Arlen Riley Wilson – Our Lady of Outer Space

Reach down for the sun, reach down
for the stars, reach deeper for the secret
places of the body of her the stars adorn.
You are lost and found in her embrace.
There is nowhere else for you to fall and
no escaping from her love for she is
black and pulsating source,
her million twinkling nipples
nurse all life,
her jewelled ardent body
twines around you always
and there is no place
to go but


Fluxology Alliance

Sun founder Bill Joy is attributed to have said "most of the smart people work at some other company." When Sun Microsystems was founded, it was thoroughly understood Sun would live or die with it's partner network and as such set on to become a very partner-centric company.
By any standard, and even more so the American as we know it from afar, such a non-hierarchical, open and collaborative approach is unique. Sun Microsystems was open before Open Source became a popular concept.
Come and go the dot-com bubble , Sun is still very much about openness, however painful that may be with everyone else being an expert on economics and technology after reading some blogs and buying some stock options..

Given a choice, if you're a bit of a geek, a freak or just a workaholic, how would you make your work more interesting? You try to work on something challenging with really smart people.. Such people aren't only rare, but they are usually caught up in something else, they are individuals with their own plans, and often a high sense of freedom and drive to accomplish something. Now.. how to work together. Well, one way is to have a company such as Applied Minds, but still then you're trying to hire people who are hardcore individualists. Might work in the US due it's different labour ethos, but unmanageable in Europe..
A consortium of some sorts should do, a way to facilitate working with smart folk while acknowledging their individuality and personal agenda. A global non-equity strategic alliance, an open joint venture, proved the appropriate format.

So, that's that. During nearly two years of contacted people and companies with certain characteristics, experience, expertise, hard and soft skills, we now have launched a partner network around Sun's software stack.
Starting around the SOA/BI offerings, and extending into Identity Management and beyond, we're also getting involved with the Cloud offerings as far as Sun's offerings goes. Adding even more value we have streamlined and prepared certain specific technology partnerships, so to stretch current technological means beyond the average and pave a pathway into the future towards "the adjacent possible" in both business relations and information technology

Currently referred to under the nomer of "Fluxology Alliance" for the sake of simplicity, once reaching the critical mass of required momentum, proven cohesion, and adequate harvest of the intrinsic quality levels, every participant is free to represent the network and spread the cooperation further in the areas of joint delivery, sales, training and solution development.

Along with the partner networks, "unit 42" and "n-simplex alliance", Fluxology offers open-ended and packaged services, training, solutions, frameworks and technologies to take OpenESB to the next level. Our global partner network of senior experts currently involves some 135 senior experts ranging from 1 to 16 years of experience with the Sun/SeeBeyond toolsets, projects, architectural styles and management approach.
Our extended network, as well as a recently started "partner-of-a-partner" modality can leverage unequaled value in any direction.

We're very happy to announce the launch of this partner network.
These go to eleven...


universality and the odd case of conformity..

With the current economic slowdown now that monetarist fundamentalism is recalibrating with Keynesian reality, the lack of boldness appears rather surpising. On a large scale companies are postponing decisions to engange on projects. While waiting their providers loose valuable time and resources, and as a consequence may spiral into bankruptcy depending on their scale, general policy, or stage of development. Enthusiast voices advocating doing things smarter are held back by this hopefully temporal caution. Again, initiated by the monetarist tendencies, the stock market, or other forms of financial agenda driven company policies such as anal retentive CFO's, companies seemingly awaiting financial results for the first quarter of the calendar or financial year, take a deep breath of relief when noticing that the economy itself has not collapsed, nor has their company, and engage on projects and avoid a downward spiral where the left hand is waiting for the right hand, and vice versa..
Some companies will move forward before this quarter is announced, some just after, and of course some may wait out the whole financial year following the forecast the whole economy will bounce back sometime September 2009.

Sounds reasonable, but the amazing thing is that it's not so logical as it seems.. psychologically in emergency situations some 15 % of people will turn into leaders, some 15% will turn completely irrational, and the rest will follow either one of these groups. But companies have already filtered people out within their organisational hierarchy, so the people in charge are more or less made up of the 15 % leaders. Studies in creativity also show some 10 % of people have a capacity for unbriddled creative productivity, the upper ten if one prefers to apply a vertical oriented yardstick. Considering unproductive people don't so much bubble to the top of a company, disregarding the level of competitive politics a company pervades, again the people in charge should be in the group of the most creative. Ok, have dealt enough with middle management to know this is highly idealized, although it doesn't quite say in which direction these people are creative leaders..
So howcome if it's recognized things need to be done smarter, that it actually can be done smarter without much extra effort, howcome companies are just waiting it out..
Here we get into some an odd aspect which seem to pervade modern day society, self empowerement. People have this tendency to confirmity, to fit in, and show that they do. Which is pretty odd, in the sense that people tend to overdo it. Pick two random humans and they are the same for more than 99%.. they will point out the same bluest blue, and the same reddest red, if having migraines they'll see the same circular forms appearing.. If they have their ears open they'll get swept away by the same music. The same brain areas will be triggered for the semi-religious experience involved with advertising of the new iPhone...
Likewise, apart from the financial industry getting a welldeserved beating up, although many of the affected banks who received a governmental injection still produce profitable figures, go figure, practically everyone seems to be talking about a slowdown instead of a crisis.
But if this slowness continues, a real crisis will result.. as innovation happens at the bottom, and if these small companies and individuals aren't pampered into proving themselves via projects, then there goes the spiral again..
So, maybe it's time to ditch the fashionable echo-ing of authorative opinionators, the trend to scatter around spineless quote as if standing on the shoulders of giants, and just get to work. And hopefully a bit smarter as well?
Echos get so hollow when resounding too often, and so does this slowdown.
Simple, ain't it ? It's springtime, go flourish.

emtpy, empty, happy, happy


"Money cannot buy you happiness, and happiness cannot buy you money. That might be a wise crack, but I doubt it." - Groucho Marx

