Wednesday, September 26, 2007

White Noise

There seems to be a lot of white noise, every audible frequency available at the same intensity. It’s like white light which also contains every frequency and all of this is going on over an infinite bandwidth. Sometimes it seems to me that this is the source of a great power that might be mined for every human need if we only understood how to do it. I keep coming back to electro-magnetism and the awesome power that might come from serious inquiry into that but we don’t seem to be going that way.

I know there is a lot of research going on in solar and hydrogen and other alternative energy fields but it’s not nearly enough for a couple of reasons. The technological infrastructure is set up around oil and oil is king. It doesn’t take a genius to see the power this energy source exerts on the planet. The present Middle East situation tells the story in the red ink of human blood.

Somehow the landlords and the oil lords set up a system where the majority of the people could be kept too occupied with their basic needs to have time for much else. To me it looks like humanity is so much livestock; poor dumb brutes... natural disasters, political disasters, financial disasters, crime and war. Well, most of the world goes on about its day. Given our normally narrow perspectives we forget that there are billions of people here and more coming. There’s this ongoing press for space up against each other and a fight at the top for control of the resources.

Then there’s this game where they tighten and loosen the flow of money and oil and other things at regular intervals so as to get bonus overflows because they are in control of the system that provides the things that get tightened and loosened. A depression gets created and then a war gets generated and the blood goes into some kind of secret machine that pumps out prosperity.

Las Vegas is getting very short of water and they want to expand. Well, there is this great big aquifer that these cattlemen are using and they want that. Course... that will run out too. Why would someone put an enormous city of fountains and lights in the middle of a dry desert? Because they could? Because if you build it the water will come?

I have seen and heard of a lot of good ideas that went nowhere. I remember reading John Stuart Mills, the Baron Montesquieu and Vicomte de Rochefoucauld. You can find a lot of splendid men and women in the pages of history. Their ideas were the basis of all we are supposed to have today and those ideas are there. They are carved into the fascia of large buildings and quoted in the halls of academe but they don’t actually translate into life. They’re like a bunch of white noise that you can’t make out because of the competition between our higher nature and our appetites.

When the satisfaction of appetite becomes the primary goal of a civilization and when the complexity of choices exceeds any individual’s ability to even grasp the extent of the smorgasbord, much less sample any large amount of it, well... that becomes a kind of white noise too.

People are reproducing at an alarming rate. Mostly they are reproducing where they have little enough to survive on in the first place. It’s a mathematical certainty that push will come to shove and that tragedies on a scale previously unknown will occur. We can’t all head for the Himalayas for the peace of mind gone missing. Then again... there are very few who want to. Shangri-La is a matter of personal interpretation and that brings us back to Las Vegas.

For the bulk of humanity, Shangri-La is a physical high-life indefinitely maintained, regardless of the impossibility of that prospect. Then there’s pie in the sky with a big cartoon Jesus waving the faithful home to Las Vegas in the Sky. I don’t doubt the real Jesus, just the implied location and presentation. To me it’s a state of mind you enter into without having to go anywhere... even if you might do so at some point.

Sometimes it looks to me like one of those intricate Tibetan thankas with huge wheels and people at every part of the circle. Strange creatures are munching on some people and others are being feted at mystical feasts with dakinis hovering all around. I remember one time in the 80’s when I was in New York City. I was on the upper West Side. It was the dining hour and the beautiful people were climbing out of their cabs and passing by, sometimes actually stepping over derelict and discarded humans arrayed on the sidewalk. I was fascinated by this and watched it for a while.

I have come to believe that everything is exactly what it is supposed to be. It doesn’t matter what the splendid men and women in the pages of history said or did. Things are the same way they have always been. Sometimes it’s pastoral for awhile and sometimes it is frenetic. It’s as if different composers are replacing each other for the length of a composition. At the same time there is everything imaginable taking place in some location somewhere.

