Phil in His Hamster Bubble Jawing With a Bird Man

Phil sat on a rock looking down (or up?) upon the planet his moon was spinning around. He looked at his watch. It was 11:15 but that didn’t matter cuz the moon had a thirty three hour, seventeen minute and forty two second day. 

He sighed, rubbed his eyes, reached into his pocket and pulled out the wrapper of a sandwich. It was empty. He tossed it on the floor of his force bubble.  

As expected over 500,000 space ships of all size appeared around the moon, with weapons aimed directly at him and it. Phil waved to them all. After about forty one minutes, one descended toward Phil ominously. 

The ship landed about 50 yards away on a stone. A door opened and out walked a feathered biped in a eco-suit.. 

“It took a long time to find you,” said the feathered one. 

Phil showed surprise that it knew English. 

“I made it hard,” said Phil, “I had no idea what you wanted. But eventually, one grows tired of the chase and decides to just see what happens if one stops running,” 

Phil’s A-11 kept a spherical force shield between him and the bird man. It also kept him from freezing to death from the moons icy atmosphere. 

“We just wanted to ask you something.” 

“Really? With over five hundred thousand space ships chasing me across the universe, and all you want to do is ask me something?” 


Phil thought of a snappy comment to this that would have sounded good in a movie, and decided to skip it and go right to the point.

“Sure. Ask away. I gotta tell you though I suck as a guru.”

“Yes, but YOU were trusted with … IT,” said the feathered being pointing to the A-11 wrist watch.

“We want to know why, and maybe see what it was about you that got you chosen to wear it. And if you are that worthy, we want to know your opinion on the one question we have all sought. Look above me and you see ALL my people. All of us. We are here to talk to YOU.”

Phil was quiet for a moment out of respect. It SOUNDED genuine, but Phil had fallen for that before. 

“… um … THANK YOU for learning English by the way. I’m from the United States of America – a land of the monolingual white people that nurture a delusion that they will learn another language someday.” 

“We are called the Renkas. Our flock of ships is our home. We need no star anymore.” 

“So the heavens are home to you?” 


“Friend, I got nothin on THAT,” said Phil. 

“You have THAT,” pointed the feathered friend to the A-11. 

Phil shrugged. 

“Yeah, about THAT. I was never told WHY I got the A-11. So everything I would say is pure speculation. My best guess is that people thought that I wouldn’t be stupid with it. And so far, I haven’t been. Am I going go get to learn more of your people?” 

“Certainly. And we fully expect you to maintain your forcefield while we show you around.” 

“Thank you,” smiled Phil. “So … ask away.” 

The Renkasian, paused dramatically. 

“The A-11 allows the connection of multiple manifestations of you across universes and realities to communicate with testable outcomes. With such an amazing piece of technology, are you still truly fucked by impermanence or have you become trans-mortal, a being that is both mortal AND immortal at once?” 

“Oh, I’m still fucked,” said Phil. 

“That’s too bad,” said the Renkasian. 

“Sorry,” said Phil. “No matter what answer one comes up with technologically, eventually impermanence is going to kick your ass and end your life and lives… but …” 

The feathers on his friend ruffled a little.” 

“Well … I have a better solution than the A-11. Suppose you and manifestations of you in other Universes BOTH by random chance THINK of the other. And you both, out of random chance decide to connect to imagined versions of your selves by a practice of ‘no practice’ like Zazen where NO metaphor is used at all. You are just facing the other with no expectations. Are you in some way in communion with your other selves even IF there is no actual entangled connection? An earth math nerd named Kurt Godel calls this out in his 14 Points in point 11: ‘The higher beings are connected to the others by analogy, not by composition.’ So the use of Zazen which is not a metaphor or analogy can be used as the vehicle for analogy to CONNECT by analogy not composition across the abyss.  STILL leaving you fucked. But less so.” 

“Interesting,” said the Bird Man. “We’ve thought of that. It sucks compared to your A-11. That is why we must develop our own version of the A-11, but I know if we attack you now to acquire it that it will be in vain. We also know that you are too stupid to know how it works.” 

“Maybe THAT’S why they trusted me!” said Phil. “That’s me, a mix of stupid and not-stupid that somehow works.” 

“Do you really want to know more about us or were you being polite?” 

“I was being polite,” said Phil honestly. “But I admire your planet-less existence.”  

