real time and space

5 Times Astronaut Jack Fischer Said Something in Space Was “Awesome”

Meet astronaut Jack Fischer…

He was selected as a NASA astronaut in July 2009, and is currently living and working in space for his first time. As you can imagine, going to space for the first time is both nerve-wracking and exciting. You may or may not know just how excited he actually is to be 250 miles above the Earth…To communicate his elation, he has frequently used some version of the word “awesome”.

FYI, that’s a picture of Fischer about to eat a coffee ball on station. For more on his opinion of coffee balls, check THIS out.

Let’s take a look at a few times astronaut Jack Fischer said something in space was “awesome”…

1. Burrito Smothered in Awesomesauce 

Immediately following the hatch opening to the International Space Station and Jack Fischer arriving at his new orbital home, they had the chance to speak to their families. During this time, he explained to his wife what it was like to be in space…obviously using the word awesome in the process: “It’s a burrito of awesomeness, smothered in awesomesauce baby, it’s so beautiful!”

2. Awesome Views from Space

Astronauts commonly say that one of the best parts of being on space station is the view. Earth from 250 miles above can look stunning…or as Fischer puts it…awesome!

3. Tornado of Awesomeness 

Fischer shared this video on his Twitter account on May 6 saying, “Sometimes, on a weekend, you have to spin about wildly…we can call it a tornado of awesomeness—because weightlessness is awesome!”

4. Awesome #SpaceSelfie

This selfie, taken during Fischer’s first-ever spacewalk is AWESOME and shows his cheesing smile from behind his spacesuit helmet. Check out a recap of Fischer’s first spacewalk, conducted on May 12, HERE

5. Fondue Pot Bubbling Over with Awesome Sauce

In this video, also taken during Fischer’s first spacewalk on May 12, you can hear his real-time reaction to seeing the Earth from outside the space station. Describing it like a “Ginormous fondue pot, bubbling over with piping hot awesomesauce.”

Why the Burrito References?

You might be wondering where all this burrito talk comes from. In a pre-flight interview, Fischer explained that he doesn’t particularly like sweets…so for his birthday, his wife will commonly make him bean burritos smothered in green chili and cheese! Watch the full video for 5 facts you may not know about Fischer HERE.

Want more awesomeness from Jack Fischer? Follow him on social media for regular, awesome updates!

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the Spirk experience

watching two men interact in a 1960s science fiction TV show and feeling emotionally compromised by the urge to yell “Married!” every time something homoromantic happens. Which is often.

6 Ways NASA Space Communications Connect Astronauts to Earth

1. When Astronauts Phone Home, the Space Network Answers 

Operated by our Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, this communications system enables all types of Earth-to-astronaut communication.  The Space Network is a complex system of ground station terminals and satellites. The satellites, called ‘Tracking and Data Relay Satellites’ or TDRS, provide continuous communications for human spaceflight 24/7/365. The information this network relays includes astronaut communication with Mission Control in Houston, posting live video of spacewalks and live interviews with schools, even posting Tweets on Twitter and doing Facebook posts. The Space Network can even broadcast live 4K, ultra-HD video right from the station. You can now watch an astronaut eat a space taco in high definition. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

2. The Space Network Also Communicates Science Data 

Astronauts on the Space Station perform experiments on the station that will enable our Journey to Mars and other future human space missions. For example, astronaut Peggy Whitson works on a bone cell study that could lead to better preventative care or therapeutic treatments for people suffering bone loss as a result of bone diseases like osteopenia and osteoporosis, or for patients on prolonged bed rest. All that fantastic data is sent back to Earth via our Space Network for scientists around the world to analyze and build on.

3. The Space Network Transmits Spacecraft Health Data

The Space Network not only lets us communicate with the astronauts, it also tracks the ‘health’ of the spacecraft, be it the International Space Station where the astronauts are living, a cargo vehicle servicing the space station, or even, in the near future, crewed vehicles to other worlds. We deliver data on a spacecraft’s state of health, from power generation levels and avionics status to carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, and more to Mission Control 24/7/365.

