light seas passing breeze
cloud float frigates
slabs, ocean gray
near the arctic circle
migrating birds from distant shores
compass in head
fish swim beneath watery horizons
tail-flash into caverns deep
dark, turnkey passages slip to realms of otherspace
poke heads out to mimic ufos
tribal cultures witness
in petroglyph diaries
earth turns, spins, ringing far flung corners of a portly shape
to rhythms days and nights
crawl on floors, top of skins
begin day again
climb towards summit
over bones, dust, stories of ancestors
remains of lineaged history
moments fame, glory, pain and gore
wind kiss scents of pine, heather
brush shyly and fade
pricked with light
atop a jar,
letting air for our souls
to wee little bugs us
that live in the glow here
While odds are we won’t be faced with armed conflict over a slight to our allegiances or affront to our honor, there is value in adopting an age old samurai practice for developing resilience.
If we sit for a moment, before leaving our gates, imagining sneers, jeers, disgust, clucks, *tsks* and frowns of all those disapproving our very existence, much less our opinions, dress, gender, age, skin color, the way we walk or talk or breathe —if we imagine all the rude drivers, pedestrians, shopping carts cutting us off, tailgating, flipping us the finger for being too fast, too slow, taking up space. And throw in all the clerks, officials, staff and petty tyrants, entitled citizens, annoyed to be of service. All the macho, catty, salacious or haughty stares, challenges, brush-offs and confrontations of the day. But also: all the unexpected smiles, and courtesies, the random acts of kindness, the joy or excitement in a child’s face, the looks of love and shared intimacies. The frail, the innocent, the wonder. We can start our day with equanimity, without Pollyanna expectations or cynical fatalism. The world is simply what it is. Both the pettiness and grandeur. And it’s nothing personal, to those prepared for its full embrace.
let it rain. 7 days, six nights. I don’t care. what it means. dirt clods dissolved and flowing mud. down the drains of circumstance. in the streets dance drops and splashes, goulashes of goblin children, screams and reveries of the trees lashed by wind the moon ppehole through the sky letting in trains of fraiy lights cast upon earth and moving sparks of firefly. streams trun their courses, mountains hold their orurses there is no passage here. not for you, enver for me. I absolve myself to sit by this creek until th e flood waters rises, until the bags beneath my eyes sink to sleep and the world is finally queit as the world can be. At least for me. I don’t want to hear your stories, or your tales or your poems, don’t want to hear what ails you or makes you happy, don’t want your message from creation, just leave me be, hear by my tree. by waters benath my knee as I wade in the shallow currents and look for that damn fish that made a face as me while I was minding my own bisuness and tending my own garden to see what would grow. and found nothing grew in this soul of solidtude but the need to express its silence. kind of counter productive don’t you thing=k? but it assures me, that anything I pursue or try to catch has an oppposite end, so I should be preapred. whatever that means. because it means nothing to me. never did, never will. that’s what I say about it anyway. I hear there are others with other sayings but what good do they do me? like I can carry them in my pockets and pull them out to pay the feery
a hotel room banking the freeway
a car parked out front
a dilapidated outpost
never a great destination
only a tiny dutsy stop alongside
a passage to greater things
lizards scramble searching for breakfast
across the lot
A man sips stale coffee, watching a velvet Elvis
through his window yellow portals of gargoyles seep through royal arches
guarding hamburgers of paradise where millions, no
billions, are served
who collects these hungry souls, and their chicken nuggets
and family meals
and who doles out plastic toys of smelted dreams
dangling attention moments empty of nutrition
tossing roadside offerings to lizards who nudge it aside to look for living things
scurrying dirt and rock
amidst towering things of tiny consequence and whole worlds spin
and move and cross round invisible to concerns
of larger spheres. So many charts and gravitations!
whirls and crescentations and heliocentric orbitutions
circling most mundane
enveloping most amazing
hardly even matters a difference
between arcs and jolts of attention
currencies of denomination
to the new church
of latter day mediocrity
“This theory of personality actually started with the combination of two simple notions: first, that man might be better understood if he were viewed in the perspective of the centuries rather than in the flicker of passing moments; and second, that each man contemplates in his own personal way the stream of events upon which he finds himself so swiftly borne. Perhaps within this interplay of the durable and the ephemeral we may discover ever more hopeful ways in which the individual man can restructure his life. The idea seems worth pursuing.”
Kelly, George. The Psychology of Personal Constructs: Volume One: Theory and Personality: 1 . Taylor and Francis.
hu->man. Kelly proposes we look at the interface between our expectations moment to moment in what is coming our way, based on our personal constructs of beliefs, and our existence in the larger time and possibility span than our little individual flicker of existence illuminates. Hacking this interface is our key to the kingdom.
his notion, called “personal construct theory” was developed back in 1955, and is one of the most interesting ever proposed in the field of psychology of personality. In my opinion. and especially today when we are understanding more about the incredible symbioses and membranes that are part of life at every level. from our guts to the psychedelics in our brains. and that the same patterns pop-up cross domain, whether physical, mental or mathematical.
so what algorithms does Kelly propose for instrumenting this interface to expand our worlds? topic of future explorations
My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.
-Queen of Hearts
It is difficult to change. It seems easier to stay in place. But just try to stay in the same place and the ground will inevitably shift. Nothing is constant. Then with neither resilience nor reserves prepared we struggle to adapt to what we can no longer avoid. A comfort zone has a constantly contracting circumference. Though it may be so gradual as to be imperceptible.
