Let there be Google!


Good news: New technology is spreading the good news! In this case, the Internet spreading the good news that an animating movie is spreading the good news that the printing press spread the Good News.  Not confused yet? Read on…

In the animated movie The Laws of Eternity, there is a part where Thomas Edison in Heaven explains his most recent incarnations.  In China, he incarnated as Tsai Lun who invented paper for writing. This made it possible to reproduce the Buddhist Sutras and preserve them for later generations.  In Germany, he incarnated as Gutenberg, and his invention led to the spread of Bibles. Then as Edison he invented the gramophone and motion pictures.  (It is not said in the movie, but this made possible Happy Science’s anime, which has spread their happy news across the world.)

It seems entirely too early for Edison to be back, but then who created Google?

In the world of Happy Science, Google would surely be the work of a Nyorai (Tathagata, archangel) from the eight dimension. A Nyorai when incarnated is a light of his age, and his mere presence changes the way people think and live.  A Nyorai may reform or renew a religion, though he will usually not start a new.  (Lao Tzu got pretty close though.) Other Nyorai may change the political landscape or usher in new inventions that completely change people’s lives. Some of them were later worshiped as gods by the pre-literate civilizations, where the stories of their lives changed and grew with the telling.  Examples of Nyorai are Apollo, Martin Luther and Albert Einstein.

Now,  I am not a member of Kofuku-no-Kagaku, so I may not fully and deeply understand their doctrine. But it is pretty straightforward, I think.  Even in daily life, we realize when two people are working in the same spirit.  Obviously we are not actually reincarnated in the sense that we continue to be the same person, or psyche:  This is always created from scratch in the meeting of spirit and dust, and is subject to its own judgment, whether upon death or in this life.  You cannot say to your conscience:  “Well, I did these good things in my previous life so cut me some slack.”  No, we are all living our first and only life.  But that does not mean we can’t bear within us a spirit that is greater than this earthly life.  Think of J.S. Bach, for instance, did he not have a heavenly spirit that can be felt in his works?

Now, it may be a stretch to compare Bach to Sergey Brin and Larry Page , but look at these excerpts from their letter to the shareholders:

. . .Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.

. . .Our goal is to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible.

. . . Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served-as shareholders and in all other ways-by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.

Is that, or is it not, words you would expect from a Nyorai?  That’s exactly what a Nyorai does, significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. If at least one of them is not a Nyorai, they are sure faking it well.

Not to mention that without Google, I would not have found the Happy Science books in the first place. ^_^  More broadly speaking, I have found so many new sources of ideas and become able to see my life and the world from so many new angles thanks to Google.  “Googling” has become a way of thinking, that does not replace but expands on ordinary thought by drawing in association from other people almost as if they were present.  With the digitizing of books and newspapers of the past, we are emulating the concept of the “fourth dimension” where not only distance but even time ceases to be a hindrance.

Of course, the “fourth dimension” also includes Hell, in kofuku-no-kagaku’s worldview.  And so does Google.  This is something that cannot be avoided when you give humans freedom. Some of them will use their freedom to raise hell.  But still, giving people freedom is an extremely noble goal, close to the divine, surely.

If you haven’t used Google Books yet, you really owe it to yourself to check it out.  You can read excerpts and reviews and find purchasing information about a huge number of books. Old books that are out of copyright can be read right there on the screen.  It is as if the Great Library has risen from the ashes.  Or been reincarnated or something.

No hell today

There are so many things I would like to write, but the recent torrent of energy seems to be drying up eventually.  Or perhaps it is just because it is the end of the workweek, and I have been alone at work these last two days while the rest of our section from all across the country have been at a conference.  I should too, but I don’t trust my health for that right now.

Luckily my boss and her boss again were quite accepting of my situation.  They probably think I am disabled in my head, as is usually the case with people having health problems here in Norway, at least when you cannot tell at a glance that they are missing body parts or some such. To a certain degree it is true for me as well, since the damage to my body comes from decades of anal-retentive behavior.

So, I was not at the conference, but I was at work.  It is not so bad.  I used to hate my work. I don’t do that anymore, but I just recently realized that I have kept hating it a little out of habit. This is a tale worth telling, maybe I will proceed to do that in the future or the past.  But today some other good thing happened.

I have received a mail from Telenor, and their customer contact (salesman) Glenn Høyland, which was the one I wrote about on August 31. He seems to have managed to convince the invoice people that no, I should not pay for a new phone number, and no, I am not paying off any hardware as part of my subscription.  A new phone bill, roughly half the original, should be on its way here.  Hopefully before the old one is due on September 10.

