Monthly Archives: June 2009

Michael Jackson RIP


Michael Jackson is now dead.

I’ve never been a huge Michael Jackson fan. When he was huge, I was listening to rock, punk or metal and allergic to admitting to appreciate anything too broadly popular.

And I’ll even admit that part of my sadness at his demise is now we’ll never get to witness the plastic surgery disaster that is Michael Jackson at age 90.

But when it comes down to it, I do have to admit the man had a genius for pop music. I may find it in myself to appreciate it now.

But what really gets me about Michael Jackson is the tragedy of his life. He was -is- the King of pop, but Michael Jackson never really was able to appreciate it. He was too busy worrying that his nose was too big, that someone would discover the truth of his sexuality – perhaps he even worried that he wasn’t white or looked like Speed Racer.

Hey, my nose is broad -very broad for a white guy, and I’m homosexual too. I have a fat mole on my right jaw, I’m short at 5’4″, I’m bald. And you know what? I’m okay with all of that. I’m HOT because of all those things – and people are diverse enough I can find a hot partner that agrees with me!

And that’s Michael Jackson’s gift to us: the example of exactly why it’s important to love yourself exactly as you are, and what can happen if you do not. Because you can’t love another, not for real, unless you love yourself first. Because all the success in the world, means nothing – absolutely nothing, if you don’t love yourself enough to appreciate it.

It is tragic Michael Jackson may have never found in himself the capacity to accept and love himself. You who read this, do you love yourself? Can you accept everything you are? This is the prerequisite to real success in life. Look to the life of Michael Jackson if you want to know what could happen if you never find the capacity to love yourself as you are.

Some readers, envious of Michael Jackson’s talent and ‘success’ might not get it. But this is also the reason why magic can be dangerous for some people. If you don’t love yourself there is no such thing as success that you can appreciate subjectively. And magically, if you you don’t love yourself, you may destroy yourself.

MICHAEL JACKSON R.I.P

Smoker Obama signs anti-smoking bill

The President today signs anti-smoking legislation. No more candy flavoured cigarettes with promises of low tar and nicotine (What’s the point when it’s proven smokers of such cigarettes consume as much tar and nicotine as smokers of other cigarettes. No more marketing to kids.

http://voices.kansascity.com/node/4885

The anti Obama backlash has folks suggesting we have the right to harm ourselves, which I agree with -but to be consistent the person with that point of view should also be gung ho for the decriminalization of other mostly but not entirely harmless drugs like marijuana, cocaine and exstacy.

The bit about not marketing to children is going to be interesting – there’s no better marketing to a child than the statement “you must be over 18”.

I wonder if the flavour ban is going to knock out clove cigarettes which were trendy once, or menthol cigarettes – which are very broadly popular (partly because they are less objectionable to smoke for some folks).

The curse of cigarette addiction can be a blessing in a way…?

You may have not had much to deal with in life to give you personal strength or character. Yes, it’s terrible stuff , poverty, disability, abuse and so forth. But those are the things that give a person strength and character if they prevail despite them. Those people born into happy loving families, that were popular in school and never faced personal tragedy – It’s so much harder to know you can prevail in life if you’ve never prevailed against anything else.

But anyone can get addicted to tobacco. And, get this – the addiction is hard core!. People strung out on heroin – it’s easier to beat a heroin addiction than a tobacco addiction!

So, if you are addicted to tobacco, and you beat that addiction, you know you can beat anything. You’re more powerful than President Obama! He’s weaker than you – still addicted!

Of course it only works if you manage to quit. Do it today!

Holocuast Museum shooting by racist member of Mensa?

Domestic American terrorism seems to be more White than Arabic, more ‘conservative’ than liberal. Here’s the latest episode, where a White racist shot and wounded a guard at The Holocaust museum in Washington DC.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/10/holocaust-museum-shooting_n_213831.html

Details about the shooter confirm he’s an established racist and claims to be a member of Mensa.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/livecoverage/2009/06/details_on_white_supremacist_s.html

Now Mensa has yet to confirm. But let’s accept that he could be a member of Mensa. What does intelligence mean? Does it mean his opinions are more correct than someone elses? Does it give him or his outrageous opinions,  authority?

Now I doubt that is going to be a threatening meme – we’re used to serial killers being very smart, culturally we don’t respect intelligence  much, certainly many of us did not in school, that’s how smart kids get picked on. Most likely we’ll resolve that this racist is insane, crazy.

But if intelligence doesn’t make you right, what does it do? It lets you believe you’re right.

