Wednesday, January 30, 2008
On my pirch in the city,
I watch the world spin around.
On my city step,
I listen to the sound of Heaven and Hell,
And all that is forgotten,
The school life is like a daze, where you can lose yourself in books and social activities. A few steps out the door and the world still plays the game of "becoming," with everyone busily working on one thing or another. At times it seems silly to watch everyone buzz around like bees going somewhere. Going, going, always going - but where? And why? I follow nonetheless, for a delicious flower to suckle life from, the act of becoming. I wonder sometimes if this is our grand myth, this act of becoming. If I write, it is in that state of wonder. That subtle watching we are all capable of doing, the eye that sees a life unfold over the years, is the eye that can most dispassionately, yet most fully and completely observe the act of becoming, without becoming itself. More and more these days, there has been a sense of "watching" my life instead of becoming lost in the story. The habit crystallizes, will it shatter?
Play pretend for a little longer,
Let it unfurl most obviously,
So that I,
That little Witness,
can play Audience.
The show must go on!
Monday, January 28, 2008
I was just reading Alan Watts on the train today with my girlfriend, who we will call Siamese Dream. We were talking about how, no matter who you are reading, it seems that many of these teachers resonate with the same meaning, from Wilber, to Krishnamurti, to U.G. Krishnamurti, to Thich Nhat Hanh, to even Eckhart Tolle. Even those who disagree, who may have metaphysical or intellectual disparities, resonate the same understanding; that there is more than bickering, that there is a greater awareness, consciousness - or all pervading spirit in all things.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The first blog entry here, not so long ago (last fall) talked about the possibilities of the paranormal. I guess this is just a continuation. UFO's, crop circles, alien abduction, exorcisms; all of these things used to tickle my imagination. Don't get me wrong! They still do. It's just that they no longer captivate me for hours on end anymore. I remember finding a quiet place at the library in elementary school. Beside me lay a pile of UFO, alien, and bigfoot books. Isaac Asimov also remained close to my side as I learned about each planet, each solar system and the future of space travel. I'd often tell other 2nd graders horror stories, alien abduction accounts and warned them that spirits could be everywhere, so watch out! Naturally, I didn't have too many friends after scaring half of them off. Those who stuck with me also seemed to share a flare for adventure and mystery. But anyways, all of this is really just me rambling about how much the paranormal genre has permeated through my life.
Doug Bower and Dave Chorley made their crop circles using planks, rope, hats and wire as their only tools: using a four-foot-long plank attached to a rope, they easily created circles eight feet in diameter. The two men were able to make a 40-foot (12 m) circle in 15 minutes.
The phenomenon itself can't be discredited so easily, as weird evidence begins to pile up that just doesn't make sense conventionally. For instance, the amazing intricacy of the crop circles, with perfectly formed geometric shapes, suggest that a simple wooden plank would not do the trick. If you take a look at the first image in the blog, of the alien holding a disc up towards the viewer - this is a real crop circle! Appeared overnight. There is something bizarre about this one, as it appears to have a "3D" effect. Considering the scale and the detail in creating this, either the hoaxers have created a new and elaborate system in which every shape is created in perfect geometric harmony, or something equally as strange is going on. To add to the mystery, many of these detailed crop circles, when examined under a microscope, have shown signs of microwave energy. That's right, as if the plants were pushed down by a microwave blast. Bizarre, no? I'm trying to find the source for this information. I saw it on T.V. a few years ago, and more recently it was noted in Daniel Pinchbeck's "2012; The Return of Quetzalcoatl"
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The labeling power of psychology can be mishandled, not only by intention, but by the very nature of labels, diagnosis and categories themselves. On the other hand, the positive aspects of knowledge enable the "knower" to see into things that may have before been mystified. For instance, knowing the terminology of an organ and the technical knowledge to operate enables a surgeon to efficiently handle procedures. But, can this same type of approach be used for the treatment of the whole human being, beyond his or her physiological body? In other words, the classical psychological approach is to learn how to map out the mind like an organ, labeling each mental state, thought, emotion and experience to its appropriate category. The mind, abstractly, is a vast network of logical equations and variables, in which the psychologist, or psychiatrist maps out and diagnosis. Although well researched and carefully thought out through rigorous scientific investigation, it is only so useful. For, the inner experience of "who I am" is dramatically different than the objective operating table. To the "me" inside, the experience of self is dynamic, organic and very much alive. Every day we are flooded with emotions, ideas and experiences which call for