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♥ I just want to tell you how wonderful it is! Freedom Fighta I aint got no opinion if you been good or you been sinnin I dont judge you so dont judge me we are all the same you see I dont know nothin about no nothin but there is one thing I guess I know I wont take nothin from another know-nothin were one in the eyes of God is what youre about whos in and whos out not crossin borders enforcing the orders makin sure we all know whos above whos below thats not the reality can you hear me im speakin clearly talk and listen unlock the prison in every voice we all rejoice hear the crowd cryin out loud this is the reality we are all the same you see hear the crowd cryin out loud were one in the eyes of God the eyes of God the eyes of God the eyes of God the eyes of God the eyes of God the eyes of God were one in the eyes of God ♥ jai gopala madan mohan jai govinda gopinatha jai keshava radha raman jai madhava jagannatha
• Fanaticism carries no guarantee against one's possible apostasy. Jagannatha's Garden When I'm working hard in Jagannatha's garden, God blesses me. All my sins are pardoned in Jagannatha's garden, it's so easy. I will play my part in Jagannatha's garden, eternally. (Jagannath = Lord of the World) June 25 We are all in the spiritual world with You at this very moment. In fact this moment is all there is. The past and the future are illusions. All we have to do is remove the cloudy illusions from our inner vision. We don't have to memorize a lot of details about You as if in preparation for an exam. We know You already, in our real state. Our work is just to accept reality. Then we wake up and see You, back in our happy home, in love. Adventure Movie We scaled the lofty pyramid after paying off the guard. Swam under London's Parliament unobserved by Scotland Yard. We met in the hall of the Taj Mahal disguised as gawking guests, and joined the three parts of the key to a Chinese treasure chest. Then one Forbidden City night, the golden hinges creaked, freeing at last from Empires past perfumes inducing sleep. When we awoke, though no one spoke,
a voice told us to bow, and sang in rhymes into our minds the Secret of the Tao. ♥ Little Nimai Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord protected you. Thieves could not run off with your wealth. You are the Supreme Lord yourself. July 5 It's the morning after Independence. Freedom is followed by necessity. Back to work! Does that mean freedom binds me? Then does captivity liberate me? That looks wrong. But I'm thinking about consequences. If my freedom of choice is unlimited, then the results of my actions are my responsibility. I get the reaction. I'm bound by my choice and its necessary reaction. About that I have no choice, paradoxically. But if I start off with no choice, if I let a greater force take me where it will, then I'm liberated from the consequences of "my" actions. I'm acting on another's account. I'm taking the path of devotion. The source of my thoughts, words, and deeds is a cause greater than myself. I am subsumed. Of course, that's still a choice that I make. But it's the last choice I make. So it has to be a good choice. From here on I am chosen, not choosing. In effect, I'm doing nothing -- except enjoying my liberation. That seems irresponsible, doesn't it. But attractive too. It all rests on the quality of that last choice, my final commitment. What or who do I choose to do my choosing for me? I choose You, the Unlimited. Those who desire unlimited independence are limited by their independence. They may not understand now. But they will on the morning after. ♥ Prabhupad said, "Krishna is always expanding." So we don't have to get worked up about our spiritual "attainment." We can never attain You because You're always one step ahead of us. Still, You attract us, so we love to run after You.
• Evil is weak, and conquers through weakness. You, God, are the source of strength. Evil cuts itself off from You. It knows only weakness and sees only weakness. But it is very skillful at what it does, being so single-pointed in its attention. Evil instantly sees others' weaknesses and plays on them to gain power. Evil capitalizes on its own weaknesses by forcing others to serve it out of pity and guilt. "I am so weak, you must do what I want, out of compassion for me." That is evil's most subtle deception. ♥ You are the energy -- You are the everything You are the evidence -- for your existing You make it possible -- for the reality to be a loving and -- beautiful Deity it isn't nothingness -- it isn't particles it isn't rooms full of -- various articles You are much greater than -- anything anywhere You are much greater than -- anything else Now I can understand -- You are the essence and You are the origin -- of every grain of sand You are the most and best -- nothing comes close to You You are the mightiest -- no one's supporting You You are the energy -- you are the everything You are the evidence -- for your existing You are much greater than -- anything anywhere You are much greater than -- anything else ♥ Krishna is so kind. He gives Himself to you as Guru, Shastra, Paramatma -Avatara too.
Hard Workin Man one boiled potato and a dried up crust of bread theyre just about tryin to keep me from dyin
cuz i aint no use dead one board to sleep on aint got no feather bed but i dont mind cuz by nighttime my bodys made of lead when im off the skids one day ill have some kids ill fix em up to be smart and tough and do better than i did theyll get a job and theyll get a dog give to charity raise a family and thats the way it is hard workin man make money while you can sign up for the government plan get a burial in the sand when i am retired if i have not expired i wont do wrong ill learn a song and sing in the baptist choir ill pet the pooch asippin on my hooch with what ive earned ill have enough to burn so i wont have to mooch hard workin man make money while you can sign up for the government plan get a burial in the sand • my baby dont love me no more she kicked me out and she locked the door i spend my days a-slinkin like an alley cat i got no place no more where i can hang my hat that's why im standin at the edge of the shore thinkin thoughts i never ever thought before ♥ Brain researchers tend to see things one way -- the mind is part of the body -- or another way -- the mind is separate from the body. I propose a third way: the body is part of the mind. Well, what is the
mind? The mind is the universe in its totality, the aggregate of all the matter and consciousness that makes up the universe. The mind is not localized. It's not "my" mind. It's universal. It seems to be mine only because I identify myself as this physical body, and I assume this body's fragment of mind to be mine, or me. But really all of us here share the same mind. And we'll be liberated from it when we realize we're part of You. Nobody Knows The Secret nobody knows the secret of nature nobody knows the secret of love nobody knows where life's gonna take ya some say below some say above nobody knows the secret oh when my soul feels a deep feeling that's when my mind makes up a plan so when my body's spinning and reeling all im doing is the best that i can nobody knows the secret here in my heart there's a great sadness im stuck in here til the end of the storm nobody knows the secret of gladness nobody knows just why we were born nobody knows the secret i pray to god oh watch me and guide me help me to do the thing that is right i know that you will often chastise me but i will keep the goal in my sight nobody knows the secret if i can find the highway to heaven ill pay the toll whatever it takes got to drive fast cant be late for the wedding youll have my soul ill see your face nobody knows the secret nobody knows the pleasure thats waiting nobody knows just when it will start god only knows when pain is abating god only knows the joy in my heart nobody knows the secret nobody knows the secret god only knows the secret
August 4 Yesterday someone donated Raymond Moody's 1975 book Life After Life to the library. That's the book where the term "near death experience" was first seen in print. I'd read it years ago, but wanted to go over it again. It had made a strong impression on me. I brought it home and showed it to my love, saying, "This is the book that started it all." She nodded appreciatively while turning on the TV. The program that came up, without any channel-changing, was about near death experiences. A man picked up a book and showed it to the camera, saying, more or less, "This is the book that started it all." She gasped, "It's the same book!" Life After Life after Life After Life. I call these events Cosmic Confirmations. To me they're intended to validate the significance of the subject for my life. They're not meaningless coincidences, but pointers from You. August 5 APA Insight Guides puts together a good travel guide to India. I was browsing through my copy today. I was struck by the utterly alien quality of so much of the culture. Alien to me, an American, that is. Of course! I thought. That's what's fascinating about it. The other-ness of it, its exoticism, symbolizes what I must do to attain liberation. I must cast off everything familiar to me, everything that I can identify with or have a personal affinity for, and enter into a world completely the opposite of "me." As Rudolph Otto said, God is the Wholly Other. So in 1966 I did it -- as much as I could then or in the 12 years that followed as I studied with my guru. I leaped through the mirror. Then I returned from that world, an ancient text in hand. The text is written in a language comprehensible only to people who learned to read in that opposite-land. To me it makes perfect sense, even here where I live immersed in a culture completely the same as "me." Which is where I want to live. I am not an Indian -- except perhaps an American Indian. ♥ In the ideal world, each person lives to give pleasure to another person, who lives to give pleasure to another, so that everyone gives, and gets. Giving, loving, worship, is the essence. In the ideal world, there is no distinction between matter and spirit, between body, mind, and soul. The center is pleasure and happiness through worship. Therefore service of another person's
body, mind, and soul is the ideal life. -- now, I know there's also "real" life -when you bin waitin fer sumbuddy els but sumbuddy els dont show then you gotta take it upon yerself an pik up yer feet an go -- so it's hard, but I hear You singing -just keep on lovin just keep on lovin dont get off the track if they dont love you back just keep on lovin Tumor Tango
sung by a female vocalist to the tune of the mid-20th Century popular song "Jealousy"
O - o - o estrogen! Won't give me cancer in my breast again -I'm swearing off the stuff. No more chemicals! Enough! Enough! Artificial hormone therapy -they told me would for sure take care of me. Sometimes it stopped the flash. But the cancer cost me lots of cash. O - o - o liver flush! With herbs that mother nature gives to us, is what the body needs to help it beat the disease! ♥ My body is from Grafton. My soul's from Govardhan. They meet here in Sebastian, where the place and I are one (where sacred rivers run, where the Ace drank their yaupon, where the ocean beats its drum, where a new life has begun).
♥ Some say the core experience of spirituality is the awareness of the unity of all being. I won't discount the profundity of that realization. Nevertheless to me the heart of spirituality is love. By that I mean the desire to give pleasure to another. Love puts oneness into action, into service. Knowledge may be deep, but love runs deeper. God is present in all acts of love, and most present in acts of loving God. Devotion to God is the origin of spirituality. Decorating the Divine Goddess and God, You are always naked. You are self-sufficient, needing nothing else. Yet Your divine bodies are always fully clothed. We Souls, naked too, being particles of You, dress You with our voices, dress You with emotions, with our glances of devotion, with our dances of love. Every decoration is made of ecstasy! All I want to do, for ever and for ever, is to ornament the beauty of Your perfect spiritual bodies, to glorify Your "lineaments of gratified desire." September 3 What's inside must be on the outside. Cast off the material covering and let the spiritual body show! The cultural bric-a-bric of any place or time gets in the way. For now, to be naked in the back yard is enough. The human bodymind is an energy instrument the soul may use to accomplish its goal of selfrevelation. It needs no other apparatus or appurtenance. Of course we have to accept the facts of our agricultural- industrialcybernetic context. But in the spiritual world, Prabhupad said, "You
never see Krishna playing with a machine." It's all people. Here, too, it's all people, if you can see through the illusions. Everything here and there is personal, and bodily. But in the spiritual world, each body (soul) is the same through and through -- with no difference in essence between inside and outside. Naked. The surface is not a covering. The surface is the person. No hiding allowed. If there are clothes, well, the clothes are naked people too, in the shape of clothes. As others are in the shape of trees, or animals, or jewels, or rivers. September 5 I've come to believe that the essential difference between material life and spiritual life is this. In material life, the pleasure I feel belongs to me. In spiritual life, the pleasure I feel belongs to God. In both cases, I feel pleasure. There's no need to give up pleasure to be spiritual. But materially, my pleasure is at my disposal. I decide when, how, where, I'm going to feel it. Spiritually, my pleasure is at God's disposal. God decides the particulars of my delights. Ultimately, spiritual pleasure is felt directly by the spiritual self. The soul itself is stimulated. That pleasure is inconceivably more intense than the vicarious enjoyment felt by the soul while identifying with the false material "self" made of atoms. I would then define Faith as the conviction that God wants me to feel pleasure, and indeed will give me pleasure -- more pleasure than I can have when I try to possess my pleasure. The only renunciation required is the giving up of a harmful attitude. I would go so far as to say that the desire to possess my pleasure is at the core of all the world's evils. Are many people going to want to change that desire? Not likely. But some have. September 6 This is reality: we give delight to Your spiritual bodies while You give delight to our spiritual bodies. All the rest we've heard about is contrived cultural clutter. Divine love with You is the permanent existence. September 10 Please help me keep my balance as I accept the contingencies and honor the absolutes.
September 23 The Dalai Lama says, "The concept of violence is out of date. The destruction of your neighbor is actually the destruction of yourself." As the terrorists shall find out. And as we shall find out after we destroy them. The legacy of violence is passed along the line until someone refuses it. The Pope says the two sides should renounce violence and sit down and talk. Dorothy Holland, who lives here in Sebastian, wrote a letter to our local paper, the Press Journal. The PJ published it a few days ago. She stated her conviction that "violence cannot be overcome by more violence...the answer is to look at the root causes." Holland suggests that the political, religious, and ethnic leaders of the world "listen to those who fear, resent or hate our nation. They would then ask what can be done to alleviate the sufferings of poor nations... then would declare war on the situations that are so hopeless for so many." She concludes, "This is simply 'loving our neighbor.'" Vengefulness at the Treaty of Versailles was the root cause of World War II. Czarist exploitation was the root cause of the Cold War. European-American imperialism was the root cause of the Vietnam War, as it is also the root cause of Islamic terrorism. Every religion has its fundamentalists. Only when fundamentalism can unite with the hatred born of economic suppression, does it create a clearly defined and demonized enemy against whom the envious can struggle ("jihad") and gladly sacrifice their lives in the conviction that they will then pass into a welcoming Paradise. The trigger is economic, military, and political repression. The US can solve the problem. We can demand that, on pain of losing all American aid, Israel stop giving preference to members of the Jewish faith and become a secular nation, thus limiting the power of the fundamentalists who now drive the occupation of Palestinian territory. We can pressure monarchies in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait to institute political reforms and become parliamentary democracies. We can lift the embargo of Iraq which, like the embargo of Cuba, only hurts the people and not the leaders. These steps, and more like them, will bring us the homeland security we depend on for our happiness. September 29 In the movie Lost Souls God's army and Satan's army are at it again. The sulphurous one is about to make his appearance, but Winona Ryder saves the day. In the light of our President's recent preachings against evil, the theme tasted sour to me. I didn't buy
it. Something occurred to me. A culture's yearning for the earthly triumph of absolute good creates a corresponding desire in that culture for the earthly triumph of absolute evil. The God Vs. Satan Battle for Earth, a venerable theme in Judaic-Christian-Islamic culture, has obsessed us for too many centuries. Admittedly, it has spawned plenty of compelling end-of-the-world narratives. But it's also fueled the fires of war, torture, and subjugations of all kinds both public and private. I prefer the Hindu view, where good and evil exist as qualities of human behavior -- or superhuman behavior, as in the struggles between the gods and the demons -with no Manichean Deity of Doom to blame our frailties on. Instead the Hindus point to the workings of Maya, illusion, personified as a goddess surprisingly described as a servant of the Supreme Truth. Subtlety and paradox characterize this comprehension. In the relative world, there will never be an absolute triumph. Absolutism belongs to the spiritual world. Here, good and evil chase each other around an endless circle. It doesn't mean good people should capitulate. The struggle has meaning. But we shouldn't fool ourselves about who's doing the fighting, or what the real goal is -- to hold deviltry in check, not to try to eliminate it absolutely. September 30 Dear Lady Goddess and Lord God, Lady and Lord of Love, please help us feel kindness, compassion, and devotion toward one another. Help us serve each other. Help us understand that Your ways of Love are the only answer to the problems that beset us. That we have no self interest or national interest or global interest other than Your interest -- Love. Help us make Your ways our ways. "We must love one another or die." Our life, our happiness, our success resides in Love. And You are Love. ♥ The excitement of being part of the ecstasy of God, of surrendering to and channeling God's energy, naturally generates activities of service, because God is love.
