Apr 13, 2015

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The Astral Plane





Life is geometry. Every aspect of our Self is quantified and measured, minute differences are corrected upon currents of ineffable mystery and in strange, unpredictable movements of possibility that shape us, but are not truly what makes us. The real us is on some different plane altogether, watching the shifting scale, marvelling.
Yet every chemical imbalance skews the scale and every change in vibrational structure breeds chaos, taking us further from the one who watches.
The mind's geometry thrives on balance. But rarely is such a balance reached and maintaining it is no easy task.
Geometrical patters of intrinsic value and endless possibility reach and surge through us daily, reorganizing, remeasuring, recombining and re-establishing, crashing, ebbing and flowing, annihilating upon each other.
Destroyed patters of the within show in every aspect of the without. Inner alchemy transforms the outer shell of our existence and crashes our minds against interior walls that feel insurmountable. But no geometry exists in infinity where all is but possibility, so all walls can be scaled and passed through, circumvented or tunnelled through, yet no such scaling is needed and to escape the entrapment of geometry one simply has to stop identifying with it. A thing harder for some than others.
Yet the knowledge is hidden -- the secret that everything is already there, ready to be presented and taken as the mind wills. The trick then, is to recognize what shapes and moulds your own geometrical patterns, and to allow it. A difficult thing to master.
But time is short and to ourselves, at one point or another, we had all seemed the type who will never die, a ridiculous notion, and sometimes the inevitability of our demise is what propels us faster, as though self-knowledge is a race. Instead of racing, realize that enlightenment is a moment happening through every pulse of the Now and that it surges through the Now – realize it is happening and bask in it.

[Sometimes my thoughts are laid bare and stopping them is difficult, but to stop them is not my desire, so, as always, read and interpret as you wish.]



[pictures by Emma McNally]

Apr 9, 2015

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How to Meditate

I post a lot of useless crap, so I thought I should post something remotely useful for once. 

Previously I droned on about how to meditate for a specific thing. Now I wish to explain how to meditate simply to do it.

You may have already found that your mind is difficult to direct, as the more you try to concentrate, the more you are not actually concentrating, but instead finding only your own effort to concentrate. 
You may find that you are constantly “fending off” thoughts which you deem inappropriate or useless as they interfere with what you are trying to do, or they “suck you in” and you end up thinking. 
Once you begin to look more deeply and more mindfully into your everyday thinking, you will find that most of your thought are of such nature... pretty useless.

The whole idea of meditation then is to stop this process of useless thinking. 
But stopping is not really the correct word. 
It would be perhaps be better to say that meditation is a way of allowing your thoughts to stop. 

However, how most people go about doing it is unfortunately detrimental. 
Instead of accepting the thoughts which come, they do the opposite, and do not allow them to be right where they are.
The only way to stop them in meditation or ever, is to allow them to do their thing and simply not pay attention to them.

Think of these as an annoying child pestering you, if you ignore the child, he will grow bored and go away. Your ego, who does most of the useless thinking, is that child. Of course a child you ignore might do something drastic to get your attention, and in a very real sense the ego will do the same. In this case, this drastic measures will manifest in the form of  frustration, restlessness, unease, dissatisfaction with what you are doing. All of these will jump at you, and you may feel very bored with yourself - irritated that you are sitting there doing nothing. After all, you could be checking Facebook instead. 

This is normal. 

But stopping your thinking is actually very easy to achieve, yet difficult to maintain.

First, let's try a quick exercise that will adequately portray what I mean and how the process of stopping the mind works and how it doesn't work.

Try this: close your eyes and say to yourself  (in your head or out loud), “I will watch the next thought that comes.” And then proceed to do that.

You may find that as soon as you say this and begin paying attention to what might come, nothing does. 
As long as you are actually watching, nothing will happen and for what may even be the first time, your mind will feel empty, if even for just a moment.
As soon as your mind wanders even for a small fraction from that watching, you will immediately notice that some random thought had come into your perception which may or may not be related to what you are or were doing. 

If you pay attention to your own state of being in these instances, you will notice that before the thought came, you felt much more present than later, when that thought took over. 
As soon as the thought pulled you along, you had in an instant become completely unaware as to what you were doing just half a second before. It is almost as though concentration has somehow slipped below your own mind. This demonstrates well the process of thinking, meaning that there was no correlation between the thought of “I am watching now” and “I am thinking”. Both were a happening. It is the same system that does both, only that one is less here and now than the other. You felt subtly different in each instance and strangely more alive when you were watching, instead of when you were actually thinking it. 

It does sound a bit strange, doesn't it? If the same system is doing both, how can one feel less here and now when he is thinking, than when he is simply watching? It is because the thinking you are thinking of when I say “thinking”, is compulsory, a tick. 

In those moments of watching you may have noticed that you have become more aware of your body, and that when the process of thinking began again, you felt less yourself, as you have instead become the mind-process instead – the thought.

This is just one simple exercise on what we are trying to do, and it serves well to portray inherent difficulty to try and stop the mind, as it literally has "a mind of its own". 

Before you learn to meditate on the void, meaning learning how to let go of everything and emptying your mind, it will be easier to start with a simple technique that is extremely easy to learn.


So lets start with:


1. Posture

While it is true that meditating can be done at any time, anywhere, it is beneficial for the beginner to set aside a time when he will be meditating. This begins with posture.

