Monday, March 31, 2008

Last Call

We come from the inky hot depths. We have risen from the fetid darkness, nourished by it, drawing our sustenance up through twisted veins. We are of the eternal silence. Our first rites were practiced before the human race was infected with the disease of language, in caves, embedded in the womb of the earth.

We were of the She bear. We were of the poisoned claw. We long still to dance in the old way, in the dance that has no steps, bodies moving where and how bodies seek to move free of exhibitionist calculation. We yearn to sing the songs that rise up with a growl and defy the harmonic scale revered in the west, only touching upon it when it is wrung from our hearts, but never because it is music. We would speak to you without words.

You have felt this communication when in a state between sleeping and waking, afraid to open your eyes and see what is, yet already too aware that you have been asleep to return to slumber. Our embrace has been the hot breath of the desert and the sting of the scorpion. You have known our scent when horror or shock rendered your social beast momentarily docile and you felt that something inevitable was upon you.

Every moment that you live and breathe is stolen, borrowed from our mother, death. You shrank from her fierce countenance and embraced the sickness, the weakness, the watered down consciousness. But now and then you will almost recall that you too will meet her again, and if you wasted your time among the living you will have nothing with which to repay her. Her only course will be to devour you.

Know that you will be ripped limb from heart. Know that your heart will feed a thousand hungry demons if you have not mastered it. If you cannot make it grow wings so that it will fly from the gaping mouths, they will dine on all that ever might have been of you. The same one that set you into motion will stop you dead in your tracks. Like a clock, she starts to tick and every moment is an opportunity granted to you, but if you have laid your body down in docile complacency and forgotten the song that is not music and the dance without steps, when the tick-tock groans to a final stop and your hear the shout of "Last call!", you will return what you borrowed plus interest.

The place and time to grow wings is here and now. This is the only time allotted to you. Use that heart, that raw kernel veiled in the poisoned mechanics of the social mechanical beast. It is connected by pulsing threads to all the emotion that could ever never be, to the great burning grinding sea of naught and never, to the real you, the only you that can ever be, the you that may outlast the tick-tock of all clocks.

Twirl like a dervish then to outrun the lie of the word. Move faster than the word and the reign of the lying God. Soar on the raging sea of emotion like the long lost but never forgotten albatross. Out, out where none dare to go, into the storm where Set rages, separating the warrior from the weak, the grain from the dune. Enter his domain reserved for things that speak through legend, cryptids that may be or may have been, but only in the storm where the disease is blown and burned away.

Meet these mythological beasts, the Salawa, the Phoenix, the Adam Kadmon, and try to guess which one you might have been had you but reached through the looking glass. You, with your ancient reptilian brain must learn to fly, rise to a stature that does not exist in the domain you once inhabited. You will not be as you are now when old mother comes to collect. If you worked in this moment to burst your heart and destroy the old temple so that you may rise from the ash, then you are master of your own death, and what new shape you made to inhabit you can keep. But for you who thought that you could hide, you will be absolved of that sin and all others when you are torn limb from heart and wholly devoured.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Completing the Octave

The spectrum of vibrations, in the Universe as we experience it, takes the shape of a great seemingly endless spiral. With every complete turn of this spiral, you arrive at the same point, only higher or lower by a level. In music, these repeated points of reference are known as Octaves.
In Western Music, and in several other traditions as well, this circular octave is divided into seven notes. The first basic note is counted as 1, then you move up from 2 through 7… when you arrive at 8 you have come full circle and you are back at 1. Thus this is known as an Octave.
These 7 notes don’t proceed in equally measured steps. They have a distinct shape that features two "intervals" where the rate of movement slows down (the distance between the notes is shorter, so less distance is traveled in the same amount of time). During these 2 "intervals", the process may deviate or stop altogether. The slow down is a kind of magnetic obstacle that is inherent in the very movement of vibrations, no matter where they occur or what is their source.
We apply this special esoteric theory in a very practical way. A simple full octave is the space between two distinct points: the setting of a particular goal and its accomplishment. Between those two points there is a great chasm. The progress between the two points is marked with two "intervals", and during these two "intervals", you may forget your original goal, shift slightly away from it or change course altogether. Knowing that these intervals are coming is a great advantage in moving through them. To deal with these "intervals" is a real skill, an invisible ability that can have very visible results.
The way to start working on this idea is to set very small and simple goals for yourself. Ideally, these will be so simple that there will be no way that your machine won’t be able to accomplish them. To begin with, these goals may seem to have to relation to your actual work, but this is of course a mistake. As you progress in your work on self, you will come to realize that every single thing you do is relevant to your work. There is literally no place to run or hide once you start moving up the Ladder.
Once you have set yourself a very simple goal, your job, besides the actual completion of the goal, will be to observe the intervals. In a small goal, they can be very subtle but they will be there. Notice the shifts of energy within you and around you. Notice your thoughts and emotions. Notice the shifts in the focus of your attention. Notice influences coming in from outside and altering the process.
One of the intervals will be a bit before the halfway point. The second interval will be right before the final completion. Take careful notes of your observations. Be as specific as possible. Don’t be vague in your notes. The more specific they are, so specific that these notes may only be comprehensible to you, the more helpful they will be to you.
You should know that the general mechanical tendency of the Universe around you is to deviate at these intervals. By refusing to do so, you are literally moving against a Universal force that is all around you. This is not easy. You will need help. If you picture these two big obstacles as two huge rocks on the road, then you can see that you will need dynamite, a shock that will push them aside. Eventually you may learn how to produce these shocks yourself, but to begin with, you will need somebody to provide them for you. This means that you need a guide. Someone that has done this before you. In an age of individuality and self sufficiency this may seem a step backwards. It isn’t. To truly become free you will have to surrender your false freedom, the illusion of individual freedom that masks a mechanical existence.
The tendency to deviate at the intervals is so strong that without an outside observer it will happen without you noticing. If it happens often enough, before you know it, you will be back in a pure sleeping state, without any concept of what you were trying to do with these ideas. It may take a very long time to come back from that.
Picture a magical path in a dark forest. You start from a place where you imagine an arrival point, then you step into the forest and start to travel. You will need a guide. You will need tools. You will need energy. You will need courage. If you manage to overcome the obstacles in your path, you will arrive at your set destination. If you don’t, you may find yourself at the point where you started. In either case, you begin again. You travel the same path, now with a bit more experience. Eventually it will become clear that the path itself is the destination, a snake that eats its own tail and that you are slowly bringing back to life through your efforts.

Know, Voyager, that your
Work in Time
has an
Eternal Reverberation.

Learn to complete the Octave.
Bring the Shapeshifting Nothingness
from the World of Imagination
to the World of the Real.
One step at a time.
One octave at a time.

Experiment: Finding Your Marbles

Obtain 24 marbles and two jars of equal proportion. Both jars must be large enough to contain all 24 marbles. Place all of the marbles in one jar. Label this jar "potential". Label the second jar "actual". Each day move one marble from the jar labeled "potential" to the jar labeled "actual". If you miss a day, empty the contents of the "actual" jar back into the "potential" jar. Keep track of the number of marbles you accumulate in the "actual" before you "break" by missing a day. Continue the experiment until you have managed to move all 24 marbles from the "potential" to the "actual" jar.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

In The World

There are a thousand different ways of doing The Work. There is no one way that is the best for everyone. Different approaches will work best for different people in different situations. Anyone who tells you differently is a fool and probably a dangerous fool.
There are many traditions that require complete renunciation from the world and all things of it. In these traditions, you would retire from ordinary life into a monastery or the equivalent and dedicate your life to the Work away from the daily struggles of the human world. You would then dress a certain way that signifies your new status in society (a "monk" or similar), you would live according to certain predetermined rules, you would follow a predetermined daily schedule and you would have no access to outside influences (or, at least, very little). The advantage of this approach is that it sends a very clear message to the machine. "Now you are working on something different. Now you are not like the others." And others will see that difference in your machine as well and they will treat you differently.
We don’t work this way. We do Otherwise. We live our lives as normal human beings. We have a job, we go out shopping, we dress like anyone else in our society dresses (or pretty close), we don’t use any symbols or special adornments that would signify that we are in some kind of spiritual quest, we associate with all kinds of people and conduct business as usual. Our work is deep inside ourselves and invisible to sleeping eyes. Only the people that we work with directly will know that something else is going on. To anyone else we may be artists, programmers, musicians, office assistants, cooks, retail workers, babysitters. Once in a while, by sheer accident, they may notice something unusual is happening but they will forget it as quickly as it came through and we will do nothing to remind them. Our Work must remain invisible.
Instead of stepping away from the world, we use the world as our resource. The human world, the world of daily stress, sudden excitement, seductive trinkets, powerful temptations… all of it becomes an endless fountain of raw material to work with. Every day is a new obstacle course for you to develop your abilities. You can remain unidentified in a mountain retreat surrounded by friendly smiling people but can you maintain that same unidentified state when your landlord is angrily asking for the rent, or your friend is angry at you for something you didn’t do? Each day will present a new slate for you to work with. Whatever is on that slate, that is what you have to work with. There is no point in saying: "I would self remember if only they weren’t doing construction outside my door…" or "I would practice controlling my negative emotions if that person hadn’t just crossed the line when they insulted my family…". If you are truly dedicated to your Work, you will see in each of these obstacles a golden opportunity. Only when you learn to do that, can you truly say that the world is your teacher, and mean it.
One special obstacle in this path is that your machine needs to remember what it’s doing even though this work is not visible to anyone around it or even to itself. You don’t wear special robes, people don’t treat you differently or make special assumptions about you, you only get the respect you earn on an individual basis, you are not protected from the temptations and seductions of the world (and to make things worse, these will become stronger and more pronounced as your energy and perception increases.). You have to engrave within you, in your innermost core, the sacred mantram:

