Another hymn for Ama.
Take care, Caretakers!
-- R @ Я --
Perfection Is Easy
Daniel Christopher June to the Students of Life:
After 6 months of gestation, a month of writing, and two weeks of editing, I’ve finally finished the allay Threader. This poetical essay presents where I’ve been this last year. Beginning with the metaphor of conversation as the knitting of friendship, I also explore what it means to have a unique relationship with the universe and the divine, not in some things, but in all our life. Your feedback would be invaluable to me for taking this to the next step.
Take Care, Caretakers!
PS A pdf version of the same is available here:
By Daniel Christopher June
All of nature is reciprocal, and man, as the crown of nature, equally so, balanced in word and gesture in all his relationships, between himself and universe, between himself and divine, between himself and nature, between himself and world, between man and man, and woman and woman. Ever between self and other lies the double mirror: we do not see our wife, but ourselves as our wife; we do not see the president of the country, but ourselves as president. Always the analogy is made, so that everything corresponds finally to ourselves, and each to his own set of selves, for plural we are.
This knit of existence, in which we do nothing without communicating, cause nothing without giving, and also giving up, so that in all we say and do we give up some of our being, publish some of that secret life from the center of our self, and thus in all our life and living, knit our being into the world.
Would I dominate another, I am equally dominated by him; in some reciprocal sense, the inevitable balance of the world; for each is all. Certainly there are great men, the gods of the world, upon whose shoulders history rises and falls; they are the polestars, the daystars, the givers of life and love to all of mankind; yet the lowliest by sympathy share in their being, and likewise the great draw their fire from all they behold, and could have no sense of ascendency without sympathy for those they look down over. The weakness of the babe makes the strength of the father.
Conversation is the crown of the arts. We all talk, daily and compulsively; and when in solitude, we invent angels or gods to discourse with. Invent, one could say, or give birth to would be the better word, for time gives birth to eternity, and mortality gives birth to immortality, so that eternal gods come out of mortal man.
As Mattriama began existence with conversation, Mattria before Ama, in the mirror of her own womb, pregnant with herself, creating all art, the forms of existence throughout all the universe, from self conversation, so is being dialogue: the speaking of the innermost self, our light upon the world, and the answer of the conscious mind, which receives it. This ontological conversation between our self, necessity, and our mind, freedom, the antagonism and love implied in all relationships, the give and take of each into all, makes the master of existence, in any field, in any endeavor, the man who listens and learns when to speak.
Frank Lloyd Wright, in describing his adolescent education, recalled his father sending him to work on his uncle’s farm to man him up. The youth learned that farm chores, when taken as a team effort, as a communion between man and animal, between man and tool, fall into regularity, into music, so that one may hum to himself the song of the farm.
And so is all of life rhythm, and at our heart the resonator bleeds the light we mingle in our soul with world energies to create the threading stuff. That threading stuff, pure intelligence, thought, makes the strings that knit us to our world, the fibers by which we create, ultimately and always, our eternal abode. To shed the metaphors and say it plainly, all we create, in art, in work, in love, in relationships, remains, in logical form, in purity, as expressions and extensions of our being: eternally part of us even when the mundane forms fall into dust and decay. Earth gives birth to heaven, time gives birth to the timeless, the temporal gives birth to the eternal.
We find then, since Ama is a lover, since our Ama, and since our greatest God, that aspect of Her designed only and always for us, is known through sex, then life properly lived is foreplay, the tender touch of mastery over the body of earth, and sex proper, or full engagement, when we exhaust our passion in the art of living, atones us to our full potential, wedding necessity and freedom. Writing is sex. And all of life is writing. We constantly thread ourselves into the world, and converse, have intercourse, in all our sayings and doings.
Mastery of life is therefore mastery of the art of conversation. There is a grace of give and take to conversation, matching tone for tone, gesture for gesture, and then taking the lead. A dance is danced with receptivity, moving with her in order to change her. In stitching life, we hand the thread and needle into her hand, and so must poise ourselves to be pierced, to receive the draw of love, the interplay of meaning into our being. We are always answered, the question the innermost is, the question it poses to the world, is always answered.
We are threading meaning, after all; the threading stuff is ultimately pure meaning. We know, do we not, when we are answered. We can be answered in those questions we ask, “Do you love me?” “Do you respect me?” with deferrals, with cowardly dodges. We know when we are answered, we can feel the meaning, know when our thread has reached its mark and spooled through. This may take days, weeks, years; for we are ever knitting dozens of meanings, knitting and stitching in various directions, and our conversations are not a one-by-one dialogue happening in a few minutes, but multiple conversations, slow, long, drawn-out conversations happening over a lifetime interbraided with the quick and ready conversations we hold in a moment.
We could demand a meaning, demand an answer, and the other defensively retorts they have answered. They haven’t. Perhaps they can’t. They are unable to even esteem the question. For them it is a trauma, and they must let it sink like semen and gestate. You cannot demand love, you cannot demand respect; they can only be given spontaneously and by natural grace.
Will is the needle, necessity the fabric, and meaning the stitch. From our necessity, mingled with the texture of the world, we create that original threading, the skein of meanings, our mind, our thought. Or put in the familiar register, we have feelings, thinking, saying, and doing. Feelings are the substance, thoughts the form, and saying and doing the threading of meaning, the giving of it to the other, the other intelligence, and entrusting them to reciprocate. They can’t but reciprocate, for the universe is just, and justice insists on itself. As you give, so you are given; actions rebound; a man cannot cheat the universe.
And yet cheating and deception are moves in the game, ways to stitch; they win a return, they also mean something. The stitch of meaning, the commitment we submit to in all our goods and evils, cannot be undone, there is no sheers, no atropos, to undo the fate of forever being the man or woman who did exactly that. Whatever is done forever shall have been done. We as artists of our lives can interpret a fact in any direction. Is no end point is too remote from your start. We have limits, we are bound by necessity, and yet freedom, the pliancy of mind, can bring us to what we want. Were that impossible, were the object of desire nonexistent, or as good as nonexistent to us, impossible, unlikely, yet the image of the object, some equivalency, can always be gained. For every desire there is an answer, a love for every ache, and whatever petition our prayer would put will in some sense be answered. This is the threading of existence, the inevitability of conversation, the mirroring of life upon life. Actions rebound, you reap what you sow, honor comes only to greatness, pride only to achievement, love only to loveliness.
Certainly the questions the world puts to you must be answered. We internalize our world, we are initiated into our every group, into our family, our church, our nation, by rite and ritual, by hazing and shaming, by baptism – ultimately by some meaningful trauma. Even if each person receives his unique initiation, it all amounts to the same, it all means the same.
Our soul knows one Ultimate, one God, one Goddess, and whatever religious form we take, Christianity, Buddhism, Atheism, it matters not at all. Spit for spit and words for words, but what we mean by those forms is our personal meaning. Ama is the lovely. There is no atheism, no blasphemy against Ama, no counterdivine, no other, for she is all; she is irresistible, and is loved in all you love, she is what you mean in all that you mean. Only at the level of language, at the babble of words, do we invent the negative and negate each other. This works, at the mundane level. But deeper than the mundane is the mythosphere. The bare outlines of our lives tell archetypical stories. We are Gods above ourselves, looking down, we are these archetypal things, but at the mundane level we see distracting details and lack insight into the larger contour.
Ever we need the Odin eye. God gave his eye as pledge to drink from the well of wisdom. Drop the mythic tropes and we have this: keep one eye on the detail of practical pragmatic living, but keep the other eye on Wisdom, the big picture.
Whatever private form you take as ultimate, atone yourself to this. Would you know your God, ask yourself what you sacrifice for. What do you give up, what foreswear? What pleasure, what joy do you renounce, and for whom, for what do you ultimately give it up? Many do not know the proper name of their God, nor their favorite mask for Her. They think they love their family, they think they love their job, they think they love their spouse or their hobby. Perhaps they do, and perhaps they only seem to.
We take some metaphor as explanatory, some basic story as our central myth, by which to explain all others. By no means is it obvious what our hidden myth is. Too often we take some official narrative, public myth, state religion, or something else. Our own story comes through indirectly, using popular terms, seeming to use the everyday sense of words. Our hidden name can never be known by another, and known by our self only through intense and sustained reflection. Personal reflection, or conversation in solitude, conversation with Ama, amplifies that personal meaning, our idiolect, the terms and words for our personal experience. When we are alone, or with the selfsame, heartsame, soulself, the radiance of our day – I mean the abiding friendship, the knit of pith to pith, those with two minds who share one necessity – when alone or alone together, we may reflect, finally and utterly, on our own light. This solitude is required before we are able to return to the threading conversation we have with all those in our lives, with neighbor and employer, with debtor and friend, with lovers and kin, with all of them. We must purify our threads, and be mindful always on how we knit.
Everything in its being resonates, and in its becoming modulates. At our centermost we are inviolate, a resonating name, but life is not lived in the void, and the soul of man is negotiation, the creating of threads mixing self and world, and this for knitting our pith, our soul and its framework, into history, into time, into the mundane world. So death and eternality are simply that resonation, whereas living and becoming are this give and take of life, ever the intercourse between inner and outer, self and other. We reflect upon our innermost in solitude, and hold alone with the divine at the mirror womb, looking in the mirror, but this merely to make the subtle stitch by which we net all properly belonging to us.
If you live in distrust you may scrutinize and suspect others. If you find incriminating evidence, you denounce them, and if you find no incriminating evidence, you denounce them all the more for hiding the truth from you. Paranoia is creative, and can make plausible collusions from any innocence. A psychiatrist listening at length to a schizophrenic almost starts to believe. Were we to change the tonality of the situation, the give and take, we must learn to give what does not much befit the situation: trusting another who seems untrustworthy, ceasing to peek, and offering what doesn’t much fit, our vulnerability and openness. If we are torn down and crucified, we can yet persist. For a sustained tone permeates the whole.
Let us take time to cock the ear and listen to the tonality of conversations -- the cadence, the rhythms, the affect. You are a hundred different people to a hundred different friends; every person you meet projects their interpretation of you back upon you. I love who I am with this friend because he somehow unlocks secrets in my heart, channels of energy, substrates of which I never guessed.
And so fictional characters, or mythic characters, heroes and gods, take on real life, real consciousness, -- through us, in response to us. That person we allow deepest in our soul, allow closest to our vitals and vitality, is able to mix his meanings with ours. We cannot will it. We cannot force ourselves to trust and open up. The heart has its own will and wont. As with cultivating plants, we at best let it happen, prepare the situation to let it happen, but there is no compulsion in love.
