Do you believe in mermaids?

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse (1849–1917), oil on canvas'A Mermaid' by John William Waterhouse
(1849–1917), oil on canvas
Do you believe in mermaids?
in werewolves dark and furry?
in banshees, beasties, pointy pixies,
ghosts who go all blurry?

Do you believe in unicorns?
in vampires tall and smiling?
in witches, wizards, druids’ blizzards,
wood-nymphs so beguiling?

Are you in fact an alien?
a monster green and pimply?
a freak, a fright, a barrow-wight,
a corpse whose limbs lie limply?

If so then go to meet your friends
across the cold black river
perhaps they’ll kiss your bloodless lips
or ...

CONTINUES in ... AWAREWOLF & OTHER CRHYMES AGAINST HUMANITY (Vot could be Verse?) for kindle, tablet, smartphone or e-reader.


eBooks by Cosmic Rapture
(for kindle, tablet, smartphone or e-reader.)

NIGHTMERRIES: THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DARKNESS. This so-called "book" will chew you up, spit you out, and leave you twitching and frothing on the carpet. More than 60 dark and feculent fictions (read ‘em and weep) copiously and grotesquely illustrated.

AWAREWOLF & OTHER CRHYMES AGAINST HUMANITY (Vot could be Verse?). We all hate poetry, right? But we might make an exception for this sick and twisted stuff. This devil's banquet of adults-only offal features more than 50 satanic sonnets, vitriolic verses and odious odes.

MANIC MEMES & OTHER MINDSPACE INVADERS. A disturbing repository of quirky quotes, sayings, proverbs, maxims, ponderances, adages and aphorisms. This menagerie holds no fewer than 184 memes from eight meme-species perfectly adapted to their respective environments.

MASTRESS & OTHER TWISTED TAILS. An unholy corpus of oddities, strangelings, bizarritudes and peculiaritisms, including but not limited to barbaric episodes of herring-flinging and kipper-kissing. A cacklingly bizarre read that may induce fatal hysteria. Not Recommended!

FIENDS & FREAKS and serpents, dragons, devils, lobsters, anguished spirits, hungry ghosts, hell-beings, zombies, organ-grinders, anti-gods, gods and other horse-thieves you wouldn't want to meet in a dark cosmos. Immature Content! Adults Maybe.

HAGS TO HAGGIS. An obnoxious folio featuring a puke of whiskey-soaked war-nags, witches, maniacs, manticores and escapegoats. Not to mention (please don't!) debottlenecking and desilofication, illustrated. Take your brain for a walk on the wild side. Leave your guts behind.

Power-dressing in the Psychopathic Workplace

Arbeit Macht Frei, by CR/MM/SRS, oils on board, commenced 2005 finished 2014, 54.5 x 74.5 cm"Arbeit macht frei" is a German phrase meaning "Work shall set you free" found above the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II. More than 70 years later, almost everyone is an inmate of the global concentration camp of modern human culture. And yet, as Jesus is said to have said, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
The wearing of neckties, by men, at work, is a cultural practice akin to the chest-thumping dominance displays of jungle gorillas. There is a fabric-based language, a symbology, a semiotics used in the workplace, where necktie-encoded subliminal messages about power, position and personality are constantly being transmitted and received. The dialect of necktie-wearing stems from the language of corporate power-dressing, which is more about psychopathy than about style or fashion.

And yet, and yet and yet. In the context of self-actualisation and personal growth, attention to physical appearance and accoutrement such as clothing is considered to be counter-productive, at least within some discourses). There's a highly potent meme infecting the minds of many internet-users, that the more you think about how you look, the less progress you make on your spiritual journey. Ghandi for instance was never friendly with Calvin Klein: the one died before the other was even born. Nor would the Buddha have given much thought to the style or fabric of his loincloth.

And yet, and yet, and yet. Isn't it true to say that the discourse in which a higher value is placed on becoming self-actualized than on enjoying a good meal or a good fuck, say, is itself context-dependent and relative? And therefore, in some contexts, for some people, the pursuit of spirituality is just as 'stupid' or 'meaningless' as the wearing of neckties in the workplace.

