Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolution: NO MORE OPINIONS!

My New Year's Resolution is to have no more opinions.
In fact, I invite you to join me in this most important
& essential resolution.

There will be no opinions in this post, but only
well-established facts with citations (available upon
appropriate request).

The main problem with the world is opinions. Opinions
are the source of all evil. What is true of the world
is true of each individual in the world. The main
problem with you or me is opinions. Opinions, both our
own and others, lead us to take actions, and 99.9% of
actions, both internal and external, are pointless
wastes of time. The greatest action, the greatest fact,
is silence. Silence &, of course, stories, which are
not opinions and never were.

Please try to read this without having any opinions.
Or read it once while having opinions, and see how
upset it makes you, then read it again without any
opinions, compare the two, and you will see how
pleasureable & emancipating opinionlessness is.

Look at animals. Animals have no opinions.

Opinions lead to war, disease, indigestion, bad dreams,
power outages, even wet newspapers, for what are
newspapers but pure unadulterated opinion. The rain
has no opinion, and who wins the battle between the
newspaper and the rain?

An opinion is merely internal conflict given outward
expression. It gives a false feeling of satisfaction
that the conflict has been resolved, but in fact the
conflict has been doubled, because now I have the
conflict as well as the opinion, which I must support
& defend, further distracting me from a true solution
to the conflict. Solving an inner conflict with an
opinion is like banging one's head against the wall
to stop a headache.

The conflict can only be solved by telling a story.
The story can only be told by treating opinions as
characters who are trying to find out what the hell
they are doing & why, while acting as if they know
perfectly well what they are doing & why.

I could never list all the things I have opinions
about (politics, sports, movies, food, books, weather,
religion) for there is nothing in the world that I do
not have opinions about, often many and sometimes
contradictory opinions.

These opinions are not opinions about the things I
say they are about, but rather fashionable (or
unfashionable) costumes designed to hide from the
naked silence that I most essentially am. Out of
that naked silence come not opinions, but stories.

Opinions are not stories, and stories are not opinions.

It is only my opinion that tells me I cannot have no

If opinions were removed from the world, peace would
immediately prevail. If opinions were removed from the
individual, serenity and enlightenment would instantly
commence. Please take a moment now to see this for
yourself. The only thing that stands in the way of your
seeing this will be an opinion that is frightened of
what will happen to it if you stop having it. Please
do not keep having opinions simply because they are
afraid of your not having them anymore. Don't worry
about what will happen to your opinions once you stop
having them. Opinions are like fleas. When you brush
them off, they will find another warm body to grab
hold of and sink their blood-sucking teeth into. And
the only teeth they have are wooden and the glue holding
them in is dried & cracking.

Look at things. Things have no opinion.

As you read these facts, you may be having opinions
about them, including, "These are not facts," and "Life
would be lifeless without opinions," and "Stories are
full of opinions," and "I don't like silence."

Opinions are not ideas, any more than a belch is a light

The fact is that there is nothing more boring than an
opinion. An opinion is like gas. It may be startlingly
pungent for a moment or two, but it passes and nobody
remembers it.

People whose opinions I first admire will one day be
people whose opinions I cannot believe I ever listened
seriously to, much less admired. I may love them, but
only because I see through their opinions to the unique
opinionless mystery at their center. This is a sign that
I am becoming ready to give up the most important opinions
of all, my own.

Do I really admire my own opinions as much as I like to
pretend to?

You know what they say about opinions and everybody
having one, and that is a fact. We not only have one, we
have billions. Imagine if everybody had billions of the
other hole thing.

What is really happening when a person resists the idea
of no longer having opinions is that he or she is simply
terrified of the thought. So intimately do we relate to
our own opinions that the thought of not having them is
kin to having no identity at all, even no existence!

I have an opinion, therefore I am.

In fact, opinions prevent me from being who I am. I can't
begin to know who I am as long as I confuse myself with
my opinions. Whatever I am, I am not my opinions.

All opinions have been had billions of times before. There
are no new opinions, only old opinions about new products.

Opinions make me feel strong, definitive, bold, confident,
but it is all a mask to hide from you and from myself.
Under my opinions is nothing but the pure fact of
enlightenment. A mind will never be satisfied by opinions.
Mindfulness is utterly empty of opinion.