The Warrior Tradition: Conquering Fear
by Chögyam Trungpa
When we bring together the ancient spiritual traditions of the West with those of the Orient, we find a meeting point where the warrior tradition can be experienced and realized. The concept of being a warrior is applicable to the most basic situations in our lives-to the fundamental situation that exists before the notion of good or bad ever occurs. The term “warrior” relates to the basic situation of being a human being. The heart of the warrior is this basic aliveness or basic goodness. Such fearless goodness is free from doubt and overcomes any perverted attitudes towards reality.
Doubt is the first obstacle to fearlessness that has to be overcome. We’re not talking here about suppressing your doubts about a particular thing that is taking place. We’re not talking about having doubts about joining an organization, or something like that. We are referring here to overcoming a much more basic doubt, which is fundamentally doubting yourself and feeling that you have some kind of shortcoming as a human being. You don’t feel that your mind and body are synchronized, or working together properly. You feel that you are constantly being short-changed somewhere in your life.
When you were growing up, at a very early stage-perhaps around two years old-you must have heard our father or mother saying no to you. They would say, “No, don’t get into that,” or, “No, don’t explore that too much,” or, “No, be quiet. Be still.” When you heard the word no, you may have responded by trying to fulfill that no, by being good. Or you may have reacted negatively, by defying your parents and their no, by exploring further and being “bad.” That mixture of the temptation to be naughty and the desire to be disciplined occurs very early in life. When our parents say no to us, it makes us feel strange about ourselves, which becomes an expression of fear.
On the other hand, there is another kind of NO, which is very positive. We have never heard that basic NO properly: NO free from fear and free from doubt. Instead, even if we think that we’re doing our best in life, we still feel that we haven’t fully lived up to what we should be. We feel that we’re not quite doing things right. We feel that our parents or others don’t approve of us. There is that fundamental doubt, or fundamental fear, as to whether or not we can actually accomplish something.
Doubt arises in relating with authority, discipline and scheduling throughout our life. When we don’t acknowledge our doubt, it manifests as resistance and resentment. There is often some resentment or a reaction against the sitting practice of meditation as well. The moment that the gong is struck to signal the beginning of meditation practice, we feel resistance. But in that situation, we find that it’s too late. We’re already sitting there on the cushion, so we usually continue to practice.
However, resistance in everyday life provides us with many ways to manipulate situations. When we are presented with a challenge, we often try to turn away rather than having to face it. We come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid the demands that we feel are being put on us.
The basic NO, on the other hand, is accepting discipline in our life without preconceptions. Normally, when we say the word “discipline,” it comes with a lot of mixed feelings. It’s like saying “porridge.” Some people like porridge, and some people hate it. Nevertheless, porridge remains porridge. It is a verystraightforward thing. We have similar feelings about discipline and the meaning of NO. Sometimes, it’s a bad NO: it is providing oppressive boundaries that we don’t want to accept. Or it could be a good NO, which encourages us to do something healthy. But when we just hear that one word, NO, the message is mixed.
Fearlessness is extending ourselves beyond that limited view. In the Heart Sutra, it talks about going beyond. Gone beyond, gate, is the basic NO. In the sutra, it says there is no eye, no ear, no sound, no smell-all of those things. When you experience egolessness, the solidity of your life and your perceptions falls apart. That could be very desolate or it could be very inspiring, in terms of shunyata, the Buddhist understanding of emptiness. Very simply, it is basic NO. It is a real expression of fearlessness. In the Buddhist view, egolessness is pre-existing, beyond our preconceptions. In the state of egolessness everything is simple and very clear. When we try to supplement the brightness of egolessness by putting a lot of other things onto it, those things obscure its brilliance, becoming blockages and veils.
In the warrior tradition, sacred outlook is the brilliant environment created by basic goodness. When we refuse to have any contact with that state of being, when we turn away from basic goodness, then wrong beliefs arise. We come up with all sorts of logics, again and again, so that we don’t have to face the realities of the world.
We run up against our hesitation to get fully into things all the time, even in seemingly insignificant situations. If we don’t want to wash the dishes right after we’ve eaten, we may tell ourselves that we need to let them soak. In fact we’re often hoping that one of our housemates will clean up after us. On another level, philosophically speaking, we may feel completely tuned into the warrior’s world. From that point of view, we think that we can quite safely say, “Once a warrior, always a warrior.” That sounds good, but in terms of the actual practice of warriorship, it’s questionable. “Once a warrior” may not always be a warrior if we disregard the beauty of the phenomenal world. We prefer to wear sunglasses, rather than facing the brilliance of the sunshine. We put on a hat and gloves to shield ourselves, fearing that we might get burned. The colourfulness of relationships, household chores, business enterprises and our general livelihood are too irritating. We are constantly looking for padding so that we don’t run into the sharp edges of the world. That is the essence of wrong belief. It is an obstacle to seeing the wisdom of the Great Eastern Sun, which is seeing greater vision beyond our own small world.
The ground of fearlessness and the basis of overcoming doubt and wrong belief is to develop renunciation. Renunciation here means overcoming that very hard, tough, aggressive mentality which wards off any gentleness that might come into our hearts. Fear does not allow fundamental tenderness to enter into us. When tenderness tinged by sadness touches our heart, we know that we are in contact with reality. We feel it. That contact is genuine, fresh, and quite raw. That sensitivity is the basic experience of warriorship, and it is the key to developing fearless renunciation.
Sometimes people find that being tender and raw is threatening and seemingly exhausting. Openness seems demanding and energy consuming, so they prefer to cover up their tender heart. Vulnerability can sometimes make you nervous. It is uncomfortable to feel so real, so you want to numb yourself. You look for some kind of anaesthetic, anything that will provide you with entertainment. Then you can forget the discomfort of reality. People don’t want to live with their basic rawness for even fifteen minutes. When people say they are bored, often they mean that they don’t want to experience the sense of emptiness, which is also an expression of openness and vulnerability. So they pick up the newspaper or read anything else that’s lying around the room-even reading what it says on a cereal box to keep themselves entertained. The search for entertainment to baby-sit your boredom soon becomes legitimized as laziness. Such laziness actually involves a lot of exertion. You have to constantly crank things up to occupy yourself, overcoming your boredom by indulging in laziness.