The essential truth of manifest existence seems to be eternal white noise. It seems like the seasons of the year can be found in the destiny of every country and every life. Thomas Cole did a series of paintings called The Voyage of Life. He did other fine things too. When I think of all the paintings I have seen and the people I have read, I realize that Earth is just the place where certain things happen again and again. Our being here and the things that happen either have a point or there is no point. That there is no point is absurd so there must be a point.

This point can’t be entirely what one person or any other person has determined or defined. No matter what anyone says, things are what they are and... everybody has some take on what that is. When they all start talking at once, that’s white noise too; all the raging water over rocks that are the flashpoints of humanity in confusion, amount to nothing because the thing just goes on. It just goes on.

It seems that though there might be an absolute truth, the same way that life has a point of origin that it doesn’t do people much good in any practical way. But how practical is life that begins to end the moment it begins? What would real practicality amount to in respect of that?

We continue to draw an endless parade of new compositions out of the white noise. We build and destroy and those conditions are continuously interacting here for as long as the episode lasts. There is some correct position within it all. There is some hidden kingdom in the midst which is hidden from the clamor and the glamour of the brothels and the battlefields. There is an inviolable truth and a way that moves without effort or strife through all of the play of light and darkness, both real and metaphorical.

I can’t say what that is. I’ve seen it at work now and again but when it disappears I can’t remember what it was. It seems to come and go according to some mysterious process and there doesn’t seem to be any infallible ritual that calls it up out of the noise. Every time I find it, or it finds me, I hope that it will never go away again but it always does. I guess I should just be happy that so far, it’s always come back. I don’t know how to make it stay. I wish I did.

Visible sings: Songwriter by Les Visible♫ Everlasting Love ♫
'Everlasting Love' is track no. 2 of 10 on Visible's 2006 album 'Songwriter'
Lyrics (pops up)

Songwriter by Les Visible

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Think, Therefore I am... What?

Whenever I think of people trying to understand what God is and then when they try to explain it; the unexplainable, the inexplicable and the incomprehensible, I always think of Steven Hawkings explaining how the universe works. I realize this might be in poor taste but it’s honestly what I think of. I think of someone who has become all bent out of shape trying to grasp something that cannot be grasped.

I realize that Hawkings has a disability but the irony of his condition and his occupation always present themselves as a metaphor to me.

I think therefore I am. Before I thought, what was I? What rests behind that and that and that? When you think into the unknown, what is beyond that and that and that? How far out does the universe go before it is once again inside the tiny point of its origin? How do you measure something against itself? Where is the yardstick for something that doesn’t end? If it’s a circle then what is its diameter? If something contains everything then what rests outside of it and outside of that and that and that?

Physicists have proven the existence of ether which penetrates everything, no matter how dense. Doesn’t it serve that something penetrates ether? What penetrates that? Physicists have proven that the universe is thought born so it stands to reason that God thinks therefore I am. Now, if I think- then all of my thoughts are my creation and that makes me God too. There’s a difference though.

This God, whatever it is, operates according to a perfect law, so that everything God creates is perfect, whether perceived so or not. I know that everything I create is not perfect but it is subject to a perfect law so that perfection may well exist in the destiny of every thing in the process of outworking the perfection within. I also know, though many people do not, that all of the thoughts in my mind are not my thoughts. The mind is like an airport and thoughts leave and arrive all the time. They might become my thoughts if I think along with them; identify with them. It appears that wisdom has something to do with casting out thought until the essential appears.

Out here in the wide world of time we have books that stand as records of the words and actions of those deemed to be representations of God in human form. Given what we know about humanity and history, it would seem clear that none of these texts remains unaltered from the time the events and words that they record occurred.

I’ve read a lot of different versions of The Bhagavad-Gita and I think I’ve come across over 20 versions of The Tao Te Ch’ing. They vary widely. Yes, the basic idea is there but along with the basic idea is this coloring that changes certain elements when you compare one version against another. What has happened is that I have found a version of most such texts that satisfies me more than the others. I would not assume that the versions that satisfy me would satisfy everyone. Most people wouldn’t read any version of these books to begin with.

