Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What's Puzzlin' You is the Nature of My Game.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

I Read Hegel and all I Got was This Lousy T-Shirt.

I’ve been very busy these last days, dealing with the fallout from one of my projects. I won’t go into details; they aren’t relevant to this site. However, in the process of keeping track and responding, I found myself at a variety of strange locations. Some of them were strange locations that I was familiar with, such as a forum where I used to regularly contribute.

I came by this forum on a day when the contributions there were even more trite than usual. There are some days when good writing can be had but that isn’t the norm there. The norm there is people chattering about personal things; about their jobs and the TV shows they watch and how they broke a nail and how they could use a hug. Alternatively there are contributors who throw around the names of philosophers like Hegel and composers like Wagner. Usually when they do this they go into a description of the philosopher and a soundbite of his thoughts and/or accomplishments; they read like a Cliff Note’s extraction, like something googled, like something a teacher said in class.

They talk about Wagner and Hegel because conversations about such persona grant an intellectual posture to the converser. “Observe me as I hold forth on this subject.” Well, Hegel was needlessly wordy and convoluted as befits one of the heirs of Kant and the onward progression of his contributions to human thought led to Communism in a way similar to Nietzsche and fascism. In neither case did Marx nor the architects of Nazism understand their sources clearly but that wasn’t their intention; they cherry-picked. One can say they did understand them more than the virtual café society that bandies their names about.

I’ve little use for Hegel and I find Wagner bombastic. There are whole litanies of names that exist for no other reason than that pseudo-intellectual gadabouts might use them for self-reinforcement in the effort to be loved or get laid. The varieties and facets of ego are endless and millions are waving batons over things they’ve small comprehension of and to no illuminated result.

Then I found myself on a web site, from having googled “Spiritual Masters” that listed, in primitive format, ‘realized spiritual masters of the west’. There was a column for men and a column for women. Upon investigating the websites of these individuals I found that more than half of them were Rajneesh followers setting up their own fiefdom of lectures and books and seminars and CDs and DVDs and squeezable toys. Some portion will solve your problems for you over the phone or via email for a nice, tidy fee. Every one of them had an introductory rap worthy of Hegel in which they let you know that nothing could be known but that... and then... however... and on and on, in an eerily similar manner.

Some portions of them were followers of a disciple of Ramana Maharshi who made all of them gurus on his deathbed. I think I can say with confidence that Ramana Maharshi would have no part in the things these people are up to.

Quite a few people have a wide and, sometimes, encyclopedic grasp of Buddhist and Vedanta minutiae. They have an assumed posture of deep comprehension with an attendant aura of suggested mysteries too profound to utter. Many people have the capacity to repeat Bible verses ad infinitum and to cogently argue with you about whether Timothy or Paul said such and such. None of the teachers whose lives inspired these texts had much to do with publishing or argument or minutiae.

Everywhere there are the intrepid compilers of knowledge for the sake of expostulation as an end. But what does it all mean? Ah... there’s the rub.

The various engines of world commerce are quite happy to have you here. They really hate to see you go, unless they’re a mortician or they make headstones. The businesses of this Earth are here to service your stay and they need you. Their aim is to distract you from reality and get you to conspire with them on the reality of their products. The fashion industry wants to dress you. The cosmetic industry wants to make your temporary, unreal persona more real in terms of an unreal world. The military wants you to fight with them against the enemy of the day. The politicians want you to vote for them so they can help you. The religions want you to join them and sing dreary tunes of leaden verse while in the effort to ‘make a joyful sound’ and to pay them for it. Everybody wants you to eat, drink and be merry and ‘ya’ll come back real soon’.

Imagine a highway that strides the Milky Way and its got freeway exits into every possibility of the imagination. This world is one of those exits. This exit is a real groove. It’s like a slide at a water park. People do keep coming back. What I find most amazing is their capacity for suffering. As hard as it may be on one go round they are bound and determined to get the thing they suffered for last time and to have more control of it and possess it for a longer time. Of course, it’s gone again anyway.

The magazine covers scream at you. The radio and the TV chatter on and on. Information is molded according to the agenda of those reporting. The world lies without interruption and laughs at you when you are injured because of it. Very important people hold forth on all manner of things. Pecking orders are established and maintained in a nepotistic and rigid hierarchy. You move up and down the ladder while switching bodies.

Now, I’ve a question; If you never read any Buddhist texts or any philosophers from any particular field of play, could you find God anyway? If you couldn’t read or write, could you find God anyway? If you never left the town you were born in, could you find God anyway? If you never went and hung out with these ‘realized masters of the west’ could you find God anyway? Yes, you could and with a great degree less trouble. First of all, God’s not lost, you are. Well, you are as long as you’re looking.

Do you want to find God? Go close yourself in a room and cry out to him for three days non-stop. If God doesn’t come, keep doing it until God comes. I assure you God will come. That’s what it takes. Even when God shows up without ‘certain’ people having done this you may be sure they have done it.

People are going to tell you all kinds of things. They’ll say it’s not this and it’s not that either. I know this game. They’ll say it is this but again it isn’t. They’ll put some kind of a ‘personal’ spin on something that is impersonal even while telling you it is impersonal, in back of phenomena and imperceptible to the senses. And they will charge you for it. Quite rare is the soul that is an empty house for the pearl of great price. You will spend some time looking and you will see some things. Money and status and all the things we see in operation here are part of this sphere. The only happiness you are going to get here is to live in complete disregard of their value; this does not mean disregarding their temporary usefulness in your passage. You have to eat, up to a point.

This is why I say, feel Love. Remind yourself to feel it until it utterly consumes you. No matter how many mistakes you make; and we all make them, no matter how many times you forget or get distracted, practice Love and Devotion and don’t worry about the rest. There’s no secret handshake. There’s no body of text you have to memorize. There is no learning or knowledge, besides that which leads you to Love and Devotion that you need be concerned with. Everything else you need is provided with the package.

Twittering on about Hegel and teaching your mind to do monkey tricks may be useful down at the café but it won’t open the gates of paradise. Yes, it can be hard to seemingly do what you must do, seemingly, without pay and without testimonial dinners. You will find though that God has got quite a few bank accounts, here and elsewhere. You walk past fortunes every day but don’t see them. Sometimes they get pointed out.

