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Monday, December 5, 2011


Hatred can be expressed
in the most correct of terms
and affection in the crudest.  
                  ---Lucas Pasley

A few hours ago I listened to the syndicated NPR show NEW DIMENSIONS for the first time in some years, and it was years before that time. It started as a weekend evening show at about the same time I came to the mountains. I receive several NPR stations up here on the mountain. Started hearing New Dimensions, liked it and listened regularly for several years, a lot of years, maybe 20. In the early years the guests to be interviewed were very interesting people with a very great deal to say of importance. Physicist David Bohm, eco-philosopher Henryk Skolimowsky, Tibetan monks, people I could do nothing else but sit down and listen to while they were talking. Now when I turn it on, I'm always disappointed. It's people who write what I have to call "laugh all the way to the bank" books. Found a formula, worked it out, got a book, author tours. The people I've heard there for quite some time remind me of whoever it was I bought a book by that was supposed to be a study of crows. I read half of it and she never said anything about crows. She told about her daughter not liking that she hangs her underwear on the clothesline. I couldn't read any more. Half way into it she was telling at length about buying binoculars. Her writing reminded me of what some people believed worked for them when I was in school writing essays, padding the text with words that had no function but to up the word count.

What I heard this evening was someone who goes by "gangaji." She had that studied funeral director's voice dripping with mock concern. She does workshops on finding who you are. I felt like much of what she had to say was filler. At first it sounded kind of interesting, then it faded to not interesting at all. I tried to continue to pay attention, but couldn't. It must be that they're doing 80s New Age over and over. It's worn out by now. Talking like funeral directors is really over. However, these are California people. I've heard it said that one day the earth tilted and all the crazy people in America slid down to California, then the earth righted itself. I don't think that's particularly true. If it is, plenty of them stayed behind. California is just a different culture than the rest of the country. At first, the Southern part was Florida West. I was born in San Diego. I once knew a man here, the lawyer Lorne Campbell, who died in 1989, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall; his sister was a nurse in the hospital in SanDiego that I was born in the day I arrived. She worked a different floor. I saw the hospital twenty-some years ago. It was an eerie feeling, a white building that stood out from all that was around it, looking at it, seeing it my point of entry into this lifetime. I didn't quite know what to make of it, so I let it be.

I was interested to hear what she had to say about tuning in to one's innermost self. Like she said, we're already who we are. It's just not so easy to see the back of your head without mirrors. When she got there she didn't really say anything. It was a conversation between two women talking what seemed to me New Age cliches. It felt like something from the past. It was like: Oprah's already been there and gone on. It had been so long since I've heard New Dimensions, I was surprised when I should not have been that it is still 30 years ago there. I don't mean to be so hard on gangaji. We all gotta make a living the best we can. She did, however, set me to thinking about taking a look at my own innermost self. Then I ask, Why? Why not? It might be something I'll have to sleep on. One thing, my self is directing the body's nervous system to make the fingertips touch the different letters in rapid succession keeping up with thoughts. My innermost self is thinking the thoughts and seeing them. My innermost self sees my dreams in sleep. My inner self never sleeps, is always aware. The observer.

The observer is how I see my innermost self. Like I'm sitting here in the body, hands on the keyboard, letters and words appearing on the monitor. Something is flowing from subconscious into conscious mind and then sorted out with words provided by dancing fingers. My inner observer is seeing the thoughts come to the surface and watching through eyes the dancing fingers and the words appearing on the screen left to right, from mind to fingertips via nervous system setting muscles in motion. Thought rising from the subconscious and applied to the screen by dancing fingers simultaneously. Like a musician using mind to tell fingers what to do until mind becomes an obstacle and the fingers take off with the music on their own. My innermost self sees all that mental and physical activity. The observer never forgets anything. Every experience is an impression on the soul, which I take to be the observer, the innermost self. It's that innermost observer I suspect leaves the body when the body's vital functions are finished. Maybe. The Dalai Lama can answer these sorts of questions better than I can. I'm just going by what I sense and feel to be the case. Dalai Lama has thousands of years of wisdom behind him. I don't have a minute of it behind me.


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