Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

For the sake of ornament and illumination.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:09 am

VOIDSUCK THIS!, by Charles Carreon

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Charles Carreon’s Review of Riding The Torch by Norman Spinrad

In this novelette, published some years back, the august chronicler of imaginary odysseys was hammering away on his piece of malleable mindstuff, refining the themes that became more fully fleshed out in The Void Captain’s Tale and Child of Fortune.

As the story begins the hero, Jofe, is put out. A skillfully-timed announcement from the Pilots have upstaged the premier of his latest production, “The Wandering Dutchman,” a direct-to-the-senses media extravaganza that is sure to wow his fellow shipmates on the torchship Brigadoon. Never mind that the Pilots claim to be hot on the tail of another earth-like planet. These false alarms have gotten to be a bore, and he tells the leader of the Pilot’s union just that, getting the better of him in a jeering match in front of the ship’s high society.

The Pilots are an austere cult of “voidsuckers” who man the diffuse outer edge of the torchship convoy, scouring the galaxy for a replacement for earth. On his way out, the Pilot tells Jofe that he ought to come out and see what it’s like to face the interstellar void, away from the entertainments of the ship lifestyle, with its psychic Internet of sensory-jaunting and endless stimulation. Jofe’s just pissed enough to take the challenge, thus condemning himself to six months in deep space with a small crew of voidsuckers, without psychic email. But it’s a publicity bonanza, and he tells everyone he’s gonna make a movie out there.

No sooner is he out there than he figures out there’s something weird here. He knows they’ve got a secret, but they won’t share it with him until he sucks void. He soon finds out what that’s about. Every now and then one of the crew gets “the call” and they go hang out in a small ship way out beyond where they can't even see the light of their little scout ship. Hang out there for three days or so and suck void. So Jofe wants to wire one of ‘em up and get their psychic experience on tape, but they all say no. Finally, he decides he’ll go out and suck void, and wire himself to get the movie. His voidsucker friends are all like, “You’ve heard the call!” And he’s like “Whatever – you guys just wouldn’t help me out, so I have to do it.” And they’re all “It comes to everyone in a different way.” Then he’s off to suck void.

He rattles around in empty space in his tin can for many hours, and it’s a heavy trip, it seems like forever, it seems like stillness and clarity, then it gets jumbled up again, and then there’s more peace and clarity, and then he comes back. So he’s like, “Okay, cool. I sucked void. What did you call me out here to tell me?” And the head Pilot explains that they’ve been lying for 200 years to humanity. They know there’s no habitable planets. Apparently we nuked and poisoned the only fucking one in the whole galaxy. They pretend to know less than they do. They suck void because it’s the only thing that calms them down. They’re void junkies. And they want him to make a new senso so great, like The Wandering Dutchman but better, that will help humanity get a grip on the fact that they’re just out there in space forever and unlikely to enjoy the basic planetary benefits of free air, gravity, fertile soil and nontoxic precipitation ever again.

So he goes home and tries to make his senso, but he’s just using tricks. The public is starting to clamor for the big voidsucker epic, so he locks himself up in his studio and turns on the tape of his voidsucking experience, puts it on an endless loop, leaving himself the power to come out of it whenever he wants. He drops into the loop, and it goes on and on and on, and he realizes after an eternity that isn’t moving anywhere at all, that this is really painful, a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, and he asks himself, “Why am I doing this to myself?” Then he realizes that he’s just sitting in his room playing a tape, so he turns it off. Then gets up and creates this ass-kicking senso that tells everyone that, what the hell, we’re riding the Torch, we’re humanity, the lonely badass exiles of the one and only Eden, using the power of the stars to make our worlds one atom at a time. We’ll fucking kickass forever, and the void can fucking suck itself. And planets? Planets? We don’t need no stinking planets!
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:12 am

WE BE TRIPPIN' WITH UMA'S DAD, AKA BOB THURMAN, "THE MONK", by Charles and Tara Carreon

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Did you ever notice how nobody ever heard of Bob Thurman, even though he was the first monk ordained by the Dalai Lama, until a short time after Uma showed her tits to the world in Dangerous Liaisons? You remember that scene, where John Malkovich, long before "Being John Malkovich," writes Glenn Close a nasty letter using Uma's perfect spine, as in naked, for a handy writing surface, complete with quill and nasty remarks. We had to wait until Geoffrey Rush chased Kate Winslett through an insane assylum for a scene of similar power. But I'm getting distracted from the main point -- Uma's tits. These are the spheres from which Bob really launched his assault on reason and sanity, and well empowered for the task they were. Just one look and we all knew that monk-shit was bull-shit. This man has great taste in ass.

Okay, Charles composed the foregoing, but now the torch passes to me, and I want to burn this little pig right in his house of sticks. Yes, this is the big bad wolf of liberation here to call Bob Thurman out. No, I don't need to, which is what this post is all about. Over a year ago I posted my expose of the truly empty nature of Bob's book "Inner Revolution," the "Brother Where Art Thou?" feel-good hit that everybody bought, nobody read, and for which we were none the worse.

Frankly, I was disappointed when all the spit-ballers on the Trike board did nothing to defend Bob. I thought they'd feel like I was torching their huts, but they displayed little or no concern about my revelation of the vacuity of Bob's life work. Comments like "Who cares what Thurman thinks anyway?" rained down hard and fast, drenching my parade. I had to move on to other issues that had more incendiary qualities.

But I dare say, like a stray marijuana seed that will poke its little serrated leaves up in the dirt outside the teacher's lounge, my irreverent critique of Uma's dad seems to have taken root. I mean, it's not every day a major cult monthly that retails in the food coop for $8.95 devotes eight precious full-color pages that could be devoted to Elizabeth Clare Prophet's global campaign for cash concentration to a cartoon that seems to lampoon the hell out of "The Fantastic Buddhaverse of Robert Thurman."

I loved it so much, I've transcribed it here for you from the Fall/Winter Issue of Andrew Cohen's "What is Enlightenment" magazine. Check it out, but before you walk through the grocery line. It will take a few minutes to read, or rather to "experience" what the author calls "another dimension, an alternate reality in which contemporary notions of spiritual transformation...mix and mingle with the mythic, the miraculous, and the other-worldly." Which is just what Charles says about Uma's tits.

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Fantastic Buddhaverse of Robert Thurman
What is Enlightenment?, Fall/Winter 2002
Illustrated by Nadir Balan

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WHEN YOU BECOME A BUDDHA, YOU'RE NO LONGER JUST A BEING INSIDE THIS SKIN...

SO FOR EXAMPLE, I'M A TEACHER, AND I HAVE TO GO TO SOME CRAPPY COLUMBIA CLASSROOM...

...AND I GOTTA TALK IN A MICROPHONE, AND YOU STUDENTS SIT IN SOME CRAPPY CHAIRS,

BUT IF I WAS A BUDDHA, THE CHAIRS WOULD TEACH YOU, THE ROOM. THE SHOES, THE CLOTHES, EVERYTHING!

I WOULD SURROUND YOU WITH PEDAGOGICAL DEVICES. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?!

BECAUSE I WOULDN'T JUST BE STUCK STANDING UP OVER HERE ON THE STAGE GIVING A TALK; I WOULD BE A WHOLE CLOUD OF THINGS!

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THE MOMENT IN A BEING'S EVOLUTIONARY CONTINUUM WHEN THEY DECIDE THAT THE UNIVERSE HAD BETTER HAVE A HAPPY ENDING, AND THEY'RE GOING TO SEE TO IT...

...AND THAT HAPPY ENDING IS FOR THEM AND EVERYONE ELSE TO BECOME A COMPLETE BUDDHA, THEN THEY TAKE THE BODHISATTVA VOW. "I'M GOING TO BECOME A BUDDHA AND I'M GOING TO SAVE BEINGS." I'M GOING TO DO IT!" IT'S NOT JUST A LITTLE SELFLESS THING. "I'M GOING TO DO IT!"

AND IT'S KIND OF AN EGOTISTICAL ALMOST MEGALOMANIAC THING THAT A BODHISATTVA DOES. THEY GET SO PASSIONATE THEY CAN'T STAND TO WAIT FOR A LONG PERIOD OF EVOLUTION TO SAVE OTHER BEINGS...

...SO TO SPEED UP THE PROCESS, THEY SHIFT INTO THIS VERY DANGEROUS, SWIRLING VIRTUAL REALITY, IN ORDER TO CHANGE FAST.

THIS IS TANTRIC HIGH-TECH METHODOLOGY!!

IN THAT REALM, YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY GO THROUGH THE SELF-TRANSFORMATION OF GIVING YOUR LIFE TO OTHER BEINGS.

LIKE A THOUSAND TIMES IN A NIGHT.

A GUY LIKE THE TIBETAN YOGI, MILAREPA, HE'S IN A CAVE THERE, BUT ACTUALLY HE'S IN A VIRTUAL PLANE AND IT'S LIKE HE'S DOING ONE OF THOSE TRAINING PROGRAMS FROM THE MATRIX.

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AND IT'S INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS. YOU'RE DOWN THERE SWIMMING IN YOUR UNCONSCIOUS AND YOU'RE BRINGING UP THESE DEEP ENERGIES AND YOU'RE SORT OF REDESIGNING YOUR GENES...

...AND YOU COMPRESS YOUR EVOLUTION IN THIS INCREDIBLY HIGH-TECH WAY.

YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH A DEATH-REBIRTH, WHICH MEANS TO DEVELOP THE FORM BODY OF BUDDHAHOOD, AND INSTEAD OF THREE INCALCULABLE EONS OF EVOLUTIONARY EXPERIENCE AND SELF-TRANSCENDENCE...

YOU CAN DO IT IN ONE LIFETIME--IF YOU'RE A SUPER-DUPER PERSON!

BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE FOUNDATION FOR TANTRA, WHICH IS KNOWLEDGE OF SELFLESSNESS, THE ABILITY TO LET ANY STRUCTURE OF SELF DISSOLVE--EVEN THE MOST POWERFUL, THE MOST MAGNIFICENT, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL STRUCTURE OF SELF--

--YOU'LL BE REBORN AS A TITAN OR A DEVIL OR SOMETHING.

THE BODHISATTVA COMPLETELY MASTERS THE WHOLE ART OF MANIFESTATION THROUGH THE MAGIC BODY...

...WHICH IS LIKE A DIGITAL RESIDUAL SELF-IMAGE IN A VIRTUAL, SAMADHIC REALM WITHIN A MANDALA, WHICH IS A PROTECTIVE FORCE FIELD IN WHICH TO VOYAGE TO INNER UNIVERSES. AND THIS IS ALL A REHEARSAL FOR DEALING WITH THE OUTER UNIVERSE.

SO, SAY YOU WANT TO GO AND REHEARSE SAVING SOME BEINGS FROM HELL. THEN YOU MIGHT WANT TO MEDITATE ON SOME FIERCE DEITY WITH MANY ARMS AND WEAPONS AND DIFFERENT HEADS LOOKING IN ALL DIRECTIONS...

...AND THEN, IN YOUR IMAGINED BODY, LIKE A PEACE WALKER WEARING THE MISSILE MAN SUIT...