You can’t fool God, you can only fool yourself. Often you aren’t even fooling others. In many cases they know they are smarter than you and more deserving. Often they wonder as you do why everyone else doesn’t see it. Cave Dei Videt. Though I’m not half good at it I would much rather God was impressed with me than anyone else.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Now I lay Me Down to Sleep, Perchance to Dream.

Well now, I haven’t been around much in this location; many things are going on elsewhere and they have taken my time and my attention. The truth is though that I like it here more than elsewhere. Here I get to talk about things that are meaningful to me. Other places have meaning but it’s often the sort of surface chatter I have to wade through because I am required to participate in the Grand Illusion for as long as I am under that illusion.

Ben asked me a good question the other day and, unlike at other times, I didn’t get back to him about it. He wanted to know “is the sex force the purely physical/animalistic 'urge' for sex or the emotional/psychological aspect (involving feelings of love)? This isn't the first place I've read about channeling the sexual force.”

So, let me answer that within the limitations of my understanding; even though I kinda did in the essay when I said the force expressed in violent acts of passion is the same force, once refined, that expresses our highest nature. I didn’t say it exactly that way but I’m not inclined to go find the sentence right now. The sex force is all of those forces at a different level of presentation. A good example would be a beginning violin student compared to Paganini (hopefully Paganini was a violin player).

This is the whole purpose of life on this planet; instruction in the handling and channeling of force. One might imagine that a star in the sky was once some child learning the violin. We each have some idea of the meaning of Love but we have no idea of what that is like in the heart of God- but we will. We learn by our mistakes. Every one of us is a Magus in training. I remember Mickey Mouse in the movie Fantasia, playing in the sequence called “The Sorcerers Apprentice”. That had a very powerful effect on me as a child. It was only later that I realized why.

Each of us has a gift, or several gifts, in any particular life that we are meant to refine and present. We live in a ‘show and tell’ world. It can be embarrassing much of the time and it can be dangerous when it isn’t. No matter how many times we are told or shown otherwise, we still believe we are doing it. We don’t do anything except interfere and to the degree that we interfere we embarrass ourselves. There is only one prime mover in the universe and all force, all will comes from there.

When you see pictures of Buddhas and ‘realized’ Yogis seated in their postures, you are looking at one who has apprehended this simple fact. They have come to a point of maximum allowance for the prime mover. They don’t know any more than anyone else in many respects but they know who does and they are sitting right there; right there where it is. Those who know they do not know, recognize others who know that they do not know, regardless of language, or age, or dissimilarities of culture or religious form.

We are children of God inasmuch as we are pieces of God. God divided, or exploded, or expanded into an exponential and uncountable collection of expressions, all of which he made out of his own substance. He placed these life forms in many different worlds, also made out of his substance and he permeates and interpenetrates it all.

God is the spark of life in every living soul. Some souls have moved a very great distance from God for a lot of different reasons. Some are moving inexorably toward God at varying rates of speed. Those who are moving away from God are also moving toward God, no matter what direction they are headed in.

The fastest route to the realization of God, awake within, comes through recognition that ‘everything is under control’ and also involves a passionate striving toward that end. How can a passionate striving be of any positive assistance when the recognition of -everything being under control- implies no other recourse but total surrender? Perhaps it is the fuel the flame consumes and perhaps it is the purity, or the intensity of the flame that is important. Certainly the purity of the flame will depend on the composition of the fuel and the intensity will as well. Perhaps it is more. Perhaps it is unfathomably intricate, or too simple to express. Certainly the whole is more than the sum of the parts and it is, possibly in that extra composition, that the answer lies.

When dealing with eternal verities one always comes to the point where the snake swallows its tale. I’m thinking of the Sphinx dashing itself to pieces when its question got answered. It appears that we are the question and the answer. And it is certain that though we may hear the thunder and see the lightning we may not know why. Modern physics has pretty much proven God exists. It just hasn’t proven what God is but... in some cases, it isn’t far off the mark. At a certain point physics naturally evolves into metaphysics and it is only here that the answer, as much of it as we can know, reveals itself.

Nature is the reservoir of a million secrets. We have observed some of them and put them to various uses. We are, generally ignorant of many others. Nature is a living thing and much like a book; partly written and partly unwritten- but very present in content in both respects. There is a mind in nature that comprehends and understands nature. This mind is in our mind and it is possible to listen in.

Part of what stops us from discovering nature’s secrets is the intentions of our heart. Nature is a sacred vessel and immediately begins to move away from a profane mind. The veils of the High Priestess are not drawn over it by some external force. Our own mind veils her.

God is sleeping and this is God’s dream; this dream of life; “row, row, row your boat, merrily...” God wakes up in some people. God dreams elsewhere. Surely a portion of God is forever awake; after all, without God’s ceaseless meditation upon it there would be no world. The question exists; is it worth it? Is it worth it? All this suffering, the long bloody sprawl of history; meaningless gain and loss, death and rebirth and death and rebirth, is it worth it? To what end is it bound?

Many people have considered this and come to many a different conclusion and just as often the same conclusions. I must take some of it on faith. Knowing what I know of God and reviewing what I have experienced and learned and, more importantly, what I can see ahead- for the distance that I can see ahead- I have to say it is surely worth it because I believe; it is a belief born out of some small appreciation of God’s methods that works upon me. It is my appreciation of God’s sense of humor, because I have heard God laughing in the waves that pound upon the shores. I have heard God’s laughter in many a way and I sense that some surprise waits further on.

Good parents are loving and their generosity and understanding is great. God is greater, more loving and more generous than any parent who ever lived, so; what can I expect? Well, I expect we will see.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Does it Really Mean 'Falling' in Love?

So I was talking about how it all connects and then I wandered off, heh heh. Ever since I started doing this the essays run, almost to the paragraph, to a certain length and then close on me. Even at the other site, they are always the same size. Whatever is doing this, while I sit in for the process, certainly has precise space considerations.

