Thursday, April 3, 2008

If I only knew what I know now five years ago...

It's an interesting subject, this recession we are in. Everyone seems so confused, like this came from no where. The problem was simple: we live beyond our means. Don't get me wrong, this isn't the sole reason for the recession, but it sure is a decent part of it. And don't think for a second that I believe that I do not live beyond my means. Oh no, no, no... I am the perfect example! It really isn't 100% our fault, however. Much to the dislike of whoever reads this, I hate to inform you that we all are just consumers, pigs, if you will. Much like pigs we wallow in our own filth. Much like pigs we take more and more, and deliver less and less. We grow fat, both physically and mentally, on the idea that we are the shit, all the while rolling in our own as if we win more of something... anything... should we turn out to be the dirtiest. We become confident, happy that we get everything we want with minimal effort. And to make it easier on us, what we want is easily scaled down in size so that we have more room for more shit. We happily collect ipod nano's, have small screens for our mini vans to watch short films for short trips to the store to buy more small stuff for the vacant space on the wall because we'll be damned if we don't fill our over sized houses with shit.

Then we max our our credit cards.

It's at this juncture that the very fine folks who were so kind as to give us everything we want and need to survive show up at our residences (which are filled with shit), and before we know it we are processed, packaged, and ready to be consumed. It's a horrible thing, really.

Humans seem to enjoy living in excess. We have so much shit so we have to purchase newer, bigger houses that we really can't afford. This may be our own fault, but the system is just as much to blame because it willingly allows us to commit financial suicide by giving us the loans we need to purchase said houses/items. Why? Because that's how the system makes IT'S money, and that's how we are kept under control.

It really isn't all our fault though. We can't help it. A flaw with the human brain is that it tends to make individuals believe they are impervious to situations that the person has never experienced before. I could never be a victim of anything... but as soon as something goes wrong, immediately I am a victim. Why? Because something like this could never happen to me as an individual and now that it has there can be no other excuse.


The quick answer is ignorance. That part of the brain... the consciousness... that likes to say something can never happen to you, that's ignorance. It can happen to you and, chances are, it will. Regardless of what it is. It's ignorance that allows us as Americans to be "victims" of social engineering. I say "victims" because to be a victim of something such as social engineering is to also be a victim of ignorance. I stress Americans because I am an American and therefore believe that I can speak on behalf of and to other Americans. I lack international experience so I don't want to generalize to include humans as a whole. What I do know is how most of Americans operate because I've observed this through all the years of my life. Most of my life I have been an observer of human interaction and behavior, analyzing what I saw more than actually taking part in activity. I am not saying this makes me an authority on American beliefs, but I do tend to trust my judgement regarding this issue more than someone else's.

The scary thing about social engineering is that it is real. Social engineers are employed by the government, businesses, and even the entertainment industry to sculpt society. Even the fashion industry is propelled by social engineers. They are the admen. They are the public relations (i.e. propaganda departments) of business and government. They make you feel the way you feel when you purchase a product. They make you want the product to begin with. And what's worse is you don't even know it. You aren't even aware. I still find myself falling "victim" to it. We all do and we all will.

The funny thing about it is, once you open your eyes a little you see impossible things all over the place. You never see commercials again. Instead you see sick and twisted screams for attention, to live beyond your means and purchase something you really don't need or even want. You start to pick out the fallacies and rhetoric of news casts. Ever watch a Q and A with any member of government, especially every one's favorite Bush? It's hilarious! You never get an answer. You get an explanation of something, but never an answer. You get a defensive response, but what is being defended? Well, the question, really. It's funny in that this line of reasoning makes no sense at all, and sad in that so many people buy into it and don't question the fact that there is still a question and no answer.

I wish I would have finished my social science major. Unfortunately, through fault of my own and lack of understanding of a larger picture, I lived well beyond my means in an earlier time. I don't have the luxury of going to school full time and even working part time just to live now. So school had to be put on hold. I had such high ambitions to be a social engineer for the "good guys"... undoing some of what has been done and can be salvaged for a better future... and causing a little harmless chaos along the way.

