Thursday, September 8, 2016

After Robert Lowell, Catholic Camp (circa 1978)

[from early poems,1970's, youthful attempts at voice]

An island of pines mock
Our Lady's open gesture.
A rain of sticks beats
upon tents of the austere.
The priest lives here in the
Sanctuary where Mary, too,
Resides, and the Host,
And a maid's quarter in
the rear, her cleansing
Hands, and the Father's.

Will venial sins vere
These holy scansions
Over blood, over wine
Most sincerely draught,
A grace bought it seems
By our prostrations and
Murmurs and fears for
Heaven in uneven loaves?

Are these leavened,
And are we mortals
To sort our thanks
Each chew  a rosary
Sacrifice renewed
With each bite

Finalized anew with
Each swallow sending
Immanuel like Jonas
Down into the morning
Growling pit craving
The body but not the
Deity Of the Lord?

Dumb Fish, Cheap Grace, Disconsolation To Individuation

"You start escaping into the other. Gather courage. Take a plunge into your being. Let us be acquainted with our own Center. Let us ask only one question, "Who am I?" All else is meaningless. Unless this question is answered all your love affairs, friendships are all nonsense. Unless this question is answered nothing is answered. Go into your aloneness. Let only one quest, "who am I?" And don't seek consolations because cheap consolations are available. The mind is very clever in supplying them. When you ask, "who am I?" and the mind can supply immediately and answer, and the mind is very clever. Mind says, "You are god. You are a soul, immortal soul." These are the ideas in put by the Magician put in the heads of poor sheep. The magician suggest to a few that you are lions, to few that you are eagles, to few that you are man, to few that you are even Magicians. That Magicians hypnotize the sheep and told them that "you are immortal souls. Nobody can harm you ever. How [can] you be harmed? The Magician suggested [to] them that, "I am for you. I am the best master you can find ever and I exist for you. And I will do whatever is needed and I will do whatsoever is good for you. Even if I kill you I will be killing you just for your sake." You have been given these ideas by the society. Your mind is nothing but a projection of the society. It is society within you. The penetration of the society inside you. It is in the image of society. You have been told things and you have believed...this is not your answer. You have been taught by the Magician. I am not saying the answer is wrong or right. I am simply saying it is not your answer and when the answer is not yours [NOT an induction] it is wrong."


I have known master Magicians. I have trained and sat at their entrancing feet, fed on their every entrancing word and I have been altered but, alas, after years of perhaps wasted time there I have not been altar-ed.

A hard lesson: states of mind can be easily altered but what a true mystic, Paul of Tarsus says, renewal and transformation of the mind and is not easy and without Grace it is not to had much less lived. Superfluous, glib manipulations of already entanced inductees via their own projections upon the entrancer serves more ill than good in terms of individuation lest it be a wake up emerging out of group/guru trance into clear adult, mature perspectives arriving from personhood and not the "sheep"-hood Osho speaks of in the above quote.

SO, imperative, one must discover and own one's sheephood :
where does one most want to be led, to give over one's own questioning and critical intellect, one's own authority? Where is one most likely to get "mugged" by one's dependency needs, dependency projections? where, and HOW, does one most want to regress into Innocence and long for a "return to the Garden," pronouncing that one's Fall is an illusion and propaganda of power grabbing religions? where is one to be most seduced into "return" to an imagined sinless beginning and who is offering such a return? Regression is hard-wired in our nervous systems and when there are appeals and promises of return via meditations upon fire, air, water, earth, or some individual or other who has transcended then one must be most awake. One is in perilous territory and one is also prone to entrust oneself and mind to some other who may or may not be worthy of such trust and surrender.

I am no authority in this matter but from my own experience and hard lessons, humiliating lessons derived from so many wasted hours, days, years being an unwitting sheep at the feet of profferers of power all the while disguised in "god or spirit talk" I have learned that no matter the god before one, the entrance into sacrality, one must not sacrifice one's ego and mind en toto to that which presents.

A dream of Carl Jung's recorded in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, illustrates what I have just said. From Michael Vannoy Adam's summary of Jung's dream:

"In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung (1963) recounts a dream ...what I call the “Millimeter to Spare Dream.” In the dream, Jung and his father enter a house that has a room that is a replica of the council hall of Sultan Akbar, the Muslim emperor of Mughal India. In that room, Jung’s father prays in the Islamic style. “Then he knelt down and touched his forehead to the floor,” Jung says. “I imitated him, likewise kneeling, with great emotion. For some reason I could not bring my forehead quite down to the floor—there was perhaps a millimeter to spare” (p. 219). Jung interprets the dream to mean that “things awaited me, hidden in the unconscious.” He says: “I had to submit to this fate, and ought really to have touched my forehead to the floor, so that my submission would be complete. But something prevented me from doing to entirely, and kept me just a millimeter away. Something in me was saying, ‘All very well, but not entirely.’” What was this something that prevented Jung from complete submission? “Man always,” he says, “has some mental reservation, even in the face of divine decrees. Otherwise, where would be his freedom?” (Jung, 1963, p. 220)." Adams, 2002

Jung goes on to say, "Something in me was defiant and determined not to be a dumb fish...Man always has some mental reservation, even in the face of divine decrees. Otherwise, where would be his freedom? And what would be the use of that freedom if it could not threaten Him who threatens it?

Adams continues:

To submit to God without any mental reservation is for the ego not to engage in free, critical conversation with the unconscious. In this respect, to practice prayer—or active imagination—is for the ego to exercise the freedom not to accept the opinions of the unconscious as dictates but to assess those opinions and either
accept or reject them. The purpose of Jungian psychoanalysis is not for the ego to capitulate, or surrender unconditionally, to the opinions of the unconscious but to relate to them effectively—that is, freely, critically—through dialogue and negotiation. Prostration of the ego before the unconscious may be the Islamic [and other religions] style, but it is not the Jungian style. Dialogue or negotiation with God (or the unconscious) is very different from submission to God."

Jung goes on to say this of this millimeter to spare:

These were the things that awaited me, hidden in the unconscious.
I had to submit to this fate, and ought really to have
touched my forehead to the floor, so that my submission would
be complete. But something prevented me from doing so entirely,
and kept me just a millimeter away. Something in me was
saying, "All very well, but not entirely." Something in me was
defiant and determined not to be a dumb fish: and if there
were not something of the sort in free men, no Book of Job would
have been written several hundred years before the birth of
Christ. Man always has some mental reservation, even in the
face of divine decrees. Otherwise, where would be his freedom?
And what would be the use of that freedom if it could not
threaten Him who threatens it?"


Both Jung and Adams, who explicates Jung helpfully in regard to becoming what Osho calls an entranced "sheep" and what Jung calls a "dumb fish" swimming around in unconsciously identified with the water one swims in, seek to preserve freedom to choose, to be in conscious relationship to others, to spiritual teachers and systems, to that which is called by many names, essentially unknowable but definitely experiential.

Spiritual teaching East and West value and require complete submission to their Deity, the teachings regarding the spiritual relationship, and ultimate salvation, enlightenment and transformation. Jung's dream is an ancient dream as well a modern/post-modern dream, preserving human freedom to consciously engage with, argue with, disagree with even the Creator. This is not strange to religions. The Jewish Torah and other sacred books give many accounts of prophets arguing and reasoning with G-d. When Moses argued with G-d he was not allowed to enter the promised land but G-d loved him and wept when Moses breath was taken from him and he died. Moses preserved something human in the face of Divinity and Divine decree which outlived him and lives on in humanity. Although at times functions as a Magician with his staff and word bringing about many plagues, even parting the Red Sea, he was essentially a Mystic who was shown G-d's presence, was ushered into it, and in the face of That Presence was utterly altered and altar-ed. One can say a conversation was begun and continued until the breath was gone between Moses and sacred reality. In this conversation and relationship even sacred reality was changed and forced to grow, to become more just and compassionate, to enter the "broken world and to trace what poet Hart Crane calls "visionary company of love," a love presented in and through the breaks, the cracks, the dusty instinctual world upon which even G-d depends for continued evolution.

Human freedom furthers evolution, risks dissolution but always seeks some way of knowing which affects one's being and ongoing becoming as response. Becoming aware of trance, of the abuses of trance (an occupational hazzard of consciousness), and how easily it is to shape shift into many lenses which shape or "create" one's experience of reality, profane and sacred, is essential human activity, it is what we as a species do besides make things. I personally believe that Mysticism precedes or should Making. Magicians are makers of frames of reality. They presume to act for and on behalf of Sacred Reality, are often inflated believing that they are the Creator Itself.
****************************************


I have rediscovered that I am more inclined to the Mystic's path and not that of the Magician ( the shaman, sorcerer, who must with impecability, at least in the attempt of that impossible state, not misuse the powers available to she/he who is initiated and, now with good enough depth psychology, aware of the clever seductions and manipulations of power.. Temperamentally I am more inclined to the former than the latter though I realize that the shadow lies in the Magicians path and have been forced upon it for the sake of some wrenching, humiliated and ultimately humbling encounter with shadow and the shadow of power and power of shadow."

This is all I have so far but I hope the a-muses will assist the next 2 days in making the above into an informative cautionary tale, a promo for Jungian analysis or its equivalent which advocates continual shadow work in order to remain grounded and uninflated by the powers which are all too easily available. Just look at advertising agencies and focus groups. Just watch "The Century of the Self" with Adam Curtis on google video and one will be horrified at the subjectivity of consciousness and "truth" and the abuse of trance states to sway individuals and groups into illusions/delusions of "freedom" and "autonomy"...none of us are free for trance seems to be wired in us...trances seem to be hardwired, capacities for trances...and thus the 10,000 things flourish...with this in mind a Buddhist or mindfulness practice which exposes the subtleties of trances in the "focus group" manipulations of religions/spiritualities/viagra and soap sales, et.al. or, eyes wide shut in the grip of ayahuasca or one's own self-aware/induced horrors make absolute sense...