It’s been my experience that if you are embarking on; or I should say, consciously recognizing your movement on the spiritual path, since knowingly or unknowingly, we have always been on it, that the first thing that has to be considered; besides your determination, is the sexual force.

For most people the sexual force is just that; the urge to merge, the urge to define or express yourself upon another. As solitary entities in the vastness of this environment there is always the sense of personal incompleteness. Look at life and you will see from the plants on up that all life forms are engaged in this dance. The complexities of the rituals are astounding. They seem to enter into everything we do. We base our sense of self worth upon our attractiveness to our opposite numbers. All that we do in the fields of commerce and acquisition seem to be directly or indirectly related to making us appear more worthy and desirable to the opposite sex. Money, power, temporary and artfully constructed or reconstructed appearances, creative acts, force of mind and heart. It goes on and on and so does the continuous appearance and disappearance of the characters in the drama.

This force which appears to be some sort of biological imperative is much more than it appears. The most profound expressions of Love are an elevation and refinement of the same force expressed in violent rape, in murder, in many an act of terrible impact. Most everything we do is powered by this force. There is much wisdom to be had in the biblical take of the wise and foolish virgins.

There is an inner world and an outer world. This force has much to do with all that happens to us in each one. For hundreds of years there have been priesthoods that require celibacy of their members. Swamis in India and yogis of various dispositions and intentions, Catholic priests; to point out just a couple of areas, practice this discipline. The reason for this, cosmically, is that the force naturally wants to go in one direction... outward. It can be channeled inward... and that will open flowers in the subtle bodies that make illumination possible.

In the Catholic tradition we have seen an epidemic of child abuse by priests, almost exclusively of ‘same-sex’ application. The reason for this is that, unfortunately for the adherents of this church, they work to repress this force and not to channel it. It is something they fight to control. One cannot win in this manner. The force is stronger than you are. You can point it but you can’t subdue it. Think of the water going through a fire hose. Think about stopping the water from coming out with your hand. Think about a wrestling match with a bear. The idea of water is a good one. Water can find cracks. It can find cracks that you cannot see. Water has an uncanny ability to seep out, sometimes it can travel right through the container.

I imagine there are some people who think that the condensation on the outside of a glass pitcher is some portion of the water finding it’s way through the container. I bring this particular image up because thinking about it might provide useful insights.

One maxim you can take as absolutely true in respect of the sex force is that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This force can lift you to the heavens or it can send you straight to Hell. It is something to respect and to think about; but I don’t have to remind anyone to think about sex, do I? (grin)... Thoughts of sex dominate the landscape of the mind, individually and collectively. After all, you don’t really have a personal mind. The idea that you have a personal mind is the source of all your problems. Hanging on to this idea is the origin of the prison that contains you. The sex force is liberating and it is confining. It’s still the same force. The alleged fire that sinners burn in is just another relationship to the fire that is also the one the saints rejoice in. The serpent in the garden is God, after another fashion. This is why it says in the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation.”

In Hebrew the word for Messiah and tempter is very much the same. Oh, it’s not for everybody, not at this specific time. It isn’t for everyone to channel the sex force into spiritual awakening, nor is celibacy of the life long variety a requirement; that part of it is a choice. Celibacy for a certain period of time is necessary to get the juices flowing in the right direction. For this, your Creative Imagination is key. A reading of The Song of Solomon might not go unrewarded. The Rubaiyat comes to mind as well. A love affair with the world outside, or a love affair with God; they are the same in many ways. The writings of mystics are filled with sensual imagery when commenting on union with the divine. It is a truth that union with God is an unbelievable act of ecstasy; words fail.

Union with God is not as easily achieved as a summer romance. As far as actual human romances go, very, very few live up to expectation or endure for very long in a pitch of intensity. The higher pitched human passions often lead to tragic results. Romeo and Juliet are but one example I could give. Heloise and Abelard were even more tragic.

You spend your substance in various ways. It is like money but far, far more valuable. The safest way to channel the energy upward is to let it ride on Love. Devotion takes care of the technical needs. Very few teachers of authentic Tantra exist and very few aspirants are capable of the process. Tantra also can be fully realized through devotion. I would scratch any process other than devotion off of my list. It makes me smile, with no small amount of sadness, at those who sit in rooms where some individual purports to teach the willing about Tantra. Don’t go there. One of the larger problems is that of Magic. Romance is magic and Tantra is surrounded by magic. Magic can get you into big trouble. I speak from personal experience.

Powers awaken as a result of channeled sexual energy. The imagination can go wild from it. Look at the world around you. Really look at it. We seldom see into things. Our glance bounces off of what we observe. Look at the world around you. Someone once said that the proper study of man is man. Another person said “know thyself” We perhaps consider such statements trite. Hey, I know who I am. Sure buddy.

We are God going through the process of realizing ourselves as God. This doesn’t mean that at some point the world turns into our own combination of Las Vegas, Disneyland and the Mohammedan afterlife. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t either. It means that it won’t be what we now imagine it would be. Free is the place. Free is the goal. Freedom means the freedom ‘from’ more than it means the freedom ‘to’.

So when you seek God’s company; you few... Love and devotion is the key. You’ll get there without needing a manual. You will get tested by the very thing you seek so that it can seem as if your lover is your greatest adversary. It will destroy you in the process. Oh, but that is wonderful and a consummation devotedly to be wished. I love it when people speculate about the object of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Get a clue.

Why, I do believe we have come to the end again. Look at that. It just seems to wind itself up at the same place every time. God bless you one and all.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ Spread Your Wings ♫
'Spread Your Wings' is track no. 1 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible

Monday, August 15, 2005

What Does it All Mean???

Day follows day in the arena of time; the place where time measures the progress of things and events from the place where they first began to exist until they no longer exist. Some have ventured that nothing ever ends; that a sound you have heard will echo on forever even when there are no ears capable of hearing it any longer. What happens to the ripples in a pool ‘after’ they hit the shore?

The Akashic Records supposedly are a library of sorts where are stored the recollection of every event that has occurred. Akasha, I believe, is a word that translates as aether. Aether is the medium in which the four elements exist. It interpenetrates everything, including us. It is invisible to the ordinary senses but is denser and more permanent that the elements and anything made out of them, which- I suppose you could say- everything material is. Everything is made out of the same thing in different combinations of itself. The stuff we make things out of comes from some universal storehouse of basic ingredient.

