The world of words

 

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The world of words demands that we churn out concepts and assertions mindlessly. Each word creates an image in our visual libraries and memory banks. The bridge of the mind leading out to the vast field of consciousness is so cluttered with verbiage and images that we are stranded there. We are blocked in.

But unblocking is not just a matter of clearing out, discarding our highly documented lives out onto the scrap heap. No matter how badly they make us suffer by living always indirectly, marooning us in our own minds, we must accept that we have actually created them in our unique way. They are what we amount to so far: they are our materials. But even cutting-edge science tells us that materials are not permanent.

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So, first, we must acknowledge them, accept them as our way up to this point. Then we can tenderly build a fire and set them alight, watching them burn with gratitude.  We need to accept that they are a means whereby and that without them we would be deprived of their richness, but that they are not who we are. We have to go beyond the material to find true happiness and wisdom.

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In the desert, in the Dreaming Lands, aboriginals set light to large tracts of land to promote new growth in the universe and to send cleansing smoke up to the sky travelers. Japanese Buddhists write prayers and mantras then burn them in a special Homa fire to convey them into the invisible world and to burn away human delusions. Fire cleanses and promotes new growth, so let go of the archives and new growth is guaranteed to appear. The bridge will instantly be unblocked.

We must keep creating because that is our modern way, teeming with diversity, but we can discard, empty the trash on a regular basis, and spend a little more time each day in the great still silence where words and images have no purpose. Then listening can slowly and steadily be interspersed with looking because sound is concrete whereas images are abstract.

And words? Concentrate your attention on the sound of the words instead of the meaning. Listen to the heart behind the words that reach you and linger lovingly there without reacting or categorizing, or trying to make them permanent. Listen to a foreign language without translating. These are the utterances of a fellow true spirit after all.

With a sincere heart and full awareness, you can cease to assert and window-dress your ego when you interact with other true natures in your vicinity. Asserting is merely a desperate attempt to make yourself and your world permanent in someone else’s eyes, and probably in your own. But It excludes others and separates us away.

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When you speak remember that you are essentially spirit so you must express yourself in an artfully vague and convivial way like a breeze, the rapid flapping of the wings of the hummingbird, or the constant fluttering of a candle flame.

We actually have no single ‘claim’ to make via our soft lips or balanced on plump tongues, because we are pure love energy, not thoughts or arguments.

The human throat is actually best-suited to singing. Instead of words, fingers and eyes and warm breath mixed with our unique fragrance will register our sincere heart with perfection. Therefore, it is wise to refrain from talk until you have checked your free flow of universal love.

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SONG

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‘There is a room around this song.’ 

Shocked, she wondered who thought of that?  She asked who put this room in this library of other rooms to hold all the songs? It is called a ‘college of music,’ but an original college was a partnership, like ‘colleague’ today, not a huge institution with a whole unique ethos, surging forward, attracting fame and sponsorship, competing with other such urban necessities.  Walls within walls, never still.

Everything is encased, captured.  Then we must build a wall around it to hold it still, to make it stay so we can perpetuate it. Even the strings of this magical instrument ‘the piano’ that I am permitted to caress only the black and white teeth of are secreted away beneath designed wood, constructed, boxed.  Must I play with these limits? Must I be held back? But wait! Questions are also constructed, their answers filed away in drawers.

Then suddenly amidst all this obsessive division, we will begin the song.  I have seen your face once or twice appearing and disappearing through doors and mirrors, your wine red lips, the hushed eyes of others with voice, the mutterings of your reputation, your talent.  The light of you switches off and on again as you perambulate through the banal between songs, eating and drinking of necessity, speaking if spoken to, but saying as little as possible. You have always known that speaking the mundane is the poison, and you have found the perfect antidote in song.

You appear in this room indicating with your paper mantras, your score, as a talking point to get started, holding on to it scarcely with singing fingers.  My mantras stand upright on the music desk only touched at the edges, but yours are cradled against the opaque skin of your forearms. Both are heavily marked, pencil, scratches, another kind of mantra made with numbers and symbols in Italian.

Before we start, oh how I long to get started, must there be this kind of foreplay?  We both know that the poison is slowly killing us. Should we prolong the suffering for the sake of others?  Should we stay to be like those who have not taken the antidote, comfort in numbers, not to stand out for fear of being condemned as arrogant, different?

