Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Is it Really All up to Us...? ...down to us?

Are you supposed to work out your own salvation here, “with fear and trembling” as someone once suggested? Are you meant to lift yourself to heaven by your own bootstraps? What I mean is... is it the result of a more intense zeal; a greater determination, a more focused attack or a higher morality on your part that takes you to the gates and beyond? Are “you the man”?

It’s funny how certain things will cause us to think along certain lines. It is also funny how we tend to prove what we are predisposed to. If we think our girlfriend is having an affair all the evidence that comes across our radar seems to prove it. Then there’s that psychic thing. One time I was looking in a coffee can for something and among dozens of slips of paper I found one with a name and a phone number; nothing more than that and the moment I had it in my hand I knew that this fellow was having it on with my girlfriend... and I was right. It was a one off sort of thing and I didn’t care that much any way. There was no earthly reason why I would have gotten such a clear picture in that moment, but I did. This sort of thing happens to me often.

I’ve wondered as much as anyone whether there was anything I could do to expedite my enlightenment, hasten my liberation or bring me into a cosmic balance sooner; if at all. I’ve made strong efforts, the speed of which accounted for the greater pyrotechnics of the fiery wreck that followed. I’ve fasted and I’ve prayed and I’ve meditated and I’ve gone celibate for periods of time. I’ve tried to be good and I’ve looked into whether darkness might not also contain the light. I’ve pushed and I’ve probed and I’ve gotten nowhere and also had beings and outrageous phenomena appear right in front of me. Are outrageous phenomena like inter-dimensional beings and saucer craft of any more value than a Hollywood movie? They come and go and never a forwarding address did I get. The cryptic statement that shook the air, “we are aware of you.” remains as one more Zen Koan that has gone unanswered. I don’t know who my visitors were any more than I know whose voice it is that I hear sometimes; or if it is all the same voice. The advice is good and often the occurrences are timely but... what?

So, everything I have said and wondered over in the last few paragraphs is connected in one way or another to something that happened today; something I noticed. I’ve done this hundreds of times but it’s never occurred to me before. My companion is off in Portugal with her mother and I am looking after ‘her’ dog. I wanted to go to the store today for some vegetables and as I was locking the dog into the downstairs it occurred to me that; not in a million years would that dog be able to let herself out of that apartment; nor would she have a million years but that is beside the point.

There’s no way that dog could ever let itself out of there. It would die. There is only one thing that dog can do and that is to cry out, to make enough noise that someone might hear it and might facilitate its escape; open the door. In that moment it occurred to me that that is the case with us as well. We aren’t going to get anywhere without help. We haven’t the slightest idea of the technique or the way. We don’t know what we are dealing with. We suspect many things but we do not possess the keys or the hands necessary to use them. We can cry out. We can make noise. I feel like I said something like this not that long ago but I can’t remember what it was; maybe this is on my mind at the moment.

Years ago I used to get together with some unique individuals on a mountain top in a place called Riverby near to Woodstock, N.Y. Some of them were alumni of Millbrook at Billy Hitchcock’s estate; former associates of Tim Leary and some of them were cosmic travelers who came and went. All of them had to hike up three miles of timber road to The Stone Circle where we had ‘sessions’. The sessions were based on the Native American peyote ritual but we were taking LSD- strong LSD. Then we would chant Om Amitabha for hours and things would happen as a result of this ‘group consciousness’ that beggar description.

My friends and I were all members of a Macrobiotic collective where we ate and worked and I owned a spiritual bookstore as well. I lived in a teepee as often as not; winter or summer it made no difference. I might walk the ten miles into town on any given day letting every footfall sound out Om Amitabha as I went my way.

A Sufi holy man entered that town and swept all of us off to Philadelphia. He took the spiritual heart out of the town and nothing was ever the same again. I didn’t fit in with all that. I don’t really care for the Muslim religion any more than I do the Christian. They bore me. That’s just the way it is.

Somehow, out of the blue and I can’t remember exactly when and I have no details... somehow I found myself chanting Amitabha chants again. It has continued to intensify to this moment. The reason we chanted Amitabha’s name was, according to Michael Green; “he’s the Buddha of LSD.” Well, actually, he’s the Buddha of Limitless Light but that may be the same thing. I don’t know. All I knew about the Amitabha Buddha at that time and until recently was that he refused enlightenment until every other sentient being had experienced it before him. He bears many similarities to Jesus Christ.

What I have found out in recent time is that he is the Pure Land Buddha. His story is accessible from links at my homepage. Suffice to say though that he created a realm; a world, a heaven where anyone, anyone who called out to him on their deathbed could come in the after life. You needed no special good works. You needed nothing but the faith and the presence of mind to call out. It’s even suggested that some could call out for you; this I don’t know. But the even bigger bonus is that you could choose to reincarnate there over and over without having to be reborn here. You could study the dharma in The Pure Land and eventually attain to enlightenment or Bodhisattva status there. Boy I like the sound of that. As you may know, I don’t much like it here and I really don’t ever want to come back. I realize that I might come back and I probably will come back if I can be of help and cause no harm.

See, the thing is, I’m not strong enough to make it on my own. Maybe some of you are but I am not. My capacity to screw up and to be, at least temporarily deceived it too great. I’m neither a saint nor a Magus. I’m a poet, a mystic and potentially a sage, provided I make it around and out of the many abysses and traps that line the way. I’m that dog in the apartment. I don’t have the skills to get out on my own. Some may do. I do not. Some may have the strength and the conviction to storm the gates of heaven and remain. I did not. I got cast back down. Does the bloom bring itself forth or is it something in the nature of the flower? Why do some bloom so much earlier than others? Why do some not bloom at all?

It is said that The Amitabha was able to engineer all of this as a result of eons of focus upon this very thing. By merit he was able to materialize this world and maintain it for perpetuity. Why did he come back so strongly into my life? It just happened. I think as I have grown more and more capable of letting go, that which I am meant to let go into has become more evident. We all have an archetype that is vibrating away the samskaras that blind us. All of those archetypes are projections of a single unnamable essential thing. So, like I said, maybe you can do it on your own; maybe that is your archetype (grin- irony alert). Mine is to dissolve into something. Mine is to allow the dissolution of the unreal into the real. I’m sure it looks like I’m trying to take the easiest possible way...

...maybe I am. Maybe I need to go with what works. I once heard that those who study Jnana Yoga, or the yoga of distilling knowledge into Wisdom, must- once they have completed it- return and practice Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion; faith, absolute reliance upon the divine. However, those who practice Bhakti Yoga to begin with have all that Jnana and every other yoga contains automatically added in as part of the process. That seems to work for me. When I think back upon my excursions into Ceremonial Magic and Tantra and the planes of excess in the realm of The Dark Splendor I realize, without any confusion, that someone has been looking out for me or I would long ago have been toast.

