7.12.09

Exams

Hello teacher. I am sending you this email because I want to ask you if it is really necessary to study for the written exam. I have no problem with studying, it is just that a left my backpack with all my English material at a friend's house on Friday. He lives in Arroyo Hondo but demasiado Hondo, and I live in Gazcue. I had no chance in the weekend to pick it up. I am really frustrated because the book I was reading (Sombras de Antepasados Lejanos de Carl Sagan) is in my backpack and I had planned to finish it this weekend, so I could return it to the library.

30.11.09

lunch


- coma del pato mija, esta delicioso..
- .. eh.. si.. gracias..

yo soy vegetariana.. no.. ?

5 minutes later..

- probó el pato?
- ehm.. recuerde que no estoy comiendo carne desde hace un tiempo..
- nooo me venga a miii con pendejadas.. y el novio suyo que es? o me va a decir ahora que usted con el no nada?

we all laugh and continue with our lunch..

but...

should i rethink vegetarianism?

26.11.09

one more reason for therapy


i just got this message on facebook:

ey! long time no see! i just saw this movie...
"he's not that into you", and the main character
reminded me of you... so much!!!
hope you're ok. hugs.

this is the third (random) person that tells me that..
i don't get it.
i don't think i want to get it either.

24.11.09

goooooood morning!



- buenos dias mi niña preciosa
- buen dia... cómo esta usted?
- muy bien, yo siempre estoy bien. pero ahora que usted me llama, mucho mejor. como esta mi niña bonita?
- muy bien , feliz de escucharla..
- estoy disfrutando de este hermoso dia, de este radiante sol
- si, esta muy lindo..
- cuantas bendiciones mi niña... que tenga un hermoso día, que pueda dar lo mejor de si, compartir todo ese amor que tiene para dar y brindar su linda sonrisa..
- muchísimas gracias... yo si la quiero a usted.. muchas gracias...
- no mi niña, gracias a usted..

que privilegiada soy..
y estoy tan agradecida..

19.11.09

hueco


- alguien me puede decir que significa "te amo"?
- ...
- nadie?
- yo..
- digame..
- significa que estoy dispuesta a darte lo mejor de mi
- y que tal si no se lo que es lo mejor de mi? puedo darlo?
- no..
- entonces, que significaria te amo?
- algo falso..
- oh.. interesante.. no?
- si..

4.11.09

2012

- so, everyone.. open you books on pag..
- teacher, es verdad que en el 2012 va a venir un meteorito y se va a acabar el mundo?
- .. huh..?
- si, el calendario azteca lo dice

salta uno , desde atras..

- no, es el maya
- azteca
- maya!
- yo no se! el punto es que viene un meteorito y nos vamos a morir..

the shiest girl in the class turns around and tells him..

the world will only end as we know it. it will be a new begging for all. only spiritually advanced people will survive everything that will go on. it is important to learn how to love and heal others and ourselves. also to always be happy and.. como se dice teacher? ... compassionate .

=O

- who told you all this, dear?
- my uncle told my mother but she doesn't believe him. i do.. and i'm getting ready..

...
...
...

- ehrm.. eh.. ok kids.. settle down.. open you books and...

our eyes meet and we both smile
=)

airoplain


"A mind is a terrible thing to waste, says the expression. I have witnessed the truth behind this firsthand. Once a promising youth, I have fallen. That promise that would be once upon a time, has become a turbulent decent into an abyss of decaying and mal used grey matter. Where once shone the glimmer of cleverness, now reflects the opaque matte of ignorance and its usual side effects. So I stand before you stripped bare and in hopes of redeeming myself. That’s where this project fits in, between what I was, am, and what might become of me. Now in the midst of all, I call upon my rusting so-called abilities in the spirit of honing them back to their former sharpness. This little escapade consists of simply writing as an exercise. This is nothing fancy, just a manner in which to find my path, the means to an end, and hopefully getting there in time. So this is the proposition: I will begin to write and post, even if it were just a line at times, everyday for a year. I don’t truly expect a response from anyone, but I will pretend as if there is someone out there waiting to read the daily post in order to push myself to continue, gaining some discipline along the way. So, there you have it, today, November the 3rd, I have made a commitment and will try, with everything I’ve got, to stick to it. To “Whom It May Concern”, keep your eyes peeled and be sure to check in from time to time, the fun begins tomorrow."


