Probably the last one of these for awhile.

I find them kind of dry, and the laundry list approach leaves something to be desired. I find it also reinforces my habit of bitter struggle, which I’d like to dispense with. I suppose if I could change my record into a weekly account of  ecstatic rhapsodising, it might be a different thing, but if so, I might as well call it something different.

In any case, things are bound to get a bit more hectic again soon. I clearly need to update my resume and reenter the mainstream workforce again. I’ve heard on a few occasions that establishing a new business often takes up to three years, when it works at all, so it’ll have to be the long road to self employment for me I guess.

Which begs the question of what to do in the three years it may take to build up my business? Security is out. Work in a spa requires some niceties that would require a bit of a strain on my part. Might temp again for awhile or get back into manual labor for the summer.

If civilisation collapses in the next few years and I get to fall back on the post apocalyptic hunter gatherer skill set, I suppose I’ll be doing all right, but I doubt much of anyone else will, so I’ll set that image aside for now.

I’m feeling the pull of another insight cycle lately, and easing back into some intensive meditation.  I’ve said pretty much everything about that, that I can, and it still causes confusion, so I will commend thou to the experts.

The site clearly isn’t getting updated as much as I’d like but hopefully my computer situation will get resolved within a couple weeks.  In the meanwhile the pocket recorder ought to come in handy. It’s fun to explore a slightly new medium.

My gym activity has reached a tempo where I’m sore pretty much all the time, and I’m always hungry. refining my focus away from building mass I don’t need or want, towards greater strength pound-for-pound, which suits my lifestyle better. Over developed goons with limited range of motion don’t last long in knife fights. But then again, knife fights never last very long anyway. But it’s nice to be the one who drips, not the one who sprays.

…or so I’ve been told. that’s your zen koan for the day.

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33 thoughts on “Magickal Record 05-14-07

  1. I have always found your stuff on insight meditation wonderfully clear, zac. Please continue, if you have time and all. If there is confusion, some of it may just be because you can’t be defining your terms every time, and in any long sequence the language becomes necessarily personal. I’m not sure that can be helped.
    I find it valuable because there aren’t that many clear records of people crossing this terrain, recorded as they are doing it, and maps made afterwards tend to downplay some things. I feel a lot of the value I get out of reading Daniel Ingram is that he tells it from a first person perspective.
    Goodluck with the work, and the training. You seem to be running a periodized training schedule. Those are a blast. I worked my way through Colgans power program a few years ago, to great benefit, and I still remember the cellular level exhaustion I would get in the final phase of it. I also found it solved a few dojo problems that I had thought were technical, but turned out to be lack of stability in the joints, so it was good to do. I finally stopped for the reason you mentioned, the bulk, especially between the shoulders, and I came to resent the time spent in the gym.
    Anyway, thanks for your work here. I really appreciate it. And having just read my way through that voodoo thread mentioned earlier, I must say I appreciate your clarity of expression very much.
    Take care.

  2. “Security is out. Work in a spa requires some niceties that would require a bit of a strain on my part.”

    Hm. Would this be an allusion to having to work on your interpersonal skills a bit? If so, perhaps that’s exactly the kind of experience you could benefit from in order to realize your long term goal of self-employment. Plus, contacts & potential future clients can be established in the context of work-a-day employment in the field in which you hope to one day be self-employed. Just a thought.

  3. to some extent yes. it irks me that some practicioners treat their sessions like an episode of oprah winfrey, where you’re just supporting someones need to gossip and rationalise their negativity in return for money. i wouldn’t want to go that way or be expected to go that way in a spa. it’d be strictly seasonal anyway, so we’ll see.

    The farther away from actual clinical work it gets, the less interesting it is.

  4. why work a job when you can just buy a house in california and it go up in price 50k a year? duh! by the way i’ve got this hot penny stock I heard about, SCAM.

    I generally think that getting “muscle bound” is a myth, it’s more like you have more tissue to move so it throws off your motor learning curve, and that you just didn’t stretch enough. Gymnasts are very muscular but rarely lack flexibility or speed, e.g. I used to train with a guy name “ogum” who was very very large but very flexible and took a certain delight in “helping” his buddies with their hamstring stretches.

    I generally find that when someone is doing the equivalent of hitting me with a meat tenderizer for 90 minutes that talking is not that likely. but I am a spasmed-up coffee-addicted dude with a twisted spine so i feel like my trigger points are probably a bit meaner. worst comes to worst then *you* can complain about the negativity your spa clients have.

  5. Have you considered working with, or advertising to, sports teams, like local football teams, or amateur softball teams or whatever? I had a friend who did that when he was working on his qualifications. He was first aid man and general masseur. He said it was interesting work, and also he got a ton of word of mouth advertising value out of it. He just met so very many people who needed his skills in teams full of middle aged pillars of the community with twinges in their knees.

