Friday, August 24, 2007

Off-White Burgundy, Sharkskin Pyjamas

I went to see an old friend last week, it has been close on to twenty years since I saw him last. Like me, he’d been through a mix-master of changes, traveling the globe, living with Papaji in India and setting out on his work which he’s now been at in excess of fifteen years.

There are some things that define us more than others; our unique inclinations, how we react to the circumstances of life and the people who love and appreciate us as well as the people who do not. You can tell a lot about someone by the kinds of praise and criticism they garner and the people from which it arises. You can tell very little about those who garner neither. One hopes to arrive there but it is a rare thing, within the boundaries of the game. Perhaps I should have said that one can tell a great deal about someone by how they handle criticism and praise, gain and loss.

There were a number of people at the house when I arrived; the sort of people you hope you will meet in your day to day- bright, articulate, intelligent and most importantly, welcoming. Then, after about an hour they faded off to their various industries and Zac and I had some hours.

Well, I’m not going to talk about Zac, that’s his job. I want to talk about what people do with their lives and how they feel about it. Zac mentioned stress and how life and circumstance infallibly create it for you if you allow it to. It’s human nature to ‘tense up’.

Life is basically simple; what I mean is- succeeding or failing at life is predicated on a simple relationship between yourself and your surroundings. No matter how complex ‘we’ make it, it really comes down to a few things; are you paying attention or not, are you tensing or releasing, are you aware that there is only one mind or do you think you have your own, do you think you know or do you know that you do not know, do you want things or do you want awareness?

If you’re not paying attention, if you are tensing- stressing, if you think you have a separate mind, if you think you know and you’d like to have a lot of things then you are in the game and also, as the Brits say, “on the game”. Defining ‘the game’ to people involved in the game usually means that you are going to run into people who think listening is waiting for their turn to talk. They’re not bad people, they’re just in the game and as a result they cannot help gaming you after they have gamed themselves.

What do you value? That’s what it comes down to. What do you hold dear? What do you aspire to? What compels you more than anything else? That’s what you are. You’ve heard the phrase, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” What’s that mean? What the ‘I’ thinks is based on what it believes itself to be. You are what you think you are. Change that and presto you are someone else. But that’s still a game. It might be a better and more enjoyable game but it’s still a game.

There’s something behind the ‘I’ that thinks “I”. The one who thinks ‘I’ is a projection of the thing behind it which uses it to experience life. It’s the spirit in search of experience. God, the thing behind the thinking ‘I’ is dreaming and that dream is your life. Of course, you don’t have to call it God. You don’t have to build a religion around it. It’s going to be there no matter what you call it and regardless of whether you put fruits and flowers on a rock or offer up any living thing as a burning sacrifice. It’s going to be there despite the Pope’s swishing through the cathedrals of the world, despite Buddhists with cellphones and no matter what happens in the world. It’s going to be there. It was all that was there before there was anything else and it will remain when all is gone. It’s the only thing that is real to begin with; just as when a movie ends the white screen remains.

It’s just behind the ‘I’ thinking. It’s just behind the gamer in the body suit. Nearly everybody is a gamer in a bodysuit and nobody knows anything except the people who know they don’t know- and that can deepen and deepen. So... everything anyone tells you is their version of how the game works. Everything everyone is doing is a definition of what they want from the game and it’s all based on what they find valuable.

If everything you see around you is perishable then it has only relative value. Merv Griffin isn’t rich anymore. Soon George H. Bush won’t be powerful. And everyone won’t remain pretty though some may become beautiful. You will lose everything you worked for and everything you possess except for the experience of the life in which these things came and went as did you. But you’ll be back.

You will be back and placed into the hands of those you encountered previously under similar circumstances with the roles reversed. The reason things are the way they are today is because of the way they were before. That’s the point of the “last farthing”.

