Friday, March 31, 2006


Here's a Non Sequitur cartoon about religion. Pretty much sums it up.

Dying by Crucifixion

There is a paper published in the Royal Society of Medicine. Here is the article in pdf format.

Their conclusion:

Our conclusion is that, at present, there is insufficient evidence to safely state exactly how people did die from crucifixion in Roman times. It is quite likely that different individuals died from different physiological causes, and we would expect that the orientation in which they were crucified would be crucial in this respect.

Joshu's Dog Koan

A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?'

Meditate on the answer. I'll post it in comments.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Viking Liturgy

"Lo there, do I see my father- Lo there do I see my mother and my sister and my brothers - Lo there I do see the line of my people back to the beginning - Lo they do call to me - they bid me to take my place among them - in the hallowed halls of Valhalla - where the brave shall live forever!"
Viking liturgy

Listening to The Power of Now

Still trapped in my mind. Find myself thinking about my response to Annie's entry. Realize that I am insane/unconscious. At work, put the The Power of Now audiobook on. Listening to the audiobook stills my mind and then I can feel my inner body. I feel Present. I don't know how my mind rebounded so quickly and locked me into this looping dialog within my head. Is my pain body feeding? I'm free for now and can feel a sense of peace.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Insane to a Degree

Annie wrote a response to the dream entry I wrote about a week ago. She is right about me causing my own suffering. I awoke this morning around 3:00 AM and my mind was going around and around with my response to her comment. I realized that my mind still runs my life and I am unconscious. My mind is keeping me from the Now and causing me suffering. I haven't let the past go entirely. My mind goes from my response to her to worrying about how long it will take to get my car fixed today. The battery died yesterday and a stranger was kind enough to give me a jumpstart. I drove to AutoZone and replaced the battery because it tested bad. I had the kid at the store test the car with the new battery and it shows that I have an alternator problem. Carmax told me to take the car to a Ford dealer since it's still within the original warranty. So, it's off to Ford I go this morning.
So, my mind alternates between past and future. Time to just accept where I am at and focus on the Now.

I'm finally back from the Ford dealer. They didn't get the part in until 1:00 P.M and I was there at 7:00 A.M.. The alternator wasn't bad. A spark plug wire and the coil assembly had to be replaced. Car runs fine now. Nothing wrong with the charging system once the ignition parts were repaired. Counterintuitive how an ignition assembly could kill a battery. Must have affected the computer as well. Finished Thud! by Terry Pratchett while at the dealership. Not as funny as Going Postal, but I enjoy Sam Vimes and the Watch.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Doubt Everything

Doubt everything. Find your own light.
Last words of Gotama Buddha, in Theravada tradition

Essence of Zen

Zen practice is not clarifying conceptual distinctions,
but throwing away one's preconceived views
and notions and the sacred texts and all the rest,
and piercing through all the layers of coverings
over the spring of self behind them.
Daikaku (1213-1279)

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Progression of Light or Truth

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.
Thomas Jefferson, (letter to Rev. James Madison, July 19, 1788)

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.
Abraham Lincoln

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight.
Mark Twain

A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Maxwell Planck

One can argue that these are extreme viewpoints. We are kinder and gentler and more accepting these days. Yet, we have a Christian convert about to be put to death in Afganistan. We have Muslims killing Muslims and Christians in the name of Islam. We have Christians killing Muslims in the name of Democracy and Liberty. We have the politicization of Science. We have Intellectual Relativism.

What is the point of all this madness? Through great suffering, great awakenings happen. Evil redeeming itself. Either that, or Evil will consume the human race.

Follow the Light or the Darkness

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4-5)

I am the light that is over all things. I am all, from me came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone and you'll find me there. (Gospel of Thomas 77:1-3)

There is only the Sacredness we call God. We are nothing, but tools or toys through which that Sacredness expresses itself.

There is a contest between minds going on. Tolle and others mention this. The collective conditioned human mind, the mind that builds enough thermonuclear weapons to blow us all to dust, yet is scared of powering our homes with the same energy. Then, there is the Universal Intelligence - the mind that created the Universe, that evolved Mankind, that evolved flowers and diamonds and gold and many other beautiful things, a mind we are part of and integral with. We are choosing as a race which mind to follow. Things are unfolding as we live. Interesting times. Grin.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Can't fix stupid...

