Monday, 31 August 2015

god, only a year ago i was still posting on reddit zen, might have been longer, i'm not sure how they define "year" !

i like what i wrote . .




interesting how many of the flakes/fakes have deleted their id's . .

: o (


  1. Should I become an optometrist or go for a PhD in marine conservation or another ecological conservation field?

    I prefer the latter, but it would take a long time and I don't know if there will be job opportunities. Also, I would be away from my wife a lot doing research, and it requires relocating which takes a long time. I would have to move more East of GA, even though this house is paid off.

    The former is actually more affordable for me, but I have no passion it. it does guarantee stable income and job.

    My dad is coercing me to do the former.

    1. my take on work like dentistry or optometry or medical is one gets too much exposure to viral people !

      your health is the first thing, if you don't have health you don't have anything !

      marine ecology is an intensely competitive and poorly renumerated field !

      you need more alternatives, what does your wife think ? where do your abilities lie ?

    2. actually optometery is not so bad, not breathing everyone's breath like for dentistry or meeting 20 ill people a day like a doctor or medical personnel !

      stable and an income has a lot going for it for you !

      i don't think you have the intellectual rigour or persistence for any discipline like marine ecology

    3. "i don't think you have the intellectual rigour or persistence for any discipline like marine ecology"

      I got my degree in Neuroscience with a high GPA, so I think I do have the intellectual rigour for marine ecology. I can give you essays I wrote, for example. I don't know about persistence though because a PhD is pretty long-term investment.

    4. I feel insulted you said I don't have intellectual rigour or persistence for a competitive scientific field like marine ecology. I mean, I got my degree in a STEM field with high GPA and lots of research experience.

    5. you feel insulted, so you can't look rationally at my criticism !

      it took me twenty years to learn rigour, tease out all the relevancies and crossing every last t and dotting every last i !

    6. Give me a quantitative exam or something to determine whether or not I lack intellectual rigour. If I lacked intellectual rigour, I wouldn't have been able to get a degree in Neuroscience with a high GPA. I went to one of the best colleges for it too.

      I am looking rationally at your criticisms and I just don't see how it's true. I've memorized anatomical diagrams of brain nuclei with relative ease, so my rote memorization is pretty good. Moreover, I'm pretty decent at conceptual thought and so forth.

      I am meticulous when it comes to details...

      I can even give essays and exams where I scored high, but my best essay is in my laptop that is currently being repaired due to spilling coffee.

    7. "but my best essay is in my laptop that is currently being repaired due to spilling coffee"


      i am thinking of our exchanges over the years, your approach to what this board/zen is about is too loose so you go through cycles of approach and withdrawal, i am waiting for the next withdrawal or maybe this is it now ?

    8. If you want, I can email you my grant proposal I wrote awhile back. I could also email you some exams I took and got high marks on...

      I mean, I don't like being called stupid, lacking intellectual rigour. I have a pretty comprehensive background in Neuroscience, except for the applied dynamical systems and computational stuff which is more math intensive unlike molecular and neuroimaging paradigms.

      My other essays I've deleted in email correspondence with professors, but I think I could scan a couple if I look through my notes.

      I mean, I definitely have a lot of intellectual rigour... Almost everyone I've met in real life says I do, except for math. I don't like being called stupid.

    9. I'd rather have no Zen than to be stupid. Intellectual rigour is superior to all mysticism.

    10. " i am thinking of our exchanges over the years, your approach to what this board/zen is about is too loose so you go through cycles of approach and withdrawal, i am waiting for the next withdrawal or maybe this is it now ? "

      you are not self aware, no solitude and it shows !

    11. I am just offended you claim I lack intellectual rigour. What proof do you have I lack intelligence? I can email you my well-written essays as proof I'm not as stupid as our correspondence makes out to be.

      I may lack finesse in this mystical practice, but I don't see how that's indicative of me lacking intellectual rigour in the hard sciences.