We come to this world to enjoy ourselves. To explore our possibilities. After doing so, and after suffering great pain as well, we return to God with stronger love. Before, love was given to us. Now, we choose love. ♥ We are made of desire. Made to enjoy, to be happy, to feel pleasure. We are particles of God, who is the Reservoir of Pleasure. We are love, only love. "Teach only love, for that is what you are," says A Course in Miracles. We are made to worship, to adore. In the world of the soul's awakening, everyone gives pleasure to God, who gives pleasure to everyone. There, in that world without fear, no one hides. All souls are naked. God is naked. Love is everywhere. Here, in this world of fear, where the body is not the self, we live a double life. But, the soul's consciousness radiates through the atoms of the temporary form. May the-love-that-I-am permeate it, so its pleasure plays the music of devotion to God's ecstasy! ♥ From the writings of Moses De Leon: The purpose of the soul entering this body is to display her powers and actions in this world, for she needs an instrument. By descending to this world, she increases the flow of her power to guide the human being through the world. Thereby she perfects herself above and below, attaining a higher state by being fulfilled in all dimensions. If she is not fulfilled both above and below, she is not complete. Before descending to this world, the soul is emanated from the mystery of the highest level. While in this world, she is completed and fulfilled by this lower world. Departing this world, she is filled with the fullness of all the worlds, the world above and the world below. At first, before descending to this world, the soul is imperfect; she is lacking something. By descending to this world, she is perfected in every dimension. Harvey, Andrew, ed., The Essential Mystics, Edison NJ, Castle Books, 1998, p. 105.
♥ slowly gently take me to that place where only you can send me you alone possess the secret of my longing that's why i confess I am simply your belonging slowly gently let me see your face so i may worship reverently ♥ We just got back from seeing K-PAX. What did it say to me? Throw away the answers. Stay with the questions. We want something solid, dead. But the essence is alive, changing. We hide inside certainties. To be real is to cast oneself into the current. God is a question. God is to be accepted, not figured out. When we ask the right question we have discovered God. When we face the truth we face a mystery. It exists, it is real. But it's not an object to be scrutinized. It's a world of action. God is not a concept, something to be taught. God is an adventure. God is a person. God is love. God is "What can I do for you?" The response is not an answer, but the same question, "What can I do for you?" Then the words stop and the doing starts. Yes, even the questioning stops. No more theology. What's left is love, and loving the endless mystery. Nothing remains for me except to run after those flashing feet! Sitting Close By, Hearing About God Isha Upanishad AUM That is complete. This is complete. The complete creates the complete. If the complete is taken from it, the complete remains complete.
God controls all of this -whatever's created within the creation. Accept your portion, set aside by God. Don't be greedy for another's wealth. Always acting here in this way, you can hope to live for a hundred years. Yes, for a human there is no other way. It does not bind you to karmic reactions. Those planets known for their demons, covered by ignorance and by darkness -that's where the people who kill the soul, any and all of them, arrive after death. Fixed in one place yet swifter than the mind: the gods move fast, but cannot overtake him. Permanently placed yet surpassing every runner: the gods of wind and rain exist within him. It walks. It walks not. It's far away. It's near. It's inside all this. And it's outside all this. But the one who truly discerns how all creatures relate to atman, and atman relates to all creatures, thereafter despises no one. There's no delusion or anxiety for the one who discerns the oneness when all creatures are understood to exist indeed as atman. That one has definite knowledge of the Irreproachable Unembodied Almighty, of the Veinless Preventitive Curative, of the Scholar, Poet, Philosopher, of the Supreme Self-Created Being who since time immemorial has granted to everyone whatever they desire. Into ignorance, into darkness, enter those who worship nescience.
But into darkness even darker enter those involved in science. So different from each other are the ways of science and of nescience, it is said. I heard it thus. The steady ones told it to us. The one who knows them both at once -knows nescience and knows science -through nescience is released from death -through science enjoys eternity. Into ignorance, into darkness, enter those who worship change. But into darkness even darker enter those involved in sameness. So different from each other are the ways of sameness and of change, it is said. I heard it thus. The steady ones told it to us. The one who knows them both at once -knows change and knows sameness -through change is released from death -through sameness enjoys enternity. A veil of golden effulgence covers the face of the truth. O Sustainer, please remove it. Show yourself to the truly righteous. Sustainer, Primal Sage, Regulator, Goal of the Pure, Well-Wisher of the Progenitors, please remove the rays, please withdraw the radiance, so I may see your form, your very auspicious form, Great Person, like the Sun, as I am also Sun-like. Now the body is burned into ashes. The breath joins the endless air.
Remember my deeds, O Goal of Deeds. Remember my deeds, O Goal of Deeds. Fiery One, please lead us on the path to you. Universal God, knower of all our activities, please take away from us our sins and hindrances. Again and again I utter glorifications of you.
Eight Verses to the Guru Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakur's Shri Gurvashtakam The forest fire of birth and death devours all the world. But our defender is here, like a rain cloud of grace, receiving benediction from the flood stream of goodness. I bow down with love at the guru's lotus feet. Singing and dancing in Chaitanya's kirtan, making music, and thrilled in a mood of pure love, he quivers and weeps, his hairs stand on end. I bow down with love at the guru's lotus feet. With ornaments and clothing he offers daily worship to the Deities, and keeps their temple very clean. Thus engaged, he gets devotees to join him. I bow down with love at the guru's lotus feet. The four kinds of food that he offers to Krishna give pleasure and bliss to all the devotees. He derives satisfaction
from their satisfaction. I bow down with love at the guru's lotus feet. The conjugal pastimes of Radha and Madhava are unlimited, along with their qualities, forms, and names. He aspires to relish them at every single moment. I bow down with love at the guru's lotus feet. In everything the gopis arrange to perfection in the garden grove affairs of spiritual desire, his expert assistance makes him very valuable to them. I bow down with love at the guru's lotus feet. The scriptures declare it, the saints all confirm it: he and Hari share the same qualities. He is the one who's so dear to the Lord. I bow down with love at the guru's lotus feet. By his grace we're granted the grace of Shri Bhagavan. By his grace alone. There is no other way. With deep thought, with praise, every sunrise, noon, and sunset, I bow down with love at the guru's lotus feet.
Lady Hara Prayer Hare Krishna Mantra Lady Hara, Our Lord Krishna. Lady Hara, Our Lord Krishna. Our Lord Krishna, Our Lord Krishna, Lady Hara, Lady Hara. Lady Hara, Our Lord Rama. Lady Hara, Our Lord Rama. Our Lord Rama, Our Lord Rama, Lady Hara, Lady Hara.
November 5 On October 9th of last year I experienced an episode of what the doctors called a transient ischemic attack, or temporary amnesia. It was assumed to have been caused by a stroke, but no evidence of a stroke was found, except for very high blood pressure. After puzzling it over for a year, I've come to think of it as sleepwalking -- somnabulism. Whatever it was, it lasted for about four hours. I was with other people the whole time. To them I was awake, walking, talking, but very confused and forgetful, repeating the same questions again and again. To me, none of it happened. None of it registered. It was a blank. When I came to, I remembered nothing from the past four hours except a few moments. I'd been doing things, but they never made it into my memory. There'd been a disconnect somewhere between body and memory. I felt like during that time I hadn't existed. There was some relationship between awareness of the present, memory, and consciousness of self, that wasn't working. I've concluded that memory isn't only a storehouse where the past is kept. It's an active agent of present awareness. We are incapable of perceiving the physical events absorbed by our senses. We perceive memories of the sense impressions. They are echos, or feedbacks, of the events. Unhitch the link between senses and memory, and the self is put on hold, having nothing to be aware of. For four hours I was invisible to myself. Perhaps it was a way of taking a vacation. Or a "reboot." I'd been working with extreme mental intensity just before it happened. Anyway, when I came out of it, I felt peaceful, even joyful, and fully at ease. So it must have been a good thing.
November 6 The area where the circle of the soul and the circle of the body intersect is the mind. The mind is not anything in itself, but just a conglomeration of soul-consciousnesses and atomic bodies. The soul is me, the mind is partly me, and the body is not me. Mind functioning as memory is what the soul perceives when it regards the world of the body. The soul cannot see the atoms themselves. Instead it sees a dream of atoms, memories of bodies, echos of music but never the initial tones. But extracted from the atomic grip and delivered into the world of spiritual bodies, the soul at last has direct contact with reality. ♥ How many aspects of the self does each of us have? There is a religion for every aspect. Let's start with the body-mind-soul triad. For each of us the specifics will be different. For me, the body mantra is a rewording of my name: "Dear God, you are the judge of this artisan-priest." My mind mantra is "oooa oaaah she he she he." My soul mantra is "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." Then, in a multicultural world, one is regularly in touch with many religious traditions. The open heart embraces the tradition that is speaking to it at any given moment. I can be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Parsi, Jain, Sikh, Taoist, Shamanist, Shinto, Druidic -- and more. Each tradition awakens a different aspect of myself. But of course neither of these multiplex, shifting systems affords the satisfaction of a single path to which I would owe my central allegiance. I do have such a path. It is not a religion of body, mind, soul, or tradition. It is a religion of place. The place where I dwell. The place on planet Earth that I can hear talking to God, the place where, when I walk its ground I say, "This is me and I am it." That place is the doorway that opens to Paradise. That place takes me beyond all aspects of myself to become a lover of God. November 19 Mass murder of noncombatants has not been limited to the enemies of the US. Allied bombing during World War II claimed staggering totals. British bombing of Hamburg killed 43,000. Our A-bomb killed 150,000 in Hiroshima. The most notorious of all was the British and American firebombing of Dresden on Valentine's
Day 1945. The city had no strategic importance. The population, doubled in size by refugees fleeing the Soviet advance, was mostly women, children, the aged, and the injured. Two days of horrifying incendiary bombing blasted and melted ten square miles of the center city into a trash pile. Estimates of civilian deaths run to over 200,000. President Bush says of our present conflict that we are good and they are evil. Three thousand dead on 9/11 is a terrible tragedy. But history shows that we are capable of far worse ourselves. So far in Afghanistan we have restrained ourselves. May we continue to do so. • In windless corners, where the soft grey dust settles, that's where you'll find me. • "The void is not really the void. It is the real domain of Dharma." -- Huang Po, Chu Ch'an
• In the foggy dawn, hear the hooting of an owl. Open the window! ♥ Goddess, you're the mother of the universe. God, you are the father of us all. The creatures in your family are numerous. You love both the great ones and the small.
♥ mother hara grant us the grace of the supreme father hari ♥ Free mantra! Take one! For best results, use daily -it lasts forever! ♥ When I talk to God, my brain becomes transparent. I'm liberated! • white scimitar moon's knife edge hits the cold dark sky striking star sparks ♥ There is a place called "The Only Way." Sometimes it appears as a path, or a road, or a tunnel, or a house, or a beam of light, or an idea, or a person. So it is many things and one thing, many people and one person. It is The Only Way to God. Some call it surrender, or faith, or commitment, or realization, or love. It exists as both means and end. The Only Way is God. God cannot be limited, yet God can be specific. Jesus is The Only Way. Manitou is The Only Way. Chaitanya is The Only Way. Love is The Only Way. If one of us is "complete as your Father in Heaven is complete," that one is The Only Way -- the way and the truth and the light, and no one comes to the Father except through that one. Guru is one.
January 6 Buddha, the biography just out by Karen Armstrong, clarified some things for me. I now feel confident in stating that the evolution of consciousness proceeds by these stages:
• • • • • • • • •
Ethical Behavior (the golden rule) Positive Thinking (faith) Moderation (sense control) Concentration (mind control) Monitoring ("mindfulness," "focusing," meditation) Compassion (unity, cosmic consciousness, release from ego, liberation, working for the benefit of all creatures) Hearing (receiving God's song, initiation) Talking (reciprocating with God, disciplined love) Eternal Devotion ("walking to God," spontaneous divine love, the end that is always beginning)
I don't have to complete one stage before moving on to the next. Usually I work on all of them at once. ♦ I let my mind wander free free and easy as the breeze let my mind wander free as a bird because I carry the key that unlocks the mysteries and I hear the singing of the secret word ø The life of the mind is a tender flower, easily trampled by the coarse boots of the "practical" life. φ I do not trust words. Better pictures, such as this painting of a rose.
⊕ Art brings us to the raw substance of life. The word Art denotes a category of things: things intended to be presented to the physical senses. Something is art to the extent that it is intended by a human being to be presented to the senses. The word Art in itself has nothing to do with form, content, or value. There can be beautiful art and ugly art, significant art and insignificant art, virtuous art and evil art. Judgments of quality may be applied to art, but that doesn't affect its standing as art. Art is simply an object, event, activity, or experience created or selected by a human being with the intention of presenting it to one or more of the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. It might be horrifying -- as in the art of torture -- it might be pleasant -- as in the art of massage -- to give two examples of touching. Both are arts. Because art refers to the physical, technique and skill play an important role. So we often talk about "the art" of doing something, even when the action as a whole has no artistic intention. You may be skillful at placing papers into folders in a file cabinet, and may be considered to have mastered "the art" of filing. That usage and many others do extend the reach of the word Art. But strictly speaking, an event such as filing becomes art only when the practitioner intends to present it as sense experience. That shift takes place when the practitioner begins concentrating on, let's say, the sound of the papers sliding into the folders, or the movements of hands and arms. It may only be the filer who perceives the art, or it may be an appreciative audience of other office workers. In either case, when sound becomes music, when movement becomes dance -- then we enter the realm of intention, the realm of art. A painting made by an elephant is art only when a human being holds it up for viewing. A sunset is art only when its glory is pointed out by a human being. The sound of a photo copier making multiple copies is art only when a human does something with it, such as using a recording of it as a rhythmic foundation for a musical composition. To repeat: art need not be beautiful. Beauty is a quality. Art is a thing. Art is characterized by its presentation to the senses, not by beauty, or truth, or goodness. An art work will gain by possessing these attributes, as a person also might. But a person lacking them is still a person. And an art work lacking them is still art. There are many beautiful things in the universe that are not art, unless we want to call them God's art, or Mother Nature's. The Andromeda Nebula is magnificent. A spider's web is fascinating. Their beauty enriches our life. They can inspire great works of art.
But ugliness can inspire too. Goya's Caprichos are not pretty. Art, in its direct appeal to the senses, subverts the dualities that our minds impose on life and brings us to the raw substance of life itself. PALS When I'm facing a potential conflict with somebody, I do PALS:
• • • •
Perceive Accept Love Serve
Perceive the situation, don't hide from it. Accept the other person's behavior, don't try to change it. Love and Serve, don't ruin your relationship just to prove yourself right. The "P" might also be Pause: don't rush in with anger. The "A" might also be Attitude: remember your affection for the other person. § --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Eternity-------------------------------------the relaxed, peaceful world of openness----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[ * the tense , * ]-----------------------------[Birth *anxious world* Death ]-----------------------------[ * of limits * ]---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Eternity-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Param Atma Param Atma Guardian Angel Help Me Feel You Here Beside Me Param Atma Guardian Angel
How I Need You Please Please Guide Me ↔ Which is more important, what I'm saying or who I'm saying it to? I'm not suggesting that I should be a flatterer. Or a yes-man. That I shouldn't speak my mind, or lose the courage of my convictions. I'm not suggesting that I should change anything about the content or character of what I say. But I'm beginning to feel that the person I'm addressing my words (or thoughts) to is somehow more significant than what I'm saying. In other words, you are more important than this. ◊ My guru called it Krishna Consciousness. That's the goal -- and the process. To have God in mind, to have God in my thoughts, have God as part of my thinking, all the time. Consciousness is the ground of essential experience. It's always here. Not just on Sunday. Not just when I'm in trouble and praying for help. Not just when I'm philosophizing. I'm conscious when I'm bored, when I'm fixing the computer, when I'm weeding the garden, when I'm talking to a customer. So how can God be in my consciousness all the time? The first thing is, God is already part of my consciousness. It's just that I'm not aware of You. You are beside me. You are beside me in material space, but I don't see you with my material eyes. You are beside me in spiritual space, and I do see You with my spiritual eyes. You are with me as a friend, whatever I'm doing or saying or thinking, and You're aware of everything about me. You care, no matter how ridiculous I get. You're interested, always ready to listen. People see You differently. When I see You, You're Krishna. I'm Krishna Conscious when I address my thoughts, even my pre-rational sensory perceptions, to You. When I offer my consciousness to You. Is that meditation? Maybe. Is it communication? Definitely. I talk to You. When I meditate, my consciousness is directed toward an object. When I communicate, it's directed to a person. You are a living person, my best friend, not an object. My guru said, you don't have to change anything, just add Krishna. So I think what I've always thought, but I direct my thoughts to You. That way I keep You in mind all the time. Krishna Consciousness.
