Optimistic viewings can render neutral experiences positive
Positive experience contributes to satisfaction with reality

Definition: Rationally Neutral Experiences
Numerous events can be viewed optimistically or pessimistically without changing our ability to react or rationally deal with an event. These are usually due to an inability to rationally determine the accurate nature of an event in or aspect of our environment. I refer to these experiences as "rationally neutral" experiences: Meaning simply, that viewing them positively or negatively does not make a substantive difference.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Reality: Proof Number One

There is no inherent wisdom in negativity
There is no inherent foolishness in optimism

Therefore, I choose to be optimistic to the fullest rational extent

Attempt at a Summary

Yesterday's post, disliked by everyone who read it, I'm sure, represented my expression of several personal changes I'm determined to make. I'm making a concetrated effort to change my world view and outlook.

  • I choose to be optimistic to the fullest rational extent
  • I choose to formulate on hopeful visions of the future
  • I will resist the desire to withdraw, and begin to engage
  • I will not look to governement to lead but to represent
  • I will not support the partisan political establishment
  • I will remember that the people are the state
  • I will remember that the majority of reality is internal perspective
  • I will remember that reality is mine to create

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Looking for a New American Vision

I believe in America. I admit our problems. I have faith that, as in our past, we will work through them and come out better for the struggle. Much of our history involves mistakes, owning up to them, and learning from them. We aren't perfect, that is not why I have hope for us. I hope for America because we are imperfect, mostly well intentioned, and practiced at recovering from embarrassing and ugly mistakes. That is a strength. That is the strength of our diverse and often impassioned union. We can adjust and grow. We have. We do. We will.
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An additional point: belief in America is not belief in any one administration. I believe in America, my loyalty lies there, not with an administration. We, the people of this nation, are the government; we are America.

We are not dependants, or wards of the state. We are the state. We hold the authority to make change. We've lent it to an administration for a time. We can take it back when we feel we must. The American on the street has a voice. Is this mobocracy? Maybe, but in the midst of our seeming choas remains the freedom to change. We are America, we are the state, and we are good people with good intentions.
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We are hindered by partisanship. A useless divisive partisanship. Distinct opinions and differences are valuable and intrinsic to the nation but only when topically meaningful. Consensus and compromise need to come back into vogue in political circles, but before they do we must lead the way in our personal political discussions. We lead the way. We are represented. If we have no personal direction and vision, then how will we be directed by the leaders we've lent our vote? They'll be left leading us by fear and suspision.

The new American vision is ours to craft. We can do more than complain. We can expect and hope, and argue out a workable vision of the future that we will be proud of. We empower our leaders. We employ our leaders, to represent our vision of America. We must set the example for positive change, among ourselves. In our conversations we should practice consensus. Let's practice coming to agreement from diversity of disposition.

Consensus and compromise, when dealing with constructive investigations on how to make change in our country, yes. How to change our own minds. I'm a partison in my belief in and hope for this country's future - that is the political isle I see no benefit in crossing.
--

Loyalty can be as critical and cutting as it can be positive and healing, but loyalty has hope and finds reason to believe that the America two decades from now will be superior to the America of today. Perfect? Nope. Better? That is the hope.
--

Our discussions matter, even in miniature, because we are the electorate and we set the direction for this country. We lend our leaders a vote, we do not give it to them. We guarentee to take it back when their rightful term is over. They lead because we suffer them to. They should fear us, not the reverse.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Utility of Prayer

I'm impressed by the pervasive use of prayer, wondering often how practitioners conceive of it so that its use survives all circumstance.

I've heard all the chruch explanations and exhortations to prayer. I've heard it called, having a conversation with god. I prefer my conversations to be two sided. The response to this would involve something about being quiet in your prayer closet and waiting for him to speak or something encouraging you to hear him in the many ways he speaks, directly and indirectly. Inevitably indirect communication from god will convientiently linked to other christians.

So, after all this wondering and rote answer I'm left with the impression that a praying person opens up in prayer and reachs out to his god, who in turn does not respond but in the most subtle and hard to decypher manner. The need to believe that god responds is so strong that any situation can be explained away, even with the thinnest viel of reason, or biblical support.

As the praying christian progresses he has to answer all these questions for himself. There is no open conversation about the reality of prayer and the inconsistancies of our experience with the biblical example. Even bring the nature of prayer into question and you will be put down. Those around you will quote the most trite and rote responses, as if you were just born and not sitting in the same class with them for years. Usually this is humiliating and quiets the questioner. If it does not they will begin to look for some flaw or problem in your life, so that they can understand that you are "having a tough time" or just need to "refresh your faith". See the shift? It soon begins to be about your faith. Instead of trying to understand your question you will soon be softly excluded from those members in good standing. Your voice will now be suspect. Your faith is weak or in crisis.

