Apartment hunting continued

Today I actually visited and looked at the apartment I wrote about yesterday.  It is really just the basement of a house.  This is pretty common here in Norway, as you can rent out these without paying tax for them.  I lived in one such for about 20 years, in the original Chaos Node.  This is about the same size as that, looks a little smaller to me but not drastically so.  And I have less stuff now.  Much less stuff.  Of course it is rather small compared to the House of Chaos, or Fortress of Solitude, where I live now.  The difference is again not drastic, since there is so much of the landlord’s stuff standing around here.

The thing most difficult to adjust to would probably be to not have a house for myself anymore. It is quite habit-forming.  But affordable houses are far out in the countryside where there are no buses or trains.  You don’t come across an arrangement like I have now many times in a lifetime.  Most people probably don’t come across them ever. Even for me, one of the luckiest humans around, it did not last.

Anyway, the apartment faces out toward the wild forest.  It does not have floor heating like the Chaos Node had, but it has a wood stove and free wood.  And being a basement, it is naturally less of a frying pan in summer.

I told them I was interested, and the husband seemed rather enthusiastic about it.  But here in Scandinavia, the women have the final word on all domestic matters and some other matters as well. If she is uncomfortable with a single male living in the same house as their little girl, I’m off the list immediately. And given the prejudices around here, that could well happen.  A man is only borderline human until he has a woman to vouch for him.  Women do rule these lands, but subtly, with a silken glove over their iron fist.

At least I think I conveyed well that I was stable, well employed, financially comfortable, and experienced with living alone.  The majority of single men looking to rent are just crashing somewhere while looking for a new woman to attach themselves to.  Or worse, they are insane or on drugs.  My friendly, calming aura pretty much puts me out of that category.  (And I did not even need to sing to them… They do have a dog though, so I may still need that calming song.)

The apartment was not really finished, although officially they planned to rent it out from tomorrow.  It may be finished tomorrow in the sense that the paint begins to dry before midnight tomorrow, but nobody would move in that fast.  Anyway, in some days I will presumably know whether I get it or not.  In the meantime, I keep throwing away stuff. Today went a bunch of trashy supernatural romance novels.  (If you need to know, Margit Sandemo was my inspiration as a writer for a long time:  Even though she never wrote well in the sense that a literary critic would acknowledge, her books sold like hotcakes. )

Anyway, there went my day.  Oh, and we had a very important event at work today, but it went better than expected. I can’t talk about it though.  We have pretty high standards of secrecy, for reasons you would know if you knew what I was doing.

Horny climb road


Is it a sign from the Light?  Probably not, but this picture is taken from the bus stop closest to today’s apartment hunt.  It was taken this summer though, before I knew I had to move this fall.

Another day, another apartment hunt! Today I was biting on a freshly announced apartment about half an hour’s walk from my current home, but on nearly the same elevation.  Most of the distance is along the same way I use for my Sunday walk,  which is a bike / pedestrian road along the main road which again is vaguely following the river.  Near the grain fields I have photographed so often, you turn away from the river and toward the hills.

The name of the road is “Grakleivveien” which means roughly “the horny climb road”.  There may be other meanings, but that’s the obvious one.  The Norwegian word “gra” means horny as in hungry for sex, but the common usage is restricted to horses.  Colloquially it is used for people too. I know I heard it used that way when I was a teen.  (The details of why I would hear that is beyond the scope of today’s entry…)  The word “kleiv” refers to a steep road up a hill, from the Norwegian word “kliva” which means to climb.  From the small village where I grew up, I remember there was a farm called “kleiva”, which was where the country road climbed from the bridge across the river and up to around the level of the other farms.

This apartment is cheaper than the one I mentioned yesterday, but less stand-alone.  So how feasible it is would depend on the immediate neighbors.  I am kind of spoiled by having the whole house to myself  here (although I could not use the whole house, as the landlord was stashing a lot of stuff and had the basement set aside for himself, although he very rarely used it.)  Anyway, an affordable home, fairly large, close to my current location… it could be worse. Also the road is surrounded by primeval forest, so you don’t get that intensely urban feeling. And the bus I take to and from work passes a fairly short walk from the house, although further away than here.  Actually I kind of like having to walk a bit to the bus.  It is an excuse to use the body while I have it, instead of doing pointless exercises just for maintenance.

