Saturday, August 13, 2005

7/27/05-7/31/05. My stomach slowly but surely got better. Spent most of this week hanging out with Ofer, Ishy (also an Israeli from the course), and his English buddy, Ollie. Also met Barry (AZ) from the course. He is an author, his first book was about Astrology and Psychology. He is now writing his second book based on Astrology with Vipassana. And he is practising hard.
Met Suter (Holland) in the neighborhood. He agrees with me regarding the Goenka course and is now more into practising Zen. Things are really quiet at the Shanti house. Just me and Jonathon left from the old crew. Meditating a little thru this time.
Bombay is flooded and since it is the electronic banking hub of India, an attempt to get money at the Atm is thwarted. We all spend this week killing time: playing chess and backgammon, watching movies and taking day hikes/trips to Mcleod and Bhagsu.
Barry has sold everything and is making India his home. Ollie is going to be in India for two years in total. Ishy is just about finished with his trip and will head back to Israel soon. Ofer leaves for Bangkok 3 days before me to finish his year long trek and return to Israel. I am just starting to look forward to Thailand...

Ofer and I decide to take a 3 day Reiki course. Reiki= Universal Life Force Energy. A natural healing power available to all, if only you now how! Interesting, but like all things requires a lot of hard to come by practice.
On the second day my stomach problem returned! Felt pretty bad , but after the course I did feel better. Day three was a bit better, but not great. That night we were still in Bhagsu and Ofer wanted to meet a girl up the mountain. So with some very vague directions we begin the hike. What a hike is was to be! In the dark I think we forged new trails, mostly in circles. But everything was very quiet up there and we never did find The 3rd Eye Guest house. Instead we wound up making a huge sweaty loop back to Bhagsu only to have to continue on to Dharamcot! Finished the night cooling down at the Trek & Dine.

I slept in the next morning and have more energy today, but things below are even a little more uncertain. Enzo, a German from the old crew, came back today from Varansi and gave me some herbal tablets to try. Hopefully they do some good. Chilled today, watched "I Robot", made use of the toilets, and read "From Heaven Lake" by Vikram Seth. A nice travel book about travel by land thru China, Tibet, Nepal on to India.

Next day and the stomach is still wrecked. I come back from the bathroom and Vinod has set me up with some milk chai. Not the best thing for the gut, but I can't be rude. Sat and talked with Enzo about his status as an artist who is lost at sea. He lives in Berlin with an artist community and he paints a warm picture of artistic cooperation coming together for a greater creatativity. The government actually pays artists for their art. Albeit, not much. I learn that he is now into film and video. In fact, he is lugging around a hopped up dual Pentium PC (w/o monitor) for his video editing. I'd like to see his work, but he doesn't have any to share. Instead we share breakfast at the Chai shop. I stick with salt crackers and a coke for my belly.

Feeling better I one again get to enjoy one of Rita's omlette sandwiches. Wow. Check out the sun. Where did that come from. I take the opportunity to remove my shirt and notify my body that summer is not over. Down in Mcleod a young boy tried to trade a hand made drum for my Casio watch. No can do. But I might go back and buy one. Ran into who else but Ofer in Mcleod so I whooped him at chess a couple of times (to be fair, he beats me often at backgammon). Then a movie double header. "Master and Commander" and the late movie: Star Wars III. Finally an episode worthy of the Star Wars trademark.

Today I woke and met a new/old guest named Enrique (Venezuela). He was here before and had been storing his almost new Honda Motorcycle which oddly won't start after only 5 weeks of sitting. Apparently, a valve is stuck. A push start should take care of that, and later does. After breakfast, Vinod took Enzo and I on a nice hike up to some waterfalls around the northwest ridge. Swollen streams bring the monsoon waters down into clear cool pools.
Incidentily, it's quite remarkable that you can hike for hours, be in the middle of no where and turn a corner to find a chai shop staring you in the face. All over, in the most remote and unlikely places. Today, the chai shop here is unmanned though. Made it back to the house just as the monsoon rain came cascading down again. I was introduced to a couple of Russian Israelis at the Trek&Dine and we watched "Fight Club".

Ofer and I were going to go to Amritsar today, but last night we decided that we didn't feel like getting up @ 3am for the bus. So we are going to go this coming morning. Instead we form a plan to check out the Bhagsu Waterfall. We had to wait untill about 2:30 for the rain to stop and the sun to peak through. We weren't sure which ridges it is between so we had to climb onto a roof over looking the community pool to get our bearings. After a quick hike thru town and into the nearest valley we arrived and climbed up a precarious rock slide to sit and enjoy the views as well as some semi famous Bhagsu Cake. Made it an early night since it was to be an early morning.

