On the Ethics of Free Information

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“I’m quite aware of my differences. I wouldn’t classify them as weird”  ~  Sherman Alexi

It is a status quo morning; sacked out cat, strong, bitter coffee, and the temperature hovering right at the “nearly cold” level. I just now realized that I have unconsciously assigned 50º as a demarcation between cold and not cold. That can’t be right. I know this, but I will leave my line in place, for it will make no difference now that I know the difference. What truly bugs me is that my desire for the Presidential election to calm down ain’t gonna happen. I know that it is not uncommon for folks to say this and that, pointing out that Hillary is bad, Donny is bad, and the both them are the worst. Me? I think it is simply a sign of the times. One factor I consider is that the skeevy perception management practiced by the Far and Religious Right has sickened society in an overt way. There is no appropriate medicine for this. And it would likely be too expensive anyway. And what about the conspiracy theories? It is no surprise that they are embraced on the Right. If they cannot bring themselves to use facts .  .  .  well, they have to have something to say. But being embraced by the Left? WTF. I can remember first hearing a conservative radio talk show back in the late ’80s: Morton Downy or some other nitwit. It did not bode well, thought I. There was a meanness to it that made no attempt of sounding truly speculative. And now there is a whole highly rated network devoted to the overwhelming tactic. I feel sad and angry. That is what I am trying to say here. And I do not think that Hillary is covertly ill. And I do think that the e-mail so called scandal ain’t much of a scandal. And I do not think that that Assange fella has anyone’s best interest at heart. Just because you can free up hidden information does not mean that you will use it in an ethical manner. Interior motives anyone? I don’t trust him at all. And Trump? His illness oozes, each and every day. I had a brief chat about that not so long ago. I told the woman that I suspect that Trump has mental illness, that being clinical narcissism. She said that he doesn’t, that he is really just all about himself, all of the time. Personally, I fail to see the difference. It’s like saying that someone has cancer, and then being told that “No, it is just that some of their cells have gone renegade and are attacking other, healthy cells”. It boggles the mind, or at least my mind. Whatever. Suffice it to say that the man is an asshole. As for me, I must dutifully get on with my day. I have some nervousness ever since I finally got an appointment with the neurosurgeon, two weeks away. I have some significant pain and I am having trouble keeping my head upright. The slouch isn’t severe. But several people have asked me about my neck, saying that I am demonstrating pain. There ya have it. Poor me, right? The day awaits, moving forward, we must not burn daylight.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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10,000 More to Go

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“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.”  ~  Hunter S. Thompson

“Now the first of December was covered with snow
So was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston
The Berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go”  ~  James Taylor

Yeh, I’ve used that second quote before. It means a lot to me; says a lot. Yesterday was a gray day, much like one might expect this time of year. Three weeks short of the Equinox and Autumn has settled in nicely. I love it, Autumn is my favorite season. In the cyclical mythos of pagan leanings this is the time of year that signifies the dying of the god. He will be dead and gone, only to be reborn come Yule. Nice story, that. You’d think more people would have used it by now. Maybe they have? Maybe. Yeh, maybe. Moving forward, I was in a very tight spot yesterday, confined in a way which would only increase the tightness if I struggled, so I pulled out my best mindfulness and settled in to enjoy the ride. The place became noisy, but I had earplugs, I knew that the noise signified that a powerful magnetic disruption of my neck had begun. Somewhere deep inside all of the fuss I heard a voice  .  .  .

“Theres something in the way she moves,
or looks my way or calls my name,
that seems to leave this troubled world behind”  ~  James Taylor

.  .  .  and I’m like what’s that supposed to mean? It meant that Tom, the technician was treating me right. James Taylor’s greatest hits. Dude rocks. As for me, the lyrics didn’t seem relevant. Where’s the ‘she’? I’ve been thing about my ex-wife a lot lately. I’ll spare you the lyrics on that one. Nah, I can’t do that  .  .  .

