Monday, March 3, 2008
Zimbardo will speak Thursday afternoon at the TED conference, where he plans to illustrate his points by showing a three-minute video, obtained by Wired.com, that features many previously unseen photographs from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. (don't recommend watching it)
Here's an excerpt from the article:
Wired: Your work suggests that we all have the capacity for evil, and that it's simply environmental influences that tip the balance from good to bad. Doesn't that absolve people from taking responsibility for their choices?
Philip Zimbardo: No. People are always personally accountable for their behavior. If they kill, they are accountable. However, what I'm saying is that if the killing can be shown to be a product of the influence of a powerful situation within a powerful system, then it's as if they are experiencing diminished capacity and have lost their free will or their full reasoning capacity.
Thanks to media-underground.net
Here, BBC reporters give a snapshot of the extent of surveillance across Europe.
Possibly more interestingly, is the history of the E-Meter . It was invented by chiropractor and sci-fi author Volney Mathison, based on his study of lie detectors. Mark Pilkington looked at this aspect in an article he wrote for the Guardian.
Thanks to TechnOccult.com
For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.
Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.
It's Bad for Ya
part 1 (rest is here)
(see more Carlin vids on dedroidify.com/vids)
Sunday, March 2, 2008
by Owen Waters
The Shift is a collective transformation consisting of the sum of each individual’s step into the New Reality. Each person, in their own time, is moving forward into a stage of consciousness which brings a wider vista and an awareness which springs from the heart. When enough people’s primary attention becomes focused through their heart chakras, then the ‘hundredth monkey effect’ will occur.
The Hundredth Monkey Effect was first introduced by biologist Lyall Watson in his 1980 book, ‘Lifetide.’ He reported that Japanese primatologists, who were studying Macaques monkeys in the wild in the 1950s, had stumbled upon a surprising phenomenon.
His book was soon followed up with a deeply inspired work by Ken Keyes in 1981, called “The Hundredth Monkey Effect.” In this, Ken Keyes made an impassioned appeal for an end to the Cold War and its policy of mutually assured destruction. Here, in the words of Ken Keyes, is a description of the key elements of the Hundredth Monkey Effect:
“The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.
An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too. This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists.
Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.
Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes -- the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes.
Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes. Then it happened! By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!
But notice. A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea –
Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes. Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.
But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!”
Lyall Watson had originally researched and assembled the story from the available testimonies of the primate researchers. Because the phenomenon took the researchers so much by surprise, they had not counted how many monkeys it took to trigger this effect. So, Watson proposed an arbitrary figure of ninety-nine monkeys, and said that one more, the so-called one-hundredth monkey, would then provide the critical mass of consciousness necessary to trigger the effect.
The new behavior pattern spread to most, but not all, of the monkeys. Older monkeys, in particular, remained steadfast in their established behavior patterns and resisted change. When the new behavior pattern suddenly appeared among monkey troupes on other islands, only a few monkeys on those islands picked up on the new idea. The ones most receptive to new ideas started imitating the new behavior and demonstrating it to the impressionable younger ones. Thus, they too began their own path towards their eventual hundredth monkey effect.
How the 100th Monkey Effect Works
The global mind, otherwise known as Jung’s collective unconscious, does not cease to function because a few skeptics don’t like its effects. It functions just like it always has, passing information from one individual to another based upon their common frequency of consciousness. If progressive monkeys had a new idea, then so did other progressive monkeys on other islands. They resonated at the same frequency of consciousness.
Inventions often occur at the same time by inventors who are not in physical contact with each other. For example, in 1941, Les Paul designed and built the first solid-body electric guitar just when Leo Fender of Fender Musical Instruments was doing exactly the same thing.
Have you ever had an idea, then seen other people express or use that idea. You probably said, “Hey! I thought of that first!” Well, that’s the way the global mind works. It’s an atmosphere that you share with all other sentient beings, but you tune in especially to the particular topics and frequencies of mind that interest you the most.
What This means to The Shift
That is the day when heart-centered values will become the focus of everyday thinking for the vast majority of people. That is the day when humanity will begin to look back on what has changed and realize that a massive shift has occured.
The 100th Monkey
A story about social change.
by Ken Keyes Jr.