Intelligence doesn’t mean that someone with less intelligence can’t understand what the person with more intelligence understands, it means the person with less intelligence may not reach the understanding as quickly.  And intelligence has very little to do with belief.

Chaos Magic proposes, ‘There is no truth’. There’s a good reason for this. And that is because when you carefully look at what people  believe and why they believe what they believe – it becomes clear that most often people come to evidence already knowing what they believe.

So if you’re smart and come from being raised by racist parents, you already know what the truth is. If you know what the truth is already, it distorts your perception of evidence – you subconsciously interpret evidence to support what you already believe. The difference being REALLY smart makes? You’re better at interpreting evidence to support what you already believe.

Evidence can only threaten an existing belief if the person with that belief is willing to let the belief go. That’s not a function of intelligence, it’s a function of courage and is where wisdom begins.

Until you allow yourself to question what you already believe, your intelligence only serves to dig yourself deeper in your hole. Because the more evidence you interpret to validate your belief, the stronger it becomes, the harder it becomes to question it. That’s the secret behind the generalization that people become ‘set in their ways’ as they age. And the more intelligence you have, the faster you can become certain about your beliefs and the more extreme they can become.

So if the racist shooter can validate his Mensa membership, it does nothing to invalidate Mensa or even to suggest a paradox. Intelligence without wisdom, it’s not unusual to become extreme and fringe in thinking.

The ‘Reincarnated WWII Fighter Pilot’

http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/Technology/Story?id=894217&page=1

Here’s an example of belief manifesting around a boy being the reincarnation of a young WW2 fighter pilot shot down by the Japanese.

It’s really a harmless phenomena. But reincarnation isn’t the only explanation. The concept of a collective unconscious is an alternative to reincarnation theory when it comes to explaining reincarnation like synchronicities.

I’ve mentioned my own life experience, where the adults commented on the idea I, as a very young child, had psychic abilities. This created a ‘space’ where I exhibited such abilities more aggressively and more often. When you create an expectation for a child, children being so extremely adaptable will tend to fulfil expectations (that are a function of belief, as opposed to a desire).

The adult I grew into is no ‘psychic’. Perhaps this boy, when he matures, will lose any sense of being a fighter pilot of a bygone era.

I’m very on the fence when it comes to reincarnation. It’s not that I feel it’s more likely that death is a final end for the spirit (not that I can falsify that idea for myself), but more that I’m unclear if a spirit would retain individuality or that the life experience on Earth is something a spirit is likely to return to (it seems there ought to be all kinds of places and ways to incarnate).

I’ll mention that faith in reincarnation can be used in terrible ways.

The horror of the Jewish (and homosexual, Gypsy..etc) Holocaust, relates to the idea of reincarnation believed by some (respected) Kabbalists: God is good, therefore a live lived in suffering is just retribution for evil acts of a past life. So beyond the horrors done to them, there was the horror that they somehow deserved this.

The Hindu cast system suggests reincarnation justifies class discrimination – if you are born to a low cast, it’s justified that you be poor and suffer. People that believe in reincarnation, Hindu or not, may find themselves losing compassion for the poor, who must have done something awful to have been born in such a way.

There’s another way to look at reincarnation though. Perhaps it’s the people that are wealthy that are the weakest – such spirits are not capable of surviving the trials of poverty. I personally had a tough childhood with abusive parents, it seems to me that if I had any say as a spirit, which family I would be born into – I chose the family I was born into as a function of bravado, to! show up the other spirits with my courage!

It’s kind of true what Nietzsche suggested – that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If reincarnation is true, perhaps the best of us were born into the hardest lives as a function of spiritual ambition!

makinghomeaffordable.gov

http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/
If you are an American with trouble paying your mortgage, there’s a booming industry offering to help people like yourself, but they charge money or trick you into scams that help them but not you.

Whatever you think of the Obama administration, they have released a non profit government website meant to aid citizens needing to refinance homes at a lower mortgage rate or make their current home mortgage more affordable. It’s about time, now there’s a website I can ethically recommend as resource for people needing help with mortgages.

Pull out your old mortgage statements and click http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/ to see if you qualify for the government program.

It’s not quite the bailout of ‘mainstreet’ some have hoped for, but it’s something that should’ve existed a while ago!

Honoring the food that fuels you

Food in the abstract. People that are vegetarian or vegan commonly balk at the taking of a life too similar to their own for purposes of food. They often consider their diet a function of a compassionate consciousness.

