January 31, 2018

Dr. Robert Svoboda

My mentor Vimalananda taught that very few even among the spiritually advanced become wholly free of possession by something other than the Absolute, and that everyone else is daily being overtaken by ideas, isms, emotions, ancestors, planetary influences, diseases, poisons, and other varieties of possessing things which express themselves through us, frequently while we believe that we are acting own our own as ‘independent individuals.” (For an exhaustive guide to Indian concepts of possession, see The Self Possessed, by Prof. Frederick M. Smith.)

Today I was taking a gander at the word “possess”, which first appears in English in the late 14th century, with a meaning of “to hold, occupy, reside in” (without regard to ownership), from Old French, from Latin possidere “to have and hold, hold in one’s control, be master of, own,” which suggests is probably a compound of potis “having power, powerful, able” (from the proto-Indo-European root -*poti- “powerful; lord;” see potent) + sedere, from the proto-Indo-European root *sed- (1) “to sit.” (The Sanskrit word pati means “lord, master”). Possession (which is nine points of the law) thus happens when a potent being sits in a location and displays its lordship there.

It seems curious to me that “possessed” meaning “held as property” surfaces in English c. 1500, a mere three decades before the 1530s when “possessed” came also to have its “demonic” sense. It’s almost as if, as Englishmen of that day turned their attention toward identifying themselves with increased tenacity as the possessors of property, they opened themselves significantly further to being “tenanted” (often unwillingly) by tormenting ideas/thoughts/personalities.

People today have magnified the problem by adding dependency to (among other things) social media, reality TV and sugar to the list of classical addictions, and it does seem to be the case, now especially, that serious fixity in one facet of life often opens a human to becoming noteworthily unstable in another (or sometimes that very same) aspect. An idée fixe or “fixation” is a “preoccupation” of the mind (an idea that “occupies” the mental terrain), firmly resistant to any attempt to modify it, a notion held so inflexibly that it leapfrogs from being the mind’s tool to becoming its master.

I feel that the first step in evicting the freeloaders who are parasitizing our prana and driving us around like automata is for each of us to determine what it is that we are being possessed by. Merely naming those Seizers reduces their influence over us, by providing an awareness of our non-identity with them; that awareness can then be employed to commit to appropriate upaya (remedy) and niyama (self-imposed restriction) to restructure oneself. A healthy daily routine to help one control vata and remain grounded, involving meditation, good diet, and attention to the circulation of prana can assist us to maintain vigilance in this regard by honing the intuition and facilitating our ability to detect a ‘re-possession’ as soon as possible.

A more advanced approach is to evict the entities that have squatted within us and replace them with more desirable occupants. Today as the full moon rises in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) of Ashlesha, whose associated deity is the semi-divine Naga serpent, which represents the deeper currents of our being, may all of us strive seriously to unearth our buried patterns and work through them for the betterment of all beings. Vimalananda actively opened his own self to temporarily occupancy by deities and deceased saints, and each of us can do something similar (if less dramatic) by replacing these thieves of awareness with the sweet name of the Supreme: always available, never failing, ever satisfying.

Om Namah Sivaya!



January 24, 2018

Pick a time reference that is relevant to now. i.e. don’t say the Sun will expire in a billion years therefore it’s all meaningless.

– paraphrasing Jordan Peterson talking to Michael Shermer


January 24, 2018

Wealth = (Talent) x (Wealth Creation Multiple).
We also saw that logically Talent is much less important than the Wealth Creation Multiple.
I then left you, dear readers, dangling – I asked what the Wealth Creation Multiple was, but deliberately didn’t answer my own question.
Some of you sent me ingenious answers – most of them I agreed with – but all of them lacked the simplicity and, dare I say it, elegance, of my answer, which restates the equation above in a different form:
Wealth Creation Multiple = Business Genes.
And therefore:
Wealth = (Talent) x (Business Genes).
What are Business Genes?
Ask first what is the DNA of business and other ways to increase wealth and well-being, the most fundamental unit of value? I think it is ‘economic information’ and that we may think about units of economic information as ‘business genes’. Business genes are a type of ‘meme’, which is biologist Richard Dawkins’ word for a unit of cultural transmission – such as a song, a proverb, an aphorism, or an idea of any kind.
– Richard Koch blog


January 23, 2018


Climate Change

January 23, 2018

People think that the solution to climate change is univariate when it has actually always been multivariate, but complexity is unpopular.

When protagonists say that “97% of climate change scientists agree…..” then I switch off because I know they’re just repeating talking points without having done any proper research or thinking.

A reasonable solution is presented by Paul Hawken who featured on Bill Maher’s show.



January 18, 2018

Frequent recollection of any of life’s moments is the key to attaining a better autobiographical memory. (Practice makes perfect, right?) I know that part of the reason I have such a strong personal memory is because I have spent my entire life instinctively reviewing my past and pasting the memories up against my internal timeline.

– Marilu Henner in Total Memory Makeover

Ben Shapiro

January 7, 2018

Everything is created with a purpose. A chair is created to fulfil a purpose. The purpose is called telos in Aristotelian philosophy. If you want to know the purpose of the thing then look at the thing itself.

Shapiro says that the existence of purpose ultimately indicates the existence of God as creator.