Monday, April 21, 2008

Waves on the Ocean and Worlds in the Sea

It is a most interesting thing the way people will use different terms to say the same thing and then believe they are being contradicted by the other. I’ve always been amused by arguments about what cannot be defined due to the subjective experience of what is beyond the senses. I seldom can be attracted into these sorts of debates, primarily because it never leads to anything.

It was fun sometimes when I was younger and new experiences were part and parcel of my day. I realize now that I was just as often caught up in the vanity of my reasoning skills as much as I was sincere about understanding anything. It was just another way of playing ping pong. It’s always satisfying when you are ‘on’ and making those great moves. Sooner or later the games end and the paddles and the ball sit on the table; just two paddles and a ball, a net and a table with a few white lines.

When we strip away all of our self identification with our words and actions, what is left is what we should be looking at. All over the world people spend their lives remarking on the waves, calculating their measurements, predicting outcomes based on their measurements, buying and selling the information, betting on the outcome, theorizing on the movements and attributing meaning to them. But they’re just waves and they will go on behaving as they do for as long as there is a force to set them into motion.

People talk about the wind and make more wind. They talk about the currents and the tides. They speak of depth and coastlines. Along the way all sorts of understandings have come and sciences have emerged that make possible a greater use of the waves. It’s not the waves though. It’s the ocean and the waves are only a portion of the nature of the ocean. We see the waves but we don’t see the ocean. The waves are the part of the ocean that is shown to us but there is a lot more to it.

Life is the same thing. I could begin to talk now about how the fishes in the ocean are so much like the thoughts in our minds and how the behavior of the fish are very similar to the situations caused by our desires. Big fish eat little fish. Many little fish eat a big fish. Small things attach themselves to big fish and behave like parasites. The intricate ecology of coral reefs and the deep unseen conditions of the ocean’s deep are all worlds unto themselves and yet all of these worlds are in the same ocean. There are other oceans. The sky is an ocean and it has its own system of operations and organization. It too can remind us of ourselves. Then there is the land. There is the weather which comes forth from the interaction of the three and the effect of other influences... on and on it goes.

Our senses operate within limited bandwidths. We speculate what might lie beyond these information gathering and measuring devices. Science shows us that forces and things exist outside our operating bandwidth and individuals with awakened siddhis have told us about what they have seen. Mystics from many a different time and tradition have agreed upon the similarity of things and conditions that exist beyond ordinary bandwidths.

In many different cultures, separated by significant time and distance there have evolved similar symbols and architectures for similar purposes. Many professions are devoted to study of inexhaustible minutiae. What lies at the very heart of the smallest particle of matter? What penetrates all time and space? Something does, even science in its ponderous plodding way has told us that something does. What lies beyond the furthest distance of this universe? Is it some immense curve that doubles back, no matter what direction you go in? Does it just keep pressing outward forever? What is it pressing outward against? Is there something beyond that and that and that? Does the relative symmetry between what is found at the deepest within and the furthest without mean something? Does the distance between magnetized particles within matter reflect similar distances to the heavenly bodies?

There seems to be some kind of remarkable order to it all. People dispute this. They talk about chaos theory and all manner of things. It seems that matter moves in one direction toward unimaginable density turning into black holes. Obviously it also moves toward a lesser and lesser density beyond the senses. Is this permeated by something as dense and pervasive after another fashion? Is our world interpenetrated by worlds of increasingly finer substance? Would that explain Heaven and conversely... Hell?

Here we are in the mix. It appears that there may be technologies and laws of operation far beyond anything we have seen and it could be that they all adhere to laws of nature we have yet to discover. Each life decides the meaning of its life according to how much it understands... then the life is gone. Where did that life go?

It seems that a person could never acquire all of the knowledge that is available. They could never acquire all of the goods, or the land or the space. Something acts as a limiter and it could be that the limiter is there to point out the reality that by knowing just one simple thing all other knowledge and information is rendered secondary.

