The Epic of Man

William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_The_Remorse_of_Orestes_(1862)

The Remorse of Orestes by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Everybody doesn’t know their airplane parts or that they have one.

(Slightly modified here, this essay was written for and submitted to two science-minded magazines that are atheist in their perspective so to challenge them with evidence they do not seem to be looking at: the range of their own inner life. One did not bother to reply, but the other, Aeon Magazine, replied kindly telling me it didn’t fit them but recommended two spiritual magazines to send it to. The ironic thing is that when I submitted this essay I had an online debate with an Aeon editor in their comment section after an essay on exactly the point that most magazines only promote their worldview and generally do not include challenges to it as published features. The editor told me that they did include other points of view, although it did have a worldview to promote and wasn’t ashamed of it. Their rejection of the essay and recommendation to send it to someone who’d agree with me gives some measure of validity to my point.)[1] 

And science mingled with creation’s scene
a quantum sum
white.
Left me nauseated.
Please.
And we go outside
I hope.
And no one would hope not.
You guys don’t have goal one do you?:
Boys,
have to put ‘im out,
whatever-You-Say.

Is that it?
Just drink some Man along the way.
Where’s my scholarship?
I will speak –
I’m havin’ a dream.
Why didn’t he do it?
Did the scientific method
go there?
Not in your dreams.
How get this across:
measure all of reality
one field of explain?

Because we are having our life here in this age it’s easy to think ours is really messed up compared to past ages, but it’s always been like this, and people down through the ages have more or less always felt the inadequacies of their own age as the worst ever, barring some momentary triumph of peace and prosperity. Saying that, it does seem we are once again spiraling down into that militant intolerance of others’ ideologies that has catapulted us into ever increasing all-out war time and time again, most recently the Second World War, though at any moment you can see ideological war-fires spotting all around the globe, and not even the light of reason can help us now; it’s been eclipsed these days by its most recent replacement, the New Atheism, who’s very basis is intolerance, in this case the intolerance of ignorance, and unfortunately even a genius can’t seem to figure out how ignorant is such an intolerance. You have to have a little understanding of human nature to understand what I mean. The concept of character armor, especially our own, would be a good place to start.

While we can go on and on about what lies at the bottom of the clash in ideas – the right way to live; my divine, your divine, or (added recently) no divine, some ideal or another people think everybody should bow to –, maybe a lot of it has to do with not realizing or understanding just how much we don’t know yet about ourselves and existence, or, to put it more in the hand, just how much there is yet to discover. For this reason I’m writing down my experiences, in this piece on lucid dreaming and death, not because mine are unique to humanity or are colossal in the light of others’ experience but because I’m one of you guys (although I do try to anchor on the inside), a net surfing, movie watching, book reading modern mind indulgent of the heart, or modern heart indulgent of the mind, depending on which you put your compass in, if it’s on a Tuesday or Wednesday, but mostly because I can write about it, although I should add that for several years, while I traveled from country to country with pilgrim’s feet, in lieu of any English teaching or handyman job available, I made my way by relating my experiences, sang and danced for my supper, so they are not altogether the most usual for people to have and do give some hint of the more about ourselves we have yet to see.

To isolate your lucid dreaming from your dreaming in general, from your outer-body experiences and that whole inner-outer crowd, from your waking life and the context that it provides, from even the web of dreaming of the particular night in which a certain lucid dreams occurs, or the whole cycle of dreaming of that moon for that matter, makes for a certain artificiality and gross incompleteness of a demonstration and discussion; nonetheless I shall do so to a certain extent in order to relate my experience. That’s really the problem in discussing anything about life and the world – cutting it up in artificial bits that in the cutting often lose a great deal of the essentialities. But we have to talk about this, our lives that is, our living, our being here wherever and whatever here really is. Continually faced with such immensity anywhere we look has us telling the whole history of whatever just to say some little thing about it.  I’m bridging that now by tipping my hat to it and just getting on with the story.

Although I had many isolated lucid dreams as a child, lucidity then something that would sometimes come as a dream ended, my first pronounced lucid dreaming cycles started, and the first time I died in dreaming, when I was an undergraduate in college in my mid-twenties. I’d recently gotten out of the army and wasn’t yet attracted to the spiritual path. In fact I was an atheist. Neither was I clean in a moral sense, and I add that to show dreaming ability, or the ability to control and manipulate the dreambody, calling it that to give a better impression we have an inner being not exactly the same as the outer one, not by a long shot, does not depend on matters of morality, on how good or, for that matter, how bad you are. Although it really isn’t a moral issue as some consider it, it bears mentioning that I used no substances at that time other than dipping flavored tobacco. Especially grass inhibits the ability to remember dreams, although if you’re stoned and can go into a dream directly from the waking state, maintaining continuity of consciousness, you enhance your dream-range considerably. Because I had a great deal of the subtle kind of life-force that enables inner exploration and experience, and because I’d always even in childhood remembered and chewed on a lot of my dreams, and for other reasons less obvious to outward-faced mentality, soul reasons, I just suddenly started having a lot of lucid dreams as my adolescence came completely to a close, and I moved fully into adulthood.

Waking dreams come in cycles if you have enough of them to observe that tendency. Without any prior warning I found myself waking up in two or three dreams a night, which is something in itself, but I was as well armed with that rare almost absolute control one can have in such dreams. I didn’t seek answers to big questions, look for enlightenment, or search for God or for my soul; I had fun, being as I was still a kid for all intents and purposes even though I would not be for very much longer largely as a result of these dream experiences. The whole thing presented itself to me as the ultimate video game, total immersion, real virtual reality, something that over the years as I’ve wondered over has given me bright and dark hints of maybe the game being played with us here, some angle of explanation of the role of life in time, of being a person on this planet – we’re avatars of someone’s gaming, someone larger than time.

Only I didn’t know at the time that it wasn’t how many men or monsters I killed that mattered; it was remembering I’d somehow lost my true identity in playing the game, which doesn’t necessarily mean I have to stop playing. The soldier in me, the ex-Green Beret, had not had its fire tested in battle, and so when I awoke within a dream I willed the scenario to change into a battle, and armed with a sword or machine gun, depending on the time period I chose, I could finally be the hero I considered myself to be, although perhaps if I’d been in battle in waking life I’d have gotten myself killed so quickly I’d have been deemed more stupid than heroic. In the dream I was invincible. Nothing could harm me. Bored with that I sometimes imagined a person that fit my desire and lust to a T, and I would, uh, have sex.

It’s not easy to give this picture or show the power of which I speak; I was like a god and could will a dream scenario to appear and do there my will. What a shame I wasted that power on kid stuff. Being so young and yes innocent, ignorant of what could happen, like most young people, I had no idea what danger lies lurking in power and speed, be that of a motorbike or a dream, but a wake up call came. Unfortunately there are consequences; what we do matters, both here and in dream, although there it doesn’t matter near as much. It seems to be in the design that dreams are a proving ground for us and as such the lines of karma spun there are much more loosely woven (yes an emphatic statement, but even the hardcore reductive materialist would have to laugh at life’s ironies and coincidences:  “almost as if … no, what was I thinking? That’s impossible”).  I, however, had crossed way too many of those lines, and the consequences were such that even to this day the fear of what can happen makes me drive slower even probably than I should. Wisdom sometimes is more old than wise.

Things went on this way for about a month, and I’d go through my waking day just waiting to go back to sleep, as it had suddenly become for me the pinpoint of my life experience, as opposed to the other way around as it normally is for most. I would kill a hundred men in a slaughtering ecstasy, ravish wantonly whatever beauty I conjured up to lay down for me, and to scarf down the carnage to the last drop I learned to sink into the dream with all five of my senses. Not knowing the deep ways of dreaming, what I was in fact doing by that sinking in was leaving my own dream-range, though our personal range is always shot through with strange encounters with the world and universe at large (I don’t expect you to believe that; it becomes more self-evident the deeper you go into inner experience, the more you experiment with the creative reflex, of which dreaming is but a part), and in my dreambody going to someplace else in the multidimensional, multifaceted field of life on the inner planes. In inner exploration, where your will points your awareness, there you’ll go, in the same way under the sun where you point your feet and walk your body can’t but follow. This will be one the test, stomp, stomp.

On that fateful night I suddenly found myself standing in the darkness facing four angry men. The place was open like a park, and the men were brown-skinned, and that is all I know of the where and who. Neither had I any idea of the why and how, what had made these men so mad at me. I had no memory of anything happening beforehand, but that was not my major concern because one of the men was holding a large butcher knife and looked as though he were about to kill me with it. I moved to defend myself but couldn’t move at all. As the I’m-about-to-die alarm went off in my being’s self, despite knowing I was dreaming, which only seemed to add some perverse spice to it, I willed myself to wake up in bed, my heretofore never had failed me before failsafe. It didn’t work; I was too sunk in the dream to wake up before he stabbed me. I felt every inch of that blade slide into my heart, felt it as a sticking, stabbing pain reaching into my heart where it unmasked as death, and as my blood flowed out from the wound, I fell to my knees in disbelief and died.

Years later in Jerusalem in 1995, in my 33rd year, I would suddenly remember those four brown-skinned men stabbing me in that park-like place and be convinced it was my impending death I’d experienced, sort of like I’d been given a hands on no holds barred premonition. I was sitting alone at night on a park bench outside Jaffa Gate of the old city, having left my friends and our small camp where for the past eight days we’d been conducting a hunger strike for world peace (it’s a long story) to go off and think about our decision to remain there despite just being visited by some angry Palestinian men who told us that if we didn’t leave the park by two a.m. they’d come back and kill us. One held a knife just out of his jacket and told me, “And you, we’re gonna drag you in these bushes and fuck you first, and then kill you.”  I had hair down past my shoulders and looked quite the pretty boy.

Simply to explain let me say that earlier in the day we gave help and council to a fellow traveler, a young Scottish woman named Patricia who had been badly beaten because she refused to have sex with the manager of one of the many Palestinian-run guest houses in the old city, where she’d stayed briefly. The manager was a young man named Mohammad, and it was his gang of friends threatening to kill us. They were part of the Palestinian mafia we heard from our Israeli friends, and I think that was just the Israeli tendency to make a mountain out of a molehill when it concerned anything bad the “Arabs” did, but they were organized, and they had men at the entrances to the park watching in case police or soldiers came by. It turned out they didn’t come back that night to kill us, and rather than sit up and watch the clock we decided just to go to sleep. If we were still alive by morning things would obviously be better. It even happened that Mohammed returned a few days later and apologized and offered to help us in any way he could, upon being behooved to do so by Palestinian elders, after getting his ear tweaked, we heard later.

They’d gotten involved wanting to know why the Israeli army came in force into their part of the old city. In one of the many ironies of being a peace activist, I guided a squad of soldiers and police through the old city to rescue Patricia, who was being prevented by Mohammad’s gang from leaving the hostel she had moved to, but that is certainly not the only irony of the story. The one, however, that really got my goat was sitting on that bench the night before all that ironic adventure without a doubt in my mind I was facing my death because the events of that situation were so similar in nature to that dream. It would not be the last time I thought that dream to have been a premonition of my death, as that is certainly not the only time I’ve made people in another land mad at me, but however I may actually die, that death was a death in its own right. I not only died but went to the other side.

Man I talk to yah.
Heavyset looks happy
because he knows he’s not happy.
I need books.
John dead.
Happy to be a believer.
He loves that little light of day.
Look at this table.
Skin it down to its last science:
you don’t have an answer
you borrowed somebody’s.
Weird it’s accepted
their reality.

You might.
You know somethin’.
Might have us all
clearly
becomin’.
Go inside hurt.
If that’s your peak experience
it’s gonna drop back down to you
because y’all peak at your peak experience.

Life beckons.
Steven why are you here?
I’m not,
I’m just some cling-on.
And a host of other pajamas.
We build up the dreams of our lives
with the silver cup of time.
Use familiar things
as your heartbeats
the door glitters.

Perhaps the greatest reason such little credence is given to personal inner experience, and why there is such a strong if largely unspoken taboo against it all over the globe, and I’m not talking about adopting beliefs about it, practicing techniques to enhance it, or venerating the inner experience of some accepted figure but about Joe Blow or Jane Doe’s experiences being valuable, is because of our tendency on the one hand to take it at face value, not see it as symbolic and representative in nature, and on the other to give it more authority over us than society and even our own reason, and we know where that can lead. Especially a near-death experience, what we tend to call these things, whether you actually experience the moment of death or not, can leave you utterly convinced of the validity of not only life after death but of the absolute truth of any ideal-forms you may encounter during the experience. For many it turns their whole life around, and they become religious-minded or at least spiritually oriented. Not so with me, although it certainly became an index of experience in my life and brought my dream fun to an abrupt halt.

My skepticism could not so easily be laid to rest. Maybe if I’d gone to the gates of some rapturous heaven or burned or froze on the brink of some torturous hell, or saw Jesus or the Devil I might have been converted to a religious perspective (these figures because I grew up Christian in America, since we tend to see in such experiences the religious forms predominate in our family and/or society), although I hope I would’ve had more presence of mind than that, but I didn’t go to any place fantastic, only to my own living room, and I didn’t see any divine or demonic beings, only our years-dead family cat, a white feline more like another sibling in my childhood than a mere cat, named lamely Kittypus, but the story is not as dull as all that, not by any means.

In other writings I write about visits to and visions of the fantastic, but an inner experience such as the one I’m describing doesn’t have to contain such to be valuable, to have a considerable index of worth. When the experience is just down to earth, familiar, more of this world than any other, you’re less likely to be carried away by it and so are in a better position to interpret it and not simply take it at face value, since its representative nature is more apparent. I should add here that’s the first law of inner experience: take nothing at face value; everything you see is symbolic. I would also like to add that’s the same one to have for outer experience, but I would be too much ahead of my time. Your dreams are full of purposefully placed symbols that mean something, okay; the subconscious can be quite the wizard. You might grant it that, but I’ve built a bridge too far by saying the world and life are so filled. That would be like saying it all means something, and nobody, not even the religious-minded, would want to look out of their little world and give such credence to everything, especially to what they don’t believe in.

There on my knees watching my blood spread on the ground in front of me, I forgot about the men and their killing me, even about continuing to try and wake up in my bed, although I was still aware I was myself dreaming. I was now alone with death, and that is something it seems we each face in our own way, like the personal way we greet the ocean upon arriving at the beach regardless of how many people are splashing around. Then the whole scene vanished, and I found myself in outer space. Ahead and above me some distance I could see a doorway, just a door there in space with no building it was a part of, a normal looking wooden door but with a bright yellow light shinning out of the space between it and the door frame, all the way around, and the light beckoned so much comfort it hinted at, and there in the cold of space having just been killed I needed some comfort. I reached the door and opened it, and to my surprise, I was looking at the interior of my mom’s living room, a place I’d come of age in, but the whole room was transfigured bathed in that yellow light, and I could see that at the back of the room the light was intensely brighter, as if there was the essence of the peace and solace I felt. Kittypus came and rubbed herself against my leg, but I completely ignored her so attracted was I to the yellow light, and I really regretted that later – she was saying hi, and I understand I’m going to far again giving (other) animals an afterlife, but you can see for yourself if you don’t want to take my word for it.

The only thing I wanted to see was more of that light, and so I scrambled to enter the room to get to its source, but the door just closed on me, and I found myself awake in bed in anguish I hadn’t been able to go into that light, but in the following days it wasn’t that light that concerned me but in keeping my own light of mind on, as it seemed I opened in that experience more than the door to my living room, and the power that had heretofore been so much fun became a nightmare I couldn’t escape from. You might say I opened the floodgates of the subconscious with all that inner exploration, especially with it culminating in such a bottomed-out experience, and its tenebrous brood rushed into the light of day, and that certainly happened, but I would say it differently: I crossed the fence that hems us in and keeps us from straying off out of the ordinary, that wall of mundane that prevents us from seeing what more there might be, not only in the near-death experience but in playing the creator and destroyer as I had, in being a dream-demigod, and for my transgression I suffered the onslaught of the guardians of the threshold. It’s not that one way of seeing it is right and the other wrong; it’s just that reality will always be bigger than our interpretation of it, will always symbolize deeper than we can presently see.

The lucid dreaming cycle did not end with that near-death experience, unfortunately, and for several nights after I was plagued by dreams in which being awake within them, far from being anything even remotely entertaining, only accentuated the terror I felt, because suddenly my will had been amputated from my knowledge, and I was completely helpless. One dream will suffice as an example. It was pitch dark, and I was lucid and running from something so hideous and foul I knew that if I even turned around and looked at it I’d go mad. You can’t appreciate what I mean sitting there reading about it. I could feel its breath on my back, and my only thought was, “Wake up!  Wake up!”  Right before it grabbed me I woke up, and I was sweating and had to go to the bathroom. I lay there a moment basking in relief at having escaped being eaten. I got out of bed and opened my bedroom door, and there it was, a real monster, not something you’d see in a movie – anybody’s imagination would run from such an image. It bit into my neck and chest and began eating me right there. I felt every bite.  Screaming I woke myself up, again, and for days after I had those panic attacks you get when you suddenly haven’t the slightest idea what’s real and what’s not. The cycle ended shortly after and left my world trembling and quaking, but it stayed in place, and by the time the next cycle rolled around sometime later, I had recovered enough courage to have another go, but this time a bit more like a passenger and witness than an Almighty.

If things would have continued to take place in my own personal inner world, if they hadn’t made a crunching contact with someone else’s inner world, with the outside world as paradoxical as that might sound (it’s precisely in that paradox we make the most fundamental error in our reasoning of reality: that everything and everybody’s spaced apart existing as objects the inner life of man a freak of Nature with no connection to other objects or bearing upon reality except through material process), then I would have no call to bring my dreaming to your attention other than to show what fun you can have or trouble get into. Nothing I’ve related so far challenges the reality the science-minded propose (they’d call it being skeptical), a reality where no experience of consciousness beyond the manufacture of the brain, independent of gross material processes, is possible. I just have a very colorful and active inner life. The next dream experience I have to relate, however, would add not only another chapter to reality but a whole library. In short, it brings into view the possibility of an infinity of and unlimited range of personal existence, or at least such able to supersede the boundaries of time and space.

Of that cycle of lucidity, which occurred about a year later, after less notable cycles where I got my dream-feet under me again, I only remember one dream, but if it were the only dream out of a whole lifetime of dreaming I were to remember, it would be sufficient to convince me we don’t yet have a clue to how big we are, or can be, how much more range we as individuals have than what range we are told we have by our societies, our schools, our religions, and our sciences. It also begs the question of the distinct possibility of superior ranges of existence to ours that have such as its law of being, the ability to supersede time and space at will, but neither did this dream convince me there’s a God. I was after, however, more open the possibility, did not equate that possibility with the existence of the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, or Bigfoot (but in the strangeness of things they too might be based on some half-truth partially witnessed), since I saw that god-possibility as a whole other order and range of being capable of inhabiting all at its zenith of possible, and, unbeknownst to me, my dreambody has begun searching for it. The will on the feet thing again.

I see now I was an atheist because I had to get out of my head and heart the idea of God I’d been raised with, an anthropomorphic figure who lived in a heaven above show was confused between being a god of love and one of wrath, what the separative human ego would be like if all-knowing and all-powerful, not someone you’d feel safe with, the quintessential example of intolerance who has doomed the overwhelming majority of people he created to the worst suffering imaginable forever without end amen because he is intolerant of their different religious beliefs or lack thereof, and free from such warring ideological constraints I could explore myself inside more intimately (fear really is the mind-killer; in inner exploration it’s the big inhibitor, although to a certain extent it does provide some protection), but as I approached God again, not from the perspective of belief but from the inner experiences I was having, not to mention more and more seeing something very funny out there in the world, something that cared not to be seen but once you started seeing it you got winked at more and more by it, enough to realize it wasn’t a thing occupying a time and space as you did but something that had absolutely no constraints, something totally other but at the same time in total identification with you, whatever kind of wink you got pleasant or painful, I remained an atheist because when you take all my clothes off I’m just this little animal trying not to get hurt or killed, trying to get enough to eat and if I’m lucky have a good time, not to mention I’m a male of my species and very territorial, and whatever it was I was trying to look the other way from was just so much in my stuff and in my world I didn’t even want to think about it or what that might mean to me.

In other writings I relate what ended my atheism as well as the finding of the soul, something else that had entered the field of possibility.  More to the point here and now, however, more practical for helping us break our habit of self-destruction as a race, as a species, more needful to shake us out of our intolerance for each other and separation one from another, the experience in this dream reveals the possibility we are not separate individuals alone on the inside cut off in there from everybody else as both the religious fundamentalist mind and the New Atheist mind think (both brothers in this regard), as just about every mind thinks for that matter. Just think for a moment what it would mean if in reality we weren’t, how much change that shift in self-seeing would bring. Alright, think long and hard on it. It would correct a lot of the worst kinds of human error, help solve the paradox of being an individual in a social animal species, a little person in an overwhelming amalgamated mass, and we couldn’t help but end up respecting both because it would bring unity into the picture, not the undifferentiated unity of a group but the unity of the individual with the group and it with the individual, at first on the social horizon but in time down home to the people themselves, not the thought up idea, the moral ideal, but the biological reality, the life imperative.

I should add that in discovering and founding ourselves upon our unity it would certainly help if we accepted the help of superior ranges of existence, and inevitably we will, but that is beyond the scope of this present writing. Although it’s also beyond the range of this piece, it would be appropriate to mention that seeing the inner connection between things would also reveal our more glaring error in our endeavor to create artificial intelligence: that the robot, program or whatever could become self-aware without also becoming somehow a portion of the ray or reflection of not only ours as its creator but the rest of Being

(We’ll only create a monster,
analytical,
something technical,
no form of life,
no cords of empathy:
Nat Zero.
Open my symbol box.
Who copied this email?
The wrong peacock),

and by the way isn’t it ironic that people for the most part not even interested in the possibility of having creators themselves are busy with and sure of the possibility they can create “people”?  You’d think they’d understand that in their endeavor they’re in fact grappling with the reverse, where we come from, not to mention that the strength of this desire to be ourselves the creator, the natural way it develops as we do, should make us at least suspect it’s inherent in Being itself as it develops, and with all the dangers we see in creating AI, we might begin to understand why whoever has created us and/or our world has put such a seeming distance between us and their reality.  What a surprise it would be if in this quest, in trying to get our hands on that ray, see the source of that reflection, once we become hip to the hidden biology we’ve missed and the epic inside of creation, we finally meet our own creators, and it’s our own face we see, though profoundly larger, unbound and free – our gaming face, not playing games as we play them through pulling the strings from outside but able to put some essence of itself into its avatar and allow it to play the game, with (some) free will, witnessing the game in such a way the watching itself aids the avatar towards its goal, which may not be simply survival and the avoidance of death, a witnessing unified to a total field of avatars in ways our ‘one pole of experience’ perception cannot picture even in imagination.

Now, to relate this eye-opening dream that just set my atheist head spinning: I became aware I was dreaming and found myself inside my father, but as I listened to his thoughts I realized I was inside my grandfather. I was amazed because I was me with all my thoughts and feelings aware of all of his, feeling even his bodily sensations and able to ‘see’ out of his five senses, although his outside was more of a sidelight. It was his inner life I was in, but it stands to reason that if I would’ve willed my awareness on his five senses and his sense mind I would’ve been as he, absorbed in the outer scene. I could see what he was doing though, building a fence, what he did to make a living when he wasn’t cutting cords of firewood. He was very hot and extremely thirsty. Then like a sudden unexpected earthquake, his whole left side exploded in pain, the pain of death, and he knew it was his death because the pitch of that pain was more than life could bear (you’d have to feel it to know that), and he began to panic, names and faces running through his mind, the people he wanted to say goodbye to, but just when the pain and fear became a whirlwind that I thought would kill me too, something at the top left of his head opened, and that light I’d seen previously, though this time it had no color to it, only intense brightness, came flooding down into him ending the pain and fear, and he forgot all about his loved ones and just wanted to go into that light, and just as he began rushing up into it, I woke up in bed not happy at being left behind.

I felt that dream to signify something, the future most likely, and if I would’ve believed my gut feeling I’d have really turned some heads, but I didn’t want to look stupid if it hadn’t been a premonition of my grandfather’s death, and so, because the dream wouldn’t leave me alone, I ended up writing my father a letter (I hadn’t spoken to my grandfather in years) and simply put a P.S. to have faith in hard times, nothing definite, just enough to make my intuition shut up. About two weeks later my father called me telling me my grandfather had just died of a heart attack while building a fence, describing how he was so thirsty he’d gone to the farmhouse he was working for and asked for more water two or three times. They saw him lying on the ground not long after his last visit, at first thinking he’d passed out because of the heat but upon reaching him realized he was dead. Now, I was just a passenger in that dream, a surprised witness, and I don’t know the law of such inner-body time travel and haven’t been able to repeat it, but I really haven’t tried since other experiences came not long after that were more the kind I wanted to learn to repeat, not ones of our hidden powers but spiritual ones of our larger identity (the law of my person seems to be to see these things more than inhabit them, but I am trying), and I don’t have to have someone else experience something like this to substantiate it, to believe my own eyes – know what I mean?

They won’t get it.
Not in their books.
An update,
this is significant.
I show the East coast
y’all.
Maybe l should
travel numerals.
This company
is just so big inside.

See here.
The airport…
Where’s the ticket?
Your girlfriend,
The ability to think free.
Some freedom –
you tie your bookshelf with it.
Look, don’t worry about it.
You know what it’s about?
Twenty seconds
in the ignition.
Yep,
in there surfin’
you get in that chute
there it is.
I don’t have the option to see there any movie,
But I can land it
of time and space.

Just seconds,
big deal.
Come on,
what are we talking about?
Ed could you please pass her the book
Soul I’m Go On My Life?
Put it there God
residency
when we grow up.

Of course theirs is the education college-strung
supported on banks of you.
It’s in the wash.
It’s Canadian.
I’m sleepy.
Super,
you’re so wide
how do you expect to put space on?
How many times
did I tell yah
You’re out algebra –
look over your shoulder
I’m there.

A help isn’t it?
I thought God too slim for boundaries.
They were like spectacles
soul put.
See something:
the wrong Green Beret
(I too know that)
on the road.

That’s mathical science.
Lemmie put it this way:
World X,
I gotta give it back to yah.
Would you look at that?
The solution
right inside your head.
Turn it on
like a light bulb
the focus:
there you are
watchin’ who you are
an employee especially.
You are out of your mind.
You got me
in the Everglades.
One minute.
Above your mind
get me.

[1] In a discussion of a review of the film Life of Pi on the blog The Atheist Experience, I posted a link to this article, and I’d have to explain this story sat in my Pages for years before I’ve moved it up to a post, and that I’d posted a poem review of the said film on the aforementioned blog, what the subsequent discussion was about, how I must be taking some good drugs here in India to write a poem like that. I got laughed at when I said it came from inner voice and vision and when I asked if they had looked on the inside for God or were even aware of their dreams, where they spent at least a forth of their day. I mentioned my experience in the inner fields, and I was told it was of no account because it was anecdotal, whereupon I sent the link. I saw in my stats that day and the next 50 views of this story, the most views that I’ve gotten so far at any one time on anything I’ve posted on the net, and there were no views of this story in the weeks before or after. It doesn’t take a scientist to know the views came from that discussion in the comment section of The Atheist Experience. Not one person, however, commented, much less put a like. Why the silence? Because my story holds the weight of reality, and the only thing I could be accused of is lying or grossly exaggerating, but If I am telling the truth, just think what that would mean to men and women who are almost exclusively focused on the outer world, who do no inner exploration, who discredit consciousness as just some byproduct of your brain that is inside your physical body and does not reach into the body of others. They would feel horribly inadequate, would not be so confident in saying unequivocally there is no God.

Without a Miracle a Few Fools Salvaged Hope

Taken with a Nikon FM2 on black and white film and developed in my darkroom. It’s a body being cremated.

A Journey of a Thousand Tongues

Part 4

The psychologist Carl Jung tells the story of a patient of his, a Christian minister, that came to him for psychotherapy. In one of the first sessions, he told Jung of a dream he had where he was sitting naked in the middle of a room and rubbing shit on himself. Jung advised him against therapy because, by the man’s dream, he saw a psychosis that might be triggered by it. The man was not in any kind of crises, although he wasn’t without life difficulties, why he’d come for therapy to begin with. He was a family man, upright and responsible, although rigid and moral-minded, and there was no need to risk setting off the psychosis by the inner work the therapy would have him do. It made Jung realize not everyone should do or needs therapy, and, especially with people who were religiously devout, it was best to leave some people be. Sri Aurobindo, who became my teacher upon leaving Israel, says that such people oftentimes are following the movement of their soul in following the religion they so ardently follow, and that to be rigidly religious like that is a necessary lifetime to have as the psychic being[i] matures, and so it’s best not to try and ‘convert’ them to spirituality, that being actual personal inner experience of the soul and the divine, as opposed to religion, which is adopting beliefs and a moral attitude and doing rites, rituals and practices. But does this general rule of leaving the religious alone apply in every case? That’s the question of this story.

“I’m going to throw my Bible in the fire, and if it burns then what you say is true,” Andre said.

That was not all he said, neither the first nor last thing, but it had been at that point I turned my head around to look straight at him, congruent with the surprise of hearing someone say the impossible, and it was the flare of sudden fire in his normally tranquil eyes that showed you he defied the impossibility it wouldn’t burn, such was his faith. My first reaction was to be rather pleased with myself that I’d made him question and confront his beliefs, feeling that fine familiar rise on the swell of an ego wave: how profound I was, how important things happened around me, how this thing and that. But seeing him distraught, my fondness for this man, Andre, took the helm of my feeling and then quickly overtook my thought, where it became admiration because he could live up to his high ideals, and I could not. How refreshing it was to be around someone who was slow to anger, lived without lust, a help to everyone, a lover of the world, a friend to the worst people, and a good one to me, I rumored to be of that latter crowd.

Andre was a French Belgian self-proclaimed Catholic monk that had been roaming the Holy Land for 2 or 3 years as a vagabond pilgrim, trying to embody the principle teachings of Jesus, earning his way by his friendly and open manner and his strong back and hands that could handle heavy work. He was a year older than I, 34, and in the past few days, which seemed like ages already, we’d taken to discussing our differences in opinion regarding religion. We were both part of a small group of several people camping in tents on the Mount of Olives, near the top just below a Palestinian village, in its dump actually, which we somewhat cleared so to erect our tents. Below us and off to the left, as you walked down the mountain, was the Russian Orthodox church, and near the bottom of the little road we used was the entrance to Gethsemane. We had tentatively named ourselves The Jerusalem Peace Group, Andre having joined our group as we were leaving our previous location in a park outside of Jaffa Gate, a group that had formed around a hunger strike two of us were doing for inner and outer peace, Lars and I, where there was no real hunger nor the sincerest desire for peace, because every other day we had a milk and fruit or vegetable puree. And I must admit both Lars and I were doing it more for personal motivations than for peace, and here on this day we were going into the third week of the strike and were scheduled to stop at Easter and Passover, which occurred at the same time that year (1995), just a couple of days away.

Our other vagabond pilgrim, Zeke, a Russian Jew, Torah scholar, and Kabbalist, who I’d been having such conversations with before Andre, couldn’t camp up there with us because it was Palestinian-owned land, and Hamas was rumored to hold meetings in the village we were camped directly under. If a Jewish person came to our camp, even in disguise, the young village boys always about our camp would quickly discover them and heckle them loud enough for nearby adults to hear until they left, fearing the worst. Andre was nowhere as learned as Zeke, nor as skilled in such subtle conversations, he so young and Zeke in his 50’s, but he had a sincere faith that made up for that. He was one of those kinds of people you like just the way they are, religious fanatic though he was, and here I’d gone and messed with his engineering.

So as to dissuade him, feeling now his mental anguish more than my ego, feeling something aptly called empathy, I reminded him about that scripture that says not to tempt the Lord thy God, and with a mixture of both agitation and devotion he told me how much God loved and cared for him, and how he wouldn’t let him down. It was then I saw a danger you see befalling people that you can’t warn them about so blind they are to it coming, a danger that mixes well with the kind of faith he had equally blind, sincere or no. He believed his Bible would not burn.

It was precisely here we differed on religion. He believed whole-heartedly not only in Jesus as the only way to God but also in the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, so much so he lived homeless and without possessions, going to mass everyday and taking others (our whole group would go with him on Easter so as to appease him). At that moment in my life it was my ideal not to believe anything about God and the soul until you had experienced it personally, unconscious of my own belief system whose totality I had not experienced yet and may never, at least not in this present incarnation of my soul into the vehicle of Donny, meaning I too had to fill in the infinite gap in experience with belief. Even though you know your personal experience is inadequate to encompass the totality of things happening all at once everywhere, past, present and future, or, how I might say it, ‘the all at once’, when you’ve nonetheless had genuine firsthand experiences of God and the soul, and the person you’re discussing those things with only believes in some inflexible shadow of them, you see that person as being limitedly orthodox, however much you limit yourself by belief much like they do, and neither is the agnostic and atheist excluded from this universal limitation of relying on belief. We all use belief to fill in the gaps in the knowledge and experience that inform our ideals.

Like I said, he believed in the Catholic Church, all of it, its doctrines and practices, blindly you might say, and the only time I saw him come close to anger was when he was telling me, as he did in that conversation, as he had in previous ones, that I, a single, little person only 33 years old, could not negate hundreds of years of tradition with the wave of my hand. Who was I to do that? All the great people that had built that tradition surely knew more than I. If I’d been a little more observant, less intent on making my point, I’d have seen that his irritation resulted from the fact that our conversations were making him question that tradition, the ire his protection against doubt. You’d wonder what it was I told him that made him doubt his beliefs.

I guess you just have to be there, I mean, be physically present with me, see my face and look me in the eyes as I relate my experiences, because I’ve done that so many times on the net[ii] and hardly even gotten a nod from anyone, much less this degree of soul searching engagement I was getting from Andre. I say this because, when relating my experiences in person with another person, it’s rare that they don’t believe me and aren’t moved to the point of putting their spiritual beliefs alongside my experiences to see how they stack up. I’d have to add though that it’s not my path and never has been to be a spiritual teacher or speaker, although it’s part of it to share my story and my creative work on the net. In the past, I wore my experiences on my sleeve, or as merit badges on my chest, and I related them more to impress people than anything else, but I must say that oftentimes too it was to get a meal or a place to lay my head for the night, as I was to become a vagabond pilgrim myself a couple of years after this, for some years, in a journey that at least touched upon 5 continents, only taking a plane ride twice, once to go from South America to Europe, and once to return to India, where I remain to this day. I must say even today the ego is still involved in the telling.

Sitting there in old Jerusalem under the Moslem masonry, in a little sitting area just off the road and just inside Lion’s Gate but well past all the commotion of pilgrims getting off buses and filing to the Dome of the Rock, I had one of those moments you have when it’s almost as though you’re seeing outside of yourself watching yourself act and speak, one of those moments that somehow passes muster as one of the snapshots most viewed in an important journey in your life, or among the top ones in an especially rich cycle of time, when in the years that wane by you look over the big moments in the significant movements of your life. That it was more his big moment than mine attests to the mystery of such moments, why it is your selecting mechanism chooses this moment to throw up when you’re going over the big moments. Maybe the mechanism is not as centered on ourselves as we’d like to think, and maybe neither do we know yet what qualifies as a big moment and think of it only in terms of the greatening of ourselves or our people. This moment has always stood out in my mind when going over my time as a vagabond pilgrim in training in the Holy Land, when Andre and I were sitting there in a quiet cove under Moslem arches and debating the question of him throwing his Bible into the fire to see if it burned.

At the time, I passed his impulse off as him simply having a momentary loss of faith, and it didn’t even cross my mind he would actually test his faith like that, although I was quite surprised to hear him entertaining such an urge. In all of our conversations he’d been Peter the Rock, and he never conceded a single point, gave no indication, that I saw at the time anyway, that he was at all impressed with what I’d told him in regards to experiences of God and the soul, or what you can but give those titles to so spiritual and totally other such experiences are. I didn’t realize how fanatical he was, that he’d gone in his belief much further than the institutionalized uncritical thinking of the Christian mind– virgin birth, God needing a human sacrifice, etc. – and had crossed over into the delusional by believing his Bible wouldn’t burn, and so it wouldn’t be too long before his hands heard about it.

Andre, however, wasn’t without his vices, which were principally cigarettes and coffee, which, if you took a look at how attached he was to them, how much he needed them, showed you he was stuffing something, some stronger hunger that he was using those substances to try and pacify. Watching him play with the boys who invaded our camp from dawn to dusk, his easy, affectionate manner with them, his patience with what to most of us was simply intolerable behavior (they tore our tents down, picked up and tried to break everything that wasn’t tied down, were always trying to saw a tree down with our saw, which in the end they finally succeeded in doing, which got us kicked off the mountain immediately) you saw his color for the boys, color being desire you feel for people that only expresses itself as ‘color’, not any overt romantic or sexual word or deed. It’s the driving force behind so much of human relations and isn’t a bad thing when it simply stays as color. It’s not to be confused with lust, and, oftentimes, the person feeling it isn’t even aware any desire is present. With Andre, you got the impression he wasn’t. I would learn later, however, it wasn’t desire for boys he was denying. That desire, or color, was part of another more general desire complex he denied.

