Dusk, the twilight, the valley below, the cliffs. The wind whirling over
ancient rocks, sacred altars of forgotten faiths. Our souls, traveling through the
infinite, found a comfortable perch on one of our Mothers seats.
I felt incredibly old sitting on that rock. Looking
at the valley below, I felt as primal as the mountains, my consciousness merging with the
surroundings, embracing the wind that was my own breath. An embryonic sound vibrating deep
inside me was unlocked, it grew louder and louder and I could do nothing but let it out...
It reverberated all around, it was really impressive, not from me, it came through me but
was not mine, I was rather a part of it, just a voice pulsating in a universal overtone.
It is through
you that we are
You are the sound
We are the instruments.
Through voicing the sound
We get closer to what
In microscopic strings.
Genetic mantras vibrating in the akasha
When we are born we are born small. In the normal course of events
we grow to a relatively large size. If a child is asked, it will acknowledge, perhaps with
some difficulty and some prompting: "Yes, I am getting bigger." but really
without any idea of what that means.
Erwin Schrodinger once wondered why our bodies were
so relatively huge when compared to the basic component, the atom. Notice now that
individual atoms not only vibrate, they also move about, but to no apparent order or
purpose. Animal and human bodies, on the other hand, move according to observable
patterns. Life imposes order on chaos.
This is what each of us attempts to do each day. In
the course of growing it may come to us to wonder what it is that we are trying to do
through our efforts. Schrodinger saw that it was only by growing huge bodies that a life
form could overcome the chaotic disorder of randomness. We, in turn, as human beings, are
attempting to grow in another dimension, but there too we are assaulted by chaos.
Our task is to grow sufficiently so that the
essential patterns that compose our beings prevail, in some statistical fashion, over the
disorganizing forces of this universe. We must grow huge spiritual bodies in this material
dimension. There is a lot of work involved in this but there is also a lot of help
available. When a certain point is reached we can see how huge we have become. Dont
lose heart now. Dont be intimidated by the enormity of the task.
" Every day in every way we are growing bigger
|Flashback of Trash
"Can you tell me where the train station is?",
the broken down man asked me. A cigarette hung limply from his mouth and he smelled of
yesterdays garbage. The leathery face was waiting for a reply, just staring up at me with
eyes that checked out a few decades ago. No forwarding address.
"Follow me," I reluctantly answered. "Which way are you
After fiddling with his ripped knapsack for a few moments he looked up and
realized I had asked him a question. "Out of town, I got a cousin lives up in the
Sierras, figure he might have a space for me."
"Is he expecting you?"
"Hes expectin the person he remembers as me but he sure
aint expecting this," With arms open wide he stopped and looked down at the
disheveled mess he was dressed up in. "I bet youre wondering just how I got
myself in this sorry state, arent you?"
I didnt really want to know but I said yes anyway.
"Well, Ill tell you. One day I was walking down the street when a
man stopped me and asked if he could paint my portrait. He said he would pay me, I
didnt need the money, but I couldnt resist an easy buck. I followed him to his
studio. He told me he was doing a series on the homeless and wanted me to dress up in some
old rags and dirty up my face."
He paused for a long drag on his cigarette and continued. "He took
hundreds of photos, maybe even thousands, that white light kept flashing again and again.
The whole room was getting sideways and my head started to spin. The next thing I remember
was waking up next to some trash cans down on 6th street. Thats where
Ive been living since that blurry night."
"But why didnt you just go back to the life you were living
before?" I asked.
"You underestimate the power of the white light. Why do you think every
one turns their head when they get flashed in the eyes? They are trying to get away I tell
you, they are trying to escape. But its different for me, I cant escape
anymore. Ive been under the spotlights for so many millions of lives that I
cant even remember who or what I am!"
We had arrived at the train station. He was still looking at me, confused and
assuming I thought he was another crazy freak living in the gutter. Which was true. As I
watched him fade into the distance he abruptly swung around and took two or three quick
flash pictures of me. I felt dizzy and a bit disoriented. I realized I was lying on the
ground. It had suddenly become dark and I couldn't help wondering where that horrible
smell of trash was coming from....could it be...me?
|Information and Knowledge
I was riding a bus the other day, pretending to sleep
while a man in a suit was talking to a blind man. The blind man, apparently, was a
magician. The man in the suit was trying to get instruction and knowledge out of this
teacher. While I pretended to continue sleeping, I turned my recorder on.
This is what transpired:
"Ok...you seem to know how to do some if not all the things I would like
to learn. no?
"Well how do you create for instance a ball of fire in your hand? How do
you make the heat in the air around your hand collect into a sphere and continue to
generate heat? And I understand you will probably say you "will it" or what not;
but HOW exactly do you do this, how do you work with the forces around you to
make it happen?"
