Thursday, July 31, 2014

S6 — Calvin on an Island

Island people have a saying: “Nowhere is an island.” Visitors are puzzled when they hear this spoken. After all, they’ve spent much time and money just to reach this paradise in the middle of an ocean.

Calvin was such a one. He went without for fifty weeks just to have his two upon that isle. So when he breathlessly disembarked only to be greeted by an islander conveying this saying, he strongly begged to differ.

The islander just smiled and said, “It makes no difference,” and danced lightly off to greet another. A recent transplant to the island seeing Calvin’s being at variance stopped to offer a more comprehensive reception: “No matter how you slice it, there never is division.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

S5 — Isle of Eyes: A Myth of the Scientific

In the eye of a hurricane, there’s an eye of a needle. In the eye of a needle, there’s an eye of an eye. The island people call this eye a third eye and take their own eyes out whenever it goes seeing. For what it sees is visible to no one.

There was a visitor who called himself an optical magician, prescribing telescopes to those he diagnosed as near-sighted, and microscopes to those he saw as far-sighted. But the island folk, as far as he could see, were neither.

He plucked his own eyes out in a pique of speculation but it left him only sightless. The island people divined no notion why he’d make a scene like that. And so they led him in a starry-eyed procession to a long reflective beach and cast him out to sea.

Monday, July 28, 2014

S4 — Breaking Up Is Hard Nondoing Too

It was early in the process of discovery
I knew the two of us would lose each other.
Paradox is not unknown in love.
At first our paths continued, one upon the other,
but soon we found ourselves in the yellow wood.
It didn’t happen overnight and all our efforts
to maintain separating ways together met
with personal effects like alcohol on my behalf
and a drier kind of melancholy in yours.
You finally had the nerve to call it quits
but even that was met with one more year of trying.
It’s over now; surrendering to that which is
can really be a bitch. But that’s the price.

You said that day you liked the middle class
and I was always making light of it.
That’s forever been the case with me.
It’s just my form of self-assessment.
Even though I’m living now without
the greater luxuries I once afforded,
I’m not exactly third-world poor—
thank my daughter and her Major.
This is the present empire after all.
So I know these fears about security,
but I’ve seen you lately follow them
and then convince yourself you hadn’t.
That’s the way of people though, divided.

The path I’ve taken teaches seeing this,
to recognize such separation for what it is,
to know the false as false. That leaves pure being,
not being this or that. And being tells one all that is—
and That which absolutely isn’t takes one back.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Song-stream 3 — Incident on Sky Mountain

There’s a mountain lofty enough
it takes two days to make the peak.
It rises in the heart of a desert
where nomads pray to any passing mirage.
They’re satisfied to dine on scorpions
while downing barrel cactus juice.
They hallucinate of cubicles
floating in a glass of cabbages and ginger
looking at the rain streak the skylight
hoping they’ve secured the windows
in their newly-leased Honda Civics.
One of them flies out the door to check
but strikes the mountain there instead.
Soon she’s in a globe of berries.
The air is fragrant with exacting freshness.

She sees above the ripples of heat;
there’s not an office in her eye.
Half-way up she finds a halfway house.
It’s an edifice she’s yet to dream.
She’s genially greeted at the door
and welcomed with the latest reality
of living rooms and large flat screens
with twenty-four hour interruptions.
Exhausted with the climb, she wants to stay.
Twenty years later, she’s out to catch a breather
and meets a mad man coming down the mountain.
Maybe it’s a mad woman. He raves or she raves,
“You’ve stopped believing in a personal god,
but you’re still believing in the personal!”
and then turns to return to the sky.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Song-stream 2 — Compassionist Manifesto

Mind apparently divides 
that nonduality 
and wonders why its world is one 
of separation, violence, want, and war.

Even when this unity appears
in shapes love takes—
like justice, hope, equality—
the mind will take control
with judgment and conviction
and an execution of its end
justifying any of its means.

And so it goes…

There’s no arguing
the utmost advocates of civil rights
within the infamous twentieth century:
Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
Nonviolence was their word,
but more importantly the sacrifice of ego
—this identity with mind—
to universal consciousness;
call it Krishna, call it Christ.