A handsome devil Andre, he had that generations of French face about him, though with a Belgium twist. He was rather tall and slender, with dark hair and eyes, the former made of soft curls kept well under control, the latter large and slumberous, though lit by purpose and conviction in his faith. Always on his head he wore a taqiyah, or a skullcap, a more general variety that didn’t look precisely like either a kufi or a kippah. He shaved regularly, and I think he did so more because he didn’t want to look either Jewish or Muslim than because he preferred to shave, because his vagabond lifestyle made it difficult to have the infrastructure to do so.

You’d think he would be a hit with the ladies, but he seemed to have no interest in women, had no color towards them in their presence, nor they to him, despite his good looks, and it was easy to just pass that off to his strict religious vows (he’d readily tell you he had taken a vow of celibacy), but something was up with him in regards to sex and that whole nine yards that added up to more than simply to a vow of celibacy.

Regardless what that added up to, and you knew like you know the feel of fresh air that there was not a nightmare thing about him, Andre was one of those people that was under a lucky star, that is, he was taken care of by thy universe. I saw that most clearly one day when we’d walked out of Damascus Gate and were walking towards New Gate, following the outer road that runs parallel to the wall of the old city. Damascus Gate was the most lively of gates, was where the market was, and we’d find ourselves just drawn to it in our wanderings in the old city. We did a lot of walking and talking, especially in the mornings, when, as had become our habit, I’d give him the shekels he needed to buy Nescafe and a pack of smokes. I had only arrived in Israel with, once I changed money, about 700 shekels, but because I was sleeping outside and basically wasn’t eating, I wasn’t spending anything. Still, I knew the strike would soon end, and our group go its separate ways, and I’d be shekelless in no time, and so I wasn’t a happy giver to Andre, and he’d picked up on that.

I always waited for him to ask, and on this morning, he was hesitant to do so, when, voila!, he swooped down and picked up a whole pack of cigarettes, unopened and undamaged, from the gutter that lined the side of the street closest to the wall. I then gave him the shekels to get a cup of coffee, without being asked, since it was obvious to me the universe at least, and maybe even God, was providing for his vices, and so maybe it wasn’t out of line for me to do so too. It’s hard to appreciate from the distance of reading this how much of a ‘thing’ that event was to us at that particular moment. It seemed divine. In any event, it’s an event I’ve recounted countless time to people to show that the divine isn’t moral-minded and will even give us our desires, harmful ones at that, if we really want them, sort of like how a parent indulges their child with way too much sugar just because it makes their kid so happy to have it. I have the feeling, however, in the case of the divine, that we’re sometimes given what’s bad for us if we insist so upon it, not so as to indulge us, but so that we get burned by it and learn to want what’s better for us instead.

Not long after that, a few days, the strike ended, and all but Lars, his sister, Zeke, and I went to the four winds. After the poem postings in the old city, Zeke and I went to Safed, which is captured in the book in progress, Between Jerusalem. After Safed, I did day labor in Tel Aviv and then Eilat, returning to Jerusalem to go to the Sinai and Cairo to post poems in those locations, which is captured in two preceding stories of “A Journey of a Thousand Tongues”, also posted on my blog here along with the first story in the series. On my last trip to Tel Aviv before leaving Israel altogether to go to India, I met Andre ‘by chance’ in the street. I’d last seen him five months before, and boy had he changed.

The first thing I noticed was he no longer wore the skullcap, but then I saw the change in his whole person, which was accented by his new look, different style of clothes, longer hair, and so on, but those things didn’t determine his persona as they had previously, or, I should say, were not what he was wearing so to determine it. There had come about in him a global change in his person. His face was more relaxed for one thing, his posture too, but looking deeply into his eyes as he grabbed both my hands and pulled me close so glad he was to see me, I saw they were no longer lit with purpose. It was obvious to me he’d left religion. After a moment of surprised greeting, he took me to where he was staying, an apartment not far from there. As he was showing me his recent drawings and paintings, which were quite good, had a spiritual behind to, he told me what had befallen him after we had parted company, I a person he most wanted to tell.

He got right to the meat of the matter and said he went to Ein Gedi to pray and fast so to put his Bible in the fire. Ein Geti, a place I visited on my way to Eilat, where I began the journal that never made it into book form, The Overthrow of I Am at the Equality of Soul, excerpts of which I relate in the story “Clambers on the Mountaintop” , found also on this blog, is an oasis and nature preserve near the Dead Sea. He said he’d initially wanted to fast for 40 days as Jesus had done in the desert before being tempted by Satan, or so the New Testament says, but, if I remember correctly, and I may not, after about 15 days he’d just gone and done it, thrown it in the fire, and then watched it burn like he was watching his life burn down.

He said he just lost it after that and wandered around Ein Gedi for a couple of weeks, having momentarily lost his mind. When I was there with the new little group I was part of, calling ourselves the dharma bums[iii], there was a young man there wandering around and guarding the dumpsters like a dragon does its treasure (but he couldn’t guard both at the same time), who was obviously a little touched in the head, and by his appearance, he’d been there awhile, and so, at least at that time, I knew such was possible there, although my group had to get special permission to sleep there even one night. I guess they just left the crazies alone. Food was not a problem because the two dumpsters at the bottom near the sea were always full of unopened tourist lunches from the buses full of tourists that visited every day. Andre spoke very fondly of those dumpsters. I imagine at some point they got locked, as the world power came in and closed a door, as it always eventually does, that opens to experience beyond the limits of what’s considered normal.

Anyway, he very slowly and quite painfully came back to himself and went to Tel Aviv, where he lived on the street for a short while, until an older gay couple, the owners of the apartment, found him and took him in. They were well off, and they could afford to take care of him. It was a nice apartment, and artwork lined the walls. They cleaned him up, bought him new clothes, and encouraged him to draw and paint and address his denied sexuality. Andre, if you haven’t figured it out, was gay.

I don’t know what happened with Andre after that, as keeping in contact back then meant having a physical address and/or a land line, the net not yet being the ticket, although Zeke had given me his email address, the first person to do that and the first time I heard of such. I left him there in the living room of that apartment his life up in the air. Where he landed I can only guess, but one thing’s certain: he began living life a gay man. If you were to accept it, and it’s being pushed with a lot of force today, he should be proud of that because being gay is as right as rain, as natural as being straight, and it’s a toss of the coin which you’ll be, has nothing to do with any kind of pathology, and it isn’t even remotely connected to pedophilia. I would point out all that’s a statement of beliefs too.

I guess I should state my opinion about being gay, although in regards to Andre, if it was in his best interests to leave his religion, I can only say it happened and so what then? Maybe he made the best of it. About being gay: I’m a person under the impression that it might be a necessary stage for someone to be actively gay, and it’s important for it not to be illegal and subject to either punishment or a social stigma, in other words shouldn’t be persecuted, but if a person is to realize God and the soul, it’s a stage that needs to end at some point, any kind of romantic and/or sexual indulgence, not because it’s morally wrong, but because you won’t have either the will or life-force necessary to find God or the soul spending those on that, so much finding those things cost your will and life-force.

I also believe my muse when it says homosexuality is a social disorder. What I call my muse is inner voice and vision, although most would call it hearing voices, which is stigmatized as a mental disorder. As I listen to it, it’s divine revelation. I’d imagine you’ve never heard hearing voices like this:

Another[iv] excerpt from The Freedom

Why strap a bomb to your chest and kill the neighborhood?
Why send your tanks to that country?
Write a poem from where the One sees us.
That’ll shake everybody up,
and you’ve brought change right.

What does it mean to bring us a full home?
Daddy cleans and he whistles.
Oh he’s talked the TV now listen kids.
You know one way’s a bad wagon.
Yeah, I needed to fill his shorts,
or graft my review into his underwear.
I have more for you kiddo,
everything you always wanted about attention,
and there it just hits the spot.
I’m gonna call you to your bank card.
Stand here eager on yourself.

Unreal a boy gives his father that ultra-politique.
When they’re in that swoon,
when base is being gone over,
what a boy could hide there.
Daddy do it daddy.
He grows up with hungry clothed.
It’ll be his reason to see evolution
he don’t just sit there with it.

There you are.
Into the sea you’ve been hollered down,
into the sea that touches your toes,
where that hurt.
This is the trail in the sea-ward.
Every father has an account with us,
however remote,
moving in the intimacies of a man.
It’s not out of the direction of his love.
It just spoils there.
Might not ever even think about it.
Might never try anything,
but a man’s nature be around his children.

No, not all are drunk,
but there is a liquor cabinet.
If he’d open his dreams he might see it.
The father that does cross lines
more often than not it’s the casual touch,
little tight pressures he holds his son.
Squeeze daddy.

This is just an occasional glance.
That’s where he tests city limits,
shows that he is the owner
of the boy’s whereabouts.
It’s his flesh.
It’s just a little squeeze
where that little boy grows,
and he finds men attractive.

When this grows up in him
he’s the opposite
from pedophile feelings.
This was not to churn his shorts.
More romance here than touch.
He wasn’t put in that strange place,
something to make him investigate further on.
His daddy is the love of his life
that time,
and he’s comfortable there.
Grows up lovin’ men.

Homosexual we’ve reported.[v]
This is generated love.
He likes its squeeze.
Follow your counts.
Get rid of a fall.
You don’t believe it,
how wrapped up he is.
His life that regard.

Now a boy wouldn’t remember
his father’s affection.
Way too young
to bring memories back.
It’s a rollin’ stone.
Maybe he likes it
being gay,
but he knows
that life has not given him
his natural fulfillment.

The first boy
don’t fair well.
He remembers the pounding serf,
was I enough to understand
they wasn’t supposed to do that.
Y’all keep your mouth shut about this.
Visit…
Oh here we go.
What does he visit?
Dad does the talking boy.

That’s interesting.
He makes me feel at home
with the arrangement in the hat.
I could go in any direction.
Maybe there’s a woman on my arm,
but I can give a man more than a kiss
and take a child into the basement.
I could, but why bother?

Our policy is your papers.
Gain a step.
Your sexual orientation arrive in the breeze?
By the way the professor was kidnapped.
Stare at your business.
I am sorry,
these are the lines that appear.

Well I was gonna take you home,
but it’s made me mad.
We’ll see what the door is.
That’s what I would do.
Now they’re shipping it off.
He didn’t recommend it.
Seven of us like that.
It’s warm and squashy.
This is your sexual identity as it’s being determined by them,
all your mothers and fathers
when you were a teddy bear.

Most people turn five.
Is that what it is?
Hands up.
You don’t remember.
All of them
(that’s true)
that would do it
with some little kid
got so much more than a tight squeeze
in their waddling years.

You would know
mommy and daddy.
One of you opened up that land.
See how it grows.

Let ‘im plug.
Draw back.
That’s the way.
You have evidence spokesperson,
and you only have intelligence monitor.
That’s all you’re gonna get.
You gave
even more.

Hey,
well alright,
givin’ it,
so much attention to sex,
some cultural peanut.
Can a teddy bear grasp that?

It would
be about getting laid
being a man.
Boys you have to understand,
what you got
is so exposed,
and their attention just goes there.
It’s like all aglow.

All boys
in my gramophone.
Pardon the little lever
not bringing girls along,
but we gather.

I’ve brought you to thah
floor place,
the wet ‘et end.
I’ve given you a vision of mud.
What’s going on in your head,
I’m going crazy?

There look at it,
a library full of knowledge.
The box is strong.
Hard to open it.
Oh the police have videos.
You can find it on the Internet
you hear about all the time,
but I’m giving you art’s vantage point,
not some liquorish of lust.

We’ve looked at this through the art lens,
and we see more than just the act.
Nature’s been uncovered.
I’ve brought something out of her
deeper than her photograph.
We’ve shown lines behind.
Every peck we practice art here.
It reveals.
We could use the revelation.

Are you all ticked off?
It might be you sittin’ there reason for their being in their homes.
We’ve got to look at this.
Dishes,
we wash dishes.
This is a cleaning rainbow.
What root of it?
The powers better
at the universe,
the ones that turn on lights.

Say we ignore them.
They are just to come back later.
That’s orange actor.
Dropped him while you were off to sea.
He’s got a big of muse.
No easy way out.
Bigger things we handle better the bigger we are,
and that’s an art show.


[i] In his yoga the psychic being is the evolving personality of the soul, what is maturing, or growing up, as one goes through their lifetimes. Grown, it would become the leader of the life.

[ii] If you want to hear the major experiences, I’d recommend the following articles: “The Epic of Man” “A Hidden Resource Guide” “Help you from the Rear View Mirror” and “What’s Bigger Than the Universe; Hang On, What’s Bigger Than Everything?”

[iii] It bears mentioning that the four of us that made up our group were on our way to Eilat to find work, taking a bus as far as Ein Geti and then dividing up into twos and hitching the rest of the way. I’d told them about the book of that name, by Jack Kerouac, and we began calling ourselves that. When we arrived in Eilat we got beds at Home Hostel, and under my bed I found a copy of The Dharma Bums, and that was the only book there, and there were no more books under anyone’s bed, or even a bookshelf in the dorm room. I’m just saying.

[iv] I made a video out of the first excerpt of this poem that you can find where the whole poem  “The Freedom” is posted.

[v] For a prose version of this theory, though also applied to other social sexual disorders, read the article “Make Peace With the World”

The Guests of Unseen Egypt

A Journey of a Thousand Tongues

part 3

Walking my dogs where I’ve been walking them for about the past 4 years, I came across a DVD in the middle of the road on my way home. It’s rural India, although it does border middle class India, and only one other time have I encountered a DVD in those dozen or so acres, a piece of one at any rate. What struck me about this DVD was it was the English film The Gods of Egypt. While it isn’t out of the odds of probability to have found it where I found it while I was waiting for word to begin this story about Egypt, what are the odds of doing so? Now I can’t get my hands on the horns of your reductionist materialism with this little example, if that’s how you bag the world, the universe, and everything, but neither do I apologize for the magic which my eyes see in the placement of that DVD.

The last entry from a travel journal written as a report to the world called “The Overthrow of I Am at the Equality of Soul” that chronicles an art action of posting poems of mine in Old Jerusalem, on the top of Mt. Sinai, and at the Great Pyramid:

The Great Pyramid, Egypt
August 1995

I am sitting in the bottom chamber of the Great Pyramid in Giza where I have paid a policeman three pounds to come down here alone and write and meditate. I am beginning to feel the power of the this place and am seeing much auric light. I will leave two poems down here, “The Overthrow of I Am” and “The Reincarnation of Adolf Hitler”.

On Thursday the 17th of August I posted the poems on Mt. Sinai. As soon as I began taping the 1st poem to the granite, a small boy began to ring the bell of the chapel. He rang it for several minutes, and for a moment or two I thought he was doing it because he saw me begin to post the poems. It turned out he was just being a boy, but, though he was acting randomly, the two events were connected. It was as though the mountain was paying attention to my action. I did not feel at all that the mountain was opposed to my movements. Quite the contrary, I felt as though I was being carried and sheltered in the lap of the mountain, and, especially after the friendly dream, I felt very much as though I was following the process of the mountain. As soon as I put up the last poem on the top, I looked down and found a nice fat joint just half smoked. I didn’t bring any grass because I felt if I was to smoke while I was up there, it would come to me, and it did, but after I finished my work there. Then, high and happy, I went down to Elijah’s Valley just below the summit and meditated for a long time. Then I explored some and placed “The Overthrow of I Am” on a two or three hundred-year-old tree, with tape so as not to harm it.

After, I went down and got my things in the hostel next to the monastery and began to walk to the village. As soon as I got out of the gate and entered the road, I met an Israeli teenager who was very much a part of the peace fast in Jerusalem. He is very, very involved in photography and took many pictures of Lars and I and our camp. Needless to say he was very surprised to see me again. It was a good thing. I needed a chronicler. He was a connecting link to the two phases of this poetic odyssey.

I cannot even begin to describe how incredible this journey is becoming. It is as though I am flowing in the very movement of the world, as at every turn there is someone to meet my needs and help me along the way. If I were to describe to you every incident there is no way you would believe me. This has gone far beyond synchronicity and has reached the level of participation. My soul, my larger real divine self, is directly participating in the movements of my surface life, and it’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever experienced.

Here at the pyramids I plan to finish this writing, but I’d much prefer it to finish itself, because it will be difficult to wrap things up.

I’ve moved to the King’s Chamber and spent a little time lying in the sarcophagus. I don’t think this was a burial chamber but a place used by the living to perhaps touch death and other places. I would very much like to spend the night here. They tell me it’s now closed for the day.

As I left the Great Pyramid I put “The Last Man on Earth” inside the sarcophagus. It seemed very fitting there. I’ve walked around all three pyramids and have stopped at some rocks between the two smaller ones where a large whirlwind captured my attention with its intensity.

This journey is far from over, but this stage of it is coming to a close. It seemed impossible when I first conceived of the idea a year ago. I had just suffered one of the worst defeats of my life, and the idea of taking my poems and my defeat to the ends of the earth at first seemed absurd. To take my weakness, pick it up, and show it to the world appeared a fool’s task. I was Don Quixote, and these places would be my windmills. But there is a strength in weakness, especially when, from constant handling, it becomes weak enough to break open. Then it spills and shows itself for what it really is, a way of becoming strong. We are taught, in our society, to hide our weakness and to be ashamed of it, and that it’s not supposed to be. I think though, it’s the very reason we’re here, and that the nature of the world can be found in the nature of our weakness, and if one of us, with a big enough weakness, one that touched every member of the human family, were to stand up unashamed and uncover their mechanism of weakness, their process of darkness, that everyone within hearing, whether they acted upon it or not, would see not only that one’s weakness but theirs as well. If large numbers of people began to see their own weakness, so much so that they were unconcerned with another’s, within a very short time the world would transform and darkness would leave the earth and not return.

                               *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

While I was writing the last paragraph an elderly man, the most distinguished looking of the ‘tourist guides’ roaming around offering their services, sort of like flies buzzing around uncovered food, found me where I was hidden among the ruined walls and leaned down and tried to tongue kiss me, although he’d first given me his hand to kiss, which I had, thinking it was some Egyptian etiquette. I was so overcome with the fact that I was writing about moral weakness—and here was a striking example— that I wasn’t the least bit offended, but I did stop him immediately, warding him off and excitedly telling him he was acting out what I was writing about. Perhaps because my refusal carried no anger or hatred, judgment or self-righteousness, or even any victimness,—although I was still able to nail his behavior on the head by calling it moral weakness, he being an elder Moslem man, and gay behavior is forbidden in mainstream Islam— he stopped throwing his surprise pass, obviously cut to the core, and he straightened himself up and apologized profusely, telling me I was “just so beautiful.” The dignified manner in which he apologized, the look of regret on his face, the pain in his eyes, still stand there in my memory mitigating what would be called sexual harassment today but wasn’t anything that grave. He seemed to be suffering from his pass much more than I, mad at himself, embarrassed in front of me, afraid before his God.

Posted on the old wall at the Jerusalem peace camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was dressed like a fruitcake, but for some reason on this creative odyssey many people, especially Moslem men, found me oddly attractive. Maybe my outlandish king-like attire somehow matched the ancient atmosphere of these places I was  posting poems at and writing my report. At any rate, why ever they did so, people rolled out the red carpet much more than they showed me the door. I had long flowing hair that came well past my shoulders and wore a wide beaded headband that had beads that sparkled when light hit them. It was Native American and featured a wolf on the forehead. My beard was long, full, and untrimmed. I wore a purple hippie hemp shirt and baggy patchwork hemp pants of different shades of purple. On my feet were of course sandals. The only thing missing was a staff. I was 33.

At 56, I groan now thinking about how I looked, but I have to admit I’ve always been half crazy. It’s actually a bit mad to be telling you now this story in light of the new morality that’s more and more occupying us the more the world goes online. I can only hope it’s not death by social media. Today, if a person is posted on Judgment.com they’re probably finished, that site wherein their moral weakness is in sight of that critical mass of people who, if they react with a fit of hatred and anger, have the power to ruin your life (not in principle all that unlike the power those little girls in Salem had all those years ago when a person accused of being a witch was put before them). Because hatred and anger are the only socially approved reactions to moral weakness, how everyone is expected to react, conditioned to I’d venture to say, reactions that are the backbone of the new morality, more black and white than ever, no one visible on that pandemic site stands a chance.

Posted on the wall at the camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Meanwhile, back in Egypt, I was a popular hit with many if not most I came into contact with, or a shock. I ended my meditation in the sarcophagus of the King’s Chamber, which I’d walked up into after meditating and writing in my report in the subterranean chamber, when two ladies came in, having been alone in the chamber until their entrance. Hearing them enter I sat up, as I’d been lying down in it unseen, whereupon one of them screamed like she’d seen a ghost, and she told me afterwards, in quite halting English, that she thought she had seen one because of the way I was dressed, like some ancient pharaoh. They were Eastern European, and there was a language barrier between us, but they understood my reason for being there when I explained it to them, more by action than by words, and they took my picture as I taped the poem inside the sarcophagus. As I was doing so 2 or 3 guards came in to tell me I wasn’t supposed to get into it, and that it was time to leave because the pyramid was closing. I reasoned that they must have a camera and had seen me laying down inside it and wondered if they saw me take a piss in the bottom chamber, but I couldn’t see any camera looking around for one. In any event, they were not rude and seemed more amused at me than anything else.

I really didn’t mean to pee inside the Great Pyramid. I meant no disrespect. I just really had to go after being so afraid on the crawling trip down into the bottom chamber. I was overjoyed that I’d been able to bribe the guard to go down there, but that joy quickly turned into fear when I saw the narrow 345 foot passageway that sloped downwards uncomfortably into the distance. It was lighted all the way down though. I had a panic and started to return to the main passageway, already making up the excuse I’d tell the guard, but I swallowed the fear and began the descent, first stooping because there wasn’t room to stand up, then crawling on all fours. Swallowing all that fear was like drinking a couple of liters of water, and I had to pee real bad, although I tried my best to hold it until I left. I explored a bit and sat down to a meditation, but there was no way I could hold it, and so I peed where the floor is uneven and strewn with crumbling debris, ignoring the idea to pee into the well that had been dug to explore possible hidden subterranean chambers, thinking that would be just too much of an insult. I apologized to the pyramid and did my business, greatly relieved, and wrote the last entry in my report, taped the two poems on the tallest things I could find there, and went back up and into the King’s Chamber, as I’ve explained, to meditate there.

Going to see the pyramids was long grooved in my life. On my 12th birthday cake was a very inexact rendition of the three pyramids at Giza, and it had taken awhile to talk my mom into having one made like that. She did not do everything I asked for that cake though, did not put “happy birthday archeologist” as I’d requested, telling me that was just too ridiculous. For the next Christmas I had gotten, among other things, what I’d asked for, two books of Peter Tompkins’, Secrets of the Great Pyramid and Mysteries of the Mexican Pyramids, two very large volumes that sat wrapped under the Christmas tree their secret identities exposed because I’d poured over them in the bookstore so many times. As it was I only read the first one all the way through, but in my journeys after Egypt I did make it to a few Mexican pyramids too.

I also read The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter and Arthur C. Mace, which I’d checked out of the school library, and the librarian refused to believe I read it in full, but I’d read the whole thing, every detail it listed of every artifact they took out of it. I had wanted to be an Egyptologist for awhile, but with the passion of an early adolescent, and that passion was focused on the Great Pyramid primarily, which had captured my imagination like the way a sports star or other celebrity did other boys my age. I still wonder over it because I’m convinced when science finally cracks its secret it will have to redefine the world, more in magical terms than material.

Today, you are billed a crackpot or New Ager if you think the Great Pyramid was used for anything other than a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu or that it’s older than 4,500 years. Flinders Petrie, an English Egyptologist who is credited with putting Egyptology on the right foot, a purely material one, is quoted as saying in regards to the function of the pyramid, “It is useless to state the real truth of the matter, as it has no effect on those who are subject to this type of hallucination.” The book Secrets of the Great Pyramid examines all the theories up to that time in regards to its function and details the history of investigating the pyramid, from the point of view that, whatever it was used for, it wasn’t used simply as a royal tomb. The book is considered a New Age classic and its author, nowadays especially, an uncritical, unscientific crackpot, though an entertaining one[1].

As a kid what seized my imagination in the book were the descriptions of Alexander the Great and Napoleon spending the night inside the pyramid and getting the daylights scared out of them, both coming out in the morning visibly shaken, but neither said what they experienced. It was reported that on his deathbed Napoleon was asked what happened in there, and he went to tell the person but then said to forget it because they would never believe him.

Good God what was it I asked myself many times when my boyish thoughts turned to the mysteries of the world, hitting in their rounds that pyramid. In the leave no stone unturned and earth uncovering nature of the net, except of course those stones and that earth in our blind spots, it’s come out that Napoleon’s chief lieutenant in Egypt is quoted as saying unequivocally that the emperor didn’t even enter the pyramid much less spend the night in it, and that Alexander the Great couldn’t have either because there was no way inside it until a way was blasted into it in A.D. 820[2]. It’s interesting to note that Napoleon didn’t just take his military into Egypt but also a small army of specialists to examine her antiquities and ancient monuments, so it stands to reason he would’ve had a keen interest in the Great Pyramid and would want to see and experience it, but maybe he didn’t, and maybe Alexander the Great didn’t either, but that wouldn’t mean there’s no mystery to discover inside, no secret the pyramid hides.

Posted on the wall at the camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s probable that, if the actual names are incorrect, people of some note did sleep in there and got scared shitless, since legend often has some basis in fact. A couple of years before visiting the Great Pyramid I did read a factual account of someone more modern spending the night inside, Dr. Paul Brunton, a traveler, mystic, spiritual seeker and teacher, and the account of his experience, chronicled in his book A Search in Secret Egypt, provides some clues as to what the pyramid was used for if you are subject to the type of hallucination that makes you refuse to believe it was just some ego-monument to a pharaoh, a tomb of ridiculous dimensions painstakingly aligned with the heavens and positioned on the earth just so.

Dr. Brunton believed Atlantis was behind the building of the Great Pyramid. For many that would be akin to saying aliens built it, what’s popular to say  nowadays, but either way, to credit anyone else but Egyptian architects and slaves, who lived at the time of the pharaoh Khufu around 2500 B.C., with the designing and building of the Great Pyramid, is considered unscientific and just downright dumb. Analogies are by nature usually inexact things, but the following one isn’t. If you lived in Medieval Europe and believed that anyone besides God was the father of Jesus you would be best to keep your belief to yourself or face the consequences. Now, I don’t know who built the pyramid, but I don’t believe regular people did, and nor do I believe it was made to be a tomb for Khufu, and, as a consequence, this story will be put on the nut side of the net, and scientific-minded mainstream-type people won’t take me seriously, and they are the gatekeepers of contemporary literature, and so stories like this one don’t get in. When it’s all said and done they might be considered the ones who wouldn’t face reality as it is and not how they wanted it to be.

There is still so much we don’t know about ourselves, still so much that we can know relegated to things to believe or not to believe in, but although we have the ability to know things we think are only matters of belief, to gain that kind of knowledge requires a hands on investigation into your consciousness that’s not even part of the program of becoming who you are and learning about your world, and no world authority, religious, scientific, or political, will encourage you to make such an inner exploration or generally even tell you it’s possible to make one. To get to that place of knowledge of what once was only belief, where you know for example there’s life after death, or that God is real, or the soul too for that matter, requires a conscious attention on your inner life far beyond what’s considered normal.

You have to have enough conscious contact with those nonmaterial things that you know them as intimately as you do the outer world and its experience, which means a great deal of contact and experience, and that takes a lot of time away from the things of the outer world, and consequently you aren’t going to appear so normal in the first place. Still, society allows this search, quest, school, whatever striving forward you want to call it, in the individual here and there, if there’s some hands on fruits from the oddity. I suspect, especially in the ancient past, in places such as Egypt for example, there was a whole class of people doing inner investigation state-sanctioned and financed, however much they were also made to investigate within set doctrinal and ideological boundaries. I’d venture to say that no one does the beginner’s mind, open ended exploration even today.

Posted on Mt. Sinai and in old Jerusalem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Brunton was a person making inner investigation, trying to be original and open ended about it, though he did start somewhere, a noteworthy and trustworthy individual among people who have made that kind of exploration, but his theory of the function of the pyramid, based on his account of spending one night in the King’s Chamber, which at the time of my visit I took as a prime example of what the pyramid was used for, has not stood the test of time in my own inner investigation. Just as I feel it wasn’t built to be a tomb, I also feel it wasn’t only or originally meant to be a place for initiation into the ancient mysteries, what Dr. Brunton concluded by his single experience. While it does fire the imagination, it’s inadequate to be used as any definitive example of what the pyramid was used for.

Things hide on my way to plain sight. Somehow the co-allusive is real allusive. That’s my muse, inner voice, speaking as though Dr. Brunton is speaking. After an out of body experience inside the King’s Chamber, his inner voice, spoken as though a high priest of ancient Egypt is speaking, which he can see in vision standing in front of him, tells him that he’s “now learned the great lesson,” which is that man has and is a soul, and the soul does not die. At the time of writing his book he saw that lesson as the main object of the ancient mysteries and it seems the greatest lesson life has to offer, but, if my muse is correct, and, as his later writings indicate, he would come to know other lessons equally great.

Be that as it may, I highly doubt the pyramid was orientated towards the discovery of spiritual truths, although in its chambers one might encounter them if one were so aligned because, as I see it, it was designed to exploit the powers of consciousness. It’s interesting to note that, although Dr. Brunton’s great lesson is about the soul, at no point in his experience does he cease from being the ego Dr. Brunton and become his soul, only becomes a pure mental being as he explains it. Although many might argue to the contrary, he doesn’t have a spiritual experience but a metaphysical one because he doesn’t experience ego loss or leave ego consciousness and enter momentarily a higher or deeper one, what in my opinion distinguishes the former experience from the latter. He doesn’t experience a change in identity, only experiences a much broader range of being Dr. Brunton.

In popular imagination ancient Egypt is associated with magic and not spiritual enlightenment, and I don’t think it has it wrong. It errs, I feel, in the kind of magic it imagines, that kind that seeks to overcome the laws of matter such as making objects appear and disappear, transmuting one physical thing into another, and other (pretend) feats associated with the common magician. It seems to me that ancient culture, or more specifically, its class of people tuned into the inner life, was into learning to manipulate consciousness. As I’ve suggested and will now explain further, it’s my opinion that the pyramid was used to enhance the powers of consciousness, powers natural to us but ones largely unknown and unused by the great majority of modern human beings, powers most would call magic they so far exceed our use of our consciousness today, powers that enable one to see and communicate at a distance beyond physical means and project the consciousness to distant locations, not only locations on the earth[3].

Victims of the quest of magic.
What that victim?
All these monsters
for cannonball.

The usage again
to put a man in space,
can you count it?

Tomorrow,
when it’s the right entity –
a soul rise.

                                       (my morning muse)

Who in reason is in their right mind? As we sit here, me writing and you reading, inter-dimensional extraterrestrial monsters smarter than us are pressing for an inner life hegemony on the earth, the real ‘child molesters’, while other aliens, also from another dimension, this one of mind, beings so far advanced in terms of consciousness we call them gods and divine beings, are both preventing that inner conquest and aiding us to advance, within their limits of course, and all this is going on right under our noses and directly affects the inner life of each and every one of us, and, consequently, the make and motion of our outer lives individually and collectively. And that’s not all, far from it, but that’s enough to bring into the picture so to get the picture we as science are missing something critically important about the world. We apply that ignorance to everything, the function of the Great Pyramid for example.

Posted in the old Jerusalem postings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After spending some hours in the pyramid grounds at night after closing, I decided not to seek permission to spend the night inside the big one. I basically chickened out, although it’s doubtful I could’ve gotten permission to do it anyway. The whole experience at the plaza, the day part and the night part, was all a bit much and on the negative side, especially after the second sexual pass I had to thwart combined with the feeling that murder was on the man’s mind and the long unlit walk out I made through an endlessly stretching graveyard in order to avoid the guards and get away fast from Mr. Grab, what happened in the night part, which I’ve yet to relate. It all backed up the overall feeling that had been creeping up on me during my short time inside the pyramid: this is not the safest of places.

Besides the lascivious men, other-worldly things crept about and could get you if you got inside stupid enough, and what I mean by stupid is at a depth you can’t handle, hands on spirit real, and you don’t have enough of a grasp on spirit to protect yourself. I had enough of a grasp to know I could really get into some serious trouble. I knew non-material beings and places are real, and I sensed that inside that pyramid was a sort of ‘manmade’ portal to other places, where one might encounter creatures from another world, although I didn’t formulate it then as specifically as I do now as a doorway, but I did know back then I could really get fucked by something really fucked up if I opened up certain doors, and so no thank you summed up my decision not to spend the night inside the Great Pyramid.

I was also still somewhat embarrassed with myself for peeing in it, knowing that meant something not so respectful, necessary though it was, but I was thankful I didn’t have to take a dump inside, which would mean something much more disrespectful, like shitting on it. You would wonder though, at what it represents in the story of redemption itself, the impetus to this creative odyssey, if you’ve read the preceding parts. I can perhaps put that as taking a piss on our sense of mystery in the world, our belief in magic, our feeling that God is real and the soul true. It would’ve been really bad if I had to take a dump.

Regardless, there at the pyramids, not yet aware of all the implications and meanings of peeing, I feared by taking a piss I might’ve offended whatever it was that met you inside it, not looking on it as something compassionate and understanding if you know what I mean, and I didn’t want to start with that handicap. I opted for doing a meditation inside one of the smaller ones at night, one where I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed and I could meditate as long as I liked, although for me they did not generate the same aura of mystery the great one did. I was going to use the meditation as a gauge to see if I wanted to try spending the night inside the big one.

A night meditation in the smaller pyramids wasn’t permitted, at least in its normal operation and as a normal guest, as the whole place had a parameter and was guarded, but it was possible if you made prior arrangements with one of the grassroots tourist guides, and I had done that with a young Moslem man slightly older than I if I remember correctly.

I had thought he’d wait until after the laser show to sneak me into the smaller pyramid because it meant climbing the side to get to the entrance, since we couldn’t just walk up to the entrance in plain sight from the front. The guide insisted we do it soon after closing, and that meant during the laser show. That meant skirting the searchlights to get to the pyramid and climbing the side in sort of a leap frog wait here and minute manner because colored searchlights swept by us every minute or so like they were searching more for escaping prisoners than providing entertainment, how I experienced it anyway, with both the thrill of escape and fear of capture. The booming recorded (English was it?) voice accompanying the searchlights, so civil, slightly excited even, did help to dispel that feeling of being an escapee, but it was a bit out of this world too under the thrill and dread of the circumstances and didn’t really help to make me feel better about being there in the first place. The guide seemed to know the routine of the lights and hence where to be when, and we got in without being detected.

I don’t remember how far we went in before he stopped and we sat down, him wanting a massage of all things at such a time and place. To him I probably looked more like a flaming fag than an ancient pharaoh, or even a fruitcake, with my long flowing locks of hair and baggy purple clothes, and he had other things in mind than just me doing a meditation. Struck by how odd it was he wanted one, but having lived the past couple of years in a hippie community where massages and hugs were as common as handshakes you took and gave, I began to rub his shoulders, but doing it with hands that did not carry emotion in them. He was a man, and I had no attraction to him in the least. My willingness to touch him he took for permission to grab my crotch, which he turned around and did, a bit forcefully, and I had to pry him off me.

Being a man back then that looked quite feminine, in a freakish sort of way, and being a Western tourist, and someone just passing through, I’d gotten my butt pinched a few times in the old city of Jerusalem by Muslim men, enough to suspect I was looked at like a woman by more men than those who pinched me. Just outside the old city, one Muslim Palestinian, accompanied by a small group of men, had threatened to rape me, as he put it, “drag me in the bushes, fuck me first, then kill me,” as I relate in the first story of this creative odyssey, “Behind the Mask Jerusalem.” Here in Egypt it seemed no different, and it made me wonder if I would’ve gotten the same treatment anywhere in the Muslim world as diverse and multi-cultured as that world is. One thing common throughout, of the societies where Islam is the dominant religion, is that access to women is restricted, and in some cases even just looking on their face or at their hair is forbidden to do in public, something debated quite a bit today. Somehow I doubt Islam would be willing to admit more prolific homosexual behavior as a result, of the casual kind, not the kind where a man identifies as being gay. The kind where one would let a penis and an anus do.

