Happy New Year . . .

In the past, New Years eve has traditionally been a time for light hearted partying and giving my girl a big kiss as the countdown begins. This year I am alone, though, because my girl went to the beach. I only have the dogs and a bottle of good old Mad Raven wine to keep me company. This year as I reflect upon the past as well as the present I am sitting here at my desk thinking INCOMING! (you know, that word that gets shouted when a mortar goes off in the compound and everybody dives in their hidey hole?) This year as I look into my crystal ball all I can get from it is a feeling of dread.

Why is that? Am I just getting too old to enjoy myself anymore? No, not really, at 76 I am still in great shape, still dropping trees, chopping firewood and building stuff. I FEEL great . . .  it’s this nagging survival instinct of mine that’s driving me crazy. It’s like being in the middle of a coal dark, jungle night. It’s uneasy . . . queasy . . . and not knowing which way to take flight.

Something is going on folks and it’s right on the other side of the horizon. I know it because my instinct is rarely wrong when it rings this loud. Creedence Clearwater sang about a Bad Moon Rising, but then it was just a song. . . now I believe it is a not so future happening.

I haven’t always felt this way, believe me. I’m an old peace and love hippy for Christ’s sake. That philosophy is about as positive as one could get. We were going to end the war and change the world. Tim Leary and the other pied pipers of the day had us convinced that all we had to do was drop out, stay stoned, and love the night away. Well, guess what . . . we tried and the night never died.  

Before the hippy days, as a returning vet I knew the world was in chaos and much of it was caused by America, but my attitude was . . . Que Sera, Sera, what will be will be . . . I just needed to make sure I got what was mine, and through the years I did fairly good at it.

Then along came 911

That morning as I was getting ready for work I watched in horrified anger as the second plane hit the towers.  Later I rejoiced when Bush went after Saddam . . . double so when I heard my old brigade was leading the charge by making a night parachute drop into northern Iraq. And those Americans who talked about the Towers being a set up? They deserved to be deported.

I felt that way for quite some time . . . but slowly I began to realize that something was not quite kosher about the whole deal. The crime scene was immediately cleaned up . . . why? How did that huge jet plane get into that little round hole in the pentagon? Why wasn’t it on the tape? Why were all the cameras turned off?

The discrepancies built up, one after the other, until they flooded all the patriotism out of my brain and filled it with doubt. I began to study the entire sequences of all the events, carefully and on my own. Conspiracy theorism was not my large suit, I thought those people who wrote that stuff were fiction inspired crackpots and nothing more. I went for the middle ground, I researched and read guys who were educated . . . engineers, architects, etc. People who were on the scene, that gave an interview and suddenly disappeared.

Today, after so many years of research from so many reliable professionals at least half the population believes there was some not-so-funny goings on at the time, and me? . . . I am convinced without any doubt whatsoever that 911 was a staged event.

But then again, this essay is not about proving 911 pro or con . . . it’s about about what 911 has led up to. Because that is what we are experiencing in real time right now.

I remember a guy saying a few weeks after the whole thing went down and people were beginning to question it. “Watch and see what happens to the country after 911 . . . how much we change . . . in what direction . . . how severe have our freedoms been attacked or downright take away in the name of security.

And I will add to that . . . just drop all preconceived ideas and take a look around for yourself and make up your own mind. I don’t really care what you do because I know it is hard work and it takes a bit of time to do it . . . and who has time these days to do anything other than support our own person and take care of our own stuff? Like the young lady tells me the other day, “who cares? I’m too busy to worry about that kind of stuff!”

That’s why I fear, not for myself as I’m an old man halfway down the escape hatch, but for these kids who are so oblivious to the facts on the ground . . . who, as long as their iphones still work, really don’t give a shit as to what is taking place around them and have no desire to do anything about it. . . .

So, this new Years eve I won’t be partying, and I won’t be preaching or praying. I’m gonna drink my bottle of Mad Raven, play my guitar until I pass out on the couch. . . . although I might utter a small hope that I don’t have another episode of this recurring dream:

The Rainmakers

Standing alone

In the freezing rain

Among the insane

There is no pain

There is no gain.

The thrill of the fight

The rush while in flight,

Away we go . . . into the night.

Standing alone

Wanting to scream

But it’s not easy to scream

In this fucked up dream.

Where the bullets are slow

And my barrel is bent.

And my target

Will never stay down.

Standing alone

In the rain

Among the crying, among the dying

Watching war go round.

Again-and again-and again.

 

  

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The Cello

She stands alone in the corner of the sunlit room  
 silently awaiting the return of her master.

Only he, has the power to transform her
 from the awkward block of wood she is without him,
 into the instrument of astounding beauty and grace
 she becomes when wrapped in his arms.

There, neck to neck, consumed with the passion of young lovers 
 and the caring respect of old, they flow as one
 to the rhythm of their own private love song.

Only he, can fill her being with the fires of creativity
and allow her to fulfill her destiny.

She waits, lonely, but knowing, 
 anticipating his strong but gentle touch.

The Story

This guy is fascinating to me . . . like one day I took a walk in Central Park and discovered a long lost brother from the sixties before everybody was pigeon holed into this huge social trap of sameness. A time when free thought and weirdness was the order of the day. . . . We need more bonobo’s like him to come out of hiding and not be afraid to do it.

Whats YOUR story? . . . . . . . . .

The Coffee House

We can choose our wives
But a child is a gift
No choice – no voice in the matter
In the beginning who knows what we got?
A Mother Theresa or a Mad Hatter?

