24 April 2014

A change of web host is now underway for all of Visible's blogs, meaning each has now lost their custom domain names (for a little while, anyway).

The blogs remain accessible at the URLS below, so please bookmark these links:

Reflections in a Petri Dish
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Please also be aware that although all of Visible's prose will remain accessible, many internal links, image links, MP3 music links and other bits and pieces will malfunction for the duration of the move (not that anyone visits Vis' blogs for pretty pictures anyway, but it's just polite to let you know).

Thank you for bearing with us during the move!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mighty Nitrogen; Tell Me What I Want to Hear.

I do a lot of traveling on the internet. I never know where I’m going to wind up. I visit the main news sites and I visit various organs of information and disinformation. The main news sites fall into the latter category. I guess I always knew that people whose real business was selling advertising, as opposed to providing information, would lie. Their sponsors lie. Compromising your sponsor’s needs will soon leave you without a sponsor. That seems understandable if not globally helpful. The lies I see today are much greater and more cynical than the lies of the past. There’s more money involved, even if it is mostly ‘ghost money’- not real money- and the fever for acquisition and control is very highly pitched.

One of the things I notice quite often is the presence of religiously influenced minds and atheistically tuned minds. A much smaller portion is spiritually inclined and generally has gleaned the more ageless understandings from universal teachings. The first two have at each other regularly and are the source of much of the world’s troubles. Perhaps ‘source’ is an ill chosen term. Let’s call them ‘channels’ instead. The sources of good and evil in the world are more timeless and enduring than any human life. Defining good and evil is a hopeless effort. One thing can be said though, Evil is often resistance to change. It is that crystallizing process that can eventually turn you into a lump of coal.

In Astrology the planet Saturn is often seen as evil. Consider the similarities between the name Saturn and Satan. Saturn is an employee of the universal mind. It has to do with holding forms in place. Thus the ideas of limitation, constriction and confinement arise. It could be said that most people define evil as that which limits their freedom. That is why avatars and teachers of humanity are often called ‘liberators’. How could liberators free us if we weren’t confined? How could we have a world for the expression of life without forms? Are houses and bodies evil? Religious folk will tell you that the latter is true via Original Sin. Original Sin is a guilt trip collection agency, devoted to control and confinement.

Atheists come in two general categories, those who see religion as a rat’s nest of lies and hypocrisy and those who demand the right to live and do as they wish without any moral constraints or arbiters. The first group is not wrong up to a point. The second group prefers to play God rather than to discover God; the biker archetype, the libertine, the materialist and the demagogue. In the process of their press for freedom they quite often enslave their fellows. After another fashion the same could be said of the religious clerk-mind; the Cromwell headset, the Inquisitor disposition and the witch burners.

In both of these groups you can find very intelligent, very clever, very subtle minds; minds as subtle as the serpent who orchestrates it. Within the human mind there are atavistic realms. Science defines them in one way and religion in another. Both agree that many dark mysteries and dangers lie therein.

The problem with and for religious and atheistic minds is that, though they may define things perfectly according to their understanding, the jury is still out as to whether their conclusions are true. Somebody once said, “What is truth?” that was not merely a question. Another man once said, “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” The whole world and every heart were unmasked before the eyes of the first. The whole world of the time trembled before the other, commoners and rulers alike. He could strike anyone anywhere and held great sway over his followers; well, they both did.

Religious folk would have no argument with atheists if they accepted evolution as the outworking of the will of God. Atheists would have no problem with religious folk if they understood the intent of evolution. Intelligence is not the result of evolution, it is the origin of it; intelligent design. The problem with both groups is that they do not go far enough in their inquiries. To comprehend, inasmuch as it is possible, one must give up any idea of knowing. The luminous light out of which everything is formed dwells in a cloud of unknowing. For most people, the pressing business of life is their greatest concern. Appearances force it upon them and the press and acceptance of the crowd confines them but; no pain, no gain. No risk, no reward.

So it is that clever minds tell people what they want to hear. Telling people the truth compromises the agenda of appetites. It’s sort of like taking a bone from a dog. If you put a plate of honey out it will attract flies. If you put a plate of shit next to the honey all the flies will leave the shit. The objective view of anal sex is one of grotesquery which is why we are obliged to put the sheen of romance upon your beckoning ass; “Excuse me, what do you think I am?”, “Sir, we have already established that, now we’re just quibbling about the price.” So tell people what they want to hear, there’s less chance of being torn apart by the crowd. Then there’s that nagging tale of Orpheus. It do get complex.