Posted on the wall at the camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telling this story 23 years after the events related, try as I might I can’t remember everything that happened inside that pyramid that night, or even which smaller pyramid I went into, only the massage and sexual pass the tourist guide threw and shortly afterwards being in a situation where I felt he wanted to kill me. I don’t remember the journey to a room of almost total darkness we ended up in, but I do distinctly remember I sat with the man near a large hole in the floor. He’d said beforehand we couldn’t use a flashlight because we might get detected, and so it took my eyes some time before I became aware we sat before a large dark hole in the floor that I could not see a bottom for. He was telling me to blindly jump in that hole and do my meditation. It was a chamber he told me. I argued with him, by this time paranoid he was trying to have me jump to my death, and I mean, under the circumstances and the huff he was in for being refused his sexual advance, it would be natural to assume you are at least in big danger. I did not make the jump, much to his disappointment, and we left the pyramid, and I don’t remember the journey out either. I just vaguely remember breaking off with the man once we got outside the pyramid, abruptly, and heading for the graveyard that bordered the plaza on the Cairo side so to get out and not the way he wanted to take me.

Once inside the graveyard I regretted my decision. In my travels I’ve slept in graveyards because they are usually quiet, clean, grassy places where you can be relatively alone. Doing that and being a mystic, I’ve had a handful of encounters with the spirits of deceased people, only one menacing. Here I had not started off on the right foot, and I was on the run from the otherworldly, and going from the pyramid plaza to a cemetery at night just did not lift me out of that worldview. It’s an old Moslem graveyard of a more modern era, and maybe some graves are a couple of hundred years old or more, but I don’t know if that’s the case. I didn’t look at gravestones. I just ploughed ahead dodging graves and statues as best I could trying to get to the end of the thing as fast as I could without outright running. After what seemed like an hour but probably was more like 20 minutes, I began to doubt there was an end to get to. Finally, there it was.

Getting back into normal civilization, in this case a greater Cairo neighborhood, did not get me out of the woods. It was late, somewhere around international closing time. I didn’t wear a watch back then because I didn’t want to be a slave to time, and I don’t now, but things have really changed since then in regards to what keeps the time on us, and I’d have to explain I don’t carry my cell phone everywhere nor reset the time every time I drop it and the battery falls out. The street was deserted, and I knew the buses would not be running too much longer, and I had no idea which one to take to get back to my hostel nor even where a bus stop was. I began walking down a street that was lined on both sides by residences stacked high one on top of another no break in-between them, looking for a bus stop. Before I got very far a man spotted me from a slight distance, the only other person on the street besides myself it was so late, and he came directly up to me, smiling a big smile. He asked if I were American, and I said yes, a bit wary of course. He was being such an excited kid about meeting an American he put me at ease. He invited me to his house to meet his family, especially his young son, who really wanted to meet an American he told me, and there I was again before an abyss being urged to jump in.

You would expect me to politely say no thank you and make a quick exit from the conversation in light of preceding events, in light of a lot of things, but at that moment I remembered Alison, if that was indeed his name (over the years it’s people’s names that escape me most), an 18-year-old boy from Amsterdam I traveled in Israel with after the peace fast and poem postings in Jerusalem. My memory involved watching him follow some men into a cave without the slightest hesitation. They had invited the both of us to see something ‘very nice, very nice” inside, not knowing enough English to say much of anything other than that. The entrance was a dark rough-hewed opening of a tunnel on the side of a small mountain where there was a mikveh fed by a spring issuing from it. I did not know how far into the mountain the tunnel went or where it went. I did not know these rough looking Israeli men. I had 700 shekels in my pocket I’d spent weeks working for doing daily labor in Tel Aviv. I was also very stoned on some strong skunk the men had smoked with us, and I was very paranoid.

We had been picked up by one of the men while hitchhiking to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. In the car the man turned to us in the backseat and asked, more in sign language than with words, if we wanted to smoke some pot. We really did look the part, and we really did want to get high. Yes, yes, yes was our excited answer. We waited and waited for him to spark up, but he didn’t. I got a little edgy when he pulled off the highway and onto a dirt road, but we came shortly to an abandoned village and parked, and since there were people milling and sitting about, not a lot but enough to know they weren’t all related, I relaxed. He took us to a spot under the trees where his friends were waiting. They had a large vicious-looking dog tied to one of the trees. They did not appear, how would you say?, refined men. They got us high and urged us to come with them to the mikveh, obviously wanting to show us something. Whether or not it was an idea that popped into their minds as result of getting high, or it was a preplanned maneuver take us somewhere so to knock us over the heads so to take our money, I could not tell. Stoned and under the influence of pot paranoia, I was leaning towards the latter. However much a peace pipe it’s billed to be, pot doesn’t oftentimes give you such a friendly feeling. When I saw it was a cave’s mouth they took us to, I was convinced they meant us no good.

They stood a minute or so outside the entrance to the tunnel motioning us to follow and repeating over and over, “very nice.” Obviously they knew how it looked. They went in, and I couldn’t believe Alison just followed them inside. Well, actually, I could believe it. In Tel Aviv he had succumbed to a temporary malady affecting especially adventure travelers: going off the deep end in the absence of any real social structure. He’d stopped saying more than a few words at a time, stopped bathing and changing clothes. His hair was a mass of mad curls and sand. I had taken him under my wing and was making sure he ate and didn’t come to stink too much. I was also watching out for him because he was wide open to anything and anybody. I tried to stop him from going inside the tunnel, but he ignored me completely. I danced on one foot then the other for a few seconds, and then I followed him inside, sure I’d meet a knock over the head.

You had to slightly stoop to walk through it, and it went in straight and narrow some 10 meters or so directly into the mountain. It came out into a large roughly oval shaped room aligned top, bottom, and sides with shining crystals. The ankle depth water flowing around about gave the place a magic feel, what with all the dancing of the light reflecting the crystals in a darkened cavern-like space. The men were obviously proud to show us this, and greatly pleased to share it, and they took the kind of pleasure that gets the biggest kick out of you feeling it too, sharing the experience with you, as they were as excited about our pleasure as theirs. They did not want a single thing in return except to share that with us, and we were complete strangers to them from a different land and language. As I see it now they were very refined men, and they were kind.

The experience, happening just weeks before coming to Cairo, had been a lesson for me that sometimes you just go with someone no matter what it looks like because it may have something for you you’ll both greatly enjoy and highly need, like it’s something from the divine or something setup-wise so good it is to you. Maybe I missed a great meditation not applying that lesson to jumping in that hole inside the pyramid, but that was just too much of a test of how much I will trust. Here with this friendly man, it was easier. So, remembering Alison, I politely accepted the man’s invitation to his house and followed him down the street and onto a side street and up flights of stairs to a small apartment full of the warmth of a smiling family wanting to meet an American. With him I smoked a hookah (tobacco) for the first time, and tasted again Arab hospitality.

After a short visit, where he made sure I was refreshed and ready to travel on, he took me to the bus stop and waited there until the correctly numbered bus came, and he put me on it and waved goodbye. I think it was the very last bus of the night, and I returned to my hostel feeling much better. The following day I went to the Museum of Cairo. The ticket taker let me in for free, I think just for being different. That was good because at that moment 10 pounds was a lot of money to me. Inside the museum was like touching a circle together, as I saw firsthand many of the artifacts I’d read about when I was 12. And on those  higher notes of hospitality and a 12-year-old’s wonder, I left Egypt on the bus for Israel, and a week later I was in India.

Posted on the wall at the camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time has killed the sense I had then that I was actually posting good poetry. I’m embarrassed to have thought that. It’s in the over simplified language of a nursery rhyme, but it’s meaning is quite dense, too dense in meaning and too simplistic in form to call good poetry, but maybe with the very short and to the point attention span of the net, and it’s love of simple shiny device, it might be appreciated at least as poetry at its most puerile, as doggerel poetry. The ideas and ideals the poems embody, however, aren’t infantile, and they might even be appreciated as high ideas and higher ideals that do us good to read, and, despite everything, net readers also like a good read. I wrote these poems and similar ones before I discovered my own muse. After years of developing that inner hearing discovery, I’ve had to throw out the idea that I have ever written or ever will write good poetry. I still have the same flaw of cramming deep ideas into shallow language, in this case conversational English with a twist, but now it might work a better and more lasting poetic spell because it’s how it’s meant to be, what comes naturally, not what I make up to try and sound poetic.

As I relate in the first story, the one set in Jerusalem, I began this creative odyssey as a result of tripping over my penis in a small community where I had come to some measure of prominence for grassroots social work and community level dreamwork. The journey of posting the poems and writing the report was something I did for that community more than for the world at large. I sought redemption, and I saw myself as doing penance for my wrong, and it didn’t escape my notice, nor should it yours, that often along the way I encountered situations that reminded me of my wrong, made me face it from the opposite direction, not as the wrongdoing, but either trying to protect myself or someone else from being sexually violated or being a victim myself, as defined by the new morality at any rate, but none of what I encountered as unwanted sexual advances, even the death threat one related in the Jerusalem story, caused the degree of trauma that would make me a victim in the sense of what that word implies, that someone messed you up. It seemed to me, and still does, that embarking on that odyssey involved surrendering to the powers that preside over such journeys of penance and redemption, divine powers as I encounter them and as they operate, a willingness to sacrifice even my life if necessary, and those powers took on my case and had me go through the lessons and hardships I needed so to give back to my community what I took from it: it’s faith in itself, it’s willingness to trust and believe, it’s dare to hope, in short, it’s innocence.

I made the mistake of only communicating with a single person from the community, and only with him for the Jerusalem part of it. I figured he was the best person for the job. He had helped me get out of town so I wouldn’t be beaten up, escorted me to the bus. He was centrally located at the only bookstore and was a dedicated 60’s style community activist in a place where that still fit. It happened he lost my correspondence and told no one about it nor about the journey of redemption. I had especially wanted it read to whom it most concerned, the person I tripped on, but he didn’t read or give it to anybody, just left it among all his papers under the counter until it was lost, what he said upon my short return some two years after I’d left. He did say it made him cry it was so honest and heartfelt, but he stopped communicating with me after that brief visit, and so you have to wonder if it was all that ‘strike the cords of sympathy’, ‘I hear you guy” as he said it was. At any rate, I’m telling the story again 23 years later, though this Egyptian part of it I’ve never written down until now. I’d like to believe putting it on the world wide web will make it easier to identify. I can only hope it’s not like believing in Santa Claus.

Posted on the wall at the camp

The greatest fact of our material existence we are all but blind to. We don’t even have a practical language for it it’s so unseen, and yet we live in an ocean of one another, are so into each other’s stuff it’s not even funny, inside and out, cannot even tell the difference between ourselves and others sometimes we so live and breathe one another. Inclusive terms and words such as civilization, society, culture, humanity, the human race or species, etc. group us together as separate individuals within the larger group, but they don’t give the hands on idea the group is a holistic entity that each individual is an integral part of, imply no sense of intrinsic oneness or underlying unity, no notion of a shared common identity. I say the greatest fact of our material existence because this common shared identity does not stop with just other humans but includes all things, God even, but in the material field, in the world, it’s other human beings that are the most immediate to our experience in terms of the dos and don’ts of our daily lives, the think and act feel and be of our mutual existence, inside and out, where it is we begin seeing the underlying unity, right here at our own house in human unity. The moment we got our hands on that, as my muse puts it, even a tree would not sink from hope.

We do have a hands on sense of a shared identity, but more in negative terms than positive, in ways that bring yet more division and polarization within humanity than unity, such as the outrage we feel when someone has violated someone else, the sense that now they have a debt to pay back to everyone and not just the victim, or the hate or mistrust we feel for other groups in humanity because we so completely identify with our own, be that a clan, ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, sexuality, religion, political party or particular ideology, or even a friendship circle. The results of this negative sense of human unity can most clearly be seen in the behavior of a mob intent on hanging someone, which happens every day on the net, or an individual who’s strapped a bomb to their chest or put a gun or knife in their hand or murder on a steering wheel hell bent on killing everyone not in their group, which happens every day on the earth. We literally can’t see the forest for the trees, and at just about at every turn, we throw out the baby with the bathwater, as a point of pride in most cases.

Between the time I posted the poems and now the Internet has intervened, what I did not foresee, what has made my journey of redemption basically null and void since the net has so amplified our negative sense of a common identity, to the nth degree. It’s polarizing us in ways we would not have thought possible before its advent, and it’s creating a new morality, one even more black and white than the old one. What was once frowned upon before the net is now intolerable, but, if you did it when it generated only a frown, you’re held accountable for it now when there’s zero tolerance for it, which means you’re ruined. The gravity put on speech and act, the dead seriousness given to the least little gaff or moral blunder, is making the human condition more and more illegal. Nowhere is this more apparent than in regards to sex, what I’ve argued elsewhere is the heart of our morality, why it’s centerfold on the net. Today any unwanted sexual advance on any person of any age is being reduced to rape such is the gravity we give it. God help you if you’ve fondled a child.

I sit sometimes so surprised at all the smart people, journalists, politicians, professors, scientists, doctors, religious leaders, and the like, even artists, who sit at their computers and overreact no differently than the average Joe or Jane. The Internet has put a microscope on us, and being the hypocritical moral-minded creatures that we are, we’re focusing in on the dirt. Although the net has amplified it, we are not looking at anything that hasn’t been in humanity since the beginning of history. Seeing it up so close and in such ugly detail, our first reaction is to stop it. ‘Not one more time!’ rings the hastag.

Our reaction is not unwarranted or uncalled for, because beneath that dirt hides so much pain and suffering, for all parties involved, victims and victimizers alike. It’s just that it’s self-righteous, hypocritical, and blind, is not a reaction based on true values and real identities, isn’t founded upon the underlying reality of unity but on the belief of the separate individual. Get that guy! It’s the way we have always dealt with wrongdoing: react, accuse, and punish. If there’s one thing the net should teach us is that the way we try and stop it only adds fuel to the fire, however many bad actors are taken out of the picture. You just have so many rising up to take their places.

Overcome the prejudice of seeing the bad guy.
This is a non-judgment veggie.
It wasn’t the world over.
It was right in front of you.

                                                  (my muse)

Imagine a world where every person put humanity and the world where people now put their family, nation, race, gender, sexuality, religion, or whatever have you. It’s the global identity being bounced around here and there, but no one in any position of power is taking it seriously. What gets the press are the hundred and one problems that result from not having such an inclusive identity. It would be where, instead of being told and taught from birth onwards that you’re first a Jew, an American, Chinese, Russian, white, black, a Moslem, a Christian, a Hindu, a man or woman for that matter, you’re taught you are the world first and whatever else second, and just like you can still be an individual within your subgroup, you can still be one with all the trimmings in the original main group. You might can see how many problems get solved if everyone on earth would look at the world and humanity in that way.

In practical terms, where we really get our hands on the thing, that would mean each and every human being is as intrinsically important as any other, regardless of their position in society, not the same in the sense as being the same or having the same abilities, capacities, development, or needs, but as important as anybody else, the serf as important as the king, the poor as the rich, the woman as the man, the adult as the child, the violator as the victim, and on and on, which is what the higher ideal expressed in such sayings as all men are created equal and love thy neighbor as thyself is getting at, oneness. It’s not ‘there I go but by the grace of God’ when looking on someone less fortunate than yourself, but there I go[4].

In such a personal set of circumstances, not just feeling empathy for all but a living sense of a shared identity, you’re not going to just walk away and not help someone, whoever they are. You also wouldn’t get offended by their mess, if they’ve made one, and with that non-judgmental understanding attitude be in a better position to help convince them they need to clean it up and let you help them do that. When you apply this attitude to criminal behavior, sexual or otherwise, you have what’s been missing in the formula crime and punishment, what would make it more equal to stopping crime.

It’s really common sense if you look at it. Not knowing where it comes from because we are all but unconscious of the intrinsic oneness, we have the expectation that people should treat others with respect, be empathetic, not look on women for example as objects of sex, not take advantage of the innocence of children, and so on, all a part of the general human-wide expectation that you should be good to others and not bad. We believe it’s some code we adopt and follow at the same time we feel someone should just naturally assume this attitude towards others, in other words, have it innate. People who do not have empathy for others, disrespect and harm others, we look at as more animal and less  human, call them monsters, predators, and what have you. We are outraged at their behavior, hate them, disrespect them, and have no empathy for them. We just want them to pay for what they have done. We never ask ourselves how can we expect them to have empathy for others, the kind that you feel for everyone that keeps you from harming anybody, the kind that makes you feel remorse if you have, when we have none for them, and they’re somebody. Is the violator the only one here acting like an animal? Isn’t it supposed to be a preexisting empathy for all?

Posted on the wall at the camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We come to my redemption. I’ve kind of let that go for the most part because I have to face the facts, but, like I still write poetry although I may not be much of a poet, am even writing an epic poem that I’m unlikely to finish or is even likely to be an epic, I’m still writing my redemption. And I do so knowing that in today’s morally indignant world it’s more likely to bring me ruin than redemption if the story were to get out. It’s gone beyond that hippie community. I’m half mad, like I said, to tell such stories today.

I can take comfort in the fact there seems to be a moratorium on my web work, due either to it being too low in quality to attract any attention, or for the opposite reason, and it’s just over everyone’s head. I’ve posted some pretty controversial stuff over the years, the kind that explodes so easily on the net, but in my case nothing detonates. I am actually thankful for this, and I hope it stays this way.

I do believe in miracles though, and anything is possible in this worldwide movie we are all starring in unawares. If I’m able to do anything at all with my net footprint, it’s give some sense that the world goes deeper than we even dare to hope. I’m not talking grave here, about heavens and hells, gods and devils, but about who we really are, each one of us, outside of the movie. It’s the greatest fact ever. We are not our name. We are not what happens to us wearing that name. We are not even what we do. We are more than the world, go higher than heaven, and greater than the universe, are actually actors upon a stage, avatars of a gamer, or, if you like, do live in a computer simulation, all apt symbols for the unknown we are using the known to figure, and if we can but get some sense of this, we wouldn’t take ourselves so seriously, would be able to take what comes much better, be much more resilient, not so prone to suffer strong and lasting after effects when something happens to us shockingly real. In this world something like that eventually does[5].

What the fuck?
Leave ‘im alone.
That means not gonna hunt for you.
Thanks, real nice of ya.
Questions and Answers
hefty in your conversation.


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  1. https://www.nytimes.com/1971/09/12/archives/secrets-of-the-great-pyramid-by-peter-tompkins-illustrated-416-pp.html  A review of the book by The New York Times
  2. http://www.strangehistory.net/2013/12/02/napoleon-and-the-great-pyramid/
  3. My own experience with out of body travel in the article “You’re Like Wow, That Really Was Enchanted by a Rock” suggests this possibility of leaving the earth, but, as I was unsuccessful in my attempt, it would seem more is needed to achieve it, using a carefully constructed ‘launch pad’, the Great Pyramid for example, could help facilitate it. And, although it’s not included in the text, the pyramid might also have been used to travel in time, within limits of course, and I base this possibility on an out of body experience I had where I traveled in time, related in the article “The Epic of Man”.
  4. Sri Aurobindo expresses this same idea in his writings, but it came to me soon after the experience of Supermind, years before I read Sri Aurobindo, and so I don’t credit him as my source for the idea.
  5. The articles, “The Sponsored Man; What’s Bigger Than the Universe? Hang On, What’s Bigger Than Anything?” and “Help You From the Rear View Mirror” amply elaborate on this movie theme as well on what identity is beyond ego.

Clambers on the Mountaintop

Moses at Mt. Sinai by Jacques de Letin

Moses at Mt. Sinai by Jacques de Letin

A Journey of a Thousand Tongues

part 2

As I taped the first poem to the large boulder near the highest point of Mount Sinai, the bell up top rang like it wasn’t a call to church or temple, but rather the instrumental voice of whom or what the bell tolls for saying, “Yeah, post your poems. The moment calls for it, don’t you hear?”

A bell toll is a sound that summons, jars you out of whatever’s in front of you, at least at its very onset, and from a distance that jar is pleasant but  up close it’s not. I was very close, but the clanging noise to my ears was the mountain speaking, and you figure if a mountain and the moment really do call for something, it’d be loud.

Getting up there was quite a walk, a long and winding wide trail that leads slowly up to the top, and on every boulder was written John Cletus, India in graffiti sprawl. Years later I recalled that walk upon reading the sci-fi novel So Long, And Thanks For All the Fish, where it’s major characters walk up some similar path to read God’s final message to his creation, which is, “We apologise for the inconvenience.” Not having read that novel, the walk didn’t take on a comical aspect, and neither was there anything that stood out about it except for the rash hand of John Cletus insecure in the face of history and wanting his name memorialized, until it could be scrubbed off, but it put some glow on the walk for me because I was heading to India right after posting the poems in my last destination, which were the three pyramids in Cairo. This just served to confirm India, was for me a sign of some sort. I had only a one-way ticket to India and little cash, just enough to get to the place I wanted to go, Pondicherry and Auroville, and after that was the unknown. Going broke into the unknown you need more than just a feeling to go on so to not be totally scared.

Church of the Holy Trinity

Church of the Holy Trinity

I’d been up there for three days and nights and hadn’t heard that bell ring once, and it was odd to hear it now because it wasn’t a Sunday or anything. The bell was in a small Christian chapel at the summit of the mountain, and a little boy was ringing it for fun, what he continued to do the few minutes it took me to post, not aware of my doings. That spot is where it’s believed Moses saw the backside of God and received the 10 Commandments, but there’s a large flat grassy area just a few minutes’ walk down from the summit, Elijah’s Basin, where it’s more probable he spent his time than on those raggedy naked slopes strewn with boulders and (now) human feces of the pilgrims and visitors, as there were no functioning facilities or shelters, or that’s how it was when I was there in the fall of 1995, the shitter unusable. I was posting the poem in the little clear area I’d been sleeping in, as far from any shit as I could get, on the way to the chapel up near the summit on a large boulder that had a flat wall-like surface, the chapel higher and out of sight.

That the bell tolled as I began to post my poems, what I’d come up there to do, what I’d done some months before in the old city of Jerusalem, what I’d do the next week inside and around the Great Pyramid in Cairo, gave the dream I’d just awoken from, in my mind and pounding heart, a significance that showed contact with God. If you ask which or whose God then you’re missing the point and haven’t done the math right. No matter what name or form you come up with God will always be a larger sum, but to look at him even askew, about all that we can do, you need some form for him to fill. We’re not big enough to see God.

I was lucid dreaming and had come to the entrance of a classroom, and I was on the staircase leading down into the classroom itself which was like some ancient secret chamber I couldn’t see much of. Meeting me there was a lovely young woman, the teacher. She told me I was welcome, but I told her I was only on the mountain to post my poems. “We love poetry,” she replied and invited me to read my poems. Then I could tell she had another question for me but was embarrassed to ask it, as if it would be rude to do so. Somehow I knew she wanted to ask my faith, and I also knew that she was Jewish. I’m not, and so I merely said, “Transformation,” and she smiled brightly, agreeing, and her smile got brighter and brighter until it turned into the rising sun, and I opened my eyes and was looking directly at the sun rising over the mountain and knew that I had permission to post the poems, what I’d been waiting up there those three days to get. I posted the first one to the large boulder I’d slept by, continuing posting everywhere that seemed to call me to do so, or every big flat vertical surface really.

That classroom, in my mind, was a representation of the spiritual teaching the mountain had to give, and despite the circus of people up there, some mad as a hatter claiming to be a prophet or some such. The spiritual teaching wasn’t out in the open air, wasn’t even in a book, but in the inner depths of the mountain, not some physical place in a hollow earth but in your inner life while you’re up there. There spiritual lessons could be learned and soul-force gathered, whether Moses was actually on that particular mountain or not; so many people had come up there with spiritual aspiration over the centuries it had been impregnated with the bright thought of God. For some maybe it was too bright.

I believe Moses had been  there, because the teacher was much more than just the mountain’s spirit, called generally a nature spirit, the representation in some form of the spirit of a powerful place. Often the spirit of a place is represented by a beautiful young woman, something I had yet to learn because I’d only just begun my vagabond journeys and wasn’t yet aware that if your inner consciousness is open and you sleep and dream in a powerful place, you’ll often meet the place’s spirit, and 9 times out of 10 it will be a sweet young lady.

She was also much more than a beautiful woman. The wisdom and light radiating from her, the mirth and love in those eyes, the sweetness; she was, the Shekhinah, the divine presence of Jewish tradition, who dwells in places where the people feel most deeply their connection to God. Her hesitancy in asking my faith, which stemmed from her sweetness and sincerity, showed me it’s actually rude to ask someone what their religion is, a lesson that mountain taught me, and since then I’ve tried to refrain from such a question and instead let it answer itself as I get to know a person, and I usually don’t have to wait long since most everybody, even atheists (especially these days) are quite vocal about their faith or lack thereof.

I didn’t really understand at the time that she was inviting me to stay up there longer, join the centuries old classroom disguised as a rugged old mountaintop, and be taught more and deeper things. Stupid me, I was on a mission to post my poems and couldn’t see the forest for the trees, in a hurry as usual. I didn’t realize I was where I was trying to go, someplace that had some of that god coin, or where there is a strong sense of divine presence if the inner waters do flow out into the daylights of your mind.

You’d have to understand I’m not talking about just a feeling of that, but where you’re likely to have at least some symbolic face to face communication with such presence, like I did in that lucid dream, though it could be a formless contact, which, though formless, comes to you more real than form, or, really, all the forms around you glow with something much greater: the divine presence.

That was not the first presence I met once I got on top, but still it’s not every day you meet someone who thinks they’re one of the two most important people in the last days’ world in relation to that presence, at least according to Christianity. The first person I met was a man in his late 30s maybe, normally dressed, to be on a desert mountaintop that is, who knew himself as one of the two prophets that would come in the last days of earth and defeat the Antichrist, according to the Book of Revelations.

He was up on Mt. Sinai waiting on his buddy, the other prophet, whom he hadn’t met (or even knew who he was), but God had told him to come and wait, and the man would come, and they could fulfill their destiny. This was just something he knew, like he knew everything that would happen to end the world. When I asked him for details, other than mumble generalities about the contemporary geopolitical situation, of 1995, he couldn’t give any, just that he “knew everything,” and as he said that he stood up and waved his arms in as if to encompass the earth.

Now this prophet guy, he was serious, completely convinced. I don’t remember his name, as the only noteworthy thing about him was his belief about himself, his demeanor not matching it. From the looks of his clothes I’d say he’d been up there a week or so, and he told me as much, but it wasn’t the first time he’d come, and it wouldn’t be his last I gathered. When I left three days later he wasn’t there, and of course he’d called it quits and walked down, but I didn’t see him in the crowd when I got down, which in those days was small enough to see everyone around unless they were in the john or somewhere like that. For all I know he could’ve jumped off the precipice he was waiting on, having been betrayed by God, but I’d imagine I’d of heard about that somehow. That would be big news for a place with hardly ever any news at all.

I did try and ‘talk him down’, but there I was on my mission with my poems, and the irony did sting. I looked the quintessential hippie, long untrimmed beard, hair down past the shoulders, but in ponytail then, and I got told all the time I looked like the historical Jesus, like a lot of young men do when they grow their hair and beard, especially white men, which should tell you that maybe he didn’t look like white history shows him. I was not a Christian, or anything in particular, though I had been raised one, then on my own personal hodgepodge path, and being a Jesus look alike didn’t go to my head, but I did learn, especially in Italy hitch-hiking, that there were many survival advantages to being one without even doing or saying anything to show the resemblance. Here in Egypt though it wasn’t anything special. Hitching on the Dead Sea to Eilat to get to Egypt was nothing but hot.

For a moment I mentally squirmed as I looked on the man because of the irony, but it would be many years before I got a handle on what that wiggle was. You see sometimes I do I think I’m somebody special (equally sometimes the opposite), and I think we all do, not to the degree this man did, but special in the sense of something as stupid as it is smart: we’re important enough to tell our story and have it heard. With 7 billion of us, whose stories should we listen to? With basically all of us competing to tell our stories in one form or another, I felt I had to take mine to a high place in humanity. There was no net really back then, and so there I was on Mt. Moses with my poems, but here I am on the net with you, telling my story on a mountaintop so to speak. Is it just pretentious of me or do I really have something to say?

The only point I could try and make with the prophet wannabe was the point I always tried to make with such people: asking them in the language of their religion if they were ‘there’, had achieved something like the nature of a Buddha or Christ. “Do you have the mind of Christ yet?” I asked him, what I ask Christians, since many if not most don’t believe in a transformation of the being where you’re in the kind of consciousness people like the aforementioned people were most probably in, other than the believed total change that happens upon conversion, which mostly has to do with issues of morality, being forgiven, cleansed and so forth and not a change of consciousness.Calling it the mind of Christ I was  putting it the way he understood. Do you?

I’m talking about enlightenment or whatever it is that we can become other than what we are now, what I wasn’t (not now either) but was on the path to become. He said no, but he wasn’t worried about himself; he cared about the masses and bringing them to Jesus and saving the world. There was really nothing else I could say, stinging with my own supposed specialness, and so I moved on.

The mountain path dropped down some, and I walked through a small host of people, some dressed in white robes and so forth, but in my hippie get up I probably didn’t look too out of place. I kept on going, did a recon of the area and settled down on the spot I’ve somewhat described above. In my area there weren’t any prophet people, just the more tourist type tourist, as it was near the main trail that leads to the chapel.

I had enough water, pita bread, and cheese, the kind in little tinfoil packages, to last about 3 days, if I didn’t walk around and expend a lot of energy. With nothing else to do until nightfall, I settled  down to writing in my journal, what was to be a book about the poem postings, writing in it at each place I posted at and places along the way. It was to be something like Nikos Kazantzakis’ Report to Greco, in spirit though not in style. His book had had a profound influence on me as a writer, one reason I’d come to the mountain, to follow partly in his steps and report. Since he would stay at Saint Catherine’s Monastery there, I told the monks what I was doing and asked if I could write there for awhile, and they were gracious enough to give me a room to write in for a couple of hours before I hiked up the mountain.

The Orthodox Monastery of St Catherine

The Orthodox Monastery of St Catherine

My book was never finished, like all the books I’ve started. (Maybe I’m not a book. Here I’m more a story.) It’s title is The Overthrow of I Am, about overthrowing the ego, not God, but the gist is there too of overthrowing the idea of God I’d been raised with, that big ego in the sky. I later added, at the Equality of Soul to the title when I discovered the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga.

The gist of Kazantzakis’ report hit in the quick of the relationship between the spirit and the flesh, as much of his stuff does, like his book made into a film, The Last Temptation of Christ, but this was nonfiction, real life stories, and it just hit me so much harder than his fiction. I could be mistaken on the location, since he went to Mt Athos too, but he came to that monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai to talk to a monk that had sworn to silence and had not spoken to anyone for years, a famous old monk known for wisdom. He wanted to ask what the relationship between spirit and flesh was to be, the one that God approved of as much as you, and he’d talked to other famous monks, many mad, who were undergoing extreme austerities to mortify the flesh, subdue it, deny it. Starting at 4 when he fainted upon seeing the breasts of a neighbor woman, so overcome he was with not exactly desire, but the toddler feelings of that impulse, there began a war inside him between God and what looked like not to be God, the flesh. Here with this silent monk he hoped rested the answer to the seeming paradox. It was in the early 1930s, and it was his last pilgrimage to Orthodox monasteries to find that answer I do believe. Of all his many talents, inner exploration wasn’t one of them, but his outer search was fruitful nonetheless, and he could tell the story.

That monk reluctantly agreed to see him, and he told him that, after all his years mortifying the flesh, he’d come to the conclusion that you had to  include the flesh in the equation of the spirit, that the more you fought it the stronger it got, and this just turned Kazantakis’ head around. That’s not what he expected to hear.

You see I had the same problem, only worse, and I was actually there for the same reason more or less, trying to answer that sticky question. I wasn’t just up there to post poems. I wanted to write it out, but I was much more specific than he. With me it was the genitals I wanted to know how to handle, because I couldn’t handle mine, handled other people’s too much. The poem posting was about redemption, what I capture in a previous story, the one that introduces this one, called “Behind the Mask Jerusalem,” but the journal is about, among larger things, that proper relationship, and it’s just grist to the mill, gives no lasting answers, but like his, in spirit not in quality, it is a report to my people, which in this day and age of an arising world culture is everybody on earth.

The Overthrow of I Am
At
The Equality of Soul

Dudaim Cave, En Gedi, Israel

I am beginning the report of this narrative from Dudaim Cave, where it is said that young David, the future king of Israel, came and hid from the present king and who sought his life. In the course of the search for David the king and his party three thousand men strong came here to En Gedi. Saul came into this cave to take a nap, as David and a few followers hid in its recesses. While the king slept David crept and cut off a piece of Saul’s garment then ran outside himself. Such an act saved his life as well as got his point across, though it could have just as easily got him killed. The point is he took a risk and exposed more than just his life; he uncovered what he was about. He wasn’t there to kill the king, only clarify his royal ways. I don’t know how much my mission here mirrors David’s. I only know that in En Gedi I begin this exposition of personal and divine exposure.

At the Monastery of St. Catherine, Egypt

So I’m not here to stand upon the mountain and shake my fist at God and demand the fulfillment of my desires, but I am here to stand on top of the mountain and open my heart to its indwelling divinity so that I may no more seek to feed my desires and eat upon the hearts of others. It is my I am that I overthrow, and the conflict has reached the point and pitch that I find myself in these elevated circumstances participating in a process that seems symbolic for all of humanity.

On the mountaintop

I’m on the top of the mountain writing from the spot that I slept, away from the buildings and people on a small ledge facing west. Last night, lying here under the bottomless sky looking up at an infinity of stars so crowded together they were humming, I felt I was fixing to fall, not down the mountain, but up out into space. The feeling was so intense I had to grab hold of the rocks around me to keep me on the ground. I finally put the covers over my head and went to sleep, but I had a dream about gravity letting go of me and woke up feeling my body pulled towards the stars. I got up straight away and went and touched a building and stood near other people long enough to feel grounded again. It’s not that I don’t want to fly. I just don’t want to fall.

**********************************

I don’t want to belittle sexual orgasm. As a spiritual experience it has great value, but it is on the way to more fuller and complete spiritual experience, and it seems to be very easy to stay focused on the genitals and ignore the urgings of the energy to rise to the open heart and head.

This brings me to a point I think I’d rather avoid, but I know I must carry on. I am here on Mt. Moses for this very thing. Two questions I’d like to attempt to answer, one I’ve asked earlier, and the other one I’ve hinted at in these pages. Why are we so attached to the genitals, and how do we acquire the I organization of identity?

**********************************

Now I must depart from the usual metaphorical and fuzzy explanations of the development of ego given to this point and locate this center around which the I is formed concretely upon the body. The child’s private sense of personhood develops hand in hand with the privatization of its genitals. As its genitals become more private so too does the child become a more private self-conscious person. The genitals are the one place on its body that it must hide and keep private, the one place that can only be touched in cleaning or going to the bathroom. The more rigid the enforcement of the genital taboos the more rigid the structure of the I.

**********************************

Humanity moved completely into the waking world and began to deny and reject anything non-material or non-intellectual. This can only be a temporary situation because the invisible world aims to become visible regardless of human denial. It is the nature of the evolution of consciousness to become more aware not less so. This I has been only a temporary stopping point and safe haven to prepare us for our next step in the evolution of our identity.

[Thursday August 17, 1995] The time has come for me to post the poems on this mountain. It is late morning and no one is about. I’ve covered much ground here, and though I’ve oversimplified and understated the process I’ve written about, the core is here. I leave it to someone else, perhaps my future self, to expound upon these ideas and present them in a more orthodox and acceptable manner.

_______________________________________________________________________

I wrote the account over 20 years ago, and I’ve only included a small part of it, but the central ideas are there, albeit unresolved. It would be years before they would be. I actually had the answers all along, and it’s in the above journal too in kernel form, but I didn’t see it back then. Since early childhood every few years I’ve had inner experiences deeper and other than dream, ones that showed me more profound and sustaining pleasure can be felt by us in the body and out of it than that given by sexual orgasm.

We’re capable in fact of another  kind of orgasm, a higher kind that involves the entire body, where instead of the ecstatic flowing sensation coming from the genitals, you, your whole seat of consciousness, flows up out of the top of your head some distance, an orgasmic fountain up, and you see and hear from up there, which is not outside of you but inside, an inner upper, or overhead experience it’s called in the integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo.

There are even other stations of consciousness up there, not just “a blank port in the unseen,” a metaphor Sri Aurobindo uses in the epic poem Savitri to describe just going up and not ‘anywhere’, not to  the higher and more all-encompassing identities. Reaching even the first, Supermind, however, which is in its unmanifested state a little more than rooftop level over the head, in my experience at any rate, is the rarest experience in the consciousness of humanity and most hidden in terms of our direction of travel as a race. The blank overhead experience not reaching any of those heights is more common, though it’s not yet on the net that I’ve seen, but the word blank here means not arriving anywhere and not a blank experience by any means; it’s among the richest of our species. You go up a couple of meters, your sense of seeing and hearing too, stay there in that immensity a short time, and come back down into your normal seat of consciousness. And those capacities for pleasure and bliss are just the tip of the iceberg, but they are among the most important because they take us where we’re going, to higher stations of consciousness capable of seeing more than one perspective at a time, more than a single pole of experience.

