Exploring human insight, god, and spirituality
Basic Training Begins (rededicated July 17, 2007)
Life is full of wonder. I wonder why we easily fill up our lives with needless schtuff, and quickly forget or take for granted our key essentials. It’s a wonder how helpless and defenseless we can be in the face of the cultural conditioning onslaught we receive from our parents, peers, and society’s media which allow us to “fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.”
Sex, eating, breathing, thinking, feeling, imagining and sleeping reveal more about our shared human condition than we might give credit to. I’m attempting to re-capture a big picture sense of the commonplace universal essentials of life, and elevate them to their noble, sacred positions for re-consideration and re-integration.
This is said to simply re-dedicate this blog. Where I am coming from is to offer an artist/philosopher’s insight, for what it’s worth. I can do no less, given the weight years of experience and contemplation have given me. I am eager to offer these ideas, and discuss them whenever possible. These blessays (blog-essays?) will become my personal record of thought ether and techno pixels, to live and stand out here in cyberspace on their own merits. I’ll attempt to order them in a sort of sequencial revelation of relevance and importance, hoping that helps.
Never stop learning, expanding, growing, sharing, giving …
Like Erasmus once said “The more I learn, the less I know.” He carried it to its logical conclusion in that he learned so much that he recognized that he knew nothing. There it gets down to simply being – a fully integrated, fulfilled creature of Life.
Back to basics May 17, 2007
How firm a foundation do we stand on to judge life’s meaning, and our purpose in it?
The most basic formula, I think, comes down to these power symbols found on many modern electrical appliances:
O | O
off – on – off
not alive – alive – death
We have a beginning, middle and end. This much is obvious.
Where we each diverge is assigning value to it.
nothing – something – nothing
non existence – existence – non existence?
Union – Separation – Union?
This is our choice … what we need to get our brains and intuition working on to figure out, while we are stuck here.
Is this it, is this enough, or is there more?
Earlier, I used the standard international symbols for Off/On/Off, as
to symbolize basic reality – just like an electrical appliance.
Also consider the binary equivalent 1 and 0 for on and off – just like a digital memory.
However, as a left-to-right progression, with the introduction of Time, it might make sense to to connect the 2 ends with a middle horizontal line:
but this is only a partial glimpse at the reality, and is a minus, or negative,
so while bridging the ends, we can also aspire to add significance to existence by adding the upright, thus creating a positive!
For me, it is necessary to complete a simple graph of life in this way.
But to what can we aspire, while we follow the flat line from our temporal beginning to it’s flat-line (EKG) end?
Simply the truth.
Ha! What is truth? That notion – whether genuinely questioning or merely cynical – existed long before any 21st century post-modern relativist, being uttered for the record by Jesus’ condemner, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, 2000 years ago.
Before anyone thinks they have me tagged as a christian, let me simply point out the fact that all over the place, people believe in something, that has no basis in reality. Whether they think they’re a great singer and should be America’s Next Idol, or think they can drive home no prob after Tequila shooter Night, or think they should rule the world, people are simply mistaken about a lot of things. Self-deception is a rampant disease, and often our best friends are no luckier that we are, so where do we turn?
If I were you, I’d plead to the heavens for some ultimate reality. There is evidence on the record that this has worked to point folk to Truth.
What ever it does, it gets us closer to finding the meaning in our lives.
Truth = freedom
Look up. Reach. Climb. Ascend. It only helps to get a better view.
Back to basics pt 2 – The Rational Mind May 31, 2007
Life is full of oxmorons, which is pretty ugly, unless accidentally on purpose you discover that it’s awfully good. One of those great apparent contradictions in the spiritual realm of discovery is how to accept the ideal of Non-duality. How can All be One, harmonious, inclusive capsule of Life, when we still suffer and witness daily destruction and division?
What I’ve discovered is how we misuse the rational mind. We’ve gone hyperdrive with our thought processes to insist on distinctions, delineated borders, and assign good-bad value judgements to everything that confronts us (antidote: classic zen!). Certainly many moral distinctions are a necessity, and if some folks long ago didn’t devote their intellect to the scoping and cataloguing of the cosmos, I wouldn’t be here writing this to the world on a computer.
