Friday, December 28, 2007

The Meaning of Inner Work

This is what it means work. For this moment, I understand.
The yellow lamp, the smiling mouth, the blue energy-all are open targets for my rage. Screams are close, ready to drench the space with red violence. And the tears, my steady friends remain on the lids of my eyes.
My daily exercises are preparations for this- when the pain sets in and I need every amount of will I possess to not destroy the surrounding spaces. Grasping onto the memory of ritual, I inhale. Slowly, the molecules fill my lungs and stomach.
Through the ache of being- I breathe. Inside, my body is collapsing, every learned expectation and image is being ripped, destroyed beyond recognition.
Piles of memories lay in heaps, my old self walks among them like a lost ghost in a junkyard. The familiar is painful, the new is excruciating, and I am not of either place. Both are foreign, possessing words and people from the netherworlds.
Slowing my breath, moving my hands in circular gestures, opening my eyes in exaggerated spasms…working constantly, I stay.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Impulse to Finish

The human machine, at its most basic level, has as an impulse to finish- to end something; whether it’s a project, a sexual union with an orgasm, or our lives- with death.
Deep inside, beyond rationality, we want to be DONE. It is submerged, hidden among the many folds and crevasses in our subconscious.
It is the uncomfortable present that we wish to push beyond and get rid of.
The machine fears intensity, in sexual encounters, when all the senses are heightened, the machine- alive with energy and emotion, seeks an end.
More than anything else, it needs to release the mounting energy and pressure inside, and so, as a culture not used to sustaining heightened states, we orgasm.
The human machine has evolved to die- to finish this experience. It is the orgasm of the breathing machine. With the last breath, the machine impulse to be DONE has conquered.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This Machine is My Master

This machine is my master.
It is IT that cracks the whip over my pale skin, sending me to the earth with the force of a cruel god.
Moments of pure pleasure are quickly reversed, IT recalls my melancholy, IT reminds me of doubts and jealousies laying dormant.
"On no!" it screams, "you will not know stillness!"
The machine craves its sadness, devotion to misery and depression are recited like memorized prayers. Like an addict, it searches for pain.
It takes me back to this state, over and again, in an instant, I am whimpering with fears. Before consciousness understands the descent, my open heart, full of new types of tears can turn bitter, fearing the inevitable loss it knows will come…yes, my machine coos softly, "don’t forget, you are alone."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Beyond Words

Talking, words move in and out…free as breath. Syllables to the ear, melody rises and crescendos, sweeping across the landscape of my thoughts. My mind, wild with images and context, dredges up associations from my 27 years. Piece by piece, my word is sewn together, silver and gold strands suspend the symbols, they dangle in flight as synapses spark and converge.
All the while I stare, my mouth is free of rhythm or beat, my lips twitch in anticipation. The music of your body enters, your eyes voyage through the trappings of flesh, orbit my innards and depart with a brief kiss. Plunging within the dark, we leave the human form, changing within the space to something other.
Taking me in, you feel my attention enter like the sword of fidelity. While it taps the deepness of your organs, caressing the deep red of smooth muscle, the being emerges, entwined in blue. As the moments pile, and time takes our gestures and sounds into the eternal, we forget that it is ever another way. In this immortal moment, we are each other.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Everything Is Strange

Everything is strange.
My body is driving this car, motorized velocity takes me across this stretch of highway.
I don’t recognize anything, the shapes register in a part of my brain…I go beneath an underpass, a man is walking along the gated bridge, other cars pass me…red and blue, sometimes silver.
I know what they are, their function…but, what are they?
They are foreign to me, objects from another dimension that is far from my understanding.
The road curves… my hands clutch the wheel and turn to the left, my right foot touches the brake…my body has taken over, the mechanical movements of driving are smooth and known, the habit of checking my blind spot is observed.
Everything is moving forward- the cars, the moment…time. I am inside this body, looking out. Nothing is familiar, my hands are like those of a mannequin, my face is a pile of shapes-contorted and distorted.
I look around with the eyes of a foreigner while everything is strange.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Remembering to Work