We were to meet at 3:30am. I slept thru my alarm and woke @ 3:31am. Threw on some clothes and met Ofer 10 minutes late. Torches alit we walked down in the otherwise pitch black to Mcleod. A taxi driver told us that our bus to Dharamcot wouldn't be coming tonight. Familar with this angle we didn't take him at his word. Instead we waited untill 5am, but the bus never came. Apparently there has been a landslide between Mcleod and Dharamshala and there really won't be a bus today.
We slumber back up the mountain on foot because all the richshaw drivers are asleep, mumble "see ya laters" at the top and return to our respective guest houses. The sky has lightened up quite a bit by this time so I decide to brew some tea and watch the sun rise over the mountain.
After greeting the morning sun I went to bed only to be awoken at 10am by Enrique arguing with Vinod over 30 rupees. 30 Rupees! For crying out loud, I'll give you the 60 cents, just shut up. Anyway, I'm up now so I get out of bed. I decide to brew another cup of tea and wind up finish reading From Heaven Lake. The rest of the day passed easily like all the previous.

Friday, August 12, 2005

10 Day Vipassana Retreat, Mcleod Ganj

Friday, July 15. Do or die day for the Vipassana retreat. In full rain gear I walk to the chai shop next to the Vipassana center. Song Mi is there with her friend who is going into the 10 day course. They share a farewell meal together and I stopped to join them for a bit. Later when they get well through the waiting list my number is called. So I picked up my entry ticket and went to retrieve my pack. Said goodbye to Daniel and Yoli as they would most likely be moving on before the end of the course.
I check in at 6 pm. Fill out forms, stow your valuables and leave 200 rupee deposit for laundry (5rps per piece of laundry. At least it's a cheap place to have laundry done!).Got my sheets, found my bed, made it and then went off to dinner. Basic Indian food:Rice, curry veggie, dal and chai.
There about 90 students, a even split between male and female. Additionally there is the head male teacher, a head female teacher, 1 monk, 3 nuns and a handful of Dharma workers voluteering there time. At 7pm we are given an introductory meeting and at 8pm is our first meditation. Noble Silence has taken effect so no more talking for the next 10 days with the exception of questions for the teacher or management.The meditation starts with a 1/2 hour video of S.N. Goenka, founder of the Vipassana Meditation Centers, explaining what the course is and isn't and what we are getting into.
Then he introduces the stundents to the Anapanna meditation technique. In short, awareness of breath with particular focus on the sensations in the area of the upper lip and nose. We worked on that for about 30 minutes, then I brushed my teeth and layed down in a very uncomfortable cot for the night. Or at least some of it, until our early wake bell.
For the record here is the schedule:
4am Morning Bell
4:30-6:30 Hall Meditation
6:30-8 Breakfast (typically an oatmeal/porridge thing with chai.)
8-9am Group Meditation
9-11am Hall Meditation
11-12 Lunch (Our main meal)
12-1pm Rest/interviews with teacher
1-2:30pm Hall Meditation
2:30-3:30 Group Meditation
3:30-5pm Hall Meditation
5-6pm Tea Break (New students get puffed rice)
6-7pm Group Meditation
7-8:30 Teacher's Discourse (Geonka video)
8:30-9pm Group Meaditation
9-9:30 Question the teacher/Retire

There is ~5 minutes to walk/stretch/piss between meditations. Besides shit and shower, that is all you do. In many ways it is stricter than prison!

Vipassana Day I
Fell asleep around 1am. Up at 4am. The first day we just practice Anapanna. A bit uncomfortable sitting all those hours, but I'm sure we will all get used to it.

Vipassana Day II
Tossed and turned again last night. Finally fell asleep ~2am. All day we continue with the Anapanna. Really didn't feel tired although I was a little bored. I have been practicing Anapanna for about two years now so I'm anxious to move onto something new.

Vipassana Day III
All Anapanna, All Day, Again!! Now I'm really not concentrated and I start to wonder about this course. Another distraction is the fact that all the meditations start with a tape Goenka chanting in Pali/Hindu. It's supposed to open the chakras, but it's just kind of annoying to me, especially the way he trails off each line sounding like a sputtering geiger counter. Then he gives a long set of instructions in Hindu and wraps it off with about 10 seconds of instructions in English. Very difficult to concentrate through all of that. One bright spot though is that we learn that tomorrow we actually will begin the Vipassana Technique!