Now, if I met Krishna or Lao Tzu I do believe that the texts would suddenly become a flame alphabet inscribed upon my heart and that would be the true version. This is what I believe about The Bible and The Koran. I believe that the actual text is written in the human heart and that contact with the author causes the letters to flame and speak. This is what I believe. This is not what others believe. In fact, I have never encountered another human being who has expressed this concept to me. I don’t know where it came from. It is simply something that I believe. I believe that whatever God may be that that which is God is a living presence and that it is closer to me than anything else. I believe that it holds me in place and that the only purpose of my life is to recognize this force as deeply as it is possible to do so.

Others have variations on this theme. Fundamentalists in every creed, which make up the majority of those who believe there is a God, have a literal take on the subject. They believe that a particular book is the inviolable absolute regarding divinity; no matter how absurd might be some of the contents or, in the case of The Old Testament, often no more than a record of genealogy. Although there is ample proof, by way of demonstration, they are also mostly unaware that The Old Testament is a book of Gematria written in code.

Meanwhile, these texts have been in the hands of religions that have, over time, proven themselves every bit as venal as the most pathological politician. How unlikely is it that they have remained unchanged? I note that the powerful phrase, “Be not deceived, even the devil is transformed into an angel of light at the given moment.” has been warped out of all recognition and that quite recently. These things are changed for your own good by your betters who do it so that you won’t have to think about certain things that might make you think. They also do it in order to enforce control through dogma because that is what religions do. It’s one reason that the adherents are often responsible for murdering those who most strongly possess the attributes of the founder.

I’m not saying that powerful inspiration does not flow from these texts; ALL OF THEM. I assure you that it does. Millions of lives have been transformed for the better by contact with the timeless truths therein. Millions of lives have also been ruined as a result of interpretations of religious texts by those of material intent out for personal gain. It is the same as it ever was.

Sex, money and temporal power are religion’s biggest problems. We’ve seen what has come to light in the Catholic Church in recent times. We see how the fundamentalist Muslim religion treats the female side. Sex is that power which both enslaves and liberates and it takes a canny mind indeed to understand the channeling of that force. One might say that the fire the sinner’s burn in is the very fire in which the saints rejoice.

Christ had one message for the common population and another for his disciples. The text says so. This is the case with all of the religions. There is lined paper for the common population whose interests are, at the moment pedestrian- and there is unlined paper for the initiates. In the one case the paper is already written on and in the other case the words write themselves upon whatever may be the parchment. Everyone, so I have been told and so I believe, comes to the various doors or veils as they proceed. Life being a spiral staircase into infinity, it behooves one not to piss over the railing; while “seeing through a glass darkly”.

It is pointless to proselytize but people will. War and the aggressive pursuit of gain are also pointless but people will do. Whatever this God may be- being all powerful- it is safe to assume that the whole thing is under control. It may look otherwise to those who have not attained a particular degree of surrender and watchfulness but that doesn’t make the Sun revolve around the Earth. It doesn’t make the Earth flat. Truth is... regardless of belief in it. Here we are not concerned about trees falling unheard in empty forests.

I think therefore I am but what I am... that’s the question. Whatever I think of myself I must necessarily think of others too. Whatever my motives, it stands to reason that I attribute them to others too. If I’m after the treasure of Sierra Madre, I can expect the usual players. It all leads to Samara and in some cases, Shambhala too.

“There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind, but yet a road, and it leads to the very heart of the Universe: I can tell you how to find those who will show you the secret gateway that opens inward only, and closes fast behind the neophyte for evermore. There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer; there is no trial that spotless purity cannot pass through; there is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount. For those who win onwards there is reward past all telling—the power to bless and save humanity; for those who fail, there are other lives in which success may come.” H.P.B.

Visible sings: Color Ball by Les Visible♫ It Must Be Love ♫
'It Must Be Love' is track no. 8 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Color Ball'

Color Ball by Les Visible

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What we Feel, What we Think and What we Do

Once, years ago, I was with my friend Billy Rodenberg, peaking on LSD and crossing The Calvert Street Bridge in Washington D.C. This bridge was a notorious suicide jump and you could hear the compelling voices in the air as we passed. On the other side of the bridge we had to hold hands to cross the street because of the awesome aggression of the traffic and because the air was filled with radio transmissions of all sorts. It sounded like thousands of walkie talkies were broadcasting from the astral plane.

