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Assuming assumptions August 1, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in just my blogs, mind, useful.
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One key to educating yourself is UNlearning as much as learning. An important lesson for me in personal growth, is observing how so many people have set sincere beliefs in something which are either misguided, out of focus, or pure delusion. Self-deception is amazing and rampant. Me included.

Also amazing is how my work assignments often reflect these topics.

Below are 2 Flash pieces I did on Freud’s ideas and influence on society …

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freud.jpg Freud was revolutionary in changing how we see ourselves, our thoughts, and behaviors – not that he knew or figured out everything . . .
But we are only human, so patience, and a sense of humor is required when turning on a healthy skepticism within our critical reasonings, and self examination.

Plus, as I often suggest, keeping a zen-approach by quieting the over-reaching, sense-of-it-all-making rational mind, while pleading to the heavens for guidance, seems to help . . . somewhere a lock clicks open.

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BloodSunEarth July 25, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in body, just my blogs, mind, spiritual, useful.
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Heart Mind Body. Does anything else matter?

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unfinished oil painting (with photoshop)

“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

from the Bibles’ Ecclesiastes “She who gathers”, written about 250 BC.

“All things are full of labour.” Everyone and all things work – have activity – have occupation – over and over – there is no end. This is noble, This is true.

Let’s get working.

… but first get educated.

Basic Training July 17, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in body, just my blogs, mind, spiritual, useful.
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Life is full of wonder. I wonder why we easily fill up our lives with needless schtuff, and quickly forget or take for granted our key essentials. It’s a wonder how helpless and defenseless we can be in the face of the cultural conditioning onslaught we receive from our parents, peers, and society’s media which allow us to “fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.”

Sex, eating, breathing, thinking, feeling, imagining and sleeping reveal more about our shared human condition than we might give credit to. I’m attempting to re-capture a big picture sense of the commonplace universal essentials of life, and elevate them to their noble, sacred positions for re-consideration and re-integration.

This is said to simply re-dedicate this blog. Where I am coming from is to offer an artist/philosopher’s insight, for what it’s worth. I can do no less, given the weight years of experience and contemplation have given me. I am eager to offer these ideas, and discuss them whenever possible. These blessays (blog-essays?) will become my personal record of thought ether and techno pixels, to live and stand out here in cyberspace on their own merits. I’ll attempt to order them in a sort of sequencial revelation of relevance and importance, hoping that helps.

The “Heart” page tab above will become archives for these “thinking points” which I’ll try posting once a week (along with other blog stuff). Unless I get comments, I’ll just remove them from my home page and list them down in chronological order on the Heart page.

Never stop learning, expanding, growing, sharing, giving …

Like Erasmus once said “The more I learn, the less I know.” He carried it to its logical conclusion in that he learned so much that he recognized that he knew nothing. There it gets down to simply being – a fully integrated, fulfilled creature of Life.

Turn it on.   switch.jpg

F**ked up F**king July 11, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in body, health, just my blogs, life, spiritual.
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Back-to-basics #3, on another important Heart-related matter. A recent comment here revealed the astute revelation of a certain so-called spiritual master: When Nietzsche declared ‘God is dead’, Fuck became the most important word in the English language.

And what’s more basic or likely to grab your attention? Sex is on everybody’s mind, and there’s no escaping it. It sells. Most people would attribute the sexual drive as a top factor in our conditioning, if not the number one. We are all here as a result of it.

Now, you’re not going to hear this anywhere else, and I’ve never heard anyone ever say what I’m about to on the subject, but this lengthy piece explores the amazing juxtaposition of the word “Fuck” in it’s various connotations. Wow! Can I say that?

I can’t think of another word which contains more paradoxical emotions associated in it, but it’s worth considering. I had figured it’s origins to be Latin or French (fuque?), but actually it’s shrouded in mystery, and likely of Anglo-Saxon origin, which would make it an essential English word for sure.

Think for a moment the vastly opposite meaning we associate with the word.
A great T-shirt might say
Fuck me,
or Fuck you!”
which would sum up the general attitude much of society seems to have on the subject. And society seems so “screwed-up” on so many levels. Media calls it one of the high supreme pleasures one could have . . . or the lowest expression of hatred. How can this be possible?

