arlo & jessica 01

“What is it when someone feels the need to change, to change something really deep?” Arlo asks and realizes that he and Jessica have now just agreed in an inner way that this will be the question of the night. Maybe she was about to leave. Maybe he was just about to go the washroom. But now suddenly the question of the night has been asked.

“It means they’ve found a big pile of shit right in the middle of it all,” Jessica laughs.

“Yes. And the pile of shit is the realization that everything that lives eats, and as a result of eating there’s shit.” Arlo takes a bite of his sandwich with a mock glower. They’ve turned the music down, but there’s still the dim scrabble of wan flutety sounds.

Jessica hears the shift. The music is just on the verge of her hearing. What was light jazz brunch music is now something like space music. She likes it.

“Gurdjieff’s understanding of food, of eating, is intense. It’s near the beginning of the Tales, the description of the shift from the Autoegocrat to the Trogoautoegocrat. That which is sustaining in the universe is not really. Some food is needed,” Jessica says.

Arlo adds, “What does that mean for us? You know Jung wrote about having dreams when he was young of piles of shit. God’s big poops landing on stuff – like churches I think.”

“Really?”

“It’s relevant,” Jessica responds. She settles in, “You know when you occasionally catch a strange wiff of your own body and it smells unusually bad. Like not everyday stuff. There’s this question, ‘Could I really smell that bad?”’

“You’ve had that?” with something like alarm.

Holding course. “There’s this urge that says, ‘This is not real.’ Something wants to keep right on moving.”

Arlo laughs easily.  “Yes.”

“It’s all these things in life, in you, that keep leading you to these piles of shit.”

Arlo settles in.

She continues, “Your partner leaves you because he says you don’t understand him. No, worse, you don’t’ love him. You realize that the thing you’ve been trying to accomplish keeps running ahead of you or cycling back on you or running out of juice on you or the thing had no real juice in the first place, only you took a long time to realize it,” Jessica says.

Arlo signals for some more hot water for the tea, then says, “It’s a programmed ineptitude. Our feeling for the need to change has been spoofed and re-directed to the outside. Sensitivity becomes suggestibility. It’s not just in the materialization of it; it’s the suggestification of it.”

“Spoofed?” Jessica says.

“You know you get these emails that pretend to be your bank telling you something important. Blah, blah, blah. Somebody’s pretending to be your bank. Spoofing the bank. Then the email has a link that re-directs to some site where you give your password. Whatever. Worst case is total identity theft.”

“Then you’re in the Matrix,” Jessica offers. “You’re in the personality, running to keep up with the media image. The impulse to understand? No longer your own. The pipe is labeled ‘will’ but the data is coming from the Matrix. Spoofing. Hmm.” She pauses. “And the question of feeling the need for change?”

“The realization that you are the Matrix, you are the program, you are the embedded system. Well, not you really, but you pasty-faced and wriggling in the moment. Sensitivity has no firewall. Once the will-pipe is re-directed, it’s open to programming.” He pours tea for both of them. “Can you connect it to the shit thing?”

She rolls her lips. “Trogoautoegocrat means ‘I eat and keep myself’. Eating and, presumably, being eaten becomes the new system of the universe. Nothing is isolated. Everything has repercussions. The web of existence. Everything connected to everything else. Time is in everything.”

“Too many ideas,” says Arlo.

“Come on Arlo, you always say that when you put the ball in my court to play.”

He smiles. “Too many ideas.”

“Consciousness is time. And how can consciousness just end? It wants to expand like time.” She pauses to listen inside. “It either drives us mad, puts us back to sleep or wakes us up. If it wakes us up, then the game is afoot. We’ve leveled-up. Now there is heaven and earth, not just heaven.”

“Genesis…” Arlo trails off. He’s watching the woman across the room put her coat on.

“That’s a two point deduction,” she says drolly. “Lack of attention.”

He groans in the way of a trope between them. “What do you mean consciousness is time?”

Jessica says, “The shift to the Trogoautoegocrat is the consciousness of time already there, already chomping away. There is something that you did not realize before. Something really big that goes right to the core of it.”

“The load of shit?”

“Not yet,” she responds. “Consciousness is time because it is through time, in time,” she puzzles at the prepositions, “that we are aware that we are aware. Then there is a real change. We have to accept time, to process it, to let it process us. Then we have a new level of time.”

“Abstract,” he says.

Jessica gets animated. “The load of shit is the result of eating time.”