In this world there are the billions of personalities that think ‘I’. Then there are the archetypes where the thing behind the ‘I’ thinks ‘I’ in a particular way. Usually, whatever person that archetype might have been in former times, has learned to get out of the way. It should be remembered that every master and adept who can ‘horse’ an archetype has a history that contains many secret shames. Occasionally the something previous to the mind that thinks ‘I’ decides to make an appearance. This doesn’t happen often but it does happen. That’s a good time to be in the game if you have gotten tired of playing the game.

The billions of personalities exist in major subdivisions called ‘rays’. These are similar to the rays that you get when white light passes through a prism. You could think of this world as a prism. You could think of the Sun. People on their different rays have a natural attraction and antipathy to those on their rays and other rays. You might ‘think’ about how blue and yellow make green. This whole dichotomy can get very complex. The thing is, you don’t need to understand these things, although some people very much want to. All you have to do is realize that something is behind the ‘I’ that thinks ‘I’ and... melt. Over a long period of time, experience will soften you and the something behind will melt you but... that is a long time.

Becoming as a little child is how you begin to melt immediately. It does make you very vulnerable and your defense mechanism that is a part of the mind that thinks ‘I’ can get very antsy about this. There’s a lot of booga-booga, noises in the night and those predators that eat children. The thing is, the something behind the ‘I’ that thinks ‘I’ is also behind that ‘I’ in the predators and everything else. It’s a matter of trust and a certain kind of trust that only a child can have.

The principal thing to have is an understanding that everything is under control. It doesn’t matter how it looks. Everything is under control. Every time appearances take control, stress appears, so... you have to melt the moment you feel it. After awhile it gets automatic. It doesn’t become automatic in two weeks or over a weekend with some Reiki master. What’s the point of any masterly appearing force outside of you if everything is already under the control of the something behind the ‘you’ thinking ‘I’?

Just about everyone and everything is going to tell you something different because they are all within the game structure. It is an amazing thing to realize that something you can’t see is watching you all the time. You are an extension of it. You came out of it just as you did from your mother’s womb. You can expect the same thing from it that you can from your mother or, you can set out on your own; press forward with stress through every accomplishment you can imagine until you are obliged to give up or... melt right now.

Suffer from the stress of striving until you fade away or cease to suffer by melting away altogether. Be in charge and fail or accept the presence and you are infinite. “I’ is a point of view from a moment that has already passed beyond you; it is the nature of ‘I’ to reside outside the moment for as long as the ‘I’ exists.

Visible sings: Color Ball by Les Visible♫ It's Changing ♫
'It's Changing' is track no. 5 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Color Ball'
Lyrics (pops up)

Color Ball by Les Visible

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Wish I Knew What he was Talking About. I Wish he Did Too.

Every now and again it is a good idea to get personal here. Sometimes it helps the reader to better understand what the writer is ‘trying’ to say and sometimes it helps the writer to understand what the writer is trying to say. In any case, it’s a break in the process and maybe the serpent can take his tale out of his mouth for a little bit and go off and hypnotize a dove... or something. Yes, that energy feeds on itself. It’s also the original perpetual motion machine. The life and death dramas of nature; red in tooth and claw and all the rest of the ‘sturm und drang’ that makes life scary and exciting at the same time is just a part of the process of the thing producing and consuming itself without changing one wit.

There is no question that, given the amount of words I traffic in that there will be moments of less precision than at other times. There will be contradictions and the occasional mis-labeled quote. It’s an operation of dancing around the truth, putting up fences to contain images and ideas by defining the territory and setting a mood. I’m playing with myself in public so that I don’t have to play with myself in public.

What I believe is that there is a living source from which everything emerges and into which everything returns. I believe that there is no time that any of the manifestations are separated from the source even if they think they are; purgatory, Hell... There are those who talk about some sort of dark achievement by those who hate God which involves ‘The Ring Pass Not” but we won’t concern ourselves with that. It is unlikely to ever become the business of anyone passing though here, including me.

From my earliest memories I can recall seeing and being affected by things that aren’t supposed to happen in every day life. Every day life is rigidly confined according to fixed parameters and anyone having experiences outside of that is either mentally ill or on drugs; so they say. These experiences led me to certain areas of inquiry; first poetry and the ancient Greeks and Romans, some mind travel with Richard Halliburton, escapist literature, the mind according to Western thinkers, philosophy (according to Western thinkers) and then came LSD.

