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Friday, December 22, 2006

Moneyless World - A Reality Or An Ideology?

I’m at a posh house-sit now, till Jan. 31st, sharing it with my friend, Phil. I haven’t spent much time in the canyon this winter. I also have a new secret squat in town, which Phil coined “the squattage.”

Wal-Mart Schmalfart
Wal-Mart wants to build in the Moab area. Many folks are saying it’s inevitable, that there’s nothing we can do but throw up our hands. Many say that if Moab's Grand County doesn’t welcome Wal-Mart, neighboring San Juan County will, and Grand County will lose both a tax base and its businesses. Never mind that both San Juan County and this county will lose most their small businesses and most the money will flow out of the area. This is Wal-Mart’s common tactic, pitting counties against each other, then leaching them all.
The no-end-in-sight growth of the capitalistic cancer seems unstoppable, omnipotent. A few people have commented to me that my visions of a moneyless world are naïve & idealistic. I often think so, too.

Am I Naïve? Am I a Realist?

But now I put out this question: is my life being driven by ideology or reality? What I know and can only know is what’s in my self, what brings me unspeakable peace. And that peace is Reality, because I know it. If this were only a belief and not knowledge, it would be just an Ideology.

Yes, today I’ve had an epiphany about the Real and the Ideal.

Real is what is. Ideal is thoughts about what was, will be, or could or should be or have been. When Ideal becomes what IS, thoughts become crucified, and the Ideal resurrects as the Real. The ideal and the real merge as One, even as bread merges with the body when eaten.
Somebody told me I should have a plan for this envisioned moneyless world. But there can be no plans in any brain on how a moneyless society could function. If there could be, it wouldn’t be moneyless. It can only function by giving up mind-control and resting in simple faith, in trust. Everyone who truly follows their own religion will know exactly what I am saying. Money by its very nature is mind control. This is where I am called naïve. Indeed I am.

How can we trust people if we can't give up control of them? Every parent learns that an untrusted child becomes untrustworthy. Trust can only be born from trust, even if you have to forgive the untrustworthy 70 x 7 times.

And why, in its Grand Sense of Humor, has the Universe spread religion by the hands of money-worshipers to every corner of this world – religion that at its very core spells out the principles of a moneyless world? What a hoot. I’m not just talking about the money-worshipping Christian institution, but all the world religions. At their core is the key! I've even recently been astonished to realize this key at the core of Mormonism! The Book of Mormon is the most ingeniously absurd book I've ever read, and Joseph Smith the divine comedian.

I've spoken my ideology. And can you see this ideology dissolving into Reality, which cannot be spoken?

Can you see behind my ideas that I am a Realist? I have often held that if every person became real, balance would automatically return as it is in the wild, natural world. (Yet, we can never return to animal nature, but a likeness of it, with new, uniquely human awareness. How do I know this? Practice the core path of your religion and you’ll see for yourself).

If every person became real, money would cease. You can't make money cease with Reality following. You must first become Real, and then money ceases as Reality comes. Why do I say this? Listen, because it’s so simple it may astonish you:
Prostitution: Real or Illusion?
Let’s take a look at prostitution again. You pay a prostitute to “make love” to you. You know the act is not real, you know that neither you nor the prostitute is being real. You’re paying for illusion. It’s artificial love. The “love” is an idea, not a reality. We all know deep down that we can only love and be loved out of purely free will – spontaneous, free, unpaid for. Love cannot exist any other way. If it is not free it is not real.

If you stop paying the prostitute, that isn't going to make her love you, either. You must first love her and she must first love you, so that the idea of you paying her becomes totally revolting. This is why I am not for the abolishment of money. Money is not the evil, it is our not being Real, illusion, that is evil.
I am not for the abolishment of money, but I am for money going obsolete. Money cannot be abolished, but money can go obsolete, vanish, if we simply be real. Why? Because money itself is not real, but only a belief, an illusion.

Ponder this: Nothing Real is evil. Nothing that Exists is evil. Nobody who is real is evil. Nobody who Exists is evil! Only illusions and actors can be evil.

Now extend this principle of prostitution to every particle in the universe. Do you let things (anything !) come your way naturally, freely, spontaneously, or do you have to pay to make what you want happen? Do you trust that everything you need comes your way in its own good time, or do you lose patience and pay for it to come in your own controlled time? Do you trust or do you bribe? Do you think the only way you can get what you need is to pay for it, to go in debt to get it? Or do you think the only way you can "get it" is to rape? If this is the only way to survive, then love is a myth and there is no reality.

Why does love forever elude you?

“Love is patient”. If you lose patience and think the only way you can get what you need is to pay for it, to manipulate it, then love forever eludes you, reality forever eludes you, and the universe to you becomes impersonal and meaningless. You prowl the dark streets for prostituted love, forever chasing desire never fulfilled. You become the cynic, and your beliefs in the universe are self-fulfilling. All occurrences and people become untrustworthy in your self-fulfilling prophecy. And your ego gloats, saying, "See, I was right, and you and your naive spirituality were wrong." And indeed you were right. Your belief has created your "reality." Anybody who has recovered from clinical depression knows this principle.

Neither you nor the prostitute can be real. Neither you nor anything you pay for can be real!

Again, Why Do I Live Moneyless?

Why do I live moneyless? Because I have no more strength for the world of artificiality, no more strength for the world of ideology separate from reality! Why should I want to return to clinical depression? Yes, I am a realist! All I want is the real and to be real. It takes work to hold up a prop, an act. It is Rest to be Real.

Instead of using the misused and twisted word, “God”, I am now using the word Reality. Hear Oh Humanity: the Reality your Lord is One. You shall love Reality with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength. And the second commandment is like it: You shall love your Neighbor as your own Self. There is NOTHING but Reality. Ponder that. How can I love my neighbor if I can’t recognize my neighbor as Real, and how can I recognize my neighbor as Real if I am not Real? Become Real: This is our only mission in life. As the old Sting song says, “Be your self, no matter what they say.” The one who is ashamed of being Real will be shamed before all creatures, no matter how many props he hides himself under.

Become Real, become Reality.

Impersonal To the Impersonal. Personal To the Personal.

We think of the universe as impersonal. We are persons, part of the Universe, aren’t we? Isn’t the definition of person a being with Free Will? Does the universe have free will? We exist, don’t we; and we are part of the Universe, aren’t we? And isn’t the only Real person the person who doesn’t have to be paid to act, coerced to act? And isn’t the only Love the need that comes in its own sweet time for free, un-coerced, unpaid for? When we become Real, the whole universe becomes Real. “To the Pure all is Pure.” Thus, Real is synonymous with Love. And Love is Personality. There can be nothing Real apart from Love, and there can be no Love apart from the Real. And Love can only be given and taken freely, else it is not Love! In other words, the Real can only be given and taken freely else it is not Real!

Real means “Royal” in Spanish.

Do you believe in Reality? So, skeptic, are you really the realist you think you are?

The Beauty of the Mythic Image

Now the beauty of Reality is that Reality clothes itself in myth, in illusion, as a mythic king is garbed in splendor. And Reality rides on Myth as Vishnu rides on the Seven-Headed Naga raft, and as the Seven-Headed Naga snake shelters the Buddha in his liberation, and as Aztec Quetzal-Coatl (Mayan Kulkulkan) floats away on his Serpent Raft. When we recognize the Myth as myth, the Illusion as illusion, the Actor as actor, the Prop as prop, all neither good nor evil, then the World becomes a Play, as Shakespeare says. It becomes a Play of One Real with many masks.
Then Mammon voluntarily serves us, we no longer serve Mammon. And Mammon is no longer evil for us, because we no longer possess it. Obligation (Debt) ceases and Love eternally begins. Love always eternally begins.


