Friday, December 24, 2004

Hot-housing the Orchid of Love

“tis a consummation devoutly to be wished”

Obviously things can move faster or more slowly. If you think of The Pub as a metaphor you might ask yourself how much time you spend there. Part of the problem is that people don’t realize they live in more than one world at the same time; worlds overlap, interpenetrate; as one’s focus is often determined by the degree of one’s susceptibility to magnetism at a given point. We suffer in more than one place as well. The anguish of the body, the emotions and the mind are all well known to us by varying degrees. Pain should make you push on. It should create inquiry into the nature of distress.

For those of us who seek spiritual realization we find occasion, often in some cases, to ask, “Why is God picking on me?” Actually, you asked him to. If you’re pushing onward; inward, no doubt you are being pushed as well.

We have heard the terms; ‘ego’, ‘id’, ‘libido’, ‘personality’, ‘super ego’, ‘the intellect and sundry. Maybe we have some idea of these terms. My take is that we often confuse them and if we do have an idea of what they are it is usually the definitions given us by those who least understand them. There is a tendency in this phenomenal world to take seriously the points of view and assumed wisdom of doctors, lawyers, psychologists, religious leaders, philosophers and whatever environmental dominants there may be. The truth is that most of these people know very little about what’s what. If they did know what was what they wouldn’t be so ineffective and mystified in their treatment of whoever is unlucky enough to come into their sphere of influence.

We look to our political leaders to guide the ship of state and look out for our interests. At the same time we know that anyone is more likely to advance the interests of their friends as opposed to the interest of strangers. We live in a quid pro quo world. Of course this leads to the jockeying for favors and influences; the intrigues of court and the manipulation of laws that were designed to counter manipulation. We even see the construction of laws designed to control the direction of benefit. Well, uh... duh.

Who among us is righteous? And how many actually seek it in any case? Righteousness is not often an advantageous position for gain; of course we have self-righteousness. We got lots of that. We got hypocrisy and the gamut of mind-sets that facilitate the advance of self-interest. Would you be surprised to know that all of the bonhomie and looks of concern are orchestrated to the advantage of the player? Would you be surprised to know that all of the big players are full well aware of this feature in each other and for them it’s just a game? The deck is stacked against the ones who want to do the right thing. At the same time, most of them don’t even know what that is. We hear about patriotism and self sacrifice and the lot. How often are these mere vehicles once again for self interest?

Hardly anyone among us can look critically and honestly at ourselves and fail to see how much we are motivated by self interest. We all want to be thought a good fellow, smart, talented, interesting, attractive and sexy. Generally this comes at the expense of someone else. We’re in a room full of funhouse mirrors, a room full of people talking to themselves and posing for effect. To be uniquely and truly genuine is a fine art. How are we supposed to get there?

Our personality could be looked at like a house. It contains residents. It contains all of the other things I mentioned in connection with it previously. Maybe contains isn’t the best word. Let’s look at it as a vehicle through which these others facilitate themselves. Let’s think of the house as being composed of stained glass; the different colors being the different qualities and locations of our character. A single light shines through it but is colored differently at certain times and in certain places. This house is not transparent in every location. Some points are opaque and little light comes through. What the Hell, call it a blind spot. There’s only one central ego in all of us. So where does the appearance of difference come from? Our assumed personal ego, our sense of ourselves apart from others is a light blocker; it stands in the way of the central ego. You see people getting in their own way all the time. You see quite a few clumsy dancers. The intellect tries to understand what’s going on but it generally works on the behalf of the blocking self. I don’t think I need to address the libido. I could explain what its real job is;

Think of the libido as a power station. If there really is only one useful purpose to which is can be applied you can get an idea of the waste; cue the theme from the Five Foolish Virgins. And what the Hell is this, the id? Is that anything like your identification? Your ID card please... Well, I’m confused. I guess anyone would be with all these things cluttering up the place.

One can hothouse their evolution. But be forewarned that this isn’t the comfortable route. At least I haven’t found it to be so. Here’s where Love comes in. Love can be thought of as a universal solvent. Remember those dark spots on the glass? Think of Love as Windex. Love will dissolve the film and neutralize the dust. This hurts of course when the thing you are rubbing away has been identified as an important part of yourself. What happens when everything you thought you were; when everything you have used to identify yourself with, is washed away; pretty scary huh? Well, you’re not going to wash away the central ego.

There is that in us that is powering everything we do and attempting to live its life through us. We interfere. We get in the way. We argue. We fight like demons... interesting term. We fight even when we don’t want to fight because at some point we took in a lot of house guests who really should be on their way but don’t want to go.

Orchids are interesting. There are thousands of them. Did you know that the Vanilla bean is an orchid? We’re like orchids.

When you read the works of most western philosophers it is interesting the degree to which many of them have gone to prove a point while avoiding the truth. They can be awfully convincing if you want to take the time, and if you have the intelligence, to dissect what they’re saying. When you read the works of religious writers it is interesting to note the degree they go to in justifying their particular religion as the be all and end all. When you talk to doctors and psychologists it is interesting to see how they have formed a view of their subject based upon what they’ve been taught within the parameters of a particular view of the science. Most lawyers survive by convincing you that other lawyers are wrong.

