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Life Drawings

Daniel Clark
© 2001, 2002, 2003

I just want to tell you how wonderful it is!

Freedom Fighta

I aint got no opinion


if you been good or you been sinnin
I dont judge you so dont judge me
we are all the same you see
I dont know nothin about no nothin
but there is one thing I guess I know
I wont take nothin from another know-nothin
were one in the eyes of God
is what youre about whos in and whos out
not crossin borders enforcing the orders
makin sure we all know whos above whos below
thats not the reality
can you hear me im speakin clearly
talk and listen unlock the prison
in every voice we all rejoice
hear the crowd cryin out loud
this is the reality
we are all the same you see
hear the crowd cryin out loud
were one in the eyes of God
the eyes of God the eyes of God
the eyes of God the eyes of God
the eyes of God the eyes of God
were one in the eyes of God

jai gopala madan mohan


jai govinda gopinatha
jai keshava radha raman
jai madhava jagannatha

Fanaticism carries no guarantee


against one's possible apostasy.

Jagannatha's Garden

When I'm working hard in


Jagannatha's garden,
God blesses me.
All my sins are pardoned
in Jagannatha's garden,
it's so easy.
I will play my part in
Jagannatha's garden,
eternally.
(Jagannath = Lord of the World)

June 25

We are all in the spiritual world with You at this very moment. In
fact this moment is all there is. The past and the future are
illusions. All we have to do is remove the cloudy illusions from our
inner vision. We don't have to memorize a lot of details about You
as if in preparation for an exam. We know You already, in our real
state. Our work is just to accept reality. Then we wake up and see
You, back in our happy home, in love.

Adventure Movie

We scaled the lofty pyramid


after paying off the guard.
Swam under London's Parliament
unobserved by Scotland Yard.
We met in the hall of the Taj Mahal
disguised as gawking guests,
and joined the three parts of the key
to a Chinese treasure chest.
Then one Forbidden City night,
the golden hinges creaked,
freeing at last from Empires past
perfumes inducing sleep.
When we awoke, though no one spoke,
a voice told us to bow,
and sang in rhymes into our minds
the Secret of the Tao.

Little Nimai Mahaprabhu,


the Supreme Lord protected you.
Thieves could not run off with your wealth.
You are the Supreme Lord yourself.

July 5

It's the morning after Independence. Freedom is followed by


necessity. Back to work! Does that mean freedom binds me? Then
does captivity liberate me? That looks wrong. But I'm thinking
about consequences. If my freedom of choice is unlimited, then
the results of my actions are my responsibility. I get the reaction.
I'm bound by my choice and its necessary reaction. About that I
have no choice, paradoxically. But if I start off with no choice, if I
let a greater force take me where it will, then I'm liberated from the
consequences of "my" actions. I'm acting on another's account.
I'm taking the path of devotion. The source of my thoughts, words,
and deeds is a cause greater than myself. I am subsumed. Of
course, that's still a choice that I make. But it's the last choice I
make. So it has to be a good choice. From here on I am chosen,
not choosing. In effect, I'm doing nothing -- except enjoying my
liberation. That seems irresponsible, doesn't it. But attractive too.
It all rests on the quality of that last choice, my final commitment.
What or who do I choose to do my choosing for me? I choose
You, the Unlimited. Those who desire unlimited independence are
limited by their independence. They may not understand now. But
they will on the morning after.

Prabhupad said, "Krishna is always expanding." So we don't have


to get worked up about our spiritual "attainment." We can never
attain You because You're always one step ahead of us. Still, You
attract us, so we love to run after You.

Evil is weak, and conquers through weakness. You, God, are the
source of strength. Evil cuts itself off from You. It knows only
weakness and sees only weakness. But it is very skillful at what it
does, being so single-pointed in its attention. Evil instantly sees
others' weaknesses and plays on them to gain power. Evil
capitalizes on its own weaknesses by forcing others to serve it out
of pity and guilt. "I am so weak, you must do what I want, out of
compassion for me." That is evil's most subtle deception.

You are the energy -- You are the everything


You are the evidence -- for your existing
You make it possible -- for the reality
to be a loving and -- beautiful Deity
it isn't nothingness -- it isn't particles
it isn't rooms full of -- various articles
You are much greater than -- anything anywhere
You are much greater than -- anything else
Now I can understand -- You are the essence and
You are the origin -- of every grain of sand
You are the most and best -- nothing comes close to You
You are the mightiest -- no one's supporting You
You are the energy -- you are the everything
You are the evidence -- for your existing
You are much greater than -- anything anywhere
You are much greater than -- anything else

Krishna is so kind.
He gives Himself to you
as Guru, Shastra, Paramatma --
Avatara too.

Hard Workin Man

one boiled potato


and a dried up crust of bread
theyre just about tryin to keep me from dyin
cuz i aint no use dead
one board to sleep on
aint got no feather bed
but i dont mind cuz by nighttime
my bodys made of lead
when im off the skids
one day ill have some kids
ill fix em up to be smart and tough
and do better than i did
theyll get a job and
theyll get a dog
give to charity raise a family
and thats the way it is
hard workin man
make money while you can
sign up for the government plan
get a burial in the sand
when i am retired
if i have not expired
i wont do wrong ill learn a song
and sing in the baptist choir
ill pet the pooch
asippin on my hooch
with what ive earned ill have enough to burn
so i wont have to mooch
hard workin man
make money while you can
sign up for the government plan
get a burial in the sand

my baby dont love me no more


she kicked me out and she locked the door
i spend my days a-slinkin like an alley cat
i got no place no more where i can hang my hat
that's why im standin at the edge of the shore
thinkin thoughts i never ever thought before

Brain researchers tend to see things one way -- the mind is part of
the body -- or another way -- the mind is separate from the body. I
propose a third way: the body is part of the mind. Well, what is the
mind? The mind is the universe in its totality, the aggregate of all
the matter and consciousness that makes up the universe. The
mind is not localized. It's not "my" mind. It's universal. It seems to
be mine only because I identify myself as this physical body, and I
assume this body's fragment of mind to be mine, or me. But really
all of us here share the same mind. And we'll be liberated from it
when we realize we're part of You.

Nobody Knows The Secret

nobody knows the secret of nature


nobody knows the secret of love
nobody knows where life's gonna take ya
some say below some say above
nobody knows the secret
oh when my soul feels a deep feeling
that's when my mind makes up a plan
so when my body's spinning and reeling
all im doing is the best that i can
nobody knows the secret
here in my heart there's a great sadness
im stuck in here til the end of the storm
nobody knows the secret of gladness
nobody knows just why we were born
nobody knows the secret
i pray to god oh watch me and guide me
help me to do the thing that is right
i know that you will often chastise me
but i will keep the goal in my sight
nobody knows the secret
if i can find the highway to heaven
ill pay the toll whatever it takes
got to drive fast cant be late for the wedding
youll have my soul ill see your face
nobody knows the secret
nobody knows the pleasure thats waiting
nobody knows just when it will start
god only knows when pain is abating
god only knows the joy in my heart
nobody knows the secret
nobody knows the secret
god only knows the secret
August 4

Yesterday someone donated Raymond Moody's 1975 book Life


After Life to the library. That's the book where the term "near
death experience" was first seen in print. I'd read it years ago, but
wanted to go over it again. It had made a strong impression on
me. I brought it home and showed it to my love, saying, "This is
the book that started it all." She nodded appreciatively while
turning on the TV. The program that came up, without any
channel-changing, was about near death experiences. A man
picked up a book and showed it to the camera, saying, more or
less, "This is the book that started it all." She gasped, "It's the
same book!" Life After Life after Life After Life. I call these events
Cosmic Confirmations. To me they're intended to validate the
significance of the subject for my life. They're not meaningless
coincidences, but pointers from You.

August 5

APA Insight Guides puts together a good travel guide to India. I


was browsing through my copy today. I was struck by the utterly
alien quality of so much of the culture. Alien to me, an American,
that is. Of course! I thought. That's what's fascinating about it. The
other-ness of it, its exoticism, symbolizes what I must do to attain
liberation. I must cast off everything familiar to me, everything that
I can identify with or have a personal affinity for, and enter into a
world completely the opposite of "me." As Rudolph Otto said, God
is the Wholly Other. So in 1966 I did it -- as much as I could then
or in the 12 years that followed as I studied with my guru. I leaped
through the mirror. Then I returned from that world, an ancient text
in hand. The text is written in a language comprehensible only to
people who learned to read in that opposite-land. To me it makes
perfect sense, even here where I live immersed in a culture
completely the same as "me." Which is where I want to live. I am
not an Indian -- except perhaps an American Indian.

In the ideal world, each person lives to give pleasure to another


person, who lives to give pleasure to another, so that everyone
gives, and gets. Giving, loving, worship, is the essence. In the
ideal world, there is no distinction between matter and spirit,
between body, mind, and soul. The center is pleasure and
happiness through worship. Therefore service of another person's
body, mind, and soul is the ideal life.
-- now, I know there's also "real" life --
when you bin waitin fer sumbuddy els
but sumbuddy els dont show
then you gotta take it upon yerself
an pik up yer feet an go
-- so it's hard, but I hear You singing --
just keep on lovin
just keep on lovin
dont get off the track if they dont love you back
just keep on lovin

Tumor Tango

sung by a female vocalist to the tune of the mid-20th Century popular song
"Jealousy"

O - o - o estrogen!
Won't give me cancer in my breast again --
I'm swearing off the stuff.
No more chemicals! Enough! Enough!
Artificial hormone therapy --
they told me would for sure take care of me.
Sometimes it stopped the flash.
But the cancer cost me lots of cash.
O - o - o liver flush!
With herbs that mother nature gives to us,
is what the body needs
to help it beat the disease!

My body is from Grafton.


My soul's from Govardhan.
They meet here in Sebastian,
where the place and I are one
(where sacred rivers run,
where the Ace drank their yaupon,
where the ocean beats its drum,
where a new life has begun).

Some say the core experience of spirituality is the awareness of


the unity of all being. I won't discount the profundity of that
realization. Nevertheless to me the heart of spirituality is love. By
that I mean the desire to give pleasure to another. Love puts
oneness into action, into service. Knowledge may be deep, but
love runs deeper. God is present in all acts of love, and most
present in acts of loving God. Devotion to God is the origin of
spirituality.

Decorating the Divine

Goddess and God,


You are always naked.
You are self-sufficient,
needing nothing else.
Yet Your divine bodies
are always fully clothed.
We Souls, naked too,
being particles of You,
dress You with our voices,
dress You with emotions,
with our glances of devotion,
with our dances of love.
Every decoration
is made of ecstasy!
All I want to do,
for ever and for ever,
is to ornament the beauty
of Your perfect spiritual bodies,
to glorify Your "lineaments
of gratified desire."

September 3

What's inside must be on the outside. Cast off the material


covering and let the spiritual body show! The cultural bric-a-bric of
any place or time gets in the way. For now, to be naked in the
back yard is enough. The human bodymind is an energy
instrument the soul may use to accomplish its goal of self-
revelation. It needs no other apparatus or appurtenance. Of
course we have to accept the facts of our agricultural- industrial-
cybernetic context. But in the spiritual world, Prabhupad said, "You
never see Krishna playing with a machine." It's all people. Here,
too, it's all people, if you can see through the illusions. Everything
here and there is personal, and bodily. But in the spiritual world,
each body (soul) is the same through and through -- with no
difference in essence between inside and outside. Naked. The
surface is not a covering. The surface is the person. No hiding
allowed. If there are clothes, well, the clothes are naked people
too, in the shape of clothes. As others are in the shape of trees, or
animals, or jewels, or rivers.

September 5

I've come to believe that the essential difference between material


life and spiritual life is this. In material life, the pleasure I feel
belongs to me. In spiritual life, the pleasure I feel belongs to God.
In both cases, I feel pleasure. There's no need to give up pleasure
to be spiritual. But materially, my pleasure is at my disposal. I
decide when, how, where, I'm going to feel it. Spiritually, my
pleasure is at God's disposal. God decides the particulars of my
delights. Ultimately, spiritual pleasure is felt directly by the spiritual
self. The soul itself is stimulated. That pleasure is inconceivably
more intense than the vicarious enjoyment felt by the soul while
identifying with the false material "self" made of atoms. I would
then define Faith as the conviction that God wants me to feel
pleasure, and indeed will give me pleasure -- more pleasure than I
can have when I try to possess my pleasure. The only
renunciation required is the giving up of a harmful attitude. I would
go so far as to say that the desire to possess my pleasure is at the
core of all the world's evils. Are many people going to want to
change that desire? Not likely. But some have.

September 6

This is reality: we give delight to Your spiritual bodies while You


give delight to our spiritual bodies. All the rest we've heard about
is contrived cultural clutter. Divine love with You is the permanent
existence.

September 10

Please help me keep my balance as I accept the contingencies


and honor the absolutes.
September 23

The Dalai Lama says, "The concept of violence is out of date. The
destruction of your neighbor is actually the destruction of
yourself." As the terrorists shall find out. And as we shall find out
after we destroy them. The legacy of violence is passed along the
line until someone refuses it. The Pope says the two sides should
renounce violence and sit down and talk. Dorothy Holland, who
lives here in Sebastian, wrote a letter to our local paper, the Press
Journal. The PJ published it a few days ago. She stated her
conviction that "violence cannot be overcome by more
violence...the answer is to look at the root causes." Holland
suggests that the political, religious, and ethnic leaders of the
world "listen to those who fear, resent or hate our nation. They
would then ask what can be done to alleviate the sufferings of
poor nations... then would declare war on the situations that are
so hopeless for so many." She concludes, "This is simply 'loving
our neighbor.'" Vengefulness at the Treaty of Versailles was the
root cause of World War II. Czarist exploitation was the root cause
of the Cold War. European-American imperialism was the root
cause of the Vietnam War, as it is also the root cause of Islamic
terrorism. Every religion has its fundamentalists. Only when
fundamentalism can unite with the hatred born of economic
suppression, does it create a clearly defined and demonized
enemy against whom the envious can struggle ("jihad") and gladly
sacrifice their lives in the conviction that they will then pass into a
welcoming Paradise. The trigger is economic, military, and political
repression. The US can solve the problem. We can demand that,
on pain of losing all American aid, Israel stop giving preference to
members of the Jewish faith and become a secular nation, thus
limiting the power of the fundamentalists who now drive the
occupation of Palestinian territory. We can pressure monarchies in
Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait to institute political reforms and
become parliamentary democracies. We can lift the embargo of
Iraq which, like the embargo of Cuba, only hurts the people and
not the leaders. These steps, and more like them, will bring us the
homeland security we depend on for our happiness.

September 29

In the movie Lost Souls God's army and Satan's army are at it
again. The sulphurous one is about to make his appearance, but
Winona Ryder saves the day. In the light of our President's recent
preachings against evil, the theme tasted sour to me. I didn't buy
it. Something occurred to me. A culture's yearning for the earthly
triumph of absolute good creates a corresponding desire in that
culture for the earthly triumph of absolute evil. The God Vs. Satan
Battle for Earth, a venerable theme in Judaic-Christian-Islamic
culture, has obsessed us for too many centuries. Admittedly, it has
spawned plenty of compelling end-of-the-world narratives. But it's
also fueled the fires of war, torture, and subjugations of all kinds
both public and private. I prefer the Hindu view, where good and
evil exist as qualities of human behavior -- or superhuman
behavior, as in the struggles between the gods and the demons --
with no Manichean Deity of Doom to blame our frailties on.
Instead the Hindus point to the workings of Maya, illusion,
personified as a goddess surprisingly described as a servant of
the Supreme Truth. Subtlety and paradox characterize this
comprehension. In the relative world, there will never be an
absolute triumph. Absolutism belongs to the spiritual world. Here,
good and evil chase each other around an endless circle. It
doesn't mean good people should capitulate. The struggle has
meaning. But we shouldn't fool ourselves about who's doing the
fighting, or what the real goal is -- to hold deviltry in check, not to
try to eliminate it absolutely.

September 30

Dear Lady Goddess and Lord God, Lady and Lord of Love, please
help us feel kindness, compassion, and devotion toward one
another. Help us serve each other. Help us understand that Your
ways of Love are the only answer to the problems that beset us.
That we have no self interest or national interest or global interest
other than Your interest -- Love. Help us make Your ways our
ways. "We must love one another or die." Our life, our happiness,
our success resides in Love. And You are Love.

The excitement of being part of the ecstasy of God, of


surrendering to and channeling God's energy, naturally generates
activities of service, because God is love.


We come to this world to enjoy ourselves. To explore our
possibilities. After doing so, and after suffering great pain as well,
we return to God with stronger love. Before, love was given to us.
Now, we choose love.

We are made of desire. Made to enjoy, to be happy, to feel


pleasure. We are particles of God, who is the Reservoir of
Pleasure. We are love, only love. "Teach only love, for that is what
you are," says A Course in Miracles. We are made to worship, to
adore. In the world of the soul's awakening, everyone gives
pleasure to God, who gives pleasure to everyone. There, in that
world without fear, no one hides. All souls are naked. God is
naked. Love is everywhere. Here, in this world of fear, where the
body is not the self, we live a double life. But, the soul's
consciousness radiates through the atoms of the temporary form.
May the-love-that-I-am permeate it, so its pleasure plays the
music of devotion to God's ecstasy!