As soon as I took LSD certain things happened to me and everything I had learned and thought I knew just emptied out of me and I had no interest in Western explanations for what things were and how they worked. I wound up in prison for several years off and on and it served as a sort of monastery. I assure you that the manner in which I survived it was very much the same. The only difference was that the demons were embodied as well as disembodied.

I was in and out of prison and an institution for the criminally insane. This was because I would be released on occasion with the understanding that I would cooperate in my probation or parole. I was not inclined to do so and went my way quite soon after my releases which would put me, ‘on the run’. Whether it was from a past life thing (of course that would be a factor), or because of a combination of extreme aestheticism and the use of LSD; what difference does it make? Things happened.

I met a man on a beach in Big Sur. He proved to be much more than that and had certain peculiarities that I couldn’t pay attention to while I was in his presence because I was completely in his presence and there was shortly after, no ‘me’. He had an unusual way of forcing the breath from his nostrils, holding his hands like he was gripping the reins of a horse and his face... it was an ancient oriental countenance such as you see in certain ivory and jade statures. His body was perfectly proportioned and he moved with an ease that was remarkable. I could not tell his age.

We spent a day together and things were discussed. I’ll just remark on a couple of things, otherwise I will be here longer than I intend to be today. He said, “God is a serpent. God is sleeping and this is his dream.” I asked him if God would wake up and he said, “I don’t know.” That’s the other thing. He said “I don’t know.” frequently. After a little while I was saying it too... and meaning it.

I left and went on with my Magical Mystery Tour. Then I was arrested in Arizona. Sitting at a table in the jail I found myself unconsciously doing the same breathing patterns he had been doing and my face kept compressing itself the way he had done. At no point along the way was I able to associate any of this with him. He had complete control. Somehow I wasn’t in jail anymore. Probably they released me without doing or waiting for the background check to come back. That happened a few times when I got arrested for being somewhere where people got high or having something on me, or just being on the road.

A few weeks later I was in Washington D.C. and on a particular evening I ran into John Hall who later played with the band Orleans. He had been looking for me. He had scored some acid. He was with a drummer named Jack Brooks and they were going out to Terry’s father’s house in the Virginia countryside (I can’t remember Terry’s last name now- he wasn’t with us). About five of us went out there and we dropped the acid. At some point John began to play a certain repeating series of notes and I felt my hands start to rise above my head. I resisted this and was a little disturbed. I didn’t know what was happening. I noticed some art on the walls. It was medieval knights on horseback. They changed into oriental knights. The force was getting stronger and stronger and I thought someone in the room was a witch and putting a spell on me. I didn’t know anything at all about what was happening to me.

I said to myself, “Just let go.” And I did. As I did my personality vanished. Everything I knew about myself that was familiar went away and I became aware that what was happening to me was connected to the man on the beach. My hands began to go through a series of mudras such as you see in Hindu posters and statues. Suddenly I was right inside John’s mind and could read his thoughts as clearly as if he were speaking them. He felt the intrusion and resisted powerfully. However, there was nothing to resist against since there is only one mind. I looked to the carpet and saw hundreds of tiny devils with their backs bent in front of me. My hands did all sorts of fascinating things with them. People in the room were freaked but couldn’t act or move.

Realizing the effect it was having on everyone I got up and went outside on to the lawn that was surrounded by pine woods. In front of me were 5 golden holographic cobras, coiled and with their heads raised and hoods flared. Behind them on a long shelf of rock were a series of cats (six, I think). They were in profile and just outlined in green with a large 9 filling the empty form. All manner of creatures appeared at the woods perimeter. When I walked the ground shook. I went to enter the forest but was forbidden to. I went back into the house, into the kitchen where two guys were standing. My hand extended toward the feet of one of them and his feet went right out from under him. The force was intense.

