Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A hole in me pocket - The Beatles, EST, The Buddha, the Yellow Submarine


 To act without acting, to fight without hurting, to shout quietly; these are the ways of the Tao, the ways of the Buddha, the ways of the Beatles. It's the Ascension, the 2012 Rise to higher vibrations. Can you feel them buzzing inside you like an interdimensional barber's razor?


Maybe if you are as old as I am you remember the time YELLOW came on TV, a colorful candy cane hallucination of a film that seemed kid friendly until these crazy Blue Meanies with their marching clowns with giant dinosaur mouth bellies and tall men dropping apples came marching, marching, and freezing  the good British music hall loving residents of Pepperland in glass baubles. What they did was put them to sleep, freeze them, immobilize them and thus they did create the need for one of the residents to escape in the Pepperland's only nautical super vehicle, the Yellow Submarine, to seek help.

The war on Pepperland we must always remember is, despite the nature of conflict -- non-harmful... no blood is shed in this film, no bruises created, no hurt feelings. The vanquished Blue Meanies are re-introduced into the fold at the end. This is essential for understanding the way of Peace, the way of children, of Gandhi, of MLK and JFK and Mr. Rogers. This is the point wherein swords are replaced with pillows and children and adults wrestle as one in a free nonsexual, pre-oedipal, open-hearted, joyful space.


Kids see their parents succumb to the weapons of the Blue Meanies all the time: A once joyful dad sits frozen in a fog created by blue meanie weapons like bourbon and soda, cigarettes and imagery-worship. The distractions offered by cell phones glued to ears and papers and TV football games glued to eyes prevent the adult from engaging in wild horseplay with the children, from seeing the world how it really is, electric and candy-colored.

The important thing, which John Lennon--who up to that point has seemed the most cranky and judgmental of the Beatles--mentions at the end is that when you choose love and non-violence you are invincible. When all seems lost, once Fred brings the Beatles to Pepperland, John snaps to and points out that all you need is love, and the word love appears, candy-colored electric and all-consuming, taking over the screen, the NO of the Meanies is given a K and a W - KNOW, and the answer to all things becomes YES.

You can practice this anytime in your own life - it's easy - all you need is to recuse yourself from all judgement. Stop labeling things as bad, surrender "not" liking things; try what is offered, let go of old tapes. My mantra for this is "retired from the bench" - "Erich can't judge this as good or bad, he is retired from the bench."

As a child you wanted to be different, to pull away from the herd, so you one day said you didn't like cocoanut when some kid shared it. Five years later you're allergic to cocoanut, now just the thought of it makes you ill. Let go of that original childhood decision and your free. Allow the changes and impermanence, allow the scissors of spiritual death to slice your old skin down the milddle and burst you from your chest anew. There is, after all, nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.


Ommm

In the 70s there was a HUGE movement that came in the wake of the 60s LSD counterculture called EST. EST was created by a man named Werner Erhard, it was a course you took consisting of two long weekend encounter group / workshops



So when John Lennon does go up against the big Blue Meanie with the power of love it's through touching him in nonviolent, nonsexual, nonthreatening movements that cause the Meanie to break out in flowers. Wherever Lennon points, flowers erupt. The Meanie can't stand this of course because he has suppressed this childhood joy, has denied himself this simple open-handed nonviolent letting in, and now his own venomous distrust turns against him, as it always secretly has, the loop of karmic ill will is revealed, and in shame he collapses. Fear breathes and lives inside him (and us) like a hateful worm, controlling our emotions and reactions in ways we take for granted. This is not really who we are! We forgot and turned our back on our true friends, chose the side of the mean girls, but judging others in that us vs. them dichotomy is a spiraling addiction: you know the minute you stop pointing your finger at others, the fingers of the other pointers turn to thee.

But when you screw with us, the ones who have known true peace, we will come at you with the one thing that worm finger pointer can't stand, love love love - and absolute forgiveness.

But that is not the end, Lennon says, "hey Blue Meanies, join us." - the other Beatles echo, "Yeah, come join us," and the Nowhere Man and the Flower Meanie form a special bond.

The Nowhere Man, we should note, represents the academic, the aesthete, the last stop to dharma consciousness, before the opening of the soul after the long dark night thereof. He lingers on the threshold of the cliff of selflessness, collecting bottlecaps and volumes. "Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen" - and this is how most of us blue staters are -- we know where we're supposed to be, what we're supposed to do-- we try to be positive, but we don't feel it, because we still have that core of fear and doubt, the insecurity, the loneliness, the existentialism -- the longing for some golden elixir, some perfect sexual encounter or gold watch or jet ski, the Christmas present that will erase all hurt.

