Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Perils of Climbing an Invisible Mountain.

One of the first things you notice about climbing the invisible mountain is how many people are telling you, “You can’t do it.” or “You can’t do it that way.” Never mind the fact that you are discussing an invisible mountain; they will appear from nowhere with less actual substance than the invisible mountain and they will delineate, with shapes and gestures formed out of nothing, how impossible it is for you to climb this mountain. They will appear outside of you and they will appear in your head. They will have the characteristics of ‘hit and run’ graffiti and banner advertising and there may be lights flashing and there may be drinks served.

Nothing serves to create an argument like a space in which no argument exists. As soon as peace is in operation, pundits and pedants from the far corners of the world will appear to dissect the unity and it won’t be long before politicians and salesmen and arms merchants and armies arrive along with row after row of specialists with measuring devices and clipboards. Some will appear in glorious anonymity- their pontifications to present and some few intrepid souls will arrive as members of whatever is standing in for the Royal Academy these days and they will all, after much arcane movement and conferring among one another, announce that you cannot climb the invisible mountain.

Certainly the majority of these yahoos will be immediately identifiable as manifestations of your fears and unresolved subconscious bugaboos. All will have some portion of the monkey in the mirror persona where they mimic your thoughts and movements in order to encourage or seduce you into a dance where you forget who you are and become a monkey. The clever tricks are legion and you have to keep in mind who it is that is being crushed under the stationary foot when Shiva Nataraja raises the other one in dance.

It will not matter what century you find yourself in; what the fashions and technology may be. The forces at work to convince you- dissuade you- and prohibit you from climbing the invisible mountain; even to the extent of putting an electrified fence around it and posting armed guards on the perimeter will always be around. It’s not their invisible mountain but what’s that got to do with it? It says right here on this sheet of paper that they have the right and you’d be advised to understand that and get with the program.

Some folk are going to come around with an armload of books written by some dead guy and if you don’t respond with the right amount of hushed awe that they demand as the representative of this dead guy; who may have been a yogi or a writer about yogis or a minister or some society member whose parents friends were in publishing or just some guy who kept journals; as I was saying, if you don’t respond with the proper humility to their claim that you can’t ever be as good as the dead guy, or that it’s really the dead guy's mountain or you don’t catch on to the fact that they’re really putting themselves forward as the better mountaineer then… you are going to catch some shit, make no mistake.

The shifting serpent of opposition can manifest in a million forms, each of them designed to probe for a weakness or create a doubt; convince you that you started the conversation and/or argument. The idea of opposition is created in the idea that separation can exist in reality and not merely for the purposes of illustration as our world so perfectly illustrates. In fact, no one is arguing with you, they’re arguing with themselves. It’s like the crazy guy on the streets who starts talking to you as if you were part of some conversation. That conversation has been going on for many thousands of years and it has always been crazy. It seems sane when delivered by a guy in a toga, or a $2000.00 suit- depending on your era- but that is because you bought into the power of appearances insofar as they indicate value; when value is placed on the object as opposed to the subject… which is my way of checking to see if you are paying attention and using words for my own purposes as I do so.

Why do they do this? Why should they give a shit if you climb some invisible mountain or disappear up a rope in an Indian marketplace? Well, there are many, many reasons. One reason is that there are rules in place that got put there by somebody in order to guarantee a certain uniformity of behavior on the part of the collective body of humanity as they proceed on rails between the points of birth and death. Some people get appointed to the job of enforcing these rules and a whole lot of people appointed themselves. Some people being miserable, really do love company. Some people will tell you straight off that climbing invisible mountains is bad for business; can anything be worse than that? Some will tell you it’s unpatriotic or blasphemous or whatever it is in respect of whatever they are shilling for. There are those who will resent your having said or done anything about invisible mountains without having first sought out their advice and underwriting for the whole affair. Somehow you have diminished the light they were shining upon themselves when you went and shined that light on the invisible mountain.

