Beauty’s Reign


I submit this music video as an introduction to and example of ego activism.

Ego Activism – dynamic social action using one’s creativity to undermine the dominance of the human ego in the world, one’s own ego as well as the ego in general. It has the aim to quicken human evolution out of this ego stage of identity. It recognizes the primacy of the ego as the root of the problems in the human condition, and while it may address individual problems, such as climate change, sexual assault, and mass murder, to name pressing ones today, it sees the solution in not giving primacy to the ego but to a more integral and unified human identity based on oneness, on the part of everybody, not just the people manifesting this wrong or that, their own ego being the primary ego the activist aims to surpass. It does not point the finger at the behavior of others without three fingers pointing back at the activist, and when it does point the finger, it does so with compassion and understanding, for one’s self as well the ones being pointed out, keeping out of its attitude self-righteousness, judging, blaming, anger, hatred, and violence. It engages people with sincerity, vulnerability, beauty, and a knowledge of truth, truth not being any religious name or formula but what’s actually going on. While pacifism is its preferred mode of action, it’s not adverse to the activist physically defending themselves and others if the genuine need arises. Self-sacrifice, however, is a major characteristic of ego activism, not however, the kind that surrenders to the condemnation and punishment of the world, which would be surrendering to the ego and its methods, but the kind whereby the activist is willing to put themselves at great risk in conducting the action, not foolish, impulsive risk that has harm to the activist or death as its probable or certain outcome, but wise, calculated risk that has both the needs of the activist and the world at heart and in harmony whatever the outcome.

Beauty’s Reign

Verse 1

d               a         g
It’s been a long time,
a
long, long, long time,
g                              a                    d     g
everything that’s sung and in one line.
d                            a               g
Work up slowly your way to it.
d                                   g                   a
And the folk song’s driftin’ on a better day.
d                          a                  g
The folk song’s liftin’ on a inner ray:
d                g        a           g              d
the many splendors of beauty’s reign.
g                a        d              g
Here the heart wants to share
g                        a                       d
snow covered music for my kind,
g                                        a                                      d
on the wings of the time, on the wings of a dove, on the wings of love.
a                           g
So many changes for my kind,
a                    d
everything to do with the divine,
a                              g
everything that’s true,
d                      a                       g
beauty’s ray, beauty’s role, beauty’s reign,
d              a                      g                       d
beauty’s ray, beauty’s role, beauty’s reign.

Verse 2

d a  g
Let go,
a
let, let, let go.
g a      d       g
Land wide release.
d             a                   g
You are llamada up above. (Spanish, pronounced ‘yamada’)
d                                   g                   a
And the folk song’s driftin’ on a better day.
d                          a                  g
The folk song’s liftin’ on a inner ray:
d                g        a           g              d
the many splendors of beauty’s reign.
g                a        d              g
Here the heart wants to share
g                        a                       d
snow covered music for my kind,
g                                        a                                      d
on the wings of the time, on the wings of a dove, on the wings of love.
a                           g
So many changes for my kind,
a                    d
everything to do with the divine,
a                              g
everything that’s true,
d                      a                       g
beauty’s ray, beauty’s role, beauty’s reign,
d              a                      g                       d
beauty’s ray, beauty’s role, beauty’s reign.

Verse 3

d            a  g
A time of change,
a
change, change, change, change,
g                a                               d              g
when the world pipe knows only one thing.
d                    a                      g
You have to know it very well.
d                                   g                         a
And the folk song is tempted by an adverse fate.
d                            a                                     g
The folk song is driftin’ wrong on the Titan’s urge.
d                   g  a   g                  d
He saw my sun, moon, and stars.
g      a   d            g
Put all change back.
g                          a                             d
But in the play there’s a process aware of,
d                g        a                           d
Look out of the psychic being’s urge.
a                         g
And that weakness was no longer,
a                             d
and that weakness was no longer.
a                     g
It shattered not
d                      a                       g
beauty’s ray, beauty’s role, beauty’s reign,
d              a                      g                       d
beauty’s ray, beauty’s role, beauty’s reign.

