president

The Soul Game

[This is a chapter from a currently-unpublished book I’m writing on meditation and mindfulness.]

As a spiritual being, one possible way to think of life here on Earth is as a “game” that serves as a training ground for the soul. It’s a game like other games, so it has many levels, and they get harder and harder as you progress. So in this case, the better you become at the game of spirituality — the Soul Game — the harder the levels become.

To help set some rules for the game, let’s say that it has fifty levels. The first time you play the game you’re born here on Earth in Level 1. Hopefully you score some points and move up, so maybe by the time it’s “game over” for your first lifetime, you’ve passed Level 9 and you’re playing on Level 10. Maybe you get a brief break in between lifetimes, but the next time you’re born you start right where you left off, at Level 10.

This brings me to a very important rule: Once you start playing the Soul Game, you’re strapped in for eternity. (That was clearly mentioned on page 52 of the End User License Agreement.) Once you’re in the game there are only two ways out:

Ross Perot on his qualifications to be President

When asked if he had the proper experience to be President of the United States, Ross Perot said:

“Well, they got a point. I don’t have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don’t have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else. I don’t have any experience in creating the worst public school system in the industrialized world, the most violent crime-ridden society in the industrialized world.

But I do have a lot of experience in getting things done. So if we’re at a point in history where we want to stop talking about it and do it, I’ve got a lot of experience in figuring out how to solve problems, making the solutions work and then moving on to the next. I’ve got a lot of experience in not taking 10 years to solve a 10-minute problem. So if it’s time for action, I think I have experience that counts. If there’s more time for gridlock and talk and finger pointing, I’m the wrong man.”

Quotes from Trump and the Dalai Lama

Just days after two domestic terror attacks, here are two quotes I saw today:

Donald Trump: “There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame...”

Dalai Lama: “Violence derives from anger and anger clouds our ability to think straight and properly assess what is happening. Anger in turn is related to fear and anxiety. What we need to learn is how to cultivate the positive emotions that counter destructive emotions like anger and fear. Compassion, for example, brings self-confidence and the ability to act transparently. It strengthens trust which is the ground for friendship.”

Great presidential quotes

“Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?” is going right between “We choose to go to the moon...” and “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” in my list of great presidential quotes.

The worst things about Presidential candidates in history

From November 7, 2016: On the eve of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, I thought I’d share these memories of the worst things that were said about Presidential candidates in years gone by:

1976: Jimmy Carter had a brother named Billy who apparently really liked beer.

1980: Ronald Reagan made some bad movies, and was the first President to have been divorced.

1988: Gary Hart was a front-runner until it was found out that he was having an affair with Donna Rice. Within a week he quit the race.

1988: Joe Biden plagiarized a speech, and quickly withdrew from the race.

1992: Bill Clinton was rumored to have had affairs, and he was the first major candidate to admit to smoking marijuana (though he apparently didn’t inhale).

1996: Bob Dole seemed really grumpy.

2000: George Bush was the first presidential candidate where I can remember thinking, “Um, he doesn’t seem very smart. Shouldn’t there be an IQ test for this position?”

(I would later come to think that there should be an “Enlightenment Test,” where Presidents have to think about “100 years from now” as much as they think about today.)

2008: John Edwards: affair, dropped out

I’m sure there’s more than that, but that’s all I can remember at the moment.