.. hate to say i told you so, kiddo.. good luck.. i'll be around =)

3.11.09

Entrevista al Dr. Jorge Carvajal


Entrevista al Dr. Jorge Carvajal
Médico Cirujano de la U. de A.
Pionero de la Medicina Bioenergética
Marzo 10, 2009

¿Qué es la enfermedad?
Es un maestro, una oportunidad para organizar una armonía superior en nuestra propia vida, a nivel físico, emocional, mental y espiritual.

¿Qué enferma primero, el cuerpo o el alma?
El alma no puede enfermar, porque es lo que hay perfecto en ti, el alma evoluciona, aprende
En realidad, buena parte de las enfermedades son todo lo contrario: son la resistencia del cuerpo emocional y mental al alma. Cuando nuestra personalidad se resiste al designio del alma es cuando enfermamos.

La Salud y Las Emociones

¿Hay emociones perjudiciales para la salud? ¿Cuáles son las que más nos perjudican? Un 70 por ciento de las enfermedades del ser humano vienen del campo de conciencia emocional. Las enfermedades muchas veces proceden de emociones no procesadas, no expresadas, reprimidas.
El temor, que es la ausencia de amor, es la gran enfermedad, el común denominador de buena parte de las enfermedades que hoy tenemos. Cuando el temor se queda congelado afecta al riñón, a las glándulas suprarrenales, a los huesos, a la energía vital, y puede convertirse en pánico.

¿Nos hacemos los fuertes y descuidamos nuestra salud?
De héroes están llenos los cementerios. Te tienes que cuidar.
Tienes tus límites, no vayas más allá. Tienes que reconocer cuáles son tus límites y superarlos porque si no los reconoces, vas a destruir tu cuerpo.

¿Cómo nos afecta la ira?
La ira es santa, es sagrada, es una emoción positiva porque te lleva a la autoafirmación, a la búsqueda de tu territorio, a defender lo que es tuyo, lo que es justo. Pero cuando la ira se vuelve irritabilidad, agresividad, resentimiento, odio, se vuelve contra ti, y afecta al hígado, la digestión, el sistema inmunológico.

¿La alegría por el contrario nos ayuda a estar sanos?
La alegría es la más bella de las emociones porque es la emoción de la inocencia, del corazón, y es la más sanadora de todas, porque no es contraria a ninguna otra. Un poquito de tristeza con alegría escribe poemas. La alegría con miedo nos lleva a contextualizar el miedo y a no darle tanta importancia.

¿La alegría suaviza el ánimo?
Sí, la alegría suaviza todas las otras emociones porque nos permite procesarlas desde la inocencia. La alegría pone al resto de las emociones en contacto con el corazón y les da un sentido ascendente. Las canaliza para que lleguen al mundo de la mente.

¿Y la tristeza?

La tristeza es un sentimiento que puede llevarte a la depresión cuando te envuelves en ella y no la expresas, pero también puede ayudarte. La tristeza te lleva a contactar contigo mismo y a restaurar el control interno. Todas las emociones negativas tienen su propio aspecto positivo, las hacemos negativas cuando las reprimimos.

¿Es mejor aceptar esas emociones que consideramos negativas como parte de uno mismo?
Como parte para transformarlas, es decir, cuando se aceptan fluyen, y ya no se estancan, y se pueden transmutar. Tenemos que canalizarlas para que lleguen desde el corazón hasta la cabeza.
¡Qué difícil! Sí, es muy difícil. Realmente las emociones básicas son el amor y el temor (que es ausencia de amor), así que todo lo que existe es amor, por exceso o defecto. Constructivo o destructivo. Porque también existe el amor que se aferra, el amor que sobreprotege, el amor tóxico, destructivo.

¿Cómo prevenir la enfermedad?
Somos creadores, así que yo creo que la mejor forma es creando salud. Y si creamos salud no tendremos ni que prevenir la enfermedad ni que atacarla, porque seremos salud.

¿ Y si aparece la enfermedad?
Pues tendremos que aceptarla porque somos humanos. También enfermó Krishnamurti de un cáncer de páncreas y no era nadie que llevara una vida desordenada. Mucha gente muy valiosa espiritualmente ha enfermado. Debemos explicarlo para aquellos que creen que enfermar es fracasar. El fracaso y el éxito son dos maestros, pero nada más. Y cuando tú eres el aprendiz, tienes que aceptar e incorporar la lección de la enfermedad en tu vida. Cada vez más personas sufren ansiedad. La ansiedad es un sentimiento de vacío, que a veces se vuelve un hueco en el estómago, una sensación de falta de aire. Es un vacío existencial que surge cuando buscamos fuera en lugar de buscar dentro. Surge cuando buscamos en los acontecimientos externos, cuando buscamos muletas, apoyos externos, cuando no tenemos la solidez de la búsqueda interior. Si no aceptamos la soledad y no nos convertimos en nuestra propia compañía, vamos a experimentar ese vacío y vamos a intentar llenarlo con cosas y posesiones. Pero como no se puede llenar con cosas, cada vez el vacío aumenta.

