A Death Row Inmate

"Write like you're a goddamned death row inmate

and the governor is out of the country ..."
                                                             --  Alan Watts

This blog, begun some eight years ago, is about capturing a process of spiritual transformation - the true death sentence of the egoic inmate.  It's about the truth of the "I am that" - a truth that can neither be perceived nor imagined except by negation - "I am not this and not that."  In relative terms, it's about listening to the silence, then trying to figure out what to say about what you heard.  It's been a challenge to reduce realizations that are beyond intellect to conceptual monologues that have any chance of piercing the veils of the reader who thinks s/he is already aware of what you are pointing to.  Language is such a dull tool and hesitation is an effective barrier of sentence structure.

I've been hesitant to write about unsettled matters.  It's unfortunate that due partly to obsession with perfection I couldn't capture moments, fresh and unfettered by thought and insecurity during this period that presented some of the most provocative and profound insights of this incarnation - understanding is not as important as being.   I've started 16 articles since "The Swamp," written well over a year ago, had ideas for multiples of that number of articles and was about to start another.

I may have left some to think that I disappeared into the swamp  In a way, I did; I cut off virtually all ties to the outside world and enjoyed no guarantees from one moment to the next.  But, this has been the most informative series of experiences of my life.  I would not have been able to write fast enough, so ... there are numerous recordings of some discussions that span the most recent 6 months.  These should provide fuel for further writing when I make time for the endeavor or, perhaps, they will be left to be discovered centuries from now to provide fodder for a new religious doctrine.

I began writing about finding the rabbit hole and peering into it.  Now, I'm interested and challenged by what to do within it.  It's been a personal endeavor and my only motivation for writing this blog is to document the journey and share this with friends and family for whatever benefit is to be derived from it.

Be free to sigh in relief, scorn in dismay or yawn in indifference.  I have returned to the playground.  I don't know what comes next and I am not attached to an outcome.  I hope you'll join me for what arises.

Moving Forward: Terms, Conditions, Disclaimers and Fine Print

I have realized that I am not to be a teacher except by the example we all set for others.  A good teacher is a rare and beautiful gift to the world, but the best teacher is the one who sets the example.  Likewise, I don't have a teacher, lama  or guru though I listen to and read writings from several.  I like the Buddhist practice of kalyāṇa-mittatā, a spiritual association of noble friends who share interests and ethical values.  Thus, my teachers are my friends.  

I am not a religious person.  However, the basic tenets of secular (non-religious) Buddhism align well within my view of the form we find ourselves in.  And, while I believe that all religions point to the same core truth, all religions have been misquoted, corrupted, conceptualized, misinterpreted and misused.  For most of my life, I identified more as a scientist than anything else, even after I left research and entered the business world.  It was an attempt to intellectualize my view of our world and to interact with it in definable terms.  While the more interesting realizations are beyond thought, I still have great regard for science and intellect as long as they don't become a facsimile of the direct experience.

So, don't take anything I write here to be a teaching - or even seriously; you may not want to follow my example either. This is simply an exploration.

"Don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist;

use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are
                                                                                                   --H. H. the 14th Dalai Lama


  1. "My Utmost for His Highest", by Oswald Chambers, is a challenging book to many who profess Jesus as Lord because it forces one to examine purpose and one's fidelity to that purpose. And for me, purpose is a big deal. So it's been immensely satisfying (i.e., creating contentment and peace) to know God's general plan for me and to experience the joy of discovering His specific plan each day. It's not about religion. Like you, my brother, I have no interest in religion.

    1. Hi Dave: I appreciate your willingness to express your view here. I've wanted to agree with you and have considered that our differences might be superficial. However, it seems that we have developed different belief systems. I don't think one can easily get around the fact that Christianity is a religion. One cannot expound that Jesus Christ is (was) anymore of a God (or son of God) than you or I while denying any interest in religion. That is a religious belief, IMHO. If we can believe any of the purported history of Jesus Christ, we might come to agree, at least, that he may well have had a very deep realization of God. The "will of God", "purpose" or even "God" tends be more semantic and there we may find more agreement fundamentally once the conceptual overlays are dissolved.

    2. Religion is superficial; Tat Tvam Asi (Sanskrit) - "That art thou." I would be interested to discuss purpose. Checkout "Alan Watts Interviews God" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AaRZnnKt4w