There may be nothing better than to have a lover gasp breathlessly into your ear, in it’s most intimate form “… fuck me…,” or anything worse to have a hater publicly shout “Fuck you!” at you. The former economically relies on simple mindless repeating, again and again. The latter exercises imagination to it’s limits, combining in outrage a slew of bizarre associations envisioning your mama, and possibly goats.

Is there a problem with this? I’d say so, given how often one aspect leads to the other. It’s funny, shocking, but completely understandable and familiar, to witness a “crime of passion” borne out repeatedly on court room and crime TV, literature and film , a la Fatal Attraction or Dangerous Liaisons. Thanks Glenn Close, for your awesome portrayals of how once you f’, you’re f’ed ─ the 2-sides of the same phrase in question!!

Maybe multiple sexual partners isn’t the great thing society’s media leads us to believe it is. When sexual mechanics become just a fun end to itself, what might it lead to – besides STDs??

Kids, obviously, or at least pregnancy. John Lennon once insightfully observed that probably 90% of us are here due to a fun Saturday night. He said we are mostly all “unwanted.” I’d say unplanned for sure, and hopefully the wanted part comes later. Even so, kids aren’t necessarily bad, but there’s the hard hit on society’s collective esteem. With all its life-changing fiats and sudden emotional surprises like fear, resentment, indifference, guilt, etc. having a child colors the whole world in it’s unique hue. Love is rarely the dominant sensibility. Sadly and remarkably,“Homicide is a leading cause of pregnancy-associated injury deaths,” Chang and colleagues wrote in the American Journal of Public Health in 2005. Abortion is a separate topic.

Power is another widely felt aspect of sexual practice, often one-sided. The biblical sin of Sodom and Gommorrah was rape (not homosexuality as commonly thought). If it’s not rape, perhaps fucking is consensual rape(?), if it’s using another person for conquest, physical release, and/or some kind of ego-validation. Occasionally sexual power is turned against oneself as well, in the form of debasing addictions or fetiches (slavery?).

Call me a romantic, but I believe the sexual union to be more like Christmas (pick your own favorite holiday), than a booty call. Never to never be a one-sided end to itself, but a means to a special connection on a deep human level. The judeo-christian scriptures talk about the “two becoming one flesh,” which goes along with the hindu concept that sex symbolizes a great union, where the man has “something extra” he seeks to give, and the woman has “an empty space” she seeks to fill. The union of opposites. Yin/Yang. Viva la difference!

I once read early on that sex indebts ourselves karma-wise, to that person forever, which had a wide effect in changing my thinking. Is this action worth it? Is it’s value worth calculating, or is sowing wild oats best expended in mindless volume? How many partners will you allow to “get under your skin,” or divide your heart? And we all know whoever we sleep with, we also “sleep”with everyone they ever have …

It’s remarkable to me that humans can blush with embarrassment. What evolutionary function might this have? Besides the fact that humans have developed an also unique face-to-face coital position, to separate us from other mammals, what else is different about us? Certainly there is a sensually liberating wildness to sex which is fundamentally arousing, but for people, it’s different than animals doing it on the Discovery channel.

My ideal understanding of sex, is essentially a physical/spiritual union of profound mutual (two-sided) empowerment, given growth in time. To have a healthy dose of respect, honor, devotion, tenderness and love on a mental, emotional, physical, and deeper level, is perhaps the greatest gift to ourselves and the other, and the most important decision we can say “yes” to in this life. To nurture and cherish this connection has lasting benefits to both partners and has no shame. One may not see this for years, but given time, never without difficulty, love blossoms. Soulmates become.

Simple indulgence, joining then ripping away, no doubt can have significant negative impact upon our psyche. Lost sight of trust, and deep sharing relationships, is a hard price to pay. Yes, we’re all incompatible in some ways, and those areas should be apparent at the beginning – but compatibility strengthens with time. Weighing the compatibility risks for a relationship needs to be explored before sex (read: fucking) skews (fucks) the human chemistry.

