Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

Christmas Post – What is Love?

LOVE, has no boundaries or judgements. It embraces the totally of all things born and still unborn. It waits patiently for us to take her hand and follow her to our greatest potential, it forgives our shortcomings and speaks quietly to us when we need her most. Love creeps through our life often unnoticed but catches us as we fall. Love is our only true friend, our faithful companion that walks with us from age to age, beyond the graves.

Love is what we truly are

Tony Hogan 2007


A Path with Heart – Don Juan

From Carlos Castaneda: “Don Juan’s Teaching”

Don Juan said:
Anything is one of a million paths.
Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path;
if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions.
To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life.
Only then will you know that any path is only a path,
and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do.
But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition.

I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately.
Try it as many times as you think necessary.
Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question.
This question is one that only a very old man asks.

My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it.
Now I do understand it. I will tell you what it is:
Does this path have a heart?All paths are the same: they lead nowhere.
They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush.
In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere.
My benefactor’s question has meaning now. Does this path have a heart?
If it does, the path is good; if it does not, it is of no use.

Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart the other does not.
One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it.
The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path.

A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it.
On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.

For me there is only the traveling on paths that have a heart, or on any path that
may have heart. There I travel… and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length.

And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly.

Don Juan, a Yaqui Sorcerer

I’ve posted this in response to a comment about  ‘the possibility of  Technology and the heart being an oxymoron’ listed under ‘Another Digital Fathers Day’, I feel that it is extremely thought provoking.

Hopefully I haven’t breached copyright.  It comes from one of the books by Carlos Castenada. My favorite was ‘The Journey to Ixtlan’…buy the book.  Many people mind find the word ‘sorceror’ confronting.  The original word was ‘Brujo’ and doesn’t translate properly. 

TH – alias drNerdy

Digital doubles and real dopplegangers

Have you ever heard that each of us has an identical double somewhere in the world? A bit of a scary thought..I guess we could play with the idea a bit. Imagine if  our double had a sense of design or dress taste very different to our own…and even further, imagine if we saw them in the street somewhere just for a brief moment and we thought they looked just terrible…imagine wearing a shirt like that, yuk what an aweful color… the mind boggles, how confronting.

What led me to that idea was, I was very curious whether my guitar blogs were displaying on Google or for those that wish to save energy, Blackle.  So I Blackled for”tony hogan guitar” and then I tried “tony hogan” without “guitar”, and started wondering if any of my long lost friends or music associates could find me.  So yes, I Googled, Blackled and Yahooed myself for a couple of days (sounds like some sort of party trick) to see the results.  And what I thought was interesting was that there is a Tony Hogan faith healer and also a Tony Hogan artist.    Why this is intriguing for me is because at some stage in the future I’ll be completing my cartoon book and I’ve always been very interested in faith healing because I have seen and  experienced so much evidince of it. 

 So why not Blackle, Google or Yahoo yourself and see what other YOU’s are out there.

Now as for dopplegangers, there are some absolutely ridiculous intepretations out there, anyone that has ever seen one will know exactly what I am talking about.

digital fathers day and byron katie

It’s fathers day in the country that I live in.  That day when your children look at you with bright eyes and do their best not to be their normal selves.  They’re queueing up to make me breakfast (a queue of two) and are organizing outings.  Like most dads I wish everyday was fathers day. There’s a weird similarity between technology and wanting the eternal fathers day.  The digital fathers day is when your go to your workplace and the network is running well, the phone cable carrier doesn’t have vans parked around the corner with men climbing down into holes in the ground ( and for some weird reason your Internet  isn’t working), and there  are no software conflicts that suspiciously emerged after a software upgrade (which was never mentioned to anyone until after it happened). Many times, things like what I’ve mentioned above are beyond our control.  It’s how we deal with things that really counts. As well as good software tools, we also need a number of emotional tools to get us through our days without too much pain. A number of my friends have been working with some emotional problem solving techniques and are getting fantastic results. I guess what we need is something that is simple, universal (meaning no religious or denominational strings attached), with proven results and either free or not very costly.  I have a bit of a dislike for a lot of the new age material that is costly, promises a lot, delivers little and preys on peoples vulnerabilties. If you want some good tools to work with, I highly recommend THE WORK of Byron Katie,  no she’s not from Byron Bay (click on the THE WORK link for further info).  Seeing the changes in people I know that have used her methods has made me realize that regardless of what turmoil presents itself in your life, it can be managed