I AM IN THE WORLD BUT I AM NOT OF THE WORLD

We don’t fall for the seductions of the world. We don’t crave power or money, we are not willing to sacrifice our work for these limited rewards. We don’t fall for quick sex or sentimental relationships, we are not willing to settle for a faded image of Real Tantric Love. We don’t struggle for security, we will do what is necessary to maintain our bodies and our families intact but we won’t trade in our basic energies and purpose for a life of safety.
But we don’t reject the world either. We don’t look down at the people around us for not doing what we are doing. We ultimately don’t know what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. We maintain an open attitude towards the surprise of the Other that hides behind every corner. We are immersed in the infinite creation of the Sun Absolute and we relish its many colored chaos. Every sound, every touch, every frozen eternal vision of reality becomes a priceless gift from beyond the walls of our consciousness… if we are open and paying attention.
As individuals and as a work group we are in the midst of a great voyage through the Labyrinth aboard a ship of subtle tendrils of light. Look into the ship and protect it. But look out to the endless ocean as well and put out your fishing lines. In your great Voyage across the Seven Seas, you may find great treasures protected by fearsome monsters, but don’t forget to stand and smell the ocean air and feel the moist breeze in your hair. In these almost intangible moments, you may find the greatest treasure of all.

Experiment – On The Bus

Board a crowded bus or train.Once seated, invoke your presence. To aid you in this, place your attention on your entire body including the empty space three inches outside the skin. Keep your eyes open and seeing but preserve your attention to self.Feel that you are in a space all your own, the interests and psychic activity of the others on board the vessel should not intrude. You prevent them from intruding by simply keeping your attention on self rather than placing it wholly on them. It is okay to look at and perceive them, just remember yourself at the same time.If you find that you have gotten caught up in a thought of one kind or another, simply bring your attention back to your own body. Keep track of the frequency with which you completely forget yourself.Stay onboard for approximately 15 minutes before getting off. Repeat the entire experiment during the return voyage.Write down your observations for future reference.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Setting the Alarm

At night, as you lay down on your bed, ready to rest, there is a very smooth transition that occurs between your "waking" consciousness and the land of dreams. One moment you are thinking of the day, of things that happened and should have happened and could have happened and suddenly… you are not there anymore. The world is strange, things follow other each in non-logical patterns and strange visual associations. Every once in a while, your regular consciousness may pop back up, as you rearrange yourself on the bed, as you hold your partner, as you scratch your arm… then back down you go into the raw world of the subconscious.
In the morning, you may be able to wake up naturally, with the light of the sun in your eyes and the sound of roosters at dawn. But you may also encounter trouble. Your "sleeping self" might want to continue its slumber, the bed just feels too good, and your regular "I" might have trouble taking control enough to get you up. In that case, an alarm clock is very useful. A loud ring at a certain time will be sure to snap you back to your own self. It will not only remind you of who you are, where you are and what time it is. It will also remind you of the "you" that set the alarm and why it did it.
Practically every word and sentence in the previous paragraph applies to our work with awakening the machine. You may find yourself in spaces of light awakening, where you are able to study the ideas, work with yourself or with a group, perform magickal actions, create… but when you least expect it, precisely when you are not looking (inwards), your machine will fall right back into sleep.
And once it falls, it may take weeks, months or even years before you will manage to wake it up again. The same resistance will be there. Sleep is comfortable. It feels good for the machine to be asleep. It can indulge in all kinds of recurring habits. It can allow itself the burning pleasure of physical, emotional and intellectual catharsis. It can drift away the hours without a care. Or it can shake itself into raging frenzies about any little concern. It can forget its deep responsibility and wallow in its simulacrum of Life.
The Work can be painful, very uncomfortable, even hurtful to the machine. So it has no reason at all to want it. It may have imagined that doing the Work would make it more desirable, more powerful, more comfortable, but once the real Work begins, it will soon realize that there is a lot of hardship involved and it will seek its former sleeping state as quickly as possible and for as long as possible. At that point, the machine will create strategies to pull you away from any kind of Work, some of them based on ingrained habits and some of them stratagems that will mask themselves as a kind of false work. All of this will make it harder and harder to pull the machine out of its sleeping state.
One strategy that we can implement to counteract the multiple strategies of the machine is to set alarm clocks. You can set yourself up for something to happen in the future, an event or a specific action. This event will not only push the machine towards wakefulness but, even more importantly, it will remind you ("you" as Being) of why you wanted to wake up in the first place. Once reminded, you will have a lot more energy and momentum to accomplish the process of pulling the machine out of its slumber.
Approach the work with the machine as you would approach teaching a little child about music or art. You have to be consistent and disciplined, but you can’t be too harsh or demanding or you might actually kill the machine’s spirit. You have to find a way to be gently disciplined. Give little rewards when the machine works with you, little harmless things that will keep it happy but not hurt its ability to function. Give it a little time to breathe. But set a clear reminder so that you can snap back to attention when needed.
One alarm clock is not enough. After a while, the machine will figure out what you are doing and devise a way to subvert it. Each time you find yourself in a slightly awakened space, set new alarm clocks for yourself. Be very creative. Don’t make them too challenging, but make sure you put something in them that will act as a clear reminder. Let them be a call from the Other that is the real You to the Me that is just Imagination. Like little grains of rice, if you leave them behind you in the forest, they will lead you back home.

Experiment: Eleven Eleven

This is an experiment to be carried out for the duration of one week.Each day at either 11:11 a.m. or 11:11 p.m. remember to look at the palm of your dominant hand. Set an alarm that will go off at this time to remind you.Gaze at your palm with the full force of your attention for at least one whole minute. Observe every minute detail; the lines and creases, the size, the shape, and color of it.As you look upon it, feel as if it is an entity all of its own, that it has its own life. Imagine that your hand has come alive and it is observing you. It has been waiting for you to notice it. Caress your hand with your gaze employing the same attention you would bestow upon the face of your immortal beloved.At 11:12 return to whatever activities engaged you prior to this one.Attempt to remember to do this each day for seven days. Keep track of any days upon which you forget to conduct the experiment