"I am interested in learning magick. However I am not willing to pay for
knowledge in any form. Knowledge is free. However if you gave me an object, like a ring
etc. then I would pay for it. I would not expect that for free, but knowledge should be
shared without animosity because if you value growth then it cannot be measured by how
much this bit of information will cost. Now that I got my "little" commentary
out of the wayI am very interested in learning the ways of magick of which I
described if you would be so kind as to show me what I must do. I am an excellent listener
and very quick learner. I hope to obtain the knowledge for which I seek."
"Matt, this doesnt go as you think it goes. In the first place,
giving you a set of instructions as to how to do it, wont allow you to do it.
Because you dont have the proper elements to make a fireball hover above your hand.
It would be like telling someone without legs how to walk. It would be totally useless.
Its even worse. Imagine this man without legs has never seen other people walking.
One day, over the Internet he hears that some people move from place to place without a
wheelchair. He asks you how to do it. You say: "Simply stand up. Put one leg in front
of the other. Repeat this action until you get to where you want to go". He would say
"What legs? What is that?" You try to explain that they are the limbs under his
waist. He accuses you of playing games, he doesnt have any and he has never seen
any. See? He cannot do anything because he has no legs. In fact, you cant even TALK
about legs with him because he doesnt even know the vocabulary.
"Matt, you cannot just follow a recipe. You have to become the type of
person who can draw fire out of the air. No one can tell you how. Not because they
dont know, but because you cannot speak their language. You want to run before you
can walk. In fact, you want to run before taking the time grow legs (and you dont
even know what legs are!) There is another thing. You dont just go into a university
and tell them "Ok, give me a medical degree so I can cure people" If they are
kind enough they will explain to you that you need to learn first, and pass exams. If to
this you say "Ok. Teach me then. How do I operate?" you would be trying their
patience. You have to enroll in their campus. Do a lot of work. Learn a lot of things
(even seemingly unrelated things). Pass exams. Pay tuition. Work with them. Teach others.
Etc. In fact, Matt, you cannot just come in to classes. You have to have been accepted. To
be accepted you have to show that you have the ability and the stamina to go through the
course. The better the career, the more promise you have to show at first.
"Do you think it is easier to command fire by will than it is to become a
"How do you manage to get knowledge without paying for it? Do you not buy
books? Do you not pay tuition in school? Do you not pay for classes? Do you not pay for
your time on-line? Do you not pay for the electricity to watch TV and instructional
videos? Do you not pay taxes that keep our libraries open? Since when is knowledge freely
distributed? Of course, there is plenty of data, information around, and that is free
(except for what I said above). But for knowledge, you pay. Its not necessary to pay
with money, of course. But you pay nonetheless. In ancient esoteric schools, there was no
money asked for the teaching. That is also true today. But the student was expected to
stay in a monastery, or a mountain, or a dessert for 20 to 60 years or more. In this time,
they would work really hard. They would certainly pull their weight. No one was to expect
true knowledge for free. That is a lie.
An object of power, on the other hand, cannot be paid for. In other words, if a
teacher, a magician, or a shaman gives you a ring, or a shield, or a dagger of power, and
tries to charge you for itrun the other way! You have it all backwards. Items of
power must be given for free. But instruction and knowledge you must pay for. Anyone who
tells you differently is either ignorant or a cheap peddler of other peoples
|The Firefly, The Owl, The Lizard and
been warned that the forest was dangerous, that ugly animals and savage beasts would eat
her if she left the house. Little Mary obeyed, she limited herself to watching the forest
from afar so that there wouldn't be any risk.
But finally, one day, a firefly came to Mary's
window. Mary became so excited with the constant light that the firefly carried with it
that she ran and ran until she found herself deep in the forest. What a surprise she had
upon discovering all the beautiful places full of flowers, butterflies, and blue rivers
that there were in the forest...her happiness was so great that she couldn't understand
why her parents would shield her from such joy! She felt protected by the little firefly,
with whom, even in the middle of the night there was always light.
She also realized that the wolves and terrible beasts
did exist.and that they weren't just an invention of her parents. So when the night came
and she heard the steps of the wolves coming closer, or the growling of some beast, little
Mary cried with fear...and she started to feel that the light from the firefly was not
enough, she started demanding more and more light so she could feel protected....the poor
firefly did all that it could but the moment finally came when it got tired, and it left
little Mary in total darkness. The firefly warned her that she had to learn how to create
her own light and not depend upon the light of another.
When Mary was finally all alone in the forest and she
heard the howling of the wolves, the growling of the lions...she got very scared and she
started kicking and punching everywhere without knowing who she was hitting.
An old owl that had been observing her from one of
the trees knew what was happening to her and knew why she was crying,. he saw her fall
helplessly to the ground, tired from the fighting and asked her:
"Why do you cry little Mary?"
and little Mary said:
"The wolves want to eat me and the firefly is
gone and doesn't want to protect me anymore. She is the only one that can help me to get
out of this darkness."