For the warrior, fearlessness is the opposite of that approach. Fearlessness is a question of learning how to be. Be there all along: that is the message. That is quite challenging in what we call the setting-sun world, the world of neurotic comfort where we use everything to fill up the space. We even use our emotions to entertain ourselves. You might be genuinely angry about something for a fraction of a second, but then you draw out your anger so that it lasts for twenty-five minutes. Then you crank up something else to be angry at for the next twenty minutes. Sometimes, if you arouse a really good attack of anger, it can last for days and days. That is another way we entertain ourselves in the setting-sun world.
The remedy to that approach is renunciation. In the Buddhist teachings, renunciation is associated with being nauseated by the confused world and the pain of samsara. For the warrior, renunciation is slightly different. It is giving away, or not indulging in, pleasure for entertainment’s sake. We are going to kick out any preoccupations provided by the miscellaneous babysitters in the phenomenal world.
Finally, renunciation is the willingness to work with real situations of aggression in the world. If someone interrupts your world with an attack of aggression, you have to respond to it. There is no other way. Renunciation is being willing to face that kind of situation, rather than covering it up. Everyone is afraid to talk about this. It may be shocking to mention it. Nonetheless, we have to learn to relate to those aspects of the world. We have never developed any response to attack-whether it is a verbal attack or actual physical aggression. People are very shy of this topic, although we have the answers to these challenges in our warrior disciplines, our exertion and our manifestation.
In the warrior tradition, fearlessness is connected with attaching your basic existence to greater vision or what we call the Great Eastern Sun. In order to experience such vast and demanding vision, you need a real connection to basic goodness. The key to that is overcoming doubt and wrong belief. Doubt is your own internal problem, which you have to work with. But then beyond that there may be an enemy, a challenge, that is outside of you. We can’t just pretend that those threats never exist. You might say that your laziness is some kind of enemy, but laziness is not actually an enemy. It would be better to call it an obstacle.
How are we going to respond to real opposition that arises in the world? As a warrior, how are you going to relate with that? You don’t need a party-line logic or a package deal response. They don’t really help. In my experience of how students usually relate with conflict, I find that they tend to freeze up when someone is very critical of them. They become non-communicative, which doesn’t help the situation. As warriors, we shouldn’t be uptight and uncommunicative. We find it easy to manifest basic goodness when somebody agrees with us. Even if they’re half agreeing with you, you can talk to them and have a great time. But if someone is edgy and negative, then you freeze, become defensive, and begin to attack them back. That’s the wrong end of the stick. You don’t kill an enemy before they become the enemy. You only slash the enemy when they become a 100% good enemy and present a real 100% challenge. If someone is interested in making love with you, you make love to them. But you don’t rape them. You wait until the other person commits themselves to the situation. Working with your enemy is the same idea.
When a warrior has to kill his enemy, he has a very soft heart. He looks his enemy right in the face. The grip on your sword is quite strong and tough, and then with a tender heart, you cut your enemy into two pieces. At that point, slashing your enemy is equivalent to making love to them. That very strong, powerful stroke is also sympathetic. That fearless stroke is frightening, don’t you think? We don’t want to face that possibility.
On the other hand, if we are in touch with basic goodness, we are always relating to the world directly, choicelessly, whether the energy of the situation demands a destructive or a constructive response. The idea of renunciation is to relate with whatever arises with a sense of sadness and tenderness. We reject the aggressive, hardcore street fighter mentality. The neurotic upheavals created by conflicting emotions, or the kleshas, arise from ignorance, or avidya. Ignorance is very harsh and willing to stick with its own version of things. Therefore, it feels very righteous. Overcoming that is the essence of renunciation: we have no hard edges.
Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle. You have renounced putting on a new suit of armor. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin. You are willing to expose naked flesh, bone and marrow to the world.
This whole discussion is not just metaphoric. We are talking about what you do if you actually have to slash the enemy, if you are in combat or having a sword fight with someone, as you see in Japanese samurai movies. We shouldn’t be too cowardly. A sword fight is real, as real as making love to another human being. We are talking about direct experience and we’re not psychologizing anything here. Before you slash the enemy, look into his or her eyes and feel that tenderness. Then you slash. When you slash your enemy, your compassionate heart becomes twice as big. It puffs up; it becomes a big heart; therefore you can slash the enemy. If you are small-hearted, you cannot do this properly.
Of course, many times conquering the enemy might not involve cutting them in two. You might just turn them upside down! But you have to be willing to face the possibilities.
When the warrior has thoroughly experienced his or her own basic rawness, there is no room to manipulate the situation. You just go forward and present the truth quite fearlessly. You can be what you are, in a very straightforward and basic way. So tenderness brings simplicity and naturalness, almost at the level of simple-mindedness.
We don’t want to become tricky warriors, with all kinds of tricks up our sleeves and ways to cut people’s logic down when we don’t agree with them. Then there is no cultivation of either ourselves or others. When that occurs, we destroy any possibilities of enlightened society. In fact, there will be no society; just a few people hanging out. Instead, the fearless warriors of Shambhala are very ordinary, simpleminded warriors. That is the starting point for developing true bravery.
The Path
The starting point on the path of fearlessness is the discovery of fear. We find ourselves fearful, frightened, even petrified by circumstances. This ubiquitous nervousness provides us with a stepping stone, so that we can step over our fear. We have to make a definite move to cross over the boundary from cowardice to bravery. If we do so properly, the other side of our cowardice contains bravery.
We may not discover bravery right away. Instead, beyond our nervousness, we find a shaky tenderness. We are still quivering, but we are shaking with tenderness rather than bewilderment. That shaky vulnerability contains an element of sadness, but not in the sense of feeling badly about ourself or feeling deprived. Rather, we feel a natural sense of fullness which is tender and sad.
It’s like the feeling you have when you are about to shed a tear. You feel somewhat wealthy because your eyes are full of tears. When you blink, tears begin to roll down your cheeks. There is also an element of loneliness, but again it is not based on deprivation, inadequacy or rejection. Instead you feel that you alone can understand the truth of your own loneliness, which is quite dignified and self-contained. You have a full heart, you feel lonely, but you don’t feel particularly bad about it. It is like an island in the middle of a lake. The island is self-contained; therefore it looks lonely in the middle of the water. Occasionally, ferry boats carry commuters back and forth from the shore to the island, but that doesn’t particularly help. In fact, it expresses the loneliness or the aloneness of the island further.
