Sunday, August 9, 2015

2015.08.09 — 10,000 Views, Mr. Palomar and the Fushigi* Zazen of The Upanishads & The Nature of Personal Reality

[Begun on the 9th, and re-commenced on the 13th.]
The fushigis continue to outpace my ability to blog them. Even now, even though I sat down tonight to write a memoir of inertia, my inertia has kept me from writing it and I found myself writing silly Zenish fushigi things instead.

And now, I will begin with music from last night’s small fushigi,
mostly because it involves the joy of listening to Laurie Brown’s The Signal and how her music interacts fushigish with my life. I had Laurie’s music in my ears as I was writing a letter to my sisters. We had had a reunion the night before. I hadn’t seen the one sister since 1991 the other since 2004. We shared our own paths of survival and recovery from the trauma we’d experienced under the charismatic and sociopathic cult-like charms of our mother. (That’s for another story.) I began the letter struggling to describe how I felt. I wrote “I am smiling at how easy and peaceful, perhaps even tranquil, the time felt to me.” As I was writing that, I heard Laurie Brown introduce the next song with, paraphrased, Alana Yorke
bringing ‘comfort, peace and tranquility’. How often do you hear or read the word tranquility these days? And yet as I’m writing it Laurie’s is speaking it. Anyway, I went and found the song from The Signal’s play logs because it is quite beautiful. Enjoy: Song of the Piano Man.

And tonight there was a funny fushigi. It began with my beginning to share on FB a small miracle, or magic, in its own right: Thursday [yesterday, the day of my reunion] I received an email from the Readwave reader/writer webpage that my total story and poem reads there have reached 10,000. That ‘milestone’ occurred on the same day I met with a sister I hadn’t seen since 1991, which is some kind of milestone. While a little amusing, that is not the fushigi. And, funny enough, as it turns out she is married
to a writer! Too funny, how life goes. And even funnier, he is not a mainstream writer, as he explores the liminal areas of human experience. Jasun Horsley is fascinating, and an excellent writer and podcaster.

When I went to share my 10k milestone on FB, I wanted to be clever, and find some quotation on the limits of words. That words have limited functionality and are prone to creating serious miscommunication is a regular theme in my writing. I began to flip through a few of my books. After a few unsuccessful flips, I came across this one in a book that I bought today:
How to Awaken
Most students of Zen apply themselves to mindless zazen [meditation] — a grave error. [It is to be remembered] that the mind is transmitted and enlightened by itself. The non-sentient cannot attain the Way. Students today can’t seem to grasp that to feel cold or warmth, hunger or fullness, is to be mindless and on the right path (61).
Zen: Poems, Prayers, Sermons, Anecdotes, Interviews. Translated by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto.
Nice! I thought to myself. And marked it with a sticky for later, when I would put together this blog.

Well, for some reason, I decided to take a quick look at the other book I bought at the same time as the Zen one. It is Mr. Palomar by the amazing Italian writer, Italo Calvino. And this is what I read!
Ch. 1: Reading A Wave
The sea is barely wrinkled, and little waves strike the sandy shore. Mr. Palomar is standing on the shore, looking at a wave. Not that he is lost in contemplation of the waves. He is not lost, because he is quite aware of what he is doing: he wants to look at a wave and he is looking at it. He is not contemplating, because for contemplation you need the right temperament, the right mood, and the right combination of exterior circumstances; and though Mr. Palomar has nothing against contemplation in principle, none of these three conditions applies to him. Finally, it is not "the waves" that he means to look at, but just one individual wave: in his desire to avoid vague sensations, he establishes for his every action a limited and precise object.

Mr. Palomar sees a wave rise
in the distance, grow, approach, change form and color, fold over itself, break, vanish, and flow again. At this point he could convince himself that he has concluded the operation he had set out to achieve, and he could go away. But isolating one wave is not easy, separating it from the wave immediately following, which seems to push it and at times overtakes it and sweeps it away; and it is no easier to separate that one wave from the preceding wave, which seems to drag it toward the shore, unless it turns against the following wave, as if to arrest it, Then, if you consider the breadth of the wave, parallel to the shore, it is hard to decide where the advancing front extends regularly and where it is separated and segmented into independent waves, distinguished by their speed, shape, force, direction.