There’s a school of thought; the one I belong to, called ‘ageless wisdom’. It’s said that it existed before any of the religions we have heard of. It’s said that all religions have taken what they profess from some aspect of ageless wisdom. Maybe just as everything is made out of the same thing and thereby alters that same thing by the new identity formed; perhaps all religions alter truth in the process of the new identity formed. Of course, if you think of truth as a living presence that cannot be seen and you think of religion as clothing put over this invisible presence in order to define it and give it shape... well, that’s another way of looking at it I suppose.

However, if you consider, as physicists have discovered and as metaphysicians have known for a long, long time... that everything is made out of the same thing then the body and the clothes are made out of the same thing- but, if the clothes are the original thing changed into another thing then it would no longer be same thing, since it has been changed.

Now this school of thought that I belong to called ‘ageless wisdom’, says that everything is made out of God by God for the purpose of God to experience himself as creation. If this is so, then the ground and the waters, the air and the planets and the space between them; the colors and the sounds and the medium the sound travels over and the mechanism that registers the sound and the mind that interprets it are all made out of God. Apparently there is a state you can come to where you realize this totality in a profound sense. The Buddhists say everything is a product of mind. They talk about something called Buddha-nature.

Some say that to attain to Buddha-hood is far more valuable than becoming a God because Gods, although they live a very, very long time, do die back into the substance out of which they formed themselves. This is not the case with Buddha-mind. But what, you might ask, about Nirvana? Isn’t that a sort of dissolution of the self into some cosmic incomprehensible state of being or non-being, or whatever it would be if there were words adequate to the description of it? Well, it’s a puzzle and a riddle and a conundrum obviously.

Whether we figure any of this out and where that leaves us when we do is an area best handled by those whose business it is to assist you in the process; directly assist you, not indirectly as I do. In other words, long before you decided to figure it out, your guidance and assistance systems were already operative and in preparation for your exodus out of Egypt; metaphorically speaking. There are beings who sit like shining globes of light inside the spiral of your awakening. Maybe they give off certain sounds or other phenomena at the appropriate time, or maybe they absorb you or you absorb them. Somehow you are changed and are then able to see a new selection of globes or geometrical images in holographic outline, or green Buddhas sitting in the greenery of the landscape, or exact representations of the Hindu gods, moving in their chariots in the forms of clouds, moving across the sky. Eventually the time will come when suddenly the entire world will be bathed in light and every object in it as well. Your new vision will reveal a realm of unimaginable splendor and you will consider yourself very rich indeed.

Some variation or permutations are always possible. However, in some way, under some circumstances you will awaken and be the universe when it knows itself to be God. We have some pitiful words in our lexicon and in the lexicons of every language; Hallelujah! Om Tat Sat, Om Mani Padme Hum, that may or may not describe, activate or actualize any of these states. Word has it if you repeat any of them for long enough and with (and perhaps even without) the right attitude, it is a given.

Some people want to comprehend it all and that of course is impossible. However a state nearly as good as that is available for those with more humble and less self-fulfilling ambitions. Some people want to shape the God stuff into their own idea of what it should look like. They want to play God and usually well before they have any idea what the original is or intends. Some want to acquire large holdings of stuff and some want to acquire the deeds to or the symbols of large holdings of stuff. Some want to rub up against each other for affirmation of their own existence or for evidence of their own potency as a God upon this Earth. Unfortunately for them there is only so much oil given for these procedures and they are left with impotent longing in the aftermath; not to mention that the container gets a bit disheveled and crumpled in the handling.

The school of thought that I belong to, ‘ageless wisdom’, believes that the universe is a conscious universe and that everything is made out of mindstuff. It believes that mind stuff is light, just like the light from the sun and that everything you see before you is made out of sunlight; is sunlight ‘in extension’. Perhaps you can imagine that sunlight pours upon the Earth in a manner similar to water. Perhaps you can imagine that you are composed of sunlight; that you are like the ‘little sunbeam’ in the children’s Sunday school song. Or maybe you are thinking of, “This Little Light of Mine.”, no matter.

Some believe that all life is at a different state of wakefulness. For instance, rocks are asleep, plants are dreaming, animals are also dreaming but after a different manner and people are dreaming; some of them are dreaming like animals and headed in that direction. Maybe rocks are dreaming too. I shouldn’t count that out for them- perhaps my saying so has some effect on rocks in general. And rocks intend no harm. It requires a hand to pick them up and slay with them.

Now, I may not know exactly where I am going but I do know where I am trying to go and I imagine that the details of where I am heading will be ironed out in my head and in the landscape on the way. I have no important plans going on here. My plans here are about getting there; of course, in some ways here is there so I’m mindful of that too. I’m all for naturally morphing into my perfect state. I’m also all for Hothousing the process.

It’s hard to blame people who are sleeping for their confusing dreams and violent reactions to them. We are about as good as dreamers as we are at being magicians or playing God. They say that actors have to get into the skin of their characters. How do you do that with God? I imagine the only way is to let God come in and play the role and I suppose that is the end of ‘you’. For some people that is a horrible thought. For me it couldn’t come too soon; however it does come and however it manifests and defines.

Well, I’ve come to the end of the amount of paper and pages I usually use when I’m doing this sort of thing and so I bid you adieu until I rejoin you again. Hopefully these thoughts prove to be as useful to you as they were to me when I discovered them.

As promised I have written and recorded "God Bless You Cindy Sheehan."

Visible sings: Songwriter by Les Visible♫ God Bless You Cindy Sheehan ♫
'God Bless You Cindy Sheehan' is track no. 1 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)

Songwriter by Les Visible

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

If I have to walk I'm gonna get there just the same.

