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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dying is Living

Life's been fairly peaceful since I last blogged.  My friend John is giving me a ride to my parents' in Colorado tomorrow, for a visit until next week.  They got rid of their computer, so I'll probably be out of cyber touch for a while.

Immutable Law: One's Life Means Another's Death


Carolyn took some pics of a roadkill dinner I shared with her and David, and I told her I'd post them here.  I found this squirrel freshly killed on the river road.  It had an acorn stuck between its teeth when I found it, plus about 14 acorns stuffing its cheeks!  Their looks of contentment say it all!












A Loud and Clear Calling

A few days later, Carolyn, Aaron, and I went to a party of mostly rock-climber kids way out in the desert at Jug Handle arch.  Though I'm not really a rock-climber, I love rock climbers.  The times I've done it, I've realized rock climbing is a spiritual path that teaches perseverance and humility, minus dogma.  Okay, once in a while I meet a really cocky climber, but not too often ;-)

Anyway, they had set up a really really high swing, made with a rope and harness, from the overhanging rock near the arch.  It was absolutely exhilarating!  Then we jammed around a fire with drums and a guitar and my flute.  Even though I can't play the guitar, I eventually picked it up and used it as a percussion instrument, sort of strumming it, and it didn't sound half-bad.  "I wonder why I never learned guitar?" I thought.  All the sudden I had this almost mystical urge to learn how to play guitar.  "But I'm 49," an alter voice said.  "Should that matter?" was the reply in my head.  "But I don't have a guitar," the other voice countered.

The very next night (a couple nights ago) I went dumpster-diving at the thrift-store to find warmer clothes for winter.  The dumpster was so full of junk it was overflowing--stuff piled around it.  I dug around a bit and found a booklet on how to play the guitar.  "What a coincidence."  I thought, "But I don't have a guitar," my other voice reminded me, again.  As I was getting ready to leave the dumpster, I took a last glance back and noticed I hadn't checked the stuff piled against it.  I lifted up a box and noticed a guitar case underneath.  "Nice case.  I have friends who might need it,"  I thought.  I lifted it, and it wasn't empty!  I opened it up, and, voila, a guitar!  "Surely there must be something wrong with it for it to be here," I thought.  I brought it back to the farm,checked it out the next morning, and found it was virtually new and flawless!  There were also some instructional DVDs included in the case and two extra strings.  If ever I got a clear message to do something, this time it was, "Learn to play the guitar!"

So I've been practicing like crazy, like an excited kid, playing my fingertips raw.

More Mulling Over "Duality"

I've been mulling over blog comments today, and here are some brainstorms to share here.  I'm still working out rough edges, so feel free to point out any flaws you might see.  Ideas are no good if they can't be thrown to Natural Selection.

Now these are generalized statements, and I'm sure you'll find lots of people who don't fit the stereotypes. 

This gets into the "non-duality" thing I essay about in the website.  On the lower level, I find I often have a black and white, good and evil, view of things: as is the very nature of the binary human brain.  But on the Higher Level, it's All Good:

Sometimes I like to step back and watch 2 energies at play--one Conservative, one Liberal--one saying nothing's going to get better so why change it, one saying let's progress, evolve, and not discount possibilities.  Both are in myself!  Each annoys the other, yet each holds the other in check.

Social Conservatives, who don't want to change the social order, are usually Tech Liberals, welcoming new technology with little reserve.  Physically, Social Conservatives are generally older, less prone to sexual exploration, wanting to preserve the gene pool, Old DNA.

On the other hand, Social Liberals, envisioning a better social order, are usually Tech Conservatives, wary of nature-manipulation, new technology. Physically, Social Liberals are statistically younger, more prone to sexual exploration, wanting to expand the gene pool, New DNA.

Both conservatives and liberals are playing out the innate Law of Nature, the Grand Drama!

It's becoming obvious neither will go away any more than positive or negative will go away.  Social conservatives often persecute and often kill their own prophets, just like an ant colony will attack and expel ants that are a bit different.  Social Liberals persecute and often kill their prophets, too, but usually when they have ripened into Social Conservatives (like in the late USSR and Red China and North Korea). Yet religious conservatives preserve the teachings and traditions (Old DNA) for future generations of the ones they once persecuted.