¿Y qué podemos hacer para liberarnos de esa angustia?
La angustia no se puede pasar comiendo chocolate, o con más calorías, o buscando un príncipe azul afuera.
La angustia se pasa cuando entras en tu interior, te aceptas como eres y te reconcilias contigo mismo. La angustia viene de que no somos lo que queremos ser, pero tampoco lo que somos, entonces estamos en el "debería ser", y no somos ni lo uno ni lo otro. El estrés es otro de los males de nuestra época.
El estrés viene de la competitividad, de que quiero ser perfecto, quiero ser mejor, de que quiero dar una nota que no es la mía, de que quiero imitar. Y realmente sólo se puede competir cuando decides ser tu propia competencia, es decir, cuando quieres ser único, original, auténtico, no una fotocopia de nadie.
El estrés destructivo perjudica el sistema inmunológico. Pero un buen estrés es una maravilla, porque te permite estar alerta y despierto en las crisis, y poder aprovecharlas como una oportunidad para emerger a un nuevo nivel de conciencia.

¿Qué nos recomendaría para sentirnos mejor con nosotros mismos?
La soledad. Estar con uno mismo cada día es maravilloso. Estar 20 minutos con uno mismo es el comienzo de la meditación; es tender un puente hacia la verdadera salud; es acceder al altar interior, al ser interior.
Mi recomendación es que la gente ponga su despertador 20 minutos antes para no robarle tiempo a sus ocupaciones. Si dedicas, no el tiempo que te sobra, sino esos primeros minutos de la mañana, cuando estás fresco y descansado, a meditar, esa pausa te va a recargar, porque en la pausa habita el potencial del alma.

¿Qué es para usted la felicidad?
Es la esencia de la vida. Es el sentido mismo de la vida, encarnamos para ser felices, no para otra cosa. Pero la felicidad no es placer, es integridad. Cuando todos los sentidos se consagran al ser, podemos ser felices. Somos felices cuando creemos en nosotros, cuando confiamos en nosotros, cuando nos encomendamos transpersonalmente a un nivel que trasciende el pequeño yo o el pequeño ego. Somos felices cuando tenemos un sentido que va más allá de la vida cotidiana, cuando no aplazamos la vida, cuando no nos desplazamos a nosotros mismos, cuando estamos en paz y a salvo con la vida y con nuestra conciencia.
Vivir el Presente

¿Es importante vivir en el presente? ¿Cómo lograrlo?
Dejamos ir el pasado y no hipotecamos la vida a las expectativas de futuro cuando nos volcamos en el ser y no en el tener. Yo me digo que la felicidad tiene que ver con la realización, y ésta con la capacidad de habitar la realidad. Y vivir en realidad es salir del mundo de la confusión.

¿Tan confundidos estamos, en su opinión?
Tenemos tres ilusiones enormes que nos confunden. Primero creemos que somos un cuerpo y no un alma, cuando el cuerpo es el instrumento de la vida y se acaba con la muerte. Segundo, creemos que el sentido de la vida es el placer; pero a más placer no hay más felicidad, sino más dependencia. Placer y felicidad no es lo mismo. Hay que consagrar el placer a la vida y no la vida al placer. La tercera ilusión es el poder; creemos tener el poder infinito de vivir.

¿Y qué necesitamos realmente para vivir?, ¿acaso el amor?
El amor, tan traído y tan llevado, y tan calumniado, es una fuerza renovadora.
El amor es magnífico porque crea cohesión. En el amor todo está vivo, como un río que se renueva a sí mismo. En el amor siempre uno puede renovarse, porque todo lo ordena. En el amor no hay usurpación, no hay desplazamiento, no hay miedo, no hay resentimiento, porque cuando tú te ordenas porque vives el amor, cada cosa ocupa su lugar, y entonces se restaura la armonía. Ahora, desde la perspectiva humana, lo asimilamos con la debilidad, pero el amor no es débil. Nos debilita cuando entendemos que alguien a quien amamos no nos ama.
Hay una gran confusión en nuestra cultura. Creemos que sufrimos por amor, que nuestras catástrofes son por amor. pero no es por amor, es por enamoramiento, que es una variedad del apego. Eso que llamamos habitualmente amor es una droga. Igual que se depende de la cocaína, la marihuana o la morfina, también se depende del enamoramiento. Es una muleta para apoyarse, en vez de llevar a alguien en mi corazón para liberarlo y liberarme. El verdadero amor tiene una esencia fundamental que es la libertad, y siempre conduce a la libertad. Pero a veces nos sentimos atados a un amor. Si el amor conduce a la dependencia es eros. Eros es un fósforo, y cuando lo enciendes se te consume rápidamente, en dos minutos ya te quemas el dedo. Hay muchos amores que son así, pura chispa. Aunque esa chispa puede servir para encender el leño del verdadero amor. Cuando el leño está encendido produce el fuego, Ese es el amor impersonal, que produce luz y calor.

