Little me was never this cute

Remember MidJourney, the artificial intelligence that turns text prompts into images? Turns out it can also turn images into… more images! So I gave MidJourney a picture of myself from my journal and let it use its imagination. That was… interesting.

Cute little redhead

Pretty sure I never was quite this cute! Although I am sure my mother would not have minded, God rest her soul. She told me a couple of times in my early youth that she had hoped for a girl this time (after three boys) and someone had even congratulated her on finally getting a girl, but that turned out to not be the case. Instead she got me. I didn’t mind hearing that, for by then I already knew that she would have gone barefoot through Hell and back for me if necessary. Not because I was cute, but because she was my mother.

I never had any kids myself. Not only because you still need to have icky, unhygienic sex to make babies (we have the technology to skip that, but most women still insist on doing it that way) but then there would be the daily struggle for two decades to not murder the little monsters, if they were anything like me. Maybe if I had cute kids like this, I would have managed. But let’s face it, there’s no way my little kids could be this cute. And neither could I.

So secure

Screenshot anime Aho-girl

Boys feel insecure unless you tell them with words… and Google feels insecure unless you use SSL. Sometimes I too feel insecure, and need a reminder.

It is way past decent bedtime but I think I have manage to activate SSL to the point where my website defaults to https. Or in other words, hopefully once your cache clears, you should be able to visit without your browser screaming “This site has been taken over by the forces of evil! Flee for your life!” as it has done for some time now. I was a bit baffled about this since the site has been encrypted by Let’s Encrypt for, oh, a year or two? But Google still had to be prodded with a cattleprod to have anything to do with it. Hopefully that should end now, because the site is so secure.


Speaking of Google, their YouTube thought this was a good time to bring up again some songs I listened to in October last year. I agree, although probably not for the reasons they believe. Perhaps another Big G is also tweaking their routines, who knows. Because a song came up that made me cry then, and it made me cry again tonight. (But I dried my tears and continued to research the SSL, because I love you.)

The song is called You Are The Light and is by Kanon, a Japanese songstress of some good repute. I discovered this song because it is popular the same audience as the song This Is My Road  which was performed in excerpt with the anime Guin Saga, based on a work that was unfortunately left unfinished due to the untimely demise of its author. I guess I should take that as a reminder. “We must say all the words that should be spoken, before they are lost forever” used to be a motto of this site, once upon a time. Once upon a brighter time, I guess we can say.

The refrain of the song goes like this:

You are the light, you are my hope,
I’m so secure ’cause with you now.

I hope you too are so secure  now. And Light willing, I may write more another time. But for now, I uploaded the brief entry I wrote back then, on October 1 last year. Back then, I tried to embed the song and type out the text I heard, even if not much more. I have no idea if those who know me will understand why it hit me like it did. But it is worth a try. Here it is: Singing to the Light, in the dark.


God still reads my journal

Screenshot anime

I sure am hung up on myself. You don’t need to tell me…

Not sure how many others are still reading, what with updates being such a rare event (especially in Februaries) but clearly someone up there is watching over me. I mean, how else do you explain that Kritika Online is being closed down after I review it in my previous entry? ^_^

Don’t worry, I have already moved on to Lord of the Rings Online. It is an old MMORPG with lots of contents and lots of features added over the years, and lots of deep lore. But knowing me, it should surprise no one that the feature that interests me the most at the moment is the “skirmishes”, which are… repeatable instances! At the outset there are three of them, and you can tweak them a lot like missions in City of Heroes or even more: You can have different group sizes from 1 to 12 heroes, you can choose from 3 difficulty levels, and you can pick a character level from 20 upward. So you can tailor the difficulty to your liking, especially upward. And you can repeat them over and over till you die. Or the game dies. About that…

I got my first character to the minimum Skirmish level, 20, before bedtime. The next day after work I eagerly fired up my gaming computer, and it started to load LOTRO. And stuck on the first loading screen. I went to their website, it was also down. Eventually I found their Twitter account where they said they had “extended downtime” but would be up next morning. It’s been two days now of the downtime being extended by a few hours every few hours. I feel slightly guilty since, me being such a Very Important Person, obviously this happens for my sake. ^_^

Actually, if it happened for my sake, I would presumably be a Main Character, and that’s a bit too much even for me! What I mean is that I am a  Viewpoint Character: I am in the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time to see things happen. It is a term from literature, in which the viewpoint character of a scene – or a chapter, or a whole book – is the person who sees and feels and experiences the content of the book. And if written correctly, the personality of the Viewpoint Character filters everything that he or she reports and adds meaning and narrative to it. But the Viewpoint Character is not necessarily the Main Character, let alone the Creator of the story. Still, being a Viewpoint Character is a privilege, as you get to be where things happen, when they happen.

