Friday, February 28, 2003

Another dinner tonight with many friends. About twenty of us around a big table. Sharing and laughing, joking and playing. We started doing this ancient Russian tradition of Tamadah. Where each of us goes around the table and wishes a blessing on everyone else at the table for the year ahead. Very beautiful and heart warming.
An observation I noticed at all the dinners we had at various places around the city. There was a time many years ago when a big group of us would go out during a course like this one and the people would look at us very funny, hotel and restaurant staff etc. They didn't know what to think. Who are all these crazy people laughing and smiling all the time? they say they’re from some self evolvement course they're all taking. Probably a cult. they didn't know what to think. I think there was a lot of projection about that type of thing in days gone by. This year though I noticed how open and curious people were. The attitude was more like ‘hey what the hell are you guys on? And how can I get some of that?’ people have opened up now to expanding and improving themselves. I think maybe because of all the sorrow and confusion around the world, especially in the states, there has been a shift towards people searching for real enlightenment rather than mere dogma or rhetoric or status. In the roaring nineties, when Avatar started and developed, everyone was so focused on all the money being made all over America. There were more billionaires made in those ten years in America than anywhere else in the world at any other time in human history. So the question from people was always, ‘is it like a success course? Can it help me make more money?’ and now that has shifted to something more like, ‘self evolvement course? Can it help me be more happy?’ 
I feel like I have grown so much in the last two weeks. Like I am not even the same person as I was when I arrived here. I feel so clean and clear and happy and more confident to live the life I prefer. It doesn’t mean that life is suddenly free of it's problems and sorrows, but perhaps just that I am more prepared to deal with them; from a calmer more confident space. I am in awe of the peacefulness and happiness that I feel inside. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

I dreamt last night that the world was at war. All over the world in my dream there was war. Pain, death, fear, panic everywhere. I found some friends. They let me in through this chain link fence with barbed wire which led to a different world underneath everything on the surface. They told me that this is where we have to go right now to get away from all the war on the earth. Stay here. it's safe. I awoke from the dream feeling that although things may get pretty creepy and downright ugly over the next few months or years, that somewhere beneath the surface there is still a large group of us who see through to the other side. As the powers that be fight their petty battles over imaginary distinctions between right and wrong there is still hope among us that in the end there is the shining light within us all that knows that somewhere there is a win-win game waiting to unfold for us all. 
Someone had commented ‘imagine what will happen on the planet when we start using all of our resources among us to start helping each other rather than fighting and hurting each other.’ Imagine if instead of countries like America or china or Russia or Iraq or Korea continuing to build up their armies and war machines they instead started building up their feed the hungry machines or their cure the sick machines or their empower your neighbor machines. Why are companies that build weapons of mass destruction for profit, and companies that are trying to feed the millions who are hungry or stop human rights violations non-profit? When did we first decide to start pedaling backwards? And I am always struck by our willingness to allow this to still exist here. we hear about the billions of dollars that are made by giant multi-national companies by the production of weapons of mass destruction. But at the same time we are also often reminded by our governments of how little money and resources there are to really solve the world’s hunger, homeless, famine, and sickness problems. So obviously something is not right. like our giant collective brain as a people is just not working quite right yet.    

Monday, February 24, 2003

Watched the readings from the slave narratives last night on HBO. Obviously a very moving experience for anyone. But when I watch these dramatizations of tragic historical events, I do not spend much time reflecting on the event itself, like when I was a kid I would just sit in sadness and sympathy for the victims, whether it was the Africans or the native peoples of the Americas or the Jews of Europe or just poor people here in the America; what it really does to me now is make me sit and think about any instances in our present time where we are still experiencing similar situations of blatant human rights violations. Where one group of us may be mistreating or disrespecting or using another weaker group for their own gain. Where in the world are the injustices that we can right in this very instant as a people? And why aren't we righting these wrongs right now? Are we waiting for the made for TV docudrama? 

Sunday, February 23, 2003

I am in Orlando for the 12th annual Avatar wizards’ course. 1030 people from almost every country in the world speaking 26 different languages. All gathered together for two weeks twelve hours per day working to help create an enlightened planetary civilization through mutual self discovery and evolvement and the discreation of thousands of disaligned beliefs in consciousness. As always I am in awe of everyone’s willingness to show up and do whatever it takes to feel better, more clear, more clean, more real, and face their own beliefs that may not be serving them or the world as a whole. There is this overwhelming feeling of joy and gratitude that has filled the room. now that it is near the end. Everyone feels very good. Happy, free, clean, relieved, empowered, aware-will in the void. In awe of themselves and their creations. Very willing to explore and to change themselves for the betterment of the world as a whole. It's very refreshing to be in a group this large of thousands of people from every walk of life talking about things like this, making the world a better place, rather than the usual banter of he said she said etc.  
Current Spin: I cannot stop listening to the soundtrack for the film Faranelli. It is so beautiful.   

