Archive for November, 2005

Look around and you will see

November 20, 2005

Taoism says, acceptance will be followed by transformation, but do not make acceptance a technique for transformation. It is not! Do not long for transformation — only then does transformation happen. If you desire it, your very desire is the hindrance. Then there is no question of what indulgence is and what repression is.
This question comes to the mind only because you are not ready to accept the whole. Accept it! Let it be indulgence and accept it! If you accept it, you will be thrown to the middle. Or let it be repression and accept it! If there is acceptance, you will be thrown to the middle. Through acceptance you cannot remain with the extreme. `Extreme’ means denial of something – accepting something and denying something. `Extreme’ means being for something and against something. The moment you accept whatsoever is the case you will be thrown to the middle, you will not remain with the extreme.
So forget any intellectual understanding of what repression is and what indulgence is. It is nonsense and it will not lead you anywhere. Just accept, wherever you are. If you are in indulgence, accept it. Why be afraid of it?
But there is a problem. If you are in indulgence, you can remain in indulgence only if you are simultaneously trying to transcend it. That gives a good feeling to the ego: you can feel good and you can postpone. You know this is not going to be forever. You feel, “Today I am indulgent, but tomorrow I will be beyond it.” The tomorrow helps you to be in indulgence today. You know that “Today I am drinking alcohol or smoking, but this is not going to be for all my life. I know this is bad, and tomorrow I am going to leave it.”
That hope for tomorrow helps you to indulge today, and that is a good trick. Those who want to indulge, they must have great ideals. Those ideals give you opportunity. Then you need not feel very guilty about whatsoever you are doing because in the future everything is going to be okay; this is just for the moment. This is a trick of the mind. So those who indulge, they always talk of non-indulgence. Those who indulge, they go to the masters, who are against it. And you can see a deep relationship…
If you are after riches, money, power, you will always worship someone who is against riches – the ascetic. One who has renounced will be your ideal. A rich society can worship and respect only one who has renounced riches. Look around and you will see. If you are indulging in sex, you must respect a person who has gone beyond it, who has become a brahmachari – a celibate. You will worship him. He is the ideal; he is your future. You are thinking that someday you are going to be like this man. You worship him. And if one day some rumor comes to you that he is indulging in sex, the respect is gone, because you cannot respect yourself.

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to come out or not?

November 19, 2005

We pursue that which retreats from us. Never do anything for wrong reasons — because so many people have done something, because your friends have done something, “There must be something in it — why so many people are attracted.” These are all wrong reasons. Murphy says: Nothing is ever done for the right reasons. He is right in almost ninety-nine point nine percent cases: nothing is ever done for the right reasons. People go on doing things for wrong reasons and then they complain that their life is miserable; it is bound to be so. They are responsible for it; nobody else is responsible for it. Do things always for the right reasons. And the right reasons always come from your heart, not from your head. Murphy also says: No matter where you go, there you are, so one should not be in a hurry. Don’t be impatient. Either way you will be a loser. There is a season, a right season, when things happen easily, when you need not do them, when they simply happen; you are only a witness to the fact that they are happening. Just as the snake leaves the old skin one day, slips out of it — it did not make the decision; the time had come. One day the child is born out of the womb; nine months are over. It is not a decision on the child’s part that “Now is the time for me to be born.” Spring comes, and flowers and flowers… the whole earth rejoices. When it comes from your heart there is no alternative, there is no either/or; it is not philosophy. Soren Kierkegaard has written one beautiful book; the name of the book is EITHER/OR. And it is not only the name of the book, his whole life can be called an experiment in either/or. In his whole life he was never decisive — always thinking whether to do it or not to do it. For years a woman waited for him and he was unable to decide whether to marry her or not to marry her. He pondered and pondered, he consulted encyclopaedias, great treatises on marriage and love, took many notes for and against, weighed it this way and that, but could not come to a conclusion. All the arguments came out almost equal. Much could be said for, much could be said against, and it was so equally balanced — how to decide? Tired, the woman married somebody else. And this was his whole life: about everything he went on pondering and pondering; he never could do anything If death had also been a question to be decided by him he would not have died yet; he would be sitting in Copenhagen and pondering over death. If birth had been a question of a decision on his part he would have never been born; he would have pondered and pondered in the mother’s womb, sitting there — to come out or not? His approach, this stupid approach towards life, became so famous that when he used to pass down the streets — only once a month; he had to go to the bank to draw some money…. His father, seeing his son and his inability to decide about everything, had deposited some money in his name because it was absolutely certain he would not be able to do anything in his life. A good offer had come for a professorship; he pondered so long that the university decided to appoint somebody else. So he lived in a very poor way, because the money in the bank was limited — that was his only money, and he had to live his whole life on that money. Once every month, the first day of the month, he would go to the bank to withdraw a small sum of money and come back home. Even going to the bank he would ponder whether to go this way or that. He would stand at the crossroads for hours-and not just once, it was an every-month affair, and every month he had to decide again and again. His approach became so famous that urchins used to follow him from his house to the bank and from the bank to the house, calling behind him, “Either/Or, Either/Or, Either/Or!” Copenhagen knew him not by his name, Soren Kierkegaard, his name became Either/Or.

