The Key to Enlightenment

I use words. In this medium it is unavoidable. However, I recognize those words for the symbols that they are, and, being mere symbols, they imperfectly convey the information intended. My experience involves certain sensations and emotions that are difficult to describe in words, yet they occur, leaving any account lacking that ignores them. Unfortunately, misunderstandings result. Gladly, this very line of examination of myself, if successful, should offer at least some assistance toward comprehension if not the perfect harmony that is ever elusive.

I take inspiration from the Dao de Jing. The text is highly metaphorical and symbolic, reading as nonsense when taken at face value. However, over time certain patterns emerge as reading persists. These patterns point to a philosophical cohesion that serves as a kind of key to reading the symbols. Comprehension comes not through the ability to understand words but through the recognition of patterns and subsequent application of those patterns to the words. Therefore, the meaning of the text is grasped through a repeated process of reading, contemplation, and application. For this reason I find the text beautiful. It is elegant and efficient. It teaches the reader not only the objects of “what it says” but also teaches “how to read it” without the need for an external educator.

I hope to capture some of that efficiency and elegance in my own writing. Whatever value, or lack thereof, the material itself may have, let it at least share a pattern when taken as a whole. If the patterns are there, then the keen observer and aware mind should be able to follow with comprehension. For the words are truly nothing without the mind behind them. The pattern is their life, their soul. Without, they are merely bones to be arranged as one pleases. This is what I speak of when I speak of integrity; and such a word is not quite sufficient. There is a soul present; I place value in nothing else; therefore, should I be wrong, then everything I write means nothing to me. If the creator has no reason behind his actions, can he create anything but an utterly mad and incomprehensible world?

I am speaking to you. Can you hear me? I am a constant revelation. Do you know me? If you know me, do you not know the meaning of my words? Instantly and effortlessly they occur as images, and they cease to be symbols; my words are my soul, naked before you. To share my soul, I can imagine no greater honor. Though I do not confer honors, I constantly receive them. This is my soul for your consideration. The intimacy is love. The dialogue is love. The integrity is love. I am love, and you are love. Let us gaze upon the result with fascination and wonder, how our souls interact when revealed. Our creation is our contribution to the great epic eternal.


Creeper

Creeping through the darkened halls of midnight
Press your eye against the keyhole of my door
Silent and breathless, you read me
Take the light of my soul while you hideaway
Always in shadow though the sun is shining
Can you imagine what it is to be
Like some beauty on stage, performing
While so many whisper but never engage?
They hide their faces while they take
Their pleasure, their measure of love,
Vicariously, its the love they see
But never felt, because feeling is uneasy
And touch, like speaking, is so intimate
Creatures stirring in the darkened spaces
So you crawl, my hungry stray dog
When I extend my hand you slink away
How many times have you watched me
From the security of your invisibility?
Or how many times have you heard my voice
As you lay on your belly in the black
On the other side of the wall?
Do you know I am smiling,
A place is always set at the table
In the light and in the warmth
For you, my darling creeper


Elevator Music

We stand uncomfortably
While you consider which button to push
Suspended somewhere between Heaven and Hell
Let me provide some background music while you decide:

Words of truth as they appear
Strictly symbolic of my mind
I know you and I love you
But keep your eyes ahead, girl
There is a world yet to find
A life to be lived, have you forgotten?
Or were they merely words wasted
A sweetness never to be tasted
Dreams of child’s play dismissed
As frivolous whimsy lost?

I tell you Paradise is out there
It speaks to me on the breeze
We palaver among the trees
Our voices harmonize by degrees
You and I are finite sighs, girl
Among the roar of endless waves
I seek the chorus of the stars
In Illo Tempore, my golden glow
The scent of flowers, sound of bells

Didn’t you know we are on the spiral?
Where you are ever choosing
Your destiny, rising and falling
Gravity here is so confusing
Lightheaded in the celestial air
Or are you drowning in the depths?

Love, the sweet dialogue everlasting
Humming heartbeat of the living
Undercurrent of the rushing stream
Of consciousness, all the voices mingling
Catch that thread of unique purity
It is the language of the soul
Paradise is where I am going
I hear its call in every pore
I will find it or I will build it

You forgot to push a button
It’s time for me to get off; this is my floor


Reaping the Rewards of Sobriety

Did you ever notice how you stopped liking me after we stopped getting drunk together? It just occurred to me. I didn’t start loving you until you were drunk; it was the only time you started to just be yourself. Should that have been a red flag; that you were only honest when drunk? And what about me? I think maybe I’m just the opposite; some kind of character when I’m drinking, far enough from the truth.

It’s like an addicts’ romance: two people finding some common intoxicated ground, feeling something like love. Is that ever really love? I’m not sure. It’s all good until someone changes the script. I never really meant to “go clean”. There was never really such purpose in leaving your porn site, eventually ending my drinking. I just wanted something more real, and it seemed like these things were holding me back. So, I just kinda stopped. Never really thought of us as two addicts. If I had, I could have predicted the next part. Doesn’t work when one “goes clean”. You just end up with two people in different places. Funny thing, you would think that the sober one would look back with regret, be the one to want the break for some kind of self-preservation or self-respect. But, its the other who breaks it off; guess being sober is kinda a drag for someone who still likes to party. That’s just useless speculation; got no idea why it has to fall apart that way; but it does. The coincidence is that the one who “goes clean” always seems to do so in part for the other, however misguided that may be, it’s done out of love.