¿Puede darnos algún consejo para alcanzar el amor verdadero?
Solamente la verdad. Confía en la verdad; no tienes que ser como la princesa de los sueños del otro, no tienes que ser ni más ni menos de lo que eres. Tienes un derecho sagrado, que es el derecho a equivocarte; tienes otro, que es el derecho a perdonar, porque el error es tu maestro. Ámate, sincérate y
considérate.. Si tú no te quieres, no vas a encontrar a nadie que te pueda querer. El amor produce amor. Si te amas, vas a encontrar el amor. Si no, vacío. Pero nunca busques una migaja; eso es indigno de ti. La clave entonces es amarse a sí mismo.Y al prójimo como a ti mismo. Si no te amas a ti, no amas a Dios, ni a tu hijo, porque te estás apegando, estás condicionando al otro. Acéptate como eres; lo que no aceptamos no lo podemos transformar, y la vida es una corriente de transformación permanente.

28.10.09

Archies - Sugar Sugar


I was about to write something.. and I didn't..

25.10.09

Four Venuses



"In any relationship there is
I, You and Us. You will see Me differently than I see myself. What You see in Me may be something that is difficult for me to see on my own because it's difficult to be objective and impartial about myself. This is perhaps the most valuable gift of any kind of relationship ― the mirror effect. We each bring to any kind of interaction the ability to see the other person in a unique way. No other person will see Me in quite the same way that You do. This is part of what makes each relationship special and precious.

However, interpersonal dynamics can be very complicated. For one thing, what we each think we see in each other might not be entirely accurate. Each of us view others through our own filters of past experiences, defenses, hopes, expectations, fears and values, and these are often project onto other people to one extent or another. Trying to untangle the knot of mixed up perspectives can be quite a task!

These interpersonal dynamics can be seen in the Synastry between two individuals' charts, where an astrologer will look to see what aspect connections the two charts have with each other. For example, if Your Sun is trine My Moon, this shows that Your sense of purpose and identity (Sun) can support My need for belonging and security (Moon). It also means that My ability to nurture You (Moon) can reinforce and strengthen Yourself-esteem and self-image (Sun).

And then, just to make things interesting, I may be different when I'm around You than I am by myself or with others. This creates yet another filter that can colour or distort how I see You, as well as how You see Me. This gets into the Uspart. The whole of any significant relationship is larger than the sum of its parts...or its people. The combined chemistry of You and Me forms a third entity ― the relationship or Us― which tends to take on a life of its own, for better or worse."

(Read the whole thing.. t's worth it)

Sunday Delight



Malteado de chocolate con perlas de Parate..
para dos
=)

19.10.09

The World - Milosh


those tiny little things..

15.10.09

ojitos


eso que ves en mi..
..a veces lo veo..
.. y casi casi me lo creo


-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
thanx. ..

you've given me so much
=)

be-gOne


click away
click away
type away

sail away..

tOday.. like everyOtherday


me levanté a las 6am.

hm..
not really..

me abrí un ojo.. y medio.. a las 6am.. y tiré el aparato que hacía el ruidito ese.. al suelo. lo tiré al suelo y busqué entre sueños una presencia extraña, entre las almohadas. me encontré a mi misma y eso me despertó. miré por la ventana tratando de adivinar la hora y de convencerme de que "cinco minutos mas" no era nada.

media hora despues salté de la cama despues de sentir que me halaban por un brazo.

y me halaban
y halaban..
no se hacia donde..

pero me halaban.

salto mortal y yo por los aires. caí en un bulto que tenía algo dentro. y me pinché el pié. el pié del que estoy cogeando hace tres días. pa que afinque. seguí de largo, camino al baño creyendo que no llegaba. "yo no puedo hacerme pipí encima, por dios". y llegué, casi segura de que se me había salido al menos la mitad. y ahí sentada, medio dormida, medio desnuda, enteramente desgreñada y desubicada, me reía de mi misma a carcajadas.

