Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Power of Gratitude.

Whether you are in some church or whether you are reading a holy book or any text on the nature of the divine and how one carries or behaves themselves in this vale of tears, it is common to hear about the need to love. We’re told to love our fellows as ourselves. We are told to love God. We are told of the power of love and all of us have some experience with love, though it is often confused with passion on the one hand and attachment on the other.

Love seems to be the simplest thing. As simple as it may appear it’s a feeling that no waterfall of words will ever completely describe. Still, within the seeming simplicity of love, there is a complexity that passes beyond the range of human understanding. This is especially true if we are talking about real love and not the many personalized variations that are fraught with limitation and compromise.

On the occasions when, in my experience, I have felt real love, it was a kind of piercing sweetness that rose from a well of sorrow intertwined with joy. I can’t accurately describe it except to say it was unlike anything I had mistaken for it along the way. It always provoked tears and an ecstasy of sensation. It always left me feeling bereft when it had gone and go it did. I’d not earned the right to possess it. It may be that it cannot be possessed but only experienced; still... it had an elusiveness like that of painter’s light. Whatever the brush may capture it has already turned to something new... but it is always the same and unmistakable.

Well, this isn’t about love anyway. It might be about love but it would be indirectly so. I’m not sure how I’m going to get to where I want to go with what I hope to say. I’ll have to trust that what I cannot say knows all too well how to speak for itself.

Lately I’ve been more aware of gratitude than I have anything else. I’ve come to see that gratitude is possibly the most overlooked and underestimated quality a human heart may possess. The feeling of gratitude that I am talking about is very much like what was previously said about love, with the exception that it is not so elusive and can be maintained without the fear that it will depart.

My gratitude is not for things that I may imagine I possess. It is mostly based on things I know and feel. I’m grateful that I can know certain things. I am grateful that I can feel certain things.

It is interesting how some emotions are always accompanied by others, as if they were companions who are never far away and dependent on each other as well. For instance, I’ve never experienced joy when there was not a sense of contentment to begin with. It seems that contentment arrives first and during the period of its presence, joy arrives.

Gratitude has companions also. It seems like real gratitude is always accompanied by a sense of giving and letting go. There is this impulse to scatter ones self to the four winds whenever gratitude is great. Humility is often in the company of gratitude. I often think that these higher emotions are much like angels who wander the worlds according to an inexplicable magnetism set up within the hearts of the willing.

Gratitude, like love, is a very simple thing and also impossible to define or to fix. I’ve seen gratitude grow from one emotion into another, like spiraling caducei changing tenor and color at every level on the way... or something like ethereal DNA whose twining promise is exponentially greater than any expression it will ever make.

I suspect there are many mysteries hidden in gratitude. I sense immortality there and an aura of protection which leads to contentment which results in the appearance of joy. I suspect joy then turns into love and pierces every dark place until there is no barrier or defense against an absolute and trusting surrender to the truth about ourselves.

What that truth may be is similar to the things that great teachers can never say. This is why there are so many words and so little understanding. This is why we can read so many holy writs and mystery texts and never get the point at all. There is some disconnect between the intellectual apprehension of concepts and the experience of their meaning. It’s like that comment about becoming as a little child. There’s no way the mind is ever going to get the point.

Lately I have found myself lying in bed at night, probing in my thoughts when something wonderful occurs. The first time it happened, I was very surprised. Where so many times in the past my journey would be halted or turned in a direction I had not wished to go, this time a presence appeared and gathered together all of the disparate portions of myself and made them into one being. Instantly I could go anywhere and there was a confidence of movement and an assurance that I’d never encountered before. It no longer even mattered where I was going. Any way I might go was the same as another. It was the movement itself that was miraculous.

I thought it was surpassing wonderful but I had no illusion it would come again. I just chalked it up as one of those strange anomalies that happen now and then and which I don’t see a second time. But it has returned now several times and I am thinking it might come again.

Like love and gratitude there was so much more in it than what I can express. It was like being someone else. It was like freedom. There was also the sense that anything I might wish for was made real by thinking about it when I was in this place. It didn’t make me wish for anything. It was enough that there was the impression it was so.

Nothing I have ever read has defined or explained the way this felt. Then again, nothing I have ever read has defined or explained gratitude or love either.

