2020 Day 16: 3.33 miles in 29:19

Having not run since 2020 Day 10: 3 miles in 27:20, I thought this morning would be a good day to see what running universe I was in. I noticed something interesting as I ran a slightly different route which caused me to run clockwise around a main loop rather than counter clockwise. During the first mile when I was running to the loop, I ran an 8-minute mile. But during the second mile when I was running against the flow that I’ve run every other time, I felt resistance, ran a slower 9 minute mile, and my right leg was starting to talk to me at the end. At 2.5 miles, I didn’t even feel like I could finish all 3 miles and wanted to stop. My pace was about a 10 minute mile at that point. Then I decided to just turn around and run counter clockwise around the loop. Immediately, I felt additional energy. I could feel my alignment with the universe in which I had more strength and more speed. A positive feedback loop started where as I believed more, I felt stronger, which caused me to believe more. As my watch buzzed me to let me know I had run 3 miles, I didn’t want to stop. I wondered when I would begin to loose energy. I thought to myself that I’d run 27:20 and stop to see how much farther I ran that last time. I still felt strong so I gave myself a stretch goal of running 3.25 miles. At 3.25 miles, I still felt strong and I saw the hill coming up that always gets me. As I approached the hill, I saw I was about to hit 3.33 miles, and so I stopped. I felt good about my final time of 29:19. It reminded me that 10+19=29.

In other news, the stock market rose strongly at the beginning of this 16th day of the month. I plan to start paying attention to the first day and 16th day of future months to see if I notice a pattern that matches this study of S&P 500 first day tendencies.

2020 Day 15: XV Le Diable

REF: 1701-1715 Tarot of Marseilles deck – Card 15 Le Diable

REF: Image source wikipedia from 1909 Rider-Waite tarot deck

On this 15th day of the year 2020, I was drawn to the devil card – the fifteenth Major Arcana card of most Tarot decks. Above are images from the Tarot of Marseilles and the Rider-Waite tarot decks. The Rider-Waite version appears to be based on Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet in Dogme et Riguel de la Haute Magie, 1856:

Levi’s Baphomet presents an image containing a number of contrasts: symmetry/anti-symmetry, light/dark, black/white, male/female, and up/down. The history of the word/name Baphomet begins almost 1000 years ago in a letter written in July, 1098 by the crusader Anselm of Ribemont:

Sequenti die aurora apparente, altis vocibus Baphomethinvocaverunt; et nos Deum nostrum in cordibus nostris deprecantes, impetum facientes in eos, de muris civitatis omnes expulimus.

As the next day dawned, they called loudly upon Baphometh; and we prayed silently in our hearts to God, then we attacked and forced all of them outside the city walls.

It is believed that Baphometh was a Old French spelling of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The name appeared circa 1195 and circa 1250. Ramon Llull‘s earliest known work , the Libre de la doctrine pueril, has a chapter (in an Occitan translation) entitled De Bafomet.

2020 Day 14: The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism

As I watch the democratic presidential debate, I hear a common thread around bringing fundamental decency back to the presidency. Iowa caucuses are 20 days away and it will be interesting to see what happens during this time. One of the moments that will be replayed is the question of whether or not Bernie told Warren that a woman couldn’t win the presidency in 2020. It’s clear to me that universes are interfering – one in which Bernie DID say that (as Warren said) and one in which Bernie DID NOT say that (as Bernie said). I find it difficult to believe that either Bernie or Warren is lying about the interchange, so the only thing left for me to believe is that Bernie both said and didn’t say that a woman couldn’t win the presidency. It’s interesting that even Trump weighed in on this saying a few minutes ago that he believed that Bernie did not say a woman couldn’t win the presidency in 2020.

