Friday, July 31, 2009
Take a piece of paper and a pen for a short quiz.
Write down the answers to these two questions
Put them in a safe place no one can see them.
Be as honest as possible. Don’t cheat, – you are cheating yourself :)
If you would have the absolute proof and certitude that God doesn’t exist.
That there is no heaven and hell after death.
No judgment day, no price to pay, just death and nothing more.
Would you start to cheat and steal, would you stop to pray?
Or would you live your life just the same way you are living your life today?
What if God in person and his full glory would pop up in front of you and say:
“Here I am, look at me, take a picture, touch me, hold me and know that I am.”
Would you stop wanting more, would you stop judging and holding grudges?
Would you drop in your knees and start to pray.
Would you live your life any different, or would you stay the same?
Write down as much as possible of what is in your mind right now.
Let a couple of days to go by and then revisit your answers.
See if you can tell if you were honest or not.
See how you feel about it.
Take the test again in a couple of weeks.
Has anything changed in your answers?
Has anything changed in your life?
Then you are evolving :)
Then you are extremely, incredibly enlightened.
Or most likely, extremely, incredibly ignorant.
Wishing you a great weekend.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
When I wrote post “The Acorn Universe” I wasn’t thinking much.
It was more of a hunch than a well constructed theory and frankly I did not expect that anybody would take notice :)
But you did; and I got some brilliant comments that have given me reason for thinking.
So here are my thought about that.
It seems that most people believe in a scientific, mathematical sort of universe.
A universe run by laws, like “The law of conservation of mass” or “Energy” or the law of “Causality”
According to this view the universe is a perfect mechanism.
If there was a celestial accountant; according with this view, at any point in time we draw a bottom line everything in the universe is accounted for to the last atom and quanta of energy.
The universe is absolute determined and the laws of physics run the show.
Science holds the truth and there is no doubt about anything.
According with this point of view, what I am writing now and what you will respond to my post it is already determined by your past, education, mood etc. You can’t do squat to change it. You are just a spectator to your life, like in a movie theater.
According to this, everything, the way the universe evolves and where and how it ends is predetermined.
The second view of the universe is of a random, unlawful, universe.
According to this model (See Quantum’s comments) everything is not run by laws but by probabilities.
The laws of physics are not absolute anymore; the scientific method is not accurate.
Science does not hold the truth and everything is debatable.
See this little video about “Quantum Physics” to get an idea of what I am talking about :)
According to this view what I am writing right now and what your response will be is up to you to decide.
You can change your mind, your actions and your life at will.
You are not a spectator to your life anymore but the force and creator behind it.
According to this the way the universe evolves is not determined.
Actions ; like sending up satellites in deep space are changing the course of the universe evolution, which in other words means we have God like powers – if we only knew how to use them :)
So this is the little dirty secret of the scientific community.
Something that everybody knows but no one will admit.
“The force behind the steering wheel of the universe is no other than FREE WILL
So I still believe that “The Acorn Universe” is a valid hypothesis, I just think it needs some time to take root ;)
Monday, July 27, 2009
If you think you know, there is no way to see the truth.
We’ve some how drifted into a metaphysical discussion. (Which was not my initial intention :)
But the discussion has generated some buzz.
People are getting involved, there are pro and con, brilliant arguments, and there is excitement and interest.
(We even managed to keep the dialog civil and respectful :)
This discussion is not new; it has started hundreds or thousands of years ago.
It has started with the earth at the center of the universe and evolved along the way with new ideas, with people that questioned the conventional wisdom and broke through dogma and ignorance.
What is the truth about the universe around us?
How does it work?
For hundreds of years the questions have been the same.
The only thing that has changed and will continue to change is how we see the universe.
The only thing that has changed and is changing is US.
This is not about the universe, about what it is and how it works.
We knew the answers thousands of years ago when we started our journey into reason.
The universe is “that it is” and it works “the simplest way possible”
But that is not what we want to hear, isn’t it?
We don’t want to know the universe!
(If you want to know it, go out tonight look at the stars and say “Hi universe! Nice to know you!”)