Speaking of which, I did not get particularly stiff and sore from yesterday’s walk.  My resting pulse is higher, as usual the day after an exercise, but it does not hurt anywhere.  Perhaps I am not as old as I feel?

The Magnus Valley


This is a picture of the same road, taken in spring. Yes, I have been there before sometimes. You can’t really see from the picture that the road is rising steeply, because there is nothing flat to compare it to, but you certainly notice when you walk it.

This evening, I took a walk to a place called The Magnus Valley.  Well, actually since this is Norway, it is called “Magnusdalen”, but it means the Magnus Valley.  I did not even know that until today, when I checked again for some new place to live.  This house I am renting is about to be sold, so I have to be out before December 1. There is still plenty of time, but my experience is that suddenly there is not plenty of time anymore.  So pretty much each day I check the on-line database over houses and apartments for rent in this province (and parts of the neighboring province as well).

Today there was one in the municipality where I live now.  In fact, it was within walking distance. Well, if you’re willing to walk for more than half an hour each way.  And mostly uphill to get there, and downhill to get home.  There is a vertically divided house for rent (only for one year though) and from the map it looked like it was in the general area of Magnusdalen. Actually it is on the neighboring hill, SvalÃ¥sen, which means the Pleasantly Cool Hill. Sounds like somewhere I’d like to live, although the name is probably exaggerated now.  It probably used to be covered in trees, like the surrounding hills, which would account for the pleasant coolness in summer.  Or it could be named for the bird swallow, which is called “svale” in Norwegian.

Anyway, I took a walk, though I did not actually go to that particular house,  just the general area.  I am not going to go see it until I have talked with the owner. I tried to call today but did not get through. And anyway, it is about kr 1000 (roughly $200) a month more expensive than the others I have looked at, which are only slightly more expensive than where I live now.  There is a large apartment near where I used to live before I moved here, for instance, at that price.  On the other hand, finding a place within walking distance would mean I could carry all the small stuff there and only need help to move the stuff that is too heavy to carry.  I could probably get a friend to help with that. This may or may not save me $2400, but probably something in that range since movers are ridiculously expensive.

Also carrying a bag of books or clothes there each day would be awesome exercise.  As I said, it is a lot of uphill.  There is a steep hillside from the valley where we live and up to the surrounding terrain.  Well, two hillsides with a short walk between them really. Then there is a more gentle ascent, and finally  you have to walk up the actual “pleasantly cool hill” to where the houses are.  I took it easy today, but it was still a useful workout. Actually walking down the steep hills is harder on my legs and knees and toes. I would not be surprised if I am terribly stiff and sore tomorrow. After all, I have reached the age where you have to warm up before warming up…

Still, I remember from the botched move, where I carried things over to the new apartment pretty much every day (and sometimes twice a day) that it was quite good exercise, and that was a much less extreme terrain – mostly flat actually – and perhaps half the distance.  Combined with my carrying a bag of used books or comics to the used book store (taking the bus to the city of course), I actually had calluses after the move was finished. Seriously. Thick hard skin where I had held the handle of the bags, day after day for more than two months. I lost weight too, but then I lost weight a lot during that year.  It was the same year that I had to stop eating fat because I could no longer digest it, so it took me some time to get adjusted to eating twice as much carbs instead.  But I still think all the carrying stuff each day had something to do with it as well.

Anyway, this is the kind of things I think about these days.  Oh, and other things too: I think a lot.  But having to move does tend to grab one’s attention somewhat.

Violet song

2009-09-30 22:49:57

“With the violet that flows from your fingertips, let us paint a small dream, just for us two.”

The picture is from the game City of Heroes, featuring my imaginary girlfriend’s imaginary sister, in this case as imaginary heroine Yubisaki Violeta.  There is a story behind that name, of course. That’s the topic of today’s entry.  (The guy next to her is me, the Eternal Newbie.)

