Monday, May 31, 2010

Not standing corrected... yet

I'm reading 'Farther shores' by Dr. Y. Kason, which concerns mystical experiences and how they can change one's life. I'm skeptical about anything I consider 'New Age', and at first blush, this book screamed 'New Age' at me. I never gave much thought to Near-Death Experiences, which Kason suggests are as much a mystical experience as astral travelling or attaining Enlightenment. To the best of my knowledge, I have never had a mystical experience in this life, and I am a complete agnostic on such matters. To put it bluntly, I know naught about it! However, this book, like so many I have read, eagerly contributes to the pile of things I know little about but would like to know more about. Amazing what you can find when you type in the keyword 'Kundalini' in the WPL catalogue. I first heard about Kundalini Yoga while watching 'Insight into Sikhism', and wanted to learn more. So here I am, reading about matters relating to Kundalini, to the body's chakras, etc....
While I've never had a Near-Death Experience, there are some facets of the mystical experience that I have known in the past. Not too many, but enough to make me think. Now, if I really believed in this business, I might start into meditation and the like, trying to stimulate my chakras and get the energy flowing. For some reason, while the concept of the chakras is completely acceptable, whenever I think about it, something in my head screams 'New Age gobbeldygook!' This is why I will probably never completely immerse myself in this or that religion. Too skeptical for such an undertaking (not really trusting in others, either, but that's beside the point). I'll need to do a lot more examination, both upon the concepts and upon my own murky mass of faults and virtues before I make any real decision.
Neither hot nor cold, and didn't the New Testament's J.C. say something about people who were neither hot nor cold? Well, I guess I'm headed for Purgatory, but I'm totally okay with that. Of course, that's assuming I wind up back on the Christian path in the last years of my life, which could happen. Meanwhile, I'm going to continue to read this book and try to tell the skeptic in my head to shut up. BYE.

Monday, May 24, 2010


When Sims die, their ghosts come out to play. Here are a couple of lovely ladies trying to shed phantasmic pounds.

Past meeting present. I think he's telling her she's out of this world.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Looks like summer's come early. Hopefully these last couple of days are only just the beginning, and not the end of summer, as it has been in previous years. It isn't that rain is unwelcome - it's just that having days of rain and cool weather in July and August can be wearing. At any rate, I've needed the AC in the apartment and definitely could use the AC at work. Very hot in the library these days, and opening the windows does nothing. The May long-weekend is closing in, which surprises me (surprised at how close it is already - time flies when one's having fun) every time I think about it. I've got plans for the long weekend, but nothing overly spectacular. I'll probably do some shopping (assuming the weather isn't unbearably hot) and clinging to my beloved AC (assuming the weather IS unbearably hot). With the coming of Victoria Day, the WPL's back to closing on Saturday, which can be annoying for those who can't get to their local library during the week.
I'm getting lots of reading done lately. Halfway through Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' and I'm starting upon 'Mariel of Redwall'. Reminds me of all the wonderful books I missed growing up because I was foolishly immersed in Shakespeare and the like. Part of growing up too fast, I guess. No big loss, since I'm catching up now. Brian Jacques is a pretty good writer. Thousands of kids cannot be wrong, right? I've been recommending the Redwall series to anyone who will listen. Reminds me of the Duncton series by W. Horwood. I've never read 'Watership Downs', but I suspect that anyone who loved that book will enjoy the Redwall series. Kenneth Oppel's 'Darkwing', 'Sunwing', and other books are similar in concept as well. My folly that I have yet to read Oppel's series. Lots of catching up to do, eh?
All part of my plan for the summer. Reading, relaxing, and saving money for the future. Sounds boring, but one day I might have enough money saved for something REALLY incredible. I've been on an India kick lately (MAHABHARATA!) so that's where my thoughts have been. India's expensive, though. I've checked already, and such a trip would break the bank for sure. One day it'll happen. I'm feeling optimistic right now about it. Anyway, that's what's going around in my head for the time being. BYE.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Miscommunication with da Muse

