Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Imperiled Life of an Ice House in the Age of Climate Change

We have been watching the constant presence of Trump in the news. He seems to be the magic bone that can’t be gnawed away. To those of us who find the news fixated it can be wearisome. The Mueller investigation drags on and the presidential appointments circulate through a revolving door. his lawyer reveals all, while the president’s supporters don’t believe he is credible. Why they believe his former boss is credible, cannot be explained except by the principle of Cognitive Dissonance. Nothing is ever settled and what is done is then undone and redone. In a sense it is a satire of a failing system that has finally hit the wall. The thinning curtain between our world and the once mysterious machinations of government exposes the cast list behind the stage.  They seem nonplussed because Trump is so extreme from the norm that no one knows how to respond. Its as if they find themselves as naked as their emperor and can’t do anything but point a finger of blame or pretend it isn’t so.  How long can the president coast on the air of denial and confusion? I suppose however long the supporters hold him above the ground. In the meantime, the news media on both sides has unlimited spicy product.

The UNTIED States of America.

I’ve been puzzling about our theoretical democracy, it seems comparable to what happens to a spiritual movement when the inspired founder leaves this plane.  It is then hijacked by controlling, top level theorists who modify the original inspiration with partial truths enclosed in clever propaganda and use fear enhanced by egoism to assume authority. Any gold at the heart of the original inspiration morphs subtly into fool’s gold for its trusting followers. After that, an unfiltered experience per the original source of inspiration is persecuted as heresy. This isn’t confined only to religion and politics but is also present in science and other disciplines that have freeze dried the heart of inspired discoveries into self-serving dogma.

What about the Emperor who would be naked but for the creative imagination of his followers? They of course underestimate their own rights and powers for the defense of their fantasies. They want to believe, and they want to belong to something ‘great’. For a real democracy to work, the citizens would have to put themselves in the driver’s seat and not expect to be driven by someone else to the place they want to go. The deeper question is of course, where do the citizens want to go?

Equality, theoretically a central feature of the American ideal is in opposition to the American dream that everyone has an opportunity to become rich and powerful. Obviously, what it takes to be rich and powerful is exactly opposed to equality. In other words, “equality” is used as a starting line in the race for the inequality of superior power and opportunity. Perhaps this is to be expected considering that the founders of the United States were reacting to European feudalism.  It isn’t easy to erase old habits, and of course, people have different qualities and talents. Some are valued in our society more than others. Hawks have more social prestige than doves in the world we live in, and capital more value than heart. Perhaps that is the testing ground for survival in a changing climate.

The American Dream has an underside of royalty envy. This is apparent in the American dream of land ownership.  Everyone wants his/her (but more often his) personal kingdom to rule. The fact that this often generates an ecological disaster is not yet being addressed and inevitably leads to enormous problems as this style of individual ownership and dominance collides with the greater good and splits the land owner’s intentions from the health of the land itself. It also becomes a selling point for real estate agents and developers who exploit the fantasy dreams of their clients.

 Does equal opportunity mean that all participants begin a race at the same starting line or is it like a handicap race where each competitor is placed in a starting position that is most likely to equalize the field. Of course, some runners are naturally faster than others and would surge ahead if not handicapped.  However, if some of the runners are ill or malnourished it cannot be an equal playing field. Just beneath the surface of the American Dream is an overwhelming temptation to rig the race. There is no possibility of equal opportunity when the lower state of human nature sets the rules of engagement. Losing a rigged race is not founded on innate inferiority. A predator’s way of acquiring overwhelming power requires ambush tactics or pack cooperation.  Social equality and valuing the individual’s well-being and rights are inevitably in conflict with the capitalistic ideals of anything goes to get ahead and stay ahead.  Humanitarian and opportunistic concepts are always in opposition because they are based on opposing values. The robber barons of the 19th century set the tone for this equality oxymoron.

Above the concept of equal opportunity is the reality that certain talents have more social support than others. The ability to acquire wealth is valued over compassion, power is valued over authenticity and cleverness above wisdom. These are cultural biases that skew the values by which success is measured. However, imbalances in cultural values inevitably create social weaknesses that eventually cause the foundation of clay to give way and the top to topple. We seem to be approaching this situation.

With this kind of system, those on the lowest rung of the ladder of social and monetary success have very little chance of rising. There must always be a lower rung to provide the superior climbers with a first step.  There is no true independence. In nature, predators cull the sick, wounded and old from a herd thus giving the more fit animals a better chance to thrive. Social Darwinism provides a rationale for this position. However, human hunters prefer to cull the healthiest and most beautiful animals from a herd and thus leave breeding to the less fit. Equality and dominance exist in unavoidable tension. In addition, the playing field itself changes. I suppose this is the cogent basis of our two-party political system. However, real people are always moving back and forth between these extremes in various aspects of life. Being fit for one kind of contest may make one unfit for another kind. There are always cultural values that may themselves be out of balance. History is not static, nor is the natural state of the world, and as circumstances change, so must the definition of social power and success change.

