Patrick Watts

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Huxley’s Bad trip, Ursula K. LeGuin

“Aldous Huxley knew that few scientists attain the ideal of openness of mind of agnostism, and that many of them talk as they alone know anything worth knowing.  Here in the real world the smug conviction of incontestable rightness displayed by the technicians of the World Sate is at least as common in laboratories as it is in seminaries. “[Ursula K. LeGuin, Huxley’s Bad trip, pg. 129-131]

“Aldous Huxley’s novels were mostly cynical, but the hideous scientism of his dystopia reveals something fiercer than cynicism.  To some temperaments the open mind, the acceptance of  final uncertainty, is not only insufficient, but frightening and hateful.  He knew enough science to make the invention of his novels plausible, but whatever made him dislike and distrust science, the role he gives scientific technology in his novels is domineering and sinister. It appears that, seeing science as heartless, emotionless rationalism, he thought that the pursuit of science could never attain true meaning or do true good, but was inevitably at the service of evil.  The scion of a great humanistic scientific tradition portrayed science as the enemy of humanity.” [Ursula K. LeGuin, Huxley’s Bad trip, pg. 129-131]

“Brave new world was written in the old world, a long time before the summer of love.  Yet rereading it now, I was impressed by the importance in it of soma, the wonder drug on which everybody in the World State, and the World State itself, is dependent.  If you had unlimited access to a drug that would give you a perfect high for hours or days at a time, at any time, without doing you any bodily harm, and with the enthusiastic approval of your entire society, would you be likely to abstain from it?  You’re not allowed to. You must consume your daily dose of soma because it’s what holds everything together in happy inertia.  Consumption is the basis of the World Sate, the state of delusion.  Huxley’s science fiction was undeniably and radically visionary, leaping decades beyond the society of his day into the post millennial world of obligatory consumerism and instant gratification.  The declarations of one’s right to be unhappy, are the high point of the novel; but a high point that can only be followed by a fall.  The poor Savage will indeed find his unhappiness.” [Ursula K. LeGuin, Huxley’s Bad trip, pg. 129-131]

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8 infirmities [beware of men]

8 infirmities by Isaac Watts 1600-1700

1) Beware of one who appears  reserved, silent and withdraws from difficult topics, who appears to have no inclination to discourse, no tolerable capacity of speech and language for the communication of his sentiments.

2) Beware of one who appears haughty and proud of his knowledge, imperious in his airs, and is always fond of imposing his sentiments on all the company.

3) Beware of one who appears positive and dogmatical in his own opinions and will to dispute to the end; who resists the brightest evidence of truth rather than suffer himself to be overcome, or yield to the plainest or strongest of reasoning’s.

4) Beware of one who appears always to affects to outshine all the company, whilst rest must be silent and attentive.

5) Beware of one who appears whiffing and unsteady turn of mind, who cannot keep close to a point of controversy, but wanders from it perpetually and is always asking to say something, whether it be pertinent the question or not.

6) Beware of one who appears fretful and peevish and given to resentment  upon all occasions; if he know not how to bear contradiction or is ready to take things in the wrong sense; if he be swift to feel a supposed offence or to imagine himself affronted and then break out into a sudden passion or retain silent and sullen wrath.

7) Beware of one who appears to affect wit on all occasions and is full of his conceits and puns quirks and quibbles jests and repartees; these may agreeably entertain and animate an hour of mirth, but they have no place in the search after truth.

8) Beware of one who appears to carry always about him a sort of craft, and cunning, and disguise and act rather like a spy than a friend.  Beware, for such a one will make an ill use of freedom in conversation, and immediately charge upon you.

When Christ said, “beware of men”, I wonder if that warning did not imply this: “beware lest through men, that is, through perpetual comparison with other men, through habit and externalities, you allow yourself to be defrauded of the supreme good.” [Soren Kierkegaard, Works of Love, pg. 293]

Am I a bad person?

“You’re “actually” bad!” The 13 year old would shout as he threw sticks in the face of the 36 year old man who regretfully agreed to go for a walk with this shameful brat. The rodent continued in his harassment: “My uncle reacted the same way, I didn’t know if he was drunk or stupid!” He continued with his insults, “I wish I had someone smart with me.” When you’re in this situation, do not retaliate, do not imitate, and do not take it out on people who are even smaller. The natural tendency when receiving disrespect is to react by calling the even younger and more innocent children bad. If you must exact your revenge, take it out on the person who hurt you. Even higher and nobler is to refrain from imitation. Take the high ground and don’t become like the hateful people you are fated to spend time with.

evil spiritual will

The devil repeatedly will tell you things like, “you’re stupid”, “you’re creepy”, “you’re weak”, “you’re boring”, “you’re too nice”, “you’re wrong”, “you need professional help”, etc…. once those abusive remarks get inside of your heart and mind, the chances of you treating someone else with the same abusive contempt becomes high. The devils stand outside the house where you sleep and eat and they knock at your door and they write you letters, and they call you obsessive, and yet, they’re the one’s approaching you, they are the one’s who made you an object of their desire, they are the one’s harassing you with their unwanted approach, their unwanted text messages, their unwanted comments, the unwanted knocking at your door, and their unwanted letters. You simply want to be alone, and they think about your solitude and they want to destroy it.

no way out

“Jung has said that to be in a situation where there is no way out, or to be in a conflict where there is no solution, is the classical beginning of the process of individuation. It is meant to be a situation without solution: the unconscious wants the hopeless conflict in order to put ego-consciousness up against the wall, so that the man has to realise that whatever he does is wrong, whichever way he decides will be wrong. This is meant to knock out the superiority of the ego, which always acts from the illusion that it has the responsibility of decision. Naturally, if a man says, “Oh well, then I shall just let everything go and make no decision, but just protract and wriggle out of [it],” the whole thing is equally wrong, for then naturally nothing happens.

