Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Yoga from Wyoming's Open Range to New York's Hudson River Flow

Yoga from Wyoming's Open Range to New York's Hudson River Flow 
(Chapter from upcoming travel narrative, sequel to Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman)

The gas lights went on a couple of hours before sunrise. The cowboys and cowgirls gathered around the table for bacon and eggs and steak and potatoes, a hearty meal for the long ride ahead. The gas chandelier shone a sepia tone glow over the lengthy table, upon yellow-stained ceilings and dark stained wood trim along the corners and edges of the room, illuminating bull horns and antlers mounted on the stained walls and an array of faces around the table. Outside the sky was still only lit by the Milky Way stars, no moon in sight and certainly no glow on any broad horizon from city light pollution.
The faces of those seen sitting around the table varied from old weathered cowboys with crows feet eyes and smiles wrinkle-etched into their cheeks to bright-eyed teenagers like myself, women wearing chaps and spurs with chapped lips and calloused hands that told they were as much a part of this scene as the boys, young men with their fancy 10X beaver hats and old cowboys with sun wrinkled and reddened visages. The Old West circa 1986.

The Kennedy Ranch was 100,000 acres, neighboring the Flying U where I was employed as a hand for the summer, a spread somewhere around 10,000 acres with another 100,000 acre ranch on the other side, and the scene was as vast and grand as any vision of the proverbial or Hollywood Old West. After breakfast Ralph and I walked through the pitch black to the truck and trailer where we'd tied the horses for the night, saddled our mounts and rode down the wide one-lane dirt road to meet the others gathered to ride out to meet the sunrise and to gather and brand the young of the Kennedy's herd. As the cowboys and cowgirls started down the trail a nearby coyote howled a sweet song to serenade us and to tell of the coming dawn, still only portended by a faint glow over one tiny corner of the broad horizon. The chorus of howls continued as other coyotes answered and their song echoed off the hills and through the valley.

As the glory of the cowboy sunrise approached and we rode lazily down the trail, I contemplated the distance between where I was, astride an old mare riding on a dusty trail with real live Old West cowboys on the vast high plains, and where I was before the summer started, just some Prep School kid in Laramie who'd never had a real girlfriend and who just never quite fit in. Here on the range and ranches of northeast Wyoming I seemed to have a respected, if not revered place. On the Flying U I had learned to drive tractors, to ride a horse proficiently, to do carpentry and mechanics. Here I was where I generally longed to be when I was young, out on the land in some semblance of wilderness, some place I could feel I was free and for real. Even as liberal of an education as I was receiving at the University of Wyoming Prep School, said state of being still felt stifling for a child of the mountains. To be bound to a desk arranged in rows and columns when the sun was shining and the Wyoming wind was beckoning me is tantamount to child abuse for the likes of me and many a wild child. This adventure as a cowboy felt like heaven to a wildman growing up in the institution, if admittedly an institution where hippies and PhDs were our teachers and if in fact raised in a family where the wilderness ethic was strong and ingrained from an early age.

As we approached the herd we were seeking, some portion of the cowboys and cowgirls split off to bring the cows and calves into a tight group. As we started pushin' them doggies towards the corral I was told to ride towards the tail end of the herd and to keep stragglers from straying. It was quite a sense of exhilaration as I would spur my mount to a gallop to retrieve whatever cow or calf or group of same would try to run up a draw or otherwise escape the coming violence of the branding, an experience the mamas of the herd certainly knew well enough from their own time under the hot iron and from their offspring of previous years having been thus tormented. At the time I did not give much thought to the upcoming event, the castration of the males, the brutality of dehorning and the repercussions of antibiotic injections and growth hormones implanted, not to mention the pain exacted as hot searing metal was pressed against the flesh of these young bovine kind. Only years later after I had realized myself a yogi would I contemplate my own part in that play and find my own purifying fire awaiting me on the Hudson River to cleanse myself of that violent karma.

I quickly learned to imitate the calls of the cowboys, “Yip!! Yip Yip!! Common!! Hyup!! Hyup!!” and felt my senses livened by this dance of cowboys and girls and cows as we made our way towards the corral. The sun was well above the horizon by now and we had ridden somewhere near ten miles since we left the ranch house, eagles and hawks and other birds watching from high above with curiosity as a herd of people on horses, dogs and cows and calves traveled on down the trail.

As we arrived at the corral, out on a flat with no other significant structure in sight, the cows and calves were pushed into the pen and the gate closed. After a short rest from the ride, at least one of the women went in along with a cowboy or two to cut the cows out of the herd until only the calves remained in the corral. The swift movements of the cutting horses and the skills of the riders, their movements timed together with a tight synchronicity to meet the maneuvering of the cows endeavoring to stay with their calves, soon emptied the corral of all save the young.

The cutting horses and their riders them left the arena, and the old cowboys with their lassos readied rode into the corral. Pairs of young men, mostly teenagers including myself, would wait outside the gate as the mounted cowboys would whip the loops of their lassos under the hind legs of the hapless calves, tighten the rope around one leg or two, then wrap the loose end of the lasso around the saddle horn (if you ever wondered what those were for . . .), then drag the bawling baby cows out of the corral and to the two cowboys waiting outside the gate. One of the two would then grab the tightened rope and pull one way while the other would grasp onto the critter's tail and pull the other. Once the calf was flat on its side, the cowboy or cowgirl who'd taken the tail would pin the calves shoulders with a knee on either side and bending and binding the upper front leg of the little beasty, and the one who'd grasped the rope now had to secure the hind legs of the bawling babe, which of course were want to kick to regain freedom and to stay the torments to come. The hind legs were held in place by a pose where the cowboy sits on the ground, one foot against the lower ankle of the calf and hands holding the upper leg back, legs spread wider if it was a male calf so his balls could be ripped out of his scrotum after slit open with a sharp pocket knife. Rather a violent asana.

