So the bodhisattva saves all beings,
not by preaching sermons to them,
but by showing them that they are delivered,
they are liberated,
by the act of not being able to stop changing.

Alan Watts

Sunday Afternoon/Early Evening… after a day of working with our harvest, as well as driving out to Sauvie Island and visiting the various farms and nurseries we are back home. Rowan has had a minor break through with his writing, Mary has been putting away herbs and tomato sauces for the winter, and I have settled on page designs for The Invisible College number 7.

It has been a couple of days of intense beauty here, the fall rains have come, and the familiar patterns of the North West are asserting themselves. The little Gods of fields, forest and river, the devas of hearth, home, and family seem to be rising from their summer slumbers with the changes. You catch their breaths with the new winds rising up.

I have had these moments of pure bliss as of late, everything is in its perfect place; Rowan humming in his room, Mary with her plants, and I doing the dishes. The world has those moments of synchronicity, luckily a few have come our way.

I hope this finds you as content as I am in this moment; the wheel turns and life if full of glory.

We continue with The Joyous Cosmology entries, spicing it up with a bit of Michael McClure, and Tame Impala for the music.

Bright Blessings,
Gwyllm
__________________
On The Menu:
Alan Watt Quotes
Tame Impala – The Bold Arrow Of Time
Joyous Cosmology Parts 2 & 3
3 Poems: Michael McClure
Tame Impala-Solitude is Bliss
~~~~
Alan Watt Quotes:

Zen … does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.
~~
Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.
~~
I have suggested that behind almost all myth lies the mono-plot of the game of hide-and-seek.
~~
The pity of all this is, you know, a man like that [Sri Ramakrishna] has to have disciples, or no one would ever hear about him. But somehow, as the generations pass, the flame dies out. And eventually the disciples kill him. I wish that there was a way of putting a time-bomb into scriptures and records — not a time-bomb, but some kind of invisible ink, so that all scriptures would un-print themselves about fifty years after the master’s death. And just dissolve.
~~
Nowadays, of course, progressive theologians are all for sex; they say it’s a good thing, the biblical position was not that sex was evil, but that it was good, and that it’s alright.

But now, look here, what is the real point here? The proof of the pudding is in the eating. What can you get kicked out of the church for? Any church — Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Baptist, and the synagogue I think too. What’s the real thing for which people get kicked out, excommunicated?
For “envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness”? “Pride, vainglory, and hardness of heart”? Owning shares in munitions factories? Profiting off slums? No sir. You can be a bishop and live in all those sins openly. But if you go to bed with the wrong person, you’re out.

So one has to conclude that, for all practical purposes, the church is a sexual regulation society; and it really isn’t interested in anything else. Christianity is more preoccupied with sex than even Priapism or Tantric Yoga [are]. Because that’s the thing that counts, that’s the sin, the really important sin.
~~
The style of God venerated in the church, mosque, or synagogue seems completely different from the style of the natural universe.
~~~~
Tame Impala – The Bold Arrow Of Time

~~~~
Here is our source for The Joyous Cosmology: The Psychedelic Library! (Thanks To Peter Webster!)
Joyous Cosmology Parts 2 & 3

I am listening to the music of an organ. As leaves seemed to gesture, the organ seems quite literally to speak. There is no use of the vox humana stop, but every sound seems to issue from a vast human throat, moist with saliva. As, with the base pedals, the player moves slowly down the scale, the sounds seem to blow forth in immense, gooey spludges. As I listen more carefully, the spludges acquire texture—expanding circles of vibration finely and evenly toothed like combs, no longer moist and liquidinous like the living throat, but mechanically discontinuous. The sound disintegrates into the innumerable individual drrrits of vibration. Listening on, the gaps close, or perhaps each individual drrrit becomes in its turn a spludge. The liquid and the hard, the continuous and the discontinuous, the gooey and the prickly, seem to be transformations of each other, or to be different levels of magnification upon the same thing.

This theme recurs in a hundred different ways—the inseparable polarity of opposites, or the mutuality and reciprocity of all the possible contents of consciousness. It is easy to see theoretically that all perception is of contrasts—figure and ground, light and shadow, clear and vague, firm and weak. But normal attention seems to have difficulty in taking in both at once. Both sensuously and conceptually we seem to move serially from one to the other; we do not seem to be able to attend to the figure without relative unconsciousness of the ground. But in this new world the mutuality of things is quite clear at every level. The human face, for example, becomes clear in all its aspects—the total form together with each single hair and wrinkle. Faces become all ages at once, for characteristics that suggest age also suggest youth by implication; the bony structure suggesting the skull evokes instantly the newborn infant. The associative couplings of the brain seem to fire simultaneously instead of one at a time, projecting a view of life which may be terrifying in its ambiguity or joyous in its integrity.
Decision can be completely paralyzed by the sudden realization that there is no way of having good without evil, or that it is impossible to act upon reliable authority without choosing, from your own inexperience, to do so. If sanity implies madness and faith doubt, am I basically a psychotic pretending to be sane, a blithering terrified idiot who manages, temporarily, to put on an act of being self-possessed? I begin to see my whole life as a masterpiece of duplicity—the confused, helpless, hungry, and hideously sensitive little embryo at the root of me having learned, step by step, to comply, placate, bully, wheedle, flatter, bluff, and cheat my way into being taken for a person of competence and reliability. For when it really comes down to it, what do any of us know?
~~~
I am listening to a priest chanting the Mass and a choir of nuns responding. His mature, cultivated voice rings with the serene authority of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, of the Faith once and for all delivered to the saints, and the nuns respond, naively it seems, with childlike, utterly innocent devotion. But, listening again, I can hear the priest “putting on” his voice, hear the inflated, pompous balloon, the studiedly unctuous tones of a master deceptionist who has the poor little nuns, kneeling in their stalls, completely cowed. Listen deeper. The nuns are not cowed at all. They are playing possum. With just a little stiffening, the limp gesture of bowing turns into the gesture of the closing claw. With too few men to go around, the nuns know what is good for them: how to bend and survive.