********************

Jung's passage regarding the dream referred to above::

The problem of Job in all its ramifications had likewise been
foreshadowed in a dream. It started with my paying a visit to my
long-deceased father. He was living in the country I did not
know where. I saw a house in the style of the eighteenth century,
very roomy, with several rather large outbuildings. It had originally been, I learned, an inn at a/spa, and it seemed thatmany great personages, famous people and princes, had stopped there. Furthermore, several had died and their sarcophagi werein a crypt belonging to the house. My father guarded these as custodian.

He was, as I soon discovered, not only the custodian but
also a distinguished scholar in his own right which he had
never been in his lifetime. I met him in his study, and, oddly
enough, Dr. Y. who was about my age and his son, both
psychiatrists, were also present. I do not know whether I had
asked a question or whether ipy father wanted to explain something
of his own accord, but in any case he fetched a bigBible down from a shelf, a heavy folio volume like the MerianBible in my library. The Bible my father held was bound inshiny fishskin. He opened it at the Old Testament I guessed that he turned to the Pentateuch and began interpreting a certain passage. He did this so swiftly and so learnedly that I could not follow him. I noted only that what he said betrayed a vast amount of variegated knowledge, the significance of which I dimly apprehended but could not properly judge or grasp. I saw that Dr. Y. understood nothing at all, and his son began to laugh. They thought that my father was going off the deep end and what he said was simply senile prattle. But it was quite clear to me that it was not due to morbid excitement, and that there was nothing silly about what he was saying. On the contrary, his argument was so intelligent and so learned that we in our stupidity simply could not follow it. It dealt with something extremely important which fascinated him. That was why he was speaking with such intensity; his mind was flooded with profound ideas. I was annoyed and thought it was a pity that he had to talk in the presence of three such idiots as we.

The two psychiatrists represented a limited medical point of
view which, of course, also infects me as a physician. They
represent my shadow first and second editions of the shadow,
father and son. Then the scene changed. My father and I were in front of thehouse, facing a kind of shed where, apparently, wood was stacked. We heard loud thumps, as if large chunks of wood were being thrown down or tossed about. I had the impression that at least two workmen must be busy there, but my father indicated to me that the place was haunted. Some sort of poltergeistswere making the racket, evidently.

We then entered the house, and I saw that it had very thick
walls. We climbed a narrow staircase to the second floor. There
a strange sight presented itself: a large hall which was the
exact replica of the divan-i-kaas (council hall) of Sultan Akbar
at Fatehpur Sikri. It was a high, circular room with a gallery
running along the wall, from which four bridges led to a basinshaped center. The basin rested upon a huge column and
formed the sultan's round seat. From this elevated place he
spoke to his councilors and philosophers, who sat along the
walls in the gallery. The whole was a gigantic mandala. It
corresponded precisely to the real divan-i-kaas.

In the dream I suddenly saw that from the center a steep
flight of stairs ascended to a spot high up on the wall which
no longer corresponded to reality. At the top of the stairs was
a small door, and my father said, "Now I will lead you into the
highest presence." Then he knelt down and touched his forehead
to the floor. I imitated him, likewise kneeling, with great
emotion. For some reason I could not bring my forehead quite
down to the floor there was perhaps a millimeter to spare.
But at least I had made the gesture with him. Suddenly I knew
perhaps my father had told me that that upper door led to a
solitary chamber where lived Uriah, King David's general,
whom David had shamefully betrayed for the sake of his wife
Bathsheba, by commanding his soldiers to abandon Uriah in
the face of the enemy.

I must make a few explanatory remarks concerning this dream.
The initial scene describes how the unconscious task which I
had left to my "father," that is, to the unconscious, was working
out. He was obviously engrossed in the Bible Genesis? and
eager to communicate his insights. The fishskin marks the
Bible as an unconscious content, for fishes are mute and unconscious.
My poor father does not succeed in communicating
either, for the audience is in part incapable of understanding, in
part maliciously stupid. After this defeat we cross the street to the "other side," where poltergeists are at work. Poltergeist phenomena usually take place in the vicinity of young people before puberty; that is to say, I am still immature and too unconscious. The Indian ambience illustrates the "other side." When I was in India, themandala structure of the divan~i-kaas had in actual fact powerfully impressed me as the representation of a content related to a center. The center* is the seat of Akbar the Great, who rules over a subcontinent, who is a "lord of this world," like David. But even higher than David stands his guiltless victim, his loyal general Uriah, whom he abandoned to the enemy. Uriah is a prefiguration of Christ, the god-man who was abandoned by God. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" On top of that, David had "taken unto himself" Uriah's wife.
Only later did I understand what this allusion to Uriah signified:

not only was I forced to speak publicly, and very much to my
detriment, about the ambivalence of the God-image in the Old
Testament; but also, my wife would be taken from me by death.
These were the things that awaited me, hidden in the unconscious.
I had to submit to this fate, and ought really to have
touched my forehead to the floor, so that my submission would
be complete. But something prevented me from doing so entirely,
and kept me just a millimeter away. Something in me was
saying, "All very well, but not entirely." Something in me was
defiant and determined not to be a dumb fish: and if there
were not something of the sort in free men, no Book of Job would
have been written several hundred years before the birth of
Christ. Man always has some mental reservation, even in the
face of divine decrees. Otherwise, where would be his freedom?
And what would be the use of that freedom if it could not
threaten Him who threatens it?
Uriah, then, lives in a higher place than Akbar. He is even,
as the dream said, the '^highest presence,'* an expression which
properly is used only of God, unless we are dealing in Byzantinisms.
I cannot help thinking here of the Buddha and his relationship
to the gods. For the devout Asiatic, the Tathagata is the All-
Highest, the Absolute. For that reason Hinayana Buddhism has
been suspected of atheism very wrongly so. By virtue of the
power of the gods man is enabled to gain an insight into his
Creator. He has even been given the power to annihilate Creation
in its essential aspect, that is, man's consciousness of the
world. Today he can extinguish all higher life on earth by radioactivity. The idea of world annihilation is already suggested by the Buddha: by means of enlightenment the Nidana chain
the chain of causality which leads inevitably to old age, sickness,
and death can be broken, so that the illusion of Being comfes
to an end. Schopenhauer's negation of the Will points prophetically
to a problem of the future that has already come threatingly
close. The dream discloses a thought and a premonition
that have long been present in humanity: the idea of the creature
that surpasses its creator by a small but decisive factor.

Thoughts On Rimbaud, Imitation Versus Individuation

"Ah! I am so forsaken I will worship at any shrine impulses toward perfection!" - from The Drunken Boat, second poem

One must not imitate Rimbaud or any other epochal poet/creative artist. One must only imitate Rimbaud, Verlaine, Baudelaire, Artaud, others in this most important sense, each must, like Rimbaud/others, make their own experiment, live according to their own "daemon", consciously so, else that "daemon" (which is a force of nature, not conscious but conscious only as a volcano is conscious) lives/grips the individual. Without conscious resistance and relationship to this "daemonic force" (which the poet Rilke says, "secretly deigns to destroy us", Duino Elegies) the individual's ego can be literally worn down, worn out, burnt from within and without by archetyal possession.

When the individual becomes identified with the daemon, the archetypal, he/she becomes inflated resulting in a narcissistic belief that he/she is the archetype itself...as in the case of Rimbaud, this comes at a terrible price for as highly inflated one can become when possessed/identified with the daemon, there is always a compensatory negative deflation into depression, madness, illness depending on the heights of inflation/identification. In the resultant deflation in consequence to inflation one can suffer loss of meaing, loss of value, loss of world view. Addictions are tempting at this point as efforts to soothe as well as to restore the inflated "high" identity with the archetype. Rimbaud's life demonstrates this clearly, along with his early death. That he became a slave trader reveals that for all the ecstatic experiences of daemonic possession he did not arrive at any moral obligations to others. This is the psychopathology of narcissistic inflation for if possessed and identified with an arcetype, a daemon, there is no true self though one believes the daemonic impulses and thrust are one's true self. In actuality there is no true self and where there is no real self there is no other. Others become objects to be used via narcissistic hunger for a real self. Others become surrogate selves who must mirror a true self or one's hope for a true self back to the narcissist who has no "real" self but a symptomatic self subject to infillings of archetypal energies with all kinds of amazing experiences but which in the end leave the narcissist emptier and more void than ever. Best to remember Paracelsus wise counsel, "Why be another when he can be his own." The journey to being one's own is fraught with difficulty, loneliness, terror, and failure of self and of others yet it is the human journey, a heroic journey toward authenticity which requires a conscious encounter with self and other as sacred in and of themselves.

Imitating the life of Rimbaud has destroyed many a creative person, Jim Morrison is an example of being destroyed by the daemon, by identification with the Dionysian energeis. Jazz culture, Beat culture, Rock culture is still daily strewn with fragmented souls, and the young burnt out, crazed or dead. Rimbaud helped return Dionysus to us all. It is imperative that Dionysus, god of dissolution, of dissolving boundaries and of unconscious union/reunion was eventually dismembered, torn apart by the maenads, groupies...one can have the ecstasies but one must also be aware that the dissolution of ego, the dismemberment follows.