The one thing good that I can say about the current situation here in the United States is that our systems of higher education are feisty and have no qualms telling you how it is. I felt a little disenchanted being a social science major because I came to find that almost everything I learned previous is wrong, or fallacious, or pointless. Much like existentialism, once you learn to see the world in a wider spectrum, you can't go back to living in ignorance. Well, you can, but then you would be displaying the worse kind of ignorance, willing ignorance. Of course that alone is kind of a paradox... un-ignorant to being ignorant.

But anyway...

What I was getting at is this: we put ourselves in the spot we are in. There's a 90% chance that this was engineered from the get go... all part of a higher, nefarious plan to accomplish some devious goal of the ruling elite (see: Bilderberg, CFR, etc). Regardless, we let this happen to ourselves. If we can get ourselves out of this mess, that will only make us stronger. If we don't, well... then I guess my fears are correct and America is filled with nothing but narcissistic gluttons who deserve all the hardships they are now faced with.

All I have to say is I'm glad we are supplied with doubles of pretty much everything because I'm sure if things don't start to look up soon we will all be selling kidneys, eyes, and testicles for gas to go to work and bread to feed our abstinence-only sexual education produced offspring.

Oh and for that new dress.

And big screen t.v.

And that weekend in Vegas.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'll take a pack of spy-satellite talls, no filter... box.

Something of interest has caught my attention amidst this whole "renegade satellite" ordeal.

For those of you who fail to keep up with current events, a United States spy satellite has been in a decaying orbit around Earth. It is dead in the water, so to speak, and can not be controlled. The United States government has decided that they wish to shoot destroy it in orbit... not because it's a spy satellite and may pose a threat to national security and not because it will most likely land in an ocean (seeing as how over 70% of the Earth's surface is water) and most definitely not because we want to test out some new defense options. No, the government wants to destroy the satellite before it enters our atmosphere because they fear for the health safety of Earth's inhabitants.

You see, according to Deputy National Security Advisor James Jeffrey, there is 1,000 pounds of a chemical propellant called "hydrazine" which could potentially kill anyone who comes in contact with it directly, and cause serious health issues for anyone around it.

I don't doubt that there is 1,000 pounds of hydrazine aboard the satellite. What I have a problem with is the government's fondness of double standards.

What they plan to do is shoot down the satellite with a missle because it contains hydrazine. Using that same logic, one might come to the assumption that the United States government would also then shoot cigarette companies with missles seeing as cigarettes also contain hydrazine.

What's that? They didn't tell you that on the news?

Hydrazine is one of many known carcinogens in cigarettes. For the daft among us, a carcinogen is a cancer-causing agent. Unfortunately, due to shotty business practices, it is unknown exactly how many (and what kind of) chemicals are in cigarettes.

Fact: The typical cigarette contains about 31.5 ng of hydrazine. There is three times this amount detected in second-hand smoke.

Sure, that my not be a lot... but if you think about all the cigarettes you smoke in a lifetime it adds up.

A few things have me upset about this being their excuse to destroy the satellite, especially now that it may appear their only reason for doing so is to test a weapons system designed to destroy enemy communications satellites:

1) The chemical degrades rapidly. A half life in the air can last anywhere between 10 minutes to a few hours, with concentrations in other media ranging up to a few weeks. Bioconcentration can occur, but the odds of biomagnification via the food chain is very unlikely. Oxidation occurs more rapidly in water enviornments and even faster in soil.

2) Approximately 16,452 pounds of hydrazine was released into the air in 1993 by United States manufacturing and processing plants. Judging by the rate of personal consumption and the rise of manufacturing demand since 1993 could only suggest that this number is much higher in recent years. Unfortunately, 1993 is the latest statistic I can find regarding hydrazine's release into the air by United States plants.

3) Approximately 784 pounds of hydrazine was released into the water in 1993 by United States manufacturing and processing plants. This is about 4.5% of the total enviornmental releases. An additional 423 pounds were released via underground injection.

So not only are government officials worried about a chemical that degrades at a high rate, but they also allow the release of thousands of pounds of it into the enviroment every year. Oh, and they let you put it in your lungs and spread it to those who don't smoke via second-hand smoke.