The idea keeps coming to me that the conscious light which made us, appreciates gratitude more than anything else. It sometimes seems now that gratitude guarantees a reason to be grateful. There is some deep and marvelous magic hidden here and I sense that it is much more than what little I have encountered so far.

Nothing in the world seems important compared to this. All of the uncertainty and trouble of the world is dissolved by it. None of it matters. And it is free for the taking, or so it seems. It may not be entirely free. It could be that you have to take some steps and change some things before it will appear... but it happened; whatever happened, without my knowing what needed to be changed or what steps had to be taken.

I am growing more convinced that you just can’t learn enough or do enough to arrive at a place where you can compel it to operate. It operates according to its own mysterious nature. I am left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and gratitude alone is a kingly gift for those who recognize its value. The sense of well being that it brings makes all of the world’s enticements seem to have no value at all. I think you will either know what I am talking about or you won’t but I suspect we all are discovered by it at some point and not due to anything we studied or accomplished on the way.

Visible sings: Almost A Capella by Les Visible♫ I Got a Feeling ♫
'I Got a Feeling' is track no. 4 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Almost A Capella'

Almost A Capella by Les Visible

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Stained Glass Personality

We’ve all got a personality. It’s like having hands, or a brain. It’s a part of us. It’s the lens through which our being shines or... not. When someone mentions the personality we know what they are talking about but it could be that we still don’t know what it is. Often we judge and measure people according to their personality. That is similar to associating the person with the clothes that they wear. We might not like the color or the style. It might not be something we would wear. However it is not the body beneath it. The personality is not what is behind it either.

The personality is evidence of the state of mind of the person behind the personality. The personality is also like an animal and some people have more control over it than others. Some personalities are more difficult to control than others. We have different crosses to bear even though they are all the same cross.

There are a lot of branches of scientific inquiry that treat with the definition of the human state; psychology and psychiatry and others. Religion has its various conjectures. Metaphysics has a number of schools of thought that all talk about the divisions of being. You hear about mind and ego and super ego and Id. You hear about the physical body and the spiritual body and the astral body and the mental body. There are all kinds of terms floating around and different ideas of how many bodies there are and what they do.

There was a time in my life when I studied these things. I had a burning desire to know what it all meant and what was hidden behind what was hidden behind what was hidden behind whatever was in front of me.

I studied all of the religions and took extremely powerful psychedelic agents as well as everything else that was available. For a time I stayed in a state of strict bramacharya; not just physically and for a time I plunged into the maelstrom of sensation. Then there was a long period of back and forth with the agonizing pull of what is best left unnamed and best left undefined. There’s no escaping the pull and the pain once contact has been made.

Most people go through very common stages of life and then there are two basic sorts of people going through these stages. Some people are spiritually inclined and some are materially inclined and in the early portion of life people tend to be more idealistic and flexible, just as their bodies are more flexible. There is a period of discovery and then paths that are chosen and discarded until a personal decision or unavoidable circumstance determines a course. Very few people put aside all career and familial concerns in order to pursue the spiritual unknown. Of that number, very few can continue for long. It is the most arduous of choices because it demands that one confront something over and over and over again where the easier course is just to fall asleep and dream some little dream; or some big dream.

Breaking out of the dream-weavers spell is impossible without help and that is as it should be. Actually breaking out rather than assuming you have broken out is as rare as a banker’s tears. It may be a greater liability to assume that you have broken out than to just be caught in a dream. There is this tendency to want to become a teacher of others and there is only one. It is impossible to become that teacher and there are many unpleasant ways to learn this truth. It is possible to sit in the presence of this teacher and it may be that something which happens between you and this teacher might help others but that isn’t your concern. You only get in the way and that is precisely what it is; getting in the way or getting out of the way. The personality is a real liability here. It likes to operate on it’s own but it only shines when it is in the hands of the master. Our personalities need to become like stained glass windows through which the light shines. Even many considered high beings have dark spots in places and it isn’t something you can attend to personally.

All over the world and all over the cyber-world are individuals who are presenting their version of the truth through the lens of their personality. Here is one amusing site and it has also spawned anti-sites.

It can be amusing to Google variations on this theme and see what you find. I know people in this theater of operation and I have met some of the teachers you may have heard about and some that are unknown. I have met some who make it certain in my mind that I will never become such a person because they are so far past anything I might have to offer that I feel like a flashlight in search of the sun. I don’t know if that makes any sense but it sounds good (grin).