On the other hand, Rimbaud, whether he knew it or not, functioned as a prophet of what was beginning to emerge in Western culture, the repressed Christian/Victorian unconscious. He opened up the Pandora's box of primal drives, urges, powers to turn the merely natural, the animal impulses toward the uniquely human shrines where one may worship of "impulses toward perfection", meaning beauty, which humans uniquely seek to create, express and demonstrate. He returned, if you will, the repressed, ancient yet still living "gods" to "worship". And turned us again toward the task of beauty, which the poet Rilke says "is a terror" for a real encounter with beauty does indeed "destroy" us, rearranged old ego stances and reifications into a new order, restored toward Beauty and that which Beauty opens up within the individual psyche which must be somehow translated into daily mundane lives. When one encounters such Beauty one then lives the "romance of the mundane", "Graceless things grow lovely with good uses, " as Buddhist poet John Tarrant restoringly writes. But every poet must arrive at his or her own "good uses". Imitation of Rimbaud, others, anyone can only go so far. Then one must enter the wasteland and have one's own heroic encounter, one's own journey, make one's own experiment, undo life since, says Carl Jung, "life must be undone" toward one's greater wholeness/hold-ness.

The old gods were gods of possession and thus are still to be approached with caution and consciousness else one can be overtaken; transformative, yes, but for the better one is not so sure. Having these dis- and re-orienting experiences via "l'abaissement de la senses" (disorientation of the senses) Rimbaud was transformed which awakened him to the power of the unconscious depths but, as in his case, caused ego inflation and archetypal possession which can and does indeed wear one out. Fortunately, we have Rimbaud's miraculous "shout outs" be oneself, to "make one's own experiment" (Carl Jung's phrase), to make one's mistakes and grow for "life must be undone"...(Carl Jung)...

One must individuate even from Rimbaud...which is what he himself "preaches" throughout his ouvre...find your own voice, poets...and give Rimbaud his due praise. Marvel at his gifts to us which rearrange our own tongues to find our own utterances...

One may imitate in order to learn, to discover one's own vocabulary (always influenced by others so why not Rimbaud, "the master influence", especially of the young creative artist who indeed needs to break free of earlier incumbrances, indoctrinations, education which may socialize one but maim, repress or kill one's authentic spirit and relationship one's "daemon". Rimbaud's message is, if nothing else, to quote Paracelsus Bombastus, why "be another's who can be his own."

Rainer Maria Rilke's Words on Solitaries - To All Those Invasive Pornographers/Group Mongers of Psyche/Soul

.


Though much of the quality of my life I owe to good psychotherapy, a solitary venture I greatly value, I have suffered most in that peculiarly extraverted American phenomenon called "group therapy" and later ongoing mutations in New Age "circles jerkles" foolishly participating when everything within me screamed (me ignoring all along), "Run away! Run away!" Eventually, I was fired literally out of the "Jerry Springer Group Grope For God", an anti-intellectual cabal of entertainers/distracters using the most ancient of smoke and mirrors, spirituality or adulterations which only American baby boomers can produce and actually believe and, alas, mea culpa mea culpa maxima mea culpa, I am one of them. It greatly repenteth me to confess it.

I have now returned to my roots, my solitude, that familiar joy and containment of woods, hills, veils, solitary rooms where some few invited souls may enter. I have rediscovered those good solid souls who endured alone, souls who selected their own society, writers mostly of days past where solitude was not a strange thing but the way of life for many spread thinly through the landscape but for cities which have become Urban Dieties collectively attracting the strange and the estranged. Of course, there are hazards which go with solitude, solitariness, but the greatest of hazards are, frankly, others, especially those who think they know what is for "your own good."

Edward Edinger is most helpful here:

"Loneliness is a precursor of the positive experience of aloneness. We might say that while aloneness is a fact of individual existence, the experience of loneliness is--for an individual
which is not yet willing to accept it--the first painful emergence of that fact into consciousness. Loneliness seeks diversion or togetherness in order to forget the uncomfortable fact of individuality. To be an individual means to be a special favored one, and also a lonely one. If loneliness is face instead of forgotten, it can lead over to the creative acceptance of the fact of aloneness.

The aloneness of individuality is represented by the hermit, the monk, the solitary one. In a recently discovered Gnostic Gospel called The Gospel of Thomas there are several significant sayings of Jesus which speak to the "single ones" or the "solitaries." The Greek word is monachoi which could also be translated as the "unified ones":

54. Jesus says: "Blessed are the solitary and the elect, for you will find the Kingdom! Because you have issued from it, you will return to it again."
65..."I (Jesus) say this: When (a person) finds himself solitary, he will be full of light; but when he finds himself divided, he will be full of darkness."
79. Jesus says: "Many stand outside at the door, but it is only the solitaries who will enter into the bridal chamber.""
- Edward F. Edinger, Ego and Archetype, Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche. Penguin Books. 1973. pgs. 171-172.

Here is Rilke:

"When one speaks of solitaries, one always takes too much for granted. One supposes that people know what one is talking about. No, they do not. They have never seen a solitary, they have simply hated him without knowing him. They have been his neighbors who used him up, and the voices in the next room that tempted him. They have incited things against him, so that they made a great noise and drowned him out. Children were in league against him, when he was tender and a child, and with every growth he grew up against the grown-ups. They tracked him to his hiding place, like a beast to be hunted, and his long youth had no closed season. And when he refused to be worn out and got away, they cried out upon that which emanated from him, and called it ugly and cast suspicion upon it. And when he would not listen, they became more distinct and ate away his food and breathed out his air and spat into his poverty so that it became repugnant to him. They brought down disrepute upon him as upon an infectious person and cast stones at him to make him go away more quickly. And they were right in their instinct: for he was indeed their foe.

But then, when he did not raise his eyes, they began to reflect. They suspected that with all this they had done what he had wanted; that they had fortified him in his solitude and helped him to separate himself from them for ever. And now they changed about and, resorting to the final, the extreme, used that other resistance: fame. And at this clamor almost every one has looked up and been distracted."
- Rainer Maria Rilke. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. W.
W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1964. pgs. 160-161.

Fame has indeed become the spiritual gold, the Quest, for spiritual baby boomer narcissists in guise of New Age or adulterated Eastern religions gurus turning the screw of ego another torque tighter. Grandstands and yogic head and handstands notwithstanding, these holy hand jobs milk unthinking collectively driven mobs for both mana and money. Welcome yet again to the new religion, the strange American mutant messiahs intent on material gain, gelt and inclusion in the Mammon god-head.

When living alone on Huckleberry Mountain in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, in my little cabin beside the stream, I worked the all night shift at a half way house, part alcohol detox center and part interlude for schizophrenics whose medications were effective. I worked the late night shift and thus had hours to read, to write, to journal, to contemplate madness and so-called mental health and the wired in need for other humans. My company in those wee hours would be residents with the shakes or those mad ones who had awakened in the middle of the archetypal psyche and could hardly contain much less articulate what they had seen and been put through. These were without a doubt some of the most amazing people I have ever known and interacted with, whose madness, though hell by all accounts, counted so much more greatly than all the channeled "revelations" of caucasian Casandras predicting world plagues and disasters (for a pretty penny to hear, of course).

I recently dreamed of such a true priestess who had been called by archetypal psyche into debts and made to pay a great price. I'll call her Sweet Jane after a woman sung about in a Grateful Dead tune, "Truckin'", "What in the world ever happened to sweet Jane?...living on reds, vitamin C and cocaine..." Sweet Jane was all of 22 years old and scarred from third degree burns when her god, Jerry Garcia, in her head told her to boil a large vat of water and to plunge her face, arms and hands in. She did. Repeatedly. Even though her hands were horribly scarred and damaged she could play her guitar well, Grateful Dead tunes, of course, and a few love songs to Garcia. Sweet Jane appeared to be sane in conversations yet, though medication helped, her references to Garcia and Dead lyrics were pretexts, subtexts and contexts for all things stated. This we might think is insanity outright but I grew up in the American South (and have found it now to be a phenomena all over the American landscape) where many pepper their speech with Bible verses, Biblical references and contexts, a kind of spiritual tourettes completely encouraged and rarely questioned. To hear Sweet Jane do with Garcia and Grateful Dead lyrics was not any different than most folks of the good and godly "Christ-haunted landscape" of the South and now mass media talk show hosts and politicians. Why not Jerry Garcia instead of Jesus? What sacred purgative ritual was Sweet Jane performing for us all? Some raw uncooked archetype had emerged in the land, in the American collective, large chunks of shadow which had been projected upon other races, sexualities, nations, along with repressed, devalued ancient spiritual traditions which compelled many Americans (and other Western cultures) to chase after utterly enchanted and fascinated by archetypal psyche. But it mostly remained raw, these archetypal contents, uncooked, possessed, pursued all the while those chasing after were in the grips of said contents. Mass inflation ensued from identification with the archetypal psyche with many caught up in the libido of such archetypes, soaring high, "getting by, getting high, getting strange" (lyrics from a Kris Kristoferson song). Sweet Jane was being called upon by a messianic figure of American white youth culture to cook these contents. In alchemy water refers to solutio, the process of dissolving solid things into liquid form in order to be cooked or to cook the contents dissolved. As is the case of most people, the contents of the unconscious are either denied (as a defense against the archetypal reality) or believed concretely. This poor and primitive relationship to symbols produces denial or inflation and in the '60's and '70's and, alas, currently, this dynamic continues as unconsciously as it always has with New Age gurus, healers, shamans, priests/pristesses who are, indeed, in touch with archetypal energies but have this primitive relationship to them and think that it is their accomplishment to be able to wield the energies. This is a dangerous inflation. The power of psyche remains uncooked, raw, and is now marketed with many consumers buying. The hard work of integrating the contents of the psyche is refused or "work-shopped" in typical extraverted American Mc-Therapies, Mc-Spiritualities (amalgums of hodge podge confections plundered uncritically and, frankly, disrespecting ancient traditions turned into consumer items to be picked at, nibbled at in a nouveau cuisine intended to ventilate egos rather than individuate.

