Monday, December 29, 2008

Song of the Irish Whistle

(with apologies to Joanie Madden)

Sure, it's a holy instrument
Like everything that comes from God
You must learn to touch her reverently
Like Father Kelly's Holy Wafer
Or a patch of Irish sod.

Close your lips around her fipple
And thru her narrow airway
Blow a prayer across that tilted floor
Called "labium" when there's one of them
And "labia" when there's more.

Now the noise she makes is frightful
Like a pack o' banshees climaxin'
The men are rising from their seats
And now your life depends
On the music you can coax from her
With your fancy fingerin'

Sure, breathin' (and tonguin') have to be mastered
But they're just a part o' the thing
For it's movin' your flesh
Across the openings, laddie,
That makes the Irish whistle sing.

You may play in a grove
You may play in a pub
You may play with a maid in the spring
But playing the Irish whistle
You must mind your fingering
For it's movin' flesh across the openings
That makes the Irish whistle sing.

Sure, it's movin' flesh across the openings
That makes the Irish whistle sing.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just Like At Nuremberg

The bardic spirit 
is still alive.

Rico Youngblood's
Christmas card to the Universe.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Value of Friendship

The philosophers ponder: can anyone put a value on friendship? Well maybe yes, maybe no.

You didn't know Levine was buddy-buddy with Bernie Madoff? Yeah, I know, what a schmuck. Well, Bernie had doubled my money for me, and doubled it again, but a few weeks ago he calls me up and says: "Listen, Levine, this whole Wall Street schtick is alla housa cards. Do yourself a favor and put your shekels somewhere safe." "You advising me, Bernie, that I should also cash in what you got cooking for me." "Yeah, me especially, Levine. It's alla housa cards." So I took Bernie's advice and was I ever not sorry.

So I runs into da schmiel a few days ago and I says to him: "Bernie, why'd ya do it?" "You mean the Ponzi scheme?" "No, that I understand. Why'd you tip me off ahead of time?" "Hey, Levine," says Bernie, grabbing me by the shoulders and getting in my face, "What are friends for?"

Plato, Aristotle: the value of friendship? In Levine's case, about 3.6 million bucks.
M.E. Levine

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quantum Tantra: Conceptual Underpinnings

"Although goods and services based on quantum tantra now account for more than 60% of America's GNP, the primary import of The Brand New Science is the extraordinary revolution it has wrought in ordinary peoples' ways of conceptualizing, feeling and experiencing the natural world. Inner space is BIG, as most of you know, and full of surprises that its pioneers could never have imagined."--Wall Street Journal, December 2033

Until he finds a way to directly experience the inner life of other beings, EACH MAN IS AN ISLAND.

Hence the goal of quantum tantra--to use our knowledge of quantum physics to build bridges between islands by directly connecting your mind to the minds of numerous other beings.

Quantum physics describes the world in two different ways depending on whether the world's being measured or not. 1. An isolated quantum state is described as a superposition of WAVE-LIKE POSSIBILITIES. 2. When this state is measured, some of its possibilities turn into PARTICLE-LIKE ACTUALITIES. The uncomfortable fact that physicists have not been able to agree on what causes quantum possibilities to change into actualities is called "the quantum measurement problem" and this aspect of our ignorance is the biggest unsolved mystery of quantum physics.

Quantum tantra's first big assumption is that every mind in the world is associated with some macroscopic quantum state. Human minds are associated with quantum states localized in the brain but since everything in the world is ultimately made of quantum states, it follows that THE WORLD IS FULL OF MINDS (see The Wordsworth Conjecture). The world is full of minds, many physically very close to us, minds of whose existence we, in our islandic isolation, remain totally ignorant.

One clue suggestive of the quantum nature of our minds is the existence of two qualitatively different subjective modes of experience which may correspond to the two kinds of existence that quantum states seem to enjoy. First, there exists the wordless, unitary experience of 1. WHAT IT FEEL LIKE TO BE NICK. I associate this mode of experience with the quantum state's unbroken superposition of wave-like possibilities. Secondly, there exists the explicit messages from the senses that constitute 2. WHAT NICK FEELS. I associate this second mode of experience with the quantum state's particle-like actualities.

Like the isolated quantum state, "what it feels like to be Nick" could in principle be enjoyed with no sensory input whatsoever. It resembles what some mystics have called "consciousness without content". I call this mode-1 type of experience the wave aspect of my mind or wave-mind, for short.

On the other hand, the particle-like actualities of the quantum state and "what Nick feels" both depend on the presence of measuring instruments--some lab machine in the case of the quantum state, and a sensory nervous system in the case of Nick's mode-2 type of experience or what he calls his particle-mind.

