Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The thisness of that

If thou art that and all this is that, that's fine, but then what about this? Aren't you this as well? Having been reduced to that, is it impossible to retrieve the thisness? Has this then been all dissolved in the ocean of thatness? Hearing incessantly about the ontological superiority of that, I sometimes feel perversely inclined to celebrate this. This does, after all, have the advantage of being a bit closer in than that. It's here now. Perhaps all that is this. I know some of that is this at least. Let's try an experiment. Once we have known the thatness of this, maybe we should then know the thisness of that. It could be exciting.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Dishevelled cognates

What does "we" mean? It implies we share the same consciousness, that we are one entity. Let us assume for a moment this is possible. We, whatever that is, has nothing to do with me and you. We is we, me is me, and you is you. I know the Beatles said "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together," but maybe it's time to question these cognates, which at this point are looking rather dishevelled; for in truth we inhabit different worlds. The "we" is a convenient syllable to reduce the difficulties of negotiating the vast regions of time and space between us. To realize one's uniqueness is not to commit some original sin or fundamental act of separation from God. Do we deride the snowflake for its moment of special glory in individuation? It takes a certain clarity and courage to recognize the crystalline seed that I carry inside myself, that is only mine: the vibrating presence that bears me to my destiny.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


The irresistible allure of the retro is akin to the force of gravity. The past is full of fascinating objects. In recognizing them we of course re-form them through our own bright imaginings. These retromorphs, as I call them, become like sacred objects. In the timeless garden where they are rooted, they shine with an inner radiance. To quote T. S. Eliot in The Waste Land, "these fragments I have shored against my ruins." In my case, I number among my own special retromorphs the novels of John Cowper Powys, particularly A Glastonbury Romance, which is itself a monument to the mother of all retromorphs: the Holy Grail.

Field contextualization

Field contextualization is a term I use to refer to the nature of shifted awareness. In pre-shifted awareness, the subject/object distinction is paramount. There is a fundamental separation between self and other. Post-shift, the field is paramount: the unified multidimensional energetic interaction becomes primary, and while a subject and object can be derived from the field, or many subjects and objects, depending on one's frame of reference, the awareness sees everything in context of the field. Shifted consciousness has the benefit of the holistic bonus: i.e., the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. In my job, we get a Christmas bonus, a little something to spend around the holidays. It's not unlike that. When the times shift, you get an extra energy boost to help you accelerate your mental/physical vehicle to the new rate of vibration.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Grand illusion

The whole universe is but Maya, say the sages. Literally, "that which is not." You could interpret that, as many do, as saying that the world and everything in it, the people, the houses, the butterflies, is an illusion. It's not really there. We're not here right now. I'm not writing this and you're not reading this. Well, I concede that is a distinct possibility. However, if everything is Maya, that would include the idea that everything is Maya. Which means that it too is an illusion. Which means that the idea of Maya is really proof that the world is real. I suspect if you started out to prove the reality of world you would end up proving its nonexistence instead. It's a no-win game.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The thing itself

Nothing can be said about reality that is not error: so it is claimed. Because words are always one step removed from the thing itself. They are representations, maps, not the real thing. And yet...I dare to make pronouncements, using nouns, verbs, and other wordlike entities, claiming to convey something about the real nature of things. It is not so incongruous to do so when one recognizes that reality itself is a fiction, a fabrication, a story. Then it becomes not an error to describe it but more like a sacred duty. Because the story desires for itself to be told. It burns to be delivered into being by that medium which is its own nature. In the beginning was the word. That is why we find ourselves telling our stories incessantly, inhabiting our own fictions. And in the end? We don't know the ending. We are telling the story to find out.