I'm curious to see how much hydrazine is used to propell the missle to the satellite to get the job done...

So, I ask a simple question: Why not blow up the cigarette companies and various manufacturing plants who put this dangerous chemical in the environment every day as well?

Let's be real honest here: does it make sense to worry so much about the health impact of coming in contact with hydrazine when it's allowed to be absorbed into the lungs of millions of people on a daily basis? If you ask me, 50 plus years of existing in small quantities yet given continual exposure is drastically worse than one occurance of a large amount that only exists for (at most) a few weeks... especially when the large amount may not even be in an inhabited ecosystem.

All I'm saying is don't hide behind some cover of being concerned for the American people's health when there are a million and one other reasons why you would want to destroy this satellite. Just be honest. I get enough bull shit from women, I don't need it from my government as well.

For more information on hydrazine, Government Toxic Profile
For more on the satellite press releases and a list of chemicals in cigarettes, feel free to google search, I'm not your information bitch.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


So my sister's boyfriend had to give up his cat. Not that it was a bad cat, because it wasn't... but sometimes there are greater forces at play. No, Trixie Cat had to leave because landlords often value money over the pleasure of campanionship. There was just one problem (well, aside from the mother problem of having to get rid of the cat): no one wanted Trixie Cat.

It was a pretty bad situation. My sister was disheveled because the cat had to be out by monday and there were no takers. Sure the humane society would take Trixie in, but apparently cats (unlike dogs) are considered "feral" and if they aren't adopted within a set amount of time, they are "let go"... asked to "re-apply"... "check-out", etc.

Monday came and there were no takers for the Trixie Cat.

So my sister and her boyfriend go to this "society of the humane" and they tell her that they will NOT take the cat unless she pays them a fee of something to the tune of $150.

Yeah, crazy.

As this was going down, a gentleman was waiting there as well. He was looking to adopt a cat of the black and white persuasion to match his dog (how chic). The humane society told this sir that it would cost him about $150 to adopt a cat but they didn't have a black and white cat for him to adopt... at least not until my sister and her boyfriend give those kind folks Trixie Cat.

So this thought goes through their heads (because thoughts often are shared): why pay $150 to give a cat to some place who is then going to charge $150 to someone else to adopt the cat, when all they have to do is give the cat to the man for free? Not only do my sister and her boyfriend save $150, but the said man also saves $150... PLUS Moe's cat problem is fixed and the man's lack-of-a-cat problem is fixed.

My sister, her boyfriend, and this man go out into the parking lot and do business like all legit black market business is done and go their seperate ways.

Why did I feel I should share this? I shared this story for a few reasons.

1) Why do we call it the "humane society" when to be "humane" is (as according to to be "characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, esp. for the suffering or distressed", yet the living space in which the animals are subjected to call home is so disgusting I wouldn't want bin Laden to have to stay in there?

2) Why do we call being characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals "humane" (which is taken from the word "human") when being humane isn't even a part of human nature? There are those who believe that humans are naturally good-willed and mean the best. I don't think this is accurate. At all. Just take a look at what happened after Katrina... do you call that good nature?! Strip humans of synthetic order and the materialist life that they are used to, and what remains is basic human instinct to rape, murder, and pillage. Because we have higher thinking abilities, we automatically assume we are better than everything else on this planet. But when you take away all that we have created, we are left with nothing but our own animal instinct emerging from the darkness of our psyche. If humans are naturally good, then why are there so many bad people out there? If humans are naturally good, why does everyone seek to fulfill their own agendas, regardless of the cost?

No, I don't believe humans are naturally good or better than animals. It's sort of like being the relatives to Hitler... how do you live that down? You didn't do anything wrong, but because you share that blood you may feel like you have to live that down. Same works with human instinct... there was a time when we let it control us. Then we developed higher thinking and spent our time questioning the world. Then we put ourselves on autopilot and stopped thinking for ourselves. We buy our clothes and put on our make-up, we ride around in our cars and have discussions of philosophy, we create with our hands and our minds; but beneath it all there lies human instinct, passed down generation to generation... not by words, but through genetic code. Human instinct is the term we use to describe our animal instinct. Even in describing our natural tendancies we try to cover it up, to make it sound seperate from the rest of the animals here on Earth.