You try to love, defend, and feed
As long as life allows it
But sometimes things go wrong
And we sing a bluesy song
But ultimately . . . we carry on.

Yesterday we drove to town
To a special meet
That went incomplete
So we went for coffee instead
And after all was said . . . there was nothing left to dread.

Yesterday I realized how fortunate I am
To have been blessed (and not just stressed)
With the little ray of sunshine given me.

We can choose our wives
But a child is a gift
No choice – no voice in the matter
In the beginning who knows what we got?
A Mother Theresa or a Mad Hatter?

As for me – I was so blessed that today ( 51 years later)
I was able to walk into a coffee house with a best friend
Who I am free enough with . . . to drop the walls
And bare my heart . . . too.

That is a gift beyond measure . . . a heavenly treasure.

Poetry

I took to looking for poetry on the blogs this morning and was sorely displeased with what I found. Now I am almost (not quite) an ancient human being and I came from another era I know, but today’s poetry, forgive my saying, stinks. It is so dark and so dreary it makes even Poe’s stuff seem bright.

Back in the day, even though Vietnam was raging and the draft was on, young people wrote about hope and change (before it became bullshit, Obama)  Dylan led a large crowd and the coffee houses were filled with poets and songsters. The mikes were open to all sorts of greatness (as well as nonsense) . . . but the mood was “WOW” . . . upbeat.

It’s just my personal opinion I know, but I love Dylan and Robert Service and Robert Frost as well as many others. (including Poe!)

Maybe today’s crowd is so intent on being current and different they forgot that, no matter how great their poetry and their music and their art is . . . it is all a language and a language that cannot be understood is worthless. It’s like a preacher speaking in tongues. Who of (less than God) can even understand what the hell he is even talking about.

This poem is for you because it may be that you have not just gotten off the beaten path, but are lost in the jungle of moroseness . . . .

PS If you find what I said offensive, take a look around, read a bunch of poems and try to figure out what the writer is even talking about . . . if you can, more power to you cause this old man sure as all hell can’t . . .

 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Knowing

Once upon a time, many years ago, I dropped a tab of acid and had my awakening. Years later I realized I’d never had my awakening at all . . . .

Then I found Jesus and the church and had my true awakening. Years later I realized I’d never had my awakening at all . . . .

Then I read and studied spiritual things and teachings until the day my head was so full of understanding that I finally realized I’d had my awakening. Years later, though I’d sat at the feet of the best and the brightest spiritual teachers, I realized I actually never had awakened at all . . . .

Today, as I sit before my fire and contemplate on all the knowledge and understandings I have acquired from my many encounters with the spiritual life, I am beginning to realize that ALL that stuff, upon my death, will remain here in my ego driven head because the only things I can take with me are the things I have given away . . . the simple acts of kindness and love, mercy and grace that I have shown upon all those I came into contact with . . . .

Because the truth is THOSE are the fruits of our spiritual labor and we cannot fake our way onto a higher plane by spouting spiritual nonsense, or name dropping our favorite savior teacher, or any other way. . . .

In that next world, on that next plateau . . . it’s not about what you KNOW . . . it’s about who you ARE.

Who you pretend to be will get you far on this planet . . . who you really are is all that counts once the veil has lifted and the fog has shifted . . . . .it’s important to know that.

My Old Friends

myoldfriends

It seems I do more of it in the winter, but regardless, as I get older I spend a lot of time day dreaming. I usually wake up about 5 am, make coffee and, being retired and having no place to go, sit in my chair in the dark drinking my coffee and dreaming about the past. A rather pleasant time, I might add.

Now I have been to a lot of places and done a lot of things, but the things and places have become mere backdrops, places to hold the faces and memories of the many people I have known and the friends I have made over the last 72 years that I have lived on this planet.

As I begin to think on a place and time the faces are soon to follow. These faces pop into my mind like a worn out jack-in-the-box. Crank the handle and up pops Joey Sirgo or Gunner Thompson, or Tommy One Nut, Pissball Pete or just plain Joe . . . . . (It’s amazing how many of these guys have slang names and how often that’s the only one I can remember.)

Then the fun begins as I sit and reminisce with these guys over all the exciting times we had together . . . and a few of the sad ones. Seems the good and the funny always float to the top first though. I have to dig a bit to get to the bad, so as I hate shoveling I mostly leave that part alone.

To all the girls I’ve loved before. I remember your eyes, the lift of your breasts and the swing of your hips, but my Band of Brothers meant far more to me than trying to figure you out ever did. You ladies have a special room in my heart, but not this one. This room is filled with bar girls, one night stands, and short time hookers.

The “old boys club” door is locked to the finer female. You wouldn’t like it in here anyways cause the room stinks of old cigar smoke, cordite and bull shit, and the floor is littered with trampled peanut shells, dried blood and dog hair. A place only one of my old friends could love.

I always figured when I got old I would be sitting in the park with the rest of the old goats like they did when I was a kid. Maybe the old project crowd still do that, I don’t know because I lost contact with them at 15 when I had to move.

Today I live a life of seclusion. I spend my days reading, or goofing on my computer or driving my wife crazy, but rarely if ever do I spend time with friends, cause although spread out over half the world, they are not here.

Once I was in a Portland City jail cell with the walls covered in graffiti. I found an empty spot and wrote my own little tale of woe, “I’ve been alone since birth, I’ll remain alone till death, then I’ll have a friend”. Kind of a downer, but how else would you feel being stuck in a two man cell with a guy coming down off heroin?