Vipassana Day IV
I awake very excited to start the new technique, but at first light we discover that we will have to wait until 3pm to begin. So I work through the Anapanna for a few more hours and then we are taught Vipassana Technique. With complete equanimity we observe our bodily sensations with a calm mind. Do not desire for pleasant sensations. Do not have aversion towards the unpleasant sensations. Scan the whole body, head to toe, but don't get stuck on the gross sensations. The idea is to discover your more and more subtle sensations which the unconcious mind is constantly aware of, but that the concious mind never realizes.
Buddha's theory and unique gift to the world is that we don't actually react directly to our thoughts and ideas as most people assume. In fact, out thoughts, ideas, feelings create hither-to unknown subtle physical sensations which is what we actually react to without even knowing the process is happening. Unfortunately, these sensations and the way we react unconciously are totally based on past experience. Conditioned experience. Deluded experience and reactions, since they aren't based on the current reality.
So by meditating on these sensations with equanimity, understanding their impermanance (Anicca) as well as their insubstantability we stop supplying the current sensations with fuel. Like someone knocking on your door, if you don't pay them attention they will evertually pass away as all things do. This makes way for older stores of sensations to arise. Again through the meditation we starve them and they burn themselves out.
Eventually, working on more and more subtle sensations we develop true wisdom (Panna) through directly experiencing the only reality we can truly know: our mind/body field. One can stop reacting blindly and cleanse themselves of the their mental defilements.

Vipassana Day V
Happy to practice now, I work hard although the unpleasant gross sensations (Back & Knees) are certainly a challenge. Particularly since during the 3 seperate one hour group meditations we are supposed to maintain our pose without any movement. But by remaining equanimious, their impermenance is realized and I can feel them abating. Satisfied with my progress I go to bed, but there is a strange churning in my stomach which isn't quite right.

Vipassana Day VI
I'm definately sick! It turns out to be a day from Hell! I woke with diahreah, headache and a fever. Up until now the lack of sleep hasn't really affected me, but now I know it's going to come back to haunt me. To stay close to the toilet I take the morning meditation in bed. Skipped eating breakfast and rested. Cold and suffering from chills I wear felt gloves, my hoody pulled over my head and a blanket wrapped around me for the group sitting, but still experience prolonged shivering. I'm truly miserable, but trying my best to remain equanimous! Skipped lunch and rested some more. Tried to take another meditation in bed, but the young Indian Dharma worker told me I must go to the meditation hall or I would be kicked out of the course. What Compassion!?! Now I'm carrying around a water proof stuff sack in case I vomit too. Spent the rest of the day alternating between sweats and chills with absolutely no concentration. Skipped dinner (no food today). Who needs puffed rice anyway. Now I'm suffering from dizziness and all my muscles ache from the shivering. I wonder if I can hang on?? Through the last meditations and the discourse I mostly debate what to do. Going to bed I decide that if I'm not considerably better in the morning I'll be unable to continue and leave the course.

Vipassana Day VII
Luckily I fell asleep right away last night only waking once to a bathroom trip. The sleep helped alot. I still feel I have little control and something could escape out either end at any time. But the fever has broken and my muscles seem to have recovered. Making sure to go to the bathroom right before each meditation I'm actually able to work well. All in all not a bad day. I'm even maintaining my pose for the whole hour, more or less. We go to sleep listening to fireworks going off over Dharamcot.

Vipassana Day VIII
I've stopped carrying my vomit bag, but I'm still having diahreah although it seems to be under control. It's really funny to watch all the students on break. So starved for entertainment you can watch people constantly staring at lady bugs, slugs, mushrooms, anything of even the slightest interest. My gross senssations are completely gone yet, but with a quick equanimious observation they melt away quickly. Took some food today. Getting a little wary of the intense schedule.

Vipassana Day IX
Still have mild stomach problems. I work, but I'm definately quite bored and my concentration and effort suffer for it. It's been a rough time for me and now that I know the technique I just want to go practice on my own without the rigors of the course.