We want to control the universe; we want it to respond to our will, we want to be Gods!
This is pretty much what the “scientific revolution” is all about.
What we know is not changing the way the universe is or works.
What we know changes what we are and how we work.
But I am not a scientist. I am a dreamer.
For me the universe is like a lover, like a woman!
Every fact about it fascinates me, and I would like to know as much as possible about it.
But in the end I love the mystery more than the knowledge.
Because the universe like a woman was not made to be deciphered but to be loved.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Reading the scientific books one might think that we have everything explained quite well.
Let’s take for example perception, and out of all forms of perception let’s look at vision.
Everybody knows that the light coming from a source it is reflected by different objects and is then captured by our eyes and changed into nervous impulses - images.
So we see light. – No light, no vision. – Right?
These letters are actually black; so you shouldn’t see them at all since they do not reflect light.
Right? As non scientifically it might sound, you are seeing no light after all :)
But if the letters were white; thus reflecting light – you wouldn’t see them at all!!!
Right? As non scientifically it might sound you wouldn’t see light after all :)
So what the hell are we seeing; light or no light?
What we are actually seeing is neither, nor!
What we are actually seeing is the contrast between light and darkness.
Without a contrast there is no perception. – Light or no light.
So perception, vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch is possible only as long there is a contrast.
It is this contrast that makes everything perceivable.
Same rule apply to everything else we perceive; thoughts, emotions, feelings, morals.
Whenever we talk about a bad behavior we have in mind the opposite god behavior.
They go hand in hand like front and back and left and right.
Same goes about God or the rest of existence – if that is what you want to call her :)
You need the ego to perceive the rest of existence.
Without an ego the whole universe would be an oneness.
By practice, one may attain liberation from the bondage of the ego – enlightenment – and see the reality as oneness.
In that moment one doesn’t see and feel as a separate part from the whole.
The reality doesn’t change but the way you see it is so perfect, so profound, so beautiful.
(It is a wondrous experience I have been blessed to experience for brief moments.)
It is not like understanding one thought or feeling one emotion but understanding and feeling everything at once.
It is like looking at this page and instead of seeing a lot of separate black characters on a white piece of paper you would see nothing separate, but a whole white page with some intricate holes cut into it – and understand what it says all at once.
I know it is a very poor example but it is the best I can do in words.
But the point that I was trying to get to is that God, or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t look at you as separate from him, and it might come as a little shocker and disappointment to the new age crowd but you are not God after all; it is the other way around :)
PS: I just realized that my blog background is gray and you could actually see white letters :(
Friday, July 17, 2009
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."
The Western world is undoubtedly a world of duality.
It is the world of God vs. Satan, good vs. evil, man vs. nature, us vs. them, etcetera.
Some where on the life’s path we might change our polarized views.
The good cake and the bad broccoli, will eventually become the not so good cake and the no so bad broccoli, drinking whine in moderation seems to be good for your health now days, and greed once taught as good as once again fell from favor.
But generally speaking even if we change our views on a particular subject we keep pretty much a dualistic point of view on reality.
So if we speak of global warming, abortion, same sex marriage, guns, drugs, religion, internet, democrats or republicans, we will automatically attach them a value – positive or negative – according to our personal beliefs and preferences.
But for every person pro something, there is another con something.
The democrats are blaming the republicans and the republicans are blaming the democrats, the Christians are blaming the Muslims, the Muslims are blaming the Jews, but always WE are right and THEY are wrong, who ever they might be.
Here is a novel point of view – familiar to most of you students of Eastern philosophy.
The world’s duality is just an illusion and in essence reality is one.
So dualism is a doctrine that exists only in our mind and even if we see the two sides of a problem as different they are in fact one and the same.
The coin has truly two sides but two sides are not making two coins.
So to pick up on the last post’s question. - Is the internet good or bad?
Depending on your point of view it could be either, or.
According to the Buddhist philosophy is neither, nor.
According to the Buddhist doctrine things have no intrinsic moral value.
It is the use and the abuse that gives the good or bad value to things.
