Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Return to Yourself

(Back to the temple. Enough of worldly affairs and literature for a minute)

I belong to a “holy” “cult”, but if you said that to a chinese or gong fu person, it would perplex them for a second and they would probably say “Yes? But not in the way you understand?” Our lives, so much luckier the younger we get in, are contemplative rather than “devotional” and we are devoted to what is manifest, real, tangible. At least for this brief time. To preach christ risen doesn’t offend us at all. Because it does not conflict with or have much to do with our “religion”….there’s that word of numerous meanings again. Any gong fu person might say it’s not their religion, but, really it is or “also is”. They are kinda helpless to that. Thank the good God we are not forced to choose “one or the other” and thank God they in so many ways are the same. The dumbest one we have is still a good “priest” though we most often use the more honest title of monk. (unless more than you are used to seeing of us is required? In those cases, it is likely you that would use that term?) You may not want the life or the labor, but that intervention sure comes in handy every now & then. We don’t know? We were walking down the road and a curious thing came in our eyes? If we can, typically, we respond? Not always. A monk will only respond in the scope of his present skills and in some things, the USA is “all or nothing”.
For example, in Arkansas one might be and respond as any other doctor. Same really in New Mexico? But contrast that with extreme Kansas, where even the “laying on of hands” is legally defined as “the hands not moving”. Take a moment for a laugh there. (Like poor Colorado. Always claiming “utopia!”, yet more and more filled with the demons and hells these utopias are always full of. Funny, but still tragic.)
Temple blessed temple. Refuge of human mind and flesh. The place where the “rising ape” is left aside to be more like the “falling angel”, that meets the rising ape on the strange and curious path of life in any given day. Here, the stone idols are but decorations. Here, the God moves in and vivifies living flesh. Here, spirits move in flesh and move flesh around in a dance of divine glory. Is it like this? In the festering babylons of modern man, dying daily with fool’s grin and party hat? Never. All that is the person is more and more suffocated, like Einsteins “Holy flower of inquiry”. Boys that would rise like the men they have heard of, are instead crumpled down with lowered eyes – “say your prayers chimp! Good monkey.” (The ancient slaver cults of the mideast seem always the loudest)
Eventually, the surviving worthy will have had enough? Before long, “the human spirit will out” – or at least any still intact American would pray more than ever that it come to be so.
In any case – church, school (private!) or temple, time to seek those things that are truly edifying to you. Time to wander down your “walking question mark”, intact, hidden seed path, perchance to find your temple of “more” and common, easy companions after the calling you all hear and have. To move together yet separate, one not the same, in your orchestral section of the music of the spheres. It’s not a symphony to just be enjoyed. It’s a beckoning acceptance to a living part in all that is. Spiritas pro spiritu, “lux in homine factum”. No one could ever really lie about that.

“Be careful; Strive to be happy” ~ Desiderata

*Desiderata = “Desirable things”, “Things to possess for the good of one’s own”, “Things to be desired”

Sursum corda!

Lyrics
That’s not the beginning of the end
That’s the return to yourself
The return to innocence.
Love
Devotion
Feeling
Emotion
Don’t be afraid to be weak
Don’t be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence.
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself don’t hide
Just believe in destiny.
Don’t care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don’t give up and use the chance
To return to innocence.
That’s not the beginning of the end
That’s the return to yourself
The return to innocence.
Don’t care what people say
Follow just your own way
Follow just your own way
Don’t give up, don’t give up
To return, to return to innocence.
If you want then laugh
If you must then cry
Be yourself don’t hide
Just believe in destiny.
(Songwriters: M.C. Curly
Return To Innocence lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)
“God is true” – Bible
“So are you” – +Dr. Karl Buchanan, SOtEM
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2 Kinds of Reverence

Ancient & Effervescent.

Both are vital or life doesn’t last very long and isn’t worth living while it does. Ancient Reverence never changes. It was there at the first sunrise, giving Glory and Thanks to the Ancient of Days. It’s great power of steadfastness is also its potential weakness. Like a statue, it’s position is immovable. Effervescent Reverence can change every day, be completely unabashedly spontaneous, an expression at the edge of the next moment, because that is a most important vital truth too.

