Friday, March 19, 2010

An Artist's Dream

“On the night of the Buddha's enlightenment, he is said to have understood that everything is completely interconnected and interdependent. Therefore it is impossible for anybody to go on retreat from the world. Everybody knows that when you go on retreat, the whole world, no matter how tiny your retreat cabin, is there, in terms of your experience. And the purpose of retreat is precisely to transform the world.”
- Richard Reoch, "The Path of Complete Engagement" tricycle (Winter 2004)

I saw the interconnections once. I tried to find my way back for several years. There is only going forward, what I have done for decades, ever since I realized I was not allowed back. There are ways that moment is still with me. Some people are saying lately that I have an unusual mind. I say, “Not really, but I did have an unusual experience.” That changed my mind. I am still interested in transforming the world, as I have always been. Like God, I honor free will. I would never compel anyone, not ever, not for any reason except perhaps saving them from immanent death. I have dropped the dime in that situation before and would again. I will let others take on the burden of the coercer, the trickster. It is not wrong to coerce or trick people into their own good necessarily but it may add to your future karmic debt unless you are simply impeccable at it. I know I am not that skillful. I have no interest in adding to my karmic debt unless God commands it.

An Artist's Dream

When East knows spring comes
she gives crocuses to North,
purple ones and gold,
sends the Western man
into fits of bearded glee
to know the kindness
of light and song, sun
and fine Southern exposure,
all an artist's dream.

April 24, 2009 11:02 PM


  1. The crocuses everywhere, in the soil and in words and images, seem particularly intense this year, I seem to be seeing them everywhere.

    Some lovely flower imagery in your peoms lately.

  2. I often type peoms for poems. Other words I have typo trouble with are 'myslef' and 'frined'. Wonder if it's Freudian in some way?

    Ooh, WV is 'comet'!

  3. Lucy, I have far too many typos like that to count what is most common :( It means editing as I go is the rule. Sometimes when I miss them it turns out that another word was formed and it changes the meaning. It turns out okay that way but gives me the question, "who is writing this thing?"

    The flower images and the springtime composition of the poems last year probably have some connection. Or I could say, since flowers clearly connect to the erotic, I was feeling my sap rise then and now :D

    Look out world, the rut has begun!

  4. Never thought about my karmic dept before. Hope it's minor because I probably don't have the goods to pay off much. Your poems are wonderful Christopher. You take me far in short bursts.

    ~ Annie

  5. Annie, no one has the goods to pay off the karmic debt. That is the eastern version of "original sin", a burden unpayable until God sacrifices Himself. Prior to the Christian solution there were the ongoing Hebrew solutions that brought people to the temple at least once a year for cyclical sacrifice and sometimes driving the goat out into the desert carrying communal sins, the scapegoat.

    Everyone knows that we fall short in critical ways, though we may disagree on from where this arises. Modern science implies that the falling short is basically a lack of symmetry and it lies in the heart of all things. As such it is not up to us to rectify it, nor is it lodged so exclusively in us.

    In fact, the science related to this asymmetry suggests that life is so perposterously unbalanced a form of the universal substance that it cannot have arisen without the twist at the heart of nature. In this way, "sin" while to be regretted is so essential that no world we could recognize would exist without it. The karmic burden is fundamental.

    In some way we are positioned to notice it, even to escape it, perhaps. This special position is a position of privilege. It may be incorrect to think we are the "crown of creation" but we are certainly in an unusual spot in the whole of it. We are certainly the "clowns of creation".

    There is no way to make a dent in this predicament in a single lifetime without divine intervention. That is the Christian contention and they are right concerning our position of surviving beneath an impossible burden if a single lifetime is all we get. Divine mercy or a really long series of life after life or a discipline of love and forgiveness that shortcuts the process a little perhaps, these are the solutions to it however you call it.

  6. I'm surprised that you write you saw the interconnections once. I'm wondering if you don't any more?

    There are moments, MOMENTS, where I do see it. I think back to my one and only acid trip and how at five in the morning I remember I was counting my fingers and then I looked closer and then there in my palm was revealed all the answers. I giggled and tried to hold onto them. I was convinced, you see, that they had been there all along, but of course, when I awoke many hours later, they were gone and there was only a remant of a feeling there. But those other moments of recognizing interconnectedness, they happen now from time to time, and then they dissolve and I feel somewhat like a did upon waking that one late afternoon, albeit much more sober now.


  7. Erin, it matters what you mean and what I mean by "see". When I say once, I mean completely which also really means "with infinite vision" or "with God's eyes". That is very different from even the intimate grasp possible to me in my ordinary life. Even on acid I never saw like that again. All I have is the memory of how that moved me and changed me. It is not a memory of the seeing itself.

    I have had other experiences of otherworldliness in one way or another, of psychic things, of intuitive grasp. None of this compares. I do have of course a steady hum of assurance that it really happened, that I really did see, that it means what I think it means and more beyond my capacity to grasp it, that it is trustworthy and meant to be exactly that.

    I also have the clear sense that the rest is up to my effort at training up and learning what I am here to learn. As best I can, I am to offer myself without being insane about that.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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