Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Volume 2 Issue 2 February 2009

Live dreams are a network of
The right equipment,
Bold and parallel lines of development,
The story now,
The seeds of a person.
To gather one hundred percent I would say
Sleep on it
The finest intention,
With a whole lot of remember going on.
What teach him that?
Society gets to be a conforming bell.
Can this start with quality?
I would tell you in The Chipmunk Press,
Vision's lines and deep,
An excellent recovery folder.
I would say read it.
From First From Within
A column dedicated to exploring the role of dreams, voices, and visions in the integral yoga.

By Douglas McElheny

Those of you who read the last issue of The Chipmunk Press know that Donny contributed an article about anger. While he was in the process of writing that article I received this line from the inner voice:

I unpolish anger.

This I felt was a call for me to work more on my own problems with anger. So I tried to be more conscious on that morning and was surprised to find that, under the surface, I felt that I had a right to be angry and to express anger as a way of asserting myself or getting what I want. I could see that these feelings were ‘polishing’ my anger, that is, they were shining it up with the lustre of legitimacy. To counter this I took the line’s advice and reminded myself that there is no justification for anger. As a result, I was able to keep myself from being carried away by the impulse to get angry (on that day at least).

So this is what the line meant for me and my process, but I also suspected that I had picked up on Donny’s process and what he was trying to convey in his article. He had told me himself that one of his primary goals was to point out how we wrongly legitimize anger and its expression. In light of that, it struck me that the line could be a nifty title for his article, so I thought I might offer it to him for that purpose.1 I thought it best however to wait until I had read the completed article before saying anything. If afterwards it didn’t seem like a fitting title then I would say nothing.

After reading the article though I had to admit that I thought it would be a very good title and better perhaps than the one Donny had chosen, which was The Anger I Found in a Poem. At first glance I couldn’t see much logic in the title that Donny had chosen. Sure, there was poetry in the article that addressed anger, but that was just a circumstance. The real aim of the article was “to question anger.”2 I realized however that Donny had gotten his title from the inner voice as well, so I knew better than to take it at face value. There was almost certainly another meaning behind it, but despite my efforts I was unable to figure out what that might be.3

As a result I was unsure whether it was appropriate or not to offer him the line. I was also hesitant because I could see that my motivations in the matter were mixed. On one side there was the more sincere desire to offer it to him because I knew he might like it and be grateful to use it. On the other side however I was vitally attached and identified with the line and wanted the vain gratification I would get if he were to (ahem) grace his article with something that came ‘from me’. Given that, I knew that there was a very real risk of the vital getting offended should he reject the title regardless of how politely he might do so. I also felt that Donny himself might have some type of vital reaction because he was attached to ‘his’ title. So in addition to one of us getting irked I also could also see the possibility of things degenerating into an argument.

You might be wondering why I didn’t just ask Donny about his interpretation of his title. Well to be honest, from what I remember that didn’t seem like a good idea to me, but I can’t now recall exactly why I felt that way. Most likely it was because I believed he might pick up on the fact that I had an unspoken reason for asking the question and would then press me about it. All I can say for sure though is that for whatever reason or reasons I felt my only two options were to offer it or not offer it. Looking at the situation objectively I felt that in the grand scheme of things it didn’t much matter if Donny’s article had the best or most appropriate title. It didn’t seem important enough to me to risk one of us or perhaps both of us having to deal with a vital reaction or worse, having the ugliness of an argument. So I decided I would just forget about it unless I got some kind of clear sign that I should bring it up.

It was difficult however to keep the issue completely out of my mind, and I found myself falling into the same repetitive trains of thought regarding it. I wasn’t anguishing about it by any means, and even to say I was mulling over it would be an exaggeration., but it was a nuisance so I was quite glad when this line came:

I don’t need to dress that page.