Die Erschaffung eines Gottes

November 16, 2005

Die „Band of Electricizers” war eine Bruderschaft menschenfreundlicher Seelen, unter der Führung von Benjamin Franklin, die sich der Aufgabe widmete, die menschliche Rasse mittels fortschrittlicher Technologie zu einer höheren Seins-Ebene zu erheben. Es gab noch mehr solcher Gruppen, die alle ihren eigenen medialen Repräsentanten besaßen, der die Pläne des Seelenbundes verkündete. Die Electricizers begannen durch John Murray Spear zu sprechen und übertrugen ihm “Enthüllungen” aller Art, die von einer Warnung davor, sich das Haar auf dem Hinterkopf zu locken (schlecht für das Gedächtnis), bis zu Plänen für elektrische Schiffe, Denkmaschinen und gewaltige kreisförmige Städte reichten. Die erste und zugleich wichtigste Aufgabe jedoch würde die Konstruktion eines neuen universalen Messias sein, der neues Leben und Kraft in alles, ob lebendig und leblos, einflößen würde. Spear – oder die Electricizer – wählten High Rock als den Ort, um ihn zu bauen. High Rock ist ein 52 Meter hoher Berg in Lynn (U.S.A.), nördlich von Boston. Lynn ist heute ein armer Ort mit hoher Arbeitslosenquote, damals war er jedoch sehr bekannt für seine Schuhproduktion. Um den Ort häuften sich außerdem mysteriöse Geschichten von Seeschlangen, Hexerei und Fällen spontaner Selbstentzündung. Der Spiritualismus erfreute sich in Lynn großer Beliebtheit und seine größten Anhänger besaßen eine Hütte und einen Observationsturm auf dem Berg, an dem Spear sein Bauwerk errichten wollte. Die High Rock Hütte gehörte den Hutchinsons, die ebenfalls Spiritualisten und Reformatoren waren. Die Hütte war ein beliebtes Ziel für Besucher, besonders nach 1852, als Andrew Jackson Davis vom Turm aus ein Treffen des Spirituellen Kongresses bezeugte, bei dem ihm persönlich 24 körperlose Vertreter von verschiedenen Nationen vorgestellt wurden. Spear lernte die Hutchinsons kennen, als er noch ein Pfarrer in Boston war, wo er ihnen erlaubte, in seiner Kirche für ihre professionelle Gesangskarriere zu proben. Spear bekam eine Holzhütte zur Verfügung gestellt, in der die Arbeit an dem „physischen Retter” im Oktober 1853 begann. Bei seiner Arbeit wurde Spear außerdem von einigen Menschen unterstützt. Darunter waren Pfarrer S.C. Hewitt, der Herausgeber der spiritualistischen Zeitschrift „New Era”, Alonzo E. Newton, Herausgeber des „New England Spiritualist” und eine Frau, die “the Mary of the New Dispensation” genannt wurde – ihre Identität wurde jedoch niemals geklärt. Die Belebung des Messias war ein vierstufiger Prozess, der mit der Begebung Spears in einen “höheren Zustand” begann, um die Pläne der Electricizers zu erhalten und zu übermitteln. Die eigentliche Erbauung dauerte ganze neun Monate, in denen Spear über 200 “Offenbarungen” erhielt, die detaillierte Instruktionen über das benötigte Material und die Form und Zusammensetzung bestimmter Teile enthielten. Die Gruppe besaß keinen fertigen Bauplan, an den sie sich hielten, sondern fügte ihrer Erfindung ein Teil nach dem anderen hinzu, wie bei dem Schmücken eines Weihnachtsbaumes. Spears totale Unwissenheit von Wissenschaft und Technik wurde als Vorteil angesehen, da die Pläne der Electricizers so unverändert und ohne persönliche Interpretation ausgeführt werden konnten. Die Teile wurden sorgsam aus Kupfer und Zink angefertigt und erreichten einen Gesamtsumme von 2000 EUR. (Ein gut verdienender Pfarrer bekam damals etwa 60 EUR pro Woche). Es gibt keine