Religious liberals are accepting of other people's viewpoints and new ideas (New DNA), but dislike tradition and are bad at organizing and preserving tradition.  The persecuted sages are secretly grateful to their persecutors for refining their character and catapulting their messages into view of all.  Those who survive rejection are refined, Naturally Selected, secretly admired by their persecutors (silencing or eliminating "heretics" physically often means promoting their message, their Mystical DNA).  The canal to the female ovum is full of spermicide to weed out the unfit.  Those that don't survive go the way of the extinct, and secretly know this is their lot, and they can rest in it.  The two are always with us, battling it out in the Grand Drama. 

Religion most clearly sets the stage for this Drama.  It is the very nature of Religion to give birth to both the Dogmatist Persecutor and the Persecuted Prophet!  Reading the Torah, for example, it is as sure as the sun shines that Dogmatic Pharisees will arise out of Judaism side-by-side with a prophet Isaiah or Zechariah or  Jesus that they can persecute.  In fact, the prophet Isaiah says himself that it is ultimately God who blinds people's eyes, and God who crucifies the Messiah.  This concept of divinely-imposed blindness of the persecutors is a strong theme in the Quran, too.  This is why the persecuted ultimately realizes: forgive them, for they're clueless what they're doing.  But there's also a blindness of the "persecuted."  Actually, each side often sees itself as the "persecuted."  The left hand becomes clueless of what the right hand is doing.  The lion species could not survive if lions felt the pain of their prey, if the right "knew" the left.  Nothing in nature would survive if the positive "knew" the negative.  In the same way, it is the very nature of the New Testament to give rise to an intolerant Church and a Saint or Reformer to persecute or burn at the stake.  Likewise, you see this in Islam.  It's not as pronounced in Eastern Religion, but it's there.  It was Hindu Fundamentalists who killed Gandhi.  The Word comes to its own and its own does not receive it.  Both the Baghavad Gita and the Tao Te Ching describe this phenomenon, as does the Quran, Torah, and New Testament.  You see it not only in religion, but in science and in every institution and organism.  Ultimately, the baby is a nuisance to be horrifically expelled from the mother's body!

It is the very nature of Nature to create a colony of bees to protect their homogeneity, but also to hone down innovators and prove them worthy to progress the colony.  It is the very nature of nature to create a pride of lions and a pack of hyenas to harass each other.

But on the Highest Level, the Wolf lies down with the Lamb, the Lion lies down with the Calf.

Yeah, ultimately, stepping back and looking at it all, you realize it's All Good.  Good Drama can't exist otherwise.  On the lower level, it's Duality.  On the Higher Level, it's All One--beautiful beyond the human mind's ability to grasp!

People think money is my enemy.  On the lower level it is, in a way.  But money has arisen in human consciousness, evolution, for some mysterious reason.  It's no more my enemy than an obstacle course is to an athlete or a puzzle is to a gamer.  A toy or a game is fun until we learn what we have to learn from it, then we move beyond it.

Now we see in a mirror darkly.  Then we recognize who's in the mirror.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Endless Possibilities

Inspiration to blog doesn't seem to happen but about once a month.

Funny Farm

Drama has been happening at the farm, with our stupid mistakes and human silliness.  Several times it has seemed our sense of community was falling apart.  Maybe the farm itself is falling apart - who knows.  But the sense of community behind it?  I figure if our sense of community falls apart, it was never authentic in the first place, and should fall apart!  Then something happens and Love triumphs through our nonsense, we talk it over, forgive through hugs and tears.  Life is absolutely splendid if we stick with it, don't give up.

Penniless On His Own

Roy hitch-hiked back to Moab from L.A. with his little sister, Sylvia.  This was her first time out of Los Angeles, and what a way to do it!  I found Sylvia totally delightful.  She has a don't-give-up sense of adventure just like her brother, and I felt a connection with her.

It turns out that Roy's and Sylvia's mother, meanwhile, took a trip to New Mexico, so Roy and Sylvia decided to hitch-hike there to meet her.  She then took them back to L.A. 

Meanwhile, I was thinking and meditating on my relationship with Roy, feeling like our goals weren't the same.  He can't let grass grow under his feet and I often feel like I'm holding him back.  I was thinking of ways of discussing this with him before he came back to Moab, when he sent me an email saying he had other plans.  He wants bigger challenges and has decided to hitch-hike out of the country with no money, to head south through Mexico, eventually to South America.  His family, apparently, is helping him get a passport.  I feel proud of him.  He changed the name of his blog, which also makes me feel better.  I really don't feel comfortable with any kind of -ism, much less "sueloism". 