Some say it's our ability to have higher mental processes that seperates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. I think that it's our ability to live in denial that seperates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We've already proven that animals can communicate and use tools... but when was the last time you saw an animal pretend to be something it's not?

We put so much faith in our ability to think, yet we still find ourselves enslaved to ideas of mythical gods. We claim we are better than the rest because we can reason, yet we can't accept evolution as fact. Where is the reason in that given all the facts regarding evolution? I believe that excuse is treated as a double standard.

3) In my quest to find a home for Trixie Cat prior to monday, I had called a friend of mine to ask if he would like the cat. He said no and I, being in a hurry to find a home for the cat so I could go about my personal business, told him I had to go and would explain later... but he kept bugging about why I asked him if he wanted a cat. I eventually had to hang up because I was wasting valuable time.

When I asked him the next day what his problem was, he said that he (and I quote) thought that "... later was now". I thought about this for a second and realized that he was dead serious. He honestly thought that when I said I was going to tell him later, my idea of later was that I was going to tell him right after I said I wasn't going to.

I've been trying to wrap my head around this for days and still can't quite comprehend the idea behind it. I then thought back to other things that this person had said previous in regards to time. He can never seem to have a grasp on how much time has passed from one event to another. This got me thinking: everyone has their own concept of time, so what allows some people to have an accurate sense of time while others are completely off?

I run into this a lot at my job. Working in dental insurance, I get calls from people who have questions regarding claims. What amazes me is how so many people are unable to give even an estimated date should I ask them about when a procedure was done. Personally, you could ask me to state the last five times I've been to the dentist over the past few years and I could tell you which month each visit was in, and yet there are people who can't even tell you a week in which they may have gone in the current month!

So if the perception of time is different depending on the individual, how are we certain that we even have the concept of time correct to begin with? I could go my whole life thinking a cat is a tire simply because someone said it was so, and wouldn't know any different until someone would say "yeah dude, that's a cat... not a tire". And this would all tie back into how we each experience our own realities.

Personally, I think the whole concept of time is silly. Not time as in space-time (like, the continuum), but what we base time on here on Earth. Our entire concept of time is based on how many times the Earth goes around Sol. If you think about it, outside of the solar system that means completely dick. So we base everything on that concept (yet another way that humans demonstrate that they are only capable of thinking of themselves). Convenient? Yes. Practical? I don't think so. I would much rather enjoy a more accurate way of measuring my time in this body.

And speaking of time, I've been working on an idea regarding quantum time and how our perception of time in the macrocosm may be completely off... especially when you consider what the past, present, and future mean. Of course I'm not quantum physicist, it's just a hobby of mine... but once I get my research straight and thoughts worked out, I'll be sure to share my theory.

Wow, all of this because Trixie Cat needed a new home. I don't think you would believe me if I told you the whole point of me writing about the cat was to discuss how sometimes things work out a little too well. How strange is it that as a cat was being dropped off, someone was looking for just the same cat? There is an infinite amount of possibilities of how that could have worked out... and yet both parties ended up at the right place at the right time. Somehow I went from that to all of the above. This tends to happen quite often. Rambling? Maybe. Pure thought and emotion? Yes, most definitely.

Friday, February 8, 2008

John Rambo just blew (up) my mind...

The systematic desensatization of American minds... case in point: John Rambo.

I'm going to share a little story. Months ago I saw what would appear to be a trailer on youtube.

Wait, random thought: isn't it amusing that we still call previews trailers even when they now fall BEFORE a film? And even when they appeared AFTER the feature, they are still BEFORE the movie they are promoting is released, technically making it a preview.

Another random thought: isn't it amusing that we still refer to films as movies when the idea of a motion picture isn't new anymore? Movie was slang for motion pictures back when it was new (one would say "movie" as opposed to "motion picture" or a standard, non-moving picture).

Last random thought: isn't it amusing how we still refer to motion pictures as films when a good deal of current films aren't shot on film at all, but are shot digitally? Seeing as we (Americans) are obsessed with time-management and shortening everything (just look at current internet slang... or mmorpg communication), I suggest we (the collective members of the film and film enthusiast communities) come up with a shorter term for digital films, like "diggies" or "this is so pointless".


