Friday, May 10, 2013

Volume VIII: Circumcise This

The preternatural visionary experience leaves many stones unturned, but what it reveals to us is unforgettable.   It is through a continual and hopefully lifelong excursion into the realms of the universal mind that we learn to see that which exists on another plane; that which cannot easily be explained by contemporary human science.  Only those who know, understand, and those who argue that it simply cannot be!  ... Do not know.  What is seen is not necessarily imagined and what is taught is not always true.  We mirror those whom we admire while regretfully allowing our own life to slip past us, smirking and showing us two heaven-bound fingers as it barrels toward freedom.  We slice and shoot up our children in the name of the status quo.  The collective We has a lot to glean from the conscious mind.  Unfortunately, it's always too busy flipping channels or going to the bank.

There is room for the mundane but it must occupy only a fraction of our lives.  We should laugh at its anal-retentive mediocrity.  We should show compassion for our own lack of spirit.  The whole earth is comprised of spirit (nature, life, magic, or whatever you would like to call it) as is the universe.  There is nothing more to worry about than mind itself.

Sounds simple...

Yet a life led this way, in the ironically titled "developed world," is met with scorn and avoidance.  The look, smell, sound, and taste of freedom is too rich for those whose psychic experiences ended when they were 4 years old.  Remember liberation?  Being unafraid?  Rolling down a hill on wheels or climbing a tree, daydreaming, laying in the grass envisioning characters in the sky?  Those experiences are not fallacy.  They are truth.  Those who forget and moreover, neglect to accept freedom as truth are no longer whole.  Evil exists only in those who disconnect from their natural state, one of compassion and gratitude.  To posit that freedom results in bad behaviour reveals a lack of sound mind.  True freedom is inherent, but tragically, it is easily unlearned.

Over the years I've spoken to many friends from a smattering of places in Haiti, Peru, Taiwan, Japan, the Czech republic, Iran, Russia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, local slums, reservations, and countless other places, "developed" or not.  Growing up in densely populated, over-financed North America, we experience the benefits of the melding population (yes, I meant to say "melding.")  We meet people from all over the world, making the earth seem small.  If a kid from Somalia can converse appreciatively with my perspective on Regent Park, then the "undeveloped world" cannot be so far away from our understanding as we like to believe.  Watching soldiers shoot neighbours in the head in front of your quivering family in the desert is horrific, though speaking as a humanitarian, not too far a cry from living in an urban slum and witnessing multiple murders down there.  The difference lies in whether or not these crimes go unnoticed, and how often they occur.

Poverty only exists without land and water.  War is a one-way ticket to hell.

The gunshots I heard as a child were met with the following sober parental response:  "Calm down. DON'T RUN."  The woman I saw across the street being strangled by her husband started wailing, then I knew she was still okay.  The police eventually showed up, and she survived a while longer.  People run screaming down city streets chasing each other with cleavers.  Kids with whom I went to high school stabbed each other on school grounds.  More still died of so-called preventable diseases.  Men murder perfect strangers on buses and eat them, or mail their body parts to elementary schools.  If actions this violent occur in every developed nation, without regard for its government and connected police and social services, then we are told they're human nature.  In countries where oil and natural resources are plentiful, the same actions are deemed necessary for monetary gain by the instigators of war.

We love money.  Cherishing it over the value of natural human kindness and peace, we lose our happiness.  We become hollow.  Met with the utmost adversity, most people will gasp and toil and do whatever it takes to survive.  Certainly, some will fight and kill, but most will simply strive and starve.

A life without adversity leaves too much room in the imagination for evil.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Volume VIII: Smack (Of Insincerity)

That cliche about imitation and flattery is true enough - if you find solace in seeing those who look up to you merely ape your every move.  There is a strange beauty in finding out that you share crucial qualities with another human; this romance is unrelenting and cannot be forced into existence.  It requires years of singular thought and psychically shared experiences, and typically only occurs between people who are subconsciously working toward a common goal.  Despite its rare exquisiteness this compatibility has been bastardized by generations of souls who insist on duplicating what they see and hear before them.

This is a foolhardy way to ensure that you will never be happy.

