Tuesday, May 09, 2006 

In defense of ‘The Da Vinci Code’

DAN Brown’s hugely successful and controversial novel, “The Da Vinci Code” (40 million copies sold), has received a lot of flak lately, mainly from the conservative Catholic church and her apologists.
They believe (falsely, of course) that the book undermines Christianity and may lead astray the faithful.

According to one critic, a historian named James Hitchcock (as quoted in the book “The Da Vinci Hoax,” by Olson and Miesel):

“‘The Da Vinci Code’ can be viewed as an ephemeral artifact of popular culture, but its immense sales ensure that it will have influence on people who never read serious books. Brown has found a formula for becoming rich: sex, sensationalism, feminism, anti-Catholicism and the occult. But it is also obvious that he sincerely hates Christianity and sees himself as engaged in an anti-crusade. The culture is ripe for such a debased book, so that even professing Christians are being seduced by it.”

What is obvious to me in the above quotation

is not that Brown “sincerely hates Christianity” but that Hitchcock is biased in his opinions, which is not expected of a historian.

What really irks blind followers of Christianity and its Medieval-thinking defenders about the novel is clearly stated in “The Da Vinci Hoax”:

“‘The Da Vinci Code’ challenges beliefs that are central to Christianity: the celibacy and divinity of Jesus, the place of the apostles and the purpose of the Church. The novel insists that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children, that Mary Magdalene—not Peter—was the head apostle, that Catholic Church has kept these ‘facts’ hidden through force and terror, and that Jesus was not truly divine but merely a good man ‘deified’ by Emperor Constantine in AD 325.”

Facts

The fact is Brown’s book is fiction. He himself says so. The only things Brown claims to be factual in his book, as he himself states before the story begins, are the following:

“The Priory of Sion, a European secret society founded in 1099


“The Opus Dei, a deeply devout Catholic sect that has just completed construction of a US$47 million national headquarters at 243 Lexington Ave., New York


“All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals”

Not one of the reviews critical of the book published in the local press ever mentioned what Brown himself said about his intentions and his work. So, for a change, let’s hear from the author himself.

In an interview that appeared in Evolve Magazine (Vol. 3, No. 1) published by Bodhi Tree Bookstore in Los Angeles, Brown answers the following questions:

Q and A

What made you decide to tackle a controversial subject?

“Strangely, I don’t think I ever actively ‘decided’ to tackle a controversial topic. I chose this topic for personal reasons—primarily as an exploration of my own faith and my own ideas about religion. I believe that one of the reasons the book has become controversial is that religion is a very hard thing to discuss in quantitative terms. I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. Deciding to write about this topic was simply part of my own personal quest for understanding.”

How did you get all the inside information for this book?

“Most of the information is not ‘inside’ as it seems. The secret described in the novel has been chronicled for centuries, so there are thousands of sources to draw from. In addition, I was surprised how eager historians were to share their expertise with me. One academic told me her enthusiasm for ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was based in part on her hope that this ancient mystery would be unveiled to a wider audience.”

Has anyone in organized religion come out in support of your novel?

“Yes, many people in organized religion have come out in support of this novel and, of course, many have come out in opposition as well.

“The opposition generally comes from the strictest Christian thinkers who feel the idea of married Jesus serves to undermine his divinity. While I don’t agree with this interpretation, this is immaterial because the dialogue itself is a deeply empowering and positive force for everyone involved.

“Suddenly, enormous numbers of people are passionately debating important philosophical topics and, regardless of the personal conclusions that each of us draws, the debate can only help to strengthen our understanding of our own faith.

“Much of the positive response I get from within organized religion comes from nuns (who write to thank me for pointing out that they have sacrificed their entire lives to the Church and are still considered ‘unfit’ to serve behind the altar).

“I have also heard from hundreds of enthusiastic priests. While many of them disagree with some of the ideas in the novel, they are thrilled that their parishioners are eager to discuss religion.

“Fr. John Sewell of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Memphis stated it particularly eloquently in the press, saying: ‘This [novel] is not a threat. This is an opportunity. We are called to creatively engage the culture and this is what I want to do. I think Dan Brown has done me a favor. He’s letting me talk about things that matter.”

Saturday, May 06, 2006 

Da Vinci Code shows 'spiritual thirst'

THE head of the Scottish Episcopal Church believes the popularity of Dan Brown's bestselling book The Da Vinci Code is a symptom of a "spiritual thirst" among the public.

Speaking to The Scotsman in his last week as Primus, the Most Rev Bruce Cameron said the Church had to embrace that "thirst" in order to draw people back in to Christianity.

He said that the book offered a "real opportunity" to bring people into the church. "All this discussion about The Da Vinci Code shows that there is a thirst to learn more about Jesus, and this seems to offer a real opportunity for the Church to respond," he said.

Mr Cameron's words go against the stance of most other churches, which have attacked the book as damaging to Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland is to send a DVD to schools, portraying the novel as "monumentally inexcusable nonsense".

But Mr Cameron, who has served as Primus for five years and Bishop of Aberdeen for 14 years, said the Episcopal Church's shape and methods would have to change if it was to survive.

"I would be as bold as to say that the Church at the end of the century will look radically different from how it looks at the beginning.

"Today's Church can sow the seeds of this, make the connections with the people who have given up on the Church but who are still religious."

He added that the Church had to get across to people that, even with their doubts about religion, there is a place for them in it. "We have our doctrines and beliefs, but people can come to the Church, with all their doubts and uncertainties, and join us on this journey. It's not about having to believe in ten impossible things before breakfast."

Addressing the controversial subject of the ordination of homosexual bishops in the Anglican Communion, Mr Cameron said it was a "difficult and painful" issue that had to be addressed.

He also voiced concerns that Scotland was in danger of unintentionally falling into independence. "I think there is an ongoing tension between the Scottish Parliament and Westminster.

"The more there is a tension, the more we move towards an independent Scotland - and it could happen suddenly."

 

Creationism dismissed as 'a kind of paganism' by Vatican's astronomer

BELIEVING that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.

Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a "destructive myth" had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.

He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a "kind of paganism" because it harked back to the days of "nature gods" who were responsible for natural events.

