Sunday, November 23, 2014

​​Lets dream out way out of the maze....

Think not that dreams appear to the dreamer only at night:
the dream of this world of pain appears to us even by day.

(Yoru bakari Miru mono nari to Omou-nayo!
Hiru saë yumé no Ukiyo nari-kéri.)
- Translated by Lafcadio Hearn 1899

The Buddhists speak about "illusion", 
others call it a "dream" or the 'matrix'....

Morpheus : Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo : No.
Morpheus : Why?
Neo : Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my
own life.

Morpheus : I know..._exactly_ what you mean. Let me tell you why you're
here. You're here because you know something. What you know,
you can't explain. But you feel it. You've felt it your
entire life. That there's something _wrong_ with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's a splinter
in you're mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has
brought you to me. Do you _know_ what I'm talking about?
Neo : The Matrix?
Morpheus : Do you want to know...._what_ _it_ is....?
Neo nods
Morpheus : The Matrix is everywhere. It's all around us, even in this
very room
. You can see it when you look out your window or
when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you
go to work, when you go to work, when you pay your taxes.
The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes,
to blind you from the truth.
Neo : What truth?
Morpheus : That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born
into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or
taste or touch. A prison...for your mind....Unfortunatly,
no one can be..._told_ what the Matrix have to see
it for yourself.


Dance me to the children, who are asking to be born - Leonard Cohen..
or is life like a dream ?


In the district called Toichi of Yamato Province, (1) there used to live a goshi named Miyata Akinosuke... [Here I must tell you that in Japanese feudal times there was a privileged class of soldier-farmers,—free-holders,—corresponding to the class of yeomen in England; and these were called goshi.]
In Akinosuke's garden there was a great and ancient cedar-tree, under which he was wont to rest on sultry days. One very warm afternoon he was sitting under this tree with two of his friends, fellow-goshi, chatting and drinking wine, when he felt all of a sudden very drowsy,—so drowsy that he begged his friends to excuse him for taking a nap in their presence. Then he lay down at the foot of the tree, and dreamed this dream:—
He thought that as he was lying there in his garden, he saw a procession, like the train of some great daimyo descending a hill near by, and that he got up to look at it. A very grand procession it proved to be,—more imposing than anything of the kind which he had ever seen before; and it was advancing toward his dwelling. He observed in the van of it a number of young men richly appareled, who were drawing a great lacquered palace-carriage, or gosho-guruma, hung with bright blue silk. When the procession arrived within a short distance of the house it halted; and a richly dressed man—evidently a person of rank—advanced from it, approached Akinosuke, bowed to him profoundly, and then said:—
"Honored Sir, you see before you a kerai [vassal] of the Kokuo of Tokoyo. [1] My master, the King, commands me to greet you in his august name, and to place myself wholly at your disposal. He also bids me inform you that he augustly desires your presence at the palace. Be therefore pleased immediately to enter this honorable carriage, which he has sent for your conveyance."
Upon hearing these words Akinosuke wanted to make some fitting reply; but he was too much astonished and embarrassed for speech;—and in the same moment his will seemed to melt away from him, so that he could only do as the kerai bade him. He entered the carriage; the kerai took a place beside him, and made a signal; the drawers, seizing the silken ropes, turned the great vehicle southward;—and the journey began.

In a very short time, to Akinosuke's amazement, the carriage stopped in front of a huge two-storied gateway (romon), of a Chinese style, which he had never before seen. Here the kerai dismounted, saying, "I go to announce the honorable arrival,"—and he disappeared. After some little waiting, Akinosuke saw two noble-looking men, wearing robes of purple silk and high caps of the form indicating lofty rank, come from the gateway.

