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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Emotional Distortion of Reality

How do you view the today’s political landscape?

Well, if you are a Democrat your view is very bleak, very dark. 
You feel like the biblical end of the world has arrived, and the Antichrist is taking over.
You feel like the hope has died and a great sense of despair is covering the nation.
You feel like inevitably a great disaster is about to happen.

On the other hand, if you are a Republican, things are looking pretty rosy.
Finally, it looks like we are coming out of the darkness and the long promised changes are here.
Hope is on the rise and finally, commonsense and order is coming back to the nation.
You feel like inevitably great things are about to happen.

I may not be 100% percent in my perception but no matter how you phrase it one thing is for sure.
At this moment there is a great divide splitting the nation into two opposite fractions.
One question probably has popped in your head. I know it did to me.
How come these two different, antagonistic views of the political landscape can coexist?

The answer is very simple. The other guys have lost their minds.
People have lost their common sense, their moral compass and are acting like a herd of lemurs heading for the precipice under the spell of a corrupt political system and a corrupt media.
They are just a bunch of lunatics, ignorant mental retards that have completely lost touch with reality and are about to have a rude awakening.

Right?
Maybe not. The irony is just too thick.
Maybe we should stop and ask again, this time very impartial, objective without any bias.
How can two people look at the same picture and see two different things?

Here is one explanation: They are wearing colored glasses.  That’s right.
If you are wearing dark, smoky colored glasses, everything you look at will be dark and gloomy.
If you are wearing pink colored glasses, everything will look pink and perky.

Emotions are colored glasses for our brains.
Whatever we look at is colored by what we feel at the moment.

Have you ever been in love?

When you are in love you can wake up in a rain storm, have a flat tire on your way to work, be late and have your boss yell at you and when your love calls you feel like you had the best day of your life.
Take the same scenario and run it without the feeling of love. Not as rosy anymore, right?
Now take that a notch down. Play that scenario when you are depressed.
Feeling like committing suicide at the end of the day, right?
That is the power our emotions have on how we see our reality.

Reality is the only truth and in order to see the truth, we have to remove our emotional colored glasses.
Yes, it is easier said than done, but not impossible.

It all starts with being aware of our emotions at the time we are trying to define the reality of an actual state or event.
Are you emotionally charged? Then your reasoning and your conclusion are distorted.
If your charge is positive you are seeing the reality better than it actually is.
If your emotions are negative, you are seeing the reality worse than it is.

The only way to know what the reality is to look at the world non-judgmentally, to look at the world without emotions.
Steady practice of meditation and mindfulness is the only way to see the truth.

Liberated from the prison of reason we can witness reality as it unfolds.
When we drop off our Ego we can start realizing the truth.
What the world needs is not a better political system or better technology or more money.
What the world needs is better people and we can start by becoming better ourselves.



Monday, August 28, 2017

The Meaningful Principle

What is the meaning of life?
There is no definitive answer to that question.
If you are a Christian the meaning of life should be Love as the Christ teaching professes.
If you are a Buddhist the meaning of life should be enlightenment.
If you are not very spiritual the meaning of life would be success.

But all of these answers are not very practical they do not tell you what you should do, how should you live your life.
Let’s look at some real people and what the meaning their life had.

Mother Theresa. Her life meaning was helping the poor.
Gandhi, his name is synonymous with non-violence. He dedicated his life to freedom.
Einstein dedicated his life to finding the laws of time and space
Mozart, music, Michelangelo, art Hillary politics, Warren Buffet, money and so on and so forth.

We define the meaning our lives by the things we do, by the aspirations we have.
We may not have very high expectations, maybe we are just trying to give our kids a good education or planning to travel and explore the world. We may want to better ourselves through spiritual practice or by reading and learning constantly new things.
Whatever we do gives meaning to our life.

We do not spend much time thinking about the meaning of our lives.
We are almost on an automatic pilot. Going to work, paying the bills, doing what is necessary to survive.
But life should be more than that. We should strive to make a difference to live a mark in this world.
Besides surviving we should all have a dream.

Well. Some of us do and most of the time that dream becomes a frustrating thing in our life.
We would like to live the dream but the reality is forcing us to do otherwise.
We are constantly in a time or money crisis, not to mention the other problems life throws in our paths.
So how do we deal with that, how do we keep focused on the dream?

One method I found out it works for me is the “Meaning” principle.
The meaning principle states that if you do meaningful things, your life will automatically have meaning.
If you do things that have no meaning your existence is meaningless.

How does it work?
Whenever you are ready to start something, or whenever you are doing or not doing something you have to stop and ask a simple question: What is the meaning of my action?

Let’s say you are playing a game on your computer – I choose this example because I found myself quite often in the situation J
You have to stop and ask yourself: What is the meaning of my action? What is the purpose of playing this game?

Of course playing a game has no purpose and therefore no meaning, it is simply a waste of time.
You will hate doing this kind of enquiring into your actions but eventually, you will come to the realization that you can achieve your dreams only by doing meaningful actions.
And if you keep on looking for meaning in every moment of your life, your actions will focus on the path of accomplishing your dreams.


Go ahead give it a try and let me know how it works for you.


