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-

Meria

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...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another comment on the frequency thing... This writing is like fine wine; to get the full effect it needs to be slowly sipped and savored, not guzzled or shotgunned. There are plenty of other places available to do keg-stands with cheap beer (when that urge arises). I like to let these reverberate in my consciousness for a couple of days before I take another hit.

ben

Anonymous said...

Some of your points just hit me like pealing bells. It isn't that you are saying new things. You are saying them in a new way. It makes everything new to me as if I have not heard it before. I can actually feel my spine straighten.

Erin

Anonymous said...

Wonderful work. I'll definitely tune into that show. I've taken an immense amount of pleasure in your music since I found it earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

I did not want to comment right away but after reading your work for the last week I have to say I have never come across anything like this save for the works of Thomas Merton and certain alchemical writers. You know your stuff.

I spent some years in shamanistic endeavors and reading Terry McKenna. I know that the things you speak about are real. You are a new voice in the pantheon. I especially love the clarity. So many writers get lost in thickness and dull, endless definitions without living spirit. I suppose what I am saying is that your work is alive. What do those urban minstrels say? "You got it going on." Thanks.

Richard Trilling

Anonymous said...

what can anyone say? superior work, well beyond the call. Not even Alice Bailey with djwal kuhn could have done this- applause to follow. Rock you fucking oracle.

Benjie

Anonymous said...

This beats the hell out of going to Drudge Report and msn.com as you might say, "What is news and is it important to you?" This is important to me.

TK

vyoma said...

i obviously come here a lot. i'm addicted to your essays. i've developed a taste for them. i'm fine with the pace you're fine with. if you wrote twenty essays in a day i'd feel just the same if you wrote only once a week. ~grin~ not really. the wait for once a week would just kill me.

Anonymous said...

It's the effortlessness of it that always gets to me. You use water a lot as a descriptive form (irony of course, as water takes the shape of its container) but you are like water in your application and reveal something of the container in the water's passage.

It is like a trick that you can pull off only when it is done from the automatic consciousness. Focus on the process halts it. There is only a place for focus on the release.

The Brooder