Mar 17, 2017
"We were brothers in the war. It was necessary then."
I've found my best and long-lasting friends within the realm of mortal
danger. Sometimes, hardship brings out the most noble behavior in some
people. Hardship makes us compassionate and tolerant. What's really
interesting about this to me is how comradeship born out of necessity,
makes us love each other in an unquestioning way. To question is being
critical and disloyal.
However, an enlightened person might understand that being critical of
one another in a time of survival hardship is not equivalent to a lack
of love. But it can seem this way to most people. We all need to be
loved so much.
Ironically, in a group where I need to be accepted, I fail many times to
be as aware as I can about what it means to really love each other.
Dec 23, 2016
My View of Software Development
The software world is developing at an exponential rate. This comes with
an exponential increase in complexity. I've never had any formal training
in computer software except my self-study in Lisp. I started by working
on operating system software way back in the days when the DEC macro-11
was popular. This was before the C language was invented in the mid 1970's.
So when I started using the C language in 1979, I found I was able to
write software within a few hours of reading the "white" K&R
(Kernighan and Ritchie) C-book. C is in essence a simple language.
Now, I think it's really changed. I can't imagine writing useful programs
in Rust on the first day of learning it. And I've written some Ruby
programs before. I think it would take me a year to learn Rust to a
sufficient level to write useful programs. I think that's because Rust
does so much optimizations.
Lisp, unlike C, is a high-level language, and hence can take a while to
learn well too.
What's really interesting about my journey through using software languages
is how different people adapt to learning the language. For me, I use
software that I intuitively like. That's really subjective. And every
programmer has his or her views on a language which affects his efficiency
in using the language. How the syntax and structure of the computer
language sinks into the inner psyche of a programmer is essential in
how the programmer produces his software, or expresses his ideas through
the software language.
In a large programming effort requiring a team, the individual, expressive
programmer must conform to a standard set of production requirements which
includes his choice of a language. Most of the time this comes down to how
you can socialize with other programmers. However. if you don't like the
language, you're not going to do your best work ... your best work meaning
you spent every waking minute which is directed to your work thinking about
the problems in the software language. And this is why large programming
teams are so inefficient. They don't have the freedom to express themselves.
This is sort of analogous to all disciplines in general.
Nov 9, 2016
A New Day
I'm really proud of our country for the selection of our new president.
And we should also be grateful to the rebel, Julian Assange, who made
this selection possible. Julian Assange has been isolated in the Equadorian
Embassey in London for 4 years now. I hope he can be free soon
for he is a genuine patriot in the Thomas Jeffersonian sense who wrote
years ago, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."
Oct 23, 2016
A Clear and Present Danger
"But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman
in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize
the nature of our country's peril."
"In time of 'clear and present danger,' the courts have held that
even the priviledged rights of the First Amendment must yeild to the
public's need for national security. Today no war has been declared;
and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in
the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those
who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The
survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been
declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no
missiles have been fired. If the press is awaiting a declaration
of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions,
then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our
"If you are awaiting a finding of 'clear and present danger,' then I
can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its
presence has never been more imminent."
--- excerpt from John F. Kennedy's "Secret Societies" speech
Oct 23, 2016
Trust and Freedom
Politics in America has distorted the current moral reality of its
citizens. Misdirected use of finanical power has greatly weaken
the economic and political state of our country. We are currently
headed for war with Russia because of the unstable state or condition
in our economy, and the immoral character of our top leaders
in the Whitehouse.
FBI directory Comey failed to uphold justice in prosecuting Hillary
Clinton's security violations. The consequence may lead to a moral
collapse of our intelligence agencies. I'm sure we're very proud
of the CIA. But I'm beginning to the see the day when we could possibly
equate the work of the CIA with what the KGB did in the 1950's.
Overt secrecy in government is weakness. As politically powerful as
the KGB was made to be in the 1950's, the Soviet Union collapsed 30 years
later. If we continue to fail in upholding justice, our government will
collapse within the next generation.
Our strength in any endeavor depends on trust. Now, it's critical that
all parts of our US state and federal agencies uphold justice to the
highest degree possible. This is done by all the individuals in these
agencies being as open and honest as they can be ... everyday, every minute.
The price of Freedom is not free.
Oct 14, 2016
Our Country is in Serious Trouble
It's hard to believe this news item appeared today.
Vice President Joe Biden told "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd
on Friday that "we're sending a message" to Putin and that
"it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances
that will have the greatest impact." When asked if the American public
will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, "Hope not."
The statement above is in relation to a possible CIA cyber strike
against Russia in retaliation for "alleged" Russian interference in
the American presidential election.
It's heartbreaking to see how insane the politicians (and gravelling
underlings surrounding them) in the Whitehouse have become. What's
happening to the CIA! They should know better as the CIA have some of
the best firewall technology and experts in the universe. They should
defend justice in a way they are most able ... by, in this case, helping
to protect US computer systems. Not in an insanely offensive way
against a sovereign foreign country. It really saddens me to think the
CIA with its many good people would be called upon to do so much evil.
Is our country that weak? Wake up!
I've always turned away from commenting on politics, but now face this
haunting quote: "... first they came for my friends and I did not speak ..."