Brother Consolmagno argued that the Christian God was a supernatural one, a belief that had led the clergy in the past to become involved in science to seek natural reasons for phenomena such as thunder and lightning, which had been previously attributed to vengeful gods. "Knowledge is dangerous, but so is ignorance. That's why science and religion need to talk to each other," he said.

"Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god. And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do."

Brother Consolmagno, who was due to give a speech at the Glasgow Science Centre last night, entitled "Why the Pope has an Astronomer", said the idea of papal infallibility had been a "PR disaster". What it actually meant was that, on matters of faith, followers should accept "somebody has got to be the boss, the final authority".

"It's not like he has a magic power, that God whispers the truth in his ear," he said.

Friday, May 05, 2006 

Othercott The Da Vinci Code?

Barbara Nicolsi, a writer for Christianity Today, suggests a different strategy for the release of The Da Vinci Code (2 weeks away at the time of this post). Nicolsi says don't boycott the movie, don't use it as a means for evangelism, instead ... othercott it.

Go to another movie on the heavily scrutinized opening weekend. Cast your vote at the ticket box. That is what Hollywood pays attention to anyway.

She's got a point, I must admit. Maybe it would be a good time to go see United 93 if you haven't already.

Nicolsi makes an interesting argument. She says don't debate the devil. Don't start out on his ground. Nicolsi compiles what she thinks will be a typical dialog about DVC.
Here's a typical DVC-inspired dialogue. See if you can find a search for truth in it.

It usually starts with something like this: "Everybody knows that the Church Fathers were liars. Can you prove the compilation of the Bible wasn't pure politics?"

And just when you start saying, "Well, I don't agree that the Church Fathers were--", the questioner moves on with eyes flashing unnaturally, "Why is the Church so afraid of women, huh? Why has it suppressed them since the beginning? Answer THAT!"

You clear your throat and say, "Well, I wouldn't say that the Church is afr--"

But they've moved on: "The fact is, there is no evidence for the Resurrection. Have you ever read the Gospel of Mary Magdalene?"

"Well, no, but--"

"See you people are all brain-washed." [Exhalation of disgust.] "How so many people could be so stupid is amazing to me."

When you debate with Satan, there is no opportunity for anything but people digging their heels into the sludge of chaos and confusion.

Nicolsi's other concern is that some sheep will be led away by this tripe. The church is vulnerable to heresy due to a climate of biblical illiteracy and anti-intellectualism that infects the modern evangelical church. Maybe. But is running away the best strategy?

Now, juxtapose Nicolsi's strategy with a comment I received yesterday on my blog.

A commenter named Sonia writes :
"The book and the movie have created an incredible opportunity for Christians to discuss history, church history, art and scriptures with the average Joe on the streets. I can't tell you how many times I've had conversations with co-workers or other folks I rub shoulders with that normally wouldn't touch conversations of the "religious" type with a ten-foot pole.

I have to admit, while I was more prepared than some to handle the questions, I could not have done it without the extra preparation provided by our Sunday School teacher at church - an engineer who holds a degree in Christian Thought. We held debates and even had homework. We've dug through the Council of Nicaea, Constantine, historicity of scriptures (in comparison with other historical documents) as well as having had to read several Gnostic Gospels.

Let's use this to our advantage!"
Right on! This Sunday School teacher / engineer is to be commended. Instead of running from heresy, he chose to equip to engage. Debates in a Sunday School -- I love it! That'll wake up the sleepy heads, right?

So what to do?

Nicolsi is right that DVC enthusiasts are not exactly on a search for truth. They are on a hunt for vindication. Trying to winsomely engage such types borders on throwing pearls before the swine.

For example, I had someone challenge me recently on evidence for the resurrection. I responded and then got some snarky comments thrown back in my face. I then asked, how would it change his life if he got a video tape of the resurrection and knew for a fact that it really happened. He answered honestly. It wouldn't change a thing. And then he proceeded to tell me why he thought God was unfair and unjust. Bingo. The real issue surfaced. Evidence was not the real issue and never was. Now we can make some progress. What spawned this discussion? A post on the Da Vinci Code ;)

So Nicolsi is right ... and we definitely do NOT need to spend hours throwing pearls before the swine. Let's go watch another movie on May 19th (she suggests a Dreamworks flick for the kids called Over The Hedge). I am okay with that. But let's follow the example of Sonia's Sunday School teacher and equip folks with good answers ... and prepare them for how to deal with hostile people. Perhaps a list of good questions to ask would be in order.

Like ... "How about if you got a DVD from God, which was authentic, and it showed that the resurrection of Christ really happened, how would it change your life?"

 

There is a difference!

From the website of Beyond Belief Media's War on Easter:

Is religion truly dangerous?

Yes. Throughout history, religions in conflict have generally inflicted the maximum possible violence on their perceived enemies. Religions gain power the more they insulate themselves from criticism. In the United States, Christianity has achieved a degree of insulation that is unwarranted — it has power, it makes claims, but our politically correct culture forbids vigorous examination of that power or those claims.

But isn’t Christianity the least dangerous religion?

This past Palm Sunday, the Bible phrase heard most often in many church services was "obedient unto death." A popular sung phrase was, "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" Mass movements emphasizing vengeance and lockstep obedience have historically been less than benign.

But, at the moment, isn’t Islam more dangerous?

Yes. But Christianity is equally devoid of reason, and it is the most likely source of mindless antagonism of Islam. In a world where nuclear weapons become easier to acquire year by year, we need to neutralize religious fanaticism before it neutralizes us. And we need to start at home.

Now compare this letter written as an opinion to ABS-CBN Interactive by GERONIMO L. SY:

It is most surprising that after selling 40 million copies of his The Da Vinci Code that attacks the core beliefs of Christianity, no one in the Christian world has called for the head of Dan Brown, to demand his death for his blasphemous writing.

Distinguish this with the fatwah against the British author Salman Rushdie for his Satanic Verses and the recent violent deaths over the Danish cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad. A movie version is even coming out this May.