Go with any of the full lotus to half lotus postures. In fact, you do not even need to use any of these, but simply keep your back straight. 
This straight-backed posture might prove difficult to maintain at first (especially for longer periods) and yet it is essential for the best flow of breath (we’ll get to that in a minute). 
We usually associate discomfort with something bad, but discomfort will make sure you will not get sleepy as easily. 
As soon as you start noticing you are not sitting straight, make a slow effort to straighten your back. There is nothing wrong with moving, the point of meditation is not to be a statue. Eventually you will begin noticing that things like itching for instance does not bother you nearly as much while meditating. This effect will snowball, trust me.

2. Time

Do not try and meditate for hours. If you believe that meditating longer means you are meditating better, then the whole process has for you become an exercise of trying to get somewhere as fast as possible. Which is rather funny if you think about it, since what you are trying to do is sit still and calm your mind, so where do you need to “go”? When you get there you will still be here, now, sitting. And even should you accomplish anything while meditating, you will always feel as though you have always been there anyway.

The point of meditation then is not so much for you to reach enlightenment or some realization. These things will come or they will not. The amount you meditate might help, but that is absolutely not strictly the case, because even though you may be sitting and trying to meditate, you are not actually doing it. To meditate is to realize that the very point of it is to not get anywhere and to be completely comfortable with that, to become fully and completely at ease with what you are, where you are, now.

 
3. Breath

This is the main point and the main focus of almost every meditation technique in the world and there’s a good reason for it. 
Simply put, the breath is the best way for us to come into our own vast subconscious self. 
The breath always flows no matter what we do, it just happens and it just is. Assuming you are alive.

But we can control it as well. Subconscious thinking works the same way, the only difference between something being conscious and unconscious(subconscious), is your awareness of it and the level of your own denial. The subconscious is not some kind of No-Trespassing zone of your mind to which you have no access to...

The breath is our connection to that aspect of you life. 

Breathing is at the same time both a happening and a doing, similarly to the conscious-subconscious relation, and you are the centre of it, right now.

It is extremely rare for the everyday person to pay any special attention to their breath or the process of it, and for the most part, we forget just how great it actually feels to breathe!
The technique of following the breath works much the same way as what we previously tried with watching our thoughts come, it gives you a focus, but it is also a grounding point.

Most will try controlling their breath, and may at first find that simply watching the breath seems somewhat impossible without a sense of there being a small measure of control by the watcher. But fundamentally breath works due to gravity, so it will happen no matter what. 

So instead of trying to breathe, try to simply obverse it like this: begin by focusing on one full breath, fill up your lungs as much as you can, focusing on that air reaching every corner of your lungs. This will be difficult at first because most of the time we are used to very shallow breathing. Once you have done this, allow your breath to simply drop. Don’t force it out or try to hold it in, but like a weight just let it drop. Don’t push your breath out, let it drop on its own, much like as if you had just laid down to bed after an exhausting day. You know how good it feels to lie down when very tired, right? Focus on that every time you exhale until after a few exhales, you may find yourself growing “tired” of trying to imagine that feeling, or go on with it as you like. 

If you grow tired of trying to do it, this is good, as it can become a good exercise in letting go. Let go of that process and instead allow your breaths to come back naturally after each exhale. Don’t force it back, just let it come on its own.

At this point, you will undoubtedly start to notice all the little thoughts that come to mind. Each time you find yourself swept away by them, simply refocus on your breathing. Don’t get involved in the thought or try and force it away, simply refocus your attention back to the breath.

This may prove quite challenging at first, since it requires a measure of concentration, but it is an exercise that will allow you to eventually let go of the breath as well and let it happen without there being a chatter in your mind which drags you along.



And really, that is basic mediation right there. Try it.



  

Mar 27, 2015

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[Review] Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Dear god what is this. The title is so misleading that I want to slap the person who came up with it. If it was one of the pen-named authors (very most likely), well then, sir, you have mislead me tremendously!

The sheer grandeur of the title is not matched AT ALL with what goes on in this book. 


But let me tell you what this book is trying to do, at least from my skewed perspective. It is trying to be Game of Thrones typeish romp in space, and that's why, for me, it ended up being so boring. Perhaps that was not the intent, but it sure felt like it, at times it even felt like one of the authors outright copied RR's style of writing.

It may just be me, actually, fuck it, I know it's not just me, but when I read a sci-fi novel, I want mystery, grand ideas and crazy stuff happening. You can virtually do anything! And by crazy I mean STUFF THAT CAN'T HAPPEN ON EARTH. And that does not simply mean spaceships and some other bullshit.

So here we have a space-fairing race which we have become and people can live on asteroid belts and Mars, and yet almost everyone has developed this insane xenofobia? Bullshit. Why? Because the book needs conflict as it doesn't have anything else really.


When they found the derelict in the beginning of the book the scene was awesome, the foreboding was great, but what ended up happening was the most boring thing that could have possibly happened. It was like the two authors couldn't come up with something awesome...


On the other had, the book is trying to be GoT is space (to a degree), so the scene makes sense in that regard. However me understanding this on an intrinsic level gives no added value to the book.


The writing is good, it really is. It gets the job done and paints great images, but the characters are plain and uninteresting, while the dialogue mostly feels like two pilots in Top Gun shooting ZING ZING comments all the time. Well, to be fair, that one is a mostly.


Then there is the god damn damsel in distress type story which you can tell has something more behind it, but ... eh... the main characters are just not interesting and neither was the setting, it simply boiled down to these two factors for me. And considering that these were the two things that were supposed to work for this book, they failed.


Holden is an idiot.