So basically, while it looks to me (as the Viewpoint Character) like a higher power is shutting down the games that take too much of my interest, a more realistic take on it is that I (as the Viewpoint Character but not the Main Character) am being subtly placed by the Author in a position to notice when they get shut down.

Obviously I am not being told “You are the Viewpoint Character for a certain event, so I need you to go there and do this or that.” As far as I perceive things, I do them mostly entirely on my own, or as a reaction to things that happen to me from outside. It is only when I witness some unlikely string of coincidences that I start to suspect that I am placed there as a Viewpoint Character, to make sure it is seen. Coincidences like one game getting shut down and another put on hold after I start writing about them. (Yes, I have been writing on a review of Lord of the Rings Online, I just haven’t uploaded it yet.)

The Author of the world is, in my belief, the “Christian God”. (This is an artifact of the English language, obviously God is not a Christian! Rather it is a shorthand for “God as imagined by Christians”.) This God is believed to take an active interest in what goes on in the created world. So in that perspective, it makes sense to draw connections between my journal and the closing of games. But does this connection exist outside of my head? Does it matter if it does, or only that it seems like it?

There are a lot more important things going on in the world than computer games. I basically write about them to appear more normal than I am, since it is something I have in common with many normal humans. A friend of mine lost her father, her pets, and almost her life in a house fire last month. Computer games shutting down is not likely to be a big thing in her life right now. I am well aware of how tiny, petty and pointless my earthly interests are. But somehow, oddly, I am still able to see connections between my petty little life and events on a larger scale. And that is the joy of being a Viewpoint Character, seeing what would otherwise have passed unnoticed. I get to feel important, even though I am not. Because my role is to observe. ^_^

Why not February?

Screenshot anime Hyouka (OP 2)

Am I pretending nothing happened in February for five years? The screenshot is from the second opening scene to the anime Hyouka, which I wrote about back in November 2012, about living on the other side of the glass from the world where everyone else lives.

As I uploaded my previous entry, the upload tool presented me with an alphabetical list of folders. I noticed to my surprise that there was a gap from “feb13” to “feb18”. Yes, that means I had not uploaded any pictures (and therefore probably not any main journal entries) in February since five years ago. That’s quite a bit of time! I know I have uploaded other entries from time to time, so why not February?

Perhaps it is something about the season: Winter in Norway is cold and dark, and in most years February is the coldest month of the year. So far it seems that I am pretty much immune to classical depression, seasonal or otherwise. There is an increasingly widespread theory that in men, depression can take the form of a feeling of disconnect, so there is that. But truth to tell, I suspect I feel a lot less disconnected than I am in the eyes of other people, in so far as they give me any thought at all. Being single and childless and 59 years old, I certainly should qualify. But it is my brother who has struggled with depression, even though he is a great guy and has a great wife and kids. Life is not always fair, and depression, in particular, strikes me as cruel and capricious. The people who could need it are not the ones who have it.

Be that as it may, looking at an entry I wrote in February last year and never uploaded, it details my discovery that I was actually strikingly and obviously evil inside. For some reason, I had failed to notice this particular detail. I can’t attribute that to depression either, as it was more like pulling off the mask I had worn in the mirror for many long years. Ever since then, I removed the “good” trait on my self-sim in The Sims 3, although I did not go so far as to replace it with “evil”. Rather, I replaced it with “gatherer” (more like collector in the Norwegian version), which I for some reason had not found room for in the past even though it is a constant struggle to not fill my apartment to the rafters. Well, the current apartment is for sale so that may help a bit right now.

