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olive tree

Location: Australia

Gender: M

Member Since: December 2020

Last online: December 2021

Open for read requests: Yes

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Last Updated Nov 30, 2021


“So long as there is no independent public opinion in our country, there is no guarantee that the extermination of millions and millions for no good reason will not happen again, that it will not begin at night - perhaps this very night.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago


“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”

Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom Of God Is Within You


6 Rules For Writing

by George Orwell


  • Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

  • Never use a long word where a short one will do.

  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

  • Never use the passive where you can use the active.

  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

    by Miyamoto Musashi
    1.) Do not oppose the Ways of the world


    2.) Do not seek pleasure for its own sake


    3.) Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling


    4.) Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world


    5.) Be detached from desire your whole life long


    6.) Do not regret your past deeds


    7.) Never be jealous of others, good or bad


    8.) Never let yourself be saddened by a separation


    9.) Hold no grudges against yourself or others


    10.) Steer clear of the path to attachment


    11.) In all things, do not have any preferences.


    12.) Have no luxury in your house


    13.) Pursue no delicacies for yourself


    14.) Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need


    15.) Have trust in yourself and avoid superstitious beliefs


    16.) Do not concern yourself with superfluous trappings, only the tools of your trade


    17.) Do not shun death in the Way


    18.) Do not seek goods or fiefs in your old age


    19.) Respect Buddha and the gods but ask them for nothing


    20.) Sacrifice your life before you sacrifice your name


    21.) Never stray from the Way of strategy


    About Anarchism


    by Nicolas Walter
    Liberalism and Socialism Anarchism may be seen as a development from either liberalism or socialism, or from both liberalism and socialism. Like liberals, anarchists want freedom; like socialists, anarchists want equality. But we are not satisfied by liberalism alone or by socialism alone. Freedom without equality means that the poor and weak are less free than the rich and strong, and equality without freedom means that we are all slaves together. Freedom and equality are not contradictory, but complementary; in place of the old polarization of freedom versus equality - according to which we are told that more freedom equals less equality, and more equality equals less freedom - anarchists point out that in practice you cannot have one without the other. Freedom is not genuine if some people are too poor or too weak to enjoy it, and equality is not genuine if some people are ruled by others. The crucial contribution to political theory made by anarchists is this realization that freedom and equality are in the end the same thing. Anarchism also departs from both liberalism and socialism in taking a different view of progress. Liberals see history as a linear development from savagery, superstition, intolerance and tyranny to civilization, enlightenment, tolerance and emancipation. There are advances and retreats, but the true progress of humanity is from a bad past to a good future. Socialists see history as a dialectical development from savagery, through despotism, feudalism and capitalism, to the triumph of the proletariate and the abolition of the class system. There are revolutions and reactions, but the true progress of humanity is again from a bad past to a good future. Anarchists see progress quite differently; in fact they often do not see progress at all. We see history not as a linear or a dialectical development in one direction, but as a dualistic process. The history of all human society is the story of a struggle between the rulers and the ruled, between the haves and the have-nots, between the people who want to govern and be governed and the people who want to free themselves and their their fellows; the principles of authority and liberty, of government and rebellion, of state and society, are in perpetual opposition. This tension is never resolved; the movement of humanity is now in one direction, now in another. The rise of a new regime or the fall of an old one is not a mysterious break in development or an even more mysterious part of development, but is exactly what it seems to be. Historical events are welcome only to the extent that they increase freedom and equality for the whole people; there is no hidden reason for calling a bad thing good because it is inevitable. We cannot make any useful predictions of the future, and we cannot be sure that the world is going to get better. Our only hope is that, as knowledge and consciousness increase, people will become more aware that they can look after themselves without any need for authority. Nevertheless, anarchism does derive from liberalism and socialism both historically and ideologically. Liberalism and socialism came before anarchism, and anarchism arose from the contradiction between them; most anarchists still begin as either liberals or socialists, or both. The spirit of revolt is seldom born fully grown, and it generally grows into, rather than within anarchism. In a sense, anarchists always remain liberals and socialists, and whenever they reject what is good in either they betray anarchism itself. On one hand we depend on freedom of speech, assembly, movement, behavior, and especially on the freedom to differ; on the other hand we depend on equality of possessions, on human solidarity, and especially on the sharing of power. We are liberals but more so, and socialists but more so. Yet anarchism is not just a mixture of liberalism and socialism; that is social democracy, or welfare capitalism, the systems which prevails in this country. Whatever we owe to and however close we are to liberals and socialists, we differ fundamentally from them - and from social democrats - in rejecting the institution of government. Both liberals and socialists depend on government - liberals ostensibly to preserve freedom but actually to prevent equality, socialists ostensibly to preserve equality but actually to prevent freedom. Even the most extreme liberals and socialists cannot do without government, the exercise of authority by some people over other people. The essence of anarchism, the one thing without which it is not anarchism, is the negation of authority over anyone by anyone.


