A montage might be an unpopular format in aesthetics. It runs the risk of being superficial and truncated rather than a full aesthetic experience in form and process.
Here, montage acts to display a single or similar ‘voice’ in lyric, free verse and prose poetry- (even the shifting sands of allegory), that describes an experience of a single complex of themes spread across more than 40 years. This chronological montage evolves from an early, ‘very young’ poem to mature abstraction. Like the paintings, the poetry of The Nepsis Foundation, if taken in counterpoint to the picaresque narratives and essays,
provides a fuller vision- access to its radically elusive, but universal subjects.
The whole is meant to evoke a similar ‘original’ experience in the reader.
COVER ART: 126 
Oil on Canvas 5’ x 3’ 1987 © Stephen Frost
Besides the Modernist shadows of Joyce in the title, this image suggests one who creates and recreates… the one who searches between worlds… Such a shaman/artist/priest/poet/ (warrior) explored here is a primordial figure whose personality and cultural function attempts mediation in the affairs of this world with the intentions of the divine spirit— or the ineffable, non-temporal world. This figure fights the battle for sentient being. In the actual painting a flare at the base of the spine indicates one system of rising energies, i.e. the beginning of enlightenment itself. At least three such systems will be referenced in this book.
A Poem of Voices- Lyric, Abstract Expressionist, Occasionally Prose Poem
Of Themes and Invocation About
Initiation into the Wisdoms of ‘Light that Casts no Shadow’
Clear Light that is
Guide for Mystics, Solace for Sorcerers
Reverend Stephen Frost Ph.D.
University of California Berkeley Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative
All Rights Reserved © 2007 by The Reverend Stephen Frost PhD
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
A Poem of Voices
Quest: A Subtext ………………………………………………………………….33
To the Abbey ………………………………………………………………………57
Grand Affair ……………………………………………………………………….61
Dear Dread Master ……………………………………………………………..65
To Eat With Long Ass Chop Sticks ………………………………………..74
(Page numbers from the printed hard copy are retained here, approximately, since this is one file not divided by chapters…)
The poems of Nepsis, like the Nepsis novels, paintings and essays form an environment of perceptions for the artist’s life. This complex also operates as a tool of critical methodology to discover and reflect upon the nature of perception and consciousness. Exploration of such an arena will be found in the Tracts section of Nepsis.com. The captions from the collection of Nepsis paintings also help describe the parameters and content of this project. These efforts distil their content from the matrix composition to be found online at www.nepsis.com. “The Nepsis Foundation”, as a poem, construes and re-construes the insights of three decades consideration about religious initiation — but of whom into what! Nepsis explores certain flexible qualities about human identity in nature and culture using the ‘search for the real’1 of the studio artist, the philosophy of science, and religious practice — yoga, monastic aceticism, et al — to identify and ponder salient issues in the construct of perception… Nepsis overcomes/integrates the Passions. As each instant slips into the past, we form memories of that instant, spontaneously creating a form of historical fiction. Poetry and mythic operatives distill essential elements from that vast array of memories; personal, genetic, environmental—to form culture and personality. These are the play of spirit and matter investigated here… The primal format one finds in the study of Shamanism usually divides the subject into two parts: Initiation and Practice. I believe that format provides a good approach to this presentation as well. In fact, most of the material here falls under the heading of ‘Initiation.’ There are also described here the beginnings of a ‘practice’ that includes actual events and creates liturgical metaphors for a wide spectrum of human activity, history and identity.
The following FOREWORD FOR AN UNWRITTEN BOOK from www.nepsis.com will help place the themes of this project and this poem: When the unwritten book above shimmered with a viscous glimmer of any fetal formation, the precedent www.nepsis.com site was just completed after 30 years of research and art production; paintings, poems, sculptures, picaresque narratives, fiction, essays, ordination, ritual mastery, thesis, and a dissertation. That is, after a long gestation the Nepsis site coalesced into a whole composition. Though that integration might seem nebulous to some, its binding is evoked from one’s ability to sense the ‘nothingness’ or ineffable ‘spirit’ under investigation. The subsequent, new (as yet unwritten) book rests in a winding cloth of themes and emotions fielded in this poem, NEPSIS FOUNDATION. That means the contents of www.nepsis.com are the ground upon which subsequent creativity finds its footing. The methodological parameter of this internet site is marked by a counterpoint of disciplines: Art and science, mysticism and technology, academic rigors and rigorous peregrination, erring, ‘on the road’ pilgrimage, etc. Nepsis explores human identity through religion, technology, scholarship, art, politics, sexuality and economies — action in the void of being. Since these explorations required a wide spectrum of expertise, the author can at least claim competence generally, inspiration as required (by the muse), but the real cohesion comes at the end. Section III from the Nepsis Table of Contents draws together the various elements in ‘2000 pages of text, 113 paintings, 33 poems and 3 novels,’ et al. The last poems in this collection, “Himalayan Storm” and “Cast the Spell/Come the Storm,” make early, abstract conclusions. Captions for paintings reveal salient touchstones of our venture, though the paintings themselves carry the energy or spirit of experience itself. Narratives and essay visit and revisit our themes until an essential marriage is made, epithalamia. Then, most importantly, characters real and imaginary are drawn together to reveal the goal and integration of human personality: Spirit and Matter made One, the ‘integration of knowledge’. Sexual identity is an important consideration in any field of biological consideration. In a review of human identity, it is unavoidable. Working from the basis of contemporary sexual attitudes of common knowledge in western culture, the author was inspired to explore these aspects of human identity from an environmental and ‘religious studies’ perspective. Nature and religion. The so-called ‘natural religions’ offer a most intimate revelation about our encounter with nature. Then, mystical physiology in the form of a system of charkas and channels of psychic energies that flow through the human body and the world, especially the earth charkas; matter, psyche and inspiration form the core of revelation about otherwise inexplicable human attitudes and experience.
Besides being a necessary inclusion, sex remains a poignantly popular theme. The Church certainly has discovered, along with the media, just how unrelenting is ‘the need to know’ of the general populace regarding this topic. The Church preserves high and beautifully articulated theologies that explore and justify the celibate life as a witness to Christ. Nepsis explores an even more ancient need for priestly influence in the formation of individuals and society. The plasticity of human personality is such that only a particular program of formation will suffice. Sexual diversion in priests might be rooted in something that was once considered in a positive light. In fact, some of the technical abuse cases against priests might be a response to an anthropological imperative of initiation to adulthood that motivates from not-so-ancient regions of the brain. I say ‘some’ to distinguish from the more rare cases of psychosis, actual pedophilia, or more frequent compensatory desperation, or even simple appetite and greed. (See “Memo to a Bishop” in “Tract XI” from the www.nepsis.com site map.) (Though, one still wonders who it is in the media that decides to give such high and repeated exposure to Church issues while all but ignoring the same material in other sectors of society. These media issues are market driven of course, but the market creates the appetite in many cases. Culture, Church, everything is sacrificed to a nascent deity, Commerce. Everything is monetized. But have a care. Sacrifice is an ancient and most basic function in the real universe. What comes of it might surprise everyone.)
All in all, sexuality is a small part of the whole of this research. There is the rest of the world to be considered. There are non-biological aspects of the universe as well as spiritual or non-material, non-temporal issues that help form the context in which we might realize ourselves in this world and the ‘other one’. Justification. Rectification. Even Satan must be redeemed. The Satanic function must be redeemed so that the world may know life in its fullness. That’s the background for this new book. Those are the swaddling clothes spun from pure white gold, cloth upon which the infant of our imaginings has lain. In this new book, the exploits of Twin Warrior gods are played out. From the primordial pit of realization, the serpent of resurrection, scales scraping against scales, shapes the destiny of heroes and gods. The mysterious intention of the Shivalila women toward one surviving twin reveals itself — Stephanie’s infant of destiny at this apocalyptic moment. Who gets the money, the power, the sex, and whose gene pool produces survival and salvation! And finally, upon what or whose account do we draw as we draw air to breath, the breath that animates the universe.
1. A Before
A student is made of black and holds a chain of keys. He lives in a paneled room of smoke and gray with boxes of light and a few fresh air windows.
He knows of Mallory and the Wife of Bath. He’s felt the Wasteland and Michael’s ecstasy. Yet, he cries for an unfelt light seen through the smoke.
He’s combined the biting Glory of a New England Frost and the loam and
breath of a middleman writing in love of a Prairie and The People, Yes, and he wonders about a
California dock man who wonders more.
Still, he strains.
Then, with a mind confused and bleary wide-open eyes he falls up the rabbit hole
and finds morning.
2. A Beginning
After the dark, a cold, cold coming.
A stream wanders through a riverbed
cottonwoods watch from the edge.
The rosy metallic light of a morning to begin increases like quiet thunder. A boy in a sleeping bag waits, cold after a night of cold.
First a tip of light,
the shadows jump, then more.
Get up, get going. It’s warm now and you have eyes to see.
the hard wood straight
once the stream was clear
but now it’s too late.
In a night city people don’t care so much who was good and died or lived. The moment, that’s all. And I like a lemming to the sea ran my upwards fall. They laugh, there’s drink, look to see what isn’t there on fungi floating in the air Still, I ran my upwards fall Until, every body my mind had created was thought laughed at. What was left but that Purity within and with God? I cried for that and at their pity and my lie.
Wall, idols, symbols of good. one’s face has no halo, only a hood- for a moment the unclean stream is lamented. But this world’s the place to taste and say ‘no’ or ‘yes’ -Taking the chance of starting again.
A clump of grass on the side of a dirt road contains individual blades that are clean for an instant after they are unsheathed. Then a car, a cloud of dust and— Knowledge But that’s not all the apple provides Rain comes too, as assuredly as morning, cleaning, regenerating with drops themselves formed on particles of dust.
(The philosopher hangs on the wall and laments because he can’t turn lead into gold. But after days of doing and doing comes a moment when a silent/glittering mind sees promise in leaden bubbles.)
Highland Guatemala, 1970
The Red Bud Bursts
Got to stay fit though, work helps, running too. The dog runs behind me. Dog is older now and limps, but there is a tail-arched joy for him in these runs; sniffing, smelling, leaving smells to be sniffed…
Crows fly low, circling occasionally down the riverbed, dry this time of year in the morning doesn’t feel dry. Cottonwoods root in the sand and gravel that cover a flow of water. It’s getting lighter, crazy loud crows, don’t know enough to be quiet just before the dawn. The mockingbirds must sing all night — maybe they’re nightingales.
The sun is coming up. Wonder what I look like running along here…
After the diffusion of night the hills vibrate incessantly with the excitement of light. Winter winds beat down last spring’s grass. Matt it to turf. Light and air surround the new sprouts.
The sun for a sightful instant pierces from behind an ancient bell tower. Mind, sanctity, Church, closed within a skull. Beyond the glistening, within the forest and the boy climbing the hill lost among the rocks. Behold the rocks and the chase. The forest fragrant- rotten wood stinks, supporting all manner of predation
within is the glistening
that narrow beam
that eyeful beam seen by few- I am naked and singing. I am alone but not. I am clean in the light. I am…
a moth beats its wings against the window pane
a hummingbird sits on a branch looking from behind a leaf
gnats swarm in mobile circles beneath a tree.