Discovering these facets of fearlessness is preparation for the further journey on the warrior’s path. If the warrior does not feel alone and sad, then he or she can be corrupted very easily. In fact, such a person may not be a warrior at all. To be a good warrior, one has to feel sad and lonely, but rich and resourceful at the same time. This makes the warrior sensitive to every aspect of phenomena: to sights, smells, sounds and feelings. In that sense, the warrior is also an artist, appreciating whatever goes on in the world. Everything is extremely vivid. The rustling of your armor or the sound of rain drops falling on your coat is very loud. Because you are so sensitive, the fluttering of occasional butterflies around you is almost an insult.
Such a sensitive warrior can then go further on the path of fearlessness. There are three tools or practical guides that the warrior uses on this journey. The first is the development of discipline, or sila in Sanskrit, which is represented by the analogy of the sun. Sunshine is all-pervasive. When the sun shines on the land, it doesn’t neglect any area. It does a thorough job. Similarly, as a warrior, you never neglect your discipline.
We’re not talking about military rigidity here. Rather, in all your mannerisms, every aspect of behavior, you maintain your openness to the environment. You constantly extend yourself to things around you. There is a complete absence of laziness. Even if what you are seeing, hearing or perceiving becomes very difficult and demanding, the warrior never gives up. You go along with the situation. You don’t withdraw. This allows you to develop your loyalty and connection to others, free from fear. You can relate with other sentient beings who are trapped in the confused world, perpetuating their pain. In fact, you realize that it is your duty. You feel warmth, compassion, and even passion towards others. First you develop your own good conduct, and then you can extend yourself fearlessly to others. That is the concept of the sun.
The second guide on the warrior’s path is represented by the analogy of an echo, which is connected with meditative awareness, or samadhi. When you try to take time off from being a warrior, when you want to let go of your discipline or indulge mindlessly in some activity, your action produces an echo. It’s like a sound echoing in a canyon, bouncing back on itself, producing more echoes that bounce off of one another. Those echoes or reflections happen all the time, and if we pay attention to them, they provide constant reminders to be awake. At first, the reminder might be fairly timid, but then the second, third and fourth time you hear it, it’s a much louder echo. These echoes remind you to be on the spot, on the dot.
However, you can’t just wait for an echo to wake you up. You have to put your awareness out into the situation. You have to put effort into being aware.
Becoming a warrior means that you are building a world that does not give you the setting sun, or degraded, concept of rest, which is purely indulging in your confusion. Sometimes you are tempted to return to that cowardly world. You just want to flop and forget the echo of your awareness. It seems like a tremendous relief not to have to work so hard. But then you discover that this world without even an echo is too deadly. You find it refreshing to get back to the warrior’s world, because it is so much more alive.
The warrior’s third tool is actually a weapon. It is represented by the analogy of a bow and arrow, which is connected with developing wisdom, or prajna, and skillful means, or upaya. In this case we are talking about the wisdom of discriminating awareness, which is experiencing the sharpness of sense perceptions and developing psychological accuracy. You can’t develop this kind of sharpness unless some experience of egolessness has manifested in your mind. Otherwise, your mind will be preoccupied, full of its own ego. But when you have made a connection with basic goodness, you can relate with both the actual sharpness of the arrow and with the skillful means provided by the bow. The bow allows you to harness or execute the sharpness of your perceptions.
The development of this discriminating awareness wisdom also allows you to accurately detect the enemy. A real enemy is someone who propagates and promotes ultimate selfishness, or ego. Such enemies promote basic badness rather than basic goodness. They try to bring others into their realm, tempting them with anything from a cookie up to a million dollars.
In the Shambhala warrior tradition, we say that you should only have to kill an enemy once every thousand years. We mean here the real enemy, the basic rudra principle, which is the personification of Ego-hood, of ego run wild. You can work with other enemies by subjugating them, talking to them, buying them out, or seducing them. However, according to this tradition, once in a thousand years a real assassination of the enemy is necessary. We’re talking about someone who can’t be reached by any other means. You might use a sword or an arrow, whatever means you need to overpower them, so their ego is completely popped. Such an assassination has to be very direct and personal. It’s not like dropping bombs on people. If we pop the enemy, and only then, they might be able to connect with some basic goodness within themselves and realize that they made a gigantic mistake. It’s like having rotten teeth in your mouth. Eventually you have to have all your teeth removed, replacing them with false teeth. After that, you might be able to appreciate the teeth that you lost.
Overall, these three principles-the sun, the echo, and the bow and arrow-are all connected with the natural process, or path, of working with our basic intelligence. Beyond that, they describe the fundamental decorum and decency of the warrior’s existence. A warrior should be capable of artfully conducting his or her life in every action, from drinking tea to running a country. Learning how to handle fear, both how to utilize one’s own fear and that of others, is what allows us to brew the beer of fearlessness. You can put all of those situations of fear and doubt into a gigantic vat and ferment them.
The path of fearlessness is connected with what we do right now, today, rather than with anything theoretical or waiting for a cue from somewhere else. The basic vision of warriorship is that there is goodness in everyone. We are all good in ourselves. So we have our own warrior society within our own body. We have everything we need to make the journey already.
Fearlessness has a starting point, it includes discipline, it makes a journey, and it reaches a conclusion. It is like the Great Eastern Sun: the sun rises, it radiates light, and this benefits people by dispelling the darkness and allowing the fruit to ripen and the flowers to blossom.
The fruition of fearlessness is also connected with three analogies. The first is that fearlessness is like a reservoir of trust. This trust arises from the experience of basic goodness, which we have already discussed. When we feel basically good, rather than degraded or condemned, then we become very inquisitive, looking into every situation and examining it. We don’t want to fool ourselves by relying on belief alone. Rather, we want to make a personal connection with reality.
This is a very simple, straightforward idea. If we accept a challenge and take certain steps to accomplish something, the process will yield results-either success or failure. When you sow a seed or plant a tree, either the seed will germinate and the tree will grow, or they will die. Similarly, for the inquisitive warrior, trust means that we know that our actions will bring a definite response from reality. We know that we will get a message. Failure generally is telling us that our action has been undisciplined and inaccurate in some way. Therefore, it fails. When our action is fully disciplined, it usually is fulfilled; we have success. But those responses are not regarded as either punishment or congratulations.