“Hmm.” He raises his eyes up to a corner of the room where he realizes that there is about an inch of dust all along the crown moulding. “Human consciousness is a conundrum then,” he says to the dust. “Some of it wants to expand like an empire builder and leave a shit storm in its wake.”

To be continued.

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seeing between

this is a reading of the time we spent at
the cottage
in the quandary of love
listening to the birds,
watching for the violet rim of the twaining sky.

there is a seeing between
into the cracks and fissures;
there are creatures
that enfold the tension of being.
what is the stage, the stratagem,
the nexus of perception
that glistens in glands and organs
that shivers in the cold rain of unfathomableness?
(idio / 2011)

 

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if i only had a brain…

If I Only Had a Brain – Recording by Gregory Dominato and Eunji Kim

In The Wizard of Oz the scarecrow is in search of a brain. It becomes apparent, however, that he already has a brain though he does not seem to know it. Literally and logically, he is a straw man. He is in search of something that he already possesses that he imagines he does not. In the 1939 Hollywood version of The Wizard of Oz Dorothy’s story also has a similar pattern. It is the pattern of losing/leaving something in order to regain it afresh. Dorothy runs away from home only to become lost in the storm. It is a long journey out of the storm back home measured in terms of psychic time, although not that long a journey in terms of material time.

This pattern recalls the biblical story of the prodigal son — the story of the young man who takes his inheritance from his father and leaves home to spend his fortune on sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, as it were, only to find himself years later yearning for a return to his father’s abode. In the closing moments of the Oz movie, The Good Witch of the North instructs Dorothy in the incantation, “There’s no place like home,” and it is this, rather the material conveyance of the balloon, that returns her safely to Kansas.

What is home? It is the essential place. It is the place where meaning has its root. What is this in us? It is the place that evokes yearning for return. It is that which is disregarded or that which we run from which later resonates with the rarest meaning. It is that which we are looking for out in the world of things and transactions that we eventually find closer to us than the jugular vein.

Why leave home in the first place? Ah, there’s the rub. The impulse to strike out on one’s own is a powerful one. Perhaps, it is the impulse of individuality; perhaps it is the genes expressing themselves. We must make our mark. Something must assert itself and this assertion usually first takes the form of “no” — “No way, I’m outta here.” However, the mythos briefly traced here indicates that this get-away has its vicissitudes. It is the return home that gives meaning to the ups and downs of the journey and rescues one from what would otherwise be merely the random fluctuations of fate. The return home occurs when the realization of the ruse of the journey sets in. The yearning for return comes when the end of the tether is reached. In Dorothy’s case this is the rope of the balloon that she loses hold of; it is the balloon which has been prepared to take her back to Kansas; the tether literally slips out of her hands. In the case of the prodigal son it comes when he realizes that the pigs he is tending actually have a better life than he does.

To understand home we must first be divested of our illusions about self-will. For Dorothy these are her illusions about good and evil. What she perceives as evil turns out to have no real substance. Evil is a projection of her own fear for survival as-she-is. When she understands this, she is able to melt the witch with a bucket of water. Furthermore, the “good” Wizard turns out to be media propaganda about a great and powerful boogey-man. For the prodigal son, it is, perhaps, the illusion of the permanence of the ego. In the end, this illusion dehumanizes him under the guise of raising him up.

Of course, there are many interpretations of The Wizard of Oz ranging from the theosophical, to the alchemical, to the economic, to the diabolical, and the purpose here is not to examine these, but to point out that there is this need to sift through experience, the need to discern something of ourselves, for ourselves. It is a need that may lead us to think and feel in a radically new way. In the prodigal son, the joy of return is met with great celebration and is expressed in the language of rebirth.

In terms of chaos mathematics home is a kind of strange attractor that is the place of meaning in the journey. Thus, we can be as mathematical salmon swimming upstream seeking the fine ribbon of current that is actually flowing upstream too, even in the midst of the general torrent of downstream flow. It was Viktor Schauberger who actually observed the phenomena of trout swimming upstream and who envisioned that there must be a reverse current somewhere in the center of the stream that the trout slips into. His observations led him to imagine that this reverse current must in fact be colder than the surrounding downstream flow. He observed fish catching this reverse current and riding it upstream. He built machines that generated vortices to demonstrate this flow; given his reported success the Nazi command attempted to weaponize the technology and harness the energy potential. Schauberger’s apparent lack of interest in this kind of collaboration might explain why he lived out his life in relative isolation in the States.

