Saturday, February 28, 2004

Pan Horama

If one stands facing east,
With another facing west,
Back to back, how can they know,
Of both, which view is best?
It seems that each would need to turn
For panoramic vision.
But each taking a simple step,
Straight back from where they stand,
Would see the other view reflected
In the face of a newfound friend.

And cached within those mirrored views
Of each companions visage;
The image of the other self
Would be right there to glimpse.
The first and only likeness,
That each could truely see,
Of their self and circumstance,
That which they are and not.
The blurry lines of outline
Even drawn right at their spot.

Got any Change?

I thought he was ready for the metamorphosis.
Eager to work was I.
He reiterated in response to the initial product.
He used his "clarify" where I heard "justify."
Different ways of labeling the same thing.
He wanted to explain his position.
"You need to know where I am coming from" he insisted.
I wanted us to understand the relationship between ourselves and our thoughts.
I wanted us to understand the origin of ideas.
I wanted us to understand root causes.
How that could be interpreted as contrary to any position I do not understand.
It's just a different perspective. It couldn't hurt to try it.
I needed an open mind.
Discouraged thoughts at the office.

I felt she was ready for the metamorphosis.
Eager to play was I.
She passed quick judgment on the first act.
She used her "I didn't like it" where I heard "I couldn't make sense of it."
Different ways of expressing the same thing.
She felt no need to explain her negativity.
"I know what I like" she insisted.
I wanted us to experience the relationship between ourselves and our feelings.
I wanted us to experience the origin of emotions.
I wanted us to experience root causes.
How that could be negatively felt by anyone I do not understand.
It's just a different perspective. It couldn't hurt to try it.
I needed an open heart.
Discouraged feelings at the theatre.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Continual Redefinition

The problem wasn't who you used to be and the solution isn't who you are. The problem was the rigidity of who you were and the solution is the ability to change continuously. Unless you are constantly part of the solution you will remain part of the problem. Progress is not something you went through already, it is something that should always be happening. Acceptance of who you are is important but not if it acts as blinders that hinder the understanding of who you are. Awareness without action is the way of the innocent bystander. Take responsibility for your piece of this broken world and maintain a daily repair budget. Please.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Compulsive Impulsive

I often feel like that stupid fish who keeps getting caught with the same flashy lure. And I keep blaming the fisherman. If he would just stop fishing with that flashy lure than I wouldn't get caught. Why does he have to fish with that flashy lure. Why does that lure have to be so flashy. My compulsion to go after that lure is taken as a foregone conclusion. I don't have to go after that lure. I can just observe it. "Hey, there's that flashy lure I like to chase after, hmmm, that sure is a strong desire welling up in me to go after it, wow, that desire is going away, would you believe it, that desire is gone." Perhaps I could write a book to tell the other fish about the trauma of the flashy lure fisherman cycle. There is a way out, or so I've heard.

Mirror Mirror

I'm having trouble talking to my sister these days. She is like a mirror of myself in many ways that reflects some of the attributes I have started to understand and am working on overcoming. It's the same with my whole family. I see in them some of my worst qualities and I can't help but react to them. I'm a hypocrite. The one I have the easiest time talking to is my 96 year old grandmother who is dying of cancer. I have recently become aware of my desire to be respected, to have my opinion valued, to have people really listen to me. I feel that from my grandmother. Perhaps it is related to the fact that I give that respect to her in the first place. I don't always feel it from the rest of them. I don't always give it to them either. Unconditional love is hard. Life is hard. I am aware that I do not fully understand some of the things I try to explain. I hope that in trying to express them I will understand them a little better. I wish that anyone who listens would help the process rather than hinder it. Communication is an iterative process where requests for clairification are more productive than statements of contradiction. Fighting against the misinterpretations of what has already been said takes away from the expression of the idea itself. I'm not going to learn much if I keep letting myself get the better of myself.


I'm addicted to misery. Addiction is a strange concept. It is an awknowledgement that we are not in control of ourselves. We use it as a term to describe an exception to the rule whereas in truth it is the rule. In reality addiction is simply the failure of our capability to maintain the illusion of self control. It is not the control that fails, it is the illusion. We put a significant amout of our resources into the illusion, so much so that our true purpose is severly downgraded. We are here to facilitate learning. We are here to observe and understand the present so as to make better the future. We are here to help guide the construction of our future selves. What I'm really addicted to is the illusion that my mind is the master of itself. In reality it is just the master of my misery. That my friends is the hardest thing I have ever tried to wrap my little head around.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Symbionese Rosebud

Through some tangential meanderings about the web I discovered that I share my birth date with an incident involving the Symbionese Liberation Army; a robbery of the Crocker National Bank in Carmichael, California that resulted in the death of Myrna Opsahl. This lead me to the particulars of one Patricia Hearst who at the time was going by the name Tania. This made me think of the computer military strategy game Command and Conquer Red Alert that I found myself playing quite frequently back in my carefree days of higher education. The Soviet side had this character named Tania who was a skilled marksman who was also capable of planting explosives in enemy buildings. I always wondered what significance the name Tania held. I think I may have figured it out. So this also led me to be reminded that William Randolph Hearst may have been instrumental in publicizing and orchestrating a 1937 oil-and-timber-industry-led media campaign to discredit hemp and marijuana which led to both the drug and plant being outlawed within months. I was also reminded of Citizen Kane.