Trust then is being willing to take a chance, knowing that what goes up must come down, as they say. When a warrior has that kind of trust in the reflections of the phenomenal world, then he or she can trust his or her individual discovery of goodness. Communication produces results, either success or failure. That is how the fearless warrior relates with the universe: not by remaining alone and insecure, hiding away, but by constantly being exposed to the phenomenal world and constantly being willing to take that chance.
The reservoir of trust is a bank of richness from which the warrior can always draw conclusions. We begin to feel that we are dealing with a rich world, one that never runs out of messages. The only problem arises if we try to manipulate the situation in our favor. You are not supposed to fish in the reservoir or swim in it. The reservoir has to remain unconditional, unpolluted. So you don’t put your one-sidedness, your bias or conditionality, into it. Then the reservoir might dry up.
Normally, trust means that we think that our world is trustworthy. We think that it’s going to produce a good result, success. But in this case, we’re talking about having a continual relationship with the phenomenal world that is not based on either a good or bad result. We have unconditional trust in the phenomenal world to always give us a message, either success or failure. The fruition of our action will always provide us with information. Such trust in the reservoir keeps us from being too arrogant or too timid. If you’re too arrogant, you’ll find yourself bumping into the ceiling. If you’re too timid, you’ll be pushed up by the floor. Roughly speaking, that’s the concept of the reservoir.
The ancient Chinese Book of Changes or I Ching often talks about success being failure and failure being success. Success sows the seeds of future failure, and failure may bring a later success. So it’s always a dynamic process. As warriors, fearlessness doesn’t mean that we cheer up by saying, “Look! I’m on the side of the right. I’m a success.” Nor do we feel that we’re being punished when we fail. In any case, success and failure are saying the same thing.
That brings us to the next analogy, which is music. Music is connected with the idea of continuously being joyful. The feedback, or the result, that comes from the warrior’s practice is never a dead end. It presents another path. We always can go on, go beyond. So while the result of action is fruition, beyond that, the result is the seed for the next journey. Our journey continues, cycling between success and failure, path and fruition, just as the four seasons alternate. There is always a sense of creativity, so there is always joy on the journey, joy in the result.
Why are you so joyful? You are guided on the path by the disciplines of the sun, the echo, and the bow and arrow. You have witnessed your basic goodness, taking joy in having nothing to hang onto. You have realized the fundamental NO. You are free from doubt and you have experienced a sense of renunciation. So whether the situation brings success or failure, it brings an unconditional good understanding. Therefore, your mind and body are constantly synchronized; there is no deficit of any kind in the body or the mind. Your experience becomes like music, which has rhythm and a melody that is constantly expanding and being recreated. So the sense of celebration is constant, inbuilt, in spite of the ups and downs of one’s personal life. That is continuously being joyful.
Having developed trust and appreciation, you can finally conquer fear, which is connected with the analogy of a saddle. In the Buddhist teachings we talk about developing such a good sense of mental balance that, if you become mindless, your awareness automatically brings you back, just as in the process of skidding on the ice and losing your balance, your body automatically rebalances itself to keep you from falling. As long as you have good posture and a good seat in the saddle, you can overcome any startling or unexpected moves your horse makes. So the idea of the saddle is taking a good seat in your life.
An overreaction or an exaggerated reaction to situations shouldn’t happen at this level. You have trust, you are constantly being joyful, and therefore you can’t be startled, either. This doesn’t mean that your life is monotone, but rather you feel established in this world. You belong here. You are one of the warriors in this world, so even if little unexpected things happen, good or bad, right or wrong, you don’t exaggerate them. You come back to your seat in the saddle and maintain your posture in the situation.
The warrior is never amazed by anything. If someone comes up to you and says, “I’m going to kill you right now,” you are not amazed. If someone says that are going to give you a million dollars, you think, “So what?” Assuming your seat in the saddle at this level is achieving inscrutability, in the positive sense.
It is also taking your seat on the earth. Once you have a good seat on the earth, you don’t need witnesses to validate you. Someone once asked the Buddha, “How do we know that you are enlightened?” And he touched the earth in what is called the earth-touching mudra, or gesture, and said, “Earth is my witness.” That is the same concept as holding your seat in the saddle. Someone might ask, “How do we know you won’t overreact to this situation?” You can say, “Just watch my posture in the saddle.”
Fearlessness in the warrior tradition is not a training in ultimate paranoia. It is based on training in ultimate solidity-which is basic goodness. You have to learn how to be regal. Trust is like becoming a good citizen, celebrating the journey is like becoming a good minister in the government, but holding your seat in the saddle is finally assuming command. It is how to be a king or queen.
At the same time, conquering fear is not based on blocking your sensitivity. Otherwise, you become a deaf and dumb monarch, a jellyfish king. Sitting on the horse requires balance, and as you acquire that balance in the saddle, you have more awareness of the horse. So when you sit in the saddle on your fickle horse, you feel completely exposed and gentle. If you feel aggressive, you don’t have a good seat. In fact, you are probably not even riding the horse. You don’t put your saddle on a fence railing. You have to saddle a real horse.
In this case, riding the horse is riding somebody else’s mind. It requires a complete connection. In the Buddhist tradition, this is called compassion, or working with somebody else. You are completely exposed in this situation. Otherwise, it’s like a medieval knight encased in his armor. It’s so heavy that he has to be cranked up onto the horse. Then he rides off to battle and usually falls off. There’s something wrong with that technology.
Often, when someone tells us we should be fearless, we think they’re saying not to worry, that everything is going to be all right. But unconditional fearlessness is simply based on being awake. Once you have command of the situation, fearlessness is unconditional because you are neither on the side of success or failure. Success and failure are your journey.
Nevertheless, sometimes you become so petrified on your journey that your teeth, your eyes, your hands, and your legs are all vibrating. You are hardly sitting in your seat; you are practically levitating with fear. But even that is regarded as an expression of fearlessness if you have a fundamental connection with the earth of basic goodness-which is unconditional goodness at this point.