* * *

On the eve of our crisis in Christianity, the following of Dan Brown is but a species of the long and arduous struggle to remain loyal and steadfast to the Triune God, a turning of the tide against curiosity and pride in favor of obedience and humility. In the end, it is not at all surprising that Christians do not call for the death of Dan Brown. Someone said sometime ago, "Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."

I think that this illustrates the type of broad brushing that Beyond Belief Media does. Yes, both Islam and Christianity are religions, but the difference is in the details -- a point conveniently ignored.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 

The Diamond Sutra

This is what I heard one time when the Buddha was staying in the monastery in Anathapindika's park in the Jeta Grove near Shravasti with a community of 1,250 Bhikshus, fully ordained monks.

That day, when it was time to make the round for alms, the Buddha put on his sanghati robe and, holding his bowl, went into the city of Shravasti to seek alms food, going from house to house. When the alms round was completed, he returned to the monastery to eat the midday meal. Then he put away his sanghati robe and his bowl, washed his feet, arranged his cushion, and sat down.

At that time, the Venerable Subhuti stood up, bared his right shoulder, put his knee on the ground, and, folding his palms respectfully, said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, it is rare to find someone like you. You always support and show special confidence in the bodhisattvas.

"World-Honored One, if sons and daughters of good families want to give rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind, what should they rely on and what should they do to master their thinking?"

The Buddha replied, "Well said, Subhuti! What you have said is absolutely correct. The Tathágata always supports and shows special confidence in the bodhisattvas. Please listen

with all of your attention and the Tathágata will respond to your question. If daughters and sons of good families want to give rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind, they should rely on the following way."

The Venerable Subhuti said, "Lord, we are so happy to hear your teachings."

The Buddha said to Subhuti, "This is how the bodhisattva Mahasattvas master their thinking. 'However many species of living beings there are--whether born from eggs, from the womb, from moisture, or spontaneously; whether they have form or do not have form; whether they have perceptions or do not have perceptions; or whether it cannot be said of them that they have perceptions or that they do not have perceptions, we must lead all these beings to the ultimate nirvana so that they can be liberated. And when this innumerable, immeasurable, infinite number of beings has become liberated, we do not, in truth, think that a single being has been liberated,'

"Why is this so? If, Subhuti, a bodhisattva holds on to the idea that a self, a person, a living being, or a life span exists, that person is not an authentic bodhisattva."

"Moreover, Subhuti, when a bodhisattva practices generosity, he does not rely on any object--that is to say he does not rely on any form, sound, smell, taste, tactile object, or dharma--to practice generosity. That, Subhuti, is the spirit in which a bodhisattva should practice generosity, not relying on signs. Why? If a bodhisattva practices generosity without relying on signs, the happiness that results cannot be conceived of or measured. Subhuti, do you think that the space in the Eastern Quarter can be measured?"

"No, World-Honored One."

"Subhuti, can space in the Western, Southern, and Northern Quarters, above and below be measured?"

"No, World-Honored One."

"Subhuti, if a bodhisattva does not rely on any concept when practicing generosity, then the happiness that results from that virtuous act is as great as space. It cannot be measured. Subhuti, the bodhisattvas should let their minds dwell in the teachings I have just given."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Is it possible to grasp the Tathágata by means of bodily signs?"

"No, World-Honored One. When the Tathágata speaks of bodily signs, there are no signs being talked about."

The Buddha said to Subhuti: "In a place where there is something that can be distinguished by signs, in that place there is deception. If you can see the sign less nature of signs, then you can see the Tathágata."

The Venerable Subhuti said to the Buddha, "In times to come, will there be people who, when they hear these teachings, have real faith and confidence in them?"

The Buddha replied, "Do not speak that way, Subhuti. Five hundred years after the Tathágata has passed away, there will still be people who enjoy the happiness that comes from

observing the precepts. When such people hear these words, they will have faith and confidence that here is the truth. We should know that such people have sown seeds not only during the lifetime of one Buddha, or even two, three, four, or five Buddhas, but have, in truth, planted wholesome seeds during the lifetimes of tens of thousands of Buddhas. Anyone who, for only a second, gives rise to a pure and clear confidence upon hearing these words of the Tathágata, the Tathágata sees and knows that person, and he or she will attain immeasurable happiness because of this understanding. Why?

"Because that kind of person is not caught up in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, or a life span. They are not caught up in the idea of a dharma or the idea of a non-dharma. They are not caught up in the notion that this is a sign and that is not a sign. Why? If you are caught up in the idea of a dharma, you are also caught up in the ideas of a self, a person, a living being, and a life span. If you are caught up in the idea that there is no dharma, you are still caught up in the ideas of a self, a person, a living being, and a life span. That is why we should not get caught up in dharmas or in the idea that dharmas do not exist. This is the hidden meaning when the Tathágata says, 'Bhikshus, you should know that all of the teachings I give to you are a raft.¹ All teachings must be abandoned, not to mention non-teachings."

"What do you think, Subhuti, has the Tathágata arrived at the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind? Does the Tathágata give any teaching?"

The Venerable Subhuti replied, "As far as I have understood the Lord Buddha's teachings, there is no independently existing object of mind called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind, nor is there any independently existing teaching that the Tathágata gives. Why? The teachings that the Tathágata has realized and spoken of cannot be conceived of as separate, independent existences and therefore cannot be described. The Tathágatas teaching is not self-existent nor is it non-self-existent. Why? Because the noble teachers are only distinguished from others in terms of the unconditioned."

"What do you think, Subhuti? If someone were to fill the 3,000 chiliocosms with the seven precious treasures as an act of generosity, would that person bring much happiness by this virtuous act?"

The Venerable Subhuti replied, "Yes, World-Honored One. It is because the very natures of virtue and happiness are not virtue and happiness that the Tathágata is able to speak about virtue and happiness."

The Buddha said, "On the other hand, if there is someone who accepts these teachings and puts them into practice, even if only a gatha of four lines, and explains them to someone else, the happiness brought about by this virtuous act far exceeds the happiness brought about by giving the seven precious treasures. Why? Because, Subhuti, all Buddhas and the dharma of the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind of all Buddhas arise from these teachings. Subhuti, what is called Buddha dharma is everything that is not Buddha dharma."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Does a Stream-Enterer think, 'I have attained the fruit of stream-entry.'?"

