Cyber-Gish | Kiffin's blog
It was certainly a very long trek before we would arrive, whenever that would be, they kept telling us with a tone of voice that was just enough to inspire us to continue.
--- Time to continue, keep on going. ---
The elders kept telling us over and over again that in the long run it would be worth it. They had been telling us that as long as we could remember.
In fact, they even told us that their elders before them had previously been telling them that all along, as long as they could remember.
--- There was no need to doubt its truth, because up until now the contrary had not been proven. It never would, so keep on plodding away and enjoy the journey as much as possible while you can.---
That is what it is all about anyway.
I recently recieved the following email from a visitor of my web site:
"I have recently moved to Redding and was wondering if Redding is famous for any particular foods. I am from San Diego (a native) and am a recent Redding transplant. I was thinking you might know a little about what Redding is famous for food wise. Thanks for taking the time to read this."
My answer was short and to the point:
"I am sorry, but I haven't been to Redding since 1963. So I'm afraid that I cannot help you with that one."
The Redding Life web site is a discussion forum dedicated to the place where I was born and spent the first six years of my life: good old Redding, California. Check it out.
Hard to believe it, but it is true. My childhood hero Captain Kirk (William Shatner) turns 73 years old this week. How old does that make me then?!
Indeed, initial impressions indicated that this was an example of deathless revision at its finest. Yet it was difficult to prove beyond any doubt that this could ever be possible. But it was and it still is. Mostly that is what happens, so it is merely human nature which pushes one's logical manner of thinking the other way around. In the end, with little consideration of how it all might better be, the deathless revision provides incentive and incremental improvements. Whichever way one chooses to look at it.
Trustees approve tuition rate hikes (Stanford)
BY RAY DELGADO
"The Board of Trustees on Tuesday set rates for tuition, room and board for the 2004-05 academic year that represent a combined 4.5 percent increase over the current year's rates for undergraduates.
The undergraduate tuition rate was set at $29,847, a 4.5 percent increase from $28,564 this year. The standard undergraduate room rate rose 6.1 percent, from $4,726 to $5,012. Standard board increased 3.2 percent, from $4,347 to $4,488..."
Hard to believe that when I went there, way back in 1976-1979, that the tuition was "only" around $10,000.
I hope you realize that I am VERY thankful that my parents were willing to invest such a large sum of money for my education (which in the end helped mold me into the person I am today -- hopefully making the investment worthwhile).
The C.G. Jung page has been redesigned and it looks really impressive. Just the right balance of colors and graphics that would make even Mr. Jung himself feel very pleased.
Not only is there a good slew of articles and papers, but the discussion forum is also an interesting place to visit.
Among others, you have the following forums from which to choose:
An interesting essay you might like to read is called On Life After Death by C.G. Jung.
Highly recommended, so please visit.
Having been born and raised in the fine state of California, I have many wonderful childhood memories of that place. However, that has been some time ago. More than thirty years to be exact.
Perhaps it is then the typical case of only remembering the good things and complaining about how much worse things have become now. Maybe not.
You see, this great state of California has become such a complete mess that I feel pretty bad about it, almost affronted in some personal deep-down kind of way. How could this have happened? It bugs the holy heck out of me to see all of this happening. What's going on?!
Well, I have a few theories. In reality, the causes of these kind of things are due to a complicated interaction of various factors, the one more subtle than the other. One of the most important factors I think is a loss of faith which has taken over by excessive greed. One loses touch with the past and the present and therefore also with oneself.
At least that is my theory.
Time to elaborate. People forget about the past, start ignoring the present, and they become fixated on the future. Getting better and better and better. Being the very best. The best there is as if this is such an important thing to achieve in the world. Strange but true.
And when we die, what happens to all that stuff we collected?
Collected material things and making tons of money has much to do with this. Why would one want to get even richer except to save up for the future? The future comes and then it goes and becomes the past once more.
Whatever happened to the present?
I realize that things will never be like they used to in good old California. That would be pretty boring if nothing changed. However, there are some pretty basic principles of life which should never be neglected. Perhaps people should stop a second and rethink a good solid moment. Once a day at least.
Living in the present, for example.
He could never stop himself from longing for the good old days of his youth. As if that was the one time in his life when he could have done something about it all. Now things were all different, irreversible and the end was in sight. A choice had to be made to either keep harping about days long gone or make the best of the days still left. Logically the decision was easy but from deep inside of him he was unable to loose himself from the other choice.
Right about the time I was around six years old or so is when I first realized that indeed I would one day suffer some form or other of one or more neuroses. At the time I was too young to fathom the true implications of this mental prediction of mine other than that I knew it would happen some day and that I had best start preparing for the moment as soon as possible. Already at that young age I was suffering one phobia or other, minimal and repressed, though occurring and reoccurring nonetheless.
