Monday, February 23, 2009

The Sun does not Revolve around the Earth

A comment before we get into this most recent Origami. A long time reader here has asked me what I know about locations and/or communities/ashrams or the like where he might migrate to. He’s middle-aged with a son who needs care which he provides. I told him that I’m across the sea and thousands of miles away; he’s in the U.S.

Until I am involved in forming a community which may or may not occur in the not too distant future I am at a loss as to any recommendations that I could make. I’m out of the loop and I don’t like tossing out possibilities that I am unfamiliar with in terms of their day to day operations and the general ambiance of their situation. In other words, if I haven’t been there I wouldn’t be in a position to recommend anything.

If any readers out there know of a situation- any situations- that might begin the process for this man I would appreciate it if you would share your ideas in the comments section. Sometimes in the trading of ideas a possibility will emerge that wasn’t even directly connected to what was indicated or said. You know how these things work... mysteriously. So... any help would be much appreciated. He’s not the first person to ask me about this so I imagine there’s some general interest in this and it may benefit others who haven’t said anything but are thinking in that direction. Now we go to Origami already in progress (grin)

At the various blog endeavors where I am engaged, I have noticed a particular phenomenon. It happens even more so at other locations where entries get published. It’s nothing epidemic and maybe it’s been happening all along and I’m just noticing it now. It takes various shapes. One shape is where the reader deliberately distorts what’s been said. An example would be my post on 2012. Certain individuals have indicated that I stated that the world was going to end on December 21st of that year. This is nonsense and even more so given the care I invested in what was an effort to make people think; no more than that. I’ve no idea what will happen in any specific way. I do note trends and I’ve got some grasp of history.

Another shape is where the reader extrapolates on what I said as if I actually said it. Yet another shape is where the reader thinks I’m talking about one thing when I am talking about another. These shapes are all pretty similar and all have to do with not paying attention or lacking the capacity to focus. In a few cases it’s the product of malice based on personality conflicts or a basic intransigence to change. These cases rarely show up at the blogs but they do show up somewhere. Some of us are hardwired into various forms of denial and nothing short of serious trauma is going to alter that. Well... that trauma will eventually manifest. There are laws that govern our existence and no amount of indifference, resistance or bargaining is going to influence them even a little bit.

This puts me in mind of something to talk about which impacts on all of these perspectives... on all perspectives across the board. It affects everything but it is affected by nothing. It’s too small to see yet it contains the entire universe... composes it and remains beyond it all at the same time. It’s conscious of every movement near or far, the way a spider senses a tremble on its web. Most people think of themselves as an autonomous self-contained unit. In a way you could say that they believe that they are this mysterious thing of which I am speaking. In many cases they certainly act as if this were so. The difference is that they have no power whatsoever and this mysterious thing has all power always. Any power we possess as individuals all comes from this mysterious thing.

This thing lives in everything, always awaiting and seeking a deeper communication with each of us. On rare occasions some of us will reach toward it and, if we are persistent, eventually a certain realization takes place. It is much less common in these days than it has been at other times. Because of sensory apparatus, the general focus of most people is outward and it is there where they spend their brief hours between the twin unknowns of whence they came and whither they are bound.

The human ego is a usually inept and dysfunctional God. Because it assumes it possesses things which it does not, it acts against the interests of itself and others as a normal operating procedure. There’s a wide middle of the ordinary and a narrow band of the extraordinary to either side. On one of these sides are the psychopaths and on the other side are the altruists. Both of them engage in most of the various occupations available to all of us with two distinctly different impacts. Depending on the times, there may be more in one band than in the other or it may only be that there is a greater appearance of power in one or the other. The middle stays the same. It doesn’t change much except in times of extremity. The middle is shaped by its reactions to the influence coming from the bands of the extraordinary.

If the times are less materialistic then the altruists have a greater sway upon the mind of the middle. In times of greater materialism, the psychopaths hold a greater sway and in each case, the culture reflects this influence.

