21 December 2010

The Story of Story

Not from the beginning; from now. This story has been told before, but is soon forgot in all the stories that come after.

This one, for instance, began with a shadow hunter on a candlelit ceiling. Then, a ceiling fan. Finally, a computer. And yet, there is always more after the finally is finally done. So now we come back to this story of story again.

What happens, you ask?

What comes next?

It could be over in an instant. It could be delivered by the good grace of the spirits or the Great Spirit Self of all separate selfs, known not selfishly as the Universe. Or perhaps in the naming, distinguishing, we do gain that distinction, self-ish, through self-distinguishing, the opposite of enlightenment, self-extinguishing. After all, the language is made that way. To identify, discriminate, divide and thereby conquer. The earth, that battleground of human will to grasp.

Some would say the story has ended as of this moment, 10:31 PM Hawaii time, with full lunar eclipse tonight before Solstice day. Some, that is, who interpret this event as the actual "end of the Mayan calendar," instead of the usual target of 21/12/2121. Some say that means "the end of time" - either the apocalypse version, or just a cosmic stopwatch punching out "no time." Some say it'll be just more of the same, bigbiz as usual, which means of course "apocalypse now, middle east remix." And I know one guy who would take the numbers and work out a cool djembe beat, g d P T g d g d P d g T.

So we come down to the nitty gritty: what is your story? What is mine? I'm sure we'd both rather hear about yours, so why don't you start?

While you're thinking about it, I'll just type some thoughts here on the subject of psychology. The story, the story goes, is just a story, and we can let it go, in the dark of this full moon at the dark of this year.

If I delve, for instance, into my own story now, it becomes a journal, and I might be inclined to nurse its tenuous existence offstage, if I don't like what I'm feeling now, shrinking from concern over how I must appear ... though Little Grandmother Kiesha Crowder and the great Abraham Maslow agree, that the first principle of self-actualized people is to have no concern for the opinions other people have about you, for those too are only stories, and not even ours. And likewise you don't judge them by your own story, but accept that they too are learning just as we all are, all faces of God, who chose to be here for this difficult learning. David Wilcock in his October Surprise radio interview echoes these sentiments in his conclusion, pointing to our higher self becoming available when we still the mind of its normal chatter, not striving however for some perfect Zen garden or abstract void, rather to create an opening for higher self to come through, to speak, to manifest.

Whether the higher self is identified with angels or demons, aliens or space sisters, God in his Darwinian beard and Charlton Heston brow, or the well-padded earth goddess herself, it comes to clear the air of the TV-grade stories, the propaganda news, gossip and hearsay, grief of the past and fear of the future, caught in the middle, reasons why, if only, she said he said, then what? Something new, imagine that. But of course, if I sound cynical, despite my highest wishes, it is because my tool is the dull hammer of the mechanical age, glyphs on virtual parchment, ants of logical construction yammering across the page as if to trace whole murals of truth.

In tonight's dance class teaching, we are called to center in the body. A couple inches below the navel, will connect us also to the earth. A center in the heart, to all beings. And in the mind, our center connects us to all parts of creation. (Note: that's natural creation, not trash, which Little Grandmother reminds us is something only we careless selfish humans create.)

The stories go on, because that is the function of language, to create stories. You might say that language is the earth, its geology, and stories are its form of life, its biology. Or to switch academic departments, linguistics studies language, literature studies stories.

It is interesting to note in today's media world how so many kinds of stories now are hybrids. Half the Maui Film Festival's offerings this winter are pegged in the brochure as "dramedy," a term I'd never heard before. Of course it's been a noticeable trend in film for a decade or more (a real film buff could nail that down for you, or perhaps a couple of minutes of my time either now or later, googling and doing a bit of research, but I'd much rather continue this conversation with you) ... But wait--I realize now my error. You were preparing your own monologue, while I pursued this other trail for the most part assuming a listener, which is to say reader, but the only one available was you, and you were busy, so the whole exercise ends up being just that, an exercise.

Now see, in the time it took me to type the above, I might have departed into that other storyline - or you might say, followed the central thread instead of digressing, yet at the time it felt like digression; so how to tell, at any given moment, which is which? - for a quick consultation of Google, and so all right, since you insist ... hummpf. The article discusses literature (19th-century drama - Chekhov, Ibsen, Shaw) and TV (1969, advent of comedy-dramas) but not film. The thread stops here, apparently.

The reference to the dramatists, however, strikes a note of connection to theme, if not storyline itself: the stance of irony. Irony is the mode, after all, of discourse when our story discusses itself, or pretends to discuss itself, or merely silently offers its opinion in the form of the clothing, the coloring, the style, the selection of story elements it chooses to present. In this light, you might call any author ironic. True, there is a mimicking of creation - no, an enactment of creation - in any, well, creation. So there is the thing itself, presented in particular definition provided by the eye of the beholder who is the author; but then the reader has your own interpretation; and the author smiles whether benignly or sarcastically, and even on occasion may have a word to say edgewise. Or even, on rarer occasion, steal the whole show, shoo out the audience, kick back and light a cigar to watch the premiere all by his Orson Welles lonesome.

Coming back to the higher self, where did it go? When last seen it was hiding in the center of the mind. Then suddenly, as if sucked into the stargate at the center of the capstan (for all you sailing buffs), it vamoosed back to the mother ship complaining, "Jeez, X98&$@f, these po mo fo's a piece a work!"