– Reason is needed for survival in temporal affairs and making those critical choices to progress in daily life. The rational mind is for the service of our human hearts, but serve us too well … it does (my best Yoda impression). In fact it takes over, and tends to create a huge irrational mess.
Without knowing how to stop the thinking side of our brain enough to engage our intuition and deep spiritual insincts (for fulfillment), instead we become news-junkies, trivia buffs, sports stat freaks, and oh the fascion glamour of celebrity gossip! To top it all off, the shit we spew out of our mouth, before we even know what we said, and are powerless to stop this neural verbal barrage (think of the irrational way swearing takes over!) – and so we shrink and waste away our potential, clogging our cranial pathways with banal TV and cultural cholesterol.
Humor is so great to perplex that narrowing, confining ego process. It’s silly and perplexing and we know we like it for some reason – enough to think that cute furry animals have senses of humor too, since we think they’re so funny. The mind expands for a second.
Horror and suspense movies are good like that. Nothing like seeing some zombies to make you want to go later hug your loved one, and think about your life.
Getting out in nature, or heading out of town for a fresh perspective is healthy.
Meditation is good too. I never could have acheived any sort of detachment without having had the experience of living in a practicing zen co-op house for a year.
Without the ability to set aside the ponderous thinking mind for a moment, one can become mired in half-thoughts, obsessive intellectualization, and compromizing rationalization. Gone too far, the brain refuses to see the paradox that sometimes perplexing illogic is sometimes logical, just as excessive moderation requires a bit of moderate excess.
This is just to get the juices of life flowing. Give your dried out brain a rest sometime, and dig a little deeper. Behind the intellect (and emotions as well) there is a well spring of something refreshing and new.
It’s all about one thing, Curley. Just one thing
(actually it’s 3, but they add up to 1)
+ + +
Ever notice how a day takes up 100% of your time? Time is a bane, but it seems to banish when you’re focused deeply on something.
Concentration on important matters which are “real,” transports us to a different level of existence. Every artist and magician knows this. It is said enlightenment is the perception of 1/100 of a second.
Meanwhile, time slows down, but constantly ticks away in the background. Therefore redeem the time you have left with serious, penetrating, thought.
It’s not about “finding yourself,” but releasing false impressions, opinions, ideas … and self-deception … and seeking the truth. The universe helps us along, whenever we break through the limits of time, and expand into eternal notions of reality.
Love knows no limitations.
F**ked up F**king July 11, 2007
Back-to-basics #3, on another important Heart-related matter. A recent comment revealed an astute revelation by a certain so-called spiritual master: “When Nietzsche declared ‘God is dead’, Fuck became the most important word in the English language.“
And what’s more basic or likely to grab your attention? Sex is on everybody’s mind, there’s no escaping it. Most people would attribute the sex drive as a top factor in our conditioning, if not the top one. We are all here as a result of it.
Now, you’re not going to hear this anywhere else, and I’ve never heard anyone ever say what I’m about to on the subject, but this long piece relates to the amazing juxtaposition of the work “Fuck” in it’s various connotations.
I can’t think of another word that has such paradoxical emotions inherent in it’s 2 sides, but it’s worth considering. I had figured the word to have it’s origins in Latin or French (fuque?), but actually it’s shrouded in mystery, and likely of Anglo-Saxon origin, which would make it an essential English word for sure.
Consider for a second the vastly opposite meaning we associate with the word. I think a great T-shirt might say “Fuck me or Fuck you!” and that would sum up the attitude our society has on the subject. And society seems fucked on so many levels. Society now calls it one of the most supreme pleasures one could have, or the lowest expression of hatred. How can this be possible?
There maybe nothing better to have someone gasp breathlessly to you in it’s most intimate form “… fuck me…,” or anything worse to have “Fuck you!” publicly shouted at you. The former economically bears simple mindless repeating, again and again. The latter can exercise imagination to it’s fullest, combining in outrage a slew of bizarre associations involving your mama, and possibly goats.