Thanks to Betwixt
For it is vital to the continued rule of the State apparatus that
it have legitimacy and even sanctity in the eyes of the public, and it is vital to that sanctity that our politicians and bureaucrats be deemed to be disembodied spirits solely devoted to the "public good." Once let the cat out of the bag that these spirits are all too often grounded in the solid earth of advancing a set of economic interests through use of the State, and the basic mystique of government begins to collapse.
I went to the consciousness site deoxy.org forums when I could (cause I was and am still banned for 'disinfo', while I was actually mocking Leary disinfo... but hey, if you can't read...) and a handful of people were in a thread praising a speech by Obama on youtube. So of course, I had to check it from start to finish to see if it could be true. What did I hear? Just the same bullshit about change, nevermind what change. Ripping off earlier speeches by whoever. Incredible. If you still don't know why people have problems with Obama, maybe you could check his freaking voting record and the people and organizations he's associated with.
"I AM continually shocked and appalled at the details people voluntarily post online about themselves." So says Jon Callas, chief security officer at PGP, a Silicon Valley-based maker of encryption software. He is far from alone in noticing that fast-growing social networking websites such as MySpace and Friendster are a snoop's dream.
New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.
Thanks to The Invisibles
Saturday, March 1, 2008
SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE LIKE THE EYE
A Talk with Nicholas A. Christakis
Friday, February 29, 2008
"A triviality is a statement whose opposite is false. However, a great truth is a statement whose opposite may well be another great truth."
"Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true."
"How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress!"
"Einstein, stop telling God what to do." (Sometimes quoted including: "...with his dice.")
Alternate version: "Don't you think caution is needed when using ordinary language to ascribe attributes to God?"
"The complement of truth is clearness."
"It is very difficult to make an accurate prediction, especially about the future." (Org. Storm P.)
"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."
"Never talk faster than you think."
"There are some things so serious you have to laugh at them."
"We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections."
"Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question."
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Simpsons 612 Homer the Great (full episode)
"Homer the Great" is the 12th episode of The Simpsons’ sixth season. It features the Stonecutters, a fictional secret society which is an overt parody of the Freemasons. Featuring Patrick Stewart.
Who controls the British crown?
Who keeps the metric system down?
We do! We do!
Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do! We do!
Who holds back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?
We do! We do!
Who robs the cave fish of their site?
Who rigs every Oscar night?
We do! We do!
In other words, the majority of people in our world say and do what they do from their own set of fears, conclusions, defenses and attempts to survive. Most of it, even when aimed directly at us, has nothing to do with us. Usually, it has more to do with all the other times, and in particular the first few times, that this person experienced a similar situation, usually when they were young.
Yes, this is psychodynamic. But let's face it, we live in a world where psychodynamics are what make the world go around. An individual who wishes to live successfully in the world as a spiritual person really needs to understand that psychology is as spiritual as prayer. In fact, the word psychology literally means the study of the soul.
Read the rest here
Dedroidify.com article on Anger
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This "desk reference" overflows with indispensable occult and esoteric materials. Author Bill Whitcomb discusses and compares over 35 magical models including the Trinities, the Taoist Psychic Centers, Enochian magic, qabala, and Worlds of the Hopi. Includes the theory and practice of magic and ritual; sections on alchemy, magical alphabets, and more.
Thanks to The Invisibles
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
check out the entire post here
Cthulhu Rising, Ursa Major, and The Golden Compass
directed & screenplay by Sean Penn
After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
Here is a great page with excellent quotes from the movie:
"Mr. Franz I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one."
"I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong."
"The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences."
"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."
"If you want something in life, reach out and grab it."
Into the Wild - Trailer
"Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth." (expanded on the original quote by Henry David Thoreau)
"Two years he walks the earth.
No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild."
Monday, February 25, 2008
sign the petition:
GV: The Drugging of our Children (SSRI drug dangers and Columbine shooting)
Thanks to disinfo.com
There is an Esoteric Agenda behind every facet of life that was once believed to be disconnected. There is an Elite faction guiding most every Political, Economic, Social, Corporate, some Non-Governmental or even Anti-Establishment Organizations. This film uses the hard work and research of professionals in every field helping to expose this agenda put the future of this planet back into the hands of the people.
