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Jul. 7th, 2007


I used a Haiku generator and got this gem:

have little to do
with one another the same
time i want a beer

Unfortunately I don't know how to include a link to the generator because the code it says to "just  copy into your journal" keeps not translating from html code.

Then I just started putting in the name of old journals of mine and got this for arjuna

wife is blonde so he
goes up to her and whispers
something in her ear

and for mrgodot

you back in time is
that you have no time or at
least a lot of ways

and that's all folks

On Buddhism

I went to a Meditation Workshop where there was a lecture and two meditation sessions. The lecture was on how we all wear rose colored glasses and see the world through a specific set of preceptions. When we encounter a situation we think the situation causes us to feel a certain way when in fact it is outselves who are feeling that way. Negative situations cause negative feelings we think. But actually these feelings arise from within and it is the way we perceive the situation that must be recified. We think that the situation must be rectified but actually it is ourselves who must be changed. We can then see the situation in a positive light because we think positive thoughts. There is a chain of thought that arises within us and we must follow that road towards a goal of enlightenment. We can plan our mental roads just as we plan our physical roads and travels. It reminded me of a philosophical dilemma that was presented in "The Pig that Wants to be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher" by Julian Baggini. It goes like this:

"Epiphenia was a remarkable planet. So like Earth in appearance and yet its inhabitants were different in one remarkable way. As one of them, Huxley, explained to the visiting Earthling, Dirk, the Epiphens had long ago discovered that their thoughts did not affect their actions. Thoughts were the effects of the bodily processes, not the other way around. Dirk found this baffling. "You can't really believe this," he protested to Huxley. "For instance, when we met in this bar, you said "Gee, I could kill for a a beer" and ordered one. Are you saying that the thought "I want a beer" had no effect on your actions?" "Of course it didn't" replied Huxley..."We have thoughts and these often procede actions But we know full well that these thoughts aren't causing the actions. My body and brain were already gearing up to order a beer. The thought "i could kill for a beer" was just something that popped into my head as a result of what was happening in the physical brain and body. Thoughts don't cause actions."

This interesting dillema reminds me of the satsung or lecture today. It makes me reflect on the fact that I have thoughts and that there are events taking place outside of my control but that these thoughts and these actions are not causually related. We think that a pleasant experience causes pleasant thoughts and we try to recreate these experiences in order to recreate these pleasant thoughts but actually it is within us that these thoughts can be recreated. We can recreate these thoughts by simply acknowledging the pleasant feelings within us. Similarly, in the case of this thought experiment, our thoughts and our actions have little to do with one another.

At the same time I want to separate the two examples. The lecuture had to do with changing your mind so you can experience pleasant thoughts. This above thought experiment has to do with separating your thoughts from your actions. They are two different comments on our inner experiences. But they are related.

In the above thought experiment, you can see that the person Huxley has realized the next step. That his thoughts are a result of complex physical phenomena happening within him. The way I connect the two is by saying "we can direct our thoughts and our actions simply by meditatiing on the good and God". We change ourselves in this way and therefore our actions.

Like in the lecture I realized that it is not our surroundings that must change but our inner minds. Likewise it is not our thoughts that must change but our actions. By changing our actions we can change our thoughts and by changing out thoughts we can change our inner experiences and move towards happiness. 

Cross posted to www.mistervijay.com/newblog Please leave comments there!


So I'm thinking about getting a tattoo. Here's the design I'm thinking about getting:

I'm debating between getting it done at islandtattoosiny.com and anilgupta.com I haven't visited anil yet but I might do so just to "shop around" and see how much he charges. I hear he's expensive. Right now I'm getting it drawn at Island Tattoo and have asked the person there (Oogie) to draw me a version of the picture.

What do you guys think?





I'm starting a blog there on poetry and I have all my poetry posted there.

Mar. 2nd, 2007

I'm pretty sure I passed the comprehensive exams. I've not officially passed but it was a pretty easy exam and the chances of me failing are slim to none I think. I knew the answer and was able to write the essays fairly easily. I am now master of all things library.

a trivial matter

We were playing trivial pursuit tonight and one of the questions was "What condition (or other phrase, I don't remember exactly)  does a person who a shrink terms a "trenchcoat" have?"

One of the players motioned to indicate that the patient would flash and said "Flashing" or something along those lines. The point is he indicated and said the patient is a flasher.

The answer was "Exhibitionism". Two players hotly contested the answer of flashing saying flashing is not the same as exhibitionism. After much argument we got a dictionary and it seemed to defend the idea that flashing is an acceptable answer. It went from a friendly debate to an all out argument. Two people were ready to leave. Finally, to cut to the chase, it was argued and argued and no one could agree. I want to know what you think.

Also, I commented that it is a virtue to hold one's temper and argue a point without being heated. One neutral party said "I wouldn't go that far" saying that some people get heated and it's okay. Personally I think it's wrong to become confrontational in that manner especially in a friendly board game argument. What do you think?

check it out.

check it out.


My best friend allan has his own blog and is currently in Italy trying to sell his art. You'll see his art and what he's trying to do in his blog so go ahead and give him some comments!

When No One Wins

Private Sacks was about to do a terrible thing. He had been ordered to first rape and then murder the prisoner, whom he knew to be no more than an innocent civilian from the wrong ethnic background. There was no doubt in his mind that this would be a gross injustice -- a war crime, in fact.

Yet quickly thinking it over he felt he had no choice but to go ahead. If he obeyed the order, he could make the ordeal as bearable as possible for the victim, making sure she suffered no more than was necessary. If he did not obey the order, he himself would be shot and the prisoner would still be violated and killed, but probably more violently. It was better for everyone if he went ahead.

His reasoning seemed clear anough, but of course it gave him no peace of mind. How could it be that he was going to do the best he could in the circumstances and also do a terrible wrong?

From "The Pig That Wants to be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher".

The Trickster God

Over the weekend I went to Virginia to visit a friend of mine. While there I bought  "The Pig That wants to be Eaten: 100 experiments for the armchair philosopher". http://www.amazon.com/Pig-That-Wants-Eaten-Experiments/dp/0452287448/sr=8-1/qid=1167971821/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-4102507-0562267?ie=UTF8&s=books

Here is one of them. Please feel free to give your opinions on it.

The evil demon

Is anything so self-evident that it cannot be doubted? Is it not possible that our lives are no more than dreams, or that the world is just a figment of our imaginations? Outlandish though these notions are, the mere fact that they are conceivable shows that the reality of the physical world can be doubted.

There are other ideas, however, which seem to be so clear and self evident that they must be true. For instance, whether you are awake or asleep, two plus two makes four. A triangle must have three sides, whether the world, real or imaginary, contains triangles or not. 

But what if God or some powerful, malicious demon is tricking you? Couldn't duch an evil spirit fool you into believing that the false is obviously true? Haven't we seen hypotists make people count to ten, unaware that they have missed out the number seven? And what of a man who, in a dream, hears four strikes of the clock bell and finds himself thinking "How odd. The clock has struck one four times."

If the evil demon is a possibility is there anything which is beyond doubt?

Source: The first meditation from Meditations by Rene Descartes