Blog entry


Song Of The Day: Young Americans / David Bowie
Word Of The Day: Rastaquouere / A person intruding into a particular social group and having an exaggerated manner or style of dress; a dashing but untrustworthy foreigner.

My favorite quote from Genpo Roshi in the last few weeks has been "It's only confusing if you try to understand it." I laughed my ass off when I heard that, and immediately stopped trying to figure it out. Till the next day when I woke up and had to stop trying to understand 'it' again. Just like today. I woke up, and the story starts. Story Story Story, the fucking story impulse in a human being exerts an insanely (literally) enormous gravity. By "story" I mean the bullshit narrative I build into everything. Every day, I wake up, and my frontal structure re-assembles a history, a personality, and all the pieces of my 'story'. Then all day long, whatever happens, any experiences I have, they are filtered and compressed through this storyline I call "me". It's so fucking weird. I say the story is re-assembled every morning, because it dis-assembles every night. I've noticed that when I fall asleep, and drop into my dreaming mind, the sense of who i am is very different. Generally, it is much more fluid, pliable, and loose. There is still an experiencer, there is still someone there most of the time who is providing a point-of-view, but that someone is really quite different than the Stuart Davis that shows up in waking, day-time consciousness. In dreams I might morph into other people, i may assume dozens of "identities" in the course of a night, i might not even be human anymore, i may or may not have a body, my body may or may not conform to the usual conception of what a human body looks like. in short, ANYTHING is possible in dream-time. including being conscious of the fact that i am dreaming, and can influence and participate in the dream in a way that can literally transform the quality and content of the occasions in that "world".

back when i was working with Sufis more (i miss you guys), i was talking about a dream i had with my sheik, and i was tellling him that while dreaming i realized it was "just" a dream. i thought this was a success of some sort, and he said "yes, but like all dreams -including THIS one [he said that looking right into my eyes], it is valid while it is occuring." then he told me to go read The Dream That Must Be Interpreted by Rumi. i did. what i came away with not so much a radical change in my relation to subtle (sleeping) dreams, but a changed relation to my "waking" daytime experience of reality. for starters

Why in God's name do i think there is something more "real" about this waking, day time experience of reality than there is to night time "dreaming" reality. there is no fundamental 'proof' to support that assumption. what there is, if there is anything basic about being-ness, is just experience of passing, impermanent phenomena. for the most part, what i call "i" is just a construction based on the response to experience and conditioning of the Human Biological Machine, as E.J. Gold might say. before my interpretation of it, there is just experience. before my analyzation and judgement, there's just phenomena. the experiences and phenomena themselves are nuetral, and i assign value to them. from birth, i develop and endlessly elaborate my preferences and characteristics. there's nothing actually wrong with that either, it's fun and inextricably woven into the human condition. but it's more useful to be aware that this is going on than it is to be unaware. it is more useful to have a choice to choose than it is to make choiceless choices. if you don't have any options, you're just as enslaved by basic impulses and the white noise of your brain, emotions, and body as an ape or a chimp. human beings possess a slightly more developed machine, but let's face it, the only truly notable thing that differentiates us from a baboon is a capacity to move our subject -our point of reference- ever backward. if i can make my subject (stuart) an object of my awareness, if 'i' can look at 'me' -if i'm watching Stuart- who the fuck is the one watching? keep taking backward steps with that subject, and it drops off into and out of objects, it is in time and outside of time, it is in all the forms and beyond all the forms. awareness has localizations, but it is not localized. waking awareness, coffee cups, computer screens, the shoes on my feet, my emotions of joy, pain, fear, curiosity, they all rise and fall in that awareness, and so do all the objects in my dreams, the morphing, surprising content of every dream my dreaming mind has ever generated. as Roshi says, "the mind secretes thought". that's what it does. the dreaming mind secretes dreams. what secretes mind?

