Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Double Entendre of Making an Inside Straight.

.
.

Yes, the game is fixed. But if the game is fixed it’s fixed on both ends; “as above so below, for the performance of the miracles of the one thing.” So if you’re in the lower classes in England and you can’t match the pot, you’ve got all the chips you need to play the game on the other end. And since we’re dealing with a helix, when you go around you can be sure you will come around.

The truth remains stable regardless of the passage of time or the change of circumstances. It always was and it always will be. Where’s the problem then? I mean, if the truth is always the truth how come we haven’t gotten it at this point? It’s fair enough to say that at the time Jesus walked and Buddha spoke that most of the populace wouldn’t have caught on. Over time we note that the unique understandings became commonplace. Christianity, Buddhism, Islam all came to rule in their neighborhoods of influence.

If we are for the most part agreed on the principles why is it so often lacking in the practice? What is the disparity between the head bowed in church on Sunday and the supplicant in the world through the week? What is the disparity between the fair exchange in the marketplace and the reality of the day to day?

Great souls have walked among us and all of their words agree. It’s not like the matter is hidden as far as rules of conduct go. It’s true that the teachers had one message for the initiated and one for the general population. Still, we must assume that the message was basically the same; there was just a difference in the level of understanding.

In my next two offerings I am going to give some details of my personal travelogue. By example I can show how this conundrum has acted out for me; but that’s later down the road.

I tend to think that the simplest answer- even when we don’t like it- is usually the right answer. They say a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. Physics has proven this to not always be the case, but it will do for the argument at hand. Even though the quickest route between Kansas City and Atlanta may be along certain roads, there are experiences that lie between that may make the journey much longer than expected. One may never arrive. So we may plan as we like, there are always other factors that come into play.

Truth exists in and of itself but for the resolution of personal needs the truth is not expedient. One person playing by the rules is at a disadvantage against someone who doesn’t; “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” The playgrounds of our youth move in the larger arena and the same kids are pushing the other kids down and unless those kids adapt they’re screwed, so they adapt to the other principles. The power of the group mind subdues the individual mind and those minds who refuse are locked in or locked out.

It must be that we know what’s right but we refuse to do it. This is a key understanding. We actually know how we are supposed to be but we refuse and the reasons we refuse are many- but all complexities of numbers can be reduced to a common denominator; everything reduces to one. Some people are afraid; these folk go along and they are dangerous in groups. Some folk are canny and they see the angles. At least they see the angles on the limited playing field with the limited possibilities of outcome. Some find sanctimony useful. Some teach technique and some pontificate from a higher ground that they never intend to occupy in fact since they can more easily just appear to occupy it. Hypocrisy becomes one of our most universal qualities.

To walk in Truth is to be set against the hand of every man. You may intend no harm at all. Your passion may not even see anything outside your objective. But you are certain of enmity. Enmity is certain. A person of wisdom then must take pains in protective coloration. No further explanation of the practices of mystery schools need be given. The Templars might have been better off not to go about like John Gotti; less flash and more cash.

In youth there are many dreams. The fresh potentials for great work provide a cornucopia of choices; although, in truth, these options remain all of your life. But as we see, hopes are routinely dashed by circumstance and trial and for most; The Great Work is too much work. We know alright. We know what’s true and what is good but it just isn’t practical and you look like a fool and you attract the heat. All through history we have seen the examples. We surely know by now. So if we do not follow the leads of great hearts then the reasons are obvious. I’ve heard all the excuse in my time. I’ve experienced the betrayals and the deceits. I have done the same in turn when challenged by my higher guide on that which I had not the courage or the faith to continue in.

For myself I have always returned to the scene of my failure to pick it up again. I will not go down agreeing that my shortcomings are my true measure. You can’t offer me a thing here that can match what waits ahead. My every day is filled with the never ending test and it is a terrible crucifixion to see anger and despair so often wrestle the controls from my hands. The fact is that I’ve yet to master the reactive mind. I just can’t always catch myself before I respond in the wrong way to something of no importance. But I’m better than I was because I never give up. My humiliations are too numerous to recall. My despair has cut away any self respect I may ever have had and the rest was beaten out of me. But I never give up.