I do hope that quickly thought verse will prove itself to be true though cause I’m getting closer to D day each time I go to sleep at night and it would be really cool to wake up on the other side and see a large table of my friends gathered around it to greet me. (and my many favorite dogs lying under it)

Jesus and God would have to wait for a while then because first thing I want to do is drink some good Old Crow and hang out with the guys again for a season . . . or two.

I think Robert Service said it all about guys like us. Guys our women just can’t quite understand:

The Men Who Don’t Fit In

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.

They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they’re always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.

They say: “Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!”
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.

And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.

Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;
He’s a man who won’t fit in.

But . . . those of us who have walked this path would have it no other way. (end)

I wrote the above about 4 years ago and nothing has changed. Alone but never lonely I become more irrelevant daily, but, still, I miss my old friends and wonder what happened to all of them . . .  and am far too lazy to find out.

Fantasy Land (part two)

Love is the singularity . . . it (God) exists outside the boundaries of duality, therefore there is no good or bad love, it IS the single focal point of all matter, it is the reality behind all creative process. . . . We, (the creators in this physical dimension) though connected to the singularity, build our corporate, as well as individual lives exclusively within the law of duality and get to experience first hand the reality of our creations . . . how are we doing?

We can drop all the spiritual jargon and judge our own creating by the simple approach of lining our creation(s) up against the law of love. Ask ourselves as a person a few simple questions like:

“Am I being kind and generous or am I being a self serving asshole?” . . .

“Do I continually and constantly blame others for my shortcomings?” . . .

“Do I really care or is this a good ploy to get my own way again?” . . .

Ask ourselves corporately as a part of the larger whole a few simple questions like:

“Is it even possible to kill for peace?”

“Is factory farming really worth it?”

“Are we really caretakers of this planet or is this massive ecological destruction we are causing just the result of good business practice?”

Those questions are just an example. Ask yourself your own questions, meditate upon them and you will learn quite easily if you are, or are not, moving in love, mercy, and grace.

You may learn WHY you have acquired so much karmic debt . . . and WHY you are always behind the proverbial eight ball.

Maybe if you quit justifying your eating, and thinking, and doing habits and take positive action instead to put an end to them . . . maybe the depression will withdraw and the fibromyalgia will go away and your joy as well as your health will return.

Can’t hurt to try . . . right?

Fantasy Land

I wonder how many people realize that their entire lives are built upon a foundation of fantasy? Mine was, and in many ways still is. To this day I find myself treading upon a fantasized hero’s journey. Whether animal, environmental, or spiritual . . . I’m still in the business of trying to save things.

Many of you reading this might ask. “Fantasy? What the hell is this guy talking about? I live and breath reality. I never fantasize about anything because I’m too busy dealing with reality!”

Question: “If that is true, if you are truly living in reality, why is your reality not the same as mine? I mean doesn’t two – three – three thousand different realities mean that everybody but you is living in fantasy? I mean if there is more than one reality SOMEBODY’S gotta be fantasizing . . . right?”

As I pondered this fantasy dilemma I began to see that there is only one foundation to all reality . . . and that foundation is LOVE. Since ‘love’ is probably the most misinterpreted and misused word in the English language we probably ought to dwell on that first lest we build yet another castle in the sand. . . . so, what is love?

Too many people these days see love  only as (Eros) the emotion that leads to some kind of an action centered in romantic intercourse of one sort or another.

Others broaden the word a bit to include the second deeper (Philia or brotherly love) that includes friendships and family as well as romance.

A few completely open the word to include (Eros) the love that supersedes all others. That’s the point where love is no longer an emotion, but a state of being . . . the place where all judgement and human actions are based upon the principles of love. Eros, the ultimate, breaks the law of duality and is the only pathway to the goal of activating our higher conscience. So far, very few have entered that realm and that is why the planet is in such dire shape. . . . and why nothing changes until we change. As we are now in our development, fantasy rules and we are more virus to this Earth than caretaker.

As an example: When I was a kid in the projects I was raised on John Wayne and Hollywood movie fantasy where the Japs and Germans were pure evil and America was the greatest country in the world. In school I placed my hand over my heart every morning before class began and pledged my allegiance to her. I fantasized that one day when I got older, I would carry a gun myself and fight the bad guys in her defense just like John Wayne did. I’ve always wanted to be a hero and go down in a blaze of glory fighting for truth, justice, and the American way.

Most of my buddies in the projects shared that fantasy with me and years later some of them died horrible deaths in that far away jungle because of it. Their kids are still dying by fire in places like Iraq and Afghanistan . . . for what? Some dipshit and his hegemonic fantasies?

This fantasy that war is noble, the field of battle glorious, and our enemy is some kind of two dimensional creature has led untold millions across the world to a sudden and pain filled death. If the truth ever overshadows that fantasy we may have a chance to evolve beyond the necessity for war, but as is, today we seem to be beating the battle drums more loudly than ever before in this quest to “make America great again” when a quick and honest study of our past history proves we were really never that great in the first place.

That is only one example of a culture steeped in one religious/racial/societal/ fantasy after another, there are many more. These fantasies are what is dividing us and breaking us just like they did to all the other empires before us.

So the question I have to ask myself when I consider where we, as a nation, are going is this . . . ‘Are we moving and creating upon a foundation of love, mercy, and grace, or not?’ If not then we can pray and roll around on the floor of our churches all we want . . . nothing happens until we do.