The brand was kept hot by a propane torch, a modern take on the sagebrush campfire which was used of old to heat the iron shaped to a particular combination of letters and shapes to tell of ownership. The smell of burning hair and flesh fills the nostrils as the cowboy or cowgirl brandishing the brand pressed it into the calves side. Another would come along with a blade readied, check the gender and remove the testicles if a male, then another with a hypodermic injector that places either hormones and/or antibiotics under the skin around the neck, then another with a tool with a circular blade with which the horns are dug out to the root, a centimeter or two deep in the calf's skull, while the calf cries out with a gruesome and sorrowful bawl, eyes rolled back and tongue lolling.

After the task at hand was completed, the last calf set free to rejoin its mother, we started the ride back to the ranch. On the way back to the ranch house on either this occasion or on the occasion of a later like gathering of neighboring ranchers to move a herd at the Schuman ranch, I rode up on an old cowpoke who'd dismounted and was hopping around a sagebrush bush and cursin' up a storm. As I approached I realized the silver-haired cowboy was dancin' with a rattlesnake, endeavoring to pin the serpent to the ground with his boot. After I watched him twice or thrice press his worn brown boot into the sagebrush only to jump back with a whoop, finally he stomped down on the neck of the snake and then reached down to retrieve the furious serpent, it's mouth turned 'round and clasped onto the toe of his boot. As he firmly placed his fingers on the back of the rattlesnake's jaw to prevent an inadvertent bite, he held the snake up for the onlookers to see, and then tried several times to get back on his horse, who would have nothing to do with a rider holding a live rattler aboard. Finally the old cowboy decided to kill the snake and keep its rattle as a memento. He told me as we rode on that he had a tank at his place where he kept several rattlers at a time to milk for venom.

After my summer on the Flying U my family moved to Indiana for a year, as my dad was on sabbatical to do research in liquid chromatography at Purdue. I then moved to Oklahoma where I lived with my grandparents, finished high school and attended college, became a preacher then resigned and renounced that, went to grad school in Chicago and then returned to Laramie. After an unsuccessful search for employment in my home town, I found myself on the road and discovered the remnant hippie trails and lifeways still (and to this day) to be found across the land long after the sixties. I began to practice yoga and wandered the country for several years before I ended up living on a Bristol 26 sailboat upon the Hudson River and a tributary thereof. Whilst aboard for this mostly misadventure I would often sit on the settee next to the hatch into the cockpit with one foot propped in the hatchway and posture representing something of a modified asana as I would meditate and contemplate my sometimes sorry situation, as after sailing out from Rondout Creek and onto the broad Hudson I only made it so far south as Beacon before a storm beached my boat. I contemplated the semblance of an asana seemed to be my posture and pose for hours every day and considered it rather like the position one holds while holding down a the back end of a calf for branding. As I sat in sometimes agitated meditation and discomfort on the settee with my right foot extended and propped in the hatchway, I considered that, rather than living the good life of a carefree sailor my time on the Hudson seemed rather more like a tapasia (purifying fire) proffered to allow me burn away karma of days even long since passed. The Sanskrit root of the English word “God,” by the way, is “go” which translates as the English word cow, as in those domesticated bovines which intone the sacred syllable “mooooo . . .” 
Sold my boat on the Hudson and have returned to the high plains and mountains and to Laramie, or as someone's coined and popularized in recent years, “Laradise.” I don't eat cows nowadays, as I figure their species already gives us their milk, and are the source of “God,” after all. I do love the Cowboy State, however, and do not judge the beautiful lifeways of the cowboys and cowgirls still riding the range of these high plains, nor do I turn my nose up at those less discriminating meat-eaters in the world. I don't expect everybody to behave as a conscientious yogi, as that will likely come in future lives lived, as I see it. When I eat the flesh of a buffalo or elk, deer or antelope I do endeavor to consider the life, joy and the sufferings of those beasts' experiencings as my teeth bite down on their wild-born flesh, and offer something of a prayer to help convey that soul to a good rebirth. And when I do chance to sit and eat with someone else who is eating the flesh of a cow, I often consider fondly my summer on the Flying U Ranch and the taste of the vanishing Old West I was blessed to know in my youth. Namaste to ya', my fellow Wyoming cowboys and cowgirls, and happy trails evermore! 

[Previously published in Off By Eighty]

Off By Eighty

Short story account of my experience as a cowboy when I was 14 printed by and available online at Off By Eighty, a new Wyoming publication presented by Angry Rooster Media . . . May reprint "From Wyoming's Open Range to New York's Hudson River's Flow" here soon!! In the meantime, check it and the other Wyoming original stuff out at Off By Eighty!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rough Outline for da Bombshell . . .