Let it go... let it go....throw the jet ski over the side and join with the saints. Join with Nina Simone. Join with the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Dr. John, The Meters.. Join with the Love Supreme, the Sky Church music, the Coltranes Alice and John, the Lennon Yoko, Sean, John reborn as the saint within. All that was hurt, frozen, and lost is restored.

It's not WAR

Let us call it, for lack of a better word SWAR.
Because it is war without edges, punches without fists, motion without speed.
It is the release of aggression and the resolution of conflict without bloodshed. And if the conflict is not resolved it is, at the very least, brought up from its repressed boil simmer and performed, exercised on the stage.

The weapons for this are simple - they are toy guns, squirting green slime, water, non-staining fluids. They are mutually agreed upon play weapons like freeze guns and invisibility shields. They are those cushioned clubs the doctor gives you in aggression therapy, they are pillows in massive pillow fights....

....and this is how are problems will be resolved.
I am currently beginning a massive project, simple yet infinite, of nonviolent conflict resolution and play -aggression-release therapy. It will fill the void of 'what do we do now' at international food fairs, it will remove the hurt, the swords and violence, the lust and ravaging, from the Medieival Times / Renaissance Faire Knightriders scenario. It will be as if the cover of Sgt. Peppers and Free to Be You and Me was brought out off the album cover into the open into a King Arthur's court --Roman Gladitorial Arena- THE WARRIORS (Yeah, right!) --- People can form groups / gangs / tribes and their conflicts battles are staged in the arena via nonviolent weaponry, debate, and then resolved with hugs and a grail ceremony of peace and resolution rather than victory over a loser.

Is it insane? Sure, but I know I'm not the first flower among us who is open. As Nina Simone says, "music is freedom," and I would venture that most of the jazz greats, beat poets, the classic rock greats, the moms, the priests, the medics and doctors, the nurses and hospice workers, the educators and poets, are this way, a little bit, even the soldiers (for death too cannot be judged as bad).... they have to let go of judgment or they do not rise to greatness, their path is chosen by a higher power and they follow it 

In becoming free we give up the right to judge even ourselves, even those who judge us.
We surrender all resistance and refusal, even violence and pestilence and death
we accept it all in full open kindness,
even the smelliest crap and lowliest worm,
the vilest homeless monster crouching behind the Mulholland diner,
even the brown toxic cloud and the corporate monsters spewing it, we love them all.
To get here we must flow like honey from a jar, unceasing and unresistant
into the open mouth of Death's golden honey badger.
We are swallowed and digested into the belly of the beast, the whale, the valley of death, the dark night of the soul,
we are absorbed, transmuted, ejected
erected, emitted
we are placed, enlightened the way a candle is lit
and placed in a window to illuminate the path
the moths may come
too close
we will try to not burn them with our radiant love
but be known
we burn

now free, our muscles feel looser, someone's loosened our tightly wound strings
now the sad and closed lonely people do look blue, half-strangled
shoulders slumped and heads lowered down into the streets
we want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them, straighten them and
give them a gentle push into the light,
but they'd think
we're crazy - awoooo.

The fear-cursed lad on the shore who gazes into the waves, afraid to surf lest he should drown,
becomes a man with no roots, no nourishment from ground or sky,
existing only for the illusive past and future -- golden memories, alive in dead photos
and anticipations of future vacations...
and he dreads that on the week he takes off from work
 it might rain.
at $399 a night he should pay for sitting inside with the rain?
He can already feel the sting of his wife's reproachment.
why he did not check the weather, three months in advance?
His stomach is already knotted from the anticipation
of being sequestered with those monsters.




Meanwhile, still at the beach, afraid to surf,
the sky above him pounds on his hair like a flurry of saxophones, seeking entrance to his brain,
the ground below pulses and spins seeking to flow its energy through his veins, nerves, fibers,
the air around him is a crowded happy party watching its lonesome guest
in the corner he looks at books on the bookshelf, hoping someone will talk to him,
but it has to be the right someone, a pretty, smart, sensational, well-connected someone.
Not just anyone.
In his fickle judgments, his island shrinks until he's shark-surrounded, choking on his own chum.

The saintly air makes no such distinctions.
Monsters, saints, dogs and devils breathe it alike.
The clouds are not selective as to on whom they rain,
the floods do not choose the poor over the rich.
It's all location,
and we have one location,
which is here,
which is now,
and here they come, the angels from Arcrturus,
from the Pleiades, from Neptune and the Great Blue Ocean, vibrating in the inner circlets of our air,
here come the Humpback whales, the seals, the singers, the gospel choirs and kindergarten theater troupes, the Harpo Marxes, the French, the Indians, The Native Americans, the artists in Portland, the artists in Tokyo, in the old world Tokyo and the one of tomorrow, the one not haunted by the rays of his screen.