The anime Umi Monogatari (“Sea Story”)  is nothing to write home about. It is a pretty standard magical girl anime, which will probably be liked by grade school and middle school girls, and the occasional other person who likes to watch girls who are technically not underage but certainly look like it, hug and say “I love you” to other seemingly underage girls when not transforming into magical priestesses to save the world from eternal darkness and sorrow.  There are probably people who get a kick out of that.  But what I like about it is the opening song, Violet by Marble.  Luckily the song can be bought separately now.  Or you could listen to it here, at least for now.   If you do, you can probably understand why I love it, even though the singer is not amazing by Japanese pop standards.

Yes, it is excessively innocent.  Even if you don’t understand a word of Japanese (which is slightly less than even me) you should be able to feel it in your heart.  As for the lyrics, what I think I understand is something like (in the shorter form used in the opening song):

You…  you… Heart… peace… You too… you too… peace… It is good, just like this (?) … Time… forget… that’s why. Fingertips… violet… small dream… draw (?)… two people alone… Happy(?)… sky.

In my defense, Japanese songs are even more cryptic than everyday conversations, which themselves are held in a language that has evolved apart from ours since the deep of the last Ice Age, when our ancestors were too buys hunting woolly mammoths to study linguistics. Anyway, the voices in my head have opinions on the lyrics, but they may be wrong. I am sure I got the spirit of it right though.

As proof I present you with the animals, who have no linguistic capabilities at all, but do have a spirit of sorts.  As I was walking from my home, humming the song too myself, I passed the neighbor’s cat.  Well, one of them.  This is unusual.  When I come anywhere near, the cats run for their lives, except the kittens.  They have good reason, for the previous inhabitants of the house (up to three and a half year ago) hated them with a vengeance and would chase them for their lives.  However, as I was wordlessly (or nearly so, see the scarcity of words as seen above) humming to myself, the cat made no effort to move at all, but let me walk straight past it so close that I had to take care to not step on any part of it.

Curious, I walked through a small park on my way from the bus station in the city to work. (Not today, obviously, since today is Sunday.) Ahead of me were a modest group of crows, eating something vaguely vegetarian that someone had left on the ground.  Seeing me, they started to take wing.  I, on the other hand, started to sing Violet.  Hearing this, the crows immediately fell at ease and settled to the ground, letting me walk right through their congregation as if I belonged there.  It was a pretty amazing experience.

It probably would not work on humans, more’s the pity.  Or would it? Feel free to listen and chime in with your opinion.

“It ain’t wise to need someone”


Why must humans fall in love?  Don’t ask me – I don’t.  But it fascinates me, perhaps in the way childhood must have fascinated Adam:  It is an essential part of life to everyone else, but I was not created that way.  (OK, it is generally accepted that Adam was not a historical person.  Then again, not everyone believes that I am who I am, either…)

I woke up to the clock radio this morning again. It played a song by Bonnie Tyler, It’s a heartache.  Personally I am more familiar with heartburn, but the lady sure put her soul into it. I happen to recognize the name because I already had a song by her in my Love Song Collection. It is called Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Yes, she seems to have a particular ability to perform songs of despair.  Perhaps she should look into a career in politics, preferably on the Left.

All this is later reflections, though. At the time, while deciding whether or not to wake up, I heard Bonnie Tyler singing “It ain’t wise to need someone” and I was like “Amen, Sister!”. Admittedly she modified it after drawing a much needed breath.  “It ain’t wise to need  someone / as much as I depended on / you.”  But my libertarian little soul wants to put a period after the someone.  One should not depend on others and not be depended on by others, is how I feel.

That’s not very realistic, of course.  Something Ryuho Okawa repeatedly points out in his later books is that we are all born with nothing.  We would not even be able to survive without receiving unconditional love to some degree at the start.  Everything we have at the present, we have because of other people.  They may not particularly have helped us out of pure ego-less love:  For instance, our teachers probably got paid for teaching us, and our employers expect us to bring in more money than we take.  But still, we would be in a bad spot without them.