From the writings of Moses De Leon:

The purpose of the soul entering this body is to display her


powers and actions in this world, for she needs an instrument. By
descending to this world, she increases the flow of her power to
guide the human being through the world. Thereby she perfects
herself above and below, attaining a higher state by being fulfilled
in all dimensions. If she is not fulfilled both above and below, she
is not complete.
Before descending to this world, the soul is emanated from the
mystery of the highest level. While in this world, she is completed
and fulfilled by this lower world. Departing this world, she is filled
with the fullness of all the worlds, the world above and the world
below.
At first, before descending to this world, the soul is imperfect; she
is lacking something. By descending to this world, she is perfected
in every dimension.
Harvey, Andrew, ed., The Essential Mystics, Edison NJ, Castle
Books, 1998, p. 105.

slowly
gently
take me to that place
where only you can send me
you alone possess
the secret of my longing
that's why i confess
I am simply your belonging
slowly
gently
let me see your face
so i may worship reverently

We just got back from seeing K-PAX. What did it say to me?
Throw away the answers. Stay with the questions. We want
something solid, dead. But the essence is alive, changing. We
hide inside certainties. To be real is to cast oneself into the
current. God is a question. God is to be accepted, not figured out.
When we ask the right question we have discovered God. When
we face the truth we face a mystery. It exists, it is real. But it's not
an object to be scrutinized. It's a world of action. God is not a
concept, something to be taught. God is an adventure. God is a
person. God is love. God is "What can I do for you?" The
response is not an answer, but the same question, "What can I do
for you?" Then the words stop and the doing starts. Yes, even the
questioning stops. No more theology. What's left is love, and
loving the endless mystery. Nothing remains for me except to run
after those flashing feet!

Sitting Close By, Hearing About God

Isha Upanishad

AUM
That is complete. This is complete.
The complete creates the complete.
If the complete is taken from it,
the complete remains complete.
God controls all of this --
whatever's created within the creation.
Accept your portion, set aside by God.
Don't be greedy for another's wealth.

Always acting here in this way,


you can hope to live for a hundred years.
Yes, for a human there is no other way.
It does not bind you to karmic reactions.

Those planets known for their demons,


covered by ignorance and by darkness --
that's where the people who kill the soul,
any and all of them, arrive after death.

Fixed in one place yet swifter than the mind:


the gods move fast, but cannot overtake him.
Permanently placed yet surpassing every runner:
the gods of wind and rain exist within him.

It walks. It walks not.


It's far away. It's near.
It's inside all this.
And it's outside all this.

But the one who truly discerns


how all creatures relate to atman,
and atman relates to all creatures,
thereafter despises no one.

There's no delusion or anxiety


for the one who discerns the oneness
when all creatures are understood
to exist indeed as atman.

That one has definite knowledge


of the Irreproachable Unembodied Almighty,
of the Veinless Preventitive Curative,
of the Scholar, Poet, Philosopher,
of the Supreme Self-Created Being
who since time immemorial has granted
to everyone whatever they desire.

Into ignorance, into darkness,


enter those who worship nescience.
But into darkness even darker
enter those involved in science.

So different from each other are


the ways of science and of nescience,
it is said. I heard it thus.
The steady ones told it to us.

The one who knows them both at once --


knows nescience and knows science --
through nescience is released from death --
through science enjoys eternity.

Into ignorance, into darkness,


enter those who worship change.
But into darkness even darker
enter those involved in sameness.

So different from each other are


the ways of sameness and of change,
it is said. I heard it thus.
The steady ones told it to us.

The one who knows them both at once --


knows change and knows sameness --
through change is released from death --
through sameness enjoys enternity.

A veil of golden effulgence


covers the face of the truth.
O Sustainer, please remove it.
Show yourself to the truly righteous.

Sustainer, Primal Sage,


Regulator, Goal of the Pure,
Well-Wisher of the Progenitors,
please remove the rays,
please withdraw the radiance,
so I may see your form,
your very auspicious form,
Great Person, like the Sun,
as I am also Sun-like.

Now the body is burned into ashes.


The breath joins the endless air.
Remember my deeds, O Goal of Deeds.
Remember my deeds, O Goal of Deeds.

Fiery One, please lead us on the path to you.


Universal God, knower of all our activities,
please take away from us our sins and hindrances.
Again and again I utter glorifications of you.

Eight Verses to the Guru


Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakur's
Shri Gurvashtakam

The forest fire of birth and death


devours all the world.
But our defender is here,
like a rain cloud of grace,
receiving benediction from
the flood stream of goodness.
I bow down with love
at the guru's lotus feet.

Singing and dancing


in Chaitanya's kirtan,
making music, and thrilled
in a mood of pure love,
he quivers and weeps,
his hairs stand on end.
I bow down with love
at the guru's lotus feet.

With ornaments and clothing


he offers daily worship
to the Deities, and keeps
their temple very clean.
Thus engaged, he gets
devotees to join him.
I bow down with love
at the guru's lotus feet.

The four kinds of food


that he offers to Krishna
give pleasure and bliss
to all the devotees.
He derives satisfaction
from their satisfaction.
I bow down with love
at the guru's lotus feet.

The conjugal pastimes


of Radha and Madhava
are unlimited, along with
their qualities, forms, and names.
He aspires to relish them
at every single moment.
I bow down with love
at the guru's lotus feet.

In everything the gopis


arrange to perfection
in the garden grove affairs
of spiritual desire,
his expert assistance
makes him very valuable to them.
I bow down with love
at the guru's lotus feet.

The scriptures declare it,


the saints all confirm it:
he and Hari
share the same qualities.
He is the one
who's so dear to the Lord.
I bow down with love
at the guru's lotus feet.

By his grace we're granted


the grace of Shri Bhagavan.
By his grace alone.
There is no other way.
With deep thought, with praise,
every sunrise, noon, and sunset,
I bow down with love
at the guru's lotus feet.
Lady Hara Prayer
Hare Krishna Mantra

Lady Hara, Our Lord Krishna.


Lady Hara, Our Lord Krishna.
Our Lord Krishna, Our Lord Krishna,
Lady Hara, Lady Hara.
Lady Hara, Our Lord Rama.
Lady Hara, Our Lord Rama.
Our Lord Rama, Our Lord Rama,
Lady Hara, Lady Hara.

November 5

On October 9th of last year I experienced an episode of what the


doctors called a transient ischemic attack, or temporary amnesia.
It was assumed to have been caused by a stroke, but no evidence
of a stroke was found, except for very high blood pressure. After
puzzling it over for a year, I've come to think of it as sleepwalking
-- somnabulism. Whatever it was, it lasted for about four hours. I
was with other people the whole time. To them I was awake,
walking, talking, but very confused and forgetful, repeating the
same questions again and again. To me, none of it happened.
None of it registered. It was a blank. When I came to, I
remembered nothing from the past four hours except a few
moments. I'd been doing things, but they never made it into my
memory. There'd been a disconnect somewhere between body
and memory. I felt like during that time I hadn't existed. There was
some relationship between awareness of the present, memory,
and consciousness of self, that wasn't working. I've concluded that
memory isn't only a storehouse where the past is kept. It's an
active agent of present awareness. We are incapable of
perceiving the physical events absorbed by our senses. We
perceive memories of the sense impressions. They are echos, or
feedbacks, of the events. Unhitch the link between senses and
memory, and the self is put on hold, having nothing to be aware
of. For four hours I was invisible to myself. Perhaps it was a way
of taking a vacation. Or a "reboot." I'd been working with extreme
mental intensity just before it happened. Anyway, when I came out
of it, I felt peaceful, even joyful, and fully at ease. So it must have
been a good thing.
November 6

The area where the circle of the soul and the circle of the body
intersect is the mind. The mind is not anything in itself, but just a
conglomeration of soul-consciousnesses and atomic bodies. The
soul is me, the mind is partly me, and the body is not me. Mind
functioning as memory is what the soul perceives when it regards
the world of the body. The soul cannot see the atoms themselves.
Instead it sees a dream of atoms, memories of bodies, echos of
music but never the initial tones. But extracted from the atomic
grip and delivered into the world of spiritual bodies, the soul at last
has direct contact with reality.

How many aspects of the self does each of us have? There is a


religion for every aspect. Let's start with the body-mind-soul triad.
For each of us the specifics will be different. For me, the body
mantra is a rewording of my name: "Dear God, you are the judge
of this artisan-priest." My mind mantra is "oooa oaaah she he she
he." My soul mantra is "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna
Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare
Hare." Then, in a multicultural world, one is regularly in touch with
many religious traditions. The open heart embraces the tradition
that is speaking to it at any given moment. I can be Christian,
Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Parsi, Jain, Sikh, Taoist,
Shamanist, Shinto, Druidic -- and more. Each tradition awakens a
different aspect of myself. But of course neither of these multiplex,
shifting systems affords the satisfaction of a single path to which I
would owe my central allegiance. I do have such a path. It is not a
religion of body, mind, soul, or tradition. It is a religion of place.
The place where I dwell. The place on planet Earth that I can hear
talking to God, the place where, when I walk its ground I say, "This
is me and I am it." That place is the doorway that opens to
Paradise. That place takes me beyond all aspects of myself to
become a lover of God.

November 19

Mass murder of noncombatants has not been limited to the


enemies of the US. Allied bombing during World War II claimed
staggering totals. British bombing of Hamburg killed 43,000. Our
A-bomb killed 150,000 in Hiroshima. The most notorious of all was
the British and American firebombing of Dresden on Valentine's
Day 1945. The city had no strategic importance. The population,
doubled in size by refugees fleeing the Soviet advance, was
mostly women, children, the aged, and the injured. Two days of
horrifying incendiary bombing blasted and melted ten square
miles of the center city into a trash pile. Estimates of civilian
deaths run to over 200,000. President Bush says of our present
conflict that we are good and they are evil. Three thousand dead
on 9/11 is a terrible tragedy. But history shows that we are capable
of far worse ourselves. So far in Afghanistan we have restrained
ourselves. May we continue to do so.

In windless corners,
where the soft grey dust settles,
that's where you'll find me.

"The void is not really the void. It is the real domain of Dharma."
-- Huang Po, Chu Ch'an

In the foggy dawn,


hear the hooting of an owl.
Open the window!

Goddess, you're the mother of the universe.


God, you are the father of us all.
The creatures in your family are numerous.
You love both the great ones and the small.

mother hara
grant us the grace
of the supreme
father hari

Free mantra! Take one!


For best results, use daily --
it lasts forever!

When I talk to God,


my brain becomes transparent.
I'm liberated!

white scimitar moon's


knife edge hits the cold dark sky
striking star sparks

There is a place called "The Only Way." Sometimes it appears as


a path, or a road, or a tunnel, or a house, or a beam of light, or an
idea, or a person. So it is many things and one thing, many people
and one person. It is The Only Way to God. Some call it
surrender, or faith, or commitment, or realization, or love. It exists
as both means and end. The Only Way is God. God cannot be
limited, yet God can be specific. Jesus is The Only Way. Manitou
is The Only Way. Chaitanya is The Only Way. Love is The Only
Way. If one of us is "complete as your Father in Heaven is
complete," that one is The Only Way -- the way and the truth and
the light, and no one comes to the Father except through that one.
Guru is one.
January 6

Buddha, the biography just out by Karen Armstrong, clarified


some things for me. I now feel confident in stating that the
evolution of consciousness proceeds by these stages:

• Ethical Behavior (the golden rule)


• Positive Thinking (faith)
• Moderation (sense control)
• Concentration (mind control)
• Monitoring ("mindfulness," "focusing," meditation)
• Compassion (unity, cosmic consciousness, release from
ego, liberation, working for the benefit of all creatures)
• Hearing (receiving God's song, initiation)
• Talking (reciprocating with God, disciplined love)
• Eternal Devotion ("walking to God," spontaneous divine
love, the end that is always beginning)

I don't have to complete one stage before moving on to the next.


Usually I work on all of them at once.

I let my mind wander free


free and easy as the breeze
let my mind wander free as a bird
because I carry the key
that unlocks the mysteries
and I hear the singing of the secret word

The life of the mind is a tender flower, easily trampled by the


coarse boots of the "practical" life.

I do not trust words.


Better pictures, such as this
painting of a rose.

Art brings us to the raw substance of life. The word Art denotes a
category of things: things intended to be presented to the physical
senses. Something is art to the extent that it is intended by a
human being to be presented to the senses. The word Art in itself
has nothing to do with form, content, or value.
There can be beautiful art and ugly art, significant art and
insignificant art, virtuous art and evil art. Judgments of quality may
be applied to art, but that doesn't affect its standing as art.
Art is simply an object, event, activity, or experience created or
selected by a human being with the intention of presenting it to
one or more of the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling,
and touching. It might be horrifying -- as in the art of torture -- it
might be pleasant -- as in the art of massage -- to give two
examples of touching. Both are arts.
Because art refers to the physical, technique and skill play an
important role. So we often talk about "the art" of doing something,
even when the action as a whole has no artistic intention. You
may be skillful at placing papers into folders in a file cabinet, and
may be considered to have mastered "the art" of filing. That usage
and many others do extend the reach of the word Art. But strictly
speaking, an event such as filing becomes art only when the
practitioner intends to present it as sense experience. That shift
takes place when the practitioner begins concentrating on, let's
say, the sound of the papers sliding into the folders, or the
movements of hands and arms. It may only be the filer who
perceives the art, or it may be an appreciative audience of other
office workers. In either case, when sound becomes music, when
movement becomes dance -- then we enter the realm of intention,
the realm of art.
A painting made by an elephant is art only when a human being
holds it up for viewing. A sunset is art only when its glory is
pointed out by a human being. The sound of a photo copier
making multiple copies is art only when a human does something
with it, such as using a recording of it as a rhythmic foundation for
a musical composition.
To repeat: art need not be beautiful. Beauty is a quality. Art is a
thing. Art is characterized by its presentation to the senses, not by
beauty, or truth, or goodness. An art work will gain by possessing
these attributes, as a person also might. But a person lacking
them is still a person. And an art work lacking them is still art.
There are many beautiful things in the universe that are not art,
unless we want to call them God's art, or Mother Nature's. The
Andromeda Nebula is magnificent. A spider's web is fascinating.
Their beauty enriches our life. They can inspire great works of art.
But ugliness can inspire too. Goya's Caprichos are not pretty. Art,
in its direct appeal to the senses, subverts the dualities that our
minds impose on life and brings us to the raw substance of life
itself.

PALS

When I'm facing a potential conflict with somebody, I do PALS:

• Perceive
• Accept
• Love
• Serve

Perceive the situation, don't hide from it. Accept the other person's
behavior, don't try to change it. Love and Serve, don't ruin your
relationship just to prove yourself right. The "P" might also be
Pause: don't rush in with anger. The "A" might also be Attitude:
remember your affection for the other person.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------Eternity------------------------------
--------the relaxed, peaceful world of openness--------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------[ * the tense , * ]---------------
---------------[Birth *anxious world* Death ]---------------
---------------[ * of limits * ]---------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------Eternity-------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Param Atma

Param Atma
Guardian Angel
Help Me Feel You
Here Beside Me
Param Atma
Guardian Angel
How I Need You
Please Please Guide Me

Which is more important, what I'm saying or who I'm saying it to?
I'm not suggesting that I should be a flatterer. Or a yes-man. That I
shouldn't speak my mind, or lose the courage of my convictions.
I'm not suggesting that I should change anything about the
content or character of what I say. But I'm beginning to feel that
the person I'm addressing my words (or thoughts) to is somehow
more significant than what I'm saying. In other words, you are
more important than this.

My guru called it Krishna Consciousness. That's the goal -- and


the process. To have God in mind, to have God in my thoughts,
have God as part of my thinking, all the time. Consciousness is
the ground of essential experience. It's always here. Not just on
Sunday. Not just when I'm in trouble and praying for help. Not just
when I'm philosophizing. I'm conscious when I'm bored, when I'm
fixing the computer, when I'm weeding the garden, when I'm
talking to a customer. So how can God be in my consciousness all
the time? The first thing is, God is already part of my
consciousness. It's just that I'm not aware of You. You are beside
me. You are beside me in material space, but I don't see you with
my material eyes. You are beside me in spiritual space, and I do
see You with my spiritual eyes. You are with me as a friend,
whatever I'm doing or saying or thinking, and You're aware of
everything about me. You care, no matter how ridiculous I get.
You're interested, always ready to listen. People see You
differently. When I see You, You're Krishna. I'm Krishna Conscious
when I address my thoughts, even my pre-rational sensory
perceptions, to You. When I offer my consciousness to You. Is that
meditation? Maybe. Is it communication? Definitely. I talk to You.
When I meditate, my consciousness is directed toward an object.
When I communicate, it's directed to a person. You are a living
person, my best friend, not an object. My guru said, you don't
have to change anything, just add Krishna. So I think what I've
always thought, but I direct my thoughts to You. That way I keep
You in mind all the time. Krishna Consciousness.