♥ I believe in law and order. I'm a firm and loyal supporter. Sometimes the order of geometry, but always the order of poetry. Rarely the order of regimentation, but always the order of cooperation. Almost never the law of tyranny, but always the law of love. I believe in the law of love. I believe in the law of love. I believe in the law of love, law of love, law of love. ♦ But it isn't so much a matter of thinking to You discursively. Or seeing you as a distinct sight. Because as I do things and talk to people and think of the details of life, my consciousness attaches itself to those particulars. I can't talk to two people at once, or concentrate on two images at once. How then, can I be aware of You continually? By feeling You. With my heart's sense, to feel Your presence next to me. In the same way as I feel the presence of a family member in the house, even though I may not be looking at them or hearing them. I know they're here. In that way, I know You're here with me. That is the essence of my Krishna Consciousness. That's my sadhana, practice -- that's what I'm working on. Two years ago I gave it a name: the Practice of the Awareness of the Closeness of God, or PACG, "package," we're packed up together -- me and You -- in Buber's language, Ich und Du. ◊ Martin Buber wrote, in the Third Part of Ich und Du, that all Your names are hallowed because they've been used not only to speak of You but also to speak to You. I've been considering what You say twice in the Bhagavad-gita (9.34 and 18.65), "man-mana." It's been translated as "think of me," "think about me," "bear me in mind." I like expanding the meaning to include "think to me," as Buber has suggested. Both times when You pronounced "manmana" You prefaced it by saying it's the "most secret" knowledge (9.1) and instruction (18.64). The two "man-mana" verses go on
with "become my devotee, offer to me, bow down to me, and you shall come to me." So the thinking of You, or to You, isn't an ordinary affair. You are God. Then I take it seriously when You say it twice -- the secret doctrine of the Gita is simply that one should apply one's thought to You. My thinking has always been a kind of talking to an ill-defined "myself." Thus the real work of my spiritual life is to be aware of Your presence next to me, and to address my thoughts to You. ♦ God loves us unconditionally. God loves us no matter what we're thinking of or doing. We don't have to change our thoughts to be with God. We just have to be aware of the presence of God within us as a friend. Constantly. ◊ Dear God, I've often wondered, who am I talking to when I talk to myself? That is, who am I thinking to when I think to myself? It's as if I'm conversing with other people, or casting my thoughts out into an invisible void, or sometimes bouncing them back to a construction of myself. After examining the psychology of this process, I've come to the conclusion that if I'm not thinking to You, I'm only thinking to illusions of my own imagining. What's more, I'm not even doing that. The thoughts are not mine. They come and go on their own. They're lines in the pre-written script of the world. A script with a part for me to play, but the writer's words, not mine. I feel they're mine only because I identify with them. But they're not mine. The thoughts that are mine are the ones I address to You. Then, everything comes alive. You aren't a fantasy. You're reality. And I'm real too, when I'm thinking to You. ♥ You're an object to meditate on. But more than that, You're a subject I communicate with. You're something to think about. But more than that, You're a person I relate to. You're the interlocutor of my most intimate dialogs.
φ This method of Thinking to God that I'm writing about isn't meant to replace any other practice. It isn't meant to replace a 20-minute morning meditation. It isn't meant to replace going to church. It isn't meant to replace prayer, although it's similar to prayer. But all those practices are "special" times. They're times away from the racket and jostle of daily events. That's essential to them. What I'm concerned with is all the ordinary times, which of course outnumber the special times by a large factor. I'm interested in the ordinary times because my guru said we should be Krishnaconscious 24/7. Well, that's a tall order. That involves my thought processes during the ordinary times. So I go on with my ordinary thinking, but it becomes extraordinary because I'm Thinking to God. May 13 Reality is relational. "For Thou art with me." Detachment In the Gita You say, "Undoubtedly...the mind is restless and difficult to curb. But it can be curbed, through constant practice and detachment." When I'm detached, I recognize the world as an artifice, a creation. I understand that I'm really with You in a spiritual world. Then I offer all my thoughts to You in conversation, without any extra effort. So it might be that the mind can be curbed through the constant practice of detachment. To Make a Long Story Short In the beginning, I'm aware of only You. That begets jealousy of You. That begets envy of You. That begets ignorance of You. That begets suffering. That begets self-knowledge. That begets freedom of choice. That begets freely chosen love for You. In the end, I'm aware of only You and me -- that is, You and us.
Man-Mana In the 700 verses of the Bhagavad-gita, You refer to Yourself in the first person singular 354 times. Because of this and many other reasons, the Gita must be considered mostly a "personalist" (and not an "impersonalist" or advaita) presentation. You speak of Yourself in the nominative 144 times, and in the objective 210 times. It's interesting to note that 2/3 of these references occur in the middle third of the Gita, the portion whose main topic is God. (The first third's topic is Self, the last's is Nature.) If such a numerical analysis counts for anything, the inference is that You're saying You are God. By reading whole sentences instead of tallying up pronouns and verb forms, it becomes undeniable that You're saying You are God. Therefore I suggest that the essence of the Gita is the speaker of the Gita, You, Krishna. Twice You say that the secret (guhya) of the Gita is man-mana, usually translated as "thinking of me." So the book is not only descriptive, but also prescriptive. Given the flexibility of Sanskrit formation, the preposition "of" may be replaced with another one. Man-mana is an elision of mat-mana. Mat is a form of "me" that can be translated as "of me," "about me," "in me," "for me," "on me," or "to me." So a possible rendering of man-mana is "thinking to me." I take this as the constant, everyday substratum of my spiritual life: Thinking to God, Thinking toward You, addressing my thoughts to You. Why A Poem? A poem is a song. It needn’t be short. It can be long. But not a news report -in its design, rhythm, composition, it divines the music and the vision in the ears and eyes of the soul. Instead of notes on staffs, language plays that role. It can be words in paragraphs or any pattern that gives a clue, that works like a key, to what people do in the world of ecstasy. Heart’s desire found
in meaningful sound: what God knew all along. A poem is a song. The Well-Defined Yard The Neighbors Whose woods these were, they did not know. Our house would come, the woods would go. Our barking dog behind a fence is all they got for recompense. The Weed With No Name Here it was the No-Name grew, with tendrils thick as ropes. Here the clinging No-Name grew, to strangle gardeners’ hopes. But then we came with will of iron, and grip of steel to match. We yanked the evil No-Name out, and made our garden patch. Down To Size Upwards vaulted the Viburnums above the Western wall. So with our loppers we learned ‘em to be satisfied with small. Quick, Take a Picture ! Well clipped hedges and well defined edges make a yard so neat. Paths of brick and mulch inches thick make tidiness complete. The Moral Humans down through history have manicured The Mystery.
Safe Indoors Down goes the tree, up comes the house. Lock it with a key and set a trap for the mouse! The Deities of the Six Goswamis Madanmohan Damodara Giridhari Govinda Radharaman Bhagavata Sadgosvami Devata The Paramatma Paramatma Guardian Angel Help me feel you Here beside me Paramatma Guardian Angel How I need you Please please guide me Udelowa Uwa Dear Mother Goddess Love Source Wabasso Beach Bather Japa Sixteen ounces make one pound. One day's japa is sixteen rounds.
Sonnent Dear Lord Krishna Dear Lord Krishna I love you I love you Let me hear the music Let me hear the music of your flute of your flute The Appearance When all of myself is stripped away, then Krishna appears, as bright as day. To Wish Ya whatever it is ya might be doin whatever the biz ya like pursuin heres the right thing to wish ya may ya do it nicely for Krishna In And Out And In In devotion, in the spirit, in eternity, intimately intermingling in their ecstasy, outside fear and out of karma, out to win the quest, outright lovers, out from under, out and out the best in devotion, in the spirit, in eternity, intimately intermingling in their ecstasy!
The Only The One Total Body, The One Total Mind, The One Total Person, The One Total Light, To You, To You, To You. To You, To You, To You. Campfire Advice Too much help will only hinder. Logs will squelch the smoking tinder. Sad Child One of these days I'm going to wake up dreaming. One of these days I'm going to lie in bed. One of these days I'm going to wake up sleeping. And Mommy and Daddy won't know that I'm dead. She Wants To Have A Nervous Breakdown Our town's a pleasant place. The people are so nice. A smile on every face, like sculptures carved in ice. I'm always in a rage, while others are serene. They've got me in a cage. I feel like I could scream! I want to have a nervous breakdown! I want to make a truly great sound of anguish, of fury, of livid rage! Don't write this down, the words will jump right off the page! I want to have a nervous breakdown.
The therapists approach, compassionate and wise, pour potions down my throat, shine lights into my eyes. Forgiveness of the world is their remedy for sin. Don't they know I'm just a girl, just a girl in crinoline! I want to have a nervous breakdown! I want to do a total shakedown of body, of mind, of spirit soul! I'll rip myself to pieces and go out of control! I want to have a nervous breakdown. My mother has no heart. My husband is a jerk. My daughter's miles apart. The neighbors only smirk. I want to have a nervous breakdown! I want to find the Holy Grail now, and smash it to bits! And laugh at the mess! And wander door to door in a dirty dress! I want to have a nervous breakdown. Three Levels of Meditation I was doing mantra meditation. I concentrated on the sound of the mantra. Simultaneously I concentrated on the image of the Deity. But I noticed yet another stream of thought running underneath them both. It often was filled with "chatter." Not always, though. It felt deeper even than the level of the mantra-sound. It was the current of desire. So if I wasn't desirous of sincerity in my meditation, this level of mind would fill up with verbal business. If I desired to be sincere in my mediation, then this current would propel me toward the mantra and the imago dei. It was a current of motion itself -- in the sense that Plato meant when he called motion the essence of life. I perceived three levels. At the bottom, most fundamental, Motion. In the middle, Sound. On top, a product of the lower two, Image. The bottom is desire, urge, feeling, emotion. The middle is name, language, music. The top is form, shape, line, color. The bottom is soul, the middle is mind, the top body. In the specifics of my meditation practice, the bottom is Running, the middle is Mantra, the top Murti.
Three Paths ________________________________________________ What You Do Then What God Does ________________________________________________ PATH OF LIBERATION You Suddenly Empty Yourself Into Nothingness-------Then---------------GOD psychology...peace TAKES OVER PATH OF LOVE You Gradually Transform GOD Yourself By Serving----------------Then--------------TAKES philosophy...passion OVER PATH OF LETTING GO GOD You Just Accept Yourself TAKES As Part Of Nature-------------------Then--------------OVER plain living...possession ________________________________________________ Pleasure Nothing is mine, say the enlightened ones. Everything is God's. The physical objects I use belong to God. I dedicate my actions to God, and my words and thoughts. When I suffer, my pain is a channel to God. But my pleasure -- ah, that's mine and mine alone, isn't it? If I'm feeling pleasure, isn't it my pleasure? Isn't pleasure necessarily something I feel as my own? Is there a way to have pleasure and still feel that it's God's? Yes , there is. It's the pleasure that's increased by love. The love that goes out from me to God. The very going out, the moving out, gives me pleasure too. It slides against me as it flows out. The friction is pleasureable. In order for that to happen, the pleasure must be directed to God. I give it to God. All the pleasures I feel I give to God with love. They belong to God. They're not mine. They're God's.
Pre-Language Get Up and Get Started BOLA WAKKA WAKKA TIMBA Carrying a Heavy Paint Can Up a Ladder NIRFL MIRFL SNIRFL MIRFL Which One To Choose? AEH BUHH DABUHH DABUHH DAB Picking Up the Coffee Table YOPE Opening a Hard-To-Open Window POO PUH-PAY POO PUH-PUM PUH-PUM-PUM Plan In Motion YYA TOLA MUN-DAY I'm Tired BUBBLY TEM RIP BUBBLY TEM RIP BUBBLY BUBBLY I'm Tired and Hungry PEETAKO PEETAKO PEETAKO I'm Sullen and Hungry BO. BO. MUHH. Turning Around On a Ladder PAHS PUTTI KUHM PUTTI KUHM PUTTI KUHMALAY Getting Ready, I Suppose EEZA MAZZA MEEZA MOOZ Lifting Heavy Stones YO... PAH KILLI WAM PAH TAH KING-GHEE WACHA MAH, WACHA MAH, WACHA MAH
Reaching With a Paint Brush CHIK CHIK LIMMICHIK WAW Pushing a Loaf of Bread Into a Crowded Freezer A LA TINGI WAMA Leave the Toilet Lid Up Before Leaving HOPE POPPA LEEMBO, HOLE-A-TAH So Happy To Sit Down At the Computer BEE PA-TOONGO LAMA NIYA I'm Tired of Sneezing PEECHA KUHLOOMBA WAH Getting Ready To Take a Shower MMM PEEPA TOLE YUM MMM PEEPA TOLE YUM MMM PEEPA TOLE YUM Touching a Book and Acknowledging It BEEP Nama Japa The repetitive speaking of names of God while fingering along a string of beads to keep count is called japa in Sanskrit. It's an ancient form of meditation. I do it daily. What happens? There's an orthodox explanation. I once subscribed to it. Now some of it appeals to me, but not all. It goes something like this. Don't think about what the words mean. Just say them and listen to the sound. Hear the sound and surrender to it. A name of God is God. God's name has the power to transform you. (A name of God is a talisman, a magical object, a thing that radiates energy. It's a pill. It's medicine.) The chanter's psychology or ethics has no bearing on the essence of the event taking place. Let the name take over and control you. This is a religion of divine possession. One's interior state makes no difference. The name enters into you from outside. Sounding the name represents one's choice to be possessed by God. Japa isn't a discursive conversation with God. It doesn't matter if I comprehend what's going on. I have no influence. It's all God's doing. So...the mantra I chant for japa is the Hare Krishna mantra. While I agree that a name of God is God, I prefer to say my mantra as a conscious communication to God, addressing God
with words whose meaning I comprehend. That is, I see japa as talking to God. Hi Bob Out of curiosity I looked up your name on the Internet. One item mentioned in connection with you was your book, "The NonExistence of God: Logical Paradox in Tillich's Thought." Being a library worker, I got it through Inter-Library Loan. (It came from the Univ. of Miami Library -- I've been living in Florida for 13.5 yrs.) Paradox has always threaded through my spiritual/religious impressions. So I read your book with interest. In 1966, just before I started my Vaishnava training, I'd reduced my bookshelf down to two books: Huang Po's "On the Transmission of Mind" and Vyas's "Bhagavad-gita." In Tillich's terms, the former might represent "being-itself," the latter "personhood." A paradox. At that time I opted for the Gita, which remains at the center of spirituality for me -- because I feel it embraces the paradox within itself. But I still appreciate Huang Po. I particularly like your final recourse to "interpersonal interaction" as a model for the possibility of holding two contrary feelings about something. Your book's context is Tillich's contraries -- God is being-itself vs. God does not exist -- but over the years I've found that model useful too. To me knowledge is gained the same way I get to know a person, that is, through association with the person. In contrast to analysis, "picking apart," it's a putting together. Knowledge is gained through association with the object of knowledge. The essential factors are perception, proximity, and compassion. One makes associations (connections, linkages, comparisons) to recreate the object of knowledge in one's own mind. Prompted by the Gita, I see Tillich's paradox resolved in the concept of personhood. More than an attribute or predicate of being-itself, personhood is the essence of being-itself. Being-itself is a Person. I think of my teacher's statement that "the Absolute embraces all contradictions." For instance, he held to the doctrine of achintya bheda-abheda (Sanskrit). In English that's "incomprehensible difference and nondifference." It refers primarily to the relationship between the God-whole and the soul-part. They are different in quantity yet non-different in quality. The part cannot know the whole in the same way or to the same extent that the whole
knows itself. But since the part partakes of the same substance as the whole, the part can directly experience the essence of the whole. That's a way of comprehending the contradiction. But still it goes beyond that and must be accepted as incomprehensible. Because one of the qualities of the whole is its wholeness. So if we partake of that...well, it's a paradox. I was interested to read that you've been standing at the pulpit in a Unitarian church. I was raised as a Unitarian, my wife and I were married in 1981 in a Unitarian church in Santa Monica CA, and I've given a few Sunday presentations at the local UUA group in Vero Beach. (We live in Sebastian.) Thanks for writing that book. Daniel The God of a Thousand Faces When I talk to You I see You wearing the faces of everyone I've ever known. But even though You're really the only one I've ever known, You're the unknown. Absolute and Conditional Worlds We now live in the absolute world. But we don't know it. We think we're in the conditional world. Therefore we suffer. Here's why. Picture a diagram in the shape of a rectangle. The left edge is black, the right white. Between the two is a gray area shaded from dark to light, left to right. This diagram represents the absolute world, the only world there is. The black is Goddess. The white is God. The black is absolute matter. The white is absolute spirit. The absolute world contains both matter and spirit. Matter forms spirit. Spirit informs matter. The gray area is made of souls. They're moving from left to right, dark to light. Matter directs itself to spirit eternally. The souls are in the gray area but they know of the black as their origin and the white as their goal. Issuing from Goddess. they worship God. Moving from black to white, they achieve God. But as soon as
they achieve God, they are within Goddess, because the two are one. Then they flow out from her blackness along the stream of her love, toward God, worshiping. As soon as there's the flash of light of achieving God, there's the womb of darkness inside Goddess, because she is more powerful. Then the souls take birth again to go to God, worshiping. This cycle of ecstasy is occuring right now for all of us. But we don't know it. We deny that we're in the absolute world. We say we're in the conditional world, and that becomes reality for us because we insist on it. We've constructed an all-gray world. We've blinded outrselves to the black and the white. The conditional world is the absolute world with the best parts cut out. In the conditional (relative) world, some say that matter will some day become spirit. They've noticed the human evolution from the bottom to the brain. But this concept of history transported along a time line touches neither absolute matter at its beginning nor absolute spirit at its end. It's all in the gray scale. It goes from dark gray to light gray, not black to white. When the current of history reaches the lightest gray (the brain stage), it collapses back to the darkest gray (the bottom stage). Round and round it goes in an endless time cycle. History gradually evolves and suddenly devolves. The idea of evolution in the conditional world is inspired by matter's inherent impulse toward spirit. But, lacking an origin and a goal, it fails, and falls back into ignorance. Rising and falling, the course of history proceeds along its purposeless path. What is called salvation or liberation or enlightenment is accomplished by one's simple acceptance of what is: the absolute. As my teacher once said, the absolute "is not an inference or a vision. It is a fact." It's just the way things are. You can choose to see it or not. In fact, we are in the absolute world. See? Everything exists. Existence admits no exceptions to its rule. No nothingness allowed. Everythingness is the law. It's all here now. We just have to open our eyes and see it. Open our ears and hear it. Open our mouths, noses, and hands -- and taste it, smell it, feel it. It feels good! Knock'le Sandwich Rigorous up a sailboat and we'll go sailoring. Phineas a fish. Orlando'r sea I'll speed to thee. Oswego through the years. Altoona guitar and we'll sing a song. Paulette my omelette. JeanPaul the girls in town. Franklin my dear, I don't give a damn. Descartes away my tings an lef me wid nuttin. Seattle show ya.
