The benefits of technology, and its material advancement
of the human race, have come with a huge fucking price, and has cut deep into that which has always made mankind fucking unique,
higher than animals, if, maybe, a little lower than angels; our humanity.
We’re left castrated and lobotomized, having lost that, and reduced ourselves to little more than highly sophisticated
animals that, one day, will be able to reach the fucking stars but never discover who, or what, the fuck we really are.
In time, of course, we adjust to our new state, and eventually relegate what might have been to myth; a topic we might
occasionally discuss, but with no real fucking seriousness, unless you happen to be a little flaky, or someone most folk want
to avoid. I’m talking about magic, the still half remembered, but easily dismissed, ability of mankind to see, and reach,
into a realm, or state, beyond itself.
No other animal ever had this ability to create angels, spiritual beings, and the rest of it, from the simplest things,
and to build a bridge between itself and them, and become more than the sum of its parts. That’s the real fucking tragedy
of technology, not simply the highly mechanized modes of everyday living, in a self contained world of reinforced concrete
of automobiles, cell phones, satellites, but the loss of the magical nature of mankind.
We woke late the next day, and ate at the Coffee Shop next
door to the hotel, with a view of the entrance to the Casino. I had imported pork chops, potatoes, tomatoes, and cauliflower,
and Dion had a Russian salad. It was too hot outside, cool inside, very comfortable, and the waiters attentive.
‘The longer we keep them waiting for us, the better …’ I said.
‘Why?’ Dion asked.
enjoying all this for free’ I said ‘Living like Royalty for nothing. It gives us a psychological advantage. They’ll
be keener to have us in there …’ I nodded out the window at the Casino ‘… and they’ll take a
little longer to scrutinize how we play. There’s a lot more to being a professional gambler than the turn of a card,
the spin of roulette wheel, or the roll of a pair of dice. The real game happens up here …’ I tapped my head ‘You
win, or lose, here …’ I nodded at the Casino again ‘Not in there …’
We sat at a Blackjack table, with three others, and the
Manager came over, all smiles, greeted us, and asked if we needed anything.
‘A little bit of luck, if you have any’ I told him.
He smiled again, and shrugged.
“Is your room comfortable?’ he asked.
I smiled at him
‘Good’ he said, then, smiling, moved to another table.
The other three at the table, a blonde-haired white girl,
with an older, brown skinned man, and an enormously fat, elderly Indian woman, were intent on the game; the girl looked up,
briefly, smiled and nodded a greeting.
‘Hi …’ she said, obviously American, and the brown skinned man just nodded.
Dion got a blackjack, and I busted.
‘Good start’ I told her ‘The best hand there is’
We played for an hour, winning three thousand dollars, so we took a bathroom break, sitting out the rest of the shoe
in the lounge at the back, and ordered snacks, a cigar and a vodka and orange for me, and fruit juice for Dion.
‘You like her?’ she asked.
‘Who?’ I asked.
‘The girl at the table …’ she said ‘She sounded American. It’s okay. I don’t mind
…’ she sipped her fruit juice ‘Would you like to fuck her?’
‘Maybe …’ I said ‘She’s with somebody …’
We watched the news, in English, on the TV.
I told her that Blackjack was all mathematics, and the reason she’d been losing so much money was the odds were
“The first thing you have to remember about blackjack is that the player has to make a decision first. That gives
the Casino its biggest advantage, eight per cent over the player. Because the player acts first, if the player busts, the
Casino wins, even if the dealer busts too. But that's the Casino's only advantage.
“Everything else about blackjack gives the player a chance to win back some of that eight per cent. For instance,
when you’re dealt a natural, or a blackjack, you are paid three to two. That gives you back two point twenty five per
“You can stand wherever you like, or hit. The dealer can’t, but has to hit a sixteen, and stand on seventeen
or more. That’s the player’s biggest advantage, and standing, or hitting properly, wins you another three point
twenty five per cent. So that’s five point five per cent, so far, giving the Casino just two point five per cent edge.
“And you can double down, and the dealer can’t. Do that right, and you gain another one point five per
cent. Then, you can split pairs, but the dealer can’t, so you win another zero point five per cent, and gives you seven
point five per cent, against the Casinos eight per cent, leaving you only zero point five to find, and you do that by
counting cards, which can give you anything from zero point five per cent to one and a half per cent advantage”
‘That’s not a lot, is it?’ she asked.
‘No. But it’s a lot better than losing, right?’
By the time we got back to the table, the tall blonde white
girl, and her brown skinned companion had gone, and we were left with just the enormously far Indian woman, who was losing
heavily, it seemed.
The dealer asked us if we were staying in the hotel, because, if not,
it wasn’t safe on the streets after dark. There were pockets of small groups of anti-Maoists fighting larger groups
I said we were, and, anyway, they weren’t likely to bother a foreigner.
He agreed, and dealt me an ace, and Dion a ten, while the fat Indian woman
got a six, and the dealer had a five.
Then I got another ace, and split them, getting a ten and a Jack.
‘Wow!’ Dion said, and got a Queen.
She looked at me.
