Tag Archives: Essay

Traveling in Space, an Essay

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

Quote: “To travel in space you must leave the old verbal garbage behind: God talk, country talk, mother talk, love talk, party talk. You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence. Anyone who prays in space is not there.” — William S. Burroughs

Perhaps one of the hardest “lessons” for the Avatar to learn is to proceed as if one were utterly alone in space; in the universe; in the Cosmos. To cut off all ties with all the known, to refuse any thought of neediness. To realize and accept how absolutely necessary it is to never open one’s thoughts to, or ever utter a single word of, any sort of prayer.

That is what it means, primarily, for me to be self empowered. Of course the argument immediately turns to the fact that my life is circumscribed by all the things needed to make that life possible. Yes, those things are there indeed. But the Avatar knows that they are not there to make her life possible, but to surround her with chains and to eat her flesh, then her mind. That is what it means to live in a predatory system.

That does not invalidate the earlier claim that I must not allow a word or thought to express neediness. That is done by refusing to enter any debate, support for, or defense of, any system purporting to be “for” me. To believe that a religious, state or financial system is there for me is akin to the steer milling about in the loafing barn believing that the agri-business that owns it is there for its survival and long life. An Avatar must be a bit smarter than that. To know how the System operates and what it uses as fuel is certainly the beginning of wisdom.

I am free to discuss with anyone the state of the economy, or regime changes and resource wars; to commiserate over on-going genocides and people’s fears over their particular nation’s political trends or the death of a friend or happiness over a planned trip or wedding or birth of a child. In all of that I must remember that I am no longer a part of it; that whether it impacts large numbers or one individual it does not affect me in “that” way. I must remember to remain emotionally detached from these issues with the understanding that if it turn out to be a problem, when it approaches me; comes home to roost, I am expendable in the next step: providing what help I can muster for the losers, victims and survivors.

There is much (deliberately infused) misunderstanding about detachment. It is usually understood as a state of not caring. In fact it is the opposite: only a detached and self empowered individual can truly help another. When I approach someone in a detached state I am pure giving; the needy predator within is effectively shut-out. In a detached state I can see a need and know what has to happen to alleviate it. I know what my personal resources are and how best to apply them to the situation. Having learned not to express neediness, any other-than-myself “help” avenue is closed off. I take full responsibility for whatever I am about to commit myself to doing. For the Avatar that can translate as giving up everything, including one’s life. So be it because at that point it’s all about me, and I am in control of my own life.

Giving up one’s life in service of others: is that such a big deal? In a crisis where so many are losing out; where many poor are literally dying on the streets of the richest countries and richest cities, is it “extraordinary” for an individual to participate fully in becoming part of the downfall? The Avatar’s question is, why should my life be worth more, or be more precious to me, than his, hers, theirs’? People in general tend to talk up a good game about love. Everybody except me seems to be in love with love. But what does that translate as, when push comes to shove?

I’m sure if I lived in a theater of war and attendant atrocity I would see real examples of love expressed courageously by many. But as always, I would know that such examples, such efforts, are not usually motivated by a changed and permanent mindset but rather by circumstances. That’s the problem with love: it is dependent, weak, transient and exclusive.

The self empowered, detached, responsible Avatar eschews love as a too uncertain an emotion. To live as if one were already dead so as to function fearlessly the Avatar requires something much more reliable than an emotion. Enter compassion.

Again, as with detachment, there is much misunderstanding about the concept of compassion. Generally it is considered to be just one of a list of ‘virtues’ a person should exhibit, such as decency, love, caring, kindness, patience. Certainly nothing wrong with expressing such but honestly they have little holding power. A change of circumstance can drastically alter the response. This I have seen.

Compassion is never circumstance-dependent because it is entered into by self empowered personal choice. It is a personal commitment to a way of life and it is inclusive. It may well be what the Buddha had in mind before his teachings were hijacked into a religious enterprise, before it became “Buddhism” which, like any religious enterprise, possesses no power to change anyone’s mind. Compassion, before it can be claimed by anyone, must become the purpose of one’s entire life with the ultimate goal of the individual becoming pure compassion, however many aeons of time that may encompass.