Finger it out. Cal Tech the garbage out. Fresno friend of mine. Wide-eyed so now we have x-to-z. Mohican really go. Pin drop'pin by for a year now. Argument to be wasting your time like this? The King, the Lord, and the Boy Hiranya Kashipu I am the King who's the ruler of the universe! All of the planets are within my domain. I can't be killed, by a sword or by a foolish curse. Go ask Brahma -- I will never be slain! Yes, he agreed to my terms, and there is no way, no possibility, that I will ever be killed. Not by animal or human, and not by night and not by day, not indoors or out, will my body's blood be spilled. I suffered long, performing my austerities, to gain this power and make the cosmos shake with fear. Now there's no doubt. I can do just as I please. I'll live forever! I'll never disappear. Endless pleasure is my reward. Hiranya Kashipu is the Lord! Nara Simha I am the Lord the evil king had claimed to be. I bestowed on him the strength to win his prize. Demon though he was, still I let him laugh at me. All in good time he would meet with his demise. But then he made the offense that would cost his life, by trying to kill his son, my devotee. Prahlad, full of love, born of the bad king's godly wife, praised me to the king, and earned his enmity. So I appeared, as half lion and half man, in twilight time, in a pillar in the wall. I tricked the king. I found the loopholes in his plan, disemboweled him with my nails -- his curtain call. Though I roared ferociously, Prahlad then prayed sweetly to me. Bhakta Prahlad Calm down, my Lord, so I may speak these words to you. I'm not afraid of your angry countenance. All of the worlds are happy by your grace, it's true,
and will remain thus, in rememberance. My father said, "If there's one who's more supreme than I am, son -- ha! Let him save you now!" You stopped his sword. It's you I'll serve eternally. You are the source of all both high and low. Here in the world I have no grief, I have no fears. I know I'm safe. But others don't know you. I want to save them from their miseries and tears. Don't take me home until I bring them too. Though I'm only just a boy, I know you're the only joy. (A devotee contritely prays: Nara Simha, mend my ways.) January 10 Even after the Consummation, there is a Remnant. Orange Is The Color Of An Orange Orange is the color of an orange. Orange is the color of an orange. In fruit both domestic and foreign, orange is the color of an orange. The raindrops fall as clear as glass. They fall on brown earth and green, green grass. When the tree blossoms the flowers are white. And when it bears fruit, just look at the sight! Why's that color of the orange fruit? Why's that color of the orange fruit? I'm waiting, for someone, to tell me the truth. Why's that color of the orange fruit. For the mysteries of God's creation, the scientist has explanations. But why does the physics of the molecule produce a fruit like a beautiful jewel? Why's that color of the orange fruit? Why's that color of the orange fruit?
I'm waiting, for someone, to tell me the truth! Why's that color of the orange fruit. See the morning sun! It's rising, like a fruit on the horizon. Take an orange. Squeeze it. Sip it. Taste the sunshine in the liquid! The sun is the color of the orange fruit! The sun is the color of the orange fruit! The sun is the origin, that's the truth, of the color of the orange fruit. Orange is the color of an orange. Orange is the color of an orange. In fruit both domestic and foreign, orange is the color of an orange. January 15
Guide Us, Night Diamond Blue and silver, far away, the last star I see today -in the growing morning light, you are still the brightest light.
A few years ago at the library I was scanning issues of the Sebastian Sun to include them in the library's database. Especially with newsprint, even the best scanners aren't always accurate. Some funny combinations of letters result. Here they are. I guarantee these are exactly as they came off the scanner, with no editing.
* The Chief discussed the Police Department's doily duties with Sergeant Reardin. * Dennis said, "It's relaxing to get out and swine around in the river with the family." * In no case can river rock, gravel, or pet rock be used in the landscape strips. * Doris Clancy, fashion show chairmat, will relate final plans for the event. * Boaters participating should bring flowers to cast upon the waters in front of the clergy Goat. * As a tiny music box plays, the decorated egg opens up to show a ratty turning around to the music. * The problem is deciding whether a lower price means the software won't deal liver, she said. * Call 388-2964 for more inflation. * A dinner was held and a precision groupie from Palm Bay High School entertained. * The Friends of the River are planning a canoe trip on Blue Cypress Lake. Cancers will launch from the lake at 8:30 a.m. * Santa's Circus will present a 1112-hour performance at 2 p.m. Nov. 23. * He has a degree in English from the University of St. Lotus. * Club Italia will install new officers at its Jan. 12 meeting. A business meeting will foil the installation. * American Legion Post 336 will serve a steak dinner 4 to 6 p.m. For rickets, call 664-1451. * Admission to the Coffee House is free, bun donations are
welcomed. * Parking is available on the southeast side of the fridge on U.S.1. * The club is planning a Super Bowl meal so you can watch the game without bovine to do the dishes. * It's just a quiet, friendly little neighborhood. The neighbors are nice. Everyone waves and says, "HRlkf." * Residents are mobilizing a fund-raising effort for their local volunteer firelighters. * The last meeting of the season will be hell at 1 p.m. May 11 in Building A. January 21
Last year this was the theme of the library's personal computing section.
January 22 I traveled to my alma mater for the Homecoming football game. The day dawned unexpectedly cold. I hadn't brought any heavy clothing. I decided to wrap myself in whatever the motel's bed had to offer. I knew that when times are tough, that's when the sheets heat the fan. January 23 --Hey, you can't just walk in. I'll have to see if you're on the list. What's your name? --Frank Quitely. --Yes, but what's your name. --That is my name. --Well, frankly... --No, Frank.
--Yes, well, of course, quite frankly... --No, Frank Quitely, you've got it wrong, Frank Quitely! --Will you stop fooling around and tell me your name! --That is my name, Frank Quitely. --What? Frankly, you haven't quite told me yet. --You see, you're still getting it wrong! --Oh never mind, just go in. January 24 Syngman Rhee, the President of South Korea during the 1950s, had a son who worked in the US as an editor at Life Magazine. He was an exceptionally nice person. But he often got lost in the streets of New York. On one of those occasions, another editor spent hours looking for him. When he finally caught up with his coworker, he spoke the now-famous words, "Ah, sweet Mr. Rhee of Life, at last I've found you!" January 26 The Chief had a mission for us. "You must banish the last of the Great Eggs from the world." To accomplish the task, he gave us a clock. It was made in the shape of a human face. The nose served as a pivot point for the hands. We traveled afar to Egg's Isle. Walking on the entrance bridge, we saw below us many of the youth engaging in Egg Stream Sports. Their dangerous activities had left some of them cracked and oozing. Along the island's streets were pitched the townspeople's tents, neatly numbered and named. We searched for the largest of them. There it was. Two, "A Great Egg's Tent." We called at the flap. Out came the Great Egg. "This clock is a present to you from your admirers," we told him. "Do you like it?" "Oh, a grayed eel," he exclaimed. "It's Mos Eisely -- and Haile Selassie! I will live my life by this clock. But, what kind of clock is it?" We answered, "A Head of Time." Immediately he disappeared into the future. There he remains, pushed out of reach forever.
Jagannath, World Lord
traditional image hand-digitized to a jaggy gif, no anti-aliasing
UmaBlend February 4 Eternity is not a long time. Eternity is no time at all. The veil of time is lifted. We see things in their truth. Don't worry about getting bored, doing the same thing over and over again. Every time we do it, we're doing it for the first time ! Krishna is called "nava-yauvanam." God is a youth, always youthful. Everything in eternity is new.
We feel the thrill of discovery. We're there in no time at all ! February 5 Here's an etymology unknown to most linguists. The French expression "excusez-moi" is a back-construction from the name of an early 1900s Parisian gallery of Native American women's arts and crafts, the Musee Squaw. The name created a scandal when the artists complained vigorously about the impolite term "squaw." The gallery owner's apologies were parodied in the press. A cartoon showed him bowing and scraping before a platoon of tomahawk-wielding blanket-swaddled women while insincerely repeating under his breath, "Musee Squaw, Musee Squaw." A public thirsty for saucy expressions picked it up. A year or two later, however, the phrase was sanitized and transformed into the now-common request for forgiveness that everyone assumes has been in use for centuries. February 6 He arrived, driving a car he'd cut out of the Sunday paper. Inside the movie theater, he loudly criticized me as I changed the programs on the screen with my remote. I walked through the city, uselessly trying to remember my destination. Picasso played the piano. February 9
improvization on a lithograph by Otto Mueller
Mantra Block February 11
Hare Krishna Hare Rama February 15
Painted Pebble Mas d'Azil, France, ca. 12,000 BCE From the website of the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin.
