Saturday, January 22, 2005

Now We Are Just Dickering about the Price.

There’s an old joke; a man approaches a beautiful woman and he asks her if she will go to bed with him for a million dollars. She assures him that she will. He then asks her if she will go to bed with him for $10.00, with a shocked retort she replies, “Absolutely not, what do you think I am?” He replies, “We’ve already established that, now we’re just dickering about the price.”

They say everyone has their price. I suppose in most every case I would have to agree. I consider myself priceless but you can have me for free.

Fame is a curious animal; truly a ‘warts and all’ creature seen in hindsight. Quite often in the immediate passage, fame is the beneficiary of real cosmetic artifice. Fame may come as the result of actual achievement but is just as easily secured by a good press agent.

Upon meeting Truman Capote, I asked him if he would like to read some of my work. He answered me in his high pitched trademark squeal, “My advice to you young man is to get a good agent.” I believed when I was young that I would achieve fame. I was convinced that certain of my talents were the equal of any man and that my message had the requisite timeless resonance. Of course, I knew nothing about fame and even less about myself. As time passed there were moments when I behaved badly; in defiance of the status quo; in misapprehension of the necessities of arts exposure; fueled by chemicals and often ignorance as well. I was lucky I had no more than a localized celebrity.

In this time, fame is generally confused with notoriety and capriciously bestowed for no good reason. It’s often a corollary to the efforts of businessmen who could never be accused of possessing either sensitivity or taste. Fame endures like infamy. Real fame isn’t the notice of the moment but rather the result of the ongoing test of time. Messages given to humanity are often understood only at a point well beyond the departure of the messenger.

It seems to me now that the measure of fame is in ‘who’ remembers you and ‘why’ they remember you. Einstein is famous but very few people know why. Justin Timberlake is famous and I don’t know why. Coca Cola is famous too, so is Disneyland, Mickey Mouse and Viagra- they’re more famous than most famous people. The highest personification of the game show host in American Idol and its many clones confers a fame that will vanish the moment the show goes away. There are skiers in Latvia; Pro Sports and Extreme Sports aficionados on everything from skateboards to snowmobiles, TV actors in a hundred countries, singers and dancers in every city, hairdressers, dress designers, paperback writers and hookers with hotel fortunes. All of them are famous in their world. There are hundreds of thousands of famous people. I live next door to someone here called Cliff Richards; I was told he is Sir Cliff Richards. I have no idea who he is; something to do with music.

I’ve been on a few large stages and I remember being struck with the desire to throw raw meat into the crowd. Once I performed at a concert attended by around 25,000 people. Some number had brought kegs into the crowd and as time passed they got drunk and
unruly. I closed out my set with an acappela rendition of one of my tunes called Alcohol. It was a huge hit, the timing was right. Drunks were screaming it out as the song progressed. Then, for the rest of the night as other artists performed, you would hear someone screaming it; sometimes several people in different locations. I think I was famous that night though I doubt most knew who I was or remembered after. No stage I’ve ever been on matches the stage I stand on every day. No stage is larger or more majestic; the grand empyrean of stars and transiting bodies and here below all brilliantly garbed in the colors and sounds of eternal shakti. And all of this is just empty chimera in comparison to what lies within and beyond.

“Here comes the Sun King- and everybody’s laughing.”

No one is more famous than The Sun. The Sun is the essence of celebrity and fame. There is no life without The Sun and everything you do and are is a part of The Sun. On the personal level some suns shine too hot and create an arid desert, on other levels the sun seems hardly to shine at all. So it is in the larger sense. It is correct to say that your destiny is to become The Sun. Every star is a seat of consciousness, a living presence that is a personalized aspect of the spiritual sun preceding all phenomena. The Sun even creates the atmosphere that protects you from it. Plants take the power of The Sun and convert it directly to energy. We are in the process of learning how to do this. All our trial and error is dedicated to achieving this.

In the deeper fabric of life there are rarified realms where millions of voices are raised in a ceaseless chant to the infinite. They create and maintain a wavelength upon which the intelligence of The Sun travels. Marvelous tapestries are woven from this ongoing song. You can close your eyes and travel right into the thanka of the Tathagata, into the living presence of The Sakyamuni and The Christ. Look upon the spiraling descent of angels from the Sun. Daily they flow back and forth upon the sublime wavelength all singing the glory of the ineffable; “Here comes The Sun King”.

Should I, myself, hope to aspire to any personal remembrance when faced with the incomprehensible achievement of that which has made out of itself every moon, every star, every planet, every solar system and galaxy; everything in everything? I am only a single grain of sand on a single beach. Every star draws from the cloud nebula new life as it passes through it. It bathes itself in itself. I become more and more impressed with the hubris of those who think themselves singular and exceptional.

