Saturday, May 31, 2008


Among the current crop of three brained beings that make their way across the surface of this ball of flying mud that we currently call home, "understanding" has become the repetition of phrases, the sentence that ends it all by saying it, and saying it in such a way that nothing more need be said. Once such a statement has been spoken, we can sit back and admire it, rolling it around our tongue like a piece of gum that quickly loses its flavor, and say "oh so true", "it is the truth", "now we know it", "and so it is". And in this clear sense of passive satisfaction we can then rest and press our heavy bodies onto the cold floor, let them sink down and push against the unmovable soil that forms the background and the foundation, slide down to the lowest place that we can reach, and then finally say clearly: "I have understood." Feel proud. Feel happy. Write books. Give speeches. Teach, conduct, determine, judge and repeat. Rejoice in the pleasure of your final understanding and plod on with it, like a heavy backpack full of books carried along a sunny beach.
But True Understanding is not heavy, it does not hold the form and sink into fog and rock and endless finality. True Understanding does not pull upon the brakes and bring the effort to a halt, sighing with relief that we have reached the final goal post, that we have crossed the finish line and now arrived at our destination, gasping for breath as we relish our achievement and rest on the wet grass, looking up at the boundless sky.
True Understanding will lift and not press, it will expand and not pull in, it will raise you like a bird, letting you drop away the pressure of so much baggage, so much mass, carried in tiny pockets of linguistic certainty, mathematically digital categories that divide all perception into clearly defined holes and boxes and stacks and files.
Leave the filing to the accountants! Let them have their final balance, their median measurements, their clear definitions and matching totals. Let True Understanding raise you away from the tendrils that pull you back and let it push you up, high, higher, ever higher. And as you rise, forget all claims of firmness, all clear statements of knowledge, all lines that cut and walls that divide.
Let True Understanding become the wings by which you climb ever higher, into subtler and more rarified chambers, where the old words that you had one day clung to become like slippery drops of golden nectar, splashing into black pools of divine tears, fountains of sperm and menstrual blood, all coming together to form a whirlwind of ferocious life, a hurricane of Eternally Unbalanced Glory, away from the tombstones of conclusion, away from the upright banners of final discovery.
In your quest for True Understanding, beware of the Answers. They are death traps placed on the secret path to fool the innocent traveler and the unwary adventurer. Hold onto the questions, and march forward through fire and water and air and earth, through the treacherous twilight landscape of the Labyrinth, through the nightmares of Illusion and the scathing brightness of the Real. Let the effort and the time and the Work and the brilliance coat the questions with unknown metals, indescribable flowers, vibrant color, cutting sound, ever more subtle substances of unknown origin and unknowable destination. Let the questions themselves coalesce into tissue that will sprout the tendrils that will open to texture and skin and cartilage that will emerge as light, as the transdimensional feathers that will extend out from your shoulder blades and lift you into the Endless Night of True Understanding. Brush off the doubts and certainties like mosquitoes that fade away and die as you reach the upper atmospheric heights. Leave the solid vessel behind and fly naked into the endless expanse of Outer Chaos.
Look around you and ask:
Where is my knowledge?
Where is my understanding?
Don’t answer.
Don’t make a move.
Just feel the rising heat and pain and anxiety and wonder.
Just feel the flash of naked unfathomable truth.
Welcome it as your friend, the new friend that will take you to distant places you have never been.
Leave behind your heavy bags and prepare for flight.

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