Back to common decency, it seems a good time to review Thich Nhat Hanh’s fourteen guidelines for engaged Buddhism:

  1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
  2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.
  3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.
  4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, including personal contact, visits, images, and sounds. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
  5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life Fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
  6. Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them when they are still seeds in your consciousness. As soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and understand the nature of your hatred.
  7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you. Plant seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.
  8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
  9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
  10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community, however, should take a clear stand against oppression and injustice and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
  11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.
  12. Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.
  13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others, but prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.
  14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way. (For brothers and sisters who are not monks and nuns:) Sexual expression should not take place without love and commitment. In sexual relationships, be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.

Reference: ‘Interbeing’: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism, revised edition: Oct. l993 by Thich Nhat Hanh, published by Parallax Press, Berkeley, California

2020 Day 13: Superstition

I’m superstitious and will definitely notice the number 13. I will often take greater care when it’s Friday the 13th, but I have taken advantage of cheap tickets to fly on a Friday the 13th. I use to judge people for being superstitious. Now I just wonder to myself if the people who live or work on the 14th floor of a building feel better or worse knowing that there is no 13th floor. A 2007 Gallop Poll reported that 13% of people living in the U.S. would be “bothered if given a room on the 13th floor” of a hotel.

2020 Day 12: Twelve is Spiritual

The number 12 is special to Earth, it’s Moon, and the Sun through the fact that the Moon revolves around the Earth 12 times during the time that the Earth revolves around the sun. There are 12 lunar cycles plus 11 or 12 days in a year. The Babylonians calendar defined a year to be 12 lunar months, each beginning with a new sunset crescent moon in the western sky. Twelve is found prominently in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Greek mythology.

2020 Day 11: Ukrainian passenger plane was mistakenly shot down

Today there was somewhat of a “collapse of the wave function” regarding the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed four days ago. Brig-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Iran Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace commander, read a statement declaring that an individual missile operator had fired a surface-to-air missile which hit the plane. According to the statement, the missile operator had ten seconds to decide on whether to fire and had attempted to get verification but that the communication system failed. The missile operator had heard reports that cruise missiles had been fired toward Iran. From the statement it is possible to see many parallel worlds interfering.

One parallel world is where the missile operator decided to not fire the missile and the Ukrainian plane was not shot down. Another parallel world is where a cruise missile was shot down instead of the plane. In a third, the cruise missile is shot at but not shot down. In a fourth, the communication system works and the missile operator is told to not shoot down the plane. I can imagine many others and I’m sure you can too. It was new information for me to hear that there were reports of cruise missiles being fired toward Iran. I notice this because there have not been any cruise missiles fired and yet there was a report today that a Russian spy ship aggressively approached a US navy destroyer that was capable of firing cruise missiles. The world appears to be near parallel worlds where cruise missiles are being fired, even if no cruise missiles are being fired in ‘this’ world.

2020 Day 10: 3 miles in 27:20

Over the holidays my cousin was in town with her husband, who happens to be a runner. With the new year approaching, I took up his challenge to run 3 miles with him. Having not run much over 2018, and having only run up to 2.5 miles when I did, I knew it would be a challenge. We ran the first mile in 7:45, the second mile in 8:15, and then I dropped back on the third mile to run all three in around 27:20. Today I decided to run the 3 miles again. I ran the first mile in 8:00, the second mile in 8:00, and then I found myself tired and finished all three in 27:20 again. In 2020, I’ve now run 3 miles more often than in the prior 20 years combined. My fastest time in running 3 miles is 19 minutes and 80 seconds. I like to remember it that way because it sounds faster 🙂 and because it helps me remember the year I ran it. I realized recently that my fastest time of 19:80 is actually 20:20. I wonder if the fact I have remembered this time has significance for me in 2020. Why else would I have remembered it? In addition to writing more in 2020, I want to run more in 2020. So far, I have run 3 times – each time 3 miles. I know there are universes where I run 3 miles at an 8-minute mile pace. I visited one earlier in the week. I plan to surround myself with universes where I run 3 miles at an 8-minute mile pace.

In other news, it’s 15:40 and I have my MacBook Pro back with a new battery at 100%. Six hours later, the battery is at 67% without much usage – in fact the notebook was closed much of that time. More analysis of the battery to come later.