thoughts about nirvana 2

A Long Pause, and then this.

Outside Shang. We are only two in this balcony. Me and another guy. The shadows of the potted palm trees shroud us from the 2pm sun.

Can I attain nirvana under the shade of the palm plant, like how Buddha attained it under the Bodhi Tree?

And now we are three.

To live in the present, and not mind time.
To detach self from the past and future, to be void of worries, and to be cleansed of memories.
To focus on the city sounds. Skidding of cars. Under the slightly overcast sky.
To feel the cigarette against my dry lips, and the smooth sliding of pen against paper.
To be in the present, and the present alone.
And to hear the rustling of the finger-like leaves, as reply.
To be hyperconscious.
To pause…
To revel in stillness of body and thought.
To feel alive.

How should we live life? So bodies are conceived into this world of expectations and obligations. The things we do, we do partly because the world expects us to. Even the most mundane tasks are according to norms: eat during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sleep at night. Be active in the morning.

The janitor who is in the balcony with me is arranging the chairs and cleaning up cigarette butts, because it is part of his job. Why do his job? To get paid. Because he needs money to live.

In a sense, are we not puppets of society? A man-made society driven by an invisible hand?

Four words: inertia to status quo.


phenomenology of music by a non-music major

June 27, 2010, 3:14pm
Sunday. Inside the car with the family.
We’re going to Glorietta to window shop for Mom’s ninang sa kasal gown.

Let us discuss longevity of music.

Concept conception:
The car radio was accidentally tuned in to 98.3 (I think), which played classical violin music… A not-so-anachronistic anachronism,
which made me ask: why is classical music relatively popular compared to more recent oldies (ex: vaudeville music, kundimans),
which made me wonder: about music’s life span, given: life span = number of years a particular music is popular.

Phenomenology proper:
Why is classical music (top of head: Mozart, Tchaikovsky) relatively popular compared to music of other eras (top of head: older than classical – Renaissance; younger than classical – Jazz, Impressionist(Debussy))?

Because it might have been the era when music theory has been formalized, or when musical learning has reached the asymptote in terms of theory. ^[citation needed]
I need to research on this, although I know I won’t. XD
For older eras, the complete foundation of musical theory must have not yet reached the asymptote. There is so much more to learn. The younger eras on the other hand are beyond the musical foundation so they look for ways to experiment and create fresh harmonies and dissonances.

But you cannot deny that the Classical Era has produced exquisite music. Classical was rightfully dubbed, as it stood the test of time. (Remember: classic is timeless.) That’s why to play it in an FM station is a not-so-anachronistic anachronism.

There is a lot of speculation in this essay.


On a not so related note,

There is ownership of music per generation:

– Listeners of retro music are the people who were there when it hit the music charts – retro people themselves. Dad likes the Beegees, Mom likes The Carpenters.
– Same goes for the listeners of pre-war music. Lola Mama likes Kundimans and novena music.
– Our generation likes Eminem, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, John Mayer. And it’s not likely for other generations to veer from their generation’s music. Dad or Mom or Lola Mama are relatively indifferent to Lady Gaga.

Once a generation passes away, most of the music popular to that generation passes away as well. Unfortunately, the outdated music are just kept in the archives, studied by music connoisseurs or music enthusiasts who like to learn about non-pop, a minority of the population.

In a way music is exclusive to the generation who composed them, since there is a strong connection between music and its generation via shared experience / history / meaning only they can understand. ^[citation needed]


Spectacular Speculator, shut up.

atomised by michel houellebecq

May 10, 2010, 11:00pm

Spoiler alert.

I can’t put my finger on a single theme / tone which encompasses Atomised topics.

“So the society is atomised”
This is exhibited through the lives of Michel and Bruno. The dissimilarity must mean each is representative of contrasting ideologies.

– carnal desire / pursuit for sexual adventure
– intellectual desire / pursuit for knowledge

Why was there much emphasis on Bruno’s carnal adventures? (And this is juxtaposed against Michel’s detachment) Is it to illustrate humankind’s pre-cloning era, when sex hasn’t been 100% decoupled from reproduction? But Bruno doesn’t “do” it to reproduce? Is it to illustrate the phase when humankind is gradually developing into the race of the gods?