Friday, August 25, 2017

The Tao of Humor

“Don’t take life too seriously.
You’ll never get out of it alive”
-          Elbert Hubbard

I was born with a funny bone.
Since I can remember I was the clown, the joker and the troublemaker of the group.
In my youth that special talent landed me in trouble many times and I spent countless hours in the principal’s office because of it.

Being a funny guy made me very popular among my peers but not very popular with the authorities.
They tried in vain to make me renounce my funny ways and in the end, they all gave up.
It was in my genes… Or was it?

My mother was probably one of the most intelligent human beings I have ever encountered.
Her mind was closer to a Vulcan mind than a human, just to give you a reference point.
She had the reasoning power and speed I imagine super-computers have.
A truly analytical mind, but Z-E-R-O sense of humor.

I would come from school, run into the kitchen, and shout;
-          Mom, I got a joke for you!
-          Well, what is it?
-          Why do blind people hate to skydive?
She would pause and think about it. Really think about it.
-          I don’t know. Why do blind people hate to skydive?
-          It scares the hell of the dogs! HA!
She will ponder for another minute. I could hear her brain buzzing.
-          I don’t get it. Why is that funny?
-          Well you know blind people have service dogs and they have to drag them out of the planes… get it?
-          No, I don’t… That is not funny, that is just plain mean... Please don’t tell that joke anymore. We love animals…
DISCLAIMER: No dogs or blind people were harmed during this joke.

Why do we laugh when a person falls down on a flat of stairs?
Why is that even funnier if the person is a little old lady?
Why are pain, violence, disaster, prejudice, racism, chauvinism, stupidity, absurdity and ignorance funny?
Is God trying to tell us something and we don’t get it?

Let’s summarize human life in two opposite and extreme examples:
1)      You are born in most favorable circumstances, you are well raised and educate, you accomplish success, power, fame, and fortune, you have everything you have dreamed of including perfect health and then YOU DIE!
2)      You are born in most unfavorable circumstances, you are badly raised and educate, you are a total failure in everything you try, never acquiring any power, fame or fortune, you have nothing you have dreamed of, you have rotten health and then YOU DIE!

So now let’s contemplate the two scenarios:
Do you think life is funny or do you think life is serious business?

If you think life is funny then you got the TAO of humor and no explanation is needed.
If you think life is serious business, then you don’t get the TAO of humor and no explanation is possible.

Life is hilarious. Why? Because it is and you can’t explain a joke.
Actually, you can but it will not make the joke any funnier. AU contraire!
OK, I’ll leave you with another story. Maybe this will help you understand the TAO of humor.

I love camping and one Memorial Day I took my family camping in the Yosemite Mountains.
We found a perfect spot to set our tent. A sandy wash that had no rocks and it was perfectly flat.
Outdoor people will understand why a flat spot is so important when you setup a tent.
As for the rest, just trust me; it was a perfect spot.

We did all the fun stuff you do when camping; hiking, lighting a camp fire, cooking some camp classic food, roasting marshmallows, telling jokes and stories, playing games around the camp fire late into the night and finally going to bed under a spectacular starry sky.

It was towards the first hour of the dawn when the sound of raindrops on the canopy of the tent woke us up. I look out at the sky and it didn’t look that bad. The forecast for that day was sunny weather but in the mountain, weather can be unpredictable. I decided we can make it and went back to sleep.

When I woke up our tent was flooded. The perfect spot we choose for our tent was a water wash path (that explained the flat sandy spot on the top of the mountain)
The rain had subsided to a drizzle but the water coming down the slope was filling up our tent.
We grabbed some pots and pans and frantically started scooping up the water, needless to say, very unsuccessfully.

A park ranger stopped his Jeep in front of our camp site. He approached us with a big green on his face. Obviously, for him the situation was funny.
-          Good morning folks, how’s it going?
I was a bit irritated by his attitude and said to him:
-          Why don’t you stop laughing and give us a hand instead?
-          Sure thing. I will as soon you move the tent out of the water wash to a higher ground.

You know that Homer Simpson face “Oh duh?” That was me after realizing how stupid I was.
We picked up the tent and moved it out of the wash to higher ground and voila, the water just naturally drained out of the tent. Reluctantly I thanked the ranger and he drove in his merry way.

So do you think that was funny or do you think that was unfortunate?
This is the Tao of humor: At the time I thought it was a disaster but now I think it was damn funny.

So do you think your life is pretty serious stuff, hard, stressful or even depressing?
Well, you know what I think? I think life is hilarious!

And then you die 😊

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Amnesia Conspiracy

What is your earliest memory?
I cannot remember any of my early years of life and neither can you.
All I can recall of that time are random images or incidents, fragments of memories that seem lost forever.
If it was just me I would say I am just one of the people with bad memory, but this strange occurrence is common to all human beings.
It is a grand conspiracy against our memories.
Why is that?

It doesn’t make any sense.
Like a brand-new computer, a child mind doesn’t contain much information.
The memory space is wide open and like a sponge ready to learn and absorb all new information.
But all the new experiences of my childhood are lost.

My first Spring. The smell of a flower for the first time. My first rain, my first rainbow. My first summer my first snow. My first walk or the test of my first strawberry.
All of this amazing new experiences I once had, all of these mind-blowing firsts, are gone.
Why and how?