I believe in law and order.


I'm a firm and loyal supporter.
Sometimes the order of geometry,
but always the order of poetry.
Rarely the order of regimentation,
but always the order of cooperation.
Almost never the law of tyranny,
but always the law of love.
I believe in the law of love.
I believe in the law of love.
I believe in the law of love,
law of love, law of love.

But it isn't so much a matter of thinking to You discursively. Or


seeing you as a distinct sight. Because as I do things and talk to
people and think of the details of life, my consciousness attaches
itself to those particulars. I can't talk to two people at once, or
concentrate on two images at once. How then, can I be aware of
You continually? By feeling You. With my heart's sense, to feel
Your presence next to me. In the same way as I feel the presence
of a family member in the house, even though I may not be
looking at them or hearing them. I know they're here. In that way, I
know You're here with me. That is the essence of my Krishna
Consciousness. That's my sadhana, practice -- that's what I'm
working on. Two years ago I gave it a name: the Practice of the
Awareness of the Closeness of God, or PACG, "package," we're
packed up together -- me and You -- in Buber's language, Ich und
Du.

Martin Buber wrote, in the Third Part of Ich und Du, that all Your
names are hallowed because they've been used not only to speak
of You but also to speak to You. I've been considering what You
say twice in the Bhagavad-gita (9.34 and 18.65), "man-mana." It's
been translated as "think of me," "think about me," "bear me in
mind." I like expanding the meaning to include "think to me," as
Buber has suggested. Both times when You pronounced "man-
mana" You prefaced it by saying it's the "most secret" knowledge
(9.1) and instruction (18.64). The two "man-mana" verses go on
with "become my devotee, offer to me, bow down to me, and you
shall come to me." So the thinking of You, or to You, isn't an
ordinary affair. You are God. Then I take it seriously when You say
it twice -- the secret doctrine of the Gita is simply that one should
apply one's thought to You. My thinking has always been a kind of
talking to an ill-defined "myself." Thus the real work of my spiritual
life is to be aware of Your presence next to me, and to address my
thoughts to You.

God loves us unconditionally. God loves us no matter what we're


thinking of or doing. We don't have to change our thoughts to be
with God. We just have to be aware of the presence of God within
us as a friend. Constantly.

Dear God, I've often wondered, who am I talking to when I talk to


myself? That is, who am I thinking to when I think to myself? It's
as if I'm conversing with other people, or casting my thoughts out
into an invisible void, or sometimes bouncing them back to a
construction of myself. After examining the psychology of this
process, I've come to the conclusion that if I'm not thinking to You,
I'm only thinking to illusions of my own imagining. What's more,
I'm not even doing that. The thoughts are not mine. They come
and go on their own. They're lines in the pre-written script of the
world. A script with a part for me to play, but the writer's words, not
mine. I feel they're mine only because I identify with them. But
they're not mine. The thoughts that are mine are the ones I
address to You. Then, everything comes alive. You aren't a
fantasy. You're reality. And I'm real too, when I'm thinking to You.

You're an object to meditate on.


But more than that,
You're a subject I communicate with.
You're something to think about.
But more than that,
You're a person I relate to.
You're the interlocutor
of my most intimate dialogs.
φ

This method of Thinking to God that I'm writing about isn't meant
to replace any other practice. It isn't meant to replace a 20-minute
morning meditation. It isn't meant to replace going to church. It
isn't meant to replace prayer, although it's similar to prayer. But all
those practices are "special" times. They're times away from the
racket and jostle of daily events. That's essential to them. What
I'm concerned with is all the ordinary times, which of course
outnumber the special times by a large factor. I'm interested in the
ordinary times because my guru said we should be Krishna-
conscious 24/7. Well, that's a tall order. That involves my thought
processes during the ordinary times. So I go on with my ordinary
thinking, but it becomes extraordinary because I'm Thinking to
God.

May 13

Reality is relational. "For Thou art with me."

Detachment

In the Gita You say, "Undoubtedly...the mind is restless and


difficult to curb. But it can be curbed, through constant practice
and detachment." When I'm detached, I recognize the world as an
artifice, a creation. I understand that I'm really with You in a
spiritual world. Then I offer all my thoughts to You in conversation,
without any extra effort. So it might be that the mind can be
curbed through the constant practice of detachment.

To Make a Long Story Short

In the beginning, I'm aware of only You. That begets jealousy of


You. That begets envy of You. That begets ignorance of You. That
begets suffering. That begets self-knowledge. That begets
freedom of choice. That begets freely chosen love for You. In the
end, I'm aware of only You and me -- that is, You and us.
Man-Mana

In the 700 verses of the Bhagavad-gita, You refer to Yourself in


the first person singular 354 times. Because of this and many
other reasons, the Gita must be considered mostly a "personalist"
(and not an "impersonalist" or advaita) presentation. You speak of
Yourself in the nominative 144 times, and in the objective 210
times. It's interesting to note that 2/3 of these references occur in
the middle third of the Gita, the portion whose main topic is God.
(The first third's topic is Self, the last's is Nature.) If such a
numerical analysis counts for anything, the inference is that You're
saying You are God. By reading whole sentences instead of
tallying up pronouns and verb forms, it becomes undeniable that
You're saying You are God. Therefore I suggest that the essence
of the Gita is the speaker of the Gita, You, Krishna. Twice You say
that the secret (guhya) of the Gita is man-mana, usually translated
as "thinking of me." So the book is not only descriptive, but also
prescriptive. Given the flexibility of Sanskrit formation, the
preposition "of" may be replaced with another one. Man-mana is
an elision of mat-mana. Mat is a form of "me" that can be
translated as "of me," "about me," "in me," "for me," "on me," or
"to me." So a possible rendering of man-mana is "thinking to me."
I take this as the constant, everyday substratum of my spiritual
life: Thinking to God, Thinking toward You, addressing my
thoughts to You.

Why A Poem?

A poem is a song.
It needn’t be short.
It can be long.
But not a news report --
in its design,
rhythm, composition,
it divines
the music and the vision
in the ears and eyes of the soul.
Instead of notes on staffs,
language plays that role.
It can be words in paragraphs
or any pattern that gives a clue,
that works like a key,
to what people do
in the world of ecstasy.
Heart’s desire found
in meaningful sound:
what God knew all along.
A poem is a song.

The Well-Defined Yard

The Neighbors

Whose woods these were, they did not know.


Our house would come, the woods would go.
Our barking dog behind a fence
is all they got for recompense.

The Weed With No Name

Here it was the No-Name grew, with tendrils thick as ropes.


Here the clinging No-Name grew, to strangle gardeners’ hopes.
But then we came with will of iron, and grip of steel to match.
We yanked the evil No-Name out, and made our garden patch.

Down To Size

Upwards vaulted the Viburnums


above the Western wall.
So with our loppers we learned ‘em
to be satisfied with small.

Quick, Take a Picture !

Well clipped hedges and well defined edges


make a yard so neat.
Paths of brick and mulch inches thick
make tidiness complete.

The Moral

Humans down
through history
have manicured
The Mystery.
Safe Indoors

Down goes the tree,


up comes the house.
Lock it with a key and set a
trap for the mouse!

The Deities of the Six Goswamis

Madanmohan Damodara
Giridhari Govinda
Radharaman Bhagavata
Sadgosvami Devata

The Paramatma

Paramatma
Guardian Angel
Help me feel you
Here beside me
Paramatma
Guardian Angel
How I need you
Please please guide me

Udelowa

Uwa
Dear Mother Goddess
Love Source
Wabasso Beach Bather

Japa

Sixteen ounces
make one pound.
One day's japa is
sixteen rounds.
Sonnent

Dear Lord Krishna


Dear Lord Krishna
I love you
I love you
Let me hear the music
Let me hear the music
of your flute
of your flute

The Appearance

When all of myself


is stripped away,
then Krishna appears,
as bright as day.

To Wish Ya

whatever it is
ya might be doin
whatever the biz
ya like pursuin
heres the right thing
to wish ya
may ya do it nicely
for Krishna

In And Out And In

In devotion, in the spirit,


in eternity,
intimately intermingling
in their ecstasy,
outside fear and out of karma,
out to win the quest,
outright lovers, out from under,
out and out the best
in devotion, in the spirit,
in eternity,
intimately intermingling
in their ecstasy!
The Only

The One Total Body, The One Total Mind,


The One Total Person, The One Total Light,
To You, To You, To You.
To You, To You, To You.

Campfire Advice

Too much help


will only hinder.
Logs will squelch
the smoking tinder.

Sad Child

One of these days


I'm going to wake up dreaming.
One of these days
I'm going to lie in bed.
One of these days
I'm going to wake up sleeping.
And Mommy and Daddy
won't know that I'm dead.

She Wants To Have A Nervous Breakdown

Our town's a pleasant place.


The people are so nice.
A smile on every face,
like sculptures carved in ice.
I'm always in a rage,
while others are serene.
They've got me in a cage.
I feel like I could scream!
I want to have a nervous breakdown!
I want to make a truly great sound
of anguish, of fury,
of livid rage!
Don't write this down, the words will jump
right off the page!
I want to have a nervous breakdown.
The therapists approach,
compassionate and wise,
pour potions down my throat,
shine lights into my eyes.
Forgiveness of the world
is their remedy for sin.
Don't they know I'm just a girl,
just a girl in crinoline!
I want to have a nervous breakdown!
I want to do a total shakedown
of body, of mind,
of spirit soul!
I'll rip myself to pieces
and go out of control!
I want to have a nervous breakdown.
My mother has no heart.
My husband is a jerk.
My daughter's miles apart.
The neighbors only smirk.
I want to have a nervous breakdown!
I want to find the Holy Grail now,
and smash it to bits!
And laugh at the mess!
And wander door to door in a dirty dress!
I want to have a nervous breakdown.

Three Levels of Meditation

I was doing mantra meditation. I concentrated on the sound of the


mantra. Simultaneously I concentrated on the image of the Deity.
But I noticed yet another stream of thought running underneath
them both. It often was filled with "chatter." Not always, though. It
felt deeper even than the level of the mantra-sound. It was the
current of desire. So if I wasn't desirous of sincerity in my
meditation, this level of mind would fill up with verbal business. If I
desired to be sincere in my mediation, then this current would
propel me toward the mantra and the imago dei. It was a current
of motion itself -- in the sense that Plato meant when he called
motion the essence of life. I perceived three levels. At the bottom,
most fundamental, Motion. In the middle, Sound. On top, a
product of the lower two, Image. The bottom is desire, urge,
feeling, emotion. The middle is name, language, music. The top is
form, shape, line, color. The bottom is soul, the middle is mind, the
top body. In the specifics of my meditation practice, the bottom is
Running, the middle is Mantra, the top Murti.
Three Paths
________________________________________________
What You Do Then What God Does
________________________________________________

PATH OF LIBERATION
You Suddenly Empty
Yourself Into Nothingness-------Then---------------GOD
psychology...peace TAKES
OVER
PATH OF LOVE
You Gradually Transform GOD
Yourself By Serving----------------Then--------------TAKES
philosophy...passion OVER

PATH OF LETTING GO GOD


You Just Accept Yourself TAKES
As Part Of Nature-------------------Then--------------OVER
plain living...possession
________________________________________________

Pleasure

Nothing is mine, say the enlightened ones. Everything is


God's. The physical objects I use belong to God. I dedicate my
actions to God, and my words and thoughts. When I suffer, my
pain is a channel to God. But my pleasure -- ah, that's mine and
mine alone, isn't it?
If I'm feeling pleasure, isn't it my pleasure? Isn't pleasure
necessarily something I feel as my own? Is there a way to have
pleasure and still feel that it's God's?
Yes , there is. It's the pleasure that's increased by love. The
love that goes out from me to God. The very going out, the moving
out, gives me pleasure too. It slides against me as it flows out.
The friction is pleasureable. In order for that to happen, the
pleasure must be directed to God. I give it to God.
All the pleasures I feel I give to God with love. They belong to
God. They're not mine. They're God's.
Pre-Language

Get Up and Get Started


BOLA WAKKA WAKKA TIMBA

Carrying a Heavy Paint Can Up a Ladder


NIRFL MIRFL SNIRFL MIRFL

Which One To Choose?


AEH BUHH DABUHH DABUHH DAB

Picking Up the Coffee Table


YOPE

Opening a Hard-To-Open Window


POO PUH-PAY
POO PUH-PUM PUH-PUM-PUM

Plan In Motion
YYA TOLA MUN-DAY

I'm Tired
BUBBLY TEM RIP
BUBBLY TEM RIP
BUBBLY BUBBLY

I'm Tired and Hungry


PEETAKO PEETAKO PEETAKO

I'm Sullen and Hungry


BO. BO. MUHH.

Turning Around On a Ladder


PAHS PUTTI KUHM
PUTTI KUHM
PUTTI KUHMALAY

Getting Ready, I Suppose


EEZA MAZZA MEEZA MOOZ

Lifting Heavy Stones


YO... PAH
KILLI WAM PAH TAH KING-GHEE
WACHA MAH, WACHA MAH, WACHA MAH
Reaching With a Paint Brush
CHIK CHIK LIMMICHIK WAW

Pushing a Loaf of Bread Into a Crowded Freezer


A LA TINGI WAMA

Leave the Toilet Lid Up Before Leaving


HOPE POPPA LEEMBO, HOLE-A-TAH

So Happy To Sit Down At the Computer


BEE PA-TOONGO LAMA NIYA

I'm Tired of Sneezing


PEECHA KUHLOOMBA WAH

Getting Ready To Take a Shower


MMM PEEPA TOLE YUM
MMM PEEPA TOLE YUM
MMM PEEPA TOLE YUM

Touching a Book and Acknowledging It


BEEP

Nama Japa

The repetitive speaking of names of God while fingering along a


string of beads to keep count is called japa in Sanskrit. It's an
ancient form of meditation. I do it daily. What happens? There's an
orthodox explanation. I once subscribed to it. Now some of it
appeals to me, but not all. It goes something like this.
Don't think about what the words mean. Just say them and
listen to the sound. Hear the sound and surrender to it. A name of
God is God. God's name has the power to transform you. (A name
of God is a talisman, a magical object, a thing that radiates
energy. It's a pill. It's medicine.) The chanter's psychology or
ethics has no bearing on the essence of the event taking place.
Let the name take over and control you. This is a religion of divine
possession. One's interior state makes no difference. The name
enters into you from outside. Sounding the name represents one's
choice to be possessed by God. Japa isn't a discursive
conversation with God. It doesn't matter if I comprehend what's
going on. I have no influence. It's all God's doing.
So...the mantra I chant for japa is the Hare Krishna mantra.
While I agree that a name of God is God, I prefer to say my
mantra as a conscious communication to God, addressing God
with words whose meaning I comprehend. That is, I see japa as
talking to God.

Hi Bob

Out of curiosity I looked up your name on the Internet. One item


mentioned in connection with you was your book, "The Non-
Existence of God: Logical Paradox in Tillich's Thought." Being a
library worker, I got it through Inter-Library Loan. (It came from the
Univ. of Miami Library -- I've been living in Florida for 13.5 yrs.)
Paradox has always threaded through my spiritual/religious
impressions. So I read your book with interest. In 1966, just before
I started my Vaishnava training, I'd reduced my bookshelf down to
two books: Huang Po's "On the Transmission of Mind" and Vyas's
"Bhagavad-gita." In Tillich's terms, the former might represent
"being-itself," the latter "personhood." A paradox. At that time I
opted for the Gita, which remains at the center of spirituality for
me -- because I feel it embraces the paradox within itself. But I still
appreciate Huang Po.

I particularly like your final recourse to "interpersonal interaction"


as a model for the possibility of holding two contrary feelings
about something. Your book's context is Tillich's contraries -- God
is being-itself vs. God does not exist -- but over the years I've
found that model useful too. To me knowledge is gained the same
way I get to know a person, that is, through association with the
person. In contrast to analysis, "picking apart," it's a putting
together. Knowledge is gained through association with the object
of knowledge. The essential factors are perception, proximity, and
compassion. One makes associations (connections, linkages,
comparisons) to recreate the object of knowledge in one's own
mind.

Prompted by the Gita, I see Tillich's paradox resolved in the


concept of personhood. More than an attribute or predicate of
being-itself, personhood is the essence of being-itself. Being-itself
is a Person.

I think of my teacher's statement that "the Absolute embraces all


contradictions." For instance, he held to the doctrine of achintya
bheda-abheda (Sanskrit). In English that's "incomprehensible
difference and nondifference." It refers primarily to the relationship
between the God-whole and the soul-part. They are different in
quantity yet non-different in quality. The part cannot know the
whole in the same way or to the same extent that the whole
knows itself. But since the part partakes of the same substance as
the whole, the part can directly experience the essence of the
whole.