I have toyed with many sciences and religions; philosophies and practices both general and arcane. It’s possible that I have been doing this for much longer than this lifetime and the same may be true of you. Maybe I gained something by all of this probing and seeking. I am more gratified that I spent my time doing this than making money or becoming important in a temporary period of time. However, none of these things are important to me any more. They seem like highways ‘around’ something. All of these words and thoughts, all this speculation seems like waves on an enormous ocean. They don’t have much to do with what lies beneath. It seems that the deeper one goes into the ocean the less likely they are to speak; not so easy with your mouth full of water (grin).

My words... your words... waves on the ocean. Waves can speak of the ocean and waves can speak only of waves. However deep or superficial they may be in their statements they are still both composed of water. Waves are some kind of temporary identity that the ocean takes to say one thing or another, millions of ways every minute of every day and the ocean has made itself into seven separate oceans that are all the same ocean.

Our lives are like a wave on the ocean. We rise from and fall back into the water. There are a million things we can talk about and do within the parameters of a wave among millions of waves but it is hard to imagine that it means anything. It’s more than this of course. I’m just painting a picture to try and make a point but I’ll fall short. I’m only a wave after all.

Everyone has a philosophy, one way or another. They have some passion or predisposition that orders the course of their ship in this ocean of time and the unending phenomena of the waves. I suspect that some ships are more seaworthy and it might just be because one is more able to sail under a particular set of sails.

What I have come to find is that all of the words and arguments and wonders of existence count for nothing in terms of personal effect as a wave upon an unfathomable ocean. Speaking only for myself, I have come to believe that everything is under control and that that control is conscious. If that is so then it indicates to me that whatever that might be it is quite conscious of who I am and where I am; from whence I am come and to where I am bound and that the best thing for me is to have an attitude of listening and a desire for cooperation with it.

I have discovered that the only problem I have is me when I am not listening and not cooperating and when I want more than I have which is everything already. This is not to say that one should not search and reach and study by whatever means one may possess. This is only to say that I suspect one will forever sail under a cloud of unknowing on an unpredictable sea. I am hoping I get invited to dine at the Captain’s Table once I have come to understand how profoundly little I know.

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

Color Ball by Les Visible

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chapter Two; Spiritual Survival in a Temporal World

This is a reprint from justgetthere and Chapter One is there too... you can find it here. I would have liked to have gotten back here sooner but various things got in my way. I even began this and then lost it when the computer rebooted; no idea of what I was saying now. So we come to Chapter 2 of Spiritual Survival in a Temporal World- just a working title.

You’ll be co-authors of this book with me because your input is going to determine some of the things that get talked about. In some cases it is also likely that something you send me, if it fits with the overall scheme and intention of this work, will find its way into the book as well with all appropriate attributions.

What we want to do is to locate the principles and disciplines necessary to give anyone who desires it, a leg up in their effort to be independent of the traps that surround us and to come deeper into the light that also surrounds us and is predisposed to fill us as well.

This brings me to one of the most critical points of the entire matter and one which many will wrestle with here and may cause them to discard whatever I say as a result of it and that is why you should pay careful attention to the way in which this is worded.

I will devote an entire chapter to this. So much of life is devoted to this; the architecture, the art, the lifestyles and so much more has come about because of humanities faith in a divine being or rejection of the same. Much good has come and much evil too and this is something that has become a stumbling block for many who see religion as (what it is) a business. Some people cannot accept the existence of a God because of the conditions that exist on Earth/ “If God is all powerful then why does he/she allow this?” Good question.

I enter upon this subject with trepidation and I must use great care. The idea that I could cover any length of ground in a short essay like this is ludicrous when millions of pages have been written on this; contradicting each other, provoking war upon each other and, over the long course of time, changing in presentation like a sidewinder moving across the desert sand. It’s appropriate that I mentioned a snake and we will address that as we go along. One image I would like to leave you with now is that which is presented in Hindu posters and if you’ve never seen one then google “Shiva” or “Vishnu” or “Brahma" and get yourself a graphic and look for the serpent, especially one that shows serpents over the head of the deity as a hood... a cobra hood... a brotherhood... just remember things said as we go. Keep in mind the serpent in the garden as well. This is the key element to understanding what is going on; always going on.