Most people are attached to their culture the way they are attached to their temporary families. Their world revolves around the twin focus. They seem to believe, despite all appearances to the contrary and despite all of the evidence of history, that their families and their culture will always be with them. They always seem shocked and surprised at the loss of any part of either, even though every indication and record from the past tells them in no uncertain terms that they and their families and their culture will one day be a thing of the past. As long as they prevail in this illusion it is impossible for them to contemplate anything outside of it in any objective way.

The story of Noah and the ark is much like a movie made about real life events or one based on a book. The movie is not going to reflect the exact details in either case. It’s like a metaphor. Unfortunately for most people they base their lives, their understandings and the decisions they make on a metaphor and you can work out in your own mind what that may mean.

Let us imagine that the story of Noah happened just as it is told, although it certainly did not. One of the features of the story is that the other people who were around at the time considered Noah to be mad. They laughed at him. It’s a matter of historical record that people have always laughed at the thoughts and behaviors of those who did not operate as an example of the middle. In a certain way these strange individuals embarrass them just as the psychopaths confuse and frighten them... though there is more than a little dreadful fascination as well.

People who pay no attention to the warning signs in a culture are deserving of pity and compassion. They can’t be helped and it can be dangerous to try. Even though every culture in the past is now gone and even though many, many cultures preceded these and others preceded these the records of their existence grows ever fainter until they have become only legends and still more cultures preceded these legends... still... they do not imagine that theirs will pass.

Given the temporary nature of manifest life you would think that more people would be curious about the deeper possibilities. Yes, they embrace religions. They embrace them in the same way that they support a particular sport’s franchise; the same way they engage in patriotism and any allegiance they may have selected or had placed upon them, whether it is to family, country or God. The deeper implications of any of these escape them... frighten them... mystify and confuse them. They are mostly along for the ride without much more than hope and a broken paddle, devoid of landmarks and charts, to plot and navigate their course.

Most people look at things but not into them. Peer pressure confines them in concentration camps where no concentration takes place. They would sooner follow their oppressors than any liberator. They freely give themselves to those who hold them in contempt, who use them and throw them away and they mock and abuse those who admire them. Perhaps they know which of the two sees them for what they are.

It is best to pay attention before you are required to pay attention. Paying attention is often, quite literally, the difference between life and death. When a culture has declined and fallen into the inevitable morass of low level sensuality and cheap entertainment, it is on the precipice of doom. It is through the door to enslavement ...and tyranny will always be at hand in these times.

Once the way is lost it moves further and further off course. It does not suddenly find its way back. All manner of bad behavior begins to prosper and becomes the norm. Justifications appear for most anything and the occupation of the learned seems to be tuned to finding more convincing arguments for excess and immorality. What is contrary to the best interests of the whole becomes legitimized as normal behavior. After awhile it even becomes more than normal until no one knows what normal means any longer.

This mysterious thing has a collection of immutable laws which apply to conditions. The further a condition is from the course of an immutable law, the greater is the sensation of the impact of the law upon the condition. This would seem to be common sense, were common sense a common feature anymore.

Things will sort themselves out. They always do. It is more or less pleasant or unpleasant depending on where you are standing and how the sorting out affects your attachment to what is being sorted. Present time is a time of sorting and it does seem that the wiser course would be to sort oneself out ahead of time, rather than waiting to be sorted. Those who cannot hear must feel.

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

Monday, February 16, 2009

Every Master had a Life of Secret Shame.

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. In some cases we are made to feel better by the comparison and in others the reverse is true. Add in to the mix that some will be depressed and some inspired by this and some just won’t care. All of it adds up to one glass of water simultaneously half full and half empty at the same time to the soundtrack of one hand clapping.

For a couple of months now, I have been alone almost all of the time except for a couple of dogs; a strange ghost of a disappearing house guest and a couple of brief visits by a lonely neighbor who wanders around my land commenting on things as his way of touching. Most people don’t like being alone. I love it. It comes down to whether you enjoy your own company; whether you can live with the thoughts of your past, whether you are afraid of the unknown and whether or not all you know about yourself is what happens between yourself and other people.