You may feel alone in your car, but numerous people have worked on making it (and making the machines that make it, and mining the ore and so on).  Numerous others are involved in making sure you have gas to fill your tank, from  the geologists planning where to test drill for oil, all the way to the gas station attendant.  In a way, you are never alone in the car: The help of a thousand souls are with you, even though very few of them intended it.

In truth, we mostly live in a world of mirrors: Each of us more or less give back what we receive.  There are very few original thoughts, and most people don’t even try, and are in fact skeptical of anything not already accepted by the masses.  We neither resist the culture around us, nor make an effort to improve it.  Even though the people who eat with chopsticks and the people who eat with forks have known about each other’s habit for generations now, there is still no agreement that one of them is clearly superior.  Well, the fork seems to be making a little progress, but overall people do what they saw their parents do when they were small.  People whose parents were swearing tend to swear; people whose parents were praying tend to pray, and mostly to the same gods.

So we are connected to other people whether we know it or not. In fact, we are interwoven with them. Day by day we depend for the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the words we speak and most of the thoughts we think. And we don’t even notice. Independence, in its radical form, is impossible, even unimaginable. That is not what I think of when I say “It ain’t wise to need someone.”  What I mean is, it is not wise to depend on someone special to provide our happiness, or our meaning with life. Well, unless someone special is God, I guess, and even then it is right only in a certain sense.

But romance has become a false religion. Instead of finding our heart in another, our culture makes us hope that we can avoid finding our heart at all, and just depend on the heart of another.  That won’t work.  You can’t substitute anyone for your soul.  You cannot let anyone replace your conscience.  And you can’t go hand in hand into eternity, poetic as that might have been.

There are limits to how individual we can be, but also there are limits to how much of ourselves we can give up.  These limits vary from person to person.  Very few humans can be as individual as I am, so free to be themselves and think their own thoughts.  And yet most of those who can’t, are convinced that they are almost completely independent, relying only a little on others.  While I realize that I am a more colorful thread in a large tapestry.  I have a little wiggle room, whereas they who move not at all feel no resistance.

But then something happens, and the things we took for granted are suddenly no longer there. And we think: “It wasn’t wise to need someone that much.”  No it wasn’t, but a greater foolishness was to not realize that we needed them when they were still there.

My aura is so pretty…


What is the connection between aura and calming the waves of your mind?  Read on for the unexpected answer!

Studying the aura is a fairly common thing in various New Age circles, and these people take it quite literally. I have briefly seen my own, but I still believe it is just a way for the mind to visualize something that is really invisible.

Auras also appear in entertainment.  In the online game City of Heroes auras are available to high-level characters, and can be subtle or quite remarkable.  In Japanese anime, it is not uncommon to use auras to illustrate strong emotions or a contest of wills.  They are also used to animate magic or psychic powers.

But unfortunately the aura I am writing about today is my migraine aura.  Not all migraine patients have it, but for me it is actually the most spectacular part of the migraine.  As usual with migraine aura, it starts as a small point, kind of like the after-image after you have accidentally seen a reflection of the sun.  Gradually over a period of (in my case) a quarter of an hour to half an hour, it expands. It takes form of a circle (although in my case I seem to only be able to see the left side clearly) and it looks to me like it is made of many glittering shards.  Tiny shards, in many colors, hanging restlessly suspended in the air, making up the bright portal of the aura.

In the center is absolute nothingness.  Not black, not gray, just nothing. When the hole is small, my brain just pastes whatever is around int the hole, as if it abhors a vacuum. So when I look at a person’s face at that time, they seem to miss their right eye.  There is just no eye there.  The face is otherwise there, but the eye is missing.  Creepy!  Today it broke out on my way from the bus to work, and by the time I came to the office, it had advanced to the point where I was surprised to see that someone had removed the door handle from the locked door into our apartment.  Then I remembered the missing eyes from earlier episodes, and of course the door handle was there, it was just invisible when I looked at it.