a rather not so intelligent design...

"Our enormously productive economy... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption... we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate."Victor Lebow - Price Competition in 1955

Sometimes, some little thingie puts us back a step to behold life in a slightly different perspective. The Story of Stuff is a nicely fastpaced documentary clearly pointing out some sobering facts.
Not that the information is all that new to me at least, or the bleek prospects, but it was a surprise this ruthless consumerism is by design.. but what to expect from a country which used foreign aid to increase it's international power...
Other sobering news forwarded by an old colleague and friend, just strengthens the perception of ruthlessness, even despite this company's potential in face of a particular fact-based vision of the technological future ahead.

Howcome so much of Western businesses have a top management that is inhuman? Why do investors stick with them? Common sense makes it so obvious.. and it's not even hidden in euphemisms and other forms of modern-day "soft language". They have no heart, no heart means no life. That can only head for destruction, either of themselves or, as they appear to have been doing for the last few years, of the company they "lead".. Are things only so clear when being an animist ?

Scorpion wants to cross a river, but he can't swim. Goes to the frog, who can, and asks for a ride. Frog says, "If I give you a ride on my back, you'll go and sting me."
Scorpion replies, "It would not be in my interest to sting you since as I'll be on your back we both would drown."
Frog thinks about this logic for a while and accepts the deal. Takes the scorpion on his back. Braves the waters.
Halfway over feels a burning spear in his side and realizes the scorpion has stung him after all.
And as they both sink beneath the waves the frog cries out,"Why did you sting me, Mr. Scorpion, for now we both will drown?" Scorpion replies, "I can't help it, it's in my nature."

What can i say.. "Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not"..
Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I.


sic transit axis mundi

The winter solstice, or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, usually offers small opportunities for contemplation. Or maybe it’s just the gradual fallout of colleagues whose good intentions got frozen in time for whatever reason... In that sense, working in IT is both a blessing and a curse. No other profession requires such level of continuous learning and the joy of working with smart people. Yet no other profession seems to be so overwhelmingly overhyped with new technologies, methodologies, paradigms shifts and whatever else. And like no other profession i’m seeing people’s smarts being used against them, by others or by themselves, and that seems mainly to do with a strange want that people are fundamentally rational.
After several years in the spotlight of our attention, SOA seems on it’s way out, at least on the popularity rankings. Feels a little like studying at university, that at the moment the whole landscape made sense and offered an abundance to make the right decisions, game over. Although considering tools like OpenESB the SOA approach is becoming undetectable mainstream and exceedingly powerful. Not that i’m going to miss the SOA pooha clutter, but it’s kind of typical for the state IT is in considering the addictive urge for things new.
Now, OpenESB touches on something. Having worked with it’s commercial predecessors for some 8 years i have always been a bit suspiscious about the promise of Open Source. As ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar’ points out eloquently factors like instant ego gratification play an important role in Open Source communities, which is also it’s limitation. Now that might be old fashioned Open Source, but what i’m seeing with OpenESB is a rapidly accelerated iterative development process where openness allows for instant feedback, clarification and improvement. An assembly line modeled by M.C. Esher.. If this openness is a sign of the future, then i’m all for it. This is ‘free as in freedom’, http://www.faifzilla.org/ch00.html, in a new business model, a SOA organisation as Anne Thomas Manes so clearly foresees. It reminds me of what Taiichi Ohno meant for Toyota, which involved reverting back of the production process to it’s human measure. Simply put, if leaders merely "implement techniques" without fully developing people, their system has no heart. Having heart is rather important in Japan.. Heart is spirit and having that indicates a ‘system’ is viable.
Maybe this is what books such as Peopleware aim at, but i just haven’t had enough time to look into that one.. In recent years innovation has become a popular subject for study, and what is rather amazing is that there is a strong tendency away from the human factor to stress the ideas of collective intelligence. Of course the legend of the lone genius, flashes of insight and such are rather exaggerated, but might it just be there’s a mix between the context and the persons involved ? Maybe some people are more susceptible for contextual feedback and rise above the lowest common denominator to do grand things during the right circumstances. What proof is there collective intelligence will rise above the mean ? Amazon’s book suggestions surely don’t indicate such. Maybe some ants within the entire ant colony are called Einstein.. Just expecting the system to self-organize is as unrealistic as expecting the European Union would result in lower prices while willfully ignoring economical models such as ‘increasing returns’. But maybe it’s just the friction between control and trust that many businesses prefer to hear about abstract methodologies harvesting human potential which can rule out any dependency on key figures.
Anyways, back to OpenESB and Sun, if Sun manages to keep the current momentum in the software area while making a suitable transition away from hardware, maybe very soon we can speak about the very first real SOA company, a company that lives and organizes the same way as what the Java Enterprise System is foreseen to enable. Not just composite applications, mock-ups, facades, but federated dynamic assembly of semantic applications. Workflow-as-a-Service, on steroids. Let’s give it a go.
Even more so, let’s give it a go, so eventually i can work out some a-life ideas with the current illustrious codename of ‘cotropous gauge maze’, freely based on Hamilton’s quaternions... And on that note a couple of quotes for the new year from EWD who, knowingly or not, has worked on that wonderful area where mathematics and physics so deeply coincide and intertwine, IT. Bugger it if he and Godel had gotten together and formulated something Wolfram is point to..