 

The White Room

What if, when I die to my present physical life, I pass on over to the other side only to find myself standing alone in a pure white and vibrating void . . . a void that is soon transformed into a reality perfectly suited to the vibration I carried in my conscience while here on earth?

With no individual brain to manipulate, no way to phony myself up, no false faces, or uniforms, or ways to cover up my true nature . . . my true nature becomes the (post physical) reality of who I truly am.

No Jesus or Mohammed or any other savior will be there to defend me, no righteous God to condemn me, no flock of virgins to please me, no street of gold or a self filling bottle of wine . . . nothing. . . but a creation of my own making.

I would then realize (if I chose to escape my new reality) that I should have done the job that was set before me while in the physical body, but with all the distractions confronting me, I didn’t take the time to do it.

Now, I realize my only hope will be to return again into that realm of time and space for yet another go around as an individual entity . . .

Whats in YOUR wallet? . . . . Will you be content in your new, (after death) reality? Is this a scary proposition to you? Now’s the time to do something about it. Once on the other side you may have to live for a long time within the parameters you have set for yourself, among souls just like your greedy, selfish, self centered, little self.

Personally I have a LOT of homework to do . . .

Salvation

You: What does it mean to be saved?

Me: That depends upon your religious affiliation, but as a rule the Christian church teaches that Jesus Christ willingly gave up his life as a sacrifice for your sins, and by your acknowledgement of that sacrifice you have been freed from the curse of sin and death. It teaches that Heaven is reserved for those who die in the faith . . . Hell is reserved for those who don’t.

Christian doctrine accepts a convert as they are and promises them a new life where they will be forgiven of past sins and become a new person as they live under the living word of God and His bible. In time the simplicity of that message created the largest and most powerful religion known to man. People flocked to the Mother church and her teachings by the millions.

When I was a younger man I know I did. I was at the end of my rope. I needed help from somewhere. Jesus was there, free and open armed, for me. I was born again in a local church and as long as I remained in good standing with the church and it’s doctrine I was guaranteed a place at the table when I got to Heaven. Heady stuff for a guy who had absolutely no religious affiliation whatsoever, and it worked great for a couple of years . . . BUT . . .

In time I began to notice that my life had become an ‘us vs them’ affair, something I was not comfortable with for many reasons. I began to question . . . especially when I realized I, as well as almost every church person I knew, had pretty much traded our past sins in for an open, ongoing, and obnoxious version of self righteousness. I was not pleased with myself.

I studied the bible, prayed for this and that, even lived on a Christian commune for a couple years . . . but after all was said and done I was the same guy I’d always been, but now I had to hide behind this magical connection to God. Anyway the questions became too many, the doubts too large, and I became what we church people feared more than anything else . . . a reprobate backsliding his way to Hell!

Back to the question of salvation: What was I being saved for? Why me? What if I couldn’t read the bible? What if I was born a Muslim? A Jew? An Indian? Chinese? What about the rest of creation? The questions came on like an endless series of waves in a heavy storm and I felt myself sinking under them . . . so I did what I do best. I hopped a plane and headed off into the sunset and a new adventure in Seattle.

Today I am not down on any church, but in general I believe we have gotten it all wrong when it comes to Christianity. I believe we have been duped by a ministry clearly bent on self aggrandizement. Guys who have created magical doctrines in order to rule over their flock of believers instead of taking the time and patience to teach them to practice what the simple teachings of Christ actually meant. We Americans are an overly spoiled, ‘all show and no go’ people. Even our version of Christianity, (especially the TV ministry bullshit), proves it to us.

Bottom line . . . It is easier to WORSHIP Jesus than it is to LEARN from him . . . and the ministers are using our spiritual laziness against us by promoting their version of American exceptionalism in order to control our minds, and give themselves a great life in their shiny new church. These Pharisees and false prophets are alive and well and living among us.

So here’s my answer to your question on salvation:  Jesus didn’t appear on the scene to SAVE you. He came to TEACH you how to SAVE yourself. . . and if you choose to follow and practice his teachings, he will be your teacher and you his student. And what can be more satisfying to a teacher than to have a student who learns his lesson?

Jesus was a special being, no one can argue that. I believe he existed and was a thorn in the sides of the priests of that day, just as you will become if you follow his lead. I don’t believe he was a special creation though. I believe he was an old soul who obtained awareness at a very early age and dedicated his life to the cause of teaching humanity a better way.

I believe there have been many teachers who have come and gone throughout the ages who were born for the very same reason, and I believe they all have based their teachings on one four cornered foundation.

house of god
You are being saved for no other reason than to build THIS house . . . you may never know it, you may never be awarded anything other than the satisfaction of knowing you helped build it . . . but that will be enough.

 

The Book

Summer 1980 . . . It’s summertime and I have just  recently flown back to Ohio after leaving the body farm in Palmer Alaska. I am beginning to write a book about my times living on one of Sam Fife’s end time farms. Following is the introduction to that book . . .

Introduction

It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago I was standing on a cliff overlooking the Little Susitna river staring beyond into the foothills of the distant mountains whose streams and hills were once laced with gold and promises of grandeur. The mines are still there to tell the story of the old days when gold was God and men deprived themselves, struggling against the harsh climate to seek its favor and to possess all the earthly goods that it offered them.  

