One Wonders Why Oneness

If the sum of the parts is more than the whole
And some of the parts want a starring role

One has a question, it’s really quite small
For any who want to be one with the all

One wonders why oneness is set as a goal
One that one dies for, along with one’s soul

A goal that’s scored long after the game
When the self is forgotten along with the name

In trueness your youness is inside your head
Oneness and twoness is noneness: you’re dead

Minus my myness my self can’t be found
Above in the sky or below in the ground

One and one’s two, and two and one’s three ...

Enlightenment for Dummies

“How do I become enlightened?” asked the Seeker of his aged guru — a nut-brown, gnarled and wizened personage of indeterminate gender.

Sitting in padmasana on a large boulder on top of a high mountain, at first the Gnarly One treated the question with the stupefied silence it deserved. But the Seeker persisted, much to the Guru’s disgust and annoyance. Still the Nut-brown made no answer.

Still the Seeker persisted, until the Guru’s patience and forbearance evaporated, and ze quoth unto the Seeker, saying “if you want to know how to become enlightened, leave now, and address your question to each of the next five people you meet, from this moment on, henceforth to be precise.”

Dissatisfied and mumbling imprecations under his breath, the Seeker took leave of the Guru and made his stumbling way down the mountain.

At the foot of the mountain, he set his feet toward the dwelling place of his aged parents. On his way he came across an old woman sitting in the shade of a cinnabar tree.

“How do I become enlightened?” the Seeker asked, without even so much as a how-do-you-do.

“Get lost asshole!” replied the old woman. Which is what the Seeker proceeded to do — he chose a path along which he had never previously travelled, and after some time wandering through the foothills, became absolutely, totally, horribly lost.

The next person he met was a short and rather chubby man, with a twinkle in his eye and mischief in his heart. The twinkling man was sitting on a blanket in the middle of which was a large picnic basket. Behind the twinkler was a fork in the road and a signpost with two signs posted.

They don't bleed when you cut them

Economic power is concentrated in the hands of a few giant multi-national corporations. Apologies for no attribution but I can't remember where I found this diagram.
It's a strange world, and getting stranger by the minute. If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

I don't know what the solution is, but we all know what the problems are. And if people of goodwill and strong will put their heads and hearts and hands together, we can help steer the doomed Titanic of human culture out of the path of the iceberg of human greed and selfishness.

IMHO many of the problems are the direct result of the actions of large corporations, especially 'multi-nationals’.

I think the following two actions would help address many of the problems we face (and have caused). To implement either or both will be very difficult, but game-changing if done successfully.

  1. Remove the protection corporations enjoy as 'legal persons'. A legal person can “…sue and be sued, enter contracts, incur debt, and own property” (Wikipedia 22 July 2016).
  2. Remove the protection of limited liability for shareholders, partners and directors. Under limited liability, “a person's financial liability is limited to a fixed sum, most commonly the value of a person's investment in a company or partnership” (Wikipedia 22 July 2016).

It's not a god-given right of a corporation to be treated as a legal person. No, in fact the opposite. It's a get-out-of-jail-free card that flesh-and-blood people gave to corporations roughly three hundred years ago. Legal personhood enables corporations to enjoy the benefits of being a flesh-and-blood person, with few of the responsibilities or accountabilities.

Loincloth of the Mastress

In her homely twig-built Hut, a girlwoman listened to the little birdies tweeting, and smiled her agreement. And why wouldn’t she?

Young she was, and strong. Her belly was full. Her stools were firm. Her hair was long, with no split ends. Her thighs were alabaster, and she clasped them a lot. Life was good. All her needs were supplied in ampleness and abunditude.

For sustenance she plucked the fruit off the trees and the roots from the ground.

For shelter she had her happy Hut, her twig-built. And for maintenance purposes, the surrounding woodland vale was a veritable House of Hardware.

For clothing and footwear, she had no need or want. Warm and clement was the clime, and the very ground kissed her soles and toes with lips of soft, hydroxylising meadow-wort. On special occasions she wore her hand-woven peat-yarn panties, which she kept in a bulrush basket by her bed.

For companionship she lacked not. There were few if any human peoples within a hundred miles of her twig-built, but all the beasts, bears, birds, bees and bugs were her associates, if not friends, in the most profound and pompous sense.