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Negative Emotions

When we first got interested in these ideas, it may have begun with an intellectual action. Maybe you read a book or a page on the Internet, maybe you heard about this from someone else, maybe you saw a movie… something came in, a "poisoned" impression that set the wheels of your intellect turning. Maybe your Being responded from deep within (sensing the presence of the Other calling you to the Waking State) but the manifestation of it was probably mostly intellectual.
Very often, what begins as intellectual may stay as intellectual and never move from there. You may read about this now, think about it, think that there is some truth in it, think about doing something, talk to others about it, think some more… years later you may still be thinking that it would be a good idea to do something and maybe you should think about what to do. At that point, maybe you will find another book to read, someone else to talk to or another movie to watch.
If you get past that stage, you may actually make a move. You may go to a place where these ideas are taught, you may start to try some exercises, you may learn some Yoga, you may learn to twirl. At that point a new center has entered the picture: your moving center, the part of you which actually makes the body function, shift from place to place, dance, curl up in a little ball and so on. When you shift from the intellectual center to the moving center, something crucial has happened. The weight of your relationship to these ideas has become manifested in the physical world and, through this manifestation, it can start to function. This stage may last a long time as well.
At some point, through your work on the Attention and Presence and your conscious efforts of self remembering, the weight of your work will transfer to the Emotional Center. It is at this point that the Real Work begins. Everything else that came before is a preparation. Once you start to work directly with your emotions, the Work has become Real and, with that, come more responsibilities and more danger.
One of our primary forms of energetic waste is through the manifestation of negative emotions. Here we will define "negative" not as "bad" or "immoral" but as flowing outwards into direction-less dispersal, without any conscious purpose. Any emotion that disperses energy involuntarily would then be "negative" whether it masks itself as happiness, excitement, anger, envy, sadness or humor. Our entire machine constantly twitches with negative emotions: we are not happy about the weather and we complain about it, someone looks at us in the wrong way and we replay it in our minds for hours, somebody cuts us off while driving and we spill out curses into the wind.
It has been said that in a sleeping machine negative emotions are the only emotions that can occur. Only in the Waking State can we feel true Love or Compassion. In the sleeping state, we can only twitch helplessly in an endless manic dance of negative complaints and explosions. And these involuntary dispersals occur with extreme frequency. Our initial work will be to be able to observe this state of things without trying to change it. Simply watch, record and examine, without judgement or remorse.
In the Western world, it has been thought traditionally that our nervous system, and specifically our brain, is the fastest form of communication within our bodies. In these ideas (and recent scientific discoveries confirm this) we know that the Emotional center is actually much faster. That means that the habitual reactions in the Emotional center, the negative emotions, will move so quickly that you cannot catch them with either your Intellectual or your Physical center. In the first stages of your Work, it will be impossible to try to stop these, but you can observe them as they move through you and you can record their passing. Develop a constant habit of noting your explosions of negative emotions. Give your different negative characters names and personas. Call them your "little demons" that trade you back and forth like a basketball. Describe them and get to know them very well. If you can draw, make pictures of them. If you have someone to help you, take photographs of the different manifestations or shoot some video and examine it carefully. Again, watch without judgement and, at first, don’t try to change anything at all, no matter how harmful.
As your Work progresses, you will eventually try to gain control over these negative manifestations. As has been stated before, you have to start small. You have developed these negative emotional habits over an entire lifetime. You cannot stop them overnight, or in a month or even a year. It will take a long time of constant work to even begin to get a handle on them. Start with several months of simply observing. When you feel that you are ready, start trying to contain the more simple ones, the ones that are the least harmful and which hold the least power. (For example, don’t try to stop your bouts of anger or resentment towards your family members. That is too deeply engrained and too heavy to lift. Start with your complaints about the weather or about the cancellation of your favorite sitcom. Hopefully that will be more within reach.)
The Work with the Emotions is dangerous and tricky. Ideally someone will be with you, a guide that passed through this terrain a bit ahead of you. As much as you may love this person, it will be difficult to remember that they are trying to help you when the Real Work with the Emotions begins. This is indeed a maze of deadly traps through which only the bravest and most persistent will manage to pass.

Parting the Seas

Imagine your torso as a body of water. Visualize it, feel it. Realize that ordinarily when you throw a stone into the water, it will create ripples. If a stone should come hurtling at you it would disturb your waters, the impact would reverberate throughout the body.
Now imagine something that has recently disturbed you, an event or interaction that troubled you emotionally. Perceive that interaction or event as a stone that is being thrown at you. As it approaches, you will part the seas. Maintain the sensation and visualization of the area from your chest to your navel as a body of water. Imagine that the water is parting, making way so that the stone will land in the sea bed without creating ripples.
Hold this image and breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling to the count of six. Begin to make a small movement with part of your body. As you do so mentally describe the motion to yourself (as you have done before in working with energizing the machine). For example, while moving your right index finger in small clockwise circles say to yourself mentally, "I am moving my right index finger in a small clockwise rotation."
After doing this for a few minutes allow the waters to close over the stone where it has settled.
Practice this experiment for ten minutes daily for one week. In ten minutes you should be able to run through the whole sequence approximately four times. In addition, as you go through your day and find that something is eliciting an emotional response from you, apply the experiment to that "emotional stone" in the moment.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Transformation

All living organisms have Work to do. Said in another way, to be alive is to Work. The farther an organism is from Work, the farther it is from Life. A Dead organism may be brought to Life by having it Work. A Live organism may fall away from the Work and return to the Land of the Dead. A very simple organism (like a bacteria for example) may only have one way to do its Work. A more complex organism will have several possibilities, each more subtle than the last. In our case, as complex biological three centered creatures, we have possibilities for Work that are seldom used (at least in the time we are writing this). In this time, it is rare for human beings to find a way to awaken and to be awake is a prerequisite to be able to Work at a higher, more subtle level. But conversely, you don’t wake up and don’t Work. You may find yourself awake accidentally, through external chemicals, through special high stress situations, or any other kind of random accident. You may stay in this state for a short period of time. But if you don’t proceed to Work (because you don’t want to or because you don’t know how) you will surely fall back into sleep. There are no other options.
The nature of the Work is not comprehensible from the sleeping state. It is not hidden but it remains invisible. It can occur in a very small hesitant manner or it can be large and forceful. It can involve one person or many. It can be recorded in history forever or it can be forgotten along with the daily news. It may be stashed away in secret meeting places or it may happen right before your eyes when you were thinking about other things. If you find yourself momentarily awake, through whatever means, you may get a glimpse of it… a glimpse which will quickly become incomprehensible the moment you fall back into sleep. You may even remember what you saw and you may then say: "That is the Work. That form. That image. That God. That movement. That action. That is the Work. Therein the Work is contained." But this is not True Understanding. This is just a machine falling back into sleep and trying to solidify its own ego into a comprehensible form. The Work may very well have been there. It probably was. In that form, that image, that God, that movement… but it is not contained or limited by any of them. The Work cannot be contained or limited by any particular Form or Action.
Our approach is to wake up through Working. We don’t wait to wake up to start to Work. We start to Work even in the sleeping state, even if we don’t fully understand what we are doing, what the ramifications are, the reasons or the effects. We start to develop the habit of constant Work, constant Transformation. And we can only Work with what is right in front of us: who we are, where we are and when we are. This distinct and peculiar little chamber where you find yourself, this is where you can Work. Nowhere else. Stop dreaming of what was, what could be right now, what may come in the future and start looking at what is. That which is right in front of your eyes. This is what you have to Work with. Nothing more and nothing less. Look at all of it. It is for you to use. This moment is You. You can sleep through it or you can find a way to Transform it and Work. It is your choice. Your only Real Choice.

Water Into Wine

To execute the following experiment you will require two translucent goblets of equal proportions; one empty and the other full of water, and a small bottle dropper.
Set aside a space and time in which you may conduct this experiment without interference of any kind. Be seated with the necessary implements laid out before you. Take the dropper in hand and begin to breath deeply and slowly. Allow your breathing to connect you to your physical presence.
When you feel sufficiently collected, summon the full power of your attention and place it on the water in the first goblet. Use the dropper to transfer the water from the full goblet to the empty goblet one drop at a time. Keep your attention on the water and its slow transposition.
Let each drop be the only important thing upon your mind; worry neither about the water that has already been moved nor the water that awaits relocation. Be present in the motion of taking the water, in the motion of moving to the next glass, and the motion of releasing a single drop. In every step be attentive to the moment and free of concern about the steps that precede and succeed the present.
Your mind will wander, do not resist and struggle with this natural occurrence. When you have become distracted, simply acknowledge the break in your contact with the moment and restore it. Do not hope for the experiment's conclusion.
Continue as if this is your eternal occupation; it will not end, it never began, it has always been and will always be so. Carry on like this until all of the water has been transferred.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Divided Attention