Ahhh, why is this line moving so slowly? A disturbed frown crosses my face, lines show themselves, setting into the deep grooves of my forehead, road marks of all my years of human annoyance. Okay, wait…remember to breathe…Damn, I wish they would get some more people to help this line move quicker!…Why is there only one person working at this busy post office? My eyes squint as I am further disturbed- the misery of waiting in line shows, my shoulders slouch, my mouth frowns, a multitude of human manifestations arise like a dam about to burst. Seconds of clarity attempt to intervene among my descending awareness- breathe…from inside, I hear myself say, "breathe... in... out". Like an echo in a stadium of roaring shouts, I can barely hear the soft whisper… "stay calm, breathe with attention…this experience is a gift, a chance to use this energy. This is an opportunity to work…breathe, feel your body."
In moments of stress, the impatience or annoyance is really my energy run amok. It has escaped my control and reverted back to old machine habits- negative manifestations of pure energy. These are the moments to WORK, this is the time to grasp the small voice…triggering the memory, taking action, WORKING.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Twisting, it flows like an endless serpentine path. Each door, an explosion of light and sparks of darkness within brightly colored landscapes. The chamber is easily seen and wantonly desired. It is almost kissing the redness of your lips, yet, no, it brushes past, not giving itself so freely.
To touch, you must descend into your fears, all the monsters of your mind taunt and lick their wounds, growing yellow and green, more pungent by the day.
As they frolic with your machine, rolling through fire and cushions of doubt- you walk, stumbling, groping blindly for the moss covered walls- hoping to feel the warm glow of crystals that hide half exposed in the earthy contours, revealing themselves only when your heart unfolds. Tears splash into eternity with the fine shimmer of fairies, opening with all the wetness of a crying silvery shadow. Steps come and go, there is no going back, and forward is merely a black fantasy, sealed with kept secrets. The step, this very step, left, right, left…the toes lift, the heel engages earth…right, left, right, left…the voice that doesn’t know language is here, the immortal tears of a voyaging being fall, small circles dot the path with each muted thump.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The labyrinth is this…it is this life- this experience in the body. The voyaging Being uses the machine to navigate through the labyrinth. The labyrinth is all around, all encompassing, and mostly invisible in the sleeping state. Driving down the street, one decision to make a left turn is a path, a new doorway with infinite possibilities ahead- the impulse to stop at a coffee shop is another.
We cannot travel in all directions at once. Only one path can be voyaged at a time, and each action takes the Being up or down, to the right or to the left- through time- in the multi-dimensional labyrinth.
Just imagine a vast labyrinth, with its multitude of choices, its many paths spill forward with promise. But the place you want to get to is the inner courtyard- you cannot just hop walls- the path must be walked- and sometimes when it seems you are descending- seemingly far away from the goal- it is because you are walking a non linear path- with lessons to be understood and discipline to be applied.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


There is a shelf in my room, on it are a handful of small items: a small necklace and earrings I got on a trip to Mexico, a small spoon, a CD. All of them are meant for a friend- they have been sitting on the shelf for 2 years, since I came back from my travels. Everyday, I pass by the shelf, look at the gifts and think, "I should really mail those." But the thought quickly passes as my mind becomes occupied with something else, and I forget- until I see it again- then of course, I think about mailing it, but don’t. The cycle continues. My habits of laziness and procrastination glaze over any impulse of action. I think of doing, but never take the last step.
And then…
I hear a song that clearly reminds me of her, not just her image, but the energy she evokes in me. She bubbles, her laughter sounds like bells moving across a meadow. I remember walking though Zurich with her in the snow, arms linked and laughing. Something stirs inside me, unnameable and mostly dormant; but it stirs and flutters with crisp attention and force.
In that precious moment, I wake up. I get up and walk over to the gifts…I’m ready for the last step, the last push through the interval. I pick the items up, put them in a box, and walk out the door…a couple of blocks later I am at the post office and mail the gift.
It’s 2 years of habits that have crippled me, preventing me from moving. It was not forgetfulness, I saw the gifts everyday... it was the habit of laziness, the habit of attention wandering, lack of will and determination. I have been lost in the final interval. For a brief moment, when the machine wakes up, its simple. Action and attention are aligned within me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Timeless Author

"…the dominant notion is that everything is the work of one single author. Books are rarely signed. The concept of plagiarism does not exist; it has been established that all books are the work of one single writer, who is timeless and anonymous."
Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges

This text reflects the literary vision and philosophy of Tlon, an intricate and highly developed universe still unknown to most people. The reality in our immediate perception is based on ownership- property, cars, inventions…photographs, books, some companies are even attempting to patent genes and certain strands of DNA. It is the cult of the individual that pervades, pushed by our ego that knows no bounds, requiring constant recognition and flattery.
In the US, there are severe legal consequences for plagiarism and artistic duplication without monetary compensation. Raw creativity, once brought into existence, transformed into a perceptible reality of matter from its indefinable source; whether it is a painting, sculpture, piece of literature or otherwise... once materialized, it is immediately owned.
The piece no longer exists in its own right, a creative gift, expression, or memory; it is now "property" owned by the creator.
But can these material memories, the tangible evidence of energy that pulsed and moved through a human body- can these expressions really be "owned."? The artistic expression is merely evidence that something moved through- but what is it? What exists inside this human machine that compels us to write or paint? Is it not the same impulse in everyone with a creative urge to turn energy into matter and matter into energy? Does this come from the same place?
…a timeless, nameless entity…alive and transforming, moving the hands that create.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Branding of Chris Crocker

Crocker- the "leave Britney alone guy" wants to jump into the celebrity boat. His prospects include the starring role of a reality show or perhaps a program entitled "Complaining with Chris Crocker."
"Chris first got on our radar a year ago," Rasha Drachkovitch, president and co-founder of 44 Blue, said in a statement. 44 Blue considers Crocker "a rebel character that people will find interesting. He's going to be a TV star."

He has been branded by the industry; his personality, traits, beliefs, etc. reduced to a character. He will fill the artsy queer spot, he will be loved and hated, admired and smeared.

