Thursday, May 22, 2008

Don't Let the Door Hit You in the Ass on Your way Within

It feels like forever since I’ve been here. Writing “Spiritual Survival” has served to put this site on hold and maybe that’s not a good thing because too much Visible Origami has started to leak into Smoking Mirrors of late. Then again, the whole point was to start with Smoking Mirrors from a wider perspective and then narrow it down over time as the audience grew. This wasn’t something I knew was going to happen. It just happened. Maybe it wasn’t my intent either but I seldom know what my intention is before I experience the results of my reaching around in the darkness of my mind for obstructing furniture on my way to the door.

I suppose that in a number of ways I am as deceived as anyone out there. I am always expecting that the bad guys will get wiped out by some superior race from outer space that finally took pity on us, or die off like the invaders in War of the Worlds. Sometimes I imagine that some critical lever trips and everyone wakes up and the bad guys slink away in shame. Sometimes, waiting for sleep, I travel the world in my saucer and eliminate the bad guys; make their money disappear, make them all purple or lurid green and under two feet tall. I turn all their war planes and munitions into chocolate. Sometimes I just extract them all and resettle them into one of those plastic domes that you buy in souvenir shops. You turn them upside down and then snow falls on New York City or The Eiffel Tower. Then I put this on a shelf where I can go look at it now and then and shake it up and set it back down. I can speak into it and sometimes I do. No one knows what happened to these people and I never tell anyone.

Each day when I wake up they’re still there however. Evidence of their presence can be seen in the events of the preceding day, having passed through the state of the art media filters so that their victims are now officially the bad guys.

Yesterday I saw a series of pictures of some of the babies born since depleted uranium has been spread across Iraq and other locations. I won’t provide a link because you really don’t want to see them.

Today I saw where some of Obama’s chief money sources were Archer, Daniels Midland, several of the big Wall Street firms and a number of munitions manufacturers. I don’t see much ‘hope’ and ‘change’ in that but... how can you become the president without the backing of the people whom real awareness would demand that you shut down?

Given that my nightly journeys in imagination are not altering the landscape, I am left wondering just what anyone can do. It always comes back to seeking the peace within and working to widen the channel through which divine love flows.

Everyone that I admire changed the world through things like love, conviction and wisdom. Thinking about it, I realize that they didn’t actually change the world. They just changed some of the people in the world. If that’s all you can manage then it’s better than working for Archer, Daniels and Midland. I guess that’s what it comes to; something to do with ‘right livelihood’ as the Buddha declared.

I’ve pondered the world through many an hour and putting aside my wishing and hoping it appears... it really appears to be a lot like a watch with many gears working in synchronicity. Some of the gears are larger and some are smaller. They all turn at different rates according to size and placement because of some mysterious power that makes it all work. In the natural world it’s a given that everything is eating everything else. Many times the things eaten wind up eating the things that ate them later on (Once rampaging and ravenous forms are devoured by worms and beetles and turn to plants eaten by grazing deer). Should I be surprised that this carries over into our world? You could say we are not animals and should expect better of ourselves. Sometimes we get that too. It’s unfortunate that it has to come as such a surprise because of the rarity of the occasion but... when you read about the Gods you come across so much of the same things we experience here. The Bhagavad-Gita lays it out clear enough.

I believe there is a place where Krishna says to Arjuna that there is nothing better for a warrior than a righteous war. I know there are people who have found peace here and who have even managed a contagion or two of the higher virtues shared. When I look at their lives I often see that they achieved something within themselves that eventually spilled over into the world.

Given that the physical body is composed of elements at war with one another, things like yoga, meditation and ‘prayer without ceasing’; practicing the presence of God become wonderful dynamics by which something good can be realized from a world of suffering and perpetual loss. That seems to be the answer. Everything that surrounds you and attracts you is hollow and empty; mere specters that form beneath moonlight and then evaporate like mist and dew upon the rising of the sun. All of it is there to drive you within to where the real world resides. Everything that happens to you happens with this intention. We can continue in torment and regret or we can accept the truth that we can never possess anything that lasts except for the things that last.