4. The Space Network Helps Monitor Spacecraft Location

The International Space Station Is pretty big, but space is bigger. The Space Network enables flight controllers on the ground to provide a GPS-type service for the Space Station, letting them track the exact location of the space station at all times as it orbits the Earth. It also allows us Earth-bound folk to get real-time text updates when the Space Station is flying overhead. If you want to track the station, sign up here: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov

5. The Space Network Supports Launch Vehicles

Goddard’s Space Network also controls all the communications for all the missions that go to the space station. That includes command and telemetry services during launches, free flight, berthing and un-berthing to the station, as well as re-entry and landing back to Earth. 

6. The Space Network Is Also Looking Toward the Future

It’s also helping to test vehicles that will carry astronauts to other worlds. Currently, they are working with teams for our Space Launch System and commercial crew vehicles. The first flights for these vehicles will occur in 2018 and 2019, setting us on the road to Journey to Mars! This image shows the Orion capsule that will aid in our continuous march into space. 

What’s Next for the Space Network? 

We’re continuing to grow! Watch out for the launch of a new TDRS spacecraft in August 2017! TDRS-M is coming. Check out more info here and join our countdown to TDRS launch: https://tdrs.gsfc.nasa.gov

anonymous asked:

I often have ideas for a scene or a character but there is no plot. How can I expand these ideas into stories? I just don't know what to do with my ideas to get a story out of them. Most plotting tips require that I know at least the beginning and the end of my story. But I don't even have that.

Hi Anonymous,

I’ve heard of other writers having this same problem, so you are not alone! Here are some ideas that come to mind when I think about this.

Coming up with a Plot (from scratch)

First off, you have ideas for characters or scenes, and that’s a starting point, and you probably (I’m assuming, because it wasn’t that long ago) saw my post, What to Outline When Starting a Story, which can give some guidance on what to consider. However, if you have no idea where to even come up with a concept for your plot that post can only be so much help.

Conflict out of Story Elements

Since you have some ideas about character and scene, I’d try building off that. In some cases, you might need to flesh those out a bit more to continue (I don’t know, since I don’t know how much you have those figured out).New York Times best-selling author David Farland points out in his book Million Dollar Outlines that characters grow out of their setting. We are all influenced by our setting–where we live, where we spend our time, what century we’re part of, etc.

Setting –> Character

Farland goes on to say that out of character (and setting) comes conflict:

Setting + Character –> Conflict

Plot obviously comes from some sort of conflict, the character reacting to and trying to solve that conflict or conflicts. But let’s finish out the diagram/equation.

Setting –> Character –> Conflict –> Theme

How conflicts are dealt with in the story create the theme.

It should be noted though that this diagram may not be helpful to everyone, and it’s also possible to work backwards from it. For example, I personally don’t like the idea of starting with the setting–although, realistically, pretty much all stories start there, if only to the most basic degrees (time period, real world vs. fantasy world, Earth vs. space, etc.). I often like to start with character. But as you work on your character, at some point, you are going to be looking back at what kind of life he grew out of and where he came from, and where he is now. Other people may like to start with conflict, and work back into character and setting. So, it doesn’t have to be linear.

But let’s look at the conflict part. You need some form of conflict to have plot. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in my post Are Your Conflicts Significant? the conflict should either be broad (far-reaching) or personal to the character. If it’s not either, it’s probably not that significant. However, it should be noted that you can make almost any conflict broad, or personal.

But how do you even get to that point? If you like Farland’s diagram, what I would suggest would be looking at those characters and setting. Brainstorm conflicts by asking yourself questions.

  • What conflict can come out of this setting?

For example, in some stories, major conflicts come straight out of the setting. Most if not all dystopians, like The Hunger Games fall into this category. You can even look at movies like Interstellar, which deals largely with space travel. The major conflict came out of a setting (Earth will soon be inhabitable). In a fantasy story, conflicts can come out of the world and worldbuilding (setting), whether it’s the magic system or the world itself. In Lord of the Rings, the major conflicts often come from the setting (Frodo has to make it to Mount Doom) and magic (the One Ring is a magical object that must be destroyed). In historical fiction, it can come out of setting–what are some of the conflicts the world was dealing with during WWII?

But what about something more small-scale than Panem, outer space, and Middle-earth? Setting can play a role there too. What kind of conflicts can come out of attending high school in 2017? What conflicts might be present there? What conflicts might come out of trying to start a career as a woman centuries ago? The story doesn’t have to be epic for this sort of brainstorming to work.