Rough Outline

  1. Indus Valley Civilization
    1. Rig Veda
    2. Pasupati and the European Horned God
    3. The Mother
  2. The lila of the Indian Diaspora
  3. Abraham goes west and inversions
    1. Circumcision and incest taboos
    2. Yama and Yahweh
    3. Shiva/Pasupati/the Horned God and Devi Lalitha rendered as “the Devil,” Chetanya as “Satan”?
  4. Dispersion from Indus Valley Civilization to the east and the American Indians, to Africa from the land of the Zulu to Egypt and west.
  5. Buddhism and Abrahman
  6. Trimurti and the Abrahamic religions
  7. The Play of Cultures and Religion as a conversation/meta-narrative/riddle of the Gods
  8. Culture and counter-cultures re-present the ancient stories, memes and mythemes and archetypal (even Brechtian) responses to the Grand play, artists, beats and bohemians, hippies, anarchists and punks playing out and voicing most visibly those dispositions of discontent and critical response to societies official renderings, the dichotomy and dualism providing the plot of this theatrical illusion. Plays of opposition that might prove both compassionate and virulent expressions of dissent and differénce (a la Derrida). Often the freer to foment true self expression means freer to find true Self expressed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Madman's Task, But Somebody Gotta Tell The Truth

A madman's task, this, like an errand knight, a sorcerer conjuring secrets from the depths of our memories ancient and sublime, stark and dark truths that do invert assumptions and paradigmatic presumptions. Upending religious predispositions and spells spun to lull minds to sleep, disturbing those subtle taboos surreptitiously existing between the lines of discourse which somehow prevent us from seeing the obvious stories of history; challenging assumptions of which end is up and which is down in terms of the common paradigms proffered; breaking social norms to unknowingly play out an ancient myth of God in mourning; telling tales of collusion and subtle twists to the tales of the world's religions where indeed it is the politics of the gods and stories of passion and compassion which often leave the truth sounding more like a puzzle or a riddle or a sci-fi fantasy than “real life.” Only this is my life and the madman's tasks seem to have fallen upon my path.

Indeed, for what I have come across in my studies and searchings has implications would overturn the array of world mythology and world religion(s) as these stand, and would thus have startling implications for culture and society as a whole. The only scarcely hidden story I have uncovered would/will/ought unravel the myth of “the West” and present a quite inverted construction and mythic typologies compared to the status quo. Essentially, the Abrahamic religions represent rather deliberate seeming inversions or at least twisted versions of the religion of Abraham's ancestors, which I would assert to be sanAtana dharma or “Hinduism.” Central to this lila, this rather absurd play, is the very construction of who and what is “God” and who or what is to be taken as the opposite of God.

These are facts no one affiliated with any of the religions involved would reasonably call into question:

-brahman is Sanskrit for the Universal Divine Being, and atman is that Divine Soul as is manifest in each.

-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the Creator, Maintainer and Destroyer expressions of God according to sanAtana dharma.

-Buddhists generally taut abrahman and unatma, that is, they do not believe in God.

-Abraham and Sarah and Hagar and their tribe originated from Ur of the Chaldese, the which has been determined to be in far southeast Iraq, rather near Indus Valley Civilization, which was in fact waning at the time Abraham is tauted by the Torah/Old Testament to have departed his homeland in Ur to venture to the west.

-Brahma and Saraswati are the Creator and His Consort according to Hinduism. The Ghaggar is a tributary river to the Saraswati River. Abraham and Sarah and Hagar sound rather like Brahma and Saraswati and Ghaggar, likely too much for this to be mere coincidence.

-according to Judaism, “the Righteous” go to a place called Abraham's bosom or Sheol after they die to await Judgment Day. Sheol translates to Hades, i.e., “Hell”, in Greek.

-The Hebrews worship Yahweh.

-The Lord of Death and Hell in Hinduism is Yama, who was once a mortal who was the first to attain knowledge of brahman and thus became a Deva (a god) and was given charge for schooling other mortals not devoted to the Divine already, as well as charge over the underground Hell supposing any mortals need such harsh schoolings as are therein proffered.

I first had my questions regarding the heaven and hell of the Christian religion, and specifically the place the Hebrews called Sheol or the Bosom of Abraham, when or perhaps even before I was a Christian minister. I was not alarmed enough about the potential implications of that underground place as the holding place of righteous dead Jews [I thought Hell was the place dead people go that's underground!?!) to give it a great deal of thought at the time, assuming perhaps that some theologians must have already worked that problem out at some point in the long history of the church. I was also given clue to the importance of the connection between Abraham and Brahma, if rather as a warning than as a heads up, when I was attending Oklahoma Baptist University. A religion professor had been giving a lecture about Abraham and company traveling across southern Asia to settle in Palestine and the class was about to let out. Dr. Dawson then said, with rather an odd glint in his eyes,

“Now there may be those who tell ya' that Abraham has something to do with the Hindu God Brahma . . . but we know better than that, now don't we?!”

I resigned my ministry and ceased my affiliation with the Christian church before my last year in college at OBU largely as I had inferred and determined that what they taught is essentially untrue, both in terms of their understanding of language and Divine truth and in terms of history, though I had no idea to what degree they were in err, if not covering up the truth of the story to bolster their spin. Again and most startlingly, it is actually their god that is the Lord of Hell. According to sanAtana dharma, those who are not otherwise devotees of brahman in whatever guise, via Shiva or Krishna or Parvati, etc., then Yama is in charge of their dharma/schooling. As the Abrahamites left the place and religion of their homeland in Ur and it seems from the name of their patriarch rejected brahman, they thus became attached to Yama as their Lord, and they called him Yahweh. The God of the “polytheistic” Hindus is actually the God of Abraham's forefathers, brahman, both and neither male and female, “God” to Abraham's forefathers.

Essentially, one might see the dispersion of people and specifically religions from India and from sanAtana dharma as a dialogue that is essentially the question “to Be or not to Be.” Buddhism tauts Nirvana, non-Being as they see it, as bliss, and Abrahman, no-God, as a philosophical hypothesis or supposition around which entire civilizations were built.