So here I put off dark-night's sleep, intending to write a serious tome or at least reverent epistle but instead manage only this garbled transcription of a shoddy demo tape of an ancient lecture on dramatic irony when really, the clearest insight to come out of it all is the wikiquip about the Greek model (and they should know, because didn't they invent language, or at least philosophy?), to the effect that all stories are about either movin' up the ladder (comedy) or down (tragedy). Now so as not to end on that sour note, I leave you with - what, a homily? A joke? No, jokes go at the beginning, to get them on your side. You don't want to end with "The joke's on you, sucker." No, you end with appreciation, and inspiration, and motivation to do that meditation, and invite that higher self in ... you see, some can preach and mean it, they can use the good word as the Bible intended, the Word of God, that can be trusted, and that alone, because it comes from the Highest Authority, and so on. In the Beginning, after all, I mean before all, was, I mean is, the Word.

So is the user of language doomed to intentional (political) or unintentional (religious) obfuscation, or exiled to the inherent irony of fiction?

The question brings us back to the hybridization, the melting pot, the unified field of film genres, of TV shows, of news and documentaries, of fiction, nonfiction, drama, journalism, theatre and politics, puppet show and circus du jour. Reality TV has been replaced by Reality Reality, where events are orchestrated and spun at the highest levels of power and influence, at the expense of truth and justice and common sense. Trouble is, common sense is out the window when the man and woman and children inside stay glued to the box, the screen, the flashing pad.

"Must we always stray into the political?" complains the bourgeois art critic. "Must you in fact use that odious word, 'bourgeois'? The word itself reeks of politics."

And so it does. Easier to disguise one's politics in fiction, I suppose. Just ask the White House Press Corpse (absent Helen Thomas).

If there is a point to all of this, it is this: Life is a story. Our life is a story, is full of stories. Our story is being written every minute - not just one but multiple plot lines, simultaneous variations on what we hoped might be a single theme. And always these pesky interruptions, keeping us from what we intended, and still intend, to do or say. So now that it comes down to saying it ...

It comes back to that vertebrate legacy, the spine. I danced tonight with backbone all curvy, until I realized how snakelike, I mean, how feminine it really was, and so changed my stride to more of the yangmaster strutting around shirtless with arms stiff and fists clenched. So my personal story on this new moon solstice end of the world, casting behind what does not serve, is about becoming a new man, dedicating this practice to my tragic good soldier fallen angel father, for his braveness in the genocidal turmoil and tarnished hopes of a generation, and with forgiveness for his weakness of spirit against the onslaught of collective karma. I was the lucky one, for his sins set me free to emerge into whatever form I might be.

Yet still I demur. Except to stake this modest claim: storyteller (damning epithet of Dad and Mom, who warned me of the consequences, the whipping house; but hey, what do they call someone who doesn't speak at all? Dumb). So it appears, at first glance, a lose-lose proposition: Remain silent and enjoy no fully human identity; or risk falsehood in every word, every remark and opinion, every belief and claim. Ah, now we are set up for the heroic - to accept the silence and from that grounding take the risk: a mission worthy of any reader who may have just woken from his or her nap in time to catch this conclusion, before I lay me down to sleep on the longest night of the year, while the new world births.

Take the risk - we have nothing more to lose. Or everything to lose, and thus finally open to the universal energy we crave to bathe in, the larger story wanting to tell itself anew in our own voice:

Tilling soil, planting seeds, clearing weeds, tasting fruit.

03 December 2010

Maui Time

Two months in Maui this time around, and once again life feels more or less normal here, after the initial month or so of settling in, reorienting to a new residence and neighborhood, reconnecting with previous friends and new acquaintances.

The logistics of the move this year fell into place effortlessly, with a single email to a former drum student landing me a comfortable suite for reasonable rent, and a wider mailing to local friends yielding a reliable low-cost car.

This year I face none of the hardships of high-altitude living, all too similar to high-latitude living, in the nightly dive of the thermometer. Every day I see the scoreboard on my desktop with the lopsided tally (23-2; 28-7; 23- -4, Celsius) reminding me why I'm here.

The island's best beaches lie waiting every morning just minutes away by car, with extended walks between and beyond the resorts of Wailea, down to the wild reaches of Makena and La Perouse. I have snorkeled just once this time, gone on one long ridge hike, seen no turtles or whales yet. The daily routine of swimming and walking is enough, I find, to connect well with the place, the land, water, air, and beloved sunshine.

During such outings I often, as in Victoria summer outings, carry materials to multitask on various creative projects: editingwritingreading, music selection, rhythm studyflute and drum practice, planning.

Opportunities for drumming continue in various forms: Haitian and Brazilian dance classes every week, and less frequently, West African dance; Afro-Cuban jams with traditional rhythms and songs; informal workshopping with fellow drummers; private lessons to teach; and of course, the ever-inspiring Little Beach jams every Sunday afternoon, tending more or less to the West African style.

This year I have pared down my usual slate of other events including groups meeting for spiritual practices and teachings, yoga classes, and 5-rhythms dances. Living here on the "sunny side" means a longer drive to such events which happen most often on the rainier, which is to say cheaper, which is to say, more alternative region of the island. Still, I have sampled the laying on of hands (Deeksha), the toning of the sacred sound "Hu," Sufi dancing ("Zikr"), and attended a weekend workshop for writers. In general, though, when it comes to the cornucopia of possible events being offered, I continue my discoveries on the path of "less is more."