I have these vivid memories from when I was about 5 or 6 of me playing scenarios of naval battles.
Not just any battles but War World II Pacific Air Carrier battles.

There are many occasions of me playing by myself.
I was in my living room, on the rug arranging random objects in complicated battle formations and playing out loud intense aerial attacks and maneuvers.
I didn’t have any boat toys so instead, I used everyday objects, ashtrays, boxes of crayons, plates and kitchen utensils.

It may seem strange to you that I didn’t have any toys but I wasn’t an American boy this happened in Eastern Europe in the late 50’s early 60’s. While America was experiencing the after the war boom Europe and Especially Eastern Europe – the Communist part – was still recovering from the ravages of war. For Christmas, I would get clothes and new shoes, maybe one toy and if lucky chocolate and oranges.

What was really odd is that the Pacific War was unknown in the Eastern Europe.
All the propaganda, all the newspapers, books, and films were about the heroic Red Army victory against the Nazi Germany. America was seldom mentioned and the Pacific war never happened.

I found out about that part of WW II history in 1983 after defecting to the US.
I remember buying a $40 small black and white TV. The one with the rabbit ears antenna on the top.
That TV was my first English teacher and my introduction to the American society, culture, and History.

It was on that small TV I first saw the Pacific War unfolding and it was at that time I first remembered my naval battles in my living room.
Until then all those memories were locked in my brain and my access to them was restricted.
This happens to every person in the world and if you ever had this strange feeling that somebody or something is censoring your brain, you were right.
The Amnesia Conspiracy is not a myth, a wacky conspiracy theory, it is a fact.
We are born without an Ego. We are all born with a primordial mind, a clear mind untainted by evil and vice.
It is our original self, the original and you, unaltered perfect consciousness.
As we start growing we are taught new skills like walking and talking and also Reasoning.

The Reasoning is supposed to be a tool in the service of our higher self.
Around  6-7 years old our Reasoning undergoes a transformation aself-realizationn.
The Reason proclaims “I think therefore I am” I am,  I the “Ego” not you, the “Primordial” mind.
It is a coup d’état. The Ego takes over, the servant becomes the master.

The original mind gets thrown in the prison of reason destined to be forgotten
You are now “John” or “Mary” or whatever your Ego calls itself, not what you were before that.
Everything that happened before the rise of the Ego gets censored, blocked from your consciousness.
You will live now forever as Ego, as “John” or “Mary”

But all those memories are not lost, your primordial self never dies. It is after all the immortal part of you.
All those memories are still in your mind and it just takes an incident, like the one that happened to me, to resurface into the consciousness.
And there is another proof. People under hypnosis can also access those “forgotten” memories.

So if you want to know who you really are or just to relieve the old good days before the Ego took over just start digging.
The truth is out there!


Monday, August 21, 2017

The Creation of Wealth

There is only one way to create wealth: CREATIVITY

There are only two ways to amass very large amounts of money:
One – Create Wealth
Two – Steal it

The rest of us who are not creators or thieves are just tools for the ones that are.
We’re the workers making it all possible, keeping the system running.
There are thousands of ways of making a living, too many to mention and too unimportant to analyze.
Working for a living will not make you rich.

The richest man in the world (at some point in time) was Bill Gates.
He and others like him, Steve Forbes, Henry Ford, Mark Zuckerberg, Ellan Musk and many more like them are CREATORS.
Creators create wealth by offering to society necessary products or services.

There are also other people with very large bank accounts, people like J P Morgan, Charles Schwab or Warren Buffet.
They make money by taking it from the wealth creators.
They have created a system that forces people in debt by making it almost impossible to function in the society, unless you are extremely rich, without using their system.

You have to know all this in order to understand the “Golden Rule”
He who has the Gold makes the rules”
This society was not been built for your benefit but for the benefit of the rich.

The notion of democracy and the myth of the American dream were fabricated to keep the people hoping and somehow believing in a future they will never have.
The best you can do is make a living, maybe save some money for retirement and hope not to die before your savings run out.
My advice to you. Stop making a living it will only have you killed.

The easiest way to make a lot of money is to steal it.
The problem with that is that if you were not born rich, you are not allowed to steal and if you do you will end up in jail. Not a very good way to spend your life.

The second-best way to become financially independent is to employ your creativity.
What people do not understand is that you can do that right here and now.
If you want to build personal computers in your garage and sell them to millions of people or if you can make a painting and sell thousands of copies online, the principle is the same.

The scope and size of your enterprise may be different but the principle is the same:
You have to offer other people a product or service they want.

Do you have a passion, a talent something unique to offer to the society?
Then you have it. You are in business.
Have you ever heard of “Famous Amos” who became a millionaire by selling chocolate chip cookies?
Well, that’s the way you do it.
People believe you must have the next greatest invention, a revolutionary new product nobody has ever made. WRONG
People believe you must have a large amount of money and time to invest. WRONG.
People believe that you must have the business knowledge to run a business. WRONG again.

I used to work with a fellow named Mike. He started selling homemade candles as a side business.
I watched him starting from nothing.
He started by selling candles to his coworkers on special occasions like Valentine’s Day or Christmas.
I helped him setup his first online website.