Our machines are at once easily defined and indefinable. Changing by the minute, morphing slowly through the years, none of the words we use to define ourselves can stick too long. Each one is a carefully constructed layer and mask, disguising the Being inside, mostly at the mercy of the sleeping machine.

A "rebel character," one that stirs controversy, possibly spurring conversation. Artist, gay, performer, weird…all of these are just words, their meanings transitory, their image distorting the Being. The true challenge is maintaining distance from the words- using them to convey a meaning, using the image they create, perhaps to jumpstart a career, without becoming attached or identified with them.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

O.J.Simpson and the Habits

Adrenaline oozes out of tiny glands, filling his body with supreme energy. His heart is beating a little faster as he walks with his head high. The pounding in his chest continues, he can hear it pumping, creating a soundtrack of his life movie.
At this moment he is more aware of himself than he has ever been, he is alive, breathing, soaring. His palms sweat, he moves quickly, decisions are mere impulses, his body acts, his mind follows. He moves like an animal, intent in its direction, one goal in mind…everything is clear.

After narrowly escaping a murder conviction a decade ago, OJ Simpson he has again found himself in a legal drama. He is charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in what he said was an attempt to retrieve sports memorabilia stolen from him.

OJ is in trouble again, not because anything was stolen, but because he has a strong habit he is unaware of. Its results are obvious- the legal predicament - but the impulse that led him in the direction of jail remains a mystery. His machine chases after the memory of energy and wakefulness, the alertness that comes from living on the edge, with one hand on a gun- yielding the power of life and death.

The same impulse is expressed thousands of ways, depending on the machine. One might parachute, or eat chocolate ice cream, or make love.

It is the impulse to wake up, to feel energy moving in every direction, to feel the body and be completely alert.

But all of them are habits, ultimately just an image of wakefulness when done by a sleeping machine. They are repeated often, out of habit, unconsciously.

Some manifestations have more intense consequences, like jail or death, but they come from the same place at the most basic level.

OJ, unaware, repeats the habits he learned as a child, following the example of adults in his life. A slave to his machine habits and impulses; perhaps wondering why he is in tight silver shackles again.
He has learned nothing since 1994, he has not learned to control his machine. He is still a victim of his own habits. He will continue making the same choices, hanging with the same surly people, repeating the same habits until he has a moment of understanding, when he can see himself from the outside- perhaps then he will understand who is in control.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


As humans existing in a world beyond our immediate control, we have developed habits that attempt to provide a sense of stability. One manifestation of this can be seen in the way we cling to our ideas, morals, images, thoughts and feelings as "fixed." Thinking, believing perhaps, that they are and have always been true and will always be correct.

Lucifer, among modern Christians, is associated with Satan and the Devil- they are one and the same. Like all our common perceptions- about the world, our environment, ourselves- an idea changes and evolves…it is not fixed and has never been stagnant.
Always, where there have been people, myths, stories, and words have been morphing, in a state of evolution.
What many Christians consider common knowledge: the story of Lucifer as the fallen dark angel; has been added to, developed, changed, embellished, and re-written.
"The scholars authorized by ... King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated ... largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, "Day star, son of the Dawn," as "Lucifer," and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place.
Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and --- ironically --- the "Prince of Darkness."
Christians believe that Lucifer, the being, has existed since, or near, the beginning. But the concept of Lucifer as Satan did not appear until the Bible had gone through many translations of the old testament (from Hebrew, to Greek, to Latin).
A Latin word, Lucifer means bringer, or bearer, of light (lucem ferre), known in Roman astronomy as Venus (the morning star).
"In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah (which is the only place Lucifer is mentioned) is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or reference."
This story and now common belief for millions has not always been a truth, it has changed. With every translation with every new interpretation, new layers and meanings are added.

It is important to notice how easily we settle into a "fixed" idea, perception, or interpretation . Religion, sense of self, morals…a multitude of image-like perceptions.
And precisely because we change, because our stories change, it is important to notice. We should open our eyes,expand out heart and senses and notice just how much is in flux, sometimes it takes centuries, sometimes only a couple of years, but the change happens. Allowing the process, noticing it, seeing how all is ever changing…this will open up space for our fixed images to break.
Perhaps the lines will become a little more blurry between us and them. The words we associate with our own identity may shift or lose their importance and maybe our mask will begin to melt.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Cult of the Amateur