Is it possible to have no opinions? As I write these facts,
the negative opinions we may have toward them is only because
we feel threatened (unnecessarily) by them. My opinion
center sends out danger messages to me because it fears
that it will be shut down. But opinions are obsolete and the
opinion center needs to be shut down. When the opinion center
has been silenced and mothballed, I will enter irreversible
nirvana. When I have an opinion, such as that the previous
sentence is not true, the nirvana will vanish, though it will
still be there, patient & peaceful behind the opinion.

Opinions are the source of all worry, dread, ulcers, cavities,
embarrassment, procrastination, bad breath, sitcoms, headaches,
even death. I cannot counter these facts with opinions,
any more than I can sneeze down the Great Wall of China.

There are no opinions in heaven, no opinions in the soul.
Heaven is silence & stories; the soul is seeing, listening,
feeling, hearing, knowing & unknowing.

Hell, however, is nothing but opinions, non-stop, all at the
same time, day & night, forever and evermore.

Therefore, I resolve to have no more opinions in 2011 and
beyond. Join me, won't you?

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Q: If you have something to say, why don't you just say it

instead of hiding it in a story?

A: You're confusing a message with a story.

Q: What's the difference?

A: A story is about people. A message is about ideas.

Q: You don't have ideas in your stories?

A: Only subconscious ideas.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

"I am thy brother."

The young officials laughed at and made fun
of him, so far as their official wit permitted;
told in his presence various stories concocted
about him, and about his landlady, an old woman
of seventy; declared that she beat him; asked
when the wedding was to be; and strewed bits
of paper over his head, calling them snow.

But Akakiy Akakievitch answered not a word,
any more than if there had been no one there
besides himself. It even had no effect upon
his work: amid all these annoyances he never
made a single mistake in a letter.

But if the joking became wholly unbearable,
as when they jogged his hand and prevented his
attending to his work, he would exclaim,
"Leave me alone! Why do you insult me?"
And there was something strange in the words
and the voice in which they were uttered.

There was in it something which moved to pity;
so much that one young man, a new-comer, who,
taking pattern by the others, had permitted
himself to make sport of Akakiy, suddenly
stopped short, as though all about him had
undergone a transformation, and presented
itself in a different aspect.

Some unseen force repelled him from the comrades
whose acquaintance he had made, on the supposition
that they were well-bred and polite men.
Long afterwards, in his gayest moments,
there recurred to his mind the little official
with the bald forehead, with his heart-rending
words, "Leave me alone! Why do you insult me?"

In these moving words, other words resounded--
"I am thy brother." And the young man covered
his face with his hand; and many a time
afterwards, in the course of his life, shuddered
at seeing how much inhumanity there is in man,
how much savage coarseness is concealed beneath
delicate, refined worldliness, and even, O God!
in that man whom the world acknowledges as honorable
and noble.

from The Overcoat -Nicolai Gogol

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NO LONGER HUMAN (Osamu Dazai).

Have you ever noticed how many reviews of books,
especially novels, include little of the
actual writing from the book, or none at all?
Give me some writing from the writer and
toss the rattletrap opinions out the window.

Osamu Dazai was a postwar Japanese writer.
No Longer Human was published in 1958.
A literal translation of the Japanese title
of the book is "disqualified from being human."

I would bet a million dollars that after
reading the following sentences from NO LONGER HUMAN,
the reader will either be repulsed by it, or
want to immediately have it in hand & begin reading:

"Mine has been a life of much shame. I can't
even guess myself what it must be to live
the life of a human being."

"My apprehension on discovering that my concept
of happiness seemed to be completely at variance
with that of everyone else was so great as to make
me toss sleeplessly and groan night after night in
my bed. It drove me indeed to the brink of lunacy."

"I have always shook with fright before human beings.
Unable as I was to feel the least particle of
confidence in my ability to speak and act like
a human being, I kept my solitary agonies locked
in my breast."

"I feigned an innocent optimism; I gradually
perfected myself in the role of the farcical

"I thought, 'As long as I can make them laugh,
it doesn't matter how, I'll be all right. If I
succeed in that, the human being probably won't
mind it too much if I remain outside their lives.
The one thing I must avoid is becoming offensive
in their eyes: I shall be nothing, the wind, the

"My activities as jester, a role born of desperation,
were extended even to the servants, whom I feared
even more than my family, because I found them

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

What the hell are they talking about?

They say only pray for others,
never for yourself.

I say pray for yourself FIRST
& get it out of the way.
Then you'll be able to concentrate
on praying for others.

And at the worst, if you feel guilty
for praying for yourself, especially first,
then you'll be impelled to pray even harder
for others!

So it works either way.

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