Tag Archives: True West

“If you’re so smart, how come you ain’t rich?”

Happy New Year – wo it’s what year?? 2013!?
Sooo… After a particularly rocky patch and some strong reproaches from a spouse who shall remain nameless here, I’ve been thinking about my various lamentable failures to break through to ‘success’,  ie having financial abundance, without sacrificing the ‘soul’ of what i am about.
my breakthrough is this – a big realisation it is too! – Like many natural ‘intellectuals‘, I have been labouring under a fatal assumption all my life: the assumption that folk are more or less like me in how they see the world, in this one key respect: the degree to which they live in and are aware of the intellectual level. i have seen (or finally faced)  how little they actually perceive of that, and how much they see things through the social lense, which is all about celebrity, praise/blame, socially accepted norms and beliefs, patterns of fashion and tradition old and new. So, my efforts have almost always been aimed at a an (almost) non-existent group i thought was the majority of people, and any market success I had was (almost) purely accidental. like poor old charles peirce, marketing a correspondence course on practical symbolic logic for everyman.
i am now re-adjusting my approach. (Better late in life than never!)
They call me (some of them!) a ‘wizard‘. but what (myths aside) IS a wizard? A wizard (in my book),  is one who sees many things clearly, through the lense of the ‘third eye’ aka holistic intellect (not just the left-brain analysing mind), and then uses the insights thus obtained to do seeming magic within a social order (or disorder), bringing new clarity vision and success to that social order, or at least a better mousetrap or silicon chip, without necessarily ever being understood on his own accustomed level (which is definitely the intellectual/abstract/universal/mystical). It is a lonely life, being perceived, even recognised, on the social plane yet essentially unseen in the level that really matters most to him, where few walk and even fewer meet in the flesh.
So, one year older and maybe 10 years sadder, I see more clearly closer to home, how I appear to the world, and this does open up better alternatives for interacting, and therefore ‘succeeding’.
And my first little project right now is to write a simple report for an ebook, probably called
“If You’re So Smart, How Come You Ain’t Rich?”
– a money manual strictly for the Nerds
Epistle the first.
What gives me the qualifications to write such a guide? Well, I’ve been smart for 58 and a half years now, and I still ain’t rich. But I have given the grey matter a lot of thought lately, and i put two and two together, and it came out forebrain.
Terrible cerebral puns aside, I have tried a lot of things, on the concrete and the abstract levels, and so have a lot of – Data. and it HAS been coming together lately.
So, watch this space. A link will appear to a new little free ebook which could change your life if you act on it. but only if you’re a nerd, compulsive thinker, pundit, intellectual, perennial student, scholar or suchlike.
If you’re too smart for your own good, i think I can help you.
(And me too, even, especially if i charge for further installments…)
[newsflash next morning: fellow-nerds: it’s here already! Very short, very punchy, very free: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/270995
In other news: i really AM editing volume IV of the epic (Blue Knight, thank you!), but this little message is burning in me and i am going to practice the ‘One Sitting, One Problem, One Solution’ info product formula i read at product creation secrets by jason fladlien, former rapper, hare krishna monk, etc, turned internet marketer. So it won’t take long, brother Knight, and the Pillars of Aeden shall be edited. Then if my friend Ian’s advice is good, it’s time for the wizard to go to LA and hawk the epic and the Defence of the True West  to hollywood for the film rights. And film the hawking adventure anyway. Crazy idea but why not.  Applying my revelation: think intellectual (write a eutopian epic, for example) but act social (wear a pointy hat, make a spectacle, entertain people even, for example, by pretending to be what you are…
and hey, what a liberating thought that is – to give myself permission to pretend to be what I am! It kind of short-circuits the self-censoring parts of the brain…
My brothers, this new lawtable i set over you: pretend to be what ye truly are! (apologies to Nietzsche)
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How to be a wizard – for 99c

Well after the quick dashing off came some picking up pieces and tidying –  some rewriting, a late-night uploading, and re-formatting and reloading.

