Sunday, November 27, 2005

If You're Wondering Why We're Not Very Topical

Somebody once said, "Ignorance of certain subjects is a great part of wisdom." Somebody else advised, "Turn on, tune in, drop out."

I once said, "It isn't that I
can't make the world a better place; I just don't want to."

Now--let's get a grip. My gawd--did I
really say that?? Me??--of the human-rights letter writing campaigns and the Lefty Community Organization--of the aggressive recycling and assiduous non-Juan-Valdez coffee buying??

My years-ago self would have would my Al-Anon friend who was lauding Mother Teresa the other day...she saw the look of revulsion on my face, I think, but probably had no matrix within which to interpret it. One certainly doesn't want to think that the inner life (devotion, spirituality, and all that) is necessarily opposed to the outer life (family, work, politics, etc.), and in fact the lives of certain
real saints give the lie to any such dichotomy...

but what I felt burdened with most of my life was the duty to improve the external to the exclusion of the internal. God knows where this came from; it weren't my upbringin'...and since the summer of '04 the sweet but intense presence of my Guardian Angel has prompted me to do a lot of thinking about What I Really Want and My True Will, etc.

Today, on our afternoon walk, I just flat out asked Laura: "What is the meaning of life?"

Laughingly, she answered "It's to give your Divine Mother everything, all of you. You are the bridegroom and She is the bride, and knowing you, you'd like to imagine it as a lifelong act of love, so do: you giving yourself to Her in every moment until there's no you, no Her."

"OK, that's what I thought you'd say. But, do I have some kind of purpose outside that? Crowley and those guys always talk about how when you attain the K&C of the HGA you know your telos and your m├ę write your ninth symphony or whatever..."

"You have to live the life first, and the life produces everything else. You can't cook up some grand avocational scheme; when you live in tune with your Higher Power things will take care of themselves. Crowley and those guys were good at rationalizing their wants via spiritual codicils."

This is someone Who is so abstracted from "the real world" that She asked me the other day if football games were played on Thanksgiving...but maybe that's a sign that She's tuned in to something else, something that might actually be realer than even...sports. And I'm always stunned by L's word choices--think about "codicil" and the implied pun on "will"...and "cod liver oil"...(?)

You have to live the life...and I've been living it, more and more deeply, and the life has led me farther and farther from the desire to save anyone but myself. I should have known it wasn't my True Will to change the world all those many times--every time--when in trying to do so I felt utterly drained rather than renewed--confused rather than consolidated...but then, honoring my own feelings was never part of the script.

Well, despite my defection I can still listen to Dylan--Desire is playing now, a beyond-perfect record, and one that balances personal and political (the personal is the political, I know--), on the precipice before Dylan's notorious salvation--that he couldn't see coming because he, like you and like me, is the Fool: walking off the cliff and mostly deaf to the Intuition that dogs us, unfed.


  1. "But what I felt burdened with most of my life was the duty to improve the external to the exclusion of the internal" -- Like back and abs muscles. Strengthen one without strengthening the other and you can end up with a lot of pain.

    Makes me harken back to Ralph Blum's The Book of Runes: "You are reminded that you must draw first from the well to nourish and give to yourself. Then there will be more than enough to nourish others."

  2. grigorss11:12 AM

    Wait ... Aleister Crowley ate Cod Liver Oil ...?

    Wha ...?

  3. thank you, e_journeys, thou art verily wise

  4. grigorss, I really (no lie) got the feeling Laura was punning on "codpiece," but that was rather confusing..._A Passion Play_?? _Songs from the Wood_??