Sit Down and Shut Up!, or Cultivating (o) and (–) [2.03.10]
SHUT UP! SIT DOWN! (Ben Stern Version)
Our God says, "Calm down, and learn that I am God!" (Contemporary English Version)
Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream. (John, Album 7, Track 14)
Be still, and know that I am God. (New International Version)
Own a still, and it's much easier to do that. (Cousin Dupree's Version)
Cease striving and know that I am God. (New American Standard)
Have Slack and know that I AM. (Dobbs Version)
Rishi does it. Take your shoes off & set a spell. Relux & call it a deity. Disbeaware we disappear (who hesychasts is lost). (Petey's OM Version)
Next up in the arkive is this one, originally called Weekend Sermon: Advanced Leisure Studies. At the time I started the blog, I was writing mostly about politics, as do other Uncle Fromms such as Dr. Sanity and Shrinkwrapped. I guess I was reluctant to let 'er rip, spiritually speaking, because I didn't know if there would be any audience for the Way of the Coon, and whether the introduction of overt spirituality would alienate my already tiny audience. Which it eventually did. The political red meat was always more popular.
So I floated the idea of writing about spiritual matters once a week, just to mix things up a bit. There were only a few comments, most of which were mine, so that wasn't very encouraging. However, one commenter -- oddly, I don't recall him ever commenting again -- lavished the highest possible praise, writing,
Sir, I believe you are a Christian Subgenius.
Well. This humble Bob does not expect to be compared to the One True Bob or to his Church, which offers the following formulation:
THE SOURCE: JEHOVAH-1
THE TEACHER: J.R. "BOB" DOBBS
THE GOAL: SLACK
THE OBSTACLE: THE CONSPIRACY AND ITS DUPES, THE NORMALS
THE WAY: THE CASTING OUT OF FALSE PROPHETS
THE WEAPON: TIME CONTROL
In truth, Raccoons do not deviate far from this template, as our spiritual program of evolving toward the Infinite Slack of the transcendent I AM cannot be separated from our worldly struggle against flatland leftist conspiracy dupes who are all about diminishing and stealing our spiritual, intellectual, political, and financial Slack. Not to mention the false prophets of the New Age, such as Deepak Chopra and his oily ilk.
Anyway, this was my first overtly "spiritual" post, in which I attempted to perform a Bobectomy on my ego in real time while engaging in spontaneous (for it can only be spontaneous) O-->(n). But I don't think I fell headwrong and heartlong into that method on a day-to-day basis until around six months later, in the spring of 2006. We'll have to wait and see, as we presumably move through the arkive.
The Advanced Leisure Studies below the title of this blog (not there anymore) is not a gag. In fact, there is nothing more serious and important than leisure. The Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper wrote a classic little book on the topic, noting that the very possibility of culture rested on a foundation of leisure -- a sphere of activity that was entirely detached from our immediate wants and needs, free from practical or political considerations -- free from the tyranny of the horizontal.
For leisure is the gateway to the timeless, to the Vertical Church of Perpetual Slack -- that is, if you are able to slow down your thoughts long enough to locate one of the little springs dotting the landscape of your mind, pleasantly bubbling down from above. If your religion is working for you, it is because it has helped you tap into one of these springs.
In his book, Pieper points out that the word for leisure in Greek is skole, and in Latin, scola, both meaning "school." Therefore, leisure, properly understood, is a school, an unhurried realm where some sort of learning takes place; a mystery school, as it were.
Leisure gives access to the unmoved mover within, the still point of the turning mind, the sabbit hole we may enter, not by grasping and struggling, but by opening and receiving. It doesn't mean not doing anything. Rather, it means doing nothing, even in the midst of doing something -- returning to the pregnant Nothing from whence you came, even now. It is to quiet the mind, withdraw from the world, and open oneSelf to energies that do not emanate from time, but from the timeless.
The external world forces us to dance to its jagged rhythms, but here, at the center, is the leisurely rhythm of eternity, against which thoughts are like passing birds. In fact, this is all you need know in order to unKnow what we're talking about:
Body Like Mountain
Mind Like Sky
Thoughts Like Clouds
As memory reflects the past, silence is like a mirror that reflects and makes present the above, whether it is called heaven, brahman, tao, nirvana, moksha, the One. With all due respect, merely believing in God is a weak substitute. Better to know God, because that is how he ex-ists, that is "stands out" from his otherwise hidden ground. Only humans can manifest the unmanifest God.
The book of Genesis tells the story of our fall. It may be interpreted in many ways, but one way is to see it as a fall away from the timeless, vertical dimension of spontaneous communion with the Creator and the enjoyment of Boundless Slack, into the horizontal world of sweat, toil, pain and frenzied activity. Interestingly, even the Creator, after six days of activity, stood back, relaxed, and just enjoyed the show. From what they say, it was good. Like him, we must occasionally relux and call it a deity.
Science searches for the horizontal beginning of the cosmos. That beginning is located at the outskirts of the material world, where we may trace the faint exhalations of the Big Bong. Spirituality searches in the opposite direction for the vertical center and source of the cosmos, which is located deep within each person, slightly to the north. It may be thought of as the "I" that is to "AM" as Life is to Matter. It is what makes Being come alive. It is what makes you a Lumin Being instead of the slithery kind that keeps messing up the Garden, Homo serpentine.