That's a way of comprehending the contradiction. But still it goes


beyond that and must be accepted as incomprehensible. Because
one of the qualities of the whole is its wholeness. So if we partake
of that...well, it's a paradox.

I was interested to read that you've been standing at the pulpit in a


Unitarian church. I was raised as a Unitarian, my wife and I were
married in 1981 in a Unitarian church in Santa Monica CA, and
I've given a few Sunday presentations at the local UUA group in
Vero Beach. (We live in Sebastian.)

Thanks for writing that book.

Daniel

The God of a Thousand Faces

When I talk to You


I see You wearing the faces
of everyone I've ever known.
But even though You're really
the only one I've ever known,
You're the unknown.

Absolute and Conditional Worlds

We now live in the absolute world. But we don't know it. We think
we're in the conditional world. Therefore we suffer. Here's why.
Picture a diagram in the shape of a rectangle. The left edge is
black, the right white. Between the two is a gray area shaded from
dark to light, left to right. This diagram represents the absolute
world, the only world there is.
The black is Goddess. The white is God. The black is absolute
matter. The white is absolute spirit. The absolute world contains
both matter and spirit. Matter forms spirit. Spirit informs matter.
The gray area is made of souls. They're moving from left to
right, dark to light. Matter directs itself to spirit eternally. The souls
are in the gray area but they know of the black as their origin and
the white as their goal. Issuing from Goddess. they worship God.
Moving from black to white, they achieve God. But as soon as
they achieve God, they are within Goddess, because the two are
one. Then they flow out from her blackness along the stream of
her love, toward God, worshiping. As soon as there's the flash of
light of achieving God, there's the womb of darkness inside
Goddess, because she is more powerful. Then the souls take birth
again to go to God, worshiping.
This cycle of ecstasy is occuring right now for all of us. But we
don't know it. We deny that we're in the absolute world. We say
we're in the conditional world, and that becomes reality for us
because we insist on it. We've constructed an all-gray world.
We've blinded outrselves to the black and the white. The
conditional world is the absolute world with the best parts cut out.
In the conditional (relative) world, some say that matter will
some day become spirit. They've noticed the human evolution
from the bottom to the brain. But this concept of history
transported along a time line touches neither absolute matter at its
beginning nor absolute spirit at its end. It's all in the gray scale. It
goes from dark gray to light gray, not black to white.
When the current of history reaches the lightest gray (the brain
stage), it collapses back to the darkest gray (the bottom stage).
Round and round it goes in an endless time cycle. History
gradually evolves and suddenly devolves. The idea of evolution in
the conditional world is inspired by matter's inherent impulse
toward spirit. But, lacking an origin and a goal, it fails, and falls
back into ignorance. Rising and falling, the course of history
proceeds along its purposeless path.
What is called salvation or liberation or enlightenment is
accomplished by one's simple acceptance of what is: the
absolute. As my teacher once said, the absolute "is not an
inference or a vision. It is a fact." It's just the way things are. You
can choose to see it or not. In fact, we are in the absolute world.
See?
Everything exists. Existence admits no exceptions to its rule.
No nothingness allowed. Everythingness is the law. It's all here
now. We just have to open our eyes and see it. Open our ears
and hear it. Open our mouths, noses, and hands -- and taste it,
smell it, feel it. It feels good!

Knock'le Sandwich

Rigorous up a sailboat and we'll go sailoring. Phineas a fish.


Orlando'r sea I'll speed to thee. Oswego through the years.
Altoona guitar and we'll sing a song. Paulette my omelette. Jean-
Paul the girls in town. Franklin my dear, I don't give a damn.
Descartes away my tings an lef me wid nuttin. Seattle show ya.
Finger it out. Cal Tech the garbage out. Fresno friend of mine.
Wide-eyed so now we have x-to-z. Mohican really go. Pin drop'pin
by for a year now. Argument to be wasting your time like this?

The King, the Lord, and the Boy

Hiranya Kashipu

I am the King who's the ruler of the universe!


All of the planets are within my domain.
I can't be killed, by a sword or by a foolish curse.
Go ask Brahma -- I will never be slain!
Yes, he agreed to my terms, and there is no way,
no possibility, that I will ever be killed.
Not by animal or human, and not by night and not by day,
not indoors or out, will my body's blood be spilled.
I suffered long, performing my austerities,
to gain this power and make the cosmos shake with fear.
Now there's no doubt. I can do just as I please.
I'll live forever! I'll never disappear.
Endless pleasure is my reward.
Hiranya Kashipu is the Lord!

Nara Simha

I am the Lord the evil king had claimed to be.


I bestowed on him the strength to win his prize.
Demon though he was, still I let him laugh at me.
All in good time he would meet with his demise.
But then he made the offense that would cost his life,
by trying to kill his son, my devotee.
Prahlad, full of love, born of the bad king's godly wife,
praised me to the king, and earned his enmity.
So I appeared, as half lion and half man,
in twilight time, in a pillar in the wall.
I tricked the king. I found the loopholes in his plan,
disemboweled him with my nails -- his curtain call.
Though I roared ferociously,
Prahlad then prayed sweetly to me.

Bhakta Prahlad

Calm down, my Lord, so I may speak these words to you.


I'm not afraid of your angry countenance.
All of the worlds are happy by your grace, it's true,
and will remain thus, in rememberance.
My father said, "If there's one who's more supreme
than I am, son -- ha! Let him save you now!"
You stopped his sword. It's you I'll serve eternally.
You are the source of all both high and low.
Here in the world I have no grief, I have no fears.
I know I'm safe. But others don't know you.
I want to save them from their miseries and tears.
Don't take me home until I bring them too.
Though I'm only just a boy,
I know you're the only joy.

(A devotee contritely prays:


Nara Simha, mend my ways.)

January 10

Even after the Consummation, there is a Remnant.

Orange Is The Color Of An Orange

Orange is the color of an orange.


Orange is the color of an orange.
In fruit both domestic and foreign,
orange is the color of an orange.

The raindrops fall as clear as glass.


They fall on brown earth and green, green grass.
When the tree blossoms the flowers are white.
And when it bears fruit, just look at the sight!

Why's that color of the orange fruit?


Why's that color of the orange fruit?
I'm waiting, for someone, to tell me the truth.
Why's that color of the orange fruit.

For the mysteries of God's creation,


the scientist has explanations.
But why does the physics of the molecule
produce a fruit like a beautiful jewel?

Why's that color of the orange fruit?


Why's that color of the orange fruit?
I'm waiting, for someone, to tell me the truth!
Why's that color of the orange fruit.

See the morning sun! It's rising,


like a fruit on the horizon.
Take an orange. Squeeze it. Sip it.
Taste the sunshine in the liquid!

The sun is the color of the orange fruit!


The sun is the color of the orange fruit!
The sun is the origin, that's the truth,
of the color of the orange fruit.

Orange is the color of an orange.


Orange is the color of an orange.
In fruit both domestic and foreign,
orange is the color of an orange.

January 15

Cozmix 1983

Guide Us, Night Diamond

Blue and silver, far away,


the last star I see today --
in the growing morning light,
you are still the brightest light.
Everywhere

Scannerisms

A few years ago at the library I was scanning issues of the Sebastian Sun to
include them in the library's database. Especially with newsprint, even the best
scanners aren't always accurate. Some funny combinations of letters result.
Here they are. I guarantee these are exactly as they came off the scanner, with
no editing.

* The Chief discussed the Police Department's doily duties with


Sergeant Reardin.
* Dennis said, "It's relaxing to get out and swine around in the river
with the family."
* In no case can river rock, gravel, or pet rock be used in the
landscape strips.
* Doris Clancy, fashion show chairmat, will relate final plans for
the event.
* Boaters participating should bring flowers to cast upon the
waters in front of the clergy Goat.
* As a tiny music box plays, the decorated egg opens up to show
a ratty turning around to the music.
* The problem is deciding whether a lower price means the
software won't deal liver, she said.
* Call 388-2964 for more inflation.
* A dinner was held and a precision groupie from Palm Bay High
School entertained.
* The Friends of the River are planning a canoe trip on Blue
Cypress Lake. Cancers will launch from the lake at 8:30 a.m.
* Santa's Circus will present a 1112-hour performance at 2 p.m.
Nov. 23.
* He has a degree in English from the University of St. Lotus.
* Club Italia will install new officers at its Jan. 12 meeting. A
business meeting will foil the installation.
* American Legion Post 336 will serve a steak dinner 4 to 6 p.m.
For rickets, call 664-1451.
* Admission to the Coffee House is free, bun donations are
welcomed.
* Parking is available on the southeast side of the fridge on U.S.1.
* The club is planning a Super Bowl meal so you can watch the
game without bovine to do the dishes.
* It's just a quiet, friendly little neighborhood. The neighbors are
nice. Everyone waves and says, "HRlkf."
* Residents are mobilizing a fund-raising effort for their local
volunteer firelighters.
* The last meeting of the season will be hell at 1 p.m. May 11 in
Building A.

January 21

Last year this was the theme of the


library's personal computing section.

January 22

I traveled to my alma mater for the Homecoming football game.


The day dawned unexpectedly cold. I hadn't brought any heavy
clothing. I decided to wrap myself in whatever the motel's bed had
to offer. I knew that when times are tough, that's when the sheets
heat the fan.

January 23

--Hey, you can't just walk in. I'll have to see if you're on the list.
What's your name?
--Frank Quitely.
--Yes, but what's your name.
--That is my name.
--Well, frankly...
--No, Frank.
--Yes, well, of course, quite frankly...
--No, Frank Quitely, you've got it wrong, Frank Quitely!
--Will you stop fooling around and tell me your name!
--That is my name, Frank Quitely.
--What? Frankly, you haven't quite told me yet.
--You see, you're still getting it wrong!
--Oh never mind, just go in.

January 24

Syngman Rhee, the President of South Korea during the 1950s,


had a son who worked in the US as an editor at Life Magazine. He
was an exceptionally nice person. But he often got lost in the
streets of New York. On one of those occasions, another editor
spent hours looking for him. When he finally caught up with his co-
worker, he spoke the now-famous words, "Ah, sweet Mr. Rhee of
Life, at last I've found you!"

January 26

The Chief had a mission for us. "You must banish the last of the
Great Eggs from the world." To accomplish the task, he gave us a
clock. It was made in the shape of a human face. The nose served
as a pivot point for the hands. We traveled afar to Egg's Isle.
Walking on the entrance bridge, we saw below us many of the
youth engaging in Egg Stream Sports. Their dangerous activities
had left some of them cracked and oozing. Along the island's
streets were pitched the townspeople's tents, neatly numbered
and named. We searched for the largest of them. There it was.
Two, "A Great Egg's Tent." We called at the flap. Out came the
Great Egg. "This clock is a present to you from your admirers," we
told him. "Do you like it?" "Oh, a grayed eel," he exclaimed. "It's
Mos Eisely -- and Haile Selassie! I will live my life by this clock.
But, what kind of clock is it?" We answered, "A Head of Time."
Immediately he disappeared into the future. There he remains,
pushed out of reach forever.
January 27

Jagannath, World Lord


traditional image hand-digitized
to a jaggy gif, no anti-aliasing

February 3

UmaBlend

February 4

Eternity is not a long time.


Eternity is no time at all.
The veil of time is lifted.
We see things in their truth.
Don't worry about getting bored,
doing the same thing
over and over again.
Every time we do it,
we're doing it
for the first time !
Krishna is called "nava-yauvanam."
God is a youth, always youthful.
Everything in eternity is new.
We feel the thrill of discovery.
We're there in no time at all !

February 5

Here's an etymology unknown to most linguists. The French


expression "excusez-moi" is a back-construction from the name of
an early 1900s Parisian gallery of Native American women's arts
and crafts, the Musee Squaw. The name created a scandal when
the artists complained vigorously about the impolite term "squaw."
The gallery owner's apologies were parodied in the press. A
cartoon showed him bowing and scraping before a platoon of
tomahawk-wielding blanket-swaddled women while insincerely
repeating under his breath, "Musee Squaw, Musee Squaw." A
public thirsty for saucy expressions picked it up. A year or two
later, however, the phrase was sanitized and transformed into the
now-common request for forgiveness that everyone assumes has
been in use for centuries.

February 6

He arrived, driving a car he'd


cut out of the Sunday paper.
Inside the movie theater,
he loudly criticized me
as I changed the programs
on the screen with my remote.
I walked through the city,
uselessly trying to remember
my destination. Picasso
played the piano.

February 9

improvization on a lithograph by Otto Mueller


February 10

Mantra Block

February 11

Hare Krishna Hare Rama

February 15

Roseland Ishwara
February 17

Painted Pebble
Mas d'Azil, France, ca. 12,000 BCE
From the website of the
Logan Museum of Anthropology,
Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin.

February 20

Wabasso Stone

February 21

After several years of association with a hard-sell sales team, I


quit in 1977 after summing up my experience in the following
outburst. I don't know if it had a title. Let's just call it "How To Sell
To 'Em."
Hokum Joke 'em
Tickle 'em 'n' Poke 'em
Stick 'em in the Pocket 'n'
Steal a Fist o' Cash
Yock 'em Schlock 'em
Soap 'em up 'n' Mock 'em
Sock 'em in the Jaw 'n'
Toss 'em in the Trash
Advertising Enterprising
Merchandising Jazz 'n' Jive
Profitizing Aggrandizing
Pulverizing Man Alive

February 22

Hridayanath

Six Billion and Counting

This place is getting crowded.


We shouldn't have allowed it.
Every extra human birth
puts a strain on planet Earth.
Starvation, dire diseases,
our wars for oil or Jesus --
they have served to thin our herd.
Is that it? The final word?
Or decrease the population
by decreasing copulation!
But what porno traffic cop
could ever stop our urge to pop?
Still, China has a rule:
"Hey folks, play it cool.
Only one child," say the leaders,
clamping down on errant breeders.
Their control under duress
is a qualified success.
Similar kinds of tyrannies
might be the trend for all countries.
Some say little pills
will cure us of our ills.
But will we ever see the day?
When the church stands in the way?
Some say eating fruit
pulls lust out by the root.
But chimpanzees enjoy that diet.
They propogate, and fight, and riot!
Some say with greater wealth
you can limit yourself
to zero population growth.
But half the world has half a loaf.
So hunger and poverty,
and lack of private property,
they turn out to be the factors.
How to fix them, that's what matters.
Good luck to us in that!
I'll surely tip my hat
to any ism, cause, or movement
that improves on past improvement.
But others say, in time
the sum will cease to climb,
and when the total is more humble,
economic growth will stumble!
Then all the laws we've writ
won't change the world a bit.
The wheel of time makes one more turning,
overpop again returning.
Well, nothing tried so far
has worked. And here we are.
Maybe future evolution
of the soul is the solution.
Maybe when we see
the basic unity
of everyone upon the globe --
that is when we'll have some hope
of acting ethically
in our big family.
Earth has places for our children.
Let's birth just enough to fill them.

Liar, Liar

[The Press Journal, our local rag, is published in Vero Beach,


Florida. It's owned by the Scripps people. An editorial published in
the February 21 edition may have originated from the local paper
or from the Scripps home office. I don't know which. But the
Editorials column subhead reads, "Viewpoints of the Press
Journal." So the home-towners take responsibility for it. What
follows here is the complete editorial, interrupted by my bracketed
comments. The title of the piece is "Peace?" The leed-in reads,
"Demonstrators just don't get what's necessary for peace to
happen." It goes on:]

A British commentator wandered about London during the anti-


war demonstrations there, and pronounced that what she failed to
see was more striking than what she did: Nowhere did she find
protesters asking that Saddam Hussein disarm and leave power.

[Of course she didn't. The demonstration's intent was to send a


message to Blair & Bush, not Hussein. The commentator's
preconceptions got in the way of her being struck by the sight of
half a million Brits upset enough about their PM's policies to spend
a day milling around in the streets instead of enjoying their usual
Saturday pastimes. Furthermore, when questioned, many
demonstrators remarked that they weren't really anti-war. They
just wanted to make sure that if it had to happen, it would be
conducted as a United Nations effort. They were more anti-Blair
than anti-war. Also, the disarming of Iraq is something that has to
be verified by inspectors. Therefore, inspections, and not
bombings, should be intensified. One might argue that the threat
of war is the best way to force Iraq to disarm. If it's true that Bush
& Blair are bluffing, they're pretty far along towards painting
themselves into a corner, with no way out except war. Regarding
the departure of Hussein, doesn't the writer know that almost
everybody on Earth wants him to go immediately?]

It was as if it never occurred to these people that the surest


path to peace was for Saddam to hand over all weapons of mass
murder and go into exile.

[It has indeed occurred to everyone who's devoted at least a


few minutes to studying the situation, no matter whether one is a
hawk or a dove. But why use the expression "It was as if?" This is
a cheap shot, impugning rank stupidity to the demonstrators
without a shred of evidence. I'm disgusted that my local paper
would resort to such a sleazy tactic.]

The United States would be mistaken to believe it can disregard


world opinion, but there is too much at stake for this country to
cave in to illogic, naivete, leftist ideology or knee-jerk anti-
Americanism, all of which seemed to be at least somewhat at play
in the protests in Europe.