He had no business plans, no ambition no grand expectations.
He just loved what he was doing and he kept on doing it.
He started by making a few dollars profit here and there and then a couple of hundreds every month.
He developed relationships with people and his little side business grew and grew.

Eventually, he had to cut his regular working hours in half to tend to his online business and then to quit his employment entirely and become self-employed.
I’m not saying that he is making a fortune in his new business but he is making a living doing what he loves. And that should be what all of us and our children should strive for.


Friday, August 18, 2017

The art of positive affirmations

 Spirituality without self-improvement is like sex without a woman; merely mental masturbation.
I know there are many “spiritual” people that cannot excel in any other endeavors and have embraced spirituality as a way of showing their superiority to the rest of us.
Pretty much like the “hype” people driving Ferraris on the 405 at 9 in the morning.

But not all people are in the spirituality just for the ego trip. Some of us are genuinely seeking the truth of human existence and the wisdom of overcoming our flaws and limitations.
I hope you are one of the seekers and we can share our knowledge and our journey experiences.

There are many school of thought on how to improve one self and way too many “sales” people trying to sell you the secret to personal enlightenment.
You can spend as much time and money as you want but before you do that let me give you a piece of advice: save your time and money, none of them works.
Trust me I already spend a lot of time and money on that path.

The reason none of the methods work is that unless you do it yourself nobody can do it for you.
Nobody can eat for you, sleep for you, learn for you or become enlightened for you.
So they may say “Yes that’s true but we can sell you the secret on how to do it”
That’s not true either. First there is no “secret” second each individual has a different let’s call it “operating system”

What works for some people doesn’t work for others and even for people that are very compatible psychological the individual life experiences sets us apart.
Let me give you an example: The old “carrots” and “sticks” approach.
Some people react better to “rewards” and some people react better to “threats”
But even if you take two people, let’s say that react well to rewards, they will not react the same depending on the type of reward used

Some people love money and will do anything to get it.
Some people don’t put that much value on money and will not do much to get it.
Some people like emotional reward, praises and acknowledgement while others couldn’t care less what other people think of them.

The point I am trying to make here is that nobody has the “technical manual” of you.
If you want to know how to improve yourself, you have to write your own manual.

I’ve been working for some times with “affirmations”
An affirmation is a short sentence stating an improved mental state you want to achieve.
The secret of positive affirmations is to state the “causal” mode of the “result” you want to achieve.
For example, you will not use an affirmation like “I am slim and in good physical shape” if you want to lose weight.
Instead you will use “I am eating healthy and exercise regularly”

The reason you do that is
1)      You cannot fix a symptom – being overweight is not a problem is the symptom
2)      You can only fix the problem – eating badly and not exercising
3)      By making the first affirmation you will only reinforce the bad habit because your affirmations don’t produce the desired results therefore you are telling yourself you cannot do it.

So you have to think of the area of your improvement in terms of “what can I do to get there”
Let’s do a little exercise. I don’t know what you want to accomplish so I chose an improvement task for you “You want to become mere successful with the ladies’
What is the programing you need to change, the affirmations you have to incorporate to your subconscious mind in order to be more successful in your romantic life?

Stop and write it down on a piece of paper.

If you wrote down things like
“Ladies find me irresistible / attractive”
“I am a chick magnet”
“I am always successful I picking up girls”
“I am good looking and desirable”
You can keep on watching the porn videos on the net.

If you wrote down things like
“I am confident”
“I am funny”
“I am relaxed in all circumstances”
“I am self-assured”
“I am always dressed impeccably”
“I am always clean and well groomed”
You know shit like that that women really like…  then you have got it, you have mastered the art of positive affirmations.

Now, to the fun part.
Sit down in front of your computer and write down your list of positive affirmations.
Print it and take the printed page to the bathroom. Fold the paper once and put it next to your tooth brush.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, every night after brushing your teeth you have to recite out loud the whole list looking into the mirror. It is OK to pick at the list but not OK to read it. You HAVE to look in the mirror.

Oh yes, just another minor thing I forgot to mention: You have to do this for at least 21 days. (For some reason the gurus have proclaimed that it takes 21 days for a habit to form)
And another thing: If you do it please let me know how it worked for you, will you?
Thank you and Namaste!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gender bender toilet offender

There are some essential differences between genders, some inherent pluses and minuses being a man or a woman.  I heard both sides complain and argue about the shortcomings of being one or another.
Personally, I like being a man. There are some nice perks coming with the gender.
One of the things I like having a penis is that allows me to use a urinal AKA man’s ability to pee standing.

For those not in the knowledge of this little secret, this is a short rundown.
You get into a bathroom, unzip your fly, pull the penis out, pee in the urinal, lovingly shake the foreword mention penis, put back in pants, zip, wash hands and go out on your merry way.
Fast and efficient, the manly way of doing things. Wham bam thank you, mam! If you know what I mean.

It doesn’t sound too much unless you have to go really bad and there is a queue at the bathroom door, which I’ve seen many times in front of a women’s rest room. As a man, the only time I recall having to wait in line was at concerts and sporting events.

So, I don’t understand why a man would want to use a women’s bathroom.
It doesn’t make any sense. It has no rhyme or reason.
Why give up the wonderful thing that is peeing standing and put up with setting a paper cover on the toilet or God forbid having to build your own but protection out of little pieces of toilet paper?

