Friday, July 29, 2005

Still Waters Run Deep.

I have been away for some time. My plane usually sails without much turbulence over the chaos of the marketplace and the collective rush for acquisition, nonsense and amusement that goes on below. I don’t really make it into the flesh-pits or the casinos much. I don’t interact with many people and the home-front is serene. I gain some measure of agitation watching the smoke and mirrors go down in the world because I know many people are suffering there. Some are suffering because that is the harvest and some are suffering from a combination of ignorance and enemy action.

I’m in a period where internal turbulence can be periodically strong; where the inner gyro can over-compensate for misreading stimuli. Like everything in this world, experienced in the temporary envelope of a given incarnation, it will pass. It’s not that it’s at gale force but it’s strong enough to have my attention. So when it comes to writing one of these things there is no guarantee it will have my full attention or that I will even be inclined to do it- so I back away; being less than clear. It’s near one year on the nose since I started this site.

In the time that I have spent on this project, the project has gradually morphed and so have I. Certain things that were important seem far away now. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to go or what I am supposed to be doing but I just do what’s in front of me and that is usually sufficient.

Along with all of the unasked for information that continues to bubble up from the crucible of the unconscious; I see mountains and shorelines falling into the sea, immense waves rising and rolling forward. I see the Earth breaking open. I see the usual ignorant armies clashing by night (to steal a phrase) and the collective, re-incarnated, flaming offal of infernal realms, in seeming control of governments, religions and media and all the varieties of life-siphoning machines. I feel like Nostradamus without a schematic. I see a lot of things but they have no chronology and no aftermath.

On the one hand this makes for entertaining visuals. It’s always exciting and I always seem to survive; of course it’s my movie camera. Without me, who is going to watch the movie? On the other hand it’s a big distraction. I feel like I should understand more and I understand nothing.

I had a period about a year ago when I became aware of the Earth’s increasing dis-ease and reaction against the direction taken by her resident virus. Along with the political and social ills we often seem to forget that there is an even more powerful force always present around us. Most of us just don’t get it. Quite a number don’t even care. Large numbers of people live completely in the satisfaction of daily appetites to the exclusion of the higher mind altogether. They want; they don’t care what it takes to get it and they want it NOW.

Since a major band of outright criminals have taken over the operations of many governments, a populace sympathetic to ‘whatever it takes’ and “I want it now’ has been growing as well. Both of them have been coming for some time. They arranged to be here together some time ago. They’ve got a movie that they are in too. It is a tragic film but it serves as an example, as do all of history’s lessons.

I don’t think it has ever been harder to live a spiritual life as it is right now. I’m not talking about hysteria driven, product-identification spirituality; the spirituality of fear and repression under the hard horn of religious exploitation. I’m talking about real freedom-flying through azure skies- kind of spirituality.

Everything that we have known is breaking up. All of the old ways are coming upon judgment. This is why certain individuals are in power now and why the majority of the populace is chained in acquiescence by their fear and desire. We are at the summing up of one age and the beginning of another.

This new age is meant to be the age of brotherhood and I expect we shall see some of that. The torments, dual direction-pulling confusions and insecurities; the time of romantic sacrifice are passing. Pisces is headed out. As with all ages that last in the neighborhood of 2000 years there is a rather extensive cusp period. My take is that it is soon behind us now; but that’s just me. It could well be that it takes five hundred years for the new age to really come into its own. Add to that the fact that we are also in the completion phase of a greater 25,000 year cycle and you get a rather large spotlight placed upon this period of time.

Just as it is at great celebrations, there will be quite some fireworks and noise. This is many, many times bigger than all of the human celebrations of the last two thousand years put together. Some will celebrate, some will mourn. Some examples will be etched in stone for the coming generations. Bob Dylan, The Beatles and others were part of the musical- heralding of this coming age. Nobody knows exactly what is going to happen. That’s the way it always is. And you can be sure that it will be a surprise for most.

Just as I had that experience with the family dog the other day I had a similar experience yesterday. I was wondering why my mind was subjected to recurrent images and pressures. Why did I have a particular set of images and pressures that afflicted me? I was at the large Roman baths in Badenweiler, The Cassiopeia Therme. It is one of the chief pleasures of my life to spend the day at a public bath. I was sitting in front of large wall to ceiling windows and looking out on a large pool. Beyond were various saunas with different efficacies. As I was musing I noted the changes in the waters surface as people went by. There were only a few people in the pool. Most people were in the much larger pool outside on this bright and sunny day. Some parts of the pool had only small ripples, other parts were in turmoil from passing swimmers.

The same force entered my mind that had entered my mind with the dog and it went into some detail about how the mind is like water; how the imagination shapes it, how the imagination is influenced by desire and fear, how shapes imagined become objects; how the world before us is a product of this process. I understood that people had been splashing in my pool before I could defend against being impressed by them. I saw that, though I have a personal pool, I also share a larger pool with everyone else and that people are making waves all around me. People make waves in their mind but we don’t see them; we are influenced by them though, if we allow ourselves to be.

There are larger forces too that swim in this larger pool and shape the atmosphere in their passing. There are also inclinations that each of us have that causes us to reshape the water over and over again into the same images. This is another part of the reactive mind. I saw that I could sink below the surface. I didn’t have to respond to anything, not really. Nothing was important, it only seemed important. Nothing on the surface was important because each splash and wave was soon reabsorbed into the whole again. It was only that from which the waves emerged that was important. That was also my true identity. All of the rest of my poses and postures were temporary. My identification with them made me appear temporary as well.

As precious as we are to God, our particular identifications of ourselves are not important; our jousting for position, our collection of toys, our vain love affairs and sense of accomplishments are nothing. But is sure does seem important doesn’t it? I realized that the way to survive was to sink below; to not be anything extra-ordinary or set-apart. God might shape me for a moment to one end or another and that is fine; but I should be mindful always of the shaper. The various splashes and waves that occur and re-occur in my mind do not have to be responded to; embraced, confused with an actual need, treasured, protected, or held up for admiration. I begin to think more and more of how truly sublime it must be to have no unreal identity.

It seems as if I have always known these things but somehow I always identified the unidentifiable with some temporary image; some God, some ideal, some purpose. There are God’s and there is a greater one from which they emerge. There are constant ideals; archetypes that are always radiating. There are many purposes and then there is but one purpose. It’s the easiest thing in the world to just let it all fall away but somehow we have ‘a devil of a time’ accomplishing it.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

How We Come By Our Lessons...

I was walking the family dog, a dog of mixed but distinguished lineage (grin); not actually my dog; it’s too small to be ‘my dog’. But it is a nice dog and it is a smart dog. We were making our way up the sidewalk and I was letting the dog sniff at her leisure at all the fragrant locations that were at her level. My theory is, if you are taking a dog out to do those things you don’t want it doing in the home and also for the exercise it should surely get, then you should let the dog do its thing on the way. You shouldn’t push it along and take all the enjoyment out of being a dog.

The dog was unleashed. Some are and some aren’t around here. It’s a small, upper middle class neighborhood that I live in; at least I would call it that considering the selection of neighborhoods I have seen over the years. It’s also in a country where people drive a little faster than they should much of the time. They have a motor vehicle impatience here which I, for some arcane reason, attribute to the fact that they eat too much swine. They also drink more than I think people ought to but not generally while they are driving. This does add to a sense of nervous insistence when they aren’t drinking though; at least I think so and there is the ubiquitous sexual frustration that seems to haunt most cultures. You put it all together and people have some distractions running through their minds most of the time, whatever they are doing.

The dog is not on a leash. Most people leash their dogs for several reasons; the way people drive in the neighborhood, the possibility of combative action with other dogs and the fact that they may not trust their dog or themselves either. This is a conservative neighborhood. I’d call it Libertarian from what I can see. It’s also the kind of neighborhood where most people have known each other for generations. They know all about each other and they chatter about each other and watch from their windows, even if you can’t see them. It’s not my kind of place but it is where I am for the moment.

I leave the dog off the leash because I want to encourage the dog to respond to voice commands and because I want the dog to be able to pick its spots and enjoy them during its walk. This is good late at night when I walk the dog. Late at night there are seldom any cars and the dog likes to disappear into dark places searching for things of dog interest.