I spend most of my indoor time at home on the computer, engaged in a variety of creative projects, editing work, ongoing research in world affairs, and periodic indulgence in televised events: first the baseball playoffs, and lately the TV series (via Internet archives) The Event. The primary project occupying my attention has been work to edit and revise a novel of the Canadian North, inspired by the three years I spent in Arctic Quebec in the 70s. The other major focus has been to edit, select and compile, from a vast amount of raw recordings, several CDs worth of music from the Victoria-area improvisation group Strange Moon.

Just released are two albums featuring my flute music, largely recorded in Strange Moon jams. Coming soon are albums featuring E. Neptune on flute, Axel on keyboards, and two thematic compilations, Strange Yoga and Strange Funk. For some sneak previews, check out the slide presentation "Wailea," more flute tracks available for free download, and assorted Strange Moon selections at MySpaceFacebookReverbnation, and the Strange Moon website. Send me an email if you want to make sure to hear about it when these new albums are released!

With all of this enjoyment of what life offers on this beautiful island, and taking advantage of my opportunity for creative projects, I have also enjoyed connecting with old and new friends from further north, the first wave of the annual snowbirds who come to dip their toes in the surf and sample the local vibe which goes simply by the name, "Aloha." For those who cannot hop across Pacific Pond so easily, I hear that leg warmers, wrist warmers, and abdominal scarfs can help beat the icy blasts. Bon chance, mes amis! A la prochaine...


02 December 2010

The Event - TV review

One of the intentions of corporate-controlled media is to instill in people a sense of disempowerment, of immobilization and paralysis. Its outcome is to turn you into good consumers. It is to keep people isolated, to feel that there is no possibility for social change. --David Barsamian, journalist and publisher (source)

The Event, in personal terms, represents a significant event in my TV-viewing history (though I didn't really watch it on TV, but in archived form on the Internet - available through February). It's the only TV series I've watched since I was a teenager growing up in suburban middle-class America. Part of the reason for my decades-long fast has been a resistance to the numbing irrelevance of TV content, and part a resistance to the packaged consumerism which that form of media, with its built-in corporate sponsorship, represents.
Why, then, is this "conspiracy thriller" so riveting? Mainstream reviewers have downplayed the politics, discussing instead such entertainment staples as character development and narrative structure. These episodes, for example, proceed not in linear fashion but rather as a mosaic of scenes scattered across a checkerboard of times and places. I find the characters/actors compelling enough; while the action and suspense play expertly on tension and emotion. The heart of my interest in this story, however, lies in its artful approximation of the multi-layered plotting that passes for political reality in this age of disclosure.

It may be coincidence that the series airs while Wikileaks dominates the newswaves with revelations of diplomatic and intelligence double-dealing on the world stage. That the major funding for the program may, according to David Wilcock's sources, come from the Pentagon. That key events bear an uncanny resemblance to documented government coverups such as the invasion of Iraq (or Iran) 9/11contact with extraterrestrials, and Presidential assassination. Along with these tantalizing mysteries within the TV plot, comes the greater mystery of its relation to such actual events and workings of realpolitik.

While mainstream news media (owned by a handful of vested interests) continues to pooh-pooh, mock, or ignore such dangerously troublesome matters, the alternative news media on the Internet has feasted on the information available to substantiate such claims of actual conspiracy. The viewing public is caught in the middle, either continuing to swallow the official narrative of such events, or learning by accumulated evidence (and common sense) to question, at least, the government line. After navigating the minefield of realities and fictions, mere questioning leads to a blanket distrust of all government and media pronouncements.

Into this breach of belief steps The Event. From the dialogue emerges, in plain sight, the basic operating principle of the government intelligence apparatus: to construct, at every point, a "narrative" that will satisfy the public - and at the same time "protect them from the truth" - while keeping hidden the more inconveniently explosive truths. On some matters even the highest levels of government, the President included, are cut out of the "need to know" loop; while more shadowy figures pull the strings for their own agenda of power and control.

In mainstream political discourse and reporting today, the very word "conspiracy" has been co-opted by the official narrative. The term itself simply denotes planning in secret. What we can well imagine, though it is not revealed, is degraded to the status of fantasy. A plausible explanation, if it doesn't match the party line, is by default considered not fact but "theory." Yet conspiracy is the bread and butter of this series. With what intent?

The theory of Pentagon funding aside, it bears asking: Is there an agenda, either artistic or political, behind this major TV series?

For starters, the impulse of disclosure is evident. The similarity of the fictional President Martinez to Obama, and of the Vice President to Cheney (or perhaps John McCain) is striking. The alien crash of 1944 in Alaska recalls the famous Roswell incident of 1947. Elimination of key witnesses and whistleblowers, a matter of course. Infiltration of CIA, FBI, police and security forces at every level, evident in every episode. If we have been living in denial of such machinations, the show will open our eyes. On the other hand, the result can be overkill; we may go from disbelieving all conspiracies, to seeing them everywhere and thus disappearing into a one-way web of suspicions and conflicting theories.

