Archive for the World of Emotions Category

Open heart forgery

Posted in Fighting, martial arts, meditation, Mysticism, Philosophy, Powermongers, propaganda, Reality Bites, self-help, The Arts, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by wizardsmoke

I am a fan of Hatsumi’s books. He is a good writer — an artist; he is able to make you think existence has a purpose. Cool stuff, I admire his work.

I remember I showed his books to a friend and then took him to a Bujinkan class, to which he responded like a real wise-ass: the Bujinkan that can be spoken is not the true Bujinkan. Hatsumi writes beautifully and shares his dream narrative with you; he can make himself desirable to others; he is an artist. But the budo he teaches does not bestowe the same skills as his ability to appeal to you, or yours to accept him.

In social status, and especially in business, much of what makes a person successful is their self-presentation. The rock star’s charisma is what makes them a success, not the music. The music is the background canvas that works once people are receptive to the personal spectacle. In society, talent alone does not create status or ensure survival. What is more useful is ambition, energy, the ability to make people comfortable and laugh, and to speak to their heart.

The bodily arts are interesting, for they take root in the heart immediately. They quickly effect our social presentation.
Martial arts is a discipline which, like dance, is kinesthetic. And the kinesthetic learner is the genius of the arts. And martial arts have mostly become arts, rather than trades, in danger of dying out for lack of necessity.

And so I have seen tons of great artists (martial and otherwise) without the clever endearing qualities in which they can sell themselves to the masses. How strange, that the ability to successful endear oneself to others is an artistic quality, and has no bearing on one’s actual talent or skill in the field being extrapolated. But people without a desire to sell themselves are less likely to seek financial gain from your interaction.

The entertainer does not merely entertain, but rather creates an illusory personality for the world to desire. And like in the world of business, where a compromised upbeat persona is created to angle profitable transactions, the conjured entertainer becomes a necessary function of the art, and soon one loses track of where their own identity lies.

But, whateva.

Self-help: peons, paradise and panache…

Posted in Daoism, Happiness, health, love, Reality Bites, Relationships, Religion, self-help, tai chi, Ultimate Reality, Wizard Quotes, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2009 by wizardsmoke

There are a lot of self-help guides and ideas floating around out there. Ways to become powerful, to become successful, confident, how to seize the day, etc. They’re mostly gibberish because they pitch no real skill. To address real problems of confidence takes practice in an area relating to the problem. How do you cease social anxiety? How do you take down violent criminals or fight off bullies? How do you talk to attractive men or women? How do you stand up to your boss? How do you find a soul-mate, a great teacher, or a great skill? How do you make a lot of money on the stock-market? How do you attain non-craving or non-attachment and ultimate supreme enlightenment?

The same way you do anything: you practice the necessary skill until it becomes normal. You do it until it is no longer an unusual thing, it becomes routine. So much crap in life, so much unnecessary mental suffering is really just people whining — people trying to avoid doing the grunt work. The grunt work is all there is! Civilization is built upon shitty jobs! When you fuck up — do it again! Do it again! Again! Again!!!!!

In fact, in life we should never expect any kind of perfection or success. Life is constant struggle, constant change — diamonds are mined from hard work, and nothing else. Any successful person, who did not have to do any hard work or hard practice to get to their position of influence or affluence, is worthless. They do not know what they are doing. They are the spoiled prince, the media heiress, the run-of-the-mill actor, the corrupt politician, the failed business tycoon; they are the true meaning of charlatan, poseur, parasite and liar. The depth of their ugliness is endless.

And so it is with everything. If you want the bigger returns, you need to put in more effort than other people.
This is why having competition amongst fellow students, friends and family can be a good thing. We are forced to practice and improve ourselves with our free time. Life’s rewards are the personal results of hard work. Too many people just sit on their asses watching mediocre television shows every night, while looking for love in the gutter (bars and clubs) on the weekends.

And not that anyone is ever satisfied by romantic love no matter how much they yearn for it. Every other person I meet who finds out I’m deep into Taiji or music, they immediately fire off some nonsense about how they really want to start learning that stuff. But almost none of them will ever start. Why? What do they want, free lessons? My approval? All a person needs to make life reasonably fulfilling is a couple of things rewarding practices to pass the time, things that you would hate yourself for not doing.

The worst thing I can imagine doing is taking some salaried job in a corporation, so that I can buy a house in a developed community and raise kids in a world I never fully comprehended in the first place. And yet, the irony is that this is the grunt work, the shitty job, of civilization. A lot of people try to fill their existential hole with sex, drugs, money, kids, status, power, religion, and a million other things. And they’re unsatisfied. They have nothing. Because there is nothing, but they only know that intellectually, not experientially. And so it goes on.