Ending

D          A              G
This is from the sun (3xs):
g              a                      d                       g
beauty’s ray, beauty’s role, beauty’s reign,
d              a                      g                       d
beauty’s ray, beauty’s role, beauty’s reign.

The Hostile On Top Of Me

predator cloak

In my last blog I gave an example of a dream where I feel I had an actual encounter with a hostile being, that is, a being of conscious darkness. I have another example I wanted to share in this post.

This dream happened quite a number of years ago when Donny and I were living in Cusco Peru. We stayed there for a span of months and shortly after arriving we befriended a group of holistic doctors there. Two of these doctors, Carlos and Luis, had a small apartment in Cusco, but on the weekends went to their homes and families in the small town of Urubamba nearby. Donny was a frequent weekend guest at Carlos’ house, and I went less frequently to stay with Luis. Luis had four children who were all teenagers or in their early twenties. One of them was a daughter, Chani, if I remember her name correctly.

The first few times I stayed with Luis and his family, I slept on the floor in an unused dental examination room. On one of those early visits I had a dream I was there on the floor in that room and Chani was on top of me, but fully clothed. She lowered her face to mine and we started kissing, but the experience was rather unpleasant, as she was moving her tongue around rapidly and violently in a circle. I opened my eyes and instead of Chani there was a being like the alien from the movie Predator in the sense that it was transparent, but I could still make it out and see its features to some extent. It was humanoid, but more bizarre and alien looking than anything Hollywood has ever managed to come up with. What I remember most clearly about it though was a small beak like thing it had for a mouth that had a tongue like thing that was circling around the outside of the beak the same way it had been doing in my mouth just few seconds before. Then I woke up and it was either still dark out or dawn was just beginning while in the dream the room had been fully lit.

If I remember correctly I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that the being I was kissing and that had appeared to me in Chani’s form was a hostile vital being. I also realized I had probably been in the cataleptic state back in my body, yet still in the dream state when the encounter occurred. The whole thing made a strong impression on me and I’ve never forgotten it over the years. I’ve also had other dreams where I was kissing someone and there was something unpleasant about it, -usually it’s something they’re doing with their tongue, but sometimes their mouth has a really gross taste- and I’ve wondered if at those times I was kissing another one of these beings in disguise. I honestly don’t know though nor do I know if it’s possible to have intimacy in a dream with one of these beings and have it be marvelous. I just know what I experienced that one time.

Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have spoken at length about these types of vital beings in their talks and writings. According to their experience there seems to be a whole spectrum of them from fallen divine beings to small mischievous entities that like to cause accidents. And some classes of these beings it appears are actually spawned from our own lower desires while we’re still alive or from parts of our own vital makeup after we die.1 And for all these types of vital beings their food is the energy we give off during lower vital movements such as lust, anger, depression etc., and they’re pushing our buttons and setting up situations both in dream and waking life to get us to give off these types of energies. My feeling on the matter is that if our eyes were suddenly unsealed and we saw how pervasive their influence is, how much they’re pulling our strings, not just individually but collectively, we’d all be in for one hell of a shock. In his epic Savitri, Sri Aurobindo speaks about their pervasiveness in a very striking passage. He tells us:

Their whispers come, an inarticulate force,
Awake in mind an echoing thought or word,
To their sting of impulse the heart’s sanction draw,
And in that little Nature do their work
And fill its powers and creatures with unease.
Its seed of joy they curse with sorrow’s fruit,
Put out with error’s breath its scanty lights
And turn its surface truths to falsehood’s ends,
Its small emotions spur, its passions drive
To the abyss or through the bog and mire:
Or else with a goad of hard dry lusts they prick,
While jogs on devious ways that nowhere lead
Life’s cart finding no issue from ignorance.
To sport with good and evil is their law;
Luring to failure and meaningless success,
All models they corrupt, all measures cheat,
Make knowledge a poison, virtue a pattern dull
And lead the endless cycles of desire
Through semblances of sad or happy chance
To an inescapable fatality.
All by their influence is enacted there.2

Now I think it’s necessary to point out that in this passage he’s describing their action and influence in the vital planes or the ‘Kingdoms of the Little Life’ as he puts it. As the passage continues however he goes on to point out they’re doing the same thing here in our material world.