I too was there in Alaska seeking gold, but my gold was the promise of a changed nature. A nature of good fruit and righteousness that God has promised to them that loved Him and sought to walk in His way. Proverbs 8-19 says – My fruit is better than gold even pure gold and my yield than choicest silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice to endow those who love me with wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.

Years ago the Lord had given me a vision of God’s people living together in peace and harmony, of working the land and experiencing His life together in Christian community. Corporate life and total commitment to Jesus Christ and His body was at the time, in my opinion, the highest of callings.  

I’d spent the last five years there in the Matanuska valley, experiencing the joys and sorrows that come from living so close with so many. Knowing first hand how easy it is to expound upon the principles and doctrines of God and to declare our total commitment to Him in church, but how difficult it is to walk daily on His path and continually heed His call to lay down our lives and our wants that our brother may live and have his needs met. I loved Alaska and my family there, I was certain I would never leave, but it seemed the Lord had other plans for me.

How did I come to be involved in such a lifestyle? This is my story. A story of one man’s search for meaning in this life. A search for reality.

END

 

Summer 2018 . . . That was then . . . this is now. Then I was a young man full of visions, on a hero’s journey . . . today I am an old man full of dreams who is reaching as far back on memory lane as he can get, trying to figure out what the hell it was I was thinking those many years ago.

In the beginning of this story it is easy to recognize the effects of imagination on the romantic mind. It only takes a worthy cause to arouse the warriors spirit and send him on the hero’s journey.

Forever, it seems, I have been on that journey. Like Sir Launfal in Lowell’s poem “ The Vision Of Sir Launfal” I was, it seems, on a quest to find the holy grail and like the original seeker I failed miserably.

What kind of person gets caught up in these cults anyway?  I can only speak for myself.

My early life was not normal by any definition. I was a smart kid from a dysfunctional family with no self esteem and very little training. I grew up in a housing project that required me daily to defend myself against multi membered bullies that were older than me and higher up the pecking order. I was a competitive, street smart loner before the age of ten. I was most likely the ideal candidate for a cult.

When I had my Jesus moment around the age of thirty I didn’t hear the call to salvation and Heaven like everyone else I knew. I heard the clarion call to save the world for Jesus and his church . . . I, still on the hero’s journey,  jumped in with both feet and enlisted into the army of God . . . Glory! Fighting for God . . . It doesn’t get any better than that! The tests and trials before that day became moot as I put on His armor, took up His sword and began to fight His battle against Lucifer and his army of demonic angels.

Then one day my truths changed and I tossed that heavy sword into the river of life and settled down for a long, long nap . . .

Today I am out of causes and . . . today, like Sir Launfal, I realize that the holy grail had been with me the whole time, it lived within the eyes and lives of the family I had left behind in my mad dash to win the war against Satan and make a way for God’s people.  

I’m now 76 years old. I figure if I’m going to write this book I better get started before father time punches my clock. So as memory holds, here we go . . . down the pathway of remembrance.

This will not be a negative story, nor much of a positive one either. I am going to try to write this as an impartial observer. I still have friends on the various farms that I love and respect and mean them no harm. Regardless of how I feel about religion and the Brother Sam ministry I will take none of my angst out on them . . . it was a time when the world was so different and so much simpler that I thought the hero actually had a chance to make a change . . . before JFK got killed, before the war in Vietnam turned my generation upside down, before drugs and before Brother Sam . . . that is.

 

Religion

Everybody’s heard about Hell and has a pretty good idea what that word means, but do they KNOW for sure what the word means? . . . no. We do the same thing with the word God, and like God we have far reaching variables when it comes to the physical reality of eithers existence.

The Christian version of Hell has fire and brimstone and eternal damnation for any soul that goes there. There’s also a mini Hell for Catholics called Purgatory, that’s a place to go when we’re not quite bad enough for the real Hell or good enough for Heaven. In time it’s even possible to work one’s way out of Purgatory and into Heaven.

Heaven, being a place of perfect beauty and everlasting peace, promises that upon arrival a feast is prepared at the table where Jesus and the saints await us. Afterwards, with full bellies, we’ll walk the gold paved streets of New Jerusalem, drinking wine in a self filling cup while having eternal fellowship with the saints forever. What’s not to like about that? Truth be known, that doesn’t even appeal to me, I think I’d opt for the Islamic version where martyred believers go immediately to paradise and receive 72 virgins. That sounds like more fun.

Now I hope it’s obvious that I am just poking fun at some of our ridiculous ideas when it comes to Heaven and Hell. If anything it’s far more possible that upon our death we drop the physical body off at the morgue and revert to the same vibration (state) we originally came from, hopefully after learning something eternal during our visit.

Now, the low vibration of Hell may suit some of us, but that will be a place of our own making, a comfort zone where we will fit in with the crowd of degenerates we related to best in this life. . . so to speak. All that Dante’s Inferno stuff was created by the church to keep us fearful and in line with doctrine.

“OMG how can you say that?” you ask?

Following is my answer based upon the pretext that we are already in Hell and are too dumb to realize it.

What happened? What caused the environment, as signified in the bible as the allegorical Garden of Eden, to change into the polluted chaos we have today? Simple. We, through our own free will, created it. Singularly and corporately, we have created this hell we now live in. WHY? Because of spiritual laziness and a complete lack of understanding concerning who/what we are.

