For those who follow me here – first thank you. We have finished Inward Training, and now are ready to move on to the next step. As someone whose passion is exploring the universe of thought and wisdom, it seems the nuances found in how it all comes together as if there is a grand master plan, is what I am here to explore. It is as if I AM so that I can illustrate who WE ARE in and through the thoughts and words that flow through both me and you. As a continuum of the transcendental that is in and flows through everything found in nature. Once found it is who we are yet to become. It’s writing something then afterwards asking yourself… where did that come from.
I wrote To be eternally awakened almost twenty-five years ago, as a part of an as yet unpublished manuscript entitled “My travels with Lieh Tzu – Interpolations along the Way”.
To be eternally awakened
How can we know who we come into the world to become? Perhaps there is a heritage of those we might call metaphysicians. As we learn to trust our instincts and the spontaneity given to us as each moment unfolds. If it is as Lieh Tzu says: “To live and die at the right time is a blessing from heaven and not to live when it is time to live and not to die when it is time to die is a punishment from heaven, then is not our destiny predetermined?Why should some be favored over others? Why should some get life and death at the right time and others live and die when the time is not right? Know that it is neither other things nor ourselves that gives life when we live and death when we die as our destiny unfolds. Nor that wisdom or our endeavors can lead the way.
I am reminded of my visit last October to Huashan Mountain and what is known as Lao Tzu’s Blast furnace, on a small peak to the west of the summit of the South Peak that is by tradition, the place where Lao Tzu was to have made pills for immortality. There is a legend that says the monkey king was shut in the furnace for wrecking to much havoc in heaven.
Could the unfolding of our life’s events be but an endless sequence that comes to pass of themselves by way of heaven? Indifferent to the turn of events coming forward as the unbroken wheel or circle of life. Coming in, living each moment to its fullest then going out again. Could this be the way of heaven?
With no offense to heaven and earth the ultimate cardinal rule. How could the sage not go along? Continuing to clear his mind and open his heart only for eternal truths yet to unfold. His wisdom finding no time to question. Just as the demons are thwarted as they can find no footholds to follow. Each person finding truths solely for himself in silence and serenity. Without attachment, only the peace found as heaven escorts us as we go and welcomes us as we come back again.
Embrace only those things that assist in the awakening of your eternal spirit. If our destiny can be foretold as we travel from one lifetime to the next, then should we not remain awake to the events that show us the way? Living the proper way, can death matter as we are simply waiting to be born again. 6/11/1995
(The above six pictures are all from Huashan Mountain in Shaanxi Province)
Enhancing the flow – as we acknowledge ourselves with/as the conduit of universal energy. Who are we… once we begin to see beyond human emotions and ourselves? Perhaps for myself – it is continuing as a storyteller. Refining my own journey by telling the stories of the past to others. Conveying a chronicle of how
thought and philosophy endures over time. Similar to what came to be known as “The Songs of the South”, a series of ancient Chinese poems first compiled in the second century AD. Its poems, originating from the state of Chu and rooted in Shamanism. The earliest poems were composed in the 4th century BC and almost half of them are traditionally ascribed to Qu Yuan. With even my own initial poetry all those years ago resembling that of
Telling our own story through what could be described as “thoughtless action”, along with the stories of those who preceded us. Who were they? Who are we? What was their eternal message they would have wanted to be conveyed as universal flow of energy that serves to connect us all together? Always teaching that there is no separation between anything the ancient Chinese described as “the ten thousand things”. Beyond thoughts of religion, even philosophy, except as a means of awakening our spirit that travels as if unknowingly through time with nothing in our knapsack, but an eternal quest for freedom, tranquility, and wisdom. What more could serve to define us? Who is it that gets the final say and word except time, ourselves, and eternity itself – and in the end can it have mattered just the same?
I am reminded of what was called “the beat generation” of the 60’s and flirtations with transcendentalism which I seemed to have caught the tail end of… Coming from SW Missouri and Joplin, it’s not hard to understand why it seemed to pass me by. Seeing beyond myself was easy, knowing how to express it became my lifelong journey. Now being closer to the end than the beginning, I can now see where it all might end or lead. With a beard and long hair others may see me as just being an “old hippy” I take that as a compliment, but in reality, having a sense of coming from a much older indefinable generation. As if I am on a sabbatical just coming and going through time observing and adding my own comments to report back that I have learned along the way. Or as Alan Watts would remind us… we are simply finding our way back home to our source. It is as though our presence records the depth of our spiritual nature.
When we truly awaken to this truth, we don’t just experience “being present” we begin to recognize presence as the tangible substance that becomes our true essence. It is the road or path we take in getting there that remains our challenge.
With natural tendencies toward being a universalist, maybe as exemplified by Plato, Rumi, Emerson or as Lao Tzu, Siddhartha, or Chan Buddhist. Simply because it is my pleasure to serve the eternal spirit in the best way I know how. As if entering the flow that is never-ending… Referring to the word agape which means – continuing with my mouth wide open, as in wonder, surprise, or eagerness with my own life visioning process combining all I have gathered to date.
As if aspiring only to be a sponge, never being born or as if I will never die, ultimately to return to live again with dragons, or even as Black Elk described them… the Grandfathers.
Black Elk depicted here as leaving his parents to join the Grandfathers. Drawing by Standing Bear.
Constantly tapping into my soul and the innate wisdom I have learned from my traveling companions. Expressing as who we are in the universal flow as pure conscious as if streaming, undivided from all that ever was. How is it we chose to go forward?