      I got a 3.5 GPA from a top-ranking university in my chosen field. Why do you attack my self-esteem by saying I lack intellectual rigour? You even told me to go into philosophy. meaning you consider me to bright, but what makes marine ecology more inaccessible? Is it on the level of nuclear physics in terms of complexity of information?

      I'm not talking about Zen right now. I'm talking about my level of intellectual rigour in the hard sciences. I know how empirical science works.

      I admit though, I have stronger background in Neuroscience. It would make more sense if I went for PhD in Neuroscience rather than something like Marine Ecology. However, I have recently been getting more interested in conservationism because I think our present age needs it more than anything:

      "(click "Load the entire album, 28 images total (18 remaining)" to see the rest of the images)"

    12. There are a lot of notable Iranian Americans in Science/academia, notably physicists:

      I can do anything I set my mind to as long as I consider it important, ethically, and it doesn't involve too much high-level math.

    13. "here are a lot of notable Iranian Americans in Science/academia, notably physicists:"

      you have cognitive style problems that leaves a gap between them and you

    14. What is my cognitive style problem exactly?

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  3. this lack of rigour and looseness is very apparent in this exchange so far. i got to this stage with zakaj, he was just very loose and assertive and expecting me to work it all out for him

    am i going to spend my days sorting out your mistakes, not that you hear anyway !

    what good does it do to argue? is that going to affect the reality of who you are !

    1. I mean, I just asked for some advice on what path I should take. I am wondering why you think I lack intellectual rigour for something like marine ecology, but I possess the rigour for philosophy?

      Uhm, you realize how perplexing that is?

      What about marine ecology does not fit me?

    2. I think DEEPLY reading something like Deleuze's Difference and Repetition can be just as "difficult" as an ecology textbook.

      I mean, don't you realize how much you've insulted a friend (i.e., me) by saying I lack intellectual rigour?

      I'm not a dim-witted or simple-minded person. I don't think linearly or in over-simplifications. Calm down. Sprezzatura, man, sprezzatura.

    3. you lack rigour for philosophy as well !

      did i say you were dim witted ?

      its like deleuze is your level and not derrida or heraclitus !

      you know this lack of rigour is so because you are so sensitive to the criticism, this is what i mean by a lack of solitude and not being self aware !

    4. Lacking intellectual rigour is pretty much equivalent to being dim-witted. I believe giving me standardized tests or whatnot is the best way to determine whether or not I lack intelligence. I can also email you essays I've written to prove I don't lack rigour.

      Derrida and Deleuze are very similar in that they're both differential philosophers.

      Both Deleuze and Derrida would agree life is a process without a bottom turtle.

      You do realize I am most likely your only sincere reader, and you basically said I lack intellectual rigour? If I lack intellectual rigour, then why in the world would I make a word document on your poetry and analyze and so forth.

      I don't appreciate people attacking my intelligence. It's true, I am always learning and improving, for everything is insufficient. There is never a discrete point you reach in which you can say, "I am finally intelligent!" In truth, it's more like the catastrophic realignment and further coherence, as you've said about nutrition/diet. Everything is like that, which is why we will never have a theory of everything, since everything is by its nature in flux and seamless motion, by which discrete/demarcated bodies are illusory.

      Like I said, friend, don't insult my inquisitive nature. I admit, room for improvement will always exist, but it is about the constant reaching outward in Becoming.

      Deleuze practically says the same things about your fractal process ontology, man. You both tend to view reality as being more processual and the creative, spontaneous act as the most important. Destruction (which is creation) of new rhizomes in literature and art is Deleuze's main goal, and he relates that to his plane of immanence and virtuality. Deterrialization also relates to his philosophy, but Deleuze is basically the neo-Heraclitus, man.

    5. you want "mystical understanding" without putting in the solitude or contemplative time, what can i say ?

    6. I always get solitude when walking outside. Two nights ago I saw a deer alone, for example. I stay home most of the time alone, and I got outside sitting alone while vaping.

