Wednesday, January 30, 2008


My sister Jane is in a comic!

You know, recently I’ve been eying our grammatical construct for the question "Do you..." such as "Do you like cake?" or "Do you play sports?" The "Do" sounds so German, and has no meaning by itself; It’s just a sound we put at the beginning to signify a question. And the rule is that if it’s "Did" then the questions is past tense. I’ve been increasingly interested in how our language works and sounds to a foreigner, and rules like this--beginning a question sentence with the sounds Do, Does, or Did--are easy to teach, but hard to explain. “You like cake?” See, the “Do” is not necessary.

Tangentially, every year the Japanese people choose a kanji (Chinese character) to express the news and social mood of the year. Last year’s “Kanji of the Year” was 命、“Life,” chosen because of the increase in child suicides caused by bullying, as well as an increase in drunk-driving accidents. 2004’s kanji was 災、“misfortune” due to a series of natural disasters, typhoons and earthquakes, floods, intense heat, and also man-made disasters such as hostage killings in Iraq and the steam spout accident at the Mihama nuclear power plant.

This year’s kanji is striking. It's 偽、meaning “fake,” and I’ve heard that one reason it was chosen was to criticize the increasingly ridiculous Japanese trend of copying other cultures instead of looking to themselves for value. “...and teachers in schools are no longer teaching children about the Japanese heart!” explains one of my old-lady friends. The reasons given on the Kanji Kentei Website include lies surrounding NOVA, the famous English conversation school, food productions (processed foods and in increase in fast food, as well as expiration date issues), falsehood in politics (bribes, pension records, and Involvement in United States affairs). Also, Green Peace made use of this kanji at a protest against whaling, reminding Japan that whaling (as it is done today) was never a Japanese thing to do, but was suggested post WWII by the west in order to help feed their society.

I’m in the last book of Phillip Pullman’s "His Dark Material’s" trilogy, and I must recommend these books to everyone. They are fascinating, and clearly the people who think that they are evil, atheistic, and anti-spiritual, anti-christian haven’t read them. I mean, the story actually revives the Adam and Eve myth, as well as brilliantly re-interprets the angels. “God,” or “The Authority” in the books is actually an angel who suffers from megalomania. He was the first angel to form out of the primordial consciousness or “Dust”, and because of that he thought he created all the angels and beings that followed. It is his influence that is causing the Church to move against life and punish all things natural and creative. And the story is about a multiple-world war waged against this corrupt angel and the church that supports his wrath. (if anything, it can be seen as Pro-religiouse, for what religion would want to worship a false god/corrupt angel?) The books also explore in depth what a soul or daemon is, what dark matter might be, parallel universes, non-locality, death…Pullman presents the cute idea that all of us have a kind of spirit-friend called a “death”, that stays with us from the moment we are born like a loving friend, and when its time to die, our death takes our hand and leads us into the unknown. LOVE IT! “…the moment you’re born, your death comes into the world with you, and it’s your death that takes you out.” And some people, during life, have a great relationship with their death, and can sit and talk with them and play with them. Others don't even acknowledge their death. But in all cases, deaths stay with their owners and love them, keeping them company, until the time comes for them to take their lives by the hand and lead them to the land of the dead: Nothingness.

Michael Garfield interviews Ken Wilber over the phone today about music (should be up on Integral Naked soon). You hear that? Michael gets to interview Ken Wilber! I am awed. I am totally floored I am so amazed at what Michael is capable of, and am also thrilled to see that he is performing with Paul Lonely (author of Suicide Dictionary) in LA next week. Mike, you amaze me.

Also amazing is the new Air Car . Can't wait for that one to change the world.

This movie is brilliant.


David said...

It is always such a pleasure to read your words. Thank you for continuing to be a true shining light.

P.S Thanks for sending me that video link this morning. Pure delight.
Are you coming up to Sapporo for the Yuki Matsuri?

David said...

no, i cant make it. But a bunch of my buddies are. maybe you will meet them.

May all beings be Free and in Love.

Blog Archive