I was walking along this morning with the dog and thinking about my life and wondering why I wound up in some of the situations I did in this life. I was trying to reason out why I was at such a high place early on; so centered and focused on the straight and narrow path and how come I wound up tumbled in a washing machine of strange madness during an extended period in the center of my life. I was wondering why God allowed this to happen to me. Here I am now, sometimes struggling in my days with the residue of old fascinations and the wreckage of unfortunate mistakes in judgment. Slowly but surely I seem to be coming back around to all of the things that centered me earlier on. I find so many of the things that used to attract me to have been garbage. I haven’t been able to figure out why I had to go through such things with no real reason.

So I was watching the dog go among the bushes and cobblestones; always mindful of cars, though I have the dog pretty clear about staying on the sidewalk in its perambulations. I let the dog do its thing because I knew it was all tied up with the dogs finding the right set of circumstances to do its business. I imagine that the necessary combination of smells and reactions might be as arcane as the rituals of a secret society seen from a dog’s point of view.

I’d walk on ahead and the dog always continued on after me because the dog knew it was following me even while it was doing its dog thing. Occasionally I’d say “Okay, Lily” and she’d trot after me, leaving behind whatever had fascinated her at some locus. Then it hit me. It hit me in one of those subtle ways where you know as you are realizing something while someone else is right there with you in that moment. I realized that in my life I was that dog.

I was a dog on the sidewalks of the world and God was walking me along his chosen route. God knew I had some business to do there and God was content to let me do it because God knew the long road home and knew that I would follow. God knows that he can call me at any time. God knew why we had gone out there; how long we would be there and what directions we would take, just like I did with the dog. God let me sniff around on the sidewalk and in the bushes. It wasn’t a big deal. We were out for a walk and once we were done we would go back home and God would feed and water me and care for me as I needed it, just as I would with the dog.

It was such a clear thing. I could have wept from the insight but it wasn’t that kind of an insight. It didn’t hit me in a visceral way. But it was so clear. The most surprising part of it was that, just as I wasn’t judging the dog and wanted the dog to have its freedom and thought fondly of the dog; God wasn’t judging me and wanted me to have my freedom; always thinking fondly of me. God knows all he has to do is call me if there is any reason to and I knew the same about the dog. I can’t convey how powerful this insight was at the moment that it happened. Maybe you can imagine it. I feel a lot better all of a sudden. There are times when I don’t feel all that good about where I’ve been and what I’ve done. I’ve no personal reason to be hard on myself. I think its something that hits all of us because the world that surrounds us is so censorious. Sometimes it is the residue of our upbringing as well and the telepathic invasion we were too young to protect ourselves against. Most people never break out in the way I did and it is fear that inhibits them. Consequently when they see people who do break out they are not generally supportive.

Well, this is the day after I posted my most recent essay and I’ve no plans to post another today so I’ll just let this sit here and percolate until tomorrow. I wanted to get it down though because it was an important event in a place where nothing ever happens. I think I’ll go write something at Smoking Mirrors about living in Europe and get back to this tomorrow. Thanks for your understanding.

I’m back now, having just read this. I can see that I didn’t express this with the clarity and inspiration that I would have liked. But I can see that the idea is there to grasp for those who will. We need to understand that we are not alone on our walk. We have a guardian who is always nearby. He’s watching us. He’s not judging us because he knows that our detours in the realm of sensation are only temporary and part and parcel of our total journey. He/she sees us for what we really are, not for what we are going through or how badly we sometimes handle it. The more that ‘we’ accept this as true the more we are changed in understanding. As we are changed into understanding we share in the walking of our dog; that portion of us that is reactive and instinctive and often controlled by false impressions and atavistic fears. We learn to laugh at the conclusions of our intellect which is also a dog, barking at our footsteps as we approach the precipice, just like the figure of The Fool in the tarot card. To our intellect certain things spell grave danger. The danger is to the false identity and to the attachments of false identifications, not to our real selves. The fear of danger is often a danger in itself... and I am not talking of prudence here. The deadliest fear is the fear of change. We think we shall endure by resisting change when change is the cornerstone of eternity.

There was a time when I was rushing with the fever of the blood in the great sensorium that is this world. I would often combine the passions of the flesh with the poetry of the soul for, after a fashion, there is a truth to that. But my sense of smell has changed. I’ve had a long and wonderfully exhausting walk and I’d like to sit by the fireside and let my master scratch my ears. I will sleep and I will dream and I will awaken from my dream and I won’t be a dog any longer. I won’t be a dog because my field of interest has changed. My form will change in order to facilitate new interests. My paws will become hands so that I can engage in tasks that dogs can’t do. Some part of me will remember though and it is understood that that memory will serve to make me compassionate and kind... because I can see the long road back. Climbing that mountain, for most of that climb, one can only see the path that they are on. But once you have come to the top of the mountain you can see all of the pathways down.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Hardest Thing in the World.

They say when you are told that you are dying there are five stages you go through; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I don’t know how comprehensive that is but it will do for our purposes today.

It seems to me that the hardest thing in the world is accepting that God is intimately involved in even the slightest detail of our existence. Even those of us who have no doubt concerning God’s existence -and I am one of them- have difficulty believing that God’s attention to us and to our lives is focused down to the most superficial and forgettable event. Most would think that God is somehow more actually present in the moment of our prayers and our trials than during our visits to the bathroom or chatting on the phone.

Wherever our eyes move, whatever activates our thoughts, all of our judgments and resistance to circumstance are a particular dealing of God with our souls. Our reactions to every condition and problem are all part and parcel of the process of learning one thing; that God is the essential reality of our existence. Everything that happens to us is designed to awaken us to this fact.

For those who have come a greater distance in understanding, life is not the same as it is for the general population. For those, there is the more or less intermittent awareness of ‘cooperative engagement’; Buddha’s, angels, demons and sundry move among us daily in human garb. They are not ‘always’ in the particular form in which you may encounter them. They have been known to look through someone’s eyes, perform a particular action and then go, leaving the participants no wiser in the aftermath. Then again, in some rare cases they are fully resident most times. We’d be better off thinking of our bodies as a house, a car or a horse rather than the entirety of our being, which it is surely not.

We are all in one of these five stages concerning the reality of divine presence in our lives and we will assuredly pass through all of them. When Christ said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” he was speaking of this.

It is pointless to ask why God permits all that we have seen and heard of because you cannot interrupt the stream of life and identity, the totality of life’s intentions by a single segment. Life goes on, life moves on, even if life seems to have disappeared. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It makes me smile when I observe people reasoning out life’s meaning according to the narrow bandwidth through which they perceive and reason. If conditions here were the ‘be all and end all’ of life it might make some kind of sense to rail against the seeming injustice; loss, outrage, pain and suffering and the lot. This is not all. And if you think otherwise you are in one of four of those five states I mentioned.

Do you want to live a more fulfilling life? Learn to consciously cooperate with and learn from the events and results of your every encounter; no matter how seemingly mundane. Yoga, provided you can learn it from someone who understands it, is a process directed at this. There are many forms of Yoga that one might not identify under that name. Yoga means union, or- yoking or joining to.

For those who are bounced like pin balls in the maelstrom of existence there is the certain evidence of a mind in separated defiance to divine will. You can go along or not go along but you won’t influence it. You will only alter your degree of suffering. Some sleep much more deeply than others. The events needed to awaken them can be harsher than that of a light sleeper. Surely, across the vast reach of time, enlightenment is your destiny. Do you wish for such a length of instruction? Don’t be like a dumb beast that is beaten into the direction it must go... and you will surely go.

We truly see through a glass darkly. In the outer world, the various, larger identities of politicians and world figures; artists of all stripes, celebrities of birth and wealth and relative beauty appear to hold a magnetic power in the minds of those who perceive them. They seem to possess more value and significance. But these lifetimes are themselves only an instruction for those living them and those observing them. They have no lasting meaning. They are important in a way entirely different than that which we give them.

Bruce Springsteen is there because he wanted badly to do that. Those who appreciate him wanted badly to hear that. But everything he was and said emerged from divinity blowing air through a flute constructed to make a particular sound. The spirit of God sings through everyone but sometimes it carries a tune. It was the interaction between Bruce and God that got the flute and the life to that point. We, the actor, are the vehicle through which the expression comes. We are each no more than a flute. We are just a pack of cards, the same as the cards in Alice in Wonderland.

