3. Mr B seeks enlightenment.

“It’s as easy as having a shit in bed and kicking it out with your feet.”
Australian saying.

1. Steve Maxwell has strained his ankleand was unable to make it today. Only Ray and Mr B spoke today and it was for nearly 4 hours. Mr B was harsher than usual with the garden gnomes, and their needless interruptions were incessant. Somehow, Mr B didn’t lose his voice. Grumpy old bugger that he is.

In what way was he grumpy today? He barely let Peter the Younger say a word all day, and he gave Helmut heaps.

Amazingly, he actually complimented Uncle Pete a number of times. Uncle Pete barely knew what to do with the compliments, and looked most uncomfortable.

Uncle Pete

2. MP Kelly O’Dwyer gave a news conference the other day to explain why she was leaving politics. She has missed too many instances of her two children growing up, she explained, and she had not been there to see them in the morning or at night. (And presumably, not during the day.) She and her husband were planning to have a third child. Mr B wondered if she is having a third because she is curious about what it would be like to bring up a child.

“This does not mean men or women need to choose between family and public service,” she said, having made the choice to retire from politics to be with her family. “With the right support you can do both and do both well,” she added. Mr B assumed that she therefore had not been receiving the right support. Had her husband been lax, asked Mr B, or had the nanny been too unreliable?

Uncle Pete ventured the possibility that Ms O’Dwyer has retired from politics because the Liberals won’t be in power after the upcoming Federal election.

This scribe wonders how many male parlaimentarians have not seen their children grow up, and why they haven’t chosen to retire from politics to be with their family? For that matter, why did they choose to have children when they knew they would not have the opportunity to see them grow up? Or do those male politicians have “the right support”? If so, what form does that “right support” take to ensure the child happily grows up without a father in their formative years?


3. In 1996 Dr Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke. In herTED talk, “My Stroke of Insight”, she explains how her everyday worries “untethered  themselves from her and slid away.” Her perceptions changed, too. She could see “the atoms and molecules making up her body blended with the space around her; the whole world and the creatures in it were all part of the same magnificent field of shimmering energy. . . . My perception of physical boundaries was no longer limited to where my skin met air,” she explains. After experiencing intense pain her body disconnected from her mind. “I felt like a genie liberated from its bottle. . . . The energy of my spirit seemed to flow like a great whale gliding through a sea of silent euphoria.”

Sound familiar?

She had other physical ailments and took a while to recover. Today she says she is a new person, one who “can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere” on command and be “one with all that is.” To her it is not faith, but science. 

Yes, it does sound familiar. It describes the Buddha’s so-called enlightenment 2,500 years ago. And, it describes the enlightenment Buddhist monks seek today.

“Obvously,” explained the percipient Mr B, “the original Buddha had a mild stroke in the same part of the brain and had the same experience. He gabbed about it and inadvertently began a religion. Ever since, poor sods in monestaries have been trying to get their own enlightenment, and many of gone mad in the process.

All they need is a mild stroke in the right place.

Mr B then explained why the rest of Buddhism is a sham.

The purpose of a koan is to overcome logic and dualistic thinking, he explained. Koans make sense on an intuitive level, though they may take years to understand. Here are some of the koans he quoted:
“What is your face before your parent’s birth?”
“The world is vast and wide. Why do you put on your robes at the sound of a bell?”

Here is Mr B’s search for enlightenment.

4. Mr B has a large following.(No, he is not being stalked by a sumo wrestler.) Overseas he is particularly popular, and the respected German author Edna Schuchardt has written an authorised biography of him. Mr B, fluent in German, is pleased to report that her book accurately describes the salient points of his life. He will let us know when it’s translated into English so that we all may purchase a copy.

5. Other topics discussed today:
– Mr B was going to get even more stuck into Helmut, though he ran out of time. “Next week”, he promises. That didn’t stop he and Helmut having a good barney all afternoon. The insults flew thick and fast!

– Scott Bolton is a footballer who was charged with indecent assault for placing his hand on a woman’s thigh in a pub. He ended up pleading guilty to common assault. The question was asked: was it right that he ended up in court? Or not? The views, as usual, were diverse.

– Is there such a thing as a Scotsman? No, said Mr B and he generously explained why.

– A woman asked, “How would we Australians feel if Japan had successfully invaded Australia, and we were in the same position the indigenous people are in now? Would we want to be a part of Japanese society? Would we want our kids and grandkids to meld into Japanese society? Would we feel resentment if we had to find work in order to live? Would we feel resentment if we were exploited when we did get work? How would we feel if we couldn’t get work?

– Are our governments abrogating their responsibility to prevent further CO2 emissions? No, said Mr B, adding that it’s the people who are the bastards, because ultimately they make the decision. They wouldn’t vote for a government that promised to introduce harsh regulations. If the people were fair dinkum the Greens would be in power.

– Should marijuana be legalised in Australia like it is in Canada? No, said Mr B, giving his reasons.
It’s inevitable, said Uncle Pete.

– Speaking of Helmut, the dour Austrian boasted of having studied philosophy for five years compared to Mr B’s measily two. Your bemused scribe figures that’s like boasting you have nailed five of your toes to the floor, instead of only two.
How do you get a philosopher off your doorstep?
You pay for the pizza.

– Mr B began the meeting by giving his reasons why we should not change the date of Australia Day. Then he gave his reasons why we should change the date.

6. In our Unusual Creature Serieswe present the giraffe weevil from Madagascar. It has been perusing the Speakers’ Corner Gift Shopand has bought nothing.