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.


REAL LOVE

Love opens things
So,

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

Anyway

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

Again...

...real love

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bravissimo!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous, wonderful piece of writing. You just continue to get better.

Erin

Anonymous said...

Damn. Well done.

Anonymous said...

This is going to be one of my all time favorites Les. This one is a real beauty.

Thanks,
Carla

Catnapping said...

...just please don't ask me to love GW Bush.

vyoma said...

the objective of most people looking for love is distraction. i'm glad you've put up its real objective and meaning for people to see.

Anonymous said...

magical

Anonymous said...

The last few paragraphs soar like some mythic bird through real heavens.

Z a

Anonymous said...

very very nice. I love the poem.

Kelly

Anonymous said...

I don't see how a person could possibly deliver a greater message than that. All this mess, all these problems and all the confusion...and yet the answer to it all is so simple. Maybe once every other alternative fails, we'll learn to truly love.

ben

Anonymous said...

Jesus Les, that poem is remarkable as is the whole damn thing. That is some gift you have. it's hard for me to imagine what it must be like for you to go through your life like you do with all of these talents and be on the sidelines while morons crowd the stage. It makes me think of what Sam Cooke said, "A change got to come."

I just want you to know I appreciate this a whole Hell of a lot. I haven't been depressed since I started reading here.

Bruce

Anonymous said...

super work. you certainly get the blood up and running.

Paul Debar