Some brothers and sisters on the Red Road carry medicine bags close to their hearts. To the unacquainted these bones and rocks and assorted trinkets are perhaps of some sentimental value. To those on the path these are objects of power. These are instruments of mobility.
And to those whose path is not the broad, bustling byways of the consensual, power to navigate change outside the comfort zone is key to their independence.
Power can be stalked. But not power over others, or even power over circumstance. Rather power that lets us act with intention, choose our response, break out of the shell of limiting beliefs and dark gravitational wells keeping us from the world’s magic and infinite possibilities. Keeping us from walking ahead.
Gurdjieff once remarked that most of us cannot DO anything. To do something requires at least a limited amount of wakefulness. Which is not the same as mindfulness, but something more akin to a power to act. Without being awake, whatever we do is merely a predictable consequence of the what comes before. A billiard ball cascade of our limited experience and selective gullibility, playing out our habitual repertoires. We have little choice. We are semi-autonomous beings and usually more autonomous than semi.
So how do we stalk enough surplus power to do more than maintain our perimeters? How do we stop treading water and start going places?
While there are principles and lineages, it is an individual undertaking, and why medicine bags are such personal things. We each have different tumblers to spin to unlock the magic within ourselves and our world. And the reason for the bag is, even when we discover these combos, they are easy to lose or forget. Like the memories of a beautiful dream upon awakening. But reversed 🙂
Stalking power, for me, is a daily practice of reminders. I am forgetful. I know things intellectual that take a while to absorb into my being. I need repetition, especially with the obvious. But power can also be gleaned through noticing things during the day that exude power. Power we can partake of by catching it with our attention. Street omens. Sometimes as simple as an overheard word or phrase, the sudden appearance of a bird, or a sound or melody. A breeze against our face. Or a wisp of memory from deep in the past. Totems of power are strewn throughout a typical day like shells on a beach. Being present for them adds something to our energy field. Makes it more permeable to receiving even more. Stalking becomes a way we approach the day. To those who have, more will be given.
Stalking accumulates but guard how we give power away daily. Incessantly. Most of us leak personal power like a sieve so it’s hard to keep replenished much less build a surplus for free action. We have no reserves for doing much other than what we’ve always done. And will is a finite resource. But the more aware of opportunities to collect and the more careful we are in spending, the more power we can build and retain. And emanate rather than disperse. To spend a day stalking to build the currency of intention has different qualitative feels than a day of mindless automatism. To those who have not, more shall be taken. 1
My medicine kit ~spells~ help me remember and use opportunity wisely. Some of are simple statements:
“Stop saying things that make me weak.” This reminds me to speak with integrity. To know my intention, and assumptions, when communicating and assess whether they are beneficial. And whether it is better, as it often is, to abide with silence. And to observe, what I say to myself. Am I ally or enemy?
Using the eyes skillfully. Not hooked by desire, distractions, searching for validations like: approval, likability, respect, safety, etc. When I catch myself looking for something in the eyes/expressions of others, I bleed personal power by seeking the source through social engagement. Trying to find something missing outside rather than within2. This also goes for online, social media response or opinion. Which especially speaks to the precept above on integrity of speech. And abiding in silence.
Take nothing personal. Semi-autonomous reminder, in both myself and the action of others. How others react is not about me, and none of my business. It’s about their imprints on what my appearance or my behavior signals, triggers or represents. Remembering this, we sometimes realize how little we see of others, and they of us. How quickly we judge. A corollary: we are as free as we allow the freedom of others. Judge others, we imply judgments about ourselves. We give away hoards of personal power to yoke ourselves with an internalized consensus and conformity. For protection and security. To secure our position in tribal rankings. Time to change allies. More later.
Part of not taking things personally is not taking myself personally. It’s like a zen thing, dude. In the Egyptian afterlife, the newly dead are judged by weighing their heart against a feather. Most ways I weigh down my heart is through self-importance. As if shit happening to me were blessings or curses a swarm of happenstance entering or leaving, with fanfare or stealth, my small personal field. More potent for personal power is acceptance. Things come and go. Try to hang on to them or push them away at your peril. Acceptance is learning grace and lightness of being. To me, this often manifests in unclenching the body. A body is a koan3.
Death as an adviser. Don’t take anything anyone does personally — do take your own death personally. Get to know this, our most reliable and forthright friend, who never bullshits about what’s important in our lives. And usually instructive in ways we both discover and squander our personal power.
These are trinkets in my bag. Glad to share. I’m sure you have trinkets of your own, some you may have forgotten, until now. Happy hunting and Bright blessings
Force is very important because the Work says that to do any conscious work on our development, we have to accumulate it. If we constantly lose force up by becoming angry, being in arguments, taking everything personally and always being identified, we will have no force to work on our own development. Moreover, by always wasting our force we will be exhausted, find it difficult to do the things we have to do to get through the day, and have no force left for the things we want to do.
-Gurdjieff by Gil Friedman
Spawn of fantasies
Sitting the appraisable
Pig Cupid his rosy snout
Rooting erotic garbage
“Once upon a time”
Pulls a weed white star-topped
Among wild oats sown in mucous membrane
I would an eye in a Bengal light
Eternity in a sky-rocket
Constellations in an ocean
Whose rivers run no fresher
Than a trickle of saliva
There are suspect places
I must live in my lantern
Trimming subliminal flicker
Virginal to the bellows
by Mina Loy
unlocks any door
and is of no use to me
i am superficial
than a surface
not meant for me
anything that applies
with no second chance
any plan b
now plan a
coin flip away