      I agree with you on celibacy, solitude within natural scenery, and such. I just don't agree with you that I lack intellectual rigour. I can improve on it, but I don't see how I lack the rigour for marine ecology.

      I'm schizoid, so I do prefer being alone. I don't have many friends anyways.

      I want to be a part of an academic field I consider important, that I can immerse my mind into. I don't think I lack intellectual rigour, but at the same time, I'm not a genius and can always improve, due to insufficiency.

      The differential ontology link is good, and I recommend checking it out. There is no "being" but only "différance as play and movement". Deleuze would agree with Derrida there.

    7. the ontology link is mixed, but basically the viewpoint is wrong

      in any academic field you will only be at the workman level if you even last because of the cognitive style issues

      this is very different from saying you are unintelligent !

      the 7th patriarch blog is about the return to or generation of an authentic mystical tradition and you not doing the work . .

      you don't have to or be interested in it but really what you write about is of peripheral interest to me . .

    8. What are my cognitive style issues? I ask this sincerely.

    9. " What are my cognitive style issues? I ask this sincerely "

      i think basically you rush on too fast and fit everything to your projection !

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    11. I'll take it slowly then.

      I've sat down and read textbooks deeply while taking notes and underlining. After all, how else could I have scored highly on my exams and gotten my BS in Neuroscience?

      If I were fitting everything in my projection, then I wouldn't be able to learn.

    12. you are fitting things into your teachers projections that's all !

      in fact you can only pass if you do this, otherwise you are failed !

    13. I realize writing a graduate thesis is kinda different, and undergraduate studies don't really prepare one for that. You have to be in charge and make your own original and contributive hypotheses, design experiments, and so forth. This requires a more thorough and meticulous cognitive style.

      Of course, I can't do that immediately, but if you have the right mentor, eventually you'll get the hang of it while you continue your own studies.

      You can really judge how competent of a scholar one can be based off limited interactions here.

      I can give you a grant proposal I wrote while researching on rats.

    14. "You can really judge how competent of a scholar one can be based off limited interactions here"

      lol, isn't this what i have been saying tho i am sure you misspelt can't as can . .

      in fact competency is a lifetime's work

      the "global workspace" theory of conciousness is a development of the last forty-five years, i got interested and through you tube videos have looked fairly intensively at the leading scholars in the field, men who have devoted their lives to this work and one gets a real sense of quality scholarship and actually men well along in their lives . .

      this video is well worth watching to get a sense of mature scholarship versus two young hubric bozos !

      the point being to be a leader in an academic field requires the complete attention of a lifetime, the question is whether one wants or is prepared to do that ! :o)

      i n f i n i t y interests me more ! :o)

    15. I meant "can't". My new keyboard isn't that great.

      I know about Bernard J. Baar's Global Workspace Theory of Consciousness. I haven't studied it in-depth, but I did study Antonio Damasio's theory of consciousness which he spent a life-time making too. Self Comes to Mind is a good book...

      Thomas Metzinger is also good. In his book Ego Tunnel, he interviews a lot of leading figures in consciousness research such as Wolf Singer. I've already mentioned Christof Koch too.

      I don't like Neuroscience anymore though, and I want to become a part of the Zeitgeist for helping environment, hence my desire for going for a PhD in a field for that.

      The biggest problem with Neuroscience is we don't know much about the mesoscopic dynamics of brain activity:

      Buzsaki's research is into that, and I highly recommend his book Rhythms of the Brain. Moreover, the recent Nobel Laureate John O'Keefe won the award in Physiology
      or Medicine for his research in theta phase precession in hippocampus and how it encodes memory. Buzsaki has a good review article that gives you a general idea on that field:

      I wrote a 5 page single-spaced essay about this kind of stuff.

      Don't insult my intelligence and potential. You're going to lose readers that way.

