Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Consciousness expanding

So the whole thing, and my whole thought for the name of this blog is....

What is the other than conscious?

When I got so drunk how did I manage to play pool so well - unbeatable and much better than when I am sober? I can barely remember giving someone the cue and then staggering outside onto the beach - waking up sometime later. What part of me? I certainly wasnt conscious at the time!

Or what about the time the buildings were melting like giant marshmellows, and I thought that I was driving a rocketship - taking off into the sky? The stripes in the road became beacons of light, the music flowed out the speakers and into my veins. In another world I was driving a Citi Golf, through the traffic, changing geers, steering, stopping and starting.

Or the time in TaeKwonDo when everything happend automatically, blocking, kicking, punching without any conscious thought. Fighting two opponents and no time to think - reacting even before they knew what they were planning to do.

After things like this I can only think 'Wow! Did I really do that?"

Maybe I need to investigate another question first: What is consciousness?

Tools and resources:
My own experiences. Memories and tools like imagestreaming and introspection. Discussions and observations with/of other beings.
"Consciousness explained" Daniel C. Dennett - I am still reading this.
"The third age of the world" also "The Programmers Stone" Alan G. Carter - Since reading it the concepts always seem to be lurking somewhere in my thoughts, shaping many aspects of my reality.
"The Taoist Classics" Translated by Thomars Cleary. Appeals to the core of my being - so elegant its difficult to believe the thinks that were thought hundreds and even thousands of years ago.
The internet in general, and this blog in specific. If anyone else reads this and comments then what a bonus. The act of putting my thoughts down and in public makes some kind of a difference to me (that in itself is something to think about).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Fancy a bite?

Reality #1:
I walk past a tree, the full ripe fruit hanging from the branches. The scent of the fruit and the flowers is so appetising I start drooling. Mmmm it’s been a while since I ate. I reach over and pull on the luscious fruit. It feels firm and ripe in my hand, and as I bite into it, it kind of snaps off in my mouth. Yummy.

Alternate Reality:
I walk past the animal, its wholesome flesh rippling as it walks. I resist the temptation to bit into it right there and feed, instead I club it to death. Then I pull out a glistening blade and start cutting into the skin. Eventually I clear enough to be able to hack away a piece of the muscles, scavenger that I am. The lump of flesh is dripping with blood and still I manage to resist biting into it. I cover it with some spices - garlic, herbs, pepper, salt, maybe some sauce and marinade? After holding it over the searing heat of the fire it’s finally sufficiently burnt to eat.

Experiment!
Next time you walk past a butchery notice the stench, the carcases and rotting flesh lying there. Ask yourself: When did this animal die? How was it killed? Would you be able to force it down as is? What needs to be done to this meat to make it edible?

Think about-
Fresh fruit: Edible and appetising as is, almost zero preparation needed. Whats your favourite, sun ripened strawberries or tomatoes perhaps? Quickly digested.
Vegetables: Tasty on their own, with only need to be cooked for a short time - if at all. Just add water or oil for cooking.
Nuts etc: Clean and eat!
Grains, wheat, and flour: Preparation and processing required. Need other ingredients as well. My take days for waste products to be expelled.
Meat: Major preparation required. Must add flavourings to give flavour, or disguise the stench. My need to be pre-digested, or be allowed to rot for a while to become tender (Lazy aged steak anyone?). Many tools and implements required. May stay rotting in the gut for days. Will become drowsy after ingestion and may need to rest to allow digestion to occur.

What type of beast are you?
Predatory animals eat the organs - Scavengers eat the left-over flesh.
At night a carnivore’s eyes are bluish green – herbivore’s eyes reflect back red (ask the game ranger the next time you go for a game drive at night).

I am so sorry

I met you a few years ago at 206. Its was late. It was fun. We kissed...

"So lets meet tomorrow, my friend is having a braai"
"Ok, cool"
"Oh but you're a vegan, would it be ok with you - burning flesh and all?"
"Sure, I'll bring my own food".