I happen upon a trailer of what would appear to be one of those spoof movies, this time spoofing war films. Only it wasn't a comedy (though to discredit it as a "spoof" may be pushing it...), it was really a fourth Rambo film. And it really showed an aging Stalone blowing people up.

Wait, another random thought: doesn't it strike anyone else as funny that Stalone, apparently struck with the same lack of new ideas as the rest of Hollywood, has decided to reinvigorate his "career" by simply repraising the same characters that put him on the map... in the same way that makes those movies hockie and cheesey? I'm just throwing this out there BUT I think it's safe to assume the next great Stalone achievement is either going to be Cobra 2 or, well, Rocky the Return. But seriously, Stalone is nothing but a character actor. Look at his complete filmography, he plays the same character in every movie, just changes up the name and wardrobe.

Ok, back to the point...

So I have to watch the trailer again because I was kind of in disbelief. Not only does the trailer show an ungodly amount of violence, it also showed that there could never possibly be a plot worth making the film for. What idea could one possibly get across with John Rambo, Rambo 4?

Tonight I did the unthinkable. I watched John Rambo.

Don't worry, I didn't waste my money seeing it in theatres. Instead I did what any other free American would do and watched a bootleg copy.

Alright, last random thought, I promise: I find it hilarious at how the film and record industries are fighting bootlegs and pirates. A word to any possible production company and/or record company execs that may stumble upon this: If you actually put out a decent product, you wouldn't have to worry if people are going to pay for it because they will. But when you release crap like John Rambo and T.I. vs T.I.P., what do you expect to happen? Do you expect your average, middle class American to spend their money (which decreases in value by the hour) on crap? No. They are going to spend their money on Citizen Kane and prostitutes. When was the last time you heard of someone selling bootleg copies of Citizen Kane, possibly one of the best films of all time? Exactly.

Back on topic. As I expected, the film didn't supply much plot. Activists are traveling to hostile territory to spread drugs and the word of god to people who only want to escape the hell they have to live in. They ask John Rambo for help. He immediately says no to navigating a river but we (the viewer) know that he will come around when the girly says a bunch of completely meaningless words in that cute way that women often say completely meaningless things (i.e.: I got these new shoes, how does my hair look, I love you, etc.). I, as a first time viewer of John Rambo, was thrown for a complete curve when the activists ended up being attacked and kidnapped. Seriously. I never saw it coming.

So mercenaries are hired to find them. Of course. Possibly the most real aspect of the film. Not that mercenaries would save activists, but the idea that mercenaries exist (Blackwater) and that they are frequently used. All manor of carnage, chaos, and senseless violence ensue. Rambo saves the girl, who will never be the same again (let's be real honest here: blonde. American. Hot. There is no way she was not raped repeatedly and not so pyschologically traumatized that she could ever live a normal life again. That and let's not forget to mention that Rambo ripped out a man's throat in front of her. Did I happen to mention she is completely against violence?).

Anyway, that was the entire movie. Body parts, blood, subtitles (most of which were completely pointless), bad acting, and lack of coherent thought.

And yet, this is the kind of thing they show us. This is what is put out there for us to enjoy as entertainment. I'm not against simulated violence at all, but is there really a need for John Rambo to have even been filmed? No. The world is so full of violence, wouldn't you think that people (Americans) were sick of it? Of course not. Violence has once again become just another tree on the road as you drive past.

But why? Why, in a world so violent, do we find entertainment in ultra violence? Because we aren't faced with it every day. People get shot. It happens. But we don't have to deal with wars here. We make the wars, but they are fought far, far away. I hate the phrase "post- 9/11 world", but let's take a look at it for a second. After 9/11, violence became taboo again. Hell, the Spiderman teaser had to stop being shown because it featured a web between the World Trade Center. But as the memory fades and our narcisism sets back in, we forget about the real violence. We forget about the real people dying over seas every day. We forget about OUR TROOPS dying over seas. We state our opinion, that we are for or against it, and then we buy some clothes, eat some McDonald's, then fuck our secretaries. Everything is just so... out of sight, out of mind.