Too many people become experts in insulating themselves from the embarrassment factor, and suppressing the blush and shame from having severed intimate involvement. Society “Bobbitizes” itself constantly by doing this, IMHO.

For perhaps not a bad reason, marriage is basically a sacred oath of commitment, but like so many physical relationships it can be casually fallen into, then commonly broken away. Along goes a piece of our trusting hearts forever. Too often if not a shared break-up, one can suffer terribly, and lives are shattered – fucked up – for a long time. Songs are written about it. Lives are lost.

Yeah, well we all make mistakes … me included. The profound benefit for sexual couples is rarely seen in this light, because such insight is understood by very few of us . . . no thought given, no impulse controlled, no matter how many experiences we fool ourselves into saying it’s all ok, harmless fun. Maybe you’ve read all this and think I’m full of shit, but that’s another word for another topic. Just admit there’s a weird kamasutraesque juxtaposition between the 2 meanings of that word “fuck,” and fuck off, will ya?

So in conclusion, everyone tell your kids, step-kids, fosterkids, and god-children, whenever the time is right, “Fuck and you’re fucked! May you love, and be loved forever!”

Just my blog July 2, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in just my blogs.
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Now back from a week “back East” to deal with property issues and carpenter ants swarms. It was a lot of hard work in some incredible heat (and I just packed one pair of shorts, and literally lost 8 pounds!) but I did enjoy seeing old friends, meeting some interesting people, taking some refreshing after-work dips in the Atlantic, and treating myself to a few excellent meals of New England’s best. I’ll post some pics soon.

Ever notice how a day takes up 100% of your time? Time is a bane, but it seems to banish when you’re focused deeply on something.

Concentration on important matters which are “real,” transports us to a different level of existence. Every artist and magician knows this. It is said enlightenment is the perception of 1/100 of a second.

Meanwhile, time slows down, but constantly ticks away in the background. Therefore redeem the time you have left with serious, penetrating, thought.

It’s not about “finding yourself,” but releasing false impressions, opinions, ideas … and self-deception … and seeking the truth. The universe helps us along, whenever we break through the limits of time, and expand into eternal notions of reality.

Love knows no limitations.

Religious conflict June 15, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in just my blogs.
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From a Flash animation I created for work, describing a 18th century period of English history with the power struggle between catholics and reformed protestants.

Click on the image and enjoy a short clip of the funny effect I got, which was simply to hilight each side, and ended up looking like a scene from Harry Potter with dueling teams of Wizards!! (too bad I couldn’t get it to loop, but I’m an artist, not a programmer, dammit!)

Basically up to my ears now. Hoping things will settle in July, then can get back to more stuff we all take for granted, like health, reason and spirit …

Life update June 2, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in 3D, Art, just my blogs, useful.
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On the career front, I just finished re-re-doing my web portfolio, so if anyone wants to check it out, let me know what you think about www.hobbitdance.com

Hopefully, I’ve taken it a step up. The pieces are in place now to look for work and not feel to foolish recommending my website to employers. As I continue to get some 3D pieces done, I can easily plug them into the site. I added some of the recent Flash animations I’ve been doing for work.

For this site, since I’ve been blogging less about {art} and more about {heart} I think I’ll try adding a second page, and dedicate it just to the spiritual side of expression.

This mystical path seems unescapable to me – to combine art and spirituality, even if the art is more commercial these days. With a couple of decades of experience behind me I feel I’ve produced a fairly large body of work on “human insight.” My eyes and mind dont miss much, and pretty much my whole life has been about experience and learning and looking deep . . . so we’ll see what happens.

Life sure is complicated, but keeping it simple is important. I’ll share what I can – at least just to get it out there – and hopefully I’ve found a good recipe and haven’t missed any of the ingredients.

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Back to basics pt 2 – The Rational Mind May 31, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in just my blogs.
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Life is full of oxmorons, which is pretty ugly, unless accidentally on purpose you discover that it’s awfully good. One of those great apparent contradictions in the spiritual realm of discovery is how to accept the ideal of Non-duality. How can All be One, harmonious, inclusive capsule of Life, when we still suffer and witness daily destruction and division?