One can assume that in Heaven and in Hell (if they exist) that conditions are opposite in each case. One can assume that bliss is predominant in the one and suffering in the other. One might postulate that both of these are states of mind and if you are inclined toward Buddhism you have heard that everything is mind. I’d like to point out that Heaven, if it exists, begins where your feet touch the Earth. I’d also like to suggest that you don’t go anywhere when you die except right where you are (so you need to get there while you are here) and we are going to ask you to think about physics now.

Metaphysics and physics; I’d like the say that metaphysics becomes physics once science (or philosophy) has been able to capture it into understanding, just as lighting captured becomes electricity. No one knows what electricity is but we can use it to our great benefit. I suggest that God is the same thing and that the same applies. The more you understand something the better you are able to use it. So I want you to think in terms of usage and benefit and the fact that you can realize something like that will make you grateful and gratitude is key. Gratitude and compassion are phenomenal You really want to have both of these.

You want to have gratitude and compassion because they ensure more reasons to be grateful and more justification for mercy when it comes to you. Therefore-

Try to understand that just because you can’t comprehend something (and never, ever will) doesn’t mean you can’t use and benefit from it. If you have read any cutting edge papers on physics then you know that they have pretty much proved the existence of God. They have proven that everything is mind-stuff. I’ll go one further and say that we are all frozen sunlight. We are sunlight in extension. Loving it and what gives you life is good because it opens the valves to get more. The other possible relationship is resistance. You can be a resistor if that’s what you want. You can play any role. You have to ask yourself what you want and whether you want something better for everyone or if you are just out for yourself. This is also key. Are you self interested or are you more expansive? Do you think you are an isolated element that needs to feed itself or do you not know you have the power to feed the world if you will only let the light shine in your heart?

The power that binds you is the power that frees you. “Lead us not into temptation.” The devil is the way that the wicked see God. There’s only one and if you could contain your fear when the devil presents itself you would see the corona of the angel hidden behind the frightful appearance. It is ONE thing. It is one thing and the inexpressible simplicity of it is what leads to the endless complexity of terms and explanations. “Be still and know.” Things look one way and are another.

Forget religions. Religions are like lined paper in grammar school. Once you learn how to write capably you don’t need lined paper. Forget Jesus this and Mohammad that. If some icon works for you, fine but... truth is the same in every one of these systems. Truth is the body upon which the clothes of religion are draped and when the truth takes off its clothes the world disappears. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because religion is full of shit sometimes does not mean there is not sunlight to be found in the precepts.

I tell you these things because, if we are to create a community, real or virtual; if you are to realize your fullest potential, if you are going to try to achieve success where so many people have failed then you don’t want to leave out key elements and you don’t want to make rules and regulations against human freedom. At the same time, freedom is not license. Excessive repression and excessive hedonism lead to their own separate vales of suffering, even if the walls are thin and you can hear them next door.

My point? I’m sure I had one. Ah yes... in order to get where you want to go you need fuel. Your car needs fuel. Your body needs fuel. Your spirit needs fuel. You need to know where that service station is. In some cases it is a gas station and in some cases it is a kitchen or a restaurant and in some cases it is your heart. There, in the latter lies your kingdom of power and realization and the fuel therein is love. Everyone who gets good at anything gets there because they ‘love’ doing it. That’s all you need to know about God and all I’ll ever say about it... however convoluted may be the approach. Love what you do. This brings us to the first thing about how to survive on your way... elsewhere... work on loving and make it your first criteria... like a rusty pump it is going to take some priming but the water will run sweet if you will but try.

Back to those serpents. The serpent is radiant energy. Expressed in the animal kingdom it may be one thing, in the plant kingdom something else. In the human kingdom we can see people eating each other alive just like in the animal kingdom but maybe a little differently. This power feeds on itself. That is why it has its tail in its mouth. It’s the snake in the grass and it is the power of divinity over your head. Anything God has ever accomplished here has been through human agency. We are the hands.

So... you have to get right with yourself and the source of the power that holds you living in this moment and surrender is probably the best route and love is probably the best fuel. If you need religion it is there. If you need a direct connection look within; But before we go on to the tools and practices have to accept that something is in control and it is a good thing, not a bad thing. You need to have some faith and you need to have the teacher write in your report card, “plays well with others.” I want to have some fun and fellowship without all of the personality games and insecurities thereof so... Make peace with yourself and then we’ll talk about techniques.