Mystics the world over have reported experiencing physical ecstasy, yogis samadhi, and there are as many degrees and kinds of it as there are stars I’d imagine, all the way to being completely free of your body while you’re still in it, something Vipassana meditation results in this if taken to its climax, though they’ll say you’re being lead to enlightenment. When that happens you experience a ‘puff’ on the inside, like it’s happening to you, all of you in there, and there’s no body sensation and no feeling of being in the world at all, though you can still manipulate the body, and the pleasure in this, like that I’m describing above, makes sexual orgasm pale in comparison, and you get the impression that the latter is merely gross physical pleasure that any animal can feel at the drop of a hat (at least alone), and though you may still be stuck in it, you want that other more total and sustaining kind if you’ve had a taste of it, but, if it doesn’t happen spontaneously, the effort put forth to experience it is beyond the capacity of most, and there is very little open knowledge of how to do it or do it again if it just happened without any effort on your part. All this and I haven’t even mentioned shutting the thinking mind and feeling heart off and sitting in the silence, the emptiness of enlightenment.

Yet these things are almost unheard of in humanity, the fame of enlightenment notwithstanding. Do you know about them? Instead sex gets the attention because it’s the closest thing to ecstasy we know, especially when combined with romantic love, some ray however sticky of divine love, which is love in itself. Religion, especially the monotheistic ones, remember these things dimly, and though fringe members may experience them, they too are somewhat taboo because generally speaking the big religions shun physical pleasure and, ironically, hearing and seeing what they worship or aspire to, delaying it usually for an afterlife in a heaven. Religious efforts to experience the higher pleasure or love God alone often involve denying the flesh and sometimes mortifying it, but it many if not most instances I’ve seen the ones doing the austerities only have a vague idea if any of the transcendent pleasure possible, and what’s important isn’t that but the austerities in themselves, done as a sort of punishment to appease God for being dirty because they are in the flesh, to gain his acceptance, like the mad monks who Kazantzakis spoke to who lived alone in caves on the back cliffs of Mt. Athos, denying themselves even basic necessities. Every once in awhile one would think he could fly and jump to his death upon the ocean rocks far below. You’ve  got to imagine, though, God being such a paradox to our reason, there would be real instances of human flight scattered about in human history achieved by ascetics, Milarepa’s probably the most well known.

The ecstatic experiences I’m talking about are often confused with the ability to perform miracles such as fly or levitate, heal the sick and so forth (not to say things like that are impossible) confused also with a great joyful uplift of emotion or sudden feeling of expansion. The ecstasy transcends our limits of sensation and feeling and in rare instances, transcends our identity. It’s the only thing that can replace sex because sex is an animal form of it, and as animals we’re largely ignorant of what is higher in us than animal, not on the food chain, but in terms of development of consciousness and self-awareness, but as that other that we are other than animal, something we haven’t yet defined, what even skeptics scratch their heads over, we are not ignorant of it and even unbeknownst to ourselves seek both it and its source, which is God, though in such experiences God can be hidden or the heart of it, and so you may think he’s not there, but it’s not a matter of thought but of seeing what we can see of him in the one pole of experience consciousness. Experience multiple poles of experience at the same time, and you’re seeing more as God, who sees it all, all at once and can sort it all out. You’ve got to figure he’s infinitely bigger and smarter than you, and so you wouldn’t be able to see God with your reason or the senses as a being standing in front of you however big you want to imagine him.

God’s the filler of the void, any void, but mainly he’s what’s filling nothingness, the janitor of the One my muse calls him. We each are one big hungry void trying constantly to be filled with something we like. Sit a moment in the quiet of your surroundings and unhook your attention from all contact, though not closing your eyes, turning off all media especially, doing nothing at all, especially not smoking, eating or drinking anything. Feel it?

God is all well and good, but you might be wondering if I think I really almost flew that first night on the mountaintop, and here’s the heart of the problem of accounts of such things that supersede nature be they true or false: exaggeration and misunderstanding what was experienced. The feeling of falling was a change of perception that came about as the result of waking from a dream where I was falling into the sky and had come off the ground. Once fully awake I still had both the sensation of falling and the perception of it until I bolted to a building, but before that my body did not move from where I awoke. In my report I make it sound like it did, or at least leave levitation or weightlessness as an open possibility.

Here on the mountain I wasn’t high on smoke as I’d been in Dahab (a Sinai resort on the Red Sea famous then for smoke, or bananas it was called) a few days before. Other than that code word it was openly smoked and sold all over the resort, which was gated in by police, and in most restaurants and hostels a nicely dressed polite Bedouin would come and give you a sample. With my traveling companions and I it was an able looking old man that came to our hostel to see us. It was night, and we sat on the shore of the sea as we smoked. I did a meditation, since I hadn’t smoked in awhile and knew I’d have a good sitting. I didn’t expect weird. The relaxed environment and ancient setting upon that sea, along with the potent pot, triggered a strange experience.

After a bit of breathing exercises and concentration I found myself seeing the world from upside down, as if I were upside down, not completely but almost, and I was in the meditative posture in the upright position, naturally, and I knew it only as a change of perception and sensation. So I must’ve been open to repeating of something weird like that with the senses here on the mountain, hence the dream and falling feeling. On this poetic adventure, strange things were happening with me a lot, especially between me and my immediate surroundings, like it was a heightened time, something on a higher slope of life, for a few meters anyway, not having flown notwithstanding.

Bringing the story back down to earth and uncovering once again what taboo makes us cover, let’s pull the world’s pants down again and show the genitals. What all the fuss is about with the genitals is we get some sensation of the subtle body through manipulating them. The subtle body is like a body beneath the body, whose centers are along the spine but not in the physical body, the genitals being one of those 7 centers. Along with the sensation there’s some activation of that chakra to a limited extent, and no other chakra can be activated so so naturally by physical means, since someone with the knowledge in their hands can activate other centers. Activating any chakra, however slightly, has a big impact upon your life. Maybe that easy access has something to do with why the genitals are called the communication chakra in the Indian subtle body system. I’ve found that and more; it’s the place on the body to turn up or down the volume of a person basically, turn up desire, turn up the volume in the conflict between right and wrong, turn up the inner consciousness, turn up creativity, turn up things both bad and good.

When you add to that they’re the seat of the ego on the body (in terms of your body consciousness not your mind or heart), and they serve other functions, the lower orgasm not among the least, you have a very sensitive area on the body that needs special handling. How other people look and touch ours during the first years of life when the ego is transcribed is a bit like putting in a computer program. So how we relate to them is of great importance, hence the many taboos surrounding them. My article on this blog, “Make Peace With the World”, and the long poem on another blog, “The Pupil and His Divine, a Harmony in Five Measures” (I give the first link of five) might interest you to see what that future self has written on these matters. My poetry Twitter feed would give you the most up to date writings, my insight on many issues. The two links (to two photopoems) are to particularly crucial poems on the topic at hand.

Here I have to go on high again, but not out of the body. The most optimum places on the body to turn up or down that volume knob the genitals represent are the heart and top of the head, opening there as opposed to opening down there, or if you have, using the opening from within or above to get you right again because what you’re opening to with the heart is the soul, its good government and with the top of the head the light from above, the divine ray, and as it goes down it readies all the centers (chakras) for the readied opening down there that gives you the life-force to have the type of experiences I’m describing. If you open it directly by focusing on the life-force valve just below the genitals, the perineum, the bottom charka and seat of what’s called in Indian yoga, the kundalini, that valve, then you’re in trouble, believe me. It can increase your sexual impulses manifold, increase anger and all the other passionate emotions too. You will find you have less self-control over these things if your focus is there for the higher bliss and overhead experience, or even for enlightenment, so much less control you won’t get much of those refined things.

But that process for the soul to take our government and the light to get down there takes years, as much of a constant spiritual practice as you can do, and I’m only sometimes  able to do it all the time, that is, maintaining a sadhana concentration every waking moment, which gets you waking up in dream so much you’re concentrating on being as awake as you can in each moment, or concentrating on what’s larger than the moment I might put it, putting spirit into the equation, what we often neglect to do so concerned we are with the flesh.

Though there are rewards doing it the slow way such as occasional ecstasies, increased awareness, enhanced creativity, more ability to lucid dream, and so forth, you have to be patient if you’re trying to solve the riddle of the spirit and the flesh and you see you do have to include the flesh in the equation too. I have learned from my teachers I’ve mentioned and the yoga I’m doing, that including it doesn’t mean you have to have sex, that you simply must or a real need is there, at least in the mature adult, but the trick is, what it all hinges on, you’re not abstaining from sex out of a sense of morality, of not offending God either, but because you know if you want the larger orgasm, the ecstasy, you have to give up the smaller one. Here you’re not denying your sexual impulses but sublimating them to where they go as we grow into larger people. And that makes all the difference; makes it humanly possible.

I don’t think even that old silent monk who told Kazantzakis you have to include the flesh was able to see that including the flesh in the spirit means a different type of sexual feeling and impulse than the animal form of it we know now, but more importantly, it means a whole new body and earth, ones more flexible in the winds of infinity. That’s the meaning of transformation.

If that’s all there is to us, being an animal, then, in addition to having to forever endure death, disease and destruction, we are compelled by nature to indulge our desires and can only curb them with self-rule and law, which usually means clubbing them, a fundamental fight between good and evil that tears some of us apart and doesn’t leave a one of us unscathed. If you’re over 14 chances are you’re dealing with sexual desire daily, in your dreams, in your waking life, and you have to do something with it even if that’s denying it totally, what society wants you to do, what you’ve been taught you should do until you’re married. It’s probably right here that society breaks down the most because we don’t have complete mastery over our sexual impulses when we’re young, especially a young teen, mastery in the sense that you have complete control over your sexual impulses, fantasies, and conduct whether you indulge those things or not, mastery even in dream. Not even many older adults have that. Do you?

It creates a situation similar to what I encountered in Special Forces school where the rules were such that you had to figure out  how to break them or you probably wouldn’t pass, which was captured by the unofficial motto of our Q course, “If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’, and if you get caught you ain’t SF.” While that’s fine for unconventional warfare, it’s not for everyday society. Not being able by nature to fulfill our society’s most basic conventions leads to so much strife and confusion in individual lives and in society itself. You can say it leads to war.

But we are more than animal in our nature and can put sex in a higher coin, one more satisfying and real, as I’ve explained, and if it were part of becoming a full-fledged adult to achieve this greater sexual currency, then naturally our youth will want it too and wouldn’t spend too long in the animal form of it. That would be considered immature, though young adults would have enough children between themselves to keep humanity going. You can see where I’m going, but I’m going farther, or more integrally, than just having better or higher sexual feelings and sensations. I’m going to a new body and a new earth like I said. The yoga I do in the form of a sadhana, aims not only to transform the individual but the world too, does not deny sex and orgasmic feeling (ecstasy) but gives you the means to gain mastery over those things and sublimate them to where they need to go in a being transforming mind, life, and body into what’s other and more aware than the animal, into our inborn hidden divinity.

I was nowhere near that mastery mountaintop in terms of a permanent dwelling place while on that outer mountain posting those poems that, at the time I wrote them, I thought were directly inspired and were the epitome of poetry. That they were remotely inspired I might grant them, such was the rush of feeling I felt as I wrote them, almost effortlessly it seemed such a strong flow there was, but it was a formless flow, and it was my mind and not my inspiration that put the words to that flow, and so you’re not hearing the voices of the unseen. It would be hard to say if they’re even poetry in the sense of the word, since the poetic form and content, the simple rhymes and the march of ideas, don’t match, but it’s easier to say it’s not good poetry because it isn’t, but it is catchy.

To me they were great poems that one day would be read. I think, if we write a lot of poetry over the course of our lives, we all think that sometimes, but we’re not all great poets. If our greatness lies in our abilities and talents then we are not great, or only have an animal greatness, temporarily known for some trick we can do. You’ve got to figure no one’s name is immortal given that unbeginningless and endless time outdo any form, even reason and rhyme. Our greatness rests in our soul, which isn’t in time, which means we are all somebody special like we sometimes think we are. We just have to put it in the right place, one of the hardest places we can put effort, and so most of us don’t really bother.

The sense that I had some good poems to post in high places, though due more to the exuberance and pride of a young man than the muse of poetry, gave me the confidence to do something at once both silly and striking, depending on how you look at it: taping my poems to  the most sacred places I knew about and could get to from Jerusalem to Cairo, why I was here on Mt. Sinai posting my poems. The mountain was there. The presence of God too.

This photo of Mount Sinai is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Overthrow of I Am

I am that I am
on the throne
of the organizational center
of the experience of identity,
and I am a jealous God.

I am who I am
behind a veil.
That most open part of me
I won’t even let you see.
Lest you touch upon my surrender.

I am which I am,
which is he not she,
which is the very reason
I am an I and not a we.

I am how I am,
So don’t expect me
to let my children go.
Lest they cast an eye upon my throne,
and I find I am overthrown.

I am thinking I am
the only one
that there can be.
You’re only supposed
to think about me.

I am feeling I am
getting mad.
How else do you think
I don’t feel sad?

I am wanting I am,
and I want you
to give me everything
that you don’t want to,
so you won’t want anything from me.

I am why I am
because I am afraid
pleasure will wash
my I am away.
so I punish you.

I am where I am
not really that smart.
I am the I am
scared of the dark.

I am saying I am,
but it’s not really true.
Here is your worst fear:
That I am you.

As the bell tolled I posted the poems on every large flat horizontal surface around there that people were likely to see, on the chapel too of course, except the very last poem, which was hidden and probably stayed up a while as a result. The others it appears got torn off almost immediately by a man up there questioning me about exactly where I’d put the poems, and like a silly young fool I told him, not noticing until later his tone and manner. The bell had stopped, and we were standing at the bulletin board just down from the chapel, and I’d just posted a poem. He was a bit offended by especially one of the poems, “The Reincarnation of Adolf Hitler” (included in the Jerusalem story), or maybe only by the title. He’d been going behind me and reading what I was putting up, but I hadn’t noticed him until then, nor noticed, like I said, he was ripping off the poems, though I didn’t see him actually doing that.

He was of European origin from his look and speech, but he might’ve been Israeli. I thought he was interested in what I was doing and so was asking questions about it. I was also a little taken by the fact that, according to him, there was 500 Spaniards coming up there that very day. A crowd would see my poems, and I marveled at the occurrence, but I didn’t know that a censor was there in the guise of an interested person who was taking it upon himself to make sure the mountain was politically correct. We think it’s mostly the government doing the censoring. It’s just as much us.

Thinking I was done, I left him to go down but found a great place to put a poem not far from where I met Mr. Prophet days before, and so I put the last poem, “The Reincarnation of Adolf Hitler”, on a small rock wall on a slanted overhang, a little box-like hidden place on the very edge just below the top. It was probably the only poem anybody saw except Mr. Censor , though it wasn’t easily seen. If you were too afraid of heights you wouldn’t see it, since it’s slanted towards a fall.

Right after I tapped it I looked down and there was a big splif only slightly smoked and weathered. I hadn’t smoked since I’d done so with a British couple outside the hostel the night before I went up, not taking any because I was doing a purification of sorts abstaining from basic pleasures. Purification is a necessary part of the path, but it’s for advancement not moral reasons. Our succession as a race comes from pure lives (my muse). You just don’t go overboard, or over the cliff, with it.

The most difficult part of the equation is you can’t make a rule to say when it’s okay to break the rules. We’re animals evolving into humans, what we haven’t yet fully become, and so you just have to learn to fly by the seat of your soul not your pants, pants here to represent all impure actions. Your soul knows the answer to the equation, which is an individual answer unique to each situation, and it understands indulgence and your need not to deny it but harmonize it and only throw out  what can’t be. To me that joint lying there was a gift from the mountain that told me my work was done, and I could get high. I snatched that refer up and smoked it.

The view was dizzying, but I was so high I knew I could fly, not then though (not now either). It’s hard to say suspension in gravity’s even possible, but I know it is from early childhood, as one of my first remembered experiences of the fuller ecstasy was bouncing weightless with what seemed to me as a small child to be bubbles of pleasure bubbling all through me. You can’t picture this. It’s a transcendent pleasure, pure ecstasy. The last time lasted less than a minute, and I remembered it had happened a couple of times before, brief as well, and I was so surprised to have forgotten it, but I saw we could be weightless, and so have others. I have the certainty we can do much more.

The last encounter I had while up there, a wonderful one, was with a young woman, a painter. She wasn’t at the top painting, but down in Elijah’s Basin, right at the entrance to it where the trail comes down from the summit, a wide one at that point, a little road really. It was only on the other side of the valley that it gets steep and narrow, the way I went down the mountain, but over the course of 30 years a monk at the monastery carved out steps all the way to the top, an austerity he did for God, a sacrifice. Did it make him fly or fall?

Elijah's Basin

Elijah’s Basin

Sitting at an easel right at that spot, and being as bright and pretty as she was, she graced the scene. So I looked at her more deeply as I got closer, but in a platonic way. I guess that made my eyes look more intense to her because as she saw them she dropped her paintbrush. She probably hadn’t seen me walk up, but her surprise had more to do with how I looked than my walking up on her. With that long hair and beard, and the colorful clothes, especially the wide beaded headband sparkling in the morning sun, and having been on a rugged mountaintop for three days focused on divine contact, in my writing hand and inner looking, well, a little of the image of Moses might’ve shown, a bright trick of the morning light. She picked up her brush and asked, half seriously, “Did you see God?”

I asked to see her painting, a politeness you give a painter painting. She was painting the valley, but I don’t remember much about it so engrossed I was in the mountain morning high except that it was quite nice to look at, which I did while answering her question with an initial yes I had seen him, though not in the way she meant. I told her about the poem posting up top and the sense of God’s presence up there too. I also told her I was quite high on grass I’d found posting the last poem, and I so I wanted to go into the valley before the light left, and so I took her leave and soon came upon an ancient Cyprus tree, said to be over 500 years old, and I tapped “The Overthrow of I Am” on it. Then I meditated for an hour or so the inner state coming on so strongly, that feeling of being pulled inside, for me it’s usually the head, parts of it vibrating, especially the forehead, another higher point of concentration helpful to focus on. If you move your body or shift your awareness to the outside, poof you’re out of it or coming quickly up out of it. Even if you don’t do regular meditation, that pull to go inside happens to many people late in the morning as they’re going about their day. Maybe even you. Ever notice how things  in what we call normal life just aren’t set up to go with our inner rhythms?

As stupid as it may sound these 20 years later. after all the people that have done that. have tried to change the world so expressively on the net, and those that did it before on whatever medium, I aimed to change society with poetry I felt was inspired. I thought I was giving it a boost by putting them in powerful places sacred to many people.

If I hadn’t written the story they’re be no boost, or only in the sense that, as my teacher says, one person’s achievement alone in a cave enriches the whole of humanity, even though mine wasn’t an achievement but a yet failed redemption. In my mind at the time those poems were idea bombs I was putting in place, as I express in the Jerusalem story, and I’d been on a Special Forces nuclear weapons team and put a tactical nuke in a place (though it wasn’t set to go off), and so the analogy didn’t come from my imagination. The poems are still set to go off even though they were stripped off shortly after being tapped up. These stories about posting them are the trigger.

It’s no longer the world or society I’m trying to change but you and I, or the world has become so personal discovering the invisible I see the world now more in terms of you and I. The ideas exploding are upon a page in your mind, if they detonate. In many minds that read these stories they won’t. If it gets you to see the unseen even a little, and helps me to see it more, our inner and other that we’ve ignored, or tried to, our underlying unity in the bad as well as the good in us, the inner states, the higher grounds of identity and consciousness, the near constant inner communication between not only all people but all things, the soul, the divine host, the powers hostile to that host, our secret divinity, and more, always more, then the ideas have exploded in humanity. In a matter of time you’re hear it.

But this is a slow explosion, one of many, from many of us and more to come, to blow up the screen that blinds us to the unseen, not too fast, so we don’t explode ourselves, figuratively speaking. The real and coming revolution, as I see it, is the rediscovery of humanity, recovering that which we’ve lost, the hidden links, concentrating on the links to light, links to love, links to evolution, or else we’ll be back where we were when, however it happened, we retreated into an almost exclusive focus on matter and the outer world to keep us safe from the invisible because it almost destroyed us. That’ll be the same reason we let it back in, safely: the ego identity transcribed from that focus on matter is destroying us now that we are reaching critical mass in terms of the number of us and the impact we have upon the environment, the planet.

The guests of unseen Egypt. That’s a line from my muse this morning, the poetic inner voice, a daily contact I have with the unseen. The next story goes deeper down into the land of Egypt, where was to be the next poem posting, but it’s not a story from the mountaintop, and the presences in the story are all too human, and so my muse this morning as I sit and write this isn’t about it. It’s about what we’ve forgotten, what we will be so surprised to remember and even more surprised that we could have ever forgotten: the invisible.

When we look on ancient sites and civilizations we see old crumbling monuments and such that we think were built by intelligent but superstitious and ignorant people. A lot of the monuments, however, are to the unseen, and the walls of their rooms are filled with its frescos, and so the official look, what’s in the textbooks and universities of humanity’s history, sees it all as their imagination, the god reflex, magic to make the crops grow, the insecurity of self-awareness, or whatever. In the not too distant future that almost exclusive outer look will change, and the inner will have its needed place – inevitably. It’s more from the inside you see the unseen, even when it’s on the outside. Our whole world hinges on doing it differently than we’ve ever done it before, inviting back into our awareness the invisible and unseen.

The end of this story begins the next one — back to the report, the overthrow, top and bottom.

Bottommost chamber of the Great Pyramid (a week later)

After [the posting on the tree and meditation], I went down and got my things in the hostel next to the monastery and began to walk to the village. As soon as I got out of the gate and entered the road, I met an Israeli teenager who was very much a part of the peace fast in Jerusalem. He is very involved in photography and took many pictures of Lars and I and our camp. Needless to say he was very surprised to see me again. It was a good thing. I needed a chronicler. He was a connecting link to the two phases of this poetic odyssey.

**********************************

You are the story this world links to.
Think about it,
Helpful details about other people’s lives.
“We just good to know.”

Too much evidence.
That’s wild,
something as visible as the unseen.
Grounding,
I’ve covered you in that.

“What the past?”
The past is mostly empty,
what the past just has to be.
Let’s take enlightenment.
Savitri
some of those things alive.

Watch abysses –
or Edgar Allen Poe.
“Fight us Law?”
Yep.
A good agreement,
find a good agreement
and flower simple springtime.

A writer blows up
a tactical nuke,
which stops at worms, wormholes,
and there’s stupid tourist woman.

I took her to the movies,
And she took your mountain to my knees –
“They’re animals.”
What good lady?
I stood up.

Must’ve been in an ideal form too form
if you ask me.
Stand whalin’ you keep
runs on this place:
the unbound.

And I’m continuing to fashion the heart
and put it in its desired place:
soul bound.
From here on out team effort,
“From here?”
That’s what’s pushy about me to you.

(my muse yesterday and today)

Behind the Mask Jerusalem

Damascus Gate, Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay

A Journey of a Thousand Tongues

part 1

I moved in front of Lars and made myself the target of the man holding the knife, not out of any sense of protecting Lars but because I wanted to be the one recognized as the ‘head’ of the hunger strike, not Lars, sure somehow the men had not come to kill us but only to make us leave, but it was still a gamble. I realized that as I stood a few inches away from the man looking him in the eye wishing it was still Lars in that position of leadership; the man was dead serious.

“Don’t look me in the eyes. You’re nothing but a dog. Look down dog.” This was said with such contempt I complied, and as I did I saw the knife, which he was shielding with his jacket so it couldn’t be seen from a distance.  When the men had come into the park they stood in a group in front of us, a couple holding one arm behind their backs like they had some weapon, the group jacking to spring. I had made myself the sole object of their bad attention through force of ego, like I said, though originally they had come and confronted us as a group, demanding to know which one of us was Lars.

There were four or five men in total, one left as a lookout near the park entrance closest to us, making sure we could see his walkie-talkie. I could see they were nervous. They were also all young, in their early to mid-twenties.  We were told later by Israeli friends that they were part of the Palestinian mafia of the old city, not from the PLO, Hamas, or anything like that, but we never actually found out what group they were from.  All we knew about them was that they were friends of Mohammad, a manager of a hostel in the old city that catered to Western tourists.  He himself was nowhere to be seen, though he’d been there in the afternoon with his friends, the same ones there now (new ones added), to tell us he wanted to play soccer there and needed the whole park to do so, and so we had to leave.  We had refused, and he said he’d be back.  Now, in the night, it wasn’t him back but his friends, who, we’d later learn, he’d lied to about the nature of his relationship with Patricia (I’ll explain presently) to get them to do what he asked, lying about us too.

“We’re coming back at 1 a.m., and if you’re still here we’re going to kill you, all of you, and you,” he said putting his face close to mine, “you, we’re gonna fuck you first before we kill you.   You hear that?  We’re gonna drag you in these bushes after we kill everybody else and fuck you.  You know what that means?”  He said it like he was letting something secret revel a moment in the moonlight, what little of it there was, and I nodded yes, abhorring the understanding I had.  With my long flowing hair and flowery hippie clothes I probably looked more feminine than masculine, but this wasn’t really about sexual attraction even though some element of that was present.  This was about male domination, wanting submission, control, what the whole thing was about actually.  Mohammad was mad at us because the night before a friend of ours, Patricia, had come to us badly beaten by him and wanting our help, and we gave it.  He had beaten her up because he tried to take her off alone from the group they were partying together with, and she resisted, and he punched her face and body until she got away.

She had come to us immediately after, and the next morning he came to the park to talk to her, us trying to keep that from happening because she said she accepted his apologies but did not want to talk to him then or at any other time.  He pushed past us and went to talk to her anyway and told her that if she wouldn’t give him another chance she had to leave Jerusalem because he wouldn’t be able to control himself, and she told him that all she wanted was him to leave her alone, and that she wouldn’t press charges or do anything to him, just please leave her alone.  That made him mad and he shouted at her and left the park.  So for attempting to protect Patricia from him he had sent his gang to make us leave the park in which we had been conducting a hunger strike in for the past 7 or 8 days, and this literally rained on our parade.

It was Jerusalem 1995, a tinderbox where the least little thing ‘not on its side of the line’ could instigate a small riot or a scurried scuffle.  We had not appreciated that fact in our youthful plans to do a hunger strike for peace there in a little park outside of Jaffa Gate.  It was Lars’ idea, and by the time I came on the scene he was doing a ‘last supper’ with his small group of friends and supporters, mostly young women, two of whom were his sisters.  During the dinner I pulled him aside, and we went outside, and I asked if he really planned to strike until death.  He assured me he most certainly did, though his mother had just paid a surprise visit from Demark to insure her 22 year old son wasn’t going to kill himself, and he’d assured her he wasn’t going to, or something to that effect.  She had left him with his sisters to keep an eye on him, and so it’s not probable he’d have starved himself to death.  But when he’d told me he was going to do so he had a certain look in his eyes that was such an exaggerated mixture of sadness and pride – ‘woe is me I’m great enough to lay down my life for others’ – I believed him.

It was a little restaurant just outside the old city, Israeli I think, but it could’ve been Palestinian (your mind over time can merge the most surprising things).  We were on the steps in front of the place, and it was late afternoon or early evening.  I had only arrived in the city a couple of days or so before, direct from Houston on KLM, via a fortifying three day stopover in Amsterdam because I couldn’t board the flight to Israel without purchasing a return ticket.  Like every other obstacle in the whole thing, it wasn’t really an obstacle but a great help in disguise.  My step-brother had a flat there and gave me the royal treatment to help prepare me for my poetry posting.

Lars and I had been having conversations since we’d met in the hostel we both stayed at, where Mohammad was the manager by the way, intense conversations, the kind you have when your world’s at stake.  I’d told him my story, how I was becoming prominent in a small town feeding and sheltering the homeless and organizing a community dream library with the help of the local public radio station and fell from grace and had to leave town in the dead of night, and how I returned to my hometown of Houston and did some ardent soul-searching and wrote a cycle of poems, and now I was going to post them on holy sites in the old city, poems like “The Last Man on Earth”, about human unity, “The Overthrow of I Am”, about dethroning the human ego, and “The Reincarnation of Adolf Hitler”, about him in hell realizing his pain is the pain he gave and redeeming himself.

“You’ll get yourself killed!,” he’d told me in an earlier conversation, and now on those steps he was telling me I was the one doing something stupid, not him by killing himself in a hunger strike for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, “if it came to that.”  It was then I saw the something else, a little glimpse of something in me that I was getting acquainted with but wasn’t proud of, something in all of us: the chosen one.  It was there on his face: he will be the one that brings peace to the Middle East.  It had not taken over, was still just some glimmer of hope not fanned into a fire, and so he was a passionate young man exuberating confidence and not some nut proclaiming himself somebody.  It is the hardest thing to reconcile: being at the center of your senses sensing the world but not being the center of the world, being a nobody constantly confronted with all the somebodies that made history, and Lars was not going to give up without a fight.  Do any of us?

He’d conceived of the hunger strike in Jerusalem on a train from Delhi to (then) Bombay, or the other way around, and soon after he’d made his way here to carry it out.  Before India he’d traveled through Iraq and Iran, converting to Islam, which had awoken in him a sense that he had something to do, a mission, and being treated so special by all the people who hosted him, which probably had more to do with him being the only Western convert among them than his specialness, that sense had grown so strong here he was in Jerusalem on his mission.

I sat there a moment and fantasized about how I thought he fantasized events would unfold: people saddened, ultimately torn apart, by this young man’s sacrifice, his deteriorating health reported daily by the world press, more and more people holding rallies to save his life all over the world, the leaders of the two peoples coming together to outline peace to prevent such a brave man’s death, and I could do that with some accuracy because it wasn’t too unlike the world splash I made in my fantasies posting the poems, in my own fight with being nobody, though in my case it wasn’t being a nobody I fought against as much as it was being an unredeemable bad man.  It would come to Lars and I on a hunger strike and waiting for people to come join us.

The Last Man on Earth

Your face is not your face.
Your hands are not your hands.
Your genitals are not your genitals.
Your thoughts are not your thoughts.

They belong to us.

How you look we look.
What you do we do.
What you hide we hide.
What you think we think.

We are you.

That isn’t you in the mirror,
Nor you being raped,
Nor you dying,
Nor you killing.

It is us.

Who you are we are.
When you’re hurt we’re hurt.
When you die we die.
When you kill we kill.
We are human beings,

Every last one of us.

(one of the main poems posted on our rounds of posting poems in and around the old city)

I called him on his ‘I’m this specialness’, and he smiled sheepishly like he’d been caught in the cookie jar, but he still wasn’t deterred, and so I accepted his invitation to join him if he’d help me post the poems afterwards, which would mean we wouldn’t strike unto death, and he reluctantly agreed.  On my insistence, we decided to call it a hunger strike for inner and outer peace, since I told him I needed to change myself before I could change the world, my recent fall so fresh in my mind and heart, and so I would be fasting for inner peace, and he would fast for outer.  It was a couple of weeks before Easter and Passover, which would occur at the same time this year, and so we set the end date for around then, Lars not agreeing on a concrete end date having to do with I knew not wanting to dispel completely the siren whiff of martyrdom.  I was 33 and eleven years his senior, and it’s just human nature to make more sense at that age, though from most anybody’s perspective we both were being the biggest fools.

flyer we passed out, made by a Palestinian man I think

flyer we passed out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started our strike that night in a little park below Jaffa Gate and next to Yemen Moshe, the neighborhood with the windmill on the side of a hill.  He had found the park and liked it because it was frequented by both Israelis and Palestinians (Arabs Israelis call them), but sitting there alone in the dark we wondered if it was too out of the way for us.  Before too long, a couple of hours or so, a young South Korean man came riding up on his bicycle, odd because this was night and not day and grass not asphalt, but he said he’d seen us sitting there.  He said his name was Johnny, and he’d just cycled around the world for peace.  We had no doubt this was a meaningful coincidence.  It became for us a downright synchronicity when, in the course of our conversation, he turned around and lifted up his shirt.  On his back was ‘world peace’ tattooed from shoulder to shoulder.  Yes, we saw, the park was the right place.  Johnny, though, we weren’t to see again until we ran into him as we posted poems Easter morning in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

In the morning Katrina and his other sister, came to sit with us, who’s name escapes me, since she left soon after strike began, and I didn’t get to know her. Patricia came too, including a young and colorful ‘alternative’ Palestinian man, who brought his drum and who would paint our hunger strike sign and sleep with us the first couple of nights.  Since we had sleeping bags and other camping gear, and we were playing music and singing, sometime in the early afternoon the tourist police showed up, but they were quite friendly and sat down with us, one, Amir, even taking a guitar of ours and playing and singing a rock song.  It was obvious he really liked Patricia, the Helen of Troy of our story, launching all these ships in it.  She was from Scotland and a friend of Katrina and worked as a waitress in the old city.  I don’t know exactly what it was about her, but she had what men liked, gave off some kind of mystery it seemed a lot of men wanted to solve, had to solve.  He was focused on her the whole time, and when he left he told us we could camp there until some fundraising event scheduled there in a couple of weeks, and we knew it was because of Patricia.  We were to learn later from locals we were the first group that had been allowed to camp there, and others had tried.

At the urging of his sisters we agreed to drink banana milk or some fortified puree every other day or so, and so it wasn’t a real fast, though we did agree to stay away from all substances like grass, tobacco, and alcohol, stimulants like coffee and tea, and to abstain from sex.  I was quite nervous about fasting and kept talking about that banana milk, and it became a joke among us those first couple of days, Don and his banana milk.  I was also quite jealous of Lars being the center of attention, as though it were only him on the hunger strike, and all the silly admiration that involved, and I did and said things you do and say so to make it known you are also importantly involved.  Soon more people joined our little camp, and the change in demographics tipped the scales of power in favor of a duo doing it, and with Lars’s shaved head and roundish features, though he wasn’t fat, that reminded you of Buddha, and my long hair, beard, and skinny frame that made me look a lot like the historical Jesus, and with us laying all over one another all the time, having let our ego boundaries down like new-found lovers, we were a dynamic duo, which, after a test, would bring a small musical crowd to that park to play and sing in a spirit of a united joy, a little echo from, in my ears, the kingdom of the music within. Unfortunately that’s something you can only hear about if you weren’t there, and whether you believe it or not, you might wonder at the life-deciding test we had to past for something like that to occur, a love in, a gathering, in the sense of those things.

Our test was no small one, getting back to where I was facing a man with a knife in the dark in the park that begins the story. It meant a personal encounter with death, and it didn’t matter if the threat was real or not; standing there in the darkness in Jerusalem having just been told by Palestinians they were going to come and kill us if we didn’t leave, it had the six o’clock news all over it.  To top it off, it suddenly started to rain, for the first time since we’d set up camp there, and standing there in the pouring rain holding our lives in our hands it was all a bit much, and our only thought was how quickly we could get out of there.

After a short pow wow we decided to ask the help of the Israeli man that had befriended us, a robust older man named Josef that came to the park daily to do Ti Chi and walk his dogs, bringing a pot of tea each evening his wife made for us.  He’d introduced us to his long haired son, Milo, my age, who in the coming months, in my vagabonding around Israel after the strike, I’d come to other times in need of aid and support.  I ran up into Yemen Moshe to their townhouse, a steep hike, while Lars organized the gathering together of everybody and our things.  I spoke to Josef several minutes, and then returned to the camp.  Within 10 minutes Milo came driving down in a van and told us he had arranged for us all to spend the night in the empty apartment of a friend.  He told us his father had called the police and was told there was nothing they could do unless we filed a complaint, and he asked if we wanted to, and we said no, and he said he figured as much.

There were 5 of us by that time (Katrina and Patricia more outside support): Ramon, a sensitive and gentle spiritually-minded young man in his early 20’s from Amsterdam, Saskia, also from Amsterdam in her early 20’s, strong, matriarchal, but not concerned with group politics, with a headful of dreads bicycling Israel, Zeke, a funny little man, a Russian immigrant in his mid 50’s, a Torah scholar, dabbler in Kabala, vagabond, Lars and I.  Neither Saskia nor Zeke had been there when we were threatened, but she had returned to camp immediately after, and he came walking up as we were throwing things into the van.  He stared at us in disbelief and then asserted himself, and though the interchange was longer and bit more complicated than I record it here, it boiled down to:

“Are you crazy?” Zeke asked.

“They’re nuts.  Come on let’s go,” Milo said motioning us into the van.

“Look what you’re doing man, just walking away from everything.  One little thing and you run, you run!”

“But Zeke,” I told him, “they said they were going to come and kill us, and they’re going to fuck me first, then kill me!”

He made some body movement that ended in a stance that said he’d come to a decision.  Going off a ways from the van he said loudly, “Who’ll stay here?  I’ll stay here if just one other person joins me.”

“I don’t believe it.”  Milo was shaking his head.

I think it was Lars who went over and stood beside him first, but I’m not sure.  It might’ve been me, but, at any rate, in a matter of a couple of thoughtful minutes all of us did.  Milo started ranting, “You come to my country and do all this crazy shit.  Why don’t you do it in your own country?”  He continued complaining as he got into the van and drove away.  I felt like I was watching life and hope leave the area.  For some minutes we 5 stood there in silence in the dripping rain, and then I got animated and mentioned again, for the umpteenth time, how experienced I was in extreme situations, ex-Green Beret, dream traveler, homeless person, a failed candidate to become a community prophet, though I never listed that one, (soon I’d have to add ‘Jerusalem peace activist’), and I had a plan.

