Visual and Vibrational Sacred Echoes

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Humans remain creatures of the natural world in so many ways. We echo nature’s colours and pulsing rhythms of light and shade. We unconsciously imitate the perfection of the universe although we assert that we are superior and have risen above the animal and plant kingdom.

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We use substances of the Earth to make pigments and construct instruments to apply them, and yet we are always aspiring to be better, to create something superior, to outshine with our progress and sophistication.

We rarely stop to acknowledge that without natural resources we would not be able to create anything.

And we could ask for whom are we creating? To become immortalized for our genius, to make money, to display our so-called ‘talents,’ to ventilate our unique mechanistic minds?

 

 

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Traditional Landowners in the Australian outback create for very different reasons. A Traditional Landowner, chosen for his or her spiritual elevation, ‘owns’ thousands of miles of the Dreaming Lands. He or she must curate the Land forms and phenomena and celebrate the creation stories with songs and paintings.

Every artwork is a visible sign, a testament of harmony in all things for the spirit guardians or creation heroes to see; each brush stroke, or rock chisel mark or stipple or speck, is in veneration of ancestors and Father Earth and the Great Mother Nature. Artists do not practise: their painting is a live performance. 

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Decorating Hollow Bone Coffins to hold the precious bone fragments of their ancestors is a serious occupation. Their grandeur will pay tribute to the human life and spiritual lessons learned in the eyes of the Sky Heroes, and to the next stage of traveling on in the Sky.

 

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As the Djang approaches, the final glorious death ceremony, larger square coffins are made to convey the sun-dried corpse to the burial fires, but only the underside is decorated with secret symbols describing the life of the deceased so that that Father Earth and Mother Nature will know.

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Making art is a sacred duty to these wise people. It is dedicated entirely to the Earth and the Sky.

If only we secular people could find such sacred duties once again. Art would take a very different turn if we did.

 

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                 Gorgeous images courtesy of Mariko Kinoshita, Linden Thorp and Megapixyl.com


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A world truly made of Words

 

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The dancers move.

Their bodies are words;

“stretch,” “soften,” “open.”

 

Arms move in phrases

the intonation of which they follow

with their eyes.

 

Legs move in sentences

the logic of which they feel

with their minds.

 

Arms and legs,

the syntax and semantics

which hook into the spine,

are constantly available to them.

 

A swirl of alphabet from which to make “me.”

 

 

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images courtesy of Megapixyl: clthorp59@outlook.com

Making Images

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We are actually taught to make images to symbolise or represent almost everything – for remembering, for recognising, to navigate, and so on, and we excel at it. This aptitude to bring to bear rich imaginations and wide vision in our daily lives is one of the things that differentiates us from animals and plants. But actually, this often becomes an abstract route to creating our exclusive way of seeing the world.  It literally forces us to identify, to stamp ‘me’ and ‘mine’ on the mind moment, and if we are not mindful we may become attached to such images, mistaking them for reality.  

 
This temptation to ‘identify’ with the images we constantly create is our major test as humans – our conditioning and DNA (countless ancestors who have lived distant to the sacred) leads us to etch a clear line between reality and the imaginary, to make a distinction between the visible and the invisible, and to consign ourselves to experiencing life always from the sidelines via concepts and archives. But many of us have never even heard of this test meaning that we have fully and unconsciously turned our backs on our divine mission. Instead, we favour and over-cherish a ‘synthetic ‘self’ invented by the dictatorial intellectual mind. This is pure ego and arrogance: some would say it is the dark side of human beings, our personal ‘Satan,’ our samsara, our constant resistance to the gravitational field of love and goodness. These resisting consumers surround us in modern life: those who live lives of surrender and desireless-ness are rare.

 
Science informs us that human beings have physically evolved as much as they are going to; in other words, we are at our peak as a species, but our spiritual evolution is badly retarded. As a result, most of us are not truly happy and neither is the world at large. We are restless, insatiable, destructive and primitive, unable to create harmony in our social groups for the most part, and constantly craving artificial stimulation. In our short-sightedness in life we conceal our terror of death and disappearance, and this endemic fear has caused us to lose the use of so many subtle tools available to the higher mind, the mind of ‘grace’ (Christian) or emptiness (Buddhist) or moksha (Hindu), in order to invest all our energy in the intellect and acquisition. We give over our precious human existence to shopping, possessing and questing for attention, and so we have become major stakeholders in the worlds of materialism and sensual satisfaction. It is logical that we sit back in our high comfortable chairs, flicking switches and frittering away our time viewing visual collections. Logic? Another resistance to what is natural.