These, after having respectfully saluted him, helped him to descend from the carriage, and led him through the great gate and across a vast garden, to the entrance of a palace whose front appeared to extend, west and east, to a distance of miles. Akinosuke was then shown into a reception-room of wonderful size and splendor. His guides conducted him to the place of honor, and respectfully seated themselves apart; while serving-maids, in costume of ceremony, brought refreshments. When Akinosuke had partaken of the refreshments, the two purple-robed attendants bowed low before him, and addressed him in the following words,—each speaking alternately, according to the etiquette of courts:—

"It is now our honorable duty to inform you... as to the reason of your having been summoned hither... Our master, the King, augustly desires that you become his son-in-law;... and it is his wish and command that you shall wed this very day... the August Princess, his maiden-daughter... We shall soon conduct you to the presence-chamber... where His Augustness even now is waiting to receive you... But it will be necessary that we first invest you... with the appropriate garments of ceremony." [2]

Having thus spoken, the attendants rose together, and proceeded to an alcove containing a great chest of gold lacquer. They opened the chest, and took from it various roes and girdles of rich material, and a kamuri, or regal headdress. With these they attired Akinosuke as befitted a princely bridegroom; and he was then conducted to the presence-room, where he saw the Kokuo of Tokoyo seated upon the daiza, [3] wearing a high black cap of state, and robed in robes of yellow silk. Before the daiza, to left and right, a multitude of dignitaries sat in rank, motionless and splendid as images in a temple; and Akinosuke, advancing into their midst, saluted the king with the triple prostration of usage. The king greeted him with gracious words, and then said:—
"You have already been informed as to the reason of your having been summoned to Our presence. We have decided that you shall become the adopted husband of Our only daughter;—and the wedding ceremony shall now be performed."
As the king finished speaking, a sound of joyful music was heard; and a long train of beautiful court ladies advanced from behind a curtain to conduct Akinosuke to the room in which he bride awaited him.
The room was immense; but it could scarcely contain the multitude of guests assembled to witness the wedding ceremony. All bowed down before Akinosuke as he took his place, facing the King's daughter, on the kneeling-cushion prepared for him. As a maiden of heaven the bride appeared to be; and her robes were beautiful as a summer sky. And the marriage was performed amid great rejoicing.
Afterwards the pair were conducted to a suite of apartments that had been prepared for them in another portion of the palace; and there they received the congratulations of many noble persons, and wedding gifts beyond counting.

Some days later Akinosuke was again summoned to the throne-room. On this occasion he was received even more graciously than before; and the King said to him:—
"In the southwestern part of Our dominion there is an island called Raishu. We have now appointed you Governor of that island. You will find the people loyal and docile; but their laws have not yet been brought into proper accord with the laws of Tokoyo; and their customs have not been properly regulated. We entrust you with the duty of improving their social condition as far as may be possible; and We desire that you shall rule them with kindness and wisdom. All preparations necessary for your journey to Raishu have already been made."

So Akinosuke and his bride departed from the palace of Tokoyo, accompanied to the shore by a great escort of nobles and officials; and they embarked upon a ship of state provided by the king. And with favoring winds they safety sailed to Raishu, and found the good people of that island assembled upon the beach to welcome them.

Akinosuke entered at once upon his new duties; and they did not prove to be hard. During the first three years of his governorship he was occupied chiefly with the framing and the enactment of laws; but he had wise counselors to help him, and he never found the work unpleasant. When it was all finished, he had no active duties to perform, beyond attending the rites and ceremonies ordained by ancient custom. The country was so healthy and so fertile that sickness and want were unknown; and the people were so good that no laws were ever broken. And Akinosuke dwelt and ruled in Raishu for twenty years more,—making in all twenty-three years of sojourn, during which no shadow of sorrow traversed his life.

But in the twenty-fourth year of his governorship, a great misfortune came upon him; for his wife, who had borne him seven children,—five boys and two girls,—fell sick and died. She was buried, with high pomp, on the summit of a beautiful hill in the district of Hanryoko; and a monument, exceedingly splendid, was placed upon her grave. But Akinosuke felt such grief at her death that he no longer cared to live.

