Saturday, 20 September 2014

End of Year Thoughts

As mentioned previously, I don't have much time to blog at the moment. So here is a round up the kernel of some thoughts that are knocking around in my head at the moment.

Want to Meditate versus Want to Have Meditated
A Rabbi once said to me: "Sometimes I want to pray and sometimes I just want to have prayed." In other words, sometimes the act is the goal and sometimes the goal is just having done it. An example is the difference between "I'm enjoying this meal" and "I'm glad I had lunch (but have no memory of the taste of it)".

Apologies for hammering home this point. I think it's quite important and Rufus Opus' recent post touches on a similar idea. What are you choosing to spend time on? Well, as Jason from Strategic Sorcery has stated on a number occasions.. if there is only one thing that you do in magic (paraphrasing) make sure it is meditation.

So... do you want to meditate or want to have meditated?
Do you find meditation boring or see it as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself?

Recommended reading:
[Book] Mastery by George Leonard (Scribbler recommendation)
[Blog Post]  On the Nature of Work (by Frater Acher)

Animating the In-Animate
Trainee Golem builders like me, learning to create humanoid life within inanimate matter such as clay, have a thing about finding out who else is working on creating human like life-forms from inanimate matter.

So you can imagine my delight when I came across these two TEDs talks. The first is about creating algorithms for quad-copters to work together. That might not sound very magical, but when you learn a little about how artificial life can be made - it gets pretty interesting (in my opinion) how you can create smaller entities that working together can achieve amazing results. And the secret is in getting the algorithms (i.e. instructions) right.

The other video (and if you only watch one, I recommend this one) is about making robots appear more life-like - with soul.

In Other News
Daf Zohar, daily study of Zohar, has been kicked off on Facebook. Here is the description of the project:
A Zohar study group. Currently focusing on Zohar Ammud Yomi, A Daily Page of Zohar. Members are also welcome to discuss any other Zohar passages. This is an unofficial group of students and teachers reading the Zohar (Pritzker Edition etc) together and sharing what we discover.
I bought a copy of the first book in the Pritzker edition translation of the Zohar. Until now I have shied away from studying the Zohar as I am mainly interested in pre-Zohar Jewish mystical writings. However, a recent comment by one of the people I consider to be a (distant) teacher made me realise that I should study it at some point in the next couple of decades.

Let's see how long the project lasts and whether I can keep up with the additional daily study or not.