 
We may even make images to represent our own minds: for example, the iceberg with its small tip showing above the water surface and its mass below – symbolising the conscious mind and the unconscious mind respectively: The onion with its tender centre and its layer upon layer of ever-hardening skins is another. Although this may be useful to try to appreciate or recognise the difference between these two contrasted aspects of our mind, it does in fact separate them from one another in an Aristotelian way. By attaching ourselves to such images, we are unwittingly identifying with them and so coaxing our ‘self’ to acquire and possess compulsively.  In actuality, there is no self to identify with anything material because we are beings of energy made flesh in order to spiritually evolve.

 
It is preferable then to avoid making or encouraging these images even though they may seem to ease understanding. Ironically, understanding in its original sense it connected to listening not looking.  Rather than craving finite blocks of black and white as captured on screens and pages and bold framed linear scenarios, there is a boundless greyness which floats and fleets in whatever shape is needed to embody the essence of love, an unconditional listening, a flickering of our essence of light.

 
If we cease to try to pin down our feelings, cementing them into our foreground, crying out for witnesses to come forward and acknowledge us, asserting our view to others, we can realise that the field of awareness is infinite and has no boundaries, no images.  Then we can quietly coalesce in the field needing no images or intermediaries at all.  By closing the busy outer eyes so addicted to colour, shape and orientation we can close the image albums and lock the archives, walking away to our real home beyond all concepts created by the human mind. Then we can clearly hear the sound of reality moving and merging, the concrete sound of infinity and eternity, of goodness and the divine. True understanding consists of universal unconditional listening during which nothing is pinned down, nothing is owned and everything becomes one. We embody love with our true nature enabled only by breathing air from the universe. Everything else is simply arranged only to stimulate the intellectual mind.

 
‘We shall know each other by our deeds and being, and by our eyes and no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace.’
The above is a verse from the Cathar Creed (1244), The Church of Love. The spirit of life is played out whilst silently respecting everything on the material plane though not identifying with it, accepting everything, but quietly supporting those who need support. Identifying and possessing destroy and engender greed and ignorance. Using images is in a way an attempt to possess aspects of the visible, to keep them for reference as a source of knowledge. The medieval mystic Cathars had nothing material, not even Bibles which showy Christians had become slaves to. Indeed, all the great adepts dispensed with material supports. Instead, they embodied their spirit of compassion and humility.

 
I have deliberately positioned myself in my life in a different culture (Japan) in which I cannot easily read or write or even understand the society around me.  This is the most precious opportunity to stop making images and concepts.  I notice that I am not using my mind in the same way as I did living in the culture my spirit first became flesh in because it is often impossible to make interpretations of my environment. As I wander down crowded streets decked out with loud kanji, katakana and hiragana neon signs so characteristic of Japanese cities whisked aside by bicycles mounted on the pavement and bustling people pushing through crowds, I can often only listen deeply and breathe. It is no use bringing out my image albums and brandishing metaphors and idioms because they are meaningless in a culture which reads the air instead of dissecting and deeply analysing ideas. I cannot imagine what is going on in other minds around me because there is no pattern I can predict, no pictograph I can possibly imagine, no inherited template. I can only embody my love and float around sealing away the intellect and letting visions occupy me and my ancient senses help me to navigate.

 
Only the field of awareness is. I am the terraced shaking paddy, standing in sluiced rice rows, paddled by ducks and frogs activated by tremors from the inflamed warts of the Earth’s crust below me, burned and bundled and finding its way inevitably into famished stomachs. I have dramatically learned how not to be separate from anyone or anything here in a Land created from the hair and kimono of the million gods. To interfere with this seamlessness for even a second to create an image, to take a shot, would make me gasp for air!

 

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Innocent Voices Conveying Crucial Messages

  • the story of how I wrote my Australian work Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day

 

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As an author, I sometimes find myself between two worlds: that populated by the hard facts with visual proof told in R.T. (Real Time) or man-time as I like to call it; and that of the spirit, invisible, unbidden, in need of no proof.  The former is championed by frightened people of knowledge, out of contact with their fire and their true nature, who argue and disturb people in the name of the so-called truth; the latter champions speak quietly from their experience not knowledge, and have no argument with anyone but simply wish innocently to share their view of the world, to enrich, to edify others.

What should I do if I have repeated dreams and take on wholesale the strong flavour of something invisible beyond knowledge, something I cannot pin down into facts and justification?  I could stay quiet and for the most part do, but in some cases, I can use the literary or artistic vehicle to convey a crucial message out loud.  People listen to art whereas they often stuff their fingers in their ears when it comes to politics, religion or humanitarian common sense, all of which are often based on the much over-rated ‘knowledge.’

25 years ago I arrived in Alice Springs on my way to visit Ayer’s Rock, the aboriginal belly button of the earth, and was unexpectedly selected to join a group project in the South Australian Desert. At the time, I had no idea that this experience would completely transform my life, but it did, and I have written about it quite innocently in my novel, Easy-Happy-Sexy (2013).  Some years after the experience, I had several very strange dreams, both waking and sleeping, about the tribal leader I had encountered briefly there called Ninija.  Quite soon after through the ether she initiated me into Desert Wisdom and became my spirit guide, and to this day she appears unbidden in my meditations and dreams, always addressing my higher self. 

Ninija indicated to me that developed peoples are in the process of rapidly destroying the Earth and each other and that it was time she told her story of the damage they had done to her people.  She appointed me as custodian of this story and set about relaying it to me through images, songs, and fables.  It tumbled out of me and I wrote it down in strangely disconnected notes which eventually I consolidated into Easy-Happy-Sexy.   There is no way I can prove this happened to me, so I ask my readers to take my word on it, and to listen avidly to the urgent message Ninija wanted me to convey to ‘my people,’ (people of the developed world).

I have no logical explanation as to why this happened or what my connection with these amazing tribal people is, but I do know for a fact that we who inhabit the visible or mortal world are our ancestors and that we are entrusted to carry forward our line. I strongly feel that my ancestors were once indigenous to Australia and have chosen me to convey this wisdom at this precarious time in human history.

Now you may say that every white English-speaker or speaker of European languages may expect to have ancestors who were involved in the migrations and exclusions from overcrowded Europe to various parts of the New World. But in my case, I feel the reverse happened.  By the same token, if we consider that the presence of aboriginal Australians has been detected as long ago as 40,000 years and that our ancestors may stretch back to that prehistoric epoch, then why is it not possible that I have traces of them in me, modern citizen of the developed world that I am?

The objective of my group experience in the South Australian Desert was to escort Ninija and the surviving elderly and children of her tribe back into Aboriginal territory in the very centre of Australia so that they could once again pick up their traditional life.  I actually experienced some beautiful aspects of that traditional way which was being revived, and I felt so at home with them: they made good sense in terms of the Earth and its inhabitants.  Many of their traditional ways are truly ancient, stretching far back long before they had encountered white-fella’s concepts of ‘time’ and ‘space,’ to an epoch of harmony and the flourishing of the Earth. This Golden Era when humans were young and innocent and lived closely with nature is how things were meant to be before arrogance and power took hold and we allowed negative emotions to rule us. The visible was just a small part of the invisible then so we were energy-sensitive – able to predict the future and tell the past, to know each others minds, to live outside concepts and theories, but most of all able to commune directly with our ancestry and the spiritually evolved beings who walked among us.   

Recently white settlers in Australia are arguing about who actually is from indigenous stock, bringing discrimination into the most natural and ancient scenario of all.  The native people have lived peacefully and harmonically in Australia for 40,000 years.  Talk about Hubris! Arrogance!  Discrimination!  Going where the limelight is! Etc.  And the so-called white writers can only write about native life as observers if they insist on observing the facts and staying within charted and visible territory.  I have ventured outside these boundaries into the vast invisible world and through my spiritual awareness am certain that I have, as mentioned, native Australian DNA somewhere in my being which laid me open to becoming an advocate for the rights of native peoples in general, and to awakening to my Australian spirit guide Ninija.

About a year ago, I started to conceptualise a non-fiction work which came out of another such spiritual and life-changing experience of the Cathars, medieval mystic Christians exterminated as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church. Once again I found myself transplanted to the Eastern Pyrenees, the chain of peaks which has created a natural border between Spain and France, where I lived for about 6 years.  And once again, through a series of dreams, meditations and being touched by the potent spirit of that place where they were exterminated, I touched another thread in my ancestral line and realised that my relatives had been Cathar martyrs in that place. 

