Today’s work.

Today was spent exchanging research materials at the library, and studying for the Database Mock Final…which is not difficult. I am very glad. In a few days, my Art + Zen Research Guide will be due. Though I wanted to study for that, I found it more important to focus on the Database class, because Database Management is basically the hardest course I’ve got going this semester. And the Mock Final was due tonight.

Luckily for me…I took a lot of notes. I have an A4 notebook for class with 40 sheets of paper which is basically full from the first page, to about 40% of the last page. I was actually kind of flabbergasted that I filled it up almost exactly (I was scared of having to double-back and write on the backs of the pages).

But I think I’ll be using these notebooks, again: they’re much better for what I need them for, than buying American-sized notebooks (which can go 60-80% unused, and have worse paper, if you’re using pen). This is not to mention that the American-sized notebooks generally cost about 5x as much (I’m getting my stuff from a Japanese dollar store). There are the 8″x10″ things for ~$1, but I hate the texture and absorbency of those, so…

Also luckily, the nonfiction books I’ve been looking in for my Research Guide seem fairly well-organized, so it isn’t difficult to locate needed chapters or sections.

I have gotten to the point where I believe that when some of my sources refer to “Void,” they’re referencing sunyata, or Emptiness, the realization of which is key to understanding “Buddha Nature.” How I’m going to explain this is yet to be determined (and I suspect Zen would probably approach this from the angle of not trying to explain it), but I know that I need to toss sources which refer to Zen being based in nihilism. I read at least three different sources today in the Reference section, which dispute the nihilist claim.

Actually, as a matter of fact, the first book I picked up on Ch’an Buddhism has a first chapter which is about sunyata.

So…there is something in this that is causing me to feel the spirits are with me. 🙂 And…yeah, there is a bit of stuff in there about, “wait, I thought things were without soul/self (anatman)?” But that’s only partially correct; things are without self-arising self-identity, but phenomenal self, exists. (It is also implied that clinging to a phenomenal self gives rise to duhkha, or “suffering” [which is a poor translation].)

And I’ve read that psychic phenomena and the ability to undertake sorcery do arise on the path, and just to ignore them and keep on doing what you’re doing.

Well.

I guess it’s like being reborn in a more fortunate position than many can cause one to crash back into lower Realms, because it’s too easy to get lax in one’s conduct and mind…

I’m not certain at this point how I’m going to put this all together, but I should probably start diagramming on something. I have several different sections I could use, though it might be more useful to combine some of these:

  • Japanese Zen (Bodhidharma, on)
  • Ch’an Buddhism
  • Taoism
  • Emptiness/Void
  • Satori
  • Zen and Brush Painting
  • Zen and cha-no-yu
  • Philosophy
  • Wabi and Sabi as aesthetic principles
  • More aesthetic principles
  • Introduction of Zen to the West
  • Distortions (nationalistic, linguistic, etc.)

I would be more readily accessing the template I’ve been provided, but I’m unsure as to how to delete things once I’ve created them…

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Study is going well.

Yes, I am up at 1 AM. I lay down sometime around 8 PM, apparently woke at 9 PM, and slept through until about 12:45 AM. I had planned to get back up to study, but I even slept through DragonBall Super, which isn’t quite like me.

I’ve been doing some hard work on the Zen + Art Research Guide. I am scheduled to go back to the library tomorrow to see if I can find further information on the concept of Void (or shunyata/sunyata), as approached by the Ch’an school (which preceded Zen).

It also wouldn’t hurt to find some books on Taoism, as the latter has had such a heavy influence on Zen.

I know enough to know that books referencing Zen’s, “nihilism,” are likely off-point (Void/Emptiness/Shunyata is not the same thing as, “nothing,” or, “the Abyss”), but I need to confirm. At this point I’m not certain if Void is equivalent to interdependent arising [Indian origin], or to Yin [Chinese origin].

And I still haven’t begun to assemble this (I will need to break things down into conceptual chunks), but I have until Wednesday to do so. In the meantime, what I have to do is the Mock Final for Database Management: which I’m trying to convince myself, isn’t a big thing (as no one will see it, and it’s just a study aid). I don’t expect it to be easy, though…and I dislike seeing myself perform poorly. Even on a study aid!

Aside from that, work is fine. Although I keep having random sneezes, and I’m not sure if it’s allergies, or if it’s an illness I’m fighting off.