Truth is there to be found but truth is not a whore. If you have to ask you can’t afford it. And why is it that what is priceless so often turns out to be free; except for the part of yourself you have to spend in obtaining it? They scrabble for painted turds here in this Grand Guignol. Paracelsus once proclaimed that he was going to reveal The First Matter to an assemblage of the powerful thinkers of his day. At the appointed time and place he lifted the top off of a silver salver and revealed a turd to the shock of his audience. Yet he told the truth though none could see. Everybody was used to listening to people telling them what they wanted to hear. Everybody was used to telling people what they wanted to hear. Most importantly they were doing it to present themselves as the oracle of what they did not actually know when in fact they were blocking it in the process.

In many parts of the world, people of all ages pore over ancient texts and seek literal guidelines for behavior. The Old Testament is a book of gematria. So you wind up with absurd codes and practices; a real time Canticle for Leibowitz. Jesus spoke one truth to the masses and another to his disciples. Most people never press far enough to get close enough to the truth. They only go so far as to develop enough of an argument to explain and justify their world view and their behavior in it.

You are very lucky if you are traumatized and lose all that you have. From this point you can make a start upon hot-housing the process of your personal evolution. Without such loss you are like the man who walked away shaking his head when he was told that all he had to do was give away what he had in order to possess that which he was inquiring after.

Life is long when seen across the span of lifetimes. The work of a single lifetime may serve to alter only a portion of a single characteristic, unless you put your back into it. “Lay on with a will boys!” What is certain however is that for all your high moments and occasionally greased slides into one honey-pot of a sequence or another, all you are going to do is lose here. You may lose small and you may lose big but lose you will. Losing consciously is an art form. It’s a different sensation to remove your coat as opposed to having it ripped from your back.

I expect the usual hue and cry over a single sentence here and there as the cherry pickers go about their business. I have, in fact, planted specific imagery to that end. Still, it’s not about judgments as every role will be played by all in the process of evolution. Some will be more attached to their persona, less inclined to let it go and suffer more greatly on their way to liberation; the specific and certain conclusion to the journey of every single soul. I’d pour the Balm of Gilead this moment if it were mine to do but a wiser mind has determined the course and the scenery along the way. It must be that a greater joy is contained within this schematic than any immediate solutions that I might imagine.

I would not make you uneasy and so I remind you that there are many who will tell you what you want to hear. I hope that is some comfort. It just isn’t my job.

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?"
Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Adrift in a World of Things.

Certain things that I have been talking about for a while are coming up on the screen now; wild weather formations, global instability on many levels and the exposure of terrible crimes and outrageous corrupt behavior on the part of world leaders who hold their positions due to the backing of large corporations which really run the day to day manifest world in which we live.

Despite an almost total lockdown on the truth in mainstream media; the suppression of all dissent in commercial music and art, the non-stop tsunami of advertising and triviality as entertainment, the relentless push to live in and believe in the validity of the material world as the only reality…still…there is no discounting the fact that ever larger numbers of people are beginning to realize that something is fundamentally and deeply wrong with the direction of life on this planet.

You could say it is about ‘things’. Our world is a world of ‘things’ and the raging grasping need of corporations to bleed the last available nickel from their products. It is about the way we view things. It is about the way things define us in our desire for and use of them. It is about the glamour and fascination of things to the exclusion of the deeper elements of life’s experience. Things are hollow. They have no life and, after a time, neither do you. There is a strange reality of time that comes about as time is altered by the presence of and reliance upon ‘things’. Time has sped up. There is less time. I can’t quite explain this. I just see it and I can associate the increase of the presence of things with the increased speed of the passage of time.

Things and the love of things and the profit garnered by the production of things have no inherent morality to them. It follows that crime and expedience become the processes by which business is conducted. If you don’t operate criminally and aggressively you will go out of business. You can’t compete in an honest fashion with a dishonest marketplace. It then follows that human life becomes increasingly less valued in respect of the needs of business. It follows that trivia and superficiality become the basic elements of design and production. Raising deeper issues encourages reflection and reflection often exposes the absurdity of cooperating in the destruction of one’s well being and the needs of corporations in a world of things.

Increasingly this becomes a world of lies; of lies told for expedience and justification of any and all actions that support the interests of the business of things. So it is that the media in all of its permutations tells ever greater lies with a more uninterrupted consistency. So it is that world leaders become increasingly less competent overall due to the greater focus on the needs of business to the exclusion of the needs of the people. Leaders are put into office for their ability to close their eyes; so therefore, the leaders are more and more represented by sociopaths and sycophants who look only toward their own profit as payback from the interests they serve. It’s known as a vicious cycle.

Within all of this unreality there is woven a consciousness of reality. This consciousness is far and away stronger than the world of things that it weaves through. As the world of things moves further and further away from the consciousness of reality a terrible tension occurs. One way or another the world of things will be snapped back closer to the reality upon which is depends for its existence. It is only a matter of time. The faster time is moving the more abrupt will be the snap back. See the little arrow on the map? Do you see the arrow that says, “You are here?”