Maybe impatience is unnecessary. Somehow I seem able to believe that that which forgets nothing would forget me. I seem able to believe that something will be overlooked, that I have to take steps to insure something which I do not even understand the value of. I feel compelled to work toward a future whose value I have no way of measuring. Somewhere between the racket I make doing this and the assistance of the one I cannot see, lies the moment of our meeting come round at last. Not the brief touches and occasional explosions of contact but... the real, lasting deal. Now how am I supposed to pull this off by myself?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

On the Road to Elsewhere.

Well, I’ve been off in one of those personal fugue states that come around every now and again like an ill wind. I’ve never understood these things that just drop in and take over until one is able to regain themselves again. For some of us it is the surrounding world that takes our attention and embroils us in details irrelevant to our main purpose, sidetracking us- so to speak- and turning us into a pinball until we are made aware of the situation. For some of us it is the sex force, always leering with the come hither in the shadowy areas of the mind projected outward into form. For some it is the sudden presence of inexplicable fear, uncertainty, anger or what-have-you from the potpourri of the unconscious. There are other things, I need not name them all, nor could I.

I do battle daily with aspects of myself, usually I have the upper hand, or so it seems. On some occasions I find myself entering still waters without a current and the swamp atmosphere sends its dark humors up to create negative fantasies in the mind; much like will-o-wisps and the lanterns of the dead that move through such landscapes.

In recent years I have had the freedom and the balance to maintain longer periods of solid focus and self-control. But I always feel like Frodo after being stabbed at Weathertop. There’s that memory of dark and poisonous injury that calls out on occasion with stronger force. It has its anniversaries.

Each of us has come through events and environments that have shaped us. We have been shaped for the better and sometimes for the worse as a result of things we have encountered, the way we handled them and our memory of the affair; these last two are not always the same. The mind has a way of shaping its remembrance according to personal needs. Sometimes, no matter how we try we cannot be honest with ourselves because we no longer have an accurate recollection of the details.

Consonant with all of this is the reality that God has us constantly in the shelter of his Love and protection; some responsibility exists on our part to take advantage of this. We can run out from that shelter into the dark lands. Often fear and other negative emotions are responsible for this putting of ourselves in harms way. I’ve used the analogy of the mouse behind the refrigerator who is safe from the cat but possibly not safe from its own panic to flee.

For some of us it doesn’t take much to begin to dislike ourselves. We are predisposed in that regard. Some of us think too well of ourselves and can justify any excess or unpleasant behavior as examples of our imperial right to do as we please. Over the long course of the road of faith and good intention there is many a setback. Often these setbacks are learning opportunities; something we require for our greater understanding and protection at a later date. Coloring all of it is the degree of our faith in the unseen hand behind the process. For myself I find few things as critically important as the capacity to know that God loves and forgives us no matter what we do; although there are some qualifiers to this but that has more to do with the particular soul and less to do with God’s capacities. One can rely on God’s generosity if one is so disposed. One can read St. Augustine if one wishes. The biographies and autobiographies of historical figures often produce understandings that one had no idea of prior to the encounter.

I often find that I do not like this world and don’t like being here. Often I wish I could be gone and never return. I’ve had some fun here but in general I see this world as a place of unremitting heartbreak and disappointment. I know that there are much brighter realms and I long for them a great deal of the time. I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression here; I suspect that I have greater tranquility in general than most people. Still, I long for brighter and more loving worlds.

I understand the purpose of this world. As I have said, it is a Chinese Box of Hide and Seek, or a labyrinth for the discovery of the one lost within it. It is a very complex puzzle set up to be dissolved by the descent of an understanding pursued. We are here to find ourselves. That is the real purpose of this world and every life. God created the world out of his body. He created us as dreamers in the mist toward the discovery of his presence within and he has with-held the greater portion of his substance and his power forever unmanifest. There is never a time when it is otherwise. One of our critical ongoing conundrums is that of the funhouse mirror between the male and the female of life reflected. Forth from this comes the everlasting progeny of our continued repetitions of return and departure.

One of the reasons some abstain from sexual congress on this plane is that the sex is so much better at the other levels. Also, sex at this level creates at this level and binds one into the attachments for the creation. You see much made of the argument for family and love of country, for arbitrary rules of behavior designed for crowd control; set aside without a second thought by those peoples and institutions in a position to call the shots. It’s a world of hypocrisy at every side. I’ll deal with the terrestrial aspect of this over at Smoking Mirrors later.

I can see the lure and I can feel the pull of the world’s attractions. I have also felt the lash of disappointment in everything it offers. There is nothing in this world that is worth having. This is not to say that one should live in constant denial or that one should rail at the other inhabitants for their engagements. This is just stating a fact known to all who have discovered it. There are things worth having that make life worth living and also make it possible to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of this realm; one can “kiss the joy as it flies.” These things are the qualities of God. God has provided us with his qualities, should we chose to develop them or receive them by grace. These qualities are priceless. They are all any sane person should pursue.

But I’m just trying to be honest here and say, even though I have extended periods of serenity and joy; even though I am sometimes brimming with good feeling, I must admit that I don’t like it here overall. There are parts that I like; secluded nature, wild nature, the invisible realms that touch down upon the land and which are revealed through austerities, meditation, grace and psychedelics; just stating the facts according to my experience. I always want to be Elsewhere.

I wrote a poem long ago about this feeling and I’m going to close this writing with it. I can feel Elsewhere sometimes. It has a sound of distant bells and drums and voices. It sometimes seems like an absurd character from fairy tale; a character with several heads and many arms coming in wonderful colors over the rise and making all of that riotous and outrageous noise. It comes with a sound like the banging of pots together, along with tinkling bells and gongs. There are horns and shouts and cries of laughter; it appears that there might be more than one figure but all of it is so close together that it always looks like one thing. It bleeds over the ground as it comes. The countryside is changed as it passes through it. There are the sorts of bright colors ones sees after a cleansing rain. There is a beautiful freshness to the air. Dark things flee to the periphery. This fantastic figure which seems almost like a dancing fool, harmless in appearance, and without weapons or armor, drives every dark thing away. None can stand where it passes. None can approach where it is. It has all authority. I catch a distant vision of it now and then. Sometimes I can feel it coming in my mind but then I lose track of it again. It is the King and Queen of Elsewhere I think and they bring Elsewhere with them wherever they go.


i have known love
and tasted love
along with delight and sorrow
there on the dark altar of the night

and in the end it did not matter to me

no more than the promise of fortune or revenge

i remained a pauper,

poorer from this multitude of desires

and i am no more wise nor more skilled
by that to which i never gave more than half my heart

because my attention was Elsewhere
always Elsewhere.....