John von Neumann draws attention to what seemed to him a contrast. He remarked that for simple mechanisms, it is often easier to describe how they work than what they do, while for more complicated mechanisms, it is usually the other way around.
Edsger Dijkstra, Trip Reports, 213
...Simplifications have had a much greater long-range scientific impact than individual feats of ingenuity. The opportunity for simplification is very encouraging, because in all examples that come to mind the simple and elegant systems tend to be easier and faster to design and get right, more efficient in execution, and much more reliable than the more contrived contraptions that have to be debugged into some degree of acceptability.... Simplicity and elegance are unpopular because they require hard work and discipline to achieve and education to be appreciated. Edsger Dijkstra, The Tide, not the waves; in Denning/Metcalfe: Beyond Calculation, Springer-Verlag 1997
... while we all know that unmastered complexity is at the root of the misery, we do not know what degree of simplicity can be obtained, nor to what extent the intrinsic complexity of the whole design has to show up in the interfaces.
We simply do not know yet the limits of disentanglement. We do not know yet whether intrinsic intricacy can be distinguished from accidental intricacy.
Edsger Dijkstra, Communications of the ACM, Mar 2001, Vol. 44, No. 3

Il ritorno di Don Camillo

Italy is as close to heaven as it gets. For living that is.. not for work..
Since the “mani puliti” action in the early 90’s the Italian economy has been declining. Government spending, incomprehensible inefficient business laws, a suffocating tax system and a banking climate from the Middle-Ages don’t seem to make Italy rise on the global competitiveness indices.. In fact in these areas Italy performs worse than, say, Guatemala.

This is the only rich country i know where it costs a hell of a lot of money in notary costs to go bankrupt.. but this is also the only rich country i know where effectively going bankrupt that doesn’t seem to matter. Time is something measured in eras here.. as if it is of vital importance for a country to have the legal documents of company formation and dissolvement stored in a huge safe inside one of the Alps.
Italians will say Italy is a special case.. that is so but it is just extremely protective of maintaining the status quo. And while doing so the administrators of the Imperium Romanum smother every innovation which is where the real power of Italy lies.
Whereas Italy is known for it’s corruption my experience does not correspond with that, on the contrary actually.. but maybe Italy still needs to learn the Northern-European practise of “if you can’t beat it, legalize it”. Maybe learn from Holland with it’s separate business and criminal law systems, where drugsdealers pay tax and bribes are tax deductable, and it isn’t even ‘corrupt’..
So, why the moderate rant.. i mean, Beppe Grillo does a much better job at ranting, and still it’s a pretty useless act without much action..
Well, after 4 years of trying to expand an international business based in Italy i have had more than enough. So i am moving my business to Switzerland to enjoy a business climate based on common sense, and taxation is about 1/3rd of Italy. The best of two worlds.. live in Italy, work from Switzerland. Then, maybe i can enjoy laughing about the joke of Italian politics, with currently the 62nd government since the World War II, just like all those tax evading Italians who are responsible for storing an estimated 65-70% of the nation’s capital in Switzerland.. which by many means should make Italy one of the richest countries in the world, no ?

As Dutch writer Gerard Reve once said concerning his view on politics; “It is better to have a government of thieves than a government of killers”. The following is taken from Catch 22, Joseph Heller:

