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.

Friday, April 07, 2006

What money is & my relationship to it

I just spent the past few days in the canyon. It was windy & a bit rainy, but cozy in the cave.

I just got an email commenting on how I use computers & other products of the money system, and also how I let my friends buy me a dinner the other evening. So I'll say the following in answer:

What money is & my relationship to it

I don't think money is evil. It is illusion, a belief system that everybody agrees to believe in. A jay picks up a coin & puts it in her nest, but she does not recognize money--only a pretty piece of metal. The jay, like the infant, only sees what is. That is the mind I'm wanting to cultivate. I'm not totally there yet. Money is thought of credit and debt, a value belief, it is not a piece of paper or a plastic card or a even a binary computer code vibration at First National Bank! Money does not exist, except as belief.

Barter is also thought of credit and debt. That's why I don't like to barter, either, because barter is nothing but money, using bulkier currency.

Money is ulterior motivation. You give because you want something back. You don't do or give simply out of the present pleasure of your heart. You don't give out of love, but out of prostitution. Your mind is in the future reward, not the present reward. Or your mind is in the past debt. This is why I say that prostitution, the oldest profession, the mother of all profession, is the most honest profession. You see it for what it is. Everyone knows the prostitute is pretending to love. Not so with other professions. I'm not even saying prostitution is evil or good, or any profession is evil or good. I'm just simply stating what is.

Money represents the future and the past, but never the present. Think about it. If a dollar bill represented itself, the present, it would no longer be money, would it? It would be simply colored paper, as it really is. The mind in the present is the only awake mind.

Money is Thought of Credit & Debt, the Knowledge of Good & Evil--that which makes us unique from all wild creatures. In a future blog I want to talk about the Garden of Eden story & the other world-wide myths of stealing fire from Heaven. Every culture has this similar myth explaining what separated us from nature's grace. I'd also like to talk about the deep teachings of various relgions about these things, the teachings of Grace beyond Thought of Credit & Debt. Grace is Eden.

Using products of money. I hitch-hike in cars, sleep in offered houses, use computers, etc. Swallows sleep in attics, storks nest on roofs, barnacles ride on ships, pigeons & rats & roaches hang out in cities. They use what is at hand, here & now. Do you think any of these would care an iota if attics, roofs, ships, or cities never existed? Okay, I'm a human moving away from thought of credit & debt. I try not to cause anybody to spend money. But I am no dogmatist. If I lose flexibility & love, what am I doing this for?

About friends treating me to dinner. I sometimes give in & let somebody buy me something that's not at hand, because people's friendship & generosity (what life is all about) over-rule my "rules". Take people as they are, where they are. I will sometimes share a beer with an alcoholic hobo, because not doing so won't make him any less an alcoholic. But doing so breaks down judgmental barriers. It is lack of love that drives people into addiction, not the presence of alocohol or meth or money. However, it is eventually very good to get away from all addictions, like alcohol, meth & money. Why surround yourself with addictions when you can get away from them? But, until then, why fight what can't be fought?

Another example: if you happen to find an escape route from a prison and the only way your friends can also escape is for you to go back in and show them the way, wouldn't you go back in if you have any kind of compassion?

If somebody gives me money, like when I'm on the road, I get rid of it by sunrise & not use it for myself. But when I first started this moneyless thing in the first couple of years, I would sometimes use it if I could do it by sundown. I allowed it in my "daily bread" game.

But I normally take only what is in the present, as all wild animals & plants do, and I often refuse people buying anything for me. It's a case-by-case sitch. Love has to be the guide over-ruling all rules. I like to call my life a potluck. I looked up potluck in the dictionary and it means sharing the food at hand, whatever happens by luck to be in the pot. I looked up potluck because I had thought it came from potlach. A potlach was a traditional party thrown by many American Indians. They believed it wasn't right to hoard, so if somebody accumulated lots of stuff, they'd call all their friends around to party and give it all away. I don't think it's mere "luck" that potluck & potlach are so alike.
Coming up: I'm hoping to talk about world banking, Darwinism & nature, world religions, the mysteries in the Bible, mixed in with daily journaling.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

We're all ALREADY possessionless & communal! April Fools Not!

Last night I ran into my friends, Damian & Dorina, & they took me to dinner. Nice seeing them... it's been a while.

Then I went back to the treehouse. It lightly sprinkled all night & I slept like a baby.

I've been thinking about this question folks sometimes ask about how people with families & responsibilities & obligations can move toward a possessionless, moneyless existence - a FREE existence. I will say that it is not a matter of giving up possessions, because there is nothing to give up, really. Ownership is but an illusion. Nobody owns anything, so it is simply a matter of realizing that you already own nothing. Then, when you lose something, & you realize you never owned it in the first place, there is no sense of loss. And when somebody asks you for something, you freely give it to them because it really isn't yours to give anyway. Then have faith that everything comes as you need it in the moment.

Then realize that we all already live communaly. Everytime you freely share something, you are bucking the money system, you are being a communist. I don't like the idea of starting communal societies apart from the bigger society. Live communally right here, right now, where we are, in this very society. Infect society with it, until people wake up and realize money and possessions are simply illusioins, realizing that there can be no balance until everybody freely gives & freely takes.

Death is loss of possession. Look in yourself to see if what I am saying is correct! Every time you lose something, you feel a sense of death, no? When you possess nothing, there is nothing to lose, and no taste of death. The spiritual path is to give up the idea of possession, right down to the very body you live in, right down to the very thoughts in your head! (In Christian lingo this is called laying your body, your debts, your thoughts, your goods, your bads, your ALL upon the Cross of Christ. Every religion in the world demands this, whatever language that relgion uses). When the thoughts & the body are no longer yours, they can be nobody else's but God's. "Lean not on your own understanding" means letting go of thought possession, thought control. Then the thoughts of "your" head and the movements of "your" body become the thoughts & movements of God. It's really a simple idea, when you think about it. I'm still talking glimpses of this splendor. I'm not there yet. Yet I'm already there, as we all are. It's the Eternal Now, here, & yet to come.

So live as if we already are communal, moneyless, possessionless. Regard all the stuff you have right now as not yours. Never strive, never worry about it. Just watch it drop away and watch liberation flood over you! Then, more & more, the stuff you have, your addiction, literally drops away, because you realize you don't need it. It's like your cocoon.

I'm at the library & my time's up.