Les Miserableis a good example of how setting can play into conflicts, whether it’s being a struggling young mother, a convict, or participating in politics.

  • What conflict can come out of this character?

Once you have your character, you can try brainstorming conflicts for her. Now, there are sort of two ways to approach this.

One, you look at your character–her personality, strengths, weaknesses–and ask yourself, what would this character want? Figuring out what your character wants is often vital to a good story. In some stories, it can be more simple, basic, or straightforward. Maybe your character just wants money. In other cases, it might be bigger. Maybe your character wants to defeat an evil ruler. It can be somewhat philosophical. Maybe your character dreams of ridding the universe of a false god, like in His Dark Materials.

When you know what your character wants, you can start brainstorming conflicts by considering what could stop her from getting what she wants. In Lord of the Rings, Frodo volunteers to destroy the Ring, but there are literal obstacles in his way. Space, for one thing. He has to travel for miles and miles and miles. Then there are other people and creatures: orcs, Shelob, Sauron, even his own companions–these people are in conflict with him. He has to deal with getting hurt, wounded, and fatigued. All these things are keeping Frodo from his goal. And of course, his ultimate want is to return to the Shire, but he has to destroy the Ring first.

If your character wants to be in a relationship with someone, there are obstacles too. Maybe the love interest doesn’t know he exists. Maybe there is a family feud, like in Romeo and Juliet. Maybe there is a love triangle. Whatever your character wants, you start brainstorming what could keep him from getting it.

A second approach to brainstorming conflicts with character is to look at your character and consider what kind of situations would be difficult for them, what would make them grow. In some cases, they might be the reluctant hero. Love him or hate him, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, Edward Cullen is a good example of this sort of thing. He’s a “vegetarian” vampire living his life, and then out of nowhere, a girl shows up that is basically his personal brand of cocaine. How is he supposed to deal with this? Worse. He has feelings for her. Immediately, Edward is in conflict.

Now, you can combine both methods. And in reality, both those examples have both. Sure, Frodo volunteered to take the Ring, but he was basically the only person who could. But look at him. He’s just a humble hobbit. He doesn’t do magic, he doesn’t know warfare, and he knows very little about the world. But he’s thrown into a situation where those characteristics will be tested. Similarly, Edward is thrown into a situation, but he ends up having wants too. He wants to be in a relationship with Bella. But the fact he is a vampire and she has potent blood is a conflict that impedes that.

So you can brainstorm conflicts from setting and character.

Plot out of Conflict Types

Let’s look at this another way.

There are five types of conflict.

Keep reading

I’ve always wanted to talk a bit lenghtily about my opinions on fic, fic writing and the general writer-fic-reader culture and I just saw an extremely unpleasant “article” on ao3 that righeously attacks a certain genre of fanfic that I personally don’t read, nor like, but the existence of which really doesn’t bother me.

First things first, to me the positives of fanfiction vastly outnumber the negatives. I am used to living in absolute certainty that anytime I want to have fun, escape or get a little hot and bothered, there will always be fic to provide that for me. I will always, always find a fic I love. Notice I am saying fic *I* love, not, “fic that is good”. And having this certainty, I become entirely unbothered by the automatically existing other group, aka fics I don’t love.

Despite commenting on fics as much as I can, and participating in the fandom, there is still something utterly personal about fanfiction to me. It’s reading it on my phone as I’m shaky and queasy on my way to an exam, to a job interview, to an annoying doctor’s appointment. It’s loading up fics to my kindle and reading them at 3am on the plane when it kind of seems like neither time nor space are real anymore. It’s checking my ao3 subscription emails right after my alarm goes off because finding out a fave WIP updated might actually wake my brain up in a pleasant manner. I’m not exaggerating when I say I go through my life non-stop reading fics bit by bit.

What each and every one of the writers responsible for those fics gives me is priceless. And they are not even asking for a price! Just some damn decency.

The phrase “don’t like don’t read” might seem simplistic and in a way, almost illogical - except with the existence of meticulous tagging system, it becomes reality. Tags are there to warn and to entire. Writers, use them. Readers, read them. But it doesn’t stop there. It is, in fact, entirely possible to open a fic and find it wanting and still follow that directive. How? Close the damn tab. If you want to nitpick it, the phrase becomes “i have read, i haven’t liked, i have stopped reading”.

