Thursday, November 08, 2018

Technological Singularity

Singularity, The. The Techno-Rapture. A black hole in the Extropian worldview whose gravity is so intense that no light can be shed on what lies beyond it.
From "Godling's Glossary" by David Victor de Transend


Vernor Vinge's (Math Department, San Diego State University) classic essay on the Singularity argues for a future global machine “intelligence” that transcends humanity – "the last invention". In 1993, Professor Vinge wrote:
The acceleration of technological progress has been the central feature of this century. I argue in this paper that we are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. The precise cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of entities with greater than human intelligence. There are several means by which science may achieve this breakthrough (and this is another reason for having confidence that the event will occur):
  • There may be developed computers that are "awake" and superhumanly intelligent. (To date, there has been much controversy as to whether we can create human equivalence in a machine. But if the answer is "yes, we can", then there is little doubt that beings more intelligent can be constructed shortly thereafter.)
  • Large computer networks (and their associated users) may "wake up" as a superhumanly intelligent entity.
  • Computer/human interfaces may become so intimate that users may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent.
Ray Kurzweil brought discussion of the technological singularity through his book The Singularity is Near. Webcast of Kurzweil and others at MIT in 2006:

http://web.mit.edu/webcast/csail/2006/mit-csail-kurzweil-32123-30nov2006-220k.ram

What is our future? Are we totally wedded to our own creation - computer technology?

Monday, November 05, 2018

Quiet Morning



Recording quality is low, but the message is important.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hare Ram Hare Krishna by Krishna Das

What I have needed to see in light of recent events


This speech is from Charlie Chaplin's film The Great Dictator. It is an incredibly relevant and moving scene. One of the best speeches I have seen. Watch it with Hans Zimmer's music accompanying it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8HdOHrc3OQ

"I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible- Jew, Gentile, black men, white…

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery ,we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say “Do not despair.”

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder!

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate!

Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written “the kingdom of God is within man”, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite.

Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people!

Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance!

Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!"

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Let It Be

When the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

Faith, trust, and surrender. Practice that today

Sunday, October 14, 2018

True Wealth


True wealth is more than money. It is being fully alive here and now. To become more present is key. Money by itself is a form of death. It's abundant life that is true wealth. Make no mistake. Our society forgets this and encourages money making at the expense of Life. A case of mistaken identity.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tilopa's Mahamudra Teaching to Naropa


Is space anywhere supported? Upon what does it rest? 
Like space, Mahamudra is dependant upon nothing; 
Relax and settle in the continuum of unalloyed purity, 
And, your bonds loosening, release is certain. 

Gazing intently into the empty sky, vision ceases; 
Likewise, when mind gazes into mind itself, 
The train of discursive and conceptual thought ends 
And supreme enlightenment is gained. 

Like the morning mist that dissolves into thin air, 
Going nowhere but ceasing to be, 
Waves of conceptualization, all the mind's creation, dissolve, 
When you behold your mind's true nature. 

Pure space has neither colour nor shape 
And it cannot be stained either black or white; 
So also, mind's essence is beyond both colour and shape 
And it cannot be sullied by black or white deeds. 

The darkness of a thousand aeons is powerless 
To dim the crystal clarity of the sun's heart; 
And likewise, aeons of samsara have no power 
To veil the clear light of the mind's essence. 
_________________________________________


Monday, October 08, 2018

Friday, October 05, 2018

Wild Card


While it can take time to realize that it is never too late; you always have time to change your own fate.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Waking Vision


I had a waking vision many years ago. I was sitting in my rocking chair. Closed my eyes. Had a conversation with a force, a power greater than myself. I was standing on the edge of a cliff. A voice spoke, “Jump off. Trust me. You’ll be okay.” So I did. Suddenly I was floating in space, as if swimming in an atmosphere with a lovely warm pink quality to it. Perhaps like living in my mother’s womb.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Businessman or Employee

In the 1970's enlightenment was in the air. India, Tibet, and Japan exported many spiritual teachers to the U.S.A. Demand was high for insights from the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. I attended a workshop with one such a teacher fresh from India. He said: "You are either a businessman or employee!" It was an unforgettable comment. A businessperson does not assume there will be a "next" paycheck. To succeed, businesspersons must generate "confidence" (a word based in Latin, meaning "with faith"). A business' source of supply depends on the ebb and flow of clients, the cycles of the seasons, and the economic climate. Nothing is taken for granted. An employee believes that paychecks will keep coming -- hardly thinking the businessperson, the employer, is mortgaging their house to finance the next month's paychecks. The spiritual teacher from India, was a businessman. He scheduled talks, got the word out, collected money and planned for future workshops. He was not an employee. When I saw him, I did not appreciate that businesslike quality. Now, I see it as spiritual, and close to the Buddhist ideal of living with knowledge of impermanence. Employees pay a price for security -- akin to surrender of the ego. Come to think of it: that's Buddhist, too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Choruses from The Rock – T.S. Eliot

The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

{First stanza}

Monday, September 17, 2018

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Steve Jobs’s last words: ‘Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow’



Audio spoken shortly after Steve Jobs' death on October 5, 2011.