Now when the legal period of mourning was over, there came to Raishu, from the Tokoyo palace, a shisha, or royal messenger. The shisha delivered to Akinosuke a message of condolence, and then said to him:—
"These are the words which our august master, the King of Tokoyo, commands that I repeat to you: 'We will now send you back to your own people and country. As for the seven children, they are the grandsons and granddaughters of the King, and shall be fitly cared for. Do not, therefore, allow your mind to be troubled concerning them.'"
On receiving this mandate, Akinosuke submissively prepared for his departure. When all his affairs had been settled, and the ceremony of bidding farewell to his counselors and trusted officials had been concluded, he was escorted with much honor to the port. There he embarked upon the ship sent for him; and the ship sailed out into the blue sea, under the blue sky; and the shape of the island of Raishu itself turned blue, and then turned grey, and then vanished forever... And Akinosuke suddenly awoke—under the cedar-tree in his own garden!
For a moment he was stupefied and dazed. But he perceived his two friends still seated near him,—drinking and chatting merrily. He stared at them in a bewildered way, and cried aloud,—
"How strange!"
"Akinosuke must have been dreaming," one of them exclaimed, with a laugh. "What did you see, Akinosuke, that was strange?"
Then Akinosuke told his dream,—that dream of three-and-twenty years' sojourn in the realm of Tokoyo, in the island of Raishu;—and they were astonished, because he had really slept for no more than a few minutes.
One goshi said:—
"Indeed, you saw strange things. We also saw something strange while you were napping. A little yellow butterfly was fluttering over your face for a moment or two; and we watched it. Then it alighted on the ground beside you, close to the tree; and almost as soon as it alighted there, a big, big ant came out of a hole and seized it and pulled it down into the hole. Just before you woke up, we saw that very butterfly come out of the hole again, and flutter over your face as before. And then it suddenly disappeared: we do not know where it went."
"Perhaps it was Akinosuke's soul," the other goshi said;—"certainly I thought I saw it fly into his mouth... But, even if that butterfly was Akinosuke's soul, the fact would not explain his dream."
"The ants might explain it," returned the first speaker. "Ants are queer beings—possibly goblins... Anyhow, there is a big ant's nest under that cedar-tree."...
"Let us look!" cried Akinosuke, greatly moved by this suggestion. And he went for a spade.

The ground about and beneath the cedar-tree proved to have been excavated, in a most surprising way, by a prodigious colony of ants. The ants had furthermore built inside their excavations; and their tiny constructions of straw, clay, and stems bore an odd resemblance to miniature towns. In the middle of a structure considerably larger than the rest there was a marvelous swarming of small ants around the body of one very big ant, which had yellowish wings and a long black head.
"Why, there is the King of my dream!" cried Akinosuke; "and there is the palace of Tokoyo!... How extraordinary!... Raishu ought to lie somewhere southwest of it—to the left of that big root... Yes!—here it is!... How very strange! Now I am sure that I can find the mountain of Hanryoko, and the grave of the princess."...
In the wreck of the nest he searched and searched, and at last discovered a tiny mound, on the top of which was fixed a water-worn pebble, in shape resembling a Buddhist monument. Underneath it he found—embedded in clay—the dead body of a female ant.

The dream of Akinosoke

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Social media spam

To all my friends who get emails from me asking them to join Linkedin or some other network.

first: my appologies.
The invitation is NOT from me directly.
It's sent by the Linkedin (or whatever other) website.

Second: I don't want you to join, the Linkedin website does.

Third: Why is it sent ?
Linkedin (or whatever website) grabs a person's email address book and then automatically sends email to their friends that looks like it's coming from that person.
Why ?
to get more people ?
Why ?
to make more money. (i.e. the 'holy grail' of the current level of human civilization)

Legal: is it ? I guess so. They don't do this without user permission, but they make it so that you can very easily spam all your friends without clearly meaning to. This is what just happened to you. 

