Sunday, May 10, 2009

My May Metaphysical Radio Show.

Good evening my friends. I’m a little weary these days from an exhausting trip into the unknown that was disguised as familiar things. One of the reasons for staying in good physical shape is the demands that can be made upon you when you encounter the unexpected, such as having to walk a number of kilometers a number of times in the course of moving around and also carting the usual bag of items you assumed you would need for your trip and which you never do need. I think of that bag as being like the bag filled with our past words and actions which we are always carrying with us until we discover the way to set it down and walk away.

Buddha said that all life is pain caused by ignorant desire. Kierkegaard said something about suffering being at the core of the evolution of all life. I guess what this means is that pain causes us to grow and to open up or to become increasingly more shielded from the possibilities of life touching us in unpleasant ways.

I did something a couple of days ago that was a kind of a triumph for me. I displayed to myself and to others that I could extemporaneously take hold of an audience for a short time and then have the good sense to walk off the stage at a high point and not think that staying longer would make the result even more powerful. I was counter pointed by other speakers who each spoke longer that the length of an average movie. They spoke on detailed phenomena that require a certain amount of animation in the presentation to keep hold of the attention of ones audience. That’s a rare gift and it wasn’t in evidence for the most part.

What I did was very unlike what the others did though there wasn’t any conflict in our points of view, however... it’s the kind of contrast that can make for bad feeling among some and I have found... from previous events in other places that it is near impossible not to generate some bad feeling if your material is controversial.

I haven’t wanted to be on a stage in a long time. Though I never spent that much time on stages to begin with... as time has passed I have become more reluctant to do so. For reasons I won’t go into, I know that this is something I’m going to be doing more of in the future. Opportunities are coming up and I am meeting people who have a lot to do with making these kinds of events occur.

I hope you will forgive me for publishing tonight’s radio address as a Visible Origami post. I’ll go into more detail about this event at Reflections in a Petri Dish in the next few days. The truth is that I don’t have the juice right now to do all the things I should do after being away. Usually my radio shows are composed of a collection of talking points that I can expand on but for this one I will write a complete piece. This will be easier for me too.

This is the metaphysical end of what I do and I’d like to talk about the difficulties involved in talking about difficult subjects.

The event I attended was a 9/11 seminar and there were some experts on hand both from the world of science and general academia. These people are more controlled than I am and it’s the usual thing for me to wind up more controversial than other people. Because I do not know how to change what I am in this particular regard I have made it a point to stay away from public events. Most people like to stay within certain guidelines and in most cases they shy away from saying what is central to something like 9/11. It’s that eight hundred pound gorilla in the room that everyone pretends is not there.

The event took place in a pristine setting in wealthy Switzerland and you have to know something about the Swiss in order to get a better view of what happened. I’m not sure I can do that without saying things that will trouble some who hear them. This is main point of what I am trying to say but am not sure I will be able to say. The point is that the real truth always has a Rashomon-like quality to it. The people involved in any event never have the same recollection of what took place. They can’t even agree on how the mountains looked and it is a rare thing for anyone to know who they are.

The thing is that I don’t know how to talk about what I encountered because even though what I would say would be pretty accurate there is no way that I can spare people’s feelings and that is the dilemma that is on my mind this evening. How do you tell the truth in a way that can be helpful to the people you are speaking about and the people you are speaking to without causing them to instinctively run for cover because some element of what they say and do is being challenged?

Because these people knew who I was- and this was surprising to me. I didn’t realize that my work had come to the attention of people in the mainstream... they knew my position about certain issues. So I went to a certain person and I said, I know that you know what I think about such and such and that this is how what happened, happened and who was involved but... I won’t mention this tonight. The man responded with a thank you and told me that one of the things he admired about me was that I wasn’t afraid to say certain things but... we don’t say those things here. So I didn’t. What I did was to explain in a stand up comedy sort of a way that there was something I couldn’t talk about and I wanted to talk about that without talking about it. This turned out to be pretty funny and still got the job done.

There was press there and some number of cameras so everything was recorded. There was even someone there from the Italian press which surprised me. It was well attended given that it took place outside of an urban setting.

I think back on having attended this thing and a part of me wishes that I didn’t attend and am considering that I never will attend such a thing again because I see that I am unpredictable to myself and that is not such a good thing in places where you cannot speak your mind and those places are encompassing most of the known world now. Yes... I think it went well this time but there was a hairline of possibility between what I did and what I might have done and I saw again what I used to know about myself which is that once I’m in front of a microphone there is no telling what’s going to happen. Sometimes it is outrageous and that would qualify on this occasion especially when you consider that it was said to a crowd of Swiss people. This was okay. It was sort of like Elmer Gantry walking into a watchmakers convention so the humor aspect shielded the reverse pick pocketing that I was up to where instead of taking something you insert something.

When I went off the stage a lot of people followed me outside and I was surrounded by a ring of people. This I know did not sit well with others who were also present and who had a higher profile than me... much greater name recognition and certainly more money... heh heh.... As much as I might have upset certain stolid personality types... the promoters were very pleased and one thing I noted was a conversation at the end of the evening which involved people who were invited as possible financial contributors. I heard a couple of them say they would be more inclined to assist if there were more people like me and if I would come back. Later a couple of them asked me if I would return and were pretty clear about appreciating what I had to say.

There are risks to the loose canon persona but there is also a freedom that no amount of informed monotonal repetition of dry minutiae can compete with. I can get extremely wild and that’s not something you see much of in Switzerland. However... for the rest of the evening I was engaged in conversation with the younger set who attended and who didn’t want to be listening to the minutiae.