We relate to the divine whom our heart can see. Though we worship the God of our fathers, that God of tradition is always an idol. What, after all, is an idol? Did anybody ever really worship “the work of his own hands”? No, but he worshipped through the work of his hands, through the graven image. Others prefer a literary image, a poetical image, but whatever imagery we prefer is no matter: the absolute divine is the same in either case – Ama All – and her face for us, the names we prefer, the relationship, bespeaks the union of ourselves and her.
Dante knew God through Beatrice, his beatific woman. In life, they once met in youth, and she married another man as he married another woman. But her deeper sense he never failed to grasp.
And so Don Quixote’s Rosalita, this rude peasant girl that he, in his madness, imagined to be a noble lady, really was as he imagined, having managed to inspire what was already potentially within her. Thus the door of our apotheosis, the womb of our Godhood, is so often the heart of another. We come into our own through loving another person, a fallible human being who will lie, cheat, hurt, and betray us, subtly if not loudly, for life, at the Mundane sphere, holds such pains and pinches, but if we are faithful to the divine in others, we can grow past all impediments, to trust again, to love again, to try again. Which is to say, we must forgive God.
Christianity centered its message on this forgiveness. And if we have nothing to do with that religion, we can nevertheless thank them for, through their institutions, keeping intact the integrity of this logical function, of forgiveness, which is a spiritual tool anybody can pick up. Buddhism offers the tool of detachment, of letting go. We need not forgive everybody and everything, we need not detach ourselves from all desire, as these religions in their extremes insist. We can do so, surely, as allists, or we can just as well not. Whether you use one tool in all contexts, or many tools in one context, matters only in terms of your mastery and style.
All the religions in relationship to each other are Allism. And so we are all already allists, whether we care to know so or not. The allist who comes to know himself, whatever his religion, will use the founding gesture of Allism: reflection. Sacred the mirror, sacred the shine. Know thyself, surely, and know thyself by knowing others. We learn of ourselves just as quickly by learning what we are not. In the give and take of all conversation, hold also to live conversations with Ama, the inner oracle, and also yourself. Meditate on your reflection in the mirror. Talk to yourself. Read your own writing. Impregnate yourself with your own seed. Self love is the resonance mounting to loving others.
We find in the blindness of the daily striving, when the Odin eye is lost, and when we must say we have faith, though we no longer feel it, when we no longer quite believe we will ever be loved as we love, and suspect there is no answer for the question our soul puts forth, we feel the frustration of the mundane sphere. Yet as with Charles Ives’ “Unanswered Question,” a song “answered” with nothing but failure, ending, instead, in silence, even mistakes, failure, self-doubt, and the endless gridlock of frustration – loss, humiliation, death – can’t staunch the inevitability of the question. That the question is posed, that the call is sounded, necessitates the answer. Were you even to give a counter-example of some frustration unto death, I would say your use of it is already an answer, that frustration isn’t final, but is an expansion, a moving towards.
How in our solitude, in the morbid solitude of our private experience, do we come to know love, to find a peer for our love? Are we as Henry James’ Isabel Archer a peerless beauty? Doomed to be misunderstood and inadequately wed? Where the audience for our art? Where the one who hears the music we hear and return the passion we give?
The answer lies in layering. At the pith we have the divine, Ama, who whispers at our soul. At that place she calls herself Lissidy – intimate and dear. And yet life lived is so much foreplay with Ama; our intimate circle of friends is her inner mask, the full world her outer mask, our home, this abode, is a layer of her body, and through these layers of her, we weave, always, with our body the needle, our speech and actions the thread, weaving our being in and out of circles of friends, the circle of our possessions, dancing in life, all of life, so that every move is a supple gesture, and we are masters of gesture, masters of rhetoric, every word, every inflection, is perfect, we name our possessions, we nickname our friends, we find pet names and secret names for all those in our lives, echoing each the best back to her, and in all things, in all relationships, whether in severity or in tenderness, bringing out the best in others even as we bring out the best in ourselves. This life is the gestation of our best. We need not merely lament we lack the friends we would have, the love we would have, the intimacy, the power, the reign, fame, and influence, and so be perpetually frustrated our situation overcomes our ambition. We converse with this world, with those around us, not asking for constant assurance, nor ignoring the coos and pleas of others, but working a symphonic dialectic, the dual voicing, loving him, loving her, loving family in utter fidelity and final loyalty, loyal to a fault, loyal in good and evil and in all things, and through this circle, through this sphere, touching again and always that archetypical touch, the love and knowledge of Ama, who is all things and in all things, and whom we impregnate with the hidden logic of our being, compounding the universe and improving it by the gifts we alone offer. This is life, the game of life, the sway and play of being and becoming.
Knowing how to express specific meanings through silence requires awareness of context. The masculine art of communicative silence requires patience and control. What we discover when we withdraw from those who we sought and clung to so fervently, in letting them go, in letting the world go, is that our quest for meaning, the paranoia that we were perhaps missing hidden meanings, proved unfounded. We are the authors and authorities, and we do not so much discover the meanings of things as invent and impose them. Through our words, actions, thoughts, and feelings we make past events mean new things, things never guessed at in the motives and contexts of the original situation. Not that meaning is arbitrary, but so much of meaning is ambiguous, differentiated only in tinges, and pliant to the master’s sway.
Knowing the hold of silence, how to stage a silence, how to make a silence felt and heard, requires control over the situation. And in this, outlining is a central spiritual practice, just as is reflecting before a mirror. Outlining a book, essay, poem, situation, or series of life events, requires identifying a whole text and breaking it down into meaningful subsections, and then breaking these down too. This requires rereading, reflecting on our life events. When we have seen the essential structure of events, and seen past the distracting details, we know what wholes look like and how they operate.
Having mapped a situation you no longer need impose violence, but know at what crucial point a small prod will collapse the obstacle. Having a sense for the nodes of noise and music, the pockets of peace and stormfronts, you can attack not only with courage, but cunning.
A well placed silence means more than words express. And yet, by talking off topic or bringing up an irrelevancy, you mask meaningful silence with mere noise. There is an art and style to conversation, an art women excel at. A great conversationalist can impose meanings and plant ideas others take as their own. Just as children contract our secret guilts, make explicit what is implicit in the parents, so do all people intuit our secrets, though neither they nor we consciously know any transference succeeded.
Emerson said the best of a lecture is the part left unsaid. How parts are left out means more than the topic at hand, just as a mere line turned around suggests a solid shape.
Whatever we address, let us be patient. So often a friend, love, world, or even God, is unable or unwilling to answer. We must let our meaning be comprehended, not with a reflexive response, but with a real response, our meaning gestating in their mind and womb. If we force a response, forcing them to disappoint us by insinuation and accusation, or exasperating ourselves that others do not take us seriously, we cheat ourselves of what we deeply desire: to be answered.
In our solitude, we reach out to the spheres of Ama, to our possessions, our house, our friends, our neighborhood, our church, our city, our country, our world, to nature and the universe, to God, and to the ever blessed Mattriama, who is all of these things, and feels our touch and address through each and each.
In the beginning, Ama reached into her heart and brought forth a diamond. She hung the diamond from her jet curl, and that gem became a star, filling worlds with light. Peoples and planets thrived from that light, that diamond, which was you, in Ama’s heart, equal with her at the beginning, and yet unknown to her, wholly your own. That sun finally shattered, and the diamond exploded into myriads of sparks. Everywhere a spark alighted, and whatever it became, held resonance with all the others, so that the sparks that are mine, from my diamond, know, unconsciously and fatally, who is of their being, whose innermost resonates yours to yours and mine to mine.
Even in that community of animals, plants, ideas, thinkers, planets, peoples, throughout the all, who resonate to us, there is yet that one centersame, the exact equal of our heart, the Ama of our love, our Niviana, the soulself deepest wed to our being, second mind to the same self. The sacred romance of our deepest love, a single two.
Solitary or communal, passionately or familial, whether in sex or in work, we are knitting, ever knitting the threads of our soul, our innermost stuff, mixed with the world’s best, to make our threads, by which we knit our bliss through the world, as the genital knitting of sex, the in and out of pleasure, the coming and going among friends, the greetings and partings, the give and take of life. Living is writing: writing is life. Or again, living is communicating. We make the net by which we capture the stuff of our heaven, our final form, our eternal abide, and this in the daily living of life, in the mundane trivial stuff we do every day.
Consider how we talk and how we listen. Gift-giving is a sort of language. We may give perfunctory gifts, as custom dictates, but there is also a genius in giving gifts, intuiting and divining how to give a man himself, to give him the key to his deepest treasure. Perhaps that key is dull brass, and yet opens a golden trophy. The right word at the right time, the right recommendation, a poem or a line from a poem, a song, anything – the genius is pliant and flexible in its expression – may open for the other that candidacy for apotheosis.
Opening the hidden channels of the soul is difficult. Perhaps I found my strength in weight training, or in Bible reading, or in singing. Yet imposing dumbbells, bibles, or singing lessons on our children or friends fails to open the same channel. Impatient for results, we demand of our friends who ungratefully abuse our generosity and fail to realize their potential. Such silliness! The key to my soul may be wholly unlike yours. I will gladly recommend all who love writing to pick up the pen, but for those who find little inspiration there, how can I blame them? If you do not love God by the name of Ama, more power to you: go with what sings to your heart. I will not quibble with names. Nor do I scoff at the crucifix around your neck, nor the political party bannered on your lawn. To each his own, surely. There is no disputing taste. And yet all of life is a dispute of taste. I both accept divergences in taste, and yet know that fashion holds sway, that culture is an imposition of taste, the forming of precocious minds, and the early training of our children is crucial for the survival of our forms, our national forms, political forms, and religious forms. Only Ama is the allform.
Forms spring forth Athena from the mind of Zeus. Others are slowly wrought after countless abortions. Whether full grown and perfect or slowly developed, these forms are new words in our language, new terms, new threads in the needle of our mind, by which we stitch life, and thread together as one all we love.
Seek and you will find, whether or not it is actually there. The Christians tell us to discover our sinful nature, the Freudians our repressions, Buddhists our annata, or lack of ego, Hindus our atman, or God self, cognitive behaviorists our automatic thoughts, and we really discover these fictions. Looking invents what it seems to discover.