For conversation she only had to turn to the nearest deer-turd, the fleas within her bushy armpits, or even the very moss beneath her naked feats. For she had been born with the Gift of the Tongue — she could instantly and instinctively understand all the languages of human- and Barbarian-kind; as well as all the secret dialects and pidgins of creatures great and small, even of stones and bones and other inanimates; and of spirits, sparrows, auctioneers, town criers and gypsies, nanny goats, pilchards and sphagnum. Yes, and pigeons too.

The Assembly of Peaceful and Wrathful Deities

The male buddha Vairocana in union with the female buddha Akasadhatvisvari. Thangkas painted by Shawu Tsering and photographed by Jill Morley Smith are in the private collection of Gyurme Dorje.The male buddha Vairocana in union with the female buddha Akasadhatvisvari.
This post is about the so-called "peaceful and wrathful deities" in The Tibetan Book of the Dead (deluxe edition, Penguin, 2005).

Here's a crude summary: when you're dead, initially you may encounter things that may seem to be deities but which are really just products of the mind/imagination.

According to the Book (p 387), the deities are symbols that emerge from:

the meditator's own awareness ... and sensory and mental processes.

The 42 symbols of peacefulness:

represent the quiescent natural purity of these fundamental components of our being.

What is and what will never be

Animated simulation of gravitational lensing caused by a black hole going past a background galaxy. ... The maximum amplification occurs when the background galaxy ... is exactly behind the black hole. (Wikipedia 14 July 2016). Copyright CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia CommonsAnimated simulation of gravitational lensing caused by a black hole going past a background galaxy. ... The maximum amplification occurs when the background galaxy ... is exactly behind the black hole. (Wikipedia 14 July 2016)
The Isthmus of Isness protrudes into the Sea
of Serendipitous Stochasticity

Generic lifeforms gambol in the quantum foam
so near yet so far from any kind of home

Indeterminate are those who lack specificity
and disrespect outlying six sigma eccentricity

Estranged the Higgs boson within a dubious ontology
makes many martyrs to a furious phenomenology

White-coated observers collapse the wave function
of many a double-slitted choiceful junction

While a black hole lurks in the depths of a cavity
where nothing escapes the malevolence of a monstrous gravity


Up close and personal

This image features the head of an extra-terrestrial lifeform superimposed on 'Vitruvian Man', a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)This image features the head of an extra-terrestrial lifeform superimposed on 'Vitruvian Man', a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
The nature of interactions between persons is determined by the extent to which one person believes another is a person.

In the apartheid years in South Africa, for example, the Dutch Reformed Church rationalised the harsh treatment of black people (“non-whites”) on the basis that they have no souls, do not qualify for salvation, and therefore should not be treated as persons. This twisted logic was frequently included by Dutch Reformed Church ministers in their Sunday sermons to the volk.

Slavery is another example. As the property of the slave-owner, slaves were (and in some places still are) used, abused, bought, sold, burnt, broken and disposed of as if they were pieces of furniture. Clearly, a slave is not a person in the eyes of the slave-owner. lists a number of different meanings of “person” including “…a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.” “Person” can also mean “a self-conscious or rational being (in the philosophical sense)”, or “a group of human beings, a corporation, a partnership, an estate, or other legal entity (artificial person or juristic person) recognized by law as having rights and duties.”

So an animal can never be a person, according to at least one dictionary. Of course, the Indian government would disagree, having declared dolphins to be non-human persons.

There are many different definitions of “person” but they all belong under either (but not both) of the following two headings:

  • Every person is a human.
  • Every human is a person.

Ninja-boy and the clouds

In the dead of the day the ninja crept like a wounded hyena toward its prey. No clouds crossed the sky; the ninja wondered why. He had always wondered where the clouds go to die: a practice that had cost him dear over the years. The times, for instance, when as a boy he had turned to his father and plaintively enquired, "Oh where do the clouds go to die, daddy-san?" only to receive a swift box about the earhole, and the stern rebuke, "What the crap are you bleating now, shit-fer-brains? Jus' eat your rice and shut the fuck up!"


Happy Campers

The Burial of the Sardine, painted by Francisco Goya (1746-1828)The Burial of the Sardine, painted by Francisco Goya (1746-1828)
The Happy Campers encountered the Scum of the Earth at the Crossroads of Perplexing Coincidence. The Happiest Camper said to the Chief Scumbag, "Good day to you, kind sir. What a happy day, is it not?"