Learning multiple skills is essential to understanding the essence of metaphor. Metaphorical understanding and realization is valuable stuff, as Aristotle put it:

The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor… it is also the sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.

Sex: right on the money

Posted in Happiness, love, Monasticism, Powermongers, Relationships, Religion, sex, society, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by wizardsmoke

What do people want to gain from sex itself? In no particular order:

  1. Physical intimacy
  2. Emotional fulfillment
  3. Power

The first is obvious: people want physical contact, warmth, friction — in other words, sticky mucus-membrane pleasure. The raw deal! Another human being to hold, a person to touch. Black-out orgasms, flitting eyelids, gasping for air. This is not a necessary condition of love.

The second is trickier. The problem with these factors, is that the lines blur between them, or what they achieve. Many of us have emotional needs which we hope to fulfill through sexual contact. This often has to do with psychological issues, upbringing, genetic traits, our need for stability or excitement, etc. But there are some, who, because of their emotional state, require power-trips in order to derive emotional fulfillment from sex.

At the basic level, power, for the respective sexes (heterosexual terms for the moment), is that a women wishes to have the power over a man’s desire, via attraction, whereas a man desires the power to dominate a woman via penetration. Some people are different — they want influence over others via their mate, they want to be able to manipulate others with their prowess, they want to control the desires of another to gain self-esteem.

You can call it cynical, but as far as sex goes, I think this is the basic score. The error is not that sex is bad in of itself, but that people actually seem to think sex is a defining factor or catalyst for love. Love exists outside of sex, but can be triggered by sexual intimacy for many. The problem is that this love is limited and can be unreliable if this is it’s basis. Oh well — at least sex is fun.

I think in modern western society, sex has become a game more than a necessity. It’s not really a sin, just an indication of social blatancy and the phasing of the human experience. People who primarily seek power from sex often acquire it from groups of strangers, whereas those who seek emotional fulfillment often acquire it from within their social circles (perhaps a modern stand-in for arranged marriage). Obviously there is not such a clearly defined reason for why people seek sex, but this is a rough sketch of what I have observed.

I don’t think sex is taboo from a mystical standpoint. As one ages, the sex drive naturally fades away and one can spend more time in contemplation. I think religions, with their codes of celibacy were often ways to control unkempt desires in society, especially at times when birth control was crude or non-existent. Especially if many marriages were arranged, or relied on social ties, orphaned or outcast males might have been inducted into a monastic life either temporarily or permanently to keep them from causing trouble. I have no historical facts for this basis, of course, which will horrify empiricists and evangelicals alike (all according to plan).

I don’t believe sex is the “point” of life, or the greatest pleasure, or something to be pursued eternally. Many people have seriously dysfunctional sexual habits, just like many have harmful inclinations towards violent behavior, lying or stealing. These are other reasons for religious tenets, but people cannot be helped unless they wish to change on their own.

Sexual desire is the driving force of nature, whereas the belief (or hope) in a future tranquility or contentment is the bait. Sexual desire does not beget the bait, because the bait is a natural illusion to spur our trajectory forward, and thus enact nature’s drives. Sex is the motivator to reproduce, by giving the emotional illusion of providing long-term fulfillment.

Thoughts?

Powermonger

Posted in love, New Age Baloney, Relationships, sex and violence, society, Stayin' Alive, World of Emotions with tags , , , on August 27, 2009 by wizardsmoke

Today I took the time to muse about power! In my mind, power indicates a kind of social separation — perhaps social isolation. To attain power, one has to focus the mind one-pointedly on that goal to the exclusion of other things. I’m being deliberately vague by using the term “power” because it can refer to lots of different kinds of power: financial/political/social power, physical/sexual power, intellectual/mental power, etc.

Power indicates the ability to force other things against their will, to temporarily go against the laws of nature. Certain religious philosophies try to affect the individual by reprogramming the mind to go against the impulsive avenues the human ego uses to try and sustain itself in life — grasping for a tangible immediate control over one’s surroundings. But power does not last anyway — power fades and abandons the user in time, because power is a temporary flux of momentum.

But who loves weakness? Nobody finds that attractive, except bullies. Our artistic and cultural feedback often isolates (romantic) love instead as the experience closest to giving existence a tangible meaning, and perhaps in some way, love is complete abdication of power — beyond weakness, even. Love is the switch that bypasses the ego’s need to assert itself. Sexual desire is often conflated with love, for love is the term to indicate this experience that is so foreign to some that it only appears in their sexual proclivities.