Now, we are people. We get passionate about fandoms, characters, ships, so I get that not everyone - not all the time - is capable of being so chill about being faced with something they seriously didn’t like.

Don’t inflict it on the author. And - and this is a peeve of mine - don’t passively aggresively inflict it on all the authors who might read your vague, public rant and think “is this me?” or who will add it to that ever growing list of mental barriers and doubts that we seem to be soaking up like sponges. Just tell it to a friend. Punch a pillow. Go and find a fic you love.

Remember that even though it seems your taste might be objective, or “common sense” - and this is easy to fall into especially when things like basic grammar are involved - it’s just not. Not in these cases. That description of my daily fic consumption I wrote above? That has been going on for years and years. Somewhat recently I decided to look up fics for an old ship of mine, remembering how deeply I loved them, how I reread them many times, and I was so giddy about getting to enjoy myself like that again. My reaction was a little “oh”. It was not only me whose tastes have changed, but also fandom and fic writing that has evolved, however, that doesn’t at all alter my past enjoyment. And for every fic you scoff at, there might be a reader who is at an entirely different place than you are, and is loving it. Don’t undo their support by your selfish lash out.

Bottom line, just focus on what you do. Focus on finding what you like. Support what you like. It’s not like “bad” and “good” fic are fighting for their place on the interwebs and only one can get the spot. This is not a limited space library. 

If you need a more candid conversation about things like ships, characterizations and so on, turn to meta. Meta is there for people to disagree on, because meta should follow rules of logic and analysis. Fanfiction doesn’t have to.

the-endlessquestions  asked:

Does time actually exist? I personally dont think that it really exists...

Time, as described by Einstein’s theories of relativity, certainly does exist. The duration of time between two events is just as real as the distance in space between two objects, and according to Einstein, these two qualities are actually tied together. This is where the concept of space-time comes from, and it has some profound consequences.

Not only does time exist, but it can be stretched, bent, and warped. The flow of time can change depending on how fast you are moving, and how close you are to a massive object. The same can be said for space, too, but I don’t think anyone is debating how ‘real’ space is.

Now, the human perception of time may not be entirely real. Our brains aren’t perfect clocks, so we’re bound to be a little bit off. Not to mention, one can make the argument that all of human perception is an illusion, but I digress. That being said, our perception of time is a decent approximation.

This photo was taken in 1941 at the reopening of the South Forks Bridge in Canada. At first glance it looks like any other picture from the time. But if you look more closely, something isn’t quite right. There is one man dressed in modern clothing among the hats and suit jackets of the 1940s. He also seems to be holding a modern camera!. Check out this guy’s hooded jacket, t-shirt with printed logo, and shades, there is definitely Somthing weird going on here.

CAN YOU THROW SOME LIGHT ON THE FEELING OF NOSTALGIA?

The whole of humanity suffers from nostalgia. Yes, I call it a suffering - it is a disease. It happens only because we are not able to live in the present totally, passionately, intensely. Then the mind starts making substitutes for the present, and then there are two possibilities: either you move towards the past or you move towards the future. Neither the past exists nor the future: the past is no more, the future not yet. All that exists is this moment, only this moment. Now is the only real time and here the only real space.

But whenever you become obsessed with the past or the future it simply shows one thing: an escape from the present, an escape from the existential And why should one want to escape from the existential? Why should one want to escape into memories or into fantasies? There can be only one reason: you don’t know how to live now, you don’t know the art of getting in tune with reality.

Because your present is so empty, so meaningless, you have to compensate for it with something.

The easier way is to compensate for it with the past because the past once existed; it has left its footprints in the sands of your memory, so it is easier to fall back. The past seems more substantial than the future, hence ninety-nine percent of people fall towards the past. Only one percent - the poets, the visionaries, the artists - look towards the future, they compensate for their present with the future. But basically both are doing the same; more or less everybody is doing it in his own way.

Nostalgia means non-meditativeness, unawareness, unconsciousness, and it is an utterly futile exercise, an absolutely futile exercise. You cannot be nourished by the past, there is no way to live it again, but you can live in memories. Living in memories is an empty gesture.