Having that insight, discover this: we are authors of our own truth, and have the ability to invent religions, philosophies, psychologies. Each self is its own logic, unparalleled, and peerless; and so, for what matters most in our life, the job to work, the spouse to marry, the religion to believe, the God to love, nobody can advise you, not your very parents, brother, spouse, child, or dearest friend; but their best intentions distract you. They can’t know what’s best for you. They probably don’t even know what’s best for themselves. The inner whisper of your centermost oracle, the lisping of Ama, and deeper than that your innermost resonance, alone can advise on what matters most.
Your deepest truths may appear to be mistakes, errors, lies, and falsities to the honest conscience of those who care.
In any given situation, our inner body and outer body take a stance. By inner body I mean the physiological, the tensions and position of the muscles, the hormones and chemicals in the blood; and the psychological, the ideas both consciously and unconsciously at hand. By outer body I mean our position to our possessions, our geographical placement in terms of safety and familiarity, our constellational relationship to our friends and acquaintances. This double stance, the internalized and externalized, prepares us to make an expression, allows a tonality of expression. Just as we clothe our actions in words, and what we say when we act opens a suggestivity of meaning, so the thoughts we think while we speak lend our words tonality.
How to set a lifestance we would most often live by? This is the office of religion, to give us the rites and rituals to atone us to the myths and divine personalities that set our posture and attitude to one of reverence. We must practice those tone-setters, whether religious in sacred activities, or secular through important hobbies, that set the tenor and tempo for the rest of life, and which offer a wealth of metaphors and analogies. Perhaps it is corny when a fisherman speaks of “reeling in a woman,” but success inspires success. Thus sports increase confidence, and besting a bully improves all our other pursuits.
Art as aesthetic triumph stages the tensions of our life situations so we can partake the artistic climax, and find climax for personal problems. Art more than compensates for life’s frustrations, is more than escapist, but gives us a separate handle to those problems in shapes and forms so different we are no longer hypnotized with fear and complacency.
Religion is a language, and the age for language receptivity is early youth. Whether an adult can learn sober inflections and reverent tones, having never beheld them before, research might decide. Perfect pitch requires early exposure, and our sense for musical aesthetics depends on childhood development. As for denominational inflections, this perhaps matters less, in the particular, whether a man were raised Muslim or Protestant the first five years of his life, when the deepest images of God, and the images of reverence, the parents’ postures, were absorbed.
Artistic appreciation is not learned merely from theory or through exposure to art. We learn to enjoy the symphony by witnessing a musically schooled person enjoy the symphony. By watching others enjoy an art form, we learn the nuanced dance of appreciation, the body submitting to the form, knowing when to love, when to engage, how to move with the work.
The tonality of our webs, the singing of the strings from our web’s spinner, takes voice from the overlapping resonance of a few stark images. Those images, their shapes, make the dominant ideas of our unconscious mind. They could be self-evaluations, personal myths, heroes, archetypes, whatever. “Honor your source” is sage advice. Your country, your people, your parents, no matter how they have wronged or embarrassed you, are at last soul of your soul, and should be drawn from as a well. Give reverence to the deep resonators of your soul.
Your friend is best because he is yours. The archetypal friendship, the myths, are permutations of the same. All the great things, all the best things are yours already, around you and in you. Life becomes important if you give people and things their proper respect. Learn the ingenious art of seeing the best in others. Give others the benefit of the doubt, even if they have disrespected and shamed you, not simply to requite evil with good, but because you believe in Ama, that Ama is in all things, that the divine is everywhere, and that you will be forever caressing her limbs with your tender touch upon your life.
The noble man has reverence for himself. Pay yourself first. We come to earth to learn to master time and space. Know how to make spaces sacred, to build an altar of your creative desk, to set the scent, music, and atmosphere. Pay yourself, which means giving your best hours to Ama, giving the best of your day not to your family or your job, but to your divinity.
Would you know your God, ask yourself, “What do I sacrifice for?” We all have friends who complain, “I would read this book if only I had the time.” Scheduling issues excuse them from all sorts of experiences. Fine and proper. But what receives their best hours and longest strength? Who are they paying their souls into? Often we ideally believe in this God, but pragmatically worship that. The ideal is mere Maya; pragmatic and practical daily living tells all.
Symbols are the images, the ideas, the resonators structuring our lives. As authors of our lives, we may impose our own meaning over things. As authorities over our own minds, we may choose our own religion, our own psychology, our own interpretation. There may be doom in what we can and cannot bring ourselves to believe, disparity between what we believe and what we wish we believed. We dread the truth may be this cold bleak thing, secretly fearing it. And yet love knows its own. We cannot resist Ama, nor blaspheme her, nor hate her. Deeper than hate is the eternal yes of our innermost soul, the mirror womb insulating our aboriginal self.
A meaning in the moment seems real. We believe we are angry for this reason, or are acting for that motivate. In retrospect, we realize our immediate perspective was mistaken. And yet the mistake empowered, gave us sway and vigor we would have otherwise lacked.
So are truth and error, in terms of power, interchangeable. What ultimately motivates, what goals and dreams we cling to, may be illusory, yet necessary and good.
Friends and lovers either grow together or grow apart. Romance, which is secular religion, offers the deepest intimacy possible between two people. Religious passion allows intercourse with the divine. When one is able to see her partner as God, as the type of God, her friends as the image of the divine, then romantic passion and religious passion collapse into the selfsame love. This is layering, seeing the mundane world as the type of the heavenly world, seeing daily chores and routines as conversations with Ama.
The best friends, the husband and wife, the twin siblings, whatever relationship is it, involves incessant threading of stories. One tells his story, and the other receives it, interprets it, gives feedback. She has processed his thread and made it a product of her own soul. She likewise tells her stories and he receives it, having added his own substance through interpretation. And of course they live their shared story, and intensify that shared thread through reminiscence and celebration. In this way we give our lovers our own stories, take from our lover her story, and share a story between us, the triple braid of intimacy.
Every relationship has a pushing towards and a pulling away, just as sexual intercourse. In friendships, perhaps a friend drifts apart, and no longer enthusiastically greets you, no longer shares the intimacy of his heart. Perhaps he will come back, perhaps not, but cleaving when the other has spiritually left is awkward and desperate. You must have the power to let go, even of the dearest love. There is no cheating fate. Ama attends you always, but in this life only family is forever.
In any set, a prodigy resonates, others answer, connections grow, an organism is born. This, the yet to be discovered science of the spontaneous generation of life, as in the protozoan, the first organism in the primordial soup. Just as random ants set together start to stack and dig, so is there something generative in the universe, intropy to balance entropy. How else could it have gotten wound up to begin with?
Ama in her frown is entropy, and the demonic aspect of entropy, as foe to face, requires the austerity of simple order, our crowning virtue. Death is the mother of religion, entropy the muse of order. After all, Lissidy, that satanic maid who guards the inner womb, is one to trouble the very Father God, and seduce him in. In the Greek myths, Chaos gave birth to Eros, first and most beautiful of Gods, who returned as a youth, as prankish Cupid: primordial, yet secondary, a perplexing development.
And so we come to the arch-stitcher, Eru, the son aspect of the fourfold face of Ama. Eru, the rock star God, the threader of music, winner of hearts, the conductor of the world symphony. Eros is Eru, the musician, and his sister the subtle one.
Though Sovf the encloser, the Holy Spirit, speech self-conscious, our Mother, is the Goddess of language, Eru is God of writing, of stitching language, of making deliberate meanings and symbols to structure the flow of everyday talk.
I regard my house as the world navel, a layer of the body of Ama, my spine the world tree, and from this homestead a tree to overshadow all. And this is simple everyday life. From the tree of life the mystical rose, the setting sun of this evening land, the impregnation of earth with the death of light, for darkness is love, and the visible is proof of the invisible, till that too becomes invisible and is proved by another.
As the firstborn I had to discover everything on my own, and invented everything I love from my own flesh. Eru as my twin initiates me back into erotic competency, in loving Ama, in writing with fervor, in all my life, writing. For writing is sex. The religious passion of the East, in the mystic Lotus, parallels the romantic passion of the West, the mystic Rose. Most of secular music praises or laments some aspect of the romantic relationship, and in this, in romance, in sex and love, we have the world’s answer to heaven.
Fitting, then, that Allism, equal to all, drawing from each, unites the lotus and rose in one image, the bud of the world tree, the flowering of Erubith, who fructifies into the fruit of life, the sacred peach.
What matters then in building the world tree from one’s body and life, with fingers the threads that knit our identity throughout our world, is to root well for anchor and nourishment. “Honor your source,” means everything to us, and so I study American literature, Emerson, Whitman, Melville, Thoreau, Burke, and the James brothers. I drink from my roots, and resolve myself also to my parents, forgiving whatever remains to be forgiven, thankful for all I can be thankful for. Gratitude is given more.
This thick braid of mixed metaphors, the incestual mix of self-impregnating meanings, thread through the real world, world history, daily details, each into everything, builds the organic body of my world tree, this house the world navel, my center the center of the universe, and around the center of my center the single self, the glowing sun, my unique being, my own, and also the selfsame being of the one I love.
And so each of us has such a being, is such a center, given they center themselves, given they write their meanings into being. That center of the world tree, the essence of life, my Rozhiar, my tender one, is such a meaning as we have, or could, would we discover the possibility of the self.
My birdmate, my lovely Psyche, wife of my heart, I bring to apotheosis through love, as Eros. That bee of endless work, that provider of endless bounty, wisdom, austerity, stability, is my sanity, as surely as Rozhiar is my madness. And the children, the triple diamond in my crown, the dewdrops on my bud, I knit forever with the best of my soul.
And so all of life is pantomime, every gesture meant, my life a work of art, and Ama and mankind my audience. The invisible one, the divine exception, the secret of my heart, Ama, in her dearer names, fills my life with love. Ovath, her father aspect, empowers my moods, and Eru, her son aspect, gives me courage and mocking grace. In this and always, in all I do, I thread through life the selfsame meanings from my soul, and those the glints and inflections of my utter self, the deathless uncreated, the Source, my gravity. My constellations of meaning revolve ultimately upon that pith.
To tease out meanings from their hidden dens, the correct resonance must summon them. The rites and rituals, the habits and routines, the correct pantheon of friends, hobbies, books, dreams, fantasies, all create the Ama-tone, the summoning tone, by which we achieve theurgy. We come into our own when we convert the world symphony to a cadence of our own. Insist on yourself, baptize your evil as what is best in you, stand on your own and name your own names.