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YOU GO INTO HELL,

AND GET THOSE DEMONS OFF THE BACKS OF PEOPLE

...AND COOL THINGS DOWN--BRING A FIRE HOSE, WHATEVER IT TAKES!

OR YOU COULD BE A BEING THAT IMAGINES ITSELF AS FOOD,

AND WHERE THERE ARE HUNGRY AND THIRSTY PEOPLE, YOU'D STREAM CARROT JUICE AT THEM FROM YOUR FINGERTIPS, OR POTATOES, AND WOULD COMPLETELY FEED THEM. BY DOING THAT YOU FEED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND YOU GAIN THE MERIT OF FEEDING ALL THOSE BEINGS.

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SO YOU'RE ACCELERATING THE ACCUMULATION OF MERIT THAT WOULD OTHERWISE TAKE LIFETIMES TO ACCUMULATE AND YOU'RE DOING THIS IN THE NIGHT IN YOUR DIGITAL MAGIC BODY.

WHEN YOU GET THAT KIND OF MERIT...

...YOU DEVELOP THE STABILITY OF MIND AND HAVE THAT LEVEL OF ART AND CREATIVITY TO BE ENGAGED WITH THE WHOLE WORLD SYSTEM.

THEN YOU BECOME A BUDDHA!!

A BUDDHA CAN MANIFEST ALL KINDS OF INCARNATE FORMS AND SEEMINGLY INDIVIDUATED FORMS, TO BECOME A DISCREET MANIFESTATION THAT OTHER BEINGS CAN PERCEIVE. THEY EMANATE AN INDIVIDUATED FORM THAT ANOTHER PERSON CAN THEN RELATE TO IN ORDER TO GET THAT PERSON TO REALIZE THEIR OWN TRUE NATURE.

BUDDHA WILL BE A PARROT IF THAT'S WHAT IS NEEDED.

IF SOMEONE IS SO FRIGHTENED OF THE WORLD THAT ALL THEY CAN DO IS PET A DOG, THEN THE BUDDHA WILL BE A DOG, AND JUST GO AND GET PETTED. THEY WON'T EVEN SAY THE DHARMA OR ANYTHING.

AND TO BE A REAL GURU YOU HAVE TO BE CLAIRVOYANT, BUT NOT FOR YOUR OWN SAKE.

LET'S SAY THE GURU WAS TEACHING SOMEONE AND AT THE SAME TIME THEY WERE AWARE OF EVERY WAY THAT PERSON WAS PERCEIVING THEM...

...A REAL GURU WOULD BE AWARE OF EVERY THOUGHT IN THAT PERSON'S MIND....

...AND OF HOW THAT PERSON WAS INTERPRETING EVERYTHING THEY WERE SAYING...

IF YOU WANT TO BE A TRUE TEACHER YOU HAVE TO DEVELOP THOSE ABILITIES.

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SO ENLIGHTENMENT IS WHERE YOU CONSCIOUSLY INHABIT WHATEVER LEVEL OF BEING YOU WANT BECAUSE YOU'RE NO LONGER A PRISONER OF ANY PARTICULAR BODY.

YOU CAN FORM BODIES OUT OF AIR, OUT OF MOLECULES, OUT OF COSMIC RAYS, AND YOU'RE TOTALLY INTERFUSED WITH EVERY BEING---

--TO AN INFINITE EXTENT! YOUR BODY IS LIKE A BACKGROUND RADIATION, NOT PERCEIVABLE BY OTHER BEINGS, YET IT'S INTERFUSED IN THE CELLS AND BEING OF OTHER BEINGS.

I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT ETERNITY OR IMMORTAL LIFE IN SOME NICE SENSE, LIKE UP ON GO'D SHELF, DANCING IN THE CHOIR WITH BEATRICE, LIVING IN THE BRAHMA REALM JUST LOUNGING AROUND IN ENERGY FIELDS, I MEAN BEING EMBEDDED FOREVER IN THE NITTY-GRITTY OF LIFE WITH EVERY OTHER BEING.

ACTUALLY, IF THE LUNATICS HAD ALL-OUT NUCLEAR WAR TODAY...

...BUDDHA COULD PRODUCE ANOTHER PLANET IMMEDIATELY IN A NEIGHBORING GALAXY AND FUNNEL EVERY SOUL THAT WAS DESTROYED!

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SO THE WHOLE WORLD BECOMES AN EXPRESSION OF THE BUDDHA'S WISH TO TEACH BEINGS, AND THERE ARE ENDLESS BEINGS, SO THE BUDDHA WOULD BE A WHOLE CLOUD OF THINGS...A BUDDHAVERSE!!

AND THE BUDDHA WOULD BE ACTUALLY UN-LOCATABLE. TOTALLY UN-LOCATABLE, AND TOTALLY PRESENT AT ALL TIMES WITH ALL OF US COMPLETELY RIGHT HERE AND NOW, FOREVER ENGAGED.

THIS IS WHAT THEY SAY. IT'S A LOT OF FUN TO THINK ABOUT ACTUALLY. BUT I KNOW IT'S A LITTLE INCREDIBLE. IT'S SUPER SCI-FI!
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:26 am

WE CAN DO THIS: PRAJNAPARAMITA SUTRA REVEALED, by Baksheesh the Madman

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Come join me on the Ocean of Experience!

Author’s Dedication

May those who read this recognize it as their own understanding.

Go Straight To the Heart

Let’s go directly to the heart of the Heart Sutra:

"Therefore Sariputra, because there is no attainment, Bodhisattvas abide relying on the Perfection of Wisdom, without obscurations of thought, and so are fearless."

In order to understand the deep significance expressed herein, repeat after Baksheesh three times: “There is no attainment.” Now rest with that thought just a minute and consider the implications for your Buddhist spiritual life. Pretty confusing, huh? Don’t feel bad. Orthodox Mahayana Buddhists usually honor this statement without understanding, continuing on their merry way, seeking attainment. Scholars explain it away. Of course most American-born Buddhists think it’s pathetic that Christians bury their most cherished beliefs, like the injunction to eschew homicide, under a pile of corpses and political justifications, but they don’t turn the mirror on themselves to observe how little they understand their own doctrine.

What is the usual response to this authoritative statement from a top Buddhist disciple that “there is no attainment?” I suppose Zen masters do talk about it some, but if they carved it over the entrance to the monastery, they’d probably be retired as altogether too esoteric in their approach. Can you can imagine the anxiety of the rank and file priests if this truth of “no attainment” were popularized: "Suppose the faithful believe it and go away? Worse yet, suppose we ourselves come to believe it, and abandon the Dharma?" Such a fearful attitude may guarantee future employment, and protect the outer tradition from extinction, but it also dooms one to a coward’s fate, and the Bodhisattvas are the heroes of enlightenment, not deserters. We must rise to the challenge of understanding, or perish as ignorant as the rest.

No Attainment

Although many Buddhists avoid this truth that is clearly written for their benefit, I, Baksheesh, adjure you to return to the Heart of the Heart Sutra, and not turn your gaze for one moment from this thought: “There is no attainment.” Why? Because you must grasp this nut to loosen the bolt on your mind. Then, let your attention encompass the rest of the statement:

"Therefore Sariputra, because there is no attainment, Bodhisattvas abide relying on the Perfection of Wisdom, without obscurations of thought, and so are fearless."

The thrust of the statement is that “because there is no attainment,” Bodhisattvas don’t plan on achieving anything, and instead rely on “Perfect Wisdom,” which removes “obscurations of thought,” leaving them "fearless." In other words, instead of applying themselves to something unachievable, an “attainment” such as the extinction of desire, Bodhisattvas apply their superior perception and understanding to eliminate fear. Eliminate fear of what? All the usual fears, plus one more – fear of not achieving enlightenment -- which bedevils all Buddhist amateurs.

It might also be said that by “no attainment,” the sutra means no static attainment. A static attainment is a credential, a mark of achievement, like having attended many meditation sessions, or having received many tantric empowerments, having donated many dollars, or free sexual favors, to the guru. These static attainments are like money amateur Buddhists acquire in order to spend it assuaging the fear that they are making no progress, because the true attainment they crave remains far-off, apparently entirely out of reach. The Perfection of Wisdom is not a static achievement, yet the Bodhisattvas rely upon it, and only upon it.

Surfing

The Heart Sutra is like a surfboard. You can buy a surfboard on any day, and throw it into the curling waves, and it will bob about aimlessly like the unaware piece of flotsam it is, never catching a single wave. But if you have knowledge within you, you can get on it and surf, riding a rolling wall of water all the way in to shore. A surfer rides the waves relying not on static achievement, but rather by listening to an internal gyroscope that understand the waves. However many waves she’s ridden, she rides each one anew, relying on no static achievements, because this wave is different, has never been ridden before, and can only be ridden spontaneously, now.

Like a surfboard, the words of the Heart Sutra may give you a place to stand on the waves of endless change, but it is the Perfect Wisdom within your own heart that will keep you balanced there, standing straight and tall against the rolling horizon, a miracle of intelligence conquering chaos.

Fearless

Why are the Bodhisattvas fearless? They are better informed about reality, but that isn't a static attainment based on a general assertion like “life is impermanent.” Bodhisattvas have a thought-achievement, a knowledge-triumph, every moment. They see it right, they get it right, and they don’t make the mistake of relying upon what they learned yesterday, or what empowerments they received, what vows they’ve kept, and who has patted them on the head for being a good boy.

Thus the direct, true understanding of present life is called The Perfection of Wisdom. That's Wisdom as in "True Knowing," not as in "The Absolutely Right Answer." The latter would be a static attainment, suitable for doctrinal adoption by the masses. The former is a view attainable by everyone who sees clearly -- a much more select group.

Most Buddhists, of course, have renounced the search for personal experience of The Perfection of Wisdom. Having disqualified themselves from the search by virtue of their unworthiness, they do not cherish personal, direct understanding of doctrinal formulations. Repeating crystallized formulations of the "truth" that are easily grasped as thoughts, they collect souvenirs of their visits to Buddhaland. Trudging on their pilgrimage to final attainment, they miss the light of the sun, the fragrance of the flowers, the passing of their mortal hours, not realizing that to grasp the meaning of these experiences directly, presently, is Perfect Wisdom.