Fourth: I also get emails like this from other friends.
It's usually pretty simple to work out that the email comes from some social network site that sent it autotmatically.
I usually classify it as SPAM and I never see any of those emails again from that person.
I suggest you do that with any annoying Linkedin emails that say they come from me.

If I really want to talk to you I'll email directly with a personal email, and you will easily be able to tell that it's NOT an automated email, because it won't look nice, glossy, pretty and I wont' be asking you join some dumb network that you don't want to join.

Positives: I've made contact with a whole lot of people who write to me to tell me they don't want to join Linkedin, and we have a chat that we would otherwise not have had.

Anthropologist's field notes

 Note1: those people fiercely opposed to and hating all social networks get very annoyed and respond to Linkedin spam as a personal insult. 
They take it personally, and unleash a furious barrage.
A common response is: "No I don't want to join this stupid F****ing network, and I hate all social networks because of blahhha blahhh....blahh.... reason....  and how DARE YOU SPAM with with SHIT !!!!!!!!! " 

Note2: those people who use social networks realize what is going on and quietly get rid of the Linkedin spam. 
A common response is: 
"No big big deal, there is positive and negative to everything in life, I can live with killing the odd email here and there. ... " 

Confession1: I used to be in "Note1" and hated all social network crap. I LOVED hating those things, I thought them stupid and really got into the grumpy old man thing about them. But then I decided to get to grips with the thing I 'hated' and found that I could quite easily control it and use it for my own purposes.
Lesson for self: This applies to life in general, not just this example. 

Hating something is a blind spot and it's kinda fun, in a twisted sort of way.

Confession2: I especially used to enjoy hating Facebook. The more people talked about it the more I determined to have nothing to do with it.  (Note the "enjoy") 
So why the hell did I get into it ? 
Weeeeeeelllllllll.............. you see, t here was this girl I liked.... and she  used it and so I joined too..... amidst much grumbling. 
"I'm only using Facebook to respond to your invitation, I don't like and use Facebook.... I hate it, it sucks...  " I  told   her... 
Weeeeellllllll ...and by now I've learned how to control it and use it and I know what it can and cannot do and I've dropped my fanatical "anti" stance.
Actually it's come in useful to reaching out to people. 
Yes it has bad sides and it has good sides. So do knives. 


  • Anonymous says: 
    I receive several invitations from linkedin every day ! I dont think there is a Spam from Linkedin, but they could design the procedures in a way that sending all invitations should be double confirmed by the linkedin member. For example, in FB, when you want to invite your friends to FB they will ask you to confirm it at least two times and you are able to choose from a list of friends to send them the FB invitation. I think the way Linkeding works is that every time a new member registers with Linkedin they will ask him to add your friends and maybe this process consists just a one time clicking on a button. The LKinkedin will send all of his friends an invitation email and will re send it almost every week as a reminder from Linkedin. So, it is not actually a spam, but a technique they use for making their website popular. I am not sure this way is a good way because every time you receive such email it makes you angry about Linkedin.
  • Haiko Rudolph I was going to say that

    Linkedin makes is deliberately easy to send this stuff, ie. and easy mistake to make, designed this way on purpose.

    the effect is however different now: social media will kick back and Linkedin's image will suffer and become associated with cheap crappy nagging software.

    I used to have some respect for Linkedin, I thought they were more "seriious" and biz like, but this method of spamming my friends, is cheap and nasty stuff.
    Sorry not impressed, they are just another nagging money hungry site.

    Facebook makde the process double confirmed for a good reason, they too used to spam and flood your inbox, and that turned people off much more than it got them customers.

    linkedin has not yet learned that.

    they will

     other kinds of spam that pretend to come from your friends are more tricky, Linkedin is harmless in comparison: 
    example is below: 

    Bill  Smith
    18:30 (0 minutes ago)

    to undisclosed recipients
    Hope you get this on time, I made a trip to Madrid in Spain and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but I have to pay for a ticket and settle hotel bills. I've made contact with my bank but it would take me 3-5 working days to access funds in my account from Madrid.