[Like the above commentator, I too fail to see something. I fail


to see any recognition here of the fact that millions of Americans,
on the same day, were also demonstrating for the same reason.
One of the most popular placards in the US gatherings read,
"Protest Is Patriotic." These people -- and their counterparts all
over the world -- are not illogical, naive leftists. They are not anti-
American. They are patriots. A huge number of them fought in our
previous wars. Again, we have sneaky language. After spurting
out the above slurs, the writer snivels with "seemed to be at least
somewhat." Oh. How much is somewhat? Or, how much is at
least somewhat? But it doesn't matter, does it? You've done your
job if you've stuck your labels on your foes. Truth be damned --
the big lie works best!]

Thanks to the perfidy of Germany and France and the


consequent easing of pressure against Saddam, he will likely try
to tough it out. And that may make war inevitable, for all the
alternatives threaten more loss of life, more horror, more terror,
more oppression than war would cause.

[Talk about illogic! There is no sign that the pressure on Iraq is


easing. Hussein has agreed to U2 overflights. But so what, bring it
up as a fact (though only a "likely" one) and blame France and
Germany, those perfidious traitors, for bringing war upon us! Yes,
those who call for peace are the very ones who will cause the war!
And there must be war, because war is less horrible than what
Iraq will visit upon the world with their gigantic stores of Satanic
weaponry (which nobody can discover, but then that's the proof,
isn't it, that they have it, that nobody can find it -- that's proof
they're hiding it!). Bush & Blair, though gearing up for
conflagration, are exactly the ones who are the peacemakers!
Peace is war and war is peace!]

President Bush has spoken powerfully about the need to oust


Saddam. Perhaps, he should have spoken out more and still
should. Secretary of State Colin Powell spelled out a solid case
that Saddam has not accounted for his weapons of mass
destruction, although these basic facts have been well known.
Britain's brave prime minister, Tony Blair, cannot address the
subject in language short of eloquence, it seems.

[Bush is powerful, Powell is solid, and Blair is both brave and


eloquent. Get out the chisels and carve more faces on Mt.
Rushmore. Unfortunately, these fine character traits can't mask
the fact that, for instance, Powell's "solid case" at the UN involving
photos and audio recordings didn't convince anyone who didn't
already agree with him. The results of US espionage in Iraq have
been given to the UN inspectors there. The inspectors have
followed the leads, and invariably have found the tips to be
worthless dead ends.]

The facts are that prior inspections and sanctions and threats
have failed to deter Saddam in his pusuit of weapons of mass
destruction and ambition to head a pan-Arab state in the Middle
East.

[No doubt Hussein is as demented as ever. But UNSCOM and


IAEA inspections during the 1990s uncovered large stores of
weaponry. Those weapons were destroyed. The inspections were
a success. When Iraq stopped cooperating in December, 1998,
the UN head of operations ordered his people out of Iraq. During
the past year, every US news service has reported that Iraq
"kicked out" the inspectors. It's not true. Do Iraq's neighbors feel
vulnerable to Iraqi expansionism? No. In the UN, they vote against
military action and approve of continuing the inspections. What
the editorial writer is calling "facts" are lies, damned lies.]

If peace at this moment is to be bought at the price of again


allowing him to slip the noose, he will not of a sudden grow pacific
and humble. He will become more of a menace, and sooner or
later, thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands will pay with
their lives.

[The editorialist has only one chance of escaping a charge of


writing lurid fantasy. It is to imply that Iraq is responsible for
September 11th. But he knows better than saying it outright, for it
has been proven otherwise by scores of observers. So he hopes
that impressionable readers, their minds addled by fears of
attacks from the "axis of evil," will unconsciously make the
association themselves. May it not be so.]

There is a possible way to secure peace without that


eventuality, and that is for the whole civilized world to stand up as
one and to demand that Iraq disarm and Saddam's regime be
replaced.

[Is this the best our scrivener has to offer? All we decent
civilized chaps arrange ourselves in a row and shake our fists?
Our righteous indignation is going to give Hussein sleepless
nights? I presume the real point is, "Do what we want, or we'll
reduce your country to a trash heap!" But that wouldn't be a very
civilized thing to say as the editorial nears its ending.]
Sadly, some political leaders see advantages in contrary tactics,
and a great many demonstrators just don't get it.

[Everyone wants Iraq to disarm. No one trusts Hussein or his


Baath party regulars. Everyone would breathe easier if they all
took up residence in some Egyptian oasis and spent their days
playing cards and joking, having forgotten all about politics. But
the real "contrary tactics" are those indulged in by Bush & Blair,
who claim that war will prevent war, and peace will prevent peace.
It is the Scripps group and the Press Journal who just don't get it.]

February 25

One cannot groove


with both God and Mammon.
A player must choose
which venue to jam in.

Worlds Apart (India, 1974)

chipped rice and yogurt


and the smell of a bengali morning
with the nasal wail of a shenai
across foggy gangetic fields
dusty yellow roadway dirt not yet baked by the rising sun
cool and moist on pilgrim feet taking the age-old path to the
temple
austere skin under homespun waving carelessly in the breeze
our brains intent on holy names straining to stay in the other world
while a plowman behind his buffalo
looks at us bright eyed and smiling
calling his victorious greeting
at the dawn of a new creation

March 9

CREPE MYRTLE IN MARCH --


ON BROWN, STILL LEAFLESS BRANCH TIPS
PERCH THREE DRAGONFLIES.
Transparency

I phoned the poet,


asking about the old days.
"You were in LA in '75,"
I started off.
"Yes, yes, LA,"
he responded, vaguely.
Then I got into details.
I quoted things he'd said,
what others with him had said.
There was silence.
Then he spoke.
"I don't remember much of that.
It's as if -- it never happened.
Though it does sound familiar.
You may think it was important.
To me, it's gone. Long gone.
That's the way it is with me.
I don't hold onto things.
I don't feel that the things
happening to me are mine.
They're just passing through.
They don't belong to me.
They belong to time, the universe, radio.
Like food passes through.
Thoughts, too, like food, passing through,
changing as they mix with my chemistry,
passing out as packaged goods,
poems. Flush 'em away. What's next.
None of it's mine.
If you were to ask me to recite a poem,
well, I don't remember any of them.
They come, I write them, they go.
That's why I write them.
I help them -- to go through.
Like this one.
I won't remember this one, either."
He stopped.
Probably reading over what he'd said.
He did leave me with one more thought,
which was,
"When you're transparent,
all you can see is God."
March 15

Archangel Uriel,
pour your light onto me.
Archangel Uriel,
pour your light onto the world.
Archangel Uriel,
pour your light into me.
Archangel Uriel,
pour your light into the world.

Names

American parents named me


with a Hebrew word meaning
"judged by God."
Indian holy man named me
with a Sanskrit word meaning
"rope around the belly."
I, thus named, named myself
with an English word meaning
"one who walks."
I am all of them.
But none of them.
A name is a designation.
An indication that someone's there,
someone with that attribute.
I am the subject of this sentence.
I am not American or Indian.
(Sometimes I'm not quite myself.)
I honor the American parents,
I honor the Indian holy man,
I honor myself, because
the names were given with love.
The names all point to love.
No matter what the designation,
who I am is love.
I'm judged by the God of love.
I love God with a rope around his belly.
When I walk, I walk with love to God.
You can call me anything you like,
as long as its meaning is love.
March 21

War is a failure of the imagination. Success, for humanity, is to


employ creative solutions. War is destructive. It's no solution. It
only perpetuates the problem. What do we do when we confront
evil? The creative way is to imaginatively contain it, restrict it,
incarcerate it, knowing that evil will always be with us. The
destructive way is to brutally smash it, foolishly thinking that the
world will be free from evil if only we can stamp it out everywhere.
Religio-political fundamentalists, now in control of US foreign
policy, want to wage war against evil. They want to achieve a total
victory of goodness by a total annihilation of evil. But their
tendency is to condemn everyone except themselves (and those
whom they intimidate into joining them). George W. Bush, for
instance, has said, "You're either for us or against us." He's said
he sees no grey in the world, only black and white. An attitude like
that results in permanent war. Before it's too late, we must vote
out the neo-conservative hawks. We must vote in creative,
imaginative people who represent the future of humanity.

The US Supreme Court, not the US electorate, put George W.


Bush into office. Bush then placed into powerful foreign policy
positions the people whose puppet he'd become. Those people
are:
Dick Cheney, Vice President
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
Peter Rodman, Assistant Secretary of Defense
J. D. Crouch, Assistant Secretary of Defense
John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and
International Security
Condoleeza Rice, National Security Advisor
I. Lewis Libby, National Security Assistant
Elliott Abrams, Special Assistant to the President and National
Security Council Senior Director for Near East and North African
Affairs
Richard Perle, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board
(Other members of the Defense Policy Board include Kenneth
Adelman, Richard Allen, Martin Anderson, Gary S. Becker, Barry
Blechman, Harold Brown, Marc Cisneros, Eliot Cohen, Devon
Crass, Michele Flournoy, Ronald Fogleman, Thomas Foley, Newt
Gingrich, Gerald Hillman, Kim Holmes, Chuck Horner, Fred Ilke,
David Jeremiah, Henry Kissinger, Philip Merrill, Bill Owens, Henry
Rowen, James Schlesinger, George P. Schultz, Jack Sheehan,
Kiron Skinner, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Chris Williams, Pete Wilson,
and James Woolsey.)
William Kristol is not an official appointee, but as Chairman of the
Project for the New American Century and editor of the Weekly
Standard, his opinions carry much weight in the present
administration.
Gary Schmitt is President of the PNAC.
Paul Weyrich is founding President of the Heritage Foundation
and Chairman of the Free Congress Research and Education
Foundation. He's considered one of the most influential neo-
conservative writers and commentators.

Vote out Bush and the neocon hawks!

Bedtime Prayer

I bow to the one at the feet of the omnipresent God,


the Allurer’s dear one here on Earth,
to you, most holy Love-Is-The-Goal-Of-Knowledge,
liberated master known by that name.
I bow to the student of the Godly Scholar,
preacher of the teachings of the Golden Lord,
to you, oh liberator of the western world
from impersonal philosophy and voidist thought.
Holy Allurer-Force-Of-Life, and Lord Eternal-Blissfulness,
Holy Oneness, Club-Holder, Holy Primal-Abode,
and the Golden Lord’s many devotees.
Oh Savioress, oh Savioress, the Lord Allure, the Lord Allure,
oh Savioress, oh Savioress, the Lord Pleasure, the Lord Pleasure.
So-Beautiful, Lord-Of-The-World, So-Beautiful, Almighty-God.
So-Beautiful, Lord-Of-The-World, So-Beautiful, Almighty-God.
So-Beautiful, Lord-Of-The-World, So-Beautiful, Almighty-God.
Lady Hara, our Lord Krishna! Lady Hara, our Lord Krishna!
Our Lord Krishna, our Lord Krishna, Lady Hara, Lady Hara!
Lady Hara, our Lord Rama! Lady Hara, our Lord Rama!
Our Lord Rama, our Lord Rama, Lady Hara, Lady Hara!
Mother Hara, grant us the grace of the Supreme Father Hari.
Uwa, dear Mother Goddess, love source, Wabasso Beach bather.
OOO AUW O AAA SHE HE SHE HE.
(Paramatma, Guardian Angel,
Help me feel you here beside me.
Paramatma, Guardian Angel,
How I need you. Please, please guide me.)
Amen.
March 26

The soul is always naked


in its dreams.
The soul is so much simpler
than it seems.
The soul will take its loving
to extremes.
The soul will swim with God in
nectar streams.

March 28

The Giant

[Stan Brakhage passed away on March 9th. I wrote this appreciation of him. It
appeared on the IndieWire site.]

The first Stan Brakhage film I saw was Anticipation of the Night. It
was 1962, at the Charles Theater on Avenue B in the East Village.
The film showed me it was possible to create a totally visual
stream-of-consciousness cinema experience. The impact it had on
me was tremendous. I'd already been thrilled by the innovations
coming from Europe. But Brakhage's work was so far ahead of
what Godard, Antonioni, and the others had done. The film lasted
40 minutes, most of it taken up by repetitions and re-viewings of
haunting, iconic images. I had only a vague comprehension of a
narrative of sorts holding it together. But it didn't matter. It was the
depth, the integrity, and the silent rhythm that hypnotized me. It
seemed to be coming out of the best part of myself. Brakhage's
relentless, obsessive pursuit of some central core of meaning -- a
pursuit carried out through image and movement alone -- won me
over. From that point on, I was his student. My own films as I went
through college and graduate school were improvisations on
themes by Brakhage. My Master's thesis, "Brakhage," which sold
a few copies in the form of a monograph kindly published by
Jonas Mekas' Co-op, was my final offering. After that my life took
another direction. But Stan stayed in my heart and mind as a
guide. From those school years, I remember his extraordinary
generosity. For a film series, I wanted to show the just-completed
Prelude to Dog Star Man. I wrote him. He said OK. I received the
16mm film by post and was astonished to see a film with
hundreds of splices! Not a seamless print, but something straight
off his editing bench! It was like a holy artifact of some kind to me.
We projected it, the college audience loved it, and I sent it back,
hoping that no damage would come to it. He repeated the favor,
with a print this time, sending me the the whole five parts of Dog
Star Man for me to inspect frame by frame for my thesis. I only
met him in person twice. Once at a party at Willard Maas'
apartment, perhaps in 1965. I was too much in awe of him to say
much more than hello. Then in LA in the late 70s, I think at UCLA.
After the screening I gave him a box of freshly-baked chocolate
chip cookies my wife had made for him. He thanked me, admitting
he was pretty hungry. Yes, Stan was the true Starving Artist. His
uncompromising adherence to his principles and his muse, along
with his ability to see and create miracles, made him a genius of
the arts and a giant among us. God bless you, Stan Brakhage!

It's Them!

If they'd give me more help,


then I could do my job.
I can't do it myself.
All I can do is sob.
The work takes too much time.
I don't get paid enough.
But I'll never quit cuz I'm
accustomed to this stuff.

Bitch and moan, bitch and moan,


oh how I can complain.
All those crazy people out there
are driving me insane!
Finding fault, finding fault,
oh how I can condemn.
Because the blame is never on me.
It's never me, it's them!

Glasses on my nose,
eyebrows raised in scorn,
I peer into your soul
and see why you were born --
just to torture me
in everything you do.
I would live so peacefully
were it not for you!

Bitch and moan, bitch and moan,


oh how I can complain.
All those crazy people out there
are driving me insane!
Finding fault, finding fault,
oh how I can condemn.
Because the blame is never on me.
It's never me, it's them!

I'm just a mediocrity.


I can't advance. They're blocking me.
Why should I try to excel.
They've made my world a living hell.

Bitch and moan, bitch and moan,


oh how I can complain.
All those crazy people out there
are driving me insane!
Finding fault, finding fault,
oh how I can condemn.
Because the blame is never on me.
It's never me, it's them!

March 31

The Coalition to Perdition

April 1

The way to the other world is through acceptance of this world.


Because God is that-which-is. The place where I am is where God
is. There is no geographic distinction between the material and
spiritual worlds. It's a distinction of consciousness. God is reality,
and when I fight against reality in the name of transcendence, I'm
fighting against God. When I accept my circumstances and see
them as part of God, then I see God everywhere, and I'm in the
world of God, which is not the other world but the only world.

April 9
 
ELLIELLIELLIELLIELLIE
L         O         L
L         V         L 
I     ELLIELLIE     I
E       O   O       E 
L       V   V       L
L   ELLIE   ELLIE   L
I     O       O     I   
E     V   L   V     E 
L ELLIE  OOO  ELLIE L
L   O   V V V   O   L
I   V  E  E  E  V   I
ELLIE LOVE LOVE ELLIE 
L O    L  L  L    O L  
L V     O O O     V L
I ELLIE  VVV  ELLIE I
E   O     E     O   E
L   V           V   L
L   ELLIE   ELLIE   L           
I     O       O     I 
E     V       V     E 
L     ELLIELLIE     L
L       O   O       L
I       V   V       I
ELLIELLIELLIELLIELLIE

April 18

April in Paradise

When Johnny Comes Home In A Box


father dear father come
in from the field
our johnny's been
killed in the war
he'll no longer be needin his
sword and his shield
or a reason to
be fightin for
and speakin of reasons why
was it he fought
why did they all
march off so proud
for the sake of the leaders and the
votes that were bought
that's the truth but don't
say it too loud
dear johnny's gone put a
bow on the door
change the bright yellow
ribbon to black
yes someone in power will
now have much more
and our johnny will
never be back
but what if our boy had said
no i won't go
you can fight your damn
war without me
they'd have put him in jail for a
few years or more
but then he'd be
out and be free
so all you young people when
recruiters come round
with an offer to
serve your country
it's not servin johnny who's
dead in the ground
it's servin the
plutocracy

April 20
in a garbage pot --
in a gardener's kitchen --
smell the gardenias!