What I’ve discovered is how we misuse the rational mind. We’ve gone hyperdrive with our thought processes to insist on distinctions, delineated borders, and assign good-bad value judgements to everything that confronts us (antidote: classic zen!). Certainly many moral distinctions are a necessity, and if some folks long ago didn’t devote their intellect to the scoping and cataloguing of the cosmos, I wouldn’t be here writing this to the world on a computer.

– Reason is needed for survival in temporal affairs and making those critical choices to progress in daily life. The rational mind is for the service of our human hearts, but serve us too well … it does (my best Yoda impression). In fact it takes over, and tends to create a huge irrational mess.

Without knowing how to stop the thinking side of our brain enough to engage our intuition and deep spiritual insincts (for fulfillment), instead we become news-junkies, trivia buffs, sports stat freaks, and oh the fascion glamour of celebrity gossip! To top it all off, the shit we spew out of our mouth, before we even know what we said, and are powerless to stop this neural verbal barrage (think of the irrational way swearing takes over!) – and so we shrink and waste away our potential, clogging our cranial pathways with banal TV and cultural cholesterol.

Humor is so great to perplex that narrowing, confining ego process. It’s silly and perplexing and we know we like it for some reason – enough to think that cute furry animals have senses of humor too, since we think they’re so funny. The mind expands for a second.

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Horror and suspense movies are good like that. Nothing like seeing some zombies to make you want to go later hug your loved one, and think about your life.

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Getting out in nature, or heading out of town for a fresh perspective is healthy.

Meditation is good too. I never could have acheived any sort of detachment without having had the experience of living in a practicing zen co-op house for a year.

Without the ability to set aside the ponderous thinking mind for a moment, one can become mired in half-thoughts, obsessive intellectualization, and compromizing rationalization. Gone too far, the brain refuses to see the paradox that sometimes perplexing illogic is sometimes logical, just as excessive moderation requires a bit of moderate excess.

This is just to get the juices of life flowing. Give your dried out brain a rest sometime, and dig a little deeper. Behind the intellect (and emotions as well) there is a well spring of something refreshing and new.

It’s all about one thing, Curley. Just one thing
(actually it’s 3, but they add up to 1)

Here we stand May 20, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in Art, just my blogs.
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symbolife.jpg

What do I know? Show me …

Life so symbolic May 20, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in just my blogs.
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symbolife11.gif

Earlier, I used the standard international symbols for Off/On/Off, as

O|O

to symbolize basic reality – just like an electrical appliance.
Also consider the binary equivalent 1 and 0 for on and off – just like a digital memory.

How convenient.

However, as a left-to-right progression, with the introduction of Time, it might make sense to to connect the 2 ends with a middle horizontal line:

O─O

but this is only a partial glimpse at the reality, and is a minus, or negative,

so while bridging the ends, we can also aspire to add significance to existence by adding the upright, thus creating a positive!

O+O

For me, it is necessary to complete a simple graph of life in this way.

But to what can we aspire, while we follow the flat line from our temporal beginning to it’s flat-line (EKG) end?

Simply the truth.

Ha! What is truth? That notion – whether genuinely questioning or merely cynical – existed long before any 21st century post-modern relativist, being uttered for the record by Jesus’ condemner, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, 2000 years ago.

Before anyone thinks they have me tagged as a christian, let me simply point out the fact that all over the place, people believe in something, that has no basis in reality. Whether they think they’re a great singer and should be America’s Next Idol, or think they can drive home no prob after Tequila shooter Night, or think they should rule the world, people are simply mistaken about a lot of things. Self-deception is a rampant disease, and often our best friends are no luckier that we are, so where do we turn?

If I were you, I’d plead to the heavens for some ultimate reality. There is evidence on the record that this has worked to point folk to Truth.

What ever it does, it gets us closer to finding the meaning in our lives.

Truth = freedom
Look up. Reach. Climb. Ascend. It only helps to get a better view.