Vipassana Day X
Today things change up a bit. In the morning, to give a little something back we are taught Metta Bhavana. Meditation sending out compassion and Love and general good will. And after that Noble Silence is lifted. It's strange to talk again. Finally get to say hello to my roomate, Diego (Portagul). Small groups of the students now congregate in the common areas. Mostly grouped by their repsective languages. After introductions we all discuss our experiences right through a rather loud lunch. Had a nice conversation with Chris (VT) and we had similar takes on the course. At 1pm we were interupted from our orating orgy to watch the movie "Doing Time, Doing Vipassana (may be available in the US). Afterwards more meditation, more talking, dinner, more meditation, discourse and more talking right until lights out at 10pm.

Vipassana Day XI
Independance Day. Up at 4am for a meditation followed by breakfast. Our last deed is to help clean up. I get kitchen duty. To the belly of the beast that bit me. After about an hour I was furlowed. With the sweet smell of freedom on my now highly sensitized nostrils I took a deep breath and made the short walk back to the Shanti house to secure a room. Shortly thereafter I was enjoying a real breakfast once again at The Sunflower Cafe. Around 9am I met Ofer (Israeli with an American accent), from the retreat, at the Trek & Dine. There we savored all the delicacies we were denied over the past 10 days. Enjoying food, sipping cokes, smoking, playing backgammon, talking surf and we even watched "The Last Samuri" finally calling it a night at 1am.

My Critique on Goenka's Vipassana Course
Ok. Right off the bat let me say that I really like the Vipassana Technique. I think it makes complete sense and works with practice. However, with regard to the Goenka Course, I think that it is seriously flawed.
It's meant to be an introductory course, but it feels like a Masters course. The length and the intensity is couterproductive. Buddha taught the Vipassana as a Universal technique for the benefit of all. Additionally he taught a person in a few minutes and then set them about to practice on their own. I don't ever recall reading an instance when Buddha taught on the condition that the student live and practice as a monk for 10 days.
The technique is actually very simple. It isn't as much learned as it is practiced. Years, decades, lifetimes of practice. Unless you are already on the karmic cusp of Buddhahood 10 days will not bring enlightentment.
In fact, I believe the intensity is harmful. First; only the strong willed and determined will succesfully work thru the course. Conversly, the weaker minds who have the most need and the most to be gained are left out in the cold. Not true Dhamma! Also there is the burnout factor which helps breed a certain amount of disdain. Secondly; Vipassana should reach or at least be accessible to everyone. Ten days is very time prohibative for MOST everyday people.
In addition to aforementioned distracting audio tapes, the video discourses talk a little about how the course is not sectarian, a rite or a ritual. They do however want you to practice 2 hours everyday, do 1 ten day retreat every year, and oh yeah: if you haven't completed the course you are not welcome to meditate at their meditation hall. The Orwellian Doublespeak can not camoflouge the apparent sectarian rituals.
So I really don't believe a person would need more than some coaching from another who knows the technique to effectively practice Vipassana. And once again let me reiteriate that I like the technique. Just not the course. But Hell, some people even really enjoy the course. To each his own.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Dharmasala, Mcleod Ganj or Dharamcot????

So I stalked the American girls from the bus to the hotel where they had reserved a room. I, of course, hadn't reserved anything so the first thing to do is find a room. None available at their hotel and since it's the Dalai Lama's Birthday I am a little concerned with general vacancy in the town. Figuring I'd take the lesser road traveled, I continue climbing a mountain road up and away from the girl's hotel. May be nothing up there at all, but if there is there is a much better chance of securing a vacant room.

After a while things looked very bleek and I was just turning around when I met Vinoed. A young man of twenty-one who said he had a room available. It's just 1 km further. I'm a little dubious of the offer, especially since it requires a further steep ascent in the thin mountain air lugging my backpack. But I go with it and after 2km we arrive. Vinoed shows me a decent enough room with a shared outdoor bathroom and shower and small kitchen in which the guests constantly serve up various teas and Chais. I agree to stay at the Shanti Guest House for $2/day and after finding a bit of a short cut into Mcleod Ganj I decide that it really is a nice place to stay. Its quiet peace is a welcome respite from the horns and bustle of "normal India". The time passes easily here sitting on the terrace staring out at the lush green mountains which attract clouds like magnets to iron filings that flow into or creep over the mountains with remarkable speed.

Dharamcot is the name of the village and you would never guess what nationality dominates the landscape here. Indian? No. Tibetan? Lots of them, but No again. Israelis? Ding,ding,ding, we have a winner!! It's more Israeli here than in Israel. That's there assesment, not mine. Apparently most Israelis like to travel once they get out of the army (3yrs) and India is the most popular destination. Due to the low cost of living it makes it easy to live simply and happily for extended periods of time. In addition to Dharamcot I'm told they are taking over Manali and Leh also!

