Thursday, June 11, 2020

New Essay on Patreon and . . . ¿Solstice Workshop?

After about a zillion true starts, the subtle body essay "On the Bright and Secret Body" is finally published on Patreon! 

This is the first of a series of A/V or simply audio preliminaries I will be publishing over the next few months.  There's a short list of topics in the preface of this first piece, but here 'tis again:
~ why sadhanas (spiritual practices) have a particular structure; ~ what is close-retreat, how it works and why you might consider taking one;   ~ more discussion of the conventional and wisdom senses;   ~ a definition of the ‘hypnogogic’ or twilight state, and why it is key to the Eleusian EpiphaniesWe begin with ‘the bright and secret body' because all of these require understanding how the subtle body is organized. 

And... the Eleusian Epiphanies is moving to the Eastern Med in early July, so we have time for one more workshop here in the States... so please drop by the Patreon poll and sing out your preference.  FYI: the Patreon page is a bit sticky for mobile devices, you'll have more luck using a computer to register your opinion. 

As everyone has gone to virtual meeting rooms, the Eleusian Epiphanies will continue in human-presence workshops, albeit with all of the safety-procedures in place.  We'll announce topic, date and place on June 16 and have the registration page ready to go for the 21st (probably).  Attendance will be limited to 10 this time, in honor of our Situation.

If anyone has a UV light air purifier they would be willing to loan, please let me know

Monday, April 20, 2020

Which Iteration of the Matrix is this?

As the Great Sequestration of 2020 slowly oozes along, we can see how the Web has become our social fabric -- with huge deficits, mind you.  Not only does IT merely simulate our social ecologies, it makes obsolete the learning curve that defines personal interaction.  Oh well. Soon our 'connectivity' (as we oxymoronically call it) will be running our refrigerators and vacuum cleaners.  Huzzah.

I'm wondering how much of our anxiety comes from one intuition: that the simulation has rounded on its source - our sweet and irreplicable flesh. 

Of course this isn't a new situation.  Every time one of our inventions (metallurgy, astronomy, god) falls into the hands of a particular kind of human, his first order of business is to pave over the bodymind.  So really nothing to see here, folks: Just another  entertainment-industrial-medical-calculatory-agency that has once again attempted to delimit the zöegraphy of incarnation.

A zöegraphy† that is prima facie, expandable to the edge of infinite. And therefore very much spookier, more open to accident/desire/whim/karma than any of us want to acknowledge.

But I digress:  Let's get back to this latest media/medical/government intrusion.  Now that we have been frightened into staying 'home' (assuming you have one), our work and play, lives and lucre are increasingly dependent on the Net.  Though advanced as if it were a 'new' idea, the fallacy that we can live through a webcam, a chat room, a video conference has been with us for a couple of decades now.   But what exactly is this 'living...'?

" [. . .] Meanwhile, the author continued to speak, invoking the need to mine a poetry from randomly-generated orders of knowledge. "Cyberspace," he said,"reduces selves, objects and processes to the same underlying ground-zero representation as binary streams, permitting us to uncover previously invisible relations simply by modifying the normal mapping from data to representation."

Did he really think that this was a set-up for creativity? she wondered.Coleridge had encountered a similar confusion, and put the matter to rest by distinguishing 'fancy' (recombination, or in the speaker's parlance,'modification') from imagination--an altogether more complicated gift.  So while the author assured them that "poetic thinking is to linear thinking as random access memory is to sequential memory," here was the blunder renewed, as if Samuel Taylor had never lifted a pen. 

Now he was saying, "The mind will always overflow the body, find its limitations an impediment to the mind's range of motion."  "There it is," muttered the tibetan.  The Cartesian rabbit pacing the entire presentation shot out from the podium and bounded up the stairs.  Twitching to a stop at the tibetan's pantsleg, the rabbit sniffed his shins, then scrambled up into his lap.  He absently scratched the hare behind the ears, then leaned over and said, "I think this means you're on..."
The texan gauged the time available, her relative beauty (it would finish the point begun by her language), the patience and intelligence of the speaker. There was probably enough.

