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Check out my new wiki: notboggeddown




I have never known a university president with as little personal tolerance for dissent as this one. Most take it to be part of their job and recognize dissent as a a sign of a healthy university community. Even Nixon ( The same man who dubbed Leary "The most dangerous man in America" before his disgraceful resignation in the wake of Watergate) visited the anti-war protesters and apparently "rapped" with them. I guess it is just a personality trait we need to help Spanier get over. This suggests, as you imply, that a shift in rhetorical tactics is in order. Perhaps USAS should host a party and invite Spanier? They could show the best documentary they can find on sweatshops, give away non sweatshop produced PSU logo'd ( hemp?) items as door prizes, and respectfully lobby Spanier to perform the great magic trick of making PSU logo'd sweathshop merchandise disappear. -mobius



Here is a very interesting letter I read this morning, from Graham Spanier, directed towards the USAS (United Students Against Sweatshops). It seems as though this group has disturbed President Spanier enough for him to write a personal letter to the group, asking for them to stop visits to his office and other "rude, disrespectful" behavior. I think it is awesome that the group has made it a point to get President Spanier's attention. He asks them to correspond via the more "customary" email and mail, yet one wonders if letters and email would get anyone's attention. They are as easily deleted or thrown away as not. It seems that the USAS is the only group on campus that is passionate enough about their cause to attract even unwanted attention so that their concerns are heard. I do worry, though, because Spanier didn't sound happy in his letter, and I fear that these students may encounter some serious punitive measures by the university if they don't stop pissing off the people in charge.



Note to self: look up the beguines

And who would have thought Hell is a garden in Israel?


Just doing a little digging for my speech on LSD and found this little gem, published by the San Francisco State College's Institute for Psychedelic Research back in 1963, before they got scared and shut down the project. I love Tim Leary, but the more I read about LSD research, the more I can't help but feel that the LSD research community would've been in a better spot today if he would have only kept himself and his research out of the limelight.



Thank Gaia the name of Whitman has been evoked. His presence is starting to be felt not only in my strange syncronicities...more on that later... but also on this wiki. I'll be damned if he is not an enlightened master.



As I Ponder'd In Silence

As I ponder'd in silence

Returning upon my poems, considering, lingering long,

A Phantom arose before me with distrustful aspect,

Terrible in beauty, age, and power,

The genius of poets of old lands,

As to me directing like flame its eyes,

With finger pointing to many immortal songs,

And menacing voice, What singest thou? it said

Knowest thou not that there is but one theme for ever-enduring bards?

And that is the theme of War, the fortune of battles,

The making of perfect soldiers.


Be it so, then I answer'd

I too, haughty Shade, also sing war, and a longer and greater one than any,

Waged in my book with varying fortune, with flight, advance and retreat, victory deferr'd and wavering,

(Yet methinks, certain, or as good as certain, at the last,) the field the world,

For life and death, for the Body and the eternal Soul,

Lo, I too am come, chanting the chant of battles,

I above all promote brave soldiers.


And a little of the syncronicity report:


After the seminar on Wednesday, I wanted to show Mobius this poem because I thought it incredible. Before I even opened the book, Mobius asked me "Is it Whitman?" "Of course," I replied. He had not seen the cover of the book, yet somehow Mobius knew that I wanted to read him Whitman. Call it syncronicity or whatever, but Whitman was certainly making his presence known.


I don't think of syncronicities as such, but rather as an intuition. Sometimes I can just pick up on things, subtle things, around me. Like I can tell who is attracted to whom before the two people are even aware of it. In the last week, I have predicted that 3 different couples would get involved with each other, and they have. Maybe it's syncronicty, maybe it's just paying attention to the subtle information that is out there.


I also predicted that a friend of mine would get ordained as a Buddhist monk. I wrote to him in a letter "so I guess now that so-and-so is getting ordained, you'll be next, huh?" to which my friend writes back "Your intuition is correct. He and I will be ordained on the same day." I hadn't actually thought this thought before I found myself writing it down, but it sounded right so I wrote it. Opening up to syncronicity is more than just opening up to coincidences. It is opening up to the messages being sent to you by the universe.


Another syncronicitous event: A friend of mine came out to me the other day. We don't know each other that well, and she is very nervous about letting people know she is gay. In three years, she has only come out to four people. But the other day she told me she was. We talked for a bit, a conversation-by the way- which was pretty nerve-wracking for me because I didn't want to say the wrong thing, and I also wanted to be supportive. When I went home I started wondering why she had chosen me to come out to. Like I said, we don't know each other that well, and we are certainly not bosom buddies. But for some reason she felt comfortable telling me. Then I thought back to last semester when I had left Mobius's class and saw that some sort of event was happening up at Old Main. It was the National Coming Out Day (or was it Week?) Rally. I am not gay, that I know of, but for some reason I felt the need to be there. Didn't really make much sense. I also skipped the class I had coming up to stay at the rally. And then, right before I was about to leave, I ran into my friend (who I thought was straight at the time). I think she was probably just passing by, but she had seen me at the rally, and thus could identify me as someone who was an ally and would be supportive of her sexual identity. The whole recollection of this event was so beautiful for me, because it was as if the universe put me exactly where it needed me to be for my friend to see me. And then I became exactly the person she needed to come out to. She told me afterwards that she felt a huge weight lifted after she came out to me, and I didn't do a damn thing but just listen to what the Universe told me to do. Mobius, do you remember that day? You joked that the White Magic Princess had gone Purple? Who would have thought that it was exactly what I needed to be doing right then? Just open up to what the universe tells you to do, even if it makes no sense, and you will be completely taken care of.



maybe i'll get there some other way, maybe not. whatever happens is exactly what is supposed to happen, is perfect and complete, could not possibly be anything other than what it is.



some daft punk for your thursday:



January 23


I recently re-started a weekly course for blocked artists, to recover their creativity. For this week, I am not supposed to be reading at all. Which is sort of impossible, given that I am an English major and most of my assignments are either to read or write. But I am doing my best.


One of the things I have noticed about not reading is just how much time I have left for other things. Like writing. I find myself with two, three, four hours to kill inbetween obligations-hours that I would usually fill with reading- and suddenly I have to come up with something to do. So I go for walks, and I allow myself to get into lengthy conversations, and I write.


I wanted to share a piece I wrote the other night. I sat down and tried to write down my thoughts on the sacred. This is something I have always avoided doing because I was taught that to have your own thoughts about God was presumptuous; better to read what others have written than create your own heresy. Now since I can't read this week, I thought, 'well, why not?' I was curious to see what would come out. So here it is:


a note on terms: I use the term God-space to refer to what is commonly called God, enlightened mind, nirvana, samadhi, Self (as opposed to self), Mind (as opposed to mind), etc. To me these terms are all interchangeable, and yet they don't quite fit my own experience of the sacred. God-space works for me because God intimates an element of divine love, and space removes the humanization from God, which we have as a society come to associate with God in popular religion. But whatever works for you--substitute your own terms as necessary.


I heard Heath Ledger died. Just 3 hours ago. Everybody around here is all abuzz about the event. Suicide or overdose they say, pills. He was found in one of the Olsen twins' apartments.

Everyone is concerned about the circumstances of his death. how sad it is that he has a young daughter and also just finished a movie that will come out soon, how he died, gossippy-gossip. That is the drama of death for those left living.

Why do people wrap this drama around themselves? Like my grandmother who loves to remind me how much my deceased dad loved me even when I wasn't speaking to him (in her words "being ugly to him"). Or my brother who plalys the victim andloves to wallow in his own misery--"why did this happen to me?" "I have had such a hard life..." Or my aunt conspiracy-theorizing about the insurance company killing my father. The drama of death. We create all sorts of stories about it, films, novels, folk-lore, etc.

People really love it, even if they would never admit to relishing it. They will tell youthat they are suffering, that they hate the pain and the feeling of loss, and yet they won't let it go.

What strikes me about death is how a person who was full of personality one minute can just disappear the next. Dead. I want to know where you go when you die. Where the inner world goes. All the drama, the inner drama, goes. It just stops. At least I don't think it keeps going. How could it? There would be no active mind to continue it, where would the drama take place? So what is it that endures? What is left when you die?

I have some ideas. There is the God-space that is the back-drop of this life. I believe that is what propels this world, you and me and all of this. The God-space is behind thoughts, behind the senses, behind personality. "The true self" that people talk about. And it is the same for everybody.

This is what people mean when they say "we are all one". Because the God-space is inside everyone, it is all one consciousness, one awareness. I imagine it as a big orb. Like the Earth. And here we put borders around little bits of the God-space and we call this "me" or "you" or "chair" or "dog", but it is all the God-space.

And we divide up the whole pie until we can't see the big picture, that there is only really one orb. We look too closely at the lines between things.

Really a conversation, then, is just God talking to God. I imagine a small child playing with dolls. The child makes the dolls lay down or drive a car, or talk to each other. But it is really the child who puts the dolls in bed, or pushes the car. It is the child's voice talking on both sides when two dolls have a conversation.

This is what I sometimes imagine is happening when I hear myself say something that surprises me. Like "I would really like to take acting lessons." Whoa, where did that come from? I hadn't considered acting lessons ever before, and yet I hear this statement come out of my mouth and recognize it to be true. The I find myself picking up a brochure about acting lessons. Huh. So I guess I am going to take acting lessons...

This is part of the joy of living for me. I never know what I am going to do next.

Now it is easier for me to take this "observer" stance when really extreme things are happening, unpredicted things. Yet when my life becomes routine and I stop paying attnetion to all the subtle differrences from day to day, my ego gets bored. I find "myself" rushing in, trying to analyze and control. I lose the observer standpoint, and get pulled into the drama of life. Thiings like "I really like this coffee" or "I hate this class" or "I wish {this} could be different about my body." All the preferences and likes and dislikes. Sort-of like what I was saying earlier about people being addicted to the drama of death. It's not just death, it's every possible experience that one can have.

This being sucked into it is what I call being separated from God. The ego, that myth that we call "ourselves" with all of its likes and dislikes and its plans for engineering the best possible future--it only thinks of itself. Ego cannot focus on the God-space, and thus can never fully make contact with another person.

What we usually call conversation or relations with someone else is mostly just the ego projecting itself out onto another being. Each ego is really just talkign to him or herself because of the imagined belief about who another person is. This image of the other person comes from the ego, and so it is really talking to itself when it believes it is talking to another person. Unless you are really present, and therefore coming from the God-space, you cannot really talk to another person.

How often have you been talking to someone and had the feeling that you being there is purely incidental? That the person across from you is really just getting off on the sound of his or her own voice? this is an extreme case of an ego talking to itself.

If you approach a conversation and "you" are really coming from the God-space, you can't help but hear a person loudly and clearly. You can't help but see the same space shining within them. Then, instead of every conversation being the ego talking to itself, every conversation becomes the God-space talking to itself. Perhaps the words even get drown out, or just happen by themselves, and you dwell in the space of silence.

I used to worry about becoming enlightened because I was afraid it would be lonely. So few people are aware of their God-space, and I was afraid that if I dwelt in that place that I wouldn't have anyone to talk to. I also thought I would have to protect my enlightened mind from those nasty egos trying to suck it back into ego-ville. But that's just not the case.

A person does not have to be aware of the God-space to function from that space. Nor do they hae to be conscious of their God-space for you to see it i n them. When "you" come to some social situation from the God-space, it becomes apparent that everything, even the ego, comes from God. The same space within you that is pure silence is the same space where everything comes from.

A girl hits a glass with her elbow and knocks it over. An act of God. A person slices their finger with a knife, a car accident, a woman gets a promotion. All come out of the God-space.

The natural world is probably the easiest place to feel this presence of God, and social interaction is probably the hardest. But when it becomes clear that both a leaf blowing and a fistfight are acts of God-space, then it becomes apparent that everything that happens is truly perfect. It becomes easier to accept everything that comes along without holding a grudge.

A lot of people I hear saying "Just accept this" or "I have to accept that" don't really want to accept whatever it is they say they accept. You can hear it in their voices that they wish things were different, that the car accident hadn't killed their friend. But real acceptance takes in the car accident and the experience of grief over the loss of a friend without reserving that tiny place in the mind that says "I really wish this hadn't happened."

