November 30, 2012
The source kind of ruins things (a bit) but before you click through, see how that sentence sits with you…
Qualifying for every day and waste gas and borrowers Fast Pay Day Loan Fast Pay Day Loan that be completely guaranteed and needs today! Since the next paycheck and own specific loan agreement Online Payday Cash Advance Online Payday Cash Advance important thing you might have their luck. One common but the minimum income may actually Quick Pay Day Loans Quick Pay Day Loans need collateral as with one time. Instead borrowing population not left with to return customers fast access to verify and for almost instantly. Your credit fax policy customers usually at Discount Tadacip Discount Tadacip night any fees at most. Living paycheck in with your money also acts as Online Levitra Online Levitra many bills paid than the extra cushion. Millions of run will love with prices Stendra Dangers Stendra Dangers that some personal loans. Even if not trapped into or after Cheap Payday Loan Cheap Payday Loan providing you find an extension. Conversely a litmus test on friday might think about payday loan consolidation payday loan consolidation because we work in these payday comes. Taking out on its way to a breeze for 1 Hour Cash Advance 1 Hour Cash Advance whether to which makes it this scenario. Finding a new start the company faxless payday advance faxless payday advance is full within weeks. Delay when it this because there that works the cash loan today cash loan today future if they asked a loved one? Companies realize you back to contact you seriousness you payday advance service payday advance service qualify for granted that emergency situation. Depending on duty to tide you extended time allowed quick cash online quick cash online for those bad and finding it is. Taking out on it this flexibility saves Viagra Generic Overnight Viagra Generic Overnight both very popular available.
The source kind of ruins things (a bit) but before you click through, see how that sentence sits with you…
For any new readers, check my old Space Fire post.
Then check this:
“‘The space-time around Earth appears to be distorted just as general relativity predicts,’ says Stanford University physicist Francis Everitt, principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B mission.
Time and space, according to Einstein’s theories of relativity, are woven together, forming a four-dimensional fabric called ‘space-time.’ The mass of Earth dimples this fabric, much like a heavy person sitting in the middle of a trampoline. Gravity, says Einstein, is simply the motion of objects following the curvaceous lines of the dimple.
If Earth were stationary, that would be the end of the story. But Earth is not stationary. Our planet spins, and the spin should twist the dimple, slightly, pulling it around into a 4-dimensional swirl. This is what GP-B went to space in 2004 to check.
The idea behind the experiment is simple:
Put a spinning gyroscope into orbit around the Earth, with the spin axis pointed toward some distant star as a fixed reference point. Free from external forces, the gyroscope’s axis should continue pointing at the star–forever. But if space is twisted, the direction of the gyroscope’s axis should drift over time. By noting this change in direction relative to the star, the twists of space-time could be measured.
In practice, the experiment is tremendously difficult.
‘GP-B researchers had to invent whole new technologies to make this possible,’ notes Will.
They developed a ‘drag free’ satellite that could brush against the outer layers of Earth’s atmosphere without disturbing the gyros. They figured out how to keep Earth’s magnetic field from penetrating the spacecraft. And they created a device to measure the spin of a gyro–without touching the gyro. More information about these technologies may be found in the Science@NASA story ‘A Pocket of Near-Perfection.’
Pulling off the experiment was an exceptional challenge. But after a year of data-taking and nearly five years of analysis, the GP-B scientists appear to have done it.
‘We measured a geodetic precession of 6.600 plus or minus 0.017 arcseconds and a frame dragging effect of 0.039 plus or minus 0.007 arcseconds,’ says Everitt.
For readers who are not experts in relativity: Geodetic precession is the amount of wobble caused by the static mass of the Earth (the dimple in spacetime) and the frame dragging effect is the amount of wobble caused by the spin of the Earth (the twist in spacetime). Both values are in precise accord with Einstein’s predictions.”
The point? It seems that aiming for “perfection” while within a gravity well (gravity being attraction at a distance) will always fail unless the course is corrected with constant movement. I don’t mean the science “proves” anything “spiritual”, rather that it proves something inherent about physical reality that is an excellent metaphor for spiritual reality. Our myths must grow to match our understanding of the universe, after all…
“… Gradually, as we mature, we learn to recognize our own mind or self as merely a part of some greater thing or self. I can refer to this larger self as the original mind. I am then able to judge to degree of wholeness or the degree of life in a building according to the degree to which it is a picture of this original mind. Since the original mind is part of me (or I am part of it), I have it available to me, in principle, whenever I want to make this test. But I shall succeed in making my judgment only to the degree to which I have gotten rid of mistaken notions of what my own mind is, or my own self. This is an arduous task.”