Opposites are always in danger of becoming oppositions. But for united efforts, walking with competing legs isn’t possible.  Every culture has certain talents and abilities it values above others, probably based on early needs or even values once imposed on its culture from a foreign takeover. Religions have this effect as does war, climate change, and greed, all are threats that impel a population to relocate—which is the main reason America was recently peopled by Europeans, Asians, Africans and so on. Some came willingly some didn't but it isn't unique. People have been moving around the planet for thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of years displacing and mingling with the previous population. It seems to be human nature to become possessive about one's new neighborhood.

I used to feel despair about the negative fate of revolutions and how typically they begin with humanistic ideals and end in rigid dictatorships.  History is replete with heroes that morph into villains and gods that morph into devils. Our current political scene is locked in combat with each side believing it should have the righteous final say. Real progress requires coming together to achieve a higher creative understanding of the issues that transcend both viewpoints. Movement requires this! The winner/looser assumptions must be unencumbered by fears of loss and humiliation.

What seems correct for known circumstances, may not be fit in the unseen future.  I remember botanist, John Kimmy speaking of what the native people taught him about seeds. While helping local elders set aside seeds for the next spring, he was culling irregular ears of corn from those to be saved for the next planting season. One of the older women scolded him for not saving at least one of every kind, however imperfect it appeared to be. She said that we never know what the next growing season will bring and the seed that seems inferior now might be the very one that thrives next year. This brings two principles to mind. One is the importance of time and experience which is currently being ignored in our modern techno youth-based culture, and the other is the importance of not being fixated on one ideal of fitness.

America will never be great again, because the standards of greatness must evolve, and the past is not a good program for the future if one believes in any kind of growth. The current, sometimes absurd and if not so serious in potential consequences, comedic state of our politics may be just the state of confused chaos needed to propel growth beyond the fantasies of a past greatness that was never without complexities and contradictions. Confusion, neurotic symptoms and disillusionment are usually necessary to drive growth. The ideals of democracy have never thrived in America because they are ideals not realities. They will never be any more real if we don’t accept the importance and nature of our imperfections and use them as rungs to a higher level.

Thursday, January 3, 2019


I’m slowly putting some order in the first week of this new year. I began writing this three days ago.

2019’s First Day

This morning instead of writing in my 2018 tattered grey journal, I decided to begin a new journal. After all, there were only three empty pages left in this old one. I went to the shelf where I’d seen two empty journals earlier. To my surprise, they were not empty, they were full of 1998. So much for any hope of a blank slate. I interpreted this as a suggestion that I compare then and now. And so, I leafed through them to reconnect with my old self. I was very sad then. Most of my concepts about what gave meaning to my life were being massacred. I felt that the engine of my soul was dead, and I was silently drifting on left over momentum.

In hindsight it looks very different and the end of hope turned out to be a necessary detour. The other revelation was that the subjects of my mental gnawing had not changed but my approach has changed. On one hand, it’s possible to see life as being trapped on a Merry-go-Round but the difference was the state of soul with which I interpreted this circular ride. After all, we are on a round planet turning and turning in the same direction. And on a cosmic scale our earth goes `round and `round the Sun who also has its own circular journey in the cosmos. In a sense, we never go anywhere new. But the journey seems new if we crack through the crust of habitual perception and allow ourselves to be clueless. It may feel vulnerable but that’s the only condition that permits transformation.

The last week of 2018, I was physically and mentally low. It wasn’t an emotional depression but more like an empty fuel tank. But there was something else going on that required descending into something like hibernation. It didn’t escalate into frustration because time educated me that new experience requires an empty vessel and seen with new eyes empty space is full of options we may have overlooked because they were not on the old list of recognized possibilities. Frustration, sometimes verging on despair is required to jump start the engine of discovery in our high-speed world.

Today in the cold and snow, the Pueblo is doing the turtle dance. PQ and cold weather are not compatible and so we stayed home. It was lovely and peaceful doing nothing. The New Year came in quietly. We watched the powdery snowflakes drifting silently downward. It was healing to do nothing beyond a few simple routines while sending and receiving good wishes for the New Year. Of course, we all know that the world beyond that peaceful winter scene framed by the living room window is fraught with madness, fear, desperation and uncertainty but the earth continues to turn, the Sun rises each morning and this year here in New Mexico we will have more water after a dry 2018.

Mother Earth is expressing turmoil in tandem with the confused desperation of her human residents. This earth journey has never been an easy ride. As the Turtle Dancers rhythmically stroke the earth with their reverent feet gently stirring her to another round, I feel gratitude that life continues despite the alienation of those who fight with their fear and rage against peace.