In some Jamaica of the mind,
peering like a dream miniature over a gulls wing
drinking in the sun drenched waters
of another endless ocean

the summer cliffs of Big Sur

wandering in deserts

hitching the nowhere highway
like Quixote in Spain

dreaming of Elsewhere
tracking the Elsewhere

a place i can barely visualize

barely trace the outline

like some blurred face on an old coin

yet it never leaves me for a moment
it penetrates my every thought
until nothing is more important
than to be Elsewhere

to be
where it is

like Marcellus
who won the robe
and was burned to the soul when he put it on

they say the love of God is like a consuming fire

and he could not rest

until it had consumed him

there has been laughter and tears
and visions of
descents into the dark splendor
more than a few times
to educate the serpent in the spine
who is neither good nor bad
but both

i have observed
is consistently anything
nothing but the truth
which cannot be observed

everything in time
turns to its opposite
day to night
hot to cold
the hope of youth into the resignation of age
and the hell of a compromised life

the loyalty of anything
leads ultimately to betrayal

where does one stand...?
on what?
And for what?
we let such little things destroy us
we do not see the Elsewhere

i have never held anything completely

there is a place...
i know it without question
it is the highest note above the keening of the wind
it is beauty and despair
it is the suffering spirit in the house of the rich
it is Lazarus at the palace gates
it is
and i am
and one of us is displaced

nothing is harder than to get there

i write these words because i am in love with it
somehow i am marked by it
too much has happened in this life
too much that can not be explained

of course
it could be only the arrogant mind
that imagines for itself
a high destiny

but my dreams are not of golden plunder
ten thousand horsemen
or a high throned kingdom
though real fame does intrigue me more than the rest
to be anonymous is best

i have seen his name attached to many things

i dream of freedom and
bright sunlit rooms
beautiful faces that speak to me in music
who are they?
i have been here before
but not in this world
this world is only a shadow of it
quite simply shit
brushed with rainbows
that glow in the ghost light of a neon nightmare

can love be accomplished here?
the wind whistles through dead trees
and that is all the answer that this world gives me

and I,

like every other fool
have asked it more than once
out of boredom
to be enchanted and bewildered

lost at birth
abandoned in the great hall of mirrors
slowly borne down the continuum
in these mirrors-
i have seen my thoughts
the good and the bad

they are the moment
and what the moment says
is like the wind that whistles through dead trees

too many mirrors breed a carnival of despair

after a time
love becomes the supreme effort
it works in every small way
diligent to seal the cracks
through which devotion leaks
into complacency and death
such a love does not sleep
its power is from that Elsewhere place

there is a highway
and it is not separate from life
they are the same

each filled with exits and entrances
lined with attractions
and circumstances
that lead into every possibility of the imagination

none of them lead Elsewhere...

the wind that whistles through dead trees

and it is Elsewhere
at last
that brings us everyone to our knees

every stop on the highway
is another death
disguised as justified delay

it is so lonely on the highway
for on every side the only sound one hears
is the wind
as it whistles through dead trees

in the distance are the lights of town
there are warm seductive rooms
crowded with all the postures of approaching death
but in time
taking on the very appearance of life

time blurs the critical eye
and we see what pleases our reasons to stay
and we must stay
out of the fear of the meaning that comes
to one who listens overlong
and understands...

...that voice
like some great and solitary raven
perched atop a gutted skull
that is the face of the wind
as it whistles through dead trees

there is no forgetting after that
no drink nor drug can erase it
i have tried
believe me i have tried

in the end
there is some truth
to the mutterings
of those robed and cowled merchants of word magic
after a fashion there is some truth
to these phrases
"be here now"
"we are all one"
"let it flow"
"do what thou wilt"
along with all the others

do not believe them
they work for the bank

the truth is Elsewhere
has always been
and their words are the origin of the wind
that whistles through dead trees

so many imposters
they have taken us all
perhaps they believed what they said
perhaps they did not
they spoke of somewhere
but not of Elsewhere

i do not know
what I am about...
Elsewhere waits Elsewhere
and i wait here for Elsewhere
and i believe that Elsewhere will come to me

why else has it filled my every dream?
why else has it caused me-
consistently to fail,
from having given so little of myself
to every effort in this world?

from having found no ambition to be strong enough to fill me
from having loved nothing enough to forget how much
i wanted to be Elsewhere

there remain those small duties of life to attend to
those efforts i have overlooked
in my desire to be Elsewhere
not seeing that Elsewhere
forever retreats before desire

that Elsewhere
is just that place where desire ends

there are matters to attend to
and time to attend to them
and that is good
and very much like being Elsewhere

and in all of this

the sweetest music

the warning

and the witness

and the heart of patience itself

is the whistling of the wind

through dead trees

in memory of Elsewhere

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Walking Along the Rim and Watching the Water Swirl Below

Sometimes you don’t have anything to say and you’re sort of typing that out and thinking about where that might lead, whether you will have a sudden inspiration that starts to spin across the surface of your mind like a dust dervish, which, when seen from above reveals an intricate pattern across the landscape, or... whether you’ll go right on randomly talking about how you’ve got nothing to say.

I wander around the internet each day according to a particular route I take which brings me ‘actual’ news as opposed to what most people get and also into the personal realm of emails and online responses to tracks I made somewhere or exploding fewmits I might have left in the path like unfortunate landmines. Before long I’ve seen whatever there is to see and it wasn’t much. You don’t get a tsunami everyday but they come around now and then. People are always dying in ugly ways because of their appetites or hallucinations created for them by the puppet-masters. The Empire of Rome is at hand again and Valens and Valentinus and all the rest of the lineage are reincarnating into the empty shells of something called cheney or bush or rumsfield.

We’ve improved on the technology but the personnel are no better than they ever were. You know, one thing that always intrigues me is; why, -with the wonderful examples of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and other exceptional souls- don’t more people seek to emulate them? Why don’t more people seek inspiration before they create? Why don’t more artists invoke the higher imagination and the angelic muses whose job it is to provide the vision they might transmit?

I’ve mentioned often enough that life is a dream and that most people are moving through it without any idea of what’s happening, where they are going or who they are... yet on they go. You can see it’s a dream. You can catch yourself dreaming inside it. You can feel the pull of the currents as if you were actually in the ocean. You can hear the voices and feel the vibrations and you can sink into the peace or you can run into the midst of the chaos and the madness; screaming out your own name, screaming out the name of another, screaming out the name of a demon you have turned into a God, screaming out the name of a leader or a country or a race or just screaming without knowing why.

For me it constantly comes back to the same few things; why am I doing this? Is it important? Who am I? Where am I going? What is this? Is it real? What is the purpose of this vast orchestration? There are always variations upon a theme but it’s mostly like that. To me, as I wander, it is like moving through a vast mental institution. I see people sticking their hands into fires and screaming. I see people eating pieces of each other. I see insanity at work on all sides. I see those who are caught in their madness and those whose madness is to manipulate the madness of others; to instill madness for profit, to teach madness, sell madness and explain madness so that it seems rational.

All that technology and the personnel just haven’t changed. They say that’s what sunk Atlantis. Humanity had achieved a great understanding of certain forces- The Lemurian Sun Disk was operative and electro-magnetics was a source of power beyond anything we presently suspect... but the personnel hadn’t evolved. If the personnel doesn’t gain a greater sense of humanity and empathy and perception then they will kill themselves with the technology.

