the Power of Grouping…

group-identification is a most rudimentary, primal power. It’s readily available and costs nothing, so is not confined to the rich and does not obey the laws of production and consumption. Anyone can use it at any time for any purpose they desire. Even babies.

and as a power so everywhere it is like water to a fish, it is eminently corruptible.

if you step back, you can see it at the root of every human conflict. Even those inside our own subjective selves, selves we tend to pummel to suit group norms, or pummel to escape them. Either way, we are engaged in group-identification power-dynamics: each of us doing the work of turning the Big Wheel of Civilization. Which is simply the codified output of our collective identifications, writ large on the stuff we say matters…mnp 20150102-IMG_731588 kissin' cousins

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the Game of Life

redemptionThe only way out is through
and the only way through is surrender
and surrender is death
to the flickering flame
while the embers are fanned
and the crucible incinerates
all we hold dear…

it’s not a terribly pretty picture
yet has teeth enough to alert you
to mind your step and open fully
to the intelligence influxing

do not dance on the strings of delusion
play-pretending an ordinary life —
you can only be wild and free
mysterious, magical and extraordinary
to lose yourself in THAT story!

to advance in the Game of Life
one must shoulder her burdens AND her gifts —
for they are the same…

between war and peace…

peace knows no desire
it is wanting that stirs the stars
wanting that makes matters meaningful
keeps us moving
keeps us topside
and away from the Void
of peace

peace
our most hallowed wanting
perversely beckons from beyond ALL wanting

so the question is
how badly do we really want it?
enough to surrender desire itself?
to cast aside wanting?
to step beyond the whole matter
of mattering and meaning?
to clip the traces of civilization
and nose into the mystery
alone?

i find my most wanton desire
and most strategic helplessness
here, on the cusp of this divide
where no gale can bend me
yet a whisper cracks the world
with peace so close i can feel her whiskers
but impossibly unreachable
and no way to get there from here
if (but only if)
i in the least bit want to

all i hear is laughter
slamming through the canyons
combing the bones of this high plateau
a death-rattle, wilding my hair
piercing my dreams
and reminding me
between war and peace
where i am

where the universe collides…

mnp-130103-4… and then there is the matter of antimatter:  like, where did it go? And does that very absence speak to a net-positive universe? Which would explain a lot. Or at least something. Like why it keeps on going…

maybe antimatter is the stuff filling the bubble behind the eyes? For it does in many ways appear to be a perfect inversion of what is true and real, constantly blathering on about what it feels so certain of, but curiously at which it has never even bothered to LOOK, much less analyze with some measure of sobriety…

and is this why they say ‘the truth will set you free?’ Because any contact between matter and antimatter is like dorothy throwing water on the witch? Or is it that imagination, or delusion, illusion, samsara, dream, holodeck, rabbit-hole, the mind, ego, the devil or whatever you want to call it (mine answers to ‘mary,’ mostly…), can’t survive a spotlight? Like maybe shadow-play, the world (and the self) as we conjure it, our vaunted personal ‘reality,’ can only disappear when someone turns on the light?

is THAT what is up with antimatter? And is THAT why the buddha is always ROFL? Because he sees how we run like crazy from the truth of existence we profess to long for, for we fear that the truth will destroy us? And because nothing we THINK matters actually exists, and what DOES matter either escapes our notice, is claimed as our own turdlike creation, or if it remains too wild and unruly, is instantly annihilated?

Or at least that would be the dream, if we could only dream it true…

but in a net-positive universe where existence trumps the dream of it, it is our illusions that must die — and will naturally and ignobly, as soon as they run out of sufficient energy to hold at bay all the infinitely obvious evidence to the contrary…

and that can be tricky, so strap in! You will know you have arrived safely when you have been undeniably annihilated and melted into a puddle of hysterical laughter. Enjoy —  or be Forever Damned!

Which is actually funny too – it just takes longer to get past the punch-line… ;-)

the devil you say?

i recently have been studying the workings of Power, and find down every runnel the stamp of Satan’s own serpentine ways.

Not that i believe in the devil, but the attributes assigned are clearly mapped.  And those attributes are all marks of Power —  in all it’s Lusty Glory.  In all its Pride and Vanity and Wrath and Greed and Sloth and Idolatry and Ignorance.

In ALL its Trappings, from burlap to silk.

We belly up to Temptation like pigs to a trough, disgorging our pearls in exchange for protection from the fact that we are but a blood-meal in the Game of Power.

And sadly, no matter how powerful we become, we will be broken — for Death is the Final Answer.  And so far, there are no reliable hacks or cheats that can crack the code of what lies beyond Life. Only the barest of cliff-notes as a travelogue brochure to guide or mislead us…

And so, it becomes clear that as a culture we mistakenly kneel at the wrong altar.  We are gripped with a lust for Power so deep that it expresses in ways we do not recognize — through each thought, word and deed as we partake of our own brands and blends of compensatory denials;  through all of our snide judgmentalisms and coy deceits and cons and chicanery from crib to grave. We inhale it through every port in every moment of every day, and exhale its rancid perfume wherever we employ its devices.