Wabasso Stone February 21 After several years of association with a hard-sell sales team, I quit in 1977 after summing up my experience in the following outburst. I don't know if it had a title. Let's just call it "How To Sell To 'Em." Hokum Joke 'em Tickle 'em 'n' Poke 'em Stick 'em in the Pocket 'n' Steal a Fist o' Cash Yock 'em Schlock 'em Soap 'em up 'n' Mock 'em Sock 'em in the Jaw 'n' Toss 'em in the Trash Advertising Enterprising Merchandising Jazz 'n' Jive
Profitizing Aggrandizing Pulverizing Man Alive February 22
Hridayanath Six Billion and Counting This place is getting crowded. We shouldn't have allowed it. Every extra human birth puts a strain on planet Earth. Starvation, dire diseases, our wars for oil or Jesus -they have served to thin our herd. Is that it? The final word? Or decrease the population by decreasing copulation! But what porno traffic cop could ever stop our urge to pop? Still, China has a rule: "Hey folks, play it cool. Only one child," say the leaders, clamping down on errant breeders. Their control under duress is a qualified success. Similar kinds of tyrannies might be the trend for all countries. Some say little pills will cure us of our ills. But will we ever see the day? When the church stands in the way? Some say eating fruit
pulls lust out by the root. But chimpanzees enjoy that diet. They propogate, and fight, and riot! Some say with greater wealth you can limit yourself to zero population growth. But half the world has half a loaf. So hunger and poverty, and lack of private property, they turn out to be the factors. How to fix them, that's what matters. Good luck to us in that! I'll surely tip my hat to any ism, cause, or movement that improves on past improvement. But others say, in time the sum will cease to climb, and when the total is more humble, economic growth will stumble! Then all the laws we've writ won't change the world a bit. The wheel of time makes one more turning, overpop again returning. Well, nothing tried so far has worked. And here we are. Maybe future evolution of the soul is the solution. Maybe when we see the basic unity of everyone upon the globe -that is when we'll have some hope of acting ethically in our big family. Earth has places for our children. Let's birth just enough to fill them. Liar, Liar [The Press Journal, our local rag, is published in Vero Beach, Florida. It's owned by the Scripps people. An editorial published in the February 21 edition may have originated from the local paper or from the Scripps home office. I don't know which. But the Editorials column subhead reads, "Viewpoints of the Press Journal." So the home-towners take responsibility for it. What follows here is the complete editorial, interrupted by my bracketed
comments. The title of the piece is "Peace?" The leed-in reads, "Demonstrators just don't get what's necessary for peace to happen." It goes on:] A British commentator wandered about London during the antiwar demonstrations there, and pronounced that what she failed to see was more striking than what she did: Nowhere did she find protesters asking that Saddam Hussein disarm and leave power. [Of course she didn't. The demonstration's intent was to send a message to Blair & Bush, not Hussein. The commentator's preconceptions got in the way of her being struck by the sight of half a million Brits upset enough about their PM's policies to spend a day milling around in the streets instead of enjoying their usual Saturday pastimes. Furthermore, when questioned, many demonstrators remarked that they weren't really anti-war. They just wanted to make sure that if it had to happen, it would be conducted as a United Nations effort. They were more anti-Blair than anti-war. Also, the disarming of Iraq is something that has to be verified by inspectors. Therefore, inspections, and not bombings, should be intensified. One might argue that the threat of war is the best way to force Iraq to disarm. If it's true that Bush & Blair are bluffing, they're pretty far along towards painting themselves into a corner, with no way out except war. Regarding the departure of Hussein, doesn't the writer know that almost everybody on Earth wants him to go immediately?] It was as if it never occurred to these people that the surest path to peace was for Saddam to hand over all weapons of mass murder and go into exile. [It has indeed occurred to everyone who's devoted at least a few minutes to studying the situation, no matter whether one is a hawk or a dove. But why use the expression "It was as if?" This is a cheap shot, impugning rank stupidity to the demonstrators without a shred of evidence. I'm disgusted that my local paper would resort to such a sleazy tactic.] The United States would be mistaken to believe it can disregard world opinion, but there is too much at stake for this country to cave in to illogic, naivete, leftist ideology or knee-jerk antiAmericanism, all of which seemed to be at least somewhat at play in the protests in Europe. [Like the above commentator, I too fail to see something. I fail to see any recognition here of the fact that millions of Americans,
on the same day, were also demonstrating for the same reason. One of the most popular placards in the US gatherings read, "Protest Is Patriotic." These people -- and their counterparts all over the world -- are not illogical, naive leftists. They are not antiAmerican. They are patriots. A huge number of them fought in our previous wars. Again, we have sneaky language. After spurting out the above slurs, the writer snivels with "seemed to be at least somewhat." Oh. How much is somewhat? Or, how much is at least somewhat? But it doesn't matter, does it? You've done your job if you've stuck your labels on your foes. Truth be damned -the big lie works best!] Thanks to the perfidy of Germany and France and the consequent easing of pressure against Saddam, he will likely try to tough it out. And that may make war inevitable, for all the alternatives threaten more loss of life, more horror, more terror, more oppression than war would cause. [Talk about illogic! There is no sign that the pressure on Iraq is easing. Hussein has agreed to U2 overflights. But so what, bring it up as a fact (though only a "likely" one) and blame France and Germany, those perfidious traitors, for bringing war upon us! Yes, those who call for peace are the very ones who will cause the war! And there must be war, because war is less horrible than what Iraq will visit upon the world with their gigantic stores of Satanic weaponry (which nobody can discover, but then that's the proof, isn't it, that they have it, that nobody can find it -- that's proof they're hiding it!). Bush & Blair, though gearing up for conflagration, are exactly the ones who are the peacemakers! Peace is war and war is peace!] President Bush has spoken powerfully about the need to oust Saddam. Perhaps, he should have spoken out more and still should. Secretary of State Colin Powell spelled out a solid case that Saddam has not accounted for his weapons of mass destruction, although these basic facts have been well known. Britain's brave prime minister, Tony Blair, cannot address the subject in language short of eloquence, it seems. [Bush is powerful, Powell is solid, and Blair is both brave and eloquent. Get out the chisels and carve more faces on Mt. Rushmore. Unfortunately, these fine character traits can't mask the fact that, for instance, Powell's "solid case" at the UN involving photos and audio recordings didn't convince anyone who didn't already agree with him. The results of US espionage in Iraq have been given to the UN inspectors there. The inspectors have
followed the leads, and invariably have found the tips to be worthless dead ends.] The facts are that prior inspections and sanctions and threats have failed to deter Saddam in his pusuit of weapons of mass destruction and ambition to head a pan-Arab state in the Middle East. [No doubt Hussein is as demented as ever. But UNSCOM and IAEA inspections during the 1990s uncovered large stores of weaponry. Those weapons were destroyed. The inspections were a success. When Iraq stopped cooperating in December, 1998, the UN head of operations ordered his people out of Iraq. During the past year, every US news service has reported that Iraq "kicked out" the inspectors. It's not true. Do Iraq's neighbors feel vulnerable to Iraqi expansionism? No. In the UN, they vote against military action and approve of continuing the inspections. What the editorial writer is calling "facts" are lies, damned lies.] If peace at this moment is to be bought at the price of again allowing him to slip the noose, he will not of a sudden grow pacific and humble. He will become more of a menace, and sooner or later, thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands will pay with their lives. [The editorialist has only one chance of escaping a charge of writing lurid fantasy. It is to imply that Iraq is responsible for September 11th. But he knows better than saying it outright, for it has been proven otherwise by scores of observers. So he hopes that impressionable readers, their minds addled by fears of attacks from the "axis of evil," will unconsciously make the association themselves. May it not be so.] There is a possible way to secure peace without that eventuality, and that is for the whole civilized world to stand up as one and to demand that Iraq disarm and Saddam's regime be replaced. [Is this the best our scrivener has to offer? All we decent civilized chaps arrange ourselves in a row and shake our fists? Our righteous indignation is going to give Hussein sleepless nights? I presume the real point is, "Do what we want, or we'll reduce your country to a trash heap!" But that wouldn't be a very civilized thing to say as the editorial nears its ending.]
Sadly, some political leaders see advantages in contrary tactics, and a great many demonstrators just don't get it. [Everyone wants Iraq to disarm. No one trusts Hussein or his Baath party regulars. Everyone would breathe easier if they all took up residence in some Egyptian oasis and spent their days playing cards and joking, having forgotten all about politics. But the real "contrary tactics" are those indulged in by Bush & Blair, who claim that war will prevent war, and peace will prevent peace. It is the Scripps group and the Press Journal who just don't get it.] February 25 One cannot groove with both God and Mammon. A player must choose which venue to jam in. Worlds Apart (India, 1974) chipped rice and yogurt and the smell of a bengali morning with the nasal wail of a shenai across foggy gangetic fields dusty yellow roadway dirt not yet baked by the rising sun cool and moist on pilgrim feet taking the age-old path to the temple austere skin under homespun waving carelessly in the breeze our brains intent on holy names straining to stay in the other world while a plowman behind his buffalo looks at us bright eyed and smiling calling his victorious greeting at the dawn of a new creation March 9 CREPE MYRTLE IN MARCH -ON BROWN, STILL LEAFLESS BRANCH TIPS PERCH THREE DRAGONFLIES.
Transparency I phoned the poet, asking about the old days. "You were in LA in '75," I started off. "Yes, yes, LA," he responded, vaguely. Then I got into details. I quoted things he'd said, what others with him had said. There was silence. Then he spoke. "I don't remember much of that. It's as if -- it never happened. Though it does sound familiar. You may think it was important. To me, it's gone. Long gone. That's the way it is with me. I don't hold onto things. I don't feel that the things happening to me are mine. They're just passing through. They don't belong to me. They belong to time, the universe, radio. Like food passes through. Thoughts, too, like food, passing through, changing as they mix with my chemistry, passing out as packaged goods, poems. Flush 'em away. What's next. None of it's mine. If you were to ask me to recite a poem, well, I don't remember any of them. They come, I write them, they go. That's why I write them. I help them -- to go through. Like this one. I won't remember this one, either." He stopped. Probably reading over what he'd said. He did leave me with one more thought, which was, "When you're transparent, all you can see is God."
March 15 Archangel Uriel, pour your light onto me. Archangel Uriel, pour your light onto the world. Archangel Uriel, pour your light into me. Archangel Uriel, pour your light into the world. Names American parents named me with a Hebrew word meaning "judged by God." Indian holy man named me with a Sanskrit word meaning "rope around the belly." I, thus named, named myself with an English word meaning "one who walks." I am all of them. But none of them. A name is a designation. An indication that someone's there, someone with that attribute. I am the subject of this sentence. I am not American or Indian. (Sometimes I'm not quite myself.) I honor the American parents, I honor the Indian holy man, I honor myself, because the names were given with love. The names all point to love. No matter what the designation, who I am is love. I'm judged by the God of love. I love God with a rope around his belly. When I walk, I walk with love to God. You can call me anything you like, as long as its meaning is love.
March 21 War is a failure of the imagination. Success, for humanity, is to employ creative solutions. War is destructive. It's no solution. It only perpetuates the problem. What do we do when we confront evil? The creative way is to imaginatively contain it, restrict it, incarcerate it, knowing that evil will always be with us. The destructive way is to brutally smash it, foolishly thinking that the world will be free from evil if only we can stamp it out everywhere. Religio-political fundamentalists, now in control of US foreign policy, want to wage war against evil. They want to achieve a total victory of goodness by a total annihilation of evil. But their tendency is to condemn everyone except themselves (and those whom they intimidate into joining them). George W. Bush, for instance, has said, "You're either for us or against us." He's said he sees no grey in the world, only black and white. An attitude like that results in permanent war. Before it's too late, we must vote out the neo-conservative hawks. We must vote in creative, imaginative people who represent the future of humanity. The US Supreme Court, not the US electorate, put George W. Bush into office. Bush then placed into powerful foreign policy positions the people whose puppet he'd become. Those people are: Dick Cheney, Vice President Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Peter Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense J. D. Crouch, Assistant Secretary of Defense John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Condoleeza Rice, National Security Advisor I. Lewis Libby, National Security Assistant Elliott Abrams, Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs Richard Perle, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board (Other members of the Defense Policy Board include Kenneth Adelman, Richard Allen, Martin Anderson, Gary S. Becker, Barry Blechman, Harold Brown, Marc Cisneros, Eliot Cohen, Devon Crass, Michele Flournoy, Ronald Fogleman, Thomas Foley, Newt Gingrich, Gerald Hillman, Kim Holmes, Chuck Horner, Fred Ilke, David Jeremiah, Henry Kissinger, Philip Merrill, Bill Owens, Henry Rowen, James Schlesinger, George P. Schultz, Jack Sheehan, Kiron Skinner, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Chris Williams, Pete Wilson,
and James Woolsey.) William Kristol is not an official appointee, but as Chairman of the Project for the New American Century and editor of the Weekly Standard, his opinions carry much weight in the present administration. Gary Schmitt is President of the PNAC. Paul Weyrich is founding President of the Heritage Foundation and Chairman of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation. He's considered one of the most influential neoconservative writers and commentators. Vote out Bush and the neocon hawks! Bedtime Prayer I bow to the one at the feet of the omnipresent God, the Allurer’s dear one here on Earth, to you, most holy Love-Is-The-Goal-Of-Knowledge, liberated master known by that name. I bow to the student of the Godly Scholar, preacher of the teachings of the Golden Lord, to you, oh liberator of the western world from impersonal philosophy and voidist thought. Holy Allurer-Force-Of-Life, and Lord Eternal-Blissfulness, Holy Oneness, Club-Holder, Holy Primal-Abode, and the Golden Lord’s many devotees. Oh Savioress, oh Savioress, the Lord Allure, the Lord Allure, oh Savioress, oh Savioress, the Lord Pleasure, the Lord Pleasure. So-Beautiful, Lord-Of-The-World, So-Beautiful, Almighty-God. So-Beautiful, Lord-Of-The-World, So-Beautiful, Almighty-God. So-Beautiful, Lord-Of-The-World, So-Beautiful, Almighty-God. Lady Hara, our Lord Krishna! Lady Hara, our Lord Krishna! Our Lord Krishna, our Lord Krishna, Lady Hara, Lady Hara! Lady Hara, our Lord Rama! Lady Hara, our Lord Rama! Our Lord Rama, our Lord Rama, Lady Hara, Lady Hara! Mother Hara, grant us the grace of the Supreme Father Hari. Uwa, dear Mother Goddess, love source, Wabasso Beach bather. OOO AUW O AAA SHE HE SHE HE. (Paramatma, Guardian Angel, Help me feel you here beside me. Paramatma, Guardian Angel, How I need you. Please, please guide me.) Amen.
March 26 The soul is always naked in its dreams. The soul is so much simpler than it seems. The soul will take its loving to extremes. The soul will swim with God in nectar streams. March 28 The Giant
[Stan Brakhage passed away on March 9th. I wrote this appreciation of him. It appeared on the IndieWire site.]
The first Stan Brakhage film I saw was Anticipation of the Night. It was 1962, at the Charles Theater on Avenue B in the East Village. The film showed me it was possible to create a totally visual stream-of-consciousness cinema experience. The impact it had on me was tremendous. I'd already been thrilled by the innovations coming from Europe. But Brakhage's work was so far ahead of what Godard, Antonioni, and the others had done. The film lasted 40 minutes, most of it taken up by repetitions and re-viewings of haunting, iconic images. I had only a vague comprehension of a narrative of sorts holding it together. But it didn't matter. It was the depth, the integrity, and the silent rhythm that hypnotized me. It seemed to be coming out of the best part of myself. Brakhage's relentless, obsessive pursuit of some central core of meaning -- a pursuit carried out through image and movement alone -- won me over. From that point on, I was his student. My own films as I went through college and graduate school were improvisations on themes by Brakhage. My Master's thesis, "Brakhage," which sold a few copies in the form of a monograph kindly published by Jonas Mekas' Co-op, was my final offering. After that my life took another direction. But Stan stayed in my heart and mind as a guide. From those school years, I remember his extraordinary generosity. For a film series, I wanted to show the just-completed Prelude to Dog Star Man. I wrote him. He said OK. I received the 16mm film by post and was astonished to see a film with hundreds of splices! Not a seamless print, but something straight off his editing bench! It was like a holy artifact of some kind to me. We projected it, the college audience loved it, and I sent it back, hoping that no damage would come to it. He repeated the favor,
with a print this time, sending me the the whole five parts of Dog Star Man for me to inspect frame by frame for my thesis. I only met him in person twice. Once at a party at Willard Maas' apartment, perhaps in 1965. I was too much in awe of him to say much more than hello. Then in LA in the late 70s, I think at UCLA. After the screening I gave him a box of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies my wife had made for him. He thanked me, admitting he was pretty hungry. Yes, Stan was the true Starving Artist. His uncompromising adherence to his principles and his muse, along with his ability to see and create miracles, made him a genius of the arts and a giant among us. God bless you, Stan Brakhage! It's Them! If they'd give me more help, then I could do my job. I can't do it myself. All I can do is sob. The work takes too much time. I don't get paid enough. But I'll never quit cuz I'm accustomed to this stuff. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan, oh how I can complain. All those crazy people out there are driving me insane! Finding fault, finding fault, oh how I can condemn. Because the blame is never on me. It's never me, it's them! Glasses on my nose, eyebrows raised in scorn, I peer into your soul and see why you were born -just to torture me in everything you do. I would live so peacefully were it not for you! Bitch and moan, bitch and moan, oh how I can complain. All those crazy people out there are driving me insane!
Finding fault, finding fault, oh how I can condemn. Because the blame is never on me. It's never me, it's them! I'm just a mediocrity. I can't advance. They're blocking me. Why should I try to excel. They've made my world a living hell. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan, oh how I can complain. All those crazy people out there are driving me insane! Finding fault, finding fault, oh how I can condemn. Because the blame is never on me. It's never me, it's them! March 31
The Coalition to Perdition April 1 The way to the other world is through acceptance of this world. Because God is that-which-is. The place where I am is where God is. There is no geographic distinction between the material and spiritual worlds. It's a distinction of consciousness. God is reality, and when I fight against reality in the name of transcendence, I'm fighting against God. When I accept my circumstances and see them as part of God, then I see God everywhere, and I'm in the world of God, which is not the other world but the only world.
ELLIELLIELLIELLIELLIE L O L L V L I ELLIELLIE I E O O E L V V L L ELLIE ELLIE L I O O I E V L V E L ELLIE OOO ELLIE L L O V V V O L I V E E E V I ELLIE LOVE LOVE ELLIE L O L L L O L L V O O O V L I ELLIE VVV ELLIE I E O E O E L V V L L ELLIE ELLIE L I O O I E V V E L ELLIELLIE L L O O L I V V I ELLIELLIELLIELLIELLIE April 18
April in Paradise When Johnny Comes Home In A Box
father dear father come in from the field our johnny's been killed in the war he'll no longer be needin his sword and his shield or a reason to be fightin for and speakin of reasons why was it he fought why did they all march off so proud for the sake of the leaders and the votes that were bought that's the truth but don't say it too loud dear johnny's gone put a bow on the door change the bright yellow ribbon to black yes someone in power will now have much more and our johnny will never be back but what if our boy had said no i won't go you can fight your damn war without me they'd have put him in jail for a few years or more but then he'd be out and be free so all you young people when recruiters come round with an offer to serve your country it's not servin johnny who's dead in the ground it's servin the plutocracy April 20
in a garbage pot -in a gardener's kitchen -smell the gardenias! I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Worm
I wrote this in 1998, when I had no shame about appropriating a children's classic for my own purposes.