The poison of containment behind walls and below roof, tugging hopelessly at the fixed anchor of time. Oh, the tyranny of the visible, the prolongation of object permanence well into adulthood.  Close the door, the drawer, the coffin lid, and now it’s gone. And the demented denial of the invisible, the inaudible, the untouchable, all the time the clammy jacket of space squeezing us tightly, holding us still until we are certain we really exist.  They do not realize that the poison of our ignorance and blindness hold us back, confine us, suffocating because we monopolize oxygen and are terrified that it will run out.

But once the learned conventions have been delivered, we can concentrate on the mirrors, polishing them up, breathing on them, rubbing, and they soon start to reflect.  No decision to make about which of these miraculous antidotes to apply because they all work. The pages of scores are vague references, tacit, of no more concern so tossed aside. We begin. We breathe as one in gratitude for the loan of just this one breath, and then the next, one at a time: gratitude and breath are key conditions that will make the antidote work.

I will start the song with breath-placed bent fingers perched on the cool ivory. Their tips are singing, and they are calmed by air which convinces them that their nails should not tear away the wooden confines boxing in the gorgeous strings.

Seated beneath you, I am thrilled to be the soft underbelly of our union.  My legs and feet drive the pedals, operate the dampers, on and off, to promote the resonance or stop it summarily.  I must be master of the used air in this song’s room because breath is required between strings and dampers, one for each key, an airiness which keeps the vibrations regular, oxygen at the felt pads. Breath is also necessary for the highest treble strings, fine, taught, connected to the heavens; and the lowest bass, thick, loose, connected to earth which I never need to dampen with my foot pressure.

The convention of vocal song says that the accompanying instrument will start to set the mood.  But I fail to notice the start because the antidote is already working. I am no longer conscious. ‘I’ has disappeared,leaving behind only poised fingers and forearms to weight them down. Fingertips and joints ripple and pivot, merging with you even before you let out a sound. There can be no human insubordination now.

The ethereal kiss is a delusion in the showcase of romance.  The poison of possession, of fixing each appointed victim completely still with lips and arms, of pressing body weight, of the burn of skin friction and static. Crude, abstract, a stab in the dark, mirrors filthied by the poison and no antidote in sight. Separate humans jammed together, confined, last-ditch, crammed in drawers and behind doors.

This airy kiss of fingertips on strings is the perfect reflection of yours on lips like wild geese.  Air and sound are only an apparition in the visible.

Making images : our major test as humans

 

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Humans are actually taught to make images to symbolize or represent almost everything – for remembering, for recognizing, to navigate, and so on – and we excel at it. This aptitude to bring to bear rich imaginations and wide vision in our daily lives is one of the things that differentiates us from animals and plants.

But actually, this often becomes an abstract route to creating our exclusive way of seeing the world. It literally forces us to identify, to stamp ‘me’ and ‘mine’ on that mind moment, and if we are not mindful we may become attached to such images, mistaking them for reality.  

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This temptation to ‘identify’ with the images we constantly create is our major test as humans – our conditioning and DNA (countless ancestors who have lived distant to the sacred) lead us to etch a clear line between reality and the imaginary, to make a distinction between the visible and the invisible. Also, we unknowingly consign ourselves to experiencing life always from the sidelines, via concepts and archives.

But many of us have never even heard of this test which means that we have fully and unconsciously turned our backs on our divine mission. Instead, we favour and over-cherish a synthetic ‘self’ invented by the dictatorial intellectual mind. This is pure ego and arrogance: some would say it is the dark side of human beings, our personal ‘Satan,’ our samsara, It is as if we are constantly resisting the gravitational field of love and goodness. These resistant consumers surround us in modern life: those who live lives of surrender and desireless-ness are rare.

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Science informs us that human beings have evolved physically as much as they can; in other words, that we are at our peak as a species, but evidently our spiritual evolution is badly retarded. As a result, most of us are not truly happy and neither is the world at large. We are restless, insatiable, destructive and primitive, unable to create harmony in our social groups for the most part and constantly craving artificial stimulation.