That is something I often noticed when I was on a psychedelic journey in Washington D.C. I could hear all sorts of radio communications taking place; feel the presence of numerous enforcement agencies and the incestuous commingling of the embassies and other areas of selective representation; present there out of a desire for power, influence, money, information or what-have-you. It was all palpable in a way that really can’t be communicated to the non-psychedelicized and that includes the majority of people who have casually taken the substance. Some people find various worlds open to the psychic and intuitive senses and some people are fascinated by the colors and other sensory effects and possibilities.

I recall people asking about a particular acid and inquiring if it gave good color effects. I remember a lot of people whose connection to the awakening of the times had to do with sex and all the other same old same olds, now suddenly wrapped in candied neon and flavor enhanced.

Billy and I crossed the street and wound up in a deserted lot where half a dozen older youths were wailing away on an abandoned car; really beating the shit out of it with rocks and metal clubs. It could have been thousands of years ago and could well have been a hundred years in the future, given the de-evolution presently at work. I noted it and continued on with my juggling of six different levels of reality and all that radio traffic. Billy, on the other hand, was struck at some primal level by the scene and has never forgotten it.

We probably should have been scared but we never were. It could just as well have been us they were beating on. This was a dangerous neighborhood in uncertain times; for whatever reason we never had a problem with people of any age or color in our dozens of jaunts at all hours through the streets and the many parks of different sizes where we would always wind up in order for the magic to intensify. You always knew when you were going into nature from the urban side and... vice versa. It was like walking from one world into another.

These worlds interpenetrated each other in ways other than the physical. Sometimes you could see how one world had been formed out of the other and how that primary world had been formed out of thought. Sometimes you could see and feel the different worlds that overlaid and interpenetrated when the sheaths of your subtler bodies resonated to them; these were the suits you wore there. When those sheaths were activated you literally walked in those worlds. It’s a constant, just as possible now as it ever was.

Beings appeared, ancient voices sounded out of nothing and there was no mistaking their reality given what they had to say. You don’t hallucinate ageless wisdom when you hear it. It’s not a hallucination if it’s the same every time. Serpents coiled in and through everything. Later I came to understand that this is the radiant energy that moves in everything, no matter how dense or ethereal.

Sometimes there were darker things and darker voices too but you understood, or ‘we’ understood that something within us was infinitely more powerful than these distractions. Surely you could endanger yourself with unnecessary fear and some were more fascinated with the darkness than prudence would advise. Some people are just disposed a certain way. Why that is may be connected to the mechanics of reincarnation or it might have to do with a weakness for the world of form and its glitter.

During this period it was clear that the majority wanted particular gratifications more than they wanted a deeper knowledge or understanding. The majority of the interests I saw proliferating all had to do with improving one’s material position; even if it was what they imagined to be the world beyond. Everybody was going to sit on the right hand.

In this world it is the measure of sanity whether one is integrated into this world or longs for the one beyond... which also... interpenetrates this one. Heaven begins where your feet meet the earth; it isn’t at some stratospheric distance. Portions of it increasingly rarify by virtue of being further away. Admission to some locations is more difficult and time passes, if at all, in a different manner too.

The thing about moving through the veils is that the price of admission is the loss of the knowledge of who you thought you were before you passed through the gateway. “You can’t take it with you.” stands as the price of admission. Most people can’t accept this price, nor deal with the condition of not knowing who they are as well as the loss of all the things they thought they knew. This is what keeps people here, the lure of the familiar and, of course, the appetites and ambitions. When their tape runs out for this particular excursion they automatically pay these prices anyway. Why wait?

Because of the nature of the times and conditions, the material world increases in it’s presence on the human mind by the day. It’s more difficult all the time to achieve inner quiet and personal serenity. The competition for your time and attention is fierce and getting fiercer. Cellphones and ipods are locking us into the spiritual deprivation tanks of our bodies, while our minds have become the shopping lanes of Wal-Mart. Our emotions are now midi-instruments of limited range playing the same soap opera, elevator music over and over. Looping is the new eternity.