[Digression alert: the quantity of dried snot and sperm on the doors and walls of workplace toilets is an indicator of the extent to which work in that workplace is seen as stupid or meaningless. Body fluids are an effective medium in which to express messages about despair and desperation.]

Which leaves us washed up high and dry on the drear shores of meaninglessness, enslaved by our own choices and contexts, and self-deceived by the trickster going by the name of Free Will.

But there is a way out. And it's really very simple. Here`s the way out: don't be surprised by the outcomes of your choices and don't complain about them. Or do complain, but then don't complain when your complaint fails to achieve the outcome/s you seek. Because you become a serial whinge-bag and acquire a taste for it, and then pity everyone around you.


Lumpy or Smooth?

1927 Solvay International Conference: physicists meet to discuss the newly formulated quantum theory. 
(back row L to R) A. Piccard, E. Henriot, P. Ehrenfest, E. Herzen, Th. de Donder, E. Schrödinger, J.E. Verschaffelt, W. Pauli, W. Heisenberg, R.H. Fowler, L. Brillouin; 
P. Debye, M. Knudsen, W.L. Bragg, H.A. Kramers, P.A.M. Dirac, A.H. Compton, L. de Broglie, M. Born, N. Bohr; 
(Front row) I. Langmuir, M. Planck, M. Skłodowska-Curie, H.A. Lorentz, A. Einstein, P. Langevin, Ch.-E. Guye, C.T.R. Wilson, O.W. Richardson. The only woman is Marie Curie (front, 3rd from left).
What's the nature of Reality: lumpy or smooth?

Concerning the answer to that question, some cosmologists have big toes; some have fat guts.

String theorists get all tied up in knots about it.
M-theorists haven’t got the branes to decide.
Relativists absolutely understand the gravity of the situation.

Light is discreet — she is made of particles, photons. No, Light is continuous — she comes in waves.

Reality is discreet: she keeps her secrets safe.
No, Reality is continuous: she has no gaps or overlaps.

Reality is smoompy, no, smumpy, no, looth.

1927 Solvay International Conference: physicists meet to discuss quantum theory. (back row L to R) A. Piccard, E. Henriot, P. Ehrenfest, E. Herzen, Th. de Donder, E. Schrödinger, J.E. Verschaffelt, W. Pauli, W. Heisenberg, R.H. Fowler, L. Brillouin; P. Debye, M. Knudsen, W.L. Bragg, H.A. Kramers, P.A.M. Dirac, A.H. Compton, L. de Broglie, M. Born, N. Bohr; (Front row) I. Langmuir, M. Planck, M. Skłodowska-Curie, H.A. Lorentz, A. Einstein, P. Langevin, Ch.-E. Guye, C.T.R. Wilson, O.W. Richardson. The only woman is Marie Curie (front, 3rd from left).


The Sound of One Hand Slapping

Portrait of the Mastress, by Masterymistery
The Seeker asks the Mastress: “How may this humble supplicant who kneeleth before thee become enlightened? How doth One enjoin with the All, or is it predestinated forevermore to tread the cyclic wheel of existence, hamster-like, until the wrathful deities take pity on the crusading pilgrim's benighted soul?”

The Mastress — a nut-brown, gnarled and ancient guru of indeterminate gender and reproachable demeanour — respondeth imperturbably saying, “Ask the next six people you meet; perhaps you may find the answers you say you seek.”

“What the fricking flaming biscuit!” exclaimeth the Seeker, on hearing these mysterious words.

Loincloth wafting on a stealthy breeze, the Nut-brown maketh the smile of one lip curling. The visage of the guru wears a veil of inscrutability as profound as the deepest depths of inner space.

Dissatisfied and disgruntled, the Seeker taketh his leave of the Gnarly One and sets his footlings on the path that leadeth to the Inn of the Flowering Beetle, formerly The Queen’s Moustache. On the way he encountereth the first of six respondents — an aged washerwoman squatting phlegmatically in the shade of a cinnabar tree.

“How do you do, O Gentle Crone?” enquireth the Seeker courteously.

“Get lost asshole!” quoth the Crone, waxing wrathful, “or I’ll box thy poxy earhole in the blink of a newt’s eyelid!”