Right now we have a leader in the White House who was not duly elected either time; whose handlers are responsible for an attack on his own country and who is making war on the citizens of his own country, who went to war against another country for what are now known to be lies; The Downing Street Memo shows that he planned and intended the whole thing along with the head of another country. Well I could go on- the crimes are huge and various- but I won’t. All of this is known and proven and yet...”merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” People say, “If that was true then everyone would know about it.” That makes me laugh when I think about all the things people don’t know about. The things people do not know are enormously larger than what they do. And even when you hold the truth out in your hands they say, “It didn’t happen.” You show them film and they say “It’s a lie.” You explain and they stick their fingers in their ears and sing, “nyah, nyah, nyah, I can’t hear you.”

You hear about conspiracy theorists and tin foil hats. What’s most surprising here is that conspiracies go on all the time. It is common knowledge that people conspire with each other; to make money, to gain power, to punish others. It is obvious that media sources conspire to fix the news. It is observable at any hour of any day and they get caught out every day. It is obvious that leaders conspire and lie. Bush has just been caught at those very things in black and white. History shows great evidence of cabals and plots and all manner of goings on. History is just the record of what we passed through on our way here. Did it suddenly change? Vietnam was based on lies. Iraq is based on lies. But- but- on it goes. Why? ...Because people are asleep and dreaming.

How do you wake up? Well, first you have to want to wake up. Most people do not want to wake up because everything they want is ‘in’ the dream. Let’s say you want to wake up. You would have to get to a state of consciousness that was awake. Well, there are lights burning in certain locations; they burn forever. They are self-generating and self aware. You have to get their attention so that they will tap you with their wand. Some say you can do it on your own. It only looks like that. One way or another, somebody has to set the match to the candle and that can only be someone whose fire is already lit. Otherwise, where would they get the fire? It can be said that it is you yourself who light the candle. However, I submit, you did not know that until afterwards; even if at that point, time ceased in respect of the ordinary separations we are accustomed to; past, present, future.

One way to get attention is to cry out. Of course, crying out can attract predators. One form of crying out is prayer. Another is meditation. Another is focused chanting. Another is relentless good works practiced without a desire for return. Another is austerity. Another is focused surrender. These things generate a vibration that attracts those whose attention is set for that discovery.

If you take off all your clothes and go running down the street you will attract attention. If you walk funny or talk too loud, lie down in the street or jump off a building, you will attract attention. It will be negative attention. Some people associate this form of attention with love. You want to watch out for this sort of people (grin). Everything that people do on a more base or terrestrial level has it’s counterpart in the higher octave; “as above, so below, for the performance of the miracles of the one thing.”

If you are not where you would choose to be, make the right kind of noise and wait. Don’t go setting off if you don’t know where you are to begin with, unless... you have a sense of something we shall leave unspoken. Begin to tell yourself where you are bound. Imagine it. Imagination builds things out of the same substance that everything is made out of. And one way or another, imagination- or the glaring lack of it (and that would still qualify as imagination) - built it all.

If you want anything anticipate it. There is nothing denied to you. The trick is in wanting the right thing. Once you get the right thing then everything else is available anyway in its right usefulness. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. As above so below- you have to bother God just like you do anyone you want a favor from. But you should want the right thing. Not just because it’s the right thing, that’s the sort of cant you get from hypocrites. You want it because it is what you want really. You just don’t know that yet.

The madness around you can be conducted into a symphony. Rage and sorrow can be woven into a tapestry. All the diversities of our being can be blended into a single state that reflects the truth of everything it encounters. Somewhere, God, angels and all creatures sympathetic are in the endless condition of perfect harmony. The door is open and it says Welcome overhead. It’s up to us where we want to spend our time. If you want something badly enough it doesn’t matter how far away it appears to be.

Visible sings: 911 was an Inside Job by Les Visible♫ While the President Makes War ♫
'While the President Makes War' is track no. 8 of 10 on Visible's 2002 album
'911 was an Inside Job'

About this song (pops up)

911 was an Inside Job by Les Visible

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Misconceived and the Disbelieved.

People look at religions the way they do outfits in shop windows. In the context in which I am speaking we should think of them as being all made out of cotton. There are a lot of kinds of cotton but its all cotton. People who think that there is an essential difference between Pure Christianity and Buddhism or any of the others are misled. Many who choose Buddhism because they think it gives them more latitude should wonder if latitude has any meaning without longitude. People who think that Buddhism contains no Heavens or Hells have not seen many thankas and not run across terms like ‘wrathful deities’. They also haven’t read the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Sure it’s all in your mind. But, is it in your mind? Think about it (grin).

We’ve heard that phrase, “It’s all in your mind.” and “It’s all an illusion.” And we get the idea sort of but we very seldom grasp exactly what that means. We hear things and we make an automatic acknowledgement but do not experience it essentially. We just glide on by. Hitting the concrete from a hundred feet in the air gives you the momentary impression that the concrete is real. After that, what is real? Think about shattered illusions. And why is it that when something unreal is destroyed it can hurt; sometimes hurt a lot?

Some people think there is no God in Buddhism. These people are using the philosophy to complement their perspective. It’s the same as picking a certain kind of eyeliner or lipstick, or an outfit. You’re using it to set yourself off instead of changing yourself into it and losing yourself altogether. That’s one reason that Glamour is (as Alice Bailey put it) a world problem.

And it’s always semantics in any case.

We take everything outside of us and use our relationships to it to enhance our personality and it’s standing in the world apart. It’s about making everything compliment us- whether by our aversion to it or by our attraction to it. We seldom think in terms of altering ourselves to become more like something. This is what children do and they don’t do it because they are of a higher order, or smarter, or better as some like to make them out to be. They do it because they must. They are still growing into something. We were children ourselves. We will be children again. Innocence is something we lose for the purpose of re-acquiring it again.

Occasionally someone will want to know on whose authority I say what I say. I might ask, “On whose authority do you ask?” as well as “On whose authority do you perceive and understand as you do?” I might ask, “Who are you?” You could ask that as well. I’ve seen people take things I say out of context in order to give them a handhold that didn’t exist in context. For myself, when I read someone, I am at pains to understand what they mean. It is my intention to discover what they mean to say. I want to know that. Afterwards I might say this is not for me, or I might agree, or I might forget and move on without even knowing I was there.

In any case, I’m not initially looking to dispute with people. I’m not just waiting for my chance to speak. I realize that means you aren’t listening and you believe that nothing you hear will be as important as anything you say. I haven’t learned to be as I am due to innate qualities of humility and a super-abundance of all other good qualities that set me apart from genus humanatus ordinaire. I’ve learned to be this way from having been wrong. I’ve learned to be this way from getting what might have once been a tap on the shoulder before it became whatever force was necessary to get my attention.

This entire world is an ongoing sex act. Without the sex there would be no warriors and no wars. There would not be a population problem or the host of problems that it causes. We get that population from sex- even if there is more too it than just that. The principles of repulsion and attraction are everywhere evident at all times.