I know that after this semester is over, I’m likely going to want to check out some books on quilting. But after this. Maybe when I return my Zen books.

🙂

Doing a project on Zen and Art.

Well. I did go to the art store. I also did go to the library…and now I have enough books on Zen and Art, that I probably don’t need to be looking for any more (though it still is tempting to look for more!).

For my final project in Reference & Information Services, I’m making a Research Guide. It began as an investigation as to Zen’s influence on Japanese aesthetics, particularly in art…though it may not end up as I intended. I did some reading last night and realized that my original idea may not have been based on accurate information.

It is, however, still really fascinating. In addition to books on Zen + Art, I have found books describing Zen practice…which is appealing to me, for the reason that it seems to be a religion without “religion.” By that I mean that it doesn’t encourage faith or belief, but is rather an orthopraxic religion instead of an orthodoxic one (i.e., “do the right thing,” as versus, “believe the right thing,” and not, “do the right thing because it’s right,” but rather, possibly, because it lessens pain).

I have a lot of reading ahead of me, though! Right now, I’ve been working for most of the morning, so I wasn’t too eager to jump back into reading…I only brought along my SQL textbook and it’s like (sarcasm) yay SQL amazing fascinating right (/sarcasm).

Anyhow, I’ve decided not to focus on that, right now.

I’ve still got a bunch of grading to do for my Instructional Design class…and a little bit of homework for Database Management. But after that, this is all Finals. I’m going to try and not be frightened about that, and instead, look forward to what is going to be happening during Summer. I may get time to work on my arts and crafts, and it’s possible I could have a really good time in the two classes I’m set up to take.

I know, I know. But it’s just four units. 😛

Buddhism and anatman — a personal view

Last time I was sick (I’m better now), I realized how quickly ideas about functional immortality (reincarnation or other continuance of a phenomenal spirit past the cessation of bodily function) fade due to having an unexplained fever which will not break, and weight that is dropping at a rate of a pound a day.  The reader may recall that I’ve had an interest in Buddhism from my undergraduate years…accordingly, I’m aware that at least some (if not many or most or all) school(s) of Buddhist thought hold to rebirth, but not reincarnation.

The distinction is fine, but the implications are vast, either from a general paradigm-shift back towards materialism or from a lack of hope or worry about immortality.

In a Buddhist theory of rebirth, the effects of past actions (karma) go on to seed a new birth after the death of a sentient being; however, death for the person who has died is seen as final.  That is, the new life which arises after the death of the being who seeded it, is not the same being as the one who existed before, even though this new being may maintain a sense of continuity with the past being (or a plurality of past beings) through inherited karmic effects (and/or the problem of identification with that which made one).

In reincarnation, as I understand it, there may be a personal essence apart from the body which is transplanted and reborn into a different body.  However, keep in mind here two things:

One is that I have not studied advaita (non-dualist) schools of Hindu thought (like advaita vedanta) heavily, which seem monist from here (monist = the philosophy that everything is one); and I get my ideals of having a soul from various cultural points:  including Hinduism, as referenced by Buddhism.

That is, I get my ideas on the metaphysical validity or necessity of a “soul” (atman) concept through the lessons of people who do not believe in souls; and I believe the latter were referencing dvaita (dualist) Hindu thought, in which mind and matter coexist to create life.  I also know that it’s not uncommon to see distortions; at times, outright falsehoods; and torquing of what I as a Westerner percieve as ethics; promoted by Buddhist writers, in the name of pragmatism.

I also have not studied theories of reincarnation — in specific, reincarnation (not rebirth) — heavily, although any explanation of how I came to be which was not “reincarnation” was foreign to me when I was a child; and for much of my life the question of whether or not I have a soul (atman) has weighed on me.  This has particularly been the case after having been introduced to the Buddhist doctrines of anatman (no-self) and shunyata (emptiness).

The latter seems to fit well with a behaviorist and constructivist view of the self; the former is something that appears to be unique to Buddhism and philosophies which would likely fall under the heading of “atheism” — although “atheism” seems to be a misleading term, to me.

There are religions without deities (Buddhism, at times, being one of them), and religions with plural deities likely (in my experience) don’t grant those deities the same power and status as the big three monotheistic religions do.  That is:  the presence or absence of belief in a deity is irrelevant in determining whether someone holds religious ideals; or maintains a mode of thought closer to that of a religious person, than to someone who has divorced themselves from all religion wholeheartedly.