‘How to be a Wizard – how life is magical and we are too’ is now OUT.  Scary! the short blurb:

This short book is not about ‘pointy hats‘. Instead, I outline the foundations of the True West, and list the ‘Wizard’s Desiderata’ – what is needed to live a life which is truly powerful, truly magical, truly mythical, and truly possible. It always has been possible to be a ‘wizard’ of one’s life, though never perhaps with as little danger of being burned at the stake! 

I made a short version of the book to give to customers as a free passport book if they spend $10 at Cafe Eutopia and leave their email address. The full (colour) printed version is $9.99, but only 99c as an ebook.  Now on Smashwords, http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/236770

and Kindlehttp://www.amazon.com/How-Wizard-life-magical-ebook/dp/B009C977K6/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1348351169&sr=1-5&keywords=how+to+be+a+wizard

The cover:

How to be a wizard. The passport book.

It does raise the bar for oneself, writing a guide to something. Can I live up to it? Certainly one doesn’t always feel like whatever it is one is claiming to be (For example, right now I have a slight nausea – a symptom that can make anything feel like bleah. I wonder, did Gandalf have a stomach ache on the bridge of Khazad Dum? We’ll never know.)

But that isn’t any reason to back off declaring oneself. Or raising the flag of some ideal or idea. If we wait until we know we are perfect, or feel we are, no flags would ever be raised, or they’d be pulled down again at the first stomach ache or flu or migraine or domestic meltdown, and then where would we be?

Certainly those with something to share whether paid or not need to raise a flag. It’s called marketing. It’s a bit scary! Or for the sensitive Cancerian artist or contemplative, terrifying.  But part of being in the world. Which clearly, we are. We can’t be passive observers. At least now on the threshold of the digital age we can put out something like an ebook and people can sample it for free, and only spend 99c (Amazon’s minimum price) to have our best offerings on their ereaders forever, weightless and maintenance-free.  So the risk for book maker and book reader is way lower, and everyone benefits. And it is great news for the voluminous writer – it costs no more to produce my 2000 page epic as an ebook than to put up this little passport.

What condensed wisdom could you write up one inspired weekend and upload? The power is there for anyone to do it. (If you want help uploading, I do that too see my www.ebookuploader.com)

What about the shingle I put out at the front? Well, the wind kept blowing it over, the corrugated polycarb protecting the printout dims it down, I printed it too small…

So that also need tidying up. So many opportunities to back down and give up! But I will redesign and put it out again.  All part of the process. the dreaming, the Idea, the working out, the following through. Wonderful synchronicities and synergies do happen, bringing things together, but there’s no magic wand when it comes to actually building the things. That’s where the ‘law of attraction’ has to be balanced with a ‘law of Processing’. That’s in the How to be a Wizard guide too, of course!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Calling all wizards: It is NOT too late to defend the True West!