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Played a show tonight to a good crowd of friends and fans in Orlando, FL. many commented that they didn't expect the band’s new sound to be so hard, compared to rise and shine. but we sold a lot of cds. Sometimes I worry that we may alienate fans by changing styles so much from album to album. but I am not sure that we would be able to do it any other way. tonight was a good show though. Everyone was dancing and smiling and screaming. Good times.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Well it happened. Millions of people marched and protested for peace all over the world, specifically to stop the Bush administration—not America—from invading Iraq. This was the single largest world-wide peace protest in history. Is it the right thing to do? like I've said, I don't know. God knows we are all going to feel like a bunch of idiots if two months down the road Iraq turns around and surprises us or another country with an attack of some kind. But I doubt they will now. at least not for some time. it really appears that Osama bin laden and al queda are a bigger threat to all of us right now, especially here in the states. Why the focus on sadaam and not on trying to find bin laden? Who the hell knows? 
Today's protests en masse proved that it's a small world after all. Humanity is so connected now and information so readily available to everyone that we can mobilize in a matter of weeks even days to speak our minds. This isn't the sixties anymore. Things have changed. Things will continue to change. It is an exciting time to be alive.  

“In New York City, the people defied police refusal to grant a march permit by turning the upper east side broad boulevards into a sea of humanity. Hundreds of thousands filled First Avenue, Second Avenue and Third Avenue. On First Avenue the rally stretched from 52nd St. past 80th St. Second and Third Avenues, and even over to Lexington Avenue, were clogged with demonstrators who were prevented by police barricades and checkpoints from reaching the main assembly site. The police also used horses, clubs and pepper spray to carry out assaults against peaceful protesters. The National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee reports that over 320 people have been arrested, and that many are being held in tight handcuffs without access to water, food or bathroom facilities.
Demonstrations took place in scores of cities throughout the United States. In Los Angeles, 100,000 demonstrated in the largest anti-war protest in many years. 5,000 marched in Houston, 7,000 in Chicago, more than 7,000 in Sacramento, thousands marched in San Jose and Detroit. In San Francisco, the demonstration is taking place on Sunday, February 16.
Internationally, the demonstrations included some of the biggest ever. The original call for the February 15 demonstrations came from the European anti-war movement. In London, the demonstration was nearly two million according to march organizers. Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Australia all protested. Millions more marched throughout Europe -- in Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam and throughout the continent. In Damascus, 200,000 marched. Tens of thousands marched in Buenos Aires. In Toronto, 80,000 took to the streets. 
Please send us reports and photos (to about the actions in your town or city so that we can tell all the VoteNoWar members about each others' efforts.
Take it to the White House
On March 1, there will be an Emergency Convergence on the White House in Washington DC. As George Bush evaluates whether he can defy the will of the people and plunge ahead with his criminal war plans, it is time for the people of the U.S. to take it back to the White House and make it clear that he can not proceed on this path. At the White House convergence on March 1, thousands of people will demand No War on Iraq. They will also call for George Bush to be impeached for crimes committed in planning and executing war abroad and assaulting constitutionally protected civil rights and civil liberties at home. Please help us to build this event.”

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

This is a record of the times…
An amazing day personally. Days away from being finished with our new album, and we are ecstatic at how it sounds. But any personal wins are overshadowed by the state of current world affairs. On a world level, things are getting worse for us. 

From ABC: 
“After months of silence, a man believed to be Osama Bin Laden has released a new message. Broadcast just moments ago by the Arab satellite station, Al Jazeera, Bin Laden calls on all Muslims to fight the United States and unite to defend the Iraqi people.  He calls on Iraqis to carry out suicide attacks against Americans.  The statement says the attack on Iraq is being led by the United States in order to tip the regional balance of power in favor of Israel.
The existence of this audio tape became widely known earlier today after Secretary of State Colin Powell mentioned it during a Senate hearing. Secretary Powell argued that this tape shows why the world needs to be concerned about Iraq's connection to terrorism.
All of this comes just a few days after the U.S. government raised the terror alert to orange, the second highest status level, in reaction to what is described as serious threats of new terrorist attacks against the U.S. or U.S. interests abroad.  Government officials have advised all Americans to stockpile a survival kit in case of a chemical or biological attack, including duct tape, batteries and a three day supply of food and water.  Here in Washington, where residents were already concerned that their city is a potential target of terrorism, local hardware stores are already reporting a run on duct tape.”