  4. the problem is the human species, the more comfortable you make things for it, the more it breeds into the space created which it then fills with its trash, inanity and misguidedness !

    sepehr i would love to lose you as a reader, unfortunately insults don't seem to do the job ! :o)

    ironing out our "cognitive failures" is a lifetimes work that begins when you start !

    you are intelligent but not a top rate mind, the gap is your "cognitive failures" and you are reluctant to address that

    it is my to regret that i have always been so slow on addressing my own cognitive failures !

    1. I never said I'm a top rate mind. Where did I say that? That takes a lifetime, as I agreed with you...

      Since I AM intelligent, I would be good as a PhD student because I can then refine my mind and develop it into becoming top rate.

      You said I don't have the "intellectual rigour or persistence for any discipline like marine ecology". If I'm intelligent, why don't I? Obviously I would be improving as I read more and continue my lab work. The point is, I'd be getting more intellectual rigour as I continue doing my best.

      Is marine ecology more difficult than Neuroscience?

      In truth, the more computational avenue of Neuroscience is QUITE difficult because one must have a strong grasp in differential equations, linear algebra, and other high-level math. I don't have that much of a strong background in math because I went more into the neurobiology side of things. Not even in neuroimaging labs, such as fMRIs, do you need to be good in math, just know how to use MATLab and conceptually understand what's going on.

      I spent a lot of time in an EEG neurolinguistic lab studying event related potentials, in particular N400 in relation to Auditory Oddball paradigm, and also a neurobiology of memory lab testing how eating induces LTP and inhibits the onset of next meal (called postprandial intermeal interval).

    2. sepehr, if you are listening and you don't appear to be, i don't think you will persist with academic study, if simply that you can't cope with dissection !

      your father is right, get a skill like optometry that gives you an income and if it doesn't stretch you, well you need that headroom just to survive

      you use the word "schizoid" to describe yourself, that's a rather dated terminology, is autistic or "asperger's syndrome" so repugnant to you ?

    3. You're the one that called me schizoid. I have good memory.

      Also, I did more research and optometry is not that good either:

      "optometry was good before 2000's. Its not anymore because optometrists cannot compete with online glasses and contact lens stores from the private sectors. That's why there aren't that many schools because the field is not growing. Many optometrists don't get enough patients and have left the field."

      I can cope with academic study when it's oriented to things I care about, such as helping ecosystems or whatnot. However, it would make me depressed if private sector has also a lot of influence on research in that field (e.g., look up Tyrone Hayes and Atrazine controversy to get an idea how funding sources can bring about undisclosed conflict of interests)...

      Neoliberalism is really destroying a lot of things.

    4. I can cope with dissection, but it's a different matter to actually kill a mammal as it looks you into the eyes.

      I've studied the internal organs of animals in my general biology class, and that's totally different from actually having to kill them oneself...

      I have no issue with killing crustaceans. I even attached electrodes to an oscilloscope to study their electrophysiology.

      Don't insult my intelligence.

      I could never kill wallabies. I don't know how the hell you do it.

  5. Zephyr, I think you take yourself too seriously.

    I too had that problem and it was ruining my life.

    Why not relax the defense mechanism, then an outside (divine?) intervention is more probable.

    Isn't the whole point why you're here that you feel claustrophobic in that narcissistic ego-shell and you expect it to be sundered by a Teacher or by God?

    I cannot talk to you as a Teacher, like Andrew does, and certainly not as God, except qua proxy, but at least I can talk to you as a Peer who had a similar problem (I assume).

    (I will write a second part to this comment later)

    1. Dear Zephyr your intelligence is not the question here, instead it's the attitude of taking oneself too seriously and trying to find the answer to the question: "What should I do?" or "What is the right path for me?"

      That question instantly creates mental hysteria and cannot be answered properly as it presupposes an endless chain of evaluations and reevaluations.

      I don't know you enough to give specific advice but my question is - have you ever held a regular job and how did it feel when you did? Did you feel it was below you?