We’ve heard some version of the phrase, “Change yourself and you can change the world.” We hear this like we hear so many things. We nod our heads, “Yes... that must be so.” ...and then we go right on as if we had never heard it at all. Now there is a real mystery.

Any fool could see that if you aren’t experiencing internal harmony that nothing is going to feel right as you move through the world. No matter how much money or fame or power you have, it will taste like ashes in your mouth. You’ll be worse off than those who have nothing at all or very little because you will know that nothing you acquired or attained meant anything at all. The only thing you will have is the illusion of doing well and the envy of others. For some that seems to be enough. I don’t know if it compensates for the disappointments but... some of us are different that way.

They don’t tell you that when you change yourself that the world you change is your own. Still, somehow it seems that it does change the world around you; just not the whole world but... why should your world be the only world? It looks like there is a world for every virtue and perversion on the planet. It’s like an enormous department store or apartment building with millions of rooms and you can find any condition you can imagine in one or the other of them.

Interestingly, you can do this in your head as well. Very few people are able to exercise their imaginations at anywhere near their potential. Some with no apparent and socially acceptable control over their imaginations are declared mad. It’s a given that the sanest among us, according to what has been revealed over time, were often considered to be dangerously insane. That may be why one of the most important things you can learn is to keep your mouth shut in circumstances where discretion proves to be the better part of valor. I’m guessing that if you are one of those whose job it is to speak that you’ve been blessed with a harder road.

Well... it’s all there if you want it. The same way that everything here is not anything you really want. Maybe things go well for you here and maybe they don’t. Maybe you can do something about that over time and maybe it can transform in an instant. It’s certain that you won’t find lasting joy, beauty, peace or any of those other desirable states and things on the outside for any length of time. It seems as if you have to find them in yourself for them to appear anywhere else so, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way within.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ Imaginary Queen ♫
'Imaginary Queen' is track no. 10 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chapter Seven; Spiritual Survival in a Temporal World

(Greetings friends. I thought I would put Chapter Seven up here today- although you are also welcome to comment at the source location and I'd love it if you did.

Writing this on line book has taken my attention away from this blog and that is not good because this is the most important thing that I do; in my opinion. I'm hoping that this will now spur me to being more regular here.)

"Chapter Seven; Spiritual Survival in a Temporal World."

We’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” You’ve probably also heard, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he” You’ve likely heard, “for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.” These are all connected to a common truth. Life feeds on itself and how you think and feel about what you eat has a great deal to do with its impact on you.

Life is a radiant ‘serpent power’. You’ve seen the mystical serpent with its tail in its mouth. It’s called ‘serpent power’ because when viewed in operation by those capable of seeing it, it behaves in a serpentine fashion. If you want to see an example of our mysterious origin and how the force that animates us behaves then close your fist and look at the spiral that it makes.

It is important to follow a proper diet. A proper diet functions on more levels that that which affects the stomach. We consume with our hearts and minds as well. It’s good to remember that both heart and mind are only different levels, or expressions of the same thing. It’s also good to remember that one does not live by bread alone.

Everything is composed of sunlight which is also radiant energy. The green in your vegetables is a chemical change that sunlight went through. We are light in extension. Think of your body as frozen sunlight that feeds on sunlight. Without the sun there is no life and no light. Of course, this sun is a physical expression of another sun and there may be more rarified examples deeper in or further up; depending on how you see it.

I’ve said at other locations and on many another occasion that I believe one of the most powerful emotions that a person can possess is ‘gratitude’. A key feature that you should possess when you eat is, ‘gratitude’. Eating with gratitude is a magical act of great power. Observe how people eat and you will learn a lot should you be open to the evidence. Observation of life and a willingness to see into it will reveal understandings and truths that are hidden from most.

I am not a religious person and I belong to no religion. This does not mean that religion is not, in part, based on real truth. It means that religion obscures as much as it reveals and it often and invariably interprets wrong. Religion tends to view God anthropomorphically. It makes God a bigger you with all of your prejudices and shortcomings. God becomes a big idiot who reflects your little idiot perspectives.

