You Say You Want an Evolution
I'm cracked up on the highway and on the water's edge
She comes down the thruway ready to sew me up with thread
Well, if I go down dyin', you know she bound to put a blanket on my bed --Bob Dylan
I woke up at 1:30 and needed a dump truck to unload my head. I tried to remember it all before falling back to sleep, but I should have jotted down a few notes. Now I need a mental detector to find the little pieces strewn about the shore.
Which reminds me. I really did dream about the ocean last night. I was walking home along a boardwalk with an armful of books. The tide came in and began pulling me out. I lost the books, and then began to wonder if I would lose myself as well, the reason being that I always run my blood sugar pretty low. When you do that, you don't have much gas in your tank -- which is fine, so long as you're not suddenly sucked into the ocean with a handful of books, and need the energy reserves. It's just one of the spooky things about living with diabetes, with one foot in this world and the other on a banana peel. In other words, just like everyone else, only more so.
I think the dream and the early morning influx of light speak to the current zeitgeist -- which is a German word that, roughly translated, means "spirit of the times." I'm not trying to be pedantic there. Rather, I am only trying to emphasize that spirit exists and that is inextricably woven into time, which is composed of the warp and weft of spirit and matter, or vertical and horizontal. It's not just a figure of speech. There really is a spirit of the times, and one of the gifts that routinely goes along with spiritual development is the ability to discern the "signs of the times." You -- yes you there, troll:
In the morning, it will be foul weather today: for the heaven is red and lowering. Ye know how to discern the face of the heaven; but ye cannot discern the signs of the times. That's why your comments are so appallingly stupid.
Now, the Sarah Palin pick has unleashed a tremendous amount of "energy." But that's just a banality if you don't know what energy is, especially as it pertains to the human realm. What is this energy? What is its actual source? And is she the actual source, or just the occasion for becoming aware it?
Regarding this force of energy, it has definitely affected this blog, along with everything else. Suddenly I'm getting betweeen two and four times the traffic. Why? It has nothing to do with me, but with this impersonal energy moving through people and affecting them in a variety of ways, both high and low.
It is fascinating that this force has conservatives feeling more or less "ecstatic," while it is affecting liberals in the opposite way. The most vivid example that comes to mind, since he is already such a caricature, is Keith Olbermann, who is so loosely put together to begin with, that it doesn't take much of this energy to make him disintegrate altogether.
And when I say "disintegrate," I again mean it literally, in the psychoanalytic sense of decompensating. Decompensation occurs when one's psychic defenses are overwhelmed, which then causes an uprush of primitive affect and ideation. In other words, all of the things one normally represses flood the ego, as in my dream.
So here is Keith, decompensating last night on live TV:
It has always been understood that the sudden ingression of spiritual force will make the unjust, impure, or unprepared person sort of disintegrate, which is why spirituality is no game. Think of what happened to St. Paul when the force suddenly entered: a pseudo-epileptic fit followed by blindness.
Do not think of this story as merely apocryphal, but as a lesson in humility as one approaches the Divine. If Paul hadn't been who he was, the Force may have killed him or affected him like a Keith Olbermann, or the other malignantly narcissistic pneumapaths of the left. Your body and mind are the very field of pneuma-cosmic evolution, an experiment in the possibility of a higher life in an essentially primate form. (More on which later.)
Judaism is very aware of this idea of the body-mind as spiritual battleground, as is Orthodox Christianity, but the same principle is present in all authentic revelations. For example, it's not just a politically correct meme, at least as applied to Sufis, who really do see jihad as a spiritual war on the lower self. Unfortunately, they probably represent only 1% of Muslims.
But a thousand years ago, perhaps the average Christian wasn't all that different, given the "spirit of the times," which may have encouraged a similar externalization of the spiritual battle. After all, if you don't have a highly developed interior to begin with, then when the force enters you, it has no place else to go but back outside. In turn, this is why it is so important for Raccoons to develop a capacious interior, which will be both a cause and effect of the spiritual ingression. It will always push against your existing limits until they are totally transcended, so be careful what you wish for. You really do have to say God-bye to both your past and to your existing self. At a certain point, you won't have the choice.
As Will has pointed out many times, consider what happened in the 1960s. Whatever you think of that decade, it was nevertheless a reaction to a palpable ingression of spiritual force that affected different people in different ways. For essentially "vital" (more on the definition of that later) people, it affected them in an essentially vital way, making them only more vital, but then confusing it with spirituality.
Man had in fact reached a certain evolutionary impasse, and the ingression of the force was necessary to break through it. In order for growth to take place, Catabolism must coincide with anabolism. But many people and institutions merely catabolized without bothering to anabolize to something higher. Metabolism obviously requires both. But only for the rest of your life, metabolism being indistinguishable from life -- including spiritual life (on our side of it).
I was only a kid during the 1960s, but especially in hindsight, I can see that I was quite sensitive to the spiritual powers that were swirling about everywhere, and I could also see how they affected essentially dark souls, who misappropriated that energy toward narcissistic, dark, self-serving, vital, and anti-spiritual ends. Can I get an amen? Yes, grace falls like rain from the sky, but the rain falls down on the good and wicked alike. For one person the rain assists organic growth, while for another it just makes them all wet.
Damn. I really do need a dumptruck to unload my head today. I'm barely getting started here. I feel as if I'm holding on to the tip of the tail of a large animal up in the sky, trying to pull it down.
