Category Archives: About the Mind

Is it worth it?

[a short story by Sha’Tara]

          Lanky Andy, Andrew Larkin, walked into “The Odyssey” restaurant at exactly 1800 hours.  He allowed his transitioning photochromic lenses to clear enough so he could scan the seats.  Eddie, Edward Aberhart, was seated in a booth halfway down the window aisle, facing the entrance door.  He waved at Andy.

          “Jees… Jesus Eddie, you look like shit. What’s up?  What’s with the ‘I need to see you right away, like today!’ call?”

          “It’s like this Andy.  I’m at the end of my rope, OK?  I’ve been thinking about things for years now and it’s turned into a bloody nightmare.  I keep asking myself, ‘Is is worth it?  What am I doing here?  What’s the point of anything, anything at all.’ and nothing seems right, feels right, tastes right.”

          “What does Linda have to say about your, um, nightmare?”

          “Linda’s gone.  She packed up, went back to her family down south.  I haven’t spoken to her since she left, that’d be about two months ago.  Just packed up while I went uptown, loaded up the car, took Jessie with her and left me a note on the kitchen table: ‘I’m going to stay with mom for a bit until I can get a job at the hospital down there.  I know a doctor, I’ve got excellent references as an ER nurse, I’ll get a job.  Please, don’t call me, don’t call mom, just vanish from our lives.  If you follow, I’ll get an injunction based on emotional abuse.  I don’t care what you do Eddie, just disappear from my life; from our lives.  You’ve become creepy, sick, but not something I can do anything about.  I won’t let you drag us into your nightmare.  Goodbye Eddie.’ and that’s it.”

          “Well, nothing like a cheery get together to get things rolling.”

          A busty, dark “Greek” looking waitress came by, took their orders and said their drinks would be right up. 

          ‘I sure hope so’ thought Andy.  ‘I need a drink, the kind that helps you put your thoughts together, then wipes them out so you can enjoy life again, if only for a day.’  

          Although the place was three quarters full, it being Saturday evening after all, the drinks miraculously showed up within three minutes.  Eddie fingered the cold condensation on the outside of his glass.  He didn’t pick it up, didn’t drink, just stared as if he was reading a message.  Andy sipped on his, smacked his lips then swallowed the entire glass, waving at a waitress for a refill. 

          “All right, goddamn it Eddie, you got me here.  Don’t tell me you’re just going through another of your emotional bullshit phases.  I had enough of that shit with you in college.  Let’s cut to the chase, what’s eating you?”

          “I’m really sorry Andy but my life sucks.  I hate teaching and I don’t believe anything the curriculum makes me teach the kids so I can’t really motivate them.  Well, how could I?  I can’t motivate myself any longer.

          “You know I used to attend the ‘Life Force’ Pentecostal church, where I met Linda, right?  I thought I had some sort of relationship with God.  It felt good, right, proper and my life made sense.  I joined the Lions’ Club to be of service in the community and that reinforced my belief that life had purpose.  I married Linda and I was sure I really loved her.  Jessie’s birth, now that was some celebration after all the scare that she would be abnormal – nothing wrong with that kid.  I had it all and then it all went away.  I mean it, Andy: it just evaporated.  Like I fell in some big black bottomless hole.  That’s where I’m talking to you from: a black pit of despair, falling with nothing to hang on to.  Can you accept that?  I’m not asking you to understand, just accept this is how it is.”

          “Do you want me to lie to you?”

          “No.”

          “OK then, I can’t – no, let me put it more clearly for you: I won’t accept it.  I’m a rational person, Eddie.  If something fucks up upstairs, it’s up to me to go up there and straighten it up.  There’s no Chimera up there that’s going to take over and fuck up my life – not before now, not now, and not ever in the future.  I wouldn’t let it happen.  That’s my answer to your asking me to accept your current state of mind: I don’t because if I did, then I’d have to try to understand it next – and I’m simply not going there.  I don’t play mind games Eddie.  My own life is controlled; some people say I’m as hard as a rock, well fine, that to me is high praise.  That’s why you stuck with me through college too, you needed that hardness to put grit into your own mush, Eddie. 

          “What the fuck, man.  You are the one who got Linda, you whiny wimp of an excuse for a man.  She went for you because she felt sorry for you most of the time.  But I was the one who loved her Eddie.  How often I imagined what we could have done as a couple, as a team.  A doctor and a nurse, and I would have pushed her to get her medical degree too.  We would have been all over the world, helping people, I mean really helping.  A team on fire.  Fuck you Eddie, you miserable excuse for a human being.  I feel so sorry for you right now I want to punch in that baby face of yours.  Goddam it, I don’t believe this.”

          “Why have you never told me of your feelings for Linda until now?  I didn’t know, honest.”

          “Of course you didn’t know, you self-absorbed little shit.  All that’s ever really mattered to you was you and your precious feelings.  ‘I joined the Lions’ club to be of service to the community.’  Such a crock.  You joined to find support for your insecurities – tell me honestly that isn’t true.”

          “Ah hell Andy, I didn’t call you here for you to beat up on me.  I’m down, Andy.  I can’t take this.  Is this fun for you, crushing what’s left of a total loser?”

          “OK, OK, I’ll back off if you’ll level with me and tell me what’s really the problem.  What’s the cause of your black pit of despair, Eddie?  What’s this Gremlin you’ve got on your back that you can’t shake off this time?”

          “The honest truth, Andy: the world, and my life in it.  Have you followed the news lately?  With all the crap that’s going on and that keeps arising all over, is it really worth it?  Is there some point to it?  The world’s in a shambles, what am I supposed to do?  Ignore it?  Carry on like what’s her name, Pollyanna? 