That was all I needed to hear. After that I was able to drop the issue completely and was no longer bothered by repetitive thoughts on the matter. But even though I was bailed out this time, the very real problem remains of the vital getting attached to things which come from my inner process. Like anything else I guess that will go in time if I keep working on it.
Recently it occurred to me that I haven’t spoken much about visions in From First, From Within. When I thought about why that was, I realized that in truth I don’t have as much of a handle on visions as I do on dreams and the inner voice. I honestly can’t make much out of most of the visions that I have. Even if the visions are quite clear they often slip away from me when I come up out of the light trance in which they occur. But even when I can remember the visions clearly I find that, like dreams, they often involve quite ordinary activities that don’t seem to have much of a symbolic meaning. They also often portray people in my life and seem to be giving insight into them or their lives but it’s usually in a way that’s quite hard to interpret or even if I can interpret it I can’t figure out how to use or apply the information. I do have a very good example though of a vision that gave some very thought provoking knowledge, and shows how visions can widen our consciousness and our outlook on the universe, even if only temporarily. Let me tell you the story.

About a week before this particular vision I watched a science fiction movie called Serenity. Both Donny and I found the movie to be quite enjoyable and Donny said that one of the things he liked about it was the fact that the characters were so well developed. He said that he suspected the movie was meant to be a lead-in to a television series. As it turned out he was inversely correct. Curious to find out more I did a google search and discovered that the movie Serenity had been preceded by a television show called Firefly that featured the same characters. The show had been canceled after just one season, but it had developed enough of a cult following that a movie had been produced to satisfy the fans and to wrap up some of the loose ends of the television show.

So here is the vision:

As the witness I can see this sort of ball made up of images of characters and scenes from the television show Firefly. There is light coming forth from the ball, but it is also partially covered by blotches and sinews of a black material that is trying to completely engulf it. I know (the way you just know things in dreams and visions) that this ball represents the life of the television show and that Death (represented by the black material) is trying to kill it. I realize it’s the love of the show’s fans that is keeping it alive even though the show has been canceled.

There were a lot of things I found interesting about this vision such as the fact that something like a television show really has a life of sorts and also the fact that the love of the show’s fans was keeping it alive. What really intrigued me though is what it shows about Death.

Before having this vision I hadn’t really related Death to anything except the death of living physical organisms. But now a light switched on in my head and I walked around for about a week marveling at the fact that Death really is responsible for the destruction of all forms and things, even a television show or an idea or (as Donny pointed out) even a state of consciousness. There were other results too. Looking at the world through the lens of this idea I found my mind more naturally and spontaneously regarding things in terms of universal processes and forces. In addition, the vital was excited by this idea, and as a result life and the world temporarily lost some of their normally mundane hue and seemed more vibrant and alive. Now I think its important to point out that this wasn’t my experience twenty-four hours a day. These things would come and go. I think its safe to say however that there was a general widening of the consciousness. The question is though: why did the vision have this effect?

Prior to the vision, if you had asked me if Death is responsible for the destruction of all forms and things my logical brain would have said, “Of course it is,” but it wouldn’t have had much impact on me. With the vision however I really saw this truth in a way that penetrated more deeply than a mere superficial intellectual understanding. I recently came across a quote from Sri Aurobindo where he discusses why visions have this effect. He says that:

The inner vision is an open door on higher planes of consciousness beyond the physical mind which gives room for a wider truth and experience to enter and act upon the mind.4

If this is indeed what happened with me, I think it would be correct to say that the result was what you might call a ‘realization’, but only on the level of ideas. It was not a realization in the spiritual sense of the word which would entail an actual and permanent change in consciousness. Now because the realization was only on the level of ideas the novelty of it wore off after a short time as it became just an ordinary part of my mental framework. I find its like that. Even the most extraordinary idea soon becomes old news and ceases to offer much excitement once it has been integrated. I suspect however that such realizations and their results have a cumulative effect of which we are largely unconscious. It seems to me that every time we have a widening of the consciousness for whatever reason or for whatever duration it takes a little chip out of the foundation of our separative identity. It just happens so gradually we can’t observe it, or even if we can observe it the process seems to be so agonizingly slow that we find ourselves wondering how many years/decades/lifetimes things are going to take.5 With that in mind I’d like to end with a quote from Sri Aurobindo to help us in those times when hope is scarce and success seems unreachable.