Nor there alone is their empire or their role:
Wherever are soulless minds and guideless lives
And in a small body self is all that counts,
Wherever love and light and largeness lack,
These crooked fashioners take up their task.
To all half-conscious worlds they extend their reign.
Here too these godlings drive our human hearts,
Our nature’s twilight is their lurking-place:
Here too the darkened primitive heart obeys
The veiled suggestions of a hidden Mind
That dogs our knowledge with misleading light
And stands between us and the Truth that saves.
It speaks to us with the voices of the Night:
Our darkened lives to greater darkness move;
Our seekings listen to calamitous hopes.
A structure of unseeing thoughts is built
And reason used by an irrational Force.3

Discussing this article with Donny, he pointed out again something we’ve talked about before, and that’s how the knowledge of how much these ‘crooked fashioners’ are involved in our lives and in all the harm that’s done on this planet is something that has to come out on a societal level and be looked at squarely in the face if we’re going to effectively deal with human wrongdoing and evolve to a state beyond these hostile influences. In science fiction there’s the common theme of humanity uniting to face a common alien invasion, and I can see how this knowledge of hostile forces and beings manipulating and controlling us could serve as a catalyst, or one of them at least, that will give humanity a reason to unite and a common enemy to fight against. This would be a battle of a different kind though since the fight would to free ourselves from their influence, the kingdom conquered our own purified nature and we would all be allies trying to help each other win that personal and at the same time collective war. I honestly don’t expect to see this sort of shift in my lifetime, but I do think it’s coming. How it will all be played out though remains to be seen.

Notes and References

  1. One place where the Mother discusses this particular type of vital entity is in Questions and Answers 1950-51, pg 192
  2. Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, pg 152-153
  3. Ibid, pg 153

For Janet

13333014_587330781447482_9028336923679989257_n

This morning my friend Janet’s long ordeal with cancer finally came to an end.  The last time I saw her a few days ago in hospice I read her a passage from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri about the soul.  I share it here as a tribute to her but also for the benefit of the reader.  It’s long but well worth the time to read.

A being stood immortal in transience,

Deathless dallying with momentary things,

In whose wide eyes of tranquil happiness

Which pity and sorrow could not abrogate

Infinity turned its gaze on finite shapes:

Observer of the silent steps of the hours,

Eternity upheld the minute’s acts

And the passing scenes of the Everlasting’s play.

In the mystery of its selecting will,

In the Divine Comedy a participant,

The Spirit’s conscious representative,

God’s delegate in our humanity,

Comrade of the universe, the Transcendent’s ray,

She had come into the mortal body’s room

To play at ball with Time and Circumstance.

A joy in the world her master movement here,

The passion of the game lighted her eyes:

A smile on her lips welcomed earth’s bliss and grief,

A laugh was her return to pleasure and pain.

All things she saw as a masquerade of Truth

Disguised in the costumes of Ignorance,

Crossing the years to immortality;

All she could front with the strong spirit’s peace.

But since she knows the toil of mind and life

As a mother feels and shares her children’s lives,

She puts forth a small portion of herself,

A being no bigger than the thumb of man

Into a hidden region of the heart

To face the pang and to forget the bliss,

To share the suffering and endure earth’s wounds

And labour mid the labour of the stars.

This in us laughs and weeps, suffers the stroke,

Exults in victory, struggles for the crown;

Identified with the mind and body and life,

It takes on itself their anguish and defeat,

Bleeds with Fate’s whips and hangs upon the cross,

Yet is the unwounded and immortal self

Supporting the actor in the human scene.