"That is not true Mary," warned the owl,
and he continued speaking, "We all have our own light and when I say all, that
includes you too."
Mary listened skeptically and thought to herself::
"How can an old and ugly owl like you have its own light? And anyway, I don't have my
own light either."
The old owl, as if he could read her thoughts, flew
down from the tree, landed in front of her and said: "You are very young and lack
experience, you are full of fear. You are afraid of the wolves that roam around here and
you want to chase them away so they won't get close to you. Let me tell you that the
wolves have walked and passed through here thousands of times and you won't be able to
stop them because this is their home."
The old owl lifted its wings and at the same time
allowed a white light to come out of its chest. Mary was then able to see what was
happening around her. She realized that next to the lions and the wolves there were also
beautiful bunnies, little squirrels, pretty fawns...
"You see," said the owl, "All that you
don't see because of your fear. Yes, there are wolves and they are very ugly and there are
lions too, but none of them can attack you or hurt you...only scare you."
The little girl asked the owl not to go and to
continue lighting up her way and that he be with her all the time, but the owl said she
didn't have to depend on somebody else to see all that, that she had her own light...but
that nobody had taught her how to start it and that's why she was convinced that she
didn't have it.
At that moment, an ugly and skinny lizard that had
been listening to the conversation, pulled on her hand and asked her to dance in the
middle of the forest. The little girl started to laugh and allowed herself to be guided by
the lizard. Without realizing it a light had been produced and was now flowing out of her.
The lizard started to move away and left her dancing alone, and it sang with the owl:
"Dance little Mary, start your own light, don't
be afraid because nobody will hurt you!"
of no importance
I knew I was dreaming. I was making two club
sandwiches at once, at work .The toast was ready. One microwave was occupied, so I could
only cook one bacon at a time. I was standing waiting for one to finish and somebody told
me it was time to wake up. That the alarm had been going for the last half hour. I said
"yes, but wait just a moment please, till I finish this sandwich, I cant leave
this poor guy without a sandwich just because I need to wake up."
Just as I finished saying this I realized
how absurd this was. And how seriously I was going to carry it through.
The question was: How much time have we got
The divisions you make are limits you mark
yourself. The space you block yourself into.
Everything that happens at every moment
around you is right there, individually, all set up for you. At the same time each thing
revolving or happening to each of those individual elements is happening just exactly for
them. Its all exactly measured. The attention one can focus on this is what can give
this its value. This makes no moment more valuable than any other. Its only the
value one gives it. We tend to value more the time spent in some special way than the bus
ride home, when in reality the only difference is the value we give it as a separate
(I find this related to the
fact that to start to work one has to find at least one pillar in ones self.
Thats it. One can never really comprehend, as a student of somebody or something, as
much as one wants to. One needs to experiment for oneself. Thats the only thing that
will leave a track, from which we can start to build.)
|Deep Sea Diver
It seems we are already living in the land of the west.
We can go to the Pacific, we can fly over Hawaii and Japan, we can keep on going west
until we end up right where we started. This blue egg we float upon, what is it? It seems
we are like a static charge from a starched shirt. Little sparks of electricity lighting
up the night sky and illuminating the nothingness for a moment.
This machine and all its intertwined gears, hidden pulleys, and malfunctioning
fuel pumps is easily set off balance. The atonal tuning we have created for ourselves has
formed a discordant symphony of disaster, emotional upheaval and occasional rushes of the
There must be something deep inside the machine. We dive head first into the
oceanic waters, our vision is muddy, at the start we quickly run out of breath, swimming
to the surface we prepare for the next venture. We soon forget what we saw in the water.
Those heavy sea creatures with razor sharp teeth, long sticky tentacles reaching out to
embrace our funny little body.
We return again to the west, to the ocean. Strapping on our oxygen tanks, our
wet suit, we brace ourselves for the icy depths. We dive in again, knowing there is a
riddle deep within the blue depths that can never be solved and yet we swim further into
it. We ignore the voices of the sky that say, "come back, come up for air, we need
you up here."
There is no light down here and our oxygen tanks are running dangerously low.
Have we gone too far? Have we gone anywhere? Where are we? We click on our flashlights and
the jaws of the heavy sea creatures open to greet us, their teeth glistening with unspoken
welcomes. Could it be that what we seek is in there? I remember something about going into
the mouth of the whale but I didnt think they really meant going into the mouth of
In the midst of these thoughts we begin floating upward. No more oxygen left,
but the surface is within sight. Next time we will be better prepared. But how do you
prepare for entering the mouth of the whale?
