Friday, August 13, 2004

The Contradictions of the Self.

There is this mindset that assumes, usually in the process of an attack on principles or procedure, that one cannot be spiritual and tell you to go fuck yourself; one cannot be spiritual and sexually alive; one cannot be spiritual and run your ass out the door; one cannot be spiritual and clean your clock for telling the wrong time at the wrong time and making everybody late for the fun they should have been having if you hadn't come along.

Somewhere someone got the idea that spiritual is St. Francis standing in the forest surrounded by critters with bleeding palms outstretched in a selfless embrace of all that is evil and good. May be that is a location, a station- of the cross or some star zone on the cosmic radio dial. It could be.

These same people believe that Heaven is up in the sky. Well, the sky begins where it touches the Earth. Some people believe that you 'go to' Heaven. I submit that if you don't get there while you are here you won't be going there later. You are where you are. Heaven is a state of mind.

There is an old saying that the devil cannot abide ridicule. There's also a tale about an enlightened monk to whom Christ was supposed to have appeared. The monk was mucking out some stables at the time. He told Christ to beat it or he would fill his mouth with shit. You see, there is no external Jesus, not any more. In Zen they say, "if you see the buddha on the road, cut him down.' I'll leave you to figure that out.

Bad shit has been the order of the day here since Cain rearranged the back end of Abel's head. Lies entered into the world in the Garden of Eden so they say. Think about this in connection with your having to wear clothes. What are clothes? Yeah, I know, it gets cold and there are thorns in the pasture, that's not the point.

But bad shit has been flowing out of the pipe of poisoned inspirations into the manifest for a long time. It flows onto the pages here daily. There are people here who will accept the truth even if it goes counter to their ambitions and what they may have believed before. And there are people here who will lie and know they are lying and not give a shit. There are people here who lie because they are too samskara-wrapped to know the truth.

The thing is, the truth is central to everything. Lies are like the shadows that appear outside the perimeter of its light. The further out you go the darker it gets and that is its own reward. But, as in the tale of The Prodigal Son the path leads ever back; though it span the lengths of many lifetimes. You can throw in Ariadne's thread or any of the esoteric compassing tools the universe has provided in allegory and otherwise hidden in the treasure chest of your own sub-conscious.

Lies can't hurt you if you are true. Lies can provide a temporary advance. They can make you rich, get you laid. They can kill and maim- but only if you're headed that way. Lies can hurt you if you mistake one for the truth.

But the truth doesn't need a defense; a champion, a vendor or a loan agency. The truth is composed of its own ineffable substance and shines courtesy of its own light. It is self generating and perpetuating and it goes by other names. Here in the shouting crowd of apologists for big time liars, in the defense of small time lies, only truth can claim a victory. For the materialists who see no world beyond the one they imagine they are standing in, lies are enough. But lies won't pay the boatman. And lies will bind you here and elsewhere. Like Lao Tzu said, "those who miss after almost winning, should have known the end from the beginning."

I don't give two shits about bush and his empire of lies. He's just another passing face in a long parade of liars. And neither he nor his armies impress me. I believe that, "greater is that that is within you than that which is in the world." Now, it's true we see through a glass darkly. I've my small garden of lies to attend to, rather a task of weeding than fertilization I hope.

But just as the Devil can quote scripture so are all of the world's institutions, storefronts for lies. And no matter how much it is discounted it's still not a bargain.

Yes, there's a road for the humble monk, unwilling to give offense, embracing every whip as a taste of the loving lash of God. I respect that. But there's also the road of warriors whose job is to fill the Devils mouth with shit; as if there weren't enough there already.

There are divine comedians whose job is to inflate the incongruities until the hot air expells into public laughter. There are accountants without agenda other than balance and pure artists whose magnificent creations point to the elegance of the unseen. History remembers the places where the power of light pushed back the shadows to reveal another portion of The Kingdom. It also admonishes us with examples of those whose webs manfested an awful darkness. All the examples anyone could ever need are there to be seen.
Spirituality doesn't make you a doormat. There are some fine writers here who never take a stand. They're a canny lot. They have perfected the art of high-toned rhetoric without offense.

They're above The Fray. Monkeys scream from the trees and throw shit down on the passersby. The jungle eats itself alive. I don't know if these savvy toreadors sans sword do much good in the mix. I'm not sure civility is the highest good. I'm not sure these dancers believe in anything enough to risk their laundered persona's; monkey shit being what it is.

Sometimes the best spirituality comes home with its clothes torn and its nose bent; a victor none the less. Give me beaten but unbowed any day of the week. I'd rather know where I stand and why, than to be thought endlessly agreeable and boring as Hell.

We're all a contradiction and remain so for as long as we move in a world of shadows and light. And in that respect we are all subject to misinterpretation and lies. You'd know better than I what you're satisfied with. You can build the house but you're gonna have to live in it.




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'I Need More Light' from the Les Visible Album
God in Country

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