I’ll tell you what I can’t get out of my head… It’s watching my hands come off that railing and thinking to myself, My God, what have I just done? Because I know that almost everyone else who’s gone off that bridge, they had that exact same thought at that moment. All of a sudden, they didn’t want to die, but it was too late. Somehow I made it; they didn’t; and now I feel it’s my responsibility to speak for them.
Ken Hines, who in 2000 attempted suicide by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge and who is one of 29 known individuals to survive the fall. He was a 19-year old college student with bipolar depression. Hines now lectures for a suicide-prevention network and advocates for the construction of a suicide barrier on the bridge. This quotation is from a conversation with journalist Scott Anderson for the New York Times Magazine in 2008. Source: Anderson, Scott. “The Urge to End It: Understanding Suicide.” The New York Times 6 July 2008. 
I never knew who he [Chögyam Trungpa] was; he’ll always be a mystery for me. The trap some of his students fell into was to believe they had a personal relationship with him. No one was ever at ease with him. His relationship with us was more intimate than that. He completely saw through all of us, but at the same time the whole situation was so light. He was so passionate about who you were, while at the same time it didn’t matter.
Walter Fordham, who lived and worked closely with Trungpa for many years, in an interview. Source: Fabrice Midal, Chögyam Trungpa: His Life  and Vision (Boston: Shambhala, 2004), p. xxiv.
When there should no longer be any Charles Swann, there would still be a Mlle. Swann, or a Mme. something-else, née Swann, who would continue to love the vanished father. Indeed, to love him too well, perhaps, Swann may have been thinking, for he acknowledged Gilberte’s caress with a ‘Good girl!’ in that tone, made tender by our apprehension, to which, when we think of the future, we are prompted by the too passionate affection of a creature who is destined to survive us.
Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove

Incant Against Suicide

Buy neither gun nor blue-edged blade.
Avoid green rope, high windows, rat
poison, cobra pits, and the long vanishing point
of train tracks that draw you to horizon’s razor.

Only this way will another day refine you. (Natural death’s
no oxymoron) Your head’s a bad neighborhood:
Don’t go there alone, even if you have to stop
strangers to ask the way, and even if

spiders fall from your open mouth.
This talk’s their only exit. How else
would their scramble from your skull

escape? You must make room first
that the holy spirits might enter. Empty
yourself of self, then kneel down to listen.

Mary Karr, Viper Rum

My Workout For Saturday November 30

I earned 1024 points for my workout on Fitocracy!


  • Barbell Squat +332 pts

    • 45 lb x 5 reps (+36 pts)
    • 45 lb x 5 reps (+36 pts)
    • 95 lb x 5 reps (+50 pts)
    • 145 lb x 5 reps (+70 pts)
    • 145 lb x 5 reps (+70 pts)
    • 145 lb x 5 reps (+70 pts)
  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press (OHP) +363 pts

    • 45 lb x 5 reps (+49 pts)
    • 45 lb x 5 reps (+49 pts)
    • 70 lb x 5 reps (+58 pts)
    • 95 lb x 5 reps (+69 pts)
    • 95 lb x 5 reps (+69 pts)
    • 95 lb x 5 reps (+69 pts)
    • nailed it
  • Barbell Deadlift +321 pts

    • 135 lb x 5 reps (+66 pts)
    • 135 lb x 5 reps (+66 pts)
    • 185 lb x 2 reps (+62 pts)
    • 265 lb x 3 reps (+127 pts)
    • did NOT nail it… was going for five, but man, it was getting ugly fast
  • Glute Bridge +8 pts

    • 10 reps (+8 pts)

Think you can beat me, or want to comment?

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The scholarly approach is less violent … but at the same time it is extremely contagious in the sense of bringing you down. Continual bondage is put on yourself, all the time. You become heavier and heavier and heavier. You don’t accept anything unless it is logically proven, up to the point that the logic brings you pleasure, the discovery brings you pleasure. In certain neurotic intellectual states of mind, everything is based on pain and pleasure. If your discovery brings you pleasure, you accept it as a masterpiece. If that discovery or logical conclusion doesn’t bring you pleasure, or victory, then you feel you’ve been defeated. You find this with certain college professors: if you discuss their sore point in their particular subject, if there’s the slightest usage of certain words, since their whole world is based on words, the structure of words, they become extremely upset or offended. The whole thing is based on pleasure and pain, from the point of view of getting logical conclusions. But the scholar doesn’t claim that he or she has spiritual experiences, as any other person would claim. In fact, the scholar would be afraid of any actual experience of what he’s teaching; he wouldn’t actually commit himself at all. He may be a professor of meditation, but he wouldn’t dare to take part in sitting meditation because that doesn’t bring pleasure or any logical conclusions for his work or research.
Chögyam Trungpa, Transcending Madness: The Experience of the Six Bardos (Boston: Shambhala, 1992), p. 12.
Research has found that many street offenders anticipate an early death, making them less prone to delay gratification, more likely to discount the future costs of crime, and thus more likely to offend. Ironically, many such offenders also hold strong religious convictions, including those related to the punitive afterlife consequences of offending. To reconcile these findings, we interviewed 48 active street offenders to determine their expectation of an early demise, belief in the afterlife, and notions of redemption and punishment. Despite the deterrent effects of religion that have been highlighted in prior research, our results indicate that religion may have a counterintuitive criminogenic effect in certain contexts. Through purposeful distortion or genuine ignorance, the hardcore offenders we interviewed are able to exploit the absolvitory tenets of religious doctrine, neutralizing their fear of death to not only allow but encourage offending. This suggests a number of intriguing consequences for deterrence theory and policy.
Article abstract of Volkan Topalli, Timothy Brezina, and Mindy Bernhardt, “With God on My Side: The Paradoxical Relationship Between Religious Belief and Criminality Among Hardcore Street Offenders,” Theoretical Criminology 17, no. 1 (February 1, 2013): 49–69.
Statute Forbidding Any One to Annoy or Unduly Injure the Freshmen. Each and every one attached to this university is forbidden to offend with insult, torment, harass, drench with water or urine, throw on or defile with dust or any filth, mock by whistling, cry at them with a terrifying voice, or dare to molest in any way whatsoever physically or severely, any, who are called freshmen, in the market, streets, courts, colleges and living houses, or any place whatsoever, and particularly in the present college, when they have entered in order to matriculate or are leaving after matriculation.
Leipzig University statute (1495). Source: “How to Treat the Freshmen,” from Ask the Past, April 26, 2013.
[W]e have a pervasive self-degradation among low-earning academics — a sweeping sense of shame that strikes adjunct workers before adjunct workers can strike… Self-degradation sustains the adjunct economy, and we see echoes of it in journalism, policy and other fields in which unpaid or underpaid labour is increasingly the norm. It is easy to make people work for less than they are worth when they are conditioned to feel worthless.
Sarah Kendzior, “Academia’s Indentured Servants.” Al-Jazeera, April 11, 2013.