In other words, you cannot observe a wave without bearing in mind the complex features that concur in shaping it and the other, equally complex ones that the wave itself originates(3).
And that was perhaps an almost perfect example of a writer using words to move beyond words and, at the same time, embodying the antithesis of the Zen teacher’s lament that student of life cannot live within the ‘natural’ order of life. So delightful.

This was almost immediately followed up with a delightful
‘analytical’ version of Calvino’s Mr. Palomar. I found it in The Nature of Personal Reality by Seth/Jane Roberts.
As mentioned (in Chapter Four), the conscious mind is a portion of the inner self; that part that surfaces, so to speak, and meets physical reality more or less directly.

You are mainly concerned now with physical orientation and the corporeal materialization of inner reality. Therefore the conscious mind holds in ready access the information that you require for effective day-to-day living. It is not necessary that you hold in steady consciousness data that does not directly apply to what you consider your physical reality at any given "time." (Pause, one of many.) As soon as the need for such data — aid, information, or knowledge — arises, then it is immediately forthcoming unless your own conscious beliefs cause a barrier.
The exquisite, precise and concentrated focus of your conscious mind is quite necessary in physical life. It is because of this highly selective quality that you can "tune into" the particular range of activity that is physical (95).
I decided to search a bit more, and a flip or two later I came across something from the Chandogya Upanishad. I read it in The Upanishads, translated by Eknath Easwaran:
Narada, approached the Venerable One, Sanatkumara,
and asked him to teach him. The Venerable One replied, “tell me what you know, and then I will teach you what is beyond that.”

“I know the four Vedas, Rig, Yahur, Sama, Atharva — and the epics, called the fifth. I have studied grammar, rituals, mathematics, astronomy, logic, economics, physics, psychology, the fine arts, and even snake-charming. But all this knowledge has not helped me to know the Self. I have heard from spiritual teachers like you that one who realizes the Self goes beyond sorrow. I am lost in sorrow. Please teach me how to go beyond.”

“Whatever you know is just words,” said Sanatkumara, “names of finite phenomena. It is the Infinite that is the source of abiding joy because it is not subject to change. Therefore, seek to know the Infinite (188-9).”
How does all this tie into a family reunion? Each of us related our struggles out of the deluded illusionary world our mother had made up for us. We had all come to the awareness, had woken up in Zen language, that our mother’s world was ultimately an empty and psychologically poisoned one that only words and the blind who will follow them have the ability to make manifest. Only words have the power to create ideas and ideologies that are completely disconnected from the real world, a world that is comprised of the complexity of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual beings. We each of us had, in our own unique paths, left the cult of ‘just’ words that our mother adeptly made. And ‘cult’ is not my description. Some time after breaking off communication with our mother, our eldest sister described her shocked realization that the documentary on cults she was watching was describing our childhood.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

2015.07.02 — For the Love of Psyche Out Fushigis*

Yesterday was Canada Day and I managed to spend the very hot day doing something I haven’t done in over a year. I spent much of the afternoon sitting and reading. I primarily read The Inner World of Trauma: The Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit. And I managed to collect a trio of odd fushigis during the day and then closed the day — it was after 11:44pm — with a musical one.