7 - 5, (super) mental note: "preparar el bulto, desayunar, dejar la cocina recogida y la cama tendida... tiende la cama, que cuando llegues te lo vas a agradecer.. hm... 15 minutos máximo"

misión cumplida.

7:15 camino al trabajo... un camionero me dijo "dame un chin" mientras me tomaba un té mas amargo quel diantre. "si tu supiera mijo". un pasolero me sonrió cuando se dió cuenta que le estaba haciendo gracia a la mas chiquita de las dos niñas que iban con el. me fijé en lo bien planchadas que estaban sus camisitas azules y lo arrugada que estaba la mía. el amet de la luperón con (no me acuerdo del nombre de esa calle que está al principio del botánico) me saludó esta vez. siempre le paso por al lado mirándolo para regalarle una sonrisa. el pocas veces me ve. ese señor me ayudó a cambiar una goma en medio de una de las tormentas que azotó el país el año pasado. fantaseo con un día llevarle desayuno.

y metida en esa nube, iba muy lento, y una señora que venía dentras mío con 3 niños en el asiento de atras, me cruzó por el lado (creo que) maldiciéndome y sonreí disculpándome porque.. pues, porque que mas iba a hacer.

7: 35 "perfect timing".. llegué. park outside. make sure you take everything you need. just what you need. no excess baggage is needed. hurry in.. get it all done before flag assembly.

1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th period. get copies, get the books, get all materials.. can´t go back and forth all day long buscando materiales.. this afflicted foot of mine needs rest. check the list, check it twice. good to go.

7:50, flag assembly. my body, there.. my mind, completely elsewhere. that horrid bell popped my bubbles y disipó mis nubecillas.

1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th period. get copies, get the books, get all materials.. can´t go back and forth all day long buscando materiales.. this afflicted foot of mine needs rest. check the list, check it twice. good to go... hm.. i am i going over this for a second or third time? no way..

oh, well..

8:00 - 11:00 work work work. great classes. wonderful kids. up until..

- so, which planet is closer to Earth?
- venus!
- mars!
- no, stupid, is venus..
- hey, hey.. HEY!!! stop it! no name calling.. hm.. tell me.. why venus? or why mars?
- look at the picture teacher.. venus is closer..
- no! mars is closer!
- no! venus is..
- that enough! this is you "research"? don't you think someone has already studied and registered this? don´t you think this chunk of knowledge is lying around there somewhere?
- ...
- anyone?
- ...
- you guys are amazing!!
- thanks teacher!
- hey! be quiet!
- sorry teacher..
- shh.. take all your notebooks away.. i won´t even check them.. i´ll forget this conversation for my own well being.. and yours! (power move?) bring it back tomorrow! all of you!
- but i..
-.. don´t wanna hear it! take them away, i´ll check them tomorrow.

these kids.. i love them so.. =)

i need coffee. frappe? oh yeah..

bell rings. recess. go out, get my coffee, go back to work. chat with a couple of parents on my way in. with a couple of students.. and recess is over. my 30 minutes. done, gone, finished. crap.

back to my desk
45 minutes for next class

send a couple of emails, pay a couple of bills. return some books, plan for tomorrow. look out the window a bit and stare at a tree for a couple of minutes. back to my desk. lista del super, to do list, cosas de la casa... 5 minutes to class. collect all my things.. que me voy por ahí mismo.

11th grade.. great class. wonderful dialogues take place there. an hour and a half later i´m on my way down and remember que deje algo en la oficina. on my way there bump into parents, kids and teachers... chat here and there. i finally reach my office, get my stuff and leave. but of course.. on my way out i bump into...

2:10 bajando la tiradentes. and.. tutoria en gazcue hasta las 3:10. en piantini de 3:30 a 5:30, en los rios de 6 a 7. y mientras me muevo de un lado a otro i listen to wonderful music, text friends, resuelvo cosas por telefono... happy birthday, hope your feeling better, are we meeting tomorrow?, payment reminders..

7pm.. martial arts.. a dream come true. for an hour and a half i kick and punch and shout and run and sweat and cry a bit and let it all out.