When you marry a woman, marry her for more than her looks. After all, you can't fix stupid. Stupid is forever.
Ron White

Robes of Stillness

To shake off the dust of human ambition
I sit on moss in Zen robes of stillness,
While through the window,
In the setting sun of late autumn,
Falling leaves whirl and drop to the stone dais.
Tesshu Tokusai (d.1366)

Life Makes One More Real

Do you truly know what is positive and what is negative? Do you
have the total picture? There have been many people for whom
limitation, failure, loss, illness, or pain in whatever form turned out
to be their greatest teacher. It taught them to let go of false self-
images and superficial ego-dictated goals and desires. It gave
them depth, humility, and compassion. It made them more real.

Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson
concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time. Even a
brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in
your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn't.

Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive. To be
more precise: they are neither positive nor negative. They are as they
are. And when you live in complete acceptance of what is which is
the only sane way to live - there is no "good" or "bad" in your life
anymore. There is only a higher good - which includes the "bad."
Seen from the perspective of the mind, however, there is good -bad,
like-dislike, love-hate.
Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now


"Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those that a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world."

Saturday, March 25, 2006


"The no-mind not-thinks no-thoughts about no-things."

Buddha's Tragedy

Buddha's tragedy:
He died a philosopher;
They made him a god.

Wings of Desire

Watching Wings of Desire , actually Der Himmel uber Berlin which means Heaven over Berlin. Here's a movie review. It's about two angels who are eternal observers of mankind and two mortals, a film star, Peter Falk, and a storyteller, Homer. One of the angels desires to experience life, to taste an apple, to shout, to be mortal and human. I identify with the angel who desires mortality. I feel my etherealness, my alienness in this world. Yet, I am mortal and can experience. I have forgotten to be grateful for life itself, for simple things. I am rectifying these oversights, learning to appreciate simple things.


You must understand the whole of life, not just
one little part of it. That is why you must read,
that is why you must look at the skies, that is
why you must sing and dance, and write poems,
and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.

There is a Candle in Your Heart...

There is a candle in your heart,
ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul,
ready to be filled.
You feel it, don't you?
You feel the separation
from the Beloved.
Invite Him to fill you up,
embrace the fire.
Remind those who tell you otherwise that Love comes to you of its own accord,
and the yearning for it cannot be learned in any school.

From: 'Hush Don't Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi'
Translated by Sharam Shiva

Friday, March 24, 2006


Sagehood has nothing to do with governing others
but is a matter of ordering oneself. Nobility has
nothing to do with power and rank but is a matter
of self realization. Attain self-realization, and the
whole world is found in the self. Happiness has
nothing to do with wealth and status, but is a matter
of harmony.

Every thought in consciousness has been born into form,
a temporary form and then it dies and goes onto another
form. You could say the whole world is consciousness
having taken birth as form, manifesting as form temporarily,
and then dying which means dissolving as form. What always
remains is the "essence" of all that exists - consciousness
Eckhart Tolle


There are three ways of knowing a thing. Take for instance a flame. One can be told of the flame, one can see the flame with his own eyes, and finally one can reach out and be burned by it. In this way, we Sufis seek to be burned by God.
Unknown Sufi Scholar

Do not believe anything on the mere authority of teachers or priests. Accept as true and as the guide to your life only that which accords with your own reason and experience, after thorough investigation. Accept only that which contributes to the well-being of yourself and others.

Truth Appears Again and Again

"I am a hole in a flute that the Christ's breath moves through, listen to this music."

The Truth appears again and again in human history.

From Zen Koans: One Note of Zen:

After Kakua visited the emperor he disappeared and no one knew what became of him. He was the first Japanese to study Zen in China, but since he showed nothing of it, save one note, he is not remembered for having brought Zen into his country.
Kakua visited China and accepted the true teaching. He did not travel while he was there. Meditating constantly, he lived on a remote part of a mountain. Whenever people found him and asked him to preach he would say a few words and then move to another part of the mountain where he could be found less easily.
The emperor heard about Kakua when he returned to Japan and asked him to preach Zen for his edification and that of his subjects.
Kakua stood before the emperor in silence. He then produced a flute from the folds of his robe, and blew one short note. Bowing politely, he disappeared.