I have used the image of my aura in at least one fantasy story I wrote.  I think it was “Shadow of Cneko” but it would take more time than it is worth to read through it looking.  It may have been a similar story, or both.  It certainly looks like something that could take you to a different world, once it has grown large enough:  A glittering portal surrounding a hole of absolute nothingness. Not the darkness you see when you close your eyes, but a lack of the very sense of vision. As if part of your brain is no longer aware that sight exists.  If you have not seen it, then I don’t think anything I say can get it across.  Our brain always creates images, but how to you imagine not being able to see a certain part of what is in front of you?

I have actually only had migraine a few times in my life!  I am lucky in that regard.  And I think I have had a spectacular aura every time.  Some people have no aura, just the pain.  For me, the aura comes far ahead of the rest. The first time I had migraine, I was a fairly young adult.  I had never had it before and only knew that migraine was a headache, which I did not have. Only a glittering portal to nothingness.  I was sure that my brain was severely damaged by stroke or a formerly hidden tumor.  At that time I lived only minutes’ walk from a family that were close friends, and I somehow made my way there.  They managed to get a doctor.  Neither I nor they had any idea that it was migraine. The doctor arrived after the aura was fading but before the headache had set in.  The queasiness may have started, I am not sure.  The doctor thought it was stress and prescribed some relaxant that would probably have fetched me a decent amount at the black market.  I don’t think I ever fetched it.  The “real” migraine set in shortly after, and I did not have much doubt after that what I experienced.

Today followed the same pattern, except I knew what was coming.  It was years since last time, but today I was careless. Reading in direct sunlight is the only thing I know that will set it off. The sky was lightly clouded and I thought it would be OK, especially since I have glasses that automatically darken in the sun.  I have barely had an attack after I bought them.  But today I had.

First thing after I came to the office, I put on my headphones and started playing LifeFlow 8, a brainwave entrainment track.  Until just recently, it was believed that migraine originated with the blood vessels in the cranium.  But today we know that the start of the attack is in the actual neurons, where a wave of intense activity arises and gradually spreads.  This makes me think it may be vaguely related to epilepsy, which also has some kind of aura warning in some people, but is far more drastic of course.  In any case, brain waves is something I have been experimenting with this spring and summer.  I reasoned that if I could create a standing wave in by brain through the use of the sound track, this would compete with the spreading wave of the migraine.

I would call the result a partial success.  The nausea and accompanying gut wrenching was quite unpleasant, but I have had worse. And the pain was a bit distracting, but I was able to do my work.  (Admittedly, this particular work is so familiar I could probably do it while too drunk to walk unaided. Not that I ever intend to find out.)  I am also lucky in that I am fairly resistant to moderate pain, although intense pain affects me like other men.  Still, I will say that this particular migraine attack was weaker than those I have had before.

To further put things into perspective, I had a surprise visit by a coworker who had just returned from 4 months of cancer treatment.  I’d pick the migraine, thank you very much.  And if you have a problem with migraine too, you may want to learn about brainwave entrainment and see if it can help you as well.  Especially if you don’t have a pretty aura, but even so, I think I will sacrifice the pretty if I can avoid the queasiness, malaise and hours of headache.  After all, I can always see a pretty aura in City of Heroes if it is that important…

Norway’s general election


I don’t care.  And if you manage to plow through the following explanation, you will see why.

There is a general election in Norway today. I am not voting, not even following the vote counting on radio and the Internet.  I care so very, very little.  And neither does the world, I’m happy to say.

Norwegian politics are not particularly interesting.  Then again I think the same about soccer, and thousands locals still stake their happiness on it.  I guess there is some primitive need to belong to something greater than oneself.  In my case, of course, neither soccer nor Norwegian politics count as “greater”, only “bigger”.  I may be conceited, but then again so are those who engage in these things.  As I may or may not already have told you, I have yet to see anyone politically active without being discontent.  And yet, despite not being happy themselves, they want to help others.

With the Happiness Realization Party not yet present in Norway, how were things lined up?  We had a vaguely socialist coalition that had rules Norway for four years.  This was the first coalition government on the left ever, as far as I know, although the Socialist Left has generally been a loyal supporter of the Labor government for the simple reason that they detest everyone else even more (and are detested in turn).  The Socialist Left want Norway out of NATO, punitive taxes on the rich, high but bearable taxes on workers,  and plentiful immigration of the people who want them dead and their ideas eradicated from the face of the Earth.  In short, they are a bit out of sync with consensus reality.

