Monday, August 30, 2010

What Is My True Nature?


This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought.

~ T. E. Lawrence

Mixed Signals

"What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak. It was born in the moment when we accumulated silent things within us."

~ Philosopher Gaston Bachelard

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hades

From deep within the underworld, Hades whispered to me...

"Never forget, I can destroy you at any time."

"Yes, I know," said I, "and each time I will rise again."


















"Hades," as I see it, is an archetypal energy. In a sense, Hades could be said to have destroyed our optimism, as symbolized by the fall of the Twin Towers, which themselves were symbols of America's duality. Now we will build something better. Not a new building, but a new human reality. Next, Hades will destroy the world's governments, as prefaced by our collapsing currencies. This is necessary and good. In their place we will build a new world -- one that is actually worth living in.

This is the balance at work, a function of the spiritual physics of the universe. Creation and destruction are prerequisites for the existence of everything. We are not to fear Hades. We are to respect its power and understand its place in the order of things. Destroying that which no longer serves us, we clear ground for the future.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Spiritual Warfare

If you want to be hung up on a cross and have nails driven into your hands, go ahead. But please don't treat others as you'd like to be treated. The "will of God" is better served by human hands left free to create, and in service to the free mind that guides them.


The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

~ Sun Tzu

Sorrow of Light

















Why?
The burning kiss of God on the forehead of humanity
Can you feel its heat?
Can you smell your skin burning in the furrow of your brow?
The flames of Why climb higher
Splitting the wood of a crackling psyche
Is it yours?

Why melts into my head
Sinking hot and fast to the center
Too bright, too hot
Third eye blinded forever
Like a burnt out star
Or the eye of a killer shark

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Aperture















The universe is opening up for you.


If not, refer to Plan B...

Will's World

I've been meaning to write something meaningful these past few days, as I don't like things hanging on the tone of my last post. Fortunately, the antidote to those sentiments came in the form of an hour long phone call with my warrior brother, Murray, on Sunday. It made all the difference. Work and study, in the meantime, have been kicking my ass. Both are choices, however, so I can't complain, but the job has been grueling. It'd be easy to go off on a bartender's rant, but it'd be a waste of virtual ink. Nonetheless, it's pushing toward 5 a.m. and I'm exhausted. Despite having a few things drafted, none are ready yet, so I'm just gonna punch this out, come what may.


















I've finished six consecutive half-hour lessons with my new Pimsleur Greek course since it arrived, and am very pleased with my progress. I can't speak more highly of the method employed in the course. In short, it works, and I'm finally getting the results I always wanted. Each lesson is thirty minutes long, and you only do one a day. I love the fact that I don't have to look at any pictures, write anything down, or go through any of the other headaches that are normally associated with learning by other inferior means. The program builds on the previous day's lesson in a logical order without overwhelming the student, it has a comfortable saturation rate, and there are many opportunities to reply to the audio tutor. The whole point is to speak and understand, which I am, so it's all coming along very nicely. All I do is put on the headphones, listen, and respond. It's amazing how much a person can learn when they have the right teacher. It takes out all the frustration. I'm totally committed to finishing the remaining 24 CDs by September 17th. After that I'll take a short break and then resume with Greek 2. Normally each course is $345 from Simon & Schuster, but I got mine (brand new) off Ebay for $132. It's some of the best money I've ever spent. After work tonight, I was pleasantly surprised to find a map of Greece in my mailbox, so naturally that will go on my wall tomorrow as I begin plotting out the dream. Thanks, Mom.













In other news, I have not done any paragliding this year since shortly after returning from Los Angeles in April. After whacking myself in the hand with a hatchet, I needed time to heal. For awhile, it was a fully legitimate reason not to run off Tiger Mountain. I don't need to be tossed around in thermals without full braking power with both hands. As things unfolded, this year took me down another path. Not flying saved a lot of money that would've otherwise been spent on my passion. Last year I had over a hundred individual aviation adventures, but consequently saved nothing. Passion has a price. So does moving to another state. In keeping with my financial goals to get that done, I just worked and stayed home -- pretty much what I've done all summer. As my hand got better, I put myself on a sort of rehab that consisted of playing my keyboard every day, worked through all twelve keys, and spontaneously started composing again. Though my wings were wrapped up in a bag, my fingers slowly learned to fly again. It's been great, actually. In the process I've learned a lot about my own sonic vision, and am close to completing a new piece in Bb minor that I think has turned out really cool. My synthesizer rests mainly on the "strings" setting, so most of my stuff sounds like it belongs on a soundtrack. Or at least I think so. There's still some flying days left, but I won't feel bad if I don't use them for that because I'm getting so much done in other areas of my life. I'm saving money, creating music, and finally "getting an education" -- one that I actually care about and can use when I get to Greece.