Omnipresence TV-style

All content is becoming omnipresent. In the old days, when you watched a TV show, say "Perry Mason," it was gone, unless you might happen to catch it if it was repeated the following summer. Then with the advent of cable stations, some of which were devoted to nothing but reruns, you got the opportunity to see that Perry Mason episode again and again. Then you could tape Perry Mason and watch it whenever you wanted. Now Perry's on DVD and the number of old shows out in that format is burgeoning. There will be Perry-on-demand, on your web-enabled TV or Pocket PC or even wrist watch (since they have web-enabled watches now). Web-enabled appliances are next. What is to stop this from becoming "push" content? Refrigerators will be rumbling in a Raymond Burr-like voice at us when we forget to shut their doors. We will be castigated by D.A. Hamilton Burger if we leave a pan too long on the stove. Efficient secretary Della Street will gently remind us to pay our bills as we sit down at our desk... we'll interrogated by the lamp in the voice of Lt. Tragg when we come in too late. Nothing that was once conceived will ever be allowed to rest. Forgotten TV shows of lore are being resurrected like zombies to live forever in our homes and appliances, converting our everyday lives into mere extensions of their reality.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

A special purpose

When people ask, "What is the purpose of life?" they should be asking, "what is my purpose?" It's not like mine. I have my own. Not to say I've discovered it yet, but I'm pretty sure it's unique. And it's something only I can accomplish. This purpose doesn't actually belong to me, it drives me, it is me. In the mere act of living I am unfolding my purposeful being into this plane of existence. You don't last long in this purposeful ocean of reference without a purpose. You'd sink like a stone. We try to define this purpose in terms of where it is taking us, and we don't really know that until we get there. You can tell the purpose so far by where you've been and where you are. You don't know where you're going. By the way, the purpose of life is not to be happy. If you have some moments of happiness, fine. Enjoy them. But they're a by-product of the process of discovering one's purpose for being here, which is everchanging.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

How many of us?

How many of us are there—one or two? You and I. You say there are of course two. But I say, although there are two of us, there is only one at a time. Because if you break down time into its smallest increments, you get Planck time, which is a unit only 10-43 seconds in length. That would be the length of time it takes a photon traveling at the speed of light to travel its own length. Now in that short length of time and space there is only room for one of us to exist at a time. You just can't squeeze in two. So one instant I am there, the next you're there, and so on, back and forth. We take turns. That's the way it is. That's where the mystical saying "it's all One" comes from. There's only one person in the universe. At a time.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Report from God's psychiatrist #2

In my last report I remarked upon God's tendency for narcissism and self-indulgent escapism. Based upon a through analysis of His latest communication, I would have to add to that diagnosis a Devil-May-Care Attitude (although not in DSM-IV, this clinical condition is under consideration for adoption in DSM-V). It has been well established by theologians throughout history that God has foreknowledge of all events. He evidently has ignored these tracts, as He claims He doesn't know what will happen in the future. Or care. We may perhaps forgive his disinclination to use the antiquated form of address "thou"—although some Quakers of the old school might disagree—but to claim ignorance of all future events is simple irresponsibility. After all, even I know some things that will happen tomorrow. The sun will rise, for example. That's a certainty. Isn't it? All right, there is a statistical probability that the sun will collide with a passing star, in which case the sun may indeed not rise tomorrow, and if it does it will not matter as we will be dead. Yes, we will all have died a most horrible, grisly death. But I'm not worried about that. At least when I'm awake. When I dream, I do imagine things too terrible to be revealed. However, my graphic visions of apocalypse and final catastrophe are not the point. It's God's paranoia we're concerned with here. And avoidance of incorporating the Reality Principle into His everyday life. Let us all devoutly pray that He will come to His senses and stop evading His responsibilities.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Truth à la mode

According to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, truth is coming back into style. Only recently academics were flogging the concept as outmoded. Since 9/11, like so much else, all that has changed, and because the present government played fast and loose with the facts in order to persuade the populace that it was necessary to go to war, it has become apparent that the ironic postures of relativism do not well serve when it is incumbent upon intellectuals to engage in social criticism. To speak truth to power, one has to have a truth to speak, and not posit, as Stanley Fish did last year, that objective truth is an illusion and philosophy doesn't matter. To indulge in such theorizing is to throw down one's only weapons in the face of an utterly indifferent juggernaut of power-mongering. Indeed, in the political developments of recent days, it appears that truth does have some teeth in it as a weapon that could topple governments. The idea that there may be some hypocrisy in the attacks by the (so-called) President's proxies on his opponent, due to prevarications about the First Texan's own military background, seems to matter to some people. The idea that the incessant distortions of propaganda have been polluting the airwaves for years now and devaluing the democratic process seems to matter as our freedoms erode away at an alarming rate. Thus the truth à la mode is that truth matters. After all, it is self-contradictory to state the opposite; that is what Ken Wilber has long held the Achilles heel of post-structuralism to be: the short-circuiting of relativism by its own internal contradictions. People cry truth, truth, but there is no truth: that is, until they actually decide that it is real. When it's hot, it's hot. When it's not, it's not.