HEART SUTRA

The Mahaprajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra

Thus have I heard at one time.
The Lord was dwelling at Rajagriha, on Vulture-peak mountain,
together with a great host of monks and a great host of Bodhisattvas.
At that time the Lord was composed in the concentration on the
course of dharmas called 'Profound Illumination.'
At that time also the noble Lord Avalokita, the Bodhisattva and
Mahasattva, in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom,
looked down; he beheld but five skandhas and that in their own-being
they were empty.
Then, through the inspiration of the Buddha, the Venerable
Sariputra said to the noble Lord Avalokita, the Bodhisattva and
Mahasattva: "How should any child of good family train, who wishes to
engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom?"
And the noble Lord Avalokita, the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, spoke
to the venerable Sariputra as follows.
"Sariputra, any son or daughter of good family who wishes to engage
in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom should look upon
it thus: he or she beholds but five skandhas and that in their own-
being they are empty.
Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is form.
Emptiness does not differ from form, and form does not differ from
Emptiness.
Likewise feelings, recognitions, volitions and consciousnesses are
empty.
So, Sariputra, all dharmas are Emptiness, without differentiating
marks; they are not produced or stopped, not defiled and not
immaculate, not deficient and not complete.
Therefore, Sariputra, in Emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no
recognition, no volitions, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose,
no tongue, no body, no mind; no visible form, no sound, no smell, no
taste, no tangible, no mental object; no eye-element, and so forth, up
to no mind-element and no mental-consciousness-element; no ignorance
and no extinction of ignorance, and so forth, up to no aging and death
and no extinction of aging and death; likewise there is no Suffering,
Origin, Cessation or Path, no wisdom-knowledge, no attainment and non-
attainment.
Therefore Sariputra, because there is no attainment, Bodhisattvas
abide relying on the Perfection of Wisdom, without obscurations of
thought, and so are unafraid.
Transcending perverted views, they attain the end, Nirvana.
All Buddhas existing in the three times, relying on the Perfection
of Wisdom, fully awaken to the highest, perfect Enlightenment.
Therefore one should know that the mantra of the Perfection of
Wisdom is the mantra of great knowledge, the highest mantra, the
unequalled mantra, the mantra that allays all suffering, the Truth,
since it has nothing wrong.
The mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom is proclaimed:

TAD-YATHA; GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!

In this way, Sariputra, should a Bodhisattva and Mahasattva train
in the profound Perfection of Wisdom."
Then the Lord rose from that concentration and commended the noble
Lord Avalokita, the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, saying: "Well said,
well said, O son of good family!
So it is, O son of good family, so it is.
Just as you have taught should the profound Perfection of Wisdom be
practiced, and the Tathagatas will rejoice.
Thus spake the Lord.

The Venerable Sariputra, the noble Lord Avalokita, the Bodhisattva
and Mahasattva, and the whole world, that assembly with devas, human
beings, asuras and gandharvas, were delighted and applauded the Lord's
speech.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:27 am

WHAT DOES ANDREW COHEN KNOW ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT?, by Charles Carreon

Quite a lot, if you take his magazine, What is Enlightenment?, at face value. The title of the magazine of course begs the question of whether there IS enlightenment, which is a skillful marketing device. As a teacher once pointed out to me, Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors in order to overcome the first question -- whether to eat ice cream at all? By rushing right past "Is there enlightenment?" and speeding ahead to tell us what it is, Cohen is just doing what most New Agers do, which is to take "the great spiritual traditions of mankind" as an implied backdrop for the strivings of modern day miracle men like himself.

If Descartes was being overly modest when he claimed he saw farther because he "stood on the shoulders of giants," Cohen suffers from no such restraint when placing himself in the pantheon of the world's spiritual heroes. And if you think about it, why should he?

The Ascended Masters, widely advertised, but never seen, could hardly hold a candle to Cohen's magnificence, blaring from a thousand newsstands. Jesus died unknown in Jerusalem, barely displacing a pebble in the world capital of Rome. Mohammed probably never got the sand out of his bed, no matter how many infidels he'd put to the sword, and new converts he took to wife. Buddha made a splash in his day, but nothing Cohen hasn't replicated already with his bright, incisive, up-to-date version of the wisdom of the ages.

Let's just look at it in terms of sheer numbers. You may not be a Christian or mark time on Nostradamus' calendar, but you've got to agree there's a hell of a lot of us crammed on this planet and enough weapons to make us all quiet for a long time. It is at times like these that a great leader arises, one capable of holding up the sky with muscles of brass, one who will comfort and shelter within his vast arms, the lonely, terrified multitudes. The mission is so vast.

Since the big question is resolved first -- there is enlightenment! -- we can move right on to the fun stuff, defusing the bomb of ordinary consciousness that seeks its own destruction in mindless, materialistic self-annihilation. Who of noble heart would not be drawn to this venture, who would not lengthen their footsteps, lift their chin, feeling strength returning to their heart as they close the distance between themselves and this great man? Who would not say, "Where do I join? How can I serve? What is this enlightenment of which you speak? Give it to me, that I may conquer evil, within and without, put my heel on the head of the snake of egotism, lift my sword in heroism to still the threatening sky."

So you see, it's like Funky Winker Bean said, "Should I deny myself a delicious hot pepperoni pizza? No!" It's all a matter of asking the right question.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:31 am

WHAT IS BUDDHISM?, by Charles and Tara Carreon

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Buddha Bugs Out

Buddha was born in Northern India in 563 B.C. His father was a small-time monarch of the Sakya clan, with big aspirations for his son to become a "universal monarch." An itinerant fortuneteller told the Buddha's father that while the government career path was a possibility for his son, he might also become a saint. Horrified by the latter notion, his father came up with the idea to marinate his son in every pleasure, and insulate him from every irritation, so that he would have no desire to escape worldly life; Buddha's father thus entombed the young prince in a pleasure warren. Legend has it that Buddha sneaked out in the palace limo and took a cruise around town, where he saw a decrepit senior citizen wheezing his last, a leper counting his missing fingers, a corpse with weeping mourners, and a monk who was the picture of serenity. Buddha apparently felt betrayed, like he'd been eating a yummy apple and discovered it was infested with disgusting worms. He considered his options -- and decided to go the monastic route. He cut off his long, beautiful hair that his mother loved so much, and left the palace like a thief in the night, hooking up with some rough trade at the outskirts of town that called themselves "yogis."

Buddha Rejects Spiritual Authority

In his quest for "enlightenment," Buddha studied the teachings of the the leading gurus, pandits and yogis then swarming the Indian jungles. While seeking enlightenment was a popular pastime, apparently Buddha found no successful practitioners, because he concluded none of the available teachers had found the goal. In this sense, Buddha might be considered the pickiest of spiritual shoppers, and indeed, an incredibly arrogant man. After all, this was India at the height of its spiritual development. The term "Rishi," had existed long before Buddha -- and monks, renunciates, fakirs, shiva and vaishnava babas were thick as flies in the holy centers, as they are today. Buddha jumped the fence, an impatient upstart who was probably secretly sneered at for being "the Prince," because of his royal upbringing.

Apparently running full-tilt for the psychological opposite of being a spoiled royal scion, Buddha became a severe ascetic . Stone carvings of the Buddha in his sixth year of renunciation show him in the advanced stages of anorexia nervosa, a diagnosis common in the children of overbearing, wealthy parents. Fortunately, he found the path to recovery. Buddha is said to have "renounced the ascetic path" after he realized the futility of starving the body to conquer the spirit.

Buddha Gets It

Of course, renouncing the ascetic path didn't mean he walked into town, had a drink at the tavern and checked out the chicks, like most Buddhists who are renouncing asceticism. Instead, he took "the Middle Way," and after having a good meal of rice pudding, sat down on a comfy cushion of grass under a ficus tree, and resolved to stay there until he achieved his goal. Frankly, this still sounds pretty austere to me, especially the part about staying there until he "achieved his goal." He hadn't done it in six years before then, and what was the magic of resolving to stay in one place? One might question how much he had really renounced asceticism, with this kind of resolve as his new point of departure, but fortunately, he attained enlightenment less than twenty four hours later, as he glimpsed the light of the morning star after a single night battling the demons of his own mind. If he hadn't succeeded that night, of course, he wouldn't be "Buddha" now, would he?

The demons of Buddha's own mind are personified as Mara in tradition. Mara assailed the budding Buddha first with hostile arrows of aggression that turned to flowers as they descended on the meditating sage. Frustrated, Mara loosed his beautiful daughters to work their charms upon Buddha, but again to no avail. Thus Buddha transcended hatred and desire. The Tibetans will also explain in detail how he transcended ignorance, pride and jealousy as well, resorting to tripartite and five-branched analyses, according to their various traditions. Suffice it to say, it was a big night for Buddha, and for all humanity when he sent Mara packing forever. Hallelujah!

Two thoughts occurred to Buddha after he attained enlightenment. "Wow, this is Great!" and "Nobody else will get it, or even believe it, so I won't tell anyone." We can understand both of these thoughts without being enlightened. Of course, getting enlightened has gotta be Great, otherwise it wouldn't be called getting enlightened. Next, India's swarming with sages who claim to offer paths to enlightenment -- there's gods everywhere decorating banyan trees and temples, but here, a mere six years after running away from his throne, this Sakya Prince is enlightened. You can imagine a lot of hash smoke being coughed out over that one! So naturally, he must have second thoughts about making his proclamation. According to legend, he was just going to keep mum about the whole thing and let his secret go to the grave with him, like some old pirate with a stash of treasure. According also to legend, the gods gave him a nudge, too, pointing out that they were interested in what he had to say, and actually there were a few bright people who might get it.

Buddha Converts The Doubters

The first people Buddha met were his old pals, some fellow-anorexics who were still nursing their brittle bones and grasping at straws in the twilight of their meditative ignorance. They dumped all over Buddha, who by now was eating regular meals and looking chubby by ascetic standards. But he ripped right into them with his incisive analysis of their folly, and pretty soon he had picked up several new converts. They cut their hair and started eating and following the Buddha. They all remained celibate, though, and agreed to remain unemployed, making their living begging. Buddha called this The Middle Path. Makes sense, right? Not a breeder, not contributing to the economy, but not an ascetic. Just a guy who's free to be.

Buddha's Disciples Fail to Take Notes

The Buddha's disciples apparently never begged any pencil and paper from anyone, even though writing was actively practiced at the time in scholarly circles, and many of the early monks were scholarly. You might almost think someone had told them not to write anything down, because it took 300 years for them to even take a crack at it. Sort of a confidentiality agreement. Well, you can imagine after 300 years, memories varied considerably, depending on what part of the jungle you had been camped out in for the intervening centuries. Naturally, the Buddhists fell to disputing and haven't stopped since.

As A Result, They Fight

The first big Buddhist dispute, and the main one today, is between the tight-assed people and the big-hearted people. The tight-assed people are called "Hinayanists" by the big-hearted people, who call themselves "Mahayanists." The Mahayanists are called "heretics" by the serious Hinayanists. Now that they are all here together in the USA, they try to paper over these disputes, but the enmity is mutual and long-running among true partisans of either disposition.

What They Fight About

What is all the row about, though? Just this -- the Official Tight Assed Buddhists (Hinayanists) think that the Buddha really meant it when he said that in order to attain Nirvana you need to extinguish desire, and they go around trying to stamp it out wherever they find it. They shave their heads, bind their breasts, sit long hours trying to not want to stand up and move around, because after all, that's wanting something, which is the whole problem. They sort of try to strangle themselves to escape the pain of living, which is after all caused by breathing. Occasionally they attain mental states of great satisfaction similar to sheathing your entire body in a condom so you won't get contaminated by desire or other disturbing experiences. A Hinayanist is sure that everything will be all right if he can just stop being anyone at all. This is an excellent religion for trust funders on a budget, because you won't spend much on entertainment, or fall in love and blow all your cash raising a family. Actually, this sounds a lot like the religion the Buddha really would have founded, given his proclivities. Which may explain why the Hinayanists are so damned mad at the Mahayanists for hijacking their tidy little religion.