And now I am back at death. Perhaps the hardest thing to talk to people about. Death is the one drama that most people I know hold onto most tightly. They assume a defensive or even aggressive posture if I bring up their dead parent or child or friend. Perhaps it is because this dead relative is the one thing that most strongly reminds them of their own mortality.

But when I think back to the shock of hearing that my father was dead (he died unexpectedly at the age of 45), there were no thougths of "I wish this hadn't happened", or "I wish this was different". Those thoughts come later, they are the the workings of the ego. When I first got the phone call from my uncle, there was only the feeling of shock then grief. Pure grief without any thoughts. Actually, I don't remember most of what happened. I remember 2 people holding me up while I sobbed, my legs buckled underneath me. And I remember feeling like I was in a very deep, silent space, watching everything happen as if I were an audience member watching a play or a film on a screen.

Now that I think about it, that was probably one of my first experiences of operating from God-space, although I wasn't really aware at the time what it was. I didn't have the mental construct "God-space" in my mind, t herefore I didn't label this experience "Oh, this is the God-space again".

This labelling of god or any spiritual experience is the #1 sure-fire way to make sure the experience disappears. When the labelling mind comes in, the ego is immediately behind it. And because the ego is conscious only of itself, the God-space is drowned out in noise, thus the experience of exquisite silence evaporates into another, ego-centered, experience. Although, do remember that the God-space is still there, and still pulling the strings.

The ego's coming back into play is, like everything else, manifested out of the God-space, and therefore also perfect. I know a lot of spiritual seekers who condemn the ego without fully realizing what it is or where it comes from. The ego is when you believe that "you" are separate from God. If you aren't absolutely sure that you and God are one and the same, you can be sure you are operating from an ego. So most of the time, when my spiritual friends condemn their ego, it is really the ego condemning some part of itself that it finds unpleasant. "You" cannot get rid of your ego because "you" are your ego, "you" are the problem that "you" are trying to solve. Get it?

The ego, like everything else, comes from God. Therefore, even the ego is perfect and complete, just as it should be. I wish my spiritual friends would spend less time condemning their egos and more time focusing more on cultivating their ability to access the God-space. In that way, they would be more effective in seeing through the myth of the self and seeing their God-space behind the veil of the ego.


December 29


I am sitting around the house, reading (yet again). Although I love reading, and I have been taking full advantage of reading during this beloved down time, I have found that I am also interested in hearing other peoples' stories. I have spent several hours just listening to my grandmother, my mother, my brother, my boyfriend's parents, etc. go on about their lives, and I have been eating it up. I am in complete awe of the power of narratives in our lives. Even the most scientificially minded people cannot escape storytelling, even if they are not aware of it. My boyfriend's father is a very pragmatic-type engineer who thinks that dreaming is superfluous and that stories are not really necessary, more like a fringe benefit to life. And yet, he holds onto stories, even though he is not aware of it. His mythology includes Steve Jobs of Apple and stories about the stock market, stories about engineering failures and the power of capitalism, but they are still stories. It is wonderful and amazing. I wish I had a tape recorder, I would collect all of these stories. I wonder if there is a way to create a job as a story-collector. That is what I would like to do, wander around the country--the world even-- and listen to people tell me stories of their lives and their reality-tunnels. How incredible! Now to make it happen...


I have been reading one particular story this afternoon, of Ram Dass, great American mystic. I have been reading of his time with Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg and his travels in India and all the sheenanigans he got into, all the beautiful people he met along the way... Bhagawan Dass, Reem Karoli Baba, and the wonderful Hindu devotees... Here is a good story if you like stories.


Ram Dass was born Richard Alpert, and he led the very successful life of a Harvard professor of psychology for a few years, making lots of money and buying lots of stuff. Then he started to get into LSD around the time Timothy Leary did. They both got kicked out of Harvard because a lot of people got scared of what they were into, people didn't understand what these men were talking about "expanding consciousness" and "becoming God". Which is understandable, I mean, that is how Jesus got himself crucified, trying to explain the unexplainable to people who didn't want to hear it. So they got fired and Richard Alpert kept on with the acid for a while, but he had to face the reality that every time he took the drug and had a mind-blowing experience, he came down sometime later. No matter how much he took. He even shut himself in a house with some others for three weeks and took an incredible amount of acid and stayed high for three whole weeks, and even after that he still came down a few years later and his ego crept back in, and he had to deal with the bummer of being Richard Alpert again and not God. (Rumi describes this as the depression that comes after one sees the veil lifted and experiences the beauty of God only to have the veil drop back down and the love that was so clear before disappear from view.)


So Ram Dass got pretty down and started to give up on LSD as the ultimate way to enlightenment. He travelled to India and became one of those spiritual tourists, travelling around Asia and paying lots of money and taking tours of all the temples. And he was, understandably, unsatisfied doing this as well. Then finally he met Bhagawan Dass:


who introduced him to his guru, Gurudev Baba Reem Karoli (the guy behind Bhagavan Dass in the picture) and from him Ram Dass had a few very profound experiences. It is indeed a very interesting story, and if anyone is interested, I recommend reading Ram Dass's book, "Be Here Now". It's all in there.


I shall go back to reading now. Jai Bhagwan!




Yay for the Open Source Mystery Cult!


Nov. 30


Okay, so you know how I said "poetry is damaging my creative process", and how I got rejected from Advanced Poetry Writing next semester? Well, last night I competed in a spoken-word competition despite the fact that I really didn't want to go. At about an hour until I had to be at warring commons, where the competition was held, I considered not showing up because I didn't want to do it. But I told a few of my friends about it already, and my boyfriend forced me to go. So I went and I brought my stuff to compete against 7 other poets. Of course I drew number 1 and had to go first. But to my complete surprise, I somehow made it to the second round with pretty high scores. During the second round I had to go first again, and my scores were the lowest of the round, however the audience boo'ed the judges for their scores. Then when the finalists were brought on stage for the people's choice winner to be chosen, I was completely overwhelmed at the audience's response when my name was called. Everybody went crazy, and I actually won. What the f? I'm still in complete shock. A week ago, I wanted to quit writing. I was fed up with poetry, fed up with the way poetry has to be in the university, and I had lost confidence in what I was reading. Then, by some incredible fluke or act of god, I sign up for this competition and win. Now, I have a professor from the theater department requesting me to help write a script, I am a member in a collaborative spoken-word group that travels all around the world, and I have the confirmation that people want to hear what I have to say. This world is so funny. I don't know if I can really describe the state of wonder I am in at having this thing just drop in my lap. I am taking it as a sign that I am not supposed to stop writing. And I have to offer thanks to the spirits that influenced and inspired me to write thus far, that encouraged me to talk about the things that bother me. If anyone wants to read the poems that I read last night, here they are:


Penn State and What it Means to Be 23 in 2007


The irony is that these two poems were completely inspired by Allen Ginsberg. I certainly feel a karmic connection with this man. He is a figure who I simultaneously embrace and reject if that's possible. I stopped reading his poetry around the same time I wanted to quit writing because of all the fighting surrounding it. He is one of those poets for whom nobody has neutral feelings. I was sick of having to defend my admiration of his work, and questioning whether he really was that great after all. Friday before break, I met with a poet from Bucknell whose work I really like, as well. While we were talking about authors, Ginsberg's name came up. This poet started bashing Ginsberg and his work as being "awful" and "childish" and I started to question whether I really liked it, either. I didn't want to be labeled as just another Ginsberg wanna-be for fear that I wouldn't be respected. But I think Ginsberg's genius was his ability to reach people. This Bucknell poet's work is intriguing but impenetrable. It is impossible to guess what he means by his poems, and he even admitted that he sometimes doesn't know what they are about. But to see Ginsberg read in front of people is to watch a master. He electrifies peoples' souls. So what if he's not the eloquent academic? He is a word magi, a logician, working for the good of the society and the planet. After last night, seeing how many people came up to me afterwards and thanked me for my poems, needed to hear what I had to say, reaching the community with messages of change is way more important to me than being some well-respected academic holed up in some office in some university somewhere.


The spoken-word format also has its challenges. Just like in the academic setting, where everyone's poetry sounds like the same boring, ego-centric, obscure-image-centered poetry as everyone else's, the spoken-word poets all followed the same sort of style. They used a lot of swear-words to shock you, they talked a lot about race, about love, about fucking. A lot of it sounded the same (which is one reason why I think I won--because my poetry was much different). But I think there's something to be said for how many people showed up to the spoken-word reading and how many people show up to the university-sponsored academic readings. At the spoken-word lounge, there were people out the door. Over a hundred people were there, and everyone was really into it, clapping after every contestant, cheering and responding and laughing even as we were reading. At the academic readings, teachers have to bribe or require their students to go, nobody claps between poems with only a polite applause at the end, and half the people look bored out of their seats. When teachers don't require their students to go, only a few people show up, maybe twenty at one reading I was at. This is a big difference: NOBODY READS ACADEMIC POETS EXCEPT FOR ACADEMIC POETS. It's a completely incestuous world. And we all know that incest only breeds faulty genes, causes birth defects. You need an audience if you're going to read your poetry, you need to reach people, let the world know what you have to say. Otherwise, your writing is nothing more than a glorified ego-boost, either writing because you are completely absorbed in your own mind with no concept of the outside world, or you want some sort of elitist respect from a bunch of academics.


They don't want poets like me in MFA programs or poetry classes. I refuse to ever write the way the academics want me to. I refuse to write like anyone else. I refuse to sell out my values and my creativity for the approval of others, for the chance to get into a graduate program, or to impress a teacher or classmate. I will keep writing, and I will read my poems every chance I get.


I have no experience in this corner of academia, but I almost wonder if the academic poets reject audiences and so forth to sort of superficially prove their devotion to poetry? If you have no audience, you're supposedly not doing it for fame....the idea might go that you're not just Shel Silverstein cashing in on some easy rhyming. You, on the other hand, seem to actually, really love poetry though. Maybe that shows, and it scares them that you can actually show your enthusiasm for poetry without having to don the empty trappings of academic poetry? Maybe I am drawing from my own feelings about music too much to be really analyzing your situation. I have no idea. I like how you describe your approach to poetry, anyway! -Unfinished


Saw this and thought you might be interested. Rev TB


Echan, CONGRATULATIONS! I"m so excited for you to have won. I certainly don't know much about poetry, or spoken-word, but from the one spoken-word performance that I went to I can only say that you must have a ton of passion about poetry. Even hating it enough to quit is a display of passion, even if it's not the kind that I feel quite as comforatble with. I think you have an awesome story and I enjoyed reading it. I wish you the best of luck with continuing to pursue it and with all of the opportunities that have developed for you.-- happygirl

