Wishing all of you the very best of health, happiness, and sharing joy with those you love this Mother’s Day. – gfs
Wishing all of you the very best of health, happiness, and sharing joy with those you love this Mother’s Day. – gfs
Snow covered landscapes
Memories frosting our lives
Talk of simpler days
Passing years in our youth
Moments without judgement
Remain in dreams
Formed in the twilight before
Ever there was
a way to remain
In the joy and laughter
This then the dream
Forgotten at the gate
Sought in ten thousand shades
Of blue beneath a star dappled dome
The world ever asked
The life we once knew
This passing will change the counting of seats
The wisdom of age replaced by old thought
Once was intended to balance the power
Is courting an outbreak of justified anger
There will be no more warnings
No more shots across the bow
Are we receiving all we have sewn
Or just a memory of times forgotten
Time is all I have to keep
And all now you’ve given up
Faded leaves are washed away
In snow melt seen turning to clay
Rivers run cold as the hills unfold
Letting down in their winter dreams
Maples will fill up-rushing again
For the sweetness of life to become
Was it hard to go with no hand to hold
at the crossroads when waking to dreams
I’ll wonder at this and a thousand things
In the days that are mine still ahead
For today you see I’ve no time to cry
No way to find all the tears
I’ll keep them for you to come when they’re due
In a place and a time left to find
How far have we gotten in our self awareness? Are we aware of our awareness – are we conscious of consciousness? This is the debate of nihilists, atheists, agnostics, and the devout for ages of time.
Of course many – and perhaps they are blessed – don’t pause to ask the question, or never pause at all, except when exhaustion takes them, and they (we), literally “fall asleep”. Children do as a routine, and it is truly a blessing, for both parent and child; They are both free to wonder at their world. For the children, where they came from and for the adults, to where they are going.
In this light, the paradox is who is dreaming, child or parent? Are we dreaming when we plan our future, choose the color paint for a bedroom makeover, or a vision quest for our new car with all the right stuff we want in order for it to be perfect. Is our child dreaming when she wakes in tears because her dragon left never to return? The paradox is yes, and no, as It is all conscious awareness in one realm or another.
Realms, like reason, need study. It is not an uncommon word, but not all that common either. Not a word, not a place we consider on an average day. We accept, acquiesce to the realm we are born into, the realm we are conscious within. Here we stand (or sleep) unconcerned about place, but often obsessed about having and holding things within it, rarely wondering how those cravings came to be. Acting out alone, or moving in a crowd. Are our lives truly ours?
Why? Why live in a realm and never ask – why here and not there. Why do we believe awake is real and sleep is dreaming. Pause here a moment and wonder why sense and cents sound the same, because in truth they are, both have real value. Step away from sense perception for a time in isolation and we will start to hallucinate. If we experience sensory deprivation for extended periods of time, the hallucinations can lead to physical and mental illnesses – look up Guantanamo enhanced Interrogation. Most will not consider realms other than the sensory one we experience in daylight and fear at night time. They will sleep, uneasy that their dreams could become nightmares, and yet live out nightmares in the day just as well and just as real.
Realm crossings happen to us all the time; Birth – death, sleep – wake, work – home, are the more familiar, more mundane compared to hallucinogenics, or anything mind altering, ecstatic – music, dance, immersive walks in nature. Are we aware of the effects, and are we conscious of our fear of some crossings yet look forward to others.
Do you agree realms exist, and would you be comfortable seeking to know more about their meaning? For realm crossings are a paradox of consciousness we should welcome regardless of source, and put fear aside until we accept our interpretation of the dream – of dreaming. Transitions, even as you look up from this page, you are realm crossing, consciousness changing focus inner to outer, outer to inner – as McLuhan tells us “all time, in a not shall’.
How do we imagine life leading us somewhere, and the randomness of it all. The synchronicities and consequences of our actions? Unless we, looking over our lives, reflect on who we are, and how we got to be this person, we might miss the importance, the value others have had on our thinking, and as a direct result, our lives, and experiences.
This world lost the presence of a great soul Easter Sunday morning, while so many of us were celebrating the resurrection of one, I found myself reflecting on the loss of another. Will Swagel and I met at New York University – we grew up barely 20 miles from each other on Long Island, but it took 18 years of life for our sacred contract to bring us together. The day I walked into room 601 at the Brittany Dorm on 10th St. was one of those rare occasions where, when you meet someone you feel a connection, in the minds eye, that goes back centuries, millennia. Thinking back, it may have been to the wisdom schools of Greece, because to me, it was as much philosophy (love of Sophia – knowledge) as it was friendship. It was Will who put Isabel Hickey’s book Astrology: A Cosmic Science in my hands. He introduced me to the poetry of Joni Mitchell, and Marshall McLuhan’s – The Medium is the Massage, James Joyce, Beethoven’s Symphonies, and there is the night to remember in New Paltz, NY, under a icy, starlit winter sky, where we concluded that Prometheus may have given us fire – but that “Man took the fire, and there was hell to pay”.
Will was born in the sign of Aquarius, the water barer, in the crisp cold electric air of winter, and I a Scorpio, a fixed water sign – ice … We had a connection. Aquarius, Hickey says, is the most human sign of the Zodiac, and while we all have flaws, Will’s humanity lives well in my mind; He freely shared whatever was his to offer, he had a unquenchable thirst for knowledge, a love of the arts, and literature, and of course his own self-expression in his assenting voice and always through his writing.
In the 1970’s everyone drove Volkswagen’s, and another connection we had was “Jerome” (named after Jerome Ave in the Bronx, NY) a sky blue 1967 VW Beetle – any collector today will tell you they were the best year made and he proved it. When we left NYU, Will and his two closest friends, Renee and Jerome left to go on a cross country adventure, while I turned wrenches at at Bell Bug works and listened to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High. But our bond remained and not more than 6 months after they returned Will and I were roommates again on Misty Road, Rocky Point, NY – Cats and kittens, lot’s of maryjane, and endless conversation about the meaning of life. We both drove our beetles, rode my motorcycle, and listened to a collection of LPs, many of which I still do. We read a lot and we never owned a TV. It was the end of the Vietnam era, and our country was changing, as were we – leaving Misty Road to continue our education, me to the car dealers, and Bill to SUNY New Paltz, to finish his degree.
And so we grew, up and apart, but there were letters, photographs, phone calls, and families to raise. I admired his move San Francisco, he knew what was right, and did it, he knew how to love, and shared it well. I always felt our connection, no matter the years, a phone call always brought us back to our own Ode to Joy.
Step by step he was lead to Sitka – the old Russian Capital, this Russian Jew, who got beat up when he was a kid for killing Jesus, found his home in Sitka. The ocean, the nature, the people. I always felt a warmth from him when he talked about his life there. The place that held him warmly in its heart, as I know he felt the same. I can only wonder at what fond stories his neighbors will tell, but I do know this man, who lives as a brother in my memory. He will be missed, by me and by people I will never know, in ways too numerous to describe, except that we share a common bond; We knew the man, his sometimes sly laughter, his cigarettes, his unbuttoned coats, who wrote ten times ten thousand words, touched just as many hearts and will live lifetimes over and over in all of our hearts.
matters of the heart
to the light
of all the shadows
as if to say
here I am
there I go
why we came
where we came
from and leading
to the fall
of water into
forgiveness of sins
signs in seasons
and the rain
cry rivers of tears
while the soul
Photo – Sedona Sunset by gfs enhanced using Waterlogue for iPad
Kahlil Gibran states in “The Prophet” that beauty is eternity gazing at itself in the mirror, only you are eternity and you are the mirror. This is the continuing paradox of consciousness. Is the universe conscious of itself, or is it conscious of itself by seeing itself through our eyes? I’m taken back by the common hours, the days I spend in support of myself, family, and the things that surround me, realizing how temporal all of this is, and yet how important it remains to being. For without it, there would be only void – paradox indeed! Ray Kurzweil and others tell us that the world around us, is a singularity, a construct of our biological computer, where what we see – perceived light reconstructed from the tuning mechanism of our eye, into a construct of the world – realm – around us. The same can be said for sound, for smell, for touch, and for taste. Who is to say that what I see as green, you see as yellow, what I smell as mint, you smell as sage, and what I hear as water rushing you hear as wind. Shall we believe we are simply a biological computer and consciousness is nothing more than the sum total of a collection of elements and electrical discharges that begins at our first breath and ends with our last?
Then there is The Matrix, a construct of intelligence far beyond our own, something with a closer understanding of consciousness so it / they are able of manipulating our state of being, our thinking, into abdicating our free will, and handing over all our free energy to them. Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan talk of the The Flyers, reminiscent of Dragons, a Quetzalcoatl who controls the destiny of humanity.
What I can most assuredly state is we live in a consensus reality. Keep this in mind every time you listen to the news, stand up for your flag, or bow your head in prayer – Are you making a conscious decision, or are you assuming a consensus? Had I been raised in New Delhi instead of New York, my consensus reality would be far different than what it is today. So the question is – In consciousness do you question? Do you ever question? Do you question everything?
Consensus reality can be easy, and it can be very dangerous. Any behavioral scientist will tell you that mammals, including humans, are relatively easy to train, to program, in a sense, to carry out tasks with little or no interference from reason or will. We live in a free will universe for certain, and the reality is we are all acting on our own free will, except that will is easily co-opted, once we decide we are “this” or we are “that” (insert label).
Jung talks about our Shadow Self. If we are to believe that we are more than elements miraculously merged into a thinking machine, we have to delve into thought, and the idea that even as light casts a shadow, then it follows that thought, as energy, casts a shadow as well. Alan Watts tells us that we can’t see our self, we cannot take our eyes out of our head and look back at our self. Movies might be as close as we can get, but who can stand seeing their bare- naked self on a screen. (Except for selfish narcissism, in my experience, most people do not like to be filmed). Yet our shadow self, is where darkness follows behind us, the part of our being – ego if you like – that haunts us every waking hour, gives us headaches, the common cold, and a thousand other maladies, we define as illnesses, not accepting them as shadows.
Consciousness sets us free or haunts our lives, our being, without it all of these words are just ink stains, are just wind blown autumn leaves, yet metaphors make the argument ever more certain that consciousness may only be a paradox to those who question it. Otherwise, thought is simply a means to an hollow, nihilistic end, a shadow lengthening in the twilight, and dust returning to dust.