Everyone except me was freaked. We drove back into D.C. in the dawn and they quickly dropped me off at the park and sped away. None of them ever talked to me again, except for John. He kept accidentally and coincidentally showing up at places where I was and being very annoyed about it. I spent the next 3 years in a state of near dynamic tension over this and whenever LSD was ingested all of the same forces came into play. This led to people following me around all over the country but I was pretty good at avoiding them.

Much time has passed and the situation with my life and my hands and this force are still there. I know now that it was a kundalini experience. Later I saw the posters and statues that informed me of other things. It’s been a wild ride and nothing has been explained. In Italy a few months ago I took some mushrooms and the man on the beach showed up and I finally found out who it was. I was reassured concerning the present and the future without being told much specifically.

Over the years I have been in the depths and upon the heights; where I could not remain because I had not earned the right. An enormous amount of information has passed through my mind, some of it stayed and some of it went and some of it became new information because of the contact. That’s what this blog is all about. This blog is a periodic musing on things invisible as their presence has affected me. I know no more than what I did before. My life is less tumultuous and crazy but I have no idea what any of it means. It’s just something I’m going through and everything I talk about relates back to the things that have happened and how I have come to understand things like metaphysics and religion, the Hermetic Sciences and Yoga as they relate to what I’ve been through.

I don’t think about what I’m going to write. I sit down and begin to write and then it’s over at some point and I post it. I don’t really have to think about it, though sometimes I do, wondering over a particular passage and maybe changing it somewhat. Mostly it just appears out of whole cloth. I don’t make any claims about myself or the things I say. There they are, take them as you will or put them aside. This is just something I’ve found myself doing and I have no idea what it is for or why. So, if something is puzzling or poorly said, or not the same as how you see it, well, I have no answer for that. This is just another of life’s experiments and it will go on until it turns into something else.

Visible sings: Songwriter by Les Visible♫ Gone Baby Gone ♫
'Gone Baby Gone' is track no. 6 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)

Songwriter by Les Visible

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Why Does it Hurt so Much?

If all of humanity were one single person, perhaps the image we would get is that of someone reeling down the street with one hand over their eyes and the other hand extended out, feeling for obstacles. More likely it would be a constantly morphing figure; old-young, man-woman, hips thrusting, club-wielding, alternatively weeping and laughing... a constantly shifting CGI effect, moving in two directions at once while always remaining in the same place while cities rise and fall.

George Orwell once said “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever”. He also said, “Maybe this world is another world’s Hell.” There’s some truth to that. He might have better said, “Somewhere in this world at all times someone is stamping on someone’s face with a boot.” Or, “You can find Hell on Earth and Heaven too.” He wasn’t wrong, just extreme and not precise.

If it is happening to you, you could well believe that is all there is to this world. What strikes me is the irony of the landscape and the soundtrack; something like the rampage scene in Clockwork Orange with Beethoven. Bad things happen with flowers reaching toward the sun and Karen Carpenter singing “Close to you”. Shadows reach from beneath the trees at the playgrounds edge. They reach through childhood and beyond.

A clear mind, an undeceived mind knows that sorrow follows life. It’s a temporary world. Everything is on its way out from the moment it arrives. You are guaranteed to lose everything. Everything you love, no matter how tightly you hold on to it, will slip away. All of the evidence tells us so. Regardless of the irrefutable evidence, we don’t want to know. How can we harvest anything but pain? That which brings us the greatest happiness will hurt the most when it goes.

From a certain perspective life is grim. We have the long and short run of temporary fortune. We have the capacity to hope and dream. We can make the best of things but it ends and we are gone. We are on occasion ennobled by great sacrifice. Sometimes we are held up ignominiously before the entire world. Entire religions are formed around ennobling sacrifices. Somehow, in some lives, the act of giving up everything and being humiliated and killed inspires more hearts than any other accomplishments in the world. Now why would that be?