This book does not lead to Jonestown. This book has no connection to any religion. This book cost nothing but effort. The book profits no one but yourself. Take what you need and leave the rest.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ God's Not Dead ♫
'God's Not Dead' is track no. 3 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Fly First Class on Dream World Airlines

Do you ever wonder how you got to be the person you are, believing the things you believe and acting on them as if they were real... because, for you they are? Something happens to us at different points when we pass from one state to another; childhood to adolescence, adolescence into a halfway house of wild yearning and cautious uncertainty and then some level of maturity which goes from freedom to restraint, from impulse into habit, from habit to ever increasing chronic repetition until death do you depart.

At each stage you are another person and things got added that didn’t have anything to do with the things you went through. It is as if someone emerged who had been here before and did things a certain way even though you can’t remember who that was or where it happened. There’s something in life that makes it seem that even when we make choices we aren’t making them. There’s some kind of a flow to everything. Hardly anyone is ever strong enough to step outside of it and watch it go by for long enough to see that it is almost like some kind of pre-ordained terrain over which we move through a series of events being scripted off camera.

It’s eerie and scary and it can be comforting and reassuring too; depending on how you take it. Many people chalk it up to something they found in religion or to things their parents told them or some inner awareness of something that stays indefinable no matter how hard you look at it. For the most part, people shrug it off and make sure that no one gets the idea that they might be a little strange. In a uniform marching world, strange can be a negative... unless strange is your gig.

I’m talking about how so many of the people you meet are familiar when you’ve never met them before; how things work out a certain way and, in most cases, you’re not surprised to find yourself wherever you find yourself, how Deja-vu shows up and Presque vu shows up and dreams intrude into life the same way that life intrudes into dreams.

I’ve been upbeat so far... more or less- but now I want to mention that what I’ve been talking about can also very possibly mean that you are being railroaded from one end of existence to the other without ever having gotten a grasp on what was taking place.

No matter what you think about the idea of God and the Devil, right and wrong... all the interplay of opposites that make up the appearance of your manifest world; no matter what you call them, some version of it is there... right there... right where you are right now. Within the next ten minutes, whether you go on reading here or not, your emotions will shift some distance between two poles and then back again as the mind sends forth images that impact on the way you feel. You’ll feel things that you can identify because they are on the surface and, if you could focus for a moment, you would see that there are other things you are feeling that are below the surface and have a lot more to do with the long term you. These are deeper and more pervasive waters.

If any one of you could step out of your life and come and visit me, or anyone, and we decided that we would build a platform in a tree and that we would sleep there- in a friendly manner- for some nights and talk and possibly sing- climb down at night and dance in the dark under the olive trees- man and woman, man and man- independent of the usual games that people play... that we would walk across landscapes and feel the presence of a more expansive nature than the artificial constructs of ordinary life... that we would eat simple life giving foods and eschew television and other media... that we might meditate and practice simple reflection on where we are and where you were... it is beyond doubt that certain changes would occur and that the experience would leave a deeper imprint on your mind than the usual imprints that the usual life leaves as it walks in the footprints it left the day before.

Everyone, every day, spends money on things they don’t need and time on things that habit commands of them and could well put that time and money aside for just what I suggest. You fill a jar with coins and bills. You fill time with what needs to be done until there is time to burn. It’s all a matter of management. You don’t have to come here. You could go anywhere but... you could do it. Deepen... Widen... Come alive.

People don’t realize they are on loops that make ruts which eventually swallow the cart. There are immediate excuses not to do what you really want to do the moment you think about doing them. This is where the struggle and pain come in when you have to ‘turn over’ the ground of the familiar. Sometimes pain is only effort. Sometimes pain is going against the grain of what you’ve allowed yourself to get used to. Part of you actually argues with yourself about every adventure you can take into the greater unknown of your repeating imaginary self as if it were better just to go on as you have been going.

You can feel gravity. Gravity is a certain force that is much more than it appears to be and the weight of it changes according to mysterious laws. It can change because you got little sleep or because you are depressed. It can change because your association with, or attachment to the things that gravity affects has changed.