Ah, the words of a naïve, silly idealist, Silly Realist. Silly Sally Stopped Selling Seashells Sitting at the Seashore and lived happily ever after.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blogger confusion

I'm trying to figure out how to put my very first post, My Summary of Why I Live Moneyless on the sidebar. It's my very first post, in the archives (click on March 31, 2006), and I want to always keep it titled and prominent in the sidebar, but I can't figure out how to do it. The Blogger help section isn't clear.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Seven-Headed Dragon

[I put a revised edition of this blog entry into my website "Living Without Money"]

Wail, you inhabitants of the market district!
For all the merchant people are cut down;
All those who handle money are cut off.
(Zepheniah 1:11)
 

And there is no merchant any more
in the Temple of Yahweh of Hosts in that Day!

(Zechariah 14:21)

Today is probably my last day house-sitting, so I'll use the time to write here.
I had a nice thanksgiving dinner at my friends', Damian & Dorina. She made an incredibly delicious vegetarian nut loaf.

After dinner, we discussed different philosophies and such. Then a friend brought to my attention, and not at all in a nice way, that I tend to interrupt and dominate the conversation. I have always thought of myself as a listener who doesn't talk much. And I like to think of myself as "aware." But I had to concede that he was right, though. Sometimes I get excited about stuff I'm learning and tend to forget about others. Just when I think I'm getting it together, I find I'm not. Knowledge isn't enlightenment. In fact, as I keep saying, it veils us from enlightenment. Anyway, I've been licking my ego wounds a lot since. And just that fact of still feeling wounded shows a great attachment to this ego that I thought I had pretty much overcome.

That's also a problem with blogging like this. You can only see words, not my person. And it's easy to present ourselves as flawless to the world when we write.

Comment Reply Becomes Blog Entry
I started writing a reply to a comment by "Angeldust" after "My Summary of Why I Live Moneyless". Then I decided to just go ahead and make it a blog entry.

It's time to see the Bible in a whole new light. It's time to shake up tired, sleeping JudeoChristian religion out of its materialistic stupor. This might just blow you away.

Angeldust brought up the Beast in the book of Revelation, the Beast who has 7-heads, the AntiChrist that end-of-timers like to talk about. So I started tracing this 7-headed dragon back to the very serpent in the Garden of Eden. Here's a taste of the mysteries:

Serpent Coiled Around the Tree, Serpent Coiled Around Pole In Genesis 3:13 Eve says, "The serpent [nahash*] deceived [nasha*] me." The Hebrew Bible is filled with plays on words totally missed in translation. The word nasha* means both 'deceive' and 'lend on interest,' or 'be creditor'. (In Strong's Lexicon, 'deceive' is Srong's # 5377 & 'lend on interest' is 5378, which are identical)*. This nasha is found in 1Sam 22:2, Neh 5:7, Psa 89:22, Isa 24:2, all of which, like the Koran, strongly denounce lending at interest).

Now look at the Hebrew word for snakebite, nashak [Strong's 5391]* , which also happens to mean both 'lend' and 'receive on interest' (Num 21:6-9, Deut. 23:19, Prov. 23:32, Jer. 8:17, Amos 5:19, etc). 'The serpent bit me,' Eve says. 'The serpent charged me interest,' Eve says.

Now the word for serpent, nahash is also a wordplay with nasha. Nahash also means 'divination,' and also 'copper' or 'bronze,' the basic currency [Strong's 5174 & 5], just like our English word 'cobra' is related to 'copper'. You can see this play on words taken into the story of Moses lifting up the Bronze Serpent in the wilderness.
_____________________________________

So Moses made a bronze [nahashet] serpent [nahash], and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent [nahash] had bitten [nashak] anyone, when he looked at the bronze [nahashet] serpent [nahash], he lived. (Numbers 21:9)

If a serpent had bitten anyone can literally be translated, if a serpent had become creditor to anyone...!

Now it gets even more intriguing. a varient spelling of nasha [# 5375], pronounced the same, means 'to lift up, bear up, carry, be exalted, bear sins, atone for sins.' And the related word for 'debt' is nashi [5386]. Now you can see clearly what Jesus is referring to when he says, As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. (John 3:14)

This word nasha is used first by Cain in Genesis 4:13, "This punishment is more than I can bear [nasha].' And the word 'Cain' itself is a pun on the word canah, which means 'purchase'! Again, the play on words:

And she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have purchased [canah] a man from Yahweh." (Gen. 4:1)


Now we can see why there is a Jewish interpretation that Cain is actually the son of the Serpent! He is the son of purchase, of credit & debt, while Abel is the son of Grace.
Mayan Ouroboros
The Seven-Headed Dragon

Next, in the story of Cain, you see allusion to the 7-headed Leviathan (Hydra, Beast) with the 7-fold vengeance of Cain in Genesis 4:15 & 24. Now it is clear that this credit-and-debt 7-head Serpent is poking his heads up in Deuteronomy 28! He is Leviathan.

'Leviathan' shares the same root as 'Levi,' meaning "to twist, bind, join [3878 &3867]. Again, notice the word-play in the passage that speaks of the birth of Levi, the father of law:
"'Now this time my husband will be bound [lavah] to me,...' therefore he was named Levi." (Gen. 29:34).

Levi was the father of the tribe of Levi, the Priestly Clan, the establishers of Levitical Law, starting with the Levites called Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Law is Thought of Credit and Debt. Law is control of Credit and Debt. The Levitical Law, as all law, was given to manage people under Thought of Credit and Debt, a way of keeping disease in check until the cure comes - the cure of Grace. Just as Krishna speaks of transcending the cycles of Credit and Debt, transcending the perpetual reincarnation of Karma, the old Hindu Law, through crucifixion of the ego, so speaks the Buddha, so speaks the Christ.

Leviathan is the Hebrew word for the Canaanite Lotan, found in Ugaritic texts, where he is slain by Baal:

“When you smite Lotan, the fleeing serpent,
finish off the twisting serpent,
the close-coiling one with seven heads."
( KTU 1.5:I:1-3, D. Pardee in CS, 1.265)




Then the Bible quotes this Canaanite text, saying Yahweh slays Lotan/Leviathan:
IN that day Yahweh with His severe sword, great and strong,
Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
Leviathan that twisted serpent;
And He will slay the dragon that is in the sea. (Isaiah 27:1)

You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces,
And gave him as food to the people inhabiting the wilderness. (Ps 74:14)

Land of Canaan, Land of Commerce

Leviathan is the Serpent of Canaan. Canaan means trade, or commerce in Hebrew. Here again we see the play on the words for 'Cain' & 'purchase'. The land of Canaan, called Palestine and Israel today, was wedged between two great superpowers, Babylon and Egypt, and two great continents. This made it the land of Trade - the land of war, oppression, and deceit - the products of Trade. And it was out of this that the rage of the Bible is born.

Now you can see, more and more, studying both the Bible and history, that the Canaanites were not a literal race of people, but were the Spirit of Merchandise that possessed the people. And the very theme of the Torah is to wipe out every vestige of Canaanite from the land. The later Jewish prophets confirm that this is so:

Wail, you inhabitants of the market district!
For all the merchant people [canaanites] are cut down;
All those who handle money are cut off. (Zeph 1:11)

And there is no merchant [canaanite] any more in the temple of Yahweh of Hosts in that day! (Zechariah 14:21)

And Jesus' clearing the merchants from the temple is a direct act-out of this Zechariah scripture. Wiping out the Canaanites.

Yes, the mystery is that the Levitical law is to become fulfilled, to become obsolete at the End of Time, which is the Eternal Now, the Day of Yahweh. Money/trade serves its purpose and becomes obsolete. All written law becomes fulfilled, obsolete.

Money and law simply cannot exist in the Present, in Reality! This is not opinion. This is simple observation, if we but look inside.

It's interesting that, in the Christian Bible, the Greek word for money is nomisma and the word for law is nomos, sharing the same root meaning "to parcel out." There is no need for law when there is no money or barter, and there is no need for money when there is no law - for both are one and the same - control of credit and debt. When you start trusting Nature again "to parcel out", that vengeance, repayment, belongs to God, not human ego-mind, then Balance comes, as it already exists in the infinite Universe surrounding our little bubble of "civilization". And this is the very theme of Christian theology: freedom from written law and taking on the law of the heart, which is love. Crucifying the Ego, which is Thought of Credit and Debt.