Why do we grant such honor to such seemingly sad tales? It is because these tales hold forth a conviction of some shining land beyond. There is something in the human psyche that is convinced that this world is not all that there is. History teaches us that this is a hard place. It shows us injustice on all sides. It gives laurel wreaths to undeserving frauds and ignores the best of us. It punishes virtue and rewards those who profit from human weakness and need. It honors murderers and thieves and explains their sins as being necessary for the times and the common good.

On the television and the radio, in the shop windows, on the billboards and the sides of buses are the lies of the moment repeated until the new lies replace them. False promises for a hundred thousand products that will change our life, reshape our form, end our loneliness and make us special are everywhere you look. This is the world that promises that something outside of you will transform what is within. Something outside of you will heal what it cannot touch and you will be all that you ever wanted to be. That’s not ever going to happen.

There is a reason that life tears you apart. It isn’t a pointless exercise of some biological imperative. It isn’t because an unfeeling, indifferent universe or a psychopathic God naturally causes or wants you to suffer. Life torments, tears and presses down upon you in order to liberate you into an eternal state of unending bliss. That is its precise and never changing intention and purpose. This is why life sends these examples of ennobling sacrifice.

If an angel of light enters into your dark prison and attempts to lead you out of your confinement and misery and you have confused your higher destiny with the rot and corruption of your mortal state and you wrap your arms in the prison bars and cry out to be left alone, then what?

Every temporary and mortal condition in this life, all of your losses, failures and humiliations; the bad health, the tortured circumstances, the intricate and unique composition of all your distress, is to direct your attention away from the prison house of your flesh. Every spiritual master; Buddha and Jesus Christ, Krishna and Lao Tzu... all of them that were and are and all of them since say the same thing. They give out the same game plan for behavior on the way and they promise the same result, NO MATTER how it might seem to conflict within the theater of your dual purpose mind... no matter how it may conflict with what you think you want.

27/7 across eternity there is a broadcast going on within. Outside is another broadcast which drowns out the broadcast within. The pain of existence is what eventually turns your attention from one broadcast to the other.

So, what do you do? If you know all of this, how do you work in your own best interests to cooperate with your liberation when, time after time, you continue to be your own worst enemy? It begins and ends in the mind. The first thing to grasp is that there isn’t anything you can do. Everything you are doing is the problem. There’s a trick of the mind that has to do with a re-positioning; it adjusts your awareness of personal effort to the understanding that everything proceeds from one will.

The practice of a disciplined life is nice work if you can get it. Yoga is a marvelous and complete system, if you could only understand it. The realm of the Hermetic Sciences and the occult are a wonder for the one in one hundred million who have come to the point where they can comprehend it. Solitude is rapture for the unique soul so disposed to its beauty. There are few enjoyments that can equal being a lonely star shining in the firmament. Such stars are not lonely. Movie stars are lonely.

We, the many, are seldom possessed of such discipline or capacity for higher knowledge. For some of us it is as Blake said, “The temple of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” For the majority it is more like Woodsworth and the “lives of quiet desperation.”

No matter who you are, or how dense you may have been, everything changes when you recognize the Sisyphean nature of how your life has been. That isn’t your life. That is just a station of the cross, a temporary wayside. You cannot untangle yourself. The moment you recognize that everything is working toward your greatest good is the moment you can participate in the event by letting go of everything ‘before’ it gets snatched from you. It’s the leap of faith. It’s the raindrops merge into the ocean. It’s the actual moment when conception begins.

You can fight this and you do. It is what we all do all of the time. Eventually you will admit defeat and claim the victory and hear that timeless guitar lick that is the essential sensation of everything that ordinary rock and roll ever promised you. You will own the universe and be wonderfully at home within it the moment you recognize the mind behind it all.

You can’t get there by attempting to practice disciplines you don’t understand under the tutelage of people who don’t understand them either. You can’t get there analyzing texts and practicing magical rites. Strange uniforms and cycling rituals won’t take you there. The secret is in ‘what’ you love and losing everything else will ultimately leave you face to face with it. If what you love is eternal then it cannot be taken from you.