Sometimes I remember that Im living in a dream
within a dream (horizontal or vertical sleep, it does not matter) and find myself on a
street I feel Ive known before but forgotten. It is night, and the road seems to
reach to infinity. Now I remember the excitement of the first time here, the first night
class, but tonight I am tired and my machine wants to return to its mundane concerns. I
didnt even want to come tonight, dont know why Im here. However, I stay.
The others are already here.
We move through the city as though we are the only ones present (perhaps we
are) to a small, empty room where we have met before. I know and dont know them,
having met them only in the Bardo, never in human primate life, but sense that they may
know my being better than some of my closest friends from ordinary life. I yearn for this
contact, but somehow it is frightening; whenever I find myself in the night class I want
to embrace it and flee from it at the same time, as though I am not one, but many
conflicting identities, each with its own agenda.
Tonight one of the others asks me a question: Why are you here and what do you
want to do? I cannot articulate an answer, and can barely remember why I am here or how I
got here, except that I felt strongly drawn to this place and the work that goes on here.
The others continue among themselves, but somehow I feel that I am feeding on the energy
and emotions radiated as well as the ideas expressed. For this is no ordinary night class.
In its usual waking sleep, the machine cannot experience genuine emotion; it
merely reacts mechanically to external events and circumstances. Thanks to the others, my
teachers and fellow students, I realize that my attraction to this work was based on
something deeper than intellect. An urge, a necessity, to establish contact with something
greater than myself, which was more powerful than the forces of everyday life and habits
of waking sleep, led me here. It is not an accident. But at times the habits of waking
sleep overwhelm the new bardo habits. It is at these times that outside help is needed. So
we come to the night class, for we can do together what would be impossible alone: make
consistent efforts to wake up, not as an end in itself, but to use an awakened machine to
transform the being and serve the Absolute. Every small sacrifice counts. Begin right
where you are.
After leaving the night class, from within another dream I hear someone saying:
"Remember, there is no turning back."
Every morning I wake up like a zombie. My
body is numb, I cant speak, listen nor see anything. There is a pattern that repeats
itself every day. I do the same thing, I feel the same. I dont feel good in my body
(this is a representation of my ordinary state (mood) ). I dont feel myself with
enough strength at this moment as to go ahead with (the few) aims Ive imposed on
myself. At that point, in that instance, there is disconnection between what I would like
and what Im doing at that moment, it all evaporates. Why cant I unify? Why
cant I focus on a point? A subjective mood is subordinated to the whims of the
disconnection. I look at my list of goals and aims: There is too much shattered-ness. I
have to diminish the ground I try to embrace. Take just one thing, only one and dedicate
it all my attention. With only one thing, I can have enough energy to really carry it
through. And like this I can begin.
So objective theatre is doing
"something" like a good coffee.
The rational thinking cuts our potential to express, because
the act of expressing is not only an intellectual "thing". So an act is not an
imitation, it is more like being something that you want to represent. Basically if you
are interested, look for it
It can come from anywhere, anything can trigger it (at least it can
look like anything or anywhere). Events seem to follow each other in a constant rush of
motion: the old room where I lived, that little kid whom I used to know and wait! now it's
that other guy from college and wasn't that some kind of music playing in the background
and now we're in a much bigger room...
Suddenly someone, someone that looks familiar but
might be a strange being hiding behind a friendly face, says:
I am confused but startled. It's my garage, it's my
friend, we're here all the time. Oh and there, over there...
Again I am startled... does he mean... really stop. I
suddenly realize I could do it at any point, I just choose not to do it, not to stop the
ongoing sequence of vaguely related events (what does relate them other than me in the
middle?). So there! I can stop at anytime... now what is that over by the garage door?
Isn't that a doorway to the old park where I used to...
"Stop! Look at the floor, try to touch the
floor! Something good is happening! You have to trust me!"
I look down and notice the floor for the first time,
and I feel the rush is slowing down, looking down at the grayness, at the many lights that
swarm beneath me. I start to realize that something is happening, something extraordinary.
I look down and reach with my hand.
"Yes... touch the floor... try to clean
I move my hand and realize that I am cleaning the
floor, but without encountering any resistance, lights of all colors move around my hands
and certain colors are expelled while others remain. The movement, the constant chain of
thoughts is slowing down so much that... it stops.
I look up at my friend. We're both looking at each
"We're here. We're together. It's
The air vibrates all around us, as his face starts to
|Chatting with a Chimp
My uncle the chimpanzee was telling me a story (if
you can call it that) the other day that I thought you might like to hear...
"Well. it all started when the water behind the dam
began to slip through the cracks. Those little beavers were scurrying madly around trying
to secure their dissolving homes. It would have washed right down the river if theyd
have let it."
"Now me and the chimps were whooping it up in the
trees, looking down on those little creatures wildly scrambling around. It was a rather
hilarious sight as Im sure you can imagine."