I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio. I have my occupations, practices and the main concern of my life which is to master myself and which is the most difficult of efforts due to the sheer simplicity of the requirements. There are not very many people who are absorbed in a constant effort to bring their attention back to the same thing... over and over and over. Something has to have happened to you to cause this and you may not even know what it is... or was.

I’ve read a lot of books with varying perspectives on the self; its discovery, its management, its components and place in the scheme of things. I’ve had meetings with remarkable men and women. I’ve taken powerful substances as an aid to perception and engaged in various practices to the same end. You could say that this particular interest is my most compelling interest and as time and circumstance pass it becomes more and more so.

One thing that seems to be a huge stumbling block to self realization; mastery, whatever you want to call it is... our personal history. I’m not thinking about this in terms of the errors we have made but just that we think about our personal history when we think about who we are. Most people define themselves in relation to their past. That is who they think they are. It isn’t even who they were. If we don’t know who we are then we’re wrong about any assumptions we have made or are making. Because of this, what we remember isn’t real, irrespective of the way time degrades memory or how our lens filters color things.

I think it was Paramahansa Yogananda who said something on the order of, “You must take all of your burdens; your hopes and dreams and everything you have said and done and thought about yourself and the world and you must tie them up in a bundle and cast that bundle into the sea. Certain Christian churches refer to something called, “being washed in the blood”. Every religion has something like this that is recommended as a precursor to union with the divine. They’re essentially the same thing adapted to the personality types attracted to a particular version.

It seems to me that you just cannot be who you are if you are caught up in being who you think you are. Guru Bawa used to say that you can’t pour water into a bucket that is already full. I studied with him for awhile. He is a realized master who has moved on to a more rarefied plane. I couldn’t stay there. I’ve never been able to stay in any of these ashrams or fellowships because I don’t get along with bureaucrats and they don’t get along with me. When Bawa passed, the hierarchy paved over the beautiful lawn in front of the fellowship and put in a parking lot with designated parking places for themselves... but I digress.

...though, maybe not... it’s a common belief that there is safety in numbers and maybe that applies to spiritual progress for a little while but... you’re on your own even in the midst. The day will come when you are no longer there for one reason or another. You’re alone and unless you can face this you’re just playing patty cake. The only difference between you and the master you are sitting before is that his personal history is gone. Your attention is on your personal history because that composes who you think you are. His attention is on the self that has no personal history... it just is. Some will transmit this in a seemingly dualistic way and some will transmit it as Advaita. Some will empty you out while you aren’t paying attention and some will scramble your support structure until the props fall away. The method isn’t important though a large percentage of followers will latch on to this as ‘the ticket’.

You hear about, ‘the dark night of the soul’ and ‘the stations of the cross’, ‘the dweller on the threshold’ and sundry trials and tests. Whether you are reading, “The Pilgrims Progress”; “The Koran”, “The Bible” or “The Kybalion” you are going to come across these elements that are like the blades of grass that turned into sharp knives in the Stephen Crane poem. Your personal history can’t endure these things, which is why it has to go. Only ‘the self’ can endure these things.

When you are alone you come up against yourself. When you are not alone you are staring into a funhouse mirror. Your personal history is a convincing argument as to why you cannot accomplish self realization. It is filled with all of the mistakes you’ve made; all the times you’ve failed at even simple things. It’s filled with the record of selfish acts and deceptions practiced upon yourself and by extension... upon others. You’re a shameful little bug. This is what your personal history tells you. Every master has been right where you find yourself today. Some of them got up to more mischief than you but that’s somewhere at the bottom of the sea now with all the rest of it.

Of course, there isn’t a single master anywhere who is the master. Each of them has come to realize that it is the indwelling self that masters all. This is how persons of wisdom recognize each other whenever they met no matter what may overlay the presence. When a master looks at you this is also what is seen even if, for the purposes of assistance, your personal history is laid out as well. Guru Bawa knew about me when we met, as did the master that I met on a beach and who activated a certain process in me. Both of them had something to say. There wasn’t anything bad... nothing like the things in my own mind about myself. It was all very encouraging. Neither you nor I are what we think we are or what the world thinks we are.