In our short-sightedness in life most of us convincingly conceal our terror of death and disappearance. But this endemic fear has caused us to lose the use of so many subtle tools available to the higher mind: the mind of ‘grace’ (Christian) or emptiness (Buddhist) or moksha (Hindu). Instead, we invest all our energy in the visible, the intellectual and in acquiring. We give over our precious human existence to shopping, possessing and questing for attention, and so we have become major stakeholders in the worlds of materialism and sensual satisfaction.

Given our huge stake, it is logical that we sit back in our high comfortable chairs, flicking switches and frittering away our time viewing visual collections. Logic? – Another resistance to what is natural.

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We may even make images to represent our own minds: for example, the iceberg with its small tip showing above the water surface and its mass below, symbolizing the conscious mind and the unconscious mind respectively: the onion with its tender centre and its layer upon layer of ever-hardening skins is another. Although this may be useful to try to appreciate or recognize the difference between these two contrasted aspects of our mind, it does in fact separate them from one another in an Aristotelian way.

By attaching ourselves to such images, we are unwittingly identifying with them and so coaxing our contrived ‘self’ to acquire and possess compulsively.  In actuality, there is no self to identify with anything material because we are beings of energy made flesh for the express purpose of evolving spiritually.

It is preferable then to avoid making or encouraging these images even though they may seem to ease understanding. Ironically, understanding in its original sense is connected to listening not looking.  Perhaps, rather than finite blocks of black and white as captured on screens and pages and in bold framed linear scenarios, there is only a boundless greyness which floats and fleets in whatever shape is needed to embody the essence of love. There is only an unconditional listening, a subtle flickering of our essence of light.

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If we give up trying to pin down our feelings, cementing them into our foreground, crying out for witnesses to come forward and acknowledge us, asserting our view to others, we might realize that the field of awareness is infinite and has no boundaries, no images.  Then we can quietly coalesce in the field needing no images or intermediaries at all.

By closing the busy outer eyes so addicted to colour, shape and orientation we can close the image albums and lock the archives, walking away to our real home beyond all concepts created by the human mind. Then we will be able to clearly hear the sound of reality moving and merging, the concrete sound of infinity and eternity, of goodness and the divine.

True understanding consists of universal unconditional listening during which nothing is pinned down, nothing is owned and everything becomes one. We embody love with our true nature enabled only by the privilege of breathing air granted from the universe. Everything else is simply arranged only to stimulate the intellectual mind.

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‘We shall know each other by our deeds and being,

and by our eyes and no other outward sign save

the fraternal embrace.’

The above is a verse from the Cathar Creed (1244), The Church of Love. The spirit of life is played out whilst silently respecting everything on the material plane though not identifying with it; accepting everything but quietly supporting those who need support. It is clear from our history that identifying and possessing destroy and engender greed and ignorance. Using images is, in a way, an attempt to possess aspects of the visible, to keep them for reference as a source of knowledge.

The medieval mystic Cathars possessed nothing material, not even Bibles which showy Christians had become slaves to. Indeed, all the great spiritual adepts have dispensed with material supports. Instead, they did what was natural and wholeheartedly embodied their spirit of compassion and humility.

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I have deliberately positioned myself in my life in a different culture (Japan) in which I cannot easily read or write or even understand the society around me.  This is the most precious opportunity to stop making images and concepts.  I notice that I am not using my mind in the same way as I did living in my native culture because it is often impossible to make interpretations of my environment here.

As I wander down crowded streets decked out with loud kanji, katakana and hiragana neon signs so characteristic of Japanese cities, whisked aside by bicycles mounted on the pavement and bustling people pushing through crowds, I can often only listen deeply and breathe. It is no use bringing out my image albums and brandishing metaphors and idioms because they are meaningless in a culture which reads the air instead of dissecting and deeply analyzing ideas.

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It is often impossible to imagine what is going on in other minds around me because there is no pattern I can predict, no pictograph I can possibly imagine, no inherited template. I can only embody my love and float around sealing away the intellect and allowing visions to temporarily occupy me, while relying on my ancient senses to help me to navigate.

There is only the field of awareness. I am the terraced shaking paddy, standing in sluiced rice rows, paddled by ducks and frogs, activated by tremors from the inflamed warts of the Earth’s crust below me, burned and bundled and finding its way inevitably into famished stomachs.