The book, The Cult of the Amateur, by Andrew Keen, examines the cultural revolution being spawned by Web 2.0 and its millions of users. He argues that this new form of media and information sharing is killing our culture, replacing experts and professionals with speculative, no-talent amateurs. Where there were once cultural gatekeepers- publishing houses, editors,
curators; with the web, anybody can post a video, regardless of quality. This, he says, is destroying our publishing, music, and news-gathering industries.
While much of the blogs are opinionated rants, and newspapers and television have dumbed themselves down for the general public; there is a space, a need that this new venue fills. It allows, like never before, the ability for people to move their energy.
Why limit creativity?- that amazing urge, that indescribable need to "do"? This is an outlet for people to express themselves, create books and t-shirts, artwork and express anger in the form of rants.
Most of the time they are not award winning pieces of work, but they are testaments to energy allowed to flow, ideas and attention that was brought to the surface. The physical content merely reflects what once was.
It is the energy we cannot see with our eyes, but it is physical and real nonetheless. It has moved through the machine. The end result, good or bad, is that it journeyed. And that is what we strive for, to move and transform our energy.
There have always been artists and writers, scientists and musicians who were not considered great in their time. The professionals Mr. Keen sentimentally desires were once themselves amateurs, perhaps rejected from the professional world.
Everyone must start at the beginning- an unknown. We should be careful to idealize "professionals." They are the living vessels that energy used to create. But they are not alone in this. Lightning can strike in more than one place.
We do not create for titles, we create because we must. It is always wonderful when the general public engages and responds to the product, but we labor for something much greater. We move our energy to transform ourselves, our space, our perceptions and perceived limitations. We create for the beings and realities I have no words to name.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Growth Without Patience

We call it "building a fire."
One must create a fire slowly, first finding small twigs and pieces of paper. It takes time and attention, a little piece here, a little bit of oxygen there…adding larger and larger branches until the fire is roaring.
An easier method, one made for the impatient and short sighted is to add some lighter fluid. This quickly creates flames, but is more volatile and liable to explode.
One method requires patience and skill; the other, fueled by need and instant gratification, needs only the fluid and a squirt.
China has used the quick-lighting method of expansion and they are on the brink of an explosion. Their unprecedented economic growth- growth driven at all costs- is having serious implications on the people and the environment of China, as well as the rest of the world.
This spring, a World Bank study done with SEPA, the national environmental agency, concluded that outdoor air pollution was already causing 350,000 to 400,000 premature deaths a year. Indoor pollution contributed to the deaths of an additional 300,000 people, while 60,000 died from diarrhea, bladder and stomach cancer and other diseases that can be caused by water-borne pollution.
China’s environmental agency insisted that the health statistics be removed from the published version of the report, citing the possible impact on "social stability," World Bank officials said.

All growth- on an individual scale or country-wide should be done with some attention, using all available knowledge, and applying the previous experience and lessons of those who came before us.
Expansion for its sake alone, without any thought for conscious development or evolution, is bound to explode.
At the very least, it maintains the status quo.
It is the machine state at work with extreme power- without the Being in mind.
China is one huge machine- producing goods for the rest of the world- its leaders tout progress while the workers themselves are dying of cancer. The majority of people do not have clean drinking water and much of the rivers are not even clean enough for industrial use. The Communist party realizes there is a problem, but the mechanism is moving at a pace which seems too fast to stop, and it’s gaining momentum. The government is trying to keep the health statistics secret.
Most of the people now are just caught in the cogs, trying to eat and fulfill their basic human needs- but when enough people are dying from the pollution and its subsequent manifestations, people may have a moment of clarity in which they will see the machine apparatus. Then there will be unrest. And the machine will struggle against the necessary changes, changes that could ultimately help billions on the planet and countless others.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Early Decisions

The attempt to keep the machine rolling along, creating more unhappy, unconscious, sleepy humans. It is a seemingly innocent
proposition. Beginning this fall, students at Dwight Morrow High School in New Jersey will be asked to pick a major. With this
declaration, they will devote their academic time and elective classes to fulfilling the requirements of the major. School
administrators hope this will give the students a competitive edge in college admissions- because "college admissions officers have said over the years that they favor students with expertise in particular areas since it demonstrates commitment and passion." But this is not true passion, it is the image if it. Asking a 13 year old to decide on a career path, then forcing that student to complete the required classes in order to graduate, is not the mark of passion. It is basically making someone jump through the hoops of public education; something Universities have perfected.Whether or not it will prove useful to students is somewhat irrelevant. Most people are unhappy and unfulfilled in their
chosen career paths anyhow. Picking it earlier probably won’t affect the long term. The more subtle thread of this story is
the larger machine structure. The societal need to funnel people into specific categories and fields. Modern society needs cogs, it needs nurses and teachers and construction workers. There is not enough space for people to be living spontaneously, to be following their true desires or passions.In an unconscious attempt, school boards and government agencies target people at a younger age, putting them onto the black and white path of limited choices. Deeper than this is the real question: For who and what are we working for? Are jobs supposed to fulfill us-should they give us meaning? This is the another great illusion. We have sought meaning everywhere around us- job, family, religion…the main things we identify with…the things we can look at and say, "yes, that is me, that is what I love and believe in." These are not real, they are not who we are. Everything we look to as an identity is a lie, a construct of the machine to try and create a reality that makes sense.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Image of the Title