Just because we may never be a high mucky muck (God help us) does not mean we cannot be useful. To be useful is a wonderful thing and so long as we realize the interfering nature of our personality and the subtle devil that is the mind, we might actually be useful on occasion.

I’ve always had difficulties in spiritually based communities. So many people want to be like the man on the dais who may not even have a clue himself. I have seen where people with obvious power have been brought low by pedestrian human desires and then had the task of rationalizing it within the parameters of their presumed divinity. This is a task they are equal to (grin).

It should go without saying (but it never does) that those who serve best are as humble as ground water and often not recognizable as anyone special or unique. They are just so grateful to be of use that it never even enters their mind that they are worthy of notice and it is highly unlikely that they would get into setting up foundations or setting forth to add their commentary to the greater confusion of the world. Sometimes it happens that people will come and it also happens that something forms around these people but it is not something they desire or get too involved in.

Mastering the personality is more difficult than climbing mountains because we have no mountains like it to climb. Reining in one’s own compulsions is a mightier accomplishment than commanding armies; amassing billions of dollars, having Tom Cruise as your houseboy, or any challenge the world might set. It is no wonder that so few are drawn to this effort. And who will applaud? The entire natural and supernatural universe will applaud but it won’t be on TV. No... you can’t do it yourself and that should come as really good news.

Every time I come across these physical locations and cyber-worlds of spiritual commerce it puts a rueful smile on my mouth and it also makes me sad. I really wish there was somewhere I could go and put my personality in the shop and have the technicians take care of the details but I haven’t found that place yet. Everything else you can have repaired, except maybe a broken heart and time technicians deal with that. Everything else you can buy but you can’t buy this.

You’re on your own buddy but... as I said; the good news is that you can’t do it by yourself. This is only important, or relevant, or interesting to the people that it concerns. Even if it is out of our hands we still have to walk the distance, even if it is only in our minds.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ Just Like a River ♫
'Just Like a River' is track no. 9 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Time for Lessons is at Hand

Some times life can look pretty grim. Some times it looks grim down the road. It’s always grim somewhere. In some countries it can be grim for decades. Then there are the shorter spans of a few years; a few months, a few weeks, a few days and even a few hours.

Now... across the world, because of the ravenous greed of a few and the smaller, collective greed of many, some form of doom has come. It’s not just greed. Ignorance plays a big part. Stubbornness and intransigence are often overlooked as factors but they are factors none the less. That’s something that materialism does. It enforces and strengthens the negative qualities of humanity. You get a whole lot of people operating out of these states and you get a push and shove world.

The success of the mindset of materialism can be seen beneath the bridges and abutments of the landscape. It can be seen on the hungry and increasingly desperate streets as a beleaguered people try to shovel sand out of a hole they are standing in. They have no part to play in containing these runaway horses. Those who do, are whipping the horses on. They believe the horses will make it to the paddocks and fields of plenty that lie at the end of the homestretch. But there is little grain in the barn. The grain has been transported to the barns of those who whip the horses on. Somewhere there is an answer but it will not come today.

Tomorrow and the day after and the day after that, mighty institutions are going to fall. Panic is going to occur and faith and optimism are going to be as hard to come by as the products that faith and optimism and industry once made so plentiful.

For several years, more penetrating minds have warned the indifferent and deluded that this was coming. No one wants to hear bad news. They would rather hear snake charmers paint beautiful pictures of the world to come while they pick their pockets. What is now appearing has some distance yet to go and that goes into uncharted territory.

Besides the economic meltdown there are also the storm-clouds of war. This is no accidental thing. The economic meltdown is not accidental. It is orchestrated by a particular cabal who is going to use it as an opportunity to take hold of more wealth and property. Like prehistoric sharks they are going to swallow everything they encounter or desire. This is their nature.

The conflicts on the horizon are also tied in to this same effort. The bad news is that these are very bad people. You can say they are only misled. You can say they are unaware of the consequences but... that is not true. Despite whatever it is that motivates them in their dark efforts, the results speak for themselves.

Food and fuel and water; shelter and security and the money to buy them... what shall we do?

There is no shortage of fuel and there would be no shortage of food. Shelter waits in houses sealed tight and devoid of occupants. There is always enough to go around and then, suddenly, there is not enough to go around, even though there is enough to go around. What shall we do?