On the other fringe of the 3-party coalition is the Center Party, which ironically hates centralization more than anyone else.  Once upon a time their name was Farmer Party, and the party’s backbone is still the farmers and the food processing industry that depends on the farmers.  They are also peacefully nationalistic, in an isolationist and protectionist way, not in the sense of invading other countries.  Formerly a non-socialist party, they shifted their allegiance in return for guarantees that Norway not join the European Union, which they strongly dislike.  In this they have found a staunch ally in the Socialist Left.

In the middle is the Labor party, which used to be the largest party in Norway.  In fact, they used to have absolute majority in the Storting, the Norwegian parliament, for most of my childhood and youth.  But perhaps because of their name, their glory has been fading. They still have a very strong organization and contacts everywhere in the bureaucracy, where they planted leaders during their time in power.  And not least, they have the main Labor Unions on their side.   They are also the most mainstream of all the parties.  If something is uncontroversial, you can be sure they are for it.  For this reason, despite being nominally on the socialist side of things, they are strong allies of the USA and eager supporters of NATO.  They have even cut the income tax, but not by much.

The opposition is even more fragmented, really.  The largest party is the ironically named Progress Party – ironic because they are the most conservative of the bunch, and in many ways even trying to go back to the “good old days”.  I suppose this is progress if we have been moving backwards for the last couple decades.  I won’t say we haven’t in some ways.  But unfortunately the Progress Party has become the default home for the stupid.  Promising extremely low taxes, better health care (paid by the state), higher pensions (paid by the state), better roads, a drastic upgrade to the police and military, and of course cheap alcohol.  They will pay for this by scrapping all farm subsidies, financial support to single mothers,  and foreign aid. But most of all they want a stop to allowing people from incompatible cultures to seek refuge here.

Over the course of my adult life, lots of people from other countries have moved to Norway. Most of them are Muslims, but there were also periods when we got people from Vietnam and Chile.  For a short time, we allowed people to immigrate to work here. This was when we had just started extracting oil from the North Sea, and in a kind of national drunkenness we decided that from now on we would let other people drive our taxis and clean our toilets,  it was beneath our dignity.  Or something like that. Anyway, we let in a good number of Pakistanis, and life was never the same again.  We soon closed the border to immigration (except to other Nordic countries and later the European Union) but continued to accept asylum-seekers.  These are for natural reasons often mentally unstable, and always unfamiliar with our culture. They now account for a significant part of our crime, particularly violent crime.

The Progress Party, always gunning for the simple solution, wants all people with foreign cultures out of the country.  If people want to live here, they should learn to speak Norwegian, and follow Norwegian traditions. Otherwise, leave now.  Simple, right?  Except people with very different cultures tend to come from very different parts of the world and therefore look very different from us.  So throwing them out would be racism.  We can’t do that.  (It also helps that the Progress Party, catering to the stupid, also has most of the country’s actual racists in its ranks.)  So they have become political lepers.  No one want anything to do with them.  And they are the biggest party.

Thanks to this, the Red-Green coalition will get another 4 years, if they manage to  stay together.  Because the opposition is too divided to present a serious alternative.

Alone at work (again)

Fridays seem to be popular days for people to be away. This time, every one of my coworkers in this region was away.  As was my boss.  We are usually five here (my boss is in Trondheim) but everyone had some reason or another for being away.  None of them was the swine flu, or even sickness at all, luckily.  So, I got some inspirations for streamlining my work routines.  Let’s see if they are still there on Monday.

The landlord called me to tell that he had cut the lawn with his motorized lawnmower.  It has rained pretty much daily (not counting Sundays) for three weeks, but the last couple days have been fine, so I had started mowing again. The grass had grown pretty fast in the meantime, so it was pretty hard work.  So in that regard I appreciate not having to make my way across all the lawns – the house is practically surrounded by them.  I am sure I can find some other exercise if the weather is good.  The grass needs to be raked away at least.  But not today. It was almost dark when I came home, for the first time since sometime this spring.  Around Easter I guess.  The autumn is truly drawing close.