There may be hope for people with Type I Diabetes. A simple injection of Freund's Complete Adjuvant kills the autoimmune attack on the pancreas beta islet cells. It is a New York Times article. Half of the diabetic mice given this simple treatment were spontaneously cured which means that the pancreas can grow new beta islet cells once the autoimmune attack is turned off by the Freund's Complete Adjuvant. Of course, plenty of diseases and cancers have been cured in mice, but the procedures didn't translate to humans. However, the fact that the pancreas can heal itself was a finding the medical establishment didn't initially believe. Same thing happened with the H. pylori discovery. H. pylori is the bacterium which causes stomach and intestinal ulcers. It can live in the acidic environment of the stomach. The medical establishment took ten years to accept the findings that a combination of an antacid and antibiotic would cure stomach ulcers. Resistance to new ideas is common in science. These cases just illustrate that science as a process works, but that scientists being human, will resist accepting the evidence until there is overwhelming proof. Some results are accepted almost overnight and other results take twenty years or more to be accepted.

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is on the rise worldwide due to patients not completing their therapy or medical incompetence or ignorance by physicians.It's an LA Times article.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Subhuti was Buddha's disciple. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness, the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.

One day Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness, was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him.
"We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness," the gods whispered to him.
"But I have not spoken of emptiness," said Subhuti.
"You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness," responded the gods. "This is the true emptiness."
And blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain.


This is from the Zen Koans link listed on this blog. It's a koan called Trading Dialogue for Lodging.

Provided he makes and wins an argument about Buddhism with those who live there, any wondering monk can remain in a Zen temple. If he is defeated, he has to move on.

In a temple in the northern part of Japan two brother monks were dwelling together. The elder one was learned, but the younger one was stupid and had but one eye.
A wandering monk came and asked for lodging, properly challenging them to a debate about the sublime teachings. The elder brother, tired that day from much studying, told the younger one to take his place. "Go and request the dialogue in silence," he cautioned.
So the young monk and the stranger went to the shrine and sat down.
Shortly afterwards the traveler rose and went in to the elder brother and said: "Your young brother is a wonderful fellow. He defeated me."
"Relate the dialogue to me," said the elder one.
"Well," explained the traveler, "first I held up one finger, representing Buddha, the enlightened one. So he held up two fingers, signifying Buddha and his teaching. I held up three fingers, representing Buddha, his teaching, and his followers, living the harmonious life. Then he shook his clenched fist in my face, indicating that all three come from one realization. Thus he won and so I have no right to remain here." With this, the traveler left.
"Where is that fellow?" asked the younger one, running in to his elder brother.
"I understand you won the debate."
"Won nothing. I'm going to beat him up."
"Tell me the subject of the debate," asked the elder one.
"Why, the minute he saw me he held up one finger, insulting me by insinuating that I have only one eye. Since he was a stranger I thought I would be polite to him, so I held up two fingers, congratulating him that he has two eyes. Then the impolite wretch held up three fingers, suggesting that between us we only have three eyes. So I got mad and started to punch him, but he ran out and that ended it!"

The moral here I believe is that one's opinion or perspective is just that, an opinion. One monk believed that the other was enlightened and the other monk was insulted, but neither man understood what the other was trying to say. Both perspectives were flawed because of "a failure to communicate" (anyone remember Cool Hand Luke?). My perspective doesn't mean much because I am one of 6.5 billion human perspectives on this planet at the moment. One divided by 6.5 billion is essentially zero. LOL!.


I've never had this type of dream before. Wednesday, I dreamed about Annie. She had sold the gold crucifix I gave her for her birthday for a fifth of what it cost me to an older woman. The older woman was quite pleased about getting such a nice deal. I wasn't able to talk to Annie about it in the dream. I woke up sad and hurt. I don't really know why I should dream such a dream as this. After all, it is only a dream. There's nothing I can really do to verify whether the dream is true or not, although it feels truthful. I don't wish to have any contact with her any more. The gift was a birthday gift. It is hers to do with as she pleases. Perhaps I am just "insane" or unconscious. Only an insane person would want to suffer in a dream such as this. When I think about the dream, I try to become present so that I don't suffer.

It's been a week and a half since she received the check. It's not been cashed yet. Figured she would have cashed it ASAP since I had to FEDEX it to her.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Sometimes I hear God's voice when a bird sings, calling to me, reminding me to awaken from the dream of thought and preconceptions. Sometimes I see God's beauty in a sunrise or sunset, or the Sun partially behind some wispy dark clouds, the rays of sunlight just so - a still, soundless beauty. The mind stills. A whole, complete full moment of joy, without cares, without worries, full of bliss. Then it is gone. My mind returns and all I have is a memory of it. A satori come and gone in an instant. My task now is to make these moments last longer, to just be. To empty the cup of my mind, to be a naked man climbing a barbed wire fence - the essence of Zen and Buddhism, Tao, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Sufism, Islam, and probably countless other religions through time is this. Who is writing this? Who is reading this?