It is not only salvation that you are expected to take on blind faith, but all the modern tenents of the religion. These tenents change over time and in each time they are held sacrosant, as if they were the same tenents and beliefs held by the disciples themself. This particular dulusion could easily be solved by a good study of church history, but this is not a popular topic.

What is the utility of prayer? Why have we done it for so long? Why do we do it?

How can well meaning christians still quote, "ask and you shall receive" and apply it to prayer?

They don't even try to believe that he will respond directly. This simply can not stand up to experience. So they look for subtle environmental clues. The results of a prayer request can survive experience because they will assume any outcome is the one provided by god, even when its the opposite of what they ask for. Minor mental gymnastics can make this all a loving, if cryptic, dialog between fatherly god and loving but weak followers.

The reason questioning is not practiced or approved is the fragile nature of some of these beliefs. They are easily lost. They rest of thin crusts of logic that are too easily dissolved. So these persons of prayer skate blissfully on thin ice and banish anyone from the pond asking if this is all a good idea or not.

Jesus ask you to believe in him. The church will only believe you do if you believe in them too.

Transmissions from Frank

Frank’s Message to Mrs. Tingier’s Fifth Grade Science Class

There is some seriously perverted shit going on in space. Take away the effect of a basic law of physics and people get very creative. Sure scientists and technicians have made great use of absolute freezing and zero G. “Fusion fuels space™”, right? That’s why I’m up here, that’s why the controlling AI is up here, and that’s why you’ll spend five minutes to hear me grate on your tender sensibilities. All that is fine and good and supports the flaccid utopian time sink, you’re all so enthused about, but the majority of time spent in space and I mean the vast majority, is spent in shameless and unabashed genital stimulation. We are an inventive species. I keep to myself for the most part, but I’ve accidentally ponged my way into one of these low g areas they use. They don’t like zero G, most of them need a little gravity assisted friction to make it work. So they tend to congregate on the outer edge of the stations where there is nearly a quarter of a G. They think they’re so clever, they call these “G spots”, search on that term with “space” or “station” and you’ll get way more hits than you’d imagine.

On the other hand, don’t. It’s disgusting. These perverts live healthier and longer than any other humans in the history of mankind, but their minds are so wet with rot, they must itch like a mother fucker. In space we really have the extremes; we achieved the creation of a sentient AI, which propelled humanity into a peaceful period now in its third century, where the only commodity left, the only currency left to us is time, and how do we spend our precious time, copulation. It makes me want to suck a case of tubes just thinking about our goddamned good luck. There was a moral lesson in there somewhere, find it yourself, I’m tired and don’t think a single one of you will make anything out of your lives that doesn’t involve vaginal fluids.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Religious Architecture

Architecture can communicate the purpose a building served, and indirectly the type of people who took shelter there.

Religious understandings and truths, meaning the buildings we construct across the edge of the map, serve many purposes; a common one being coping with suffering. This has been historically beneficial to many religions, and you can see this in the way they have been constructed. Religions, as modernly conceived, are essentially slave philosophies; they serve the needs of the oppressed and suffering everywhere.

We should study the buildings we live in and make sure they still provide the shelter we need.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Transmissions from Frank

Frank’s Message to Ms. Dowtree’s Substance Abuse Class

Zero G demands that alcohol be consumed in tubes. You squeeze oblivion into your mouth. It’s not drinking. It’s sucking. The tubes are well designed, as you would expect, and quite the collectors item dirt-side. I used to bring them home to my kids after a trip. Other dads bring back t-shirts and stuffed animals. I bring back empty single malt scotch tubes. Always a huge hit at the kid’s show-and-tell. Actually you have to be a bit of a drinker to suck the tubes; most of the normals take their pill in Jello or pudding form, much friendlier in low gravity. The die-hards and the connoisseurs suck the tubes.

I’m a die-hard; just can’t adjust. Yeah, I’m high tech. I’m one of the few people with skills worth keeping in orbit, but when it comes to drinking, or “coping” as my personalized morning psych mantra calls it, I’m old fashioned. I like to get “ping-pong” drunk, and then feel like shit for two days. For those below, “ping-pong drunk” is like stumbling drunk but in zero G its all about controlling your float and managing hand holds. Get drunk enough and that is no easy task. Push off a wall too aggressively and your head is cushioning your shoulder’s blow against a bulk head. Then you spin off and bowl down a hand-holding line of school children. That’s ping-ponging.

Drinking used to be sophisticated. Long after smoking became a shun-able offense, drinking persisted with style. Of course, as my morning brain washing reminds me, that was a very long time ago, and it’s very unhealthy whether from a tube, a bottle or a jiggling cube of Jello.