Saturday, February 08, 2003

We are on high orange alert now in the United States. The second highest we can be. at any minute we could be attacked again. But no one in Miami seems to care or even notice. We are oblivious to it. In New York, LA, same thing. Life goes on. Blow us up. Go ahead. And we will blow you up back. Even worse. And the world will be that less full of humans come tomorrow. In the end it doesn’t even matter. We are a dying species. Pretending we are something. Assigning some bullshit arbitrary value to ourselves and everything we believe in simply because we know of nothing else in the universe yet. So yes let’s blow each other up if you want to. With your stupid fucking war games. Over greed and religious beliefs made of quicksand.    

Friday, February 07, 2003

14th annual subtropics experimental music festival tonight. I love this artist called Needle who is making electronic noise really. I could listen to it all day. Friends think I am crazy. Obsessed with photo books as of late. Amused in the book store tonight at the irony of it. all I buy now is picture books. Whenever I say I'm reading something I'm really listening to it on CD. If a book doesn’t come out as a ‘book on CD,’ I have a tough time taking it down. I just don't have the time or energy to read words. But I love reading pictures and photo books. Especially nudes, bodies, fashion, male or female. so a lot of the listening I am doing lately is to books and a lot of the reading I am doing is of pictures. The Pimsleur method for Italian wakes me up most mornings, rich dad, poor dad drives me around during the day. Wayne dyer’s real magic puts me to sleep many nights. 

[Especially amused when listening to rich dad poor dad---where Robert completely convinces you of the importance of not spending your income but only your assets—it's really an amazing read/listen/study/theory if you will. I'm sure most people already know it. I'm always the last to know. and how important it is for your income to contribute as much as you can to your assets and your assets in turn will begin to then contribute to your income eventually and then you won't have to actually work to ‘make money.’ But rather your money will be working for you. and me spending everything I make plus all my savings and investments of the last five years on this new album of ours. He says ‘never touch your savings or investments for luxuries...’ my body winces... ‘uh oh,’ I think. the only saving grace is that Fred [producer/engineer of the record] is contributing a lot of their own money to it too. So that makes it a little easier.]   

Watched the docudrama about Michael Jackson and I was as shocked by it I think as anyone was, but what really shocked me even more was the fact that Michael opened his home, his staff, and his family up to this journalist Martin Bashir--- let him live with him for eight months and this asshole has the nerve to go on television last night and say all of these bad things about Michael. After the show aired Michael said, “Today I feel more betrayed than perhaps ever before; that someone who had got to know my children, my staff and me, whom I let into my heart and told the truth, could then sacrifice the trust I placed in him and produce this terrible and unfair program.” 
No wonder Michael is such a freak and isolates himself so much. What a dick that guy is. I'm not a fan of MJ. I don't even own any of his albums except for off the wall, but where has the trust gone in this world? I mean, lately I'm just starting to realize, was there ever any trust in the world among men to begin with?

Current Spin: the silver mount Zion memorial orchestra, Born into trouble as the sparks fly upward. Some good instrumental ambience. 

Thursday, February 06, 2003

In the studio all day yesterday, over twelve hours, adding two new tracks that may or may not go on the new album. but we worked our butts off. 

I am tired of seeing a different articles or dissertations pop up every other day about music downloading. People are wasting their time and everyone else’s talking about it, philosophizing about it. what we need is a programmer to come out of the closet and he will make millions of dollars overnight. The solution, what will happen, is very obvious. Hear it now, believe it when you see it. All music will be digitally encoded with download stamps, to prevent it from being downloaded except through proprietary software that comes on everyone’s computer that you pay a monthly fee for, just like you now pay for your phone bill or your electric or your cable. All computers will begin to be manufactured with anti-music-downloading software that you can turn off by paying your monthly bill. Don't download music? Don't pay. Don't want people to have to pay to download your music—for example with a free promo track? Then don't digitally encode your new song; or better yet—encode it open or closed, depending on if you want people to be able to stream it or download it and how many times. If you choose to, you can always go buy a “descrambler” to avoid paying like many assholes currently do in order to steal cable TV. Cliona told me the other day, “I guess people just don't feel the criminality of it as much because they don't really know the victims and no one really gets in trouble for it.” once this system is setup it will be more illegit to steal music, etc. like anything else, internet access, electric, etc. most people don't go around stealing that stuff. it's a service and most people are happy to pay for it. again, what we don't need is more people talking about it, ruminating on it. what we need is for the programming to be done and licenses secured with all the major computer manufacturers. 