Everything is Best

When Banzan was walking through a market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.
"Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer.
"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best."
At these words Banzan became enlightened.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

I need to empty my cup first.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Daily Zen

The Daily Zen Quote:

The field of boundless emptiness is what exists
From the very beginning.
You must purify, cure, grind down, or brush away
All the tendencies you have fabricated into apparent habits.
Then you can reside in the clear circle of brightness.
Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091-1157)

The End of Illusion

Each of us already has Buddha Consciousness. We were born with it. Yet, we are taught to perceive that we are only bodies with minds, each separate and alone and vulnerable in this World. We are taught to perceive this way as children. We are told that reality is this or that, that something is good or bad, to conform to the parent's or group's viewpoint. Not unlike believing that the Earth was the center of the Universe, when in fact it wasn't. How many lone voices were put to death refuting that idea? When we Awaken, we see the World anew, see reality differently, or maybe enter a new, more wonderful dream. Each individual has a unique trigger which initiates the Awakening. For some, it is great suffering. For others, it is concerted effort at living on the razor's edge of the Now through religions like Zen or a dangerous activity such as mountain climbing. For yet, others, a word or phrase or image causes their mental resistance to dissolve and they spontaneously Awaken. The Buddha had to work at Enlightenment. Jesus probably spontaneously became Enlightened, though we don't know how. His Baptism is given as the triggering event in The New Testament. For Tolle, it was great suffering to the point of suicide that triggered his Awakening. It is said that women will awaken before men because they are more in touch with their bodies and their minds don't imprison women like men's minds do them. I believe that we are seeing this already. Women are starting to Awaken.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Lone Voice in the Wilderness

I read Michael Yon's magazine. There's an article about Dr. Wafa Sultan and her criticism of Islam and its current idealogy of hate and violence. Here is a link to the online video of Dr. Sultan's speech on Al Jazeera. She is a very brave woman with a message that needs to be heard. Perhaps it will be heard and people will listen. Hopefully, she won't be martyred for her critical, but sensible views.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Killer Joke

Watching Monty Python's Best - Terry Jones. They showed The Killer Joke sketch whereby a struggling British writer creates the ultimate killer joke and he dies laughing. Anyone reading the joke promptly dies laughing. The British translate it into German and use it as a weapon against the Nazis. The Killer Joke was superior to that pre-war joke - Chamberlain announcing "Peace in Our Time!" with Germany. It appears that there is such a thing as fatal hilarity. A sketch by The Goodies apparently killed one man. What a way to go.

Is Life just a Virtual Reality Computer Game and we don't know it?

In the previous post, I quoted John Walker's blog where he reviewed a book by a physicist and postulated that Intelligent Design would explain everything if our Universe was a virtual reality computer game. Computer simulations which model reality use starting values and physical constants along with random number generation to model complex systems. A simulation involving the entire Universe would be mind bogglingly complex. Any intelligence living within the program may or may not be able to tell its environment was artificial depending upon the accuracy of the simulation, the quality of the hardware and software running and supporting the simulation, and the quality and quantity of the energy used to power the whole thing. This doesn't even begin to cover the entity running the simulation, or its goals and desires. One test would be to see how far one could measure certain physical constants to the greatest accuracy and see if something didn't jive.

One movie along these lines is The Thirteenth Floor. You have a computer simulation of a city running within another computer simulation of a city. It's basically what this whole thread is about.

The problem is with this whole gedanken experiment is Consciousness. We don't know what Consciousness is or how to model it because Consciousness can not be grasped by the mind. How can you model something that can't be modelled? Some will say, yet, it can't be modelled yet. However, artificial intelligence is still an unfulfilled dream. No one has been able to build a conscious machine intelligence. We can build simple insect intelligences and there is an attempt to build a conscious machine intelligence by the Brook's lab, but it is slow, methodical, difficult bleeding edge science.

Another way to look at it is The SIMS game. However, The SIMS pales in modelling an entire Universe and its life forms though.