“All your life you’ve never seen
A woman taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win?”  ~  Stevie Nicks

.  .  .  .  Where are you my dear. It’s only been four decades; why haven’t you called? Was the song speaking of her, or was it just the inner instinctual and archetypal longings of some guy laying in some plastic tube some place in the high mountain desert of Nuevo Mexico del Norte? I reckon it was the latter. Sing to me of the goddess, Mr. Taylor, any time. I’m down with that dude. Of course, Tom let me out of the tube by and by. He says it was about 20 minutes. It seemed like eternity to me, not because I was claustrophobic, or resistant in any way at all, it was because with all of the presence of a powerful electromagnetic field I used the field to slip through the Veil for a spell. Oh! I just used the word “powerful” twice in one sentence, just like Gregg Braden! Dude, give me a hug. See, I really did have a hug with Gregg Braden. Ummm, moving on. As I looked into the imaginal depths of the field behind the Veil the first thing I saw was the image of a bloodhound, as if she was looking around a corner, ears flopped down forward a tad, and those eyes were as intelligent as it gets. So, how about the totemic symbolism of the Bloodhound? It means that somebody around me is deceiving me by standing in the way of my pursuing my own dreams. Well, I have been caught in a space where it seems that I have no dreams of what may come through dreams. My dreams are all anxiety dreams these days. Until that regal looking dog with the adorable floppy ears showed up. There were other spirits present as well, but it was the Dog who brought me what I needed to know. The rest were there to guard me, to comfort me, to lift me when I achieved the potential to be lifted. They wanted me to succeed. In my Tarot studies I’ve been drawing the Page of Swords lately. Friggin spies and deceitful people! Why I oughtta!! For a frequent paranoid such as myself these images of deceit and manipulation are easy to doubt, but I won’t doubt. No way no how. Someone out to get me? Dude, what you been smokin’? The Bloodhound is the Sherlock Holmes of the Totem, Dreamtime, whatever, world. I guess I could have me a sniff or two, right? But the ex-wife? And I have been thinking of Rita as well. OMG, Rita? Ten months together, in my home, and much of it was rich with beauty. It was reading Robert Pirsig’s powerful (wink, wink, hi Gregg) novel Lila  (click here) that nudged me into setting Rita free. Along with the beauty eventually came the crazy. No details. She had to go. She probably wound up in jail. No details. And I was way sad. It had looked quite promising for a while, and it wasn’t my bad. Soooo  .  .  .  it’s off to work for this hopeless, hopeful, whatever, romantic. The romance I shall doubt. The spy? I’ve written about that here before. Shields up, photon torpedoes armed. I’d rather go for a nice meal, with marinara and red wine, then a snuggle on the couch. Whatever. And Gregg, buddy, you The Isaiah Effect had a powerful effect on me. A good one dude. Dude like thanks dude.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

 

 

Scavengers of Discarded Desire

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“I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist.”  ~  Billy Joel

“The aim of language…is to communicate…to impart to others the results one has obtained…As I talk, I reveal the situation…I reveal it to myself and to others in order to change it.”  ~  Jean-Paul Sartre

This afternoon I will allow some tech to feed me into a Star Trek tube to have the bejeezes shaken outta my electrons. Should be fun. No, I mean it. I have a lot of feelings stirred up by all of this. It’s not just what might be revealed, it’s more that I might find out that all of this neck pain is pretty much just a condition I will have to live with from here on out. Then what? Deal with it. Period. I mean, with all of this New Age and post-New Age learning shouldn’t I be healing by now? I am, I am. Healing is not solely a physical thing. If I read the late great Stephen Levine correctly, healing is an endeavor fueled best by mercy. Yeah, compassion too, but the mercy is what I’m talking about. I had the great honor of having a great hug from Stephen, right there in front of the salad bar at Whole Foods in Santa Fe. His wife Ondrea gives a splendid hug as well. Our meeting there was totally serendipitous. Imagine that. I already knew Ondrea. She helped me through the slow death of my mother. I can’t say enough, it’s a silence kind of thing anyway. Moving forward  .  .  .  what about healing? I’ve been feeling a little ill for a few months now. When I first began physical therapy, to attend to a sharp, tear-inducing pain between my shoulder blades, I decided to focus on my neck first, and let other health concerns ride, unless they became urgent, which they likely will not. The thing is that as the excellent coaching from the lovely Alicia began to whittle away at the upper back pain it became clear that the pain in the neck was, is, whatever, worse than I knew, because with the back pain it all kind of flowed together. Now what? I plan (if you can call it that) to rest (if you can call it that) throughout the day, until the MRI appointment at 2:30 PM. Now, there was just a bustle out in the chicken coop. The security lamp out there was tripped this morning, earlier. I haven’t seen it on in many weeks. Skunk? Likely so. Little egg suckers. I meant to write about the internet hive consciousness today, but it didn’t end up that way. Oh well.  I guess what threw me off was a statement in an article I read this morning, calling “it is what it is” a cliche. I agree. But now that I think about it, it reminds me of the late great Robert Anton Wilson, discussing General Semantics, and in his interpretation a greatly helpful practice is to strive to eliminate the word “is” from one’s vocabulary, which reminds me of some of the discussions at the old online Noetic Cafe, under the sponsorship of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, back at the turn of the century. Some of them people wanted to eliminate “me” from our vocabularies. I don’t know, but I also remember clashing with several regulars at the Cafe, who had this skeevy idea that in the name of interconnectivity they could snatch and grab and do what they wanted with my ideas, thoughts, and feelings; which, of course, is true. I also remember that the Cafe was the place where I first heard talk of the practical applications of “you create your own reality”. That idea, of course, has now shown it’s dark side through the auspices of the campaign staff and the leader of the Donald Trump campaign. Geez, I’m gonna quit this blog post right NOW! Just kidding. Noetic humor often leaves something to be desired, unless, of course, you are a Buddhist, and have left desire at the roadside, somewhere along the path. Ummm, you never know who might pick up your discarded desire, and how they might use it. It gets complicated.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Poking At the Brain