  6. Zac, I think you are really good at explaining, fundamental insight. Hope I didn’t discourage you. I have no doubt you are the real deal and that what you say is true.

    I think for me, the content aspect of my life, my life purpose is developing my center. For some people, like me I think its more of the main goal. You mentioned kind of in passing on the podcast, that the goal is develop this center, realize its an illusion and relinquish it.

    Well, if its kind of fuzzy and not well developed yet, that might not be a good thing.

    In terms of astrology, numerology, which is all content type stuff, some people have developing their sense of self as more of an issue. So I wouldn’t say you are confusing at all. You probably explain this stuff better than anybody.

    So don’t gauge the effectivness of your communication of this stuff based on my responses.

  7. I’m assuming that you do find them threatening. I’ve just noticed that here, and on another occasion when you mentioned your gym activity, you tend to go on tirades against men with an overdeveloped muscaculars (sp?) and how you could kick their asses or cut them up. I suppose the biggest assumption is that you feel insecure when you see those huge guys, and write such things to compensate. I just hope you’re into all this martial arts and working out because it accords with who you are and who you want to be, and not just because you’re looking to pick a fight to feed insecurity issues. Maybe I’m curious about why there is such an emphasis on violence and conflict in your life.

  8. I don’t even know where to start….

    well, I took a few minutes to track down these ‘tirades’ you mentioned, cause I’d be concerned if this tendancy existed and I wasn’t aware of it. it seems pretty clear that they were throwaway comments, not meant to be taken seriously, at least the ones I could find. I’m sure I have my moments of insecurity, like everyone else, but suggesting that I want to beat up bodybuilders or knife them, seems like a bit of a stretch. I wouldn’t want Jay to get upset at me again…

    I suppose if you sifted my body of work for sarcastic, out of context, or ambiguous comments, you could formulate a theory for just about anything.

    I was a pretty vocal fan of julius evola for awhile. No one accused me of being a nazi, or an anti semite. I suppose I should be gratefull.

  9. Zac, I don’t think you can limit something you say or write to the category of “insignificant throwaway comment.” Come on, if such things were so insignificant, they never would have entered your head and made it onto this site in the first place, would they? Hell, before Freud and the other psychoanalysts, everybody thought that a slip of the tongue was nothing more than a slip of the tongue, yet now we know that such actions often give away one’s true feelings.

    For me, though, I’ll admit that this is a secondary issue. What I really want to know is who you plan on fighting, and why. All of your weight training, martial arts practice, and stretching must take up a significant portion of your time, but I don’t recall ever seeing you state exactly what you plan on doing with those abilities.

    Yeah, I know there are powerful, evil men in this world, but they have SWAT teams and armored tanks to support them. Surely there is a more efficient and effective way to take them down than attempting to challenge that strength of force so directly.

  10. I think I can actually. I’m well aware of psychoanalysis, but I don’t accept that when you’re making a joke that it gives away ones ‘true feelings’.

    I never said any of the stuff slipped in. It was intended. and the intent in many cases is not to be taken seriously.

    And if you think that stretching, excercise and martial arts imply some violent intent, you’ve obviously misunderstood the point of the thing.

  11. Think of all that passes through your mind, all those thoughts, and all that information. The vast majority of it receives almost no attention, a small portion receives some attention but is not acted upon, and a tiny majority manifests itself openly in the world. I’m not judging you in a negative way or “calling you out,” I simply don’t accept that you can publish something on a website like this and claim that it reveals nothing about your true character.

    However, humor often doesn’t translate very well into text, so I’m guessing that I inferred a more serious tone from your comments than you intended.

    I don’t assume that stretching, exercise, and martial arts imply violent intent–it’s just the vibe I picked up from reading how you speak and write about these things. Obviously, “picking up a vibe” could be as much a product of my own unconscious workings as anything actually present in your body of work. At the end of the day, you’ve produced fascinating material on this site, and I wouldn’t be so curious to pick your brain about it were that not the case. If I’m talking to you in this comments section, I don’t care if you’re right, and I don’t care if I’m right–I just wanna know what makes you tick. So if I ask what it is you plan on doing with all this rigorous physical training, it’s because that’s really what I want to know.

  12. so, let me see if i understand you…

    you start out by suggesting I’m a violently insecure neurotic who wants to attack and mutilate well developed men, and THEN you backpedal and say all you really want is to find out my innermost thoughts?

    sounds like you’ve already made up your mind, to me.

    and besides, it’s no secret. do you suppose with everything on my site already, I’m actually holding something out on you?
    or does it just not fit with your preconceptions?