The fact is that humanity and those entrusted to guide them have wandered into a desert. A lesson is at hand and it is going to be a severe one in many cases. It is no coincidence that when materialism is rampant and vision departs, hard times will follow.

This world is not what people think it is. Existence is not what most people think it is. Life is not what most people think it is. The world is a theater of lessons. It was designed for this purpose and roads cross over and loop through all the stations of being so that the lessons can be learned. It does not matter how intense the lesson may be. It does not matter what the cost is; how many will die or what depravities may come. People will still forget and so the lessons repeat forever, so long as there is a world because that is all the world is.

Existence emerges from a mysterious gate and proceeds toward a place that cannot be demonstrated in a world that is only there for the lessons. The world has its limits. Life is the spirit in search of experience. Wisdom and folly attend its progress. Grievous wounds heal and are forgotten. Though injury and pain can change the way we go and how we go on our way, still... people forget. People do not remember. People often do not think and they believe that security and sanity are defined within the parameters of civilization. They think that there is safety in numbers and that the more people found in any given circumstance, the more legitimate it is.

There have always been techniques and disciplines that can take one out of the confusion, karma and destiny of the crowd; even while still in the crowd. The seven stations of being compete for attention. Survival, the belly and the groin are pre-eminent against the higher stations because the magnetism of the material world resonates upon the appetites of these stations. The world does not cry out for wisdom and peace of mind. If it did it would no longer be this world. It is foolish to expect that the world will entertain or welcome such things. It would cause industry and the rule of the marketplace to be subservient to ideals that interfere with their operations.

The closest one can come to the higher stations is to be found in religion and its tenants but religion is an industry too. Religion has its own marketplace and struggles with the rest for supremacy in the mix. As a result, fantasy and fundamentalism are always at hand. What shall we do?

Sometimes some small group of souls can come together and realize a better life together. Sometimes it becomes Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate. Sometimes the individual can find his way and leave the door ajar for others. Sometimes the individual winds up in a padded room or falls back into the comfort of the crowd. It depends on how they process information and what their intention really is.

However much the darkness may concentrate in certain places as a part of the curriculum of the lessons, the light will be just as concentrated somewhere else. Fear of the gathering darkness makes you a part of it.

There is no way to tell the world anything but what the world tells them. One had better come to terms with this and seek the hidden springs. Light, liberty and abundance are there to be had but they are dependent upon the ability to see. It has been truly said that, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Do you see men and women of vision at this time or do you see an endless progression of those who have cut deals with the architects of the darkness of the time? Follow whom you will and find yourself among them at the journeys end.

No matter how dark it may seem, everything is under control and everything is a part of the lessons that must be learned. It is up to everyone to decide what is important to them and how many times the whip must fall upon their backs before they awaken to the truth. No matter what anyone may believe, there is only one force in operation, no matter how it appears to diversify. Be at peace or be troubled beyond endurance; that is up to you.

Visible sings: Color Ball by Les Visible♫ Foolish Pride ♫
'Foolish Pride' is track no. 10 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Color Ball'
Lyrics (pops up)

Color Ball by Les Visible

Friday, March 14, 2008

Beyond the Hands that Reach out from the Grave

I don’t know any greater obstacle to one’s progress on the path than that of one’s environment and the peer pressure that attends it. This includes the residue of old habits and patterns which the environment repeats through those who haven’t changed them yet and those who are just picking them up. It’s a little like being Frodo after being wounded at Roundtop and it’s a little like these lines from “Cynara”, “But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,” There is this murk, this cosmic slime of our past that reaches out like hands to pull us back. Few they are that trudge on to the end.

Those who trudge on to the end arrive. Those who plateau remain there until circumstances ‘force’ them onward. Better to be about it all the time than to have circumstance force you.

I can be as serene as the clear blue skies when I am in my cloistered environment. There is nothing to stir the reactive mind. Let me go down into the marketplace and I must be wary and watchful because conflict seeks my company. Strange dancers want me to do the ‘get out of line dance’. People push and prod and poke. On the internet, unknown nameless beings troll and tease, trespass and slander. They don’t know who they are. They don’t know who I am. We have never met. It doesn’t matter. They are at war with imaginary beings and everyone they encounter wears their face.

