If I knew, I would tell you.

What can I tell you? I have no answers. Though I have, through the murk, perceived many golden images of reflected truth, heard many stories from great minds that see further than I, all I can tell you is that I am here, now. So many theories, so many explanations, and none are definitive. All fall short of the truth, for they are but fragmented images, filled in with the conceits and fancies of the imagination. We stumble in the dark, we cannot see. We strive and strain for knowledge, but ever does wisdom elude us.

Some say we are evolving from the muck towards higher levels of being. Others say we are fallen gods, trapped by our inability to recognize and reclaim our own forgotten power. We live in oh, such special times – that oh, maybe aren't so special after all. The spirits, the sages, the secret teachings of all ages: we turn to them for help, and find that there is no one to follow. For to follow any one for too long is to stray into distraction. To make progress, we seek always to see beyond the next bend, to what remains hidden. And yet no progress is possible, all paths appear dead ends. Is there any hope of spiritual gain? Must we first abandon hope?

I will tell you what I know. I know that I am here, now. And, if there is any logic to the universe, I have a point of origin from which I emanate as my seeming self in time and space. By the power of divine will, by choice, by belief, and by agreement is this world made solid around me. I know that this is not my home, but that I chose to be here, to experience this incredible, immersive game in the most potent way possible. And so I appear to be contained, restrained, repressed, weakened, limited, blinded, maimed, diseased, trapped, confused, deceived, in pain, in need, and utterly, utterly lost. And yet... I am here, now. I am inside the illusion, far from home... and yet, home is where I am already, in that eternal state from whose bland absolutity I escaped by coming here to play. I know that even that scenario is just another story in a creation full of story. But it suits me at this moment.

What else is there but all that is?

I've heard it said, for what it's worth, that the truth won't set you free. First it'll piss you off, and then you'll realize that you were free all along. Make of that what you will.

I know that if I only knew, I'd know that I was free. And sometimes I feel it, like the fleeting touch of a distant memory. Freedom. And yet it is always there, just waiting to fill my awareness if I but choose to let it in.

This is the story of all stories. Choose yours with care, or have it chosen for you. Either way, it's your adventure. And at the end of it, should you choose to make an end, you'll find yourself back home and realize that you never even left. So, might as well make the most of it. Tell yourself a story worth the telling.

Guys! Guess what! The Earth is flat!

Some guy (presumably a guy – most Internet fruitcakes of this type seem to be male, for some reason) posted a provocative little comment over at Smoking Mirrors, basically a drive-by display of cracked intellect and inflated ego. To be honest, it's not what he says so much as the way he says it. But, since I am possessed of a rampant ego myself, I will take this opportunity to, well, not to strike back, since that's hardly necessary, but to say a few words on what might be taken as an object lesson from this example.

I didn't even know there were people today who believe in a flat Earth. The idea just seems ridiculous. But I got curious as to how such a belief might be propagated and what kind of evidence would be used in support of it. This BBC article on Flat Earth theorists (FETers) is a good introduction. To investigate a little deeper, I also visited the Flat Earth Society website and read a couple of forum threads debating FET. That was a bizarre little trip, but it got me thinking... what motivates people to adopt these kinds of theories into their belief system? How can they continue to hold their belief in the face of all the evidence and logic to the contrary?

I tend to think their motives are often emotional. There may be a deep desire to be right, and to belong to a small, exclusive club of people who are right, while everyone else is just wrong. Superiority complex, the need to be special. Or perhaps they start with a deep distrust of government and the establishment in general, and latch onto whatever theory to justify that. Paranoia. Some may partly lack the ability to draw the line between objective reality and the products of their own imaginations. Delusion. And then, I suppose, there could be people whose minds are just magnetically attracted to some particular oddball theory because they're simply wired that way. These are just a few obvious possibilities, I'm sure there are plenty more.

The trouble with this sort of thing is that once a mind, for whatever reason, has decided to believe something, no amount of rational argument can sway it from that belief until it's ready to let go. Moreover, as I've mentioned before, our beliefs about reality shape our experience of it to a very large degree. So even though we all reside in one collective reality, an individual person can literally be living in their own world quite far removed from the general consensus. Their inner orientation, their outer focus, and their interpretive processing between the two form a self-reinforcing feedback loop. This is why, when one studies external phenomena to try to form a model of the system, it's so important to be conscious of one's own emotional investments and to consciously avoid letting them get in the way of discovering truth.

I'll say this right now: I'm not a left-brain thinker. I can operate in that mode, and I can appreciate a good train of logic, but I usually prefer a more organic way of thinking, relying on intuition first, then the intellect. This way has served me well in my search for truth. The ability to discern grows with practice.

I've already expended more words on this than I'd otherwise like to. The reason I did is not because I assume people are stupid, but because of something I'm working on that warrants a little bit of thought in this vein, just as a prelude. There's a difference between a reality-challenged conspiracy “theorist” and someone who honestly looks into things to try to find what's really there without jumping to unfounded conclusions. That's all. And I'm not claiming that these guys are the real deal, that you should believe anything they say just because they've done a bunch of research and they're “the experts.” God forbid. No, my intent with this video transcript, which I hope to finish soon, is to hopefully just bring someone who hasn't considered such things before to say, “Hmm. That's interesting. Maybe there's something there. I think I'll look into that and see if there's any truth to it.” Little seeds.

One last thing. I may just be fatigued from blogging so much this month, but I feel like the focus here may shift more towards poetry, at least once I pull up stakes in a few weeks and head out into the wide world. My prose is starting to feel dry to me, too many words, not enough of the good home flavour. So we'll see where this goes. Inspiration, stay close! Guide my hands and guide my feet.

Au revoir.

So what's this all about, anyway?

Everyone has their own idea of what's going on, where we are, how we got here, what we face in the future. There's a thread of apocalypticism that seems to crop up everywhere. That thread, especially as woven in the mass media, is often heavily tinged with fear and fantasy, based on vague or shallow understanding. It becomes easy to either dismiss such thoughtforms altogether and continue to imagine that everything will keep going on pretty much as it has been, or else to get all caught up in the smoke-and-mirrors funhouse version of Circus Apocalypticus. The Tunnel of Doom can be a compelling ride, and there's no end of terrifying and disturbing sights and sounds to keep that dark thrill of fear and despair churning inside. That's to be expected. We are, after all, in a realm of appearances. We each see our own subconscious shadows playing out on the screen, along with the beauty of our divine nature, in whatever measure is appropriate to our individual need and choice, moment by moment.

