Who the f is Oman?

In my personal domain, there is Oman, a sort of philosopher-guide. I would not have accepted this spirit-guide thing when fresh out of college, but as I ripened with age, I learned there’s more than one way to see the world. In my late 50s, I kept hearing profound statements in my head. I have often wondered where this flow of brilliant nuggets came from. I named this mysterious force, this guide, this voice in my head, Oman.

How did I come up with this name? When meditating, I would chant the mantra Aum, which sounds like Om. Oman had a nice similar sound. For me, the O represents spirit, or infinite; man means man, human. God and Man. The word "omen" means “message from the gods,” a fitting word in its similarity to Oman. Oman sent me omens. What a great name, Oman. If we have multiple personalities, Oman is a good one to have.

I began to write down what I attributed to Oman’s need to communicate with me. Soon his philosophy flowed out in force as if opening a faucet. Tuesday and Thursday evenings I taught ceramics for Shasta College in Red Bluff, 35 miles away. I kept a writing tablet beside me on the front seat of the car. Oman became prolific. When the faucet opened, without looking at the blank page (at least I was smart enough to keep my eyes on the road), I scribbled down Oman’s words. After months and months of driving to Red Bluff and back, the tablet became thicker and thicker. Sitting in my recliner one winter night, while warming in front of the fireplace, I sat and reread what I had scribbled from beginning to end. I found refreshing ideas and, importantly, a continuity of theme. I organized it and typed it into a Word document. Soon a few copies were printed in paperback format. The book is titled: Soul, A Navigation Guide. I was not instructed to proselytize the book. The catharsis was in the writing process. By writing I learned to listen. By listening I found the material to write. I merely organized the writing style and gave it a format. Omen’s Navigation Guide makes its own journey.

Taken from Vision-Quest, A Saga of the 1960s

Every day think, “This could be the day that I die.”  Then act accordingly. 

Nature and Man

My earliest concept of truth cane from Nature.

I have a deep interest in Nature. Nature does not have emotions. Nature has an order outside of man's jurisdiction. Man is in Nature's jurisdiction, not the other way around. Nature is much more powerful than man. It is in depicting landscapes that artists endeavor to honor the grandness of nature.

A few wise words on beliefs by the Buddha.

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

- Gautama Buddha

MISTAKES: A reference guide for when you screw up.

Some of my best work is a result of mistakes. Here are a few quotes for your pleasure:

I’ve made more mistakes than anyone who ever lived, but I wouldn’t have done half as much if I hadn’t made those mistakes.   -Thomas Edison 

Experience teaches you to make a different mistake next time.   -Anonymous

If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.   -Tallulah Bankhead

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only a little. Do what you can.   -Sidney Smith

We are not diminished if we make mistakes. Mistakes, the things that don’t work, are great teachers.   -Anonymous

The greatest mistake you can make in this life is to be continually fearing you will make one.   -Elbert Hubbard

If you show me a person who has made no mistakes, I will show you a person who has achieved nothing.   -Anonymous 

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.   -Anonymous

You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her. She was made to be wooed and won by youth.    -Winston Churchill

Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it may be recalled and perhaps remedied.   -Pearl S. Buck

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.   -Martin Vanbee

It may take a bundle of mistakes to arrive at something sublime, just as it takes thousands of flowers to produce a few drops of perfume.   -Thomas Moore

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.   -James Joyce

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.   -Albert Einstein

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.   -John Powell

There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.    -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field. - Niels Bohr

Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can't accept your imperfections, that's their fault.   -Dr. David M. Burns

How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever.   -David Norris

The man who trusts men will make fewer mistakes that he who distrusts them.   -Conte Di Camillo Benso Cavour

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.   -Napoleon Bonaparte

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.   -Scott Adams

Mistakes are the greatest teachers.   -Oman

To call yourself a sinner is the greatest of all sins before God! Nobody should ever say that. Don’t identify yourself with your mistakes. When you know God, you will become aware of His presence everywhere. And then you will never judge anyone.   -Paramhansa Yogananda



CHANGE is all there is. AN INFINITE REPEATING PATTERN of Creation, Preservation, Destruction. We all are participants in change. We are born, we live, we die. Our children carry on. Think about it. What does not change?

How about those Contexts (see previous blog), survival, pleasure, pain, creativity, etc.? The concepts don't change, but the content, the physical working it out does change.

In and Out

Where is context and where is content? 

It's the old in and out routine.
Visions come with your eyes closed (context).
The symbols to express those visions are found with your eyes open (content).

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
 Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."  

 - Carl Gustav Jung

Who is Palul?

I am frequently asked how do you pronounce "Palul" and where does the name come from? As an artist is there some symbolic significance to it? 

Pronounce it Pa-loo or Pal-ool. 

My given name is Paul Rideout. I was 60 when the name Palul worked its way out into my consciousness. At my work as a lab information system manager, a job in which I had to send out lots of email messages, I kept mistyping Paul with an extra L in the middle − over and over – Palul, Palul, Palul. After a year of having to go back and remove the L, I decided, there’s more here than meets the eye. It seemed to be a directive force, perhaps from another dimension, so I kept the name. I like Palul much better than Paul. It is unique, a great name for an artist. There is no other great significance--certainly none that I know of yet. (Google Palul. I'll be right there at the top!)

For a short time I signed a number of pieces (probably no more than 30 or 40) with both Paul Rideout and Palul, so they actually are quite rare. Now I just sign them Palul. Much shorter, much easier! 




A picture is worth a thousand words.
Doing it is worth a thousand pictures.
Being it is worth a thousand doings.   -Oman

There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.   -Will Rogers