You know it when you feel it,
some holistic intuition
that division is completely inauthentic,
that existence is lovingly impersonal,
that love is unconditional
and the personal is conditioned by division
and that’s the way it is.

And even this spontaneous understanding
is usurped by mind
and formed into religion
and fashioned into dogma, rules, belief
and fought in endless wars where
holy ends are justified
by all apocalyptic means.

Stop! There is no end

there’s only means,
there’s always only here and now
and every action is reflection
of the clarity within.

Our only call is clear our self—
an empty sky
breezes through and does the rest.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Song-stream 1 — Braids of Glass

Consciousness is the sea
and eyes are like the rays of light
looking deep into itself.

Nothing in this universe is like
this universe of yours—
even this blade of grass is different
than this blade of grass you grasp;
only the name remains the same.

Beneath the summer sky, some huckleberry boy is
gliding high above his freshly-cut idyllic turf
as sonic booms of nineteen-fifties’ fear are coloring
his clarity with contrails of his elder’s ghastly white beliefs.

Nothing that we know is ever knowable
but only viruses received from dreams
infected with ancestral viruses.

The mind divides
this universal consciousness to pieces
claiming only one particular to be itself.
Sword-play of war is what must happen next—
until one finally sees that one is absolutely not
this sharp reflection in the mirror.

It’s as if that pure awareness subjectivity of crystalline glass
intends to know itself, and within that big intent, the whole intent
objectifies itself in galaxies of this molecular imagination
evolving in time and space by calling keenly to itself to see—
it always is and is
never not the mirror.

Now knows itself and a blade of grass
isn’t really a blade of grass—
a blade of grass is only
a blade of grass.

Monday, July 21, 2014

new & recycled prophecies 3 — the non-manifesto

there's nothing more
predictable than
attributing one's
division to

the only difference between
the one percent and
the ninety-nine percent
is the greater means to do
what the one-hundred percent
always does—

there’s only a single
divided universe
and it’s the one
called mine—

non-division is
the work and the way of
the zero percent—

non-do it now!

The Zhuangzi (Chaung Tzu) Translation Awards

This is the summer of Zhuangzi. Or Chaung Tzu, in the older Wade-Giles way. Knowing well the idiosyncrasies of translations, I’ve looked at almost all the ones available. It's interesting that the three I chose were not on my radar when I began looking. Also, considering the Zhuangzi itself in regard to wrong and right, this and that, and just seeing, I’m only listing the translations I chose to play with. (Click on the book's image below to see it in Amazon.)

1. And the winner is Victor Mair. His Wandering on the Way has many things going for it. First, Mair is not only a sinologist, but the Chuang Tzu is his favorite Chinese book. So his work is obviously a labor of love. Next, it is the complete Chaung Tzu, and not just the seven Inner Chapters, the ones actually attributed to the actual person, Chuang Tzu, although even that is debatable. Also, as a physical production, the pages are thick and creamy, the print is agreeably readable, the layout is clean and sharp, and the cover is artistic. Furthermore, for what it is, it is relatively inexpensive new, and a bargain can be had used  (my copy is a very-good used Bantam first edition paperback and cost me $5.14 including shipping; it’s also available new for $20.00, discounted to $18.00 at Amazon, plus shipping). There are no footnotes and the annotation is sparse. Mair’s intent is to present the Chuang Tzu as a literary work of wisdom first and foremost and not a philosophical treatise dressed up in a disguise of stories. His translation appears as true to the text as possible while attempting to make it necessarily clear in English. This is a copy to read and savor. And there is a practical glossary of names, places, and terms at the end of the book.

2. The runner-up is Brook Ziporyn and his Zhuangzi: the Essential Writings. Actually, for the purposes of Kindle, it would be the winner, since the Mair is currently not available in that format. This smooth and readable translation is more on the philosophical end of the spectrum, so it’s heavily footnoted. And that can be a good thing. I especially appreciate his concern with the Chinese terms, often referring the reader to the glossary at the back of the book. It’s not the complete Zhuangzi, but it’s not just the Inner Chapters either. There’s a significant selection from the Outer and Miscellaneous Chapters. Maybe most significantly for some is the inclusion of Chinese commentaries as a separate section at the end of the book, including Guo Xiang, who is basically the editor of the Zhuangzi. As a physical production, it’s along the lines of a paperback textbook. My copy is a very-good used paperback which was $10.99, including shipping. It’s available new for $18.00 in paperback discounted to $16.20 on Amazon, including shipping. For Kindle, it’s available at $9.99.