Bilder von der neuen bewegenden Kraft, jedoch war es offenbar beindruckend, auf einem großen Esstisch gesessen zu haben. „Vom Mittelpunkt des Tisches erhoben sich zwei metallene Ständer, die am oberen Ende durch einen Wellenantrieb miteinander verbunden waren. Der Wellenantrieb bewegte einen querlaufenden Stahlarm, von dessen Gliedmaßen zwei lange Stahlplatten hingen, die mit Magneten bestückt waren. Unter diesen Stahlplatten befand sich eine sehr seltsam konstruierte Vorrichtung, eine Art ovale Plattform, die aus einer seltsam angeordneten Zusammenstellung von Magneten und Metallen bestand. Direkt dort drüber hingen einige Zink- und Kupferplatten, abwechselnd angeordnet, die als Schnittstelle zum Gehirn gedacht waren. Diese Platten waren mit langen und großen Drähten versehen, die hoch in die Luft ragten und Energie direkt aus der Atmosphäre ziehen sollten. In Kombination mit diesen Hauptbestandteilen, waren noch zahlreiche weitere Komponenten, wie Metallstangen, Platten, Kabeln, Magneten, isolierende Substanzen, chemische Stoffe, etc. verarbeitet. Eine positive, sowie eine negative Verbindung des rechten und des linken Beines mit der Erde war ebenfalls vorhanden.” Zusätzlich war der Motor mit einer mechanischen Vorrichtung zum Ein- und Ausatmen ausgestattet. Ein großes Schwungrad gab dem Motor ein fachgerechtes Aussehen. Dies war jedoch nur ein funktionierendes Modell. Die Endversion würde sehr viel größer sein und zehn mal soviel kosten. Der Metallkörper wurde dann mit einer elektrischen Maschine leicht aufgeladen, was eine geringe Vibration und Bewegung der Konstruktion verursachte. Danach wurde der Motor sorgsam ausgewählten Menschen präsentiert, die nacheinander in die Nähe des Motors gebracht wurden, um die Vibrationen zu verstärken. Nun erschien Spear, umhüllt von einer aufwendigen Metallkonstruktion und begab sich in die Nähe des Maschine. Für eine Stunde lang begab er sich in tiefe Trance, die ihn erschöpfte und nach Aussagen eines Zeugen „eine Art Lichtstrom” zwischen Spear und der Maschine erzeugte. Zur gleichen Zeit zeigte Spears Freundin und Helferin “New Mary” Symptome von Schwangerschaft. Die Seelen beauftragten sie am 29 Juni 1854 für die letzte Phase des Experimentes am High Rock zu erscheinen. Am benannten Tag erschien sie dort und legte sich vor der Maschine für zwei Stunden auf den Boden, wobei sie heftige Schmerzen ertragen musste. Als die Schmerzen verschwanden, stand sie auf, berührte die Maschine und sie zeigte Zeichen von…irgendetwas. Was genau geschah ist nicht klar; Spear behauptete, dass sich die Maschine für ein paar Sekunden lang bewegte. Spear rief nun die Ankunft des neuen Messias aus und die Zeitschrift „New Era” berichtete zügellos: “THE THING MOVES”. Die Bewegungen der Maschine blieben schwach, doch dies wurde dem Umstand zugeschrieben, dass es sich bei dem neuen heiligen Wesen um einen Neugeborenen handele. New Mary begann es mit mütterlicher Liebe zu versorgen, während es an Stärke zunahm. Es ist schwer zu sagen, was das genau beinhaltete. Trotz der Schlagzeilen, waren Besucher von High Rock unbeeindruckt. J.H. Robinson machte in einem Brief an den „Spiritual Telegraph” darauf aufmerksam, dass der “Neue Messias” noch nicht einmal eine Kaffeemühle drehen könne. A.E. Newton räumte ein, dass er niemals mehr als eine leichte Bewegung sah, die er an einer der hängenden Metallbälle ausmachte. Andrew Jackson Davis schrieb eine lange und ausführliche Kritik zu