Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gathered Leaves

Recent journal entries of varying profundity, somewhat at random:

One of the most important, yet unnumbered, rules of wizardry:

You are required to leave the world a finer place than it was when you found it. Always work to make the world a finer place.

Your constant adversary is entropy. That long slide into the dark.

As one wizard once said, Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)

Someone, perhaps someone who doesn't even know you, gets it into their head that you're an asshole.
So they start treating you as if you were an asshole.
They act like an asshole towards you.
In self-defense you start responding to them like an asshole, because they're acting like an asshole.
Then they point their finder at you and shout, "Look! I said you were an asshole, and you are!"
Because now they have pushed you into acting just the way they expected you to act.

The name for this process is:

Self-fulfilling prophecy.

And that, dear friends, is the danger of having expectations in the absence of experience or data.

At some point I suppose people will figure out that merely stating the obvious does not constitute an actual revelation.

That doesn't mean it's not a personal epiphany to the person who just had it. And when said person takes their epiphany to their spiritual master, who then laughs, "well, duh," then a certain amount of humility is in order.

Because what's really toxic amongst seekers after personal growth and/or enlightenment is spiritual ambition and spiritual hubris. And most of the time we don't even know we're doing it.

As the Zen masters have said, Ambition in seeking enlightenment will prevent you from achieving enlightenment. Just sit there!

In India, there is a Hindu tradition that comes out of the belief that the Divine exists in all of us, in everything, in everyone, all the time.

A person who needs to talk to the Divine, who just needs to be heard, for whatever is bothering them, will go up to a stranger, and ask "Will you be God for me?"

Which means, that the one asked will sit and listen, standing in for that person's God, as the person pours out their soul and heart to their Divine. (Its not always out of desperation or something bad, by the way.) This is always meant to be a temporary job, not a permanent one. The person is asking to talk to their God through a channel of another person, since the Divine Immanence is in everything and everyone.

We all sometimes need a Face of God that we can personally connect with. Most people connect better to an image of the Divine (what Joseph Campbell called the Masks of God) that they can relate to, that they feel they can talk to directly, and be heard. Westerners who discover this tradition in Hindu India are often amazed; but if you think about it, this isn't radically different than praying at the foot of a statue of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. The main difference is that in the Abrahamic religions God is thought to be transcendent, while in India God is thought it be immanent and transcendent.

As the stand-in for God, you don't have to do anything but listen, and listen with your heart. The gods behind all of reality, behind us, will hear. When the person who asked you to be God for them are done, you bless them, as God. If they ask God for advice, all you have to do is get yourself out of the way and let the Divine speak through you. Speak from your heart, and it will be true.

Anyway, this tradition always seems to work, and the person gets what they need. After the speaking to God is done, both people get up, feeling blessed, and depart, probably never to see each other again.

Any attempts to ascribe simplistic explanations of cause and effect to events in dreamtime are doomed to equivocacy.

First, because in dreamtime, time itself is neither linear nor narrative. Second, because in dreamtime, spacerime is malleable and non-relativistic. Third, because simplistic explanations of anything are usually just wrong, anyway.

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