It is about giving up the ego to the cross, lifting up Moses' serpent on a pole in the wilderness, the Lamb breaking through the Seven Seals.
*If you want to confirm these word studies, you can go to www.blueletterbible.org to look up the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words of scripture passages, or www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Hebrew_Index.htm for Hebrew-English interlinear Tanach (Old Testament), and www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Greek_Index.htm for Greek-English interlinear New Testament. The Blue Letter Bible uses Strong's Lexicon, so I've put in Strong's numbers to make it easier for you to look up.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dia de Gracia

Feliz Dia de Gracia.
I like the Spanish name for this holiday, because it shows this is a celebration of Grace, of Gratis. You can't feel Gratitude for something that you "earned". Gratitude is the sense of unmerited favor, of Gift, and every particle of the Universe, outside our money-mind system, runs on, by, and through Gratitude. Look into any wild creature's eyes and see its burning fire for yourself.

I'm all excited. Somebody left me a comment with this link: www.utterpants.co.uk/notpants/madmoney.html, which I just added to the link bar to the right.
It's a blog entry I've been wanting to write, and now I don't have to do it because this Michael Dickinson already did, and I couldn't have written it better! You gotta read it, and you'll see these ideas on money aren't my own hair-brain ideas or opinions, but a universal truth that another witness is tapping into.

.............................
A Message for Materialists/Scientists

Now I want to write from a "materialistic" viewpoint, this time not for folks who follow the religion of Evangelical Christianity, but for folks who follow the religion of science and materialism.

So you believe that we all came about by chance, that the universe is a hodge-podge of random reactions. So you believe that Natural Selection brought us from an amoeboid to a rodentoid to an ape-oid to a homo sapiens. This is a fine and true religion. It is the result of simple observation, just as the ancient faiths are. And I maintain that if everybody in the world but believed (practiced) their own religion of simple observation, our world would fall back into balance with the rest of Nature, and we individuals would fall back into balance with our own natures. But let me point out that you most likely do not believe your own religion of science, just as most self-proclaimed Buddhists, Orthodox Christians, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, Sikhs, etc. do not believe their own religion.

Simply put, faith is abandoning yourself to chance. Chance is the random interactions of credit & debt, positive & negative, outside human mind control. If you believe Chance brought us from a dust particle to a human, brought us thus far, why do you now not trust Chance to carry us further??? Why can't we trust that balance will occur if we but give up consciousness of credit & debt, if we but give up control of balance of positive & negative? When has a negative charge ever NOT been naturally met by an equal and opposite positive charge? When has a death ever NOT been naturally met by an equal and opposite life? Why do we continue to not trust that a "bad" deed is naturally met by an equal and opposite "punishment"? Why can't we, who call ourselves scientists, trust our own science, like an infant, that "Vengeance belongs to Chance, Chance will repay", not to our minds that can't even balance a budget. Why can't we trust that Nature is perfectly Just. When have wave crests ever NOT been met by equal and opposite wave troughs? If Female were not met miraculously by an equal and opposite Male, then life would cease. A positive coincides with a negative. If Coincidence ceased, the Universe would cease. Why do we think Coincidence, called Miracle by the religious, is an exception, rather than The Rule?

The Money World Blocks Evolution

Now I'm going to say some seemingly hard things. But you know they are true. Money and possessions side-step chance, putting a block on Evolution, skirting around Natural Selection. We think we are avoiding Death by accumulating money and possessions, by stockpiling positives and squelching negatives. But all we are doing is building up our own demise. The negatives will come back on us in a tidal wave, to bring themselves back into Justice with the positives we've horded. Isn't this what the Koran keeps saying? Isn't this a theme of the Bible and the Dao De Jing? Isn't this basic science?

Why are we as a species nursing prolonged suffering from year to year, generation to generation, in the name of compassion, while Nature abhors prolonged suffering, knocking it off in Just Natural Selection before it can even establish itself? Mutations are naturally balanced with Order in the Wild World. But they are heaped up in massive imbalance in our Domestic World. And we pass them down, in ever larger masses, from generation to generation. Then people like Adolph Hitler arise and think they can re-establish the Balance, and they make it way worse. The erroneously call it Social Darwinism - but Darwinism it is NOT. Darwinism is Natural Selection, not Human Mind-Control Selection. Darwinism is Faith in the Law of Nature, not faith in the laws of human mind-control.

Hunter-Gatherers Our Example

I like how the Inuits (Eskimos) of the past (and maybe still the present) lived in such balance with Nature, that when one became old and too lame to be happy, to contribute to the tribe, she would voluntarily go sit on an ice float cross-legged like the Buddha and wait for a polar bear to eat her up. Missionaries thought this barbaric and put an official end to the practice. Now the Inuits are so happy with their booze and chronic illness and their oil money. When you read accounts of anthropologists who studied the Inuits before Missionary money "saved" them, they are totally astounded how these tribes living in one of the harshest environments on earth could be so constantly happy.

The Kung (Bushmen) of the Kalahari, like the Inuits, lived in another of the harshest environments on earth. The Kalahari doesn't even have regular surface water, and the Kung only carried bows & arrows. The rumor among the civilized was that these Bushmen were poor souls continually suffering, slaving, scratching out a living from the harsh desert. Then anthropologists went in to study them, and were astounded. The Kung were, in fact, the most studied of all hunting-and-gathering tribes. And anthropologists found that they only worked 2 to 3 hours a day, and the rest of the time they spent in leisure. But even that is bogus, because I can testify that when you live without money, there is no distinction between work and play. Watch any wild animal and you'll know what I mean. Don't watch money-funded propaganda nature flicks on TV if you want an accurate view. Go out and see for yourself.

Slaves of Civilization are struggling and suffering, not for food, but to maintain possessions and fictional bank accounts and appearances. And such slaves can't imagine that life could be any other way, so they believe nature is cruel to justify their own cruelty against both themselves and others.

Yet, I Am Not a Primitivist!

I am not really a primitivist. Human inventions come from the same Creative Source as leaves and flowers and chimpanzees and electrons come. Do you know who invented the automobile, the television, the microchip, the rocket, the piano, the paintbrush, the wheel? Chances are you don't. But you know who got famous marketing each of those things and pushing them like drugs for profit, don't you? I had this realization once when I worked at a homeless shelter in Boulder, Colorado. One of the residents was an inventor of machine parts. Presently, he was working on a better sewing machine bobbin. He was doing it for the pure joy of creating - and you know he wasn't doing it for money or fame. The greatest works of art are in temples, done by the obscure for the obscure, simply for the pure joy of doing. Work and play and creation and reward and joy are all One in the Present Moment.

Last summer I talked with a Nepalese Buddhist in Portland, Oregon about these ideas on living moneyless. He got all excited and immediately started envisioning people building cars purely because they wanted to, making computers from a place of pure joy, building cities from instinctual creativity - all within a purely gift economy. Nobody owns anything and all things are shared. And everything balances out as in Nature, because our true selves are Nature. He had the look of a child as he envisioned this "naive" world. Naivete is our only salvation. All great things begin with the "impossible" vision. With faith all things are possible.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Now Testament

Another beautiful fall day around Moab.

In a previous blog entry, I wrote of my friends, Gordon & Kay, coming to visit at the end of last May. What I didn't mention is that Gordon came to make a short docu-film on living moneyless. He finished the film, & has an webpage intro & teaser for it, which I finally was able to get into. It's at www.moneylessinmoab.com. The music it starts with is some jamming I did on the "Freenotes", which are pentatonic-scale xylophones installed in a park in Moab that anybody can bang on - thanks to Moab's very own Richard Cook, who installed them years ago. Of course, free music on free instruments on public land is right down my alley.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
FOR EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS:

Okay, now, this is written for Evangelical Christians, and has a lot of Bible-quoting. It's my "95 Theses" I'm tacking to the Evangelical church door, challenging the very foundations of this institution:

The Word

It's been a quiet & exhilerating last few days in the canyon. You know, when you become still, and all thoughts & words leave your mind, this is when you find that the same Indescribable Calm that is within you is the same Indescribable Calm that upholds all of Nature. Your mind cannot see reality until all words, all thoughts cease, and your mind becomes like a child's - a blank slate. You don't see things through the filter of judgement, of words, but just as it is. You see that words do not reveal Reality, but veil it. With words you believe in God. But without them you know God. "Be still and know that I am God," the Psalms say. And you see that this Indescribable Calm is the Source, like a Seed, from which all forms of Nature sprout, and to which all forms return again. And these forms of Nature are no different than the thoughts & imaginations that arise spontaneously in your mind. It's an exhilerating realization. Yet words & imagination can never, ever grasp it. You can never, ever grasp God, Reality, with thoughts, with words, with imagination.