    Revenge is Sour
    by George Orwell

    Whenever I read phrases like ‘war guilt trials’, ‘punishment of war criminals’ and so forth, there comes back into my mind the memory of something I saw in a prisoner-of-war camp in South Germany, earlier this year.


    Another correspondent and myself were being show round the camp by a little Viennese Jew who had been enlisted in the branch of the American army which deals with the interrogation of prisoners. He was an alert, fair-haired, rather good-looking youth of about twenty-five, and politically so much more knowledgeable than the average American officer that it was a pleasure to be with him. The camp was on an airfield, and, after we had been round the cages, our guide led us to a hangar where various prisoners who were in a different category from the others were being ‘screened’.


    Up at one end of the hangar about a dozen men were lying in a row on the concrete floor. These, it was explained, were S.S. officers who had been segregated from the other prisoners. Among them was a man in dingy civilian clothes who was lying with his arm across his face and apparently asleep. He had strange and horribly deformed feet. The two of them were quite symmetrical, but they were clubbed out into an extraordinary globular shape which made them more like a horse's hoof than anything human. As we approached the group, the little Jew seemed to be working himself up into a state of excitement.


    ‘That's the real swine!’ he said, and suddenly he lashed out with his heavy army boot and caught the prostrate man a fearful kick right on the bulge of one of his deformed feet.


    ‘Get up, you swine!’ he shouted as the man started out of sleep, and then repeated something of the kind in German. The prisoner scrambled to his feet and stood clumsily to attention. With the same air of working himself up into a fury — indeed he was almost dancing up and down as he spoke — the Jew told us the prisoner's history. He was a ‘real’ Nazi: his party number indicated that he had been a member since the very early days, and he had held a post corresponding to a General in the political branch of the S.S. It could be taken as quite certain that he had had charge of concentration camps and had presided over tortures and hangings. In short, he represented everything that we had been fighting against during the past five years.


    Meanwhile, I was studying his appearance. Quite apart from the scrubby, unfed, unshaven look that a newly captured man generally has, he was a disgusting specimen. But he did not look brutal or in any way frightening: merely neurotic and, in a low way, intellectual. His pale, shifty eyes were deformed by powerful spectacles. He could have been an unfrocked clergyman, an actor ruined by drink, or a spiritualist medium. I have seen very similar people in London common lodging houses, and also in the Reading Room of the British Museum. Quite obviously he was mentally unbalanced — indeed, only doubtfully sane, though at this moment sufficiently in his right mind to be frightened of getting another kick. And yet everything that the Jew was telling me of his history could have been true, and probably was true! So the Nazi torturer of one's imagination, the monstrous figure against whom one had struggled for so many years, dwindled to this pitiful wretch, whose obvious need was not for punishment, but for some kind of psychological treatment.


    Later, there were further humiliations. Another S.S. officer, a large brawny man, was ordered to strip to the waist and show the blood group number tattooed on his under-arm; another was forced to explain to us how he had lied about being a member of the S.S. and attempted to pass himself off as an ordinary soldier of the Wehrmacht. I wondered whether the Jew was getting any real kick out of this new-found power that he was exercising. I concluded that he wasn't really enjoying it, and that he was merely — like a man in a brothel, or a boy smoking his first cigar, or a tourist traipsing round a picture gallery — telling himselfthat he was enjoying it, and behaving as he had planned to behave in the days he was helpless.


    It is absurd to blame any German or Austrian Jew for getting his own back on the Nazis. Heaven knows what scores this particular man may have had to wipe out; very likely his whole family had been murdered; and after all, even a wanton kick to a prisoner is a very tiny thing compared with the outrages committed by the Hitler regime. But what this scene, and much else that I saw in Germany, brought home to me was that the whole idea of revenge and punishment is a childish daydream. Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also.


