Saturday, September 22, 2018


“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.” 
― Alan Wilson Watts


What does it mean to be healthy?

Health is a state where an organism is functioning in accordance with its template for living such that it displays vigor and wellbeing. 

It is a state of inconceivable synchrony, as myriad systems and independent lifeforms within it cooperate without formal planning or structure to produce that miraculous thing that no scientist, physician, philosopher or religious leader has ever been able to fully explain... living vitality.

One can be alive and not be healthy.  Most humans fall into this category.

People don't think about health until they feel they are losing it.  When they have gone far enough out of balance... when their icy sense of dis-ease has progressed to the point they realize they may be in decline, in a state of decay... health becomes a topic of interest.  Worse still, when they are in the throes of agony... or facing death itself, health finally becomes the primary focus.

Nothing else matters.

It is upon losing health that people begin to think about what it is.  And, inevitably, a journey is conceived.  Whether one walks it or not--to say nothing of achieving its goal--the path back to health and wholeness... is healing.

While health feels like a wellspring... healing is more of an endless quest. One may achieve health at many points along the journey, but if one sits to enjoy it, it stealthily recedes towards the horizon.  

Fountain of Youth
It seems to be something that must be maintained, rather than being a singular achievement.  It is not a fight.  Nor is it a sprint... even when it feels urgent. The chase is non-linear. 

It is more often about letting go of things rather than finding them. Despite the myth of the magic pill, a fountain of youth, or some special treatment... most healing involves stopping an activity that has become toxic.

As you let go of inferior habits, emotions... relationships... locations... you come to understand what things in your life are supportive and life giving.  You develop a new respect for fresh air & clean water... and recognize that you need far more of both than you imagined.  Rest, peace of mind and quality sleep also take their place in the hierarchy of needs.  And, learning... copious research into all things that make the mind & body tick.

Another thing that happens, in time, is that you also realize you need a foundation.  

And so, the journey leads you to establish a new sacred ground where you are amply supplied with fertile and life giving soil... both metaphorically & literally.  A place where your template can unfold.  You must create this new space in order to stop chasing health.

While this post on healing I put up a couple years back might seem to contradict what I am saying now: Of Vortexes, Healing & Self-Reinvention, if you read both, what I am getting to now, and what that post addressed, is the part of the healing journey where you abandon healing.  

You've already begun to let go of all the non-essentials, and this eventually includes your identity as a broken person needing healing... Suddenly, as your crisis of healing abates, the solution becomes clear... you reinvent yourself as a whole and healthy person, in harmony with your environment.

You create a new, non-broken, version of your life to step into, while laying your sickness, your pain, your fear--your entire former self--onto the bonfire.  Your requiem for your inferior self (selves) clears the way for you to build a healthy life from the ground up.

In this space you can cultivate health.  Roots, branches, flowers and fruit are the indications that life is being affirmed.  Vibrancy and vivaciousness are the benchmarks of wellness.

While you can DO healing, you can't do health.  Health is a state of being.  You must decide to be a healthy person.  

And then you must be that person.  That person does many things, but doing those things alone does not make you that person.  Be the person who keeps the flame of vitality going... who clears the great waters, and cultivates peace... loving oneself, and expanding the concept of what that self even is. 

If you pay attention, and are fluid enough, you can modulate with the feedback your life gives you, and continuously recreate yourself in harmony.  Feeding the primal fire and listening in rapture to its myriad crackles and pops.  This is health.

Friday, November 17, 2017


Gratitude is not a feeling reserved for certain times of year... or when someone gives you what you want.

Gratitude is a constant recognition that you should have at ALL times.  Every single aspect of our lives is a gift.

Being born, having an abundant, life giving planet... even the existence of life itself... all extremely precious things that you can not buy, or give to yourself.

Reverent gratitude is the only natural response to being so gifted.  Gratitude is the attitude.

(You'll have to excuse me, as some of this is a bit bumper-stickery.)

In truth, though, gratitude is what draws towards you those things that make you grateful.  Essentially, people aren't grateful because they are happy... they're happy because they are grateful.

Thanksgiving is a natural time to connect to this miraculous power... and in a previous post (Thanks Forgiving), I delved into the story of the day, the history, and how forgiveness was an essential feature of this very American holiday.

This post is a lot less challenging.  The former, involved soul searching, and facing some hard truths... a process which, albeit uncomfortable, is usually necessary.  Confront the darkness, forgive yourself and others... and eventually you clear enough, become light enough... to have authentic gratitude.

It may be possible to jump directly to being truly grateful, but one rarely sees it.  The ego usually requires a great deal of being broken down, and people only tap into this miraculous state after hitting ROCK bottom.  And even then, it is not a certainty, by any means.