In the meantime, my apartment building is getting a new roof. I'm on the 3rd floor, just underneath it, so it's noisy as hell around here. The guys show up at 7:30, ripping, pounding, shouting, and throwing crap into the alley all day, so getting adequate sleep has been a challenge. Being on a schedule that's opposite from the rest of the world usually works very well for me, but sometimes it backfires because everyone else works while I'm sleeping. Oh well, it's better than endless winter rain seeping into my room, and earplugs are cheap.




















Tomorrow night should be fun. I'll be going to my second Sounders game, and if it's anything like their last match against the Houston Dynamo, it will be great. I'll also be checking out a position to beer-tend during games, as I heard they're looking for people. I asked my boss for a raise yesterday and was declined, so maybe it's time to get it elsewhere. We'll see. Either way I'm really looking forward to seeing how Seattle fares against Mexico tomorrow. With enthusiastic fans, pounding drums, good-looking women, and plenty of Blue Moon on tap, the atmosphere alone is worth going for.

I hope everyone out there is doing well. Please do something fun.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

That Which Is, Isn't


















While the computer age may have connected us all, it's mostly a cold, distant connection of silence that was formerly a place of conversation and penmanship. I accept it because I must, and because it is the way of things now, but sitting here on a Saturday night pondering the digital divide doesn't make me feel any closer to crossing it. In the old days, I wrote real letters to friends, or I made phone calls and actually talked with them. I made road trips to see people, even though I don't remember really having the money or time to do so. I had pen-pals in Europe and savored the long wait between letters, cherished the moment I saw "por avion" in my mailbox and the subsequent revelation of their words that had come so far to find me. I remember each of those times as if I held a precious treasure. They're all gone now, but not the memories, and not without a feeling of loss.

Despite things back then being slower, real communication was more frequent, its quality better and more meaningful. Now everything has to be planned days, months, or years in advance, with scarcely a word in between. We live on drops of water where once there was an ocean. It seems like the only time left anymore is reserved somewhere beyond death. So what exactly have we connected to, beyond the mirage of being connected? Not each other as flesh and blood people, not as friends or family that go places and do things together, but to words on a screen, mere symbols of the humans we used to be. Driven inexorably deeper into the age of the impersonal, I still see what we left behind. In a world where everything is linked, we've all been torn apart.

Mirror


Fantasy mirrors desire. Imagination reshapes it.

~ Mason Cooley

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Less Is More


















Dear Speakers & Writers (including myself),

Please stop using language that is more elaborate than is justified. For additional clarity on the matter, please refer to to the following:

1. "Bombastic" suggests language with a theatricality or staginess of style far too powerful or declamatory for the meaning or sentiment being expressed.

2. "Flowery" describes language filled with extravagant images and ornate expressions.

3. "Pretentious" refers specifically to language that is purposely inflated in an effort to impress.

4. "Verbose" characterizes utterances or speakers that use more words than necessary to express an idea.

Note To Self


It is impractical to be miserable.

Perseus


















"What are humans for?" The question continues to echo through me, and I refuse to let it go unanswered. To act as if there's no possible answer negates the purpose of asking the question.

Ours is a great quest. That we can imagine an ideal world presupposes the innate human ability to achieve it. Our purpose is to sanctify the struggle of existence by connecting to that which is heroic within us. While the future of human civilization depends on our virtues, the responsibility of exercising them lies with the individual.

Freedom rests on a foundation of respect for time, and structuring it wisely in order to achieve that which is most desirable to us while temporarily occupying the finite. We can go where we want. It's simply a matter of consistently taking the steps that get us there.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

φως

















"May your light become a living universal light."

~ discovered while nursing a hangover this morning on a small label attached to my cup of Yogi green tea.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Passion


















Passion is a coin whose sides are love and anger.