“Goodbye then.” said the Birdman. “Send us a message if you want to know more about us.” 

“Will do. Goodbye,” said Phil. 

The fleet of spaceships disappeared into hyperspace. Phil started tapping on his watch in morse code. A big bowl of stir-fried cabbage with black eyed peas and green chili enchilada sauce appeared. He ate it as he watched the wind make waves on a methane sea. 




30 thoughts on “Phil in His Hamster Bubble Jawing With a Bird Man

  1. When I was young, I was a very troubled and confused person. I wanted so desperately to be like Phil, to have my own A-one one. That is the reason I became a Scientologist. My desire to become an all powerful, and also all knowing God was really prompted by my utter inhability to confront existence as it is. By my position, or consideration of being at effect of everything arround me, and that being at effect was such a terribly bad thing.

    Having the gift of life, the awareness, the potential to think and do things meant nothing to me.
    It is becoming even hard to understand for me now how could I have been so fucked up then, and how nothing could really save me. If the A-11 had been given to me then, I would eventually end up again as fucked up or maybe even more.

    Isn´t it amazing how empty our lives can be, even when we are so young and full of life?

    Maybe back then being at cause to me really meant being at effect: What I really wanted was to be at effect, but only at effect of pleasant things. And pleasure cannot really be only an inflow, It´s probably mostly an outflow.

    So we end up again and again facing the contradictions of life and hopefully learning, if not to understand, to experience, live with and maybe even love both sides of it.

    • “. . . live with and maybe even love both sides of it.”

      Yes. This is a must for happy living. It seems that all our thoughts circle back around and no matter who we are, if we are seeking a knowledge of ourselves, it always reads something like this. That is a poignant and clear minded comment Rafael.

      • Thank you brother :-).
        Have you thought that maybe we are not supposed to understand, but only to experience life?
        Maybe I´m just getting tired of trying to figure this out, but that idea is growing more and more in my mind. Guess I´ll spend some time just experiencing it and maybe later give it another try.
        Anyway, this experiment I´m doing of getting rid of exess baggage of knowlledge could lead to a healthy restart from as close to zero as possible with the hope of a fresh new look at life :-))

      • Maybe something we can do no matter what lies at the end of the road is to make this experience artistic, aestetic, somehow beautiful, and then it will all be worth the while when we kick the bucket.

      • Totally agree. This makes the most sense of all. Wrangling with the inconsistencies of life can be fun but the most inconsistent life would seem to not have fun.

  2. One way I know to get rid of excess baggage of knowledge is to get rid of inconsistencies. It is inconsistencies that crowd in as knowledge. When it is all consistent there is just a smooth flow.

    • I agree with that, but it seems to me still incomplete: I, in all good consciousness cannot conclude that something is real just because it is consistent to me.

      • As far as I know there is no absolute reality. Here is how I look at it:

        Reality is essentially what is there.

        Reality may be distorted by the personal filters (biases, prejudices, fixed ideas, etc.) being used by the observer. But then such filters shall also be part of the reality.

        So, the reality is made up of what is observed by the observer, whether it is straight or distorted. But then the observer also should be included in that reality!

        The filter separates what is observed from the observer, while modulating the observations.

        But when the filter is gone then that which is observed and that which is observing are gone too.

        In a sense, the very existence of what is observed, and the observer, depends on the existence of the filter.

        Thus, reality is the filter that is observing itself.

        The ultimate reality remaining after the filter is gone is something else.

        A Model of Reality


      • I agree completely, and I´m sure that is the best conclusion one can reach about that, but I still find myself wishing to somehow jump to some other dimension and try to see, I can´t justify this anymore but I just can´t help it, this basic desire to know or, to at least, experience, is killing me, and it most probably will !!!

      • The problem IMHO is that we all want certainty. We crave it so that we can create meaning and win the game of life once and for all.

        But there is nothing certain. There is no final win.

        But we CAN be certain in our approach to uncertainty. We can choose to pick an attitude toward it.

        I suggest raw, arrogant courage.

        Every life form has to confront it’s own demise. And every life form does. Therefore every life form is STRONG ENOUGH to face its own demise even when cowering in total fear and helplessness.

        Many deaths are acts of a forced courage. So, I suggest the adding of a willful courage – an arrogant courage even knowing we will all fail to stand sometimes.

        And of course, it will FAIL. We will be overcome, overwhelmed and we can turn into jiggling blobs of meat crying for our mothers.

        But even THAT can be faced with honesty before it occurs and in some cases while it occurs. We often think the bravery we show before we are overwhelmed into abject weakness is a false bravery.

        But it isn’t. It’s an honest bravery.

        Let me tell you, with just two days of torture I would be willing to SAY, DO, and BEG for it to stop.

        But NOW. I can be brave before it happens and choose forgiveness for my down going before it occurs.

        I can with ARROGANCE face my weakness. My point of breaking.

        And love it as part of life.

        Phil often is brought into this space. The space of no escape. He usually is brave, but soon he may not be. He may be a weak-willed ninny.

        Think of a time when you were weak. Were you worthless then? Were you something to be ashamed of?

        I say no. Accepting weakness for what it is is the first step to bravery.

        And to that space I say here today, while I am strong. . .

        “Was THAT life? Well then. Once more!”

        And that guy crying for his mother in the corner is me.

      • I would “LOL!” But that’s not funny! Rafael, you need to come out to Phoenix this winter and drink some beers with me. I got your bed made. Same for KG and Vinaire. Maybe you should just all come at once!

      • Amen !

        That is the best fucking approach we mortals can take.

        Fucking KG you turn Philosophy into Art.

        And I say unto you:
        That is by fucking far the very best meaning life could possibly have.

        Was that life? Well then. Once more!!!

      • This is my take on Uncertainty. It is, as usual, unemotional and matter-of-fact.

        Buddha declared.

        “The Absolute Truth is that there is nothing absolute in the world, that everything is relative, conditioned and impermanent, and that there is no unchanging, everlasting, absolute substance like Self, Soul, or Ātman within or without.”

        DEFINITION: Absolute means, “Viewed independently; not comparative or relative; ultimate; intrinsic.”

        This postulate may appear self-contradictory to some, but it essentially says, “There are no absolute certainties.” This is reflected in one of the most ancient hymns, The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda.

        All certainties are relative. This statement does not degrade any certainty we have. It simply means that one can always come up with a better certainty.

        That is how science makes progress. Einstein declared the speed of light to be a universal constant. This is a certainty for now, but there may possibly be a wider context in which the speed of light is a special case.

        Similarly, in the field of spirituality, we cannot be absolutely certain that self or soul is permanent. The phenomenon that is described as self or soul must be open to further investigation.

        There is little progress possible for a person who believes his certainties are absolute.

        One can always improve upon a certainty one has.


      • “One can always improve upon a certainty one has.”

        I think KG is leading down an interesting road regarding certainty. Embracing uncertainty, loving uncertainty is a mindful first step. Embracing one’s attitude toward life and behaving mindfully is an important first step.

      • There can be inconsistency within inconsistency within inconsistency ad infintum. Consistency may be obtained within one own’s mental set. Then consistency may be obtained between one’s mental set and immediate context. Then consistency may be obtained between that and larger context, and so on.

        One can take a larger and larger view to flatten larger and larger inconsistencies.

      • “One can take a larger and larger view to flatten larger and larger inconsistencies.”

        This mirrors my own understanding but I’ve never seen this stated so succinctly. Excellent.

        It would be a miserly, small minded, and micro-managing god who did not practice this larger view concept.

      • Katageek say’s : “And of course, it will FAIL. We will be overcome, overwhelmed and we can turn into jiggling blobs of meat crying for our mothers.

        But even THAT can be faced with honesty before it occurs and in some cases while it occurs. We often think the bravery we show before we are overwhelmed into abject weakness is a false bravery.”

        The joker in all this is the cocept of “I”. You are what you identify with.


  3. From Wikipedia, “Zazen is considered the heart of Zen Buddhist practice. The aim of zazen is just sitting, that is, suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them.”

    • I know my friend!! I , once more, might just be chasing my own tail. Maybe we all can restart our computer at zero any moment we want just by Zen pracice, but I´m bugged with the thought that I could still be deluding myself with fixed ideas and automaticities. So I´m approaching zero very cautiously and calmly. I have been doing so maybe already for the last two years and I feel that I´m getting closer and closer but very slowly. I can´t rush it and I cannot ascertain that I will ever reach it as it seems to be probably another unreachable absolute, but, to be sincere, I cannot find something better to do in the philosophic arena………so, here I am, once again, minding my own navel!! Ha ha ha!!!

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