I thought hard about this and the two only reasonable answers I could come up with are:
1)      The man wants to pee all over the toilet seat. (We do it even when we try really hard to aim)
2)      The man wants to see some women or young girls using the bathroom.
Both of the answers thou should be enough reason to ban men from using women’s bathrooms.

The same argument goes for a woman wanting to use a men’s bathroom.
Why would a woman want to use a men’s bathroom, with the exception that women’s bathrooms are sometimes crowded, as I mentioned?
I’ve seen women waiting in line and sometimes ask permission to use the men’s bathroom and  I can proudly say that in every occasion men behaved with utmost respect and courtesy, making everything possible to be helpful.

So the only other argument I could come up with is that some women love to see naked men.
So to that I want to let them know that you don’t have to roam around men’s bathrooms you can go to any bar, find some drunk guys and they will be more than happy to help.

Of course, there is the transgender argument.
But peeing is not a matter of gender identity, it is a matter of plumbing.
You have a penis you pee standing. You have a vagina you pee sitting.
It doesn’t matter if you identify as a man. You can’t use a urinal. You may try it but I can assure you it will be messy.

So, there is a simple rule we can all use, even if you are sexually confused.
Look into your underwear and see what kind of plumbing you have. 
The day you’ll see a vagina there you may use the women’s bathroom.
Until then stick with the dickheads' crowd.

But I suspect that nobody will take my advice because this is not about gender identity or human equality. This I suspect has nothing to do with what we’ve discussed here.
Let’s look at the problem a different way. Let’s ask a different set of questions.

Was the government eradicated poverty, drug abuse, and violence? Have they solved the healthcare, education or environmental problems we are facing? Just to mention a few pressing problems we are facing.
The answer is NO. The government has no clue or intention on how to fix these problems.
So it is easy to see why given the opportunity to focus the population attention from the important problems of our country to issues like bathroom use, the government is more than happy to oblige.

The sad thing is that as the population is losing the sense of common sense and the average human attention span shrinks to that of a cat facing a red dot laser, we’ll see more and more of those absurd debacles happening.
Every freak looking for his or her 15 minutes of fame will come out of the woods demanding something and the government will be more than happy to make it into a political debate.

If you wonder where that will take us you should watch this little movie gem called “IDIOCRACY”



Monday, August 14, 2017

Failure and Success

People often complain about their failures in life but actually, there are no failures, only success.
What we define as failure or success is not set in stone it is actually very subjective.
It all depends on how you look at any given outcome.

You may say “I have failed in gaining financial independence.”
Or you may say “I have successfully remained poor all my life.”
You may say “I have failed to lose weight”
Or you may say “I successfully gain weight”

We are programmed, brainwashed by society into believing that certain outcomes are good or better than other, and we strive to fulfill that programming.
Is being rich better than being poor?
Is losing weight better than gaining weight?

There are studies done around the world measuring peoples “happiness” in relation to their “wealth”
It is funny but America the richest, most powerful country in the world, is not the number one.
Norway is considered the happiest country in the world.
Canada is on at number 7 while the United States is on the 14th place

So, what good is to be the richest most powerful country in the world?
Besides being the richest most powerful in the world.
Your standard of living is not the highest. Your health care system sucks.  Your school system is laughable.
You have the highest rates of divorce and obesity in the world.
And you are not doing very hot in any of other categories measuring the quality of life.

Success is not the answer to everything in life.
Sometimes failing is not only better but even required.
Like failing to win the rat race. Failing to stay 10 hours at work every day.
Failing to spend more than you actually earn and instead living a modest life within your limits.

So why are we so obsessed with success when it is pretty clear that success is not the best measure of our happiness?
It is because we have been conditioned to think and act so.
Our life is the result of our actions but our decisions are determined by what we believe, by what we’ve been told all our lives.

So. if you are not happy with your life so far, it is time to rethink your life “success” plan and maybe add a failure or two to the to do list, if that will make your life happier.
I know it is scary to think “Do I really want to have failure in my life?”
Why not?

Lose some battles from time to time. See how it feels.
You will be surprised on how it will make you feel but more surprising it will be the way the other people around you react. Especially when they figure out you have done it purposely.




Friday, August 11, 2017

A New Life Perspective

THE ILLUSION OF PERCEPTION
Perception is an illusion. It exists only in your mind.

What would you answer If I asked you if the object was big or small?
Of course, you will reply “What object? I have to see it first.”
No problem, here it is: Is the sphere in the picture big or small?

You don’t know. You don’t know because you believe that without any reference, without anything to compare it with you can’t make that determination.
Let me give you a hint: The sphere in the picture is 5 feet in diameter. So, is the sphere big or small?

You still cannot answer the question because perception is an illusion existing only in your mind.
Compared with the whole universe any object around us is smaller. 
Conversely all objects compared with the smallest existing thing a quantum, will be obviously bigger.
 So, size is a subjective thing that exists only in your mind.

The moral of the story: We live in an illusion created by the distortions of our perception.
Does that matter? Of course, it does. 
It matters as much as some people have dedicated their whole lives to the he awakening from the illusion of perception.