Rarely do these people look within themselves for answers or ideas, for when they peer within, the mundane horror that awaits them repels them back into the ease of a photocopied reality.  A digitally rendered subsistence that serves as a pale substitute of the original, enlivened human form. These folks simply select somebody to imitate, then roll with that for as long as it serves them.  There is at least one obvious problem with this.  It smacks of insincerity.  What's the good in pretending to know, feel, hear, or see the world through somebody else's lens?  To learn, surely, there is potential.  But the imitators - who, unsurprisingly are often young - do not climb so far out on a limb truly to experience the world the way their idols have done before them:  alone.  Independent.  No scapegoats, safety nets, government grants or institutions around to foster the herd mentality.

Over the course of three decades of insistent hounding by thoughtless imitators, I've learned a lot and I'm ready to share.  If this doesn't sound relatable to you then this isn't intended for you to read.

Of course, I speak most expertly from the roles of performer, musician, and writer.  These are my gifts and my collective curse (that which I did not choose with the aid of a guidance counsellor).  This life chose me.  It plucked me out of a scholarly, profoundly lonely adolescence like a typical
Hollywood alien abduction sequence.  I've worked dozens of jobs, each more challenging than the one before, solely to fund my burgeoning presence as a poet and a singer.  The shaman in me is the drummer, the spiritual warrior.  I could never have chosen these experiences, so from my perspective I see little merit in those who force themselves to be someone they are not.

It would be humbly fulfilling to see those who are inspired by me (or others around them) embark on a unique journey sparked by their own deeply internalized memories.  Instead, I watch them copy my hairstyle and smile kindly as they seek approval.   I encourage them to take a much closer look at themselves.  Those of us who constantly strive to develop our strength as individuals are consistently let down by the imitators who attempt to replicate our appearances, names, ideologies, works of art, and most laughably, our experiences.  Few feelings rival the intense gut-rot of realizing you've been used for selfish gain, only to be thrown away, or stored for later use.  Instead of marvelling in unison at our similarities, we silently exploit or find ourselves polluted by misconduct.

Absolutely no one is completely original once they've taken their first breath.  I do believe, though, that we are all unique enough to discover within ourselves at least one thing we're convinced is unlike any other.  Whether or not this is correct is immaterial.  It is this conscious commitment to re-birth that keeps the world spinning.

It's endlessly burdensome to try and be original.  It is quite likely the hardest thing you will ever achieve in this life, and that's exactly what turns off so many people.  Young people, particularly in this newly impotent digital social climate, feel entitled to co-opt whatever identity suits their current fancy.  Evidently, their already abundant insecurities are only brought further forth into the light by their insistent emulation.  They wait and watch from behind an imaginary curtain to see how those cooler, tougher, older, and more powerful than themselves live their lives.  Then they make themselves cardboard cut-outs of their mentors.  No good teacher is as fulfilled by his students' robotic recitations as their stunning individual intellectual transformations.

An artist, in her youth, floats identity-less in a sea of tempting images, sounds, and ideas, but refuses to adopt any one "look" or behaviour that is not deeply and sincerely her own.  In my youth, I didn't rush out and try to duplicate every cool thing I saw.  I revelled in each luscious detail and let the majesty of another human life propel me deeper into unknown realms of solitary discovery.  Humble, I suffered alone through my awkwardness.  No outfit, tattoo, performance aesthetic, stage name, diet, or attitude is convincing to an artist unless the person behind the facade has had the experiences to back it up.  No one is innocent of emulation or idol worship.  Many of us know, however, that this is not the eye of the soul, but rather a mirror held up backside toward our face, reflecting an idealized two-dimensional image back at its unwitting owner.  Meanwhile, the imitator stares perpetually at his own blank slate.

Women are intense and powerful beings.  We all know this.  Unfortunately, their ancient knowledge is too often buried by contemporary insecurity.  Women often ask me how I eat in an effort to improve their own appearances.  They're initially intrigued and quickly disappointed by the simplicity of my response.  I eat to live.  I eat what is simple, ethical, cheap, healthy, and readily available.  My appearance and my diet have no conscious relation to one another.  I do not "work out" for the sake of it but expel thousands of genetic demons through the intuitive creation of tribal rhythms.  No workout video would ever suffice.  Seven to ten years of vigorous, heart-wrenching and mind-altering self-directed training is not at all appealing the self-indulgent few who simply starve themselves to try and "look more like you."