Fushigi #1 began with a comment June 30th on the TPBM (The Person Bellow Me game in the WSS). Garrison commented on self-esteem:
TPBM believes that accomplishment comes before self-esteem.
Since I disagreed, and was the person below him, I wrote:
No. Without self-esteem, what appears to be an accomplishment will be short-lived. And no outward success has the power to transform someone without self-worth, into one with it.
This is, I well know, nothing special or particularly enlightening. But I smiled when the following came up, later yesterday, in my reading of the myth of Psyche and Eros:
… Psyche with all her beauty received no fruit of her honour. She was wondered at of all, she was praised of all, but she perceived that no king nor prince, nor any of the inferior sort did repair to woo her. Every one marvelled at her divine beauty, as it were at some image well painted and set out. Her other two sisters
which were nothing so greatly exalted by the people, were royally married to two kings; but the virgin Psyche sitting at home alone lamented her solitary life, and being disquieted both in mind and body, although she pleased all the world, yet hated she in herself her own beauty (111).
The Golden Ass Apuleius. Translated by Adlington in 1566 with an introduction by Harry C. Schnur.
And, from The Inner World of Trauma: The Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit, I read the following:
This is the problem of narcissism, i.e., the identification of the ego with beauty, wealth, or fame — all collective values that inflate the ego with numinous, archetypal energies that do not properly belong to it. Psyche is ‘inflated’ by everyone else’s desire (she carries their projections), but her own desire is unawakened. Her ‘spirit is broken’ and she is full of self-loathing — precisely what we have seen as the legacy of early trauma. Only her outer beauty sustain her self-esteem. Inwardly she is empty and without an authentic self (168-9).
Fushigi # 2: Yesterday I wrote a Haiku in the WSS’s Haiku Game thread, my first in quite a long time.
The new day's new dew
Blessed a thousand leaves of grass,
Bedewed the ado hair-do
Today, while continuing my research of the myth of Psyche and Eros, once again from Schnur:
Thus fair Psyche being sweetly couched amongst the soft and tender herbs, as in a bed of dewy grass and fragrant flowers, and having qualified the troubles and thoughts of her restless mind, was now well reposed: and when she had refreshed herself sufficiently with sleep, she rose with a more quiet and pacified mind, and fortuned to espy a pleasant wood environed with great and mighty trees, and likewise a running river as clear as crystal; in the middest and very heart of the wood, well-nigh at the fall of the river, was a princely edifice, wrought and builded, not by the art or hand of man, but by the mighty power of God: and you would judge at the first entry therein, that it were some pleasant and worthy mansion for the powers of heaven (115).
Fushigi # 3: I continued to read the tale of Psyche:
Then straightway all sorts of wines like nectar were brought in, and plentiful dishes of divers meats, not by anybody but as it were by some divine spirit or breath, for she could see no person before her, but only hear words falling on every side, and she had only voices to serve her (116).
Later, in the evening, I read a FB post in response to a delightful song based on the voices of women telling the weather. Here is ‘Weathered’ by Dark Orchard.

And here is a copy of the comment from Malana Orr: i wonder if this is what "voices" in somone's head would sound like…. To view the comment, join the FB Group the Signal. This was originally posted June 19th by Jim Casson.

Does that count as a fushigi? It is all a matter of opinion, of course.

But to close off this post, as I was writing this I was listening to The Signal with host Laurie Brown,
and after her introduction, which I didn’t pay close attention to, I heard the following spoken word song come into my ears around 11:27pm:

Shoulders by Shane Koyczan. (And I found the lyrics here.)
Like many, I love to look at the stars.

I love the fact that ours is just one among many.

What I love about astronomy is that our constellations tell a story.

Our constellations were born from mythology.

Mythology was our first attempt to understand the world in which we live

We put a God in everything and those Gods would give us our reasons.

Why is the sky blue?

Who chose blue?


How come men have nipples?

It’s the will of the Gods.

Why does this wine taste so good?

There’s a God in it!

And for a while, there was not a single thing that the gods could not explain.

We believed that their anger gave us lightning;

Their despair gave us rain

We whispered our desires to them, believing that their charity would sustain us.

Those Gods… were just stories.

But stories became a large part of how we learn

They burn lessons into our memories

They become a part of how we remember; we can remember almost everything,

Right down to that first unbearable bee sting

When we learned that this tiny blue marble we call the world has rules.

Rule number one: don’t fuck with the bees!

An unforgettable lesson brought to you by your memories.

I remember that I grew up loving mythology.

I remember the story of the titan Atlas, who was also the god of astronomy

The original global positioning system sending sailors safely home by telling them which constellation to keep starboard.