Because of the film The Secret, Gratitude Rocks became (and still are) a big thing. In case you missed that cultural meme, you take a stone (any stone... it doesn't have to be a fancy Amazon bought one like this >), and you decide that you will remember to feel gratitude whenever you touch it.

Generally, they are small enough to be carried in your pocket, so you might touch it during the day when reaching for your wallet or keys... at the very least, you will come in contact with it while emptying your pockets, and while putting it in your pocket after getting dressed in the morning.  Thus, you will be reminded to touch base with this state before going to bed, before starting your day, and periodically during the day.

Some people like to place large ones by the front door, in front of a fountain, statue or in an otherwise enhanced ceremonial position, so they can see it and touch it as they leave and come in.

While it is true that miraculous things happen when using these stones... people have to remember that it is the gratitude that brings the miracles.  The stone has no power other than what you have imbued in it.  This is obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people wind up fetishising their rock.  Like any lucky charm, or rabbit's foot... it works by REMINDING you to tap into a power you already have.

You could easily choose to use any object this way.  If you are really smart, you can use every object this way.  The problem with that, for most people, is that when the scope of something becomes too broad, it loses meaning for them.  Everything often means nothing... and if you do something all the time, it is not actually special or obviously efficacious.  Like most things you need to find a natural balance with this.

The truth is that, as you cultivate gratitude, and your life continues to reflect it... you have more to be grateful for... and you need less prodding to be in the state.  It is a feedback loop.

At first, people find that they have to think of specific things they are grateful for. They list off a few things and maybe even feel some gratitude.  But this is not where the magic is.  To truly tap into the infinite wellspring of creative source energy... gratitude must be a state of being.  In this way it is a lot like Peace or Love.

Peace is not simply the absence of violence... but the inner equanimity and ability to relax that is a pre-requisite for light to enter your life.  Love is not just an agreement or currency exchanged between lovers... but an energetic state that arises in recognition of union and unity.

All of these things are components of, and combine into a state of reverence... a blissful state that is an overflowing fountain. It brings joy and blessings to all it touches.  No amount of possessions, "things" or successes can touch the happiness of simply being in this state.  It is literally, being filled with the holy spirit.

Perhaps you are not there yet, and this last bit strikes you as woo-woo, and your eyes are glazing over. I understand.  If you haven't already cultivated enough peace, then love & light are not going to be overflowing in you until you clear out the blocks. Therefore, the kind of gratitude I am talking about will seem crazy.

That is okay.  Start with the basics.  It usually works something like this:
  • Accept where you are
  • Don't run from the shadows
  • Forgive others as much as you are able
  • Make peace with the past
  • Forgive yourself
  • Find your inner peace in stillness
  • Nurture & protect your peace
  • Notice what feeds your peace
  • Choose those things and abandon other things
  • Make space for more light to enter your life
  • As love wells up in you, share it
  • Give thanks
That is it!  Sometimes you have to go back and repeat stuff as new things come up. But in a nutshell:

Forgiveness ~> Peace ~> Love ~> Gratitude   

Naturally, there is more beyond this.  But this is enough for now... 😊

Saturday, September 30, 2017


Change in Velocity divided by Duration (Change in Time)

Acceleration noun
1  an increase in how fast something happens
2  the rate at which a vehicle increases speed
3  the rate at which the velocity (= speed in a particular direction) of an object changes

I am certainly not alone in noticing that this year has been mind-blowing. If you, reading this, have not experienced this frenetic sense of change coupled with a consistent, unrelenting pressure from both inner and external alchemical processes... that has driven a good number of people to the brink of losing their minds, and resulted in a reality that seems absurd to the point of ridiculousness most of the time (when you're not too overwhelmed with the process to pay attention), I don't know if we live on the same planet.  :-)

It is not just that things are moving quickly.  Things have been moving quickly.  Things are accelerating.

It is one thing to be zipping around in a Ferrari at 90 mph.  It is another thing entirely to be in a Ferrari that was already going 90 mph and feel the g's press you to your seat, as you watch the world begin to whiz by so fast you are not even sure what you are looking at.  The pressure you feel is the proof positive that you are going faster by the second.  You can go any speed and if you maintain it, you will not feel any pressure. It is the acceleration and deceleration that push you around... especially the extreme change in speed involved in hitting a wall (i.e. going from 90 mph to 0 in a second).