There is really a lot of things I could write about, both about my life and my interests, if I had continued in the way I started for the first ten years or so. But I think the time for that is long past. We have social media now, where crowds of people are eagerly photographing their food and throwing out bombastic opinions based on their emotions, and there are even people who play computer games on YouTube for everyone to see. They are topping me like the Himalayas top a small hill, in the kind of things I used to do when the Internet was new, back when it was rare to get a chance to look in through the window to a stranger’s life and heart.

Ingress journal

Since this game is kind of special – it is the first RPG that blends the physical and virtual world – I have started writing about it in my more personal journal. It is less personal than the health whines and exercise posts there, although Ingress is a form of exercise, at least here in Europe. I understand that in the US, people try to use their car whenever possible.

Anyway, you can find it at my Slice of Life journal as a separate category: Ingress journal.

JulNoWriMo 2013

Screenshot anime Dog & Scissors

“The more you know, the more interesting will be the books you write.” In light of this, it may be not be a great loss if you can’t read mine yet.

I am trying my hand at novel writing again, this time in July (usually it is November). I was thinking of publishing each chapter here as it was finished, both as a motivation for myself and because some reader may be curious about my writing, or writing in general, and how a first draft looks while it is being written.

In the end, however, I decided not to post my fiction here. It is confusing enough here as is, I suspect. And there is the whole “Anonymous” debate going on. I don’t want to risk it looking like my fiction writing is in answer to that. Now that would be really confusing, because the story is itself largely about religion, spirit, psychology and the supernatural. While not particularly autobiographical (there may appear flavor elements from my own life or things I have seen personally, but not much) it has my distinct “voice”, I think, so it could cause unnecessary confusion.

Screenshot City of Heroes, approx. 2004

Randomly diving in the enormous archives of my Chaos Node, I think I found the first entry that outlined my belief in the Coming Change and the parallel to the arrival of the current mind. It was more than a year before the longer series in 2005. And it was in part based on an even older entry, but one that only contains the seeds of the idea, not yet sprouted. (There is a link to that entry too.)

A super future, if any (Idus Martiæ, 2004).

Neverwinter is no City of Heroes

Screenshot Neverwinter

Grim and gritty, not a place I would like to spend my afterlife.

I was planning to write about the new Neverwinter MMO for a week or two, much as I did with City of Heroes from the same studio exactly 9 years ago. But the truth is that Neverwinter is no City of Heroes, and I probably am not quite the same person I was back then, either.

That said, I could probably still easier write another entry about City of Heroes, even though it closed down 5 months ago. (It feels more like a year and a half, but then I have a strange sense of time.)

As for Neverwinter, I am making a habit of logging in several times a day to have my 3 characters pray, give orders to their henchmen, and if necessary send their pets or followers on training. I’ve run some quests and hunted some bandits and orcs, but I don’t see this game becoming a lifestyle. Your lifestyle may vary.

Pearls before swine, lots of pearls

“The poison of jealousy turns even an angel into a devil.” When we go too high above our pray grade, we unleash a universal Constraining Force, which has the power to enrage the swine around us, or even the swine within. This is a fearful thing to unleash.

Recently I have immersed myself in winter and spring of 2010, rereading my first months in Riverview. I sure wrote a lot of worthwhile spiritual and generally good and useful stuff. I received a lot of revelations, and of course I had some from before, so I just kept writing it down. I am not really sure it has been of help to anyone, but perhaps one day it will be. Who knows?

I read a bit in Mouravieff’s Gnosis again. He mentions that those who are trying to break out of the general law – the inertia of the world – should keep silent about spiritual things. It is natural, he says, to want to talk to everyone about the wonderful things you have found. But it will cause the constraining elements of the world to become aware of you and react in various ways, externally and internally. (Resistance from other people, and temptations.) So while you may not need to literally go through your days silent, you should be silent about the spiritual sights you have just seen. He refers then to Christ’s words about not casting pearls before swine or giving to the dogs what is holy. They will just attack you.

That may be so, but if no one ever mentioned the spiritual things, then it would die with them, is that not so?