And I must finish on silly note:  A few years ago I arrived at work and people were running around the building from room to room, looking for the documents they had printed.  Somebody, and that somebody could only have been a couple of people, had changed the printer setup so all documents would be sent to a printer that wasn’t on the same floor that people were working on.  And it wasn’t even April Fools day…. (disclaimer: I take no responsibility for planting this idea in the heads of any employees that have administrator rights at their place of employment)Check out the WORK. Here’s link to her acrobat reader file. I recommend that first yoiu go to the link above and then later come back to this link for more info. Published by :drnerdy 2007-09-01 20:07:31.0

a pixel, the moon and another cult

Does this sound familar? Person A: “There was a really nice sunset last night”. Person B ” “Not as nice as the one last week”.  Or how about, ” I just got a new PC”….”Ohrr, they’re crap, I only use Macs”.  “I’m going to Bali”….” I was there in ‘79, I wouldn’t go there these days”.   It’s really quite easy to sabotage another persons joy.

Last night I went to see a lunar eclipse, not what I’d usually do on my birthday, but when other people are excited and are claiming it’s lining up just for me and there’s cake, candlelight and other goodies, it’s hard to say no.  So I went.

Sometimes it’s difficult to be enthusiastic about things that others are excited about.  I’ll try to paint a picture here. Anyone that has ever been around fussy graphic designers will understand straight away when I say, ‘imagine staring at a computer screen for an hour watching the design change in a Photoshop file one pixel at a time every now and then, and the designer is saying ‘yes that’s better’, and you’re staring at the screen going ummm…yeah but I can’t really see much difference’.  And then occasionally they change the opacity of the image about three percent and they’re saying “now that’s better”…and you’re there squinting and desperately trying to look artistic and share the experience.  I’ll say this another way…imagine being in a room with somebody and they’ve made a decision to move the room around, and then it starts, they move a piece of furniture one inch,  sit down and say ‘ah yes, I like it’ and repeat this for an hour and ocassionally dim the light a little and you’re thinking Carlos Castenada looking for his ‘spot’ as prescribed by Don Juan…. well that was similar to my experience last night . Yes I did see a bit of orange, or apricot or red and it did look a little 3D every now and then but it was extremely subtle.  I really wanted something a bit more zig zaggy, bouncing across the sky, maybe giant balloon size and so close I could almost touch it.  And yes undoubtably there must have been some groups of people somewhere dancing around in outfits similar to Batman or Zorro celebrating the luna milestone, but where we parked there was only our car in the car park.

So, not to sabotage the glorious moment and try and find a ‘true meaning’ of something that some people think is astrologically substantial, I lay in bed last night trying to get something from the eclipse.  People around me informed me that this was about me aligning my life.  I’m not big on Astrology as I reckon they haven’t found all the planets yet and anyhow Pluto’s been demoted and those that are in the know tell me that Ayurvedic astrology is far superior. 

At about four o’clock this morning I awoke and opened the curtains to find a normal looking fullish moon shining brightly and in a lunatic moment I came to the realization that it IS about me realigning my life.  Credibility of blogger has probably just gone down, but I’ll persevere, I like a challenge.  Well if I’m represented by the Earth, and the moon represents everything I’m wanting and the sun is my hidden potential and that which I’m capable of aspiring to and if I can bring these three into alignment I’ll have an end result that is truly worth something.