It seems to me that all definitions of Acceleration are at work right now, including such obscure types as centripetal acceleration (where an object undergoing circular motion is considered to be accelerating even while maintaining speed due to change of direction i.e. moons & satellites).   It is this kind of acceleration that lets us "slingshot" space probes like Cassini around a moon to speed it up and redirect it. 

We are probably also collectively experiencing what is called proper acceleration (acceleration relative to free-fall i.e. what an accelerometer measures). The feeling that we are falling faster and faster is a common theme, for sure.

As crazy as January and February were, March and April were nuts... May and June were bonkers... and the summer was just off the charts wack-a-doo.  It is hard to remember what a normal year even felt like. People talk about a "new normal" (in relation to any metric or topic), but we really have not plateaued, but are still accelerating... so such conceptions are meaningless. The rate of change may not level off, and if it does, who knows what the physics of that FTL travel will even look like?

I sincerely doubt I am telling you anything you don't already know and feel deeply in your heart, mind, gut and other sensory organs.  You may not have thought about it in these terms, but now that we are discussing it this way, I'm sure you see what I am driving at.

So... we are speeding up.  Our acceleration is accelerating.  

In engineering there is a term somewhat comically named jerk that describes the rate of change of acceleration. It is sometimes called surge, jolt or lurch, and is mostly talked about by roller-coaster designers. It is the derivative of acceleration with respect to time, and as such, the second derivative of velocity, or the third derivative of position.  Blah, blah, blah.

What is important, is the way humans respond to jerk.

Humans maintain an equilibrium of antagonistic muscles that keep us integral at rest and during smooth motion. When the jerk reaches a certain level, this balance can not be maintained and the structure collapses in a variety of ways... the most famous of which is termed WHIPLASH.

My point with this is both metaphoric and literal... and may even extend to being a pataphor. A metaphor is an analogy that is one step removed from reality, while a pataphor is at least 2. (Note, I am not promoting 'pataphysics, but it is an interesting absurdist school of thought along the lines of dadaism, surrealism or discordianism...all of which are worth checking out IMHO.) Also, feel free to insert all the other definitions of jerk into this, as it is unavoidably funny.  I like the circle and chicken varieties, myself.  ;-)

But what we really want to know:

How do we deal with this jerk... and the apparent surge of jerkiness?  How do we all keep from getting whiplash (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually etc.)?  

This is the billion dollar question.

I will give you the answer for free.  :-)
The answer to this physics problem lies in Special Relativity.  I am not going to bore you or downplay Einstein with a real explanation of that landmark theory. The link is to the "for dummies" page on it, but it, like most of those books and posts, is certainly NOT for dummies.  A dummy wouldn't care to educate themselves.

Cutting to the chase, Special Relativity sets the speed of light as the universal speed limit. Whether this is true or not, or applies to other universes or dimensions is another matter. Our observations have proven it to be workable here at this time... and looking back the 13+ billion years we can see into the past with our space telescopes.  

What it says in relation to this, the matter at hand, is that as the relevant speeds increase toward the speed of light, acceleration no longer follows classical equations.  As speeds approach that of light, the acceleration produced by a given force decreases, becoming infinitesimally small as light speed is approached; an object with mass can approach this speed asymptotically, but never reach it.

In English, this is saying that forces of acceleration (and jerk) are decreased in exponential proportion to how close to 671 million miles per hour you are going. In more direct vernacular, the faster you go the less the forces affect you.

This is impractical on its surface, as physically, as we don't have easy access to that kind of speed. But keep 2 things in mind.  

1  Even at lower speeds this is in effect to some degree
2  We don't have to do this physically

In truth, the whiplash we are all resisting now is more of the mental, emotional and spiritual sort. As such, it is this "speed" that we need to deal with. Luckily, in these realms it is easier to approach the "speed of light."

If we could throw on the brakes, I am guessing most of us would have done so by now. In fact, it is the attempt to brake that is causing most of the problems I am seeing. We are kind of hydroplaning at the moment, so any sudden "knee-jerk" reactions to stomp the breaks might lead to a crash. We really only have one option. To go through it.

As such, we have to embrace this acceleration, and do our best to remove the obstacles in its path. We have to move toward light speed in order to stop being tossed around.

If this sounds like mumbo jumbo to you.  I get it.  No harm, no foul.

But some of you know what I am driving at here. Physical light speed is an extended metaphor for being in the light. Darkness and all the shadow stuff that has been coming up lately... amounts to resistance to the light.

Decrease that resistance down to nothing... and you become a superconductor.
YAY !!
There you go.

Friday, June 16, 2017

March To Sanity

This post was written in March, and should have been "published" at that time. Naturally, it was far more timely back during March Madness, and while the current events mentioned were... well, current.  People are still crazy though, and this is worth reading  😎  :

March To Sanity

Times have gotten rather strange of late.
The level of absurdity has reached dream levels.