At the time, I was seriously practising the Buddhist teachings but had a vivid revelation that the Cathar beliefs were almost identical and that they, in turn, dovetailed beautifully with the creation spirituality of the Aboriginals.  My spiritual life became ecstatic watched over not only by the Buddha and all his emanations, but the highly evolved Cathars martyrs and Ninija and her Desert wisdom too.  Tuning into one’s legacy through meditation and awareness of a higher being is available to all of us, but it seems that only spiritual seekers grasp the opportunity to accept the visible and invisible worlds as one. Only fear of the unknown, the unseen, leads us to throw up a wall between them. After all, the human race is innately good, and it is generally agreed that the positive virtues of trust and acceptance are greater than the negative of suspicion and defiance.

My feet of clay as a creator could easily be unearthed by the knowledge-dependent R.T. brigade, but I will not allow it.  If only they really understood the fragile nature of the notions of time and space, and opened to the idea of three thousand dimensions instead of just three.  If only they had for a moment walked outside their concepts and theories, stood back and put their weapons down, and examined their motivation for expressing their ‘mere’ opinions.  For what are opinions and knowledge when compared with experience and insight and the knowledge that we human beings are one with the glorious universe that gives us our lives? 

We cannot embody opinions and knowledge. They are specks of dust, mere material floating in the sunlight, compared with our magical essence of love and light.

 

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Forward to my new book – Glorious Death: Glorious Life: Buddhists Cathars and people of the Earth

This is what I’m rushing to get finished at the moment. Are you sacred of or evasive about your death and that of loved ones around you? This book will help you I think.

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Buddhists and Cathars jacketauthor’s forward

Glorious Death? Human beings are curious of and frightened by their own death and the death of others they love. Death is taboo to most of us, and it is understandable that the complete unknown is terrifying so we evade it, clinging to what we know even more tightly.  But I will show you in this book that there is a way to understand and to embrace death, and that when we do our lives are transformed. 

Glorious Life?  Life is both predictable and unpredictable; both happy and sad; both satisfying and dissatisfying, but what is certain is that we do not have control of it.  Like setting sail on a stormy sea, we are at once battered by waves and wind, and the next becalmed or shrouded in dense fog. However, acceptance of our impermanence is the master key to dealing with such fluctuations; we need…

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Temple Chronicle: 27th February

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Our human lives may bounce around on an unpredictable ocean – our emotional responses to the incidents and occurrences in daily life combined with our karma, both bad and good, and the emotions of others around us also creating incidents and occurrences, and their karma. We never know how the weather will change and we are rarely prepared for its storms or for the becalming or sea fog. We are not in control because we allow external circumstances to control us. This is the conditioned mind, reacting and forcing responses, compulsive, not content, and it seems that there is nothing behind that unrelenting action and respite, action-respite. So we become afraid to look. In the end, we blame and protest and perhaps even try to resign from life. Our happiness seems as short-lived as a warm sunny day when there is no trace of a cloud in the sky.

This drama of our life is a like a fast-moving dream which we think we can only stop by waking up. But we never wake up from it because we have allowed it to become our reality, our view, our way of seeing and being. The only way we can wake up is by taking control and changing the way we see everything: in other words, by investing in our neglected ship and its equipment, especially the sails, instead of the ocean and the weather.

The first step in that process is quelling the continual dialogue perpetuated by the media and perhaps by people around you. You need your own vacuum of silence and stillness so that you can truly look inside. You need to appreciate yourself, and examine your sincerity with yourself because the revealing of your original core, which has been temporarily submerged, depends on that entirely.

Honesty expresses honour and virtue. If we are dishonest with ourselves our core becomes unstable. Honesty wakes us and others with its strong scent. It will allow your divine flame to burn more brightly, and then you can go forward and enjoy restoring your ship, repairing or replacing its sails, making new ropes, scrubbing the deck, and pumping out the bilges.

When you set sail on life again you can deal with any kind of extreme because you are equipped. Your core is stable and glowing, the weather is always tolerable and you accept its changeability without flinching; your ship is somehow part of the ocean now.

And then you wake up from the terrible dream forever and move on to the next phase of the restoration of your core.

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Thank you dear followers. This series of posts will have lasted for the entire month of February. It represents Buddhist Winter Austerities and spiritual training in Japan, a time to cultivate wisdom, and I have learned so much from the discipline of writing everyday for you. I apologize if I have swamped you with posts, but I hope that you can allow at least some of the notions to work for you in everyday life. Future posts will be intermittent.
May you be truly and enduringly happy for all of your days immersed in the vast ever-changing ocean of energy.