Friday, November 25, 2011

Traveling Light, With Gurus All Around

Arthurian Tarot
While the powers-being-flushed-down-the-toilet and their spokes-morons fuss and bloviate about how those parasitic Occupy whiners are obstructing the manifest destiny of doom, they imagine it also only has something to do with "the financial system".  I try to imagine what it must be like to be stuck in one's mind back in the 60s, where the intellectual and spiritual faculties contracted chronic arrested development, where one is enveloped in a cloud of fear of everything, and can only repeat phrases like "get a job" and "take a bath". Amazing to behold, and an unparalleled achievement.
Actually, millions of us know what Occupy is really about, which is much more than financial concerns. Arthur Silber recently wrote the following: "the extent of your awareness of the world around you, and the extent of your sensitivity to and concern for the sanctity of human life [all Life - ed.], will be the extent to which you are punished". Witness the reactivity toward Occupiers and see the truth of this. The spiritually terrified can't help terrorizing the continuously growing voices and stands taken for the sanctity of Life by those of the aware Love Tribes around the world.
Another phrase caught my attention recently for it's succinctness: what is and has been going on is a "metaphysical war on Gaia". It's an old war. Early on, the Devic realm had to be driven into retreat and hiding. And the non-human creatures decimated from the largest down to the minutest species, all the while subjecting also the nature-separated humans to traumatic mass killing on a regular basis. The trauma brings it all full circle as humanity participates in its own destruction as well as the elements and the Earth Herself. Whether it was the Nine Waves or something else, much of humanity sees the situation crystal clear now, and is holding the focus as never before. (Not in any way ignoring the fact that indigenous folks have been hip to the situation for millenia, and holding the focus.) That's about all I can say, just watching it unfold like you all are, and keeping on keeping on.

Here's an example of a kind of DEEP INTELLECT not many are familiar with, but should be - Inside the Mind of the Octopus - from the latest issue of Orion Magazine. While you're at it, you may as well have your mind completely blown by this VIDEO.

On one of Les' Origami blogposts the subject of "Guru" came up (as well as "Service"), and there were some interesting commentaries and revelations, both of wisdom and ignorance ("I don't need no stinkin' guru", etc.). Since that is the subject I am intending to continue writing about,  it was very in the forefront of my thoughts and what I contributed to the discussion over there was the following:

"It's so fucking curious, hilarious actually, that people (westerners mostly) go completely nutso when you mention the word "guru" - the only associations are "charlatan" and "predator" and the like, only having to do with Rolls Royces and chasing ass. The stupid (false) religious and media programming has been spectacularly successful.
There are billions of types of gurus, and all are uniquely different. A guru is a most honorable and sacred personage and a being in form, either human or non-human, to interact with in the mode of Initiation - into another level of consciousness or experience of being in the world. The almost complete extinction of initiatory processes from "civilization" has brought humanity to its present state of gross ignorance.
There are many many true gurus existing now as in all other times, as it always has been, as well as devic allies, as Les describes, and the only 'difficulty' is that they don't have the "appearances" that are consistent with one's expectations.
Copping out, with religious, scriptural, intellectual, egotistical, and all the newage mythological excuses, is simply laziness - how everybody in the modern civilized world rolls.
No one has to submit themselves to lying, hypocritical, charlatan predators - that's just another excuse to not allow a true teacher who may appear to one in an instant to nudge one into a deeper inquiry into your Self and the nature of your existence.
[Regarding 'service':] On the "pathless path", one sees what needs to be done and how and who to serve in every moment, and acts accordingly. It's not rocket surgery, but takes discipline and endurance, and perseverance, as pointed out previously many times. And obviously this can't be accomplished with mental biases and clinging to dogmas and "precious experiences" of the past. Creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe is going on a billion times a second. The only limitations are self-limitations."

Here's a little video, done by my friend, Ashish, about the guru-shishya thing, which speaks to the essence of the matter a million times better than I could hope to in words here.  The elderly guru (Muslim, formally initiating his Hindu disciple) is the great singer, and master of Nada Yoga, Ustad Fahimuddin Dagar, with whom I was privileged to accompany both in India and U.S. several times, as well as being taught by him in the mid-70s. Can you feel the Love?