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

(1 Corinthians 2:9)

Now, looking within to this Law written on your heart, this is where you see that the very Heart of Christianity is the very Heart of Buddhism is the very Heart of Hinduism is the very Heart of Islam.
Because this Calm is beyond time & beyond possession, it cannot be contained in human memory. All we have are words, messengers, that tell us about it, but the words, messengers are not it.

Yet, how can I tell you about this No-thought if there isn't one point of contact between No-thought and thoughts, between No-word and words? There must be one Single Word that mediates between words and no-words, between Heaven & Earth, God & Human, Reality & Illusion, no? It's like the very infinitesimally sharp tip of a pyramid that goes from stone to no-stone, into the sky. It is the very Chief Capstone. It is the One Word that mediates between Reality and Thought (Illusion), that is both Reality and Thought - both Reality and Illusion. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Reality, and the Word was Reality. . . . And the Word became illusion and dwelt among us illusions. When you discover the Infinite Calm of No-Thought, something drives you back to the world of thoughts. It is a desire to take the message to others. Perfect No Thought becomes imperfect thought, that it may gather up all of us who are lost in thoughts and bring us back to No-Thought. Our minds are lost in thoughts, and all we like sheep are gone astray from the Eternal Present (YHWH). So the Eternal Present (YHWH) becomes illusion in search of us, to draw us back. Buddhist masters know exactly what I am talking about. The Buddha, from the sense of Eternal Compassion, relinquishes Nirvana to go back as the Bodhisattva to gather up all of us souls lost in thought.

This is the One Word, One Mediator, between Eternity and Time (Kosmos, illusion). If you look within, you will know what I am saying.

"Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?"
(2 Corinthians 13:5)

Professed Christians look in the past and in the future and up in heaven for Christ & the Kingdom of God and the End of Time, but never within, never Here & Now. Having been raised Evangelical Christian, I know that most Evangelicals are obsessed with Jesus in the past and Jesus in the future; and they are obsessed with proving past creation of the world and future end of the world. They love everything but the Present.

"Then He also said to the multitudes, "Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming'; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, 'There will be hot weather'; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this present moment? Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?" (Luke 12:54-57)

"Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."
Then He said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, 'Look here!' or 'Look there!' Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.
(Luke 17:20-24)

The Love of Money, the Worship of the Letter, the Idolatry of Evangelical Christianity

Now we come back to the subject of Money. Money represents things past, things future, but never the Present. Images represent things past, things future, but never the Present. Words represent things past, things future, but never the Present. These words you are reading right now are illusions, unless you can't read. Covetousness (Greed) and Idolatry are one and the same, according to the Bible (Colossians 3:5, Ephesians 5:5). Idolatry is clinging to illusion, image. Idolatry is the mind lost from the Present, and is the root of all evil.

Evangelicals believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and that to question this is sin. And we were told that there is no salvation apart from the Bible, just as fundamentalist Muslims believe about the Koran. From a child, I was quoted this verse, to show that faith comes by the Bible:

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

But then one day I actually looked up the context and it blew me away:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
"Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
And their words to the ends of the world."

(Romans 10:17-18, quoting Psalm 19:4)

Then I looked up the quoted Psalm 19 to get a clearer picture of what this "Word of God" really is:

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world."

(Psalm 19:1-4)

Whoa! I thought, all my life I've been taught that this "Word of God" is the Bible, when the Bible itself says that this "Word of God" is not a book, but is the Utterance of Nature, beyond speech, language, and voice, and this Word is spoken to all the world!

All Evangelicals are also taught these words of Jesus:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14)

This is why Evangelicals want to get the Gospel out to the ends of the earth, so that this world will end. And Jesus also states:

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature". (Mark 16:5)

But then we have this verse:

"This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven" (Colossians 1:23)

The Gospel already has been preached to every creature? And Jesus said the end would come when this happened? Then I looked up the original Greek word for creature. It is ktisis, which means every created thing! How on earth can a human preach human words to every created thing, every rock, every clod of dirt, every robin, every atom??? And how is it that the Psalms keep speaking of the heavens & earth and everything in them hearing the word of God? And how is it that the Psalms speak of the heavens & earth & everything in them singing praises to God? Hello... somebody look up the word animism.

According to the very Bible, this is the Gospel According to Nature, not a book.

The New Testament

When I say New Testament, don't you think of a book written with ink on paper? But this is not what the Bible says the New Testament is. Look up all occurences of New Testament (New Covenant) in the Bible, and see what I mean.

"You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all persons; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter but of the *Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Corinthians 3: 1-6)

The first mention of the word New Testament is in "The Old Testament" book of Jeremiah (31:31-34). And this passage is quoted in the "New Testament" book of Hebrews (8:7-8). It says that this New Testament is not written with letters, but on the heart. It is the Law of the Heart. And this, Hebrews states, is the goal of Christ, to bring to obsolete the imperfect Old Testament, the letter written with human hands, and bring us the New Testament, the Law written on the heart.

Now what is strange, is that the Bible talks about the Law already written on the hearts of the Gentiles (non-Jews, non-Christians).

"For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the Day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus." (Romans 2:13-16)

Now we see that the non-religious (Gentiles) already have the law written on their hearts! They already have the New Testament, the Now Testament, which is already preached to every creature and is the end goal of Judaism and Christianity! And in the very end sentence of the above passage, we see that this is happening in the Day of Judgement, the Now, the End of Time!

Yes, New means Now. Both words are of the same root. This is the Now Testament. These words I am writing are Old Testament. As soon as I write, my words are past, they are old. As soon as a word enters my memory, it is a thought, out of the Present, old. All thoughts, all words, all letters, are Old Testament. And all words are illusions which fool us. No words are Reality, except the One Word that cannot be spoken, the One Name that is hallowed. The opening verse of the Tao Te Ching says,

"The way that can be described is not the Eternal Way.
The word that can be spoken is not the Eternal Word."

To say any written words, anywhere, any time, are inerrant and eternal is idolatry. The very core doctrines of Evangelical Christianity are idolatrous, as are the very core doctrines of fundamentalist Islam and Mormonism. And idolatry can produce no truth. Idolatry can only produce destruction. It causes war, environmental degradation, pollution, poverty, and self-righteous bigotry. See for yourselves. Am I wrong? "The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

Jesus' message was aimed at the fundamentalist Jews of his day, the Pharisees, who clung to the Bible as their source of salvation, believing it the literal, inerrant Word of God, and who also were "lovers of money". Idolatry & covetousness always go together, for they are one and the same ("Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him." {Luke 16:14}). Now, with new understanding, read what Christ says to these fundamentalists:

"You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." (John 5:38-40)

Now, if you want to know truth, not just believe truth, you need to turn this computer off and put away these and all words of illusion and find the Stillness within, the Now, the Reality, "the Peace that passes all understanding." It's not enough to believe in God, "Be still and know that I am God."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My Guru the Desert

I'm back in the Moab, Utah area, living in the canyon.

West Coast Coasting

The last I wrote here, I was in Arcata, Cali, on my way from San Fran to toward Portland, OR. But then the wind blew me another direction. I had emailed my parents telling them my cousin said my uncle in the Bay area might not survive through the winter, and my parents decided to rush on out to see him. So I decided to hitch back to the Bay area for the mini fam reunion.

On my way down, I took a detour to visit my friend, Dan, in Ft Bragg. I was so glad I did. We went through a lot of processing about our mutual friend, Ayla, who had killed herself a year & a half ago. Some of you who've gotten my mass e's from that time might remember that Ayla was one of the folks traveling in our "moneyless tribe" about 5 years ago.