One point I wanted to re-emphasize is that the sudden increased attention to this blog really has nothing to do with the blog or with me, but with the influx of spiritual energy coursing through, and focussed upon, Sarah Palin. If I could show you the spike in my site meter, you could see it as a kind of measure of that force. If I were more of what Sri Aurobindo calls a "vital mind," I could easily see myself getting caught up in it in a purely political way, which is what vital beings do, because they can't help doing it. They see the energy coming from "outside," when it is really coming from above. But when it mingles with what is below, watch out.
To put it another way, the reason why politics is dominated by vital beings is because they live in a realm of visceral "excitement" that prevents them from seeing or understanding what's really going on. The further leftweird one goes, the more vital it gets, but not always. There are many vital conservatives, and I also find them offensive if not repulsive. In turn, this is why I like, say, a Dennis Prager so much, because he is always able to translate what is going on from the perspective of the "mind of light," which is sattvic (ascending) rather then rajasic (expansive and passionate) or tamasic (descending). (Again, more on the "mind of light" in subsequent posts, but think of it as the first manifestation of the human station beyond ego.)
Believe it or not, all of this is still connected to the series of posts on Hitler a couple of weeks ago, but it might take me two more weeks of posts to explain how and why. I think I'll just move on for the moment and try to explain where this is all headed. One thing I think we need to bear in mind is that both Obama and Palin are responding to the same impersonal force, but obviously in diametrically opposed ways. One is personalizing the force, as it mingles with his immense narcissism, while the other is humbly submitting to it. It couldn't be more obvious.
Oh yes. That's another one of the things that popped into my melon in the middle of the night. I hope that Sarah Palin realizes what she is in for, because she will have to essentially die to her previous life and her old self, as she processes the various forces centered upon her. As I mentioned a couple of posts back, imagine the strength of character it would require to maintain your center while being psychically "used" and abused by so many millions of people, both friends and enemies. She must tolerate both the vile and hate-filled projections of the left, but perhaps even more problematically, the idealized projections of the right.
This is why, more often than not, celebrities essentially go insane, spiritually, morally, and intellectually. They are simply unable to metabolize and neutralize the idealizing projections that come their way. Instead, they inflate the ego and breathe life into all of their mind parasites below. The same obviously happens to all of the fraudulent gurus such as the Demonic Deepak. (You will notice in this latest piece how he precisely inverts some of the mechanisms and principles we are describing here. Fascinating. For him, Palin "is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses.")
Note how the cosmos looks when it is precisely inverted by someone as wicked as Chopra. For him, Palin stands for "small town values," "a return to petty, small-minded parochialism, ignorance of world affairs," "a repudiation of the need to repair America's image abroad," bogus "family values," which is just "a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice," "patriotism," which is really just "the usual fallback in a failed war," etc. I tell you, he is a monster in a way that only a "spiritual" person can be.
"It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in."
What a freaking ghoul. Some days you need a steam shovel to keep away the dead. (Get a load of some of the comments as well: "She's a cheerleader. A Stepford wife, an automaton who delivers speeches written by other people as if the words were her own.... And this pit bull metaphor, is perplexing. Do we love pit bulls now? We need owls in Washington, men and women of wisdom, not rabid dogs who chew up the Constitution and bite any person wearing a turban. Pit bulls aren't thinking animals."
Having owned one, pit bulls are actually wonderful animals. Like humans, it all depends upon their master. Anyway, this is again why it is so critical for the recipient of such projections to be free of both narcissism and insecurity, which is another way of saying "beyond ego." The problem there, of course, is that politics is like a Darwinian environment that pre-selects narcissistic people of both the left and right. It really is "show business for the unattractive." When you see the TV reporters mingling among the delegates and interviewing the typical Republican pol, you see the problem.
On the one hand, the masses must believe that Sarah Palin is "just like them." But on the other hand, she can really be nothing at all like them, or we're screwed. Rather, she must be vastly superior to them, part of which will involve being much more humble and non-narcissistic than they are, very much like Ronald Reagan. This why it is true what McCain says about the Reagan Evolution: "we came to change Washington, but Washington changed us." But it really only changed the narcissistic and vital types, of whom there are always plenty. It could not under any circumstance change me, and let us hope that it will not change Sarah Palin. True spiritual maturity is of the utmost importance.
Before proceeding any further, let's talk about some of the qualities of the vital mind. Satprem writes that it is a "source of both difficulty and great power; a source of difficulty because it tends to jam all the communications coming from outside or above, frantically opposing our efforts to silence the mind, bogging the consciousness down at its own level of petty occupations and interests, thus hindering its free movement toward other regions..."
You cannot merely perform "moral surgery" on the vital mind, as conventional religions tend to do -- i.e., repress or split it off. Nor can you just wallow in it, as the Romanticists of the left tend to do. Rather, you must transform it, which is not as easy as it sounds, as every seeker knows that there are adverse forces that protect the status quo, very much in the manner that our psychological defenses can prevent psychological growth.
Satprem continues, noting that "there is a kind of threshold to cross if we want to find the true life force behind the troubled life of the frontal man."
I guess I'd better stop now. The dump truck has barely emptied. I may need to continue tomorrow instead of taking the weekend off, but right now I need to get to work.
Well, you know I need a steam shovel mama to keep away the dead
I need a dump truck mama to unload my head
She brings me everything and more, and just like I said
Well, if I go down dyin', you know she bound to put a blanket on my bed. --Bob Dylan, From a Buick 6