    Who would not have jumped for joy, in 1940, at the thought of seeing S.S. officers kicked and humiliated? But when the thing becomes possible, it is merely pathetic and disgusting. It is said that when Mussolini's corpse was exhibited in public, an old woman drew a revolver and fired five shots into it, exclaiming, ‘Those are for my five sons!’ It is the kind of story that the newspapers make up, but it might be true. I wonder how much satisfaction she got out of those five shots, which, doubtless, she had dreamed years earlier of firing. The condition of her being able to get close enough to Mussolini to shoot at him was that he should be a corpse.


    In so far as the big public in this country is responsible for the monstrous peace settlement now being forced on Germany, it is because of a failure to see in advance that punishing an enemy brings no satisfaction. We acquiesce in crimes like the expulsion of all Germans from East Prussia — crimes which in some cases we could not prevent but might at least have protested against — because the Germans had angered and frightened us, and therefore we were certain that when they were down we should feel no pity for them. We persist in these policies, or let others persist in them on our behalf, because of a vague feeling that, having set out to punish Germany, we ought to go ahead and do it. Actually there is little acute hatred of Germany left in this country, and even less, I should expect to find, in the army of occupation. Only the minority of sadists, who must have their ‘atrocities’ from one source or another, take a keen interest in the hunting-down of war criminals and quislings. If you asked the average man what crime Goering, Ribbentrop, and the rest are to be charged with at their trial, he cannot tell you. Somehow the punishment of these monsters ceases to sem attractive when it becomes possible: indeed, once under lock and key, they almost cease to be monsters.


    Unfortunately, there is often a need of some concrete incident before one can discover the real state of one's feelings. Here is another memory from Germany. A few hours after Stuttgart was captured by the French army, a Belgian journalist and myself entered the town, which was still in some disorder. The Belgian had been broadcasting throughout the war for the European Service of the BBC, and, like nearly all Frenchmen or Belgians, he had a very much tougher attitude towards ‘the Boche’ than an Englishman or an American would have. All the main bridges into town had been blown up, and we had to enter by a small footbridge which the Germans had evidently mad efforts to defend. A dead German soldier was lying supine at the foot of the steps. His face was a waxy yellow. On his breast someone had laid a bunch of the lilac which was blooming everywhere.


    The Belgian averted his face as we went past. When we were well over the bridge he confided to me that this was the first time he had seen a dead man. I suppose he was thirty five years old, and for four years he had been doing war propaganda over the radio. For several days after this, his attitude was quite different from what it had been earlier. He looked with disgust at the bomb-wrecked town and the humiliation the Germans were undergoing, and even on one occasion intervened to prevent a particularly bad bit of looting. When he left, he gave the residue of the coffee we had brought with us to the Germans on whom we were billeted. A week earlier he would probably have been scandalized at the idea of giving coffee to a ‘Boche’. But his feelings, he told me, had undergone a change at the sight of ce pauvre mortbeside the bridge: it had suddenly brought home to him the meaning of war. And yet, if we had happened to enter the town by another route, he might have been spared the experience of seeing one corpse out of the — perhaps — twenty million that the war has produced.