Subhuti replied, "No, World-Honored One. Why? Stream-Enterer means to enter the stream, but in fact there is no stream to enter. One does not enter a stream that is form, nor a stream that is sound, smell, taste, touch, or object of mind. That is what we mean when we say entering a stream."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Does a Once-Returner think, 'I have attained the fruit of Once-Returning.'?"

Subhuti replied, "No, World-Honored One. Why? Once-Returner means to go and return once more, but in truth there is no going just as there is no returning. That is what we mean when we say Once-Returner."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Does a Non-Returner think like this, 'l have attained the fruit of No-Return.'?"

Subhuti replied, "No, World-Honored One. Why? No-Return means not to return to this world, but in fact there cannot be any Non-Returning. That is what we mean when we say Non-Returner."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Does an Arhat think like this, 'I have attained the fruit of Arhatship¹?"

Subhuti replied, "No, World-Honored One. Why? There is no separately existing thing that can be called Arhat. If an Arhat gives rise to the thought that he has attained the fruit of Arhat-ship, then he is still caught up in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, and a life span. World-Honored One, you have often said that I have attained the concentration of peaceful abiding and that in the community, I am the Arhat who has most transformed need and desire. World-Honored One, if I were to think that I had attained the fruit of Arhat-ship, you certainly would not have said that I love to dwell in the concentration of peaceful abiding."

The Buddha asked Subhuti, "In ancient times when the Tathágata practiced under Buddha Dipankara, did he attain anything?"

Subhuti answered, "No, World-Honored One. In ancient times when the Tathágata was practicing under Buddha Dipankara, he did not attain anything."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Does a bodhisattva create a serene and beautiful Buddha field?"

"No, World-Honored One. Why? To create a serene and beautiful Buddha field is not in fact creating a serene and beautiful Buddha field. That is why it is called creating a serene and beautiful Buddha field."

The Buddha said, "So, Subhuti, all the bodhisattva Mahasattvas should give rise to a pure and clear intention in this spirit. When they give rise to this intention, they should not rely on forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects, or objects of mind. They should give rise to an intention with their minds not dwelling anywhere.'

"Subhuti, if there were someone with a body as big as Mount Sumeru, would you say that his was a large body?"

Subhuti answered, "Yes, World-Honored One, very large. Why? What the Tathágata says is not a large body, that is known as a large body."

"Subhuti, if there were as many Ganges Rivers as the number of grains of sand in the Ganges, would you say that the number of grains of sand in all those Ganges Rivers is very many'"

Subhuti answered, "Very many indeed, World-Honored One. If the number of Ganges Rivers were huge, how much more so the number of grains of sand in all those Ganges Rivers."

"Subhuti, now I want to ask you this: if a daughter or son of good family were to fill the 3,000 chiliocosms with as many precious jewels as the number of grains of sand in all the Ganges Rivers as an act of generosity, would that person bring much happiness by her virtuous act?"

Subhuti replied, "Very much, World-Honored One."

The Buddha said to Subhuti, "If a daughter or son of a good family knows how to accept, practice, and explain this sutra to others, even if it is a gatha of four lines, the happiness that results from this virtuous act would be far greater."

"Furthermore, Subhuti, any plot of land on which this sutra is proclaimed, even if only one gatha of four lines, will be a land where gods, men, and asuras will come to make offerings just as they make offerings to a stupa of the Buddha. If the plot of land is regarded as that sacred, how much more so the person who practices and recites this sutra. Subhuti, you should know that that person attains something rare and profound. Wherever this sutra is kept is a sacred site enshrining the presence of the Buddha or one of the Buddha's great disciples."

After that, Subhuti asked the Buddha, "What should this sutra be called and how should we act regarding its teachings?"

The Buddha replied, "This sutra should be called The Diamond that Cuts through Illusion because it has the capacity to cut through allusions and afflictions and bring us to the shore of liberation. Please use this title and practice according to its deepest meaning. Why? What the Tathágata has called the highest, transcendent understanding is not, in fact, the highest, transcendent understanding. That is why it is truly the highest, transcendent understanding:"

The Buddha asked, "What do you think, Subhuti? Is there any dharma that the Tathágata teaches?"

Subhuti replied, "The Tathágata has nothing to teach, World-Honored One."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Are there many particles of dust in the 3,000 chiliocosms?"

"Very many, World-Honored One."

"Subhuti, the Tathágata says that these particles of dust are not particles of dust, That is why they are truly particles of dust. And what the Tathágata calls chiliocosms are not in fact chiliocosms. That is why they are called chiliocosms"

"What do you think, Subhuti? Can the Tathágata be recognized by the possession of the thirty-two marks?"

The Venerable Subhuti replied, "No, World-Honored One. Why? Because what the Tathágata calls the thirty-two marks are not essentially marks and that is why the Tathágata calls them the thirty-two marks."

"Subhuti, if as many times as there are grains of sand in the Ganges a son or daughter of a good family gives up his or her life as an act of generosity and if another daughter or son of a good family knows how to accept, practice, and explain this sutra to others, even if only a gatha of four lines, the happiness resulting from explaining this sutra is far greater."

When he had heard this much and penetrated deeply into its significance, the Venerable Subhuti was moved to tears. He said, "World-Honored One, you are truly rare in this world. Since the day I attained the eyes of understanding, thanks to the guidance of the Buddha, I have never before heard teachings so deep and wonderful as these. World-Honored One, if someone hears this sutra, has pure and clear confidence in it, and arrives at insight into the truth, that person will realize the rarest kind of virtue. World-Honored One, that insight into the truth is essentially not insight. That is what the Tathágata calls insight into the truth.

"World-Honored One, today it is not difficult for me to hear this wonderful sutra, have confidence in it, understand it, accept it, and put it into practice. But in the future, in 500 years, if there is someone who can hear this sutra, have confidence in it, understand it, accept it, and put it into practice, then certainly the existence of someone like that will be great and rare. Why? That person will not be dominated by the idea of a self, a person, a living being, or a life span. Why? The idea of a self is not an idea, and the ideas of a person, a living being, and a life span are not ideas either. Why? Buddhas are called Buddhas because they are free of ideas."