My parents, my Uncle Louis & Aunt Edith, my twin cousins Annie & Sue and their families, plus my 2nd cousin Lauren (who also happened to be passing through), all had a little family reunion. I was glad I decided to go. Life is short & precious.

After much debate, I decided I didn't want to be in Portland for the rainy season, so I decided to go back to Colorado with my parents, and then back here to Moab. I have a piece of my heart in Portland, so it was hard deciding.

Desert Chaos & Order

So I headed back into the canyon for the first time since last June. The canyon here looks very different, from all the floods. And not only that, there was a fire where the cave is - so it looks nuked. But it felt kinda good seeing it cleansed like that. When I got just about to the cave, a coyote appeared about 50 yards from me! He was playfully poking into bushes, like dogs do, and he totally didn't notice me. I stood there quietly until he finally turned his head and noticed me. Startled, he trotted to the edge of the burned-out woods. Then he stopped and looked at me curiously for about half a minute, then walked out of site.

Then I looked at the blackened trees, the washed-out dirt, the patterns of ripples & lines on the rocks, sand, and the water. In fact, I tried to pick out a random square inch anywhere, just to see if I could find a single portion of disorder! Go out & try it for yourself. Is there a single square inch outside civilization's boundaries anywhere that is not saturated with pristine order? Actually, every square inch has a baffling balance between order and chaos - in everything, everywhere, constantly. It's perfectly imperfect! It's so perfectly imperfect, it eases the mind from the stress of civilization.

We humans have the strange power to separate the order from the chaos in our minds, which takes effort. So we look around and either see one or the other - either order or chaos - but rarely the two in harmony. And in this separation of order & chaos our minds become either lethargic or stressed out. Then we blame it on chaos and try more & more to erase chaos, and make our world more & more clean & perfect. It's like we're living more & more on sugar, and cutting all else from our diet. But we can only hide chaos like a seed in the ground, where it grows unseen, waiting to come back in grand vengeance. Human representatives of chaos can't stand the sugar anymore and crave challenge, so they rise up in gangs and terrorism and random rebellion and screaming. Our bodies revolt and start strange self-attacking cancers, allergies, and self-defeating mental illnesses. Isn't this Nature's innate sense of vengeance, Nature's rebalancing act, bringing back balance between positive & negative? Chaos wants her rightful place of unity beside Order, and will get it, as long as galaxies roll.

Human minds cannot balance the positive and the negative. Can any human mind truly balance a budget? Can any person balance the environment? Vengeance, pay-back, justice, balance, belongs to Nature, not us. We stole Fire, or Consciousness of Credit & Debt, from Heaven. We took the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. Isn't this the theme of myths in every corner the world?

Back to that playful coyote again. The closer I live with nature, the more I see Nature playful. It's not the dreary, incessant scrounging for survival that most TV nature shows portray it to be. Chaos plays with order, perpetually, forever and ever. Why do bunnies & squirrels & deer run in front of cars, and why do climbers scale mountains and skydivers dive? Is it stupidity or the play of Risk? Playfulness is imbibed into every particle.

Nature is harsh, yet it is gentle and quiet most of the time - and full of grace. Nature doesn't tolerate prolonged suffering, so it knocks out the lame. Thus we call Nature cruel. But it has such a perfect balance of life and death, pleasure & pain, that it keeps all of life interesting & stimulated with challenge, with no room for the mental illnesses & boredom that we suffer within the walls of civilization. Maybe we ought to redefine cruel. In the end, every single one of us life-forms will be smashed, selected away by Nature, as much as civilization tries to fool you that we won't. But if we come to realize there is no separation between chaos & order, won't we know there is no separation between pleasure & pain, life & death? Won't we have discovered what IS?

This can all be translated into religious language, describing the very walk of Faith.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Arcata, Cali

I'm in Arcata, Cali right now.

If i blogged more often, each entry wouldn't be so verbose. But I'm covering lots of ground over the past month when i get to computers. Also, book writers are verbose. So just think of this as a book online that's for free, since i don't want to publish for money. Okay, paper books are nicer than computer screens. Maybe that'll change.

Huck Finnin'

Lots have been happening since i last wrote here. It turns out i set up a camp on a deserted island in the Willamette River in Portland weeks ago. The island is very wild & pristine, for being surrounded by the chaos of Portland. It's full of deer, beaver, nutrea, otters (i think), blue heron, and bald eagle! And the insects make a haunting, perfectly syncronized, rhythmic hum through the night. There are huge trees & thick foliage, including tons of blackberries, everywhere. At first I was swimming to the island. But the river is kinda sketchy - i mean polluted. And the weather was getting colder; so one night i wasn't feeling too good about having set up camp there. I didn't even want to dip in that water again to swim back, because the water looked particularly scuzzy at that time. And my idea of building a raft was turning out to not be so easy. I had brought a saw to cut huge logs, but it was too small. But then i remembered that it had felt so totally right coming to that island, & that i hadn't come this far to lose faith now. So my mind went from worry to rest in the perfect Random future.

The next morning was glorious, and the sunlight was sparkling on the still Willamette. The river was way low - so low there was a land bridge over to Ross island. I'd never seen it that low, though the river fluctuates like tides every day. I'm still not sure if it's tide changes (this far inland?) or maybe dam-levee adjustments. Whatever, i decided to walk over to Ross island to explore. There are lots of abandoned camps, in plane view on Ross island's beaches. I walked quite a ways on the west beach. I then felt like making a bee-line into the forest & thick foliage, and stumbled upon an old, broken kayak paddle. I could use it for my potential raft, i thought. I left the paddle and walked further down the beach until i saw a strange black thing washed up on the shore. I went to investigate and found it was 8 plastic buoy-like things linked together like a jig-saw puzzle. They had maple leaves on them, so i figured it was something from a Canadian ship. I pushed it into the water & hopped on. It totally floated! So i ran back, got that old paddle, and paddled that raft into the river! I started paddling it back to my island, and just when i was feeling intense gratitude, a bald eagle flew from my left directly across my path.

So i had floaty transpo now. I made a temporary tee-pee type shelter with old lumber & tarps. I've been having visions of making a clay cob structure. But October is when the rainy season starts, and i'm still debating weather or not to stay on the island then.

I Finally Decided to Use a $20 Bill... But I Still Didn't Use Money!

One day when i was exploring Ross island, i stumbled upon a $20 bill on the beach. My custom, since i started to live moneyless 6 years ago, has been to get rid of any money i find or am given by sunrise the next morning. But this time i had planned on staying on the island for a few nights. I thought about floating to the river shore & leaving it someplace random for some random humanoid, & then come right back to the island. But then i realized i was being to bound by the idea of money. The idea is to see things for what they are. The bill was not money. Money was in my head. Money was my belief about the $20 bill, not the $20 bill itself! So i looked at the bill. It was actually quite beautiful, a work of art. That's what it IS! I could evolve its beauty by cutting it up and making it into a collage! So i cut it into pieces. It would be a useful collage, because it would upset people's belief. It would upset the money religion, and maybe jolt some folks back into the Present.

So, are you upset that i cut up a $20 bill? Are you saying, "you could have given it to the poor." If this upsets you, you are a Judas. Remember the story of Judas in the Bible? I want you to recognize that all people who believe in Money are Judases. Now don't judge a Judas as good or bad, just recognize yourself as Judas. Judas is in me, too. Yeah, Judas is also part of the Plan - isn't that what scripture says? When the woman (Mary Magdeline?) took the "costly" ointment in the alabaster box and broke it, pouring it over Jesus' head & feet, Judas was apalled, saying, "This could have been sold and given to the poor!" I believe they say it was a month's wages. In one gospel version, all Jesus' disciples were apalled. Mary Magdeline, though, had the eyes of a child, the Divine Eye, and saw the ointment & the box for what they were, not blinded by Money Religion. All she knew was they were beautiful now. Do you get it? Is your mind simple enough to understand? Is your mind the Buddha mind?