Though not so bold or forthright with their statement of the question or challenge to the established notion of brahman (nor perhaps generally much aware of this aspect of said root to their religions), the Abrahamic traditions nonetheless have been bound on that task to find means of interpreting the world without those more ancient and it certainly seems more abiding understandings of what this all is as expressed in brahman. It is as if Abraham and crew said, as they departed from Ur and the world according to sanAtana dharma, “If indeed, Abrahman (no “God” as we were taught) then what?” As would be predicted by sanAtana dharma, Yama becomes their Lord and the Deva (god) responsible for their dharma (schooling), again as alluded to by the place the Hebrews believe they go after death, the underground place they call Sheol or the Bosom of Abraham. If viewed from the broadest perspective, it is as if humanity is playing out the “question of God” or perhaps “To be or not to be . . .” in the play of peoples and nations, tribes and myths, experimenting with how whatever really is the truth will respond to the presentations proffered. At least as played out in the Abrahamic religions, the answer proffered to that rejection of brahman is fitted to within the context of the religion they left behind, and thus the “Hindu” Lord of Hell, Yama, becomes their God.

I suppose I ought to note that Muslims obviously do not worship Yahweh (Yama), but in fact seem to have unconsciously endeavored to return their devotions to the Gods of their ancient forefathers by worshiping “Allah,” a name rather starkly near the name Alla, an appellation attributed to Durga, Consort of Shiva. The all important confession from the perspective of Islam, is called one of the kalimas, again rather linguistically nigh another name of Shiva's Wife, Kali Ma (“Black Mama”). Ummah is the central tenet of Islam translates as “community.” Uma Himavati is yet another of the names of Shiva's Consort. Before Mohamed, Arabia was essentially Hindu. By these evidences and many more, it appears that the cycles of the three Abrahamic religions rather succinctly follow, else are response to and bound to within the context of, sanAtana dharma. The above information is among the many reasons I am a practitioner of yoga (translates as “yolk” and is root to said English word), a practitioner of sanAtana dharma, “keeping it together forever.”

In essence what I am proposing is a unified perspective of mythology and religion and culture and history that recognizes that many of the figures of various mythologies may well be actual conscious entities, else at least deserve consideration as more than merely imaginary characters. In order to adequately analyze a mythology's purport, one cannot approach without some faith in the reality of what you study, it's verity and that at some level and guise, its gods are real. With that in mind, what I would propose to do is to in some guise trace the play of the gods across recorded history. Exemplary of this would be examining relationship between the Hindu maya/Mahamaya and the Greek goddess Maya, daughter of Atlas according to said mythology. The relationship between Lalitha (Hindu tradition) and Lilith (Judeo-Christian lore) is another example of the tantalizing possible secrets of the Gods are there to be discovered, as are traces of Pasupati/Shiva on a cauldron found in Scandinavia, far away from Indus Valley Civilization as we know of it, thus identifying the Horned God of Europe with Shiva.
Whether transmitted by social and cultural means available to the description of the social scientist or else manifest by esoteric and occulted and “supernatural” phenomena, these seeming lineages of mythology do indeed exist beyond mere coincidence. That these nigh cognates and such so soundly connect seeming disparate mythologies as traces in the narratives and plays of peoples and cultures, myths and religions and the play of the Gods/gods, is well enough evinced. Indeed evidence indicates the possibility of a continuous and contiguous plot that supersedes individual cultures and religions and civilizations and the rather narrow purview of most histories writ, and might discern the subtle discourse that tells of the mind(s) of God/the gods, whether they be merely us or no.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Western Religions Mix Up Who's God and Who's the Lord of Hell . . . Seriously !!!

I've been contemplating and researching the relationship between the Abrahamic religions and what is clearly their true parent religion, sanAtana dharma or "Hinduism."  I have already posted several posts which explicate the obvious connection between the Hindu Creator Brahma and His Consort Saraswati and Ghaggar (a tributary to the Saraswati River) and Abraham and Sarah and Haggar, as well as the connections between Krishna and Christ and Shiva and Islam.  I think I may have figured out the person in the Hindu religion who is namesake to Yahweh: the Hindu Lord of Death and Lord of Naraka-Loka (Hell), Yama.

The Hebrews believe that "the righteous" go to a place called Sheol or "the bosom of Abraham" after they die, awaiting judgement day.  This place is underground and is translated into Greek as "Hades," in other words, Hell.  Essentially, the Jews' god Yahweh is Yama, who is actually a good guy and who is in fact the dude responsible for the teaching and schooling of those not devoted to the true Divine, both above and below ground, despite recent (most recent two thousand years) Western mythology touting that the Lord of Hell is "the Devil," who is represented as evil.  It has become clear to me that in fact the mythology about "the Devil" is essentially an attempt to turn God and Goddess, Deva and Devi, into the bad guys.  The figure of the Devil is largely drawn from the Horned God, who is more than akin to Shiva, God the Destroyer, and likely Deva Shiva's Consort Devi Parvati, the Mother of the Universe, who is known as Devi Lalitha in Her most playful form.  Lalitha is who the Jews turned into their "Lilith," one of their most reviled "demons."

Abraham and abrahman (Sanskrit for "no God") are quite clearly related figures/figurations.  Buddhists taut abrahman as one of the tenets of their belief, thus most Hindus call them atheists.  From these obvious analogies, apparently Jews, Christians and Muslims are children of someone who's name seems to mean "no-God."  More on this in later posts . . .