The world is a manufacturing plant. It manufactures lies. This is its job. You wouldn’t fault Nature for producing her plenty even if some of it is not good for you. The same wind that cools you in the heat can carry away your house. We must remember that in seeking a master or in seeking the truth that we are seeking the destruction of everything we invested our personal history in. It’s not all dancing and singing. It’s the loss of everything you hold dear but... there’s no lasting value in any of it. Still, it is why the majority turns away and returns to their former pursuits or why they continue to attempt what cannot be achieved with that knapsack on their back.

You’re not going to get any support from the world. The world is going to laugh at you. It’s a good indication that you are headed in the right direction; if that’s what you want. Whatever we are going to come up against we have to remember that all of these masters came up against it too. The reward is beyond description or... you can continue on through the inescapable disappointments of the world. It will eventually strip you of all you hold dear and leave you broken and alone. It would be a far better thing to accomplish this before hand and find that you are neither.

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

The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible

Friday, February 13, 2009

Finding the Way in the Final Days

For some time I have been hearing from people that all secret societies are evil and that all arcane knowledge is bad; that the Masons are bad, that the Kabala is evil, that any sense of desire for control or any effort to comprehend what is in control is wrong and will lead to disaster. I don’t share those sentiments.

There’s one force in the universe. There is only one controlling entity. Good and evil as they are commonly understood are not particularly good or evil. There’s no separate demonic force arrayed against a heavenly force. On the level of appearances this seems to be true but it’s not. To understand if any organization is evil and whether any particular teaching is deceptive or illuminating... whatever... one has only to look to ‘intention’. It is our intentions that determine our relationship to the single force that animates; creates, maintains and destroys. This single force has three applications and your relationship to any aspect of it is set by your intention.

Force is force. You can drive a nail with a hammer and you can drive that hammer into someone’s head. Something like the Kabala is just a system. You can use it to gain understanding and you can use it to manipulate conditions for good or ill and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference because a great deal of evil has been accomplished under the banner of doing good. I studied in the Kabala for some years but it’s not for me. That’s not a judgment on it. That’s a judgment on me.

This is the Kali Yuga. Because there is a greater darkness in this yuga than in any other, it stands to reason that we are less likely to be clear in this period than in any of the others. What this has come to mean to me is that I am more likely to gain success in my effort to comprehend by following a path of devotion. They call this Bhakti Yoga in the Hindu tradition. It has parallels in all of the other traditions as well. The path of knowledge is likely to be more perilous in these days than in times where the light is more present. Yes, the light is always present but our ability to make use of it is diminished. One should consider the words of Jesus Christ; “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all of these things will be added unto you.”

In other words, anything you think you may be looking for. Anything you may be mistaking for something else and anything you think you want that may not even be what you imagine it to be will be given to you once you find the source of everything. Not only will it be given to you but it will be given to you in the best way. You will also be spared the result of desiring that which would actually destroy you should you acquire it.

In every tradition you are going to find representatives of self-interest and selfless interest. This does not make the tradition evil. It speaks to motive and intention. I consider myself to be engaged in “The operation of the Sun.” as defined by Hermes Trismegistus in The Emerald Tablet. Some number of people from the very few who understand what this process is believes that it is something that ‘you’ accomplish. That is never going to happen, not ever. This operation is accomplished under the direction of The Holy Guardian Angel and our only action in the process is to be still.

Our preparation for this action is to obtain the qualities of the divine. It is these qualities that grant us the ability to ‘be still’ and to endure. One must endure certain things and these tests are not for lightweights and dilettantes. It could be said that we are all engaged in this and have always been engaged in it but that we can only proceed to the degree that our abilities allow for.

Lately I have had some real progress through the period I am in and I have also had the shit scared out of me as well. However, there is nothing else that I want; nothing else that is going to satisfy me, nothing else that can be anything more than a momentary distraction and nothing else that will treat the disease that I feel for as long as I am outside the sanctuary whose confines I am in pursuit of. No cost or effort is too great... even if I am only losing what I never had or which was never mine... even if the only effort is to be still. “Be still and know that I am God” is an interesting phrase and like many timeless phrases it will well repay reflection on its meaning.

I realize that there are organizations that offer a progression of instructions and tests that purport to lead to the goal. Bona fide schools are under the aegis of the invisible brotherhood. For me these external organizations have lost their attraction... or it may be that I have found my fellows. As much as we may all be the same person essentially, we are very different in many ways. For the majority of people on the Earth today... the pursuit of the hidden side of life has no attraction and for the majority who claim to have this interest, it is more for what they may gain and how they may appear. Most of what is offered by the new age is rife with these personalities.

You can think of the world as it exists at present as a magnetic whirlpool of attractive matter. Its purpose is to suck you in. There’s a loosely affiliated group of psychopaths who are milking this phenomena for their own gain... though I wouldn’t call what they are achieving a gain. I would call it a tremendous loss; but they have already given up what is most important in any case. They appear to have great power and their state is envied by many. Some of them believe they will rule in Hell as they presently ‘appear’ to rule on Earth. They jury is presently out on that.

These are dark times and one cannot be faulted for feeling lost, threatened and generally depressed at the conditions that ‘appear’ to surround us. These are all appearances and granting credibility to them increases their seeming hold on you. We should actually be joyful that we can see what is occurring. Many people do not see at all. We should be thrilled that we are given the ability to perceive.

Every one of us is ‘overlooked’ by an agent of the one. Every single action in our lives is a special interaction between the divine and our selves. This is difficult to see for the reason that ‘appearances’ hold such sway over our minds through the medium of the senses. The force of the material world is great but... it is as much under the control of the one as is everything else.

Everything we experience has the sole purpose of tempering us. Our metals are being refined in the furnace of existence. We should ‘be still and know’. We should pray without ceasing and practice remembrance or... if you prefer... the presence of God. We are alone in the pursuit of our self interest or we are not alone in the pursuit of our self. An aperture is opening that has not been open for many thousands of years. It is a matter of personal intent whether we will be drawn through that aperture or into the whirlpool for recycling into the next period of coming and going through the next series of lives... departures and returns.

Winning or losing anything here is of no consequence. Things come and go; positions of power and influence come and go like the tides. We can easily be transformed from an oil baron to a prison inmate. We can change from a world leader to a galley slave. It happens all the time. There was something said about not laying up your treasures where moth and rust corrupt. I think that’s the wiser course and wherever one may find wisdom they should grasp it and hold it fast. Even if you have to steal it, that’s okay too.

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

God in Country by Les Visible

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Truth Remains.

It’s been a strange few weeks. I said some things that I felt needed saying and can only hope I didn’t drive some unfortunate soul on down the highway who only wanted a sip of the cool, clear water ...when the quiet guy by the water's bank turned into a fire breathing dragon.

I don’t know what makes me madder; the people doing the killing, the people lying about it, the people pretending it didn’t happen or the people saying they had a good reason. Well... we won’t be talking about that today.

We’re going to talk about a yoga nobody talks about but which is as close to natural as you are going to find and you are going to have to forgive me. I insist (grin)... visualize smoke beginning to curl from between Visible’s wry lips.

You could call it the, ‘shit yourself’ yoga. I tried hard to find another way to say it but nothing else comes close. It’s a fine word for that special occasion where no other word will do. I’m engaged in it at this very moment; no... not literally but it still applies. It’s a getting rid of your self sort of a thing. For the squeamish among you, I’m going to tinker with the syntax and sidewinder my way around but you remember, it means just what it says.

I guess I don’t have to tell you that we take ourselves too seriously most of the time; you being you and me being me. We defend the indefensible and we go into combat over things we don’t understand in the service of people who don’t even like us. We abuse ourselves for the entertainment of entities created to serve us. They eat our food and drink our wine and laugh at the stupidity that has blinded us to the beauty that we are. They’ve thrown us out of our own homes and now we wander an unfamiliar landscape and we haven’t got a clue. We know something’s wrong but not what it is.

In the religion of Islam they have something called ‘jihad’. As usual, it’s come to be interpreted as something other than what it is. I like to think of it as an internal cleansing where all of the demons and various bad actors are thrown out of the V.I.P. section of the inner kingdom. I think of it as a high colonic for the whole system; top to bottom and finest sheaths to grossest sheaths. It’s a purge where you genocide yourself.

Without getting into details, I want you to think about how much solid waste you process each day and how much liquid waste and how long it would take before you have accounted for your body weight. That’s fine... I’m going to go outside for a smoke and some fresh air... heh heh... that sounds funny. I like it. You let me know when it’s okay to come back in.

Alright then, so you’ve got an idea now of how long it might take to disappear the old you. Keep in mind that no one is perfect at this sort of thing so, as diligent as you might try to be, it could take longer than that. It’s okay. We’re not looking for Elijah going right up to heaven in a chariot of fire. It doesn’t matter if you take the express or the local as long as you get there. Cue Curtis Mayfield and “People get Ready.”

I know that some of you re now studying the Tarot with the B.O.T.A. so you will be familiar with the Justice card. This is the card of Libra and it rules the excretory system through the skin and the kidneys. Interestingly, this is the card of Karma and you can see the figure holding the scales and so on and so forth.

Are you catching on? Can you hear the diesels humming”? All you need is faith, so the song says...

Usually around this time someone yells, “Can I get a witness!” irony and ebony live on my keyboard in life’s greatest oxymoron. I don’t believe I said that. Can I get a witness? I think I just shit myself. You get the picture... or not. Hopefully not... Eliminate yourself... This is suicide where you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. So let us consider the possibilities of offloading our baggage. It’s a new country. It’s a young and vital thing. You can do it if you try.

Every day when you let go of yourself... say goodbye forever. Every time you eat, welcome yourself into your new home. Every time you evict a tenant from your mind, never mind. Every time you empty your heart of all the things that you can no longer bear, don’t say you don’t care, say you believe. I almost feel like a song is coming right up out of this work to greet us. That’s how real it is. That’s how certain I am and you should be too.

Each and every day you are going to rise and bathe and wash away the bathwater but baby... that’s not you. Here you come, day by day with help on the way because every time some part of what is no longer you is... laid in the grave, there is more power to save. Can I get a witness?

Just let it go and as you eat why not imagine where you will be? When we read a book we are eating the words. We consume thoughts too. We dine on them. You could say that after awhile, a party starts to go on in our heads, all kinds of things show up and they party too and that is how we got in trouble in the first place. Pay attention! Sorry... lost my focus for a moment.

I think you know what I’m saying. It is a general idea and you can finger-paint the rest in by yourselves. It’s the same way you get on that train. It’s not actually going to Jordan but you know what I mean. It’s a metaphor at five.

Of course there are other things that can be attended to but if you stay with the basics you will find that our highly trained staff have been made aware of you and are oh so willing to help you on your way. Most people don’t know that we attract a crowd with everything we do. That’s because they can’t see them. A brilliant teacher once said, (I’m paraphrasing) “If we only knew what sort of things show up every time we have sex or when we eat we would be very careful about how we do these things.”

I know, I have neglected those of you who prefer this sort of thing. You know... I prefer it too. That’s what I am really all about... something like this. I only do Smoking Mirrors so that I can get people to read here. I know it’s necessary but I don’t like it. You can see that it’s really close to one in ten according to the hit counters and even the amount of postings are about to even out. Visible Origami was always ahead and now Smoking Mirrors is just a few posts behind. I was doing Origami for awhile before this other thing came along.

I want to thank all of you for having given me so much support. I expect I would have done this anyway but it would have been awfully lonesome. Somehow we find each other. Something found me. I’m sure I was lost. How many people... I don’t know what to say. I’m going to repeat myself by putting the same song up that I just put up somewhere else but I think it fits. God Bless you one and all. Don’t falter. You will prevail.

Visible sings: The eponymous Les Visible Music Album♫ Sing it Loud ♫
'Sing it Loud' is track no. 6 of 10 on Visible's eponymous
'Les Visible' Music Album

Lyrics (pops up)

The eponymous Les Visible Music Album