The whole purpose of this entry is to shock your ideas and concepts about reality. This isn't a new idea. Some science fiction authors have written short stories about people as organic ROVs being run by what we would think of as angels. Of course, free will is ignored if you are an organic ROV being manipulated by an operator.

What if our Universe was a Reality Simulation?

Found this topic on David Brin's blog. The original posting is the Sunday, March 12, 2006 entry on fourmilog and Walker, the author, comes out in favor of Intelligent Design should our Universe be a simulation.
"What would we expect to see if we inhabited a simulation? Well, there would probably be a discrete time step and granularity in position fixed by the time and position resolution of the simulation—check, and check: the Planck time and distance appear to behave this way in our universe. There would probably be an absolute speed limit to constrain the extent we could directly explore and impose a locality constraint on propagating updates throughout the simulation—check: speed of light. There would be a limit on the extent of the universe we could observe—check: the Hubble radius is an absolute horizon we cannot penetrate, and the last scattering surface of the cosmic background radiation limits electromagnetic observation to a still smaller radius. There would be a limit on the accuracy of physical measurements due to the finite precision of the computation in the simulation—check: Heisenberg uncertainty principle—and, as in games, randomness would be used as a fudge when precision limits were hit—check: quantum mechanics.

Might we expect surprises as we subject our simulated universe to ever more precise scrutiny, perhaps even astonishing the being which programmed it with our cunning and deviousness (as the author of any software package has experienced at the hands of real-world users)? Who knows, we might run into round-off errors which “hit us like a ton of bricks”! Suppose there were some quantity, say, that was supposed to be exactly zero but, if you went and actually measured the geometry way out there near the edge and crunched the numbers, you found out it differed from zero in the 120th decimal place. Why, you might be as shocked as the naïve Perl programmer who ran the program “printf("%.18f", 0.2)” and was aghast when it printed “0.200000000000000011” until somebody explained that with about 56 bits of mantissa in IEEE double precision floating point, you only get about 17 decimal digits (log10 256) of precision. So, what does a round-off in the 120th digit imply? Not Theory 2, with its infinite number of infinitely reproducing infinite universes, but simply that our Theory 1 intelligent designer used 400 bit numbers (log2 10120) in the simulation and didn't count on our noticing—remember you heard it here first, and if pointing this out causes the simulation to be turned off, sorry about that, folks! Surprises from future experiments which would be suggestive (though not probative) that we're in a simulated universe would include failure to find any experimental signature of quantum gravity (general relativity could be classical in the simulation, since potential conflicts with quantum mechanics would be hidden behind event horizons in the present-day universe, and extrapolating backward to the big bang would be meaningless if the simulation were started at a later stage, say at the time of big bang nucleosynthesis), and discovery of limits on the ability to superpose wave functions for quantum computation which could result from limited precision in the simulation as opposed to the continuous complex values assumed by quantum mechanics. An interesting theoretical program would be to investigate feasible experiments which, by magnifying physical effects similar to proposed searches for quantum gravity signals, would detect round-off errors of magnitude comparable to the cosmological constant. "
John Walker (Autodesk founder)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Doctor Who

SciFi channel is showing the first season of Doctor Who.Cool! Nice to see the show back. Got the old TARDIS with a new interior. Second episode, the Earth dies 5 billion years in the future, and people pay to watch.
Doctor:"You think it'll last forever, the people and cars and concrete. But it won't. One day it's all gone, even the sky. My planet's gone. It's dead. It burned like the Earth. It's rocks and dust before its time."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fiddler on the Roof

Caught some of Fiddler on the Roof on WGN.

Villager: "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
Tevye: "Very good. That way the whole world will be blind and toothless."

Rabbi blessing the Czar: "May the Lord bless and keep him... far away from here."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Snake People

This is strange. Anonymous Julie had an entry March 12th, about Native American names or signs. Stacey followed the thread in an interesting March 15th blog entry about the Native American zodiac. I am snake people it seems. What is odd is that it fits me. I knew I had an Indian soul, but never thought about dwelling on it since I don't know which tribe I was with in that previous life. Besides, all I have is Now and labels and names mean little, although personality and character may be lasting traits throughout lifetimes. What is Universal Intelligence up to? What spiritual roles do George, Julie, Stacey, I, and others play in the dance of Life? Am I doing any damn good at all? Have I brought any one any happiness lately? Does anything I do matter? Should I just Be and let Life take its course? Let "God" steer, although "God" directs me regardless, this I know. I hear my own music, but except for close friends, the friends listed above and perhaps those who read my blog, most are deaf to my song. Or, at least, it appears that way.