It seemed a bit comical, so I nodded my head in agreement.
"With all this frantic movement happening, the water
rushing even more swiftly, us chimps screaming in the trees, it wasnt long before
the police showed up and quieted the whole thing down."
"The Police?" I interjected, "What were the
police doing in the middle of the jungle?
My uncle paused to scratch an itch in his lower back and
then answered. "This wasnt no ordinary human police, not those ones that dress
in black and white, this was the jungle police, given power to maintain the order of
nature and all earthly beings. These bearers of order take no human form and deliver their
messages on the wind."
"When they showed up they only had one thing to say,
"If you keep holding on to the house, the place of safety, the little cubby hole that
seals you off from the outside world then you are never going to see whats
"That shut everyone up for a bit, but then the panic
sirens began to blare, the whooping shaking the trees, every thing in chaos once again,
with all the commotion I never did see what happened to those funny little river
|Paths in the Labyrinth
When we talk about the path we follow, we can say
that each follows a unique path. Only the individual can follow his/her path. If you
follow somebody elses path, you are doomed to get lost. Somebody elses path is
useless to you.
At the same time, it is also true that there is only one
path, only one school, only one teacher, and only one goal.
Also, we can say that there is no path. The path is an
illusion. You walk and you travel, but there is a virginal wilderness that cannot yield to
paths and demarcations. There is no way, no "how." Any path is false. All paths
Not only can we say all these things, but we can say them at
the same time with a straight face. We can do this for three reasons: (1) words are empty
sounds; monkey chatter we use to fill up the deafening silence of death. As such, we
dont know what we say and we dont really care, because deep down we know that
what we say means nothing. (2) We can say these things because we are not a unified being.
We are Legion. We are a conglomerate of masks, animals, and ghosts; all struggling for
experience and attention. As such, we can hold one tenet as the Truth at one time, while
swearing by the opposite self-evident Truth the next instant. (3) We can say these things
because we can develop the ability to become not only the type of person who can believe
each of these things, but can also become the type of being who has grown beyond the need
to feel secure in her beliefs. And we can become the type of being who can fully say three
seemingly contradictory things, fully understand them all, and deeply believe in all of
them without trying to suppress any. We can become the reflection of the Absolute who is
simple enough to accept the truth without imposing violent and selfish requirements of
Sometimes, however, I dont say anything at all. Like
now, as I stand in front of the immense ocean in the company of two other shamans. The sun
is settingright in front of us. As the sun comes down, a path of light begin to form
in the surface of the water. The path I see, only I can see. The other voyagers, see the
same thing. Each seeing a path of light which extends from their feet to the Sun Absolute.
Each unique. Each identical. Each nothing but a reflection, a mirage, a fleeting illusion
that is here before me only because I am here and the sun appears to be over there, beyond
Whats there to say when theres nothing
to say. Lets talk about it. Some talk for the sake of talking, some speak silently,
some leave, some pick their noses, some seek in their files for something to talk about to
finally be able to really talk, some let the neighbor just talk for the sake of talking
and then just follow along. Others just exercise the muscles of their tongues and speak
through their elbows. The situation is interesting: two or more people (even just one
person) being in the same room feel that its necessary by all means to talk so that
everything runs smoothly, so everythings normal and under control, secure. There is
fear to not-speak, its dangerous, everybody knows what Im talking about, we
have lived these terrible situation. I dont know silence, and you? Have
you got anything to say about it? If you do, shoot!
Behind the door there is someone or something waiting for us. During
those endless days of childhood we would sit alone, absorbed in the shifting of
light on a small screen. Silently hoping that the unspeakable would not happen. What if
they come through the door? What if I am disturbed from my place of safety?
These creatures of the silence invade our sleep with
dreams of doors that can never quite be shut. No matter how hard we try to make the door
stay locked it just won't obey us. And the panic starts to rise, we know they are coming
for us. Why won't this door stay shut? The shadows are moving in close, the dark abysses
are no longer lurking in the corners.
Sometimes you make a weapon and fight these invisible
enemies, sometimes you hide and pray to God they won't find you, and sometimes you even
open the door and ...you still can't quite remember just what you see in those moments.
Now you are in a moment of safety, you have time to read, I have time to write. The
creatures are waiting patiently, they do not follow the rules of space and time. They
inhabit the shadows of whatever body we choose. There is no way you can hold them back
|The group in the middle of the night
Above all, what we found is that the trip had changed by inviting him in. We
knew it the moment he showed up, as quiet and accepting as he appeared. A short little
guy, with a look of solidity all around him. Probably Vietnamese, definitely Asian.