    Western Union transfer is the best option to send money to me. Let me know if you need my details(Full names/location) to make the transfer. I'll refund the money back to you as soon as I return.

    Let me know if you can be of any help.


Saturday, July 07, 2012

doing nothing

Days and days typing on my laptop.
I'm sick of it !
Enough !
I 've done some great work, written new stories, even some work on "Ze (damn) book".
I've been emailing and piss farting around, organizing my Hard Drive.
I have set myself the goal of going through all my key folders and tossing out the junk. A slimming course for the Hard Dive. When I do that I know I'm getting to the end of my patience.

But I am SICK of the computer.
And I didn't want to walk around town anymore.
Mind says: "listen to a podcast, something uplifting"
è "Don't want anything uplifting."
Mind: "it's good for you."
è "Well bugger that, I don't give a hoot !"
Mind sats: "there you go, wasting time, and then you wonder why you get nothing done. Oh well. I've tried."
è "Yea, you tried, now shut up!"

Mind: ".......can I suggest..... a nice walk ?"
è "Don't feel like a damn nice walk."
Mind: "..............................."
I had originally planned to go for a walk because a walk would give me some much needed exercise, but I really didn't want a walk. So what if I didn't get the right exercise right now ? Stiff. Tough titis.
Living life for medicinal reasons sucks.
It's boring.
It misses the whole point.  

With that I went to sit in the coffee shop around the corner, they have good tea, its clean, and they have solid nice tables.

I hold up one finger very prominently and say "La Payiiiih- ONE !" - one of those super strong, bitter, super sweet Myanmar teas with condensed milk at the bottom.
ONE of them.
For some reason whatever you order in Myanmar, you need to specify the number, there is no obvious default setting.
I'm on my own, no other person is near me, I stand out as the only European foreigner in town, but I still have to say "One" tea. Not two, not three, not ten, just ONE tea please.
Ordering dinner, as a single guy, I still have to say "ONE" steak with chips, as opposed to three or ten.
I mean you never know, I might want to order three steaks and have them all at once. You just never know.
I'm sure if I bought a car, I'd have to say, "Yes, just ONE, car today -  might get two tomorrow, but today just ONE will do for now. "
Would I have to say "ONE" wife ? I wonder.
Ok, in all fairness, I understand, it's how the language works. Some languages just require a counter that's how it is. Anyone learning my mother tongue, German, will have a whole list of things to wonder about. Languages are just what they are, not logical.
Even so called logical languages to talk to a logic machine like a computer, there are so many different types of languages computer engineers argue about which is the 'best' all the time.

I've only been to this teashop only 3 times and already I have 'my spot'.
I sit at 'my spot' near the door, at the corner of the table, and do what ?
"What do you mean nothing. You gotta do something."
"You could do some MORE work, you haven't really done enough yet..." Mind says.
è "Go away, leave me alone. In fact piss off....!!!"
So I sit, doing nothing.
And I sit, doing nothing.
Doing nothing means, having no purpose, nothing to achieve,  nothing to do,  just sitting there.
No plan, not even the plan to have no plan, not even the plan to do nothing.
Just no plan.
Doing nothing includes DOING things like:
  • -          Staring into space.
  • -          Watching other people.
  • -          Letting thoughts come and go.
  • -          Staring into space.
  • -          ...................................
  • -          Watching people enter and watching them leave.
  • -          ENJOYing the ambience.

  • -          Just sitting.
  • -          ...................................
  • -          Fiddling with my camera, taking a few pictures, reviewing them, erasing some.
  • -          Fiddling with the mobile phone,
  • -          Watching people.
  • -          Staring into space.
  • -          ........................................
  • -          And so on, and so on, and so on....