    It always fascinates me the lengths people will go to avoid what’s staring them right in the face.

  13. I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick, Chris.

    From what I’ve read, I think it’s abundantely clear to anyone with eyes in their head that, far from harbouring resentment against well developed men, Zac actually dreams of getting a little more friendly with the nubile Olympian young thangs down at his local gym. A little more friendly with men like Jay Cutler, isn’t that right Zac? C’mon Zac, admit it – you’d love to get some hot oil action going on those meaty buns, no?

    Christ Zac, you’re having a shit month for commentators.

  14. Yes, I want to know what your thoughts are, and I searched for this information by suggesting that you are a violently insecure neurotic who wants to attack and mutilate well developed men. I never actually thought this of you, but I find that it’s much easier to get conversation out of somebody when you provoke them a bit. Maybe I’m insecure in that way, but I know you’re a busy guy. At any rate, I don’t believe I’ve backpedaled as much as explained my methodology.

    As far as my mind, it’s far from made up. I’ve read a good portion of your writing, and listened to a fair amount of the podcasts, but I don’t recall coming across an explanation why you are involved in these physical pursuits. There’s a good change it’s present in the places I’ve not looked. Really, I don’t think I’ve asked for too much here–maybe a quick sentence about it on this comments thread, or perhaps a link to a place in your material where I can find this explanation.

  15. Chris, if that’s all you were asking, why didn’t you just, oh I don’t know, ask? in the first place? “Hey Zac, what’s your motivation for all this martial arts bla bla?”

    ‘Just asking’ is so darn effective, why, it’s almost like ‘magic’. You might try it sometime.

  16. Because, this way, I get more than just an answer. I get how he _feels_ about that answer, which is more valuable to me.

  17. well chris, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. I’m sorry if my responses don’t quite live up to your expectations, but that just life. there’s plenty of other smart people here who would gladly discourse with you on my probable motivations.

    I appreciate your polite and well reasoned comments, but I’m not about to condone this inflammitory nonsense. Would you be this obnoxious in real life, or is your ‘method’ still confined to yanking on girl’s pigtails in the real world?

    the internet sadly breeds this boorish behavior and then allows people to avoid taking responsibility for thier poor social skills.

    If you’re so fascinated with me and intruiged by my thoughts, how about a little common courtesy? I’m not your magic 8 ball. If you’re too impatient to do what everyone does and just read and listen to what I put here, am I automatically beholden to your demands for more info? I think not. And I’m sure not about to indulge your ludicrous behavioral psychology experiments.

    I don’t mean to single you out. you’re perfectly fine most of the time. but I figure it’s about time to lay down the law with this kind of nonsense. I’m very permissive with strangers, but you’ve been around long enough to know better.

    I’m not about to encourage some kind of passive agressive homo-erotic fan club thing here, and give that bastard alan more ammunition for his taunts, ( and if you can’t tell the difference between the kind of thing he does and what you’re doing, I’m not about to explain it to you ) so kindly, pretty please, with sugar on it, pack this shit in and act like a civilised human being. And that goes for anyone else, too.

  18. Believe me, there are no unfulfilled expectations for me.

    However, I do see now that I’ve acted rather crassly. You’re right though, conversing with disembodied text on the internet can cause one to forget that one is dealing with flesh and blood on the other end. So I apologize for the games, I will be more up front about things in the future.

    And no, you are not beholden to any demand I might make. I wonder, though, that if you’ve been willing to write so much to me thus far, why you feel that I ask too much when I request just a single sentence or link explaining what you plan on doing with your physical training. Really, if you tell me to piss off and go find that info on my own, that you don’t have time to explain everything to me, then that’s the answer I’ll have to live with, and I’m fine with that. I think I’d just be getting a rather mixed message, considering all you’ve been willing to write to me in this comments thread so far, right? Hey, at the very least, in humoring me you’ll deny Alan the ability to claim that you have any hangups about this subject.

  19. I’m feeling a bit misunderstood myself.

    Look, I approached this badly from the beginning, and I’m acknowledging that now. I am honestly, at this point, doing nothing more than asking you a question. If you don’t want to answer the question, just come out and say so.

  20. If you’re seriously this clueless, I have nothing but sympathy for you. I will not be answering your questions, and I’m going to have to think about answering any of your questions from this point forward.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with wanting to talk about my motivation for this or that. I have done and will continue to do so for a long time to come. The augoeides series alone is twenty something installements long and deals almost entirely with motivational subjects of the most intimate kind.

    that’s not the point. and neither is it about any of my supposed insecurites.

