Blog entry

etymology of Love has no opposite... (Kosmic Respiration; something, nothing, something, nothing)

Song of the day: Whatever sound or silence we experience.
Word of the day: Fantigue (origin unknown) A state of anxiety or excitement; an instance of this, especially a fit of ill humour.

Looking out for love.
Love love love. All you need is love.
Love is a battlefield.
Such is the language of love.
Love the one you're with.
Love stinks.
love hurts
love heals
love is the cure
me love you long time
everyone says i love you
god is love
mystics in love
love has no opposite

back in Minnesota last week on tour, i was staying with mom and dad. my mom had a book she was very excited to show me and tell me about. i forget the title, but the gist of the book was that this woman who is a painter was visited by Christ as a visage on many occasions, she painted him, and he spoke to her at length about many things. the book is full of all these quotations from him, and oddly enough, the very first line of the whole book, his first quote, is this:

"love has no opposite."

so, my mom read this, and wigged out. before she showed me the book, she wanted to know where i had got that phrase, did i make it up, did i hear it somewhere, where did it come from. i told her i half made it up, and half stole it, since it actually is an adaptation of a Zen saying (from someone in the Soto lineage, i don't remember who) which is "Reality has no opposite". i just changed "Reality" to "Love" since they are synonyms anyway, and i felt that it was the perfect summation for dharma pop record label, the song catalogue, and my philosophy of art / life, etc. so i stole it from Zen and switched it a bit. then one time i was reading about myself in Wikipedia trying to remember who i was, and it says in there that i got that phrase from J. Krishnamurti. that may well be, but not in any waking-reality sense. i've never read any Krishnamurti, but i think i will now, that i found out he said that. actually, i've wanted to read him since Eddie K has been telling me all about him, Krishnamurti is the dude who really cracked Eddie open back when he was still just a teenager.

i originally turned Reality has no opposite into Love has no opposite because i wanted something that came from Zen, but also had the heart and radiant divine HEART of Sufism. back at this time, i was very involved with a Sufi order (i miss you guys!). Zen has always been my Home-home, but the Mystery is really just one big family, and i felt profoundly enriched by the Love and Big Heart of the Sufis, their tradition had a Love-Heart that seemed to perfectly balance and complete the Emptiness-Clarity of Zen. together they felt like a match made in Heaven and Earth, and they still do to me. i have long felt like my heart has two chambers, one is the love-heart of sufism, the other is love-emptiness of Zen. before i had a wife and daughter, the love chamber of my heart was often filled up and embraced by the poems of Kabir and Rumi, both of which had a profound, defining influence on my entire life and especially art.

one time, after a show, this really freaked out weird looking dude came right up to me, skipped all social convention, and just gets in my face and goes:

"the sword of Reality cuts things TOGETHER."

he wasn't just speaking the words, his eyes were filled with the truth of it, the experience of it, and it fucking FLOORED me. this dude was that sword. that moment has stayed with me ever since as a major gift.

that's the vibe in Love Has No Opposite too. my feeling in writing music and lyrics is that i want to create a catalogue that -taken as a whole- reflects that simple Reality, that simple direct experience, that Love Has No Opposite. the song Wizard and Glass, for example, come from the same place. Love is not any particular quality or state or type of experience, but manifests and includes all states, qualities, and experiences. could be heaven, hell, humour, berievment, and so on. i want to write hundreds of songs, and simply have each one of them be one of the actually infinite perspectives of Love. distilled to the basics, the Kosmos is really only Love and fear, and fear is actually just a distorted (but useful and relevent) aspect of love. fear is impermanent, love isn't, so all fear eventually goes back to its natural condition, Love. but fear is useful, because its variants (hate, anger, contraction, tension, etc) allow for there to be a tension in the Kosmos, and this tension between apparent opposites (love / hate, suffering / bliss, form / emptiness, good / evil) creates a TRACTION whereby evolution can occur. there could literally be no such thing as an occasion -an event- without this traction, or tension, which pits something against something ELSE, which temporarily allows for something called an "OTHER" to play against. of course there is actually no thing that is an other, and there is no thing that is a Unity. Unity and Differentiation are concepts, not experiences, words are helpful bread crumbs on the path, but that's about as far as they go. no offense to words, but the Word is a wordless verb, so...