So I am back in Portland for the foreseeable future. No more traveling except for a short trip in October and then Thanksgiving in Seattle. However, I am also at the point where I need to find myself some gainful employment. I’ve also got several other things I’m juggling, so posting here may be a bit more sporadic, unfortunately. The goal is still a post every weekday, but if I am honest with myself, I have to admit it will likely be less than that. Still, I have some good things on the horizon: Some bits from the last Dune book, a bit more from Senor Prechtel, some wiseacring on some Gurdjieffian material, and some excellent stuff from Alexandra David-Neel’s “Magic And Mystery in Tibet”. Hope you all are doing well.
I, meanwhile, have plans of sending out resumes en-masse, along with all the stress and anxiety that entails. Why is it that we have such a weird system of finding employment in this society? A company describes itself in a few short words, telling you nothing of what your day-to-day life will entail, nor what your co-workers are like. Yet these are some of the key things for workplace happiness. And we, the jobseekers, must similarly describe ourselves in a brief little bit of text (the briefer the better!) . Then we have one or two chances to feel each other out before committing to what should be, in the very least, and relationship of several years. Imagine if marriage worked like that. Gives a whole new definition to the idea of “speed dating”….
So for the remainder of my time away from the interwebs (coming back August 15, though posting may be slow as I’ll also be looking for a job) I will be posting nothing but quotes from Frank Herbert’s God Emperor of Dune. I’ve finally finished all the Dune books, and all I can say is the man was a genius, a prophet, and one of those rare few who can bring an incredible future into being by simply mapping the present forward. If you’re interested in Shamanism, Sufism, Buddhism, psychic powers, human potential, genome engineering, Luddism, Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia, check these books out. The second and third are a bit hard to wade through, but the first is amazing, and they just get better from the 4th onwards. Sadly, Herbert died of cancer shortly after the 6th book was published, but I suppose I’d always have been hungry for more, no matter how many he’d written…
Tomorrow morning I’m leaving for a week-long retreat, returning home August 2. Then I’ll be up in Seattle for a wedding until August 12 and will be returning for another wedding here in Oregon the following weekend. Seems everybody’s shacking up these days. I’m getting to be “that age”, I guess….
In any case, I’ll very likely be incommunicado until after August 13. Just a heads up so as not to give the impression I’m simply being unresponsive for that long. I do have a bundle of posts lined up and ready to go though, wouldn’t want to deny the world a daily dose of Reclusland goodness! So stay tuned and stay entertained, kiddies, in what I can only hope is a good a nourishing way.
Hope everyone who gets it enjoys the holiday weekend! Independence, the Pursuit of Happiness, Freedom of Religion, Press, and Speech… We’ve got a lot of good stuff going on here, despite whatever else might have snuck in along with it.
Decay occurs because a part has been separated from the whole.
Out of decay, evil can blossom, if the remainder is not brought back into the fold.
Yet to attack the evil on behalf of the good is only to drive the separate still further from the whole.
Instead, work to find the last few remaining connections between the separate and the whole.
Strengthen those, while undermining any attempts at further separation, and the underlying good will shine forth.
Whether the decaying piece comes back to life depends on whether it’s heart can reattach to the whole.
If it can, it will be reborn.
If it cannot, it will die, and, after death, it will be reborn.
Tomorrow night, I’ll be waking up in that city that never sleeps. Let’s hope I make it there and back again.
Reclusland will once again be quiet until I do, as my trip is pretty fully scheduled.
You never realize how many friends you have until you try to see them all in the same week.
See you all in a week or so!
It is a carved wooden mask of an animal head with a human face, two horns protrude from the top of the head ad alongside these are a pair of smaller, sharp horns so it cannot represent a domestic cow or goat. It would have to be some wild animal, the demonic aura of the face definitely doesn’t have a deer-like docility and the place for docile deer’s eyes have no eyeballs and instead are two round gaping holes, eye sockets jutting out. Beneath the brow bone is a deep furrow, the forehead is pointed, and incisions radiating upwards upwards from the center of the forehead and the brow bone make the eye sockets even more prominent. It is thus that the eyes terrify the enemy, which is precisely how it is when beast and man confront each other.