when i drop from waking awareness into dreaming awareness, and the order of experience changes to a more subtle variety, why do i think that "reality" is somehow distinct from this one? my small mind impose categories on phenomena in order to parse it into digestable parts, but reality itself is unbounded. when i drop from dreaming awareness into deep, dreamless sleep, what's left? am i dead? who's there, in the big black void of emptiness that abides while the realms of form have all dissolved into the Sea of no-mind, no-thoughts, no-dreams? is that realm more or less real than this one? than the dreaming one?

of course not. and the matrix (pardon the reference) of perspectives, all the billions and trillions of i-points (perspectives) are localizations of an awareness that is not, fundamentally localized. of course this is where are emergent capacity for psychic apprehension and facility is coming from. we oddly find it exotic that such capacities are "real", we imagine that they are special, unique gifts that some have access to and others do not. the same could have been said tens of thousands of years ago when human beings began to acquire the capacity to create referents to signify objects in experience (language). that must have been very exotic at the time. but actually, with each step we take backward, each time we move our subject back one step, we increase by one order of magnitude our identity. each step backward/outward is part of the process of scaling an inverted pyramid. psychic capacities (that is, authentic ones, not the new age crap) are not special, unique capacities of an anomolous few, but the emergent properties of a more Universal order. the deeper you go into "i", the more Universal the realms are. moving from my private, discrete experience of Stuart into the more collective archetypal domains of dreams and sleep can often afford me a more intimate connection with the over-soul of humanity. if i cultivate that capacity sincerely enough, i may be able to stabilize "my" access to those bigger spaces. if i cultivate my practice to include remaining aware of the dreamer while dreaming, i may be able to expand include stable access to the realms below and beyond the dream, the ones in deep dreamless sleep. generally, if i'm committed in this lifetime, through the precious vehicle of human form, i may be able to establish open-access to all the various realms in all the various states, and enjoy optimum effectiveness as an agent in the Mystery.

and that's really what it comes down to. the whole reason my deepest desire is to develop a facility and stable access to all realms, all aspects of self, all states and stages, is because i may only be of use to other sentient beings if i am able to meet them where they are. of course to even say "them" and "me" is a silly convention at that point. these are all aspects of self, localizations of non-localized Self, but in order to be effective i need to have a working knowledge of every cave, tunnel, cloud, and chimera, not only in the Human condition, but in all the realms of all sentient beings. it's a very, very simple technology of Love. simple because the awareness which conducts this work has virtually no content or substance in and of itself. but it depends and relies upon an access and deft expertise with all content, with all substances, all variety of being and identity. the more invisible the agent becomes, the more it is able to work with all that is visible or invisible. the more transparent the agent of the Mystery becomes, the more it is able to move seamlessly through whatever form may arise and require attention. at this point, a friendly, constructive relationship with an ego becomes VERY useful, because it turns out the ego is a Key that will fit billions and billions of doors. the way through innumerable locked doors in the labyrinth is with the Ego. but it has to be a transmuted ego. if the subject is fused with the ego, the door won't open. if the subject weilds the ego like a key, the door might pop open. or vaporize. in a beautiful turn of events, these doors we open often reveal a reversal of perception, in that we were inside that room the whole time, and just opened the door from the inside. but until the key fits in the slot, that would never be apparent. all of this is why i have to be careful not to villify or dispossess my ego. the more steps taken backward, the more that the awareness increases its options in the localizations of the non-localized Mystery, the more appreciation there can be for the secret key that is ego. that is what is truly precious and rare about human incarnation. it carries an array of options and possibilities that afford the highest, deepest combination of awakening and operating in the Mystery for the sake of all beings. the empty, the full, the personal, the impersonal, the local, the Universal, the Human Biological Machine can accomodate them all, and that is truly a miracle.

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We were blown away by Stuart’s pure genius. Finally a songwriter with something to say. We booked him on the show, calls started coming in “Who was that? Who was that you had on World Cafe?”

-Bruce Warren of WXPN/ World Cafe