The big-hearted Mahayanists are all over the map with their doctrines, by comparison. But they all agree that the sort of cat-washing-itself style of meditation practiced by Hinayanists leads only to the minor spiritual achievement of "Arhat-ship," which is a classic of damning with faint praise. The real heavy freight-carriers in the big-hearted tradition are called Bodhisattvas, "heroes of enlightenment," and far from stopping to consider their own immediate release from suffering, they throw themselves immediately into the business of placing other sentient beings in the bosom of enlightenment, like firemen clearing out a burning building.

In practice, this leaves the Mahayana much greater scope for imaginative expression, and opens the door to a less prissy ethical approach. A Jew would always have to wonder if he was safe hiding from nazis in a Hinayanist's basement, who might feel compelled to tell the truth to keep his karma clean, but would feel comfortable hiding in a Mahayana basement, knowing that a Mahayanist would relish the opportunity to tell a meritorious lie. On the other hand, a Mahayanist might also find an excellent reason to screw your wife, for everyone's benefit. It's like that.

The most-often cited sources of Hinayana Buddhism are The Dhammapada and the Sutta-Pitaka. The practices of these Buddhists are often marketed in the U.S. as "vipassana" or "mindfulness" meditation, supplemented with the practice of "mehta," the cultivation of positive feeling toward all beings. These practices emphasize, at least at the beginning stages, reducing the traffic of conceptual thought by resting the mind on simple sensory stimuli, such as the feeling of your ass sitting on your cushion, or your diaphragm rising and falling with each breath. They really work. These practices have innumberable adherents, and are often presented with less packaging than Mahayana schools. There are probably lots of big-hearted Buddhists practicing under cover of the Hinayana method, ignoring their purported dispute with the Mahayana. On the other hand, the heartlands of Hinayana Buddhism are repressive regimes like Burma, and Sri Lanka. Thai Buddhists are also allegedly Hinayanist, but their food seems very big-hearted.

The resounding sources of Mahayana Buddhism are the early Chinese Ch'an Buddhist texts like The Sutra of Hui Neng and the Diamond Sutra, and the Third Zen Patriarch's Sutra on Faith in the Mind. These sutras are easy to understand once you stop trying too hard. To explain them here would not be half as helpful as for you to read them yourself, but in brief the idea is just this: the nature of your mind is clear and without substance, like space, and all of the experiences you have arise and subside within that clear nature, having no origin and leaving no trace. You are ultimately free, and have no need of anything. Everyone is in this same condition.

Since the Mahayanists burst out of the Hinayana coccoon, they have turned into all manner of butterflies, from the garish million-winged Tibetan doctrines to the simple moth-like Zennists who haunt Sung Dynasty ink paintings and Japanese Sumi sketches. Mahayanists have made a practice of virtually anything, encouraging people to memorize 100,000 stanza poems like the Lotus Sutra, then boiling the whole sutra down into a single phrase, that can be endlessly repeated as a mantra. Tantrics from Tibet and China created covens of sexual magic, and were repressed, sometimes with "extreme prejudice," to use CIA-speak, by their fellow-Mahayanists of a more blue-nosed orientation. Japanese Zen teachers blended the philosphy of "sudden enlightenment" with elements of Shinto and the ancient code of bushido, the warrior way, to create the most fearsome soldiers ever known. Remember the "Kami-kaze?" That means "the wind of the gods," the old Shinto gods, made more fearsome by the serene acceptance of eventual death, made deadly by the certainty that only honor, now, is worthy of protection. If you haven't run your finger along the sharp edge of military Zen, you haven't seen the full sweep of Buddhism in action.

Stuck At Step One

So what did Buddha teach? What is the true Buddhist path? It depends on who you ask. The usual approach at this stage in the narrative is to start ticking off some numerical lists -- The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, the Twelve-fold Wheel of Interdependent Origination, the Five Skhandas, etcetera. If you get involved with the Tibetans, their lists start to proliferate like the United States Code, with subheadings, sub-subheadings and footnotes. We're not taking that route here, because we're gonna get stuck right at the First Noble Truth.

How do you deal with the ten thousand shouting doctrinal assertions? Our crazy idea is to emulate the Buddha -- to reject everything that everyone is selling and try to take a first look at the problem with our own eyes. Is there a problem?

Buddha said there was a problem, a huge, insurmountable problem. That is his First Noble Truth: Life Is Suffering. The next three Noble Truths assert that the Cause of Suffering is Desire, that Desire Can Be Stopped, and that The Eightfold Path Leads to Stopping Desire. This follows the ancient Vedic tradition of medical diagnosis -- "the patient has tonsilitis; the cause of tonsilitis is infection; the infection can be cured; and, the cure is the administration of streptomyicin."

Obviously, step one is to diagnose the disease correctly. So what do you think about Buddha's diagnosis? Before you accept his solution, I suggest you agree on the problem, eh? If you don't think life is suffering, you're on the wrong bus. Because this one's going to Nirvana, the end of the road, the last stop right after No Desire. Hardly anyone goes there. Still interested, or you wanna think it over?

Think of how much time people would save if they just thought about that. "Do I think all life is suffering?" Most people, being honest with themselves, would have to say, "Hell no, I love drinkin' and screwin' and eatin' good food and reading good books and watchin' Winona Ryder on TV, and I love Angelina Jolie and that Andy Kaufman was so funny -- whatever happened to him?" But once you become a Buddhist, you'll learn to lug around this heavy ball and chain of simulated misery with you everywhere. When people ask how you are, you'll smile like a weary Bodhisattva (or Arhat), point at your portable ball and chain, and shake your head in a mute sharing of knowledge. The wan smile that passes between you and your Buddhist brother will say it all, "Samsara," the painful cycle of life and death. But as soon as the other Buddhist walks away, you'll just deflate that ball and chain, pack it in the trunk and drive home not thinking about it again. You go back to being normal. Nobody can be that good all the time.

Until of course something awful actually does happen. Then it's flop back down on your meditation cushion, seeking shelter from the winds of your insane mind. You can see her flirting with that guy, god you hate him. Concentrate on your breath. In - out, in - out, in - out. Oh he is such a phony prick. Five minutes later, concentrate on your breath again. He has money. That's it, he's got money, and chicks always go for that. Being spiritual gets you nothing. Except of course inner peace. Concentrate on your breath. In - out, in - out.

And people complain about this all the time. They say, "Oh, I was so much happier before I started meditating. Now I just sit down and as soon as I try to control my mind, it goes crazy!" They view this as a problem, of course. They came to find inner peace and they got inner turmoil. Most teachers say, "stick with it, it will get better," and most of all they say, "actually, you are now simply becoming aware of how turbulent your mind always was." Frankly, I think this is bunk. Your mind will in fact become more turbulent when you start watching it, just like a three year old kid. The kid's mom will tell you, "Don't encourage him, or he'll never quiet down." When people meditate in the Buddhist fashion, it disturbs their natural way of being.

You know why? Because they were getting along just fine not watching their thoughts, or second-guessing their motivations. Things were actually going along okay. But they weren't satisfied with that, noooooo. They wanted to make their life incrementally better -- more peace, more happiness, less stress and fear. They wanted to improve the situation, but they didn't want to discover that the situation was fundamentally screwed up! I mean, my life has problems, but it's not so bad that I want to get rid of life itself. I just want fewer bad things to happen, and more pleasant things. A child wants more ice cream and TV. An adult male wants more money and sex. A budding young woman wants romance. People in jail want to be out -- they think they would be happy then -- but they get out and they're still unhappy, and they end up back in jail.

Most beginning Buddhists want to improve their view. They're a little subtler than the average guy, and they want to be freed from the turbulent flow of conflicting thoughts. They want to see their fellow beings with love and understanding, not poisoned by the flow of jealousy and hate. They credit themselves with being good people, with wanting good things, and they want to build on this foundation of goodness. They do not want to find out that their existing structure of thought is out of control, chaotic, and self-defeating.

Because of this, frankly, we are not on the same page with the Buddha. He was burned out on palace life, and burned out on spiritual life, too. And he knew we wouldn't understand his point of view. Remember, right at the beginning, after he realized Enlightenment, he almost didn't bother to teach. Why? Because we can't get on the same page with him.

Meditation will, perhaps, if practiced correctly, put us on the same page with Buddha. Because, while we are unhappy in part, but not wanting to discard the whole, he was fed up altogether, and relieved himself of his ignorance once and for all.

Buddha's First Noble Truth is usually translated as "Life is Suffering." But I really wonder. Because if that were the case, then suicide would be the solution, and universal annihilation of all life would be total success.

Let's go back and join our horny meditator, trying to watch his breath while chasing girls in his mind. What's this guy learning? He's learning that he can't escape his mind. This fact may make him very unhappy, but he will refuse to blame, or credit, Buddhism for his condition. Nope, he will blame his "inability to meditate." He will reject the conclusion that the data compels -- that his mind is suffering.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan teacher, explained what this poor guy is going through:

We expect the teachings to solve all our problems; we expect to be provided with magical means to deal with our depressions, our aggressions, our sexual hangups. But to our surprise we begin to realize that this is not going to happen. It is very disappointing to realize that we must work on ourselves and our suffering rather than depend upon a savior or the magical power of yogic techniques. It is rather disappointing to realize that we have to give up our expectations rather than build on the basis of our preconceptions.


But this is not bad news. Through disappointment we make progress:

Such a series of disappointments inspires us to give up ambition. We fall down and down and down, until we touch the ground, until we relate with the basic sanity of earth. We become the lowest of the low, the smallest of the small, a grain of sand, perfectly simple, no expectations. When we are grounded, there is no room for dreaming or frivolous impulse, so our practice at last becomes workable.


And what is this mysterious "practice" he refers to? What is this grounding you get? You accept the First Noble Truth -- which I would prefer to express as "My Mind is Suffering." If you speed right past this point, and just go on trying to implement "the magical power of yogic techniques," you will blame "Life" or "The World" or "Samsara" for your suffering. You will think that Buddhism is your ally in the war against the ordinary existence we all live. You will think that nature, the force of procreation, sexual impulse, simple hunger and intellectual curiosity, are the problem. You will view innocent children as the hapless playthings of a cruel, manipulative force called "Life." You will try to stamp out your own impulses, thinking that this is how you put an end to suffering. And this is totally wrong. It is not Buddhism.

Getting to Second Base

Ignorance -- did someone say ignorance? When you accept that First Noble Truth, you discover your first level of ignorance -- you did not realize that your mind is the source of suffering. Initially, this is a very painful discovery, and you want to run away from the experience. Many people attempt to flee Buddhism at this point, and doctrinaire Buddhists do little to help, telling them that they just need to "tame their mind" and the magic will take over. It can be a lot like a bad psychedelic trip, a "no exit" situation that keeps ratcheting up to a higher level of tension, or like the mind state of a person who suddenly realizes they've been locked into their room, and keeps trying the door, becoming more desperate every time they find it still locked.

You're not going anywhere. The door really will not open. It is not even a door. You just painted it on the wall so you could think you could leave. You used to dream that you sometimes left, and went outside. But that was a dream. You may weep, realizing that you were dreaming all that time. You may miss the dreams, the illusion. You may wish you could go back, curse the Buddha, and take another path. Back into town, wherever, anywhere but here.