He greeted every single one of us calmly and attentively, then he smiled and proceeded to
I lost some time talking to an old friend in the
doorway (one of the two disappearances that had occurred recently, this one was clearly
solved) then we all went to the car. As I turned on the engine, loud hard rock invaded the
air. I looked in the rear view mirror and the little guy seemed to be frowning, not in
anger but out of curiosity.
"We're not driving, you know. This is just to go
get some supplies from the store."
"Ok",he said and smiled.
We went to the store and suddenly there was very
little to buy (I hadn't thought of going to the store until I said it out loud). We came
up with some stuff (the others realized there was need for creativity) and we drove back
to the house. I must tell you this particular house is right in the heart of the city (San
Salvador) and it's huge. Even though I've lived here my whole life, I've never been able
to explore all the rooms and hallways that compose it. In fact, even when I've been
somewhere, it seems to change when I come back.
We walked back into the house (strange way to begin
an outing) and walked back to the room where we had met him. Then found a hallway going
towards the back, past my relatives (they seem to be always sitting there) and to a little
backyard in the second floor. As it turned out, there was a way to walk between the trees
that led to the hills that overlook the ocean. We found ourselves walking through rough
trails, far away from civilization. Sometime into this walk, we realized this was
dangerous, there were cliffs everywhere, there was no clear path and, most importantly, we
had no light. I mentioned this to him and the little guy laughed.
"Light? We don't need light! Not on a trip like
We all nodded, in different degrees of hesitation. We
came to a place where the rocks were thin and easily breakable. As we stepped on them they
seemed to shake and be ready to disintegrate beneath our feet. Soon enough they did just
that. I fell for an instant, trying to prepare for the impact. We all landed on the same
little patio of red bricks. We were back at the house. It was time to get more supplies.
By this point it was clear that this wasn't going to be any ordinary trip. Better delay it
as much as possible.
|At the Heart of every Home
So what this guy says is that all that stuff that philosophers and
sociologists talk about is hogwash. He has seen the birth of the nuclear family and it is
encased in red bricks, filled with burning pieces of wood and dancing the endless
variations of the speeding bursts of energy (saying goodbye, it's time to find a new place
to hang out, you know?). When the central little box of fire(that secret entrance to the
house that Santa Claus and other random midnight visitors may sometimes use) was
introduced into the house, into the common space that the whole family shares, that's when
the group came together again, after a long vacation.
The blocks of fire turned into tubes, and the dance
of the electrons and photons became more refined, more controlled, sometime early this
century, little hidden messages and large helpings of canned laughter and programmed news
were now fed into every home, a new and improved chimney, a fire that talks back and
reaches out to touch you. The tradition is the same. Place a powerful attention magnet in
the center of every cave and allow the units to follow the call of nature ("Hi Lucy,
I'm home!"), a permanent ground to protect from any excess voltages. Don't want any
of that surplus energy actually making its way up the Ladder, do we? Better flush it all
down the electronic toilet sitting in the middle of your living room.
Imagine a gigantic vampire spider extending its
thousands of arms all over the planet, feeding, feeding. (Your eyes don't just take in,
they throw out. It is one thing to see, and another to gaze.) It is a choice that you make
at every moment: save some of it or throw it all out (it sure feels good going out, its
sure stressful when it stays in). But the spider is always there, ready to give you the
rush, ready to give you the gift of a thousand synaptic deaths. Mmmm, the really small
death. Give it to me!
And old Pranayama books warn against the fire
watchers, such information is probably deemed to subversive these days. And what do these
old gurus know anyway?
|The Great Adventure
Looking up into the expansive sky, its blue shroud
coloring all I see. I am floating towards the sun. Allowing all the limitless energy of
the yellow orb to pierce me, free me from my ties to the earth. An ocean of fluid motion
guides us with unseen hands. We pretend to swim upstream while the fish have fun laughing
Our spaceship has cast off its fiery propulsion engines. The chains of gravity
momentarily severed. A carefully applied force was necessary to achieve lift off, too much
and we get burned, too little and we go nowhere. We are entering the space between worlds,
between existence and non-existence. Our navigator for the trip sits quietly, patiently
waiting for a signal.
We are the pattern we seek. Outside of our spaceship the stars wink back in
silent communication with galactic entities. Great machines lie in the distance, awaiting
our arrival. Their messages carried on silent waves of electromagnetic radiation.
Invisible and yet all around us.
Our attention moves to the navigator. The red cover lifts to reveal a code that
must be spoken aloud. Lights are flashing wildly, hyperactive systems alerts begin to
scream, "Caution!", "Danger." We proceed carefully, trying not to red
line our fragile machine. The fires of anger and aggression reach out and bite at our
heels. We allow the sounds to move us to the next chamber, the sonic reverberations
resonating and propelling us forward. We move together cradled by unseen forces,
benevolent or evil we do not know. Still, we move together.
|Pros and Cons
What we have failed to realize is that it is not the case that our ordinary state is like
a prison; nor is it the case that we comport ourselves as if we were asleep. It is the
other way around. Prisons have been designed to mimic the state in which we live. And the
actual state of our bodies is that of deep slumber. They are not mere metaphors, but
actualities. If we think of them as metaphors, is because we have fooled ourselves into
thinking that we understand what is going on.