In any case…didn’t mean to get into that, but.

The following is based mostly upon unrecorded thought which I seem to intuitively understand but not be able to commit to words, easily.  I’ve come to the place where I’m getting to be okay with knowing that I don’t understand what happens after death, and in which I’m getting to be more okay with the concept that this is the only life I’ll have.

After all, if it’s so, being upset about it isn’t going to change it.

This has just been based on the threat of more war, on the peril to human civilization which is coming at us from at least two fronts, now.  I’ve been worrying myself in thinking about the metaphysical/energetic impact of 21st-century weapons (yes I know it’s silly), and about the future, should the belief in reincarnation be valid and we all are reborn as cockroaches on an irradiated planet, or one which is turning into a twin Venus.  Is that what we want our legacy to be?

In this point, I can actually understand the question as to how someone can lead a moral life if they don’t believe they will be judged for that life, later.  Because if you don’t believe that you will have to deal with repercussions for your actions, it’s hard to imagine some people — not all, but some, and they’re in the middle of exemplifying it — will take that as an excuse to behave in a way harms others, and harms themselves, and may cut off all of our futures.

Of course, what you and I take as “harm” are likely to be different things, at least slightly, if not radically.  But it’s obvious that people who don’t care about climate change, or who are welcoming it as the end of the world (like the death of life as we know it is something to celebrate) don’t believe they’re going to have to live later on with the mess we are all making.  That’s in violation of a direct action-reaction principle, because we collectively don’t want to be told we’re doing something wrong and that we need to change.  Because change is scary, and people are creatures of habit.

And we don’t like to be told we’re behaving out of fear, either.

But I’m getting better with the idea that perhaps I don’t have to take all of this on.  I’m getting better with the idea that this is temporary; that whatever this life is, it only exists on this side of the veil.  And that at the end of this stint, I may not have to deal with this at all, again — or at least until such time as the motions of the universe or multiverse see fit to bring together again the conditions that allowed this me to come into being.  For however long that lasts.

I know I won’t be the same person, at least figuratively speaking, and in that I can see the idea of anatman showing up, fairly clearly.  (Consciousness may be regained; identity may not be.)  But that doesn’t mean this will be the end of it.  (I should investigate ancient ideas of atman more thoroughly, I think…)

Maybe, in this philosophical position, the best I can hope for is either having gained enough advancement so that I don’t have to remain stuck in lower levels of learning for too long, the next time; or to…I don’t know what…savor what time I have, because it’s finite.

Of course, this “time” thing…I can still be punctual, but I’ve never understood it…

These dreams will draw you in…

What a difference not-writing makes, eh?

I’m becoming much more aware of what happens when I don’t write every day.  I still have my Random Thoughts journal…which is in the blue book I meant to begin a larger project within (the “how to survive when you have a brain like mine,” project).  The major issue with this is that I have been feeling it is a large risk for me to put those latter thoughts to paper (or keyboard)…at least in a place where they may be seen (as when I may take this book and write within it, in public).

The positive thing is that, without the grounding of writing something related to hard reality each day, my thoughts are actually breaking free of the limitations of what I see as the physicality of my situation.  I am not sure if this means that I’m breaking further from reality or not…

In particular, I slept for quite a while today.  I’m trying to keep my immunity up, as yesterday was particularly weird where it came to trying to keep hydrated (I had a sore throat, and trouble speaking, for no discernible reason except dehydration…but I ended up drinking at least 36 ounces of water at work).

While I was asleep, I found a…recurrence of a bit of a story I had been thinking about for years as a teen and young adult.  It started out as a response to vampire fiction (I was that young), then moved into urban paranormal fantasy.  At this point, I’m seriously considering making it about aliens — because it is, basically, about aliens and alienation, hidden worlds, etc.

I have two lead characters…one of whom is human, one who is not.  (In my Creative Writing program, we were given a quote which said that writing a book was a disease that you’re only cured of once the piece is finished…but I can’t remember who it was attributed to, or the exact wording.)  The second started out as a strong side character, but that…led into more.  He had the ability to enter and determine the environment of dreams…and in this, his character design was clearly non-human; his reach and interactions, fairly intimate.

