Lucky us! Once again we have Jan Kasparec’s imagination empowering us all with a painting that really speaks for itself, of us, our strange society, our even stranger civilization; a world in which the strains of cultures swirl in a cacophony of chaos, where some teem with an assured alieness, violently imposing paradigms of domination, of predatorial consciousness, of consumption, of communicating an infected awareness sick with distortion and artificiality.
“Injustice in the end produces independence.” ― Voltaire
Everywhere, all around and through this ‘dream’, our shared reality, the reflection of that same artificiality and distortion of natural flow can be seen and felt; it informs us at every turn, in every moment, waking or otherwise. One sees it in the waste, the programmed obsolescence, the cold cruelty with which the machine feeds itself, the intentional absence of empathy, reflected in our troubled relationship to the natural world, in our questionable sharing of existence.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
And yet there we are, making our meditation, right in the thick of it, boxed all around, utterly surrounded by actively hostile energies, hungrily working to twist our own imaginative powers, through our collective and personal attentions, against us and into a force-feeding frenzy, an unrelenting diet of trauma in whatever form is the special of the day for those that sup upon our humanity.
“It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.” ― Voltaire
What we do to the world we do to ourselves. What we give really is what we get. As above so below. How we treat life is how we communicate to Life, is how Life must communicate to us in turn.
“If you take the responsibility for your life, you can start changing it.” – Osho
And so when we tire of this game of opposites, of polarities, and perchance begin to play with those illusions instead, as one does with making music, later a’dance with partner in hand as that very music plays, we might truly give one another a reason to rejoice, perhaps the very best of reasons, that is our very lives in celebration of the freedom we can’t help but embody, of the wonder we can’t help but express, of the flowering of our Being that is our destiny. “Now it’s your turn.” ~ Buddha (paraphrasing). Have we but the faith of a mustard seed apparently.
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton
Though it’s become politically and spiritually fashionable to go on about the oneness of everything, there really is something to it far beyond the preaching of new-agers or communitarians or any group with an -ism attached that’s jumped on the We Are All One bandwagon.
Simply put: It’s, that is to say We are all ‘made’ of energy. Rocks, water, chickens, humans, celestial stuff, light, everything, everything, everything is energy. Differing frequencies equals seeming differences, but it’s actually all still the same ‘stuff, even after what we still think of as death.
“There is no death, only a change of worlds.” – Chief Seattle
And from this perspective it’s true: we are all one, one great mass of energy, all apparently about our own business, many of us apparently populating one another’s reality, all in a great big Sea of Awareness. That’s the other big kicker here. The energy that everything is made up of is also aware: rocks, water, chickens and far stranger creatures being far stranger than even we are, than we could even imagine. Perhaps that’s a useful way to conceive of The All That Is, that of everything being made up of the very fibres of awareness itself, in an endless tapestry of creation, of art. Should probably use capitals there but the point is made.
“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” ― Voltaire
Whether it’s computer code creating a perceived reality, another kind of mathematical description analogous to life, analoging life, or digitizing it as the case may be, or a child sitting atop a parent’s knee listening keenly to a story shared, now also become part of that’s child’s story; regardless, our descriptions often define our perceptions. Consider this a moment, for here lies another golden nugget of a philosopher’s stone for our elucidation. The descriptions we share of the world are a mighty power in intelligent hands, a terrible one otherwise. Imagination is everything. The stories we tell become us.
As I’ve understood it the proper use of energy is to allow it to flow, naturally, and unhindered. As I’ve come to experience it myself the practice focuses on not so much what one does as what one doesn’t. Once one removes blockages, be they habits, beliefs, faulty or unsatisfying descriptors, or other artificial constructs, various polluting substances, what have you: once removed, one’s energy flows then grows, and so on. This seems to my eye to be delightfully illustrated on the tattoos of our cover’s smiling Buddha.
“What we think, we become.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.” – The Buddha
Then we have that fabulous, now famous mask, a stylized depiction of Guy Fawkes of the Gunpowder Plot fame of 1605, siting atop our floating Buddha’s head. What a wonderful shout out to anarchy’s ‘new’ face, one I’m particularly fond of myself. Just as a reminder: Anarchy isn’t the absence of rules, only of rulers. V isn’t just for vendetta, it’s also for victory. Let’s also remember that the quality of one’s villains, opponents, or antagonists, is directly proportional to the quality of character, temperament and courage being born in those who rise in themselves to the occasion, fulfilling the equation to equal evolution, one beyond any such test or formula.
“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.” (Letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville, May 16, 1767)” ― Voltaire
And what an excellent reminder of what may indeed lie behind that very mask, as we sit in contemplation of the odd world we are here to transform with our being. I see them as positions of awareness, perspectives that might be adopted by anyone with the inclination, energy and imagination.
“Any man can sense that his problem is himself, but the extraordinary man goes beyond that to sense that the solution is also himself.” ― Vernon Howard
Masks alone are a worthy subject of exploration, that and the fear most governments have of them. There’s power there somewhere certainly. Truth as well, for any one of us might one day shrug off their everyday mask and become other than what they’ve seemed to be until now.
“When the vast cathedral of our being becomes a sanctuary for all creation, we become the face of God.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie
One of the powers masks possess is to remind us of our own fluidity, that even our very identities are subject to play, to transformation, to mystery. Much of this is touched upon in the Matrix movie trilogy, as it is in every movie and story presented to us, as it is in our cover this month. The question of who exists behind all our masks is a rewarding one. Though we might in truth all be actors upon the stage, as Shakespeare once put it, few realize the freedom that this offers those that fully embrace the actual Play of Life.
Yet here is where the real fun can begin, with this awareness that allows for the dissolution of fear, that literally transforms that knee knocking, chill making, boot shaking, nerve-racking, nail-biting, pants-filling, belly-quaking, fright into a flight of sheer exhilarating excitement, one achieved by making that crazy leap into total trust where anything can happen. No wonder governments no like.
“If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?” ― Voltaire
Buddha in Matrix. Not for long. Curtain’s coming up and there’s a new show in town.
“I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.” ― Voltaire