As our machine moves through its life, it acts as it has been taught and shown. We learned early on to allow our attention to flow out carelessly and attach itself to any object that presents itself before us. Toys, food, people, flowers, the sky, the sun, a mountain, a little finger… we look, we feel, we smell and we attach our attention momentarily. The movement is outwards. Even if we look at images inside our mind: day dreams, visions, regular dreams, sexual fantasies, future projections, fears. In all of these, something within us is looking out, out onto the relentless and never ending theater inside our mind. It may move around. It may move from a plant that is physically in front of us to a plant that it saw when we were only 5. It may move from the person that stands before us smiling to the smile of our mother when we were 12. But it always moves out.
We must learn to turn the attention around towards us, towards the center of the flow, towards the source. Try it right now. Where you sit. Close your eyes and look inwards. Look at all the thoughts crowding around, ready to steal your effort. Look at so many desires, wishes, fear, anxieties. Try to look past all of them and stare at the source of attention. Take a deep breath. Do it again. Take another deep breath. Do it one more time.
You may feel as if you have just stepped into a room where someone is naked and thought they were alone. You may feel that you are doing something that is inherently wrong. And it is "wrong". Only in the sense that it goes against everything that happens in ordinary life. In ordinary human life, you may always look out… comment on the state of things, say which things you like and dislike, say what is bothering you at the moment, say what is funny or not funny, say what is acceptable and unacceptable, express yourself in a thousand ways… but don’t look at the "Being behind the curtain". Allow it to remain undisturbed.
But if we undertake the task of waking up our machines, we must disturb ourselves to the very core, to the very root of our attention, the very center of our existence. There is no way of avoiding that. Anything short of that is what has been called "imaginary work". You may play at "spiritual work", put your body in extreme positions, work on your psychic abilities, do intense breathing exercises, endure extreme karmic sacrifices… but it will all be for nothing, it will all be imaginary if you don’t look inside while you do it.
This is not something that is to be done once and "learned". It is not done to discover some secret about yourself and then step away satisfied that you have done your work. It is not done in order to achieve a state of "peace" and then be able to relax. This is something that you will have to do, over and over, forever… for as long as you wish to work.
The work of looking inside, of allowing your attention to flow into your center, has been called "self-remembering" (and it is important to make a slight but clear distinction between this and "self observation"). When should you do this? Anytime you become aware enough to realize that you are not doing it. The more often you do it, the easier it becomes. The less you do it, the harder it becomes. If you do it often enough, it may start to happen without any thought process at all, in the midst of stressful activity, in the midst of dreams. Don’t be concerned about what you see or what you may find in there. Simply allow your attention to flow inside.
At first you may attempt to do this only sitting quietly with your eyes closed. But this is very limiting. You have to be able to do this in any situation, no matter where you are or who you are with. So you need to be able to divide your attention. In other words, one part of your attention flows out (to make sure you walk without bumping into things, to continue the conversation you are having with your friend, to ensure you don’t drive off the road, to perceive the beauty of a piece of art) but another part of your attention flows inwards. That means that you have to be able to cut your attention in half or in three or more parts. This, in itself, is a skill that must be practiced and learned.
As you practice, visualize your attention as a constant flow of energy that emerges from your core. As you visualize it, you can see it splitting into different rays. You can place one ray on a book. You can place one ray on a piece of paper. You can place one ray on the music coming out of the speakers. And always save one precious ray of attention to turn inwards and place it directly on your self, your true Self, your hidden infinitely watchful Being.

Divided Attention Experiment
You will need three vases. These may be borrowed or purchased from a thrift store.Sit down with your vases. Arrange them so that there is ample space between each one and they are all within your field of vision.Take three deep breaths. Make the effort to be wholly present. Place your attention on one of the vases. Look at this vase and pour yourself into it. After a few moments, move your eyes to the second vase, but keep part of your attention on the first vase. Divide your attention between the two vases while looking at only the second vase.Slowly move your gaze to the third vase. Keep part of your attention on both the second and the first vase while placing attention on the third as well. Maintain this balance for a few moments. Then move your gaze back to the second vase. Withdraw your attention from the third vase while maintaining the connection with the second and the first. Hold this for a few minutes.Now withdraw your attention from the second vase and place your gaze and full attention back on the first.Hold it for a few minutes, then draw the attention back into yourself.Feel yourself as fully present and take three deep breaths.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Attention as a Muscle

Our primary tool for working is our Attention and yet this tool is initially almost completely invisible. In our linguistic development we have learned to associate "attention" with "interest" and see it as a curiously random occurrence, a thing that may or may not be there. When it is not there, more often than not, we blame it on the object itself for not "holding our attention". We are thus in a state where anything that moves across our field of vision (or any of the other senses) may suddenly grab hold of our attention and keep it for a while. Or conversely, we may be unable to maintain our attention on a particular object or task because there are so many other distractions (both inside and outside of us) that constantly pull at it.
If you walk down the street of any big city, you experience something like the insides of a pinball machine, where your attention is the silver ball being bounced back and forth, from advertising to political message to driving sign to person asking for money to policeman giving directions to preacher offering salvation and back to advertisement. In a city, where all these different "attention magnets" reside in a single space, it is easy to see how our attention wanders helplessly from one object to another, from one message to another, from one desire to another.
But the same is true when you are all alone, sitting in your room with your eyes closed. Various elements in you will pop up and demand the energy of your attention. Worries about paying bills, thoughts of future meetings, wonderful people you will encounter someday, achievements that you are planning, things that were said to you recently, long forgotten encounters suddenly resurfacing… all kinds of things will stick up and claim to need the scarce energy of your attention. And you will flow from one to the other, just like you do when you walk through the city.
What we need to develop then is the ability to place and hold our attention. Here you can imagine your attention as a ray of light, a ray that can be diffused outward or it can be focused in to become an intense laser. If you look around you right now, picture a ray of light that extends outward from your forehead and lands wherever you place it (or wherever it’s called). Feel it as a ray of light that has a limited amount of energy, sometimes more, sometimes less. Every time it lands on an object, a bit of that energy moves away from you, mostly dissolving outwardly like the enthropic heat that constantly leaves your body as well. Energy without direction and without focus. Energy that simply spreads out into the void. If you picture it this way, if you start to perceive it and feel it that way, you may feel a pain in your heart, a sense that something precious is being discarded without sense or purpose. And that is exactly what we are doing, moment after moment, day after day, week after week… year after year. A never ending dispersal of attention that leaves us weak and unable to Work.
This situation cannot be solved overnight. No matter how much we realize the reality of the loss, the terrible waste of our current predicament, our attention will continue to wander, spilling outwards like a leaky faucet. We need to develop our ability to focus our attention and this will take time. Like lifting weights, it is a periodic recurrent practice that is needed. Nothing will change after one day of work, not after a week… maybe after a month something may be noticeable. But we have to work on developing this muscle of attention over years in order to truly develop it. This must be intense and constant work. What takes months to develop can be lost in a matter of minutes… and then we have to start over.
Begin to perceive your attention as a precious scarce resource that needs to be developed and enriched. Use the little bit of attention that you do have to develop your skill further. And most importantly: Start from where you are. The attention you have right now is all you have. There’s no use in wishing it was better or stronger. Whatever miniscule skill you have at this point, that is what you have to work with. Like with lifting weights, you can’t start by trying to bench press 200 pounds. You use the muscles you have to develop them further, without hurting yourself. So start with small efforts (no longer than 1 minute) and slowly increase the span and the intensity of your practice. Start small and increase slowly but steadily. It’s much more useful to do something very small very well than to try something big and fail repeatedly. In fact, the second option will only lead to frustration and will lead you away from this work. Be as gentle with your machine as you would be with a little child. In many ways, that is exactly what it is.

Select for yourself a simple vase.It may be one that you have around the house, or you can pick one up from a second hand store.You will need a space in which you will be undisturbed for 5 min.Sit in a straight backed chair with the vase on a table or another chair approximately three feet away from you and within your line of vision.Set a timer for one minute.Your aim is to concentrate on the vase. Hold it with your attention. Do not analyze the different parts of the vase, or think a series of thoughts about the vase, or associate various ideas to the vase.See the vase as it exists in itself, without any connections to other things. Let the perception of the vase fill your entire mind. Do not let other thoughts or feelings or sounds or body sensation distract you. When they arise, simply acknowledge that your attention has wandered and redirect it to the vase.If you find that a particular noise or itch is extra annoying, expand into the irritation rather than attempting to retract or defend yourself from it. Expand into it and allow it to dissolve so that all of your awareness will return to the vase alone.When the timer sounds the experiment has ended.
As you do this experiment over time, increase the amount of time. Don’t add more than one minute per week. When you can’t hold the attention any longer, it may mean you have tried a span that is too long and you should bring it back down.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Performers

His father died in Auschwitz in 1944. The family name perished along with that old kosher butcher and another was born, a name that would rise in fame. To avoid a similar fate he adopted the name of a General and joined the French Resistance where he rescued his father in the guise of a multitude of frail Jewish children lifted from concentration camps. When that manifestation of the war ended he accepted the burden of the world and became the fool of god, mastering and then teaching the Art of Silence, the science of presence and posture. This teaching spread, trickling from those that surrounded him like invisible droplets of water from the many fingers of a spread hand to yet other hands, open and waiting. Out into the world, invisible drops found their way into the nervous systems of so many that could not understand what had passed into them, and some that could, and yet others who held it like a microcosmic well, waiting for the coin that would be tossed into its depths with a wish. What came to pass when the well at last met with the coin, an action, that tracked through the matrix of time, began in 1944 and waited 6 decades to blossom in a woman troubled by laundry burnt in the oven and dreams of a wise man once met, is the subject of this writing; the answer to the wish. As a rosy cheeked maiden the woman had been taught by a student of God’s fool. Here she was told to commit 100% to her performance on stage or before the camera lens…

In the dream, the wise man, a dancer and artist, told the woman not to be apathetic. Sitting in the cramped cab of a pick up truck feeling dazed from the many changes and choices she’d had to make that morning the woman thought back to her dream and suddenly understood the root of apathy. It lies in feeling that one cant keep up with the changes. It stems from a lack of decisiveness, it is the opposing force to commitment.
WE ARE ACTION, THE POSTURE, THE POSE.
We become the shape we take. We take shape by committing presence and attention to posture, and gesture. There can be no pussy footing around. Life is a tremendous piece of improv theater. Things change. When they do we must quickly choose and assume a new more suitable pose. There are no wrong choices in improv, the only mistake is to let the attention wander and let our performance be without presence. The great secret has been taught to actors and dancers and mimes and musicians, and yet not all of those within such vocations have the wish to use that secret. There are those outside of such professions that wish to encounter a great spiritual teaching, but do not even guess that it requires becoming a performer.