There bursts the cotyledon
a red bud bursts
ready with pistil and stamen
a barn owl slow, steady, dark shadow after sunset.
a mouse scurries through the oat fields
All is ready
again we rise
with a chorus of scraping chairs
There is a girl I know, who, while I was in South America, I would think about at night
on those long bus rides.
Harry was across the aisle with Lucia.
Luciano had gone off to Brazil with that beautiful, red-headed, French girl’s gym teacher.
I would conjure up images of an unconnected line
lose my conscious self in the bus like a forgotten sweater
and wander in the cold-night landscape outside
where it was almost light,
pick-up meandering phantoms and hold them between components of grey matter.
She was an elusive papillon.
I was tripping over rocks with net in hand.
She was the only sparkling prod in my lost lobal lumps that was able to initiate a welling up from deep electricated passages, tripping running fumbling from the tongue, unexpectedly to fall on the dinner table, the word
connubial joy, and responsibility.
She was the one who excited me to the point of not being boring or bored with the state of males and females chasing, checking, tasting one another.
She works on a help line with people who need it
She is conversant in French and English.
She mimes and acts well- is generally sympathetic.
I have fallen off curbs looking at her
to the soft grass
Hills covered with yellow grass,
waves of warm summer air lift from the grass, among the trees, lift
The circus wall that holds is not so high as think the captives afraid to fall
It’s when the demands of dull daily patterns leave me “an old man in a dry month”
that I rebuke this bright passage between two dark holes
and can only envision the final fall.
But other times, I remember the cover-tossing joy of holding you or talking to you.
Then, I laugh in the morning light,
hardly able to wait for the next bright dance to come,
hardly able to wait for my next chance to fold myself in your arms…
Et cum Spiritu tuo!
Indolent tarantula is drugged, dragged forth and back
by giant orange and black wasps.
They fight life battles over the corpse.
Bloody green blades push their way through rocky hymens even while winter winds still blow.
An orange cat is stalking the evening grass.
Mary, pray for us I know the hour approaches to die;
not death you know,
not die. Like what?
A sand yellow stream across the plain is cast.
The sane director covers the same in blue and sparkling bits of star.
A too thin gossamer net on a too tall mast.
What is primal I understand. The particular and the lamb.
A life spread one grain deep. One sand grain and miles to the next.
Sand not wheat.
Not sweet but tasteless, even bitter,
the littered cat sits sleek and fat having consumed the prayer and begun at last… to sleep, to sleep…
the future is not governed by the past,
the past having died fell in the stream and all that only seems is flung and spread
across a sunset yellow-pink, magenta-red.
What plane is this?
What strange mountain light?
What whistling visage of passing flight?
A mild avenue of holy light,
holding each form as a form in a womb, sparkling as from last night’s rain.
There is an edifice,
a church with stone stairs and pillars- St. Francis’ feast day
a statue of the saint in the image of Pius XII, sitting with Egyptian rigidity
in an ancient hall on the saint’s day.
The celebrants stand on the stairs and inside the church,
delirious with adoration.
A crowd is surging backwards from the church door.
Christ, stiff, wooden, huge, as one of the statues, appears from the door
with a painted face, old varnished paint. The image falters,
the face amazed passed close to mine — denying the celebrants, pleading
A white line is stretched across an abyss of red and blue-grey particles distributed as if by a wave.
The line is straight, thin, singular. There is no question in its navigation. There is no deviation.
All experience leads to its destination.
If the line was doubled or if it indicated like courses
or even a lengthy meeting with another line or better yet, a star-spangled dangling friendship,
then I would hold a basket of expectation, so many thin-shelled eggs on my head
and dance around a sand beach bonfire without fear of falling.
If stars ever met or planets touched,
then so could we,
but your ambition is in another basket on another line,
ever so star-spaced far away from mine.
But…what can I say? A dry stream runs by our farm. Runs, I say, because there is supposed to be water under the sand and pale, yellow thistle.
The sand patterns are moved only by occasional winds. It’s dry now.
But there’s promise on the radio, in the sky, of a new storm to come;
a stronger current that will whip the grain and strain the tree.
Then all our words and all our deeds and too many fractured moments will be blown,
scattered into the endless space between raindrops, between this last meeting and the one to come…
The mountain lake, …swimming at night.
At night, the moon’s light reflects on the surface one hundred, broken pieces, white.
I am trying to reach dry smooth rocks at the end of the lake/
Across the reflection of the moon darts a shining streak
strikes a form
reflects the light
I cannot reach the rocks in time, in time, in time.
Not long after Titicaca I returned home….
I couldn’t see what had happened, but something had changed…
Quiet here, quiet.
The hills are dark against the distant fog banks of the coast.
Tiny lights appear in the sky.
I imagine that I hear the noise of a city far to the south.
I lived there once.
Now I have forgotten many of the things that I wanted so badly while I was there.
color light momentary very exciting,
“be in the world not of…”
Yes, hold We’re holding
Hours, hours, hours, of enforced bussed boredom brought observation brought thought
peace quiet cease,
desist, old corruptions, flesh, greed, blinding temptations.
Sycamores and Cottonwoods wait
God Guidance Blessing
Silver swift behind the rock,
beneath the water,
and slipped beneath the surface of a cloud.
Splicing between particles is the Word,
a field, unified to completion,
peeled to a seed of fig
stigmatted divided dismantled
undiscovered is the Name
before and now the same,
beyond sight and angel’s measure
man of sorrow
tears of blood,
transmuted in the clay,
from the first breakage of time
from that arrogant first moment to an intimate mingling of clay and light
I live beneath a river of clouds
rain masses moving beyond my reach.
I watch the slipping light-boats run their rapids down each white-capped undulation in the sea.
Here, jetty rocks hold for hanging froth, for falling foam
from full-bent breakers, the last leaping roar of ocean-going waves.
Sea, pull your sucking best, waves and sea— even if you held me firm in your limpid, liquid grasp,
I would from you or any holding hand, be free.
If I lived among rocks and sand,
a white cage in the driest land,
with a cold wind to tune my cry,
I would still know the rhythm of your pulsing light,
and draw my loving sigh —
I live in a clean corner
beneath a river of sky
a giver of clouds and torrents
bringer of gentle whispers in the evening breeze
I live beneath a river of dreams — images and vast space crowding between moments,
feelings that hold their claim in waking,
sight beyond the grasping heart and more and more that can’t be held
but only in the stillness and silence,
and roaring, crashing moan given by glacial Arctic ice flows!
I live beneath a flood of stars
knowing the daily round — the morning prayers and prayers to wash the dishes again and breakfast and serving it all and all -and washing the clothes and washing and prayers for lunch, thanksgiving and praise the rite of it in the afternoon chores that move us into night.
(We carry our boats and move beneath a river of night
a silent crew marching, marching…
God knows where.)
Oh, pluck the string,
Climate of my dreams,
sound your timbale, that I may sing
of Elevations and river dreams
of all that is and all,
all that only seems…
The Eagle wings gently into spreading night.
Black cormorant screams its hunting whistle above afternoon cliffs.
Wave and wave white-capped swells flood the sea.
Light sails the wind-carried waves.
Having fasted and have prayed, I am ready for the feast — fresh and clean.
the Old Man are with me now,
Abbas Mundi — Servant of God,
feeds me on the Spirit,
shows me the glory of creation -nearness of God
This is heaven, the presence of God — but we cannot see.
He helps me to see, shows me the liveliness of everything.
He is the Old Man standing in a dark portal.
I am brother to
forgive my transgressions,
Golden Eagle rests.
Steward’s Point, California
…light sails the wind-carried waves — big swells and whitecaps.
My eyes rest on the largess of now… Luminous, salt, liquid,
sea, Turquoise sea — white foam and light;
Fresh, clean, rushing waves
Fresh and clean as the rush of heaven.
I can only remember a few images from this first pilgrimage. I didn’t even call it a pilgrimage. It was a quest. I didn’t know what I was questing. But I was young enough that it didn’t matter. I had hitch-hiked around the perimeter of the U.S. I ran out of money half way round on the East coast and had taken up traveling with another guy, named Chris. We were really compatible. He got a ticket in Oregon for hitch-hiking. I was standing right next to him, also hitch-hiking, when it happened. Cop didn’t see me hitch-hiking. We got to a place called Geyserville in northern California. Good place. A man at country fruit stand gave us a lot of fruit. Since we had no money or food, the gift seemed near miraculous. Then we started to walk the mountain road from Highway 101 across the coastal range to Highway 1 along the ocean north of San Francisco. I remember first walking by a country graveyard. They were Italians by the names on the stones. We walked a long way. Maybe had a couple of short rides. By nightfall we were walking by an orchard of fruit trees. We decided to spend the night there. Then Chris discovered his wallet missing. That seemed to be a disaster. I sympathized, but what could I do. Chris’ way of dealing with it was to go to sleep. No big deal. I was impressed at what I would later call “detachment.” The next day as we moved deeper into these canyons, where the pungent fragrance of wild plants filled the air. This place was holy with herbs. I remember in particular the laurel trees and the delight of breathing in their spirits. There was, flowing along the road, a late summer stream. It was pretty shallow. But in a few places it gathered itself together into dark pools of cool reclusion. Under dusty, prickly, yellow-green oak trees and between massive boulders we found such a pool. We fell in, hot from the road. Cool, pure, perfect, drenching. We washed our dirty clothes, our bodies. We dried naked on round smooth rocks; played in the water; splashed out the aches and pains of the road. In the sun, a warm blanket of air washed around the youth of our skin. Hearts full of naïve expectations. Little did we suspect about our destinations, less did we care about our destiny. 34 Stephen W. Frost Ph.D. We walked along the road. We talked of rock concerts and Shakespeare, parents, school, how long to stay on the road, what choices we had, San Francisco coming up, the Haight. How hallucinogens were sacred, made one generally passive and more interested in meaning, uninterested in commerce or aggression; how an aggressive commercial technology such as dominated our culture couldn’t allow for such distractions; how the bad P.R. about drugs served that end; how the war in Viet Nam was killing everything, all the hope of the early sixties; how the anti-war movement took up all the energies of the counter-culture revolution; how even the sacrifice of an American president was minor compared with the success of this penultimate empire. Somewhere in there, was it in the evening, I don’t remember, Chris called me the Bishop because I had been talking about spiritual things. He said that I should be a priest, since I was so fascinated by God. That struck me somehow. But I had no particular religious background. I certainly was not a Catholic, which was the only kind of priest I had ever heard of… Not long after that, we got picked up by a young couple with a baby. They had been college students and had “gone back to the earth.” They lived up here in a cabin. The baby was blond and blue-eyed. We stayed with them one night. They were still adjusting to country life. There was some hostility from distant neighbors. But mostly there was a magic to their life that we liked. Their house was all wood with lots of windows all different sizes. Their little boy ran around naked, especially in the cold morning. They encouraged that to toughen him. They were trying to learn to use the outhouse without toilet paper. “It’s all in how you manipulate the sphincter.” They had to make a run to the dump the next day which was in the right direction for us, so they took us that far plus a little more past the dump. Then we were on our own again. We got down to the coast after traveling through those orchards, ranches, laurel and redwood groves. We camped along the sea, surprised that we were able to catch fish to eat. It was peaceful along that shore, cliffs replete with cormorant, gull and hawk. Chris wanted me to go with him to San Francisco. But I didn’t like cities and now I was ready for home. That concluded my first pilgrimage. It took all the 10,000 miles plus to get me to a place where I realized the first glimmerings of my vocation. It was there in that land that ignited the “Yemen Experiment” eighteen years later. The land itself has personality, the plants have power, the stones themselves experience being. Somewhere in this lay our hope…
After the diffusion of night,
hills vibrate incessantly with the excitement of light.