It would be interesting to write this.  There is that thing about Proxima Centauri b being within the habitable zone for life, though at this point in our technological development, it would take until 2060 to hear back from any probes.  Meaning, obviously, that by the time we hear back, most of us who are presently cogent enough to understand the significance of this, will be either old or dead.  But something like that could be used as an excuse to write a story which may actually not be sci-fi (as to be sci-fi, I’ve heard, it has to actually be possible), but rather paranormal urban fiction involving aliens.

I find it very, very interesting, the way my thoughts have turned when I’ve had to keep them inside, and have not been presenting them to anyone.  Because of the lack of fear of judgment, I’m able to do certain things like fundamentally question key foundational tenets of belief systems which I had previously held without question.  Like the idea that actions taken in the past determine the future; that time is linear and only flows in one direction.  That everything in the universe is built upon and explainable via rationality and logic.  Or, and I was working on this one before — that the Universe is inherently moral.

I was having a conversation with M the other day where I said that it doesn’t matter if every decision made in a philosophical system is completely on it and accurate, if the fundamental tenets of the stance (or “canon”) are flawed.  If the fundamental givens aren’t accurate to reality, everything that unfolds from that point is also not accurate to reality, and the philosophical system may cease to apply to reality in any beneficial way.

I’m thinking that fiction writing might actually be a good place to work some of these issues out.  Once I start breaking fundamental rules of thinking, it helps to be able to work at this from several different angles (as I am not entirely certain that any one of them is correct, nor should I be).

So…maybe I’m migrating back to fiction as my art or craft of choice?  I’m not certain.  What I do know is that the dream I had impacted me fairly severely, in a beneficial manner.  …And hey, maybe I want to start work again on character designs.

I should also try and work some of this out in my head, so I can try and parse what the story is actually about…not to mention its optimal length, and format…

…and I should consider giving at least one of my characters the trait of being impacted by mental illness.  Guess which one…

Angelic Mistakes

I’ve…probably just spent a good two hours looking around on the Reader.  It seems that the lifespan of a blog here is not all that long; though I’m following many people, those people tend to wander off; sometimes to return, sometimes not.

One of the things I wanted to mention was my identification of an Art History book I found by chance.  It is called Angelic Mistakes:  The Art of Thomas Merton, by Roger Lipsey.  The method of my location of this was strange enough to cause me to take pause:  I looked up to a certain shelf, saw the book, became interested in the book, and then saw that someone had shelved it in such a way that two of the digits of the call number were transposed.  This caused it to be shelved in the Sports section instead of the Art History section.  Had I not found it, it eventually would have been considered, “Missing”…and likely not found until someone did a book-by-book check to make sure everything was in correct order.  Considering that this may have well been an, “angelic (i.e. purposeful, even if unconscious) mistake,” which I had successfully located, I brought it back home with me.  (Bibliomancy is one of those things which I just…do.)

It might be noted that this is a Shambhala book.  Having read through (and tried to read through) a number of books from Shambhala Publications…there’s a certain feel that I can discern from them.  I wouldn’t be quick to discard anything published by them, though what I have read in the past might have been topically unsuited to me.

Those who have been following this blog might recall my mixed cultural heritage:  Japanese- and African-American, before we get to the regional influences of culture on my parents (Southern California, which in turn is strongly influenced by Mexico) and myself (Northern California).  When I was growing up, my Japanese-American grandmother kind of tried to mold me to be as Asian as she could, despite my racial difference from her and the rest of that side of the family.

To avoid getting into gritty details, I’ll just say that I’ve had something of a cultural conflict growing up, because of largely being exposed to only one side of the family, but still being between worlds, so to speak, where it came to culturally-segregated groups of youth.  Because I didn’t look stereotypically Asian (and it’s seen as a bad thing to be mixed-race in at least my own background and in many other Asian cultures as well), I’ve had a history of being rejected by Asian groups; because I am distant from what is, by now, traditionally African-American culture, I didn’t quite fit in with the kids of African descent, either (they actually told me I wasn’t “Black enough”).

When I was in school, I began studying Buddhism on my off-hours.  One of my aunts is Buddhist, so I guessed that I would try and learn what that was about.  What I found initially put me off, but I am familiar with exoticization of non-White cultures within White U.S. society — which is often enough the target audience of these books — so I kept digging.

What I may not have really had the maturity to admit until this portion of my life is that perhaps in chasing after Buddhism, I was looking for some kind of proof that I really was Asian…and Daoism, Shinto, Hindu faiths…just did not have the same kind of popularity or easy access.