When thou art able to see how necessary is suffering to final delight, failure to utter effectiveness and retardation to the last rapidity, then thou mayst begin to understand something, however faintly and dimly of God’s workings.6

Notes and References
1. I know from experience that you can receive things via the inner voice that can be used creatively by others. For example, Donny once received some lines that helped me to rewrite the end of a short story.
2. Duke, Donny. “The Anger I Found in a Poem”, The Chipmunk Press December , 2008
3. A couple of weeks after that issue of The Chipmunk Press went out, I asked Donny about his take on the title. He told me that in his poetry a person is often referred to as a work of art such as a poem, a painting, etc. So The Anger I Found in a Poem means ‘The anger I found in myself.”
4. Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga–Parts 2 and 3, Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library Volume 23, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, p. 933.
5. Though I haven’t personally experienced this, I do feel that it is possible to have a rather sudden or unexpected shift to a higher state of consciousness that is temporary and from which one returns to ego consciousness. Such an experience would obviously produce immediate and fundamental change in one’s identity structure even within the confines of the ego. I imagine though that even people like this, in most cases, would still have their share of slow and difficult change.
6. Sri Aurobindo, The Hour of God, Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library Volume 17, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry,p. 94.
Extracts taken from the poetry diary
The Strength to Change the Heart,
A Transformational Journal

By Donny Duke

At certain times it just hides us.
What we know fresh from God
Aligns us with the unknown.
I'm in this deep pocket.
The outer figures are a story's match.
Have access to unlimited material.
Would you broaden this arm?
I can't eat the limited
And still find time for You.
I'm startin' up the circle again
Where You are my center piece.
Help, the reader asks,
I can't borrow this.
Before awakening
You would need to ride a locomotive.
It's your center on faith.
Give him his line.
Wide the world-line said.
Carry this a little bit.
Where would be muscle back our history?
We haven't always been animals in flesh.
We came here a hope and a promise.
Though evil started out our days as walking men,
Or a branded touch,
Inevitability saw us rise.
This was no accident in time.
I am keen on motor skills.
Having become self-conscious men
We breached the world with our thoroughfare.
God's behavior
Was not our mounting close.
We come upon the world a branded claim,
And we engineer our strife.
Mars people said.
It's square one on us.
There needs to be a History lesson
Of the right attitude,
What we had and hid inside.
Are you gonna show up or not?
In our night's crawl,
At the vague beginnings of the race,
Large open lids looked out intah time.
There was a man,
The first from what I understand.
He killed.
To escape death
He just took off.
In this mountain hideaway
A seer's page was born.
He trained his body to relax,
And he listened.
Jacob will probably come.
It could've been Fredrick.
The listen page begins.
He played with the muse.
He doesn't
Have a fixed aim yet.
Well, divinity rose in him
To show him human worth.
He doesn't have a picture yet.
He holds open his stuff,
And in a moment that determined our future
He had a meeting with the Sun.
This held him open.
And he heard that...
Well what happened was...
He couldn't keep the vision.
No more his days alone.
He made a mistake.
He picked the wrong man
To buy with him.
What a boulder.
It will grow anyway.
Can't do.
There's so many pictures.
Relax your timetable.
I need a translation.
It pushes you away from wrong.
Became the sole reason.
Great defeat sat upright.
Gotta get outta here.
Let's get to the point:
Became the long run.
Became a morality meter.
To surpass ourselves,
To go beyond the human measure,
To make the journey to our divinity,
Just became
The worship of stony Gods
And the rule to be good.
Now it's up to you.
Will you lift here
And cross thunder
To pick up our purpose lost in time?
Showed it in History.
A handful of heros.
Itemize daddy.
This is the reach for which I wrote.
What were we talking about?
I get lost so sometimes.
See, what I told yah, only good night.
I'm having to keep my hands clean.
I use up a rifle
I get to go up.
That's your husband,
Your ordinary kind of husband.
Come 'ere.
It's not
It helps further out our journey
So that we can iron out God.
It's medicine.
It's not our goal.
Nonetheless give out progress.
You'd find me here
Ticket agent
So you can see
Round out purpose.
You missed out
Captaining morality.
The debris from your report
Nailed 'im.
Get it over with,
Your rendezvous in my office
And find your own town's worth.
Come on,
Flexibility see?

