Thursday, March 21, 2013

States Rights Vs. United States

Was involved in a recent conversation on Facebook with a small crowd re what to do with the leftover pulp after juicing and received a variety of intriguing suggestions. From face masks to making paper to composts. One participant suggested we feed it to the worms in our worm bin. I'd need to acquire a worm bin first of course. And it might be a good idea to learn just what one needs a worm bin for in the first place before I do that. Case solved. Worms make excellent composters evidently.

Say what one will, but Facebook - like TV or a standing army for that matter - is an amazing tool if put in the right hands, just as it can be a useless inane or even dangerous weapon if placed in the wrong hands.

Got me to thinking. WA state where I live part time, just started residential composting for everyone. Every house now has three bins to put out every week. One for garbage one for recycling and one for compost. Very impressive. In the last year or two they have also legalized marijuana (seriously, as in yeah you can smoke it just because you enjoy it, imagine that), legalized gay / same sex marriage, and are now ardently working to outlaw the death penalty. What's next? Outlawing congressional lobbying and political campaign reform?!? (One can dream...)

These bold moved illustrate the power and effectiveness of States' Rights if a state and its residents so choose to act; and hopefully helps shed light on the overarching issue itself. More than anything one hopes it sets an example for others to follow and God willing encourages some to stop trying to encourage the Federal government to force national laws on the entire population as some of my more well meaning but short sighted friends insist they do.

The media and social networks nationwide are abuzz lately with blathering hyperbolic debates by both wonks and fools regarding a seemingly endless list of new laws some want to enforce on every man woman and child in the entire country in the United States. I've stated my case both publicly and to friends and lovers and thus am thoroughly tired of arguing about the issue. At this point I refuse to spend another precious minute debating it with anyone unless that person has the power to approve or veto a bill of law.

The way I see it, and this is only my opinion -- I am well aware of that fact, one of the greatest aspects of the United States of America is inherent right in its name. One just need take a few minutes, or hours if need be, and contemplate the words that make up the name of our great national experiment we call "a country". It's a fascinating exercise. We don't live in America. (as any central or south american will quickly remind you). Unlike people from most other countries, we live in a place called "the united STATES of America". One infers it is a collection of different areas or regions referred to as States that are all united behind a central theme or collection of values. One of the most endearing aspects of living in the U.S. is the variety of differences one can find by traveling around the country and personally experiencing each State and it's people for who they are as individuals and collectively as an independent state.

One interesting bit of history often forgotten about today is that the only way that the so called founding fathers got all the different states already established in The Colonies to ratify the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution (look this up to be exact...) was if the wording was changed to reflect that each state had its own inherent rights and would not be under strict control of a national government. Of course this has been almost completely done away with now. There are so many federal laws on the books now dictating what every state in the union can or cannot do that at times it seems that the only differentiating factor between one state or another is their state bird or flower. One can safely assume this is NOT what the founding fathers of this unheralded democratic experiment had in mind when constructing the general foundation of the country.

I have always asserted, since studying and pondering this issue, that the people who live in each state should be allowed to determine their own rules and laws as they see fit as long as they don't infringe on the safety or welfare or generally agreed upon human rights of others.

There are of course exceptions to every rule. Especially in extreme cases. Slavey was one such exception. But even today with all we've learned I personally am not totally convinced that the Northern states had a right to force the Southern states to stay a part of the so called Union or country against their will and abolish slavery. This is debatable of course. And perhaps it's more fodder for stimulating thought and debate than a worthwhile endeavor to be taken seriously. But scholars agree that the Northern states were motivated more by greed and economic concerns than by a desire to be of service to others or defend human rights. They would have never survived had the Southern states been allowed to start their own country. So they forced them to stay. There are a lot of lessons in that.

Perhaps it is an event we can lean from still. As we push and pull and morph in our ever burgeoning quest toward progress and further evolution we might be well served to allow each state to take responsibility for its own rules and laws jus this once, perhaps for a short period of time -- a year or two or three -- and see what comes of it. Certain compromises could be rewarded with benefits of being aligned with national or global consensus; and vice versa. This is a model that could be explored and expounded on for pages and pages.

In short I believe it can be summed up this way: if the entire southern half of the United States wants to be heartless sexist racist homophobic earth killing environment destroying gun-toting religious-extremist murderers, let's just let them and if one isn't happy living there they are free to move to a state more aligned with their own values. The fear and i believe it is a valid one is that constant enactment of broad sweeping national laws is a dangerous slippery slope that should frighten any forward thinking freedom loving citizen of the world.

- Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone

Monday, March 18, 2013

Observations Re Modern Television - Fixes (1)

Observations re modern television. This just occurred to me, but had been boiling just below the surface for months.

[as most already know, for the first 30 years of my life I did not "subscribe" to television. literally nor figuratively. not sure if there is any better way to say it; subscribe seems appropriate since most people pay a monthly fee for cable or satellite service. (a lot of people when television comes up say something like "I don't have a tv" but 9 times out of 10 they're not being honest. what they mean to say is that they don't watch that much tv or they don't subscribe to any service). regardless, i I was one of those people for most of my life. a little more than a year ago i started deliberately studying television. actively seeking out anything and everything that was suggested or recommended as being "good" or even just popular. for many reasons. the two primary purposes of this experiment though were, one, i had been, still am, working on a prediction/theory for the We Are the Revolution/Personal Expression Age book that American television was about to enter into a quasi-renaissance of sorts, which it was and now IS, without a doubt; so i wanted to explore the medium and its content more; after all, this was a theory based on intuition and research. I wanted to get a firsthand experience of it. So i began subscribing to cable television. I was right. It is. Two, i intuited that if i were right in this prediction, then "good writing" by smart people would be more in demand than ever before in human history. historically, good writers, smart writers do not go near television. in fact, smart people in general, not even as consumers of the product, do not go near television. but all that's changed. at least in my opinion. they do now. both to consume and to write for it. it makes sense. it was only a matter of time. i am writer. it is what i do more and better than anything else. music is another. but writing... is like breathing for me. (an extension of thinking really, when you think it through deeper, to its core. some might be surprised that most people do not spend as much time as others do "thinking". i am still amazed by how few people consciously and deliberately "think"... just a thought. perhaps more on that later. we're already three or four layers past our original point by now.) for many of my closest friends and colleagues, they too are addicted to thinking and writing by their very nature. television is a giant medium. it dwarfs the world of books, literature, journalism and the movie business. writers can eat and support themselves if they would only open up to television. the problem of course is that traditionally no writer worth their weight in copper even would dare write for television. at least not in their own name. but... if television were truly about to enter a renaissance and begin to allow good writing into it's bed and not exist solely as a cheap opiate for the masses as it normally had been since its inception, then worthy writers might actually find the task bearable if not downright enjoyable. so began my exploration of american television. this is not the place or time to post my findings. but suffice it to say that the theory proofed out. though american television is still primarily shite, for lack of a better word, pandering for attention like a toothless dime-store hooker in a broken wheelchair, it does possess a fair amount of decent writing. that's probably too generous actually. not a lot. not even a little. (pardon me if this offends. i am well aware that i am speaking to a very small crowd here. literati and intellectuals only perhaps. people who would never normally even consider "watching television" as a past time. a world that has almost entirely disappeared in modern times.) soon my experiment evolved from exploration to study. the question no longer lingered. i had my answer. but a new question arose. HOW does one write for television? what is the art (if any) or craft of it? the time limits obligated by archaic programming paradigms necessitate a very specific method and style, as compared to film or printed word where there is more freedom. and thus for the last six months i have been studying television the same way a marine biologist might study dolphins. most of the time it is an excruciating task i must confess. but occasionally it is downright pleasurable.]

But still there is this time limit thing. that's not the only problem with modern american television, renaissance or not; far from it. but it is the main reason i pulled out the iPad in this moment. to address this particular problem with a few ideas for potential fixes that just occurred to me. the idea goes something like this: consider LOST for a moment. that show ran for eight or nine seasons, once a week for an hour per episode, airing approximately 28 weeks out of each year. i only learned of this show a few months ago. sat down to watch one episode in October, found that i liked it, that it was relatively entertaining. from there i watched all nine seasons in a matter of a few weeks. one after the other. for hours and days at a time. nine years of television in a month. i did this because i sincerely enjoyed the show. (unlike most people i was not disappointed by the show's new age spiritual finale. i was fine with it. it is not my place to judge where the shows creators wanted to take their show. it was their baby). but here's the rub: if i had been the average person, waiting each week with baited breath for each new episode to air, I would have given up on it in season one. i don't live the kind of lifestyle where one can do that. nor do i possess the mentality to even want to.

Right now, as of this writing at least, television is very structured and formatted. rigidly so. unlike film where we allow the story to tell itself in however short or long a time it needs to, the creators of television structure the stories around the time slots they believe they need to fill. this creates numerous problems and limitations. and for no real reason. Idea one: let the idea of time-slots go. Let the stories guide the time allotted for each show. let the viewers decide on the worthiness of such a venture. similar to what we currently do with sports and tv. 60 Minutes has always run late on Sunday nights during football season. Why? Because we don't cut NFL games short just to jump to 60 Minutes.

Shows like ELEMENTARY or TOUCH or PERSON OF INTEREST (all semi-decent as far as tv goes) could do with episodes that lasted more than one hour. (One hour of television is actually more like 42 minutes due to the need for commercials). The idea that one particular story that might be better served by allowing it more time to open, simmer and eventually resolve needs to do all of that within the confines of 42 minutes "no matter what" is antiquated and short sighted. worse, it limits the work's ability for greatness. Similar to what the creators of DOWNTON ABBEY did in the third season. Several episodes were two hours versus one. Randomly and erratically and with no fair warning. But it worked. It was a pleasant surprise. for fans at least.

Idea two: would entail letting go of the idea of weekly instalments completely. for run of the mill sitcoms the weekly time-slot paradigm still works. there is usually very little story; more a series of running gags strung together to entertain in the moment and that's that. But for shows that feature a long running story line, like LOST, why not run a few shows not only longer than the rigid one hour, but also let them air several times per week; allow them to breathe like an expensive wine... open them up and tell the story, today, tomorrow, the next day, the next.... again, letting the audience dictate how often they want to see it per week.

The studios and creators of the shows (content) believe that the networks care about things like this. They don't. Their sole mission is to generate revenue by the use of the space they rent. (hence the inclusion of PAID ADVERTISING on many networks post the 11 o'clock time-slot. I've not yet discovered a taste for this particular show myself, but PAID ADVERTISING must pay better than most other shows that networks can purchase, or rent space to). If a studio or show creator comes to a network and offers up a proposal to air a show that breaks all time-slot rules, the idea can be easily sold to advertisers that are dying to break the mold of their own industry's limitations. My prediction is that it is only a matter of time before this begins to happen. Advertisers will come running. And in fact there is a good chance they would even voluntarily enter into bidding wars with one another for exclusive rights to sponsoring whole shows. Just a hunch. Of course this wouldn't be necessary. But it shows the potential for how powerful a paradigm shift this could be.

There is more. but let's leave it at that. this is good enough to remind me of the initial ideas. more later.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When you find that special place you call home you FEEL it. No matter how much time passes or how many other places you go or live in your life nor what reasons may compel you to live elsewhere, there is still nothing that does it for you quite like home. For me it was and perhaps always will be New York City. When I'm away and I see it in a movie or a magazine I feel a pulling in the area of my heart. Traveling is one thing. A glorious thing. But all the trappings and acoutrimont of a well lit established and stable home environment still fail to fill that void that exists inside us whenever we're away from our true home. Not sure what it is exactly that draws us so strongly and permanently to one particular locale in the world, but it's a palpable tug toward earth, a grounding stable reference point that calms and soothes and whispers to the soul.... "you're home..."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's very difficult to explain. I am attempting to do something, usually something very intensive, just now I was helping a trucker move a very large and heavy suitcase out of the back of the cab and into this lavish island looking condo, perhaps his perhaps not. When I go to do the activity like this in this instance get out of the passengers seat of the truck and grab the large suitcase I cannot for the life of me see the entire spectrum of my usual line of site from left to right or from up and down. It is as if I am only seeing a small quarter of what I can usually only see. I feel paralyzed by this. I look left I look right I rub my eyes but still nothing. The trucker is talking to me. Trying to guide me thru maneuvering this giant heavy cargo out of the truck and down these big metal steps of the truck. I want to listen. I want to do well. I want to not mess up. I am thinking about swing Christmas cards this year. To the whole database. Everyone we know. But all that writing. God that's a lot. Thousands of cards. Maybe we can figure out a way to print out address labels and make it easier. Damn Christmas just passed didn't it. Should we do them late? I really cant see. I'm serious. This is no joke. I can seriously only see about 30% of what I usually can out of my eyes. I'm only seeing a small sliver of what's in front of me or to the sides. No peripheral vision at all. I'm not going to make it out of this cab with this suitcase and into that mans condo. Just can't see well enough. What the hell is going on? Why can't I see anything? Both eyes totally open. I'm literally staring at a suitcase with both eyes totally open and I can only see 30% of this damn suitcase. What is in my eyes blocking my vision?

