Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One Thing Follows Another Till the Circle is Complete

I’ve been thinking about the state of the world a lot these days. It is hard not to and I suspect this condition is world wide among the thinking classes. Although this class is increasingly shrinking in terms of objective thinking, we do not live entirely in the Republic of Idiocracy just yet; moving there certainly but as yet un-arrived.

People are thinking all of the time. They think without knowing they are thinking. Thinking and the distraction of thought in respect of attention and focus, never mind actual concentration, is epidemic and some who have tuned their attitude of listening, can actually hear the chatter moving on the wind. The one mind containing all of the little minds which contain all of the thoughts that may well contain thoughts of their own is a soundboard upon which, like sympathetic strings, the chatter counterpoints against the spiraling OM.

You may not live in a city but you’ve been there once or twice. Nearly everyone has had an apartment or a house or a hotel room during a period where the street was being torn up for one reason or another. You can recall, as I write these words, the sounds of the jackhammers and digging machines and all the varieties of machines that might engage in this sort of work. This is what it is like to live in this world at this time. The streets of the world are being torn up inside the mind, without the mind’s conscious awareness of it in most cases.

The impact of cell-phone conversations, radio and television waves and all of the rest wafting on the ethers are making their mark and generating urgency and uncertainty on the mind; not on the one mind, on all the little minds that do not know how to defense against it. The hammer and tongs of industry bang out their ever increasing crescendos; onward... onward comrades... into the future!

Noise can be intimidating. Sound is a weapon being developed and refined at this moment in military laboratories. Sound can kill, quickly or more slowly and it certainly creates a variety of pathologies on the mental, emotional and physical planes.

We’ve all walked through these building sites. For some it is a daily affair because it never seems to end and they experience ‘accommodation’ after awhile. They don’t even hear it any more. This is the case with information as well. This is the case with the slow loss of human liberty. This is the case with everything that you hear and see all the time. Eventually it becomes part of the background even when the foreground is disappearing; even as you can hear cell doors slamming and people screaming it still appears to be part of the machinery that has been going on long enough for everyone to get comfy about it because they have become accommodated to it.

The thing about the world getting crazy is that it does it by degrees. Because of this it always seems normal, as if it had always been happening or as if this were the way things should be because of the way things have been in leading up to it. Absurdity is piled upon absurdity and it all seems natural because it’s all a part of the mix. It’s kinky! It’s fun! It’s entertainment! It’s hot! It’s hot alright.

We’ve all seen paintings depicting Hell. Those of us who read have come across descriptions. Whether there is an actual Hell somewhere, there can be no doubt that it does appear on Earth. We can also be certain that it lives in the minds of some who suffer its torments without the need for anything external to visit it upon them.

Something is always on the way and something is always leaving. We don’t always remember what is gone because of what has replaced it. When there’s a lot of noise it is harder to pay attention. There’s a big difference between being in a crowded nightclub and being in the Oregon rain forest. But no matter where you go there is noise. Even silence is filled with noise. True silence is a rare experience and does not come about by accident.

Whenever I get to this point in one of these things I can hear people saying, “What’s his point?” Not infrequently I ask myself the same question. Well, it’s not hard to weave in any direction from here. I could go anywhere from here. I could insert sound files or video. I could make this whole affair a commentary on the works of Beethoven if I so desire. Just so, the mind can go in any direction at any time and keep right on going. It is only conditioning, habit and fear (justified or otherwise) that might circumscribe it.

Life is struggle, ergo- life is war. Life is war on most every level whether it is in the elements, the plant and animal kingdom or the human plane. Peace is impossible except over an interim in the external world because the components of that world are at war with each other for survival and also because it feeds on itself. Peace is possible only on a personal level or occasionally within a limited like-minded community and the latter would be rare despite the best intentions of the participants.

A nation founded on the principles of personal liberty will inevitably migrate toward tyranny. Sooner or later it will appear necessary to instill tyranny to protect liberty. This is where we are today and it will move to ever greater degrees of repression unless there is revolution. Revolution is also a constant. One can see it in the solar system as its defining characteristic. One sees it in the seasons.

Pressure, noises and images can create panic. Panic has various levels. If it isn’t dispersed it will finalize in wild-eyed screaming insanity. One might not be able to breathe. They will almost certainly hurt themselves and others depending on the circumstances. It is possible to walk through the pounding machinery without fear or injury if the attention to the basic soundboard of the OM is greater- in the personal sense- than to the sympathetic chatter.