I no longer despair about situations that I can’t change. There are hidden rivers of power beneath our vision rushing with cosmic force, but I will dance my humble steps as best I can to the rhythms of creation. As a student of the earth dance, I may not get it just right this time around, but I now recognize that dissonances exist in every song and provide a contrasting frame for the respite of balance. We have entered a new year and bring to it the effects of our previous years. I will work to resolve the discords of loss, defeat and fear with peace and balance. It seems like the best any of us can do for our besieged world.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

This Year's Subscription has Almost Expired, But I Plan to Renew

I’m writing this on the kitchen table while PQ paints on the other side. Outside the sun is setting and the bare dark branches contrast against a silver blue sky. Everything is grey and white out there, but the skeletons of trees and bushes reveal their fractal beauty. I love summer, but this is beauty in repose. Much of the winter world lives in secret.

The final time of the year is a transition from one life cycle to another. Winter is the darkest, coldest and most hidden time of the year. We celebrate for the birth of a new beginning in the form of the coming yearly cycle of seasons. Hope for this renewal of life was the purpose of the winter solstice celebration of our ancestors, now diminished to partying and obligatory gifts, and was full of color, light and flavor to show faith that Mother Earth would wake up gain. It was then appropriated by the young Christian church, which was also based on death and rebirth. For me, renewal is the essence of Christmas including the week before the New Year’s birth. We all hope it is a kind of rebirth of our hopes and dreams, and another chance at doing better. This is the thought behind the tradition of New Year’s resolutions, something I never do. However, I do reflect on the meaning of the previous year and attempt to understand its influence on life, which automatically morphs into thoughts of the future.
I painted this some time ago
but it seems appropriate

As I write PQ is working on a new pen drawing. This is a media he made his own this year. Each one is better than the previous one (or so it seems to me). He continues to paint jackets and recently designed a logo printed on T-shirts for a men’s club in California. I on the other hand, have only finished two new paintings this year, while distracted with the mundane duties of life my artistic imagination hasn’t had much time to flower. Having said that, I suspect that there is a deeper personal change that exists as a bud preparing to flower. There are winters of many kinds and I’m awaiting an artistic spring.

The heart beats of the cosmos as well as the natural and supernatural breaths of life come on many frequencies. From the highest that we can’t hear to the lowest that we also can’t hear. This fact encourages me not to become too concerned with the down times before Mother Earth’s next breath and heartbeat, these will always come even if within a great age by our miniature human reckoning. Unexpected disruptions and political discord have occupied the mainstream consciousness this past year. Simply put, there are seasons within seasons and sometimes the historic outer seasons of winter are very long indeed, but we must remember that even in the dead of winter there are interruptions of mild and sunny days.

I look back on my worst days and realize that they were responsible for pushing me through the shell of one limiting reality after another. Sometimes the broken shell held a mental construct, sometimes an emotional expectation or dearest hope and a few times many layers came down at once. I could feel persecuted by God and fate, and sometimes I did, but finally there was a new and enhanced world on the other side of the shattered shell that I once mistook for reality.
We too often look at unexpected problems and failures as the demise of happiness. On a national and world stage no one could argue that there is disarray, destruction, wrong headedness and a great deal of suffering.

This past year, I’ve become aware that the cosmos and our world is something of a seesaw ride. One aspect of life goes up while another goes down. One great breakthrough also brings along with it, problems that no one anticipated. Too much sugar is toxic and so is too much protein. Balance is a challenge for every change. Positive and negative are inseparable. We can regret it, fight it, bury our heads in the sand and ignore it but it is inescapable. In fact, the bond of opposites seems to fuel the engine of creation.

Balance is a goal of life and and the source of beauty, but it is always in process and movement challenges balance with each step. We live in a world and cosmos that instead of having once been created is forever in the process of creation and we as little atoms in the great cosmic body are also in creation. By the way atoms don’t die, but they can rearange. That’s among the reasons I believe in reincarnation. There are others as well, but I’ll save that for another time. Now the sun is setting, and darkness is taking over. Just remember that the sun will rise again. This is the dynamic message of Christmas.

“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Have a wonderful Christmas and transition to a New Year of inner peace.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Each time I begin

Each time I begin a new blog, I jump into the stream of unconsciousness in apprehension and hope that I will find something real beneath the rapids. Sometimes I try to use a theme that looks and sounds good but in the end it grows stale and I have to abandon it on the bank.

A few days ago, there was a PBS biography “A Place to Stand,” about Jimmy Santiago Baca, a poet author of Mexican and Apache ancestry whose name has been known to me for years yet was unknown to me inside the covers of his books.  His entry story is unfortunately not unusual but the outcome is rare indeed, marking him as one of those rare souls who came into this world destined by the sublime alchemist to be forged by fire to a fine metal. Frequently such souls begin among the lowest levels of the social hierarchy.  

Jimmy’s parents were addicts who abandoned him at an early age. He foraged and stole to survive. He had no schooling. He rose in the realm of thieves and drug dealers until he was caught.  He went from one prison to another and finally ended up in Arizona State Prison deemed one of the worst in the country. It was truly a place of horror where inmates were routinely ground down to a subhuman level. Some were tough and clever and Jimmy learned both good and bad skills from them. The inmates walked shoulder to shoulder with death every day.  He learned to be tough without permanently losing contact with his soul. The warden did what he could to keep the inmates from rising above the lowest level of bare existence, punishing those in anyway who attempted to learn or better themselves. Jimmy seemingly by accident discovered words and became enthralled.  His reward was to be banished to the dark underground of the prison. But even in this hell he received support from both inside and outside the prison.  An amputee veteran of WWII began to correspond with him secretly.  This man believed his calling from God was to communicate with prisoners like Jimmy. I have forgotten many details, but I believe he may have come to that calling having himself been a prisoner of war. His dialogue and encouragement was what Jimmy needed to survive and it fed his passion for the magic of words.

Due to this man’s intervention, Jimmy was finally removed from solitary. He continued to write, especially poetry. Words were the fire of life and lifted him above his pain and cage. At first, he had no thought of being published, but eventually began submitting his work to various magazines. The prison didn’t allow him to profit from this but writing was its own reward.

The suffering continued and Jimmy wrote to his benefactor that he was an atheist because if there was a god he couldn’t allow such cruelty and evil.  His benefactor then cut off their communication with a letter stating that he could not continue with someone who didn’t believe in god. After that, Jimmy was on his own.

Too often, religious people believe their god is too weak to withstand criticism and loss of belief. I have certainly lost belief many times in this cruel world based on exploitation and greed, but I now believe that a truer picture of god includes our rightful despair and rage at the horror and cruelty in this world.  I don’t know if Jimmy is still an atheist or if he now has a more complete view of god, but my own change came when I realized that it was more imperative that god believed in me than whether I believed in god. I am not using a capital G in the word god because my view of god will always amount to less than the tiniest dot of comprehension in the enormity of the cosmos.  
When we are born, if we have previously committed to the creative fire, we will most likely have a challenging reentry to this dimension. The white flame of life is our heritage just as it is for our planet that is now feeling a great heat melting it back to a malleable mass ready to take on a more beautiful form. Beauty saves. It saved Jimmy Santiago Baca because beauty is the shape of the divine form in all things from the greatest to the microscopic.

So many struggle and flail in their fear and rage, sinking deeper into the quicksand of pain and evil.  In their desperation, they often grab for others and pull these down too like lobsters in a boiling pot while sinking deeper and deeper into the thick viscous lower world. To ascend to power and beauty from such a place is true redemption and a forward to co-creation.

Light and dark exist in a constant dance. However, because dark has no energy of its own it must steal from the light.  Jimmy Santiago Baca is not just the story of a man who personally triumphed over a sentence of oppression. It is about the true alchemical process of transforming suffering into brilliance and power.

Our outer world is made of crumbling forms, “things fall apart,” as Yates said.  Yet, while no form is forever, and the state of the world is not to our liking, the Master Architect says there is a new design that we see a flashing glimpse of now and then and in order to build this finer form some ”things much fall apart.” In the ancient Indian holy writings, the world goes through many stages of creation and destruction. The world was not once created but is always in the process of creation. After the Kali Yuga, the darkest age in the circle of life, our earth takes a deep breath and begins the process of ascension again. It works that way for all inhabitants who pay attention.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Are we on the outer edge of a cosmic twister? Our life here in Taos is going on as usual but there is a feeling of unreality about it, or maybe the reality has changed and we haven’t caught up. When our connection to Arizona came to an end a year ago or at least to a long hiatus, it struck me as the perfect storm for us, and even more for the friend we stayed with in Cottonwood. However, a perfect storm is not just awe-inspiring bad luck; it turns life inside out and demands that we operate on unfamiliar terrain. Here again, the essential Hermetic maxim applies—“As above, so below.”

Donald Trump is getting virtually all the news commentary at this time.  In fact, as I write PQ is listening to some commentators attempting to reason out what happened to get us where we are and what might happen next, making my concentration on this blog very difficult (isn’t that a great symbol). Actually, this confused news is a practical metaphor for the present state of our non-union and is this not the main effect of a big storm of any kind?  When everything considered normal is tumbling about, people focus on immediate survival. Yet humans have an internal compulsion to understand and always struggle to make sense of the nonsensical, or more accurately, whatever is operating above their understanding. It is a moment-by-moment situation that blinds the unwilling participant to the larger world and its usual everyday routines let alone any long-term plans further out than the next moment. Perhaps we are in a kind of cosmic washing machine. Presently, we are on “soft wash”, but I’m not in denial that it won’t be enough to clean away the dirt and then the cosmic washing machine will be reset to “deep clean”.
Sunset augmented by California Fires

Even nature is having a fit. One side of this country seems to be burning up while the other side is drowning. Here in the middle, we are having a very dry year. The big trees are dying while the grass remains yellow.  Mother Nature is trying to tell us who is really in charge and we merely convert her messages into food for the nightly news.