And a good morning to you; I haven’t felt much like writing anything here lately. The last few times I sat down to do it because it felt like I was supposed to be doing it. I’m not sure why that is. I have been involved in my music more lately. I’m also in the middle of the storm center of a particular astrological circumstance and it is having a noticeable effect. I don’t know how relevant this is to anyone but I say it by way of explanation if you do not hear from me for periods of time. I was seriously considering moving on. I’ve done this for a year now and pretty much covered a lot of ground. The ground I haven’t covered doesn’t get discussed in this medium, or else it’s what I haven’t yet experienced or assimilated. Time for another paragraph I suppose-

...in this essay, not in my life (grin).

Well, at the same time there’s no point in saying I’m not going to do anything anymore. How would I know? So let’s just say that I come and I go and I’m not sure how that gets scheduled. For the moment I’m here.

One of the things I notice is the way people drive their cars. It’s probably a good idea for all of us to give this as much as attention as we can during the times we are on that particular field of play; whether that is in a vehicle or on foot in the general area. In the town where I am residing there are a lot of bicycles and pedestrians and what-not. Even in the center of town it always surprises me to see cars angling to pull around anything that isn't going fast enough to suit them. Once they get outside of the small shopping district about 50% of them floor it and get up into speeds that would have them in traffic court, were this America.

There aren’t many police here. You seldom see police. In America they are everywhere; which doesn’t mean there’s less crime or anything. America remains the most dangerous part of the world I have ever spent any time in. In Europe people are given a lot of leeway in terms of judgment. This doesn’t mean there aren’t speed limits and pricey tickets. It’s just that there’s a lot less oversight and scrutiny. In any case, people behave better in Europe than they do in the U.K. or the U.S. The U.K. isn’t really part of Europe the way I see it. That’s a very violent place, just like America. Both of them have extreme police presence. I’ve speculated that it is because both of these locations are criminal empires and the philosophy and perspective trickles down into the mainstream public.

But this isn’t about whether there’s more crime in one place than another. This is about the general impatience and ‘me first’ attitude that prevails world wide. I believe there are howling spirits that inhabit the highway systems. They are slipstreams of urgency. The majority of humanity is powered out of their subconscious. They’re driven by urges and appetites and fears. Most of them are insane but it is a controlled insanity more or less. Compulsions are a controlled insanity, obsessions can be too. There’s always edginess about the various drives that people, more or less, have under control.

When people get into cars something seems to take over. There’s an imperative to get nowhere fast. I see these same people wandering down the sidewalks, taking their stomachs on a sightseeing trip, looking for something, the ‘what’ of ‘which’ is never really found. Everything else stands in for the thing they can’t find. Time is made up of all the interactions between people and objects in place of what they are really after. Quite often people look lost to me. They don’t seem to know where they are going or what they want. If they had to, or chose to, stop and think about that for a moment I believe it would frighten them and immediately propel them back into the restless pursuit of nothing.

I watch people. It is something I do. Instead of shopping, I watch people shop. Instead of drinking and talking ‘at’ someone, I watch people doing this. I happen to know that the sole object of all life’s actions is to discover God. There is no event in your life that is not in some way connected to this. You don’t have to call it God. You could call it; ‘the answer’ or Truth, or the Philosopher's Stone or Peace of Mind. They’re all included in it and so is everything else you can name as a substitute for terms that might offend your seemingly personal independence of thought and action.

Because I know that the sole purpose of life is a reunification of the self with The Self, it makes people watching a different thing for me than it might for some. People look to me like someone who dropped something but can’t remember where they dropped it, so they are always looking about them to see if it might be there. People look to me like they forgot something, they know it’s important but they can’t seem to remember what it was. Occasionally you will see them do that ‘Eureka!’ thing and set off to get a pound of butter, a husband or a wife, or a notebook or a gun. It’s all temporary though because that’s not it; whatever ‘that’ is.

People look to me like they don’t know what they’re doing here but that they need to act like they’re supposed to be or the other chickens will peck them to death. People look hungry and frightened and ridiculous sometimes when they are posing as something that they got the idea was legitimate or lasting or substantial. People often look angry and disappointed. Sometimes they look Pollyanna cheerful and just cute as a button and more than ready to go out and save some souls and testify about all the good things God did in the life they haven’t lived yet.

I’ve heard that Alcoholics Anonymous has been getting quite a few people who don’t really drink coming in. It shows up when they tell their stories because they don’t have a story. Most people aren’t going to risk anything and if they do it will be in a particular age period, after that, it’s all on rails. I see that when I watch older people. We’ve got a lot of older people where I live. Watching older people is a real learning experience. What I find fascinating is that no one thinks they are going to turn into older people. Older people’s faces tell you a great deal.

I’m not one of those people who think babies are cute and special. They turn into everyone you see around you. I don’t think about how I have a mother and a father in the usual sense. My family is just everybody else, even though I do have a family the way others do; I don’t really and my life is proof of that. Sometimes it is hard for me to distinguish anyone from anyone. Good and bad have a very different meaning for me. I learn this from watching people. I have found it is wisest for me to rarely speak about the things I think about. The best thing for me has been just to slip on by.

I’m going to go out and get in my car now and drive over to the thermal baths and spend the day in the saunas and pools and dream about vanished civilizations where I have no doubt I would have been more comfortable. I’m not going to turn into Minniver Cheevy though for all of that. I’ll see what I usually see on my way there. I’ll see people driving faster than they have to on their way to nowhere. I’ll see people looking like they dropped something but I’ll know better than to ask if I can help.

I’ll see people expecting things but they won’t have a bill of lading in their hand. I’ll see people in all manner of poses that are a reaction to the fundamental point of the life they are involved in that they have some idea might be some other thing. Occasionally I will catch a glimmer of the thing itself that exists at a right angle to everything else. It’ll flash and then disappear. I saw it this morning as I was about to meditate in the garden. It was glistening like a tiny diamond on the end of a leaf. It was some form of caged sunlight. I looked at it and wondered. I expect if I go back outside now that I won’t find that particular evidence of the secret of life. I know I couldn’t begin to explain what I mean when I call it that.

Some secrets are safe. You find that it is impossible to reveal them. People drive past them and walk past them in huge numbers every day and never see a thing.

Visible sings: Almost A Capella by Les Visible♫ I'm in my Car ♫
'I'm in my Car' is track no. 2 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Almost A Capella'

Almost A Capella by Les Visible

Friday, August 05, 2005

Like it or Not; we are All One.