Phase 1: Sex = Reproduction (past)
– society without contraception
– reproduction is dependent on sex

Phase 2: Sex = ≠ Reproduction (present)
– society with contraception, which enables sex without reproduction
– but since reproduction is still dependent on sex, the conception is an imperfect mutantion
– thus, society is imperfect

Phase 3: Sex ≠ Reproduction (future, as per Atomised)
– reproduction is asexual, i.e. through cloning
– we are able to choose the desired traits in creating humans
– then society becomes perfect, and the only way to die is through euthanasia

In this diagram, humankind is in the second stage. This was illustrated extensively by Bruno. He needed to fulfill his sexual desires from adolescence to mid-life, from wanking to orgies. Nude beach! So much variation.
On another note, Michel is the perfect representation of the third phase. His lack of sexual desire is it. In the third phase, it is not even clear if people still had sex. Maybe for the dopamine rush purely.
Each of Bruno’s sexual experience must be a representation of something (pero tinatamad na me mag-analyse). Hindi ko natumbok… I MUST READ IT AGAIN, with the pages wide open, soiling it with grubby hands, valiantly highlighting and underlining and swearing at the margins.

Some other ideas that struck me:

Houellebecq narrated two generations of Michel and Bruno’s forefathers in a few pages, in a few paragraphs lang. How could a man’s life be summarized in a few words? All his experiences and memories were crunched in a page or two. In the end we should face the reality that we are inconsequential. There is the potential to make the mark in the world, but once you’re dead, you’re DEAD. Only piercing ideas can vie for immortality. Plato, Socrates, Nietzsche, Comte, Baudelaire. Their names acknowledged for their intellectual substance.

We are mortals. And it is difficult to make our mark in this world.

Someday I will die, and the new generations will forget me. They will not even know I existed, like how ignorant I am of my forefathers’ lives. They will not know of my hypergraphia and my fondness for waxing philo. They may recognize me if I formulate a groundbreaking something for my field (if I will haha), but nothing more than that. They won’t know about my loves, my feelings, which for me is the most important thing about life. It is your most conscious state.

…Which is contrary to what Houellebecq said. Through Michel, he said that solving for the most difficult math problems, being overtly logical and analytical — is human’s most conscious state. This makes sense as well because it is consistent with the eco food chain:
plans –> animals –> humans –> ultra-genius humans who can comprehend/generate the most complex of ideas
Consciousness might be correlated with intelligence?

I imagine Atomised’s philosophical points of discussion as fractals. You may expound endlessly. Then see beauty unfold before your eyes.

I am satisfied. :)

importance of history

May 3, 2010

Floating topics:
1. Importance or non-importance of history to justify dysfunctional memory
2. Raw deconstruction of Atomised
3. Further discussion of Michel’s insight at pp 143-144

Importance or non-importance of history to justify dysfunctional memory

A Babbling Backgrounder: I consider my memory a handicap. I cannot for the life of me retrieve a detailed memory from the past unless I consider it extraordinarily important. Of course I remember the general life milestones. But my brain is fogged. Admittedly, one of the reasons why I am a maudlin diarist is “to remember life in detail”, via an external memory device. I hypothesize two things: (1) Sometimes I’m on autopilot to save energy, so I don’t mean what I do or say, thus I don’t remember. But that would account for only a tiny percentage of the memories. (2) I subconsciously disremember to improve efficiency. Ex: Should not remember what I don’t consciously observe because that would use up extra brain power. —ANYWAY I shall stop the autobiographical rambling and move on the the finer, philosophicaler things and or questions about life and history.

Is history important? How?

History is important. (Status Quo)
Labelled Status Quo because, we have historians, anthropologists who study the past, archaeologists, Discovery Channel, History Channel. And they earn a mighty profit. Why? Because there is a demand? Why? Because people are innately curious and would like to understand through the past. History would not be important if it is not valuable. It gains value once people use history as learnings to enhance future actions.
What’s the use of knowing about the 300-year Spanish colonization? It explains our current situation, the several aspects of our culture: religious, economic, political, social, etc.

Bottom line: Value of history depends on the extent of the learning/application we get from it.