We choose the times in which we live and we have some say in the roles we play. The denser the karma and the greater the debt the less freedom we have to change; therefore, “father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

There is neither rhyme nor reason to the madness of those in the seat of temporal control. The justification is one of naked self-interest and psychopathic indifference to the consequences. They are mad. The reality that- what is loosely called evil- will destroy itself is based on this fact. It is what is meant in the quote that “those whom the Gods would destroy they first drive mad.” The terrible side effect of the madness of the few is that millions are swept up in the game. Millions rise up on one side or another to counteract an opposite number about something that doesn’t even exist. It was manufactured to that end. This is the thing about madness; there is no sane reason in it.

For any man or woman to imagine that they might alter the course of planetary madness is also madness. Those engaged within it have some valued thing or condition that keeps them in play. There is always something, someone that they fear to lose. The show must go on. And the show will go on. It is a symphony with softer and harder moments. The changing from one to the other is inevitable. The most important thing is how much poise we possess. Is our destiny reliant upon the conditions outside of us or... is it firmly in the hands of that upon which we focus our attention?

People have debated this for centuries. People have died in the arguments and because of the arguments. Are we okay or is everything always uncertain? That is for every one of us to 'inquire after' and decide for ourselves. The world presents the evidence every day. These are the most important questions everyone must answer; are the principles I live by real? What is real? What is most valuable? According to what am I sheltered or lost? Is the whole of it a living thing or is it a chemistry experiment? How sure are you of anything? The world is not the tragedy. The tragedy is that so few are asking themselves these questions and that accounts for the world.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ When Darkness Falls ♫
'When Darkness Falls' is track no. 5 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible

Friday, October 12, 2007

Me First, you later... maybe.

The world is a stressed out place filled with shrill and angry people yelling at each other about things that aren’t even the problems causing ‘their’ stress in the first place.

Today a man delivered a specialized mowing machine to my door which I am taking to Italy to mow the grounds. There’s 2.5 acres of ground and last year I did it with a weed wacker and the time and effort involved was considerable and I had to do it a number of times.

This man was under whatever pressure deliverymen imagine themselves to be under. The package that held the blade was broken open on the side and as I carried it in small metal pieces fell from the package and vanished. While I helped the man carry the heavy body of this machine into the house his impatience endangered me. He was reckless and driven the way I imagine most of the evil in the world comes about. I used what I know about adapting quickly to a threat created by another person and I got through it; but I wasn’t pleased.

Susanne called the seller on the phone and he said that there weren’t any small parts that could get lost from the blade. Okay... but then she picked up the box and more stuff fell out. So it comes to the reality that a bag of screws in the box must have broken open. Meanwhile the moving guy is dancing around like a hornet on meth. Because there is a lot of confusion we decide to send it back. I was saying that we should just have him send another bag of screws but no one was paying much attention to me with the phone going and the moving man about to have an aneurism.

So we are sending it back. Now the moving guy is freaking and I go to help him and he jerks this heavy box forward, pulling me along with 80 kilos of dead weight and extending my arm so that all sorts of unpleasant pressures are placed in a dangerous way. I let go to save myself and then I let him have it. It wasn’t a situation where I could have done much else to get his attention. Now he realized that his impatience was putting him in danger. Although I didn’t actually do anything it looked like I might. That is the impression I wanted to give. Sometimes being pleasant isn’t the answer. I went inside and he did whatever he had to do to get the thing back on the truck.

The mover goes and Susanne calls the seller again. Of course the seller says he would have sent another bag of screws (which he didn’t say when he should have) and that he can’t send the machine again because paying the extra shipping will ruin his profit margin; we were getting the thing at a very good price. We have no problem paying to have it reshipped but now he can’t locate (he says) the specific shipping company because of yadda yadda... and we are under time constraints that make the whole arrangement questionable.

This isn’t about whether I get my necessary tool that will make my life much easier. That will sort itself out. It’s about the event itself. It’s about the harm that many another person might have experienced who was not as quick about the situation as I fortunately was. I cared less about the machine and more about being pushed around than some others might have. And stress was to be had all around because stress is in the air and it gets shared out. Stress is something the human race shares with one another because somewhere along the line the pressure for money and time became more important than our well being.

I see this stress every day. I try to live my life in such a way that I can avoid it and mostly I do. I see it on the highway when people press and press on their journey nowhere. I let them go by. I stay out of their way. I see it waiting in line for one thing or another. I see it in the eyes of people everywhere as this impatience without legitimate purpose propels them recklessly forward. I see it in the sexual urgency and every other urgency that destroys their opportunity to enjoy their lives.

I see people angry about things that have nothing to do with why they are angry. I see people on crusades about things they are never going to change and I see them making themselves and others miserable ranting on about the social order and all their imagined oppressions; how unfair life is to them. I see them seething about imagined injuries and fabricating injuries to justify a shrieking insistence that they be heard concerning facts and figures that add up to nothing but a perspective they assumed in order to demand that someone listen to them when their whole point is to get others to validate them as something they are not.