(For example, in introductory Buddhist texts, many core terms will be translated out into English, even though this results in a loss of meaning.  Duhkha will be translated into “suffering,” though duhkha in reality implies much more than the English word, “suffering.”  In Hindu texts translated into English, the key terms [amrita?] are often not translated out, which probably holds more closely to the words’ original meanings; but they can also make the texts relatively opaque, to a newcomer.  Daoism is relatively…not talked about [though Chinese influence is becoming stronger where I live; not to mention that there is Chinatown — but I have no proficiency in either Cantonese or Mandarin, and only know of one place which sells apparently quality info on Qi Gong in English]; and Shinto, being a local culture thing, is near-inaccessible outside of the islands of Japan.)

The texts I can recall reading which were published by Shambhala (not one by name [EDIT:  untrue, A Concise Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers was great], but enough by content) dealt with Buddhism, and I am learning I may not be suited to be Buddhist at this time in my life — at least, not so in a Theravadin vein.  There is no reason for me to get into personal views of Theravada vs. Mahayana vs. Vajrayana here…  If I were anything in this vein, I’d be a not-fluffy version of one of the latter two, to the point that I know the warm fuzzies (metta, along with the belief that it is possible to live without causing others pain) may feel good to the participant but may be intellectually dishonest, political in nature (Buddhists were nearly wiped out in their original birthplace of India for having no gods [apparently offensive to the Mughals]; subsequent to which, a Public Relations campaign showing Buddhists as moral and virtuous is understandable), impractical and/or against the rhythm of life.  Well, of course, if life is samsara, yes?

I also have here at least two books from them on Daoism, and one on Hindu Mysticism.  The latter, I’m still interested in; one of the former is quite dense…and there is the fact that Daoism and Buddhism in the present day appear to mirror each other, despite having possibly (or at least, originally) different goals.  The distant past — before the school of Theravada was developed, though (Theravada was not the first school, it’s just the surviving school with the earliest roots) — it’s hard for someone who doesn’t know either Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit or Pali to parse.  I know that in Daoism, the goal either is or has been either immortality or long (and pleasant) life.  In Buddhism, the goals differ; but at least within Theravada, it seems to have been not to be reborn again.  This has been interpreted as “immortality” within the state of nirvana, but …this kind of mirrors the saying, “the only way to win is not to play the game,” which seems kind of…static, to me.

It would be interesting to see what goes on behind the doors of Shambhala; what the actual statements are which the books I have, are selected and edited towards fulfilling…but anyway, that is not the aim of this post.

The book I’d found (Angelic Mistakes) references an author I had heretofore not heard of (Thomas Merton), although to hear the book speak of it, he’s famous.  The book itself publishes images of some of the drawings and prints from his later (“mature,” as art historians like to call them) years, though he didn’t live a particularly long life.  Shambhala probably picked up the book because of the influence of Asian art (particularly Sumi ink drawings) on Merton’s drawings and prints…apparently, the guy was friends with D.T. Suzuki at one point.  (Suzuki was key in disseminating knowledge on — particularly — Zen, in the Western world, from what I know.  This was back around the 1960’s [with the Hippies] and probably a bit prior, with the Beats in the 1950’s or ’40’s.)

I feel better reading that Merton was a Spiritualist — as that’s a vein that I’ve also followed, at one time in my life — it’s just that all the Christian stuff in that book is a bit difficult for me to deal with.  I’m just…not Christian, and as far as I can remember, after the age of six or seven didn’t want to be Christian (I’m not one for gratuitous violence, and threats of Hell and separation from loved ones drove me away rather than bringing me closer); so it’s a bit alien to me.

Anyhow; the reason for my beginning this post at all was to express some form of letdown after having begun to read this book and starting to wonder if all of this art, creativity, culture, stuff — is based on non-truths.  That is, I may eventually become a walking encyclopedia of Buddhism, but unless that cultural-heritage material is making a difference, helping somebody, what is it worth to know?  I may come to know about the routes of evolution of Art from prehistory to the present, but is that knowledge actually helping anyone?  (Other than people who trade in art as a form of currency, who then may need to know if the Van Gogh they want to buy is fake?)

Granted that the knowledge is enriching, and definitely is something that makes life worth living, both for the artist or creative, and the person experiencing the results of that creativity.  What would life be without music, or design, or dance?  We could get along, but we probably wouldn’t know what we would be missing — or that there was anything missing — or that in our state of deprivation, that there was anything wrong.