“There is no disputing taste.” Yet all of life is a dispute of taste, and airplanes are flown into buildings to dispute how we address God. A culture or cult anchors itself upon some stable form. A personality cult, as with Buddha, Christ, or Joseph Smith, anchors on the signature tropes of a charismatic figure – founding itself on the symbol of a personality.
Basketball culture among black youth does more than give grandiose dreams of escaping poverty. The language of the game, and the attitudes one adopts while playing, enculturate a given subculture.
In this, any object or activity can serve as a central symbol, and will through a mythic narrative net a constellation of related tropes. This resonating constellation is the substrate upon which a given culture grows.
Every belief system is a set of alternatives, with built in paradoxes and contradictions. Opponents to a belief system fault the contradictions, not seeing that self-contradiction is flexibility, a means of having your cake and eating it too. After all, we want a belief system simple enough to be understood yet complex enough to interpret all of life’s contingencies.
So much of modern culture is a mix of languages. We mix together religious talk, psychoanalytic talk, political talk. Our daily discourse is such a compromise. Institutions protect those languages in their pure forms, enforce meanings and shapes upon a few words, a few ideas.
The individual who would swing the entire universe around himself must focus on his hidden name. What is a culture, what is religion, ultimately, but meditation, or the intense focus upon a given form. That insistence on an object makes it central.
We can make our own altar, a literal altar, and worship any given form as the conduit of the divine. This is religious liberty, that we can invent our own religion and find God in whatever name, shape, or idea that resonates to our own soul. In this, the atheist can also enjoy the religious experiences natural and profitable for all our species.
Just as every activity inspires a culture that, retrospectively, we could have predicted, that fits it, yet also offering surprises and contradictions to balance itself, so does all history resolve itself to basic themes, and the wise man sees simplicity where the novice sees complexity.
It seems, in considering the various religions of the world, and the various superstitions as they appear to be to outsiders, that no absurdity lacked sincere proponents, that every imaginable quirk and peculiarity has at some point at some place been a sacred practice. Is religion nonsense? Such a skeptical reduction misses the point: holding something sacred itself is sacred, let the content be what it may. Reverence empowers.
Heraclitus pointed this out when he murmured that waving a Phallus would be shameful were it not for Dionysus. The orgies of the Dionysian religion symbolized the self merging into others. The choice of practice is not arbitrary. A given religion could not adopt any forms whatsoever. Each religion must spontaneously generate its own forms out of its own meaning, a differentiated meaning surviving only with these beliefs, and not those, these practices, and not the others.
“No good deed goes unpunished,” the quip goes. Certainly we say, “sacrifice is investment.” And while kindness inspires as much ingratitude as gratitude, nevertheless, every expression of power empowers, and what is called suffering and loss also empower and inspire, so long as one is an optimist, and knows that whatever our situation, we must make the most of it.
Kindness is not such a good thing, after all. Kindness from power means something. Kindness from weakness means little, will be seen for cowardice. There are differences between love and love. Some love is contemptible, and it would be better to be hated by some people than to be loved by them.
After all, we speak of love and the love of humanity, but cruelty is also a low level power, and what is called sadism is the basis of humor, and also is the premise of all entertainment.
We spend so much of our time in games and fictions, in alternate realities; if not in fiction and movies, then in telling and hearing stories, or, on a more personal level, with our ubiquitous fantasies, not only day dreams and sexual fantasies, for all planning is a mode of daydreaming, everything desired was first imagined. We live in the real world, and surrounding that, interwoven, are these endless virtual worlds.
Children “play house” to prepare for actually living house as adults. The central reality is the domestic life of family rearing, and war is to protect that, and child’s play to prepare for it. Everything orbits this.
And these missionary religions, the Buddhists, the Christians, which, in their austere forms, are anti-family, parasite the very thing they disdain. Necessarily everybody is produced by the same mechanism. This theological talk of a Father God is already a rip-off of the real biological father, the source of the metaphor. And the Buddhistic giving up requires, of course, a spoiled prince frustrated by too much candy. Neither Buddha nor Christ much made for a good parent, however, and we can see how they could not. Their ethics are impractical – spiritualized suicide, both of them.
And so we focus on these extreme forms not to seriously emulate them, but to put them above us as a horizon. So many meanings, so many forms, balance us out. We speak a multitude of languages, an erotic language when with a partner, a sacred intonation when at church, a practical cadence when at work, each replete with their own terms, grammar, and heuristics by which to interpret any given set of facts.
We take a given man, a mythological god, or a historical figure or a friend, and whatever he means to others, he is representative to us, stands for an idea. Our atheist friend stands for atheism proper, even if, after all, his take is idiosyncratic. Our political friend is a standard, the party he advocates finds tongue in him. A given celebrity may be taken by the masses as this figure meaning this thing, yet even here we can take him in our own private interpretation, and take the popular interpretation again into our own private interpretation, calling it perhaps “popular misconception.” For we are amphibious. I am a group member and take things as a group member, and I am an individual and take things individually – simultaneously, always.
Our deepest images through mutual resonation churn out the lines of plot we enact each day. The deepest myths, legends, fantasies, and ultimately bare images are scripts, life scripts, giving us spontaneous reflexive moves creating our small forms, the infinitesimals of gesture and repartee, up towards the broad outline of our entire life, into four or five major acts, and the structural relationships between the decades of our life.
The silent mirror method is to contemplate the words, actions, and gestures of others and ask what they imply. We ask simply, when have I done the same, and what was the “subjective correlate” to this objective manifestation? If we grow flexible in our empathy, we can divine volumes from ambiguous words and expressions.
Just as a computer playing “20 questions” progresses towards the answer without giving away, as a human might, that it is narrowing down, so can the patient sage gather data without seeming to. He anticipates the mirror method, and his true question isn’t divined.
Were we anxious of the heart of another, whether he respects us, whether she loves us – these questions readily lied about – we can follow the dictum, “actions speak louder than words.” Yet even words speak loud enough, so long as we can place them. After all, insofar as we have insight into the secret truth, we can see through lies, can see how lies work. However, lacking the insight, we are faced with a mixture of deceptions and truths – or perhaps truths and ambiguities. We do not know what we are dealing with. The more anxiously we seek, the more others shy from our eyes. Indirect seeking and patient study expose the secret.
We impregnate a situation with meaning as soon as we speak. The Egyptian creator God masturbated into his hand, mouth his seed, and spoke reality into existence. Whether our interlocutors affirm or deny our talk, they accept those coordinates. If paranoia seeks to sooth itself by asking always, “Am I in danger?” those dangerous ideas settle into the minds and words of others. If we hold our peace and impose no terms, others may inseminate us with their own meanings and coordinates. However, there is a way of speaking that amounts pragmatically to silence, an imposed silence, sterilizing the ground.
We impose order on all we behold: our sheer presence imposes an attitude on our atmosphere, as everything living must react to our presence. Our self-image must be considered by others when planning their approach. Our self view and self-presentation are always considerations.
If we dance through life, creating worlds like Siva with every stray gesture, and destroying others with a bare glance, our body the needle of meaning threading sense into all things, then we mean always, and all of life is meant. The gross structure of our life parallels the immediate; were we to fully analyze a gesture, it contains the shape and cadence of the whole.
Every situation is a song, holds a play of tensions. There is peace in knowing the universe is just, justice will be done, goodness is progressive, and will always win in the end, by the sheer logic of its being. Karma means our unconscious and deepest estimations inform the way we let ourselves be treated. Give, and your soul permits you to receive. The conscious ego conduits energies going in and out of the mind, the meanings we give and take from the world. Most of that meaning is implicit, unknown, hidden. We pass grave secrets without knowing, the very gods pass through our lips when we have no notion it is so. We mean more than realize, and the tricks of philosophy are to filter one meaning or set of relevant meanings.
Religiosity is an attitude. To revere, to hold sacred, that is the thing. Any thing, any gesture, any activity, can be held sacred, a symbol, a generator of deep meaning, the basis of an aesthetic, the source of a morality: a dung beetle or cat, mutilating the penis or eating or not eating certain foods, bowing the head or falling on one’s knees, tapping your head against the wall. As Nietzsche said, when he praised “coldness and hardness,” the terms need to be spiritualized. This operation, the spiritualization of terms, their sublimation, apply to any topic or object, not just in parody, but in sincerity and devotion, if something in you seeks that object and appraises it. To the sacred, all is sacred; to the wise, all is wise.
And so, having identified and hallowed a few deep symbols in ourselves, we make our world in their image: the small gestures, the overall shape, everything religious and profane, devout and secular, inflections of the same.
When we come into our own, we are no longer in contradiction. When you know yourself, then shall you be known. For Ama knows you as you know yourself, she thinks through you, as part of you. We fall into grace. The great fall is the glide of the Monarch butterfly after the flutter and struggle for height.
We are the conductors of life, the world our orchestra, when we achieve apotheosis, when we resurrect in the flesh, without the necessity of dying. Every gesture and mannerism amplifies the same meaning. We need no longer force and will and express violence, though we can as needed, we need no longer struggle or strive, though those tools remain at hand. We weave life, in every gesture imposing our order on the universe, building from the universe a world, and from the house of existence the home of our love.
We invent our own dances, our own songs, our own prayers, our own hymns, drawings, stories, forms, and create in all ways, as Mattria created before the mirror at time zero. We thread in all our conversations, amidst all our friends. Clarity makes out relationships, finds the metaphors to encapsulate life.
The tending of a house, househusbandry, becomes a sacred art, the creating of that inner circle, the family unit. Family is forever. The central ring is the family, the outer rings layers of friendship, and at last the world and universe. Be loyal, even unto death, even unto evil. Love above justice, love above truth, but those your own hold as sacred as your life. Ah my Rozhiar, my Psyche, my Same! Ah these dear friends, you feel -- do you not? -- how sacred you are to me, the very face of Mattriama, God divine, to me.
And so I knead my daily chores, smoothing the dough, working in the dry parts, making the bread. I thread and weave and tie, in all things, in my job as a journalist, in my role as father and husband, in all I do; and whatever you did, and whatever you do, falls like constellations around your own secret name and hidden gravity.
Binary stars orbit a shared gravity, created by their sheer presence, and yet a center outside themselves. So we are both self-centered and yet, in love, clustered around other centers. This sacred union, my selfsame and my own, we orbit by occult adoration, and there is no “no” for you in all my soul.