There are legitimate conditions in life that should be addressed and there are people doing what they can to the extent that they know what they are doing. Every one of them encounters this stress and they handle it to the extent that they know how. As the stress mounts- and it will continue to mount- due to the press of people pressed against each other in competition for space and gain and time and the pursuit of whatever the internal fires demand, we find that the manner in which their duties and pursuits are carried out are becoming less friendly.

At the same time, the paperwork that accompanies the jobs that must be done becomes increasingly complex and those who handle the paper have another sense of time than the people moving the things that the paper is about. There are also different understandings of time depending on the industry; government, commerce and sundry. Paying out and paying in also have their different perspectives on how important the process is. It’s apparent that it is much more important to get paid than it is to pay; except that each one is alternatively on the other side of the same thing which makes more stress.

To me, quality of life is more important than the pressure of appetite and appetite itself is going to become as important as you allow it to be. It has the propensity to become so important that nothing else factors in. Quality of life is more important than gain or fame, more important than any of the temporary trinkets the body and emotions and mind wish to demand because somehow the idea of need got implanted and then amplified to the point where common sense and survival became secondary concerns.

So, because of this urge... this need... this pressure and impatience... life becomes unfriendly. Corners get cut. Risk gives an edge. Manners are time-consuming. People in government and law enforcement; shopkeepers and sundry have seen every different scam and seven hundred colors of assholes and have decided they might as well become one too. They don’t care if they see you again. Next.

There’s a self indulging need and hysteria afoot and they insist that you listen to them. Here’s an injustice, there’s an injustice and all of these injustices are somebody’s darling little offspring and you’d better pay attention. The thing is that there are millions of these things screaming in a god-awful cacophony so that no one hears or feels anything but the pressure of their own demands rising up into the chorus.

People have lost their way. They are angry, frustrated and often alone- no matter how many people surround them. They could recognize that the whole process is a scam to milk them of their fear, anger, frustration and loneliness because there are living things that you cannot see which feed off of them. There are creatures on the battlefield that feed on the suffering and blood. There are creatures in the bedroom, the bathroom, on the highway and everywhere you go that sustain themselves on the energies expended in those locations. Depending on where you are coming from determines what level of energy is feeding off of you.

After awhile the things you are feeding get large. They get large because you feed them and they will die if you don’t. Maybe they should die. But there is an urgency in their insistence. You fed them before. You HAVE TO feed them NOW. But you don’t. You don’t have to feed them again. You don’t have to bang the drum either. You don’t HAVE TO do anything but breathe and that might be the key to the whole thing. You don’t have to get carried away. You don’t have to... have to... uh... What am I doing? What the hell am I doing?

As far as I’m concerned you can have it all. Go ahead, take it. It’s yours. I’ll look elsewhere. It’s not going to slow down unless you do. It’s not going to stop coming around unless you stop feeding it. None of it is real and it is quite capable of working itself out if you stop interfering with it. Well, you can’t tell people anything and that works itself out too... eventually.

Visible sings: The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible♫ You Wanna Dance ♫
'You Wanna Dance' is track no. 10 of 13 on Visible's 2007 album 'The Sacred and The Profane'
Lyrics (pops up)

The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The City of Light.

When I was in Italy last winter and spring- and where I’m going to be again soon- life was very different for me in several ways. I didn’t have internet and there’s no guarantee that I will have it this time. It wasn’t even easy finding an internet café and those were often little more than modem fueled. I could have been in Bangladesh and had a much easier time of it in that regard.

I was alone for five months in a secluded house purchased with just that in mind. Meditation became something much more focused and intense than it had been in the past. There were times when I found that I had been sitting for several hours without any labor or conflict. It was a wonderful period of time.

Some months into it, I began to experience something that was remarkable and satisfying in a way that few things I have ever encountered ‘here’ have managed to provide. I started to see into a location. In the past there have been lights and voices; even faces would appear but this time...

I find it very difficult to describe. That’s surprising given how much it resembled certain classic presentations. At one point I found myself grinning at the ‘almost cliché’ of the event. I found myself looking upward into a tunnel which extended across a vast distance. At times the distance seemed as great as that between our planet and the stars. At other times it had a rushing forward immediacy to it as if there were no great distance at all.

At the entrance to the tunnel were indefinable creatures of light that spiraled back toward the intense light of the far point which illuminated the whole affair. At each progression point along the tunnel there were different creatures, some stationary and some in movement. There was a beautiful symmetry to it all. At every place where a new difference emerged it was the same on all sides, even though there were no sides. Everything was symmetrical.

