No Hell (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 218)

Mama said the stars are the universe’s eyes.
I can feel them watching over me most of the time.
We grew up believing we could learn how to fly.
We came from the earth, but we belong to the sky.
I saw your soul without the skin attached,
and you’ve got the guts of a coyote pack.
We’ve been kissed, we’ve been cut, but we do what needs the doing.
We’re just rainbows dreaming we are human.
Please excuse the lights shooting out of my head.
I keep them in a cage, but they come out when they see a friend (you must be a friend).
You’re never really gonna have control of it all,
so you best get cool with where your chips gonna fall.
We are the sun and mother’s milk and cuss words and poetry.

There’s no use in running, unless you run like heck.
The best things we’ve learned, we learned from the wreck.
Jesus coming back as a woman this time,
handing out hugs in the clinic line.
Someone tell the devil we don’t need no hell.
We’re all pretty good at beating up ourselves.

As kids we believed that the angels talked.
Everything is magic, til you think it’s not.
It’s easy to be thankful for the things you’ve got.
It takes guts to give thanks for the things you’ve lost
We grew up believing good wins over bad,
So you gave away your heart but the wolves attacked.
(But then a bigger heart grew back)
Please excuse the words coming out of my mouth,
I’m a happy man, but there are some things I need to get out…

There’s no use in running, unless you run like heck.
The best things we’ve learned, we learned from the wreck.
Jesus coming back as a woman this time,
handing out hugs in the clinic line.
Someone tell the devil we don’t need no hell.
We’re all pretty good at beating up ourselves.

Cloud Cult – Lyrics*

*You should check out the song if you are not familiar with it.

Everybody in this Space (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 217)

The truth is that we are so used to a one false move God, that we do not consider and appreciate the no matter whatness of God, the God who is just plain ole too busy loving us to be disappointed in us. That is the hardest thing to believe, but everybody in this space knows it’s the truest thing you can say about God.

Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit Priest famous for his decades long gang intervention efforts in Los Angeles.

This is an excerpt from an On Being interview w Krista Tippett.

 

Shattering Shackles and Straightening Spines (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 203)

Pretext Note: I own and operate a veterinary hospital.

My employees should be thankful that they have a job at my clinic, under my authoritarian rule. They should perpetually pledge and display their unquestioning allegiance and utmost loyalty to the protection, defense, and future thriving wellbeing of my business which they are only too fortunate to be employed by. To help them remember how fortunate they are under my leadership and in this relationship, I have them salute my company logo every morning when they get to work. My employees are not allowed to have their own opinions or beliefs about anything that could be even remotely associated with my business at any time during work hours or off hours. They are not allowed to contradict or question anything I say, because if I unintentionally or even intentionally mislead a client, I have a great reason to do so; to prioritize and protect the revenue of the company and that revenue is what puts the food on those employee’s tables. As an employee, their public behavior always reflects the spirit and image of the clinic and that is just simply much more important to their lives and salary than their individual concerns, beliefs, thoughts, or interests. The company truth is much more important than their individual truth if they want to continue benefitting from the worker’s paradise that I have created for them. They need to remember their place. They need to remember how much I have sacrificed and how hard I have worked to build this company that gives them the opportunity to work. They didn’t have to go to school as long as I did or even compete against others to earn my higher degree which allows this business to operate. They have not risked everything for the business like I have. They need to be appreciative, quiet, and compliant. They need to know where their bread is buttered. They need to know who is always in charge. They need to know the consequences of not obeying my policies and decrees. They need to know the fear of unemployment and starvation, so they appreciate all that they are lucky enough to benefit from as an employee of my business. The choice to work for my business in the free market conditions of our country is a blessing for them beyond reasonable expectation. They should never be unappreciative or disrespectful to me or my business.

That’s sadly how it works at most businesses and institutions in this day and age, including those of higher learning and from what I know, the military. That’s all bullshit. A bully authoritarian system of suppression implemented by fear and psychological manipulation. It is the exact opposite of respect and of freedom. The exact opposite of stabilization and co-existent harmony. I don’t care if it’s now the norm. I don’t care if it contains minute amounts of truth in its distorted and twisted philosophy. It’s wrong. It’s at the center of dead wrong and such an approach harms everyone in its dynamic.

