Archive | November 7, 2013

The Wisdom in the Dark Emotions

eclipseMiriam Greenspan, writing in the January 2003 issue of the Shambala Sun:

I was brought to the practice of mindfulness more than two decades ago by the death of my first child. Aaron died two months after he was born, never having left the hospital. Shortly after that, a friend introduced me to a teacher from whom I learned the basics of Vipassana meditation: how to breathe mindfully and meditate with “choiceless” awareness. I remember attending a dharma talk in a room full of fifty meditators. The teacher spoke about the Four Noble Truths. Life is inherently unsatisfactory, he said. The ego’s restless desires are no sooner fulfilled than they find new objects. Craving and aversion breed suffering. One of his examples was waiting in line for a movie and then not getting in.

I asked: “But what if you’re not suffering because of some trivial attachment? What if it’s about something significant, like death?

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There is No Such Thing as An Original Idea

big-mickDavid Lose writes:

Creativity is all the rage these days: what it is, how you develop it, the various ways in which you express it. A slew of bestselling books, including my favorite Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer, offers insight into the nature, origin and application of our fundamental, foundational, and phenomenal ability to engage in creative acts.

While the approaches and analyses differ somewhat at various points, one of the major points of convergence revolves around destroying the myth of the “solitary genius.” Creativity doesn’t, in other words, happen in a vacuum – creative ideas are always inspired, nurtured, cajoled, and spurred forward by other ideas. Which means that creative people are always drawing on the work of others, consciously or unconsciously.

Mark Twain said much the same in a letter to Helen Keller, reflecting on an incident years earlier when she had been charged – and acquitted – of plagiarism:

Oh, dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that ‘plagiarism’ farce!

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If Voting Doesn’t Matter, Why Do Evil Billionaires Seem to Think it Does?

blueenergyheatherFor everyone who thinks voting doesn’t matter I’ve got two words for you: legal weed. Okay, shut the fuck up now. Thank you. My state is currently not arresting people for up to an ounce of marijuana and it will soon be sold in stores, which is the greatest victory of the people thusfar in the drug war. Guess how that happened? One, some determined folks got it on the ballot and two, we voted for it. For the record, it wasn’t even close. Why am I bringing this up? For the most part I try and avoid politics in my writing (outside of the drug war) because I tend to think it takes away from a spiritual message that should be applicable to anyone regardless of political affiliation (man are people divided on politics in this country). But I just voted the other day and once again, had to endure a bunch of commentary from idiots on the internets about how “it doesn’t matter who you vote for man”.… Read the rest

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Bitcoin Flirts With Price Above $300 Per Coin, New Record High

opengraphBitcoin has achieved the impossible, becoming the world’s most valued currency not created by any central bank or government entity. Earlier today, markets saw Bitcoin go above $300 per coin with a total market capitalization above $3.2 billion.

As Bloomberg News noted, today’s price spike might have to do with the BTC China exchange coming online, providing another way for international users to buy and sell their Bitcoin holdings.

At time of publication, I hold a small quantity of Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin is volatile, not insured, and may lose value.

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DisinfoCast: 80: Daniele Bolelli: How to Be Less of An A**hole

Dan22

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I spring an entirely unplanned question on fighting philosopher Daniele Bolelli (“On the Warrior’s Path”, “50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know: Religion”): How can we all strive toward not being assholes? What develops is an interesting conversation on empathy, jealousy, violence, and the philosophical nature of good and evil.

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Happy 100th Birthday to Albert Camus

albert camus quotesHappy birthday to absurdist philosopher Albert Camus, who was born this day in 1913 French Algieria. Raised in poverty by his hearing-impaired, widowed mother, Camus went on to be one of the modern era’s great philosophers and political activists. Camus risked his life as a member of the French Resistance, writing for the underground newspaper “Combat”, continuing to contribute while many of his friends and comrades were imprisoned in concentration camps or summarily executed for their actions. Camus went on to win the Nobel prize for his work, and remained a vocal opponent of tyranny in all forms until his 1960 death in an automobile accident at the age of 46.

I’ve been a fan of Camus for most of my adult life, having first become aware of his work… well… I’ll be honest: because of The Cure’s “Killing an Arab”. As soon as I found out it was based on a Camus novel (The Stranger), I sought it out.… Read the rest

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Additional NSA Whistleblowers Said To Be Emerging

raddack

Conscientiousness as a domino effect, via Common Dreams:

The “courage” of Edward Snowden is “contagious,” according to lawyer and transparency advocate Jesselyn Radack.

In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Radack revealed that an influx of NSA whistleblowers, inspired by Snowden, are now knocking on the doors of her organization, coming forward with what they consider objectionable practices by their employer.

According to Radack, several more whistleblowers have approached the Government Accountability Project (GAP)—the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization where she is the director of National Security and Human Rights—since Snowden’s story broke.

“There definitely could be more revelations in addition to those that Snowden has revealed and that are continuing to come out,” she told ABC News.

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