So that's a little introduction to the "lineage-guru" mode. There are other kinds, obviously. I should say, first off, that for some reason I never had any inclination to chase after or search out a 'spiritual' guru. In India, while studying the music, I acquired a distaste for the hoards of spiritual seekers - 'meditation' and 'yoga' fanatics - with their condescending words and attitudes about we 'inferior' musicians. I guess it's our refusal to abandon "passion", basically, heh. What I'm going to describe now is kind of difficult to express in so many words, so it's going to probably just cover some basics of the events. I need to also mention that, although it was a major turning point of a lifetime, it is not about a particular moment in time in which I find myself stuck in, nor which I ever had any interest in making a career out of exploiting, as many have done in creating a "brand" out of their "Baba-experiences" and further blinding themselves to seeing any more possibilities of initiation and transcendence of experiences that have passed into the land of "cancelled checks", as one Mataji put it.

A friend, an American sadhu, told me one day that I should go "that way" down the path on the outskirts of Kathmandu and go up to a particular house and check out what was going on there. He had given me much important advice and information previously in Benares where he was basically my first compatriot friend upon arriving in India, so I figured I should heed his words.
A small Indian baba sat on the floor with perhaps a dozen hippies. The energy was electric, to say the least. He spoke in English, but also in the slang of the times. Some of the listeners were rapt in attention; others were seemingly agitated. The words came out in a stream of a combination of all the emotions known to man, expressing in phrases that triggered a torrent of the most profound questions ever pondered in one's lifetime, the sounds vibrating from the most exquisite tenderness to the most terrifying righteous rage and again returning in an instant to sweetness. My thought-stream was instantaneously obliterated as the oration overtook the speed of arising thought and answered every potential detail of lifetimes of unanswered, unresolved, unfulfilled karmic and cosmic questions. I could only bow my head to the floor. There was also delirious laughter, and paralyzing terror, and hair-raising electrical discharges in the room, and tears of recognition of the Perfect Father we had never known.

In this instance, I am going to refrain from identifying this guru with a name. There is no reason to, and it doesn't matter in the larger scheme of things. He was essentially an incarnation of both Shiva and Hanuman, who are in essence One anyway. I was 22 years old, and everything about 'who' I was up till that point in time in this life was instantly destroyed, erased. I became absolutely aware of what time it was in the great cycles of yugas, of what the 'revolutionary' time was actually about - a profound remembrance - and fully understood what had taken place in the devolution of human consciousness and the embrace of the false scientific paradigm of 'dead matter'. He demonstrated both his facility in producing 'miracles' and his complete disinterest in that mode of operation. He transmitted the incontrovertible truth of universal sentience, and roared with laughter at the idea of human supremacy. I don't know how long that first meeting lasted, nor how I got home in my personality-destroyed state.

For possibly two weeks I sat with sometimes 40 people, sometimes 5, with the Baba and in a state of psychic and mental overload, gradually becoming aware of something beckoning in the future having to do with 'becoming who I am', or maybe 'growing into mySelf'. I seemed to be receiving the transmission of the key to all knowledge and its access (or maybe it was just scientific knowledge up through early 20th century). Sometimes we walked in the streets, bought ice cream and pie, and visited the burning ghats, or accompanied him to nearby villages to see friends and devotees. I know some things about his past and his process of self-realization, but these too are not important to describe. Every master is totally unique, as is everyone's path, so there's nothing to emulate or attempt to duplicate. I was walking with 'God', as far as I could tell, and it was humbling and incomprehensible, certainly indescribable. I was not feeling completely confident in my ability to hold this space without exploding or melting down, or in my ability to 'catch up' to the present, considering my former state of utter ignorance. The phrase I remember most being spoken and which touched everyone so deeply was "I AM YOUR SLAVE". Right there is the essence of the guru's attitude toward the student, and the essence of what anyone should embody toward all beings in the web of Life. We are here to serve.