Here, I have dramatically learned how not to be separate from anyone or anything here in a Land created from the hair and kimono of the million gods. To interfere with this seamlessness for even a second to create an image, to snap a shot, would make me gasp for air!

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Images: courtesy of megapyxl.com
  1. Bird and web  – Alisen.com
  2. Sensing Energy between palms –  Nikkizalewski.com
  3. Man hunting. bushman’s prehistoric cave art –  Wilad.com
  4. Three geisha –  Razvanjp.com
  5. Cosmic Transformation –  thefinalmiracle.com
  6. Iceberg – Luislouro.com
  7. South and North pole and all things related – Stuidoclover.com
  8. SoundHealer’s web banner – Nikkizalewski.com

Temple Chronicle: 23rd February

 

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We have the ability to make everything in our life divine. It is merely a question of the humility and clarity and our view.

A beautiful flower may appear before your physical eyes: it is perfect in every respect, at the peak of its energy, vivid, vibrant. There are many ways you may view it: a decoration for your living room, in memory of someone, an evocation of someone because it was there favourite, the emblem of a certain country or group, its species, and so on. There is so much visual information and background to this flower that we can become consumed by it and cannot see the flower for its own sake, in its own right, at all. This is how we mostly live – indirectly, always librarians and archivists, tucking multiplicities of images and information into our incredible memories.

If we close down the clicking conditioned mind and just gaze at this flower with no agenda, for its own sake, and merely for the sake of being with it, then it becomes divine flowing energy embodied for our viewing. We turn our gaze away and the flower disappears. We turn back and it is there once more. The images we hoard will never replace that momentary divine embodying, but because we have lost contact with our own divine energy and have made our own images permanent, we are fearful that the whole world will one day disappear so we immortalize. Once we accept that we are flowing energy embodied just like the flower, a light for others to see momentarily, then there is no fear, just love-flow.

Once we see and accept that flow then we can live in the field of awareness in peace. We can clear out all our archives and records, making space to use other tools like deep listening, compassion, telepathy, bodhicitta (the power to gather up all the suffering energy in samsara and neutralize it), and illumination – using our bright light to bring light to others with just a smile. Once we clear away our collections we can breathe in full concert each glorious breath having gratitude for the one that has been breathed, and awe for the one to come.

When we truly listen to a beautiful melody, we cannot make an image of it and secrete it away, but because sound is concrete, a constellation of vibrations that resonates with our own, we can recall it, imitate it, whenever we care to. If only we could use our eyes as ears, listening and imitating the divine frequencies, then there would be nothing to lose or immortalize.

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Temple Chronicle: 11th February

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The master’s voice is unconditional. Only one tiny part of it is used to convey information, practical inspiration, instructions for those who can only follow. The greatest portion is from inside the torrential river, fizzing energy of spray and turbulence, which is silenced and stilled.

A white voice with no function, no advice, no expectations. It allows. It is empty of anything but the vibrations of pure unconditional love. It has no end. It opens locks and chains and brings us into the bright sunlight.

Can we also speak in light waves of lovingkindness to everyone we encounter with no trace of discrimination? It is better to be silent than speak from a stone of logic, from the hard drive of boundaries and imperialism, from prescribed patterns and reaction-seeking. Better not to speak if we are blind and deaf.

Can we possibly realize that all the sounds in the world are permanent once expressed? We cannot change them. They are stored in vast banks in the emptiness of the invisible world with the wind, the water, comet beds and moon streams. They are the only permanence. Our beings are composed from sheer sound.

The master asks what the quality of our light will be for the year ahead? And what kind of voice will we have? We need to be certain that it is coming from the field of full awareness, not from the conditioned mind with its devices and tubes, its trumpets and clauses. We are capable of irreparable damage if we speak from the material world: if we speak with the eyes for other eyes to hear. Sounds are jewels, fragments of our diamond which we vibrate through the air, so we must use them so carefully.

Sound is concrete, beyond interpretation. Close your eyes to the world of ephemera and open the ears of your soul. Feel the body shell naturally vibrating in unison with the vibrations of goodness and pure light.

The waves of the high soprano touch unceasingly.

The singing bell awakens every cell.

The energy of the land is a bass hum on and on.

But the sound of the great silence is the most sublime of all.

Listen beyond and beyond!

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