He taught us about the stars, and in all this, while he held up ours

Our pale blue dot.

But Atlas is caught between two different tellings of his story.

In the first, he leads a rebellion against Olympus and is then sentenced to hold the heavens on his shoulders for eternity.

In the second story, he is chosen to be the guardian of the pillars that hold up the earth and sky.

I prefer the second story.

It means that the world is not a punishment; but rather, a responsibility.

But how can just one be charged with such a burden?

How can just one be responsible for all this?

When I think of Atlas, I think of a single drop of rain

I think how unfair it would be to hold a single drop solely responsible for making the entire world clean again.

I remember how my grandmother tried to explain our world to me-

She told me a story

She said the ground and the sky, they love each other

But they don’t have arms

So rain; that’s just how they hold one another.

I began to see how the earth and sky need each other.

But I wondered about us.

In this perfect design, where do we fit?

Which piece of the puzzle are we?

Like constellations, I began to see a connection between dots and numbered my thoughts

And drew lines from one to the next.

I began to see us in the context of a bigger picture, sharpening the blur slowly into focus

We are Atlas.

I saw that this pale blue dot, this one world, is all we get.

There will be no reset button, no new operating system, no downloadable upgrade

We will not be allowed to trade in our old world for a new one with climate control or better fuel efficiency

We get one shot at this.

Dismiss all reports of second chances; we get one.

And yet we draw advances on our future as if we one day won’t be held accountable-

We will.

We are.

The human race runs toward a finish line emblazoned with the worlds ‘too far’ and wonders,

Will we ever cross it?

Have we already?

We are faced with the seemingly impossible talk.

And it’s okay to be afraid.

Our dilemma stands before us like a mountain carved into a blockade, the sheer magnitude of our problem would be enough to dissuade anyone.

How do we save the world?

We lay in our beds curled into question marks, wondering

What can we do?

Where do we start?

Is hope a glue crazy enough to hold us together while we’re falling apart?

The burden seems immense.

But we can do this.

We must take the martial arts approach to loving our planet-

Love as self-defense

Forget about the cost

There will be no other thing as worth saving as this!

Nothing more important; nothing as precious;

This is home.

All of our stories start and end here.

We are sheltered within an atmosphere that has given us every single breath we will ever take

Every monument we have ever made has come from the flesh of our planet.

Water like blood, skin like soil, bones like granite

It is not a myth, there is no debate, facts are in

Fact is, there’s never been any question.

We are facing crisis.

We dismiss the truth not because we can’t accept it, but because having to commit ourselves to change is a scary prospect for anybody.

The most alarming part of the statement ’we are facing crisis’

Isn’t the word ’crisis’,

It’s the word ’we’.

Because those two letters take the responsibility away from one and rest it squarely on the shoulders of everybody.

We are Atlas now.

But our strength will come from finding a way to share in shouldering the responsibility of turning the impossible into somehow

Somehow, we will do this.

We can do this.

We can dismiss apathy; we can reject uncertainty

We can be the new chapter in our story

We will not see change immediately

We must act in faith as the hour hand grips the minute hand and they land on the eleventh hour

We must believe like the seed that change is possible to see.

Never seize the flower, it grows knowing it must become more than what it was

It changes, because in growth, all of its potential can be unlocked.

Change is like rain, it starts with a single drop.

Just one, like our pale blue dot.

Caught in an endless waltz called gravity, we circle the sun, wondering who, if anyone left the light on.

We are constellations drawn upon the earth, we are connected to one another, we are bound.

We must behave as the arms that connect the ground to the sky.

We must try to be more like the rain.

Our stories may differ, our goal is the same:

How do we save our pale blue dot?

We act as the rain, realizing that each individual drop is as equal and important as any.

We act as one.