This is when it occurs to me. This has happened before. Several times. Many times. I am dreaming. I must be asleep. This only happens when I am dreaming. This has never happened to me when I've been awake. It's some kind of a dream glitch. An inability to see fully panoramically or to see your self or your body or as much as we normally do when awake. We see half of things all the time. 1/3 of things of objects of ourselves of the works in front of us in front of our eyes.

I am instantly thrust into the condo itself. My mom is rushing around as usual raisin her voice about how important it is to get this done. A chubby black lady comes in and asks me if I need any help with things. I can't find that back door for the life of me. I'm supposed to let that trucker in thru there. Who is he again? How many places does he have? This makes no sense. Why does he live in so many places? And why here? Someone holds up a photo and yells to me across the room "oh I've heard about this. This is a picture of you when you were a baby. Your mother told me about it." she's going thru a box of old things it appears. There is a giant crowd of people walking slowly into the carport entrance way of this resort. They r all wearing raincoats dark ones and scarves over their heads. Using umbrellas. Going somewhere. Gathering together. For what? They're going to be in our way. Won't be able to move the truck. Can't remember.

I am now on the bed. Alistair is sleeping by my side. I remember. I can feel the heat and warmth of his body next to mine. I must be awake. I remember now. I just need to reach my phone. See what time it is. I wonder how long I slept. I'd I could get to a drink on my bedside table to wake up. But I still can't see. Only a sliver of the bed. I can see the red of the bedspread but not much else. This is odd. I am turning but I cannot see the damn table to reach my phone. I struggle for some time. No matter how I move my body I cannot see or reach the table right next to me. More struggle. Same as before in the truck. I must still be asleep. Wow. Intense.

Then I awaken for real. Seemingly. At least two different levels of dreams. Maybe three. There is something with either control full control and or sight that is either impossible fully when we are dreaming or signals that we are dreaming. I suspect the former. Somehow I have managed to jump to a deeper level of awareness where I expect full sight and mobility and become surprised when I cannot muster it. This then signals that I am dreaming. Interesting to note. Will need to have more memory of the exact phenomenon before i can conclude anything. Not much yet here except your site appears to be blocked as if blackness is in your eyes blocking a good chunk I your vision of things right in front of your face. Especially when attempting to see your whole body. Usually can only see bits and pieces of my body. Strange. More later.

- Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Deliberate Dreaming Theory

Just woke up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night in the land of Pacific Standard Time. I was in the middle of a vivid dream which I can still see clearly (split infinitive intended), almost perfectly. It's an ability I have been working on for a long time. As long as I don't open my eyes I can almost always still see and recall whatever I was dreaming just before awaking and usually travel further back a few dreams into the past to recall and recite those as well. The key is to not open your eyes, and to keep your mind focused as much as possible on the dream and what you are still seeing and nothing else. It is a powerfully effective technique and gets easier with practice.

A few important details and caveats before the moral of the story: As my infinitely patient and saintly wife will attest, I have been actively studying and doing experiments on increasing both vivid and lucid dreaming for decades, along with exploring the various benefits and potentialities of these activities. It is a subject I have written about sincere occasion since the inception of these Diaries. It is one of the many obsessive compulsive idiosyncrasies she claims to have been entirely unprepared for and know nothing about before we got married. God bless the wives of the artistic and insane or both.

Together we have been collecting notebooks and digital audio tapes over the last four years filled with transcripts of nearly every dream I've had during countless nights and afternoons. I am big fan and proponent of the afternoon (or late morning) nap for a variety of reasons; it's numerous health and anti-aging benefits, its wondrous ability to maintain and increase mental acuity and emotional well being (there is still as of yet no more powerful and effortless human activity to partake in to help integrate everything the mind and feeling sensors take in each day than a short nap) and, as many will attest to, the amazing power and ease with which one can enter a state of vivid dreaming during napping.