Well, that is so, but by and large it should be left to those who have achieved lift-off, I guess. Those who have so little to lose, the constraining forces can do little about them except revile them and kill them, which is not enough at that stage. Christ said at the end of his life that the prince of this world was coming “and he has nothing in me”. That is not the case for us newbies. Whether we think so or not, there is actually a lot in us that can be activated by the constraining force of the ordinary world.

But I keep having this notion that if I throw enough pearls before the swine, sooner or later they will lose their footing and fall flat. Since there seems to be an endless supply of pearls – for when you have been given an internal companion from Heaven, no matter how undeserved, there is no end to what could be said – it seemed reasonable to me that I must say all the words that should be spoken, before they are lost forever.

On the internet, nobody can see if you are a dog. Or a swine. I like to think that there are a few out there who are neither. But if I were to think of myself, and what is best for me, then I should probably keep a lower profile. The more we speak up, the more the constraining force will focus upon us, what the ancients called demons and Satan, which attacks both within through temptations and wild emotions, and without through slander and hostility. In one story written down in the gospel, Jesus Christ drove out unclean spirits from a man, and at once they went into a flock of swine. This is unfortunately so even spiritually speaking, that the swine are always receptive to the negative spiritual influences. The more pearls you throw at them, the angrier they get, unaware that what they are being pelted with is supposed to be valuable. We are not talking cuddly piglets here, a crowd of enraged swine is a fearsome thing indeed.

For a beginner such as I – and this is tragic in itself, to be a beginner after all these years and with all this insight – for a beginner, the constraining force may well completely extinguish the spiritual life if I go too high. This is a fact deeply enshrined in all serious spiritual traditions, and also mentioned in Christianity of course: “and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.” The Devil is the personification of the constraining force, according to Mouravieff. I don’t think it matters here whether you think of the Devil as a person as such, regardless the point stands that it is not something we should mess with just for the hell of it. If we go too far above our pray grade, we become “inflated” as some translations put it, and the constraining force will cause us to fall into damnable actions.

This is not unlike what I experience when I play Go, actually.  See, at the start of a match, it is customary to place stones at strategic spots on the board, with the unspoken intention of declaring the surrounding are one’s own, or to occupy it if you will. But if I start out reaching far into the other side of the board early on, the opponent will react by invading my home territory and cut it apart, and I end up with nothing. Since I am a beginner and don’t have the skill to follow up on bold moves, the best I can do at my present level is to secure a smaller part of the board and wall it off from enemy incursion.

While I believe that my Invisible Friend could easily reveal to me innumerable books of Heavenly wisdom, it is unlikely that I would fail to make a fuss about it, and subsequently be cut to pieces by the constraining force, “an anti-dromedary” as I call it. (Enantiodromia.) When someone who has made a sustained and earnest beginning in spiritual work is gutted like that, the result is usually terrifying. An utter ruin, a destruction on a far more massive scale than the setbacks that anyone can experience in life. I have lived a charmed life so far. Long may it last – but that means not playing Buddha on the Internet.

I feel stupid

"You are not intending to screw up things again, are you?"

No, I am not intending to screw things up, but that doesn’t mean it may not happen.

One of the surest signs that you are making progress in your inner life is when you can look at something you said five years ago and think “How stupid I was back then!” -This is something spiritual teachers across religions and continents agree on.

But what if you look at the stupid things you did five years ago, and think they are stupid, and still do them? I am not sure what to call that.

I wish I had something better to write about at this age than anime. And in fact I do have such better things, but I dare not write about them, because of the great responsibility.

“We must say all the words that should be spoken, before they are lost forever” says Chris de Burgh, and my heart agrees.

“For each unnecessary word a human speaks, they shall make account on Judgment Day” says Jesus Christ, and my heart agrees.

Between these I try to live and write.


When the Web was fairly new, there were no blogs. But there were people like me, hand-coding our journals using HTML in Notepad. Back then, people would read my journal, since there wasn’t much else to read. Now there are blogs everywhere, and social networks like Facebook where you can read what people ate for dinner and look at pictures of their babies and their cats. I can’t compete with that.

So now that I have something to say, I have no one to say it to, nor the confidence to say it, since I know more about all the things I don’t know. Most people don’t even know that they don’t know, of course, thus their confidence. (The Dunning-Kruger effect.)