When you have sex you are setting a table for dinner and inviting invisible guests. Depending on your state of consciousness and your intention you are preparing a creature that needs that as the emblem on their coat of arms. We are the gateway and that which comes through the chute. We carry with us, within the very cells of our bodies, ‘the sins of our fathers.’ and the hopes of our generation. We can stop the transmission of qualities and intentions that are centuries and more old by saying, “This stops with me.” The failures of our parents are meant to be a lesson to us. Those of you lucky enough to have had parents who were an ongoing inspiration can comfort yourself with the fact that you now have an attachment that might be difficult to break; take that any way you like. The idea of a small family unit is like training wheels on a bike. There’s only one family. No, let’s go further, there’s only one self.

The idea of bramacharya and celibacy are not what they appear to be in the religious interpretations. It’s the idea of reproducing and replicating and the realm in which you are operating in respect of it that is the consideration. You’re always having sex in some way or another. It’s electro-magnetics. Those who have grasped the essentials of the Alchemical Marriage are enjoying something that defies description.

I remember saying in response to someone while on an acid trip once; they had indicated a beautiful young lady and made some sort of comment about becoming intimate with her. I remember saying something to the effect that I would never have the time to make love to each of them individually but I could certainly make love to all of them at once.

I’m not concerned with getting everyone to agree with, appreciate or understand me. I would not like what I would have to become to achieve that- even if it were possible. I am concerned with my direction and maintaining my focus; or rather with the constant returning of my focus. All of the effluvia such as this and the music and other things are by-products and incidental to the main theme. They’re the items that fly off the truck on its way down the highway.

Arguing with people and explaining yourself to people who do not want to understand is just bad sex. It could even be considered masturbation since nothing comes of it. Eventually you reach a point where you know what you mean and you know what’s valuable and what is not. The former is an aperture and the latter is Wal-Mart.

It’s like the desire to be celebrated and the desire to be known; why and as what? As the wheel turns, every personality is brought center stage when their moment arrives. It is at that time that the whole world can see what it was that that personality spent its time on. It is at that point that the world can see what that personality thinks is meaningful and important and at that time the world can determine if it thinks so too. There are all kinds of audiences out there.

One never knows when the time will come, when the spotlight will arrive or depart. One can only work upon that which is the most important element of their craft; without which their craft will be hollow... that thing which is far more important than anything they will ever say or write or perform... themselves. It is yourself that is seen in all you do. It qualifies and illuminates everything. If this has not been refined and shaped by a greater hand, constantly invoked by an ongoing surrender and passion to be transformed, then....good luck, because you will need it.

P.S. for those who wrote wondering just what I meant in my recent piece at Smoking Mirrors and whether I was serious or not, let me say; "Do you have to ask?"

P.P.S. Now this could go on for a long time. The P.S. has nothing to do with anything mentioned in this essay to which it is attached. There are things that might suggest otherwise but that is pure coincidence. Certain references in the essay have to do with life itself and are not specific. I thought it might be helpful to know that.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

What if God Took You to the Prom?

Wouldn't it be nice if God found you sexually attractive?

When God, as The Mother, says, "Oh I could just eat you up!" it bears thinking about.

One of the interesting things about the people who dispute the existence of God is that none of them appear to have looked very hard to find him/her. Well, before I get into that let’s sort out God’s sexuality. God is both and neither and you can see God as you choose; in whatever manner it can help you the most during the time it takes you to move deeper into it. For some it is more comfortable to see God as The Mother and for some God as The Father. Everything moves toward the moment that you experience Godhead and after that you will find that particular puzzle has consumed itself and disappeared. In the meantime work with what gives you the greatest sense of intimacy.

Yes, there are many who dispute the existence of God and they do it for various reasons. Surely you can find most of those on your own. As I have often pointed out, God is not affected by your disbelief. At the time (always one of my favorite examples) that The Catholic Church decided to torture Galileo for saying that the Earth revolved around The Sun; the Sun, after being informed of the matter, did not make any adjustments in favor of church doctrine.

Today we are circumscribed (if we allow it) by many such Luddite assumptions that were never true and never will be true. People who dispute the existence of God often point to two things. One of them is on the order of, “How could God allow...” and the other is based on observations of church behavior. The latter often leads to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Disputing the existence of God based upon institutions created by men is not a reasonable position to argue from.

You who read this essay please consider the following questions. How much time each day do you spend hungering for God? How often do you experience and feed a yearning for the divine? How often does God occupy your thoughts in respect of life situations? What do you measure everything against? It is probably safe to say that a very large body of people never thinks about God at all. Another large body of people thinks about God very occasionally. Then by degrees we come to a very small body of people who thinks about God a great deal of the time. Now when I say God I also mean; truth, justice, cosmic equilibrium, Love, Peace and all of the qualities that are the manifest body of God. It is God’s qualities that give us an outline of God’s appearance; so to speak. These will all lead indirectly to God.

If you didn’t pursue the object of your romantic interest with compelling ardor could you expect success? How true it is that “faint heart never won fair lady” how especially true does it apply to God.

So, for many who complain about God’s absence; who mourn their own desolation, who despair, who whine, who are devoid of purpose, who judge existence and conditions by appearance... well, it comes back to “Oh ye of little faith.” I am reminded of all those New Age seminars where people attend for 3 weekends and are then pronounced ‘Masters’ who can now go out and conduct their own seminars. It’s about the easier way. Christ and others often spoke of the perseverance one needs to move on toward the goal. It’s work. It’s also a joy and a wonder.

All over the world there are people repeating mantras and prayers by rote. They do it from some idea of duty but with no passion and no Love. If you approach God as you would a compelling romance you will not go wrong.

It doesn’t matter what the rest of the world does. It doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks. What matters is what you do and think. No one else is improved by your telling them what you are up to but you may lose your impetus if you do. We all want a private life but we don’t know why. Heh heh...

I have a number of experiences on a regular basis. Sometimes they are exquisite beyond description and sometimes they are extremely subtle. I’d love to talk about them but I can’t. There are several downsides to this. It’s the reason for allegory and fable. It’s the reason for myth and the varieties of ways in which the imagination can be exercised to give an example of what cannot actually be shown.

Many teachers will tell a student that they cannot learn anything until they empty their bucket. Some may say that even a little bit of salt in a bucket of water will contaminate the whole of the water. Some may point out how difficult it is to contain the water with a hole in your bucket.

Perhaps you have seen statutes of the Hindu Gods and various Buddhas. Perhaps you have seen statues of standing Gods and Buddhas. Did you notice their body shape and the particular manner in which they stand? It would repay you greatly to observe postural and physical characteristics in these statues. It would be useful to extrapolate the movement, dance if you will, that can be imagined coming forth from the posture they are frozen in.

Have you seen the posters that show the cobra hood behind the heads of the deities? Sometimes there is just one cobra hood overshadowing and sometimes there are seven. Sometimes there is one larger central cobra with three smaller ones on each side.