Depending on luck and disposition, you can make things a lot worse at this point. You may grimly force yourself to "face reality," by which you mean exerting continual effort to oppose the impulse to escape, and taking all of the "blame" for the unpleasantness. You may overdo it, thinking that the doctrinaire approach means denying that life has any pleasure in it, or labeling the pleasure as sinful. By doing this, you quite miss the point of the First Noble Truth, which merely defines the problem. To solve it, you must move on.

Moving on, you start to relax. You sit down, and use some simple techniques to just stay there. You sort of mature into the situation, becoming a "lifer." This is it. You believe it. And strangely enough, the dreams resume. A breath of ventilation sneaks in. The room becomes less solid. Light shines in. People come visit. Sounds disturb you. Sights intrude. You laugh. Suddenly you realize "I'm no worse off than I was before. I'm in exactly the same situation. I'm still having dreams, but I'm noticing that they're dreams." You realize, "I was all worked up over nothing! Of course it's all my mind. Of course I suffer because of my mind. Of course I enjoy because of my mind. And also, I am here." You laugh. "I am here."

And you will start to realize the meaning of the Second Noble Truth: "The Cause of Suffering is Desire." Because you will notice that whims, inclinations, notions, little wisps of desire, get you going. You're just sitting there in your cell, looking through the transparent walls, watching the ghosts come and go, and then you'll think, "I should go and do this or that." And you'll run down that mental path, and then you'll notice that everything's become quite solid again. Your dreams are so solid when you believe in them. Then you'll wake up in your cell, suffering. You cannot fail to observe the connection.

The Wheel Stops

So now we've found the culprit -- desire. So we pull out our telescopic rifle and sight in on the little devil. Pow! One more gone. That much closer to Nirvana, right? You can try it, and these varmint-hunter Buddhists can be found everywhere. They're about as good humored as ranchers who want to kill off all the coyotes and mountain lions. They figure their virtues are like tender calves that need to be protected from predatory emotions. So they put out poisoned meat, leg traps, whatever it takes. Their minds become mine-fields, and their meditation is like a fortified location. Inside, they're safe from desire, but it lurks everywhere around them, an enemy that will never be subdued.

Do not take this approach to The Third and Fourth Noble Truths, which taken together say that "Desire Can Be Stopped By Applying the Noble Eightfold Path." Because the force of desire is so vast and powerful that the ocean waves and the winds that howl through the mountains are weak by comparison. The force of desire, you will observe as you sit in your cell, is coextensive with your breath and your mind. Some traditions of Hindu mysticism say you need to actually stop breathing to stop thinking. It's probably true, but the Buddha tried that, and he always found he had to start breathing again. We do not stop desire by jamming a stick in Mother Nature's spokes, for she will blithely break all sticks.

At this point, more subtlety is needed. Just as we penetrated the notion of "life is suffering" to unearth "my mind is suffering," we need to take a look at the meaning of "stopping desire." Let's look. If we try to stop desire, first there is the concept of desire as separate from ourselves, then there is the notion of needing to end it, then there is the effort to end it. Hence the analogy of the varmint hunter, who sights, aims and shoots. If we turn from this outward-oriented analysis, and look at where desire truly resides -- inside ourselves -- we realize that stopping desire is going to be the biggest journey of self-understanding that can be made. For to find the foundation of desire within ourselves is to journey inward, seeking to understand what has animated our first movements, from when a baby first reaches for a mother's breast, or young people seek out their first sexual encounter.

We then regard desire far more tenderly. No metaphor of surgery or war is suitable here. Analogies to removing tumors and overcoming enemies abound in Buddhism. I reject them as misleading and violent. To stop desire is so much more subtle than that. For that part of us that "desires" is no small part, not even an expendable Siamese twin that we could kill and yet keep our own heart beating. Desire is inseparable from us like salt is inseparable from blood.

So what is this Eightfold Path that will end desire? Literally, it is a list of eight things that everyone does. We all have views, but if you have Right View, you will see your way to the end of desire. We all have intentions, but if you adopt Right Intention, it leads to the end of desire. Similarly, we can have Right Speech, Right Discipline, Right Work, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Meditation. Obviously, the important term here is "Right," and that is subject to interpretation, so let's get the best one we can, from Trungpa Rinpoche:

In order to see what this is, we first must understand what Buddha meant by "right." He did not mean to say right as opposed to wrong at all. He said "right" meaning "what is," being right without a concept of what is right. "Right" translates the Sanskrit samyak, which means "complete." Completeness needs no relative help, no support through comparison; it is self-sufficient. In a bar one says, "I would like a straight drink." Not diluted with club soda or water; you just have it straight. That is samyak. No dilutions, no concoctions -- just a straight drink. Buddha realized that life could be potent and delicious, positive and creative, and he realized that you do not need any concoctions with which to mix it. Life is a straight drink -- hot pleasure, hot pain, straightforward, one hundred percent.


Does this seem like no help at all? Like you should just go have a drink? It doesn't sound like this Buddhist would mind if you did, so by all means, don't let me stop you. Just come back and sip it while you read the rest of this, because it's actually going to tie up very conveniently.

Okay, got your drink? Let's just go back to our cell and see how this works. You stop seeing "out there," and start seeing the whole experience as "my world - my mind." That's part one. You start to get some ventilation, because you perforate the claustrophobia of being stuck "in here" and trying to get "out there." It's all in here. Then you find you have a modicum of control over what's in here. You can't stop desire, but you see it come and go. Sometimes you manage to sidestep an incoming impulse, and you laugh as it goes blindly by. Sometimes you see a huge roller of desire coming in, and you paddle out to meet it, and surf it all the way in, arriving wet and exhilirated. Your relationship with desire develops through acceptance, and surprisingly, you find yourself observing impulses with an unforced detachment that becomes more natural the more it develops. As you become accustomed to watching and experiencing your impulses, you will realize their wholesome, developmental aspect, because they no longer dictate your reality. Your cell, far from claustrophobic, will become interesting, intricate, fascinating, a laboratory for study, experiment, and discovery.

You don't have to do anything else except develop this comfort level with your reality. Right View? Just see it straight, and drop the preconceptions as you note them arising. Right Work? Just get out of bed and go do it. Right Meditation? Your cell is waiting. Right Effort? Just keep it up, without any frills or expectations. It's like sawing a piece of wood -- you don't have to visualize it cut in half -- just stroke it with the saw until it falls off.

The experience of living can begin again. Most of us in adulthood feel as if our learning and development ended about the time we left high school or college. Since then, it's been one disillusioning discovery after another. Travelling the Noble Eightfold Path is something like becoming a child again, because once we learn that our style of perceiving the world determines our experience, we realize we are best off using our mind in its fresh, unobstructed condition, allowing knowledge to stream in through our senses, and trusting the way in which the world takes shape in our mind. We see the painful sense of restraint felt by the mind trying to escape itself gradually diminishing. The Buddha says that by following the Right Path, our pain ultimately comes to an end -- for most of us it will be enough just to get pointed in the right direction.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:33 am

WILLIAM GIBSON'S DYSTOPIAN EPIC: NEUROMANCER, by Charles Carreon

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The cyber-age began in 1984, when Canadian author William Gibson knocked out his first cyberpunk epic, Neuromancer, on a standard-issue typewriter. Some years later in an interview Gibson explained that he'd never been able to afford a computer until after he sold the book, and his first Apple frightened him so much with its floppy drive that sounded like "a toaster farting" that he took it back to the shop, thinking it was malfunctioning. The people there explained how the disk drive worked, and that it was noisy, and it totally blew his perception about computers. He figured he was lucky he hadn't realized there was a clunky Victrola mechanism hidden inside your average computer or he wouldn't have been free to imagine a smooth, crystal deck like the Ono-Sendai unit operated by our man, Case.

Case is precisely that punk born in the Sprawl, aka BAMA, the Boston Atlanta Metropolitan Axis who winds up hard on his luck in Night City, a dark place in Tokyo. A dark place illumined only by a tavern called Chatsubo, "The Chat," run by Ratz, a proprietor who will brook no homicide on his premises. Ratz lends emphasis to his edicts by crushing plastic ashtrays in his mechanical claw. His Brazilian bartender wields a high-tech repeating shotgun to underscore the gravity of the situation. And that's just when friends run into each other after a short absence, in Night City.

Case comes from tech royalty. "Case was twenty-four. At twenty-two, he'd been a cowboy, a rustler, one of the best in the Sprawl. He'd been trained by the best, by McCoy Pauley and Bobby Quine, legends in the biz. He'd operated on an almost permanent adrenalin high, a byproduct of youth and proficiency, jacked into a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination that was the matrix. A thief, he'd worked for other, wealthier thieves, employers who provided the exotic software required to penetrate the bright walls of corporate systems, opening windows into rich fields of data."

Sounds great, right? Into each life, some rain must fall. Case's hyper-adventure is over. Former friends have blocked his access to cyberspace by dosing him with a "wartime Russian micotoxin" that caused "minute, subtle, and utterly effective" damage to his nervous system. "For Case, who'd lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it was the Fall."

Case is in Night City because he's blown his wad trying to buy a cure in Chiba, the black market of medical high tech in Tokyo. As Gibson describes it:

"Synonymous with implants, nerve-splicing, and microbionics, Chiba was a magnet for the Sprawl's techno-criminal subcultures. *** In Chiba, he'd watched his New Yen vanish in a two-month round of examinations." Case ends up living in the cheapest coffin down by the wharf, where arc lights shine perpetual glare. He can't jack into the Net, he's hustled himself down to the lowest level, and Night City has brought out the worst in him fast: "In the first month, he'd killed two men and a woman over sums that a year before would have seemed ludicrous."

Of course, things have to get worse before they get different. Case gets his cyber-access restored when an Artificial Intelligence decides it needs his talents to pull off a heist at the elite Tessier-Ashpool space station. Case's job is to pierce cybersecurity. Soon he meets his partner, the very hot Molly, a razorgirl who bought her claws with money saved from gigging as a "puppet," renting her body as a cybersexslave for paying corporate johns. Molly deals with real-world threats, like people with guns and muscles, often while Case snoops through a neural interface that lets him see and feel what Molly is experiencing.

The Artificial Intelligence, named "Wintermute" (cold and silent) first communicates with Case through a physical agent named Armitage, who is really just a roped-together construct of a man, mostly bio-engineered, built around the thorax and brain of a demolished soldier. Once Case's cyber-passport is restored, Wintermute visits Case in cyberspace, appearing as sundry characters from Night City. Armitage lays out the deal. Case is a cyberspace cowboy again, but it's got a time limit. The same surgeons who fixed him planted sacs of the same toxin in little sacks inside his veins, and they'll flood his system with deadening poison if he doesn't get his job done. So our boy has incentive.

Along the way to the Tessier-Ashpool space station, aka "Villa Straylight," Case and Molly stop off in Zion, a reggae space station, mon, where they hook up with Maelcum and his space-tug, a solid rig shaped like a tin can. Maelcum is handy wi' a shotgun, and not afraid to show it, also a peaceful bruddah who can be trusted.