"America," he said, "will lose the war. And Italy will win it"
"America is the strongest and most prosperous nation on earth," Nately informed him with lofty fervor and dignity. "And the American fighting man is second to none."
"Exactly," agreed the old man pleasantly, with a hint of taunting amusement. "Italy, on the other hand, is one of the least prosperous nations on earth. And the Italian fighting man is probably second to all. And that's exactly why my country is doing so well in this war while your country is doing so poorly."
Nately guffawed with surprise, then blushed apologetically for his impoliteness. "I'm sorry I laughed at you," he said sincerely, and he continued in a tone of respectful condescension. "But Italy was occupied by the Germans and is now being occupied by us. You don't call that doing very well, do you?"
"But of course I do," exclaimed the old man cheerfully. "The Germans are being driven out, and we are still here. In a few years you will be gone, too, and we will still be here. You see, Italy is really a very poor and weak country, and that's what makes us so strong. Italian soldiers are not dying any more. But American and German soldiers are. I call that doing extremely well. Yes, I am quite certain that Italy will survive this war and still be in existence long after your own country has been destroyed."
Nately could scarcely believe his ears. He had never heard such shocking blasphemies before, and he wondered with instinctive logic why G-men did not appear to lock the traitorous old man up. "America is not going to be destroyed " he shouted passionately.
"Never?" prodded the old man softly.
"Well..." Nately faltered.
The old man laughed indulgently, holding in check a deeper, more explosive delight. His goading remained gentle. "Rome was destroyed, Greece was destroyed, Persia was destroyed, Spain was destroyed. All great countries are destroyed. Why not yours? How much longer do you really think your own country will last? Forever? Keep in mind that the earth itself is destined to be destroyed by the sun in twenty-five million years or so."
Nately squirmed uncomfortably. "Well, forever is a long time, I guess."
"A million years?" persisted the jeering old man with keen, sadistic zest. "A half million? The frog is almost five hundred million years old. Could you really say with much certainty that America, with all its strength and prosperity, with its fighting man that is second to none, and with its standard of living that is the highest in the world, will last as long as... the frog?"
"Well, frankly, I don't know how long America is going to last," he proceeded dauntlessly. "I suppose we can't last forever if the world itself is going to be destroyed some day. But I do know that we're going to survive and triumph for a long, long time."
"For how long?" mocked the profane old man with a gleam of malicious elation. "Not even as long as the frog ?"
"Much longer than you or me," Nately blurted out lamely.
"Oh, is that all? That won't be very much longer then, considering that you're so gullible and brave and that I am already such an old, old man."
"How old are you ?" Nately asked, growing intrigued and charmed with the old man in spite of himself.
"A hundred and seven." The old man chuckled heartily at Nately's look of chagrin. "I see you don't believe that either."
"I don't believe anything you tell me," Nately replied, with a bashful mitigating smile. "The only thing I do believe is that America is going to win the war."
"You put so much stock in winning wars," the grubby iniquitous old man scoffed. "The real trick lies in losing wars, in knowing which wars can be lost, Italy has been losing wars for centuries, and just see how splendidly we've done nonetheless. France wins wars and is in a continual state of crisis. Germany loses and prospers. Look at our own recent history. Italy won a war in Ethiopia and promptly stumbled into serious trouble. Victory gave us such insane delusions of grandeur that we helped start a world war we hadn't a chance of winning. But now that we are losing again, everything has taken a turn for the better, and we will certainly come out on top again if we succeed in being defeated."
Nately gaped at him in undisguised befuddlement. "Now I really don't understand what you're saying. You talk like a madman."
"But I live like a sane one. I was a fascist when Mussolini was on top, and I am an antifascist now that he has been deposed. I was fanatically pro-German when the Germans were here to protect us against the Americans, and now that the Americans are here to protect us against the Germans I am fanatically pro-American. I can assure you, my outraged young friend"- the old man's knowing, disdainful eyes shone even more effervescently as Nately's stuttering dismay increased-"that you and your country will have a no more loyal partisan in Italy than me-but only as long as you remain in Italy. "
"But," lately cried out in disbelief, "you're a turncoat! A time-server! A shameful, unscrupulous opportunist!"
"I am a hundred and seven years old," the old man reminded him suavely.
"Don't you have any principles?"
"Of course not."
"No morality?"
"Oh, I am a very moral man," the villainous old man assured him with satiric seriousness, stroking the bare hip of a buxom black-haired girl with pretty dimples who had stretched herself out seductively on the other arm of his chair. He grinned at Nately sarcastically as he sat between both naked girls in smug and threadbare splendor, with a sovereign hand on each.
"I can't believe it," Nately remarked grudgingly, trying stubbornly not to watch him in relationship to the girls. "I simply can't believe it."
"But it's all perfectly true. When the Germans marched into the city, I danced in the streets like a youthful ballerina and shouted, 'Heil Hitler!' until my lungs were hoarse. I even waved a small Nazi flag that I had snatched away from a beautiful little girl while her mother was looking the other way. When the Germans left the city, I rushed out to welcome the Americans with a bottle of excellent brandy and a basket of flowers. The brandy was for myself, of course, and the flowers were to sprinkle upon our liberators. There was a very stiff and stuffy old major riding in the first car, and I bit him squarely in the eye with a red rose. A marvelous shot! You should have seen him wince."
Nately gasped and was on his feet with amazement, the blood draining from his cheeks. "Major - de Coverley!" he cried.
"Do you know him?" inquired the old man with delight. "What a charming coincidence !"
Nately was too astounded even to hear him. "So you' re the one who wounded Major - de Coverley!" he exclaimed in horrified indignation. "How could you do such a thing?"
The fiendish old man was unperturbed. "How could I resist, yon mean. You should have seen the arrogant old bore, sitting there so sternly in that car like the Almighty Himself, with his big, rigid head and his foolish, solemn face. What a tempting target he made! I got him in the eye with an American Beauty rose. I thought that was most appropriate. Don't you?"
"That was a terrible thing to do!" Nately shouted at him reproachfully. "A vicious and criminal thing! Major - de Coverley is our squadron executive officer!"
"Is he?" teased the unregenerate old man, pinching his pointy jaw gravely in a parody of repentance. "In that case, you must give me credit for being impartial. When the Germans rode in, I almost stabbed a robust young Oberleutnant to death with a sprig of edelweiss."
Nately was appalled and bewildered by the abominable old man's inability to perceive the enormity of his offense. "Don't you realize what you've done?" he scolded vehemently. "Major - de Coverley is a noble and wonderful person, and everyone admires him. "
"He's a silly old fool who really has no right acting like a silly young fool. Where is he today? Dead?"
Nately answered softly with somber awe. "Nobody knows. He seems to have disappeared."
"You see? Imagine a man his age risking what little life he has left for something so absurd as a country."
Nately was instantly up in arms again. "There is nothing so absurd about risking your life for your country!" he declared.
"Isn't there?" asked the old man. "What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can't all be worth dying for."
"Anything worth living for," said Nately, "is worth dying for."
"And anything worth dying for," answered the sacrilegious old man, "is certainly worth living for. You know, you're such a pure and naive young man that I almost feel sorry for you. How old are you? Twenty-five? Twenty-six?"
"Nineteen," said Nately. "I'll be twenty in January."
"If you live." The old man shook his head, wearing, for a moment, the same touchy, meditating frown of the fretful and disapproving old woman. "They are going to kill you if you don't watch out, and I can see now that you are not going to watch out. Why don't you use some sense and try to be more like me? You might live to be a hundred and seven, too."
"Because it's better to die on one's feet than live on one's knees,"
Nately retorted with triumphant and lofty conviction. "I guess you've heard that saying before."
"Yes, I certainly have," mused the treacherous old man, smiling again. "But I'm afraid you have it backward. It is better to live on one's feet than die on one's knees. That is the way the saying goes."
"Are you sure?" Nately asked with sober confusion. "It seems to make more sense my way."
"No, it makes more sense my way. Ask your friends."