When Is Something Truly Significant?

In terms of world events significance is often only attributed long after the fact. But somethings like the wall coming down in Berlin are immediately and symbolically significant.

Somethings of significance are slow burners. In that their significance takes a long while to mature.

Other things are initially only significant to a few people, but that significance then grows.

The events in Palestine ~2000 years were probably only significant to a handful of people at the time. But 2000 years later a large part of the world waits to hear the Christmas message from some geezer in Rome.

Some people fail to note the significance. For example, Matt Hancock snogging his aide was, because of the context, more significant. His lack of awareness pissed off a whole bunch of people.

I have a notion that I tend to appreciate significance and potential significance earlier than many, not always but on occasion.

I have a hunch that, if what I have been “told” is true, then that is way more significant than others might appreciate. Its significance might be of the slow burner kind.

This morning whilst lying half asleep I was contemplating on the Shantideva quote about the doctor and the medicine. Whilst someone, a bodhisattva, may wish to ease the suffering of others, the care they can give is only palliative. They can’t really help all that much with the mental angst and circling thought patterns. They can have a chat but unless the person wants to stop their own suffering sufficiently as to make real effort, the suffering will continue. They can show the way, they can open the door, but the person themselves must walk through it.

The act of making a true decision about something is always significant. A true decision changes things. Proper real and irrevocable decisions are always significant. A decision in many case implies some kind of action.

Using Death as An Adviser

Within the Toltec tradition there is a very powerful technique called using death as adviser. Sooner or later your death will tap you on the shoulder and say, “come on sunshine it is time to go!”

In general people vacillate, prevaricate, procrastinate, beat around the bush and generally avoid making decisions wherever and whenever they can.  People rarely take the difficult option because there will always be tomorrow, so they piss about, bullshit and generally take the path of least resistance. They live in an illusory world of quasi-permanence.

They have not attained impermanence.

The most unarguable thing is that as medical science currently stands each one of us will die and leave behind a slab of meat. Death is inevitable.

The best way to cut through all the BS is to ask yourself if my death was fairly imminent how would I behave in this circumstance? Listen to the advice that death proffers.

I mentioned in the previous post my own cancer. When I found out about it, I used the full extent of my organisational and leveraging ability to ensure that the operation took place as fast as possible. I even paid for private CT scans to jump the queue. Believe me although I am an old git, my organisational skills are still top notch.

I have been using death as an adviser for over 20 years. It tends to increase decisiveness and stops one from fannying about or piss arsing around. It can cause one to fully open your heart. There is no point in nit picking or arguing the toss if death is imminent.

Théun had me write a letter to myself as if I was my very best friend writing the letter to a dying man, me. That did the trick.

I have been in potentially fatal situations a number of times; the crocodile incident in Zambia, a near drowning in Australia, the night I was close to suicide, the gang event in Brixton, various solo hiking situations and when I bust my hip 2 years ago. In situations of crisis, I am nearly always “cool hand Luke” so to speak.

This is because I have used death as an adviser. I know I am already dead.

In heightened awareness you can sense the proximity of your own death, sense his breath on your hackles.

His advice is nearly always, “act impeccably!”

That is pretty much it, he is a bit of a succinct introvert methinks.

I have heard it said that the only thing a warrior ever truly owns is his or her impeccability.

The next time you are facing some decision, or a “dilemma” simply ask yourself, “If I am going to die soon how would I in all honesty act?” You must be honest else there is no point in doing this. You cannot hedge things in the face of your own death.

I’ll wager that if you do this you will in time become more decisive and perhaps impeccable.

Decisions and Paths

Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask yourself this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.

Carlos Castaneda {don Juan}

Despite all my comments on this blog about being whacko, perhaps a star-child and an Aquarian being, my self-assessment is that I am way more decisive than most people. I can make a life changing decision in an instant. Not because of being hot headed, but because I have been accumulating data, mood and feeling in my decision-making funnel over a long period of time. When the time comes, I seldom hesitate or prevaricate further.

I have surprised many with decisions which to their perception are “out of the blue”. They are not, it is just that people can be very self-obsessed and as a consequence lacking in observation. If your head is up your arse it is difficult to perceive with any accuracy the world surrounding.

Something which may appear to be good and enjoyable, can lose its heart slowly and inexorably then I can have a “fuck this for a game of soldiers” moment and off I ride into the sunset. One has to be ready to let go of the old.

