Friday, May 27, 2005

Who Wrote the Book of Love...

When you think of all the books on all the shelves in all the rooms in the world; when you think of the seed ideas of all the books unwritten and yet to be written and all the books long gone; books written by forgotten Shakespeares and Miltons from long gone Atlantis’s and apostles of teachers who went before they started recording it all again this time; when you think about all those ideas and all those words... well...

I remember sitting on a wide empty beach and letting handfuls of sand run away through my fingers.

This morning I was reading through some information about various areas of Pure Land Buddhism; or Amitabha Buddhism- for which I have a certain natal, spiritual affinity and I have noticed as I have gone on reading, on days before this as well as today that something which I understand in a very simple way has a capacity shared with every other idea- to become increasingly more complex. There’s a chant for this and a chant for that. There are so many directions to bow in while repeating something so many times for so many days and the permutations just logarithmically extend.

Some years ago I was fascinated with the occult and Hermetic Science and that led me to Ceremonial Magic and far more than I could go into here. At one point it occurred to me that all of the trappings of Ceremonial Magic, all the rituals and routines and all of the complexities, shared a common reality with all forms of theurgy and religious ritual from the most primitive level to the most intricate and that was... it all happens in your mind. The whole point of drawing a magic circle and dressing up in ceremonial robes and waving your wand and repeating those words was just to convince your mind that you were serious.

That’s what fasting is about; what all austerities are about, what all denial and intense aspiration are about. They are about convincing your mind that you are sincere. The idea that we can impress God with anything is absurd; this mostly arises because we think of God as being a larger version of ourselves, complete with similar prejudices and more powerful emotions. There is a powerful message here regarding the propensity we all have for lying to ourselves.

There was a time when I would have made a great effort to learn the ins and outs of a given path. In fact, I applied myself diligently to a number of them. This usually trailed off or plateau-ed because I somehow knew I wasn’t going to understand the ocean by counting the grains of sand on the beach; much less memorizing them. There’ve been some great efforts at remembering and categorizing; certainly Confucius would be an example. You can strike a golden spike where that cat wailed but you won’t have gone over the rim of the bowl that contains us as surely as our definitions do.

Somehow it just doesn’t seem to me that knowing all of this stuff is important. I feel somehow that I will know who all of those beings in the tapestry are without having to memorize what their names and functions are. I should add a small disclaimer here. It behooves anyone heading into unknown territory to take a map and to familiarize themselves with what information may exist concerning the environment and the inhabitants. But that would be common sense.

So, I expect these books are good for something if they provide an outline or some sort of a guide in the preliminary portion of out journey. However, the time will come when you have moved beyond the dimensions of the chart. That is when you head into that special area that has only to do with you. That is that period when you are coming on to breaking through from the personal into the cosmic. As you are discovering, you are being changed. You die and become something entirely new while all the time your mind is focused upon something to the extent that you are unaware of what is actually taking place until it has already happened. I, for one, appreciate that.

How many times I have found myself shaking my head and laughing as I see the hierarchy of the Catholic Church on some special day of the year; or any church for that matter- but they are the biggest in the area of display- got all up in these outrageous outfits with miters and scepters and jewels dripping like they were a human Las Vegas light show or some kind of Druid Christmas Tree; giving a whole new ironic meaning to the phrase of being, “all dressed up with nowhere to go.” You see it everywhere. You see it in Buddhism and Hinduism and some more and some less than others. The Muslims are less into the glitter but they make up for what absurdity they lack in that dimension with the addition of Sharia and other less than human friendly devices. I suppose all of this came out of books too.

I love books. I read for pleasure and that would include learning as well because it is a pleasure for me to learn. Sometimes I will read something and a thrill will go up my spine because an electrical connection has been made between something I am reading and an actual archetypal location where the pure idea resides. It’s a sex act.

The more I look around me the more it becomes clear that this world is a product of bad information; or perhaps a product of good information misunderstood or just missed. Now a lot of this bad information is transmitted as a result of bad parenting. A lot of bad information comes out of the libraries of rationalizations made available for our use when we need to justify acting on our appetites and desires; the ego is the librarian here- it is his/her good pleasure to go and find the right volume and open it to the right page. Fear is the other main motivator and there you have a library full of reactions. Something tells me that all fear is based on a lie and therefore no reaction is required, nor shall any fearful thing approach the one that holds that light which illuminates all things; showcasing the real and dissolving the unreal.

The varieties of advertising are amazing; the hot honey leering from the billboard- all that leg, those eyes and the drink in the beaded glass... where’s she inviting you to? Is there such a place? And the guy dressed up like he’s headed for The Hookers Ball in San Francisco; he’s got The Bible in one hand and the collection plate in another and where is he inviting you to? Is there such a place? They’ve got thousands of people in Banana Republic suits driving new Land Rovers all over the African continent looking for photo-ops for their Hunger Porn Industry. “Now I want you to brush some sugar water on the kid’s eyes, we need more flies. Now you come over here and sit on Daddy’s lap and say ‘cheese’.”