Namaste . . . Namaskar

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The World Is Not What They Say It Is

  Chapter 6 from Memories and Musings of a 
Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman

The World Is Not What They Say It Is
The circle of cropped grass was expanding bit-by-bit by hours of frantic if rhythmic efforts in a semi-concentric patchwork of red willows and tall grasses and wild mint, all save the scrawny stick willows hewn to just above the root immediately surrounding the hut, which grows as the grasses recede. A hairy man bending down bare-chested, blade in one hand and a bundle of long grasses in the other, utters resonant intonations of an ancient tongue as he goes about his labors. Ancient words rhythmically chanted in time to the rhythms of his work as the tall grasses are harvested, as has been done from time immemorial to fulfill a need for shelter, with a similarly primeval respect for ritual. This seeming anachronistic figure is simply cutting grass to enclose a small thatched hut as a haven from the oncoming cold of winter, though indeed might evoke presumptions of a prehistoric context. Overt appearances, however, are often but a single view of a multifaceted formation or a compound manifestation.
The gathered bunches of grass are bent towards the base, then woven into the willow-stick frame and left to hang like shaggy blond hairs on the head of a Nordic wildman. Slowly the gaps are filled, and the tangle of sticks and straw begin to resemble a home, if humble and somewhat cramped. The red-bearded-long-haired-thin-framed-pale-skinned man pauses to assess his labors. He scratches his head and then his balls, unassuming and not the least self-conscious (though perhaps a bit self-aware). No one is watching. No one, save a few of his fellow tribesmen and women, birds, beavers, muskrats and mice know the whereabouts of his small abode, concealed in a maze of willows just a few yards from the river, framed a few steps from the water.
The hut is shaped like an igloo, except unlike an igloo the door is constructed on the side of the dome, and the odd structure is built around a larger species of willow tree, concealed just a few dozen yards off of the paved trail at the edge of Optimist Park. Joggers in their Nike running shoes, cyclists, in-line skaters and power-walkers regularly pass by the unobtrusive entrance to the narrow winding pathway that passes through the thicket and leads to this partially domesticated wildman’s humble home.
Bunches of sticks tied together with grass are hung as odd ornamentations in the red willows that grow straight towards the sky from the moist ground. Glow in the dark stars and other oddities dangle on strands of hemp, decorations designed to delight those with whimsical imaginations, and to deter the meddling of those who might not take so kindly to a squat situated in the midst of a public park, a homestead hidden just upstream from the West Garfield Street bridge and only a couple of minutes walk from regular and titled homes of stucco and brick and plastic-siding wherein regular tax-paying Americans spend their tired evenings watching glowing screens displaying other people’s lives, factual or fictitious, that are generally more interesting than their own.
The hut has a fireplace built with rocks left over from a city project along the paved greenbelt trail, a counter top attached by hemp string to one side, a plastic crate half-buried in the cool clay underneath the counter for food storage, and a single mattress folded lengthwise to make a couch sitting atop some wood pallets. Under the extension off the dome is a double-mattress elevated on pallets as a bed. The mattress is covered neatly with sheets and several blankets as insulation from the increasing cold of night.
Underneath thatching, the ceiling is covered in a layer of scavenged bubble-wrap to seal against rain and melting snow. One long window is left uncovered by straw to match the suns progress across the southern sky. A two-burner alcohol burning stove sits atop the counter, and various utensils dangle from the woven willow wall above. A small kitschy picture hangs over the hearth with an inscription that reads, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin,” a quote from Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida. A transferred plastic image of a sparrow on a tree-branch adhering to one side of the decal script completes the embellishment of this faux-wood panel.
During my small austerities building this abode in the most-of-the-time solitude of this section of the river, biding my time with various yogic practices, I began to find the boundaries between self-and-other dissolving as never before, tejas (“fire”) well stoked from sun salutations, mantra and trance whilst harvesting the tall grass and thatching. On one occasion as I was feeling particularly high from intense chanting and the onset of a beautiful sunset, I shifted from mantra to pop, and started to gleefully sing “all you need is love . . .” and imagined in my ecstatic trance that other souls could hear or at least feel my jubilant devotions and blissful state of yoga. A train started into town about that moment, and I decided to see if I could share my joyful intentions with the engineer. I swear to you, after I sang in both voice and mind “all you need is love,” the train’s horn sounded in perfect time to the following five beats of this well-known anthem, “du, du, du du du.”
This strange construction was home to a displaced wildman for somewhere around three moons, till as so often happens to wild peoples the authorities of the so-called civilized folk came to roust him from even this unassuming hovel.