I going to make a hypothesis here and maybe develop it when I find the words.

Decision is a fundamental part of any true spiritual journey because evolution as a being requires that you make decisions.

Conflicting Narratives

We live in a times where conflicting narratives abound. It can sometimes be difficult to know who or what to believe. There is a desire for truth but exactly whose truth are we referring to when we say I want the truth. Is there a THE truth, the one and only unequivocal truth or should we speak of A truth. People imagine themselves to be in possession of the facts. If you think even a little about it, “facts” have a measure of interpretation to them. We could measure event flow, but beyond that there is some interpretation.

What can I say about my circumstances that is factual?

In the context of physical plane manifestation, I am living in a house in rural Brittany, I receive a small pension and use some of my time to type on this thing which I call a keyboard. I do gardening and do it yourself works in the house. I cook dinner most evenings. How I find myself here is open to any number of conflicting narratives. An outside observer may not know about the pension but if they were looking at me through binoculars what I have just written would be consistent with their observations. This is the Realm of Like This.

If they were snooping on me via my blog or some other means they could try to figure out “where I am I at” or “where I am coming from”. Their interpretation of that is unlikely to be 100% objective. They could construct some narrative or other. This narrative would be divergent from the one that I might construct.

It is extremely unlikely that they will have read everything that I have, that they understand what I do. I’ll wager that there is not a single being on this planet who comes close to having studied all the things that I have. Some people will have studied a lot more than me. I am pretty specialised in my knowledge set. Some of that set will of course overlap with the knowledge sets of others; the natural sciences part in particular. I doubt many of my erstwhile colleagues have read Aleister Crowley nor checked his various tabulated correspondences.

I have had a dream which suggests that I am an incarnation or a manifestation of this chap, Bakula. He was a close disciple of Buddha and is said to have been one of the sixteen arhats.

Immediately two conflicting narratives spring to mind. 1) It was just a dream and 2) It is true. There are of course many others, which might proffer levels of complexity and over interpretation. The first narrative has very little implication and is therefore readily acceptable. The second narrative has much wider implication especially if you put the thinking cap on. It is less acceptable because arhats are not meant to re-incarnate, they are supposed to achieve nirvana in perhaps the land of the pure abodes. Yet there are, other teachings that suggest free beings do indeed on occasion incarnate. Indeed, the Tibetans have recognised incarnations of Bakula.

“Ven. Bakula Rinpoche died while in India on November 4, 2003.

He lived one of the more interesting lives of a Buddhist lama. Born into a royal family of Ladakh, India, he was later recognized by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of Bakula Arhat – one of the Sixteen Arhats (direct disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha who had tremendous spiritual realizations).

Bakula Rinpoche had a keen interest in Mongolia and Russia from a young age, and while other Tibetan teachers were going to the West, Bakula Rinpoche said, “Everyone is going to the west – it’s easy to go to the west.”

After Rinpoche worked as a minister of the Indian government under Indira Gandhi, he began to travel to Mongolia and the USSR, where he helped re-open ancient monasteries and organize Buddhist peace conferences. In 1990, was appointed as the Indian ambassador to Mongolia for a period of two years. When he arrived, Mongolia was still communist, but during his stay – which lasted more than 10 years – it became a free country, so Bakula Rinpoche could travel freely and work to revive pure Buddhism.

After the fall of Communism in Mongolia, Bakula Rinpoche established monasteries and nunneries, hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama, invited Lama Zopa Rinpoche several times, and granted ordination to many Mongolians. He retired from his position as ambassador in 2000.

Interestingly enough, according to Mongolian folklore, there was a long-held belief that Bakula Arhat would one day come from India to revive Buddhism in Mongolia. Perhaps it wasn’t folklore.

On the 26th February 2008, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has confirmed Thupten Ngawang, a child born in Nubra, Ladakh as the reincarnation of Bakula Rinpoche. The child is a bright little boy born on 24th November 2005 and has been chosen from among several children.”

If narrative 2 is correct, then a part of my shared essence was found in Ladakh. Tibetan Buddhism entertains that different parts of a master’s essence can manifest, mind, spirit etc..

