Homemade Kombucha, now that’s advanced stuff! In an effort to live a healthier life I’ve been trying some too, though certainly not homemade. Earlier today I was asking a few locals about domestic plants, flowers and vegetables I could start a garden with this spring. Maybe plant an apple tree too, which I’ve heard attracts the local deer and even bears. Bring ‘em on, I say, everyone’s welcome, I’ll live in harmony with ‘em all!
Now I’ll get on to awakenings in good time, but before that I want to say I thought of you the other day while listening to music. Didn’t want to overload you with stuff, and especially with the sort of “you have to listen to or read this” stuff people like to recommend.
These days I don’t really go back to the music I listened to when I first started out on my journey, it mostly being no longer of interest to me anymore. Some of it I still enjoy, some Van Morrison now and then, but for the most part I’ve kind of left it behind me at this stage. Playing now softly in the background is Apple Music, just what is offered when I say “Hey Siri, play me some soft jazz,” or “classical chamber music”, or even “spa music” which latter she understands as “meditative music.” Though occasionally I ask for something a little more specific, say Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue or just “Mozart” or “Bach,” or maybe some live Barbara Streisand (one of those rare female voices that give me goose bumps listening to.)
Anyway, the other day, eyes tired and throbbing from the day’s reading and not having a television to otherwise pass some time, I asked Siri to play an old album my generation listened to a great deal back in the day. It was from 1974 I believe, and after its release it spent something crazy like two or three years on the charts. We youngsters, mostly teenagers and young adults, would turn the lights off, maybe turn a black light on, crank up the stereo, and put side one on. Maybe we’d be drinking a half illicit beer or smoking a joint (I never could go that far, always collapsing into hopeless coughing convulsions at the least intake.) And I’m talking the very early eighties by this time.
Now, this is back in the day when albums had sides. You’d slap one on the turn table and crank it up, then at the end of side one it was intermission, the music would stop and you’d get up and flip it over to listen to side two. Some albums took that into account and sort of drew you along to great heights before the sometimes cathartic end of a side. Then with side two a different tack might be taken leading somewhere else. Some albums at any rate.
Alright, the album I’m talking about is Dark Side Of The Moon, by Pink Floyd. So having the time and it being sometime into the night I asked Siri to play it for me in its entirety, then lay back and listened to it again after quite a few years.
And it stood up! I smiled, and thought of you with your love of the moon. And I wondered if the boys truly grasped what they had accomplished with that incredible piece of post-psychedelic work. It was intended as a meditation on this modern malaise we are living through today. The crazy confusion, the rush and bustle, and the madness too! A few albums before the boys in the band had lost their original singer, Syd Barrett, to madness and so much of their work after that momentous experience was a coming to grips with his loss. Have you ever heard the beautiful song Wish You Were Here? That’s a tribute and ode to Syd. And yet there is redemption too in Dark Side, whether they knew it or not. The album ends with a wonderful hymn to all the simple things that our life under the sun is, and then the final words being ‘… and everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.’ Beautiful.
So then, on to awakenings. What else is there to do when such a thing is experienced than to laugh? The Words? How pretentious, how contrived, when measured against the plain and simple and unadorned experience of it! The oneness with Life that is the flow that requires no words, no symbols, that exists beyond all words and symbols and that is the exquisite simplicity and limpidity of now, of this moment, if only we let go of all that we have been taught to believe about it. Laughter, and a quiet comprehending smile (maybe for all we know the enigmatic smile of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa!)
But then, having attained it, having achieved it—an achievement which is no-achievement but a falling back into ourselves, our primordial essential selves—having awakened to the no-self self we ARE in essence, how share it with others who crave it with some or all of their being but remain lost in the labyrinth of attachment and thought? Through music? Dance? Paint? Ritual or word? There’s the rub, and the joy! How to show others how to love too? Love as the emotion experienced when riding the Flow, when fully unthinkingly engaged in the act of being alive! Loving it all! The full joy and exquisite tragedy that is Life!
The stuff we are writing about here, you in your way and me in mine, is at the very deepest level of being and experience and is one with the richest most profound teachings throughout the ages. Up to now we’ve often tended to put such teachings ‘out there’, but we ARE it if we awaken to that fact. One with it. It can sound so banal to the uninitiated. “Is that all?” They’d scoff, “I don’t believe it, it must be something more, something more magically fantastically complex, something ‘out there’ I need strive with all my intellect towards.” Which of course plays into those false teachers who would profit from people’s need for it. “I have it and you pay me enough and I will share it with you.” And they speak of yet another level, degree, idea or concept of it, give it yet another word to go by, which naturally the seekers can never reach—because it isn’t there—and will continue to spend more and more money chasing. What a crazy never endingly profitable cycle of empty striving!
Ok, that’s it. Enjoy it. Our modern world is continually trying to pull us out of that realization into duality and attachment. We need strive to create the space and the environment which nurtures, supports and sustains the continued state of oneness that lies at the essence of Life, our Life and that of everyone else’s too, if they only awaken to that reality.
That’s my hymn for the evening, Jeff