People daydream or imagine things all through their day. They know what daydreaming is. Yet most people can’t accept that the world they live in is composed of dream stuff that is affected and altered by the way they think just as the dreams they have at night are affected by the same process taking place in the subconscious.

People don’t realize that their subconscious is like a child or a dog and that it has magical powers which it uses without thinking about it and that you get the same results from it that you get when you speak to a child or a dog in a certain tone of voice. Your super-conscious mind can also be easily accessed if the conscious mind assumes the posture of a child or Knipper the RCA dog. Both the subconscious and the super-conscious mind are listening to and watching you all the time. We could talk about these things here if you could get here and you could take it with you when you go.

You can use the dreaming power to dream yourself anywhere; change yourself, change your circumstances, whatever. Or you can let the dream river carry you wherever it wants to according to your urges, known and unknown, which is what it is doing right now. The big dream river changes all the time according to the way the archetypal forces- you can call them planets- arrange themselves among themselves and according to the houses they are passing through. You don’t have to believe in astrology to make it possible for you to realize that planets are moving in the sky above and I think we can all agree that the moon affects the tides and other things; animals and human emotion- you see it graphically demonstrated in mental institutions. So... the moon affects us but the other planets don’t? It is true that understanding the planets or anything is only as good as the understanding of the person applying it. That doesn’t mean it’s bogus just because some of the people are. I love listening to scoffers who do not realize that the only person they limit with their denial is themselves. You don’t want the benefit of higher understandings and more subtle worlds? That’s up to you. And... that accounts for so much that goes on and which people attribute to circumstance and accident and coincidence. Metaphysics is just as real as Physics.

The world is a perfect choreography of something acting out non-stop and right there to study and grow from or... you can just go on being the ball in the pinball machine bouncing off of the bumpers... cart trapped in the ruts... dream enslaved rather than a dream rider.

It may be that the world seeks to limit you and to maintain advantage over you. That is evident... no? But you give it that power when you believe what it tells you without looking deeper into the matter which... some of the things I’ve been talking about would make possible for you. There’ll never be a time like the moment you are in because there will never be a time that is not now.

Visible and The Critical List: Not Politically Correct by Les Visible and The Critical List♫ Multicultural Cowboys ♫
'Multicultural Cowboys' is track no. 1 of 12 on Visible and The Critical List's 1992 album
'Not Politically Correct'

About this song (pops up)

Not Politically Correct by Les Visible and The Critical List

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Power of the Heart and the Mind.

It is a peculiar thing that every one of us recognizes that we have a mind and emotions; that we know what we are talking about when we discuss them with others and everywhere in the world, when the mind and the emotions are mentioned, people recognize what it is that is being discussed yet... most people are unaware of what these things actually do and how to operate them to their greatest benefit.

The tabloids are filled with directions on how to win love and attract a mate. They chatter on endlessly about diet and money and whatever trivial thing might be in the public’s notice. It’s an endless river of homespun wisdom and advice woven out of a fabric that runs and tears the moment it encounters water or wear. It’s the easy lie masquerading as truth and inevitably it leads to a product that you can purchase, which was the whole idea of the article or news report in the first place.

Then there is the other level of psychological perspective which has its feet in the trivia and its head in the clouds. It is also invariably connected to a product. These products span the gamut from pharmaceuticals to ritual. Doctors dispense compounds designed to mollify your discomfort at trying to come to terms with your heart and your mind and the world outside. People crisscross the globe proffering techniques that will make you balanced and successful. It can be assumed that some people get some benefit from some of these.

As with anything, the people who want the real answer and the real solution are in the minority. Everyone says they want the thing that actually works but when confronted with their own responsibility in respect of it they veer off in search of something more convenient and immediate. It’s like yoga and healing modalities. If you can appear to get the results from weekend seminars and ten day intensives why would you want to have to practice it all the time throughout your life to get results? This is especially true when great transformation is required and the attendant sacrifice comes into play.

Of course, if you love doing something for the sake of doing it, the benefits are ‘almost’ incidental. You just love doing it. Those who love doing anything get very good at it. Let’s look at the mind and the emotions now and see if we can’t agree on some definitions and then get back to application. If either one of us gets lost let’s just stop where we are and the natural loop will bring us back to the same place at some point (grin).

