UBii: ‘I Know What I’m Doing’ by Hans Koning.

I was reading a great article by a man who goes by the name of Rob Ager on his site, Collative Learning. In this article he mentions that the film director Stanley Kubrick would

Use a simple method to expand his knowledge base. He would visit his library and select random books from random information categories, without even looking at the titles. He would then force himself to read those books. By doing this Stanley was forcing his mind to expand into new territory on a regular basis.

I thought that there has been no time more relevant than now — with more information available at the touch of a button than ever before — in which this technique would be highly profitable to my small but expanding brain. So I gave it a try. I popped into my local charity shop and blindly bought this novel. I knew nothing about it or it’s author. Hopefully by doing this I will also get you, the reader in on this invaluable unbiased information intake (UBii).

This novel was first published (by Penguin) in 1964, and is clearly set in that time period. The story concerns an girl born in England, just turning 20, who leaves a drab life in London and comes to a buzzing New York. This unnamed girl speaks in her own person, and this informal form of narrative is interrupted now and then by another, third-person voice who watches the action from a slightly different perspective.

She later finds herself flitting from city to city, New York – Los Angeles – New York – Los Angeles. As well as from man to man, ‘as light as a nymph, as empty as a ping pong ball’. But far from being a nihilistic tale of a girl who seeks to find nothing but satisfaction, we are given a relevant glimpse into the thoughts and actions of a young woman in the early 60s. She holds philosophies very similar to those held by many if not most of the young people found in our current society.

A perk I found in this book was that the chapters are a maximum of three pages long, I am not the world’s most enthusiastic reader and I was able to casually dip in and out of the book. It’s also a book where the characterisation of the protagonist is clearly defined and easy to associate with, I found myself eagerly taking an interest in where this girl would go next and what else she could possibly do.

I hope that I have been enabled to share at least a little bit of the knowledge I gained from reading this short and somewhat unique novel.

Should you read it?

Well… I do not see it as an essential, but if you are looking to expand your understanding of the somewhat useless, hedonistic and pleasure-driven existence held by the youth of today, this gives a first hand point of view.

It’s available on Amazon and other places now.

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Why do artists always release Japan only bonus tracks?

I’ve always wondered this. I always just thought it was because the Japanese just love the Western pop acts, so they want to give them something back, then again I thought there must be more to it. After much research I have reached an answer.

In Japan CDs (album) are about 2,500 to 3,000 yen. Imported CDs(from UK/US etc.) are about 1,500 to 2,000 yen. So Japanese companies need bonus tracks or other bonus material to sell their CDs. Withour bonus tracks, there’s no need for Japanese to buy expensive Japanese CDs.

Chosen Ones?

I was reading Luke 21 the other day, and one of the verses struck me;

He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. (Verse 8.)

According to psychologists, heightened states of illusion, such as belief that you are the Messiah can come from a range of different places; stress, experiences of insomnia or drugs. But apparently a tenth of the population of Britain think they are someone very important or chosen, or have special powers and receive messages. At one end of the spectrum, there are people who believe themselves to be uniquely talented, and at the other end are those who believe themselves to be members of the Royal Family or key religious figures.

This could serve as a good reminder for us all to take care who we ‘worship’. Be it a rock-star, footballer or philosopher; as well as to warn us against egoism and self-centered pride.

I have compiled a list of some people who have claimed to be some form of Messiah.

  • Father Divine.

George Baker, also known as Father Divine, was an African American ‘spiritual leader’ from 1907 until he died. His full self-given name was Reverend Major Jealous Divine, and he was also known as The Messenger.

He founded a movement called International Peace Mission, Father Divine claimed to be God. This con-man was probably one of the first modern cult leaders.

  • Jim Jones

This man claimed that he was the reincarnation of Jesus. As well as Buddha, Lenin, and Father Divine and more. He performed supposed miracle healings in order to attract new converts.

Members of Jones’ church called him “Father” (I’ve seen that somewhere before) and believed their movement was the solution to the problems of society (aren’t they all).

He was the American founder of the Peoples Temple, which eventually lead to a group suicide on November 18, 1978. Over 900 people took cyanide poisoning in their isolated community called which they called Jonestown.

  • Baha’u’llah

He claimed to be the promised one of all religions, and founded the Baha’Ì Faith. Baha’u’llah declared that he was the “Promised One” of all religions, fulfilling the messianic prophecies found in world religions. He stated that his claims to being several messiahs converging one person were the symbolic, rather than literal, fulfilment of the messianic and eschatological prophecies found in the literature of the major religions.

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  • Sun Myung Moon

Sun Myung Moon was the founder of the Unification Church often called The Moonies. He claims he is the Second Coming of Christ, the “Saviour”, “returning Lord”, and “True Parent”. He preaches that all people should become perfected like himself, because he “appears in the world as the substantial body of God Himself”. He is well-known for holding Blessing ceremonies, which are often called “mass weddings”.

  • David Icke

In an interview on the Terry Wogan show in 1991, he announced that he was “the son of God,” and that Britain would be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes. His statements were met with laughter and ridicule from the studio audience, to which Wogan famously replied, ‘They’re laughing at you, not with you’. You can watch the clip here.

After being made fun of a lot, he disappeared from public view. He’s said that for several years he was unable to walk down the street without people pointing and laughing, and that this experience helped him find the courage to develop his controversial ideas, because he was no longer afraid of what people thought of him.

In January 2003, he travelled to Brazil, and later talked about having used Ayahuasca: “[It] is a plant – a rain forest plant – which they turn in to what they call a turn and Shaman in South America have been using it for centuries at least to take people into other realms of reality… I took it twice and it was an experience – particularly on the 2nd night – that completely transformed my view of life. What it did was take my intellectual understanding that the world is an illusion into the realms of knowing it’s an illusion and there’s a difference between intellectually understanding it’s an illusion and this level of knowing it because you’ve experienced it.” Sounds sensible.

  • The Pope

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and head of state of Vatican City.

In Catholic theology, he has something called papal infallibility, whichis the dogma that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when he solemnly declares to the Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. It is also taught that the Holy Spirit works in the body of the Church to ensure that dogmatic teachings proclaimed to be infallible will be received by all Catholics.

So potentially he could cause a lot of damage.

Mark 12:38-40 “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”