It is their right to be as they are. It is not my job to change them or convince them of anything. Once again, one must be wary and cautious. In a moment all good intentions can go out the door because an ill wind blew innuendo. Lao Tzu said, “Compassion is a weapon from the sky ‘against’ being dead”. Whatever someone might steal from you do not let them steal your compassion.

It is definitively true that you shouldn’t get into a pissing match with skunks and that if you lay down with dogs you wake up with fleas. As confident as we are of our poise and balance, we can lose it in an instant. It’s a difficult art. Seldom has a day passed when I am not confronted by it. It is an argument that cannot be won and should never be engaged in. I try to remember that it takes two to tangle. I try to remember the essential tai chi. Invariably it slips. The reactive mind reacts.

I am coming to believe that stilling the reactive mind is the sine qua non of metaphysical work. Progress is not possible until it occurs and every time the wagon wheel falls back into the rut it must be lifted out again; ten thousand times ten thousand times, until you CAN compel the very demons of the deep.

Zealotry is not an asset unless it’s a private affair. Most people do not want to hear about “the Path”, they just don’t. It’s an annoyance and a reminder of something they are trying to forget. One might say their lives are composed of efforts to forget it. More than at any other time we live in an ‘eat drink and be merry’ age. It’s not wise to get between a man and his appetites.

Everyone except the psychopaths has a conscience and it wounds them daily. To have you step in as an accessory is not advisable. Still, there are those who do want to hear about the path. They like to talk about it and think about it because they delight in it. Their treasures are there.

So, regardless of those who do not want to hear, one can still present it on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis. On occasion, in other places, people will tell me they are sick of hearing about it. However, by this time, they know what I’m going to be talking about, so it begs the question of why they bother to come into my store if they aren’t interested in the wares. It’s not going to keep me up at night if they don’t hear about it. And so we come round to the hands reaching from the grave; the dogs barking at the caravan, the catcalls and the memory in the murk that wants nothing more than to pull us down into the hole that it is in. Misery loves company. By this time one has probably gotten the idea that there are more homilies in this essay than there are ticks in a West Virginia meadow.

Homilies are the hardpan of the path. Like anything else that one has heard all their life long, the meaning no longer attaches itself to the words. We don’t notice the ground on which we walk. We don’t thank our feet. We think everything belongs to us; our body and its components, our minds and our emotions, our thought and our feelings. We think these things are our property so it makes you wonder why they don’t obey us. Jesus had something to say about how little power we have in these matters.

None of these things belong to us and none of them are us. Our thoughts and feelings are drawn from a common pool and articulated according to our dispositions. Identifying with them takes us right back to the hands reaching from the grave and the pulling of the murk and the agitations pinging on the reactive mind.

For myself, and possibly for you as well, I have to walk a fine line between being obliging and confronting. I don’t like being pushed around, especially when I am already giving way. Once I understood that the enemy was within, I have not encountered another bully since. They don’t see me. Become invisible and let your twelve foot high Tibetan Devil Dogs accompany where you go. People can’t see them but they know something is there.

This takes us to the Valley of the Shadow of Death and “if God is for me then who can be against me” and “greater is that which is within you than that which is in the world.” Sometimes a person goes off and the assumption is that they are not spiritual. I note in the lives of all the great teachers of humanity that nearly all of them went off on people at times and the ones who didn’t were exponents of that. You may not be a Buddhist. You may not be a Hindu. You may not be anything and you might be everything but whatever you are, you should have confidence in it. They all work. They all come from the same source and are accommodations of different perspectives on the same path. Once you get to the mountain top you can see all the ways down.

Whenever anyone argues that their way, or the way of some teacher whose way they are misinterpreting, is the only way; they are wrong. Whenever someone insists that they are right, they are wrong. Whenever someone argues about something, which requires no argument because its existence is its perfect defense, they are wrong.

“Perseverance furthers.” If you don’t give up you cannot fail. Of course it’s not easy. That’s how the sincere are separated from the dilettantes because the dilettantes can’t hack the trials. You want your heart to blossom with hope and have a remarkable certitude and conviction? Ask yourself, “Do I really want this?” If the answer is “yes.” you are home free. You cannot fail. It is not I who guarantee this, even though I do. That which you seek is seeking you. Prevail.