But this profoundly cynical view of things is only an intermediate stage. I begin to congratulate the priest on his gamesmanship, on the sheer courage of being able to put up such a performance of authority when he knows precisely nothing. Perhaps there is no other knowing than the mere competence of the act. If, at the heart of one’s being, there is no real self to which one ought to be true, sincerity is simply nerve; it lies in the unabashed vigor of the pretense.
But pretense is only pretense when it is assumed that the act is not true to the agent. Find the agent. In the priest’s voice I hear down at the root the primordial howl of the beast in the jungle, but it has been inflected, complicated, refined, and textured with centuries of culture. Every new twist, every additional subtlety, was a fresh gambit in the game of making the original howl more effective. At first, crude and unconcealed, the cry for food or mate, or just noise for the fun of it, making the rocks echo. Then rhythm to enchant. then changes of tone to plead or threaten. Then words to specify the need, to promise and bargain. And then, much later, the gambits of indirection. The feminine stratagem of stooping to conquer, the claim to superior worth in renouncing the world for the spirit, the cunning of weakness proving stronger than the might of muscle—and the meek inheriting the earth.
As I listen, then, I can hear in that one voice the simultaneous presence of all the levels of man’s history, as of all the stages of life before man. Every step in the game becomes as clear as the rings in a severed tree. But this is an ascending hierarchy of maneuvers, of stratagems capping stratagems, all symbolized in the overlays of refinement beneath which the original howl is still sounding. Sometimes the howl shifts from the mating call of the adult animal to the helpless crying of the baby, and I feel all man’s music—its pomp and circumstance, its gaiety, its awe, its confident solemnity—as just so much complication and concealment of baby wailing for mother. And as I want to cry with pity, I know I am sorry for myself. I, as an adult, am also back there alone in the dark, just as the primordial howl is still present beneath the sublime modulations of the chant.

You poor baby! And yet—you selfish little bastard! As I try to find the agent behind the act, the motivating force at the bottom of the whole thing, I seem to see only an endless ambivalence. Behind the mask of love I find my innate selfishness. What a predicament I am in if someone asks, “Do you really love me?” I can’t say yes without saying no, for the only answer that will really satisfy is, “Yes, I love you so much I could eat you! My love for you is identical with my love for myself. I love you with the purest selfishness.” No one wants to be loved out of a sense of duty.
So I will be very frank. “Yes, I am pure, selfish desire and I love you because you make me feel wonderful—at any rate for the time being.” But then I begin to wonder whether there isn’t something a bit cunning in this frankness. It is big of me to be so sincere, to make a play for her by not pretending to be more than I am—unlike the other guys who say they love her for herself. I see that there is always something insincere about trying to be sincere, as if I were to say openly, “The statement that I am now making is a lie.” There seems to be something phony about every attempt to define myself, to be totally honest. The trouble is that I can’t see the back, much less the inside, of my head. I can’t be honest because I don’t fully know what I am. Consciousness peers out from a center which it cannot see—and that is the root of the matter.