"The Buddha said to Subhuti, "That is quite right. If someone hears this sutra and is not terrified or afraid, he or she is rare. Why? Subhuti, what the Tathágata calls parama-paramita, the highest transcendence, is not essentially the highest transcendence, and that is why it is called the highest transcendence.

"Subhuti, the Tathágata has said that what is called transcendent endurance is not transcendent endurance. That is why it is called transcendent endurance. Why? Subhuti, thousands of lifetimes ago when my body was cut into pieces by King Kalinga, I was not caught in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, or a life span. If, at that time, I had been caught up in any of those ideas, I would have felt anger and ill-will against the king.

"I also remember in ancient times, for 500 lifetimes, I practiced transcendent endurance by not being caught up in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, or a life span. So, Subhuti, when a bodhisattva gives rise to the unequalled mind of awakening, he has to give up all ideas. He cannot not rely on forms when he gives rise to that mind, nor on sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects, or objects of mind. He can only give rise to that mind that is not caught up in anything.

"The Tathágata has said that all notions are not notions and that all living beings are not living beings. Subhuti, the Tathágata is one who speaks of things as they are, speaks what is true, and speaks in accord with reality. He does not speak deceptively or to please people. Subhuti, if we say that the Tathágata has realized a teaching, that teaching is neither graspable nor deceptive.

"Subhuti, a bodhisattva who still depends on notions to practice generosity is like someone walking in the dark. He will not see anything. But when a bodhisattva does not depend on notions to practice generosity, he is like someone with good eyesight walking under the bright light of the sun. He can see all shapes and colors.

"Subhuti, if in the future there is any daughter or son of good family who has the capacity to accept, read, and put into practice this sutra, the Tathágata will see that person with his eyes of understanding. The Tathágata will know that person, and that person will realize the measureless, limitless fruit of her or his virtuous act.

"Subhuti, if on the one hand, a daughter or son of a good family gives up her or his life in the morning as many times as there are grains of sand in the Ganges as an act of generosity, and gives as many again in the afternoon and as many again in the evening, and continues doing so for countless ages; and if, on the other hand, another person listens to this sutra with complete confidence and without contention, that person's happiness will be far greater. But the happiness of one who writes this sutra down, receives, recites, and explains it to others cannot be compared.

"In summary, Subhuti, this sutra brings about boundless virtue and happiness that cannot be conceived or measured. If there is someone capable of receiving, practicing, reciting, and sharing this sutra with others, the Tathágata will see and know that person, and he or she will have inconceivable, indescribable, and incomparable virtue. Such a person will be able to shoulder the highest, most fulfilled, awakened career of the Tathágata. Why? Subhuti, if one is content with the small teachings, if he or she is still caught up in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, or a life span, he or she will not be able to listen, receive, recite, and explain this sutra to others. Subhuti, any place this sutra is found is a place where gods, men, and asuras will come to make offerings. Such a place is a shrine and should be venerated with formal ceremonies, circumambulations, and offerings of flowers and incense."

"Furthermore, Subhuti, if a son or daughter of good family, while reciting and practicing this sutra, is disdained or slandered, his or her misdeeds committed in past lives, including those that could bring about an evil destiny, will be eradicated, and he or she will attain the fruit of the most fulfilled, awakened mind. Subhuti, in ancient times before I met Buddha Dipankara, I had made offerings to and had been attendant of all 84,000 multi-millions of Buddhas. If someone is able to receive, recite, study, and practice this sutra in the last epoch, the happiness brought about by this virtuous act is hundreds of thousands times greater than that which I brought about in ancient times. In fact, such happiness cannot be conceived or compared with anything, even mathematically. Such happiness is immeasurable.

"Subhuti, the happiness resulting from the virtuous act of a son or daughter of good family who receives, recites, studies, and practices this sutra in the last epoch will be so great that if I were to explain it now in detail, some people would become suspicious and disbelieving, and their minds might become disoriented. Subhuti, you should know that the meaning of this sutra is beyond conception and discussion. Likewise, the fruit resulting from receiving and practicing this sutra is beyond conception and discussion."

At that time, the Venerable Subhuti said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, may I ask you again that if daughters or sons of good family want to give rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind, what should they rely on and what should they do to master their thinking?"

The Buddha replied, "Subhuti, a good son or daughter who wants to give rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind should do it in this way: 'We must lead all beings to the shore of awakening, but, after these beings have become liberated, we do not, in truth, think that a single being has been liberated.' Why is this so? Subhuti, if a bodhisattva is still caught up in the idea of

a self, a person, a living being or a life span, that person is not an authentic bodhisattva. Why is that?

"Subhuti, in fact, there is no independently existing object of mind called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind. What do you think, Subhuti? In ancient times, when the Tathágata was living with Buddha Dipankara, did he attain anything called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind?"

"No, World-Honored One. According to what I understand from the teachings of the Buddha, there is no attaining of anything called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind."

The Buddha said, "Right you are, Subhuti. In fact, there does not exist the so-called highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind that the Tathágata attains. Because if there had been any such thing, Buddha Dipankara would not have predicted of me, 'In the future, you will come to be a Buddha called Shakyamuni.' This prediction was made because there is, in fact, nothing that can be attained that is called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind. Why? Tathágata means the such-ness of all things (dharmas). Someone would be mistaken to say that the Tathágata has attained the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind since there is not any highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind to be attained. Subhuti, the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind that the Tathágata has attained is neither graspable nor elusive. This is why the Tathágata has said, 'All dharmas are Buddha dharma.' What are called all dharmas are, in fact, not all dharmas. That is why they are called all dharmas.

"Subhuti, a comparison can be made with the idea of a great human body."

Subhuti said, "What the Tathágata calls a great human body is, in fact, not a great human body."