It is so everywhere we cannot know it, unless we become Very Alert to its Ways and Means.

And see clearly which master we serve.  Power works through impure motives rooted in a primordial need to survive by any means necessary.  From there it trellises like a vine, coiling about our stems and branches, blossoming into increasingly sophisticated forms of steel-cut intrigue and lies, lies, lies – layered in by conventions of cruelty from the ancestral haunts of antiquity.

And of course, we must forgive ourselves for not knowing that beneath our misbegotten strivings, in the root and stem and branch and flower, we already ARE a power greater than any facsimile of power that a fallen angel can offer…

compassion works (but it starts at home…)

We are so very laudable, to have nurtured the desire to help ease the suffering of others through oh these many eons of Heel-over-Heart.  The outcry over mass shootings, the most recent at the Sikh temple, is emblematic of how we have miraculously shepherded our collective human Heart through all the powerfully vested applications of the overseer’s Heel.

(Funny, that in our culture, to be a ‘heel’ is somewhat disparaging. But oh how mightily we stomp and pulverize!)

So, the question is, how do you reach the disturbed fringes who do these sorts of things?  Do we study and research and develop policy to help individuals deal with their stresses?  To prevent the harm grinding our children’s psyches to dirt behind closed doors?  Do we stand up for the women and children who are being beaten and trapped and demoralized every single minute of every single day on every single block in any city, town or hamlet in America?  So that their thinking does not further derange?

Or do you wander through the burroughs knocking on doors?

Jesus had the answer, but he couldn’t transfer the key to the bulk of humanity.  I’ve heard it said that Judas was his only enlightened disciple.  So if he couldn’t do it, we are really going to have to put on our thinking caps!  And burnish the heart in ways that we, even in our seeming ‘goodness,’ can’t even imagine…

He (and others of his ilk) ask us to embrace the Whole of us.  That means our demons too. Our lack of acceptance of the demons on the outside reflects the inability of individuals to relate respectfully with their own selves on the inside.

We are mostly a MESS that way! Otherwise, who would fund the multi-billion-dollar self-improvement section?

Anyway – then the ‘shadow’ is projected, and those who represent that which we don’t want to be, are the ones that society rejects and neglects.  These are the ones we love to hate. The homeless, abused, drug addicted, obese, disorderly, sexually diverse, underclass, felons, pedophiles etc.  All of our marginalized populations are those who are scapegoated — a venerable tradition from Judaic times, which symbolically cleansed of sin by casting the offending demons into a goat, who was then banished into the desert to die…

Which, as we practice it, only further pressures the afflicted – until, like a tick, we pop them, and then gasp at the blood-spray.

We don’t see the blood on our own hands.

So it is good to remember that it’s an inside job first.  Then we have something to stand on — and something of value to share. Let’s bring compassion home, knead it with tenderness and let it rise in the warmth of our own heart of hearts…

That way, when company comes, we’ll be ready!

to smile or not to smile — THAT is the question…

i am not one to sing pretty phrases simply for the sake of putting on smiles.  Though i do love smiles, and DO smile – a LOT (thanks mostly to you guys. You’re a hoot! ;-).   I just don’t think that the experience of smiling is mandatory, and it can be exquisitely inappropriate, depending on timing and intent.

but smiling in order to achieve anything at all, simply slaps a mask on the joy that we already are.  It becomes an application, like make-up.  Like a word-processor. A means to an end.

And it will not achieve in the end what was already there in the beginning — the pure and naked joy that the mask’s very presence obscures.

unless of course, the mask wants to destroy itself.  And why would it want to do that?  After going through the bother of making itself up to begin with?

you can see how it’s a pickle!

some say you can ‘fake it till you make it,’ and encourage wearing a mask through all the thicks and thins —  until sufficient joy is pumped into the four-chambered cistern to pour out naturally, at which time the mask can come off.  And this may be valid, in theory.  I’ll claim no expertise i don’t have (Well, i might – so you’ll have to watch me!).  But it niggles me that at root is still held that smiling is a means to happiness.  And i know beyond knowing that the only true means to happiness IS happiness, in its actual expansion and upwelling through a willing and open heart.

nothing else is really even true!  It’s just a sad story wearing a mask.  So i wonder why we would think it would be a gift to the world? Or ourselves?

and it seems that too, important steps are missed: the steps of identifying the obscurations and seeing how they are pinned into place. Then the arduous practice of unpinning them, over and over again, until you can do it with no hands in the dark hanging upside-down in a gunny-sack.

once you can do that, then just try to STOP smiling! And i guarantee, there will be plenty left over to share. REAL ones…

They’re QUITE contagious ;-)