In Straylight, some strange things are available to be seen. Case watches through Molly's eyes, as she works her way through the space station. We run across a little high-tech incest, between rich people and clones of their children. We view an impressive display of 3-D Psycho-holographic talent from the heiress 3Jane's boyfriend, Peter Riviera. Peter has some issues left over from growing up feral in the post-nuclear ruins of Bonn, however, so his projections are rather apocalyptic:

"A dark wave of rubble rose against a colorless sky, beyond its crest the bleached, half-melted skeletons of city towers. The rubble wave was textured like a net, rusting steel rods twisted gracefully as fine string, vast slabs of concrete still clinging there. The foreground might have once been a city square; there was a sort of stump, something that suggested a fountain. At its base, the children and the soldier were frozen.

***

Children. Feral, in rags. Teeth glittering like knives. Sores on their contorted faces. The soldier on his back, mouth and throat open to the sky. They were feeding."

These kinds of images are sprinkled through the novel. It's how Gibson gives us these meta-glimpses into the near-future. As always, the question is -- shall we fulfill or avoid these futures? Did we miss 1984, or twenty-two years later, did we miss the fact that it came without our noticing?

There's much in William Gibson's world that is dazzling, stimulating, and much that eats right into your core fears. For myself, I am always left with a feeling of wanting to read about all of it, but wanting to live only the fun parts.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:31 pm

"As God Is My Witness, I Am That Fool"
by Charles Carreon

July 19, 2013

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An ideal role model in a corrupt world.

Okay, admit it. Everybody wants to be bloodless and eternal, like a corporation. That’s why playing a vampire is the surest route to celebrity. But I have always liked immortals of a less rarefied type. The homey characteristics of the Addams Family enamoured me from childhood. The Munsters were even cooler in their TV show manifestation, with that crazy car and the blonde sister. Whoa! I fancied myself an Eddie Munster. There were similarities. I had a killer widow’s peak. I wore short pants for longer than I wanted to. My father always drove huge Cadillacs that looked like he’d checked them out of the government motorpool. Our house was a dilapidated dive that my brother once proclaimed, humorously, but with satirical style, “I figured out where we live! We live in a slum!” I was so proud.

Growing up as a schoolkid, I was ahead of everyone else, seven years old in the fifth grade for a little while, then put back to fourth grade, ’cause I was always in fights ’cause I was so little. I was always the runt, picked last for every sports team. I didn’t have to pick my friends, because only nice kids would be my friends, since I couldn’t throw or hit a ball, or do anything very well with my body. This pattern continued. I didn’t learn to swim until I was eleven, and didn’t learn to drive until after I was married. But I learned how to fight. Hell, we had a TV, so what excuse would I have for not knowing how to fight? Charge! Knock the other guy off his feet! They’re all smaller sittin’ on their ass.

The Addams Family movie became especially dear to the hearts of my children. It went well with the daily regimen of waking to the sound of “Rock and Roll High School” playing at 11 over the stereo. I never had a problem waking my kids, and they never minded getting up. And when we went to see The Addams Family at its Christmas release, it was a very fun trip to the movies.

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A moment of resolve with which I am in sympathy.

When Gomez, his homestead menaced by the machinations of his own lawyer, delivered his pro se soliliquy, I was thrilled: “Have no fear. Justice shall prevail. The courts will decide. They say a man who represents himself has a fool for a client. Well, with God as my witness, I am that fool!” Of course, it does not turn out at all well, and the family is evicted. Note, however, that Gomez was not a lawyer. Gomez’s mistake was not in representing himself, but in failing to observe that he was not a lawyer, and could not hope to compete on an equal footing in the courts.

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That’s another way of saying: “You don’t owe me anything!”

When Gomez returns to his strong suits — swordplay and magic — he’s back on top in no time. Most pro se litigants lose because they have no idea what the rules are. The rules are everywhere in the judicial system, and most pro se litigants don’t even know where to find them. Then, when they read them, they don’t understand them.

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These guys are only blindfolded, but same difference.

They are in a worse position than the blind men trying to determine the identity of the elephant. Three years in law school and you barely begin to scratch the surface of the law’s immensity. But if you have to go pro se, don’t despair. The most important case in the law of criminal procedure, Gideon v. Wainwright, was pro se. And what did it achieve? Eventually the principle articulated in Gideon gave nearly all criminal defendants the right to counsel. One pro se criminal defendant who was too stupid to give up did more to provide lawyers with jobs at public expense than all the lawyers had accomplished in hundreds of years. That man did not have a fool for a client.

But is it not undignified for a lawyer to represent himself? Yeah, let me consider that idea. Is it undignified for Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal to kick someone’s ass instead of calling the cops? Especially when, as in many action movies, the cops are all on the take and will sell your ass out for a nickel? And who was going to sue Matt Inman, Indiegogo, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Fund for me? Find me the lawyer with the pair big enough to do that, and maybe I’d actually try to hire him or her. But from all the caterwauling I hear from the girlie-men lawyers, I think I’d have been wasting my time. So pardon my well-trained fists. I’ll kick ass on my own behalf anytime I find it useful.

Those who criticize me for not surrendering, and instead using my own pugilistic skills, are simply saying that a lawyer is merely a mercenary. He has no principles of his own to defend or assert. Without a client distinct from himself, he is a neuter drone. He is supposed to “stand down,” as Paul Levy wanted me to do after he got his panties all in a bunch because Register.com coughed up Recouvreur’s contact information in response to my standard “cough up the registrant’s name” letter. Believe me, Register.com has gotten them before from me, and their lawyers know the law.

If you reflect on it, this argument that pro se representation is a profanation of the courthouse is just typical brotherhood propaganda, intended to accustom the average person to the tyranny of the legal profession. As a member of the brotherhood, I don’t have to buy the propaganda.

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This little nipper nips off more than its share.

So the idea that I, being a lawyer, would not stoop to representing myself when I don’t have money to hire even a bad lawyer, is absurd. That’s like not reaching for a handy SKS assault rifle when someone stops by for a little home invasion. Get real. What kind of world do these rapeutationists live in?

Besides which, very few lawyers will litigate the way I litigate. I entirely agree with all these rapeutationist lawyers who said they would “never do this,” and “never do that” thing that Charles Carreon did. That is one hundred percent true, which is why I have won many cases that they would have lost for pure lack of trying, or just not having the guts to make the other lawyer lose. They would call their cowardice “professional behavior.” I tell you what. The rich don’t put up with that kind of crap. Their lawyers fight like partisans down to their last bullet. When they screw up, it’s not a small matter. Millions in fees can disappear, and an associate’s job right along with them, if something gets misfiled, or an argument is not made.

Maybe because I haven’t earned a salary since 1995, and don’t depend upon anyone’s good will but that of my clients, I have tried to give all my clients the type of service I know the wealthy receive. It keeps them coming back, but it means that I have to contest vigorously with other lawyers. I suspect that much of the outcry about my unfair tactics by the army of zombie lawyers spouting nonsense was conjured up to assure my adversaries of victory in the court of public opinion sufficient to overshadow the truth about myself and the legitimacy of my claims. Ultimately, the vast amount of grossly inaccurate information proliferated through the rapeutation procedure virtually moots the effectiveness of any strategy adopted to counter it. And chief among those misrepresentations was the statement that I am unethical.

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Rapeutationist Lawyer Before Receiving Payment

I know the types of lawyers who say my tactics are unethical. They’re the lawyers that sound like tigers before they get their fee. Oh, are they fierce! In the confines of their own offices, they describe how they will strike the foe.

“Ha!” they laugh at the arguments that the client fears the opposing side might make. ”Ridiculous! An easy case! Wouldn’t you say, Jim?”

The obsequious sidekick agrees. ”I think we can win this one.”

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Rapeutationist lawyer after receiving fee.

The retainer is signed, the check crosses the lawyer’s desk, and invisibly to the eyes of the client, a transformation takes place. As soon as they start talking to the adversary, they start softening up on the case, backpedaling, finding reasons not to do what they promised. Motions never get filed. Excuses get delivered instead. This is not my style. I am the same carnivorous beast before and after being fed. My adversaries complain because I hit them as soon as they walk into the ring, and then have a whole series of attacks planned as follow-up. There’s a principle at work here — every day must be a bad day for the enemy. But sustained effort is costly, so effective litigation is, by definition, expensive. This must be disclosed at the outset, but many lawyers soft-pedal the risk, luring their clients into the mire, where they will contribute their bones to the tarpit. When the client realizes how costly litigation is, they easily agree with the lawyer’s plans to do little, and hope for the best. This is the legal product commonly delivered in law offices around the country every day. By spreading the idea that aggressive representation in litigation is a bad thing, mediocre lawyers are simply making the world more comfortable for their lazy selves. So if you are looking to waste your money on legal fees and get excuses instead of results, you should definitely hire those lawyers who claim I am too aggressive.

Finally, I should address the argument that a pro se lawyer working on his own case, like I, in dealing with Paul Levy’s lawsuit against me on behalf of Christopher Recouvreur, is at a disadvantage. This may or may not be true, but I personally was at a dire disadvantage. Why? Because I hated working on the case. Paul Levy is an icky lawyer to deal with. He has mannerisms that are strange. The lama Chogyam Trungpa once described the feeling of dealing with a guy like Paul: ”You think that they are looking at your face, but actually they are watching you from behind your back.” You say something to Paul, and he comments on your statement with a long, lingering “Oh….” as if you just revealed your naked crotch and he’s going to tell the principal. I actually tried to get a friend in San Francisco to represent me in that case, and he was willing until I told him Paul Levy was on the other side. Then he apologized and said, “Ooh. I’d like to help you, but I actually get involved in cases that he’s in, and he’s weird. I mean he does weird things.” Yes, I agree with that, but that fight’s not over by a long shot. I filed my appeal. Lex est longa, vita brevis.

And since we’re talking about Paul Levy, if you would like to get in bed with a snake, then associate with him as co-counsel. After being your friend, and co-counsel, he will then tell people that your work product was “terrible.” I wrote my brief to the New York Court of Appeals in American Buddha exactly the way I wanted to. It was not at all traditional, because the entire NYCA briefing was a ridiculous exercise in result-oriented jurisprudence, instigated by the activist, pro-publisher panel, that wanted to give Penguin every opportunity to overturn Judge Edward Lynch’s decision without insulting Judge Lynch who had just recently been elevated to the Second Circuit himself, as Obama’s first judicial appointee. There was no logic in the question certified by the Second Circuit that asked the NYCA to determine the situs of a copyright, because the New York state courts never hear copyright cases, as all copyright cases are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts. It is a rare occasion when an advocate feels so certain about the outcome of a particular piece of judicial gerrymandering that he will devote his brief to criticizing the legitimacy of the process itself, in an effort to provoke an attack of judicial conscience, but that is what I was up to.

Levy also claims that it’s wonderful that an attorney from his office argued the appeal before the NYCA. Really lucky. Because they lost.

What is most obscured by Levy’s diatribe against my litigation skills is that while on appeal at the NYCA, I was defending a win before Judge Lynch at the District Court level, and that after losing the appeal, I went on to win again in the District Court before Judge Ronnie Abrams. To hear Levy tell it, his disapproval is a black mark against an advocate that obscures even the lustre of victory. I assure you, my client does not concur.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:35 pm

The Pizza Effect, and Why Crowds Are Stupid
by Charles Carreon
July 23, 2013

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Ann Bransom, As Smart As Many, by Tara Carreon
[Ann Bransom] Crowd to feed? Say “Cheese!”