Our diets and the attitude with which we eat are literally feeding us into a denser, darker glitter of dead objects. We are becoming zombies who do not even know that we are repeating ourselves. We have no gratitude, just a longing that we have confused with desire and which cannot be satisfied except by turning down the flame. That goes contrary to the interests of business.

Some large portion of the world’s Christians, salivate over a looming Armageddon for the wicked as they wait upon the hallucination of a rapture that their so-called Christian lives has earned for them. They’ll escape in the final scene. Other window dressing religions are all promising exclusivity and it’s a crapshoot as to whether you picked the right one. Meanwhile, all the real responsibilities of these religious practitioners go unanswered or ignored in front of them every day; or worse, their particular answer to the desperate state of their fellows is to promise them pie in the sky as opposed to a helping hand in the here and now. Instead, the essence of the thing has been translated into the convenience of an automatic ticket to a world no one has earned.

The act of learning is a curious thing. If you aren’t changed by information into something better than you were then you have the wrong information. If you aren’t made lighter by releasing your attachments to temporary things then you are made more encumbered the further you proceed... on the loop. The insane asylum is jumping as the runaway cornucopia floods the landscape with useless things. Crazy people dance in the street holding these things up as if they were the second coming of a previous misunderstanding.

I sense that everywhere in the world there are people who understand what the condition of the times implies. Whatever there may be of rapture and salvation will not manifest itself in a transubstantiation of the most clueless among us into some kind of Easter Parade across the sky. The way out is not another production brought to you by General Electric. It’s right there where it has always been. It’s just harder to see.

What these times are about is fooling, “the very elect.” The department store at the end of the world is having a major sale. Everything must go. The band is warming up. The fighter planes are revving their engines. The victims wait or go about their business. The loop is a slow, nearly imperceptible, descending spiral. Ordinary life seems ordinary. Football season is about to begin. Everybody always thinks it will go on forever. They’re right about that. That’s the good news and the bad news and the important information that changes you or goes through you on its way to somewhere else.

Visible sings: Almost A Capella by Les Visible♫ Right Thru My Heart ♫
'Right Thru My Heart' is track no. 5 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Almost A Capella'
Lyrics (pops up)

Almost A Capella by Les Visible

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Long, Hard Struggle for the Light.

Of all the subjects that interest me, none hold such a fascination as metaphysics and the area of occult history. Metaphysics deals with first causes; the subjects of being and knowing, what is real and what is not. It’s often theoretical as opposed to strictly empirical. It should be understood that these two touch and that the one side is well aware of everything on the other side while the other side is generally only aware of itself.

Occult history and recorded history differ remarkably in their view of what happened and why it happened. Occult history, according to some, is precise in its recollections while recorded history is, more often than not, a revision and a fabrication. It is fabricated and constantly revised to serve the designs of those who seek to have humanity serve them; as slaves, as canon fodder, as experiments and for any purpose they may wish to employ humanity in.

A number of readers have wondered why I bother writing about socio-political and cultural issues. They wonder why I’d spend my time hosting a blog like Smoking Mirrors or Reflections in a Petri Dish.

Some writers, who labor in the field of metaphysics; whether it is in a clinical or a religious sense, will tell you that the manifest universe isn’t real. They posit that this realm, which the physical senses interpret, is no more than an illusion. There are sound arguments for this. Certainly those who have activated certain yogic senses or awakened siddhis can testify to the impermanence and insubstantial nature of the manifest world. Some of them can move in and out of it at will and perform acts that defy explanation by empirical scholars. However, if you have ever tripped and fallen while running on the sidewalk, you know that this world can seem very real indeed.

This is why some of us write about life in areas that hold less interest for ourselves and our readers than the more rarified areas of a more permanent existence. It’s about the pain.Most of us do not possess yogic senses or awakened siddhis. Most of us cannot move in and out of this world at will or perform acts that defy explanation by empirical scholars. Most of us are trapped to a greater or lesser degree by real and assumed responsibilities, circumstances and ignorance. Telling us that there is a brighter world beyond might well be true. I am certain it is true but... how does that help us here?