Because of the myriad of implications of narrative 2 it would be unacceptable to the minds of many. Could you imagine those people with whom I have gone out on the lash with imagining me as the reincarnation of a Buddhist “saint”. These guys don’t drink ten pints of Stella Artois in one sitting, smoke Marlboro Lights or skin up spliffs. If you have been mean to me, it would be even harder to accept that you have been mean to a reincarnating arhat.

You may have noticed the dropping penny. If the penny does drop what happens then?

Over the years many people have dismissed what I have told them, gotten angry with my suggestions and offended at my words. In most cases I have been wearing black Levi’s. If I had said the same things wearing the robes of a Buddhist monk, would their reaction have differed? Probably. If I was called Rinpoche, would they have been so pissed off? Maybe. Many people have tried to beat me and get one over on me. Would narrative two have implications for their recapitulation?

We base our interpretation of the world on our narratives which may be far from accurate. But people genuinely believe that they know more than they do in very many cases. You may have noticed that I take the piss out of self-diagnosed omniscience from time to time.

How good is the basis set of narratives upon which you interpret your experience of living?

Do you have any conflicting narratives?

What Lies Ahead?

This from Les Echos

« Covid : le contrat de l’UE avec AstraZeneca a des clauses contraignantes, pour von der Leyen

L’Union européenne et le laboratoire anglo-britannique sont à couteaux tirés depuis que celui-ci a annoncé un retard dans ses livraisons de vaccins à l’Union. La présidente de la Commission européenne demande à ce que le laboratoire donne une explication plausible. »

I expect that there will be more squabbling about vaccine supply.

It looks almost inevitable that we will be going back into confinement. The 6-6 curfew has helped but the daily infection number is creeping up again. It is nice to drive through the village and watch the children playing in the yard of the primary school. The staff masked the children not.

That confinement will be at least a month, maybe more.

At last, we are not hearing about Mr Trump only a daily basis…

Humanity has never before been so inundated with graphs and numbers on a daily basis.  When there is day to day variation, if Friday’s number is lower than Thursday’s it does not mean that there is a drop.

Some of the language is bizarre. People saying that the virus is cunning, is clever. It is just being natural.

In the English press they keep harping on about there being light and the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope that it is not a TGV!! It is repetitious and boring.

People say we are going to fight back against the virus. WTF? The virus is not fighting…

All the public (expensive private) school jolly hockey sticks type metaphors and phrases are haemorrhaging out of the tory politicians. Most people did not go to schools like that, never had a matron and did not do prep after supper.

We will kill the virus…the virus is not technically living.

How come we have got vaccination and immunisation described as a jab?

“Better go down to the quack old boy and get one of those new-fangled jabs…”

Is Enid Blyton writing the script? FFS.

It is all rather strange.

There are two decisions pending.

  • Do I pay the fee to get my patent application examined?


  • Do we go for a petrol or battery driven chain saw.? Stihl make a nice range of tools with interchangeable batteries, but they are a tad expensive.

Here the birdsong is starting to ramp up as we are getting more visitors. In a month or so it will be sufficiently loud to wake us in the mornings.  The ducks are back, which means the moorhen will make an appearance soon. The wagtails are back strutting as is their want. More birdsong is arriving.

The bulbs have started poking their head above the duvets. Fingers crossed the blue belles will flourish and we shall have quite a display.

I am due another colonoscopy June / July.

Maybe get the pin removed from my femoral neck?

And I suspect in the fullness of time, because of my underlying health condition, to be offered a vaccine.

Soon the grass will need cutting, things here are starting to bud ready for that surge. After the pralaya, growth…


Psychometric Loony Quiz

The Loony Quiz

To find out if you are a loony or not tick one box in either column A or column B, for each question.





Do I get impatient often?



Do I lose my rag in traffic jams?



Do I feel offended quite often?



Do I think “life is not fair?”



Am I prone to over reaction?



If I don’t get my way do I sulk?



Do I bear grudges?



Do I seek to get even?



If someone does better than me, do I get upset?



Do I try to pull others down to feel better about myself?



Have I ever had a bout of cranio-rectal disease?



Am I special?



Does nobody appreciate me?



Must I always be busy?



Does silence scare me?



Must I always be the winner?



Do I always know best?



Am I always right?



Do I enjoy opining upon things I don’t really know?



Do I enjoy gossip and trust it?



Am I impressed by the unproven opinions of others?



Am I genuinely opened minded?



