(no subject)

For the longest time, I've been thinking and thinking and not really getting any further for it that I would have otherwise. There are very simple experiences that prove to myself I am not my mind, and regardless of what I think and the ways I think it (including some very negative and habitual thinking patterns), there remains elements of me being-ness that is well beyond the reach of the mind.

More then, the feeling that is creeping up on me that perhaps, the notion of directing my life, somehow grasping it by its invisible, slippery metaphorical reins, is not a wise or indeed practical thing to do. That there is a certain illusion of choice and free will, that there may be decisions, yes, but to shape and direct everything? Perhaps some other lifetime, some other path, but apparantly not this one, or at least not in the full frontal attack mode that I am accustomed to, like steering a ship by lifting it up bodily out of the water then plonking it down after turning it in the direction it should be going in. Not efficient.

Karmic inertia, perhaps, or lack of will and discipline. Or just wasted energy pushing at a door marked "pull". The search for an alternative that is beyond what I can see, and beyond what I know I cannot see, is hopefully going to produce a new approach. Something that does not involve crippling amounts of effort expended as if burning so much hydrogen - loud bang, with a wet finish.

On the other hand, I am having fun. I am enjoying my music again, I am having fun dancing tango. what concerns me is my moral character, the fortitude of my personality, etc etc, none of which worrying about has ever managed to improve. There is a battle in my mind, one that should not be taking place - should not, because the enemy is imaginary, as is the conflict, but it is such a deeply ingrained habit to fight! or at lest, to set up positions as if in a fight, coupled with neurotic levels of fear of losing versus a manic swing towards the arrogance of the already victorious.

Unnecessarily abstract? You bet. This is an open journal entry. No specifics, and anyway, specifics are far too dead.

You and Me and We

You and Me and We

We'd like to think, you an' me,
Without us, the universe can't be.
We think if we weren't around,
A falling tree would make no sound.

But truth be told, our greatest fear
Is that the universe won't shed a tear
If you and me, we disappeared,
Vanished, gone, no longer here.

Everything else, they'll be just fine,
The sun, the moon, and the stars will shine,
And there'll be no one here to disagree
That things are better without you an' me.

(no subject)

I have been keeping an eye out for writings and articles on the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, and though I was convinced that we are all doomed, I'm starting to change my mind. At least, I'm starting to alter my view of "the big one", the single event which will result in a mad-max like existence. Perhaps we will all end up with no choice but to get mohikan hair cuts and dress with 80s power pads while fighting endless tides of bloodthirsty motorcycle riding leatherclad dwarves, but somehow, I dunno, it seems unlikely.

Not that the human civilisation is doing itself any favours, though, in terms of surviving, but there is something better than preparing to duke it out on ruined highways with enraged one eyed tribes of mutant pinheads (who are covetous of your normal-sized-heads, both an affront to their pinhead god, and also a prized offering to secure a mate).

I'm not too sure how to account for this wellspring of relative optimism (it is relative - I don't believe things are all going to be bunnies and roses, unless they're mutant zombie rabbits), but it may be connected with the people I've been meeting - perfectly ordinary people doing perfectly ordinarily inspiring things that they enjoy doing. Perhaps I'm wrong, and I'll be the last to curse at the sky as I'm hatcheted in the back by a screeching amazon wearing a feather boa made of armadillos in the thunderdome. Perhaps I'll just be a hapless pedestrian run over by the great car chase that's burning up the world's last drop of petrol. Nonetheless, I'm throwing my lot in with the people who are wholeheartedly doing those beautiful things that makes them, and those touched by them, more human.


I had a maths teacher when I first arrived in the UK called Mr. Saunders. I've always thought of him when I try to think about how a teacher should be, or could be... inspiring.

At that time my maths education was a few years ahead of the UK, and I already knew my multiplication tables, so I was messing around when he was teaching that in class. When I finally exhausted his patience (as the new foreign student, I had some leeway), he turned and set me a problem and told me to be quiet ("HUSH, child"). It was something alond the lines of 123456789x987654321 and soon I lost count of the number of hundreds of thousands to carry, nowhere finished by the end of class. It was a clear point, finely made to teach me: don't feel too cocky.