(to be continued.. )

----------------


8.30pm and i'm out, paso por el super, make a couple of calls while i do my shopping, have fun con la gente que me mira en mi uniforme (remember the martial arts part? above?), go home.. at about 9.30, you'll find me climbing up the stairs como con mil bultos que siempre me hacen pensar porque carajos cargo tanto.. y la compra. pero si el moreno que trabaja alla abajo anda por ahi, el me ayuda y me dice buenas noches.

shower, put away la compra, preparar la cena, el agua, el jugo, preparar todo lo de mañana, pet Akira a bit, acostarme en la hamaca a bit, recibir alguna visita bonita a bit.. write down en el cuaderno a la muchacha que limpia, Adela, todo lo que debe de hacer al día siguiente. i´ll go to bed somewhere around 11pm.. maybe 12..

----------------------

these are my tuesdays and thursdays..
wanna here about mondays and wednesdays?
those are great fun as well..

my point is...

COMO QUE NO TE DA EL TIEMPO?!!!


14.10.09

Electricity Powers de Universe

Electricity is an immensely more powerful force than gravity, and far more complex in the ways it interacts with matter. Yet modern astronomy remains wedded to a belief in gravity as the dominant mover and shaper of the universe, and seeks to explain new observations in terms that conceptually go back hundreds of years. James Hogan describes an emerging alternative theory that recognizes the important role played by electricity on cosmic scales, offering explanations based on principles that are well understood and demonstrable in laboratories, without need of recourse to unobserved, untestable physics or speculative mathematical abstractions.

7.10.09

Se fué la lú



Santiago thanks your Granny

Mirror

si la mano sabe tocar.. c r e a ..
"quien soy, frente a quien estoy...
quien soy frente a lo que estoy.."
Yo soy todas ustedes y soy ellos.. soy tu y soy eso.
El sol, la luna.. este sofa, esta guitarra, la copa de vino, la gata..

y si la mano sabe tocar.. trasciende..

1.10.09

The Nine Billion Names of God

By Arthur Clarke


"This is a slightly unusual request," said Dr. Wagner, with what he hoped was commendable restraint. "As far as I know, it’s the first time anyone’s been asked to supply a Tibetan monastery with an automatic sequence computer. I don’t wish to be inquisitive, but I should hardly thought that your --ah-- establishment had much use for such a machine. Could you explain just what you intend to do with it?"


"Gladly," replied the lama, readjusting his silk robe and carefully putting away the slide rule he had been using for currency conversions. "Your Mark V computer can carry out any routine mathematical operation involving up to ten digits. However, for our work we are interested in letters, not numbers. As we wish you to modify the output circuits, the machine will be printing words, not columns of figures."

"I don’t understand . . ."


"This is a project on which we have been working for the last three centuries -- since the lamasery was founded, in fact. It is somewhat alien to your way of thought, so I hope you will listen with an open mind while I explain it."


"Naturally."


"It is really quite simple. We have been compiling a list which shall contain all the possible names of God."


"I beg your pardon?"


"We have reason to believe," continued the lama imperturbably, "that all such names can be written with not more than nine letters in an alphabet we have devised."


"And you have been doing this for three centuries?"


"Yes. We expected it would take us about fifteen thousand years to complete the task."


"Oh." Dr. Wagner looked a little dazed. "Now I see why you wanted to hire one of our machines. But exactly what is the purpose of this project?"


The lama hesitated for a fraction of a second, and Wagner wondered if he had offended him. If so, there was no trace of annoyance in the reply.


"Call it ritual, if you like, but it’s a fundamental part of our belief. All the many names of the Supreme Being -- God, Jehovah, Allah, and so on -- they are only man-made labels. There is a philosophical problem of some difficulty here, which I do not propose to discuss, but somewhere among all the possible combinations of letters, which can occur, are what one may call the real names of God. By systematic permutation of letters, we have been trying to list them all."


"I see. You’ve been starting at AAAAAAAAA . . . and working up to ZZZZZZZZZ . . ."

"Exactly -- though we use a special alphabet of our own. Modifying the electromatic typewriters to deal with this is, of course, trivial. A rather more interesting problem is that of devising suitable circuits to eliminate ridiculous combinations. For example, no letter must occur more than three times in succession."


"Three? Surely you mean two."


"Three is correct. I am afraid it would take too long to explain why, even if you understood our language."


"I’m sure it would," said Wagner hastily. "Go on."


"Luckily it will be a simple matter to adapt your automatic sequence computer for this work, since once it has been programmed properly it will permute each letter in turn and print the result. What would have taken us fifteen thousand years it will be able to do in a thousand days."