In spiritual texts you will come across a principle referred to as ‘the corruption of the flesh’. It may be expressed in a variety of ways but it always means the same thing. There is a natural tendency on the part of the flesh in the world of things to more toward corruption. There is a natural inclination in the subjective mind of the flesh to incline toward a fatter, softer, more sensuous existence. After a time, all of the virtues; the inspirational effects of high art, the practice of righteousness, the drive to higher planes of understanding, the imperative to maintain balance, are all submerged by the tendencies of the flesh, inflamed by the producers of things; this perishable world.

Pressure causes heat. The deeper into materialism that you go the greater the heat you experience. This is the real interpretation of Hell. This is the land of bondage and the realm of suffering desire. It can be understood according to physics just as easily as by metaphysics to the mind so inclined to understand; horses to water and all that.

The more one moves out of the realm of materialism the less dense it becomes and the more freedom is naturally made available. Many souls trust in the wisdom and compassion of what they consider to be the divine. They may perceive it as a thinking, conscious organism keeping track of every sparrows fall. It is also a world of absolute numbers mercilessly predicting circumstance; for those inclined to see it. There are rules and laws that cannot be set aside. You either follow them or you break them. You cannot go around them. In a sense they are your laws. They are the laws of your higher destiny and the laws of your higher self. You will be in one of two relationships to it. Your suffering will increase or diminish accordingly. Hear this or not, it is absolute.

Your little world of the microcosm and your greater world of the macrocosm adhere to the same rules and the one world is reflective of the other; the Ancient of Days looks down into his reflection in the water and a six-pointed star is made out of his posture. There is a real kabala and a false kabala. There is the applied magic of the world of things and there is the revelatory magic of the liberating mind. Desire rules the one and love rules the other.

Neither I, nor those far higher than I are in a position to set aside these things. You cannot petition the divine to alter the course and destiny of particular behavior. You can apply for understanding, should you be so inclined. How much of this, what is happening now, it will take to awaken the residents I have no way of knowing. What I do know is that whatever measures are necessary to effect that awakening WILL BE carried out.

It is a hard call in this world whether one believes they can make an efficacious deal with the devil. It is a hard call to put aside ones hopes and ambitions when faced with the impossibility of maintaining their virtue upon putting on the white thigh high boots and the micro mini. The call to fortune and glory is strong. The call to wealth and power is strong. It seems so right. It seems necessary to struggle and use any means to achieve ones security regardless of the cost to others.

“Where your heart is there will be your fortune also.” Religious leaders preach in a world of things. Religions are corporations too. They talk the one thing and practice the other. It is there to see. The rules of the land are set aside for the needs of business and applied only to the individual. The drug lords and the governments walk hand in hand. The entrepreneur is imprisoned. Nothing has changed since Jesus walked and the challenge is always the same; for those so inclined, for those for whom the value of the essential thing exceeds the value of the world of things.

It isn’t going to get worse and worse because of natural forces; a vengeful God, random circumstance, or any other excuse we come up with. It is going to get worse and worse because we make it worse and worse. Whether we make it worse and worse because we are mad; or greedy, or think ourselves clever, because hate drives us or we are stupid or because we can’t see doesn’t matter. If we take a bus or a train or a plane, or if we walk we are going to get there just the same; Kansas City here I come. Maybe you feel you need this lesson, for surely you press on to its definite realization. Whatever your reasons, you are doing it.

Flotsam and Jetsam adrift in a world of things.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Perils of Climbing an Invisible Mountain.

One of the first things you notice about climbing the invisible mountain is how many people are telling you, “You can’t do it.” or “You can’t do it that way.” Never mind the fact that you are discussing an invisible mountain; they will appear from nowhere with less actual substance than the invisible mountain and they will delineate, with shapes and gestures formed out of nothing, how impossible it is for you to climb this mountain. They will appear outside of you and they will appear in your head. They will have the characteristics of ‘hit and run’ graffiti and banner advertising and there may be lights flashing and there may be drinks served.

Nothing serves to create an argument like a space in which no argument exists. As soon as peace is in operation, pundits and pedants from the far corners of the world will appear to dissect the unity and it won’t be long before politicians and salesmen and arms merchants and armies arrive along with row after row of specialists with measuring devices and clipboards. Some will appear in glorious anonymity- their pontifications to present and some few intrepid souls will arrive as members of whatever is standing in for the Royal Academy these days and they will all, after much arcane movement and conferring among one another, announce that you cannot climb the invisible mountain.