"About this mind/body split you are hypothesizing," was a clean blow to the forehead, the eyebrows were UP... "what do you think happens to the senses in the hyperesthesia of cyberspace?"       
"What do you mean?"
"I mean if we go from 259 colors on a paper chart to 1016 colors on a monitor, what happens to our ability to distinguish color?"
"Obviously, it becomes more acute."
"And is this acuity located in the body or in the mind?"
  It was a stupid question, but the author didn't seem to notice.  She watched his body weigh the answer.  "The mind," he said. 

Damn. She didn't know whether to burst out laughing or begin to shriek with vexation.  Suddenly conscious of her connection to the tibetan,she packed an answer down into the next question.

"What I really want you to think about is the relationship between increased sensory acuity and desire.  What are we actually doing at the point of distinguishing one shade from another?"  He looked puzzled, so she took a breath, slowing down to pace herself to the tension in his face and shoulders, the way his glasses drew back when his ears tightened. 
"When you make the transition from 259, the known universe, to the 260th," ...she watched him register the feeling of that transition... "is this just the result of accelerated experience?
  Or is there a change in the extent to which desire..."  and here she unveiled the whole, slow mirror of sound, letting his image flood her voice "...comes out of Being?" Did he hear the wordplay... or better, did he feel it? 

The rabbit stretched over from the tibetan's lap and nipped her finger: You are about to go too far...  She smiled, pushing the question into the speaker's flesh.   And he began to blush, his skin blooming like a parachute in the long fall toward his body. 
The rabbit loped back down the stairs to the podium."

Of course it is possible to digitize the measurable, known, recombinant world that humans have taught themselves to hold in their attention. 

But um,  Ekam sat vipra -- as the OGs say -- Reality is once. Whatever happens twice is reality and its simulation.  Good luck figuring out which is which.  And you need to know this because Reality is where all the art and the miracles hang out.   (Ever tried to repeat a miracle?  don't bother. . . ) 

Speaking of...

Happy Easter.

...†I realize I am committing neology here... I would say 'biologic,'  but the word's been tainted by genetic engineering...

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


     DEMETÆRA in Da House!!  
I am very happy to be sharing this practice tomorrow night, February 13.  It is the second of the five Eleusian Epiphanies, and like the first (33 Names of Goddess), the Demetæra sets out to create a creative dialogue between aspects of your Being† that sometimes barely speak to one another.

In this practice, the ambitious energy of a Western ritual figure (goddess Demeter) meets the contemplative clarity of an Asiatic meditational deity (buddha Green Tara).  These two offset and inform one another -- and of course are really aspects OF YOUR OWN BEING.
In the last blogpost I gave a quick profile of goddess Demeter.  In this post, we'll glance at buddha Green Tara, whose Sadhana (practice) I've been doing since 1999.

Green Tara is a member of the Buddha Kula, a family of five Wisdom buddhas who guard and purify the senses.  The Five form a mandala with the Fifth at the center.  Each one is established at a directional gate, and She --with her consort Amoghasiddhi-- sits at the North.  Her element is air, her color is green and Her practice purifies the sense of sight, transforming  envy/jealousy into All-Accomplishing Wisdom. 

She is a Protectoress and is affiliated with anything that grows green (and reduces carbon-dioxide to oxygen). 

Green Tara (Drolma in Tibetan)  is usually shown sitting in a half-lotus, with her right (bare!) foot extended to touch the ground, echoing the 'Earth-touching Gesture' of Siddhartha Gautama at the moment of his awakening.

Interestingly, her seed syllable is shaped like a "5" (with a couple of doodads), so fairly easy to visualize.  And that 8-petalled thing she traditionally sits on?  How 'bout this?

There are other traditional and iconographic connections between the two goddesses, which we'll touch on in the workshop.

If you plan to come tomorrow night, seating is limited to eleven.

• Where: Blue Star Temple, East Austin (address provided upon registration)
• When: Thursday, February 13, 8-10 p.m.
• Entrance Fee: Zilch.
• Participant limit: 11