‘Let me split them …’ she said ‘Just for fun … please?’
The fat Indian lady also got a ten, giving her sixteen, the worst hand, for the player, then a nine, and busted.
Dion got a King, then a Jack.
‘No more …’ I warned her ‘Go with that …’
The dealer got a seven, then a ten, and busted.
‘See?’ Dion smiled ‘It works … sometimes’
We were back in the hotel room.
… all the emotional pain and suffering including much of the physical pain
we believe are caused by outside circumstances and events or others are in fact caused by our identification with the mind
or at least the dysfunctional aspect of the mind we label the ego that runs the unobserved mind and creates the illusion that
we are our mind and this is the illusion not whether the world out there is illusionary or if anything at all out there really
exists but the illusion that we are our mind and that in turn creates all other illusions because what experiences is not
the mind but Self because it isn’t the objects on the screen that are moving but the film and the Self is still
and unchanging and ever-present and only what is imagined changes because the Self is that in which everything rises and falls
and appears and disappears and there is nothing else except what the mind creates and no pain no hurt and what happens or
not is spontaneous without plan or intention so see this and be free from the mind and free to be who and what you really
are because we usually only drop the mind at times of great intensity or when we are in immediate danger of death or in the
presence of something extremely shocking or great beauty and it’s this inability to stop thinking whenever we choose
and when we don’t actually need to use the mind that reveals the dysfunctional nature of the mind and creates the illusion
we are the mind and there is no other but there is no objective world common to all out there and the observer is not separate from what is observed
and what is observed is shaped by and dependent on how we see our self because the self and the world it creates is the result
of our desires and fears and hopes and anxieties and hides who we really are as clouds hide the sun but cannot destroy it
and the one thing that prevents us from realizing it is the constant noise going on in our heads because we don’t actually
use our mind but it uses us and we’re no longer in control of this tyrannical
thing in our head which is the cause of all our emotional pain and suffering and wars and disease and inhumanity and political
and religious and social conflicts and even the apparent destruction of the planet on which we all believe we depend on for
our continuing existence and it is total insanity because human beings are insane but they don’t see it because everyone
else is too and if you can’t stop thinking whenever you choose and stop the endless noise in your head you are ill and
insane because if you knew someone who was incapable of stopping talking or walking you would instantly recognize it
but because it’s all happening in your head and not visible and obvious and everybody else is doing the same thing you
believe it is normal but so long as you are identified with the mind and with time and with the world you have created you
are constantly creating more pain and suffering and making a self of it then blaming others or things or circumstances and
events when in fact the truth which is freedom from pain and suffering and from illusion is simple and easy by recognizing
that everything that appears to be out there and everything that seems to happen outside of your self is actually in happening
in your head and all of it is constructed by the mind so why suffer when you don’t need to.
world out there existed long before I did, and it will still be here after I’m gone. So, how can you say I create it?”
“How do you know that?” I asked “Did anyone in the
world you created come and tell you that? When you dream, the events, and people, you dream, had no existence before you started
the dream, and they cease to have any existence when the dream ends. You create them, and everything that happens, moment
by moment. And, if you wanted evidence of their past, and their potential future, your mind would create that too. Tell me
where the past is, where is the future, right now?’
“In my head, I suppose” she said.
“Memory and imagination?” I asked.
“Yes” she said “But that doesn’t
mean the past didn’t happen, or the future won’t”
“Oh, it did, and it will. Just dwell on this. There is
no one, out there, or up there, who created all this, only you. Your body, and mind, had a beginning, along with everything
else, but who, or what, you really are, is timeless, existed prior to everything which is transitory and impermanent. You
created it, are responsible for everything that happens in it, and its only cause’
We showered together, dried each other, and then lay
on the bed.
‘All you can say about who, or what, or where, you are, is what, or where, you are not. You are not your mind,
not your body, not your emotions, not the bundle of fears, anxieties, hopes, desires, you call your self. Your real self has
no name or form, qualities or attributes. You can’t say I am this or I am that, or I am here, because that would be
pointing at some other. All you can really know is I am, and you can only discover who, or what, or where, you are, by discovering
who, or what, or where, you are not.
“You derive your sense of self from the past”
I said “Without the past who are you? And the future provides you with hope. Both are illusions. There is no hope in
the future, only in the present, and the past simply perpetuates the false mind-created self, that is hiding who you really
are. You can only find who you really are in the present, the here and now.
“Time is as much a creation of the mind as everything
else. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make plans, or learn from the past. But you plan, and
learn, in the present, not projecting your self into the future, or living in the past.
“No one else, and nothing else, is responsible for
what is happening in your world, but you. What matters, now, is how to end it, how to end all the pain you are creating for
your self, and for others, and you can do that by accepting what is, now. Is there any other choice? Its sheer stupidity,
and insane, to choose pain and suffering by resisting what is.
“Accepting what is doesn’t mean you can’t
change things. You can, and should, if it’s not what you want in your life, but you need to do it from a place of non
resistance, not from a place of negativity such as anger, despair, and frustration, but so long as you still need pain in
your life, because you are identified with it, and believe it’s who you are, your mind will go on creating it’