Speaking personally, I am not a vegetarian – I eat all kinds of things and particularly love meat.

Does that mean I’m without compassion? That I am blind to the spiritual miracle of life that is sacrificed for my food?

People that proselytize vegetarian or vegan diets will often demonize meat – you’re consuming the pain, fear and betrayal of the animal as it was butchered, it will lay in your stomach rotting, even suggesting meat fuels cancer before it fuels you.

And the vegetarians may have a point. From a magical point of view, slaughtered animals have spirits and the tragedy of their slaughter could reasonably contaminate the meat of their flesh.

Those of us that eat meat, often if we are not wealthy we are consuming the meat of industrial farms that are especially cruel to their livestock. We are part of the ‘machine’.

In the wild, animals hunt, kill and eat one another. It’s ugly and violent. But the defeated dead animal is honoured, it’s death is honoured and valued as the stuff of life when consumed appreciatively by the hungry carnivore. Carnivores of the wild are not being killed by the meat they consume.

So my reccomendation is simple. Honour your food, be mindful that life, animal and vegetable, is being sacrificed to you – be thankful. The art of preparing food to be nutritious and delicious – this is an expression honouring the sacrifice of life. Ask the food to forgive you for taking life, and ask it to bless you with life and health.

I believe that’s all the angry spiritual baggage of dead meat (and dead vegetables too) is asking for, thankfulness and appreciation. Mindfully intend the food to nourish you and empower you (law of attraction there). And demonstrate your appreciation with good cooking!

Good cooking isn’t simply self serving, it honours the spirit once present in the food you eat.

Now then, how to braise food, for the culinary challenged.
Braising is a matter of slowly cooking, stewing, the food in liquid, it’s ideal for lesser quality, ‘tough’ meats. Braising is very flexible, allowing you to braise a dinner every night of the week and having each meal enjoy a variety of distinct flavours.

This is a skillet technique. The process is simple, start by searing your meat in a high temperature, with just enough vegetable oil to keep things from sticking (beef and red meats do well with butter). Almost any meat will benefit from salt, pepper and fresh minced garlic in the hot oil.

Once the meat is seared, this helps to preserve natural juices in the meat, you’re ready to add veggies and liquid.

Generally with braising technique you cook vegetables with the meat, creating a vary balanced meal. The vegetables may disintegrate in the sauce, but as you’re eating the sauce (with accompanying rice or noodles) you get to enjoy all the nutrition from those vegetables.

If you are unfamiliar with many vegetables, braising is a good way to introduce yourself to almost any vegetable (realize though, many vegetables are best lightly steamed [or lightly fried in olive oil with garlic] to retain crispness and natural sweetness, especially foods like asparagus and broccoli) .

Generally any liquid will work for braising – beer, wine, orange juice, soup stock..etc. If the juice is sweet, a little lemon or cider vinegar will yield a pleasant sweet/sour flavour.

To thicken a sauce, the easiest way is to take a tablespoon of cornstarch in a cup, add a quarter cup of liquid (or just water) and rub the cornstrarch into the liquid until completely blended. Add this to any simmering liquid, and it will thicken it into a creamy textured sauce.

Beef Stroganoff:
Braise a tough cut of beef (about a pound, and better quality meat works too) cut into small pieces. First sear it in butter with salt, pepper (to taste), garlic (fresh is best) onion and mushrooms (regular mushrooms are good, but portobellas are divine – as much onion and mushroom as you want). Once seared, add about a half cup of beef stock and a quarter cup of tomato sauce (or a table spoon of tomato paste) to the meat and veggies to simmer it in.

Seasonings to consider: Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper sauce, rosemary, cayenne pepper, paprika, asafoetida, cumin, dill, coriander

Once the meat and veggies have simmered for a while (1/2 hour) in another pot, start heating salted water to a boil for egg noodles.

When the water for egg noodles is boiling, add a cup of sour cream to the braising meat (fat free sour cream is fine). Cook maybe a pound or less of egg noodles.

Mix the meat, veggies, sauce and sour cream together. If the sour cream hasn’t thickened the sauce to a cream like texture, add just a little cornstarch mixture.

Serve meat and sauce over noodles.

Ghetto version
Sear the meat in oil/butter with veggies on hand – simmer in any Campbells “cream of” soup (mushroom is ideal) – and add to egg noodles when it’s ready.

