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I must preface the following explanation by mentioning that my pseudonym is an homage to the  character depicted in  Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd Gig, not the live-action Kuze played by Michael Pitt in the recent Hollywood trivialisation of the fictitious universe I hold so dear. I have not seen the 2017 film yet, and I do not intend to do so anytime soon. Although I did initially approach this interpretation with the utmost open-mindedness and the highest hopes, what I’ve learned from the promotional material has caused me great distress, and I will justify this response in a forthcoming Reflections entry.

It is probably most efficient to explain who I am, firstly by specifying who I’m not. I am not a Ghost in the Shell  roleplayer, neither am I delusional (I don’t ‘think I am’ Hideo Kuze) nor a fanboy idolator (I don’t ‘wish I was’ Hideo Kuze). I suppose it would be most accurate to say that I am the individual from whom the character’s personality was developed -- except for the fact that I have neither met nor spoken to Kamiyama Kenji, or anyone else remotely related to Production I.G.

As an experienced writer, I have myself stripped people's identities away from their environment, relationships and outward appearance, with the purpose of transplanting a living and consistent character into a fictitious universe. Perhaps it is karmic inevitability, then, that I have found my own psyche depicted with uncanny precision in the fictitious work of another. And even though there is no causal connection, to my knowledge, I still feel honoured that my doppelganger has surfaced in such a deeply thoughtful and beautiful anime that explores the full spectrum of human diversity, from its most base to its most superlative.

I would rather not waste time enumerating the ways in which my own ideologies, behaviours and patterns of reasoning resemble those of my animated counterpart. To be sure, in mechanical terms, there are myriad differences between us: I am not a full-replacement cyborg, obviously, and neither am I an overt revolutionary taking direct actions on behalf of three million people.

It is up to you to decide for yourself, on the basis of the digital thoughts I send forth like neural impulses spreading through the net, whether I am justified in using this persona as my thin veil of anonymity for a virtual audience. I would also recommend that you familiarise yourself with my purpose for acting as the rudimentary equivalent of a cyberbrain hub, if you seek further reassurance that -- metaphorically speaking -- I am who I say I am.

As a final point of interest, I am compelled to relate that some time ago, I was slightly disfigured in an accident. Although I was never as handsome as the Kuze whose portraits are displayed elsewhere on this site, I was lucky to have my face fully restored to its previous appearance by a remarkably skilled plastic surgeon. However, the nerve damage I sustained as a result of my injuries impeded my ability to move my lips when I speak for approximately three years after the accident.
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Copyright notes

Most of the images on this site are respectfully reproduced from the anime series Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG. I argue fair use on the basis that all images are relatively low resolution and credited to the animation studio, so I am not attempting to pass them off as my own; they are used for decorative effect and not for the purpose of advertising any product or service for sale, except for the anime itself. On several levels, I can personally vouch for the fact this is an exceptional series, and I strongly urge anyone who gains something from visiting this site to support Production I.G financially by buying Stand Alone Complex  or any of the other outstanding anime that this studio is responsible for.

The background image is a generic wallpaper that I obtained online and which did not include artist information. Neither was it covered by any specific usage restrictions.

All images by other artists are attributed and used with written permission.

I also use quotations from the Ghost in the Shell  universe -- not to mention, myriad other sources -- throughout this website. In many cases, these quotations are attributed in the usual way; in some instances, though, an attribution would detract from the impact of the statement. Click here for a list of these quotations, which should not be misinterpreted as being of my own composition. Please note that there may be small inconsistencies in the English wording, owing to variations in interpreting the Japanese.

I also use a few scripts in the coding of this site that I did not produce myself, including the captcha-protected feedback form on the contact page and the YouTube audio player. My use of these code fragments is consistent with the terms stipulated by the original developers and I am happy to share the contact information of these individuals with anyone who asks.

My purpose

My overall motivating factor in establishing this website is to be a source of inspiration and practical assistance for those who feel powerless to achieve the change they seek. I am particularly interested in helping people who have been disappointed by the shortcomings of the innumerable self-help gurus who spread their diverse messages all over the internet.

Make no mistake, I myself have gained a great deal from assimilating and refining the ideas of others, and wherever I repeat anything I have lifted more or less directly from another person, I include a clear attribution and as many links as practicable. However, there is much to criticise about the typical dogmas associated with the Law of Attraction, despite my personal belief that there is a very real underlying phenomenon at work. It is for this reason I prefer to use the term ‘reality manipulation’ -- but in any case, you do not have to concur with my ideas to benefit from them.