5/10


Mar 10, 2015

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Ego and Desire



There is a kind of tradition in Buddhism for one to undergo a process of letting go of all material possessions. For a Westerner especially, this might seem very odd, as one can hardly imagine what good can be gained to live like a hermit. But there is a very strong psychological, one can say spiritual purpose, behind this practice. 
This is not something one does on a whim. It is a way of self-realization. The examination of the emotional states while the process of letting go occurs can be very interesting. Yet what is the true purpose of it?

Some tend to think that material things do not bring happiness. Yet still, they feel and know that, should they have a bunch of money, they could do the things they've always wanted to do. They could get the things they want. With this dualistic mentality, a "battle" can be created in the mind. On one end, one feels that material things are not the true source of happiness, yet he or she is still compelled to gather things and objects, because they in fact do bring a sort of contentment. But where exactly does it come from? Is one content to have the object of desire? Not exactly.

The letting go of possessions serves a deeper meaning, as with each thing you let go, you may come closer to realizing just what it is that makes you happy and content about possessing a thing in the first place.

This can go on for a while. You may end up giving everything away and being left with nothing, and still the lesson will not become clear to you. And even should you learn the lesson, what good will it do?

Most who attempt this, the ultimate desire may be to reach a state of knowing. A state of enlightened bliss where you wish to have no thing and are content with having no thing, because you may realize that no thing will make you as happy as simply being here, now. But yet it may be that, even after letting go of all the material things and being left with nothing, one is still faced with the very basic problem because of which he underwent this practice in the first place. 
After being left with nothing, one may still desire something else to happen in the mind. A sort of shift, a realization. So the fundamental issue of desire is still there. Of wanting something specific.

It should not be a surprise to anyone that the superficial mind is ruled by its own whims, wishes and desires. These desires for emotional fulfilment can manifest in the need to possess a thing or a person. This can become an intense desire too; I want that, I want her, I want him. Usually we want these things now.
But what happens when one gets the object of desire?
The person is content, for the most part anyway. However, the contentment does not come from possessing the thing, but from being free of that desire to have it! You no longer have the desire for the object or subject because you now have it. And yet most are oblivious to this trick of the ego. It has tricked you that the happiness is the thing, and not in fact the absence of another thing.

The mind and ego operate on a reward-based system. You want something, you get it, you are rewarded by feelings of contentment and a release of endorphins. This is the trick. For the contentment does not arrive from the object itself, but from the absence of desire - a state of brief freedom.

The most basic analogy is the consuming of drugs. Most would have you think that it is the reward system of the ego and the release of dopamine which is in itself the reward that makes the user crave and seek out these substances. But it goes deeper than that. For in that moment, while it may feel excitingly excellent, in that moment, you are free of the desire which binds you to a certain substance or the abuse of it. You are in the moment, free of that desire. Never mind that you are high, for that is completely beside the point.

You might, however, say that the object is happiness, for it can bring you joy not just when you get it, but later as well. But if one examines how long this "happiness" actually lasts, he or she is quickly confronted with the truth that contentment lasts for as long as there is the absence of desire. It lasted for as long as there was not any other desire for some other thing (or the same thing) to take its place.

The object of desire is not that which brings you happiness, it is your own inner state of absence of that desire, because for however long, it may be weeks, it may be months, and it may just be minutes, you suddenly become Present. You are right there, absent of wants. This is not a happiness one feels in a dopamine rush, but a happiness one feels from contentment that stems from inner peace and stillness.

But this is still not the lesson letting go seeks to teach. What is truly behind it, is something even deeper and very simple. It is in fact so simple, that most miss it due to its very simplicity. It does not mean that one needs to renounce the things of this world as if they are bad and controlling. Not to renounce his or her own desires for things and people, but to realize that, just like the subject, the object too and the desire for it, are impermanent. That they exist in a kind of play which you are acting upon for a brief and very limited time.

Especially today, it would be rather silly for a material being to completely renounce the things of material, as one is also material. This kind of renouncement thus becomes almost a renouncement of the Self. And yet knowing this, the process of letting go, and the examination of the Self while letting go, can be very fruitful. It can serve as a tool for you to realize why you want the things which you want, and if these things are truly the things that you need.

Impermanence may teach you the ultimate truth of your own death. It is a grim lesson, perhaps, but one that can propel you to be here, now, and to enjoy even your own suffering and understand it as a nuance of existence. Being here, being you, is, after all, the only thing you will ever truly possess. Everything else, and the thought that you possess anything else, will be an illusion.

Feb 3, 2015

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The Human Reinc


Feb 2, 2015

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Enticing a Shift in Reality

Random scribbling

A fusion of energies and a golden spiral. Its tendrils climb the sky and merge with the infinite ocean. Light breaks through from the creative source, illuminates the hidden passages of time and blends reality into a coherent whole. Vibrations of sound form colours and light up the universe. All things begin their spin, from mountains of liquid fire to the depths of granite oceans. Planets twirl into alloys of brutal, seemingly unbreakable force. Yet they break still, shatter to form new planes and moons forever in motion. Explosions mark the beginning of concious existence, send out sleepless thoughts from their energetic centres. Beings emerge to entice reality with senses uncontrolled. Colour hits their eyes and flesh feels the touch of cosmic dust. Winds speak and implant thoughts - new wonders within burning cognition. Cerebral flames paint the skies with projected images and ideas. Life takes on a different meaning for each mind. Matter becomes an illusion as beings grow and embrace a hive, a collective buzzing of opportunity and hidden spheres yet to be explored. The sceptre spins in the grip of time, the pendulum shifts and slingshots from place to place into all places at once. Minds become omnipresent, neither here nor there, neither alive nor dead, but All, forever seeking refuge in all the pleasures of existence.