It is an exhausting and endless task to keep explaining to people how most issues of conventional wisdom are scientifically implanted in the public consciousness by a thousand media clips per day. In an effort to save time, I would like to provide just a little background on the handling of information in this country.
Once the basic principles are illustrated about how our current system of media control arose historically, the reader might be more apt to question any given story in today's news.
If everybody believes something, it's probably wrong. We call that Conventional Wisdom. In America, conventional wisdom that has mass acceptance is usually contrived: somebody paid for it.
Read the rest of the article here
Mohamed al-Fayed said the man who called Diana the "Peoples Princess" had instigated the "horrendous and horrific action". Mr Fayed said the crash had been orchestrated by MI6 and French intelligence.
Mr Fayed's claim came today as he denounced the Royal Family and virtually the entire Establishment over the deaths of Diana and his son Dodi.Seems to sound about right :p Read the rest here
According to Turok, who teaches at Cambridge University, the Big Bang represents just one stage in an infinitely repeated cycle of universal expansion and contraction. Turok theorizes that neither time nor the universe has a beginning or end.
Rest of article here
The Online Course starts March 3 at the Maybe Logic Academy.
A Google Books preview, but in fairness a lot of the encyclopedia is present.
Their own little summary:
The New Encyclopedia of the Occult is the most up-to-date, comprehensive guide to the history, philosophies, and personalities of Western occultism. This invaluable reference guide presents the latest in scholarly research in magic, alchemy, astrology, divination, Tarot, palmistry, and geomancy; magical orders such as the Golden Dawn and Rosicrucians; important occultists; and religions and spiritual traditions associated with occultism.
Thanks to The Invisibles
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Loss Of Innocence: War & Peace In The 21st Century
By Simon James Kelly, based on the work of James Hillman, a Jungian psychologist and writer.
From the official site
Loss Of Innocence: War & Peace In The 21st Century is a shocking but profoundly psychological investigation into Mars' realm.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
"'Is,' 'is.' 'is' — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything 'is'; I only know how it seems to me at this moment."
The Historical Illuminatus as spoken by Sigismundo Celine
The Western World has been brainwashed by Aristotle for the last 2,500 years. The unconscious, not quite articulate, belief of most Occidentals is that there is one map which adequately represents reality. By sheer good luck, every Occidental thinks he or she has the map that fits.
Guerrilla ontology, to me, involves shaking up that certainty. I use what in modern physics is called the "multi-model" approach, which is the idea that there is more than one model to cover a given set of facts. As I've said, novel writing involves learning to think like other people. My novels are written so as to force the reader to see things through different reality grids rather than through a single grid. It's important to abolish the unconscious dogmatism that makes people think their way of looking at reality is the only sane way of viewing the world.
My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything. If one can only see things according to one's own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb, and blind. It's only possible to see people when one is able to see the world as others see it. That's what guerrilla ontology is — breaking down this one-model view and giving people a multi-model perspective.
(from Searching For Cosmic Intelligence" - interview by Jeffrey Elliot)
Whatever the Thinker thinks, the Prover will prove. And if the Thinker thinks passionately enough, the Prover will prove the thought so conclusively that you will never talk a person out of such a belief, even if it is something as remarkable as the notion that there is a gaseous vertebrate of astronomical heft ("GOD") who will spend all eternity torturing people who do not believe in his religion.
(Thanks to hecKtör Dangüs, esq. for the image)
A poll taking by the wallstreet journal and the ny times and the christian science monitor, together they showed that 75 percent of the public doesn't believe what they read in the newspapers anymore, the percentage who don't believe what they see on tv news is even higher, it's like 85 percent.
We all know the bastards are lying to us and they get away with it because people are used to yes or no, every 4 years to give us the sense that democracy still exists they give us 2 goddamn motherfucking liars, I like shakespearian english, down to earth english that describes what I'm talking about. I don't like prissy little euphemisms, so they give us 2 goddamn motherfucking lying bastards sons of bitches and they say choose between them you are free, you can have a choice, which lying bastard do you prefer to the other lying bastard?