The many schools of thought on self-help subjects range in credibility and usefulness from sublime to ridiculous. This is particularly true in the rather esoteric field of affecting reality by deliberate efforts of consciousness, although I will have a rant at a different time about how hypocritically some people who claim to be advocates of science dismiss this concept.

In a way, this website is a response to all the so-called experts selling transformational services whose doctrines are full of holes, contradictions, and in some cases, outright fallacies. In the same breath, I acknowledge there are several teachers in this field for whom I continue to have profound respect and admiration, and these are the precious few people whose approach to the matter I would describe as realistic. Sure, they make some pretty big claims, but nothing that really breaks the boundaries of Newtonian physics. And their techniques -- similarly to mine -- are characterised by an emphasis on replicable results.

I am well aware that most people have trouble accepting or even entertaining the idea that they can directly shape reality using the power of their thoughts; paradoxically, if the premise is true, then assuming it is impossible will indeed make it so. For this reason, my own overwhelming priority is to share ideas that do not require a leap of faith or any particular confrontation of your existing beliefs about the operation of the universe.

Perhaps I will ask you to indulge me or humour me in one hypothesis or another, but this is only ever to add spice and variety to an otherwise uniform body of information that is substantiated by clear reasoning, simple common sense and legitimate, peer-reviewed studies. If the horizons of your understanding are stretched by the insights I share, it will most likely be as a result of trying out techniques whose effectiveness you can easily and immediately verify for yourself.

I want to inspire people to build the reality they dream of, both by finding functional ways of transforming the world in which they live, and by learning to harness the wonderful power of their own mind to make their daily existence meaningful and happy, regardless of whatever inevitable aspects of life they are unable to change. I am more comfortable about doing so within the wisp of freedom afforded by a pseudonym, but I have no use for active deception, and neither have I any interest in evading difficult questions.

I am not one of those miracle sellers trying to justify their radical claims with awkward interpretations of established scientific principles they clearly don’t have a thorough understanding of. I am not in the business of making grandiose ipse dixits and deflecting responsibility for failure onto the practitioner. I want to be one of those few people who addresses all the grey areas, someone who either gets it right 100% of the time, or who has the courage to honestly admit there are some questions to which he does not have an answer.

To this end, I will repeat that I welcome criticism, because it is in my own interests to refine the topics I discuss here. I can’t achieve my objective without feedback from and cooperation with others.

There is one final detail worth mentioning about my purpose in creating this website, and that is the underlying theme common to every big-shot in this field whom I can think of. Reduced to its simplest form, their message hinges on the idea that if they attained success, then you can, too.

Unlike ‘everyone else’ singing a similar song, I am not a millionaire -- quite on the contrary -- but I am very familiar with the utterly inexpressible sense of fulfilment that results from one's greatest wish becoming a reality. Perhaps the irrepressible compulsion to help others attain the same degree of fulfilment is an inevitable consequence of such an achievement. If so, then you too will add your voice to the chorus, once the dream you are chasing has found you.

I invite you to read further, to explore the possibilities, to re-evaluate the way you may think about your limitations, because I already know how profoundly your life will change once you achieve that one goal you wish for more than anything else.

On that one point, I am in complete agreement with all the meta-evangelists of New Thought spanning the length and breadth of the internet: there is nothing quite like it in all the world.
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Section information

Glimpses is a series of short, one-concept entries that rarely have much relevance to the time at which they are posted. The format is intended to bridge the gap between some of my more elaborate status notes, and a fully featured blog entry.

Reflections and Insights should be fairly self-explanatory; the former comprises introspective and/or retrospective discussions, while the latter is focussed on information that I hope will be useful to others.

In addition to being an ardent practitioner of meditation, I have an obsessive fixation with pushing the envelope of consciousness; as a result, I am regularly privileged to enjoy a personal appreciation of non-ordinary reality. I collectively describe these excursions of the mind as taking place in the ‘invisible world’, although the term is a rather gross oversimplification. Visions is the section in which I describe my more memorable experiences of this breathtaking environment.
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List of quotations

“I am a man of action, and I do what is required to achieve my objectives” is a description of Kuze by one of his comrades, transposed into the first person, from Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG  episode 20.

The blog title Applying layers to reality is a paraphrased lyric from ‘The Mundane and the Magic’, a song by Dark Tranquillity.

“My role in all this is to help guide you to the same place as I am now.”
Hideo Kuze, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG  episode 18

“When I float, weightless, back to the surface, I imagine I am becoming somebody else.”
Major Motoko Kusanagi, Ghost in the Shell  (1995)
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Copyright notes

My purpose

Section information

List of quotations

Copyright © Hideo Kuze 2012-2017