So not only did the guy not set out to swindle me,  he has actually worked tirelessly on my behalf.  This goes to show how important it is to listen to the voice in your head that says “Judge not, lest ye be judged” and “Whosoever is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment”.  So in this case the villain turns out to be the hero, and the hero the villain.  Amazing plot twists! Although I cannot take credit for this one, quite the opposite, I have to take the blame. Or as the on-line comic Evil Inc once explained:

“Heroes take responsibility. Villains CLAIM responsibility.”

Raining cats and dogs

I am amused by this English expression. It means that it is raining very heavily, but if you try to visualize it you will find it very comical.  I suspect this is also the inspiration for the song “It’s raining men” by the Weather Girls which was a hit when I was much younger.

It is less amusing in real life when we get a “tropical downpour” in an area where this is not common.  This was one of those once or twice a year days.  I hear many people got their basements flooded, but luckily the terrain here is not prone to flooding – the house is not far from the top of a gentle slope down toward the river, so water drains easily.  Still, even getting home from work was an adventure, as the commute bus had to wade through a small lake that had covered the road.  The traffic had to slow way down to get through, so there was a long line, but luckily none of the cars got their motors drowned. It looked to be a near miss though, judging from how deep in the water they were.

Needless to say, I did not get any lawn mowed today.

Into temptation…


Farmhouse in Kvinesdal, southern Norway.

It is only my second day of looking for a new home, and I have already “fallen in love”.  Well, that is of course an exaggeration, but at least I am fascinated.  There were about a dozen new advertisements on the website this time (I have limited the search to Vest-Agder, the province where I live.  Well, actually it is in size something in between a province and a county, I guess; I have seen both terms used for it.  Anyway, one of the new offers was a farm.

I am a farmboy born and bred, from generations and generations of farmers.  But strangely enough I myself was unable to even keep living on an animal farm, because of allergy to the feed flour given to the animals.  I don’t have hay fever, it seems:  The symptoms always came after being exposed to that particular feed.  Unfortunately, it is essential to modern animal husbandry in Norway.

Still, life on the farm will probably always hold a special place in my heart.  Seeing the largish farmhouse surrounded by trees, I felt immediately that this would be a good place to live. And so I believe it is.  But it would probably be a good place to live for a family too.  The house can easily accommodate a family of six, at least.  At the end of a country road, with no traffic, even small children would be able to play happily outside without danger from speeding cars or suspicious strangers.  The outhouse / barn could accommodate a horse or two or perhaps a few ostriches.  OK, probably not a good idea those ostriches, but still.  (There are ostrich farms in Norway, although the animals are most assuredly not part of our natural fauna.) The point is, we’re talking about the good life in the countryside.

Do people WANT the good life in the countryside anymore?  I am not sure. There seems to be a tremendous demand for small apartments in the city downtown, or small houses with not even room for a real garden, or even a shrub hedge between one house and the next.  And this is in Norway.  People from almost anywhere else in the world cannot imagine the amount of sheer wilderness this country has.  Even here I could take off from my home and just walk, and if I don’t bring some means of navigation I could get lost within hours, never to emerge again from the primordial forest, and quite likely my bones would not be found for centuries if ever.  This is the case pretty much everywhere on the south and west  and northern parts of Norway, except smack in the middle of the cities.  We are barely 5 million people, but we could have room for ten times as many and still have plenty of wilderness all around us. Civilization more or less seems to exist as a frail band on the fringes of a primal nature, living on its sufferance for a while, to be swallowed again quickly if our resolve weakens.

Under such conditions, living with the creaking of your neighbors’ beds or even just looking through their windows all day seems barely short of perverse.  It is a beautiful country, why not live in its beauty?  But since clumping together is the trend in society and has been for a good while now, I cannot just magically plunk down a house at the edge of the forest.  I could however magically FIND one.

But I restrain myself.  The house is even better suited for a family.  I would only occupy half of it, even with all the clothes I have not worn out yet.  (I have only thrown away a couple  clothes since last I moved.  I have not even opened the shirts that were unopened when I moved here in February 2006!) I don’t have children to play in the road or climb the trees.  And if someone has a job in that part of the province, they would not get many chances to find a place to live there. Almost all new construction is around the towns.  So for the happiness of the many, I must restrain myself.  I must have faith that I can live a wonderful life without hurting others.