I know an old lady who swallowed a worm that squirmed and churned and gave her heartburn. She'll never learn. I know an old lady who swallowed a fish, still living and flipping -- a nasty dish! She swallowed the fish to eat the worm that squirmed and churned and gave her heartburn. She'll never learn. I know an old lady who swallowed a lake with islands and boats, for goodness sake. She swallowed the lake to keep the fish, she swallowed the fish to eat the worm that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn. She'll never learn. I know an old lady who swallowed a town. Oh, how she worked to get that down! She swallowed the town to surround the lake, she swallowed the lake to keep the fish, she swallowed the fish to eat the worm that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn. She'll never learn. I know an old lady who swallowed a country. Now wasn't that the height of effrontery? She swallowed the country to rule the town, she swallowed the town to surround the lake, she swallowed the lake to keep the fish, she swallowed the fish to eat the worm that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn. She'll never learn. I know an old lady who swallowed a planet that takes thirty days of travel to span it. She swallowed the planet to hold the country,
she swallowed the country to rule the town, she swallowed the town to surround the lake, she swallowed the lake to keep the fish, she swallowed the fish to eat the worm that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn. She'll never learn. I know an old lady who swallowed the universe. Can anyone think of anything worse? She swallowed the universe to place the planet, she swallowed the planet to hold the country, she swallowed the country to rule the town, she swallowed the town to surround the lake, she swallowed the lake to keep the fish, she swallowed the fish to eat the worm that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn. She'll never learn. I know an old lady who swallowed God. She said she did -- you know, she's odd. She swallowed God to love the universe, she swallowed the universe to place the planet, she swallowed the planet to hold the country, she swallowed the country to rule the town, she swallowed the town to surround the lake, she swallowed the lake to keep the fish, she swallowed the fish to eat the worm that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn. She'll never learn. I know an old lady who swallowed herself. She's in excellent health! Doo-Wop Mantra Oh Baby Baby Krishna Baby Krishna Wo-oh-wo-oh New Ditty The unclothed beast must be released.
To be a god, ye must free the body. In open air the skin's a prayer. Its liberation is your salvation. The soul is nude, and thus construed, its nakedness belies your dress. Yes, beauty, truth, and goodness too, will be revealed when you are peeled. The Experience of the Overwhelming Centrality of God It starts with something you sense. The faith and the knowledge come later. Sorry, Augustine and Aquinas -your battling dualisms of emotion and thought pick up the story in the middle of the plot. It starts with the spiritual body, with the naked-born spiritual senses. When I strip away the encumbering mirrors that keep me reflecting on myself, when I cast myself beyond the cosmos to be caught by the hand I sense is there, everything gets turned around. God, not me, the solid ground. You, not me, the centrality. I sense your eyes looking at me. What matters is not what I do. What matters is that you are you. (Making a similar point in a lecture, my guru Shrila Prabhupad said, "It is not an inference or a vision. It is a fact.") May 12 liquidly lounging lazily lollygagging long languorous legs
May 14 The word "religion" can refer to a tradition from the past. Or it can refer to a feeling I have in the present. The two often cooperate. My present feeling about God is intimately interwoven with language and sensory impressions conveyed to me by a tradition. But the two can also be at odds. When tradition becomes overbearing and smothers the religious feeling of the moment -and, perhaps in response to that, when I escape from all tradition and allow myself only a featureless mysticism -- then that severed religious life lives only weakly. How to maintain a balance? How to honor the subtle correlation between what I've learned from others and what I directly experience myself? The usual way to combine the present and the past is to adapt a tradition to make it relevant to us today. We graft various modernities onto the tradition. We do some editing, hoping to preserve the essence. But there's a danger here. Our focus is on the tradition as an object that can be fussed over, rearranged, refinished. We choose nick-nacks from the current world to decorate the old-time religion. The procedure may result in a charming embroidery or an imposing edifice. We are pleased with our creation. But, having concentrated on this art object so devotedly, we've lost the sense of spontaneous relationship with God that gave birth to the tradition long ago. Preserving a tradition or adapting a tradition -- neither one will suffice. The attention is misplaced. Tradition is part of us without our having to work on it. What's also with us, though, is our present world. The current time and the current place are part of me. When religious worship gushes out from me spontaneously, it's also the world doing worship, the world that's part of me. I don't have to work on that either. It happens automatically. So both the past and the present are naturally expressed if my attention is simply placed on God. The historical and the modern come along naturally. Try to hold onto a tradition, and you've lost God. Try to conform to changing customs, and you've lost God. But try to deny either of them, and you've lost God too. Stop trying. Change your emphasis. Open your heart. The God of the past, the God of the present, the God of eternity, is right beside you. God accepts your love in whatever form it takes. For you, religion is God. For God, religion is you.
I Let It Go Through To You
"Whatever you do, offer it to me." -- Bhagavad-gita 9.27
I'm reporting all the news of what I see and what I hear, every moment sending you what I feel and what I fear. I'm transmitting instantly the details of my life, uncensored, without heeding if I'm doing wrong or right. Whatever I sense I send it on through, yes, I send the experience to you. I let it go through to you, to you. I let it go through to you. The movies in my eyes I'm projecting to your space. The sound track rushes by as I broadcast you the waves. The pleasures of the skin and ideas of the mind fly to you on wings. That is how I spend my time. Whatever I sense I send it on through, yes, I send the experience to you. I let it go through to you, to you. I let it go through to you. I am yours, nothing's mine. Possession's nine-tenths of the crime. What I feel, I love so much. But it's not real without your touch. Whatever I sense I send it on through, yes, I send the experience to you. I let it go through to you, to you. I let it go through to you.
I'm constantly communicating every mood, and every move I'm making. Whatever I sense I send it on through, yes, I send the experience to you. I let it go through to you, to you. I let it go through to you. A Romance of Catholicism The women spoke, "He has released us," The day the Pope allowed a priestess. The Spiritual Body The spiritual body's flesh is made of consciousness -not built up out of parts, but whole, one beating heart. Might look like you or me, but lasts eternally, with its arms and legs and head always living, never dead -pure energy its stuff. (We will never know enough.) Go beyond the mere unborn. Seek the blissful, lovely form! target frame rudimentary shit ropes blasted finicula trickle-trippin boston latin poltroon water garments studio straight out downwise coughin gollywumpus golliwog choo-choo mark all fridays churlish got inklin on trap doors hiccup nickle-tippin persian faramarz heidi-ho famously walk baby indigent indigenous in transit carl moko up there socket type money rain chocolate new times
soda-poppin incunabula windup in a window torque plaster silver toe hammock oolong clocks cocks mocks jocks May 23 I can approach anything in existence by one of three paths: lust, neutrality, or worship. My life plan is to worship everything. May 24 Even in talking to people, I can be talking to You. I relate to them as aspects of You. May 25 Our problems can't be solved by force. The answer lies in intercourse -well, conversation's what I mean (or sex, if it's a Love Supreme). Every Thing and You
In this statement, feel free to replace the word "thing" with other words, such as "face," "voice," "love," "thrill," or "tree," "car," "pen," "food," or thousands of other words.
I am sensing every thing as an aspect of You. I'm conversing with You, dear God, with every thing and You. You As I sense You as ___________.
Fill in the blank with something you're sensing. It can be a thing, a person, a feeling, an event...
May 27 In the above "sensing" verses and statements, there's no symbolism. A tree sensed that way is not a symbol for You. When I sense You as a tree, You are the tree. You're expressing treeness, but it's the whole You doing it. And the tree remains a specific entity. Its tree-ness is specific because its You-ness is specific. Its tree-ness would dissolve if not for its You-ness. Every specific thing is co-existent with You. Every thing is an aspect of You. June 3 Because we are spiritual beings, eventually we come around. After eons of sleeping, eventually we wake up. Then we want to do something. We want to live and express the great Spirit. It begins with the heart beating. It begins with the lungs breathing. It begins with the feet walking. The mind picks up the rhythm. The mind talks to the great Rhythm. The mind and the body cooperate in sensing everywhere the great You. I sense You, I sense You, I sense You, as the tree, as the fast-moving machine, as even the sensations of mind and body, I sense You, I sense You, I sense You. This is how it begins, and never stops. What senses are these, perceiving the great God? They are the spiritual body's senses. Because we are spiritual beings, eventually we come around. A God Sensor Sensing U Sensing U I Am Sensing You-u-u-u Sensing U Sensing U
I Am Sensing Youuuu June 4 I See You. June 5
The Center of Attention June 15
The Contemplative Stone
FootSwash The Servant Let the great ones come and go. I will stay and serve. They fly so high, while I'm below. But I will not be swerved. Do not think I've settled for less than I deserve. My work's God's work at its core. I will stay and serve. My Top 64 Film Experiences of 2002
Now that everybody's stopped talking about last year's movies, here's my list. It's films I saw for the first time in 2002. So there's one from 1976, one from 1985, etc. And I've included 2002 releases that I saw through June 2003.
Amazing Waking Life -- Richard Linklater 2001 Far From Heaven -- Todd Haynes 2002 The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky -- Paul Cox 2001 The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys -- Peter Care 2002 City of God -- Fernando Meirelles 2002 Spirited Away -- Hayao Miyazaki 2002 8 Mile -- Curtis Hanson 2002 Before Sunrise -- Richard Linklater 1995
Kadosh -- Amos Gitai 1999 24 Hour Party People -- Michael Winterbottom 2002 Frida -- Julie Taynor 2002 Talk To Her -- Pedro Almodovar 2002 Himalaya -- Eric Valli 1999 Monsoon Wedding -- Mira Nair 2001 Superb Innocence -- Paul Cox 2000 Take Care of My Cat -- Jae-eun Jeong 2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers -- Peter Jackson 2002 Gangs of New York -- Martin Scorcese 2002 Beyond the Clouds -- Michelangelo Antonioni & Wim Wenders 1995 Femme Fatale -- Brian DePalma 2002 Rabbit-Proof Fence -- Philip Noyce 2002 The Pianist -- Roman Polanski 2002 White Oleander -- Peter Kosminsky 2002 Mishima -- Paul Schrader 1985 Heart of Glass -- Werner Herzog 1976 Excellent Tape -- Richard Linklater 2001 The Harlan County War -- Tony Bill 2000 Thirteen Conversations About One Thing -- Jill Sprecher 2001 Big Bad Love -- Arliss Howard 2001 In the Time of the Butterflies -- Mariano Borroso 2001 Hysterical Blindness -- Mira Nair 2002 Behind the Sun -- Walter Salles 2001 No Man's Land -- Danis Tanovic 2001 No Such Thing -- Hal Hartley 2001 The Hours -- Stephen Daldry 2002 Max -- Menno Meyjes 2002 Minority Report -- Stephen Spielberg 2002 Solaris -- Steven Soderbergh 2002 The Emperor's New Clothes -- Alan Taylor 2001 Happy Accidents -- Brad Anderson 2002 Iris -- Richard Eyre 2001 What To Do In Case Of Fire -- Gregor Schnitzler 2001 Live From Baghdad -- Mick Jackson 2002 Good
All or Nothing -- Mike Leigh 2002 Star Wars 2: The Attack of the Clones -- George Lucas 2002 Kate and Leopold -- James Mangold 2001 The King Is Alive -- Kristian Levring 2000 Sunshine State -- John Sayles 2002 Windtalkers -- John Woo 2002 Festival in Cannes -- Henry Jaglom 2001 Gaudi Afternoon -- Susan Seidelman 2001 City By the Sea -- Michael Caton-Jones 2002 Enigma -- Michael Apted 2001 Igby Goes Down -- Burr Steers 2002 Auto Focus -- Paul Schrader 2002 El Crimen de Padre Amaro -- Carlos Carrera 2002 Chelsea Walls -- Ethan Hawke 2001 Adaptation -- Spike Jonze 2002 Equilibrium -- Kurt Zimmer 2002 Chicago -- Rob Marshall 2002 Nora -- Pat Murphy 2000 Evelyn -- Bruce Beresford 2002 Under the Sand -- Francois Ozon 2000 Happenstance -- Laurent Firode 2000 The Primacy of Movement As a devotee of Movement -- of walking, of breathing, of dancing with God -- I was instantly attracted to Maxine Sheets-Johnstone's The Primacy of Movement. (Philadelphia, John Benjamins North America, 1999.) No matter if the book was scholarly to the hilt and 580-odd pages long. She was saying things like "In the beginning is movement." (p. 138) She thus took "In the beginning was the Word" and replaced Logos with Locomotion! I had to read it. With my religious predilection, I was waiting for SheetsJohnstone to drop the other shoe and proclaim God as the central engine of movement. But she restrained herself. She stopped just short of the Holy Grail. For whatever reason. Still, the book offered many delights. In her attack on the material reductionists, she states that "animation is at the very core of life." (xv) And at the very core of the cosmos: ...in order to explain growth or decay or the fall of an apple -- or the rushing of rivers, or the attraction of magnets -- we need a principle that recognizes a dynamic universe, not a static one. Nature is indeed a principle of motion and change. Indeed, why would forces
impel things to move -- to fall, to grow, to decay, to revolve, to flow -- unless movement were at the heart of the universe, unless not matter, but motion were primitive. (120) "Clearly," she writes (agreeing with Aristotle, whom she admires), "matter cannot explain movement." (127) "Impartial extension of Aristotle's thought leads not to a world conceived fundamentally as matter but to a world conceived fundamentally in kinetic terms." (112) But more than physics or cosmology, Sheets-Johnstone gravitates toward biology and epistemology. How do we come to know things? Is language the defining element of consciousness? What role does the brain play? Concerning brains, she wastes no words: "...there is in presentday Western society a tendency to be mesmerized by brains, so mesmerized that the larger creaturely world of which humans are a part is forgotten, egregiously slighted, or arrogantly distorted." (77) She finds consciousness present in the tiniest and least "brainy" of creatures: ...a bacterium, being an animate form of life ,is something first of all that moves and is capable of moving on its own power rather than being always impelled to move from without...it is something that feels, that grows, that changes direction, that, in effect, can stop doing what it is doing and begin doing something else. (75) In more technical terms, Sheets-Johnstone supports her contention. "The certainty of a bacterium's internally-generated information -- as of an animal's internal proprioception -- is clearly of moment...continuous sensitivity to one's own bodily conception means knowing with exactitude the nature of that condition..." (74) Proprioception, the ability to feel what's going on inside one's body, is combined in the bacterium with the ability to perceive what's going on outside: "...a bona fide evolutionary account of consciousness begins with surface recognition sensitivity." (75) All creatures have these abilities. Integrated with them is bodily motion in response to the sensations. "Proprioception in general and kinesthesia in particular advert to a knowing subject, a subject that, at minimum, knows when it is moving and knows when it is not." (79) "When a creature moves, it breaks forth from whatever resting position it was in; it initiates movement, and in ways appropriate to the situation in which it finds itself." (70) Quite apart from the mechanics of what we call "instinct," even a bacterium is capable of making independent choices. Thus, "consciousness is a dimension of living forms that move themselves..." (59) and "know thyself is incontrovertably a fundamental biological built-in."