I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Worm

I wrote this in 1998, when I had no shame about appropriating


a children's classic for my own purposes.

I know an old lady who swallowed a worm


that squirmed and churned and gave her heartburn.
She'll never learn.

I know an old lady who swallowed a fish,


still living and flipping -- a nasty dish!
She swallowed the fish to eat the worm
that squirmed and churned and gave her heartburn.
She'll never learn.

I know an old lady who swallowed a lake


with islands and boats, for goodness sake.
She swallowed the lake to keep the fish,
she swallowed the fish to eat the worm
that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn.
She'll never learn.

I know an old lady who swallowed a town.


Oh, how she worked to get that down!
She swallowed the town to surround the lake,
she swallowed the lake to keep the fish,
she swallowed the fish to eat the worm
that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn.
She'll never learn.

I know an old lady who swallowed a country.


Now wasn't that the height of effrontery?
She swallowed the country to rule the town,
she swallowed the town to surround the lake,
she swallowed the lake to keep the fish,
she swallowed the fish to eat the worm
that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn.
She'll never learn.

I know an old lady who swallowed a planet


that takes thirty days of travel to span it.
She swallowed the planet to hold the country,
she swallowed the country to rule the town,
she swallowed the town to surround the lake,
she swallowed the lake to keep the fish,
she swallowed the fish to eat the worm
that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn.
She'll never learn.

I know an old lady who swallowed the universe.


Can anyone think of anything worse?
She swallowed the universe to place the planet,
she swallowed the planet to hold the country,
she swallowed the country to rule the town,
she swallowed the town to surround the lake,
she swallowed the lake to keep the fish,
she swallowed the fish to eat the worm
that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn.
She'll never learn.

I know an old lady who swallowed God.


She said she did -- you know, she's odd.
She swallowed God to love the universe,
she swallowed the universe to place the planet,
she swallowed the planet to hold the country,
she swallowed the country to rule the town,
she swallowed the town to surround the lake,
she swallowed the lake to keep the fish,
she swallowed the fish to eat the worm
that squirmed and churned and gave her beartburn.
She'll never learn.

I know an old lady who swallowed herself.


She's in excellent health!

Doo-Wop Mantra

Oh Baby
Baby Krishna
Baby Krishna
Wo-oh-wo-oh

New Ditty

The unclothed beast


must be released.
To be a god, ye
must free the body.
In open air
the skin's a prayer.
Its liberation
is your salvation.
The soul is nude,
and thus construed,
its nakedness
belies your dress.
Yes, beauty, truth,
and goodness too,
will be revealed
when you are peeled.

The Experience of the Overwhelming Centrality of God

It starts with something you sense.


The faith and the knowledge come later.
Sorry, Augustine and Aquinas --
your battling dualisms of emotion and thought
pick up the story in the middle of the plot.
It starts with the spiritual body,
with the naked-born spiritual senses.
When I strip away the encumbering mirrors
that keep me reflecting on myself,
when I cast myself beyond the cosmos
to be caught by the hand I sense is there,
everything gets turned around.
God, not me, the solid ground.
You, not me, the centrality.
I sense your eyes looking at me.
What matters is not what I do.
What matters is that you are you.
(Making a similar point in a lecture,
my guru Shrila Prabhupad said,
"It is not an inference or a vision.
It is a fact.")

May 12

liquidly lounging
lazily lollygagging
long languorous legs
May 14

The word "religion" can refer to a tradition from the past. Or it can
refer to a feeling I have in the present. The two often cooperate.
My present feeling about God is intimately interwoven with
language and sensory impressions conveyed to me by a tradition.
But the two can also be at odds. When tradition becomes
overbearing and smothers the religious feeling of the moment --
and, perhaps in response to that, when I escape from all tradition
and allow myself only a featureless mysticism -- then that severed
religious life lives only weakly. How to maintain a balance? How to
honor the subtle correlation between what I've learned from others
and what I directly experience myself?
The usual way to combine the present and the past is to adapt
a tradition to make it relevant to us today. We graft various
modernities onto the tradition. We do some editing, hoping to
preserve the essence. But there's a danger here. Our focus is on
the tradition as an object that can be fussed over, rearranged,
refinished. We choose nick-nacks from the current world to
decorate the old-time religion. The procedure may result in a
charming embroidery or an imposing edifice. We are pleased with
our creation. But, having concentrated on this art object so
devotedly, we've lost the sense of spontaneous relationship with
God that gave birth to the tradition long ago.
Preserving a tradition or adapting a tradition -- neither one will
suffice. The attention is misplaced. Tradition is part of us without
our having to work on it. What's also with us, though, is our
present world. The current time and the current place are part of
me. When religious worship gushes out from me spontaneously,
it's also the world doing worship, the world that's part of me. I don't
have to work on that either. It happens automatically. So both the
past and the present are naturally expressed if my attention is
simply placed on God. The historical and the modern come along
naturally.
Try to hold onto a tradition, and you've lost God. Try to conform
to changing customs, and you've lost God. But try to deny either
of them, and you've lost God too. Stop trying. Change your
emphasis. Open your heart. The God of the past, the God of the
present, the God of eternity, is right beside you. God accepts your
love in whatever form it takes. For you, religion is God. For God,
religion is you.
I Let It Go Through To You

"Whatever you do, offer it to me." -- Bhagavad-gita 9.27

I'm reporting all the news


of what I see and what I hear,
every moment sending you
what I feel and what I fear.
I'm transmitting instantly
the details of my life,
uncensored, without heeding
if I'm doing wrong or right.

Whatever I sense I send it on through,


yes, I send the experience to you.
I let it go through to you, to you.
I let it go through to you.

The movies in my eyes


I'm projecting to your space.
The sound track rushes by
as I broadcast you the waves.
The pleasures of the skin
and ideas of the mind
fly to you on wings.
That is how I spend my time.

Whatever I sense I send it on through,


yes, I send the experience to you.
I let it go through to you, to you.
I let it go through to you.

I am yours, nothing's mine.


Possession's nine-tenths of the crime.
What I feel, I love so much.
But it's not real without your touch.

Whatever I sense I send it on through,


yes, I send the experience to you.
I let it go through to you, to you.
I let it go through to you.
I'm constantly communicating
every mood, and every move I'm making.
Whatever I sense I send it on through,
yes, I send the experience to you.
I let it go through to you, to you.
I let it go through to you.

A Romance of Catholicism

The women spoke,


"He has released us,"
The day the Pope
allowed a priestess.

The Spiritual Body

The spiritual body's flesh


is made of consciousness --
not built up out of parts,
but whole, one beating heart.
Might look like you or me,
but lasts eternally,
with its arms and legs and head
always living, never dead --
pure energy its stuff.
(We will never know enough.)
Go beyond the mere unborn.
Seek the blissful, lovely form!

target frame rudimentary

shit ropes blasted finicula


trickle-trippin boston latin
poltroon water garments studio
straight out downwise coughin
gollywumpus golliwog choo-choo
mark all fridays churlish
got inklin on trap doors hiccup
nickle-tippin persian faramarz
heidi-ho famously walk baby
indigent indigenous in transit
carl moko up there socket type
money rain chocolate new times
soda-poppin incunabula
windup in a window torque plaster
silver toe hammock oolong
clocks cocks mocks jocks

May 23

I can approach anything in existence by one of three paths: lust,


neutrality, or worship. My life plan is to worship everything.

May 24

Even in talking to people, I can be talking to You. I relate to them


as aspects of You.

May 25

Our problems can't be


solved by force.
The answer lies in
intercourse --
well, conversation's
what I mean
(or sex, if it's a
Love Supreme).

Every Thing and You

In this statement, feel free to replace the word "thing" with other words, such as
"face," "voice," "love," "thrill," or "tree," "car," "pen," "food," or thousands of
other words.

I am sensing every thing as an aspect of You.


I'm conversing with You, dear God, with every thing and You.

You As

I sense You as ___________.

Fill in the blank with something you're sensing.


It can be a thing, a person, a feeling, an event...
May 27

In the above "sensing" verses and statements, there's no


symbolism. A tree sensed that way is not a symbol for You. When
I sense You as a tree, You are the tree. You're expressing tree-
ness, but it's the whole You doing it. And the tree remains a
specific entity. Its tree-ness is specific because its You-ness is
specific. Its tree-ness would dissolve if not for its You-ness. Every
specific thing is co-existent with You. Every thing is an aspect of
You.

June 3

Because we are spiritual beings,


eventually we come around.
After eons of sleeping,
eventually we wake up.
Then we want to do something.
We want to live and express the great Spirit.
It begins with the heart beating.
It begins with the lungs breathing.
It begins with the feet walking.
The mind picks up the rhythm.
The mind talks to the great Rhythm.
The mind and the body cooperate
in sensing everywhere the great You.
I sense You, I sense You, I sense You,
as the tree, as the fast-moving machine,
as even the sensations of mind and body,
I sense You, I sense You, I sense You.
This is how it begins, and never stops.
What senses are these, perceiving the great God?
They are the spiritual body's senses.
Because we are spiritual beings,
eventually we come around.

A God Sensor

Sensing U
Sensing U
I Am Sensing
You-u-u-u
Sensing U
Sensing U
I Am Sensing
Youuuu

June 4

I See You.

June 5

The Center of Attention

June 15

The Contemplative Stone


June 15

FootSwash

The Servant

Let the great ones come and go.


I will stay and serve.
They fly so high, while I'm below.
But I will not be swerved.
Do not think I've settled for
less than I deserve.
My work's God's work at its core.
I will stay and serve.

My Top 64 Film Experiences of 2002

Now that everybody's stopped talking about last year's movies, here's my list.
It's films I saw for the first time in 2002. So there's one from 1976, one from
1985, etc. And I've included 2002 releases that I saw through June 2003.

Amazing

Waking Life -- Richard Linklater 2001


Far From Heaven -- Todd Haynes 2002
The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky -- Paul Cox 2001
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys -- Peter Care 2002
City of God -- Fernando Meirelles 2002
Spirited Away -- Hayao Miyazaki 2002
8 Mile -- Curtis Hanson 2002
Before Sunrise -- Richard Linklater 1995
Kadosh -- Amos Gitai 1999
24 Hour Party People -- Michael Winterbottom 2002
Frida -- Julie Taynor 2002
Talk To Her -- Pedro Almodovar 2002
Himalaya -- Eric Valli 1999
Monsoon Wedding -- Mira Nair 2001

Superb

Innocence -- Paul Cox 2000


Take Care of My Cat -- Jae-eun Jeong 2001
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers -- Peter Jackson 2002
Gangs of New York -- Martin Scorcese 2002
Beyond the Clouds -- Michelangelo Antonioni & Wim Wenders
1995
Femme Fatale -- Brian DePalma 2002
Rabbit-Proof Fence -- Philip Noyce 2002
The Pianist -- Roman Polanski 2002
White Oleander -- Peter Kosminsky 2002
Mishima -- Paul Schrader 1985
Heart of Glass -- Werner Herzog 1976

Excellent

Tape -- Richard Linklater 2001


The Harlan County War -- Tony Bill 2000
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing -- Jill Sprecher 2001
Big Bad Love -- Arliss Howard 2001
In the Time of the Butterflies -- Mariano Borroso 2001
Hysterical Blindness -- Mira Nair 2002
Behind the Sun -- Walter Salles 2001
No Man's Land -- Danis Tanovic 2001
No Such Thing -- Hal Hartley 2001
The Hours -- Stephen Daldry 2002
Max -- Menno Meyjes 2002
Minority Report -- Stephen Spielberg 2002
Solaris -- Steven Soderbergh 2002
The Emperor's New Clothes -- Alan Taylor 2001
Happy Accidents -- Brad Anderson 2002
Iris -- Richard Eyre 2001
What To Do In Case Of Fire -- Gregor Schnitzler 2001
Live From Baghdad -- Mick Jackson 2002

Good
All or Nothing -- Mike Leigh 2002
Star Wars 2: The Attack of the Clones -- George Lucas 2002
Kate and Leopold -- James Mangold 2001
The King Is Alive -- Kristian Levring 2000
Sunshine State -- John Sayles 2002
Windtalkers -- John Woo 2002
Festival in Cannes -- Henry Jaglom 2001
Gaudi Afternoon -- Susan Seidelman 2001
City By the Sea -- Michael Caton-Jones 2002
Enigma -- Michael Apted 2001
Igby Goes Down -- Burr Steers 2002
Auto Focus -- Paul Schrader 2002
El Crimen de Padre Amaro -- Carlos Carrera 2002
Chelsea Walls -- Ethan Hawke 2001
Adaptation -- Spike Jonze 2002
Equilibrium -- Kurt Zimmer 2002
Chicago -- Rob Marshall 2002
Nora -- Pat Murphy 2000
Evelyn -- Bruce Beresford 2002
Under the Sand -- Francois Ozon 2000
Happenstance -- Laurent Firode 2000

The Primacy of Movement

As a devotee of Movement -- of walking, of breathing, of dancing


with God -- I was instantly attracted to Maxine Sheets-Johnstone's
The Primacy of Movement. (Philadelphia, John Benjamins North
America, 1999.) No matter if the book was scholarly to the hilt and
580-odd pages long. She was saying things like "In the beginning
is movement." (p. 138) She thus took "In the beginning was the
Word" and replaced Logos with Locomotion! I had to read it.
With my religious predilection, I was waiting for Sheets-
Johnstone to drop the other shoe and proclaim God as the central
engine of movement. But she restrained herself. She stopped just
short of the Holy Grail. For whatever reason. Still, the book offered
many delights.
In her attack on the material reductionists, she states that
"animation is at the very core of life." (xv) And at the very core of
the cosmos:
...in order to explain growth or decay or the
fall of an apple -- or the rushing of rivers,
or the attraction of magnets -- we need a
principle that recognizes a dynamic universe,
not a static one. Nature is indeed a principle
of motion and change. Indeed, why would forces
impel things to move -- to fall, to grow, to
decay, to revolve, to flow -- unless movement
were at the heart of the universe, unless not
matter, but motion were primitive. (120)
"Clearly," she writes (agreeing with Aristotle, whom she
admires), "matter cannot explain movement." (127) "Impartial
extension of Aristotle's thought leads not to a world conceived
fundamentally as matter but to a world conceived fundamentally in
kinetic terms." (112)
But more than physics or cosmology, Sheets-Johnstone
gravitates toward biology and epistemology. How do we come to
know things? Is language the defining element of consciousness?
What role does the brain play?
Concerning brains, she wastes no words: "...there is in present-
day Western society a tendency to be mesmerized by brains, so
mesmerized that the larger creaturely world of which humans are
a part is forgotten, egregiously slighted, or arrogantly distorted."
(77) She finds consciousness present in the tiniest and least
"brainy" of creatures:
...a bacterium, being an animate form of life ,is
something first of all that moves and is
capable of moving on its own power rather than
being always impelled to move from without...it
is something that feels, that grows, that changes
direction, that, in effect, can stop doing what
it is doing and begin doing something else. (75)
In more technical terms, Sheets-Johnstone supports her
contention. "The certainty of a bacterium's internally-generated
information -- as of an animal's internal proprioception -- is clearly
of moment...continuous sensitivity to one's own bodily conception
means knowing with exactitude the nature of that condition..." (74)
Proprioception, the ability to feel what's going on inside one's
body, is combined in the bacterium with the ability to perceive
what's going on outside: "...a bona fide evolutionary account of
consciousness begins with surface recognition sensitivity." (75) All
creatures have these abilities. Integrated with them is bodily
motion in response to the sensations. "Proprioception in general
and kinesthesia in particular advert to a knowing subject, a subject
that, at minimum, knows when it is moving and knows when it is
not." (79) "When a creature moves, it breaks forth from whatever
resting position it was in; it initiates movement, and in ways
appropriate to the situation in which it finds itself." (70) Quite apart
from the mechanics of what we call "instinct," even a bacterium is
capable of making independent choices. Thus, "consciousness is
a dimension of living forms that move themselves..." (59) and
"know thyself is incontrovertably a fundamental biological built-in."
(77)
Citing studies of animal behavior, and primates in particular,
Sheets-Johnstone notes that "in the everyday animal world, there
is a fundamental disposition to represent meaning corporeally in
the form of tactile-kinetic gestures." (16) Moving the mouth and
tongue in a manner analogous to copulation, chimpanzees
communicate symbolically. That corporeal representation is "a
primary source of meaning." (17) It is "a mode of thinking that is
modeled on the body." (21) "Animate form is thus at the core of
what traditionally passes for strictly cerebral activity." (30) In
answer to the question, "might not movement generate a
concept," (30) the answer is, "moving is a way of knowing." (xv)
Moreover, "animate form is the generative source of
consciousness..." (70)
As we begin our human lives, we share this mode of knowing --
"infants think in movement." (xxxii) "We come straightaway
moving into the world; we are precisely not stillborn." (136) It isn't
even that we intend to move, intially: "movement is there before 'I
move.' Kicking, for example, is there before I kick; stretching is
there before I stretch. In effect, movement forms the I that moves
before the I that moves forms movement. (138) In that statement,
Sheets-Johnstone presents Movement as an a priori ground of
being. Movement creates forms. We tend to see it the other way
around -- forms move. It's plain that Sheets-Johnstone sees
Movement as a spiritual primal cause. Movement doesn't
disappear as we grow up. "Primal animation and tactile-kinesthetic
experience are at the core of our infancy and remain the
unsurpassed core of our adult being." (271)
Verbal expressions take over, on the surface at least, as we
leave our infancy. But underneath we're still the same. Instead of
our early life being pre-linguistic, "we should speak of the advent
of language as the post-kinetic." (xxxii) But no, the kinetic still
forms us:
Our capacity to make sense of ourselves, to grow
kinetically into the bodies we are, is in other
words the beginning of cognition. In making sense
of the dynamic interplay of forces and
configurations inherent in our on-going
spontaneity of movement, we arrive at corporeal
concepts. On the basis of those concepts, we forge
fundamental understandings both of ourselves and
of the world. (136-7)
Those understandings stay with us throughout life, shaping us day
by day. Furthermore, the kinetic mode operates anew at every
moment. In forming relationships -- "We are kinetically attuned to
each other. No one teaches us how to be attuned. We teach
ourselves -- nonverbally." (229) In listening to others' speech --
"understanding what another person is saying is contingent upon
one's somehow sensing the articulatory gestures producing the
sounds the person utters..." (372) In the act of thinking itself --
"thinking...is itself a form of animation: moving forward, backward,
quickly, slowly, narrowly, broadly, lightly, ponderously, it itself is
kinetic." (516)
Sheets-Johnstone invites us to rejoin that primal way of thinking
in movement, and thus rejoin a world our Logos-based
assumptions have blinded us to. "Weaning ourselves away from
the thought that all thought is language-dependent, and equally,
from language-dependent thought, we wean ourselves away from
a basically object- or substance-tethered metaphysics. In turn, we
afford ourselves the possibility of grasping the momentous
significance of movement and change, and of attaining to a
metaphysics quintessentially attuned to the dynamic nature of
animate forms and an animate world." (506)
I would only presume to add that movement itself has animate
form, which in its wholeness we conventionally call God, and in its
particulateness we call souls.