Yes it is true. It’s true in physics and it is true in other legitimate sciences when empirical reasoning is applied to a true and comprehensive result; even if those findings must be analyzed with instruments that are not generally available; even if the physical end of ones research points into a yawning unknown, the evidence to that point, still indicates unity. At the same time, you can convince yourself of anything if that is your intention. Those who believe the world revolves around them are not entirely wrong.

Many of us work to set ourselves apart from our fellows. Some of us are set apart by our nature and our acts. Those whose uncommon goal is the heart of the whole matter are automatically set apart, regardless of their protective coloration or the lack of any.

In 1836 Ramakrishna was born in India and through the next 50 years of his life he taught that all religions were one and that you must make the pursuit of God the centerpiece of your life. This is a very simplistic rendering of the life of one of the greatest teachers of humanity. Ramakrishna was God incarnate. Those who had the good fortune to be around him were able to observe this. Reading the delightful stories of ‘M’ who was Ramakrishna’s disciple and biographer provides many an evidence of Ramakrishna’s singular life.

I bring him up because of a particular feature of his work. Ramakrishna, upon finding God, engaged in the study of every major religion and many spiritual disciplines, experienced enlightenment in each of them and pronounced them to be the same; in other words, they were all true expressions of the one. They were all another path up the same mountain. Find the one that works for you and give it everything you have; “half measures avail nothing.”

Some of us are experiencing real distress making it through the day to day of this modern world. It is a sad and empty affair here. If we are looking for satisfaction in the attractions of the day we are going to be disappointed. If we are looking for meaning we are going to be disappointed. If we are looking for fulfillment we aren’t going to find it. The problem is that ‘the world’ has become so pervasive that it is hard to find a quiet corner. I have no doubt that there are people working on designing holographic banner ads that they can project into the far corners of nature, just in case you show up there.

For many, the world has never been better. Today you can get Bacon-flavored ice cream. You can be whipped bloody by a huge tormenter in an authentic dungeon. You can wipe away your pain and your cares with a number of cutting edge chemicals; at least for a time. You can enjoy power and riches and pleasures the like of which we have never seen. Many people who see themselves as poor, live better than the kings of old. -But some of us...

...some of us are unhappy with this. It may be that we think there is something wrong with us. It may be that we do not understand why the more we see the less we want. We may suffer all manner of ills by contact with the material side of life. There is a certain ennui, a Weltschmertz that pervades our thoughts. We feel very much alone. Friends, though sympathetic are often of little help. Professionals in the area of modern therapeutic systems are often not only incompetent but antagonistic to the real solution. Religious leaders are often limited in understanding and laboring under the weight of dogma. Dogma is food without seasoning and often without nutritional virtue.

It is not unusual for some of us to sink into a deep despair; to contemplate ending our lives or to go on living in mute desperation and indefinable yearning for whatever has gone missing. Often, even when we find the right track, we lack persistence and optimism. Without optimism and the faith that accompanies it we are not going to get anywhere.

Unfortunately, in this contemporary world, our sense of community is often hard to locate. Some of us have a hard time with groups and organizations that seem to be less about their stated aims and more about control of the agenda and control of the meaning of the message. If you are looking for the truth is can be a hard stretch of highway.

Once I lived in the town of Woodstock, NY. In those days there were some pretty remarkable people in residence; perhaps there still are, though I am sure they are much harder to find. At the time I lived in a small community of kindred spirits and we collectively owned a macrobiotic restaurant. I also owned a spiritual/occult bookstore a short distance away. We lived in rooms built into the restaurant or in teepees on a large piece of forest outside of town. It was one of the most remarkable periods in my life. I would have to say that it gave real meaning to my life. As with all experiments in living, it came to an end. Many of the participants went on to the next evolution. Others scattered to the winds and I do not know what became of them.

I fell into a rock and roll cauldron and cooked for some years. I lost my way. I never stopped looking though and I found my way again. It has never again been what it was then though. For some of us such a community is imperative. I would say that the majority of people require community. Most people also want to do whatever they want to do and still have that community. Many communities enforce a moral code upon their members; we all need a moral code, but there are so many of them and they are not all moral or sane. Some people never take the training wheels off of their bicycles; always need to use lined paper and live in fear of what lies hidden beneath.

I don’t write for The Rotary or The Chamber of Commerce. I doubt I will ever appear in Reader’s Digest or Redbook. Newsweek isn’t going to find what I do interesting, neither will The New York Times, not unless I steal a whole lot of money or create a sex-cult that worships Bubastis or Set. I understand what it can be like to be alone. I prefer it myself. Not everyone does.

Sometimes when things aren’t going well you might need to find a community. This can lead to disappointment too. It did for me on occasion. But there are some genuine spiritual communities out there. There are some people and some groups that genuinely care about your welfare and your progress. You can find a real dynamic in such places. Things like Sufi-dancing, macrobiotics and meditation can take on a whole new appearance and degree of effectiveness in a group. There are other worlds within this one. If this wider world disappoints you that is a good thing; it should disappoint you. It is a shameful affair. It diminishes your humanity and puts you on a treadmill to nowhere.

Think about what interests you and then look in those areas. Even if you find later that it may not have been your real interest, your real interest can be revealed in the process. Don’t stop looking; just be aware that you may not find what you are looking for in the land of cellphones and night clubs.

It is no real loss to sell everything you have and then to go live in a community where you can learn how to use some new tools. You can always get your stuff back. Don’t worry about stuff; stuff is inevitable. It is pointless to go on living a life that means nothing to you. What do you lose if you give it up? Meanwhile new worlds will open if you have the courage to look. Many communities will have no trouble absorbing you and giving you something to do that pays your way. Isn’t it enough to live and to eat, to have a place to sleep and to engage in a remarkable experiment at the same time? Don’t you have even enough faith to take the chance?

Then again, you can work your whole life at a job you hate, to make enough money to spend your declining years paying out every cent you acquired to care for the health you ruined on your way. Don’t be a fool. There are already more than enough people doing that for you.