One only has to watch a guy dragged off an overbooked flight
Interspersed with truly inexplicable press conferences
With the offering of a Pepsi, becoming our thin hope for salvation...

Yeah. ;-)

While I rather like basketball, I never really got into College Ball.

Truth is, I barely have enough time to watch the pros,
And the phrase "March Madness" always bothered me.

I rather like March...
But I don't much care for Insanity,

If we're being honest.

I understand the hyperbole.
I get that it is supposed to be fun.
Wild & Crazy have become glued together like Peanut Butter & Chocolate...
and who doesn't want to break out of "normalcy?"


Sanity is what everyone needs.


The truth is that normalcy is insane. Madness is not a break from normalcy; normalcy is madness. It has been for a looong time. Since before the word even existed. Since before time was even a thing.

The overwhelming majority of people are crazy, and I can say this with certainty... because I have a very high bar for what I consider sane.  Basically, unless you have achieved a moderate level of self-mastery, you are broken in some way.  If you haven't mastered your mind... you are mentally ill.

Neuroses... sufferings of a bewildering variety. A vast array of disconnects and denials.  In truth, you are bound to be lousy with them, if you don't know how to master your mind.

Naturally, there is a spectrum of madness.

Not everyone has to gibber to themselves maniacally, or have a social circle of predominantly "invisible friends" to be a nutcase. 

I posit that any belief in illusion is a break from reality... a type of schizophrenia perhaps.

I am not writing this to make anyone feel bad. In a place where nearly everyone is nuts, being broken is par for the course. 

The question is really... do you want to be sane?

Most people would be surprised at their true and honest answer to that question,  People think they want to be whole, before the magnitude and magnificence of that prospect actually settles in.  At some point, though, it becomes obvious that one's entire sense of self is at risk. People claim to want to be more, but generally are not actually willing or ready to prepare for more... let alone let go of all the garbage that this entails.

The truth is that most worldviews can not survive becoming whole. 

That said, being sane is its own reward.  Often it is costly to those who treasure delusion, but there is zero upside in remaining delusional.  Any seeming to the contrary is part of the delusion.

I'm not going to belabor this point.  It makes no difference actually.  If someone is intent on being crazy, nothing can stop them. 

The decision to become whole is a commitment that usually isn't reached until one is thoroughly fed up with the status quo.  You have to reach your wits end... before you will admit defeat. 

The first and most important step:  Admitting that you are broken.  Not deflecting, justifying, qualifying or otherwise ditching responsibility. Simply a recognition that your ego is a fragment of a splintered mind.
Stark honesty is what it takes... and a willingness to be still.  Still enough to hear an authentic call from deep within.  When you hear this, and feel it boiling up in you, you are nearly home.

At this point, lay down your arms and surrender.  That is it.

You can't even practice this. Any idea that you need something before you can go for an insane idea.

Sanity is your default state.  You have to try very hard to remain insane.  Just stop doing that, and your mind will repair itself.

I am not surprised when people aren't thrilled to hear this.   Well, perhaps they are thrilled... into inaction.  Paralyzed with ebullience.

The truth is that the only people in this nuthouse we call home that aren't mad, are the masters.  And, they are so few and far between that you are lucky to even know of one.  Worse still, you are so crazy that you wouldn't recognize them even if they were sitting next to you on the bus.  Most of you would feel an overpowering urge to be anywhere other than next to a real master. 

This is because they highlight your insanity by giving you something to compare it to.  You don't feel crazy until you stand near a truly sane person... for much the same reason that no one in a dark cave thinks it is dark until someone lights a candle.  And then... the sudden polarity shift seems threatening... painful even.  Ironically, people feel more blind, momentarily, before their sad, darkened eyes can adjust to the light.

Thankfully, you don't need to find a master. 

You need to become one.

Masters rarely teach others, and the people you have heard of who attract followers by claiming to be masters, are rarely masters.  Those people are performers (gurus, shaman, cult leaders, charismatic personalities etc.) who have made a profession out of stroking your illusions, prodding them, and maybe giving you a few hints on the sly. These people can be masters, and many of them have met (or at least heard about) real masters... but true masters rarely bother with this pursuit.

For the same reason that professors of rocket science rarely teach pre-school. And, professional rocket scientists generally don't even profess.

If they know how to build rockets, then they are usually busy with... building rockets.  Babysitting a bunch of dumbasses obsessed with nonsense doesn't serve their purpose. It is simply not an efficient use of their time and energy.

