My Journal

This is a prelude to posting the ms. I started at the beginning, so that I could bring you up to speed with the present.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A long time ago, I saw a poster that read “Today is the First Day in the Rest of Your Life”. From that moment on, it changed my outlook. I felt like I was looking at the world with new eyes each day. That concept is still as true now as it was then, and it has affected how I view and govern my world. As important as it is to be open to new experience, there comes a time to rely upon your ability to orchestrate previous experiences in a meaningful and coherent manner so as to build upon those experiences, and in so doing, live as if this is both the first and the last day. Catch phrases can function as a convenience, rather than simply a cliché. To this end, I would propose to title this journal as The Next Day in the Rest of Your Life.

Neither I nor you were born yesterday. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing any more than you would be reading, or continent. And if were to suggest that I was re-born yesterday, (as well as today) a lot of time would end up being wasted constantly explaining that I am not trying to suggest that I either have or haven’t accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my own personal savior. Even though Christians don’t actually own the copyright on the expression Born Again” no one wants to have to explain what they don’t mean just to state what they do mean, so hopefully, The Next Day (in The Rest of Your Life) will have to do until I can think of something better.

I got up today thinking about inspiration, perseverance, and medication.

I feel like I have a stranger living in my head. Every day, I have to ask myself when does the pain of being alive outweigh the alternatives? At present, although I am in no real pain either physically or emotionally, I feel like I have to make a conscious choice to continue living. I feel artificially depressed and anxious, and the episodes that precipitate these feelings are not unlike being aware of an impending illness, like the flu, indigestion, or a headache. This leads me to believe that it is the result of either an imbalance, or the presence of the chemistry of my body, rather than simply a state of mind.

One of the chief complaints I suffer is indifference, apathy, and a lack of motivation toward any particular action. Ahedonism has rendered me inert and passive in spite of the fact that I also suffer anxiety from this lack of accomplishment.

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Matter, Energy, and Life: As much as we purport to know about these three items, the fundamental primary question remains “From where did they come?” As interesting as the theories of how matter plus energy combined to generate Life, it begs the question of the origin of the first two components. We discuss the Universe in terms of billions of years, but Man has only been around for at most, maybe a million years. Lots of time for accidents and coincidences to occur.  It boggles my mind to imagine all of this being the result of random occurrences, or even that any occurrences were somehow generated spontaneously. And the idea of a God being responsible for the creation of All simply begs the question by adding an additional step. It is so far beyond my comprehension that I am finally prepared to accept the fact that I just don’t know. To admit that I just don’t know and can’t possibly understand these questions gives me a feeling of tremendous relief, even though I can’t really let go of the question, because I still would like to know what is the meaning or purpose of our existences, or perhaps more correctly “Is there a meaning or purpose? Again, I don’t know, and don’t believe anyone else really does either. Most of my adult life was spent deciding what or whose theories I believed, but I have come upon the idea that it is all just speculation, whether it is my speculation, or someone else’s. The reason I want to know is because it might give me a clue as to what I should do, or how I should do it. I don’t know. I know what I would like to believe, and there is some validity to the notion of believing is what I make of it, and try as little as possible to base the contingencies upon following what someone else tells me that God wants me to do.

More than twenty years ago, our culture adopted the expression “Just say no.” as if it was good advice to avoid the perils of Drug Addiction. I never even considered following that dictate, and am not likely to ever adopt it, but the idea of “Just say I don’t know” seems to afford me a great deal of serenity and peace. For me, it means there are a lot less things to worry about, And I do allow myself to believe that if I am supposed to know, or really need to know, then that will happen if and when it is supposed to happen, and if I never do find out, then I can live with that.

Monday, July 9th, 2012

In my eyes, you are the physical manifestation of the divine life that flows to us and through us. You are my Goddess. You are mine and I am yours. Whatever miracle it is that has allowed us to be here and now, our life together is my Dharma. I do not, and will not take it for granted.

When I was a child and my faith left me, I was devastated until I discovered Zen because the concept of reincarnation seemed very believable, and left met me with some kind of comfort. Zen sustained me for years. No Buddha to worship, no God to fear or try to wish into existence. Later in life, it occurred to that even to believe in reincarnation is speculative at best, and if the universe is actually finite, and destined to eventual oblivion, then I had merely postponed an eventual realization that we don’t know ANYTHING…we just don’t know…If you should kill the Buddha, to whom do you repent? This is where Life after Zen comes in….

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

When I think back on the past, I remember not only how good it was, but also how desperate and unsatisfied I felt at the time it was happening. In retrospect, they were the best days of my life, yet at the time I was powerless to really enjoy it while it was happening.

Friday the 13th of July, 2012

I woke up the morning thinking about how much the chemical imbalances in my brain are affecting my state of mind, attitudes and approach to my life in general. I get up feeling anxious, depressed and generally fucked up, take my meds, drink my coffee (another self-medication), and wait for the whole stew to take effect while reclining in my chair. I feel like Frankenstein’s monster most days. How much must I go through just to be able to “be myself”? If it weren’t for my ability to intellectualize about being mentally ill, so that I can try to convince myself to maintain my former state of mind, I am sure I would have either gone so completely insane that I either hurt myself, or got permanently institutionalized. I have held onto this stubborn, almost irrational determination to fight the demons, and it is almost solely due to the fact that I keep reminding myself that my “reality” is essentially determined by chemical balances within my brain. As long as I can hold onto some notion of getting better, or at least learning to live with the whole fucking process, I guess I will be able to muddle on.

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

I want to write like a cornered animal. I need to. I am fighting for my life. Why are we so quick to sell our dreams short for long hours at a job that sucks the life out of us? Why are we so slow to stand up and defend the things we cherish most? Our families and loved one are not things. I am talking about self-expression, in whatever form that suits us best, breathing Life into our surroundings, even our possessions, like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice so as to command the elements and tools of our lives to dance to the tune that we call.

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

I feel sick at heart and emotionally exhausted. An hour ago, I was running errands and happy to be on task. For what? More criticism and abuse. Why? Because I don’t demand respect, or at least better treatment and appreciation or at least acknowledgement. In my own way, I program the misery of my life. I have no one to blame but myself, yet I feel powerless. I hold onto this belief that somehow, if I just find the right words, or actions to evoke or inspire the results I desire that somehow it will change; it will be different. Insanity. I am the picture of the abused spouse. What do I expect? I could never respect anyone that would let me treat them like I allow myself to be treated. Then again, I say I would never treat anyone like that, but in fact, I have. Perhaps I equate Love with weakness in either myself or others. Who gets the upper hand? Is that how it is? Top Dog/Under Dog? Even when I am hurt, I feel compassion, even sympathy for those who hurt me most. Still, I blame no one but myself. This is how I have played my part in this life for as long as I can remember. Do I possess the wisdom to change this dynamic of my life? What will take its place? More regrets? Or just different regrets? With realization comes the onus of action. What is the correct action? What do I really want? How do I get it?

 Friday, the 10th of August, 2012:

Final Confessions and Last Rights of both Rites and Wrongs

And so he witnesses Trauma, as he heals their trauma and in so doing, suffers trauma, and also inflicts trauma, all of which affect him in different ways that are also the same; and those effects resonate among themselves, regenerating sums, and differences, as well as products of their interface, heterodynes and overtones alike. Eventually, the effects become overwhelming…a symphony of broadband noise resonating and harmonizing within itself within our beings.

Perception is the Mother of Harmonization. Recognition is the Father. Improvisation is the Dirty Cousin with secrets to share, (like the knowledge of Good and Evil…and Jazz.) Music is the Family that Plays Together.

Without humor, we are lost. Even gallows humor has a certain kind of optimism within it, since it depends entirely upon an audience to usher it into existence, as we are ushered out, so as to transform it into history and legend, if only for a moment…each of us has within us, our own audience to our solitary experience of Oneness. Alone in our unity, we find singular companionship.

Hope is what enables us to persevere, even into oblivion, fueled by curiosity, inquisitive challenge and mischief, the perverse spark that ignites the fire of everything aberrant, devious, and rebellious, provoking the Imp and the Id alike as they encircle each other like Yin and Yang in a binary covalent orgy of fallacious cunnilatio. Ambiguous, but hardly ambivalent. God is alive and sex is afoot. Always, whether we choose to ignore it or not, zapping from pillar to post, constantly discharging and recharging alike in an instant, and an eternity, all at once. Feel the spark of the current that passes between us, thereby confirming our existence, as well as our animation. Touch. Tactile, palpable sensory sentience, the galvanic awareness of both ourselves, as well as each other, thereby confirming our ontological reciprocation. The comingling of the vapors, the moistures, and the electrons between concentration gradients and differences in potentials, always in flux as fission evokes fusion. Convergence of matter yielding energy that empowers convergence of Mind. Mutually interdependent confirmation of Existence, Life, and Intelligence. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Provocateur; God and Goddess alike, We are One.

Monday, August 13th, 2012

The act of keeping a journal is provoking me to become more analytical. There are those who would say that is not a good thing, since I am frequently accused of already analyzing everything to death. Perhaps it is better to aspire to be more thoughtful, and in so doing, more truthful and honest with myself. Fantasy is fine. Fantasy is not a lie. Self-deception is what I am trying to avoid.