Don’t listen to the wind that whistles through dead trees. Don’t mind the hands from the grave and the burbling murk. Soldier on. Sing the Chumbawumpa song. Don’t let nobody bring you down. The world is full of people listening to everyone else and watching everyone else and behaving like everyone else and thinking they are different. You can’t adapt your behavior to the crowd and stay on the path very long. The crowd is an exit ramp. If the crowd agrees with you, you are wrong.

Yes, it is very hard but I will tell you a secret. All the other ways, all the easy ways are all harder. What everyone else is doing is harder than this. It only seems harder because you are doing it alone and it only feels harder because you think you are doing it alone. You are not alone. You could never pull this off by yourself.

Visible and The Critical List: Jews from Outer Space by Les Visible and The Critical List♫ Jews From Outer Space ♫
'Jews From Outer Space' is track no. 5 of 9 on Visible and The Critical List's 1993 album
'Jews from Outer Space'

About this song (pops up)

Jews from Outer Space by Les Visible and The Critical List

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Emptiness Behind the Mask, behind the Face.

I don’t know how far back the Greek masks of comedy and tragedy go. I do know that Athens reaches further back than Rome. Then it is on to a variety of places before you wind up in Egypt or India. Some speak of the Sumerians and Chaldeans and you hear about Atlantis and Lemuria. If you want to head into strange country you can look at what L. Ron Hubbard or Gurdjieff came up with as they stretched time far enough to punch some sort of alternative sensation through the mind, while the supplicant was busy being distracted by numbers.

It’s likely that L. Ron is not one of the good guys. I know his people tried to have me destroyed due to an altercation over what is real and what is a scam. I know they’re tried to destroy a lot of other people and they want all your money. It’s possible that Gurdjieff was treating the mind like taffy in order to make it supple enough to let go of all the flotsam and jetsam that likes to stick to taffy or wash up on shore. I don’t know what to think about some of the people I have wondered about. Did they heal? Did they harm?

One thing is for sure, those masks or some approximation of those masks has probably been around for as long as there have been people who studied people or pretended to be people. Today we celebrate actors more than just about anyone. We celebrate them for being able to effectively pretend that they are someone else. In many cases we celebrate them whether they are effective or not. We celebrate them when they are capable of no more than massive personal embarrassment of which they are completely unaware. We celebrate them as they perform in their own lives as characters of wretched excess. We follow them the way flies follow corruption and for the same reason.

We watch them crash and burn with no loss of anything of value and then we celebrate their resurrection into a new person pretending to be someone else on their way to Africa to end world hunger. From twit, with brains of shit... to H. Rider Haggard’s “She”... in less than fifteen minutes. We watch them go from whore to doting mother and back to whore as the musical dress goes up and down the chemical leg in suggestion of the presence of something that might be the well of fear itself, advertised as the entering gate to Shangri-La and Lethe.

The men match them stride for stride, up and down the staircase, in and out of every room across the endless loop of time. The faces of the moment are always composites of all the faces dreaming and watching from the audience. They are everyone in search of nothing. They are the repeating stutter of things gone wrong and made heroic and beautiful overnight. They are what nearly everyone wants to be and gets to be and regrets for a long, long time.

They simulate historical and personal events. They are the sunbeam in the crowd. They light up the way they went so that you might follow and find nothing, so that you might come to the desert and search the horizon for a mirage.

There must be some kind of Prometheus who is chained to something hard and lives and suffers back of the eyeholes of these masks. Something screams in pain that cannot be separated from the laughter and the light from the paradigm descending on the wheel, going home down the back roads in rotation... to the little country that lays between Never, never land and Here it Comes Again.

Here are the actors portraying the actors. Here is the same face in an endless curve where two mirrors face each other. It curves out of sight. So do we all ...along the bending stretch of time.

For as long as anything like us has been here... and that has been a very, very long time; there have been those who have insisted that we take off these masks, there are those who have suggested other worlds, there are those who have talked of conducts, punishments and rewards. It is to be assumed that, in many cases, their eloquence, the force of their being, was much greater than any record of their words might suggest to us. But on it goes. It not only goes on but it becomes ever more dreadfully lacking in performance and point.

Humanity walks on glue-boards reaching for the cheese. The cheese smells as those kinds of cheeses must do and the agony and frenzy of the feet lifting in the taffy, reaching and falling... face down into the ever melting murk... oh the horror of horrors... Their mouths fill with the glue, they sink into the glue. They are the fly in the cooling amber, the silent frozen scream across endless space. They sink into each other. They sink into the product of light frozen in extension and growing dark.