People give up. It’s what they do. The point of compromise is different in each life. In most cases however, the great battle is put aside for another day. In most cases the battle fought is not even the important one. And then you wonder why this is what you wound up with. But you knew. What you did not know was how much the truth really mattered, how much the truth was the only thing that mattered. This is where you screwed yourself. This is where you got deceived. At the time it seemed that safety in numbers and contempt for the odd man out was the sensible move. You were going to get your share and a mess of potage to call your own. Now it’s too late right? You’re bought and sold, you can’t go home again, you can’t start anew; you’re just going to tread water till your strength runs out. Who’s really crazy here?

It’s not too late however. While there is life there is hope. It isn’t any easier than it was before though; or is it? Now you know for sure that you were wrong. Now you know for sure what is right by benefit of having been wrong. Still, the leap of faith seems wide. Uncertainty remains and the sad attraction back is strong. Does this sound familiar? It should because there is no soul that escapes the dilemma. I think about the rich mans directive, to go and sell all that he has and give it to the poor. He thought about it, yeah, he thought about it. But he just couldn’t do it. So he accepted the following despair in the face of the clear freedom offered. And you have to ask yourself, how important was what he had if he was looking for a way out in the first place? How important was it when he considered the offer and why did it make him sad?

You stand all your life on a gulf. You hang from a ledge afraid to let go, never knowing that the Earth is inches below your feet. That gulf may be so wide that it has no other side, or it may only be as wide as your fear.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man, thank you for that! That's just one of your very best.

Bruce

Carla Beal said...

Beautiful Les, really beautiful. Thank you from me too, expecially today.

Carla

Anonymous said...

I am immensely curious and looking forward to more details of your travelogue. I am very well acquainted with this dilemma you are speaking of. (Do you think that's what happened to me in my experience when I was younger?...did I "chicken out"?)

Your words are always unbelievably encouraging.

ben

ciinc said...

LesV -

can I steal that line about the "helix" in relation to the "wheel" and the "mills of God" (for a poem) ?

I'm serious.

Also, in regards to the closing of this current piece:

anyone

who has read Kimon Friar's introduction to
Kazantzakis' "The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel",

in which Friar talks about the dream of St. Martin (?) and his journey to the abyss,

will REALLY marvel at your ability to say in your own new, graceful, and heartfelt way what we have previously only read about in dry scholarly discussions about the "as if" variety of existentialism.

Yup - all that awaits may in fact be the abyss, but like you said - all we can do is keep on keepin' on "as if".

Best regards
Dave

Anonymous said...

You make hyperbole unavoidable. How many times and in how many ways can I say how exceptional you are. I feel like I have to say something. This is a difficult hurdle given how much you piss off the other side even when you are standing still.

z a

Anonymous said...

"To walk in Truth is to be set against the hand of every man." - Yes, yes, because Truth is anathema to the ego, and ego is what reigns on this plane. Even in an internal struggle, it will kill rather than surrender.

You spoke directly to my heart with this, and I think the coincidences, the mind-reading, those metaphysical sign posts I followed, those were just to get me to trust you, and so I do.

I don't want to go back to sleep again.

Anonymous said...

Another excellent treatment of a perplexing issue.

Well done...I have been reading you consistently.The ardent wish of many is for your spiritual graces to bring more enlightenment to more minds, one nugget at a time. Oh! To be ardent with fervor and inspiration.
"Un Sospiro"...a lovely piano composition by Franz Liszt!

There is so much to learn from you, in today's language! Even the masters, would be proud of you!
Your thoughts are constant refreshment that quenches the thirst of the mind for that which is unknowable, but intuited.

Be well, happy and safe. The gods of yore do walk with you, thought by thought, breath by breath, hope by hope, as hope always springs eternal. "I will come again in the clouds"..the scriptures have it written.
This cloud of the internet is simply an instrument that provides nourishment of all kinds, all the time.

Best to you and yours, always.
TheDreamer...

Anonymous said...

I'm in total agreement with ZA (and just about everyone else)I'm only left with persistent hyperbole that isn't hyperbole actually after all. You did some slick things with this one.

CC

Anonymous said...

A great one Les. You are living proof of that great quote by Eliphas Levi about how a man who had only the Tarot and knew how to use it could create a universal science and speak with inexhaustable eloquence on any subject. I don't remember it completely but I heard it ringing in my head when I read this.

Bill