Vegetarian version: – marinate a pound of cubed tofu in soysauce thinned with beer, spiked with a little cider vinegar – marinate overnight. Precook the tofu in vegetable oil (olive works) – over cook the tofu, cook the moisture out of it so it is tough and chewy.
Follow the recipe above, substitute mushroom stock for beef stock. If you don’t want to use sour cream – there may be a vegetarian or vegan soy alternative you could use.

Schrödinger’s cat & sorcery

Chaos Magic almost stands alone in magic and the occult in not claiming any historical heritage at all. Indeed the weirdness of Quantum physics becomes a starting point for magical paradigm for some Chaos magicians.

One classic thought paradox concerning Quantum Physics, is Schrödinger’s cat.

superposition, is an observable reality of subatomic particles: a single particle can be demonstrated to be in multiple locations simultaneously.

The concept of Schrödinger’s cat, proposed by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, is thus: A living cat is placed into a steel chamber, with a vial of hydrocyanic acid. Also in the chamber, is a very small amount of a radioactive substance. If a single atom of the substance decays during the test, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer breaking the vial and poisoning the cat dead.

The reality of superposition and subatomic particles suggests a concretely real state wherein the cat is both dead and alive simultaneously. The relay mechanism must be both triggered and not triggered and at the same time, as the radioactive particle is, by the principle of quantum superposition, triggering the relay and not triggering the relay at the same time.

Of course when you check in on the cat, the imposition of our observation forces the quantum superposition to end and the cat is either dead or alive.

What that fact of quantum superposition of particles implies about the nature of observable reality (cats, as opposed to electrons) is a very sticky area of quantum physics. Schrödinger is rumoured to have said, later in life, that he wished he had never met that cat.

The principle ” there is no truth, everything is permitted” – let’s a Chaos Magician go hog wild extrapolating concepts for why and how magic works. The observer in the ‘Schrödinger’s cat’ thought problem, not only observes what is finally ‘real’, but is singularly responsible for the ‘real’ even being possible. That’s just another way of suggesting what “Law of Attraction” suggests, or perhaps even why sigil magic or sympathetic magic works.

Sorcery becomes science once it’s understood well enough. It’s not a bad idea to look to science for insights into sorcery.

Tetris 25th Anniversary! Tetris magic!

Google today, June 6 2009, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the game Tetris!

arcade

Now, here’s the thing about videogames like tetris, and magic. First, read up on sigil magic if it is new to you – here’s my thorough and kick ass article on sigil magic

Now that you’re up to speed, you understand that you can write down your desire in a sentence, convert the letters into an abstracted image/sigil – and then ‘launch’ the sigil with gnosis.

You should try to forget about the spell, be indifferent about the result – because this will usually bring the result to you as soon as possible. Magical results are indistinguishable from coincidence -except a magical result is what you asked for.

There’s all kinds of gnosis, and in the article I may have focused especially on the gnosis available from any sexual orgasm. But you can use TETRIS!

As you play the game, it focuses your attention – especially at the higher levels of the game where you have to move/think very fast – the concentration required to play Tetris well, it is also a form of ‘gnosis’.

So here’s what you do. Create your sigil, draw it on a post it note – and post it to a corner of your computer monitor so you can see it as you play the game of Tetris ( it’s flash based on this blog, if you have it for your computer, it may play better).

Be very careful with your statement of desire – because this stuff works powerfully! Just play the game with the sigil where you can see it as you play the game – that simple. Please reply to this post with your results!

When a Stranger Calls…

When a Stranger calls…. how to handle telemarketers and debt collectors.

The video clip is for purposes of humour, hopefully the telemarketer or debt collector calling you is less threatening. This is a post about those harassing telemarketing and debt collector calls, strangers calling you – and what you can do about it.

The National and global economy being what it is, companies closing an/or shedding jobs – more of us are home to have strangers call us, more of us are being harassed by debt collectors.

The calls aren’t as threatening as those in the “When a Stranger calls” movie – but they can be much more harassing and humiliating. If you are on a telemarketing call list, the calls can be relentless. If a collection agency is hounding you, they are counting on a combination of real harassment and your integrity to beg borrow or steal to get them to leave you alone.

You don’t deserve this. It’s not your fault the economy is what it is. If you’re on hard times, you need to manage your money very carefully and premeditatedly. You don’t need to buy anything being sold you by a stranger over the phone. You don’t need to sabotage your survival budget to make good on debts that don’t relate to necessities or possibilities. Things will get better, you’re working towards that -and then you’ll handle all your debt, now is not the time.

What can you do … when a stranger calls?