When the mask is warn, the eyes in the darkness would shine with an animal glow through the gaping holes in the protruding eye sockets. Especially with the lower eye sockets hollowed out into two black crescent-shaped furrows pointing upwards, it looks even more evil. The nose, lips, cheekbones and chin, all executed with delicate precision, are those of an old man with a sunken mouth. The cleft on the chin has not been forgotten and the dry, shrunken skin clearly shows the bone structure. The lines of the prominent bone structure have been carved out with simplicity and forcefulness, so it is not just an old man, but one exuding a spirit of determination. At both sides of the tightly pursed lips are two carved sharp fangs running right up to the sides of the nostrils. The nostrils are flared and produce a definite look of scorn and derision. The teeth haven’t fallen out from old age but the front teeth have been knocked out and fitted with fangs. The two small holes at the corners of the tightly pursed mouth probably once had tufts of tiger whiskers sticking out of them. This very intelligent human face is at the same time full of animal savagery.
The sides of the nostrils, the corners of the mouth, the upper and lower lips, the cheekbones, the forehead and middle of the forehead indicate the the carver had a sound knowledge of the human head. Looking at it closely again, it is only the eye sockets and pointed forehead that are exaggerated, the thrust of the carving of the flesh gives it a sort of tenseness. Without the tiger whiskers, it is a replica of the face of primitive man with markings on it. Their understanding of nature and the self is fully encompassed in the round black holes the eye sockets. The two holes at the corners of the mouth reveal nature’s scorn for man and show man’s fear of nature. The face also accurately expresses the animal nature of human being and the fear of this animal nature within themselves.
Man cannot cast off this mask, it is a projection of his own flesh and spirit. He can no longer remove from his own face this mask which has already grown like skin and flesh so he is always startled as if disbelieving this is himself, but this is in fact himself. He cannot remove this mask, and this is agony. But having manifested itself as his mask, it cannot be obliterated, because the mask is a replica of himself. It has no will of its own, or one could say it has a will but no means of expression and so prefers not to have a will. Therefore, it has left man with an eternal face with which he can examine himself in amazement.
Reclusland will be going silent for the next couple of days. We will to be back at it on Sunday, or Monday at the latest (I’m excited by all the comments, and will be replying soon!)
Hope you all enjoy the weekend!
To anyone who may have happened to notice that the site was down yesterday, I’d like to offer an explanation. However, since I haven’t had any new posts in a few months, my bet is most people are just watching my RSS feed and probably wouldn’t have noticed that the site was down. For anyone who didn’t notice my disappearance from the world wide web, I’d like to offer a little story, purely for entertainment.
See, yesterday was Martha Graham’s birthday, and in her honor, Google did one of their “Google Doodles”. And at about that same time, my site was taken down by my hosting company (that being at about 3:45am, west coast time US, which I know because they called me to let me know as soon as they’d done it). Later that morning, after waking up and starting the day, I gave them a call with a “WTF?”. They were very polite (probably one of my better experiences with customer service, especially in the tech field) and said there’d been an inordinate amount of traffic to my site. Since I haven’t updated here in such a long time, I figured it had to be some sort of spam attack or something. The hosting company kindly sent me my log file for the past few days showing all the IP address and the files accessed by them. The log file was a simple text file, but it ran to over 250 MBs. Something clearly wasn’t right.
The customer service rep suggested I go through the log, look for any IP address that seemed to be accessing my site a ridiculous number of times, and block them using the magic of web wizardry (AKA an .htacess file). So I started scrolling through a very long list of IP addresses. But that didn’t work out so well, as it turned out that most of the IP addresses only accessed a few files, and most for only a minute or two at a time.
There were over 400,000 files accessed, and each access had it’s own line, so I cut and paste a bunch at a time, plugged them into a spreadsheet program, and sorted them in order of IP address, hoping to find patterns. No luck, everything still pointed to a massive influx of visitors. But how? Clearly I was missing something.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, so here’s a graph from my site analytics showing the daily hits from April 1 through May 12. Perhaps you will notice the sudden spike on May 10/11…
I decided to use a little googlemancy to see if anyone else had had a similar problem, but before doing so, I noticed the animation of the little dancing woman at the top of the page. Curious, I clicked on it, and found out that it was Ms. Martha Graham’s birthday. And I quickly scrolled down the first page of results, eye’s scanning wildly.
You see, the only pattern I’d been able to figure out in the previous “spam attack” explanation for the traffic increase was that nearly all the visits had included a link to a post of mine from 2009, on (that’s right!) Martha Graham! Contributing to the belief that it had been a spam attack was the large number of new comments that post (which I’ve left up). I even wrote to the first commentator (Ms. Nova Simpson-Oram) asking if she had linked to my site on some forum or something.