Power has no healthy place in society — and love is the abdication of power. The more shallow the drive for power, the more blatant and anti-social it becomes.

‘Smoke signals…

Posted in Buddhism, God(s), Mysticism, Reality Bites, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions on August 19, 2009 by wizardsmoke

This blog is all over the place! And if anything, that’s what makes it kind of “emo” and hard to maintain when I’m focusing on more specific projects. But whatever, on with the show. I know you care, right? Haha!

I used to sit down at my computer and just roll with the ideas that flowed out of my jazzy fingertips. But nowadays, I think of something to write and I consider it to be stupid and pointless. Because there is no overarching “point” to it. Blogs should have a theme, a purpose, a reason to follow them. Not just meandering internal chatter.

What’s my novelty? Ah — wizardry! Of course. Everyone hitting up this blogspace is looking for magical discussion (or fake marijuana — seriously, google it). And magic is interesting to everyone. In fact, everyone wants to learn magic but won’t admit it or agree to a general definition of it. But everyone wants a leg up on other people — everyone wants X-ray goggles, eye-lasers, levitation, invisibility, etc. Or they want inner peace, to heal people, to be enlightened, and so on.

Thing is, magic isn’t physically tangible to people who have a pre-conceived notion of what they think it should be. Skeptics, athiests, or whatever — they have preconceived notions or definitions. But magic is about the pregnancy of ideas, and those who straight-up refuse to consider mind-manipulation of the various spheres of existence are in fact, ripe for manipulation (UNLIKE PEOPLE WHO BLINDLY BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF OTHERWORLDLY PHENOMENA, AMIRITE?).

All goals and objectives in life make us miserable when we consider their totality, because there’s no actual point to existence. But believing in a purpose to life, a reasoning or burning drive that makes us “correct” in contrast to others — it functions under the premise that there is a tangible point to life by reaching for — or creating, one. And why not? It’s more fun to play the game, to run the gambit or the spiral towards “meaning”. Even though meaning or purpose is like the eye of the spiral, whirlpool and black-hole. It’s mesmerizing, but ultimately you are destroyed by it (there is nothing on the other side — wah!!!).

I was talking to a neurotic friend, who mentioned that the “point” of life is basically like “rigpa” in Tibetan Buddhism — attaining and maintaining “the state”. Although it sounds really cheesy and dumb, I basically do agree with this — there is no point beyond maintaining a “pure” state of awareness where we don’t really identify with positive or negative definitions or illusions of purpose. And it’s not that we don’t care about the consequences of events; it’s just that everything from the cosmic egg ebbs and flows and never permanently settles, so why should we attach our karmic fate to things which are not spiritually permanent investments (including expressions of self)?

Anyway, this mental state is the only thing that does not bring eventual suffering, dissatisfaction, ordukkha. So any talking about it just complicates the issue more; it’s like the traditional Chan/Zen idea that you cannot tell by interacting with a person whether they are enlightened or not, because they know not to attach much romance to ambitious spiritual ideas — they just do the work. So enlightened people just look like any person interested in the random stuff they happen to be doing at the moment; the day’s work, and so on, except their “mind” or spirit or whatever is not emotionally attaching to it.

So no matter if this world was hand-crafted by God or Satan, or self-manifested by idiots or angelic spirits, or whatever you think happened that put it together — from the ultimate perspective our suffering is sort of unaccounted for in the equation, because it’s a subtle choice (yes, obviously physical pain is a little different, but it’s like getting confronted with a gun: try to avoid it before it happens). But when activated, suffering actually spurs people to expel energy and intent into the world without control.  Presumably, if you maintain “the state” then existence is a beautiful pearl, not an endless trail of tears, because you aren’t identifying with it. But that’s just sick, sick, sick!

Firmly grounded in the…

Posted in Buddhism, death, God(s), Happiness, health, History, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Philosophy, Religion, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2009 by wizardsmoke

As other more astute and accomplished individuals have pointed out on their blogs, it seems that religious scenes and groups are more frequently populated by middle-aged and elderly folks. Sure — why not, right?

In angsty youth (and in angsty adulthood too, sometimes), many deride the religious for being fearful of the afterlife. But I think what is equally true is that people become fearful of the past as they age, athiests or not. If, supposing there is nothing after death, our life is all we did, why wouldn’t we want to reflect on living the best life possible? Errors are inevitable, but not necessary. If this life is all there is, well then what is the point of living a miserable nihilistic one? (Not to mention, only young people have the consistent energy to resist and deny feelings of remorse, regret, or guilt: denial leads to mental illness in older folks!)