Dr. Wagner was scarcely conscious of the faint sounds from the Manhattan streets far below. He was in a different world, a world of natural, not man-made, mountains. High up in their remote aeries these monks had been patiently at work, generation after generation, compiling their lists of meaningless words. Was there any limit to the follies of mankind? Still, he must give no hint of his inner thoughts. The customer was always right . . .


"There’s no doubt," replied the doctor, "that we can modify the Mark V to print lists of this nature. I’m much more worried about the problem of installation and maintenance. Getting out to Tibet, in these days, is not going to be easy."


"We can arrange that. The components are small enough to travel by air -- that is one reason why we chose your machine. If you can get them to India, we will provide transport from there."


"And you want to hire two of our engineers?"


"Yes, for the three months which the project should occupy."


"I’ve no doubt that Personnel can manage that." Dr. Wagner scribbled a note on his desk pad. "There are just two other points--"


Before he could finish the sentence, the lama had produced a small slip of paper.

"This is my certified credit balance at the Asiatic Bank."


"Thank you. It appears to be--ah--adequate. The second matter is so trivial that I hesitate to mention it -- but it’s surprising how often the obvious gets overlooked. What source of electrical energy have you?"


"A diesel generator providing 50 kilowatts at 110 volts. It was installed about five years ago and is quite reliable. It’s made life at the lamasery much more comfortable, but of course it was really installed to provide power for the motors driving the prayer wheels."


"Of course," echoed Dr. Wagner. "I should have thought of that."


The view from the parapet was vertiginous, but in time one gets used to anything. After three months George Hanley was not impressed by the two-thousand-foot swoop into the abyss or the remote checkerboard of fields in the valley below. He was leaning against the wind-smoothed stones and staring morosely at the distant mountains whose names he had never bothered to discover.


This, thought George, was the craziest thing that had ever happened to him. "Project Shangri-La," some wit at the labs had christened it. For weeks now, Mark V had been churning out acres of sheets covered with gibberish. Patiently, inexorably, the computer had been rearranging letters in all their possible combinations, exhausting each class before going on to the next. As the sheets had emerged from the electromatic typewriters, the monks had carefully cut them up and pasted them into enormous books. In another week, heaven be praised, they would have finished. Just what obscure calculations had convinced the monks that they needn’t bother to go on to words of ten, twenty, or a hundred letters, George didn’t know. One of his recurring nightmares was that there would be some change of plan and that the High Lama (whom they’d naturally called Sam Jaffe, though he didn’t look a bit like him) would suddenly announce that the project would be extended to approximately 2060 A.D. They were quite capable of it.


George heard the heavy wooden door slam in the wind as Chuck came out onto the parapet beside him. As usual, Chuck was smoking one of the cigars that made him so popular with the monks -- who, it seemed, were quite willing to embrace all the minor and most of the major pleasures of life. That was one thing in their favor: they might be crazy, but they weren’t bluenoses. Those frequent trips they took down to the village, for instance . . ." "Listen, George," said Chuck urgently. "I’ve learned something that means trouble."


"What’s wrong? Isn’t the machine behaving?" That was the worst contingency George could imagine. It might delay his return, than which nothing could be more horrible. The way he felt now, even the sight of a TV commercial would seem like manna from heaven. At least it would be some link from home.


"No -- it’s nothing like that." Chuck settled himself on the parapet, which was unusual, because normally he was scared of the drop.


"I’ve just found out what all this is about."


"What d’ya mean -- I thought we knew."


"Sure -- we know what the monks are trying to do. But we didn’t know why. It’s the craziest thing --"


"Tell me something new," growled George.


" . . . but old Sam’s just come clean with me. You know the way he drops in every afternoon to watch the sheets roll out. Well, this time he seemed rather excited, or at least as near as he’ll ever get to it. When I told him we were on the last cycle he asked me, in that cute English accent of his, if I’d ever wondered what they were trying to do. I said, ‘Sure’ -- and he told me."


"Go on, I’ll buy it."


"Well, they believe that when they have listed all His names -- and they reckon that there are about nine billion of them -- God’s purpose will have been achieved. The human race will have finished what it was created to do, and there won’t be any point in carrying on. Indeed, the very idea is something like blasphemy."


"Then what do they expect us to do? Commit suicide?"


"There’s no need for that. When the list’s completed, God steps in and simply winds things up . . . bingo!"


"Oh, I get it. When we finish our job, it will be the end of the world."


Chuck gave a nervous little laugh.


"That’s just what I said to Sam. And do you know what happened? He looked at me in a very queer way, like I’d been stupid in class, and said, ‘It’s nothing as trivial as that’."


