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Messages - Dylar
I moved my archery target, a few days ago, from the garden, out into the woods, to gain more range and tidy up the garden. I can stand off up to seventy yards now.
That's a good long way, for a longbow, and still be able to hit reasonably accurately, although it would be nothing special for a compound bow. But I only have a recurve and a longbow, being the traditionalist I am.
Straw bales are a great arrow-stopper, although it remains to be seen if the deer will eat them.
Over the bales I have a two-foot-square hessian bag full of synthetic roofing paper, all screwed up into a fairly solid medium, inside the bag. And a nine-inch roundel marked on the front for an aiming point.
I hadn't shot an arrow in many months, but, astonishingly, my first arrow hit the bull, at about sixty yards.
This is astonishing for a number of reasons, but it is a phenomenon I have seen several times. That first arrow is, more often than not, the most accurate one of all. And why would that be?
I can only surmise that the first shot is concerned only with finding the range, elevation-wise, and by not caring where it hits, it unintentionally gets to be the best shot. I couldn't believe my eyes. The second shot was almost as accurate, about two inches right. And all following shots fell into the predictable groove of reasonably accurate, in a loose group, with one or two low misses.
Zen, at work. Dispense with desire, and unlikely results occur.
I have often noted a similar phenomenon while fly fishing. My casts upon hitting the water are often things of beauty, tight loops unfurling just so the fly kisses the water within inches of the opposite bank. My casting stroke then usually deteriorates as my mind enters the equation. I become concerned with a thousand little peripheral things—line manipulation, where I want to bring the fly to life, where oh where are the goddamn fish, watch out for that overhanging laurel. Casting becomes work, and I try to compensate by carefully aiming my casts, trying to impose my will upon both my body and the surrounding environment. This rarely works, and usually results in lost tackle and missed strikes.
My stroke usually returns just about the moment that my mind, numbed by failure, retreats to a less willful and more contemplative state. I find myself mesmerized by a particularly lovely swirl of current, or a bird I've never seen before. Is that a mink? A brown trout rushes from a dark undercut to grab the fly, but most of my mind is elsewhere, conveniently out of the way as my body does all the right things that it couldn't do just minutes before.
They're really quite lovely.
I like wasps. Maybe I like them because they are incredibly, foolishly, suicidally brave.
They will take on anything at all; wolverines on steroids.
So I never kill wasps.
Except, a year or so ago, when I had to dig out an old tree stump, in preparation for building a carport.
A wasp warned me off, as I dug. It became more and more threatening, the more I dug and dug.
But I needed that stump gone, and so I ignored the wasp and carried on.
Until it became so insistent that I retired, hurrying across the lawn, while it relentlessly followed me.
The fool thing became stuck inside my glove, between glove and wrist, whereupon it stung me.
Well. When I get hurt, I get angry, and man, that hurt!
Before I knew I'd done it, the wasp was dead...
I've felt bad, ever since, for killing that wasp. It was an expert in bushido, and I regretted having had to off it.
Bad for my karma, too, I imagined, and golly, what price would I have to pay for that?
And suddenly I realized:
If there is such a thing as karma, then surely it doesn't just apply to humans.
It applies to every living thing. Wasps too.
No matter how well-armed one is, and however justified in one's actions, there are consequences to one's actions.
Take on something thousands of times your size, and those consequences are likely to be unpleasant.
Perhaps, as my wife reminded me, that wasp was the reincarnation of an especially ornery human.
Some characters just never learn.
I love this story. When Americans speak of 'karma,' they talk about it like its some sort of convenient cosmic system for granting the weak revenge upon the strong. You know, like Christianity.
In my more fanciful moments, I like to think that life's little mishaps are just nature's way of reminding us to value what we do. Most people place very little value on most of what they do, and consequently do most everything poorly, and with ill-concealed resentment. I've come to welcome the occasional annoyance or setback; it helps me to remember that every challenge is worth overcoming and every task begun is worth finishing, and finishing well. It is hard to value that which we have not worked for.
Dylar, what is is beyond thought; a thought can be pointed out, but reality is the pointer - how can a knife cut itself? The mystical experience, the experience of that reality (of one's own reality), is not primarily a thought-state, though, of course, thought might arise; even so, it is known, at that point, that one is not the thinker (it is no longer "my thought"). Shiva sits upon Kailash in the deepest of meditations, being only the Self; there is no thought, no feeling, no sensation, only existence.
Nonsense. Mystical experiences, like any other thoughts, are ephemera conjured by the human mind, no more, no less. The distinction is whether one imposes conscious control of the process.