One of the things you can look forward to in Yoga is a transformation of your physical self. Especially if you are approaching the process with the passion and Love I mentioned earlier. There will come a time when you will be sitting in a position of meditation and you will have emptied out the personal and you will feel a presence enter you. This presence will have a remarkable sinuosity to it. It will move like a fluid through you and it will be exceedingly poised and centered from the base of the spine. It may move its hands into the positions you see on those statues. Many varieties of mudras can manifest and flow from one into the other. Only a certain kind of soul can tolerate this sort of thing. It would drive the ordinary person mad from the thought of possession; never realizing the degree to which they are already possessed.

You will find that this force has a female feel to it. Many who have a partially activated Kundalini are acting it out in a form of sexual practice that is not necessarily the real intention of the force; so it is in the transitionary period between the passing age and the coming age; this cusp period in which we presently find ourselves.

You will find that you are having sex with this force in a way that far transcends anything you ever experienced in the flesh. Everyone is female to God. You will find both the male and female sides of your nature intertwining and you will feel from within both of them the essential identity of each as well as the unique self that is created when they merge. God is working on this process in you at all times.

For those who have had personal contact with the divine, the idea that there is no God brings about a humorous state of mind. I found myself just now smiling at the very thought of it. There may well be no world; since that is indeed a creation of and extension of the mind. But no God...? ...heh, heh...-too funny. I’m reminded of how often people look everywhere for something that is right in front of them.

When God creates anything he/she creates it out of itself. This is how faith works; faith being the substance of things unseen. You would be considered to be among the things created by God. You, in fact, were created to witness and experience the entire AS God- according to a certain manner. In fact, the entirety of this life and all of what it contains exists for the sole purpose of a game of hide and seek. That’s all it is.

The price of not looking for God is not finding God. The reward for seeking God is the presence of God in a manner and with completeness far beyond the tiny descriptor I gave above.

There is a place that shines and interpenetrates itself with an ecstasy beyond what can be expressed in words. It might be likened to a thrilling, palpable music that massages ones being. It is like the rubbing of the planets against each other when they are in that harmonious higher octave. There is no experience in this realm to rival it. Everything by comparison is ashes and dust. It may be why they say, “ashes to ashes and dust to dust.”

I look forward to seeing you there.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ The Love ♫
'The Love' is track no. 2 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
About this song (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Hunger Porn, with the Original Broadway Cast

One might well ask oneself, or others even, why it is when hundreds of billions of dollars of aid money have gone to Africa in recent decades, that things are actually worse than before all that money went, ostensibly, to Africa.

One might ask whether the child with the distended belly sitting on the lap of the fruity faced guy with the beard in the Banana Republic outfit has been attended to by now. One might wonder at what is going on with all the brand new Land Rovers buzzing all round Africa. Each of them has their company/religion logo on the door and none of them give anyone a ride anywhere. It’s common policy that no matter what may be happening to you by the side of the road; no matter where you might be standing, that you are not to be picked up, interfered with, asked if you need help or acknowledged in any way. You might well ask why. If you were to ask why the sky was blue or the grass is green you might get an answer. You might ponder whether if you ask your father for bread he would give you a stone. You might well ask the stars why they twinkle. But if you were to ask these folk; half Christian missionary, half zealous world righter, half bean counter, half photo-op and half of the thing folded in half again and again and then gone with a snap and an “I’ll be right back.” Well... wish in one hand and ____ in the other.

You might wonder at why Sir Bob Geldorf accepted a knighthood from a source that is easily one of the most responsible for the condition he seeks to adjust. You might wonder why Bono drops in on George W. Bush and whether dialogue between the Dali Lama and the Chinese authorities might result in the return of Tibet. You might wonder why, with all of the horrible activities taking place in American government why so few people with the capacity to be heard are making any effort to be heard.

I often get the feeling that there is a group of people who know a great deal more than I do and that if I knew what they knew then maybe I would shut up and not make any noise about what appear to me to be inconsistencies. If I knew more it is possible I would believe them and not my lying eyes.

I don’t understand how Madonna and Brittany Spears, Mariah Carey and Paris Hilton all became high priestesses of Kabala and I didn’t even get the t-shirt. Madonna is going to sing something about world hunger and debt relief; probably while a whole lot of rich people have lunch and talk about world hunger. ‘Sir’ Elton John is going to sing about this and noted philanthropist and human tattoo billboard Robbie Williams is probably going to sing about world hunger and debt relief and somehow... somehow... some further hundreds of millions are going to effect what previous hundreds of billions could not.

Am I cynical? ...misinformed? Well, I’m not misinformed about my figures; those are a matter of public record. And as far as debt relief goes, why..., entire debts have been forgiven before and following that even interest free loans stretched over decades couldn’t be paid back and where am I going with this?

Like a number of high profile, long-term, victim operations, Hunger Porn is an industry. And Hunger Porn has its “money shots”. One of the things about any organization is that nearly every organization begins to believe that it is a living thing and just like you it develops designs on immortality. It begins to believe that it can gain immortality by resisting change when, ironically, change is the cornerstone of immortality. There’s no sense in an industry eliminating the source of its revenue. Why end hunger if it means you will go out of business?

The hunger porn strip tease that is going to be done by the big name entertainment line-up is not going to feed anyone. It’s designed to whip up desire to see more only to find there is no body under the outfit. Howdy Doody and all the rest of the animatrons are going to sing and dance on the stage of your mind and everybody is going to feel good and ‘get well’ as the street lingo puts it.

Why when so many of us wish for peace is there no end to war? It serves that many do not want peace. Some few know how to turn this to great personal advantage. Why when there is plenty for everyone is there never enough?

The bubbles burst upon the sea
The wind from longing came to be
The stars were placed upon the sky
And we were born to wonder why.

If it’s all a lie; if the operations of Hunger Porn resemble law and sausage making and everything that isn’t romantic is pornographic and romance itself is just the higher octave of rape... where does that leave us?

Some things cannot be said. Some things must be intuited, figured out and realized by oneself. We’ve heard many versions of this and often don’t believe it or see how it can be true. Of course you should be able to tell us and if you can’t tell us well then you don’t know; do you? As a matter of fact, speaking for myself, I do not know... however- some things must be intuited, figured out and realized by oneself; otherwise the understanding does not take.

Here is what I do know; we can only change ourselves. In the process of changing ourselves we change the world. We all set an example- NO MATTER WHAT. We can have a far greater impact on external circumstances by working inwardly. Quietude is not fatalism. Everything is under control and is exactly the way it is supposed to be. The reason this does not appear to be so is due to the limitations of our capacity to perceive the thing entire. From the very beginning the end begins to bend out of sight around the corner. THAT is why we have to take some things on faith. That is why it always works out, eventually. Hasn’t it always worked out? Of course it has. As of this moment you’re reading this aren’t you? So everything has worked out up to this point. And when you are gone, however you go- and under whatever circumstances- it will continue working out perfectly.

