Are we Robots?

I was recently talking to some people about a book I am reading and I recommend
that you have  a look at it.

It called “Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential” by Ted
Chu.

The funny thing is not the book in itself but the conversation I was
having about it and the way in which in ended.

Perhaps I have this
effect on everyone but I do find this kind of thing happens a lot to me.

We (me and my co-conversationalists) were talking about who Ted Chu was and how he got about writing this book, (I find the Story really quite fascinating and you can find the interview with him here:) when with sudden sharp twist the subject in which we were speaking came to end mid-sentence and everyone talked about something completely different.

Something totally unrelated… about whether to
wear sunscreen or not and how much. Yes truly interesting I know!

Whats worse is that it is as if the previous conversation never actually happened. No one asked, “Oh, what was it we were talking about when we got interrupted?”, or something like that.

We never returned to the subject. It was lost in ether. Never comprehended or explored.

I think, often, it must be because I am talking way over everyone’s heads. Or is it? I can’t tell.

Are people like Robots? Are they really conscious most of the time or
are they just repeating patterns previously learned?

I think they must be, repeating patterns that is. Thinking is work that just doesn’t
need to be done.

The conversations I like to deal with often require thinking. And truth be told, thinking is actually quite difficult.

Difficult for me, and I try to do it with professional and religious zeal.

Or perhaps I am just boring. This is also a grave possibility that I need to consider!

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On being nice to each other…

It has been another tumultuous month in the world arena. All the usual suspects, our lovely Ahmedinajed,

ahmadinejad 2

the Russians,

putin

The Chinese…

the war lords of Afghanistan/Pakistan

Al qaeda Osama bin Laden 1

and North Koreans have been hard at work making sure that millions upon millions of people (actually I guess, billions) are kept unhappy.

And their proud of it too!

They come to us on the television, on the papers and other popular media channels praising their self-righteousness and the glory of their perspective oppressive regimes.

It should be a shameful activity, they should cower in the face of the other 5 billion of us, all sneering and laughing at the way the treat their people but they don’t, and it is because we are all complicit.

They don’t hide for two major reasons, one of which is Marco in level and the other of which is Micro. The Macro level is obvious and we read about it often, some examples are given below,

‘We are pandering to the Oil wealth of these gangsters’,

‘China is the world’s factory and we are all happy to consume cheap goods off them no matter what the internal costs are to them or the environment’,

‘Nations have a right to self governance and we should not interfere with other countries’

etc….

But I am more interested in the Mirco level effects, the effects that I see everyday all around me, and that is:

People are nasty to each other

and

often the threat of perceived violence is all that keeps our actions in order.

I’m talking about nastiness between loving couples, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the traffic police and drivers, government officials and citizens, teachers and their students, Bosses and employees, Judges and criminals and basically every kind of distinct group that can be thought about between humans and themselves. I am even talking about the nastiness one has with oneself.

Now, I’ve been thinking this for a while and questioning my own perceptions.

Is it that I am being negative?

What about all the love?

Etc…

What about looking at the bright side of things?

but the more I think about it the more I realize that this is exactly what is going on.

The brightest thing to do is to acknowledge the problem…

Nastiness is so prevalent that we have become desensitized to it, just like people who live next to train tracks for a long times don’t hear the trains that pass by them.

It takes a little bit of extended patience  to become aware of the situation but then both the logic and the utter omnipresence of the phenomenon takes you by surprise. Each place and each situation has its own form of oppression, each family its own method of control, each organization its own structure. The whole thing is unpalatable, and I would like you to see it with me….

I don’t expect you to accept what I am writing immediately. It takes time to notice the pattern of control people have on each other and for that matter you have on yourself but the fact of it is certain.

Nastiness comes in so many forms that it seems impossible to categorize the phenomenon into a coherent idea. But the basic flavour of the animal is that action is taken by one entity on another with the intention to impede the other.

The action can be physical, psychological, implied, indirect or any other thing you can imagine. The intended effect can be equally arbitary as long as it has the effect of slowing the other. And one of the best ways of slowing someone is to hit their self esteem.