Objectively, nothing I say here matters a whit. Nor does it matter what I believe nor what anyone else believes. Nevertheless, here inside the fractal symphony of subjective experience, under the prime illusion of separation, each part has its own specific role to play. Regarding the need for self-expression, I recall these words from a song I learned in elementary school, the Rainbow Song:

Listen with your eyes
listen with your eyes
and sing everything you see.

I write, not because I believe it will make any difference, but because I am compelled and moved to do so by my innermost heart. At this moment, it's what I'm here to do. And so I do my best to let that innermost heart get a word in, through all the posturings and ramblings of my limited ego self.

I had a deep discussion with a friend yesterday about the economic crisis. Our views turned out to be pretty similar, although we had enough differences of opinion to make the conversation lively and interesting. His understanding at this time doesn't incorporate what could be called “conspiracy theory,” in that he doesn't see our debt-based monetary system as being inherently flawed to begin with, whereas I do. But all such conclusions are only tentative, subject to change in the presence of new information that would challenge us to see more. I voiced my understanding, in such part as I felt appropriate, but didn't turn it into a debate. There wasn't enough of a common background of information to be able to get into (what I see as) the more hidden, engineered aspects of the situation. I wasn't there to persuade him of my view, but rather to just share thoughts and have a mutually agreeable and enriching moment of human contact.

Our other major topic of discussion was one on which I've never even formed much of an opinion: the potential for an existential threat to humanity arising from the birth of an artificial intelligence beyond our capacity to control. To me, that subject has been more in the realm of thought-provoking science fiction than any plausible, actual future. To him, it is perhaps the gravest problem we face, given, of course, that something else doesn't come along first and render the question moot. In essence, the solution would be to prepare for that scenario in advance by somehow ensuring that if and when such an uncontrollable intelligence is born, it will be of such a nature as to allow for the (humanly tolerable) long-term survival of our species.

I've taken in enough science fiction to have a basic idea of the range of imagined future scenarios concerning humans vs. AI. Peaceful coexistence via hard-wired Laws for robots and a general ethical treatment towards them on the part of humans, as envisioned by Asimov, seems to me perhaps a little premature and idealistic, given the sad state of the human psyche and the unpredictability of self-directed evolution. Based on our historical record, the vision of the Terminator films would seem more realistic. But both of these scenarios presuppose the development of AI continuing forward from the present day without interruption. So the more immediate hurdles, I would say, are the existential threat posed by unenlightened mankind to itself, and the very real possibility of cataclysmic Earth changes, abundantly prognosticated by modern science and prophesied by ancient traditions passed down from the survivors of the last global extinction-level event.

I'm a big fan of the Matrix films. They depict a human race struggling for freedom from the dominance of machine intelligence in a war that is not only physical, but essentially psychological and spiritual. To me, the Matrix story is less a probable future scenario than it is an allegorical tale about where we are now. The machines are an externalized manifestation of the egoic mind, which can never know God but is preoccupied with material things. This machine intelligence creates a virtual reality, a literal prison for humanity, in which the vast majority live out their lives unaware. As an enslaved human begins to awaken, this matrix reality appears increasingly “wrong,” and they question just how real it all is, what greater truth might lie beyond these appearances.

In the real world (grin), awakening is a multi-layered process. The exact route by which it happens is, of course, unique to each person. For many, the first layer is the manufactured and distorted version of reality portrayed by television and other forms of mass media. Entertainment on this lowest end of the spectrum is typically hypnotic, banal, debased, and void of higher meaning. At some point, it becomes clear that, at its root, this is all intentionally so. It's not just because these corporations cater to the lowest common denominator to make more money. Facts and questions that go outside a particular box are actively marginalized and suppressed.

As I write, right now, the time is 9:11 PM. I suppose I'll take that as a hint. (grin)

My friend is as yet unconvinced that the events of 9-11-2001 were brought about and/or facilitated by elements within the U.S. government and U.S. intelligence (although he doesn't deny the possibility). From the perspective of one who became convinced several years ago, I would say that that position stems mainly from a lack of awareness of the vast body of credible evidence, an unwillingness to believe that such evil could lurk so strongly in such high positions of power, or both. Of course, there is also the fear of being pejoratively labeled a “conspiracy nut,” but for anyone determined to find the truth, wherever the evidence may lead, that should be of no concern. Rest assured: despite what the corporate media would have us believe, being on the side of “9-11 truth” does not translate into being an extremist or a crazy person. I shouldn't have to say that, but there it is. The real problem, of course, is that once you accept a “Truther” version of 9-11, it opens up a Pandora's box of other shit. Shit that a lot of people just don't want to touch, no matter what. They would rather not know, because knowing would mean an end to the dream with which they are so comfortable, a dream into which certain harsh big-picture realities simply do not fit.

As always, the wisest position is the only one of which there can be certainty: “I don't know.” Everything we think we know is based on perception, and our perception is, by its nature, limited. Despite what I've said here about awakening, I don't consider myself to be awake at all. I am still dreaming, just like everyone else here, although less deeply than some. All that means is that I'm standing in a different place, somewhere between the crowded center and the rarefied outermost fringes of our collective reality. I like it here. I'm in good company. But it would be terribly boring if everybody were in the same place. Regardless of where we are in relation to each other, we can interact and become the richer for it. We're all teachers, and we're all students.

Anyway, that's all incidental to the real truth, which is... we're not separate. It only seems like we are, because that's the only way we can do what we're here to do, and that's... to learn about love. To really learn, we had to step into an illusion where love is not absolute and unconditional, where we suffer and die and long for what we seemingly lost when the universe began. Our journey here is not in vain. It is part of a Great Work in progress. By our choices, we can either prolong or hasten that Great Work in ourselves. We cling to our illusions as long as we can, but little by little they fall away. Our vision expands and brightens. We experience love in all its forms, including all the manifestations of its absence and distortion. And at the end, we are all reunited with the essence from which we came and which attracts all things back unto itself for the glorious, unimaginably grand after-party of all Time.