There are moments when we are in serendipitous engagement, when we see a certain something in the eyes of another; in the eyes of a dentist, or a clergyman, or someone we encounter on our way that changes our course. There are moments when we know we are experiencing the hand of God in our affairs. These moments, although exceptional in our perception, are just those times when we were objective or focused enough to perceive it. It is happening ALL THE TIME. Sometimes we see and feel the magic and sometimes we don’t but it is ALWAYS happening and there to be seen and felt.

There are moments when we feel a compelling attraction, when we fall in Love. Certainly there are larger reasons for this specific encounter but that reaction is possible in ALL our encounters. This is why some used to intentionally embrace lepers. We all need to get past the aversion thing; the resistance thing. It’s all part of us. We should be grateful to those who have given us evidence of a depraved existence; the alcoholic in the alley, the whore on the corner and we should always be charitable in our contacts with them. There but for fortune you go and indeed, that is you. That is you coming or you as you were once. The casual generosity of the moment does not go unnoticed. Prayers to the advantage of another are always heard.

Everyone you see and hear of is engaged in the same process as you. Each of them are handling it with a lesser or greater degree of success. Practice watching others with this understanding. All failure is but the failure to respond in a divine manner to circumstance. There is no other failure that has any meaning or consequence. No avocation or employment matters except this. This is ‘job one’.

Surely we should read the scriptures and those evidences left behind when God played a particularly well designed flute. Surely we should behave according to what we have learned from our errors. Certainly we should aspire to a deeper understanding at all times. However, all of the yogas and disciplines and passionate intensities of which we are capable come down to this same thing. We need not ever practice any of the formalized routes. We need not be concerned with anything we might miss in the vast libraries of human record. We can succeed by only accepting that ‘everything’ in our lives is connected to our progress to the same place. Whether you are blessed with high intellect and awesome talent, or whether you are unschooled, unlettered, unconnected and unknown does not matter. A conscious desire for union and a willing acceptance that everything works toward it will suffice in every respect. Brother Lawrence wrote a little book called, “The Practice of the Presence of God” and all you need is the title.

We are not what we think ourselves to be. The events of our life are not what we have interpreted them as. It is the hardest thing in the world to allow and to cooperate when appearances war against this method. Our Star-Wars defense system needs to come down. Like anything, our efforts will be increasingly successful only to the degree that we persist. It says in the Bhagavad-Gita; “success is speedy for the energetic.” How much pain do you require?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Looking for God with a Carload of Hitchhikers.

Most people seem to have a problem with how to approach God. It’s one of the things that make group activity like churches and temples and mosques and ashrams popular. In a way it’s like swimming at a crowded beach. Most people are more comfortable with that. Of course, when a shark gets someone there are a lot more people running up and down the beach; being excited for some reason and chattering with nervous energy that is almost an insult to the victim. At night, out in the ocean alone, it’s a different thing.

I suppose everyone knows the feeling, or can imagine the feeling of being in dark water, the bottom untouchable and the knowledge that large things with teeth swim in the currents below. It’s true in the oceans of the world and it is true of the ocean inside us. Most of us don’t want to go too deep into either one of those oceans. Unfortunately, in some cases, with the ocean inside you, you don’t have to go there, it will come to you.

There are ways to cause a storm upon the ocean within; alcohol, drugs, unbridled emotions and a too firm belief in the unreal. These can all individually, and especially in combination, lead to disaster. Mind how you go.

For most people the approach to God is a casual thing. You go to church on Sunday, you operate according to a generic moral code that keeps most people on rails and allows for most people to walk around most of the time without the kind of unfortunate events you might expect in Baghdad or ghetto-land. But shit happens everywhere. It has a DNA of specific content and a direction finder that would amaze you. It has a tracking device and a memory of the last place it was in when you were the shit that happened to someone else. There is no safe hiding place but one. That safe hiding place has certain sanctuary requirements though. You need to go through the cleaners; be ‘washed in the blood’ as some put it, take off your shoes, take off your persona and generally cease to be the person that its come looking for. Some great fonts of power can neutralize these forces through grace and by faith. You can lay it off on Jesus. You can take refuge in the dharma. You can do many different things that all amount to the same thing and that is my point.

Most people not only have a problem with how to approach God but they seem to need to complicate it as much as possible. This is one of the good things about finding God through great tragedy or trauma, you’re not so inclined to embellish the rose or gild the lily. Some people think if one chant is good then fifteen of them are better. Some people think that you need as many bells and whistles as possible; after all, you’re dealing with the ineffable (grin).

Then again, most people, when they are shopping for their God access kit are looking for ready made and not do it yourself. Depending on their sense of drama and, of course, depending on what they got fixed up with on arrival, they will opt for plain or fancy accordingly. If you look at it logically and objectively you should tumble immediately to the fact that all of this is extraneous except for the simplest possible position, perspective and practice. It cracks me up to see the aristocracy of the Catholic Church all got up in their Halloween outfits. It’s true as well of a number of religions that should know better. The thing is, when you come down to it, it’s all about maintaining power in the external. It’s about getting paid big so that you can walk big. It’s another kind of Las Vegas and you know; Las Vegas is about money.

The most amazing thing just happened. Occasionally I like to smoke some tobacco and in the midst of this essay I decided to take a break and go get some. Instead of going where I usually go I went to another place. This is because the other night I was performing at a club (the place I would have usually gone) and it was one of those great evenings. People were very responsive and later, sitting at my table, many people joined me and all started singing with me. I had a few beers on this soft summer night and when it broke up a young German musician asked me to join him in the garden outside and continue. I went out there with him and wasn’t singing long before a lady, who had been sleeping in an apartment above, started yelling at us. She knew who I was. I apologized and left quickly. I didn’t want to run into her today so I went to another place. I stood at the counter and waited for the waitress to come in from the tables outside. Guess what? It was her. I said, “What are you doing here?” She said, “I’m working here now.” You have no idea how strange this is. She never worked anywhere but this other place. Imagine. Well, she was very friendly. She likes me and I like her. We cleared it right up. I walked away shaking my head at the strange irony, even more so considering what I had been writing.

You just never know.

Truth is unadorned because, clothed in its own essential beauty there is nothing it could add that would enhance it. As I have said before, ‘when the truth takes off her clothes the world disappears’ The world is the clothes laid over the truth. All appearances, all the things you see, are an overlay. Only the truth is real. The world is a kaleidoscope and the truth is the light that makes accurate perception possible. The world itself gives off another light, a false light that provides another meaning to perception. It is here that your troubles begin.

God and truth are what remain AFTER appearances are stripped away. Before that there is no truth except that of the relative world constantly changing. One chant, one prayer, one direction are all you need to get to the heart of the matter. The more things you add, the more clutter.

For those whose approach to God is casual, progress is determined by time spent. It’s like learning to play the guitar. One hour a week is less efficacious than one hour a day. Five hours a day is far more efficacious than one hour a day. And God is content to lead folk at their own speed. The mother watches her children at play. THE mother knows where each of them are at; her attention ratchets up a notch when they get rowdy, more so when they cry, especially if they are injured. Often they wander far afield into many lifetimes. You have to cry intensely and incessantly to get her to come. She’s not going to materialize at every little thing, especially if your intention is on the appearances instead of her. She is in the appearances too but after a different manner.

Pray without ceasing.

If you want God to come you have to make it your full time job. God will come. I don’t really want anything else. Of course I would like a nicer, more secluded environment, but only because it would make my pursuit and engagement easier- or so I think. Now, my environment is not bad at all but I am still too close to those who are far more casual than I. At my present stage this is often a distraction and an annoyance. Later on it won’t matter where I am, now it seems to. I feel pulled down by close proximity. My telepathic nature is under assault by the thoughts in the slipstream as if I were in a crowded theater and... I live in a small village surrounded by forest. Well, five or six thousand residents I would guess.

Perhaps I am still too casual. And I think about what else I might do; some new approach, some new technique that would bring me closer quicker. It’s not a good idea to change horses in midstream. There’s no point in digging unless you know that what you are seeking can be found in the process. Quite obviously, in this case, the digging takes place within. We have heard God resides in the heart so it is there we must dig. You have your shovel; your chant, your prayer, your intensity, your faith (which is made stronger with every shovel load); why....just carry on. Just carry on. If it is not going quickly enough for you then dig harder, dig longer. And ask for help.

I look at my life now and I measure what I do against what I want. Some things we must discard. Some things must change. I returned to my macrobiotic diet and Wow! What a wonder. Some things come back and pester me; sure, I used to go out with them. They don’t understand why I don’t want to do that any more. Some things have to die and we are reluctant to do that but... when it comes down to the nitty gritty there is less confusion about your choices. There are far fewer choices.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I Wonder and I Wonder and I Wonder......