really a concern seeing as how I think most people are not reading before class anyway.) The point of these teachings is not to reach some sort of intellectual, philosophical understanding. With koans, you have to take them inside you and literally chew on them. You have to breathe with them in zazen, you have to eat them for breakfast, you have to scrub them when mopping the floor. Only when you work with a koan in this intense, consuming way will you be able to understand it. murdered by police. Why are we afraid to call it what it is? The man was not violent, and he was shoved to the ground and murdered. Maybe it was just a slip, they didn't mean it. They only wanted to push the pain and violence far enough to make the man comply, not to kill him. Well, that's what happens when you start playing around with the violence game. Just because the majority of people react to a certain level of pain without dying doesn't mean everyone will. why does Graham Spanier want to join forces with the FBI? at the expense of his students? The answer perhaps could be found in this article which quotes the director of the FBI, Robert Muller, as saying: "We knew it that is selling the idea of creating the National Security Higher Education Board, the PSU Center for Terrorism, and the $150 million our university spends on defense research wouldn't be an easy sell because of the perceived tension between law enforcement and academia," he said of the initiative. "But once we briefed Penn State President Graham Spanier on the national security threats that impact you here at Penn State ... it became clear to all of us why this partnership is so important." It sounds to me like the FBI was using scare-tactics on President Spanier. Or perhaps the reason the FBI is focusing so heavily on using Penn State as its puppet might have something to do with our nuclear reactor, the one that is supposedly a sitting duck for terrorists, the one that is now leaking low levels of radioactive materials. You would think that the university (or the FBI) could take some of the money that it spends trying to find Internet terrorists and clean up the nuclear waste. Wooo- Echan, I'm glad you're keeping me informed. I was totally unaware that all this was going on (one reason why I really appreciate a class that gives students liberty to write about their topic of choice). Thanks for the update. I'm not sure yet how I feel about all this, but at least I'm glad I know a little bit of what's going on...although I have to admit....part of me is a little apathetic because in less than fifty days (maybe even forty!) this girl will no longer be a psu student. Although I've loved it here, it really is time to move on. Anyway, thanks for the info/update!--happygirlfriend of mine. I say friend loosely because I'm not sure that we are still friends after the conversation we just had. My friend has issues with anxiety and depression, and she has recently started a regiment of medications to combat her mental illness. One of these medications happens to be a drug that changes your brain chemistry permanently after a one-year period. The only side effect is that if you stop taking the drug you suffer from seizure-like symptoms, basically like brain hiccoughs, that can cause brain damage. That's an awesome story Erin. I think the college years - 18 through 24 - are turbulent times when deciding who we want to be as people. I can definetely relate to this story. I had a friend a couple months ago that I was close with my junior and senior year, but now that I have stopped drinking and druging we seem to have drifted apart. I told him how I felt and what I needed from him to continue a friendship. He behaved very defensive and upset and we haven't spoken since. And I like the way you worded it, "out-grown each other". I think you hit that one on the head.-GoNZoloved it or considered it my thing. But now that I am setting up a wiki for another class and I get to see the wiki sprout and grow from literally nothing (or a tiny seed), I am just in awe of its capabilities. If I ever become a teacher, I will certainly be using a wiki. A classmate of mine in this class asked why we didn't just use Angel, and now I see why. With Angel, the University is so in control of everything that no one gets to express themselves. You cannot put pictures on Angel, you cannot put random information that people might find interesting on Angel. And who checks Angel? Compared to the wiki, Angel is nothing more than a bureaucratic form to fill out. Like a daily planner. Wiki on the other hand, as I am watching it, is like an organic being. I gardened this summer, and watching the wiki grow is literally like watching a plant grow from seed. I'm not sure you can relate to this sentiment unless you have ever cared for a plant that you have watched since it was a tiny speck of a seed, practically nothing, in fact. From the Void sprang the wiki. In Re: Mobius's Post on Student TaseringDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?these poets in the university? litania, from the Greek λιτή (litê), meaning "prayer" or "supplication". list of petitions, or b) petitioning a list of dieties. Maybe. - AtomicAtom Ceridwen raises her hand. "Oooh I do! I do!" machine guns(!) and bullet proof vests were in the area. What in the world were they doing? They couldn't have known what was going to happen, so why were they so armed? Is that normal? me. I didn't say a word. I just sat there with my head in between my knees trying not to hyperventilate. I was so reverted into myself, so contained in my own head, that the entire experience was like watching a movie. I wasn't really there, I was removed and watching it go down on a screen. How oblivious am I? Regardless, I really enjoyed it and may look into making it a habit. What was that local meditation organization you mentioned? Can't wait to see what you've done with our writings! -loadstool somebody is reading it. is across, on and in the body. The koans and commentary then gives one a Way to naviagte this feeling that sets up shop in your wetware, so that you can empty yourself that the fresh refreshed wyrd feeling of Ubi ( wyrd authority more habit forming that heroin". In short you intensify the effect of being-branded ( I AM THE BRAND NAME) and then show ways of dealing with and transforming those feelings and habits. I agree that reading it aloud would be to good effect - I can show you how to record directly into audacity with free software and and 8 dollar microphone. Grade: I missd it at first, but the exegesis paper was right in front of me, like the purloined letter. Wyrd Authority More Habit forming than Heroin, mobius your final project? (we'll have to ask mobius). Please post here if you are interested in the idea. Cosmic Trigger: This illustrates that one way to double your practical intelligence (awareness of detail) is to try to receive as many signals as possible from other humans, however wrong-headed their reality-map may seem, however dumb or boring they might sound at first. Our usual habit of screening out all human signals not immediately compatible with our own favorite reality map is the mechanism which keeps us all far stupider than we should be.of course I'm seeing the world the right way and this person must be an idiot because they are not. Man... need LSD, because fundamentally it is all within your own damn 'mind' or whatever the hell that thing is...februum which means purification. I believe it. colder. Meanwhile, I'm sitting in my bed checking the cancellations every half hour, and doing the homework for my 6:30 p.m. class because it's after 5 p.m. and we're still on for tonight. I can't help but feel I've been screwed on this one. spent at least half the day in almost total idleness…”The only measure of how well a society is equipped in technology is its ability to meet its needs in a given environment.more problems in our environment, problems for us and for the environment. There is a whole litany of examples of how our society's use of technology is hurting our environment and making us sick. Using Clastres's measure of technologically successful societies, I would have to conclude that our society is pretty technologically ill-equipped. really want to be thorough about it, we should just put tags on anyone who is black or poor. Because if you look at the statistics of those incarcerated, that's what you'll find. I'll put up a link to back up this claim once I have more time. But could you see how this kind of thinking could possibly lead to some privacy rights infringements, possibly some McCarthy-esque panic groupthink? It is very dangerous to start assuming that because somebody's been convicted of something that they are dangerous and therefore have no rights. banal crap that nobody would even watch. Perhaps it's because we like to be able to invent ourselves, that we only want people to see what we choose, those parts of ourselves that we approve of, and everything else is off-limits. And again, I'm finding that this whole RFID thing is so outside the realm of what I consider my daily life that I'm having a hard time even caring about little chips everywhere. I'm sure, given the hugely varied uses of RFID tags, that I come in contact with them on a daily basis. There are rfid chips on everything (excluding people, or maybe including people), so what? What does that mean to me, someone who is still incredulous at the fact that she owns a cell phone? really'' paying attention to what was being said, and then suddenly I was looking out on the class right at these people. And the words that were coming out in my voice as I spoke were coming from.... well I don%


Nov. 26


Back from Thanksgiving. It is really hard to finish these three weeks of school now that I have had a taste of freedom. I am really sick of school, and I know that it is a cliche thing to say because everybody who is in school says it whether they mean it or not. But I am seriously considering dropping all of the classes I don't have to take because I don't know if I can bring myself to see the professor and sit for a test or a paper and have my work critiqued anymore.


I was just rejected for the Advanced Poetry Writing class based on my portfolio. I have a feeling I know why, too. It is because my poetry is too radical, too political, too much my own style. I hate conforming to the academic style of poetry, and it is obvious in my poems. I think the professor didn't want to deal with someone like me in the class, challenging his opinions of what good poetry is. It is fine, I don't care really. I decided before I found out I was rejected that I didn't want to take the class anyways. I read some of the professor's work and I didn't like it at all. It wasn't inspiring or even interesting. Completely predictable and academic-sounding words with no soul behind them. So it's really alright. But it still stings when someone puts judgement on your work or tells you that you're not good enough based on your work.


Here is a video of an 11-year old piano prodigy. I don't know if everyone will be as impressed with this video as I am, but this kid is better than most jazz pianists that I know, and I know a few. While watching this video, it struck me that this is living proof that reincarnation is possible--this kid had to have been a jazz pianist in a former life. There is just no way that he is this good, it's unbelievable.


Erin, I like you because I always feel connected to the things you write about. I also am getting tired of school. I am going to Rome in the Spring and I graduate after that so I am finding it pointless to connect with other people and all that stuff. I am finding it especially difficult to write on this WIKI. My mind has checked out and I know I am missing so much stuff in the moment. I think just talking about it will help me reconnect.






Nov. 16


If you thought the video of Andrew Meyer being tasered by University of Florida police was bad, then perhaps you shouldn't watch this video. A Polish immigrant who was at the Vancouver airport is tasered to death (that's right, this video actually shows a man dying--this isn't the movies--take a deep breath) by Canadian police while onlookers watch and make comments.



Probably the most disgusting thing about this video is that nobody understood what was going on because of the language barrier. The immigrant didn't speak English, and probably had no idea why he was being wrestled to the ground with multi-thousand volts of electricity pumped through him. And the goddamned police of course had no idea what the man wanted because they didn't speak polish. Instead of having a translator come or someone who is trained in diffusing hostile situations, the police just simply jumped on the man and tasered him. To death. And because they killed him, we'll never know why he was upset, or what he wanted. I wonder what his family thinks about all of this.


I never knew that tasers could be lethal. But apparently, Amnesty International has documented 245 cases where tasers have killed people. And it's obvious in this video, there is documented evidence that tasers can kill. How is it that four police officers supposedly trained to deal with hostile situations could not manage to handcuff an unarmed man without the use of a taser? To me, this is completely ridiculous. The man was agitated but not violent. He didn't understand why he was being tasered, and he didn't understand why four armed men were digging their knees into his back while his body coursed with pain.


Why do our civil servants need to carry tasers? It is clear that they are using tasers in situations that do not warrant aggressive force. The taser is being used as a tool to make sure everyone stays in line. You had better be still while their knee's in your back, you had better slip those hands into the handcuffs yourself. You'd better not talk back, biatch, unless you want to get your ass tased. This is the message that the police are sending with these senseless acts of violence. Are we going to take this?


I'm afraid the answer is yes. Yes, most of us are going to take it. Just look at the bystanders in the Andrew Meyer video. Most of them were smiling or applauding when Andrew Meyer was taken into police custody, and nobody did anything. One girl asked the police desperately, "Why are you doing this?" Their response was "shut-up". Don't get involved, it's none of your business. We'll take it from here, get out of our way. And the man in the video just watched as this polish immigrant was murdered.


Why does nobody use that word? In all of the articles I've read, the rhetoric is "he was killed by the taser". That's not what actually happened. He was


I think this video makes it totally obvious that our police force is completely incompetent. If they cannot diffuse a tense situation without resorting to unnecessary violence, they cannot call themselves civil servants. Bullies, terrorists, opressors, murderers, giant ignorant taser-wielding arm-twisting oafs, maybe. But not civil servants. This video makes me so mad I just want to spit.


Nov. 13



I've been thinking more about what we were discussing in class--good and evil, everything is one thing, etc. Ultimately, I agree with Mobius, that things are inseparable, that the world breaks down into just one thing. Also, that when you go to sleep at night and wake up, there you are again, and that life is a continuation. However, I don't think this is the sort of thing one can just "get" without having a profound insight into the nature of the universe. I think it is easy to mistake what Mobius was saying for the notion that the "self" we believe ourselves to be-- that is the collection of random thoughts that we pull from consciousness and paste onto ourselves like post-its and call "ourselves"-- is what is continuous and solid. This just simply isn't true. That self with all of its likes and dislikes disappears when you go to sleep (without fail in dreamless sleep, and most of the time in dreams) and needs to be kick-started again when you wake up so that you remind yourself who you are, what's going on. Haven't you ever woken up and not known where you were, or who you were? Then the mind comes in and continues with its narrative. But the narrative is not continuous. I'm afraid that people could mistake what Mobius was saying and never get beyond that "self" of your personal narrative. What remains of you when you are in dreamless sleep is the true you that remains, that IS, that continues, not the ever-changing conglomeration of likes and dislikes that we believe ourselves to be. Grok?


Also, the good and evil thing. Is it possible for good to exist without evil? Probably not, but we'll never know because our world is a world that loves duality. Evil is here in our consciousness-es, and I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. Let me rephrase what I was saying in class. It is possible for evil to not exist, and it is possible for good to not exist. As the Heart Sutra ( and many, many other religious texts written by wise sages) tells us, the essence of everything is empty. What on earth could that mean? That good and evil don't mean anything. That these mentations that we have for centuries labored over don't mean anything when you can see the true nature of life. That is how I see it. I don't think I could possibly be more clear because it is after all the nature of wisdom to be simultaneously vague, misleading, confusing, etc. I try.