…Our parents chose to move here because of its remoteness and quiet; and I suppose, the powerful beauty of the location. It’s certainly not convenient to anything. They felt that we could profit from living in surroundings where nature is such an obviously strong force as it is here. Also, where we would not be distracted by the tempestuous city and the pettiness of the neighborhoods. Whatever the reasons for coming here, it is a beautiful place. The cottonwoods that grow along the stream over there, clatter from the slightest breeze. In the autumn, when yellow and dry, they are even louder. March and April they are the purest yellow-green. The mountains to the north are the Tehachapis. Sometimes in the mornings one can see the mists rising up the mountainsides, running up the hills, stuffing themselves into canyons, then to empty out over the rims and dissipate in the sunlight higher up. Most of the time the air around here sparkles and shimmers in the clear intensity of the light. The summers are hot; the south wind blows, the wild oat is dry. Afternoons were spent swimming, working on the ranch, sometimes just watching the heat waves in the yard. Usually we went to the pools. The cows on the hills in the shade of the trees and bushes, swatting flies with their tails, wait for evening. Just quiet and waiting and chewing. It’s great though. Of course, we live in constant danger of forest fires. We usually have about three weeks of snow in the winter. I experienced my first snow storm here. It just floats down, not driven like the rain. As far as one can see, the white flakes are surrounded by the darkness of the day. It piles up, covers everything exposed. (I fell in love here for the first time.) During the winter the whole area around here is spackled white with dark, weaving textures in the bushes and tall grass. After the snow melts, the oats— then grey and yellow, lay whipped about like fields of limp seaweed deserted by the sea. Not too far down, the stream forms deep clear pools eroded out of the rocks. Just below that there are places where the gorges widen to allow for some small woods of sycamores and more cottonwoods. I don’t know what the cause is, but along the stream banks, there are some very wide beaches of the whitest sand; white, white sand in dunes and around the boulders. And those pools. After the spring floods, (I cried the loss of love for the first time here) when the water level is lower, the flow is quiet, as the water falls from one pool to the next. Frogs splash or scramble under the rocks at your approach. If you stand in the water, your feet look bigger as do the little minnows that are silvery, almost glowing in the refraction.
Hyacinths sweetly rise between green leaves.
Unexpected rain fills that rose in receptacle outside the window,
Secluded you and I rest.
The room is cool to our moist warmth.
Cyclamen blooms flutter above their clumsy leaves.
We are tiny blades breaking harsh clay.
You, the patience of winter, the silence of spring.
I, broken bits of rock that are the soil.
Raindrops tap at our window and we answer.
The light meets his eyes. He is blinking, rubbing his eyes . He stretches his arms, opens his eyes full to see that he is sitting in the grass and gravel at the intersection of two mountain roads. He stretches again, brushes the gravel from his hands and face where it was stuck from his lying on the ground for a long time. He looks around, somewhat dazed. It is mid- afternoon. He hears the splashing of water and happy shouting from around the bend. It has been two days since he’s seen anyone on this road where he has been hitch-hiking home. He picks up his pack and runs to investigate
water, in waves and drops flying up
Each drop a world, reflecting the world
and novice monks.
“Come along. We will show you the way. Or part of the way.
Or where to start anyway.
Come with us.
first swim. Refresh yourself.
Then come to our monastery.”
I changed clothes and dove in. I dove deep. I felt as if I had never bathed before. So deep, I did not think that I would ever surface again. I swallowed great gulps of this water. It covered me and made me clean. It revived me, prepared me for what was to come. It helped make me ready for the long walk to the monastery. “Come on, its getting late. We have to be back for lectio. It’s a long walk. Get your things. Let us help you. No, this way, not by the public road. We have a shortcut.”
On our way to the monastery we passed the ruins of an old wood-frame building. It looked like some type of barn that had fallen in on itself. The monks told me that this once was the site of the monastery and that this collapsed building was the chapel. They described the monastic religious service sung inside this building that was now a sculpture of broken beams. Though it must have been a plain building from the outside, the interior, they said, had been wonderful. Divine Office was chanted seven times a day as well as daily Mass. Inside this unlikely building was celebrated 1400 years of Benedictine monasticism, 2000 years of Christianity, 4000 years of “salvation history,” 40,000 years of human spiritual development and more. The monks with me said that even though they liked their new monastery, they missed the use of this old barn chapel. As we continued up a partially paved road, I turned back for an instant. I thought that there was an odd monster sitting on top of one of the broken beams. It did not seem ferocious but certainly ugly. It was like a gargoyle from a medieval cathedral. But it was white, powder white… and it had a tail that swished its pointed tip back and forth as he laughed. Then it was gone. I didn’t say anything to my companions about it. We continued along the road through the trees until we reached almost the top of the mountain. Then, in a clearing I saw a wooden building.
It was made from massive beams of wood, squared and fitted together in the fashion of some provincial Russian churches, but of a more modern design. Through this building was the entrance to the monastery.
Extra ecclesis nulla salu… NO salvation outside the Church! Or, better, where ever salvation happens is the Church—Corpus Christi, Corpus Buddhi!
The choir is quiet.
My eyes follow a curious line from bricks and knees,
past the altar
across the faces.
Around each peculiar feature
Christ is peering, whispering a
as gray slipped down the branch
lit night leaves
carried dark shadows through
ruled the land
laid patterns light
across field and trees,
across endless bramble of this life’s night.
the countryside of mice
perch in pine tree outside my window
discuss the price of meat these days.
all speak of endless patient waiting
for the endless, endless
After the diffusion of night the hills vibrate incessantly with the
excitement of light,
have cried the death of this year’s green delivery.
Hills are mottled gray
beneath the waiting of a cloud-shaded day.
It’s as if something had changed or was about to change…
within the silence and the dying,
within the creation of fall and spring,
like a worship of holy things, still in the singing of Godly things,
beyond earth and Fall
to spring without the Fall
and that brothers sisters all is all-
as I wait
leaves fall glorious dead
blood, magenta red.
As I wait
squirrels, nearly falling, hide their forage
nearly fall in the dance
before quiet rhythms of winter waiting.
Mother of pearl sky
above gentle, clattering, blood-red leaves
Mother of Sky
speechless in magnanimous largess.
Cities of steam
clouds blown up to blossoms
congeal down thunder dark,
shake our puny particulars to the point of pleasing God
As I wait
fresh blooms open sky wide.
In the in-between (oh yes, between feast and fast)
for that last vision
for labored whore
as well the monk in solitary cell.
So, in Central Park, trees no longer grow green
rather gray before our jagged horizon
beneath movements of clouds blown high against crystal blue.
So, in Central Park,
on my way by,
the woods fill with damp-trodden leaves
bruise red, glorious dead upon the damp ground.
Fragrance reaches with hands to caress…
It’s time to set time on the shelf,
to set sail in Conestoga wagons drawn by the wind.
Where else, but the waiting. Or,
perhaps that’s not quite the word.
A leaf turns yellow red
red to pure light…
right as waiting was the word.
It wasn’t my waiting though
but his I heard…
Queen of Heaven, from the start, you’ve waited
and you’ve waited
for the turning
for the turning of my heart…
Frequency of high
with reddest red berries
Each Himalayan branch
High above this,
come a few young tourists and old
seekers; no pilgrims
come this way
amidst the highest peaks.
Now, a breeze
thawing then freezing again
-makes ice flags stiff
My soul ‘pales
[then and now]
fair to blanch’
…As I observe
the full filled color
the past, then tomorrow, always
“pales fair to blanch”
full filled colors
fill my crowded empty soul —
Ice flags stiff along a
So far here from my family’s California ranch.
puffs of snow
obscure delightfully dark
(I want to know…)
[It reminds me strangely of a film I’d seen 20 years ago of a similar snowfall at night between cherry trees themselves full of full blossom-s a stage set for torturous slow procession of old time royal officials- Japanese who one by one proceed widely spaced perfectly attired across across, across, a broad and perfect starlit garden]
Perfect stiff white snow flags
along a red berried
from my family ranch
DID I MISS SOMETHING
in the past?
My life going dark
I want to go back now
to make it up,
what I missed along the way
WHEN WILL WE BE THERE?
HOME AT LAST
WHEN THE GARDENWIDE PROCESSION PROCEEDS
SO TORTUROUS FAST
FROM RANCH TO HERE?
(I WANT TO KNOW)
Fogs and mist
gray and white
black and mist
dragons that devour
these massive cliffs
hill high piles
of rocky debris
slips beneath your feet
shifts by season
lift and fall
by the mile
by the summer’s heat
and winter’s fall
Mist and heat
Seems to shift
“still — the mountain”
eaten by the mist.3
We begin like this: The priest walked onto the balcony patio of his rectory about midnight. There he conducted a ritual of the wind, fire and sacred objects. Objects and the fire— molded and remolded. Until, in the crepuscular moment of tender light, that night’s work seemed complete. An unseasonable (the News said “freak”) squall hit the church. Winds struck, stronger than the mighty Santa Ana winds of that California clime. Rain, unseasonably tropical and terrific. The priest had conducted the ritual for a benevolent purpose. He wondered, well, half wondered, about any connection between the ritual and the storm… Several hundred pages later he comes to the following conclusion: Still the priest wonders, only half believes, that there is any connection between that liturgy and the storm. Yet, the sorcerer, according to inherent powers simply acts. Holy Mary, virgin-mother-bride, pray with us now and… So, Bishop, I have walked the path of the pilgrim. Sincerely. And like a shaman/prophet of old, have I not gone into the other world to “steal fire from the gods” (O.T. God=Elohim=Gods!) For God’s sake! For the sake of ‘the people?’ — or at least tried to – like a priest, for the union of the worlds, for the reconciliation of all things, for healing? Have I not submitted to the strict disciplines of contemporary academic and religious masters? Do I not mediate between the things of the World and the things of the Spirit? Issues of magic, sex, poison, and violence are topics here only in so far as they can be seen as catalytic agents to the progress of this history. Addressing the “dark” side of personality is fundamental to a healthy psyche. The sexual reference is important to me only as it is able to turn biological cycles and psychology towards a larger vision of Being. The violence and poison themes are useful as they are used to transform leaden 54 Stephen W. Frost Ph.D. religious and secular formulations about the world into the white gold of human realization. Admittedly, the events recorded in this story are interpreted in an unusual manner. But that yields some high, at times disastrous, as well as colorful, potentially salvific results. It is an interpretation that seems to be the reasonable product of what happened. Bishop, I am mystified and challenged by the horrific element that I came across in Yemen and other places. I have taken this as far as I can without further conversation with you. I need to hear (Lt. root: ob audire) what you have to say to help determine the will of God in this, the rhythm and breath of the Spirit in this – in order to be truly obedient (Lt. root: ob audire) as I intend.