It wasn’t until I was going up into the first hostel in the old city I’d decided to go to, the Tobasco, where Katrina and Patricia stayed (though on this night they were in Israeli Jerusalem), that I realized how insane it would sound asking backpackers to come and do an all night vigil with us.  My plan was simple; go to as many backpacker hostels as I could and get as many people to come stand with us as possible, and seeing all the people with us, they surely wouldn’t kill us.  Lars was credulous, but I’d grabbed Ramon anyway, and we’d hustled up out of the park and into the old city

“In your head, in your head, zombie, zombie, zombie ei, ei,” was echoing through the backpacker cafes and the streets they were on, the hot song playing on the hostel radios, is in my mind the taste of my encounter with the ancient city when I look back on it, not playing though when I went in, but it did capture my moment. I went up the steps and inside to the desk and panted out my story to Jay, who worked the desk at night and let us take free showers there, a young American man from Denver, who was to play an increasingly intimate role with Patricia’s ships in the story.  He was in Jerusalem tied up with either pursing spiritual enlightenment or joining the U.S. Army and being a badass – the cowboy hat always on his head a symbol the army had the upper hand –, between peace and war, which seemed to be the flavor of the old city, but true to its big moon overhead, it turned out he was tied more there for love.

Jay surprised me by saying he couldn’t use his position to do that, but said he could go tell a few people he knew in the hostel and ask them to come to the front room.  I figured I’d walk up, and he’d sound the alarm, but in anything that asks for more people there’s always the gatekeeper.  Within a couple of minutes several people were there, on the sofa, the chairs, or standing, all expectant of something but I could see were disappointed with what they got as they looked on Ramon and I.  Dripping wet, out of breath, coming in from the night, I looked at them looking at us as I told my strange tale, and I couldn’t put anything appealing into it until a couple of boys around 18 or so began asking specific questions about not only why the strike but what religion we belonged to, and then I perked up and gave it more appeal, at least to one of the boys, Alison from Canada who was there to find out about God.  The other, from South Africa, was interested because of the situation itself, and would, on the way to the park, tell us about how used to such situations he was being from South Africa.  We only managed to get those two to come with us, and then only for a couple of hours they’d agreed, but two or three others, including Jay, had said they’d come sometime later after he got off work, but they never came.  With the interview ordeal we had to go through to get those two, and the realization of how absurd it sounded asking people to do what we were asking them to do, we decided not to go to other hostels.

I would imagine Alison still tells the story of being a boy in Jerusalem on the search for God and being lead at night through the old city, out Jaffa Gate, and down into a little park to a mad encounter with some unorganized misguided peace group.  The rain had stopped and left the air washed clean with a slight chill on it.  The splashing echoes of our feet as we made our way made for a much better sound than my voice spitting out in-between breaths my thoughts to this kid on God, but the closeness of the presence of ancient times, coming to a crescendo as you approach and go out the great gates with the spotlights hitting the giant stone walls, like brooding lights in darkness illuminating some stray expansive mystery of the existence of God, made for such talk.  It was just my words did not match the concreteness of the sight.

The conversation with Alison took place while I was having one also with the South African boy as we all ran down to the park, and, when we arrived, during an argument I had with Lars, which made it, on my end, a conversation attempting the impossible by talking about spirit and matter at the same time and they both are the dominant link. So, not being all that good at conversation gymnastics (I’m a writer not a speaker), it boiled down to turning from the other boy and giving Alison my Dr. Seuss tripped out cosmological interpretation of spiritual experiences I’d had, which, if I’d have simply described in the first place, would have perhaps given him an eye on God fit for such a setting, but as it was he only got the silly interpretation. These are not my exact words, but it’s the gist of the ‘elucidation’:

“The world is on the Who-cycle you see, humans are Who-I, driving I-cycles, and animals Who-me, riding me-cycles, plants Who-be sitting on be-cycles, and inanimate objects, Who-no, on no-cycles, denying they’re on a cycle, but they are.  Everything makes up the single existence of the Itself, and there are innumerable other cycles all the way to the Itself, but the next cycle on our scale is Who-we, flying the we-cycle, aware of themselves as expressions of the Itself and of their unity with the whole Who-cycle, who we are secretly becoming and who also the personal Gods are,” aware that last part wasn’t the exact man to God relation, but I figured I’d have time to sort out the difference.  That last part was always the problem, giving a Godhood to man, when I gave this spiel to anyone, the spiel I gave to people that asked me what my religion or spirituality was.  I asked him if he understood, and he flatly said no.

When we arrived at the park, which momentarily interrupted the flow of the conversation with Alison, and after a moment permanently ended the one with the other boy, the others in our group, Saskia and Zeke were there at our spot talking to Lars, We were camped in an area of the park not illuminated by the park’s lights, and it occurred to me as I saw them we would be much better off staying under one of the lights, but before I could say what was on my mind Lars came walking up towards us saying, “Two people, that’s all you could get?”  I made haste to introduce both boys as I began to defend myself, but then he attacked my plan, saying he knew people wouldn’t be crazy enough to come here at night in the rain under a death threat and stand with us.  It must’ve been at that point the South African boy realized the situation was nothing like the conflicts he was used to in South Africa, and he slipped off, but I honestly don’t remember because the argument Lars and I was having, which quickly centered on the best place to be killed, in the darkness or in the light, once I made my suggestion we move, was the worst one we’d had so far.

Lars won, and we would not be moved.  He’d suddenly become a pillar of faith.  For my part it was high time for some alone time, but I was suddenly hit with a barrage of questions from Alison about God, which I honestly tried to answer, not yet down to earth or mature enough just to tell him what I’d experienced about God and the soul, not what I believed about them, of the opinion, as most are, that expounding on such big subjects I had to give a whole worldview.  God, however, was not on my mind, my mortality was, and so I quickly tied up the talk and excused myself and went to a little gardened area nearby and sat down on a park bench.  I had suddenly become scared to death, as the implications of the fact that my life was truly in danger had finally hit me.

The fear was infinitely compounded by the fact that the situation was just too close to the scenario of a lucid dream some years before where I got stabbed in the heart by an angry man with brown skin standing with three others at night in a park, and instead of waking up in my bed like I was trying to, I died and actually went to the doorway of the other side, or had what’s called a near death experience.  I’d wondered at the time, because of the strength of the dream, whether or not it was showing me how I would die, and sitting there at night in a park having been threatened with a knife by very angry men with brown skin it seemed the dream was in fact precognitive, and I had that fight you have with yourself when you have the power to save your life but don’t want to take the escape because of some ideal you believe in.

You just feel so damn stupid, or at least I did.  I wasn’t really on a hunger strike for inner peace as much I was on a personal journey of redemption but couldn’t say that outright.  I can’t really say if redemption is worth dying for, even from this distance of 20 years, however much it’s worth its weight in gold in everyday life, but it’s not an ideal bigger than yourself, and maybe it’s best to only give your life to what is larger, if you can see past ego disguises and see that what you think you do for God or humanity, 9 times out of ten, is really something more to make yourself bigger even if that’s because you’re declared so unfairly small.  I didn’t see any of that being so young, but it all bore on the moment regardless, and it all made me feel so stupid and equally so afraid.

Sitting there I could see pulsating down the length of my body and onto the ground wide yellow horizontal irregular lines, one every half second or so, and concentrating on them, which is like looking at otherworldly lights coloring oddly a scene, auric lights they’re called, the whole area I was looking at turned into a an exceedingly beautiful violet checkerboard etched deep with the lines of the unknown, the place seen as pure energy, what it was it seemed the place rested upon, or was truly built of, something starkly sacred, and there is just something about beauty that helps chase away fear, especially spiritual beauty, and then I was alright, not immediately but after some minutes, the sudden shift to seeing energy as opposed to a world of forms coming at first as such a shock it was scary, that otherworldly fear taking some time to leave because it mixed so well with the fear of the coming of death.  I wasn’t ready for whatever danger the night might bring, either rape or death, but I was there.

I returned to the others and wasn’t surprised to find Alison had left too.  No one was talking, just each into our own thoughts standing there in the returning rain, that dark pounding chill.  When we started talking it was about the others who’d said they’d come, how they probably wouldn’t, and how it was best that those who wanted to stay in a hostel that night to do so, because it might rain all night long and only maybe three could fit in the one man tent, and Saskia and Ramon opted for the hostel and left the park.  I don’t know how long it was after their departure, but Zeke suggested we all just go into the little tent erected because of the rain and “go to sleep; if we’re still alive in the morning then we’ll know things are better.”  That’s just what we did.  In the morning things were better; neither rape nor death had come, nor any danger, only our unremembered dreams.

Normally we made some attempt to remember dreams so to discuss them after morning yoga exercises and meditation in our long walks together down deeper into the valley of Hinnon, or Gehenna (hell), the valley the little park opened down into.  Though over the years I can’t remember if it was before the amphitheater directly below the park or after, presently you come to little shallow caves along the opposite ridge where, records have it, ascetics lived when the land was under tribute to Egypt, and each one was castrated one day on the misread orders from Egypt that said to gather taxes from them too.  They thought it read to castrate them. On further you come to a place where, I learned from Lars, there was a temple to Baal where children were sacrificed, fathers putting their toddler sons into the arms of his image and it being set on fire, the screams of the child drowned out by the sudden eruption for that purpose of the devotees in mad deafening frenzy.  Lars said he thought a lot about the father of such a child, how it must’ve gotten to him at some point no matter how he tried to ignore it, talking about the family too and their suppressed guilt, and I picked up the image, the mute feelings, the terrible pain, and gave it a feel.  Yes, I figured, at some point they felt it.  We all do.

On one such morning a couple of days before the coming of Mohammad’s men he told me of a dream he’d had in the night where he and I were walking through an ancient forest of tall dark trees that many tourists walked through but were careful not to encounter the dark of the forest.  They left and the forest got increasingly darker, the branches of the trees turning into racks of antlers hanging down, at which point we noticed young bulls in the distance watching us about to charge, and so we climbed a tree, both very afraid.

He said after relating the dream that showed him he still had some fear, though he also admitted he was reluctant to tell me the dream because it would prove I was right.  We’d been having a debate about his declaration that he wasn’t afraid of anything, and I’d told him that he was in denial, and that everyone was afraid of something.  I recommended he pay attention to his dreams, and he’d find out he still had fear, which he’d done and found.  But it not only showed he was still afraid of things, it showed us, if we could but see it, the coming of Mohammad’s men and the threat they would present, as it would be as if we had been chased up a tree, figuratively, and by young bulls, what animal it can be said those men acted like.  Precognitive dreams are like that, rarely if ever an exact telling of coming events as I’d feared that lucid death dream was.  Rather, they are cloaked in the symbol of dream and rely on the skill or even luck of the dreamer to interpret them before the events foretold have happened.  Most of the time you see they are precognitive only in retrospect, but if you’re a person that has them often or seldom, or close to someone that does, that in itself is such a sight to see.

It was actually a lucid dream that lead me to decide to come to Jerusalem, which at the time was the farthest place from my mind to go and post my poems, the ones that’d come out of that soul-searching at home in Houston after my public fall.  I’d begun posting poems on bulletin boards and the like in the small town I was locally famous in for such things as that.  I had first picked the streets of Amsterdam to post my poems on because it was a city known for being open to art and for being open-minded, and of course because my step-brother Steve lived there and would help in any way he could.  It happened as I planned my trip that I had a lucid dream where a man dressed in a suit and tie, looking like he’d just walked into the dream from somewhere else, came and said, “Go to Jerusalem.  I’ll pay your way to Jerusalem.”  Then I went with him and we boarded a glass submarine and left for the ancient city.  In the morning I got a phone call telling me I had a job and even a ride to and from work, which was odd because I’d been looking for work for weeks but couldn’t find any because I didn’t have transportation and didn’t want to cut my hair or shave my beard, and I looked all hippied out, and this was Houston, Texas.  The job was helping re-organize a carpet warehouse that had been damaged in a recent flood, and so in three or four months I had the money for the trip.

Morning daylight of the soul, that’s what that morning felt like waking up and still being alive, after our test, not having had our sleep interrupted by the young horses’ whipping nightmare.  The rain continued, but that didn’t take the joy out of the morning.  Still rather early, Milo came driving up and actually drove the van into the high part of the park and left it there for us to sleep in until the rain stopped.  He acted like he didn’t want to do it, going on about how long it would take to get the lingering smell of hippie out of his family van, but both he and his father, his mother too I would learn months later when she’d doctor the festering wounds I’d gotten living as a hapless pilgrim without a shekel to my name, had open hearts and couldn’t hide them, try as they might to sound Israeli and tough as nails.  The other member of the family, a daughter, was an officer in the army.  Boy was she a little put out to come home on furlough and find her family had adopted an American hippie, and he wasn’t even Jewish.

It rained for two days, and we stayed mostly in the van, and no one bothered us, not even the tourist police.  If you notice the way things go down in this world, serious things, there’s often a lull after the big events, and if you’re one to ascribe meaning to things, it’s like everybody’s given a chance to think things over.  We learned from Jay that Mohammad had done some of that wrong kind of thinking.  He had come to give us news of Patricia (we’d be surprised to learn after everything was over he was her secret lover) and tell us of any danger we might be in.  Mohammad had blocked the entrances to Patricia’s hostel with two men, a hostel in the Islamic quarter near Lion’s Gate, one she’d changed to so to get out of his sight, unaware that wouldn’t help, and she wouldn’t be able to leave the hostel and would in effect being held hostage.  He’d told her if she’d have sex with him he’d leave us alone, and she’d agreed to do so, according to Jay.  It was my understanding that hadn’t happened yet.

To prevent that from happening I left the park with Jay and went to Patricia’s hostel.  The two goons at the door didn’t prevent our entrance.  Patricia was staying in a room by herself, on the bottom bunk, and I sat on a chair near her and heard what had happened during that thoughtful lull: her lying in that bunk for that past two days scared out of her wits, Mohammad paying brief visits to manipulate her into having sex with him.  (In making Mohammad sound so terrible, which isn’t hard because his actions speak for themselves, I have to point out that he didn’t rape her, and that shows some humanity however small).  I asked her if she wanted me to call Amir the policeman, and she told me in a very weak little girl’s voice yes.  Then she started hyper-ventilating, and I didn’t have a small bag or anything, but I managed to get her to breathe normally by holding her chest tightly and firmly telling her to slow her breathing down, counting her breaths.

There’s a police station inside the old city near Jaffa Gate, and a payphone nearby, and having his number, which I got from Patricia (why she hadn’t called herself I don’t know), I called Amir.  He told me to wait there, and he’d be there in 15 or 20 minutes.  I asked him to come alone and he agreed, but it wasn’t very long before the gates to the station opened, and a squad of Israeli infantry came running out, with Amir and other policemen leading.  I was asked to lead them to the hostel.

This story’s maintained by irony of the image: a special forces soldier 11 years before, now here I was several days on a hunger strike for peace (it not being a real fast or for the highest ideal notwithstanding) leading a squad of soldiers armed to the teeth, myself all decked out in colorful hippie clothes, on my head a wide Native American headband with the kind of beads that glitter in the light, with a wolf on the forehead.  In any other circumstances I myself might’ve been arrested on the grounds I was too much of an irony for the scene, and I had succumbed to the Jerusalem syndrome, a city-specific temporary mental illness whereby someone walks around Jerusalem dressed in robes and giving their blessings to everyone thinking they are a Christ or something.

We left on the run, Amir and I at the head, he explaining as we ran that there’d been several complaints by tourist women about Mohammad, but so far they hadn’t been able to nail him, and now they finally had a chance.  I remember looking at the places we passed as we argued over the ineffective and revenge-oriented formula crime and punishment, as I saw it at least, and right when I was making my point we were going past the Church of the Redeemer, but Amir has a point too: men like Mohammad were not going to stop assaulting women until you make them stop, but I forget how well or ill he dressed that idea.  As for me, it was all hitting a little too close to home, more of that irony of image, because what I sought redemption for was, allegedly, not too terribly unlike what Mohammad had done, mine wearing though a non-violent skin.

The Reincarnation of Adolf Hitler

The look of cruelty moves
from off my face
as Hitler repeats itself.
Born again of the Human Race
of which I was before,
I show you now my secret self,
the one you know as Thor.

I am quite really a made-up man,
with a hammer, and a hatchet,
and the whole damn clan,
or was, was I, way back when?
Here it is I reveal
the secret which
will make me real.

I suffer.

The pain I feel I confess
is the same within your breast.
Now sitting in the dead center
of the very cyclone
of pain itself,
I’m not mad anymore,
at anyone,
not even me.

The quiet lightening looks of blame
move from off my face
as darkness redeems itself
and lights up the whole damn sky.

(another main poem posted during our postings)

I don’t know if force is always necessary to get someone to stop forcing themselves on others.  It was needed here, since Mohammad had been assaulting women with impunity and now was holding Patricia against her will, and only the authorities could rescue her.  Even I could see that.  But you have to wonder how many crossroads he and his community had come to together before things had reached this pitch, moments where they both could’ve taken a better road in relation to one another if those moments would’ve been seen and seized.  You could tell he didn’t like this about himself, wanted to be seen as an educated and sophisticated young man, not as an animal, but his marked bitterness towards the world spoiled everything.  Lars attributed that bitterness to the occupation, but I saw more at work than just the oppression of his people.

It wasn’t really Mohammad I was concerned with, though, wasn’t who I was arguing for.  I had come to Jerusalem to undergo another way to right wrong other than the state punishing you on behalf of the wronged, a way of repentance and redemption, a way of the soul, a way you surrender to unconditionally, but I still didn’t know what someone you wrong needs from you – I just vaguely understood that it wasn’t being punished in their name.  (I now know they need you to recognize and feel what you did to them to the healing depth of soul, a depth recognizable in dreams you have about each other and a depth recognizable in the depth of world that comes out of the story of your repentance.)  I also didn’t realize that I couldn’t bring my community with me to the crossroads I was at in Jerusalem, and without your community redemption isn’t possible, and without it I did not take the right road upon leaving the city.

When we got to the hostel the goons took one look at us and split, and Patricia and Jay came running out – how they knew we were coming I don’t know –, and we were off, he on one side of her and I on the other.  We were disrupting pilgrims on the Via Dolorosa, some turning their cameras from the pain and trials of Christ onto us, and I wanted all the glory and to be the only one helping her and couldn’t understand why Jay felt himself so important to the situation to be at her side too, not yet aware of their secret love, but she almost began to hyper-ventilate, and so I put one hand on her back and one on her chest as I’d done before and began saying, in a loud commanding voice, “Breathe! Breathe!” at the proper intervals, and so I was satisfied I would get a lot of the attention.  It wasn’t that I didn’t feel her plight. I did.  It was that I felt myself and my position more, but such ego positioning I wasn’t aware of and didn’t become aware of until years later.  When you do see it though, you wonder at our boundless capacity for self-deception, and you wonder if you’ve ever been sincere.

Lars was waiting standing outside the station, and the procession stopped near the gate, the infantry going on in and the policemen questioning Lars and I about the incident in the park with Mohammad’s men.  I was asked if the man had a knife, and I lied and said no because if I’d seen the knife that would be grounds to have them arrested.  Amir looked at me with contempt.  Then he and his partner took Patricia and Jay into the station (it finally beginning to dawn on me Jay was more than her friend), Lars and I staying where we were, not wanted in and not wanting to go in, Lars yelling at Patricia not to press charges and Amir looking back at us like he wanted to nail us more than Mohammad.

She didn’t press charges, but she did leave the city, though not immediately, in another week or so, because she didn’t want him to win she told me, but she was no longer the confident carefree young women I’d met just 8 or 9 days before.  In a couple of days Mohammad and a friend, the one with the knife, came and actually apologized and asked if there was anything we needed, and we told them some stuff we needed, but it never came of course.  It had happened that Palestinian elders wanted to know why the Israeli army had invaded their quarter, and they were told of Mohammad’s behavior, and so they read him the riot act, though it did not appear a genuine crossroads he and his community were standing on.  In our next camp on the Mount of Olives we’d hear another girl tell us Mohammad had slapped her around trying to force his way on her, and so all we’d done was give him more leave to harm women, but we knew the way you know a dog is about to bite you that giving him to Amir wasn’t the right answer either, though it would stop him temporarily and give him a taste of his own medicine, since with a young Palestinian man in the hands of the Israeli police there will be blood.

When it came time to do my thing, post the poems, we did it after the fast on three consecutive nights, or rather each time around three in the morning, coming down from our camp on the Mount of Olives and entering the old city through Lion’s Gate.  On Easter morning we posted them (using clear Scotch tape so as not to damage anything) on the 14 stations of the cross, doing it in a little procession that consisted of Lars and I, Patricia, not the one that figures in this story, one from America, a dedicated Palestinian rights activist, Rye, a painter from an art school in Paris, originally from New Zealand, and a dog named Jin, whose home we had invaded when we moved into a little area below the Palestinian village at the top of the mountain, who each night came farther with us on the posting, the whipping dog of the village and in need of redemption as much as I (she would be taken by Ramon to live in Lifta, an abandoned Arab village occupied by hippies that loved dogs). On Passover we posted them on the doorposts of Israelis in the Jewish Quarter, when it was only Lars, I, and the dog.  We didn’t have any special night to post them in the Islamic Quarter, but Lars and I posted them in various places the night after Passover, the most significant of which was on the outside of the Golden Gate, a closed gate that Islamic legend has it, Lars had mentioned several times, the Mahdi, the Islamic messiah, would enter Jerusalem, and it would open when he touched it.  Standing there on our tippy-toes on tombstones, since an Islamic graveyard is there, I saw Lars was hesitant to post the poem.  “Lars,” I said, “are you afraid to tape the poem because you’re afraid when you touch the wall the gate will open?”  As we both smiled that sheepish smile you smile when you get caught with your hand the cookie jar, me though stealing giant ego fritters not Muslim messiah mouthfuls, he taped the poem to the gate.

The Golden Gate, Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay

Neither one of us had attracted the attention we thought we’d get, though we did meet a lot of new friends (some not so friendly).  Both the hunger strike and the poem posting went virtually unnoticed by everyone.  My step-brother Steve had told me that once the wire services picked up what I was doing, it would be all over the news, but that never happened.  Every day during the strike I wrote in a letter journal to my community about the events as they occurred, why I was there, and how sorry I was over all that had happened.  I mailed it right before we posted the poems, to my close friend Paul who owned a bookstore, asking him to read it on the radio.  He’d tell me some months later that he did get the letter, and it made him cry, but he didn’t read it to anyone right away, had saved it for the right moment.  Before that moment came he lost it, being a little bit like an absent minded professor, so no one besides him in that small town I so loved knew what lengths I went to try and make up for what it was I was accused of doing.

I reasoned at the time, told Lars and would tell all I told the story to in the years after, that it didn’t matter if anyone read the poems because those were tactical ideas I’d posted in a religious hub of humanity fit to be a ground zero for such ideas, and one day inevitably they’d explode, using that analogy because in special forces I’d parachuted with my team and a tactical (hand-placed) nuke into a country to put on a target (a practice mission), what I felt I’d done with those poems.  That my community did not learn of my repentance did matter, almost defeated me upon returning to it and discovering it hadn’t, and it didn’t even want to hear about it – the loss of faith in my humanity and theirs took many years to recover.  Now in the autumn of my life, with my faith restored, I don’t know if that act of posting those ideas in that place will produce some sort of magic that will one day become meaningful to the world at large, but I do know that stories such as this one and many others will climb our thought’s skies, and faced with such human stories we’ll turn and face our humanity and in so doing embrace the higher ideals that make us different from mere beasts.  When we do that it’s inevitable we’ll not punish wrong but heal it.

The question then would be who do you redeem and who would need more convincing.  I’ve shown you two wrongdoers.  Mohammad needed the intervention of force represented by Amir and his men because it was painfully obvious he would not cooperate with his society otherwise, but did I, one willing to cooperate?  If the answer to such a question hinges on anything other than healing and redemption, for all parties, the wrongdoer as well as the wronged, we’ll continue to come up with the wrong answer and the compounding of wrong upon wrong.  And who knows, if we changed the fixed formula of crime and punishment to a more situation specific wrongdoing and healing, maybe even the (hostel manager) Mohammad’s of the world would come in from the cold.

Look at me will you?  Honest to God stories redeem us.

An Order of Chakra Shakes

Photos by Vijay Putra and Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

All those spaces for free airplane,
where death found me drinking alcohol.
People call it a dark room.
It’s so incredibly outspoken.
Look everyone
group therapy:
no single routine.

Before Randy could stop me, I grabbed the one quart canteen three fourths full of Jack Daniels and guzzled it, and I didn’t even drink. He did though, was celebrating our arrival on the Continental Divide, here at about 11,000 ft. It’d taken two days to backpack up to it, and sitting around the campfire now on our third night he’d pulled out his canteen and had started drinking, after two days of sobriety. We’d been best friends and hiking partners since high school, and now pushing 30 we knew each other a little too well. He was usually a jolly drunk, but every now and then he got mean, not physically, because Randy was what you call a conscientious man; he got mean with his knowledge of me, knew where my buttons were, and he’d started pushing them. What made it so bad was he wasn’t dumb, was about as smart as they come and was using that intel on me to cut me to pieces. Being the pretentious piece of work that I was, that was as easy as cutting butter. The sneer on his face glowed in the firelight when I looked his way, and a sneer and fire just makes you think of demons, and I sure didn’t want to go through hell every time in the next two weeks he decided to pull out that canteen and drink. It was one of those decisions you make that instantaneously turns into action, and he wasn’t prepared for my assault on his canteen, and it took him too long to react, tired and high and tight as he was. My rational was simple: deprive him of whiskey by drinking it myself. There weren’t liquor stores in the Weminuche Wilderness Area to my knowledge.

When he’d realized what I’d done that sneer turned into a face full of fear, and his voice held that shrill high note voices get when the person using them is in a panic. He’d gotten to me and grabbed the canteen too late, and it’s to his credit there wasn’t a shred of anger in him over what I’d just done to his liquor supply.

“Goddamn you’ll die! You’ll die! Oh shit! Oh shit!” Or he was saying something to that effect. Honestly I don’t remember because the most peculiar sensation was coming over me, slowly, like the way the Blob eats people on the big screen, they just watching themselves be absorbed into its jelly with too much time on their hands until they’re all gone. It’s not a lame analogy because I wasn’t absorbing the alcohol; it was absorbing me.

Then its full effect hit, and I lost my body. Oh I was still in it, but I couldn’t move it, and it felt like it was some stranger out there along with the rest of the world. This was an inner thing. Without motor skills I slumped over, and Randy caught me and held me while I puked, which it seemed someone else was doing although I was there. Then he half carried half drug me to the tent and laid me in it, all the while cussing like you do when you’re not mad but scared. Laying there I heard him going around the tent in circles a bit out of his head talking to himself about trying to get me down the mountain to the road, a two-day journey. He was reasoning with himself about his responsibility in my coming death. He was also crying.

For my part I lay there and surrendered to death, knowing I was inebriated and had unwittingly ingested a fatal dose of alcohol. I had lost all control over my body and even all body sensation, except unfortunately for an excruciating pounding in my solar plexus. My breathing had almost stopped so slow it was, and I was sinking inside further, towards death I assumed. “So here I’m to meet my fate, in a tent on the mountaintops, not the worst place to meet it.” That was the only thought on dying I had. Oddly there was no fear or a panic to say goodbye to everyone I loved, like my grandfather experienced as he died of a heart attack, what I witnessed inside of him as he died in something rather unknown I call inner body time travel. It was even unlike the time I was killed in a lucid dream and tried to wake up but couldn’t and died and went to the doorway of ‘the other side’, or had what’s called a near death experience. There I was just shocked anyone could kill me because I’d had been, up to that point, invincible in my lucid dream adventures, but I had really thrown my weight around, and something there is that steps in in dreams and puts limits on things.

I was also quite familiar with cataleptic trance, or sleep paralysis as it’s called these days, because I’d had out of body experiences since childhood, and that’s the state from which it’s the easiest to induce one. This state, however, was different as similar as it was. One big difference was I couldn’t move my body if I tried, and in sleep paralysis you can, with a sudden jerk. There was also, as I surrendered to death, a depth to the trance I’d not experienced before, and when reaching it on my surrender, which took only a second, I saw bold in my visual field a bright white mandala of a star pattern, but I can’t remember how many points the star had. It acted like some gateway, and then I was absolutely free of my body.

I doubt you can appreciate what I mean, though maybe people in a coma might be able to relate to it, or I would hope that’s what they experience. You feel that peace that passes understanding because I sure couldn’t understand it so peaceful it was, like taking a timeout from the world and all its pressure. It was tinged with a bliss that, in that peace, made for a most contented and comfortable state which floated along but did not exactly cross that line that gave you a feeling of being more in spirit than in matter; it wasn’t the seat of the soul.

The pain in my solar plexus had become an intense vibration, and I remembered suddenly about chakras, what I’d heretofore thought was just another one of those convenient ways to explain things like I felt reincarnation was, until I was to remember other lives, but that’s another story. I should explain that this wasn’t a spiritual experience, in my definition of one at least, because I was still in ego consciousness, had not risen to a higher or more integral identity, or even to an emptiness, still thought a mile a minute myself the center of my thoughts. It no doubt came partly as an aftershock of a spiritual experience I’d had several months earlier, or that past experience had made me susceptible to this present metaphysical one. In that spiritual experience not only my breathing and heartbeat stopped but also my thought process and any sense of self, but there I was driving a truck down the highway and had full control over my body as though everything were normal as impossible as that sounds, a story told elsewhere.

Really tripping out on the vibration in my solar plexus, it occurred to me to next focus on my heart because I’d read there was a chakra there too, and as I did it began to vibrate, and there was more to the vibrations than that, something like a hum, and other ‘strangenesses’ I can’t remember. The heart was different than the vibration at the solar plexus. This was a spreading vibration. Then I continued up to the throat, the forehead, the top of the head, and back down, going to the genital area and the perineum, feeling the vibration of each one. I laid there for hours playing them like notes on a flute because I wanted to remember as much as I could about them, where they were, what they felt like, the sound that came with them, and other things too subtle to recall afterwards. Even still, when I came out of it I couldn’t describe each exactly as I’d felt it, like the top of the head: was it only on the top or also a little above? It’s the damndest thing experience: you just can’t recall anything exactly like it happened. I did, however, now know the chakras were actually real. I also know now where I was, in the body below the body, what’s commonly called the subtle body.

I could see and hear the outside world, just couldn’t access it in any way, and whether my eyes were open or closed your guess is as good as mine, but anyone that’s been in trance a lot can tell you that you can see the place you’re at even when your eyes are closed. Randy came in every few minutes to check on me, but as time wore on he came less and less. Drowning in your own vomit is the biggest cause of death in alcohol poisoning I’ve read, but he probably didn’t know that at the time and was just making sure I was still alive. He told me later I hardly had any vitals and that for a couple of hours he circled the tent debating with himself over what he should do and sure I was going to die, like I’d heard him doing.

Thirty some odd hours I lay in that tent, about 24 in the depths of that trance, or samadhi as it’s called in yoga, and some hours slowly coming up out of it, back into my physical body and the outer world. I think it was mid morning I awoke, as in the night I’d fallen asleep, the last stage to returning to my body again. The tent was a little in shadow, and so I didn’t notice anything unusual about myself except that I felt very cleaned out, purged, not groggy or overly stiff as you’d expect. The peace was still my major emotion, though not near as incomprehensibly deep as when in trance, and accompanying it was a splash of that joy I’d felt, a very settled joy that gave a perfect accent to the peace. I was of course hungry and thirsty, but those needs were oddly at a distance, not the insistent beggars they’d normally be after not being fulfilled for two days, though I do seem to remember chugging heartily on the canteen Randy had left near me in the tent before I came outside, maybe even hitting on it in the night once I got my motor skills back.

But I hadn’t seen anything yet. Crawling out of the tent I got quite a shock. Every single thing I looked at had a violet glow around it! Instead of reveling in the marvel, I got scared I’d messed up my vision for life, had one of those panics like when I learned demons were actually real because I was eye to eye with one I’d conjured in a glass crystal, that then preceded to wreck a bit of havoc in my life until I…, but that’s another story. What I’m trying to say is I suddenly had knowledge I didn’t want and didn’t know how to get rid of or who to go to for help with, and crouched there outside the tent on all fours looking at a small sparse forest of conifers that populated the long high pass between peaks we were in on the backbone of the Colorado Rockies, I had that same dread I’d done did it again, and I just wanted normality as strange as that may sound seeing the world bathed in such a beautiful violet glow.

I say violet, but it was something more otherworldly that violet helps to describe but doesn’t exactly define, and the glow was more like a radiation than a mere glow, or rather, some things glowed and some radiated, and I not only saw the glow around each and every thing that had a separateness from other things, even leaves and blades of grass, but there was this unfathomable depth to the world I’d not ever seen before, something the word silence can help to picture. The word sacred would be going a little too far with the description because it’d make you think of religious icons and imagery, and this was naked of anything like that, but holy it was in a very mute and basic sense. When I got home I got a book on Tibetan Buddhism, and I saw those paintings that have tongues of fire around everything, and I knew that’s what I’d seen, and that was what the artist was trying to capture, but the actual sight surpasses any attempt to capture or describe it because it’s something as subtle and sublime as it is concrete, but whatever it is it’s quite real, and in our art and with our words those seeming opposites swim away from one another. We either render metaphysical things too concrete, like in Bartolome Esteban Murillo’s painting of Jacob’s Dream, or too sublime, like José de Ribera’s interpretation in painting of that same dream.

Presently Randy came waltzing back, having left camp on a short romp, eager to get back on the trail and tired of waiting for my recovery. He didn’t seem surprised to see me out and about, acted a bit too nonchalant, like his panic at my near death embarrassed him, and so he had to show how composed he really is despite that momentary lapse, though all this was done on his part on a level he wouldn’t have been able to clearly see or admit to, it being one of those thousand and one things about human behavior, the way we all act, that’s below our own radar but beeping on everyone else’s. The violet radiation around him was intense, not just around him but on him glowing in various places. I don’t think I blurted out I was seeing violet light around everything because the peace I was feeling was so satisfying I didn’t really want to talk, and that was very unusual for me, especially around him, my best friend, sounding board, one of very few people I could let my hair down with and be stupid, silly, even bad me.

Telling him of my experiences, someone without any interest in the spiritual path other than hearing me talk about it, was a bad habit of mine that’d gotten him into trouble with with that aforementioned demon, and I still hadn’t learned you keep your spiritual and metaphysical experiences to yourself until they’ve been properly assimilated, which takes about six months or more with the big ones, least you ‘spill it’ or unintentionally harm someone by giving them knowledge they are in no way prepared for. It’s also a big stumbling block you give people who want such experiences but haven’t had them. When you’re bragging envy is the response, a poison to the people who feel it but so human a response. The only person who needs to hear your experiences as they happen is your teacher, but it would still be years until I had one. I wasn’t exactly a loner flying by the seat of my pants though, despite the number of times I did; I was trying to fly by the seat of my soul, which means, when you can do that, your very essence takes you where you need to go, shows you what you need to see, an unorthodox encounter I know.

I do remember beginning to tell him about my experience during trance, but he cut me short and told me he wanted to get going, and I had that stupid smug feeling you get when you think you have something valuable but someone else shrugs it off, and it’s not that you don’t have something valuable — maybe you do, maybe you don’t — , but by showing it at a time and place neither the time nor the place to do so, and showing a person that’s not in a mood to appreciate it, and some people never are, you just make it so cheap.

Hunger here came and tapped me on the shoulder, and so I suggested we eat breakfast before we headed on out, and this may not be the actual order of events, and it might be that we lingered there the rest of the day and that night too so I could get my strength back, and hunger came calling in the afternoon or evening, but it’s not crucial to the story one way or another. Randy I’m sure would give a different order and tell also a different story. That’s the nature of collective experience: you’re not going to come out with the same story when different people who were there tell their story of that story. When we understand this history becomes so subjective.

Simple Foods for the Pack was the book I used to plan my meals for the trip, pre-packaging them according to the book’s instructions so all I had to do was put the ingredients in boiling water. If I’d used the recipes with dairy products they might’ve been tasty meals, but I was on a puritan kick in preparation for that trip, and vegan I had to be because I had to ‘go all the way’, though I wasn’t a vegan and didn’t understand suddenly becoming one on a backpacking trip wasn’t the best place to go vegan. It would’ve been a good idea to cook one of the meals at home first to see what it tasted like, and I do think the book itself recommended that, but I had all confidence in myself, as many times as I’d learned I didn’t have grounds to be so sure of myself, and of course I could ‘take it’.