Do you understand that the only way the world can come into balance is to see everything as it IS, not what it coulda woulda shoulda been? Can you stop trying to save the world and simply BE, thus saving the entire Universe? By you I mean me. I'm asking these questions to myself.

"The poor you have with you always", Jesus responded to Judas. This, too, baffles the Money Mind. "Poor" means "bad" to the Money Mind. But have you forgotten that Jesus said, "Blessed are you Poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God". Happy are you Poor. There is no better news than "the poor you have with you always." The Money Mind just doesn't get it. The Buddha Mind is the Poor Mind, the Empty Mind, the Christ Mind, the Child Mind. The infant and the raven and the lilly are Poor, are Blessed.

Bay Area

I had in mind staying & playing on the island & doing Food Not Bombs & other stuff. But Satya asked if i'd go with him to the Bay area where he was taking Indian flute lessons. So off we went. We train-hopped out of Portland in a luxurious engine. We got booted out Klamath Falls. Then we hitched to San Fran. We stayed at the "Chicken House", a kind of co-op house full of young folks. A young woman named Becky there was immediately drawn to Satya and I and took us to a couple of her cool hang-out spots in San Fran, like "Station 40" and "The Commune" and introduced us to her friends. She made us feel right at home.

Then Satya & I parted ways. I went up to Fort Knolls in Marine County to visit my friend Saskia. Saskia is a Dutch woman who devotes her life to animal activism. She often goes to sea with Sea Shepherd to stop illegal whaling, fishing that endangers dolphins, and fur seal hunting. She also has about 8 dogs on her land she rescued from hurricane Katrina aftershock.

After a few days at Saskia's i hooked up with my cousin Lauren, who had just come into the Bay area from Texas to possibly relocate. Lauren wanted to drive a ways to northern Cali to explore and took me to Ukiah. From Ukiah I hitched here to Arcata. I think I'm heading north to Portand again, but plans might be changing.

Ah, the life of Random! Random is the Divine Mind, Natural Selection, that evolved us and continues to do evolve us. Can we give up our worrisome Mind Selection and trust in Natural Selection? I'm still learning to trust, even though Natural Selection keeps proving Grace to me over and over.

So much to talk about, but i've been on this public computer way too long.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

What I Did This Summer

Kick starting this Blog again.

I s'pose it's time to revive this blog. I kinda forgot this thing, thinking it had faded out.

So I'm a roadie again, which could make for more exciting dharma bummage reading for y'all out there.

I haven't read my last blog entries, but I think I did them in early spring, and I hardly remember what I wrote - mainly just my feelings - squirming in doubt & navel-gazing. Now I feel I have a revived confidence again.

It's been a sweet summer, packed with zillions of "realities". Now I'm in Portland, Oregon, presently sipping red-cedar tea (from the tree outside) at my friend Helen's house, where I crash off & on when I'm not camping by the river. Helen has actually opened up this house as a kind of Buddhist temple to be shared. It's funny how the universe threw us together. She is a wealthy person who is realizing her wealth is not her own. She is devoting her life to generosity & openness. She respects my moneyless lifestyle & philosophy more than most anybody. She is one of the few moneyed people who doesn't try to take care of me and buy me things, and she totally accepts and feasts on my scavenged offerings for the treasures they are.

Now, back to where I left off in the Spring.

In early May, my parents came through Moab & whisked me away for a couple weeks to the northern California coast to celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary. It was interesting seeing all the places I'd walked by a couple years ago when I trekked down the Cali coast. Now I saw it through tourist eyes. Before, I'd seen it through vagabond eyes, from outside those same tourist trappings, and sometimes from inside those trappings' dumpsters. Yeah, it's good to immerse yourself into contrasting "realities" to keep your mind open and refuged in the Only Reality. The Only Reality is that which never changes. And it was good to spend time with my parents, as life is fleeting and every moment precious - yet on the other hand not to be taken too seriously - precisely because it is fleeting. My parents, who are conservative Christians, never say a judging word about my radical lifestyle. They know this is how I see life as prescribed by Jesus, and so it happens also to be life prescribed by Lao Tzu, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad, Mahavir, Francis of Assisi, Peace Pilgrim, the Rhine Christian sages, the great Native American sages and shamans of the world. Of course I'm not forgetting the great female sages of the world who relinquished their names being known, even as the recessive chromosomes secretly pass down the greatest and profoundest secrets of our biology. Yes, as I see it, this is the life prescribed by all the wild creatures.

Moab closure.

After Dad & Mom brought me back to Moab at the end of May, I was psyched that Gordon & Kay then came from Connecticut to visit me. I happened to have a lovely house-sit at the time so I could luxuriously put them up in their own room. I'm toying with the idea of hopping a train east to see them again, along with my other long-lost close friends over there.

After G & K left, it was time to get ready to hit the road. I cleared out all my accumulations from the treehouse and cleaned my stealth cave in the canyon, closing it up with rocks as a final touch. The treehouse was my town house, in my friend Pennie's backyard. But I was feeling odd about staying there lately, because her neighbor told her he didn't like me staying there. Why? Because he said I didn't work, that I "spooked" him. If he had allowed me even once to make eye contact with him, not to mention speak with him, he might think differently. Funny thing is, that neighbor, like me, isn't employed for money but, unlike me, he lives on government dole. It all keeps life funny.

Rainbow Dharma Bumstead

I never was able to hook up with my friend Val to go scouting for the Rainbow Gathering. This year I was feeling a little reluctant about going to the Gathering, much less scouting for it again. But I thought about it, and realized this was the closest thing to my vision of a moneyless world in existence - at least in the US. Whether I could admit it or not, Rainbow is my tribe, and how could I forsake meeting with them? Besides, this year it was close by, near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. My semi-vagabond friend Phil was getting ready for his summer job in Aspen and took me half-way to the Gathering on his way to Aspen. Then I hitched, & two young women, Denise & Ginger, picked me up & took me into the Gathering.

This time I decided to wipe my mind free of all judgment, & the Gathering turned out the best I'd ever been to. I had a realization that the Rainbow Gathering is as ancient as humanity, and as long as there is humanity, it will exist, whatever name it has taken on or will take on. Wipe the mind free of judgment, and the world opens up in magical splendor. See the world through the eyes of an infant, with no past programming.

So the Gathering was splendid, even with its usual harassment by the authorities. But it's the drama as old as civilization: Civilization's authorities & pawns only want people to talk about Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. But don't dare practice it. Isn't Religion the same? Keep it a fanatical lipservice so people think you're a spiritual zealot, or else a mushy liberal sweet talk, but don't dare live it, don't dare have any courage, any Faith. Don't dare give up control, cuz if you do your whole religious ediface & civilization will collapse, whether you call yourself conservative or liberal.

At the Gathering I ran into Satya, the former Zen priest I wandered & camped with on the west coast. He's the reason I'm now at Helen's, because he stays here, and he first introduced me to her in California years ago. Satya no longer calls himself a Zen priest, because such labels are too constricting & dogmatic. He's still a spiritual seeker, even more seriously than before. And Satya is now a Rainbower. And, funny thing about Denise (you know, the lass who picked me up hitching to this gathering)... Satya already knew her from Portland. And it turns out Denise and I have become good friends. She took me here to Oregon after the Gathering.

Family Affairs

Denise and I left the Gathering with a new friend, Clay. Since we were passing by my parents' house in Fruita, Colorado, we dropped in on them. My parents were their usual happy and welcoming selves. They've always been elated to have whatever vagabond friends I'd bring to their doorstep. We thought we were just going to stay a night & leave in the morning, but we ended up staying several nights. Denise was totally charming, and I think my parents appreciated that. She discussed her Jewishness & my parents discussed their Christian-ness, and it worked out nicely.

We rolled on to Utah, where we hit some hot springs, then stayed with Clay's aunt, then with his brother. Denise & I left Clay at his brother's in Salt Lake City and headed to Idaho. We met up with the "Warriors of the Light" bus from the Rainbow gathering in Boise, then headed to Oregon.

Everything Is Prayer, Desireless.