For telemarketing, the law is on your side. The National ‘do not call’ registry – this is an American Government website, if you add your phone number(s), including cell phone numbers, telemarketing companies are legally compelled to take you off their call lists. It can take 31 days, and the government ‘do not call registry’ website, https://www.donotcall.gov/ – is where you also go to report any telemarketer that calls you after those 31 days.

Debt collecting is a different story. The business you actually owe money to, is allowed to call you at will.  Realize however, that any business you owe money to – they are too busy running a business to harass you with phone calls. Businesses out-source to independent debt collecting contractors, to harass you with phone calls. They will tell you who they are, they need you to pay them for them to get their cut.

Debt Collecting is Federally regulated, here’s the copy of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (here’s the .pdf download – you may need to read it to a stubborn debt collector).  The law requires that debt collectors and attorneys stop phoning you at home and at work once you ask them to stop.  Your request must be in writing, so you should tell them to stop calling you at home and at work the next time they call, but then follow it up with a certified letter, return receipt requested. They’ll give you their address, they want a check.

If you need a sample script, so you know what to say, I found a good resource for that here.

In this economy, debt collecting agencies are simply vultures, trying to get you to pay off your credit card instead of rent or mortgage. On a cell phone, you literally pay for the privilege of being marketed to. Telemarketing and debt collection changes your relationship to the phone, instead of rushing to it expecting a friend or important news – it becomes a source of marketing or humiliation.

We don’t have to stand for this. The government has given us legal resources to defend outselves. USE IT!

11 year old boy graduates College: I’m no genius.

the story is here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31128101/

To paraphrase, it’s the true life story of a young boy that attributes his success to studying and working hard – not to great intelligence.

The thing is this, the kid is right. It’s easier to believe the kid is a genius, because it excuses the rest of us. Which is not to say any 11 year old boy is capable of graduating College – but it does suggest that if every 11 year old child had lived a life where school was interesting to them and they were willing to work hard to excel, 11 year old college graduates could be almost common.

But kids aren’t excelling, and for excellent reasons. Primarily, teachers expect their curriculum to be challenging to students – and so the students conform to the expectation. I remember grade school though – arithmetic, long division, multiplication, fractions – My experience was that we learned and practised those 4 things over and over again every year from first grade until I took High School Algebra in the 9th grade. And when I took algebra, I understood it was meant to be challenging (it wasn’t for me, but I didn’t think to finish the subject and move on to geometry on my own).

Kids are bored, and accept that they aren’t supposed to be smart. Kids that buck this trend by being smart anyway are regularly singled out as ‘different’, sometimes singled out for abuse by peers.

Parents, teach your kids! I’m not suggesting you home school your kids – but be there for your kid and help them learn. Especially boys, kids tend to to learn things that interest them and find school boring! – and as a parent you know your kid better than a teacher. So work with them, teach them, keep them interested. And if your kid can test into a higher grade – go for it! If your kid can pass an SAT – go for that. No pressure, but kids should learn at their own pace, not the classes pace. Most kids can learn better and faster if an approach is made interesting for them, which is what a parent can provide.

Do not pressure a kid to meet an expectation. Teach them because the school may be holding them back, and boring them with the same ‘content’ over and over again. Use their interests to teach them. A kid wants to read a comic book – so use that to teach reading. A kid may want to design a video game, to do that they’ll need trigonometry!

Now, I don’t have a kid. Why am I writing about this? Because what the 11 year old college graduate demonstrates is this – you don’t know your limits until you test them.

You grown ups out there, you have all kinds of ideas relating to what you are and are not capable of. But those ideas are based on bullshit. Maybe you were never as good at math as your brother, so you think you’re bad at math. Maybe you hit puberty late and therefore imagine you’re bad at sports because that was your experience growing up. All of us have ideas that we’re limited in ways that we believe, but have never tested.

I’m going to learn the Java computer programming language working from a book, at home. You might think you couldn’t do that. I have that thought too – but I take on the thought that I can do it, that the book is good – and that I’ll find the experience easy. I have ideas for software programs I want to write, I’m a motivated learner.

The learning and growing never ends. And never will, not as long as I test what I imagine to be my limits.

Now a quick ecommerce angle. You’re likely not wealthy. You may have in your head that you can’t be wealthy, that it will never happen for you. Just try though, to believe that you don’t know what your limits are. If you can’t believe pro-actively that you will be wealthy, as in law of attraction, – stand in what’s real, and believe you don’t know but you mean to find out if you can become wealthy. An untested ‘limit’ is something to test.

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