I saw the JazzLion today for the first time in too long. He shares a big old house in Guelph with other young people; young people of the finest kind, I sense; those with spiritual and creative vision.
I sensed that his trademark plenitude of nervous energy, so vital to one who’s mind always bursts with new ideas, has been dialled back a bit as he has slipped into his later twenties, but also that his mind has migrated in sync, prone now to deeper contemplation.
We talked about music keyboards/synthesizers which we both now possess. We talked about music in general from the broadest sense, such as it’s capacity for communicating experience, to technical details such as the tuning of frequency in drum set pieces as well as their significance and usefulness, or lack thereof.
He listened to some of my little tunes on Youtube and was very supportive and complimentary.
We talked a long time about Terence McKenna and the psychedelic experience; a matter particularly dear to me currently. The apparent compatibilities between the psychedelic and poetic processes are of serious fascination. From JazzLion’s vast experience he taught me about acid, shrooms, DMT and the ultimate process: Ayawasca.
He talked about marijuana as a sacrament; a celebration of the spirit and the four elements, and plugged hemp as the greatest of earth’s gifts since water and air for its long list of noble uses.
We talked about the shared perceptions stemming from our respective escapes from the illusions of society: The great necessity of the evolution of consciousness and the terrible hurdles therein. We talked about the relationships between discipline, repetition, focus, awareness and capacity for learning in the musician, the poet and the legendary alchemist.
We talked about meditation, contemplation, symbolism, motivation and the pioneer spirit, and empathy of course.
We talked about the usefulness and wisdom in ancient texts hijacked and misused by absurdly over-simplified religious programme.
We talked about Neo and other fascinating people we know.
We parted with promises to visit more often. And I’m confident we will. For now, I go forth inspired.
My recent post regarding birthdays was hopelessly incomplete. I really didn't explain anything meaningful.
Why don't I subscribe to the birthday tradition?
Just because it's normal? Just to be different? Just to bolster my reputation as a contrarian? No, no and no.
I'm not officially against birthdays by the way. No more than I'm against Christmas gifts or marriage or owning pets. I'm not interested in opposing these things or convincing others to abandon them.
It's just that as a poet who has learned what I've learned I know that we must learn to question our culture and traditions because this species is failing to evolve. The status quo is a path to destruction. The nature of all species is to eventually fail. Extinction is almost inevitable and the unsustainability of almost all we do in North American culture supports this idea fully. I don't say these things off the cuff by the way. I have very full explanations for every statement. If readers would challenge me in the comments section I would happily explain anything I've claimed in greater detail.
So - I've learned not to do things just because it's what we've always done. So when I dispense with tradition and treat each phenomenon as something to be questioned I find that with birthdays the cons outweigh the pros according to my own priorities.
In essence: As someone who sees the good in people as far more relevant then the bad; sees the miraculous quality of your existence, I feel we should make each other feel special every day. When we go out of our way to celebrate a birthday there is always, should one consider it, a question of motive. Is it out of a sense of duty or habit rather than true joy at your having been born? Not that that's a big deal. But there are often spectres of reciprocity lurking in the shadows of the mind. Many people do occasionally suffer some degree of guilt or insecurity because of a forgotten date or failure to reciprocate (at all or at the same level of expense).
This society is a material commercial marketplace disaster and I have deep remorse for all the pointless gifts that get buried in the ground. How sad that in most circles creative offerings are not respected. A symptom of our society's tremendous failing to realize that all humans are artists of every ilk, with such activity marked as the privilege of the sterile pop culture marketplace elite.
It occurs to me that material gifts should occur on the occasion we stumble upon something that we know someone particular would love - instead of all these mandatory purchases which pile-up, demanding bigger homes and bigger landfills.
But like I said - not a big deal. There are a few select people with which I recognize birthdays to some degree because I find it useful in that particular circle. But I never expect to receive any acknowledgement at all on January 7th. And for the last few years I actually would never have noticed the date's arrival if not for some good-hearted naive pal pointing it out on Facebook!
This is currently my only guilty pleasure: Eat Poop You Cat - or EPUC for short - is the doodle/caption version of the classic telephone game. Web site eatpoopucat.com has done a great job creating an online forum. You can start a new strip or you can call up a strip-in-progress and respond to the current panel. If the current panel is a picture, you respond with a caption - and vice-versa. Once you've submitted your panel, the entire strip-in-progress becomes visible to you.
For instance: I received this panel: I'm a gonna catch that goldfish this time!
And I responded with this:
It's great fun for anyone with creative urges of any skill level. The culture is adult but polite, often with some measure of sophistication. For those with other inclinations there are special groups such as The Troll Bridge where good-natured provocation is the norm or the Anarchy group where random craziness prevails.
Besides the drawing and captioning, you can view finished strips (always nine panels long). You can read and leave comments and you can award kudos to any panels you deem clever, skillful, funny or whatever. You can also track your kudos received and how you fit into the all-time standings.