So the first thing, Ronald, is to remember that it is not only you who is suffering from nostalgia, everybody is although there may be relative differences.

And the people who live in the future are also projecting their past, because where else can they get the material to make future dreams? They will get it from the memories. They will modify their past, decorate their past, make new combinations of the past and create a future - a future heaven. And this is true about individuals and about societies too.

The old societies, for example, India, live in the past. India’s golden age has passed. In the future there is only darkness and nothing else; the future holds no hope. So India falls back towards the past.

It happens to every individual in his old age - it is an indication of old age - because the old man cannot look ahead, there is nothing there but death. If he looks into the future he can hear the footsteps of death coming closer and closer and closer. It is frightening. He closes that door completely, he looks back. It is more beautiful - all those memories of youth and childhood…

The child lives in the future because he has no past. He is always hoping to grow up as soon as possible, as quickly as possible. The same is true about young societies, for example, America: its whole history is only three hundred years old. India has existed for at least ten thousand years; more is possible but not less. Ten thousand years certainly create a deep hankering for the past - the society is so old, so collapsing.

But America can hope for the future - it is so young; it has no past. If the American tries to go to the past, where can he go? Abraham Lincoln, Washington… and then comes the end. There is not much in it - three hundred years is nothing. India can go on and on as far back as one can conceive.

So it is true about individuals, it is true about societies, races, collectivities - that if you are very young you look towards the future, if you are getting old you start looking towards the past.

So one thing, Ronald: you must be getting old, if not physically then psychologically. But deep down you know that the peak of life has passed and the future looks dark and dismal. But I don’t differentiate much between future and the past because both are escapes.

The king had very small reproductive machinery. One day, while bathing with other nobles, a friend remarked, “My dear King, you have a really small thing there!”

And the king replied, “Yes. If it was another inch smaller I"d be a queen!”

Relatively speaking… This is the whole theory of Albert Einstein, The Theory of Relativity.

So, Ronald, you may be too obsessed by nostalgia and others may be a little less obsessed, or more, but it is only a question of quantity.

Only an enlightened person has no nostalgia because he need not escape from the present. The awakened person lives herenow, he knows no other life.

The first thing about nostalgia: it can be understood only if you understand the nature of the mind.

The mind functions like the pendulum of an old dock: it moves from one extreme to another, it never stays in the middle. If the pendulum stays in the middle, the dock stops. That’s exactly true about the mind: if it remains in the middle, the mind stops, and that is the beginning of meditation. To be in the present is the beginning of an immense journey into eternity.

Eternity is vertical, time is horizontal. In time you move from A to B, from B to C, from C to D; it is linear, a line, a horizontal line. The moment you stop in the middle, you don’t move from A to B, your whole dimension changes - it becomes vertical. You dive deep into A: from Al to A2, from A2 to A3, from A3 to A4, and you go on diving deeper and deeper into A - not to B, not to C. The horizontal is no longer there; it is vertical. And the heights of life and the depths of life belong to the vertical dimension. The horizontal means the shallow, the superficial.

The mind is equivalent to time, hence it is not only a metaphor when I use the clock and the pendulum as symbols for the mind, it is literally true. The moment you are out of the mind - that is, you are moving in the vertical dimension - you are also out of time.

A Sufi saying attributed to Jesus is that when a disciple asked Jesus, “What will be very special in your kingdom of God?” he said, “There shall be time no longer.” The disciple may not have ever thought that this was going to be the answer: “There shall be time no longer.” It is not reported in the New Testament - the New Testament has missed many important things about Jesus - but other secret traditions have carried those messages. “There shall be time no longer.” He defines his kingdom of God by that statement - that will be the most special thing about it - no time, timelessness.

The mind is time; the moment there is no mind there is no time. And when there is no time there is no past, no future. Remember, time consists only of past and future: nostalgia for the past and dreams of the future. The present is not part of the time at all.

So when you hold the pendulum of the clock in the middle, the clock stops; when you hold your attention, your awareness, exactly in the middle, in the present, mind disappears, time disappears.

