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I perused this convention's website. So, not formally a book, magazine, or anything of the like. But it seems worthy of mention... and here's the spot where I do that sort of thing.

These communities have an appeal. There is no doubt about that. But I doubt I am attendee material. I say this having previously decided it was not worth my time to attend PyCon and that I would be better off viewing the videos online. Of course, I say all this. But the intent when looking over the site was to decide whether to attend or not. Um, that's not going to happen. They were sold out. So, maybe it's sour grapes. On the other hand, I consider DefCon to be the more important convention. And even if I could get a ticket for $250 (tickets for Thotcon are only $150, if I remember correctly), I doubt I would go.

Still, I liked looking at the pictures... and the (Power Point) slide decks, which were available.

From there, I zipped over to SchmooCon's site. Their tickets sold-out in under twenty seconds last year. There were three releases. And each release sold out in about 6 seconds. So, I think it's safe to say that as long as I am on the fence about attending, I don't want it enough to make it happen.

Still, Thotcon has a nice site. Thumbs up. I like the feel.

The Things They Carried

This is a much better book than the length of my review may indicate. For whatever reason, when starting to read this book, I decided to make no notes. That decision fell apart around the second chapter. But was reinstituted prior to the third. Meaning, I really did just read this book (almost all of it), letting the words flow over me rather than dissecting the story bit by bit. I enjoyed the flow. It was a very good book. Who knows how accurate it was? In fact, towards the end, the impossibility of accuracy (in a war story) is, perhaps, the entirety of the book's theme. Still, I enjoyed my time. Ironically, I have touched this book (or the stories contained within it) before, as the imagery was highly reminiscent. As in, I had watched that kid die before. It was a familiar track in my mind. Of course, if there is a failure in all this, it is my (now) callus disregard for his tragic demise. I have turned the corner. And I find it hard to continue to care about those who died fifty years ago in a senseless war... when I cannot muster any empathy for those currently dying in senseless wars... as I must assume, all wars are.

Easy Crosswords

These Crosswords were, indeed, both Fun-to-Solve and Easy. I am only five crosswords in and I'm not entirely sure why I am throwing this book away. Well, the putative reason is that I don't want to do anymore. But I was having fun solving them. And it really is the wrong time of day (when I am bored and tired) to be making such decisions. But then, if I don't want to do something when I am bored and tired, perhaps it is not the activity for me.

Eh, in truth, it may be as simple as looking at the time commitment (let's call it 100 hours) that doing the entire book would represent and knowing (just knowing) I'd rather spend that time working on something else equally inane... like building something out of LEGOs.

{Time is getting short... and/or it feels that way more and more. Certainly, my vision is degrading at a rapid rate. So, how do I want to spend what little remains? Of either Life? Or my Vision?}

Eat Pray Sudoku

Will Shortz Presents
100 Easy To Hard Puzzles
Introduction By Will Shortz

I got this Sudoko book at the same time as the above crossword puzzle book (from the free stack at the library, which is where I get almost all of my books). I only did one or two of the Sudokus, preferring the crosswords. And if I cannot be bothered to work the crossword puzzle book, I most certainly do not have time for any Sudokus.


Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury

I will forego the excerpts... maybe.

The first excerpt I would have included is a warning against authority. And as such, is a warning against reading too much into this very tome. Ironic. But insightful.

The second had to do with one of his emotional definitions. Eh, I shall include it.
"Love of one singularly, with desire to be singularly beloved, the passion of love. The same, with fear that the love is not mutual, jealousy."
I found his emotional definitions insightful and spot-on.

On the other hand, his intent (for the entire book, I believe) was to construct a logical proof. But I have enough doubts regarding his groundwork to care much about his conclusions.

I stopped thirty odd pages in. But that's just a guess, as I neglected to make note.

Tears of the Mystic Rose

rajneesh reveals osho
however small your inner flame... it is your inner flame

do not borrow it from any teacher or guru or master
they cannot give you anything
I read (i.e. interpreted) Tears of the Mystic Rose as a Hindu / Buddhist Wet Dream with the promise of enlightenment as the ultimate reward. As such, I find its revelations concerning the underlying dream to be insightful. On the other hand (and quite ironically), I cannot say I am taken by the author's honesty, integrity, and/or self-awareness. For me, there is something missing... not just the ways and means (in short, the steps on the path, the How To of it all). But rather, I am referring to the author's situation in life. There are pieces missing. I believe I would consider these pieces to be important. And their absence raises (and/or brings to mind... my mind, at least) the aforementioned questions regarding truth, honesty, and self-awareness.

As poetry, omitting the surreal emotionally charged chapters in which altered states are described (or more accurately, in which such descriptions are attempted), I very much enjoyed this work (so the previously mentioned parts, I did not much care for, but the rest I very much did) and cruised through the entire thing in less than a week, devouring the words wholesale, putting all other reading on hold.