I was twelve when I realized I liked anchovies on my pizza. Shortly thereafter, I realized that hardly anyone else did. Since I would rarely buy myself a whole pizza, and there was no pizza-by-the-slice in the Phoenix, Arizona of my youth, I resigned myself to anchovy-less pizzas until I became more independent. Then I had kids, and they didn’t like anchovies, either.

I just can’t get around the Pizza Effect: The larger the number of people ordering pizza, the more likely you will get plain cheese. If you are among meat-eaters, you have good odds of getting pepperoni, or a half-pepperoni. But even splitting the pizza toppings down the middle will not get you anchovies in any group of more than two — anchovy-haters are just too prevalent.

The Pizza Effect is a particular application of the more general rule that accounts for the stupidity of crowds, the Law of Selective Aggregation: “Whenever things get massed together, some of their properties aggregate, and other properties do not.” For example, a pile of carbon atoms, exists as “carbon” only because the strong nuclear force binds the subatomic particles of the nucleus together and keeps the electrons within their shells. But in a ton of coal the strong nuclear force does not aggregate. Only the gravitic force of the coal atoms aggregates; wherefore, it weighs a ton.

A crowd of people aggregates the physical strength and the emotion of the crowd. That is why provoking a deadly stampede is very easy, and there is a rule against shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre. Tug-of-war is a game built around aggregating physical strength. Add more people, and you can pull harder. Emotion also aggregates, perhaps because emotion is transmitted through simple words and gestures that work powerfully in mass communication, perhaps for deeper reasons. The power of aggregate emotion is easily recollected. You brush it off if one person in a movie audience says, “Sit down!” But if the whole row of people says it, you may feel humiliated and be unable to enjoy the movie. The massed emotional disapproval is more painful and intimidating.

By contrast, even though a good communicator may educate a crowd, he or she cannot aggregate the intelligence of its members to increase the speed with which we can solve a computational problem. For example, if we projected the following question on the screen at a moviehouse: “What is the square root of 67?” The quickest answer will come no faster than the most mathematically adept person in the crowd can provide it. Cognitive processes like computation and other intellectual skills like rational problem solving do not aggregate in a crowd.

In Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley takes it further, and effectively argues that in crowds, all negative human qualities aggregate, such that people packed in crowds suffer “herd-poisoning.” He discusses this subject in the context of analyzing the art of demagoguery. Huxley turns to Adolph Hitler for a case study, because Hitler knew “crowds and propaganda” “by firsthand experience.” To make the German populace “more masslike, more homogeneously subhuman, he assembled them by the thousands and the tens of thousands, in vast halls and arenas, where individuals would lose their personal identity, even their elementary humanity, and be merged with the crowd.” Because “a crowd is chaotic, has no purpose of its own and is capable of anything except intelligent action and realistic thinking,” people in a crowd suffer from “herd-poisoning,” an “intoxication” in which the “crowd-intoxicated individual escapes from responsibility, intelligence and morality into a kind of frantic, animal mindlessness.”

Whether it’s that bad or not, I don’t know. But at minimum, I know this — in a crowd, feeling what everyone else is feeling, you have the same intelligence as the whole crowd. You are likely much more stupid than usual. You are more likely to get a tattoo, make an inappropriate comment, inflict unwanted contact on someone of the opposite sex, or, in the really wrong crowd, discover yourself “hating” people you don’t even know, burning to punish them for wrongs that “everybody knows” they committed. That’s called a lynching, and it’s the apex of stupidity. Most people wouldn’t lynch anybody as a solo project, because then everyone would stop liking them for being a homicidal maniac. But crowds do lynch people –- time and again. Because, to a crowd, the worst ideas sound like the best ones.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:38 pm

Unemployed Lawyers Go Zombie, And Why
by Charles Carreon
July 24, 2013

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Will Blawg for Oatmeal, by Tara Carreon and Anonymous

Nastier than a bag o’ baby rattlesnakes, that’s what I’d call ‘em, the latest generation of legal vipers turned out upon the world. Young lawyers are a lot like baby rattlers, well-known to be much more likely to bite than an older snake, that realizes that even though every other living creature may well be an enemy, it doesn’t always pay to attack them.

These little asps came slithering out of the laws schools under a trifecta of bad omens: a spike in law school tuition, a dive in the lawyer job market, and the explosion of “blawgs” where unemployed lawyers can “blaw, blaw, blaw” about stuff they’ve never done, in hopes that someday, someone will give them a shot at a job.

Law school was no picnic in my day, and when we got out we were in debt up to our necks, but we got jobs. Being a family man, I felt considerable pressure when I walked out of school $70,000 in debt – and into a salary of $47,000/year. My wife and I both worked full time, she as a legal secretary, me as an associate lawyer, and it was always a challenge to raise a family of five in LA on our income, and pay down the debt. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have twice that much debt, no job, and an economy with few prospects of producing a job for me. Which is the position of many, many young lawyers.

Statistics? Almost 13% of new lawyers have no work. Barely half of new lawyers have gotten a full-time job that lasts at least a year and puts their bar license to use. Meanwhile, the median salary for new lawyers is $61,245, while average education debt for private law graduates (including those who will never pass the bar) has soared into the range of $125,000. If you ask yourself how those numbers are going to even out, the answer is, they never will. We have minted a generation of lawyers who are under water, personal-capital-wise. And as we know, that debt is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. Nasty.

Nasty enough to drive some people right into zombiehood. Take Adam Steinbaugh, for example. He can’t find work, so he blogs about things he doesn’t understand. How could he understand them? A lawyer with no experience in the courthouse or the conference room is simply a helpless creature, often veering from one near-disaster to another, frightened of judges, frightened of other lawyers, unable to communicate with clients effectively, spreading an aura of discombobulation throughout the vicinity.

Of course, Adam doesn’t feel like a zombie, yet. He knows that some sense of decorum is required, that he needs to show restraint, but he doesn’t know where the boundaries are. Meanwhile, he makes heroes of people whose own careers are not exactly the envy of the profession, like Marc Randazza. Adam worked for a little while at a firm that represents truly bad lawyers, like the Prenda Law Group fellas, whose conduct seemed so clearly criminal to Judge Otis D. Wright III that he referred these bad lawyers to the U.S. Attorney for investigation in a sanctions order. Adam scrounges around for praise from Ken Popehat White, and what good does it do him?

Tell you what – the more closely he associates himself with the Rapeutation business, the longer it’s going to be before he is able to cleanse himself of the association and begin a life of normal, meaningful lawyering.

Because, you see, lawyering is not about blabbing about “legal issues” on the Internet. It’s about having clients, whose interests you serve using a wide array of skills that you develop a little at a time, thanks to the patience of the more experienced members of the profession. You learn virtues like loyalty, and how to subordinate your concerns to those of the client by working diligently and never selling out, even when it means you have to work long hours for no money. You learn how to control your temper, stay cool under pressure, planning your adversary’s defeat, and putting that plan into action, putting in months and years of detail work. You learn how to lose pretrial or at trial, and appeal. You learn how to win at trial, and then lose on appeal. You learn to respect your adversaries, almost all of them, even if only because they beat you. Before you’ve learned these things, anything you write is like a child writing about sex. Utterly ignorant.

But if you have nothing else to do as an unemployed lawyer, you might fall into it. You might think you’re keeping your skills sharp, reading recent legal developments, picking up on the scuttlebutt, but likely you’re not benefiting yourself or anyone else, because you don’t have a client to work for, and you just don’t really learn that much, theorizing in the void. It’s like target shooting without a target.

So then, since you’re a lawyer, you’re likely to pick a target. Someone who’s been identified as a vulnerable target by someone like Ken Popehat White, who spends a lot of time identifying targets for rapeutational attacks. He has some little mental quirk that spurs him to do that. Then he gets guys like Adam Steinbaugh to form a cheering section of useful foolish “lawyers” who can agree with him, zombie-style, thus emboldening lower-grade zombies, the console-humpers who will truly ignite the fires of a full scale DIRA. At that point, Adam may even think “Wow, this is getting out of hand!” But he won’t be able to do anything about it. Having participated in getting the DIRA going, he’s pretty much bound to stay true to its principles.

But all this blawging ain’t gonna pay the bills. And baggin’ on other lawyers isn’t going to attract a client or a future boss. So here’s a word of advice for unemployed young lawyers. Work for free, if you have to, but don’t just fiddle around and write about stuff you don’t understand. It’s low-grade zombie activity, and nobody is going to be impressed by your drivel. Give it up now, before someone screencaps it and publishes it where you can’t get rid of it, or it could become a real enduring problem for you.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:44 pm

A Topic of Discussion Small Enough For Little Minds
by Charles Carreon

July 26, 2013

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A Question of Perspective, by Tara Carreon
[Kenneth Popehat White] Elimination of this pest could rid humanity of so much suffering!
(Small Problems For Small Minds)


Recently I’ve been reflecting on why Rapeutationists rarely bend their vicious tongues to the task of criticizing truly evil people. For example, I’m sitting here reading Judge Katherine B. Forrest’s opinion enjoining President Obama from arresting and detaining Christopher Hedges, six other defendants, and the rest of us exposed to indefinite detention here in USA-land. Obama’s lawyers tried to defend the unconstitutional authority bestowed upon him by the kitten Congress in Section 1021(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2012 (the “NDAA”) in the usual way – by offering no evidence, putting on no defense other than executive dogma, and stonewalling Judge Forrest’s questions with bland responses like “we are not prepared to address that.” It’s a damn good read, and really important for anyone who thinks our President’s ongoing power grab is being grossly under-reported, because this is a classic example of misplaced journalistic priorities.

Judge Forrest’s opinion concluded that Christopher Hedges and the other journalists had a well-founded fear that they could be arrested and indefinitely detained for their work. Judge Forrest concluded that author Alexa O’Brien had deliberately not published certain writings because she feared they could result in her arrest and indefinite detention. (Opinion, page 23.) Now that’s a chilling effect on speech of a major sort!

Judge Forrest issued her opinion while my Rapeutation was in full swing – on August 12, 2012 – but none of my Rapeutationists mentioned a word of it. Purportedly, they’re all champions of the First Amendment, and the First Amendment is intended to protect people from the Government, and here the Government is actually silencing people with legal threats, and the Rapeutationists are silent.

Wouldn’t you think some of our lead Rapeutationists – ever on guard against attacks on the Precious First Amendment – would sound the alarm? A big defender of liberty like Ken Popehat White would certainly post about it! Public Citizen would be jostling for a seat at counsel table for Hedges! EFF would be hopping mad! But they weren’t – site specific searches for “hedges v. obama” on Popehat.com, citizen.org and EFF.org produce null results.

The Rapo-sites are focused on really dangerous people, like Charles Carreon, the lawyer who never quits, never shuts up, never sits down. They’re not distracted from the real target. They know the truth — one guy like Carreon is more dangerous than a thousand Obamas. Presidents come and go, but lawyers like Carreon will keep jacking up cartoonists for Mercedes money until they are finally put down with a silver bullet. Is it possible the attentions of the Rapeutationists are misplaced? Possible? Certain, I say!

For an explanation of this silence regarding the retirement of the Presidential power of indefinite internment for inadequately-described speech-crimes, we must turn to the works of Robert Northcote Parkinson.