A METHAPHORE FOR LIFE
Life is a hill we climb

Imagine life as a hill, a beautiful grass covered, green hill.
When we are born, we are at the very bottom of the hill.
Then we start crawling. The land is still flat and going through life is easy almost effortless.
We look ahead at the hill. It looks immense almost endless.
From a distance. it looks beautiful and we are eager to go explore it.

As time goes by we get faster and faster. The journey is wondrous, we learn so much, we grow and most of all we enjoy every day at play. Occasionally we may hear something about the other side of the hill, the downhill side, but who cares about that? We are young and we feel immortal.

When we enter the school years the hill becomes a little steeper.
The school system we have devised for our children must crush all the creativity, curiosity and born enthusiasm in the name of social uniformity.
It is painfully tragic but we are too small to complain, or to better said to be listen to.

So, we keep on marching year after year till we get into our 20s.
It is college time and these are the happiest years of our life.
This is not a personal opinion. The scientists have actually made a study and find out that the happiest years of a person’s life re the 20s and the 60s.

It makes sense. You are at the very beginning of your adult life, everything is in front of you ready to be explored and conquered.
It is the time of your dreams to become true. It is the time of infinite possibilities, the times when all your roads are open in front of you.
So you continue climbing with renewed enthusiasm and energy.
You don’t know why you have to climb but everybody is telling you: “You must do it!”
They give you a vague explanation about being successful, which basically translates in having to make a lot of money in order to buy better, bigger and faster things than your peers.

But the slope is getting steeper, the pace is relentless and you cannot stop. You must keep up with the Johnsie’s.
You start to get tired, frustrated, depressed and you are starting to get a funny feeling that something is not quite right but you keep on climbing

You get married, you have some kids you buy a house, you buy a bigger house.
You start get promoted or maybe you start your own business.
You fight every day and eventually you get at the top of the hill.

Now you are in your 40s and from that vantage you can see both sides of the hill.
The journey downhill is not the easy reward they promised you.
The hill is steep and rocky and everybody is holding to the jagged rock for dear life.
You are getting old and you don’t have the stamina you once had. The journey doesn’t look that fun anymore.

So you have what we call “a midlife crisis”
You buy a sport car, date a younger woman get caught and go through a divorce.
You start seeing a shrink and get some chemical help.
Some that have amassed some money may sell out and move to a horse ranch in Montana.
Some not that rich may join a commune, grow organic food and sing Kumbaya around the camp fire.

But most of us pass that and go back to the rat race.
Those are the ones that are committed to do the right thing, to finish what we started.
We want to see our kids going through college, our mortgage paid and hopefully to see the finish line a well-deserved comfortable retirement.

We lick our wounds and fight our way every inch and eventually we enter our 60s.
The slope is not that steep anymore and the finish line is in the reach.
We have made it. The kids are on they own, we have paid all our debts, we are finally FREE!
And that would explain why so many voted for the 60s to be one of the happiest moments of their life.

And the rest is not that exciting. At the end of the hill there is a 6-foot-deep hole.

A NEW LIFE PERSPECTIVE

I am in that last leg of my journey and apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong.
I bought into the common perspective on life and ended up fighting rather than enjoying life.
Looking backwards now I relies that the two most important things in my life.  Two things that wave brought me happiness and fulfilment: Dreams and Freedom.

If I knew this 40 years ago, I wouldn’t have sold my dreams and my freedom for any price.
If I knew it, I would have fought for them cherish them and live my life with them.
But now at least I have something to leave to my children.

A new life perspective.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The algebra of spirituality

Looking back at my youth and all the years of education, I can safely say that I spent at last sixteen years studying mathematics.
I started with the simple arithmetic on the first grade and ended up with the calculus and spherical trigonometry in my college years.

After college, the most sophisticated mathematical problem I ever solved was something like: “If the house I want to buy is $633000.00 and I have $22000 saved in my banking account. How much more money do I have to save in order to have a 10% down payment?
Of course, I didn’t even have to calculate that myself. Any real-estate agent would have done it for me for free.

The point I am trying to make here is that after spending all this time and effort learning math I barely used any of that knowledge and I will probably never use it for the rest of my life.
At the same time after sixteen years of schooling I didn’t have the basic knowledge on how to handle the daily challenges of the adult life.

I started my adult life knowing calculus but not knowing the basics of managing my money or investing.
I could do trigonometry but I didn’t have the basic knowledge on how to have a healthy relationship or how to start a successful happy family.
All I needed to know in life I had to learn it the hard way, by trial and error.

The other day I pulled out of my library Master Dōgen Zenji, "Shobogenzo” and started reading through it because I wanted to write a short review of the book for my blog.
As I kept on reading I become more and more frustrated. The task was getting harder and harder every passing minute and in the end, I just gave up.
The only thing I could think of saying about the book was “You have to read it, you must read it if you are serious about practicing Zen”

I went back to my room and meditate for fifteen minutes. That cleared my mind and cheered me up.
I came back to my desk with one question in my mind.
“What is the most important thing, the wisdom that one can take out of this book and apply it to better himself and his life? And then the question exploded. “What part of my spiritual learning do I actually use in my daily life?”

I was astonished to figure out that like the math I learned in school my spiritual learning did not help very much in my daily life.
All my spiritual practice was the result of a trial and error process. In other words, everything I learn from books I had to change and adapt in order to make it work. But that was heresy and I fought that thought out of my mind but the thought just kept on coming back stronger and stronger.