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“Surely we cannot take an open question like the supernatural and shut it with a bang, turning the key of the madhouse on all the mystics of history. You cannot take the region of the unknown and calmly say that, though you know nothing about it, you know all the gates are locked. We do not know enough about the unknown to know that it is unknowable.”  ~  G. K. Chesterton

“It has always been a happy thought to me that the creek runs on all night, new every minute, whether I wish it or know it or care, as a closed book on a shelf continues to whisper to itself its own inexhaustible tale. So many things have been shown so to me on these banks, so much light has illumined me by reflection here where the water comes down, that I can hardly believe that this grace never flags, that the pouring from ever-renewable sources is endless, impartial, and free.”  ~  Annie Dillard

Today, after pert near ten hours of anxiety-saturated sleep, I feel that fresh fatigue that morning brings, when indeed fatigue has set in, hampering each breath, poking at the brain like a younger brother, feeding pablum to an already beleaguered soul. Chuckling here, I just had to look up “pablum”, and it turns out to be a very appropriate word, although I had some fancy feeling that it also referred to a hot cereal, a kind of oatmeal for the brain. It makes me think of my friend Joanne Foreman, who once told me that television turns the brain into something with the consistency and texture of tapioca. I don’t have to look up “tapioca” because I know  .  .  . no, wait, I will look it up. Yuppers, I was right, it is a starchy substance after all. Moving forward, I opened this post with enough text to pretty much save myself the trouble of writing any more than a smidgen of a Sunday morning post. Believe you me, that is how I feel this morning; I have what the great Dana Carvey calls “a case of the Fuck Its”; an affliction that is causing me to get all plucky and stuff with my semi-colon usage; using the late great David Foster Wallace as a paladin of inspirational grammar; so I take pause to remind myself that the late great Kurt Vonnegut admonished a kind of grammatical celibacy; a warning: don’t use the semi-colon at all! Awww dude. I din’t mean to get all meta and stuff dude. I jest ain’t got it in me today dude to try out structuralism as a means of self-control, and I also ain’t got it in me to go all Kerouac on ya dude. So chill. I most certainly am. Now, mysticism isn’t really the ticket either. This mood is really about pulling back the Veil, perhaps without permission, and using the New Moon in Virgo and the solar eclipse to kinda allow myself to hang with the Ancestors and the Mother Goddess, which of course can be just about any goddess of all y’all’s choosing. My lower jaw is trembling, a ‘sometimes’ condition that arises when my mostly severed nerve in there shows that it isn’t all dead, and it expresses a feeling that doesn’t get expressed while it sleeps. That hidden expression has a correlate of a broken heart, which manifests as queasiness in the 3rd chakra and stiffness in the 5th chakra. The heart is encapsulated. Dag nab it. Moving forward, for today’s post, that’s all folks.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

A Song Pristine With Joy

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“The tightrope that I’m walking just sways and ties
The devil as he’s talking with those angel’s eyes
And I just want to be there when the lightning strikes
And the saints go marching in”    ~   Coldplay

“The gods are strange. It is not our vices only they make instruments to scourge us. They bring us to ruin through what in us is good, gentle, humane, loving.”    ~   Oscar Wilde

