Sunday, June 23, 2019

the veiled kiss
WHAT IT ISN'T


wrapped in who we are, questions arise --
what to remove, what to add
   so we can be intimate?
where is our energy, our intention
   when we engage with one another?
how do we believe
   what we're feeling is true?
is this a feeling that's shared
   or merely exploited?
what exactly is this thing called intimacy?
   is it merely what becomes of the comfort of friendly engagement 
     when enough time gives rise to a surface bloom of the agreeably cozy?
   is it sharing our superficial then deeper secrets with one another in measured steps?
   is it slowly dissolving the boundaries of personal space as one is allowed closer?
   is it in prime evidence when removing our clothes for someone else?
   is it allowing the other to access parts of oneself
     otherwise shyly reserved, stoically hidden, vigilantly defended?
   is it allowing the other to see the real us?
     and what portion of that "real us" is shown?
     have we even shown this "real us" to ourselves?
     how can we be sure we're showing what we think we're showing?
     how are we sure what we're showing is being seen the way intended? 
to be unsure is to be unguarded, exposed, susceptible to who knows what.   
is there no intimacy without vulnerability?
is there no vulnerability without making mistakes?
are these to be our mistakes or simply experiences
   hampered by our lack of an omniscience
we shouldn't expect of ourselves?
   even if we don't blame ourselves for our leaps 
into pain out of naive vulnerability,
   nevertheless, there is still the pain.
lost in feeling, how can we ever know
   how many stages and levels there are
  on the way to true intimacy?
   maybe there are no stages at all.
   perhaps intimacy either exists or not
   in an alchemical, magical, archetypal way
   and you'll only be fooled by talk of stages,
   fooled into successive approximation away from the truth,
   fooled down the road of being taken for the fool,
   open to being used, a road leading only to more pain.
it has been said in song -- they tell you not to sleep in a strange place
   or sleep with somebody else, but either way is OK,
   you wake up with yourself --
   on the surface this is quite easy to sing,
   it can even sound like an affirmation, but the 
devil-in-the-details catch is,
   the self you wake up to 
   can't help but be changed by the encounter
   and once seen, the fall from Eden,
   the fall onto forbidden fruit,
   the fall into greater knowledge
   can't be unseen, and the sight of it can't help but change us,
   from then on changing who we are when we approach
   new vulnerabilities, new possibilities of intimacy.
whatever true intimacy is,
it isn't explored behind the veil of who we think we are
it isn't expressed behind the veil of what we wish to have
it isn't exchanged behind the veil of engendering, self-serving behaviors 
it isn't exalted behind the veil of simple carnal desire,
intimacy is something more ineffable, more revealing,
more consuming in a boundary-dissolving way,
and once dissolved, isn't thought of that way.
and so, here we are,
wrapped in the who we are, 
and the question still arises --
what to remove, what to add
   so we can be intimate?
first we must ask ourselves
but only ask if we answer with the truth --
is intimacy really what we're after
or is it a means to an ends?
yes, we spend accumulated time with one another,
we invest our energy and awareness and consideration,
we smile, we are kind to one another,
we hug, we kiss, then embrace,
eventually, buoyed by the flow of the progression 
of the close and familiar,
in due course we take each other's bodies in full,
we release a cascade of pent-up desire onto each other,
we extract peak pleasure and the facsimile of completeness
we are driven to seek,
in turn we ignore how fleeting, how ephemeral both of those are.
it is too easy in the moment of overwhelm
to content ourselves that this must be intimacy.
but in reality, the true portal into intimacy rarely opens,
and hardly ever due to the way we approach it.
what's the chance we're as yet
still kissing with veils on?
is it all merely lip service to the notion of the intimate,
a convenient excuse to gain access to the other
while ginning up some dispensation for our conscience?
the religious intention of a veil 
is to cover a part of the head or face 
as an object of some significance.
the questions then becomes,
what exactly is this special significance
and why do we feel a need to hide such a significance
from all except the rare one we deem intimate?
why place a private, personal, specially restricted nature on it?
is it because we don't dare risk such a precious thing with just anyone? 
or can it be we gain some advantage in concealment,
in hiding our cards, so to speak?
what exactly is so precious, anyway?
what makes it precious?
do we become a bit like Gollum chasing the precious one ring to rule them all,
an object external from us that wields a power we can't resist?
what power is this, this power of intimacy?
 is it simply the most profound power over others
to get them to open up to us -- for good or bad?
if so, then intimacy by itself is neither inherently a plus or minus
but can be used as both a pathway to the divine
and just as easily a tool of the predator.
maybe love is a pathway to the divine
and lovemaking a means to embody this cherished yearning,
but it's not that simple, is it?
our animal and spiritual natures wrestle
in the moment of passion and what appears as love
may not be as noble as some exulted yearning we whisper to ourselves.
to not risk is to give up the possibility of finding true intimacy.
and yet, to risk intimacy is to experience the unexpected,
for the experience we get is always more or less somehow
because by necessity it involves someone else
and that other will always have their own veil,
their own mix of intentions and drives,
their own blend of wrestling natures.
it's an old tale told with passion,
the terrible nexus of our deepest joys and most bitter tears,
it's the realm of intimacy, the mystifying.
when it's genuine there is no way to approach it with strategy,
it magically shines forth when we're in its presence
and the i's becomes we
then the we is subsumed 
into the one beyond us.
it's our transformation without explanation or method.
in all of it 
perhaps we need to take a step back
to see how the inception of true intimacy
occurs at the point we become 
truly intimate with ourselves,
and this is the most difficult aspect of all,
but it's critical and must precede 
any vulnerable engagement with another.
mostly we attempt the latter without the former
and in denying our honest engagement with ourself first
guarantee something less than intimacy with another.
this may be the crux at the heart of true intimacy.
everything else is simply talk
about what it isn't.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

set afire

SET AFIRE

bathed in a trance set afire 
by an enchantment of cobra spirit

stretched to an awareness of hidden wisdom
shining forth in phases of phainesthai

knowing the hope of engagement
among eternities of soul obsession

this is the moment out of time, the sudden infinity
showing us what we became instead

a whispered offer of regeneration from potentials thriving
when the best versions of us beckon 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

stages within stages

STAGES WITHIN STAGES
There are so many painful and pleasurable experiences offered by life.
So how to choose?  What a question, as if the answer isn't obvious.

Or is it? The natural instinct, the psychological "normal" favors selecting pleasurable experiences. But in fact this may not be good for us. It appears natural to choose the no-pain option but everything in life seems to model "no pain, no gain." So are we ensuring no gain by accepting the easy no pain way? Should we choose the painful way because that's the way to gain?

Even when working with the sacred plant medicines, and especially during the integration process, the popular vibe always stresses doing the hard work, facing our worst fears, going into the pain, taking the most difficult shamanic journey through the underworld -- in order to gain, in order to heal.

"No Pain - No Gain!"
So choose pain?
So many aphorisms say so --

- the pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow
- sometimes we need to be hurt in order to grow. we must lose in order to gain. sometimes, some lessons are learned best through pain
- everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain - but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain
- you've got to go through the worst times in life to get the best
- endure the pain, enjoy the gain
- life's a climb but the view is great
- struggle today, strength tomorrow
- it's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it
- no goal was ever met without a little sweat
- it hurts now but one day it'll be your warmup
- no struggle, no progress
- it's supposed to hurt
- sometimes it takes the worst pain to bring about the best change
- the truth is like surgery, it hurts but cures. a lie is a pain killer, with instant relief but side effects forever
- sometimes we have to be broken to awaken the greatness within
- your best teacher is your last mistake
- if it's not hurting it's not working
- great things never came from comfort zones
- it is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. where you stumble, there lies your treasure. - joseph campbell
- losing is essential to success - the more you lose, the more you want to win
- we either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong - the amount of work is the same - carlos castenada
- do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one - bruce lee
- change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change
- there are two types of pain, one that hurts you and one that changes you
And even Carl Jung said, "There is no coming to consciousness without pain."

How exceptionally odd.
How strange.

What does that say about the whole thing
-- about us, where we are, and all of being itself?
The purpose of this place seems intent upon extracting
meaning and the continually-improved from ongoing pain.
Pain, then, is necessary to achieve something better
(and better is good),
to grow, as they say
(and growth is good).
And we're growing everyday just by being here,
that is unless we don't believe becoming conscious
through experience is growth.

So why should something good be the cause of pain?
What would be so wrong about the way-to-the-good causing pleasure?
Or having the way-to-the-good easy?
Wouldn't they be better inducements for going toward the good?
And should we then assume conversely that something bad causes pleasure?
Or, maybe cynically conclude no matter what we do,
good or bad, we'll get pain?
There isn't much symmetry of dualism in that.

Pleasure is good. Pain is bad.
No, as it turns out. That's wrong.
It's far more complicated than that.
Perhaps, in fact, there is both
good and bad pleasure
and good and bad pain.
But that's a problem
for how does one decide
which pleasure is good or bad
and which pain is good or bad?
Should we ask simply - which one makes our life better
and which one makes our life worse?
But how do we measure better or worse?
By our values?
But what if our values can also be good or bad?
Then it's possible to select the wrong better or worse
from good or bad values.
That's a pickle. And not a sweet one either.
It's part of a drama played out on stages within stages
where we are both actors and audience
and ultimately our best and worst critics,
which is probably what is meant
by the final judgment.

Monday, June 17, 2019

butterflies fly crazy

Butterflies...how crazy they fly,
an yet we never see
two butterflies
in a mid-air collision.

Friday, June 14, 2019

magenta pill

take the magenta pill
because the truth is somewhere in between

Monday, June 10, 2019

always get

"I always get to where I'm going
by walking away from where I have been."  
   -winnie the pooh

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

next season premier
In the next season of the social network
everyone is in danger of getting cancelled
by Mob Law and banished to the digital ghetto
by virtue algorithms of weaponized shame.