If you don’t know the art of meditation then the pendulum goes on moving from one extreme to another: from the past to the future, from the future back to the past. That’s how it keeps itself going, that’s how it keeps its momentum.

A beggar knocks at the gate of a Bavarian convent and asks the sister on duty, “Please, do you have any old robes for me?”

A bit ruffled, the sister replies, “But this is a nunnery! We don’t have any men in this house and no men’s clothing, of course! ”

The beggar apologizes and leaves.

The Mother Superior, who has overheard the conversation, says, “You shouldn’t have told him that we are without any male protection. Now that he knows he might come one night and molest us.” After a brief moment of thought, the sister on duty opens her little window and shouts after the beggar, “Hey, you, listen! At night the house is full of men!” That’s the way of the mind - from one extreme to another; it never stops in the middle. It is extremist, either rightist or leftist; it knows nothing of the golden mean.

You ask me, Ronald: FREUD CALLED IT REGRESSIVE AND A SEEKING OF THE WOMB. THIS DOES NOT SATISFY ME.

You have not understood poor Sigmund Freud; he is one of the most misunderstood men of this century. He had many insights of tremendous value and they gain more value because of the fact that he was not an awakened man. He was a blind man groping for the door and many times he came very close to the door. But obviously, not being enlightened himself, whatsoever he says about the door, his experience of being close to it, does not have that clarity which only a Buddha or a Lao Tzu or a Jesus can have. He uses words which can be very easily misunderstood. His words are ordinary, his insights very extraordinary. It is almost a miracle that a man who knows nothing of meditation, who knows nothing of his own consciousness, has many times come so close to the truth. One step more and he may have stepped out of darkness, out of blindness.

For example, Sigmund Freud calls it regressive. It is true, but the word “regressive” hurts. Nostalgia is regressive. Of course, it does not satisfy because it does not give you any nourishment for the ego. Regressive? And you always thought it was some great poetic quality, that you had a great understanding of the past, that your memory was magical, that you could recreate the past, you could relive it as if it were there again. You may have thought of it as something of very great creative value - and Sigmund Freud comes and he calls it “regressive”. It is certainly regressive.

You think of yesterdays only because you are not grown-up yet; you are still living somewhere farther back. The average psychological age of human beings is twelve years. And that is the average, Ronald - one may be ten, eight, seven, six, five, because there are people who are sixteen, twenty, twenty-five… So don’t take the average for granted.

Just look into your nostalgia, where you are lingering in past. There must be a few special spots, a few special memories which come again and again. That’s an indication that something has remained there, something has not grown since then. A part of you is still six years of age if that is the time which gives you sad and sweet memories. If you remember some other time then another part is still clinging there. Man is spread out almost all over the way.

There is a story in India:

Shiva’s wife died and he loved the woman so much, so madly, that he in his madness thought that there must be a physician somewhere in the country who could still bring her back to life. So he carried the dead body of his wife Parvati on his shoulders and roamed around the country looking for some miracle worker, some physician who knew the secret of the nectar which could revive the woman.

Of course, the body started deteriorating: it became rotten, parts of the body started falling. But he was so mad he went on and on. The hands fell in one place, the legs fell in another, the head fell somewhere else… That’s how the Indian sacred places were born - this is the story. One part fell in Varanasi, another fell in Puri, another fell in Ujjain, and so on and so forth. The body fell in twelve parts all over the country. By the time his tour was over nothing was left; the woman had disappeared. But wherever one part of the woman fell a sacred spot arose; it became a teertha, a place for pilgrimage.

This is somehow very significant for each of you. A part of you fell when you were four years of age and that part has remained there, another part fell somewhere else… you are spread out all over the way. You are not one piece, you are a multiplicity - multi-psychic many minds. And one part of may be very grown-up and another may be very childish.

A scientist may be a very grown-up man as far as his science is concerned. When he goes into his lab he is a very skilful, intelligent person, he works with great acumen, talent, genius, but another part of his life may be very childish, almost stupid. When he is out of his lab he is a totally different person.

It is said about Karl Marx that one day he brought many boxes of cigarettes to his home. The wife was a little puzzled. Women are more together than men; they are more earth-bound, more earthly and live more closely to the present.