an understanding of "innerness." So, to approach the human being as merely the "outer" organs in which the self is hidden within, like a ghost in the machine, automatically creates a gap between the psychologist and his patient. This distance is perhaps unnecessary, as the psychologist himself is a human being, with an "inner" too. Is it possible to thus use an inner science to compliment the outer? Perhaps it is an assumption of our time that, to be scientific one must view the world through steel microscopes, to reduce the world to "outers." This would leave the human being missing quite literally half of his being, and this forgotten "inner" is perhaps just as important as the "outer," for it animates existence with the experience of life, the mysterious awareness we all have. The body and brain, in this sense, is the seat of the soul, or the self which is the hidden observer within us all. Without this, we are merely empty bio bags without a self. In the medical world, such a description would be called brain-dead. What is trying to be emphasized here is the need for an integrated view of our inners and outers.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
"Psychologists with a slant to materialism therefore argue that mysticism is nothing more but sublimate sexuality and frustrated fleshliness, whereas the spiritists maintain that the love-imagery is nothing but allegory and symbolism never to be taken in its gross and animal sense. But is it not possible that both parties are right and wrong, and that the love of nature and the love of spirit are paths upon a circle which meet at their extremes? Perhaps the meeting is discovered only by those who follow both at once. Such a course seems impossible and inconsistent only if it can be held that love is a matter between alternatives, if, in other words, love is an exclusive attitude of mind which cleaves to on object and rejects all others. If so, it must be quite other than what is said to be God's own love, 'who maketh his sun to shine upon the evil and the good, and sendeth his rain upon the just and the unjust.' Love is surely a disposition of the heart which radiates on all sides like light."-
Monday, January 14, 2008
A: Why are you so sure that the absence my reason is the presence of yours? Are you sure that your interpretation is correct? Couldn't it be man's attempt to interpret the apparent void we came from? The mythic god in the bible is no different than the mythic deities of Ancient greece, in that they were both imagined to explain spiritual experiences and the world. Emerging from a patriarchal civilization and thus bearing such royal names such as "King of Kings," "Lord of Lords," with such honorary titles and reverence are common in Judeo-Christian culture. This made monarchal society reflected in their own view of the universe, kingly, divine and monotheistic. Is it any wonder that a culture ruled by a single, dominant male figure who is the king of all the realm, divinely appointed, would create a religion which also has a monarchy on top? This is not some ultimate truth, but a reflection of monarchal worldview. Other cultures of the east, north, south, shamanic, oriental - have dramatically different worldviews and their religious beliefs were effected in a dramatically different way.
If we must pose the question: What did all this come from, then? If not from God?
I would ask to first define which interpretation of God you have?
A monotheistic, biblical deity?
A non-dual, "Big-Mind?"
What interpretation, what level? What depth? To answer you directly,
I denounce the reality of the mythical, Biblical God
I reject the atheist vs. theist war of ideologies
I embrace the possibility of spirituality, but only question the interpretation of it by religious groups.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Another video. This one is from PBS, detailing the level of corruption that is going on in the current election... Thankfully, PBS is not owned by the major power holders in mainstream media, and bless them for it:
Antti explains this through an evolutionary perspective; our ancestors must have dealt with constant danger, always struggling for survival, whether we were fending of animals or being chased by prehistoric predators - the human brain developed a nighttime training ground in order to prepare us for the toils ahead. In theory, the brain uses emotions, particularly the negative ones, and traces them back to what caused the fear. It uses these memories to construct a hazardous scenario that we thus struggle through.
I do have a few problems with this theory. First and foremost, not all dreams are about mere survival. The author does mention this towards the end of the article, describing stunning scientific revelations while in dreams, or even the fact that Paul Mccartney heard the song Yesterday in his dream, woke up, and wrote it down.
It is because of experiences like this, and a variety of others that I feel that the "Dream School" theory is a partial truth.
For instance, I had been meditating consistently last summer, and at one point I actually began to meditate in a dream. It started out normally, and perhaps typical of the dreams mentioned in this article: Survival, every-day life. I was running through a mall trying to beat the clock. For what? Who knows. Physical objects confronted me. I jumped, leaped, ducked, darted through, eventually finding some small wing that lead outdoors. This was it. I looked at a clock to note the time, and then something profoundly different shifted the dream.