My wrist hurts when I type now, but it will probably recover pretty quickly.  It is a lot more robust than it used to be even a few years ago.  So even though I can feel I am growing older, not all things are just getting worse and worse.  A low-fat lifestyle seems to agree with me.

Daemon summoning


Demons, unlike animals and plants and stones, don’t exist in this world independently from humans. This is quite a good thing! The bad thing is, people are eager to raise hell, so there is still plenty of deviltry around, even though we have other words for it these days.

Most people these days don’t even believe that demons exist. This is true enough in a physical sense. You can’t put them in a box or take a blood sample of them for your test tube. You can’t take a picture of them, or measure their presence with radiation detection.

And yet, the same things that made our ancestors believe in demons still happen. For instance when someone gets angry or lustful, they may do things they would not normally even think of, and then they say: “I wasn’t myself” or “I don’t know what possessed me”.  In the past, a demon might have been blamed. So in a way it sounds as if we know less these days. But on the other hand, we don’t have the temptation to just blame the demons and pass ourselves off as innocent. This may be uncomfortable, but overall I think it is a good thing. Or would be a good thing, if we actually did take responsibility.

The thing is, we are back to the old metaphor of the rising and setting sun. Today we know full well that it is not the sun that rises and sets, but this knowledge has not caused the sun to stop. The same actual effects are still happening before our eyes, even if we have a different explanation for them. In the same way, blaming complexes instead of demons does not really change the fact that people still suffer.

Despite a very recent origin, Happy Science (Kofuku-no-Kagaku) still believe that stray spirits from Hell can torment people. But they hurry to add that we can avoid this by taking responsibility for our own mind through self-reflection. I would like to say more about this, but I don’t really know as much about it as I want. Anyway, in this religion the stray spirits are attracted to people who have a similar mindset.  So by giving room for dark thoughts, people draw dark spirits to themselves. You may say that they are performing a kind of demon summoning, without wanting to, or even knowing that this is what they do.

The same would probably be the case for someone who harbors perverse sexual lust in secret. In the old days, it was believed that demons of female form would come to men, especially celibate men, and offer them sexual favors. These succubi (succubus in singular form) would arrive in dreams or even when awake if you were celibate and alone. There were also “incubi”, male demons who would intrude on women, though this seems to have been less common and less intense overall.

Today we think of these as figments of our imagination, but the effect is still the same. They may come on their own or we may summon them, and despite their non-corporeal nature, our bodies still react to them. So how much has really changed? We have changed our language but we have not really changed our nature.

So am I saying that people who watch porn are summoning lust demons, or that people who watch racist propaganda are summoning wrath demons? Obviously not in a physical sense. It is a model of reality, not reality itself. It is a way of thinking about things. “The Tao that can be spoken of is not the real Tao.” For a map to be accurate, it must be as large as the terrain.  So the demon paradigm is a way of thinking about things for those who think that way. I can show you another way of thinking about the same thing, just to prove that you can model the same reality in different ways.

A popular way of thinking lately is that the brain is like a computer, and the human psyche is like the software that runs on the computer. This view does away with the most crass and repulsive form of materialism, in which people believe that the mind originates from the brain. That is pretty ignorant, you know. If you know nothing about computers, then you may be excused to believe that Windows is a part of the computer. But then one day you see someone install a new program on their computer, and you realize that it is not as simple as “you start your computer and there are programs”.

Now, you can install programs from a CD or DVD to your computer. Say you install The Sims 2. Before you installed it, it was not there, but your computer always had the capacity to run it, otherwise you could not do it even after installation. Then some time later you install an expansion pack for the game, and now it has some features it did not have before. And then some time later, you go online and download some new things for your game, such as furniture or clothes for the small imaginary people. Each time you are doing this “summoning”, you are changing the content of your hard disk so that it operates a little differently.