The double-agent thriller, after all, is nothing new. Everything, we might conclude, is not only suspect, but fatally corrupt. We then may continue to watch the events unfold, as entertainment, numbed to powerlessness by an endless chain of execution, coercion, passing of responsibility up the chain of command to regions and persons we cannot hope, in the real world, ever to expose to resist - if we care for our lives and our loved ones.

I am left with two theories to explain the motives behind this series:

1) Entertainment. Clearly the producers are aware of the groundswell of interest in controversial matters of national security and policy. They are capitalizing on this interest by filling the void between mainstream and alternative narratives, exploiting the alternative views by presenting them in the only way that is politically acceptable at the present time: as fiction. This motive we might describe as mere commercialism.

2) Disclosure Management. There is enough documentation, analysis, and access to the alternative paradigm out there by now, that disclosure of events and strategies previously hidden has passed from theory to front-page news. Disclosure is allowed (however grudgingly, as in the case of Wikileaks) but diluted. So there are damning videos or diplomatic cables to worry about - but not to worry, just let the documentation and commentary grow to indigestible proportions. In the meantime, public reaction can be gauged, prominent voices identified, and the real story released slowly amid the confusion - while the next new crisis is orchestrated to make past events and narratives seem irrelevant, water under the bridge, artifacts of history. Finally if, as such commentators as David Wilcock insist, actual disclosure is imminent, then public reaction can be softened by these measured doses of forewarning. By the time the real story is announced, we are habituated to it; it's old news after all. Life goes on; we change the channel in search of the next storyline.
The motivations of entertainment and disclosure are not mutually exclusive. Even those hiding the truths - of government complicity in 9/11, for example - must know that the truth will come out, that it has come out already. For them strategy must switch from prevention to damage control; from creating a flimsy fiction (boxcutters, weather balloons, a lone gunman), to massaging the media so that every so-called fact becomes suspect, and each hypothesis must compete with variations until no coherent storyline remains.

We are engaged, riveted by our deep intuitive knowledge that the events represented in The Event are real - even awed that such revelations can be offered so boldly, so openly now. Yet in the process we fall into a new, more subtle paradigm of obfuscation. The dots are all there, in plain sight, to connect: but the frame of safety remains in place, the real world conspiracies free to continue outside the TV's narrative box. Even within the storyline of the TV episodes, there is no real hope of final justice or clarity. At the end of our hour of rapt attention, the mystery revealed has produced only further mystery, which we must come back to explore. A new twist, a new betrayal, a new escape of responsibility from final reckoning. Still, we come back for more ... because this story, after all, is the story of our public life.

Ironically the initial thrill, of seeing true stories finally brought to light, brings to mind the euphoria (which even this political skeptic felt) accompanying the Obama inauguration. The new leader denounced the excesses of the Bush era and promised fundamental change - before realpolitik (endless war and occupation in the Middle East, for example) took center stage again. Likewise, it is tempting to applaud, to take hope from The Event with its overdue exposure of government and other powerful interests. Yet ultimately this new story, or serial narrative, is not new at all. We already know from past disclosures (Gulf of Tonkin, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Pinochet, Iraq WMD, or simply from novels and thrillers of the Cold War) how this world operates at the highest levels. Repelled but fascinated, we crave knowing, seeing more truth revealed. But will that knowledge, as the slogan says, "give us power" or "set us free"?

Consciously intended or not, the effect of disclosure scripted in this fashion is to disempower the audience. There will be no reaction, in political terms. The real revolution will not be televised, and in fact a nation of TV junkies does not a revolution make, no matter the ideology.

The more relevant slogan remains, in McLuhan's famous words, "The medium is the message." We are lulled with a false sense of power and grace in viewing a facsimile of the truth, a virtual history; while the real version plays out freely behind the distraction. TV-watching teaches neither history nor liberation; rather it programs, it demands, by the very manner of our engagement with it, passivity and fear, and disengagement from real political discourse.

We might still try to point to the fabricated narrative and say, "Look, that's just like what really happened! It's exactly what's going on behind the scenes." True enough. But the flip side is that when we turn our attention to actual abuses of power, our claims can be redirected back to the box in the living room. There is a ready-made story to refer to, ingeniously constructed, at once far more powerful than the lame soundbites of official press conferences, and ultimately dismissable as mere fiction. "Yeah, right," the new rebuttal goes, "just like in that TV show."

Still, I say, better to be a witness of the truth, than to take refuge in apathy and denial. When this episode ends, I switch off the TV. At least, until the next one.

--Nowick Gray

See especially: 
The National Security State and the Assassination of JFK: The CIA, the Pentagon, and the `Peace President` (by Andrew Gavin Marshall)

The New American Century: This film exposes how every major war in US history was based on a complete fraud, with video of insiders themselves admitting it.

False Flag Terrorism and Amazing Coincidences

7/7 Ripple Effect: "Regarding the 7/7/2005 terrorist attacks in London, let us look at the facts, and what we were told, and compare them...."

Top digests of 9/11 disclosure: 9/11: The Myth and the Reality | | Anniversary of 9/11

See also: TruTV, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura (former Governor of Minnesota)
>>update>> “Police State” episode of hit Ventura show covering FEMA camps pulled from air
>>update>> (but you can still watch it there (at the bottom of the linked page) ... so far! (as of 6 Dec. 2010)

See more at: Alternative News Media - links and recommended websites (AlternativeCulture.com)

12 March 2010

Haleakala Hike

10,000 feet above the middle of the Pacific Ocean rises the island of Maui, formed from the volcano known as Haleakala. Trekking across this vast crater like the surface of the moon requires six hours of free time, several bottles of water, snacks and sunscreen, and earns rewards of vast beauty and pure elemental energy: earth, fire, air, water.