Certainly the majority of these yahoos will be immediately identifiable as manifestations of your fears and unresolved subconscious bugaboos. All will have some portion of the monkey in the mirror persona where they mimic your thoughts and movements in order to encourage or seduce you into a dance where you forget who you are and become a monkey. The clever tricks are legion and you have to keep in mind who it is that is being crushed under the stationary foot when Shiva Nataraja raises the other one in dance.

It will not matter what century you find yourself in; what the fashions and technology may be. The forces at work to convince you- dissuade you- and prohibit you from climbing the invisible mountain; even to the extent of putting an electrified fence around it and posting armed guards on the perimeter will always be around. It’s not their invisible mountain but what’s that got to do with it? It says right here on this sheet of paper that they have the right and you’d be advised to understand that and get with the program.

Some folk are going to come around with an armload of books written by some dead guy and if you don’t respond with the right amount of hushed awe that they demand as the representative of this dead guy; who may have been a yogi or a writer about yogis or a minister or some society member whose parents friends were in publishing or just some guy who kept journals; as I was saying, if you don’t respond with the proper humility to their claim that you can’t ever be as good as the dead guy, or that it’s really the dead guy's mountain or you don’t catch on to the fact that they’re really putting themselves forward as the better mountaineer then… you are going to catch some shit, make no mistake.

The shifting serpent of opposition can manifest in a million forms, each of them designed to probe for a weakness or create a doubt; convince you that you started the conversation and/or argument. The idea of opposition is created in the idea that separation can exist in reality and not merely for the purposes of illustration as our world so perfectly illustrates. In fact, no one is arguing with you, they’re arguing with themselves. It’s like the crazy guy on the streets who starts talking to you as if you were part of some conversation. That conversation has been going on for many thousands of years and it has always been crazy. It seems sane when delivered by a guy in a toga, or a $2000.00 suit- depending on your era- but that is because you bought into the power of appearances insofar as they indicate value; when value is placed on the object as opposed to the subject… which is my way of checking to see if you are paying attention and using words for my own purposes as I do so.

Why do they do this? Why should they give a shit if you climb some invisible mountain or disappear up a rope in an Indian marketplace? Well, there are many, many reasons. One reason is that there are rules in place that got put there by somebody in order to guarantee a certain uniformity of behavior on the part of the collective body of humanity as they proceed on rails between the points of birth and death. Some people get appointed to the job of enforcing these rules and a whole lot of people appointed themselves. Some people being miserable, really do love company. Some people will tell you straight off that climbing invisible mountains is bad for business; can anything be worse than that? Some will tell you it’s unpatriotic or blasphemous or whatever it is in respect of whatever they are shilling for. There are those who will resent your having said or done anything about invisible mountains without having first sought out their advice and underwriting for the whole affair. Somehow you have diminished the light they were shining upon themselves when you went and shined that light on the invisible mountain.

You could hurt yourself if you fell off that invisible mountain. You could hurt someone else. What happens if impressionable children see you doing it? It is always best not to let people know you are climbing an invisible mountain. It is better if they think you are doing something else and it’s always a good idea to have a cover story and an outfit. It doesn’t hinder your ability to climb an invisible mountain if you are wearing a name tag that indicates you are Bill, an inspector for the phone company. You can even be the guy who talks to invisible people on the street; climbing an invisible mountain at that point is no big deal.

The worst of the ‘nyah… nyah… nyah…” group are the ones who actively seek to kill your faith in your ability to climb that mountain; those who work to convince you that that mountain is not there, those who seek to engage you in argument and thereby prove their own bankrupt estate, those who seek to kill your Love and enthusiasm for the ‘only’ game in town; and there is only one game. These folk are those who failed at finding the mountain; those who could not see the mountain, those who fear the mountain and hate you for reminding them about the mountain.

All you got to remember is that it’s nobody’s business whether you climb invisible mountains or not. I don’t care what kind of a badge they show you or whose army they got positioned behind them. I don’t care how they talk or what they say. I don’t care who they quote and I especially don’t care whether they feel diminished by the fact that they can’t even climb up out of their own bullshit much less up the side of your invisible mountain.

It’s not easy climbing invisible mountains. It all goes by feel and it takes a great degree of faith to hold on to what you can’t see, especially after you get some distance into the air. You may well wonder what happens when you get to that point when you reach up and find nothing above you to grab a hold of. I’m not saying this happens. Every invisible mountain is not the same. They don’t conform to some sort of invisible standard.

Some say the last thing you catch on your way up is a hand. I believe that’s happened in a number of cases. Some say what happens is that you disappear; whether by gradations or all at once, I suppose either is possible. Some say a door opens and you step through; this might account for the testimony of those who say you disappear, because if they can’t see the mountain it’s probably likely they can’t see the door either. All I can say is that I don’t know- but that’s not likely to have any effect on whether I climb that mountain or not.