Please call me Chief Lydia, or if you prefer, Lydia who Brings the Moon to Daly City.
In Nigeria, I would be able to buy these titles, officially adding them to my name for the price of
$200,000 to $250,000, ultimately with the hope of renewed respect and esteem. It is a craze among the wealthy and Chiefdom has become common.
Financial manager Reginald Ibe, a chief of the Igbo people in the south-east, echoes this disquiet. "Chieftaincy titles have practically been bastardised these days," he says. "Everybody
wants to acquire one chieftaincy title or any other title. The number of honorary PhDs we have in this country is symptomatic of a people who have failed in so many aspects of life."
Originally, Chiefdom was not a title, it was a position earned through direct action. To be a chief was like becoming a small god- a man had proved himself worthy, by his actions.
Scarcity makes things special. Diamonds are considered precious, not just because of their beauty, but because of their rarity…for the time and labor required to dig them from the earth. It is not like picking up a piece of gravel, it requires patience and skill.
Likewise, the position of Chief was important, signifying to the people the man’s character. But many have become lazy, wanting the respect and prestige without earning the right for it. Money, it seems, is all that is required. In Nigeria and even here, in the US, $250,000 is an obscene amount of money to acquire a title, but this shows the eagerness for respect, the desire to standout from the general populace.
This is buying an image.
The image of a respectable man, the image of an intelligent, compassionate person.
These titles, now commonplace among those with bank accounts, have defiled ancient tradition, making the title no more important than a rotting banana.
The title is an afterthought. The position is earned through action and Being. The title without foundation is merely a distorted ghost reflection of what once was. Ultimately everyone can see that, even if it is not spoken.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Keeping Up The Front

The New Zealand Parliament has just enacted a new law that makes it a crime to use video footage taken within Parliament for the purpose of "satire, ridicule or denigration."
Under the promise of imprisonment- such acts are now outlawed.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen accused the media of trying to portray the restrictions as "some sort of fascist state where the heroic media of New Zealand are being denied the right to lampoon politicians."
But what other road are they on?
In order to portray themselves in the best light possible, they are sacrificing free speech for image. Only 6 members of the 121-seat parliament voted against the measure.
In March 2005, speaker Margaret Wilson banned cameras from TV3 for seven days after the network showed associate education minister David Benson-Pope asleep during a parliamentary session.
The people that make up government are not gods- they have been entrusted with immense power, the power to enact laws that effect everyone in society. The very fact that they have power means there should to be more oversight, not less.
The New Zealand Parliament have become completely identified with their image- how they are perceived by the people. But this careful crafting of media portrayal will be based on falsities, not actual events or real displays of emotion.
They are trying to hide behind the guise of professionalism, stature, and civility- but what is it they are working for? Why are they there?
They have forgotten their original pure motivations... if they ever existed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Safe, protected, secure, assurance, risklessness, invulnerability…
these words have cloaked us in artificial meaning and false reality.
The powers of the world have tried to establish some semblance of order and control, mostly through laws establishing separating all actions into two main categories- legal and illegal.
Where we were once connected with tribes and leaders, healers and wise elders, we are now, for the most part, small nuclear units in a larger world, held together by national borders, language, government.
The universe is still wild, uncontrollable, and unpredictable. Stars are created and burst, earthquakes open the earth, humans continue to die despite modern technology.
There is so much out of our hands.
Instead of accepting this fact, embracing beauty in an existence of chaos and moving artfully with the flow of energy- we struggle, we crave safety. Our wise leaders have no place in this society- there are simply too many people, like sheep we move and exist- the government, like punitive, cautious parents, holding tight to their rigid ideologies and morals, makes the decisions.
They decide what is good and bad for us. Laws are crafted- determining what is legal and illegal, moral and immoral.
The US government has clear definitions of what is safe. Non-safe things, whether they are substances, food, plants, etc. are illegal, supposedly to protect us.
The government has declared marijuana, LSD, opium and many other plants/drugs dangerous. Dangerous for our bodies, minds, society, children…most of these substances have been known to alter-reality, to change the user, to offer a new experience or frame of mind.
Salvia. Also known as diviner's sage, "magic mint" or "Sally D", Salvia divinorum is a white-and-blue-flowered sage plant that grows in the Oaxaca mountains in Mexico.
It has been used for centuries by the Mazatec people in shamanistic rituals and in healing.
Salvia is legal in the US, but with the increasing popularity and out-of-body experience it can offer, the government will no doubt be banning it soon- these experiences are deemed dangerous.
And perhaps they are.
Shamanistic rituals have never had a safety seal. To truly live- to be alive, to awaken is uncomfortable, scary, and dangerous.
There is danger as the machine perceives a threat, there is danger while moving against the current.
Wise leaders do not necessarily discourage danger.
Within a ritual, there are elders, knowledgeable about the plant, the effects, etc. and they can offer guidance within a specific ritual and experience.
Most of us now are alone, without this essential element, and when experiences have gone beyond our own control, when they begin to be scary, we become terrified and desire safety. The saftey of routine, the risklessness of normal life.
Salvia is touted as a legal "high."
But these plants were not traditionally used as recreation, for a "high." They were sacred, and still are, to be used with respect and fear, with clear intention.
They are powerful, and thus, in the eyes of this government, this society based on fear and image- very dangerous.
When used, perhaps one will never be the same.
But that is the purpose.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Religion and Cult