The interesting thing is that this kind of thinking, where one questions the point of cruelty or despair when it has no purpose or punishment, actually leads toward a sense of compassionate martyrdom — later Greek philosophy and eventually Christianity.

However, basic ignorance does pervade all of this, for all concerned. The power of denial is undeniably strong with too many of us. And it’s a very fine line to cross at certain times in our lives between becoming total subconsciously self-loathing scumbags and people of integrity. Often it’s because we’re afraid of what we might lose: our family, our friends or social acceptance, our money or property, our rights, our anonymity, and so forth.

Compassionate acts are interesting, because in the wrong hands they easily become catalysts to vain behavior. I’ve had friends who did not believe in selfless charity (nor have I, at times in my life). In the early 20th century, after both World War I and World War II had ended, there were serious debates in the United States media and art communities over how best to honor fallen servicemen in the war effort. The big stand-off was between “Traditional Memorials” and “Living Memorials”. Traditional ones are like plaques and art pieces; living ones are like parks and dedicated buildings or facilities. The big debate commonly came down to which one better left a stoic message that all would respect and remember.

But who cares about that? A person who is proud of their legacy shouldn’t care about their personal data. Who cares if you are worshiped forever? None of this leads to anyone’s happiness or satisfaction. It is far better to leave something that improves the world (how exactly, I have no idea whatsoever). This is the preachy message Kurosawa’s film Ikiru is hammering into the viewer’s brain over it’s insanely long runtime.

Since everything fades from memory, and memory is such a transient and unreliable device (history is forgotten or unknown by most of the public, anyway), what does a concrete, identifiable legacy matter? That’s why I like the idea of gods of compassion, or virtuous people, or totally enlightened Buddhas and their badass retinues — everything such an individual would do would be selfless compassion. Not giving oneself up to others, but giving up the notion of one-self, individualism altogether — compassionate activity with no regard as to individuals whatsoever. A total generator of compassion.

Such generators do exist, but I suspect they are beyond identification and not worth discussing much more. And there are similar generators for every possible cosmic experience. So I don’t know if any particular experience “wins” or whatever, but if it’s a matter of looking back on one’s life in the future and being satisfied with how you lived it, it’s worth considering.

Now/never

Posted in Happiness, love, society, World of Emotions with tags , , on April 13, 2009 by wizardsmoke

I think… one main reason there is suffering is because people don’t like what they do. When people do something they do not enjoy, they do not do a good job of what they are doing. I have never, and probably will never, take a typical office job in a bureaucratic or government position, because I would most likely do it terribly. It is not a part of my natural drive, just as I am not driven to deeply pursue cooking, mathematics, marine biology, tax law, and so forth. I have friends who are naturally driven to do cuisine or fine art academia, or management or accounting or business positions. I am not. And so I do not do such things, so I do not put mediocre work into the world.

That’s the reason there’s so much crap on the internet; the internet is full of half-baked ideas, emotional rants, and ideas that are not real natural investments. In some ways it’s a little bit too democratic, giving everyone the right to spout off about stuff as if they know what they’re talking about (What? You feel there’s something ironic about me saying this?). These people are spending too much time on the internet when they could be out doing some hobby or other thing. Of course, the internet seems especially useful to people in rural or extremely cloistered areas, who need some other form of social escape.

One could interpret the infamous Crowley saying, “Do as thou wilt” to simply mean, do as you naturally desire. Not just, do whatever you want, but do what comes to your character most painlessly. It’s almost a useless saying, really, since that’s what people will do if their desire is strong enough. Plus there’s too much mumbo-jumbo complication to cut through with Crowley. But even Plato/Socrates coined virtue as that which we love (unless I’m totally making that up), just as Kierkegaard’s thesis in one of his works was about how purity (and even *cough* purpose!) is found through a single-pointed pursuit. This is also Brad Warner’s favorite explanation of “right action” in life — just do what you naturally do best. And I tend to agree — if a person doesn’t pursue what they love in life, they will become jaded and a dysfunctional member of society. Even when you screw up on pursuing those things you love, you still did them and figured out that they’re stupid or crazy ambitions. Businessmen who don’t use or care about their own products; people who go into business for money and not out of a desire to actually improve the marketplace, are disrupting the high quality potential of life that may be possible for all human beings.

As they say, better to live without regrets about things you didn’t do. If you don’t pursue your own natural talents, you’re a dishonest person. You’re living at least one pretty good-sized lie. “The only sin is suffering!”

______

*Yes, I know there are bad things people are sometimes naturally good at — let’s just conveniently disregard those for the time being and pretend I’m talking about the good in humanity