Many of us have met somebody who meets us, takes an instant liking to us (whether or not the feeling is mutual), then shows up the next day dressed like us, or unexpectedly takes up one of our hobbies.  Often the look and the act are short-lived, but the resonance of these lapses in character might last a lifetime.

Exploration into challenging new frontiers is the sincerest form of flattery.  Everything else is just distraction from the truth.  My mentors teach me that life can always be more difficult.   They tell me to enjoy the sanctity of every breath.  They show me that my own decades of suffering through traumatic experiences like accidents, illness, and proximity to violence and death are not unique.  Only the love that I create out of my inherent and ancient connection to truth presents something to the world worth showing.

Take a piece here or there, and it'll taste good until you realize that you've been eating someone else's pie.  Might your own not taste even sweeter?

Admittedly some good does eventually come of all the replication:  it is the stark implication that we should have just found our own way.  A minimal level of emotional security paves the realization that no one can be duplicated, no matter what science predicts, insists, or intends.  There is simply no use in trying!  How many people do you know who "used to be vegetarian" because they wanted to impress a girl, or "used to smoke pot" because their old roommates did?  Or those who "used to march in protests" to get closer to an unattainable crush, or "used to be in a rock band" because it made them feel cooler than the lawyer or marketing executive they would inevitably become?  What about the "friends" who refuse to support your life's work because it might put a dent in their already inscrutable reputation?  There's no love in that kind of behaviour.  I have always supported the passionate endeavours of friends, acquaintances, and strangers - because I am confident in the good in myself.

If you make a permanent life change to meet a quota of short-sighted flights of fancy, those of us who don't live life solely for our own enjoyment will see right through your temporary guise.  Usually, those who allow themselves to replicate aspects of my outward persona are embarrassed by the results.  They feel the shame of a small child with her hand in the cookie jar, and I never hear from them again.   I do rest assured that one day they will have learned this vital lesson:


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Volume VII: Nobody's Daughter

Forgive and forget is not such a bad way to live, though the forgetting part is damn near
impossible at times. I forgave a lot of bad people for many unpleasant things, but I
won't soon erase them from my mind entirely. In moments of clarity and pure comprehension,
I will see the memories pass by me. Letting them pass without interruption is the key.

Fortunately, not only are there as many good thoughts as bad - there are more! So I get
to enjoy a bit of happiness whenever they drift past. Sure, meditation is difficult
in congested urban dwellings but I'm willing to keep at it as long as I continue to see
results. That's the crucial point so many would-be ascetics propose: "Where's the payoff?"

Of course, individual results will always, always vary widely, but individuals who choose
to allow their minds to open wide - those who forego to ego altogether and peer into other
dimensions - will notice blatantly universal effects. So that's how this all works.
You either live for yourself, for your family and close friends and neighbours and coworkers,
or you live for the universe. The cosmos. The biggest picture. Some people seem
successfully to accomplish both, though I imagine it requires diligence and a depth of
character most of us have seen but once in our lives...if that. The strength it takes to
be concerned with the minutae of modern living, with the epic distraction of human
interaction, in itself is impressive. Set on top of that the willingess to devote great
thoughtful energy to to wellness of an entire cosmos (every universe) and you have one
ready and able individual whose presence in your life is not something to be taken for
granted. Such people, I imagine, lose a lot of energy through their daily
audience with the conciousness of the masses. They are left drained. squeezed dry.

And then you, being all too human, ask them for more. You wonder why they don't have
the energy to mount a short flight of stairs - let alone look you in the eyes. You
ask them if anything is wrong, and they tell you, "No, I'm just doing my thing."
You (the pronoun that represents all of humanity) tell them what you would like them
to do repeatedly. You would like them to be normal. You'd prefer if they smiled
and watched TV. You desperately just want to relate. You wish they'd just act like
you imagined they would; like they used to. You never got a chance to get to know them
before they all but disappeared into another world.