Jan 29, 2015

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You need not renounce the things of this world, only your false belief that they can give you something you do not already have.
You need not be detached towards people, just in recognition of the inevitability of change.

Stop measuring days in therms of Productivity. Instead begin measuring them in terms of Presence.

Dec 18, 2014

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Oceanic Experience




There are numerous ways of coining what some psychiatrists call an Oceanic Experience. You might hear terms like the Oceanic Feeling or a Peak experience, but all these are in fact the same thing, a Mystical experience, an intense feeling of Presence in the Now.


The most curious thing about these experiences is surely the fact that they often, if not always, come out of nowhere and quite unexpectedly. But that's only true for those who are not aware of what triggers them, or what sets these emotions into motion. Some would argue this is not even a specific emotion, but a State.


I want to tell you how you can try and find these triggers and stay Oceanic for as long as you can hold that concentration and Presence. Later you will not need to concentrate at all.


The key point I must first make is this: Everyone can have this experience. There's a somewhat short-minded idea floating around that says we are hard-wired for religion. That is not true, we are hard-wired to experience this sensation, western religion simply monopolized it and made most believe they need something to experience it, and instead of showing others how to do it, wrapped it up in ritual and community, which are very superficial aspects of it and may aid you in becoming Oceanic, yet you can do it by yourself. Which makes sense doesn't it, since you are the I to whom it happens, so the very notion that you need something else is a bit ridiculous. Don't worry if you are confused about what I'm talking about, because you most definitely have experienced Oceanic already, everyone has, although it is often the case that you don't realize this fact.


It is also important to note that the trigger will not be different for everyone, and that Peak experiences are triggering a state of Presence. Simply put, we all have the same triggers because we are all one I manifesting in countless expressions.


The beautiful thing about these experiences is that, once you know the trigger, you can stay in that feeling for as long as you wish under certain conditions.


The term Oceanic was coined by Romain Rolland and popularized by Sigmund Freud, who pointed out that this emotion may be a fragment of infantile consciousness, a feeling which occurs when the infant begins to differentiate himself from his human and non-human environment and a survival Ego begins to form. I tend to disagree with this notion. The disagreement stems from the fact that Oceanic doesn't come from differentiation, but from a sense of you and the thing that is 'outside' you (environment) being one and the same thing. If anything, differentiating yourself from everything else causes the feeling to stop, as you resume your default experience of consciousness; which is a feeling of centrality, of the I and Other. Or in a very strict sense, the sensation stops when you stop being and start thinking.


There is no Other in Oceanic, but rather a deep sense that all things are the same one thing, which is I.

Freud was right about the 'infantile consciousness' part however, as it is indeed a fragment of that consciousness. It is why it has a subtly deep sense, a sort of 'primordial' feel to it, meaning that you get a sense that this sensation comes from the very core of you. That's because it does. Yet Freud's explanations were never deep or remotely spiritual enough. And having been oceanic for 1-2 days on a few occasions and for up to an hour in meditation, I have come to realize his "everyone wants to return to the womb and uses sex to try and do that" is simply not adequate enough, as it dismisses a deeper layer, which is that our most basic need for intimacy is the result of an even deeper need that is produced by the centrality of I, and that sex is the most superficial step of achieving what is really sought after by most (usually subconsciously): a Merging. A merging of subject and object. Of subject and other subject, which for the I is the object as it seems to be outside the I. It is a need to return to the womb where the baby was completely submerged and weightless, fully in tune with its surroundings and in that sense, One with it. A merging of the male and female aspect in sex can cause that trigger, but also because it puts you intensely into the Now.


Images are important for you to enter this state if you are a beginner and don't yet know how to still the mind, especially if you belong to the 60% of people who prefer visual stimuli out of all other.
If you recall the sights, smells and sounds from the first time your were Oceanic (obviously not while you were in the womb), it will be easier to reach the state again, but such things are only of help. When it comes to smell, it is more likely that the precise fragrance will not be imprinted upon your mind, but the certain subtleties of it.

You must remember that you can reach this state even without these triggers. They are here simply to help you at first. And since in western society doing something purely to do it (like meditation) can be very useless for most, this trying to become Oceanic may be used as a goal for you to work towards while meditating. Mediation is at first a training in concentration, because until you learn concentration, or a better term would be perhaps contemplation, you will always try and control your mind instead of simply not paying attention to it. This method is a good way to learn, as you will find that your mind, once it reaches this state, may automatically try to cling to it, and in that clinging, lose the feeling. Try it and you will see the realizations you get from this.


Through my talks with those who had consciously had the experience and reading about detailed cases of it, I have come to a few conclusions of the aspects required in terms of outside happenings to reach Oceanic. Allow me to list them out and explain a bit more why they work.


1. The quality of light. (early morning gold usually works best as it slants low in the sky and has an increased scattered effect, meaning you feel more immersed and a part of it)


2. Random background sounds that are of a natural source, like a stream or the rustle of leaves or the song of birds. (you already know what these sounds are, so a mind that is used to compulsive thinking will not attempt to label the sounds but just let them be. This will again help in the sense of being immersed in the sounds, until you eventually no longer hear a bird chirping, but in a somewhat funny sense, become the bird.)


3. A sight of something which seems finite over a backdrop of something that appears infinite. For instance, the sight of pine trees against a blue sky. [I used pine because they posses a denser quality] (this aids greatly in the sense of merging of the object and the subject. Clouds and the sky are a good way to do this as well, as you might begin to realize a truth that may seem banal if someone tells it to you. It is that the clouds and the sky are not separate things, but that the cloud is the sky. In much the same way, this trigger helps with the realization that Self and Other are not separate, but that the illusion of separateness is created by the sense of centrality that is the individual consciousness.)