One example was my extreme fear of anything mechanized, especially those objects containing wheels. An example was the rumble of an occasional car in the distance. I would dash indoors and hide in a closet before the evil metallic construction made its way down the road and past my house. In my mind I could imagine the creature pausing for a moment directly in front of my house, peering into the front windows in search of the next innocent child victim. Then again if I hid long enough, the machine would abandon its search and continue down the hill. As an extra precaution, I would wait an extra ten minutes to make doubly sure it was safe before I dared venture outside again. Often enough right at the moment I opened the front door, there would occur yet another car's rumble off in the distance, and I would have to run inside again to repeat the whole process all over again. Ten, fifteen or even twenty times a day, a kind of weird repetition neurosis. My very first (conscious) cracks in reality's way.
Later as I aged I figured that the best policy was just to ignore things and hope it would not happen. Even much later is when the first cracks of unreality appeared on the mirror of so-called reality. Cracks opening up and spreading and encompassing everything around them like one gigantic spider web. So much so that eventually it became almost impossible to tell the difference between the real and the unreal, where the cracks were and where they were not. Everything seemed like a cracked mirror. This makes life a bit more challenging but also frustrating.
Like it is a matter of life and death which it is not.
My father was just about my age now when I first really started to get to know him as an aspiring five year old boy. Slowly but surely, I am starting to notice a number of familiar personality traits, psychological idiosyncrasies, bad habits (like clearing my throat, cussing and complaining) and behavioral tendencies which I more than likely acquired from him, either through inheritance, imitation or just plain learning. Now it is my turn to stand in his shoes and deal with these on my own terms. The way I look at it, there are a number of options to take, namely on or more of the following:
When I was around twelve or so, I developed an interesting though bothersome neurosis. One of many at the time, but this one sticks out the most clearly in my mind. When I had to go to bed, I could not sleep if there were any slight noises. So if my parents walked by in the hallway, for example, and there was this unexpected squeak on the floor, or if they whispered too loudly, I would freak out and start yelling at them. Be quiet, I am trying to sleep! Now who did I think I was, some king or something? The worse sounds by far were those that were erratic and unpredictable, but even the more rhythmic sounds which repeated themselves would get on my nerves if this cycle continued for too long. When will it ever stop! Take for example one evening when it was raining. There was this rain pipe that ran down the side of the house, and it was right outside my room. Due to some fluke or other, this rain pipe was so perfectly vertical that each rain drop which ran down the gutter of the roof to the hole at the top would plummet downwards without touching the sides of the pipe. This unabated free fall resulted in an almost explosive crash when this drop splattered ever so loudly at the bottom of the pipe. Unbearable to say the least. When would it ever stop?! One evening late I got so very insane with this unbearable cacophony of dripping that in desperation I went outside in my pyjamas. It was pouring down rain. I had grabbed a piece of cloth from the kitchen, and I wadded it up in my fist, shoving it in the hole so that it was wedged in tight. There we go, water-tight. That should take care of things. Well, what a relief that was! And I went back my jolly way to bed looking forward to the wonderful slumber without sounds. Unfortunately, as the drips kept falling and collecting at the bottom of the pipe, the cloth absorbed all the moistness quite efficiently until it became too much. Really wet. The cloth became saturated and the drops which fell started to slap the wet surface of the cloth with such violence that it was even louder than the original situation before I had stuck that wad of cloth in there in the first place. I thought I was going to go crazy! So I had to go out there again and repeat the whole process, replace the cloth with a dry one, etc. I think this cycle of desperation repeated itself perhaps five times until out of pure exhaustion I somehow fell asleep. Those childhood neuroses came and went and there were many and many inbetween. Fortunately, I somehow survived to become an adult, at least that is what I think.
I think that I was around four or five years old at the time. I was playing in the backyard of our house in Redding, California. The year was 1961. My little sister Kathleen was there also, and right next to the wooden fence (I can remember it so clearly) she had arranged a neat row of two or three mud pies on the ground in-between the plants. She tried to get me to eat one of them. But I refused, saying that those weren't really pies, they were pretend mud pies she had made. Kathleen had placed these thin twigs or toothpicks in them to make it look like there were candles, and with this cracked plastic knife (was it pink?) she had etched in decorative lines criss-crossing the top and sides. When I looked even more closely, I remember seeing some ants scurrying across the domed top. There was no way on earth I was going to touch a single one of those mud pies! But Kathleen kept on insisting that I try one, she had worked so very hard, and they were delicious she insisted. Yes, they were real pies that was for sure. Hmmm, at the time I had to admit on closer inspection I was getting a little bit hungry. C'mon, she kept pleading for me to give it a try. So you know what I did? I actually took her plastic fork, dug it into the side of the pie on the far right, and put a big chunk of this slightly wet and crumbling dirt blob into my mouth. I gave it a chew, thought a second or two, and then promptly spit it out. That tasted terrible! The question of course is how I could be so stupid as to believe my little sister in the first place at all. She was just a kid of around three years old at the time. And I was almost grownup at five years of age. Even in the beginning of youth, I was very gullible, believing everyone, trusting their opinions and beliefs, and not (quite) strong enough to resist my more normal intentions and tendencies. Even to this day I have remained a fairly easy-going person who will give in for the sake of avoiding discussions and/or conflicts, no matter how minor they might be. I still have alot to learn and before I can grow up and become a truly successful adult type of person.