So what does this mean in real terms

  1. Check what skills and assests I have on hand that are genuinely useful
  2. Create a real plan of where I wish to get to
  3. Get off my bum and go and do it

So now I’m tempted to start my own Cult, called the ALIGNMENT OF SELF AND REALIZATION OF ONES HIDDEN POTENTIAL SOCIETY PTY LTD.ORG…but I’ll spare the world the extra suffering

 “Well, it’s my birthday and I’ll smile if I want to” 🙂

eWaste and a trail of compassion

Gradually people in the Western world are waking up to the fact that there’s a stream of toxic electronic waste making its way to various countries in Asia and Africa and impacting on the lives of the people that live there, we may not see the long term effects of this at present but no doubt in the years ahead we’ll hear about it.  Within the last twelve months I’ve noticed there has been a shift in the awareness about this issue. Some environmental groups are starting to be proactive in preventing old computer parts being sent to other countries and some council’s have developed programs within their local communities to avoid problems closer to home.

Like most people, ‘stuff happens’ and a few years back I went through a personal crisis involving another person.   I’ll spare you the details but at that time I was very disturbed by a particular person’s behaviour and had a lot of difficulty making sense of it.  Smack bang in the middle of the crisis, a friend of mine said something that ultimately was a turning point for me in dealing with and making some sort of peace with the situation.  What he said was something like “if you want to see what someone is really like, look at their wake”.  I was unfamiliar with the term ‘wake’ at that time but what he was referring to was the trail that a boat leaves behind when it passes through the water.  How this became useful was it gave me the opportunity to look and see whether what I was experiencing was a ‘one of’ situation or whether there were other examples of it.  Once I followed through I found there were numerous similar examples of the person’s behaviour and although the crisis was troubling, once I was clear that it was normal for that particular person to behave a certain way, although still painful, I didn’t take it as personal and it was easier for me to deal with.

So how does this relate to ewaste?  We all leave a trail behind us wherever we go, whether it’s basic consumer rubbish, electronic junk, or the kindness or disharmony when dealing with others, we all have a small role to play in order to help make the world a better place for us and the generations to come.  Whether it’s tossing out old worn out computer hardware or the way we communicate with others, it will ultimately impact on humanity as a whole.  Can we change our habits? Definitely, many people do.  Is change challenging? Of course it is.  Is it worthwhile? Yes, there’s plenty of evidence that removal of unnecessary useless habits can impact on our lives and those around us. 

So next time you’re about to toss out an old computer, you might consider how you dispose of it and where it might wind up.  Or even when you go to purchase a new one, check out to see whether the manufacturer has a commitment to help resolving the ewaste problem and is making products that are a little more environmentally friendly.  And maybe we also need to think about the wake we leave behind us in our daily lives with the people we encounter.  Many people are grieving in their own way and it’s very easy to misinterpret the way they relate to us at times and the way we deal with them could easily impact in a much more powerful way than we could ever realize.  A number of people I work with are feeling the impact of the death of a friend and colleague last week, so at the moment my awareness of this is much heightened.  It’s these moments when we feel our most compassionate and it’s incredible how a few kind words in our daily life to others can make their journey a little easier.


When an avatar is not an Avatar and Zen makes a musical noise

Anyone that is familiar with Eastern philosophy or religion and has just entered into the world of digital phenomena (read as: the arena of ever changing technology that some people pretend they can keep up with) will have noticed a few borrowed age old words.  The one that I had a bit of difficulty coming to grips with was ‘AVATAR’, I’d heard the word a number of times over the years in conversation and while scanning books about supposedly enightened beings and Godmen/Godwomen.  A simple summary of it without getting too complex would be when ‘the all inclusive formless absolute Being’ sees the world is in trouble and He/She/It takes on the form of some either human look-alike (think Krishna) or animal creature (a turtle in one case)….the closest equivalent in the West would be a bit like Jesus’s Father arriving, taking on some physical form and the mere Presence would pull the world out of strife (and please note: there is absolutely no disrespect intended in any way to anyone’s faith on my part).  So when I saw that in WordPress I could upload my own avatar, I was a little humoured by the option.  And without getting over-techie I guess we could say that an avatar in computerland speak is a graphical representation of ourselves.  So what’s happened here is we have something that is revered by some people across the globe turned into virtual bling.