Through this she sends us her glory and her powers,

Pushes to wisdom’s heights, through misery’s gulfs;

She gives us strength to do our daily task

And sympathy that partakes of others’ grief

And the little strength we have to help our race,

We who must fill the role of the universe

Acting itself out in a slight human shape

And on our shoulders carry the struggling world.

This is in us the godhead small and marred;

In this human portion of divinity

She seats the greatness of the Soul in Time

To uplift from light to light, from power to power,

Till on a heavenly peak it stands, a king.

In body weak, in its heart an invincible might,

It climbs stumbling, held up by an unseen hand,

A toiling spirit in a mortal shape.

Here in this chamber of flame and light they met;

They looked upon each other, knew themselves,

The secret deity and its human part,

The calm immortal and the struggling soul.

Then with a magic transformation’s speed

They rushed into each other and grew one.

From Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri pgs 526-527

 

So You Wanna Get a Hold of Human Evil? – Synchronicities With The Wasp

Wasp colors by quinet, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  quinet 

Recently I wrote a post on how my dreams used the symbol of the wasp to draw attention to my anger.   Interestingly, the day after posting that article, the wasp entered my life again, but not in a dream. Rather, these were synchronic encounters in waking life that happened in conjunction with strong movements of anger that day.   Events in the waking world can also be our teacher just like a dream can and this example really illustrates that point. Let me tell you what happened.

The daily operations of the chamber of commerce where I work are mainly handled by my co-worker Rhonda and I, and this necessarily involves a lot of collaboration and hashing things out. In general, Rhonda and I get along very well, and I find her very easy to work with overall.   Sometimes though, as in any close relationship, vital reactions come up in both of us that aren’t voiced or shown on the surface. Most of the time I can just drop these reactions, but at other times they’re played out inside in thoughts and emotions that either run their course until they die out or I successfully reject them.

On this particular day Rhonda wanted me to add our business expo to a dropdown list on the chamber’s website. I didn’t say no; I just responded that normally we only have the really big events on there. Then, rather uncharacteristically, she said in a rather snippy way, “It’s becoming a big event and it needs to be up there!” Well my vital didn’t like basically being given an order, and a smoldering resentment opened up like a black hole inside me.  I was able to detach from it, but it got in a bit, so it didn’t subside immediately. My vital wanted to lash back and thoughts on how to do so were coming up. I just tried to ignore them while at the same time acknowledging to myself that she was right.   We are trying to grow that event so it made sense to add it to the drop down list.

Shortly after this I had to leave the office to go and tidy up our mobile welcome center, which had been out of commission for a while. As soon as I got there I encountered a wasp flying around the door of the trailer. I remembered how the anger had risen earlier, but I was more concerned with avoiding getting stung. I got out the can of wasp spray we keep inside, but it flew off and didn’t return. When I got back to the office I noticed a little of the anger reaction still lingered from earlier, but it wasn’t really a problem.

I would, however, encounter a wasp again later that evening when I was taking our dog Rosie for a walk. During the walk, I saw a plastic grocery bag lying on a neighbor’s lawn, so I picked it up. As I was examining the bag, I suddenly spotted a wasp clinging to it and quickly dropped the bag and crushed the wasp under my shoe. Encountering the wasp again like that struck me as quite synchronic. I wondered how it might apply to my situation at that moment, and I thought about how I often get annoyed and impatient with the way Rosie takes her takes her good sweet time sniffing and investigating things instead of taking going to the bathroom like I want her too. So I tried to be conscious of that and resist that impulse to get irritated with her.

Then when I got home, I noticed some outside lights we have set up on an outdoor timer were switched on almost two hours early.1  I know there’s a button on the timer you can hit to turn it off or on manually and override the programming, and I figured that somehow the timer had been manually switched on. So I hit the button to switch it off, but when I did so the screen flickered erratically back and forth for a second or two between On and Off before it finally turned off.   That didn’t seem right to me and made me wonder if something was wrong with the timer.