Ruminating about the past is a way of attempting self-analysis, Recycling the past yields advice. Renovating the past and giving it a new coat of paint so you can sell it on e-bay is writing. Fantasizing about it is masturbation.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2012

Home. As a child, that meant my parents’ home. As a young adult, it was wherever I slept for more than one night. After I married, it was the home of the wife of the moment. My parents’ home was my alternate home. A place to visit and reminisce, but always waiting for me. When circumstances required it, it was a place to detox, hide out, and look for a new direction, like a gangster laying low, waiting for things to cool down. As an adult guest, I became an intruder of sorts, well aware of why I had been so anxious to leave as a young man. Now it is a graveyard of better and happier days long gone. Now my children are leaving me, as I watch the cycle begin again.

To whom am I speaking when I talk to myself?

Friday, September 7th, 2012

To whom am I speaking when I talk to myself? Who is doing the talking, and who is listening? Why does it seem necessary to formulate sentences and develop ideas if they are already known to me? Is it possible to know anything without having to lay it out, word by word like a mason building a brick wall? If there is such a thing as complete, spontaneous knowledge of entire thoughts or concepts I want to know it. I am tired of being my own hod carrier.

The internal chattering of my mind is ceaseless. Sometimes it is quiet, reserved and thoughtful, like an angel whispering in my ear. At other times it is more like a Balinese Monkey-Chant, or Baraka Kecak. I have noticed that even when I “speak” silently in my head, I catch myself compulsively forming the lip or tongue movements of plosive syllables, or labiodental affricatives almost unconsciously, as if they were a part of the thought process. In any case, I think that all thought is essentially a conversation in my head, which brings me back to the question Who is the speaker, and Who is the listener?

I have come to the point of speculating that our Minds are the place where the Souls of those who occupy them reside, like renters in a house. Some of them are here for the duration, while others are either invited or uninvited guests. Our quest for evolution may be the union of those souls with each other, or perhaps a union with the One. If neither matter nor energy can be neither created nor destroyed, then that thing we call Life, as energy is eternal. I recently read that it is possible for a dying star to collapse with such force that it re-creates itself as a star again. Matter and energy can be changed in form. We have already learned to divide matter to release tremendous energy, and have even momentarily combined matter to release so much energy that it cannot be maintained or contained for more than a few milliseconds. The energy we call the Life force is minute, but focused, and has a self-directed purpose. Eventually, once the house becomes beyond repair, the Soul(s) move(s) out, and move(s) on to its’ next residence. If we could just remember those comings and goings, then we would know what it is to realize eternal Life. Our egos desire to seek continuity, yet many of us are aware of the presence of more than one Soul within us. If it is possible to maintain a Consortium of those souls as they move on to the next “Life as We Know it”, then an evolution of sentience and continuity of Spirit would be possible, and might well explain how some are so brilliantly focused, while others appear so dim, or conflicted.

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

The first time I dropped acid it occurred to me that a day in one’s life was a lifetime in miniature. Imagine being able to look back on your previous lifetimes as if they were days…not only to see the errors of your ways, but to recognize that essential paradox, or dilemma that undoubtedly haunts each of  us, like an unanswered riddle, as we continue to repeat our mistakes, even in the act of trying to correct them. I doubt that we really understand whatever it is that is the essential dilemma of each of our lives. We can change our occupations, our philosophies, a priori assumptions, locations, friends and modus operandi, but without the ability to observe ourselves from outside of ourselves, we are just doing the same things over and over, just differently.

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The long lapses between entries attest to the low ebb at which I have been subsisting. This morning, I ventured back into Prana-Yang (Pranayama, Prana/Yang/white, and Ppana/yin/black), and hopefully, into Tantric.

I have neglected my sources, my methods and my outlets for far too long, owing, ironically to fatigue and exhaustion. You cannot drink forever from a well that has no spring to feed it.

Once again, Today is the Next Day in the Rest of My Life. And now we begin again. John Cage. Indeterminacy. The Snake that bites its own tail (or tale). The Uroboros, or the Ouroboros; say or spell it as you will, they are the same snake.

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Although I can only be what I am, the particular series of individuals I see before myself is most intriguing, in terms of some of the more perverse manifestations of my self, as interpreted by myself.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

This morning, I awoke hearing the song Don’t Answer Me, by Alan Parsons, from the album Ammonia Street. (It was playing in my head.) I almost always hear music in my head, like an earworm, whether I am awake or asleep. The songs I hear when I am starting to wake up are usually the most significant, sometimes surprising so. They reunite me with past influences, which is to say a former state of mind. My Native American heritage provokes me to see it as an omen, or sign. Do my dreams tell me what I do not see or hear or understand when I am preoccupied with the hypnotic comings and goings of everyday life? Dreams allow me the opportunity to change the song, the background music of the film of my life. Last week, I awoke one day hearing Midnight Mood by Wes Montgomery, from the album Tequila. An artifact from the past, I played this wistful melody almost every night for nearly a year as I did candle flame meditation. It was my freshman year in college, and I was very much in love with a future ex-wife named Jaynee. It reunited me with a former state of mind from back then, reminding me of who I used to be.

Yesterday, I woke up to Imagination, from (Willie Wonka) done as an electric guitar solo that my son played for me from U-Tube. It was done in the Rock Idiom, and hauntingly beautiful. It helped shape my mood that day. It was a reminder, not of the past, but of how I would like my life to be now.

This Music from Dreamland sets the stage for my once-only performance in a series of one-act plays called The Daily Dharma Drama. Although I am the writer, director, central lead character, and worst critic, I never know how it will end, but the music always tells me how it will start.

Monday, October 1st, 2012

I awoke this morning feeling gratitude. My preoccupation with depression due to chemical imbalances has led me down a path of selfishness. I was adrift in high seas in a leaking lifeboat that I was trying to bail out with a china hat. I have been focused on my lack of achievements, failed aspirations, and eventual demise and unfulfilled hopes. Considering how much I had wallowed in the moment without regard for any real or imagined destination, the time had come for my wake-up call. It has been a painful journey of some three years. It was a necessarily sad phase of my development. Although I had learned to face my sorrows and mandatory unpleasantness, rather than run from them, I had become overwhelmed. Today, the balance returned, not because of any sudden change in my overall state of affairs, but rather because I allowed myself to acknowledge that compared to a multitude of possible alternatives, I may just be a much luckier and more fortunate individual than I realized. Not perfect, or wealthy, and certainly not satisfied, but then again, who of us ever reaches the point where we feel “This is enough. My grasp now equals my reach. I have nothing yet unrealized; nothing to add or subtract.” ?

Maybe one day I will…but not today. I have a job I resent and despise because it frustrates me, yet does not challenge me or utilize my best talents that I would be very distressed to lose at this point in my life. It has also given me great inspiration to start my next novel because it has expanded my understanding of the human condition, and will serve as the backdrop for a much larger story that I need to tell, and it is time to prepare myself to face with new eyes.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

It just occurred to me that although it is well-recognized that the Old Testament portrayed an Angry, Jealous, Wrathful God filled with Vengeance who demanded Animal Sacrifice and groveling Worship, whereas the New Testament which fostered forgiveness, tolerance, filial love, brotherhood, and the Beatitudes, has spawned the modern manifestations of Christianity which have heralded the eclipse of the Father Godhead by his Son, who is increasingly being portrayed as judgmental, wrathful, and intolerant, demanding groveling worship and Human Sacrifice. Can you say uroborus?

Interestingly enough, in trying to describe the repetitive,  cyclical nature of our theological attempts to order our universe, I felt compelled to do a little more research on the Uroborus (the snake that bites its own tail) to discover  references to a theory of how energy becomes mass. Suddenly, I found myself led back to one of my own preoccupations of continuity and unity. And now we begin again. Indeterminacy.

Tuesday, October 09th, 2012:

We think of Zen as being timeless, but as a result we focus on the ancient aspects of it. If that was all there was to it, then we should simply regard it as ancient, and in the process, kill it. In order to even describe Zen, we refer to timeless Koans that have been transmitted from generation to generation. They are ancient, but until you read or hear them, they do not exist, and once they have entered your mind, and touched your soul, they are new. Our culture is overwhelmingly obtrusive, which can be very distracting. This distraction that is created almost always is done for the purpose of marketing. Koans in their inscrutable, timeless mystery distract us from the cacophony of the rape and pillage of commercialism as it kidnaps one soul after another, and in so doing they displace our a priori assumptions long enough to nurture the Ever-Questioning Mind.

It is convenient that they are now public domain, but unless we present them in the context of Modern Life, their use would be merely derivative, and we might as well have our heads turned permanently facing backward. The Past is but a fleeting memory like the light from a distant star one thousand light years from its observer, which is already old news, even as we perceive it. (Parenthetically, the Present Moment does not exist at all as it is merely a theoretical concept of an occurrence that instantly becomes the past as soon as it occurs, stuck in limbo between the Past and Future, that only occupies a Virtual space between the two.) The Future is an anticipation of what hasn’t happened yet. If you believe in Fate or Predestination, you are therefore unaccountable for your actions, since they would preclude having any relevance to your eventual outcome, which is already predetermined and fixed. If you believe in free will, the Future is merely an anticipation that could as easily be an oasis as a mirage.

Regardless, if you let yourself become hypnotized in anticipation, the non-existent ever-present never Present Moment will have passed unnoticed, even though it is all we ever really have.

Koans are a vehicle that transports knowledge. True Wisdom is not transmitted. It is acquired. If I could transmit meaning just by repeating a Koan, there would be no need to tell this story, but the Koans themselves are not the story. They are, however, a useful vehicle to provide a modern context to a story that might well be incomprehensible without the frame of reference they provide.They are small stories within a series of larger stories. It is up to you to make the connections.

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