It is a pretty much melancholy morning with sweet underlining attractions. Melancholy has that sweetness, and the presence of grace, whereas depression has only that yucky blend of woolen and leaden suppression, a fabric of timelessness, and the empty roar of dragons that you do not want to meet face-to-face. Don’t pull the St. George thing on these beasts. You can’t slay them. No way, now how. These suckers eat optimism and spit out bright fragments that give them heartburn if swallowed. Geez. My first trip out to the deck upon waking was met by coyotes; and many of them, by the sound of it. Just up the hill, where the mesa takes off, headed west. Some of them barked first. Yes, coyotes do bark like a dog. Their scientific nomenclature is canis latrans, which translates to “barking dog”. Some people refer to them as God’s dog. Some say the Creator sent Coyote down to oversee the new material world of creatures and stuff. I don’t know. But the barks from this morning’s coyotes went up into a few little howls, then the whole lot of them commenced to squealing, a shrill sound, pristine with joy, perhaps to announce the reunion of the pack after their spread out efforts at hunting. Coyotes hunt in loose packs, together but not together. Humans, of course, sometimes do the same thing. I feel edgy and hounded by spell-chek suggestions, so I will wrap up this brief post by noting that the moon was smiling over my shoulder right after the coyotes sang to me. The stars were granules of light in the sweetly dark sky. I don’t know. Yeh, I just don’t know. Melancholy don’t have to know. No it don’t.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

As the Season Changes

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“When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on–series polygamy–until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.”    ~  Tom Robbins

Yeah, I’m in a rare state this morning, and I find I have nearly run out of time for writing. Silly me. Part of the delay is from getting caught up in political news. I really dislike missing a day of blogging so I am offering a brief entry, even though I have little time. There was some fairly heavy rain last night, which lulled me to sleep, much later than I usually go to sleep. Rosie the cat had climbed up to lay on my chest. I was lucky and I fell right asleep. I’m enjoying the change in weather as well. Summer got to be too much, and then it changed in an instant. These kinds of changes are a comfort at this time when I feel trepidation about personal changes that are clearly on the horizon. I am not optimistic, nor am I the opposite; more curious than anything. Think I will leave it at that.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

The Formality of Actually Occurring

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“And like no other sculpture in the history of art, the dead engine and dead airframe come to life at the touch of a human hand, and join their life with the pilot’s own.”  ~  Richard Bach

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”  ~  Toni Morrison

This is a sweet morning despite the fact that I don’t feel so sweet. The edginess is something that I will have to carry to the laundromat with me. It may dissipate there. It often does. A large emotional down-sweep hit me after work yesterday. I guess a man is not supposta admit to such a thing, but I stood tall and walked through my necessities meticulously, stopping on odd occasion, seemingly for no reason, and just looked around as if to validate where I was and what I was doing and how it related to where I was going. I think that we generally do that instinctively, without pausing as I did, but I didn’t do it consciously; it just came into my consciousness through curiosity; I was like all WTF and stuff. I can see this morning that I was in a mode of vigilance, as if something dangerous was lurking within the range of effect in my life. This is Cougar medicine, archetypal stuff. Cougar prefers to lay about in the sun on a warm rock ledge, or sniff through a field dotted with wild flowers. Cougar prefers to purr. They are the largest cousin in the animal group that is an aggregation of purring cats. Cougar medicine is a protective totem influence. Intruders or prey risk swift, pinpoint, powerful, whatever, aggressive action. I don’t like to be that way, but I can. So, is there danger in my immediate world? Heck if I know. But I trust my instincts. We are, after all, animals; higher primates. Our opposable thumbs and love for coffee are what separates us from the other animals. This is all too personal, I know. But I don’t care. My readership is small, and I think most of them know me in realtime meatspace. This virtual reality must be effectively challenged on a regular basis lest distortion from social media twists things out of focus and actuality. I love what Alfred North Whitehead said about “events undergo the formality of actually occurring”. Yeah buddy! And boy howdy it is all like flow and stuff dude. When someone stand in the shadows glowering there comes a disturbance in the Force, and Luke is like all en garde, and he is like dude do I have too? Maybe I am just paranoid; it happens. But it is fun to write about.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Progress Through Circles

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“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you’re just a reflection of him?”  ~  Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes)

“There was a brief silence in which the distant echo of Hagrid smashing down a wooden front door seemed to reverberate through the intervening years.”  ~  J. K. Rowling