    Through a Glass, Rosily
    by George Orwell
    The recent article by Tribune's Vienna correspondent provoked a spate of angry letters which, besides calling him a fool and a liar and making other charges of what one might call a routine nature, also carried the very serious implication that he ought to have kept silent even if he knew that he was speaking the truth. He himself made a brief answer in Tribune, but the question involved is so important that it is worth discussing it at greater length. Whenever A and B are in opposition to one another, anyone who attacks or criticises A is accused of aiding and abetting B. And it is often true, objectively and on a short-term analysis, that he is making things easier for B. Therefore, say the supporters of A, shut up and don't criticise: or at least criticise "constructively", which in practice always means favourably. And from this it is only a short step to arguing that the suppression and distortion of known facts is the highest duty of a journalist. Now, if one divides the world into A and B and assumes that A represents progress and B reaction, it is just arguable that no fact detrimental to A ought ever to be revealed. But before making this claim one ought to realise where it leads. What do we mean by reac- tion? I suppose it would be agreed that Nazi Germany represented reaction in its worst form or one of its worst. Well, the people in this country who gave most ammunition to the Nazi propagandists during the war are exactly the ones who tell us that it is "objectively" pro-Fascist to criticise the USSR. I am not referring to the Com- munists during their anti-war phase: I am referring to the Left as a whole. By and large, the Nazi radio got more material from the British left-wing press than from that of the Right. And it could hardly be otherwise, for it is chiefly in the left-wing press that serious criticism of British institutions is to be found. Every revelation about slums or social inequality, every attack on the leaders of the Tory Party, every denunciation of British imperialism, was a gift for Goeb- bels. And not necessarily a worthless gift, for German propaganda about "British plutocracy" had considerable effect in neutral coun- tries, especially in the earlier part of the war. When Tribune's Vienna correspondent had reported the appalling conditions in the city and, quite truthfully, described the monstrous behaviour of some of the Russian occupying troops, several readers protested against what they called "this slander" on the Red army.
    Here are two examples of the kind of source from which the Axis propagandists were liable to take their material. The Japanese, in one of their English-speaking magazines in China, serialised Brif- fault's Decline and Fall of the British Empire. Briffault, if not actually a Communist, was vehemently pro-Soviet, and the book incidentally contained some cracks at the Japanese themselves; but from the Japanese point of view this didn't matter, since the main tendency of the book was anti-British. About the same time the German radio broadcast shortened versions of books which they considered damag- ing to British prestige. Among others they broadcast E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. And so far as I know they didn't even have to resort to dishonest quotation. Just because the book was essentially truthful, it could be made to serve the purposes of Fascist propa- ganda. According to Blake, A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent, and anyone who has seen his own statements coming back at him on the Axis radio will feel the force of this. Indeed, anyone who has ever written in defence of unpopular causes or been the witness of events which are likely to cause controversy, knows the fearful temptation to distort or suppress the facts, simply because any honest statement will contain revelations which can be made use of by unscrupulous opponents. But what one has to consider are the long-term effects. In the long run, can the cause of progress be served by lies, or can it not? The readers who attacked Tribune's Vienna correspondent so violently accused him of untruthfulness, but they also seemed to imply that the facts he brought forward ought not to be published even if true. 100,000 rape cases in Vienna are not a good advertise- ment for the Soviet regime: therefore, even if they have happened, don't mention them. Anglo-Russian relations are more likely to prosper if inconvenient facts are kept dark. The trouble is that if you lie to people, their reaction is all the more violent when the truth leaks out, as it is apt to do in the end. Here is an example of untruthful propaganda coming home to roost. Many English people of goodwill draw from the left-wing press an unduly favourable picture of the Indian Congress Party. They not only believe it to be in the right (as it is), but are also apt to imagine that it is a sort of left-wing organisation with democratic and inter-nationalist aims. Such people, if they are suddenly confronted with an actual, flesh-and-blood Indian Nationalist, are liable to recoil into the attitudes of a Blimp. I have seen this happen a number of times. And it is the same with pro-Soviet propaganda. Those who have swallowed it whole are always in danger of a sudden revulsion in which they may reject the whole idea of Socialism. In this and other ways I should say that the net effect of Communist and near-Com- munist propaganda has been simply to retard the cause of Socialism, though it may have temporarily aided Russian foreign policy. There are always the most excellent, high-minded reasons for concealing the truth, and these reasons are brought forward in almost the same words by supporters of the most diverse causes. I have had writings of my own kept out of print because it was feared that the Russians would not like them, and I have had others kept out of print because they attacked British imperialism and might be quoted by anti-British Americans. We are told now that any frank criticism of the Stalin regime will "increase Russian suspicions", but it is only seven years since we were being told (in some cases by the same news-papers) that frank criticism of the Nazi regime would increase Hitler's suspicions. As late as 1941, some of the Catholic papers declared that the presence of Labour Ministers in the British Government increased Franco's suspicions and made him incline more towards the Axis. Looking back, it is possible to see that if only the British and Ameri- can peoples had grasped in 1933 or thereabouts what Hitler stood for, war might have been averted. Similarly, the first step towards decent Anglo-Russian relations is the dropping of illusions. In principle most people would agree to this: but the dropping of illusions means the publication of facts, and facts are apt to be unpleasant. The whole argument that one mustn't speak plainly because it "plays into the hands of" this or that sinister influence is dishonest, in the sense that people only use it when it suits them. As I have pointed out, those who are most concerned about playing into the hands of the Tories were least concerned about playing into the hands of the Nazis. The Catholics who said "Don't offend Franco because it helps Hitler" had been more or less consciously helping Hitler for years beforehand. Beneath this argument there always lies the intention to do propaganda for some single sectional interest, and to browbeat critics into silence by telling them that they are "objec- tively" reactionary. It is a tempting manoeuvre, and I have used it myself more than once, but it is dishonest. I think one is less likely to use it if one remembers that the advantages of a lie are always short-lived. So often it seems a positive duty to suppress or colour the facts! And yet genuine progress can only happen through increasing en- lightenment, which means the continuous destruction of myths. Meanwhile there is a curious backhanded tribute to the values of liberalism in the fact that the opponents of free speech write letters to Tribune at all. "Don't criticise," such people are in effect saying: "don't reveal inconvenient facts. Don't play into the hands of the enemy!" Yet they themselves are attacking Tribune's policy with all the violence at their command. Does it not occur to them that if the principles they advocate were put into practice, their letters would never get printed out ?