If other lifetimes must come I hope I may live to sing the praises of this force which has brought me over such a distance of diminishing darkness into the gradual understanding that is like a slow increasing light. Things I could not see at all stand now in stark relief and other shapes are now dimly outlined beyond them. The anonymous melt of my tiny part into this smiling repose is beyond anything I once imagined. I suspect it is something I once feared more than anything else.

I look back at the pain and the punishing force whose intentions I never understood and I see it was all a process of alignment; of placement. What fame do any of us deserve beside the work of the divine? If I light and burn for a moment in that Love isn’t that fame enough? And I have been told that I will shine forever because of it. No, let others accept honors and awards. Let others feast at the high tower and let their names be carved in stone. I would rather move more quickly and less encumbered.

There is a joy that rises in us just as The Sun seems to rise in the sky. Every disappointment and loss in our lives is meant to be a spur to encourage us to look to where this joy rises. For now, the doorway is open only occasionally until we close it again, unable to bear that light. But once the hinges of that door are broken, once that door hangs from a single hinge, incapable of closing, then we shall be free.

23 comments:

ciinc said...

Poem for LesV: "Lawrence is Watching"

Lawrence Is Watching

OK all you hipster wanna-be's
Lawrence is watching now -
yeah I do mean Ferlinghetti -
ready to make you out

the fool you are or make you
a new icon in the bookstore
that he's running
beyond all city lights.

What he said. How Christ was
crucified on a Cadillac tree.
But write it now how
Jesus was a honeybee

who found a new stash of clover
who flew back to the hive
who did his crazy dance
at the walls of Jerusalem

to tell us wanna-be's about it


Les - please note, this has been posted elsewhere, including the QED poetry site.

Catnapping said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Catnapping said...

It makes me sad when I think about the invention of the mirror. That might have been the beginning of the emotional pathology for humans.

It's always seemed to me that the happier - more contented - people are those who know themselves a part of a larger group. Not just attached, or one of many, like marbles in a bag......but actually a part, like ingredients in a cake.

More and more folks seem to think that they finish at their skin...that skin is some boundary protecting them from the rest of the clan, the world.

I don't believe that we achieve anything alone ... as individuals. I think our happiest moments occur around the same time we find ourselves involved and connected. When the group we're with is not our audience, but rather the rest of us that has soaked into our skin, moved with our blood to co-mingle as one soul.

Anonymous said...

An exceptional treatise. I have never seen it put like that before. It makes it so much easier to accept and to understand. Thank you for fifteen minutes of real dawn. You made the sun come up inside my head.

The other contributions here are exceptional as well. You have some very talented and intuitive associates coming for the water.

z a

ciinc said...

CatN

I am truly very glad to see you here and hope you don't mind me saying so.

LesV has said he doesn't mind people posting more than the usual kind of response here, and I believe that yours was a really worthwhile response to read.

Before Notre Dame and Chartres and St John the Divine, long before them, a small group of people felt, in my opinion, the kind of fellowship you are talking about.
I say this because it is the only analogy I can think of to what is actually going on here at Les' blog, as I have said before.

ciinc

Catnapping said...

thanks ci-inc. i do enjoy reading Les' essays, and most those who respond to him.

cat

Anonymous said...

"What fame do any of us deserve beside the work of the divine?"

Indeed. Working this one out can take up all your free time, anyway. The legions of fans - they want only locks of hair, strips of clothing. This is painful.

The divine wants all - the dissolute self - and what more satisfying a tribute than that?

So the prayer: "I am yours."

Anonymous said...

"Every disappointment and loss in our lives is meant to be a spur to encourage us to look to where this joy rises."

What a magnificent statement. I would guess that I've had less pain in my life than most but with almost every encounter I have done just that, gone within, reached desperately for that part of myself that knows no pain. As a result, i've caught glimpses of something that makes me want more; it becomes more important to me each day, even now, when life seems to be flowing along like a good dream.

Thank you for providing continual inspiration and reflecting back the light that is within us all.

(you know, i once thought i had to forcefully beat down that door you speak of. now i realize that it opens to me slowly on it's own accord, in direct relation to my capacity to lay eyes on what waits on the other side)

Thanks again,

ben

fembot said...

"In the deeper fabric of life there are rarified realms where millions of voices are raised in a ceaseless chant to the infinite."I pray everyday by living simply and peacefully with my fellow man.

mr. himitsu

Anonymous said...

After a day of extreme downhill I come back and this was my most exciting ride of the day.

Bruce

Les Visible said...

Thank you all for your comments, especially you ciinc for that great poem. I'm assuming that is your? If it is it's winner. Cat, your special gift for articulation really shines in your comment. It added luster to my words. thank you too Ben.