All this injustice; the lies, the posturing by walruses and carpenters, the awful speeches, songs and dance routines by programmed droids, the dreadful self-interest that fouls the world, the telepathic invasion of the subliminal self by the noises of the industries of hellish enterprise; and yet, at right angles to it all is the shining door into another world that interpenetrates this one. Boundless light floods the universe.

I once asked a holy man why the world wouldn’t leave me alone. He smiled and said, “You won’t leave the world alone.” Well... time passes and things change. The ability to discipline the mind and an inclination toward meditation are worth more, far, far more than the total sum of the wealth of New York City, or Hong Kong, or London. And you can have your very own concert for world hunger and have it more widely heard and appreciated and with a far greater impact by taking your guitar out into an empty field and letting your heart express its true request and... especially... if you help as you go along.

It is a magic show. It seems real and yet you know it isn’t. You watch and you even smile as you are being fooled. That’s entertainment. You might applaud or you might throw a bottle at the stage, discharge a gun at the entertainers or walk away or never leave your house. The show goes on whether you are there or not and yet it cannot go on without you. There are some subtle and profound truths at work at all times. They have been in operation from the very beginning and in all that time no one has been able to say what it is that they cannot say; some things cannot be said. Some things must be intuited, figured out and realized by oneself.

Visible and The Critical List: Not Politically Correct by Les Visible and The Critical List♫ A Love Song for Madonna (NOT)♫
'A Love Song for Madonna' is track no. 12 of 12 on
Visible and The Critical List's 1992 album 'Not Politically Correct'

About this song (pops up)

Not Politically Correct by Les Visible and The Critical List

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A little something about Masters... Part 2

Well, we were talking about masters. It amuses me to see all of the web sites and organizations and traditions that attach incredible minutiae to particular oracles upon whom are bestowed the title of master. You’ve got Old Masters and New Masters. There are masters within a given lineage and free form masters. There are avatars and Mahatmas; Paramahansas and Swami’s. There are ascended masters and disembodied entities that transmit ancient star data through channels that seem to all be located somewhere in California or other warm climatic zones.

There are big guns and small guns. The big guns are Jesus Christ and Buddha and Mohammed and Lao Tzu. These are the people around whom large world religions have formed. Will Ron Hubbard one day be in this pantheon? ...but I digress.

Let us consider light; white light, which contains all colors; boundless, limitless light. When white light goes through a prism it becomes seven rays of color. There are seven major world religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam. But what about Zoroastrianism? ...but I digress. There are seven musical tones, seven body centers to which seven planets correspond. You can find a great deal of correspondences with the number seven but I will leave that to you.

For the purposes of illustration it might be good to think of humanity as being represented on a wheel. God is at the center of the wheel. God is the hub. Twelve main spokes radiate out from the wheel. If you look closely at the spokes you can see each one of them is actually 3 spokes very close together. And if you look closer yet you find that you are getting into an area where everything is everything so to speak. Honestly, this is about as clear as I can be at this point.

When you look at religious art you can be overwhelmed by the intricacy of what is presented. In the works of Dore you can see countless angels spiraling up into and out of what is never exactly clear. In Buddhist thankas-tapestries there are just endless amounts of Buddhas and there are a very large number of thankas and paintings and various graphics that depict endless variations of Buddhas in complex relations with Buddhas and wrathful deities and Dakinis and more and more and more. In Islam the same complexity applies and I don’t think I even need to mention Hinduism, do I? But there it is. What are we to make of all this? What are we to make of the countless stars in the sky? What are we to make of the innumerable drops of water that fall upon the Earth and the vast ocean that collects them together? What are we to make of anything?

Now it begs the question; do we need to know all of these things? Will our knowing all of these things lead to our mastery and our liberation? Is all of this relevant? And what are we to make of all the points where one system conflicts with another? Until now I have only mentioned the graphic end. There is also the doctrinal and dogmatic end. In each of these systems there are vast collections of text that outline intricate relationships between various ideas and utilize hundreds and hundreds of terms that all mean something in relation to something else. But wait! There’s more, even if you don’t order now. What about all of the techniques like Yoga and Meditation and Breath Control and I’m not even going attempt to add more here because it never ends.

And then there are all the different teachers and practitioners who have a slightly different or more radical take on each and every technique. Depth comes into it as well. We can be sure that the Yoga practiced by soccer moms in Marin would be different from that going on in a Himalayan cave. Still, they are connected and we have it on good authority that God loves soccer moms every bit as much as Himalayan Yogis. And how did you think I was going to leave that? Yes, I’m smiling.

Okay then. Let’s cut to the chase a bit. You are living in one of these rays. This causes you to see the same thing everyone else sees on their rays- all of which is the same- through a particular lens which causes it to appear to be Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim etc. The intricate schematic of all of the deities, saints, angels etc. vibrate and exist upon a single common state of being that has brought them forth as an example of that aspect of itself; much as the leaves on a tree, or blades of grass. They come out of it and they melt back into it. Being and nothingness come simultaneously out of the same thing and coexist forever... even as the universe melts in and out of itself the very way that you breathe.

A master knows that he does not know and can never know. In this total surrender to the understanding of ones inability to EVER comprehend the entire comes a reassurance that someone/something does know. Everything is under control. A master knows this. If you know, then God does not know and you are left to the fate of your knowing as it is worked out against the backdrop of what really does know. You become a lesson, to the world and to yourself. If you do not know- you must become as a little child- then God does know and can lead you without difficulty through all circumstance; “yeah even though I walk through the valley of the...”

A master is forever giving way before that which is and always will be. An understanding has taken place and it deepens forever. This is how some have a greater radiance than others; just as it is so with the stars in the sky. The process that takes place is an automatic thing. You might say that it is always taking place. It is a process of maturation that is seen in the manner in which a flower blooms; there is no difference here. Some flowers bloom early. Some flowers bloom late. Some flowers do not appear to bloom but I’m not going to get into that now; that’s for another time.

It’s been said that “many a rose was born to blush unseen.” Nothing is unseen; or unheard, if you are talking about trees falling in an empty forest. We confuse ourselves for the sake of our egos and for the purpose of self-deception and entertainment.

All over the world there are people memorizing minutiae. They think it is important. Maybe it is for the moment. People are chanting complex varieties of sounds when you never need more than one chant. God remembers all of these things and you will suddenly know them if they are important because God will remind you. Perfect recollection comes with the territory. If you are doing it, it can be a labor. If God is doing it, it takes no effort at all.

I mentioned some qualities that all masters possess. They also possess; humility, compassion and understanding. Humility because they are forever in the presence of something greater than themselves and believe me, they know that. Compassion because they know we are all in the same boat. We are all the same person at a different point along the same way- that’s the only reason we appear different. And Understanding, because the truth of any matter is always dawning in their minds at the moment they encounter it. This is due to the presence of their constant guest. Of course, too often there is no room at the inn.