But to answer the question... hell, I don't know. You're asking me???

Donnie Darko and the Divine (sort of) De-Mystified

I was recently prompted to watch Donnie Darko. It's one of those rare films that carry so much beneath the surface, daring the viewer to cast aside assumptions, observe, and dig in to see what's really there. A shallow or distorted reading of the film might even yield a negative message, but for the pure of heart and clear of mind, it's a profound, piercing, and potent work of art.

One of the threads in the plot explores the cult phenomenon. The classic elements are all there: a charismatic leader with a cleverly-crafted message, drawing in susceptible followers with his hypnotic spiel delivered on stage and through pricey videos and books. For me, it was interesting to note how the con was built from a seed of genuine truth – the dichotomy of Love and Fear – and subsequently inflated into hollow drivel with only the appearance of truth to the easily deceived. Even when the cult leader is fully exposed as a criminal deviant, the true believer refuses to accept reality, choosing to blame the scandal on a conspiracy to take down what she sees as a demigod-like messenger of salvation, “a wonderful man.”

A hallmark of those who are in the business of selling lies is that they cannot tolerate honest criticism. They will use every method at their disposal to deflect it and defuse the sparks of doubt. Open debate is not an option for them, because they know how deadly the truth is against deception on a level playing field. They will distort and reframe anything that threatens the lie in their own terms to try to preserve the illusion. They will use veiled psychological threats to keep their followers in line. Anyone who questions their dogma is “blinded,” “deluded,” “lost,” “confused,” “an agent of the enemy,” or some other handy descriptor. When undeniable facts come out, they will go into damage control mode to keep the core of the lie intact. But probably the cult leader's greatest weapon is the process of indoctrination that renders followers simply unable to break out of their programmed thinking. The herd instinct, carefully cultivated and stimulated, does the rest.

Of course there are positive aspects to being in a cult or cult-like community, from the member's point of view. Why else would they stay? Inside, they find purpose, direction, meaning. They are constantly reassured of the rightness and goodness of their belief system, and they can rejoice in having found the true way, the cure for their afflictions. The closeness and caring of the community, the pleasure of being in a group of like-minded people, the genuine friendships that form, the shared experiences. These are all powerful, positive things in a person's life, and there is certainly nothing wrong with having or wanting them. Moreover, the doctrine or “the way” itself may have very positive, even life-saving effects.

The troubles, however, are always present in some degree. For a naturally free-thinking individual, the ideology and the group-think can be restrictive to the point of annoyance and/or suppression of the inner self. The division between the membership and the outside world can take on pathological characteristics. The disconnect between programmed thought and reality can result in a variety of psychological maladies or other unfortunate side effects (for instance due to misapplication of an incomplete or faulty conceptual framework). Worst of all, the ones in leadership who knowingly promulgate the lie are invariably guilty of some combination of fraud, exploitation, and corruption, and, more often than not, are sexual predators to boot. There's no way to sugar-coat this awful reality. They are wolves in sheep's clothing and they have no conscience whatsoever, nor any regard for the human consequences of their actions.

It will be apparent to some that these thoughts, while intended as generalities, may also be read in the context of my former religious affiliation. However, it's not my intent to maliciously attack anything or anyone. My only motives are compassion and the desire for truth. I fervently pray that those with strength of spirit and eyes to see will be there to support their brethren and keep the light of truth. If nothing else, I would exhort such a one to seek and serve only the Divine, with all the integrity, honesty, patience, and love you can muster. Your Lord has given you something absolute, perfect, and real: his own Spirit, to dwell in your innermost heart. That Spirit speaks directly to you. When you open yourself, truly listen, and hear that still, small voice, you will KNOW it. Let there be no higher authority in your life than that awesome, living presence within. Let no words of man or thoughts of ego prevail against it.

Jesus gave one commandment: love God, and love your neighbour as yourself. When you come to see the divine essence in all things, and live authentically in the Spirit of God, there is no need for commandments at all. Laws and punishments are for those darkened souls who lack or choose to ignore this inner guidance.

I had a dream today in which a simple and powerful key was revealed to me. This key was like flipping a switch inside oneself, and it led one effortlessly to inner peace and understanding and a more divine way of being. I fumbled around for that key after waking up – I remembered what it did, but I'd forgotten what it was. I do believe I later recalled it, in part, on a contemplative walk through the park. It was related to what I said in the beginning about watching Donnie Darko: the act of pure observation of what is, unburdened by one's own, pre-existing ideas. Allowing, not forcing. “This is what it is, not what I think it is or what it should be according to my beliefs.” This shift in consciousness brings about a sense of wonder, and opens one to the flow of authentic impressions that, over time, leads only toward truth – and the dawning delight of discovery.

The Joke

In this life, certain things can be laughed at and other things are deadly serious. Those other things can kill you, and worse.

If you believe that, then welcome to Penitentiary Planet Earth, third rock from the Sun and home of seven billion (and soon to be a lot fewer) pitiful little creatures who once enjoyed the pleasure of being free human souls. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Of course, if you knew the truth, you would be laughing at me instead of the other way round. Because that's how it is.

There are laws and then there are laws. Lower creatures are subject to lower laws, and higher creatures are bound by a higher set of laws. You know there are people who get away with murder, right? I mean, take a look. It's almost like the more deaths you're responsible for, the more untouchable you are – provided, of course, that you're also rolling in the cashola. The material god of this world is on the side of those with the greatest amount of dough, baby. So how surprising is it that the wealthy few are now Extremely F---ing Wealthy, to the tune of billions in digital currencies and billions more in real assets, while some 95% of the world lives in perpetual debt slavery? Pretty good deal for the moneybags. When you practically own the planet, the world's your oyster. Excuse me while I puke from the sheer awesomeness of the situation. Didn't taste like oyster, though, I'll admit.

Where was I? Yes, these self-proclaimed elite world leaders. The ones who you see (or don't see, thanks to our ever-so-vigilant public eyes in the media) attending such fancy clubs as the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations. But not so much them, of course, as the ones holding their (purse) strings. In any event, for the sake of convenience, let's treat them all as one big happy psychopathic family. Where a smile means anything but and loyalty comes from a deep pocket and a big, big gun. Mutually assured pathology is such a beautiful thing.