Dork Doom

breaking the speed limit


going the wrong way on a one way
vibrating razor's edge
not exactly a haiku: 6-9-6 instead of 5-7-5

July 25

The first indication of consciousness is intentional movement.

Love Power

Living with Deity --


oh, how it's freeing me --
feeling outside the box,
living with paradox.

God is everything,
I've heard them say.
But how can everything
come out and play?
God is a friend of mine,
I've heard in a prayer.
But how can a friend of mine
be everywhere?
I want to treat you
as a friend,
but not
to trivialize you.
I want to bow down
to your splendor,
but not
de-personalize you.

And so I walk,
I try to walk,
along a narrow line.
I know that God's
Almighty God,
but, I feel, a love of mine,
close to me all the time,
close to me all the time.

Will opposites combine?


Is there a solution?
I can't reject knowledge and
I won't reject love.
Thus I inquire,
to reach a conclusion,
which of the two
is the other one part of?
It's love, it's love,
and logic is a servant.
Reason can be used
to confirm most any school.

It's love, it's love,


and yes, we all deserve it.
Feelings guide the hand
that uses knowledge as a tool.

Knowledge of the glory


does not complete the story.
A soul in love with God
is never overawed.
I feel that in the end
God is my loving friend.
True love is not blind.
The heart includes the mind.

The knowledge of your power --


the feeling for your love --
they unite, for love's the power
that we feel knowledge of.

God's greatest power


is love. And so is our
love. Oh! Let us sing:

Love Is Everything.

God's greatest power


is love. And so is our
love. Oh! Let us sing:

Love Is Everything.
Love Is Everything.
Love Is Everything.
Love Is Everything.
Love Is Everything.

Pronouncing Worcester

Silliness for those of you from central Massachusetts.

People from Dorchester


might call it Worchester.
Mr. Morse and Esther
always say Worsesster.
A true town booster
cringes at Wooster.
And me and my sista
both know it's Wista.

August 2

In a recent poll, 51% were found to have a 32% chance of being


affected by a new 10% increase in the 75% average coverage in
the 17% of areas requesting a 40% share of the 5% benefit
awarded to 65% of the public polled.
August 3

This image, adapted from Syd


Hoff's "Danny and the Dinosaur,"
depicts an epochal moment in
my life.

August 6

an icon to click on

August 14

God The Guardian, God The Guide.

August 15
digits: the new theme for the Library's personal computing section.
What sets this section of the building apart from the rest is the
intensive use of fingers. People are tapping, clicking, and pressing
diligently with their digits. I wanted to name it according to an
organic, not a mechanical, specialty. I'm so tired of fixating on
"computers." Of course we're dealing with digital technology too.
So we have an extension of biology into bits, digits morphing into
digits. Plus, digits are numbers. The logo shows five fingers. The
first computer was the abacus, which uses a numerical base of
five. Using numerology to add up the alphabet positions of the
letters d-i-g-i-t-s (d=4 i=9 g=7 i=9 t=20 s=19), we get a total of 68.
Six plus eight equals five. You can count it on the fingers of one
hand. Dig it?

Physics

If objects in motion
did not come to rest,
then life as we know it
would be a big mess.

Love and Equality

We love each other when I see myself in you, and you see
yourself in me. When we are equal. When "the two become one."
We don't disappear as individuals. We complete each other. We
identify with each other. Couples who've been together for a long
time take on each other's mannerisms. They grow more and more
alike. The fundamental principle of love is equality.

But only today have I come to that conclusion.

I've always assumed that love means you value somebody more
than yourself. You love them because they're greater than you.
Idealize them. Put them on a pedestal. Look up to them.
In the standard description of the relationship between Radha and
Krishna, their love, which is the most intense love, is described as
"mutual subjugation." Each of them submits to the other as the
ruler of their affections.

In a similarly intense love between humans, the other person is a


symbol of divinity. A channel through which I can contact God. I
bow down to you. "I bow to God within you." I humble myself
before you. Whatever you want me to do, I will do. I have no
desire except satisfying your desire. I am nothing, you are
everything.

But now I feel that the concept of subjugation comes from a


cultural style -- a style that emphasizes hierarchy. That's the
classical Indian-Vedic way of seeing life. The vertical stacking of
people is primary. Everybody is above somebody else and below
somebody else.

As we well know, that style's not restricted to South Asia. It's


common to every region. And, I'm thinking, it has nothing to do
with love.

It is good to serve another. To honor another. To praise another.


But must service be rooted in a submission of myself to a
dominant one? In taking and following orders? Is the other person
fundamentally greater than I am? Is that why I love them?

Someone's qualities may be rated as greater than mine. The


President of the United States has far more power than I do. But
he doesn't get my love. God has ultimate power. But that could be
the stimulus for my fear, not my love. Why would I love God for his
strength? I can feel admiration and wonder. I can gasp in
astonishment. Respect, yes. Obedience, yes. But not that special
feeling of love.

So, what is love? It's said that you can love another only if you
love yourself. Or let's say, only if you feel good about yourself.
Yes. Because when I love you I see myself in you. If I feel bad
about myself, it's certainly not love if I see my unworthiness in
you. I'm blocked from loving you. When I get myself straightened
out, I can love.

Love is an experience of people seeing themselves in each other.


It is a condition of equality, not dominance and submission.
Wherever there is a hierarchy, love is diminished.
The grandeur of God is remarkable. One feels awe, and
reverence. Still, that gets in the way of true love.

We might also feel like a parent who takes care of God, or like a
passionate paramour. There the element of God's majesty
recedes into the background. Love comes the foreground.

Probably the emotions of divinity are endless. But in all of them,


the essential aspect that imbues them with love is the
identification of the devotee with God -- the sense of equality, of
seeing myself in God and God in me, a thrilling harmony of selves
who are merged and separated simultaneously.

Any two people are the same as each other, and different from
each other. The similarity is in our qualities. We all possess the
same qualities. We even possess the same qualities as God. The
difference is in the quantity to which we possess those qualities.
For instance, the devotee and God possess the same qualities,
but quantitatively speaking God possesses them to a greater
degree.

In all relationships, there is a quantitative factor. Everybody has


some skill, trait, or feature, that sets them apart from others. The
question is, what are we going to value more? Our differences or
our similarities? Both should be given recognition. We should
appreciate each person's uniqueness. But love is something else.
Love is a feeling of similarity, of equality. Love is a junction, a
union.

Am I saying that all love is self-love? That what I love in you is


myself in you? If I can't love you until I see myself in you, if I must
love myself as an antecedent to loving you, then it would seem so.

But no, I love you. If I find myself in you, that means I trust you to
keep me there, in your heart. You are the object of my affection.
Me-in-you is just the entrance to you. Love requires a minimum of
two. There must be a passage from one to the other, a flow of
energy.

Even if it is self-love, self-love requires a mirror. I require you and


you require me. We are necessary for each other. Not as
instruments to be manipulated, however. As persons, to be
served.

God loves us all. Isn't it true, though, that we are all part of God?
God's love for us is God's self-love. That doesn't weaken God's
mercy, God's compassion. In the same way, our love for another
person is not a sham even if it is self-love. In the largest context,
we are all sparks of the same flame, selves of the same Self.

Now let us subordinate hierarchy in our social life, and in our


religious life. Now let us let love prevail. The equality of all persons
is the essential factor of love.

August 31

The beach is best.


Forget the rest.
The beach is blessed.
We are caressed.

September 1

Michael Moore, in Bowling for Columbine, presents the United


States as a singularly fearful nation. He says our fear gives rise to
our violence, both at home and abroad. But fear is not endemic to
the United States. It is universal to the human condition. It sends
up a wave of violence only when people are capable of exercising
a great deal of power. The United States is violent in the world
because it is powerful in the world. Our violence derives from our
abuse of power. We're abusing our power because power
corrupts. Domestic violence is so prevalent here because of our
overall culture of power, which permeates our everyday lives and
corrupts us from within. How can we change for the better? By
giving up our power? By having it taken away from us? No
conqueror society in the past has ever renounced its power
willingly. It's doubtful that we will either. Perhaps we'll be defeated
by some new and greater force. Thus humbled, we might gain an
opportunity to become more peaceful. But there's always the
chance that we might respond to our loss by developing a culture
of revenge, which would perpetuate the violence. So the solution
really has nothing to do with politics. The solution is for each one
of us to cultivate an inner power. Not a power over others, but a
power to achieve one's own self-realization. Not a renunciation of
power, but a transformation of it. That is the necessary next step
in our social evolution. Michael Moore's grandstanding and finger-
pointing can achieve only minor victories, not a systemic overhaul.
His delight in his own power over others, and the fearful effect that
his message has, betrays his kinship with his apparent enemies.
The Grim Reaper's Song

I am the Reaper, grim and severe.


I rule the region everyone fears.
Death, is why they venture here.
Death, no names are mentioned here.
Faceless and hopeless the dead they wander.
With nothing to do but regret and ponder.

I am the Reaper, grim and severe.


I rule the region everyone fears.

Life, is their old history.


Life, to them a mystery.
They went to church and they loved their children.
But time took its toll and it finally killed them.

I am the Reaper, grim and severe.


I rule the region everyone fears.

You, have yet to face the wall.


You, have yet to hear my call.
You can't cheat me at the game I'm playing.
But you can beat me if you hear what I'm saying.

I am the Reaper, grim and severe.


I rule the region everyone fears.

I, never touch the soul.


I, leave open that loophole.
The body departs but the mind keeps clinging.
Cast off that too -- do you hear what I'm singing?

I am the Reaper, grim and severe.


I rule the region everyone fears.

Neon Lotus

I wrote most of this in 1979. Thought I was done with it. But it's kept on
haunting me. Originally, I heard Mick Jagger's voice singing it. That was long
ago. Today I added a verse, tidied it up a bit. (There's a tune, too.)

Hey L.A. you neon lotus,


just in case you didn't notice,
I'm coming back -- to my love.
She lives there in neon heaven,
Surfside Motel number seven.
I'm coming back -- to her love.

I've been too long on the East Coast.


Venice Beach life suits me the most.
Yes, that's a fact, it's what I'm dreaming of.

Driving west in my Mercedes Benz,


I want your silky sunlight in my lens.
You're my friend.

She spends her days out on the sand.


She's waiting for no other man.
I'm so attached -- to her love.

Hey L.A. you neon lotus,


just in case you didn't notice,
I'm coming back -- to my love.

September 4

Barking Ducks, Quacking Dogs

My-T-Fine My-T-Fine creatures


the kid with the fabulous face
Sunny Boy Sunny Boy peaches
a nickel will win you the race

we're sold out of zoot suits and armor


a chocolatier's fervent desire
twenty-five ways to say "farmer"
so watch out your pants are on fire

into the woods for the wedding


a pull chain provided will do
we're watching Her Majesty shedding
while Cantinflas rides a balloon

bully for you and best wishes


let's lean on our elbows all day
into the pool with the dishes
may Santa Claus hip hip hooray

My-T-Fine My-T-Fine creatures


the kid with the fabulous face
Sunny Boy Sunny Boy peaches
a nickel will win you the race

September 24

Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna


Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna
She is the Love, He is the Lord
She is the Love, He is the Lord
She is the Love, He is the Lord
She's the Love, He is the Lord
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna
She is worship, he is worshipped
She is worship, he is worshipped
She is worship, he is worshipped
She's worship, he is worshipped
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna
She is subject, he is object
She is subject, he is object
She is subject, he is object
She's subject, he is object
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna
She is the one, he's the other
She is the one, he's the other
She is the one, he's the other
She's the one, he is the other
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna
She's the singer, he is the song
She's the singer, he is the song
She's the singer, he is the song
She's the singer, he's the song
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna
She is the fire, he is the flame
She is the fire, he is the flame
She is the fire, he is the flame
She's the fire, he is the flame
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna
Energy and Energetic
Energy and Energetic
Energy and Energetic
Energy and Energetic
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna
She is he and he is she
She is he and he is she
She is he and he is she
She's he and he is she
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love, Dear Lord Krishna
Oh Love Dear, Lord Krishna

The Passage
where is the road
where is the highway
what will be my way
to the truth
take up the quest
cast off confusions
dig up illusions
by the roots
bow to the impulse
live in the sunlight
give up what's not right
stand up and sing
rescue the creatures
from their cages
listen to sages
feel everything
passage to God
passage of yearning
bridges are burning
one by one
out of belief
into knowledge
then out of knowledge
into love

All At Once

The very first things


are the very last
where the world of the future
meets the world of the past.
Want to go there?
I'll tell you how.
Live your life
in the world of the now.
Live your life
in the world of play
where dark of night
meets light of day.
Lose the war
and win the peace.
Grow young before
beginnings cease.
September 30

On British TV, George Soros recently said:


"There is a group of - I would call them extremists - who have the
following belief: that international relations are relations of power,
not of law, that international law will always follow what power has
achieved.

"And therefore [they believe] the United States, being the most
powerful nation on earth, should impose its power, impose its will
and its interests on the world, and it should do it looking after
itself.

"I think this is a very dangerous ideology. It is very dangerous


because America is in fact very powerful."

October 2

Dorothy wants to be some place else. She doesn't accept her


reality -- her self. In her dream she travels to an exotic land, but
quickly realizes she wants to go back home. The good witch
knows Dorothy must achieve a transformation first. In her journey
to the wizard, Dorothy meets and integrates into her life plan the
three aspects of consciousness -- thinking, feeling, and willing.
The scarecrow, the tin man, and the cowardly lion all fear that they
lack what they actually possess in abundance. After they defeat
the wicked witch, the wizard authorizes the three companions.
And the good witch tells Dorothy she always had the ability to go
home, but she wouldn't have believed it before. On returning to
Kansas (waking up), Dorothy announces her realization: "I just
wanted to come back home." She just wanted to be herself. It's
reality, but she had to enter into a fantasy to grasp it. It's been said
that myths are fantasies but more real than reality. Or, myths are
the hidden depths of reality. After her dream, Dorothy sees her
family and friends more deeply, and is satisfied to be back home.

October 3

For my religion to stay alive, I must allow it to continually recreate


itself. Someone said that "an unchanging tradition is a dying one."
Prabhupad said, "Krishna is always expanding."
The Crucible of Experience

Even rocks have desire.


They will melt in the fire.
Do not think that I'm higher than that.
In my mind I am plotting
To intertwine if I'm lucky
and to rut much like doggies or cats.
In love's war I'm a soldier.
But the uniform's older
and the story's been sold for a song.
So no more window dressing.
What I want is a blessing
from a place where caressing won't go wrong.

I am a body of spiritual senses.


I can have pleasure for eternity.
I will let down my material defenses
and let my Maker take over me.

Don't ask what religion


or yoga position
or lifestyle I'm pitching to you.
They're no good without feeling
what is left once the peeling
and final unreeling is through.
There's a body of spirit
crying out. Can you hear it?
And if you get near it you'll know
that atomic reaction
doesn't count for a fraction
of the powerful blast it lets go.