Another thing we have
failed to realize is that, as long as we believe that there is something we can do about
it, everything we do keeps us within the walls of the prison.
Even the purported evolutionary efforts of those in the "path", the
"Work", or whatever we call what we do is nothing but more of the same.
Everything we do, everything we see, and everything we experience is part of the prison.
Remember, I am creating this prison. There is no one out there but me. I play
all these games with myself. I trap myself that I may escape. I am the prison.
Every movement, every step, every act is based on the same structure. All of it
is taking me deeper into the prison. Every dream is part of the sleep. No matter how
enlightening, how sacred, how heroic or how liberating the dream, it is still a dream.
Ultimately, it is still an aspect of my sleep.
Editor's note: (What a bummer!)
|Dialogue between "you" and
words fly between us
you dont want to listen to me,
nor do I want to listen to you
Im not interested in what you say,
And youre not interested in what I say.
"We speak words,
words fly between us
Whatever happened to me,
Happened worse to you
Whatever I know,
You know better.
"We speak words,
words fly between us
You always know what Im talking about,
And I know what you talk about
I always say youre right,
And you always say Im right.
"We speak words,
words fly between us
When were on the phone,
When were face to face
When I want to brag
Or when you want to brag.
"We speak words,
words fly between us
Always the same words
Even though youre different.
The same words
Changing lightly in tone.
Tomorrow Ill see you
Maybe on the street
In a coffee shop
On the train
Or in the office
And one more time:
"We will speak words,
words will fly between us
Same as yesterday,
Today and tomorrow.
Why in Gods name do we speak?
I found myself at the corner of Acton and Winchester, called by an
unknown voice who knew more about me than I did about it. What he had called "Lincoln
Hall" was actually "Lincoln Park" but otherwise the address matched. And
yet the doors were closed and there was no one around. I knocked, just in case, but there
was no answer.
In the car next to mine, there was an old Chinese man
dozing off, his right hand clenching a can of beer. Over by the upper corner, the one away
from the building, a Latin guy who could be Salvadorian, looked at me strangely and kept
on fumbling around with a car half parked over the sidewalk. A young Filipino girl walked
up my way from the direction of Mission. What to do now? Nobody that I knew lived anywhere
close. And yet somehow this corner related to me.
I jumped back into my car, starting to realize that I
was drifting away from "me" with every second that passed. I turned right on
Acton and drove up the street, with a big white truck following me, very close. I looked
back in my rearview mirror and noticed the dark glasses staring directly at me. I drove
further up the street than I ever had until it ended, turning into a dirt road with
forgotten dead cars strewn about. I could sense the gateway, past that point there was no
return. I slipped the car into a little dirt driveway off to the side, and the white truck
drove by me very slowly, both sets of dark glasses turning towards me. Then I drove back
towards Mission street and past it.
Sickles Avenue. I group of musicians I played with
long ago. My old girlfriend from El Salvador, a couple of blocks past Acton. My friend
from City College, didn't he used to live around here. And then I heard Cecilia's voice:
"You won't ever know who it was that called. You
never find these people. No matter how much you ask yourself, you can't ever know."
And I saw that she was right, the connections were
too many, the possibilities multiplied in all directions. When the answer is too big, the
question goes unanswered. I drove back, listening to a song about dreams.
The time is coming, go towards the chosen
place. How heavy his shoes become. Dark blue and black. The weapons were already chosen,
carefully prepared. A gun with a single bullet, one only shot. There is no defined reason
for the duel (the sun appears and disappears in between the leaves of a tree) no offence
to avenge, routine, no lady to save, nothing. Only the cold and deserted dawn, climbing
the city buildings. The fear, tiredness, the non-sense, they dont disappear,
dont stop shouting and knifing, millions of children lay around the streets, among
the rubbish, stabbed some morning, others mutilated continue repetitive routes without
knowledge (uncountable mornings) towards one same cyclic destiny, dried-up. Four piano
notes. Crows eating the seed that would fertilize the earth. Horror.
He cant stop thinking about the decision, about the adversary, his inseparable
mate whom he will kill. But how? Should he really die? Wait a minute. Whats that
about killing? What dies? Why? For what? Is it really worth it? Would there not be a
purpose for which he would stop serving if, at the end of the morning, he was laying flat
motionless in some box?
A desert of burning sand watched by cactus, of rocks that hide snakes, of wind that
serves the eagle
passengers of the same ship sailing through time. Dont take
its mildness for granted, your majesty, forged in the danger they enclose. Run in
the presence of death? In the presence of the challenge?