Ramadan

I take a deep breath before publishing this, bracing myself for the ire of commentators.

I last blogged at the start of Ramadan, and Ramadan is over.  Carolyn had the idea to celebrate Ramadan from new moon to new moon and asked me to join her, in solidarity with authentic Muslims, people of Peace (Islam, after all, means "peace", derived from the same semitic root as the Hebrew shalom).  What's great is that Carolyn is dating a totally cute dude named David, of Yiddish background, who happens to be a bomber cook.  David likes to cook elaborate Shabat (Sabbath) meals at sundown on Friday.  That makes for a perfect dance between Islam and Judaism for Carolyn and me, because on Ramadan you aren't supposed to eat all month until after sundown! 

Muslims celebrate Ramadan as the month that Muhammad received his Quranic revelations in his cave in the Arabian desert. I thought it a splendid idea, in perfect timing, not only as a declaration of solidarity with Muslims--because of the recent bigotry of people not allowing freedom of religion for Muslims wanting to establish mosques here (it's anti-American and anti-Christian to deny freedom of religion for others)--but also because I've been studying the Quran, with new brainstorms waiting to burst out of my head and heart.  It blows me away the epiphanies crystallizing in me this month: a strangely eerie harmony between the Bible and Quran has become crystal clear. 

I can see why people might reject the Quran for what it says, in the same way people reject the Bible for what it says.  If you take both books literally, the Quran's Jihad is almost as violent as the Torah's Jihad.  But whether or not the Quran is violent is a moot point for most self-proclaimed Christians and Jews: they reject the Quran not because of anything it says or doesn't say, but because of religious ego. It was already decided to be evil before they even looked at it (the simple fact they reject the Buddhist sutras or the Tao Te Ching, which couldn't be more loving and non-violent, proves my case).  In the same way, most self-proclaimed Muslims reject the Bible not because of anything it says or doesn't say, but because of religious ego, despite the Quran itself saying over and over that it was given to confirm the Jewish and Christian scriptures already existing as they are, not replace them.  I keep looking at the apparent contradictions and finding they are actually intriguing clues to get you notice something infinitely deep.  I hope to write down these mysteries to share, Insha'Allah.  No, I can't deny there are things in the Quran, like in the Bible, that I find way bothersome.  But the gold nuggets in the ore are too splendid to throw out with the ore. 

Religion, A-Religion, & Science

Besides, history shows us religion is not going to go away any more than the human heart will go away.  Whatever doesn't go away, we must find a way to embrace it, transform it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I keep feeling religion will go obsolete by embracing it, not fighting it.  Billions of people hold some form of religion in their deepest heart, and you can never truly understand any people or culture if you don't understand their religion.

The a-religious are also not going away, will always be with us, and must be embraced.  It usually seems the a-religious make less of a mess of the world than the religious.  But then there are huge exceptions, like the old Soviet Union and today's "People's Republic" of China.  It could be argued that the these two countries never eliminated religion (dogma) but simply replaced one form of worship (deity) with another fanaticism (state).

And Christianity?  The paradox of Christianity is that it cannot be Christian if it doesn't practice the Golden Rule.  You must examine other religions with your full, respectful, non-judgmental heart in the same way you want them to examine yours, otherwise your religion is not Christianity!  The Golden Rule is Christianity! 

And you cannot be a complete scientist, a complete anthropologist, sociologist, or psychologist if you ignore religion. Religion is part of human biology, part of evolution.  Looking at the horrors religion has caused in the world (especially our own Big Book religions), and after reading past comments in this blog, I often get discouraged and wonder why I bother.  I lose site of the gold in the ore.  The ore can't be changed, just burned away by life's trial.  Just when I'm about to give up, throw down my pick-axe, and leave the dirty mine, I see the gold sparkle: passion is passion, and I can't repress this passion in me.  Funny, me, Mr Zerocurrency, using gold as analogy.

What Next?

Roy and I had plans to travel together this Fall, but since he's meandered off a different path, I'm not sure what will happen now.  With all this inner stuff I want to write down, I feel more inclined to stay put, because time is short and I don't want to waste it.  I just don't want to leave this life without sharing with everybody the absolute splendor I see.