I use the internet for banking, I just bought an MP3 player on line, I check my daughter’s school reports on line and of course without the internet I couldn’t have my blog.
But on the other hand computers and the internet can be a pain too.
The spam, the sensory overloads, the time waste, the consumerism, the viruses and nasty people all of that and more can turn the internet into a bad experience.
But that is not the internet – that is us!
We had good and bad experiences before the internet and we still have them off line.
It is what we do that has moral value, everything else are just props.
Monday, July 13, 2009
If you have been reading the comments on the “I got the blogger blues” post you may have noticed some very interesting questions our friend Mickael raised.
Questions like “why do you punish yourself?”
So in the old tradition of Zen Buddhism I will attempt to answer him via an anecdote:
An old man is sent to a retirement home.
After a couple of days, at the diner table he complains to another old man sitting in front of him:
- God damn it! This food tastes like shit! I wouldn’t feed it to a pig!
- You damn right! – Sais the other man – And the portions are so damn small!
He, he, he!
Aren’t we all just like the old man?
No matter how shitty our lives are.
No matter how many heart breaks we get, how many financial disasters we go through or how many health problems we might have, we keep coming back and ask for more!
Since I have started socializing on the internet, I have meet people battling AIDS and cancer, handicapped people, people that have been mentally and physically abused.
I have met people that have such horrendous problems that make my complains sound like trivial whining.
Yet, I have never met one person that complained that life it is too short.
As a matter of fact no matter how shitty our lives are we always want more, and if we could buy time I am sure that we would spend our last dime just to get a year or two more of it.
So here is the “Diamond Sutra of BoH”:
Contrary to what you have been taught, the value of a diamond is not given by its brilliance, hardness or purity.
If roads would be paved with diamonds, diamonds would be sold at cobbler stone prices.
What you are seeking for, be that; love, wisdom, self esteem or health is valued by how hard it is to get.
The easier something is to get the less value it has – no matter how vital that thing is for us!
Think - Air is free!
Diamonds; although not as essential to us as air, are so damn expensive because they are so rare, so scarce and so hard to find!
That is my diamond sutra not to be confused with the real “Diamond Sutra” (which I totally recommend if you have never read it :)
So now to get back to answering Mickael’s questions:
I love “The Art of War” (I even dig Machiavelli’s “The Prince”) and I agree with Sun Tzu’s wisdom that a true general wins the war before any battle is fought.
But I am not a general :)
For me, a win when you are 100% of the outcome is just a win.
A win, when you are against all odds, it is not just a win: It is a VICTORY!
So my blogging – and my life – can be at times a maddening frustrating experience, true!
But I hope that somebody out there will read this and think:
“This shit is not that bad at all”
And that he or she, will write me a small comment “Great post BoH!”
That small comment, will put a smile on my face and it will make my effort of writing my blog worth while.
So paraphrasing J.F. Kennedy.
I don’t do it because it is easy –
I do it because it is hard!
Namaste my friends and may you find the diamond you are looking for no matter how hard it might be!
Friday, July 10, 2009
“Be content with what you have, rejoice the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
Even a child or a mentally retarded person can laugh and be happy.
But do you know how hard it is to be unhappy?
Do you know how hard it is to be miserable and hate your life?
It takes a lot of energy!
It takes a lot of thinking and reasoning.
It takes long sleepless nights of self torture.
And exhausting searches for that perfect excuse for failure.
Any body can be happy!
You don’t need to be rich to be happy.
You don’t need to have things to be happy.
You don’t need to worry about the world economy going south, about the inflation going up and the dollar going down.
Anybody can be happy!
You don’t need to get involved in politics, to debate religious or philosophical ideas.
You don’t need to have enemies and you don’t need to hate anybody.
You don’t need to live your life in a continuous battle.
You don’t need to do anything to be happy.
But to be unhappy; that is a hard thing to accomplish!
It takes a special person to be miserable.
It takes will power and cunning.
It takes maturity and stamina.
It takes discipline and a lot of perseverance.
Being unhappy is a very difficult and complex task!