A few days later, still feeling stung, I doodled a face in my homework book, labelling it "SOS", Mr Saunders' nickname. He returned it after marking the homework, having added his own curly beard that I had originally missed out.

These were good lessons, for me.

Disturbing test dream

I had a disturbing dream recently, where I was taking a test of some sort. We were partnered up, me with my (girlfriend? Friend? Anyway, I don't know her in my waking life), to do a maths test. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the questions. All I could see was a pile of roughly scrawled notes and crumpled up sheets that were used to work things out. My partner would read the questions to me - she could obviously see them - but I couldn't understand her, and felt more and more desperate as I leafed through piles of paper with scribbles on them with no questions.

Then I realised it was already far too late in the morning and I should get out of bed already.

I would have thought I would be past the stage of having exam anxiety dreams, but perhaps this is a pretty good description of my life right now - I am sitting a test of some sort, only I have no idea what is being asked. Apparently everyone else can see it but I can't, and I can't understand them when they tell me what it is.

(no subject)

What is it with monosyllabic yoga studio names in Taipei? We have:

Space Yoga
True Yoga
Pure Yoga

Soon to be joined by:

Be Yoga

Do we only have enough space in our short term memory to remember one syllable? Perhaps there will be Brain Yoga to help us improve our memory capacity.
  • Current Music
    The Ancestor - Randy Roos

The testament of mangos

Instead of grappling with such important and profound questions of spiritulaility, such as, "can't I have fun and believe in God at the same time?", or "if I was starving on a desert island with nothing else to eat and I ate meat, will i go to hell?", and the old chestnut, "if I'm good and made money but didn't believe in God, will i go to hell?" and my favourite, "what the hell is hell anyway?", I much prefer to grapple with a large, juicy mango. There are many advantages to grappling with mangos rather than deeply abstract, profound and spiritual questions, such as:

A mango is just a mango, rather than an onion, or a finger pointing at the moon, or an eternal issue that exists forever and only at the very present moment simultaneously.
A mango is juicy. Philosophical spiritual questions less so.
Mangos sound fun.
Mangos are good to eat.

Unfortunately in the depths of winter, there are no large juicy mangos to be had. More unfortunately, there are always and will forever be an inexhaustable supply of philosophical spiritual questions, but it's also immensely satisfying to conclude that most of the time, these questions are beside the point. Coming up with an A+ grade essay answer to these questions has never been, as far as I know, a surefire way to enlightenment, and as far as I can tell, eating a mango has never been explicitly listed as a sinful activity.

I've always liked mangos, ever since I can tell the difference between a mango and all other types of foodstuffs. Yellow fleshy fragrant mangos are a joy, and the sound of the name, "Mango", is the most juicy fruit name I know of. It's a happy name, immensely suited to such a devastatingly good fruit.

Mangos forever.

Siri Simran invades China

And whyever would I want to do that?

Apart from the commonly accepted perception of China as some sort of endless treasure mine, it's also seen (albeit more subconsciously) as the biggest threat to the balance of world power, the world environment, the American way of life and all that we could possibly hold precious as human beings, etc.

I have ot admit, I don't like being censored, or feel like I'm being censored, and I'm beginning to suspect I'm actually a rather subversive streak running through my otherwise lazy life. I don't like overt authority and conformity, for the plain reason that I don't conform comfortably. it's selfish. Perhaps if I did conform without needing to expend a great deal of effort, I would not mind, but as it is, I don't. This is hardly a great ideological base from which to build some eternal philosophical truth, but that's not what I'm after anyway.

Back to China, and the love for speeches by leaders, some of whom I know, most of whom I don't. The ones I know (or know of), they are generally sound, hard working bureaucrats, with a genuine sense of caring for those around them. Leadership is provided for by sheer force of presence, as I see it, if they're not driven insane or turned into automiton robots by the hierarchical government system, they've totally earned the respect they're accorded by those around them.