Unfortunately, this is not always a good thing. If you follow false leads, you could download a program that harms your computer. For instance, one time I downloaded a program that was supposed to make it possible to play the game without having the CD in the computer; but when I ran my virus checker on the file I had downloaded, it contained a virus that would take control of the computer. Obviously it is a bad idea to just run download anything you find on the Net and run it on your computer! So why do people do this with their brains??

For example, if you have a sexual perversion, and you go online and download pictures or stories that feed this perversion, that will not leave your mind unchanged. It will burrow into your brain and stay there, changing the way you think. If you keep feeding your brain with this kind of stuff, eventually you start thinking that it is normal. Sometimes I discuss anime (Japanese cartoons) with people online, and they are very excited because in this anime there was a picture of a grade school girl in her underwear, and the sight caused their nose to bleed. (This is a way people in Japan say that they become sexually aroused.) If I remind them that it is wrong to think of children that way, they don’t agree with me. I hope these people don’t have children of their own! Their soul has been damaged so that the natural defense mechanism has been disabled.

I hope you can see how this is actually the same thing that I wrote about above. In fact, in the Unix operating system we use the word “daemon” for a small program that runs on its own without user input, such as a clock or the program that fetches mail. So when you download and install a “daemon” in your brain, it changes the way your mind works, even if just a little.

Conversely there are other things that you can install into your brain that works as antivirus. And then you use this “antivirus” to “scan” your brain by reflecting on your life. How are things really, in light of this Truth? Is there a virus here, or is my mind clean in this particular regard? In this way, it is possible to even discover a mind parasite before it has time to explode into disaster.

I hope this was a little food for thought. It is easy to point and laugh at people who believe in demons, but they are still better off than people who believe in NOTHING. Belief in demons can cause unwanted behavior, like trying to buy off the demons or cast them out with magic instead of with truth, so it is certainly not something you should just casually adopt. But the fact still remains: What we summon into our lives will change us. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. Fortunately, not all of my experience is bad. I once allowed a holy spirit from Heaven into my life, who offered wisdom; and he teaches me and reminds me still, many years later.

Meta about Happy Science


This screenshot from the animated movie “The Laws of Eternity” actually describes pretty well how it feels for me: An endless cascade of bright chain reactions.  The picture is of the Sixth Dimension, which I suspect you may hear more about.

I know you folks must be more than fed up with me talking about this Japanese sect already. And probably more than a little worried about me, if you know me at all but don’t know me really really well.

But for me it has been a fantastic experience, and still is.  It has set off such a chain reaction of ideas and impressions, it just seems to go on and on.  So many things that I have seen from one side or two sides before, and suddenly see from yet another side.  Tying together things in new ways.  Even when I disagree, it makes me look at the things I am convinced of, with new eyes.  Not just what I believe, but why I believe it. Or not, as the case may sometimes be.

A big part of it is that Happy Science is actually quite down to earth.  Sure there are the occasional reference to Atlantis and Mu, and a pretty complex hierarchy of dimensions in the spirit world.  But the latter is just as easily seen as spiritual distinctions in this life. Like me, Okawa seems convinced that the next life starts in this life.  I would actually say that this life is the only life I can remember, so I hesitate to speak with any authority about the next.  But in this life, there are certainly many heavens and quite a few hells as well, inside people’s hearts.  So I don’t really think of these things as abstract or theological.  I think of them as everyday and psychological, rather.

This month has been a huge adventure for me.  I still don’t know exactly what will come of it, but being so full of ideas and associations is something I haven’t felt in a long time.  And I have had quite a lot of input over the last few years, from the right-wing mysticism of Robert Godwin to the high-tech mysticism of Holosync and LifeFlow, not to mention Spiral Dynamics and Integral theory and practice.  It really is as if there is this huge puzzle that I have seen in outline but now there are more pieces coming together than I have time to put into place before I forget them again.

I have written a number of entires that I have for various reasons not published, usually because I felt that I could not quite complete them.  And there are others that are still in my head, and some that I am not sure whether I have written or not – I would have to read through the last month plus files on my hard disk to say for sure.

I wish I could convey my excitement – and I mean that in a good way, this time – but I’m not very good at that.  So you’ll just have to take my word for it. And I, in the meantime, will try to write something else in between. Now and then.