So I’m just sitting here smiling like a retard.
…I can’t think of any excuse for being unhappy!
Besides I am not the young energetic block I used to be.
Even if I cold make up some clever excuse for self flagellation, I don’t think I’d have enough energy to do it.
Happiness is easy and it’s free but misery is a very expensive luxury and I am too poor to afford it!
So I’ll have to settle for less :)
I guess I’ll just have to live the rest of my life in this unbearable happiness…
…Oh well, not everybody can be successful in this life.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
A great Zen master once said:
Zen is to eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty and sleep when you are sleepy…
Or something like that :)
So one might say “Hey, I can do that! Enlightenment after all is not that hard.”
But few realize that “simple” is the hardest thing to do.
Caught in the illusion of life few people realize the tangled web we have spawned.
Few realize that we have enslaved ourselves to the clock and the dollar.
Time and money determine when, what and how we eat, drink and sleep…
The truth is that we don’t run our lives; our lives run us!
I see a lot of “Buddhist” out on the net preaching the virtues of enlightenment.
I have never found one yet to practice what they preach.
Studying the wisdom of the scriptures is like studying the art of bicycling.
It means nothing until you get on the bicycle :)
Zen is the art of being free.
Free from the illusions of life.
Free from the desires of the material world.
Free from the tyranny of time and money.
It sounds so simple and so beautiful, doesn’t it?
You can almost feel the power, the freedom, and the infinite opportunities opening up.
To become the center of your lfe, the master of your destiny.
To be the source of your happiness and love.
…I have mastered the art of self centering.
I can reach inward for the energy, the love and the wisdom I need.
But some how I get scared and I ran back to the self pity and comfort of my own excuses.
...I thought it was my lack of faith in God that stops me from wining my freedom.
But lately I’ve been thinking that is the lack of faith in me that is the problem.
Some how I fear that there is not enough love, power and love in me.
I fear that I will “run out” of it, and find myself empty like some of the people I see around me;
– living like zombies on their medicated lives.
You know the fear I’m talking about?
Well, maybe you don’t.
But is it having that courage to be what you want to be.
To reach for your dreams with the conviction of your impending success.
To eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty and sleep when you are sleepy…
It is that simple.
…I just have to stop complicating my life.
He, he, he…
Monday, July 6, 2009
Negativity has a nasty habit of looking for me.
No matter how hard I try to hide it will find its way to me.
I got the blogger’s blues!
Last September I cut off my TV watching habit.
I think that some where in the depths of my being there is a little drama queen loving all that turmoil, but when the “drama” started affecting the people that I love, the self indulgence had to stop!
So I turned off the TV, and let me tell you, it was one of the best things I ever done in my life!
Suddenly I found myself with more time and more energy at my disposal, and since I don’t like to be idle for too long I had to pick up another bad habit – It is called internet socializing :)
Now, unlike the TV where a couple of talking heads are brain washing you into a submissive citizen and consumer, the internet still has that Wild West freedom feeling and appeal.
You can still meet people that are not interested into selling you shit, you can still meet free thinkers that are not goose stepping in popular or official dogma, and you can still reach over the boundaries of class, age, sexual orientation, religion etc and have honest friends and a honest exchanges of ideas.
(Or maybe I am just a very fortunate person in finding you guys!)
But things are changing fast on the internet and the Wild West culture is starting to be over run by the same evil doers that are running the TV and media outlets.
Blogs were supposed to be a private, personal form of expression, right?
But now everybody that is somebody has a blog!
From Oprah to Phil, from Drudge to Huffington and Obama the so called “blogs” are turning the internet in another TV station.
I wouldn’t mind if Oprah would spend 10 hours a day writing post and answering to comments but she doesn’t.
Behind the so called “blogs” there is an army of paid professionals that are running the show.
(How can I or any other blogger compete with that?)
Same thing is happening to My Space, Face Book, Twitter etc.
The simple folk and his little form of expression are run out the town by the big money ant their big guns.
But the real sad and disturbing trend is that a lot of the “little” guys that IMO should protect this free spirit and fight against big brother and big money, are joining the evil doer’s side.