A funny thing happened. We had been getting dumpster food the whole way, eating very luxuriously & extravagantly & healthily. But one day we were jonesing for snacks. Denise said we should think about something that's more healthy this time, since there's such an abundance of bad junk food. So I said the first thing that popped into my mind: "Garden of Eaten Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, maybe with salsa." We kind of laughed, because it was so specific and I wasn't sure why that brand specifically came to mind. About 20 minutes later we hit a dumpster in a small Idaho town. Right on top of all the food was a sealed bag of Garden of Eaten Blue Corn Tortilla chips. And all around it was an abundance of food, including salsa and packets of vegan chili and tomatoes & other vegetables. Funny thing, I've never found blue corn chips in any dumpster before, much less that brand.

Denise and I then talked about prayer and manifestation. The odd thing about prayer is that you don't decide something and pray for it. You tap into what already is and state it. Or, rather, what already is taps into you. You simply submit to the will of the universe and decide that whatever comes is good. You simply state what is. But it appears to folks around you that you are commanding God to give you something, when in actuality you are simply stating what already is destined to be. You are submitting to God, God isn't submitting to you. God isn't a genie in a bottle, and nothing is to be forced and nothing to be desired. But as time goes you realize that in the greater picture you and God are one - one will. True prayer is a statement of the splendor of What Is, not desire of what will be. Give us this day our daily bread. No worry of tomorrow's bread.

Timo's & Logan's Run.

Denise dropped me off at the turn-off to Redmond & she went on to Portland. She would have taken me clear to Redmond, but I insisted that she take the quicker route & I could just hitch to my friend Timo's in Redmond in central Oregon. I camped by the Deschutes River on the way. I found a place where deer bedded down on the grass. I almost stepped on a rattle snake, and I found 5 ticks on me the next morning. A van full of 4 old men and one old woman took me almost to Redmond, cracking crude jokes & laughing the whole way. Then another old man in a jeep took me to Timo's front step in Redmond. I was so happy to see Timo and his daughter Logan - it's been a few years. I stayed with them around a week, going on hikes & swims with them and their neighbors, Matt & his son Kyler. I also got to help shingle a roof and play with left-over wet cement, making figurines for Logan.

Lord of the Dance.

Then Timo took me to Portland and dropped me off here at Helen's. Helen is learning Nepali dance under a Nepali dance master named Prajwal Vajracharya, and I happened to get in on a dance lesson that first evening. I did a second a couple days later. This dance form is an ancient form of Buddhist meditation. In the past it was passed down through the Vajracharya clan of dance priests and shown only to fellow Buddhist priests. Then it was opened up to other Nepalis. Prajwal is of the only existing lineage of this dance, having learned it from his father. But his father instructed him to finally open it up to the west, and to teach westerners. So having him here is a rare privilege.

Street kids & vague bonds.

It's been a whole other odyssey in Portland. It's grand to see old forest activist friends. The forest activist scene has pretty much dissolved in Portland, that I know of, but many of my fellow tree-sitters are still here. Eugene is the hub of forest activism now. A lot of my friends are hooked up with Food Not Bombs, cooking & serving to fellow street folks. The vegan food comes from kick-downs from natural food stores and dumpsters. So I've been doing that a lot (both on the cooking and the eating end), and meeting soul-mates everywhere. I don't feel like an oddity in Portland. Living without money isn't such a big deal here, and generosity abounds. But I still haven't met anybody else who lives completely without money, though most my friends nearly do. (If anybody out there has heard of anybody else since Peace Pilgrim who has lived or lives moneyless, let me know).

Desert Rat turns River Rat

Speaking of which, I haven't wanted to be dependent on wealthy people, so I've started camping at the river. I have visions of living on a little desert island on the river. I've got a prime spot set aside, and am preparing to build a log raft and maybe build an earthen structure out there. I've already floated a couple pallets with plywood out there for a bed. But I might end up heading east - so who knows yet.

Denise & Magic Machik

A couple weeks ago Denise and a new young woman friend, Machik, and I went to the ocean to camp in a cave and harvest seaweed for a few days. It was enchanting - the deep familial love among us 3, on top of the intense power of the ocean. Denise & I have clicked together like brother & sister, and now we have a 3rd sibling, Machik. Machik has been staying at Helen's, along with Satya, and is a fellow spiritual seeker. She is one of the most loving, kind, wise, joyful and enlightened people I've ever met - perhaps the most. She's really young, early 20s, and makes me wonder how slowly I've come along all these years. It's good to be humbled like that. On the surface she seems like your classic hippy-chick, airy-fairy and all that. But then you see something amazing & divine bursting through - a thoughtful intelligence & wisdom, a balance of intuition & logic. She fits no mold, no category, no religious label. Everybody she meets, she makes them feel like the center of her universe; and indeed they are. She observes and states your seeming failings with pure love & non-judgment. And her touch is powerful & heeling, pouring out love. Denise said it was wonderful that so much physical affection could come without the sexual trappings. In our society, affection is too often either sexual or non-existent. But the 3 of us had a physical & spiritual affection like sibling children. And I don't think it would have happened without Machik. I suppose that's what I need to learn in order to be with fellow gay men.

So how can I say anything but life is sparkling Now, and there's really no place to go but Here and nothing to look forward to but Now, the Great I Am Who I Am. When you're a devout Christian you realize this, and then you realize you are a devout Hindu, a devout Buddhist, a devout Jew, a devout Muslim, a devout Taoist, a devout Scientist, a devout Naturalist, a devout liver of Life. You realize that I am not saying this to be P.C. and give everybody a New Agey airy-fairy fair shot, but that it is indeed true. What did Moses realize at the burning bush, but I Am Who I Am and nothing else real exists?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Love & Possession

I spent the past few days in the canyon. Around Easter in Moab is insane, so I always try to escape town. It’s Jeep Safari time, and thousands of four wheelers come from all over and tear things up and make lots of noise and throw Budweiser cans everywhere. Fortunately, they rarely walk more than 50 ft from their vehicles, so it was very peaceful at the cave. It’s been springy warm, partly cloudy, with sometimes a slight chill in the air. Some days it’s been way windy.

Last night I came to town & meditated in the treehouse. I went through intense doubt, then intense clarity. Things are crystallizing, more & more!

So last night I started out discouraged & fatigued, like I’ve been going in circles and after all these years haven’t progressed an inch. Here I am, houseless, money-less, & nothing to show for it, I think. Am I wacko or what? I start thinking that I’ve worked, and what do I have to show for all my years of work? Then I realized: this is my credit-and-debt self. It tries to take credit for what it has not done, and then it asks, where’s my credit for all my work?

At this moment of truth I realize the Beyond Time, when the splendor is magnificent and the sight of the whole universe is right before my eyes, so indescribably beautiful & peaceful. And it amazes me how could I have overlooked it when seeing it is so simple & free & unworked for.

Love! That’s it! This idea really started crystallizing for me last night. That splendor, that free gift, I realize, is love!

Love & Possessions, Sex & Money

We are in a world that believes possession is love. This is a world that believes love is a purchase. Husbands possess wives. Wives possess husbands. Parents possess children. And parents shower possessions on children. Lovers shower possessions on each other. When a child feels empty and rebels, or a relationship goes sour, how many times have you heard, “After ALL I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me?” In this very statement is the answer to the parent’s failure, or the lover’s failure!

Our families & relationships aren’t truly families & relationships, they are professions. Our families & relationships, like our jobs, are The World’s Oldest Profession!

When you give somebody a gift, are you offended if they pass it on or get rid of it for whatever reason? Then you know you didn’t really give a gift! It was a bargaining tool, with strings attached. It was a manipulation, a power trip, not a gift! If you receive a gift and can’t get rid of it because of “sentimental value,” you are under its bondage, tied by its strings, controlled by its manipulation. Sentimental value is most insidious, because it parades itself as love. Sentimental value is why you can’t follow truth, can’t follow your heart. Children are bound by the sentimental value of their parents, not by the love of their parents.