I don’t mean to say you are an addict or I ever was. I just see the parallels and I find it interesting. Its like looking at art in a museum; don’t know that I’m trying to explain it, don’t know that I’m smart enough to even start, but I appreciate the strokes and the beauty of it all. I think it’s like a cautionary tale. It can be taken on a few different levels. Watch how you start. Understand the consequences of change. I suppose making my decisions in a vacuum was pretty damn selfish, whether my reasoning was virtuous or noble or righteous or some other worthless word. Or, maybe it’s just like you said, stuff falls apart cause it wasn’t meant to last. Just seems funny that you get to be drunk and out of love while I’m sober and in love with you. Fuckin life, right?


Concerning Knowledge

What do I know? I have all of these perceptions that occur to me, experiences. I can’t claim to know that they are real in some universal sense. Yet, I know they are occurring for me, through whatever medium they occur; this seems as good a place as any to fix reality. So, perception is reality, the fact without qualification; comparisons come after; a simple sensation or thought can serve as the basis for reality. What goes on in the minds of others? This can never be a claim to knowledge. I can claim to the words they speak to me, the sounds and sights; I can claim to the way their bodies react. However, this is as close as I can ever get to whatever reality they claim; interpretation and comparison. In truth I don’t really “know” if they are real in the sense of being a separate existence at all, but I find any further thought down that path to be unnecessary. I am experiencing what I am experiencing, so whether those experiences occur externally or internally do not seem to have much effect on consequent actions. In my mind or in the flesh, knowledge is in the perception, and that shall dictate my reaction.

So, it seems in a universe of ideas that I “know” very little. All knowledge follows me in a little bubble. Is it so that this is enough to allow for such perceptions to continue in this so-called life? Thus far that seems to be the fact, so I may restrain myself to my bubble when speaking of knowledge. I do this for the sake of integrity, for if I am going to entertain some concept of self, then it seems appropriate to maintain some foothold in what I experience as reality. This self, this thinking, experiencing thing seems to be the only foundation from which I can begin. I seem to be capable of receiving/generating experiences many of which occur outside of my conscious will. If my will is required to generate perceptions, then it would seem that those I am not consciously willing are the result of some outside force.

However now I am straying from knowledge into reason. I only mention this idea of the external as it seems to be the focus of desire and interest, both of which seem to be contained within the self, and, therefore, subjects of knowledge. The desire and interest compel me to acknowledge the external, to turn my senses toward it so that I may experience more. Difference, subjects of comparison, these enliven my faculties and multiply my thoughts. It is a pleasure to be thinking. This seems to be self, this combination of experiences and motivations. So many words, but I hope that you can follow the thread of meaning underneath, between, above, beyond symbols; I always find the symbols lacking in quality.

This is my knowledge. My self. The reality that occurs.


Naïveté

I have been told enough times in my life that I am naïve that I am compelled to examine the cause of this. To be clear up front, I do not agree with this, but I do not know if the difference of opinion arises from difference in diagnosis of the facts or difference in definition of what it is to be naïve. Also, I remain open to the possibility that I am, indeed, simply naïve as claimed.

Speculation: My best initial guess as to cause of this perceived naïveté on my part is that the observer is making assumptions as to the motivations of my actions. The consequence of these assumptions is an incorrect diagnosis of the cause of my actions.

My definition of naïve is a state marked by ignorance caused by inexperience. A common situation to illustrate one in which I may be perceived as naïve: I give something to a stranger who asks for it without qualification or question as to the person’s stated reason for having need of what is asked and given. The observer sees me acquiesce regardless of the value of what is given and their own suspicions of the veracity of the asker’s statements.

First, a parable to further illustrate, and because it amuses me…:

A goat approaches a man as the man stands on his lawn in front of his house. “I’m hungry, man. Let me eat some of your grass today, and I’ll give you a bucket of milk tomorrow.” The man pauses and considers for a moment before nodding, and says, “Sure. Eat as much as you like.” Then the man walks inside his house while the goat proceeds to begin eating the grass.

Now, two other goats have been watching this exchange. One goat says to the other, “Look at that Gilbert (yes, the goat’s name is now Gilbert). He is the fattest, laziest goat in this county. All he has to do is walk up to one of these stupid humans and promise them milk, and they give him all the grass he can eat.” “Indeed,” says the second goat, “and he will never pay what he owes; Gilbert is male; he can’t even make milk…That man is certainly naïve.”

Yet, when the man awakens the next morning and goes about his daily activities, he is untroubled by the fact that Gilbert does not return with the promised milk. In fact, the prospect of milk has hardly touched his mind but as a potential blessing of no real consequence. All he saw the day before was a creature which desired that which he had. The desired grass was something the man had in abundance and was also quite useless to the man; he could not with integrity consider such to be a commodity. All other details were extraneous to the matter; all the man saw of importance was that the goat wanted grass, he had grass to give, and there was no harm to him in the giving of the grass. Therefore the man smiled, having been able to provide something desired to another without consequence to himself.