Even small changes have ripples that extend far out into the universe. Of course, this means that any ripples out there come back to us as well. This is the underlying process that astrology is based on. Our little minds can’t imagine the actual complexity of influences both local and cosmic, so we read one system to get a sense of what the big picture might be, and of course, the reading is only as good as the competence of the interpreter.  I’ve learned that I’m actually better at reading in hindsight than predicting the future.  Unfortunately, we tend to imagine the future by transposing over it past experiences. Incidentally, this brings up an old memory from the pre-digital days. I accidentally loaded my camera with a film that was already full. The effect was actually pretty interesting. It placed my backyard in the Redwood forest of California. Maybe something comparable is happening at this time, and we just don’t recognize it.

To understand this life and its nature we need kaleidoscopic vision.  The pattern is constantly changing and we really have no control over the next turn. The only control we have is our response because within this kaleidoscope, all the little pieces are alive.  Chaos doesn’t rule it’s just another turn in the dial of the cosmic kaleidoscope. The other side of the Hermetic maxim is “As below, so above”.

Okay, I think I’m in as deep as I can go right now. I’m starting to get dizzy. Therefore, I’ll pull myself back from the cosmos into this tiny world I’m living in.  For sure, it is all I aspire to master right now. Even that may be a bit beyond my grasp, remember my lifetime issue with the Monkey Bars—I’ve made it to another rung but it’s still a long way to the top.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


I’m thrilled to see that recently rare honeybees are back and they are buzzing around the flowers on the patio and near the sidewalk. Then I notice there are almost no grasshoppers. That flock of magpies that landed in the Cottonwood tree a few days ago must have had a feast. This is very encouraging. For me, it means that nature is still working toward a balance despite official human efforts to suppress and overwhelm everything natural. Bees, grasshoppers and magpies are a source of information that we seldom notice, especially in the city. Significantly, they are all participants in one system.

Habitat for Humanity is building again in our neighborhood. We are losing our last clear view of the mountains behind us, so I am planning to plant another vine on the fence for more privacy now that there is no use in preserving the view. So, that is the way life is on the micro level. It is in constant movement and readjustment, just as it is on the macro level.

Angel Approaching Mother Earth
We are still grieving our inability to visit Cottonwood/Sedona several times a year. I haven’t given up. It served an excellent purpose for us. It was a wonderful balance for the suffocating psychic walls sometimes enclosing us in Taos. I suspect I feel this more than PQ. This is his hometown and he has many old friends and some regular new friends. I am grateful for the new friends. Many of the people I once connected with have moved onto other horizons. Although many people my age have settled in with family and old homies, I actually feel that my soul has moved onward and outward.

 Locationally, my wings are clipped. This free-range chick has a small pen. Early in my Taos days, I was amazed that many old-timers seemed to know so little about what was going on in Town. Now I’m guilty of the same. The post office, grocery stores, Walmart, art supply store and a few restaurants, most of them on the same main street are all we see most of the year.  

We are involved in two more documentaries, Man of Many Colors about PQ and his art, and Third Act about creative women over fifty. In addition, Awakening in Taos is expected to air on PBS this fall. We have met some wonderful people who have become special friends in the process of making these films. This would not have happened if we were not in Taos, or at least Northern New Mexico. Yes, this area is the solid earth beneath our feet, both literally and soulfully, and seems to be starting a new phase, but I want to fly over the fence now and then. Not to get away, but to spread my wings and look at the world with a wider more comprehensive scope.  Who is stopping me? I’m not sure. Of course, we have been challenged materially the past few years, but I suspect that is partially a result of the same confusion and lack of focus on my part. Whenever there seems to be an invisible impediment, past experience tells me I am on the threshhold of an expanding view. I am reminded of one of my first trips to Taos. I was coming from Ojo Caliente and decided to take a shortcut. It was a beautiful day and I became more excited as the mountain grew larger. Suddenly the gorge plunged down in front of me, I couldn't see if the road continued for awhile and then saw fisherman far below and a pickup winding up the other side. The unplanned diversion to Taos became an exciting discovery.

I’ve been painting and re-painting a leafless tree in a harsh but beautiful landscape for several years. I am stuck. I can’t seem to get beyond this image. I look at my past work that seemed good until recently and now I realize I am different and those themes are of the past. The leafless tree is a self-portrait. It is dormant just as I have been. I feel something .unkown  is coming in—that is a good thing.

To destroy an undesirable rate of mental vibration, put into operation the Principle of Polarity and concentrate upon the opposite pole to that which you desire to suppress. Kill out the undesirable by changing its polarity.—The Kybalion

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Whirling Ball

“Your state of consciousness will determine the outcome of any situation. Let the forces do you. It is not you living your life. It is you witnessing your life." - Brugh Joy.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, 604BC – 531BC

I’m lonely. It’s been a long time since I’ve been present in my own company. That is, the person that holds the memory and directions to the most beautiful and significant experiences, has been completely out of reach. I’m not proud of this, yet it is also a learning experience. I am redefining peace in a more inclusive dynamic way. In our cultural environment, typically we define peace as the opposite of conflict. I’m now seeing it as balance; that is the ability to maintain one’s place at the quite center of a world that swirls around me with great speed and force.