Stranger in a Strange Land

I have never felt at home in this world. Currently, I am an alien, in a no man's land between full wakefulness and ordinary unconsciousness. I touch whomever I can with loving kindness.

I just tried to solve my loneliness the wrong way and I should have known better because this is the second time. Not learning from a mistake the first time is foolish at best and insane at worst. I thought with a new person and the fact that I'd grown a little that the circumstances would be different as well as the outcome. However, I was mistaken. I will not make this mistake ever again.

I just completed a 750 mile round trip from Dallas to Odessa, TX and back in two days. My Auntie Audrey from Peterborough, England, was in town visiting my Mother and my sister in Odessa. She asked me today what my faith was. I answered, "I am a heretic". She laughed and said, "No, you're not!" I said, "Well, I suppose you could call me a Zen Christian". She then said, "You are just like our John", referring to her and Mom's youngest brother, my Uncle John. I suppose I am his acolyte in a fashion. I did take his teachings to heart. He is a deeply spiritual man and he feels alien in this world as well, but he KNOWS why he is the way he is. I never doubted him, but I didn't start to understand what he was trying to tell me until I read Brian Weiss's "Many Lives, Many Masters" and Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now". Both books point to the Truth he was trying to explain to me, but I didn't start down that path until my younger brother died. His death made me question all my beliefs in conventional Christianity. I don't know why my grief drove me to tear down my belief structures and then find a Truth I could accept. Perhaps it was my scientific training. I suppose it comes down to this question, "How small is God?" Is God so petty or vindictive that He would condemn suicides or drug overdosers to eternal Hell just because they couldn't suffer in this world any more". Intuitively, I knew that such souls could not be condemned in such a way, but I had little to go on, but what my Uncle had told me and Buddhism. I don't know what "God" is, but I know that the entity is loving, and large and sacred beyond belief, not petty and vindictive or hateful.

So, I will leave you with this:
You are a hole in a flute through which God breathes. Can you hear the musical note that you are? Can you hear the melody? Can you hear the symphony? Are you deaf?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Touched by a young wise woman

Got enough sleep and meditated well. Guess I'm at peace to a large extent. Quiet at work. Will be an uneventful night. Read some entries of Anonymous Julie. I'm impressed by her innate wisdom and connection with nature. She seems to be wise beyond her years for a 24 year old. The fact that she can spell and write excellent poetry gives me hope considering that many of her peers can't spell or construct a decent sentence. Evidently, wherever she grew up, the educational system there hadn't deteriorated unlike here in Texas. The previous opinion may be too harsh considering that I have little data to go on as I don't have kids. Time to just be Present and enjoy the Now. It's all I have anyway.

Started Crying ...

Just sitting at work and started crying for no reason. This dreadful feeling crept in that someone I care about died. Stopped as soon as it started. Maybe I'm just tired. Have to FEDEX the check to Annie, then that will be behind me. I'll be happy when my shift is done for the week. I need sleep.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Weird Wednesday

Tuesday evening, this thought kept popping into my head that Annie would not be content with my monetary gift for her birthday present. She would ask for more and the thought was accompanied by anger. I managed to dismiss it as anxiety since it hadn't happened yet. I had spared no expense or detail on her birthday celebration.

The next morning I awoke before my alarm clock, got ready and went to the airport. I nearly had an accident on the way there. Upon going through the TSA checkpoint, I noticed that my left dress sock developed a hole at the big toe. Finally, got on the first flight to Chicago Midway from DFW. About 30 minutes out we lost cabin pressurisation and the American Airlines MD-80 made an emergency landing at Tulsa. While awaiting word on the aircraft's condition, I called a Chicago florist and ordered two huge bouquets of lillies for her birthday to be delivered that afternoon to my hotel in Chicago. They couldn't fix the problem so I had to board another flight to St. Louis, wait 2 hours there and then fly into Chicago O'Hare. Got into Chicago about 1:30 PM. So, a short 2-3 hour flight became a 6 hour ordeal. Took a cab from O'Hare to the Midway hotel I was staying at. Cost $60 in cab fare.