This is the arc of its beautiful madness.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Serpent Holder


Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

~ Carl Sagan

What Is A Friend?


















A friend is a second self. ~ Aristotle

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Build A New Dream

Every year, smokers toss away over four trillion cigarette butts, fouling the environment terribly. Recently, a few Chinese scientists embarked on the seemingly impossible project of finding value in this noxious waste. Collecting big piles of discarded filters, they developed a process to extract chemicals that are effective at preventing corrosion when applied to steel pipes. Your assignment is to accomplish a similar miracle: Turn some dreck or dross into a useful thing, discover a blessing in the trash, build a new dream using the ruins of an old treasure.

~ Rob Brezsny

Friday, August 13, 2010

Affirmation: Part 2


"My dreams breathe life into me."

Desert Breath




Check this out, it's cool.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Affirmation:

The assertion that something exists or is true.






















"I breathe life into my dreams."

From Our Friend Ben


Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Αμερικανός






















The "matrix" of America is a mental prison. One of its many walls is that our schools don't start teaching us foreign languages when we're young, nor are they properly taught when we finally get the opportunity to learn them. Thus from an early age we're deprived of exposure to other ways of thinking and the insights of other cultures older than our own. I don't think this is a coincidence. I believe this ignorance flows into the halls of power, oozing like toxic waste into the rivers of diplomacy and foreign policy. Instead of striving to understand others, we bomb them, and that's why America is an inferior country to those that have long ago learned to exist beyond their former states of constant warfare. Our "policeman of the world" arrogance infuriates me. The light of liberty we claim to bask in is obscured by our own long shadow of blood, money, and deception. Too blind to communicate, we intimidate. Sorry, polyglots. Our heroes carry guns, not dictionaries. That's the American Way.

The more I read about the history of other countries in the modern era, the more I find that the United States government has been meddling in their affairs from the beginning, undermining their stability, exploiting their populations, and overthrowing their own democratically elected leaders. The whole world knows it and so do I. It makes me sick, and I won't stand for it. My patriotism is to liberty and equality, not hypocrisy. As I see it, the way to break out is to learn another language so you can leave and prosper elsewhere, preferably in a country that actually practices peace. That's what I want to do. Despite the appearance that corporate rule has nearly engulfed the entire planet, I'm pressing forward. 

One of my recent break-throughs in studying Greek is that while Rosetta Stone is decent and has lots of vocabulary, Pimsleur actually gets you conversing right away. After eight lessons of Rosetta Stone, I've learned how to say lots of things, but they lack immediacy and practical purpose. Knowing that "the car is red," "a bird is flying," or "boys jump into a swimming pool" is great, but how is that going to help me when I step off the plane in Athina?

After my first Pimsleur lesson (a free download available from their website) I could understand "Excuse me, Sir/Miss, do you understand English?" along with "Yes, No, I do, I don't," and so on. This required no books, no writing, no pointing at pictures of dogs and saying "skilos," just 30 minutes of listening and being treated as if I were in an actual conversation with someone. It's not hard because it's taught in the right way and it's stuff that's pertinent to what you actually need. The next morning I had no trouble recalling what I learned, so went ahead and bought the entire program, whose arrival I'm eagerly awaiting.

Rosetta Stone has its merits, and I will continue to learn from it, but the way it's structured is a bit wacky. Last year I put in nearly two solid months on it in Spanish, but still felt like an idiot trying to converse with natives. For all I had learned, I still couldn't put it together to form sentences someone might actually want to hear. I blamed myself and quit, not having realized what I do now. I mean, imagine a foreigner coming up to you for the first time and saying "Man, woman, ball, cat." That's basically the first "lesson" of Rosetta Stone. Great, but how are you supposed to respond? "Yeah bro, cool. Boy, girl, cube, dog." In contrast, by the end of my first Pimsleur lesson I could confidently say in Greek, "I understand a little Greek," and it felt great because at that point it had become something true, and of practical value.

If we want to become better Americans, more of us should learn a language from one of the countries whose people came here to make this place, not simply settle for the language of our former oppressor. There's a lot less incentive to kill someone once you get to know him. The flip side is that it's easier to defend yourself against an enemy when you know how he thinks. I'm sick of "shock and awe." It's time for "listen and learn." No language is morally superior to any other, but English is just seeming more and more like the language of corporate oppression, American hegemony, and the gibberish of a failing empire. The Greek empire failed long ago, but the Hellenic Republic still stands, patiently waiting for my feet to find its shores. To know the future, we must know the past. If America is destined to die, then fuck it, I'm going back to the cradle of democracy to bury the baby.