Eons ago cunning men created religion and set themselves up as intermediaries between us and God. We willingly gave up our personal connection to the Godhead and by doing so have spent eons in a slavery of our own making. The priests took control of our minds and began to teach us little more than what had already been planted within us by our creator. Forgetting the truth we grasped hold of the lie and followed it down a trail to nowhere (our present state) . . . and the rest is history.

Religion is the name of the power that has spiritually controlled us ever since the beginning when men found themselves alone and afraid in a strange new world. The place was chaos, in a moment they could be killed and eaten. Instinctively knowing there was something greater than themselves, they reached out for knowledge and security. Religion and the priesthood was there to give them a hands up.

Soon religion controlled them as well as killed them. Look around, it is so clear, so obvious, that it takes a deep set fear of retribution not to see it. I mean, really folks, religious wars abound, killing for God is the order of the day right now and nothing has really changed since the beginning of time has it? When has the entire world’s population been at peace?  I don’t know of a time. I hear a lot of promises and declarations about peace, but I also hear that we must fight, and kill, and die in order to obtain them.

That we can kill our way to peace rings hollow to me. Is that even possible? Even while engendering the law of ‘faith’ that is a huge reach, especially if you take collateral damage from drones and bombers into question. Everything I sense on this planet feels to me like we are on the pathway to Hell.

OK by now everybody’s probably convinced they are reading a freaked out atheistic viewpoint.  And further, I am on my way to Hell in a handbasket for saying this stuff. HA! Well, actually I am not an atheist. I do have a deep and abiding belief in spiritual law.

I believe in a Creator so far above our understanding that we are like fish in a bowl of water sitting on the living room table trying to figure out what goes on in the room surrounding us. Life is a mystery to us all . . . and those who desire to know that mystery or anything about the workings of our Creator by reading and studying a holy book must IMO drop it on the table beside the fishbowl and receive their knowledge by studying the natural environment surrounding them.

The artist is revealed within his works . . . not in a book. A book can only point the way towards the garden . . . it is not, nor ever can be, the garden.

Any other way to the Creator will find one pissing into the winds of religion. This is, and has always been, an individual quest, and to begin this searching one must go within themselves to find that amazing person they can become if they only open those doors to the soul they have kept locked for so long.    

The Big Question . . .

who am iWho am I anyway? What am I? What’s my purpose . . . or is there even a purpose to any of this?

These are a few of the questions I have been asking myself over the years and trying to figure out. Questions upon questions run through my mind like a junkie chasing his next fix . . . but usually the answers elude me and I have to experience a thing before I learn it’s lesson. . . . bummer . . .

Why can’t I just believe! Have faith! Listen to what they tell me! Read the good book, follow directions and queue up behind my choice of religion along with the rest of the crowd. Then I would just have to pay my tithes, listen to the pied piper and prepare for Heaven . . . or (gasp) follow this path I’m currently on and find myself on a one way trip to Hell. “That’s the choice you have Jimbo . . . get used to the idea of Hell because you ain’t good enough for Heaven! . . . even if you had 15 more lives, you wouldn’t make the grade.

I’m not really bragging, but I do have a lengthy resume when it comes to experience on this earthly plain. In short, after a dysfunctional upbringing and a regular high school education, I have been an airborne soldier…been a hippie . . . been a devout Christian (now a devout reprobate). . . been an Alaskan fisherman and off season bush rat . . . been a carpenter/home builder. I am a husband . . . a father . . . a writer . . . an amateur guitar maker . . . and most of all . . . I am a watcher.

The one great truth I have learned during all that watching is that NOBODY seemingly knows their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to God. I’ve run into a lot of folks who have tried to verse me in their self interpreted ways of the Lord, but the only way that works for me spiritually speaking is MY way. . . . and MY way is fraught with dangers, because alongside this personal freedom dwells personal responsibility, and that word seems to be one of the scariest words in the English language. NOBODY seems to want anything to do with it. LOOK around, WATCH closely. From the president on down all you see are fingers pointing and tongues wagging. No wonder we are in such bad shape. . . bye bye, miss American pie .

In the early days (right after the crazy hippie days), I lived on a Christian commune where the religiosity was enormous and the social order was as restricted as the military unit I once served with. I did all the right stuff, said the right words, even attempted to sing on key while singing for my supper, but ultimately I had to walk out on the ‘family’ because of the religious nonsense.  Although I wore the proper uniform, I knew beneath it all I was play acting.

Now, to get to the point. There ARE rules, and spiritual rules are stronger than any physical rules. Rules that religious thought are based upon. These same rules that are taught in every religion on the planet and followed by almost no one . . . are LOVE, MERCY, and GRACE.

I’m a builder. I build homes and just about anything else from musical instruments to dog houses. One thing I fully understand is that for a house to stand the test of time it must have a proper foundation.  It is absolutely essential. The foundation must begin below the frost line, carefully built up and properly backfilled. Everybody knows in the trades that most buyers barely check the foundation and spend most of their time scrutinizing the paint job. So where does the greatest effort go on the builders part? You got it.

The main religions on this planet are all pretty much created on the same principles of love, mercy, and grace. But after that the foundation goes in and up in a heated rush, it can be crooked and out of level and ugly as hell, but no one cares after the sill plates and floor are on to cover the shoddy work. The rest of the house is hurriedly roughed in until they get to the paint job and finish trim, then it’s ‘take your time and do a good job’ time. Welcome to the large, expensive, and beautifully laid out churches of today. Joel Olsteen comes to mind. What a sham that smiley young man is fostering upon the zillions of people who believe his nonsense.