But if he is ethical enough to suffer to the core of his personality, then generally because of the insolubility of the conscious situation, the Self manifests. In religious language you could say that the situation without issue is meant to force the man to rely on an act of God. In psychological language the situation without issue, which the anima arranges with great skill in a man’s life, is meant to drive him into a condition in which he is capable of experiencing the Self. When thinking of the anima as the soul guide, we are apt to think of Beatrice leading Dante up to Paradise, but we should not forget that he experienced that only after he had gone through Hell. Normally, the anima does not take a man by the hand and lead him right up to Paradise; she puts him first into a hot cauldron where he is nicely roasted for a while.”

Marie-Louise von Franz, The Interpretation of Fairy Tale

what’s the password?

In Canada, an 11 year old girl approached the living space of a 35 year old man and knocked on the door. When he opened his door, she blocked the door, not letting him out, and asked provocatively, “what’s the password?”

“Umm…. how about, the password is, I’m paying rent here, this is where I eat and sleep, and you are unfairly trespassing on me for about the fifth time. If your father were doing what you are doing I would knock him out cold and drag his sorry ass back onto his own property where he belongs.”

Hint to parents: your kids stop being cute after a while…. it’s obvious you want to sit around doing nothing while criticizing me for doing nothing, which I’m not, but you only wish you could do nothing if you weren’t tied down by these borderline sociopathic, narcissistic brats. I made the sacrifices to have free time, to do what I like, and it seems you yuppies sit around thinking about what i’m doing, what I own, you decide it’s nothing, and you think you can interject with your embarrassing questions, that have embarrassing answers, coming from your embarrassing brats who are polluting my time and space. Good luck on the next person who has to deal with your tiresome circus!

the trial of Khudriam

The father of Ramakrishna, Khudriam was living comfortably with his wife and two children in his ancestral village Dereypore.

Khudiriam had two children, a son, Ramkumar, and also a daughter.  Khudiriam was the owner of many acres of farmland. It would be many years before the birth of Gadadhar [Ramakrishna].

Many years before Gadadhar was born, Khudiram was approached by a resentful, indignant village acquaintance.  Khudiram was asked by this man to share in his resentment and to bear false witness against a neighbor.

Khudriam did not resist his loyalty to his principles, “I was not there”, “I did not see it”, “I do not know for certain” – these three precepts were undivided from his personal truth, and he would not be coerced into bearing false witness against a neighbor who he had no resentment for.

The resentful acquaintance who had approached Khudriam, not getting the desired “cooperation” from Khudriam, was even more infuriated and dissatisfied.   His next move was to build a case against Khudriam and to report and charge Khudriam for an illegal offense.

The cost of the court proceedings [and the verdict] deprived Khudiram of his ancestral property.

Dispossessed of property and reputation, Khudiram travelled with his wife and two children to a distant village, Kamarpukur, where he was provided a dwelling on about an acre of fertile land.  The crops from this little property were enough to meet his family’s simple needs.

Ten years later, Khudiram made a pilgrimage to south india [Rameswar].  When he returned, his wife gave birth to his third son who he named Rameswar.

At the age of sixty, Khudiram made a second pilgrimage, this time to Gaya.  

At this holy place Khudiram had a dream in which the Lord Vishnu promised to be born as his fourth son.  

When Khudiram returned to his homeland, Khudriam and his wife conceived their fourth child, and On February 18, 1836, Gadadhar [later known as Ramakrishna] was born.  

In memory of the dream at Gaya, baby Ramakrishna was given the Epithet Gadadhar, meaning, the “Bearer of the Mace”.    It would not be until many decades that Gadadhar would be regarded as Ramakrishna.

Three years later, Khudriam’s fifth child, his second daughter, was born.

Gadahar grew up into a healthy and restless boy, full of fun and sweet mischief.  

By this time English traders laid the foundation of British rule in India, and Hindu society became infected by the new uncertainties and new beliefs.  

The soul of India was to be resuscitated through a spiritual awakening.  We hear the first call of this renascence in the spirited retort of the young Gadadhar: “Brother, what shall I do with a mere bread-winning education?”  

Ramkumar could hardly understand the import of his young brother’s reply.  Ramkumar described in bright colors the happy and easy life of scholars in Calcutta society.  

Gadadhar, however, intuitively felt that the scholars, to use one of his own vivid illustrations were like so many vultures, soaring high on the wings of their uninspired intellect, with the eyes fixed on the charnel-pit of greed and lust.  

Gadadhar stood firm and his brother Ramkumar had to give way.  Gadadhar’s series of uncompromising negations, heroic deeds and penetrating genius persisted through many decades and the brilliance and wisdom of his life landed him the title “Ramakrishna.”