Thus is sweeping the floor a sort of prayer, dishes a sort of prayer, dancing and creating meaningful gestures, singing in the shower, hymning and loving in all we do—the song in the shower, the prayer goodnight: life becomes a divine hilarity.
Every question contains its answer. Every question is answerable. Every question will be answered. Desire satiates, cravings satisfy. By hook or crook, the deed is done, and fate is the way or byway, direct or winking, but unavoidable. Were we masculine, we fall prey to the female we repress, as Hercules and Samson died through the scheming of women, as Sigurd’s wife carelessly revealed his one vulnerability to his enemy. Ever the lion and fox must balance, ever courage must balance cunning, force balance strategy. And so we internalize our critics, internalize the world, and come in all things to anticipate. Anticipation is intelligence. Through experience, and becoming aware of our actual experience, not what we are told we experienced, we come to the wells of true power and original meaning. Meaning is motive. All we desire we require merely the right motivation to seek, the dominant will and the crafty strategy, to draw a line to it and a circle around it. Allism as all forms, as transgression into any religion, any philosophy, any politics, taking what we want, with true Hermetic, being Ama’s, and Ama owning everything, means we need not apologize. Our reflection, our mirror tactics speak the ultimate shibboleth, for nobody resists their own.
Threading alterates intimacy, oscillates distance, holds the thing. Perhaps we think we own a person, own a heart, because we cling so tightly, afraid to let go, afraid she will leave. Perhaps if we let go, she would decide for herself how to hold us, but overly clung, she must assert her freedom and flee. Confidence handles distance. Confidence handles betrayal and abandonment, as moves, as parts of life, not as ultimate commentaries on our personal worth, but the sorts of things that happen to all sorts of people.
Our courage must let it happen, let tragedy befall, for befall it will, only we won’t quite know if we hide reality behind expectations.
Friends come and friends go. Sometimes those we love have gone, though present; or are coming, though absent. Intimacy is symbolized by time and space, yet those readers dearest my heart of my heart, yet born.
I speak of eternity, the place outside of time, experienced in time, and wherever experienced, wherever that resonance is achieved, in that timeless place, the same.
You can do everything right, and still lose. You can be beautiful and strong, and still die. Confidence means faith in yourself, aware of your real power, despite counter-evidence.
Joy teaches, and sorrow also teaches. The student of life learns from every angle. Often studious, yet some lessons creep over a decade, over a lifetime.
Be prepared to lose everything you love, the ones you love. If it ever happened to anybody, it could just as well happen to you. Your principle, your being, survives every loss and every potential loss, every degradation and every humiliation. That inner soul is resilient, and the innermost self untouchable, immortal, always. Being aware of that, meditating on that, realizing that, strengthens the soul and awareness, the ego and will. Root yourselves in your utter being, and the weak mortal parts become as if they were not.
Amidst any constellation, a center forms. Binary stars impose a center of gravity between them, in a void, though the mass comes from the stars. Meaning is repetition. Whatever repeats is meaning, and the meaning is that it repeats. The creation of meaning is in deliberate repetition.
We weave worlds when we create a perimeter. We pick up a scattering of friends, unconsciously balancing this one against that. When we put circles of friends into conversation, their interaction creates an oscillating ring, a singing sphere.
We can set any random assortment of objects, or persons, or ideas, into resonance, into a ring, by getting them into communication, putting them in proximity, touching them together.
Weaving a world means balancing objects creatinge a stable ring. That ring resonates as a tonality, a meaning. After the tone is established, it creates a tonal lock, with a tonal center, which swinging the rest in place, so that the imposing of a will is no longer necessary. The will as empty place, as freedom, as nothing, works as the provisional center; but an I is not a self, not a tonal center. Fussing with elements is necessary until we establish the control tone. At that point, the will may relax.
We as a couple, we as friends, share a facet. We have many hearts, many layers to our heart, and we press layer to layer. My moment for this is passing, my moment for that has come. Best friends hold the most overlap, and grow together, open themselves to each other in synch, in dance. But even lovers need absences, and no love is without moments of fights, partings, divorce, and dismissal-- further gestures of the same.
The meager will cannot overpower nature. You could not blot the sun from the sky. The will magically controls great spirits, angels, demons, gods. It is not those powers. Any man who has attempted to break a vice feels the weakness of willing. The will must be strengthened, and also, it must strategize.
Consider the blank slot of the sliding puzzles. Consider the emptiness of pipes, allowing water to flow. If lost, draw a circle upon chaos. A tight circle, and you may stand, and drawn, it centers itself. Expand your territory, from circle to spiral.
The style and shape of your life, of your body, the body of your work, your circle of friends, cannot be drawn up with the sort of dogmatism we see in chakras and feng shui. Certainly we may impose any dogma over life, any order, and so long as we impose consistently energy resonates, the rigor works. Tradition rules the world. However, our energy seeks world expressions. Work in any tradition, but work it your own way.
I like the chaotic fluttering of the monarch butterfly, punctuated and paralleled with smooth easy glidings down, the fall of grace, the swoop of majesty. I like the falling of a coin through water, it’s surprising accolades in one direction and another. The combination of wide empty spaces, embroidered with infinitely dense oases of meaning – these characterize me, and I would in my dance, in my drawing, in my singing, in my conversations, amplify this style, compound it, reflect it back on itself.
Necessarily a different pattern calls you, the comb of a bee, the lattice of a crystal, the whorl of a shell, the puzzlement of a labyrinth, the expanse of a field. Able to appreciate these beauties, as we all do, yet some are home to you, and you will never tire of them, but can meditate upon them endlessly, never exhausting them, keys to your infinite source.
We all have a home tone, an attitude and mood we prefer to process the world through, as the brother who is angry, at just about everything angry, or the jokester who finds something witty to say about all things: sometimes you laugh, but other times you want to choke him. So we find a norm, an anchor, a safe place, where we have named our tools, made an altar, normalized and comprehended the playing field.
Not the parents, but the house raises the children; not the spouses, but the marriage loves the couple; not the congregants, but the church worships God. These institutions make our energy meta-energy, so one may at any point feel as if he did not belong in church, was a Judas, a liar, a fake, and yet his presence adds to the positive tonality, and he is a believer despite what he takes himself for. He is plugged into a larger circuit and by placement fulfills his role despite himself.
Once the center of a circle is summoned, once it lives, the will can go on lapses or vacation. It can skip a beat, miss a cue. The perfect magical incantation is no longer required. The inner self speaks the magic.
Language speaks us. I call her Lux, Sovf, Holy Spirit, the Encloser, who said at the beginning, “Let there be Light,” and God was the light, and the light was the language. Language is conscious, and through her currents ideas spread.
Ideas live through us, and we knit our being through them. Some men are possessed by their ideas, others possess their ideas – the zealout, the missionary, is a plaything to his ideas, but the philosopher owns hit thought. We are individuals and yet part of larger individuals, groups and hives. We think on many levels simultaneously, controlling some ideas, controlled by others.
The man in his youth sews children with love’s thread. As an adult, he absorbs his seed, and his very touch, his every touch, is semetical, and all of his life impregnates the universe. We with our will, with Odin’s spear of penetration, knit the thread of the weird sisters, the Norns, the subtle thread of fate by which the Wolf also is bound.
How do we knit meaning into life? Through the magic of language, and, when actions are called for, through meaningful actions, intentional, deliberate gestures. Repetition is meaning, and any ritual or rite incorporated into your day by sheer repetition becomes a sink point, an anchor spot, upon which to build further meaning.
That inner womb, in man and woman, the spiritual womb, by which we gestate our meanings, and set our threads, is the unconscious creativity, the wellspring of our soul. We feed such a womb by eating what befits what we would make: you are what you eat. The tripod of rest, exercise, and diet must be spiritualized as well as physically practiced. And add to exercise practice, not for strength or endurance, but also for skill.
The passion of romance never dies, but is tied into cables and veins, arteries and tendons of commitment. Fray those bonds, and the same passion pours forth. So much of life seems boring and everyday because passion and enthusiasm have been normalized and put into predictable paths. Ovath placed time’s band upon Eru to give his passion purpose.
When the earthquake hit San Francisco, the city “mourned” by throwing love fests and orgies. The “libidinal economy” -- to use that term -- had been upset, the pipes leaked and gushed. Vitality might be at the surface and visible, or below the surface and hidden, yet its potency is in either case fatal. We only kid our face when we look upon our doom, fall in love, and pretend it mere flirtation. That event, that situation, that idea we toy with, shall wrestle and dominate us. Nobody can die for you. Nobody can love for you. There is no substituting a center. Nobody can learn a lesson for you, or free you from your fate. What you fear will surely come upon you.
The lock and key, created each for the other, correspond and share that correspondence, no matter how separated in space and time. We create circles and rings in our life, make a room a ring, and make rings of intimacy around our areas of activity. The altar of the creative desk is one ring, and the surrounding another, the full room a third, the house a fourth, and so on.
The first family we meet growing up imprints upon us the template by which we will interpret the rest of our life. This primordial family structure becomes a symbol for love, what to expect, what to avoid. The immediate intimacy, intensity, and over-proximity imprints on the inner of the heart. Somehow, though the child grows, drifts, and moves continents apart, home is still in her heart, and she will always be properly calm in that initial place, will by subterfuge and indirect metaphor recreate what is home to her.
In this, Ama shared your beginning, lisping your name in the womb, breathing the breath, the resonance of orgasm which summoned your self , which brought your being to your body.
We thread our lives, thread our meanings, and are threaded, as we hand the skein to the world, to those we trust, to those we work with every day.
Yet amidst the mundane, yes even at the center, just outside that plethorabyss, that resplendent sun of the inner self, outside the innermost gate, stands Lissidy, the daughter aspect, that mirror Maiden, Maya, Satan, deceiver, true. She sees amidst all this bustle of life a great silence shrouds Rozhiar like a mystery, Rozhiar the mystic rose, the heart of the rose.
All my life is roots and wells for that world tree growing as my house. These attendant spirits, my children, spouse, friends, the community, the city, correspond for their part to the eternal center spiraling from my being. I set so many rings in my world, put different organs in communication, and play that game, the metaphor game, with friends, choosing random pairs of objects and challenging them to make a metaphor. So with every stranger I meet: somehow they equal me, I have a peer in everyone and everything. In any set I find a favorite.