If you are lucky, they may say something inspiring to you, in the hopes that you decide to become a rocket scientist when you grow up. These sayings usually get mangled, and turned into bumper stickers... or worse, internet memes.

There is no point in trying to disavow crazy people of their crazy notions.  Even if you succeed, they will simply create, or latch onto, some other insane worldviews that will reify their lives.

Also, anyone who really wants to master themselves already has all the tools they need.  Nobody needs to teach rose seeds to make roses. 

All that needs to be done is to place your seed (what you think of as your reality) into fertile soil, intend that your egg not inhibit you in your unfolding... and be willing to let it crack open, so you can emerge.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Autumn & Wasting Time

Third (& final) Installment of my Autumn & Time postings...

The final weeks of Autumn are falling away.

We made it through the "super" Super Moon, the interminable elections, and a dozen other inexplicable and seemingly endless things.

The days are getting really short, and time seems more fleeting and precious than ever.  With so few hours of sunlight, we tend to become aware of the ease with which Time is WASTED.

Somehow, there never seems to be enough time.

Everything seems to take a lot longer than you would think it should... except when it takes a lot less. :-)  But either way, there is always more that needs doing. 

Add to this, the general entropy of our human existence--where things fall apart and deteriorate literally from the moment they are created--and you have a situation where it can seem like nothing ever gets done.

With so many things stacked against any lasting accomplishment, it is important that we figure out how to make the most of what little time we have.

Knowing that achievements are temporal, most of us still have goals we are pursuing (from the purely survival oriented, to the grand and weighty sort)... I think we could all benefit from less hours "frittered and wasted in an offhand way."  (Pink Floyd's classic Time)

                                                                 Time - Live in Venezia!

Nearly all of the lyrics of this song apply to this post. Heheheh.

How not to waste time?

There are entire industries devoted to this. A ton of self-help and motivational books, gurus, twitter accounts & memes... all purporting to help you not waste your time. Many of these are filled with genuinely good advice. Quotes abound that sound like they are rather profound.  But, in the end, the legions of people who purchase (or even espouse) this stuff, still waste the vast majority of their time.
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."  Will Rogers
This is one that I like because it succinctly tells you that even after all your research and hard work... the real effort is just beginning.  Not enough to find and get on "the right track," but you have to haul ass on that track because there are freight trains picking up steam behind you!

So, what do we do?

Most of what I have said thusfar is likely to encourage one to curl up in a fetal position, indulge in something comforting, and binge watch an entire season or two of distracting fare. 

Well... I am unlikely to disavow you of that inclination, actually. If that is what you need to do, I say do it. Get it out of your system. You won't be very effective if your inner self is yearning for some downtime.

But, when your Netflix queue runs out... or you get bored with laying around... there ARE things to be done.  And yet, how can we be effective at doing anything when it is so easy to waste time?
Seems like a rhetorical question, right?  You are reading this aren't you?  Hehehe.
This question is very different depending on which word you emphasize. 

The most common way to read it is "Are YOU Wasting Time?" because people are naturally self-absorbed, and tend only to relate to things as they directly address or relate to them. Whatever gets said or done, you can bet that a majority of the people in the room will be assuming it is about them.

In this case, it reads as an accusation. Something your boss might say with furrowed brows and a scowl. Something that is assumed to be true, and which you are then expected to scurry and prove is not the case with you... at the moment.

"ARE You Wasting Time?" is a more critical-thinking take.  Whereas the former phrasing assumes that time is being wasted, and the only question is if YOU are among the wasters.  This is more sly, and is read with a little head tilt... to make you think twice about your assumption.  It is an "on second thought" phrasing, and it evokes the idea that maybe your time wasting isn't actually a waste after all.  People need their downtime, after all... and powering through until you crash is actually more of a time waster than simply whiling away some hours to let your brain, body and nerves recharge a bit.

"Are You WASTING Time?" follows on the heels of the last phrasing, and directly asks if there isn't a better term for what you are doing with your time.  Enjoying? Relishing, perhaps?
Does Time have a recycling bin?

Finally, "Are You Wasting TIME?" asks us if it is Time that is being wasted.  Is Time waste-able?  When we say we are wasting time, what are we really wasting... if anything?  Maybe it is our attention that we are wasting.

I suggest, that since time is a dimension, we can "waste" it the way we waste space. (i.e. use it in a way that doesn't take advantage of its parameters, or seems aesthetically poor.)  It is not a commodity which we can throw away, and our neglect of time causes it no damage. Clearly, we can't waste it in the way we waste a stamp on a letter we never send, or waste the batteries on a stereo by leaving it on when we are not listening to it.