(77) Citing studies of animal behavior, and primates in particular, Sheets-Johnstone notes that "in the everyday animal world, there is a fundamental disposition to represent meaning corporeally in the form of tactile-kinetic gestures." (16) Moving the mouth and tongue in a manner analogous to copulation, chimpanzees communicate symbolically. That corporeal representation is "a primary source of meaning." (17) It is "a mode of thinking that is modeled on the body." (21) "Animate form is thus at the core of what traditionally passes for strictly cerebral activity." (30) In answer to the question, "might not movement generate a concept," (30) the answer is, "moving is a way of knowing." (xv) Moreover, "animate form is the generative source of consciousness..." (70) As we begin our human lives, we share this mode of knowing -"infants think in movement." (xxxii) "We come straightaway moving into the world; we are precisely not stillborn." (136) It isn't even that we intend to move, intially: "movement is there before 'I move.' Kicking, for example, is there before I kick; stretching is there before I stretch. In effect, movement forms the I that moves before the I that moves forms movement. (138) In that statement, Sheets-Johnstone presents Movement as an a priori ground of being. Movement creates forms. We tend to see it the other way around -- forms move. It's plain that Sheets-Johnstone sees Movement as a spiritual primal cause. Movement doesn't disappear as we grow up. "Primal animation and tactile-kinesthetic experience are at the core of our infancy and remain the unsurpassed core of our adult being." (271) Verbal expressions take over, on the surface at least, as we leave our infancy. But underneath we're still the same. Instead of our early life being pre-linguistic, "we should speak of the advent of language as the post-kinetic." (xxxii) But no, the kinetic still forms us: Our capacity to make sense of ourselves, to grow kinetically into the bodies we are, is in other words the beginning of cognition. In making sense of the dynamic interplay of forces and configurations inherent in our on-going spontaneity of movement, we arrive at corporeal concepts. On the basis of those concepts, we forge fundamental understandings both of ourselves and of the world. (136-7) Those understandings stay with us throughout life, shaping us day by day. Furthermore, the kinetic mode operates anew at every moment. In forming relationships -- "We are kinetically attuned to each other. No one teaches us how to be attuned. We teach
ourselves -- nonverbally." (229) In listening to others' speech -"understanding what another person is saying is contingent upon one's somehow sensing the articulatory gestures producing the sounds the person utters..." (372) In the act of thinking itself -"thinking...is itself a form of animation: moving forward, backward, quickly, slowly, narrowly, broadly, lightly, ponderously, it itself is kinetic." (516) Sheets-Johnstone invites us to rejoin that primal way of thinking in movement, and thus rejoin a world our Logos-based assumptions have blinded us to. "Weaning ourselves away from the thought that all thought is language-dependent, and equally, from language-dependent thought, we wean ourselves away from a basically object- or substance-tethered metaphysics. In turn, we afford ourselves the possibility of grasping the momentous significance of movement and change, and of attaining to a metaphysics quintessentially attuned to the dynamic nature of animate forms and an animate world." (506) I would only presume to add that movement itself has animate form, which in its wholeness we conventionally call God, and in its particulateness we call souls. Dork Doom breaking the speed limit going the wrong way on a one way vibrating razor's edge not exactly a haiku: 6-9-6 instead of 5-7-5 July 25 The first indication of consciousness is intentional movement. Love Power Living with Deity -oh, how it's freeing me -feeling outside the box, living with paradox. God is everything, I've heard them say. But how can everything come out and play?
God is a friend of mine, I've heard in a prayer. But how can a friend of mine be everywhere? I want to treat you as a friend, but not to trivialize you. I want to bow down to your splendor, but not de-personalize you. And so I walk, I try to walk, along a narrow line. I know that God's Almighty God, but, I feel, a love of mine, close to me all the time, close to me all the time. Will opposites combine? Is there a solution? I can't reject knowledge and I won't reject love. Thus I inquire, to reach a conclusion, which of the two is the other one part of? It's love, it's love, and logic is a servant. Reason can be used to confirm most any school. It's love, it's love, and yes, we all deserve it. Feelings guide the hand that uses knowledge as a tool. Knowledge of the glory does not complete the story. A soul in love with God is never overawed. I feel that in the end God is my loving friend.
True love is not blind. The heart includes the mind. The knowledge of your power -the feeling for your love -they unite, for love's the power that we feel knowledge of. God's greatest power is love. And so is our love. Oh! Let us sing: Love Is Everything. God's greatest power is love. And so is our love. Oh! Let us sing: Love Is Everything. Love Is Everything. Love Is Everything. Love Is Everything. Love Is Everything. Pronouncing Worcester
Silliness for those of you from central Massachusetts.
People from Dorchester might call it Worchester. Mr. Morse and Esther always say Worsesster. A true town booster cringes at Wooster. And me and my sista both know it's Wista. August 2 In a recent poll, 51% were found to have a 32% chance of being affected by a new 10% increase in the 75% average coverage in the 17% of areas requesting a 40% share of the 5% benefit awarded to 65% of the public polled.
This image, adapted from Syd Hoff's "Danny and the Dinosaur," depicts an epochal moment in my life.
an icon to click on
August 14 God The Guardian, God The Guide. August 15
digits: the new theme for the Library's personal computing section. What sets this section of the building apart from the rest is the intensive use of fingers. People are tapping, clicking, and pressing diligently with their digits. I wanted to name it according to an organic, not a mechanical, specialty. I'm so tired of fixating on "computers." Of course we're dealing with digital technology too. So we have an extension of biology into bits, digits morphing into digits. Plus, digits are numbers. The logo shows five fingers. The first computer was the abacus, which uses a numerical base of five. Using numerology to add up the alphabet positions of the letters d-i-g-i-t-s (d=4 i=9 g=7 i=9 t=20 s=19), we get a total of 68. Six plus eight equals five. You can count it on the fingers of one hand. Dig it? Physics If objects in motion did not come to rest, then life as we know it would be a big mess. Love and Equality We love each other when I see myself in you, and you see yourself in me. When we are equal. When "the two become one." We don't disappear as individuals. We complete each other. We identify with each other. Couples who've been together for a long time take on each other's mannerisms. They grow more and more alike. The fundamental principle of love is equality. But only today have I come to that conclusion. I've always assumed that love means you value somebody more than yourself. You love them because they're greater than you. Idealize them. Put them on a pedestal. Look up to them.
In the standard description of the relationship between Radha and Krishna, their love, which is the most intense love, is described as "mutual subjugation." Each of them submits to the other as the ruler of their affections. In a similarly intense love between humans, the other person is a symbol of divinity. A channel through which I can contact God. I bow down to you. "I bow to God within you." I humble myself before you. Whatever you want me to do, I will do. I have no desire except satisfying your desire. I am nothing, you are everything. But now I feel that the concept of subjugation comes from a cultural style -- a style that emphasizes hierarchy. That's the classical Indian-Vedic way of seeing life. The vertical stacking of people is primary. Everybody is above somebody else and below somebody else. As we well know, that style's not restricted to South Asia. It's common to every region. And, I'm thinking, it has nothing to do with love. It is good to serve another. To honor another. To praise another. But must service be rooted in a submission of myself to a dominant one? In taking and following orders? Is the other person fundamentally greater than I am? Is that why I love them? Someone's qualities may be rated as greater than mine. The President of the United States has far more power than I do. But he doesn't get my love. God has ultimate power. But that could be the stimulus for my fear, not my love. Why would I love God for his strength? I can feel admiration and wonder. I can gasp in astonishment. Respect, yes. Obedience, yes. But not that special feeling of love. So, what is love? It's said that you can love another only if you love yourself. Or let's say, only if you feel good about yourself. Yes. Because when I love you I see myself in you. If I feel bad about myself, it's certainly not love if I see my unworthiness in you. I'm blocked from loving you. When I get myself straightened out, I can love. Love is an experience of people seeing themselves in each other. It is a condition of equality, not dominance and submission. Wherever there is a hierarchy, love is diminished.
The grandeur of God is remarkable. One feels awe, and reverence. Still, that gets in the way of true love. We might also feel like a parent who takes care of God, or like a passionate paramour. There the element of God's majesty recedes into the background. Love comes the foreground. Probably the emotions of divinity are endless. But in all of them, the essential aspect that imbues them with love is the identification of the devotee with God -- the sense of equality, of seeing myself in God and God in me, a thrilling harmony of selves who are merged and separated simultaneously. Any two people are the same as each other, and different from each other. The similarity is in our qualities. We all possess the same qualities. We even possess the same qualities as God. The difference is in the quantity to which we possess those qualities. For instance, the devotee and God possess the same qualities, but quantitatively speaking God possesses them to a greater degree. In all relationships, there is a quantitative factor. Everybody has some skill, trait, or feature, that sets them apart from others. The question is, what are we going to value more? Our differences or our similarities? Both should be given recognition. We should appreciate each person's uniqueness. But love is something else. Love is a feeling of similarity, of equality. Love is a junction, a union. Am I saying that all love is self-love? That what I love in you is myself in you? If I can't love you until I see myself in you, if I must love myself as an antecedent to loving you, then it would seem so. But no, I love you. If I find myself in you, that means I trust you to keep me there, in your heart. You are the object of my affection. Me-in-you is just the entrance to you. Love requires a minimum of two. There must be a passage from one to the other, a flow of energy. Even if it is self-love, self-love requires a mirror. I require you and you require me. We are necessary for each other. Not as instruments to be manipulated, however. As persons, to be served. God loves us all. Isn't it true, though, that we are all part of God? God's love for us is God's self-love. That doesn't weaken God's
mercy, God's compassion. In the same way, our love for another person is not a sham even if it is self-love. In the largest context, we are all sparks of the same flame, selves of the same Self. Now let us subordinate hierarchy in our social life, and in our religious life. Now let us let love prevail. The equality of all persons is the essential factor of love. August 31 The beach is best. Forget the rest. The beach is blessed. We are caressed. September 1 Michael Moore, in Bowling for Columbine, presents the United States as a singularly fearful nation. He says our fear gives rise to our violence, both at home and abroad. But fear is not endemic to the United States. It is universal to the human condition. It sends up a wave of violence only when people are capable of exercising a great deal of power. The United States is violent in the world because it is powerful in the world. Our violence derives from our abuse of power. We're abusing our power because power corrupts. Domestic violence is so prevalent here because of our overall culture of power, which permeates our everyday lives and corrupts us from within. How can we change for the better? By giving up our power? By having it taken away from us? No conqueror society in the past has ever renounced its power willingly. It's doubtful that we will either. Perhaps we'll be defeated by some new and greater force. Thus humbled, we might gain an opportunity to become more peaceful. But there's always the chance that we might respond to our loss by developing a culture of revenge, which would perpetuate the violence. So the solution really has nothing to do with politics. The solution is for each one of us to cultivate an inner power. Not a power over others, but a power to achieve one's own self-realization. Not a renunciation of power, but a transformation of it. That is the necessary next step in our social evolution. Michael Moore's grandstanding and fingerpointing can achieve only minor victories, not a systemic overhaul. His delight in his own power over others, and the fearful effect that his message has, betrays his kinship with his apparent enemies.
The Grim Reaper's Song I am the Reaper, grim and severe. I rule the region everyone fears. Death, is why they venture here. Death, no names are mentioned here. Faceless and hopeless the dead they wander. With nothing to do but regret and ponder. I am the Reaper, grim and severe. I rule the region everyone fears. Life, is their old history. Life, to them a mystery. They went to church and they loved their children. But time took its toll and it finally killed them. I am the Reaper, grim and severe. I rule the region everyone fears. You, have yet to face the wall. You, have yet to hear my call. You can't cheat me at the game I'm playing. But you can beat me if you hear what I'm saying. I am the Reaper, grim and severe. I rule the region everyone fears. I, never touch the soul. I, leave open that loophole. The body departs but the mind keeps clinging. Cast off that too -- do you hear what I'm singing? I am the Reaper, grim and severe. I rule the region everyone fears. Neon Lotus
I wrote most of this in 1979. Thought I was done with it. But it's kept on haunting me. Originally, I heard Mick Jagger's voice singing it. That was long ago. Today I added a verse, tidied it up a bit. (There's a tune, too.)
Hey L.A. you neon lotus, just in case you didn't notice, I'm coming back -- to my love.
She lives there in neon heaven, Surfside Motel number seven. I'm coming back -- to her love. I've been too long on the East Coast. Venice Beach life suits me the most. Yes, that's a fact, it's what I'm dreaming of. Driving west in my Mercedes Benz, I want your silky sunlight in my lens. You're my friend. She spends her days out on the sand. She's waiting for no other man. I'm so attached -- to her love. Hey L.A. you neon lotus, just in case you didn't notice, I'm coming back -- to my love. September 4
Barking Ducks, Quacking Dogs My-T-Fine My-T-Fine creatures the kid with the fabulous face Sunny Boy Sunny Boy peaches a nickel will win you the race we're sold out of zoot suits and armor a chocolatier's fervent desire
twenty-five ways to say "farmer" so watch out your pants are on fire into the woods for the wedding a pull chain provided will do we're watching Her Majesty shedding while Cantinflas rides a balloon bully for you and best wishes let's lean on our elbows all day into the pool with the dishes may Santa Claus hip hip hooray My-T-Fine My-T-Fine creatures the kid with the fabulous face Sunny Boy Sunny Boy peaches a nickel will win you the race September 24 Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna She is the Love, He is the Lord She is the Love, He is the Lord She is the Love, He is the Lord She's the Love, He is the Lord Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna She is worship, he is worshipped She is worship, he is worshipped She is worship, he is worshipped She's worship, he is worshipped Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna She is subject, he is object She is subject, he is object She is subject, he is object She's subject, he is object Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna She is the one, he's the other She is the one, he's the other She is the one, he's the other She's the one, he is the other Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna She's the singer, he is the song She's the singer, he is the song She's the singer, he is the song She's the singer, he's the song Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna She is the fire, he is the flame She is the fire, he is the flame She is the fire, he is the flame She's the fire, he is the flame Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna Energy and Energetic Energy and Energetic Energy and Energetic Energy and Energetic Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna She is he and he is she She is he and he is she She is he and he is she She's he and he is she Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna The Passage
where is the road where is the highway what will be my way to the truth take up the quest cast off confusions dig up illusions by the roots bow to the impulse live in the sunlight give up what's not right stand up and sing rescue the creatures from their cages listen to sages feel everything passage to God passage of yearning bridges are burning one by one out of belief into knowledge then out of knowledge into love All At Once The very first things are the very last where the world of the future meets the world of the past. Want to go there? I'll tell you how. Live your life in the world of the now. Live your life in the world of play where dark of night meets light of day. Lose the war and win the peace. Grow young before beginnings cease.
September 30 On British TV, George Soros recently said: "There is a group of - I would call them extremists - who have the following belief: that international relations are relations of power, not of law, that international law will always follow what power has achieved. "And therefore [they believe] the United States, being the most powerful nation on earth, should impose its power, impose its will and its interests on the world, and it should do it looking after itself. "I think this is a very dangerous ideology. It is very dangerous because America is in fact very powerful." October 2 Dorothy wants to be some place else. She doesn't accept her reality -- her self. In her dream she travels to an exotic land, but quickly realizes she wants to go back home. The good witch knows Dorothy must achieve a transformation first. In her journey to the wizard, Dorothy meets and integrates into her life plan the three aspects of consciousness -- thinking, feeling, and willing. The scarecrow, the tin man, and the cowardly lion all fear that they lack what they actually possess in abundance. After they defeat the wicked witch, the wizard authorizes the three companions. And the good witch tells Dorothy she always had the ability to go home, but she wouldn't have believed it before. On returning to Kansas (waking up), Dorothy announces her realization: "I just wanted to come back home." She just wanted to be herself. It's reality, but she had to enter into a fantasy to grasp it. It's been said that myths are fantasies but more real than reality. Or, myths are the hidden depths of reality. After her dream, Dorothy sees her family and friends more deeply, and is satisfied to be back home. October 3 For my religion to stay alive, I must allow it to continually recreate itself. Someone said that "an unchanging tradition is a dying one." Prabhupad said, "Krishna is always expanding."
The Crucible of Experience Even rocks have desire. They will melt in the fire. Do not think that I'm higher than that. In my mind I am plotting To intertwine if I'm lucky and to rut much like doggies or cats. In love's war I'm a soldier. But the uniform's older and the story's been sold for a song. So no more window dressing. What I want is a blessing from a place where caressing won't go wrong. I am a body of spiritual senses. I can have pleasure for eternity. I will let down my material defenses and let my Maker take over me. Don't ask what religion or yoga position or lifestyle I'm pitching to you. They're no good without feeling what is left once the peeling and final unreeling is through. There's a body of spirit crying out. Can you hear it? And if you get near it you'll know that atomic reaction doesn't count for a fraction of the powerful blast it lets go. I am a body of spiritual senses. I can have pleasure for eternity. I will let down my material defenses and let my Maker take over me. In the crucible of experience I'm reduced to something mysterious. I am a body of spiritual senses. I can have pleasure for eternity.