George thought this over for a moment.


"That’s what I call taking the Wide View," he said presently.


"But what d’ya suppose we should do about it? I don’t see that it makes the slightest difference to us. After all, we already knew that they were crazy."


"Yes -- but don’t you see what may happen? When the list’s complete and the Last Trump doesn’t blow -- or whatever it is that they expect -- we may get the blame. It’s our machine they’ve been using. I don’t like the situation one little bit."


"I see," said George slowly. "You’ve got a point there. But this sort of thing’s happened here before, you know. When I was a kid down in Louisiana we had a crackpot preacher who said the world was going to end next Sunday. Hundreds of people believed him-- even sold their homes. Yet nothing happened; they didn’t turn nasty, as you’d expect. They just decided that he’d made a mistake in his calculations and went right on believing. I guess some of them still do."


"Well, this isn’t Louisiana, in case you hadn’t noticed. There are just two of us and hundreds of these monks. I like them, and I’ll be sorry for old Sam when his lifework backfires on him. But all the same, I wish I was somewhere else."


"I’ve been wishing that for weeks. But there’s nothing we can do until the contract’s finished and the transport arrives to fly us out."


"Of course," said Chuck thoughtfully, "we could always try a bit of sabotage."


"Like hell we could! That would make things worse."


"Not the way I meant. Look at it like this. The machine will finish its run four days from now, on the present twenty-hours-a-day basis. The transport calls in a week. O.K., then all we need to do is to find something that wants replacing during one of the overhaul periods -- something that will hold up the works for a couple of days. We’ll fix it, of course, but not too quickly. If we time matters properly, we can be down at the airfield when the last name pops out of the register. They won’t be able to catch us then."


"I don’t like it," said George. "It will be the first time I ever walked out on a job. Besides, it would make them suspicious. No, I’ll sit tight and take what comes."


"I still don’t like it," he said seven days later, as the tough little mountain ponies carried them down the winding road. "And don’t you think I’m running away because I’m afraid. I’m just sorry for those poor old guys up there, and I don’t want to be around when they find what suckers they’ve been. Wonder how Sam will take it?"


"It’s funny," replied Chuck, "but when I said goodbye I got the idea he knew we were walking out on him -- and that he didn’t care because he knew the machine was running smoothly and that the job would soon be finished. After that -- well, of course, for him there just isn’t any After That . . ."


George turned in his saddle and stared back up the mountain road. This was the last place from which one could get a clear view of the lamasery. The squat, angular buildings were silhouetted against the afterglow of the sunset; here and there lights gleamed like portholes in the sides of an ocean liner. Electric lights, of course, sharing the same circuit as the Mark V. How much longer would they share it? wondered George. Would the monks smash up the computer in their rage and disappointment? Or would they just sit down quietly and begin their calculations all over again?


He knew exactly what was happening up on the mountain at this very moment. The High Lama and his assistants would be sitting in their silk robes, inspecting the sheets as the junior monks carried them away from the typewriters and pasted them into the great volumes. No one would be saying anything. The only sound would be the incessant patter, the never-ending rainstorm, of the keys hitting the paper, for the Mark V itself was utterly silent as it flashed through its thousands of calculations a second. Three months of this, thought George, was enough to start anyone climbing up the wall.


"There she is!" called Chuck, pointing down into the valley. "Ain’t she beautiful!"


She certainly was, thought George. The battered old DC-3 lay at the end of the runway like a tiny silver cross. In two hours she would be bearing them away to freedom and sanity. It was a thought worth savoring like a fine liqueur. George let it roll around in his mind as the pony trudged patiently down the slope.


The swift night of the high Himalayas was now almost upon them. Fortunately the road was very good, as roads went in this region, and they were both carrying torches. There was not the slightest danger, only a certain discomfort from the bitter cold. The sky overhead was perfectly clear and ablaze with the familiar, friendly stars. At least there would be no risk, thought George, of the pilot being unable to take off because of weather conditions. That had been his only remaining worry.


He began to sing but gave it up after a while. This vast arena of mountains, gleaming like whitely hooded ghosts on every side, did not encourage such ebullience. Presently George glanced at his watch.


"Should be there in an hour," he called back over his shoulder to Chuck. Then he added, in an afterthought, "Wonder if the computer’s finished its run? It was due about now."


Chuck didn’t reply, so George swung round in his saddle. He could just see Chuck’s face, a white oval turned toward the sky.


"Look," whispered Chuck, and George lifted his eyes to heaven. (There is always a last time for everything.)


Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.