The music for this slide show ("Goa Gone") is a digital composition of West African drum samples using Percussion Studio software, enhanced with live percussion and drum kit by E. Neptune (see bulldogmeditation.homestead.com). For 27 digital drum compositions like this (mp3 or CD format),go to http://djemberhythms.com/books/rootsorder.htm.

09 March 2010

This blog has moved

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06 February 2010

New Currents: Maui

New Currents: Maui (Nov-Dec-Jan)

- click to skip or scroll down to continue reading -


Avatar and the Kipahulu Na'vi

Book Reviews: Echardt Tolle, Jeremy Narby, Stephen Cope, N. Nosirrah, Mark Winegardner

Bashar on 2012

Ocean Heart Ministries - Church of the Cetacean Nation

Video Interviews: Nassim Haramein, Bill Ryan

Workshops: Shamanic Healing, School of Tantra, American Buddha

Meditation Exercise: Love and Gratitude

More Maui Photos


It is the state of your vibratory field that determines your experience of any event. In its most simple form, the cultivation of appreciation for the smallest things in your life will give you the greatest results.

-- A Hathor Planetary Message through Tom Kenyon

Since my last blog entry (November 1, Kula: A Meditation on Warmth) I have spent a month enjoying a daily routine of sunny meditations and editing work and group music and swimming and going to dance classes; and then most of two months entertaining visiting friends with various outings and adventures; and in between, bingeing on drum sessions with my fellow djembe and dunun devotees. Along the way I have also been part of a fascinating series of events, workshops and encounters, kirtans and satsangs, reinforced by books and articles and audio and video interviews on a wide range of subjects pertinent to the world today. I also saw Avatar (twice, in 3D), which rather neatly encapsulates much of that transformative vision I've been exposed to ... or maybe not so neatly after all.

Avatar and the Kipahulu Na'vi

While nearly everyone comes away awed and inspired by this film, some argue that the paradigm of the Na'vi victory is not really new at all. The battle for Pandora is a rare victory for the good guys who, in a twist on tradition, are not our nation or race; but it is fought like any other, force against force. Yet the further twist here, beyond the shift in our allegiances, is telling: it is not the alien warriors or even their human supporters who win the day, but their allies, the creatures of Ehwa (Gaia). And though the mutant dinosaurs and panther-dogs do join the battle as a decisive force, the greater message is not so much that "the good fight" is won, but that the supreme force resides with the power of nature. Those who share in that power - which is also the power of greater connection as opposed to self-serving material exploitation - will ultimately prevail.

On second viewing I come out of the theatre realizing that the link-up is progressive. Now I am even deeper in. Baba says he looked at his black skin and expected to see blue. In Kipahulu where the jungle is Pandoran, magically lush, and the air is silky, gentle, alive, the young people living in community there come to greet you with eyes shining bright and peaceful, saying, "I see you."

[For an excellent review of Avatar from a mythological perspective, see "Take Back the Planet" by John Lash. For an excellent discussion of our metamorphosis beyond a "battle" mentality, and of the power of a more "subtle activism," see David Spangler, Call to Action: Fear and Loathing in the World.]

Book Reviews

Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth

All that is required to become free of the ego is to become aware of it, since awareness and ego are incompatible. Awareness is the power that is connected within the present moment. This is why we may also call it presence. The ultimate purpose of human existence, which is to say, your purpose, is to bring that power into this world. And this is also why becoming free of the ego cannot be made into a goal to be attained at some point in the future. Only presence can free you of the ego, and you can only be present Now, not yesterday or tomorrow. Only presence can undo the past in you and thus transform your state of consciousness. - Eckhard Tolle, A New Earth

Oprah selected Eckhart Tolle's latest book for good reason: this is enlightenment for the masses. Tolle takes ancient and unversal wisdom, frees it of the dogma and terminology of past doctrines and religions, and distills it into clear, convincing, plain language. He outlines a path beyond the limited ego and its emotional "pain-body" to a new self, refreshed from habitual boundaries and definitions and ready to operate with a new frequency, new modalities.

Acceptance, Enjoyment, Enthusiasm. These are the hallmarks of our existence in a New Earth. The new earth is not "out there" in society, or in a time that begins in 2012, but right now, in this moment, within our potential to awake. These three modalities are somewhat sequential, however, in that acceptance of our present condition allows us to relax into enjoyment of it, and enjoyment in the context of chosen activity leads us to enthusiasm for a goal, vision, purpose in life.

This sequence at first glance might seem contradictory to The Power of Now, as it posits a future orientation. But Tolle qualifies his view of enthusiasm with two caveats. First, our purpose is not to be confused with the unawakened desires and attachments of the self-serving ego, which is limited by identification with the objects of its desire. Rather, it is characterized by our alignment with a deeper source of inspiration and service transcending the ego. Secondly, in the modality of enthusiasm we are not fixated on an end result and stressed in the meantime; rather, we find enjoyment in the journey, the moment-by-moment experience we inhabit fully along the way.

"So the new heaven, the awakened consciousness, is not a future state to be achieved. A new heaven and a new earth are arising within you at this moment" (p. 308).

