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The Quest for Zen

Quest for Zen Home

Week 7 -- March 5th - April 1st



You may have noticed the lack of Zen updates these past few weeks. This is because during this period I have been at a Vedic farm community, learning organic gardening, cow protection, mantra meditation and the Vedic texts. I also withered a fig tree with a fireball, whereupon I was expelled back into the real world. Ah well. There's always the next life.

Brendan asked me once whether all this Yoga and spirituality was making me any more calm and unexciteable and I was unhappy to report to him in the negative. I still report in the negative, but this week I had my first glimmerings of being in the Eye of the Storm and unaffected by it. A fellow politico was enraged at the potential profiting of an opponent at something that wasn't that opponent's doing, and my comrade was filled with angst. I saw this immediately, and offered my wisdom. Earlier, another politico had similar ragings at having been beaten by a less cerebral opponent. My fountaining Vipassana looked upon him and saw how he was hurting himself. I told him too.

I lost my Yoga mat early in the week - it's been a long time coming. I looked all over for it but I all found was a Hare Krishna, ironically enough. I gave him a donation and he gave me "The Journey of Self Discovery," which is a pity since I wasn't really looking for anything in return.

This weekend I lost karma points at a Tekken tournament: losing in the first round didn't damage control for this much, either. Got them back at the South Asian Club's semesterly Bhangra Party - combine ancilliary Eastern Mystic influences and the Transhuman Transcendentalism of Techno - AND DOING YOGA FOR BREAKS. Jason was there too, raking it in and spreading his Faith Healer charm.


Navin and I both deserve some sort of divine retribution for ignoring the Zen updates for so long. Part of the problem was spring break, part of the problem was incoming coursework, and part of the problem, at least for me, was sheer laziness.

So you'd think after such a long break, I'd have a lot to say. To be honest, if I need to, I can have a lot to say at any moment, but really, what have I accomplished these past few weeks? I found a place to live this summer in Florida, where my job will be. Actually, someone found it for me and I said, sure! I've been warned, though, that the cockroaches there are the size of cats. Some might say that respect for all life is enlightened, but to those I say: Listerine kills thousands of germs on contact.

I've read several books. Focault's Pendulum, which was incredible, I read over break. How on earth Umberto Eco could create and discover that many historical coincidences, orchestrate them into one of the most complex stories I've ever seen, and use it all as just part of an even greater story I will never know. It seems beyond human ability. I also read Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson. It's a decent book, with some fun connections as well. But it was a soft comparison to Focault and, to tell the truth, much less mature than Stephenson's Cryptonomicon.

What else… L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future collection was surprising. Some of the stories seemed like recorded Dungeons and Dragons quests, but some were quite literary. I never really read cutting edge science fiction (like Navin), so this opened my eyes to bits of literary technique seeping into a genre often filled with mental wanking.

I read Camus' The Stranger, and don't even ask me about it. The end had yet another character discovering and existentially accepting free will, responsibility, memory, etc. while marching down to his death. Also finished The Immoralist. For class we also read some Nietzsche, who liked himself a whole lot. Big N is actually pretty interesting, analyzing the history of morality as originating in the differences between masters and slaves. Master morality, that of kings and aristocrats and landowners, values boldness, friendship, etc., and calls the opposites bad. Slaves, who really can't do much about their situation, come to call their servitude good and morally value turning the other cheek, waiting for heaven, etc. and call everything masters love evil.

Right about now, the slaves kind of have a hand up, what with the rise of Christianity and all. But Big N says we need self-made morals-so we can be self-overcoming ubermensch. Which was then twisted to fit the whims of Fascists. So it goes.

And as for the real world, I tried to sign up for Yoga but seem chronically unable to attend so I suppose that's no bonus. That one class has gotten me making it a point to breath properly, which seems to be a Morrison family difficulty. And at the Bhangra party, Navin himself assured me I'm thought of as brown people-friendly. One girl started dancing with me, but I suspect she was just trying to get me involved (isn't it cute to see a white boy dancing to subcontinent music!). Another seemed genuinely interested, but it turned out she was drunk, coming on to everyone. Navin tried to convince her to go home and sleep it off, so I concede him a point there.

Oh, and what zen drinks did I consume? Almost all of them. Several times.

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