The real beauty of this arrangement is that nothing is as it appears to be. To the unawakened masses (who are a conspicuously dwindling lot these days), these lizard-tongued phonies and their little crooked cronies are indistinguishable from the fictitious roles they play for the benefit of the brainwashed-from-birth bozos who believe whatever the babbling boob box tells them. Fortunately for you and me, my friend, things are not as they might appear to us either. If you've followed any of the alternative news sites on the web, you know (or at least, I'm telling you now) what a sorry sack of pungent manure they carry. The truth, they call it. Well, I call it fertilizer for the brain. What these conveyors of information (and varying amounts of disinformation, don't forget) fail to perceive is up to you and me, the discerning readers, to fill in. Not everyone is a compulsive fact-checker or info-miner, and you don't need to be those things to break through to the essential truth. Which is... what? Well, hang on.

Let's go back to the notion of law. As you may perhaps suspect by now, the lying murderers and child-molesters at the top of the worldly pyramid are not operating under the same set of laws as you and me. On the surface of it, they make the laws and break them as they please, while we are subject to an increasingly arbitrary and bewildering system built on books full of arcane legal language and intimidation both physical and psychological. The list of dos and don'ts in our modern society is truly a wonder of intergenerational programming. They do it to us and we finish the job for them. The scientific dictatorship, as imagined by Orwell and predicted by many others, with its veneer of rational ideology, institutionalized mass murder and theft, and false promises of security and prosperity, now constitutes our everyday reality. Or so it would appear.

What it comes down to, is this: who's got the power? If you think it's them, well, I guess you're right. Better stock up on ammo and food, then, and hope everything goes your way when the shit hits the fan. But that's a choice you make. In my reality, these clowns have no power whatsoever, beyond the ephemeral power of the illusions they create in your mind. You see, they are absolutely dependent upon you not realizing that there are in fact much higher laws than the ones they use to control you, and that by raising your level of awareness, you in fact begin to operate above and beyond those cleverly imposed restrictions.

The law of those who seek to control humanity is a cruel one. The human parasites are themselves fed upon by parasites of a higher order, and anyone who takes the path of deceit and betrayal will inevitably be deceived and betrayed in turn. A system of control is an unstable thing in the natural world. It can survive only by consuming, threatening, and lying, and these activities have finite limits, which, when attained, result in the collapse of the system. By contrast, the dictum of live and let live, certainly preferable to the aforementioned law, is unlimited in practice. Love, freedom, and creativity act to expand the realm of possibility, and indeed, in so doing, will tend to expand themselves.

But let me speak of something else here that will hopefully clarify the issue on a deeper level. Not everyone will agree with my take on this, but it works very well for me.

What are we? If we are mere physical beings, then we are certainly doomed. Death follows birth, and this simple fact is one that the material mind most fears to accept. Is it fair to say that fear of death is the prime motivator of the egoic mind? We can say that this mind has evolved for the sole purpose of prolonging life and bettering the prospects of passing on one's genes for the continuation of the species. What other purpose could it have? And so the higher faculties and sensibilities of man are thus seen as adaptations for survival in an increasingly complex environment. This is the basic position of what we commonly call Science.

Religion counters this and offers release from the primal fear of death by which mankind is afflicted. It posits something invisible to the natural senses, some higher aspect to this being, and calls it the soul. The soul, it is said, cannot die. Unfortunately for us, however, little agreement is ever reached as to the specific nature of this soul, nor the way by which that soul might reach a more agreeable state than this thorny vale of tears, forever caught between heaven and hell. The best that religion can provide for this life is a moral code and a sense of meaning and direction, though its assurances be often unprovable.

Is there a way out of this conundrum? I speak for those who are less than fully satisfied with the dogmas of both Science and Religion as they are commonly presented. What are they missing? I would suggest that the answer has to do with a kind of truth that is beyond the reach of either of these modes as long as they cling to their preconceived limits. It is a truth that must be discovered personally by each one who seeks it. The true, hidden nature of ourselves – whatever that is – is the key.

Now. If that true, hidden nature is that we are the both the dreamer and the dreamed – and it's clear to me that we are – then the whole situation with these madmen who seemingly run the show here for their own pleasure and profit becomes a laugh. They are the fools! We are in charge! And I mean “we” as in the divine aspect of ourselves, naturally – the One. Hey, all we need to do is get in touch with that. Gosh, what a game-changer. Whoops! I guess all that fear and anxiety was for nothing. And that's handy, because it turns out that, besides being the main instrument of our oppression, fear was also the main sustenance of a host of unpleasant beings that populated the unseen portion of our planetary prison. By starving them, we now force them to move out. Perhaps they will feed on each other? Nom nom nom. Goodbye!

If I'm right, then what we're going to see in the run-up to the Big Crunch that's coming (and by that I mean the point at which all roads meet) is a lot of heavy drama and a lot of wild revelations coming out that these hopelessly deluded ruling-class sock puppets would have preferred to keep under wraps if they could have. Unfortunately for them, all that they do will only end up turning against them and they will make fools of themselves for all the world to see. This is because they really are actual sock puppets that think they can write the script when they don't even realize who owns the stage. The show itself is a cosmic morality play that reads like tragedy and comedy all at the same time.

Do you see the funny side? I hope you can, because I've seen it, and, well, it's nothing but a grand old hoot. It's one hell of a good time. Had me laughing so hard, it was a piece of heaven. You know what laughter is. It's the sound of a soul set free to fly.

Wishing you many laughs (and warm hugs too),

Behold, even the devil is transformed...

“Religion is for the weak-minded,” said my best friend in high school. He said this many times. The fact that I was a Christian and he an atheist never got in the way of our friendship, and he could speak his opinions bluntly without putting a dent in it. But I could see his point, even though I knew plenty of religious people who were far from stupid, and some who I considered wise indeed.

Long before I finally left my church, I recognized the deep subjectivity of religious belief and practice. I could not, in my heart, condemn anyone for merely adhering to a different belief system, because I intuited that a person's beliefs about reality inevitably shaped their experience of it, and so their personal reality would tend to confirm their beliefs. Moreover, the idea of there being some kind of God's own special, chosen group of people on earth always rubbed me the wrong way on some deep level. I could never completely swallow the assertion so often made in my church that there was only one, specific way for man to find God and be saved, and that that single way just happened to be the one they were preaching. It didn't seem fair and it didn't seem logical – given that God was supposed to be universal and all-loving!