I left the mall and found myself in the woods. Breathing, relaxing, letting go, I suddenly found myself surrounded by animals. There was something unique about them though. I felt connected, as if I were a part of them, as if I were ingrained into the environment. A piece of a dynamic and organic unity. The "flowing" open and boundless state of consciousness began to pervade the dream. The forest was vivid, alive, always moving, and the animals began to communicate with me. At first, it was not in language, but emotion, basic thought, and simply "awareness" of each other. Then, the animals began to snarl, growl, and fight each other. I felt somewhat threatened, but the meditative state pervaded over the danger, leaving me relaxed and aware.
A small animal, perhaps a dear or large rodent, looked at me and began to speak, "There's no need to worry," it said, "You see how everything simply is, and this is true even in nature, you know. We are all simply being." I suddenly became aware of the "Witnessing" state described in meditation, but curiously I was aware of it in every animal, every tree, every rock in the forest. I understood this was what the animal meant.
Suddenly, a bear charged across a stream, directly at the animal that spoke to me. It simply looked up, calm, poised and in some mental sense, giving me the 'half smile' in Buddha pictures. "Even now," it said, as the bear came down on the animal and killed it. Throughout this apparent viciousness, there still was a calming, changeless, nameless presence. I awoke from the dream lucid and awake, and profoundly moved.
Dreams like this one convince me that the dreaming state has a multitude of purposes, each existing at different levels. The survival school scenarios I am sure are a part of the dreaming reality - the subsistence, the instinct. Going deeper, dreams appear to have an emotional aspect. They are also as Freud described, emotional-based, confrontation with issues and hidden desires. From instinct, to emotion, to ego. They are also spiritual, transcendent and mystical in purpose. A dynamic dance between our instinctual and spiritual nature, giving us lessons, training grounds and transcendent opportunities. They need not be reduced to mere "survival" school scenarios, but embraced and transcended.
As a side note, I'd be interested to hear what supporters of the Dream School theory would think about the effects of Iboga, a powerful african psychoactive. After taking this potent shamanic drug, users reported needing a mere few hours of sleep. Daniel Pinchbeck, in his book "Breaking Open the Head," explores this curious drug and its affects. He describes his own experience as a transformative one, likening it to years of psychoanalysis wrapped up in one evening. He reported needing little sleep, and little dreams for months afterward. Pinchbeck suggested this might have something to do with Iboga's balancing affect, somehow healing the rift between left and right brain hemispheres. I'd be very interested to learn more about this.
At any rate, this just goes to show the world of dreams has multiple levels of meaning we have barely began to touch. But what is more apparent now is quite striking: They touch each level of the human experience - from pre-personal, personal and transpersonal. In that sense, I can understand why Tibetan Dream Yoga has such an appeal. Dreaming life, like waking life, has the potential for mystical transformation
Friday, January 11, 2008
"I am not making this request in the expectation that a recount will significantly affect the number of votes that were cast on my behalf... Serious and credible reports, allegations, and rumors have surfaced in the past few days... It is imperative that these questions be addressed in the interests of public confidence in the integrity of the election process and the election machinery - not just in New Hampshire, but in every other state that conducts a primary election."
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
The One Place,
One question I must ask you is: Must it be a physical place, or can we start with the mind? In other words, I’d like to pose the idea that many of the major issues we are facing in today’s civilization begin inwardly, and not the other way around. This is not to deny many of the physical world problems; disasters, weather, disease, poverty, famine, etc. It’s only to acknowledge that perhaps humanity would be more prone to assisting the areas of the world that are in need of great help, if on the “inside” we were more prone to do so. It seems to me that there lacks a certain capacity for compassion. We are not sure of ourselves, and the world we live in is already so terrifying, that so many of us seem to be more interested in our own psychological security before anything else. There are varying degrees of this, from your neighbor buying a Hummer to military dictators slaughtering the innocent in the name of power and control. Although the gap between these two examples is great, inwardly – it might seem that they both stand in common ground.
We are terribly afraid. And let me propose this common phrase as the reason behind that fear: “We are afraid of the unknown.” If you really look at this phrase, you will see it is impossible to be true. Who can fear the unknown? If we don’t know what it is, how is it that we are afraid of it? It would seem that we do not fear what may lie in the darkness, but rather we conjure our imagination to create monsters in the darkness – and we mask the darkness with a boogey-man so that we at least have something labeled, known, squared away. Concepts help us, at a psychological level, control our reality. And control is safety. Fence by fence, wall by wall, we build fortresses of ideology in order to transform the world into a place we can feel secure. If our inward sphere of reality somehow became physical, we would see vast castles around individuals, cultures and people, all attempting to round everything up into the realm of the known. Come to think of it, if we look at our civilization today, this may not be so abstract after all.