Jeremy Narby - Intelligence in Nature

Narby is the author of The Cosmic Serpent, a classic work exploring the world of Amazonian shamanism and its access to plant intelligence and even the informational structure of DNA. In this newer work he takes on the paradigm of "intelligence" and frees it from its human-centered box. The result may be, as some would complain, a loss of human "superiority." On the other hand it is a revelation to understand that we are only a part of universal intelligence present in all life, perhaps in all existence.

Narby proceeds as a layman approaching scientific research for answers to his investigation of the meaning and nature of intelligence. Along the way his account is engagingly human. As Stephen Cope does in The Wisdom of Yoga, Narby inserts himself into the narrative, sharing tea or coffee with the scientists or ayahuasca with the shamans he interviews, and putting a humble human face on the inquiry.

The documented evidence assembled here is ample, fascinating, convincing. Parrots and macaws gorging on clay for breakfast to detoxify certain seeds in their diet. Research of bee brain structure and function. Studies of sponges, hydras, nematodes. Plants that adapt and respond appropriately to changes in environmental conditions. Bacteria communicating and using chemical strategies for survival. Amino acids engaging in DNA repair. Though Narby devotes most of his approach to living forms, the bridge down to the molecular level of amino acids and DNA leads us to expand the inquiry to a universal fabric - a cosmic ecosphere - of interdependent behaviors, actions and reactions and adaptations.

This book is reminiscent of When Elephants Weep, in its somewhat polemic stance against the prevailing mindset that says that only humans are intelligent or possess emotions. Yet this disentangling of our fundamentalist delusions must occur if we are to embrace greater possibilities of our kinship with all life and all of existence. I have to entertain the possibility that whales are sentient and that they are open to communication with humans, in order to fully appreciate and absorb the impact of swimming with them, playing music with them, beginning to move and think with their vibration.

Stephen Cope - The Wisdom of Yoga

At the end of the book, Cope tells the story of his own shattering disappointment when his manuscript, a scholarly treatise on the roots of Yoga in the texts of ancient India, is blasted by his editor for being inaccessible to the average reader. He responds by recasting the book as a work of creative nonfiction, in which his fellow seekers are the characters in a shared journey of discovery. This revised approach embodies the message of yoga, not merely as a system of physical postures, but as a set of daily principles and practices designed, by long experimental study, to facilitate the liberation from human suffering. That liberation allows us to enter a realm, possible in this world, of optimal functioning: "Liberation means being entirely awake, and fully alive."

Struggle and pain are a given, along the way. But there is a process of becoming free from our habitual condition of mental slavery. First, disengagment; spurred by an awareness of "Dukha: pervasive unsatisfactoriness." Next, acceptance ("Sukha: everything is already OK"). Finally, cultivating concentration, to remove everyday distractions; this is the practice of meditative absorption, most frequently characterized by attention focussed on the breath.

Further elaboration of the steps of yogic practice centers around the Eight-Limbed Path outlined by Patanjali in the source texts: "external discipline, internal discipline, posture, breath regulation, withdrawal of the senses, concentration, meditative absorption, and integration." These steps form a progressive path allowing entry to a final apprehension and dwelling in a state of universal oneness - the Dance of Shiva.

The bottom-line truth of this state is that "our ordinary experience of the object world is nothing more than a construct of consciousness." Such a statement may seem radically untrue by conventional standards of material, objective "reality." But as Stuart Mooney (AKA "The American Buddha") stressed in his Maui workshop in December, the truth of this counter-claim is supported by modern scientific neuroscience and quantum physics. There is no objective reality out there, because reality as we perceive it is always a subjective experience of our own sensory input and interpretations. This is not to deny the existence of objects and events as they have apparent causes and effects in the world; but to recognize that their so-called reality is provisional - like that of our own apparently separate bodies and personalities - resting on conventional agreements, even "consensus" among our various subjective experiences, rather than on any absolute and fixed material solidity. "What we call the rain," the Buddha once said, "is not really rain; it's just what we call the rain."

To operate in a new world freed from the old conventions and boundaries might seem disorienting or threatening, as indeed it is to the unconscious ego. But the point is not to live aimlessly in an undifferentiated soup of quantum vibration, even if that is the truest picture of the nature of things. Rather the task is to unwind the fetters of ordinary consciousness, then to perceive the liberating oneness of all existence, and finally to reenter our bodies and personalities and the dance of karma with an awareness of our true nature and of the divine play in which we are actors for a brief time.

N. Nosirrah - Nothing from Nothing: A Novella for None

Everything in this book, from the very title and name of the author, is playfully nihilistic, and not to be taken seriously. The author, it might be said, is carrying out the work of Shiva the destroyer, to bring down every preconception we might have about belief, art, the self, the novel, meaning, and existence itself. Yet like the wisdom of yoga, there is a redeeming wisdom here which can delight in the very spirit of playful dance, in which destruction and creation are two faces of the same art.

From the very beginning, the so-called Editor's Preface, by a Lydia Smyth, is suspect, along with the Foreword by a dubious Nebirk Yallip. Later in the text the author interjects conversation with said editor, hinting also at personal relationship issues with her (among other attractions). These digressions are par for the course in a narrative that follows no linear thread, but the sparking digressions of a brain wired to everything and nothing at once.