Obviously, the faster we process information, the more rich and complex our models or glosses — our reality-tunnels — will become. Resistance to new information, however, has a strong neurological foundation in all animals, as indicated by studies of imprinting and conditioning. Most animals, including most domesticated primates (humans) show a truly staggering ability to "ignore" certain kinds of information — that which does not "fit" their imprinted/conditioned reality-tunnel. We generally call this "conservatism" or "stupidity", but it appears in all parts of the political spectrum, and in learned societies as well as in the Ku Klux Klan. (from Quantum Psychology)
Jackie Moon: Love me Sexy
I love theories about Tutankhamen, Maurice Cotterell's research indicates he might have been an enlightened master and left loads of clues in his tomb concerning the Sunspot Cycle and end of 2012. Just like Pacal from the Mayas. Then you can discuss wether they were spiritually enlightened or used psychedelics to acquire the knowledge. Others may discard both as merely 'bloodline'. etc, etc.
The pythons, which can grow more then 20 feet long and weight more than 250 pounds, are strangling and gulping down everything from endangered rodents to deer, panther cubs, opossums and alligators. "This is a quantum leap" in snake size, said Rodda. "The largest snake in North America is the bull snake or indigo snake, neither of which exceeds nine feet." Burmese pythons, a subspecies of the Indian python, can take in much larger prey than any North American native snake species. "Alligators eat them and they eat alligators." Cool :p
Friday, February 22, 2008
But this is either incredibly old or a bit flawed.
Vid 3: Circuit 1 Bio-Survival. The Reptilian Brain, Reptilians & Insects
Vid 4: Circuit 2 Social Moral?
In Leary's model, that's circuit 4
She also made a mistake about heroin (circuit 1) and alcohol (circuit 2)
Vid 5: Circuit 3 Logical and Circuit 4 Emotional Territorial The Mammalian Brain. 5th Intuition Circuit. 6th circuit: Psi & other dimensions, tempral lobes. 7th Circuit: frontal lobes, highest level of knowing
Marijuana does not affect the Emotional Circuit but the Fifth Neurosomatic Intuitive Circuit. She also mistakingly says 6th instead of 7th when talking about the 7th. And of course in Leary and RAW's models include 8 Circuits (I saw 7 somewhere before, I'm not aware of the entire history and evolution of the model's development.) and 7 is the collective unconscious and 8 the cosmic quantum circuit.
Entire series of 5
Ancient Mayan astronomers aligned their soaring temples with the stars and now modern archeologists have found the ruins of hidden cities in the Guatemalan jungle by peering down from space.
Archaeologists investigating the collapse of the Mayan civilization said Wednesday that they used a satellite to uncover the ruins of hidden cities in the Guatemalan jungle. The satellite can see through clouds and forests to reveal differences in the vegetation below. The image here was colored to help highlight patterns of jungle growth.
Device with gear wheels tracked sun and moon
A 2,000 year old mechanical computer salvaged from a Roman shipwreck has astounded scientists who have finally unravelled the secrets of how the sophisticated device works.
Will have to update the Antikythera page on Dedroidify.com ;-)
It sounds like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster. But staff at a sewage works have called in a ghostbuster because they are being stalked by a zombie-like figure who roams the underground tunnels.
Workers at Southern Water's treatment plant in Eastbourne, East Sussex, said they have been scared to enter tunnels after being followed about by a "humanoid figure" as they went about their jobs.
Mark Wey, a sewage treatment worker, got permission from his bosses to hire a paranormal investigator to launch an investigation into the sewage spirits.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
(no more posts today)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Professor Harald Walach, a psychologist from the University of Northampton, says:
"We should take this phenomenon seriously even if we do not understand it. To ignore it would be unscientific. Our work shows that there is a significant effect."
For despite it being the most widely practised alternative remedy, science has only recently begun to investigate whether spiritual healing actually works. Scientists and doctors simply assumed that it didn't.
According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the word fnord originally appeared in the Principia Discordia, a cult treatise written in 1965. The term was popularized in the Illuminatus! trilogy by sci-fi writers Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. In Shea and Wilson's work, the word is said to appear in newspaper and magazine articles about current events, and to cause a vague sense of unease in readers who've been programmed not to consciously notice it.