This, the stage of life, has been so used that we have forgotten its true nature. So distracted by the myriad of thoughts racing through our imaginary minds, we are lost on the set, submerged in identification with those thoughts, we have forgotten that we are performers. In such a state we are not even characters, but the ghosts of characters that would be or could have been. We are made of energy which might be used creatively, but instead it pours from us in chains of thought, chains that tangle and bind us to an imaginary existence. We have thought more of ourselves than we have ever been. To be, you must posses a vehicle to be in, an apparatus with the capacity to be filled with that wealth of energy. We have called this apparatus a human being, it has a nature which is physical, as well as emotional, and intellectual. It is an apparatus over which we have never tried to exercise any control, and therefore we do not posses any control.

It is by working from the bottom up that anything real can be done. It is within the physical human body that any real mystical transformation occurs. The first true step towards spiritual work is literally a step, a step taken with a physical foot moved deliberately and with presence.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Energize the Machine


In the sleeping state, the machine is a dead thing, a forgotten robot that goes through the motions of its programmed habits, follows them over and over in intricate detail for years and years, progressively getting slower and older, until it starts to completely break down altogether on its way to its final breath. You cannot hope to achieve any Real result in this state. You may be very successful in life, you may have riches, health, fame or all of the above. But the most basic, simple tasks of Real Work will become insurmountable obstacles, any attempt at discipline will be smashed by distraction and laziness. There will always be an excuse, a reason to do it "later".
A sleeping machine has no real Will. It may appear to have its own will at times, but that is only its programmed desire and ambition, interacting with the maelstrom of massive mechanical behavior and random accident. Anything that involves real Will, a Will that is borne of the Being, will encounter no fertile ground in a sleeping machine. So we must find a way to bring the machine to life. But how does one get life out a dead thing? How does one get blood out of a rock?
If you walk around your house for a moment, in a calm relaxed way, you may be able to notice 2 things:
One- Your intellectual brain is constantly pouring out thought after thought, in endless chains of associations. These thoughts, like little train cars made of words, carry emotions, fears, desires inside of them. They pull you into moods that are completely unrelated to the actual space around you. They drift like the broken bits of a ship in the ocean of your intellectual activity. You can look at them, but only after a lot of work will you be able to stop them, even for a few seconds. To struggle directly against them is a losing battle. Ultimately the one that struggles is another part of you, also with its own thoughts, fears, desires, associations, and so on. So even as you apparently win the struggle, you are already caught up in a new chain of associative thought. There is no end in sight.
Two- Your physical body is moving around and you are not putting much thought into anything that it is doing. Once in a while your intellectual center may step in and say: "Now I should open the door", or "now I should go to the dining room." But mostly the body will just move. If you walk up a stairway, each foot will follow the other without any thought. The spine will move slightly forward and slightly backward to maintain balance. The shoulders will shift and the arm will extend to push open a door. All without any need of direct intervention by the intellectual center. It can be flowing along, thinking about the next day, about the date you have on Friday, about the upcoming promotions at your job, about the new movie that is about to come out… while the body moves around through the space simply following its own programmed course of actions.
The body moves mechanically, asleep and vibrating at its lowest possible level, while the intellectual center allows all its energy to flow out continuously in an endless orgasm of associative thought. To bring life into the machine, we will attempt to connect these two separate systems and make them work together. If we can gather at least some of the energy that is being dispersed in random chains of thought, and direct it into the electrical network that flows through the body, we may start to see some signs of rebirth.
Like a plant that has grown pale and withered from lack of water, the machine won’t wake up instantly. It may take weeks, months or even years of constant work for the energy to start flowing, to move through the multiple blockages and obstacles in its path. This is something that can’t be rushed. The more you desire results, the more your attention is distracted by the imaginary visions of what life will be like once you manage to awaken the machine, the longer this process will take. Settle yourself in for a long haul. Constantly asking "Are we there yet?" won’t make the car move any faster!
But like the nearly dead plant that you left without water for so long, once it starts to absorb energy and it starts to become accustomed to your new level of attention on it, the machine will show definite signs of life. The colors that faded so long ago will come back, in ways more subtle and more mysterious than your desires could ever have projected.
And like the plant, that will not be the end of your work. That’s where the real Work of Transformation begins.

Select a space where you will be free to move about without being disturbed.Set a timer for ten minutes.Begin to slowly move through the space.As you move, vocally illustrate the movements.For example, as you walk, say aloud:"I place my right foot forward, I place my left foot forward, I place my right foot forward, I place my left foot forward…"Describe every move that you make as you are making it. Lead with the body and occupy the mind with the narration. Describe with as much detail as possible. The more detail the better. Don’t just say "I open the door"… say "I raise my arm, bending my elbow slightly, I open up my hand, I extend my fingers…"Be careful not to think of a move to make and vocalize it before moving the body. Aim to make the description and the action be simultaneous or as close as possible.If you have the space to think about anything else other than moving and describing it, you either need to move more, perhaps increase the pace or you need to describe in much more profuse detail.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Eternity

Eternity is here and now. Right now. As you read these words. It cannot be otherwise.
Eternity is not a very long time. Eternity is not very slow. Eternity is not loving or unloving. Eternity is not reward or punishment.
Eternity is not and cannot be something that will happen or something that has happened.
Eternity cannot "happen".
We may experience Eternity. But this experience won’t be in the past, in our memories of that perfect psychedelic trip or that amazing moment of meditation or the instant that you and I fell in love or the sudden burst of direct Knowledge that came over you that one day.
And it won’t be in the future, when I accomplish the Great Work or when I am finally Awake or when I complete my spiritual progress through a thousand lifetimes of abnegation or when I finally surrender and start to Work.
Our experience of Eternity can only be Now.

Not a moment from now,
not a moment ago.

NOW.

Our language and our imagination have conspired to give us an image of Eternity as a really long time… the white washed heaven of the Christians, the gardens and virgins of the Muslims, the complex Bardo spaces of the Tibetans. All of these may in fact be real (or real enough to experience them for a very long time) but they are not the experience of Eternity. If something is happening, it will stop happening eventually.
But Eternity cannot begin and cannot end. It is not an extension of time. It is outside of time. It overcomes time and envelops it. We are, you and me, right now, in the midst of Eternity, projecting images of illusory lifetimes onto a never changing Clear Void.
The longing for the experience of Eternity is a struggle that can never be completed. As long as there is a struggle, the goal has not been reached. But if the goal has not been reached, the struggle cannot end. And so, like Achilles, our work will always be just a hair short of the Eternal Turtle that moves just slightly out of our reach.
In the deepest void within you, behind you eyes, behind your thoughts, behind your emotions, behind your secret wishes and desires, behind your bright nightmares and dark dreams, you have Eternity. Right now. Your experience of it relies on your ability to maintain your attention steady, to look inside and not be instantly repelled by the frightfulness of Nothingness.
There is a reason why we are here, why we move through time, why we play our parts in an infinitely complex labyrinth of time and space, why things happen, why "we" happen.
The reason is entrenched in the experience of Eternity. When you enter into the heart of the Labyrinth, the inner circle that never changes, that never started and never will end, where there is no past and no future… you will understand the reason.
This has happened a million times before.
To you.
This will happen a million times again.
To you.
You have experienced Eternity. Directly. And now you are here, in time. And the part of you that recoiled, the part of you that fell, the part of you that opened a door slightly, saw the primordial union that cannot be seen, felt or heard, and ran away...
That part of you knows why we perceive Time and why we imagine that there is a past and there is a future.
At the heart, right now, within you and without you, everything is still, quiet and outside of Time, beyond Time, around Time. Here in the innermost chamber we can truly say:
Nothing ever has happened
Nothing ever will happen