Brothers dreaming

Once upon a night, a nine-year-old boy named Cain dreamed he was soaring like an eagle in the skies above a land so beautiful that he wept with joy.

He felt so full of wonder and delight that he called out to his younger brother Abel, asleep in the bunk below. Cain wanted Abel at his side, flying through the air of that mysterious land. Cain knew in his heart it would be a long time and a far way before he’d see those colours or hear that music again.

The next morning Cain felt off-balance. He was happy and excited, as if he had discovered a great secret that would change everything. But he was also angry and resentful that he had to get up and go to school. He wished he could just go back to sleep and resume the magic dream.

Abel woke up that morning feeling hot and dizzy. Their mother, Eve, took one look at his pale sweaty face and said “no school for you today sweetie, you must be coming down with something.”

Then Cain said “he’s faking, it’s not fair…” and Abel said “am not!” and Cain said “liar liar your pants are on fire!” and Abel said “well your pants smell like poo!” at which point Cain flew at his brother in a rage, throwing punches as hard and fast as he could.

Enlightenment: the Dark Side

Depiction of the Wheel of Existence, showing the six realms of existence, with Lord Yama the "God" of Death in attendance. Applique and embroidery on silk. (circa 1800)

The Question

Abiding in bliss sounds great, but wouldn't it get boring after a while? Why seek to achieve enlightenment and/or nirvana and become One with the All?

From various sources, including conversations with various people (some real), I've constructed a ramshackle, unstable, incomplete and misleading picture of what some aspects of enlightenment/nirvana mean, to some people.

But I don't understand what the benefits are; I don't understand why achieving enlightenment should be set as a goal.

According to some schools of Buddhist thought, life is full of pain and misery. Then you die and are reborn... into another life of pain and suffering... over and over again, until you escape Samsara (the "Wheel of Cyclic Existence"), achieve nirvana and become One with the All.

Reincarnation is to be avoided. Life is to be avoided. The self must be liberated from the endless wheel of cyclic existence.

Or so they say. But is that true for everyone?

Not every life is full of pain and suffering. Life may be full of delusion, but what's so terrible about a bit of delusion once in a while? And even if every single life, without exception, is nothing but pain and suffering and delusion and aversion, some might still prefer that over nothingness, blissful or otherwise.

Us vs Them

Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, first published in Britain 2005, with introductory comments from the Dalai Lama.
What is a person? It's an important question because the way that a human behaves towards another lifeform is determined by whether the human believes the other lifeform to be a person or not.

In the introductory commentary to the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition (2005) of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Dalai Lama describes the Tibetan Buddhist view of what constitutes a person, as set out below.

"Among the ancient schools of thought, which accepted the notion of continuity of consciousness, there were several non-Buddhist philosophical schools which regarded the entity, the 'I' or 'self', which migrated from existence to existence as being unitary and permanent. They also suggested that this 'self' was autonomous in its relationship to the psycho-physical components that constitute a person. In other words they believed or posited that there is an essence or 'soul' of the person, which exists independently from the body and mind of the person.

We are all strange loops

Strange Loop -- book cover
In “I am a strange loop” (2007) Douglas Hofstadter proposes that the self -- personal consciousness -- is a pattern. Hofstadter notes that patterns exist at different levels of resolution, ie at different points on a spectrum of granularity, from coarse-grained to fine-grained.

Here’s an example: Jack and Jill are persons who know each other. Per Hofstadter’s idea, the knowledge of Jill in Jack’s mind is as much a valid part of Jill as Jill's physical body is part of Jill. But the knowledge of Jill in Jack’s mind is “low res.” compared with the knowledge of Jill in her own mind. Jill’s actual body and mind are at the highest res available.

Extending the idea: A photograph of Jill is part of Jill. And so too are letters written by Jill, letters written about Jill, clothes worn by Jill, memories of Jill in the minds of her friends: these are all parts of Jill. Every part and aspect of reality touched by Jill in any way, is part of Jill — the “Greater Jill”, the total, aggregated footprint of Jill upon Reality.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the various parts or aspects of Jill is the extent to which each is subject to change. Everything is subject to change, but some things change less than others. A digitized photograph of Jill uploaded to the internet is less subject to change than Jill’s physical body.