“The only person I’m hurting is my self.” Every time this unwanted line of reason drags its limp cock through my brain I drop everything I’m doing, yell “damn right” and get disgustingly drunk. The best part is how foul one drunk can make the air on a small space station. Juvenile? Yes, it damn sure is and I’m not proud of it, but it’s my coping mechanism and I’m not giving it up just because you bunch of Nazi fucks make faces at me. I know how important bowel control is on a space station, but somehow you still keep me in orbit. I guess its not that important, now is it?

Friday, February 10, 2006

cherry pit pillows warm

I received this poem today from AGF. She's a german musician, poet, producer that I enjoy. Check her out.


in between winter and winter
lets make our own
cherry pit pillows warm

break away music
awareness from morning on:
everybody is a disaster

look at me
.what i do. during the time
extract from existing

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thoughts on Force and Power

Force is the ability to make change. My force is limited, but renewable. Power is the rate of this renewal. My power is not constant; it fluctuates within a defined range. Environment, especially physical and mental habit, affects the rate of renewal.

Force and power are limited, but with the will to use what is possessed an individual can maximize his potential.

Take Advantage

Force can not always be exerted. We must rest, and so we must learn to be contented: Contented between exertions of force, between expressions of power. Constant expenditure leaves only the capability for the smallest changes, leaving the powerful barely potent.

Some men, living without rest, living with constant acts of change, forget what it feels like to be powerful. They begin to doubt they are powerful at all. These too kinetic men begin to feel impotent and weak, irresistibly dreaming of large scale change and just as irresistibly sinking back into the couch to change a channel, or fill a fresh bowl.

Learn to be content in turn with disturbed. If you don’t enjoy what you’ve wrought you’ll soon forget why you fight. A loss of vision is another sign of exhaustion.
--

We are finite. If you don’t respect your limits, you’ll be the fool running into the cell door, bloody smears and pass out.

We are finite, but not as small as we make ourselves. Learn to be content in turn, and you won’t ruin yourself for something less than a great purpose.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How am i not myself


"I heart huckabees", the movie

If you have not watched this film, I suggested that you do! I haven't been this impressed by a movie in a long while.

My post-movie thoughts: I feel absurd about my life but at the same time more resolved to continue in just the same way, but, fuck it, more of that same way.

How much of my own being do I throttle in an attempt to be appreciated?
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I've been mixing my paints with way too much water.
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God - we're absurd. I've never been more proud of us. I hope we become more of what we already are.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Example

We are not alone.
We feel alone.
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"I'm alone but I'm not lonely"
"I'm not lonely, although I happen to be alone"
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We experience the feeling of being alone, and the emotion of being lonely.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Future Religion

Gene expression is affected by the environment. Define a gene’s environment as everything affecting the organism: habitat, habits, profession, and society. Children, the infirm or the incarcerated are left with a minimum of habit and social control. Adults will be found in a variety of social roles each of which diminish control over some of these environmental factors. Twins may be born with identical genes, but the phenotypic expression can result in wildly different individuals. Our environment is ultimately differentiating.

A person’s actions are not only controlled by his will at the time of decision. Control will also be found in the environment, especially in the order and arrangement of the individual’s thoughts and how he\she has practiced processing information: habit.

Religion answers the fundamental question, “How should I live my life? What is good to do?” How should I act? How should I react? Answering these questions leads us into a qualitative categorization of actions. Religions have learned over time, that to be effective, they must do more than forbid certain actions. They must affect the habits of the individuals, their environment, and especially what and how they think. This has a single purpose; to effect how we live.

The Christian religion has the primary goal of converting people into the image of Jesus, so that they will act and react in the way they currently understand him to have done. Jesus is the example used for the active approximation that is the heart of Christian religion.

Christianity has not grown past Jesus. He hoped it would.

Revelations Intrinsic To Response

When you understand someone you have fewer occasions for emotional response.

When your response to another person's action is emotional, you can be certain that you do not truly understand that person. If you understood them your action would not have been conceptually based, but would have been based on understanding. Conversely, if another person’s reaction to you is emotional you can be certain that they do not truly understand you. Put another way, your action was in contrast with their understanding of you, so their reaction to you necessarily had to derive from the emotional level, exposing the limits or flaws in their understanding.

Do not confuse emotional response with warmth and understanding with coldness. Coldness is a powerful type of emotional response. The greatest warmth and empathy do not infuse emotional actions but those coming from true understanding.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Five Degree Misdirection

There are certain understandings that slip away and then ease back to me. I keep realizing them, over and over, like I'm rotating around the sun. I wonder if I'm turned five degrees in the wrong way, and that's what accounts for slight slippage in illumination.
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One of these occasional misdirections that I experience involves the creative color of my life. At times I will pay attention to my level of creativity and nurse it daily. This is a productive and enjoyable life style. Responsibilities are met, and creatively at that. Then a shadow falls and my responsibilities choke out the energy I used to maintain the creative environment and activities, and at first I'm more productive, but soon this dwindles and without creative imagination making life fun it just becomes a painful chore. Suffering begins. Then the light comes on, and I remember, once again, that I must maintain certain aspects of my life for it to be worth living. Productivity makes many things, but a good life is not one of them.
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I must be useful to myself before I can be useful to my friends.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Born to Suffer