I am a body of spiritual senses.


I can have pleasure for eternity.
I will let down my material defenses
and let my Maker take over me.

In the crucible of experience


I'm reduced to something mysterious.

I am a body of spiritual senses.


I can have pleasure for eternity.
I will let down my material defenses
and let my Maker take over me.

Door of Speech

The fleshy lips of youth


have shrunk, and every tooth
is plastic now. My mouth
is moving to the south.
At least the corners are.
But I leave my door ajar
for speech, all I can spare,
still young, while love will dare!

Slish

It is the hour of upgetting


when cooly dew and softgrey.
The dreaming house floats
on family mattress dreams.
Armflapping memories lift me
by the dark mirrorsink.
Who goes there? It is a
whisperform saying goodbye.

Land

Casting my thoughts out into the universe,


into the dark ocean of absoluteness --
it's an old habit, hard to break,
that leaves me dissatisfied and lonely.
What simile will suffice? Dive deeper?
Cross over? Catch the whale?
Maritime metaphors afford me no solace.
You are beyond vastness, and concepts.
You play by a riverbank, in the forest,
in a village with your friends and family.
Perhaps I'm already there on that land.
If so, I'm buried beneath in dark dormancy.
Dig me up, o gardener of souls!
Give me sight so I see you in every atom,
so the cosmos is revealed as your jeweled skin.
Just a glimpse will do. It will last forever.
Buffoon in Bliss

"Six heures !
Seize her, Caesar !"
At six o'clock the maiden
is apprehended by the king.
Now may my true self
be captured by you,
Monarch of the Mysteries!

Vapor Stone

It was a cloud, and not the moon,


compact and round, one afternoon,
a silver ghost, so very bright,
the only soul within my sight.
It drifted east. I heard it talk.
"I'm made of steam, and not of rock.
I will dissolve, so very soon.
And then, not long, so will the moon."

Ancient Sage

He's a poet.
He's a dreamer,
in the flow. It's
his demeanor.
He's a pauper,
going naked,
cloth and copper
long forsaken.
He's a mystic.
If you're deadened,
he can fix it.
He's from heaven.
A sage who is unflawed
can take you back to God.

Happy
Happy is a feeling that you feel inside.
Happy is a feeling you alone provide.
When you shoot it down, you're as good as dead.
So give it up. Live it up! Be happy instead.

Pepper

The internet goes where it pleases.


When our cat smells a rose, it sneezes.
The temperature at which love freezes
is next to the boiling point of hate.
A do-gooder fell by the wayside
from a shoelace come loose and untied.
Schoolchildren quivered and sighed
as a math teacher made them cogitate.
Improper implements, bridges that sway,
missed opportunities, feet made of clay --
oh what annoyances pepper the day.
Oh, what a joy it is to laugh them away !

Robes

When space unbends and lies flat,


it's so thin. It has no dimension.
Where time gets heavy and halts
in the middle of a tick, a hole opens.
At first the new world is brightness.
All I know is myself. All is myself.
No now, no here, nowhere.
I dance end over end, an invisible galaxy.
Then through the mist of radiance
I see part of an immense figure.
I see yellow robes reclining.
One who dreams. One who is dreaming me.
Now I know I am here, somewhere,
on the brink of my soul's fulfillment.

Together

something from the fridge


something from the stove
mix them together and
it's neither hot nor cold
words from the mind
words from the heart
say them together and
you can't tell them apart
truth is up above
truth is down below
seek them together and
your center's all aglow
God is energy
God is solid form
worship them together and
you become unborn

A Word Play

A youth almost drowned


in the Dependen Sea,
until at last he found
Cape Ability.
He answered all the questions
in his lonely Adolessons
without a sign of Infeariority.
Years later, after having
some Maturi Tea,
he proposed sharing marriage
on his Matrimo Knee.
And they took a trip
on their Relation Ship
to an island in the Ecsta Sea !

October 18

At the beach, breathing the atmosphere of God.


October 26

The Very Secret Sacred Heart of OM

Sweet

Sweet Servant...Sweet Servant of the


Sweet Lord Jagan-natha...

The Making of an American Hindu

Why did I, a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male Mayflower


descendant born in Massachusetts in 1941 become an active
member of a Hindu religious movement from 1966 to 1978 and
even after that include elements of Hinduism as major aspects of
my spiritual life?

The precursors were both idiosyncratic and sociological. My


personality started it. Then, cultural currents reinforced it.

As a child, I displayed certain tendencies. A recurring


metaphysical dream of obscure meaning but vivid imagery and
tactile sensations would wake me up. I recall going to my mother
afterward one night and reporting to her, "There were thousands
of them but there was only one!" This I proclaimed when I was just
beginning elementary school. Poor Mom. Every mother wants her
boy to be normal. It was not to be, at least until years later (when I
learned how to pretend to be half-way normal). I also would spend
long periods of time whistling along with the birds in the trees.
Now it was the neighborhood adults who were puzzled. A mystical
chapter from The Wind in the Willows, "The Piper at the Gates of
Dawn," haunted me. I returned to it often, hearing the strange
music.

Later in youth, I became secretive. I felt the truth was not to be


shared openly. Only a special few people could be entrusted with
it. Those people would form a secret club outside ordinary society.
The truth we shared would be ancient, passed through a chain of
enlightened sages who sheltered it from mundane view. The
sages would communicate the message telepathically. Perhaps
the message originated in outer space, or in some mythological
realm. I told no one about this.

I walked rapidly around in a circle inside our house, repeatedly for


five or ten minutes at a time. Studying and designing magic
symbols occupied me while alone. I meditated, without knowing I
was doing so. My mother asked me, "Daniel, why are you just
sitting there without doing anything?" I replied, "I'm feeling the
blood run through my veins." Bless you, Mother, for your patience.

The persona of the Nature Boy intrigued me. Nat King Cole sang
of him, and there was a recluse in our town by that name. I
wondered if I would dare to live that way, maybe as a naked wild
man in the woods. Then a Natural music, doo-wop, transformed
me into a creature of ecstasy. I said then that it "changed the
molecular structure of my blood." On a dark night when the others
were asleep I left the house and walked naked through the tall
grass in the back field.

At summer camp a slide show of astronomy photos revealed


cosmic star-cloud splendors to me. I felt it was a divine explosion.
I yearned for a direct vision of God. I heard the song of the Earth,
the voice of the forest. Following my urge, I chanted nonsense
syllables while arranging sticks and stones on the ground, hoping
to construct a key to open a passageway into an essential,
perhaps eternal, world.

Those experiences, intrinsic and spontaneous, were supported by


outside influences.

Growing up in the Unitarian church, I learned how to find the truth


in any religious tradition. Christianity was never the only way.
Buddhists, Jews, American Indians -- they all possessed
pathways to God. The menu was spread before me. Which
sacrament would I choose?
Science fiction expanded my horizons to the cosmic limit. Both the
physical universe and the universe of mental speculation
welcomed me as a native son.

Rock 'n' roll thrilled my soul. Any religion of mine would have to
accomodate that bliss.

Nudism as a way of life appealed to me. I considered it often.


Back to basics! Back to Nature! Cast off all artificial social labels
and dwell in Eden! The God-created human body is the best
instrument for transmitting and receiving divine knowledge!

Psychedelic herbs and drugs transported me into a world of


powerful sensations and meanings. For two or three years that
was my yoga. Hashish, periodically brought in from Morocco by a
friend, was my staple. But I came to see that my mind was just
being conditioned by the chemistry of the ingested substances.
Mind was not in fact "manifested," but merely being led through
experiential sequences. Each herb or drug had its own pattern. I
was learning, not about God or myself, but about chemical
structures. Still, the energy released by the substances stood as a
benchmark for testing the depth of any enlightenment.

Writers inspired me to pursue my quest. Among my favorites were


D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Thomas Wolfe, Nikos Kazantzakis,
Henry Miller, Stan Brakhage (the film maker), Walt Whitman, Allen
Ginsberg, and Alan Watts. Watts' book Psychotherapy East and
West convinced me to take the side of spirituality against
materialism. (I can credit Watts with probably saving my life. By
quoting from his book Joyous Cosmology, I got my local draft
board to grant me Conscientious Objector status. I never went to
Vietnam.)

After much reading and probing for the truth, I'd reduced my
bookshelf down to two volumes: the Bhagavad-gita and a Zen
treatise, On the Transmission of Mind. The Gita represented Love.
The other, Knowledge. I didn't know if Love or Knowledge was the
source of everything.

Knowledge, or intellectual inquiry, was the aspect of my


personality that other people considered predominant. I wanted to
gather knowledge about everything. Why? In order to sift out the
non-essentials to arrive at the basic reality of everything. I
constructed meaning-systems as attempts to describe the basic
reality and the relationships of its constituent parts. The goal was
The One. As I approached the end of this journey, I felt the goal
had no qualities, no form, no name. It was the Void. Or, as I used
to say, "Nothing is everything, and everything is Nothing."

On the other hand, there was Love. In contrast to the dry


theorizing that occupied me, this was juicy. I enjoyed the state of
ecstasy, being possessed by the other, the obsession with a
hypnotic vision of beauty. I felt that surrender to the overwhelming
energy emanating from the beloved swept me away into a world
of primal delight, of vitalizing emotion. To give love was to
energize and create a world of pure personal bodily life. A life of
service to the beatific Blessed One. Whereas Knowledge had
something to say about God, Love took me to God. And Love said
that God was something, not nothing.

Of the two books, the Gita was winning on points. But it was
Swami Bhaktivedanta who finally tipped the scales in favor of
Love over Knowledge. (His name itself means "love is the goal of
knowledge.") I attended a couple of meetings at the little storefront
where he held forth. At the time of the next scheduled meeting, I
found myself on 7th Street, on the sidewalk across from Tompkins
Square Park. I was headed for the apartment of a friend of a
friend to buy some mescaline. I stopped and compared the two
possibilities. The lure of drugs had faded. I went to the storefront
to experience Love.

And so my career in Hinduism began.

You may notice that none of this had anything to do with faith or
belief, nothing to do with moral codes or being an upstanding
member of society. Those things I associated with Christianity. I
had nothing against them. They were admirable. But they didn't
reach into the core of my consciousness. Because of my
psychology, I moved in the direction of immediate, intense
experience that engaged the physical as a vehicle for the spiritual.
The Swami's pitch about Krishna being "the reservoir of pleasure"
and about "spiritualizing the senses" by immersing them in
devotional service to God appealed to me. The long singing
sessions with energetic dancing to a tribal beat appealed to me.
The Swami's lectures, spiced by stories featuring India's villagers
and jungle beasts, appealed to me. The importance placed on
vegetarian food (I was already vegetarian) offered to God as a
means of liberation also appealed to me.
I might as well end it at that. There were many more things that
appealed to me. But you get the point. That's how a Protestant
New Englander became a Hindu. Still, that transition happened in
1966. Now, in 2003, I don't think of myself that way. Oh, I'm so
much more normal now!

December 3

So many people really hated The Matrix Revolutions, the third part
of the Matrix trilogy. Confusing, no point, uncreative, predictable,
gooey, dull, revolting! After a gigantic opening weekend, the box
office tanked. The geeks, especially, loathed it. The movie didn't
go their way at all.

But, what's wrong with ME? I really loved it, even more the second
time I saw it.

I'd say that the proclaimed failure of the film rests in what is also
its success, and the success of the whole trilogy: it insists that we
accept new paradigms.

The special effects are like nothing we've ever seen before. The
extent of its conceptual grounding is unique. Has any other film
inspired philosophy professors to write books about its
ontological- epistemological-political implications? However, these
innovations may have worked against the critical success of parts
two and three, which were released four years after the first part.
Viewers were astonished by the newness of the first part, and
expected its successors to match the scale of its leap into
unknown. They were disappointed. But the three films should
really be seen as one film. Then the continuum of effect can be
accepted.

Andy and Larry Wachowski throw even more difficult challenges


our way.

The stylistic tradition that the trilogy belongs to is that of the


graphic novel -- comics -- less than film (except anime), and
certainly not literature. The visual aspect of the tradition isn't a
problem. The problem arises in the use of language, in character
development, and in a plot built out of stock situations. The
language leans heavily on oft-heard phrases. Characters are
presented more through image and action than through depth
psychology. Situations bear distinct resemblance to dozens seen
before. Have the Wachowskis managed to put together these
standardized elements into a creation that achieves the depth of
myth? Or is the Matrix trilogy merely a collection of hackneyed
cliches?
On this score, popular opinion was favorable about part one, more
divided about part two, and distinctly less favorable about part
three.

Another challenge for us: the trilogy is a cool head trip that
paradoxically insists on the intuitive over the logical. The films
pose several intellectual puzzles. But the solutions aren't achieved
by logic. Even though one is tempted to intellectualize what's
going on, one must feel one's way through. This is brought out in
the conceptual structure. The Oracle (intuition) finally overcomes
The Architect (logic). Agent Smith's ascendancy is "a result of the
equation trying to balance itself," says The Oracle. Only when she
and Neo allow Smith to assimilate themselves into himself, is
Smith destroyed, and they triumph. Their surrender makes no
sense rationally. But it gets results.

By the time the third movie came out, those viewers Alfred
Hitchcock called "the plausibles" couldn't take it any more. Many
of them expressed severe disappointment that the story didn't go
the way they wanted it to. Some of them felt the Wachowskis had
"betrayed" them. It's unlikely that people who insist on logical
explanations for things are going to feel comfortable with the
trilogy as a whole. They'll content themselves with watching the
first part and ignoring the other two.

To make matters worse for that crowd, I get the impression that
part two is a deconstruction of part one, and part three a
deconstruction of that. We can see this, for instance, in the
character of Morpheus. He changes from an all-knowing guru, to a
pompous windbag, to just one of the gang. Neo also changes --
from a superhero, to the sixth version of an experiment, to a
suffering servant. But more important to the theme of the Matrix is
what happens to Free Will, Belief, and Purpose. At first they're
staunchly proclaimed, then they're all but shattered, then they're
resurrected. Unlike Baudrillard, who deconstructs to reveal
emptiness, the brothers W. go beyond nihilism. They expose
nihilism as a sham, showing the meaningfulness that shines
beyond the void.

In the end, the mathematical order of The Architect must make


room for the personal chaos of The Oracle. Even in a world
apparently controlled by machines, love will find a way.
Still, that doesn't mean anyone has to like it. Maybe it's too violent,
too loud, and you're tired of watching actors strut around in dark
glasses. OK. There's nothing much I can say about that!

December 4

In his castle, the Thing King moans, "There are too many things
that require too much thinking." Heavy hangs the head of the
Thing King.

December 5

December 6

They're both the same thing,


your mind and the universe --
you can go beyond !

December 9

I just finished reading Ulysses. Dipping into his next book, I find I
can understand it better. But. Jim's joy's to be a spanker of the
inklish linkage, for finicky's sake. Me too? In my way. Over the
years, I've been repeating my message. Using the same styles
and structures. And tricks. It's over now. And digital graphics too,
finished. I'm building a loom. I'll weave yarn with my fingers.
Here's the seed concept for a tapestry pattern I want to do:

MNEM GEE-J (747) GDP OOO


The Milky Nipple of the Earth Mother!
The Guardian Eye of Earthlord-Jagannatha!
(747) GDP GoddessGod Dream Protector!
Ohhhhyou! Ohhhhyou! Ohhhhyou!

Such is the fragile, private world of seed concepts. What counts is


the tree, the flower, the fruit. We'll see.

December 12

The apparent purpose of walking is forward movement. The


deeper purpose of walking is the conscious placement of the feet
upon the ground. The secret purpose of walking is to caress the
Earth. Thich Nhat Hanh said, "Walk as if you are kissing the Earth
with your feet."

Footsteps

The first art objects weren't handiwork, but footwork.

A few million years ago we came down out of the trees. We


planted our feet on the ground and put down roots. We became
upright, like trees ourselves. But we were walking trees.

As we walked, we did something new. We made art objects. We


made prints. Our footsteps made footprints, graphic shapes of
significant form. The footprints stretched out behind us as we
walked. They told the stories of our travels. Each footprint was the
expression of the being of the walker who made it. The Earth's
surface in our habitat was an art gallery of primal graphic
impressions, the first of all our later inscriptions and visual
representations.

Now I feel the urge to cast off all that later baggage. To walk away
from it. To contemplate the placement of the feet. To meditate on
footsteps. To concentrate on the patient making of impressions
and leave them trailing behind me. To work once again at the
sunrise of humanity in full knowledge of what I'm doing.

I'm not returning to the past. I'm walking into the future, into the
next phase of human life.
Footsteps Serving Lady God

Footsteps Footsteps Massaging Mother Earth


Footsteps Serving Lady God
Footsteps Footsteps Caressing Mother Earth
Footsteps Serving Lady God
Footsteps Footsteps Loving Mother Earth
Footsteps Serving Lady God
Footsteps Footsteps Serving Mother Earth
Footsteps Serving Lady God