Robert Northcote Parkinson is an author well-known to most business students of my vintage, the originator of “Parkinson’s Law,” that states, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Parkinson’s Law explains why the war on terror won’t be won, and why military contracts often are closed out without anything being delivered – the military, and its no-bid contractors, hate deadlines. But without a deadline, there is no demand. That’s why, if you don’t do it promptly, the police will say, “Get your ass on the ground, now.” Officer Gusstep doesn’t want to be waiting around all day while you find something comfy to stretch out on. So he emphasizes the time for completion of the task.

Parkinson’s Law is fun, but it doesn’t explain what I’m here to talk about. Rather, it’s another rule of Parkinson’s: “the time spent on a task is inversely proportional to its importance.” I summarize it as: “small minds can only solve small problems.”

As an example of the operation of the rule, Parkinson describes how a public authority would approve a proposed nuclear plant in five minutes, and take half an hour to discuss the design of a bicycle shed. His discussion of the matter goes like this:

chairman we come now to item nine. our treasurer, mr. mcphail, will report.

mr. mcphail the estimate for the atomic reactor is before you, sir, set forth in appendix h of the subcommittee’s report. you will see that the general design and layout has been approved by professor mcfission. the total cost will amount to $10,000,000. the contractors, messrs. mcnab and mchash, consider that the work should be complete by april, 1959. mr. mcfee, the consulting engineer, warns us that we should not count on completion before october, at the earliest. in this view he is supported by dr. mcheap, the well-known geophysicist, who refers to the probable need for piling at the lower end of the site. the plan of the main building is before you–see appendix ix–and the blueprint is laid on the table. i shall be glad to give any further information that members of this committee may require.

chairman thank you, mr. mcphail, for your very lucid explanation of the plan as proposed. i will now invite the members present to give us their views.

it is necessary to pause at this point and consider what views the members are likely to have. let us suppose that they number eleven, including the chairman but excluding the secretary. of these eleven members, four — including the chairman — do not know what a reactor is. of the remainder, three do not know what it is for. of those who know its purpose, only two have the least idea of what it should cost. one of these is mr. isaacson, the other is mr. brickworth. either is in a position to say something. we may suppose that mr. isaacson is the first to speak.

mr. isaacson well, mr. chairman. i could wish that i felt more confidence in our contractors and consultant. had we gone to professor levi in the first instance, and had the contract been given to messrs. david and goliath, i should have been happier about the whole scheme. mr. lyon-daniels would not have wasted our time with wild guesses about the possible delay in completion, and dr. moses bullrush would have told us definitely whether piling would be wanted or not.

chairman i am sure we all appreciate mr. isaacson’s anxiety to complete this work in the best possible way. i feel, however, that it is rather late in the day to call in new technical advisers. i admit that the main contract has still to be signed, but we have already spent very large sums. if we reject the advice for which we have paid, we shall have to pay as much again.

(other members murmur agreement.)

mr. isaacson i should like my observation to be minuted.

chairman certainly. perhaps mr. brickworth also has something to say on this matter?

now mr. brickworth is almost the only man there who knows what he is talking about. there is a great deal he could say. he distrusts that round figure of $10,000,000. why should it come out to exactly that? why need they demolish the old building to make room for the new approach? why is so large a sum set aside for “contingencies”? and who is mcheap, anyway? is he the man who was sued last year by the trickle and driedup oil corporation? but brickworth does not know where to begin. the other members could not read the blueprint if he referred to it. he would have to begin by explaining what a reactor is and no one there would admit that he did not already know. better to say nothing.

mr. brickworth i have no comment to make.

chairman does any other member wish to speak? very well. i may take it then that the plans and estimates are approved? thank you. may i now sign the main contract on your behalf? (murmur of agreement) thank you. we can now move on to item ten.

allowing a few seconds for rustling papers and unrolling diagrams, the time spent on item nine will have been just two minutes and a half. the meeting is going well. but some members feel uneasy about item nine. they wonder inwardly whether they have really been pulling their weight. it is too late to query that reactor scheme, but they would like to demonstrate, before the meeting ends, that they are alive to all that is going on.

chairman item ten. bicycle shed for the use of the clerical staff. an estimate has been received from messrs. bodger and woodworm, who undertake to complete the work for the sum of $2350. plans and specification are before you, gentlemen.

mr. softleigh surely, mr. chairman, this sum is excessive. i note that the roof is to be of aluminum. would not asbestos be cheaper?

mr. holdfast i agree with mr. softleigh about the cost, but the roof should, in my opinion, be of galvanized iron. i incline to think that the shed could be built for $2000, or even less.

mr. daring i would go further, mr. chairman. i question whether this shed is really necessary. we do too much for our staff as it is. they are never satisfied, that is the trouble. they will be wanting garages next.

mr. holdfast no, i can’t support mr. daring on this occasion. i think that the shed is needed. it is a question of material and cost…

the debate is fairly launched. a sum of $2350 is well within everybody’s comprehension. everyone can visualize a bicycle shed. discussion goes on, therefore, for forty-five minutes, with the possible result of saving some $300. members at length sit back with a feeling of achievement.

chairman item eleven. refreshments supplied at meetings of the joint welfare committee. monthly, $4.75.

mr. softleigh what type of refreshment is supplied on these occasions?

chairman coffee, i understand.

mr. holdfast and this means an annual charge of — let me see — $57?

chairman that is so.

mr. daring well, really, mr. chairman. i question whether this is justified. how long do these meetings last?


Everyone who has attended public meetings of public entities is familiar with proceedings like this. For really complex issues with huge budgets, the time on the agenda for discussion is miniscule, even when the room is bursting with citizens wanting to speak. My favorite superquick bad decision by civic authorities who were faced with a question too large for their capacities was an event I wrote about over ten years ago in The Ashland Free Press – The Great McCloud Water Caper of 2003. Back in that faraway time, when many Rapeutationists were still becoming familiar with the pleasures of playing with their own joysticks and did not realize they would someday grow up to be zombies, the City of Dunsmuir, finding itself in possession of over a billion acre-feet of water drawn from the peaks of Mt. Shasta and other glacier-decked snowfields, sold it all to Nestle corporation for about $40,000. Thanks to some damn good luck, Judge Kosel’s nullification of the deal under the California Environmental Quality Act, although reversed on appeal, was ultimately given effect, and the insanely bad deal was scuttled.

So there you have it – another mystery handily solved by Charles Carreon. I was targeted for Rapeutation because I am a person perceived by Rapeutationists as an eminently misunderstandable person whose story would not challenge the mental capacities of the zombie horde. To misunderstand Judge Forrest’s opinion, Rapeutationists would have to read it, and at one-hundred and twelve pages, without Ken Popehat White, or Paul Aryan Levy to supply an agreed-upon distorted meaning, that’s just a non-starter. Zombies can’t march in formation without leaders. The employed among them have to write so many words per day, and it is the number of those words, not their sense, that rings their little toy cash-registers. As for structurally unemployed folks like Chris Recouvreur – they’re not afraid that the government is coming for them – hell, they’re White Patriots! Indeed, to be fair to Ken White, a site-specific search for “NDAA” at Popehat.com (ndaa site:popehat.com) does give us a nice list of posts that reveal Ken for exactly what he is, in my opinion — another Republican talking-points shill who dishes out crap to liberals who hassle his pointy-headed peers. Say it ain’t so, Ken!

You might ask what happens where Rapeutationists actually try to talk about something important, like the NDAA. It ain’t pretty. Back in 2012, the NDAA was up for “re-authorization,” that as Judge Forrest explained, was actually not a re-authorization at all, but rather, a surreptitious expansion to include powers never before wielded by any President. Rapo Mike Masnick at TechDirt, exercising his modest supply of grey matter, posted about some proposed expansions in the law. Not realizing this topic might require work he wasn’t equipped for, i.e., actual thought, Rapo Anonymous Coward lead off with this comment: “people hate people too much.” Granted, Anonymous Coward is an expert on the topic of hate – having a huge bile-sack in place of a prostate, and his fingers up the arse of a small army of sock-puppets to back him up when the rapo-action gets hot. But nihilists like Anonymous Coward always hit a dead end, and his next post revealed his true zombie nature, like a worm flicking from between the wizened cracks of his pie-hole:

“if there were no people, than it’s obvious that people would not have a problem with people…. thus people are both the source of the problem and the solution…”


Oh yes, that’s quite insightful, but does it really take words to say it? Can’t you just point to your empty head and grin like an idiot?

Take-home lesson? If you want to focus on unimportant stuff, and miss the important stuff, read TechDirt, Popehat, and other Rapo-sites. They’ll keep your eye on the irrelevant, but totally misunderstandable topics that you enjoy. Leave the real thinking to people who can read and write, like Judge Forrest and Chris Hedges. Thanks to them, you can say whatever you want, and nothing more than your incurious mind will be detained.

But if you actually have a grain of curiosity, you might wonder – are Rapeutations of people of slight fame like Charles Carreon just one more circus show to keep the zombies from snapping out of their zombie trance? The Rapeutation of Charles Carreon obviously contributed substantially to the mass of digital flotsam that blocks out discussion of really important events like Judge Forrest’s opinion. Do you think it’s just possible that people like Ken White, who so fears to be lauded by “Constitutionalists” that he will issue bogus legal threats to prevent them from reposting his articles in red-state-type blogs, is also working on the general agenda to keep stupid people riled up about trivial shit? Ya’ think?

________________________________

Comment: Charles – July 30, 2013 10:05 pm

Apropos of this topic, I discovered a thread on popehat.com, “Why Is Someone Spamming Our Comments On Behalf of a New York Attorney?” that revealed Ken’s capacity for pettiness in granular detail, as our explorer of submicroscopic space navigated his way through an exchange with an attorney whose comments took White to task for maligning the ethics of an attorney who is renowned for his ethical character. When backed against the wall, White’s willingness to deploy utterly disingenuous, sophistic arguments becomes supersized, and he can fire off gems like this one: “Is it your position that spam advertising has no ethical dimension? Will the relevant New York rules back up that provision? … The purpose is not to punish [attorney] — who will experience reputational punishment simply as a result of having comment spam with his name cluttering the internet, whether or not this post is here — but to deter lawyers from using scummy marketing methods, from using scummy outside marketers, or from failing to supervise marketers thoroughly.” White is well aware that his postings associating the attorney with unethical marketing techniques will damage his reputation once they appear prominently on that most important of all Internet real estate – “The First Page of Google’s Search Results.” No less an authority on the subject than one of White’s vociferous supporters (believed to be Mike Masnick of Techdirt) summarizes the nub of the argument: “Leeching motherfuckers like [attorney] want to do what we have elected not to do — capitalize on our hard work … Yet [attorney], who contributes nothing, seek to suck money out of us. Rather than offer to pay Popehat’s bandwith fees (blogging has expenses other than time), he wants a freebie. He’s a head lice. Do you not get how disgustingly parasitic that is? If [attorney] would just come in to apologize, at least I would move along. As it is now, I am pissed off and thus likely to make my ow contribution. I am considering a blog post with [attorney]‘s name prominently noted. I guarantee that whatever I post, will end up on the first page of Google’s search results.” [sic]
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