Life seems to resolve itself down to a tiny germ or nipple of sensitivity. I call it the Eenie-Weenie—a squiggling little nucleus that is trying to make love to itself and can never quite get there. The whole fabulous complexity of vegetable and animal life, as of human civilization, is just a colossal elaboration of the Eenie-Weenie trying to make the Eenie-Weenie. I am in love with myself, but cannot seek myself without hiding myself. As I pursue my own tail, it runs away from me. Does the amoeba split itself in two in an attempt to solve this problem?
I try to go deeper, sinking thought and feeling down and down to their ultimate beginnings. What do I mean by loving myself? In what form do I know myself? Always, it seems, in the form of something other, something strange. The landscape I am watching is also a state of myself, of the neurons in my head. I feel the rock in my hand in terms of my own fingers. And nothing is stranger than my own body—the sensation of the pulse, the eye seen through a magnifying glass in the mirror, the shock of realizing that oneself is something in the external world. At root, there is simply no way of separating self from other, self-love from other-love. All knowledge of self is knowledge of other, and all knowledge of other knowledge of self. I begin to see that self and other, the familiar and the strange, the internal and the external, the predictable and the unpredictable imply each other. One is seek and the other is hide, and the more I become aware of their implying each other, the more I feel them to be one with each other. I become curiously affectionate and intimate with all that seemed alien. In the features of everything foreign, threatening, terrifying, incomprehensible, and remote I begin to recognize myself. Yet this is a “myself” which I seem to be remembering from long, long ago—not at all my empirical ego of yesterday, not my specious personality.
The “myself” which I am beginning to recognize, which I had forgotten but actually know better than anything else, goes far back beyond my childhood, beyond the time when adults confused me and tried to tell me that I was someone else; when, because they were bigger and stronger, they could terrify me with their imaginary fears and bewilder and outface me in the complicated game that I had not yet learned. (The sadism of the teacher explaining the game and yet having to prove his superiority in it.) Long before all that, long before I was an embryo in my mother’s womb, there looms the ever-so-familiar stranger, the everything not me, which I recognize, with a joy immeasurably more intense than a meeting of lovers separated by centuries, to be my original self. The good old sonofabitch who got me involved in this whole game.

At the same time everyone and everything around me takes on the feeling of having been there always, and then forgotten, and then remembered again. We are sitting in a garden surrounded in every direction by uncultivated hills, a garden of fuchsias and hummingbirds in a valley that leads down to the westernmost ocean, and where the gulls take refuge in storms. At some time in the middle of the twentieth century, upon an afternoon in the summer, we are sitting around a table on the terrace, eating dark homemade bread and drinking white wine. And yet we seem to have been there forever, for the people with me are no longer the humdrum and harassed little personalities with names, addresses, and social security numbers, the specifically dated mortals we are all pretending to be. They appear rather as immortal archetypes of themselves without, however, losing their humanity. It is just that their differing characters seem, like the priest’s voice, to contain all history; they are at once unique and eternal, men and women but also gods and goddesses. For now that we have time to look at each other we become timeless. The human form becomes immeasurably precious and, as if to symbolize this, the eyes become intelligent jewels, the hair spun gold, and the flesh translucent ivory. Between those who enter this world together there is also a love which is distinctly eucharistic, an acceptance of each other’s natures from the heights to the depths.
Ella, who planted the garden, is a beneficent Circe—sorceress, daughter of the moon, familiar of cats and snakes, herbalist and healer—with the youngest old face one has ever seen, exquisitely wrinkled, silver-black hair rippled like flames. Robert is a manifestation of Pan, but a Pan of bulls instead of the Pan of goats, with frizzled short hair tufted into blunt horns—a man all sweating muscle and body, incarnation of exuberant glee. Beryl, his wife, is a nymph who has stepped out of the forest, a mermaid of the land with swinging hair and a dancing body that seems to be naked even when clothed. It is her bread that we are eating, and it tastes like the Original Bread of which mother’s own bread was a bungled imitation. And then there is Mary, beloved in the usual, dusty world, but in this world an embodiment of light and gold, daughter of the sun, with eyes formed from the evening sky—a creature of all ages, baby, moppet, maid, matron, crone, and corpse, evoking love of all ages.