Sweet Jane prophetically enacted a symbolic requirement for cooking (which means, making conscious, bringing to consciousness) the inflated narcissism which the culture had seized upon in the Beat, the hippie and ongoing youth culture. Her face was forever a burned mask, slits for eyes (which thankfully could see), stubs for fingers which could stretch toward chords of Grateful Dead tunes. The boiling water is an image not only water and solutio but that process brought on by fire (in alchemy this fire process is call calcinatio).

To Be Continued

TThe Misdeeds Of Our Dreams, Part Two -- The Dream Of The Dark Man, "Ecrites de l'Enfer"

.[Photo by Amanda Friedman, from Saeed Jones website: http://saeedjones.wordpress.com/]

"This God is no longer miles of abstract space away from you in an extra-mundane sphere. This divinity is not a concept in a theological textbook, or in the Bible; it is an immediate thing, it happens in your dreams at night, it causes you to have pains in the stomach, diarrhea, constipation, a whole host of neuroses...If you try to formulate it, to think what the collective unconscious is after all, you wind up by concluding that it is what the Prophets were concerned with; it sounds exactly like some things in the Old Testament. There God sends plagues upon people, he burns their bones in the night, he injures their kidneys, he causes all sorts of troubles. Then you come naturally to the shocking dilemma: Is that really God? Is God a neurosis?...Now that is a shocking dilemma, I admit, but when you think consistently and logically, you come to the conclusion that God a most shocking problem. And that is the truth, God has shocked people out their wits." -C.G. Jung, Letters Vol. 2, p. 391

God has knowledge of the opposites but not the experience of their effect. He has experienced only their peaceful unity...The repressed value contains transformative energies and a consciousness of its own; that to achieve consciousness and discover the nature of one's own inferiority it is at times necessary to go against one's own ego-dominated commandments.
-- Charles Ponce, Working the Soul, pgs. 68-69

In a letter by Carl Jung to the Islamic scholar and mystic, Henri Corbin, Jung concluded with a phrase, "the misdeeds of our dreams." - from my March 2010 Learning For Life Group Newsletter essay, The Misdeeds Of Our Dreams, Heresies Of Wholeness - An Autobiographical Account Of Bad Feeds At The Transcenders' Banquet

Dreams are objective facts. They do not answer our expectations, and we have not invented them...we dream of our questions, our difficulties...Our dreams are most peculiarly independent of our consciousness and exceedingly valuable because they do not cheat...There is no doubt as to the impartiality of the facts..." - C.G. Jung, Dream Analysis, Notes of the Seminar Given in 1928 - 1930, Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press, 1984, pg. 3-4


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Bishop Bluebols Writes To The Bishop - A Personal Stuggle To Integrate The Split God-Image


Prologue to the Bishop's Letter:

For this month's essay on dreams and dream work I am submitting Pere Bluebol's "Dream Of The Dark Man" as not only indication of one man's personal myth but also as a meditation upon the transpersonal level of dream work, specifically of shadow work, done for not only one's personal individuation but, as Jung wrote much of, also done for the split Western god-image (see following paragraphs below for further explication of this). This may be too advanced for many readers/seekers but here with Pere I at least introduce Jung's most important and admittedly controversial contentious contribution - well researched in study of human history, myth, religion, art, culture and in countless hours of clinical analytical work with analysands, psychiatric hospital patients as well as his own personal psychological work, that the transpersonal dimension is not merely about the personal use, aggrandizement and reifying of finite egos (which is what recent misapplications of Jung in popular culture have mistakenly conveyed; for instance, the notion of "gods and goddesses in everyone" which has inflated modern egos more than ever via a tremendous inflation and loose interpretation of contemporary science in movies like "What the Bleep" wherein channeler J.Z. Knight-as-Ramtha proclaims that "we are all gods". I would here remind Knight-Ramtha and self-proclaimed, self-appointed "gods" of Shakespeare's King Lear who, because of his god-like, naked inflation, reaps the archetypal, offended, wrathful Whirlwind for his hubris. From Knight and New Age to BP oil and many similar potentates the mistaken belief is that the gods are good and "the better than mortals" for merely being gods. Jung (and myth and religion as practiced through the millennium) has disproven that sacred reality is necessarily ontologically and morally Good! In the Christian myth it is after all, God the Father who requires the brutal death of His "only begotten" and Sinless Son! Lear-like inflation and misapplication of Jung's psychological tenets is precisely NOT what Jung is about at all. Rather, he is about personal and collective conscious awakening to the reality of the objective, really-Real, psyche. Contra Freud, psyche is not "nothing but" a personally and collectively formed garbage dump formed by the ego to collect the repressed rejecta of humans and their "discontents" (more on this below). Jung contends that if each individual struggles to integrate (reclaim shadow projections in order to consciously integrate them into human personality) they contribute to the transformation of the as yet to be transformed Western god-image which evolves, as do all god-images everywhere, as humans evolve in consciousness in space and time. Space and time is where the personal and divine transformation occurs, from the bottom up, from the dynamic tension between both, both contingent upon the other for some as yet understood yet intuited understanding that, as Sir Eddington once said it, "something we know not what is doing something we know not what."

Thus, one can work dreams on two levels, usually in the first and intermediate stages of therapy/analytical work the personal dimension of the dream is worked all the while knowing (or not) that the transpersonal (archetypal) dimension is present as foundation from and to which the personal psychological "complexes" express and refer us consciously back to, the transpersonal depth dimension and function of the psyche which is essentially a religious function, religious here understood etymologically as linking back to original and fructifying, ultimately mysterious Sources/Forces. Second level dream work presumes working the personal developmental first/intermediate level of psyche. Dream work may partake of all levels depending on the psychological work and progress of individuation of the client.

Without Jung's essential understanding of the reality of the archetypal depth dimensions of the psyche the ego is forever caught in the "god almighty" trap, inflation, forever trapped in reductive Freudian and neo-Freudian personalistic psychologies which see the unconscious as a necessary creation of the ego in which we dump/repress the trashy id parts of self and civilization. In this reductive view all of conscious human life is forever reduced to "nothing but", signs. This is called psychologism which ironically, and irritatingly to Jung, Jung was most often accused of, to which he repeatedly demonstrated to those who were truly interested in objectively understanding his approach that it is Freud's and other personalistic approaches which reduce all human productions in time to "nothing but" specific concrete signs which is what symbols a la Freud and post-neo-Freudians are reduced to, mere signs, "nothing buts". Real symbols function to point to reality beyond themselves. Jung reinstates and revalues the right use of symbols as symbols rather than concretistic reducing of symbols to "nothing but" signs.

In Pere's dream below the ambivalent nature of the Dark Man must be consciously carried without the all too easy interpretation reduction to only personal and collective evil. That his mission in the dream is not yet completely known is certainly revelatory that personally and collectively human consciousness has yet evolved enough to clearly see the integration now incrementally occurring in some few individuals which collectively is still in the far distant future.

Pere's dream can be worked on a purely personalistic psychological level as to what the dream reveals about the his psychic state. Dream interpretation can remain at this level and is of great practical value for the dreamer. However Jung's as yet to be understood discovery of the archetypal unconscious can also be traced in dreams, as in the one below, for Jung's revolutionary contribution to psychology, one of many, is that every individual psyche is a necessary and sacred vessel for the transformation of none other than God, rather, the God-image. This term, god-image, refers to the images of God evolved and inherited throughout the evolution of human consciousness as humans began to image what was at first a lasting compelling yet mercurial intuition, that there is more to conscious human existence "than meets the thigh or eye". To quote poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, this intuition is that "the world is charged with the grandeur of God", that this grandeur is a holy terror and a shocking problem for which both earliest and contemporary humans are compelled to seek, understand, appease and serve. The Western God-image "God" is clearly a split entity, both good and evil, more unconscious than conscious, more a force of nature like a volcano or tempest.

Jung discovered that individuals struggling with their own part of good and evil are also carrying the tremendous task and burden of consciously carrying that good and evil of and for the "still untransformed God-image". Suffering one's opposites is intimately involved in the transformation of God. Anyone who has truly been gripped by the unconscious, by "God as a trauma", deeply knows that there is no ego inflation in this sacred task. One is brought low, humbled, often broken, in the encounter of the finite ego with the transpersonal god-image depicted in the Book of Job as a dark leviathan of the depths. Pere Bluebols dream recounted below depicts this divine struggle to transform the still untransformed God-image of the West. The Dark Man of the dream consciously carries the opposites of the Western god-image personally, culturally (Europe/American), and transpersonally.

Jung often spoke both insistently and eloquently of the shift in consciousness and personality when doing the difficult task of integrating shadow within in the crucible of the consciously born, no longer rejected and projected, opposites. Usual and everyday human consciousness is caught in the dialectic of either/or mind where logically opposites cannot dwell together without tremendous tension. If one can endure this tension while working the shadow, says Jung, at some point there is a transcending awareness (which is not the sweet bypassing escape of New Age and many traditional religions) which actually consciously embodies and resolves the conflict of opposites, no longer adhered to in either/or but holding as Jung says, we give up the either/or for "the side by side". This is not accomplished by intellectual, occult or other egoic "slights of mind" viz. "if speak it thus and thus it is or shall be". The achievement of "side by side" mind is apparently only truly accomplished in the alchemical vessel (a pressure cooker, for sure) with no escape allowed. One endures and cooks and undergoes the changes in space and time, in the ego, mind, body and psyche. One does not transcend, escape, prevaricate or distract the process away from oneself (or does so at the cost of soul and at the inflation of the ego).