How much of our spiritual learning do we actually use?

Looking at the state of our nation and our planet I think we are not using very much of it.
After all the planet is been in a continuous state of war in one part or another. Poverty and inequality, corruption and violence are the “normal” states of our nations. Bigotry, racism, chauvinism, prejudice and persecution are still alive and well even in this 21st century, not to mention the planet becoming every day more and more like a garbage dump.

US and US citizens pride themselves as Christian people and nation. Do we leave up to that name?
Are we practicing what we are preaching to the rest of the world?
And not only the Christians but all the rest of us.
How much of our spiritual learnings do we use in our daily life?
And most important Y?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Conversation with Dog

You are about to have an extraordinary experience. 
You are about to have a conversation with Dog. Yes, yes. I know… that’s not possible. You probably think (or have been thought) that’s not possible. One can talk to Dog, sure, but not with Dog. I mean, Dog is not going to talk back, right? 
At least not in the form of a regular, everyday kind of conversation!

That’s what I thought, too. Then this post happened to me. And I mean that literally.
This post was not written by me, it happened to me. And in your reading of it, it will happen to you, for we are all led to the truth for which we are ready.

In the spring of 2016 – it was around 15 February, as I recall – an extraordinary phenomenon occurred in my life. Dog began talking with you through me. Let me explain.

I was very unhappy during that period. It was almost deadline for taxes and I couldn’t figure out my medical deduction. Leaned over the keyboard, staring at the computer screen I almost spaced out, when I heard this voice behind me:
- Hey, you! Are you going to take me out, or what?

I turned around just to see Dog starring up at me. I thought it was only my overworked imagination playing tricks on me, so I turned back to the computer when the voice continued.
- Come on, you ungrateful human being, take me out and I’d let you pick up and carry my poop!

I turned to the Dog and asked in disbelief:
- Are you… talking to me?
- Yes of course! What do you think I’m talking to myself?
- But, dogs can’t really talk – I replied
- Of course, we can, we talk all the time… go ahead, ask me something.
- Sure, can you explain to me the unified theory of physics or how hydrogen cold fusion works? - I asked all excited.
- Nope!
- What about a cure for cancer or AIDS?
- Oh, come on man, what do you think, you are talking to God? I’m just a dog, what do I know?

I was really disappointed. All of my life I dreamed of talking to God. I dreamed of
finding out the answers to the most profound questions facing the human kind.
I dreamed of changing the course of history with my revelations, but talking to my dog?
What the hell do you ask a dog? Mmm… let me think.
- OK. I got one.
You know, when my wife and I are making love, why do you always have to come to the bed and stare at us? It is totally creepy and frankly, it ruins our mood each time.
- Because you guys are ab-so-lut-ely hilarious making love. Oh, oh, baby, who’s your daddy, oh, oh…
- And oh yeah, another thing! Why do you have to touch my butt?
Do you have any idea how wet and cold your nose is?
- Sorry man! It’s a dog thing. I can’t help it.
- And why are you talking with a Mexican accent?
- Well, I’m half Chihuahua, what do you expect a French poodle?

I thought to myself: OK, this is not happening to me. I am talking to Dog; maybe I should take a break after all. So I picked up the leash and said:
- OK, Dog lets go!
As we stepped into the cold refreshing air of the evening I found myself talking out loud.
- You know, I hope one day God will do the same thing and talk to me.
- No, he won’t. - Dog replied
- Why not?
- Because he can’t.
- Of course, he can. He is like, a million times more intelligent than you and I, and he can do whatever he wants.
- Oh really? Do you see that ant over there?
- Yeah, what about it?
- Well, you are about a million times more intelligent than it, why don’t you talk to it; maybe it can help you with your tax deductions. He, he, he…
- Well, I don’t think an ant can understand a human.
- Bingo! A human can’t understand God either. You see, to have a communication between two entities, you must first have a common ground of understanding, a common language. The least common the ground the more unlikely the communication would be.
You can understand when I am hungry, or scared or happy. I can understand about 1-2 hundred human words and a lot of your emotions and moods. You will have an even better communication with an animal closer to your level of intelligence but certainly, that communication would be worse if you would try to communicate with a more primitive form of life.
- I see… That explains a lot.

At that moment Dog saw a cat across the street and almost bolted out of its leash.
- The pussy man, the pussy! Let’s go get her, let me go!
- Hold it there, Rambo! You can’t go across the street.
- Why not, man? I’m a dog I’m supposed to chase the cats, don’t you know that?
- Yes, I know that but there is a truck coming and I don’t want you to get hurt.
- Oh, man, she’s gone now! What a waste… How would you like if your God would pull on your leash like that?
- Well actually, he does pull on my leash and yes, I don’t like it either.
- You mean you chase after pussy too?
- Well, I used to, before I got married.
- And God pulled your leash?
- Yep, but I was too stupid to understand.
- So what happened?
- Well, I got hit by the truck… a couple of times.
- That sounds really painful.
- Yep. It was, but that is what happens when you don’t understand why God is pulling your leash.
- Man, I’m glad you are keeping me on the leash. I wouldn’t like to be hit like that.
- No problem Dog. I do it because I love you.
- I love you too man!
- I knew that even before you started talking human. – I confessed
- And another thing, before we get back into the house. – I said.
- What?
- Can we, like, keep this conversation private and don’t tell anybody I’m actually talking to you?
- Arf, arf!
- That’s my Dog, good boy!