Humanity must do better. We must learn to genuinely and profoundly respect one another again. We must stop celebrating the glutinous and destabilizing mad king mentality and our doublespeak doublethink marketing of such antics and behavior as that of the returning Savior. Marketed or propagandized truth cannot and will not set anyone free, but the true truth, the real reality, shatters shackles and straightens spines. That true truth, that real reality,  is the mandatory gatekeeper and ward necessary to set all of us free and in doing so, to lift everyone of us up in respectful nurturing mutual union.

Cribb          2017

To Be or Not To Be, That is Not the Question (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 201)

I would say that the major religious problem today is the systematic liquidation of man’s sensitivity to the challenge of God. Let me try to explain that. We cannot understand man in his own terms. Man is not to be understood in the image of nature, in the image of an animal, or in the image of a machine. He has to be understood in terms of a transcendence, and that transcendence is not a passive thing; it is a challenging transcendence. Man is always being challenged; a question is always being asked of him. The moment man disavows the living transcendence, he is contracted; he is reduced to a level on which his distinction as a human being gradually disappears. What makes a man human is his openness to transcendence, which lifts him to a higher level than himself. Overwhelmed by the power he has achieved, man now has the illusion of sovereignty; he has become blind to his own situation, and deaf to the question being asked of him.

To destroy the illusion that man is his own center cannot be done easily. In order to understand, and to cultivate an openness to transcendence, many prerequisites are necessary, prerequisites of the mind and of the heart. However, our society, our education, all continue to corrode mens’ sensibilities. I am not optimistic; we are getting poorer by the day. To give you an example: Man does not feel a sense of outrage anymore, even in the face of crime. We are getting used to it. We are getting accustomed to evil. We are surrendering to that which we call inevitable. That is fatalism; it is pagan. The message of the Bible is that man is capable of making a choice. Choose life — but instead we choose death, blindness, callousness, helpnessness, despair.

Religion, if taught as religion, has no life. In order to understand what the Bible says, one has to understand life as seen by the Bible, all of life. My understanding of the meaning of God depends on my way of looking at this very table, at this very desk, at everything, at creation. The tragedy of religion is partly due to its isolation from life, as if God could be segregated. God has become an alibi for our conscience, for real faith. He has become a sort of after-life insurance policy.

Just as we are commanded to love man, we are also called upon to be sensitive to the grandeur of God’s creation. We are infatuated with our great technological achievements; we have forgotten the mystery of being, of being alive. We have lost our sense of wonder, our sense of radical amazement at sheer being. We have forgotten the meaning of being human and the deep responsibility involved in just being alive. Shakespeare’s Hamlet said: “To be or not to be, that is the question.” But that is no problem. We all want to be. The real problem, biblically speaking, is how to be and how not to be; that is our challenge, and it is what makes the difference between the human and the animal. The animal also wants to be. For us, it is the problem of how to be and how not to be, on the levels of existence. Now, what is the meaning of God? The meaning of God is precisely the challenge of “how to be.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel          1966

The Poison and Wine of Laughter – Part 2 (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 200)

A much different energy, whether isolated or commingling in its flow, accompanies the willful humor which may be implemented to tickle our awarenesses.

I believe that this delicious and relaxing wine of laughter can only be properly served and shared in the gobleted prisms of sparkling and chiming clarity. Its consumption  ebbs and flows only amongst those who prefer the good hearted spirit of celebrated comradery, understanding and reflection for all; toasts and counter toasts of sloshing wine, teasing and playful contemplative joy, to dull the razor’s edge for another, as much or even more so, than for yourself. It is the polished reflection of an acknowledged and shared higher awareness that may only arise out of the union of genuine engagement in which we mutually decide to smile and dance and frolic despite whatever else may be.