Sep 12, 2016
Dial M for Lisp
David Betz's Xlisp-3, on www.xlisp.org, is a real work of art, but
it's complex. I have a really hard time following the source code.
Xscheme-0.28, published in 1991, is written in a relatively straight
forward way, and for me feels more naturally written.
A couple of years ago I removed my edition for the Xscheme source code,
but I've still been studying lisp source code development. Now, I'm
changing direction again as I'm going to use the old Xscheme source
code instead of Xlisp-3 for most of my lisp development.
You can download the older Xscheme source code:
July 2, 2016
... (the spiritual teachers of the Upanishads) showed to their pupils that
the light of Knowledge was meant only to make "darkness visible". With
the awareness of "darkness made visible", through the processes of
knowledge, these pupils were inspired to undertake the adventurous
journey into the land of the Unknown where alone Wisdom can be discovered.
This journey has to be unaided, for no teacher can lead a pupil into
the realms of the Unknown. The journey to the Unknown is a flight of the
alone to the Alone.
by Rohit Mehta, Call of the Upanishads
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, 1970
I had a vivid dream recently where I was visiting a Tibetan monastary in
Nepal. These kinds of dreams for me have a really profound mystical feeling.
It usually involves viewing the landscape I'm visiting from the sky where
I'm flying. In this dream I felt extreme fear of the forest surrounding
the monastary. I had a real sense of my own pending death. Then a white
cloud embraced me, and gently dropped me back on my own bed.
I know the fear I felt in this dream is from my past experiences
travelling in strange places. When I travel alone I go to the extreme
in embracing the unknown. I don't plan anything. I just try to let
things happen on their own. But this kind of travelling invokes a lot of
fear in me. It's taken years for me to start thinking about another
In my next journey, I'd like to keep asking the question, "What kind of
consciousness or awareness is there outside of the brain?" This question
takes on different aspects depending on what kind of living life forms
on earth I include which have a functioning nervous system. I know I have to
try to find answers by including all life forms, but getting interpretations
from human beings. I know this sounds really strange, but that's the best
way I know how to put it. I'm at the edge of my limitations ... on a journey
in which I meet myself at the end.
But for now, like the past few months, I spend lots of my time doing
landscape gardening. The sunrise is my favorite time of day.
Jan 16, 2016
The Song of Our Lord
I spent much of last year trying to resolve a paradox. It is sort
of amusing how what I think is paradoxical traps me. Maybe some
alien being would strug, thinking what mis-directed energy
Actually, I guess this would not be paradoxical to a machine. Okay,
maybe now I can explain it.
Years ago, I would never have dreamt of encountering the struggle
with the concept of "non-dualism" I'm undergoing now. Spinoza smile
on me. I would have neatly compartmented away my uneasy sense of
the separateness of mechanistic forces and human psychic forces.
I think most "modern western thinkers" separate the physical and
spiritual. For some reason, it's not in my nature to do so.
Maybe it's my previous experience with eastern mysticism. Some
really intensive study on Hindu and Buddhist mysticism years ago
has deeply shaped my psyche. I still read the stuff of Hindu sages,
especially Swami Sivananda.
In the Hindu epic, the Bhagavad Gita (the Song of Our Lord), the
embodiment of love, Lord Krishna extolls the classical Vedic teachings
on the value of self-realization through love. The Gita is not
a "western" text reflecting linear thinking. The Gita are poems or
songs about living a practical life which is allegorical with much
symbolism and metaphors necessarily consistent only with respect to
the human psyche. Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita is the god of
love. Like the Upanishads, the Gita usually places me in wonderment.
On these two texts each day I meditate.
I've always sense an enormous pull ... a mystical attraction to a
kind of spiritual reality prominant in far eastern lands, especially
in the Hindu kind of psyche.
The genius of human psyche, Karl Jung, wrote about the synchronous
relationship between causal events in dreams. Dreams are more
allegorical where the mind works overtime on symbolism. The
psyche is not the prisoner of logic and strict causality. As in
love, the psyche gets directly down to the business of really
defining the self. Karl Jung describes a case of "exaggerated
rationalism" or logic with respect to one of his patients
who couldn't continue treatment until she could get pass her
deductive thoughts. Jung basis his ideas about the fundamentals of
dreams on synchronicity, and writes about this in his encounter with
the golden scarab.
Swami Sivananda in the classical Vedic tradition says "Mind precedes
Matter, ...". I wonder if I'll ever get to that place Swami Sivananda
felt and knew as that is really a similar side of mechanistic non-duality.
A long time ago, a Shingon buddhist monk and I sat alone. He talked
about a universal love that does not differentiate human separateness.
I thought how is it possible for me to know this love. At that time,
I had no clue how this was possible. It was not something inside of me.
But nowadays, I think I sometimes sense it. You see, you cannot understand
this love with your mind. You can only feel it in your heart. It might
have come to me through years of simple experience. The scriptures say
you're more likely to find this blessing if you try to purify yourself
Following strict non-duality is too limiting ... too mechanical. It
constricts your growth. I know or understand, that on one level, the
world is purely mechanistic. But that's not the limit of my universe.
"I am the Self, dwelling in the heart of all beings." -- Lord Krishna,
The Bhagavad Gita