There are more than a few significant artists as regulars but pros and amateurs are all friendly and supportive of one another. Fun stuff and always good for a laugh. Registration is a breeze. You just need a username and password and you're off. If you join up, my username is newday.
We live in an absolutely fascinating time; a potential transition of epochs for the human race, for earth and possibly the universe: A time when a critical sum of evidence has become available which could trigger an astounding evolution if optimumly applied. Poets were putting it forth a thousand years ago and scientists are finally on board, though each tribe seems not to know of the other.
In its simplest essence: Human beings are not what they think they are.
Believe me, I could go on all day with the details.
Some couple months ago or so I threw a hint on my facebook page to see if anyone might pick up on it. I wrote: What would happen if a robot gained the slightest shred of consciousness? Would it believe you when you told it that it was not responsible for its own apparent choices; that the infantile consciousness only suffered the illusion of choice and responsibility."
No one picked up on what I was really suggesting.
The answer, I'm almost certain, is no, it would not believe you. Because we already have a creature with just such a shred. And that creature does not believe me when I say that you are not what you think you are; that you are not the captain of your ship.
The point was to suggest that this robot scenario is precisely the human condition. I know that feels all wrong. But human feelings have never had a talent for approaching truth. Once you contemplate this idea long and courageously enough, it becomes clear there is no other possibility.
"The simplest emotions are born and grow in impenetrable darkness, attracting and repelling each other like thunderclouds in accordance with secret affinities. All we see on the surface of the darkness is the brief flashes of the innaccessible storm. That's why the best psychological hypothesis can perhaps throw some light on the past but can never tell us what the future may hold. And, like many other conjectures, they merely hide a mystery that our minds find intolerable even to contemplate."
- Georges Bernanos: Under Satan's Sun
I am physically present in a society I have very little regard for. I am a prisoner of a tribe of people who call themselves "Canadian."
In my own mind and, to a large degree, habits, I have divorced myself from this society and with it a long list of traditional and cultural subscriptions: Marriage, birthdays, commercial Christmas, economic and vehicular entitlement, wealth and reputation mongering, etcetera.
An arbitrary calendar feature reared its head recently which makes me 44 and subject to being fussed over according to the great flock.
Being physically present here, and being humble and quiet with regards to my hard-earned poetic insights, people don't tend to remember certain things that I say - such as "I do not subscribe to the birthday tradition."
It also doesn't help that I sometimes participate in birthday celebrations in precisely the same manner that a Jew might participate in a Christian church celebration on the occasion his close Christian friend is getting married. Subscription and choice are two different things. I try to remind birthdayers that this is the circumstance by giving them cards that don't actually use the word "birthday." Usually I adapt blank cards. One of my personal faves featured a wolf on the front. "Sorry to hear about your lycanthropy," I wrote. "Get well soon."
[Editor's note: Lycanthropy has to do with being a werewolf.]
Anyway -- none of this is a problem. It's just a reminder that I spend too much time with people who don't understand me. But then - it's up to me to educate - isn't it?
November 2011 I succeeded at NaNoWriMo for the first time, hitting 56000 words or so. I borrowed from that success. I approached other goals using the same method of forecasting, tracking and reporting but on a scale of one year instead of one month. By New Years eve just past, I had succeeded in a couple goals and fell short of many more.
I can not keep falling short.
2013 is the test.
I have brought even more goals onto the radar, adjusted the numbers to be more realistic and appropriate, devised the structures to make the discipline easier to obtain, and even devised a method for improving motivation; for keeping inspiration within reach for those critical decision-making moments.
Currently there are four pillars to my existence; this enterprise that is New Day Rising: Financial, Health, Poetic Growth and Manifestation (productivity). Each one has become more vital then ever. They are completely interdependent and the failure of any will bring the roof crashing down.
And what if the roof crashes down in 2013? Then I must soul-search again. I must re-examine my life goals and maybe have to roll back some of my dreams; a sober thought. But for now I have no intention to be in that circumstance.
I will here lay out the precise goals. It's not important that readers read them. What is important is that I divulge my progress monthly. That is one of the motivators though certainly not chief among them.
secure additional employment
pay off Canada Revenue Agency
re-friend insurance industry
save for/purchase CPAP machine and mask
pay off personal loan
get Sleep Apnoea treated
darken bedroom windows
get proper earplugs
follow diet 365 days
lose 60 lbs
get music keyboard/Synthesizer
learn to use keyboard/Synthesizer
18 sessions with Neo
12 other inner-circle sessions
12 outer-circle sessions
research 18 subjects
log 180 quotes
write 330,000 words
compose: 80 sessions
edit 144 chapters
read 624 chapters
explore 150 new albums
record 12 original songs
post 12 original music videos (not slide shows!)
24 circle of support meetings
36 charitable sessions
37 young readers sessions
37 young writers sessions
post 3 interviews
blog 200 articles
journal 72 items