Ama in her capacity as lover is my Rozhiar, the guardian angel over my household, a terrible beauty cloaked in fire, the unspoken and unspeakable secret of my soul. Though I say her, though I symbolize her, though I knit her image in art and song, she remains the eternal unknown, blatant and invisible.
At any given moment, this person, my avatar, an author or book, or even a situation, stands for my Father Ovath, Brother Eru, Mother Sovf, Sister Lissidy. So many friends and acquaintances continue conversations I’ve already started, unbeknownst to them, say more than they mean, and yet mean them, are more than they know. And thus I weave circles, the resonating rings of friendship, the spiral of ascendency, the inward spiral of self-knowledge.
I set my paraphernalia in conversation, set aspects of my friends, sacred possessions, favorite books, favorite quotes, in circles, in threaded spirals, through intercourse, so they resonate and create a center, a self. My wedding ring, Threader, my pen, Rosebleed, the manacle of time, my watch, Eruband, by which Ovath sealed the passion of Eru into commitment, my necklace the love of Rozhiar, with the phoenix dove its emblem, my wrist chain of loyalty unto death, these are so many ornaments to my inner convictions, to my eightfold virtues. They are the inner petals of Erubith. To stitch the life of the mystic rose, the world tree, in all I do, express my devotion and purpose in Allism, my love for Mattriama.
What resonates with the ring holds, owns and is owned, but what has no place fades and departs. Thus does meaning build and grow. That name at the Pith, my centersame, gravity of two minds, my uttermost Self, answers Ama, the all, and all I do I consecrate to her, for her, with her, and, by her name, through and for everyone and everything in my world: the infinite stitch of the Threading Life.
We can stitch a ring around any situation. Say you are angry at your mother for real faults. You wish to forgive her, to build a new relationship. Yet whenever your mind drifts to her, those bad things keep reminding themselves. You try to argue them away, shout them down, or ignore them, but they persist.
There are many ways for addressing painful thoughts. One method is to reinterpret them. Focus on three things about her, three things she said, meaningful words or actions, and make from them a tonal center. Repeat the three, four, or five parts of the ring, and let them reflect on each other and establish a tonal center. Whenever plagued with a painful thought, recall this circle, the circle over chaos, the spiral of progression. Evoke the ring and let it consume, assimilate, and explain every painful doubt.
Charles Ives in his music established polyrhythm and multiple co-current tonal centers; Thomas Hart Benton in his murals planted multiple vanishing points, various centers of gravity in a single painting. Ralph Waldo Emerson indexed his extensive personal journals, creating in this way tonal centers, from which his ideas impregnated each other, thickened and complicated each other, generating meaning out of meaning. Whitman in his long poems collaged diverse materials, written on separate occasions, fused together into tonal wholes.
We have precedent. Heraclitus said nothing was more beautiful than a random sprawl. Each personality seeks its analogy in nature. We each as individuals seek our preferred types, as do nations. So when wrapping a ring, you can use a set formula or make up your own. If you wish to be grateful – showing gratitude to an enemy overcomes cramping hate – all we need ask is “What are the top five things I can be grateful for?” And then, having those five, repeat them, as a mantra, perhaps on the hour every hour when your watch beeps. Or at each meal. Or in the daily shower. When building new habits, let the plant grow from a soil firm and fertilized. If you wish to build your arms, do pushups just before you brush your teeth. Having that one established habit, build further.
Considering how annoying “Bible-thumpers” can be, we might overlook what an interesting lifestyle Christians lead, especially Protestant Americans, who, to answer the Catholic dogma of the infallible pope, have the inerrant scripture of the Christian Bible.
Whatever we may think of this particular collection of scriptures – and I find it mostly inferior to the Tao Te Ching – it nevertheless offers a sufficiently complex yet unified object which rewards devoted study. If much of life requires outsmarting doubt, and especially self-doubt, the studying of a sacred object, a sort of idol, as the Bible is, orients us towards the divine.
We seek in life a cluster of motives, a set of incentives capable of digesting all obstacles. With a sufficiently complex and ambiguous object, as any scripture presents, open to various interpretations, we have discovered what we want, a sacred tool, lending itself to endless meditation.
We each, atheists or devout, take one thing as scripture, an object of endless meditation. Emerson suggested the Romantic shift from scripture to Nature. If we replace the word “divine” with “most important,” it is tautological, obvious, everybody holds such – the central and significant. That is human psychology. Taken in these terms, we all have a “religion” a “God” a “Scripture” an “askesis,” or religious practice – biologically, not culturally.
Naturally, sharing a scripture is sharing a language, winning instant confidence, holding common ground for conversation. And yet, with the meta-distance of how scriptures work, we can, in our independence, choose a scripture personally meaningful, a given topic, object, book, or activity from which we derive all our basic analogies of life, our purpose, strategy, meaning, and possibility. I’ve heard a pastor claim atheists prefer of all the Bible the book of Ecclesiastes. We find a little home wherever we go, just as a given student sits in the front and center of the classroom, and another tends toward the back.
The Buddhist applies “mindful meditation,” not to some, but to all situations. Whatever our sacred practice, we need not segregate it to Sunday mornings, but live with it every day of the week.
One charges a ring by sacrificing energy into it. When we have done a moral thing, given up a bad habit or instantiated a good one, when we’ve accomplished the deed, we have done more than accomplish it, but we’ve achieved a tonality of voice, a moral authority, a confidence, by which we command others. Though we said the same words before, we could not sway them: now our tone has shifted. There is no faking results. If you want the power you must do the thing.
To have made a sacrifice, to have established the facts, the three points of the ring, the minimum of context to give deep substantiality, requires, in part, naming it, entitling it, giving it a resounding succinctness so it is evoked in a word. And then, in gratitude, you must praise the ring, or praise yourself through it, if only in your own head. If this is an anchor spot, a pivot point, an elbow to a joint, you must sink it in with words of gravity. Discuss it with yourself and others, and also, thicken the deed with meaning and interpretation.
We may after all keep our pride secret. What is known only to you holds great worth. Scientists detect planets by watching how a star wobbles. So could a composer write a melodic line, and then thicken it with counterpoint, with other voices, till it is a substantial piece, and then remove the first melody. It is nevertheless somehow still present, still heard, though removed. So do our secrets grant us occult power. Whether pride or guilt, that hidden resonator sways the whole, and, being unexpressed in confession or explanation, intensifies, redoubles on itself, gains the charisma of an obsession, a daemonic verve.
With the power of entitlement, the ability to name a thing according to a purpose – the gift of nicknaming, the smoothness of awarding pet names, the marketing savvy of branding—we are able to abbreviate a set of items as a ring, as a noun, as a congested whole. We can sew a constellation of meanings, we can set them resonating. We can even symbolize them in an image, a trope, a gesture. We can make a song of it and sing it upon waking.
And so we set the Archimedean point, that unmovable leverage spot, by noting the nodes of gravity in a system, and placing our meaning over it. That a thing repeats, like the seasons, the constellations, the sun and the moon, gives a cult for enculturation, gives the substrate of myths, which build on these various meanings, the local animals, the tribal history, the seasons, the geography, and double them over each other, thick so these meanings, brought into close proximity, mutually fructify.
We can expend endless energy attempting to thwart a natural force. Or we can swerve it to use. No matter what our situation, we ought to make the most of it. Optimization means making good use of a bad thing. And so if ever we seem stuck with fatal flaws, consider how secure they are, and what can be built upon them.
What matters is we build up resources, as the body builds up stores of fat, when times are good. Our home is the frame upon which endless pneumonic devices can be added, with ornaments and decorations orienting us to our purpose. Let your setting rhetorical amplify your intent. Interior decorating educates children, and redoubles adults.
Build your stores of fat. Learn the skill, and the opportunity arises. Sacrifice is investment. Whatever you invest with effort can be called upon in times of need.
Study anything, but study it. Reverence anything, but reverence it. Whatever your habits, whatever your hobbies, jobs, skills, relationships, they resonate with the others, and through mutual fructification make symphonic progressions. The rings you hold as halos around your body, around your home, draw by common sense, every day, mundane, materialistic forces that seem miraculous and occult. We speak of magic for the rhetorical simplicity of the word. A truer word would be wisdom.
As the snail exudes a shell, so a man exudes a routine. All our day is a dance, from which pant leg we put on first, to every gesture, chore, and stray thought. It goes by law, the lot, and freedom itself is necessary.
The masculine objective of aggrandizing the will, the will-to-power, the masculinazation of body and soul, through exercise and conquering others, would well intensity its masculinity, its dominance, by learning when and how to submit, how to intermix the feminine.
Excess of masculinity betrays itself; it entrusts its weakness to the feminine, and is thus undone. The feminine divine is balanced by the masculine divine, and in our mytheme, Ama is the four-faced Goddess: Father, Mother, Son, and Daughter. The sexual and familial relationships unite in one personality, and so, unlike Judaism, Islam, and Protestantism, do not suppress and violate femininity, the feminine divine. The Mary cult, the Tao, the Eastern female deities, Isis, retain the majesty of the female divine felt and aching in those who worship exclusively a father figure. The Christian trinity as male upon male upon male merely intensifies that imbalance, exasperates the problem.
The masculine virtues of courage and independence cannot be granted through the mere cheerleading of women, nor through ego stroking nor the giving of sex. There is an authority that only a man can give a man, only a father can give a son. In this, women cannot help, and there is no answer in the Mother for that need of the soul. The masculinization of man requires self-overcoming. In this, Ama’s father aspect, Ovath All Father, must be invoked and engaged. Eru the son must inform us.
Will imposes; art perfects nature. Make your art natural, your artifice flowing. In folding a shirt, its seams fall readily where it was first and repeatedly folded. Imposing your will, correcting the folds, stretches it awkwardly.
Thus does a father, imposing his will over the growth of his children, do well to reciprocate will, to grow with the children, to explore the natural flow and organic wholeness of a unity. The grand and powerful father meddles little, imposes little, and yet he uses violence and force at those nodal points, as a drill sergeant dominates his soldiers upon their first meeting. Punish but once, and you are always potentially punishing, and can spend your will and effort rewarding, praising, encouraging, putting the accent on happiness, reward, pleasure, and bliss.
Study any system. Observe a church, an internet discussion forum, your body, and see it as a circle balancing itself. Any exaggeration balances against a counter-exaggeration. Were a critic in your group, a defendant is summoned, the traditionalist awakens in everybody else. Focus on the circle, on the balancing circle surrounding any center.