Schauberger’s Trout Engine

Schauberger’s story reminds us that deep insight into the possible nature of things runs the risk of providing more existential minds with material to further entrench institutions of power on a mass scale. Furthermore, if the stories about the use of the The Wizard of Oz as a mind-control template are to be taken seriously, there is here too the reminder that insights into the nature of the self and soul can be turned against the impulse of realization and toward something dark, at least from the perspective of building community and conversation. Anthony Blake writes in A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence that:

We are left with the oxymoron that an essential hidden directorate must be without any existential power. The existential hidden directorate can only seek furtherance of their own power. They must work to keep people asleep. It is known in principle that the most efficient prisons are those in which the inmates themselves act as warders. (118)

In terms of the mythos we are sketching, “essential” refers to the returning home aspect of the journey, whereas the “existential” refers to the forces that would aim to keep us wandering and squandering on the outbound path. Blake suggests that the method the existential directorate has to build prisons is seeding and feeding the belief in the self as the locale of power. A powerful projection of self image reinforces separation and creates the basis for external control of material and psychological spheres.

Returning to the search for a brain, Blake also writes in Gymnasium:

The way we sequence our experience determines how we think. It has been pointed out that our usual sequencing is really retrospective with our usual linear mind structuring elements of experience to produce a story which sustains belief in ourselves. Yet it is possible, at least to some degree and for a little time, to reverse the flow and see into a different kind of world. (127)

This suggests some kind of un-brain, an un-brain that deconstructs the certainty of self, and which maintains freshness by deeply questioning existence. It is the nature of this freshness that is untoward from the perspective of the brain seen as the seat of intelligence. It is a freshness that comes at the expense of certainty in the locality of self, a freshness that in many cases cannot be distinguished from madness and utter bewilderment. After the fatted calf has been killed and the party is over, what is the ongoing work of the prodigal son, now returned? From the story it seems that the father, who after all does not take the opportunity to lecture along the lines of “I told you so…”, has a strange wisdom that the son has only begun to glimpse. Perhaps he will become a student of this wisdom.

We are reminded here of something that Gurdjieff said:

When a man begins to know himself a little, he will see in himself many things that are bound to horrify him. So long as a man is not horrified at himself, he knows nothing about himself. He decides to throw it off, stop it, put an end to it. But however many efforts he may make, he feels that he cannot do this, that everything remains as it was. Here he will see his impotence, his helplessness and his nothingness. Or again when he begins to know himself, a man sees that he has nothing that is his own (original emphasis), that is, that all that he has regarded as his own, his tastes, views, thoughts, convictions, habits, even faults and vices, all these are not his own, but they have been borrowed somewhere ready-made.
(Recounted in Volume 1 of Maurice Nicoll’s “Psychological Commentaries.”)

In reading this there is a part of us, perhaps, that would let it fall into the place of dour self-contemplation. Imagine, for example, If I Only Had a Brain rendered as a turgid lament. Or self-considering along the lines of: maybe I’ve never had such moments of horror. Maybe I need to be dour in order to bring them on. Or maybe this line: yes I see this horror; and this must be the goal! However, such “contemplation” would easily put a stop to actually seeing one’s own accumulated idiocy in action, in media res, as it were. The possibility that one has no place of real knowing and is sewn together from somebody else’s clothes and is a walking, talking logical fallacy is an intensely dramatic kind of un-brain experience. If we allowed ourselves, our leaders, our colleagues, our loved and hated ones without discrimination and without it devolving into some kind of hidden straw man power grab; if we sought an allowance to be the idiots we are, then a certain quantity of spirit might be imbibed to odd effect: Some of these idiocies may be the essential ones that lead us home. Rumi conveys it best:

Whatever we are in front of is the food of love. When we refuse the dish, we thereby attract refusal. It is in the discipline of being present to ourselves as we are that we learn to let go of misery and misfortune and to allow light into our being. Egoism is always looking for what it has to gain and never for what is needed.
(idiotplayers prose adaption of the King and the Handmaiden.)

Gurdjieff relates a peerless story about a Russian merchant who introduces for the first time, through the agency of the need of the moment, the famous phrase:  “If you go on a spree then go the whole hog including the postage.” Here is a man that goes with the moment and accepts what has been lying in wait at the end of a sequence of events. He shows us something of the flow of the un-brain. He accepts the momentary humiliation of being overcharged in a book sale at the hands of his ego (the bookseller), perhaps to preserve the value of the book for his son — for whom he is buying it — and to assuage himself over his recent drinking binge while away on business. In any case, there he is in front of himself, more deeply in his essence, sensing perhaps even the constriction of his throat. But still he speaks, and from this, something entirely new opens and enters the existing world.

