But for the grace of Sally….

So begins another day in Paradise, eh? Paradise being defined, of course, as wherever I am. As the romantic fool that I am, I’d love to be able to say that “Paradise is wherever ____ is….”   the blank space used here to delineate the lady who makes me feel that way. Sadly, I currently have no name to put in the space, though I hold out hope that it won’t stay blank forever. Until then, I, like every other old fool in these parts, have to furnish my own paradise, such as it may be…..

No worries, though…. all things considered, I am a pretty easy going guy, and it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy…. A good book, a bite to eat, and I’m pretty much good to go. I’ve learned to live without the extreme pleasure of morning conversation, or the balm of knowing there is someone at home who cares enough just to want to be there. I do miss that feeling, though, that knowledge that there is someone out there who gives a shit what happens to me, and actually spends time thinking about me during the day, just as I miss having someone to occupy my mind in that way. Ah well, life goes on, and that kind of relationship only happens when we stop thinking about it, and start getting on with life…..

In that spirit, I think I’ll make this one of the shortest intro sections in several months, and get on with today’s dive. I’m trying to cultivate patience, in my quest to keep from killing any federal employees, so I will extend that cultivation into the area of relationship, and be patient for the appearance of someone with whom I can find happiness…. who knows, maybe they’re already nearby, and I just haven’t been attentive enough to what is around me…. Time will tell….. In the meantime, Shall we Pearl?…..

“”We’re not talking about the same thing,” he said. “For you the world is weird because if you’re not bored with it you’re at odds with it. For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must accept responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I wanted to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”” — Don Juan

So far this morning, my mind is playing tricks…. It is allowing itself to become distracted by any little thought that passes by, refusing to settle in to one train of thought for long. I’ve now been at this about an hour, and not even this wonderful pearl from Carlos Castaneda is able to push my brain into an analytical mode of operation, at least, no so far……

I first read the Don Juan series of books, the first four anyway, when I was in my twenties, having first come across them when in college. They were a significant part of my philosophical training, and included my earliest attempts at moving away from the more classical forms of philosophy. I even went so far as to experiment with the mushrooms used by the Indians to produce visions, the psilocybin branch of fungus whose use became popular through the books. I can’t say I saw the visions I expected, but, it was definitely a learning experience….. I’m just not sure exactly what I learned….

But, that is what Don Juan is saying here, after all…. We don’t really pay attention to the universe, because we are too busy trying to control it, so we end up missing the perceptions that would be the most valuable to us, while we are trying to change that which cannot be changed. The universe is filled with “stuff” about which we know nothing, because we are unable to free our perceptive abilities sufficiently to see, or hear, or feel them. We are like blind men, shuffling about a dark room, bumping into furniture we cannot see, and exclaiming that we love the pain in our shins….

For example, in one of the Don Juan books, the brujo, Don Juan, describes to Carlos Castaneda a method of traveling rapidly across the desert…. The runner assumes a bent over posture, with arms hanging down by their sides, in a posture that appears as if they are bending over to grasp an object on the ground. While standing in place, one begins to bring the legs up to the chest in a high kick, but without kicking, but dropping the leg down as the other comes up, producing a running in place movement, with the feet rising high over the ground at each step, and bounding like a kangaroo when it hits the ground. The runner then focuses their vision a fairly long distance ahead, leans forward, and begins to run across the landscape, like a bounding, bent-over beast…..

It all sounds rather odd, and awkward, but, I have experimented with it, and can honestly claim that it is exactly as effective as it is claimed to be. While on a visit to my uncle, who lived near the desert in Phoenix, AZ, I went out into the open desert nearby to try to perform the described method. I assumed the posture, began moving my legs (and found my breathing automatically fell into a synchronous pattern that matched the leg movement), and then leaned forward to run….

It was an incredible experience, as one begins to almost fly over the ground, touching only with the feet for a second or less, then bounding on…. I didn’t keep count, but after only a moment of running, I stopped, and turned to look back at where I had begun…. I was astounded to see that in a mere few seconds, perhaps fifteen or so, I had traversed several hundred yards…. literally about five times as far as I could run over flat ground in the same amount of time, running normally…. I was dumbstruck, but, being a scientist by training and nature, I proceeded to try it again, with exactly the same results…. I’ve tried on different types of landscape, and it is as effective on the beach, or on a hilly mountain area, as it is in the desert; even in urban landscapes, as I’ve covered several blocks in mere seconds in my experiments…..

Now, of course, I don’t run at all, (too much risk of tweaking my back….) but, should it ever be needed, it remains a way that I could travel a long distance with little effort, for I found that after running this way, one is NOT fatigued, but, if possible, one feels even more energetic at the end of the run than at the outset. It also serves as a reminder that the universe is much bigger than just what we see, or pay attention to in our little bubbles of attention. It is our place as humans to explore all of that universe that we can, to try to understand as much of it as we may….. And the quest to know must go on until we are laid beneath the ground, to pass on to the next stage of existence…..

“People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.” — St. Augustine

I guess it all boils down to this:  Pay attention!…… You never know what may come in handy…..

“Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

Black Cat

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

The price of Truth varies over time, and according to the whims of circumstance. Though its intrinsic value is, of course, immutable, the consequences of its publication, or its suppression, can change drastically. I had originally thought to put a diatribe here, a pointed rant on a frequent flier in the skies of ECR (Exploring Consensual Reality…. you know, this blog, the place you ARE….). The rant, however, faded from my mind after a couple of pearls showed up to distract me…. then came the other two of those included below, and I saw that I was done…. These four simple statements make a very valid, pointed argument for Reason, and Truth, and for their value in bringing some sort of order from the chaos in which we live…. So, here is an old school pearl, with a very sharp point….. read it carefully….

“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” — Oscar Wilde

“If the Bible proves that God exists then comic books prove the existence of Superman.” — Smart Bee

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” — Buddha

“Who then is free?  The wise man who can command himself.” — Horace (65-8 B.C.)

See? Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? And you’ll be glad to know that this WILL be included in the final exam, to be given someday, far in the future….

“I’ve wasted an excellent opportunity to remain silent.” — Smart Bee

I sure have! Too late now, though, so it will have to do. I’ve already labeled it for placement in the “it’s done” category, and as you know, once it goes there, there’s no turning back….. I’m off, to try to figure out how to pass the time until the mail gets here, to either delight, or depress, me, depending on the contents, or lack, thereof…. Boy, isn’t grammar, punctuation, and syntax wonderful? I think so….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.




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