Can any performance free them? Is there some personal effort that can be made which will melt the glue and the mask and the moment and everything sticky that welds everything against everything until it catches fire? Is there some monumental act? Is there some superhuman concentration of force that can be mustered and... from where will it be drawn?

Up they come from the dank graves. Here come the skeletons in ancient armor. Finally they will right this wrong whose origin and details no one can remember. They will fight and fight until they cannot fight and they will fall into the grave and lay until the dream once again forces them to their feet and the red heat will burn and there will be blood and pain and fury. There will be glory and shame. There will be horns and gallant cries. Advantage will be seized and lost and pretty girls will part their legs in the hope of new heroes for the war whose purpose no one can remember.

They will dance and sing behind the masks. They will move in a Mobius strip from the audience to the stage as they replace one another. Like patrons in a butcher shop they will hold the numbers in their hand until they are called and that will be a movie too. They will build wonderful and terrible machines and massive backdrops for the spectacle to be performed by flesh upon flesh for the benefit of flesh in search of spirit. Even while spirit was all that there was... the mask forever continued to convince us that it was a face.

Admissions will be charged and posters will proclaim. We will all wait our turn and then go back into the place where old roles are stored until they are needed again. Each role is set back a millimeter from each following role so that they too can be seen in a long line that curves away until they disappear. Each is a little lighter or darker by progression. Around the corner, out of sight, lie Chaldea and Atlantis and Lemuria. Egypt is fading. The massive calliope is turning and one day all of this will be around the corner and out of sight.

How long can such a thing continue and the actors remain unaware of what has produced and directed them? How long can this continue? It can go on for a very, very long time.

There hang the masks. They hang on nothing but they are fixed and changing and changing and fixed. They laugh and they cry and forever they deceive and never reveal a thing. Each lie moves deeper into the thing called mystery... promotes and prostitutes the idea of a mystery and celebrates a mystery which is cosmetic and beckoning and which... after the grand ball, after the search...after the penalties and the prisons and the pain... after the confessions and the executions ... after the kingdoms and all the woven destinies ...after the rise and the fall... after it has been grasped and finally unraveled ...turns out to have been nothing at all. It turned out to be nothing at all.

Visible and The Critical List: La Vierge Sperme Danceur by Les Visible and The Critical List♫ The Clicking Mandibles ♫
'The Clicking Mandibles' is track no. 4 of 8 on Visible and The Critical List's 1987 album
'La Vierge Sperme Danceur'

About this song (pops up)

La Vierge Sperme Danceur by Les Visible and The Critical List

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Leave Good Footprints.

I’ve got a couple of mottos that I try to live by. One of them is. “Leave Good Footprints.” Another is “Cave Dei Videt” The Latin is medieval on the latter but since the meaning hasn’t changed, nor ever shall, I’ve left it so. In the case of the former, this does not also mean, “Never step in shit.” and “never piss anyone off ever.” Both of these are impossible to consistently defend against and shit does happen. It could be that you are destined to step in shit on occasion and it could be that it is impossible not to piss someone off at some point. Mahatma Gandhi pissed people off. Jesus Christ pissed people off. I think we can agree that most of us fall short of these two and many others I haven’t mentioned.

Leaving the footprints that you want to leave is very important. For those of us who believe in reincarnation and for some of us who KNOW that reincarnation is a fact, it is essential to smooth movement and a possible and necessary fixation of the volatile. Some might argue about my associating one of these with the other but, then again... universal agreement isn’t possible. What is important is whether something works for you. No one else needs to understand it at all.

Some years ago I was The Deli-Lama in an outrageous, twenty four hour, seven days a week culinary experiment called “Paradise Fruits” on Maui, HI. I worked there on and off for some years. The owners were friends of mine. It was a very successful venture until drugs, hubris and greedy landlords got the better of the movie. One day I was doing something in the public area and two people approached me. One of them said, “Aren’t you a friend of so and so?”

For these people to have seen me with so and so they would have had to have seen me in a small window of time, thousands of miles away in a place (Santa Rosa) that I was only in once for a brief time. What follows is not connected to this event.