I try to find words that will suggest the numinous, mythological quality of these people. Yet at the same time they are as familiar as if I had known them for centuries, or rather, as if I were recognizing them again as lost friends whom I knew at the beginning of time, from a country begotten before all worlds. This is of course bound up with the recognition of my own most ancient identity, older by far than the blind squiggling of the Eenie-Weenie, as if the highest form that consciousness could take had somehow been present at the very beginning of things. All of us look at each other knowingly, for the feeling that we knew each other in that most distant past conceals something else—tacit, awesome, almost unmentionable—the realization that at the deep center of a time perpendicular to ordinary time we are, and always have been, one. We acknowledge the marvelously hidden plot, the master illusion, whereby we appear to be different.
The shock of recognition. In the form of everything most other, alien, and remote—the ever-receding galaxies, the mystery of death, the terrors of disease and madness, the foreign-feeling, gooseflesh world of sea monsters and spiders, the queasy labyrinth of my own insides—in all these forms I have crept up on myself and yelled “Boo!” I scare myself out of my wits, and, while out of my wits, cannot remember just how it happened. Ordinarily I am lost in a maze. I don’t know how I got here, for I have lost the thread and forgotten the intricately convoluted system of passages through which the game of hide-and-seek was pursued. (Was it the path I followed in growing the circuits of my brain?) But now the principle of the maze is clear. It is the device of something turning back upon itself so as to seem to be other, and the turns have been so many and so dizzyingly complex that I am quite bewildered. The principle is that all dualities and opposites are not disjoined but polar; they do not encounter and confront one another from afar; they exfoliate from a common center. Ordinary thinking conceals polarity and relativity because it employs terms, the terminals or ends, the poles, neglecting what lies between them. The difference of front and back, to be and not to be, hides their unity and mutuality.

Now consciousness, sense perception, is always a sensation of contrasts. It is a specialization in differences, in noticing, and nothing is definable, classifiable, or noticeable except by contrast with something else. But man does not live by consciousness alone, for the linear, step-by-step, contrast-by-contrast procedure of attention is quite inadequate for organizing anything so complex as a living body. The body itself has an “omniscience” which is unconscious, or superconscious, just because it deals with relation instead of contrast, with harmonies rather than discords. It “thinks” or organizes as a plant grows, not as a botanist describes its growth. This is why Shiva has ten arms, for he represents the dance of life, the omnipotence of being able to do innumerably many things at once.
In the type of experience I am describing, it seems that the superconscious method of thinking becomes conscious. We see the world as the whole body sees it, and for this very reason there is the greatest difficulty in attempting to translate this mode of vision into a form of language that is based on contrast and classification. To the extent, then, that man has become a being centered in consciousness, he has become centered in clash, conflict, and discord. He ignores, as beneath notice, the astounding perfection of his organism as a whole, and this is why, in most people, there is such a deplorable disparity between the intelligent and marvelous order of their bodies and the trivial preoccupations of their consciousness. But in this other world the situation is reversed. Ordinary people look like gods because the values of the organism are uppermost, and the concerns of consciousness fall back into the subordinate position which they should properly hold. Love, unity, harmony, and relationship therefore take precedence over war and division.