"Subhuti, it is the same concerning bodhisattvas. If a bodhisattva thinks that she has to liberate all living beings, then she is not yet a bodhisattva. Why? Subhuti, there is no independently existing object of mind called bodhisattva. Therefore, the Buddha has said that all dharmas are without a self, a person, a living being, or a life span. Subhuti, if a bodhisattva thinks, 'I have to create a serene and beautiful Buddha field¹, that person is not yet a bodhisattva. Why? What the Tathágata calls a serene and beautiful Buddha field is not in fact a serene and beautiful Buddha field. And that is why it is called a serene and beautiful Buddha field. Subhuti, any bodhisattva who thoroughly understands the principle of non-self and non-dharma is called by the Tathágata an authentic bodhisattva."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathágata have the human eye?"

Subhuti replied, "Yes, World-Honored One, the Tathágata does have the human eye."

The Buddha asked, "Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathágata have the divine eye?"

Subhuti said, "Yes, World-Honored One, the Tathágata does have the divine eye."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathágata have the eye of insight?"

Subhuti replied, "Yes, World-Honored One, the Tathágata does have the eye of insight."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathágata have the eye of transcendent wisdom?"

"Yes, World-Honored One, the Tathágata does have the eye of transcendent wisdom."

The Buddha asked, "Does the Tathágata have the Buddha eye?"

"Yes, World-Honored One, the Tathágata does have the Buddha eye."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Buddha see the sand in the Ganges as sand?"

Subhuti said, "World-Honored One, the Tathágata also calls it sand."

"Subhuti, if there were as many Ganges Rivers as the number of grains of sand of the Ganges and there was a Buddha land for each grain of sand in all those Ganges Rivers, would those Buddha lands be many?"

"Yes, World-Honored One, very many."

The Buddha said, "Subhuti, however many living beings there are in all these Buddha lands, though they each have a different mentality, the Tathágata understands them all. Why is that? Subhuti, what the Tathágata calls different mentalities are not in fact different mentalities. That is why they are called different mentalities."

"Why? Subhuti, the past mind cannot be grasped, neither can the present mind or the future mind."

"What do you think, Subhuti? If someone were to fill the 3,000 chiliocosms with precious treasures as an act of generosity, would that person bring great happiness by his virtuous act?" "Yes, very much, World-Honored One."

"Subhuti, if such happiness were conceived as an entity separate from everything else, the Tathágata would not have said it to be great, but because it is ungraspable, the Tathágata has said that the virtuous act of that person brought about great happiness."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathágata be perceived by his perfectly formed body?"

"No, World-Honored One. What the Tathágata calls a perfectly formed body is not in fact a perfectly formed body. That is why it is called a perfectly formed body."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Can the Tathágata be perceived by his perfectly formed physiognomy?"

"No, World-Honored One. It is impossible to perceive the Tathágata by any perfectly formed physiognomy. Why? Because what the Tathágata calls perfectly formed physiognomy is not in fact perfectly formed physiognomy. That is why it is called perfectly formed physiognomy."

"Subhuti, do not say that the Tathágata conceives the idea 'I will give a teaching¹. Do not think that way. Why? If anyone says that the Tathágata has something to teach, that person slanders the Buddha because he does not understand what I say. Subhuti, giving a Dharma talk in fact means that no talk is given. This is truly a Dharma talk."

Then, Insight-Life Subhuti said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, in the future, will there be living beings who will feel complete confidence when they hear these words?"

The Buddha said, "Subhuti, those living beings are neither living beings nor non-living beings. Why is that? Subhuti, what the Tathágata calls non-living beings are truly living beings."

Subhuti asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, is the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind that the Buddha attained the unattainable?"

The Buddha said, "That is right, Subhuti. Regarding the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind, I have not attained anything. That is why it is called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind."

"Furthermore, Subhuti, that mind is everywhere equally. Because it is neither high nor low, it is called the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind. The fruit of the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind is realized through the practice of all wholesome actions in the spirit of non-self, non-person, non-living being, and non-life span. Subhuti, what are called wholesome actions are in fact not wholesome actions. That is why they are called wholesome actions."

"Subhuti, if someone were to fill the 3,000 chiliocosms with piles of the seven precious treasures as high as Mount Sumeru as an act of generosity, the happiness resulting from this is much less than that of another person who knows how to accept, practice, and explain the Vajracchedika Prajna paramita Sutra to others. The happiness resulting from the virtue of a person who practices this sutra, even if it is only a gatha of four lines, cannot be described by using examples or mathematics."

"Subhuti, do not say that the Tathágata has the idea, 'I will bring living beings to the shore of liberation.' Do not think that way, Subhuti. Why? In truth there is not one single being for the Tathágata to bring to the other shore. If the Tathágata were to think there was, he would be caught in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, or a life span. Subhuti, what the Tathágata calls a self essentially has no self in the way that ordinary persons think there is a self. Subhuti, the

Tathágata does not regard anyone as an ordinary person. That is why he can call them ordinary persons."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Can someone meditate on the Tathágata by means of the thirty-two marks?"

Subhuti said, "Yes, World-Honored One. We should use the thirty-two marks to meditate on the Tathágata."

The Buddha said, "If you say that you can use the thirty-two marks to see the Tathágata, then the Cakravartin is also a Tathágata?"

Subhuti said, "World-Honored One, I understand your teaching. One should not use the thirty-two marks to meditate on the Tathágata."

Then the World-Honored One spoke this verse:



"Someone who looks for me in form or seeks me in sound

is on a mistaken path and cannot see the Tathágata."

"Subhuti, if you think that the Tathágata realizes the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind and does not need to have all the marks, you are wrong. Subhuti, do not think in that way. Do not think that when one gives rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind, one needs to see all objects of mind as nonexistent, cut off from life. Please do not think in that way. One who gives rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind does not contend that all objects of mind are nonexistent and cut off from life."

"Subhuti, if a bodhisattva were to fill the 3,000 chiliocosms with the seven precious treasures, as many as the number of sand grains in the Ganges as an act of generosity, the happiness brought about by his or her virtue is less than that brought about by someone who has understood and wholeheartedly accepted the truth that all dharmas are of selfless nature and is able to live and bear fully this truth. Why is that, Subhuti? Because a bodhisattva does not need to build up virtue and happiness."

Subhuti asked the Buddha, "What do you mean, World-Honored One, when you say that a bodhisattva does not need to build up virtue and happiness?"