All our commerce with the world, with both what we call the inanimate world and with the world of minds, is presently carried out solely through the medium of the senses, that is, particle-mind. Quantum tantra seeks to change this. We want to achieve "Vulcan mind-meld" not only with other human beings, but with the minds of animals and plants, with the minds of our internal organs, with the minds of cells, and eventually perhaps with the minds of atoms and molecules. What does photosynthesis actually feel like from the inside?

Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, declared that, no matter how bizarre and different from classical thinking our QUANTUM EXPLANATIONS of the world might be, the results of our QUANTUM EXPERIMENTS must necessarily be expressed in classical language. Bohr believed that human beings are bound to see the world only through classical goggles and can only infer the existence and nature of the quantum world by indirect argument from these classical-style observations.

Eighty years of increasingly sophisticated quantum experiments have not proven Bohr wrong. Although quantum theory seems to require that an UNBROKEN WHOLENESS underlies the phenomenal world, no physicist has ever yet experienced that wholeness by merging with his apparatus. Although the results of quantum experiments differ radically from 19th-century expectations, the instruments of our era (the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, for example) do not differ in principle from the quaint polished brass instruments of the Victorian Age. They all produce classical-physics-style results.

Quantum tantra aims to change all that. More than just a new particle, more than just a new equation, quantum tantra aspires to be a brand new way of doing science. Quantum tantra seeks to connect human minds directly to the living insides of things, to open up for human exploration an immense inner space frontier, wherein we exchange experiences with billions of bizarre new intelligences, touching and being touched by alien minds that, during our entire human history, have unknowingly been dwelling right next door.

Nature's hinting there's new ways to meet Her
More intense, more engaging--and sweeter
But like shy maiden aunts
We say "O dear me, no!" to Her Dance
"We'd rather be reading our meters."

Quantum Illustration by Rian Fike
More Quantum Tantra at Rudy Rucker's FLURB


Monday, December 8, 2008

The Raw Meat of Tantra

(Occasioned by the recent death of Bubba Free John in Fiji.)

One of the dilemmas that troubled the leaders of the early Catholic Church was whether immoral priests and bishops could validly wield the powers conferred on them at their ordination--the power to turn bread into the Body of Christ, for example, or the power to forgive (other people's) sins. This problem was resolved at the Council of Trent in the Sixteenth Century by declaring that God could act (ex opere operato") thru stained vessels. So even tho the priest might be in a state of mortal sin, he (or rather God acting thru him) could accomplish the miracle of transubstantiation and validly absolve sinners of their guilt.

Were I a bishop at this council I would have endorsed this decision. Furthermore it seems obvious that "bad people" can perform "good" acts and can also act as conduits of spiritual wisdom which they in their weakness may not be able to embody. Don't do as I do, do as I say.

For instance the infamous "sex guru" Bhagavan Rajneesh (pictured above) preached that sex is holy and encouraged his followers to wallow in the pleasures of the flesh as a form of divine worship. Plenty of scandals arose around this guru and his followers, scandals aptly satirized by John Updike in his amusing novel S.

Like the large particle accelerators which explore the nature of matter by exposing it to extreme conditions, one can learn a lot about human nature by exploring its excesses.

In harmony with the Church's decision that God can often speak thru tarnished vessels, I believe that the writings of Bhagavan Rajneesh, controversial director of a kind of experimental human accelerator center, contain much good advice about how to lead an intensely satisfying and moral life. I have read dozens of books on tantra--the idea that one can best find God, not thru ascetically withdrawing from life but by enthusiastically embracing life with all its pains and pleasures. Tantra works by consciously sacralizing the experiences of everyday life paying special attention to the sexual act and its broad flirtatious borders.

Others will cite their own favorites among tantric epigrams (I'd love to hear them), but for me, no one has expressed the raw meat of tantra more concisely than Bhagavan Shri Rajneesh.

"Start at the beginning," Rajneesh said. "And stay there."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rosie's First Time


It was Rosie's first time
And it hurt

It hurt big
Balled up hard inside her ass
Like a constipated Christmas dinner

It hurt
Rosie screamed
So loud it rattled the neighbor's china
She didn't even wake them
They had heard it before
It was her own business
What Rosie did next door

Rosie was a red head
And no dumb chick
She'd heard about anal
Considered it sick
But all of her sisters
Were into it big
Was she just uptight?
An old-fashioned prig?

Rosie screamed again
It was more like a shriek
She knew her rear passage
Would ache for a week

Males have it easy
Males just walk away
Males leave the pain to women
It was always this way

Right on top of Rosie's fear
Came the dread intuition:
Would the police find her dead
In some awkward position?

Then Rosie went crazy
It was stuck up her chute
Her shrieks turned to cackles
Her brain followed suit

For a moment poor Rosie literally lost her mind
Then suddenly it was over

O what a relief!
At last it was done
It wasn't so bad
In fact it was fun

Ya know, Rosie sighed
I really kinda liked it

I'm proud to be female
And I'd do it again
What a beautiful egg
Cackled Rosie the hen.