When I Die

When I die...

( by Rumi )

When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world

Rumi's tomb in Konya, Turkey.
don't shed any tears
don't lament or
feel sorry
i'm not falling

into a monster's abyss

when you see
my corpse is being carried
don't cry for my leaving
i'm not leaving

i'm arriving at eternal love

when you leave me
in the grave
don't say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind

you'll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down

it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed

have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human

have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well

when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time

~RUMI, ghazal number 911,
translated May 18, 1992,
by Nader Khalili.


Trend Analysis with ElasticSearch and Couchbase

 As I have already said in a previous post of mine (  Problems with Heroku, Geodjango and Couchbase? Me too! ), recently i have started using couchbase a lot.

It offers a variety of cool features that you can read about on their site and make their product attractive.

What is more, there are far more interesting stuff for a developer to start using a technology than just a flexible data model.

Personally, what i love in couchbase is the super cool python client, which makes all the everything so simple. There is also tones of documentation and examples, but my experience with the company is deeper than just that.
Every time i send them an email they respond immediately, offering great support (even though for the open source community).

Enough is enough. Let's talk a bit about coding here.

I wanted something much more sophisticated this time. I luckily run into a nice presentation on elastic search with couchbase and that inspired me that this would be a nice solution!

I needed to make some trend analysis on millions on text entries per day. As you can see, such a solution seems native with the specific architecture.

It was pretty easy to set up a new couchbase node and an elasticsearch one in an Ubuntu Server.

What I needed, was a replication node of the couchbase in the elasticsearch. Documentation was there, and google returned a lot of results.
But everything seemed to work for elasticsearch 2.0.

What i needed was the 0.92 version, because it uses all the latest features of Apache Lucene which by the way are AWESOME!

After a lot of searching, in order for this to work you need the elasticsearch transport couchbase plugin version 1.0.1 beta!

This is just a draft post and i hope i will be able to update it soon with more details.

To sum up,
I have a cluster with couchbase and replicating my data in elasticsearch, doing trend analysis on my data seamlessly!


Problems with Heroku, Geodjango and Couchbase? Me too!

Today it was a long day.
I started by wanting to create a simple service that is going to run on heroku, store some tweets according to some specific keywords that a user is going to type and then provide some trends regarding those.

Piece of cake actually, until Heroku started the annoying stuff.

My selection for storing the tweets was Couchbase. It is a really advanced NoSQL database, allowing scaling and many many other interesting facts that anyone playing with big data would love.

The problem is, that Heroku does not allow couchbase client libraries to compile on its stack.

For that reason i started creating my own buildpack here, https://github.com/mpetyx/heroku-buildpack-couchbase-geo-django.

As you can see, it contains also the popular GeoDjango library. It needs no recommendations, as most of the django developers playing with geospatial data use it.

It is a pity that Heroku does not offer a default choice to actually include that library in your app's venv.

Currently I have fixed the GeoDjango in a stable format and tomorrow hopefully i will upload the rest.
I am so tired to continue and conclude now.



The Philosophy of Emptiness

In early Buddhism the theory of dependent origination and the philosophy of emptiness were still naively undifferentiated. It was Abhidharma Buddhism which awakened to a kind of philosophy of emptiness and set it up in the heart of Buddhism. But the method of its process of realization was to get rid of concepts of substantiality by analysing phenomenal things into diverse elements and thus advocating that everything is empty. Accordingly, Abhidharma Buddhism's philosophy of emptiness was based solely on analytic observation - hence it was later called the 'analytic view of emptiness'. It did not have a total realization of emptiness of the phenomenal things. Thus the overcoming of the concept of substantial nature or 'being' was still not thoroughly carried through. Abhidharma fails to overcome the substantiality of the analysed elements.
Beginning with the Prajñaparamita-sutra, Mahayana Buddhist thinkers transcended Abhidharma Buddhism's analytic view of emptiness, erecting the standpoint which was later called the 'view of substantial emptiness'. This was a position which did not clarify the emptiness of phenomena by analysing them into elements. Rather, it insisted that all phenomena were themselves empty in principle, and insisted on the nature of the emptiness of existence itself. The Prajñaparamita-sutra emphasizes 'not being, and not not being'. It clarified not only the negation of being, but also the position of the double negation - the negation of non-being as the denial of being - or the negation of the negation. It thereby disclosed 'Emptiness' as free from both being and non-being, i.e. it revealed prajña-wisdom.
But it was Nagarjuna who gave this standpoint of Emptiness found in the Prajñaparamita-sutra a thorough philosophical foundation by drawing out the implications of the mystical intuition seen therein and developing them into a complete philosophical realization. Nagarjuna criticized the proponents of substantial essence of his day who held that things really exist corresponding to concepts. He said that they had lapsed into an illusory view which misconceived the real state of the phenomenal world. He insisted that with the transcendence of the illusory view of concepts, true Reality appears as animitta (no-form, or non-determinate entity). But Nagarjuna rejected as illusory, not only the 'eternalist' view, which took phenomena to be real just as they are, but also the opposite 'nihilistic' view that emptiness and non-being are true reality. He took as the standpoint of Mahayana Emptiness an independent stand liberated from every illusory point of view connected with either affirmation or negation, being or non-being, and called that standpoint the 'Middle Way'.