Sometimes I think that all these people who quote all these philosophers and memorize the works of composers and who school themselves in all the apparent differences between all of the different representatives of the group; all those people who train themselves in wines and all the arcane arts of phenomenological diversity are just looking for ways to appear wise, attractive, mysterious, while on their way to getting laid. The certain fact that they are not wise is proven in the fact that they think any of this is important. It isn’t. I’d certainly not want to have been Wittgenstein or Schopenhauer or his wigged out disciple. I don’t drink tea with my little finger extended and I often mistake the works of composers for each other; when I have any idea at all.

What a sad destiny to have lived your life so that you can be dissected by phonies, who didn’t understand you in the first place, at a party full of poseurs? Try telling these people the truth. (Grin)

You are already everything you ever wanted to be. The problem is that you are still trying to be who you are. This is further complicated by the fact that what you are -is- and what you are not is not. It would be a real mess if it weren’t for the reality of what is working behind the scenes to put you into the state of perfect remembrance. You’re not here for this foolish struggle, you’re here to live. Try it out.

If a person would focus entirely upon their thought, their speech and actions- full time- something marvelous will occur. This is all you need to know about Yoga, Philosophy, Medicine or Rock and Roll. This brings about the ‘hot-housing’ effect. This tells the engineer that you’re going along with the program. This signals that you are going to put aside pretension and bullshit and allow reduction to take place. You accept diminishment. You agree to die in order that you might live forever. You won’t have to primp in the mirror any more. You won’t have to be anybody important. You won’t have to feel anxious and insecure about the fact that you don’t know what’s going on. In fact, that will make it exciting; and let’s face it- you don’t know what’s going on do you? As soon as you start doing this you will see how difficult it appears to be and ‘what’ you seem to be up against. Hold that thought...

A wonderful Christmas to you all and the sincere hope that you recognize the actual location of the manger and thereby allow the birth to take place; now that’s what I call ‘right to life’.

Patrick Willis narrates:

Today's song-

"(this was a rough first take)
"All romance is about the search for God and union with our own true nature. That's what this is about.""


Anonymous said...

JO posted your new song on the Fray. Nice tune and good, consistent rhythm (having in mind our mutual struggle with instruments).
To complement your post, an old lyric of mine:

A man's got to wonder how he got where he is.
A man's got to seek a simple sound,
A man's got to know what's deep in his soul,
And turn the situation around.

We got priests, we got lawyers,
We got doctors and wives,
All kinds of people ,
Who orchestrate our lives.
We got morals, we got laws,
Hisses and applause,
Gotta turn the situation around.

Merry Christmas, Les, and may the new year bring some measure of relief.


Visible said...


Great to hear from you. And that's a pretty fine tune too. Well, I'm not looking for relief inasmuch as my life is just great, but thanks for the thought anyway.

Anonymous said...

work of art.

Seasons finest greetings to you and yours.

z a

Anonymous said...

I've done a lot of reading and I have never seen such a precise statement as what you sum up in your conclusion about how to get it right. Now I can't stop doing it. Funny thing, it's hard and easy at the same time.

Your getting mentioned a lot on the fray today. You might want to go over and take a look. Dr. No's backhand is working hard, though he does say some complementary things. I never found you to be derivative. People don't realize that everybody reminds someone of someone else. Anyone who is any good sounds like legends of the past. I don't hear anyone getting after Tom Waits for Louis Armstrong.

I suppose you'll be catching shit all down the line but nobody touches you. Sooner or later it's going to come out.


Anonymous said...

Exquisite. I love you. Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

"A wonderful Christmas to you all and the sincere hope that you recognize the actual location of the manger and thereby allow the birth to take place; now that’s what I call ‘right to life’"

unforgetable lines

Anonymous said...

Wow, Merry Christmas. That new song is great! But this little article is even better. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

You're one fine writer. I begin my day with your blog.


Anonymous said...

Vanilla... my favourite flavour.

You read like I'm talking to myself at times... only better.

Much Love to you & yours this beautiful Winter Season.

DragonTat2 aka In-A-NutShell

Anonymous said...

You're always so hopeful, that's moore than a little strange considering what you've been through.

I was listening to your work at Soundclick today, ityed from my computer while I cooked the Christmas dinner. Went just fine with the Wild Turkey on the rocks.

I'd be fooling myself if I didn't say things were different here since you left the islands. Of course, things aren't different, you just made them seem that way.


Mele Kalikimake me ka Hauloi Makahiki hou

Anonymous said...

It's real cold here in the Rockies but then you kind of expect that. This is a great bit of writing as are they all. I'm not much for supermarket holidays but you got the bells ringing a bit for me.

I sent you an email at that Hotmail address. If you don't get it let me know. I've got some ideas.

Feliz Natal! (isn't that what they say over there?)

Aaron Cohn



Visit the recommended reading page for many more.


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

Visit the Blog Music Page
to stream all of Visible's music for free
(purchase is always appreciated but entirely optional)


A classic Visible post:

With gratitude to Patrick Willis.

Click here to watch and comment on Vimeo and here to read the original text.

Visit the Blog Videos Page for many more.