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#1492 Monday, July 14, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
Hur Guler NDS
what if everything i believed was...
what i wished it to be true.
it's easier to see this with children or
with the dualistic models.
after all, there's no santa claus
and no heaven as the ultimate resort
for the after-life vacationers.
paradise may have started as the zoroastrians'
wish for the ultimate garden.
with nonduality, the wishes become more subtle,
harder to see when the me is silent in the background.
all there is....is Consciousness,
you are Consciousness.
ok, so there's no me,
then i wish there was an eternal Consciousness,
and i wish IT was me.
the world is unreal.
ok, i wish the world was an illusion,
against the changeless background of Consciousness,
i am Consciousness,
then i wish i'm Real and eternal.
it's a little disturbing
now i wonder, what good is this nonsense
if it is no comfort to me?
Eh... is this a serious question?
If so, then I'd answer -- of no good to you whatever, and have a
piece of apple pie or a bowl of chicken soup or something.
Excerpt from James Thurber's, My Life and Hard Times
"The mistaken exits and entrances of my thirties have
moved me several
times to some thought of spending the rest of my days wandering aimlessly
aroung the South Seas, like a character out of Conrad, silent and
inscrutable. but the necessity for frequent visits to my oculist and
dentist has prevented this. You can't be running back from Singapore every
few months to get your lenses changed and still retain the proper mood for
wandering. Furthermore my horn-rimmed glasses and my Ohio accent betray
me, even when I sit on the terraces of little tropical cafes, wearing a
pith helmet, staring straight ahead, and twitchind a muscle in my jaw. I
found this out when I tried wandering around the west Indies one summer.
Instead of being followed by the whispers of men and the glances of women,
I was followed by bead salesmen and native women with postcards. Nor did
any dark girl, looking at all like Tondelayo in "White Cargo", come forward
and offer to go to pieces with me. They tried to sell me baskets.
Under these circumstances it is impossible to be
inscrutable and a
wanderer who isn't inscrutable might just as well be back at Broad and High
Streets in Columbus sitting in the Baltimore Dairy Lunch. Nobody from
Columbus has ever made a first rate wanderer in the Conradean tradition.
Some of them have been fairly good at dissapearing for a few days to turn
up in a hotel in Louisville with a bad headache and no recollection of how
they got there, but they always scurry back to their wives with some cock-
and-bull story of having lost their memory or having gone away to attend
the annual convention of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
There was, of course, even for Conrad's Lord Jim, no running away. The
cloud of his special discomfiture followed him like a pup, no matter what
ships he took or what wilderness he entered. In the pathways between
office and home and home and the houses of settled people there are always,
ready to snap at you, the little perils of routine living, but there is no
escape in the unplanned tangent, the sudden turn. In Martinique, when the
ships whistle blew for the tourists to get back on the ship, I had a quick,
wild, and lovely moment when I decided I wouldn't get back on the ship. I
did though. And I found that somebody had stolen the pants to my dinner
Well, anyway, that was most of "a note at the end".
I'm sure that if I had taken this Gonzo business to seriously when I was younger, I might have come to a worse end than that that is ahead of me.
Of course, no one knows to what end one will come, does one?
Christopher Damitio <[email protected]>
Thurber and Susan Smith
First of all I think it's important to say that each
of us has to exist in our own comfort zone and while I
need to visit the eye doctor on occaision to get new
lenses, I've found that oculists in China and Laos
were every bit as competent and not nearly as
expensive as those in Ohio or anywhere else in North
America. I've been followed by basket saleswomen in
tourist resorts and offered opium in hilltribe
villages (I took both offers- the basket and the
opium) , by staying in the tourist areas we make
ourselves someone that is pegged...by leaving them we
become someone that is mysterious and different. I'm
not knocking anyone's decision to stay in one place if
that is what makes them happy, but it's a big world
and you never know just how big until you go out and
try it...Personally I think if Thurber wanted to see
the world he should have, regardless of his departure
from his comfort zone. (Maybe he did, I've honestly
never read him though the excerpt you posted was vivid
imagery). I for one prefer Conrad...the novella Youth
sums it up..."Pass the bottle...."
As for Susan Smith...what a sad and pitiful
woman...her actions were a result of what has been
called the emotional plague in our society. It is a
plague of the mind and repressed emotion and desire. I
think Smith probably thought in some sick way that
killing her children would free her to do all the
things she had dreamed of as a child...the plague
clouded her mind and caused her to do something that
went against her very nature and instincts as a mother
and human. The result is a sad woman with no freedom
and no children looking for some sort of meaning from
a dark and cold cell. This is what happens in this
unnatural society where people are forced (they think)
to be Walter Mitty's instead of being able to leave it
all behind and become Robinson Crusoe's.