For clarification there is a stark clinical difference between lucid and vivid dreaming though the terms are often misused interchangeably in modern pop cultural exchanges amongst friends, during casual conversation or in contemporary media. A vivid dream is one in which the dreamer can see hear taste smell or feel everything in the dream so clearly that they may believe it to be real and occasionally be able to remember numerous details about it once awake. Lucid dreaming is the ability to dream while still being slightly awake enough to be aware that one is dreaming. The theory being that the dreamer may be able to have more control over the events of the dream through having this semi-awake awareness. This theory though appealing rarely proves to be the case in practice, but I admit if one practices it enough over an extended period of time (and equally effective uses certain Avatar Course tools) it can become easier and easier to control in the moment of a lucid dream what we do, how we do it and what we experience. Flying is one area I have become very good at being able to control. More on that in another entry.

I first heard about lucid dream research through the study of Leonardo DaVinci, Albert Einstein and Nostradamus when I was very young and it stuck with me. I was fascinated by the legends of these great mens' elaborate schemes and efforts to gain secret knowledge and or prophetic visions through lucid dreaming by hooking bells to their hands connected by string so that whenever they fell asleep at their desk their hand which would be holding up their head would shift in place slightly thereby ringing the bell a little which would then wake them up and cause them to jot down everything they remembered from the dream they woke up from. Supposedly Nostradamus used this method throughout his life to enable him to foresee numerous events that were to transpire in the future.

(Again we are still caveating here): Like most people I have wasted hundreds of hours also studying the works of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud in regards to their psycho-analytic theories of the phenomenon of human dreams and find almost all of it pedantic and of little worth. The same applies to the writings of the Native Americans and various other indigenous people's throughout history and to the works of history's most famed practitioners of what is known as witchcraft or High Magic. Interesting to be sure, but not much else.

One conclusion I've come to as of late is that for the most part human dreams are almost entirely useless except in a utilitarian way -- as a vehicle to gain a better understanding of our most basic current subconscious fears resistances hopes and aspirations. In other words dreams tell us what is most actively and present on our mind, what our primal beingness as expressed through consciousness believes to be most important in that moment. Or perhaps just more present. (this in no way implies that the subject matter or details ARE important. Most often they are not. It just happens to be what our conscious or subconscious (if one believes in this seemingly arbitrary academic exercise of splitting the mind into two parts (which i don't. At all)) BELIEVES is important.

Without concern for safety or about the criticism of others or even our own moral judgments, the mind is free to play and free associate to its heart's content and does so using whatever is closest to it, our most present or current reference points. This is a useful activity. But surely not as exciting or of the mythic proportion or import as the stuff one reads about regarding any alleged ability to astral travel or develop clairvoyant abilities through the dream state. God knows we try. But I must confess that after filling said countless notebooks with direct transcripts of thousands of dreams that have come from this radically overactive mind that this conclusion is the best and most plausible I've been able to come up with in regards to any helpful abilities one might develop from dreams or dreaming. We have taken notes of dreams where I have seen human female legs appear to grow mysteriously and miraculously out of the earth as if it were a flower to reveal a generic and apersonal spiraling vagina which I've then proceeded to have intercourse with for no other reason than primal urge. Twisted? Sure. Deep? Probably not. Psychologically useful? Unlikely. Just the mind having its way without judgment or default course correction.

I've heard it said that dreaming keeps us from going insane. I would agree with that idea. Through effortless non-thought based and judgment-free organizing cataloging classifying and categorizing millions of datum, dreaming helps the mind integrate what it takes in each day to prepare for another day of it. Any potentially clairvoyant experiences are few and far between and can most often be chalked up to coincidence or far reaching assumptions based on strong desire. Though I have experienced more psychic phenomena and telekinetic moments with others and or regarding world events through dreaming than I can relay in one sitting or recall without referring to notes, they are still infrequent and not the usual stuff of dreams for most. Another entry is needed to explore this other aspect of the dream state.

One can posit though that this one benefit of dreaming, a deeper understanding of one's innermost and current hopes fears longings and resistances is still a helpful one in its ramifications.

To get back to our story. A few minutes ago I was dreaming that I was in the process of solving a murder mystery involving Dwight Schrute the character played by Rainn Wilson in the American version of the TV show The Office in order to win some big music contest. These seemingly disconnected features when taken as a whole actually make sense, for i've just spent the last four weeks partaking in a mind numbing Office marathon watching way too many episodes in a row on a daily basis (dont ask) AND the last thing I did before falling asleep last night was watch a few minutes of the latest take on the perennial favorite Sherlock Holmes in CBS's new show Elementary, one of the few things on network or cable television that is actually good without being offensive in any way (another topic for a future entry). (Here one could argue that the UK's intense and understated Johnny Lee Miller has made a better recent Sherlock Holmes than Hollywood's pompous fop Robert Downey Jr. But they'd be risking countless hours of cat-fighting with thousands of rabid middle aged women across America with nothing better to do than defend the honor of their favorite come back bad boy of the month. I would conjecture it not worth the effort.)

