Glossary

In progress. Entries are generally derived from the Oxford English Dictionary unless otherwise specified


baggage: beliefs that hold us back from freedom. Click here for examples on this blog.

body: (contrasted to soul) that which is subject to old age, disease and death—the three things which according to myth set Prince Gautama on a quest which led to Buddhahood (my definition)

counterfactual: pertaining to, or expressing, what has not in fact happened, but might, could, or would, in different conditions

cowboy: A person without qualifications who competes against established traders or operators, providing shoddy goods or services usu. at low (or inflated) prices; one who is recklessly unscrupulous in business. Freq. attrib. slang.


dolce far niente: (from Italian, lit. “sweet doing nothing”): delightful idleness


dude: colloq. (orig. U.S.).  A man who shows an ostentatious regard for fashion and style in regard to dress or appearance; a dandy, a fop. Now rare [?—Ed.]

dudette: a female dude, also the female companion of a dude.
I extend the use of these terms to cover a broader definition of “dandy” as elaborated in the post “Tooting Broadway Dude” and excerpted below:

Dandyism implies the chaste enjoyment of your own body, both seeing and being seen; to be caressed by the aethers; to express discreet appreciation of others’ efforts in looking beautiful. In my imagination (and who knows? perhaps reality too) we recognize one another with subtle glances.
. . .
A dandy doesn’t have to follow fashion. But dandyism as divine worship is always in fashion, a Yoga as challenging as any other. Its goal is delight in being who you are, the entire look and feel of your person; and to cultivate a similar appreciation for others.


ephemera:  An insect that (in its imago or winged form) lives only for a day. In mod. entomology the name of a genus of pseudo-neuropterous insects belonging to the group Ephemeridæ (Day-flies, May-flies).

epigraph:  An inscription; esp. one placed upon a building, tomb, statue, etc., to indicate its name or destination; a legend on a coin.    2. The superscription of a letter, book, etc.; also, the imprint on a title-page. Obs.      3. A short quotation or pithy sentence placed at the commencement of a work, a chapter, etc. to indicate the leading idea or sentiment; a motto.
The epigraph of this site is currently Practise not-doing, and everything will fall into place.


kilter: Good condition, order; state of health or spirits.


knowing oneself: (as a category) covers a wide range of awareness, of Self, transformation, Nature etc; and how they are ultimately joined in oneness. It might also cover Reality and Illusion. Perhaps paradoxically I also use this tag to cover “not-knowing”. (To know that you don’t know is an indicator of knowing yourself, in this Wayfarer’s realm.)

misandry:The hatred of males; hatred of men as a sex.


noösphere: the part of the biosphere occupied by thinking humanity; spec. (with reference to the writing of P. Teilhard de Chardin) a stage or sphere of evolutionary development characterized by (the emergence or dominance of) consciousness, the mind, and interpersonal relationships, postulated as following the stage of the establishment of human life. Also fig.

not-doing: an English translation of the Chinese term wu wei, about which Wikipedia says:

Shen Buhai used the term wu-wei to mean that the ruler, though vigilant, should not interfere with the duties of his ministers. The only other book to use the term in this manner is the Tao Te Ching, and since it was composed later it may therefore be assumed that Shen influenced the Tao Te Ching.

See also  “On Not-doing”.

pecking order: a scale based on rank or status

rambling: (as a Category of post, or a Tag) essays which wander across many topics with no over-riding theme

serendipity: coined by Horace Walpole, who says (Let. to Mann, 28 Jan. 1754) that he had formed it upon the title of the fairy-tale ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’, the heroes of which ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of

shebang: almost any matter of present concern; thing; business; as, ‘tired of the whole shebang’ (Funk’s Stand. Dict. 1895). Freq. in phr. the whole shebang.
See also posts tagged “shebang”.

soul: that which soars above, and in spite of, circumstance (my definition)




baggage, as used in posts:
June 13, 2016
The truth remains camouflaged among all the baggage. The true Way or Tao is a precious secret eternally hidden in plain view, waiting for our eyes to notice it, almost too simple to be grasped.
May 12th, 2015
As I entered that precinct I reflected that I must travel light, leaving baggage behind. What is baggage? An overstuffed intellect. What do I need on my pilgrimage? The answer comes readily: just enough to know what to do, moment to moment.
January 15th, 2015
After escaping the guru, I’ve been wary of mumbo-jumbo, try to keep it at bay. The world is so choked with it, people declutter themselves of one kind whilst filling the empty space with another, imagining themselves now free. Needless to say, I too am “people”. There is nothing in this universe unflawed, only our fine words, which cruelly deceive us. Reducing the clutter to its minimum, leaving my excess baggage at the airport terminal, I feel myself to be an animal. Perhaps I mean a hunter-gatherer, but it doesn’t matter. To step out the door, on a mundane errand or for aimless wayfaring, is often enough to connect. I touch the world, it touches me back. It’s enough. It’s everything.
October 2nd, 2011
Solitary immersion in nature, as I’ve experienced, is a way to leave one world and enter another, by leaving behind some of the baggage that stops us seeing for ourselves.
November 13th, 2009
Let us not be bullied into this one-world idea. Let us free ourselves from other people’s useless baggage. In the crowded global airport, I leave such heavy burdens unclaimed on its ever-turning carousel.
October 20th, 2009)
But Hopkins, committed to his religion as only a Jesuit who has taken the three monastic vows can be, carries baggage that will either weigh him down in sleepless nights, or liberate him with visions of loveliness. He makes the best of it, dedicating his gift on the altar of his life’s sacrifice.
October 15th, 2007
I prefer “inner life” to “spirituality” for that word carries too much religious and philosophical baggage. I’ll stick to the metaphors which arise spontaneously, such as “roots” or if you will “sources”. For joy must come from somewhere. Not “Source” in the singular with a capital letter for that’s just a code word for God, sliding the baggage in again by the back door. No! Let the airline lose those bags, or send them to Shanghai for all I care. Leave me with the clothes I stand up in, and those roots from which I gratefully draw nourishment more precious than gold.
May 20th, 2007
I am glad you mention good and bad, Jim. These are part of the baggage that I don’t believe in. Judaism, Christianity and Islam see good and bad as absolutes and objective realities, but I see them as effects of perspective, which depend on where you are standing. Thus, good is what smiles on me, bad is what threatens.
March 20th, 2007
It was by accident that I discovered afresh the magic of the Holy Bible. I’ve come back to it purged and scoured of religiosity and the baggage of Christian reverence. My Bible is a fetish object, and I love every detail of its physicality.
January 28th, 2007
Naturally we seek reasons, for the intellect is our brain’s latest technology. Scientists love to debunk superstitions, but homo sapiens thrives on ritual. Rationalising merely yields the baggage of beliefs, which filter and muddy the experience. The basis of ritual must be feeling and not superstition.
November 14th, 2006
If a sage today were to give one piece of advice, what would it be? What could best guide the lone seeker towards spiritual fulfilment whilst improving communal behaviour in our shared home, Earth? It’s easy to assume that the semi-mythical words of Buddha or Jesus are just as potent today as when first spoken in a very different world. But away with such huge assumptions, and away with the inherited weight of so much baggage! Let’s imagine that you, passenger on the journey of life, are restricted to just one item of wisdom, stowed on board at your feet.
September 3rd, 2006
But there’s no use in belief any more: not as a supplement to ignorance, nor as a glue for social cohesion. Let us clear this baggage out, and while we are about it, let’s cleanse the doors of perception as Blake proposes, and believe what happens to us, without embroidering it with theories.