3. Showing at third place is the controversial A. C. Graham and his Chuang Tzu: The Inner Chapters. It appears he remains true to the text to a fault. Still, in comparing translations, that can be a helpful trait; it sets a base line for the others. Also, he has decided to edit the book, moving sections around, to meet his own scholastic findings. If I were using this as a stand-alone book, that could be problematic. But my use of Graham is more of a reference work than a reading copy. I find his annotations useful. But his arguments for the way of the text are fascinating and convincing. My copy is not the best. It’s the 1987 Harper Collins Mandala edition. The print is incredibly small and the annotation printing is incredibly, even smaller. But it cost only $4.09 including shipping. New, it’s $19.00 discounted at Amazon to $18.05 plus shipping. Again, as a reference work, it does the trick.

So, these are the three translations I am using in reading the Zhuangzi this summer. In total, they cost me $20.22 (it helped that I'd received a gift certificate for Father's Day). They span the gamut from pure enjoyment to deeper study, from the latest academic findings to ancient Chinese commentary, and are useful in triangulating the way.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

new & recycled prophecies 2 — substantiation

one who seeks the proof of truth
needs first to seek the proof of one
who seeks the proof—

if you think you were born,
you’ll think you will die—
but you were only told you were born
and no one has told you they died—

when an appearance disappears—
that in which the appearance appears
does not disappear

(originally appeared within the pseutra of revelations)

Friday, July 18, 2014

new & recycled prophecies 1 — mirror of awareness

if not for all reflections
in the mirror,
i wouldn’t know
i was the mirror—

i am the mirror—
i am intent
to know i am the mirror—
i am reflection
that intent conceives
to know i am the mirror—
i am the mirror—

it takes an evolutionary universe
in space-time consciousness
to watchfully reflect
that absolute

Thursday, July 10, 2014

ps5 - mindless


float like a butterfly, sting like zhuangzi

being grateful for impracticality

concern with status and inclination for argument reveals one’s inauthenticity

the great usefulness of uselessness


may the light of that wholly intent unfold this revelation

awarify, awarify, awarify

evolution is just another word for awakening

within the mirror's shimmering intent to know itself, it appears to break itself

one can say—awareness of being is the evolutionary human attainment—and—awareness of awareness is being’s evolutionary unfolding—but i won’t


theories are useful in deconstructing paradigms—until they form a more perfect paradigm

all misunderstandings are ultimately confusions of definition

all ways are means of deconstruction unless they're turned into a pretty new construction

assert negation including negation of negation


try to tell me something that i can't know

save me from those who want to save me including especially me

the mind tries to remember what emptiness always knows

a paradox doesn’t go over one’s head—it goes through it


it's all projection—thirteen ways of looking at a white bird

an alternate state of consciousness is merely a clouded state of consciousness

most projection is a tangled web of misdirection

just clean the lens and project responsibly


one can say there's no one and no one may believe it and thus become one

sooner or later, you have to answer the inner child's endless whys with an "i don't know"

just leave it to be

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

in the empty kitchen pseutra

tao of absolute—te of intent—ching of being

our coyote—who art the trick—person be they name

fear appears when the unborn is persuaded it’s born and destined to die

even the former vice-president of the united states stands naked and trembles like a newborn

only fear needs to fight fear—compassion sees through it

the infinite is not a barrier but a means of communication

without compassion, paradox is just a joke

it isn’t so because you say it’s so—it’s so and you can’t say it’s so

the unwearable triteness of words

the way is not a fork—and nothing's the matter

space-time is the kitchen—consciousness is the food—absolute intent is the cook

no identity—no merit—no name

in the end, it's both a moot and mute point

for the absolute intent of self-awareness, ten thousand celestial magicians!