The approach is ironic, in the tradition of Tristam Shandy. It is Nietzchean, in its bold broad strokes of overturning every conventional assumption in favor of a revolutionary insistence on the power of truth in the momentary impulse of expression. It is post-modern, discursive, tangential, irreverent, profane, fearless. It is at once "not an easy read" and effortless.

Mark Winegardner - The Godfather's Revenge

I bought this book thinking that it was written by Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather. No matter; I was pleased with Winegardner's style and treatment of the same characters. Interestingly enough, the contents of this sequel played similar tricks with American history of the 1960s in which it is set. The Kennedys (John and Bobby) become the Sheas, and the details of the eventual assassination are altered. By means of this fictional sleight of hand, Winegardner is able to portray the likely truthful underside of that history, beginning with the failed black-op known as the Bay of Pigs invasion.

In this author's hands (as with Don DeLillo's even more historically faithful Libra, and the Oliver Stone film JFK) it becomes obvious how the agendas and the machinery of the Mafia and the secret government (CIA and FBI) overlap. What is truth and what is fiction? At its best, fiction gives us the clearest glimpse of what is true.

As with the spiritual texts discussed here, the transformational path leads us from unconsciousness (history), through revelation (understanding truth), back to our story. We read at first thinking it is fiction; we come to understand the underlying truth of how things work in the world (in the underworld); and then we can continue reading the fiction with new appreciation. History, meanwhile, which we at first take to be truth, upon closer examination we find is fiction.

Bashar on 2012

Bashar (bashar.org) says that it is in going through the darkness that we develop more impetus for a greater leap into the light, more decisive and delicious. We will inhabit the alternate world or parallel reality of whatever frequency we hold. I would add that it is happening now, in the moment we practice in that vibration. The vibration is now, and it is the operating reality for everyone tapped into it. Which is why the personal connections of people of like spirit keep happening, as if along human ley-lines.

Ocean Heart Ministries - Church of the Cetacean Nation < link >

I am vibrating now with whale frequency. I felt it ever since their darshan Thursday - their frequency of breathing, surfacing, moving out and back in through the water, their moans and grunts and cries. I rock in my sleep in bed, or in the grocery store aisles. My thoughts pass with the present time, no longer latching onto yesterday or what might come tomorrow.

In the traffic to Kihei, I am swimming with the pod. All are united in a plastic elastic harmony of movement and energetic balance, smoothly flowing and aligned. Even as we change positions, we feel the dynamic pull of change, of challenge, of connection between us all as free and independent entities, yet moving through the fabric of the whole.

That fabric continues here now as I write, you in your node on the other side of this time. Time weaves its thread through the fabric too, and we come to the same conclusions again. The truth circles like the humpbacks around the sailboat, reminding us through our synchronistic connections of its presence, all-embracing. We continue on our way. We walk in the light. We shine that frequency forward, lightworkers and soundworkers and life coaches and energy healers, dancers and artists in service to the light of understanding and appreciation and empowerment and joy in belonging to a oneness of life, a luminous vibration. All knowingness comes to the flow of this present time, this and this forever which is wider and wider inclusive of all who tap into this awareness and all who are the object of this awareness, until all subsumes all and there is no more significant division, except what makes for the play of circumstance in dynamic relation.

Video Interviews

Nassim Haramein interview on Conscious Media Network

Nassim Haramein offers an inspiring synthesis of groundbreaking modern physics (beyond Einstein) and transformative vision.

From theoretical physics he posits a "black hole" at the center of each being (atom, person, planet, star, galaxy) which has profound implications not only for energy and technology applications but also for personal manifestation.

This approach goes beyond "The Secret" to examine the universal power of "Focussed Persistent Desire." Tapping into this "vacuum" field at our core, we resonate with a frequency field connecting us with the entire fabric of space-time. In such a state of connection and resonance, synchronicity and spontaneous manifestation occur naturally, are to be expected.

The idea is to focus inward, to stillness, to the singularity of infinite potential, gaining access to our personal core connecting seamlessly to the wider universal "information network" for creative manifestation.

It is in fact that very interior and resonant space which produces the material world: Haramein calls it "vacuum engineering." Feed the vacuum, he says, and the vacuum will feed you. The primary tool in tapping into our "focussed persistent desire" is clarity, Going Deeper, via meditation.

Bill Ryan of Project Camelot interviewed by Freedom Central

As co-head of the whistleblower site currently drawing 30,000 unique visitors per day, Ryan is in a unique position to comment with an overview of the perspectives of the dozens of high-level sources who have come forward to share (in many cases confess) the hidden history of our times, what the official government and media and education outlets are forbidden to know or reveal.

What is commonly discounted in those mainstream, establishment-controlled venues as "conspiracy theory" has now mushroomed to the point where the majority of people (as reflected for example in polls concerning belief in UFOs or government complicity in 9/11) knows that conspiracy, in the strict meaning of the word, is a fact of life when it comes to policy and programming. Most people get it now, with the economics of the "Great Society" crumbling all around them, that their government is evidently not operating in their best interest, but for the interests of a few in whose hands the bulk of resources, money and power is concentrated. The shine has even worn thin on the polished veneer of the supposed savior, Obama - with the economic situation ever worsening along with the bottomless pit of foreign wars for oil.