It is highly possible that we have evolved into this predicament through Darwinian processes. What better way is there to make sure that your genetic competitor doesn’t get ahead that making sure they are operating at less than efficient norms.

I would like to see some real scientific evidence to this assertion some day, however more important than that is this is…

How are we to get out of it?

Our great and hypocritical friend J.Krishnamurti asked a similar question. I assume that he never found the answer, or gave up trying….

So, How do we find the answer?

I have an answer but that will come in  a following blog.

does anyone have a comment?

Burning Men, Tropics thunders, Guantanamo, Guru Pitka, and the never ending frustration

First we must pay homage to the following movies:

1. Tropic Thunder

2. Harold & Kumar, Escape from Guantanamo Bay

3. The Love Guru.

Let it be said that one should never pay attention to critics, friends or loved ones. If I had done so, I would have never watched, The Love Guru, which at the risk of ridicule, I will confirm to be a master piece. Perhaps, me and Mike Myers are the only two people on earth who think so, but what gives. I laughed heartily during the entire movie. And special credits to Mr. Justin Timberlake, who I thought did very well in the movie.

As for the other two. Harold and Kumar, well done too! your insanely stupid movie also had me in fits. Perhaps, because it followed immediately from The Love Guru (which I watched on the same night), I was in the mood for pure stupidity. Perhaps I am regressing myself, I have been suspecting a kind of loss of intelligence lately and we will get to that later.

Moving on to ‘Frustration’

We get frustrated when we are unable to find expression, when our energies find themselves trapped within us, unable to find avenues to expend themselves. I have been regressing, philosophically, finacially, businesswise, socially and mentally. More ever, I am unable to do much about it, every action seems to have a way of compounding my predicament. I seem to be taking on the world and getting nowhere.

My recent trip to Burning Man was nothing short of a pilgrimage, a journey that I heavily paid for. I can say nothing more than it is a Haj for the freeminded, a pillar of free society. You have to be there to feel it, to feel the playa sand on your skin, the openness to nature and what creative people can do. I highly recommend it.

But the question still remains and I am unable to answer it. The question is of, ‘what to do?’. I am unable to think of ‘what to do’. All that I am doing right now is just a reaction to the demands of people around me. My business demands that I administer it, my staff demand their salaries, my family demand that I be part of it. My body demands to be fed, and my mind demands drugs that can block everything out. I seem to be doing only what is being demanded by the various parts of me. My every action is a reaction – I am frustrated.

And what is it that we do anyway? We eat, shit, sleep, fuck & build. I was speaking to a friend yesterday about the credit crisis and the collapse of Lehman bros. He asked me what it means and I answered in no short terms, ‘we eat, shit, sleep, fuck & build’ and that is all any of us ever do. The credit crisis is nothing but a case of over building. We have got highly efficient at it and is underlies the whole economic system. More companies, to build buildings, cars, computers, gadgets, bridges,dams, mines, refineries etc… it bores me and I am frustrated. Money comes out of the ‘Ground’. It can’t be given away, so it is loaned to us on credit, and then we have to work for it to pay back the loan. That’s the modern economic system. Simple. The crisis occurred because the loans were given to people who have nothing to do, or more correctly who can’t do anything apart from the same.

All philosophies just to reconcile ourselves with the fact that everyone just wants to earn some money so that he can ‘eat, shit, sleep, fuck & do more building’. Leave me alone we all say, I just want some money in the bank so that I can continue to live with all my belongings.

The crisis right now isn’t Credit. Believe me, there is plenty more where that came from, they just don’t know who to give it to, and under what terms. That’s not a crisis. The crisis, is ‘what to do’. That’s the real crisis, but noone wants to admit that one, because it’s just too big. What are humans to do, where is the creativity in that? What I hear you say, ‘leave me alone, I just want a job that pays me well’. that’s right, you just want to bury your head, do a job and get paid. That’s the f’kng crisis and I am frustrated.

Krishnamurti in Delhi

I’ve just come back from Delhi. I left on the brink of mad depression and returned somewhat happy. It’s seems to be pattern that has developed over the last few years, going mad at work and recovering on some out of the country mission. This time the mission involved shopping for my wedding in April. And now I am all kitted out!

