A Journey of a Thousand Tongues
Clambers on the Mountaintop
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.
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.
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
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 “Make Peace With the World”, and the long poem “The Pupil and His Divine, a Harmony in Five Measures,” both on my personal blog, Collaboration With the Unknown, might interest you to see what that future self is writing on these matters.
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.
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
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?
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.
something as visible as the unseen.
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.
some of those things alive.
Watch abysses –
or Edgar Allen Poe.
“Fight us Law?”
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 –
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:
And I’m continuing to fashion the heart
and put it in its desired place:
From here on out team effort,
That’s what’s pushy about me to you.
(my muse yesterday and today)