The Story concerns a life I will not lead and answers (for me, at least) certain questions regarding The Quest for Enlightenment, The Meditative Life, and/or how rajneesh (the author) would like others to view the time he has spent here on Earth.

Please Note: This is not the typical sort of book I am drawn to. I wanted to know why anyone would revere Osho, which is something this book really does not answer. But when I gave this work the once over (i.e. a preliminary scan), the accompanying artwork really stood out. It's incredible. The art is a big part of this book. As such, even though I had thought to skip this book the first time around, the art and layout stood out so much in my mind, that I went went back for it.

I'm glad I did.

The story moves.

And if one eliminates any spiritual pretence (hey, he's just that crazy guy who walks slow, everybody says so, busy having another psychotic break with reality), I am willing to give the endeavour a Gold Star.

As a life set to poetic verse, it just works.

My hat is off.


The God That Failed

Hugh Milne
Swami Shivamurti

Let's start with a few quotes, shall we?
In another Tantric session at Poona, the male participants had to eat a ripe mango from between their female partners' legs. The mangoes were very popular with everyone.
['The Fuck Tape'] consisted of Bhagwan extolling and describing at length the forty different possible uses of the work 'fuck'.
Moses Invests,
Jesus Saves,
Bhagwan Spends!
Rajneesh discotheques remained popular
The guru-disciple relationship, as I know from my own experience, is not an easy addiction to kick.
It is vitally important never to give another person the power to make your decisions for you.
The above quote regarding mangoes is the most titillating passage in the book. And although sex is mentioned numerous times, it's usually mentioned by innuendo, as the introduction of a new long-term partner (of the author's), and/or followed quickly by concerns regarding venereal disease.

If the previous work (Mystic Rose) was emotion, this is more factual. Though, I think I understand the appeal of a guru for some.
Couple this with a belief that a No Mind, No Ego, No Self state is the ideal, and the field becomes ripe for total subjugation.

I am willing to believe that in the early days Bhagwan was quite helpful to his disciples, leading them down their chosen path. But at some point (it would appear, to me, at least), his desires (for his followers) switched from Meditative Enlightenment to a more of a What Can I Get Out Of You attitude.

Meaning, if one wants to achieve an Egoless State, letting go of one's ego makes sense. And over time, the recipient of said ego may well start to value Works Over Faith, if you know what I mean.

After all, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely... or so, I have been told.

John The Baptist

In other news (so, this is not a book review, rather just a story), when I was busy Flunking out of UC Berkeley (it only took me a few weeks, so in your face, laggards), I looked forward to the Political Discussions out on the plaza in front of Sproul Hall during lunchtime.

One day, I witnessed the utter destruction of some Un-Enlightened Christian Zealot (for, there can be Enlightened Christian Zealots) by a Near Eastern Studies Graduate Student. I was impressed, listened until the end (as I was not going to class that afternoon), and when it was over, longed for more. The Student ended up inviting me to grab a coffee with him at some local cafe. I know he did the inviting, as I would have never made such a bold step. And rather, I would have simply listened to what he had to say (literally for hours) where we stood.

Actually, I should mention, I have an amazing capacity to listen to others, when they interest me. A Schizophrenic Street Person can be quite mesmerizing when they are on a roll. And this guy was far from Schizophrenic.

We talked... and talked... and talked.

Or rather, I listened... and listened... and listened.

And then, his girlfriend showed up at the coffee shop and he had better things to do with his time than entertain a Lost Undergraduate Student on the verge of dropping out. But he did give me two bits of parting wisdom, which has earned him the nickname John The Baptist in my mind. Thus, his name likely was John. But the second part has more to do with my own personal delusions of grandeur than his religious slant.

Anyway, his advice:
And that was that.

I never saw him again... just like your typical walk on character in your better Mythical Fairy Tales.

I will say that No Money part has acted as an amazingly effective shield against Con Men and Swindlers, which this money grubbing fool has taken to heart.

Anyway, that's as close to joining a cult as I ever got. The cult wouldn't have me. The cult wasn't really a cult. And I never even knew I was interviewing for the role.

Oh, drat!

What if I hadn't blown it and aced that interview, instead?

The Madman's Guide to Enlightenment

Talks given from 1/6/78 to 30/6/78 Darshan Diary

I intended for this to complete my study of the Bhagwan: aka Osho. But I found the discourse to be un-illuminating. From a non-believer's perspective, it comes across a lot like an Astrological Reading... easy to be interpreted as a person desires, but of low predictive value.


My eyesight sucks. Reading hard copy has become more and more difficult and/or annoying. And I find myself pulling back from many a project... in a major sort of way.

Further, I have started (been working on) a Journal Project (sort of like a Diary), which replaces the need (want, and/or desire) for this project in many ways.

Thus, I do not expect very many more entries in this spur... and certainly not very many Short Form Entries, as can be found on this page.

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