NEPSIS Nepsis: New Testament Greek: …to be spiritually awake, sober, watchful for the advent and the presence; and that which makes one so.
Matt 25: 1-13
“…it takes a priest to see the problem, it takes a sorcerer to solve it”
(I Ching #57)
NEPSIS is a late 20th Century exploration of consciousness. It is a personal encounter with: Art, Shamanism, Buddhism (Yoga), the Hesychasm (Christianity), Contemporary Critical Thought (Ph.D., Berkeley, 1995); and with interstate HitchHikers in an age of Free Agent, Business Warriors riding their Steeds along the Precipice of Eternity. Rock shards fly, also free(?), as the war parties pass – sparked blithely, we slip clueless into the Abyss.
NEPSIS is a query about person(s) and world(s) and the proper intercourse between them. It records the original and spontaneous, sometimes paranormal, pacific rim experiences that set this project in motion…
Here flows the adventure of the road and the kindness of God…
– elements coalesce, converge, climax,
leave behind the receding wave
– a black dragon’s unabridged history of the world –
in violence, sensuality and darkness, working its way, no doubt, to “a light that casts no shadow.” The ways of scientific discovery and moral right alone, so modestly, authentically, and honestly, somehow, continue to fail in a valiant effort to save [us] from our arrival at this hideously cruel, historical moment…
. . .
TO THE ABBEY
A beginning for beginners:
The five sat in a small circle around the fire. Their faces are in shadow. The island wilderness was silent. There were no night sounds. No wind. The fire seemed to burn in silence. Cloaks, jackets and coats pulled tightly around each silent participant. The night was cold.
Then a warm voice began: “We have each walked the path of the pilgrim. We have sought to understand Time and Non-Time, Matter and Spirit, God and Creation, Sacrament and Sorcery, Nature and Humanity, History and Eternity. Now, tonight, we meet to explore the center of the Universe. The center is each of us. For every human being, the center of the observed Universe is the observer. We must hear from each of you, my friends, so we can find the rhythm of the Spirit in this.”
The silence again returned. Then came a young voice from the darkness: “In my pilgrimage I wanted to discover more about the relationship between physiological, mental and spiritual states. Especially, I wanted to test the importance of intention; positive, negative, indifferent; devotional or power- motivated, regarding the use of shamanistic “powers.”
The destination of my pilgrimage from California was a monastery in Utah. I decided to hitchhike. Hitchhiking describes one as a beggar. We are all beggars before God. I felt the need to keep this identity firmly in mind. It clarifies reality somehow, though it still grates on my pride and sense of independence. During a day of hitchhiking someone is always bound to remind you of your status.
Hitchhiking is comparatively easy if you take a small pack, some rain gear, and a sleeping bag. But I decided not to take a sleeping bag so that I could experience the night and the challenge of the darkness and cold without escaping into the trance-like state of sleep for the usual long periods of time. With a sleeping bag, when night falls, all one need do is go off the road, in some inconspicuous place, roll out the sleeping bag and sleep. So I omitted the sleeping bag.”
A voice interrupted: “To be awake or watchful, as the seven maidens with oil in their lamps and the seven without, waiting for the Lord, in the New Testament.”
Another voice came out of the darkness: “Or the Buddhist process ‘to wake up.’”
“Ah, yes…” Then the speaker went on: “Broken sleep patterns and the exposure to dark and cold in unfamiliar territory were some of the asceticisms I hoped to understand. I had been building toward this over a period of several years. It is not something I attempted without preparation and advice. Also, there was an attempt in this to identify in some real way, at least for a while, with the privations and suffering of the really poor. I took a light jacket and a few clothes, none of which was enough to protect me from the night cold of the mountains that I traveled through or the heat of those summer deserts.
Fasting was also an aspect of my pilgrimage. I abstained from nearly all solid food while I was traveling. For ten days on the road, I ate little or no solid food, only liquids. When I got to the monastery I ate one light meal a day. Most of the ten days that I spent there were passed in silence, building a rock wall around a hermitage. In the evenings, I sometimes had conversations with the monks with whom I had lived for several months one snowy winter a few years ago.
When it came time for me to leave the monastery, the Prior of the house gave me a ride down to the nearest interstate freeway about forty-five minutes from the monastery. During the ride he told me that the Abbot had authorized him to offer me some money and so handed me a nice amount. I told him that I didn’t need any money because I still had most of what I had started with twenty days before. He insisted. I put the bills in my pocket.
He left me at the freeway headed for Idaho. The on-ramp was hot and unshaded. As I waited, I was overcome with a sensation that I had not been nearly generous enough with the little wealth I did have. If I was truly going to abandon myself to the will of the Spirit then I shouldn’t be concerned with saving money and making it last as I had been. Perhaps this was just a reaction to what might have been an over-concern with money matters. But I hadn’t ever felt it so strongly before, or since for that matter. That it should happen at that moment was remarkable in that it seemed to be the perfect preparation for what was about to happen.
A woman pushing a stroller with a baby walked up onto the on-ramp. She was about twenty, and pretty in a full sort of way. Both she and the baby were blond and fair-skinned, both suffering in the heat. She lugged a heavy- looking suitcase in one hand while carrying a large box of Pampers under the same arm, pushing the stroller with the other hand. She seemed to be very miserable. I went down to where she was standing and asked where she was going.”
“From Denver to California,” she replied. We talked for a while.
I felt very moved by her situation. She seemed so vulnerable there on the road with her beautiful little baby. After more conversation, I took the money from my pocket and gave it to her. “Here, take the bus.” She seemed rather confused, but smiled, in an amazed sort of way, then turned away to find the bus station.
The money wasn’t much, but I hoped that it would take her across the desert. Later I regretted that I had not thought to give her the few dollars that I had in my other pocket, as well. The little I had given her was not significant but as I walked back up the onramp, I felt deeply moved. It was evident then and has become more so since, that this brief meeting was in its own way an experience of the Spirit, the Eucharist. Ultimate human realization. I began to understand more about the relationship between everything. All mysticism is based on this, and the energies and physical reality too! Communion between all things.”
A third voice suggested: “Perhaps, the extremity of emotion was due to the fasting and other levels of stress that you were experiencing.”
“Perhaps, but that scene has been etched in my memory as pure delight.”
From that place, I soon got a ride and by evening was on the outskirts of Preston, Idaho. I waited, but there were no further rides or offers for a place to stay the night. About ten or eleven o’clock that night I started to walk past the last houses of the town and past the first farms. After several hours I stopped, tired, footsore and very hungry. It was at that point that I became disgusted with my situation. Asceticism was fine, but I felt ‘like shit’.
At this discouraged moment, in the midst of this misery, when I had finally given up in my efforts, I experienced a sensation of opening, and a flow of what seemed to be the “love of heaven.” It was smooth, relaxed, full. It lasted for the briefest instant, then like a door closing, it was gone. Afterward, I was still uncomfortable as before, but that was not important and no longer discouraged me. This “other” reality was more important. I walked through most of the rest of the night energized, awakened, somehow enlivened to the excellence of being. The suffering and discomfort were a necessary preamble to this opening. My investigations into the mysterious relationship of the physiological, the spiritual and the associated ascetical practices cleared the boards of my soul in preparation for this clarity, this sense of union and fullness that so energized me physically as well as spiritually.
After a few moments of silence someone asked: “So what is the point of all this?”
“Well, seemingly as the result of these practices carried out within the devotional context, a sensitivity of heart, a sense of generous abandon was increased in me. I experienced something that called me to a higher state of transcendence and love, to a greater ability to deal with pain and discomfort, at least for a while. This may be limited, but I think it contributed to my conversion in the Spirit.
Much of the magnificence of this whole experience was the people who shared it with me. The people met along the way seemed to fuel the whole progress with their energies, with their giftedness. Oddly, I had a ride early the next morning all the way home to California — to my doorstep!
Later in the same summer I went backpacking in the High Sierras with friends from the seminary. Seventy, or was it a hundred miles into the excellent wilderness — great, great natural high.
During the last night on that trip I had a powerful dream. A black horse, a mare, gave birth to a black colt (a male foal). The colt stood up straight and sturdy. The last scene of my dream was the black colt staring at me with large, completely assured, mountain-night, black eyes — a spirit of dark matter. Perhaps it was because I had been reading Casteneda’s Journey to Ixtlan on that hiking trip — my introduction to shamanism. Something about the book resonated deeply within me, still does. Perhaps it was this clear, dark, natural inspiration that triggered the “other side”. Light and shadow, shadow and light. I seek the light that casts no shadow. But this dream portends much, foreshadowed danger to come and violence only just begun.”
-The “Grand Affair” of spiritual vocation kicks in.
-The savage, but handsome, young man.
-Pilgrimage to test the effects of pilgrimage.
-Shamanism, Buddhism, Panikkar and the Black Widow are introduced.
-A cocktail party.
-Preparation for India.
-The first Dragon.
I continued to work on pilgrimage. One such journey, the summer just before entering the seminary, was an event of frightening interest. I had been out for a couple of weeks of, up to that moment, beautiful experiences. I was in the back of a pick-up with several other hitchhikers, one remarkably crazy. At dusk we were all left at Pescadero Beach south of San Francisco. We all split up. I walked up the beach to find a place to spend the night. Unlike the coast north of San Francisco, this place seemed angry. The waves moody and violent. As I lay on the beach, the water seemed higher than the beach. Threatening. I slept. I dreamed. In the dream, I am on the same beach. It is lit by a sourceless light. Very, very, clear. Crystalline. I am standing at the water’s edge with my back to the sea. On the beach a friend of mine is being attacked by some kind of supernatural beast. I go to his defense. I hit the beast with a yew-wood club (which I did actually have in my pack). I wasn’t able to hit it with enough force, except to draw its attention to me. As it turned on me, I could see that it had the form of a savagely handsome young man. It came for me. I escaped by waking up. As I opened my eyes to the same but now foggy beach scene, suspended before me was a huge mask of the beast. I said, “you cannot hurt me because I am in Jesus Christ.” I made an aggressive, if immature, gesture towards the monster, turned over and went to sleep.
What was this figure? Some frustrated aspect of my psyche, a wrathful deity ala Tibetan Buddhism? (Which I did not know anything about at the time.) Or something else?