To be compassionate is traveling in one’s own space, living alone in the silence of one’s sacred self-awareness, able to filter out the shallow and ever present ocean of socially-induced noise.

Forget Everything you know, or Think you know

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

I don’t make new year’s resolutions, that’s usually a given, but some years end in such a state, or condition, that they require some serious re-thinking.  For me that has meant two things: this would be a year of living frugally (yes, there’s always room to do some trimming, but it’s mostly about distancing myself from consumerism and banksterism) and of spending more time searching for better answers to the serious questions of life.

So I started with blogging by deciding I’d post an entire novel bit by bit, or blog post by blog post.  I’m not sure yet how many posts there are going to be, but my goal is to put one up ever two days. I thought that would be enough, not too much.

The reason to do this is less about the novel, more about a change of pace.  I’m going back to some of my original ‘teachings’ that warned me to eschew politics so you’ll see much less of that.  What I will probably do with those in-between days will be to post some ideas; some thoughts; on how the world of man (in particular) looks to me without being framed in politics, economics or religion. 

“Forget everything you know, or think you know,” is a good quote to start the way, followed by “Everything in the universe is created by our own mind. Our mind is the source of all phenomena. Form, sound, smell, taste, and tactile perception such as hot and cold, hard and soft—these are all creations of our mind. They do not exist as we usually think they do. Our consciousness is like an artist, painting every phenomenon into being. Once you have attained the state of the realm of no materiality, you will have succeeded. The realm of non materiality is the state in which we see that no phenomenon exists outside of our own mind.”

Do I agree with that? Not really, and it depends on which side of the great divide we are on, and even then, it depends on how we feel about it all.  When I was writing the novel, “The Antierra Manifesto” I was trancing much of it. I wasn’t so much putting a book together as I was remembering a slice of my own history. In other words, I was experiencing it knowing it was something I had been, and would be, involved in.  I was traveling back and forth from the future back into this present, aware that all of it was an aspect of me.

Now then, if everything in the universe is created by our own mind, who in her right mind would have ever created such a world as “Malefactus” (T’Sing Tarleyn)? Not me certainly.  Would such a place be attractive to some people? If yes, then here’s the interesting question: if I did not create such a hell, then somebody else did, either when my back was turned, or there was nothing I could do to prevent it at the time and having discovered it I’m stuck with it.

Here then is my conundrum: Does it matter that our mind is the source of all phenomena if it still manifests as one great big whole and each one of us is a puny helpless nothing in its midst, throwing our personal efforts in the works with as much effect as say, a gnat that crawled aboard a nuclear submarine will have on its guidance system?  

I see things that are glaringly wrong, but only so to me, and perhaps some victims of a particularly abusive system, but the problem is I am not the one who is creating the system and I cannot undo it. Point: it is most emphatically not in my mind!

So I’m told to enter into a state of immateriality where nothing exists outside of my own mind.  Oh sure, all well and good, but I’m still that same mind face to face with an abusive system.  I cannot take that system, bring it into my own mind and vanish it!

My conclusion at this point is that reaching a point of immateriality is only going to make materiality all the more poignant and strident because I will be observing it from a state of mind.  As a compassionate being I will be just as involved in the material inasmuch as I feel all of the life within it.  It will keep calling me back, whether I can do anything to help anyone, or just sit and cry… or laugh, or until I have learned how to return into the material and dance and die with it.  

This much I have learned.  If we choose to activate our compassion mode then we will live through infinity but it will not be to disappear from the material since that is after all what gives us the only reason we can come up with for existing as human beings. Our compassion will keep bringing us back to our material worlds but each time we will learn to approach them with greater, more meaningful joy and sorrow. 

I Wonder – an essay

                          I Wonder
                  [thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

       I wonder how many people on this world reach a point of total exhaustion from all the spinning around; all the questioning; all the struggling; all the spending; even all the merry making.  How many wish to stop in the middle of the madness and ask: Why? 
     Why am I doing this?  I’ve done this over and over.  What’s the point? 
      It would seem there does not need to be a point.  Life on earth is like riding the escalator.  If you are on the up side, you move up and if on the down side, you move down — just like everybody else around you.  No point – it’s just the escalator doing its thing and you’re on it.
It’s not so easy to get off the earth escalator, is it.  Even if you stop, you still move, up or down, and so does everything else around you.  You feel helpless to do anything about it.  It’s enough to make one have flying dreams.  To see oneself off the escalator, looking down but no longer bound to its trajectory. 
      There must come a time when one says, “Enough already!”  In “real” time, we don’t ride escalators just for the fun of it, nor do we remain on them.  We use them to get between floors, between “dimensions”, and each floor has something different to offer.  On earth, it’s just one floor and two escalators, one really narrow one that takes you up you don’t know where and that’s scary so very few take it,  and a really wide one that moves down into the darkness – only most riders don’t see that as darkness – they just think it’s the good life club or the bargain basement.  Only its just more darkness.  That’s the Matrix.
     Today I realize more than at any other time that I’m tired of the escalator.  Of the pointlessness of it all.  The quest for things that die.  The quest to satisfy a body that can’t even keep itself going – to keep a defective piece of equipment functioning long past it’s shelf-life.
I want off.  I don’t think that even the upward moving one will take me where I want to go (and do I really know where that is?).  I don’t trust escalators – somehow they’re too easy.  Today, there’s a part of me that wants wings, the power to go wherever I wish without dependency to pre-established paths.  That really wants to fly! 
      There is a growing consensus among Earthians that you can “intent” things; that you can attract things to yourself by thinking positively about them.  Some kind of “attraction” energy.  I wish that were true of all things, not just personal ones!  I have spent a lifetime in “intent” to bring about good things for earth.  I didn’t want them for me, but for the world.
Intent must be a weak force: what I intended for others, I got for me instead.  I don’t see a lot of it having gone out into the world to make it a better place.  So now, having received all the good things I didn’t even want – and certainly didn’t need – things I intended for “YOU” to have, I have nothing left to do here.
     Ah yes, there is one thing left I’d fall for today (I must be soft in the head – but that’s the problem with desire) — I want someone, OK, let’s admit it, I want “God” to come to me and say, “I love you and I’ll take care of everything from now on,” and I want to just give up and reply: “I’m yours, no reservation.”  I would utter Chief Joseph’s famous words: “I shall fight no more forever.”
     Can I do that?  After all I’ve done?  All I’ve stated regarding my distrust of God?  All my anger at global injustice that I blamed on Him and that still rages on?  I’ve trusted Him to be with me and gave Him my entire life on two occasions… and He abandoned me when I needed Him most.
Can I fall for that again?  Has He changed, or have I?
(NOTE: When I say “YOU” below, I mean the world, not an individual person.)
     Was it Him who created the escalator in the first place?  You’ll say to me, “Yeah, well ask Him, don’t ask us.”  But I think that God’s “voice” is humanity.  “YOU” speak for God.  I don’t care about the feel good stuff you say about Him, but YOU are God for me. 
     The only way I’ll ever really see God is by looking at YOU.  The only way I’ll ever know God is by observing YOU.  Can I trust YOU?  Can I give myself to YOU?  If I come to you as just another nameless and faceless of the tens of thousands you kill each day, how much compassion can I expect from YOU?  Better yet, if I come from the “wrong” part of the world, or if I wear the “wrong” type of dress, or the “wrong” skin colour, or speak the “wrong” language, will you see me as just another YOU?
     I think I know the answer.  And that is why I’m tired.  Why I think more and more about a home that is far, far away from “YOU.”