Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday's Author

Marc Harshbarger is perhaps the only pop icon buff who knows more than I do about the whole nine yards. LOL. I say that with all sincerity too. Marc is someone who I've spent countless time emailing back and forth with about everything from The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Knots Landing. We just love this stuff. I've always said I had a brain full of useless trivia and now I know I'm not alone.

Marc is also a wonderful writer. His novels Deep Dish and its sequel Deeper Dish follow a group of friends in 1970's Chicago as they encounter the problems of life and love through amusing eyes. Marc's fans are waiting for the next installment in the series, and I am among them. He also hosts a very popular web blog called, fittingly, Deep Dish that delights readers every day with each successive entry, and sports the delicious subtitle Groovy Gay Pop Culture. Marc is a dynamic entertainer and he's someone I highly recommend to anybody looking for a fun read to pass away some quality time.

Fabulous Friday

Tina Turner's 1995 album Wildest Dreams didn't make a huge splash here in the US. Aside from the single Missing You, which became quite popular on radio, the CD just didn't catch fire like her previous efforts. In the UK and Europe however it was a sensation. Going double platinum in England alone, it spawned several hit singles and propelled Tina onto yet another record breaking concert tour in 1996. Since then I have come to regard Wildest Dreams as one of my favorite Tina Turner albums. It's that good and it continues to appeal to listeners fifteen years after it's initial release.

One of my favorite tracks from this album, Something Beautiful Remains is a classy ballad that Ms. Turner delivers with all the zest and beauty in her repertoire. The single was another hit on the European front and recently I discovered a music video on You Tube that Tina shot for the single's promotion. It is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Enjoy.

The Theory of Karma (Part. 4)

What is the Cause of Karma

Ignorance (avijja), or not knowing things as they truly are, is the chief cause of Karma. Dependent on ignorance arise activities (avijja paccaya samkhara) states the Buddha in the Paticca Samuppada (Dependent Origination).

Associated with ignorance is the ally craving (tanha), the other root of Karma. Evil actions are conditioned by these two causes. All good deeds of a worldling (putthujana), though associated with the three wholesome roots of generosity (alobha), goodwill (adosa) and knowledge (amoha), are nevertheless regarded as Karma because the two roots of ignorance and craving are dormant in him. The moral types of Supramundane Path Consciousness (magga citta) are not regarded as Karma because they tend to eradicate the two root causes.

  1. Who is the doer of Karma?
  2. Who reaps the fruit of Karma?
  3. Does Karma mould a soul?
In answering these subtle questions, the Venerable Buddhaghosa writes in the Visuddhi Magga: "No doer is there who does the deed; Nor is there one who feels the fruit; Constituent parts alone roll on; This indeed! Is right discernment."

For instance, the table we see is apparent reality. In an ultimate sense the so-called table consists of forces and qualities.

For ordinary purposes a scientist would use the term water, but in the laboratory he would say H 2 0.

In this same way, for conventional purposes, such terms as man, woman, being, self, and so forth are used. The so-called fleeting forms consist of psychophysical phenomena, which are constantly changing not remaining the same for two consecutive moments.

Buddhists, therefore, do not believe in an unchanging entity, in an actor apart from action, in a perceiver apart from perception, in a conscious subject behind consciousness.

Who then, is the doer of Karma? Who experiences the effect?

Volition, or Will (tetana), is itself the doer, Feeling (vedana) is itself the reaper of the fruits of actions. Apart from these pure mental states (suddhadhamma) there is no-one to sow and no-one to reap.



This Day in History: November 26

1789: A day of thanksgiving was set aside by President George Washington to observe the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

1825: The first college social fraternity, Kappa Alpha, was formed at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y.

1832: Public streetcar service began in New York City.

1940: The half million Jews of Warsaw, Poland, were forced by the Nazis to live within a walled ghetto.

1942: "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York.

1942: President Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing, beginning December 1.

1949: India adopted a constitution as a republic within the British Commonwealth.

1950: China entered the Korean War, launching a counter-offensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the United States and South Korea.

1973: President Richard Nixon's personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, told a federal court that she'd accidentally caused part of the 18 1/2-minute gap in a key Watergate tape.

1975: A federal jury found Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, guilty of trying to assassinate President Gerald R. Ford.

1992: Britain announced that Queen Elizabeth II had volunteered to start paying taxes on her personal income, and would take her children off the public payroll.

2000: Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris certified Republican George W. Bush the winner over Democrat Al Gore in the state's presidential balloting by 537 votes.
2008: Terrorists launched commando-style attacks on two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a crowded train station in Mumbai, India, killing 166 people.

2009: An investigation ordered by Ireland's government found that Roman Catholic Church leaders in Dublin had spent decades sheltering child-abusing priests from the law and that most fellow clerics turned a blind eye.

Friday's Flashback

From one of the most successful movie soundtracks of all time, Patrick Swazye scored a Top 5 hit with She's Like The Wind. The hunky movie star proved he had a voice that was capable of making hits. Dirty Dancing was the phenom hit of 1987 and audiences lined up to see it like mad. The soundtrack went on to sell in the millions, spawn a sequel of its own, and deliver hit records like this one. Swayze's voice was perfectly suited for this type of slick pop and he sent women swooning around the world with this love song, delivered in breathless anticipation, as he danced his way into their lives.

It's hard to believe that it's been over a year since Patrick Swayze died of cancer. He was truly one of the great originals when it came to his work. He could play the romantic leading man, the hardened hero, and even the bad guy now and then, with the ease of someone who was meant to be an actor. Swayze was just that. I've yet to meet anyone who isn't a Swayze fan.

In the video for his biggest musical hit, Swayze displays the acting ability that took him to superstardom while his beautiful tenor voice creates a world of its own. A world nobody minded visiting.

We miss you, Patrick. We sure do love you.

Thought for Today

"One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter." -- James Earl Jones