dem ganzen Projekt. Obwohl er Spear als einen Mann beschrieb, der mit seinem ganzen Herzen gute Dinge täte, wies er darauf hin, dass Spear seine Antriebe für die Seelenanweisungen möglicherweise falsch verstanden haben könnte, oder dass er von verantwortungslosen Kräften hinters Licht geführt wurde. Davis war jedoch davon überzeugt, dass höhere Mächte verwickelt waren, da Spears intellektuell unfähig gewesen wäre, solch ein wissenschaftliches Konstrukt zu bauen. Er lobte außerdem die exzellente Verarbeitung und Konstruktion des Messias; „es bewegte sich nicht, aber es war wunderschön zusammengebaut,” so Davis. Spear schlug vor, dass vielleicht eine Veränderung der Luftverhältnisse die Maschine mit einem energiereicheren Umfeld versorgen könnte. So wurde der Messias demontiert und nach Randolph, New York (U.S.A.) gebracht, wo sich Spear bessere Verhältnisse erhoffte. In Randolph wurde der Messias vorläufig in ein Lagerhaus gebracht, jedoch brach dort ein Menschenaufstand ein, der die Maschine komplett zerstörte. Nichts davon blieb übrig. Das Spears High Rock Experiment war mit Sicherheit sehr exzentrisch, aber es war auch charakteristisch für die Zeitperiode. Neue Technologien veränderten des 19. Jahrhundert grundlegend und bewirkten Industrialisierung, Verstädterung und den Aufstieg einer Vermögens- und Mittelschicht, deren Werte dominant wurden. Spear glaubte, dass Technologie die stärkste Kraft dieser Zeitperiode wäre. Durch sie erhoffte er sich den Durchbruch auf allen Bereichen des Lebens und des Nachlebens. Spear arbeitete den Rest seines Lebens als Sprecher für den Spirituellen Kongress. Als die Seelen begannen, freie Liebe zu predigen, zeugte er mit Caroline Hinckley ein Kind. Auf einer anschließenden sechsjährigen Reise quer durch England hielt er Vorträge und veranstaltete Séances. Jedoch war er von dem Mangel an Interesse vieler Spiritualisten an radikaler Politik enttäuscht. Spear ließ sich letztendlich in Kalifornien nieder und setzte sich bis zu seinem Lebensende für die Rechte der Frauen ein. Er starb im Oktober 1887 in Philadelphia und ist im Mt. Moriah Friedhof begraben. Hat wirklich ein Menschenaufstand den Messias in Randolph zerstört? Dies würde fraglos ein dramatischer Ausgang für die Geschichte sein. Spears Darstellung wurde am 27. Oktober 1854 in den „Lynn News” veröffentlicht, doch ist er glaubwürdig? Viele stellten seine Vernunft in Frage, aber keiner schien jemals seine Integrität angezweifelt zu haben. Es ist umstritten, ob an der Randolph Geschichte etwas dran ist, da es keine unabhängigen Bestätigungen von Spears Aussagen gibt. Randolph Historiker Marlynn Olson durchsuchte zeitgenössische Quellen und fand nichts. Im Jahre 1854 gab es in Cattaraugus County, New York (U.S.A.) zwei Zeitungen, von denen keine Spear, einen Aufstand oder einen mechanischen Messias erwähnte. Auch keine bekannten Briefe oder Tagebücher erwähnen den Vorfall. „Ich glaube”, so Olson, „dass das ganze ein Hirngespinst von J.M. Spear war.” Vielleicht wurde die Maschine, wie so viele andere fehlgeschlagene Experimente, einfach in einem Teich versenkt oder im Wald vergraben. Wenn der Messias nicht verschwunden wäre, hätten die vergangenen 147 Jahre mit Sicherheit ein positiveres Licht auf die Maschine und seinen Erbauer geworfen. Und auch wenn Spear als Medium ein Versager war, die Maschine, die er erbaute, war einzigartig und ein beispielloses Vorzeigeobjekt für die Kunst des 19. Jahrhunderts.