We are talking about two different things here.
What you say is true, up to the point where it is no longer true.
When I say 'no thought', that is exactly what I mean:
A state in which thought is utterly superfluous, and simply ceases to occur.
Indeed, as soon as a thought manifests, the no-thought state ceases, and the thinker returns to its accustomed state.
There is, for example, in the no-thought state, no hint of emotion, or identity; only one-ness with everything.
Thinking separates itself from everything else, in order to consider it.
Not-thinking removes that separation.
Ha. I had to repair the insane misspelling of that last 'separation' about nine times before it was right.
That sense of "oneness"? It's only in your head. It is, as we like to call it in the parlance of my generation, a thought.
The mystic experience isn't non-thought, it is thought in its least adulterated state, thought divorced from sensory input, thought untainted by discourse with others and their thoughts. The tools of the mystic—isolation, asceticism, meditation, trance states etc.—aren't tools for emptying the mind of thought (even if they are presented as such), they are tools for clearing the mind of impediments to thought and the obligation to consciously shape thought or herd it in a particular direction.
Political ideologies—like their religious counterparts—provide a mythic framework for A.) explaining why things aren't the way they ought to be and B.) how things can be made to be the way they ought to be. Childish, yes, but for a human being, who might reasonable expect 80 years of life in a universe where a billion years is chump change, a certain degree of perpetual childishness is to be expected, no?
Or, perhaps we need to bend the arc of our "current contemporary culture" away from its current path toward an ever more secure haven for passive, effeminate, organization-minded (as in "company man," not the capacity to provide organization) failboaters...
nor will requiring voters to show photo identification disenfranchise any substantial number of minorities.
You're wrong there. It definitely will, as minority groups tend to have higher rates of crime in the USA, and so have a higher chance of being prohibted from carrying common state issued ID's like drivers licenses or trade licenses. Of course, the standard issue regular "state ID" which just says one's name, DOB, and what state they're from in addition to personal characteristics can be obtained, but not many people have them or know about them to my knowledge.
But, that just highlights problems inherent to those respective minority groups, not these laws. Ultimately I agree that these laws are just a distraction from the real problems.
When you look at who actually shows up to vote in the first place, it's clear that laws like this don't really result in much of the way of actual vote suppression: the people who end up being impacted by ID requirements are people who wouldn't have turned out to vote in any event. Vote fraud and vote suppression are non-issues masquerading as significant.
“Trust us: when the Congressional Black Caucus tells you that a voter ID law will be detrimental to black empowerment — black political empowerment — we know what we are talking about and it is for real,” Butterfield continued, before contradicting himself (with respect to the alleged goals of the “right-wing conspiracy” trying to return to 1900. “What they want to do is not take away the right to vote, but if black voter participation can be diminished even by ten percent it will make that critical difference all across the country. President Obama won my state, in the last election, by 14,000 votes. Had we had a voter ID law in North Carolina he would not have won the state of NC and probably could not have won the presidency.”
(What leadership under a liberal democracy does with your time.)
It's a classic illustration of the ways in which our politicians love to address issues that don't matter to the exclusion of those that do. There's not enough vote fraud in the US to justify spending a second of legislative time on laws to prevent it, nor will requiring voters to show photo identification disenfranchise any substantial number of minorities. These are laws that aren't needed, but have no real negative impact, either. Which, I suppose, makes them perfect bones for contention: no one has to risk losing anything important..
Organisms are adapted to the specific environments in which they evolve. Even where they are "successful" upon introduction into another ecosystem, that very "success" can thoroughly destabilize and degrade the ecosystems into which they are introduced. It's not just—or even primarily—that they out-compete native species: the problem is the accretion of secondary effects that follows from the initial displacement of native species. A lot of ecosystems have fairly tight tolerances, so relatively small changes can disrupt equilibrium to a degree sufficient to induce systemic decline.
I don't understand the bias against Zionism. It's Jewish nationalism. That's worth supporting.Thats what kills me, if you hate Jews so much, why not help with their Zionist mission and help them get the hell out of Dodge? If Zionists had their way, you wouldn't have to deal with the Jews materialistic bullshit, and they wouldn't have to deal with European and American pogroms. It's win-win.
Well, unless you're a Palestinian Arab.
and anyone trying to pin these problems on other demographic groups is selling something.
The argument being advanced by the Golden Dawn is that closing Greece's borders to immigration will have a measurable economic impact and help alleviate the debt crisis, yet this addresses exactly none of the real problems Greece actually faces. This isn't a solution: it's soccer hooliganism masquerading as a political stance.