      I think that once I stopped taking myself too seriously and said, whatever God sends my way, I will be grateful and I will not complain, then all problems vanished.

      It is incredibly liberating to be a regular person. To be nothing special. A cleaning lady that absolutely and totally accepts her position as a cleaning lady is free from the constraints of being a cleaning lady. Whatever you do with this attitude is done for the God and then regardless of the company you always work for God Incorporated

      Now of course there are some rational considerations to take into account, such as: what jobs will be automated in 10 years? in 20 years? We need to be smart... being a truck driver today is not the smartest decision because self-driving trucks are coming very soon.

      But they are also developing artificial intelligence / robots to perform surgery, so even that will be automated sooner or later.

      Having a regular job solves many problems because when you come home from work, you don't use mental energy for useless questions such as "What should I do for my career?" - instead you did what you had to do, and then you can lock your room, sit down and delve into what is absolutely "useless": metaphysics, philosophy, pure science, poetry, mysticism, what have you - you don't have to sully all that with personal interest.

    2. Anyway for the God thing, the mysticism etc. - you need a mental space that is absolutely devoid of personal interest... so that's why a cleaning lady has perhaps more chance at genuine spirituality than some academic who is always worried about his image and credentials. Whatever he writes is always useful for something, it's FOR something - it's utilitarian.

      Only when we create a space in our life that is completely useless, that is not FOR someone or something, then in that space you can make progress I think.

      Now I don't know how Andrew does it. But for me, and maybe for you, too, that space becomes possible through a regular job because then when you come home from work you leave the utilitarian logic behind you, and you can spend the rest of the day completely unconcerned about "humanity" about "useful" about "profit" about "utility" etc.

      My 2 cents bro!

      To be honest I think a regular job is better for mysticism than academics.

      No wonder the Zen people even "after enlightenment" preferred tasks such as being head of the kitchen to administrative tasks such as abbot!

    3. When you say "Intellectual rigor is more important than mysticism" - where does that... impulse come from? That pride? Think of what made you write that... what was threatened there?

      That's the bad side of Zephyr I think. The good side is you show us wonderful things like Carrickfergus. When you lower your shields you are more interesting than when you are "intellectually rigorous"

      Anyway sooner or later God's gonna cut you down!

    4. I think I'm genuinely an intellectual person.

      My education and intellectual rigour comes before being a Zen practitioner or whatever.

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    6. But if you're an intellectual BEFORE being a Zen practitioner, why ask the Seventh Patriarch about your career?

      Anyway, you haven't answered my question, I'm curious have you ever had a regular job and for how long?

    7. Because the Seventh Patriarch is a man with some practical knowledge in academic fields. I don't have many friends either.

      I've worked as a sales representative for pet foods part-time for 1.7 years, but I quit because of my meekness due to past racial abuse in a redneck middle-school and first half of high school. I also worked in menial labour like Taco Bell and hated how much I was exploited and talked down to.

      I also worked for 10 months in a lab with rats, as I've pointed out. It would have made more sense if I worked in the EEG or another neuroimaging lab instead...

      I don't enjoy working menial regular jobs, especially considering my mind is not suited for that. I am too self-aware for that.

    8. What is your race? Arabic?

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    10. "I actually think Europe should deport all Muslims."

      Fuck that, I hope Europe becomes Islamic !

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  7. After thinking about it more and talking to my dad, I'm going back to school for another Bachelor's degree but in Computer Science. I'm going to also start the hobby of scuba diving. I'll get my certificate in it, but I want to get into social activism for environmental concerns as a side hobby. It's something we can't ignore in this day and age.