The Dark Man of Pere Bluebol's dream is not inflated, not like the popular vampire heroes of current Western movies and books. The current fascination with vampires, though, reveals that the West is beginning to seek from the romanticized vampire images what Pere Bluebols dream accomplishes, a conscious walker in and between and as "both worlds" of good and evil, light and dark, conscious and unconscious. This work will be accomplished in individuals and in the fullness (and emptiness) of time perhaps the human species will evolve into developed capacities of the "side by side". I personally am a long, long way from that "side by side" consciousness as are my fellow humans. It shall not be accomplished quickly but, rather, thickly and wickedly as our wicked "misdeeds of dreams" are. The "namaste", a sacred Hindu salutation which means, "I salute the god in you", so naively and glibly curtsied by many Westerners aping Ameri-Eurocentric Hinduism shall not truly be accomplished until each has the capacity to own, wrestle with and truly integrate the "na-monster" in self and other. With Pere Bluebols I bow to the monster in you knowing that this monstrousness is also that of the Western God-image. The West now has had enough scholarly and experienced commerce with Eastern religions and god-images and though the approaches differs widely the monstrous nature of self and gods are kindred. Now to Pere Bluebols letter.

Dearest Bishop D'Boue*,

Thank you for the subscription to the science journal. You are correct that I find the new science tempting and attempting whether consciously or not to come to terms with aeons of intuition that there is more to Reality and humans place within it that meets the eye or thigh...I reread your letter with great relish and with great appreciation for the tremendous patience you have with my ongoing battles 'twixt heaven and earth. This, as you know, is still the battle of all humanity caught between the animal instinctual and the rational/spiritual...

...Have been in a 'hermit' phase since the recent Trial and the Purgings...already a spiritual exile long before the Inkling Inquistors I now am more than ready to move to my own self-chosen Patmos...I am a mendicant now, without real temples to kneel in...to quote once again my beloved Rimbaud, "Ah, I am so forsaken I will worship at any shrine impulses toward perfection," only the word perfection, as you know, you who bothers with the roots of all things including words, this misused word actually means complete, as in evolving in space in time, ripening like fruit, into maturity and readiness...

...I dreamed last night I was in an old European city, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Brussels, Bruges-type city, late 1800's (gas lamps in the streets)...old dark city, heavy with something or other, some spirit/zeitgeist...I was some dark powerful man/force whom the zombie/daemon/vampire-like creatures roaming the city ignored since I had some of them, their energy, in me or was partially of them (a hopeful indicator, I think, of ongoing shadow integration) which allowed me to safely deliver a mother (my mother in the dream but NOT my mother in waking reality) and her son (just-adolescent, perhaps my baby brother, about 13 y/o or so with that fuzz just beginning over the upper lip) to a "safe house" owned by a still beautiful, late mid-aged blond/graying woman of magnificent eyes and bearing. She was the widow of a powerful man and prior to whatever had befallen the City was the 'queen' matriarch of society but not superficially...she had bearing, depth, wisdom, had suffered and was suffering but bore it with dignity though with concern and pain. She looked like a combination of my late and beautiful friend, Mdm. M., who died last December, and Madame Curie and some Nordic actress or other whose name I cannot recall. I was compelled to leave having accomplished the delivery of mother and son to the safe house.

The Boschers, as I now call them after demons in Heironymous Bosche paintings, look like enfleshed gargoyles of various frightening visages and bodies. They loaded dead bodies into vaults underneath the cobbled streets...they didn't even give me much notice as I comfortably passed by them. At some point they were stacking old blown glass laboratory tubes (like from science lab equipment of late 1800's) in which a forearm or lower leg with foot attached were sealed for future feedings/experiments.

I was a tall, dark, pockmark-faced man with long flowing black hair, caped, black expensive breeches/clothes, with shiney black boots moving quickly with purpose somewhere away from the safe house. At some point I was wearing expensive running shoes/sneakers, silver in color, very designed (like a lot of contemporary sneakers the new Droogs wear now), which enables me to leap easily, almost weightlessly over barriers, up rocky hillsides, leap down from high places...my arms easily grasp tree limbs, balcony railings, bars, eaves, bricks, pipes through the city propelling me over the streets below, over rooftops, to get quickly to where I was going (of which I am not sure in the dream).

I am of the "dark side" or have enough of it consciously in me now (rather than unconsciously) to allow me to move through the city, the countryside, the continent now full of the Boschers and other daemons and vampire/zombie-like beings going about the work of science...I am to assist both sides, Boschers/other underworld beings/forces and the humans, in this difficult transition during the upsurge of the repressed chthonic underworld beings, energies, creatures (brought about by science, Freud, Jung, etc.), the repressed content of the human and collective unconscious now erupted into the once safe, secure Victorian Christian heirarchical society where church and state and high social "crust" dominated the proletariet, those earthy, instinctual, "morally lower" and mentally/spiritually inferior (or so the power and spiritual elite thought).

I suddenly realize that I left my traveling bags back at the safe house/manor which apparently had some necessary things important enough for me to quickly turn around to retrieve them. Upon entering the safe house (passing two Boschers still stacking the human flesh-filled glass tubes under the cobbled street in a vault...I picked up two tubes in passing and tossed them to the Boschers who caught them and stacked them, me helping them out as I passed) the Dame of the House, the majestic beautiful woman who once was top of the socio-political and literati/philosophical strata of the city and the nation, looked at me with concern and pain in her clear piercing blue eyes...she turned away toward some slow and heavy task and I went to my bags intent on my 'mission' whatever that was..."no time to comfort her...must move on..."

I can easily reenter this dream and continue it...it is very real...I can sense, hear, smell, feel the ambiance and the mental/spiritual air of the time and place, the city and the period it all is taking place in. I am both good and evil, conscious and unconscious, human and Boscher (partake of the underworld realm)...the post-modern sneakers, silver colored, allude to the god Mercury/Hermes who is the traveler of and between all the realms, who is criminal and saint, who plays both or all sides, who has some mission of developing consciousness which does not exclude any realm, upper, middle, lower nor values from evil to good and all between...I move swiftly, a kind of flying, earth flight, low to ground but in flight and touching the earth lightly

...a whole era/aeon is undergoing a tremendous shift and it is a troubled, troubling, dangerous, violent, reactive time...Science has unsettled the old paradigm of God on His throne running the universe with the heirarchy of good and evil and His powerful Representatives on the Earth, etc., whereas the Boschers serve the "god of Science", the Lord of this World, eating/dissecting the human body, matter, reducing matter/Mater (Mother) to objects of research and knowledge, reducing or rejecting 'spirit' and 'soul' altogether, actually repressing 'spirit' and 'soul' by reducing these to rational scientific explanations as functions of chemistry and 'laws'). I stride between and within both paradigms, old and new, more of the old where magic silver shoes can help one 'fly', where being partially of the dark forces allows one to pass unharmed, even to assist, the Boschers and other dark ones experimenting compulsively urged by the emerging zeitgeist spirit/god of science/rationality which is the 'New'...yet the 'New' foolishly, inflatedly "thinks" it is not a part of or beholden to history, the past; it hovers, if you will, born like Athena from the head of Zeus, without mother, without history, full blown/full formed with no moral obligation to history, to matter/Mater including humans or Nature...Nature is reduced to an 'it' to be crafted to serve only the human will/ego...but the Boschers are driven compulsively to have what humans have, capacities for consciousness, emotions, subtleties, spirit, empathy as yet unable to fully integrate/embody these human things...

And your letter with the subscription to the Science Journal open a deep[er door to the scientific realm at least 100 or more years ahead of where my dream has me, late 1800's, as the European civilization begins Its outward decay/decline with the release of the unrepressed instincts and shadow surges up in individuals, cultures, nations, continents...all this the necesary antecedent to new consciousness incorporating past and the 'new'...

My gargoyle self in now fleshed out and moving in this dream...his mission? help the mother and the son, the Dame of the House, AND also assist the Boschers/dark ones in and through this transition, these rough beasts "slouching toward Bethlehem to be born" (W.B. Yeats in his poem, 'The Second Coming').

Synchronistically, while sitting at the Cafe Rue de Repos rereading your letter today, writing, reading, amplifying the dream, watching it unfold imaginally, writing it all down, an old still elegant though faded Victoria LTD automobile parks right in front of me, old world splendour of a car, large, cadillac-like, jaded copper/gold color green tinged--that verdigris "micturation of metals" that the alchemists speak of. The man driving it got out and I was shocked to see an older version of the tale dark man who was me in the dream, complete with badly scarred/pocked face, thick dark brown hair pulled back into a pony tale. He wore black boots, black jeans, dark brown shirt and a gold embroidered vest (having an Eastern European/romani flare to the design)...he looked part native american and part Romani/gypsy...I noticed on the large dashboard in the car interior were two black and white European-style images of the Our Mother (not the Virgin of Guadalupe whom you know I adore) along with what appeared to be a sacred card with a red felt frame around a red-lettered/printed prayer.

The driver went to his car trunk, opened it revealing full bags, unpacked scattered clothes, and a bottle of red wine, an Italian vintage whose label I recognized, inexpensive but sufficient for a boiled potato meal, or something like that...he fished a coat out of a rag heap, closed the trunk, put it on then reopened the trunk to adjust the wine bottle further into the rags, clothes and papers (so as not to break from the closing trunk?)...he walks away...watching all this the hair is standing on my arms and my neck is all prickly...this is too too passing strange...he looks just like the man in the dream who is 'me' only maybe 10 or 15 years old, my age now, late 50's/early 60's, but large, in good shape but for a bit of a middle-aged stomach and hips but barrel chested and strong with a powerful aura like a medicine man or wizard where Rasputin meets the Righteous Reaper and the Dear Savior, sharp clear eyes, shining...