I woke the next morning. Continued my way south. However, I never saw the Yew-wood club again that I had been carving and carrying in my pack. A couple of years later, while on a vacation with a friend, I drove past that beach. There were a lot of surfers parked along the highway there. As we passed, two were dressing next to their car the way surfers do. Because of the traffic we were going slowly. As we passed these two, both looked at me, then dropped their towels and leered, completely naked. It seemed that they both looked just like the savage young man in the dream. I’ve returned to that place since at night and have done rituals of placation and liberation. That would not be the end of this character in my life.
Bishop, regarding the whole topic of Shamanism hinted at earlier: You might ask what need a Christian has of such things; spirit animals, sacred plants, rocks and places; rituals and other practices that communicate with the “other-world” through such media. I would like to suggest that God speaks through exactly such agents as these since they represent how the creator Spirit has fashioned the world. They are part of the whole religious complex that connects us intimately to the natural structures of the world. That is their significance to me. Our humanistic religion, our culture is often indifferent, even hostile to this intimacy and therefore the spiritual dimension of the non- human world. It is a cruel and ignorant vilification to blithely dismiss this profoundly mystical insight of our ancestors about the structure and function of our psyche in relationship with that of the world, as solely the territory of the black arts where a Christian dare not trespass. I would dare to say that such communication is not only valid but completely appropriate. Why would the creator not use creation and creatures to communicate the mysteries of the world? Such an understanding is neither against revealed religion, nor science for that matter, if both are really interested in true things. How we use this knowledge seems to me to be the question that should interest us. And that is what I am describing.
The spirit animal that takes on the greatest power in this story is soon to be introduced, though it will be a while before it reveals its real potency and danger. You, I suspect, will be quite surprised, perhaps horrified, as I was at first, by the significance of this animal in my story.
Soon after that backpacking trip, I met a Shingon Buddhist priest and meditation teacher named Shinzen. He and his partner who later became a Tibetan Buddhist nun, were my first formal teachers of Buddhist theory and practice. This priest’s partner also taught me the way of the “Wicca.”((4 See “Definitions and Words of Special Usage” www.nepsis.com.))
At the end of an intensive meditation retreat under Shinzen’s direction I was introduced to a famous Zen Master, Sasakai Roshi. During our interview, he asked me a poignant question. “Who is it that climbs up on the Cross?” I meditated on that for three years. Then I felt the power of this koan and was inspired to ask: Who are we in Christ? Who is Christ in us? What do the Gospels evoke and conjure in the human heart: What spell is cast to fulfill the human capacity? And who casts it? …
…I started hitch hiking on arrival in England at 7:00 A.M. and arrived at Stonehenge by twilight. It was the night after the solstice, after Midsummer’s Night. I slept that night on some Celtic burial mounds down from the “Stones” so that lithic monument was arrayed across the horizon above me in that night when it never really got dark. I didn’t sleep much. I did not bring a sleeping bag, only a small knap sack with a change of clothing and mostly ritual implements otherwise.
I got up early. As I walked away from the mounds towards the “Stones,” a clear communication came to me. “We also seek (need) completion.”
Bishop, for a Christian, the completion is the Omega represented by Christ. That is but one vocabulary in which to describe the ineffable. The point here is that the “powers” represented that dawn at Stonehenge are part of creation and thus the proper subject for my priestly, pastoral, salvific concern.
I started hitch-hiking. The first car to come along picked me up. He had just left the Tibetan Buddhist Center in Scotland where he was a student and was headed to his home in the south. Hmmm… He took me to Cornwall.
I walked around Land’s End in Cornwall, just to see it, then took a ship from Plymouth to France. By the end of my first day, I was walking through a small village out in the country of central France. Belloch, I believe is the name of the town. I walked through that village and a couple of miles further. I had a strong sense that there was a place for me to stay further up ahead. I walked a little further. On a hill to my left, behind some berry vines and trees, was an abandoned farm house. There was a water well with a hand pump, fruit trees and a place out of the weather. I stayed there. I made an offering of some almond cookies to the local spirit and animals. I was fasting. It was a pleasant place. Night came on. I tried to sleep. Too cold. I meditated and did certain breathing exercises taught by the Tibetans to produce yogic warmth. That worked for a while, but the concentration that it requires was harder than the cold. Then something came for the offering. I was terrified. A terrible storm hit. The lightening seemed to be hitting so close all around. I had a vision of the Great Old Man. Then I fell asleep. I dreamt of the Great Old Man. He made me levitate in the dream. Then he directed me to fly to a huge burnt out old tree. How could I have known at the time that this would be the clue to the solution for the problem of the entire quest. Take Note.
Morning came. Awful night. It took days to remember all of it. I am, after this, not quite as strong as before. It was as if I got much older somehow…
THE NARRATOR’S LAST NOTE TO HIS
Dear Dread Master,2
I wanted to add just a final note in my report… There are two spiritual paths: The empty path, devoid of phenomena, empty of projection — no judgement, no experience — simple bliss (after years of religious practices, usually).
And then, there is the symbolic way — communication, community, communion — experience, decision, relationships. I chose the latter (cataphatic rather than apophatic) way because it’s easier to communicate about something than it is about nothing. It’s really the same in the end. And I know that you do, Dread Lord, enjoy your little entertainments, your soaps, so to speak.
Well, so do I — The human predicament, the other “irresistible imperative”, ‘down to the fourth generation’, and more, so much more… Yes, yes, I know that I’ve been a little repetitious, but certain episodes, issues, definitions were hard to inculcate. I thought they would bear, indeed needed deeper penetration, …deeper observation and expression.
Well, in any case, we seem to have taken the field, don’t you think — this is the intention, your intention, that we serve, isn’t it? Hell triumphant?
There was in response to this note from our narrator
a bull deep lowing,
Clearly, regret given voice
…and despair, reverberating across the universe
No, no, no… this is not what I meant at all. I am/Light borne—
Then silence again.
Nothing, nothing was nothing, nothing was, no thing… God nor creature.
How long? Who can tell, when there is no rising, nor setting, nor blanket turning about another…
Until, a pin prick, ’a tiny sound’ passing by,
from the waters… and leaves:
purple lupine and golden poppies between the gravel
and the graves
along the freeways,
Not so blissfully self absorbed as the deadly ’habits of the heart’— just a gently swaying, — full breath of ocean — and open poppies along the great snaking curves of an open country freeway on-ramp:
Lisping whispering dialogs
of trees and grass…”
Swaying, purple, pollinating breeze before the whispers past
The golden gentle breeze
Of a blue throated
with the excitement of light.
The Yemen Experiment: Disaster upon disaster:
(The effects so far of the Yemen Experiment can be ascertained by looking up these readings in the I Ching: #12 “P’i” with 6 in the second place and nine in the 4th, 5th, and 6th places!!! Most interesting; then # 7 “Shih”, with its advice about the use of poison drugs and benevolence. Add to that a vision that came as I held the yarrow sticks to my forehead: a vast and drifting, watching presence broods upon the world. This is how I believe the Yemen Experiment worked out.6 We are well, at peace generally, but watchful and vigilant.)
But then the steel staff from Yemen, in a spontaneous arising vision, heated to melting point and the lower half fell away through the earth to the sky below!!
Now all is open sky above, sky below. Puncture through earth plane. I am still holding. Holding. I still have the glass sharp sword. (Monk becomes warrior.) If worse comes to worse, there are still the direct energies. I must disappear to survive.
Staff of Power is replaced by large earth-red shield. I am now solely warrior. I am naked, clothed in light and dark behind shield with large glass sharp steel sword in my right hand surrounded by auras of protective mandalas. The great shield closes like a trap-door spider’s and I am safe beneath the surface of the earth.
THE FIGURE OF THE WARRIOR IS NOW COMPLETE,
and soon to launch the salvific
I am the warrior. I am crouching, sheathed in skin-like armor of silver light, behind the great mandala-shield which is on my left arm. It is being blasted with a constant assault of tremendous energy from the left. On the right, I am repulsing small shots of energy with the lower blade of my sword. As we travel across Arizona, I feel increasingly challenged. Rather than be overcome, I curl into a ball, lay on my side in a shallow basin in the earth and cover the hole with the earthshield. I’m just “not there” when the light-blasting angel of death passes over. 6 Or, one might read LETTER TO A BISHOP, at www.nepsis.com.
Thus I have dreamed
dreams of Power.
Thus, Bishop, I have turned in my sleep.
But, Fr. Chris is back in jail. A child molester? No pre-adolescent victims. No ‘skin on skin.’ Seductive atmosphere. (God, how the media loves this stuff.) As a result, someone recently congratulated me on being right about how badly his case was handled by Church and Culture. I suppose I was right. The usual institutional way of handling this sort of case not only has little of the Redemption in it, but its not even practical. Though at the time, I didn’t have any alternative that might seem obvious now.
We “compassionately” abandoned Chris. Did all the “right,” seemingly compassionate, legal things. And destroyed him in the process. Left him on his own in Albuquerque, isolated in shame and compulsion. Materially taken care of, but out of the way! After all that psychological therapy, was he healed or even restrained?
Thus we are all abandoned…
Stephen is at the same location in the same Southwest desert as before, crystal skull reliquary at his side.
Stephen with great, steel, glass-sharp, sword across the altar, the “mesa,” in front.
Stephen with medicine shield, the battle shield mandala of 8 directions.
Baqua, Axis Mundi. (I am in the center of the great mandala shield, now three dimensional and all around me, a galaxy, the universe.)
The great staff from Yemen rests at his side. Stephen, Artificer -Dances the dance of swords, sends the webs of binding
[Having spun the web around the sacred trees of Los Alamos I now play the webs of the Spell.]
And binds the insane Destruction And binds the Criminal, injects the poison to heal.
Dances the Dance of Swords and entreats the God of War. Is the God of War.
spins the webs of healing. Artificer tends the fire of creation;
the 5 creatures and 12 directions,
dragons of water and fire, earth, air and ether,
tends the weapons,
guards the People
Spreads the Spell of Being
Artificer watches for dawn.3
What Mike and Georgia Did:
Mike Ayars was an excellent L.A. artist; a painter, a secular humanist to beat all. Twenty years after our time together in art school, Mike still will not show his work. I believe he hesitates to expose the process of his art experience to the middling values of the Contemporary Art world. His paintings are better than most, even those in the most expensive galleries. In cruelly prosaic irony, he makes his living as a house painter. He is not in particularly good health, after twenty years smoking and drinking like the Abstract Expressionist romantic that he is. I can’t help admire him though. His paintings are true. He hates the L.A. heat and smog and traffic. I’ve wondered why he doesn’t move to Seattle. He likes the wet and green. But his friends are here and someone told him that truth is the product of suffering, so…
He nearly drank himself to death once. A nurse friend stopped by five days after he started drinking and found him in a coma. Remarkably the doctors in the hospital declared his liver, kidneys and smoked out lungs in good shape! His common-law wife and (her) kids have saved him, I believe. I used to pray for something like that. He’s stopped drinking, still paints houses, hates it, still paints, has intelligence and sense for better jobs, never did… Loves his wife and the kids and his friends. They love him. I suggested that his near death experience was typical of much earlier, less categorical formats, perhaps the early Stone Age, when tempting death in altered states of consciousness was sometimes a necessary ingredient to a cave artist’s successful spell. (There were plenty of other friends telling him about the dangers of drinking. My drive has not been ‘to maintain’ so much, as to ‘break through.’ Though the subject need not be harmed if it’s done right.) Then what happens?