Steve Jobs's last words were reported in the news shortly after his death. Well worth reading are Steve Jobs’s last words: ‘Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow’ (Washington Post) and A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs (New York Times). In the past, I asked students to read or listen to Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement address (2005) .

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

THE INTERNET IS MY omnipresent conduit to infinite distraction


THE INTERNET IS MY omnipresent conduit to infinite distraction. It is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. In between, my smartphone ensures that I am never very far from my next Google-Facebook-YouTube-Craigslist-Amazon fix. I have been in rooms full of people, each glued to a hand-held device and completely oblivious to the others.
What began for me as a thing of wonder is now merely my drug of choice. I miss my friends — the very ones whose hourly Facebook posts keep me up to date on their every move. I miss sitting on the front porch of my row house on a warm summer evening and talking to the neighbors who walk by. My nervous system spent the past two hundred thousand years evolving in an environment of human interaction, and now that’s disappeared almost overnight.      -- Rick Silberman   Grass Valley, California
https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/440/the-internet

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Hermann Hesse - quote


We must become alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome and we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for in our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.
~ Hermann Hesse

Monday, August 27, 2018

Light of Life



The light of life
    opened the day
    I sat waiting
    for the sun
    to rise from
    my horizon
    of darkness
    and dreams



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Image result for picasso
La Soupe, by Picasso in 1902

Thursday, August 09, 2018

W.H. Auden, Under Which Lyre (A Reactionary Tract)



In a witty 1946 poem, W.H. Auden contrasted the way of "experts" with the Hermetic path of the trickster.
Harvard Magazine (November-December 2007)

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Someday I’ll get caught up


I KEEP IMAGINING THAT SOMEDAY I’ll get caught up: write those letters, read those books. What a great imagination! My plans smile at me from tomorrow, always tomorrow. And here it is, always today.
                                     --  SY SAFRANSKY
                                               The Sun, December 1995

Friday, July 27, 2018

Zen Things


Image result for zen quotes
http://img.picturequotes.com/2/551/550744/zen-quote-1.jpg

Friday, July 20, 2018

Bob Dylan 1963

Current state of affairs: 

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'
Stand up now or forever hold your peace

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Tilopa's Mahamudra Teaching to Naropa


Gazing intently into the empty sky, vision ceases; 
Likewise, when mind gazes into mind itself, 
The train of discursive and conceptual thought ends 
And supreme enlightenment is gained. 

Like the morning mist that dissolves into thin air, 
Going nowhere but ceasing to be, 
Waves of conceptualization, all the mind's creation, dissolve, 
When you behold your mind's true nature. 

Pure space has neither colour nor shape 
And it cannot be stained either black or white; 
So also, mind's essence is beyond both colour and shape 
And it cannot be sullied by black or white deeds. 



Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Spirit inside of you


The spirit inside
is greater than the sky  
positive energy spreads 
it's obvious, all around
you already know
no need to know the path
feel the spirit inside 
it will take you there

Friday, June 29, 2018

Hsin Hsin Ming (Verses on the Faith Mind)



Xinxin Ming, Faith in mind, is a poem attributed to the Third Chinese Chán Patriarch Jianzhi Sengcan 鑑智僧璨 and one of the earliest Chinese Chan expressions of the Buddhist mind training practice. Wikipedia

Thursday, June 28, 2018

3 x 3 Meditation Practice



3 x 3 Meditation Practice

It's not in the books. It's in our hearts.
Spend 3 minutes, 3 times a day, in stillness. 
A total of nine minutes.
Doing this practice connects you back to 
being more-here-now as you live your whole life.
Pay attention to the "in and out breaths".
Watch the mind for three minutes without judgement.
Morning, early afternoon, and early evening;
or, just whenever. There are no fixed rules here.
Do this practice without judging how well you did;
a subtle and beautiful transformation will dawn.



Monday, June 25, 2018

Grandpa on Judaism


“In our religion we are not confined to many rituals.  That’s the basic part of our belief – that every man should have the freedom to face God in  his own way.”
                                    -Samuel Shavelson

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Become comfortable with being lost

Friday, June 08, 2018

Sunday Song of Love’s Longing Found


A Sunday Song of Love’s Longing Found

I was awakened this morning
By the music of a bird
Singing his heart out
For his love.

Recalling in me
The pinging sound
Of water meeting stone,
As the stream sparkles
Countless twinkling little sunbursts,
Reflecting the one sun.

Recalling then
The sky’s stars
Flickering in the bright night;
Suns for other planets’ days,
Shine,
Form a line
In our sight—
“Orion’s Belt,”
“Little Dipper,”
We say
With delight.

Then,
The joining of my heart
With my love;
Two shining as one,
Bursting with light
Equal to
The sun.
             *   *   *  
The miracles of life
Abound
In the Love that is expressed
All around,
And so are more
Abiding
And profound
Than the entire
Grief
Of all the human-folly driven
Dying
Of this planet we call
“Earth”;
The place of our singing
And our crying,
Our loving
And our shining.

For Love is absolute.
It permeates the Universe,
Saturates all existence's manifestations,
Is what we all are.
                      (Diane 2/10/13)