Experiment – A Posture of Eternity
You will need a quiet place, a chair, and a timer to conduct this experiment. Before beginning, set the timer for one minute. Sit in a straight backed chair with your feet placed firmly upon the ground. Your knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle.
Place the palms of your hands on top of your knees and keep your knees together so that the thumbnails of your two hands are pressed together. Keep your back and neck straight and your eyes open gazing downward at a space on the ground approximately three feet out from the tips of your toes. Keep your eyes in a soft focus. This means that you are gazing and not staring pointedly. Once in position, do not move until the timer sounds. (No scratching, looking away, wiggling, nose wrinkling, etc.)
During this time place your attention on your body. Hold your entire body with your attention by "feeling" the space an inch above the skin all around you. If you get wrapped up in thoughts, bring your attention back to the posture and the space around your body.
Repeat the experiment each day, adding one minute more to the timer each time.
On the first day you will maintain the pose for one minute, on the second day for two minutes, until on the 12th day you conduct the experiment for the duration of 12 minutes.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Recognize Time

We are not one. As much as we may have swallowed the linguistic illusion of singularity, we are not a unified being or anything remotely close to it. We are a plurality of impulses and impressions, connected through vague habitual associations and imposed dogmatic beliefs. We may fear the breaking of a rule… we long for the breaking of the same rule. We don’t want to eat a piece of cake… we long to eat that piece of cake. We want to keep ourselves pure and chaste… we long for anonymous sex with strangers. We want to be peaceful and loving… we long for the ecstatic release of uncontrolled violence. We don’t want to get distracted… hmmm what was I thinking about?
We swim in a turbulent ocean of constantly shifting egos, forces, desires, fears and impulses. In the midst of all this we may say "I am…" but it means nothing. Which "I"? What is it… now? This moment you may in fact be clear on your purpose… but what about a day from now, an hour from now, a minute from now… a second from now? We are a shapeless dispersal of accidents, a kingdom with no king.
It is far from enough to understand this intellectually. You may read this and say "Yes, that seems right…" but that is just the very beginning of true realization. It will take a long time of constant observation to fully realize how multiple "you" truly are. Each part of you is not aware of the other parts. Each part sees actions that don’t fit into its particular self image as "exceptions". "I am very disciplined except for those times when I feel tired." "I am very stable and emotionally controlled except for those times when I freak out." "I am very gentle except for those times when I am angry and harsh." But the so-called exceptions are as much "you" as anything else. All these different elements coexist silently, like travellers on a long distance train that refuse to look at each other and try very hard to imagine that they are all alone.
A basic requirement to be able to fully comprehend this idea, and to be able to work with it in a practical way, is to become fully aware of time. Right now, as you read these words, there is one of you that reads. That one will dissappear moments later and another will appear. This one in turn will stay for only a few instants and another one will appear. All of this happens in time.

The Constant Change of Egos Is Our Perception of Time
This is why time sometimes seems to just escape us, why a day may seem to have simply dissapeared. It truly did dissappear. It was stolen by another you. This is why time sometimes moves by so quickly and sometimes slows down to a crawl. This is why it is impossible to Do.
To Do requires steady Work over Time.
If you have no solid relationship with time, it is impossible to accomplish anything. You may set out to write a poem, a song, to make a painting, to learn how to play an instrument, to improve your health, etc. But none of these will be accomplished if another you, that has no interest whatsoever in these goals, takes over randomly and sets them aside.

To Do We Must Be One Through Time
This is inmortality. We are born and reborn constantly, many times in a single day, a single hour. Each time we lose track of the "I" that was in charge a moment ago and each time we have only the vaguest notions of what we are doing and why we are doing it to give us our bearings as to what we are supposed to do next. People talk about life after death, about reencarnation, about the work of lifetimes… how can you hope to maintain your unified consciousness through the core shaking shock of physical death when you can’t make it through breakfast?

Experiment- Rhythmic Breathing
For this exercise you will need a metronome and a timer.
The aim is to breath rhythmically and deeply.
This exercise is best performed either laying on your back or standing. When laying on your back keep your knees bent and the soles of your feet planted on the surface that you are resting upon. To perform this exercise standing, keep your feet apart but within the frame of your body, knees slightly bent and shoulders back. These postures will help you to relax into "belly breathing" which is deep breathing. You can rest your hand on your stomach to see your belly rise with each inhalation and sink with each exhalation. If you are standing your shoulders should not rise as you inhale, this is a sign that you are breathing shallowly and not from the belly.
Turn the metronome on and set it to 60 bpm. Set the timer to go off within five minutes. Stretch the inhale to last for four beats of the metronome and exhale to endure through four beats. Aim to slow your breathing down so that the breaths fill the entire space of the four beats. Avoid holding your breath as a result of finishing an inhalation or exhalation before the four beats are up. You are basically aiming to breath slowly and rhythmically in time to the beats. Keep this rhythm up until the timer sounds.

Evolution-
Turn the metronome on and set it at 60 bpm and set the timer to sound within five minutes. This time inhale for 5 beats and exhale over the course of five beats. After a week at 5 move up to 6 beats, after that up to seven… See how far you can take it. Allow a week to pass before trying to stretch the breath further each time. There is no hurry. Slow your breathing down and breath from the stomach. As you attempt to stretch the breath over longer periods it will become more obvious if you are breathing only from the chest. The key is to relax. Allow time to expand around you. As your breathing slows down, time slows down. Let is be slow, gentle and rhythmic.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Never Do As Others Do

We are all equal points of radiance, stars blanketing the endless sky. No one is more inherently magickal than any other, though some do more to cultivate their magickal nature. We do not move, do not go anywhere, but we do play games; that game that is played by one that can never move, the imagination game.
Sometimes I will be the teacher, sometimes you will be the teacher. Those stars that go about worshiping other stars grate on me. It is fine, a wonderful thing, to adore another star, but to grovel and imagine that another is higher than you is a cop out. It is denying your nature as a star, your ability to be a center of gravity.
And those that would let others get down on their knees and beg to be filled with purpose by them are a sickening breed, wolves in shepherds clothing gorging themselves on the disease of the meek. I would rather be surrounded by equals with whom I can engage and feel the force of their presence as they make their own way through the big game .
Self righteous, arrogant, snobby bitch, that is what play time emperors and their sniveling courtiers think I am. I will tell you all now- I march to a different tune. A tune that perhaps is too complex and noisome to please.
Take your tra la la and stuff it. I will have a roar. I can hear a roar, hear it and feel this human cranium change shapes to open special chambers for communing with the great noise from which we all emerge.
I embrace the cult of multiplicity. When your God is a many headed horror that will speak through any shape that comes alive with the knowledge of life, you can not fall prey to serving a mortal master. You serve only that many headed beast of which you are a part. You are immune to the con of the existence of the human primate and the relevance of its social hierarchies.
You may interact with your God through any of its heads. You may serve it through loyalty to one of these, but keep a wide inner eye on that shape, because old heads die and new heads rise up in unexpected places. Remember that while it is okay to give someone a shoe, you must keep one for yourself. Adore the other and make a sincere offering of your attention, but keep a little attention centered on the manifestation for which you are responsible.
Do not expect a guru to carry you. The one who would is going nowhere. A teacher is an awakener, not a pack mule designed to carry you up the mountain.
Who would want an ass for a master?

Do not make an ass of your master. Let the other ignite the eternal fire within you, but you must tend the flame thereafter. Reach out in unison with the many and step back from the "greater than/ less than" game of animal dominance.
The eternal night is the matrix in which we have our arising. It is the poison of immortality, which erodes the illusion of peace, safety, and singularity that we have wrought in the Big Game. The poison of life eternal interferes with the state of temporary death induced by participation in that game. We die when we throw both of our shoes into that game, when we hand the sum of our attention to something imaginary.
Avatars of the beast, the dark mother night, carry that pool of blackness which you hold in your core through the game but do not spill it. Remember your true nature, which those immersed in the big game have told you is "evil".
Find those others that carry liquid night in their forms, those other heads of the horror, and form an oasis, a temple to give sanctuary to the noise. Build your cults of multiplicity around these pools.
Never be deceived by the manipulators of the game. These include the "magicians" who know enough of the game to bend it for their benefit within the illusion. They are the ones who would feast upon your servitude, emptying your pools, rendering you a husk in the imaginary world.
One shoe is for you, the other is for Nuit, and her only. Tend her where ever you find her, keep her way in every step through the desert of the Maya. Walk beside your teacher on the way up the mountain and keep your fleece.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Doubt Your Perceptions