4. Smells of trees in bloom or wood in general. (in much the same way as sounds, these smells already have a label in your mind as to what they are and, as such, will not cause the compulsive thinker to try and identify them, but instead simply let them be)


5. A peaceful mind absent of concerns, even if only for the time being. (this is a plus, as meditating on specific things will be easier)



Posture will be important, but not absolutely necessary. Resume any of the comfortable meditating positions, although it is advisable to take on any of the zazen postures for best results, even if it can be very unconformable for you at first. But a bit of discomfort is good as it assures you will not fall asleep or get sleepy.


What these things will help you with is to realize the Now and that It is all there is, and that you are it. You might say, I already know there is nothing else but the present. Yes, of course you do, at least you believe you do as your mind does, but do you feel it? The distinction is more important than you might think. 


And that is what Oceanic really is, an intense Presence in the moment, where the future and past dissolve, or rather, the illusion that these two states of time even exist, disappears. 

Focusing on these triggers will help you stay in the Now, they are grounding you in the Now. Leave your mind alone in these moments and you will find the ocean and in the ocean, everything that is You.

The exercise might seem a contradiction to what mediation is, which is a way to calm the mind, but in reality, compulsive thinking and thinking while fully present in the now are not the same things, as you might have found out or already know.

And, as I said, once you can cultivate this feeling anytime you wish, you will no longer need any triggers, but will simply breathe in, breathe out, and be it.

Dec 2, 2014

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Why Interstellar Sucks

The characters in this movie are eggs. Want a real character? Egg. Oh, sorry, did you get an egg? That's my fault, sorry about that. Here's more egg.

That's the short review. Read on if you must...


The only thing missing from this movie is Morgan Freeman suddenly appearing and narrating the procedure of popping a piece of meat on a pan to sear the shit out of it.

The movie itself has all the right things, but that doesn't make it any less bad as it feels completely engineered to have “all the right things” which are suppose to make a movie immersive and good. Yet the amount of disbelief I was expected to suspend in order not to roll my eyes every 10 minutes is more disbelief than I could possibly attain. At one point I just couldn't help but go, “What The Fuuuuuuuck.” 
I don’t think the people around me appreciated my sudden outburst.

There is a thing which writers do to hook you into their characters, a verity of plot devices and all sorts of “poor him/her” techniques. A skilled writer will do this so that you won’t know that it is happening. Or will use a technique that is unconventional.

So the question is, if you are completely aware of what’s going on and what is the purpose of the scenes you are watching or reading, can you still “get into them”?
My answer is No, you cannot.

Upon reflecting a little bit, the main issue became that the whole thing didn't feel like a “happening”, but an engineered set-piece after set-piece progressing at a pace that was suddenly rapid then slowed to a painful crawl. In this movie the set-pieces were blatantly obvious and really kind of dull. But to truly give you a taste of how absurd this movie is, I will need to write an equally absurd review.

But before I get to it, let me state that this will contain total spoilers, but to spoil something it needs to be good in the first place. Can you really spoil something that is already bad? I’ll let you figure that out by yourself.

[However, having said that, I still hope you can find in this film things which may inspire you or entertain you.]

The movie begins with a sort of typical american setting that’s suppose to make you wonder what’s going on. It doesn't. 

Everyone is a farmer but everyone is still starving. Nice. 
This time, McConaughey is a slightly more “normal” version of Mud, but only slightly. 

So Mud is driving through the cornfield at speed and does something on his laptop without any apparent difficulty. Here we establish the fact that he is pro at multitasking and so the scenes ahead are completely reasonable, since he is just that good. This scene also nicely establishes that Mud is a bit different in this movie. In this movie he is Boss. You try going 90 through a cornfield while hacking into a satellite/drone via your 21 century laptop!

After the acquisition of said drone and discovering that his field is actually a secret NASA facility, Mud promptly decides he must leave his kids to save humanity. 

He is chosen by Alfred (an actor Nolan seems to enjoy giving the same roles in every movie, which really helps with my suspension of disbelief and general immersion, it really does) to blast off with Catwoman in a reasonably 20th century 3-stage rocket that will dock with an incredibly advanced 22nd century space station/fuckden. 

As the merry band ventures upon their merry journey, they need no longer adhere to primitive Earth technology. Now they can do anything they ever did on Star Trek, including Cryo-Sleep, while the Earth is... well... pretty much screwed. Honestly, I don’t really know what the heck was the problem on Earth. Earth has problems, we all know that, right? Apparently the current problems are pretty big, big enough for them to send a person that oddly feels incompetent for the job he was tasked to do.

They emerge from deep slumber feeling like fresh daises, and proceed  to a wormhole that Alfred and the other Dude told them about. 

Guess what they used to explain how the “bending of space works”... Come on, guess! It was by bending a sheet of paper. Riveting stuff.

Anywho... their hopes are to find a new planet where people can live and not die on Earth. There is a sort of Plan Z, but apparently that will not work because Mud is in a mad hurry to get back to Earth. No worries, Plan A will work and everyone will be saved by He Who Talks The Same Way In Every Movie. I was expecting him to pull out a cigarette in hyperspace to do one of his, “I’m so cool while smoking this I don’t give a fuck”.

What can I say about Mud’s robotic bro? He is amazing! He can navigate through zero gravity, run across fields, even walk on water, not to mention rescue damsels in distress while pumping on the charm that is sure to amaze any female.