    The is-ought problem, from, A Treatise on Human Nature (1739)




    by David Hume





    In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when all of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given; for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. But as authors do not commonly use this precaution, I shall presume to recommend it to the readers; and am persuaded, that this small attention would subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.


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    "No man ever was, since the world began, a true gentlemen in manner. No varnish can hide the grain of the wood and the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.”  

    Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    "The beginning of philosophy is wonder. Philosophy is man’s expression of curiosity about everything.”


    "Nothing happens to anyone that he can't endure."

    Marcus Aurelius

    “When they make their way into your thoughts, through the sympathetic link between mind and body, don’t try to resist the sensation. The sensation is natural. But don’t let the mind start in with judgements, calling it “good” or “bad.”

    Marcus Aurelius

    "They don't even know me, but they know how to show me."

    The White Stripes, Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me

    “Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” -

    Sarah Williams, The Old Astronomer to his Pupil


    I've left the original updates to my profile unchanged despite their crude and abrasive nature, as I have no desire to diminish what I thought important to express at the time.


    This profile page is as disorganised as my thoughts. 


    If I charged money for my work, not only would nobody buy it, but if they did, then it would be going to the wrong people. I also believe commercialisation and profiteering destroy art, and I'd prefer to keep my motivations artistically pure. Therefore, I declare all of my literary work, past, present, and future, to be public domain.


    Signed Oliver Vieri-Pignatelli,







    The tip of the iceberg is the most susceptible to the elements.


    The ego does not grin. The ego is severe and demands more than it deserves.


    Disclaimer: anything I post here unless otherwise quoted or sourced are works of fiction written by myself, Oliver Vieri-Pignatelli, mostly before late December 2019 – Early January 2020. 

    I have not given anyone permission to preface any of my works with introductory statements. I have not given anyone permission to charge money in any way for any literary work I have ever created and never intend to, including but not limited to using it in advertisements, using advertisements to endorse it, or being otherwise unscrupulous on my behalf.

    I have not given anyone permission to publish the contents of any literary work I have written or anything else I have created for that matter. I hereby declare each of my creative works not limited to my short stories, poems, prose, and other literature I created or will create, to be public property and not private domain. I will never charge for my work and pity those who seek profit over the spontaneous yet meaningful fruits of artistic expression. 

    We stand on the shoulders of giants. Dostoyevsky, Vonnegut, Orwell, Kafka, Bukowski, Wilde, Hitchens, Adams, and Austin were my greatest influences.

    Thank you if you read my work.



    "Fuck you if you don't get it." - Me, a fictional sentence sometimes used in art. Art includes but is not limited to anything created with a medium - of words, paint, or otherwise. Science is art and vise versa. Anything and everything is art. If you don't understand that, you still got something to learn. Trouble is, the more you know, the more you realise you certainly don't know.


    "A work of art is never finished." - Brett Whiteley.


    Signed 11/12/2020, and signed again, 28/12/2020, after 5 days of involuntary psychiatric confinement, and a lifetime of prejudice (both things I endured).


    Contents remain unaltered from their original composition from these dates.


    ^ This is not true. Whatever. I don't care.


    Also, a big fuck you to all of my high school teachers, none of whom took any personal stake in my education, especially Mr Graham, whom removed me from the top English class, where I belonged. Fuck you, two-faced dick head! I don't even remember the names of the various other snakes and rats whom claimed superiority over me in those years. Fuck all of you, especially the English teachers.


    You were terrible, and made me hate the art form. I know you already suffer, else I might be motivated to some form of revenge (imagine that), but as we know from Orwell's essay 'Revenge is Sour', well, revenge is sour, and not to mention useless, and, as far as revenge goes, my art is cathartic in that respect.