I never really gave you a chance, did I? Vegan, aquatic apes, patriarchal society! It was too much for me! I didnt really understand or know what you were talking about, so I dismissed you, and perhaps made fun. I apologise. So many years later I finally understand a bit more. I know a bit more about eating (I'll write about that sometime), about evolving and about Edith Cavell.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Boomgates

So now there is a huge debate about the use of boomgates in public streets. Why should people lock themselves off and appropriate governement property for their own use, excluding others? It makes it inconvenient for pedestrians - they have to make detours to get to work. It cultivates an 'exclusive' attitude. It makes entry for emergency vehicles difficult. It makes it difficult to repair roadworks etc.

Well, because the alternative is for people to get raped, robbed or gunned down in their homes. I live in a boomed off area - there have not been any reported crimes since the booms went up 3 years ago. A few blocks away the roads are not boomed off, and every week there is a hijacking or murder taking place there (as reported in the local newspaper). Dangerous crime is a fact.

So you could argue that the crime has just been pushed into other areas, but what the fuck - its not like I ever see police cars patrolling the area! In the last year I have seen about 10 police vehicles. Less than 1 a month!!!! And every single one of them was involved in the issuing of traffic fines! Not one of them was on active crime prevention in the suburbs!

The most cost effective way of making the suburbs safe is to boom streets off. The governement will not do it so the people living there have to pay for, and take action, themselves.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Newborn

Stretching upwards from the left is a magnificent rainbow. It sparkles as if it was painted with glitter, encrusted with gemstones. The rainbow starts off on the horizon to the left of me. The sky there is a pale blue colour, tinged with streaks of yellow where the sun is rising over the emerald green hills. These hills glisten with dew, as if they have just been painted. On my left cheek I can feel the warmth of the day, as it edges out the cold night air.

The rainbow arches majestically over me, the huge bands of colour stretching kilometers above me, plunging downwards into the night sky on the right. The colours of the sky change as day transforms into night. Pale blue, blue, indigo, violet, dark blue, and a pure black on the western horison. The stars shine sharply and brilliantly in the silent night sky, making such a contrast with the fuzziness of rising sun in the east. The entire scene is surreal, a sensory overload!

Silhouetted against the rising sun I see the ominous black shapes of birds flying, their loud crowing piercing the silence of the morning. As one flies closer to me I see that it is a crow. A pitch black crow that has flown in on the wings of the new day. As the light reflects off its feathers I see echoes of red and green, colours hidden in the darkness. What message does it bring?

Looking up, into the night sky, I see a meteor, a comet! It streaks down to the ground, the glowing fireball leaving streaks of white accross the sky.
The impact is massive, throwing mounds of earth up into a crater. The ground that it has uncovered is reach with life, the soil teeming with worms and insects. I see a sprout appearing, pale green against the dark brown earth. It grows upwards, blossoming into a pure white rose, as it sends out tendrils sideways into the earth.

Soon the entire crater is filled, growing and growing, forming a dense jungle. I can hear the sounds of birds, monkeys and other animals in the undergrowth. It has been getting warmer, and more humid, almost unbearably so - tropical rain forest. I am disturbed by the buzzing sound of a mosquito. It lands on my arm and as I look at it, it transforms into a small blackbird, without any eyes, I know that it wants to tell me something.

The image stream has brought me an answer, now I just have to figure out what it means.

How long is long enough?

I wanted to call the Estate Agent that I bought my house through, to come and give me an evaluation for the current market value (before I spend money on alterations). But then I remembered that her daughter died recently, so I wondered:
"Should I call her, she might still be mourning, and not working"
"But its been a month, so surely shes back at work"

Based on what I have seen with other people, she was probably back at work the next day. Best to carry on with life, you know. Deal with it and get over it.

But who's to say how long it should take. If it was me I would probably never 'get over it' - whatever thats supposed to mean. I wonder how many times I have told myself to get over something and move on. But do I ever completely forget anything? Surely everything shapes us to some extent or another?