For the three months preceding the trip I’d put myself through a rigorous exercise program similar to what I did routinely when I was in the army special forces, a run one day of some miles and a ‘ruck’ the next from three to five miles with a 30 pound pack. I wasn’t so strict with diet, but I stayed mostly vegetarian, and I kept grass smoking to a minimum. I didn’t drink, and so that only left sex to abstain from if you consider the main vices, and I seem to remember for those three months I didn’t let the rooster chase Charlie, never even grabbed the chicken by the neck, and you’ll just have to interpret what I mean. I also did a daily meditation practice combined with pranayama, breathing exercises. In short I was more or less quite pure, which, when combined with ingesting so much alcohol, did some alchemy that resulted not in death but in something quite extraordinary actually, what wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been relatively pure beforehand, and that’s the paradox of purity and of this story.

I cooked one of the vegan meals, having eaten all my pogey bait (snack foods) because I hadn’t brought much, wanting to be hardcore, which in this case was a bit like self-flagellation. Though I was in such a deep state, seeing the world in tongues of fire, feeling a peace that made me want to keep my mouth shut, as unusual for me as spots on a zebra, that food was so bland and tasteless I had to ask Randy for some of his food. Not on any puritan kick, or any path other than the backpacking trail we were on, he’d stocked up on pogey bait, various cheese snacks, sausages and beef jerky, and he was eating it with such relish, for my benefit no doubt. With me sitting there looking down so forlornly at my bowl of steaming glook, we had one of those interactions that has lead down through the ages not only to murder many times but I’m sure also to war. It’s the interaction of ‘you got the good stuff; give it’. At first he refused, taking the opportunity to rub my nose in my uppity attitude about the whole trip, the need for preparation, purification, and a spiritual attitude. I’d been such a jerk about it, making myself sound so holy and him so animal, and I had to see I deserved both his refusal and him enjoying his moment.

He finally relented and, reluctantly, gave me most of his cheese snacks, me still too holy to eat pigs and cows, but I’d had to use the ‘oh I’ve been injured and need the good stuff’ reason he should share his food with me. The underground of interactions, they just kill you.

The violet glow around everything was strongest the first 24 hours, and then it began to slowly recede like a waning moon. It took three days for it to recede, and as it left, it left behind a rainbow of colors not of this world but of the capacity of imagination to combine colors, here imagination come real to sight. It was more like a patchwork of shapes, didn’t fill the sight of the world, since it was only an odd shape here and there, not radiating from everything but from certain things and not others, like from a person, other animal, ‘significant’ tree or large stone, spot even. I can sit here and use my reason to remember, but better to sum it up by saying there were splashes of colored light everywhere, rays, beams, splatters, lines, spheres, blobs, and on and on, again to imagination’s store, coming off of various objects as I looked at the world.

I was later to learn that was the outer or ‘vital’ aura, which is quite at the moment and temporary and is a snapshot of something’s vital state, the quality of someone’s life-force at that moment. It indicates the emotional state basically, if someone is afraid, mad, bored, balanced, excited, in love, and the list is long. Take red for example. It’s not always an indication of anger and can be simply passion, but to look at it a moment as anger it’s common that the brighter the red and the more chaotic the shapes the more anger there is and more dangerous it is. When you see that red extreme splattered on a wall or on the ground in front of somebody, it’s better to get out of there because maybe someone’s going to blow. If it’s coming from yourself, you need to calm down, take a walk, go do the dishes, anything to get out of the scene of conflict. I don’t know if it’s the same with everyone, but over the years the ability waned, and not only became less frequent, but less seeing other’s outer aura and more seeing my own.

I saw the world splashed with those ethereal shapes and patterns for a day or so, and then it too began to wane like the violet glow, and soon I basically only saw the outer aura of things and people close to me, which is what I see today, though as I said more rarely and less universally. A lot depends, I’ve found, on how deeply you are experiencing your moment, and the deeper you are (more inside yourself) as you experience the outer world, the more you see the subtle field of auras if you have been opened to that. With me the trigger that brought about the opening was getting drunk, inebriated, and it would bear mentioning that this is not an experiment you want to try at home folks. I’m a trained, licensed adaptable piece of bridge. It’s not likely you know what I mean. It’s likely you will die.

The rest of the journey passed like I was walking on air. I could hardly be in a better place to be in such a state, the San Juan Mountains of Southern Colorado summer right at the tree line. We were hiking on the Continental Divide Trail on a two week hike, and we’d been generous with our route and had given ourselves plenty of time to meander instead of doing the Olympic walk. Even losing those days to my illness we weren’t pressed for time. I don’t know which I like better, coming upon a little hidden lake nestled in secrecy and accenting its waters with sparkling of sunlight, flowers spotting the alpine tundra to give the scene immortal presence, or the expansive view of feeling like an Immortal myself as I throw my gaze on far horizons standing on the heights of earth. That walk is a pleasant blur in my memory of flowers smelt and heights seen.

On the last day on the last leg of the trail, right before we turned to hike our way down to the car parked at a trailhead, I came upon a stream whose violence of flow had made a wide trench in the ground a meter or so deep. There was a little but vocal waterfall at that spot, and the intensity of the scene called me to do a sitting meditation, and so I went down and sat by the waterfall. Its sound drew me into a deep trance, and with a whoosh I was inside. The roar of the waterfall suddenly became a distant splash somewhere ‘out there’, like I was hearing it underwater. All my senses withdrew inside, but I was able to maintain my sitting posture without effort. I was basically asleep but sitting up and conscious. I had the strong sensation of some epiphany, and…

“Come on! It’s time to go!” I opened my eyes and saw Randy standing above me looking down at me and looking very angry. It was the forceful anger in his voice that I responded to. It hit me like a brick and knocked me right out of the trance. I could only look up at him. I didn’t have any idea how I could tell him this was important, at least to me. Maybe because I was more inside I was more sincere, and I suddenly saw how mad he was at me for being so distant the whole trip, since the death-trance in the tent. I hardly was speaking, wanted to sit and meditate every time we came to a nice spot, and that on top of the other annoying things about me like wanting to be the one to pick camping spots and other things I did to be the one in control, things we all do to one degree or another, I wasn’t being a good hiking partner to say the least. In fact, he probably put up with my quirks because he liked me talking, what I talked about, the way I joked around, and without that I was not easy to put up with, at least not to him, and it bears mentioning that at that moment I was his whole society and he mine human-wise.

He’d driven his car for this trip, and as we drove back to Houston, Texas, our home then, he was not a happy camper. I don’t know if he did it to annoy me, since I was still more or less blissed out and not talking, but he put on the new Neil Young album he’d just bought, Ragged Glory if I’m’ not mistaken, since this was in 1990. He popped the cassette in right as we drove away and played it continuously, over and over as one of the songs repeats. For the next 500 miles, that was the sound of our trip, and it was loud. I remember looking out the window, wanting to put my head out of it to get away from the music, since it was so screeching in parts. I liked Neil Young, but I didn’t like this, like he’d done some experiment with distortion, and the whole thing got distorted. But then instead of putting my head out the window, I opened to the music, and, though it still grated on me, I could see what the artist was trying to do, and to a certain extent it worked: allow chaos into the harmony, let in ragged glory. I’d done the same thing chugging that whiskey, let in the whirlwind, but I’d let the right one in, and so much spiritual order came out of it and still is, this story for example.

Randy finally turned the music off and confronted me about my distance, and we had an argument, though I did see his point. I tried to explain I just didn’t feel like talking, couldn’t make myself. When I told him that, I felt quite superior, and of course that would be in my voice and wouldn’t help any. That’s the major problem with spiritual and metaphysical experience, feeling superior to other people. Other people just hate that. The other problem is you think the experience enlightened you because you seem to have so much more knowledge, but despite the change it does bring, very small in actual substance, you’re still the same messed up person you were before — vying for position in the herd. This was to be our last backpacking trip together, since I was to leave Texas not too long after that and then go abroad, and after an initial effort to keep in touch, our relationship receded like that violet glow, and we haven’t seen one another or spoken in years. We’ve ended up on very different paths.

The spiritual path itself goes up and down through our lives much like that mountain trail, dipping below tree line into the forest of passions and desires and rising above it into the sunlit stillness and peace. But it can’t be pinned down to this or that system it is so unpredictably wild, though paradoxically without a system it can’t be taken in any fullness. Most any particular spiritual system has a set of rules or guidelines, insists on purity, and provides some security for the seeker, even a solo system such as I followed at that time, but the path itself is bound by none of these things, requires us to be able to throw three sheets to the wind when the right wind comes along and let go of everything, even rules. But no rule can be made, and herein lies the difficulty, that tells us when it’s okay to break the rules, just like no certain set of steps can be laid out that lead to enlightenment, or even peak experiences. Many pundits would disagree and say you just need to apply yourself more to the steps, but how many pundits reach enlightenment or have even seen it, if the truth be told? I guess I can sum up the story and its purity paradox by saying I didn’t go up on that mountain to get drunk but to hike the spiritual path, but I got drunk and actually in reality hiked some on up it. It seems sometimes, and only God could know when, the Spirit hearkens more readily to a rebel’s yell than a monk’s chant.

 

Make Peace With the World

madonna-with-blessing-child-1480

Madonna with Blessing Child by Giovanni Bellini

Perhaps there’s nothing that hits us in the quick of our social selves more than sex.  Sexual contact without a doubt is the most controlled contact among us.  In an effort to control even sexual desire, because it’s an irrational impulse that we know all too well can in an instant override the reason and move us as if by force to have sex, showing the sexual organs in public is not only largely prohibited by law everywhere on the globe, but also by our own acute sense that showing them is wrong, as though hiding them goes hand and hand with our self-awareness as a person such is the degree of social indoctrination in regards to the genitals we undergo from birth in order to control sexual contact.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that sexual conduct is the heart of morality, is what all other notions of right and wrong are subordinate to, morality itself the heart of social life, what we use to measure the worth of one another, and if you don’t believe me take this test: who not in your reason but in your gut offends you more, makes you want to throw up, the suicide bomber or the pedophile?  Yet in terms of harm to their victims, though there would be those who would argue given the abhorrence of the former, hands down the suicide bomber causes more.

Many might say that the suicide bomber was brainwashed into doing the destructive deed they did, coerced by fanatical elements of their religion, and that their act came out of their devotion to God however confused that had become, and therefore if they can’t be forgiven then at least you might give them some understanding, but the pedophile, on the other hand, they are just evil people.  Some might be as kind to say mentally diseased people, that either in their genes or the chemicals in their brains something is haywire, given our preponderance for reductionist materialism even in popular culture nowadays, the attempt to reduce everything to gross material process, consciousness and all its manifestation to chemicals in the brain, speaking of contemporary technologically based societies (calling them the ‘developed’ nations isn’t a truthful description, implying as it does a developed people), what, with the aid of communication technology is giving rise to some semblance of a world culture.  There would be those few, however, that would see in the pedophile the same set up as the suicide bomber, that neither are they evil nor genetically and/or brain damaged people (generally speaking, since in some cases the latter may be the case, but in others evidence of such might have to do with the possibility a baby’s brain may be more plastic to nurture than now believed, and the former would naturally have a role if such behavior extends through generations, is a set familial trait). Pedophiles are people that have been conditioned in the most basic sense to cause harm, conditioned in infancy, when how you will behave sexually is determined, who you’ll be attracted to and how you’ll manifest that, something that after untold centuries we still largely don’t know so strong is the taboo in regards to sexual feelings and our children.

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world” is a common idiom in English, from a poem of the 19th century, but the idea can be traced as far back as Classical Greece, though neither those who use the idiom, nor the poet, who wrote his poem in praise of motherhood, nor the Greeks, who had an eye more towards the advent of political leaders, saw its deeper sociological significance in terms of what I now speak.  Beginning with Freud, the existence of sexual feelings in the parent and early child relationship, though under his ‘microscope’ those were exclusively on the part of the child, was not only admitted for perhaps the first time in polite society, but also made the foundation of his whole psychology of the human being, and for a time of the science of psychology itself, though not without many dissenters, and it bore so much influence and still does (as a basis not now corroborated but one no serious student of the science can ignore) because of the truth value of his narrow and lopsided findings, not that sexual feelings on the part of a small child for their parents are the foundation of the making of the psyche of the human being, of course not, but that such sexual feelings exist between both parties (not only on the part of the child), and they are not the basis of an individual but of a person’s sexual orientation and the manner and degree in which that is manifested.

Before we turn our attention to the production of the hated pedophile, and in so doing look too at his cousins-in-law the now largely socially accepted and legally protected (in most contemporary technologically based societies) homosexual and lesbian, social assembly lines hidden from view and taking place in the factory of the family in our most sacred social relationship and the one in which we depend upon over all others, that between parent and child, allow me to show you a contemporary crisis in India, the gang-raping and overly-pronounced sexual harassment of women (with a view of such in all societies), in light of my bold proposition, since that cradle rocking hand is much less hidden, rocking in this sense ‘to rock the boat’, not to soothe and give comfort.  It will not prove my thesis, but it will give not only food for thought, but also, to the more sincere thinker, a line of sight to substantiate it.

Some years back I was talking to a semi-educated middle-aged Indian man about the preponderance in India of fondling an infant and preschool boy’s penis on the part of not only adults – mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, neighbors – but also of older children, not usually to sexual arousal, but giving it a pull, or tug, or twist, and he vehemently denied that, and I thought I might have to bear the brunt of his righteous indignation (people are funny about their country), but right across the street this grandfather, unaware of us watching, began to play with a little boy’s penis, a boy about two, and the boy kept pulling back, but the old man kept at it, and not only did this spare me the man’s ire, it also made me realize that the behavior, though quite widespread, something done in public as well as in private, was ‘below the radar’ of what they generally would talk about or admit doing, like it was a semi-conscious activity they indulged in that at the time were very aware of (I’ve had women wink at me while they did it on a number of occasions, watched teenage girls and boys laugh and pull on the penis of some beloved baby in their care), but it wasn’t something as a group they were conscious of doing, and if you asked them about it later individually, you got mostly shrugged shoulders as an answer, or some explanation like, “he’s just a small boy,” meaning he’s not yet of the age of reason and doesn’t know that thing down there is anything special.  I even had an argument with a well educated Western woman, the founder of an NGO there to help after the 2004 tsunami, who had seen the behavior herself (who I ascertained would want to throw up if confronted with a pedophile) and defended it, arguing that such on the part of in this case village mothers was within their cultural limits, wasn’t harmful, and shouldn’t be judged by Western standards.

That a baby is crucially conscious of that thing down there and how it’s handled, in the East, the West, on the moon and Mars if we ever end up living in those places, or anywhere in the universe human beings come to live and birth children, to such an extent ‘under the radar’ feelings towards it can be experienced as touch such is the touchy-feely wide-open ocean infants swim in, and they pick up on what we are not even conscious of in ourselves as their caregivers, isn’t quite understood even in those countries it’s against the law to kiss it and toss it to and fro, behavior prohibited not out of the knowledge that contact with an infant’s genitals determines how it will manifest sex, which isn’t generally known, but that the baby will grow up and have to deal with serious issues over being sexually abused, though there’s the underlying reason that has prohibited child sexual abuse to begin with: it being seen as a major factor in the making of a criminal, though no one to my knowledge in the science of psychology has identified the social indoctrination surrounding the genitals, conscious and unconscious, reflexive and purposeful, as the basis of learning right and wrong, the heart, as I’ve proposed, of human morality.

It’s more than that; it’s where on the body is the limit of our social self (in the Indian esoteric chakra system it’s the ‘communication’ chakra), and it’s the privatization of our private parts that organizes our physical ego, or I might say its seat on the body, the degree of how private we are taught our genitals are having a lot to do with the strength of our individuality in relation to the group, since it’s the body and not so much the mind or emotions that separate us from one another, and hence the genitals are a person’s stronghold on the body, what they keep to themselves, what they make private and give only to ‘who they should’, which is largely culturally determined deviancy notwithstanding.

But this privatization is not black and white, and it’s not in terms of being seen but in those of being felt of with either looks or touches (but it would have to be understood at the same time that the general taboo of showing the genitals even in a non-sexual context, as well as not allowing young children the freedom of nudity, significantly contribute to the mounting sexual problems modern society faces, which underscores the paradox and enigma of sex and why we are yet unable to integrate it in society, starting with the reproductive organs themselves functioning also as our organs for the elimination of waste, making it necessary to often expose them to eliminate waste and giving a direct ever-present association of the most disgusting aspect of our body with what gives us our offspring and an almost transcendental bliss, albeit only momentary).  When looks or touches convey the feeling of sexual contact, which would be how the baby being conditioned experiences to a certain extent even care and cleaning contact, wide-open as they are and not yet able to differentiate types of contact on such a sensitive and communicative area as that, which in the context of which we are speaking would include contact considered only playful or teasing on the part of the ‘conditioning’ person, who could be anyone over the age of reason (we’ll excuse any on the part of anyone below that threshold, and we’ll tolerate that with older children to the degree we can, since sexual curiosity among children is part of their natural sexual development, the increasing prohibition against that one of the major causes of the modern proliferation of sexual deviancy).  Not all such playful contact on the part of persons above the age of reason is harmful, and here is the muddle of the matter, but that contact that has a curiosity behind it if not outright conscious or unconscious sexual desire, what no one would admit to.  Though it’s beyond the scope of this present essay, that babies are so wide-open might be why some now questionable practices were adopted, rites such as circumcision, which, along with giving a strong conditioning to the male about his genitals, would naturally tend to limit contact with the penis during cleaning.

Getting back to India and its current crisis, over which women have been seen out in the streets in mass protest calling for the hanging of the rapists, and the major national and world news outlets in solidarity with the protests, the call for the death penalty in this case not being challenged even by those news outlets from countries opposed to it (to my knowledge), and no one with any voice that can be heard has questioned child rearing practices such as what I’ve mentioned as something that might contribute or even be the roots of such destructive and at times deadly behavior (or even the fact that in India contact between males and females is strictly controlled after puberty, at the very time such contact is called for by their nature animal yet as we are, or that boys are largely served by females and not generally required to learn to cook or wash clothes and the like, especially in more traditional families, which would tend to reduce and not enhance respect for females, and I can continue).  At any rate, you might see those women and news outlets have not yet a clue as to why such ‘monsters’ are in their midst, under the all-encompassing assumption we have absolute freewill and are separate from one another not only by our bodies but in our minds and hearts as well, what it might be said contemporary technologically based societies base society upon, that illusionary assumption: that we live in our own separate bubble of consciousness cut off in there from the rest of humanity and the universe; the only communication possible with our surroundings is via the outside.

When it’s the mother of the boy, and she is his primary caregiver, playful contact is much more serious, has such a greater conditioning impact, his utter dependency on and love for her likened unto that the fervently religious have for their God, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that one’s mother (or primary caregiver) is God to an infant for all practical purposes.  I’ve seen mothers fondling their infant and toddler boys on buses, in temples or wherever people sit and wait, not everywhere you look but often enough to see a pattern, and sometimes I’ve seen both arousal on the part of the boys and keen interest on the part of the mothers, though more as a slight of hand, something she looked at indirectly from a sideways glance, under the radar.  What would the boys learn from that?  Being teased in such a manner, at a time when they are so very vulnerable and when they are being conditioned as to how they will manifest their sexual feelings towards woman, they would not be learning to respect woman to say the least, and to say more you could say they were learning the culture of rape.

Let us now move to the production of the gay and lesbian before we come back to our beginning the pedophile, or end with it I should say, since it’s the general principle of the end in the beginning and vice versa that I’m more or less demonstrating, continuing to concentrate on the male because, spending a lifetime researching and doing fieldwork on such matters, unofficially and solo, though I did attend university and read a lot of the psychology on the subject, even learning Classical Greek for deeper insight (hence the counter-attention-deficit sentences and paragraphs), I wanted to get a handle on my own conditioning in regards to where and in what manner I show my penis, and hence get a handle on showing it, but it would not be too far a leap to apply the same principles to the conditioning in regards to the vagina, since, though there would be those who would argue based on the degree of conflict between the sexes, males and females are not from different planets.

Here it would be the father or dominant male adult in the role of caregiver that would be the determining agent, males who are paradoxically generally homophobic, the unconscious attraction manifesting in the manner in which they relate to their toddler boys before they reach the age of reason, which for the most part would be more romantic than outright sexual, though the sudden squeezing or pressing of the boy’s genitals would be part of the conditioning and as well the feelings experienced during intimate carry or lap sitting, genital communication under the radar of the father but the most pleasurable part of the experience for the boy, physical pleasure, erections on the part of the boy a manifestation of that.  What happens in such relationships is the boy learns to associate romantic love with a male figure, genital contact as well, since his father is the love of his life, as opposed to his mother, not something in itself strong enough to overcome the naturally or instinctively occurring attraction for the opposite sex, but when the father responds likewise, especially when he albeit semi-consciously nurses that with genital contact however slight, that boy will have the building blocks to become a homosexual.

I say building blocks because other factors come into play: heredity and hence predisposition for homosexuality, which may or may not be a factor; key romantic and/or sexual relationships with other boys growing up, though expressions of homosexuality among boys is a natural stage of boyhood, and even though it is a factor in the making of the adult gay sexual orientation, it must only be noted and not prohibited for the same reason children need to be able to express their sexual curiosity among themselves (for a healthy human sexuality); whether or not males dominate fantasies during masturbation in early adolescence, since that very short and difficult to identity period is, to a very small degree I have to stress, likened unto infancy such are the basic elements of identity such as sexual orientation ‘up in the air’ and consequently able to be manipulated with one’s consciousness, not too unlike the programming of a computer in theory, though here that has to be done repeatedly, and I’m sure I have not exhausted the building blocks in the making of a homosexual, but you can see the nature of the material used and build on from here.

You might consider a moment that a society that permitted sexual contact between young adolescents of the opposite sex who had been identified by nonintrusive and non-coercive means were in process of developing a ‘different’ sexuality would be a society that had a greater sway over its sexuality (here again, though, we meet sexual paradox, which might be partially captured by saying that it’s quite difficult for our morality to ‘understand’ the vitally important role in cultural evolution – moral, aesthetic, and intellectual – of those persecuted as deviants because they were not heterosexual).  In some ancient societies that sex between early teens was allowed may have more to do with assuring heterosexual orientation than the moral ignorance it appears to us now.  It might even be that a future humanity will not equate sexual fulfillment with human fulfillment and leave to the younger generation that function, to those above the age of responsibility though yet below the age of actual adult maturity, which most over that age would agree is around 30, what could only be possible if the control of sexual contact and all the conditioning that entailed was not a blocking of our natural and instinctual sexual expression based on a reaction against sex by an ill-informed culturally determined morality, but truly the right way to do it, hence making it easier to leave behind when the time came.  Such a scenario would free an untold amount of human effort for higher pursuits.

You would have to figure that if it’s the truth of the matter we must know about it on some level, something so basic to us as this, returning to how sexual orientation is determined, but today we would not likely be able to access that level, or wouldn’t accept the knowledge gained there, because the only level of knowledge we recognize, in this world culture arising from a basis on technology, is the one reached through the scientific method, which concerns itself with outer reality and considers contents of our inner life such as dream and inner vision, where something like this might become visible, as too subjective a field to apply that method to, its importance in psychoanalyses notwithstanding.  In any event, no scientist, the basic authority in this arising world culture, would accept the contents of a dream as proof of anything and would want to see the operation of this in outer reality, something not likely possible given the fact that one, we don’t generally remember anything before the age of reason, and two, few if any parents or caregivers would admit to such behavior such is the social stigma of sexual contact with children, and that’s assuming they were even conscious of it, and most are only half-conscious it and wouldn’t even admit it to themselves.  Neither is it something you can easily set up a long-term experiment to investigate, because of moral issues of course.

So it’s not something we of that arising world culture are likely to believe because we don’t have the means to thoroughly investigate it other than primarily through the inner life, the very thing we of that culture about ourselves trust the least, and if you don’t agree let me ask you if you are largely conscious of that third or fourth of your day called sleep when you are fully immersed in your inner life and having the experiences called dream and the like where you can see played out as upon a symbolic stage all the basic building blocks of yourself, believe it or not.  If you had faith in your inner life you would be, and if you were largely conscious of that large portion of your daily experience, you’d see it’s not a matter of belief but a primary though atrophied way we acquire knowledge, and you’d wonder as I do: how can we be so ignorant of ourselves?

It wasn’t in my inner life, though, that I first learned my mother had sexual contact with me as an infant and toddler, not the ‘slight of hand’ kind but full on sex, or as much a boy so young can perform with a woman, and I must leave the details to your no doubt reluctant imagination.  My psychiatrist just blurted that out, that my mom had sex with me, who I had just started to see because I was exclusively attracted to pre-pubescent boys, and I was 23 and had just discovered, despite efforts to deny it, keep it from manifesting, that I couldn’t so easily control it, though with me it manifested more in a sexual/romantic relationship with a boy than dragging one behind the bushes or somewhere and forcing sex on him.  I told my doctor that was preposterous, since my mother was a good mother, about the best mom one could have, and I didn’t have the slightest memory of anything like that, but based on her declaration and subsequent explanation, over an intensive year seeing me an hour twice a week, I came to entertain the possibility.

Later, when I turned to an investigation of my inner life as a means perhaps of getting a handle on my sexual orientation, something natural for me because since infancy I’d remained more or less conscious of that third or fourth of my day most are unconscious of, I saw that sexual contact as the background of many of my dreams, which, the more I both learned to interpret my dreams and recognize the repeating and emerging patterns, began to show itself naked of symbol.  By that time, some 10 years after therapy, because it was painfully apparent that I would always be defeated in anything I did, and I was not an ungifted young man, my mom finally admitted the abuse, but she didn’t see it as abuse or even as being sexual, saying it was beautiful and sexual desire had nothing to do it, that I just got it all mixed up, her way of living with herself constantly reminded she’d socially crippled her only son and made it impossible for him to live a normal life.  It didn’t start with her though, and she was born to a social class and at a time when such was basically the order of the day, so she isn’t the villain of my life.  Ignorance is, yours, and though in light of infinity I know next to nothing, I do know myself and now can control myself, because knowledge and will do meet when the former informs the latter with the truth of who and what you are, which isn’t evil or diseased but something infinitely larger than the scope of this present essay, what I discovered in the exploration of the depths of myself, what I found when I went upon my heights.

Though it’s a bit complicated to understand how my mother having sex with me would determine my sexual attraction to boys and not just greatly amplify my attraction to women, what that teasing described above does, see she crossed that indefinable line where it became actual outright trauma, what I define as that abuse done to a child below the age of reason, what we might call developmental trauma because it occurs during basic ego formation, whatever kind of abuse, that causes them to develop what I’ll call for simplicity’s sake a subconscious complex (a reaction to trauma not limited to infants and small children – a basic reaction to it for people of any age to a lesser extent) whereby they have the strong impulse as an adolescent or adult to give the same abuse to others, children or other vulnerable people, or act out some other antisocial and/or self-destructive behavior to fulfill three basic functions, and all might be in play to a certain extent, but as a general rule if it’s developmental trauma the first would be visible: as a means of unconsciously exploring the trauma from the other end, the one who did the destructive deed; dealing with the guilt of receiving it; and, especially when the acting out is self-destructive like the abuse of alcohol and drugs, to keep it unconscious or if conscious dull the feelings associated with it. I learned that if I wanted to know what my mom did to me I only needed to watch the way I manifested my attraction in its particulars.  It’s not a 2 + 2= 4 equation, and there are many variables in play, and so the age and sex of who (or what) is the object of attraction, and exclusiveness of attraction to that type person the abused child as an adult abuses would vary based on those many variables.  My story perhaps is atypical in the excessive degree of sexual contact, but being so pronounced it is easier to see how I’d develop an attraction to children because of it.

 That contact, being so overt and overwhelming, terrified me and at the same time melted me in pleasure, burned me more an apt description, and often I’d hide from my mom the contact was so scary, which was one of my first memories of the abuse, her ‘in that way’ and coming and finding me hiding under the cabinet.  Pain too was part of the program, what actually started the sexual contact, since my anus was too closed, according to our doctor, and he’d instructed my mother to insert something into it to widen it, and so during my first diaper changes I was held down and basically anally raped by my mother’s finger, as I screamed in pain, the doctor having told her it would hurt but she had to do it, and I guess maybe as a way to both make up for it and to show herself she was not mean but gentle, in the aftermath she’d rub the area, rub too my penis, which would come erect, and so in time she did it all with me, orgasm quickly entering the picture, and we don’t know the strange effects that has on an infant’s consciousness, but the next item might begin to fill in that gap of ignorance.

If you are at all science-minded you’ll just see it as evidence of insanity in my family, but even if it is you’ll have to eventually come to realize such things might have more a reality than you’d be comfortable with giving them, since this next item has to do with spirits, demons, daemons, whatever you want to call them because it’s not a ghost.  Before I was born my mother had a phantom lover, an invisible spirit that would come into her room when my father was away and have sex with her, and during her sexual abuse of me I would see an ‘imaginary playmate’, an animated dog-dragon standing there wearing a grin from ear to ear, who would also come when I lay in bed or at play under the house or somewhere no one would see and become alarmed that I was inert and take me, before I even knew I was on the way, on inner journeys to the lower worlds, where I learned the basic skills to do inner exploration, but I’m going too far off the map of our counterintuitive world culture, though these metaphysical things in conjunction with sexual abuse are slowly creeping into the picture even there, but to my knowledge infant orgasm isn’t known or even speculated to open the inner consciousness to such a degree.  You might imagine I never did fully put my faith and trust in the outer world, a loaded statement I know.

 That it was prepubescent boys I was attracted to, ideally between the ages of 9 and 11, the years I spent horribly emotionally abused by a ‘wicked step-mother’ (I do understand this whole thing is a bit much to take in, but match the level of insight with the level of intensity, and that should make it easier to give me at least the benefit of the doubt), all the while pining over my mother like a young man over the loss of his love, had to do with the experience of momentarily losing my mind when I was 9 over being pulled off my mother kicking and screaming so to live with my father and his new wife, who I lived with until I was 11.  I got that mixed up too, and those two years not only became the ideal age of a boy for me but also put another nail on my coffin in terms of the social death someone such as I experiences in my social life: it gave me the tendency to become obsessed with whatever boy I happened to fall in love with, to the point of a temporary psychosis upon the loss of the boy such was the intensity of the obsession, what had landed me in that psychiatrist’s office when I was in my early twenties.

You will not realize it unless you spend a great deal of time in quiet reflection over the things which I’ve shown you, but I’ve basically told you how the cow ate the cabbage so to speak, shown perhaps some of the most basic causes of human conflict, since so much of that has to do with unwanted or unlawful sexual contact, what today looms so large in our society, in every society on earth.  Until we address the roots of those things, which would have to be in a manner opposite from the way we deal with such behavior ignorant of those roots, in other words with compassion and understanding, we will never have either peace on earth or human unity, neither peace in a single town or city nor unity in any community, and we will be continually defeated in our efforts to pull ourselves out of the cycle of violence that threatens to destroy human civilization and much of Nature itself meeting violence with violence, hatred with hatred, as we do now, as we always have.  Though we can split hairs all day over what actually constitutes justifiable violence for self-defense, the greatest weapon against what hurts us is knowledge, the light of which turned me from one who hurts others to one who now helps to heal. I’m using the problem I’m having with society, society in animal clothing, as a hammer to beat into the heads of those who have made me an outcast, which would not be an exaggeration to say is the whole human race, that I am a valuable person to humanity and a needed voice in your community, and if you haven’t at least begun to entertain that possibility after reading this essay then, though you are valuable, as valuable as the sun and stars, maybe your voice isn’t needed here in the sense that you really and truly have nothing of value to say of me or that of which I speak, and you’d need to stand aside and let me in.

Who am I?
I am so much more than the pedophile,
but let’s start with me.
Then you’re ready for everybody,
whatever,
in regards to a future of unity.
And we manage it human maturity.
It’s what we’re written for.

Definition Freedom the Average Person

Photo by Dhina

Video view editing and confirming is a firewall. [vision of this as a message on the computer screen taking up the entire screen]
The film documentary of Graduated Sense.
Lemmie tell you something about my life:
I forgive yah not being able to talk.
Some mature policy
I salt at the bottom of the ocean,
the highest man down.
That’s a circle reference,
guerrilla summery.
What’s the ID number?
I was going to be a mountain cause of things,
an Apache arrow shaft.

today’s muse (inner voice and vision)

Reminded Human Beings Aren’t Socially Protected

The divine right of kings I challenge: how we grasped the idea freedom and what stood in its way when we began looking upon our scene in relation to our little liberty in it, unable yet to grasp the root of the tyranny, get it by the horns. It’s not just a tyranny of rulers but of the average person, conformity to the group. You see, I’m in that most basic of conflicts, the individual at odds with their society, a person given a perpetual irrevocable outcast status, since by definition I’m not allowed in polite company. Although the sentence has not been handed down in my particular case, not at least yet, society states in its contemporary mores that a minor attracted person cannot be unsupervised around anyone under 18, alone out of the question entirely, not in every society on the globe, but the push is to make it so, and when that’s applied in human terms, you can only be around people under restricted conditions, no children present, or, if they are, everyone is watching you, and so you are for the most part and in most people’s eyes, an untouchable.

You are that not only because of the restrictions but also because you’re hated by everyone that knows you are a minor attracted person (who are not likewise hated), save for a handful of people. (I’ve discovered there actually are a few people that do have goodwill, for everybody, as occasionally I run across such a person, not usually the official part of any page; their kind consideration is left in a comment like someone leaves a rose.) Hatred’s a thing of degrees, not most times the red hot variety, and most often hatred is expressed by the method of making a ghost out of someone who’s done something wrong, not speaking to them, pretending not to see them when looking directly at them, a method developed by cavemen to deal with their outcasts, pointing out the primitiveness of such social behavior. A minor attracted person has a unique position in society: you’re the single kind of person it’s socially acceptable to hate, not to have to give the time of day to or even any consideration at all, not to have to view as a fellow human being with basic rights.

That hatred, combined with the restrictions placed on you, means you’re not even really allowed in humanity, or, if you are, it’s either by being incarcerated or incognito. It comes down to I have no right to even be. The conflict I have as an individual with my society is that most basic right, to exist, and other than the citizen society kills as a retribution for a crime committed, my conflict is about as enigmatic and problematic as it gets, understanding (a capacity few possess in regards to minor attracted people) that you don’t chose to be attracted to minors like you don’t choose to have autism (drawing an analogy and not making a connection between the disorders), and like autism, to learn to live with that attraction and be a fit and functioning member of society, society has to make it a point to let you in, and like the integrated autistic individual, the minor attracted person can make their disorder an order society can use, not a burden become but a blessing.

I’m trying to take this video into movie making itself, speaking figuratively of not only this present writing, but also of my life story, by it show what’s going on here, not only with me and my conflict, but get a glimpse maybe of the meaning of life itself, pasting it on the post of this outcast and all its gab and garb, in the body of the email, and my story would hit on so many social and errant notes it would tend to push open closed doors. I’m trying to explain what it is I’m filming (figuring) – a fall, a redemption, a demonstration of process, that of the soul when it is physician –, the camera I’m using my PC, creating by it poems, essays, short stories, songs, videos, letters, journals, comments, a play, and a memoir yet in progress, all of which are attempts to both make some sense out of life and record and explain the movie My Life and its guest starring in yours, the sparks that have flown off of our rubbing together, a friction often painful for the both of us, but it’s my hope that those sparks will start a fire that burns up our strife and mistrust.

A creative leap this, the form the form of the heroic, as opposed to the cowardly, where, mad at you, I either by gun, bomb, knife, car or whatever weapon I can get my hands on, try to kill as many of the representatives of you as I can, or I just stand up where you caught me at it or where I think you won’t catch me and tell you in language ugly that I’m going to be the unrepentant me regardless of how that hurts you, and to hell with you all. But I’m not bowing down to your vilification of me either, your condemnation, as, though I am wringing my hands before you, this is no grovel, since I’m standing up to you and your irrational hatred of me, standing up too to Law, convicting it of being made more for the brute than for man. I’m facing you with more than just my humanity; I’m facing you with my soul, showing it. In doing this I take my example from you, society, from that brightest, best, and beautiful in you we call art and literature, here from epic poetry, and I’m mirroring the heroine Savitri[i] of the poem of that name, who alone, by the light of her very own soul, squares off with Death and stands up to the universe, throws herself in the way of its driving wheels, and in so doing exceeds herself and changes forever the Eternal Laws. I’m not going postal I’m going Savitri, savvy?

That they are human laws I’m trying to change and neither divine nor eternal, it would seem my task the easier one, but I’m not a nectar cup of perfection as she, more the opposite actually, and I assure you when you throw in not only other people’s stubbornness to change but also your own, in human law you have an ignorance and arrogance that can maintain its own errant course it seems even in the face of divine will otherwise. It might’ve made Savitri look back over her shoulder and lose the man (her husband she follows into the afterlife) in trying to change human law and not the eternal ones she changes, but I’d have to make a distinction here between that epic poem itself changing those laws and it being a blueprint for change, a textbook I’m using to ‘go Savitri’ right here with you.