The goat observers can certainly be understood for their diagnosis of events; they value grass very much, so reciprocity is also highly regarded and expected. But, let me ask you, with all internal processes revealed, do you believe the man to be naïve? Is that truly the word you would use to describe his actions?

I feel, for the sake of integrity, that I should include one more common event which leads people to declare my naïveté. When someone declares that they love me, I am given to follow with a zealous belief; I will take seemingly extraordinary and ridiculous measures in effort to discover the boundaries of that “love”. Witnessing my reckless abandon with my emotions and lavish expenditures, they conclude that such must be the result of inexperience. This is a subject I will certainly come back to; but, I believe that either love is either much more common to most people than it is to me or we have entirely different concepts of what love is. A combination of both these answers is likely: My consideration of love is of a much different variety and, therefore much more valuable to me than their own concept of love is to them, being a much more constant presence in their lives. In a sense, I would agree that I have a lack of experience in that which I am seeking. However, I do not lack awareness of the fact that people sometimes will use love and emotional response for gain. I don’t mind the pursuit; even if I don’t end at the original goal, there is normally some adventure or lesson to be learned. The results are valuable, and the risks don’t bother me much. Is it naïve to believe that I’ll make it through well enough in the end? Seems like I have survived alright so far. Get back to me about my naïveté when it kills me.

My diagnosis: Cavalier? Maybe. Quixotic? Most definitely. Naïve? I don’t see it. People seem to jump to assumptions when my values don’t line up with their own. I may be a strange cat; I get it; but that doesn’t mean that my thought process comes from a place of ignorance. Lack of understanding of my thought process and value system rather points to the observer’s ignorance and inexperience. By my definition would this make their characterization of my actions as being naïve a sign of their own naïveté? There is another word for this, I believe; one often used and misused; if only I could remember the word…


Poking Through My Gray Matter

You know how people donate their bodies or their brains to science for posthumous study? Honestly, I don’t know if I see any real value in that, but it gives me inspiration. What if someone could benefit from being able to have my personality, my thought process, my beliefs entirely at their disposal for study? I won’t take this for granted; I generally think of myself as something unique, so that makes the possibility of study of the singular as useful to any other rather dubious. However, I find myself constantly preoccupied with the belief that I am entirely alone in this universe, in my choices and experiences, to sift through and make sense of it all. It may be worth it to catalogue my head just in the off-chance that someone in the future will not have to feel quite as alone. Of course, it may all just be useless navel-gazing, but, hey, like I give a fuck. I get to delve into my absolute favorite subject in the world: myself! So, in case you are put off by the prospect of deceptive displays of virtue, make no mistake that I freely admit my narcissism. Take care; you just might find that you know less about me than you previously believed…or I may confirm it all for you unequivocally. How fun! I am officially giving notice that this site is hijacked in the effort of poking through my gray matter, and I intend to maintain it thus until the subject is exhausted or my life is, whichever occurs first. Enjoy, or despair!


If you are reading this…

It rises up in me, surprisingly, naturally
When I think of you
That electricity, that current which enlivens my soul
And its uninvited, without my permission
But its there
Its nice to think of the ideal
A state in which I only love what is good for me
But I look around and know
I don’t live in an ideal world
In this world I just love you
I see you for everything that you are
And still I love you
Crying as I write this, crying as I love
For reality, for those things I don’t wish to change
Because you are not here
To love me or hate me
I thought if reality is suffering
Even if its something we can not change
It would be better to suffer with you
My foolish, cowardly, liar
I love you like I love myself
With all my Heart and Soul


Ecstasy

Lightning strike me
And my soul is down
Below where they strip me
Clean my bones
Each little devil, taste my flesh
Whisper cures into my ear
Eagle’s talons, claim my remains
Carry me to the highest branch
In your nest, my spirit gestating
Reborn in stone, my body is hatched
Swim across the endless river
Serpent swallows its tail
Step lightly across the narrow bridge
Where feathers rise, and the heavy fail
To the eclipsing doors
Only an enlightened mind may pass
Sacred mountain, you tower above me
Digging your roots deep in Earth
Your peak pierces the sky
Is this the life in which I climb to the top?
Ascent into golden light
Stars shining in eternal night


Sister

I wake up, and I hear sobbing
An unusual and alarming, bitter sound
I walk across to your room
Find you sitting on your bed
Eyes streaming water, red
Making choking, heartbreaking sounds
The world has gone crazy
And all I can think to do is hold you
So I sit with you in my arms
I don’t remember ever embracing you with such desperation
And it was the only time you folded willingly
I am sure I said some words
But they were only symbols of my need
To feel you regain some comfort and control
I sat with you until the crisis passed
I would have held you until the end of the world
But it stopped, and life resumed
I don’t know the cause, I never asked
Sometimes I question if I love you
Then I think of the day that I held you
When all I cared about was keeping you safe


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