Consider the flowers of the field, such a miraculous gift to man. Ancient Reverence always plants in the correct seasonal time, catering to the flower and adept at all those things which please it, urging it to thrive by serving it according to its nature. Because of steadfast consistency, loyalty and the virtues, many wonders and feats are achieved and even the weaker of the flowers come to their own fruition. This is a proof of the love of God. (The flower is taken as the proof of the love of God towards his creatures.)
The Effervescent Reverence knows little ancient wisdom, remembers few songs, traditions or laws. It bursts forth daily immersed in the identity of that very time and moment. Broadcasting seeds of it’s wonder and joy wildly, like spores to all points of the compass, by wind, water and wayfarer. It is history in the making, a cataclysm that Ancient Reverence will, one far future day, preserve and keep also. When it’s glory has become a scroll, a testament too precious to lose. Effervescent Reverence spreads seeds wildly, everywhere, with full faith that good will come. That whatever comes is proof of the blessing of God. It is proof of the divine will, reflected through it’s mortal creatures. All heaven is laughter and spirits “on the go”, except for the all pervading presence of God.
These are identical to the faiths in the contemplative, not one or the other, but both in one body, harmoniously working together for that complete reverence which so satisfies the soul. Oh what true dread is the thought of being stuck in one, blind to the other. Half empowered, half complete. Half hungry and mad all the time. Furiously burning on one necessary expression, without the all saving other, that makes us both human and divine, both truths denying the fixation of the other.

All nature is put together this way. The fool and the hermit are both the practical knowlege of the magician. Hierophant is an office. Bah! That has nothing to do with pure Enkidu. It is odious to honest Gilgamesh. These two friends are the servants of God. Ancient Reverance and Effervescent Reverence. Both declarations in manifest action that “God is true”.

The Ancient renews itself via Effervescense and the Effervescent maintains itself via the Ancient. They do not merely affirm, they also require each other. The power of life and the power of renewal are the gods these two great faiths follow, serve, sense to be true or perhaps think “worthy to be true”. The thousand year old family banner has an heir standing beneath it, bearing the Ancient and once again all Effervescent. Another renewal who would not suffer history at all, if it were not so important to navigating the ever oncoming future.

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“The old wizard Hasish had a sore on his toe and
Though they all knew it, not one priest would go.
So the people went in and saved all the day,
Because life without hashish is all priests, too gay.”

Only at the end of a great age, the finality of an era, do ancient and effervescent unite finally; every awareness amassing all it’s atoms to burn brightly out the glorious spelling of it’s own name. What, who and all it was, like a white hot beacon, in the face of it’s being no more and still more. Shedding the cloak of vaguery for the absolute being it has forged or abandoning what it forged to become it’s absolute again. Maybe neither, shining anyway. If humble in the presence of God, not at all so on the journey toward. The soul is a place where being a leaf on a breeze and an olympic salmon swimmer is not the least bit strange nor in any way awkward, but rather the most graceful of self creating choreographies. It still touches the plane of absolutes and was made to dwell in the vaguery of manifestation, even if temporarily. It is capable of dwelling immunely in any expression of life. It bears witness to the fate of the life it became, perhaps with infinite compassion. Perhaps with complete indifference. Perhaps in a place where both at once is not strange at all. A place that knows there is some sort of necessary separation, a required other side of the rainbow. Some ancients saw the rainbow as a bridge to heaven for souls, that even mortals occaisionally crossed, which appeared after the renewing rains. On the other side of the bridge, the view is different.

Ancient faith and renewing faith, faith in forever things and faith in stability amidst constant, violent change are necessary tools man made first to cope with evolution, later to cope with the rises and falls of the babylons he created. Now, to bear witness to more than man has ever witnessed, with more eyes than have ever been on earth altogether. The flesh beckons the spirit automatically in such times. The spirit comes to the aid of the flesh because that is what is required and there is nothing else for it. Ancient spirit immovable, Effervescent spirit looking looking and a business of busy all over the place. You can see how both are required. Will be required more as the external falls away.

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“Unde mors? Unde vita?”

A Break from all the “What?” for an homage to some of the great reasons “Why” ~ starting off with a delightful refresher of our Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

The Walrus and The Carpenter

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”

“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

******************************

Now a lament (or hymn?) A call to life over circumstance?

The Straw Men – TS Eliot

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy

I
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

III
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

V
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

***********************************

A dash of Walt Whitman as a restorative ~ from “I sing the Body Electric!” (which used to be my anthem…)

“I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.”
********************************
Inspiration to our Spring day from Emily Dickinson ~

I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro’ endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –

When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door –
When Butterflies – renounce their “drams” –
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the little Tippler
From Manzanilla come!

********************************

Now that we are inspired, some direction from Robert Frost ~

The Road Less Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

*************************************

and reminded, bolstered by such august companions, We are well shored up and looking towards a pleasant day!

lit00158

Cheers!