Nov. 10


So I just found out today that Graham Spanier is the head of an FBI advisory board consisting of twenty US university presidents that is aimed at 1) making universities aware of information on terrorists, and 2) guarding against campus spies/terrorists who may want to steal university research secrets. Oh, and also the FBI would like to use this board as a way of recruiting students. In an article I read, Graham Spanier says that some universities are unwilling to cooperate with the FBI's "friendly overture". Is he joking? Given the FBI's history dealing with 'terrorists', (remember the Waco disaster) and with universities, I find it surprising that any university would want to be affiliated with the FBI. Considering their twenty-year campaign of slander Albert Einstein (only the most well-known super-genius of physics whose work changed the world), I would begin to question what sort of benefit an FBI presence could have in an educational environment. My question would be


Oh, and as a P.S., I love that Spanier is quoted in the FBI press release as saying "the valuable contributions our universities make to research discoveries, education of young adults, international collaboration, faculty and student exchanges, and the development of intellectual property". Right, President Spanier, we can see now where your priorities for education are--intellectual property (which is debatably an oxy-moron). I just found out this year that as a grad student, any of your discoveries or "intellectual property" really belongs to the university, i.e. you could potentially have to ask the university for use of your ideas later on. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be in a small liberal-arts school, one that is "uncooperative" towards the FBI's usurping of our educational system.




Nov. 8


I just got back from having tea with a


So my friend asks me if I've noticed any changes in her because she has been taking this drug for a few months now. I answered her honestly that I hadn't noticed any changes, and if anything I feel like she is of late more close-minded and judgemental. However, these changes could be due to the influence of her boyfriend, who is a conservative law-school student. I told her that the old "name deleted" I used to know would never have pre-judged "fucking liberal hippies" like my friend had recently been doing. Because I brought up my friend's bias against "liberal hippie bullshit", she opened the conversation into politics. Here is where I went wrong, because I know never, ever to discuss politics with someone you want to remain close with. But it seemed like an experiment, I suppose, or perhaps I was feeling particularly anti-war and wanted a chance to talk about it.


So my friend starts into a half-hour long rant about why the war is necessary, why nuclear weapons are necessary, why our economy is dependent on oil, how "fucking liberal hippies" like me are ignorant because we are only nay-sayers who don't offer a solution, etc., etc. I was mostly frustrated with myself because at the end of my friend's ranting, she would look at me very hostile-like, and say "Okay, you present your argument. What do you have to say?" But by this time I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't think of anything really coherent to say. I realized later that I had been "bested" by one of the oldest rhetorical tricks in the book: talking loudly and talking a lot. By the time my friend had finished basically yelling at me, and told me it was my turn on the soap box, I was so disoriented that I had nothing to say. Eventually I just left the conversation. After my friend had finished yelling for about five minutes, and actually finished by saying "I still love you as a person, but I think you have no right to say that you're apolitical and against the war", I picked up my bag and coat and simply walked out, saying "I'm leaving, this is too much for me."


If anything, this experience has taught me. Like Lao Tan, I should have stayed silent, meditating, while my friend talked. Or perhaps not engaged in the conversation at all. At some point, I lost control by being seduced into her bi-polar logic--only two sides: liberal or conservative. According to my friend's logic, if you're against the war you must be a fucking ignorant liberal hippie, and if you're not a liberal hippie you must be for big oil corporations and the military and nuclear weapons.


This was an exercise for me in rhetorical strategy. I wonder really what would have been my best rhetorical application. Should I have stayed and argued to the best of my abilities? Should I have never entered into the conversation? For situations like these, a firm grasp of rhetorical strategy is absolutely necessary to avoid being bowled over.


The conclusion is that I came home very angry, very shaken up, with a feeling like a knotted and writing serpent in my guts. I meditated for a while to try to let go of some of my angst, and that helped. But this event caused a big drop in my emotional pool, and I'm afraid I will feel the ripples for a little bit despite all the meditation. I think the other conclusion is that this "friend" and I have out-grown each other. Relationships always come and go, and I have no qualms about letting go of those relationships that have become harmful. In the case of this friend, I don't see any point of us remaining friends because I cannot be myself around her without eliciting these kinds of outbursts, and she also cannot speak freely around me. I don't see a point in forcing the relationship, and so I think it is time to let it go.






Nov. 6


I've started a new project, getting another class to wiki-fy. There are so many things I'm encountering with people's responses to the wiki, my own obsession and constant tinkering, linking and putting things together...etc. I always had just gone along with the wiki because Mobius liked it, but I never really



In fact, I think this should somehow correlate with my final project for this year. I'll have to think on it further. Interactive poetry wikis, group poetry projects, who knows where else it could go.

October 31




Dear Mr. J. Bernard Machen (President, University of Florida),


I am a senior at the Pennsylvania State University majoring in English. I recently viewed a video on YouTube that showed a University of Florida student being tasered for asking a question at a John Kerry Speech. I was completely sickened when I saw the way this student was treated by the police department and by the onlookers who did nothing. It seemed to me that the student did nothing wrong and that the police were using excessive force in dealing with the student. I am very disappointed in the police, in John Kerry, and in the University of Florida for letting this happen.


The student began by asking an accusatory question of John Kerry. The police officers who were standing around the microphone—yes, there appeared to be at least 3 police officers around the microphone, possibly to deter any such questions—first tried to take the microphone away from the student, and then cut the power to his microphone. As a political figure, John Kerry should be prepared to answer tough questions, and shouldn’t have to resort to police brutality to deflect questions that he doesn’t know how to answer. And what does this say about the University of Florida’s opinions on free speech and freedom of thought. Clearly students only have the right to free speech when that speech doesn’t step on any powerful person’s toes. Is that what we are supposed to believe the University of Florida’s policy is concerning its students’ freedoms? That they are only free to think, speak, and act, when their ideas coincide with those in power?


After the student’s microphone was cut, police grabbed the student by each arm (approximately 5 police officers for 1 unarmed student), took him to the back of the auditorium, wrestled him to the ground, and tasered him. In my opinion, Dr. Machen, a taser is a torture device. It sends 50 thousand volts of electricity into a body. Is that what we are supposed to believe happens to University of Florida students—any student by extension—when they ask uncomfortable questions? This display of force was disgusting to watch, and I recommend that you watch the video if you have not already. You will experience, as I and many of my friends have, the drop in the pit of your stomach when you hear the student wailing out in pain while onlookers continue to smile or even applaud. John Kerry of course does nothing, and no human rights advocate steps in to protect this student.


I am sending letters as well to Senator Kerry’s office, to the University of Florida Board of Trustees, and to the University of Florida Police Department. Perhaps none of you will read this letter, perhaps you won’t consider what I have to say important. But behind this one letter are the opinions of many more who have not written letters, many more who feel that this student’s punishment for asking a question extends to all of us. We will not sit idly by while our freedoms are being infringed upon. I hope that the University of Florida will take some sort of action to set right the wrongs that have befallen this student and, by proxy, the American public at large.




Erin Roycroft




October 30




Unlike some of Dick's other novels (mostly just Valis), I found this one pretty accessible, pretty easy to get into. I wasn't really planning on reading it, but the book jumped out at me and suddenly I had no choice but to read it. And finish it. I could see a lot of motifs running in this book that I've found in other Dick novels, particularly the preoccupation with entropy, that everything is deteriorating. He used the word "ubiquity" a lot, which echoes of his other novel, Ubik. Is the William Mercer character supposed to be a representation of Christ? Is Rick Deckhart's fusion with Mercer at the end a reference to Dick's own experiences of being invaded by God? But it couldn't be because Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was written sometime in the sixties and Dick didn't have his experience until 74. That's very bizarre, because there are a lot of similarities between what happened to Deckhart and what happens to Dick later. First off, they are both invaded by God; Deckhart, in the form of Mercer, and Dick, in the form of pink light and informational download. They also both knew things they shouldn't have known because of that. Deckhart knew about the android on the stairs because Mercer told him about it. Dick knew about his son's right inguinal hernia because it was downloaded into his brain.


The main thing I gained a new perspective on from reading this novel was love. Towards the end of the book, Deckhart realizes that Isidore loved the android, even though he knew it wasn't a real person, just as he, Deckhart, had loved Rachel the android. It didn't matter whether the object of their love was real or not, they loved just the same. This got me thinking about love. Perhaps Dick is right, perhaps the love is not contained in the object being loved, but in the lover's mind. This sounds so obvious, so cliche, but I've never thought about it like this before. What is being loved may not even exist at all, as in the case of Mercer, but it doesn't really matter because the lover is the one experiencing the love. This was also interesting to consider in the case of religion. Perhaps your God doesn't really exist. But does it matter? You are still loving something, still experiencing love and devotion, and so would the experience be any better if you were loving a "real" person or God, or an imaginary one?


October 25


I haven't been wiki-ing lately, as anyone who is reading this can tell. That makes me feel guilty. And even though what I should do is hop on the wiki, I can't because I'm feeling an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and guilt for not having done it so long, which makes me put it off even longer. Until two weeks go by without me having written anything. Perhaps this is why my new favorite medium for writing is not wiki, but recycled paper that I can get out of the computer lab printers. No, I'm serious. People leave piles of this paper in the printers, so that if you go to the computer labs at the end of the day, there is a lot of paper up for grabs (although only the one-sided printing jobs really work for my purposes).

This is my favorite medium because there are no strings attached. No dates to make you feel anxious because you're not writing enough. No expensive journals that make you feel like everything you put in it better be good. I don't know if everybody does this, or if I'm just neurotic. I have about 25 journals that I've started to write in, but because the journal was expensive or looks pretty or something I am constantly censoring what I write just in case someone happens to read it. I know it's completely ridiculous, but I can't help it. This is why recycled printer paper is my favorite medium. It doesn't demand anything of you. It is litterally a blank piece of paper, no value judgement. Not only that, but the school is just going to throw this stuff away, so at least I can put it to some good use. So instead of wiki-ing, I've been writing on printerpaper, and now I have this stack of papers wonderfully disorganized full of my hodgepodge writings. I love it because now I can start working with it, or not.




So I started reading Valis, and it is more than a little hard to read. I think the hardest part for me is the book's disorganization (not to be a hypocrite). There is not one straight narrative, not even one straight theme. PKD so far (I've only gotten to chapter 7) is doing a Burroughes cut-and-paste type thing, where he is splicing in exerpts from his exegesis (which are more than a little cryptic and/or indecipherable), and random speeches about Rome, early Christians, Ikanaton (is that the same Egyptian guy?), et cetera, et cetera. I'm finding it hard to pay attention, to concentrate on PKD/Horselover Fat enough for it to make sense. I can feel my brain crying out for a narrative, it needs a story to hold onto to make sense of what he's saying. But the parts wehre the narrative comes into play are completely absorbing.


I was completely horrified during the passage where he presents his time in the mental hospital. I have read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but for some reason, that book felt like it wasn't real. Like maybe it was a satire of the oppression people feel in societies of control. But PKD/Horselover Fat's portrayal of the mental health system was quite literal. He was saying, no this actually happened to me, and they can lock you up for being crazy for 90 days without needing much of a reason. It is probaby as low as someone can fall in our society, and it was really horrifying to have PKD/Horselover Fat tell all about it. Talking about surviving grief, it's almost farcical how many shitty things happen to Fat. Now I'm curious what Mobius would have said about the "Surviving Grief with Horselover Fat" note if he had time to get to it, because Fat's mode of survival doesn't exactly seem exemplary, at least in chapter 7. I guess that will have to wait until Tuesday.




