Truly Epic Fails

This whole notion of “fails” is thematic on YouTube and we have “You’ve Been Framed” and its ilk. This low-cost TV is entertainment. But there can be other fails, not simply an idiot on a pogo-stick on a trampoline. Some of these “fails” have wide-reaching consequences. They usually arise because someone is fighting the wrong battle. One or two people can fuck things up for many others and the carnage can be widespread. They can come from something petty and personal, ambition is often a factor.

Someone makes a mess and others are left to try to clean up after them. Sometimes the damage is so extensive that no repair is possible. It may take ages for the epicentre of mess to acknowledge that they have caused the mess; they may never accept it. I can think of a few instances in my own life where one or two people have led directly to me walking away. When one is trying to do something subtle and nuanced, a loud bull in a china shop can break all the china. Often these messes are caused by assumptions, which as the saying goes, are the mother of all cock ups.

What seems like victory can in fact be a major fail, an epic fail even. Some people are so obsessed with winning and being right, that they can be blind to the collateral damage which ensues.

Having cued this up:

Have I ever screwed things up by fighting the wrong battle?

Have I had a victory which turned out to be an epic fail?

Has anyone else, by their actions, fucked things up for me?

Inhibitions and Hang-ups.

Most people are chock-a-block with inhibitions and hang-ups. Many of these arise from their social conditioning, there is absolute terror of the social faux pas. Many walk around with a pole up their arse and as a result they die painfully of splinters. The list of taboo things is long. As a rule, people are fearful of being open and honest, they are very guarded. This results in endless gameplay.

Some simply have never expressed themselves at all. They are like a volcano and fit to pop, they give off sulphurous emissions and steam, and that is about all.  Most people are literally fuming all the time. We rarely profess love from the heart. And we are shit scared of being vulnerable in any way. Some are very body conscious and dare not show their body. Talk of shit, piss and periods, can make some squeamish. We do not like to see a chicken killed but many go to visit The Colonel. Life and death comes pre-packaged at Waitrose. Not many have gutted a fish or wrung a neck. A mere mouse can have us squealing. Many men are fearful of taking a piss in a gay bar in case another man looks at their cock.

Some of these inhibitions are more than a little silly.

There are many hang-ups about all sorts of things. Some carry their lies around their neck like a necklace of skulls. The fear of being found out is petrifying. People are burdened and edgy all of the time.

As an exercise:

Take a look at your life.

What makes you squeamish?


What topics are a conversational no-go zone for you?

Make a list of all your inhibitions and all the things that you are hung up about.

Is there a sound basis for these inhibitions and hang-ups?

Would you feel freer if you conquered them?

Would you be less burdened?

Chögyam Trungpa Quotes

Sanity lies somewhere between the inhibitions of conventional morality and the looseness of the extreme impulse.


In fact, a person always finds when he begins to practice meditation that all sorts of problems are brought out. Any hidden aspects of your personality are brought out into the open, for the simple reason that for the first time you are allowing yourself to see your state of mind as it is.


We must continue to be open in the face of great opposition. No one is encouraging us to be open and still we must peel away the layers of the heart.


The point is not to convert anyone to our view, but rather to help people wake to their own view, their own sanity.


The challenge of warriorship is to live fully in the world as it is and to find within this world, with all its paradoxes, the essence of nowness. If we open our eyes, if we open our minds, if we open our hearts, we will find that this world is a magical place.


Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.

Exploring the Sojourn Mystery

First to recap. This time last year I was waiting for my two-year post operation cancer check-up. In my mind I had it that I would then be at or near the peak of the recurrence probability, after which the probability started to decrease. This started to raise the question as to what to do with the rest of my earthly sojourn, as it looked increasingly like I was going to have one. At the time I was busy tutoring A level science students and the interaction with the young people was very enjoyable. I was getting increasingly fed up with the pedantry in the exam mark schemes and the lack of flexibility in the “allowed” answers. The “improvements” had created an uncertainty and to my mind were more political than pedagogic. The exams are a business and the whole thing was starting to irk me a little. The young people were carrying a “do what you need to pass the exam” mind-set which they had no doubt picked up from the league table obsessed schools. They were very nice to work with, all of them.

I saw an article in a magazine about photonics clusters and this raised in my mind the possibility of revisiting the start-up community, having done one before. So, I started exploring. A hot topic, as yet unsolved, is quantum computing and more solved, quantum cryptography. I began a technology and science survey.  In my mind it seemed that for fully integrate-able devices some kind of photonic optical system was the most likely long-term candidate. What makes a chip fast is the clock frequency, so one would need a high repetition rate source of entangled photons. I trawled through the literature and patents and came up with a patentable putative solution. Now in order to get this off the ground I would need some cash, quite a lot. I could do a proof of principle for about a quarter of a mill. I came up with two possible avenues, one low cash and one high cash. This was predicated by the fact that key-man insurance for a cancer ridden spectre like me is £65k per annum for 2 mill cover. So, either the cash should be so low that that they would waive this insurance or so high that it would not be significant, seemed sensible. The openness to me was better in France and Germany than here in the UK. There is too much history and politics here. In the end I shelved this whole idea as a no-go.

I haven’t tutored this academic year which means that time has passed slowly. I have only one student, who is more mature, and he is a great bloke. I have been doing one tutorial a month. This means that I am in a cash burn situation which cannot go on for ever.

In the back of my mind, is that I am entering my final pinnacle, which is a 1. It will be about being point and /or leadership of some kind.

I have found a lot of closed doors, but none that are open and that have the property of flow as opposed to friction. I am not in the business of arguing the toss or cajoling or chasing any longer. So there has to be flow. When the right door comes along I will know because of this flow.

Since that time, I have written a 250k word blog, which may be the thing I am meant to be doing for now. I put together a trial pamphlet using Kindle publisher and that seems pretty straightforward. I am not overly keen on self-promotion.

Last night I had a dream, which was to do with people in my distant past. In that dream I am using sign language to point them to a road sign. That road sign says, The South. Which is the deep unknown and the place of dreams and dreaming. In the dream I am heading there. And this is where I find myself this morning… Exploring the Sojourn Mystery.


Individuality Quotes

Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.

Carl Jung

I believe in individuality, that everybody is special, and it’s up to them to find that quality and let it live.

Grace Jones

In a society that tries to standardize thinking, individuality is not highly prized.

Alex Grey

If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything.

Claude McKay

Individuality is only possible if it unfolds from wholeness.

David Bohm

Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In the age of the individual’s liquidation, the question of individuality must be raised anew.

Theodor Adorno

Equality implies individuality.

Trey Anastasio

What is genius but the power of expressing a new individuality?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had the individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions.

Robert Green Ingersoll

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

Friedrich Nietzsche