Most of us would help an animal in difficulty; brake or swerve to avoid it on the highway, would help another person according to our ability or feel distressed if we could not. Most of us have some good advice based on past errors of judgment, experienced or observed.If you have studied history and observed the events of your time; if you possess objective awareness you can see personalities and patterns and how they conspire together to create the conditions we are in. It becomes increasingly clear that humanity is divided into various groups with different intentions and agendas. These groups have remained static across the span of history.There are those whose intention is to profit from the needs, appetites and gullibility of their fellows. There are those who wish to help their fellows. There are those who are only concerned with themselves and their families. There are those who are ignorant and those who are very clever and they can be found in all of the groups I have mentioned. There’s no point in going any deeper into the minutiae of this. The complexity of the human heart is beyond the scope of this brief essay.

Sometimes life on Earth is not as difficult as at other times. Sometimes it seems as if the majority of us have gone mad or fallen into a sullen despair. No matter how good or bad it gets, somewhere the good life is flourishing and somewhere there is Hell on Earth.One might well know that this is all temporary. One might have the knowledge and resources to insulate themselves from the trials of the day. But if one is a human being they cannot fail to be aware of the pain and suffering of others. Suffering comes from ignorance. If it is possible to remove some degree of ignorance from the lives of those suffering it would, for some of us, be a worthy cause.

Sometimes the predators among us are very deliberately focused on increasing the ignorance of the population to serve their interests. It is hard to imagine that so many people cannot see that this is happening at this time. I assure you that it is. A small minority of ill made men and women are very intently at work on increasing human ignorance and suffering. They have a large support base of lesser informed souls who have been seduced into believing that they may increase their own fortunes by supporting the ends and intentions of the powerful few. Some are motivated from greed and some from other drives and some are only very stupid and confused. The aggregate collection of these groups in a common purpose makes for a dreadful state of affairs.

In occult history there are many occasions when nothing could be done; when events had to play themselves out. During these periods, many wiser minds withdrew from the chaos and waited it out. At the same time there remain those who were compelled to oppose, by word and deed, the evil machinations of the twisted few and their hosts of ignorant armies. Imagine how black it would seem if not for the voices raised against this terrible empire of lies.It could well prove futile and quixotic. There is slander and acrimony all around for any who dare to dispute the lies and challenge the powerful.

According to many who have left the record of their words and thoughts upon the scroll of history, it isn’t about winning. It’s about striving for the light. It’s about knowing what the right thing is and making that your sole purpose for carrying on. It’s about the useful ignorance of ignoring the seemingly insurmountable odds and living and working for the greater good regardless of the personal cost.

It’s about sealing your ears to the mocking wind of all the little voices singing in the mutant chorus of the deluded and deceived. It’s about being honest and true in the face of every lie and outrage leveled against you. Evil cannot win. It always defeats itself. It is the very nature of evil to consume itself and fade away. We triumph, quite simply, when we endure. The bright unquenchable spark of our higher nature cannot be defeated by the collected darkness of the entire world. This is something occult history has shown and which metaphysics proclaims. The movie is not greater than the screen upon which it is shown.

We may be deluded ourselves. We will, not infrequently, make mistakes. We will fall and we will despair and we will struggle all the while... but as long as we are honest with ourselves we will provide a telling counterpoint to the insanity of the day.

It isn’t about marching into Rome at the head of a victorious army. It isn’t about laurel wreaths and a cheering crowd. It isn’t about celebrity and awards; a place in history, a big funeral with somber eulogies and a large headstone. It’s about telling it like it is and putting it on the line and not being discouraged at the difficulty of the times. It’s about striving for the light so that, just possibly, against all odds, you just might let some light in.

Visible sings: The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible♫ Listening to God in the Morning ♫
'Listening to God in the Morning' is track no. 13 of 13 on Visible's 2007 album
'The Sacred and The Profane'

The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible