Thanks to salishan, NCOT and donnann I realize what kind of pain-in-the derrière I am here. I mean well, but this is awfully hard for me (I get spun up too easily and am way too pompous). First, like most Quakers, honesty and truth are sacrosanct to me (that is why we affirm and do not swear… we strive always to be truthful with others). I have never misrepresented myself, my beliefs, or my knowledge on these pages. I may be (and am) inconsistent (“consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”, look it up) and even contradictory (IMHO so are most of the Holy Books we read and quote). That probably drives you mad (“a scientist who doesn’t believe in absolute truth?” or “a Christian who quotes Zoroaster or Hui-Neng or Laozi as masters?”, I feel your pain). So what I am going to do is put myself in exile, limiting myself to comments on this one thread (I apologize to Davos and Lunitik and AndrewX and juantoo3 for the verbal haranguing I have given them). I will, of course, respond to any PMs or comments of a thread directed at me (NCOT is great at this!). My next entry will include a set of cross-references to the 4 or 5 posts of mine worth looking at (I’ll bet you they are not the same ones you would choose). I will make copies of interesting posts on other threads and post replies to them here as well. To for my mea culpa. I am a child of the 60s… the Grateful Dead, Dylan, the Haight, and Vietnam. Grew up in suburban and urban Northern California and rural New Mexico. Served in the military (or with) from 1969-1997 and (except for 3-4 months when I tried to run my own SW company) have consulted for them since. My greatest influences are artistic both musical (GD, BD, Jefferson Airplane, Birds, VU, Fugs, Trane, Miles, Sanders) and fictional (Borgas, Dick, Mann, Joyce, Barth, Pinchon, Lovecraft, Heinlein). The other big influence is “fringe”: O-Sensei Ueshiba, Suzuki Roshi, Wilber, Fox (Matthew, not George, who is pretty mainstream), Campbell, Yogananda, Krishnamurti, Rajneesh (still can’t call him Osho). Religiously was raised Methodist (Chinese Missionary Methodist out of old College of Pacific) but “mixed blood” (Jewish Mother, Catholic Father, some Native, some post Civil War Black). Put down “Metis” as my ethnicity (Canadian term for mixed). Never joined any religious or spiritual group (except libertarian party when I thought it was the cat’s meow) until I found the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Did not graduate high school but did four undergrad degrees and three grad degrees (yes, Martha I am a real nuclear physicist). Happily married 34 years (this time). Have a little horse farm (no longer ride competitively since last time I fractured spine, ditto for moto-cycle—Guzzi, that is) with two cats in the yard and a big vegetable garden. I get upset with authority (and have a real bad case of PTSD) because of childhood abuse. I do not like ideology, especially anything that smacks of prejudice and mistreatment (that is why I crawled so far up some ___holes on this site). I really think like I write, warts and all. The only Religion I could ever be tempted to profess besides my Quakerism is an Islam of the Imam Rauf-Ahmadic-Sufic sort or Chabad (but, try as I might I can never master a foreign language—I was a preadolescent stutterer, do not get me near anyone who stutters, I become non-verbal). Peace, Pax, Shalom, Salaam, My Friends! P.S. for you Muslims and Jews who are offended at that, it is just that from what I understand of those two paths, they “appeal to my grokiness”.