          “I wake up in the middle of the night and I have visions, terrible visions, of things happening to thousands of people, horrible things.  And I feel guilty about it all, I can’t help myself, and the guilt won’t go away.  It’s like everything bad that happens is my fault.  I’m responsible somehow, as if I were a puppet and I was being played, forced to watch; forced to link my lifestyle to the problems of other people.  If I enjoy something, they go without.  If I eat, they starve.  If I have a house to live in, they are homeless.  If I have rights, they are enslaved.  If I’m free, they are in prison.  I’m cursed, Andy; I’m the other side of the coin.”

          As their food was being served, Andy didn’t answer.  He moved some plates around, ordered another drink, looked up at Eddie and said, “Ed, drink your fucking drink, right now.” 

          The waitress looked up, a shocked look on her face.  “Sorry, that’s between my friend and I here.  Please bring him another drink, he’s going to need it.”

          The waitress almost scampered away.  Andy started eating and felt ravenous.  He swallowed, then started to laugh.  Not so loud as to cause embarrassment but so Eddie would hear it and stare at him. 

          “You find something amusing, Andy?” Eddie put his empty glass down, looked into Andy’s eyes.

          “Yeah, you.”

          “My problems are amusing to you?  I thought doctors were supposed to be empathetic.”

          “Some are but it’s definitely not a trade requirement.  If it was most of us would be out of work tomorrow.  But this has nothing to do with me being a doctor, or you a high school teacher.  We’ve been dancing around a much more serious business called life.  You asked me, is it worth it?  Before I answer that, give me a rational alternative to what you call life.”

          “That’s a nuts question.  How can there be a rational alternative to life?”

          “Ah, got you there haven’t I?”

          “I don’t have any answer for you.  Are you talking about an alternative to life?  How can there be such a thing?”

          “Have you heard of NDE’s or near death experiences that some people claim to have had?”

          “Vaguely.  Here and there.  There’s no proof of such a thing actually happening. Just the brain reacting in a crisis when life is on the line.”

          “Exactly!”  Andy drank some more and it seemed his drinks were tasting better each time.  So did the food.  “Got to congratulate you, Eddie, this is one hell of a fine restaurant.  Not fancy, but you can’t beat this food, or the drinks either.  Don’t know when I’ve enjoyed myself more at a meal.  Go ahead, dig in, dig in.  This is fantastic!”

          “What do you mean, ‘Exactly’?”

          “Mmmm… what?”

          “I said there was no proof that NDE’s are real experiences and you said, ‘Exactly.'”

          “And I meant every word!”  Andy laughed at the puzzled expression in his friend’s face and noticed that outside, the world had gone dark except for street lights and the lampshades over the booths made new shadows.

          “Ease up on the drinks, Andy, you’re losing it.”

          “Actually I’m getting it, Eddie.”

          “Care to explain?”  He took a serious drink and suddenly felt himself unwind.  As if something good was going to happen.  Imagine that: nothing good had seemed to happen for ages.  He knew it wasn’t the drink, nor the food.  Anticipation. He actually felt it.

          “I never realized it until now,” said Andy.  “About you, I mean.  I always thought you were somewhat of a sissy, a wimp you know, going around feeling sorry for yourself, bringing people into your circle to empathize with you.  But that wasn’t it at all.  You were just confused, selling yourself short, unaware of your own nature, thus unable to take advantage of it.”  He seemed to look at Eddie with some sort of awe.  “I never knew; never suspected even.” 

          “Would you tell me what you’re going on about, Andy?  You’re confusing me and I think you’ve had too much to drink.”

          “Oh just wait.  I haven’t had half enough.  I’ve been a fool, Eddie, a complete idiot.  I’m the one who’s been totally self-centered and blind.  You know what you are, buddy?”

          “Hey, this is getting scary.  What am I?  Some sort of Reptilian alien?”  Eddie smiled, ate some, enjoyed it.  “You going to keep me in suspense?”

          “No.  I’ve got it.  You, my very dear friend and pain in the ass, are an empath.  A real, honest to God empath.  That’s what explains your angst, you visions, your despair; your deep questioning of the purpose of life. You feel it man, you feel it all and you have never learned how to deal with it.  You’re supposed the “channel” this stuff, not keep it bottled up.  It’s not about you, it’s about this world, and how life evolves or adapts itself within.  That life needs to communicate; to give itself messages and in human terms, those messages are carried by empaths. 

          “When I said, “exactly” I meant it: it’s all based on empathy.  There’s no need of proof once you pass a certain point, or reach a certain level of evolution – it just is.  I’m a surgeon and I know a bit about NDE’s.  I’ve had talks with quite a few patients who, after thanking me for saving their life, went on to describe their experiences under anaesthesia when they experienced clinical death.  I was interested but never convinced beyond what you said: brain reaction. 

          “But it wasn’t that, don’t you see?  These NDE people are empaths!  They crossed over and came back because their nature provided the bridge between the physical world of their body and the spirit, or mental, world inhabited by their consciousness.  I remember talking about this with Linda.  She didn’t make the connection between NDE’ers and empathy, but she accepted the experience as very real.  Goddam Eddie, she was right!  I just needed to see the connecting thread and you just showed it to me.  Your angst is your connection to others, Eddie.  You’re not cursed, you are blessed, old friend.” 

          “If that’s the case, shouldn’t it have made me selfless and compassionate instead of the loser wimp you see before you?”

          “No, I see it now, that’s not how it works.  You needed teachers and you didn’t get them – luck of the draw I suppose.  You needed to be taught self-empowerment and self-reliance.  That’s where the rubber hits the road I bet.  That’s where it comes together and changes you completely.  Think about it, Eddie.  Think about it long and seriously.  While you’re on top of that, teach yourself about channelling – pass it on, don’t keep it in.  You’re watching the movie, you’re not in the story being chased by those demons, though they are real.  You can sense them but they don’t know you exist.  That’s your key and your power.  You can exert influence upon the stories in your mind if you learn how to transmute the information then upload it in its changed form.  I read about this stuff; it’s amazing I never got it until now.  You: you’re the key.  You’re the Avatar.  You’re the one making it happen now, right now, while you’re outside of yourself.

          “Is that my alternative to life?”

          “Yes.  You see, there isn’t just one form of life, there are infinite types of life.  People like yourself, well, they can slip in and out of any form they choose.  You have the power to do that and that’s how you survive in worlds given over to violence like this one.  You don’t stay in the line of fire, you duck, you live to fight another day.  But you’re always on the front lines regardless of where you go in your mind.”

          “You missed your calling, you should have been a preacher.  I’m sold.  Just hoping it isn’t the drinks talking, or feeling.”

          “It isn’t the drinks.  This is like a revelation.  I’m sold too.  I’m no empath, I know that, but you know who else is?”

          “Linda!”

          “You bet, Linda.  And buddy, I’m going after her.  I love her; I’ve always loved her and I’m going to make it up to her for not pushing my way between the two of you.  Got that?”

          “Yes, I got that.  It’s how it’s got to be.”  He hesitated for a moment, then added,   “I know you’ll be good for her, and you’ll take good care of Jessie.  Let me know when you guys are married, or settled.  I’d like to visit.”

          “I’ll do that.  No, I mean we’ll do that.”

 

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: the Statue, Then and Now

Book of Daniel — The Vision, old and new.

 (Another vision from    ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara)

The books called the “Bible” are not difficult to understand, least of all those who deal with dreams.  But so much darkness has been cast upon the words by would-be interpreters, by greedy fools; by writers of bad fiction, but mostly by Religion, that it takes careful re-reading to “get it” if one is looking, say, for information in prophetic writings of long ago.  An open-minded person, educated enough and perhaps with a degree of wisdom can get much valuable information from that maligned and misunderstood book.

A case in point:  The prophet Daniel lived during the Babylonian Jewish Diaspora, circa 530 BC.  During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the king had a dream of a majestic statue that had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.

 While he was looking and admiring this colossal statue, “a rock was cut out but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.  The statue collapsed and was reduced to broken pieces, like chaff and the wind swept them away…”

Daniel (Daniel 2:31) interprets the vision according to his information at the time.  The interpretation, except for the last part, is now ancient history.  Babylon fell, as did the other empires symbolized by the statue.

 The vision remains as a reminder that “history” repeats.  There is a new interpretation of this vision, which I will share because I have had a similar vision, but to do with these times, not those of 2500 years ago.

My vision has to do with the corporate world, banking, the military industrial complex, medical and prescription drugs cartels; energy and food empires built on aggressive exploitation of natural resources, including the ubiquitous usage of human slave labour.  It speaks of hierarchies and bureaucracies.  The head of gold is those who lord it over these powersdictators of empires, CEO’s and elitist fat cats on the boards of directors: the richest men on this world.  Most of the statue’s energy flows up there and there is not enough left to make the entire statue of gold, nor would those at the top allow that! 

 So must come the next echelon of “leaders” – those who are represented by the chest and arms of silver.  These too are rich, and have a greater “reach” than those at the top.  The second layer of power: politicians, heads of various military and security state agencies, despots of all kinds in politics, religion, business, “mobs” and families; heads of charitable” (read tax-free) organizations – all those whose positions depend on those at the top but are autonomous from those below them.

 Then come the bureaucracies – the “belly and thighs” of the statue – those entrusted to make it work; to suck the energy from the bottom and move it to the top.  The mid-level corporate managers, the bean counters… and those qualified to “have the great ideas” and push corporate fanaticism through advertising, etc.   Professionals of all stripes, research and development scientists, teachers, doctors, lawyers and judges, law enforcers, local bank managers, on it goes.  Those who must believe and push because they have sold their souls to the upper parts of the machine; because it makes them comfortable, relatively rich and feeling safe.  

 Finally come the feet of the statue, those who support and feed it: the working class.  There is some iron in them, which means they actually believe in the ponderous contraption they laboriously and pointlessly support with their faith, their hopes, their love even… and ultimately, their mindless laboring and ignominious, pointless death.

But it must end, as all things that have grown out of balance; as have all empires in the past.  And in the collapse of this monstrosity, most of those who support it must, of course, die with it and their remnants will be swept away by “the rock cut out, but not by human hands.” 

In my vision the “rock” is nature turning against man in a final showdown in which only the planet can win.

There was more to my vision:  I saw beyond the pollution storm of environmental destruction; beyond spiritual corruption and mental bankruptcy

I saw what remained beyond civilization’s collapse; what had survived in underground testing labs; what was dead to feelings and could never understand empathy: I saw the rise of the Cyborgs.  Human machines gradually taking over because they needed so little “natural” energy to operate on.  They could live in a poisoned environment.  They could reproduce themselves, repair themselves and even evolve through trial and error processes using old and new technology and what they had absorbed from brief interactions with non-earth people who had shown up during the catastrophic destruction (The ancient “creators” from planet X, Nibiru, perhaps?  It wasn’t clear who these interlopers had been, just that they had made a brief appearance and made a quick exit.

 

These Cyborgs, I saw, were determined to hunt down and kill the last surviving “true” humans on this world for they sensed them as dangerous competitors.  Well, not surprising.  They had, after all, the “memories” of the pre-Cyborg human race.  A necessary part of their awareness, their programming.   They understood that if the humans survived, the many battles would go to the Cyborgs but the final war would be won by the surviving humans… and history repeats itself!

Oh well, hints of “Terminator” and other sci-fi stories and movies.  But in these confused times where nothing, anything or everything can be believed, or believed “in”… who’s to say what is fiction, what is prophecy?

I would not offer my dreams and visions as prophecies — just some food for thought.  Something to help us “slow down” and do a bit of thinking outside the box. Nor is this about taking a stand for survival: there is no surviving earth.  This world has evolved itself as a treadmill; an exercise machine for Earthians.  When our time’s up we have to take off our sweaty exercise stuff, shower and dress appropriately for “out there” and exit the “club”…

 “And what’s “appropriate”? someone might ask. 

 Depends on what’s “out there” for you.  Think: why have you done all that exercising all those years?  What was your purpose?

To live a life, I suppose” would be one answer.  “I really have no idea” would probably be the most common reply.

“How could anyone possibly know what’s out there?” someone else may add

 All they’d get for answer to that is a smile and a reminder that it’s all on their destination ticket.

 “I don’t have a destination ticket” another may challenge.

The answer to that is, that’s not a choice.  Everyone has a destination ticket.  All are born with it and it’s a part of one’s entire life.  Perhaps now would be a good idea to locate it and read the fine print.  Who knows but what one’s life lived without due care and attention may have caused to be written on the “admission” side of the ticket? 

 

     The Star Dancer

       I have no recollection of having posted this very short story.  If I did, it would have been many months ago, and “followers” have changed drastically since.  If it is a repeat for you, just ignore, although I have made some edits.  thank you.                                               

                                                               a short story by  ~ Sha’Tara ~

One could almost say she had the characteristics of a winter bird without stretching the comparison.  A killdeer on a windswept dune in December heard only after darkness covers the shores, that would describe her presence. 

Slim of build, almost translucent of skin, she could stand in perfect stillness beside a doorway and remain unseen by those passing in and out.  Generally silent, there was a quality to her voice that demanded stillness and silence.  Not from weakness nor self-pity, her way of remaining in the background was her means of allowing her to observe the world, voicing some of her thoughts little more than the occasional soft word.  She could just as easily remain alert and active for long hours without apparently tiring.  Never was she seen indulging food or drink beyond a body’s basic needs.  Her pleasure, and she radiated pleasure, did not emanate from satisfying carnal desires. 

She was not what would be called pretty, but she was truly beautiful, with the movements of a small wild animal raising its head to look inquisitively at the world; with the velvety touch of an angel.  And what to say of her attire?  She wore no makeup and draped herself in the simplest of styles, in second-hand clothes.  If asked why she didn’t spend more on herself, she’d smile, as if shyly, and shrug.  “It doesn’t go with the innocence of children,” would be the extent of her explanation on the subject. 

Certainly, the innocence of a child would have described her.  She was called naïve by some.  To that she’d reply, “Do not confuse naïvety with innocence.  I choose to remain innocent.  It is my way of counteracting the many grave faults of this man’s world.  Do not make the mistake of thinking I am unaware of what goes on here or helpless to do anything about it.”  Only then did her voice take on the severe tone of the Teacher, a tone of voice loaded with implications which none but the awakened caught.

She was an empath.  Compassionate.  When she interacted with strangers, she mostly smiled and helplessly, they would smile back at her and then at one-another.  All children who met her were attracted to her, that is until the time when their innocence was forcibly taken from them.  Then she faded from their eyes and their memory.  They will not remember her until they get old and tears will roll down their lined faces in realization of what they had encountered; what they could have learned; how much it could have changed their lives.  

There were tragedies in her life as in every life.  Through it all, she brought hope and comfort where none existed.  That was her nature — to give, not to take.  It was as if she gave her own flesh and blood to those in need.  She “fed and clothed” by what she did not spend on herself – that was one of her “open” secrets.  But with each sorrow, her translucence increased.  A dawn would come to finally dim her starlight beyond earthly recall.

It didn’t matter what they called her, I recognized her from times before time.  She was of the Star Dancers; those whose home is the infinity of the Cosmos; who scatter themselves as stardust over myriad of worlds and touch the lives of countless others.  Sadly, yes, some of us get lost and for long periods, sleep in forgetfulness.  Our memories of the Star Dancer are but myths in the conflagration of time that burns within our confused minds.

But she did come.  A speck of dust on the wind, perhaps, but she appeared on our horizon, burning off into the skies like a meteorite. 

What does that matter now that she is gone, you may well ask?  What matters is, she came, scattered a bit of magic stardust and there was joy where none was to be had; there was hope where despair had held sway. 

What matters is, I can now remember and continue to do some of what she began.  How could anyone forget such a passing?  How could anyone mourn?  How could anyone who ever encountered her not make a supreme effort to remember? 

 

Some Things are best left Unexplained

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

 

When an Earthian by some fluke (some coming together from a series of fortuitous events) makes the jump from being a pseudo-human into the actual human race, life completely changes.  It becomes a totally different concept; it becomes amazing.  A slave sees things from a certain perspective: painful, narrow, limited and basically hopeless.  A master sees things quite differently.  There’s an open vista of infinite possibilities that flow, swirl, dance; beguiling, alluring, attracting, calling to explore the limitless possibilities of the cosmos. 

To the master, the cosmos is not this material world or the universe or even the multiverse.  It’s more and beyond anything so crass, material, limited and limiting.  Any reasoning based on strictly physical awareness brings one to some end; a wall. To an actual human, does the physical body stand in the way of new and expanded awareness?  Then the body is abandoned, temporarily or permanently – it’s really not that important.  A body is a sensor, nothing more.  It allows the occupant to taste only one particular reality: the physical world. It’s not designed for anything more.  You don’t take your car to bed with you; you don’t make love to it (even if you wanted to).  The material has its limits.  

To the slave, the body is all there is, and it is a death trap.  Its “awareness” is limited to the functions within a physical brain, a physical set of switches that operate a material body.  That central processing unit doesn’t sense anything that isn’t material.  It has no affinity for abstractions.  It cannot think or reason, only compute.  Pseudo humans, a description that fits the vast majority of Earthians are no more than computers installed inside robotic bodies.  Their thinking isn’t theirs, they picked it up from watching TV as a baby, and up through the ranks of the faithful followers of approved beliefs, changing their minds (or not) as their pet beliefs fell into disrepute to be replaced by something new and improved. 

It’s a funny thing, that man can “evolve” a kind of material technology and yet become less human in the process.  Well, not so funny actually.  It’s an energy trade-off.  If you want to advance your technology, you must coincidentally give up previously attained levels of humanity or consciousness.  The greatest loss is in values and ideals.  These are sacrificed on the altar of science and technology. Science and technology are not human values, they are material and mechanical properties.  They belong strictly to the material world.

In the beginning of modern “advances” in scientific thought and experimentation, older values and ideals still held sway.  As success followed success for general science; as it gained expertise in the use of natural functions and turned those into technological achievements, the human part of scientists and technologists eroded away.  They became thinking machines until all that mattered were measurable results.  Consequences of applied science and technology mattered less and less.  Science, or rather its high priests, were bought by financial interests in order to serve them, not the world, not the people but corporate and banking predators.  A “moral” science would never expand as rapidly, nor be as lucrative as an amoral one, and so scientists dropped their façade of human ideals and plunged whole-heartedly into a materially centered understanding with a mechanistic explanation for everything. 

Thus was humanity lost in developed and developing worlds.  When everything must be scientifically explained and materially demonstrated or it is labelled false, you’ve gone from a human world to a machine world.  When you enter the machine world all your human values and ideals; your wonderful abstract relationships, must be abandoned: they are poison to the machine, and machine is all that modern technological civilization understands.  Inasmuch as it is still capable of worship, machine is what it worships.  When a choice has to be made between securing resources to keep the machine running, or protecting life and the natural environment, the needs of the machine supersede those of life. 

To claim that some things can be real while remaining outside the ability of science to categorize them is a direct assault upon the mechanistic central processing unit; an insult to technocratic machinists who label themselves scientific brains.  Such claims could very well lead to legalized lobotomy or euthanasia in the near future with the “machinists” claiming that such thoughts hamper the machine’s ability to usher in the golden age of man. 

Engineers have to explain, whether they know or not. [Magi’i of Cyador] (L. E. Modesitt, Jr.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Why worry about what can kill you tomorrow when so many things can kill you tonight?” 

(title is a remembered quote from the movie, “Lord of War”)
[thoughts from  ~burning woman~  through Airin WilloWitch, a.k.a., Sha’Tara]

I’m sure that title and quote is also a paraphrase of something else I’ve read somewhere in my travels.  It is a line however that I have often thought about.  What does that mean to me?  Does it mean, in the hedonistic biblical sense, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!”?  Throw caution to the wind, live for the moment, and the Devil take the hindmost?  (Or the lion if you happen to be a wildebeest?)

While I completely disagree with the common politically correct phrase, “we’re all in this together” (which is obvious bullshit in spades when you think about it seriously for a split second) there is definitely one thing we all have in common: death.  Whatever we do to avoid it, and believe me that the amount of money people spend to try to avoid it is beyond staggering (well, OK, I don’t know how much, I just know it’s a whole lot more than that), we simply can’t.  Death is our constant companion through life.  We’re born to die, with a little lunch break in-between we call life.

No, I’m not trying to cheer you up, but I’m not trying to depress you either as both would defeat my purpose.  I haven’t (yet) said anything you don’t already know so if this feels uncomfortable, think of it as a reality check – and try to make sure it doesn’t bounce.  Hell hath no fury like the Devil holding a bounced check and you could be looking at a fate worse than death – but I’m ahead of myself here and I hate it when I have to keep looking back while writing, it’s so hard on the neck.

Two questions arise from the above: why worry?  And what is death?  And from that let’s extract this gem: is all of our worry concerned with the possibility that we may die, suddenly and inexplicably, or that we may be driven to death by any number of means or reasons: bankrupted into abject poverty; contracting an incurable, terminal disease; arrested for murder and though not guilty convicted of same in a death penalty state; accident?

So, why do we worry?  Why are so many people stressed to the max and depressed today?  What happened to the real, un-faked happiness, the verve, the “joie de vivre”?  What is this terrible darkness that is descending upon the planet and which seems to only increase every time some major man-made event happens?  Why can’t we have at least one major truly joyful man-made event of gargantuan proportions to celebrate ourselves within, as a species?  Why must everything of major import be sad, dreadful, horrible, hopeless, destructive, death-dealing, polluting with no end in sight when we are sick and tired of hearing all about it, or of experiencing it?  Or, why, if we are of the hopeful types, must what we hope for be forever out of reach, more often receding from our grasp than approaching it?  Why does the carrot always turn into a stick?

I think it all goes back to death.  Consciously we may choose to ignore the monster and try to live relatively normal, happy lives among those we love or the society we fit in, but subconsciously “it” is always there, just like *Joe Black, not always recognized for what it is but suspected, distrusted and feared; the entity with its own agenda over which no one has any control.  Death, the great equalizer it’s been called.  Well, I don’t know: I see a lot of death, I don’t see much equality arising from its presence, quite the contrary.  Death is like that bouncing ball that after it’s set a bouncing, every time it’s touched it bounces even more wildly and unpredictably.

In a moment of wild ecstasy I suppose, John Donne wrote “death thou shalt die.”  Literally or figuratively?  It really doesn’t matter how, it matters more when.  Until now man has been the slave of death and the certainty of having to face that executioner has caused man to behave in very irrational and contradictory ways.  For the average Earthian, the way to avoid death is to be the first to deal death to some whose existence is perceived as a threat.  This knee-jerk reaction is called war, man’s most precious invention.  The one he spends the most resources upon by far; his joy, his baby, his heritage.  Makes me want to write an ode to war, or a love poem: “O dear war, how I missed thee in the dark hours of peace and how I praise thee now that thee are back, filling that aching void in my human heart, O dear war promise, O promise me thou shalt never abandon me again, I could not bear it!”  Well, that’s a start.  Dark humour, but how far from the truth of the matter?  So we kill in a vain attempt to save our own life, a life that was forfeit from the moment we were conceived.

OK, so I’m not looking for rationality among the species, I know such a thing is anathema to man’s thinking.  I’m just wondering if there is a cure to worry.  Let’s spread the net.  All animal life dies, sooner than later, here.  Do animals worry about dying?  I don’t think they do, although many animals experience powerful emotions when one of them dies, some more than others.  They know about death; about the end of the body, but they don’t seem to be worried about their own coming death.  It’s only when the predator appears that they resort to their fight or flight mode.  And if they get sick they do not linger.  Either they can heal themselves or they quickly give themselves over to death without any struggle.

For whatever reason, Earthians are very different from the animals in the matter of death.  Animals don’t form armies to attack and decimate their enemies.  They may be territorial for logistical purposes but they don’t try to expand their “empires” outside limits set by the Alpha male of the tribe.  Those outside the limits are safe from attack and free of harassment.  Animals kill to survive, not to enhance their own personal power or “wealth” as the expense of others.  {Oh please God, make me into an animal this minute!  Amen!}  Animals do not cling to life when evidence shows the game is up: they gracefully surrender their bodies to the earth and very quickly no evidence remains of their passage.

It is foolish to worry, even more so to allow oneself to get depressed.  Depression isn’t a disease, it’s the dirty diaper of the spoiled and entitled modern bratty human who wants more than it’s willing to get for itself or share and give to others.  Depression comes from a “I want it, and I want it now” civilization whose technology provided a lot of stupid, unnecessary and polluting toys and that continues to promise even more toys while the natural resources that fueled that technology are being wasted by overuse and war or vanishing from the planet in waves of entropic energy like climate change.  Depression from not getting what one feels entitled to leads to worry about more serious things, like losing one’s home or having no money to buy basic necessities such as food or losing one’s children through violence… Ah yes, the list of things that cause worry is long indeed.

So, I choose to live by my first quote.  I don’t worry about what could kill me tomorrow.  I think about the things lurking in the night of my mind, the things tonight, that can kill me.  I think about the dangers of reverting back to being a common Earthians; of waking up tomorrow morning worrying about food, clothing, shelter, money, what’s been stolen in the night, etc.  I think about spiritual regression and mental devaluation from nightly visitations of “demons” from the darkness of the Matrix.  I think of the horror of discovering I’m no longer immune to the foibles of man but rather fully back in their clutches.  I think about what it would be like to lose my sense of self empowerment, of knowing what I am; of losing sight of my purpose… in the night.  And I shudder.  That would be worse than any conceivable depression.

Ah, but I’m a witch!  I have spells to protect myself from demons who would steal my self-made personhood:  “I think my own thoughts, therefore I am my own person.” And spells also to protect me from well-meaning Earthians who would also destroy me with their verbal weapons of mass distraction: “I Choose Me.”  And then I remember that death is a gift, my doorway out of this place and to another I know about and look forward to – and no, sorry, it’s not heaven!  And when does death die?  It dies for me when I kill it by transcending it every moment of every day.

*Joe Black: reference is to the movie, Meet Joe Black, with Brad Pitt as death.

 

 

 

 

What’s with that Mind?

(A point of view from “The Other Side”  with   ~burning woman~   and Airn WilloWitch) 

 Those who are awake live in a constant state of amazement…  ~ Buddha ~
Years ago, attempts were made upon me to get me to “quiet the endless chatter of the mind and go into that silent center…” from which, presumably, would come all the great wisdom I was seeking.  I could almost hear my “Teachers” chuckling as I pondered that ponderous teaching.  Never did it make sense to me, much less did it work.  What great wisdom lies in the silence of nothingness?  Like a good service truck full of useful stuff clattering purposefully down some road or street, my mind rattles and chatters along, happy as can be… Doesn’t yours?  If it doesn’t, you must be dead! 
 
But I had to ask anyway, and today I got an answer of sorts.  Good teachers, naturally, never give you the answers.  They just point in some direction, usually down into the earth, and hand you the shovel.  You want to know what’s down there? Dig.  Not here dummy – over there.  Use your empathy!
 
What’s mind chatter?  Imagine you are a tourist lost in a semi-arid countryside amongst rolling hills.  You can sense the land is immense, but you can’t see very far.  You pull to the side of the road, reach for the map in the glove box and step out.  You spread it out on the hood of your dusty Toyota four-by to locate yourself.  There is a breeze, so you anchor the map with small stones.  The wind blows under the paper and it flutters. But you are intelligent and you know that the map isn’t talking to you to tell you where to go.  It just makes you aware that it is there.  Now you look it over and since you know how to read map symbols, you can make some sense of map and surroundings.  You can locate yourself and become un-lost (Do not confuse becoming un-lost with being found!)
 
Mind chatter is there to remind you that you have one, that’s all.  Shut that down and you’re left with what? 
 
So, what’s the mind, then?  The mind is that which contains the map to the cosmos.  Every single “thing” that is, is mapped in the mind.  Every hair on every head, every drop of rain, every grain of sand, every star, every universe, every entity is symbolically represented in the mind’s map.  The mind is, in fact, a hologram of life and as life is ever-expanding, so is the mind. 
 
Is it any wonder that those who’s survival depends on our blissful ignorance would have us shut it down?  Take that map off the hood of the car, fold it up neatly, put it back in the glove box… and drive on until we are so lost, we’ll accept any kind of help… from anybody?  Can you see now why this planet is in the mess it’s in?  Instead of becoming un-lost, we keep being found — and found-out for not knowing how to read our own mind. 
 
Everything is connected to everything else.  There are “filaments” – like silver threads – connecting everything.  When these “threads” bunch up in groups connecting similar things, they form channels, or flows (or black holes or worm holes) of great energies.  Magnetic flows, gravitational pulls, orbits, and on worlds such as Earth, rivers, warm and cold winds, tornadoes, typhoons, clouds, great ocean currents.  Down into the micro, the attractions of cells to form bodies, of atoms to form molecules, of particles to form atoms… ad infinitum.  But more, these connections form attractions of sounds to form music; of thoughts, of ideas, of beliefs.  They also form collectives.  And collectives within collectives.  But no matter what, every single “event” remains connected individually to every thing else.  It gets complicated only if you don’t know how to read the symbols. 
 
The awakened mind knows this.  It can see it.  Not the way eyes see physical reality.  Eyes, after all, are terribly limited concepts – they are just physical lenses designed for one purpose: to reflect  physical surroundings into a physical brain, and the physical is such a tiny portion of all that is.  But the mind can locate itself anywhere in the Cosmos.  It can see, feel, taste, touch, hear as if it were one expanded (Cosmic) sense.  And really, that’s what the mind is. 
 
To the awakened mind, the Cosmos contains only knowable reality.  There are no secrets anywhere, and there are no mysteries.  Only reality, a small portion already explored and an infinite amount yet to be explored, as well as an even more infinite (say what???) part yet to be created.  In this, I hear the echoes of my earlier teachings – “Nothing is impossible;  Believe all things, believe in nothing -these are the paths to freedom from the bondage of systems and time.”
 
Amazing? And the best part of all, it’s a ride offered to anyone willing to look at the map, not as a colourful piece of paper fluttering in the breeze, but as a meaningful, carefully drawn set of symbols representing the offerings of infinity.  If you can read your own map, you can go anywhere and never get lost.  Once this is understood, the next step is, you begin to create.  You drive to the end of the road on the map.  And you pick up that shovel again.  But now, you know where to dig, and why.  And you won’t be hurting anything there because there is, as yet, no-thing.  The gopher is safe and snug in his burrow behind you, as are the earthworms, crickets and other creepy, crawly things.  Your shovel becomes a magic wand…  
 
Look out Thirteenth Floor: I’m adding a new wing on this side!
 
And the point being?  No one needs to remain lost (stuck) in time. 

Awakening to the Greater Reality

[thoughts from    ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

          Over the years which this world has claimed from me, the one I refer to as “me” has awakened from the induced mind-sleep of the Matrix environment that holds this world, and this universe, in its bondage to the space-time impression of reality.  No longer the zombie, I awakened to a strange reality that when shared with others who appear as like to me, did not understand it.  They feared it, mocked it, or avoided it. 

          Early in this incarnation I became aware of the greatest loneliness: having no one else to share this awakening and disturbing “me” with.  Then came acceptance of the fact that even in the most intimate of relationships, or groups of like-minded action people, I remained completely alone.  Then came a new longing: for being truly alone.  Never do I feel more lost than among people interacting on their various social levels whose emotion-laden stories, however poignant, however brutal, or however marvellous, bear no similarity to my stories.  I hear them, as in a movie, a novel, a dream, or the thundering of a stormy sea against the rock-strewn shore in the darkness.  The only connection I feel is through my choice of compassion as my life’s companion.

          I awakened to my own reality of past lives and gradually future lives manifested also in my hungry mind.  I learned early on that I come from infinity, from spirit, formless, existing beyond time and space.  I learned that I am a mind, that which encompasses infinity without and within space-time, and I learned that I am also of this place, a place called Earth.  I learned bits and pieces of my history, and discovering my many names, which as they were added to each other, allowed my mind to expand to n-th degrees beyond the limitations of Matrix-controlled *ISSA lives. 

          It took a lifetime to realize the necessity of rejecting the Matrix programming I was born with; of overthrowing the labels my parents, and society in general, chained me to; of rejecting, one by one, every aspect of mankind’s civilization as having any worth in my quest for self-awareness and self-knowledge. 