Yesterday, we watched the documentary about assassination of Ninoy Aquino in History Channel. Fast forward to the rolling credits vis-a-vis a video clip of Ninoy delivering a speech. It was a plea for Marcos. Gist: Why can’t you (Marcos) understand that the fate of dictators are the same all over the world, as per history books. In the end, they fail as leaders. And that Marcos is not an exception, and he should stop the madness.

And that is a stunning example why history is important, why history shouldn’t be ignored like what Marcos did.

Brief raw deconstruction of Atomised / The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq
Atomised by Houellebecq (POV from the first 150 pages) is a reconciliation of two bipolar realities: carnal desire and intellectual stimulation, former embodied by Bruno and latter by Michel. Both are majestically portrayed. Ang bagal ko magbasa. Sorry, Houellebecq.

Further discussion of Michel’s insight
What drives me to live?
My dreams.
I also want to make my mark in this world in one way or another.

Too lazy to continue. I’ve got other responsibilities.
Bye for now.

I leave you with a quote I lifted from Atomised by Houellebecq:

In revolutionary times, those who accord themselves with extraordinary arrogance, the facile credit for having enflamed anarchy in their contemporaries fail to recognize that what appears to be a sad triumph is in fact due to a spontaneous disposition determined by the social situation as a whole.”

–Auguste Comte
Philosophie Positive
Lecon, 48

about the tongue: taste and language

The SYSU/ABS-CBN scrumptious working lunch in X floor made me realize that I have neglected to document one underrated yet important sense: TASTE.

Ironically, my earliest memories of hypergraphia dates back to my 2nd year college self commuting via FX, who wrote about her cravings for Starbucks, describing the details of taste explosion between the cheeks.


5:39pm. Waiting for Leslie in Mary Grace, High Street.

We will watch Himpapawid later c/o Adobo Magazine.

Some observations and insights:

The demographic who hangs out in High Street stereotypically speaks English or they are at least very coñotic. This leads me to conclude that indeed language is a reflection of an individual’s history.

More insight-probing:
Filipinos who are English speakers are (1) educated and (2) have been exposed to an environment where English is the primary language, i.e. parents must be part of the affluent corporate landscape wherein they are required to communicate in the global language. These observations have created then an association that English speakers are rich and educated; a status is automatically attached to such behavior. This “stigma” furthered the desire to use English as (3) aspirational association to the demographic.

But the phenomenon just happens, sans all the overanalysis by Czar. It just happens naturally, without any expressed rationales …like any other social phenomenon. (Egoc moment: would I pass for an amateur sociologist? :P)
Zooming out of this particular AB English-speaker case,
Some aspects of language that may reflect an individual’s history:
– mother tongue
– other languages one can speak and/or write
– accents

Leslie is here.

confessions while in-transit

Dance dance dance.

Repel the stares from my fragile thoughts. I realize I haven’t done this in a long time, like a month. Oh to repel the stares.

I outgrew Murakami. Fuck. Actually the only reason why I loved his works is because… it’s the first quality literature I’ve ever laid my hands upon.

Confessions: I am not imaginative. I cannot write. I find it hard to imagine new stories. I cannot draw well. I don’t think I am capable of conceptualizing award-winning ads. Logic ALWAYS overpowers. As if I am imprisoned inside the box of concrete logic. I cannot escape. Why.

This bus is too small for me. I hunched when I entered earlier.


Artists are creative because drawing allows their mind to wander freely. They just let their pencils graze their papers, while their minds graze other dimensions of this world.

thoughts about lunch time while at the lunch table

Some norms we take for granted are actually man-made constructs, ex: the concept of lunch/ dinner. No one really mandated that the middle of the day is the correct time to eat, and quench thirst/ hunger. Did the Mayans had lunch? Was there a communal time for eating? We even impose this artificial sense of time control over animals. We feed them during lunch and dinner time.

What is the relevance of this insight? WALA. I just thought about it. And I’m sure a handful of 6 billion people in this globalwarming-stricken planet thought of this thought already. How original. BUT I wonder how many of the handful thought of people thinking about this thought… I win!

Timestamp placement purports a future-oriented mindset. I know it will be entertaining to look back and glimpse at my 21-year old thoughts, but wouldn’t it be better to contextualize the ideas using timestamps, or at least daystamps.

Forgive the tasteless word vomit.