The extreme measures people will undertake in the name of what they believe are a great hypocrisy. Anger does not cure madness. Misinformation does not cure ignorance. Fear does not lead to harmony. Obedience does not imply respect. The hearts of men cannot be purchased or coerced. Goodness is not equivalent to the propagation of your own truth or the destruction of another's truth. Goodness is the constant seeking out of new truth, the constant reevaluation of that in which you believe, and the awareness and willingness to feel and selectively follow your instincts.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Doors of Perception

There has been a convergence of sorts. Jim Morrison, Aldus Huxley, and myself. Coincidence? Awareness selected for me? Unfinished business? Ripe fruit? Don't mind me, I haven't even opened pandora's yellow mega-block yet. I think I am lonely for old friends today. All of them. Shall I put my spurs back on and ride this storm? Can I open all the doors to my dome at once? Wundaful!

Friday, February 20, 2004

A Buckminister Triolet

Our geodesic domes of form
We build to make discrete the waves;
A dual light and matter storm.
Our geodesic domes of form.
Finite fractaling is the norm;
The status quo of tyrant slaves.
Our geodesic domes of form
We build to make discrete the waves.

Mystic Lava Flow

Yesterday at the warehouse I was strangely compelled to go to my aisle and survey my belongings. I was reminded of this time last year when I was going through everything I owned to do an audit of sorts and to repackage anything that might have been thrown together too hastily when I moved out of New Hampshire. I was preparing to move to California. Well yesterday for some reason I picked up one of my boxes and read the label on the one below. It said "bedside table lamp and lava lamp." I had been thinking about the lava lamp and that I should give it to my brother so I unpacked it and brought it home. I tossed my backpack in my room as always and wouldn't usually have touched it again until the morning when I would be packing it with my lunch and supply of water for the day. For some reason after dinner I was again mysteriously compelled, this time to empty out my bag and replenish my supply of snacking nuts. I discovered the lamp and brought it up to my brother who told me that he had always wanted a lava lamp. He plugged in the lamp and returned to the basement with me to hang out. He sat on my bed asking me questions about anything and everything while I sorted through a pile of stuff to file. I think we both needed that conversation. I sometimes wonder about the incomprehensible forces that guide us through life. When you stop fighting against them good stuff tends to happen. Or perhaps I should say the the good stuff is simply the absence of fighting against nature. I wont use the "G" word as that carries with it way too much bagage. It's just a word anyways. A word to describe that incomprehensible thing of which we find ourselves an integral part. Thanks for the lamp Bruno, it was a seed that, like its blob of solidified lava-like substance, has awoken from its static slumber and now emits a dynamic light akin to the dance of life itself.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Demolition or Reconstruction

Well, the greatest single example of "fakery for the sake of how it looks" in my life has been unveiled. The facade of my father's relationship with my step-mother is being broken down. There is talk that if the quote for renovation is too high the building may be left in its dismantled state. There was a time in my life when that was exactly what I wanted. I just wanted her to go away. I see things differently today. If one man and one woman cannot work out their differences then what hope is there for all of humanity pulling it off? I explained to them my theory that what they were unable to work out between them would be left for their kids to either work out or again burden their own children with. I finally started to talk to my dad about some of the stuff I have been meaning to talk to him about. I'm just trying to help by sharing my understanding of my feelings over the past thirteen years. Who knows where this is all going.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Poetry Day

Yesterday was Poetry Day. What a day it was. Historically my listening skills have been closely coupled with my intellect. An engineering lecture requires constant conscious integration of new information structures with those you are already familiar with. I used to try to do the same with poetry. "Oh that makes sense, oh I see the pattern there, oh that image/metaphor/allegory describes/alludes to/demonstrates this or that fundamental truth." As soon as you start thinking about the poetry while you are listening to the poetry you cease to be truly listening. Yesterday I used recently acquired skills to allow myself to do a lot more true listening. My intellect was focused on observing my response. I was moved. Waves of emotion danced over my body as I simply listened to spoken words. Given, those words were intricately crafted, charged with icon shattering potential, capable of melting down the dye forms of language itself. I will attempt to quote Nah-ee-lah and say "I do not live in abstraction." Well I am trying to remain aware of that fact; constantly reminding myself of the limitations of my own thought. I met John Sobol and Fortner Anderson. I experienced a "Master Class" given by Anne Waldman. I listened to archived recordings of Alan Ginsburg. I relaxed and absorbed the ambiance at Casa del Popolo. I walked the frigid streets of Montreal. I slurped veg-pho in China town. I felt ever so briefly part of something bigger. I shared myself with a stranger and touched her life. I allowed my life to be touched. I thrice answered the question "Are you a poet?" incorrectly. We are all poets. Time to begin my work of disembodied engineering. Find it, know it, be it.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