So.... As soon as I awoke and recognized that my mind had fused my profession, music, with The Office and Elementary in a dream -- these aspects unrelated to me personally and yet in my dreaming state of consciousness it all made perfect matter of fact sense, I realized that I might be on to something. I have been working on a theory for the last few weeks. Based on an observation that ever since I started soaking my mind during waking hours with repeated viewings of numerous episodes of The Office that the characters from the show now regularly appear in my dreams on a daily basis. They show up as my friends, family members, bandmates, strangers in random interactions necessary for a scene to fulfill, pretty much anyone.

What are the potential ramifications of this I've been asking lately. My dreaming mind, that part of my consciousness that comes awake when dreaming, has absorbed these characters so thoroughly now that they have become a routine part of my day to day dream state. As if they are real. Of course to my mind when asleep and dreaming they are real. Just as real as anyone I know personally in my waking world when dreaming of them respectively. I don't think there has been one night in three weeks that i have not remembered dreaming of or with one or more of these fictional characters. We've all experience this with something. Perhaps a job project or excessive school work. But why? How? And what is its potential?

It would appear that when stimulated with or reminded of a certain subject matter repeatedly to the point of conscious level saturation that the subject matter then leaks into what is commonly referred to as the subconscious -- i.e. the dream state of consciousness so much so that we become unable to recognize a difference between how real this subject matter is to us in reality versus other things that are entirely real -- such as our mother wife brother friends etc.

The same paradigm may also apply to other things besides people. If for instance one wanted to absorb more fully the mastery of a certain subject such as wealth creation or feeding the hungry of earth then it follows that saturating the waking mind with sounds and images of these subjects -- such as through repeated viewing of films or listening to audio -- would lead to an eventual leaking of them into the subconscious in the same casual matter of fact kind of way that enables one to begin dreaming about them on a regular basis. Just as has happened with my mind's acceptance of these Office characters so readily and vividly.

Of course there isn't much I can do personally with being able to dream about Jim Pam and Michael every night. But if I were instead to begin dreaming about world transformation in a positive direction on a daily basis I would guess that the implication is that it just might lead to certain insights or ideas never thought of before, a secret trap door into knowledge that can only be accessed through the open vessel the mind becomes when dreaming. It only takes one. Of course our problem is never not having enough ideas, but instead it is usually not being disciplined enough to follow the ideas through to their most effective or powerful end result. And yet therein even is a seemingly taken for granted problem with the human machine that might have a solution waiting for it just on the other side of the waking-dreaming event horizon...

That in essence is the nature of the thought so far. Next step is to test it by deliberate saturation of the waking mind for a few weeks with something strongly desired re a subject for mastery or a desired goal or outcome. Another foreign language can always be useful. Consciousness exploration or cosmology are both topics that could always use more data, going broad. Plenty of universal mysteries still exist waiting to be solved. Success and wealth are interesting. Solving the problem of hunger on earth is also a biggie.

Will continue to experiment and take notes. Standby.

Posted by The Ambassador using blogpress for the iPhone

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What Time Is It?

We are all "supposed to" set our clocks forward one hour tonight. Those of us in the U.S. (excepting Arizona) that is. So what time is it now? Well that's the funny thing about time. So arbitrary random imprecise and uncontrollable for humans still that we had to invent the mind boggling and inane leap year whereby every few years we add an extra day to the 365 day calendar. Those unfortunate souls unlucky enough to have been born on this extra day, traditionally February 29th in the United States, only get to celebrate their birthdays once every four years rather than once a year like everyone else. The other three years it's as if they were never born. No birthday to speak of, point to or wake up feeling special on. It simply doesn't exist for them and there's nothing they can do about it.

But that's time. There are numerous reasons pointed to in response to why Americans still partake in this archaic exercise of what is commonly referred to as Daylight Savings Time (DST for short if you've ever closely examined the detailed small print on most clocks watches and smart phones). Our understanding of time and the methods that govern how we deal with it revolve around the earth's rotation around the star at the center of our own solar system. Essentially time is all about the great and powerful Sun.