I will let down my material defenses and let my Maker take over me. Door of Speech The fleshy lips of youth have shrunk, and every tooth is plastic now. My mouth is moving to the south. At least the corners are. But I leave my door ajar for speech, all I can spare, still young, while love will dare! Slish It is the hour of upgetting when cooly dew and softgrey. The dreaming house floats on family mattress dreams. Armflapping memories lift me by the dark mirrorsink. Who goes there? It is a whisperform saying goodbye. Land Casting my thoughts out into the universe, into the dark ocean of absoluteness -it's an old habit, hard to break, that leaves me dissatisfied and lonely. What simile will suffice? Dive deeper? Cross over? Catch the whale? Maritime metaphors afford me no solace. You are beyond vastness, and concepts. You play by a riverbank, in the forest, in a village with your friends and family. Perhaps I'm already there on that land. If so, I'm buried beneath in dark dormancy. Dig me up, o gardener of souls! Give me sight so I see you in every atom, so the cosmos is revealed as your jeweled skin. Just a glimpse will do. It will last forever.
Buffoon in Bliss "Six heures ! Seize her, Caesar !" At six o'clock the maiden is apprehended by the king. Now may my true self be captured by you, Monarch of the Mysteries! Vapor Stone It was a cloud, and not the moon, compact and round, one afternoon, a silver ghost, so very bright, the only soul within my sight. It drifted east. I heard it talk. "I'm made of steam, and not of rock. I will dissolve, so very soon. And then, not long, so will the moon." Ancient Sage He's a poet. He's a dreamer, in the flow. It's his demeanor. He's a pauper, going naked, cloth and copper long forsaken. He's a mystic. If you're deadened, he can fix it. He's from heaven. A sage who is unflawed can take you back to God. Happy
Happy is a feeling that you feel inside. Happy is a feeling you alone provide. When you shoot it down, you're as good as dead. So give it up. Live it up! Be happy instead. Pepper The internet goes where it pleases. When our cat smells a rose, it sneezes. The temperature at which love freezes is next to the boiling point of hate. A do-gooder fell by the wayside from a shoelace come loose and untied. Schoolchildren quivered and sighed as a math teacher made them cogitate. Improper implements, bridges that sway, missed opportunities, feet made of clay -oh what annoyances pepper the day. Oh, what a joy it is to laugh them away ! Robes When space unbends and lies flat, it's so thin. It has no dimension. Where time gets heavy and halts in the middle of a tick, a hole opens. At first the new world is brightness. All I know is myself. All is myself. No now, no here, nowhere. I dance end over end, an invisible galaxy. Then through the mist of radiance I see part of an immense figure. I see yellow robes reclining. One who dreams. One who is dreaming me. Now I know I am here, somewhere, on the brink of my soul's fulfillment. Together something from the fridge something from the stove mix them together and it's neither hot nor cold
words from the mind words from the heart say them together and you can't tell them apart truth is up above truth is down below seek them together and your center's all aglow God is energy God is solid form worship them together and you become unborn A Word Play A youth almost drowned in the Dependen Sea, until at last he found Cape Ability. He answered all the questions in his lonely Adolessons without a sign of Infeariority. Years later, after having some Maturi Tea, he proposed sharing marriage on his Matrimo Knee. And they took a trip on their Relation Ship to an island in the Ecsta Sea ! October 18 At the beach, breathing the atmosphere of God.
The Very Secret Sacred Heart of OM Sweet Sweet Servant...Sweet Servant of the Sweet Lord Jagan-natha... The Making of an American Hindu Why did I, a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male Mayflower descendant born in Massachusetts in 1941 become an active member of a Hindu religious movement from 1966 to 1978 and even after that include elements of Hinduism as major aspects of my spiritual life? The precursors were both idiosyncratic and sociological. My personality started it. Then, cultural currents reinforced it. As a child, I displayed certain tendencies. A recurring metaphysical dream of obscure meaning but vivid imagery and tactile sensations would wake me up. I recall going to my mother afterward one night and reporting to her, "There were thousands of them but there was only one!" This I proclaimed when I was just beginning elementary school. Poor Mom. Every mother wants her boy to be normal. It was not to be, at least until years later (when I
learned how to pretend to be half-way normal). I also would spend long periods of time whistling along with the birds in the trees. Now it was the neighborhood adults who were puzzled. A mystical chapter from The Wind in the Willows, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn," haunted me. I returned to it often, hearing the strange music. Later in youth, I became secretive. I felt the truth was not to be shared openly. Only a special few people could be entrusted with it. Those people would form a secret club outside ordinary society. The truth we shared would be ancient, passed through a chain of enlightened sages who sheltered it from mundane view. The sages would communicate the message telepathically. Perhaps the message originated in outer space, or in some mythological realm. I told no one about this. I walked rapidly around in a circle inside our house, repeatedly for five or ten minutes at a time. Studying and designing magic symbols occupied me while alone. I meditated, without knowing I was doing so. My mother asked me, "Daniel, why are you just sitting there without doing anything?" I replied, "I'm feeling the blood run through my veins." Bless you, Mother, for your patience. The persona of the Nature Boy intrigued me. Nat King Cole sang of him, and there was a recluse in our town by that name. I wondered if I would dare to live that way, maybe as a naked wild man in the woods. Then a Natural music, doo-wop, transformed me into a creature of ecstasy. I said then that it "changed the molecular structure of my blood." On a dark night when the others were asleep I left the house and walked naked through the tall grass in the back field. At summer camp a slide show of astronomy photos revealed cosmic star-cloud splendors to me. I felt it was a divine explosion. I yearned for a direct vision of God. I heard the song of the Earth, the voice of the forest. Following my urge, I chanted nonsense syllables while arranging sticks and stones on the ground, hoping to construct a key to open a passageway into an essential, perhaps eternal, world. Those experiences, intrinsic and spontaneous, were supported by outside influences. Growing up in the Unitarian church, I learned how to find the truth in any religious tradition. Christianity was never the only way. Buddhists, Jews, American Indians -- they all possessed
pathways to God. The menu was spread before me. Which sacrament would I choose? Science fiction expanded my horizons to the cosmic limit. Both the physical universe and the universe of mental speculation welcomed me as a native son. Rock 'n' roll thrilled my soul. Any religion of mine would have to accomodate that bliss. Nudism as a way of life appealed to me. I considered it often. Back to basics! Back to Nature! Cast off all artificial social labels and dwell in Eden! The God-created human body is the best instrument for transmitting and receiving divine knowledge! Psychedelic herbs and drugs transported me into a world of powerful sensations and meanings. For two or three years that was my yoga. Hashish, periodically brought in from Morocco by a friend, was my staple. But I came to see that my mind was just being conditioned by the chemistry of the ingested substances. Mind was not in fact "manifested," but merely being led through experiential sequences. Each herb or drug had its own pattern. I was learning, not about God or myself, but about chemical structures. Still, the energy released by the substances stood as a benchmark for testing the depth of any enlightenment. Writers inspired me to pursue my quest. Among my favorites were D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Thomas Wolfe, Nikos Kazantzakis, Henry Miller, Stan Brakhage (the film maker), Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, and Alan Watts. Watts' book Psychotherapy East and West convinced me to take the side of spirituality against materialism. (I can credit Watts with probably saving my life. By quoting from his book Joyous Cosmology, I got my local draft board to grant me Conscientious Objector status. I never went to Vietnam.) After much reading and probing for the truth, I'd reduced my bookshelf down to two volumes: the Bhagavad-gita and a Zen treatise, On the Transmission of Mind. The Gita represented Love. The other, Knowledge. I didn't know if Love or Knowledge was the source of everything. Knowledge, or intellectual inquiry, was the aspect of my personality that other people considered predominant. I wanted to gather knowledge about everything. Why? In order to sift out the non-essentials to arrive at the basic reality of everything. I constructed meaning-systems as attempts to describe the basic
reality and the relationships of its constituent parts. The goal was The One. As I approached the end of this journey, I felt the goal had no qualities, no form, no name. It was the Void. Or, as I used to say, "Nothing is everything, and everything is Nothing." On the other hand, there was Love. In contrast to the dry theorizing that occupied me, this was juicy. I enjoyed the state of ecstasy, being possessed by the other, the obsession with a hypnotic vision of beauty. I felt that surrender to the overwhelming energy emanating from the beloved swept me away into a world of primal delight, of vitalizing emotion. To give love was to energize and create a world of pure personal bodily life. A life of service to the beatific Blessed One. Whereas Knowledge had something to say about God, Love took me to God. And Love said that God was something, not nothing. Of the two books, the Gita was winning on points. But it was Swami Bhaktivedanta who finally tipped the scales in favor of Love over Knowledge. (His name itself means "love is the goal of knowledge.") I attended a couple of meetings at the little storefront where he held forth. At the time of the next scheduled meeting, I found myself on 7th Street, on the sidewalk across from Tompkins Square Park. I was headed for the apartment of a friend of a friend to buy some mescaline. I stopped and compared the two possibilities. The lure of drugs had faded. I went to the storefront to experience Love. And so my career in Hinduism began. You may notice that none of this had anything to do with faith or belief, nothing to do with moral codes or being an upstanding member of society. Those things I associated with Christianity. I had nothing against them. They were admirable. But they didn't reach into the core of my consciousness. Because of my psychology, I moved in the direction of immediate, intense experience that engaged the physical as a vehicle for the spiritual. The Swami's pitch about Krishna being "the reservoir of pleasure" and about "spiritualizing the senses" by immersing them in devotional service to God appealed to me. The long singing sessions with energetic dancing to a tribal beat appealed to me. The Swami's lectures, spiced by stories featuring India's villagers and jungle beasts, appealed to me. The importance placed on vegetarian food (I was already vegetarian) offered to God as a means of liberation also appealed to me.
I might as well end it at that. There were many more things that appealed to me. But you get the point. That's how a Protestant New Englander became a Hindu. Still, that transition happened in 1966. Now, in 2003, I don't think of myself that way. Oh, I'm so much more normal now! December 3 So many people really hated The Matrix Revolutions, the third part of the Matrix trilogy. Confusing, no point, uncreative, predictable, gooey, dull, revolting! After a gigantic opening weekend, the box office tanked. The geeks, especially, loathed it. The movie didn't go their way at all. But, what's wrong with ME? I really loved it, even more the second time I saw it. I'd say that the proclaimed failure of the film rests in what is also its success, and the success of the whole trilogy: it insists that we accept new paradigms. The special effects are like nothing we've ever seen before. The extent of its conceptual grounding is unique. Has any other film inspired philosophy professors to write books about its ontological- epistemological-political implications? However, these innovations may have worked against the critical success of parts two and three, which were released four years after the first part. Viewers were astonished by the newness of the first part, and expected its successors to match the scale of its leap into unknown. They were disappointed. But the three films should really be seen as one film. Then the continuum of effect can be accepted. Andy and Larry Wachowski throw even more difficult challenges our way. The stylistic tradition that the trilogy belongs to is that of the graphic novel -- comics -- less than film (except anime), and certainly not literature. The visual aspect of the tradition isn't a problem. The problem arises in the use of language, in character development, and in a plot built out of stock situations. The language leans heavily on oft-heard phrases. Characters are presented more through image and action than through depth psychology. Situations bear distinct resemblance to dozens seen before. Have the Wachowskis managed to put together these
standardized elements into a creation that achieves the depth of myth? Or is the Matrix trilogy merely a collection of hackneyed cliches? On this score, popular opinion was favorable about part one, more divided about part two, and distinctly less favorable about part three. Another challenge for us: the trilogy is a cool head trip that paradoxically insists on the intuitive over the logical. The films pose several intellectual puzzles. But the solutions aren't achieved by logic. Even though one is tempted to intellectualize what's going on, one must feel one's way through. This is brought out in the conceptual structure. The Oracle (intuition) finally overcomes The Architect (logic). Agent Smith's ascendancy is "a result of the equation trying to balance itself," says The Oracle. Only when she and Neo allow Smith to assimilate themselves into himself, is Smith destroyed, and they triumph. Their surrender makes no sense rationally. But it gets results. By the time the third movie came out, those viewers Alfred Hitchcock called "the plausibles" couldn't take it any more. Many of them expressed severe disappointment that the story didn't go the way they wanted it to. Some of them felt the Wachowskis had "betrayed" them. It's unlikely that people who insist on logical explanations for things are going to feel comfortable with the trilogy as a whole. They'll content themselves with watching the first part and ignoring the other two. To make matters worse for that crowd, I get the impression that part two is a deconstruction of part one, and part three a deconstruction of that. We can see this, for instance, in the character of Morpheus. He changes from an all-knowing guru, to a pompous windbag, to just one of the gang. Neo also changes -from a superhero, to the sixth version of an experiment, to a suffering servant. But more important to the theme of the Matrix is what happens to Free Will, Belief, and Purpose. At first they're staunchly proclaimed, then they're all but shattered, then they're resurrected. Unlike Baudrillard, who deconstructs to reveal emptiness, the brothers W. go beyond nihilism. They expose nihilism as a sham, showing the meaningfulness that shines beyond the void. In the end, the mathematical order of The Architect must make room for the personal chaos of The Oracle. Even in a world apparently controlled by machines, love will find a way.
Still, that doesn't mean anyone has to like it. Maybe it's too violent, too loud, and you're tired of watching actors strut around in dark glasses. OK. There's nothing much I can say about that! December 4 In his castle, the Thing King moans, "There are too many things that require too much thinking." Heavy hangs the head of the Thing King. December 5
December 6 They're both the same thing, your mind and the universe -you can go beyond ! December 9 I just finished reading Ulysses. Dipping into his next book, I find I can understand it better. But. Jim's joy's to be a spanker of the inklish linkage, for finicky's sake. Me too? In my way. Over the years, I've been repeating my message. Using the same styles and structures. And tricks. It's over now. And digital graphics too, finished. I'm building a loom. I'll weave yarn with my fingers. Here's the seed concept for a tapestry pattern I want to do: MNEM GEE-J (747) GDP OOO The Milky Nipple of the Earth Mother! The Guardian Eye of Earthlord-Jagannatha!
(747) GDP GoddessGod Dream Protector! Ohhhhyou! Ohhhhyou! Ohhhhyou! Such is the fragile, private world of seed concepts. What counts is the tree, the flower, the fruit. We'll see. December 12 The apparent purpose of walking is forward movement. The deeper purpose of walking is the conscious placement of the feet upon the ground. The secret purpose of walking is to caress the Earth. Thich Nhat Hanh said, "Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet." Footsteps The first art objects weren't handiwork, but footwork. A few million years ago we came down out of the trees. We planted our feet on the ground and put down roots. We became upright, like trees ourselves. But we were walking trees. As we walked, we did something new. We made art objects. We made prints. Our footsteps made footprints, graphic shapes of significant form. The footprints stretched out behind us as we walked. They told the stories of our travels. Each footprint was the expression of the being of the walker who made it. The Earth's surface in our habitat was an art gallery of primal graphic impressions, the first of all our later inscriptions and visual representations. Now I feel the urge to cast off all that later baggage. To walk away from it. To contemplate the placement of the feet. To meditate on footsteps. To concentrate on the patient making of impressions and leave them trailing behind me. To work once again at the sunrise of humanity in full knowledge of what I'm doing. I'm not returning to the past. I'm walking into the future, into the next phase of human life.
Footsteps Serving Lady God Footsteps Footsteps Massaging Mother Earth Footsteps Serving Lady God Footsteps Footsteps Caressing Mother Earth Footsteps Serving Lady God Footsteps Footsteps Loving Mother Earth Footsteps Serving Lady God Footsteps Footsteps Serving Mother Earth Footsteps Serving Lady God
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