Novella Warning - TL;DR - a short bit about His Story... History... (That was wrong and I should feel bad.)
Quite some time ago, I shambled over from a link at SlashDot and decided that I would bookmark the site and visit it again in the future. I read a lot and visited frequently and finally made up my mind and joined. I am not entirely certain why I did so. However, I did so... My moniker here is the same as it is there. It is the same as it is everywhere but I have found someone else who uses the same name. I think their opinions and writing style are different enough to avoid confusion. I, of course, was first.
I am old and retired. I live many miles from anything of note in the north-western part of Maine. I do not actually live in a town. There is no town here to live in but there are a few other houses in the area. Because I was fortunate in life I have a decent nest egg and my major addiction (no longer alcohol or opiates) has been the purchase of land. I may allude to the land as it is very important to me, it is absolutely stunningly beautiful here and I can not help but to notice it. "Ripple in still water, when there is no pebble tossed, no wind to blow..." - Grateful Dead (Ripple)
I will not bother to write up my history at this point. Not in detail at any rate. In short, I went through the military twice, each time taking full advantage of the GI Bill, and I attended a very reputable higher-education technical institution in the north-east. My thesis was traffic modeling when computers were still large and just starting to really enter homes of students and teachers. My professor shared the project's ideas with a friend of theirs and I soon had a contract with the State. My major was maths and my minor was EE but I still started to get more interest and opened a small business doing traffic modeling. I eventually expanded to pedestrian traffic modeling so I could get more business than just governments. We grew into three offices around the country and did work in the United States and Canada.
Anyhow, eventually a company that seemingly specializes in owning companies that mostly do government work (folks here probably would recognize the name but I am attempting to sanitize this as much as possible to avoid complications) offered me a large sum of money to buy my business, patents, trademark, and all other intellectual properties. I could not resist so I had my contract lawyer change the contract to ensure some protections for current clients and current employees and sold the company. I took care of my familial obligations, gave some to the employees as a bonus, donated to some charities, and traveled for a while before starting to settle down where I am now. (Let it be known, there is a fountain, that was not made, by the hands of Man." - Grateful Dead (Ripple)
I am an Atheist/Agnostic-Buddhist. I have been to Nepal to seek refuge, that was really enjoyable and very enlightening. I learned that I do not want to be a monk. I am blessed with a wonderful Dharma and Sangha. They do not answer all of my questions but they always respond to my questions though the response has been silence a couple of times. As I walk through the eight-fold path I am given wonderful guidance and I am learning to be content and to discard my past so that I can live in the moment. I am not enlightened and I feel my karma is still in the negatives but my intent is good. Whenever I encounter a person (or if I am in public among a bunch of people) I ask myself if that person or those people are actually the Buddha deciding to return. It really changes how I view the people and this is a good thing for me. I do not know your path and my ego is not such that I would be comfortable trying to give an authoritative reply about such matters but I am willing to discuss what has been effective for me.
Concerning Buddhism... I do wish I did not but I do find myself unhappy when I hear people say things like, "A Buddhist can not drink alcohol, smoke, or do drugs." This is patently false. A Buddhist probably should not do those things. There is nothing that prevents them from doing so. Things like that are not considered acceptable in a monastary. Each path is different, enlightenment comes at any time when the student is ready and open to it. Appealing to authority is not an acceptable answer. "That path is for your steps alone." - Grateful Dead (Ripple)
I tend to be really verbose. I find that this means I can ensure I include the myriad details which helps prevent confusion. I suspect that I would have been found afflicted by ADD, ADHD, or Autism if I were born in today's environment. My writing style is not something everybody appreciates (not even me) but it is what I do. I often want to opine on a subject but feel that I must ensure that all of the data is included in order to reduce the chance of confusion.
I am comfortable answering questions, I am not comfortable giving directions... "Reach out your hand if your cup is empty. If your cup is full may it be again." - Grateful Dead (Ripple)
I have traveled extensively across the North and South American continents. I have also been in a number of other places across the pond, in the Middle East, and in the Far East. I have been to a few places in the Southern Pacific but not as much as I could have. I plan on re-visiting some of those areas so that I can venture into places where I have not already been. The most important conclusion I have reached is that people are people no matter where you go. Just because they have a different color, culture, or faith does not mean that they do not want to be happy, to enjoy their family, or to reach their form of enlightenment.
That, pretty much, is a decent summary of the place where I am coming from. I am comfortable discussing most topics but I like to make it clear that I am not an authoritative source on anything not concerning me. I do have my Ph.D but I am not a medical doctor (You might be amazed how many times I have been asked medical questions after people find out that I am a "doctor.") and this does not confer any special status to me. I did manage my masters in EE but, again, this does not make me anything special nor does it make me an authoritative source. I may respond but I still suggest that one check, verify, and make their own conclusions. Do not let education or knowledge stand in the way of truth. "If you should stand, then who's to guide you? If I knew the way, I would take you home." Grateful Dead (Ripple)
@1730 June 2, 2015 (Dated so I can add to it, if needed, and not edit. Any edits will be for punctuation, grammar, or readability. I typed it, I own it, I am accountable for it.)