Now, we are many. [My emphasis.]
Good night. I've had more fushigis since beginning this post, one involving a mojito, but time precludes me from adding them all.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

2015.06.13 — A Drivel of Small June Fushigis*

Hello. It has been long since I’ve blogged. At last I have a few free moments, which has become a rare thing. Well, define ‘free’ of course! I have several letters I’d like to write. And a ‘humorous’ essay, that I began a few months ago, that examines the subversive nature of humour. And it is still unfinished, even though the idea of it and ideas for it are constantly running through my mind. (The synopsis: I think that what is subversive about humour is that the outward humour of comics pointing to our naked emperors does not change the society, but allows it to continue as it is regardless the inequality that may be extant. But that when someone moves from being angry to inwardly laughing at their friable humanity, that is when the transformation of the world begins.) [[Odd! As I'm writing this, Laurie Brown on CBC Radio is quoting someone's opinion on the nature of what it takes to write about what is close to the heart and soul.]]

My life is filled with strange tiny fushigis. Here is a quick sampler:

I learned from one of my sisters that a sister I haven’t seen or talked to since 1979 scanned and uploaded old family pictures for me. As i have been estranged from my family, I haven’t seen any of them for more than 35 years. I struggled to remember the names of some of my old elementary and school class mates. I struggled to remember the name of one in particular. The following morning I heard on the radio her name, well almost her name: Anitra is what I heard, Anita was her name.

Yesterday I asked a young woman* in a clothing store what the text in her tattoo said. She answered ‘There are no coincidences’ (I think — or something like that.) So I told her about this blog, with its fushigis and my old black books filled with small fushigis. And then I told her “I don’t usually ask people about their tattoos, and so isn’t it odd that I would ask you about yours?” And now I am smiling, because the last time I asked a person about their tattoo, that had fushigi elements in it. It was a quotation from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette, now forgotten, about being true to one’s self, I seem to remember.

*[Addendum 2015.08.23. I was once again asked by ML to pick-up clothes for her from the clothing store. And this same young woman happened to be there and be available to serve me because the CSR who was helping someone chose not to help me when she was done. After our ‘Hellos’ she smiled and mentioned the following fushigi. It was she whom ML had called to place the clothing order a few days earlier and shortly after that call Michell (I asked her her name) found the note I’d left her with my blog’s url. So she was curious to see if I’d blogged this incident, and smiled to see that I had.]

Yesterday morning before going to work I gave to ML ‘my’ pair of scissors from upstairs because she had misplaced her downstairs pair over a week ago. (She is largely confined to a wheel chair and is physically unable to get upstairs.) As she is very hard on scissors, dulling them quickly by using them on things like trimming plants, I planned to replace ‘mine’ with a new pair. Well, yesterday afternoon, shortly before it was time for me to shut down the office computer at work, I visited the WSS word association game thread — it is one of the few things I seem to have time to ‘write’ these days — and was amused to read Leslie’s word: scissors. And so yes, the universe helped me to remember to pick them up on the way home from work. And, as I’m writing this, I just realized that I had those scissors with me when I asked the customer service rep about her tattoo, because I bought them while on my way to pick up some clothes ML had ordered.

Today I planned to make chocolate chip cookies. (Sigh. Didn’t get to it before the day ran out.) But while standing in line at Galloways, I engaged in conversation about the store with a blind man and his severely vision impaired wife. When it came time to get our stuff, she asked for chocolate chips, because she was going to make chocolate chip cookies. ‘She makes the world’s best,’ her husband said. And then, after they had gone, and I was paying for my order, the woman behind them set her stuff on the counter. And I recognized couscous, and I was thus reminded by the universe that I had indeed forgotten that I needed couscous! So I apologized to the customer service rep, and rushed off to get the couscous. Now it gets strange. I thanked the woman for reminding me that I’d forgotten something. She asked me what she had that had helped me. I pointed to the bag of couscous. ‘Oh!’ she said with some excitement. ‘Do you know how to cook it? I’ve never cooked it before.’ And so then I gave her quick cooking instructions.