That piercing sensation of overwhelming love is the presence itself reminding you it is there and leaving no doubt that you are too. Only you know how long you will go on tormenting yourself. If you can’t feel anything then maybe you should prime the pump. Just remember who put your hand there and from what source the force to prime originates. Then... why... then it is mere child’s play.

Visible sings: Songwriter by Les Visible♫ Rocket Ship ♫
'Rocket Ship' is track no. 7 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)

Songwriter by Les Visible

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Metaphorical Language of Heaven and Hell.

I was thinking about this God-thing this morning. I was thinking about the difference between what religion states about the unknowable and what the unknowable states about itself through the sheer force of its being (to those inclined to feel it) and the archetypes it presents itself through; white light refracting through a prism into the natural world of color and dimension, of sight and sound. Then I passed through a forum where a particular aspect of this enormous mental construct was under discussion. Remember that this subject behind the behind is a pinpoint of essence, no matter how pervasive or absent it may be or appear to be.

For the sake of easier conversation let us refer to this subject as Truth, instead of God. The word ‘God’ makes some people uneasy, principally because of religion. Religion is a blind man dressed up in huge and cumbersome ornamental robes that touch the uneven ground over which actual life travels. It’s a vehicle of sorts. It’s a cover of sorts. It’s something that tells us there is an origin, an end and a dance of circumstance between. It’s a playbook for the game of life. Unfortunately there are a number of playbooks and they contradict each other. They compete against each other and become businesses that depend on the drama of gain and loss, independent of the thing they represent. Since the thing they represent is indifferent to these concerns, one could posit that they don’t represent it. One could say that religion is a cloudy mirror.

Religion creates argument. It’s an argument that can’t be won because it takes place in the phenomenal world. It is like arguing about the qualities of an orange tree without considering the mystery of the soil. Something happens in the soil. We don’t see it happen. That doesn’t stop it from happening. Some process is also happening that informs the soil and causes it to go about its business. We know this is true because we can hold that orange in our hand; even if we have no idea how the orange got there. You don’t always have to know how something works to profit from it.

It comes down to this; do you want to argue about it or do you want to understand it? Truth is like the sun. Sometimes the weather obscures it but it is always shining. When it sets at night or, more accurately, when the Earth rotates beyond its rays, it is still shining. This accounts for that so-called ‘dark night of the soul’ if you ‘think’ about it. Truth is there whether we perceive it or not and that is the basis of faith. Everything in the natural world and the manufactured world is a metaphor for something inside of us; is an example of the ongoing struggle for understanding. If you want to understand that is one thing. If you don’t want to understand, or you want existence to mirror your mindset, that is something else. We can convince ourselves of anything and logic and the other tools of the mind will accommodate our efforts. It will look just the way we want it to, even if the world itself conflicts with it at every turn while conflicting with itself.

Given what we have seen historically there is every reason to be a skeptic. However; do you want to understand or do you want to argue about it? This is the key. This is what “seek and ye shall find” means.

Let’s digress for a moment. The English drive on the left. Where else does this happen where it wasn’t a former colony? Why does a tiny country like England have such power over the world’s money supply? Does it? How can this tiny country with no natural resources have the strongest currency in the world?

Hebrew is written from right to left. What other language uses this motif? How does Israel, one of the tiniest countries in the world with one of the world’s smallest populations, exert so much influence in the world at so many levels? I have presented these examples of unusual diversion for one reason. I want you to think about it and watch what your mind does while you do. I’m making no judgment about anything and I’m not implying anything. This has nothing to do with whatever it may mean. This has to do with anomalies and effects and what your mind does when you consider them- or does not consider them, or reacts against them, or forms some opinion. What does it mean?

Occult forces express themselves through language and gestures and symbols. Money is a symbol. Let us consider gestures. Many of you know that America was founded by Masons. You may also know that judges in courtrooms use Masonic gestures to communicate things to other members of the court. Some of you know that government and corporate logos and icons represent force in a particular application. But what does it mean? What does it mean?

Hebrew is taken directly from the Chaldean flame alphabet. No one just materialized a Hebrew language out of thin air. Who made the Jews the chosen people? The Jews did. Who made the Muslims possessors of the true way and everyone else infidels? The Muslims did. Who guarantees Christians entré to Heaven and sends everyone else to Hell? The Christians did. Truth, God, did not do these things. These are the fruit of religion. If you reject truth because of religion you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Religion and business and government are all in bed together. It’s always been that way, even when they appear to be in conflict with each other. The point is to wonder, to inquire, to explore. Do you want to argue or do you want to understand? Good and evil, what are they? They change places in regular fashion. They are exactly opposite in one land as compared to another in respect of certain things.

I believe there is one commander who cannot be opposed. It is. It animates and contains you. Knowing this I have nothing to worry about in the long run, in the short run or in the chicken run. Does this mean I won’t get smacked in the ear (metaphorically speaking) now and then? ...of course not. It means that I am being smacked in order to direct me back on to the track just as the reins will inform a horse where it should go. Someone once said, “When God comes to awaken you he gently shakes your shoulder. If you do not respond, he shakes you harder. If you still do not respond, he picks up a two by four.” Like one of my uncles used to say when I was being a disobedient sprout, “Those who cannot hear must feel.”

When you know the truth or possess some part of the truth then you are immediately protected from the consequences of lies concerning it. You have information and knowledge. If you know how to operate a sailboat then you are much better off than one who does not in the same stormy circumstances. If you know how to counteract it, you are in a much better position to defend yourself against a punch than if you do not; but if you are not paying attention the whole situation changes. Paying attention is probably the most important thing you can do. Knowing what to pay attention to is highly important, just think about the sailboat on stormy seas. Then there is the higher knowledge of knowing when to go and when not to go out upon the ocean in the first place. You might get that information from the weather bureau. You might have a ‘weather eye’ and you might have an internal weather report. Which of these has more value?

There are languages and symbols and signs that have particular power. Some apply to the physical world and some apply in other theaters. There is both currency and power in every realm. Some people want to control things here and some people want to go somewhere else. But while you are here there are conditions that, however much they change, will always be the same. Caesar has one power and Truth has another, or so it seems. Is that actually so? Is it not the same power applied to different ends? Does it not all lead to the same end, no matter where you may think you are headed? I could set out for Kansas City while traveling the entire world on my way, or I could go directly to Kansas City. I’m still going to get to Kansas City. It will take a lot longer, depending on whether we want to argue or understand.

Somewhere in the Bible, Jesus is recorded as saying something to the effect that he comes to bring a sword, to set brother against brother; basically implying conflict although he is known as the Prince of Peace. People find it hard to understand what he is saying but it is quite simple. The truth doesn’t have friends and family. The truth doesn’t compromise and make deals. The truth just is. If Jesus is the truth and the way and the light then that means he is counter to all of the world’s machinations and allurements. If you cleave to the truth then surely the world will be in conflict with you and you with your brother and your family. Hence, “Pick up your cross and follow me.” Hence, “Let the dead bury the dead.” Hence, “crucify him!” Hence this and hence that.

I’m not a Christian. I don’t see any difference between Christ and Krishna (note the similarity). I don’t have any use for religions. But I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you have inquired within yourself, relentlessly and with passionate ardor, if you have closed yourself into a room for 3 days without food or distraction and you have earnestly sought to the center of your being and found nothing then you may be on to something. Then again, if you persist and you persist, I declare you will find something. But if you have not done this then what have you found? If you have not looked then what have you found? If you have not explored the phenomena of language and signs and symbols and seen that they are mechanisms of crowd control then what do you know? If you cannot see the population of the world herded over wide highways and if you have not considered what those who pursue another path have said, then on what do you base the argument for what you believe and do not believe? If you have not walked the walk then how would you know where it leads? All of the contradictions and seemingly absurd statements make sense if you have taken the trouble to analyze them with an open mind and to pursue their hidden meaning but, Do you want to argue or do you want to understand? You can’t force a rose to open; all things in their time. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. It’s up to the horse.