Once in a while a person comes along like Siddharta Gautama. He was in line to inherit a great Kingdom with all its wealth. But he saw the bondage of the world and recognized it as his own bondage. Then he gave up all his wealth & royal inheritance, despite the protests of his parents, “After all we have done for you, this is how you repay us?” But he knew it was only by this that they could know true love. He proved it by becoming the Awakened One, the Buddha. And this is the story of Jesus Christ, the Awakened One, giving up all possessions, right down to his body & even his thoughts, so that he says, “The words I speak are not my own.”

Possession makes us think that sex is sin, that sex is debt.

I was once in love, and my heart was shattered. What I thought was love died. But what I overlooked as love from that relationship is still with me, forever. I hold the real him with me forever and the real me can feel no regret.

Do you want somebody to make love with you out of obligation or simply because they love you? Is your relationship exhausting or restful? If it is exhausting, isn’t exhaustion based upon work, on obligation, on possession, not love? Aren’t you trying to get something, trying to possess, grasp, rather than simply give freely?

We all know this is when sex becomes debt. Debt is another word for sin. (Remember, “Forgive us our debts…”). This is why many religious people, under Credit & Debt, are so hung up about sex. They have to be (so don't judge them) because sex really is debt for most folks in the world, because we are bound in a world of Credit & Debt. For them it’s good to stay away from sex, until they learn how to do it with love. "To the pure, all things are pure."

Love that is not free is not Love

Can love be mustered, forced? Our common sense tells us it comes on its own good time, doesn’t it? But our impatience makes us ignore common sense. You can’t grab love, you must fall into it. And when you fall in love, your mind is incessantly on your lover, is it not?

One of the most profound verses in the Bible, the very key to enlightenment, is in the Song of Solomon:

"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the hinds of the field,
That you do not arouse or awaken Love until She pleases."
(Song of Solomon 2:7)

This is the very key to meditation, to Union with the Divine!

Divine Enlightenment

If you’ve meditated or prayed for some time, you realize that you cannot even hold your mind upon the Divine by your own power. Your mind strays from the Present.

Only Love can hold your mind upon the Divine, just like when you are in love you can think of nothing but your lover 24-7. And the whole world becomes pure when you're in love, doesn't it?

This is why Tibetan Buddhist sages constantly emphasize keeping your mind rooted in compassion while meditating. Only the Divine can love the Divine, through you! However, if you strive by your own power enough to hold your mind on the Divine, you can reach the highest heavens and even be a guru with lots of disciples, but then you drop again to the deepest hells, because you did it by your own works, not by Love flowing through you. You find that your “Divine” was simply an illusion, an idol. But Love never fails. If it fails, it is not love. Love has no beginning and no end. It is outside time progression, outside work & credit. It is pure gift, or else it isn’t love.

Make a decision that nothing else in the world matters but Love. Doesn't the Bible state more than once, "God is Love"?

However, last night I realized that the times of striving & doubt are also my blessing. Yeah, Belief & Doubt, Credulity & Doubt, Credit & Debt, are my blessing. They keep me from getting self-righteous & judgmental, because the whole world is under doubt, debt. And they make me realize that the splendor is a gift, when I see it. I can do nothing to obtain it but be open for it, wait for it, watch for it. No works, simply waiting, watching, without judgement. Wait & watch come from the same Indo-European root. The Jewish scriptures implore us to incessantly wait on Jah:

“Wait on HaShem; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

In the Christian scriptures, Doesn’t Jesus implore us to incessantly watch for Christ’s coming? And doesn’t the Buddha implore us to incessantly watch and wait?

But, then, even watching and waiting can be work! This is the dilemma. You see, I never could erase from my consciousness the heart of Evangelical Christian teaching I'd heard since a baby, from the Bible:

“For by grace (gratis) are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any person should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Actually, this verse was at the heart of Martin Luther’s thesis which spurred on the Protestant Reformation, since the church had sunk so deep into corruption it was actually selling literal tickets to heaven! Luther, for all his other faults, was only bringing to light the heart of true Catholic Doctrine, which the Catholic Church had forgotten, such as the sublime teachings of Saint Augustine, St Theresa of Avila, and St. John of the Cross.

And you Hindus know that this Grace is at the heart of Hinduism. For example, the Upanishads, written long before the Bible's New Testament, say:

Brahman is not grasped by the eye, nor by speech, nor by the other senses, nor by penance or good works. A man becomes pure through serenity of intellect; thereupon, in meditation, he beholds Him who is without parts. (Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.8)

Your own works can take you high to heaven, the Baghavad Gita says, but then you have to fall back down again. But how do you give up your own works?, The Gita asks. By giving up all credit for what you do, by giving up the fruit of all your actions. Then you realize it isn’t you who are working, but Nature working through you.

Hallelujah means, “All Credit to Jah”, or “All Praise to Jah”. Let this be your mantra.

Is this not also the heart of Taoism? Read anywhere in the Tao Te Ching, and you’ll see. The Tao gives freely, taking no Credit. The Sage gives freely, taking no Credit. Is this not the heart of every relgion? Enlightenment is beyond Credit & Debt, Good & Evil.

From your very own heart to the politics and the banks of the world, can you now see that our control of Credit & Debt is our own bondage & destruction? It destroys the environment, families, friendships, economies, mental health. I don't need to dredge up statistics, because all we need do is look within.

So we are all Prostitutes. How do we become free from our own Prostitution?

Prostitutes are slaves, stuck in their trade, aren't they? Aren't you? Especially in poorer countries, you can see that prostitution is the only way of life for many women. It’s the only way they know to feed their children. It was this way in Biblical times, which is why Jesus had a special place in his heart for prostitutes. And he had a special compassion for rich people, even as he said riches kept us from the Kingdom of Heaven.

I find that I am often stuck in my striving, in bondage, in debt. I can’t get out. I just have to wait, and find the love lost somewhere within my striving. Whatever situation we are in can be our tool of enlightenment. Prostitution can be a spiritual path. A prostitute may one day find love in her work. Yup. She may find that she falls in love with her client, and her client falls in love with her. There have been a few stories & movies on this theme. When she falls in love, all the sudden she finds that she can no longer take money, and her client finds he can no longer give her money. Both realize they cannot desecrate their love, because it is a pure, divine gift. Then the prostitution ends.

I have many friends that say, "But I love my work." They are stronger than I. Anybody can find that they are doing their work simply because they love their work, regardless of whether or not they are getting paid. To love our work, this is our goal of living.

When work and play are indistinguishable, isn't this enlightenment? It is then that our money becomes obsolete and our love becomes real. This is when “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.”

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Morning Stars Sing

I've been in town since Friday. I'm still finding resolve between the chaos of town & the bright exaltation of the desert solitude. Mercury & Venus can pass between night and day, making them messengers between dark & light, earth & heaven. Ah, Easter is coming, when the Easter resurrects from the dark to the light. "I am the Bright and Morning Star." Christians should recognize that quote. "I am the Easter." Queen Esther & Mordechi (Ishtar & Marduk). Heyelim. Something to ponder if you dare. Mary Magdeline arose & got to the tomb while it was still dark, just before dawn, noticing that it was empty. Two arose before the sun.

Speaking of Easter, I just scored a crate of eggs from the dumpster. Eggs are a staple of mine.

Here I've been reclusive for so long, and now I went to 3 parties this weekend, plus to a free band music gathering in the old city park. I started the weekend with my usual melancholy I get in the spring-time. I know, people are supposed to get cheery in the spring & melancholy in the fall - but I gotta do everything opposite. Then I decided to go walking by myself down in the wetlands, meditating on the root of the melancholy, till it transformed into joy. Spring is so rich and overwhelming, my greed wants to grasp it all and can't, so I get melancholy. When I let go and accept my naturally slow, plodding bull pace, then the joy comes. Who cares if everybody goes fast and everything blooms and I plod slow? Plod slowly through the blossoms and roll in the grass.

Something strange I saw down in those wetlands that other day. THOUSANDS of snakes, crawling in masses like living spaghetti! I've never seen such a thing. They were harmless garter snakes, and they were mostly adults. Then I went back yesterday and didn't see nary a one. Must have been some kind of one-time celebration or mating frenzy or something.

I'm planning to head up the canyon today. The flower smells are glorious up there now.