A few weeks ago, or maybe it was a month, I plunged into a strange grey stasis in which I couldn’t remember things I know well, although I remembered certain mundane routines and places. In other words, the higher mind departed to an unknown galaxy, leaving me alone with the grocery list, bills and the old furniture in this small house. All imagination and insight left on the wings of butterflies. This is what my inner witness experienced and now wishes to explore.
I’m attempting to describe this experience without judgement while admitting that I didn’t want to spend any time there beyond what both inner and outer teachers foisted on me. I now suspect that some significant internal alterations are in process. I’ll simply observe the unfoldment with faith that all will be revealed at the right time.

For several years now, I’ve had one peculiar experience after another. Two years ago, I found myself moving in and out of the normal 3D experience, often hearing conversations in the next room between people who are no longer among the incarnated. Sometimes it would take several minutes before it occurred to me that these individuals had been dead to this dimension for several years. I wasn’t listening in on anything profound, which is probably why it didn’t grab my immediate attention. It was often everyday mundane chitchat. Only later did it occur to me that the normal course of time was confused, and past present and future were scrambled like whites and yokes.

Also, memories of times and places buried for years would suddenly crash through the present with such intensity that they took my breath away. It was as if I could step out the front door and be in various locations that are now completely out of reach or nonexistent in the 3D world. Without warning Time would stop being consecutive. Now I’m wondering if I was getting a preview of coming changes in the proficiency of time.

Those experiences were curiously interesting even though I couldn’t then nor can I now think of any advantage they lent toward enlightenment or insight, and no, I never doubted a reality that isn’t nearly as stable or predictable as we usually assume. I’ve come to believe the familiar house of mind with its neatly organized rooms was a convenient illusion, although necessary for everyday functions. There are other strange rooms I haven’t visited although they have always existed.

I suspect that my higher mind is trying to give me a heads up on something important although I don’t see the big picture yet. A few times this past winter I experienced the opposite of the dimensional expansion described above, a total lapse of my normal intuition and memory. This was a disconcerting yet curious comparison. I’ve always taken continuous intuitive lucidity for granted and its absence caused me to feel blank and confused. My mental GPS wasn’t working and I felt lost and directionless without it.

I’ve been aware for some time that the patriarchal world we have lived in for thousands of years is giving way to a more balanced energy. Although there is much emphasis on the feminine lately, (women’s rights, equal pay for equal work and the Me Too movement) as we enter the Age of Aquarius balance between the genders is the shifting trend. Women can’t further their cause with militant male tactics, but by strengthening the heart chakra. Even conventional science is learning that the heart does much more than pumping blood and actually has an intelligence of its own. It communicates with the other organs and guides our instincts and intuitions.

This seeming setback was disappointing after keeping a peaceful and centered state of mind through recent challenges to find myself perceiving the surrounding environment with exhausted senses. Even the vigas on the ceiling seemed ugly and oppressive, my garden was drab, and my beloved Cottonwood tree seems to be dying. On the way to the post office, the whole town seemed to be collapsing in on itself. The usually familiar environment seemed stuffy, and unbearably confining. I craved a fresh breath of air and rushed outside, but there was no outside. Then, I knew that the suffocating confinement wasn’t about the surroundings. It was a state of spirit. It reminded me of Carl Jung’s experience in the weeks following his near death experience after a heart attack. His family said he was disappointed and grumpy for weeks and resented being yanked back down to this cramped drab world.

A number of spiritual teachers have indicated that this planet, as a whole is moving from a third density world into a forth density world, and I’m wondering if these odd experiences and states are the spasmodic results of transitioning conditions of being. Just because something seems strange doesn’t mean it isn’t natural. Perhaps we are being bumped up a notch in creation. Integrating the heart chakra that mediates between impersonal reason, self-centered instinct and ego driven ambition is a key to success of the process. Without heart, we become clever rapacious robots. Confirmation of this warning is the goal of some artificial intelligence innovators to create a human replacement that won’t die, as we humans must. This would be a machine with a complex brain, and indestructible or at least renewable body and a perceiving intuitive heart would be unnecessary. Thus, it would take unmodified masculine values to their extreme conclusion.

However, on another channel cutting edge science is itself discovering and exploring the holism of the universe and the ever-shifting relationships among the cosmic celestial inhabitants. “As above, so below” and “As below, so above” is the alchemical principle expounded by Hermes Trismegistus, the first Atlantian, then Egyptian, (Thoth) and finally Greek (Hermes) sage responsible for the a hidden Mystery tradition that has gone underground and come to the surface during the many key transitional times in human history. It is a hidden knowledge that sometimes hides in plain sight in the sacred works of the world’s great spiritual traditions fitting itself to times and circumstances in mythic symbols. It birthed the great philosophers of Greece, the post-medieval Renaissance of art and science and yet resulted in many great minds and hearts being burned at the stake or losing their heads for uncovering divine secrets that threatened to free humans from the robotic spell placed on them by minions of the dark forces of fear and ignorance.

Meanwhile, anyone committed to the spiritual path will inevitably go through alchemical stages of transformation and this will involve direct encounters with those who attempt to control the gates of freedom. This process happens on all levels cosmic, galactic, planetary, national, social and personal. Science indoctrinates us about the age of our planet and the changes it has undergone on the way to its present condition. We typically assume that creation is something that happened in the past yet Science also tells us that the universe is expanding and dynamic. Why would the process of creation end with now?

On this earth ball, light and dark, life and death role end over end through the ages. However, there are tiny deaths, midsized deaths and great deaths and if we pay attention, they are simultaneous with coinciding births of the same proportions. The gestations are often subtle and protected by hidden forces. Transformation is another way of describing the process. Our universe is a dynamic pot of stew. So, why would I always be at peace in such a system? I’m just another of the little rolling balls. Our world is a mess and yet, it is an under construction mess. If only we know to clear the personal and social debris of construction as we go and make it easier for the next generation. After all, our karma both collective and personal may be to clear the mess we left on our previous visit to this planet. For those who have some budding wisdom and whose heart is strong clear and nurturing, we can meet the future on the light side.

I have been writing this while intermittingly watering the garden. It brings back memories of sitting in the shade of an apple tree as a teenager reading some esoteric book or other while managing the water flowing down rows of strawberries and corn. May we continue to move toward life even through the mud.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


I was recently thinking about novelists such as J. D. Salinger, who write their big story like The Catcher in the Rye and then retreat from the public. I suppose it’s like one of those naked dreams, where you the dreamer are the only one naked and you (I) am trying to be normal while overwhelmed by the inequality of exposure. Of course, everybody is actually naked much of the time but its good manners to pretend otherwise. Most of us agree on that.

I’ve never tried to write fiction. Good fiction puts me in awe because it is truly the creation of an alternative world and that seems godlike.  Then I recall how most of us play god much of the time. We take it for granted until we are challenged personally by a circumstance beyond our control threatening life and home and then we cry out for the Big Guy’s help.  It seems that personal power is like a feather in the wind. 

Considering how hard humans try to play God it is hard to believe they would do so without an archetypal model with the qualities they seek. If there were no God, why would we try to be like God? Apparently, there is a missing archetype that we are covering for. It’s different but similar to saying that humans and animals are really biological machines when it should be obvious that machines are attempts to replicate the functions of biological entities. 

First Sign that Spring is coming. The world still works!
On the other side of the issue there is a part of us that is a minuscule fractal image of God. Even the Bible says that God created us in his (her?) own image. We create our world to our own image as well. This is often a disaster and that is part of learning that we may be co-creators but we are also an unfinished work in progress resembling “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. I’m a believer in the concept that God’s staff is made up of many lesser gods that work as a team most of the time but they are also students of the creative process. It seems to me that God and the subordinate demiurge(s) use our mistakes as they tussle with the creative process. Sure, this is anthropomorphizing the Creative intelligence of the universe but since I can’t think up to God’s level it works better to simplify down to my level.  

A long time ago, when I was spending a lot of time in Boulder Colorado, I was in a group that began with tasking each participant to write an autobiography. The group had a Jungian emphasis but based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces. Since Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell were heroes of mine, I thought this would be easy. The results were embarrassing. Most of our stories were about how life had given us a bad deal, and we were here to find recognition that we are actually heroes or heroines in process. In other words, we wanted to be special. Since then I’ve experienced that heroes or heroines are never special. They’re scared stiff until they learn to be nothing but the choice between two scary possibilities. It’s kind of like running from a tiger until you come to a cliff. The leap of faith is desperation. Special has nothing to do with it. In fact, they are often the least likely in the community to do anything special. By being a long way from feeling like gods, they allow the real god force to use them.

Anyway, the gist of what makes a story powerful is that great stories move us because they put us in a vulnerable state that moves us to jump off the cliff of the known world in desperation along with the protagonist. It stirs the emotions necessary to break a spell holding us inside a jail of deception. Really, emotion is where our development and powers are forged. Human emotion is awesome while also being very dangerous when ill directed. Anyone as destructive as we humans has a lot of power but we focus it willy-nilly like a baby with a gun. On the whole, that is what we are, very dangerous babies in the universal sense.  Our cleverness has far outrun our wisdom, which is another way of saying that the brain has become detached from the heart. Even science is beginning to recognize that the heart actually does have a distinct intelligence that seems to function independent from the ego. 

I believe that healing and cultivating the heart chakra is the only way we can save ourselves. The media culture of our time has a vested interest in a starved hungry heart and encourages all kinds of addictive fixes that bring us increasingly under the controllers thumb. Love is food for the heart. I don’t mean lust, craving, obsession or fantasy. None of these is love, just substitutes for its absence. 

The heart is at the center of life. This is physical, symbolic and emotional. When the heart goes bad, everything else is doomed.  For me, digging my heart from under many layers of shame, disappointment, false hopes, toxic cultural values and fear is my greatest challenge. Remember what I said in a blog about the Black Smoke Beings; they feed on negative emotions and they are real. They serve the bad guys and you and I are their food source. Your bad heart both physically and emotionally (think heart chakra) is their apple pie. Perhaps you’ve noticed that all your TV shows, especially the news is constantly feeding your hunger with crap. It may not look like crap at first but think about it. What is the message? Be thinner, be more beautiful, be noticed, find your perfect job, be healthier, feel better, find love, and prepare for a secure future. Then there is a barrage of mass shootings, bombings, murders, wars, killer storms, environmental disasters and political bad actors, interrupted by ads for fast food and automobiles. The message is always; whatever you need, you don’t have it.

You can only find God with your heart and that leaves out Scientific Materialism, Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and politics. God is love and love is the glue of the universe. A bit of that glue is sitting in your heart waiting to put you back together.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware.” ---Martin Buber  

This quote reminds me of the first card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, “The Fool,” depicting a young man striding toward a steep cliff with his eyes focused upward, a bag of karma strapped to his stick and his excited dog running at his heels.  Behind him shines the Sun as master of life. This card at the very beginning sets the tone for the rest of the journey through life.  Its number is 0. He holds a white rose of beauty and innocence in his left hand. This is the beginning of a sacred journey.In the distance are high jagged peaks. These are a potential upgrade of his status if he makes it far enough to scale higher peaks. First, he will experience his first death almost at the beginning of this trek.

When he plunges, he will feel the victim of a cruel world that does not honor his high intentions and innocence.  The dog, his animal self will follow him out of loyalty and will howl in pain but take the fall  simply as natural phenomena.  It is white and pure. This is the animal instinct that can save him from wounded ideals and misapplied confidence in his sense of direction. His undershirt, the rose, the dog and looming high   behind the traveler is the White Sun.  They are all parts of one experience. This journey is an expression of the Sun, sustainer of life. The White Sun also has esoteric meanings I won’t explore just now.  The shock of every birth and death is enough, and there are many ahead for a sincere explorer. However, it is the secret that drives us over one cliff, and up another peak, again and again.  It isn’t that we never learn the secret, but each layer of the cosmic onion holds another ineffable mystery. And creation continues to unfold.

I am learning that inner piece is the true center of power in this journey. When I meditate, I see myself in the center of the world and everything else is spinning around me, but I don’t spin as long as I hold the center. This is a dangerous thing to write. As soon as I claim something, a test is delivered pronto.  However, losing the center is another exploration. Last night I found myself wondering how to cope with a future that is without any identifiable net anticipated at the base of the next approaching cliff. I have lived without any financial or health security most of my life, and common wisdom tells me that at my age this is a perilous situation.

When I was 12 years old, I had a small pinto horse named Shorty. He preferred to stay home but I liked to ride him around the neighborhood in the afternoon after school.  One day he decided he’d had enough of me and the snaffle bit on his bridle didn’t give me enough leverage to stop him. As he galloped toward the looming corral gate, I knew that he would come to a sudden stop and since I was riding bareback, I would end up draped over the gate.  There was nothing I could do about it and that realization caused my body to go from stiff and terrified to resigned and relaxed. When the inevitable happened, I was indeed draped over the gate but completely unharmed.  I won’t say this event cured me forever of worrying about approaching danger, but it was a powerful lesson and I never forget it. Actually, I repeat this lesson again and again in many different forms.  It seems to be a major life theme.

Worry about a future I have no recognized preparation to cope with is also an inherited theme.  Both of my parents came from poverty and day-to-day uncertainty as to where the next home or next meal would come from.  The world beneath their feet was in constant motion. My mother finished only one grade in the same school in which it began.  Dad had slightly more security but not much. His dad dropped dead when he was still in high school and he had to quit and become a family provider.  Those were the depression era circumstances.

The Major Arcana of the Tarot reveal archetypal steps on a life path. They are open to interpretation on many levels. I know only a few of these possible interpretations but find that they continue to teach even when I’m not trying to learn.  Each time I go through this routine it is different. Age is a blessing on this journey because experience aids recognition.   Besides, as one gets older, time moves at an incredible speed. It seems unfair. The less time you have in a body, the faster your remaining time moves. However, I notice that it also comes with perspective as if standing on a mountain looking down at all the places and situations you have experienced and a chance to recognize the “story “ as if life was a novel.  Well, maybe it is.

Life as a work of art! I like that idea. A good novelist creates a reality that has all the features of life and uncovers the core of human existence by focusing a laser beam on the essence of the protagonists, thus making a hole into another dimension in a way that only the most conscious of us achieve with our own life.

After all, perhaps we are creating our life as a novel moment by moment, including the interaction with the many other characters and their stories simultaneously unfolding. Watch how they dance in and out of your story. What an amazing cosmic drama we live in. Now, imagine opening the book, you are writing and begin reading from the beginning as if it was someone else’s story. Which chapter are you on now? How do you want it to end? Are you planning a sequel and is your story incomplete? Of course, that’s why you are still here in story writing school. Mistakes, wrong turns, deleted pages, yes, and all-important practice until you are ready for the great publisher of the cosmos.