I'm not doing nothing because I'm following some wanker's advice on 'How to do nothing', in some erudite book on how to attain inner peace and enlightenment and leave this shithole of a human world and move to the much nicer and cleaner and better, and happier  world of nirvanic enlightenment  
I'm not doing any of that. Though I should perhaps write that book about doing nothing... before someone else does...  - oh they've already written it ?
Does not matter, write another one.

I'm just doing nothing.
There is no method and no recipe, no technique in this.
I'm sure if I attained enlightenment suddenly the learned pundits would writes tons of books about ' just HOW to do nothing' and thus attain enlightenment. And the 'no method' would become a method,  'a path'.

The path that is a path,
is not the path,
The name that can be named,
is not the name.
- Tao Te Ching

Fortunately I don't attain enlightenment and the world is spared all that clever B**S***.

There's something I really love about these places:
It's the  unwritten rule that the customer ASKS if he wants something.
Waiters don't pester or ask, or pressure anyone to leave, or order more.
No funny bugger games.
No bright sweet smile saying "would you like another drink, sire ?" which really means: "you're not spending enough,  order something or piss off".

Waves  of sadness come over me.
Ok, whatever.
I'm lonely.
Ok, whatever.
I can't be bothered fighting it.
I'm thinking of the "Gyro" story, I've been writing for quite some time. For years in fact. Will it ever get done ?
A warm feeling goes through me.
It really excites me, I want to write more about that story.
I feel it and I see it.  
This excitement is deep slow and real. It's not the frantic monkey mind talking now. It's my deeper core. The really deep part of me.
"You can write that once you've  finished, the other stuff you are supposed to do", mind says.
I don't even bother answering, I know that if I do that, the excitement to write the next bit of "Gyro" will be long dead and gone and it'll be just one more chore, one more damn thing 'TODO'.
Lots of ideas about what to write in "Gyro", flow through my mind.

All this time I'm staring into space,  watching others.

"Jumble dooon, makelemat, blahhh blahh blahh..." one of my neighbours asks me.
He smiles, yep that was what he asked me.
How did I know ?
I didn't.
Lucky guess, -  I guess.
He has a white skull cap and an orange beard. One day I'm gonna figure out what orange coloured hair means.
But not today.

The call to prayer sounds next door, slowly the guys with white caps get up and go into the mosque.
I'm now the only guy sitting.
Time to do some more nothing.

Sit and let the thoughts come and let the thoughts go.
Now that I think of it, I guess this is a kind of meditation, 'teashop meditation' without any rules. Nothing formal.
But give it a few years and there'll be books on it.
And the Poobaah's will argue about the correct way to do 'teashop meditation' a la Sayargyi Haiko, who attained enlightenment in a teashop in Dawei.

"Oh. You never did attain enlightenment in the teashop. "
That's right.

Friday, July 06, 2012

the lessons of life seen in each country

A friend  sent me this picture, about the health debate in the US 

My reply was:
the entrenched lobby groups are very strong, they like their profits....

was thinking about the situation in the US the other day: it makes sense if one
sees it as a wild west, first come, take best seats, make sure the others who come later dont take them gooddies from ya... that mentality is still very strong....

frontier, fort, defend... is the underlying motto.


      yes its the frontier mentality "look after yourself"  and "if you fall behind it's your fault", so we see people with mental problems living in cardboard boxes because the state wont help them.

To misquote Spok  from Star Trek " It's civilization Jim but not as we know it."

  regards  P

I thought about all this this morning, as the rain pissed bucketed poured down in this little country town of Dawei. ....
and it came to me like this: if we are all part of the greater collective sub/un/higher consciousness then each country and group of humans take a different part of the lessons of life and go to the very limits....
Yankee land has taken one set of lessons,
Aussie land another,
Myanmar yet another set of lessons. 

we can learn from each other, but each group takes one aspect and explores it,
exploring means - seeing the light and dark, seeing where it works and where things f*** up...and how and why....

thinking like this helps me make some kind of sense of the crazy, amazing human world we live in... and helps me be kinder to myself too.
link below to a nice experience in this country town.