If you have some familiarity with German you can go to this website and see a general report on what took place. You will note that I am not mentioned at all and I am not surprised by that. Association with me and my controversial views is not desirable. I traveled by train to this event which involved 16 hours or so both ways. My time at the event was less than either of the train rides.

What sticks in my mind in the aftermath is how people who want to present the truth will go to great lengths to avoid the truth at the same time. There’s an old quote that a little knowledge is dangerous and what that means is that if you only have part of the picture then the part that you don’t have, or won’t admit to can be dangerous to you and others should they be traveling with your incomplete road map. Once again I wish I hadn’t gone, even though my mailbox was filled with emails upon my return by people who had heard me. It was successful in that way but unsuccessful in the sense that I know I pissed some people off. Some people want everything to be neat and orderly and the Swiss are masters at that but... you sacrifice a certain amount of important liberty as a result and you become increasingly more insulated too.

One thing I’ve seen in Switzerland is that if it begins to rain... even just a little bit... you see hundreds... sometimes thousands of umbrellas open up on the street as if it were some sort of collective celebratory response... but obviously it’s not celebration... it’s a fear of contact with timeless elements in the face of a guaranteed mortality... so what’s the payoff? I don’t know. I don’t know what the payoff is.

It’s my nature to shock people and that is why I stay away from people generally. They say they want the truth but they don’t... not really. They want an acceptable and accommodating version of the truth. The problem with this is that when they get into the ascendant as... sooner or later any real movement with a particular groundswell will... well... they turn out to be just as compromised as whatever they replaced. I am not saying that this is true in this particular case but Kierkegaard also said that boredom; boring people is also a great crime.

Whatever gets reported about the event... I was there and I know what I saw. I saw the same thing I used to see in any organization at any time anywhere and that is that they accommodate what caused the problems in the first place so that they can eventually become a new problem all of their own. The truth is uncompromising. It doesn’t take sides. The truth is not about making you feel good unless the truth makes you feel good to begin with. The truth demands that the truth be given the highest regard because... when it is not, then... it’s no longer the truth is it?

I don’t know what people expect to accomplish by only telling part of the story and avoiding the most essential aspects. This is something I don’t get and I never will and it is why I am a veritable recluse. If you invite me anywhere you had better know that I’m not going to play along. I just can’t do it and it will come out in different ways. Sometimes is going to be pretty fiery depending on how much rubbish is there to burn. Very few people like the truth. As I have said in other places... this is why Lord Shiva is never invited to weddings and the usual celebrations. What he is, is unwelcome when time and history have shown us how futile and corruptible our promises to each other are.

I genuinely liked the people I met. I am naturally inclined to like people. People are not naturally inclined to like me. I do not play to their vanities and I do not reflexively agree just because it’s the mannerly thing to do. I will never be a diplomat. I’ve always been able to grab a microphone and just go off. I don’t need a script or even a premise and if you give me a little trio of musicians then... so much the better. But I don’t play into my own vanity either. The key to knowing and telling the truth is that the first requirement is that you don’t buy into your own bullshit so I keep to myself but I’m not going to get to do that much longer... or so I am told and so it is going to be a little uneasy at every step of the way because the traditional sorts who have dominated both ends of the spectrum are not going to be the people that lead us into the next stage because the next stage is not traditional. It may become traditional over time; the very things that the founding father’s warned us against will happen to every movement no matter how noble because sooner or later Cromwell and his bureaucrats ...along with a plague of lawyers are going to show up and shut down the very voices that the movement was founded on.

Sooner or later the corruptibility’s of money and power move in on the scene and for some reason all of these part time idealists never see this; never want to see it. The truth, like the cheese... stands alone and the highways of history are littered with the failed ambitions and broken commitments of those who took it upon themselves to profit from the truth and to stand for the truth when they couldn’t even stand for themselves when the time came.

I’m a little discouraged and a great deal inspired by what I saw. I don’t think I’m ever going to be welcome in too many places and I’m not half as outrageous as Hunter Thompson and William Burroughs were. What got them cachet is that they never mentioned God nor made any pretense of spirituality. This is what got Henry Miller such an audience by writing bad pornography. I’m wondering if the real problem is that most people just don’t get the sex they need and the greater problem is that they wouldn’t know what to do if it showed up in the first place and this goes back to the spirituality thing. Unless God is your lover... no matter what body you are discovering it in you will not have the keys to unlock the body upon which your attention is being given.

And that brings me back to the most compelling feature about the event and about life itself. It you don’t have love you have nothing and if you do have love then you give it away. You discommode yourself on every occasion simply to show the beloved that not even life is worth keeping if you can give it all away on what matters the most and most people are not inclined or equipped in this direction. Most people will not discommode themselves that far. In any life... for those seeking such camaraderie, you will meet only a handful of kindred spirits and at the end of your life when they want to give you all those awards and they want you to know how they were behind you all the way well... you’ve no interest in awards or honors. It was already the greatest honor to know that there was a source for being and that you chose to find it.

For all the short time gains that I have noticed in these places, the serious disappointments outweigh them by a large extent. You find that people will tolerate you while you are there but the sooner you get out of town... the better. The structure of the civilization itself is opposed to your presence. They will let you have your say but the continuum continues as it always has.

Our true kingdom of being is not here, the same way that ‘be here now’ does not mean be here now or even be here then. We shape what is- into what we desire ...and so we kill the thing itself or rather we kill ourselves by our avoidance of what makes us immortal. Being that I am such a character in witness of that on which I speak, I will tell you. The loneliness of the road is generally too much for people in pursuit of the glory beyond. It’s always been this way and I can’t tell you why. Human nature... Nature itself; animal nature transcendent ...where it should not be ...with too much desire and too little restraint... I don’t know. I don’t know all the reasons why things don’t work out but I know what my reasons are and no matter what happens, I can take that with me... as can you.


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