    The point, which I’m sorry to say that aren’t getting, is that I don’t appreciate, nor wish to encourage, exactly the sort of thing you’re doing right now: having to answer to strangers who lack even the most elementary sense of tact or propriety. If you had an ounce of common sense in your head, you’d forget your asinine questions, and think through what it is you’re doing that is pissing me off, and quit making a niuscance of yourself.

    the fact that after you’ve already acknowledged your mistake and apologised for it, you demonstrate that no, you don’t understand what you’re apologising for and continue demanding that I cater to your curiosity, and give you straight answers when you’re in no position to demand anything.

    At this point, I understand you’re not malicious, just kind of clueless, and I can only imagine how this must result in some painfull experiences in the rest of your life, so I will restrain my aggravation. I have had similar problems in my own life before, so I’m sympathetic to someone who lacks social skills.

    But do yourself a favour and think it through a little bit more than you obviously have done, before you come back here again with your comments.

  21. What I believe is that I started this discussion by acting immature and making unfounded assumptions about you. I am sorry for that. People who know me could tell you that this is very uncharacteristic behavior, but that doesn’t change what I’ve done. Perhaps, behind the safety of the computer screen, I’ve allowed my true colors to come out. Maybe that’s the reason this discussion is becoming very painful for me to maintain. I’ve read that taking a hard look at the self is a painful and distasteful process, and for once in my life I am feeling that.

  22. Chris, I think most guys would like to think that if it came down to it, they could handle themselves in a fight. What’s the problem?

    BTW, how come you only post in your first name? Are you worried about identity theft, or do you like to be anonymous when you provoke people on the internet?

    Theres some psycho analysis you could work on for a while.

  23. There’s no problem. Like I said earlier, I wanted to know his motivation for all the physical training, but went about searching for this information in a bad way. Because I did that, I pissed him off and he didn’t want to help me out.

    As far as only posting my first name, you could ask that question of Zac as well as you could of me, couldn’t you? At any rate, posting here requires that I provide an email address, and my last name (Balow) is present there in plain lettering.

  24. “But it’s nice to be the one who drips, not the one who sprays.”

    Ha ha! Exactly. One of my MMA teachers often says, “The winner bleeds, the loser gushes.”

    I haven’t been in a knife fight, yet, but I have been stabbed in the arm with a BBQ fork. I thought the guy was bluffing. 🙂

  25. Zac’s not passive aggressive. So he is obviously not being anonymous in order to give people shit.

    So your real name is Chris Balow?

    I post in my real name because I think it makes me more accountable for what I say. If I say stupid shit to people it on google for a long time.

    As far as training to fight, I think there is something wrong with men that don’t. Its natural. Everything fights. Bacteria, trees, birds, insects. If you are going to accept that you have it in you to want to be able to win a fight if it came down to it, you then have two choices. You can train for real and have real ways to test yourself. Or you can just fantasize about what you would do, and probably end up far overestimating your abilities and never really know.

  26. Well, if I’ve given anyone shit, I have no interest in being anonymous about it, as I have no trouble telling you that my name is Chris Balow.

    I don’t see anything wrong with training to fight, so long as it is for defense. When it comes to how natural it is to fight, I think this is where I find myself in a bind. On the one hand, I generally accept “natural” conditions as good, as they are the condition that the human animal seems most suited to. Yet, I often deplore the way that nature chooses to evolve through conflict–rather than cooperation.

    My genes are at war with those of everybody else, and I’m really hoping there’s a way out of that Neanderthalic struggle.

  27. Self defense isn’t really that hard. All you have to do is be able to run away. If you get robbed all you have to do is give them the money and don’t challenge them.

    I don’t think learning how to fight and self defense are the same thing. I think a really peaceful person would have little need to fight.

    I don’t think thee is a way out of the neanderthalic struggle besides fooling yourself about it. You will have a will to power and a desire to impose your will on others wether you accept it or not. You will just call it somthing else.

    All these people that want to impeach Bush and end the war are motivasted by aggression and a will to power rather than a desire for peace. They want to impose their will on the world through collective democratic means. They want to fight.

  28. I agree with you wholeheartedly about self-defense–somebody who is a good fighter might bleed instead of spray, but somebody who can run the 40 in 4.5 sec. will do neither. When it comes to the will to power, I don’t think of it as a drive to impose my will on others, but rather a drive to realize my dreams and desires. But maybe it is my foolish idealism that thinks everybody can realizes themselves through cooperation rather than competition.

  29. A thought I had today: cardiovascular strength is a massively effective asset when dealing with a persistent aggressor. As soon as your aggressor has run himself into the ground trying to chase you down, you can return to him while he is too tired to raise a finger in his defense. By the time he catches his breath it will be far too late . . .

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