I went out back to our lanai as my mom and dad were coming up from sitting on the dock. I mentioned what had happened and told mom I thought the timer might be faulty. Without warning my dad exploded into a short rant about how stupid the timers were, and how nobody sees the lights, etc. He was obviously testy so I tread carefully around him until he’d seemed to settle down later.   I figured the second synchronic encounter with the wasp had been foreshadowing dad’s outburst, and I think it was indeed doing so, but there was one more thing that was going to push my button before the night was over.

Later that evening mom asked me to vacuum and wash her car the next day before she left in the afternoon. Dad almost always handles washing our cars, but for some reason she really wanted it done the next day. Like Rhonda earlier, she was basically giving me an order and also did it in a snippy way. That got my goat, but I still tried to tell her in a nice way that was fine, but I’d just like to use the pressure washer and would need dad’s help to start it. Then she made a comment that all I’d need is a bucket and soap and that ticked me off even more. I have lower back problems, and anyone who does knows how difficult that can make just about anything. The kind of bending over I’d need to do to wash the car with a bucket and soap wouldn’t be easy for me, and she knows that.   The thing is though, in general I just stoically endure the back pain and don’t complain about it. Because of that, sometimes mom forgets my limitations and has even said that she sometimes forgets because I don’t complain.   My mind understands that, but my vital was not happy with her for forgetting.

I went in my room for a few minutes and thought things over. Then I went back out to the kitchen, and though the anger was still kicking around underneath, I was able to calmly explain again that I’d be happy to wash the car, but I wasn’t going to do it without the pressure washer and needed dad’s help to start it.2 Then I explained to her how it’s not easy for me to do it with just a bucket of water and soap, because in order to keep from bending over I have to constantly keep going down on my knees (I’m not flexible enough to squat) and getting back up again. I explained to her I could do it with just the bucket and soap but I’d need a cushion or something to put under my knees. At that point she just said forget it, but I reiterated that I could do it with the pressure washer if not the next day then definitely on Friday. I never did end up washing the car either the next day or Friday, since dad thought it was a waste of time with all the rain in the forecast. I did however vacuum the car the next day.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, this example is interesting because it shows how symbols can meet us through synchronicity in the waking world as well as in dreams. Going farther we can see that these kinds of synchronicities give a glimpse into the intricate interconnectedness and interpenetration of all things. They help us see that there’s a hidden meaning and intelligence in the cosmos, one that informs and presides over its unfolding behind the mask of apparent unconsciousness in the universe’s outward appearance.

Another thing worth drawing attention to is the way that, in the evening, the anger first manifested in my dad and then later in me. This shows how things like anger are a vibration that’s ‘in the air’, and can invade more than one person or even be passed from person to person. That may have happened also with Rhonda and I earlier, but it’s less obvious.

In closing, I’ll say that I believe these little synchronic glimpses are just the tip of a massive iceberg of interconnectedness that we can only truly appreciate from a higher or cosmic state of consciousness. It’s too stupendous to fit in the littleness of the ego. What would such a consciousness be like? I don’t know, but this passage from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri casts some light on that, and seems like an appropriate way to end this post:

Interpreting the universe by soul signs
He read from within the text of the without:
The riddle grew plain and lost its catch obscure.
A larger lustre lit the mighty page.
A purpose mingled with the whims of Time,
A meaning met the stumbling pace of Chance
And Fate revealed a chain of seeing Will;
A conscious wideness filled the old dumb Space.
In the Void he saw throned the Omniscience supreme.3

Notes and References

  1. Interestingly this was one of the two timers that were mentioned in my previous post on the wasp.
  2. My back also prevents me from pulling the starter cord, so I need my dad to start the pressure washer for me.
  3. Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Volume 34 Savitri, pg 76