Whether one should climb that mountain or not is a personal affair; you’ll hear there is no mountain. You’ll hear you can only climb it once you have decided against climbing it. You’ll hear a thousand farts in a windstorm and be glad that the wind was there. How I see it is best summed up in an anonymous poem-

“Establish places to teach the Dharma
Knowing they are only reflections of the moon on water.
Hold Dharma activities knowing they are nothing more than flowers in the sky.
Subdue the evil army knowing it exists only in the mirror.
Seek Buddahood knowing it is empty like a dream.”

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Lasting Joy of a Simple Nature.

A friend of mine tells me it’s all about ‘intention’. He likes that word as a descriptor of all that defines a person, their motivations and their destiny. As I’ve gone along my way here I have come to see that he’s right in as far as any term can be comprehensive. Of course one might also take into consideration the source for intention and whatever shaping of character might have gone into the formation of intention. It always gets complicated before it gets simple. Simplicity for me begins in my surrender to my intuition; intuition defined is, ‘inner teaching’.

My real intentions come out of my intuition. Like everyone here I also get surface intentions from my mind and sometimes a combination of mind and emotions operating off the flash images of physical memory. When you stop smoking and you suddenly get a powerful image of smoking; that’s the physical memory I am talking about.

It is probably very widely understood that most people who go into medicine are not doing so out of a burning desire to heal; nor do people enter the law out of a burning desire to see justice done, or enter into politics to serve their constituents, or enter the priesthood because of a deep and compelling love for God.

It may be that all of these people entered into these fields with some intention of doing good but routine and the financing of a particular lifestyle usually take over on the intention front.

I’ve mentioned before that I am, what I call, a cultural voyeur. I like watching people; they fascinate me… really. I watch doctors and lawyers, politicians and clergymen. These, along with some few others fascinate me even more than most. It’s odd, or maybe not so odd, that with lawyers I nearly always get an oily sensation. I always feel a mind thinking around things, slithering, if you like; where this process is more important than the thing itself. I imagine that the qualities of a lawyer very often leak into the process of one’s private life.

Around doctors I very often get a sense of illness. I was around psychiatrists for awhile and I was struck by how often I felt dark and disturbed thoughts emanating from them. If you are at all bright and objectively reasoning in your observations, you know that doctors know very little about health. Their entire approach is wrong to begin with. Part of this is because the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical establishment and the HMO’s are all financially interactive. They depend on each other for continuing business. It is sad to say but, doctors require you to be in poor health so that they don’t run out of clients. Is this a conscious awareness and practice? Perhaps in some cases; however, let us say that the cycle of life itself is geared in this manner.

Somewhere, at some nexus in space, Coca Cola and McDonalds and the liquor companies and the medical profession and the pharmaceutical profession come together. Somewhere there are bean counting actuaries who share and compare and crunch the numbers and work to ratchet up the profit line. Rarely does objective reasoning enter into this adding and subtracting. That would defeat the intention of the whole. In other words, you have to ‘be deceived’ in order to practice deception.

There are companies whose metaphorical eyes widened and mouths smiled when they heard about New Orleans. They may have shrugged and said, “What are you gonna do?” as a kind of disclaimer which pronounces their connection to humanity and then they picked up the phone.

You often hear about corporations and how the board sits at the pleasure of the stock holders. You hear how dividends for the collective ownership of stockholders is job one. You hear a lot of things no matter where you are, unless you are in the middle of the desert or on a small ship at sea. It’s all good, whatever the company makes; whatever wastes it generates, whatever people may be harmed collaterally, whatever, whatever, because, it’s the dividends that count and they… benefit everybody; don’t they? In this way morality is determined by market forces. If you were an objectively reasoning sort of a guy/girl you’d be able to see where this ultimately leads.

Chuang Tzu has a story where he is sitting by a river bank when a minister from the court arrives. The minister says that the emperor wants to offer him a position as his advisor. Chuang Tzu asks the minister if he is aware of a certain large turtle that hangs in a great hall; its shell polished and inlaid with many gems. The minister replies in the affirmative. Next Chuang Tzu asks him where he thinks that turtle would rather be, hanging on that wall or waving its tail in the water in front of them. The minister answers that of course the turtle would rather be swimming in the river. Chuang Tzu replies, “Well, so would I, please leave me alone!” That’s a paraphrasing but it is accurate in intention.