A new bleeping movie

They've gone and done it: made a sexy movie about quantum physics. If you haven't yet seen What the Bleep Do We Know? you must run out and see it right away. It integrates physics, metaphysics, and the human dilemma of being addicted to emotional chemicals that get generated in our bodies, thus trapping us in neuronal patterning that prevents us from viewing reality in a more quantum light. This is the sort of work that rewires our brains just from the act of viewing it. And explains as it goes how it does it! A true miracle of the modern cinema. A lot of fun, too.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

It's a wrap

Another day is done. They're rolling away the scenery and locking up the costumes, putting the makeup back on the shelf. And why? Why don't they just leave it sitting out? There will be another performance tomorrow, after all. But reality is quantum. It blinks on, then off, then on again. Everything has to go away before it can come back again. The universe needs a rest. So good night, all. It's a wrap.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Can we talk?

I wonder what you are saying when you say what you say. I wonder what you think those words mean that are coming out of your mouth. I wonder if those meanings bear any resemblance to the meanings I bear. How could they? We are two very different people. Not just people, but conscious entities, extraordinarily complex and mysterious aggregations of thought forms and identities. We haven't a clue, really, who the other one is. We might as well be extraterrestrials encountering each other's species for the first time. In fact, we're not just entities, we're entire universes drifting through the multidimensional fabric of being, occasionally grazing each other with our starry shoulder. Can we talk? I doubt it. That would be a miracle of miracles. What are we, anyway? We don't know. We're struck dumb by our own ignorance of our incomparable existence.

Monday, September 06, 2004

The heart under siege

The heart of America is under attack. Clinton's being in the hospital is symbolic of that. At this moment he is being operated on. And I think everyone in this country is being operated on right now. Without a doubt in the last four years we have been subjected to the most egregious assault on anything that resembles democratic values. Venal bullies have been allowed to run wild, and the name of God has been invoked to justify abhorrent misuses of power. We reel under the weight of lies repeated until truth collapses into a puddle of tears and fears. Will the patient survive? If Clinton does not, we are surely doomed; if he does, then we might have a chance. I will take his survival as a sign of hope. Here is someone who has personified many of the paradoxes of the age, and whose body has absorbed many of the slings and arrows that warring paradigms have foisted into the fray. He is emerging into an almost mythic level of existence, more surely than Mel Gibson's Christ, for his sacrifice actually means something.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Freeze-dried universe

There is little going on that does not meet the eye. The universe is not that inefficient. It creates what it needs when it needs it. And it does a great job of making you think it is concealing mysteries. But it is only creating those mysteries as it reveals them. For me Japan does not exist, because I have never been there. When and if I go there, it will pop into existence. We live in a freeze-dried universe. Add consciousness, and it blows up into a three-dimensional form that finds its unique expansive expression within the context of our individual knowing. Without the act of knowing, it is in potentia and not "out." Existence means coming out. Every moment of our lives is a coming-out party.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Letter from God #4

I find myself so often having to disabuse humans of their illusions about me. It seems to give them a certain masochistic satisfaction to posit me as the summation of all perfections and themselves as flawed, imperfect creatures. They think, for example, that I know everything, as what is going to happen to them tomorrow. I don't know what's going to happen to them tomorrow. I don't know what's going to happen to myself tomorrow. Heigh ho! So what, you may ask, makes me God and not you if I don't know these simple things. Well, that's a good question, isn't it? One that you should be asking your priests. If the universe were a democracy, you might even be able to vote me out. (But it's not, is it. Oh no.) Another thing you'll notice I don't do is address you as "thou," as in the famous "thou shalt nots." One of my illustrious predecessors in this job was wont to use that form of address. I don't stand on formality, personally. That's me.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Try to remember

Remember yourself. That is, put yourself back together. Member by member. Because it's September. A time for endings and new beginnings. And what we remember, it will seem, we have never known, because it's raw. That rawness is good, the bracing freshness of youth. Why not dig our hands deep into the raw good earth, and cover ourselves with the very soil of our essence.