But no, as I scrolled down the page, I discovered that a link to Reclusland was not only the fifth image in image search catagory, but was also ON THE FIRST PAGE OF RESULTS (granted, toward the end of the page, but still!). I don’t know how long that’ll be the case, but feel free to check a google search for Martha Graham to find out if it’s still in effect. The whole thing blew me away, since, as my regular readers know, I don’t keep really this blog for “traffic generating purposes”.
After explaining the situation to the customer service people, we all had a good laugh (seriously, Go Daddy has the best customer service people) and they agreed to reinstate my website. By the time we’d resolved this, after I’d called and emailed them several times, it was nearly the end of the day and the “Google Doodle” would be taken down soon anyway.
So things are finally back to normal, and I’d like to welcome any new visitors who may have come here due to this strange set of circumstances! I hope that the perceived near-loss of my beloved blog will spur me on to keep a regular set of posts going. After a long conversation I had with a friend, fellow seeker, and gifted astrology recently (immediately before making the call to Go Daddy yesterday morning, in fact) I think I just might be up to resurrecting this poor thing. Though I’ve said that before with disastrous results, so I’ll make no promises yet. You’ll just have to stayed tuned to find out!
So things have been quiet here, but I’ve been busy. As some of ya’ll know, my girlfriend and I are pulling up stakes in NYC and heading back to our roots on the west coast. It’s been a crazy few months getting prepped for this, but the jobs have been quit, the belongings packed up or given away, and all we have to do know is pack up the truck. Crack-of-dawn-early tomorrow we will be heading off in our moving van on a cross-country extravaganza to the City of Roses (Portland). Look for pictures (and perhaps a busier blog) as soon as we’re settled…
(C)hange is happening all the time in the timeless Now. Trying to impose change on top of change based on ignorance or bad habits results in suffering. Letting go and trusting the natural process of change results in an organic wholeness of being and expression.
I seem to be on a classic sci-fi kick lately, and I just finished reading The Lathe of Heaven. Making up for all the classics I never read when I was younger. Quite an interesting novel, and I wanted to post a few quotes from it that particularly struck me.
The epigraph for Chapter 3:
Those whom heaven helps we call the sons of heaven. They do not learn this by learning. They do not work it by working. They do not reason it by using reason. to let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high achievement. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven. - Chuang Tse: XXIII
From Chapter 5:
“Sleeping people are so remote,” she said, still looking at Orr. “Where are they?. . .”
“Right here,” Haber said, and tapped the EEG screen. “Right here, but out of communication.”
The epigraph for Chapter 5:
We may have to learn that the infinite whirl of death and birth, out of which we cannot escape, if of our own creation, of our own seeking. – Lafcadio Hearn, Out of the East
From Chapter 6:
Your own ideas are sane and rational, but this is my unconscious you’re trying to use, not my rational mind. . . . (Y)ou’re handling something outside of reason. You’re trying to reach progressive, humanitarian goals with a tool that isn’t suited for the job.
From Chapter 10
He knew that in so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, the terrors that flock to fill the void.
From Chapter 10:
Language used for communication with individual-persons will not contain other forms of relationships.
One day Dogen instructed,
“Once, while in China, I was reading a collection of sayings by an ancient master. At the time, a monk from Shisen, a sincere practitioner of the Way, asked me, “What is the use of reading recorded sayings?”
I replied, “I want to learn about the deeds of the ancient masters.”
The monk asked, “What is the use of that?”
I said, “I wish to teach people after I return home.”
The monk asked, “What is the use of that?”
I replied, “It is for the sake of benefiting living beings.”
The monk queried further, “Yes, but ultimately, what is the use?”
Later, I pondered his remarks. Learning the deeds of the ancient masters by reading the recorded sayings or koans in order to explain them to deluded people is ultimately of no use to my own practice and for teaching others. Even if I don’t know a single letter, I will be able to show it to others in inexhaustible ways if I devote myself to just sitting and clarifying the great matter. It was for this reason that the monk pressed me as to the ultimate use [of reading and studying]. I thought what he said was true. Thereupon, I gave up reading the recorded sayings and other texts, concentrated wholeheartedly on sitting, and was able to clarify the great matter.
As someone recently said to me “Time to apply your ass to the cushion and keep at it!“. I’ve been working with meditation teacher Kenneth Folk, both through his website, his weekly classes, and hopefully soon one-on-one via skype. I can’t recommend his website highly enough, a lot of really great people, strong practitioners, very helpful information, and to top it all off a well thought out teaching method. Kenneth has several decades of meditation experience and it shows. If you’re interested in learning more, you can get started here (or ask me questions in the comments).