I wonder often how it is that people rationalize to themselves what they do in order to maintain a particular lifestyle; why they would pile up riches far past the point of any possible need, trade in their wives like cars to impress people who wish them dead, screw other people as a matter of course and laugh about it with their confederates. My conscience is after me immediately if I shave points in my actions (football analogy) toward others. My conscience is Johnny on the Spot if I even think about getting around something or getting into something that I shouldn’t.

I couldn’t hold a job that I knew benefited so and so that benefited so and so that killed so and so. I couldn’t hold a job that dealt with a product I didn’t respect. I couldn’t hold a job that required me to lie. I have, by default, gravitated- in this life- through professions that were mostly free of such things; working in and/or owning restaurants, working at small time construction efforts and many things in the entertainment business and… occasionally efforts that did require me to lie and pretend and they didn’t last.

Sometimes I can close my eyes and see ranks and ranks of suited lawyers marching out of a mist, visible for some distance in passing and then marching back into a mist. Somewhere there is a factory that turns them out just like any factory turns out a product. I see doctors and politicians and clergymen also marching in ranks. In some way they all look like each other, share a common complexion and haircut. Strangely, they even get the same diseases; suffer similar mindsets at certain ages. I wonder about the layers of overlay that veil the inhabitant of the corporal product as it proceeds through destiny 139B toward sector 47A of the Resolution Chamber Quadrant.

I don’t know what the payoff is. Oh I can see what people get in a temporary way and I understand that part of the mind that convinces them that tomorrow will always come, in the spirit of “eat drink and be merry.” always leaving out the following part of, “for tomorrow we die.” or however it is actually phrased.

I can’t seem to get a handle on the payoff of most anything. I look at fame and fortune and I think some parts of that are nice as long as they remain secondary to ones real intention; as long as they are just a jacket one can put on and take off at will. Because there is nothing inherently wrong with being wealthy or possessing renown. What’s wrong are the pitfalls attendant for those in too much of a hurry to watch where they are going, or those who cannot bear the thought of losing any part of it, or those who will do anything to get it. Hey, easy come easy go.” that should always be in mind, even when it wasn’t “easy come”.

My intention is that I achieve a sense of wholeness independent of changing circumstances and appearances. My intention is that I never lose sight of simplicity, regardless of how complex the terrain may be. After all, there are certain standard tests that come automatically with any change in status and fortune. It seems to me that those who attain both success AND happiness (or at least peace of mind) are those who had the opportunity to measure and understand the relative value of things ‘before’ they got them.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Perhaps you have heard, All is not as it seems.

The phenomenal world is woven darkness spun of a web from a spiders belly and enclosing us on all sides. It’s called the Sub-Matrix. Students of Quantum Theory know some things about matrixes but, of course, no one really understands quantum math. I don’t need to know the minutiae of the composition of iron bars to understand the meaning of being in prison though; do I?

When light breaks up the confinement of certain matrixes, whether that be literally or metaphorically, it can appear to be a tragedy to those who depend on the matrix in which they reside. Those who live in the matrix are composed of light exactly like the light that is breaking up the matrix. In a way, the residents are freeing themselves, often without their knowledge, from something they don’t want to let go of. The agenda of your soul is different than the agenda of your personality.

New Orleans got wiped out. There are various schools of thought which explain why. Judgmental Luddite Christians tell us it was because of the sin. If that were the case, every city in the U.S, and everywhere else would have been wiped out too. I haven’t ever seen a scriptural rating of sins where I can tell if theft is worse than hypocrisy or if self-righteousness is worse than adultery or less so. I have heard that they are all sins. The study of words and their origins is an effort that can repay you well. For instance, the original meaning of sin from the origin of the word is interpreted as, “missing the mark”. That’s all sin is in actuality. It’s less of a defiant act of rebellion against common and spiritual laws than it is a lack of achieving what you really want.

We don’t really want to be contrary characters but we haven’t absorbed the consequences of our actions in all of their ramifications. Suffering leads to Wisdom. Suffering also leads to more suffering.

Back to that woven darkness; it’s filled with noise and it is on fire. It’s got flashing lights and gangsters and police. It’s got fashion and food and it’s got the velvet ropes and the people on each side of those ropes. It’s got the high life and the low life and the whole thing is just a dream woven out of this spider’s web. This is the realm of mortality. Everyone has given up their everlasting in order to exercise a temporary self in a world of suffering.

This darkness has degrees of density. Depending on your state of liberation in the moment you can actually see degrees of difference in people. Yes, it is in people that this density exists; the environment is only a mirror and a stage in which the exercise of the level takes place. In a manner of speaking you could say that life is just like a video game; with all those floors and levels- not to mention secret passages and game cheats.

At certain times the light out of which all darkness is woven- and which, is, in fact, composed of light as well; so in a way there is no darkness- begins to move and magnify and act in the woven darkness. Maybe the darkness has gotten too dense. Maybe the residents have gotten too involved; they are supposed to be on a journey- not an eternal sleepover- whatever the reason, the light begins to shake the darkness.

