Tuesday, April 28, 2009Pot Pourri
People who struggle in this lifetime are playing the fool. It is not a struggle; it's a game.
J-R's quote above triggered a memory of this snippet from an interview with Krishnamurti by Bernard Levin. It has had an enormous influence on me.
BL: But can we live in the real world that we do live in where we have to catch trains and go to offices and buy bread in the shop…?
K: Yes, I’ve done all those.
BL: How can we combine all the pressures of the mundane world around us?
K: I wouldn’t do anything under pressure.
BL: You wouldn’t—I wish I didn’t!
K: No, I refuse to be under pressure, either intellectually or psychologically. I don’t mind starving, I don’t mind having no job, but I refuse to be put in that position.
Wow! It still gets to me.
Ólafur Arnalds was a very busy man last week: The 21-year-old composer, who lives in Reykjavik, wrote and recorded a new piece every day and posted it online for anyone to download. Each of the compositions is free, and all of them are lovely.
They really are exquisite. My favorites are Day 1, 3, and 7. Listen to them here.
This may gross you out but I really laughed out loud when I saw this PSA from the Australian Government on Influenza (unfortunately I was on the phone with someone at the time). This was before the Swine Flu epidemic. Now if I could just find that quote where J-R equates sneezing to orgasms!?! Enough said. Here's hoping I don't lose too many readers. (Scroll down past tags on right hand side)
Sneezing In Ultra Slow Motion - Watch more Funny Videos
Thursday, April 23, 2009Food for Thought
The 7 minute YouTube piece below has stayed with me for a few days and so I wanted to share it with you. It didn't have an immediate impact on me but it's implications have grown and grown. See what you make of it in a day or two.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009Bits and Pieces
Human character is revealed in how we live our lives. It is revealed by what we devote our lives to and how much love we put into what we do.
Quote of the Day:
Now I am not a professionally trained economist or banker, merely a historian of the reasons why Great Powers seem to have risen over time, and then steadily collapsed some generations later. Yet it appears to my non-scientific mind that if a particular national government decides on the one hand to issue more and more Treasury debt, and on the other hand to have its national bank purchase large amounts of the same, it runs a serious risk of scaring investors about its long-term credit- worthiness.
Interesting fact from Richard Russell of Dow Theory Letters:
It takes a fertility-rate of 1.5 in order for a nation to maintain a stable population. No nation in Europe has a fertility rate as high as 1.5. Japan is drying up; it's become a nation of geriatrics.
The nation with the lowest fertility rates are Poland, Ukraine, South Korea, Belarus, Hong Kong, Macau.
The highest fertility rates are in Mali, Niger, Uganda, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Burundi.
For those of you following my Middle Game series of posts (under Getting Ready on the right hand side), this article may be of interest under The Battle for Influence. Excerpt:
Beijing has bolstered its presence without bombast, perhaps out of an awareness that its relationship with the United States is still of paramount importance. But this deference may not last.
“This is China playing the long game,” said Gregory Chin, a political scientist at York University in Toronto. “If this ultimately translates into political influence, then that is how the game is played.”
And finally, this is a lesson in how abundance comes in many guises. (it's become so popular they didn't allow me to embed the actual video so here is the link):
Tuesday, April 14, 2009At Ease
Tithing is a way of saying, “God, pour forth whatever blessing You have for me.”
God is health, or lack of disease.
God is always at ease, always present, always now, and is constantly creating and expanding.
(From God Is Your Partner by John-Roger, DSS)
My favorite joke of all time is about three Jews boasting about their rabbis. One claims his rabbi is so devout and fearful of the Lord he trembles night and day, and has to be strapped to the bed so that he doesn't fall out.
The second claims his rabbi is so holy and close to God that God trembles and is afraid of displeasing the rabbi.
The third says his rabbi went through both those stages. First the rabbi used to tremble, then it got to the point where God trembled. But then the rabbi thought it over and said to God, "Look, why should we both tremble?"
I think of that joke when I read J-R's profound quote above. If "God is always at ease, always present, always now," why should I tremble? Why don't I jump on the bandwagon and be at ease?
In fact, I think I will. Now.
Here is one of the reasons I think that the economic recovery is going to take a long time. Financial Quote-of-the-Day from columnist and financial commentator Stephen Roach:
Put it together and it all smacks of a dangerous sense of déjà vu: promoting a false recovery by kick-starting overextended, saving-short American consumers to borrow once again by leveraging their major asset.
Fortunately, the American consumer is smarter than the quick-fix Washington mindset. Shell-shocked families -- especially some 77 million baby boomers for whom retirement planning is an urgent imperative -- know they have no choice other than to save.
Thursday, April 9, 2009A Moment of Tao
Have you ever smelled perfume from a flower?
That's similar to how the Spirit moves.
That flower was really nearby in order for you to smell it.
And if you turned toward that essence of perfume and started tracing it back,
you came to the source it was coming from.
But you must pursue it in order to get to the source.
If the perfume seems to float interminably through the air, you have more of a job.
You have to be more alert, more aware,
more watchful than before.
And it could be that you smelled it for so long,
you've lost track that it's present.
But someone new coming in will say,
"That sure smells like roses,"
to once again refresh your mind of what you know.
(From The Tao of Spirit by John-Roger, DSS)
To strike his target, the Zen archer must be conscious yet not self-conscious. He must become one with the bow, take aim without aiming, and let the arrow release itself. Even after all that, it will be a miracle if he doesn’t put someone’s eye out. This raises the question “Why shoot bows and arrows in the first place?” The Middle Ages are over. You should find a nice sport, like tennis.
(From Zen Judaism by David M. Bader)