N.B. The recording attached to this post is of Harburg and Arlen’s comic gem, If I Only Had a Brain. It is an amateur, front-room recording by the idiotplayers not intended for sale or distribution.

 

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the idiotplayers podcast: Anthony Blake, episode 02

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The idiotplayers podcast is a caravanserai of conversations with important thinkers, be-ers and doers. If there is an elephant standing in the dark, as the Sufi story goes, we want to do more than grope and theorize. We invite conversations with people who aim from the heart to make practical, the far-reaching.

We are very pleased that Anthony Blake agreed to be our first guest at the idiotplayers podcast caravanserai. Blake worked for many years with John Bennett, in particular working with Bennett on The Dramatic Universe. The conversation is wide-ranging as Blake actively sought and developed wide-ranging ideas and practices beyond any given dogma.

This conversation was recorded on Saturday, March 12, 2011. We present to you part 2 of the conversation in this episode.

Biography

Anthony Blake (born 1939) studied Physics at Bristol University with David Bohm (see Bohm-Bennett Correspondence 1962-4) and the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge with Gerd Buchdahl. He collaborated with engineer Edward Matchett on Creative Design (numerous papers) and worked with John Allen and the original team that built Biosphere 2 (see Biosphere 2 – the Human Experiment, edited by Blake). With the philosopher-technologist John Bennett, a leading student of the ‘fourth way’ teacher Gurdjieff, and his team he worked on the development of methods of structural thinking called systematics that led to ‘Structural Communication’ (see Kieran Egan, Structural Communication) and ‘LogoVisual Technology’ (LVT for short , see entry in Wikipedia). In 1998 he co-founded the non-profit organisation DuVersity (in the USA) centred on dialogue for which he is Director of Studies (see www.duversity.org). He has authored several books, including the most recent, A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence. He has worked with leading practitioners of Group Analysis, specifically Patrick de Mare inventor of the ‘Median Group’ and Gordon Lawrence discoverer of the Social Dreaming Matrix, conducting and filming video-conversations with them and others in the field. He has conducted transpersonal psychological seminars in the USA, Europe, Mexico and China as well as conducting training in LVT in the UK, USA, Italy and China. He extended from physics into publishing and from philosophy into psychology but his core interests are dramatic process and dialogue, following the idea of the ‘dramatic universe’ he was introduced to by his main teacher, John Bennett; seeking spirituality in life’s uncertainties.

Topics and Links

Anthony Blake
http://www.anthonyblake.co.uk/http://www.toutley.demon.co.uk/www.duversity.org
A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence

Coombe Springs (See note in the web page); Mevlevi Sufis (founded around the Sufi teacher Jalaluddin Rumi); Institute for the Comparative Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences; Brill book “Contemporary Religion and Effects on Modern Culture”, the challenge of doing tasks; (NB: Information on many of the following names can be found in the piece on The Institute for the Comparative Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences or in the Duversity Connections piece); Sherborne House; Ted Matchett; dialogue and the book “The Supreme Art of Dialogue“; kundabuffer (one of Gurdjieff’s special terms) — see Blake’s reference some way along in the paper “MAKING SYSTEMATICS A GAME“; The School of Ignorance; TRIZ (Russian School of Innovation); Tony Judge; International Association of Cooperative Agencies; BionThe Northfield Experiment; David BohmHenri Bortoft; Russian system of innovation; Deepak Chopra; the mysteries of the blacksmith; Idries Shah; Gurdjieff’s Dover’s Powder Story; Mulla Nasrudin; Combinatorial hierarchy; “Zero to Infinity“; “The Dramatic Universe“; mathematics is the language of will and the language of gesture; the Kilarney story; ring composition; chiasmus; Simon Weightman; Mathnawi; Ernest McClain; Mary Douglas, Thinking in Circles; A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence; Dhu’l Nun; William Patrick Pattersonduversity.orghttp://www.anthonyblake.co.uk/http://www.toutley.demon.co.uk/

Notes

Music by the idiotplayers urgent carnival and advice to the drunk at heart.

 

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the idiotplayers podcast: Anthony Blake, episode 01

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The idiotplayers podcast is a caravanserai of conversations with important thinkers, be-ers and doers.

