November 29, 2009

Repetitive behaviors

More from The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, by Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad, [p212].

Limiting ourselves to the configuration of addiction that involves an inner battle about being addicted has the advantage of isolating the most elusive, controversial, and seemingly mysterious component - control. In focusing on the inner conflicts around control, including the ostensible loss of it, there are two related factors:
  1. Doing repetitive behaviors that one feels either incapable of stopping or that take great effort to try and stop - and should one succeed, their possible return is always lurking the background.
  2. These repetitive behaviors are judged by the person involved to be (or in fact are) interfering in a non-trivial way with one's well-being - in short, they are self-destructive.

November 27, 2009

The eyes have it

You can't sneak a peek, because of all the face we're most set up to spot the eyes. The importance of sunglasses in certain situations is thus beyond measure. Nobody knows what I see and nobody knows what I'm thinking.

I sit in public and watch what people show of themselves, amazed that any of us leave the house. Going naked would be only marginally more revealing.

Related paper: The eyes have it! Reflexive orienting is triggered by nonpredictive gaze.

November 26, 2009

Eleven characteristics of transcendental states

Since I decided to get a social life after quitting my job / going freelance a year ago, I keep finding myself walking out of bars at 5 or 6am, which means this year there's been more posts tagged drink than psychedelics, but a good description of transcendental states in The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, by Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad, [p304].

1. One experiences being in the eternal, a place that always was and always will be.

2. There can be a great energy that breaks through boundaries to the extent of experiencing one's awareness expanding until it seems to (or could) include everything

3. The ordinary separations between what's me and not-me either momentary disappear of become really ambiguous.

4. There are often (though not always) deep feelings of identification - one might even call it love - with the cosmos.

5. One "knows" this place is always there to be tapped into.

6. The place feels foreign and yet familiar at the same time.

7. The is both awe and a feeling of personal insignificance, where the mundane concerns and emotions around self-enhancement and self-protection seem trivial and beside the point.

8. There is no fear, because death feels quite unreal. Or in a slightly different vein, when you cease identifying with yourself and merge with the cosmos, it feels like you've already died, so there's nothing left to fear. This cessation of fear is one of the most marvelously unusual feelings, bringing deep relaxation on levels one didn't even know existed.

9. One feels immune from being affected by the judgments of others, and also free from such petty responses as vengeance and competitiveness. After all, we are all one. Along this line, all so-called negative emotions - anger, jealousy, etc. - can seem not only unnecessary, but silly and based on illusions.

10. There is a recognitions that one is (or we all are) and aspect of God.

11. Everything (oneself included), and the way the cosmos is unfolding, is seen as perfect.

November 17, 2009

Degrees, grades, shades

...humans are not magic animals different from all the others, but part of a spectrum...
Related post: Other substrates

November 14, 2009

Crossing the bridge

Probably last Scientology post for a while, but below is a good 2hr interview with Jason Beghe on his involvement and disillusionment with the cult. Like all other related materials, it's full of creepy thrills, and he's a great speaker on the topic.

Via XenuTV.

November 13, 2009

The golden age of madness

I've a free ticket to 2012 and the movie is only a 10 minute walk from my house, but I'm staying in and getting all my sci-fi / conspiracy / madness thrills from this 3hr Scientology summit from 2007 [links to Google video]. This is when Miscavige says "yeah, we've been doing it wrong all these years, but now we have the right tech." And the roomful of impoverished believers who've spent all their $$$ trying to master space / time eat it up and ask for more.

I can't enough of this crazy.


A page with lots of images from a preliminary investigation into a 3D rendering of the Mandelbrot set. Beauty abounds.

November 09, 2009

November 08, 2009

No discipline, just problems


[Karl Popper] wrote there there are no disciplines, just problems. So I always knew what my problem was: chance and misunderstanding of knowledge - I've had it for as long as I can remember. But I am still looking for a discipline.
The quote about appeals for the obvious omnivorous idea, but also because you can extract the phrase no discipline, just problems, which works for me.


I stayed out drinking on Wednesday night until the sun came up. I was drinking with a guy in one bar and we ended up at another place sharing a table with two women, the hours between 3am and 6 passing in a blur. Whatever happened was of no significance, but it took a long time just the same.

When the sun came up I stumbled out and rode my bicycle home. The streets were full of people starting their days, and if they saw me go by and gave it any thought they probably imagined I was a healthy early riser too, on my way to tai chi in a park.

It was a normal night for Osamu Dazai.


The incomprehensibility of society is the incomprehensibility of the individual. The ocean is not society; it is individuals. This is how I managed to gain a modicum of freedom from my terror at the illusion of the ocean called the world. I learned to behave rather aggressively, without the endless anxious worrying I knew before, responding as it were to the needs of the moment.
Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human, p125
This is the kind of book that I'd have been crazy for as a teenager, Notes from the Underground with more sex and drink. It begins: Mine has been a life of much shame. I can't even guess myself what it must be to live the life of a human being. It reminds that I should've died, been badly injured, arrested, had a career or become a father several times over by now, but somehow I escaped each time and ought to be more grateful for what I half chose and half fell into, one year without a boss on December 1st.

I don't think dissipation's so romantic now, and don't aspire to getting wasted every night on a rockstar bohemian trip. I want to be as healthy as possible, so that sometimes I can do unhealthy things.
Men's nature's are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.
Mishima once met Dazai, and they had a confrontation. The gist of it was that Mishima (the younger man), although admiring Dazai's work, was disgusted by the weakness that he showed in throwing himself into drink, drugs and women, the general lack of masculine discipline. His friend and biographer suggests that he was really shocked by recognizing his own desire for death, quoting this passage from Mishima's account of their meeting:
Naturally I recognize Dazai's rare talent; and yet I know of no other writer who from my very first contract with him filled me with so violent a physiological revulsion. Possibly....this was due to my immediate sense that Dazai was a writer at pains to expose precisely that which I most wanted to conceal in myself.
Jonathan Nathan, Mishima, p93
Dazai killed himself at 38, while Mishima did so at 45, two paths to the same end.

Related posts:
Mishima's head on a plate [incl. picture]
All posts tagged Mishima Yukio

November 06, 2009

Breaking the clouds

Alejandro Selkirk Island, South Pacific Ocean
This small member of the Juan Fernandez Islands off the coast of Chile measure just under a mile across. But its 5,000 feet of elevation is high enough to reach the layer of stratocumulus clouds pictured above. The result is a type of flow known as a von Karmen vortex street. This striking, curly pattern of eddies can also be seen in clouds, and fluids or air moving past rounded objects such as an airplane wing. This image was taken by the Landsat 7 satellite in 1999.

November 03, 2009

It can only be a matter of time

Rafael Silks, above and below

Another in a series of superficially depressing posts about giving up dreams that depend on artistic success in terms of recognition + career in the cause of overall liberation and improved mental health.
Your Inner Whining Artist (IWA) is the part of you that tells you you’re a genius waiting to be discovered. If only the big bad world would sit up and recognize your talent, the IWA tells you, all your problems would be over. Audiences and critics would bow at your feet, agents would queue up to represent you, and all the people who’d ever rejected your work would be gorging themselves on humble pie. You just need to get your break, to be discovered. It can only be a matter of time …
The oldest, deepest dreams may be the most distant and inapplicable now, in spirit and in practice. It's good to keep shedding skins.

Related posts:
A millionaire artist
Throw in the Towel
The myth of 1,000 true fans

November 02, 2009

My idea of fun

I'm only really interested in being interested.