Friday, August 4, 2017

The Truth

I remember going to church as a child.
All dressed up in my Sunday garb and my uncomfortable “good” shoes, looking forward to wasting another perfect Sunday morning, listening to long boring sermons about going to hell or heaven, you know, the stick and carrot drill.
I always wonder why people wanted to go to heaven. Heaven looked to me like a dreadful place. It was like being condemned to go to church every day for the rest of eternity, and in that context going to hell did not seem to me that frightening.
So my grandparents had to bribe me every week to get me into the church.

So what is heaven?
What is that you work so hard to go to?
Have you ever thought what would your life in heaven be like on a daily basis?
I think this should be a very important question on every mortal’s agenda.
You don’t want to get stuck for the rest of the eternity in the wrong place.
Do you?

I once saw this Twilight Zone episode about a mob hit man that dies in a shoot out with the police. He wakes up in this empty room with this white bearded gentleman next to him.
-Where I am? How come I am not dead and why I don’t have any bullets wounds?
-You are not alive anymore – said the old man – you are quite dead.
-And who are you – asked the gangster
-Well, I am the man that it will grant you every wish.
- Is this some kind of trick?
- No, it is not a trick. This is very real. Go ahead give it a try.

So the gangster asks for a great meal and poof! He gets the best meal imaginable.
Then he asks for money and he gets all the money he wants. Then he asks for a beautiful dame, for two, three. He wants to win at every casino game and have the greatest cars and everything he could imagine. And he gets it.
After getting everything he wants he gets bored. He says to the old man:
-I don’t like this game anymore. I know that every dame will fall for me and I know that I will win every poker hand. It is not exciting anymore. I want to loose this time.
-No problem. Said the old man.
And he loses every hand now, but the gangster is still not pleased.
-This is not working! I know that I’m going to lose and it takes away all the fun.
I thought heaven was supposed to be fun!
-Who said this was heaven? Replies the old man.

Truth is the eternal joy of heavens.
In truth, the faithful shall wash his pain and suffering.
In truth, he shall wash his tears and sorrows.
In truth, the blessed one will find his justice and reward.
And the truth will be food and fortune for the hungry and poor.
Truth is the name of God
And the truth shall be his eternal reward.

Truth is the eternal flame of hell.
In his searing light, the wicked shall become blind.
In his thundering roar, his ears shall bleed.
In truth, his fortunes and fame shall turn into ashes.
In truth, his pleasures and joy shall turn into pain.

Truth is the name of God
And the truth shall be his eternal justice.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Poverty Excuse

You shouldn’t judge poverty unless you have experienced it.
Is like me trying to understand what is to be a woman or black or gay.
Your views are always distorted by your social conditioning and the only way to know reality is by direct experience.

But no matter what your background is and what your life experience has taught you, we still have a common bond, a common truth, and understanding and that is:
“The world is a reflection of who we are, of what we think and how we act.”

I was watching a video on YouTube about India and although the program was focusing on the Indian culture in general and Indian religious beliefs, in particular, I couldn’t not notice the backgrounds of the sites and scenes.
Sorry to say that but India is a filthy place.

Among the most beautiful natural settings and the most amazing architecture, there was always the presence of filth, decay, and neglect.
I know India is a poor country and I heard that excuse a hundred times in a hundred places, but poverty is not an excuse.

I was born and raised in a poor country, in a poor village.
The people of the village had maybe one set of “good” clothing they wore on Sundays to go to church or very special occasions.
Their daily clothing was patched until patching was no more possible and then the rags were turned into quilts or patches for other clothes.
But they were washed as soon they got dirty.

There were always flowers in the house and in the yard.
The roads were always clean. And people did their best with the little they had to make the village look as good as possible.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to pick up a piece of garbage from the sidewalk.
You don’t have to be rich to take a shower or wash your clothes.

And I heard the excuse that they are “lucky” if they have clean water to drink.
But I lived in a village and the water was always clean. The rivers and streams were always good to drink. The water doesn’t get filthy by itself, you know. So unless you live in Sahara or some other desert where water is scarce, I don’t buy that excuse either.

How can such a spiritual culture as India can be so obvious to such basic things like cleanliness and beauty?
Maybe spirituality is not what I think it is; an enlightened state of mind and being.
Maybe spirituality is just a superstition, a belief in supernatural and things we don’t understand.
Yet even that doesn’t explain it.

If you believe in God, in something superior, pure, and beautiful how can you not want to elevate yourself above your condition?
How come you not aspire for something better, for a better self and a better surrounding?

I think poverty is just a convenient excuse, a way to blame responsibility on somebody and something else.
You don’t need to be rich to have dignity and self-respect.
The only explanation I accept for our human condition is that of “spiritual poverty” which is not given but a choice.

If you can have a smart phone and you are not taking a shower you are filthy because you are filthy. What the world needs is not more money or more and better technology and gadgets.
What the world really badly needs is better people.