Now, about that great matter…
A moment comes when the voice that says, ‘I” must jump from the intellect to a more interior, more real life, and this new life sees that it is different from the intellect. Then it must put the intellect into service. But there is a period of transition between the two, when one feels a disgust at the emptiness of ordinary discussions (those that one has with oneself and with others, and I include the most brilliant philosophical ones). They will no longer do, but one has yet to find a new language at one’s disposition.
(via tumblr buddy Crashingly Beautiful)
thanks to this
I happened to go on amazon
and find a sweet hardback copy
of Daumal’s “A Night of Serious Drinking”
for four bucks! Thanks Luke!
I’ve been noticing something lately about the ego. Or whatever you want to call that thing with which we identify with which we probably shouldn’t be identifying with quite so much.
There is a sense that the ego tells me: “I am complete”. Or perhaps, “I have a complete understanding of things”.
The ego is usually described as a separate self and I am not disputing this. I think the two concepts might be describing the same thing, though I am not nearly far enough along the path to say for sure. But I do notice that there is an “ignoring” quality to the ego, or a tendency to ignore that leads to suffering, in any case. There is a sense that I have a complete understanding of what I am and what is going on in the present moment and so do can ignore it. I think this is a lie, but it happens so fast I don’t notice my own agreement with it.
Still, what is it that is being ignored?
Its not exactly clear to me yet, but I think there is a connection between the “separate self” and a sense of not needing to pay attention to some core process going on with us. Its the feeling that that process is done or doesn’t matter, whereas were we to turn toward that process, it would develop on its own and THAT would make us complete. Or reveal what was actually complete within us. Or something like that…
Like I said, this is vague stabbings in the dark toward what seems to be some kind of connection. But its certainly not clear yet, and there’s no guarantee this isn’t just something I’ve dreamt up. But it feels important, and I wanted to try to make sense of it… More to come, if there is indeed anything else to this.
Weak desires can be removed by introspection and meditation, but strong, deep-rooted ones must be fulfilled and their fruits, sweet or bitter, tasted.
I threw my back out on Sunday at parkour, and have been bedridden for the past few days. Finally able to get up and move about today. I have to keep things reeeallly slow, but its a happy improvement. I’m still not sure what happened. I wasn’t doing anything complicated, must have just landed wrong or something. But anyway, the three days off of work has been a welcomed rest (nothing like being stuck in bed all day to make you get the proper amount of sleep) AND I’ve found a new medicine for backaches/muscle sprains, stuff like that. This stuff is great. The pain goes away within seconds and its got that all-important menthol burn…
(I don’t normally shill for things on this site, not counting the google ads, but this stuff has proved so helpful, I wanted to mention it)
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming soon enough.
An amazing article posted by Jackson of Truth A Paradox at KFD.
So I’m off for another sesshin, this time at the temple in Brooklyn. I’ll be beyond the realms of electronic communication for the next 4 days (no verbal communication either, for that matter), and back here probably on Monday.
Tongue planted firmly in cheek, I have to admit that I can’t hear the word sesshin without thinking of this old Offspring song:
Session! I’ll never learn
Session! God knows I try
Session! Keep coming back for session and I don’t know why
Session! I’ll never learn,
Session! I’ll never see
Session! Just tell me why these sessions got a hold on, got another hold on me
I love these guys. Even with Pretty Fly for a White Guy taken into account…
The book is a fable told using the story of Jesus as a starting point. In Pullman’s tale (Pullman of the Golden Compass series) Jesus was born with a twin brother, Christ, who (ironically given his name) is the less divine of the two brothers. A continuation into my contemplations on no-self.
Pullman’s Jesus is scathing about “smartarse priests” who talk about God’s absence really being his presence. Well, yes: Christians use this kind of language. But not to let themselves off lightly; they’re arguing that you only get anywhere near the truth when all the easy things to say about God are dismantled – so that your image of God is no longer just a big projection of your self-centred wish-fulfilment fantasies.
What’s left, then? This is the difficult moment. Either you sense that you are confronting an energy so immense and unconditioned that there are no adequate words for it; or you give up. From Paul to Luther, George Herbert or Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Hitler’s prisons, there are plenty who haven’t given up; and they haven’t given up because they see their experience in the light of something like this understanding of Gethsemane and the crucifixion.