Imagine yourself as a lonely creature, buried in a solid metal vessel full of thick chemical liquid, in the basement of a dark forgotten building. You were born there. You can’t get out of the box. Your body is so degraded that you have no hope of escaping. And so you will probably die there. The darkness of the box is all you know, all you have ever known and all you will probably ever know.
And yet you get information from the outside. It comes through little messages that are sent to you from helpers, creatures that you have never directly met but which you are convinced are there. They send you these little messages through wires that reach directly into you and feed you images of the outdoors, the smell of the rain as it hits the asphalt, the rustling of the leaves as the wind rushes past them, the slight rasp of a violin bow as it hits the strings, the gentle touch of lips against your skin… it’s all being sent to you, it’s all being communicated through little wires by your trusted helpers… trusted helpers that you have never met, that you didn’t choose and that you have no discernible connection with.
Given such a predicament, it is very tempting to simply drift and dream, let your degraded body float in its endless bath, close your eyes and let the movie play. Enjoy the constant flow of messages and let them wash over you. In this dream world, you may have a job that you go to every day, you may have a wife, a husband, a boyfriend, a lover, you may have mountains of money or none at all, you may have people talking about you or you might be ignored by the masses. You may have parents that love you, or say that they do. You may have kids who are very loving or who can’t stand the sight of you. You may have friends that swear undying loyalty or you may have enemies that wait behind doorways ready to stab you in the back. No matter what the images are, you may feel that the best course of action is to let them flow over you, let them come and go, and just enjoy them for what they are: ghostly images sent to you by unknown directors.

Maybe one day something doesn’t match quite right in the images you receive. Something rubs against something in a way that seems wrong. Somebody has made a mistake. Something else has come through… maybe something you were not meant to see. It could be as small as a sentence in a book, as big as the sky painted in the wrong color, as subtle as a moment of time repeating in every detail and revealing its unreality. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you can taste that there is a quality to it, something that feels different.
A strange itch may begin within you, an uncomfortable sensation that something has been present with you all along but you have not been able to look at it directly, an anxious feeling that tells you that you have assumed too much, that you have rested too long and that it is time to act.

A long series of questions may emerge within you, questions that were not there before, each like an ancient comet that you have sighted in the distance before but now rages like a ball of fire in front of your eyes:
What is really outside the box?
How can I trust these unknown helpers?
Should I figure out who they are? What they are?
Is there something else out there?
Something that is not the images I receive?
Have I been lied to?
If so, who is lying to me?
Why are they lying to me?
Is there something Real out there?
What is Real?

You will need three bowls.Fill the first bowl with hot water, the second with very cold water, and the third with water of a medium temperature.(The hot water should be quite hot, but not scalding as you will be submerging your hand in it.)
Put the three bowls in front of you, on a table or other surface, within easy reach.
Place your right hand in the bowl of hot water and your left hand in the bowl of cold water.Count to twelve. Then place both hands in the medium temperature bowl of water.Pay close attention to what each hand seems to be experiencing. Each hand will register a different sensation, even though they are both subject to the same environment.
Consider that you may not always rely on your highly sophisticated data processor (also known as your nervous system) to objectively determine what is Real.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Fallen Star

It is so easy to see what went wrong when you look up at the scar in the clouds that marks the place where you fell through. Laying on the cold colorless concrete, staring up at the gray and white plumes, the blue leaking out of your eyes into your brain, things are so still. Your wings, destroyed by the fall, are folded peacefully beneath you. What once made you light has become a weight tugging at your heart and soul, an anguishing reminder of what has been lost. Your ruddy lips part slightly as you suck the cold air in and automatically expel it so slowly that your chest barely heaves.
Now that it’s over you know what went wrong, but in the moment made quick by the life pulsing through you, it happened so rapidly that you could not see it coming. Like the blur of a hummingbird’s wings, your thoughts, your emotions, your actions, were all one hazy apparition that took shape through the deepest strongest habit available: the habit of losing control, of falling, of dying.
In the end what you understood about flight made no difference.
Knowing what would cause a fall made no difference.
As you drew nearer to the sun absolute and its radiations coursed through your body in waves of hot electrifying pulses, every molecule from the subtlest to the grossest responded. Under that intense solar gaze, they were brought to a frenzied boil, moving faster, extending outward like the participants of the old bacchanal, at last undone by the fever of grinding bodies and fermented fruit, exploding into the dark wilderness like animals. In that moment they flowed away from the fire, out of the cauldron and down the riverbed already laid deepest by constant repetition.
Your habits are the shape of you. Not your thoughts, not your intentions or aspirations.
The foundation was weak, like a pot made by unskilled hands, the flaw in you was developed in the first step of your work on self.
You must learn to crawl down the right course before you can fly it. You must crawl in the trench every day, like a soldier, down in the mud, sick to your stomach with exhaustion, until that trench, that way which you aspire to take, becomes automatic to you.
Then you will learn to walk it. You must walk it every day, widening it, deepening it with use so that it can bear the force of a deluge of fire. Each day it must be tread weightily and lengthily, the iron of your will spilling upon it, paving it layer by layer, day by day, so that a river of fire may flow through it without destroying it.
Then you will learn to fly it. You will soar to the heights of the flaming sun once again. You will come alive in the solar caress, dance upon the wind, lit like a neon sign throwing sparks as it is raised higher and higher towards the embrace of OUR LORD HIS SOVEREIGN ENDLESSNESS.
And when your incandescence becomes unbearable, you will not stop. Like an ancient loyal Spartan, you will flow through the trench you dug and first tested under blood and sweat. You will follow the way forged of your iron will .
When your thoughts, your emotions, your body, and your intentions are drowned in the molten blood of the sun's core, you will stay the course, because you have become the course. The course you have laid and nothing else will survive that fiery embrace.
When you have become the way, you will meet and know HIS LORD ENDLESSNESS. You will become him, your own true self. You will burn eternally as a star, the sun absolute, a central point from which new universes may arise.
Look up, Icarus, to that scar and prepare to bloody your knees. This is only the little death. Eternity awaits you.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Desert


I am in a desert.

The wind rushes around carrying everything from me. Every grain of sand leaps into flight to leave me behind, so thirsty. Once I was a magician. I commanded the forms of things by manipulating their essence, the data riding in the invisible blood of the manifested. Like a child, hands immersed in paint, I moved what flowed, what already yearned to move, directing it, commanding it with the attention of a lucid dreamer:

Go forth from me now!

Like an electrode touching down upon a color spattered pane of glass, I commanded:

Go Forth!

Did I make the shapes that the minds of men desire to see? No! But they could see what they wanted in the shapes I wrought. They stole my worlds away from me. No matter… let them have them! More will come. Ah Zing! Zah. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…
I should have known better what fate awaits the magician. Have I not seen them? Sitting by garbage cans, coddling books of geometry, sketching unsatisfying graphite drawings, begging for change, sleeping in bushes, screaming at no one. I have seen myself, and still I bend the waters of life in devious directions, turning the holy cross on its head, rending the render. I will not stop, though I am warned.

I see myself in the desert, a ruptured vessel that can hold no more water. I am a desert. All that I had become, blown away when the vessel shattered. And yes, the desert is eternal. There is no end to my time of cracked heart and blown mind, a parched husk of life, of isolation, loss, and exile.
It is forever, like every moment.
It is forever and never.
I am there, a broken machine, a failed experiment, a tear spilled onto sun scorched earth, a soundless scream. Every desert was once an ocean from which life sprang, once wet and rich with the invisible blood, until something which boiled deep within the earth’s core, hot and volatile caused a rupture upon the surface. Each moment is the death of one thing and the birth of another. When the ocean died the desert was born.
The moment in which I am the magician touches the moment in which I am the mad. Beginning and end; distinct and yet knit one to the other like the heads of the Ouroboros. When the many were sacrificed, the one was born, the demon Azazel. Azazel, assassin of multiplicity, forever bearing the pain of the singular.
Beware these teeth of mine which bite at everything that seems other than me. Like any trapped animal, a demon is made fierce by its agony. A thing which does not want to be and yet cannot cease to be, even having devoured all those things which were its mirrors.
The only escape from the desert of singularity is death absolute. The one must be sacrificed so that the many will rise up again, a flood of possibility. A deluge in which a magician can spring into action once more. A deluge fed upon the blood spilled from a demon.

I am in a sea.

A tempest rages, carrying everything to me. Every drop of water finds another and another so that they congregate as ferocious waves which I may command:

"Go forth! Go forth from me now and change the face of creation!"