Some men were born to suffer. Rich, poor, healthy, infirm; regardless of situation you will find them suffering. They don't want to, they just find it easier.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Admit It, You Understand

I feel militant this morning. I have a negative energy that I feel absolutely positive about. I want to participate in a well planned killing, command an attack on a respected foe, bleed from a dozen minor wounds, and dig my hands into someone's chest. I want control over more of my life.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pain and Suffering

Pain and trouble are unavoidable aspects of human life. They are to be avoided but only to a certain point. Remove them from a child’s life and you will have a weak useless thing that the pack will leave behind. Remove them from your own life and you will eventually forget who you really are. You can not avoid all attachment (sorry Buddhists) and God will not answer all of your prayers (sorry Christians). Try as you might, you will suffer.

You will continue to suffer until you die. This is simple fact; it is not a problem to be fixed. Suffering is intrinsic to humanity; it forms us in ways that complement pleasure. You are half a man without both of these. Avoid suffering and you weaken. Avoid pleasure and you languish. Avoid them both and you become dead to life, waiting for your time to end.

All men suffer, and they naturally seek solace, comfort; ways to cope. Life brings pleasure and pain without regard to our health or capacities. It is up to the man who understands to balance his environment by administering pleasure and pain as he requires them.

The healthy man is strong and vital. He enjoys the pleasures of life, and grows strong from its pains. He is the master of himself when he can moderate his pleasure and his pain letting neither dominate, but keeping each energizing the other.

Self Aware?

You are only aware of your limitations when you reach them.
Your limitations are only increased when you stretch them.

There is a point when you will thin.
There is a point when you will fray.
There is a point when you will snap.

Most people are unaware of their limitations and apply significant effort to avoid the pain of discovery. Change is work, and some change is painfully unpleasant work. Some change can not be reversed.

Dependability

Men are as dependable as their reason to be.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Things I can't change

“Realistic expectations make life more attractive”
“A balanced position makes living more comfortable”
Life mumbles these lessons to its distracted student

He’s still standing on one foot
Reaching for the root of things, famished
Stretching for futures not promised

Just a little further out and he’ll touch it
He feels damn good about this one
(And probably the next one too)

--
Across the edge of this moment, lies the future
Unmapped, waiting, open for interpretation
Into this unknown territory we make projections;
Constructing our expectations.

We are all personal prophets ,
Predicting our futures,
protecting our ways.

Hope is no lure, it is an instinct
A mental mechanism, that must be aimed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Commentary on a Doctrine

“Sin is that which separates us from God”

Literally, I see no way to be separated from an omnipresent being. Either God is not omnipresent or I can not be separated from him.

Figuratively, I don’t believe Jesus would abandon me when I need him most. Human parents continue to love and care for their children even when they make mistakes. I expect no less of my God.


-- Further Commentary and Thoughts --

I was trained to repeat this phrase as a child at church camp. I have not been able to find a direct reference for this in the bible; it may be there and I just haven’t dug it up yet. I currently believe this to be a direct quote from Christian doctrine, not the bible. I’m sure it could be supported by Christian scripture, but what can be supported by Christian scripture is vast, ranging from the sublime to the grotesque.

I fully acknowledge that this doctrine can be explained in a variety of fashions. The predominate approach, is to explain that sin itself, its very nature, separates us from God since he is perfect. Of course this explanation can not apply to Christians. Their sin no longer separates them from God, Jesus has covered that debt. For those covered by Christ, our sins do not separate us from God in this life or the next – they are forgiven.

This leaves the question: What is the nature of sin in the Christian life? It does not separate us from our God. It does not condemn us to eternal punishment. Sin is left with its inherent negative effect upon our lives. It is the damage of sin in this life that we are left to deal with.

This appears to leave the doctrinal phrase applicable to non-believers only. You may be tempted to hang onto this doctrine in this way, but please notice, the example of Jesus spending time with sinners. He did not separate himself from them. Their sin did not drive him away. He was able to be himself and still be in the presence of those who sin. In fact he talked with, ate with, and loved those with sin. He clearly did not flee from their presence. With Christ as an example, I see no reason to believe that the sins of a non-believer would exclude them from the presence of God, at least where this life is concerned.

This leaves us with a possible common denominator for sin; its real measurable affect upon our lives. This is pragmatic scoping. Both believers and non-believers can communicate about sin at this level. This is not how Paul talked about sin. This is how Jesus talked about sin.

I fail to see how sin can separate people from god when Jesus came explicitly, "not for the righteous but for the sinner." You can't seperate yourself from me, and then come over for a visit.