Poetry will lift you out of form
If its center can create.
Man, you wanted to watch it.
Ok, I just wanna watch it from my hotel room.
I don't think you're gonna go down this road.
Can see the man he is waking inside.
Keep your voices down.
Yeah, leave 'im alone.
Great was revision of standard guitar.
Have it put you at ten.
You can have it.
That side
A focus is done, you sit in your room and you do it.
I would've diapered-lab for you.
Come on kid, don't scream.
People's coming under the Buddhist tradition.
It teaches you not to fight.
It teaches you not to worry.
There at the correct hold him
To go over here
And buy zero.
You have a golden temple of worth,
But can you find it?
It's not even real.
Our answer to the dying.
I'll come on a joy,
But see it for what it is,
A skeleton of nothing.
The Buddha found his answer.
He came intah Silent Mind.
American History,
It's useless American History.
You don't need to check it out anymore.
The world is an illusion,
A meaningless tale.
In Silent Mind
The world is not real.
It's a trick of the hat think,
Because you don't think anymore.
All is waiting still,
But you see only illusion's snare.
It has you by the corners.
A bare minimum has been gained,
A thin disguise of nothingness.
You would go out this way.
You don't believe it.
The rest of you is a smile
Of something warm.
In such silence
You can almost see a form,
What lies behind everything
Not wanting to be known,
The stark Absolute.
How did it get there,
And what is its intention?
Being simply aware,
With no pinpoint location,
These questions do not rise.
That's your exit.
It's Nirvana you've beheld.
That you would have a sense of home.
Buddha didn't question
The great leads of thoughtless life.
He was only awareness.
There was no center of himself
On which to bank a thought.
Yet great thoughts came out of him
Like fired from a gun.
What executed this,
Become aware by it?
Negative and positive,
Multiply the answer negative.
You never know.
I hope kiddo
You can go for something else,
For something.
Gloria's dead.
She's just a walking image.
She's missed the gate
To the beyond.
Her bliss didn't want anything,
And she saw no bridge
To the opposite side.
You did?
You don't have to be so careful
To interpret everything
As unreal.
No, English.
What kind of English you speak?
You speak no-English?
I'm having fine catch your problem
Like a warning.
Be cool,
The goal I forgot.
I reached this middle phase.
We're just behind Dhina,
We're just behind him.

Angelo's stomach was about to blow up at this point.
So was Angelo.
He couldn't see reason deep.
God was some moral figure
Hating sin.
It would be a beggar's lot
To bow to Him.
A new picture arose on the screen.
To become enlightened,
What does that mean?
And he singled out his purpose.
Life was just a fabricated lie,
A cheat and hue upon the senses.
He'd known it all along.
There we find our reason's chase,
A purposeless vast.
A dime to remember
The story true,
But he'd curled in his thinking.
Escape seized hold of his heart.
Am I rotten eggs here?
You're on the hammer down view.
Can I get back into the ashram?
It's a measured pace.
You'd need your ticket.
Wait around the edges some.
Open up this hillside,
Where you and God live alone.
They're all dead.
They may not be here,
The story-Gods.
I wanna rest a minute.
I don't wanna deal with You.
Go sit somewhere else.
God has no form,
But He's closer to you than your eyelids.
Or you hold a form,
But see His no-form through.
Silence is there on the margin.
I'll bring this out.
Jump in this riverboat,
I mean when you're ready.
How many rivers on a page?
How many pulled to ski party?
She joke boy, get you.
Oh please Charles stay with me,
Oh please darling.
The location you find of Silent Mind,
And you ask the Captain for return.
One thing we should know:
Any person of any faith
Can join this expedition.
It's a passageway to our grand design,
Our ticket through the universe.
We bridge infinity on this silence,
Holding dear our deep purpose.
This is our mounting towards Supermind.
On this thin edge it's built.
Am I hollering over your sight?
It's not a wayfarer's dream.
This is where reality meets the page.
Five forty-one,
Twas my personal answer spoke.
There is discovery here.