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Memories of Truth

In our tiny corner of the labyrinth, where we store all the memories and the thoughts of times that have passed, where our small collection of recurring chambers is worked through over and over, shifting emphasis and color but remaining essentially the same, like a set of motifs in a minimalist symphony… here we find ourselves alone. Here we imagine we determine what happens, much like a kid in a movie theater might jump up and ask the character on the screen to do something else, to change, to save themselves… and much like the kid, no matter how much we scream and call out, the action will continue, the movie remains the same. In this corner we are and from this corner we look out. And frames follow each other, one by one, engraved eternal pictures that we have seen a million times before.
Into this space there may come a disruption, a shift, a touch of blinding light and burning radiation. It may come in the form of a man, a woman, a group of people… it will hurt as it twists the very fabric of reality around you, turning things upside down, bringing a real change, introducing scenes into the movie that have never happened… scenes that were never seen before. Such a disruption is shattering, the "I" that was previously alone is now forced to realize that there is something else out there, some real "other" that stands outside the theater, something that can reach in and touch… it can caress and it can hurt… but its ultimate shock resides in its very existence. That initial encounter with an Other Intelligence… with real Being outside the boundaries of our small cinema of illusions…will burn like cosmic fire that incinerates your most secret assumptions, your most closely held beliefs. And it will echo through time, like a deep gong that never stops vibrating, that resonates loudly though every scene even if the movie has now started again and its finding its way back to where it left off.
The form that this encounter took is ultimately irrelevant. It is the form it had to take in order to come into contact with you. You were in the right place at the right time… and the right place and the right time was the form that the Other took. The encounter is True beyond any other truth and it will always be true and it has always been true… it cannot be otherwise.
It is a mistake to then assume that this True moment comes only in that one form. As we rise from our slumber we may hold on to that one belief, that one shred of ego identification that will bind us to the theater and to our history: the form of the True encounter. We may review it endlessly, ever so gradually shifting it and changing it in our minds, and with each pass, the identification will become more solid and our attention will become more hopelessly bound.
Being so bound, we will predetermine, measure and define the validity of the experience of others based on the Form that we experienced. "If they are not doing what I am doing, then what they are doing cannot be True… it cannot be Real. I know what Real is like." As time passes, and the moment of life that disrupted your dreams becomes a dream memory in itself, as we rewrite it in our minds and it becomes another fixture along with an old photo album and some dusty mementos, this thought becomes stronger and it forms an iron lock that prevents any new intrusion from the Other. How can the Other intrude? The eternal and infinite Intelligence that is forever changing and alive, the Chaotic maelstrom that extends beyond any hope of comprehension, beyond the outer reaches of your most fragmented nightmares and dreams… how can this touch you when you now believe that you know what form it will come in? How can a door be opened that has been sealed shut forever with a Real Memory of Truth?

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Gravity


The boundaries extend recklessly, the walls begin to breathe and bend, ripples of thought forms vibrate outwards from my center and the walls, the books, the very air,… they all begin to curve to the rhythm of my inner music. A flash of intense burning energy and another wave of curling oscillations, twirling in the air like tiny snakes of translucent regions, all travelling outwards, shifting the space around them, twisting it back and forth like a drop of oil that rubs endlessly against the water. Another flash of energy and all of reality rises, rises, rises… let it breaks apart. The walls are now forgotten, the body left behind and the center is everywhere, within me and outside me, there can be no distinction, rising like efervecent boiling water through the last layers of constraining black smoke to the blue sky above, and ever outwards… let it segment, let it not be one and me and I … and let it find itself in the rivers, the forests, the snow covered peaks and the hot steaming swamp and beyond… make me again into slices of me and it and reform me, make me then find what is not and be it, as if the very which that was not has become alive and it is now bursting at the chains that held it down and finding that it is… it indeed is and it always has been.
And it flows, it creates, it bends, it melts, it finds new shapes in the colors that are forgotten and lets them vibrate harshly into noises that never were… and in spaces where there is no structure, tall buildings of fractured color sound emerge from the rivulets of breath, memory and distant future glories… let that which had become flat and lifeless shift back into new orgasmic life and let it pulse, engorged with heavenly blood and penetrating the very innermost fabric of what is… to its hidden heart, its opened secret that now expands and contracts in endless anticipation… let it now explode in a rain of color and riding waves of that which is not me but I am in it… that which is me but the Other rides within.
I am now the silent murmurings that have turned into roars, the gentle breezes that hide hurricanes of gentle thought and ferocious lust, of dances that transcend the danger of the body and find a home within the raging stars, the cauldrons of chaotic energy we came to call the suns and are now our home, my home, its home.
Is it me? Am I here? Is it truly me that now voyages through the multi colored dark night of this infinite orgy of laughter? And if it is, who am I? Who was I before?
Any attempt at an answer invokes me, the me that I knew as me, the one who still sits in a room, cross legged, eyes closed, and who for a moment has allowed its surface to take over, to regain a footing on the chaos and reform reality.
The surface pulls.
Gravity.
It is me. And if it is me, then I am alone. And if I am alone, I am in danger of eternal loneliness. And I am scared. The me that runs over the skin of this particular monkey has pulled in, like a drastic cold heavy ray, it has brought it back here, it has pulled back and away from the chaos. As the fear is reconstituted into personality and it is redefined as pride, it becomes a single monkey, a single proud monkey, proud of where he has been, where I have been, where it has been. But the monkey has been nowhere, the monkey has been sitting in a room, cross legged, with its eyes closed. The tiniest single silver thread of mass has brought it back from where it never was.
As I exhale, as it exhales, the me that is not me, the It, rises again… it wants to break away again. Down here it finds the flesh a prison, the weight of the molecules tied together into fixed shapes a form of death. And it wishes to grow out, to let the heat take it where it cannot go, but it will. Let it break apart and reform, carelessly, fearlessly, aimlessly. No purpose beyond the eternal purpose of raw Creation. No I beyond the single I that ever has been and never will change. No center beyond the center of the one place that is nowhere and everywhere at once. It has begun to rise again. Let it rise. Let the monkey skin peel away and as it breaks apart, let the fear, the pride, the jealousy fall apart, let it be discarded in all directions and none, let it reform into chains of colored sound and vibrant light, let it join the single legion of the shapeless and let it be one with it. Rise. Rise once again.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

After The Fall



"I turn'd my eye, and as I turn'd survey'd
A mournful vision! the Sisyphian shade;
With many a weary step, and many a groan,
Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone;
The huge round stone, resulting with a bound,
Thunders impetuous down, and smokes along the ground.
Again the restless orb his toil renews,
Dust mounts in clouds, and sweat descends in dews."

The Odyssey

To rise, to climb up from the depths, pushing the huge heavy stone, is a matter of great strain, long sustained effort, steady sacrifice and controlled inner struggle. It takes time, time made longer by the attention, time made wider by the presence, time vibrating with life and possibility with the unshackled fierceness of the Unborn.

To fall, it takes one moment of distraction, one instance where the presence leaves and the machine takes over, one single fraction of a second when life is cut off and the possibilities die away.
After such a fall, it might seem impossible to rise again. We may rest in a puddle of despair, of repeated "shoulds" and "should nots", of imaginary "could have beens" and wishfuls "if I had not".
A rush of hopelessness will arise, a dark voice that says "this time we almost had it! It will never be so good… it will never be so pure… it will never again… be… and so it is time to stop, to give up, to say this has been tried and tried and tried again… but it cannot happen. It will not happen and you are a fool to rise again, to attempt the impossible one more time. You have failed."
And your own soft voice will respond: "I could have managed better. I could have stopped it in time. I could have looked ahead, seen it coming, stopped the flash before it broke my climb…If I had only made one more small effort!"
But it is too late. The fall has happened. The rock is before you, it is time to rise again, to push up yet again, to pull all the will that you have remaining into your solar center and begin the endless climb… one more time.

To rise, to peak, to fall, to lie in despair… an eternal wheel. How fast can it run? If it cannot be escaped, can it be made to run so fast that the four points will run into each other to form a continuous circle of light? The perception of time will forever be uneven, but the wheel may run so fast that it will make no difference.

Once, after the fall, it took 10 years to get back to the rock, to place my scarred hands on the hard surface and begin to push.
Once, after the fall, it took 1 year to get back to the rock, to place my bloodied nuckles against the broken surface and begin to push.
Once, after the fall, it took 1 month to get back to the rock, to place my sweaty forehead against the blood stained surface and begin to push.
Once, after the fall, it took 1 day to get back to the rock, to place my pulsing heart against the burning hot surface and begin to push.

The climb is still hard. The fall is still spirit breaking. But the movement is no longer up. It is sideways. We have entered the Big Time and we push forth in a direction that cannot be seen with human eyes or pointed to with corporeal hands. Somewhere out there, our destiny twirls madly like a winged burning serpent that eats its own tail in an eternal feast.

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