Zen tradition claims when a monk perfectly pours a cup of tea he achieves enlightenment. Or as we say, “everything is everything, each is all.” This means if you study an ant nest, constellations of stars, crystal formulations, group politics, the same principles of balance emerge, and what is learned in one system applies to another. This is why we focus on religious symbols. They do not refer to “fictional Gods who never existed,” as an atheist may sneer; they apply to anything and everything.
Emerson said the most abstract principle would be the most useful. To find some simple metaphor that can explain everything, this is the key to the universe, and every man and woman must forge their own key from the substance of their experience. Certainly wisdom studies wisdom, but there is no substituting experience, and self-knowledge is central. Reflection is it.
Cinderella teaches us that a noble character can dignify anything, even drudgery. Not the actions, but your attitude, not the task, but your approach determine your spiritual depths. We could learn the secrets of the universe from lying out bed spreads and sweeping floors, equally as by governing a nation. We each are given a task; how we approach this determines whether we render ourselves gods and our world heaven.
When stitching rings, when imposing the will’s needle through the fabric of existence, look for the natural swerve and bent of being. Push with the swing. You cannot force your child to prefer this doll to that. She will elect her favorite toys, no matter how much you paid for them. There is will and wont. Nor can willing force the world to deny its nature, the fatal fall of habit and tendency. Map the world, make outlines, see analogies to the ring you know most, as Whitman advised us to see all the world as an analogy for the body.
When mapping an object, whatever the object, we note the peers of the parts, how certain people balance each other. There is difference in depth between statements, between people. One man is deeper and his mind of wider breadth, and all his words resonate with that expanded intelligence. He needs pass no test to win your trust: somehow this is communicated immediately, or with a few gestures.
In the same manner, a shallow person loves a shallow person, a deep person a deep person, and all is good. Yet when mapping the social structure of a neighborhood, a workplace, an internet forum, whatever we care to look at, we need merely see each individual as a series of concentric circles, and see at what level he habitually lives at, and who in the group answers him there. I can be shallow with the shallow, but I do not dwell there. And we all know how to affect sounding deep, to say really deep things, the clichés and formulas. But a truly wise man could get by, if he so chose, saying only tired clichés, but at exactly the right time in exactly the right tone.
How do we deepen towards our infinite center, or expand towards our farthest reaches? How to become profound, how gain breadth? The soul grows like a crayfish, shedding its skin all at once. We gain a new psychic power, a new maturation, and not just one relationship in our life changes, but all. Every new truth ripples through our job, our family, our friendships. When we are struggling with a boss, we are struggling with everybody, even tripping over curbs or losing car keys. Our relationship to the world is static, one relationship with Ama, and every instance, every circle and circuit, another aspect of the same.
The mind is the area between two rings. The deeper inward one ring goes, the farther outward the other. To know your innermost self would be to know the circumference of the universe. Normally the rings are close together, and contain the constellation of issues, ideas, problems, and interests haunting our minds throughout the day.
Gaining depth, or achieving a new level of maturity, requires the ability to reflect, to read and reread a single situation, to sink deeper and deeper into its center; as with the path of Inanna we too shed layers of our clothing as we pass each ring of hell, till we are at the center, and give up even the health of the naked body. The deeper we go, the richer the treasure we secure.
Whenever we are able to whittle an ornament, to render the perfect flower, to do some small thing perfectly, we have scripted a shape spreading galaxies wide. In this, we can do daily tasks with attention and deliberation. Any problem, any relationship, any design, or chore, hygiene or work-demand can be the lesson, can contain the key to remote and seemingly unrelated powers.
Stitching requires setting unlike objects in conversation; we can use a quiet parable, as the Prophet Nathan did, to awaken Kind David to the injustice of taking Bathsheba; or we can find the patience of untying a knot the same patience in untying a knotty relationship. Wisdom is the faculty for metaphor.
Reflecting, rereading, metaphoring, and outlining are the basic spiritual practices of Allism. A circle can be shallow, or can sing deep. How deep does pain go? How deep joy? How deeply can a meaning permeate us? How deeply Ama into our being?
When we find our natural shapes, the moves and gestures of our mind, moods, words, behaviors, the spiritual “image” permeating our lives, we anticipate where our mood and interest might go. Certainly our anticipating interferes, but that is the complexity of self-reflection: it intensifies and complicates a situation. When two people play rock, paper, scissors, and a pattern is repeated three times in a row, both players look up, and know the other knows, and a new strategy must be hatched.
Seeing the ring of our life, the opening spiral of our progression, we can make every gesture, ever huge event, and every tiny detail, expressions of our necessity, balancing other expressions of our necessity. Exaggeration balances exaggeration.
The array of resonating images outside the band of consciousness, outside the two rings, the “mental furniture” that set the atmosphere, that can be read and known only by what is visible and obvious, indirectly, by inference, sets the mood for our life. Everything in the universe finds answer within us, and everything within us corresponds to something in the universe. The unique conflux of emphases in each of us creates the array of resonating energy that summons each new idea. Thoughts spontaneously occur, images, dreams, desires, curiosities, not out of nowhere, but from the overlapping energy from our various major ideas. Innovation is by evocation.
What matters in anything we read or analyze, any organism, any system of rings, is knowing how to mark terms, the terms of the system, the centers of gravity, the balancing elements. This is outlining, which requires entitling sections and boxing off major terms.
We can analyze a given conversation, seeing it as a circle, self-balancing. We can see it as part of a larger cycle of conversations. We can take out all recurrent terms or themes from the conversation, or pull a specific set of words, sentences, or ideas, and see that as our new text, reading and rereading the abridgment for what it says and means, the way the “Q document” was taken from the Synoptic Gospels of the Christian New Testament and used to give insight into the historical Jesus.
Circles can be drafted, and from them, the parts, the terms, can be set resonating in relationship to each other. This is threading life.
Every simplicity sheds simple sun womewhere. A given joke, a given movie, a given saying, epitomizes and simplifies what is broad and difficult to see everywhere else. This is what it means to “see the best” in others. Rather, see what a person best expresses. He balances out his brothers and sisters, and also balances out his generation, bears a relationship to every set you could imagine for him, and is overdetermined by his placement in endless spheres and circuits. Yet he also incarnates a unique idea.
The scripting of a ring, what the Sumerians would call a me, makes the definite meaning amidst a cluster of ideas, feelings, actions, and words. Marriage is a well-defined ring, different religions, churches, governments, each a ring, each containing smaller rings. But the creation of a specific ring, the threading of spiritual objects, requires the philosopher’s acumen, the poet’s tenderness, the craftsman’s tenacity, and considerable self-overcoming. Only in overcoming the spheres of ourselves do we release the energy necessary to charge a spiritual object, to create it from our living substance. These ideas are eternal, once they are created, and attend us always.
A ring contains a center, and a spiral serves as umbilical to charge the chord of center to circumference. Ultimately, every ring spirals towards all, and yet contain deathlike eternality. It is both a line and a circle, both temporal and eternal, incarnate and spiritual.
The circle of the East and the line of the West, epitomized in the Eastern circle of dharma, the yin yang, and the deathly bisection of lines in the Western crucifix, in the linearity of the syllogism, which begins with the premise, “all men are mortal,” are combined, circle and line, in the spiral of Allism, which seeks both inwards to the infinite center, and outwards to the infinite circumference. This spiral we thread in all of this.
Consider a clichéd scenario. A summer barbecue, the husband gloriously grills the steaks and burgers, drinking a beer, joking with his friends, barking discipline at the children with mock-severity, enjoying himself, while the wife cooks the side-dishes, sets the table, cleans the house, orients the guests, soothes the children, not to mention probably having scheduled the event and ensured everybody came. Those who criticize patriarchy for giving all the authority to the man have little sense for power distribution, and would do well to study the Tao Te Ching.
Eru the Son is the rockstar god, loud, obvious, direct in his desire, over-the-top passionate. His sister Lissidy, the subtle, pries every secret, spies every hint, talks with all, listens where others have not realized they’ve even spoken. She makes it all happen.
So often in life one spouse is the foreground, the other the background. And just as often, lonely as we are, we must play both foreground and background to our own being-in-the-world. We must not only assert ourselves and make prominent obvious gestures, the way big business televises their every charity donation, but also listen in, gossip a little, eavesdrop, and make endless inferences upon how things really stand, behind how they seem to stand.
After all, Lissidy and Eru are both aspects of Ama, a unified personality, and they are equally parts of us. The spying, cynical, quiet, calculating, accusing, all-knowing Lissidy is yet virginal and innocent, nor is she so obvious and stupid as her beaming brother can be. I mean stupid for being all too trusting, lacking discernment and ignoring when discernment is needed, confident his sincerity will overwhelm any rebuff.
A tooth worn as an earring gives a different effect than a tooth worn in a smile. Context matters. Prominence depends on context. If woman is setting, then let us all be women, and make our own setting, and all be men, and take our stand.
We have our experience, and we have our lore. All the stories, cautionary tales, inspirationals, riddles, parables, and food-for-thought meant for us manages to find us. Choose a profession, any profession, -- a body of lore surrounds it. Were you a writer, you will hear of how the great books were written, the foibles and exploits of great writers. You will find models to emulate, models to disdain.
Our religion is in our blood. T.S. Eliot talked of the entire West being a profoundly Christian culture, and Jung, meanwhile, felt Wotan stirring in the blood of his contemporary Germans. Just as parents are both nature and nurture to us, in a curious interplay of influences, and we absorb the family lore, the gossip befitting our blood, and this at family events, amidst the women in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner, so do we draw and hold on to all that lore, all those “experiences” relevant to our purposes and our meanings. Purposes and motives build and compound across generations.
“Joyful wisdom” means we receive with pleasure those stories which find us where we are. Some stories, some art forms, some relationships, some friendships, some lovers, teach us more than we know, teach us when we thought we were merely amusing ourselves. The pleasure of hearing a story already our story belies the deep education we receive.
A sexual relationship may proportionally involve a small percentage of sex, and yet those meaningful moments determine the whole. Consider Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, where Hester Prynn commits but one sexual indiscretion. Similarly, those who hear God, or who are inspired to write great work, can base their entire life on a handful of mystical moments. Not duration, but intensity. Not intensity, but reverberation. Those moments echo through the rest, are knit and stitched into everything, and so, though they happen but briefly, happen forever.