Podcast 128 - McKenna: "The State of the Stone"
In this 1995 talk, Terence McKenna gives one of his more hopeful talks about love and the state of humanity at the end of the millenium.
Podcast 127 - Leary: “How To Use Your Head”
"Now from the standpoint of the strategy of the genetic material, every living species is simply a creative solution to a packaging problem."
"This [early imprinting of young ducklings on orange basketballs instead of mother ducks] is both funny and tragic, because it raises the question, in the case of the human being, what accidental orange basketball have you and I been exposed to early in life?"
"At times it seems to us that one of the functions of the mind is to rationalize and protect an accidental early imprint."
"We suggest that psychedelic drugs may be seen as chemical agents which temporarily suspend your old imprints."
"The thing which excites us these days is the corollary concept of psychedelic RE-imprinting."
"I think that anyone who doesn’t experience, at some moment during their psychedelic sessions, and intense awe-full fear has been cheated by their psychiatrist or their bootlegger."
"LSD is the most powerful aphrodisiac ever known to man."
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
The financial crisis is an opening for a deeper discussion on how money functions in our society. We tend to forget that money is, fundamentally, a social agreement, not something natural or elemental.
Virtual Reality and Hallucination
Our understanding of what is or isn't "real" is being challenged, thanks to hyper-connectivity, hyper-conductivity, and processor speed. How is our personal sense of "reality" being transformed by new technological highs?
Truth and Magic in the Third Dimension
Once I would have been hungry for proof; show me incontrovertible evidence that the paranormal even exists, I would demand. Today I am no longer hungry for certainty. Instead of picking out every logical flaw, I strive to hear whatever truth lurks within.
(Part 1 of The Shamanautical Series)
Dir: DeZ Vylenz. 78 mins feature. 35mm colour, 2003. Dolby Digital Surround.
The Mindscape of Alan Moore Trailer
ALAN MOORE -writer, artist and performer- is the world's most critically acclaimed and widely admired creator of comic books and graphic novels.
In The Mindscape of Alan Moore we see a portrait of the artist as contemporary shaman, someone with the power to transform consciousness by means of manipulating language, symbols and images.
The film leads the audience through Moore's world with the writer himself as guide, beginning with his childhood background, following the evolution of his career as he transformed the comics medium, through to his immersion in a magical worldview where science, spirituality and society are part of the same universe.
The Mindscape of Alan Moore is an audiovisual document of utmost
relevance in the wake of current global developments.
Original Music by Drew Richards. Additional Music by Bill Laswell & Alan Douglas, Lustmord, Spectre
Film festivals and cinemas across the globe from 2003-2006, including Comica at the ICA Cinema London, Copenhagen International Film Festival, Belfast International Film Festival, San Diego Comic-con Film Fest, Comicdom Con Athens, Caption Oxford.
Check out this great clip:
The Mindscape of Alan Moore - Perception
Source: Sit Down and Shut Up
Joshu Sasaki, a Zen teacher from the Rinzai Sect, once said that Buddhist teachers always try to make students long for the Buddha World, but that if the students knew how really dry and tasteless the Buddha World actually was, they'd never want to go.
He's right. Look at Zen teachers. Not a one of them has any sense of fashion. They sit around staring at blank walls. Ask them about levitation, they won't tell you. Ask them about life after death, they change the subject. Ask them about miracles and they start spouting nonsense about carrying buckets of water and chopping up fire wood. They go to bed early and wake up early. Zen is a philosophy for nerds.
Boredom is important. Most of your life is dull, tasteless and boring. If you practice Zazen, you learn a lot about boredom. I remember the first time I sat Zazen, I was real excited. I figured I'd be seeing visions of four armed Krishnas descending from the Heavens, or I'd be fading into The Void just like the old Beatles song, or reach Nirvana (whatever that was) or some great wonderful thing.
But the clock just ticked away, my legs started aching, and stupid thoughts kept drifting by. Maybe I wasn't doing it right, I thought. But no, year after year it was the same. Boring, boring, boring. After almost 20 years it's still boring as Hell.
People hate their ordinary lives. We want something better. This, our day to day life of drudgery and work, is boring, dull and ordinary, we think. But someday, someday...