Love has no opposite is just a way to short-circuit all attempts to define or categorize what love is or isn't. You can't. and we really need to take back this word "Love" which has been hijacked and so distorted, appropriated by every imaginable human foible and idiosynchrasy. i mean, we can call that freaking rorschach blot of a collision that is two human beings enmeshing the Lie of their personas "love" if we want to, but... it's probably something more akin to Drama, or Plot Line than it is deserviing of the big Love title. i DO think Love includes two people romantically entwined, but it's not merely that by any strecth. LOVE is the shit. it's God, Satan, light, shadow, the erector set and the kid playing with it, the wave, the fish swimming in it, and the people drowning under it. still all just concepts.

in Islam, you have the 99 Names of God. in Isara (which is not a religion, but a language constructed to facilitate sacred use of perspectives), you have a series of words -all of them synonyms for "Love" or "Godhead" or "Mystery", etc, which literaly HAVE NO OPPOSITE. this is actually a very particular function of the language, since one of the foundations of the Lexicon in Isara is the complemetary function of opposites. what i mean is, in Isara, each word has multiple inversions or directions which it can be spoken, based upon the intimate relationship of opposites. the word for "clean", for example (OOR-soi) is also the word for "dirty" when spoken in the other direction, or inverted (SOI-roo). there is actually just one 'word', but it has multiple directions, direction #1 means clean, #2 means dirty, and #3, which is a flip / flop linking of the two into a palendrome (oor-SOI-roo) means "that which is beyond clean or dirty" or "that which is the Reality behind or before the appearance or illusion of clean or dirty". it doesn't translate very easily, but you get the general idea.

so, in ISara, there are also a number of words (the exact number is not yet finalized, probably 333, though) which are palimdromes and have no inversions, or no "opposites" to move in multiple dircections. for instance, the word "AnnA" which means "Love" of a Divine order, has no inversions and no opposite. it sounds exactly the same in both directions.

of course, what actualy goes on when you construct a language is Culture-building. Isara is a culture. the point of this culture is not to escape or remove assumptions, interpretations, and biases which are built into language, but to make better assumptions, or create interpretive filters which more closely honor, include, and convey the Reality behind the appearances (as Matt, my web guru dude says). so, the priniciple of inversions / intimately linked opposites is built into this language as a constant, experiencial reminder that in actuality, those items we set in opposition to each other are the ones which are most intimately related. and this principle runs through the smallest of things to the biggest, the shallow to the deep, in thousdands upon thousands of words. the palindrome performs a sacred function in Isara.

that also means that the words like "AnnA" or "ArA" or "AjA" in Isara (i'm rendering them in the Roman alphabet here because the actual Isara alphabet will not register on my blog) are very special reminders of the Reality behind the appearances, because in a culture so predicated on inversions and palindromes (the mirrored nature of Being), words which have no inversions and no "directions" are very unique, and stand out. in this culture, the multi-directionality of signifiers is built-in to communication. so when that shifts, it's a very distinct event.

in Isara, "Love has no opposite" is built-in to the simple word "AnA", because of its cultural context, its part and parcel of the definition of Divine Love because of the syntax / semantics in operation. same goes for the other 332 (if there ends up being 333 as i suppose) words with no inversion.

i was really excited when i first experienced Genpo Roshi's Big Mind teaching, because it's a Zen teaching that includes and embraces the infinite, empty clarity (Big Mind), and the infinite, full Love (Big Heart) in a way that sees them both as indespensible aspects of the same Reality and the birth-right of all sentient beings (Free-functioning, Integrated Human Being). his pointing out instructions and the way they are embodied in THIS language, in THIS culture (Western), at this time in history is really quite extraordinary, and also so simple, accessible, and immediate.

if Jesus said "Love has no opposite" to that chick who was the painter, i think it's awesome and cool. my mom was really excited that Jesus and i had said the same thing, but i told her "mom, i think we both know i've said an awful lot of things that Jesus didn't say" and we both laughed our asses off, cuz lord knows it's true. apparently (i haevn't found it yet, but i'm gonna keep looking) Krishnamurti said "Love has no opposite" too, and of course one of the great Zen masters said "Reality has no opposite" which is where this all started for me. i just snatched it up as a useful invisible necklace to hang aroudn my throat chakra, and am now trying to weave it through Isara, and my my music / songwriting, but most important of course is just to rest in that Reality in day to day life. nothing too big or fancy, or conceptual, just a simple bare awareness that sees what comes and goes, and also lives and breathes itself as what comes and goes.

it's Kosmic respiration; something, nothing, something, nothing- we're already doing it whether we realize it or not. when we realize it, and become conscious as it Is, then we are participating in the Prayer Of the Absolute, as E.J. Gold once said.

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