I guess I’m having one of those you know what I don’t like moments, ….I wish that the use of famous songs in TV commercials would be banned.  There are so many beautiful songs that many of us hold close to our hearts being used to promote products, it ruins the song for ever.  And as a new generation comes through, they end up associating somebody’s favourite song with toilet paper, dog food or insurance.   So how do we keep things precious and safe from marketers?

I’ll return to the topic.  There are lots of versions of Zen, in the same way as there are lots of streams of Christianity. But the latest one, a line of products by Creative called Zen is what caught my eye, it is an unfamiliar stream of Zen .  The Zen I had become familiar with was relating to Zen Koans.  Unfortunately, many people have turned Koans into a bit of a circus, in fact nonsense; but really, Koans are a type of parable to contemplate.  Often a student of Zen would be given a Koan  by a teacher and would have to come up with an answer, but really the real answer to any Koan is outside the framework of thought , it’s like a bit, a 1 or a 0, true or false, and the only real answer is a transformation of the person and has little to do with a verbal, well thought out intellectual response.   But the Creative type of Zen is the 21st centuries version of an ongoing  dynamic tradition that changes face regulary, and an attempt by a manufacturer to flood the market with compressed but very transportable audio, and yes of course you can run certain applications from  them like Outlook but we’re no wiser after using them, only more trinkets to amuse ourself with.

Which leads me to RAM, another notable computer glossary term, as you’d probably know, stands for Random Access Memory.  Anyone that hung around market places in the 70’s would be familiar with RAM (often was preceeded by the word HARE) the hero of the Ramayana story .  So which one of the Religions / Spiritual terms or names is next to make it into the wonderful digital Leela that we are experiencing?

logging on to life and the magic carpet

I booted up my body this morning, ready to logon to life, it took longer than usual to enter into the human network.  My Random Access short-term Memory seemed to be running a little slow and was passing information very sluggishly to my BPU (Brain Processing unit).  It’s normal for people to feel a little slow starting up, I know that but today was unusual because I felt incredibly foggy, very unlike me and it was extremely difficult to remember anything.  

It wasn’t until I was asked what would seem to be a ridiculous question that I moved out of the fog-zone.  Well how’s this for a question at 8.00 AM…”Is it any harder to levitate than be financially successful?”  Generally the response that most of people would give to a question like that would probably include the words ‘idiot’,  ‘are you feeling ok?’,  ‘did you take your medication?’, or a few other smart comments here and there.  But when the question comes from someone that you consider has their feet firmly on the ground and you regard them very highly, the reply to the question needs to have a little extra thought and be treated with incredible respect.

The person that asked me the question knows that I am not the proud owner of an authentic magic carpet, and also knows that I have never hung out in the caves in Tibet or studied any of the yogic flying techniques with a slightly famous organization that makes claims of developing levitation abilities; so why on earth ask me?  So I thought ok, let’s look at it from a very sensible angle and put the question and person  into perspective.   The person that asked the question has recently been spending a lot of time looking at what it is that has been preventing her from being financially successful and of recent times she has discovered that it’s possible that it’s her hidden attitudes and childhood programming that has been standing in the way of her having glorious weekends in art galleries in Paris, design courses in Japan and other delicacies. 

So the real question that she was asking is not so much about levitation or changing light bulbs without a ladder, it’s about the way we limit our thoughts by failing to undo what we have learnt about money from our parents, those around us in the community and our educators in colleges and schools .  And it doesn’t really matter that much whether there is any evidence about St Teresa blissing out and floating around the abbey in the West or siddha yogis in the East flying around mouldy caves with an over emphasis on self-denial, what matters is whether we can break through the mental filter that prevents us from being abundant.  And if we can have a breakthrough with our finance, then maybe we can move on a little and use other areas of the human brain that are lying dormant.  Years back I wanted to stop smoking, I found it very difficult to give it up, but for some odd reason I developed a strategy. This is what I did: First I gave up salt, then I gave up sugar, when I had mastered those two things I’d already trained my brain in the fine art of giving up, so to stop smoking was easy.

 So my answer to the original question is ‘no, probably not’.