The Kingdom of Truth

"...we have to stumble through so much dirt and humbug before we reach home. And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness." - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Trust Me

I'm tired of explaining myself to people who have stopped listening and are content with the image they have generated from what I have already said. I'm supposed to pity them rather than react to this behavior. I still feel that need to keep explaining, keep justifying, keep trying to make them understand. I think that's just me trying to explain and justify things to myself. I'm still trying to understand myself rather than being myself. I should be laughing but it still seems like such serious business. It's not. I want people to believe that I know what I'm doing. I don't, I just trust that I do. That is how I need to explain things, no matter how aggravated some people get when I do.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Ancestral Karma

Unresolved conflict. I have realized that I am dealing with a pile of it, a big stinking pile. The crappy thing about it is that I inherited a bunch of it. Stuff my parents/step parents were unable to work out between them in the outside world lives on within me as internal conflict. Stuff my parents were unable to work out with their parents, with their siblings, with the universe, and with themselves I have inherited. I'm not complaining, I love a good challenge. It just makes it difficult to not hold a grudge and to keep the focus within. I'm hoping that I can share my internal victories with them and others to help with their own battles. If you think you don't have any unresolved conflict of your own then you better get back to delusion land, your rose coloured glasses will interfere with your ability to understand what is being discussed here.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Return of Lucidity?

I woke up this morning, meditated, had breakfast, then went back to sleep. I had a lot of dreams. They were all the semi-lucid type where part of me knew I was dreaming and was analyzing the dream process. Part of me was watching it all happen amazed at the detail of each moment but also aware of the fragmentary nature of the experience.

The only one that I can consciously remember involved a very large slightly inclined cliff of skull sized black piled stones at the edge of a body of water. I could see people swimming in the water, some at extreme depths. I wanted to go in the water but feared the idea of diving or jumping from the top of the cliff. I slowly climbed down the steep and precarious piled wall of stones until I reached the edge of the water. There I noticed a door which I assumed might be some sort of shortcut to the top. I decided not to go in the water but instead began to think about getting back to the top of the cliff. Looking up the piled stones looked insurmountable. I was concerned about the whole thing coming down on me. I felt my way carefully and found that some of the stones were solidly anchored and could support my entire body weight hanging from them. I became very confident of my grip and slowly began pulling myself up the cliff, all the while being very selective of which stones to hold on to. It seemed that the solidly anchored stones became readily apparent and almost lit up indicating a pathway to the top. I intentionally knocked one of the non-solid stones loose and without watching it fall waited for the sound of it landing in the water. The lucid dreamer side of me was particularly eager to judge the quality of the splash sound. It was exactly as expected and as real as could be imagined. I then decided that I should be very near to the top, and so I was. I then became very aware of the dream, changed positions, and slid into another.

I don't know what it means that I am often aware that I am dreaming. The meditation course I took had me thinking about my lucid dreams. It had been a long time since I had experienced one without the awareness triggering waking up or at least the end of that particular dream. Meditation is like lucid dreaming; they both require a balance in the mind. If I am dreaming and aware of that dreaming I must not let the awareness disrupt the dream or it will all fall apart. Recently I think my sleep has been disturbed by waking up due to dream state recognition. Perhaps this signifies the turning of the dream tide from disruption back to construction. Perhaps I no longer fear what my natural inner reality has to say.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

A Walk in the Arboretum

Recursive algorithms are useful for traversing the hierarchy of a tree data structure. Starting from the base node a subroutine can continuously call itself with the children of that node as arguments until it reaches the desired depth or node of the tree. Nodes encountered without children are known as a leaf nodes. It is at the leaf nodes that growth occurs. It is at the leaf nodes that we define the frontier of the collection. It is the leaf nodes that contain all the relevant data, the other nodes exist solely as a means to organize and systematically access them. When was the last time that your leaf nodes were accessed? How deep have you allowed the recursion to go? Are you only working with the organization and access system or are you pushing out the frontier? Every leaf node is a potential parent. Some people focus on building a tree in their minds while others believe that the tree already exists and patiently waits to be traversed. As usual the truth is probably some balance between the two.

Serenity Now!

The problem with human life is exponential growth. We react to something, then react to those reactions, then we react to those reactions to the original reaction, and so on, and so on and so on. This applies to both elation and depression. Our mind is an amplifier fed back upon itself. So instead of connecting our minds exclusively to the reaction and outputing a new reaction we need to include a new input, our current state of equilibrium. Only then can we experience that our negative output is the cause of our negative input. Only then can we begin to understand our negative behavior patterns. Only then can we say that we know ourselves.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Experiential Wisdom

It is not about elimination, it is about experiencing and observing without reacting. Only without reaction can you begin your understanding. Every element of life is impermanent, but our human abstractions limit our perception of that impermanence. New abstractions will not give understanding, they are the source of our ignorance. Understanding comes from experience. Understanding comes from pushing the limits of our sphere of perception with eyes wide. Understanding exists within us waiting to be found. Calm awareness, detached observation, equanimous supervision, attentive nurturing. I see and feel that the ringing has been dampened. Convergence has begun.