Friday, November 5, 2010

The self and coconuts......

A while back at Nina's we were looping tangents in the comments section.
Coconuts arose.
I spoke of a coconut experience I had whilst in a swimming pool area in Mumbai.
Of the amazing strength and power of a coconut as it falls from skyscraper height and meets something solid.
Splash, Splatter and goo spread around.
So Osama is going to India and I am not even going to go anyway near the much commented on writings about the financial costs of this trip.
I don't think most vile leaders would have got away with this kind of
gross ostentation to keep a dying ego from dying. And sure you get leaders with egos that are so precarious that they assume massive proportions. Really no well balanced human needs to behave in this manner. To slap unearned wealth in the face of one’s people and because of this and a handful of other actions he has perfomed t require so much security because in essence it is obvious that people would want to kill him.
Someone eventually stands up to the classroom bully - or the other bullies take this one out. There is nothing that can keep you safe for ever. We spend most of our lives seeking that unattainable safety.

Ask me a mother about the perpetual quest for safety. Very early on in this role a wise man offered me some wisdom. He said never tell a child to be careful. If she is at the top of a very tall tree, she will be fully aware of what she is doing. Then you call up to her, be careful my love and suddenly she is no longer one with the tree, she is down on the ground with you and that warning - instead of protecting you actually harm. It is being fully present in the moment that allows extreme sport. Presence is your protection.
It made perfect sense to me and I really did try hard not to warn - but there is a fear of injury and when I saw components for potato launches I was okay but when I saw components for perhaps more damaging pyrotechnics I put out warnings - accompanied by threats. Different to being on top of a tree granted, but still a warning. And then there are the warning for the emergence of skills such as the functional origanmi below - which I warn against and yet those declarations are shaded by a subtle hidden appreciation of the art form.

It seems that it is a natural part of parenting to want to keep a child safe. Actually to kep everything safe. Living in a small village where everyone is known and children walk freely, one does not give much thought to stranger abduction etc. Iona and I go for a walk and she is so free and open with her world. And I want it to remain this way forever but I also don't want a coconut to fall and land on our heads. Having older brothers she is not naive. She has heard the message not to go near a car, even with a woman driving (at first she could not understand that) and otherwise I encourage her to take a dog wherever she goes and I put light around. Kind of like putting light around light.

All the stories you hear of death are so very alarming. 8 year old girl chokes to death on a butterfly, boy gets swallowed by an escalator. There are few ways to be born but my god there are an infinitely expanding amount of ways to die. Inhalation of volcanic ash, corexit, aspartamene, honour killings - oh god for evry unusual death each one of us can recount recalling, another 5 are happening whilst we recount.

And likewise injuries. When did the world become such a dangerous place. How on earth do we reach safety? Emotional and physical. Is it possible?

Obama and his handlers have thought of every conceivable danger of this trip.
Bullshit, but they are spending an awful lot of time telling us how much is being done to ensure this man's safety. Why on earth would they do that? He is a fucking disaster to us and everyone can see that. But to others he might be regarded as a total success. One man’s shrimp and all that. This is all about leading him to the slaughter.
The elaborate safety declarations and 'intellectual exercise’ surrounding this trip is to reassure an increasingly insecure, paranoid president on the brink of an egoic meltdown that he is safe.
But of course he knows what 'his' handlers are about. He, himself knows what an assassination of a US president by a Pakistini national could achieve. It seems very tacky and tardy and visibly obvious but hey what about the ink cartridges on the non existent UPS flight. And he has to play along with it. Lose or lose.
Once the winner - now the extreme experiencer of losing. What flashed through his mind when he received the piece prize - how could he possibly believe it? How unwired would your brain need to be to actually play this game for so long.
So many things could go wrong on this trip - but thankfully there is no urge for me to warn him, to protect him - let those coconuts fall. Time to meet Kali…… destroy this dream. This particularly repugnant dream.

The Taj Mahal hotel in Colaba - Mumbai.
The time I spent in this city was definitely the most alive time in my life. The colour, the sound, the radiance, the visuals, the poignancy and the absolute Life was beyond words.