Here come the waves, the blue and red waves, the morphing figures, the dancing shiva flames of acceptance, tolerance, the removal of all fear and soot from our body chimneys.
Now are we made whole.
 Those of us with glasses will suddenly need weaker prescriptions,
we will want to work longer hours, spend more time with our kids, find ample time for both, without a worry of where time goes. We will
eat better, stop swearing, refrain from ejaculation during sex to preserve and increase our stores of prana for the job ahead, we won't have a choice.


When the patient is healed, he must cast off his crutch or be unable to walk
The reborn lazy will shun their beds, their TVs, their junk food, in the same way...
the cheap thrills, escapism, idolatry, negativity and anger will be dropped
effortlessly, barely noticed,
the way a leaf drops from a tree in autumn
or a magazine from your lap at the doctor's office
when your name is called.

Your name is called.
MEDSITATION!

3 comments:

  1. I honestly respect your writing and your opinion. I've stated so many times on this site.

    I had originally written this long-ass thing, since I'm a scholar of Japanese Buddhist theology and history, whose also done work in Indic Buddhist theology, theory and Hindu ritual and theology. Long story short, I think the Beatles just went to India to get high and write songs, and John Lennon didn't care about anyone but himself. I find him to be a repulsive individual who abandoned his family and his activism to be very self-promotional and self-satisfying.

    I'm just sick to death of the Beatles being championed as messianic symbols of "peace, love, and understanding" when I've nothing they produced has caused political action or awareness in the long run. The generation weened on the teet of their musical offerings has descended into ultimate bourgeois malaise, inaction, and complicit self-satisfaction. Their supposed unquestioned status as icons is also infuriating. Personally, I think the story of fellow British band Amebix and their music to much more compelling.

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  2. Thanks for your honesty, Ido. I will check out Amebix. I would say this, to counteract your spin of the wheel against Lennon et al, judging a spiritual seeker one way or the other becomes the judger more than the judge. Lennon later saw his error, his blind spot, re - the suffering he caused Julian and his mom and made amends. He even forgave and understood the Maharashi after their break with him over the 'event' with Mia Farrow. For me, and it took me a long time to understand this, if a figure is embraced in a particular point in time as a representation of nonviolent open-hearted intention ala the Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, King, even Michael Jackson, the Pope -- the need of the unenlightened mind to find fault with them increases in ways they can't comprehend. Rumors begin to swirl and murder plots form and erupt. King slept with white women, pope shields pedophiles, Jackson sleeps with kids, Jesus lies about who is god, etc. -- unless, as Whoopi often says, we were there at the time, we don't know the truth. But we can see that the reaction against someone offering this message is automatic in those who have not surrendered: String 'em up!! It's as natural as it is for one to recoil from violence, it is the 'douche chill' it is the fear that one's own inner fear feels when seeing its evictor heading towards it from without. Sorry if this sounds trite or overly pretentious! As I check out Amebix on my behalf, I'd wonder if you'd look within and see just what inside you recoils from the simple openness (and I used to recoil from it myself, believe me, so I sympathize and do not judge in the least) of such a message. Is there something inside you, a quieter voice, that can stand outside the hate-fear reaction (Lennon was really mean and lazy so I hate that people think he's positive) and examine why it feels it needs to be so prominent? (no one will be harmed, most likely, by believing his message of openness is/was sincere, etc.) Again, no worries either way, darling Ido. As a Pisces I agree 100% with all you say and appreciate your comments, but I am also trying out this new idea, giving it an open and fair shot, just to see what happens.... and invite you to come along if only for a few extended cleansing Omm Omm breaths. xooxx

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  3. It's easy to dismiss the Sixties head trips as being shallow or fake or insincere. And certainly, there is an element of... exploitation about the psychedelic movement. Jim Morrison DID do a quick robbery of Huxley, who in turn had done the same to Blake...

    But what is amazing is that the popular culture at that moment took a look into the mystic. It might not have been to Teresa of Avila's 7th Mansion or Leary's 8th Circuit of Consciousness, but it was a moment.

    And the Beatles were at the center of that moment. Looking at this from the era of Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj, it's almost unbelievable!

    I know a Catholic monk who says the Beatles got him interested in religion. I know a lawyer who credits the Beatles for a lifelong interest in Buddhism.

    Pink Floyd was recording their first album, "Piper at the Gates of Dawn," down the hall from the Beatles at Abbey Road Studios while "Sgt. Pepper" was being recorded. They stopped in and heard some of the Beatles new stuff and they say they were overjoyed. The Beatles had gone full-fledged psychedelic! Because they knew what that meant: The reach it would have.

    The Beatles were the gateway drug.

    And besides, few saints, gurus, or wise men have ever said it better than, "Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream."

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