Archive for the ‘Points_To_Ponder’ Category

Shakespearean Buddha

October 22, 2008

To my mentor, H.

As far back as I can remember, I used to get this sensation of utter despair whenever my mind wandered to thoughts of existence. I mean, when thinking about where this All comes from, and what is going to happen when the Universe ends. I abandoned God when I was a pre-teenager, so maybe this was part of the residue:)

It was quite painful to contemplate, occurring mainly in the evenings when I would be in bed. Nowhere to run! I could no longer occupy my self with the usual whirring of work and reading and talking and…It was similar to a toothache, actually, in that it hit a nerve, somewhere in my brain.

I’m sure many have experienced this. There is even a French School named for it:)

Major relief was provided some years ago when a certain H. told me the only thing he knew about Zen Buddhism. I do not recall the exact words, but effectively he said that when we look up at the night sky, we see stars. They’re just stars. It had quite an effect on me. That night I went out and held my arms raised against the sky. It felt like I was connecting with something. And, yes, I saw stars. As though for the first time.

It calmed my mind tremendously. That sensation is no longer overwhelming when I occassionally do experience it (For more on this topic, refer to Osho’s book ‘Intuition’).

I was reminded of it on Saturday while watching the movie ‘Good Night and Good Luck’ about Ed Morrow. In it they quoted Shakespeare:

Cassius: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves…”

The Bard Buddha. The Buddhist Bard.

While I am here rambling on matters non-material, I remarked recently that my two favourite philosophers, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, had in common that they were both hospital orderlies during a war in their era.

Now I think there is another link: Nietzsche’s famed ‘Übermensch’ is premised on the idea of what we are Becoming. Just as the tree is what the sand, water and sunshine are becoming, so too, the Übermensch (that is, incidentally, also of the earth) is what we are becoming.

The connection to Wittgenstein is the latter’s statement that the meaning of a word is in its use (he may not have been the first to say this, I agree, but it was central to his language arguments). So, simplistically, the lever is the use of a stick, somehow. So I want to say: the lever is what the stick is becoming.

Or is that saying too much? Should we rather pass over in silence?


The End of Time is Nowish…

February 13, 2007

On Sunday we experienced a drag in time. Or perhaps it was a drift, a slow meandering through the afternoon. The hours were dragging their feet, and the minutes were drifting off course. Mimicing the movements of tectonic plates in their pondering, I imagine.

From one o’ clock to five o’clock and beyond was the equivalent of a normal twenty four hour period. It was like being stuck in time traffic. The infinite sequence of future presents piling up, waiting patiently to happen.

Then  yesterday I found a book by Julian Barbour called “The End of Time.” I have heard of the man, but not encountered his work before. Was this a coincidence, I wonder(ed)? Or were two sets of events squeezed together deliberately to create the effect?

From an initial reading of the book, his contention is that time does not exist; our belief in it being analogous to the situation of believing that the sun rotates around the earth. Perhaps it is an epiphenomenon?

I heard this ad today, oh boy!

August 30, 2006

About the government department that is working “effortlessly” to empower women through the use of technology. It was on SAfm before 9am.

I am glad to hear that they have reached that level of efficiency where they can glide along effortlessly, and the IT industry is always on about working smarter, etc, but surely they mean, or maybe I just want them to mean, “tirelessly”?

Columbine, IRAQ.

July 4, 2006

Hey! I realised the other night that the reason for the drop since 1999 in Columbine-like incidents in US schools is due to the war in Iraq! Yes, it’s true: all those depraved teenagers that would have shot up their schoolmates are now involved in massacres in Baghdad, Fallujah, etc. Makes you want to think, huh?

From Wikipedia:The Columbine High School massacre occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in unincorporated Jefferson County, Colorado, near Denver and Littleton. Two teenage students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, carried out a shooting rampage, killing 12 fellow students and a teacher, as well as wounding 24 others, before committing suicide.

From The Mail&Guardian ( The Pentagon said on Monday it had charged a former United States soldier with raping and killing a young woman in Iraq and killing three members of her family in what may prove one of the most incendiary war crimes investigations since the invasion in 2003.