After the wormhole, they go to a planet where the laws of physics are a thing of myth and legend. Each hour they spend equals 17BAZILLION years on Earth and the whole planet is one big puddle.

Back on Earth, the rest of the poor sods are aging rapidly in their trucks and other quaint remnants of the 20th century. It’s all Mud’s fault really, and so we go through painful displays of human idiocy. I suppose the reason why Mud's daughter  must be saved is so that Mud can chill and not worry about his daughter thinking he is a total douche for all eternity, just because he did not stay behind and instead opted to SAVE HER WHINY ASS ALONG WITH EVERYONE ELSE.

The watery planet sucked, so Mud and Catwoman go to an even crappier one that seems even worse than Earth, yet they feel super psyched that this might be it, perhaps they shall find a cozy place down under the frozen ammonia glaciers. 

They are found by Matt Damon's dad who is vaguely evil and decides to blow stuff up now. His reasons are reasons. After Mud the amazing tackles Matt Damon’s father, he decides that he shall be even more amazing and fly into the black hole. Yay and off he goes onto the back of his trusty steed, his charming robot chum. Adventure and great fun is sure to ensue.

Something happens that is totally brilliant (probably quantum) and somehow Mud ends up tripping his balls off in five-dimensional space, yet his Self remains wholly three dimensional. Logic.  Oh, and because Aliens. 

With the help of Hans Zimmer, Mud floats around in an empty library, still tripping his quantum balls off. There are stacks of his past selves which make him go through all these feels. Poor lad.

Mud's now grown-up daughter back on Earth also goes through all these feels and, fueled by what must be some mad PMS, tells her brother to screw himself for not joining her in her cave, then torches her bro's corn crop. Damn, girl. Then she begins fooling around in the old family library, the same one that Mud is trapped behind the stacks in his five dimensional bachelor pad, except Mud’s library is made by humans from the future. At least that's what the robot said. I told you his robot bro is amazing. Then suddenly! while pondering a wristwatch, the now grown daughter realizes that gravity is the way to go.

Lots of good opportunities to cry here as we witness the powerless Mud screaming at the versions of his daughter and having epiphanies left and right. Again, quite suddenly and because, dammit, it’s almost the end of the movie and the plot demands it! Mud gets a Dr.House ZING and he tells the robot to get binary and convert the 'quantum data' into Morse code so that he can gravity-emote it to the wristwatch that his daughter is totally tripping on. Wait a second, did that wristwatch just move? It did! Obviously the movements are coded gravity-signals coming through the black-hole bookshelf and are send by her five-dimensional papi! Amazing!

So... the real-time daughter trans-codes the Quantum “code” and saves the world.

Years later the really ancient daughter cryo-naps in the hope of seeing Mud again. They figure out how to make space rockets and go fetch Muddy so he can come back and be ignored by everybody he saved. Apparently, ancient daughter wakes up and figures it is just so much easier to go to Saturn in her hospital bed. A bunch of other family members go with her and gather around her bed where they prepare to sacrifice her sweet soul to lord Satan. OK maybe not. 
When Mud comes in to check on his ancient daughter, they decide to walk out without even glancing at him, even though he is their great grandfather and saved all of their futuristic assess.

More delicious tears as dad and daughter weep and so do you. After an appropriate interval, daughter wisely informs papa to go and be free, since she is no longer suffering from her wild PMS and she’s now cool with her bro. She points out that he should perhaps totally steal a spaceship to try and win Catwoman back. Mud agrees because Catwoman is pretty hot.


The End.


Nov 6, 2014

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Minimalist Linux Themes


I posted about my Elementary OS Theme a while back and how to set it up (although I can't really call it mine & credit goes to Dobbie).

Since my last post I had tried out a few other stuff and made a small collection of themes that are really awesome and surprisingly easy to sudo. The modifications needed are almost always completely the same as in my previous post, namely the adding of icons, Conky and installing a new dock (it's almost always required that the previous - default dock - is uninstalled if you are not running something like Mint). Most of the instructions are in the links below the images. Try them out!





Nov 4, 2014

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The Way



A master was asked a question by a curious monk, "What is The Way?"
"It is right before your eyes," said the master.
"Why do I not see it for myself?"
"Because you are thinking of yourself."
"What about you, do you see it?"
"So long as you see double, saying 'I don't', and 'you do', your eyes are clouded," said the master.
"When there is no 'I' nor 'You', can one see it?"
"When there is neither 'I' nor 'You', who is the one that wants to see it?"

Oct 30, 2014

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Infinite Spiral


We are an infinite spiral twisting through time, acquiring shapes as we go along, governed by the dimensions where our creative spark was lit.

Our trajectory is continuous and its transitions indivisible.

We reside where the validity of All is contingent upon the observer and our real form is energy vibrating through the common field accessed by consciousness

Perception is the apparatus through which reality folds and enfolds, expands and contracts.

Our wind-chafed faces form structures vast in complexity and design, while our inner artistry remains an expression of the larger without -- a fluctuating canvass of dimensionless probability, the parameters of which are perceived within the mind who veils the subtlest details of Truth.

Yet The Way is simple.

And when we gage upon the fiery goldness of a late spring afternoon, or as the grey dawn unfolds wetly from the east, we sometimes catch a glimpse of that truth, realizing it lies further than our eyes can peer, yet it could be no closer.

It lies within.


Oct 4, 2014

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Eightfold Path

There is a group in the mountains. They say our perception of a place existing in time is inaccurate, false. For beyond and within this illusionary reality is the void. A region where a concept such as time ceases to have meaning. There is another group of men. Those who follow the eightfold path, who say that, in the sphere of the spirit, such divisions of time, of the future, present and past do not exist, and that all of these have contracted into a single flicker in the present where life quivers in its ultimate sense.