I've felt tempted several times to write a scathing, thorough critique of the faith and the church in which I was raised, but I've always held back. It's not that I'm afraid of offending someone, or that I don't think the criticism would be deserved. It's more a feeling of “what's the point?” There have always been much more constructive uses for my writing, I've felt. On the other hand, why not just let it out and be done with it? That's what a good rant is for, isn't it? Weeell... true, but what good does that do for the reader? To be remotely useful, such a critique would have to resemble an academic write-up more than a simple rant, and I don't think I'm up to that kind of feat today. Maybe never. If it needs to get written, it will. I try not to be dictated by my ego too much here. My most successful writing tends to be spontaneous and often ends up surprising me by the time I'm done.

What I would like to do today is to get off of my soapbox while the gettin' is good and pass on to you the words of Manly P. Hall, from his 1928 book The Secret Teachings of All Ages (public domain). The selection below talks a little bit about sex vis à vis Christian philosophy and follows up with an interesting story about Adam and a certain very old and cunning snake. Enjoy!

Exactly what is to be inferred by the division of the sexes as symbolically described in Genesis is a much-debated question. That man was primarily androgynous is quite universally conceded and it is a reasonable presumption that he will ultimately regain this bisexual state. As to the manner in which this will be accomplished two opinions are advanced. One school of thought affirms that the human soul was actually divided into two parts (male and female) and that man remains an unperfected creature until these parts are reunited through the emotion which man calls love. From this concept has grown the much-abused doctrine of "soul mates" who must quest through the ages until the complementary part of each severed soul is discovered. The modern concept of marriage is to a certain degree founded upon this ideal.

According to the other school, the so-called division of the sexes resulted from suppression of one pole of the androgynous being in order that the vital energies manifesting through it might be diverted to development of the rational faculties. From this point of view man is still actually androgynous and spiritually complete, but in the material world the feminine part of man's nature and the masculine part of woman's nature are quiescent. Through spiritual unfoldment and knowledge imparted by the Mysteries, however, the latent element in each nature is gradually brought into activity and ultimately the human being thus regains sexual equilibrium. By this theory woman is elevated from the position of being man's errant part to one of complete equality. From this point of view, marriage is regarded as a companionship in which two complete individualities manifesting opposite polarities are brought into association that each may thereby awaken the qualities latent in the other and thus assist in the attainment of individual completeness. The first theory may be said to regard marriage as an end; the second as a means to an end. The deeper schools of philosophy have leaned toward the latter as more adequately acknowledging the infinite potentialities of divine completeness in both aspects of creation.

The Christian Church is fundamentally opposed to the theory of marriage, claiming that the highest degree of spirituality is achievable only by those preserving the virginal state. This concept seemingly originated among certain sects of the early Gnostic Christians, who taught that to propagate the human species was to increase and perpetuate the power of the Demiurgus; for the lower world was looked upon as an evil fabrication created to ensnare the souls of all born into it--hence it was a crime to assist in bringing souls to earth. When, therefore, the unfortunate father or mother shall stand before the Final Tribunal, all their offspring will also appear and accuse them of being the cause of those miseries attendant upon physical existence. This view is strengthened by the allegory of Adam and Eve, whose sin through which humanity has been brought low is universally admitted to have been concerned with the mystery of generation. Mankind, owing to Father Adam its physical existence, regards its progenitor as the primary cause of its misery; and in the judgment Day, rising up as a mighty progeny, will accuse its common paternal ancestor.

Those Gnostic sects maintaining a more rational attitude on the subject declared the very existence of the lower worlds to signify that the Supreme Creator had a definite purpose in their creation; to doubt his judgment was, therefore, a grievous error. The church, however, seemingly arrogated to itself the astonishing prerogative of correcting God in this respect, for wherever possible it continued to impose celibacy, a practice resulting in an alarming number of neurotics. In the Mysteries, celibacy is reserved for those who have reached a certain degree of spiritual unfoldment. When advocated for the mass of unenlightened humanity, however, it becomes a dangerous heresy, fatal alike to both religion and philosophy. As Christendom in its fanaticism has blamed every individual Jew for the crucifixion of Jesus, so with equal consistency it has maligned every member of the feminine sex. In vindication of Eve philosophy claims that the allegory signifies merely that man is tempted by his emotions to depart from the sure path of reason.

Many of the early Church Fathers sought to establish a direct relationship between Adam and Christ, thereby obviously discounting the extremely sinful nature of man's common ancestor, since it is quite certain that when St. Augustine likens Adam to Christ and Eve to the church he does not intend to brand the latter institution as the direct cause of the fall of man. For some inexplicable reason, however, religion has ever regarded intellectualism – in fact every form of knowledge – as fatal to man's spiritual growth. The Ignaratitine Friars are an outstanding example of this attitude.

In this ritualistic drama – possibly derived from the Egyptians – Adam, banished from the Garden of Eden, represents man philosophically exiled from the sphere of Truth. Through ignorance man falls; through wisdom he redeems himself. The Garden of Eden represents the House of the Mysteries (see The Vision of Enoch) in the midst of which grew both the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Man, the banished Adam, seeks to pass from the outer court of the Sanctuary (the exterior universe) into the sanctum sanctorum, but before him rises a vast creature armed with a flashing sword that, moving slowly but continually, sweeps clear a wide circle, and through this "Ring Pass Not" the Adamic man cannot break.

The cherubim address the seeker thus: "Man, thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return. Thou wert fashioned by the Builder of Forms; thou belongest to the sphere of form, and the breath that was breathed into thy soul was the breath of form and like a flame it shall flicker out. More than thou art thou canst not be. Thou art a denizen of the outer world and it is forbidden thee to enter this inner place."