The family and the guests are all very nice. The guests include 6 Israelis and 1 Korean. After talk and Chai I went down to one of the numerous restaraunts which offer a full array of worldly dishes. Then had dinner and a movie. Pizza and Swordfish (the movie). There was slight rain today, the monsoon is on its way!
The next morning I took a walk down a steep path to Mcleod to explore its offerings. Took a stroll down "Temple Road" and took my turn spinning the 100 Tibetan Mani (prayer) wheels. Spun my way to the temple and after a thorough pat down I was in the temple courtyard poised to watch His Holiness, the Dalai Lama pass through.A veggie burger and a Dosa (Indian crepe with spicy dip and soup) for lunch fueled my tank nicely. I began the climb back to the guest house when a Bikshuni (nun) asked me to deliver a note to the Tushita retreat office on my way. Tibetan monks seem very relaxed in their merlot colored robes. I thought it an odd site when I noticed one wearing an expensive looking gold watch (probably fake) and talking on his cell phone! I wonder who he was talking too. I hope it wasn't a girl friend:)

In the morning I went to where I'd wind up eating most of my breakfasts, The Sunflower Cafe. Lovely Rita and her little helper, Mantoo serve up a mean omelette sandwich. Fellow guests Song Mi and Atun took a richshaw down to Mcleod while Amos and I hoofed it down in the rain. Which quickly brought to my attention that my waterproof boots were in fact not waterproof at all! We entered the temple where they were having performances of song and dance in honor of His Holiess. We saw a couple of acts and then it ended. Rejoining with Song Mi we decided to get some food, but our timing was poor. The eateries were all packed or closed for HH's birthday. After a hour of walking in the rain we finally got into a Korean restaurant where Song Mi ordered us in her native tongue sushi and two other delicious dinners which we all shared. Spent the evening playing a popular card game with the Israelis called Wist.

No rain in the morning which afforded us the opportunity to learn yoga from Song Mi. Gill, who does about 4 hours of yoga a day even set up a hanging belt in her room. It's nice to hang and stretch out the back for a swift 10 minutes that flies by. In the afternoon I took a short hike alone to check out some waterfalls created earlier by falling water:)

Another session of yoga in the morning and off to a late breakfast. I had forgotten that Gill offered to make us lunch and so within an hour of finishing breakfast I was enjoying a fine salad and a very tasty dish whose name escaped me (veggies, cheese, egg and sauch pie thingy).
It's Sunday and Shanti, it's his house, has offered to make us all dinner. So we make it three days in a row of yoga, which really does make you feel good, and spend a lazy day working up our appetites. A tasty classic Indian meal of rice, dal (sauce), aloo (potato), goopy (cauliflower) and bread was enjoyed by all. Followed by our contribution, a local famous dessert called Bhagsu cake which can only be procured in the neighboring village of Bhagsu. With evening faded away to the sounds of Yoli and Jonathon playing Metallica, G&R and various Israeli songs.

We take a rest from yoga today. I help Enzo, a German guest, by speaking to his credit card company for him. His goods were stolen on a bus and since his English isn't strong I provide some translation. Afterwards I take a seat at the Trek & Dine restaurant where I will be spending much of time in the near future. There I'm cornered by Omar who is desperete to talk to someone in English, not Hebrew! It's tough being a minority! During the afternoon I took another hike up towards Triund and Snowline which indeed does still have a snowline on it. I pass a tiny Hindu temple whose remoteness must make it a seldom visited place and wind up on a ridge which provides a wonderful view of the Dharmasala Valley opened wide before ones eyes. Unfortunately, the skys also opened up and caught unprepared, I headed back.

Today I signed up for the 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat. I'm 52 on the waiting list, but I'm told I still have a 70-80% chance of getting in because many people never show up. I'll have to wait and see.The next morning was spent lsitening to an exotic beauty, half Indian, half English who entertained us with her tales of her past lives always escaping some kind of oppression or another. Her Reiki powers and metamorphosous massage sound equally enticing. The most strenuous activity of the day is watching "Ray" (Charles) and good, but long movie.