Sep 16, 2014

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Self-Realization



I've recently posted about my experience in astral projection. I have posted it because it was fun to write/relive and because relaying images often feels a more straight-forward practice than relaying emotional content, or any kind of process of mental alchemy which does not involve images. For a long while I did not wish to write about the experience in this post, for I felt I could not do it justice by using mere words. That is until the thought of how I should go about it suddenly came to me.

Let me start with how that day began, now almost 4 years ago, and why it was amazing.

From the moment I woke up and in all moments during the day, I had a strong sense that "today something remarkable will happen". I of course cannot relay how this emotion felt, but I can portray it (perhaps in vain) by using thought-symbols: It was a sense of intense expectancy. Like being on top of a roller-coaster before the inevitable downward rush.

I recall little of what I did until the point until I ventured outside. I suppose I ate and read.

I remember the southern slant of the sun and the golden rays cutting between the trees, for I had resolved to meditate on top of my favorite hill for no particular reason, save that I felt like it. Which always seemed reason enough.

Since childhood the hill had, for some reason utterly baffling to me, endowed me with mystic significance, despite the fact that there appears nothing remarkable about it.

As I got to the top, I sat upon the cold soil covered by soft grass.

The cityscape and its sounds rushed by below me, but that soon became a presence that was not bothersome or comforting. It simply was.

I sat there for more than four hours, until I suddenly felt as though a piercing but invisible light had shoot out through the center of my cranium. A light going both outwards and inwards.

There was a kind of, "Aha! Yes. YES! YES, OF COURSE!" moment and then intense laughter directed at my pathetic imbecility. I laughed at my own expense as though laughing at a child, not necessarily because he is stupid, but because he is so hopeless in his ignorance that you find endless humor in his innocent predicament.

With this came a stupendous feeling of bursting. The child, that child-like Self, expanded into all directions simultaneously, going as far as things can go.

It felt as though it went into all places at once and into every thing and everyone and right into my bloody bones and outward again until it became a continuous motion that never began and will never end. It kept happening and I knew in that moment it will continue to happen, because that is how things are.

There was a deep understanding of the truth of Itness. Things were, and "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." Everything was just as it should be and must be and that all I have labeled as myself is actually inseparable from everything else.

This had so far been a concept for me. Something I felt was true yet didn't actually feel on the level of Being Everything And All Things All At Once.
Up until that point the concept remained a kind of hidden symphony just below the threshold of my combined perceptions.
In that instant it became impossible for me to separate what was Me and what was Not Me, or even that there was any space between Me and Not Me. The truth of this felt so profoundly real and incredible that everything was made nonrigid. Everything had a vibrancy to it, a fluidity so full of life and pulsing with such inner being that the thought of, "This is how everyone should see things all the time," became a constancy. There was nothing necessarily different about how I saw things, it was my subjective understanding of the things I saw that perceptibly shifted.

The realization of the Self is, in essence, the realization -- or the knowing -- of everything and its implicit nature. It is like accessing the main valve of existence and realizing it was always open, and that you had always been the manifested and the manifesting tool.

This does not involve a kind of high attitude towards knowing this, but a profoundly humble one. You are not suddenly thinking, "I know everything about everything." This does not involve that kind of understanding. This is not an understanding of the functionality of things, but of their Nature, their Is-ness.

Understanding the Self means the understanding of Everything, because the self is everything, or understanding that you do not need to understand everything, and still understand it, and yet not understand it at all. You are not there to understand. You are there to Be. This may seem so convoluted and paradoxical that it must feel rather confusing to read. Yet there is no real involvement or deep thinking or an understanding on the level of Mind. Rather, Self-Realization is the realization that all things are the Self and that the Self is all things. The barrier of duality melts away, that is to say one realizes it existed for a reason that is immediately clear and profoundly logical, but also amazingly simple in its inherent Justness, or Is-ness. Understanding its simplicity has no meaning because there is nothing to understand. It is. And that is all that the Self will ever need or has ever needed to understand. A Self that both Is and is an Illusion.
At that point, this fact that the barrier existed solely so it can be taken away becomes the right understanding. But also that it simply was, and by Now knowing that it is there, somehow changes it from being there into not being. Your mere awareness of it changes its Is-ness.

The realization that one is all and that the Self is everything and that everything is a fragment of the Self, comes with a sense of intense Presence.

You are not in the moment. You are the moment, manifesting in physical form through a myriad of infinite mirrors turned upon one another with each beholding each and enjoying the looking and seeing, laughing.

And the more you look, the deeper and more subtle those Understandings become. The more you understand, the more you realize you don't need to understand and that you understand nothing. The more you comprehend, the more you realize that comprehension, true comprehension, is the realization that all things are a fragment of the Self. And that each of those fragments, just like within your own Self, is an infinite mirror reflecting infinitely into Itself.

In those mirrors you may find aspects of your own Self, and indeed this is what most humans look for in others, that aspect which is most like the Self that they are, or want to be. That which is the most undesirable in one's Self is almost always that which is the most undesirable upon looking at another Self. In other words, you do not like in others what you do not like most in yourself.

A Zen master, Gensha, described this understanding quite well:
"If you understand, things are such as they are; If you do not understand, things are such as they are-"

There is another sensation which comes after, although using the word "after" does not feel apt, perhaps "at the same time" would be more accurate. After the inevitable realization of the endless Self, You become a Non-Self, a thing in the void that is the void, has been the void and will return to the void because it has never truly left it, but has been given a Self so it can function within the void and give it form; a form so that the void may know itself.