Those who have looked more deeply into spiritual things with a questioning mind often come to see that all spiritual things have a scientific basis and can be explained and understood in scientific terms. Of course, there are those elements that will always be beyond the conscious, reasoning mind but even they conform to rules of behavior.

So, I practice certain behaviors that you also see among religious people. I always say ‘grace’ and I am, as much as I can remember to be... grateful. Eating with gratitude will change your life. I do not pray in the conventional way but I do contemplate and aspire toward a higher ideal of myself. I not only profoundly believe in a divine agency, I ‘know’ it is there. I possess a capacity to be willful and rebellious against my own best interest too... but, I’m trying to quit (grin). As will be the pattern here, before we can talk about the best diets and the choices of diet it is necessary to talk about the philosophical and metaphysical aspects of eating. It is important to know that we are feeding on different levels all the time and that the physical act of eating is only the most widely recognized practice.

In these times gratitude has been bred out of the process the same way that whole and nutritious food has been replaced by unhealthy garbage. You don’t see people take a moment to bless their food these days. You see them pile in, talk with their mouths full, drink while eating so that the digestive process is interfered with, not bother to chew so that complete digestion doesn’t take place, etc. You see the litter of our fast food nation everywhere and you see the physical condition of those who exist off of it. If I can get any idea across to you, I would want it to be gratitude. Be grateful. Get in the habit of being grateful for everything and you will see that you have more and more reasons to be grateful.

You don’t have to believe in a white-bearded fascist on a far away throne. This god is no more real than the god that the atheists do not believe in. But there is a living conscious force in you and if you feed it, its presence will grow. My wife does not believe in this god and generally is not inclined in this direction; though she is more spiritual than she will admit. The key inducement to my marrying her was during the first dinner I prepared when I asked if she minded if I took a moment to be grateful for my food. “Not at all.” she said and she joined me and has since. She understood the principle.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just because much of contemporary religion and the religion of any time may be filled with absurdities and priest centric machinations to part you from your money and your reason does not mean something is not there. It is what feeds you. Be smart. Be grateful. Grow into a better idea of yourself and let your suffering diminish. Eating smart is a way to turn down the flame. If, as the Buddha taught, “All life is pain caused by ignorant desire.” then the more erratic and impure your flame, the greater is your suffering. Passionate people suffer more than others, DEPENDING on the nature of their passion. Turn down the flame and consciously feed it. True enjoyment will come and you will be healthy and filled with life.

This book is about ‘spiritual survival’. It is necessary to constantly point out that everything we can see and perceive has an invisible source. Acknowledge it. Be grateful. For those who are sincere and possessed of genuine interest, you will find much to assist you in these pages. And it is important not to associate any of it with me. Take what is useful and place your gratitude where it belongs. I’m just another climber on the ‘spiral staircase’. Since we are all on this staircase and since it is a spiral, always remember, try to never piss over the railing.

Remember too that this is a book about being welcomed into a community that will form around you as you think and feel and eat your way into it. Gratitude will be the light source that allows you to see AND recognize your companions. We all want to live in this community and we can but we must journey there and it is a journey within as well as without. You don’t simply buy a bus ticket. Many a prosperous soul eats properly but misses the connection between the spirit, mind and body. Living on a trust fund and dressing in white; attending seminars and talking about high minded things doesn’t guarantee anything. We need to approach the thing itself with humility and awe and most of all, gratitude. Talking about it steals the energy to do it.

In the next chapter we will present various diets and the esoteric practices that complete them. We have different needs and no one diet will work for all. For the moment you can start feeling grateful. Let your heart soar in the contemplation of what awaits you. Be grateful that someone attends your every footstep and waits at every point along the way. You are never alone and all the forces of good will fly to your side once you have taken hold of the conviction to carry on... once this conviction has taken hold of you.

Visible sings: God in Country by Les Visible♫ Prevail ♫
'Prevail' is track no. 6 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album 'God in Country'
Lyrics (pops up)

God in Country by Les Visible