The fact that we all know that such things can be bears witness to the certainty that we shall someday see them. This gives me such a power of hope and faith in what waits ahead that I find myself smiling and laughing for no apparent reason; luckily I'm no longer in the U.S where they lock you up for this sort of thing.

Thanks to the rest of you as well. I've really appreciated the emails.

Carla Beal said...

Wow! spiraling angels and living tapestries. the best part is I know it's all true.

Carla

Anonymous said...

Another bullseye, immensely creative. Well, todays's the big NFL day. I'm assuming you have the Patriots and the Eagles. I doubt you're taken in by the Steeler hype. Yeah, it's only football but I thought I'd mention it.

Bill

Anonymous said...

I really liked this one Visible. I think it is true that there huge choirs deep inside that sing an ageless tune that keeps everything together and to go there and sing and be faceless while singing is the absolute height of fame. You're a jewel.

CC

ciinc said...

LesV -

The cadence of this line in your response:

The fact that we all know that such things can be bears witness to the certainty that we shall someday see them

is so skillfully rendered, and the thought so deceptively simple, that you might want to consider devoting a verse or a full epistle to them alone.

I say that even though they sound like they could have come from SaulOfTarsus (Paul), whom I despise as much as a despise any person in history.

ciinc

ciinc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ciinc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Man, there's some excellent writing here. I'm a long time fan of your music. I didn't know you did this kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is Ray. I wrote you about you early Critical List work a few months ago.

Les Visible said...

Hey Ci-inc;

Writing at length as i do and as often as I do on the subjects that I do, it goes without saying that even my most sincere expressions of the heart may be seen as hackneyed and trite; basic simplicity can go either way. And ten people can say the same thing and have it ring ten different ways.

I'm no fan of Saul of Tarsus. He's what happens when a reformed whore's denial breaks. He's what happens when you get thee letter and miss the spirit. He's what happens when they throw Councils at Nicea and toss out everything that doesn't fit in with the game plan of control over the waters of the spirit freely given. He's the Corps of Army Engineers. He's the damning of the Colorado for the benefit of Las Vegas so that preachers will have something to complain about. He's the way Freddie Tits will find Jesus. I guess that's some kind of back door man.

I know that wasn't an attack and neither is this a defense. In all my life I've never known why I do things or why I stop doing them. You reacted to my commnet about how this blog would end at some point. And well it might. In another few months there will be over 200 of these. That's a lot. Though the form changes, the work itself doesn't- so something will replace it because I don't have any choice in the matter. I gave myself over to something and it's long past the point where I am in a posiition to turn back. No matter what direction I turn in I( will still be going the same way.

ciinc said...

LesV -

this is probably an unnecessary clarification, but just wanted to say that when I said "sounded like", I meant I could hear Paul or Timothy or anyone of the early "travellers" saying the same thing in respect to the new ideas they were disseminating.

i did not mean at all that you were paraphrasing something already said, nor saying the same thing as someone has already said.

all I meant is that the beautiful cadence of your prose in that line actually made the line truly connote the kind of spiritual re-assurance of which you were speaking, and that's what made it sound like Paul (on whom you and I agree.) One of Paul's biggest jobs was to reassure - it's one of the jobs anyone has to do who is taking people on an unanticipated journey.

yes - I would be very sad if this blog ends, but I will take comfort in the novel "The Brook Kerith" by George Moore - if you can find a copy of it and haven't read it also, I believe it would be worth your time.

very best regards
ciinc

Les Visible said...

I'm always hearing about things I haven't heard of. I'll look for it in my travels. Oh, I know you weren't doing that and I'm sure you know that I knew you weren't doing that (this is getting to be fun), but a lot of times I use something unrelated to go off on a tangent that may remain unexplained or have only to do with things inside my head- if there is such a place.

Anonymous said...

MESSAGE FOR DAVID HALITSKY
(ciinc) posted at Writer’s Block Forum


Dear David

I was shocked by what I have read about you today. I know you are not a nasty, conniving vindictive type – so just convince other people. You are a warm person.
Forget about the personalities behind the poems. You know to whom I am referring - persons whose names begin with “C”. I am NOT one of these personalities. I am an aspiring writer whose work had been short listed, then rejected because it was found posted on the internet. It was locked by the website, so I had no powers to delete. You have much potential. Do not waste it. Understand where the good advice is coming from. You are intelligent enough to be able to discern the good from the bad. I think you may benefit from some intuition lessons.

This message does come straight from my heart, not my head, so feel free to reject this advice as sappy.

I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavours.

Kindest regards
VSP

I agree with you that I’m a connoisseur [as in: born into a certain stereotype]