In the morning we opted for the "End of the World" to recieve breakfast. They made some room for us as we removed our shoes and we filled our bellies while it rained cats and dogs outside. There I started reading a very ominous book on climate change, but quickly erased the gloom with card games and chai. That night we said goodbye to Amos who was headed home to pack up for a short work stint in Boston. That night I also beat Yoli at chess a couple of times followed by cards with a guy who told us to call him either Moses or Dr. Evil! Go figure! Enzo got his replacement credit card today and I go to bed wondering if tomorrow I'll be in Vipassana??

Monday, August 08, 2005

While sitting on the terrace one evening Daniel asked me if I would like to have children? I said no, but it's nice of him to offer! I actually said, "I'd like to, but don't want to." A little ambiguous. While in Vipassana one sleepless night I thought of this story which I think helps clarify my meaning.
Do Children Make You Uncomfortable??
Magnum Durex flips open his umbrella in a huff as he steps into the Manhattan cityscape bathed in a cool autumn drizzle. With a furrowed brow he walks to lunch contemplating his predicament. The marketplace is stagnant. As CEO the stockholders were looking to him to gain marketshare, but the meeting he just concluded with his advertising agency left much to be desired. He desperetely needed a new marketing angle.

As he approached the corner of 4th Ave and 42nd street his attention was caught by an easy target on which to vent a little steam.

Another "Doomsdayer" perched on this pilfered milk crate donned with signs prophesizing "The End is Near!!!" Magnum engages his silver tongue and yells out sarcastically to the tattered old man, "Gotta date for us?!?"
With a slight nod his calm cool stare preceeded his answer, "By 2599!"
"Oh really! I suppose Jesus told you this?"
"Sir, Jesus is no longer of this Earth and I speak only to the living."

Magnum thought for sure this guy was a Jesus freak. O.K.
"Then I guess God told you?!"
"I don't believe God Almighty wastes his breath on old homeless men like me. No sir, it was not God who told me this prophecy."
"Well then! Who was it that imparted this wisdom!?"
"It was a cripple."
"A Cripple, HA!! You're just another whacko like all the rest!!"

And with that Magnum Durex flung his umbrella around as he spun on his heels and blindly entered the crosswalk. From behind he heard, "That cripple was Stephen Hawkins."
Magnum recognized the name of arguably the worlds most intelligent man. Caught off gaurd, he once again spun around.
A blaring horn in the not far off distance prevented him from hearing the doomsdayers next words, but he didn't fail to notice a uniquely odd expression on his face. Had he spun another 90 degrees he certainly would not have failed to notice the uniquely horrified expression on the face of Metro bus 19's driver as he futilely locked up the brakes of the ten ton rolling transport. One second Magnum was standing in the crosswalk and the next, Puff, gone! Only to reappear prone ten yards down the boulevard. The smoke from the bus tires lending the effect of a grand magic trick gone awry.

Death was instant. As his disembodied spirit floated skyward Magnum felt a pang of ire well up. Not with regard to his death so much as his inability to respond to the living when the Doomsdayer got in the last word, "For some, the End is nearer than others."

The end was here, but as Magnum met his Creator his mind was preoccupied with the idea of such credible genius as Hawkins' prophesizing the End of the World. Without concern for the current circumstances he put the question to God."Did Stephen Hawkins predict the End of the World?"
(In a Jewish accent ala Mel Brooks or Woody Allen.)
God responds:"Vwell, yes and no. He did not predict the End of the World. He did produce population models that show within 600 years the Earth will be so over populated that every square foot of land will be covered by humans standing shoulder to shoulder. Additionally, if power is to be produced for all these humans, it will cause the Earth to glow red hot like the Sun!"

As Magnum pondered this, his deep concentration prevented him from noticing the almost imperceptible sensation of sinking.

It turned out that despite God's Jewish accent he is in fact a staunch Roman Catholic. As CEO of Durex Condoms, Magnum didn't stand the proverbial chance in Hell of entering Heaven.
So Magnum had eternity to agonize over two things mostly. The Paradox and the Irony.The paradox being the choice between not using contraceptions, thus escaping eternal damnation, but at the cost of creating Hell on Earth. Or, using contraception, thus sparing Earth, but damning oneself eternally?The irony being, well in Magnum's own words,"If I had only given that man a few more seconds, not only would I still be alive, but he would have given me on a shiny silver platter the idea for the market grabbing advertising campaign I was looking for so desperately!
To be or not to be, that is the question- Shakespeare
To breed or not to breed, another good question- DJ