There is also the small detail that my commute to and from work would be 80 minutes by train and 40 minutes on foot, each way.  Now I love trains and I love walking (it is also very healthy) but it is still two hours.  I have said before that I wanted a longer commute, and I am serious that it would not inconvenience me:  Commute is when I get most of my reading done, or I can meditate or even sleep if I feel the need for that.   With the new mobile phone I can also check my mail and social media, so it is not all that different from being home.  Still, it has its weak points. You can’t just decide to come to work half an hour earlier, because there is no train that arrives at that time; likewise you cannot just decide when to leave work, because there are only a couple trains each evening going that way.

And of course there is no law requiring the owner to rent to me even if I am willing to pay several months in advance (as I would gladly do).  Single men are viewed with suspicion here in the Feminist Paradise of Scandinavia.  Hopefully my references from here and, if worst comes to worst, the place where I lived for the previous 20 or so years, would calm such fears. But it is very uncommon for a man of my age to live a stable life alone.  Then again, “uncommon” is probably one of the best words ever to describe me.

So we shall see.  If the Light wants me to live there, nobody else will get it, even if they try.  If it is my longing ideal, the angels of Heaven will intervene on my behalf; but if it is just a worldly attachment, they will kindly look for a way to divert me.  Or something like that.  I am not really a theologian.  But when I moved here, in winter 2006, on my second day I met a man who recognized me from years ago. He worked nearby, and told me that he had seen me walking in the area recently.  Now, this was actually my second time walking there, and the first time had been on another time of the day when he was unlikely to have been there. So who had he seen? In the Bible there is an episode when the apostle Peter is mistaken for his angel, so evidently they have the power to assume the shape of their wards if needed… Who knows.   I know the Bible is kind of old now, but if I were to find a house in the countryside to rent, it would almost be a miracle of Biblical proportions, don’t you think? Just like last time.

Have to get out of here


No more springs in this house for me!

So the time has come.  Yesterday I got a mail from the landlord: I have to be out of here within 3 months, as they are clearing the house and selling it.

This is not exactly high drama, at least not yet.  3 months is a lot more comfortable than 3 days, which is what I had last time.  Of course, last time I thought I had a new apartment – I had in fact partly moved in, as it was within walking distance.  But the huge amount of stuff broke the camel’s back. So this time I am either looking for an apartment large enough to easily swallow all my stuff, or getting rid of more of it before I move.

I did get rid of a ton of stuff when I moved here, probably literally.   And the Pigsty Project got me rid of almost all my CDs and all but one glass jar.  Next up is my old books – luckily the used book shop is still around, as I would hate to burn them.  I have already packed a bag of light fantasy novels by Piers Anthony to get rid of. This was something I should do anyway, to make room for the books by Schuon, Wilber, Godwin and Okawa. It is time to get rid of some of the portals to lower worlds and install portals to higher worlds instead.  Even this body is after all a rented house, and one day the landlord will deliver final notice, no matter how faithfully we pay our rent.

But in a more upbeat tone, I have started looking around already. There are actually a couple apartment in the same price range nearby, at least one of them within walking distance, and the size is acceptable if I continue to throw away stuff.  It is not as if I have used the whole house here after all – the attic was off-limits, as was almost all of the basement and even one small bedroom up here.  So a full basement might be just as roomy, or nearly so, and probably cooler in the summer.  Certainly this one is – during the heat wave early this summer, I would spend some time in the washing room downstairs, it was as if escaping the season.  Now not all basements are like that, but still.

Or I could try to rent a house out in the countryside.  I don’t particularly mind a long commute, but the problem is if it is not going when I need it.  There was an awesome place for rent up in the mountains, another way to shorten the summer by the way.  (Yes, I have a particular problem with summer.  When it is could, you can add another layer or two of warm clothes. But when it is hot, you cannot take off the skin.)  The price was right, but the bus is clearly not meant for commute, only for shopping and such.  It arrives just before 9 and leaves around 3:30 AM, too short for a workday.  (Actually it is almost a workday for me, since I only work 90%, but not quite.) The next bus in the evening isn’t home until 11PM – an hour to midnight.  That is barely enough time to sleep before having to jump up and run for the bus to the city again.

But this is just the first day.  Tomorrow I will find something more tempting.  This time of the year is great for finding a new home to rent.  And conveniently, I seem to have enough money to pay double rent for a couple months if it comes to that.  So if there are no other problems, there is no need to cry for me. Yet.