I still haven’t hung out my ‘shingle’ at the front of the Story Ark where I reside and create and plan unrandom acts of creativity, but something has come up, calling me to action.
My son Daniel sent me links to a certain noble but pessimistic thinker and prolific blogger, who has written a major paper critiquing what he calls  the  current Western secular ‘religion’ – ‘PC’ (political correctness). In that paper:
Thought Prison: the fundamental nature of Political Correctness
Bruce G Charlton
University of Buckingham Press, Buckingham, MK18 1EG, UK, 2011
ISBN: 798 0 9563953 45
which he posted here: http://thoughtprison-pc.blogspot.co.nz/ he quite rightly attacks PC as being anti-rational and destructive of the West –  but he goes on to say its errors are intrinsic to Westernness itself. I strongly disagree! PC  is a sickness of the reason, a reason turned (irrationally) against itself. But to me the true foundation of the West – what makes it so strong in spite of all its parasites and viruses – is  acknowledgement of the transcendental reality of Truth – and Ethics. And dammit, Beauty. And yes, of course, Love.
But there were false steps in the course of its pursuit of Truth, and ugly ideas took root, bad arguments were believed,  that were undermining of this acknowledgement. Perverse philosophers did deviously use the tools of the reason to undermine reason. Scepticism and relativism did become entrenched, and became the dominant paradigm. And the social forces, still all too powerful in the universities and other bastions of intellectual culture, entrenched this scepticism and relativism. They became the fashion, no less! The Spirit of the Age.
We are at a time of tidal change where we are reaping the results of this undermining of Reason – but does this mean the tide cannot be turned? NO! Why? because it is not inevitable like the brute forces of physics. It is a tide of human minds all tuned to certain false ideas – ideas which were created by us and can be just as easily revised by us, or refuted. The human tide of ideas that could destroy the West is definitely flowing; but WE CAN turn it  back. We are part of it, and our ideas can spread, if they are worthy and carry the power of truth.
But I was about to quote Bruce Charlton’s paper, lest I be accused of misrepresenting him:
“By secularizing knowledge, by creating The University – by making philosophy autonomous of the Church (instead of having learning institutionally focused in monasteries) the West eventually made political correctness – which is now everywhere and inescapable.
And PC is the West’s Nemesis, because the West cannot decisively overturn PC without overturning that which made it The West.
The West cannot overcome PC without ceasing to be The West.
Yet, if this overturning of PC does not happen, then the West will itself be subverted by PC.
In other words, The West is built upon error: its strength is also its weakness; its power is also that which is self-destroying; even as The West built its great structures it was simultaneously gnawing at their foundations.
*
Here is the double-bind:
To be antiPC is to be anti-The West (always in tendency, albeit not by intention)
Yet at the same time, to be proPC is to be anti-The West (always in tendency, and also by intention)
And/ So/ But The West never was sustainable.
*
Looking back, The West was a blip on the graph of history – albeit a thousand year ‘blip’! –with a hundreds year long, gradual up-tick and the rapid decades long collapse looming ever-closer.
Just so soon as The West began to implement its assumptions towards completion (which is political correctness), just so soon The West began actively (as well as passively) to destroy itself.”
What? ‘The West cannot overcome PC without ceasing to be The West‘?  No! By BEING TRUE to our heritage of clear and fearless RATIONAL INQUIRY we can overcome the sickness, which is at root a sickness of ideas. Who said the arguments of relativism and physicalism are irrefutable? When were they truly proved? How could they have been, when they are inherently, logically, self-contradictory? ‘Dear me, what do they teach them in these schools?’ (Professor Kirk, Chronicles of Narnia).
‘How shall a man judge what to do in such times?’
‘As he ever has judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among elves and Dwarves and another among men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his won house.’
So, calling all wizards in the tradition of Gandalf the Grey: become what you are, servants of the True West and ‘Numenor that was, and beyond to Elvenhome that is, and to that which is beyond Elvenhome and ever will be.’ (- Faramir, in the wonderful chapter ‘The Window on the West’ in The Two Towers.)
Cast off the grey rainments of doubt, throw down the Balrog of fear, and become what you are,  white riders of the True West!
Which all leads me to think, we need those Schools which teach the true foundations. If they can be founded physically, all to the good, but even if virtual – they are needed! My Schoolofwisdomandwizardry.com is, in intention at least,  such a place.
PS: I haven’t addressed a major, major issue in all this: the vexed question of whether we need a religious underpinning in order to be the True West, or be good – many would say we do, including Bruce Charlton, who is I gather a Christian. Or he would presumably say that the good things the West has enjoyed have come from its association with the tradition and beliefs of Christianity. I can’t agree. I think an acknowledgement of the transcendental Truth and Ethics and the Good, IS enough: all else falls into place if we honour these. We can benefit from open-minded study of any sacred texts, or any secular ones too, but the evidence for any one religion having the monopoly on the Truth does not seem at all convincing to me.  This doesn’t make me a relativist, of course: They take the irrational step of saying all religions and teachings are EQUAL – ie equally meaningless, at bottom – they say there is NO truth of the matter. I say all religions, like all scientific theories, are better or worse – more (or less!) valuable GUESSES at the truth of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
 This doesn’t make me a sceptic, because although the complete theories are guesses, some truths ARE self-evident. The ones about logic and ethics. We cannot build a complete irrefutable theory of everything on these truths, I guess, but we can build a glorious and wise civilisation on them.
That possible civilisation is what I call the True West.

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