The Week in Sloov #5 – 2nd week in February 2016

Job Bullshit

I just finished with what I decided was my last job interview. Either I get this job, and build my way out of it while paying off my debts, or I just keep my debts and continue building at a faster face than I have been in the past few years.  Or I’ll fail at everything and be homeless. But I’m not going through this crap any more with the inevitability of my own death and the possibility that most of my life has been spent in institutions that have wasted my life.

I’m thinking about starting a Patreon. Would you donate to it in exchange for my content? I would love you forever. In the meantime you can paypal me. https://www.paypal.me/sloover

I gave up drinking for Lent, with the exception of the week I’m visiting Pittsburgh. Easter Sunday is March 27th. I needed a break. Drinking has been mostly good to me since my late 20s when I decided I didn’t like to get blasted out of my skull five nights a week any more, and that I liked to have a buzz morning noon and night. I still get blasted every once and a while. The oblivion is nice but I have to stay off the internet and away from other human beings. Things bother me that otherwise wouldn’t, petty things.

But I’ll never regret any honesty that drinking and writing has fostered. Ever. Even if it did damage to friendships and alliances. Honesty is worth it. Honesty is a rare gem. If you’re a healthy sober person who’s dishonest, then you’re worse than an unhealthy honest person in my book. If you have to drink for honesty, then it’s worth the years off your life. I don’t think I have to drink for honesty. I like drinking for its own sake.

Religion and Other Beliefs

Lent is the 40 days before Easter when Jesus went out into the desert and was tempted by Satan. I’m not a practicing Catholic any more. I’ve called myself an agnostic atheist. My thinking about the nature of reality has required that I be outside of a religious practice. Some people can expand their vision within a religious practice, we think of Eastern religions as having more room for expansion but there are a lot of deep thinkers who have a firm belief in a Catholic, Protestant, Islamic and Jewish god.

Pragmatic skepticism has been a positive force in my life… George Carlin was probably the main person who had an influence on me as an atheist. Also Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut, and the Black Panthers, and all kinds of intellectuals. But George was the main one. Then Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. I came to the “skeptic” society through Penn Jillette. I downloaded his radio show that a fan recorded and made available online and listened to it while I was still on the farm working. From there I got into James Randi. I was a pretty pragmatic skeptic for a while.

Then Robert Anton Wilson and his expansion of Timothy Leary’s “reality tunnels” took me back to a more Buddhist way of thinking with his book Quantam Psychology, and helped me accept religious beliefs once again.

I like Philip K Dick

And I just got done reading Valis by Philip K Dick. My god, that is a mind blower. Dick was the sci-fi writer who wrote the stories behind Blade Runner and Total Recall. The book was based on an encounter he had with an intelligent rational mind in March of 1974, which he claims actually happened, but in an interview I listened to with him shortly before his death, he had always questioned what it was, but never came up with a definitive answer. The VALIS (which stands for Vast Active Loving Intelligence System) gave him information on how to heal his son who had a life threatening disease undetected by doctors, which proved to be true. Dick was either a mystic or a schitzophrenic depending on where you are to diagnose him in space-time and the instrument you’re using to measure him (I’m paraphrasing Robert Anton Wilson here). But the healthy thing about his mind was the questioning. He never settled on the one answer – that it was god, or it was the government, or aliens, the soviets, or himself from a past life – a life lived simultaneously because Time is an illusion, or just a hallucination. That questioning pulled him through. The questioning is the difference between being a writer and a lunatic on the street babbling about aliens.

I’m about to go get a library card so I can check out some more of his books. I never read too much sci-fi. I think one Isaac Asimov book, a couple HG Wells, and Vonnegut if you can consider him sci-fi, and VALIS by Dick. It’s like listening to music and skipping punk rock. I’ll read every Philip K Dick book the library has to offer, then Isaac Asimov.

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