I tried to see the car tags as he later pulled away but looked up too late from my writing to be able to make out where he is from...Canada? Wisconsin? Couldn't make it out...damn. I half expected to find him parked in front of my quarters in the church yard upon return home. Not.

This dreams seals it...there is now no wonder why I could no longer be in the Enclave d'Esprit Spirale which inflatedly thinks it can be "all Light", naively spiritualizng Nature and the Chthonic forces of which I believe the Boschers represent in the dreaml. To what purpose can I turn or guide, if at all, the Boschers and other related 'ill-k"? Who leads all this if it is One Entity at all? or some greater force partaking of Dark and Light, some Archon, some Entelechy experimenting, forcing, thrusting, using human consciousness to what purpose which moves manipulatingly through what humans call "Good" and "Evil"...we personify the Powers/Archetypes but these ultimately defy such personifications which are images and embodiments, hints and conjectures with hiccoughs of their work/way/will under the push of the Force...

...In this dream I leap from hill to roof to cliff to church ledge equally at home in the boulevard and the hedge, the city and the valley creche (cradle), the height and the hole; I feel something for the mother, her son, the Dame, the human bits and parts parceled and packed, parked under the cobbled streets but the feeling/emotion is remote and subject to the detached overview and perspective of larger Vision/Mission--Impersonal Forces are at work in the World, in humans, too, almost especially so, therefore sentimentality is dangerous though compassion is not although I cannot stop to comfort or explain (if I know at all) what is going on and wherefore to the Dame of the Manor. I must to my bags then swiftly fly off to some as yet to be known by me the dreamer though the dream Bluebols knows or at least intuitively leans toward the place, destination, further mission...

To be continued. Must be noted that the dream Bluebols was not inflated, not full of himself at all though he strode with magnificent confidence, authority, power and assurity through the city and the world. There was no question as to right to exist, purpose, no 'moral confusion' but a sense of ethical obligation to the Forces and the creatures born of such, human and otherwise, a mediary between what appear to be opposing worlds/energies, the Opposites Jung wrote so much about.

Please accept my gratitude along with my apologies for sending you all this and taking up so much of your time. It aids me so to know you are constantly present to receive my rantings, my prayers, my quandaries with such equanimity and genuine interest. I am forever indebted and grateful.

Yours humbly,

Pere BB

* Boue means mud in French

Departure - What The Orphan Knows About Light

[Photo by Warren Falcon. Flaming Thorned Heart of Jesus, Mexican Image In Simone Bar & Grill, New York City. Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Opening quotes to season the offering below, giving contexts or pretexts:

"What I find most astonishing--besides that belief of mine, which never ceases to surprise me by the very fact of its surprising lack of unpleasantness, the belief that I might very easily, as they say--lose my mind one day, not that I suspect that I am about to or am even...nearby...for I'm not that sort; merely that it is not beyond...happening: some gentle loosening of the moorings sending the balloon adrift..." - Edward Albee. A Delicate Balance.

"If my life were not a dangerous, painful experiment, if I did not constantly skirt the abyss and feel the void under my feet, my life would have no meaning and I would not have been able to write anything." - Hermann Hesse

"Who has twisted us like this, so that--
no matter what we do--we have the bearing
of a man going away...so we live,
forever saying farewell." - Rainer Maria Rilke


“I am an orphan, alone: nevertheless I am found everywhere. I am one, but opposed to myself. I am youth and old man at one and the same time. I have known neither father nor mother, because I have had to be fetched out of the deep like a fish, or fell like a white stone from heaven. In woods and mountains I roam, but I am hidden in the innermost soul of man. I am mortal for everyone, yet I am not touched by the cycle of aeons.” - C.G. Jung, this was carved by Jung on a stone at his tower in Bollingen

**

for Anna Kamienska**

'I don't believe in the other world...But I don't believe in this one either unless it's pierced by light.' - A. Kamienska


From the Dream Journal:

"Dreamed this morning of everything, everything, falling apart in a large loft where I live in dream which is a cave, too, earthen floors of light clay, adobe walls though the loft is in New York City. A surprise visit from an overly "spiritual" man, a "healer," a wellness doctor, one enamoured of magic and magical passes which gives him pass in the "Best Seller Spirituality" world. He enters my space with two of his children, a girl of 10 and a good son, 14 or near, who serenely smiles over what begins to happen. Everything the girl touches falls apart. The bed, the sofa, the stove, the heater, every single thing she touches disintegrates, breaks, and all the while the spiritual man smiles widely as does his son. I begin to panic since the gas jets from where the stove used to be are flaming largely and there is broken wood all about from fractured furniture. I am frantic to turn off the gas but there is fire in some other corner shooting out as if from a flame thrower. I scream for the spiritual man to do something and he just covers his daughter's ears as if she is too delicate to hear the screams of someone whom she is doing great harm to, breaking all my things, making where I live uninhabitable. The adolescent boy seems curious about it all. He is sweet, smiles and pokes at things with a stick. Next, I am suffocating. A young man I know who has once been seriously ill, once near death but has recovered but still suffers negative side effects from the treatment, is lying on top of my head and face and I can't breathe...he is very, very heavy. Dead weight, though he is not dead but asleep. I push and paw and hit him to wake him up, to get off me, to indicate I cannot breathe. End"

Very late last night I made reservations for Mexico. Haven't been there in over 3 years. Need to go. Have been short on money so no trip has been made since 2009. But now, no choice, I must go. A shorter trip but will have to do. Must rest. Am drained, overwrought, and as the dream indicates, am falling apart with little or no control. Oh! at the very end of the dream, just remembered it, a strange scene, black and white, with Charlie Chaplin on a very high ladder trying to repair a section of ceiling which is collapsing, or about to, in an old brownstone but he's only making it worse and is trying to hold up what remains which is falling in chunks and slabs. Suddenly the entire ceiling falls and down from the precarious ladder goes Charlie into the debris, covered in white dust. He sits bewildered, blinking, dust rising up around him in big, billowy clouds. He looks so ridiculous and pathetic that I wake up laughing, a little insanely but I laugh nonetheless.

Well past time for Mexico. And a visit to Betty, the curandera/healing woman, the "real deal," as they say, who has been seriously ill with cancer, the healer needs healing. And I will go to Betty no longer in that formal capacity as healer. I'm done with all that, the grandiosity, sincere, yes, but extremely grandiose. And the rip off of indigenous cultures to be turned into Western spiritual commodities-as-entertainments is just too offensive to me. Consumer spirituality, turns out, is not my cup of joe or tea. Perhaps it's my stein of beer but I am ahead of myself here. The stein is to come a few paragraphs below. The rip off of indigenous traditions by spiritual consumerism is one more thing I feel guilty for, a personal and collective guilt, now beside the old Christian Fundamentalist who resides within me making his lists "de mis culpas (of my sins)."

Eat me," I say to the list maker, he then minds me that I "must become a Catholic and eat the Lord."

"Oy. Whatever. Bite me."

I dust off my aura, pull out my credit card (OY again) and purchase the flight to Mexico City, my city, refuge where I have often dragged myself to rest and recover my shadow/my self, bright colors there, brassy musical sounds and klaxons, puttering VW bugs (bochos) rattling the walls, industrious workers pointedly scrambling, a rich culture/art/symbol system, archaic & Catholic authentically struggling in great human conflict, large, looming, the privileged rich bunkering-in, the very poor beginning to rise up but tempted by big, easy murderous money of cartels and the oblivious narcissistic North Americans with white powder up their spoiled recreational and/or soul-starved noses, with blood, much blood, of indigenous peoples (ongoingly, in keeping with past Euro-American history) upon their entitled hands. In spite of all this, much good living, hard but good, gets done...the great earthy food aflame with chilies, and lovers aflame, o the lovers everywhere holding hands, kissing, pushing baby carriages, arms around abuelo/abuela, papa/mama, tios/tias, compadres in arms of each other, touch-ers men with men, women with women, all the combinations innocent or not, all licking cones, ices, ah, I hope each other, just right, a return to sense and senses. Human. A place for me where I can live much more comfortably in my skin which I have never ever been able even as a child to do in the USA. So I return soon to my wholer self, humble, grateful that there is such a physical space for me, Mexico, where I really require nothing of it for myself but only a little space free to disappear within, relieved of having to be.

I am thankful for the Charlie Chaplin ending to what was a nightmare I was struggling to awaken from. And have been at it, struggling to wake up, for 3, 4 years. A Saturn Return. Yes. And a cosmic dyspepsia "caught" long before that from chewing my gorge as the gap widened between me and the New Age mages and sages I once "pussy-footed" with (no power animal implied)... Good old Chaplin is needed to make light of my being too too serious about all these matters and uber-sages. "Too humorless," the diagnosis. Humor is the prescription. At myself. But the insane laugh I awakened with disturbed me so much that I abruptly stopped, fearing that I was indeed finally over the edge, or close. Definitely halitose. As Edward Albee's character, Agnes, says in the opening quote above, I am, to be frank, quite close to madness; at least there is madness at work in the dream last night announcing that "the balloon," mine, is more than adrift and some process is set in motion bringing the moment, drifting and, one presumes, a falling to its crisis or crossing with madness chewing like a chihuahua at my heels.

Adrift is the Chaplin image and, replaying it, of his valiantly trying to balance on the very tall, swaying ladder, grasping at a swinging chandelier while trying to stabilize as well as support himself and hold up the ceiling with one hand all at the same time, one leg stuck out behind him like a ballerina caught in a stage rope going up and up fast fast as the curtain comes down fast too too, gets me laughing again. And my belly softens. That's a relief. Rather the soft belly than the soft brain. Insane, yes, but some mooring, the Self, is near, perhaps the sky is a mooring, wreaking havoc, yes, but one hopes for the better. Jung said, "One must give up the good for the better," and I shall see what this Self-havoc has in store for me, to what mad end my drifting intends.


Seems I've been leaving a lot, a life theme really--departure. I was born only after 4 hours of labor. Thus began the going, going, adios, get me outta here to some where and there which I shall probably be leaving soon enough--a puer thing?. Still, I'm halitose which belies some earthiness. Now, finally, maybe, I am departing the grandiose search, the Chaplin-esque lurch for omnipotence in the falling apart world, the ceiling collapsing all around me, the heavy once-was-ill-too-depressed-from-the-illness-experience-young-man suffocating me. Oh snap! And I've had bad asthma for the past two weeks now. Duh. Here we go. Dreams are damned good, know how to give the real story in all the wheeze and "god-almightiness if you pleez." I've been "working air" as friend Joan says of asthma, the work it becomes to breathe makes one very present and concrete. And blue. And the dream provides some meaning to asthma other than just outer dust and a consumptive spirit: there's grief afoot. Grief is about departure, yes? And as anyone who knows me or reads some of the newsletters or essays here, I give much weight to dreams, the one real "thing" that seems to really mean something in all the dumbshow of my grab-atting and scrab-ladder balancing acts, holding on to chandelier which is grandiose lighting, for sure. Oy. Humbling.

Around the time of being fired from a religious facility I once taught in, I dreamed of a gigantic, overladen, bleacher-like altar, New Age for sure. Trungpa Rimpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist guru/teacher who immigrated to America, writes incisively about the "spiritual antique shop" which much American "baby boomer religiosity" has become and is even more so now (note that Trungpa took full advantage of the "spiritual antique shop" and the curiosity of the boomers searching for something other than variations of Christianity). My dream altar was jammed with collective symbols, statuary, rocks, crystals, projected-upon objects of desired power indicating some spiritual arrival, all purchased in spiritual "supermarkets" for the hungry-ghost "boomer" consumers residing at the polluted Western pool of Narcissus, long gazing, addicted, at selves reflected but not infleshed, real, substantial. I have most certainly spent way too much time in this "antique shop" (and beside the pool) where one commits to the spiritual delectables displayed for purchase as one does to the hankering of the day for a certain food item, today the potato salad is "it" but tomorrow "it" may be the tuna tartar and on and on, the only commitment is to taste the various offerings. This is puer religion at its "best or worst" depending on how you look at it, the puer (the eternal child) tastes but rarely commits, and this is so in "boomer religiosity." There are, of course, exceptions to the puerish samplers in the antique shop, those who have committed to one chosen path and fall into the pool of Narcissus to sink to the depths in order to find themselves truly. Such sinking is initiation into self knowing. And the death of faces which are now false to fact, no longer authentic, and need to be shed.

Understandable how I wound up in the "shop" after growing up in Christian fundamentalism where one is forbidden entrance to any shop other than the only "real" store in town, the Christian one, specifically the Calvinist flavored version, other versions were considered "ok" but don't really deliver the whole authentic meal due to inherent heresies of various sorts. Now Calvinism is a bland meal made tastier by the flames of hell flickering at your toes if you don't discover (or pretend) the glories of "meat and potatoes" with margarine. Grace is this restrained, emphasis upon strained, narrow occasion offered to all, supposedly, but only a few have the one or two taste buds, doled out abstemiously before time, pre-ordained to the chosen few, to really find the taste, the gourmet gush and rush, of boiled meat, boiled potatoes, the gravy will come later at the messianic meal to come. In Calvin's rigid offering no other options are given other than "it's this or hellfire and damnation."

Hard for a kid fed on this pinched meal to even look at the other items on the menu. Long story. Suffice it to say, I did eventually nearly die in Calvin-Mart, "the only real store" so went into chosen exile to first recover some orientation to self and basic life, and then began to pull up both weeds and planted produce too firmly rooted in my psyche, those roots wrapped around basic fears of the old brain, the reptilian "hard copy" in the human nervous system. Hard work, weeding. And then the question remained, "what to plant and nurture?" And the antique shop looked like a place to visit, maybe even purchase some things, used, yes, some seed packets, exotic plants grown in other lands and soils but now offered to planting here in the "new land" of the Americas...the "shop" gave some energy to my returning spiritual ambition to live in conscious contact and context with Mystery in the material world with a nervous system, instincts, needs, basic existence in skin and also in mind often at odds with skin and all it keeps zipped up inside, thus the need for underwear and napkins, soap and lye.

This dream altar described above, a version of the pool of Narcissus, was located in the meeting space of the religious facility. It began to sway and I knew there was no way I could prevent it from falling though I tried (in Chaplin-esque fashion recalling the dream now). As the thing swayed and shook, groaned and rattled, I tried to stabilize it but nothing doing. It was going down. Just as it was on the verge of total collapse I impulsively reached out to grab something from the altar, to salvage something. I remember seeing a Buddha head tilting sideways mid-fall but my hand bypassed that beauty and impulsively grabbed instead a little souvenir from Switzerland, from the Western world, a tiny beer stein. And down went the altar into a pile of rubble and dust.

I stood there in my underwear, an "inconvenient truth" more naked than not, of which dreams freely dole out, brutal truth, cold and precise, without mercy, BEHOLD: tighty whiteys, covered with dust billowing up from the rubble. Bewildered, I held the little stein tightly in my hand. In walked two of the faculty (flakulty, as I referred to the unhappy, always whining crew not content unless their heads or feet were up their own or somebody else's arse "for the good of the probed one, squared," of course) whom I felt were the most inflated and overly-identified with the guru/messiah projections they pulled for and got from students and aping disciples. Sneering at me, noses literally up in the air (it wasn't the dust), they passed me by, heads turned away in shunning fashion. I noted that there was no charge at all, no feeling either way about them as they passed. They were dumb but colorful hobby fish in a child's small aquarium. Slicking back my own fins and gills, I happily walked to the front door for fresh air, dry land, terra firma, REALITY, blinking Chaplin-esquely, opened it, brushed the altar dust off my feet in good New Testament fashion and left once and for all, thinking, "Now, you must get some clothes on and then make something of this stein. No turning back which would be regressive sure." While waking out of the dream I heard within the words of a Bob Dylan song, my favorite, "You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last/But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast/Yonder stands your orphan with his gun/Crying like a fire in the sun/Look out the saints are comin’ through...strike another match, go start anew...It's all over now, Baby Blue."

"Well, at least there is a match, what remains a'pocket..."

Grabbed stein in hand. Match stricken. Even so, departures are not easy. They are damned hard. The firing and the collapse came at the end of what had already been occurring in me for at least 6 or 7 years before the actual denouement. Good riddance to all that. But the inner departure has been slow, more a "ridding, here, there, now and then," as there is that inner Chaplin (a play, perhaps, upon "chaplain" since it was a religious institution I taught in after all, and I am a now, ironically, a titled "reverend") who is so naively, bravely invested in doing the impossible, attempting, at least, to keep the sky from falling, and that overly laden altar in his head and heart.

Now. I don't really like beer. I'll drink it if I must, a dark bitter brew goes down best but it's not my beverage of love or choice at all. I'm a wine drinker. Some tequila makes me scrappy but happy. However, I did not grab a chalice from the altar, nor a shot glass. I grabbed the little stein, a Swiss stein, and in my undies headed away from the New Ager-gods-and-goddesses-R-us comic book illustrated, fluffy world, yet another "spiritual province" tried, tasted, and come to not much at all in terms of planting a spiritual identity flag, pouring concrete around it and proclaiming a temple my own. Makes sense though, the effort, to balance the negative inflation ("I am a worm, a wretch) of Christianity a la Calvinism and other conservative flavors served up from Catholic to Protestant. Low to high, mud to sky...as James Hillman says it in his "Puer" book, "Peaks and vales." Exhausting. Draining. Notice, too, how it's all vertical, up and down which are the same thing depending on where one is heading on the heavenly ladder. Notice there is no horizontal, or not much value given to that dimension. It is, rather, to be escaped, risen above, sublimated, transcended.

But the stein means "stone" in German. And a stone implies weight and ground. Horizontal. And horizons. And Switzerland, peaks and vales notwithstanding, of course, is the very palpable land of my beloved Carl Jung who I am convinced is what this grab-stein is all about. Jungian psychology and dreams, and a non-grandiose working and living out of and within "the symbolic life" on solid ground, the good earth, the creative play implied in the heady joy of beer drinking, the molding and shaping of clay, of carved, sanded stone into containing vessels for beer and the enlivening it can bring here and now, an intersecting at the horizon line of the 4 directions and above and below which together make a circle, a sphere, here here. Here-ly/highly creative work, the royal road of dreams and working them is an ancient "trade" of "consciousness craft-workers" in all cultures though all ages. The alpenstein, so-called in Switzerland, or white stone- (alpen = white, thus the white snows which name the Alps) -stein is a symbol true. Beer in a stein is an everyday/everyman-woman drink of the masses, the workers, the "volks" of the world. And thus this little stein/stone, a worker's cup for inductive brew - beer is a goddess drink made of Her distilled grains and in some cultures, honey - keeps one in touch with the world, this world, the hard work of it where (no matter what preventions are taken, prayers made and actions forced, prescribed rituals performed and charms laid out) things fall apart, fall down, and one has to do a walkabout for awhile in his skivvies, staying close to the instincts (the "only-skivvies" image symbolizing instinctuality, creative organs and principles less filtered/disguised, skivvies a kind of container, too) but looking for the right clothes (symbols of adaptation to life) which make something of the stein/stone of one's life and self in response/obedience to the Self at play mercurially.