But that just goes to show what I am trying to convey here – We crave and act upon anything and everything that allows us to feel secure with ourselves. And this, it seems, has been the driving force of civilization. The security of power, the security of ideology – war and politics, conquer and divide – these things have been churning the gears of our societal juggernaut for ages, and it seems there is no stopping it until it destroys itself.
What can we as individuals do, then, to help? Do we start at the grassroots, and work our way up? Do we help the poor, the needy, the hungry? Or do we engage the realm of ideologies and attempt to settle disputes and transcend idea-wars? I would argue that both are necessary, but must stem from one authentic part of ourselves – our compassion for the world, for all life. We must have it in us to lay down our own burden of issues, to face our own issues with compassion and boldness. There is no other way to bring about change that is lasting and ageless. This compassion itself invokes a higher state of consciousness, or level if you will. One in which the human being is no longer merely concerned with both physical and psychological subsistence. The capacity to connect with others, to open up, to listen, to understand human nature because they understand themselves. If we could only do this, we may begin to see major shifts in the way civilization handles its problems.
As much as we would like to say, the majority of the world is not doing this. Embracing this fact and accepting its reality is as vital as carrying out a mission to help the world – otherwise we are simply following yet another ideal, i.e. everyone is compassionate. Instead, we have to recognize everyone has the potential within them for compassion and wisdom. What we must do then, is to discover it in ourselves, and help others discover it too. We can do nothing more, nothing less than this. No change can be forced, and no revolution in its truest sense is done by any measure of aggression. In the end, it is the human being who must awaken, and it is a realization only he can achieve. We can merely point the way, help guide them as we guide ourselves to recognizing our true nature, our innermost potential. Ultimately it is not what we must do, but how we must be.
The action will flow naturally from the being. So many of us are trying to “become” greater or achieve something at an end point somewhere – but it is in the living, the being, between the end points that true life and vitality is. We must learn this playful awareness of the present, for by doing so a great psychological burden is dropped. We do not need to live in fortresses of security, in memories and ideals – for they will take us away from this ever-living and organic state of being. Instead, we must learn to slowly, surely let the castles crumble, and embrace the present.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Logic has constructed for us a rather perfect world of order. Where there is disorder? A sufficient understanding simply hasn't been discovered yet. Yet, the strange questionaire might ask us this: What happens when the mind is silent? There is no room for logic then. What is there when silence pervades? And perhaps, as a means to deepen our understanding of what it means to be quiet, we should attempt this. What is it to be utterly and profoundly quiet, as deeply so as the silence after the first snow of winter, of the ice cold plains of the arctic, or the deep quiet of a forest untouched by humanity except by your own breath?
Indeed, what good would such a quiet mind do?
Unfortunately, I must end this masquerade and reveal myself as the madman, the imposter. What this book will attempt to do, and hopefully is doing as you read these pages, is to openly play with your own concepts of reality. To lightly push and pull, untie the knots of preconceived notion so that you may also explore what it is to be human, what is to be without labels and conditions - what it is to roam freely in a land where the only fences are the ones we have built nail by driven nail. I invite you to explore further, with me, with all other readers who are intrigued by this notion. We are all too often caught in the humdrum of everyday life, of distractions, interests, falling in and out of our own awareness. What I propose with this book is absolutely nothing special, elitist, arrogant or idealistic in any way. I simply ask the reader to join me in self-awareness - to attempt to "just be," and see what may or may not come out of it. I write with this in mind, and this only. That being said, let us begin.
- Stream of Consciousness...
- Of Monkeys and Typewriters
- Paranormal Journal, Part 2
- It's Official!
- East Meets West; Psychology for A New Paradigm
- Along the old Temple Path
- "This Is It," Alan Watts on Integral
- Th-eism, Ath-eism, Trans-eism
- Manipulation of Media
- Dreams; From Myth, to Reduction, to Transcendence
- "Hacking Democracy"
- The Presidential Debates - A Review
- The One Place,
- On the State of Awareness
- ▼ January (15)