I wonder often about all those people in pursuit of the elusive. I wonder about the levels at which they plateau out at; the spiritual version of The Peter Principle. I wonder at the various ways and means by which they arrive at and do not arrive at their spiritual Samara; by way of the Road to Damascus, or Commercial Street, Front Street, Main Street or back-roads, alleys, over the fields and through the woods. As all roads once led to the real Rome and now most roads lead to metaphorical Rome, eventually everything leads to God just as every drop of water eventually finds its way to the sea.

I wonder about all the robes and costumes and varieties of spiritual practice; the prayers and the chants, the dances, the hymns and I definitely wonder about the Holy Wars. I wonder about the enormous cathedrals and temples and empires; the televangelists with the bad hair and the bank accounts and the movie stars with the Dali Lama. I wonder about the people who are reacting this moment and going, “Wait a minute, the Dali Lama is different.” Of course, just saying that puts you at square one of the board-game; Holy Wars- the Home Version.

I wonder about all of the centers for spiritual awareness from Mount Shasta to Sedona, from the Ozark Mountains to the Green Mountains. I wonder about all the courses in the colleges on Comparative Religion. I wonder at all of the people gathered all over the world in small groups and large groups, in circumstances of brain-washing and with bad missionary intent and- alternatively- in circles of love reaching out and washing the worlds. I wonder at the different levels of awareness and the dozens of new spiritual teachers that set themselves up Rajneesh’s wake; who ply the beach at Goa; whose international scene of gossip and whispers across the internet creates a riddle for which I have no answer. I wonder at the glazed look in the eyes of Katie Holmes who was none too bright to begin with as scientologist Grima Wormtongue tells her what to say during public interviews. I wonder at The Raelians and The Solar Temple and the O.T.O. and The Satanists and the pagans and the witches and the Stepford girls at Bob Jones University and of course I wonder about The Mormons but not a whole lot.

I wonder at those who set off for the Himalayas and those who live in solitude in the woods and many kingdoms of nature in her varieties of seclusion and who yearn in their hearts each day, as I do in mine, for Lord Kalki, who is also the forever returning Christ, to come; for the age to be birthed and for the mother to smile as it is placed in her arms. God, I wonder, how long? long?

I wonder at the other great body of us who live in a world of TV programs, cell phones, fast food and a Rolodex of frothy dreams spinning like a revolving pastry cart and who think that The Real World is The Real World. I wonder at the people living in blasted buildings, hunted by men in Humvees and Land Rovers, on foot and on horse and camelback across burning sands. I wonder about the people who live in storm drains outside of Calcutta. I wonder about the Falun Gong and the Baha’i and all of the groups that live under the lidless red eye of the executioner and the Dungeon master. I wonder at Tibet and the terrible fate of those who remained behind. I wonder at the people who pay large money to go into real dungeons for sexual release that is a physical mimic of a different need.

I wonder at all the incomprehensible intricacy of each soul among every soul like snowflakes suspended and twisting in the air and falling and touching the ground and melting, both knowing and unknowing... turning to water, more water, now at a commonality with all water in a common imperative toward the sea.

I wonder at the sound of symphonies that rise out of the chatter and the car horns and collected noise of the city streets. I have heard these sounds rise and turn into music more than once. I have heard that music and listened to it dance up and down the street in waves, a few brief seconds, and then dissolve back into the cacophony again. I have seen the world do this too- moving from harmony into chaos and I have noted that the centers of light intensify as the darkness expands.

I have watched the smoke rise from the manholes and grates and have thought of the hidden fires in Hell’s Kitchens... I’ve listened to Blues and Jazz as they marked the passage of the lives that were the windows looking into the lives of the city that passed them by. Every location has its music. It has its rules. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about how it is here and how it is there and knowing the difference. It’s about knowing how to walk in the different worlds.

All those worlds and ways of walking, all those religions and philosophies and Popes and philosophers and ages when it was better or worse; I think of some olive grove in long gone Ithaca and what it felt like there; how it was for The Rishis five thousand years gone by the banks of The Ganges and the sound of steel on steel by the glow of the inquisitors fire. What an enormous caldron of changes! What a vast immeasurable expanse of things in even the short range of time we call history. Our collective history is so very short and our personal history so much shorter still.

It stands to reason, within the tremendous complexity of this world; this world which is but one, overlapped by ever more subtle realms moving up the spiral into pure boundless light. It stands to reason that there is an interweaving consciousness. It stands to reason that such a consciousness that can maintain the integrity of everything in its place must surely be aware of you; aware of you as you are not. It stands to reason that something that can make everything out of itself and be aware of everything it made; be in everything it made and be itself, apart and within it, must have powers and perceptions and a plan beyond anything you can imagine.

What can you do in the face of this? What can you do but prostrate yourself in awe. What can you do but accept with total, childlike faith the ultimate benevolence of its every thought concerning you, your world and everything beyond. What can you do really? Nothing... You can move in concert with it and you will be dissolved into its sense of itself sooner, or you can extend your suffering and move against it and be tormented by the separation, until you learn to move in concert with it... pain is the difference and the distance between its motion and your motion.

You can look in the mirror and talk to it. You will find if you do this for a few minutes that something will change in your eyes and it will be looking back at you. All spiritual practice, every idea, every complexity of approach and all convolutions and minutiae of definitions and descriptions resolves to one thing- union; any meditation that is not concerned with this is just another kind of TV watching. If you set a mirror outside or in a corner, it will collect dust. It will collect dust until it obscures the image it is meant to reflect. This is how you become caught in the world; your mirror is laden with dust. You cannot see God and God cannot see you. Meditation and prayer polishes the mirror. It washes the mirror.

Do you have a problem? Do you have a problem with your health; with where you live, with your family, with your job, with money, with dangerous things, with how to change your life? How do you become free? From whom would you learn this? Who can free you? Is this not the one of whom you should inquire? Why do you not sit and inquire? Why do you not faithfully each day and FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN REMEMBER each day, each moment... inquire? Why do you not hold to the certain knowledge that anything that could create all of this out of itself; that could create you and fill you with a questing love as great as that which you ‘should be’ feeling.... Anything as immense and fine as this would surely hear and answer you; would hear you before you even asked. Of all the things I wonder about. I wonder about this the most.

How can any of us, with the evidence that fills and surrounds us not KNOW that there is a God so very great... so measureless, omniscient, benevolent and compassionate? God, I do wonder at this. There will never be and there has never been any consideration in your life anywhere near as important as this. Polish the mirror, speak to the mirror, look into the mirror and always remember, ‘you are only the reflection’.

“"Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

And a Fine Good Afternoon to You All.

If it happens to be afternoon where you are and if not, let’s hope whatever it is that it is good. It’s not easy for me to wish people good when I know that life is always changing, that good is often relative and subjective ...and that good for some is evil for others. It becomes a complicated thing. I do wish all of you well, though I know that all of you, as you are now, will pass away and will lose everything and everyone that you hold dear. Still, it will be only to find that which surpasses everything else in value and it will be only to reunite in a way that you cannot be separated again. Sometimes it seems that God split itself into a million pieces just for the pleasure of finding itself again; caused itself to forget what it was for the pleasure of discovering it and created an endless serious of obstacles just for the pure entertainment of overcoming them. I sometimes think that unimaginable surprises await us and that despite all of our travails and disappointments we are destined to applaud the process entire when the true majesty of life dawns upon us.

Well, if you came here looking for an essay today that isn’t going to happen. If you haven’t read the piece that this has replaced then now is the time to do it and if you have, well...might I suggest you go to Google and try to find a subject, no matter how obscure, that doesn’t come up with more pages than you can read. How about Rennes Le Chateau where I’ll be spending some time in the future? Now some of you out there might have some free time and a little travel money and if that is the case you are welcome to join me there on one of my excursions.

I just wanted to mention today at both of my commentary sites that I’m on The Meria Heller Show tomorrow at 10:00 PM Pacific Time, 1:00 PM Eastern time and 7:00 PM my time. It will cost you $5.00 if you haven’t got a subscription. It’s probably better you get a months subscription because that is only ten dollars and you can go into her archives and listen to all sorts of fascinating people that she has had on her show. Meria’s good at what she does and that sets off all of her guests to their best advantage. Her show goes out to over 60 countries.