When I was around eight years old I developed this irritating habit of having to clear my throat continuously. I am sure it had something to do with nervousness, and I could not stop it for the life of me. There was this ever so slight mucous collecting somewhere between my lungs and esophagus, and I just had to get it out. The problem was that even though I would have temporary relief of this aggravating feeling after clearing my throat with pleasure, within a minute or so it would all come back and just start all over again. Whether or not it was (is) real in a physical sense is (was) not important. I could feel it and it had to be released someway. My parents and sisters would get fed up with this incessant noise, and they would lose patience, yelling at me to stop "rattling" as they put it. "Stop that rattling!" I felt bad about it, perhaps even embarrassed about this uncalled for behavior, but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Nothing. Feeling insecure or what? One of those childhood habits like biting your nails, picking your nose, blinking your eyes, that nag at you from inside. Scraping the back of your fingers on the ground ten to twenty times just to make sure. Rattle. Even to this day I have the tendency to clear my throat, coughing out loud if necessary, scraping the ground. This habit is aggravated tenfold when I recover from a cold, no matter how minor the illness. Two or even three weeks go by before the "rattle" decreases to below the comfortable threshold. Mucous collects and it must be extricated through coughing or wheezing seizures of compressed lungs and the ribcage thrusting air out by tightening its grip in one quick squeeze of release. "Rattle" and then some much waited for silence and then yet another "rattle." These are strange habits that elicit the release of unwanted pressures from within. Get rid of it or else. Touch the ground another ten times just to make sure.
Each and every one of us has a very first memory that we can recall. At least I do, and it goes way back to when I was around three years old, I think. This is how I remember it. This is not to claim that the mind of a child is accurate in the mental impressions it saves at any given moment, and definitely not that the very first memory is more valid. Maybe the "real" truth is slightly different, or it is not entirely accurate, or maybe it never ever happened, not really. However, in my mind it is a secure block of timelessness that goes something like this:
"It is in the middle of the night and I have a very sore throat. A really bad sore throat, that is. Also I have the urge to cough, but whenever I do cough, I have this stabbing pain in the back of my throat, hacking sounds emitting outwards. My mother is leading me by the hand to the kitchen where she turns on the light. I cross the boundary between the carpet in the hall and the kitchen floor, a thin metal strip which marks the division betwen the here and the there. I can see the reflection of the light which has been just turned on, in the pitch-black window above the kitchen sink. I cough again and it hurts even more. I look down at my bare feet and I can feel and see the cool linoleum floor which has symmetrical repeating designs. The floor surface is smooth, not slippery and matted slightly. The cupboard door opens and my mother grabs the bottle, unscrews the lid and pours out some of the gooey thick green liquid into a tablespoon. The viscosity of the medicine bulges slightly over the top edge of the concave spoon, but because of the adhesive force of the liquid does not spill over. My mother looks into my eyes with a concerned look bordering on despair, gently places it in my mouth, and the edge of the spoon gently clicks against the inside of my teeth. The liquid is sharp and strong and goes down with a burning warmness that soothes."
That's all I remember, that's exactly the point in my memory where it ends abruptly, like a dream from which you awake all of a sudden. And then I am here forty or so years later where reality has taken on yet another dimension. My mother brought me back to bed and probably tucked me in under the covers with a lovingly kiss on my forehead. I closed my eyes and went to sleep, feeling better, dropping away, watching the darkness surround and give me strength. Strength to go on and survive, be something in the world, make my presence known, et cetera. Bringing me eventually to this place I am at now, the place I was going to end up at, the place from which I will continue and leave behind like when I left that same moment of time in the kitchen behind that late night.