Like anything else, this has a beginning, middle and an end. One thing I can tell you is that it is happening now. One state of mind is going to look at the events and see them as a tragedy and one state of mind is going to see that it is just a process the light is going through in the woven darkness which is not really darkness really but just appears to be; then again, it does seem to be filled with light at times. These are the times when it could actually be called darkness.

This woven darkness, this dream-stuff that is the dream of God in which I write this and you read this and others do what it is they do… this goes on for a very long time. Awakening occurs within this process but is not a common feature of it. The point of a dream is to have dreamers; or should I say; without dreamers where would the dream be?

It seems surprising that there should be rules in a dream, doesn’t it? Maybe there aren’t any rules. Maybe that is just some people saying something, or maybe it’s more like guidelines rather than rules and laws. Maybe they are set up to protect you. We have a way of thinking it is there to protect everyone else. But maybe, you’re not doing certain things will eventually lead you to a place where no violations occur. Maybe the rules are all about one single law; the law of reciprocal action, the law of Karma and the process of reincarnation.

Someone once said, “Nothing is real, everything is permitted. “ Well, you can see that actually. But like so many things that someone said, that’s not all of it. No matter how much we say we can never say it all. No matter how precisely one can present an idea, it is never the idea fully. No matter how many of these I write I will never run out of things to write about and I will never cover any of it completely; in a single piece or in the whole of how ever many of these wind up getting written.

My reasons for writing these things are that it gives me an opportunity to think about them. It doesn’t cross my mind while I am writing them that other people are going to read them. I look for opportunities to focus my attention on the higher realms which are the living rooms of those whose company I seek. I don’t want to write for the New York Times or have dinner with the publisher. I don’t want to live in Hollywood or anywhere like it or be any kind of a big star who has to hang out with people that I don’t think I would really enjoy. I want to spend my time in a walled garden talking to my friends in the Devic Realm.

Now, it’s perfectly alright for people to do these things and people do these things. People do everything you can imagine and some things that you probably can’t imagine. It’s got to be worth it to you though. Most people do not consider, in an eternal sense, whether something is worth it to them. Sometimes, even when they can see the certain conclusion they manage to convince themselves that it will be different. There are people who live right in the path of hurricanes and who manage to convince themselves of a variety of things that allows for them to remain where they are.

For some reason, in my life, I was subjected to a lot of things I would rather have avoided. I do not understand why they happened, except in part. Then, ‘snap’ just like that, everything changed and has remained so and I am not subjected to things I would rather have avoided- not usually and hardly at all so that I cannot remember much that would qualify.

Where I am is going to lead to another state fairly soon. Within the context of a particular path one passes through particular country. I can say with great gratitude that I am very pleased with this path though I am not always pleased with myself. It is as if the dream has a mind of it’s own and we only get to conduct part of it; or we only get to think we conduct part of it.

But you know, with all of what I’ve been saying here, it really is a dream and like Meher Baba said you should, “Don’t worry, be happy.” And then there’s always, “merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” and so many other things you have heard and not heard. I think it may be okay to go with the flow but not to let go of the reins…ah well, dream on.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Widening Gyre and Points South.

Yeat’s poem is prophetic because it deals with eternal verities as they express themselves in the human experience. Things go out of balance because of the drive of desire to manufacture circumstances that allow us to exercise our ambitions and appetites. Look at the world around you and you can see what I mean. Of course it does little good to talk about this because comprehending it is an interference in the “I did it MY WAY.” scheme of things. People get angry about that. They will kill to protect it. Spiritual texts are full of examples by way of analogy, whether or not they happened as described originally.

Real balance occurs when your internal fire burns at a consistent level. You can get there through certain practices; if that’s where you want to go. You can get there by a life-shaking lesson. You can get there by the grace of God, although this often seems to adhere to certain laws regarding previous conduct. You can get there by aspiration but that can be a more difficult route as aspiration can perform as a bellows. Unqualified Love would necessarily need to evolve out of the passion.

We live with our smaller bodies inside a larger body. In our smaller bodies we have locations that mirror external locations in the larger body. Specific passions have large centers where they are exercised. Every city has an area where certain things go on. These days such events aren’t so localized. People do what they want wherever they are. They want to be ‘free’ you see. They’ve been told everything is okay if you don’t hurt anyone else. It’s even okay if you hurt someone else if they ask you to and you don’t do it in the park or on the sidewalk. Not much is said about whether it is okay if you hurt yourself, or whether when you hurt yourself you are hurting others.