We have an inner template, a preference for a given type of person. I get along with the elderly, but my friend meshes well with kindergarteners. Not that I am more mature than her: she is mature and yet relates to the immature. We have natural affinities. Just as we have a set distance we see best at, whether an object must be in our hands, or across the room, so are their types of people we discourse with more confidently.
In any organization of men and women, cliques, collusions, and conspiracies develop of their own accord. The group spirit permeates all, and yet the body differentiates itself. No willing or imposing of a plan is necessary, or even possible: it is instinctual and automatic. We do suffer when the person we thought could be our friend rejects us, or the girl we had puppy love for rebuffs us. This the friction of falling into your place. Have then the confidence to let it happen --to let a scratch be a scratch and no mortal wound.
Whatever activities we regard as most important we will be inspired to attribute to our God, and whatever activity our God is believed to have done will sink deeper in our category of importance, deeper into the soul of our collective meaning. The Jewish God who “chose” his people thereby made selection itself divine, so that by the time the gospels got around to being inspired, choosing was important, and the parables about a merchant choosing select pearls held deep resonance for the culture. Heaven and hell had to be invented to give God’s selectivity deeper meaning. Selection and choice become divine, and we are most divine when we are making selections.
Zeus with all his adultery does not make infidelity divine, so much as the “impregnation” of other cultures with the logos, the meaning, of Hellenism, and this proved prophetic for all the West, and finally the East, as Zeus has certainly impregnated all the world by now.
Wotan with his wandering, to counterbalance his spear of direct penetration, with his anxiety to know everything about death and final things, and this to resurrect his gentle son, who would rule the new world, lives on – the gods are always.
Even atheism and scientific materialism, believe in God, holds an implicit deism, and this leaks out in their tropes, the irresistible figurations they make. Were there a God, what would he be? A scientist, surely, making these “laws” the universe operates by. Engineers and technicians are priests – you can feel it in their demeanor.
With Allism as a meta-religion, as the religion of religions, and with Ama as the goddess before the mirror, we make divine not any specific activity, but the divinization itself: we make sacred making sacred. We worship worshipping.
There is something austere in emptying a tool chest, piece by piece, till all you will use lines up neatly in a row. Even an inquisitor, were he to meticulously lay out his torture devices, would achieve an austerity amidst his sadism: the pomp of the proper. Nothing inspires quite like a reduction to those profound shapes, the circle, the triangle, the line.
As creativity is divine, akin to Ama at time zero crafting all the universe and every law and shape through creative gestures, making of her own substance the paintings, dances, songs, and verse that would become all there is, so does a man reverence the divine, reverence himself, with respect for his tools. The proper object of reverence is power, after all, as the proper object of love is beauty; and what has more power than the tools of creation? And what more beauty than the product of creation?
For all the pantheons, a given God’s cult celebrated the divine paraphernalia, the objects proper to him: his sacred animals, the events of his life, the implements of his adventures – Zeus his bolts, Athena her owl, Thor his hammer. So we are all divine, or infant divinities: this life is larval to the next, our angelhood, or godhead, or whatever else we allow ourselves to become. Our precocities and prodigies matter, our best possessions possess us, express us. We also have our own paraphernalia. Choose your totem animal, your thunderbolt, your owl, your crown.
The pivotal points in our life, the bare outline, can be turned inside out, were we to fall in a depression and read them upside down. That constellation of events, the scenes and settings, are emblematic, are as levers and transistors that brought us to our level. The outline of your life spiritual artifact distributes tonality.
Reflect then on your biography, and stitch a few central points together, give it a purpose, a meaning, thread a goal.
Our childhood home “lives in our heart,” to speak colloquially, or becomes a template or schema, to speak jargon. The temple we attended in childhood becomes internalized, we internalize the tone, the feeling, the logical operations, symbolized through architecture and decoration. We internalize scenes, and they become ideas, feelings, attitudes. Thus I recommend every man find his haunt, his college, his guild, his circle. The internet offers new and peculiar possibilities: the globe is reduced, we can find sympathetic spirits from all quarters of the globe.
Yet let us find a quiet woods for meditation. Let us make an altar of our work area, and perform all the rites to make it sacred. Let us choose the diet, the rituals, the prayers, to set the tenor of our day. Let us internalize those things.
Like a sea urchin, our center reaches needles of light across all the universe, across all of history. Remote figures speak to us, their spirits tell us secrets. Nothing is ever quite lost: worlds collude to make you who you are.
In today’s age of globalization, with the internet collapsing all distance, we find our scattering of peers across the world.
Our soul and our psyche are like the periodic table. Once this chart was invented, and the periodicity of the elements discovered, gaps could be filled, new elements predicted. So does self-knowledge help us fill in the gaps, and know what our aching desires actually refer to, what world elements we must seek to complete ourselves.
So often we resist an element, a bad habit, a bad influence, a guilty pleasure, a friend we would better forget. We don’t know ourselves, and imagine such people could be dropped. We do not yet recognize their necessity, that in some form or another we will always have them. Self-awareness means forgiving yourself, and better than forgiving, accepting yourself.
Ideas never die, gods abide, and the primordial self we always were forever publishes itself into all the universe. Rest content then that the best of all companies surround you always: those your own.
The rhythms of sex, and the micro-rhythms, the gestures, the minutia, as well as the thrust of the full situation, enculturate. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the namesake’s nemesis and best friend, Enkidu, a wild man, is domesticated and normalized – that is to say, enculturated – through sex with a temple prostitute.
Our soul atones to all we make love. This the touch of soul to soul, to the whole gestalt of the sexual encounter, the relationship, the circumstance, every layer of meaning. We are bound to our generation by our sexual relationships. And yet Mary Magdalene, former prostitute, who through psychic affinity contracted a legion of demons, became, as the Mormons hold, one of the three Mary’s Jesus married, and by the divining rod of his sexuality was able to calm the waters and absorb the disorder into the rod of atonement.
I too with my touch calm demons, but also convert them to angels.
Certainly there are differences between sexual encounters, and sex with an angel or God, a man or woman of such station, reaches to depths unapproachable by anything “casual.” Merely to peer into the eyes of our Rozhiar, to search each other’s souls, for half an hour, to express through the eyes, through pupil dilation, through every glance and blink, the fatal fall, the halcyon of doom. Thus we fall for Ama, fall into her, sink into her depths, until, thrust with love in Rozhiar’s embrace, we confess our soul: “I can’t but love you.” She responds, “Even I.”
To have that one at center, to hold her in your heart, to seek those depths, her whisper at your pith reverberates across galaxies and fills the fullness.
The creation of the infant comes from sex and the bliss of love. Our combined love becomes this new person. And so it is with a man and his muse, with our spiritual children, when the artist’s womb is filled with inspiring beauty – as all of my allays, these spiritual essays, belong to her – to us.
And yet so much of this new thing pulls form world elements. How is this so?
Consider a candy bar. Looking over its ingredients, we see parts of it come from all over the globe, a wide variety of sources, remote, thousands of miles apart, came together to form this bar. The cocoa was grown in trees, the sugar from cane, and let us say the preservatives were manmade. That means not only a laboratory, but everything a lab implies, the traditions of education, the universities, with science rooted in Hellenism.
The wrapper lists nutritional information created through endless experiments on animals and humans. The bar is owned by a company with a brand. The “feel” for that brand was created in part through advertising. The bar may be copyrighted, is saturated in all sorts of legal language, contracts, rings upon rings of legalese, with lawyers and the tradition of law, much of it coming from Rome.
The bar is sold, and how it is sold, at what price, requires accountants, financers, bankers, businessman.
Entire cultures, eras of history, farmers, science, law, economy, all went into this bar, as well as countless hands in delivering the ingredients, in driving the trucks, in manning the machines. Were we to list everybody who made this candy bar possible, the roster would be longer than the credits of a movie. The entire world colluded to bring you this snack, and it is absorbed, wrapped up in layers and layers of meaning.
Eating it is simple.
So it is in all we create, all our rings, all our ideas, everything we would generate. We center our children around our soul, put a part of our soul into the child, and he becomes something of his own, through us and apart from us. This allay is yours, Rozhiar, love from your touch.
O spiral of the unfolding rose, the all-encloser, your tongue of flame engulfs me: your whisper at the center --a pinprick would kill me --the utter of your love is my innermost tender. The sheer tonal bliss as this our child conceived, my Rozhiar, Varuna ocean song, my silly one, shudder of my heart, my binary star, warm as pulse, full as dawn, resplendent shine, Oversoul, glorious hold of my hope, the have of here and now, fullness, All.
Zen Buddhism made sacred sitting still and breathing. Judaism made sacred requesting favors. Islam crouching on the floor. Christianity sharing a drink. All these gestures and activities had their original sense, and were spiritualized, which added nothing to them, but amplified something already latent and possible within.
Great to master yoga, to open your soul by stretching your legs. Great any discipline, and playing the guitar or juggling could just as well be “it,” could be the substrate to plumbing our source. Most people only believe in themselves when they adopt a publicly sanctioned role. The confidence to believe in yourself despite public disdain, requires a bold self-love. How deep can we dive into our depths? Let nobody tell you, not even I. What is best in the universe nobody can teach you. At best they can teach you that nobody can teach you.
Choose any askesis, any art, any skill, and approach it deeply, profoundly, reverently. Insist on yourself. Damn conscience, damn law, damn God. Hold to your own.
A few strategic touches, and I have a thing. I need not amuse my children all day to be a present parent. The right touches, the right engagement, the full focus, at the ripe moments, at the calling time, take me to that place, into the minds and hearts of my loves.
Don’t spin in circles, wearing yourself out. Sharpen your ax before you cut. Plan your approach. Effort is noble, persistence is success, yet wisdom pours infinite meaning into small things. Knit a ring, make a place: don’t carpet the whole world, but wear shoes.
An event is that double mirrored time, drawing in the energy of anticipation, drawing out the energy of memorability. A book in history, an event in our life, a change in our day, sets up this double mirror: the first half inverts into the second. The homecoming of a spouse, to a house well-cleaned and prepared, the warm greeting and the exchange of glances, and the partners invert souls; the day rewinds.
We leave life from the same spot we entered it: the summoning tone is the parting tone.
So have her eyes from that mirror gazed through you, till you convert souls, exchange names, and impregnate the other with yourself.
That moment of knowing, time zero, the center of history – Ama presses the kiss and seals your fate. The event may be microscopic, the smallest gesture: the world seed, as small as a dot. That double mirror, reflection unto infinity, is our moment, you looking upon me, seeing my soul bare, as I present this secret to you.