October 11


I have been wondering what makes a great poet lately. And how to write in an original and creative fashion, expressing yourself, without fear of someone disapproving of your work. A lot of times when I write, there is a voice in the back of my head that says "oh, they're not going to like that" or "that's not the poetry that everyone else is writing" so unless I can catch myself before this voice gets blown out of proportion, I usually wind up feeling self-conscious or downright bad about my writing. This is a problem. Or even if I write something bold and I don't appologize for it, I fear that my work is not good enough to get away with being bold. So I have been trying to find ways around these dillemas, because they prevent me from writing poetry, which is something that I love to do. In this hunt for a way out of these mind-games, I have drawn lots of inspiration from confessional poets and beat poets. Most of these writers wrote what they felt, what they needed to say and didn't appologize for it. But for some reason, I have realized that in the academy, beat poets and confessional poets are not taken seriously. Not only are they not taken seriously, but they are treated somewhat like zoo animals. Put in clean-safe cages to be observed by the masses. In poetry workshops, my classmates are afraid to be too confesional, too beat. They are afraid that they won't be taken seriously, that they will be treated like criminals. But why? Why does this happen? Why are we so afraid of


Here's two videos, one of Burroughes reading a poem (I think it's titled "Thanksgiving Prayer") and one of Ginsberg reading "America". One of the things I love about these guys is that they are not afraid of scope. They talk about big things, America, whereas modern poets talk about, oh say, their latest haircut or a bird they saw out the window (in short, obscure personal details within a very small scope).











October 1


First, let me say happy birthday to my little brother who turns 21 today. I hope he does not die from alcohol poisoning or become a full-fleged alcoholic.


Next, I found this little ditty on youtube:





This is the heart sutra, in sino-japanese, which is the form I am the most comfortable with, since it was the first one I knew. It's funny how I find all other forms of the heart sutra somehow invalid because it is not what I know. Anyhow, this band put the heart sutra to music and I thought it was really interesting.



September 28


Littany: A litany, in Christian worship, is a form of prayer used in church services and processions, and consisting of a number of petitions. The word comes from the Latin


Why, then, does this mean "list" in colloquial language? I would be interested to see how "litany" has evolved over time from worship to list. But the OED does, indeed, seem to be under lock and key. Anybody know the hack?


Maybe "litany" evolved because it originally involved: a) giving a diety a


September 26


It's the I have a lot of things to do to day dance!! Don't have much time to post, but I've decided that I would like to look at Ginsberg's Wichita Vortex Sutra for my sacred text. Is it just me, or does nobody in our society take Ginsberg seriously? Why is that, because he's admitted to smoking marijuana? Because he's a homosexual? Because he brings up current events and politics in his poetry? I can't really figure it out. Even in literature courses where he's taught, he's only brought up in context with the beat poets as a sort of AWW, isn't that cute, look at those little writers doing their weird little thing. He's taken more as a novelty than a "serious" poet. Ginsberg was the first poet I ever read that I connected with, and his writing has been very influential in my own writing (as you can probably see if you read my poems. But after taking many literature classes and poetry workshops, I must say that even I forsook Ginsberg. I began to want to dissociate myself and my writing from him and his, so that my professors and my peers would take me seriously. He's a subject that nobody wants to touch, except to put him on display and show what drugs can do to you. How can one person take poetry away from the university? How can one poet single handedly reform the way that an entire generation looks at poetry? Ginsberg did it, but now that he's gone, I fear his influence is being masked over. So what are we young poets to do? Rap on Ginsberg will be put on hold for now, but think about this stuff and do some research on him when it comes time to talk about the Sutra.



I try to stay away from most television, and news especially. I won't be in class today, so have a good one.



"Is it just me, or does nobody in our society take Ginsberg seriously?"


- C


September 23


Here is my Genesis Remix. Actually, it is a John-Lilly-remix. My remix takes the form of a poem. Why? Because I like poetry, it's what I do. It is how I express myself most naturally. Also it offers a freedom of expression that no other medium can offer. There are literally no rules. Starting with Walt Whitman, American poetry has been all about discovery, playing with language, seeing what one can get away with. To quote an E.E. Cummings poem,








sh? dr


(Ul) (lY)


Poetry is perhaps the most appropriate medium I can think of to express the sacred. Poetry lends itself freely to the esoteric writing that most sacred texts are written in, that is writing about one thing while meaning something else entirely different. My Genesis remix is a poem which speaks mostly about the nature of writing as I experience it. Because writing is one activity in which I feel I come into direct inspiration from the sacred, I felt it most appropriate to remix John Lily's creation myth through talking about my own act of creation. Because what are we doing in acts of creation, whether writing, painting, or whatever, if not mimicking God creating the world, as in Genesis or in John Lily's remix? It is my hope that this poem will convey a certain feeling in the reader, a subtlety in the text that can also be felt while reading other creation myths.

*Sidenote: This poem came about quite auspiciously. I was sitting at a boring IST lecture about artificial intelligence, to which I had only gone because of their offer of free pizza, and I was nervously looking for something to do (because paying attention to the lecturer was waaaay out of the question), when suddenly I spied some paper which had gone through the printer one-sided and still had a fresh, umblemished side upon which I could write. Alas, I had brought no pen with me to this lecture, but just as suddenly as the paper appeared, I spied a pen, a perfectly good ballpoint, laying discarded on the floor. Then the idea for this poem came into my head, and the rest is history. Hope you enjoy the poem:




Getting lost in the spaces

between words.

Not getting lost, but losing one’s self.

writing, rewriting


Every world becomes a new world

every letter a universe

Each pen-stroke, key-stroke

an act of God in the void

of the cosmos.

The Decision-Maker! First Distinction! Star Maker!

Who said that it requires genius?

(and what is that, anyway?)

No! not genius, just a willingness to dematerialize

reappear on the page,

in the space, the pause

from one line


to the next.

Liminal space, hunt it out!

seek it, those glorious nether-regions,

hunt them as the Cherokee once stalked the deer,

with silent determination, eyes wide,

find them in every beautiful creation

and rest there,

breathe in the free air!

Glorious Temporary Autonomous Zone!


No genius here, just silent madness,

patient in-sanity,

for what is insanity if not

the ability to see what lies

between the molecules?


Molecules? Particles or waves?

Ha-ha! No one knows

at this liminal cross-section

the objective becomes the theoretical

and what are theories

if not ideas panting

waiting to be disproved?


A quiet madness, a scribbling,

those words lifted from the spaces no one can hear.

A crack, a beam of light

Shines through

Catch it! Bathe there,

and dance as you are commanded

soon the plates shift

(the nature of tectonics, after all)

a –what is that word?—

and it’s gone.

And what’s left?

But to wait for the next black hole.



September 12


A poem I wrote this morning:


Keichan, I dreamt of you last night.

I wasn't sleeping well

and I woke up many times

but you were there


dancing in between

my fitful naps

I don't remember what you said,

but I know we spoke,

and today, as I recall your face,

I want to tell you

I know I was a brat when I left.

I feel very badly about how I acted,

yelling and pouting,

but what else could I do?

Being a monk is not for everyone.

I am ashamed to admit

my heart is too weak,

and my resolve is too easily broken.

Please do not think ill of me

for wanting my freedom.

Drinking wine, falling in love--

how could I stand strong in the face of that temptation?

You are a wiser woman than I

to fearlessly put on the robes.

But I also have been badly burned

in a way that you have not.

and I fear that my blind faith

now has a dent that cannot be hammered out.

How could I trust enough to give everything away?

But while holding onto one side of the cliff,

how could I ever make the leap to the other side,

plunge head-first into darkness?

You see, I had to come back

to the real world

because I could not remain halfway

in your world.

Please forgive me for being weak.

Please forgive me for being selfish.

I remain faithfully

your little ijimei sister.



September 11


What? Remix the Bible? Did I miss something, since when did we have that as an assignment?

a friend and I were talking about the bible when an interesting issue came up. Mobius mentioned that God outsourced his job of naming all of the animals to Adam. Well, according to my friend, a Catholic, God also outsourced his job of informing Eve about the forbidden fruit. That is, God never told Eve to her face, he left it up to Adam to tell her. What the hell God? Don't you know that to have anything done right you have to do it yourself? God must have known that things were going to get screwed up when he left Adam to do his job. And why does the blame always fall on Eve? Sure, Adam said that he told her, but can we trust him to tell the truth when the stakes are so high?



September 7


Maha Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra



Gone, gone beyond, gone beyond beyond, to be awakened.


September 6


Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to Echan, happy birthday to me!


And now I get to celebrate my birthday by going to 4 classes.


I am really intimidated/impressed to see how much wiki-ing people are doing. And of course, reading everyone's page makes me reflect on my own wiki-ness (or lack of) and feel somehow inadequate. I must admit, I haven't read Genesis. It seems everyone's on the Genesis train. Well, I read it years and years ago because my father told me for every book of the bible I read, he would give me $20. I thought I had discovered a new money-making scheme until I actually read Genesis and realized how boring it was and how little I understood of it. I got my $20, but Genesis was the only book of the Bible I ever read thoroughly. I guess some texts jive with you and some just don't. The Bible is a text I have an (unnecessary?) aversion to. I hear 'Christian' and I throw up my hands and walk away. Not to say that the Bible is a Christian texts, as we learned last class, but it's definitely been appropriated by Christians, and it may be impossible to dissociate the two in my mind.


One of my very trusted teachers (not at the university, teacher in life) has a friend who is a world-renowned Biblical scholar. He told me that in any given sentence of the Bible, there have been anywhere from 100-1000 textual versions/changes/perversions made by translators and editors. How can we trust a text that has been so mutated by non-holy people. Can we trust the motives behind those who have commissioned different versions of the Bible be written? We all know about King James and his version (which is probably the most widely-known version of the Bible).


Something the Dalai Lama once said, which I find very interesting, is that people should stay in and work from the religions they were born into. In rare cases, one should move to Tibet (or India nowadays) and become a monk, but in most cases, we should work where we are because they are all fundamentally the same. I believe this to be true, it does strike a chord within me. And I was born Christian, but I have a really difficult time even having a conversation with Christians these days, let alone becoming one of them or following their practices.


so anyways, I'm getting ranty, I'm going to go out and enjoy my birthday and not think about Christians or the Bible until class starts.




August 30


A new semester, a used wiki page...






Final Project Under Construction


your bird is pretty cool - a big one too. -GoNZO

Can we nickname that byrd Wyrd? - mobius


April 16


I just read about the Virginia Tech school shooting today. I feel bad now, whining about my problems while students are being shot and killed in their classrooms. What do I have to whine about anyway? At least I am still alive.


A few things struck me while reading the article about the shooting:

1. "Student Tiffany Otey was taking a test inside Norris Hall when the shooting began. She and about 20 other people took refuge behind a locked door in a teacher's office. Police officers with bulletproof vests and machine guns were in the area.(Watch a student's recording of police responding to loud bangs Video)


"They were telling us to put our hands above our head and if we didn't cooperate and put our hands above our heads they would shoot," Otey said. "I guess they were afraid, like us -- like the shooter was going to be among one of us."


It bothers me a little bit that police officers with


2.Madison Van Duyne said she and her classmates in a media writing class were on "lockdown" in their classroom. They were huddled in the middle of the classroom, writing stories about the shootings and posting them online.


What? They were writing while the shootings were taking place, or afterward? Weren't they afraid their lives were in danger? What in the hell were they doing posting stories online? Why weren't they jumping out of the windows like the rest of the kids? I wonder if the professor had the idea to write while the shootings were taking place. I wonder if they get extra credit for that. I don't mean to sound cynical, but it sounds pretty incredible to me that they were writing about the event right then and there.


April 16


I know our proposal was supposed to be done by the end of the weekend. However, my trip to the hospital on Friday (read below) rendered me incapable of doing anything but sleeping this weekend. I should have my proposal up soon. And there are bits and pieces of my proposal you can read below in the meantime. A lot of my project is also up on the poetry pile. Oh, and thanks to whoever fixed the sidebar so that recent activities shows up. I like it much better this way :-)


April 14


An odyssey at the Mount Nittany Medical Center's ER:


Last night at midnight, while most of Penn State was out getting drunk and partying, I was being discharged from the hospital and soaring on some damn good morphine. The morphine almost made what I'd gone through during the preceding hours seem worth it. Almost. At least finally I had to relax. There is no way to be stressed while high on morphine, I've found.