Meanwhile the Vatican has joined the movement to disclose the presence of ETs ... joined by other nations such as France and the UK, where the secret government files have finally been opened to public view. The President of Venezuela has accused the US of triggering the earthquake in Haiti with a high-tech weapon using a low-frequency pulse. The movie Avatar makes clear to millions not only the reality of the agenda for resource domination of this planet and beyond, but also the lesser known role of private mercenary armies (Blackwater) to carry out this work that democratic legislatures will not support (except through the coercive measures of false-flag "terror" attacks such as 9/11, The Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, the Lusitania, the burning of the Reichstag, the sinking of the Maine...)

Yet even as we are being educated (if we wish, while the Internet is still freely available) to the dire agendas of the controlling Illuminati, most of those blowing the whistle on the evildoers are counseling a perspective not of fear, reaction, revolution - but of spiritual acceptance, integration, transcendance, transformation.


Hank Wesselman - Shamanic Healing

I attended a day-long workshop led by author, anthropologist and neo-shaman, Hank Wesselman. Noted for his work with the team that recently discovered the "missing link" to our primate ancestry in East Africa, he also brings a personal familiarity with Hawaiian and Polynesian traditional healing modalities.

There are three basic principles of Polynesian spirituality:

1. Love all you see with humility.

2. Live all you feel with reverence and respect.

3. Know all you possess with discipline.

We can call for assistance from helping spirits of nature, and spirit teachers and guides from higher worlds. These helpers offer power, protection and support.

The primary causes of illness are:

1. Disharmony - from emotion not worked through

2. Fear - lacking a sense of well-being, directly linked to immunity

3. Soul-loss - most serious, involves damage to personal life

The soul can fragment under trauma, leading to memory loss, apathy, chronic negativity, addiction, depression, even suicide.

What shamans treat is actually the ill-health of the soul (which leads to physical disease); because gaps in the soul fabric get filled by negative energetic entities, hostile forces.

The stages of shamanic healing entail:

1. Empowerment

2. Diagnosis of problem and intrusive elements; with help of spirits

3. Extraction of intrusive spirit, with helping spirit doing the work

4. Soul retrieval - of missing fragments, to repair soul fabric

Healing involves first clearing, via a ritual for unconditional forgiveness - forgiveness of others, then oneself.

School of Tantra - Sasha and Janet Kira Lessin

Through this course I have revamped my opinion of psychology and psychotherapy, replacing my rather outdated preconception of "analysis" which I developed as a stereotype in my youth. I felt that delving into such matters was overindulgent, that it fed the very neuroses it was purported to cure; that I was better, healthier, more intelligent than that, and could figure out for myself what were healthy ways of living and pursuing personal growth and development. I was in denial about my own dysfunctions, in thinking rather in black-and-white terms of psychological sickness/health, rather than in universal human terms concerning unhealthy patterns that all of us are prone to.

Yes, I was prone to excesses of the ego, as all of us are; I saw the ego as a necessary price to pay for being human and needing to negotiate worldly and social demands. Again the picture was either/or: at any given moment I could transcend the ego and worldly personal concerns, into a state of blissful all-acceptance; or I could descend back into the body/mind/ego in order to engage in my personal quest for a life of choices dictated by my desires and aversions.

The new model is more complex: replacing the unitary, limited and self-serving ego with a constellation of inner characters, sub-selves, personalities, agendas. Here the transcendance is achieved by awareness, detachment and balance - not a retreat from the outer or from the inner world, but a position of choice, where the "CEO" or witness can evaluate the needs and behaviors of the subselves and choose preferentially depending on what is most appropriate in the present situation.

American Buddha - Stuart Mooney

There are no fixed things or boundaries; just the appearance of them. It's all in your head! There's nothing else! It's only a dream that you create in your head! There's only energy! We are here right now! The past and the future are illusions! So get over it! You are who you are! And that is nothing other than all that is, which is also just what it is. So get on with it! Or not! It's just the dance of neurochemicals, which themselves are just vibrating molecules exchanging energy, and those molecules are composed of smaller bits which are also, all the way down the line, just composed of smaller bits exchanging energy, until you get down to the primoridial first event of pure energy deciding to split into two vibrating bits in resonant relation to each other ... forever! And the bits themselves aren't actually bits for real, they just seem to be bits when we choose to see them that way, out of the waves of energy they disappear into and appear from again.

It's just like what the old Buddha said (in the Diamond Sutra, or the Sutra of Hui-Neng) that the rain is not really rain, it's just what we call the rain. Which is a bit like Plato but simpler. It's interesting to reflect that these Buddha characters (to continue to be irrevent about it) are basically homespun philosophers. They have climbed down from the ivory tower of esoteric knowledge to share their findings with the masses, in plain language which sometimes comes out as a riddle. Which is the limitation of language, as the Buddha implied.

Buddhism on Maui is a dangerous thing ... where the intellect already tends to turn to mushy sand, lapped by surf-foam. Language dissolving into a quantum soup of subjectivity certainly doesn't help that situation. It's easy to drop it all and go to the beach, without books and at best, with a drum or flute. All the rest, the reading, writing, editing, book reviews, intellectual discussions - sometimes I sense it's all just arbitrary words, definitions, stories, memories, speculation. What's the point?

Not necessarily pointless, on the other hand. Just another dance of particles and waves, firesparks and shooting stars.

Meditation Exercise: Love and Gratitude

More Maui Photos