No wonder our kids are leaving the churches in droves, they are smart enough to see the degradation and want no part of it. Trouble is when they see nothing but phoney, they are losing the reality of the principles these churches were built upon. They become wandering stars with no direction, that operate in the physical sense of doing what feels good.

I know for sure that I have no desire to teach, or be a leader over anybody. I am merely a watcher. I don’t even like people all that much these days. I have just one goal in these writings and that is to reveal to YOU that WE are powerful spiritual beings that are personally responsible for ourselves. We will never know any of that power unless we build the proper structure to contain it and we build it upon a foundation of love, mercy, and grace.

So although I may have a somewhat disjointed viewpoint of religion, I have researched it, meditated upon it, and it has become my reality. Because of that, the dusty old salvation story as well as the book it is written in has evolved into a new and very exciting reality I hope to share in this medium via my personal experience of watching the goings on around me for these many years.

Religion and spirituality is only a small part of what I am going to be writing about, but this watching all took place under His eye and on His turf, so I think it only proper to first give Him center stage. I have a lot of observations that are funny as well as many that are sad and a zillion in between so stick around you’ll find something to laugh at . . . (I hope)!

Water

hot

Across the planet we are quickly running out of free potable water and it’s time we do something about it. The day is soon coming when all fresh water will be owned by a corporation who will have no problem charging us to drink it. If you think I am wrong research Nestle Corp. and their current actions . . . that should be enough to convince you. The fact that the corporations are going after the aquifers now should give us ample evidence that they are worried about availability. . . and this article itself is downright scary . . . . . privatization

“Yeah,” but what can we do about it”?

There are many ways to handle this situation, but for now I am working on conserving what we have by promoting something we all can get our minds around . . . the compost toilet. Today in America roughly 25% of our fresh water usage is used to carry a small turd down a long pipe way to deposit it into a septic tank. This is a huge amount of overkill to a rational person. . . . BUT

Because we Americans are SO squeamish when it comes to our waste we approve of this and see it as a fine and proper way to be dealing with a disgusting subject.  This poop stuff might make great party joke material, but every serious minded modern person is quite content to carry on with this ‘out of sight – out of mind’ approach forever, but guess what folks . . . the parties just about over. Fresh water will soon be in short supply . . . and already is in many parts of this country.  . . . toilet water usage  

Today the composting toilet has come a long way towards coming out as the prime way to dispose of our waste. Not by spending thousands of dollars to hide it, but by recycling our waste and using it to fertilize our plants, trees and ultimately after a year or so, our gardens.

We country dwellers should have no problem at all making the switch and many have already done so. All we need do is just buy or build a compost toilet and set it up. The city planners will have to think a bit deeper, but many are doing that already also.

city composting toilets

Why give Monsanto the OK to poison our planet with their toxic chemicals when a little bit of humanure fertilizer will do the job better, cheaper, cleaner, and far more beneficial? It’s a no brainer . . .

I built myself a really nice toilet for roughly 65.00 total including a bale of horse bedding and the required buckets. I am, at the moment, working on a better way to separate the liquid from the solid (it’s not so difficult) and then, once perfected, I will have some for sale for about 175.00 apiece. I will also have pictures and free prints available on this blog as a PDF for those who want to build their own compost toilet.

If you want a manufactured device I’d suggest the Nature’s Head for starters. natures head It gets good reviews and is a bit more advanced and simplified than the originals.

Regardless how you go about it (and I know it’s hard to believe) these things do not stink as much as your flush toilet! . . . honest to God . . . if you set them up properly you will think when you use it, that you are in heaven. . .

If that’s not good enough to convince you, instead of heaven . . . welcome to the coming hell of a dried up planet. . . water Armageddon 

 

Space-Time and Non-duality

If death delivers us from the binding constricts of time and space . . . why fear death when it is no more than a ticket back to the singularity of our one true home?

Like the guy says, as we get so easily lost in words, language has no way of revealing these truths to us, BUT meditation does.

The Tao Te Ching gives the best thought I believe . . . in the first chapter when it says:

(my interpretation, there are others more true to the original chinese I am sure))

Before the beginning there was the Unknown.

At the beginning the Unknown split into two parts.

One part remained the unknown, the other formed the (time and space) heavens and the earth.

Man, unable to understand the Unknown, either worships it or denies it’s existence.

There are some things in life that must be experienced in order to understand them.

Listening to music.

The taste of a fresh peach.

The touch of a lover.

The scent of fresh rain in a forest.

The view from the top of a mountain.

In all these cases, to deprive the senses from experiencing, is to deprive the knowing.

The Tao must also be experienced.

Give her a name and she becomes a religion.

Ignore her and she will never cease knocking at your door.

The purpose for time and space is for us to experience the wonders and the beauty of that unknown singularity from which we came . . . what we have created, because of the laws of duality governing it, is chaos . . . our chaos, our doing, our responsibility to fix it, nurture it, and restore it.

Time and space are one of the greatest conundrums of both science and philosophy, and have been so since we began to think about them self-reflectively. Many, especially in physics, see space-time as an objective thing, which can be bent and twisted. Others, namely in Eastern philosophy, see time and space as illusions, narratives in…

via The Linguistic Demon of Space-Time — Science and Nonduality

The Rainmakers

anger

 

 

Standing alone
In the freezing rain
Among the insane
There is no pain
There is no gain.

The thrill of the fight
The rush while in flight,
Away we go . . . into the night.

