06 February 2010

New Currents: Maui

New Currents: Maui (Nov-Dec-Jan)

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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