"Subhuti, a bodhisattva gives rise to virtue but is not caught in the idea of virtue and happiness. That is why the Tathágata has said that a bodhisattva does not need to build up virtue and happiness.”

"Subhuti, if someone says that the World-Honored One comes, goes, sits, and lies down, that person has not understood what I have said. Why? The meaning of Tathágata is 'does not come from anywhere and does not go anywhere¹. That is why he is called a Tathágata.

"Subhuti, if a daughter or son of a good family were to grind the 3,000 chiliocosms to particles of dust, do you think there would be many particles?"

Subhuti replied, "World-Honored One, there would be many indeed. Why? If particles of dust had a real self-existence, the Buddha would not have called them particles of dust. What the Buddha calls particles of dust are not, in essence, particles of dust. That is why they can be called particles of dust. World-Honored One, what the Tathágata calls the 3,000 chiliocosms are not chiliocosms. That is why they are called chiliocosms. Why? If chiliocosms are real, they are a compound of particles under the conditions of being assembled into an object. That which the Tathágata calls a compound is not essentially a compound. That is why it is called a compound."

"Subhuti, what is called a compound is just a conventional way of speaking. It has no real basis. Only ordinary people are caught up in conventional terms."

"Subhuti, if anyone says that the Buddha has spoken of a self view, a person view, a living-being view, or a life span view, has that person understood my meaning?"

"No, World-Honored One. Such a person has not understood the Tathágata. Why? What the Tathágata calls a self view, a person view, a living-being view, or a life span view are not in essence a self view, a person view, a living-being view, or a life span view. That is why they are called a self view, a person view, a living-being view, or a life span view."

"Subhuti, someone who gives rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind should know that this is true of all dharmas, should see that all dharmas are like this, should have confidence in the understanding of all dharmas without any conceptions about dharmas. Subhuti, what is called a conception of dharmas, the Tathágata has said, is not a conception of dharmas. That is why it is called a conception of dharmas."

"Subhuti, if someone were to offer an immeasurable quantity of the seven treasures to fill the worlds as infinite as space as an act of generosity, the happiness resulting from that virtuous act would not equal the happiness resulting from a son or daughter of a good family who gives rise to the awakened mind and reads, recites, accepts, and puts into practice this sutra, and explains it to others, even if only a gatha of four lines. In what spirit is this explanation given? Without being caught up in signs, just according to things as they are, without agitation. Why is this?

"All composed things are like a dream,

a phantom, a drop of dew, a flash of lightning.

That is how to meditate on them,

that is how to observe them."

After they heard the Lord Buddha deliver this sutra, the Venerable Subhuti, the Bhikshus and Bhiksunis, laymen and laywomen, and gods and asuras, filled with joy and confidence, undertook to put these teachings into practice.

 

Wake up and Know the Truth

Wake Up! Rouse yourself from the dream you mistake for the real world. See through the illusion and recognize the truth. This is the way it is for those who have cast ignorance aside, as if waking from sleep. Experiencing the Light is like waking up...Rejoice in the Dawn!

Sunday, April 09, 2006 

Calculate your sleep debt

British Airways suggests that you can figure out if you’re hurting your productivity by calculating your sleep debt.
Less sleep = less productivity

Time zone changes, internal body clock disruptions and irregular food and exercise patterns can all result in a sleep debt. Making difficult decisions is not easy if you are sleepy, jet lagged and not at your peak.

Pay it back

Work out how much sleep you owe your body and find out how to recover if your sleep account is in the red.

So what’s your sleep debt? Let us know how sleep influences your productivity and if your sleep needs are being met in the comments or at tips

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 

Gospel of Judas at National Geographic Channel

National Geographic Channel, Sunday April 9:

WASHINGTON, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovered by chance in the 1970s, a document that lay hidden for nearly 1,700 years emerges today as the "The Gospel of Judas," which will be first presented during a press conference at the National Geographic Society in early April.

On Sunday, April 9, 2006 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT (encore at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT), the National Geographic Channel (NGC) premieres the first documentary look at the Gospel of Judas. "The Gospel of Judas" is an exclusive, two-hour global event that traces the incredible story of what has happened to the document since it was found, the recent authentication process and analysis, and key insight gleaned from its laborious translation and interpretation. Dramatic recreations portray and clarify the complex story of intrigue and politics of the earliest days of Christianity, and portray the contents of the Gospel itself.

"The Gospel of Judas" presents a newly discovered account of the life of Jesus Christ. But how can its authenticity be verified? When was this gospel written and by whom? The research and documentary will reveal fascinating details contained within the document as well as key sections translated from its ancient Coptic script. It will also examine the modern history of the document since it was found, including the exhaustive restoration and conservation process. The manuscript will be returned to its country of origin, Egypt.

 

The Gospel of Judas

Swiss foundation seeks to shed light on controversial Christian text named after apostle said to have betrayed Jesus.

About 2,000 years after the Gospel according to Judas sowed discord among early Christians, a Swiss foundation says it is translating for the first time the controversial text named after the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus Christ.

The 62-page papyrus manuscript of the text was uncovered in Egypt during the 1950s or 1960s, but its owners did not fully comprehend its significance until recently, according to the Maecenas Foundation in Basel.

The manuscript written in the ancient dialect of Egypt's Coptic Christian community will be translated into English, French and German in about a year, the foundation specialising in antique culture said on Tuesday.

"We have just received the results of carbon dating: the text is older than we thought and dates back to a period between the beginning of the third and fourth centuries," foundation director Mario Jean Roberty said.

The existence of a Gospel of Judas, which was originally written in Greek, was outlined by a bishop, Saint Irenee, when he denounced the text as heretical during the second century.

"It's the only clear source that allows us to know that such a Gospel did exist," Roberty explained.

The foundation declined to say what account Judas is said to give in his alleged gospel.

According to Christian tradition, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ by helping the Romans to find him before he was crucified.

"We do not want to reveal the exceptional side of what we have," Roberty said.

The author of the text is unknown.

"No one can clearly state that Judas wrote it himself," Roberty said, while pointing out that the other gospels were probably not written by their supposed authors either.