Tom Cruise has "publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult", stated the German defence ministry, which is why filmmakers of Valkyrie have been banned from German military sites. The film is about Col. Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, the German army officer who tried to assassinate Hitler with a suitcase bomb.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has considered Scientology to be a dangerous cult, conducting activities that are "directed against the free democratic order" in the country.
"Germany is a country of established churches, and so Scientology is viewed as a cult and, worse, totalitarian and exploitative. A professing Scientologist in the role of Stauffenberg is like casting Judas as Jesus. It is secular blasphemy," said Josef Joffe, a German journalist.
In a world where "church" and "cult" ride a razor’s edge of definition, restricting people based on ideology, religious practices, etc., may set a dangerous precedent. Who defines what is cult-like? Despite being relatively more established, what makes any of the churches in Germany different?
"In Europe, but in Germany especially, we are more sensitive to totalitarian ideologies," said Ursula Caberta, the head of a government task force in Hamburg that opposes Scientology’s expansion in Germany. "Tom Cruise is not just an actor who is a Scientologist," Ms. Caberta said. "He is an ambassador for Scientology. All totalitarian systems have their celebrities to open doors for them."
Banning Scientologists from Germany is their attempt to control, the keep a lid on a fragile human psyche, a delicate society. Recent history has shown just how easily humans can be manipulated, but once we begin to ban and outlaw people, religions, cults, etc, the "black list" only grows longer. Anything new, "other," strange, etc. will be targeted and labeled. All non-established, non-mainstream people and activities can be viewed as suspicious.
Church and cult are just two words- words given separate powers and meanings, depending on an individual viewpoint. We should look at both objectively- we are not completely safe or in immediate danger from either. Both have the power to influence politics, people, and societies. The trend should not be to restrict- where channels then run underground.
The human mind cannot be liberated by restricting the spaces where it may go. The only real weapon against totalitarianism is openness. Anything else is a step in the wrong direction.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Crime of Sex

Genarlow Wilson, probably never thought he would find himself behind bars at the age of seventeen for receiving a blow job, and two years into a ten-year sentence, his future is gray; especially with the Georgia State Attorney General, Thurbert Baker vowing to appeal a court decision to overturn the felony charge into a misdemeanor. Baker sees the world in only two colors, without which there is a steady dissent into chaos. "As attorney general, I took an oath to uphold the laws of this state," Baker said during the news conference he called to explain why he is appealing a judge's order to free Wilson. "And in taking that oath I don't have the luxury of taking the law into my own hands, or picking which cases to defend."
Wilson was convicted of aggravated child molestation, despite the consent of the 15 year old girl. And although the law which put him in prison was changed last year, Baker said the Monroe County Superior Court judge overstepped his authority Monday when he granted Wilson's appeal.
But we DO need to review the human laws- there is a deeper, more complicated world that exists beyond legislature- the wild, the primitive, the unconscious- the very places these laws try to control and manipulate. They aim to not only castrate but alienate our machines from our deeper impulses.
The awakened state one can experience during sex is powerful and sacred. Most humans feel something incredibly powerful with the sexual energy- perhaps most don’t understand it or know how to use it- but its power is evident. The laws that punish sex acts (especially among consenting partners) could only have been designed by machines fearing the Wild. Indulging and upholding these laws, prosecuting people despite all reason or rationality does not even whisper at safety. Attorney Bakers is responding mechanically to his perceived threat, the threat of chaos, of sex…and he holds tight to his illusion that laws are meant to be obeyed, not questioned.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The desire for human safety holds tightly to its delusion, struggling to look away from the edges of darkness that beg to steal us away.

Death is the end result of this body.

"Keep us safe!" they scream.
A child has drowned in a backyard pool, one of the 260 under the age of five to die in the same manner. "Keep us safe!" they scream.
The willful 4 year old managed to climb over his child-escape door gate and then over the 4 ft high fence surrounding the pool. Despite the gate, intended to prevent accidental drowning, the parents of the boy hope for new legislation; a bill that would require the installation of pool alarms. Safety advocates have accused the pool industry of downplaying hazards and resisting regulation to avoid worrying consumers.
"Every single death is preventable," said Alan Korn, the public policy director of Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit group
based in Washington.When has death been preventable? Squeezing every last breath out of the elderly with medications and technology…safety features in every car and gadget, we are a country desperately seeking safety…keep us alive, we scream. Politicians oblige, milking our fears. They keep writing and passing laws, but we just can’t stop dying.
"Safety advocates recommend a variety of measures besides fences and alarms: weight-bearing pool covers, self-closing and self-latching gates, anti-entanglement and drain-release devices for hot tubs, rescue equipment and training, swimming lessons and Coast Guard-approved life preservers."And when we have covered ourselves in knee pads, wrist guards, helmets, and all the latest technology has to offer, we will still not be safe.
You are not safe…death will claim your body, pain tempts to take you under. There will never be enough legislation to prevent our humbling. All the organizations, systems, strategies, the seeming order and structure of it all…nothing is safe; and perhaps if you cannot see that now, you will understand it in the seconds after you have taken your last breath.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reason and Fear

We work with the machine. We work with care and diligence to blend all aspects of the machine: the emotional center, the intuition, the intellectual center. All aspects have their relevance and function, lending themselves well to each other, and when all is working properly, making each aspect more finely tuned and perceptive…ripe and able to Awaken.
All our aspects can work for us. Our intellectual center has its purpose, although, like anything, it should not be allowed to take over.
In his recent book, The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore, argues the opposite: That most Americans have allowed their intellectual center to be muted and numbed…ignoring reason and logic and replacing it with blind faith. Faith in leaders and authority. Faith…trust in the military, in the president, basically, anybody but ourselves.
Gore says:
"The point of this book is that our nation is so shockingly vulnerable to such crass manipulation. Whether it’s New Orleans or Iraq or the climate crisis. And it's happening over and over again – the censorship of scientific warnings about the climate crisis; the warrantless mass eavesdropping on American citizens; the overturning of a prohibition against; and the fact that there is so little protest or outcry points to the much deeper problem not of just the culpability of those in the White House at the present moment, but at the fact that we are so vulnerable to these mistakes and that we allow them to occur with hardly any impressive outcry of resistance or protest."
The "why" of this interval is complex, but the first example is our culture of fear.
"Our systematic exposure to fear and other arousal stimuli on television can be exploited by the clever public relations specialist, advertiser, or politician."
Most Americans watch more than two hours of TV a day. Subjected to the latest news of murders, accidental deaths, terrorists, suicide bombers…a world out of control and we want safety. We have given up many rights for this image of safety…even our ability to reason has gone out the window. We are more likely to be struck by lighting than be killed by a terrorist attack, yet, despite the logic, in recent years, Americans have hardly peeped while right after right has been stripped away in the name of safety. The intellectual center has given way to the primal desire for survival, the most basic machine tendencies are now in control. The lizard brain is in command of the ship.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Paris finds God

Like little leaves in the wind, flittering into gutters…a yellow ginko leaf, a bright green maple leaf…the color, the shape don’t matter. The wind just blows and they move, with no order or purpose.
And why…the question that conscious thought has been trying to answer. Humans have given this "why" a name. In a world where people look like leafs, seemingly out of control in a place of chaos, we have attempted to grasp at meaning.
Most humans believe in "god," they change the name and attributes, but basically, it helps explain existence. With stories, myths, and laws…religion attempts to give structure and meaning. When we find ourselves in situations that hurt our hearts, we need explaination…we need meaning or this whole earthly experience makes no sense.
Why? Why here? What for? God provides the answer.
Paris Hilton must have been asking these questions in her jail cell when she "found god," according to a telephone interview with Barbara Walters. It is the machine attempt to find safety, to feel stability and a sense of control in a universe that cannot provide it. It is the underlying fear of most humans, the fear of meaninglessness, the fear of the unknown.
She said, "I have become much more spiritual. God has given me this new chance."Once all the distractions are taken away. When you lie in a cell all alone, with no cameras, clothes, parties, friends….the painful reality can not be ignored. Without any other knowledge or apparent paths, god is the easy choice for explanation for the machine seeking control.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bartlett Leaves Bush

Machines, by their very nature are devoted to a particular image. Perceptions, belief, concepts of right, wrong, morality; all of these add to the image. What we have come to see as our identity and goals, career, reasons for living, all are images.
To avoid disruptions in the image, we generally need the help. The machine wants to be around people that share similar beliefs, hobbies and ambitions. This helps reinforce the belief that we have found the true religion or important career, that we are good or talented…all the ideas machines would like to hear.
President Bush has the image that he is a war president; perhaps sincerely believing he can spread democracy to the middle east and around the globe; liberating people from the perils of dictatorship. Believing in god, he trusts his instincts and will not back down, despite mounting evidence of failure.
For years, he has surrounded himself with advisors that share his faith, doctrine, and morality; valuing loyalty, he created an impenetrable circle…sealed to the trickle of dissenting ideas and intelligence in the White House.
Dan Bartlett, an advisor to Bush for 13 years, has just resigned, choosing to leave before the term is completed. To the press, he explained he is leaving to spend more time with his family, but it may be that, as all reports portray a devastated and violent Iraq, many people, even Bush’s closest advisors, are choosing to distance themselves from the president and his image of reality.
Surrounding ourselves with clones does not motivate machines towards the waking state. To push through the tendency of our machines, we must work with very different machines, people we would not normally want to be around. Perhaps listening to music "we" do not especially like, reading articles or books that have other viewpoints, listening and analyzing the other points, morals, views, beliefs, etc. These other machines can help us shatter our images- our inner images and the images of the external- and push us into uncomfortable realms where all we have ever understood is shattered. With this anxiety and tension, we may begin to Work.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Backing Down

"Will" must be Worked on, it must be cultivated carefully. Our machines can stand in the way of our will, so goals, intention and activities must be clear and unrelenting.
Since the Democratic takeover of the House in January, Democrats have seemed to be adamant about troop withdrawal and bringing the war to a close. The proposed Emergency war funding bill would have imposed specific dates for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Democrats knew they were up against a presidential veto of the bill, but they appeared resolved to push the measure through, knowing their base is anti-war. But when President Bush did veto the bill, the Democratic Will did not take them to the next step, it was not strong enough to push beyond the hurdle and move through the resistance. Instead, the relented, creating a new bill that gave the president more money than asked for, without any provisions for troop withdrawal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "But make no mistake: Democrats are committed to ending this war."
This event was the antithesis of Will building. The Democrats appeared to have a clear objective: timetables for troop withdrawal, and after much media coverage and sound bytes; when they faced an obstacle, the presidential veto, instead of taking it to court, they relented.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer indicated that the next bill will include benchmarks for Iraq. But their will has already been degraded. The next time…a great excuse for the sleeping machine, but the president is likely to veto other similar measures. Without a strong collective Will to end the war, the Democrats could always end up backing down, never developing their strength, will, and never taking the step to end this war.
Because they have shown themselves to be easily dissuaded, their words hold no weight. Words must be followed through by action; the Will must push you through. To develop Will, you cannot back down at the first sign of resistance. There will be thousands of obstacles: your machine desires, the pull of the sleeping state, societal conventions, people, TV shows, friends, family…there are bountiful opportunities to submit and back down, especially for the most meaningful actions... The Work.
So to develop Will, we must be clear and precise with our intentions, then move through the obstacles that come before us, they come from the outside and within.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Word: Terrorist

We all have different associations with words, depending on our culture, upbringing, religion, society, habits, memories, experience, etc.
One of the most charged words in recent years is the word "terrorist." For many in this society, we have come to immediately associate this word with middle eastern men, willing to die and kill for their religion. They are people who wish to bring down our great civilization and destroy democracy, take us "back to the Stone Age," as my father would say.
As defined by the dictionary, terrorism is the "political use of violence or intimidation."
In post 9/11 America, the collective definition of terrorism/terrorists is Islamic extremists. They are suicide bombers who wish to kill Americans.
Americans have come to associate the word "terrorist" with people from the outside. People that come from the Middle East, worship Allah, people that are different from us.
When Rosie O’Donnell asked the question: "655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?" there was an outcry from many Americans. So used to the meaning of terrorists as "other," they are unable to critically look at themselves, our army and our policies as terrorism.
Simply stated by definition, terrorism is the political use of violence or intimidation. By taking a step back, by de-identifying, it is clear that our policies in Iraq are political and we have used military violence. Aren’t our prisons a form of terrorism, isn’t our practice of torture on detainees terrorism?
Terrorism is simply a word…with a lot of political power. It has been used by a president and his administration to go to war, it has been used to create Big Brother legislation, it has been used as an excuse for torture in Guantanamo and other prisons. But in Iraq or Palestine, or any other part of the world, their common understanding of (the common usage of the word) terrorist is most likely completely different.
Is either usage correct or incorrect?
Or are words just empty shells to be filled with power in the service of other hidden purposes?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Supressing the Energy

Suicide: the last attempt at quelling intense energy. There were medications, supposed to suppress, calm, remove. There were counselor visits, appointments…all were attempted ways to deal with energy.
According to some counselors and UC officials, there are more young people going to universities with mental issues than ever before. More students are requesting counseling, many are coming into the system with a prescription history of Prozac, Wellbutrin, etc.
Medicalizing these young people is the only way this society can deal with them. Pills and psychological chatter attempt to ease individuals into a lifetime of complacency and market consumption. It is the attempt, by all parties, to remain asleep.
The medications help ease the uncomfortable, the anxiety-like sensations, the intense energy that the machine has. This culture is fearful of the uncomfortable, it fears awakening…and one of the first steps of awakening is understanding and utilizing our energy.
But this is not a culture or society that encourages wakefulness and thus, there are companies and entire professions dedicated to quelling our energy, turning the energy into a medical problem needing treatment.
And everyone will remain asleep…the energy will be subdued, the counselors and officials will argue about funding, there will be debates over the source of mental problems in young people….and everyone will stay asleep.

Friday, June 8, 2007


They are studying the machine. Researchers working with control groups and subjects, it is all clinical and scientific, papers will be published and new theories will be formed.
How long must we talk? How long will I be in therapy, remembering the pain of childhood, the events that created a fear of abandonment, the feeling of isolation?
For years we can live in the cycle of remembering, reliving, repeating, trying to make sense of the past; trying to understand the people we have become.
The clarity of "who we are" has been lost. We have all become identified with the lives of our machine. Is our being Christian or Jewish or Mexican…is our being a football player or ballerina…is our being a photographer or a poet?
It is the machine that felt disappointment from a failed relationship, it is the machine that felt embarrassed or ashamed from an experience, it is the machine that felt isolated.
The being has become identified with the machine, perceiving itself as being the same as the machine. Perceiving the life events of the machine as its own….the being is trapped within this way of identifying. Psychotherapy only adds to this confusion, rehashing life events over and over, using the past as a way of understanding the current state of the machine, not moving beyond the experience of the machine, always remaining trapped.