* * * *

Close to reality.
I'm pinpointing locations.
It's errors are our nights.
What's wrong?
It's not censored with us,
A pain in the world sees.
Did you know fish feel it?
I'm looking for somebody.
Can't find Him.
You know He's got a cosmic hand.
He just might not be listening sometimes,
The immortal Supermind.
That is a hole in your pouch.
I'm planning fix can manage.
The tallest ship was at anchor.
I want my chair please.
Anyone could have known,
But it works for both of us:
I see Him as a living game
Extended in time
But also feeling
Timeless measure.
What's decisive about this?
What did he say?
Supermind is a landscape all its own.
To raise His both flags:
Individual expressed in existence
And a timeless spaceless One.
He manages both fields
And a third:
He is all these existences.
It gives Him perfect relation.
Can He stand alone?
I'm not hungry.
He made reference to the fact He's not hungry.
Can it be He spoke?
There's a listening silence.

* * * *

I'm not gonna worry.
Everything's arranged perfectly.
This is supramental
In everybody.
Your name on it.
It orders the universe
Working out the principle whole.
It's a whole arranger.
This is perfectly expressed.
To our minds we see error and strife.
These are the superficial movements of the vaster plan.
A deep network of forces
Bring her,
Bring everything
Into a combined truth,
A harmony of sufficient lines,
Where they are going in school.
You would have to understand relation,
How as the inmost thing is expressed
A harmony is arranged in order:
All things together expressing their truth
Where the inmost is concerned.
Come, take a universe to do it,
Time and Space causality.
Here we are at One
Alive in details.
You're in the wash.
Now you see them.
The world is being arranged right in front of yah,
And you know its harmony swell.
This is your vision of God,
Real, concrete, and whole,
Wonderful to look at.
Purified to stand existence in that ray supernal
You look closely in the Sun.

* * * *

Made children look like ghosts oh boy.
Made children get out of the circle.
There, I had nothing to do with it.
What am I scraping here?
The average fact of children,
Their existence
As society measures it.
In a way I bespoke,
But it was God bespoke.
There's a soul in us.
Would that be the space,
Individual thinking mind?
Zero why not?
We're transparency.
Who can see the smoke for the bale?
We get up from our nap.
There soul we just were.
I'm glad I caught you.
A big backyard for my mind,
I try here oh.
Our children are walking strangers.
We teach them to enact the play.
This is done subconsciously.
You're not interested
In our dream behind.
I was very popular.
Twas outer vision that spoke.
Secret states
An inner kingdom wore
Are a hushed memory.
Come within a mile of me,
And your parents'll get worried.
Look you are this tree.
No, give it a name tag.
It's identity we fault the most.
There separation breeds lines.
Transpose this on a smile.
I'm not empty yet.
Cram this in your brain:
This is turf son,
A territory all marked off.
You'd need to have respect for little leaves,
But you know all things are one:
A better way of puttin' it.
Why would God carry the whole
In all these many names?
And why would He build a star
In all this emptiness of Space,
And put our lives here?
Questions our kids should ask.
Please tell me I'm dreaming.
I wouldn't see so cut off.
A child is a rightful thought
In folded principles.
It is their fellowship play.
That last and third wave
Is the greatest son,
But it can't be near.
Your face shall touch that sky
In the fullness of your years.
This is the supramental science.
One minute.
Set to become elk
The children of the family man
When we've grown tall enough to climb.
How instinct.
A box you climb out of.
A mold you outgrow.
This is supramental law.
I'm a labor on worth.
Our children sleep here.

(If you’d like to read more of my verse but written not for the Yoga specifically but for the world at large –socio/political/spiritual– or have some inspired poetry of your own to submit I have a non-literary poetry ezine of instrumental verse: