Please bear with me here in this blog cos I’ve not taken to or ’got’ religion, no, but I have gotten humanity or spirituality.
Spirit is in all of us. It’s what makes us live. We are the body which the spirit inhabits. Spirit is bigger than us, it is all of us, it transcends all boundaries physical and conceptual. Spirit is above all these conflicts, it yearns for peace amongst the races of planet Earth. Like the Dalai Lama says we all wish to be happy and contented.
Some are willing to fight wars, to kill and maim in the name of their peace. Hence the crusades and the jihads. I am not of that leaning or school of thought, I would prefer to cherish all living beings. [Although as a meat eater I must bear some responsibility for the demise of some of the world’s stock of beef, sheep, fish and all but I spoke with a man who was raised on a farm and they ‘get’ that you give the livestock a good living time then it becomes food on the plate. We need protein but I draw the line. Some animals were reared from time immemorial to serve humankind; cows, pigs, horses, camels salmon and so on. The indigenous folks of the Americas had the right idea when they would co-exist with the buffalo and when they killed one would use every part in some way, the buffalo was their brother.
In my last blog I mentioned 3 countries whose recent history has been strife-ridden; Afghanistan, Iraq & Syria. In fact their strife goes back as much as 5,000 years despite their being the cradle of civilisation. That area has almost always been at war, as have many other areas of this globe. That’s mostly because the human race [my name for the human race is non-gender, ubeings I spose that can be shortened some more to Ubees? Or even Usbees cos we are all in it together, Usbeez I may say Usbeez] are family-protective and territorially jealous whilst also being covetous and greedy. To put it another way, Usbeez are tribal.
My interest in the ancient history of this planet began when I was young and forced to listen to stories in church from the old & new testaments. Ironically Christians broke away from Judaism to set up a different view of life & death yet the powers that ruled GB chose to re-adapt the Old Testament. The powers that ruled GB were from the so called ‘upper class’; the rich, the landed, they decided somewhere along the line that Greece and Rome were the pinnacle of the ancient world and that Greek & Latin were the languages with most importance. That must have seemed obvious as many words in the ‘English’ language hail from Roman Latin and the idea of democracy is supposed to have hailed from Greece altho their democracy was nowhere near all inclusive.
However, the world of what has come to be known as the Semitic-speaking peoples which includes what was Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Phoenicia etc, now known as Iraq & Syria etc, was vitally important in the development of the later Greeks & Romans. Without the Semitic-speaking peoples there would have been no writing. The Phoenicians were Semitic and the Greeks adopted their alphabet. The Phoenicians built Carthage and (I believe) eventually settled in Etruria. http://www.britannica.com/place/Etruria-ancient-country-Italy
The people of Crete and Thera were the Minoan civilisation, maybe they were what Socrates and Plato referred to as Atlantis. At the time of the massive natural disaster in 1450 BC which destroyed the Minoan culture the people of Crete and Thera had the most advanced society in the region, possibly on the planet. It pre-dated the rise of the Mycenaean Greeks who indeed took advantage of the wreckage left by volcanic eruptions and tsunamis to over-run and overcome a group of people who had held them at bay for a long time. I believe that 1450 BC is a pivotal moment of earth’s history and it is hard for us to comprehend how big the changes brought about by that disastrous time were. Everything in the ancient world changed.
There are some thinkers who believe that there were also some cataclysmic occurrences in the sky, possibly outside the Earth’s atmosphere, something like a comet coming very close to colliding with the planet. There is evidence in all the records of peoples who at that time were capable of keeping records of huge displays of bright lights and explosions in the skies. I believe that a lot of myths about dragons and the gods fighting come from these events. But, whereas that’s some incredible stories from Scandinavia to China, it’s not the focus of this blart.
The focus is on installing the peoples of Assyria and Babylon into their place above the tiny enclave around ancient Judea which has taken on such a big over-important position because the west adopted a form of Christianity which was already a watered down version of the Christ story by the time of the Nicene Creed in 325 A.D. (http://www.theopedia.com/nicene-creed )
I say watered down because the literature adopted at the Nicene Creed deliberately cut out, exiled, many writings which the creed’s creators didn’t see fit for their purpose.
It is my feeling that a lot of valuable information was therefore lost to the next 1620 years until in the 1940s various excavations and discoveries found out the content of some of the damned documents in places like Nag Hamadi (http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html ).
This has not got to do with ‘religion’ it’s to do with truth, honesty and fairness. These vital traits were absent from the Nicene Creed’s outlook which was aimed to push a certain view of the world which was already alien to the ideas of the revolutionary group that surrounded a man with great ideas and example, known to the west as Jesus Christ. Joshua ben Gennesareth may have been his title in reality. If you want to research this further see this set of links https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Joshua+ben+Gennesareth
When I mention Christ (which indeed was a title for ‘messiah or anointed one’ see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christos_(given_name)) I do so in the group of extraordinary thinkers who lived in this order; Buddha, Christ and Mohammed, I say let’s give these three guys equal billing as none of them would have been into pecking orders and all of whom had a message which was essentially the same- “Walk away from previous bad actions, forgive the perpetrators (including yourself if it were you what dunnit) and build a new future with trust, mutual acceptance and love for all beings.”
The reason I mention this is because all 3 were well aware of the penchant of mankind to take revenge and how that always leads to its corollary (its natural consequence), more violence, more revenge. So these three genii were and still do advocating a revolution against the natural consequence.
I am not ‘religious’ but I believe in the spiritual aspect of existence and I believe these three men were spot on!
I was reading about the (ancient) Hittites, the Babylonians and the Persian (all of whom had incredible advances in their societys, sciences and arts) and the books tell us that each of those countries fought continuously amongst themselves and I don’t think it takes a brilliant mind to say those battles still continue today. The Middle East is riven with strife over the past 5,000 years where men have continued to administer the natural consequences and the wars which began 5,000 years back still continue today. That’s a fact.
Surprisingly there has been a miracle in Ireland where the tribes did kill one another for hundreds of years and that miracle was what is called the Good Friday Agreement (10 April 1998). I hope that they can come to such an agreement in Syria soon enough. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Syria? First alphabet- Ugarit ( The golden age of Ugarit. The most prosperous and the best-documented age in Ugarit’s history dated from about 1450 to about 1200 bce and included periods of domination by the Egyptians (c. 1400–1350 bce) and the Hittites (c. 1350–1200 bce). That age produced great royal palaces and temples and shrines, with a high priests’ library and other libraries on the acropolis. After the discovery of the temple library, which revealed a hitherto unknown cuneiform alphabetic script as well as an entirely new mythological and religious literature.
The art of Ugarit in its golden age is best illustrated by a golden cup and patera (bowl) ornamented with incised Ugaritic scenes; by carved stone stelae and bronze statuettes and ceremonial axes; by carved ivory panels depicting royal activities; and by other fine-carved ivories. Despite Egyptian influence, Ugaritic art exhibits a Syrian style of its own.
The excavators of the site were fortunate in the number and variety of finds of ancient records in cuneiform script. The excavations continue, and each season throws some new and often unexpected light on the ancient north Canaanite civilization. The texts are written on clay tablets either in the Babylonian cuneiform script or in the special alphabetic cuneiform script invented in Ugarit. Several copies of this alphabet, with its 30 signs, were found in 1949 and later. A shorter alphabet, with 25, or even 22, signs, seems to have been used by 13th-century traders.
Scribes used four languages: Ugaritic, Akkadian, Sumerian, and Hurrian, and seven different scripts were used in Ugarit in this period: Egyptian and Hittite hieroglyphic and Cypro-Minoan, Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurrian, and Ugaritic cuneiform. These show clearly the cosmopolitan character of the city.)from– http://www.britannica.com/place/Ugarit
I felt privileged to be first speaker out of the blocks and did a rapid show of the several books that I have made following Joanna Drucker’s introduction to the history of the written word in her Alphabetic Labyrinth which really inspired me to make books of many different historical types and ultimately to do this PA piece (https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=alphabetic%20labyrinth) Since I started the project it has taken on a life of its own and led me to much new knowledge.
The PA took place at 3pm and I did give a short intro to what some of the moves meant.When I referred to the fact that there’d probably have been copies of the Kabir poem, which I use as inspiration for my project, in the shops that got blown up I felt myself starting to cry unintentionally. Doing PA does touch a chord.
Happily my Performance Art piece went down well [‘Thankyou Pete for an awesome performance’], even converting several folk who had been sceptical about its fitness for purpose. The attention to detail is quite startling. Whilst watching my PA I realised in the mime about making letterpress print I had forgotten to ink up the ‘chase’ so I went back and did it (in my mime) and sure enough one lady said afterwards that at the time she thought, ‘He’s not inked it up’, which shows the concentration of the audience. Apparently you could hear a pin drop, probably when I mimed holding the needle to sew the book sections together?
Some members made pleasant remarks about my little new binding of David Jury’s prints of my 6 poems in the Vessel. Well, not so little cos it’s about 20” x 18” and some were amazed at how I had managed to keep such a big surface area from bending. Actually so am I and I told them, ‘It’s beginner’s luck, follows me everywhere.’
In fact it is the result of many years of only sporadically making traditionally bound books, partly because I like ‘alternative’ but partly cos I was always frightened of being judged incompetent. The confluence of my increasing self-reliance and a perceived need to bring David’s beautiful rendition of my words made me so determined to overcome my personal weaknesses and get the darn thing done and done well. The book took a few weeks of research, seeking advice from DJ and ace bookbinders Mike Sullivan & Son (Robert), doing trials and buying the right materials. And taking lots of time and consummate care! So when I finally released the book from under heavy boards last week this was my reaction, “I have just taken the new ‘Vessels’ book out from under the weights and in my eyes it is dang near ‘perfec’. [However, remember the compere in ‘Cabaret’ who sang ‘If you could see her thru my eyes’, whilst looking at a gorilla!]I am over the beautiful waning moon I can see out my window this morgan. Wow. It’s taken several days of tears & sweat but I am glad to say it is good (enough for me, and that’s ‘good’.” Here’s an image of it.
And for those interested here’s my work towards the day:
Visions of Joanna The Ideas behind and Script for S o B.
In a recent interview Yan Martell said he thought that art can bring about changed perceptions by altering your perspective, “to posit a different reality” [to that/those with which you’re familiar]. All my life in art this is what I have tried to achieve. I always looked for a difference. Now in my Performance Art I have discovered a way to animate my vision.
We all know about books. Many of us make beautiful books. But do we all remember the way the word was first turned from an aural thing into a physical thing? At first it was inscribed in clay then a variety of different grounds were tried. We are embarked on the digital age and who can dream of where that will take the book? I look at different book forms and try to create them and their makers using my body and some props and specially composed music. The bark mask is typical of my creative process. I conceived the idea and began to make it using materials I had saved from my work in my garden. As I moved through its making I allowed the mask to dictate to me some of its form hence some rather unusual asymmetrical results with the elements of surprise and a degree of shock.
I am standing still, wearing black vest & suit (no shoes), hold up the bark mask, looking at the audience. “I am the book”
“We are all aware that paper is made from trees. But in Gandhara they made scrolls from birch bark and buried them in pots. These are the oldest surviving Buddhist texts ever discovered. (pick from the pot show my scrolls and place as start of the ‘sculpture’ which will be feature of the Part 2.)
As my tribute to those early pots I made my own pot with words around the neck and scrolls hold my words and images. I need to mention Jackie Leven here. He sang a wonderful version of a poem by Kabir which I shall recite as I cannot sing”.
I use music specially written and played by Luke Walker for my Clay Jug.
“Inside This Clay Jug there are canyons…”
“I am doing my piece in 2 parts of 15 minutes each.
This first part I shall introduce a series of books to you and tell the background which is really the history of the book through my own book-making. Then in part two there’ll be no explanations just enactment.
I have produced a book, G BATCH, which explains the project and contains the first version of six poems that I wrote feature which throughout the series.
Whilst doing my Masters I was amazed by Joanna Drucker’s Alphabet Labyrinth book which goes into the way the first words were put onto a surface, the first writing. This was on clay tablets, which I made but not using cuneiform, just English. (Show my yellow one & place in sculpture)
I also made a clay poti, (show and add to sculpture) which is a book form used in the East. Tibetan monks like the Dalai Lama still read from daphne paper potis.
I shall be referring to my Leaf Books here. Which are in codex form. (show and add to sculpture) Later the letterpress was invented and books became more available. I did a collaboration with David Jury with my Earthen Vessel books.
Wear black vest & black ‘dance’ pants. Also I shall be using a shawl to add the ‘outfits’. For each part first pick up relevant ‘book’.
(with this movement in between each book:
Foot forward, back, move left, hands up
Move right hand out to right and back
Move left hand out to left and back
Foot forward, back, move right, hands up
Pull hand over hand to left to signify pulling back time)
The PA piece:I was going to recite this but I forgot:
‘Have a care
Beware, it’s best to be wise
If you go down to the woods today
You’ll never believe your eyes
Be careful what you do to the trees
The guardian is in his guise.’
Everyone knows paper comes from trees but did you know that in ancient Gandhara they created scrolls from birch bark? These were found hidden in pots and are the oldest records of the life if Buddha.
The Tree-King is slightly scarey and gives warning that we should care for and treasure the tree.
Performance Art has an unsettling aspect here shown by the Tree-king who sets the tone of the scene. Using an invisible cord I connect with past times and I trawl through different book forms from the past 3 thousand years; clay tablets, scrolls, pothis, manuscripts, letterpress and eventually codex. I attempt to create various historical book forms and their makers using my body, mime & movement with music created by Luke Edward Walker and mark Newby Robson. I shall exhibit and refer to several of my own books influenced by; clay tablets from Ur, pothis from Tibet, scrolls from Gandhara, illuminated manuscripts, letterpress pages and codex. Watch me become the book-makers and the books. Meet the scribes, calligraphers, printers and book-makers from bygone ages.
bark-mask the bark-mask covers most of my face, stand tree like to start. unmask
begin Luke Walker music
‘bow’ to Pot from which I take
Move thru the books-
clay tablet- use one of the clay tablets from poti or the yellow one shawl becomes ‘kilt’, sit upright like the scribes from ancient Ur. Become a clay tablet
scroll- Take a Scroll from the pot and unravel it, ravel it, unravel it– shawl becomes Tibet style robe, sit cross-legged. become a scroll
codex- show one of the Leaf Books shawl becomes ‘hood/cowl’. Sitting at a desk become the medieval monks who created illuminated manuscripts. Be a codex book. Here I lay down and ‘turn’ like a book then stand and do it standing, foot out front, to side, out front, down.
Show Earthen Vessel books
I become the printer using a letterpress method?
The David Jury collaboration prints first.
Show my new bound book of DJ’s prints.
Return to the pot, go down into child pose.
I think Sonia Serrao who organised the day did a great job and there was a really happy bustle throughout the proceedings. I met and made friends with a whole new bunch of people. My mate Dave Doughty came up with me and his being navigator got us both safely thru the streets of London. Had I been on my own I wouldn’t have reached the show.
I hope to be able to add more images to the one Sonia sent me when anyone who got a good shot sends them to me.
Now that’s over I can shoot back to London, this time on public transport, to see the Auerbach at Tate. And return some books to the Poetry library.
I’d love to go to Zurich to see my friends Vest & Page, but I can’t. If you can you’ll have to go next week:
Verena & Andrea dressed up in latex. As Vest & Page they are astounding Performance Artists
Fabriktheater Rote Fabrik, Zurich
9 – 10 – 17 – 18 March, 2016, 20:00h
YGGDRASIL, the second production of Kollektiv Phantomschmerz – in collaboration with the Italian-German artist duo VestAndPage and musician Marc Rossier – is the continuation of the search for identity started in their first production Highlight. Following the question “What do you know?”, now they inquire into “What do you believe?”. In a time of spiritual alienation, a journey between conscious and unconscious states ensues through a hybrid of performance art and theatre. Shows at the Fabriktheater Zurich (Doors open at 19:30)
• March 09, 2016, 20:00 – Premiere
• March 10, 2016, 20:00
• March 17, 2016, 20:00 – Post-Show Q&A
• March 18, 2016, 20:00
Now I can listen & hear what three wise men, Krishnamurti, Roy Fraser & the Dalai Lama, have told me, I don’t know why but there it IS, maybe cos am old?this was Roy Fraser’s little ceramic Buddhai what I drew…
OM MADI PADME HUMMMmm
Like many others of the Sixties generation I tried to change the world these past 50 years. But, like the US forces going into Saddam’s Iraq, I never had a contingency for what to put in the old world’s place. I found out that nobody changes the world cos the world just carries on in it’s own bittersweet way, forever. The world in which we live, or should I say Universe, has been going on for millions of years and will continue with or without us ubeings. In fact if we blow the Earth to smithereens the universe just keeps rolling along with what’s left of the Earth and all who dwelt there re-constituted. We are in fact always re-constituting, part of you and me was in the BIG BANG what made the existence we became aware of. When we die our bodies will re-constitute once more and help make up other things. If we have a spirit or a soul that carries on somehow.
This is my spirit guide
‘This mug is a combination of particles, atoms, quarks [like the old man in the sketch above which is for me maybe the best thing I have ever created. I very rarely draw things from my mind without any visual prompt but this old guy just arrived from my pencil. Like Lennon used to say he didn’t ‘write’ his songs, he was a conduit thru which they came, same with this old guy]. But each particle is not ‘mug’. The same can be said of everything, including yourself. The mug, ‘me’, are merely labels, something we use to describe everyday reality. The mug, me, came into existence because of a complex web of causes and conditions. They do not exist independently [our] existence is dependent on an infinite, intricately linked series of events, people, causes and conditions.’ Dalai Lama in The Wisdom Of Compassion.
One of the Dalai Lama’s teachers was Dilgo KhyentseRinpoche and I found a beautiful film about him here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQPmnGTUHYU at about 25 mins in it gets very good, seems we are taken into a Shangrila! I even see them printing off pages of a pothi, one of their bookforms. It’s amazing to me how similar looking Khyentse was to one of my mentors in life, an old friend who I painted awhile ago called Roy Fraser. Roy was also into spiritual searching and I had lots of interesting chats late into the night with him alongside a ‘spirit in a bottle’ called Glenn Fiddich.
Both Tai Chi and Ashtanga Yoga help body and mind to gain good health and equilibrium. I won’t bother to explain that here, just believe me.
I was lucky enough to be able to start doing Tai Chi and Ashtanga Yoga with Gareth Chandlerhttp://www.garethchandler.com/links.htm out of Chelmsford about 5 years ago. Like lots of people I didn’t know what I was doing. Now I discover that what I let myself into was an incredible asset for (my) life (and yours too if you want to try it!). I have moved on to learn Tai Chi with Master Ch’ng Lay Seng in Witham. http://clstaichichuan.co.uk/
Master Ch’ng Lay Seng
Both forms do incredible benefits for the body and mind. These couple and inter-relate with my interest in Tibetan Buddhist ideas, zen and meditation. The more I do it the more I learn how much they are so interconnected. All of them have had a profound effect on all that I do.
I read a book ‘Finding Balance in the Midst of Chaos’ by a ‘Peter Strong PhD’ which is strong medicine, in fact it’s too difficult to read without making notes and having a dictionary of sanscrit/pali words handy but I would like to share a passage where he talks about our body & mind’s ability to maintain ‘homeostasis’ or ‘same state’ balance in our life. Our body is regulated by responses designed to maintain physiological & psychological equilibrium by adapting to ‘instability created by external or internal stress’.
The Dalai Lama also says ‘…karma means cause & effect. Suffering (dukkha) is unavoidable [it is a ‘given’ in human- ubeing- life, ed.] it is something we have to deal with. Accepting the situation decreases anxiety. Acceptance gives peace of mind’.
Psychological equilibrium comes when ‘there is freedom from conflict and suffering. This state is called dukkha-nirodha, ‘dukkha’ being ‘suffering’ and ‘nirodha’ meaning extinction. [think of suffrin-eroder, to erode suffering maybe] Before I befuddle you more with Strong’s words I must say that if you look at the writing of B S Iyengar you’ll find the benefits the different yoga moves/positions (asanas) manifest on us ‘yogis’ [a ‘yogi’ is just anyone who does yoga].
Also when Krishnamurti revealed his secret to life he said, “Don’t mind what happens”. This gives us a clue as to how to reach a place where we find our own equilibrium but it’s very hard. His choice of words as always is very clever. He doesn’t advocate not being interested nor taking initiatives, he just says “Don’t mind what happens”, which to me means, don’t ‘attach’ to what happens, don’t cling to memories, things, ideas etc., we all have our experiences and sometimes we get embroiled, we can’t detach and that can lead to all sorts of issues.
[a spurious aside- Like I can’t, or couldn’t detach from the idea that my art was worthy and the world did me a dis-service by not attaching to it and giving me loads a money and praise and love and attachment. Then I look see what those results brought for the likes of Michael Jackson, John Lennon & Elvis the Pelvis and I can see I don’t want loads a money and praise and love and attachment. I am now more ready to give up my forlorn attempts to be up there with the famous ones, or the special one Mourn-inho! I think myself lucky that I never made it. I no longer ‘mind’, even if I did in the past and that’s really an ‘if’. I have had moments, I’ve had positive feedback which has gone into the burner and helped energise me as did criticisms cos often I’d not take them laying down, I’d up and at ‘em. I’d make my next ting beat better. All the time I wanted to improve. Which is funny when you’re running in the wrong direction with all the prizes under your arms, and then they begin to melt or even worse, rot. I had an instinctive feeling when Mourn-inho returned to Chelsea he would regret it, and now he does. Then again, I wouldn’t put it past Mourninho to have manipulated the situation so that he became persona non grata at Chelsea FC just as it was becoming obvious that Van Gaal had underestimated the task at Man U FC and is proving a little short of the required level to sort that old monster out quickly enough for the expectations in a league where measure has become greatly distorted by vast amounts of money?]
Not ‘attaching’ gives us the opportunity to establish and maintain equilibrium so that if we need to assess some situation we can be non-judgemental. Thereby, having no side to take our reactivity is lessened, maybe to nil. We become observers. His mind, in Strong’s words, is “free to respond in the best way possible to resolve suffering (known as dukkha) and restore stability. Strong cites the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which he states states that all systems seek a state of maximum (thermos) stability and will change (dynamic) if given freedom to change. It’s a battle between habitual reactivity (habits formed thru conditioning & experience) and the natural intelligence which innate (existent but usually dormant within us) in our psyche. Habits so often overrule the intuitive wisdom. Krishnamurti leapfrogs this conundrum by a conviction not to be bothered by what occurs (Am Oi Bovvad?!). I am going to make it my New Year’s resolution to try not to ‘attach’ to trial, tribulation and triumph!
“Patanjali and Lao Tzu came to a stream. Patanjali began to cross the stream by walking on the surface of the water. Lao Tzu stood on the bank and called him to come back.
“What’s the matter?” Patanjali inquired.
“There is no need to cross the stream, because this shore is the [as] other shore.” said Lao Tzu,
That’s the whole emphasis of Lao Tzu: There is no need to go anywhere; the other shore is here. There is no need to do anything. The only need is just to be. Effort is irrelevant because you are already that which you can ever be. Go nowhere. Follow no path. Seek nothing. Because wherever you will go, the very going is missing the point because everything is available here already.”
I’m not trying to challenge the world, it’s always been the same. Conflict happens. Underpinning that and vastly more important is Harmony. Harmoniousness has always been there. Witness the Indian master Tshengregacha’s visit to Zarathustra. They were the roots of the so-called ‘Great Religions’ but what underpins both is Belief in Spirit as One Everlasting Harmonious Being, of which we are part.
There’s a story about a king who thought he was being deceived by his wise man:
“So the king sent a caravan to a great Indian mystic, Tshengregacha, to whom came disciples from all over the world, and with the caravan went the same messengers and the same treasure that he had once sent to Zarathustra.
After many months, the messengers returned from India with the philosopher, but the philosopher said to him, “I am honoured to be your teacher but in frankness must tell you that I come chiefly to your country that I may meet the great Zarathustra.”
Then the king took the golden box containing the grain of wheat and answered, “I asked Zarathustra to teach me. See, this is what he sent me. Here is the teacher who shall teach me the Laws of the universe and the forces of nature. Is this not ridiculous?”
The philosopher looked long at the grain of wheat, and silence fell upon the palace while he meditated. At length he said, “I do not regret my many months of journeying, for now I know that Zarathustra is in truth the great teacher that I have long believed him to be. This tiny grain of wheat can indeed teach us the laws of the universe and the forces of nature, for it contains them in itself right now. You must not keep the grain of wheat in its golden box. You are missing the whole point.
“If you plant this little grain in the earth, where it belongs, in contact with the soil, the rain, the air, the sunshine, and the light of the moon and the stars, then like a universe in itself it will begin to grow bigger and bigger. Likewise you, if you would grow in knowledge and understanding, must leave your artificial life and go where you will be close to all the forces of nature and of the universe, to the sum total of things. Just as inexhaustible sources of energy are ever flowing towards the grain planted in the earth, so will innumerable sources of knowledge open and flow towards you until you become one with nature and the organic universe. If you watch the growth of this seed of grain, you will find that there is an indestructible and mysterious power in it — the power of life. The grain disappears, and in that disappearance there is victory over death.”
“All that you say is true” answered the king, “yet in the end the plant will wither and die and will be dissolved into the earth.”
“But not until it has done an act of creation and has turned itself into hundreds of grains, each like the first. The tiny grain disappeared as it grew into a plant, and you too as you grow must turn yourself into something and someone else. Life always creates more life, truth more abundant truth, the seed more abundant seeds. The only art one needs to know is the art how to die. Then one is reborn. I propose that we journey to Zarathustra himself that he may teach us more of these things.”
I found the yogasutra site last night and I thought I were in heaven. I saw a lacewing yesterday it flew past me onto a leaf. They are angels to me bringing messages from my father who died 1993 after he’d introduced me to one about 200 foot up an industrial chimbley.
Ailing & Aliens
Some of my friends are ailing. I near said aliens. Would that be correct? Maybe, if you think we are just passing thru. I sometimes get real bad cramp, say, in my calf at 4am, I just did. I guess am lucky (to be alive, it reminds me I’m alive!).Some of my friends don’t get cramps, they have strokes and heart problems. Yes am lucky. Reading Osho and all of that, they say don’t yearn to do the world, don’t run to get to the other side where the grass isn’t really greener. Just be there, just be. I intend to be myself Now.
I am collating buk(s) from previous books I prepared. No hassle. Keeps me off the streets. Here’s some writings I prepared (+published in my buk The Dull Jodrell, which I may do in a new revised second edition soon…ish) earlier:
THE DULL JODRELL DUCKS THE ISSUE
It’s nice lovely coming to chez Duncan Dragonhat because everything comes together. Despite the blocks of flats, cars and planes it’s a beautiful place, overlooking Kew. Although you can’t see the gardens you see the trees, hear the crows and witness swan-like ducks fly three abreast over the roofs. But it’s more than that. Last night he gave me religion. Not Duncan. VAN. Van the man. Saw him at the Dominion Theatre and it was like a religious experience. I used to be a Van fanatic. Now I am just into the music, so to speak. But last night was such a beautiful experience as Van took us through his repertoire and the audience went ecstatic.
Afterwards we came back for the hot chilli Janet made and I went to sleep from 2.30 till now at 6.30. It’s light and warm enough to sit undressed and it looks like being a good day.
And Duncan’s little library here, I don’t know where to start, books on everything and all, and he’s read them all (nearly), records galore. One called Achalay is all original Latin American music – pan pipes, flutes and all, and his books, more ducks fly by, his books are a sight for sore eyes; just the ones I put by to look at – Russell Hoban’s ‘Riddley Walker’, Bukowski poems, Casteneda’s ‘Tales of Power’, the ‘Lunar Effect’ by Arnold Leiber, ‘The White Hotel’ D M Thomas. There are books about Castenedas, Gurdjieff, Enstein, Krishnamurti, Buddhism. He’s got Kerouac, Genet, Hesse, Beckett, Alan Watts, Brautigan. To list them would be futile, so I have. But suffice it to say I’ve already said it. A jet plane majestically interrupts my writing. I don’t mind but it is the sixth one in as many minutes, but in London you forget it, they’re like the bird song. There, like the bird’s song, the slight blue sky and the mild wind moving the tree tops, and I’d like to tell you all about Duncan but I can’t, because I have, suffice it to say.
The seeds you planted grow and help you when you need it. ‘Organisms are either in a state of positive or negative receptivity relative to their natural environment’ (Arnold L Lieber). This quote takes me back to when I wrote about positive and negative aggression, or should I say creative and destructive use of the ‘aggressive aspect’ in all of us. The ‘natural environment’, Dunc’s got his here, I’ve got mine in the country, so to speak.
He the town mouse,
Me the country mouse.
To begin with we knew not where we were going. We were kids from the street, like all the rest. We still are. But we found the clues. We followed our Hunches, we saw the light come shining through and it’s shining right on YOU.
Once you begin to tune in more easily, through experience of Effort, through having been there before, you begin to recognise the signs, you look for the signs, the signs of synchronicity begin to aid you. Everything begins to fit into place. The most unlikely things occur and become right. That’s why developing and keeping an open mind is good. By opening your mind (like a walnut shell pulled apart), you begin to see connections, you begin to cut through the mist that clouds the consciousness. So; the clouded consciousness clears as your mind opens up to all aspects all around. My mind opens up as I write this story about the Dull Jodrell.
Duncan is not a Dull Jodrell, nor is he a Shrewd Idiot, but he is a fellow Traveller, he’s with us on the Journey to the East. He and me are about the same age, we went to the same school, we both went into college and came out. Twenty years (53 now) we’ve known each other, helped each other, watched each other from afar. When we get together, by letter, tape, telephone or in person, we talk at length about our various discoveries. He understands my effort, and he sees the Path I trod. Now and then he makes observations on my werk, suggests directions, sends books which he thinks will help.
As every creator knows, he can often find somebody to criticise or sympathise, but to find someone who he respects, who can empathize, is elusive. I found that type of friend in Dunc. I’ll always remember when I gave him the first part of ‘The Shrewd Idiot’ to ready. We were in the Tate at the time, a William Blake exhibition. Duncan disappeared. I found him when I can to leave, in tears of laughter as he read through my manuscript, rolling around the seat in the foyer. I asked him why the mirth and he said, ‘Because it’s good, so good, it’s so good to us because we know how far you had to come’. Here are some of his other comments:
‘I have thought that I spend too much time thinking about how to view reality, which is futile. As the Zen Buddhists say, “All that is, is”. This is true, but you must be in a receptive state. If, by your very nature, you are inquisitive and unsatisfied by the world view our society has trained us in then this ‘Cosmic Egg’ has to be broken and our own personal one needs to be built, otherwise we are in the garden but cannot touch its beauty. I used to use the concept of a furrowed field, representing tunnel realities. I strived to build up enough energy to leap onto the next furrow, gain its experience/view point, then leap onto the next, eventually arriving at a point where I’d attained cosmic consciousness and was running on top of all the furrows.
We are like displaced people, trying to get back to our world, we see it fleetingly during our illuminations, which give us energy and faith, but then we are sucked back into accepting this world.’
Namaste Dragonhat, Avatar & Ally,
Love from D. J. O’Dourke.
The activities of Pete Kennedy, Performance Artist Bloke, Book Creator & retired artist.