I recall gong one day to elephant islands across the bay of Mumbai to see what lay there.
It is a huge bay and very industrialized. Oil refineries on the other side.
The entire time I was there I never saw the sun, so deeply buried beneath the smog.
Who cares - it was magnificent.
So on a perfect day I made my way to the harbor and climbed on a ferry.
Very much like in Africa, no lifejackets, no radio, no nothing.
About 20 minutes into the journey, the engine cut out.
So the captain climbed to the engine and started hammering. The hammer rules in India. He tapped for a good half an hour or so. Nothing. Tapped some more. Nothing. I am sitting on an orange plastic chair watching those on the ferry with me.
A beautiful Indian woman is feeding her baby coyly, her husband shines on. A friend I am with looks at her with a complete appreciation of her beauty. She responds with a wider smile.
Looking at some of the bigger boats around us and marveling at this thing called life.
Ah then the transformative tap was tapped and the engine sort of gulped into life.
And we were moving.. I was one with my world.

Arriving at the island I moved up the stairs past the hawkers and the monkeys and the stalls and the rubbish. I imagined that when the British were there this would have been rather beautifully kept- parasols and coverings and cleanliness. Despite anything else about those times, things were upheld and beautified. The carvings here were degrading and uncared for. And in that moment that judgment arose, mind launched out, lashing against it all. Quick it says, get the next ferry out. Otherwise you will be forced to take the last one out which was the one you came in on. The one that broke down. So the second time here was really just a mind fuck and i found myself racing down the stairs, past the hawkers and monkeys and onto the second last ferry of the day.

Found a seat, Mind smugly satisfied to have me in its power once again. Found a seat. Looked around. Immediate tally - 2 Hollanders, 12 Indian college students as a group, the 'captain' and myself. We chugged out. And then the light manifested in a way that took my breath away. Would not even be able to describe it apart from pure magic. A quality I have not witnessed again. Enchanted and pleased with myself I relaxed into the voyage. And then suddenly day became night and a solid plane of water shot from the sky. The calm waters became roller coaster tracks.
We became a plaything of the elements. No power whatsoever. Having long forgotten prayer, it became a matter of enduring. Nothing else one can do. Holding onto a pole, the captain trying to nudge up to a tanker for shelter, The Dutch guys advising against this. Within seconds of the downpour it went form warm to cold. Shivering, watching it all unfold. Mind saying how profound it was that on my second last day in this city I meet death this way.
A seeming eternity later, we arrive at the Gateway. Everyone alighting from that ferry was experiencing pure euphoria, absolute euphoria. The sheer delight of continuation - that the dream still unfolded. Monsoon over walking through the streets, totally alive despite the monsoon, things covered, life continuing, eyes feasting at life in this city. A few of the college students approach me and ask if we should go for coffee. We are all totally drenched. A madness occurs that we should as this motley mob go for tea at the Tag Mahan hotel.
The beauty of madness being so few question it. So we walk past the doormen who look perplexed but don't stop us. Thought the foyer, where we are a world apart from the opulence before us. With boldness strengthening with each step we weave our way up the grand staircase to the tea lounge.
Frugally order coffee for all of us. And then the waiters which became the memory of this space for me informed us that there were cakes that were going to be turned the next day. Fresh one's were coming in and would we like some. Would we like some - hey i think so. And the cakes came out - sheer beauty, artistry , and my tongue could not pick up any apparent sell by dates.
Survived a storm and then fed riches despite appearance.
A powerful metaphor.

My experience of that space of course is going to be so different to Obama and his minions.
Will he even notice the man serving tea, the receptionist demurely lowering her eyes in humility?
Will he even look out his window and see how the vast majority of humans on this planet live.
Will he even question his reign?
Will he even wonder what he is doing there? Will he begin to ask beyond his name and position who is he?
Will he question anything at all?

For me personally on this shore right now the voyage seems to have hit bumpy waters.
On an internal level something within just says enough – I have had enough – despite searching I have still not found what I am looking for. That essential feeling finds me looking to the mountains and saying come su let us go for a long, long walk into the mountain kingdom and just lie down a while. Just lie down.

Some thing came into the garden one night whilst I was walking the dogs and killed a lot of the tribe - 4 guineas ripped open and dismembered. Chickens mauled. One rabbit and four hens survived. Looked like a ritualistic murder.
Blood on the tracks. The end of the tribe....

Schooling appears to be going ahead for the two eldest - their choice. In a university town called Stellenbosh. Waldorf school. Practical learning but an ultiamte goal of A levels. Sounds amazing - but then schools always have a gift wrap. I do the motions. Fill in the forms. Meet the head teacher who happens to be a friend. Who happens to be a friend who knows the village and knows about Cian's bust. The deal is that Cian is welcome but needs to do a drug test on call.
Makes sense from the schools point of view I can see that. This kid has never had a needle in his body - and now they will be sticking one into his veins to see if he is 'clean or not'.
He is okay with it. I think it is harsh. He is up a tree trying for something else and I am not going to distract him with my own fears and failings and sense of justice. I pile up some soft mulch should he fall and put the light around him. It really is all I can do.

So the dream is changing direction but fortunately I get to stay in this space for a while with the two younger one's and the remaining animals.
We will remain in this space where the greatest excitement is seeing an owl on a night walk. Where the greatest joy is some home made lemon ice cream.
For as long as god wills, the simplicity of this life will remain. And for that I am most grateful. Or am I just deeply stuck in a comfort zone that sometimes appears to hold no comfort?

Outside the rain falls.
I am avoiding kitchen duty and thus find myself transcribing a download that moved me deeply for those who could not watch it.

(In the background is 'Allelujah' by Leonard Cohen performed by Gary Buckley.
The images are what make it for me but perhaps the words can resonate.

So what is the truth of me?
Who am I? That is the question.
If you want to know - then find out. Think as long and hard as you possibly can.
Dare to be a fool.
Unchain yourself from respectability.
Take an oath - declare war - burn it all - burn, burn everything - this is the answer
to the question you are asking.
That is what all this awakening stuff is about.
That is what real zen is about.
Nuke your life.
What gets destroyed is never yours in the first place.

You have to start by bringing yourself into focus - nothing can happen before that and no-one can do it for you.
The fact is that no matter how you cut it - no matter what you believe all that you have is this moment of being sandwiched between 2 entities of non being.
All you have is this moment of dream state being which can slam shut at any moment. The question is what are you going to do with it?

Once you come to deeply appreciate that question your life goes through a cascade melt down. Everything in your life gets dropped - except your life itself. That is when you get to see what it means to be asleep and that virtually everyone is. That is when you begin to see what it means when it is said that people are all children and insane children at that.
That is when you begin to see that all emotions are energetic attachments and that they all spring from fear.

No one is saying this stuff is easy. Rational progress is never easy - like a slow dying. But fast or slow that is what it is - a dying.
But what does all that amount to? What do you get from all that suffering - disillusion, salvation, liberation, nirvana?
No it just goes back to square one to get you back to the point where you went verbal instead of horizontal, where you burrowed in at the age of 10 or 12. It gets you out of the whole you spent your whole life digging yourself into so that you can finally start your life. We are not even talking about taking a spiritual journey at this point, we’re talking about undoing the unspiritual journey.

We spend out lives burrowing down into our graves - like that is a clever place to hide from death. This is about climbing out of our graves, and living, discovering who we are and what we are a part of. And you can't do that from the bottom of a hole.

It's there to be known, to be seen. There is no mystery. Nothing is hidden, only unseen. But understanding consensual reality in a dream state is unbelievable.
Life is but a dream.
Reality has no basis in reality.
With eyes closed you find it dissatisfying and with eyes open I find it magical, absurd, delightful, intereractive, challenging, mysterious, playful and brief.

You want answers but there are no answers - just beliefs.
And if you want to awaken then you must know that beliefs are not your friends.
They only hold you back. Demanding answers and explanations is an egoic stall tactic.
We don't hear it but there is a clock that is ticking and you don't know how many ticks you have left.
Listen for it the game is over whether you are playing or not.
Jed Mckenna tribute by Ahab's pipe.

So much food has been planted that beds are in short supply.
Planting in pots - wherever the sun reaches.

On that note a patch of sky clears. Time to move outwards.
Thank you for stopping by.