I’ve got this song ‘Fade Away’ and the chorus goes,
“Don’t let me fade away and disappear from sight
These hands they pull at me, I have no strength to fight
By myself I’m nothing, with nothing more to say
Don’t let me disappear, don’t let me fade away.”
It’s the second line I’m thinking about today. I can feel those hands sometimes. It’s like a scene from one of those old comic books I used to read as a kid; maybe ‘Tales from the Crypt’. A guy is walking somewhere spooky and hands come out of the ground to pull him under. Most monsters; the walking dead, vampires, werewolves and assorted, are metaphors for things within ourselves. I’m not saying there aren’t real vampires and werewolves. All you have to do is spend some time in Hollywood and you will meet a bunch of them. We are often confused as to what real monsters are.
I was terrified as a child. I knew those monsters were out there. The tragic irony to my situation is that I could not cry out for help because I would be beaten. That was one hundred percent certain. The monsters were only 90% certain. The funny thing is, after I had gone through some changes while coming out of my teens I was no longer afraid of monsters, even when creatures from the lower astral realm materialized in front of me. I made them my friends. It became like having a large hunting beast accompanying me on my journey through the night.
There’s an animated movie called ‘Monsters Inc.’ this particular film is very real in terms of how things actually work. In the film the monsters feed on fear. That’s exactly how it is. Fear is like perfume and it does attract. Some people have a real problem with animals, dogs scare them and the dogs know this. The reason is that human fear smells just like anger to a dog. There’s always a reason for things.
I’ve studied at the martial arts my whole life. A fairly large understanding of it came to me during an acid trip. I downloaded a schematic, more or less. It was obviously a past life re-entry. In very little time I had an understanding of it that was well beyond anything I could have gained in such a short time. It didn’t take in my personality initially though and I didn’t even recognize it as a martial art for some time. I thought it was some kind of dance connected to Lord Shiva because there were all sorts of Nataraja-like aspects to it. It was some time before I got into formal training and it was only much later that I assumed it as a daily yoga. At some point it became an automatic part of my general body language. From that moment I found I could walk anywhere and never have a problem.
The key to the martial arts is never having to use them in an actual confrontation. That potential confrontation should be diffused before such an occurrence and without the other party being aware of it. Now of course, someone could come out of nowhere and clock me for no reason this afternoon (not that there is ever no reason). Stranger things have happened. But so far, this has been consistent. My only recourse in this regard has been to stop conflicts, to intercede, and that has happened a few times and half the time with no contact at all. However, such things don’t usually happen at all anywhere that I am. And I’ve been in some bad bars. You carry your world with you.
The strangest thing about this is that, up until fairly recently, I was prone to behave in an outrageous manner when fueled up and in the air. I really liked to have a good time to the maximum allowable degree. Even through all of this the peace remained pretty consistent. I think of all the hard eyes I’ve encountered and all the things that never proceeded from there. I lived in Hawaii for quite some years and I can tell you that nowhere else I’ve ever been has had so much violence in it. The macho head space of the locals and Kanakas is right there in front of you. I used to hear stories all the time and the papers had some example nearly every single day. I saw some things too.
I’ve got a reason for giving out these small vignettes and it’s not about me personally. Personally I bore myself these days and that’s good. It’s been real hard getting rid of some of the deep, deep impressions and reactions that just don’t seem to want to leave, but I try. Those hands are still reaching out and I have to be mindful.
Now, I spent some time in violent prisons and other dark bardos and I hitchhiked back and forth across America from coast to coast a lot of times. I know I got picked up by killers on occasion. You can feel these kinds of things. But it always worked out. I’ve had guns and knives pulled on me and assorted threats of mayhem; most of which I can’t even remember anymore.
As I look back on my life I can see that the degree to which I suffered bodily harm and psychological punishments was directly relevant to the degree of fear I felt. I am not entirely without fear now but the fear I have is different than what is usually understood to be fear. And there is a sense of rightness, a sense of enveloping protection that I could not begin to describe.
I read somewhere that those who love much are forgiven much. It must be true. I know if I had not been pounded into the ground I would not have been tenderized to this degree. I know that the beatings were intended to open up the Love and to propel with great force toward the source of Love. I owe a real debt of gratitude to those who beat the shit out of me. In some respects I remain one of the walking wounded with a chronic schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. The thing is, you have to get these identities to talk to each other. Having multiple personalities can be a good thing if they only operate within the parameters where their talents lie.
We spend so much time regretting our lives and what we have done and become. We do not see the value of it all. We read things negatively based upon the pressures of common social understanding. None of these people know anything; they are just as messed up as you are. We have to make friends with the creatures of the night because they are not what they appear to be. We have mislabeled them. The meaning of the name Adam is, ‘namer of things’. That’s something to think about.
In any moment in which we find ourselves, the opportunity for real and dynamic change exists. We can walk away from what we have been and forge a brand new path. It is always hardest when we are trying to change. But you either do it or you get into arguments with yourself by thinking about it. There’s nothing to think about. Yes, it’s always two steps forward and one step back.
Someone is very definitely looking out for you. It’s why you are searching to begin with. You were seen coming before you even knew you were looking. The more you accept this mantle of protection the more smoothly everything in your life will even out. Few of us have anywhere near the obstacles of some. And some of those folk have moved well beyond where we now stand. It’s pretty hard to be serious about you personal problems when you remind yourself you are not in Iraq holding a dead child in your arms next to the ruins of your house.
There’s no such thing as age. You yourself can feel that you are the same age you always were since the moment the awareness of yourself came out of the transitional process. It’s never too late for the important things. You’re not going to die, it only seems that way and it’s the best thing that could happen or it wouldn’t happen because everything happens for the best. The critical issue we all face is how gracefully we respond to the loving hand that shapes us. Everything is a matter of degree. A slap is a caress of a greater degree. The closer you get the softer it is. There’s no need to be constantly jerked back onto the road. You’re not a dumb beast. You can anticipate. But first we must accept that there is, in fact, a guiding hand.
'Fade Away' is track no. 3 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)