The wife asked, “What made you bring so many cigarettes? And we are out of money!” He said, “Don’t be worried at all! I have found a secret way of earning money, that’s why I have purchased so many cigarettes. I will tell you the secret. Just along the way while coming back home I thought about an economic law: that if you smoke twelve cigarettes per day and you can find cheaper cigarettes, then with each cigarette you will be saving money, so the more you smoke the more money is saved! So now there is no need to worry about money. I will simply smoke and money will be saved! And I have found the cheapest brand. So much money will be saved that now you need not worry!”

The woman thought he had gone mad! He closed his doors and started smoking, two cigarettes at a time, because he was in such a hurry to earn money! And the woman rushed to one of his friends, Friedrich Engels, and told him the whole thing: “He has gone mad! He is continuously smoking, and two cigarettes at a time, because he thinks that the quicker the better!”

Engels came and tried to convince him, but he argued. It was very difficult to bring him down to earth.

And this happens to many people: in one part they may be grown-up, in another part very childish.

Nostalgia is regressive. You may not like the word, but the truth is there. Sigmund Freud is very dose to the right point. And he is also right about the womb; again he is using a word which seems offensive. Who wants the womb? Who wants to go back into the womb? The very idea is sickening!

What can you get in the womb of a mother? Just the very idea will make you vomit!

Just the other day Ajit Saraswati sterilized my tailor, Veena, and my librarian Gayan went to see the operation. Before Ajit started the operation, Gayan fainted. The very idea of looking into the womb was enough! And if this is so about a woman, what about a man?

Just think: looking back into the womb - if there were a window and you could look inside - would you like to go there? You will escape as far away as possible from any womb because a few wombs are very dangerous - they can suck you in!

I have heard:

A woman was lying on the street dead and naked. A rabbi was passing by. Seeing the naked woman he removed his hat and covered her, particularly her private parts.

Then a drunkard came by. He looked at the naked woman and, being completely drunk, he thought there was a man there also. So he asked the rabbi, “What are you going to do?”

The rabbi said, “I am going to contact the hospital people.”

But the drunkard said, “First we should take this guy out. Just his hat is showing, the rest of the guy has gone. By the time you bring the hospital people the guy may have disappeared! First let us take this guy out and then you can go anywhere you want. I am concerned about this poor man.”

Who wants to go into the womb? So it offended you, Ronald, but what he means really is that those nine months in the mother’s womb - of course you are not conscious of them anymore, you were not conscious of them even when you were in the womb - were the most pleasant time. Unless you can find a more blissful space the desire to go back into the womb remains; it is an unconscious longing.

Those nine months were of tremendous silence, rest, warmth There was no worry, no problem. You were fed, you were taken care of, and everything was absolutely automatic. You were surrounded by warm water and the womb was keeping you in a very cosy space, protected, safe, secure. Those nine months are still there in your unconscious, hence there is a desire to go back to the womb. That is part of nostalgia; in fact, that is part of what you call love.

The man trying to penetrate the woman is nothing but a search for the womb - very much changed but deep down still the same search. Every man is looking for the mother and unless your woman fulfils the role of your mother you will not be happy with her.

Now you are asking something impossible, hence so much unhappiness in the world. You are asking your woman to be your mother and yet be your woman - young, very alive, beautiful and yet at the same time motherly. Now, she cannot do both things. If she has to be very beautiful according to your criterion of beauty, if she has to be very young, then she cannot be your mother. If she tries to be your mother then she will no longer be beautiful; then she will not be a Sophia Loren. Then she will be like my Sushila - she is a perfect mother! You can find the mother, but if you are asking for Sophia Loren in Sushila then there is going to be trouble! What can she do? She cannot do both things. And Sophia Loren will look good in the films, but she cannot be a mother to you. She cannot give you that warmth - she does not have that much fat. How to give you warmth? She is bony!

Don’t ask a woman to be both a model and a mother. But that’s what everybody is asking. And every woman is asking the same from the man: to be a dad and to be a lover. No man can fulfill both roles together; it is almost impossible. Hence you will be frustrated this way or that; frustration is bound to be there.

The search is for the womb. You may not like the word “womb”, but that’s your misunderstanding.

Nothing is wrong with Freud using the word, but you have misunderstood it.

