Blog 2017

Personal thoughts of the conceiver of Microtopia, yours truly, Alex Hagen.

December 30, 2017

The year sputters to an ending. I have read much and am still puzzled by what is the point of life. Nature, thought, good company, shaping the self. So many have pondered this. Service. Service vs taking care of number one. What comes after cultivation of virtue or vice, hopefully in the reverse order.

Christmas, 2017, Montara, CA

As 2017 draws to a close I wish to look back and look forward. This really was a wonderful and also a foreboding year. I spent a month in Chile with Marcela, and a month and a half with the family in Sardinia, Latvia, Malta, and many places in between. I learned a great deal this year, but now I am 54. My memory is not photographic. I need cues to recall things, the books I read them in ought to be handy. Finally this year, after doing a 10 day Vipassana course, for the first time, I actually meditated nearly daily and sometimes twice in a day or more. This lasted a good six weeks or so (counting the course time). Ok a month after the course. And now I hope I have returned to this daily practice. I studied the Indus Valley Civilization, read a bit of the Majima Nikhaya, and Pirkei Avot and Plato's account of Socrates. I began to have glimpses of what life would be like without the burden of my big fat ego, but just glimpses. My need for adulation persists. I found a common theme in these religious and philosophical writings. I am not sure it is a correct one. For it all seems to fly away from unrestrained hedonism and sexuality. As a person who grew up in the 70s and 80s in California, I have seen hedonism and sensu-sexuality and I am confused. Life is short, and it ends. Should not one dance and make merry? Is not the best course to celebrate life, and practice a morality of one's own choosing? Not according to these ancient scriptures and philosophies. The path in all 3 is the same: to purify the mind. In Judaism there are 613 מצוות (mitzvot), the idea being that you are so busy you will not engage in misconduct! (Apparently). I highly recommend Pirkei Avot with commentaries inspired by the Maharal of Prague, commentaries and arrangement of texts by Rabbi Tuva Basser,

Then there is the question of prayer vs meditation. Perhaps prayer is a way of broadcasting to the entire mind, not merely the conscious self of the pre frontal cortex. Perhaps it actually does reach spiritual agencies. Why is meditation so rare in the west? When we know there was intercourse between the middle east and India dating back to at least 2,000 bc?

Then there is the present. The stresses of work, the stresses of the current world order and disorder. This year the Defense Department declassified some of their UFO sightings, the current deputy head of defense intelligence basically saying that we are in fact being visited! And the world allows such a bombshell to fall with narry a peep.

Trump in my opinion showed he does not care at all about working class people with his tax cut, and I feel he lied at his speech about it. That Trump has no real values that I can understand or relate to. I suspected it previously but held out the hope he actually had compassion for the common man/woman. I think the evidence is in, and he cares not for them. His backing of Hernandez in Honduras (which Obama would have done as well likely, but with better optics), overall shows a cold bloodedness, but we have seen this in nearly every American President.

in 3900 b.c. a terrible drought begins that lasts for 1,000 years, as the lights go out, women have an equal place. When the lights come back on they are enslaved in Sumer for example. Perhaps Eve giving Adam the Apple, was a recollection of this event, Eden being predrought. See Ubaid and Sumer role of women and the 5.9 Ky event