Is there any problem in this? I’d say so, given how often one leads to the other. It’s funny, shocking, but completely understandable to witness a “crime of passion” borne out repeatedly on court room and crime TV, literature and film , a la Fatal Attraction or Dangerous Liaisons. Thanks Glenn Close, for your awesome portrayals of how once you fuck, you’re fucked ─ the 2-sides of the same coined phrase!
Maybe fucking multiple partners isn’t the great thing society leads us to believe it is. When sex becomes just a fun end to itself, what might it lead to (besides STDs)?
Kids, for one thing. John Lennon observed that 90% of us are here due to a fun Saturday night. He said we are mostly all “unwanted” (I’d say “unplanned” for sure, and hopefully the “wanted” part comes later), even if so, kids arent necessarily bad, but there is the affect on society’s collective esteem, in all its surprising life-changing glory and/or agony. Remarkably,“Homicide is a leading cause of pregnancy-associated injury deaths,” Chang and colleagues wrote in the American Journal of Public Health in 2005. Abortion is another topic.
Power is another thing. The sin of Sodom and Gommorrah was rape. If it’s not rape, then perhaps fucking is consensual rape, if it’s using another person for conquest, physical release, and/or some kind of ego-validation. Sometimes the sexual power is turned against one as well, in the form of addictions or fetiches (slavery?).
Call me a romantic, but I’ve always understood sex to never be an end to itself (honestly I haven’t always felt that way), but a means to a connection on a deeper human scale. The judeo-christian scriptures talk about the “two becoming one flesh,” which goes along with the hindu concept that sex symbolizes a great union, where the man has “something extra” he seeks to give, and the woman has “an empty space” she seeks to fill. The union of opposites. Viva la difference!
Reading somewhere earlier in my life that sex indebts ourselves, karma-wise, to that person forever, had a wide effect in changing my thinking. Is this worth it? Is the value of the act worth treating conservatively, or is sowing the wild oats best expended in volume? How many partners will you allow to “get under your skin?”
It amazes me that humans have the unique condition of blushing with embarrassment. What evolutionary function might this have? Besides the fact that humans have developed an also unique face-to-face coital position, to separate us from other mammals, what else is different about us? Certainly there is a liberating wildness about sex that is ultimately fulfilling, but for us it’s different than the animals doing it on the discovery channel.
My understanding of sex in the best way, is basically a physical/spiritual union of profound mutual (not just yourself) empowerment, given time. To have a healthy dose of respect, honor, devotion, tenderness and love on a mental, emotional, physical, and deeper level, is perhaps the greatest gift to ourselves and the other, and the most important decision we can say “yes” to in this life. To nurture and cherish this connection has lasting benefits to both partners and has no shame. One may not see this for decades (I’ve been married nearly two), but given time, never without difficulty, love blossoms. Here soulmates become.
Simply indulging, joining, then ripping away, no doubt has significant negative affects upon our psyche. We lose sight of trust, and deeper relationships with others, and reject the unique love connection made possible. Yes, we are all “incompatible” in different ways, and those areas should be apparent from the start – but compatibility strenghtens over time. Weighing the compatibilty risks for a relationship need to be explored before sex (fucking) skews (fucks) the human chemistry.
Too many people become experts in insulating themselves from the embarrassment factor, and supressing the blush and shame from having severed intimate involvement. People “Bobbitize” themselves constantly by doing this, IMHO.
Marriage is basically a sacred oath of commitment (FOR GOOD REASON), but like so many physical relationships it is casually fallen into, then commonly broken away. Along goes a piece of our trusting hearts forever. Too often it is not a shared break-up. Someone usually suffers terribly, and their lives are shattered – fucked up – for a long time. Songs are written about it. Lives are lost.
Yeah, well we all make mistakes … me included. The profound benefit for sexual couples are rarely seen in this light, because this insight is understood by very few of us . . . no matter how many experiences we fool ourselves into saying it’s ok. Maybe you’ve read all this and think I’m full of shit, but that’s another word for another topic. At least admit there’s a weird connection between the 2 meaning of fuck, and fuck off.
So in conclusion, everyone tell your kids and stepkids when the time is right, “Fuck and you’re fucked. May you love, and be loved forever.”