As with space, though... people tend to mark it off and reserve it, only to do nothing with it.

The real issue, therefore... and what all those books purport to teach you... is HOW do we NOT waste our time (whether it is something that belongs to us or not)?

We can't.

The most productive people you can think of wasted oodles of time.  Time is literally oozing through your fingers, with more of it falling on the floor the harder you squeeze.

There is no magic wand to tidy up your life, and make time stand still. (None that you would be wise to employ regularly anyway. ;-)

This is not even a matter of discipline. What we call discipline is nothing more than habit. Acquiring true discipline, while worthwhile, can waste more time than it will ever save you.

What people really want, is to make sure the time they spend is valuable... that it achieves something worth achieving.

Those productive people I mentioned, and everyone who ever made a mark on the world for that matter, did not work harder or have more minutes to spend than other people.  Middle school janitors work harder than any person whose name you know ever has, or will.

Successful people are all known for a staggeringly tiny percentage of the time they spend/spent on Earth. (A handful of sayings, a number of important decisions, a few great ideas etc.)

One's wasted time is retroactively made valuable by getting a few moments really right.  Often, it is just ONE simple thing that makes an entire life seem worthy.  If you touch people, and affect humanity with your best 5 minutes... it makes every "wasted" moment worthwhile. A posteriori!

Vilfredo Pareto
It is said, that 80% of all value in an activity is garnered from 20% of the effort.  It is such a truism that it even has a fancy name:  The Pareto Principle  (after this Italian guy who made it famous) Also known as the law of the vital few, it states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Otherwise stated, it says that you are wasting time 80% of the time you are working. (Forget about when you are lollygagging or being truant!) 

And, it is even worse than this.  Of the 20% of your activity that has a beneficial effect, 20% of this did most of the heavy lifting!

Yes.  And this magic 4% is also capable of being whittled down.

The truth is that a single thing done really well is better and more effective than an entire lifetime of normal effort.  Think about that.

While it is a staggering thought, and somewhat intimidating at first... it is a truly liberating idea.  What it says, in no uncertain terms, is that all the time you have ever wasted can be retroactively made valuable by sticking to your vision, and hitting a single homerun.  It means that you can rescue your lost time, by making the misses, losses, and disappointments you have endured work for you.

Transform your heartache, debauchery, and daydreams into a single memorable action and it is no longer a waste... it was merely setting the stage for you to achieve greatness. 

There would be no Hemmingway without thousands of drunken nights.  No Miles Davis without years hiding out behind blackout curtains and consuming cocaine.

This is not to say you should copy these fellows... or even model yourself after the great Sherlock Holmes (who famously spent his downtime on heroin and cocaine, and solved most of his cases in moments of brilliance after lengthy periods of simply soaking in the details of the issue).

But from Albert Einstein (whose 3 big theories made him the greatest mind of the 20th Century) to Jesus Christ (whose total words in the Bible amount to 19 pages of text, and who became the most influential person of all time by a single miraculous act)... the history books bear this out. It is not the people who do decent work diligently, day in and day out, that make history. (or even TMZ)

The awful truth of the matter is that your life will be evaluated on a handful of the choices you make. Most people will be lucky if there is more than one action they took that will be worthy of an obituary (having offspring doesn't count). Despite what we have been told, you do NOT get points just for showing up.

The truth is, most people don't care what you do... so long as you are not making their life more difficult. And, those that actually do care, only care about what you actually accomplish (for better or for worse).

Most of you will respond to this by thinking "Well, who cares what other people think?" which simultaneously proves what I was just saying... and is also a bold lie.  The truth is, that you care what you think, and for most of you, that is predicated to a large extent on what other people think.

Don't get me wrong. Being famous sucks just about as bad as being infamous. But often, it is the price one pays for achieving something, and people don't feel fulfilled if they don't achieve something they deem worthwhile.  (even if they are horribly wrong about this)

Really soak in those peak moments...
At any rate:

Your job, should you want your effort and time to have value... is to waste your time well.

Pay attention, be sharp and refreshed where possible, and know what you are good at.  That way, when your moment comes, you can knock it out of the park.  Whether that is the moment of your life, your year, your week or your hour... there are certain actions that are vital, and capable of transcendent results... and then there are the rest of them.

You don't always get to choose which moments will be vital. But, what you can do... is learn how to fritter the non-vital moments in such a way as to bolster your odds of shining when the vital ones show up. By this logic, spending your day at the spa getting a seaweed wrap, hot stones treatment, and full body massage doesn't seem like a waste at all.