You could hurt yourself if you fell off that invisible mountain. You could hurt someone else. What happens if impressionable children see you doing it? It is always best not to let people know you are climbing an invisible mountain. It is better if they think you are doing something else and it’s always a good idea to have a cover story and an outfit. It doesn’t hinder your ability to climb an invisible mountain if you are wearing a name tag that indicates you are Bill, an inspector for the phone company. You can even be the guy who talks to invisible people on the street; climbing an invisible mountain at that point is no big deal.

The worst of the ‘nyah… nyah… nyah…” group are the ones who actively seek to kill your faith in your ability to climb that mountain; those who work to convince you that that mountain is not there, those who seek to engage you in argument and thereby prove their own bankrupt estate, those who seek to kill your Love and enthusiasm for the ‘only’ game in town; and there is only one game. These folk are those who failed at finding the mountain; those who could not see the mountain, those who fear the mountain and hate you for reminding them about the mountain.

All you got to remember is that it’s nobody’s business whether you climb invisible mountains or not. I don’t care what kind of a badge they show you or whose army they got positioned behind them. I don’t care how they talk or what they say. I don’t care who they quote and I especially don’t care whether they feel diminished by the fact that they can’t even climb up out of their own bullshit much less up the side of your invisible mountain.

It’s not easy climbing invisible mountains. It all goes by feel and it takes a great degree of faith to hold on to what you can’t see, especially after you get some distance into the air. You may well wonder what happens when you get to that point when you reach up and find nothing above you to grab a hold of. I’m not saying this happens. Every invisible mountain is not the same. They don’t conform to some sort of invisible standard.

Some say the last thing you catch on your way up is a hand. I believe that’s happened in a number of cases. Some say what happens is that you disappear; whether by gradations or all at once, I suppose either is possible. Some say a door opens and you step through; this might account for the testimony of those who say you disappear, because if they can’t see the mountain it’s probably likely they can’t see the door either. All I can say is that I don’t know- but that’s not likely to have any effect on whether I climb that mountain or not.

Whether one should climb that mountain or not is a personal affair; you’ll hear there is no mountain. You’ll hear you can only climb it once you have decided against climbing it. You’ll hear a thousand farts in a windstorm and be glad that the wind was there. How I see it is best summed up in an anonymous poem-

“Establish places to teach the Dharma
Knowing they are only reflections of the moon on water.
Hold Dharma activities knowing they are nothing more than flowers in the sky.
Subdue the evil army knowing it exists only in the mirror.
Seek Buddahood knowing it is empty like a dream.”


Visible said...

Every now and again I have to remove a comment from this board. When I do so it is not to censor criticism nor to inhibit free speech. The reason is that I do not allow anonymous comments of a certain type to remain. I put my name on what I write and you can verify who I say I am.

Therefore, if you want to make a negative comment, or you want to engage in bloviated pontificating- wherein your very statement stands as evidence of your own failure to understand what you think you are talking about- you will have to put your name on your comments and I will have to be able to verify that you do exist as whom you say you are. That's fair right? If you don't like that well, there's oodles of other places to go where you can, in fact, troll to your hearts content.

I've never made any claims about myself and I make no claims about the value of my writing; that is for the reader to determine for themselves. I just sit down and write and there it is, for better or worse. If you're of a mind to make claims about yourself or wish to contend with others from some perspective why... just click the little button on the main page and get yourself a blog.

Finally, even if you do prove who you are, that doesn't mean I'm going to let the comment stand- but as long as it meets the criteria of common decency I probably will. There are other readers here who will no doubt opine upon your presentations and I may or may not comment myself.

Should it pass that you find these terms too onerous or revealing I believe your failure to oblige me will define what you are in no uncertain terms

Well, I think that's about it... time for my lunch.

Anonymous said...


Catnapping said...

thank you

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you are so right on, like a zen archer in a dark room. This one soars with the intoxication of the muse and validates once again how inspired you are. Mucho gracias.

z a

Anonymous said...

This seems like as good a lifetime as any to start doing some serious climbing. How's the air up there anyway?


Anonymous said...

I love you.

Anonymous said...

very impressive

love the poem

Anonymous said...

It's over a week now. Come on I'm waiting and waiting and



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