the honor of the family was at stake

November 13, 2005

An ancient tradition in India is called suttee. The word suttee means the woman who dies sits on the funeral pyre, alive, with her dead husband. The word suttee means truthfulness. Sut means “truth,” also “being”; suttee means “who has a true being — whose being is of truthfulness.” She has loved the person so deeply that she has become identified with his life; there is no point in her living. But after the British Raj the suttee tradition was declared illegal. To the Western eye it looked almost like committing suicide; literally it was so. And for almost ninety-nine percent of women who became suttees it was nothing but suicide. But for one percent it was not suicide. For one percent, to live without the person whom they had loved totally and from whom they had never thought for a single moment to be separated, living was suicide. But law is blind and cannot make such fine distinctions. What Britishers saw was certainly ugly and had to be stopped. The one percent went on the funeral pyre of their own accord. But it became such a respectable thing that any woman who was not willing to do it… and it was really a very dangerous, torturous way of dying — just entering the funeral pyre alive! Ninety-nine percent were not willing to do it but their families, their relatives felt awkward because this meant the woman never loved the man totally. It would be a condemnation of the whole family: the honor of the family was at stake. So what these people did was they forced the woman; and a certain climate was created in which you would not be able to discover that the woman was being forced. She was of course in a terrible state, in a great shock. She was taken to the funeral pyre and on the funeral pyre so much ghee, purified butter, was poured that there was a cloud of smoke all over the place; you could not see what is happening. Around that cloud there were hundreds of brahmins loudly chanting Sanskrit sutras, and behind the brahmins there was a big band with all kinds of instruments making as much noise as possible — so to hear the woman screaming or crying or trying to get out of the funeral pyre was impossible. Around the funeral pyre the brahmins were standing with burning torches to push the woman back in. When Britishers saw this — this was certainly not only suicide but murder too. In fact, it was murder; the woman was not willing. The whole atmosphere was created so that you could not hear her screams, you could not see that she was trying to escape — everybody else was out of the circles of brahmins. When Britishers found out that this was something criminal and ugly, they made it illegal: if any woman tried it and was found out and caught alive, she would be sentenced for her whole life. And anybody who persuaded her — the family, the priests, the neighbors — they were also partners in the crime and they would also be punished according to whatsoever part they had played in it. So the institution slowly slowly disappeared; it had to disappear.