Mike, macho/old soul
a catalyst (for important ‘bindu’ discoveries)
not far now- never far…
from his childhood home (near Seattle)
on an island
not far from home,
when we began to arrive
at the Resolution
not too distant now (not from here!)
Georgia, my mother, on the other hand, convinced her husband, Robert, to move into “the country”, to a property north of L.A., in 1949, years before the ‘back to nature’ movement became so popular in the 60’s. This move was to get away from the restrictive, materialist, status-predicated attitudes of sub- and urban neighborhood populations exploding after World War II in L.A. But something else happened out there as well amidst the sage, lupine and golden poppies. Best I can figure, years of exposure to nature and the clean, clear skies now rare in the area, developed inner sensitivities, spiritual clarities, a kind of unprotected innocence. She became the expression of the spirit of that place. I don’t know how else to say it. This was acknowledged, and proven to me, by the remarkable, paranormal, reaction to her from the ‘seraphim’ at Eagle Rock. (I.e., we were trans-located from one point on that dusty, gravel, desert road to a point several miles distant without passing through the distance in-between. See Introductory section of NEPSIS, Section III, RESOLUTION under the sub-title, “Eagle Rock”.) — And by Georgia’s immediate recognition, on a previous visit there, of the sacred and pure nature of the Spirit that dwells there. She was prepared, I believe, by years of too much splendid solitude and the high intentions of mid-20th Century American ideals of the time. (See the novel, Desert Solitaire, for a similar, more accessible example of such ideals.)
This move to “the country,” left her children altered as well. I was born there. Spent my first twenty years there. Left us (me) curiously unprepared for the dominant middle class values of the society we moved into. Georgia still reminds me of the solitary rose on that small planet in the book, The Little Prince. A beautiful blossom, but possessing only one thorn to defend herself. She doesn’t like that book and might yet mount a deeper defense — negotiating as she does with webs that trap and webs for traveling…
I had a dream once in which people used to come out to visit us on our little rancho when it was way out; a wilderness it seemed to city people. They would come out to participate in our sport. This consisted of swinging out on a pulley sliding along a long cable that stretched from the hill where our house was, to another hill, half mile across our largest pasture. The cable was many hundreds of feet above dry pastureland below. The sport was to swing out on the cable via the pulley as far as one could, then drop, hopefully, into the glacial river below. In reality, the “river” was a usually dry arroyo about a mile to the west. Yet, somehow one could make the drop successfully. One wore heavily padded leather garb because of the cold of the heights, and because of the water(?) That was our sport. That was our reason for being. Georgia was the best at it. That was my dream.
Anyway, her transformation out there indicates a preparation, a practice, that added to a gift perhaps. But what was that practice, and a preparation for what? The modern dilemma…
we continue midway along a verdant road-
Having stood in the hot shade of telephone poles during the day…
Nearby, beneath the same fierce high holocaust
that furious wasp is trapped
in a forgotten,
plastic, shopping bag
with its putrefying cut of safeway steak.
we fly between stars
and high wire dive
to deep rapids below
We wait for just the crepuscular moment that
‘stops the world!’
The Zen archer stands with bow drawn and arrow cocked. He aims, then waits awhile. As he waits, his consciousness shifts so that the target and archer identify as one as he lets the arrow fly. It is not the score of his shot that matters so much, but the shift of consciousness that (re)defines humanity and its
“To Eat With Long-ass Chopsticks”
Who causes all of this? Anyway? Some blood thirsty deity? Some god? Some God, Christian! Well, Young Man and Old Man are about something else entirely. They can call a storm, (Indra like). No, not “call” a storm. The weather comes to meet them.
So, they dreamed (of finding another way). So they wandered, having lost the way. Errant, they seek the pure land of delight and power—power to save the world. At least, save the musician preserved in a bank vault…. hmmm.
Far East Asia
Seek the Emperor’s Palace; a Priest Was Killed.
…Shock of alcohol in his eyes stings Young Man out of argument and he seeks to restore friendship with Old Man by offering to feed him from his plate with his chopsticks. Old Man still rumbling, accepts. “These are long-ass chopsticks in this place”, remarks YM. “Better to reach across the table,” OM smiles.
…They reach home in time to greet the housekeeper as she leaves for 5:00 a.m. service at a Buddhist temple. That day, another priest, long time friend and Tantric partner of Old Man, fellow warrior for sentience of the world, is killed in U.S.A. Mysterious Accident. But he was a warrior, he knew the price of their battle… Om, Shanti, Om Shanti, Shanti, Om… At this time 800,000 people are viciously butchered in central Africa. A cyclone hits poor Bangladesh again. Another friend/Tantric warrior (for the sentience of being) dreams that OM comes to him and warns of impending evil which friend faces. Repulsive evil. Friend does rituals, discovers OM’s vehicle stored at friend’s house is thoroughly vandalized. “Better car than us”, thinks Old Man. They wander. History is done. It is finished when they began to wander —a la Sainte Terre, their friendship is legendary. When they began to wander, time ends, Old/Young…
Young Man dreams: “gangsters push Old Man off building, 3 stories. Breaks his neck on the concrete below. Young Man goes in search for him. In a helicopter YM searches for OM, but where he struck ground has become a forest. Young Man dreams of beautiful, intense, erotic stimulation. Old Man dreams: Driving in high mountains with young woman, doesn’t make (just another) turn in the road along high cliff. Drives straight off. (Catholic priest/Tantric friend above was killed by driving off cliff, but just after OM’s dream.) OM whispers prayer of contrition, softly as they fall, softly to the sea. Young Man and Old Man part, leave the King’s Palace for a time. Perhaps, they will re-connect as Om makes abstemious preparations for the pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash, the God Mountain in Tibet. Young Man begins his education for a life of Business Administration and Psychology. And what of the musician? Yes — what about the Muse-ician?
‘As regards the character of the Transfiguration, “…it was not that the Word laid aside His human form, but rather that the latter was illumined by His glory.” …St. Simeon the New Theologian describes his personal experience of this inner illumination in the following words: “In other words, beauty is holiness, and its radiance the participation of the creature in Divine Beauty.’
‘In the Transfiguration, not only does the God appear to men, but humanity becomes a full participant in the Divine glory. By joining with the Deity, man becomes illumined by His Uncreated light, becoming like the radiant body of Christ.’
‘In the icon, beauty is judged by its conformity of the image to its prototype, of the symbol to what it represents — to the Kingdom of the Spirit. But for an icon, its beauty is of the acquired likeness to God and so its value lies not in its being beautiful in itself, but in the fact that it depicts Beauty. The Fathers of the VII Ecumenical Council say the following: ‘Although the Catholic Church depicts Christ in his human aspect, it does not separate his flesh from the Divinity conjoined. On the contrary, it believes that the flesh is deified and professes it to be one with the divinity.4
…Chris slipped in the mud, and fell in the fire…. But we pulled him free. Simon, godlike in his perfect (Asian) physique, danced in the cold, bare as newborn… and leaps above the fire, perfect martial arts splits, leaps. But, Shri Oroborus, the great serpent of the world, strikes from below, mouth gape-full of glass-sharp, poisonous fangs to devour. Its massive head strikes up, directly toward Simon’s netherworld endowment — But no, at such moments one learns to fly! Oroborus dissolves to pure, clear energy to enter in, through the perineum, up, up, through his psychic central nervous system. The Goddess riding that great, clear phallus up to Union with — the universe, the whole universe, the great empty vase of it traversed; earth and heaven, God and the world, Being itself.
Fr. Steve was, of course, asleep in the house for all of this…
(Sexual processes and nudity, in themselves innocent… here help discuss ‘the new innocence,’ are of themselves also so provocative that the parameters of religion should be seriously considered as we endeavor to ignite shakti kundalini,
until all is one!
(As a record or history, this last chapter is radically abridged. Much of the whole would be unreadable to the general public—not that it is invalid material, or that it’s untrue. You had to have the experience or it is simply unrecognizable. None- the-less, there is enough remaining that a dedicated soul may follow the story to its end.)
The President, the Priest, the Bishop
The Bindu and Michael the Archangel
Cody Greets the Dawn
Here is the skeletal hang of our activity, and our intentions. The thing itself remains veiled since we do not have the perceptive faculties or the strength to withstand more than a glimpse of the Holy, veiled as it is in love and awe, and terror… We speak of the Holy, or the Sacred, or God. But what we really mean cannot be spoken. The primary thing itself is ineffable. The first elements to appear before the faculties of perception are described by their dualistic relationship. Opposites, then multiplicity, interaction and so on… In order that the Big Bang might occur, for instance, there had to be empty space in which to explode. Action and Emptiness. Light and Dark. Masculine and Feminine. That duality and subsequent manifestations are all we can know. God, therefore, is pre-existent, ineffable, void of recognizable characteristics. Any language about God is at best metaphoric, usually blasphemous. For the void cannot be named. Jesus, realizing this, needed a handle in his preaching about this original emptiness that could carry power, authority, and intimacy sufficient for his heritage and his own experience of God. So, he called God “Father.” He thus alienated himself from an essential Old Testament current. But, he aligned himself with many other religious traditions in which real heroes claim divine parentage. From the virginal void of Mary, Godhead is made manifest. But thanks be to God, our experience is not limited by the tyranny of language, Old Testament or otherwise. With all due respect… It is possible to escape our own creations. It is not impossible to be saved from even the horror of history.
Imagine if you will, an atmosphere of sunrise — turquoise illumination and cobalt blue — crystalline black ink spread swirling across a sky of sparkling stars. Conjure in your mind these natural elements arranged in vaulting splendor across your inner world. It is from here — where there is no private property and nothing is monitized, and one’s freedom consists of knowing one’s true self and therefore the universe — firsthand, and therefore God. It is from here that we shall evoke our final spell of coincidence and identity that will doom the world or save it. We do this not in our own, personal name, for who knows what that really is, but in the name of our species, of all sentience, for that is who we truly are, not commercial agents, brokers and technicians, middle men and sales women slaving beneath a false valence of “freedom and independence.” We are real beings of spirit and flesh, ineffable spirit and impenetrable matter. Or, perhaps I should say, infinitely penetrable matter as we have split the atom, and after the split there is always more and more sub atomic space. (For that matter, no one has yet plumbed the boundaries of the universe, either. As in the image of God, there is always more…)
Reality here consists of the negotiation between tangible fact, imagination, analysis, emotion and the “other” ineffable, sustaining presence: the Holy Spirit, or Nirvanic states of consciousness, or the Holy Ones at dawn. This is the ambiance of our adventure. In the golden white light of our vocation, we gather our powers and cast the Word—of salvation… Or the curse. Or maybe something else entirely.