The Chief Scumbag grimaced then replied, "Get fucked asshole!"

"Oh dear," said the Happiest Camper, "I do apologise if we have offended you and your friends in any way."

The Chief Scumbag frowned, hawked a gob of yellow-green phlegm upon the ground, then snarled "You offended your own mother the day you were born, Camper Boy! Now get the fuck outta here before I tear you a new one!"

"My, my, my," said the Happiest Camper, "you seem to be a tad tetchy this glorious god-given morn. Why don't we all thank the Creator for the many blessings bestowed upon us. Now, let us prey!"

And with that the Happy Campers fell upon the Scum of the Earth like ravening wolves until every last scumbag was dead and every drop of scum sucked from the face of the Earth.

Except for one little boychild scumbag hiding behind a tree. But not for long. He was found and brought before the Happiest Camper.

"Who are you?" asked the boychild scumbag with understandable trepidation.

"We are elongated ridges on the floor of each lateral ventricle of the brain," replied the Happiest Camper, leaning forward to slit the boychild's throat with a kris.

Mutter, Utter and Stutter: Demeaning of Words

Engraved portrait of Dorothy Pentreath, last native speaker of the Cornish language, of Paul near Mousehole, Cornwall (c. 1692-1777)
English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Welsh, Swahili, Japanese and the like are called languages presumably because they satisfy unambiguous criteria. I say “presumably” because I don’t think there are any unambiguous criteria that apply to every thing we label as “language”.

I was going to ask whether we really and truly know what is a language and what is not. But then I realised that the real issue is that we just can’t agree on a definition that satisfies everyone. Another problem is that we use language to define language, which is circular reasoning, which inevitably leads to self-reflexivity and paradox. For example, I'm using language to explain why you shouldn't use language to explain language.

Most if not all people would agree that dialects, creoles and pidgins are languages. But what about “dead”/archaic languages such as Latin or Cornish?

What about sign language, music, morse code, mime, and mathematics? What about the barking of dogs, the songs of birds and whales and dolphins, the scent trails of ants, the dance of the bees? Computer programming languages? Computer machine code? Which is a language and which is not? Give reasons for your answers.

Language is a tool that helps language-users manage information. Language is a tool that helps language users create, locate, capture, transmit and receive information, as a first step on the road to truth or meaning. It’s the first step because articulating comes before validating; uttering precedes verifying. (And BTW there may not yet be computers that meet the conditions of “personhood”. But there absolutely are computers that are language-users. In fact, all computers are language-users.)

The Dead Live Elsewhen

An example of a light cone, the three-dimensional surface of all possible light rays arriving at and departing from a point in spacetime. Source: An example of a light cone, the three-dimensional surface of all possible light rays arriving at and departing from a point in spacetime. Source:
Many if not most if not all people have secrets, or think they do. But in fact there are no secrets. Even the secrets people take to the grave are not secret. Everything is known, in at least one way or another. Information is never lost, not even from inside a dissipated black hole that has given its all to the All via Hawking radiation.

So don't be like an ostrich burying its head in the sand. Being unable to see does not mean being unable to be seen.

In private, people let their hair down; they take the opportunity to "be themselves". When no-one else is around, they pick their noses, masturbate, piss in the shower, eat gluttonously, murder their grandfathers, beat their children -- do all the stuff they don't want anyone to see or know about.

But everything is recorded in cosmic memory -- the Akashic Records if you prefer.

Nor are these the febrile imaginings of an aging hippie fumbling around in the peyote-flavoured smog of the Age of Aquarius. Well they are, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a grain of truth in them somewhere. In fact, no less an authority than old smarty pants himself, Einstein, believed that nothing is ever lost.

How I got my Bad

detail from NIGHTMARE, oils on canvas 90 x 90 cmOnce, when we were little, Jonnie and me were playing and Jonnie got hurt, and started crying.

I started larfing. Jonnie hated that, when you started larfing at him. Then mum came and blamed me for everything and said she was going to tell dad. And I got really upset and screamed at mum and pushed her … Can't remember what happened next, but anyway, that's how I got my bad.

Since then my bad's got worse, a lot worse. Like when I was waiting for a taxi and then a taxi came and a girl tried to steal my taxi, and how she screamed and cried and…

But anyway, that's how I got my bad, and that's how my bad got worse.

And now I'm scared 'cos my worst is still to come.