a philosopher is bound to be a crank

November 12, 2005

CAN YOU SORT OUT THE BIG PEAS, THE SMALL PEAS, AND THE MIDDLE PEAS?
In the second world war, one of the German professors of philosophy was recruited into the army. He was not willing, but you know, Germany is Germany: willing or not willing…. From higher up orders were that everybody had to be recruited, the whole of Germany had to become a military camp; only then can you conquer the world.
The poor philosopher said many times, “I am of no use,” but nobody listened to him. The first day, early in the morning, he was to learn marching, and the colonel ordered, “Left turn,” but he remained standing still. Everybody else turned left.
The colonel knew that he was a philosopher, was bound to be a crank. He could not even turn left. But the colonel thought, “I will see him later on.” Then he went on saying, “Turn right… backward… forward…” and the philosopher just remained standing in his place, as he was. Finally, the line came back to its old position. The colonel asked the professor, “Why didn’t you follow the orders?”
The professor said, “What is the point? If all these people, after all these left turns and right turns and backwards and forwards, have to come to the same place where I am already standing, I don’t see the point. And as far as I am concerned, I cannot do anything unless I have a reason to do it. You simply said, ‘Left turn.’ I thought it over. I could not find any reason why — why should I turn left? In the whole world there is no reason for me to turn left, or right, or go back, or come forward. This is all stupid!”
The colonel reported to the higher authorities, and they said, “What to do with this man?… because he cannot be trained if he asks about everything, ‘Why?'” In the army you are not supposed to ask why.
The general knew about the professor; he was a famous man. He said, “Don’t torture that poor man. Put him in the mess and give him some small work.”
So he was put in the mess, and given some small work. He was given a pile of peas and told, “You have to sort it out: small peas on one side, big peas on the other side.”
After one and a half hours, the officer came back. The professor was sitting exactly as he left him, and the peas were also sitting exactly as he had left them. The officer asked, “What is the matter? Can’t you do even that?”
The professor said, “It is such a philosophical matter. I have been pondering over it for one and a half hours. It is good — big peas on this side, small peas on this side. But what about the middle ones? And unless I am clear about everything, I don’t take a single step!”

About the Early Taosi period (4300 to 4100 BP)

November 5, 2005

From the 9 tombs of chiefs (perhaps the kings) of the Early Taosi period, were found a number of distinctive ritual objects, such as the ceramic plate with painted dragon design, ceramic drums, drums with crocodile skin made membrane, chime stones, ceremonial wooden wares, jade and stone axes, which might indicate the emergence of a kingdom. From 1999 to 2001, archaeologists found a gigantic rammed-clay- enclosure of the Middle Taosi period (4,100 to 4,000 BP). Rectangular in form with an inner area of 280 ha, it makes the Taosi site the largest walled-town in prehistoric China. In 2002, the archaeological work at Taosi was involved into the Settlement Pattern and Social Transformation project, a sub-project of the Initial Research on Chinese Civilization project. The fieldwork has discovered the rammed clay enclosure of the Early Taosi period (4300 to 4100 BP), palace area, aristocratic cemetery, and storage area. From 2003 to 2004, archaeologists unearthed a Middle Taosi period semi-round foundation just beside southern wall of the Middle Taosi enclosure. It consists of an outer semi-ring-shaped path and a semi-round rammed- earth platform. The platform can be reconstructed as a three-level altar. The outer first level is crescent in shape and 23 to 30 m to the center of the altar. The second level in the middle is semi-ring in shape and 19 to 21 m from the center. The third level or the top of the altar is semi-round in shape and around 13 m from the center. An arch-shaped rammed earth foundation facing the east with 12 slots were discovered on the top of the altar. Certain features of the slots indicate that stone or wooden posts in rectangle or trapeziform shape might have been erected on the rammed earth foundation with slots between them. Standing in the center of the altar and watching through the slots, one can find that most of slots respectively orientate to a given point of the Chongfen Mountain to the east. Therefore, a reasonable inference is that the slots might have been intentionally constructed in for astronomic observation of the sunrise on a particular point in a given day in order to establish the local solar calendar which is crucial for the practice of agriculture at that time. In other words, the altar is an observatory. The latest discovery of the original observation point at the core of the altar further proves our previous inference. It is a round pit with one round rammed earth core and two rings of rammed earth surrounding the core. Standing in the center of the altar and watching through the slots, one can find that most of slots respectively orientate to a given point of the Chongfen Mountain to the east. Therefore, a reasonable inference is that the slots might have been intentionally constructed in for astronomic observation of the sunrise on a particular point in a given day in order to establish the local solar calendar which is crucial for the practice of agriculture at that time. In other words, the altar is an observatory.