One evening I was in an upstairs room of a 'hotel' near the royal palace in the old part of Kathmandu with about 6-8 people and the Baba. He talked a bit, probably did a chillum (I wasn't smoking anything that year), and said he was going to read a chapter from the Bhagavad Gita. I found out many years later that of all the people who spent time with him, none ever heard him read this particular chapter, only the 1st through the 10th. This one and only time he would read the 11the chapter, the Revelation Chapter, where Krishna reveals his true Universal Form to Arjuna on the battlefield. In Sanskrit. You see, there is a siddhi of speech, which he possessed, both in English and Sanskrit, which is the ability to transmit a far deeper level of meaning than the mere words spoken, but perhaps depending on the receptivity of the listener. By about the 2nd line, I found myself following the verse as though it were something I had memorized before. This quickly morphed into a full comprehension of the Sanskrit as it was being read. It felt hard to breathe. Next thing that happened was time slowing to a stop, and experiencing exiting from my body. I ascended through the roof, into the sky above the city, above the planet, and sped into the darkness of deep space. I came to in a room with a bunch of ancient heavy-weight masters, and what I remembered afterward was me having an argument about my 'sentence' back down there on Earth. "I ain't goin' back there no how no way; I'm staying here" (wherever 'here' was)! Then I guess I was shown some kind of a 'contract', or reminded of some agreement I had made, and there was no more discussing the issue, though there was sympathy and encouragement expressed, as well as my own copious tears. Then I'm flying in over Kathmandu again, over the 'hotel', through the damn roof, and into the room and right back into my sitting body, where everything is frozen in motionlessness and silence. Then a ceiling fan begins to move, slowly, a candle flickers, and I hear sounds. They are the final words of the chapter of the Gita...Om Tat Sat.

A few days later I was told by the Nepalese police that my time was up....time to catch that bus back down to the plains and the border. I went away with the thought-meme of end-of-the-world on a certain date that fall. I went away with strange siddhis which I tried to keep to myself. I returned to Benares to my music guru and continued on till I was flat broke and kicked out of India. The siddhis persisted for another 6 months, but they were scaring people back in Canada where I landed (and Manson was in the headlines). The end-of-the-world date came and went, but it was infinitely beneficial to prepare oneself for the end, as the knowledge gained would prove to my advantage in circumstances later to come. The events that transpired that summer in Kathmandu would fade in memory except for a seed-knowing that carried me through the next 30 years. It took that amount of time to cook and simmer, and then, in the late 90s, the memories returned, slowly at first, then in a torrent. In the last dozen years it has become integrated into my everyday reality, combined with certain other similar and related events that took place in the intervening years. 
So, there's an example of another type of 'guru' phenomenon. It is not that unusual for a young seeker to fall into that kind of Grace, dumb luck or karma determining.
Just discovered Jaguar in Arizona

I pulled some cards yesterday as I began writing this, from the Grail-oriented Arthurian Tarot. The Fool came right up.
"All quests begin with a question: 'why are things like this?' The Hallow seeker is impelled by a deep urgency to know and experience: to find the world's healing and to seek for a personal direction. This path is both journey and goal.
"The seeker's steps upon the quest are directed by his communion with the Otherworldly messengers whose song sounds in his ears. ...And yet to gain the Otherworldly Hallows, the Seeker must travel the physical world for it is only thus that the Hallows will empower and balance the land. It is so that the Seeker travels light, humbly and in a guise which will attract least attention to his quest. It is better to travel without the weight of fixed ideas; only so can the free flow of our destiny be unwound....
"This is the rainbow path, the way of experience upon which the Seeker learns how to heal what is broken, balance what is imbalanced, align what is out of alignment. "

I guess that's as good a description as any, of the path of my youth. I don't know if any of it has any meaning or relevance to today's youth. It did lead from 'Seeker' to 'Finder', even if there are no words for what is 'Found'.

Coming soon: Could Mother Earth Be Your Guru?


brian said...

Good story. It seems like there are very few who are passionately interested in these things, enough to actually do something about it. And yet it seems sometimes that almost everyone without sensitivity feels qualified to parrot the learned taboos against guru or Guru. When I felt I needed a teacher, I decided I would just try them one at a time until I found a real one. I figured if there were so many pretenders, the archtype must be true and I would encounter "the real deal" eventually. And I soon did. Everything changed.

Anonymous said...

Om Namah Shivaya ~

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can very much feel the love~