Early on it was gunshots. Granted, it was only a few, and I assume the target was a coyote, and I hope the marksman missed his mark. Her mark. Whatever. In the early hours of the morning what else would they be shooting at? Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan Matus called twilight “the crack between the worlds”. It is coming up soon. My mind has delved through many spaces already this morning. Mostly I have found sadness and gratitude. I can make a case for being grateful for sadness but I ain’t goin’ there today. My gratitude is for the vivid and precious life that we live. Yeah, right, I have myself a sad life passage, and it will pass, as all things do, so why bother dissing sadness when it is an innate function for a feeling person in tough times. An impetus. “Overcoming” sadness? I don’t know. Feelings should maybe oughtta be used as tools, at least they are for me. I can’t count the times that folks have come into the hardware store where I work to return a tool because they found they already had two of them at home. Of course, I have long approached life from a “tools at hand” perspective, and although I can’t accurately describe to you what that means I can assure you that things that need fixin’ or building in my life nearly always reach fulfillment, fruition, whatever. The things that don’t I can attribute to karma, whatever that means. And then there are the cats. There’s no way I can move past memories of my time in the cattery at Stray Hearts, nor would I want to. I understand that now, that I pretty much have to accept the more negative emotions I garnered from my time there, because in getting so up close and personal with the deep spirit of these animals I got myself a heapin’ dose of treasure and mystery. So don’t tell me to “move forward” and leave the past behind, k? I have learned from the best, my friend. Just try and get a cat to do what you want it to do. Just try it. It is not stubbornness, it is targeted inertia. Ponder that for a spell. If it ultimately makes you giggle then will will have achieved full understanding. Accept no less. Cats are magickal beings. People who love cats form an enlightened fan base. How’d ya like my hyperbole there? Moving forward  .  .  .  . in Roger Zelazny’s incredible Amber Chronicles the central character, Corwin of Amber, makes a statement, one that impacted me enough that it has become a tool in my toolbox: “Sometimes you can make the most progress by going in circles”. Dude that is like soooo true dude. If you have the time, and have not read the Amber Chronicles (ten books), I highly recommend it. I actually learned a lot about the esoteric side of life from this series. Moving forward  .  .  .  my writing time for today is running short, so here I go.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

It Is of Both

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“A dreamer of pictures I run in the night
You see us together, chasing the moonlight,
My cinnamon girl”  ~  Neil Young, Cinnamon Girl

The hour is late, it’s danged near light, and try as he might, your faithful scribe can’t get it right. My bad. It could be verse, right? Doh! Moving forward, I’m sorta out of it this morning, that is if you consider contemplating and vibing in to the mystery of life and death to be “out of it”. I learned yesterday midday that one of my favorite customers during my time at Cid’s Food Market passed away last month. It was her husband who told me. Because of the pain and the tears I could not bear to ask him what happened. She was my age. It hit me hard. My heart clenched. I got teary as well. The gaze between us was one of those larger than life moments. Tears, yes. A timeless place where beauty and pain blend seamlessly; not of the Shadow but of the Light. No, wait, it is of both. Good journey, sister. I know you read my book and I know where you went. I will miss you. Drop me a line when you’re not too busy, k?

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

Up and At Em, Adam Ant!

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“We have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionally.”  ~  Susan Cain

“If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”    ~  Anthony Robbins 

“And the stones in the road
Shone like diamonds in the dust
And then a voice called to us
To make our way back home”  ~  Mary Chapin Carpenter

Last week was the longest week ever  –  believe me, ever. Note that my hyperbole is self-recognized. I know what I am doing here. I made that up. But it was indeed the longest something or other. Dang, I ain’t making no sense here but boy howdy it sure is the most fun I’ve had since waking up this morning. From within the peaceful sleepiness and the chronic anxiety I emerge to find that nonsense is what I crave today. Let it be. Please note that the previous sentence is innately ambiguous, and I ain’t tellin’ which way I mean it neither. It is also a pop music Beatles quote. Moving forward.

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Yeah, there were both storms and sunlight. But the major theme of the week was a thick and syrupy dose of reality. Now don’t go sayin that I didn’t respect the notion that their are more than one reality. I know that, k? Note that I didn’t say which reality, and it don’t matter iffin I did. From within any reality it is true that it is self-standing. It can be viewed as the only one, which is often the most convenient way to view it. I rest my case.

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What I really want to do is to make this post a short one, so let’s go ahead and respect my wishes. After a week like that last one I simply must heed the call of introversion. I’ve been thinking back too much, so much so that moving forward is plumb difficult. So much so that I live in deep fear of running into Buddhists who have wisdom ready and waiting and they aren’t afraid to use it; I’d have to listen and smile then walk away, then remind my self that I am in essence a Taoist, and wisdom is no more important than I make it.

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And on that note  .  .  .  moving forward  .  .

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Tis coming upon sunrise. Up and at ’em, Adam Ant! Ain’t no daylight yet but I’m a burnin’ it anyway. I am in such a nonsensical mood this morning. Good. Let it be.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.