Where do I fit in? I have no idea. As it is, they have no idea either, It seems that there's a 50% failure rate in communications, that literally every other word I say is misinterpreted. Perhaps it's my accent, I don't know.

But back to invading China. There is something amusing in retrospect that I dislike this place so much, yet I'm finding it impossible to resist the lure of _Becoming Someone_ here. Arrogance and anecdote suggests that I am well qualified, humility and cowardice cautions me against being too cocky. Really, as my parents always like to remind me, I don't really know how weighty I am, and it's true, I don't. It cuts both ways, not knowing where it's possible to exert influence, and where the limits of that influence extends, is very confusing, like a baby not knowing quite where its skin ends and the outside world begins. Unfortunately, unlike a baby, my cowardice and caution curtails my exploration. then again, moving slow is possibly the best way forwards.

It seems all and sundry are eager to look for a suitable wife for me. By suitable, of course, is meant, any human female who has a name, and who might vaguely meet an abstract "criteria" that I gave, implied through my behaviour, was imagined to be nice by the erstwhile matchmaker, fell out of the sky into the brain of God, or otherwise spun like a political hot potato until it vaguely resembles something that I might possibly like or dislike or have no idea about. In any case, people wantme married, and be double quick about it.

Back in china, people are still smoking like dragons, whisps of smoke carving the air like patterns on a ming vase. I hate the smell of tobacco smoke and ashes. But I do like the exploration that could take place, finding out that people here are not perhaps so terrifying as I feel they are (indeed, that people in generall are not secretly harbouring the desire to remove their latex face masks and reveal the acid-teethed lizard-alien-insectoid underneath who will then proceed to massacre, um, me). It's good to find those bejewelled moments when truth and honesty and humanity are communicated and experienced by everyone, especially in a place where I least expect it, and however precious those moments are, they somehow feed a desperate hunger in me.

Speaking of being hungry, pigs brains and living prawn-critters being boiled in front me is not really that pleasant either, nor is the assumption that alcohol must be consumed by everyone whenever there is the vaguest excuse to consume it, and failure to comply is a sign of disrespect. Practically, it would be much easier to drop these two taboos, and indeed they have been very much relaxed to accommodate my lack of discipline and the sheer weirdness of human beings. Nevertheless, I don't like drinking, and I don't like eating pigs brains and living-until-boiled-to-death-prawn-critters and other meat-ish products, morality aside, religion aside, health aside. i just don't like it, in the same way other people don't like oranges, or they dislike fishcakes, or whatever.

Given that, and given the whole shabang of shit-not-yet-hitting-the-fan-but-will-in-the-future-soon-to-be, I really have no idea how I'll survive, should I even make it off the metaphorical landing ramp onto the metaphorical beachhead of my China invasion metaphore, without being blown to pieces or cut down by a hail of paranoia and doubt. Still, it shold be fun trying.

Severing ties with Raj Academy and Professor Surinder Singh


India is an interesting place, it seems to highlight those things we don't want to see. It's a fun thing, sometimes, like looking at a funhouse mirror, or less fun, like looking into the sewers of the soul.

I din't really want to see someone I admire and respect, turn out to behave in an untrustworthy and totally amoral way, even less so that these dubious qualities were serving a very selfish goal, in the name of Guru. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I also saw that in these matters, I can trust my senses.

I know I'm not the first to have had disagreements with Professor Surinder Singh, and I'm certainly not the last, and regardless of some very ugly rumours that I've heard, my own perception of the man was that of someone I could trust. However, my experience of travelling in a group with him this year has quite successfully destroyed that trust. I can't say I've learned nothing from him or Raj Academy, but I can say I will not continue studying with them. If the behaviour I experienced and saw was of any indication, it doesn't matter the quality of the musical knowledge that is being imparted, I don't want my learning to be shaped by such hands.

Oh well. At least that chapter of my musical journey is closed.