I realize this is probably one of my less interesting and exciting pieces but it feels like it needs to be said. Even when we are alone we are not alone and we can be much less alone if we make the effort.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The World, The Flesh and the Devil.

Considering emails I have received maybe some clarification of my methods and intentions might prove useful. First let me say that these emails were all of a positive nature. I’m not responding to anything negative here. I should also mention though, that when I do receive concerns about a direction I may sometimes take, that I give real thought to them. It would be pointless for me to engage in this exercise if my intentions weren’t that something useful would result.

Half the time when I sit down to write I have little idea of what I am going to say. At other times I will have an idea that came to me sometime shortly before sitting down to write. On no occasion do I know what territory it will pass through or where it will wind up. That makes it fun for me and keeps me entertained along the way. It gets written out in the amount of time it takes to type it; seldom do I break for any length of time, if at all. I then check it for spelling and usage errors and may occasionally add a sentence or two. Then it gets posted immediately after. The whole process takes about an hour.

At most times I will have just finished my meditation period. Now and then I am compelled to write first. Those are the times when I already have some idea of what I am going to say and the process takes over, so to speak. I hope this answers all of the questions I got and now, here I sit, momentarily wondering what this will lead to.

There is a good argument for me to always keep my commentary on the highest level. At the same time there is a good possibility that I will eventually become pontifical in the process. I think it is a better idea to leaven the whole with humor and eccentric imagery. This is more in keeping with what I am like personally. I am at pains to refine my nature as I proceed on this journey but some element of the personal is always going to slip in. I don’t like to read dry and insufferably high-minded things myself. Some of my entertainments are pretty pedestrian; we shouldn’t lose sight of our basic humanity. Occasionally some of you get the idea I am some kind of oracle or possessed of celestial understandings. At that time I suggest you imagine me using the toilet or checking the baseball scores.

Yesterday I presented my argument that the world is insane. Indeed, I do believe this. I go through each day with ample evidence of it. To me it looks like the world is a large mental institution and few of you are sane. At the same time, I am not at war against amusements and diversions and all of the entertainments that exist here. I enjoy many of them myself. It’s when we lose sight of the main issue that we get into danger. Many people live unconscious lives. They are literally in a movie and take it for the total reality. It is not. Real pain comes about from moving away from the living waters of being. Eventually one finds themselves in a desert landscape with none but Saturn for a companion. Don’t let this happen to you.

The usual result of living is sorrow and regret. The usual end of life is chronic repetition of banal routine, the loss of perspective and physical disability. As a result of increasing sedentary behavior, range of motion goes, spontaneity goes and a fixed determination for a spiritual end, if it ever existed in the first place, dissolves into an incoherent mind babble of television voices.

One of God’s great mercies is reincarnation. We are given the chance again and again to rise to a higher calling. At the same time, reincarnation leads to terrible opportunities of vastly extended suffering. It all comes down to what you want. You get everything you want; if not in this life then in the next, or the next. Every idea of who you might want to be is slotted for experience. You can take this to the bank. You also get to experience the opposite as well. Have mercy and pity for the rich, the captains of industry, the sociopathic entertainers and public figures whose life is example. Not a moment of it is missed or forgotten. We are all recording instruments of our passage. Our words and deeds are etched upon us.

Like everyone else I have made many errors of judgment. These errors can continue uncorrected and, often, interpreted as, not errors, but savvy business acumen. One can correct their errors in the same life one commits them in. One can make errors far graver than any you or I have committed and redeem themselves in the same life. Besides this there is the forgiving grace of the all high. God’s grace flows at all times and we would be wise to pray for it and to seek it out.

I no longer care if I get anything at all. This does not stop me from imagining and working toward certain ends, even as I try constantly to remind myself of my real goal. Even if we have lost the thrill of pursuing what we have not yet attained that does not mean that we should stop our efforts that reflect what we are in the personal realm. Things and conditions may be necessary for reasons other than the ones we might first believe. Often, unbeknownst to ourselves, we are used as examples for others.

By all means enjoy this world. Eating should be a joy. The food itself should transform into the energy of joy. But just as the act of eating is temporary, so this life’s envelope is temporary too. There are some who did not taste death but they were certainly changed, as the familiar Bible quote proclaims. If you could change automatically you would not die. The change itself is death as it moves from one state to another. Continuous change goes on forever. When you identify with the envelope and the environment in which it plays its part; when you believe that that is you... when it goes, you lose touch with consciousness. Do not confuse the transitory with the permanent. If you continuously identify with the imperishable you will be imperishable; indeed you already are. God created you in human form for this purpose of identification. The job of the world is to distract you from this. That is the world’s job.

The job of the devil, such as he is understood to be, is to tempt you into that which you desire to experience. The purpose of the experience is to awaken you to the alternative. By all means, jump for joy, you have good reason. But understand what that joy is predicated on. You are confined so that you might thirst for freedom... and you are given license so that you will know what freedom is not. Life moves in one of two directions; into a greater density and confinement or into a wider expanse of greater liberty. You learn which is which by the experience of it... or you don’t and you repeat and you repeat; just as old people continue rigid patterns- having lost the capacity for the new. At some point, for some, new is frightening.

The job of the flesh is to contain the elements for the purpose of experience. But the experience is in the mind, not the flesh. The flesh merely transmits from its theater of being. This is an old, old story. There’s nothing new here. Do not cheat yourself of high destiny. Look around you everywhere at the evidence of those who have. Listen to their insane rationales; the tedious convoluted arguments. Read the arguments of those who are apologists for failure. See the justifications for bad behavior. This tragic-comic, grand illusion, ‘shake and bakes’ itself forever. There is always a world for this and there are many other worlds too.

I am not myself strong enough to master the game. There are some who have the virtue and discipline to rise to great heights. There are also those who have risen to much greater heights than you and I who have fallen hard. You might want to go here and click on the images at the right hand side. That’s my area of pursuit, primarily because I need all the help I can get. Other avenues are available but you’d need to be made of stronger stuff.

Monday, August 01, 2005

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

All of us go through the same things. Some of us may experience them more intensely and some of us may get a stronger version but the events are ubiquitous, even if they differ in circumstance. I like to think of it as a horse going down the road. Some horses anticipate well. Some horses are trained better. Some horses don’t want to go down the road. Some are in a hurry and some are more casual by temperament. They are all horses however. They all have to go down the road. There are question about why that is. A lot of people have stayed up all night thinking about that.