During the time I was in Santa Rosa, I used to like to go to a fern bar/restaurant on the main drag. I can’t remember the name now. One evening, I was having a beer and the cook came out and sat down with me. While we were talking he asked me where I was from. I told him I was from Maui. His eyes narrowed and he asked me if I knew such and such a person. I did indeed know this person and said “Yes.” He asked if he was a friend of mine and I said, “No.” and I made a disparaging remark. He lifted up his briefcase and took from it a wanted poster with this man’s face on it. He told me that these wanted posters were up and down the California coast.

This fellow was a certain type of scam artiste that you see all too many of in the Hawaiian Islands. I wasn’t generally very nice to him because I used to be able to hear his rap through the kitchen window from where he was sitting at the outside dining area.

The cook asked me if I knew where he was now and I said that the last time I had seen him was where I had seen him a month ago at the place I worked. He was very grateful for this information. We actually hung out together for the final weeks that I was there and had some wild times.

Apparently this fellow had stayed with some friends of the cook in Las Vegas and worked for them trimming buds. They left him there to go somewhere for a weekend and he promptly stole 20 pounds of hi-end smoke from them.

Months later I was at Paradise Fruits and I ran into the man from the wanted poster. I told him what had happened and he said, “Oh, that’s all straightened out now.” I suspect it was not.

I could have been him if I behaved like him. It’s possible that the people who saw me at Paradise Fruits might have registered my presence and passed it on and I could have been in real trouble but I never did anything in the circumstances they saw me in to warrant that. It’s possible no matter where you are to run into someone you don’t want to see so... leave good footprints.

No matter where you are. No matter if you think you are completely alone. You are never alone. You are always on the screen; Cave Dei Videt.

The thing with leaving good footprints is that after awhile everything comes to reflect that. I have certainly not always left good footprints but at whatever point one may begin to consciously do so, from that moment things begin to change. Good footprints can make you invulnerable and immortal. That is how important they are.

It may not be desirable to always speak with sweetness and love to all that you encounter. There are some clever souls who operate in this manner and mean none of it. You might say and do things that are not appreciated but if your words and acts are true then it doesn’t matter what other people think. Other people don’t possess your reward and punishment. They may be an agency for it but they do not determine your fate, your footprints do. Leaving good footprints does not mean kissing everybody’s ass.

There is no hiding place. I sometimes wonder about how many people there are who are running from their footprints. The problem is that your footprints follow you. Good footprints can wipe out bad footprints by changing the person leaving the footprints into one unrecognizable from before. You can even leave deeper imprints. Good footprints also have the capacity to become the hardpan of an ancient way.

There are thousands of books that purport to teach wisdom. There are seminars where luminaries hold forth on realizing your potential and becoming like them; shining masks of brilliantine and come hither slither. If you are a pretty lady, the Roger Nietzsche (Rajneesh) yogis of Goa might ask you to write your cell-phone number on their thigh. You might get that Tony Robbins/Marianne Williamson thing and fly first class on New Age Airlines. There’s going to be a whole lot of footprints and some of them are going to be yours.

Most people don’t realize that when they are walking, they are walking on their faces. Their faces become the road map of their journey and the eyes tell the tale. The sound of their voice and its resonance tells the tale. I think conviction has a lot to do with footprints, which is why ten people can say the same thing and you’ll only hear one of them because the others lack conviction. Conviction comes from being able to speak from the place where the essential thought exists and footprints take you there. If you’re not speaking ‘from’ the place then no bell rings, no bird flies by, no dog barks and you don’t suddenly get that déjà vu feeling from the combination of sights and sounds reminding you that you’ve been here before.

Being here before means passing this way again and your footprints will tell you if the circumstances will repeat in reverse or whether something changed in the interim. Everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be and we are exactly where we are supposed to be according to our footprints. It’s a spiral in either direction. It is possible to move into greater and greater bondage until the urge for freedom becomes an imperative where no cost is too great. It is possible to move toward greater and greater freedom until you disappear into the absolute entire and become the thing itself.

Immortality has a lot to do with being relieved of a personal history. Personal histories are prisons of mortality. Your footprints can lead you to the place where you walk away from your personal history. After that there won’t be any footprints at all.

Visible sings: Long Kesh Lovesong by Les Visible♫ Long Kesh Lovesong ♫
Lyrics (pops up)