In the far distance there was a mountain range that extended to the full angle of sight from far left to far right. "There it is!" hollered the boy to my left. We were both playing like we were in the army, reclined with our bellies on the slope holding imaginary weapons ready to shoot. I could not see anything. "Look, look can you see it now?!" For the life of me, all I could see in the distance were the mountaintops, a few melting clouds and the darkness coming along as the sun started to move away. "Okay, hold your fire until I give orders to attack." He was the sergeant and I was a lowly private so I was expected to listen to him although I didn't feel like it. What are you talking about? "The thunderbird is coming." I had heard a lot about the thunderbird. Indian legends had been told for centuries about this mighty creature who always flew by like a mysterious dark object. Was I a soldier or was I an Indian? Sweeping down from the sky just in front of the cold windy clouds before the storm. I could feel the storm coming, but no thunderbird in sight. Where is it? "Over there, now get ready to shoot." I couldn?t believe my eyes, because in my memory I could see it perfectly well. It wasn't really there but it was there at the same time. So clearly and a sharpened vision in my head. Like the Indians had known for years. Thundergods and thunderbolts. Get down, duck low. I was nervous but did as the sergeant ordered. He was more experienced than I and knew what he was talking about.
Way off in the distance it came, first a tiny dark speck above the mountaintops, growing ever so slightly until it became an elongated grayish flapping of feathers. ?Ready, aim?? I panicked, got up and turned my back despite the dangerousness of the situation. I could not see it but I knew it was there. I felt it inside of me and outside of me at the same time. Swooping down to reach the very spot at which I was standing in trepidation. The thunderbird was swooping. Then I ran, ran as fast as I could. A real coward, but at least I would survive. I opened the back door of our house and ran inside, cowering behind the couch. It was the very same couch behind which I cowered during every evening showing of the ?Outer Limits? on our black-and-white television. I peeked just above the top of that couch and stared outside. The speck was now returning to the place of its birth, the origin of all thunderbirds of ancient Indian legend. The swooping went in backwards motion, fluttering of wings, motions of feathers, an elongated thread of gray, and then it was gone. Just behind the second highest peak of the mountain range. I never saw the sergeant again. At least I had survived.
This is a true story. It took place in Redding, California when I was about six years old. I remember it well. Back then I had quite an imagination and my perception of reality was much more accurate than it is now.
I have the very annoying habit of thinking that I always know everything better.
Knowing everything better can be a real handicap during discussions, and on many occasions during my life, such a trait has placed unnecessary obstacles in my path. I do not know if I was just born that way or that I somehow was raised by society and my parents to believe it. More than likely it was a combination of the two. American culture demands that you are the best, that you are a winner and that you strive for first place and nothing less. Also, because I was such a nerd and did so well at school with straight A's all the time, they kept telling me that I was some kind of genius. Boy were they mistaken!
Also, I was always busying myself with other people's business, because I thought I was more qualified to do the job right. Certainly they could not do it. Here, just let me do it (take it completely over) for you. My sisters would joke about this attitude of mine. They were right when they needled me with their saying that I was "always trying to make things better but making them worse."
Here is an interesting example. My father was a doctor and inspired me alot. He was pretty smart and knew everything there was to know about medicine. On a technical level at least he had a mind like a steel trap, remembering everything, and I mean everything. There I was reading his medical texts and other study books, building models of the human body and drawing detailed schemas of various dissected organs and that sort of thing. Who was I kidding? I had models of the human brain, the eye, the inner ear, etc. I even built this mechanical heart that pumped blood-colored liquid to the various parts of the body. I tried to improve the pumping mechanism, but of course it didn't work that well any more and leaked all over the furniture. Always trying to make things better but making them worse. My favorite one was called the "Visible Man" anatomy model which showed all of the organs of the body. My sisters kept infuriating me by calling it the "Invisible Man" which it wasn't. I had memorized all of the organs by heart and could dislocate the various parts in my mind and section them all back together in my sleep. In fourth grade at the Turlock Elementary School (in California way back in 1967), the teacher decided we would learn more about the human body as a theme for Health class. Oh no, how dare they! I knew infinitely more than anyone else, even the teacher. I even brought my "Visible Man" model to school the next day before class started and had it all open. Each organ was laid out on my desk with the appropriate label for my classmates to see when they came in. Do you think they cared? Did I really think that they cared? I guess I did back then, when other things in life are important to you as a child.
Phew, what a pressure it must be to have to think all the time that you know everything better, when this is by definition an impossible task. So much weight of responsibility on my frail shoulders. To think that consciously and/or subconsciously I have carried this weight with me for so many years and well into adulthood.
Now what does all of this have to do with me right now? Well, I figure that while I have lost most of the intensity of that moment back then, I have still managed to retain a water-downed version of this know-it-all attitude. Trying to make things better but making them worse. In discussions that approach dangerously close to my realm of expertise, I tend too quickly to doubt the opinions of others. I resent the fact that they may be creating useful and creative ideas. Remaining open and not closing up too prematurely for valuable input is necessary for survival. I think that this potential shortcoming inherent to my personality is something that I should be aware of in order to improve myself. Listen and accept, forgive and forget. Life continues.
I do not want to know everything better anymore.