It’s an honor for me to be on her show because there is no other show like it. Everybody else at her level of exposure seems to work for somebody whose concealed intention is to obscure as opposed to reveal... to cloud rather than to shine. Well, that’s where I’ll be tomorrow any way and it would be nice if you came around. It would sort of be like speaking to you.

You can check out her website at the link in the sidebar to your right. I hope you all have a wonderful series of moments until we get back together here again in a few days. God Bless.....

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Well, I Guess there must be an Easier Way...

Then again, some of us wouldn’t take the easy way even if we could identify just what that was. In some cases that just wouldn’t be manly. There are some who like the bandaged, heroic look; maybe with an eye-patch and a dueling scar that begins a scant quarter of an inch below one eye. And there are those who would like to be carried upon a palanquin of stuffed pillows through the city streets, led by soldiers and followed by eunuchs. Personally I’d like to put someone else’s picture on my ID and not be required to show up except if I show up and be gone before identification actually occurs; with life continuing as one always accessible Paypal account.

What I mean is, important is often not important; fame is often notoriety, pleasure often painful and love a thicket of briars and nettles. It seems like the hardest thing in life is to correctly identify things as to what they really are. I’ve been told a lot of things that weren’t true and bought items that did not fulfill their advertised purpose. The ‘it’ locations and people are surrounded by swarms of flies, mosquitoes and croaking toads as if they were actually the swamp area of Andros Island. There is this mad rush and press to be up against someone or something that has some kind of momentary magnetic heat that apparently has some great value but the value is not transmittable through touch or association, except in the most temporary and often demeaning way. By all means, help yourself.

I don’t know how many of you have been to a Hollywood party or an ‘opening’, a first night or some to do of a seemingly exclusive nature. Here and there, for whatever reason, I had some small opportunity at this sort of thing and, what can I say, it’s fascinating. You don’t need to interact; actually that can spoil the effect, just watching is enough. People throw up in the umbrella stand, the coat closet and drown in the pool just as often as they do at a frat party and they definitely behave as badly. It’s much more interesting to watch one of these than it is a frat party however.

To me, the most astounding thing about life is to be seen in the difference and disparity of incidence between those who do and do not possess Love. I’m not talking about the air-kissing variety of love; nor body heat, personality sizzle, dewy-eyed sentimentalism, emotion lotion or any of the limbic cosmetics that pretend to the beauty of. Love is possibly the most mislabeled and misidentified of all the virtues. Now, Love may not be a virtue per se but more the origin of all virtues; the womb-matrix from which all blessings flow, but it is certainly more a virtue than a vice. Even if for some it is more often a liability that an asset; cause, love can cost you, depending on what your bottom line is comprised of, or even if you think in terms like, ‘bottom-line’.

When I think of that line about “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” I think of Love. Whenever I think about some variation of Daniel in the lions den; Mandela coming out of prison, Martin Luther King going down in Memphis, Rachel Corrie or Sidney Carton, I think of Love. I suppose it is impossible for me to think of Love as I understand Love to be without thinking of sacrifice. It’s a funny thing about Love. It has immortality written all over it yet so many, many people have died for it. That bears thinking about.

Love has a cumulative quality to it. It seems to increase with practice. Much as one adds muscle through exercise, or knowledge through study, Love increases with Love. It’s hard for me to find a position to talk about it from because it’s like a rotating disco ball in some ways, always different and always the same. It seems to strip away one’s being until there is nothing else left and that is a frightening thought. It appears to lead to personal annihilation. Even if you didn’t know what Love really was, you could practice what you do understand of it and it would begin to define and demonstrate itself while CONTINUING to remain a mystery to the end.

They’ve got these various sciences of yoga. These days there seem to be more categories than I remember. I suspect it just wants to have more products on the shelf. In any case there are two yogas of Love; Bhakti and Tantra. To my understanding these are inseparable but not to everyone. A Jnana Yogi could certainly tell you the differences. You might say, in the case of Bhakti that it is just a continuous outpouring of Love for the divine; an unremitting desire for union with the absolute. This, one can gain through selfless good works in the name of the divine, offered to the divine- and there you have Karma Yoga peeking in. One might gain it through prayer without ceasing and Mantra Yoga would be peeking in. It does seem that you can’t just do the one without some of the others getting involved.

In the matter of Tantra Yoga there is the intention to do everything with Love; eating, speaking, excreting, sex and sleeping and breathing. The sensation of Love in expression is to be uppermost in the mind of the actor. There is the idea that Love either consumes or feeds, the seeds of the fruits of your actions- or guarantees the highest most favorable return on your investment. Now, that is what ‘I’ would call a ‘bottom line’. It seems to me that the idea of Tantra Yoga is to ‘turn into’ Love. What’s the point of that? One gets the impression that, or one has heard that- Love just feels better than anything else and, of course, if, as some say, God is Love, then, Love is forever. Love is also magical and that is where some tantrics get into things that can get pretty dicey.

Now there are a lot of things you can do in this life. There are a lot of things you can learn. You may want to be a physicist but you may not have the goods. You may want to play the guitar but do you have the gene? For most of us, our biggest problem is finding out what we are good at. It seems to be that the things we have the most talent for are the things we love doing the most. I have to laugh when I think of things like getting high, getting drunk, having sex, spending money, making war and just generally being both important and a pain in the ass at the same time. Let’s just go round that whole area.

Love awakens us and it awakens others. It reveals itself in every touch; whether that is by a glance or a kind thought, through words, or a hand of encouragement upon our shoulder. It seems to me that of all the things we could do, without having to find out if we were any good at it that Love would be the one thing we would want to do and Love is already good at it. We could pump it up until it made the entire surrounding world incandescent with light. It seems to be that if we were good at Love then we would automatically be good at everything we did because Love would apply its uncanny intelligence to whatever job was at hand. And because Love is both forever giving and giving way it would automatically be poised to learn most immediately and be the least intrusive in all things. Love in its subtlety would also manage endless, successful conclusions to everything upon which it were engaged because it would illuminate the essence of that upon which it was engaged. It would always reveal the heart of the matter. It would consume the unreal as fuel and paint everything it touched with the energy from which life itself originates. It would make things come alive.

So I do wonder what people are up to. There isn’t much point in doing anything unless you have Love to begin with. It won’t mean anything. There’s no point in having anything if you don’t have Love because they won’t mean anything. Without Love nothing has any meaning. Yet, it’s right there. You’ve got it even if you don’t use it and if you do use it, it grows and grows and grows and like The Midas Touch, everything you touch with it turns to gold. You really do think you would see more of it; given its salutary effects, given that it confers immortality, given that it is the supreme goal and reward of life, you would think..... Given that it protects and comforts, given that it awakens itself in others by its very presence, given that it feeds and warms, given that nothing can withstand it and given that it feels so very, very good and continues to feel better and better as it increases with use, well... you just have to wonder why you don’t see more of it. I know I do.


Love opens things

love would hurt as much as heal

It would hurt first

Real love-

It would confuse, disarm,
weaken and destroy
Everything in its way

Everything that was, in fact,
A part of you
That would conceal
Real love

Real love lasts forever
We do not last as long
until we become
real love

Real love has come to town
Six guns blazing in a town full of lies

Now is the showdown
The duel in the street

Real love is the only thing still standing

Real love rides alone
Squints out of one good eye
Nails the coffin shut
Nothing got out alive
But real love

Real love is going to make you cry
Make it worse before it gets better
Tear you up inside

Real love-
Who would want such a thing?

It takes the atmosphere away

Breaks all your toys
Burns down your house
And steals your car

But you’re not going very far


Real love has got its hands on you
Burns from the inside out
Nothing left

Nothing but wide prairie
And huge commanding stars

You’ve never been so alone
You’ve never been so complete

Outside this golden ring
The cities burn forever

And you can never fall asleep


...real love

Friday, July 08, 2005

You Must Walk Through the Fire or Burn.

A person’s intensity toward a goal is one of the primary indicators of success. Sometimes you are born with this intensity and sometimes it comes about through revelation, trauma or loss. It can make ordinary living difficult. It can make it seem pointless. You can wind up in a no-man’s land between the place you left and the place you are trying to go. It’s not a pleasant place. I know this because I have spent a lot of time in these intermediary bus stations. No destinations are listed and there is no posted schedule.