We have turned war and violence into a safe thing: entertainment. We have let our selves become numb to the REAL world.

Here's an idea: let's put John Rambo in Iraq. Fuck 'Nam, let's throw him Iraq. Seriously. If he single handedly took out an entire army, why can't he just settle the Iraq "problem"? It would only take him two days. Why don't they do that? Maybe because THAT'S NOT THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS.

The systematic desensatization of American minds... promoting consumerism and fear (when "unthinkable" violence is done here) since 9/11. I think the Guiliani campaign proved it: Americans are no longer afraid. Next time something happens, we (Americans) are going to be crippled and so willing to hand over all of our rights and freedoms for the promise of safety that we will regress into a police state. Or maybe that's the natural progression of democracies. History seems to show this.

Think I'm crazy? Then why is it that, despite there being no publically released threats to the security of our country and people, next month security officers armed with FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPONS and "bomb sniffing" dogs will be in every subway station in NYC? It's for our safety, I'm sure.

Or possibly the systematic desensatization of American minds... to the presence of military/para-military forces on our streets and in our cities.

I'm not saying I subscribe to any of those beliefs, all I can provide are the facts. But there are certainly possibilities out there that extend beyond all rational thought... possibilities so "crazy" that it's actually a scary state of affairs to even think about. Do your research, I've done mine. It's my duty as a citizen to research and know what's going on with my country and the world. It's easy for many to be so absorbed into spending money and "reality" tv, but that will just make it all the more shocking when the unthinkable happens.

It never hurts to be educated in what is happening. It never hurts to prepare for the unthinkable, just in case.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Insert obvious MLKjr reference here...

So I was having the strangest dream. Like most of my dreams, it played out as if I were watching it in a movie theatre, but something struck me as odd experiencing this dream... and that was how fucking great a REAL film of this would be. I'm not going to lie, most of my best film ideas have come from dreams, some of which are literally scene for scene duplicates of the dream that inspired the script.

It's an odd thing being inspired but such events in the brain. Some of the ideas that come across in dreams are so perfect and pure that I know there is no way I would have come up with them consciously. I read an interesting study once on the research of dreams. It suggested that dreaming was absolutely necessarily to live a "normal" life... that dreams are actually scenarios our mind puts together so we can practice living while laying around idly. It's what's known as rehersal learning. So dreaming could very well be a survival mechanism. To test this theory, a rat was deprived the ability to dream for several nights, then put through a series of tests. Rats, like most animals, are born with instincts for survival. When deprived of sleep, simple basic insticts were severly retarded, causes the dream-deprived rats to fail each test. For more specifics, check this article out here: Psychology Today. Of course, rats do basically live on instinct and humans, well... humans lack any real instincts. Exept maybe the instinct to lie. And hurt each other. Though these are most likely due to a problem with our society, not ancient messages passed from generation to generation through genes on how to survive.

Anyway, I think I strayed from what I was talking about.

So I was having the strangest dream. I'll save you the details as it'll be much more interesting once I commit it to paper, but in any case... I'm having this dream and my alarm goes off. It's at this juncture I made the call to NOT go to work and finish the dream. What started as a regular dream quickly turned into a lucid dream as I struggled to get back to where I left off and I soon found myself making choices that actually affected events in the dream. Now, lucid dreaming is a state of dreaming in which the dreamer is aware that the dream is a dream and is able to take control of the dream. This is the artists playground. I used to have lucid dreams frequently but didn't take any kind of control... I just let it play out, but when I mastered how to induce lucid dreams (after countless hours of research and many months of practice) I have them most every night. Imagine being able to sculpt a complete reality and do anything you want to do (like... fly, for example)... but sculpting it consciously through the subconscious (because if you awake and become conscious, you are no longer in a R.E.M. state and then are running on imagination, not dream). It's pretty cool AND actually reinforces your ability to remember the dream (as lucid dreams, whether you make choices or not, are more ingrained in the memory as if it was a real event). If you are interested in reading more about lucid dreaming, the studies involved, and very interesting experiments where subjects in a controlled enviornment were asked to induce lucid dreams and do specific tasks (such as flipping a light switch should there be one, looking at a mirror, etc) and the surprising results, check this out: Lucid Dreaming.

