from November 22, 2006
The elite scientists who have been following our findings of the current year will not object, I trust, to the respite we at MJTT are taking this pair of fortnights. They know that brain burnout (BBO) is more than a mythical notion. It has been experimentally tested on rats, chimpanzees, and some of the most illustrious thinkers of the present day (I am thinking of the twenty living members of MENSA who scored highest on the stringent test given by that venerable organization, all of whom have expressed a wish to remain, like our well-ured editor, unknown.)
BBO has yet, I make haste to admit, to receive a papal imprimatur. The cardinals who decide such scientific matters for the top hat at the Vatican are sticklers for exactitude. It can now be revealed that their insistence that fruit flies (FFs) be subject to the accepted BBO tests is preventing them from recommending that BBO be taken as established scientific theory. It can also be revealed that we at MJTT have taken their requirement under advisement.
But only under advisement. As hinted above, we at MJTT are too busy learning the art of cultivating Nirvana (see title) to work on the good cardinals’ insistence that FFs be subject to, etc. We have so informed that distinguished coterie of holy men of this intention, and have promised to consider the FF problem in future posts. We did not, however, explain to that august body that we are cultivating the practice of Nirvana, for as Shakespeare’s Falstaff wisely observed, “The better part of valor is discretion.” (Henry IV, Part One, Act 5, Scene 3).
I must explain to the miniscule set of tyros among our readers that Nirvana (the Pali dialect has it down as “Nibbana”) was first cultivated by the first Buddhists, under the strict guidance of none other than Gautama Buddha, a.k.a. “The Enlightened One,” himself. Our own practice is based on the original; that is to say, we are cultivating Nirvana in its purest form, though not under the supervision of the Buddha himself, who, upon achieving Paranirvana, a.k.a. “final” Nirvana, is no longer in any existence save in our memories. Our teacher is the Venerable Luvie Patel.
I must also explain that our goal, unlike that of the Buddha and his disciples, is not Paranirvana. We will be content to achieve what might be called “preliminary” Nirvana, which is a state of mind designed to prevent BBO (see above). Or, in common American parlance, we are merely “getting a little R & R.” The word “vacation” also comes to mind. In point of fact, that very word was the one we used in apprising the pope’s minions of our reasons for postponing the aforementioned FF tests.