I cannot hope to encompass but a small portion of what runs through my mind even in this moment concerning this subject. It just goes on and on, just like the source of the matter itself. Even if there is no mind to call my mind- it’s necessary to pretend in order to illustrate.

Mastery is an ongoing process in which the more we participate the more quickly it occurs. The first thing that must be realized is that we don’t have anything to do with it except to not oppose or interfere in it; to not send the guest from our door. It happens all by itself. You’ve heard the phrase about putting on the “whole armor of God”. These are God’s qualities. These are the treasures we need to seek. It’s a form of spiritual permaculture. You plant certain things to attract or repel certain things. What’s that old phrase? “When the pupil is ready, the master is waiting.” It’s amazing how many ways you can interpret something when you take the time to really think about it.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ I Need More Light ♫
'I Need More Light' is track no. 4 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A little something about Masters...

We’ve all heard about, quote/unquote- ‘masters’. Obviously there are many categories of them. There are masters of the arts, headmasters, masters of musical instruments, masters at arms and many, many... insert joke here.

It could be that mastery of anything confers some portion of spiritual mastery as well; whether it is dark or light. Discipline is as necessary for practitioners of evil as it is for the good. It may well be that actual mastery goes beyond such consideration as good and evil. They may be two pillars between which one passes on their way into the unknown; which would also be the land of the undiscovered self. Until one realizes that the self encompasses and contains everything they are not consciously participating on the road to mastery.

Until we are masters ourselves, our idea of what composes mastery will be incomplete. No doubt many believe that masters are beyond the effects of the world and that they come and go in all circumstances as they may wish; up to a point no doubt that is true. But it is certainly true that most masters stay off the main stage and are some by-roads away from the main thoroughfare. When I asked a master, prominent in my life, why he wasn’t in the city where he could do some good (callow youth that I was), he said, “I don’t like being pushed around.”

Lao Tzu rode out through the Great Wall of China. Basically he couldn’t take it any more. Lucky for us, an adept was the gatekeeper and he prevailed on Lao Tzu to write down his philosophy before he disappeared into the trackless wastes. So we do have The Way of Life. And thousands and thousands more read The Sun and The National Enquirer every day and would give you the finger if you tried to get them to read The Way of Life instead. This was more or less the reason Lao Tzu left, even though they didn’t have these particular tabloids at the time.

Masters stay off of the usual highways; they suffered enough during the times when they traveled them in their own ignorance. You get a fair amount of philosophers and spiritualists who wind up in Switzerland in their latter years. I haven’t quite figured that out. Switzerland does look like a postcard and it is mind-numbingly serene; I am in and out of there often. I find the Swiss difficult across the board. The one quality all real masters possess is tolerance; but I’m not making that claim. I’m not criticizing The Swiss either. It is just that the torpor, the amount of Tamas Guna there, the money fixation, the sense of wall to wall insularity drives me away. I couldn’t imagine living there. I can’t imagine living in Aspen either. I must be missing something. It could be that because there is a lot of money there that it is a safe place for the people who know how to get to it. Coincidentally Paul Brunton lived there and I’ve a lot more appreciation for him than I do for Rudolph Steiner, Krishnamurti or others who have safe-havened there.

On the whole, Switzerland is one of the most boring places on Earth. It just is and it is unfriendly to boot. There, I’ve said it. Obviously I’m not a master. It isn’t that a master might not agree with me; he just wouldn’t say it.

I mentioned Israel’s relationship with the South African apartheid government in my last essay. This is an unfortunate piece of business. Should I have kept my mouth shut? Will this hurt me when I have to interact with someone who will brook no criticisms of Israel- no matter what? Should I keep my mouth shut about this but not about other injustices where the people affected are less likely to hinder or censure me? Should I be selective in my causes, picking the ones that harm me the least? After all, didn’t Jesus say, “What is truth?” at a most critical point in his career?

Will my saying anything ever change anything? As a point of fact I have no animosity toward Israel. I comment on many countries and leaders and situations here and at my other blog and in different locations depending on what is under consideration. Nearly everyone is going to come up at some point at some time. I haven’t said anything about the former Burma, but I will. The thing is that I have a thing about injustice. I don’t like it. Now, a master knows that everything balances out. He knows that it is all Karma outworking. He knows that a black man today might have been a white man yesterday, or a yellow man, or a woman- a Muslim might now be a Jew and vice versa; that a whore might well have been a queen, a beggar an oil lord, an ugly woman a former movie star; Valentino might be your neighbor’s dog, the bones of Caesar might have gone into the construction of your coffee table. It’s hard to know, but it all works out.

Still, in this movie that is life, there are all those roles to play. A master is still bound by his commitments as The Hanged Man shows. Some masters have passed through this world and were unknown to all in that capacity- but they left a legacy none the less. We have a habit of defining things according to appearance. So a master quite often wears a dhoti or saffron robes. We think of a figure in robes. That’s Hollywood and the only masters in Hollywood are masters of illusion.

This is going to encompass two essays as did the last. One could hardly go on about mastery in one simple essay. Do you sense me smiling sometimes as I write? I hope so.

I want to say a few things about spiritual mastery. I think they are important. Most people don’t actually know what composes a master and as a result are often led astray by people who are not spiritual masters but masters of illusion. Even well meaning souls can be masters of illusion. Real masters dispel illusion and that is often not comfortable. All of us curse the one who is putting us through the process of liberation. Count on it.

Here are some qualities that all real masters possess; tolerance, self control and unshakeable balance. That is enough for now. But the one thing that all real masters possess; the thing that makes them a master and without which they cannot be a master is a particular piece of knowledge that exists viscerally. It could be said to exist in a cellular way. It could be said to exist in the blood. It is the knowledge that there is only ONE master. The same master is in every master. There is only one. All masters recognize all other masters no matter what disguise they might wear. There is a state of union that exists.

In other words, you don’t some day ‘become’ a master. Well, this is difficult given the medium of words. It is all about recognition and contact. Someone comes to reside in you and you have developed the ability NOT to chase that being away. This is the difference between you and a master. You chase God away when he comes in. A master does not. God is disposed to remain. It is God whose presence you experience in the presence of a master. Where the appearance of difference manifests is in the personality of the being through which the light of god is shining. The light is always the same. The message is adjusted to the particular souls whose karma it is to engage this particular fountain.

If you would be a master you have only to accomplish this one thing; the capacity to allow God to remain. It is a little like getting into a canoe and sitting down and it is a little like red ants crawling all over your body. There come tests of this balance. It does appear that it is intentionally designed to throw you off and so appear adversarial. Actually it is in order to increase the depth of your capacity to allow. This is another reason that tolerance is such a critical item. It may be the most important one... after compassion. Surrender must of course, precede them all.

Often life pummels us into a state of submission. At a certain point it is possible to avoid much of this. It’s all good. It’s all for your good. Your best interests are uppermost in God’s heart- regardless of what may be present in yours.

More tomorrow.