Today is the last day of living in a house
for I don't know how long. I'm packing up my VW this
morning. Doing one last load of laundry and hitting
the road. The 20 copies of Rough Living: Tips and
Tales of a Vagabond arrived Friday. I'm probably going
to drive to Seattle today, visit bookstores tomorrow,
hit a VW show in Shoreline after that (I think it's
monday) Then North to Bellingham if I'm able to sell
enough books to pay for gas. It feels great to be
hitting the road again, freeing myself of monthly
bills, and not having anything tying me to anywhere in
particular. That to me is the essence of what I do.
I'm hoping to get on the net on a regular basis. My
blog will probably have most of the details at
So if my participation is a little less than
usual...now you know why.... I'm looking forward to
meeting people I've met on line on the road....here's
to ya..."pass the bottle"
My mind packed its bags today and told me that it was going
away. I reminded it of that old routine...
"I'm going away."
"What? Going away?"
"Yes. Going away.
But before I go I have something to say to you."
"I'm going away.....
"My mind thumbed its nose at me and put a stick with a
knotted-up bandanna on its shoulder and told me that it was
really leaving this time. No ifs, ands or buts. It was going
away. "Great, " I said. "Then I will be self-realized. No more mind,
no more endarkenment. You can call me Mamaji."
A curious expression flitted across my mind's surface. Was it
"I do have one more question before I go," said my
vagabond mind. "If I leave you and you get enlightened because
of it, won't that make me enlightened, too?"
"Don't be silly," I said, opening my mail and
pretending to be
casual. "How can a bodiless mind be enlightened? You will
leave no traces."
My mind cleared its throat. Obviously it had no idea what to
say next. I waited, knowing that the next thought was just
around the corner. It was just a matter of time. I put the tea
kettle on and sat down. I heard a blood -curdling scream. It
was my mind. I had sat on it.
I removed the stick and kerchief before I tenderly picked my
mind up off the chair and told it to go take a nap. When it
fell asleep, I started to make the weekly menu, but for some
reason I was quite blank. I sat with paper in front of me and
pen poised. Nothing came. I guess we'll have to eat out next
Hello People, I discovered this portuguese poet in the
as I was doing a work, his poems are really interesting.
What do I think of the world?
Who knows what I think of it!
If I weren't well then I'd think about it.
What's my idea of matter?
What's my opinion about causes and effects?
What are my thoughts on God and the soul
And the creation of the world?
I don't know. To think about such things would be to shut my eyes
And not to think. It would be to close the curtains
Of my window (which, however, has no curtains).
The mystery of things? What mystery?
The only mystery is that some people think about mystery.
If you're in the sun and close your eyes,
You begin not to know what the sun is,
And you think about various warm things.
But open your eyes and you see the sun,
And you can no longer think about anything,
Because the light of the sun is truer than the thoughts
Of all philosophers and all poets.
The light of the sun doesn't know what it does,
And so it cannot err and is common and good.
Metaphysics? What metaphysics do those trees have?
Only that of being green and lush and having branches
Which bear fruit in their season, and we think nothing of it.
We hardly even notice them.
But what better metaphysics than theirs,
Which consists in not knowing why they live
And in not knowing that they don't know?
"The inner makeup of things . . . "
"The inner meaning of the Universe . . . "
All of this is unreal and means absolutely nothing.
It's incredible that anyone can think about such things.
It's like thinking about reasons and objectives
When morning is breaking, and on the trunks of the trees
A faint glimmer of gold is dissolving the darkness.
To think about the inner meaning of things
Is superfluous, like thinking about health
Or carrying a glass to a spring.
The only inner meaning of things
Is that they have no inner meaning at all.
I don't believe in God because I've never seen him.
If he wanted me to believe in him,
Then surely he'd come and speak with me.
He would enter by my door
Saying, "Here I am!"
(This may sound ridiculous to those who,
Because they aren't used to looking at things,
Can't understand a man who speaks of them
In the way that looking at things teaches.)
But if God is the flowers and trees
And hills and sun and moon,
Then I believe in him,
I believe in him at every moment,
And my life is all a prayer and a mass
And a communion by way of my eyes and ears.
But if God is the flowers and trees
And hills and sun and moon,
Then why should I call him God?
I'll call him flowers and trees and hills and sun and moon.
Because if to my eyes he made himself
Sun and moon and flowers and trees and hills,
If he appears to me as trees and hills
And moon and sun and flowers,
Then he wants me to know him
As trees and hills and flowers and moon and sun.
And so I obey him.
(Do I know more about God than God knows about himself?)
I obey him by living spontaneously
As a man who opens his eyes and sees,
And I call him moon and sun and flowers and trees and hills,
And I love him without thinking of him,
And I think him by seeing and hearing,
And I am with him at every moment.
trans. by Richard Zenith
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