Is the question one of, “what is the value of culture?

I’m reminded of having taken a trip down to the Central branch of San Francisco Public Library and finding a very, very stripped down Spirituality & Religion section.  I have a feeling that it was that way because so many books on Spirituality and Religion are based on such shoddy thinking and scholarship (granted, the latter reasoning may be sound but the premises [or canon] may not be:  and it remains to be seen whether logic and reasoning are useful where it comes to this facet of human experience at all) that whoever was doing Acquisitions found them to be not worth buying.  (Either this, or it’s possible that these books had a habit of growing legs and walking away.  The area is at the edge of the Tenderloin.)

This is granted that a Spirituality section may not be true in most any way, shape, or form; but insofar as these kinds of thoughts allow us insight into the minds of others, there is still value in having the knowledge.  Knowing that others think differently than we do cannot help but have a positive impact on our own communications with others, right?  There would still be a use where it comes to broadening tolerance, towards enriching our lives, toward making a life that is worth living.

So maybe my interests, in Art and Art History, in Spirituality, in Writing, in Culture(s)…in Music…aren’t actually useless.  I’m not sure why the lifeblood of a person or a community may run through these creative generative cycles which would seem to have little to do with the day-to-day of actually surviving.  I don’t know why my own proclivities draw me to learn about and practice things that don’t seem “practical,” except maybe they keep me alive by pointing to what is possible, not just what is; because what is is pretty heartbreaking.

I guess we all need to dream.

Wave propagation

It’s been a few days since I wrote, last.  In the interim, I’ve tried reaching out to one of my old classmates from the Art program (still haven’t heard back), and ran across the head of my old Art Department, at work.  I also have found that I will need to talk to my Head Librarian about the possibility of work-study from the job I already have.

So far as University goes…I’ve realized that if I’m doing a distance-learning program, I will need to keep all of my own records, organized.  I started mapping out what requirements the classes I’ve taken so far will cover.  Also — from within the basic program, I may not be able to (or want to, for that matter) take as many technical courses as I thought I wanted, prior to getting a slightly better feel for the LIS (Library/Info. Science) terrain.

I did sign up for two classes which looked interesting (beyond my required core course), both of which prepare me for being a Public Librarian.  I’m very aware that I’ve said I don’t want to work in a Public Library for the rest of my life, but my interests and work experience aim me in this direction, ironically.

Today has been fairly quiet.  I am finding a bit of reluctance to revisit the mandala I was making, although in the process of making it, I did come to a metaphysical “realization” (or vision/hypothesis, rather); which was fairly profound, and a new synthesis of a number of philosophical threads I’ve been working on for years.

I didn’t feel quite ready to post it, here.  If I did post it here, I’m not exactly sure what I’d be after, by doing so (except maybe trying to pay it forward and/or have a preserved record of my thought).  I’m not wanting to show off, that is, and I have a Jain-like drive to not want to unintentionally lead anyone astray, in case I’m wrong.  There is also the potential for misuse…like the Theory of Relativity leading to the hydrogen bomb.

Hence, the reason why I wrote what I did to a friend…but response times take longer through email, than here.  That email was pretty gigantic, too…I think I counted three pages when I transferred it back over to my own archive.  (I just checked:  it spills over into a fourth page.  Sorry!)

I probably should have asked about his tolerance for reading and talking about spirituality, before I sent a metaphysical tract…

And I really do want to get back into working on that mandala, but I think I’m having a little bit of fear coming up now (sometimes art influences writing, sometimes writing influences art; and sometimes either one can introduce profound psychological changes).  I’m thinking that what I’m finding…is that I’ve stumbled upon my life mission — which is, in short, to be creative.

This brings up two new threads, though:  one, I can’t predict the consequences of that which I create; two, I cannot predict how what I create will change me or the world.

If I were a more adventurous type, I would say that this would be the fun of it; but right now I am more in a place of having some knowledge or thought or suspicion that the good thoughts I have come from somewhere in effect external to my waking thought process.  I’m aware that not everything I think is sourced from the small egoistic “I”, that is, and so when that’s confirmed, it can be a bit challenging.

Anyhow.  What I want to do right now is go and work on my mandala, so I think that’s what I’m going to do.  I’ve also got to remember that I can look in my career books if I run out of reasons to stay awake.  🙂