Ok, I strayed again.

So two hours later, I awake completely refreshed and with a complete film in my brain to be written. It's great when your films come to you in dreams because you know exactly how it should look because it's as if you already watched the film in your head. It definitely makes it easier to work with. I often find inspiration in the strangest places.

David Lynch works in sort of the same way, only instead of dreams he bases his inspiration on images seen while transcending reality via transcendental meditation. This is a very unique form of meditation and one which I find the most effective for meditation purposes. Unfortunately you can't just read a faq or dummy's guide to perform this type of meditation (although I'm sure one could put themselves in that state without training). Transcendental meditation is something that is learned through another. Luckily I've had the opprotunity to train with a transcendental guru of sorts. It's definitely a unique experience and I highly suggest learning it if you are given the chance.

It's just so amazing at what the mind is able to produce when in a relaxed state, whether it be dreaming or meditation... or some other means of altering the state of mind. I'm curious to hear others' experiences dreaming.

For a really fantastic (albeit fictional) film regarding the mind and it's abilities to affect reality (and vice versa) should check out Altered States. While the events are purely science fiction, the basis is actually quite extraordinary and even based on real research.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Beauty, reality, and a healthy dose of political banter...

I have a problem. Actually, it's not my personal problem, but the Earth's. I suppose either way you look at it, it could still be considered MY problem as I am part of it. Regardless, THE problem is I often enjoy driving around for hours, listening to music, and enjoying the sights I am able to experience. It's actually kind of ironic; I enjoy driving around, killing our planet... yet I do it so I can experience the sights our planet has to offer. There are just so many amazing images to witness. On occasion the lighting and atmosphere are just so perfect to me aesthetically that I am actually emotionally struck and moved in such a way that the image is forever burnt into my memory.

I debate with myself some times as to if I want to take a camera with me. Since I cannot accurately reproduce the images in my mind, a camera would certainly be helpful in recalling said images in the real-life (as opposed to the inter-reality in our minds) for sharing and to study for duplication. Sounds well and fine but at the same time, would the images still carry the same weight they do for me if anyone and everyone experienced them? Probably not. That's my opinion, anyway.

So I usually go about my business, hoping my memory works as well as I pretend it does so that everything I experience will be documented somewhere in the bowels of my brain.

Believe it or not, I am actually building up to something of personal importance here.

So I decide I hate my job and take a half day last week. It was a particularly beautiful day. The sun was out and I was having a great time, listening to music and taking in the sights. I went down by the river and walked for a while, then walked around the city for a bit wishing it were a larger city. I don't know why I wasted time wishing for it to be bigger city but it was a rather magical day and I suppose anything would be possible.

After my zen-filled afternoon, I decided to drive around some more in the country and then head home. It was about sunset that I noticed it. Directly behind me, on the horizon, was half of a red ball (the sun). The sky immediately above the horizon glowed an amazing reddish orange all across the horizon. I then noticed that directly infront of me, the sky immediately above the horizon shown an amazing darkish blue all across the horizon... the bow of the night sky. Immediately I wondered how the two extremes would come together. On either side of me, exactly half way between the dropping ball of red and the darkest spot of blue, there was a white nothing, blending into the orangish and bluish skies on each side.

Maybe I'm tired and can't quite express what I saw with words at the moment due to a lack of sleep, but let me assure you, it was absolutely amazing. It was as if a band of color was wrapped around the world and I realized how lucky the Earth was to have such a beautiful sight grace it's existance. In a way, I was kind of jealous. That's when I decided that my next tattoo was going to be a band of color, exactly (or as closely immitated) as I had witnissed it. Just that image alone hit me on so many levels (some of which I'm still struggling to identify).

Earlier that day, when the sun was low in the sky but not quite setting, I drove by a field with a building in the middle of it. Above the field flew a flock of birds. There must have been a cloud in the way, I'm not entirely sure as I was focused on the birds, but the birds had gone from grayish-blue to a bright reddish-white as the sun hit them. The manor in which they were flying and how sudden the change in color was... that really moved me. I immediately thought of something someone close to me had said once, something I consider to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. She said, "I believe the last form a soul reincarnates to before reaching purity is that of a bird. To be a bird is to be absolutely free; free from restraint, free from worry, free from gravity... they have to be the closest thing to purity."