Yes try this one at home folks. You wait until comes tomorrow, and suddenly there will be a way to stand up and say your side of the story like no one has ever told their story, and maybe you’ll get a hearing with the world more on your terms than its, or at least on a more equal power-footing, since there’s nothing stopping it from sacking your home and stomping your life and liberty to death, nothing save, confronted with how the soul heals, a story that would make it stop, look, and listen, or, if it does surrender to its armed impulse born from its blind reaction to just stomp you in the ground, after the dust settles, and the light of reason shines in on the scene, the world would see its mistake, that part of it that does see reason. That’s the gamble, and you won’t know if your story has that weight until you take it, but if you do it by the light of your soul, you’re doing you own original work, a gamble unique to you that, win or lose, you’ve done what you’re supposed to do.

What would you say to someone that wanted you dead? Say it wasn’t someone but your society itself, and you got the why and wherefore of somebody going Savitri in everybody’s face that looks in their direction, sort of like putting a rose there unexpectedly, if you like beauty. This pretty’s homespun, got pretty by utility at home, changing ugliness into its higher counterpart beauty. In this storytelling you got mixed in how to change being told, how to do it, or let it do you I should say, since this is a process of soul and therefore of higher purpose, higher than human hands. The story’s trying to stay as close to truth as possible, an impossibility actually, not that there isn’t an objective sequence of events – there is –, but that there isn’t an objective observer telling the story (and we’ve have to add: re-telling, the version that got heard), something not possible among us at the present time nor at any in the past, and for the future, let’s hope one day it will be, else we don’t graduate from this public-private school of little selves too self-centered to see the whole, if you have gotten that clear and certain sense in life that graduation is possible, what we’re moving to even if the sense is absent. In this preschool  of souls I’m kind of ringing my hands and standing before you with this present writing and all I’ve created and will create trying to show you enough evidence of that soul and its conscious intervention in its person’s life, it and its divine, that most minds, save that of the mule-headed and fanatic, would hold that at least possible, if not even probable, something no one has done to any degree of satisfaction, and doing that never-been-done-before in a true story about the healing of a pedophile, this present writing his manifesto, the story standing behind informing it like my name stands for me and all I’ve done; likewise in the story behind this stands visible the bad in need of change, and there’s no other way it can stand if it’s to be changed – visible, what you have to make it, and dammit you’d have to.

Littul Kittons[ii] Now Man’s Consciousness

It’s precisely that we censor in whatever medium, the bad, the ugly, whether or not it actually happened in real life, the censorship based on revulsion and not on the rational observation of human living so to resolve its prblems, and so based it usually tends to have the opposite effect in a society: it compounds the problem a hundredfold. We censor it because we do not allow for error in society, and I’m speaking of the underlying attitude we hold towards it and most often address it in someone else, not the way we say we do. The attitude is most visible in law and the way we apply it to human life, law being the institution of the management of error in a social context. When the error is breaking a law, any law, and you get caught by the enforcers of it, you basically get the book thrown at you, prosecuted to the up-most extent of the law, not in every case, but in most, and the report that’s given to the public of your offense is usually a rebuke in the strongest possible terms, politically correct, though, for the clime and time, and we have another institution called the Press that does that public ‘stoning’ of the wrongdoer, that public humiliation, a means obviously society has developed to keep others from doing that, not one based on a rational reporting of the truth, that being what actually took place, outside and inside, but something told from a perspective based on that revulsion (count how many times the word shocking and other emotionally charged words get used). Depending on the degree of your error, the public, or society as a whole, judges you, for a moment or a lifetime, unfit, a judgment usually based more on the revulsion than you being unfit or not.

Yes I have been unfit, done wrong, and I started out with the same trust society places in any individual until they break that trust, but I did not become fit, end wrongdoing, could not, by society’s laws, by what it allows an individual in order to become trustworthy, its sole formula of crime and punishment based as it is not on healing, of the situation, the wrongdoer, or even the wronged, by the soul or otherwise, but on intolerance of error and of the wrongdoer, a basis which comes from the most fundamental error of both reasoning and vision upon which we operate as a society: human unity is not a clear and present fact of our social and individual existence but something we have to make up, a belief we have to adopt. Even without a spiritual vision, it’s an evident truth that we are a whole body, and when anything befalls a one of us, the lot of us must deal with the consequences on some level. In other words, I am me but also at the same time at a distance you, and to be able to see that unity it’s just like if I have sex with a child, and they’re consenting and into it, and despite the propaganda otherwise some kids are more complicated and actually really do like it, I need to be able to see past the present moment, the pleasure, see past the pleasure too if any physical pain is mixed into it, and in adult-child sex some often is, and see how that kid will feel about the sex in the future as an adult, how that sex stunted their growth towards what it is an individual is here to do in life, which is to exceed themselves, their pleasures, their pain.

Just like me having to see past appearances to see the harm I give to a child by giving a kid pleasure, see deeper than view, so too you have to look deeply to see the underlying unity not only between human beings, but of all the earth and sky and everything therein, a unity that becomes more and more self-evident the more conscious you become of your whole self, including your inner life, sleep and dream, which is where I discovered the harm I cause a child, saw it as plain as the nose on my face, though like the elephant in the room it took awhile to see (stubborn blindness another one of those fundamental errors among us). In short, I saw sex with a child as the unflushed toilet full of shit it is (how it’s often represented in dream). That is to say it’s ugly, foul, out of order, a cause of moral degradation and apathy in work, not however the irreparable unpardonable evil or impossible to recover from violation it’s made it out to be today. On the inside I saw the unity, of it all, the child as me, the ugliness grossly neglected beauty, bringing into view here the second most fundamental error in human society: being largely unconscious of a third or fourth of what we experience in a day. It is in the deepest keep of that experience I found my soul, discovered too, in sleep and dream, an intelligence so unboundedly creative and wise it’s what we mean to describe when we use words such as God or divine. Opening my eyes on the inside opened them to what I’d been looking at on the outside and not seeing: oneness, God, everywhere the basis of reality, so much so this bitter-sweet experience called life, even when it’s a holocaust of the human spirit, is only skin deep, cannot dismember the unity, cannot slay the soul.

A person wronged, be they a child or an adult, cannot heal by society harming in their name the one who harmed them, however much satisfaction it may give them to get revenge, and even a more restorative justice can’t if it forces a sacrifice upon the wrongdoer they are unwilling to make, harm an inherent part of the use of force, cannot because we are a whole and not isolated individuals as we appear on the surface, and the harm given to the wrongdoer is in essence the harm the wronged received, striping everything from harm save harm itself, and compounds the harm received, the very opposite of healing it, an impact that can be seen more readily on the inside than on the outside. That is where the wronged would need to look so to heal and as well the wrongdoer needs to look so to gain the will to make it right, taking responsibility in light of the whole a self-sacrifice and not a submission to punishment, the difference being what you see me doing here, standing up with my PC a creative writer on the net at about the most intolerant moment one such as I could do that, I’d bet.

Neither does society heal the situation, that one or all of that kind, by castigating or making an outcast of the wrongdoer, the one who caused harm, punishment a means useful for training animals and small children who have not yet developed the capacity to reason, when it is correction and not retribution, when it’s not a ‘reaction’ intent to hurt, vent, useful too, to a limited extent, in other situations not possible to generalize, understanding the dividing line between punishment as correction and as retribution is difficult to discern, but it is, I’d argue, what humanity used on its members in the dim days before reason became the leader of the life of the race, and to force that process forward perhaps, people by people, hence it’s regressive, born of the brute we were and not from what we mean to describe when we use the term man (what, I’d also argue, we have yet to fully become and can’t become by force of punishment).  Such harmful situations still plague us today despite the harshest punishments handed down, down through time. Punishment certainly doesn’t heal the wrongdoer, something nowadays not even on the table so intolerant we’ve become of human discrepancy, it becoming so visible as it’s becoming by the light of the computer and the smartphone, since society doesn’t punish someone to help them, however much it says it does, but to make them, by force of public humiliation, torture, imprisonment, or whatever means, regret hurting society.

Yes it’s true in most cases an individual won’t without society’s insistence stop hurting people, since it’s precisely the whole that needs to tell them to stop, the truth of things, the only thing that we’ll listen to if we’ll listen to anything when our nature is bent and we are hell bent on indulging it, but what form that insistence takes would have to be based on the unity and not on the erroneous view that the violator is an isolated individual that suffers alone being punished and/or made an outcast, would have to be based on healing, else we all suffer and will continue to suffer the harm of that and similar situations until we insist on healing, understanding, though, that you don’t take the attitude of Gandhi when he urged Great Britain to stop resisting the Nazis and let them occupy its beautiful buildings, since it wouldn’t have been just buildings they occupied, but they’d have tried to occupy the heart and mind of England itself, twisting it towards the evil the Nazi ideal tried to bend an occupied nation, towards totalitarianism, towards genocide.

Obviously, in such a relative sticky world as we walk upon, wearing flesh so easily torn, carrying bones so easily broken, having so many of us walking around tearing flesh and breaking bones, causing every kind of harm under the sun, you’d have to use force to get someone to stop harming others if they refuse to stop, but in using force you wouldn’t trust the hands of hatred to do the work of correction. The spirit of that force would have to be healing for it to be the kind of force the situation calls for applied in the appropriate measure. The spirit of self-defense alone would not be up to that task, having as it does its eyes on protecting the injured party and not also on protecting the whole, protecting also as part of that whole the offending party as much as the situation will allow, and in the stickiness of such situations sometimes it won’t allow much if any at all, but a unified will has to be there to try, else too much force gets used and the wrong kind, what usually happens in such situations. Of course not merely reacting is difficult to achieve, but what is it exactly that separates human society from other social animal species if not that we act by the light of reason and they by instinct and impulsive reaction?

It is here we live or die, in that very question of just what is the difference between human beings and other animal species that occupy this overcrowded planet, since, if we act like animals, we’ll end up making this globe uninhabitable not only for ourselves, but also for many if not most other animal species such is the power we as animals have to reproduce, exploit the environment, and conduct war. We have reason, and with that more is possible for us in terms of evolution, but we can employ our reason as animals would, for the greatening of their own band, or whatever grouping used to confront the world, which, with this current resurgence of nationalism and ethnocentrism, particularly in regards to religion and politics, we’re using it, or we can use it to exceed the animal that we are and become what reason can make us.

It is with reason that the search for the soul can begin, and once it’s found, reason, with the light of the soul shining on it, guiding it, governing it, a light of compassion and understanding, understands that each and every one of us are as important as the other, the adult as important as the child, the latter in need of protection, though not from the need to make mistakes, but from the stubbornness to never correct them, and protection not so much from danger, but being a fool in the face of it, the bad citizen as important as the good one, the former in need of corrective-healing, though not being made to deny their nature, but allowed to get it in harmony with Nature so it no longer causes harm, the good of it kept and the bad discarded, which not in every case would it be a correction society orchestrates, since, if the soul is found, and allowed to lead (the two movements for such a stubborn me were separate in time), all the individual needs is the flexibility to allow it, on the part of all, the space and the support to heal, and the suspension of disbelief so to do so (a de facto arrangement in my case, since I was thrown to the wolves, but they didn’t eat me, just gnawed on me a bit then cast me aside where I could do nothing save give my soul its head so to survive). The evidence of that process, what removes the doubt over whether it is indeed a process of soul and not your ugliness having its day is a creativity coming out of that a beauty that can change even ugliness pretty (if you’re not too stubborn to see it), the good brought out of it as it’s being, what has been coming out of mine these many years in Auroville’s[iii] exile, a slowly rising crescendo rising in import, from “what is this?” to “take a look at this,” the final cut you’re getting now, I as important as you, though we’d both need to see that for it to become the law of the land, for us all to become man.

I don’t think we really have the picture of how primitive we yet are, the human race itself in its totality, despite the humanitarian disaster we’re making of our world in our face daily, discussed ad infinitum. It is the quintessential elephant in the room. In part due to our intelligence reason has enhanced, making an ever advancing technology possible, in part also to our self-centeredness as a species, which makes us feel as if we are not a part of Nature but something ‘man-made’ that lives and moves upon it, either destroying or conserving it, we cannot seem to see even in our science we are indeed a social animal species not different in kind from other social animal species. The difference is found in degree, the degree we can consciously evolve to become with our very hands what (when we espouse our higher ideals) we think we are.

We ourselves are the problem, humanity as a whole, each and every one of us to a greater or lesser degree depending on factors we are largely ignorant of in the making of a person’s nature (how much Nature, how much nurture, and to what extent can an individual override either?), a measure we mistake for righteousness when it appears lesser, and it becomes self-righteousness, a cause of as much evil down through the ages as evil itself if the truth be told. In terms of evolution, we are yet brutes, with our eyes almost exclusively engaging the outer scene, our feeding range, largely unaware of our inner life, save for our bound rounds of thought, eyes on our neighbor’s sin and not on where we rub the world wrong, since if lesser, lesser is so hard to see looking at only the outer scene (your dreams will show you the you you’re not too keen to see, the one as bad in spirit as the worst of us), eyes almost completely blind to the soul within, save as a belief of what survives death to either be punished in a hell or rewarded in a heaven, not as something that can be found in the midst of life, inside and over us, something conscious, whole, what informs us with what we feel best in us even if we haven’t found our soul, what mates our hands with our higher ideals when we do, it leading, the evolutionary leap that will make us man, further steps thereafter if your vision isn’t limited by horizons.

It’s in our very vision the problem of us lies, the cancer eating at the heart of society: eyes that conceive ‘the other’ not as part of one another. Look at any one of us when hit in the quick of our stomach on things: reactionary, herd sour, and prejudiced against ‘the other’, social animals still in need of scapegoats to fortify the pack, give it venting avenues, a social need we also don’t fully see as a need in each one of us, and if you don’t believe me just look around and you’ll find your needed whipping boy, whoever it is that makes you mad the easiest, makes you react, and in your immediate environment it could be as beatable as the family dog, the point being it’s who you vent on, and in the pedophile, after searching down through history in race and religion and whatnot, society has found the foolproof universal scapegoat.

While it’s a natural part of being a functioning member of a social animal species, that we define ourselves by our society, or what’s really the case, that we allow it to define us, tell us who and what we are and what the world and life are and what we’re to do in them, it’s more animal than man in that we have reason, which makes it possible for us to study and know not only our outer scene, our territory, but also our inner scene, turn our eyes 180° from our survival and investigate and explore our self and in so doing find our own personal inner truth, either confirm or deny what society has told us we are and are to do. We are so wrapped up in the ready-made world we’re born into, so engrossed in our social selves, a self we define more in terms of what skin color we wear, sex we are, sexuality we have, nation we belong to, or religion we obey, than the fact that we’re first and foremost human beings, we hardly realize it’s not a world or self we’ve personally defined but have been taught and required to learn. To question the foundations of society, the terms of man, is to invite ridicule, and in some societies, most notably theocracies and communist states, persecution and imprisonment, but even in the democracies, if you publicly question the social paradigm, you come under surveillance and possible harassment so pervasive and intrusive is the ‘conforming eye’ becoming with the advance of our technology. So captured we are by the social construct we not only blindly define ourselves by it but also are almost totally ignorant of the possibility of basing our life upon our inner truth or even that we have such a basis for truth, an inner as opposed to an outer authority.

We’re Not Here For the Pack

The inner life of man deeper than thought and subconscious dream, a place few look or even know exists, is the next frontier, the new world to discover. How many of us, in what we call the ‘developed’ societies, when faced with a decision, look also to our inner life to make it, see what our dreams and visions show, or, if we are developed people, meaning in this sense self-developed, what a truly developed society would be, not technologically based but self-developmentally founded, aware of our inmost self as we are our outermost, hear or see the direction of our soul? Because in the shallows of the inner life there’s so much drift and bale, darkness even, what’s given rise time and time again to someone going crazy, or going off and killing everybody in the range of their weapon, or mesmerizing whole societies and turning them to organized madness, we fear the inside of us and do not encourage people to look in there, listen to those voices, believe in those visions, much less make the inner the guiding light of their life. But read my muse, listen to my music, and see the light shinning inside of us, a harmonizing light that doesn’t have you abrogate the social construct but help make you shine within it, show what more is possible for individuals and societies to be (if you’ve reached that formless ground of the human soul, the wholly other, what we call spirit because it is so other, gone all the way through dream, the entire symbolizing storytelling of the creative reflex, and not just stopped at some good story, but even a good story has the power to change the world).  It does that harmonizing because it’s the light of the whole, wholeness individually centered but grounded on oneness. Faced with such a disorder in the very heart of my social life, a genuine social disorder, an attraction to minors I did not create nor want, and with such hatred and misunderstanding from all quarters, you left me with no choice but to delve inside and dive deeply, discover the deepest reach in us. I found my soul. I’ve left record. Is it madness I’m showing you, or is it light? If there is indeed light shinning deep inside of us, our very ground, conscious even, world-aware and of more than worlds aware, bright enough to move and guide us to be more and better than we are, then we need not fear the darkness.

Just where it’d be on the scale of fundamental errors would be hard to pinpoint, since it’s as much of an obstacle to our growth as a species as not recognizing our unity, goes hand in hand with that fundamental ignorance as it does with that of our ignorance of our experience during sleep, of the possibility of finding our inner truth, but we seem to feel that any disturbance to the peace, comfort, and security of ‘our house’, our personal homes and the house of humanity itself, is an aberration to Nature, what should never happen, and we are so mortified and offended when it does. I have to tell you this is our house, this upheaval, this insecurity, this danger that continually besets it (at this half-animal stage of us at least). The other animals, who don’t have one foot stepping into what’s beyond the animal, that embodied evolved ideal we feel when we feel our humanity, do not know they are evolving, are ignorant they’re here for more than mere survival and enjoyment, but even those of us who do not believe in evolution know that we are here to do more than simply live and have a good time. That we have something to do here is in our very bones, atheists’ bones and theists’ alike, a purpose to do something, a drive to exceed our limitations, a need to overcome our obstacles.

I’m not saying we should invite calamity and misfortune into our homes, or that we shouldn’t protect our homes from that, but I am saying that these things are inherent in our house, part of its edifice, a corner stone even, what it is about life that challenges us to grow larger than we are, and when we deal with it as an animal would, react out of terror, hatred, outrage, the host of reactions coming out of our stomach, that lower reach of the animal in us, we don’t grow larger but smaller, and although we may, or may not, put a cap on the crisis, it has not been resolved and will come again either to our house in another form in the future or to the house next to us in kind, but it will come again, and again, and again.

It’s our challenge to learn to deal with calamity calmly with our humanity, not react in terror or outrage all up in arms. In doing what we must do to face it, rectify it, we have to learn to feel with our humanity the humanity of everyone involved, even that in the ones causing harm and chaos, do that calmly, self-gathered, else we act like animals, and else we don’t do what we’re here to do, both individually and as a whole: be human beings, not beasts. Gaining our composure and feeling our humanity in such situations is precisely the thing we want the people violating that to do and feel, what will make them stop harming, what will make them feel sorry, sorrow, and if we aren’t composed feeling ours when dealing with them, which means feeling their humanity regardless of how they’ve acted like beasts, then how can we expect them to get their act together and feel theirs? It might feel good to punish them, cheer their suffering, but you’re an animal feeling that, delighting in their pain, and not man. A sorrow that leaves room for hope, what the soul feels when faced with the sight of suffering, for those hurt as well as for those who caused it, taking whatever action we must take in insisting the hurting stop, which is an insistence on healing, of all those involved, would be feeling our humanity in such situations, understanding that when such situations call for a swift and violent response, even taking life (in a posture of self-defense, not one of executing the aggressor), it would be our very humanity that takes such action, not terror or hatred. It’s no miracle showing love and respect to your children; it’s one to give consideration to the person who violates them such is the over and beyond challenge we face, the top of the world mountain we climb. I assure you, it’s no less easy for the person who desires to violate them to gain their composure, overcome their desire, their animal nature, and not do so. You can’t ask them to climb their mountain unless you climb yours; society do you hear me?

A judgmental, self-righteous, and indignant attitude based not on the truth of things, or even on the change of things, but upon the very things we as a society are trying to keep from happening, harm to the harmonic, since that attitude is a guttural reaction intent to harm, in the form of punishment, not born of reason but, like the wrongdoer’s wrong, born from the brute from which we are trying to arise, the one that wants retribution, to extract it’s due, the animal, is what I’m standing here and facing, what I will to change. What makes my stand a Savitri and not a shooting or a bombing, or anything other than the utter truth of my soul, is that in myself I’m facing that tiger and willing it to change, sort of like the movie[iv] about the boy in the boat with the tiger Richard Parker, the act of the change, cutting in the quick of that connection between my society and I as it does, a change of both of us, since I cannot separate myself from you and what force of either love or hate you send my way. You’d just have to ask yourself, if faced with my story and either/or, would you want punishment given or change processed? How stubborn are you, more so than I?

It’s not with the reason we cross crime,
in my book –
in my dreams.
You soul out an emergency.
Say that at home.
You see the single father favored utility bills,
stuck it out in terms to oneness.

What did I dream?
Let’s say I didn’t.
I wouldn’t know them:
Cesspool TV,
the day I sunk so low.
I don’t have an excuse possibility of wildlife management.
Know little pity.
You know you’re mad?

White clock anytime.
I take my earring
and apologize.
I guarantee,
I’m lookin’ at you.
You’re talking about trustin’,
all the way across the country.
In India I’m here.

Take that
light bulb.
Everybody in compliments.
Someone’s drowning.
The kid was drowning.

A lot of people are
not going to forgive.
Here put me in shoes:
let me talk to you alone
Auroville,
my dream heart[v].

Gwen stop,
Gwen stop,
Gwen for goodness’ sakes,
You don’t know when to stop[vi]. [This I said in a dream-vision to my older sister who was in my living room forcefully tickling me under my arms, play-bullying me like older siblings do, and I was in that tickle-pain and helpless to stop her.]
How did you go?
I got on for 50 years,
10 years
in Auroville’s exile.
Can you say goodwill?
They don’t have a spirit there forgiveness.

What are we working here?
What is the country’s?
Here’s the bike,
(in parenthesis Donny Duke):
you’ve got to change.
There was such a wrong in your eyes.
Fault I’m tryin’ to tell yah.
I’m in a movie.
I’m the villain?

How is the shadow?
That’s the first time you’ve got just a little look at it.
Do you think my person is work?
This is whole army.
I’m what you mean to say when you say community.
I move other people.
I belong.

You have a scenario,
the love of God.
What do you have?
That’s my will.
Should we whip ‘im?
That won’t change it.
Eye witness
at exactly
the sacrifice.

If you’re going to join me,
I’ll be at the entrance to Auroville.
God is all deep in all.
It’s that that I really wanted to talk to you about. [A vision accompanying the line of clicking a stylish retractable pen a couple of times and clicking it closed.]

A soul a secretion of the manufacture brain?
There’s more to Miami than meets the eye.
It refer to the deployment bag.
Some mess are totally without meaning.
Kind of a traumatic
come out to the other eye in orbit.
In the eye in the storm
that’s your died.
There’s a referee in here.
Altogether soul
behind the heart.
Overall soul
overhead.
Write it down
to mate.
That would do the trick
(huge effort):
see past horizons.

Movement for man’s humanity to man,
a theoretical Tel Aviv tell collage.
In life paradise they aspire to go the generous way they want.
You don’t want it thrown out till the next will.
I’ve said it all,
making the pass,
a papple pass,
and into infinity.


[i] Savitri by Sri Aurobindo
[ii] A reference to the mad mink in the short story by Cordwainer Smith “Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons”.
[iii] Auroville, India, an international township also called The City of Human Unity.
[iv] Life of Pi
[v] Although I was technically only a guest in Auroville, it was my destination after many years of travel as a vagabond pilgrim, was the place I came to live out the rest of my life, was and is the city I most dream about, literally the city of my dreams. On the inside, I am an Aurovillian.
[vi] She made me a ghost years ago, what the dream-vision is representing by painful tickling.


My Student Letter

1

composite by me, rose by Stan Shebs / Wikimedia Commons

The creative course of essay.
Nice.
I understand
How it bothers you
The Creative Writing Department.
Deep fountain,
Airport.
How many papers,
How many?
Say them and see

Tomorrow.

     It hardly seems worth it and at the same time the point of all this really, all this teeming world, to go on about anything in particular what with all this everything we’re continually in the face of, but it may be that someone, somewhere, sometime would find this helpful, and if there is really any reason to write at all, it is for that my heart says write, however much my head says what’s the point.  The two often see things differently, but my heart, stuck down there somewhere beating about in the point blank of whatever it is my head can’t seem to get it hands on, is the better pilot, so I let it lead here and listen to it telling me to write, by all means write, whether or not there will ever be anyone who reads this.

    We are faced today in the beginning of the twenty-first century with so much information that knowledge, essential vision of the why and how of things, has ceased to be that and has become nothing more than scrapes of information equal in value to any other bit there is so much of it at our fingertips, and wisdom, the crown and cap of knowledge, what knowledge becomes when it transcends itself and is the simple bright knowing of the best way we can use knowledge, best not only for us personally but for all parties, has almost left the field entirely due to it now being considered more a belief than a knowing.  In this uncertain field I sit and write, and believe it or not I might have some useful information for you, and before you click on to something more instant, read on, as you could find that to be the case.

Following me,
But that will no longer be necessary.
Land space time,
Its tale expeditionary users
Swing over here,
Swing over there.
Stop right there.

Pick us some new Blackberries.

The film,
Shown to meet the camera
To the point
I’m shown to me
With you filming this.
You know that
Camera hound.

Now who said that?

     I’d like to introduce you to the muse, in this case of poetry, which, in its larger context, is part of the inner vision facility, or internal guidance system, or simply the creative reflex as I tend to look at it, since, like dream, which is also part of that matrix, it’s much more creative and spontaneously generating than it is reliably true, maddeningly so.  It’s the particular in all this everything I’m writing about, and this is as much a warning as it is an enthusiastic introduction.  I have a large volume of such poetry, or two or three smaller ones, depending on the degree to which you divide things, and unfortunately the poetry does not seem to fit either the contemporary literary or spiritual mindset (the religious mind is just too set), even though (more probably because) the poems are all about the very stuff of both as they express themselves today.  It’s the particular slant of the muse to be literary spiritual, an oxymoron by today’s standards, and neither milieu has much tolerance for an iconoclast (what a muse poet is you don’t water it down with the good ole boy of the mind).  Some, like Emily Dickinson, beat around the bush about the undiscovered continent with the grace of a hummingbird; others, such as William Blake, strip from us our innocence and do that by marrying heaven with hell, and still others, like Rumi, almost come right out and show us this sun in the voice of its handmaid and scribe.

     Take the example above of my muse.  The poetry, laden with metaphor, word play, ambiguity or resonance, euphony, and the like, as is characteristic of the muse of poetry, naturally since that’s the fountainhead of poetry and its technique, characteristically evolving poetry further in the verse of whatever poet actually literally listens to it (which often times also means the present poetry world of the day won’t listen to those poets), takes over from my prose in which I was saying I might have something useful for you.  To understand what the muse is saying, or my creative reflex, to remind you you’re not hearing any ultimate truth but something of truth that has been filtered down through all that is me, certainly not the biggest truth of existence, let me explain that for the longest time on what is known as the spiritual path, to give a name to something that really doesn’t exist in the sense that, that’s what life is pure and simple, the whole point has seemed to be to become somebody spiritually great, some splendid name, that others follow.  Just get a little spiritual knowledge, open the hidden wellsprings of the Spirit in yourself just a little bit, and see where you tend to go with it if you don’t believe me.  (I’ve had the fortune to have a very ugly disability, and that has kept me from being anything other than a poet, a claim not without its own pretensions, as well has made me dig ever deeper into the why and how of the whole thing, and I mean by that both life and the muse.)  On the other end, see what you do if you encounter someone and are pretty sure they’ve gotten something of that knowledge, opened even a trickle of those wellsprings (unless of course they’re offensively ugly).  We are apt to venerate them.  The verse seems to be saying something new is afoot, something more solution oriented than simply pointing out the hidden spiritual ego in our aim, more evolutionary, as I’m writing not so much to a general audience or even a literary one but more to people on the spiritual path, and what that new something is I hope will become more visible as I write.

     Before I go on let me, for the purposes of this writing, differentiate between the terms religion and spirituality, which are often used interchangeably.  Now, I’m no one to define anything as great as what these things mean, so let me also add that much greater people than I have made the same distinction.  Of course it should also be noted that there aren’t cut and dried borders between things in the inner world as our mind likes to divide things in the outer, and so any definition is apt to be a least a little arbitrary at best. Spirituality refers to the direct, personal, inner experience of what’s higher, as opposed to horizontal experiences such as E.S.P., lucid dreaming and dream travel, voices and visions (the creative reflex), out of body and near death experiences (unless of course in any of these you have a spiritual experience, which I define below), and experiences of the lower, which would include anything of the former if the experience has taken you down into the lower worlds or given you contact with them.  Such horizontal and lower experiences are often confused with spiritual experiences, since they are inner experience, but in a spiritual experience you’ve had a direct contact with what is higher than the world of the human ego, not, and here’s the tricky part, just seen it or heard it as something outside of you in your inner world, but, for however long the experience lasts, you’ve risen up there with the very stuff of your identity, and you are not exactly the same person when you return because, whether you want to be or not, you’ve become a spiritual aspirant, and you move your whole life in the direction of getting back up there.

     On the other hand, religion refers to the beliefs, cult, and ritual practices concerning or directed towards the higher and is more often than not a result of a seer’s (someone who sees the unseen) or a group of seers’ spiritual experiences along a certain distinguishable line of the higher, a seer or group usually but not always long departed.  In this sense, spirituality gives birth to religion but not usually the other way around, unless there are people (seers) in a religion having direct, personal, inner contact with that line of the higher in the same concrete way its founders had, and the religion is ever changing and adapting to the new revelation and not calling it heresy as is usually the case.  Wide-open investigative spirituality not at least partially under the roof of some religion or spiritual system is a rare bird, not so much because we as humans are by our nature herd sour (we are), but more because if you are having or have had direct, personal, inner experience of the higher you need a reference point and guidance; otherwise you’re for all intents and purposes dead meat, since the difficulties on the way at its razor path pitches far exceed mere human capacities.

     I have a teacher (departed and dual, a man and a woman, since when I encounter one there the other is also) and operate within the confines of a particular school of the science of Indian yoga, a spiritual system and not a religion per se, but it does have its beliefs, cult, and ritual practices that certainly make it resemble one, only, the whole point of yoga, if it’s not merely the exercise variety, is to have direct experience of the higher to the point you realize some status of that, become yoked to it as in union, but I’m putting the cart before the horse, where I’m going with this writing before I write the effort to get there, a common mistake on the spiritual path in general.

I have need of you.
The City of the Black Lake,
History,
I want to accomplish something further.

Will you tell me what the red solution to the world is?

Yeah go get shoes.
We know what it’s going to look like:
I want her to grow up.
That’s said to her.

Think of this as our people.

Walter
Got a washing.
The whole country?
You see,
March universe.

All medium rare.

Gravity blasters,
Space break,
Go back in the box.
And what do we have?

Welded elastic.

     From a certain perspective, and many put forth this perspective nowadays, there is no search necessary since we are all (underneath it all) enlightened, realized, divine, or whatever you care to call it.  There’s a catch though: it’s not manifested is it?  If you can admit that to yourself (if you can’t click on to something more instant) then you have to point your pilgrim feet in some direction or another to get that to manifest.  But what direction, i.e. what must I do and not do?  Is there anyone that can teach me?  There’s a popular saying on the path that I don’t think most realize is a profound truth: when the student is ready the teacher will come, or, if I may amplify it and bring out some of its hidden meaning: when you have searched the high and low of yourself and have come to that wild place where your trials and errors are making a disturbing racket on the inner planes and are threatening to add only more confusion to the outer world than there already is, some teacher will have compassion on you and come and help, and (adding an add on) with an everything falls into heart-felt place shock you realize they’d been there secretly all along, and that’s how you know they’re your teacher.  If they don’t have the capacity to come to you both from your inner world and outer life, then they aren’t a teacher in the true meaning of that word.  If you haven’t opened your inner consciousness to the point you can hear and see them on the inside when they do come, then you simply aren’t ready yet.  And if, when they do come and you hear their arrival in the beats of your heart and see it in the stars in the sky, they want you to exalt their name and spread it to the ends of the earth, then tell them to get lost.  A true teacher will help you connect to your own inner teacher, get you more and more to stand on your own two feet, rather than want you to carry them around all the time.  Most people today, and many of their teachers, would not fit into the inner criteria and might even be hard pressed to know what exactly I’m talking about.

Out in the audience people were cleaning their pipes with gall bladders,
But still,
You’ve got to learn somewhere.
What that movie name?

Relative reflexes.

     Mainstream contemporary Western spirituality, it in itself apart from religious spirituality and its esoteric traditions, would I imagine hold as a sublime truth the Buddhist teaching story of a monk meditating and excitedly telling his master a golden Buddha is appearing before him.  “Ignore it, and it’ll go away,” the master replies, and in that reply shows you how to turn off, how everybody turns off, the inner teacher’s PA system, i.e. the muse, by not giving it any attention.  I doubt there’s a person on the planet that has not heard at least once the inner voice or, apart from the total immersion of a dream, seen a vision as they wake up or go to sleep.  Like the master in the story, modern society on the whole puts no value on such things and so ignores them.  Fortunately that inner guide has other means at its disposal we are apt to pay more attention to because they’re harder to ignore: lucid dreams or any dream that just wops you over the head, synchronicities of your inner world with your outer life, out of body and near death experiences, and other manifestations of the inner consciousness that have such an impact on your outer life you begin to suspect from that inner the outer arises and not the other way around as we are all led to believe by the rather dominating position the outer world has on our attention.

     Returning to the story, which most probably is not a true story but was made up to make a point, and consequently the golden Buddha wouldn’t be an inner symbol in the truth sense of one, allow me to interpret it as if it were a vision a meditating monk had, since even in fiction the maker of all stories has a hand, and some symbol of something true can be seen, as in that story of stories, the outer world, if you can follow me here.  Say that monk had finally gotten to that place of quiet in his mind where he was no longer following his thoughts, and they were beginning to subside like a retreating sea, though they still lolled in muffled trains on the tracks of his mind but without any engineer to give them a destiny, a place from where he could see far off in the distance of mind-space the shivering entrance to the tunnel of Silence, a place in years and years of meditation he’d never gotten to before, and since there he was finally behind his thinking mind the inner guide could give him some encouragement in the form of the appearance of a Buddha of gold, as if to say, “That’s right.  Keep going.  You’re on the right track.”  But he was a rather dull monk and had no mind for symbolism or any knowledge whatsoever of either the inner teacher or the representative way it teaches with a master equally dull and ignorant, and so the meaning of the golden Buddha was lost, and it only served to be the distraction both made it.  I’m speaking from experience here, since I do every so often reach that clear space on the spiritual path where what I’m walking towards becomes more real to me than the road and all this world I’m walking on, and I’ll have a vision of the sun bursting through the clouds or a mountain looming up out of mist and know, for the moment at least, all is well with my soul.

      Seen from afar, an occasional uttering of words that, however ridiculous it sounds, seems to mean something or another, and a rare sight of scenes moving or still that, however strange they appear, show something or another, or the two combined, often oddly, coming from the inner consciousness not from a dream, just look to be like dream does some bizarre firing off of your mind bound to occur as you unconsciously chew on the world and all the sights and sounds that have flooded your senses recently.  When you see it up close, however, you stagger backwards in disbelief, as what you’re looking at is the universe stealing in through your back door.  It’s not such a clear picture from dream so filled dream is with personal subconscious things much of the time (or at least the part of the night many are likely to remember any from, which is just after falling asleep and right before waking), and dream is the most basic, standard, no frills attached, no effort required model of the inner vision facility or creative reflex, unless you develop dream, which is where I started, since it’s the most visible entrance into the inner consciousness, or to the universe, depending on how look at it, but when you do develop dream other portals become visible, and the creative reflex flowers proportionately.

     Now, I cannot prove to you by argument the cosmos is your backyard, but if you turn your attention and concentration one hundred and eighty degrees around from where people normally put it, which is the outer world, and spend several eye-opening years exploring your inner life, making sure you continue to give equal time to your outer life (that is very important), you and the universe are bound to collide, and you’ll come to realize that, while your front faces the world of daily affairs, your back is secretly open to infinity.  When you’re on the spiritual path that is all well and good and needful to know, but you aren’t interested in an out of body guide to the galaxy, how many space aliens can dance on the tip of your pen, or the coming earth changes from the soon to occur passing of mega-planet X, or even of finally being recognized as the messiah or at least a prophet of such grace and power that even the atheist, on hearing your words, would say in their heart there is a God (who on the path hasn’t let one of those thoughts slip in?).  It’s guidance you want pure and simple.

Significa:
Set you right on lights and things.
You make your camera
What you want to move on.
I can’t read it.
Come ‘ere;
What has to leave?
Are you here for a moment,
A few hours,
Or are you buying its Tupperware?
What need to lead?
Hear roses.
Give you a lift.
Just say no

Guidance?