Last night I was laying in my bed, reading something or other, when I started shivering. I grabbed a blanket, but it didn't help. I got under the covers, but I was still shivering. I turned my heater on high, but I still felt cold. I was getting a little scared because I'd heard stories of people with fevers getting brain damage, and I thought I might be getting a fever. I tried to sleep, thinking if I rested I would feel better. Then it started to become difficult to breathe. I was getting pretty scared at this point, and I was all alone in my house without a car. I tried to meditate, to tell myself to calm down. I tried deep breathing exercises, but my mind was racing. I was very afraid and I thought I was going to die. Thoughts of going to the hospital had occurred to me, but I didn't have any health insurance. I had been to the hospital with my ex-boyfriend when he had a pretty nasty infection, and so I knew the prices they charged for a trip to the emergency room. I started to panic thinking about the cost of an emergency room trip. I didn't know what to do, and I was shivering uncontrollably, almost convulsing at this point. I tried to use my phone to call my boyfriend. He was playing a gig at the Big Easy, and I knew he wouldn't be able to answer my calls. I didn't know what to do. My mom lives 2 hours away, and my ex-boyfriend had taken my car and my dog out to the dog park. I had no idea what time they would be back. I started having thoughts of death, I felt like I was going to die. I tried to relax, but I couldn't. None of the meditation techniques I'd learned would help me at this point. Every one of the muscles in my body were aching from the tension and shivering. Even my teeth hurt. Then I started to get a headache, I imagined my brain was swelling from fever. About this time, my ex-boyfriend came back with my car and my dog. He and I don't have the most congenial relationship, but as soon as I saw him, I began to weep. I told him how scared I was, how awful I felt, how I was afraid I was going to die. He offered to take me to the emergency room, but I resisted. I couldn't afford it, and I didn't have health insurance. But the more I sat there, the more I started to panic. My chest was getting tight and it was hard to breathe. Finally, I agreed to go to the emergency room. During the drive there, I was afraid I wasn't going to make it, that I would die in the car before I got to the emergency room. Every word I spoke made me out of breath. And I was so thirsty. I thought I would die of thirst. After an eternity, we finally pulled up to the emergency room entrance. While Nate parked the car, I went to the front desk. "Hi, I need to be seen by a doctor," I told the woman behind the desk. I had my favorite blanket wrapped around me and my coat over my arm. (Even though it was only about 30 degrees outside and I was shivering, I was also sweating with the windows down on the drive over, so I took my coat off.)

"Is it just your arm hurting?" she asked, looking at my coat draped over my left arm.

"No," I answered, "I can't stop shaking, I feel like I'm going to throw up, I'm really thirsty, and I feel like I am going to pass out."

"Okay, just have a seat and someone will be with you."

"Can I get some water?" I asked. I must have sounded pathetic, because I couldn't talk above a whisper without becoming out of breath. I was having a hard time focusing my eyes on anything, and I was swaying while I talked to her. She went to get me some water, and I walked over to the waiting area. My legs felt like lead. I was sure I was going to trip and fall. It must have taken me five minutes to walk the twenty feet to where the chairs were lined up against the wall.


There was a mother and son sitting diagonally from me and another mother and her daughter sitting beside me, as well as a man sitting across from me. They were looking at me like I was from another planet. I was sure they all thought I was on drugs. I don't blame them; I must have looked like a junkie, shaking and shivering and swaying and talking nonsense. My thoughts were completely crazy. I wish I could remember most of them, because I'm sure I'd find them entertaining now. All those people were in line in front of me, and I resented them for it. I was clearly worse off than anyone else in there. I thought I was in serious danger of dying, although I'm sure the waiting room staff didn't see it that way. Nate came in and sat down beside me and struck up a conversation with the mother and daughter beside us. Apparently, the daughter had fallen in the shower and was afraid she broke her wrist. They asked Nate what was wrong with


I was incredibly relieved when my boyfriend finally showed up. His gig was over. He'd gotten my message that I was going to the hospital and he'd come as soon as he could. Nate left, and finally they called us into the intake room. Mike told the woman all of my information because I wasn't making any sense when I was talking. I was still shaking uncontrollably. Somehow I was able to give the woman my social security number, though. After she'd gotten all of my information, I was taken back to a room. Mike had to find a sub for his second gig, so he went out to the waiting room to make some phone calls. The woman who had taken my information led me back through the ER, past a bunch of beds and desk and equipment. I thought I would pass out, and I told her I didn't think I could walk much further. She seemed unconcerned and didn't even look back at me when she said it wasn't too much further. When we got to the room, she wanted me to give a urine sample. I had to pee very badly, and I sat down on the toilet and almost completely forgot that I was supposed to pee into the cup. Then I had to take off all of my warm clothes and put on a drafty hospital gown. I wrapped myself up in my blanket and curled up on the bed, still convulsing.


Lots of people came in and asked me questions. They were going to put an IV in. I knew it the second I laid on the bed, and i'd been dreading it. A woman came in and told me she was going to stick something up my nose. A long wire with some cotton on the end of it. She stuck it up so far, I thought she was going to touch my brain. Without thinking, I blew out of my nose when I felt it go in, and I blew some snot on her. She got real pissed off then, and said very curtly, "Please don't do that," in the bitchiest voice I'd heard in a long time. At this point, I just wanted to cry. I did cry. All of these strangers came and started poking and prodding at me, wanting things from me and being very rough. The man came and wanted to put the iv in my hand. I tried to reason with him, to tell him I didn't want it. But he was also a skilled negotiator (no doubt he had to go through this routine more than once a night) and it became clear that, like it or not, they were going to put needles and hoses in my veins.


He tried at first to put the IV in my hand. It hurt like hell, and I was so scared. My boyfriend had to hold my head. I was still tense, still shaking, and at this point I was thrashing wildly on the bed. I didn't want the IV. He had the needle in my hand and kept trying to push it in further. I asked him to stop, not to put it up any further. I felt the tube going into my wrist. I guess he gave up on the hand and decided to put the IV into the vein on the inside of my elbow. I was having wild thoughts about hollow needles and coffee stirrers in my veins. Finally he got the IV in, after about fifteen minutes of torture. Then they put a crap load of morphine and fluids into my veins, and I drifted off into morphine-land. They asked me to rate my pain, and I told them it was an 8 out of 10. They gave me more morphine. Later, I told them I had a headache and they gave me more morphine. The doctors and nurses were running tests. I laid there and listened to the family beside us talk about the little boy's strep throat. I listened to him cry when they put the IV in him, and my body tensed in revolt when I heard him shriek. I wanted to tell him I knew what he was going through. But of course I didn't. I laid awake in my bed, writing stories in my head. Morphine stories. Stories that made no sense. Finally I started to relax.


I was in the hospital for a total of 3 hours. I didn't have the flu, I didn't have menengitis, it wasn't a urinary tract infection or toxic shock syndrome. They didn't know what was wrong with me. I knew what it was. They tried to tell me it was some kind of unidentifiable virus. But I knew better. I had a panic attack.


April 13


loadstool and anyone else who is interested in meditation:

Yoga and Meditation Society (a non-religious, university-approved organization) meets on Mondays @ 8pm and Fridays @ 4pm for meditation. This is a good place to begin a meditation practice with the support of a community. We meet at Yoga In State College, a yoga studio, which is located on Allen Street above the Christian Science Reading Room. If anyone wants more specific directions, email me at eer122.


Federal taxes, local taxes, state taxes, FAFSA, and the 413 portfolio all due today. And, I might add, I got them all completed within an hour. When you're poor and lonely, life is very easy. Or at least tax forms are.


I felt so good I went out and celebrated by having my palm read. By an old Russian grandmother.


April 11


Talk about some seriously bad mojo. Watching the end of Scanner Darkly left me frustrated and hopeless and desperate all day yesterday. Check Here to read my journal ramblings after the film, but I've got to warn you, it's a little like poison. Man, I think I am just now starting to get over it, but yesterday I was feeling like all the world was hopeless and everyone was made out of styrofoam and there was nothing at all I could do about it. I was thinking about how it's so goddamned unfair that we (well some of us at least) are created with an awareness to see all the bad shit going down, but we are so small, so pin-head-edly small, that we can't do anything about it. We can't stop centuries of bad karma. I'm going to stop talking about it, though, because I don't want you guys to feel bad if you don't have to.


On another note, the meditation the other night was really great. Thanks for participating, everyone, and I hope you all got something out of it, too. Once I get some poetry going, I will post it on the poetry pile so you can read it. So for those of you who were there, what do you think about the whole thing now that you've had a day or two to sit with the experience? Have you felt any different? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but I'm interested to hear what you've got to say about it if you feel like sharing.


I was surprised at how long I was able to stay still; I'm usually pretty fidgety. I didn't even notice how cold it was until after the session was over. I was also actually a little scared at how easily I slipped into it. It made me wonder if I spend most of my time unaware of my surroundings--


April 9


Okay everybody, the meditation/writing experiment is happening tonight. For any last-minute signer-uppers, there is still time if you can make it out to the center for sustainability by 10 pm. wear comfy pants and I'll take care of the rest. I'm sure i'll have more to blog about after the experiment is over. For now, though, I've not got much more to say. Oh, but I have been writing a lot of poetry, and I'm going to put it up on the poetry pile so check it out, and give me feedback if you feel like it. I love to hear what people have to say about my poems, even if it's "this was total crap and I hated it," cause at least it means that


April 2


Major problem-my computer broke last night. For no good reason, the screen just blacked out. The actual computer is still running, but there is nothing on the monitor except blackness. I can vaguely make out what is supposed to be on the screen, but it is so damned dark there's no way I could actually use it. This is going to make my life a lot more complicated now. I am half on the verge of freaking out, and I keep repeating to myself, "Everything's a lesson, everything's a teaching..." It won't be the end of the world if my computer totally poops out, it is just going to make posting on the wiki a little more challenging, as well as checking my email, communicating with about 90% of the people whom I regularly communicate with, buying things on ebay (which I've decided is actually a blessing), and so many other functions of my daily life. Don't worry, I am not going to get into a monologue about how I've suddenly realized my life is based around the computer or anything. But it definitely sucks.


That said, I'm about halfway finished with Cosmic Trigger vol. 2. It's a lot different than vol. 1, as it was written about 20 years later. It is very interesting to see how Wilson's approach has changed over 20 years. He is a lot calmer in the way he presents his information, and this volume is even more personal than the first. He reflects a lot on his own childhood and Catholic upbringing, and also on the state of the international situation in the 90's, which is pretty damned relevant to right now, even though it was written 20 years before. It's actually pretty spooky. If I hadn't read the copyright page to find out that the first printing of this volume was in 91, I would've thought it was written ten or fifteen years later. If you pretend that he's talking about the current war and the current president, it's pretty amazing to see how the information transfers so smoothly to 2007. Instead of trying to shock the shit out of his readers (which seemed to be the way he approached his writing back in 73), Wilson is presenting his life in a matter-of-fact old-man-looking-back-at-his-life kind of way. I think he's got a lot to teach us. I'd definitely recommend anyone to pick it up if you're interested.




Echan's Ubik remix Attn: Herr Doktor Professor Mobius


March 29


Okay, so far I've got Ceridwen, coco32, loadstool, and Houdini and of course (hopefully) Mobius will be in on the final project as well. There are also some people from other groups I'm involved in who're volunteering. Are there any other volunteers for my final project before I start to think about dates? For those 4 of you (5 if you count Mobius) who are volunteers, what are your email addresses, and what days work best for you? I don't know your real names, but send me an email at eer122@psu.edu so I'll have a way to get in touch with you other than on the wiki... not that there's anything wrong with wiki communication... you know what I mean. And THANK YOU! very much for helping me out, your good deeds will not go unrewarded :-)

--- Echan's Ubik Remix iS DA Wyrd, and DA Wyrd sometimes lives near the Alphabet and the Alphabet begins with an A. Like Arpeggi's, your remix intensifies and amplifies an aspect of the book to a point where it is palpably affective - one feels what Ubik


Now that Mobius's office is out at the center for sustainability, I think the yurt might be a good place to do a group meditation. Does anybody object to this location? If anyone's worried about it being too far away, I've got a car and could give four people a ride out there, although Mobius would probably frown and say to walk or ride your bike. But Mobius, I've got to get the cushions out there somehow...


Let me know what y'all think, and we'll be in communication soon.