Once I inquired of one of my teachers about something along the lines of; how to get most expeditiously to an enlightened state of mind. He said, “You must not polish the pot so hard that it breaks.” Perhaps my efforts to become a spotless vessel were counter productive. My nature was not the sort to carry me into the contemplative life at that juncture. Something similar happened when the dentist told me I was wearing the enamel off of my teeth by using too hard a brush. And here I thought I was doing the right thing.

You see even less attractive forms of over compensation among the Luddite moralists and dogmatic crusaders of morality in our midst. Surely The Pope’s stand on birth control would rank him among the greatest mass murderers of the age. Then you have the argument about interfering with God’s will. Didn’t God want every one of these children to be born? Did he not, in fact, want each of them born Catholic as well? Does God intend for everything you think and feel to come to fruition too? That’s a good question. Does every tree that sprouts; every weed, every strip mall every everything come with God’s good intention to survive forever? Is it possible to go counter to God’s will even if you think you are doing so? Isn’t everything a part of God’s will acting out to an unknown conclusion; unknown to you?

What is the value of preaching abstinence to a 16 year old boy? What I mean is- does it work? Does it work usually? When we are constrained by the commands of others concerning our basic nature, one thing is certain. That force will find another way out. When you damn up a river you had better be prepared to keep adding to the damn, maintaining the damn and happy with the growing lake you have created, or... willing to let a portion of the river through somehow.

When you preach that something is evil you define it as such. Can one resist an evil, so named, which is part of their very nature? When you see drunks staggering down the street, assaulting passersby and each other; hear of them beating their wife, killing pedestrians and the occupants of other cars in this state of intoxication, does it make sense to put someone with flowers in their hair in jail for dancing in the park from some combination of natural flora? Alcohol is legal. And alcohol and tobacco kill more people every year than drugs have killed in the last century.

If you take a close and careful look at the world around you, you will see some outrageous evidence of unfairness, hypocrisy, unnecessary torment and assorted ills and imbalances. Society will make a liar and a criminal out of you for being yourself. You can work to follow all of society’s rules and then you will be a victim and a fool. Society’s rules like societies fashions are often based on whimsy and change according to whoever is sitting in the cockpit. We find also that rules apply selectively as a result of the innate casuistry of the control centers. Yes, maybe it is better to get along as long as you can get along with yourself. Quiet desperation may be preferable to direct punitive results. Maybe...

Throughout history we have ample evidence of draconian social and religious intent to legislate morality. If you looked closely at why all the drugs that make you feel good are illegal you will find it has nothing to do with anyone’s best intentions for you. It’s about money and control. But this isn’t what I want to go on about. This should all be obvious to rational mind capable of objective reasoning and inquiry.

What I am addressing it that peculiarity in our nature that wants to impel us to heights where we may not be able to remain. Can we run past everything and not regret the things we wish we had done; even if those things weren’t all good for us? Then again, could we attain the goal if we stopped at every rest area on the way? It reminds me of St. Augustine’s complaint, “Oh Lord, grant me chastity just not right now.”

Once a man who had been searching for Babaji for some good long time in the Himalayas finally found him sitting around a fire with some others; this story is reported in Yogananada’s “Autobiography of a Yogi” the seeker threw himself at Babaji’s feet and implored him to take him as a disciple. Babaji said he could not do this in the man’s present condition. The seeker replied that he would throw himself off of the high cliff upon with they sat. Babaji said, “Go ahead then.” The seeker did so and crashed dead upon the rocks below. Then Babaji went down and brought him back up and then back to life. He said, “Now you can be my disciple.”

There are more tales of this sort of thing than I could tell even if I devoted my life to it. And there are tales of libertines and scoundrels transformed into saints. If you do not know the story about the man who wrote, “Amazing Grace” I suggest you google and read it. No doubt you are familiar with the thief Dismas who was crucified at Christ’s right hand.

Quite often the most painstakingly moral among us are responsible for suffering far and wide. Quite often the dissolute harm only themselves except for the hearts of those who love them. Very often our most prominent moral arbiters are revealed as hypocrites in the fashion of Bill Bennett. Maybe you can’t get to God by the commonly known road. Would the road to God be anything but uncommon? It may be that being true to yourself has far more weight than strict adherence to society’s rules and regulations.

It may be that you have to walk through the fire or burn. In the Bible there is a curious comment attributed to God; “Be ye either hot or cold, if you are lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth.” Certainly St. Paul was turned around in the midst of his little crusade; though I’m not fond of a lot of what he came up with after. Who knows?

I don’t know if it works to try and walk away from the things you want if you still passionately want them. Sometimes you may have to roll in the murk for a good long time before you are done with it. The Prodigal Son is a very real and daily awakening somewhere. For me it is most important to love God and to seek God and not go so hard on yourself for your short comings. I heard it said somewhere, “For those who Love much, much is forgiven.” For centuries beyond count saint and sinner have passed one another on the road. For centuries beyond count the wicked have been led to redemption through mysterious agency. Our own judgments on this plane are responsible for our lack of movement more than most anything else. But we could go nowhere without sound judgment either.

What I have come to know is that I know nothing and I am getting nowhere on my own. I do not know which behavior will prove more efficacious than another. I am familiar with routes that lead nowhere and behavior which automatically produces pain. I realize that this pain may be the best thing that can happen to spur one along the better road. This road, of course, has no exact location and can only begin where you are standing at whatever point that may occur. One cannot avoid making mistakes. God help those who are afraid to make them.

Visible sings: Walk Thru the Fire or Burn by Les Visible♫ Walk Thru the Fire or Burn ♫

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It is Always Hardest when you are 'Trying' to Change.

When I met The Man of the Beach I was carrying a copy of The I Ching. I said to him, “Do you know who wrote this book?” Of course I was looking for an arcane answer. He replied, “I think a king and his son.” That’s correct because it is attributed to King Wan and (his son) The Duke of Chou, It wasn’t until much later that I realized I never actually showed him the book. I had already assumed he knew what I had without my showing him, though this fact was concealed from me even while I was assuming it; if that makes any sense.

The I-Ching is also called The Book of Changes. It deal with hexagrams (that reflect life’s various states) changing into each other. Meditation on them is supposed to convey understanding of ones circumstances to one capable of catching the sequences and understanding; even predict what is approaching in the manner of divination and, of course, explain what led you into the present. Accompanying each hexagram is an explanation along the lines of “the great man” does such and such when faced with such and such. It’s all going on in your mind. It is a method of accommodating the mind to change and arranging it so that it responds from a position of prescience and circumspection. Prescience is not so difficult when you understand the timeless repetition of circumstances in the realm of time; if that makes any sense. Everything repeats. What you can change is the way you respond; then the whole world changes.

You don’t ever need to cast the sticks or the coins to get the full benefit of the I-Ching. The point of the book is to bring your mind to an understanding of life’s cyclic nature and to imbue you with the mind set that allows for surrender to the controlling intelligence; this makes you a co-operative/co-ruler with that intelligence. As Lao Tzu says, “Though Heaven prefers no man, the wise man prefers Heaven.”

I’ve studied or lived with The Tarot for about 35 years. It is a part of me. It did not take me very long to understand that it was not about fortune telling. It is about transformation; about hot-housing one’s evolution. What is the point of predicting the future when you can change the future? Think about it? The sort of people who want to predict the future or have their future predicted are the individuals who respond to Nigerian email scams, play Three Card Monte and forget to look both ways before crossing the street. These are the people who think they can cheat death without ever investigating the nature of death.

The Tarot also takes place in your mind. Everything takes place in your mind but ‘appears’ to be happening outside of you. How do you see? Do your eyes move outside of you and touch all there is that it falls upon... or does it reflect what it sees back to a point within you? Most people do not realize that babies see upside down to begin with; remember the early cameras? This is what a child struggles with when it learns to walk. I’m not doing this very well but if you want to understand what I am trying to say- you can.

People who want to change their lives often go about making external transformations. They leave town. They get a new job. They don’t return your calls. They get their hair done; get a tattoo, a facelift, buy new clothes, whatever. All of this is in an effort to make themselves feel better, because, otherwise... Why do it? But nothing changes outside that is not first changed inside. Everything outside comes from the inside. This is where people wind up worshipping Mammon or The Devil, or whatever you want to call it; it’s got a thousand names... because they attribute power to the external appearance of things. And you may call yourself Christian, or Muslim or a Jew or whatever but you are in fact a Satan-worshipper if your focus is upon the external over the internal. The scriptures of these and all religions warn against this but... well, there you go... or not. Consider, “Greater is that which is in you than that which is in the world.” or “if God is for me who can be against me?” or consider the interpretation of the word ‘Emmanuel”.

