Tag: mystery

Nothing from Nothing: II

Don’t get me wrong, I love all 88,

But the piano’s register just below the waistline

Is The One For Me.  That’s where my own voice

Lives, it’s where my ears understand the sick

Sweet chords.  I’m no musician, but play

Billy Preston, in super slo-mo,

which is transcendent enough

for me; well, have you tried it?  Believe

you me, it transports at any pace.

irreplaceable, like the spoken word;

From friend to friend, from generation to

generation.  The human ear cannot hear

some of Bach’s melodies in the wrong

tempo.  A Viennese friend proved that

to my satisfaction, but you can play

Billy Preston like molasses, and feel fine,

All over.  Just to stroke the same chords

In order places you next to god.  Amen.

I know I’ve run this one past you before, but here it comes ag’in.  It’s unstable in flight, like a high-tech fighter plane, but this is a high-tech funky love plane, instead:

Where Do We Go When Our ‘Time’ Comes?

I have always liked the myth and metaphor that Alan Watts in the mid sixties used in his “The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are“:

   “There was never a time when the world began, because it goes round and round like a circle, and there is no place on a circle where it begins. Look at my watch, which tells the time; it goes round, and so the world repeats itself again and again. But just as the hour-hand of the watch goes up to twelve and down to six, so, too, there is day and night, waking and sleeping, living and dying, summer and winter. You can’t have any one of these without the other, because you wouldn’t be able to know what black is unless you had seen it side-by-side with white, or white unless side-by-side with black.

   “In the same way, there are times when the world is, and times when it isn’t, for if the world went on and on without rest for ever and ever, it would get horribly tired of itself. It comes and it goes. Now you see it; now you don’t. So because it doesn’t get tired of itself, it always comes back again after it disappears. It’s like your breath: it goes in and out, in and out, and if you try to hold it in all the time you feel terrible. It’s also like the game of hide-and-seek, because it’s always fun to find new ways of hiding, and to seek for someone who doesn’t always hide in the same place.

   “God also likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside God, he has no one but himself to play with. But he gets over this difficulty by pretending that he is not himself. This is his way of hiding from himself. He pretends that he is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way he has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when he wakes up they will disappear.

   “Now when God plays hide and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself. But that’s the whole fun of it-just what he wanted to do. He doesn’t want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself. But when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self-the God who is all that there is and who lives for ever and ever.


   “God is the Self of the world, but you can’t see God for the same reason that, without a mirror, you can’t see your own eyes, and you certainly can’t bite your own teeth or look inside your head. Your self is that cleverly hidden because it is God hiding.

   “You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that he isn’t really doing this to anyone but himself. Remember, too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. It’s the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game is to put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards once more and play again, and so it goes with the world.”

   “The Ultimate Ground of Being” is Paul Tillich’s decontaminated term for God” and would also do for “the Self of the world” as I put it in my story for children. But the secret which my story slips over to the child is that the Ultimate Ground of Being is you. Not, of course, the everyday you which the Ground is assuming, or “pretending” to be, but that inmost Self which escapes inspection because it’s always the inspector. This, then, is the taboo of taboos. You’re It!

I highly recommend Watts’ book.

That Mortal Coil: A little fiction.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents reside only in the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is completely coincidental.

Chapter 5

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

William Wordsworth

Intimations on Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

I like the day. Times past I worked most at night; the time on my beat as a street cop, the night-set cases I was assigned when I made shield. I learned a great deal. I found that the night hosts things that scrape the walls of a conscience and abrade the soul.

Under the dome of the daytime world, I reach my hand to the sky and touch the clouds. I close my right eye and puncture a passing cloud with my index finger. There it is; I feel blueness through the white and fluffy gauze. No dark shadows that blocks a streetlight, no evil to flavor the wind.