The four recognised gospels of the New Testament describe the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and are said to record his teachings from the eyes of four of his disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Roman Catholic Church limited the recognised gospels to the four in 325, under the guidance of the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine.

Thirty other texts - some of which have been uncovered - were sidelined because "they were difficult to reconcile with what Constantine wanted as a political doctrine," according to Roberty.

The foundation's director said the Judas Iscariot text called into question some of the political principles of Christian doctrine.

It could also to some extent rehabilitate Judas, whose name has often come to symbolise the accusation of deicide - God-killing - levelled by some Christian teachings against the Jewish people, he added.

After the manuscript is restored, the text is due to be translated and analysed by a team of specialists in Coptic history led by a former professor at the University of Geneva, Rudolf Kasser.

Jean-Daniel Kaestli, an expert on gospels who has seen the manuscript, said the discovery was "very interesting", although the papyrus was in a bad state.

He added that it was not going to lead to a revolutionary change in the vision of the Bible, although it could shed some new light on parts of Christianity's holy text.

The Maecenas Foundation, which aims to protect archaeological relics found in poor countries, hopes to organise exhibitions around the manuscript and to produce a documentary on the process of unravelling the text.

The full launch is due in Easter 2006.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 

Prophet Adam's Footprint

Jutting sharply skyward from the lush jungles of southwestern Sri Lanka is the 7362 foot (2243 meter) peak of Sri Pada, the 'Holy Footprint'. Also called Adam’s Peak, the mountain has the unique distinction of being sacred to the followers of four of the world's major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Long before the development of these religions, however, the mountain was worshipped by the aboriginal inhabitants of Sri Lanka, the Veddas.

 

Eve's Tomb

According to Arab tradition, Eve, the mother of all mankind, is buried near Jeddah, along the Red Sea. This would be difficult to prove, as there is no evidence outside the bible that there was a woman called Eve. The site has been revered for such a long time that it’s origin is shrouded in legend and mystery. The tomb is of an unusual shape, being almost 400 feet long and only ten feet wide. The common legend has it that Eve was one hundred and eighteen feet tall. The proportions of the burial tomb causes problems unless Eve was exceedingly thin.

 

Noah's Ark

In 1959, stereo photos where taken by a Turkish airline pilot of a boat shaped object on the mountains of Ararat for The Geodetic Institute of Turkey. Dr. Brandenburger of Ohio State University, USA, after studying the photographs concluded, "I have no doubt at all, that this object is a ship. In my entire career, I have never seen an object like this on a stereo photograph."
An American team ran a day and a half expedition to the site, hardly enough time to carry out any scientific testing. They blew a hole in the side of the structure with dynamite, although some timber shaped stones were revealed, their conclusion was, "Nothing of any archaeological interest". If this object was Noah's Ark, it would be approximately 4400 years old so the wood would have petrified. So finding timber shaped stone was encouraging evidence. However, because the material had no growth rings, the team decided it could not be wood. But does this really prove true?

After seeing an article published in LIFE magazine covering the expedition, Ron Wyatt an amateur archaeologist, visited the site in 1977. His interest was aroused and he decided the structure deserved further investigation as to whether this could be Noah's Ark.

It lay 6,300 feet above sea level, much too high to be the remains of a boat from a local flood. It is over 200 miles from the nearest sea.

In 1991, Greg Brewer, found a petrified antler in the side of the ark. As a result of a core drilling Ron found extinct rodent hair, petrified animal droppings and red human hair.

 

Dream and Vision

Both words have just about similar meaning. I am sure many people have had dreams, dream visions, and visions, throughout your life time. Many people do not understand the difference between these and how important it is to keep a journal.

Let's start with defining what these terms mean. Dreams are what we all have when we are sleeping whether we remember them or not. Dream Visions are forms of dreams that can be received at night or day time. These visions usually are shown like a movie or moving picture and give you all the information. This information can be warnings of things about to happen to you or others, good visions about a pending job, or sale of something. Dream Visions are more accurate due to the mind being at rest and the subconscious mind is more open to receive these messages. And Visions can occur at any time or any where. Sometimes they can be like a movie where you get all the information, but many times they are like a puzzle with bits and pieces of information coming to you. Visions that come to you in the day time have much more difficulty reaching you do to the amount of normal activities and blockages that occur.

Many people do not realize that once they begin to understand and study their dream visions, dreams and visions, that they have psychic connection behind them. We all have these gifts given to us. As we develop them, study them and learn their meaning they can help us in dealing with our everyday life. They can warn us of an upcoming health problem, car accident, job problem and much more.

 

`Da Vinci Code' screening is coup for Cannes

Securing Ron Howard's "The Da Vinci Code" for Cannes' red carpet is seen as a major coup for the film fest, London's Guardian newspaper reports.

The movie will debut at the Cannes Film Festival and in French theaters on May 17. The rest of the world will have to wait until May 19.

French cultural authorities have bent over backward to ease the film's production, even allowing cameras into the Louvre Museum to shoot the scenes that take place beneath Mona Lisa's gaze.

At Cannes, the movie will be screened out of competition and won't be eligible for the Palme d'Or award.

Hong Kong's Wong Kar-Wai, director of "2046," presides over this year's jury at the festival, which runs May 17-28.

Organizers try to strike a balance between crowd-pleasers and critically acclaimed films, and between Hollywood blockbusters and art-house flicks.

Saturday, March 25, 2006 

Risking

i am sitting in front of the computer waiting for an idea to pass by my murky brain. i am sitting here for two hours. i am staring at your ******** ******** picture for 30 mins less than that time. i am thinking of adding you as my ******* for thirty mins less than the second span of time. should i let you know that i can't just let you know? i am a risk-taker. before. i. knew. you. **!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 

I want this book

This classic of military strategy includes a detailed introduction & commentary on the history of Chinese warfare & military thought. Includes battle diagrams.

About me

  • I'm Adrian
  • From Manila, Philippines
  • We cannot change the world and turn it to our own accord. Our own will does not always prevail. I may not know how to manipulate the world, but I know how to destroy it; Unless I am returned to life, nothing left but just a trace of my existence.
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