          I know why I did it, but how I did it could be of some interest to others in a similar quandary, i.e., being in this world but not of this world.  I did it by plunging myself wholeheartedly in everything the Matrix offered me for success: my religion; my schools (education); my family; my politics and finally, my profession and the things I owned and accumulated to “prove” my worth.  I left no stone unturned to make sure I knew what each one offered, and this is what I discovered: each one was a dead-end street.  Each attempt at proving my Earthian worth to myself fell flat.  I could have succeeded in any endeavour.  I had the brain skills, certainly, with determination and focus.  I possessed charisma (and note that I write that in the past tense.) 

          Here’s the funny part: I offered myself in service of the Matrix’ three major powers: religion, politics and money.  But because I explored all of them and not just one or two, I literally broke out of the labyrinth.  I discovered their utter emptiness; the smoke and mirrors; the three wizards desperately trying to keep their illusions going.  But such illusions only work on zombies.  Break out and you can never again be captured by the siren song of their artificial life. 

          Break out and you can begin to sense the greater reality.  You feel that inner freedom that makes things of earth indeed seem like the paltry items a prisoner is allowed to keep in his cell.  You realize how much of a prison earth has become for man, and how with each passing day as man’s limits to growth are exceeded in rising numbers and dwindling resources, the prison tightens its security and adds to its bars and razor wire; to its walls’ height.  How those who manage the prison increase the pressure upon the prisoners to distrust, fear and hate each other so they will rely upon the guards and wardens for their safety; so they will never realize that their only value to the prison system is how much they sweat, shed tears, bleed and die to serve, feed and entertain their oppressors.

          I learned to look beyond the prison walls at a different world which I call the cosmos.  I looked at life in infinite freedom and discovered the  means to escape the prison and travel across space and time.  I no longer needed a body to do this and realized the limitations of the Matrix programming.  It could not follow me, in fact it was unaware of my “escapes.”  All it saw was a body, either asleep or dutifully performing its slave’s work.

          No longer a slave to divinities, politicians or bosses… or of emerging revolutionary forces which I knew if successful in their bid for power would only replace the existing oppressive structures with more of same old, same old.  No longer lining up to the trunk of the snake oil salesman and his alcohol and cocaine-laced cure-alls.  I taught myself the freedom to spend days alone in nature, observing changing seasons, the rise and ebb of waters, the movement and calls of birds, growing plants and the various fauna that inhabited them and lived from them.  I saw earth as I was meant to see it without Matrix blinders of fear or need of conquest and destruction. 

          I’ve just past the seventieth year marker in an Earthian body.  Seems like a long time in earth times, but a blink of an eye in cosmic terms.  Quite a dichotomy, living between worlds, having a physical presence tied to a tiny world and a mind presence ever seeking new knowledge, adventure and experiences in endless, nameless places and non-places. 

          Now I observe this tiny world seething with discord, it’s self-styled ruling intelligence without a clue how to proceed into its near and threatening future.  I observe this intelligence plunging itself deeper into oblivious mindlessness, into planetary denial of its own reality.  Unwilling to take responsibility for itself as a species it can only turn upon itself and its world, a mad dog chasing and eating its own tail and hating the tail for causing it pain as it is being chewed. 

          What can I say more: that I’m glad I’m no longer a prisoner of the programming?  Certainly I am glad, for myself.  How do I feel about the rest of this world; about its growing insanity and its denial of the doom it has created for itself?  I’m a compassionate being and I experience the deepest of sorrow for this world.  It’s not feelings I have, it’s awareness. 

          In a no-time and no-place, in the Nexus, is a world I call Altaria.  My Teachers studied and taught there and I’ve got a “date” for my own entry into that world.  When I am there I will be asked this very important question: what did you do, within your limited sphere of influence, to try and motivate your people to realize their peril and change their ways?  And I will have an answer, and it will suffice.  “I offered them the gift of compassion, but they turned it down.  Ineffective, pie-in-the-sky they replied.  So I offered them sorrow instead.  They didn’t understand that either.  They could not understand how experiencing sorrow leads to joy and creates empathy. I thought it was because these ideas are too simple.  Then I realized they are much too complex and involved for the average Earthian mind, enslaved to Matrix programming, to grasp how a certain kind of powerlessness gives rise to the greatest of all power.  Though they are inveterate gamblers they dared not gamble at this table.  So I played alone and won.”   

          And by the way, for those who wonder at these thoughts, this is not fiction.  This is my life.  I’ll let you all know when I write fiction.

*ISSA: acronym for Intelligent, Sentient, Self Aware

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“The coming years will prove increasingly cynical and cruel. People will definitely not slip into oblivion while hugging each other. The final stages in the life of humanity will be marked by the monstrous war of all against all: the amount of suffering will be maximal.” Pentti LinkolaCan Life Prevail?   http://journal-neo.org/2016/09/12/the-empire-of-mediocrity-and-the-end-of-the-world/

“Bring back normal, get our cable TV back no matter the cost, nuke whoever you have to, just give us our lives back!”  You have to see the end of all this taking shape, I know you do. […]  Mediocrity cannot rule, but in the 21st century it can obliterate us all.  I leave you with the root of our collective demise, the reason Obama or Clinton or Trump types enthrall the masses so:

“Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.” (Robert Louis Stevenson)  (Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. http://journal-neo.org/2016/09/12/the-empire-of-mediocrity-and-the-end-of-the-world/ )

There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity.  In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite. (Paul Gauguin)

The soul is the weariest part of the body. ―Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky