Archive for life

Wizard’s Blues

Posted in Future World, Political Science, Reality Bites, Relationships, sex, sex and violence, society, Stayin' Alive, The Arts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2009 by wizardsmoke

Mammalian birth is a very strange act. As you become more aware of your body and organs, you realize that you were actually nurtured and born from a womb. All these organs were once physically attached to a mammalian mother. And those were attached to a mother as well, and so forth back into the earth itself.

Then when we’re born, we naturally attach to the attitudes and habits thrust upon us within our first environment. So, naturally, a child thinks everything a parent does is wise or worth following. But then you age and realize your parents are just people too. And then people you know start having kids and you realize that it doesn’t take any special qualifications to be a parent. The worst authority figures in the world, the most irresponsible people ever, will often become parents and have children who thusly admire them.

I guess that’s why child abuse is so disturbing, because children have such one-pointed needs to look up to someone. Strangely, there are different strands of child abuse. I sometimes think giving birth is an abusive act in general, especially considering the overpopulation issue these days, but hey — what can you do? Be a despot? Nah — too much competition in that field!

What shocks me is when people who have no curiosity about the world or anything at all. They grow up, get married young, never read many books, never pursue any personal interest, watch shitty movies, have kids and live off of their parents’ money or stay within some religious cult or group. For all purposes, they are completely isolated — like medieval villagers in the cyber-age. It doesn’t really matter to my life, so you’re probably wondering why I care about anyone else’s prerogatives, so long as they don’t directly effect me.

The truth is that eventually, when it all falls apart, will I have to step on other people? Will I have to be nice and let people walk all over me? It’s all fine when the economy is okay and there’s not that big of a problem when the economy is good. In fact, you could say economic output represents a nation’s self-esteem, well-being, directly tied to their “spiritual” concerns. I mean, who is generally into taking Yoga and martial arts super seriously? Upper-middle class people, for the most part (a generalization, and generalizations are bullshit, but hey). But when the money goes away, who really cares about lofty spiritual ideas and democracy?

There’s no need to worry about me, though. I don’t plan on being an evil jerk. And you know why: it’s because I’d rather die than live in a sick world, where there aren’t any tigers or bears but it’s overpopulated by people who use crappy computer stalking applications like Facebook.

I remember as a teenager, believing that stupid nonsense about ignorance being bliss, about intelligence alienating people, and so on. But now I think a lot of mental suffering is a choice (as opposed to physical/environmental suffering). I wouldn’t say people necessarily like suffering, because that implies that all of our behaviors are based on positive or negative choices in the psyche. Not true. People simply become obsessed with ideas to greater and lesser degrees (or not at all). That’s why when your friend is continually obsessed with the statistics and stories of serial killers, it’s a little creepy. It’s not like serial killers just decided to do bad things — they generally became obsessed with desires or exploring dangerous ideas that eventually possessed them to act it out.

So more and more I think that morals are naturally arising internal laws of group survival, whereas all obsessions are pretty equal of being just those: obsessions which lead to more of the same. In any case, I am worried because “democratic art” (capitalist media + culture) often ends up betraying a “weak spirit” — and what is art but the most direct reflection of cultural health?

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Treading water…

Posted in Buddhism, death, love, Mysticism, Reality Bites, Religion, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2008 by wizardsmoke

You can cut up atoms and particles as much as you want, peer into black holes, and measure dark matter. But matter is just a changing frothy foam — the icing on the cake. It is not the end-game. It is just some ephemeral smoke rising off of the water. It’s not totally fake, but it’s not permanent and you can’t somehow empirically cut through it to find the underworld or the gods or the secret of existence. You have to see the bigger picture in the back of your mind and in your imagination.

But, if you don’t have the total ultimate big picture — if you haven’t completely obliterated the walls of perception, the fetters of becoming, and all conditioning — then you still have to live with pain and the uncertainty of a higher perspective that you can’t understand. There are still realms that you will encounter in which you will be a total n00b, a total clueless casualty.

For most of us stuck here on the human realm, what is more frightening than the deathless, the Bardo, the afterword to this mortal coil? It’s not necessarily frightening because of the pain (whether physical or emotional), nor because of fear of a divine punishment, nor because it’s going to be empty or non-existent or meaningless. It’s frightening because in our unfamiliarity, in our naivete, we’ll shirk and shrink and tense up violently and cause worse damage to ourselves than if we would just relax.

That’s what you learn over time from taking impacts: fighting, tumbling, crashing. You realize that the more you relax, the heavier the impact you can take without longterm or serious physical damage. Well, it’s the same with everything emotional/psychological, too.

Death? For most of us that’s worse than being thrown in the water without knowing how to swim. Which is what life is, right? Splashing around in this tight wet-suit, making things worse than they actually are, drowning because of our incompetence and inability to relax. I don’t know if I necessarily flock to religions, but I can certainly appreciate them. The samsaric ocean can be so intimidating.

Trying Broken-hearted

Posted in Beauty, love, Reality Bites, World of Emotions with tags , , , on July 9, 2008 by wizardsmoke

I think one thing that Stefan Kosen (one of Deshimaru’s dharma heirs) said that really resonated with me in the documentary, Le Chant du Dragon, was that it is absolutely necessary for him to take time to enjoy life. We all say that of our own lives, but he was talking about enjoying the small rewarding things. I.e. stopping to smell the flowers and all that cheesy (but true!) stuff. Isn’t taking a moment to be pleasantly aware of one’s surroundings just a way of basking in the present?

As an example: one of the great underrated or unrecognized pleasures of life is sitting on a bench and watching people go by. Each person tells a story! In fact, the deeper your intuition, the more of a person’s flavor and background you can catch through these brief glimpses. It beats the hell out of television! Sure, you run the risk (especially these days) of looking like a creepy weirdo, but take your simple luxuries while you still can! One day either you or the world will no longer exist. *gulp*

Because I always think about this stuff, I often spend so much time keeping up with friends and pursuing rewarding skills that I forget to make money. I would call myself a dreamer, not in that I have concrete ideas of how the world should be (like John Lennon seemed to define it), but in that I am so enamored of the bliss of cosmic potentiality that I forget about worldly ambition! Actually, maybe those definitions of a dreamer are not so different… If one is only in love with the potential of the cosmic muse, one is not at odds with the world or society, isn’t that right? (Eh heh heh, but on a more tangible level, a dreamer is at complete odds with society!)

But really — dancing with the cosmic muse is constant awareness of the perpetual change taking place throughout the conditioned universe. In this world, one is never content by a fixed or static experience, and yet change is so painful, hard or scary.

I think the sunset is such a perfect manifestation of life’s bittersweet melancholy. The whole experience of life is merely a day under the sun. Yeah, the only thing more beautiful than a sunset is watching a sunset with other people.