Monday, September 03, 2007
Couldn't find any libraries, plus it's Labor Day, so I'm at a random hotel poaching their computer.
Exodus from Homer
I hitched into Anchorage today, waiting for my flight to Portland tomorrow night.Life continues magical, but has also had tragic moments. My cousin,Annie and her twin sister's daughter Megan came into Homer weeks ago. Annie was planning to take us to Denali for a camp-out, but Megan's dad suddenly died, and they had to fly back to San Francisco. Megan was totally torn up, of course. Since last writing, I spent most my time in Homer, not doing much. But it was good, cuz I was having a usual bout of chronic fatigue.
The day before I left, 3 young guys were unnaturally friendly and offered to buy me coffee. I knew right off from their insincerity they had a religious agenda. Sure enough, they were with "Youth With A Mission." I like talking religion, if it's real. But it rarely is. Those boys seemed cool & likable enough, but I wasn't talking to boys, I was talking to a "YWAM," a system. The majority of interaction in this world these days is not human, but with systems, either corporate or religious. Imagine loving for the sake of loving, without ulterior motives!
That was my cue to leave Homer. I got a couple rides in the back of trucks, then a ride with a couple from Grand Junction, Colorado (where I went to high school, & part of my family is), then from a guy named Terry, who brought me to Gerdwood (37 south of Anchorage). So I stayed in Gerdwood for a while. A charming town, awesome scenery, nice people, & luscious berries.
Shelter & Food Just Keep Coming When I Need Them
A little problem was I was back in mosquito country. Last time up here I was tormented by 'em all night long. They even bite through my sheet-bag, PLUS a layer of clothing! I have refused tents before, because I prefer a simple tarp - easy put-up, easy take-down. But this time I thought a tent would be nice. In the evening, walking the bike path, I noticed a pile of free stuff. With a Northface tent, almost new. So not even a night in mosquito land without a tent. Even then, my faith was going through a usual slump, also despite that I'm coming on my 7th anniversary of being moneyless, without a full day hungry. Dumpstering is hard in AK. People don't throw out as much! Maybe it has a lot to do with bears, too. So I had the notion of leaving Gerdwood. I spent one day all day hiking the backcountry. I started fatigued, but then started gorging on berries galore. My hunger & fatigue vanished. In fact, I felt better & more energized now than anytime before this summer. I got back to my camp, feeling content, satisfied. But my mind kicked in, saying, "You should get some carbs." So I went to a Pizza place & found pounds of fresh dough. I cooked it & ate it, even though I wasn't even hungry for it! But it was addictive. I was full. Then, ironically, fatigue & craving set in! This isn't right, I thought.
I thought how I spend too much time thinking about food, searching for it. Yet it comes when I stop searching, stop thinking about it. Both Jesus and the Zen sage Eihei Dogen (who brought Soto Zen Buddhism to Japan a thousand years ago) say not to search for food or clothing, that it comes if you seek first the Kingdom of God (says Jesus), seek first the Buddha Way (says Dogen). Who believes this??? Certainly not your usual professed Christian or Buddhist.
So I resolved to stop searching. Next day I went to find water to bathe. I found a creek, and it was full of spawning salmon. Too fast to catch. Nine years ago it took making a good spear & hours to spear a river salmon. But I noticed many fish were dying, energy spent. So I stepped into the creek, and an energy-less fish passed right under my right-hand grasp, like it gave itself to me! Now that's beautiful, I thought. Then I reached down my left hand and grabbed another. Dinner & Breakfast!
Granted, the fish didn't taste too good - energy spent & unhealthy skin. I went back a couple days later and discovered I could catch healthy fish if I passed up all the fishermen, who wait all day with their lines & hooks, and just be still. Small creatures see time more slowly than large. If you move slowly enough, you are like an clock's hour hand to the fish. So I found I could creep right on them and gently grasp them at the gills. It's so easy it's funny. I even went to the river and tried the same with the really big salmon. So easy!
So I've been living off the land, so at ease, chowing on berries & fish, without nary a tool but a knife to cut the fish. And I feel more splendid than before! I've had a bear's diet! And my poop has become black as the ace o' spades, and full of seeds, just like the bear poop.
Who On Earth Believes Their Own Religion?
Now the burning question: could all the sages of every culture be wrong? I'm going to leave off with some quotes from sages of various cultures, all testifying to the same thing:
"Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. . . For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you" (Jesus Christ, Luke 12:22, 30-31)
"Students of the Way, do not worry about food and clothing. Just maintain the Buddha's precepts and do not engage in worldly affairs.... Those who truly study the Way have never practiced with the priority of providing for their livelihood.... Moreover, I have never red the collection of all the Buddhist scriptures of a single Buddha or Ancestor, who transmitted the Dharma in the three countries, dying of starvation or cold. In this world, inherently each person receives a certain amount of food and clothing as a gift. It does not come by being sought after, nor does it stop coming by not seeking after it. Just leave it to Fate and do not worry about it. If you refrain from arousing the mind of Awakening in this life, excusing yourself on the grounds that this is the degenerate age, in what life will it be possible to attain the Way?" (Eihei Dogen, 1200-1253 AD, from his Shobogenzo Zuimonki)
"Heaven and Earth give themselves. Air, Water, plants, animals, and humans give themselves to each other. It is in this giving-themselves-to-each-other that we actually live. Whether you appreciate it or not, it is true." (Zen Monk Sawaki Roshi)
"The world in which people give and receive things without saying "Give it to me!" is the truly beautiful world. It differs from the world of scrambling for things. It is vast and boundless." (Sawaki Roshi).
"If your heart is pure,
Then all things in your world are pure.
Abandon this fleeting world,
Then the moon and flowers
Will guide you along the way." (Zen Sage Ryokan)
"I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread." (Psalm 37:25)
"Do not forsake Wisdom [Hakmah], and She will preserve you;
Love Her, and She will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get Wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Exalt Her, and She will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace Her.
She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory She will deliver to you." (Proverbs 4:6-9)
"He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage." (Proverbs 11:28)
And remember the Sunday school stories of manna from heaven (Exodus 16) and Elijah fed in the wilderness (1Kings 17:6-16)?
"As for those who worship Me,
thinking on Me alone and nothing else,
ever attached to Me,
I bear the burden of getting them what they need." (God, Baghavad Gita 9:22)
"Be really Whole And all things will come to you" (Tao Te Ching 22)
There are droves more quotes of scriptures, and also Muslim quotes, from Sufi sages, which I don't have on hand, as well as Christian Rhineland and Bahai sages. And for Mormons, the entire book of Fourth Nephi couldn't state it more beautifully.
Imagine that, all the civilizations of the world claim these sages as their foundation, as their very heart, yet none believes them, yet all are wallowing in materialistic greed and worry and strife. I myself am thick-skulled, still coming to believe these sages, who are really only One Sage, One Way. Keep your eye Single, One, and all else falls into place.
Again, to Christians, I still repeat: before you start harping again on the falseness of other religions, I challenge you to first believe your OWN religion, and then you will see whether or not I am blowing hot air.