Why is it so hard for people to change? Partly it is because they think they are who they think they are and that thinks them along in the groove of being, baring an epiphany. Partly it is because people have no clear idea of what they want to change into. One of the problems is in reaching toward a projected idea of a better life; a tighter stomach, a cuter and younger girlfriend, better health with no decrease in ones opportunities to party, more money, more... more... more... better... juicier... softer... smoother... tighter... hotter? ...cooler? ...sexier?

But if it is sexier and more attractive then the quantity of flies and mosquitoes increases exponentially and you get Dame Elton John saying you can come to my party but you can’t talk to me. Then you get movie stars who say you can’t look at them on the set (what about the cameraman?) while they parade up and down the set demanding that you look at them.

If you put out a plate of sugar it will attract flies. If you put out a plate of shit all of the flies will leave the sugar. What happens if you put out a plate of honey?

Maybe the thing is to change ‘back’ into something you were before you needed to change into something. Maybe it isn’t a schematic you have to draw but one you possess and maybe all of your suffering is nothing more than what you get for living outside of it; living in conflict with your essential self. Do you need a therapist to help you work this out? How about a psychiatrist? Do they know about this schematic? If they don’t then what will they accomplish? Most people who go to a therapist or a psychiatrist are paying these people to listen while the drone on about the importance of themselves in all its tedious minutiae. Most therapists and psychiatrists know this and they charge you for it.

You have access to a hands-on therapist and psychiatrist any time you want the service. This is not someone who is going to sit around and listen to you pitch and moan about the importance of your impermanent shell and the fact that it is decomposing in front of you. This therapist is not going assist you in anything unless it is directly connected to your getting back to who you are. ANY change besides this kind of change inevitably leads to suffering and disappointment in having achieved something other than your real intention. Even if you don’t know what your essential intention is; even if you don’t know that there is a you besides the you you talked yourself into believing in you will still feel disappointed and you will still suffer because EVERYTHING... EVERYTHING ...outside of, and besides this, hurts.

People don't change fundamentally because it requires death to do so. That is why you have a continuing series of lives. It can take several lives to change just one characteristic. Change is death. If one were inclined to change constantly and in complementary fashion toward the divine impulse and as a result of the divine impulse they would not die, re: "we shall not all die but we shall all be changed."

People also think they are doing the changing. That generally means they are interfering (grin). For those who are engaged in transformation as a lifestyle it is clear that everyone eventually comes around. In the meantime it’s a good idea to look where you’re going.

I labored under some terrible afflictions for years. They seem to be all leaving now. Some are gone and some are getting their coats and hats on and standing in the disinfecting sunlight on the sun porch. I have no idea why these things happened and though certain solutions may seem obvious now they just couldn’t mount a consistent effort at the time; always there was the long slide back into the mud; nor did tears or prayers bring any relief. In my mind I come off as a confused and occasionally outraged bumbler; a drunk in a dark room looking for his pants because someone is at the door.

I suppose I was trying to change; trying to change too hard and succeeded in working against my own best interests. I could have just stayed below deck and let the captain drive the boat. But what did I know? What did I know? I hope when I am finally changed that I cannot remember what it was I changed from unless it helps to remember where I am.

ADDENDUM; Someone asked about my writing more frequently. Yes, I could do that. There is a reason that I do not; I can write every day because the water is always running. It’s not a matter of doing it or having the time to do it- except now and then; I just have to turn on the tap... but if the scenery is worth seeing then it is worth going through it at a leisurely and comfortable pace. I’d rather take the time to digest my food. I see these things around the same time as everyone else does; maybe a few minutes before. Though I may know what I am going to write about I don’t know what I’m going to say and it is quite often a surprise to me. I’m very grateful to whoever this is that sits in and I’m just a player piano. Also, some people don’t tune in every day so...

My appearance on Meria Heller’s show-


is coming up on July 13th at 10:00 AM PST. We’ll be talking about me and my music and these blogs in case you care to come by. She can be heard only by subscription but you can listen to any individual show for $5.00 she’s pretty cool and has had a lot of people I admire on her show like Greg Palast and others. She’s a good interviewer and a focused and caring individual. It will be a pleasure for me to talk with her.

Let me say once again how much I appreciate your comments and emails. I’d be hard pressed for a reason to do this besides the fact that people read it. I rarely respond in the comments area due to lessons learned in similar formats in the past. I do always respond to emails though. I do not want anyone to get the impression that I do not care or am cavalier in regard of their kind words. If you do need to hear from me you have only to write. Otherwise I automatically respond in my heart any time that I see your words. God Bless...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Walking in Circles While Standing Still.

I know I’m supposed to be getting somewhere. What I don’t know is how I am supposed to get there when I keep changing on the way. It seems that the person setting out for the place never arrives. I know the person who went into prison never got back out. I don’t know what happened to him. Maybe he is still in jail and maybe he never was.

A little kid wants to be a fireman but the only place he ever does it is in his head. The person who becomes the fireman is someone else. He is especially someone else if he is in the WTC and sees that the fires are out on the top floors and he hears the timed explosions and no one listens to him afterwards. At that point he is definitely not the kid anymore.

Millions of people want to sleep with Gwyneth Paltrow, maybe they all have. Does she know? Isn’t that the point? Some people think Madonna has made useful contributions to life and culture. I see a snarling pit viper who chews up people the way Al Pacino chews up the scenery. Some people think Angela Jolie can act. I thought acting was the process of compelling belief and suspending the objective sense in the observer; I mean, in the sense of it being well done. I don’t get the attraction.

Mostly I am not amused or entertained. Given what passes for quality it can be said it is a lonely world for the discerning. Worse even is the tedious repetition of the same thing seeking to capture the original moment; like McCartney singing “Hey Jude” last night. The “na, na, na, nananana, nananana.” begins to resemble a dental drill with a bad tonal gyroscope or some kid making fun of you. I marvel at the very existence of something like Snoop Doggy Dog. Will there one day be a soft-lit sepia-toned movie called “Brutha Pimp and Sista Ho”? I suspect there is already a Saturday Morning kiddie cartoon based on the character but I don’t know. As I distance myself from the chemistry I formerly used to make the absurd entertaining, the whole thing is becoming increasingly bizarre. I also no longer care if I succeed at anything or not and have no idea what that means anyway. It does seem that my main focus for success is on getting disentangled from my surroundings.

If I still the reactive mind then everything stops in a manner of speaking. But stopping the reactive mind does not confer enlightenment; otherwise Tom Cruise would have caught on to something that escapes him. You can get completely clear and that might mean you are free of any and all opposition to the thing controlling you. This is a good thing if it is the originator of it all but you’re a fool if you don’t know that spiritual cock-blocking is real. Robots don’t make themselves and, then again, nowadays they do.

We are not who we used to be and after awhile we won’t be who we are. When death comes and goes and life by imperative repeats itself, we are without the memory of who we were before. At some point, due to the arrival of a perspective based on an ever widening horizon and perceivable landscape stretched out below, we begin to see ourselves in the various costumes we wore on the way. We can see ourselves as the crayfish emerging from the pool, as the wolf howling at the dead moon; which dead moon is the clothing manufacturer for the dream worlds; as many a vain and empty shadow dancer, shape-shifter, web builder, hearts deceiver and... seeker passing from the gates of the known into the unknown- and all of what we were that led to the point at which we are watching and we know, we know we are not and never were those creatures. So what were we? The clearest impression is that we are none of those things and it appears that none of those things were important except as demonstrations of what we were not. Herein lies the unimportance of recalling past incarnations. This information is of no value in respect of real identity. It is made available at a certain point for good reasons but will not prove to be of much value overall.

One thing that can be depended on in this realm is that both dreams and nightmares come true. They come true in a place that is not even real itself except in a relative sense. What often discourages and deceives people in respect of this is that many dreams can not possibly take place in that particular life. You may be sure the stage is being set however. We share with The Creator the power of creation. As surely as we can generate images we can generate relative reality. We set the stage for future conflicts with images of anger and hatred. We create with others, entire Cecil B. Demille stage sets for the acting out of collective disgraces like, well, like Iraq, Vietnam, The Boxer Rebellion and the world of fashion; even once noble dreams like The United States of America. We run porn industries and restaurants and monasteries. We perform acts you yourself may not even have heard of (and wished you hadn’t) for the watching eyes of thousands. We burn and we drown and we shine in the spotlight and we are massively disgraced on televisions and in newspapers. We are shown to be heroes and hypocrites daily and the lesson seldom dawns in any wider sense. What we know personally we have paid for in blood and tears and painful understanding.