Current Spin: rock bottom by Robert Wyatt. A classic, although it hasn’t gotten under my skin yet. 

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Looking through time magazine’s annual year in pictures issue. A solemn affair. From grieving widows in Kashmir, to parentless children in Palestine, from 25 million orphans in Africa due to their parents death of aids, to Liberian refugees who live and die in camps, tens of thousands of people dead in a small country called Chechnya fighting for their freedom and independence from a greedy evil uncaring empire called Russia, and the Russian theatre goers who became victims of their own country’s greed, much the same way that thousands died in New York city from September 11th attacks paid for their own country’s greed and mistakes in foreign policy and covert operations all over the world. A whole country called Venezuela in complete and utter desperate turmoil and not a soul in the western world seems to care because there is nothing to be gained by it. so we turn away. death death death and more death. All over the world. Sadness tears blood and torture. This was the year we saw in time magazine’s annual review. This is the current state of the world all of a sudden. Bombs in Bali. Snipers in DC. Gulf War veteran killing his teachers, fellow students, and himself in Arizona. Every page more pain and sadness. And beneath it all, lies lies and more lies. From the mouths of the ‘rich and in control’ to the ears of the ignorant middle classes. 

I'm thinking ‘remember when it wasn't like this?’ ‘Remember when all we thought about was which stock was going to rise the highest today? Should we buy Amazon or sell EBay? You bought what? A BMW 330Ci convertible? Well look at my new Audi! Did it matter that Clinton boffed his intern?  Well wouldn’t you? No? Look at her. Yea I know, but still…c’mon, you would…’ These were the worries of days gone by. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Had a dream last night that several friends and I were hanging out all night. I walked out onto the terrace to have a smoke before retiring. It was 2AM. It was still light outside. We all stood outside and stared out over the horizon. It was still light outside and it was close to five AM by this time. something had happened. The world had changed. There was a horror in the shocking absence of darkness. There was something ominous in the air all over the world. I awoke with this feeling. Imagine a world with no night time. I think it would be worse than no light. 

Last Movie:  farenelli, il castrato. Great music. 

Sunday, February 02, 2003

“Grief doubts God.” Ram Dass. 

Again and again I find myself filled with enormous feelings of gratefulness for my close friends and family; I am very blessed and lucky for this. 

Discovering a personal power within that is based on not wasting any time on things that are not aligned with my outcomes/results for the year and over all life. This is not easy. It is a field I have studied for years now. I have about sixteen years of intense study invested into time and data management skills. And still feel like I am just learning what it takes to achieve, to really achieve results. The more you focus on it, the more you learn, the more you realize how short life truly is if you plan on achieving everything your heart desires rather than just dreaming. I observe that a lot of people spend a lot of time doing things that will not contribute to the achievement of their personal goals; unaligned actions abound. Spontaneous watching of TV [as opposed to deliberate scheduling and taping]. Drinking and ‘partying’ is another very popular one. People will ask, hey lets go have a drink. Things like happy hours, going to clubs at night to sit or stand around and watch others. I am not against any of these activities for others, just observing how much time one can spend in a lifetime doing them while discussing their real life goals and passions rather than actually doing them, or even starting them. the difference between the doers and the dreamers. The haves and the have-nots.  

I don't think I am any better than anyone else at this. but I am finding it easier and easier to “know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em,” so to speak. Knowing when to stop watching a movie or a video as soon as I realize that I don't like it. The tendency is to finish watching it anyway, just because you started it. Now I just turn it off. Same with music. I used to feel like I had to listen to a CD all the way through, maybe there was something there that I needed to hear, you know, like studying it or something, getting to know it because everyone else is into it. Now I can get through a CD I don't particularly enjoy in less than five minutes. I follow my intuition. If I am not enjoying, then I just skip through it. I no longer feel this need to hang on. My intuition knows. This creates more time to enjoy the things we find that we actually really get off on. And for each of us that is different stuff. just because the rest of the world is at the moment obsessed with eminem, Britney spears, or Jennifer lopez, or with forwarding email jokes or chain letters et al., doesn’t mean they hold any significance to you or me.