Punya has sent me a joke. She says, “This is a real joke. I heard it on the main street of the ashram between the boutique and the bag check.”

One sannyasin said to another sannyasin, “What I can’t stand about this ashram is: wherever you look, there are queues.”

The other said, “What? Jews?”

This is your misunderstanding, Ronald.

Mr. Gold had been married for many years when he had to go to Paris for a business trip.

In that city of love, he easily fell victim to the amorous advances of the pretty mademoiselle. But somehow Mrs. Gold found out about it. She wired her husband at his hotel, “Come home! Why spend money there for what you can get here for free?”

The next day she received a cable in reply: “I know you and your bargains!”

Just a misunderstanding on your part…

An English vicar checked into a large hotel. As he was walking up the main stairway he met a tiny old lady half-way up, panting for breath and carrying an enormous suitcase.

He eagerly took the case from the speechless old lady and carried it to the top of the stairs.

When he returned to help her up, she kicked him viciously in the shins. “It took me ten minutes to carry my case that far down!” she shouted.

Ella: “I’m homesick!”

Bella: “But this is your home.”

Ella: “I know, and I’m sick of it!”

The newly-arrived ambassador to a Far Eastern country called on the Emperor to present his credentials. Although he was disturbed by the presence of so many comely, half-nude maidens in the palace, he was determined not to show it. Trying to restrict the conversation to affairs of state, he asked, “Your Highness, when was the last time you had an election?”

“Ah,” said the Emperor, with a smile and a sly wink, “Just befo” blekfast!“

Ronald, the problem is not with poor Sigmund Freud, the problem is with you! What can he do if it does not satisfy you? It is not a question of satisfying you - the truth is truth.

You say: SOMETIMES THE PERFUME OF A FLOWER, SOUNDS, A PLACE OR AN INCIDENT FROM CHILDHOOD, CAN EVOKE A FEW SECONDS OF FEELING AND YEARNING THAT ARE SO SAD AND SO SWEET, IT CAN CHOKE ME WITH ITS INTENSITY.

It is possible only if this moment is not intense enough to grip you totally, only if something is left out of this moment if you are holding back.

For twenty-five years I have never thought of my past, of my childhood - no nostalgia. And I have never thought about the future either. This moment is so much - in fact, too much - so overwhelming, who bothers about past and future?

You say: MY CHILDHOOD WAS NOT SO HAPPY, NOR IS THE WOMB SO APPEALING THAT MERE SENTIMENTALITY FOR "THE OLD DAYS” CAN EXPLAIN IT.

Nobody’s childhood can be happy, it cannot be happy for the simple reason that the child is so dependent, so helpless. He is continuously being manipulated by the parents, by the teachers, he is continuously repressed by everybody, ordered, commanded. No child can be ever happy, but everybody, later on, thinks that the childhood was the most beautiful thing that happened to him.

The reason is again relative: the childhood was miserable, but now you are in far more misery! Now the childhood looks beautiful: seeing all the worries of life and the responsibilities and the troubles and the anxieties, it looks beautiful. But that is the only relative - the older you become, the more beautiful it will look.

That’s why it is both sad and sweet. The sadness is its truth and the sweetness is your invention.

And when the childhood was not happy - you say it was not happy - that simply shows you must be living a really miserable life today. If even an unhappy childhood attracts you, that shows only one thing and shows it definitely: that today is just dark, meaningless, hence the past pulls you backwards.

I can say only one thing to you: learn the art of meditation - meditation simply means the art of being herenow totally, absolutely - and then all this nonsense about nostalgia will disappear. Otherwise, it is going to remain with you to the very end.

From the cradle to the grave people go on living somewhere where they cannot live and go on escaping from the only place where it is possible to live.

2

Alright. Phew. It’s been a looooooooooong time coming but @blackindiaink and I have finally gotten the first book in our first joint series ready enough to put out there for anyone who might be interested in reading something new!

The series is called PAPER DOLLS and we’re putting the first book up for $.99 on Amazon (we’re hoping to have a paperback version as well, for gifts and things, but that’s taking us a bit longer because of formatting issues). The story will be enrolled in KDP which means anyone who has a Amazon - Kindle Unlimited subscription will be able to read it for free

The main focus of the series is a romance between two original female queer characters.

Keep reading