Annie showed up at 3:00PM. I have blue Moonshadow carnations and two huge bouquets of fragrant lilly arrangements for her, lotions and bubble bath, a couple of decent DVDs, two CDs I made for her and an audiobook, and rose petals for romance. An expensive 14K Celtic Moonstone Cross and chain was the main gift as well as $300. We got a bit tipsy from Rum and Cokes and I was more tired than usual due to the stress of the flight. Took her to dinner. During dinner Annie evidently had a profound insight about me and my dead brother. It might have spooked her, I don't know, but she was very sincere and forceful about it. I believed her then, and was proud of her. I've inquired in my own way and she spoke the truth. After dinner, we went back to the hotel. We had planned to go to a movie, but then she said she was too drunk and then she said I owed her a large amount of money. I had made an assumption that turned out to be false it seems. I didn't get angry, just sad. I didn't have the cash or my checkbook, so I told her to give me an address and I'd send her a check. A fine end to a really great day it seems. Man plans and God laughs. Couldn't even get a full night's sleep. Awoke at 1:00 AM and that was that. Got home this Thursday morning without incident and called Annie on her cell phone and got voice mail. Left a message asking her to give me an address so I could send her a check. Then sent an email. Then went to bed since I have a 12 hour night shift and it was around 12:00 PM. She called me about 12:30 PM and said she'd check into getting me that address and we said goodbye.

So now, I guess the ball is in her court now. Just waiting to hear from her on where to send the check. Have been reciting the mantra about accepting her as she is and looking beyond the form. I am not angry, just confused. Why didn't she cut her losses earlier? Surely, she suspected earlier that I didn't bring a wad of cash with me other than about $460. Maybe she didn't realize it until after dinner and that's when she cut her losses. It was her birthday and she had invited me to celebrate it with her. Was I just supposed to give her money instead? I guess so. Maybe it's as simple as that. Any other day, I wouldn't have made this mistake. I was such a romantic idiot. I wanted the day to be perfect and it was anything but it seems.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What is beauty?

Just a few thoughts. This doesn't encompass the word or label by any means.

Do you love me because I'm beautiful, or am I am beautiful because you love me?
Oscar Hammerstein, II

Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got.
Sophia Loren

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
John Keats

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
Kahlil Gibran

Wisdom of the Day

Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. Primary reality is within, secondary reality without.

Eckhart Tolle

Feeling your inner body is paramount and stills the mental thoughts whirling in your head. You can also disidentify from your emotions to an extent when you feel them. This is one way to walk the narrow path.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Transcendence of Beliefs

In response to George's latest blog entry , Vehicles, I wrote the following.

Why worry about what you believe or how you came to believe what you believe? As you say, it comes down to what works for you, but seen from other points of view, you can either be seen as more transparent to Consciousness, a wise man, a flake, a heretic, a great lover, a fool, some, or all of these descriptions, or none of them. Yet, ultimately, none of these descriptions capture the beauty of your essence or the evolution of your growth as a human being because each of us only sees a glimpse of the other over small periods of time. Only by going beyond time and mental labels do each of us have a chance at glimpsing the totality of another and that experience is beyond words or labels. So, the immediate mindless experience of understanding who you really are will always transcend the labels and beliefs of who you are. All those signposts aren't you, they just point to you. All those beliefs aren't you, they just get you where you need to Be. This is the case for each of us. Ultimately, it's not what we each think that matters, but how we feel and experience life and convey that experience and love to each other via loving kindness and empathy that ultimately matters. This seems to be the heart and soul of the great spiritual teachings. Yet, it is so simple people dismiss it. Universal Spirituality is probably like the Universal Equation that physicists seek, simple and elegant and beautiful - NO MAN, I AM, NO THING/NO SOUND, etc. Morong (another commentator who retorted, "Deep Silence".) said it most elegantly and two words don't make a religion. They describe an experience. They point the way. They enlighten rather than constrict and constrain. All religions constrain, even the most enlightened. Sooner or later, you must transcend your religion/belief system.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Not Sure What This Means...

Not sure what this means if anything:
Observations on New Orleans and Mardi Gras

The following link about the Global Climate Change Report due out means we are probably in trouble, yet there's plenty of denial going on.

This boy steals the family airplane, takes off and lands it safely as reported by the BBC. If I were his folks I'd be grateful that my son was such a good pilot. He soloed with very little training and no one got hurt.

People are now worried about bird flu killing their cats although the experts knew over a year ago that cats could catch bird flu from dead birds.

The funny thing is that all this is true. I made none of this up. Strange days. Best to shake one's head in wonder and laugh.

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