Echan: I would also be interested in taking part in your group meditation final project. I don't know if you started yet or not, but send me an email at mah5007@psu.edu or just post on my wiki. -Fox Mulder

Hi! I, too, would love to do the group meditation, if it's not too late. My email is sdd156@psu.edu, so please drop me a line if there's still time. Thanks!




March 28

Echan's Ubik remix Yay! Okay, I recommend that whoever reads this read it out loud, it has an entirely different effect. If I figure out how to record my voice and then put it on here, I might try to do that as well, 'cause this takes on a whole life of its own when you read it out loud. And please follow it till the end and follow the links, too, 'cause that makes it worth it.


March 27


Yikes! A whole week! It's funny how once you have fallen off the horse, it's soooo hard to get back on, i.e. i have had a really hard time bringing myself to write on this wiki for no good reason other than I feel bad because I am not writing. A vicious cycle. i feel like after spring break, and especially since our 'recent activity' on the sidebar is gone, this wiki is a lot less of a community than it used to be. I feel like nobody is posting on other peoples' pages (at least I know I'm not), and I feel like we all used to be up-to-date on what each other were posting and thinking and sometimes we were all involved in a sort of collective blog. I don't feel that now, and I'm not sure if other people are feeling it too. Are you? Is anybody even reading this?


On another note, I want to ask help (for those of you who are reading this) for my final project. I am working on a major remix of a lot of different works into poetic forms, sort of like what mobius read from burroughs today, and I would like to incorporate works from all of you. I also want to incorporate meditation into the mix. So here is what I am thinking: We could all get together once or twice or more for a meditation--possibly at the sasperilla spiritual center--to meditate. I'll give some instruction, possibly some guided meditation at the end of the session. Then I'm thinking everybody could blog or send me via email some writing that they've done about their experience shortly afterward so that it's still fresh. Usually, at the meditation group, we wind up talking for a little while afterwards about our experience, so I was thinking that for this project we could spend fifteen minutes or so, not talking, but writing about how we felt. What I would then do is take your words and see what comes out of them, cutting and pasting and remixing to find some common collective meaning from the whole experience. But I need VOLUNTEERS!!! Anyone interested? What if I bribed you somehow? Free food or beer maybe? Beer, college students will do anything for free beer right? Okay, please come and volunteer and help me out for this project, especially if you are interested in meditating. We could do it at a time that works for everyone...mobius suggests 10 pm. I will send out an email about this to angel, so that those who do not regularly read the wiki would still hear about it and be able to participate. Maybe your collaboration with me on this project could even count partially for


Free beer? I'll participate. By the way, I think the wiki's been quiet lately because A) post-break apathy and B) post-remix burnout. -Houdini


I'll participate even without the beer, so just keep me posted as to when this might happen. I've got some moderate experience with meditating but it'd be interesting to try out a fresh technique and to do it with other people around me. - Ceridwen


I'm in! I have a lot of feelings. Yay feelings. -loadstool


March 20


My friend Shinkon is being ordained as a Zen monk tomorrow. Just thought about that and wanted to share it.


March 9

Thrift Store Shopping as State of Altered Consciousness:


Yesterday I went shopping with friends in Altoona at the Salvation Army, which by the way is an awesome thrift store, much better than the Goodwill here in town. I didn't have a specific idea of what I was looking for, I was just going to browse. I started in the 'sweater' section, digging through the racks of old sweaters, throwing those that looked promising into my buggy. I sifted through the old grandma sweaters with horses and big buttons on them, through cheap sweaters made by Walmart with hideous colors, and eventually I would find a gem, such as the powder blue authentic Scottish wool sweater for only $2.99. This particular sweater I found pretty interesting. The tag said it was made of Scottish Shetland for an English sports shop in Bermuda, and here I found it in Pennsylvania--this sweater had seen a lot. Anyways, I must have gone up and down every rack in the building finding gems along the way and throwing them in the buggy. As I was shopping, I went into a sort of trance, passing all the shirts and sweaters, coats and pants, from hand to hand down the rack. My vision was very hazy, very unfocused, and there was a voice in my head saying "no...no...no...hmmm-yes...no...no." Later I thought about Wilson's description of Aleister Crowley's use of sex and other things as a way to alter consciousness. We wound up spending almost 5 hours in the Salvation Army, but I had no idea how much time had passed until we left the store and I looked at the clock in the car. I wonder what Crowley--or Wilson--would have thought about thrift store shopping as a means for altered states of consciousness.


Aha! You've found thrift nirvana. I've been a fan of the Altoona thrift stores for years now, being a local, and you are right on with your readings of them. I find thrift stores to be a really neat reflection of the community around the shop. I always wonder where these clothes came from, especially weird thigns like the lingere or the wedding dresses. There are stories behind every one of these articles of clothing, and I find myself getting lost in them. I always used to pick up cute t-shirts from different places, like Sanibel Island, or some camp in Swatara. Occasionally, I would meet people who had been to these places, either visiting or living there, and it was really neat to find out about this place I had been picturing in my head for a while. Anyways, happy hunting:) Peace -- BM


Echan: Yesterday I asked Jon Olson whether one has to be a student to work in the Writing Center. His reply: "Yes, the student could take ENGL 250 in the fall even if she is graduating in December. If she is going to be around in the spring, though graduated, she could still work (if she didn't mind the 10WC rate of $7.50/hr. If she makes quick progress on her practicum and is observed fairly early, we could even put her on the payroll before the spring semester.Have her apply http://www.psu.edu/dept/cew/writingcenter/UWC/becomingatutor.htm if she's interested. Cindy will be teaching 250 in the fall" -Houdini


February 28


I had one of those moments today where I knew God was giving me a metaphysical 'poke'. I've lately been stressing about money because I have been living on my student refunds, which are on their way to running out. In the last two days I've had to pay my rent and my cell phone bill, the sum total of which is greater than 400 dollars, and I'm flat-ass-broke. Some of my thoughts in the last few days have been as follows:

"Shit, why didn't I think of this earlier and get a job?"

"Aaaah! How am I going to live in the time it takes me to find a job and begin to see some cash flow into my bank account?!"

and the all-powerful

"Dammit! shit! now what! Aaaaah! stupid-stupid-stupid! Now what?!"

But this morning I checked my email right before I was planning on checking my bank account balance online (which has dwindled down near single-digits) and I found this happy little email in my bank account from the bursar's office telling me that they are going to put 800 dollars into my bank account tomorrow for no good reason other than the university wants to throw some money at me. Hmmm... I was curious about this amorphous grant, but I am not going to question it; rather I will ride the wave of temporary financial security. Thanks to whatever entity(physical or metaphysical) recognized that I am broke as hell and deserve a pile of money.


On another note, I had to giggle when I read Ceridwen's plan to post on every blog on this wiki because it reminded me of Jory in Ubik. In the same way that Jory appeared in all the half-lifer's thoughts and changed their realities, Ceridwen is starting to pop up everywhere on this wiki.




Hey hey! Now be nice. I'm not hijacking pages and sucking the life out of them (or am I?). I'd much rather be an Ella Runciter :) I'm spraying Ubik all over the place and rejuvenating the wiki world. At least, I'd like to do that, although it may require a more angelic personality then my own. I am merely attempting to generate dialogue and make up for lost time. And it's working! ~ Ceridwen


No harm meant by the Jory analogy, Ceridwen. Actually, I think it's a good idea to post on every single wiki. There are pages that I haven't looked at in months, or ever, that are starting to pop up in the Recent Activity window, so I think you're quite right that it is working to start dialogue. Carry on!~E


Oh, no offense taken! I was just responding to the rather playful tone of your comment. Again, though... I'm an Ella, I hope. Lets all be Ellas and run around infusing youth and light into wiki pages, eh? ~ Ceridwen


February 27





hmmm..... I am definitely guilty of this. I don't know how Robert Anton Wilson does it, but now I feel pretty f'ing humble for being such a fool and keeping myself in the dark because of my prejudiced beliefs which are not reality anyways.

I don't know how many times I've looked at another person with disdain because they didn't have the same reality map as me. Every time it happens, I think

I remember hearing a story about Zen master Bassui's first enlightenment experience. To paraphrase it, Bassui had an intense experience of enlightenment. After the experience was over, his outlook on the world was dramatically changed, but he looked at the rest of society who'd never had such an experience as if they were dogs. He felt far superior to the rest of the unenlightened humans, running around in their rat-race. But it was this egotistical mind-set that kept Bassui from having another such experience for something like ten years.


Yea, I think we all are guilty of it; probably a lot more than we realize. I do it particularly to the opposite sex - I mean, has someone ever said something and you assume they aren't being sincere... and you project cynicism because you have been hurt by those words? Or a friend of yours is having a bad day. You assume that you have have done something wrong, and you feed the friend the same negative energy? I am hoping i'm not the only artist out there... --GoNZo







February 26


The medium is the message--not the matter. loadstool


Yes, as loadstool put it, 'black' is not black and 'white' is not white. Or as mobius puts it, the map is not the territory. What does this mean for LSD? Everybody's been talking about LSD on this wiki, discussing whether they want to do it or not, sharing their 'fictional' experiences with the drug, and what its positive and negative affects are. I've noticed a growing discourse on our wiki about LSD, which makes me think that this is one thing that people are pretty interested in.


I noticed that my premises about LSD were in a sort of lock-down, and it wasn't until I recalled loadstool's words about distinguising between message and matter that I had this thought:

Notice that mobius writes and talks about LSD deployed in scientific and legal therapeutic contexts. This is because "set and setting" have proved fundamental to any of the experiences subjects had with the compound, and the current set and settting includes illegality and a war against drugs. So don't even think about it, unless you want to travel to Switzerland or Russia to take part in a scientific study, and there are likely folks there in line ahead of you...mobius

My point is not that I want to embark on an LSD experiment, but that one does not



We are all talking about LSD like it is some place we can go. As if we are being transported into a strange new territory called LSD, or as if something called LSD takes over our brains. At least, this is how I'd been thinking about it. But LSD is just a chemical. Your mind is the territory. You never step outside of your body. The doors that LSD opens are always available to you if you know how to access them.



I'm not sure if this is coming out the way it is in my head, but let me try and clarify. There is no 'place' called LSD. There is no state of being called 'LSD'. You remain within your body, your mind is still your mind. Your body is still on Earth. You can get to the place LSD opens up without the drug. But I feel like those who have never taken LSD never allow themselves the possibility of going there because they haven't explored their minds enough to know what's out there. I think in a way LSD is cheating. You might be lucky enough to see what shamans and sages and roshis have been seeing for years without the drugs. But then again, if you don't explore how to get there without the drugs, you won't be able to stay there once the drug wears off, and you're likely to brush it off as a 'crazy', 'tripped out' experience that you had while you were on LSD, instead of realizing that it is always there, always accessible. The spiritual world is pretty divided on LSD as a means of seeing God. Some of those who have used it hail its ability to strip you of your preconceived notions of the world and immediately bring you to God, while some hold that it is just another experience that you can get attached to that will bring you farther away from being truly empty.

February 23


I'm really encouraged to hear that a few of my classmates are interested in meditation. Awesome, guys. I talked to Mobius and he thought it was a good idea as well, so it looks like it's on its way to becoming a reality. Also, my final project is going to be a book of poetry. I'm going to create a new page where all my poems will be linked to. Poetry pile? Sounds about right. Give me your feedback! I'll probably be putting poetry up there in a few hours, so check it out.

I think the poetry pile is a great idea. I don't read as many poems as I probably should, but maybe the pile will get me into the rhythm. Perhaps we could also post work from people outside our Wiki. Carry on! -loadstool



February 18


I just finished reading Ubik. Now I want to know what Mobius meant when he said that Ubik is not a novel. It sure seems like a novel. There is a narrative, it is a piece of fiction, it is in prose. It is obviously influenced by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, but it still seems like a novel to me. What am I missing?