For what consciousness overlooks is the fact that all boundaries and divisions are held in common by their opposite sides and areas, so that when a boundary changes its shape both sides move together. It is like the yang-yin symbol of the Chinese—the black and white fishes divided by an S-curve inscribed within a circle. The bulging head of one is the narrowing tail of the other. But how much more difficult it is to see that my skin and its movements belong both to me and to the external world, or that the spheres of influence of different human beings have common walls like so many rooms in a house, so that the movement of my wall is also the movement of yours. You can do what you like in your room just so long as I can do what I like in mine. But each man’s room is himself in his fullest extension, so that my expansion is your contraction and vice versa.
~~~~

3 Poems: Michael McClure

Howlin’ Blues

SPANK ME WITH A ROSE
I’m headed for jail,
just headed for jail.
See the little sparrow
with her eyes on the hawk.
Everything around is
just more talk.
Don’t use a knife to pound in a nail.
Spank me with a rose
I’m headed for jail.

Hawk he’s hungry
and Sparrow tastes good.
Feathers fall down by the side of the road.
It’s
A
LONG
WAY
BACK
to where
stars lie in bed.

Spank me with a rose.
Hawk he’s hungry
and Sparrow tastes good.

Spank me with a rose.
It’s
A
LONG
WAY
BACK
to where
stars lie in bed.

I’m headed for jail.
Don’t use a knife to pound in a nail.
~~

Imagine Peace

“Imagine Peace,” said John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Imagine Peace….
We are here, Imagining Peace.
Imagine the Patriot Act rolled back, and the next step, Patriot Act 2, stopped in this
Administration’s bloody tracks.
Imagine an end to poisoning the ocean, and the atmosphere, and the food we eat.
Imagine creating universal health care.
Imagine an end to homelessness and hunger.
The City of Baghdad is one front in a huge war. It’s one war against nature and human nature. We
are at countless fronts of the war around us as well as the foreign massacres and hells created by
this unelected government.
Keep armed force out of Syria.
Imagine civil liberties, and foreign liberties, restored.
The 19th-century rebel poet Shelley said:
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number
Shake the chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you.
We are many, they are few.

Here’s a poem of mine, beginning with words by Thoreau:
THAT GOVERNMENT IS BEST WHICH GOVERNS LEAST
Let me be free of ligaments and tendencies
to change myself into a shape
that’s less than spirit.
LET ME BE A WOLF,
a caterpillar, a salmon,
or
an
OTTER
sailing in the silver water
beneath the rosy sky.
Were I a moth or condor
you’d see me fly!
I love this meat of which I’m made!
I dive into it to find the simplest vital shape!
AH! HERE’S THE CHILD!!!
WHAT’S LIBERTY WHEN ONE CLASS STARVES ANOTHER?
WHAT’S LIBERTY WHEN ONE CLASS STARVES ANOTHER?
—Michael McClure
Civic Center Plaza Peace Rally
San Francisco, April 12, 2003
(delivered in the pouring rain)
~~

FOR Willie Dixon

HERE’S A WORD

Ayy… Gee… Enn… Oh… Ess… Eye… Ayy…
spells Agnosia
AGNOSIA
LIKE A BIG BLACK ROSE
AGNOSIA IS KNOWING
THROUGH NOT KNOWING
everybody knows
we are the petals and the thorns
We are
THE CLIFF OF MEAT-BLACK
B
A
C
K
in
there
&
THE MYSTIC,
MEISTER ECKHART,
in his night-petaled robe
KNEW GOD
THROUGH NOT KNOWING
(KNOT
NO-
ING)

Everybody knows
we are the muscled black
projecting dark

to put the black on

back on

ALL
THINGS

ON
THE

EDGE
CHUNK

Material
reality

smiling in the teeth
of old Despair

Death is
beside the point
we’re always dead

and

in

EVERY WAY
this flesh is every way alive

where
THE
SINGERS
in the night
are coyote voices
of black and scarlet
ROSES
choiring on the radio that bursts the dawn
WHILE
helicopters
puke
on children
and flash out harsh pools
of circling light

DON’T

TELL

ME

this

IS

REAL

because it is the edge chunk
of what I feel!

I HOLD THE BLACK!

YOU HOLD THE LIGHT

I
SURRENDER

I
AM
A
MYSTIC

I
TREMBLE
in the shambles
(in the brambles)
when my Enemies come to get me!

THIS IS THE NIGHT
and I’m not halfway free

(WEAR

THE

SUIT

OF SILK

and whistle
in the graveyard!)
Slinky silk upon the thigh

HEAD
HURTS

Where is the crisis?

SHOULDERS
CLENCH

The beggars are coming to town
Some in rags and
some in tags and
some in
VELVET GOWNS

Rattles in the gears
of old cars

SOUL?

Hah!

There’s A

BLACK
CAVE
with a mouth
in there

black cave with a mouth
in there

and it

LOVES
ME

Looking up at me

EDGE
CHUNK

AGNOSIA

MO
MENT
OF GRACE

LET’S NOT HIDE IT
HIDE IT

EDGE
CHUNK

COME IN BLACK

ROSES

like some hero’s shoulders

MOMENT OF GRACE

IT
ALL
POURS
like long lean cars
lean cars

MUSTANGS

and never moves

VISION QUEST

MOMENTARY GRACE
IF I HAD A THOUSAND SENSES
I could tell you
why molecules
are
lies
AND
WHAT
WE
TRULY
ARE
Not quarks or hadrons
or drunken flies
or RAIN DROPS
falling on magnolia leaves
or sheaves
of titillating fingers
clipped from the edge chunks
of the things
we smell
We can say, “Goodbye Hell”
“Hello Heaven”
and it doesn’t even mean
as much as sparrow shit
on the walls of a football stadium

I surrender cower I am a worm
churning in the apple flower
I
BEG
PITY
of the worlds
I
Make
in my lusts
for
them

This is our beginning and we’re flexing
BICEPS
in the shadow of the end

I
AM
THE CLOUD

I
AM
THE
CLOUD

I’m just chicken a’la king

I am the cloud of
UN
KNOWING

Ayy… Gee… Enn… Oh… Ess… Eye… Ayy…

There’s a word

Some word…

~~~~
Tame Impala-Solitude is Bliss

~~~~
How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes,
such enchanted musical instruments as the ears,
and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain
can experience itself anything less than a god?

Alan Watts