And the Adam replies: "Many times have I stood within this courtyard and begged admission to my Father's house and thou hast refused it me and sent me back to wander in darkness. True it is that I was fashioned out of the dirt and that my Maker could not confer upon me the boon of immortality. But no more shalt thou send me away; for, wandering in the darkness, I have discovered that the Almighty hath decreed my salvation because He hath sent out of the most hidden Mystery His Only Begotten who didst take upon Himself the world fashioned by the Demiurgus. Upon the elements of that world was He crucified and from Him hath poured forth the blood of my salvation. And God, entering into His creation, hath quickened it and established therein a road that leadeth to Himself. While my Maker could not give me immortality, immortality was inherent in the very dust of which I was composed, for before the world was fabricated and before the Demiurgus became the Regent of Nature, the Eternal Life had impressed itself upon the face of Cosmos. This is its sign – the Cross. Do you now deny me entrance, I who have at last learned the mystery of myself?"

And the voice replies: "He who is aware, IS! Behold!"

Gazing about him, Adam finds himself in a radiant place, in the midst of which stands a tree with flashing jewels for fruit and entwined about its trunk a flaming, winged serpent crowned with a diadem of stars. It was the voice of the serpent that had spoken.

"Who art thou?" demands the Adam.

"I," the serpent answers, "am Satan who was stoned; I am the Adversary--the Lord who is against you, the one who pleads for your destruction before the Eternal Tribunal. I was your enemy upon the day that you were formed; I have led you into temptation; I have delivered you into the hands of evil; I have maligned you; I have striven ever to achieve your undoing. I am the guardian of the Tree of Knowledge and I have sworn that none whom I can lead astray shall partake of its fruits."

The Adam replies: "For uncounted ages have I been thy servant. In my ignorance I listened to thy words and they led me into paths of sorrow. Thou hast placed in my mind dreams of power, and when I struggled to realize those dreams they brought me naught but pain. Thou hast sowed in me the seeds of desire, and when I lusted after the things of the flesh agony was my only recompense. Thou hast sent me false prophets and false reasoning, and when I strove to grasp the magnitude of Truth I found thy laws were false and only dismay rewarded my strivings. I am done with thee forever, O artful Spirit! I have tired of thy world of illusions. No longer will I labor in thy vineyards of iniquity. Get thee behind me, tempter, and the host of thy temptations. There is no happiness, no peace, no good, no future in the doctrines of selfishness, hate, and passion preached by thee. All these things do I cast aside. Renounced is thy rule forever!"

And the serpent makes answer: "Behold, O Adam, the nature of thy Adversary!" The serpent disappears in a blinding sunburst of radiance and in its place stands an angel resplendent in shining, golden garments with great scarlet wings that spread from one corner of the heavens to the other. Dismayed and awestruck, the Adam falls before the divine creature.

"I am the Lord who is against thee and thus accomplishes thy salvation, " continues the voice. "Thou hast hated me, but through the ages yet to be thou shalt bless me, for I have led thee out of the sphere of the Demiurgus; I have turned thee against the illusion of worldliness; I have weaned thee of desire; I have awakened in thy soul the immortality of which I myself partake. Follow me, O Adam, for I am the Way, the Life, and the Truth!"

(Thanks to Les Visible for the PDF.)

P.S. For Hall's analysis of the historical Jesus, follow this link here.
My friends, we are on the brink of disaster, if not indeed over the edge already. The effects of the oil well blowout are going to be nothing short of devastating on a global scale, unless we can somehow mitigate it. The engineers and other workers at BP are doing their best, but hope is faint and the clock is ticking. If ever we needed a miracle on this planet, this is the time.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Sioux nation has issued a message to the religious and spiritual leaders of the world which succinctly and powerfully expresses the need for us to unite our hearts and minds in prayer for a solution to this calamity and for the healing of this hurt we have brought upon our precious home. I fully agree with that message.

There are individuals among us who have the ability to bring together large numbers of people in meditation, prayer, mutual focus of intent. These people need to step up and help. If you know someone who can do this, please pass on to them this call for action.

Of course there are other things we can pray for that are just as important. A spirit of understanding, compassion, brotherhood. An increase of our sense of responsibility and purpose. Clarity and wisdom. Peace and love. These can also be included in the same earnest prayers of the heart.

For myself, I will be joining with the folks at this site once the dog poet has composed his song and set the time. I urge everyone who feels even just a little bit inclined to do something to join with whatever group you're comfortable with and be a part of what they're doing along these same lines.

The Earth has always loved us as a mother loves her children, even though we've done so many wicked things to her and to each other. It is time for us as a family to grow up and accept responsibility, express our contrition, and do what we can to make up for our foolish mistakes. If we don't do it now, there's no knowing if we'll get another chance.

Master come round again

For a while now, part of me has been in a state of prayerful expectation for the next revelation in my life, the next piece of the puzzle to cross my path. It is said that when the disciple is ready, the master will appear. And so it has now proven to be in this case.

It came about through a chance reference (though nothing is by chance) to the Eastern concept of bodhisattva. The word, with the impression I got from the context, strongly drew my attention. In an email discussion with Tertius, my interest toward the subject of this type of incarnated soul (and Eastern esotericism in general) only grew, and I began my preliminary investigations on Wikipedia. Almost immediately thereafter, I was contacted by another friend on the phone, who just happened to have a link to some wisdom teachings that he thought might interest me. After visiting the library and picking up some books, I checked out that link. Eureka! I mean, wow. That stuff sucked me right in.

The thing about esoteric teachings, the kind that are supposed to transform your life from the inside out, is that there's no guarantee. You either get it or you don't, and there are many levels of getting it. Degrees of comprehension. How deep it goes just depends on how prepared your consciousness is. Well. I was very receptive to this material, and as I read it, I could taste the meaning. As I breathed in the concepts, I began to embody them, and feel them working. Soon I was directly experiencing some of the same states of consciousness that the texts were talking about. To be sure, it was only a “lite” version of the full thing, like maybe a 2 out of 10 where you have no idea what the factor is between 2 and 3, or 3 and 4, or any of the rest, so it could really be more like 0.000002 out of 10. (So much for linear thinking, haha, not much use with this stuff, eh?) But regardless of how puny my level of comprehension compared to the totality of it, it was enough. It really did change my whole way of seeing reality, put me in a different operating mode. To use the computer analogy, it felt like I was now running software written in a more basic, and thus more powerful, language. The limitations of the usual, more complex language were no longer an issue. The persistent bugs in my particular version of the software could now simply be circumvented by invoking a code closer to the God-like level of raw binary. And I felt... liberated.