Perhaps there are some compromises to be made. Maybe the quiet soul-searching types
could open up a bit of their soul and teach more of those around them what it is
they are getting up to inside. And by the same rote, the fun-loving distracting types
might settle down, let go of the idly commercial chatter and show everybody that they,
too, can be pensive and wish to be enlightened. That's a tall task for both parties
and I wouldn't expect to see a cure in relations immediately - but, who knows?
Humans have a wonderful capacity to surprise one another. So long as everyone keeps
it on the good side of their brain, I can foresee a whole lot of laughter and

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Volume VII: You Know That I Know

you know that i know 
that what i asked of you 
is not in the cards
in this life or any other
but none of us has been keen enough 
to say as much
as the words sneaked out of my mouth and ink
i saw them as truth
as i always do
and you saw them as an opportunity 
just like so many others
and you passed it on by
leaving those letters hanging on a wire
letting those ideas dissolve into the ether
where the molecules are now polarized
stored in the presence of air
ethers form explosive peroxides
here now i stand and watch them go off
while you sit and stew in alkaline water
the shrapnel may be invisible to the eye
but i can feel it in my skin
and here we are again
right back over 
where we began
 i am anew
and you are still you
skin is still skin
our feet wrapped in sin.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Volume VII: Miss Demeanor

Never before in all my days have I shed so many tears upon leaving a place.   The magic, the entities, the sloping sky.  Months before I had realized that I am meant to live and rest by the sea.  Perhaps by one particular sea.  Perhaps in one particular place.  And then, abiding by a larger wave of motion, I left.  The air was fresh and moist and musical.  Everything was always wet, slick with atmosphere, slipping into the cove one inch at a time.  An extra sense became something beyond extra-sensory.  One could see through the darkness into a very potent reflective light.  Dark became peaceful;  days became light.  The heaviness of spirit that I had experienced for three decades dissolved into a somewhat resigned happiness.   'Twas not resigned in a negative sense; rather, it was the acceptance of an inevitable truth. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Volume VI: Wayside

i climbed up the south-east side of the hill and the moon was full and bright.  i felt calm, a oneness with the full moon and the metallic clouds and the softly singing night birds as i realized that everyone to whom i had reached out a hand had flown away faster than those very same birds upon hearing a rustling in the bushes.  everyone but the one in hand, the bugs in the air and on my skin, the late-summer wind.  they all ran.  i opened up my home and my heart to them all and they scrambled away as quickly as they could for fear of never living it down.  meanwhile, miles away, there are hundreds of people who love me and shy away in very much the same manner, if only temporarily.  it seems those who have something to lose are the first to go; those who proclaim to have nothing are willing to see this thing through; to take a chance on me.  the original man with nothing to lose still lives and loves that way.  he now has a whole lot to lose but he's not gonna lose any of it because he doesn't let his fear outweigh his passion for adventurous spiritual awakening.  it's not a harmful thing, the spirit; rather, it is the very core of what we feel each day.  give it any name you want and it's still there, convincing you to run or rest or jump off the rocks into the sea, never to breathe again.  i will not ask again, i will not try again, i will not go against, i will not knock on doors i've touched before.  it's easy to tell oneself these things and to believe them. it's difficult to see them through without determination, my middle name.  i have made many mistakes but i am not regretful for most of them.  i do not  like hurting people and helping them is just so much more difficult.  it's a life's work.

if you feel that hurt in your heart and you know you're going against your own deepest will then it's time to turn around.

sit first, and listen to your thoughts without judgement, then slowly stand up, continue to breathe deeply, and take a few steps in the right direction.

i sat on a stone near the sky and remembered my dream.  everyone who's passed me by and continued playing their own game reminds me of the bear on that island.  he's out having fun, splashing around and drawing a crowd.  i'm watching him from a mile away, behind glass, lovingly confined with my own art and life.  he's happy on his own.  one of my sole regrets is that i interrupted his play.  we exist in different dimensions.  i crawl effortlessly between the two but nobody ever crawls back through with me.

except the one in hand, the bugs in the air, the late-summer wind.
they break through.
they are not afraid.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Volume VI: He

he heals and cooks and strums and wails 
and cleans and strokes and leans and licks 
and rolls and taps and drives and feeds 
and sings and mounts and glides and swims 
and rides and climbs and picks and plucks 
and loves and lives and soars and gives