More and more I am bombarded by “sellers” and “pushers” that under the disguise of gentile bloggers are selling and pushing shit to me.
And I am not talking about people promoting their blog and their creativity; I am talking about people that are pushing their internet stores or political party agendas.
So the question I have is how do you fence yourself from evil doers but keep reaching out for the like minded folk?
How do you make your little voice heard in this more and more media dominated environment?
Is blogging still a relevant form of expression or has it become obsolete?
What is your personal experience and POV?
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Troubles are only mental; it is the mind that manufactures them, and the mind can gorge them, banish them, abolish them.
- Mark Twain
I did not know that Mark Twain was a Buddhist :)
I remember when I started my meditation practice.
I would do this meditation where I close my eyes and imagine a great source of energy, love, health, truth and harmony like a big ball of light and I would breathe in this energy,
guide it into my body, into my blood stream and from there into every cell of my body.
I would imagine this energy washing away all my stress, fears and troubles and then I would exhale all that negativity out of my body.
And I would repeat it until I would attain complete body rest and mind stillness.
And at that point all my troubles would be out of my mind and I would be just as pure and perfect as the day I was born.
A very powerful meditation, that I still do from time to time to recharge my batteries but then I get back to my illusory “real” life to play the hide and seek game of the ego.
I would always know that this “reality” is just a temporary illusion and our troubles are only a figment of our imagination but that illusion can be so powerful, so overwhelming that many of us can’t see through it.
I remember a conversation with my friend J ( a very stubborn atheist )
He said to me:
- That is just religious mumble jumble. How can you deny the obvious, the concrete, factual reality?
Here, I have a problem with my car – can you say that is just an illusion, that it is not real and it is just a creation of my imagination?
- Yes – I reply – We have created the illusion that we need a car, by creating the illusion that we need a freeway, by creating the illusion that we need an urban sprawl, by creating the illusion of progress.
You can renounce that illusion.
Move to an Amish community and suddenly you will not need a car, car registration, car insurance, gas, car maintenance or repairs – all your car troubles will vanish like magic :)
- That is just more religious BS – he replied –
You have a car, you have the same car problems and you know it as well as I do, you just don’t want to admit it.
- My friend, I have the problems that I have, the same way you have the problems that you have. I am not denying that.
The difference between you an I is that you believe your problems are real and I believe that my problems are my own choosing.
And that is the difference between fighting your life or playing your life.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
You might ask why I am so obsessed with micro managing my life.
Why an enlightened Buddhist worries about life’s little problems?
Why Buddha of Hollywood doesn’t have faith?
But the truth is that I am not worried or concerned about my life.
I don’t want to sound like a televangelist that has a direct telephone line with God but it seems to me that every time I had a major event in my life God has intervened with his divine powers in my favor. (Or maybe was just an angel or something :)
I mean really, really bad situations when I had no power at all and all hope was gone, when I was thinking “this is it – this time I’m not gonna make it” a saving hand protected me and some how everything ended OK after all.
Now, that makes me feel special, makes me feel loved, and makes me feel like in God’s eyes I’m not an insignificant son.
It makes me feel that he cares about me, and I know in the depth of my being, that God will always be with me.
At the same time, I find my daily life bogged in little problems, irritating inconveniences, little and annoying people, and insignificant petty quarrels.
(But God doesn’t help me with those at all, even when I am asking for help.)
So I figured out that God must be busy saving some other unfortunate being from a catastrophic predicament and probably doesn’t have time to deal with my trivial problems.
(The truth is that I shouldn’t ask for help at all. After all I have a pretty good life and complaining about my life would be the most ungrateful thing I could do.)
So here I am, like a little kitten fighting with a ball of yarn, fighting life’s little miseries.
It is some sort of challenge, some sort of an addictive game for me.
It is a compulsion – like buying too many books when I know I don’t have time to read them all.
So I know that I don’t have any problems, that I am getting my self into trouble just to have something to do, but I figured that as long I have fun doing it, it shouldn’t be that much of a sin :)