Of course the analogy is flawed. Hmmm, I had some more illuminating words in mind earlier...

Yes. The mis-identification of the Self with the imagined object. Body, mind, ego: these are not the Self. They are projections in a dream. And so you recognize them for what they are. Recognize that self-awareness is the eternal observer independent of any temporal thing. See everything that appears to have a separate existence in the context of the dream. “My body (in the dream) is tired (in the dream).” “My (illusory) mind is wrestling with these (illusory) thoughts.” “My (imagined) ego is pleased (in the dream).” The words, of course, are not necessary. What counts is the awareness in the moment. And the word “my” – well, it's not the perfect word, but you know what I mean. If you know what I mean. (grin)

Fortunately for whoever reads this (and who are you, anyway? Keep asking that, I swear it'll take you places!), I have the sense to stick with convention as far as the writing goes – when I'm not messing with your head. So ego continues to carry the ball, like it's supposed to... at least on the surface. (wink)

The effect of all this lucidity for me has been pretty nice. There's the whole elimination of suffering bit, of course. But most interesting has been the inversion of this most annoying tendency I have, as an extreme introvert, to be full of activity on the inside, yet appallingly ineffective on the outside. By quieting the mind and watching the dream as a spectator, the undertaking of appropriate action becomes nearly effortless. I will it, and it happens. Very cool! It may sound kind of silly for someone who's never dealt with such a problem, but for me this is really a life-saver. For the sake of this effect alone, I intend to keep up the practice as diligently as I can. It's not about enlightenment at this stage, it's about mastering this enough to have it in my bag of tricks for everyday self-management.

That's all for now. Have a lucid day!

Just so we're clear on what happened [VIDEO]

Gaza in Plain Language

So when Israel strikes Iran in spite of zero evidence that Iran might be developing any kind of nuclear weaponry, it should be obvious which nation poses the real threat to world peace.

And for the record, I think Ahmadinejad has a moral center (and a spine) the like of which I've yet to see evidence of in any of the major Western leaders.

Story of Us

Observe what is. Let the chatter and the motion go on as it will. Don't force the stillness. It's there, behind the noise. Like a screen, it shows the movie, and may appear to be the movie if you forget yourself, become hypnotized by the moving picture, the appearance of reality. But if you focus on the screen itself, you may begin to feel the impression of looking into a mirror. Two eyes looking out at two eyes looking back in. Who is this presence? It is yourself. It is pure awareness. It is the only eternal thing; all else is projection, flickering by, frame by infinitesimal frame, each seemingly created and destroyed in turn, yet so fast as to appear continuous. This is the flow of time, which doesn't really flow, because it doesn't really exist, except as a subjective, illusory experience. A dream. Because, after all, what else is there for an infinite, singular awareness to do?

Spirit and matter. Creator and created. We are the confluence of both. Through countless aeons of time, matter organizes itself according to the patterns suggested by Spirit, imprinted upon the aether as spiraling forms of purest, subtlest energy. On the molecular level, a miraculous thing occurs: the omnipresent Spirit retreats almost entirely from view. Matter seems ruled by raw mechanics, blind forces, a chaoarchy of chance and determinism. But the first simple forms of life evolve spontaneously, ubiquitously, wherever a suitable mix of ingredients is present and the conditions allow for it. And so begins the wondrous progression of complexity, from cell to multicell, until entire planets are covered with richly woven tapestries of life, ecosystems interwebbed in a gloriously dynamic order. The underlying patterns of energy inspire an endless variety of forms, periodically transforming as the frequency turns up in quantum shifts that emanate from the hot galactic centers.

We are the next step. The group souls of the animal kingdom, defined at the level of species, begin to differentiate into individual souls, capable of self-reflection. A humanoid form arises. Now begins the most challenging phase, as consciousness bridges the gap from instinctive animal behaviour through to peaceful, space-faring culture. There are other options, too, for those so inclined: realms above and below this plane, reachable after many lifetimes of work at those times when the veil dividing them is briefly parted. It is here, however, that we are able to experience the forces of both heaven and hell in equal measure, according to our choice. In this crucible is forged, from the base material of primitive man, a purer being.

Spirit awakens from its dormancy and becomes a living spark. That flame of the heart, the most noble part of man, guides, enlightens, and sanctifies his being. It will teach him of courage, and beauty, and love, with endless patience so long as it still burns. If he will heed its tutelage, the way will be opened before him and he will walk through the shadows in its flickering light.

Monsters and shades of monsters will threaten. The worst of them will come from within. But no matter how fearsome they may be, they will never be able to destroy the one who guards that precious light in her bosom, though they kill the flesh and feed on the very soul. Many battles will be lost ere the first is won, yet in time the victories will come more easily – or would, but for the ancient law of the worthy adversary and the burden equal to one's strength. All is arranged with a distinct purpose ordained by Spirit, all for the incremental progress of the soul on its chosen path of experience.

And so we come to the crisis point, a time of epic potential. Evils are unleashed that were previously unimaginable. For it is only under the uttermost existential threat that the portion of Spirit that sleeps the deepest may be persuaded to rise up and be counted. But when it does, when the awakening in its fullness at last unfolds, there is no limit to what is possible. From there we go on to a new phase and a new dawn, in which a global humanity, now reunited with its brothers and sisters from afar, begins its incredible journey into the great expansive frontier of the stars.

Action-Reaction and the Inevitable Unknown

It's official: we're fucked.

That's been my prevailing analysis of the situation overall since I learned of the oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. The scope of the damage to ecosystems beggars belief. And there's still no mitigation in sight. This fellow has been covering the sordid story of the political and corporate assfest of a response in his own way. God knows we need a sense of humour with such horrific matters. But taken as a whole, the environmental devastation that we as a species have inflicted upon this planet, our only home – the toxic chemicals in the ground, the water, and the air; seas choked with plastic; wholesale destruction of forests; topsoil depleted, and on and on and on – seems to indicate that if ever a species deserved to go extinct, it's us. I don't want to go all 11th Hour here, but facts are facts. We're all culpable to some degree. The laptop on which I'm typing these words is the product of a long chain of industries that all pollute, all devour natural resources. That's the way we do things. The problem is not that we've done it, it's that we've done it with zero regard for the future, zero regard for anything but satisfying our pathologically single-minded desires. Some, of course, are more guilty than others...