I've always wanted to be bi-lingual, go somewhere else and live another life. I've always had a thing for languages, but could never understand the barrier to learning them. The method is important, as is the subject matter, in that the former must work and the latter must be useful. My motivation is driven by the need to stab through the myopic bubble of stupidity and ignorance that encapsulates me. I want at least one respectable intellectual achievement before I die, and I want to put it to good use.

My Dad always said, "Get an education." It was good advice, but not very specific to my needs. What he meant by it was "Go to college," but since it sounded more like a threat, i.e., "Do it or else," I resisted out of spite. Since high-school held so little meaning for me, I couldn't stomach the thought of four more empty years, living at home enduring people I had come to hate. I didn't realize that my education was something I had to find on my own and go experience for myself. My whole life up to this point has been a discovery, so I don't really see how I'm any less "educated" than anyone else. But I don't want just any education, or a life lived by default. I want one that serves my purposes. I want to snap the monolingual chains of my indoctrination and go someplace else, both mentally and physically. It's either that or stay trapped in America, living a fantasy of fake freedom forever.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Perseids













I love the stars and I love the stories that come from them. The descendants of Perseus and Andromeda are here with us again. Hurray for burning meteorites that rip into our atmosphere for our enjoyment. It's pretty amazing that you can count on this entertaining light show (among others) every year. Thanks to a tip from my fellow astronomical aficionados, I'm going out to witness the event, one that connects us with the cosmos and every human who has ever looked up and marveled at it. Seattle's cloudy skies really crush a guy's astronomy hobby, but this time of year I'm in luck. I've got the night off so I'm driving east to the plains, away from people, cities, noise, and light pollution. Take note, humans, all our lights are ruining the view. It's great that we've "lifted darkness off the earth," but in doing so we've blinded ourselves to its beauty. Cut off from our source, we can't hear the celestial philosopher that speaks to each of us. My musician's soul still hears the ancient song, so I will seek the stars and hear what they have to teach me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Let Tomorrow Come


We can aim our thoughts at any target we want. If we keep aiming at everything that's fucked up in the world, we're going to keep hitting it. After awhile I no longer care how accurate the analysis is. Pick a new target already. Our problem is object fixation -- we look too often and too long at too many places we don't want to go, and then wonder why we're going toward them. No solution is ever going to come from anywhere but within. As for saving the planet (while waiting for Jesus to save us), I'm tempted to say "fuck it." Instead I will say that I don't think I've got enough finite time for that. Things are going to work out or they won't. Humanity will either fail or succeed. I'm only inhabiting this body for awhile, so I have to choose things that are important and meaningful to me. Failing that, I will come to the end of my life as a lost soul. No, thanks. The coldest, most isolated place in the universe is already within my own heart. That place can exist without me having to become it. I can live the life I want because I'm here to, and I can do it without becoming a clone of doom. Let tomorrow come. Let us wake up to feel the fierce burning forces within us while we still live.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Core

An absolute can only be given in an intuition, while all the rest has to do with analysis. We call intuition here the sympathy by which one is transported into the interior of an object in order to coincide with what there is unique and consequently inexpressible in it. Analysis, on the contrary, is the operation which reduces the object to elements already known.

~ Henry Bergson, French Philosopher

Gignoskein


All things are a part of life.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sometimes You Have To Be The Sword



A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Word About Earth















"Real discoveries come from chaos."

~ Chuck Palahniuk

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Eleutheria i Thanotos













"Eleutheria i thanatos" (freedom or death) is the motto of Greece, arising during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s, where it was a war cry for the Greeks who rebelled against Ottoman rule. Adopted after the Greek War of Independence, it is still in use today, and symbolically evoked by the use of 9 stripes (for the nine syllables of the motto) in the Greek flag. The nine stripes represent the letters of the word "freedom" (Ελευθερία), as well as the nine Muses, goddesses of art and civilization. The motto symbolizes the resolve of the people of Greece against tyranny and oppression.

There Is A God In You