This vino of laughter is a magical elixir of lightness which brings counterbalance to the heaviest awareness of the dark realms of existence by protecting the totality of focus via its gulping defiance of complete surrender to the piecemeal density of the gloom. Jovial levity is not denial of or withdrawal from that infinite gloom or its unrelenting presence which is woven into all things; it is only a refusal to sink into the fathomless darkness, a refusal to allow oneself to hopelessly suffocate in the pure nullifying oblivion which lurks in depths below. The jesters of chosen levity have learned to whimsically walk upon that malignant swell and  even dance upon its blackwater when they find a kindred spirit who dares to stride along with them in the same defiant movements. It is a defiant communion that may properly align and balance all of the lightness and darkness gracefully and cursedly beknown to those who possess a highly enlightened awareness.

It is a saving grace of higher transcendence for those who might easily go mad or succumb to suicide without its tickling touch of perpetual light, love, and perspective.

As amusement most readily aligns with psychopathy/sociopathy and apathy, willfully aware humor most readily aligns with empathy. Where psychopathy and apathy typically find themselves engaged in laughter that flows from the ridicule or harassment of another (over-dominance) or the passive aggressive patronizing of others (over-nurturing) for some ulterior motive, empathy typically engages in the stable and balanced satirical laughter of perception, comprehension, and the hope to bring about a better existence for all parties involved. The poison of amusement employed in psychopathy and apathy creates only a marketed pseudo-union of exchange which perpetuates the delinquency of  delusional perception and thus, potentiates isolated destabilization for all. On the other hand, or perhaps I should say instead, in the other glass, the wine of humor employed by empaths is a swirling interaction of genuine union and thus, its magical liquor bathes all in the warm glow of bonding synergistic stability.

When the laughter of willfully aware humor is faked, bastardized, exploited, and/or  weaponized it becomes a numbed and zombified sensation of the pseudo-reality of the living dead. It becomes amusement.

When we let go of our egos and acknowledge the imperfect and bemusing flaws, glitches, and defects of our existence and coexistence, we move beyond ourselves and connect our energy much more readily with all of the other creatures and forces within the realm of existence; we connect to the rest of existence not only through pattern recognition, alignment, consistency, and  the refined establishment of perfected order and precision of purpose, but also via the vast pervasive and permeating “dark energy” of confusing, puzzling, and often entertaining chaos; we exist and connect not piecemeal and fragmented, but in isolated union with our own multidimensionality and even more importantly, in the greater communal multidimensional union of higher transcendence.

If we are to truly live, we must love, and if we are to truly love, we must. . .we must,  laugh. May the wine of love and laughter flow through your veins forevermore.

Cribb          2017

 

 

 

And Under the Gaze of God? (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 189)

It was a life of order and strict service, an unending sacrifice, a constantly renewed striving for clarity and justice. It was much purer, much better than the life of an artist, vagrant, and seducer of women. But seen from above, with God’s eyes — was this exemplary life of order and discipline, of renunciation of the world and of the joys of the senses, of remoteness from dirt and blood, of withdrawal into philosophy and meditation any better than Goldmund’s life? Had man really been created to live a regulated life, with hours and duties indicated by prayer bells? Had man really been created to study Aristotle and Saint Thomas, to know Greek, to extinguish his senses, to flee the world? Had God not created him with senses and instincts, with blood-colored darknesses, with the capacity for sin, lust, and despair? These were the questions around which the Abbot’s thoughts circled when they dwelt upon his friend.

Yes, and was it not perhaps more childlike and human to lead a Goldmund-life, more courageous, more noble perhaps in the end to abandon oneself to the cruel stream of reality, to chaos, to commit sins and accept their bitter consequences rather than live a clean life with washed hands outside the world, laying out a lonely harmonious thought-garden, strolling sinlessly among one’s sheltered flower beds. Perhaps it was harder, braver and nobler to wander through the forests and along the highways with torn shoes, to suffer sun and rain, hunger and need, to play with the joys of the senses and pay for them with suffering.

Narcissus and Goldmund

Hermann Hesse          1930

I did not know (Love vs Sex 247)

And I felt that I never wanted to leave that room, I did not want dawn to come, I did not want the atmosphere that enfolded me to be dissolved. I felt that my dreams and thoughts and prayers were living things, living there in the darkness with me, hovering about my bed and standing over me. And every thought I had was his thought, and every feeling his feeling. I did not know then that this was love — I thought that it was something that often happened, a feeling to be enjoyed and taken for granted.

Happily Ever After

Leo Tolstoy          1859