It is not an easy thing to watch the wretched circus of ignorance and deception with the eyes of an awareness too keen for its own good. Not that I would have it any other way, given the choice. But there is the choice, too, of whether to focus upon the appearance of hell on earth in all its unholy forms, and despair, or to turn one's attention to the things in which there is some reason to see good, and rejoice. And always there is the grand perspective, in which all is precisely as it must be, without judgment of good or evil, although that is not one that I would take exclusively. It operates in the background, without impinging or interfering. We who are here, inside the fish bowl, have our judgment calls to make as long as we're here. The trick is to recognize that for each judgment we pass on something outside of us, there is a judgment being passed on the inside as well. Better to go within, search out what offends us about ourselves, and work on that. Far be it from me to prescribe anything for anyone, but I'll tell you what I think is a pretty important key. Forgiveness. That's the magic that'll set you free, from what I've come to understand about the way things work. Karma's a vicious circle. By default, it locks you in. If you want out, you'll need something that transcends that pattern. That's all I have to say about that. Best thing for me here is to shut up and take my own advice. (grin)

As I was about to say before I sidetracked myself, there's plenty to be pissed off about. Plenty of things in life to break your heart and make you weep from the depths of your soul. I get that. There's a neverending stream of things we don't understand the reasons for. We can only carry on and do the best we can, and just know that there is a reason, however beyond our grasp it may be at the moment.

I'm as confused as anyone, quite honestly. The less I pretend to know about my future and the less I project my fears and fantasies onto the unknown, the less work of letting all that go I set myself up for. Our precious fears, our precious fantasies. All is vanity. More anxious wheel-turning in the fevered workings of the monkey mind, desperate to justify its own sense of indispensability. Let it go, Neo. Free your mind.

Has there ever been a more perilous time? I think of the Atlanteans, who (allegedly) had technological advantages that most of us wouldn't even dream of. So much knowledge, and yet so little wisdom. The wave came and the mass of them were totally unprepared to ride it. Is that to be our fate as well? Cataclysm and descent into even further depths of ignorance in the struggle to survive? It is not hard to imagine that future. But what happens, will happen. Ours is not to anticipate the utterly unpredictable, but to prepare our hearts and souls to meet it in whatever form it chooses to take. And in this moment, we yet have that opportunity. It is not too late to take appropriate action according to the promptings of the inner guide, that still voice that tells us what is right, what we need to do and what our focus should be.

Have courage and persevere, even in the face of seeming impossibility. Shed your illusions as they are revealed to you and embrace truth. Know that you are here for a purpose. Seek to embody what virtues you can, moment by moment. Love yourself and see the love around you. Be at peace. Follow your star.

In mutual support and everlasting brotherhood,
this self.

Interview with Laura Knight-Jadczyk

(This is one of those entries where I supposedly talk about a person, maybe plug their work, and try to voice some sort of opinion. It's probably unnecessary, probably very ego-driven, and probably reflects a lot more on me than it does on the person in question. But here I am regardless, doing it again for whatever unfathomable reason. So just bear with me, I guess.)

Project Camelot (no, I'm not opening that can of worms today, fascinating as all the drama may be) recently published this interview with Laura Knight-Jadczyk, which, now that I've finally been able to watch it, has got to be one of my favourite Camelot interviews of all time. I suppose I'm a bit late to the party, since it's already been viewed over 33,000 times, but whatever. I highly recommend it. Camelot's version doesn't have the best video quality, but due to load times, it's the one I watched, and the quality ceased to be an issue for me once the interview hit its stride somewhere in the first hour. (Laura's own HD version is here, on Sott.net.)

So. Laura. Very interesting character with very interesting ideas. Genuine truth-seeker, I would say almost the epitome of the honest truth-seeker. Has had some nasty accusations thrown at her, which are plain ridiculous for the most part, being ad-hominem and not based on much other than a desire to take her down. On the other hand, there is room for legitimate criticism, stemming from differences in perspective or from mistakes she may have made as a fallible human being with her own weaknesses. She has had to navigate some extremely difficult terrain, and I think she has probably had a hyper-dimensional target painted on her back ever since she started thinking she had something to share with the world, and even before then. That's just the way it is and I can't blame her at all for having the worldview that she does. In fact, I have to pretty much agree with her worldview, from certain perspectives, although I don't always take those perspectives. In any case, the information she has brought to the table through her research and her work with the Cassiopaeans is truly important, in my opinion, and really helps explain so much that might otherwise be less clear.

I don't know if there's that much more to say. Her work speaks for itself. If you're interested in the nature of our reality as it appears beyond the veil of lies and deception promoted by the powers that be, and you've already covered the basics through other sources, do check it out and judge for yourself. (Personally, I found myself drawn to The Wave series especially.)

Life, the Universe, and Everything

You know, I always thought "the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question, of Life, the Universe, and Everything," being equal to "42" was a bit of a copout on Douglas Adams' part. Like, don't you think a smart guy like him would be able to come up with something a little more profound? Oh, I knew it was a joke, but I just didn't really get it. I guess he was pretty well on the right track, if you're able to read between the lines. See, we start with an advanced civilization questioning the very root meaning of existence, looking for an answer that would satisfy the age-old enquiry, "Why are we here?" And they were smart enough to build a computer that could calculate that answer for them. For all the good it did, they might as well have spent those resources calculating pi = 3.14... to the gajillionth decimal place, when any idiot knows that that's nothing but a circle. Maybe life is a circle, maybe it's a spiral, maybe it's a whole bunch of things, but the point is this: when you're done explaining it to yourself, you can move past the question and just live it like you would have, had the question never occurred to you in the first place. I know that's unfair and not really what I mean, but seriously, maybe the Question actually is the Answer in a different form, like "What is it? It is what it is." So life is its own Question and its own Answer, and maybe the point is to just explore everything it has to offer and to one day maybe stop pretending we don't know what this is all about. Where we came from and where we're going... it's the same thing. And if that's so, then everything really is OK and there's nothing in this universe to be afraid of. All those things we think are really scary and bad, what are they but stuff we dreamed up to tell ourselves that it's not what it really was all along, the perfect expression of an eternally loving God?