Of course this only applies to solar centered earthly societies. Some cultures around planet earth use both the sun and the moon to govern how they deal with and interact with time. The Chinese use a calendar based both on solar and lunar cycles. God only knows (that I'm too lazy to run a Google search to remind myself why and) what year it is in the Chinese calendar.

In most so called Western cultures including America the majority of people casually accept that we are currently in the year 2013. Of course that's total bullshit. An arbitrary number. Jewish people don't believe this or subscribe to it. The Chinese don't. Neither do most Muslim countries. They all have different years they are currently living in. Just ask. The more you learn the more you'll begin to recognize how utterly random and arbitrary this figure is. Truth is we don't live in any year. Not 2013. Not 4711 as the Chinese people think it is (I looked). Not even 1434 as Muslim people all over the world think it is. Nope. We have no idea what year it really is.

In the bigger picture we are in NO year on any calendar. They're all made up. So much so that we can't even agree what year it is amongst ourselves. The worst part about the Gregorian calendar, the system we follow in the West that supposedly tells us it's 2013, is that the maladroit pope who created it got the whole thing wrong way back when and ended up dating things four years off of what he was originally mandated to do. So depending on how accurate one wishes to be in regards to the actual year it is we're actually in either the year 2009 or 2017; but definitely not in 2013.

Most people don't seem to care much about this little known fact, let alone that even if right on accurate the year is still a man made figure with no logical basis for its existence in the universe or mass consciousness. The same is true of hourly time. Right now my phone says it's 12:49am. But as I look up from my phone all the clocks around me emphatically state that it's 1:49. That's because I've already set all of them one hour ahead so we don't wake up confuse and an hour behind the rest of the world.

Time zones of course make the keeping and monitoring of time even more confusing and impossible to believe in. Again the time zone paradigm was created because the time of day is different depending on where one happens to live and love on planet earth; it is based on where the light from the sun hits the earth and when it recedes or disappears. The sun doesn't leave most of the land mass we call Alaska for weeks at a time, making it daylight there for days and weeks straight. That pretty much wipes out any logical reason to have a sun centered system for time keeping there. But that doesn't stop Alaskans from pretending to know what time it is or what day it is.

In real time it is now 12:58 am where I sit. But in an hour or so we are told that we should set our clocks ahead by one hour. Because I am about to go to sleep and need to wake up at a certain time tomorrow for all intents and purposes it is really 1:58 am now.

But that's just me. If you're in Hawaii right now it's about five hours earlier than 1 or 2 am. Dinner time perhaps. If you're on the east coast it's already early morning. You've already set your clock ahead so it's 5 am and you might be waking up already on Sunday. I'm writing this on Saturday night. And there's no way you can convince me otherwise. Of course if you happen to be reading this in the UK or Paris, France it's 9 or 10 am Sunday morning. If in Iran it's already 1 o'clock in the afternoon. And to really shake things up let us remember that for those reading this in Australia or New Zealand it's 1am Monday morning. You've already lived through the Sunday I haven't even gone to bed to wake up to tomorrow yet. How was it? Sunday? Did anything crazy happen? Anything newsworthy?

Frankly I hope not. I think we've all had enough with crazy newsworthy days. It would be nice to fall asleep believing that tomorrow is going to be just a quiet peaceful day with nothing much to report on except maybe the weather.

Friday, March 08, 2013

After reviewing several different unrelated unfortunate situations or disappointing circumstances we've found ourselves in over the past year, some real messes, some major disappointments, we've discerned that almost every one had it's root in our assuming one outcome (what we'd prefer) would manifest without any guarantee of that predicted future happening only to discover soon after that it just didn't work out the way we planned. Though this can be a major bummer, and be quite discouraging, there's powerful learning in it. Just starting to stand up straight and tall again and wipe the dust off. Anyone who's lucky enough to be able to say I'm still here I'm alive and healthy has a shot at feeling tremendously happy grateful and blessed; and if we're smart enough and humble enough to learn from these lessons then we've still got a shot at achieving great things, grace and perhaps even a little slice of glory. The key is being honest enough to acknowledge where we went wrong and commit to not making the same mistakes twice. Life can be a drag sometimes. There's no getting around that. But over all it's all we know and it's an amazing gift, especially compared to the alternative.