My advice:

Yawn more often, and longer... even when you are not tired.  Smile if you have no pressing reason not to.  And relish your time by luxuriating and nourishing yourself.... inner child, stoic sage, and hedonist monkey included... and in so doing, you will do good work along the way to maybe achieving something truly great.

However long it takes, reaching deep inside, and opening up some of your soul, and then having the grace to get out of its way and let it shine... is never a waste of time.  IMHO that is what time is actually for.

In case you missed it...
Part I of this posting:  Autumn, Time & Space
Part II of this posting:  Autumn, Time & Semantics

... and another bonus version of Pink Floyd's Time for you.  This one, Live in Bristol, 1974 for those who appreciate the original, pre-schism band. :-)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Autumn, Time & Semantics

A Continuation Of The Thoughts From The Last Post...

Why it is that the fall is more conducive to pondering... and specifically to thoughts of time and its passing? 

Augustus Caesar
Obviously, the fall foliage is nature's most striking reminder of time, seasons, cycles and the passing of yet another year.

But there is another reason for me.

One that affects all of us in the Western World... and most anyone who deals with us this time of year.

And, that is: the rather glaring psychic disconnect in our Calendar that starts in September and goes through until Winter starts. If the Autumn has always seemed surreal to you, at least a part of that might be because for these 4 month, we lie to ourselves every day, all day... and live in the shadow of an epic ancient ego trip.

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(Don't worry, I will explain.)
Julius Caesar

Our Glorious Calendar

If you know a little Latin, or even a little bit of any of the Romance Languages (i.e. Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese etc.), it has probably occurred to you that the prefixes of these months are numbers. September literally meaning 7th month, October, 8th month and so on.

But wait, September is the 9th month, right!?

Hahahaha. Sadly, yes.

We can thank 2 of the hugest douchebags in history for that: Julius & Augustus Caesar.

(note: the 100 hrs of podcasts linked above cover both their lives in great detail, and make a history lesson bar none.)

Maybe they were great guys; they were certainly seriously interesting movers and shakers. But it is a matter of record that the Caesars turned a somewhat democratic republic into an Emperor-led, military dictatorship by force, and not only made people consider them living gods (!), putting their faces and names everywhere... these cats were so bodacious, they had to have their own months as well.

Not only that, but their months had to have 31 days and be at the height of summer. So they stuffed these two monuments to towering ego into our calendar. This would be douchey enough, but good ol' Julius also decreed that the official New Year be fixed at January 1st instead of March 1st.

While this brought the consular (political) year and the civil year into alignment, he neglected to correct the month names. Quintus & Sextus became July & August... Janus, the 2 faced god of doors replaced Mars, the god of war, as the start of the year, and for the most part, none of us free western nations have objected to the tyranny.

It doesn't really take any knowledge of Latin to deduce the discrepancy. A simple elementary school math class would have taught you that Oct means 8.  Oct is for octopus, octagon etc.

(I don't think that this was in School House Rock, but who knows.)

As we all know... October is our 10th month. And yet, we use a base 10 number system that we call the decimal system. Because Dec = 10.

To be honest, all of this applies to the Germanic Languages as well. Despite their not being based on Latin, they still use the Roman numbers and months, with their own pronunciation, for the most part. Romantic or Germanic, Catholic or Protestant, North or South... and all through the colonies of the world... we are stuck with this gloriously inaccurate calendar.

I'm rather surprised no one ever made a real attempt to ditch this thing on the grounds of its being illogical and irrational.

Even more surprising, is that none of the very Christian people of the last 2,000 years rebelled against the idol worship that is built into it. As summer starts, we are all praising the god Juno. Even just mentioning "The 4th of July" or "Le 14 Juillet" (aka Bastille Day if you're French) honors the god-emperor Julius Caesar... Simply having an entire month named after Februus, the Etruscan god of death should disqualify this calendar as heresy. Truth is, most any day of the week, or date in the year honors pagan gods.

Popey G-13
To be fair, the Julian calendar was patched up by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, and now needs only a leap day every 4 years to be somewhat correct. Why the good Pope didn't think to expunge the calendar of pagan idolatry while he was at it is beyond me though.

Furthermore, he re-instituted the January 1st New Year as well, which had fallen out of favor after the fall of Rome.

You would think a guy who was irked about the sliding of the calendar against the actual solar year could have taken the time to fix the months.

Meanwhile, we still have to utter gibberish when we say our dates.

I am not trying to shame anyone who has lived a number of decades under this calendar and failed to notice that December (lit. 10th month) is the 12th month. It is the way things have been for a couple thousand years now... and why care?

