Tuesday, November 27, 2007

psychic masturbation

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Kabir Helminski of the Threshold Society (a Sufic Society) for the Winter 1993 issue of Gnosis Magazine -the complete article can be read HERE (highly recommended):

" Intoxication could be viewed as psychic masturbation. Masturbation could be defined as trying to do something when you don't have everything needed to do it. Contacting the subconscious realms of significance without our full equipment is like making love without a partner. Not only is it less physically satisfying, it bypasses the emotional and spiritual dimensions of relationship. One can understand the many reasons why people do it: loneliness, impatience, narcissism. Like intoxicants, masturbation creates a tension between the fantasy and the actuality. It leaves people askew and ultimately crippled.

Can psychoactive substances ever yield psychological or spiritual benefit? A qualities "yes" suggests itself here. An experience produced by external substances may give enough of a taste of higher being to motivate someone toward awakening that state on a more permanent and stable basis, especially if the person has not already been exposed to the mature spiritual guidance that certain traditions could offer.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that the shift of perspective offered by certain drugs can also be accomplished through various other means, one of which is contact with someone who has attained higher being. While such an experience may be a bit less dramatic than a drug experience, it is less likely to cause psychological imbalance. On the other hand, such imbalances can also be caused by teachers with limited knowledge who induce certain states in their students that may, if indulged in, make them less fit for ordinary life and less capable of reaching completion."

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Dullard Sage by Farrid-Udin Attar

Lost in myself
I reappeared
I know not where
a drop that rose
from the sea and fell
and dissolved again;
a shadow
that stretched itself out
at dawn,
when the sun
reached noon
I disappeared.
I have no news
of my coming
or passing away--
the whole thing
happened quicker
than a breath;
ask no questions
of the moth.
In the candle flame
of his face
I have forgotten
all the answers.
In the way of love
there must be knowledge
and ignorance
so I have become
both a dullard
and a sage;
one must be
an eye and yet
not see
so I am blind
and yet I still
perceive,
Dust
be on my head
if I can say
where I
in bewilderment
have wandered:
Attar
watched his heart
transcend both worlds
and under its shadow
now is gone mad
with love.

Friday, November 16, 2007

getting quiet - remembering important things

Things have been quieting down quite a bit over the last week, at least with visitation to the park - Quiet in the visitor’s center. Reading time – writing time.

We had an early thanksgiving dinner last night. Had a great philoso-spiritual talk with a new friend named Marshall. Friendly moments of heated argument mixed with amazing moments of clarity.
It was a night that reminded me why I came here.
Not to chase girls, or for simple socialization, but for inner and outer clarity.
I came to slough off the excess baggage and needs.

Writing time is coming. And I am recognizing the importance of my own Great Work.
I feel a bit more psychologically prepared for the coming months of solitude.
There will still be a few people around, though not many.

Something else happened last night that was a good positive slap to wake me up from my stupor. It showed me a lot of things:Where I am, the quality of those around me….
Interesting how a bit of alcohol in people can be so revealing.

On a different note, I’ve been getting out and hiking a bit more outside of the park.
Went to Corona Arch a few days ago. There was no one out there and only saw a few people on the hike back. Very nice.

Once of the things I am discovering that feels so strange out here is being surrounded by white people. It makes for a totally different aesthetic.
If my tastes were somewhat obscure in a city like Chicago, you can imagine how obscure they are here!

I need to be making more music, more art, etc.
Socializing so much here – more than I was in Chicago actually, has been taking me a bit away from it.

I did get some great ideas and a sense of direction with where I want to take my art though while looking at some desert varnish across from Corona Arch.
It gave me an even newer concept of east meets west. Alchemy meets Anasazi.
Creating a new symbolic language that is inspired by both while trying not to mimic either too greatly.
In places such as this, art all too easily becomes a reflection of what already is or was rather than a visionary experience.
That is such a strange thing to me considering how inspiring this landscape is.
I guess it is part of earning a living from selling to tourists.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

new home

so, I know i have not been posting, but now, even though my internet access is limited to trips into Moab.
My new home is amazing, as are my co-workers.
I've been slowly posting pics to my flickr page so you should check them out sometime.

last night i finally had a good chance to go out into the park on a clear moonless night and do some stargazing. went out to Balanced Rock and had the whole park to myself.
I'll tell ya, it sure is a bit spooky to be the only human in land that is so obviously belonging to the creatures once night falls.
As i lay there on the hood of my car (to keep warm!)staring up at the Milky Way webbing its way across the sky, weaving Indra's web so delicately,hanging there as if i could reach up and tangle my fingers in it, I heard coyotes barking off in the distance.
Primal circuits were triggered as I was surrounded by the deepest shadows of the huge rock formations and brush.
Too many years in the city in the lights surrounded by millions of people really makes one feel that much more alone when in such a place as this.
I had wanted to walk out just past Balanced Rock to a great little area of slickrock that is perfect to lay out on, but without a headlamp and that primal fear hitting my gut a little bit, i couldn't quite get myself to do it.
Maybe partially because of the sighting of a Mountain Lion a ways further back in the park a few days previously. I'm sure that the big cat was nowhere near my location, yet that fear was still there!
so, ever so slowly, I reprogram my circuits, overcoming those primal fears and becoming more in tune with the park.

Many nights have been spent with my roomie Jae (jason) - who works backcountry and LE support- and Kiersa - and SEA who does kids programs -watching movies on the LCD monitor or playing cards. a few nights over the last week have been spent with some cool ass peeps from over at Canyonlands ISky (Island In the Sky - the northern section of that park) doing the same.
I'm quite enjoying hte socializing, knowing full well that in a month it will be just me, as all of them will be off on their own journeys for winter as their terms at the Parks will be over for this season.
That is when my novel writing really begins.

until then, i will try to be better about posting here as it may help get me back into the writing groove.
one can only hope!

Arches National Park and Moab are being so good to me.
The silence, the simplicity, the lighter attitude and lack of cynicism are amazing.
too bad that Ed Abbey is so infused into this place. both good and bad, and i have a feeling that my opinions and writings in regard to him and his attitude, as well as the museum attitude of the parks and the "leave no trace" mentality will piss a lot of people off. (I'l leave that 'leave no trace' bit for a later more in depth post.)

time to leave the cafe and get back to the trails.

stay tuned...