All those books and lifetimes; all the adventures and opportunities that eventually end or become exhausted; the endless movie reel- we make whatever sense we intend to make out of it depending on what we want. And we sure do want... endless thirst.

I believe all you have to do is ask with real sincerity and believe regardless of appearances; the appearances are changing immediately in accommodation of your belief whether you can see it or not- that is the job of faith to sustain you through the transition. You’ll attract a real teacher and from that point on- no worries. If you’re going into business you’re going to need some books. If you’re going out of business you can close those books. The only book any of us ever need to read is open in front of us at all times. Depending on what you have trained yourself to see depends on what you are going to experience and whether you are going to be manipulated by events.

“Yeah, I wonder, wonder who... who wrote the book of Love.”

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn!

Anonymous said...

that

Anonymous said...

was

Anonymous said...

super fine!!!

Anonymous said...

Amen!!!

Bruce

Anonymous said...

Jesus Visible, not as cohesive, faceted and polished as some of your fare of late, but possessing flights of brilliance beyond anything you've done yet. I am beyond trying to figure you out. All I can do at this point is just absorb it. Some of this was Horowitz on the piano. You are destined to be discovered and then remembered long after you are gone and most everyone else is forgotton.

a 'friend'

Anonymous said...

Like many who read here I don't know what to say any more either.

How was your trip?

How, what, whatever. Thank you, I guess I can say that. Thank you.

Erin

omsatnam said...

Yes, all the books at best, can only take us to the rest...of the story. As one leather-panted poet-bard from Los Angeles once sang in the halls of hedonism: ..."The West is the Best; get Here, and We'll Do the Rest." (I take "the West" as meaning, the western paradise realm of Amitabha Buddha)... And yes, I too have read them all, yet a few stand out far and above, which may help to lead one beyond the matrix of the mind, into the ineffable silence of Primordial Awareness. Here is a very partial list for those interested in what lies much deeper within and beyond: "Who Am I" and "Self-Inquiry" by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi / Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi / The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi; The Path of Knowledge; and, Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi (all edited by Arthur Osbourne) / Garland of Guru's Sayings (edited by Muruganar) / (Tripura Rahasya / Viveka Chudamani - Crest Jewel of Discrimination (by Sri Shankara) / Yoga Vaisitha (by Valmiki) / The Ribhu Gita / The Zen Teaching of Huang Po / The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma /

Carla said...

Fantastic work Les.

Carla

Devaji said...

I have been reading your essays since March now, before you went away and then since.

I have no information about your personal life but I know intuitively that you have the understanding of a Master. It is clear that you are a 'realized being' or certainly partially realized and possibly jivanmukti.

I cannot know if you are 'vividisha sannyasa' or 'vidvat sannyasa' or whether you have finalized the five purposes but the kundalini is obviously awakened and the sense of boundless present is evident in your work.

Because of you I have been called to contribute also what I have learned in my small way to this point. I do not know what I will say yet but I am thinking on it.

You have removed several long standing samskaras from my mind when I encountered specific statements in your writing. It is this that tells me you have attained because of the impact of awakening I experienced that was more than the power of the words but rather the power of the idea upon my mind.

I ask that you would please address the question of how one can live in the world as it presently appears to be and experience the least degree of confusion and torment in respect of it.

Om Shanti Gurudev,
Devaji

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering. I don't know what he is (to sort of answer the comment above) but I know that I do hang on his every word. He doesn't like people saying these kinds of things but it comes with the territory I suspect.

Bradley

Lest I forget; this was a brilliant and lyrical flight, though more Paganini in my opinion than Horowitz if I may be so bold.

Anonymous said...

Your commentary on the 'hunger porn' industry is sheer genius. You just relentlessly come up with the most cutting edge commentary and firey truth. I salute you. I am waiting for something new in Smoking Mirrors too.

Pen

Anonymous said...

"How many times I have found myself shaking my head and laughing as I see the hierarchy of the Catholic Church on some special day of the year; or any church for that matter- but they are the biggest in the area of display- got all up in these outrageous outfits with miters and scepters and jewels dripping like they were a human Las Vegas light show or some kind of Druid Christmas Tree; giving a whole new ironic meaning to the phrase of being, “all dressed up with nowhere to go.” You see it everywhere. You see it in Buddhism and Hinduism and some more and some less than others. The Muslims are less into the glitter but they make up for what absurdity they lack in that dimension with the addition of Sharia and other less than human friendly devices. I suppose all of this came out of books too."

Boy, that says it all.