Are people who don’t believe the same things as me?



Is my belief system the only correct one?



Is advancement better than happiness?



Is kudos the be all and end all?



If I win prizes / competitions does that make me feel better than?



Am I a grand person or one of the little people?



Do rules apply to me?



Is material plane status important to me?



Am I a bit of a tense motherfucker?



Am I happy and at peace with the universe?




Now count up the number of As and Bs.

In your best judgement are you a loony or not, what do you think?

Death by Committee (repost)



The Committee for Due and Careful Consideration

has concluded that, after much,

due and careful consideration

there is a need for some more committee work

in order to reach consensus and include all stakeholder views


Henceforth, the Committee for Tentative Bold Decisions

will be disbanded and replaced by the following:


The Committee for Developing the Procrastinory Arts

which will be under the umbrella of

the Division of Continuous Development

and manged by sub tier Obfuscation and Delay

special focus group Application of Classical Hellenic Drama in Committee Work


The Committee for Exploration of Justificatory Practice

(as applied to the abeyance of decision making).

It will be chaired by Sir John Certainty

formerly of Ladbrokes and now

Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department of Prevarication


The Committee for Extensive Self Congratulation

(a sub committee of the Remunerations and Rewards Division)

This will be chaired by Dame Patricia O’ Bac

formerly of the European Union Centre for Administrative Acceleration

and part time adviser to Greenpeace on Sustainable Bureaucracy (paper)


The Committee for Dogmatic Adherence to Due Process

(a sub committee of Regulatory Affairs)

This will be chaired by Rick Parfitt of Status Quo fame

his portfolio will focus on the inclusion of the work

of the above committees into the institutional Dogma Manual / User Guide


The Committee for Considering the Risk of Risk Mitigation Strategies

(a sub committee of Corporate Contingency Planning and Risk Contingency)

This will be chaired by the entire Committee for Strategic Oversight

and include representatives from all member states

with each having a veto to ensure complete inclusion


The Committee for Employee Well Being and Vacations

(a cross functional committee between Human Resources and Remuneration)

Sir Thomas Cook and Sir Richard Branson will co-chair.

The Committee for Dogmatic Adherence to Due Process

has already received their disclosures with respect to conflict of interest


The Committee for Generating New Committees

(This is envisaged as a “blue skies” think tank)

The Director General European Commissary Affairs will chair.

He will be the new committee generating Tzar

Price Waterhouse Coopers will audit expenditure


The Committee for Due and Careful Consideration

would like to thank The Committee for Tentative Bold Decisions

for all their hard work over the decades.

It hopes they enjoy the private box at The Royal Opera House

and wishes them well for all their Christmases in Barbados. 



 Memorandum Ends

Choice Quotes

In the final choice a soldier’s pack is not so heavy as a prisoner’s chains.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power.

John Adams


The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.

John Dewey


We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice.

John C. Maxwell


I think it’s your own choice if you turn from an angry young man to a bitter, old bastard.

Billie Joe Armstrong


Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

William Jennings Bryan


The criterion for free choice can never be an absolute one, but neither is it entirely relative.

Herbert Marcuse


Faced with the choice of enduring a bad toothache or going to the dentist, we generally tried to ride out the bad tooth.

Joseph Barbera


Although we love the idea of choice – our culture almost worships it – we seek refuge in the familiar and the comfortable.

Hugh Mackay


Confronted with the choice, the American people would choose the policeman’s truncheon over the anarchist’s bomb.

Spiro T. Agnew


I believe in not over thinking things too much. When the right thing comes along, you really don’t have a choice.

Jason Schwartzman


Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado.



It is safe to make a choice of your thoughts, scarcely ever safe to express them all.

Isaac Barrow


Fervor is the weapon of choice of the impotent.

Frantz Fanon


If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Neil Peart


One of the most important things that I have learned in my 57 years is that life is all about choices. On every journey you take, you face choices. At every fork in the road, you make a choice. And it is those decisions that shape our lives.

Mike DeWine


I demolish my bridges behind me – then there is no choice but forward.

Fridtjof Nansen


Every mind must make its choice between truth and repose. It cannot have both.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.

Alfred A. Montapert


The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there’s only one other choice.

Doug Larson


Given a choice between their worldview and the facts, it’s always interesting how many people toss the facts.

Rebecca Solnit