Just a word or two about white-alpen which a Jungian analyst recently pointed out to me is a color signifying the feminine principle, the Material, Earth/Creation dimension, the archetype of the Great Mother. In alchemy white can signify an alchemical phase called the albedo or the whitening which is a pulverizing, the making-most-small, the refinement to dust or fine white ash, white foliated earth, thus a symbol of a process of incarnation, materiality, matter, mater refined (and still or even more earth without devaluing the baser stuff, the gross of earthiness, what loving mothers do all the time with their "beloved little shitters and snotters, sleep blotter-outers," love, love (while taking deep breaths for patience), patiently refining, no matter the effluvium/the muddier, with and out of/up from the primitive consciousness of the child nurtured/channeled into ego, conscious self, thus become self-known creator and maker responding to what presents within and without rather than "only-just" reactions. And one cannot incarnate without a mater, a mudder, a mothering into the matter, and that mattering-forth which dreams (a form of desire, we touch upon logos here, the nous, the mind, the idea, the creative seed and masculine principle, entelechy) of bringing things to matter that matter in and between the deep blue see and me. No matter without a mater to matter us with the aid of a fructifying "falling" other, masculine (principled) white earth, a purified (cooked, fired) materiality principle. Add this white to the stein/stone grabbed, perhaps even stolen, the cup itself then becomes an alchemical vessel in which the process unfolds/infolds which ensouls matter and matters soul on earth, ensues ensouled, once a meta-matter, into the realer in need of metta (compassion), itself hard, once fallen from heaven in need of earth, the clay and the "say" of its experience here upon/within harder/here-er stuff..."hard nose, the highway," as Van Morrison sings it, the way it is or appears to be, and certainly is real upon and beneath the skin.

Jung carved upon a stone (see the quote preceding the essay) in his garden, some words about an "orphan, alone but found everywhere"...in the text of this Jung-stone the orphan describes in part itself as "a white stone from heaven" fallen to earth...there is no room here for an extended amplification of this heavenly white stone's pointing-to (what symbols do) but to say only that it falls to earth "mortal for everyone [incarnated in and as everyone], yet is not touched by the cycle of aeons.” Falling is an image of coming down from above into material reality, incarnation, what is called coagulatio in alchemy. This process marks the dynamic and moment when the high becomes low, ideal/idea/thought becomes act then takes on/brings about material form, limitation, quality and quantity, time and space (in this case thoughts become "things" or are capable of bringing things into material being as extensions and expressions of ideals/ideas/thoughts), giving material and symbolic (symbols are real!) heft to what was and is etheric, the "very or too light" and, limited in its "too-lightness," needs/longs for the low, the thinginess of mind and substance, form and function, compulsion, compunction and a bursting forth into some ever new expression from the conflagration come from mind and matter, spirit and flesh, air and earth, and on and on in these couplings, the opposites.

Poet William Blake says it very clear, that this "too lightness," let's call it Eternity, "is in love with the productions of time." He tells us in many of his poems to take care of the orphans, the lost children, the abandoned ones, the abject "littles" and "lambs" who seek reunion, inclusion and the effusion to be found in the "gardens of love" where uniqueness, individuating ones, can play and grow where "down a green plain, leaping, laughing, they run, And wash in a river and shine in the Sun. Then naked & white, all their bags left behind, They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind. And...have God for [their] father & never want joy ("The Chimney Sweeper")"...And love implies a longing for completeness brought about by the other than it- or one's- self which is not a static congealment but one which endlessly in prick-and-puerperal principle reproduces, not just exact copies but diverse, overflowing cornucopias of "little ones," varied, variant, verily valuable...Blake says/insists/counsels us to "tend to the little ones..." Thus in our tending eternity "falls from heaven, a white stone" to be an orphan stone, say, carved in Jung's garden speaking of these things imbued with and displaying reality, stones, hard, real and more real.

My little alpenstein of dream partakes, I think, in this mystery, my little mind, very small, can barely grab/grasp the preponderance of the small which gets low down and willfully refuses a King/Queen's crown and throne except that of "the prince willingly turned the pauper" choosing his/her stone upon which to sit and rule the ant, "a centaur in his dragon world. Pull down thy vanity, Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down. Learn of the green world what can be thy place In scaled invention or true artistry, Pull down thy vanity [Ezra Pound, Canto 81]"...

Crowned bairn of the barn, the chimney, the alley steep, wears the wreathed crown of pricks which downward brings blood, blood which affirms the reality, the here-ness thick, thusness of incarnate existence, wickedness a vital part, too, Eternity's lover, and vessel, and "shapely mind (consciousness)" with prehensile, yes, tail and hands/tales to give form and forth-ing to and of and for and with the "ten thousand things" which, O Buddha, sorry, are indeed real and not just false products of baseless mind, mere projections/ghosts, mere epiphenomena but rather these things, hard pressed down provided, provisional, base mind and matter ever dividing the swarming swarm teeming torn between the one and the many which partake of each, one or many armed. "Things that have hands take hands," says poet, Theodore Roethke, and thus eternity needs/makes hands/minds, takes hands/minds which take, too, take back, grasp, grab and delight/suffer the grubbiness of the reach, and the consummations thereof. Love plays and is played out in sequences and ever hints to that which extends love, greater's love, the more. But to dwell in "Love Abstract" and not act in tongued and lunge-ed love, is a bore. White stones fall from heaven sure in the need for dirt and time. Love there in the muck and the wash is love all the more because not "pure".

One, then, grabs a little suchness from a falling altar in pretentious postures ("Pull down thy vanity"), a white stone in the hand suffices a mystery, leaves the fishbowl one has confused for the universe, is driven from or abandons yon local central hill and value, a centaur wandering in skivvies and bones, an orphan alone yet everywhere, Kansas (is) Kansas even though "Baltimore gleams in supernatural ecstasy" (Allen Ginsberg, HOWL) yet "in woods and mountains I roam, but I am hidden in the innermost soul of man. I am mortal for everyone, yet I am not touched by the cycle of aeons [C.G. Jung].”


Now, the dream stein is a souvenir. And souvenir is French for a remembrance or memory, a memento, keepsake or token of remembrance, an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it. Dream work a la Jung (and others) involves working with memories of one's personal past as well as the "remembered" archetypes and symbols of the unconscious. Memories go deep. One reaches, excavates, as do dreams, for personal and collective memories, symbols and their associations which show up in life in order to ken meaning of things beyond what "just presents" but are precisely for what is presented here and now in a life. And dreams are progressive, intending growth, development, advancement, renewal and generativity/creativity. And most importantly, relationship/relatedness, I and other, I and not-I, I and (even) I...dreams expose often enough how we avoid relationship of all kinds (O Narcissus) and thus intrude/relate to us at night or other "in-trusion" which insista on relation. The goal is not grandiosity and escape via dissociation/inflation but the work is grand in the sense of most important and meaningful and available to one and all no matter class, age, education, cultural or spiritual caste and, apparently, species. Animals dream but to what end we can only speculate. As do we. We are caught in the speculum of the dream, the unconscious and may gather another view toward being and relatedness which serves greater and better purpose to more than our own species.

And my little stein/stone is just that, little, small, not very big, won't hold much so it keeps me practical and present with just who I am, Chaplin-esque grabbing at things to stabilize but they do fall. Old orders, structures break apart, burn, come down...and one walks about a bit dazed like Charlie, who nobly picks himself up, smooths back his hair, dusts himself off abit kicking up greater clouds of schmutz, coughing and sneezing, stepping out of the rubble head held high as if to say, "I meant to do that...now where's my valet...?" The I Ching says of the small thing, in Hexagram 62, Preponderance of the Small: Success. Perseverance furthers. Small things may be done; great things should not be done. The flying bird brings the message. It is not well to strive upward. It is well to remain below. Great good fortune.

In many myths and religions it is the small, devalued thing of little repute which accomplishes the large, the great task or goal. With me we shall see but I have suffered the disease of my culture, god-almightiness and the need for acclaim. I hope I am done with all that. The dust and the wheeze may indicate some arrival for the departure from Olympus to where I am now, a dusty studio apartment counting pocket change for Kraft macaroni, 4 boxes a dollar at the Dollar Store. Life is good. Cheesy.

Seems I am often enough departing things, grandiose religious schemes and structures even of the spiritually advanced (or so they think)...my dreams have me regressing or re-vancing or de-vancing, and my own ridiculous pomposity is, really now, to be laughed at. Last night's dream of the wellness doc/spiritual healing man with his destructive "daughter of the damned" makes short work of my loftiness...seems the healing is in the destruction of nothing less than everything, the wholeness is in the breaking apart, the departing. Into the hinterlands once again or perhaps just to take up simple residence where one is and give up the pretensions and insolent grasping. Either way, I gotta breathe. And deal with the old rags once too proudly worn. Perhaps the most appropriate things to place upon any altar anywhere. Dylan again, "The vagabond who’s rapping at your door Is standing in the clothes that you once wore..."

Fine with me. Perhaps tis Chaplin rapping, the repairman with his too long ladder and wobbly walk, very wary of ceilings, continually misspelling and misjudging gravity, who really makes me happy because human is all I ever am and shall be, an utter/eventual cloud of dust, scattered ashes, in Mexico at a highland spot most special to me. Thus, heretofore, or try, I'll be Chaplin-happy humping my way through the lumps and dumps carrying the remembrance stein/stone of the Self, even Its continual breaking apart into some other thingness held in the mind if not the hand which is memory unto wholeness/holdness with holes and cracks still here/there/somewhere or not, announced by a slight wheeze from too much collapsed altar and ceiling dust inbreathed, asthmatic and baby blue.

****[Some poems of Anna Kamienska:

http://www.ap.krakow.pl/nkja/literature/polpoet/kamienska.htm