It was difficult to move forward into the tunnel. It required certain things on my part and it was all very much like holding quicksilver steady in the palm of the hand. When I could manage that for however long it occurred, I found myself immediately rushing forward. During these times I could see something of the center of it all and it was like the entrance to a large gated city. It was a city composed of light of varying densities and these densities expressed themselves in colors. On occasion I could come close enough to the gates of the city and see into it. There was a long boulevard that led to a high point in a fantastic landscape of shifting architecture that was going up and up by degrees. There seemed to be a high throne in the very center at the highest point and someone was sitting there surrounded by yet more beings. From the beginning of this tunnel to the center of that light, the surrounding creatures became increasingly more stationary.

At these points I sensed that everything went on forever; that I could come right up to this throne only to find that it had changed into something more that continued on and, no doubt, did the same again were I to be able to continue further on. I had the sense that all of this was actually ‘there’. It wasn’t the same as dreaming or musing; the way the mind takes shape according to thought and feeling.

Every time I found myself in this experience it was always the same. It happened frequently during periods of deeper meditation. Sometimes it was easier to travel and sometimes less so. The sounds that came out of it were... this is difficult; something like energies rubbing together and creating a massaging sensation of differing densities. It was intensely euphoric and can only be described as very similar to sexual intensities. Though that doesn’t cover it, it comes closer to that than anything else I can compare it to.

It was very clear that this was a city, a city composed of light. Backgrounds and objects and creatures were all perceivable due to variations in color and all of it was proceeding from the central point. Everything was an emanation, a projection from the central core.

I noticed that sometimes it would look western and sometimes it would look eastern and it occurred to me that it really depended on the inclination of the one perceiving it. Everything was changing all of the time but it always changed according to the same manner, like a kaleidoscope. Forms turned into other forms and then back again. It was the light that made it possible. Nothing could have been seen without the light and the light was the origin of the forms as well; the same way that white light is the source of all of the colors emerging from the prism.

It’s interesting to note that as the frequency of sound intensifies it turns into other things. Much could be learned by studying what happens when frequency intensifies. This might be of interest to those so inclined ...I’m fascinated by electro-magnetism. I consider this to be a potential source for immense energy and technologies beyond the scope of the present day.

All one needs to know about how the spiritual realm is personalized by our subjective impressions can be found beautifully delineated in James’ “The Varieties of Religious Experience.” or the works of that great Indian sage, RamaKrishna who experienced enlightenment in every religious formula and declared them all the same. It’s all the same place though it contains a Gormenghast collection of rooms. “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not true I would not have told you so.” One might also find food for thought in Bucke’s “Cosmic Consciousness” and Avalon’s “The Serpent Power”

One of the primary characteristics of Love- pure love- is expansiveness. The same can be said about light. Love and light have a great deal in common. We have been the beneficiary of light-bringers who have appeared here on occasion. We have also hosted and presently host, bringers of darkness.

It’s not easy to find the light or to feel the love in this time. It is never an easy affair until one has passed beyond the magnetic pull of the manifest. But these days it is more difficult than it has been. The clamor is at a high intensity. The impetus to project outward through the senses is awesome. The further outward one journeys, the greater is the distance from one’s own heart. There are those for whom this consideration is non-existent and they wax with a terrible insistence from the court of temporal power.

It’s my conviction that the essence of all of the divine scriptures is written on the human heart, just as all forms are differentiated and held together by a magical, vibrating language of fiery hieroglyphs. We need to proceed inward to advantage ourselves of the tranquil wonderland of our true nature. At the same time, everything outside of us is promising that this elusive state can be had in each one of the shifting and impermanent forms that are fashioned by the cookie cutter mind and displayed on the endless conveyor belt of time. It’s all heroin-sugar.

It seems to me that there must be some urgent need to strive or surrender. Why would such a powerful magic show be taking place for our single and collective attention if not to distract us from something else? It’s both scary and exciting at the same time. It is daunting too and despair-making when we see the relentless necessity of that single purpose.

It’s ironic that the city I live near is nicknamed La Citti Bianca- The White City. The old town is an extraordinary place to wander through. In the winter there are few people and there is a profound sense of peace there. I haven’t experienced this in many other places and certainly never in an urban setting. The new part of the city is filled with bad architecture and lots of noise that is typically Italian.

I know that if you care enough to press on you will find this city... the other city. It’s only a matter of how badly you want to or how comfortable you may be here. Of course, ‘here’ as it appears now will be gone and you as well. Given that you must eventually journey somewhere, it stands to reason that it would be helpful to have your papers in order before you go; metaphorically speaking. It stands to reason that you would want to make contact with whomever awaits beyond. Don’t let either the world or your fear of the unknown be a hindrance given what unspeakable marvels await.

Visible sings: Almost A Capella by Les Visible♫ Light Up Ahead ♫
'Light Up Ahead' is track no. 1 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Almost A Capella'

Almost A Capella by Les Visible