Sitting and sipping suds at the historic Buckhorn Bar, I noticed a blond and a redhead I’d not seen there before. The blond introduced herself as Blair, the redhead as Catherine (though whether with a “K” or a “C” I can’t say). They told me they’d met in Africa whilst serving in the Peace Corps. The redhead said she was from my mother’s father’s hometown, a mostly Mennonite community in Kansas. She said she wasn’t a Mennonite. I don’t recall where the blond was from. A skinny sharply dressed fellow was bouncing between the two, seemingly weighing his options for later in the evening.
After another drink or two, the four of us made our way to the “wigwam,” as I had come to call my hut in the swamp by the Laramie River. I had some shwag to smoke (Mexican-grown compressed marijuana, for those not hip to the jargon) and invited these new acquaintances to join me on a jaunt over the footbridge and to the Near Westside and through Optimist Park to my “primitive” abode.
I swung open the thatched woven-willow door, and we each ducked under the door frame to make our way into the wigwam. I started a fire in the stone and mud fireplace and lit some candles, and we enjoyed some smoke, passing a pipe and coughing and laughing. We had each consumed copious quantities of alcohol, and as there were two of each gender and orientation near the same age (at least by all appearances), the natural coupling ensued. Catherine and I began to make-out rather madly, whilst the other pair half-heartedly kissed a bit. Catherine decided to spend the night after Blair and her partner had departed, rather soon after our passionate drunken tongue-tangling had begun.
Not the next morning, but the morning after, I awoke to a loud if shaky-voiced proclamation and command proceeding from the periphery of my “yard.”
Laramie police! This is the police! Come out! Come out right now!”
Before going to sleep the previous night I had heard the nigh unmistakable sound of a squad car door slamming shut—cop car doors make a particular and discernible din as they are closed, if you grow accustomed to listening. I slid out of bed and pulled on a pair of pants. The shout was repeated.
Just a minute, I gotta put some clothes on,” said I.
As I opened the door and made my way outside, I was confronted with the sight of a fully uniformed cop half-crouched with his pistol drawn.
Put that silliness away,” I said with a wave of my hand.
Oh . . . sorry,” he uttered, seemingly a bit embarrassed at his overreaction.
I suppose the bundles of sticks dangling from the willows on the pathway might have startled him, perhaps with images from The Blair Witch Project in mind as he made his way through the winding willow-lined pathway. I should perhaps have told him, Blair had only stayed very briefly at the wigwam, and had departed two nights previous. I was officially evicted by the head of City Parks a few days later, but my endeavors at least received a nice front page write-up in the Boomerang titled “Wigwam Worries,” and a follow up, too.
Several days later, “homeless” once again, I spent the night at Catherine’s apartment. We had met at the bar, and went to her place to smoke a bowl of some nuggets—homegrown Cannabis indica this time, the dank. During an intimate moment later that night, as I was looking up and into her eyes, something happened that I cannot quite explain to this very day. Gazing at her face mere inches from mine, her visage suddenly morphed into the visage of the last woman I had known in that precise position, and then became again the face of the woman I assumed I was sharing intimacies with. I said not a word, though my eyes may have dilated and my mouth may have fallen agape in surprise. Then gazing down at me, eyes ablaze, she asked or stated rather matter-of-factly, “Oh, you saw my face change!?”
You’re a fucking shape-shifter!” said I—no pun intended.
Ah, cheap magic trick,” she replied with a broad smile.
I once watched a shape-shifting lycanthrope run across the road on the Navajo (Diné) Reservation in Arizona, slammed on the brakes of my truck to avoid hitting the beast. Less than twenty yards or so in front of the pickup, this large hairless green-glowing elongated canine creature with human-type musculature scampered across the dirt road and into a ditch. I’ve seen many a mangy coyote and have a respectable knowledge of wildlife, and this was nothing yet described by modern science.
One of the Diné kids that had guided me to a Hopi lady’s house to buy some shwag told me, in response to my surprised utterance, “What the fuck was that!?” that the strange creature we had viewed was a “Skinwalker.” The Diné believe that shamans who have dealt with dark-magic sometimes acquire the ability to morph into these lycanthropic, part-coyote creatures. I have also encountered other suspicious persons I suspected to be of the shape-shifting sort, on at least one other occasion. Perhaps it also warrants mention that I once awoke after a night with another quite beautiful and rather crazy lover, squinting at the sunshine only to gaze down to notice a suspicious and rather large suction mark with a scab in the middle on both my forearms, which left some rather funky temporary scars (not sure whether t’was she or her cat was the vampire). Never before or since, however, have I encountered such a reality shattering phenomenon at such close range as that night in Catherine’s bed. The experience had first hand with said wild shapeshifting redhead has convinced me, perhaps more than any other single momentary happening, that the world is not what they say it is.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Claustrophobic queries . . . "Was I a pharaoh?"

I came to consciousness in a sarcophagus, deep in the earth.  It was the deepest muggy musty dead space imaginable, claustrophobic far beyond the threshold of terror, tons of soil and rock or sand encompassing the cramped space, the darkness beyond the darkest of nights, though I almost feel as if I could see the rounded sides of the cavity in which my bones and flesh were encapsulated.  I went into a terrible panic, pressing my hands against the confines into which my (assumedly) mummified corpse was entombed, screaming for all my body could muster.  Finally at a peak of terror I departed my erstwhile body and began to transit up through the ground.  As I rose through the earth, the sarcophagus in which I was formerly freaking out appeared to be glowing.  I paused in my transit as I noted another glowing sarcophagus nearby, parallel at a higher elevation than my overly cozy coffin.  I knew the person therein was my "sister."  I continued this strange transit through the darker than dark earth, then reached the surface, noting a bright light out over water.  I then transited through space (/time?), across what seems to have been the Mediterranean and the Altantic Ocean and across half of North America, then descended into a small city and even recall descending into a house through the roof, and awoke in a crib here in Laramie, Wyoming, screaming till my mother came in to calm me.  This is my first memory of this life.

By the array of the sarcophagi, I have considered the burial seems like nothing I know of in terms of archaeologically known burial practices other than Egyptian royal burials.  Don't wanna come across as one of those flakes who claim they were this or that pharaoh or Cleopatra or whatever in their past life.  I have no memories of the life that I had lived previous to said deep interment.  As names have proven rather significant indicators in my life as I have sought to determine meaning and subtle significances, upon a cursory search of names of pharaohs one stuck out as rather obvious (at least in said guise): Djedefre.  I have yet to discover the details of his tomb, and whether he was buried with his sister-wife Hetepheres II, though, "sounds right . . ." and feels likely correct.  According to Egyptian lore, the pharaoh's "ba" can leave the tomb and transit to live other lives or some such . . . thus the plethora of gold and other forms of wealth in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs to enable the pharaoh in his afterlife adventures.  Namaste and Hetep Hena Ten . . .