And while I walked back to the car, I reflected on how the universe was helping me along in these tiny little ways. And I realized that for the universe to help me I had to be present, in the moment aware of my surroundings and the people. This is relatively new territory for me, as I have spent most of my life being unaware of my body and its presence in life, and mostly oblivious to everyone around me. And I realized that the yoga has been making very interesting changes to my presence of mind in the here and now. For example, I have become aware of my clothes, how they look on me and on them getting dirty by life. Again, yesterday: for the first time in my life I became aware of how I splashed water on my clothes while washing my hands. For years ML has complained about that, and I have never noticed nor cared. And today, while shopping, I was aware that I did not want to brush my light coloured clothes against my dirty car. In the past I would not have noticed that I had dirtied my clothes until ML, with frustration, castigated me on having gotten dirty. I am definitely more present. Funny, I was going to include that changed awareness of my physical self in a blog about how much I’ve changed.

Well, there is more. But time to stop. It is time to do my daily meditation exercise. Yes. That is another change. Six weeks ago I attended a meditation class, and have, since then incorporated twice daily meditation practice in my life. That is another blog, as I am seeing huge changes in my physical and emotional states of being. Hmmm. Is my changed state of awareness, just discussed, related to it? Interesting timing, to say the least.

But before I go, maybe another small fushigi. A few weeks ago a young friend, who just happens to be burdened with a philosophical turn of mind and with whom I’ve been exchanging e.letters, expressed her puzzlement over what Chuang-Tzu meant by ‘good’. This brought a huge smile to my face, and I jumped in with a Taoist take on age old problem of ‘Good and Evil.’ I cited different translations of Chapter 8 in Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. While writing that I have been reading The Inner World of Trauma by Donald Kalsched that has been blowing my mind and connecting things up. It is completing and connecting things between my unconscious and mind in a complementary way with what yoga has been doing with my body and spirit. Anyway, a key part of Kalsched’s discussion is about the good/bad dyad, which he has called the persecutor- protector duplex. Fascinating discussion, and explains much of my own experience. Anyway, as I was reading this and writing about the age old problem of ‘good and evil’ to my friend, I did not see the connection. Amazing, even as I am discussing becoming aware, how much I keep myself unaware of. In fact I did not see the connection until I followed my intuition and answered the call of a book I purchased several months ago, and opened it at random June 8, 5 days ago. Wow! This is what I read:

… [T]he prince asked the master again, ‘Venerable Teacher, if good men and women are motivated to attain correct awareness in order to restore their integral nature, how can they maintain the awareness and subdue the delusive activity of the mind?’

The master replied, ‘Kind prince, good people who are motivated to attain the correct awareness of an integral being should dissolve all conceptions of duality. With integral awareness of their moral responsibility, they will be able to help all people to eliminate the darkness of the dichotomous mind and the delusions stemming from concepts of existence and non-existence so that they can finally attain the essence of the integral subtle transcendence. When this has been achieved, the one who renders service to others discovers that, in truth, there is no one being served; he no longer perceives other lives as external to himself, nor does he perceive his own existence as separate and individual. If integral beings still held any concepts of self and others, longevity and brevity, life and death, [good and bad,] then they would not be beings of true integral awareness.

‘Kind Prince, what do you think? Did I attain awareness of the integral nature of the universe through the use of any special esoteric method [such as science or other religious practices]?’

‘No, Venerable Teacher,’ replied the prince, ‘As I understand, what you teach us is not something that can be obtained thought the practice of any esoteric method, for there is no specific device that can uplift one to the higher realms. Once something is labeled as the ultimate method or device, it has already become a hindrance to one’s attainment of integral awareness. Therefore, to an integral being, any external, established means is not the Integral Way.’

‘You are right, kind prince. There truly is no way for an Integral One to separate his being from the nature of the universe. If I had used any particular way to attain awareness of the integral nature of the universe, then the masters who live in the deep central realm of one great life would not have recognized me as an integral being. They refer to me, however, as a cosmic person who lives in all times and all places, and this is what an integral being should be.

‘If there is someone who states that an Integral One has attained the correct awareness of the integral nature of the universe by means of any specific way, then he is simply mistaken. There is no relative, specific way in which one can achieve awareness of the integral truth. The integral nature of the universe cannot be distinguished through a dualistic mode of perception. … What are labelled as methods of achieving enlightenment and uplifting one to the higher realms, wise prince, do not exist in the integral realm (114-5).

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu Translated by Hua-Ching Ni.
Well it is now indeed time to go. And I apologize for this being all words. I want to post this, and so am doing so before I my day runs out, and that precludes pictures. Good night.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2015.02.07 — - Shattered Consciousness and the Burden of The Common Man — Small fushigis*

Today was a day with three tiny but remarkable fushigi. The last one today began two days ago. And like all great ones, it began small, with my deciding to look at The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book by Jane Roberts. I decided this, in my mind anyway, because I
have been thinking about my path from childhood and its soul destroying trauma, to paraphrase a sister, to peace and the beginnings of joy for the first time in my life. And Personal Reality was very very important in that path.

So I flipped open to a random page in an unread old copy of the book. (I loaned away my thumbed copy many years ago, and it is not likely to return.) And I flipped open to Seth talking about the effects of massive doses of LSD as a therapeutic tool. When I read it I smiled at his discussion about the birth, death and rebirth of consciousness, because I recently posted a similar argument in Kubrickon as it relates to the problem of consensus versus consciousness. I posed the following question:
With [M.L.] von Franz’s comment [in her interview ‘The Way of the Dream’, that consciousness can be easily absorbed back into unconsciousness], it struck that there may be a relationship between consensus building and the unconscious. Here's my thought: what if
consensus is the means by which consciousness struggles against annihilation by the unconscious?
The collective consensus is the counterbalance to the collective unconscious. The challenge or conundrum or irony of it is that for our consciousness to be saved from the darkness of unconsciousness requires that we dim the light of consciousness enough to join with the masses and become, hopefully, not a fully unconscious member of the tribal consensus! LOL!
From Jane/Seth:

[Sidebar! I’m listening to Laurie Brown on CBC R2 ‘The Signal’ talking about being alone with the opportunity to rest, repair, heal as I am preparing to transcribe the following. She was introducing the song ‘In My Solitude’ by Del Bel. The contrast with my subject felt healing and appropriate. And bloggable.]
In therapy using massive doses of LSD, a condition of chemically enforced insanity takes place. By insanity, I mean a situation in which the conscious mind is forced into a state of powerlessness. There is a literal assault made not only upon the psyche, but upon the organizational framework that makes it possible for you to exist rationally in the world that you know. The ego, of course, cannot be annihilated in physical life. Kill one and another will, and must, emerge from the inner self which is its source.

Under such enforced conditions, you are literally facing egotistical consciousness with its own death in an encounter that need not occur — and while the physical body is fighting for its own life and vitality. You are bringing about a dilemma of great proportions (176-7). Toronto: Bantam Books 1980. ISBN 0553248456
Tonight, just before coming up stairs to write (in Kubrickon supposedly), I opened the book that arrived in the mail on Monday from the UK. The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit by Donald Kalsched I bought it a that recommendation
of my sister while we were talking about surviving childhood and some of the ways we can be set back by inner archetypal energies created in that childhood. From the introduction:
… I will be using the word “trauma” to mean any experience that causes the child unbearable psychic pain or anxiety. For an experience to be “unbearable” means that it overwhelms the usual defensive measures...The distinguishing feature of such trauma is what Heinz Kohut called, “disintegration anxiety,” an unnameable dread associated with the threatened dissolution of a coherent self.

To experience such anxiety threatens the total annihilation of the human personality, the destruction of the personal spirit. This must be avoided at all costs and so, because such trauma often occurs in early infancy before a coherent ego (and its defenses) is formed, a second line of defenses comes into play to prevent the “unthinkable” from being experienced (1).
[I am still listening to Laurie Brown, this time she mentioned “Lost in the All” which is the closing song of the movie The Samaritan with Samuel Jackson about a man struggling to grow out of his criminal past. That was kind of interesting, with the subject of growing out of our childhoods. But then it got really weird because, when I went to find the YouTube link, the one below it on the search results screen is Bastille - Things We Lost in the Fire.
Why I note this is that about a week ago I was struggling to remember the name of that movie. I am not even sure why, except maybe it is about a family and people struggling with harsh life events and destructive choices. I loved Things We Lost in the Fire,
and consider it to be one of Halle Barrie’s best performances. It also stars Benicio Del Toro in a great performance.]

End of the first fushigi of the day. Now for number 2.

It began, oddly enough, with another random book flip. For some reason I wanted to break the routine of work with my co-worker this morning and flipped open my office copy of The I Ching. And, as is usually the case, the hexagram was perfect, because of the feeling of work in the office. I flipped to p156, Six in the third place of #40 Deliverance. And I allowed my eyes to take me to where they wanted to go, which was Confucius’s comment:
Carrying a burden on the back is the business of a common man; a carriage is the appurtenance of a man of rank….
And then I proceeded with my day, which included a surprise requirement to visit a job site. And — OMG, this is funny, I didn’t realize it until just now! It was a job site, and I needed to open a service vault, and — Laurie brown is talking about a book called, I think, The Importance Of Waiting as I write this! Too funny! … And I needed to open a service box, but had to wait while men came by with a load of supplies they were pushing on a large dolly of some type. Except the last man, the biggest, who was carrying on his shoulder a very large and obviously heavy thick blue coloured plastic pipe of a type I’ve never seen before.

Anyway, where was I? Right. I got the pictures I needed and when I got back to the office I was very surprised to see that the man I had helped yesterday get a 34x44 inch colour print for his workshop had thanked me by leaving a copy of a CD he’d made on my desk. He was a stranger to me, here from Toronto to put on a type of software architecture course. And so a bit later I plugged in Mike Beauchamp’s CD ‘Welcome Mat’. This is a moving CD! The heart and feeling comes through very powerfully and the CD is well produced and sounds excellent. Mike’s vocals are, perhaps, a bit rough, but the heart and feeling he conveys more than makes up for that. A delightful listen and a heartfelt gift that really touched me. I listened to the CD without looking at the track names — the liner doesn’t have them, while Windows Media Player played it in the background. And the hairs on my neck pricked a little when I heard Mike singing:
Bear Their Burden

He will not bid the stones
turn in to bread today
easing his pressing hunger:
for the hungry and the poor
of the world cannot,
and he is in the world
to bear their burden.
He will not circumvent
frail humanness today,
denying his mortality:
for even the mighty
of the world cannot,
and he is in the world
to bear their burden.
He will not seek the throne
of a kingdom today,
no selfish wealth, no vain glory:
for the outcasts and the hurting
of the world cannot,
and he is in the world
to bear their burden.
Now for bed. It has been a long day and a long week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015.01.06 — On an 8-Track Fushigi Horror

@ 9:24pm in the WSS game thread, A Horror Story in Two Sentences, I wrote:
In some kind of cosmic joke, it just so happens that the reason history repeats itself is because God's master creation was the 8-track tape. Unfortunately, His manufacturer has gone out of business, and the last unbroken tape is starting to squeak in the machinery of time.
I wrote this to follow the previous entry, which does not make any reference to 8-tracks or 70s retro.

@10:16 pm, I walked out of the bathroom after a shower to say good night to my wife before going to bed. She was watching an episode of ‘My Retreat’ on the TV station Cottage Life. I don’t watch this, except by accident when I am in the room when my wife has it on. The episode was of an octogenarian’s ‘cottage’ in Whistler Village (about two hours from where I live). He is stuck in the 70s, and his place is still decorated in that era, including an 8-track player built into his bed! The photo is representative in style, although in the episode it was blue velvet and didn’t have the chrome lights (I don’t believe). And the owner went over and touched the tape in the machine and commented that it still worked.

Too funny not to generate a quick post.

And as I was writing this I could hear the episode wind down. The octogenarian commented that his son, after years of complaining about the horrible retro decor, has now thanked him for not updating the place. And so, all things old become new again, and history repeats itself — like an 8-track! LOL!