    Also I have three degrees (WOW!) To me they have become worthless pieces of paper, but in your superficial approximation, I suppose they make me 'better' than you, right? Well, I am better than you, morally and artistically, worthless pieces of paper or otherwise. Rot in Hell.




    If my words offend you, then don't read my work. Simple, wouldn't you say?  

    To express one's true convictions, it's necessary to be unapologetic. 




    More quotes:


    "Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive."

    Tupac Shakur


    "You cannot sedate all the things you hate."

    Marilyn Manson


    “Politicians have traditionally hidden behind three things - the flag, the bible, and children.”

    George Carlin


    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something sometime in your life."

    Winston Churchill


    "Don't criticize what you can't understand."

    Bob Dylan


    "A sad thing it is not to have friends. But sadder still is not to have enemies for, if you have no enemies, it means you have: No talent to overshadow, No goods to be coveted, No character that impresses Nor valour feared, No honour to whisper of Nor any good thing to be envied for."

    José Martí


    'They only burn themselves to reach Paradise' - Mne. Nhu

    original courage is good, motivation be damned, and if you say they are trained to feel no pain, are they guarenteed this? is it still not possible to die for somebody else?

    you sophisticates who lay back and make statements of explanation, I have seen the red rose burning and this means more. 

    Charlies Bukowski, On The Fire Suicides By The Buddhists


    "The superior virtue is not conscious of itself as virtue; Therefore it has virtue. The inferior virtue never lets off virtue. Therefore it has no virtue.  The superior virtue seems inactive, yet there is nothing it does not do. The inferior virtue acts and yet it leaves things undone. The superior benevolence acts without a motive. The superior righteousness acts with a motive. The superior ritual acts, but at first no one responds to it; Gradually the people raise their arms and follow it. Therefore when Tao [the path to the followed, or ‘the way’] is lost, virtue follows. When virtue is lost, benevolence follows. When benevolence is lost, righteousness follows. When righteousness is lost, ritual follows. Ritual therefore, is the attenuation of loyalty and faith and the outset of confusion. Foreknowledge is the flower of Tao and the beginning of folly. Therefore, the truly great man keeps to the solid and not to the tenuous; Keeps to the fruit and not to the flower; Thus he rejects the latter and takes the former." 

    Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, By Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 38 


    "cautiously, I allowed

    myself to feel good

    at times.

    I found moments of

    peace in cheap


    just staring at the

    knobs of some


    or listening to the

    rain in the


    the less I needed

    the better I


    Charlies Bukowski

    “Jung was humorous. He knew that nobody can be completely honest. That you’ll try and you’ll have a great deal of success in exploring your motivations and your unconscious depths, but there will be a certain point at which you will say, ‘well, I’ve had enough of that’. Do you see how in a strange way there’s a certain sanity in that? When a person indulges in a kind of duplicity, in deception, there was something you all laughed at when I said that, it’s humorous, and this humour, it’s a very funny thing. Basically, humour is an attitude of laughter about oneself. There is malicious humour, which is laughing at other people. The real deep humour is laughter at oneself. Why fundamentally do you laugh at yourself? What makes you laugh at yourself? Isn’t it because you know that there’s a big difference between what goes on the outside and what goes on the inside? Now, I passed you around a lot of embroidery before we started, and I’m perfectly sure that you got the point, that there’s a big difference between the front and the back. In some forms of embroidery the back is very different from the front, because people take shortcuts. In the front everything is orderly, and it’s supposed to be kinda messy on the backside. See, which side will you wear? You’ve gotta be sure you get the front at the front and the back at the back. The back has all the little tricks in it. All the shortcuts. All the lowdown that people don’t acknowledge. You see? And it’s exactly the same as the way we live. You know, like sweeping the dust under the carpet in a hurry just before the guests come? I mean, we do ever so many things like that, and if you don’t do it, if you don’t think you do it, then you think, well, really, my embroidery is the same on both sides. You see. Well, you’re deceiving yourself. Because what you’re doing is you’re taking the shortcuts in another dimension which you’re keeping out of consciousness. Everybody takes the shortcuts. Everybody plays tricks. Everybody has in himself an element of duplicity, of deception. Because, you see, from this point of view that I am discussing where the web is the trap, to be is to deceive.”

    Alan Watts


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