In America there are cities where specific behavior is more generally permitted than in other places; Las Vegas comes to mind, as does New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale and San Francisco. The reason these things are permitted there is either because it set itself up for the revenue such behavior provides or because it was but specifically for that purpose. For those experiencing the high ride of a particular lifetime, these locations can provide a bewildering collection of possibilities for enjoyment of a sort. For those who are not experiencing the high ride at this time, well, they’re working their way there.

When things go out of balance, as they certainly will, due to the propensity I mentioned earlier, certain conditions begin to materialize. There is a strange myopia that attends this imbalance that militates against it being perceived. The more the imbalance expands, the greater the myopia becomes. Other reasons for events are given because, after all, we are not about to compromise our ambitions or our appetites.

I liken this condition of myopia to the progressive stages of an alcoholic’s denial. In the beginning stages of alcoholism there comes a night or an afternoon where one finds themselves doing, or having done something surprisingly out of character. It is dismissed as an anomaly. Eventually it becomes a routine occurrence and then something new, something that never happened before happens… and it too becomes routine. You can think of it as like the water swirling in a toilet bowl. At the beginning of the flush the water is at the top of the bowl and then it descends ever downward until it disappears down the drain.

All through this process the alcoholic sees forces other than the act of drinking as being responsible. If it weren’t that these things were happening the alcoholic wouldn’t even be drinking; so he tells himself and so he tells you. This can be extended into the lifestyles of those who increase their flesh barrier through food out of the fear of the vulnerability of Love. It happens in one way or another in every pattern of excess. Rationalization and justification become an art-form in the dark realms of human cunning. The Imagination is made a whore to the exercise of the appetites in the mind and following, in the body.

The simple procedure of casting out thought as it arrives in your mind can have a great benefit on ones control of insane behavior but then; where does that leave you? That’s no fun. You can think of fun as conditioned taste buds. Processed food manufacturers understand ‘conditioned taste buds’ very well. It takes about two weeks to recondition your taste buds and varying degrees of time to recondition other taste buds; but who has that kind of time?

As is usually the case with me I am talking all around something and expecting you to gather my point by walking through the landscape. Actually, I can’t do it any other way, any other way winds up looking like preaching or admonishing or… something.

This imbalance is getting very wide. It is stretching like a rubber band will and there are a lot of lessons in the physics of rubber band behavior which you can investigate on your own. One of the things that happens with imbalance is that your reflection in the mirror of nature becomes increasingly distorted; like a funhouse mirror. Events in nature and in nations are mirroring the distress of the collective mind. In politics the reaction is to attempt to exercise greater control over life and you get some of what you’ve got right now. In Nature the reaction is to throw-up. All of this is an outworking of a fundamental law in the universe which always strives for balance. Take a walk outside one night and looks at the heavens; if you can see them. That’s no so easy in a lot of places these days.

It really is something the way the hurricane took out such a large portion of America’s domestic oil production. It is very ironic when you think about the war in Iraq whose real intention was control of one of the largest oil reserves. Somebody in the life drama department has a real sense of humor.

The interesting thing is that everyone in the path of the hurricane had ample warning. Oh, rationalizations are given about how many people were too poor to leave. I do imagine I would have found a way myself. It makes me think of Nazi Germany where another hurricane formed. You could see this hurricane forming far, far off. There was much, much more time to analyze the situation but… people stayed. They stayed for all kinds of reasons, all of them having to do with material concerns aided and abetted by the fears that always attend such concerns. It is very interesting how we can now see very similar features forming but, as Frank Zappa noted, “they said it couldn’t happen here.”

The good news is that balance will be restored. The bad news is the process by which balance gets restored. Even worse news is the idea that anything that got tossed in the operation should be rebuilt to the same specifications only with more and better enhancements. It’s a kind of act of defiance like, “You can’t keep me down.”

I had a dear friend, now dead. While he was dying I stayed with him and got to watch some strange behavior. My friend was dying of AIDS and after awhile it affected his throat and his ability to swallow. He had stopped smoking- though that wasn’t a feature in his acquisition of the disease or its permutations. He had a hole cut in his throat so that he could breathe and he lost his ability to speak. He began to smoke through the hole in his throat and to insist on eating big gummy pizzas because; dammit, if he couldn’t live the way he wanted to he didn’t want to live at all. Surely he would have died anyway but that’s not the point of the example.

Today you see all sorts of explanations for everything that happens. None of these explanations address the causal root; they all address the symptoms and how to get around changing in a positive manner. I insist on my right to get drunk and I have faith that science will create a pill to neutralize the aftermath of the day after; maybe even give me control of my behavior when I’m out of control. So you might say, “It doesn’t have to be this way.” And you might say, “Unfortunately it does.”