(adapted from Zen and Western Thought, by Prof. Masao Abe, edited by Prof. William R. LaFleur, 1985, Honolulu 1989)


A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream? 
Edgar Allan Poe


The meaning of compassion according to the Dalai Lama

"I would like to explain the meaning of compassion which is often misunderstood:

Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the rights of the other: irrespective of whether another person is a close friend or an enemy, as long as that person wishes for peace and happiness and wishes to overcome suffering, then on that basis we develop a genuine concern for his or her problems. This is genuine compassion.

Usually when we are concerned about a close friend, we call this compassion. This is not compassion; it is attachment. Even in marriage, those marriages that last only a short time, do so because of attachment - although it is generally present - but because there is also compassion. Marriages that last only a short time do so because of a lack of compassion; there is only emotional attachment based on projection and expectation. When the only bond between close friends is attachment, then even a minor issue may cause one´s projections to change. As soon as our projections change, the attachment disappears, because that attachment was based solely on projection and expectation. 

It is possible to have compassion without attachement, and similarly, to have anger without hatred. Therefore we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment, and between anger and hatred. Such clarity is useful in our daily life and in our efforts toward world peace. I consider these to be basic spiritual values for the happiness of all human beings, regardless of whether one is a believer or a nonbeliever."

Tenzin Gyatso, The Dalai Lama


Τι είναι αγάπη?

Ο Abraham Maslow πρότεινε ότι ένας άνθρωπος οδηγείται από μια πυραμίδα αναγκών. Οι βασικές αυτές ανάγκες πρέπει να καλυφθούν πριν μπορέσει κανείς να προχωρήσει υψηλότερα. Ταξινομημένες από κάτω προς τα πάνω ( ιεραρχικά ), οι ανάγκες είναι:
  • οι φυσιολογικές ( εξάλειψη της πείνας και της δίψας )
  • ασφάλεια
  • συντροφικότητα και αγάπη ( να σε αγαπάνε, αποφυγή μοναξιάς)
  • εκτίμηση ( κατορθώματα, αναγνώριση, αυτοεκτίμηση )
  • αυτοπραγμάτωση ( self-actualization, να καταλαβαίνεις κανείς τις δυνατότητες του)

Είναι αρκετά προφανές ότι η πρώτη κατηγορία που συναντάμε είναι και η βασικότερη και προέρχεται από την πρωτόγονη δομή μας, αφού ακόμα χρειαζόμαστε τροφή και νερό.
Συνεχίζοντας στο ίδιο καλούπι του homo-sapinens το οποίο κουβαλάμε όλοι μας, θέλουμε μια ασφάλεια από την φύση. Αρχίσαμε με σπηλιές, μετά σπίτια με λάσπη και άχυρα και έπειτα προχωρήσαμε σε πιο προχωρημένες κατασκευές ( ευχαριστούμε τους αρχαίους αρχιτέκτονες για αυτό! ) και το καλύψαμε και αυτό.

Τι σημαίνει όμως η τρίτη στην σειρά ανάγκη και πως αυτή εκφράζεται τόσο μέσα στο ζωικό βασίλειο, όσο και σαν ανάγκη του σαφώς εξελιγμένου homo sapiens.
Ας αρχίσουμε από τα βασικά. Η έννοια της συντροφικότητας βλέπουμε ότι έχει κάποια έννοια στο ζωικό βασίλειο, χωρίς όμως να έχει την έννοια του “μέχρι να μας χωρίσει ο θάνατος” που θέσαμε εμείς.
Θα προσπαθήσω να αποφύγω να μπω σε λεπτομέρειες που αφορούν την προσωπική μου ζωή μιας και νομίζω ότι ο αναγνώστης θα πλήξει.

Θα αρχίσω λοιπόν από μια απλή φιλοσοφική διάκριση της τρίτης κατηγορίας που μια πλήρη ανάλυση μπορεί να βρεθεί εδώ.

Έχουν γραφτεί βιβλία, ποιήματα, τραγούδια, πίνακες, μνημεία αφιερωμένα στην αγάπη, φίλοι που σκοτώθηκαν μαζί, άσχημοι χωρισμοί που άφησαν μόνο πόνο.. Τι είναι λοιπόν αυτό που οδηγεί τον άνθρωπο ακόμα και μετά από 10.000 χρόνια που τα έχει ζήσει όλα αυτά τόσες φορές ξανά και ξανά, να τα επαναλάβει?
Μήπως είναι μια ακόμα ατέλεια της κατασκευής μας?
Δυστυχώς δεν ξέρουμε τι είναι και το έχουμε ορίσει σαν αξίωμα.

the concept “love” is irreducible-an axiomatic, or self-evident, state of affairs that warrants no further intellectual intrusion, an apodictic category perhaps, that a Kantian may recognize.

Αξίωμα λοιπόν και η κουβέντα δεν τελειώνει εκεί. Ένα οποιοδήποτε αξίωμα, μαζί με ένα σύνολο πρέπει να μας δίνει μια νέα πραγματικότητα και να μας επιτρέπει να βγάλουμε και κάποια συμπεράσματα. Είναι λοιπόν εμφανές ότι το συγκεκριμένο δεν είναι καλώς ορισμένο και ότι χρειάζεται παραπάνω ανάλυση.

Βλέπουμε λοιπόν ότι το μεγαλύτερο κατασκεύασμα της ανθρώπινης ύπαρξης, η λογική, δεν βοηθά στο ελάχιστο απέναντι στον μεγαλύτερο εχθρό αυτής, την αγάπη.

Αγάπη, συναισθήματα, εμμονές, όλα αυτά έχουνε σαφείς νευρολογικές προεκτάσεις τις οποίες θα προσπαθήσω να περιγράψω σύντομα.