     When you stand back and look at everything, especially when you try and write about anything, pen something down as it were, particulars blur into relativity there is so much interconnectivity between particulars.  Take the creative reflex I’m trying to describe (and at the same time give you some sense of how to fashion out of it spiritual guidance). On our highest tops with it we are directing into place all the forms that rise pellmell from the sleep of our lowest bottom, the mysterious Void, in effect creating the world, so it’s not so easy to pen down.  To get some vague notion of that, think about the ever changing world of any dream.  It’s something so common I don’t think many of us appreciate the magnitude of creation a simple dream entails: a sunrise or flood for example, a city and all its business of detail, the body you have and all the other bodies you encounter, and I could go on for infinity.  Are those things made of atoms?  Anyway, that same creative reflex creating the world of dream can also be harnessed to create art, fine tuned into the muse, what inspiration is at its wellspring.  Inspiration is not a popular notion in art today, downright heresy actually, due to the sometimes heroic, sometimes cowardly struggle art has had in trying to divorce itself from religion, particularly in the West, as the very notion of inspiration suggests something higher than us inspiring us.  We would not be able to placate those aesthetic egos by saying that the something higher is none other than us beyond Space and Time inspiring the creation of all of existence.  Such would only dig the hole deeper than it already is I’m afraid, offending even most religious sensibilities.

     So let’s just admit (shall we?) that down here in the relativity of it all, in the bowels of one of these phenomenal worlds, there are higher beings than us around to help and inspire us (call them teachers, gods and their scribe angels, or whatever you’d like  –God himself being a being a bit big for us to hear or see not dressed as one or more of his living attributes, who will always call themselves God since to the limits of our understanding they are; just be careful because you’re on holy ground around here and not on a pedestal), and not only that, their help has nothing to do with aggrandizing our ego, making it successful or anything like that, or of even giving our ego fine aesthetic taste, but has everything to do with getting us beyond all ego and become what we are in our essence, underneath it all, which, if you’re on the spiritual path, whatever you call it, you wouldn’t call it Ode to Ego Methinks I Am.

     That those divine muses do this in such a bottoms up way our own essence becomes the generating matrix for the guidance, or the creation of our art, depending upon whether or not you’ve been following all I’ve been saying and are now ready to reunite art with the search for truth, poetry with the soul (or at least let them be friends again in print, paint, film, music or whatever medium), is I think the greatest miracle of all because the guidance you end of getting in all that divine alchemy is from none other than who you are in truth, and no one knows you better and what you need than your own soul, or the suchness in yourself, if you’re uncomfortable with the notion of any reality in all this relativity, although I would strongly suggest first going all the way down (via dream or other portal) to the deepest most hidden part of yourself and personally encounter your soul before you adopt the belief that it doesn’t exist, or even before you believe surely that it does, since it in itself is liable to be quite different than your adopted belief about it, and to get that really good bottoms up guidance, bottom in the sense of the soul not the Void, it helps to have taken your bucket (your conscious) all the way down to the well of soul if you want the water drawn from there, living water fresh with this moment in your life right now.

     So, to cut to the chase: if you want to make out of your creative reflex a vehicle of guidance I’m afraid there’s no short cut.  You’ll have to have opened your inner consciousness to the point the inner voice becomes often audible, vision often visible, and the best place to begin is where most people hear and see such things: as they wake up and go to sleep.  You have to prolong those times, keeping your consciousness focused on the inside, the land below the waves the ancients called it, and not allow your thinking mind to kick in and bring you out of the water of the inner being into the state of being fully awake or allow yourself to loss consciousness and go to sleep, no small feat, since it involves keeping yourself from thinking thoughts as much as possible, a passivity of mind few can maintain for long unless they are all the way in the Silence where there is no longer an I to follow them and no effort needed to keep them at bay, a state you do sometimes approach like a high flying pilot getting a sudden view of Space.  (When and if that happens drop what you’re doing and go for the Silence, since that’s where the guidance is taking you if it’s worth its salt –even further if it’s worth gold–, not an easy target by any means no matter how close you are, how many stars you can count.)  People on the spiritual path who meditate know that the concentration required to keep yourself from following your thoughts is difficult to maintain, but as you practice it gets much easier, since you learn eventually to go inside, below the waves of the waking mind as it were, where your body feels heavy or is buzzing if you feel it at all, and your consciousness feels like it’s being pulled or held inside, a place you can learn to fall into anytime you lay back in yourself a little bit, and in the inner consciousness you can hear and see its voices and visions, something I suspect a lot more people on the path know about than talk about, use and never let on they do.

Destroy them,
Take their art and priests and destroy them.  (vision accompanying these two lines of a commander in Roman-style battle dress who has just stormed with his soldiers into a Catholic cathedral, and he’s giving that command as he’s signaling left and right.)
A forward rush.
Right on Stewart.
Is it?
What the hell are you thinking?
Emergency.
Give an angel shock treatment?
They give a story,
What’ll work for a minute.
Good grief,

Are you just so dumb you wear wars?

I’m on standby.
Where are you?
Whatever happens.
The gear asked me if I would be offended.
What?
Anything.
I heard that helps,
Persuades the likes of a king,
If I grok my own fault,
(We say it’s Donny)
Search with me and
Do everyday
Touch the side.
Other side too God’s children.
There’s someone at work.
I know if it’s changed:
Clenched his fist with pride and humiliation
Your Royal Highness

The ego.

Fall about Worthington.
To entertain,
I will in love with me.
Oh I remember now:
For me to go
Get these things:
Is that right?;
I knew it.
He’s studying the truths he wanted.
He’s studying the truth?
There’s no denying here’s his Hollywood:
Somebody else get the shakes
On high altitudes?
Didn’t wanna take it
Never worried about anything
In all that floor company

Responding me to Nature’s call.

Move some on the left.
I have found
We are here for a private reason
I cannot get away from me.
Just what I have to tell you:
No sailor
Below his person
Gets rid of those.
Just one author
Get you to the airport:
All of it on the stand.
I don’t know what you got,
But today,
Right here,
The good news is
Man there’s this help,
And that is a form that let’s right out on the highway.
Come up here,
Your muse.
He eats at the TV now.
I’d need to explain.
So explain.
That’s a bad idea.
Wellsprings’
Peace and quiet,
It’s difficult
Without a report today:
You must be in art.
You need this to get the bubbles out.
In that influence,

Well you got it.

     I had a dream before dawn this morning where I was in a gym/science class, a strange combination of things common to dream.   Going on a break I went off and left my electric typewriter in the classroom (in waking life I don’t use one but compose prose on a PC and poetry with a pen and flashlight).  Realizing my mistake I quickly went back to the classroom but found the typewriter missing.  I went and got my parents, screaming that someone had stolen it, and returned to the classroom with them, which had suddenly become my teacher’s office –another common feature of dream: shape shifting.  I think it was my mom who looked under the desk and found it safe in its case, and as she handed it to me she told me I shouldn’t get so upset because it hadn’t been stolen after all.  Then I looked at my teacher’s typewriter, identical to mine in every detail except it wasn’t made of plastic like mine but of metal, but I knew if I did all my homework and passed the class I’d eventually have a metal one too, and to interpret that let’s just say I realized a student is not greater than his master, not by a long shot, but if you do humble yourself and submit to being taught and at the same time go for what your master got, the whole point of having one to begin with, you’ll eventually get it if grace is present, something you draw to you more the more sincere you are.

     To interpret the dream, only generally for the sake of brevity, specifically the main storyline of my typewriter appearing to be stolen, I should tell you you’re fortunate to be reading this, or I am to continue writing it, depending on if you will ever read it and feel lucky in the least, because during the writing of the above poetry unfortunate things happened in my life, not the least of which was facing possible eviction for failure to pay rent three months running.  The goings on as a writer writes: they would prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt there is more than a casual connection between a work of writing and the writer’s personal life.  Struggling in the midst of all that upset to get quiet, hear my muse, and have faith, not only in the higher but in myself, which at that moment was really waning, the rent got paid (by a friend that had suddenly gotten a tax windfall of the amount of my back rent), and as happens when something like that happens I took heart and carried on, and the poetry that came out of that is more down to earth and real that it would’ve been if all that daily life interference hadn’t happened.

The Tree of Knowledge and the world
Have been talkin’ to me.
There’s one way to figure it out:
Some settle hope.
What a romantic
On the North Pole.
Could you give me a reference to
Ugly?
You can tell if somebody is being sincere or not?
He’s different –
The world’s most powerful bittorrent application
Got a white light.
Tenebrous
Where the earth is.
How did you like the question?
Let ‘em ride your elevator.

That do it.

     Opening the inner consciousness even specifically for guidance is a bit like going at night into some inner-city neighborhood loaded in dough with a neon sign on your back that reads kick me.  You’re being up against someone ironclad who wants you to channel their teaching for the new millennium, Look At All These Lies, to the world, or what comes to you from your inner world will be so dark and depressing you just want to kill yourself.  These are the first depths, and they snare many if not most.  The second depths, a bit more illuminated, shine the light more on you like a spotlight does than the way stadium lights show you you and the entire field, equally, and so you’re also kept in the dark about what matters most: your game, since that spotlight tends to make you appear rather big and important and doesn’t show you your shadows and shades, but in these deeps you’re very good at pointing those out in others.  In the third depths you meet the outer world again like you’ve taken a journey in a straight line out from yourself and followed the curve of Space all the way back to where you started, only now you know you are the world as is everybody and everything in it, a rather sobering humbling experience because you see you really are no different than anyone else, every bit as messed up, but you do see and feel sometimes close, sometimes far a presence in the world, call it God or the Relative Absolute, that has made the world for you anything but mundane and business as usual, and this feeling has gotten all the way down to your feet and has quickened them on the spiritual path to realize that presence as something more than fleeting.  Here in these deeper depths the guidance you get gets good, though sometimes a bit hard to take because it’s so spot on on what you need to work on (like the unflattering way your mom would tell you to go and take a bath and put on clean underwear when you just came close to her for a moment on your way to some important kid business), but you need a form for it to fit into, one that captures for you guidance in the same way the world and everything in it is a living symbol of that presence, in such a way that the very act of having to interpret the guidance teaches you to interpret that presence in all things, making you walk on your own two feet towards it because you’ve got to stand up out of your stuff, at least for a moment, and figure out what the symbols mean.  Art anyone?

     Since we are all on our heights inspiring all that is, albeit unknown to ourselves, down here in the thick of it we are all artists in the usual meaning of that term if we can find our talent and the time to develop it, something that becomes more apparent and begins to manifest the closer we get to finding our soul or our suchness, since art will always come out of that search like the world does out of that presence.  No particular art is supreme over the others, but if you’re looking for a particularly fit form to give you guidance and capture truth (truth being not as we tend to regard it today as a name to believe in or a dogma to adopt but simply what is actually going on, the why and how), the language of poetry is literally readymade for that, or it is if you’ve fashioned out of your creative reflex the muse and do not make art with the mind or even the heart but with the inner ear and eye, which show you the art of the cosmic mind and heart.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a poet or not; you’ll still hear and see poetry in your muse, the inner voice speaking as the inspiration of art, though if you don’t already have a well-developed poetical intelligence, if you haven’t learned the art of poetry both by the writing and reading of it, the verse you’ll get won’t be poetry in the sense of the word, won’t pass muster as art, however much you like it, and it’s best in the beginning and for a long time into it to put the am I a poet question aside and the submitting to Poetry Review Journal Magazine or Spirituality Online.  Would that I could take back a lot of my early muse that I prematurely put out in the public eye.  I have to warn you; the muse will write itself to people, situations, you name it, and want you with a pressing urgency to send it to them, from the onset, but you have to have the presence of mind to wait until it flowers into art, and we by our nature being so full of ourselves and self-important, all of us I’m afraid, simply cannot be objective enough to know when the bloom is finally ready, and so you’ll make a lot of mistakes with your muse, and that seems to be part of the process.  Later on another layer of muse appears, an editorial one, which seems to correspond to that slow change of seasons when your muse blossoms into art.

     The muse is quite eclectic and will show you all the forms of art however much one form is shown more than the others because it’s your focus and forte or how much you couldn’t even begin to capture in outer expression the forms it’s showing you that are not.  I’m not a painter, but I’ve seen many paintings, and I don’t really play a musical instrument only pluck on the guitar, but I hear a lot of music, some of which I do sing and play because the muse is so insistent that I develop that ability.   Once in Paris I even heard a symphony in my head complete with an entire orchestra.  It came about as a result of staying with someone that listened to Classical music all the time, because what you fill your eyes and ears with and dwell on with your mind and heart will be the subject of your muse, the substance of your art, so turn off the TV, put down the newspaper, and fill yourself with art if you want to make it, read poetry if you want to write it, and, if you aim to go into the Silence, turn everything off and put everything down whenever and just let the natural sights and sounds around you be your entertainment, a secret passage that can be thrilling for longer and longer moments when you get the hang of it –the presence you see.  I have very little interest in architecture except to stand and gape at it when it’s good, but on the Camino of Santiago seeing a lot of that art I saw in vision a cathedral whose front was a semicircle lined with intricate life-size stone statues of all the craftsmen of daily life, plumbers, electricians, nurses, road workers, and on and on.  In both the above instances all I could do was look and listen to all that feeling quite inadequate as only a poet, a one trick pony.

     It’s impossible to give you a picture of the muse in the two dimensions of writing because it’s not three dimensional as we usually encounter things but four, as it’s coming from that place where seeing is seeing multiple scenes simultaneously, divine vision, and so it comes at you busting at the seams wearing the variety of the universe, and only being able to see one scenario at a time, you can put your attention to very little of that and are able to capture or record even less.  And I should warn you not to cry over spilled milk; the one that got away will always be the best one and will always get away.  That’s a universal law I think.  The lines of poetry that come to you you have to record, and that means learning to be a frog and going back and forth in and out of the inner waters, and so you’ll lose many lines, the best ones more often than not.

     Perhaps, though, the most important piece of information about the muse is that it comes in so many pieces from so many places, not whole from one source as you might think (if that is, you are indeed in the third depths open to it all), is not something you’re just given verbatim but something you have to sort through and make out, discernment being the most important handmaid, able not only to tell the true from the false but also art from the art not, which means you end up throwing away more lines than you use, since the great bulk of what you get is grist for the mill.  The muse itself, however, will aid in the process, as there’s the presence of what I call an overeditor commenting, in verse or by visual art, a crashed airplane for example if things aren’t going well, on the writing of the poem, and believe it or not you also have at your disposal a sort of line thesaurus, and if you’re not happy with a line (or a section, verse, or even a whole poem), you can reject it and wait for another line to come of the same idea dressed in different clothes, and several more lines will come all the way to the point the antonym of the idea is being expressed.  Of course for such mastery over the muse, i.e. the presence of an overeditor and the thesaurus function, and other things too detailed to mention here, you need to be well-versed in your art, putty in the hands of your soul, and you have to be in a place of heightened clarity, not muddled by your life and the world, which for most of us is a lake house we but visit on vacations, as well as the fact the concentration required for such over the top will-directed listening is excruciating, as is just being in the muse in general it takes so much listening will, an openness and passivity in the use of will and not a pulling down as it may sound, an extremely important difference to understand, as you’re not actually waiting on a line of poetry but on the divine to give you what it wills and what you need, which isn’t always the next line of the present poem, something only the word surrender captures.  This does not mean you can’t put an intention on the muse, what you have to do to use the thesaurus in the first place, or to redo a section of verse, or to ask it to give you a poem on a certain topic, and this is not a pulling but a waiting with will on whatever the muse would like to bring you in regards to your intention, which, again, is not what you want but what you need, and so often you get something different than you intended.

     I need to explain, however, that the clarity and over the top concentration is only for the editing ability, since you can certainly hear your muse if you’re messed up, even dirty as hell, since you can say the main function of the muse is not necessarily to impart truth to you or the world but to get you the listener out of a jam, pull you out of the water because you’re drowning, you being generally not some good and noble person but the type of guy or gal ugly in the eyes of others but who is secretly preparing a beautiful heart-temple for God to inhabit, a secret you hardly even tell yourself, the kind of person the divine is apt to pay more attention to because no one else will, and so you’re open to God, wide open –take my story for example.  For its ability to get us out of trouble and defeat the hostile powers the muse was called in India in times passed Agni, the purifying fire, and if you’re an ugly person having just been lead around by the nose by your stuff, the lines do burn like fire as you lay there almost unwillingly listening to them trying to go into the oblivion of sleep.  The muse just won’t shut up (the temple in your heart makes sure of that), and eventually, through it all, through every single fall, it carries you safely beyond your stuff into the plentitude of the Spirit, or will if you allow it, since failure, total ruin, is always a present looming possibility.  I’m trying to tell you the muse is not exactly what you may think it is, and if you’re listening to it, that doesn’t mean you’re a great guy, but it does mean you’ve done with your concentration what few can: made of it despite yourself and your stuff an open inner ear.

     The concentration required for editing, however, returning to that thesaurus, is not something you can do when you’re muddled by your stuff, costs too much to use more than a couple of times in any given listening stretch, a laying or sitting in for only a couple of hours normally so excruciating it is.  That’s no matter because the muse can pick up right where it left off, amazingly so, and so poems can come over days or longer.  My first muse poem, A Suicide Bomber’s Broken Arrow is Broken, begun in 2001 in Brazil shortly after September 11th (however the poem is not about that particular suicide bombing), formed into a working poem in Paris, posted in this blog, was ten years in the writing, finishing it depending upon further development both as a poet and in the knowledge of life and death, since the speaker is a dead bomber speaking from the other side, literally. For the most part, though, poems really like to come over the course of a night’s sleep, not something you’re all that happy about, waking you up at all the watches of the night so to speak itself.  The overeditor is also quite expensive because hearing it means listening to different levels of muse at the same time (levels you won’t for the life of you be able to sort out other than know with your heart the overeditor is concerned with you and the poem with just itself), a feat of concentration you can’t maintain for long since it’s too close to divine multiple vision for our one thing at a time mind to be comfortable grappling with or even all that able to.

     It should be apparent by now that your ability to hear and see the muse and record it and make out of it art depends on how much mastery you have over both your craft and your consciousness, your stuff  and war with it notwithstanding, since for example if you’re not a developed poet possessed with that innate talent to make language dance with the tip of your pen you won’t get Poetry, or you’ll have to wait and let your muse flower into that, a process that can take years as you study your craft, whatever art is your particular talent to mature, and if you don’t have deep spiritual knowledge that you’ve gotten by spiritual experiences, of the Silence, of the soul, of the divine consciousness, or even wide horizontal knowledge of life and death you’ve acquired by inner or outer travel and going for the heart of Experience in your thought and feeling, which doesn’t necessarily mean you’re spiritually oriented, you’re not suddenly going to be expressing things not in your league to know, and if you do try and express them anyway, or if your creative reflex gives you that I should say, it will come across rather flat and one-sided, take the form, in language, of a strange or awkward prose and will not be possessed with the substance and subtlety of art, since it will not be imbued with the reality of having seen what your symbols mean.  Increasingly we’re being bombarded with many volumes of such half-truth expressions, channeled works that usually redefine everything but tell you nothing about how to actually change your consciousness or get out of a tight fix, half in the sense of things only heard and not actually seen, and often consequently also in the sense of their truthness, so much so the muse, the whole notion of inspiration really, is a dog in court.  But I have to say not all of these works are for the waste bucket; a few, rare ones that show the divine leading someone out of suffering, conversations or whatnot, despite their often stabbing in the dark, give us needed shallows leading into the deeper experience.  Now, it hardly bears mentioning that this ability of which I speak normally comes with a lot of spiritual development, but not with every person that has used the muse extensively to write poetry, watering it down with the mind, spitting out the spiritual bits (is that what they said? an unheard quote of Shakespeare on his muse).  Apart from some notable exceptions there’ve been many inspired poets, though,

That have gone and catch spiritual concepts like the Sufi.
I thought the party was over.
It slipped her mind.
I knew somehow.
Your own answers to your own questions.
View the stuff of your life.
I wanna go,
Gonna go somewhere.
A cause to run
And the whole wide world
Gets to hear it.
It’s busy.
Everybody stole your exercises.
Ego swarm.
Hear tonight
The more middle of washing machine data.
Do strike you
Don’t it by God?
What did you mean?
No spaceship.
Talk with me.
We have a little problem.
A message
Better get goin’.
Stay on alert.
Defensive maneuvers.
What happened?
You hit a snag
Pulls you
Away from your target.
What to look for:
That private tutor.
Or you’re ready to
Give some serious adult fist
Where you’re going.
You don’t want me to fix it for you.
Just a breeze

Blow you there.

I think we’ve done enough homework already.
I’m sorry.
Walk through camp.
There’s a reindeer
If you open your eyes.
Let’s continue north.
Tonight we have a particularly good starback
He hired from his own house.
That’s my particular.
Why does it cover everybody?
Redistributed the Press recently?
I call it seeing
Union reels.
Can you see me now?
Maybe you need a personal committed story to accept this water slip.
Four times movin’.
Face up to the point where I am,
And then there’s your movement.
Would you like to see my poetry blog?
There’s other things about poetry
Than Ode to Paper Basket.
Give this to him:

I am a treasure hunter.

There is a world of the seer consciousness.
This stays in cold ink’s fish:
Relativity
Putting a bat to
The thousand and one things.
You heard it though.
This part’s money.
I bet though lord
Feel it
Throwing it away.
Remember,
That’s how it works
Collage;
That’s yours.
I’m gonna get in this thing.
He’s gonna
Welcome
Try to find it.
Find her
Over there.
You hear that?
Listen for the Silence.
Well there’s proof.
Listen, this is a race of sieges.
Well I’ll tell yah:
The only chance you have
Over there
Inside
Live your life apart.
You’re willin’ to leave
Every single thing in the world
And you’re in it still.
No one can stop the world for you.
Look,
Remember,
Not even warm
(Go and get his gun)
Sittin’ up readin’,
Sittin’ up
Listenin’ to a preacher talk to yah.
Anybody heard it,
A night watchman?

Find it.

The sun came in two directions:
The sun from there,
My eyes from there.
Who are you?
But you look at somebody in the world.
You take the table.
Another altitude
Invite you.
I know
Because I live there
Under exercise of all this.
You said you were skatin’.
I have regular employment
From a variety of sources,
And I have passing marks:
I protect in my living room.
You do?
Sure enough,
A hall pass.
I don’t believe you.
That don’t offend me.
Let me tell you
Air Force One,
I’m goin’ up to the top
Instead of up.
I’m going stabilizer.
This is a drawing.
What that for?
Someone help me.
If I can make it through the Silence,
The empty bucket,
What you land there on the ground,
Well I just go and see it,
An undiscovered continent

Secret from our days.

Real nice
Thank you.
What have you got for us
Over here?
To Superman
Over there.
You’ll have to excuse me.
Just like in the old days
People think differently.
He is a star,
Hunched-Little-Face:
All these things they believe about.
What am I doin’
Telling you to believe in somethin’?
I do not believe;
I want…
What do you want?
Remind them so much
Of that eye-witness
Seen what he saw
Because it’s real.
I want you to see this.

The Eye of Change

source: flickr.com RJ Wats

on

Art, and its written and oral expression literature, particularly poetry, and it’s on the behalf of that muse that I sit down and write, has been for us, and I mean us in the human sense, all of us, something more than a creation we take in merely to enjoy or pass the time, whatever we say about it, whatever it truly is.  With it we behold creation itself, some small or large measure of this manifold enigma we call life, we call the world.  In a remoteness of seeing it magnifies our own deeply personal and startling world, personal because we live a dual life of inner and outer, but it is in that inner that we live, watching the outer as though it’s some tall stranger to whom we must respond as lovingly as if it were our own very self, startling because of all the passion that brightens through us, all the feelings that seem to have their fount in the deep and dim seat of creation itself, are a party to its immense and immeasurable unfolding, of all the thoughts that soundlessly speak through the corridors of our minds so intensely jumbled with a chaos of meaning, a chaos in which we reason out the order of our life.  Art does not simply try and make sense of this; it moves our own meaning a measure beyond.  It aims not at flattering our littleness, our crude perspectives and mean ways of looking.  It heightens seeing, challenges us, provokes us, and sometimes, even laughs at us, but if it is indeed art, it does this with a finesse and timeliness that can only come from an artist confronting a mirror. It is art, not religion, not science, not philosophy, not politics with which we move the world towards its destination, the play up, and it is only when these things are embodied by art (and by that I mean they are no longer their governing selves but have become backdrops for art) that they have the power to move it because art, unlike anything else that we behold, has the strength of passage to reach that intimate place in us wherein we keep our most treasured and heartfelt notions, and once in there to give some part or parcel of them a good going over, to which we cannot help but respond, be that in outrage or in awe.  Unlike the eye of the lot of us, the collective glare, art can open on anything without the least shudder or moral spasm.  Art, you see, has the eye of God.

It’s the pride of every age to think it’s at the advancing front of history, the highest peak of art and culture any age has yet climbed, or at least at some height where it looks down upon all the glory and grandeur of past ages as just stepping stones to the mature realness of its own, the age that matters, and if it does see a beyond it sees it in terms of the humanity of the day, dressed in those selfsame clothes.  Any age on the future, with its eye on the future, cannot see a fundamental high-reaching change in the human fabric, a rise on the inner nature.  It sees the future peopled by people no different in kind from the people of its own.  It envisions changes in outer wear: technological, environmental, political, social, and cultural changes.  No wide open eye there is on an inner change in humanity.  Our day is no different in these respects from past ages; only we are caught in the throes of a revolution in communication and availability of information that makes our day a day in court.  In our courtroom humanity is the defendant, Mother Nature and human nature the prosecution, survival the judge, and the possibility of a bright inner change in humanity the public defender, one we have yet to assign to our case.  I doubt many at this magnificent moment would agree with me, but it might be that the future (one that has arrived at some sight I might say) will not look upon ours as the bright forerunner of better ages, nor even to be better than any age before us, not in human terms at least.  Technology fools us into thinking we’re advanced, but by nature we are not largely different from people of old in the ways we react to things, in the ways we live, in the things we daily do.  They will see yet another ignorant age, but one in which human destiny was deliberated, or at least the one in which we first began to look upon ourselves as a world and not only as a nation or a people, and in that seeing begin to realize we can see ourselves as that or die.  Of course it goes without saying I see that we’ll see that.

A poet lifts up his head.

But it’s not my purpose here to be political.  I want to point out something, but before I bring my point home I’d like to provide another kind of search engine for the Internet, but one not as apparent as the ones you find online.  This engine is inside you, but we’ll have to do a background search first to get it to come in view.  The world is going online, and it’s not really looking at itself doing that, not, that is, with any depth of seeing.  For all the compiling bits of information that’s trying to sum it all up, all the blogs that are trying to speak it all out, all the web pages that tell us this or that, all the everything we can put on the world wide web trying to get a word in edgewise, we seem to be missing the point.  We are doing it just like we do everything else, by simply occupying it, filling in the space.  Of course many are talking about this virtual takeover, the incivility involved in the conquest, the anger, the hatred, but I want to say something about where this is taking our creative heights, something perhaps better said in a poem but it wouldn’t get any eye, and it’s what I’m pointing out as to why.  In all this going online art is being domesticated.

There’s no sitting room.
It’s time to take it to the field.
What sterilizes this tour is called forth grade avant-garde.
And most studies of alcohol dependencies…
We did the girls molested interactive art dialogue.
Your partner is bad men.
Can we get bigger than that?

There is one thing about life, its most seemingly fundamental aspect as a matter of fact, that even art rather tends to avoid being largely concerned with symmetry and form even when it’s trying to get around those – the messiness of life.  A case can be made that it’s the province particularly of poetry to measure this, given the nature of the verbal inner eye, and just look inside your head at your thoughts as they swirl around the world to see what I mean by that, but we’d lose focus.  Life is not only messy, full of the discombobulated, the out of sequence, the impossible to tell in any story in its rampant and confused completeness; it’s also quite dirty, scattered in every corner with little icky bits that we’d rather not tell anyone about or even really look at squarely ourselves, although we do spend a great deal of our life trying to clean these up or at least sweep them under the rug, especially when the lot of us gets a look at them.  Who does not have dirty little secrets that they whispered in life’s gutter ear, its cesspool of ill deed, at some point in the journey from the cradle to the grave?  Just look on the Internet.  I don’t think we yet truly understand the implications of having a world wide web when that we posting on it is as ignorant to the depth of life as we are.  Far from being a well of living water from which we can drink of the heights of the human heart and mind, accessible heights that can even teach our lows how to climb, what if you think about we’d like the Internet to be if it’s to become something more than just an easily accessible place where we can comfortably sell our wares (what’s taking the field), it’s threatening to become more a very virile and visible collective subconscious, chock-full of all the bile and bitterness, smut and self-righteousness, of our lower instincts.

Do you hear me Houston?
We do have a problem.
I gave a poet laugh.

We turn now to the artist, who is often on the margins: the nonconformist, the unorthodox, the rebel, the dissident, the heretic, the iconoclast, and in some cases, where there are perhaps no patrons other than art and immensity and the artist has no recourse but to bare soul to both, the outcast, but I’d have to add an amendment here: this spirit of an artist is becoming no so acceptable in today’s market, although its toned down or overly exaggerated imitation seems highly prized.  Whatever it is that makes and artist an artist, I think even with reluctance most would agree that it’s something more than just some genius of craft and technique.  Something there is that makes an artist look at the world and life and look so passionately there is no choice but to develop God-given abilities so to speak this, paint it out on the canvas of some craft.  It’s either that or explode.  That something, that impetus if you will, can often be found in life’s messy room, its dirty corner.  The biographies of a good many artists bear witness to this.  Of course you can be normal and be an artist, and there are many normal artists.  This has always been demanded of an artist by society, demanded of anybody, to be normal, but it’s the particular domain of artists to examine normality, poke it, prod it, and push it around, not only in their art but in their very lives, the former being a sublime public epiphany of the latter, as much as we’ve divorced, re-married, and divorced again these two figures in our commentaries on art.  But they sit together and look into the hourglass of immortality much deeper than a critique can readily see; they’re soul mates, a union as I see it from the perspective of a poet that my soul forms, which brings in a more fundamental union into the play between one’s art and life, that between soul and nature.  The more, I have found, that I’m able to write by my soul, the more nature herself gives it its rhythm and form.  What music would sound more natural and inevitable, what song more wild and free?

Is it crafted on unusual?
I say verse technique,
There the soul lay guesthouse,
A strange caller,
A Hercules.

Being that as such, that many artists are for the most part pushing the boundaries of what is considered normal and acceptable in a society, both in their art and in their lives, they can be quite questionable people by today’s standards.  (I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but we are becoming, even in the secular, rather puritanical).  In such a moral climate a good many artists, most especially those who are not politically correct, the artists who throw three sheets to the wind and challenge the status quo and craft change, wouldn’t be worth the risk to an art or literary journal with a sound reputation to uphold.  In the decision whether or not to give a piece of art the public eye, if we were to get in somehow into the sitting room of publishers and editors, in many cases it’s not the art that’s being declined; it’s the artist.  I’m sure there has been some spirit of this around art from the very beginning: those who publish or display art rejecting that art, whatever its mastery of expression and technique, from an artist of questionable moral or mental state, fringe or outlawed political affiliation, of heretical religious ideology or lack of religion, or, as I’ve seen to be a deciding factor in declining a poem or other verbal art in today’s Western literary journals, to have any faith at all not based on doubt in relation to God.  (Although the question seems out of place anywhere we put it, I can’t help but ask it here: why have we cloistered away today’s poetry in literary magazines and reviews if poetry is what we celebrate it to be, a spoken opening of our most aesthetic verbal eye?  You’d think it would be much more popular if the lot of us is as sophisticated as we imagine ourselves to be and if what we are creating and calling poetry today is indeed that.)  Unquestionably this blacklisting of artists has always been dogging art, but in the contemporary literary scene, because of the hypersensitivity in public morality making people so angry nowadays it’s a looming threat to anyone who dares question it, one that is largely coming about from this quite sudden and very personal public eye opening upon people in their dirty messy rooms the Internet enables, allowing also anyone with Internet access to investigate anybody that has any presence on the web, and most au courant artists do, I would venture to say that this today is taking literature, particularly poetry, back to an era when a religious authority jealously guarded its publication, on the watch to exclude any poem not in keeping with its paradigm or any poet not in line with its lifestyle, but here it’s not religion doing it or the state doing it in the name of religion (or a sociopolitical ideology as has been the case more recently), at least not now in the West, but the secular literary establishment itself.

Is this simultaneous submissions?
Who would guard favor?
Can you get your poet out?

I am not here granting a poetic license for immorality, advocating its carte blanche acceptance in society, although undoubtedly that would be the main criticism of this piece by the glaring collective eye.  I’d just like to point out that it’s with us and always has been, and our most usual way of dealing with it when it’s been uncovered by the lot of us, making a finger pointing spectacle of it that we parade in print and the airways across the public imagination, doesn’t help us deal with it and discover in it what there is to bring us beyond it, why people do evil things and how to have them stop, what the bad is here to teach the good so that both can get better.  Is born the artist.  Despite the art gospel of today that seems to have particularly gotten poetry by the horns, that art is simply there, fills no purpose other than to be appreciated, although it is expected, if it is indeed art, to move us, culture us, art for the longest time has been showing us the inside of life’s dark and shuttered rooms.  You would wonder if there is some purpose behind that.  Art has this habit of putting beauty there in the way it so stylishly opens its aesthetic eye upon it, and surrounded by such beauty in the midst of what to us has always been rather ugly, we are carried a measure beyond a simply moral view of things, looking at things strictly in terms of good and evil, black and white.  We are widened, and in that wideness can now see clearer to better deal with the moral issues that confront us.  This is not to become broad-minded for the sake of being cultured, or to live up to an ideal, or simply because we should.  I’m speaking in very practical and pressing terms; if we do not become so as a species we will not survive.

I’m not going to question.
Keep your nose clean.
I’ll put on the story you always want to hear.
Does this open all of us?

In this context, art, far from being a corrupter of our morals however much immorality it shows us, quite naturally and without us even knowing it, works evil out.  And I would add here that behind the art, however remotely, is an artist doing that, in regards to evil done or evil received, the art being a creative manifestation of that process made public, but I would also add that the most powerful art along these lines, that which takes the question of evil its farthest towards answering, sometimes even answering it, would be that created by an artist who has either done grave wrong or entertained the notion far stronger than what would be considered normal (by the times anyway).  The reason such art would be more compelling would become clear in the light of the ever-present need we have for self-understanding, greater even than our need to understand the world and its impact.  Of course art shows us a good many things other than the immoral room, as wide and multifarious as that room is, as universal as it is in the human subconscious, shows us anything possible for the human imagination to conceive, but in whatever art shows us it’s doing something to our imagination, something a bit magic, something to wonder at; it’s making it bigger at the same time it’s turning it in upon itself, and in all that expanding and contracting, like in the growth of a star or the making of a universe, we grow to what more is possible; we take a shine to the undiscovered.  Art puts us there, can take us anywhere, even to the end of evil, even farther a field than God.  That is why I say whatever we magnify with art can only be a backdrop to that act of creation itself.  Something there is bigger than even God, who is the ultimate measure of immensity for many of us.  That something beyond imagination artists are trying to measure, whether they know that or not, however large or small their measure.  In a manner of speaking, it could be said that God, in the sculpting and illustrating of all these worlds and universes and what is bigger than universes and bigger still, is himself an artist capturing on film what wonder this is that he’s seen.

What exactly do you want,
Like the name of a story?
It’s Universe
In our particular heritage sweepstakes.
You have to write it
One to three,
Make host positions clear.
We get bigger universes.
We outgrow that tide.
Now where we at?
Larger than Space.

Now the question now that I’ve made my point: what is an artist’s measure?  As might be clear by my describing it as something unimaginable (although that doesn’t mean we can’t try and conceive of it, which is in effect what an artist is trying to do), it isn’t the tangled flesh of life with all its robbed passion and squelched expression, nor the now upside down now right side up world trying to find a balance in immensity, nor even the artist’s ability or inability to untangle life from itself and right the world and show us this miracle or failed attempt, although in this last we’ve given lots of glory to an artist making the attempt, made immortal as a matter of fact, and put art in its place.  So to rhythm this angled ascent right I must mention my own art and say the measure in poetry.

It wouldn’t do prose.
If you know better:
What was I gonna do?
What’s that supposed to mean?
Your energy,
It’s a base-level reaction?
Somethin’ unsaid.
You’re on home plate.
Get struck out.
Hey, you’ve lost the ball.
The doctor,
This gonna cost bunch of money.
What are you trying to do?
Just poetry.
Lift your results.
Come quick for me
I only had One.
That’s such a common UFO.
This stopped how many people?
Get your beans together
And a number of years
You’ll be the lake house
Of where understanding takes a seat
Fly fishin’.
Did I bore yah?
Now, what you needed for an airplane.
Wait daddy,
Get my socks on.
Lay down alone in yourself.
Roll back inside.
Silence utter
Causes verbal.
Live in
Orange.
That’s not such a jolt.
Go watch TV.
The last word:
Bear witness.