Now I feel closer,
I perceive a different reality,
The one before everything happens,
The one just between
the beginning and
the beginning of all and everything.
I can see transition clearer,
Thats the point,
To maintain or keep this mood,
To not get lost
At that moment,
What being there means
And it only lasts a micro-second.
The boat is sinking, what do we do?
Lifts me off the ground
Energetic space station
Waiting for a sound
I'm inside the vortex
axe is thrown
Its getting pretty strange
Nothing in context
Lies outside my brain
From invisible hands
Splitting the wood
In forgotten lands
The wind comes closer
Whispers in my ear
"Its time to remember,
leave behind your fear"
Once, twelve children were playing in an uninhabited part of a
village. There they discovered an image of Ganesh, the elephant god, the god of
beginnings, the deity that makes all your wishes come true. They started dancing and
singing around this image. The pot belly of the gods image attracted the attention
of one of the boys; out of curiosity he stuck his finger in its navel. He felt something
sting his finger. Instantly he withdrew his finger from the navel. Instead of crying out
in pain, he pretended to his playmates that something extraordinary had happened to him.
The boy closest to him followed suit. One after another the rest of the boys
tried the same. Except for the lastthe youngest. Its a scorpion!
he cried. Everyone nodded their heads and they all joined him in crying.
I walked down the steps, thinking of another time, when I was much younger
and I had first walked into this house. I had been about sixteen and the house was empty,
full of possibilities, of dreams, of things to be done, secrets to be discovered.
I walked into my future room, found the bed and
nothing else. I grabbed my twelve string guitar and started playing. I must have played
for hours and hours. As I played the room became mine and the dreams opened even wider.
Now I walked down the same steps and there was no
dream. Twelve years flew by me as if nothing and left me with a sense of shame, of having
so many chances, so many opportunities. All wasted. All doors left closed for later. Is it
I saw myself walking down the steps, twelve years
from now, looking back and trying to reach my own shadow, the memory that would inevitably
escape me. Do something. There is still time. Act now.
I turned my head sideways and shrugged my shoulders,
a shudder invading me. That was a strange feeling. And I kept on walking.
|The Persistence of Sleep
and the Aim to Awaken
promised that awakening the machine would be a quick and easy process. Ive tried
observing the movements of the machine and constantly lapsed into inattention, and
attempted to contain the expression of mechanical negative pseudoemotions, only to
discover how readily it succumbs to irritation with others and wallows in self-pity.
Facing such unpleasant realities about the sleep of the machine may be difficult and
painful. Because the machine is very attached to its comfortable sleep, the primate brain
will try any number of strategies to avoid facing such uncomfortable truths.
Yet learning about the sleep of the machine can be a tool for awakening it.
Just observing the machine helps to strengthen the attention of the Being, and the act of
observing subtly alters that which is observed. Becoming willing to persist in the effort
to observe the machines movements, in spite of (or perhaps because of) repeated
lapses of attention, may itself be a part of the "popcorn" exercise. Perhaps
even the failures are an aspect of beginning work, for acknowledging them destroys any
remaining illusion that the machine is already awake. Simple as it sounds, to begin work,
it is necessary to first recognize the need for it. The more information is gathered about
the sleep of the machine, the stronger the aim to awaken it can become.
|What's not in the booksHe was so smart, yet he came from a broken home and was failing in
all his classes (except math and science, those were As). I told him: "What
gives? You will never get into college like that!" He said he wasnt going to
college, everything he wanted to know, he could find in a book, and he would take the time
to research it, and went so far as to say forget School, the Library is where the
knowledge is. I told him, without the paper degree from a University, nobody would hire
him. He said forget working for any company, he didnt need them. I told him he was
making a big mistake, look at me, nobody wants to hire me, I am just a laborer, my body
wont last forever.
And besides, Ill have you know, you are not a know
it all. There are some things that arent in a book, and not all the books tell the
whole story.Some of them lead you to a point, then drop you off, because the whole purpose
of a book is to entice, not give away years of schooling and research to get the whole
picture, for the mere price of a book.
I then reminded him of my
own experiences with the Book, The Mushroom Cultivator, by Paul Staments. I had a
signed copy at one time a long time ago. The book is riddled with clues, that must be
sifted through with a fine mesh to get the gold nuggets, and still, I found myself at the
San Francisco Mycological Society. I was called a Young Thomas Edison by one of the
members. I had a Professor say to me: "Where did you get that formula?" When I
told him trial and error, he clamed up. He knew my formula wasnt in a book, but
seemed quite shaken by the nature of my questions, and refused to speak to me further. One
member commented on how proud he was that I had come up with that idea, and shared some
secrets with me, that were not in a book.
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