There was a lot of talk among the dealers and the senior
staff about what the Maoists might do and what would the new Republic be like and will the royal family leave Nepal and what
was the Maoists attitude to the Casinos going to be and the Doc said the plastic cup dispenser still hadn’t been replaced
and I told Jack I thought too much about everything and he asked me such as what and when I said the Maoists taking over the
country and overthrowing the King and the money coming in to Casinos when just ten minutes from here sixty per cent of the
population is living below the poverty line and the Doc and his fixation on a broken plastic cup dispenser Jack said instead of trying to change people and things and events which at best can be only local
and temporary and cosmetic we should be changing the source of the problem which is our self and if we change our self
we change the world and maybe inspire others to change their self and their world and we could have a New World or a Golden
Age tomorrow if everyone woke up and resolved not to steal or deceive or hurt anyone and not to cause our self or others any
more pain and suffering but the reason why we create the world in the way we do is because it is a reflection of the inner
conflict and turmoil and restlessness and fragmentary nature of the mind and the world we believe to be out there is an exact
picture of what is wrong with our mind but we should not simply dismiss the world and all that happens even if it is illusionary
because without illusion
there is no liberation and without pain there is no pleasure and without ignorance there is no knowledge and without sound
there is no silence and without this there is no that.It was almost dawn, the skyline a deep orange, as we walked up the hill to the
“How much did we win” I asked him, holding his hand, wearing his shawl, and walking up the hill, together,
to the hotel.
“Almost fifteen thousand dollars” he said.
I laughed, and put an arm around his waist, as we walked.
“We’re lucky for each other” I said.
“Yes” he said “We are”.
It seemed I had now moved in with Jack; partners, lovers,
my Father was funding me to find my own way, and the New Radicals were just a memory, a tune that no longer resonated with
‘Happy?’ Jack asked.
I hugged him tighter.
‘Very happy’ I said.
Jack said some people have too much past and live with guilt
regret anger resentment and bitterness and others have too much future and live with fear and stress and tension and worry
and hardly anyone lives in the now but uses it merely as a springboard into an imaginary future or to retreat into memories
of the past and live in constant fear and unhappiness and frustrated and alienated from their own real selves and each other
and the world and the universe they inhabit but what is hidden or unconscious can be made conscious and brought into the open
if the person is honest enough by observing dreams or by observing emotions but the most important is to observe the mind
or rather the seemingly endless stream of thoughts passing through the mind and it is this identification with the mind and
believing that the mind is who you are that is the root cause of all problems.
This time I managed to get undressed in the bed under the
“Not bad” Jack smiled at me “So, what do you want to talk about?’
I laughed. He had my sense of humor, dry, verging on sarcasm, but not quite, and we made love several times with the
‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door and missed breakfast then fell asleep in each others’ arms.
I dreamed my dream of love, again;
I dreamed my dream of freedom, and I dreamed my dream of joy.
Almost everybody is unconscious and asleep and dreaming
they are awake because they are all suffering from the same ailment and thinking has become compulsive and they have
forgotten how to stop and they believe this phantom self they have created is who they are but waking up and discovering
who you really are is simple if you just stop the noise going on in your head and the incessant chatter that usually
doesn’t stop even when you sleep.
“And then what?” I asked.
“When someone recognizes and accepts they are insane it’s the first stage of treatment and the first
step toward sanity because when anyone recognizes the dysfunctional nature of the mind and that he or she and everyone
around them is insane and part of the apparent collective insanity of mankind it is the first step toward recovery and the
discovery of who he or she really is”
We strolled back to the Casino and sat in the restaurant.
“Even the most powerful systems of card counting, the ones too difficult for the average player to manage, having
to handle running counts, conversion to true counts, and side counts of aces, only give you from one to one and a half per
cent advantage, if you make no mistakes, with all the distractions there are in a crowded Casino, and over maybe several
hundred hours of play” Jack said “Who’d want to make an investment like that? But, that’s not what
card counting is about”
“So, what is it about?” I asked.
Jack said the phantom self is created early and it can’t
really be avoided because we are given a name which our parents choose and an education and a culture and maybe even a religion
which has nothing to do with who we are or our real self but we become identified with it and as we grow it hardens and becomes
solid and completely hides the existence of our real self and itself seems real to us and because it hides our real self it
creates a false idea or belief of separateness from our real self and the ego is formed and creates fear and a sense
of isolation constantly threatened with a need to defend itself or attack and seeking fulfillment in things but frustrated
“Without counting cards, even playing perfect Basic Strategy, you have, maybe, a half to a one per cent disadvantage”
he said “That means in the long term you lose but if you know you have a slight advantage or maybe just enough to break
even because you have some idea of the cards still left in the shoe you can choose your moment to bet big and make a lot of money”
“Even with the Ace/Five count?” I asked.
We are now living unconsciously and unaware that behind
the illusion of separateness and of names and forms and birth and death we are that which is nameless and formless
with neither beginning nor end but we fight to maintain the illusion all the same because we believe our continuing existence
depends on it but nothing that is transitory and impermanent is real and only what is permanent has any reality but while
we believe only things that have name and form are real and that which doesn’t is unreal we are trapped in illusion
because our mind is our worst enemy but we cherish it and protect it and defend it as if it was our dearest friend.
“What makes the basic Ace/Five count a good system
is that it’s almost undetectable and you don’t have to pay quite as much attention to it as you do with other
more complicated systems so you don’t attract unwanted interest from Pit Bosses and removing fives from the deck gives
you a bigger mathematical advantage than removing any other card and the more aces remaining in the deck at the same time
gives you a better chance of getting blackjacks which gives you an extra bonus”
How much do you think we can win?” I asked him.
“How does a million dollars sound?” he said.
“Wow!” I said “Is it really possible?”
Jack said the ego-mind is acutely vulnerable and that’s
why it is so defensive and attacks anything or anyone it perceives to be a threat but all you need to do is observe it and
become aware of its deceptions and its defensive methods and tricks then you create a gap between it and you and begin to
be aware there is a watcher and this is the real you and is often your first truly conscious experience of beginning
to awake and the first step toward freedom from the mind but it will react and tell you that this is all mumbo-jumbo or yet
another philosophy or religion or delusion or simply absurd or anything to pull you back into unconsciousness but if you persist
and keep watching without inner comment you’ll be aware of a deeper level of consciousness and a stillness beyond anything
you have ever experienced and soon the gap between the thought-stream and the observer will become increasingly longer and
your awareness of the dysfunctional nature of the ego-mind will be clearer.
“Yes …” Jack said “Here it’s a lot less sophisticated than it is in say the USA and you
can get away with stuff here you wouldn’t have a snowball in hell’s chance of pulling off there” I said
“The Casino business here is less than twenty years old and the staff are not that well trained and although they
know about card counting, and can spot it if it’s not well camouflaged most of
them don’t know about back counting or front counting
or shuffle tracking and with two spotters and using two tables and keeping what we’re doing well camouflaged it’s
possible but we have to have V.I.P status to bet big enough to do it” I said “Be whales and let them know
we’re worth at least one hundred thousand dollars”
What you are doing is what everyone else is doing and
is the reason you have never recognized it for what it is; living either in the past or the future and believing that one or the other
can somehow solve your problems when in fact the only problem is the mind and how can the past or the future do anything about
that and its useless trying to use the mind to resolve the problem when its the mind that has created the problem in the first
“And are we?” I asked.
“Yes” he said “But we need a new story. You need a new name and we need a different backdrop”