There's an episode of The Monkees where Mike Nesmith says that when he was in high school he used to walk out on the school's empty stage with a guitar in his hands thinking "Someday, someday." Then he said that now (now being 1967, at the height of the Monkees fame) he walks out on stage in front of thousands of fans and thinks "Someday, someday."
That's the way life is. It's never going to be perfect. Whatever "someday" you imagine, it will ever come. Never. No matter what it is. No matter how well you build your fantasy or how carefully you follow all the steps necessary to achieve it. Even if it comes true exactly the way you planned, you'll end up just like Mike Nesmith. Someday, someday... I guarantee you.
Your life will change. That's for sure. But it won't get any better and it won't get any worse. How can you compare now to the past? What do you know about the past? You don't have a clue! You have no idea at all what yesterday was really like, let alone last week or ten years ago. The future? Forget about it...
People long for big thrills. Peak experiences. Some people come to Zen expecting that Enlightenment will be the Ultimate Peak Experience. The Mother of All Peak Experiences. But real enlightenment is the most ordinary of the ordinary.
Once I had an amazing vision. I saw myself transported through time and space. Millions, no, billions, trillions, Godzillions of years passed. Not figuratively, but literally. Whizzed by. I found myself at the very rim of time and space, a vast giant being composed of the living minds and bodies of every thing that ever was. It was an incredibly moving experience. Exhilarating. I was high for weeks. Finally I told Nishijima Sensei about it. He said it was nonsense. Just my imagination. I can't tell you how that made me feel. Imagination? This was as real an experience as any I've ever had. I just about cried. Later on that day I was eating a tangerine. I noticed how incredibly lovely a thing it was. So delicate. So amazingly orange. So very tasty. So I told Nishijima about that. That experience, he said, was enlightenment.
You need a teacher like that. The world needs lots more teachers like that. Countless teachers would have interpreted my experience as a merging of my Atman with God, as a portent of great and wonderful things, would have praised my spiritual growth and given me pointers on how to go even further. And I would have been suckered right in to that, let me tell you! Woulda fallen for it hook line and sinker, boy howdy. If a teacher doesn't shatter your illusions he's doing you no favors at all.
Boredom is what you need. Merging with the Mind of God at the Edge of the Universe, that's excitement. That's what we're all into this Zen thing for, right? Eating tangerines? Come on, dude! What could be more boring than eating a tangerine?
Some years ago some psychologists did a study in which they sat some Buddhists monks and some regular folks in a room and wired them up to EEG machines to record their brain activity. They told everyone to relax, then introduced a repetitive stimulus, a loudly ticking clock, into the room. The normal folks' EEG showed that their brains stopped reacting the stimulus after a few seconds. But the Buddhists just kept on mentally registering the tick every time it happened. Psychologists and journalists never quite know how to interpret that finding, though it's often cited. It's a simple matter. Buddhists pay attention to their lives. Ordinary folks figure they have better things to think about.
If you really take a look at your ordinary boring life, you'll discover something truly wonderful. Our regular old pointless lives are incredibly joyful -- amazingly, astoundingly, relentlessly, mercilessly joyful.
You don't need to do a damned thing to experience such joy either. People think they need big experiences, interesting experiences. And it's true that gigantic, traumatic experiences sometimes bring people, for a fleeting moment, into a kind of enlightened state. That's why such experiences are so desired.
But it wears off fast and you're right back out there looking for the next thrill. You don't need to take drugs, blow up buildings, win the Indy 500 or walk on the moon.
You don't need to go hang-gliding over the Himalayas, you don't need to screw your luscious and oh-so-willing secretary or party all night with the beautiful people.
You don't need visions of merging with the totality of the Universe.
Just be what you are, where you are. Clean the toilet. Walk the dog. Do your work. That's the most magical thing there is.
If you really want to merge with God, that's the way to do it. This moment. You sitting there with your hand in your underwear and potato chip crumbs on your chin, scrolling down your computer screen thinking "This guy's out of his mind."
This very moment is Enlightenment. This moment has never come before and once it's gone, it's gone forever. You are this moment. This moment is you. This very moment is you merging with the total Universe, with God Himself.
The life you're living right now has joys even God will never know.