From perineum to pineal, we breathe in the world, through our eyes, and see God with the detachment of scientists and saints, for matter and spirit are truly meant to be one. Neither bound nor blinded by oh-so-necessary cultural and moral limitations or ambition for fame or money… or influence and access, or any short- sighted pragmatism.
To fight this battle one must be filled with the dawn:
1. A Rock from which Eagles Hunt
There is a place that is so pure that I go there to be refreshed by the energies of the place. Words like ‘God’ or ‘holy’ or even the associated thoughts, all quite important to me in the past, seem crude in that place, its energies are so refined. Being there makes one feel cleaner — how body and mind are supposed to be.
Once, I was standing on that craggy rise, lifting as it does above the surrounding slant of that Nevada desert plain. It was as if I could see all the way to Iraq and the horror of the coming invasion! That was just before Bush Senior’s militant excursion there, I think. Terrible things there were and worse to come.
We discovered this place more than fifteen years ago. A friend and I were researching the phenomenon of ‘holy places’ that occur often in the annals of sacred literature. These are places on the earth reputed to have some special “energy” or “spiritual presence.” Lourdes or Fatima or Kailash would be famous examples of such places, but there are many others mentioned in the sacred texts, or that simply exist without mention. My friend and I located such a place in the Great Basin region of Nevada, through an erring process. We wandered aimlessly for several days in the wastelands of Nevada and California until we spotted it. Rather, it seemed to present itself. Over the years, and in many subsequent visits, this place displayed various natural and supernatural characteristics. However, it was two visits in particular that make the point about art and perception that I intend to clarify here.
My mother and I visited this place of energies, shortly after the Summer Solstice, 1996. We arrived at night. This place, we call it Eagle Rock, can be approached by car along a dirt road to within about 500 yards. I drove slowly, looking for a place off the dirt road to stop. In the summer, this place is all dust and scrubby sage. But, the twilight moments of dawn and dusk are precious and the place radiates a peculiarly pure, psychic energy at that time. As I rolled to a stop, a bright light flashed from the outcrop of rocks that is the center of these energies. The brief flash of light in the night was as tall as a house. I stopped the car pointed towards the rocks. We were anxious about who might be at this forsaken place this time of night to make such a light. Local Indian shamans? There is a reservation nearby. And I’m told that such bright flashes of light can be Shamanistic phenomenon. Hostile Skin Walkers? The Holy Ones? Serial killer
deadbeats? As I considered this, my companion said, “The car is moving.” “No, it’s not,” I replied, thinking that she meant that the brake wasn’t on or something. Moments passed. “The car is moving.” “No, it’s not,” somewhat impatiently.
Then, I noticed that the car was moving. Sliding back and forth. Front to back. Without the benefit of gravity. The overwhelming sensation was that of the other world. This was as clear as any other sensation might be: Fear, love, joy, who can calculate its measure or prove the experience except by the consensus of witnesses. This time, someone was with me and shared a significant paranormal event. This had not been the case in the past. Though, the sensation of the moment was powerful indeed, great power and otherness. We decided that perhaps we did not need to be there. In fact, should not be there. We were intruding somehow. So, we backed out and drove slowly away.
We became very anxious to be away from there. Away from that power that seemed so strong and unfamiliar.
About ten miles back on that dirt road, there is a farmstead. We both felt that if we could get past that point, back in human surroundings, we would be OK. But, then, as we drove along, I heard a strong hissing noise. It became louder and louder. I stopped the car to investigate. I had a flat. I had to change the tire. As I did so, it began to rain. We were in the Nevada desert in July. Rain is not impossible there at that time, but not likely. Now, at that anxious moment, it poured down.
The tire fixed, we continued our escape. We focused on looking for the farm, after which there is another ten miles to the paved road.
Then, suddenly, we were at the intersection with the paved highway. We did not pass the farm. We arrived at the pavement much too soon. And as soon as we got there, the rain stopped. Both of us had been looking for the farm. You can’t miss it, since the road goes right through the barnyard. It has the only light in that vast desert area.
Trans-temporal-spatial-relocation? Both of us could not have missed such an obvious landmark as the farmyard. Install one gate and the way becomes impassable.
It seemed as if some being, spirit, deity laughed in the night.
On another, earlier occasion, I perceived in my mind’s eye, that the ‘spirit’ of Eagle Rock looked like a series of vertical serpentine rods of golden white light. Like the Seraphim, perhaps. But on that earlier occasion, they simply hovered above the rocky crag, approving the one I brought there for initiation into these “mysteries.” At the conclusion of that initiation, I clapped my hands above his chthonic chakras as he lay across those rocks. Simultaneously, lightening ignited the mountainous horizon in the distance, followed immediately by thunder.
Now, it was as if the seraphs hovered majestically for hundreds of square miles above the valley, easily filling that vast emptiness, they “sing the glory of God in creation.”
An issue of note: One other time did the energies of Eagle Rock display themselves with the power that moved my car around, as on that night when I was accompanied by my mother. That was on one subsequent trip, again when my mother was present. The spirit of that place seems especially fond of her. The real sentiment here is that something extraordinary happened and there is something about the close relationship between mother and son that is the matrix of extraordinary light, creativity, insight and perhaps spiritual power. Possibly, it is the celibate relationship between masculine and feminine elements, the taboos of which re-channel this powerful dualism in the Spirit. On another subsequent visit to Eagle Rock, my mother once again had the extraordinary sensation of being moved without the benefit of gravity. I, however, felt nothing of that… She was obviously experiencing something extraordinary. Somehow, without any other catalyst except being in that place, she experienced a significant alteration of perception. Once, approaching that place, I experienced there a sense of soaring beauty, galactic in its largess, intimate in its warmth. This lasted long after… Perhaps, this class of experience is a source of human evolution. Something about the Earth itself, that has inherent in it, heaven itself.
The question is resolved to some degree in the study of the ‘nude,’ recorded elsewhere, that has become for me a metaphor of essential knowledge. In reference to our topic here, consider this aspect of that study: An Aborigine in Australia asserts the ability to communicate over long distances by physical sensations, a kind of pricking sensation that one can feel in the skin. This is especially active when one is on pilgrimage, a ‘walkabout’ along the ‘song lines,’ or to mythic holy places on the skin of earth. That requires a different, not more primitive, worldview, a different attitude about body and world.
2. [Jimson Weed… link to explanation of psychotropic plants and the psyche. No need to ingest, if you have the time… no time here.]
3. You will remember, of course, how in the 1990’s a broad conspiracy of junkyard dog Republicans and media vultures — very well groomed, but opportunists none the less — who dogged the President and the First Lady and their lot of confused, idealogic liberal Democrats. Hypocrites! Keep that sceanario in mind as well, as this following episode unfolds.
4. I was appointed a chaplain at a university. My mother had even come to live with me to help run the house and keep the accounts. She had lived alone since my father died and had reached a point where she couldn’t quite manage on her own. She remains bright mentally to this day and has kept the books ruthlessly. She’s made a great contribution to our project. And you will remember how the genius loci responded to her presence at Eagle Rock in the Great Basin.
5. As well, I continued my research into esoteric religious practices in their relationship with the rest of the body of creation. In particular, in their relationship with popular religion and science. Inevitably, this involves biology. Also inevitably, since we are biological creatures, this research touched upon sexual topics. Of course, this is especially so since the religions I investigated outside of Catholicism were Tantric and Shamanistic traditions.
Unavoidably, if one is exploring these topics, actual sexual practices must be treated. These yogic and shamanistic traditions are ancient, highly nuanced and largely symbolic. That is, they understand and use beautifully the ‘power of symbols’ to bridge so many vast differences in communication, relationships, and finally between this world and God. I often talked freely about these researches with my colleagues, students, and others. This was just part of the process of coming to understand these worldviews.
6. However, it was during this period that, apparently, the bishop of the local Roman Catholic diocese who was my patron in that chaplaincy, became involved in a sexual relationship and misplaced millions of Church funds. It was also during this period that I, long before any of that information about the Bishop was revealed and after four very successful years in that place, had a dark communication from the other world to
It was deep, powerful, from the unseen psyche of the world; I believe, the Spirit itself. It had no more explanation than that. Hold on to these elements of our story as I introduce yet another:
7. The Sipahpoo in Puebloan (Southwestern Native American) sacred histories is a place of emergence from the underground, or underworld(s) of the ‘People.’ It is a device of mythological origin and an intuition that suggests evolutionary process. In the subterranean and partially subterranean Kivas of these same people there is a hole in the earthen floor that is a reference to this emergence myth. But as well it refers to the evolution or growth or process of realization in individuals that result from the practices pursued in these religious structures. From deference and for certain practices — and my own ancestry — I maintained such a pit in a field not far away.
It is at the ‘Pit’ in that field, that Simon Han, Chris and I did a ritual this night. We drew on rituals and intentions of the past and pushed them into action, into the future. We started by declaring our benevolent intentions and the world danced a bit to look at it. The fire ignited in the pit as we fed it with sacred bundles and objects. Once Chris slipped into the hole because it had been raining and the clay was slick. He was nicely dressed with expensive shoes when we started. Maybe he will be naked when we finish. We will all be naked. A new innocence!
It was cold away from the fire and the sacred circles, in our changing hearts. Not cold enough to keep the snake away, though. For later, days, months… who can remember, Shri Oroborus took up residence in our pit. You can hear him there now if you’ve learned to listen with the ear of your heart. Scales scraping against themselves. Shhhhh…. Shhh…. Shh…
Resurrection, metanoia, salvation… for us? For the world? We’ll see.
Then the President was impeached. Then our poor, good bishop was forced to resign… Publically humiliated. Not just because of the sex or the middle aged adult he had it with — that was just sad and embarrassing. But because he misplaced those millions of dollars!? The unforgivable sin. Most was recovered. Clinton as well. Sexual sins? His accusers were worse; Gingrich, Livingston, Hyde! Sex, money, power… Sex and money, sex and money—I said it too often… Then me. Well, not the Church’s money, but mine. Had to declare bankruptcy. Because of the loss of those millions, they closed down our chaplaincy. I lost my source of income. I had been warned to “withdraw.” Too late. Well, almost. I had already started to get sick. Soaring blood pressure. Four or five fierce migraines a week. Exhaustion…
Then there was a Spiritualist, of recent Semetic and American descent, about 40 years of age, who came around the Center a lot. He had spent years in India and a lifetime practicing yoga. He claimed to be a healer and found me attractive for some reason — friendship, sympathy, envy of what seemed on the outside to be an enviable position… But he got aggressive sometimes. Had to have him removed from my class at college once. Asked him to take a break from the our Center.