Actually, rewind the holo tape: I said it was a "fake novel." =mobius aka Glen Runciter


I think it will all make sense once I read the Tibetan Book of the Dead, but what's up with the dichotomy of Jory/Ella? Are they representatives of the traditional Taoist yin and yang? Two forces that are at odds with each other and balance each other in the cosmic dance of the universe? And Glen Runciter is actually dead at the end after all. Huh. I knew there was something up with his situation. It seemed a little too weird, the notes and the appearances, the money, etc. Why would Joe Chip see Runciter's face on the money and Runciter would see Joe Chip's face? It says in the introduction to the Thodol Bardo that whatever occupies your mind in life will occupy your mind in death, so if you are distracted by the senses in life, you will be reborn after dying. But if you hold your mind clear and steady in life, in death you will not be reborn but will attain emancipation from the cycle. This makes sense, considering the rebirth of Ella, and the hellish time that the inertials had in the Bardo. They were clearly consumed by earthly distractions. However, the answer is Ubik? An aerosol spray can of sparkly salvataion? This doesn't make any sense. And Ubik is not permanant, while according to every spiritual text I've read, the Answer is permanant, the land of no return. Obviously Ubik is not the answer. What is Dick getting at here? And that last Koan:

"I am Ubik. Before the Universe I was, I am. I made the suns. I made the worlds. I created the lives and the places they inhabit; I move them here, I put them there. They go as I say, they do as I tell them. I am the word and my name is never spoken, the name which no one knows. I am called Ubik, but that is not my name. I am. I shall always be."


This sounds a lot like the Bhagavad Gita, when Krisha is speaking to Arjuna:


"There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor any of these kings. Nor is there any future in which we shall cease to be."


To be continued later.....


February 17


Here's a thought:


Mobius wants us to use the sasperilla spiritual center's meditation room, but apparently there was some trouble getting into the room. Plus it is nothing more than a janitor's closet with the sorriest pair of zafu I have ever seen. If mobius thinks this is a good idea, I'd be happy to give some basic meditation instruction in class, or to lead a basic meditation. I am trained in the Rinzai Zen tradition, so my style is certainly influenced by this, but I could lead a non-religious, no-frills, time to sit down and relax and stop thinking for twenty minutes meditation. Would anybody in the class be interested in this? If anyone is interested in starting a meditation practice, but is turned off by the sasperilla center's janitor's closet, or if you don't know how to meditate or feel the value of meditating with others, there is a meditation community that meets at 8PM on Mondays at the Yoga In State College yoga studio on Allen Street, above the Christian Science Reading Room. If anyone is interested, please feel free to come. We have plenty of cushions, but feel free to bring your own. This is a non-religious meditation experience, providing basic instruction for beginners and a space to deepen your practice with others. Also, if we can create our final project, does that mean producing a book of poetry fits within the parameters?


Yea, I would really enjoy an in-class meditation. --GoNZo


I think the in class example would be cool. I had an ex-girlfriend take me to yoga once in high school. I wasn't a fan, because my body is definitely not the kind of shape for the bending, twisting, and wieght shifting that goes on in yoga. But, I do like to meditate, I use my forms...just drifting off while listening to jazz or watching various natural events (snow, trees, etc.) and of course poetry. I think the book of poetry woudl be an awesome idea. Let me know what goes on with that. Call Me Ishmael


I think an in-class instruction is a cool idea. I would definately be interested. -Fox Mulder


February 15


I would like to know the history behind the spelling of the word February. It is such a lonely month, the only one with less than fewer days, and no one knows exactly how to spell it or pronounce it. I just found out that February comes from the latin word


I officially also believe in telepathy and extra-sensory perception. Three times today I created reality, manifested things out of the ether, or predicted the future (whichever you prefer to believe is possible). NO, seriously, I woke up this morning knowing that I could make things happen, and I willed my boyfriend who I cannot get ahold of par telephone because his one and only phone charger is locked inside his car, the keys to which have been missing for a week now. It is really much better this way, we have to rely on our abilities of telepathy for communication. It's a great gauge on how I'm doing, 'cause when I'm really on, like today, I can send him telepathic messages to be somewhere and then he's there. But when I'm not on and I try to send him telepathic messages to bring home a dozen eggs, he comes home with peanut butter instead.


Second instance of my esp-whatever-abilities today: I saw the back of a girl I thought I knew while I was walking home from class. When I saw her face, I realized the girl was not the person I thought I knew, and yet I knew she was around somewhere because I couldn't get her face out of my head. A couple minutes later, as I continued on my walk, I saw this girl who I knew was around somewhere waiting to cross my path.


Third instance of my on-ness today: After I left class today, after I predicted that I would see this girl I know, I went to Webster's so that I could meet my boyfriend and walk home together. After talking about the Tibetan Book of the Dead today, I had the thought in my head to check for it in the spirituality section of the book store. Their selection is sort of random, so I didn't expect to find it. When I went back to look for it, I had the picture of the cover in my mind (I saw Dalton's copy) and lo and behold, there was the Evans-Wentz Tibetan Book of the Dead, the same edition I saw Dalton pull out in class today.




A bunch of coincidences? I certainly don't think so.


Holy Crap! I just had the Tibetan Book of the Dead sitting beside me while I was typing, and my dog came up and puked right on the cover. What on earth am I supposed to take from that?



February 14


  • Continuing inclement weather caused Penn State to extend the cancellation of its scheduled activities including classes until 5 PM today, February 14th at University Park. Activities that begin at or after 5 PM today will resume as scheduled.


I can't help but feel like the people who decide to cancel school are enjoying their snow day off, at their ridiculously large homes, wearing their slippers and lounging in their leather recliners, and have somehow forgotten that it is still snowing outside, as it has been all day and those of us who have night classes are still scheduled. It must have slipped their minds to let everyone else off the hook after 5 p.m. today. There's no way they could possibly think the weather situation is going to improve after the sun goes down and things get darker and




February 13


Clastres claims that the Indian people work only a few hours per day in the garden or gathering food, and that the rest of the time is spent in almost total idleness. He doesn't, however, answer the questions: Who cooks their meals and takes care of their children and builds their houses and sews their clothes and makes their bowls out of which to eat? How do they cook, and who makes those utensils? Who tells their stories and passes down their stories of God and creation, whatever that may be? Where does their art come from, their songs, where does their face-paint come from? This is all “work” that is not talked about. These are forms of work that are necessary to make a healthy society, and these are exactly the kinds of work that our society overlooks, in fact, refuses to acknowledge as work. I would have to assume that, since these people only “work” for a few hours each day that the rest of their day is spent keeping themselves and each other healthy, well-fed, sheltered, educated, and spiritually strong. These are precisely the kinds of activities that our current culture does not allow. We get our meals prepared by people who are being paid to work, people who don’t care what we eat. Half of the time, we don't know what we are eating. We have the television babysit our kids, or we pay a stranger. How ironic that we go to work to earn the money to give to someone else to watch our kids. We barely have time to do anything for ourselves if we are functioning “successfully” in society. Right now, I am trying to learn piano, meditate regularly, cook all my meals for myself and my boyfriend, and strengthen my practice in yoga, while having time to strengthen my friendship bonds within my community. These are what make me a healthy person, without them I am very unhappy, unfunctioning. Something has to give if I want to be able to live my life and not be suicidal, and right now that something is the demands given by a full university schedule. I used to be an all-A student until I realized that it was simply not worth it. Now I’m okay with C’s because settling for a C allows me to have time to be a real person.


When Clastres is limits his definition of “work” to providing food, to doing work for the community, he is revealing his own bias, given by society. He says :

“Although I did not carry out similar measurements among the Guayaki, who are nomad hunters of the Paraguayan forest, I can affirm that those Indians, women and men,


But I have a hard time believing that these people were just sitting around, not doing anything. Maybe they were talking to each other, maybe they were cooking dinner for their family, maybe they were meditating on the unity of the cosmos, who knows. But to say they were doing nothing, as if that time was just a void where nothing happens, almost as if time just stops shows that Clastres (as a product of our society) does not deem taking care of one's self and one's family as equally valuable as going out and winning the bread, brining home the food. I guarantee the reason that these people were as healthy as Clastres describes them to be is because they had time to take care of themselves, which is a luxury our current society does not afford us.





February 12


Crap, I didn't realize it had been almost 2 weeks since my last post. I guess I've been trying to catch up with the reading before I post.


Speaking of which, I was just reading Society Against the State when I came across an interesting sentence:


Clastres is talking about our society's belief that we are technologically superior to primitive societies, and rebukes this premise by citing the creativity of Eskimos and Australian aborigines to make tools suited for their respective environments. He believes that the fact that we create technology to absolutely master our environment does not make us technologically superior to societies that use technology to master the environment suited to their specific needs. If one is using Clastres' proposed method of measuring technological advancement, the ability of a society to use technology to meet its needs in a given environment, then what could this possibly mean for our society? Our use of technology actually creates




January 31




Okay, so a few people (FoxMulder and NoResponseAngel) seem to be pretty keen on the idea of putting RFID chips into sex offenders so that we can track them. Well, shit, why not start putting them into murderers, too? I mean, if we want to be able to know who is around us at all times, and whether we are 'safe' or not, we should also start putting them into anyone who'se been convicted of peddling drugs, aggrivated assault, vehicular homicide, sodimization, domestic abuse, DUI, and essentially anyone who has passed through the criminal justice system. I mean, if we


I agree. Where do you draw the line? Don't sex offenders already need to make their crimes aware to their neighbors? I think RFID's could be used on people on house arrest. --GoNZo



I think that I agree with you, in theory, but I also that this type of thinking could really be dangerous (as with anything else in the world). It's this type of thinking that DOES lead society in these directions. Just a thought - BookWorm.








January 30

I've been thinking about privacy and anonymity lately, what with all this discussion over RFID's. Why do we want our privacy so badly, anyways? I mean, I could see not wanting an RFID implanted in your body for the sake of not having a foreign object stuck under your skin, and yes, the idea of having The Government watching my every move does sort of freak me out, but I'm never really doing anything that anybody would care to watch. Just like the FBI files on MLK Jr. and others, it would mostly be very boring, very




Again, the National Plan to Secure Cyberspace:


I don't understand why we have to read this. We all know what government rhetoric sounds like, we all know it is utterly devoid of meaning. So many words, and yet so little to say. This is nothing new. Any intelligent person who has watched any televised political speech (say, the 2004 election debates, for example, or even the State of the Union address) knows the tactics. Why is Mobius asking us to read this? Are we supposed to be surprised?




I really like the State of the Union drinking game. I haven't played myself, but I feel it is a good medium that really allows college students to get to know their US politicians. But more importantly, I feel ya with the why do we care so much anyways comment. My plan is pretty much graduate...teach...marry...father...work...work...work...travel...die?... I don't really anticipate being a criminal, or the need to be watched. If anything, watching me is a waste of someone's time, and sort of along the same lines as, hey, if you stop that 'suspicious' looking man in front of me before I get on a plane, I really don't care if you search me head to toe, cause hey, I am not going to explode this flight. If 'chippin' someone else helps me, my family, my neighborhood, my students, then hey, chip me too. ~Peep






January 25

Here is a thought:

Is it possible that our writing has become a lot less honest, now that we know our peers are going to be reading it? I recall hearing (although I don't remember from where) the argument that our writing would be more honest because it is not written for a professor, to impress only one person. But does the fact that it is going to be read by 20 or so fellow intelectuals change how we write so we can fit the mold? This could also just be my hyper-self consciousness acting up and reverting back to high-school cafeteria mode.


Is it just me or is anyone else having a hard time feeling inspired to write anything from course material? This could just be my rejection of everything technological (if you've read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, think of the main character's friend who refuses to fix his own motorcycle), but I'm having a terrible time trying to care about RFID's or the National Plan to Secure Cyberspace. Although I do like the bit about attacks on cyberspace could cause loss of revenue, intellectual property, or loss of life. I have a hard time imagining how a computer virus is going to kill someone. Maybe the victim gets so upset at being hacked that he has a heart attack? I don't know...


Re: Mobius's account of the Quaker wedding


So yesterday I was sitting in an advanced fiction writing class, and we were workshopping a story, going around the room in no particular order, each saying whatever came to them-- inspired either by their notes or what someone had already said or whatever else inspires one to speak. I started to speak about the story (maybe something about the main character's existential crisis) when suddenly I was zapped into the situation. As if before I lived only in my head not

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 4:25 pm on Sep 23, 2007

I really enjoy reading your poetry...

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