I’m happy because I discovered Krishnamurti whilst in our Friends house in Delhi. I read a book of his over my three day stay there and weirdly things are starting to make sense. It all started about a week and a half ago when I met a upcoming gentleman who had been sent to one of Krishnamurti’s schools when he was a young boy. The situation he described to me was very interesting and it drew parallels to some of my experiences during the Hoffman course. It’s about connecting with other human beings and connecting with yourself, Krishnamurti, seems to have built this factor into a schooling process. Which is rather fascinating.

So whilst in Delhi, in boutique after boutique, I got my dose of Krishnamurti.

So what’s new with this gentleman, what can he teach you and why should you care?

Well one. I don’t know if it is for everyone. A lot of what he writes requires a certain amount of pre-experience, of which we all have some, but have you ever connected with your experience, have you ever connected with your rage, with your depression, with your joy? Or do you just sweep them aside. Have you ever felt like death, death from shame, death from anger, death from Joy?

A lot of what he writes directly coincides with our ability to face ourselves directly, without shying away. Like when you look at someone unfriendly in the eyes, that urge to disconnect, that discomfort, to face it, to embrace it, this is the philosophy of krishnamurti. So, a lot of what he says has to do with you, with your experience, not with theories about what experience is.

There is nothing new in this. Every half decent experiential philosophy describes exactly that, this is what Zen, Budhism, Hinduism,Christianity, Yogic traditions, Mysticism, etc.. all preach about. Hundreds of gurus, thousands of books, millions of methods, all about this. So why Krishnamurti?

His first advice. Ditch them all, say no to all forms of authority. Do not follow!

Second. It is your experience that you need to dive into. Find your motives, be in your reactions, examine your mind, moment to moment, but don’t abstract. Don’t try to classify, ‘this is anger’ and ‘this is annoyed’ etc… just be with the emotion.

third. Know that ultimately there is no final answer. That deep feeling within you. (you know what I am talking about) it’s going to be there forever. The trick is to be with it not escape it, which is what we all do.

And that’s whole lot of Krishnamurti.

Basically screw them all and know it that you’re,  you’re on your own now!

Apocalypse

Do you know what this word really means? Apocalypse

Apocalypse (Greek: Ἀποκάλυψις –translit. APOKALYPSIS, literally: the lifting of the veil), is a term applied to the disclosure to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the mass of humankind. Today the term is often used to mean “end of the world”, which may be a shortening of the phrase apokalupsis eschaton which literally means “revelation at the end of the world”.

I’ve recently been listening to Terrence Mckenna’s Novelty theory which he managed to contrive from the Chinese ‘Iching’ and simultaneously trying to understand other theories such as peak oil and global warming. And it does kind of feel a little apocolyptic, is there a certain lifting of the veil, or are we looking at something completely different?

It doesn’t cease to amaze me why we all make the decisions that we do. The Earth spins around its axis, and we wake every ‘day’ thinking its a new day, that the past has been erased in our sleep, that yesterday is separate from tomorrow (we have calendars to prove it). And we continue to do the same things, day after day after day.

But who actually sit’s and thinks about what is happening actually at this moment? Consider the world as a whole? Consider it as a picture of a single day? Where on the left hand side people are just waking up and as you scan your eyes to the right they go through the motions of a day, when finally on the right, the are just about going to bed.

And consider what they do? Our main industry is to mine the earth, and to build houses and buildings? 😉 This is non-stop. And we have got very very very very good at it!

Do we not have the imagination to do anything different? Eat, Sleep, drink, fuck and build? Is that the programming inside you? Will by questioning this programme, people think you mad or simply dysfunctional? or Dangerous?

The point is clear? We Eat, Sleep, drink, fuck and build. and if you think that your excluded from the cycle your just delusional, or as the fact might be, under a spell. Or you could be in subsaharan Africa under the whim of some militia cut of from modern world economy. So that is what you do.

Another point is also clear, this is the first time in history that there are 6 billion of us on Earth who are quite so good at doing the above point.

and the third point which is crystal. Everyone pretends that we know what we are doing! We have been to school! Man has been on the moon! And what about the human genome project! Of course we KNOW what we are doing!