Mariah Carey will never be able to understand why her particular form of egotism is so repellant and that is in the nature of the character she plays. For all that we all want to be famous and successful and powerful and desirable we just don’t seem to relate the cost to the product. Most people don’t even know who Orpheus was but he reinvents himself without end, just like Prometheus and Theseus and Midas and all the rest of which are visibly evident at any time. Can you say Bill Gates? I thought you could. The entire spectrum of human achievement is fixed. The transformation of Princess Di into Princess Dead consonant with (and overshadowing) the passing of Mother Teresa was no accident. Elvis on the toilet is a Tarot card; and mind, I like Elvis.

We go through all of these things and in the end we turn out to be none of them. Of course it makes no sense otherwise but, seen from any of those points and looking toward that... ‘It’ makes no sense either. Are you following me? The whole affair is pointless and simultaneously filled with meaning and luminous truth beyond comprehension. And it has always been this way and it always will be. From Pralaya to Pralaya, whether sitting in contemplation upon a sea of milk or stretching away in endless repose, shining upon and within all the worlds; as the whole, as a part of it, as a sleeping portion in frightful dream, as an awakened witness, silent in the furious roar of the world in full orchestration... mindless fool, illuminated sage... it’s all a joke, it makes no sense and it works out perfectly whether you are or not, whether you do or don’t.

Eventually you have to laugh. It stands to reason that one's heart is forever breaking as they watch not only the death of dreams but the birth of them as well. All dreams come true and then dissolve into the sand of the unremembered sea. We are every one of those lifetimes and every one of those people we despise and admire. This is another reason that past life recall is not useful. I’ve mentioned before that life is a spiral staircase. You can only see so far round the corner. There are forever souls above and below you. It stands to reason that the one thing you don’t want to do is piss over the railing. So, is pointing something out the same as criticizing it? In whose mind does anything take place?

It looks like we wind in ever tighter circles until we disappear. It appears that what appears is only what the bandwidth permits. Truly we each live in our own world. We take certain things on common faith and they too are lies in their impermanence.

My dream is to wake up.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Biggest Secret is The Reactive Mind.

Some portion of us are engaged in trying to understand what is going on and our place in the scheme of it. From observation we can say that this number is a minority in respect of the actual population on Earth plane. It gets amusing when you watch all the people running around doing things without thinking and then look for the people who are watching them and thinking about this. Odd questions emerge when you see powerful, educated groups of individuals dedicated to the deception of others and celebrated for it.

The more closely one watches the process of human life around them the more certainly it appears insane. Initially we are confused because the repetition of patterns gives a sense of order and balance to the process. When people behave in a uniform and repetitive way it can suggest reasonable and conscious awareness of intent and movement.

From above LA the sight of tens of thousands of cars approaching and leaving the city give a suggestion of balanced reality to the whole affair; an endlessly recurring snake dance. Down on the ground are cars that travel for two hours or more every day just so the occupants can live in the place they are commuting from. The air is poisonous and getting more so. The landscape is unstable; at any moment there may be fires, landslides, earthquakes or riots. Meanwhile, surgically enhanced humanoids elevate the trivial to the status of a God while in a temporary state of being moving toward dissolution.

An extremely strange but seldom witnessed phenomenon is the similarity in thought that moves in the minds of most people. Even stranger is the idea that they actually possess a mind apart from the mind they move in. Another interesting feature is the demarcation between predator and prey in the human colony. In nature we are aware of the wolf and the deer, the lion and the zebra. In the human estate we often do not make this connection.

The news of the day is selected by the people who present it to a specific end. It is not, as some may think, to inform you of events. What it is, is to present events and then shape the perception of them according to the requirements of those who caused the events or... to present events for collective praise or censure and thereby to give a common morality to things. This is laudable; this is not and so forth; a formula for crowd control.

Day follows night follows day. At some point the individual looks back and wonders how it is that their life passed by. Where were they while it occurred? Did it happen the way they remembered it? Why did it go the way it did? There it goes...

As age settles in we find that we have become chronic repeaters of patterns and that any original thinking or new perspectives have become impossible. For most it is a tight cycle of meals and false memories surrounded by television. In a large part this is supplemented by alcohol, drugs or religion. The thing promised from the alcohol and drugs is no more real than that promised by the religion. Each of them occupy the mind, none of them are understood. Of course the thing hidden beneath the folds of the robe of religion is real but it cannot be seen if the robe itself is taking up the attention.

It is to be assumed that as ones health fails that ones faculties are dimmed as well. It is to be assumed as ones range of motion decreases that ones openness to new possibilities is constricted as well. Eventually one has curled into a fetal ball similar to the one they arrived in. The cycle completes. Certainly senility mimics childhood.

Now the same things have been repeating since long before they began to record them and way, way back in the others times when they recorded things that are now dust and cannot be read except upon the ethers, they repeated these things; sex and death and war and peace, rich and poor and strong and weak, black and white and shades of gray, here I come move out the way. And yet, there it goes; there it goes, on and on, “big wheel keep on turning.” “Same as it ever was.” “There is nothing new under the sun.” ...and there it goes...

Scientology has got one thing right. However, in order to build itself up into a powerful organization that controls large amounts of money and lives it has to have an intricate nonsense tapestry; like the Catholic Church. The power and truth of Christ is the simple and profound force of Love but to be this enormous institution it has to have a crushing collection of irrelevant minutiae. The thing that Scientology has right is its understanding of The Reactive Mind. Everything that happens to us is the result of our Reactive Mind.

Our capacity for peace or confusion, our state of peace or confusion is determined by our Reactive Mind. Our hopes and dreams, our fears and illusions all exist as a result of our control or lack of control of our Reactive Mind. Controlling our Reactive Mind is how we; become ‘clear’, how we become enlightened, how we come into contact with that which exists everywhere, in and around our relationship to our Reactive Mind.

The Devil communicates with and annoys us through our reactive mind. We go to war and to prison; to the hospital and the graveyard, in and out of love, into the wedding ceremony and the divorce court riding in the carriage of the Reactive Mind. God hides behind the confusion of the Reactive Mind. All the answers to every eternal question lie outside the Reactive Mind. Everything within the scope of the Reactive Mind takes place in the realm of time in the world of phenomena and it goes on and on and on.

Your life went by because of the Reactive Mind. You don’t know what happened to you because of the Reactive Mind. You don’t know who you are because of the Reactive Mind. Stilling the Reactive Mind, gaining the capacity not to react is the big secret in terms of life’s deepest meaning and the route by which one come to understand and acquire their hearts longing.

The whole magic of the surrounding world and its impact on the senses is the result of the Reactive Mind. Though there are billions of people here, there are only a few actual divisions of personality. For reasons of simplicity let’s say 36. We can further complicate that by; conditioning and sex, language and country, color and creed.

If you want enlightenment you have only to control the Reactive Mind. In fact, no matter what you want, good or bad, that is the thing. Some manipulate this Reactive Mind in order to force geo-political and economic change in the wider world. Some watch it relentlessly until it sinks below the horizon and the great Sun of the spiritual world is allowed to dawn upon the consciousness. Everything you do has a relationship to the Reactive Mind. If you make it stronger you increase the tensile strength of your prison bars. If you weaken it, the more ductile it becomes. Is your world hard or soft? Are you hard or soft?

Reading this you engage the Reactive Mind. Thinking about this you engage the Reactive Mind. Watch yourself. See if this is not true in every moment of your day. See if your very awareness of time and place is not also determined by this. Everything you think and feel and do is the result of your Reactive Mind, unless you don’t have one. Or, if, having one, the clutch that transmits to the driveshaft is burned out and you can see it spinning but it doesn’t connect to anything.

Maybe you don’t have anywhere to go. Maybe all of that; the going, the doing, the thinking and talking, the living and dying is irrelevant to the essential point. Maybe that is what tricks you into the world of suffering and want when there is nothing to suffer for and nothing to want.

We’ll pick up further on this tomorrow or whenever that may be. Meanwhile, I’ll be working on my peripheral vision.