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March 21, 1998

About a week ago I went for a walk with an old friend and her boyfriend. They live in El Salvador, the country where I was born and where I have lived for half of my life, and they had a lot to say about what is happening there. Among the recurring complaints about the lack of jobs, the hunger, the overpopulation, the corruption and the general lack of hope,  El Salvador, they told me, has now hit a new milestone. That one little country in the middle of Central America, much smaller than California, is now the most violent place on the whole planet Earth. They described to me what that means, what is it like to live in such an environment and how the violence is only increasing. The whole conversation came down to a certain lack of purpose, a whole mass of people that don't appear to fit in the global puzzle. What can people that haven't even really gone through an industrialized age contribute to a computerized world? And my question was , and is: is there some other product, some subtle creation invisible to the modern eye, being pumped up from the bloody streets and back alleys of El Salvador?

Reading Snowcrash recently,  I came across the idea of the human dimension as biomass, an endlessly repeating blob of flesh that feeds energy/information into a greater and perhaps invisible accumulator. In other words, as Gurdjieff said a long time ago, we are "food for the moon". Given the sleeping state of the great majority of human machines, we can be nothing else than a massive compost pile burning up slowly in the great voidness of space. It might be beyond us at this point to try to understand what exactly we are feeding and how.

The hot bloody biomass that is El Salvador, and most of the so-called Third World, could serve as an enclosed area where old dead lifeforms get broken down and, consequently,  this space would become a fertile breeding ground for new viruses, new language forms that would slowly crawl up to the cold northern lands, in a subtle invasion of broken English and ancient invocational rhythms. Maybe the planet has a need for a closed and warm environment where the ancient and new codes can meet and explode into a thousand new mutations, splashing like burning rain over the borders of the industrialized nations. And such an environment is bound to be violent, dangerous and unpredictable, specially when the heat is up and the mutations are multiplying.

Always remember, the Earth has its own use for things.

March 20, 1998

Under the deafening buzz of the train and letting my body give in to inertia, I discover myself locked in a suffocating yet warm yellow atmosphere.

"I have been here before, I have seen this scene thousands of times, I have felt many times that same buzzing drilling into my ears... and these people, yes, these people are the same ones that I've seen before. Yes, the same... the same women with their still wet hair, the same odors of perfume, the same square backs, the same necks enclosed in ties... yes, exactly the same as yesterday and I dare to say it, it will be exactly the same tomorrow. I don't know these people, never a word has crossed the air between us, but their faces are so familiar, their voices with all their small variations, their expressions, their clothing... it all seems so familiar, I know it, I see it daily... why is it suddenly surprising to be locked up in this little wagon with them? Why are they surprising in themselves? What is new here? I knew what would happen before allowing myself to be swallowed by this metal worm, I know it will spit me out three stops ahead and that tomorrow I will enter again. Then I ask myself: does this moment have any value? Is there any significance to it?

Under the deafening buzz of the train and letting my body give in to inertia, I discover myself locked in a suffocating yet warm yellow atmosphere.

March 19, 1998

To complete a task is an act of magic.

Maybe without realizing it or maybe painfully aware of it, a lot of us walk around with the distinct knowledge that we are incapable of completing anything that we set ourselves out to do.
It probably begins in childhood, when we had so many dreams which we allowed to fall by the wayside. These were great dreams, dreams of conquest, achievement and beauty. But maybe by our own laziness, or maybe because of situations at least apparently beyond our control, these dreams had to be put in the backburner, they had to be placed in that mental file labeled "maybe someday, but not today..." And so we slowly learned that  true essence dreams, true wishes, are not accomplishable.

Once the psyche is absolutely convinced of this false "truth", the only recourse we see before us is to become part of the great slave majority, who need someone to tell them what to do every single day of their lives along with a constant threat of hunger, poverty and humiliation hanging over their heads, like a dark cold shadow. Before we know it, we're getting old and we've spent the greatest part of our lives doing something we hate "just to survive"! And every time there is a chance to leave, to follow a new opportunity, we remember: "I can't finish anything. I am incapable of completing a dream..."

Is there a way out of this trap, this prison cell modern people call "real life"?  There is, but the path is not easy to find or travel. You must begin with small, simple steps. The steps in themselves may not be (and in fact, they shouldn't be) significant to the ultimate goal, but their significance lies in their completion. You must regain the essence knowledge that tasks can be completed, that goals can be achieved. At the beginning, you should set yourself goals so small that it is inconceivable that you wouldn't achieve them. As you gain the deep knowledge that you are in fact capable of completion, you can add to the difficulty of the tasks, but always in a very gradual manner. Slowly, the essence will rediscover what it knew in your childhood:

Everything is possible. There are no limits.

March 18, 1998

Wow, ads...

Have you looked at an advertisement lately? Not just glanced at it, but I mean, consciously and intentionally explored the ad’s detail and subtleties, its inherent stories, its implications, and so on?

The people who come up with these ads spend many professionally trained hours in composition trying to come up with the perfect arrangements and combinations of color, text, graphics, symbols, etc., for large companies who are willing to pay a lot of money for a single advertisement graphic. These companies are willing to do that because they are aware of the powerful effects these ads have on people.

What hit me today was the resemblance between stories of sorcerers, their magical items, and their influence on people, and what is happening today with large advertising agencies and our contemporary culture. It seems as if these ads are indeed artifacts constructed by the sorcerers at your city’s Advertising agencies. They hold the knowledge to throw the spell and enchant people to want to buy a specific product. Like the bones of the old man were said to radiate (like nuclear radiation) its magic onto its victim, so the advertisement artifacts expose radiation to those who come across them.

These artifacts are created to arise certain tendencies in people -usually tendencies to buy a particular product. By creating the right combination and arrangement of the resources, a specific kind of radiation is created. This is the scary part, that this knowledge of magic, or technology, is not being used for the benefit of all beings, but rather for specific, small (compared to whole population) and powerful entities, currently known as companies, corporations, etc.. The use of these techniques are not being employed to help all beings, but rather to make money, become more powerful, and as a weapon to beat the competition. Gosh, this sounds like black magic to me!

Next time you see an advertisement at the bus stop, or maybe in a magazine, or on the side of a big building, pay more attention than usual and you will find many hidden subtleties. Ask yourself, what radiation is that artifact giving off? Explore it’s details, implications, hidden stories, etc. You will be surprised to find lots of stuff in what appears to be an ordinary advertisement sign.

March 16, 1998

A dream:
Russian satellites are overhead
and the heat from their engines
is burning a whole through my forebrain.
There are many large weapons spiraling into the skies above,
helicopters as big as cities hover and wait.
On the ground there are Russian troops everywhere,
flashes from machine guns fill the streets.
A man moves closer, how can he dodge so many bullets?
Rolling to the ground he is suddenly in the center of them
and has a gun to the leader's head:
a female in a dark overcoat.
The troops are fleeing now,
like water down an unplugged drain.
Whoosh and they disappear.

March 15, 1998

Hasn't it been said that no news is good news?
But what if there were no news at all?
We would probably start digging through the past
to find that last bit of news that we
left somewhere back there...

Speaking of things being left somewhere back there:

We would like to recommend the movie "Ikiru" ("To Live") to all our readers.
It is one of Kurosawa's less well known masterpieces and it is all about
that space you  go into when you  realize that you
(yes, YOU)
are about to die and there is no way to escape it.

(Remember that space?)

What to do then?
Is there something you were supposed to do here
but never got around to doing?
Is there still time to complete that basic task that you ignored all these years?

The movie is one long unforgettable journey through these questions.
The Bardo Training Center says:



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