The idiotplayers podcast aims to explore art, creativity and expression that speaks to rich technique, sensitivity, attentiveness and spiritual unveiling. If there is an elephant standing in the dark, as the Sufi story goes, we want to do more than grope and theorize. We invite conversations with people who aim from the heart to make practical, the far-reaching.

We are very pleased that Anthony Blake agreed to be our first guest at the idiotplayers podcast caravanserai. Blake worked for many years with John Bennett, in particular working with Bennett on The Dramatic Universe. The conversation is wide-ranging as Blake actively sought and developed wide-ranging ideas and practices beyond any given dogma.

This conversation was recorded on Saturday, March 12, 2011. We present to you part 1 of the conversation in this episode. Part 2 will be published in a future post.

Biography

Anthony Blake (born 1939) studied Physics at Bristol University with David Bohm (see Bohm-Bennett Correspondence 1962-4) and the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge with Gerd Buchdahl. He collaborated with engineer Edward Matchett on Creative Design (numerous papers) and worked with John Allen and the original team that built Biosphere 2 (see Biosphere 2 – the Human Experiment, edited by Blake). With the philosopher-technologist John Bennett, a leading student of the ‘fourth way’ teacher Gurdjieff, and his team he worked on the development of methods of structural thinking called systematics that led to ‘Structural Communication’ (see Kieran Egan, Structural Communication) and ‘LogoVisual Technology’ (LVT for short , see entry in Wikipedia). In 1998 he co-founded the non-profit organisation DuVersity (in the USA) centred on dialogue for which he is Director of Studies (see www.duversity.org). He has authored several books, including the most recent, A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence. He has worked with leading practitioners of Group Analysis, specifically Patrick de Mare inventor of the ‘Median Group’ and Gordon Lawrence discoverer of the Social Dreaming Matrix, conducting and filming video-conversations with them and others in the field. He has conducted transpersonal psychological seminars in the USA, Europe, Mexico and China as well as conducting training in LVT in the UK, USA, Italy and China. He extended from physics into publishing and from philosophy into psychology but his core interests are dramatic process and dialogue, following the idea of the ‘dramatic universe’ he was introduced to by his main teacher, John Bennett; seeking spirituality in life’s uncertainties.

Topics and Links

Anthony Blake
http://www.anthonyblake.co.uk/http://www.toutley.demon.co.uk/www.duversity.org
A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence

David Bohm, John G. Bennett, Colin Wilson, Pak SubudMiguel de Unamuno, Systematics, The Alexander Technique

Notes

Music by the idiotplayers urgent carnival and advice to the drunk at heart.

 

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advice to the drunk at heart

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The attached song is by the idiotplayers. The lyric is a version of a poem by Jallaluddin Rumi. It is a renegade poem, at a tangent to the very large corpus of poetry translated into English by Nevit Ergin.

What it might be to be “drunk” in Sufism is a deep topic. The advice, in part, that Rumi offers is that the Heart is a mighty big wave. You will need a craft of some kind to surf it. The craft is made of your own energy of awareness. Watch over and observe yourself, watch over the faculty of fantasy that idles away precious energy. Find the core of sobriety in the swell of drunkenness. Also, get out of the way of fearing what is actual. Also, find some other drunkards who have been at it a while, who have experience. Find them and hang out.

Advice to the Drunk at Heart
words: an adaptation from the translation by Nevit O. Ergin of a Rumi Divan

Just as the feet find their shoes in the dark,
The Heart must have pleasure.
In that flood, get aboard Noah’s Ark,
Though there may be fear in large measure.

Watch, ever carefully over your fantasy
Never be afraid, my friend, of actuality.

Consider others as you would yourself.
Don’t listen to every stray word.
You may have something clean in your soul,
But against rust you can’t be insured.

Watch, ever carefully over your fantasy.
Never be afraid, my friend, of actuality.

Just as the feet find their shoes in the dark,
The Heart must have pleasure.
In that flood, find Noah’s Ark,
Though there may be fear in large measure.

Watch, ever carefully over your fantasy.
Never be afraid, my friend, of actuality.

If you want pleasure in your heart,
Hang around those who have found it.
Drink in the presence, find the start
From those who have travelled the ending.

Live among the drunks
Even if there is not much wine.
Just the smell of it in the air
Will be enough to give you a shine.

the players
gregory dominato: voice, udo, daf, mouth trumpet
eunji kim: organ
brian feore: piano
produced by the idiotplayers

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the future is searching for you

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The attached audio is a recording of a piece by the idiotplayers. It is part of a collection of music that we look to shortly publish. The spoken word of the piece is partly a poem recollection of a dream at a time in my life when the challenges of self understanding were apparent, as they are again now.

The title line of the piece came out of writing the series of prose pieces posted to this blog entitled six rooms. “The Future is Searching for You”, feels to me like the room called 6 from this series, the room where hyparxis and eternity meet. It is the room where the living future and the living past make contact with you in the field of being.

the future is searching for you
words: gj dominato

this is such a fascination the predilection to scour the seas for a foreign land

and all the while while you are looking that which is looking is looking at you

and if it were possible to record these manifestations in such a way so that they could be studied as they were and are tasking back up and down through the temple of recursion

the future is searching for you

the being in the black car is wearing sunglasses at the stop light

the warehouses just ahead where houses the now seen

at windows standing bold then melting

he smiles at the paranoia

the sometimes driver there stopped at the stop light is most amazed

he smiles too although he does not know why

in the room there is the palpable expiration of something profound

more deeply coming out of the presence of an objective element that has set aside childhood things

the future is searching for you

the players

Gregory Dominato: bass, beats, voice, whistle
Eunji Kim: keyboards, vocal, sounds
produced by the idiotplayers

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The present moment

I live in the present moment.
So far as I can tell,
The present moment is all there is.

Hope and expectation,
I experience with the energies of the present moment.
Memories, as well as the traces of energy residing in places and times,
I experience with the energies of the present moment.
What is immediately present,
I experience with the energies of the present moment.

This is no idealism;
Nor is it a backdoor to an objective materiality.
As long as I don’t unpack artificial distinctions of
Past, present and future,
Or here and now,
There or elsewhere,
I have no need of idealist or materialist.

The present moment does not require or permit any kind of verification or justification.
It is not a matter of belief.
There is no demonstration to be had.

Noticing, discerning,
This brings a marked increase in the density of vibrations of the present moment.
That is to say, everything more vivid.

Drawing something of a map of the present moment:

Ahead, hopes and expectations. What I am in front of.
The state and condition of the body.
Behind, memories. Energy traces residing in times and places.
The persistence of things.

To the right, form.
The form of my body.
That every body has a form.
The form of my thoughts.
Geometry.
Music.
The form of language.
The forms of life.
To the left, pattern.
The pattern of my genes.The patterns of my behaviour.
Archetype.
Design.

Above. Decision.
Tension.
Attention.
The need for choice.
Patience.
Below. Commitment.
Grounding.
Perseverance.

Disorder arises.
All of a sudden out of nowhere,
My shoes need tying.

The wolf is in with the sheep.
The sheep is in with the cabbage.
The cabbage is in with the earth.

My immediate and present action is coalescence,
The exercise of will, the enriching of being.

I live in the present moment.
So far as I can tell,
The present moment is all there is.

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six rooms / the room called 6 / part 3 of 3

It is late. The cicadas have given way to the crickets. The sound buffets in the flow of moonlight through the trees casting shadows on the grass. Between dinner and now there was a reading from the Dramatic Universe, a portion of the chapter entitled “Mind and Love” and then an hour of meditation.

Early in the seminar time slowed for Daria and for the others. Each day, a week of experience. At some point earlier today, time took on a new tempo, at least for Daria. We are all together here for a very short time. There is urgency, uncertainty.

The sounds of people readying for bed have slowly passed away from within the large house where they are staying. Old and creaking, the house has recovered something of its former rambling glory over many seminars with the work that has been done. It stands in the night like a large ship in dry dock.

Daria has been thinking about something from the reading. The shadow patterns accelerate into their stillness like black holes.

Hidden directorate. What a strange resonance this term has taken nowadays. Dan Brown, Harry Potter, The Matrix, the “men of renown”, global warming, the towers, 2012, the bankers, the royals, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Manchurian Candidate, the illuminati. Who’s running the show? Who are the hidden authors scripting the scenes? Who is scripting my scenes? What hidden machinery is running the show, my show?

Gurdjieff was clear. Consciousness, mechanicality. Conundrums, contradictions. Suggestibility. Sleep. Wrong work of centers. Misperception. No perception. Your level of being attracts your life. Understanding the depth of your own sleep is a preparation for conscious, creative work. Can I see any of this? … Some. Am I ready to see more? Am I ready to see how deep the rabbit hole goes?

Leaving behind the patterns of shadows, she turns and looks directly at the man sitting next to her. It’s the man from the movements hall. His name is Halim. She ate dinner with Halim, Alycia and Eben. It was clear that there is a long history between them. Halim said that he studied with Eben for a long turn when Eben was a somewhat younger man.

They have been talking for some time. Halim returns to an earlier thread, “Eben was inscrutable even as a younger man. Talking with him was like doing a crossword, playing a game of chess. He would say something quite out of the blue and immediately,” he says with a snap of his fingers, “it would connect with an incident, a dream, a recent conversation, a thought I had been thinking.” He pauses. “Most of the conversation was on the inside, and I had to work for that.”

“Do you think that’s what Bennett means when he speaks of a hidden directorate?” Daria asks.

There is a pause. Someone calls out in the distance. A dog barks.

Halim says, “I agree that it’s hard to see what he means. It’s hard to get a picture of it without getting dreamy … woolly, without getting fantastical. For example, have you tried to explain to someone who has never seen or experienced the movements the value that you see in the movements?”

“Yes, tried,” Daria replies.

“You and I understand in our own way. The movements brings thinking, feeling, moving into practical contact. Our understanding comes closer together. Perhaps for someone, a new understanding comes, some new jewel of perception hidden before. All of a sudden, you’re in the know, your present moment expands … either that or you’re insane.”

The dog barks again. The wind comes up from the south-east. Daria smells the ocean. It must be two hundred miles away.

Halim says, “My question along with yours is, What is being a creative agent in the cosmos?” He looks up suddenly as if to see a passing angel.

Daria laughs. He jokes just enough to give Daria the feeling that he means what he says. He speaks with an accent, very slight. Daria has not been able to place it.

“The reading brought you that,” she says with mock dubiousness.

Halim looks clearly at her and says, “The future is looking for you. The future is alive, intelligent, creative.” He pauses to see whether Daria has something to say.

“I see that our two questions are asking the same question,” Daria says.

Halim continues, “What would a person look like who understood the destiny of humanity? Understood the need. Could I recognize that? It may be that you are such a person. Could such another pass it on so I that understood it too? What if I ‘got it’, could I then give it on? What kind of coin is it?” He takes on a face of wide-eyed mania. “It wouldn’t be long before there was a cult perhaps, before someone took a part for the whole. Printing money out of nothing and charging interest.”

Daria could see what he was saying. Anything really valuable coming in can get caught on persona, can become a power play, can be weaponized.  Stand back everybody, because we have the answer, and it’s better that you don’t know.

“The noble lie,” Daria says.

“Hmm, yes,” says Halim, “and creative work is a protection against it.”

Daria sits on this for a long while. Then she says, “When creativity and love lose touch, there is terror. It all turns mad. I mean in my own work, and what I see around me. Creating without love is Frankenstein.”

Halim nods.

“It’s difficult to say, but sometimes this love is so beyond my limitations. I have to let go.” She pauses for a long while. “I see this troubles me.”

She feels coming another something to say. It has no weight. She lets it go. She really tries to feel what she has already said. The uncertainty. Her own incapacity. It came so suddenly. There is a ball of tears at the base of her throat pulsing deeply.

Halim listens. The wind is blowing steady. He can smell the ocean miles away. A car approaches and passes the house. Daria listens for the sound of the crickets emerging from its suck.

They sit together for some time listening. Quiet, allowing for the moment.

Halim takes Daria’s hand to hold it and says, “Thank-you so much for the beautiful sohbet.” He smiles. “Forgive me. It is time to roll my cart into its narrow chamber for the night. Up at 6.” He gets up.

“And I am more than a little drunk too,” he says. Daria raises her eyebrows. “Your trouble makes for very good wine. Alhumdulillah. The precious tears of a dervish.

Daria laughs. The strange logic of it.

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six rooms / the room called 6 / part 2 of 3

The air in the room has changed quality. She is following her breath, and there is certainly a change. It’s hard to describe even to herself … something like a granular effervescence. The room is alive with presence. A quality of mindful relaxation opens.

It is the late afternoon of a long summer day. She and the others have worked hard, weeding and tending to the garden mostly. There was also some building going on and a smaller group was working there. These people who were strangers only days ago have rubbed some the grime off of each other’s mirrors. Now there is something being reflected in each of them.

Everyone is gathered in the movements hall before dinner. The man who will play the piano is ready, his head cocked, tending upward. The movements class is about to begin, and although the force of this intention is palpable, there is no hurry.

In the room the patient quiet of inner work moves with the silent dexterity of someone knitting. The impressions of the day are rich, simple and grow delicious in the chewing. The group is now something different than the collection of the versions of themselves that they may have otherwise presented in the everyday world of bodies and surfaces.

Right now in the movements hall there is no inner chatter on the being-channel, no background hiss of psychic drag and electromagnetic interference. The change in the quality of the air, a feeling deeply present in her chest. It is her own; it is everyone’s. It is as if someone new has come in. The urge to turn and look is powerful.

The sun comes full through the western windows. The place is spare in furnishing. Benches, a piano, a few colourful hangings. The dancers are in rows. The lead dancer moves to get up from sitting cross-legged in one swift motion. The entire class responds together. The dancers are standing, relaxed and alert.

“The Finger-Tip Dervish,” the lead dancer says clearly.

He turns his head to the left to nod for the piano player to begin. The movement begins, and immediately it is in you and around you. There is determination without mania.

The right arm raised directly above the head, palm in. Eyes gazing forward. The left arm is at the side. The right leg is forward. She is not describing it to herself. Her body meets the movement in the place of its physical moving. The music beats in minor chords. The words are simple and direct: I am. I wish. I can work.

There was a time when these words sounded strange, trite even. Now, under the layers of reaction, there is the act. An affirmation, a feeling, a movement essentially resounding and striving to blend. Creation, yearning, and doing cannot be got into words, but neither can they be kept out. I am not word, nor feeling nor moving, but neither am I separate from them.

The piece shifts suddenly into the dervish portion. It is strident and driving. There is the foot pattern and the body turning. There is the leaning from side to side. The head bobs in its rhythm; the fingers strum in theirs. No words here. The dancers are a complex pattern of energy.

Next is Number 17. She is so amazed at this movement. The music alternates from heavy purpose to quirky lightness. The head beats in two. The arms and legs in eight. The bending from side to side is every beat. The trembling of the hands is continuous. In the multiplication section all of the dancers move across and forward and back in an interleaving pattern.

Everything that can be put into her moving center has been put there. No fear. No worry. No excuses. Her mind is now freed up to see the next gesture coming. When it comes, she is there with it. Her feeling is the feeling of everyone in the room. In the upper reaches of the moment there is purpose beyond the limitations of self. Out in soul country, we are a small tribe journeying upon the great western plain. There is a dense groove of sensitive energy upon which consciousness floats like fine mountain air. The current of the next multiplication moves us into place. We are not dreaming. We are as much here as we can be.

After the class she sits on the wooden floor to the beat of her heart. A thousand senseless knots in the fibers of her muscles untie themselves and slake their thirst. A conversation she had earlier in the day comes to her. It’s almost painful to recall. She sees in it something of herself that has played itself out again and again in her life, a sort of brooding suspicion that has pushed others away, kept them at a distance and has kept her at a distance from herself. She realizes in this moment sitting in the movements hall that her facial expression has now taken on the mask of this long-standing emotional lament. Inwardly she takes a picture of it. Such a valuable picture. She stores it away.

Inwardly, she thanks everyone for their efforts today in the movements hall. The dancers get up and leave when they are ready, one by one, two by two.

Dinner is soon. She gets up. At the back of the hall there are a few people who have come in. She has not seen any of them before. A man of about 40 with dark hair and high cheek bones. An elderly couple. A young couple perhaps in their twenties moving through the door on the way to dinner.

She approaches the couple. “Hi. My name is Daria,” she says.

The elderly woman replies, “Hello Daria”, with an impish knowingness. “I hadn’t imagined that there were such women dervishes about.” She laughs as she says it.

“I’m glad that you were both here for the class,” Daria replies.

“Such a charming girl”, she says with something like a drawl. “My name is Alycia, and this is my dear husband Eben.” Eben smiles warmly, but he does not speak.

Daria is instantly pleased to have met this couple. Alycia is full of stories, really wonderful stories, her life stories. They walk to dinner with Alycia pushing Eben in a wheelchair. Outside, the late afternoon has become evening. The sound of the cicadas is rich upon the air. As they move along the garden path, the scent of vegetables clings to the earth like a gentle musk. The hum of conversation comes from the building toward which they are moving. Dinner is about to be served.

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