There seems to be an internal truism, formula, even a mantra within that guides us… singing to our subconscious. Always only transcendent, finding our own innate natural rhythm through the words of eternity we speak. Bits and pieces flowing by and through us with the sole purpose of getting our attention telling us to wake up and express them maybe a little better this time. Acceptance of who we are the first step in the journey we are here to continue. When this mantra becomes us – our spirit guides appear and we instinctively know to follow.
Putting this into words – first and foremost, we accept and release all doubt as to our origins and continue on an evolutionary path with no hindrance or allow anything from stopping our eternal growth. We release our life energy in only positive and perfect divine ideas, imagination, and wisdom of the ages that flow through us. I remain receptive as if waiting patiently for life’s expression. I listen, articulate, formulate from within divine ideas and follow-up with divine action. I manifest and relay this conscious receptivity to my indigenous natural environment. My ideas come from ancient beginnings that are waiting as ideas with their own beneficial presence and nature. Everything I do on the outside reflects my inner true nature. The universal presence expresses as myself.
Inner cultivation/bliss, freedom to choose in thrust and trust of universal expression is my choice. Awareness and mindfulness add to a sense of expansion of freedom of my soul and spirit’s eternal enfoldment. With this, I have a willingness to go there as the unlimited dimension of expression of myself. Listening – focusing – intuition – with unprecedented purpose and freedom as my signature as I engage. The universe expresses through me as continually emerging spiritual energy in and of changing consciousness. We, our soul, following a thread that exists among many threads through eternity. In transit we return again and again and again, or as the Hindus might say to a place beyond name and form that leaves any thought of theology behind.
That we are here as an extension of the universal flow of divine energy to articulate a vision that is not singular, is ever-present and re-occurring. It seems to be our tendency to loo for role-models. For the Taoist its Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu’s Perfected Man. I am reminded of the Sioux medicine /holy man Black Elk whose vivid memories of a vision of his people’s suffering and an end to a way of life they had lived for hundreds of years. Ultimately becoming a catholic catechist, as if this was the only avenue left to him to fulfill his dream. I am such a big fan of Black Elk, that my next entry here will be devoted almost entirely to him.
The Dog Vision: Butterflies and Dragonflies in the dream of Black Elk, they represent the Lakota people. Drawing by Standing Bear .
Learning to modify and adding to what is existing narrative – to contribute to an undestractable attention to reality – to what is. To define and expand the vision already articulated as universal love. Perhaps even referencing the writer Hemann Hesse the German-born poet, novelist, and painter who stressed in his best-known works, that included my own favorite Siddhartha, that exploring our search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality is why we are here.
Or as the character Larry in Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, who wanted to think out his thoughts to the very end. Continuing that if he ever acquires enough wisdom, he wanted to be wise enough to know what to do with it. Finally, thinking maybe when he was through… he would have something people would be glad to take and build on for themselves. The title The Razor’s Edge, is taken from a translation of a verse in the Katha Upanishad (the Upanishad is the legendary story of a little boy, Nachiketa – the son of a sage, who meets Yama (the Hindu deity of death). Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge, Atman (Soul, Self) and moksha (liberation), with the book beginning as: “The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to ‘enlightenment’ is hard.” As if trying to relay the “perfection of wisdom”. Even Ralph Waldo Emerson credited Katha Upanishad for the central story at the end of his essay Immortality, as well as his poem “Brahma“.
For myself, it is thinking of the soul, our eternal spirit, traveling through time as if it’s in a never-ending movie. As it continues – it gets tired and falls asleep or returns home (as if dying). When re-awakened as a new life beginning where it left off, it remains ingrained with where it has been to date. With seldom the ability to remember, but with an unconscious knowing of where it has been and the journey it still needs to take. Wanting our progress to continue, as if returning to the same movie before falling asleep again as we are continually guided back to our source. Ultimately, it comes down to what takes us there. Maybe even as Forest Gump told us… “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.
Another story I wrote almost twenty-five years ago, as a part of an as yet unpublished manuscript entitled “My travels with Lieh Tzu – Interpolations along the Way”.
A Visit with Old Friends
Remaining as one with the universe. One’s instincts in constant tune with your surroundings. The only secrets worth telling remaining those that remain non‑contending. Staying in the background as the ever‑knowing sage. As you have seen it all before, is not your time better spent seeking the wisdom and knowledge you find in conversing with your old friends that you have recently re‑discovered. As you have been away for a millennia, but have now come home again. Everyone, Lieh, Chuang, Lao and all the others waiting to hear why you have been away for so long. Or then again, was it only for just an instant?
You explain that you have been exploring human nature and trying to understand how people through the ages could become so confused and off‑centered. That those you have come across are vain in the prime of their beauty and remain impetuous in their strength. That they are quick to tell others how to live without due consideration of how they should do so themselves. That all those you have come across seem lost in their own attachments. They remain inept in their attempts to find the Way, and even more so when they think they have. There remains this constant sense of need to remain proud and impetuous so that it remains difficult to impart and relay the true essence and goodness needed to preserve humanity. Instead of remaining as one with nature, they seem intent on destroying it. Finally, they must constantly be reminded of who they ultimately are to become and need someone or something to keep them steady.
As you finish your account, knowing glances abound as others have come and gone and relayed similar stories. All want to know if you are planning to stay with your old friends or return to your writing in hopes that perhaps one in a thousand may too come forward to learn the proper way. You are amused in that it is known that the sage gives his work to others so that his own power does not diminish as he grows old. Otherwise grappling with confusion when his own knowledge runs out.
Back home after a thousand years and the only question that remains is when you leave again. 8/5/1995