" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

December 17, 2017

It's Already Been 50 Years Since Mr.Eternity Died?!

I wrote about the ideas of "now" and "eternity" in my last post -
Minimalising Mental-clutter?
and realized after writing that post that the man responsible for writing the word "eternity" all around Sydney last century has been dead for 50 years this year.
Mr Eternity: Arthur Stace
"Arthur Malcolm Stace (9 February 1885 – 30 July 1967), known as Mr Eternity, was an Australian soldier.
He gained fame as a reformed alcoholic who converted to Christianity and spread his message by writing the word "Eternity" in copperplate writing with chalk on footpaths in and around Sydney, from Martin Place to Parramatta for about 35 years, from 1932 to 1967"
Being a bit of a Beatles fan I couldn't help noticing that Arthur Stace passed away a few months after
'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' was released, but a few months before 'Magical Mystery Tour' was released.
Bit of a coincidence? 
Or nothing really when we are talking in terms of forever?-)
It's all a bit of a mystery I think.
At least Paul's not dead, right?-)

Minimalising Mental-clutter?

I came across The Minimalists Podcast after watching a movie on Netflix Australia called 'Minimalism'.
I first thought this movie was probably about paintings and art, but I watched the trailer and saw that Sam Harris was in it and that was a name on my radar at the time -
Sam Harris and 'Is Life Actually Worth Living?'
But as I was watching 'Minimalism' there was a segment where Josh is standing in the desert reading his book aloud to the camera where he talks about losing his mum to lung cancer, getting divorced and losing his job.
Well it sounded like Josh was reading out a list of events from my life there as my mother has lung cancer in a late stage, although still managing to fight it, while my father passed away last year from Alzheimer's/pneumonia.
I was divorced recently and was retrenched from two jobs one of which was a furniture store I worksd in for 24+ years and never want to hear that four letter name again ever (my ex-wife's name is also a four letter word and I can think of a few more four letter words as substitutes for her name, too;-)
But Josh in that movie has to go through one of that companies catalogues to show us all the things we buy and don't have to.
So it was a bit like descending into hell and getting a life review on everything that I don't like about what happened in my life and the events, people and places that I never want in my life ever again.
That doesn't include the co-workers I liked and got along with in my old jobs, but it sure does include a certain Swedish furniture store, some ex-bosses and an ex-spouse and her mother.
But for that sort of mental-clutter I think I would need a lobotomy to clear those annoying thoughts from my brain.
Josh sure had my attention from that point on in the movie though.
I knew that in a few more years that I would probably sell my current place and move to another Australian state, so I should streamline my possessions and practice living a minimalist type of lifestyle, but still hold on to the things that really matter to me.
I've already written a post about going through my bookcases and giving away books that I probably wouldn't read again -
The Book Angel (of Death?) and the Shadow Side of Life?
So, I have been practicing minimalisim without even knowing I was, but to me it was decluttering so I could move less of the things that I didn't really need to be carrying around with me in my life anymore.
But I still have a lot of books that I know I'm not finished with yet (there are another three full bookcases upstairs).
To me minimalism is like the words in that Kenny Rodgers song 'The Gambler', where he sings,
"Now ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin' 
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
'Cause ev'ry hand's a winner and ev'ry hand's a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.
Oddly enough that last line above,
"And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep."
brings my thoughts back to the Sam Harris podcast where David Benatar basically argues that dying in your sleep would be the best thing you and the planet could hope for.
Although, I don't agree with David because to me as nasty as life seems, all the world is a stage like Shakespeare says and we need somewhere to play out our collective dramas, don't we?
Unlike David I see the picture being much bigger when it comes to life and what's in the wings.
"And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.
You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."
Is Life Actually Worth Living?
"In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David Benatar about his philosophy of “anti-natalism.”
They discuss the asymmetry between the good and bad things in life, the ethics of existential risk, the moral landscape, the limits and paradoxes of introspection, the “experience machine” thought experiment, population ethics, and other topics.
David Benatar is Professor of Philosophy at University of Cape Town, South Africa.
He is the author of Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence and The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions."

Podcast 019 | Mentalclutter
I listened to the above podcast on mental-clutter after contemplating throwing out the above fridge magnet right at the top of this post.
I bought it years ago from a store called REMO as a reminder to keep focused on the things that matter in my life in terms of quality not quantity
As far as throwing fridge magnets out go though I feel that they are all important to me at the moment, including the one that I was going to part with right at the top of this post.
The magnets are all pieces of the puzzle that makes up my life and help keep my thoughts on track at the moment.
As far as clothes go though I need to get this wardrobe sorted as I don't and probably won't wear half of these clothes.
Podcast 056 | Clothing
Podcast 058 | Home
And as far as "Home" goes I have another post coming up soon about my thoughts on just what "Home" means to me.
We all tend to focus on the "BIG STUFF" in our lives, but it is the accumulation of all of the "small stuff" in our lives that really makes us who we are now.
Buy sorting through the "small stuff" we accumulate in our lives we get a better picture of the "BIG STUFF" that is really important in our lives.
Podcast 103 | Masks
I have a mask hanging on my wall that I asked my youngest son to bring back from Bali when he and his girlfriend went over there.
It hangs in a prominent place in my house and I like to see it as a metaphor for looking fear in the face and not being paralyzed by doing so and living my life around it.
We need to have fears in our life to stop us from doing stupid things that could hurt us or even kill us, but at the same time fears can be paralyzing when you have to make a move in your life and no one should be a deer in the headlights of life.
Which doesn't mean you should be reckless with your life and go looking for trouble either.
But we all have to strike a balance between our fears and living our lives and I find that mask a good reminder to do so.
Hanabeth Luke assists Tom Singer outside the Sari Club
As fate would have it I ran into a survivor of the Bali bombing when my son was over in Bali and I expressed my fears to her about my son being over there and Hanabeth told me not to worry as Bali is overall a safe place.
Unknown Things?
I remember looking into Hanabeth's eyes when she was telling me this and it was one of those surreal life moments (for me anyway) where two souls cross paths just at the right time to effect each other's lives on some deeper spiritual level.
When I look at that mask hanging on the wall and look into its eyes I see Hanabeth's eyes staring back at me too and I wonder what my life would be like now if my own son had never come back from Bali and I wonder what Hanabeth's life would be like now if she never had gone to the nightclub that night...and did life even give her a real choice.
Hard to know from down here I guess.
Just more mental-clutter for my mind? 
These 'The Minimalists' podcasts have great topics to meditate on, which is why I love listening to them without even planning to become a "minimalist".
I was listening to podcast #19 'Mentalclutter' and had to laugh at the very Zen thing Josh says to a guy who asked about the inevitability of his own demise and any tips they could give him to stop worrying about it.
And Josh says "on a long enough timeline everything ends".
The trouble with Josh's statement is that there is no timeline long enough for everything to end, it all just keeps transforming.
Remember that infinity goes both ways, as far back as it goes forward, so in a way we are all smack bang right in the middle of eternity NOW.
I'm not a mathematician, but I'm sure there is some kind of formula like - 
Now = The Past x The Future divided by The Present.
Probably needs some tweaking, but it's probably not too far off.
So I think Josh is getting a bit ahead of himself when he says "nothing lasts forever".
No thing may last forever, but forever lasts forever, so just try and sit and think about that one;-)
If it is always NOW then you can't ever get to the end of ETERNITY.
It's a Zen like oxymoron to say "it's always NOW, but nothing lasts FOREVER".
It's right up there with
"what's the sound of one hand clapping?"
Everything is transforming every second in the NOW and none of us are the same person we were last week or who we will be next week, but we will still be right here in the NOW.
If you are here then you are already halfway there when it comes to eternity.
NOW, I have some mental decluttering to do and I don't have all day;-)

December 16, 2017

The Quest for a Good Motel Room?

I read in the news story above that Meriton rigged TripAdvisor reviews and were found guilty of doing so by the federal court.
Meriton Sync
The irony was for me that when I was down in Sydney last year to see my football team win the 2016 NRL grand final I had one of the best stays in all of my travels staying at a Meriton motel and the worst ever experience in the dearest motel I have ever stayed in one week after my Meriton experience at the Quest at Sydney Olympic Park Motel where I paid $888 for two nights, plus $50 to park my car in the motel car-park for which Quest couldn't guarantee me a spot and advised me that if I couldn't get one that I could park my car down the road in a government owned car-park for the same price.
Playing musical car-parks with my car in Quest's #23 spot 
I was lucky to get a car-space after driving up from Canberra and arriving at the Quest motel, as there were only about two left at the time and one was #23, which is the day of the month of my birthday, so I wasn't game to use my car while staying at the Quest lest I didn't get a park on a return journey from the motel and have to park down the road somewhere.
A "lucky" Don Bradman coin on my Quest dresser top, which would prove lucky that weekend
I also noticed that I had a Don Bradman coin in my change when I got to my room and emptied my pockets onto the dresser, so I thought this was a good sign also that my team might win their first ever NRL grand final.
"Fortune Used to Hide in the Palm of His Hand."
And while $888 (plus $50 to park my car) for two nights in a motel room seemed a bit steep I couldn't help thinking that 888 was a good number sign for me, as I once had a peddle car with 888 on the number-plate and that the Sharks might just win the thing I had been waiting all my life for them to win.
Looking up from the footpath to the Quest motel rooftop
The only thing that stopped my stay being a totally bitter experience was that on that Sunday night my team would win the grand final for the first time in their 50 years of attempting to do so and I would have front row seats and get to shake hands with most of the team members on the victory lap.
My son and I congratulating the players after the game on their victory lap
I don't think I have ever been happier in my whole life...or ever will again.
The view from my 1st floor balcony at the Quest at Sydney Olympic Park
But I was far from happy with my stay at the Quest and will NEVER stay there again if the Sharks make another grand final in my lifetime.
I initially had a room on the top floor looking towards the back, but was moved to the 1st floor with a room looking towards the front, because I wanted to watch the AFL grand final on my motel room TV on a free to air station that every motel room in Australia had on it's TV on my travels around Australia except my TV in my $444 a night room.
To put this in perspective I was paying $330 a week back in Brisbane to rent my townhouse.
A staff member from the motel was sent up to the room to try and get the TV channel working, but couldn't get it on the TV set so he arranged a room move to the first floor for me, so I could watch the AFL grand final between the Bulldogs and the Swans that Saturday afternoon.
The move to the lower floor didn't bother me that much even though I had just lugged all of my gear from the car-park to the top floor, got settled and then had to do it all over again.
The view out of my 1st floor window was probably better than the view from my top floor room looking out the back anyway.
I had booked a room for two, because my youngest son was coming from Canberra to stay the Sunday night after the final, so Saturday after watching the Bulldogs win the AFL grand final on my motel room TV I took a walk around to see the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games artwork and have a walk around the stadium where the NRL grand final was going to be played on Sunday night.
It was good weather that weekend, so walking around the streets made a pleasant walk.
They were doing rehearsals for the grand final music Saturday night and I heard a Bruce Springsteen song blasting out of the stadium and since me and Bruce share the 23rd of September as our birthdays I thought this was another promising sign for me.
I ate out and then headed back to my motel room on the 1st floor to have an early night so I would be ready for the big day on Sunday.
But the arseholes staying in the next room had decided to have an all night party with their music up full bore.
I let it go until around midnight then started thumping the wall with my fist and telling them to turn the f#cking "music" down, but that didn't work, so I phoned reception and told them to make these bastards turn their music down.
Nothing happened, so at two in the morning I rang reception and asked for a room change, but they told me that wasn't possible, so I told them to make these f#ckers stop partying so I could sleep.
Nothing happened until 4 in the morning when these AHs must have partyed themselves out.
Sunday morning I asked for a room change and they told me these guys were checking out Sunday.
I also asked why my room wasn't serviced as I was running out of soap, coffee and milk.
They told me because it was a holiday there was no room service today.
$444 a night for a room and no room service because it was a holiday?!
So they arranged for me to meet a guy at the storage room on another floor so that staff member could open the storage room and let me get what I needed for the day.
My son arrived from Canberra around Sunday lunchtime and I noticed that the jerks in the next room were still there, so I rang reception and asked why those people were still in the next room and they told me that they had extended their stay.
I told reception that if they partied again tonight and nothing was done about it that I would do something about it.
They didn't party as far as I know, but when I got back to the motel I did...because karma is a bitch and I had my TV turned up full blast on their wall and watched the Sharks win all over again.
You could say it was one hell of a weekend at the Quest in more ways than one and I wrote a one star review and posted it at the Quest at Sydney Olympic Park Motel page on, but it's not on there anymore for some reason.
Maybe the federal court want to do a check on Quest, as well.
I won't ever stay there again after my weekend with them, that's for sure.
Sydney Olympic Stadium 
I'm glad I got to see the Sydney Olympic Stadium and it was rather sad news when I saw a few weeks ago in the news that instead of modifying the stadium like was originally planned the NSWs government are going to rip it down and rebuild it, just like what happened to the stadium that the Atlanta Olympics were held in.
Beyond Thunderdome?
There is still two more NRL grand finals to be played there yet before the stadium comes down, so hopefully the Sharks will make one or both of them.
Keith Urban walking past without saying hello on the way to the pre-game show
Sing & Don't Cry
The DVD I bought at the Golden Guitar in Tamworth
Sorry Storm, but you'll have to wait another 12 months, 2016 was not your year it turns out
Oddly enough, the young lady who sung the Australian national anthem before the game literally lived down the road from me back in Brisbane/Logan.
So while I didn't like my stay a the Quest motel, at least I fulfilled my quest to see my team win the final in 2016 and I wasn't just chasing windmills.
The Windmills of My Mind
Monday at the Cronulla clubhouse on my quest to follow that star?-)
And for all of you conspiracy theorists out there who were wondering how the Sharks could win the 2016 grand final.
The Freemasons of course;-)
And if you want to stay at a good motel around Sydney, try 
Rydges at Cronulla.
What a weekend that all turned out to be.
Quest over in a year that I'll never forget.
But just in case I do, I'll always have this to remind me.
That's if I don't lose my arm in life's travels.
Yesterday's Heroes