Later, after the sun had retreated beyond the horizon, I saw yet another completely moving sight, something I don't think I had ever seen before. I'd try to explain it but seeing as how I had butchered the prior two descriptions, I'm not even going to attempt this most complex imagery. I suppose you'll have to wait for the painting.

Anyway, the day was absolutely filled with so many amazing images. I couldn't believe that the Earth was capable of so many amazing sights. It was shortly after witnessing that last vision that I realized I had my sunglasses on all day and that the Earth didn't create a single bit of what I saw. In fact, all that I had seen was actually a distorted version of what was truly going on.

This left me confused because I often wear my sunglasses, whose tinting is nearly impossible to duplicate in photoshop (as I have tried) and was left knowing that no matter what I do, camera or not, I will never be able to see any of what I have seen again, just the way it was.

This left me questioning then if I still would have found those sights as moving and beautiful had I not been wearing my sunglasses.

This left me to wondering if I am always living in my own reality. I suppose most of us DO live in our own versions of reality. But if something so simple as the tint of glasses can be the deciding factor in what is "beautiful" and what is "average", what else is effecting the way I perceive reality, both "actual" reality (the reality that actually is) and my own personal reality (the way I process the "actual" reality). Think about those who are color blind. I remember everyone in elementary school having to take a color blind test and a few students found that they were color blind. Up until that point, they had no idea that they were color blind. The most common type of color blindness is a dificiency with red and green. Imagine going through life lacking the ability to view reds and greens, instead showing as shades of gray. That would drastically change your view of the world, both physically and cognitively.

That is a lot to take in. But it gets worse. If we all create our own realities, both consciously and subconsciously, then is there an "actual" or "true" reality? That may sound silly, but think about everything from your views to everyday rhetoric. Just take a look at a thesaurus. There are over 25 words synonymous with the word "love". Love is something I think that we can all relate to. If that's so, then why is it that we need 25+ words to say what we can all relate to, and have it mean something different to each of us? I suppose it would have to do with our own life experiences and world views. Love may be too abstract of an example, but I think you get the point. We institute such practices as "being P.C." and yet there are still arguments as to what is "acceptable" and what is not when it is obvious that we each create our own reality and therefore arguing on such topics such as if "nigger" is or is not a culturally accepted term to be used by one or all groups of peoples, is a complete waste of time, mental energy, and resources.

I may have strayed a bit with the meaning of words, but already that's two examples of different perceptions of reality: both what we see visually and what different words mean to us as individuals. Obviously I'm not breaking any new ground here but there tend to be things that we just accept and if we take a minute to think about what's happening we may find that there are some things that aren't put out in front of us that could affect us in many ways.

Ok, I really have no idea where I was going with this now. I had only intended to discuss a beautiful day and my next tattoo and somehow ended up debating how real reality is. I guess the only way I can actually tie this up is to say that seeing as we all have our own idea of reality, it's probably a good idea to not only be politically educated, but also politically active because it appears that we (as Americans) have become increasingly dependent on the government making choices for us and trusting that those are the best choices. Don't forget, you can't just vote and then not pay attention to what goes on until the next election. It's our duty as citizens to run the government as put forth in the Constitution. As an example, I wonder how many readers would be surprised to know how many unconstitutional acts the Bush administration alone has engaged in. I won't tell you because that's too easy. Do a google search and enjoy. Also, were you aware habeus corpus no longer exists? I'm not trying to Bush-bash here because there are other people responsible as well, but let's be honest here: Bush wipes his ass with the Bill of Rights when he takes a shit. He has the lowest popularity in the polls of any president before him. Over two thirds of Americans disapprove of the job he is doing, yet a majority of Americans voted him to be in office for a total of 8 years.

Don't just accept the reality that is laid out in front of you. Ask the questions you need to ask and exist accordingly.

Maybe there is hope yet for humans to survive...

Who am I kidding, we're all doomed.