I can't tell anyone what they should care about. Much of what people care about astounds me on a daily basis. And, conversely, what people don't care about is often just as bewildering.

I won't digress into an essay on the virtues and dangers of taking things seriously, but it is generally safer to err on the side of less serious, as most of the terrible things in the world happen when people are too serious about stuff they should really just let go of. (insert patch of land, current currency, old document, manufactured identity etc.)

What I will say, is that it is important for one's mental health to be as honest with oneself as one can.

And, while some amount of minor, or even major, deceit may be necessary in our society... keeping lying and deception to an absolute minimum is important for all of us. I may discuss lying (and caring) in another post... but for now, I will just say that for me, being truthful and transparent is something I cherish.

It helps maintain inner peace, and serves to prevent the stress and tension that lies create.

I wish I could live in a world where one never had to lie or bend the truth. Most people could dispense with feigning interest in their colleagues baby pictures with only minor losses in their social circles.  Other lies might be more difficult to ditch... but, this is somewhat besides the point.

I am far more apt to be truthful, even when it is uncomfortable, than most people I know.  So it is, that having to say, write and see dates all day long that are not only semantically false, but are, as stated, logical fallacies and impossible paradoxes... kinda sucks.

Wait J. Aren't you taking this a bit seriously?  ;-)

It may seem that way in writing. But you generally have to take everything I say as if I have a peaceful, wry grin on my face. I am not losing sleep over this.

But... it bugs me. Ontologically and psychologically.

If you know how the subconscious works, you will be aware that it doesn't differentiate the commands you give it very well... if at all. Basically, everything you say or think goes into that supercomputer, and it does its very best to sort it out, process it, and rectify it.

Feeding it a conundrum might be fun once in awhile... but every day for 4 months? Often a dozen times a day?

When you feed unsolvable conundrums to robots in old school sci-fi, what happens?

Hehehe.  Yeah.

I'm not saying that having our months shifted over is going to cause our heads to explode. Y2K didn't crash the world either.

But... it does use processing power that you could better be using elsewhere. There is a minute moment when your mind rebels every time you tell it bullshit.

Even more to the point, though. We don't have to be doing this. There is no good reason for us to be using some inaccurate, Ancient Roman calendar.

Furthermore, for those of you of a religious bent... it really is idol worship. Julius and Augustus wanted to be worshiped. Not as rock stars (or whatever the Kardashians are)... but literally as gods. They put their names on months to achieve a kind of immortality that few have ever dreamed of. Who could dream that billions of people would write and speak your name every day, trillions of times a year... 2000 years after you are gone?

Not to mention Janus, Mars, Februus and company. Why honor them?

Why even call these things months if they aren't connected to the Moon anymore?

You could get burned alive for bowing to a hollowed out turnip 300 years ago. You can still be targeted for death if you dare to even draw a certain prophet... and yet people are fine with writing false gods on their checks?

The days of the week are just as bad.

In English, somewhat inexplicably, we still use Viking Norse gods for many of the days!! For Pete's sake.

Sure, there was a time when the Danish held sway in the British isles and imposed the "Danelaw" and the Saxons had their own related mythology. But it has been a long time since anyone seriously worshiped Thor or Odin.

Why in 2016, do I still have to say Thursday (Thor's Day) and Wednesday (Wotan' Day)?

Tiw was the Saxon version of the deity known in Norse languages as Tyr, and is the Viking god of war. And Friday is named for Freya, a kind of fairy/god hybrid, queen of the Vanir (non-Asgardian celestial beings), also known as Frigga... for crying out loud.


While I love mythology & comic books (and The Mighty Thor in particular) at least as much as the next guy, I don't need to invoke him every time I make an acupuncture appointment on the day after midweek.

Even the fricking Germans ditched the Norse god named days, and their love of things Norse and Teutonic is legendary.

Why do we name planets, days and months after gods that we don't believe in?

Is there some insidious plot to cause all the Judeo-Christian & Islamic (Abrahamic) people of the world to blaspheme, and commit what is considered biblically a "mortal sin" on a daily basis?  One has to wonder.


As comical as all this is to me, I guess I will wind it up.  While I could go on half-ranting about this stuff for days, I won't beat a dead horse... any more... for now.

I will just leave you all with the idea that we really should chuck this old bathwater out, and start fresh. If there ever was a baby in there, it is long since dead and decomposed.

They did it for weights and measurements on adopting the metric system, and there was no built-in heresy and paradox there. Note that they failed at making the meter the logical division of the Earth's circumference that they set out to make it, though, so we might have to revisit that one as well one day.

But for now, Happy Fall y'all.  Enjoy your Halloween!