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday in Laradise . . .

Sometimes overwhelmed by the torrent of the faces and people, sounds and feelings subtle and sublime come on like a flash flood or tornado and sometimes like a hurricane . . . Sitting at the Buckhorn Bar on a Sunday night.  Started this way with intentions of catching a bit of live music and maybe touting the merits of my book via the internet whilst sipping a beer.  Ran into a hippie tryin' to hop a train, saw me pass while sitting under the Clark Street bridge and caught up and invited me to taste of some Pennsylvania-grown green.  Just grabbed a pint of rum at the Ranger and a pouch of American Spirit Organic at the Smoker Friendly so I had something to offer,  and sat under the bridge with said brother smokin' and drinkin', chatting about trainhopping and travelling generally, the beauty of the road whether rail or highway, then wandered here to the Buck to soak in some singers and songwriters singing and such.  Bliss and Price and Rob and Fran and Thadeus are here, Jessica and Seth and Nick are singin', Price on bass and a graying bearded cowboy with a white hat playin' rhythm guitar.

Some family through town, a couple of random Rainbow Tribe hippies stayed at my little bitty efficiency apartment for the past couple of nights--fed them some of my famous dumpster-dive gourmet.  Some more travelling family at Andy & Crystal's (where I first met the brother I sipped and smoked and conversed with under the bridge).  Summertime and the livin' is easy and the wandering is good, and Laramie is more readily seen as Laradise . . .

Monday, August 17, 2015

What is Sanity?

"Now, in a lot of people, when the energy got so intense from their spiritual practices, they really lost their ground. They lost it on this plane. That’s what the Spiritual Emergence Network has done to help these people because in India, or other cultures, when that happens, those who are called to serve, like Meera Baba. They were called mosks or God-intoxicants. Annadamai, one of the greatest saints of all time, a Bengali woman, a very dignified woman, spent about two years doing cartwheels in her front yard and throwing off her sari and stuff. Now, in our culture, that is Bellevue material. In that culture, it’s, “Ah, there is a God-intoxicant. We must take care of them at a temple”. We have not had a support system for that type of trans-formative loss of ground, which you need to go through at times." Ram Dass

Friday, August 7, 2015

Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman

Excerpt from Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman:

I am a dead man walking—er, actually I am currently sitting and sipping a highly honey-sweetened cup of Wyoming-roasted coffee with cream on the back patio of a coffeehouse in downtown Laramie.  The pale-brown liquid within my cup has grown quite cold over several hours sitting and exposed to the elements of a high-country afternoon, though ice has yet to form around the rim.  I sometimes gaze into the swirls of milk fat floating on the surface and the patterns of variously mixed solutions of bean juice and water and honey and half-and-half to scry with what shapes might emerge to tell of things present, past or possible.
I don’t mean that someone has me as their mark, necessarily, or that I am keeping a wide-eye open for fear of potential assassins, necessarily.  My point with these words is in fact rather more stark.  What I actually mean by this opening statement, these first words in print after flyleaf and front matter, is that I have already been murdered, and perhaps on as many as five occasions.  The most poignant and certain instance of experiencing my own homicide occurred one ordinary summer’s day at dusk in Golden Gate Park, when two bullets were rather randomly and undeservedly introduced to the inside of my skull after an otherwise pleasant and uneventful day on Hippie Hill.
In addition to such homicidal intrigues, I have encountered sasquatch, a skinwalker, holes in space-time, and a shape-shifter who did her turn whilst astride my lap.  In pursuit of romance and the hidden secrets to life and history, guided by instinct, intuition, chance, and sometimes helpful deities, I have been granted many such glimpses behind the veils of normalcy—at moments to my delight, and at others to my terror.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Internet and Subtle (Esoteric?) Love Play

Subtler than subtle, the love play these days, as a significant her is not here with me nor seeming even near in space or time.
Positively esoteric, if not necessarily supernatural, the love play when She is not present as a yogini (overtly so or no), when not my lover sharing secrets of tantra with me in physically embodied intimacy, when romance is or at least seems distant, when She is Durga meaning "inaccessible" rather than/more than meaning "Invincible," and when siddhis and social media are the medium of those communications and teachings and love at play, and what yoga's been proffered that's supposed to suffice in place of practice with a partner in touch.  Subtler than subtle and no substitute for sex or presence, the psychic and electronic . . .

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weed and the Revolution . . .

It is no coincidence that cannabis is a central artifact of the peaceful revolutionary fervor of this world since at least the sixties. Devi Parvati introduced Her Husband Deva Siva the Destroyer of sin to said sacred weed ages ago, and tis Siva's devotees have a history of overturning the caste system and inverting the official order to bring justice. Cannabis incites free thinking and attunes those who partake of said sacrament to the mind of God, to celebration  and to transformation  and to peace. Shanti . . ."

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Goddess, Not the Father

Coming to know the Divine is more like getting to know the intricacies of a woman than discerning the will of a father...at least for me personally. Already came to understand the Divine Self on the male side as my own self or Self true, ego aside...that leaves Her as what I've to know...I suppose...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mapping A Life

Mapping my life (not from an egocentric perspective mind you . . .) I find signs and symbols, writ and portrayed across so many regions, space and time.  The placement of persons I encounter living across the landscape of mind and these United States (and a couple or three trips abroad) displays a logic, super-personal, a plot scheme to the dream of my wanderings.  Fractaled faces of the One Divine, bespeaking not just their own lives as if separate, but of the Source and sources of refraction, light bent/slowed to make reality.

I have considered that I might try some systematic means to trace those lines, faces and places by their geographic deployal, to discover if thereby I might find Her I seek, else at least a place where I might be myself/mySelf most true and free.   Kailash is of certainty a focal point and point of emanation.  Other less tangible or obvious or recognized locales of significance might prove of interest if indeed patterns might be plotted point to point on the map, lay lines of destiny . . .

Map showing a journey I took 2005-2007 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dichotomies and Dualisms: Gold in the Darkness

Dichotomies and dualisms, though never ultimately true, do provide means to exercise ranges of sense vibration perhaps otherwise inaccessible to the collective consciousness in this dark age.  Constructs such as "the Devil" allow for a certain binary play of opposition, as well as the ironic and oft playful use of such tropes to elevate the discourse above dualistic violences. 

It is indeed of note that the nature of this age, when people are generally most unaware of the truly non-dual nature of reality, allows certain transcendent leaps unavailable in those ages when the potential potency of (albeit illusory) dichotomies (think of the power of opposite charges in magnetism and electricity) cannot be accessed by the functioning of the already fully Self-aware conscious mind.  If one doesn't (albeit mistakenly) believe in "other" or "Other," the play of relationship between self/Self and not-self/-Self loses some potency and poignancy.  If you don't believe in the bad guy, you can't play games of good guy vs. bad guy.  Not to say that ignorance of the non-dual nature of reality is better that true Self-awareness.  Rather, as people play with a dualistic framework imagined, certain possible constructs become available for the play and array of life lived rather differently than for the truly Self-aware mind. 

In truth, awareness that behind all illusions maya may proffer, indeed all is brahman/God/good is a better, more peaceful and fruitful mode of being than the ill prospects of dualism.  Regardless, to function within the functionally dualistic constructs of culture and society in this dark age, the Kali yuga, the potency of "opposite charges" ought be considered and sometimes employed as potential if illusory means and power, if without any real attachment to that game of seeming opposition and potently/functionally imagined and constructed dualisms.

In the Ayurvedic understanding of time and ages of humanity, within the Kali Yuga, a period of 432,000 years or so, there is a Gauri Yuga or "Golden Age" touted to last 10,000 years.  That within the darkness there is a bright and beautiful light is directly analogous to Gauri Ma emerging from Kali Ma.  Kali Ma and Durga Ma are the same being, yet Dark Goddess Kali Ma does of certainty present a terrible figure, whereas Gauri presents a brighter and in some guises more pleasant Person.  There is no difference in truth between them, though the play of dichotomy even there does allow potencies unavailable to the non-differentiated form.  Thus the bliss of the Gauri Yuga, in relation to the supposed terrible state of the encompassing Kali Yuga, is granted more potency in the play of mind and experiencing than were that fictional separation not extant.  Dualism is illusion, though can offer means of play that allow for excitement and cycles of play can't be played if difference is not.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Is God already here, or does He/She require an Invite?

I have already writ posts that tell amply my opinion that sanAtana dharma/Hinduism is the original religion practiced by the purported patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Abraham was named after Brahma, the Creator according to sanAtana dharma, Sarah and Haggar named after Saraswati and Ghaggar (a river tributary to the Saraswati River in India).  According to the Torah Abraham and crew came from Ur of the Chaldese, which has been determined to have been rather near the Indus Valley.  Judaism, Christianity and Islam are certainly somehow related to the Hindu Trimurti Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, in that order.  As with Buddhism, thus, the Abrahamic religions have root in sanAtana dharma, and as with Buddhism those sought, at root, to respond to the pre-existent concepts of brahman and Atman, the Universal Divine Consciousness and the Divine seeded within each soul and being.

In separating geographically and otherwise from the homeland of their religion and entering new lands, the Abrahamic religions seem to have found need or want to differentiate, though not willing to let go the notion of One Divine, which is what is noted by the term brahman, nonetheless each posit "God" as something other than brahman, which might be denoted by the A as prefix in Abraham, i.e., "not brahman."

Buddhism, as they deal so with the issue of suffering, decided to let go the "All-Powerful God" factor in the question of theodicy, overtly stating, Abrahman and unatma, no Universal God and no Divine already extant in each and as every souls' true Self.
Christianity tries to replace the supposed lack of atman (that they seem like the Buddhists to believe despite the Christians continued belief in a Universal Divine Self) with their "Holy Spirit."  I.e., "If not what we/our forbearers once knew as "God" then what?  If there is no seed of the Universal Divine already in us, then with what do we fill that hole?"
The Buddhist answer, "Nothing."  The Hebrew answer, "Sacrifices." The Christian answer, "Fill that empty space with the self-sacrificing God we killed."  The Muslim answer, "Just surrender."

The answer of sanAtana dharma: God as we have and do know Him/Her does exist and is already the root and core to every being.  Indeed suffering does exist, but is properly extant to guide or goad us towards action and practice that are blissful yoga (yoke) with the True Self, i.e., suffering is dharma.  Suffering can also exist when the vibrations of material reality and experiencing are ill-tuned, as maya  (this illusory reality we call reality) is a fine tuned instrument designed for the enjoyment of experiencing, designed to give something to do with eternity.

Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, first three verses: 

Herein is Yoga
Yoga is the alteration of sense vibration
that therein Pure Consciousness might abide . . .