Well, you have heard me give analogy after analogy. It may be by this time that I am talking in circles. How many times can I say the same thing a different way? ...Quite a lot apparently. It is not hard to understand why such a complexity of views exists on a single, indefinable point. You take the essential thing itself and outward from that stretches infinity. The same infinity trails away within it as well. One might say that everything outside of it is held inside of it. Such statements confuse the mind.

The mind spends its time thinking and extrapolating. The mind is sometimes defined as quicksilver; that’s an apt comparison. It can also be compared to running water; a stream, a faucet. It can be thought of a pot of boiling water in its extremes and as a still pond in its final resolution. We’ve been told that it is all mind and that everything is made out of mind stuff, that it is ‘thought born’. It is the mind also that is shaping these words in explanation of itself.

It seems to me, if we can put aside ultimate goals for a moment, that there is only one thing that should concern anyone and that is stilling the mind. Perhaps that is the ultimate goal as well. It is strange to see such a powerful, collective focus on the opposite in our culture. One might say, “Well, that’s life, isn’t it?” My reason for saying that stilling the mind is all that should concern us is because, when the mind is not still, we suffer. Our suffering is in our minds as well. We may localize it to parts of our body; to conditions, to states of want but that becomes known to us only in our minds.

I do not deny that we have hearts and that we feel but that is in our minds too. It is interpreted in the limbic region of the brain. The physical seat of the mind is the brain. The brain isn’t the mind but it is the horse, the car that the mind rides when it sees itself as the resident of a particular envelope. That is a funny thing that the mind does. It defines things based on its knowledge and experience. The definitions may not be correct in any absolute or even relative sense but they seem quite real in the personal realm. Large mirages are viewed daily by large collections of people.

If the state of natural and enduring happiness is achieved by stilling the mind then it is perfectly true to say that a very large portion of the human race is insane. The human race is insane at most times. Sometimes it is more insane than at others. Presently it is more insane than at other times. Modern medicine is less efficient that older healing techniques. It’s invasive and deals with symptomatic suppression. It’s hard and cold and cutting and ignores the source of the problem. It’s devoted to finance and the promotion of dangerous pharmaceuticals. The best that can be said is that it isn’t as insane as it was a hundred years ago. Reliance on allopathic medicine is a sure indication of insanity.

It appears that God, the ineffable and the incomprehensible, can be understood according to certain rituals of behavior. It seems that God has a dress code and not a very good impression of women. It seems that God encourages all sorts of abominable behavior and takes no mind of those who pronounce these things and behave otherwise. That sounds insane.

There is a high level of respect given to certain people who live in LA where breathing the air is the equivalent of 2 packs of cigarettes a day. These people are in the business of creating fantasies based upon fantasies that exist in the minds of people who are insane. They celebrate worlds in which people eat bad food and drink poisonous beverages; people who scream and cry and use guns and bombs and drive cars very, very fast. These people leap out of airplanes on snowboards and then surf over tables in an outdoor restaurant, picking up a Campari on the way, while being chased by killers on snow mobiles with machine guns. They destroy the killers and then ski into the arms of a woman who uses a bicycle pump on her breasts, which may, or may not be why the nipples are there. That’s insane.

Millions of people support a leader who bankrupts them; sends their children off to gratuitous wars, kills in their name at a distance, whose favored associates plunder the landscape, poison the water, fouls the air and generally reduces the quality of life at great speed and they applaud that. That’s insane.

Huge factories pump out billions of strange plastic articles to jarring soundtracks of abusive, screaming incoherence so that these objects can be placed on the shelves of huge shopping complexes so that people can spend hours of each day studying them, buying them and then forgetting that they have them. Hours are spent chatting on portable phones about nothing. The rest of the hours are spent punching buttons on the phone to make video figures move about. Life entire appears to be composed of pretending to be someone else, eating wide varieties of chemically enhanced foods, watching television, driving to the aforementioned places, trying to have sexual contact with each other under false pretenses and then trying to get out of having sexual contact with them afterwards. Then ugly wars are fought to protect the right to have cheap fuel to do all of these things at the great expense of anyone who stands in their way. That really is insane but-

To the mind it all seems logical. As soon as you want anything the engine of the mind rationalizes the legitimacy of the acquisition. Thousands and thousands of men and women spend their days in offices devoted to the production of nonsense or dangerous goods. Thousands more work to protect their right to do it. Thousands more argue their legal right to continue. Along the way they all get sick and die. I’m sorry I am laughing but it is insane.

I haven’t listed even a small part of the insanities. I haven’t sketched more than a brief outline of the environment. It’s more insane than I make it out to be and it goes on and on and on. It’s always another permutation of the same insanity and it is always, ‘new and improved!’ Most people are sick and getting sicker and are more and more angry and unhappy about it. The only thing that makes them more angry and unhappy is you pointing it out. The worse it gets the harder they press. The more it hurts, the more they want. What am I to make of that?

Within the mind is a consciousness that is not separated as is the consciousness of the self-conscious mind. As the self-conscious mind is embroiled in sensation it is unable to connect with this consciousness. It can have no peace without this connection. This is one reason that death is a good thing; it forces surrender. It makes you give up; rather late though.

Right in this very moment, everyone has the capacity to turn their attention away from everything that their surface mind keeps pointing out to them, dangling in front of them, enticing them with, threatening them with, arguing about- setting up the condition for a self-contained argument about nothing- distracting, always distracting. Right now, one can gently lead the attention away and lead it away until the mind becomes a deep and still pool. It’s not going to happen over the weekend. No one else is going to do it for you. You cannot pay someone to do this in your place. People may start wondering if you are crazy. You may no longer be fun. You may drop out of sight entirely because you’re not part of the things they are paying attention to. If you don’t put your attention on something, your attention will unfailing be put upon something. If you don’t go in one direction you are automatically headed in the other. You can’t stand still. It’s a continuum.

Oh whatever, don’t listen to me. I’m probably insane.