Now that functioning is no longer needed as you become That Which Looks.

Suddenly there is a perception of the wholeness and interconnectedness of everything in it, because all is in fact it, the whole. Again, there is no duality in this, you are still just what you are in your conscious self: a Human with a sense of separateness from other things and other vibrational forms. There are no more thoughts of "I am this or I am another That," but both, many, all.

[The terminology used, like Self, Non-Self, is simply an expression to try an relay some points in thought-symbols, as it cannot be done any other way by using language.]

Somehow there is a sense that a great eye has opened, an eye of the world which sees with a deeper understanding and has no Self because it is all things simultaneously; with each thing being as much It as the next.

A perception wobbles through your head at that point. One that has always been there, and to which merely the degree the Ego-Self wished to give it attention varied. It is the realization of your own Death.

All things eventually fade and die. This is the Isness of things.

Because of this state of Non-Self, you immediately perceive, without any thought behind it that would involve any active thinking, that you will die, but you will not be dead.

This may sound strange, but it is the right understanding. Because nothing that exists cannot not exist.

There is a quote by Aldous Huxley which describes this quite well. "Man proposes, God disposes."

It is, unfortunately, the nature of the Ego-Self to find this quite threatening. Because to the mind which only comprehends (which remains the only thing the Egoic mind really does), but doesn't understand, expressions such as "Destruction is a form of creation." mean not so much. You may nod at the saying, but may not truly understand it.

In this state of Non-Self, there is nothing to destroy, and all things which are and will inevitably be destroyed, will simply undergo a form of transmutation. A forming into something else which will be infinitely more than the sum of its parts and again infinitely more than the sum of the parts out of which it was transmuted.

In essence, the Non-Self has already experienced the transmutation from she Self into Not-Self, and has, because of this, died. It regards this process as the nature of such-ness. Such is the nature of things. Or such is the nature of Being. It is just so. Simply elegant and elegantly simple.

In an instant of understanding, the Non-Self realizes how the Ego-Self has been the driving force which thrived to comprehend and complicate that which has always been inherently simplistic.

Like before, as duality melts away, it does so in a sense of realization that all the selves are intertwined. The Ego-Self, True-Self, Pain-Self, Non-Self, they all exist in one space. They are all an undivided whole and this realization of their infinitely complex connection becomes the reality of everything you are and in turn everything that reality is.

In the state of Non-Self, these other Selves are prominent in your Being. You know which is which and they cease to be a process below the concussions happening of your mind.

They become a laughing matter and it all suddenly becomes a play. A play to which you have REM-slept through and so heard the actors and had them influence your dreams, while they performed on stage. Now you have awakened to their acting behind the curtain of your dreams and can actually see the actors, and they become just that, actors with no influence unless you play along.

After a while of this intense presence, and if you are in fact not as ready as you thought, something not so great may happen.

The Ego-Body comes to life and triggers the Pain-Body. It sort of says, "Hey, dude, something is going on that is not that great for me, help me out."

Because of years of conditioning and pattern-creation in the mind, these two can be very powerful. Indeed they can overpower even such presence, as the Ego slowly but surely begins to sense that it is losing control over the Body and Mind. Controlling these two aspects of the Self has so far (save for glimpses in between) been what the Ego has done all its life. It is a controlling mechanism. It is the accumulation of all the subconscious thoughts and reaction impulses it perceived as necessary for the organism to survive. When this function ceases to have a meaning to exist, its very being becomes threatened, and kicks the mind into action. The mind is the tool of the Ego, while the Not-Self's tool is No-Mind. As a result, the mind begins to throb and vibrate as the Ego wishes to claim control. It shows its real face and shouts and screams like a little, angry child that it is.

Doing this, the Ego-Self creates its main weapon. Fear.

Aldous Huxley described the "aftermath" of this process masterfully in his book, The Doors of Perception, wherein he details his Mescaline experience which I have to say follows a lot of the same triggers in a slightly different manner.

"This, I suddenly felt, was going too far. Too far, even though the going was into intenser beauty, deeper significance. The fear, as I analyze it in retrospect, was of being overwhelmed, of disintegrating under a pressure of reality greater than a mind, accustomed to living most of the time in a cosy world of symbols, could possibly bear. Anything rather than the burning brightness of unmitigated Reality—anything!"

This eventually settled down into a state of Presence again, a blissful satisfaction in knowing things are just as they are and that they exist Now and will forever be Now.

I since believe that this whole thing was nothing special, because to most of us, a mystical experience or a spiritual experience always seems to suggest something lofty and unattainable by the everyday mind. This is not true. These insights happen to us all the time, but to the untrained mind they are much shorter and for the most part, not as intense, and usually interpreted in different ways. Perhaps simply as "being happy and alert - energized". We all have moments when we are suddenly deeply aware of our own self, mostly just our bodies or how it feels. The want to change for the better usually comes, but is usually also suppressed by the Egoic mind which would rather have things as they are, familiar, while cultivating mindfulness requires changes even to the minute things in life.

Recognizing these events becomes the key and a great practice of Mindfulness, just don't get carried away in trying to analyze what they mean ;).

When they occur, be that. When they happen, be it. And when they do happen, do not let your mind fool you into taking it as a kind of accomplishment. Do not think of them as "okay, I've done it, time to move on". Because if you will notice, this is actually a trick of the mind to pull you out of the now and into some projected future. Stay there, Now, because there is nothing else.