    1. epehr, i have done quite a bit of scuba diving, fun but in the end i became concerned about embolism from microbubbles even within the tables and so stopped !

      pity, it's fun ! :o)

      i have had a checkered employment and "developer" career, once nearly becoming very wealthy but always i don't seem to be interested enough and flag things too early, "infinity" is all that has ever interested me and it's a pity the world is so negative on it !

      like you and zakaj i am facing the need to pay much more attention to the financial side of things, in a way i should probably suspend this board to do that but i am not quite there yet !

      i do think the demand for good programmers is well outstripping supply and in your case also enables an inroad into conciousness or enviromental studies !

  8. I thought this was an interesting article about the future of employment:

    1. for sure zakaj !

      i was always overfocused on the technical side and in hindsight should have paid a heap more attention to company politics !

  9. Hmmm!

    I'm not very interested in jobs, what I'm interested in is money. I do like computers probably more than most things.

    The first retreatants I saw at furnace mountain was this 30 something lady Wide mouthed checking out the lodge. She was of similar kin as we spent a good deal talking about poetry, and more importantly for this story her recent departure of her very good job! She was doing tax work abroad for months at a time in places like Dubai and Pakistan. She told me she loved it, but for a reason I'm still not sure of she left to go travel the world staying in centers of all kinds. She was very intelligent, and very interesting because of her travels! We talked about sufi poetry, a bunch of Charles Bukowski.. Read some poetry. This was all after the retreat when Dae Gak and his wife invited us to stay an extra night.

    1. Months should be years I think. She sorta reminded me of Andrew as I think he left his job to go traveling? She was awesome.

    2. jason, why not get her email and ask her what skills and qualifications you need for that line of work ?

      she earns enough to be able to take time off and just works again when she needs the money !

    3. She was smart, and I don't think I have the passion for what she was doing. Or much things. I'd have to get her email from Myozen

      Only thing I seem to be interested in is infinity as well, if I even know what that is!

    4. My dog got bit by a staffordshire bull terrier the other day, might lose its eye.

    5. people don't look after staffordshire bull terriers properly

      you do need a decent income and that woman could be helpful to you !

    6. She actually said she was looking into programming for her future

    7. jason, i think she's left it a bit late to change and you will find she goes back to what she is experienced at !

      jobs are all about networking !

      the number of people prepared to talk about bukowski or sufi poetry in a meaningful way is about 1 in ten million, i wouldn't let that connection disappear !

      5 billion on the web, how many on this blog which is way the best zen around ?

    8. Yeah she was quite special. I'm just thinking of what I'll say to myozen.. Something something jobs.

      Did you know Dae Gak gave bracelets to all the female retrestants? He also sat on his interview mat like some Greek Emperor.

    9. 6 on the blog, 5 billion on the web

  10. I believe I'm a sincere reader as well. I try to read meticulously when I can, and I even go back and read things several times over. I've read the responses here on the blog about two times through and I notice new things as I'm developing my understanding. I even am doing the compendium, so I'd say I'm pretty sincere!

    1. Sepher you're quite aggressive, "man".

    2. Haven't been getting the solitude I need since furnace.

      Some times I drive around and I notice where my nightmares come from, real life.

    3. I found out my aunt is autistic, she understands me extremely well and is kind to me. She's recognized how shit my family treats me.

    4. jason, kwan um zen was the most autistic of any of the zen centers i visited

  11. The Hundun of Nightmares

    all around me

    but the nectar of peace

    somewhere i can't see

    1. the hundrun of nightmare

      coils in my dreams

      l e a k i n g

      into my life

      peace is an i l l u s i o n

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  13. This morning I had some indigestion and I don't know why but a quote I heard a long time ago and never since suddenly appeared in my mind, by Flaubert: "Poetry is as precise a thing as geometry." It's really one of the best quotes I've ever heard to be honest, it tells a lot in a single sentence. Maybe it's impossible to say more about poetry in a single sentence? Anyway, I haven't thought of this quote in maybe 5 or 6 years and suddenly this morning during a difficult struggle with constipation in the bathroom it came back to me. It made me think of the Seventh Patriarch and I thought it could be reworked as: poetry is the geometry of i n f i n i t y.