We don't talk much anymore, the Muse and I. That or I'm just not as interested in writing as I once was. Beyond scribbling in my journal and blogging, I'm just not into working on any projects. My focus has moved somewhat, and unless I really believe in what I'm doing, I see no reason to dedicate a lot of time to it. I've traded the flavour of Fantasy for Introspection. If I do get back into novel-writing, it will have to be related somehow to the massive inner examination. This book, like all the rest, will probably not reach the bookstore shelves, as I don't have a whole lot of drive beyond the writing part of the journey. Revision is not my strong suit, and I don't have a lot of patience or interest in revising. Also, I spent my teens and 20s writing novels out, and I think I'm a little tired of it. Therefore, I'm going to dedicate more time to reading (as if I didn't already spend a lot of time reading) and looking within. More blog-fodder, you might say.
Elsewhere, I'm revisiting 'The words of my perfect teacher', which astounded me a while ago. Still astounds me, and is definitely a book I would like to have on my shelf. Assuming there are still copies floating around out there, since I would never steal a book from the WPL. After I have finished reading this wonderful, enlightening book, I will get back to Pepys and make it right to the end. Then comes Shakespeare, which enlightens in its own way. King Richard II, which was fairly bloody, if I recall correctly. One series I'm tiptoeing into is B. Jacques' 'Redwall' series. A little young for me? Never too old to enjoy a good book, and 'Mossflower' was certainly a good book. I'm not reading this series in any particular order. That will come later, assuming I like enough of the books.
I guess that's about all for now. I'll get back to characters, plot and setting another time. Just not feeling the Muse's touch right now. Besides, the Muse speaks in so many voices. Maybe I'm just not listening with the right ear. BYE.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pepys' prose

I haven't had much of a literary challenge lately, so I decided to attack 'The shorter Pepys'. The highlights from his 9 vol. diary, to be brief. That would have to be a blogger's dream - getting their ramblings enshrined in leather-bound luxury for future generations to prize and cherish. I've been scribbling in various journals for almost 20 years now, but I doubt I'll reach 9 volumes (or even 3 volumes) anytime soon. Samuel Pepys, meanwhile, held a powerful vantage point from his esteemed place in the royal court of the 17th century, and enjoyed much of the perks of upper-class British life. It isn't so much that his writing crackles with depth and poignancy, but that he was around during a time we can only read and wonder about, and that his scribbles call us back to a time when the human species was much more innocent (or ignorant, depending on whom you ask).
Some might actually find his writing a little dry. He wasn't much for soul-searching (like what I do when I put ink to paper), and each entry is more an account of the day's events before he went to bed. I did notice he liked to party a lot and then complained bitterly about his hangovers the next day. There are several entries were he swears he'll never touch a drop and then a few entries later he's out partying with colleagues till all hours of the night. Probably one of the few flaws I've noticed in his character, and that's pretty normal for anyone. Spirit willing but the flesh is weak.... There is some male chauvinism in his character, but for his time, that's totally acceptable. I'd know better to go after a man for being a sexist pig in the 17th century, since that's just the way it was, and it wasn't going to change for a long while yet.
So that's Pepys so far. It's a thick book and I've only a few days left before I have to either turn it in or renew it. I'm not yet halfway, so I should get a move on. BYE.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Back thru da past

I'm a slave to nostalgia (esp. the 80's), and lately I've been looking through my older diaries. I'm coming across books I read several years ago and realize that I really should give these books another look. Maybe there's something I missed the last time. Then there's the many famous names I've dropped in between the pages. For instance, I mentioned something by Nietzsche but never got around to reading. Meanwhile, the month of May has dawned and there are only a few weeks before the end of the school. The EA's are already counting down the days. The teachers probably are as well, but I've only heard it from the EA's. I'm working out my plans for the summer. They involve (so far) putting more money away for a future development (Condo, anyone?) and perhaps taking lessons in some instrument (piano... or maybe join a choir - still undecided there).
On the literary front, I'm reading a stunning book called 'The Dzogchen primer', compiled and edited by Marcia Binder Schmidt. Makes me want to seek out a guru or a virtual sangha for my own spiritual progress. Ever feel like you're at a cross-roads or in a rut spiritually? That's kinda how I'm feeling right now. Actually, looking at my stance in a harsher light, I'm looking for some validation. Am I really on the right path? Why am I not seeing any change? Where do I go from here? Am I not doing enough? What's it going to take? Perhaps, if I really had a clear path, I wouldn't feel I need validation from anyone? Besides, is a guru really there to validate someone else's feelings? Not really. He/she's there to teach and keep you on the path. I don't think he/she's there to make you feel special and validated.
Maybe I'm just whining right now. This calls for more reflecting and longer diary entries! Oh, and one more thing. I'm starting to focus on the Baha'i faith. Since I saw those PSA's back in the early 90's, I've kept the Baha'i faith at the back of my mind. Now maybe it's time to explore this faith a little deeper. I'd also like to find those PSA's again. No luck on Youtube. Just keep looking, I guess. BYE.