Standing alone
Wanting to scream
But it’s not easy to scream
In this fucked up dream.

Where the bullets are slow
And my barrel is bent.
And my target
Will never stay down.

Standing alone
In the rain
Among the crying, among the dying
Watching war go round.

Again-and again-and again.

 

Suicide

imagine

Reading a lot about suicide lately I began to wonder, instead of Anthony Bourdain, what it would take for me to do the deed, because at one time in my youth I could have. When I was younger (in the late 60’s) I went through a time when I thought it would be a good idea to off myself, but then I ran away from my problem and got stoned for a couple of years instead.

When I got older I realized that the suicidal thoughts began because I had expected too much from this decidedly fractured society. I was too good for this place and I was drowning in a huge portion of self pity and self righteousness.

I had the strong belief in America and the people who ran it . . . false deduction #1.

I had a strong belief that my marriage was ordained by God and my ex and I were solidly behind one another . . . false deduction #2.

I believed that I was a tough guy who could handle anything . . . false deduction #3.

I wanted to kill myself and make a statement to everybody for taking me for granted. This act would teach them all a good lesson. . . false deduction #4

I wanted to kill myself because I thought I had reached the end of my rope and had nowhere else to turn .  . . wrong deduction #5

One day after a strong psychedelic experience, after a ‘coming to Jesus’ experience, after dropping all that religious stuff and having a ‘coming to Jim’ experience . . . I began to see our lives here on this dimension had never been created for our ease or our prosperity . . . we were here to learn and to experience as much as possible during our short stay upon these shores.

I learned that karma rules the affairs of men and as I give I will receive. No longer looking for love, I began to see how necessary it was to share to the best of my ability the love that I have within myself with others.

I learned that I was responsible for my actions and if I found myself behind the eightball, chances were I had placed myself there. I quit being a victim and worked towards being a warrior . . . not as I did earlier in my life, but in a spiritual sense. Not in over the top religion, but by quietly following the pathway called kindness. Not by making a spectacle of myself in any direction, but by being there for anyone who crossed my path. (regardless of race, color or creed).

Today as an old man I see nothing but chaos surrounding me in every direction and I seldom leave the confines of my front porch . . . but if anybody comes by I will sit and talk with them, give them a beer or a cup coffee and listen to their complaints without judgement or preachy direction. . . and that old lady who just smacked me in the ass with her grocery cart? I will spin around and give her a smile (though a bit disingenuous)

Today life is great and suicide is far from my mind because I know this life has never been meant to be a rose garden, . . . it’s a battlefield brother, not a recreation room. It’s a fight and not a game. When I fall down, I’m gonna get up because I didn’t start out to play . . . I think we need to learn that.

 

Two Dimensional Living In A Three Dimensional World

I’m wondering . . . have we become a nation of two dimensional people attempting to live in a three dimensional world?

I think so . . . when I see these committees . . . the press . . . local people I run into everyday, it seems to me that I am living in a cartoon that has been crafted by a really bad cartoonist.

I see one sided reporters, questioners, and character assassinaters everywhere . . . especially while watching this current congressional circus concerning the judge.

These (leaders?) are so obviously two dimensional that it scares me to believe we the people have given them reign over us . . . unless, of course we are just like them. Sad to think that, but I believe we are.

Maybe we have become what happens to people when they lay critical thinking aside to join the ranks of perceived truth . . . whether believer or disbeliever doesn’t seem to matter either.

Critical thinking is a gift, but it demands we see both sides of every argument, especially when it comes to innocent vs guilty. . . especially when demanding a man’s head on a plate for something he has been accused of doing thirty five years ago and has no track record of ever doing it again.

Today? There is no way to believe anything that’s being said from anybody in this matter and if truth be known it probably lies somewhere in the middle.

BUT as the Left continues the march along their self righteous path . . . and the Right hang in opposition . . . they also have gone three dimensional behind our backs and without a whimper (I have heard) just approved a multi trillion dollar tax break for the corporation.

http://fortune.com/2018/09/28/house-3-8-trillion-tax-cut-passes/

Now whether that is a good thing or not, it should be up and open for discussion and a whole lot of critical thinking from both the left and the right side of the issue.  . . . This has (seemingly) been bypassed behind the smoke cloud of accusation and denial taking place before us.

So when you loose your VA benefits . . . your Medicare/Medicaid. When our social security and the rest of our social help programs gets cut and your car gets crushed in a bridge collapse for lack of maintenance. When all that happens think back to this current side show and remember the fun you had watching the cartoon.

Love Your Mother . . .

a27cf53c8f27f1e40117ac64d3c635f9--earth-day-planet-earth

I know God . . . I see him every time I look into a mirror . . . so do you . . . so does everybody that owns a beating heart . . . including my dog . . . including the acorns in my yard.

To know the mystery in totality is to know that which lies beyond the structure of time and space, we can’t do that . . . but we can see the mystery manifested in each of those things I just mentioned . . .

It’s easy until we begin to lose sight of the forest and fall in love with our favorite tree . . . until we deny our responsibility in all this . . . until we deny the effects of our creativity both personally and corporately . . . until we deny that the mystery gave us this Earth to be our living heaven and we have chosen instead to recreate it into our living hell.

As we go about our day praying for the future heaven . . . perhaps, just perhaps we may already be there. Instead of waiting for a new home in a new place, perhaps we ought to get busy cleaning up this one . . . it may be the only one we get!