Trying to define the mind or the emotions could require that this essay never completes. There would always be more to say and more questions that followed. We don’t need that confusion. We only need to gain enough definition to provide some mutual understanding to build on. We only need a little understanding.

Let’s think of the mind as a house with a basement. There is also an attic but we won’t be going there on this round. The house is where you live and the people who enter and leave all day long are the thoughts. In the basement are other thoughts and the automatic habits and routines you’ve made part of you and a number of sunken chests. Your deeper urges and fears live there and they enter the house on their own. Or when summoned, all day long.

You can’t see them as well as you can the thoughts that enter the house through the front door but you are made aware of them by their impact on you and the other thoughts. You are made aware of them by how you feel and act when they enter the living room. They are stronger thoughts, better defined and outlined. You might well wonder, given their greater presence, why you can’t see them as well as the other thoughts... but that might be how some of them got so big and strong in the first place. How did they get big and strong? You feed them with your attention. Your attention might be that of desire or fear. You can fill in the blanks. In many cases, some of these thoughts seem to be stronger than you are. It accounts for all of the things that people do and say and that you hear about every day or learned about in school. It accounts for all of it.

If I told you that you could have everything that you ‘really’ want and that you could be successful and free from want, you might be interested, or doubtful. Let’s address those who are interested, after all, this doesn’t cost you anything and there’s no product at the end of the post. I’m going to cut to the chase because I could wander around in here for weeks and months and, well... there it is.

Think of your mind as a house that you live in ALL the time. We won’t address the sleep side of the issue now but there is one. Think of what powers the appliances, the heat and lights. What powers everything are your emotions. You can think of your car as your mind as well and the fuel as your emotions. The emotions are also the food that the people who come into the house -from the front door and from the basement- eat.

Think of the world outside as a greater mind in which all of the smaller minds live. Consider that the idea of more than one mind is a problem you need to get over but... another time for that part of the story. Let’s just stay with your house and your power source.

Whatever is going on in your house is going on with your permission. It is true that people are going to wander in all day because you permit and have permitted this. They are going to climb up from the basement too... because you have permitted this. One day, the day might come when you decide to become a door warden at both the front and basement doors. By allowing and denying entrance you can control everything that happens in the house and also whatever happens in the world outside in relation to you. One affects the other just as the other already affects you now.

Some of the people coming up from the basement are going to be rowdy. They are not used to being told to take a hike. The first thing you have to realize is that you are stronger than the strongest one of them and that they weaken with every denial of entrance. In the meantime, by encouraging and attracting specific thoughts into the house, you strengthen your capacity to deal with all comings and goings and you also have unlimited power to draw on- your feelings- and to do as ‘you will’. This ability can be remarkably increased depending on your understanding of Will.

I don’t know your situation. It could take you some time to know just who to let in and who to keep out. It might take you a long time to get serious about it and that is the key. It can be painful to do and many of these thoughts know you well and are going to plead for food and company. Some of them can be very persuasive and inventive. You have to starve them to death. You can’t feed all of them and some won’t come when you are feeding others. It’s up to you which thoughts are going to live in this house and whether your house becomes a sail boat that cruises through life or a plane that soars in the heavens. Everyone you meet is dealing with this one way or another. Everyone is dealing with the same thing all of the time. Though everyone wants the same thing, few of them are ready to make the adjustments to acquire it and peer pressure plays no small part in this.

The things of the world are always coming and going and always around. Some people have more than they will ever need and along with those who do not, they both have much less than they want. However, there is only one thing worth having and everything that you need and want comes along with it, if you can get it. This is the meaning of that phrase, “seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all of these things will be added unto you.” It’s really all about setting your house in order and you can do it at any time. It’s the only problem anyone has... ever.

Just you start practicing crowd control and watch and see who shows up wanting to come past the velvet ropes. The bigger surprise will be when you discover who is already in the house and has gone unnoticed amidst the clamor. Of course, this could very well result in your being led to a mountain top and offered everything that the world has. I suspect you will know what to do at that time, given that you already possess the world and everything that is in it, even though you may not want it at all. One of the great mysteries and deceptions is to have someone who doesn’t exist offer you something you already possess.

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