He did some conventional western style therapy and then started to come back to the Hall after a couple of years. Said he was feeling much better. Seemed harmless enough. After a while he asked to help me with my health problems. See what he could do. He advised herbal remedies, meditations, and yogic massage. After several months, no significant improvement, so I went to a MD and got cured more or less through some pretty heavy medical therapy, i.e. drugs. My yogi friend still hung around until one day an employee found him going through my clothes in my closet. Our private rooms are generally considered off limits. I asked him again to take a break from us. A long break. He found that hard to accept. Tried to sit in my classes again. I had him removed. Then he went to the University administration (and, ironically, the Bishop) and told them that I had used my position of authority to entice him into a sexual relationship which he described in detail. He related some private physical details about me. I have a tattoo on my hip. I was investigated by both the University and the Diocese. I was found innocent. Anyone whoever went swimming with me, including most the students, knew about that tattoo. He was dismissed. But not without stalking us in our house and calling all the students and former students and telling them that I had seduced him. Fortunately, I had served them well and none of them believed him. The investigation and the stalking were exhausting for us. So, when the diocese had its financial crisis and couldn’t really afford a university chaplain anymore, I withdrew from public ministry and teaching, and we moved.
… No, at such moments one learns to fly! Oroborus dissolves to pure, clear energy to enter in, through the perineum, up, up, through his psychic central nervous system. The Goddess riding that great clear phallus up to Union with — the universe, the whole universe, the great ‘empty vase’ of it traversed, earth and heaven, God and the world, Being itself.
The goddess and the virgin: From the empty womb comes salvation. One must be guided by such spiritual agents in order not to be trapped in addiction to arousal or appetite, or if so, to be so for some purpose. (Are athletes addicted to exercise and the alkaloidic releases that come from within their bodies through the extremity of exertion?) The real spirit calls us through our bodies to that pearl beyond price, the pale point of convergence, beginning and source of all things…
Isis and Horus, Heracles and Hera, Jesus and Mary…
Once, in the cold rain forests of the Olympic peninsula, Simon, near his family’s island, at a moment of great high energy, and according to the ancient myth, …makes the earth/mating/sky ritual to create the universe. …taking ‘it’ in his mouth, spews ‘it’ forth to create—to identify—the gods. At that moment, Ra-like, to maintain the arousal, he remembers all his loves, Agnes, Stephanie, Cat, Chris, (Michael sometimes in real life, named for the Archangel, defender of heaven). Yes, Chris is the one who loved him. And with that memory of real love from an old soul, the Goddess displayed her pearls. Five of them along a black dragon’s spine. Luminescent. Bindu.
(Sexual processes and nudity, in themselves innocent, are used here to describe an innocence of personal intentions. Personally, I prefer most people in most circumstances to be clothed. I fall back on the naked human form and its accomplishments to express the relationship between natural and supernatural power and innocence because the natural world and Godhead itself are so assaulted by grotesque materialism, selfishness and greed, indeed are in extremis. …It is dangerous enough that we have had to look within so deeply to discover a resolution to the depths of such danger.)
In the beginning, there is a confusion about generative arousal, appetites of the digestive process, and the dragon’s treasure, the Bindu pearl, since they are so close, in the same neighborhood so to speak. But one learns to distinguish as well as to recognize the bond between creative and other earthy functions. One might say that the Bindu intention is the opposite from digestion and elimination, or the sacred heart of pure emptiness. The Goddess rises and seeks completion in union with God, creating the universe in the process. Then, transcending it…
…With the health problems, and the financial crisis in the diocese, Fr. Steve and his mother moved away. Sadly, at the time…They traded in their remaining possessions for a small, used, motor home. Now they realize their freedom. As they wander homeless from place to place, they find natural sacred sites of great spiritual power and beauty. They are being filled with the dawn; the crepuscular powers of twilight, and expectation…
There is also in this a sense of the darkest presence, of power and confidence beyond telling. Some foolish evangelist might go on and on about demons and The Beast! But that is not the sense I have of it at all. It is God. There is nothing but God for us, and the Storm Come for the reckoning and the salvation of the world. Such an identity can only be had as one abandons convenient, conventional perceptions of the world. ‘One must be so drunk’, as Orthodox Rabbis advise their male congregants at Purim, ‘that one cannot even remember one’s name.’ Or, I would say as well, so sober, to relinquish the power of names and naming, embrace poverty and chastity—of the spirit at least, and learn to listen with the ear of one’s heart—to know Freedom; to relinquish the postures of strength and knowing… to know Power at its source.
Then, something unusual happened. Can’t identify, too hard to see… a dark power. But it was coincident with the preparation for, and the successful destruction of the World Trade Center and the attack on the Pentagon! That power was met somewhere in the Great Basin and the Sonoran deserts. I was protected by a water spirit, mineral hot springs, who transported me to a place of safety under the earth as the avenging angels soar…
I have evoked the Spirit of the Dawn with all its dark relatives and its access to the light. I have evoked thus because of the hypocrisy, the maudlin good will of the new age, Church and Sinne; Businesses that pillage the environment, then pay millions for TV commercials about their contributions to bio-diversity; Religion—whose justification is to save the world—depending upon, hungering for, slavering after land ravaging developers to finance, (and managers and accountants) to run its priestly offices. Politicians and entertainers are the same. I have evoked these dark powers because… Not that my opinion matters much. Not in this venture. Only the unintended coincidence of energy, spirit and intentions. (Sic)
Or maybe it is something else. I suppose its not just the cruel insincerity of the materially successful and the pandering of clergy for power that have turned my heart. But finally it’s just that rational, compassionate efforts to save the world seem to have failed. Humanism is the latent excuse everybody uses, but its just greed and pride and cowardice that decimate this animate globe of Gods’ creation.
The President, the Bishop, our Spiritualist friend? (Arousal? Hunger? Doesn’t matter, since the earth gods reside with the chaste goddess in her gem-encrusted cave just above the perineum, in such close proximity to the generative organs and digestive ones as well.)
Simon, Adam, Chris and the Pit: Here is where one learns to work with the gods of creation… learns the tale of love.
With the coincidence of elements, coincidence that grows in its vast powers of elemental confluence.
…One can realize these elements in marriage, or in one’s imagination. But the point is realization of the light, gift or energia of origin. Then you will know Christ, and all the Gods (Elohim and Seraphim, Kachina and Dakini — philosophically, ultimate godhead must be one and absolutely simple, but the delight of manifestation is endless multiplication, variety…) and yourself.
So our tale draws together, or I should say posits this interesting proposition: The archetypes of Mother and son; the great serpent, Oroborus and resurrection; the Pit and evolution/realization; The Great Old Man, Spirit plant animal familiars, Weather gods and climate, Chthonic deity, Opalescent pearl of Bindu generation— all activated, known, engaged…
That prayer works, spells work, and intentions have effect, goes without saying… but how? To what end? Those were the questions.
This method first tested in that pilgrimage to the Achekale in eastern Turkey for the healing of an individual, then expanded to address the needs of a planet, might actually have some merit. But everything was backwards and opposite in the “sex and money” spell. That composition expressed itself according to the personalities and circumstances of its agents. The power seen darkly through a looking glass, cannot be named. The coincidence of intentions that did exist were in the liturgies, the Mass, the sacramental vision and salvific intention towards the world. But many other, otherwise innocent, ‘necessary,’ activities distracted, exhausted and finally exploded across the nation. Woe to those who enjoyed the spectacles. Blessings for the victims. Hope for all… but that’s not enough, not nearly enough. There must be satisfaction. ‘Listen well Sons of Adam, Daughters of Eve, “incline the ears of your hearts…”’
Cody, Wyoming: 5:00 a.m., September 2001
Cat wakes me as a distant horse neighs repeatedly from a far pasture. I step outside into temperatures warmer than early morning should be there. From Cody, I face west to Yellowstone. The full moon slides along the top of Buffalo Gap gorge playing from behind black and silver clouds — swirling, marbled layers — fluid and clean. The ‘Holy ones” are out, around everything in ‘beauty’ just before sunrise… Soon the moon slips slyly down the gap and behind the world.
One’s inner life must progress like a healthy eco-system. Not with a few spectacular creatures promoted and advertised, like the Bald Eagle or Mountain Lion, self-sacrifice or walking on water. One determines the quality of an eco- system by the health of the overall relationships between all its members— physical and spiritual. Nature and the Holy Ones(s) must be considered in any valid operation in the world. Without question, the two are one.
…Regarding the Gem Encrusted Cave of Chastity: Our very physicality is an aspect of the ‘one life’ St. Paul discerned and that I describe here as the unity of matter and spirit. Sexuality is involved in the generative and creative process of physical manifestation from its non-temporal or spiritual origin. As such, the intense draw of sexuality is a special portal of opportunity — abstaining or engaging — in an eco-system of becoming, returning, being! Finally, it is only an aspect of the whole that must be realized, but a powerful agent indeed, a conduit for divine powers.
Origin, manifestation and being determine one’s action. It goes without saying that the modern agenda has little time for inner cultivation, determined as it is to develop the physical life. Maybe there is a little attention for the mental life, but no more than necessary to service the physical and how we feel about being physical. If one believes in the sacredness of being, of self, of body, of matter and spirit, then one is less inclined to participate in the exploitation of these elements for good business profits or politics—or whatever reason. So the same question arises as before, “WHO ARE WE?” Salesmen, administrators, technicians, maintenance workers? Or are we beings as ineffable as our non-temporal origin; religious beings capable of knowledge about the sacredness of being, and all its parts and processes. (i.e. science and religion together.)
From a different angle: what is it about us that is able to relate to, or sense the presence or processes of other beings. How is my ability to see this computer screen, or the person across the room any more verifiable than the history of human experience of spirit, of the ‘other world’ if you like, or ‘genius locus’ for that matter. The encounter with this ‘other’ has drawn the character of human evolution and colors our imagination about existence.
“Thus, chastity is the beauty of clarified vision and the sparkling, gem-clear power of ‘Bindu’ generation. It is the identity of relationships in love with the whole eco/spirit system of origin and manifestation. It is the dawn just before sunrise sufficient to make or destroy the world. Or, at least one’s own life. Or, perhaps…”
This statement was created within the remembered ambiance of the Simon’s ‘Bindu’ attainments on the Olympic peninsula and published with a painting that was part of a series depicting the battle for heaven and earth. The title of the painting described the primary weapon in this battle, referring as it did to the ineffability of the identity of any personality. Hours following the promulgation of this tract, the World Trade Center towers in New York City were destroyed and the American Pentagon itself, successfully attacked…
I had hoped for wisdom. Now I would be satisfied with simple morality.10
Vintage priest. We are about something else. Christianity is not real Christianity if it expresses itself only in the semantics of the Hebrew and Greek. But Christianity begins to come into itself when it is recognized in the worldview that speaks Sanskrit and Pali, Tibetan, and Navajo…
The language of light and dark:
AT A HOT SPRINGS SOMEWHERE NEAR DEATH VALLEY THE GOD SPOKE TO ME AGAIN AND TOLD ME TO BE SILENT AND DO NOTHING. THE GOD DID NOT ACTUALLY SAY THAT BUT ALLOWED ME TO GO INSTANTLY FROM THAT PLACE TO STAND ON EAGLE ROCK IN THE GREAT BASIN AND SHOWED ME HOW TO STAND. THIS INVOLVED A PROFOUND INNER SILENCE AND NON ACTION AS THE BEST WAY TO ACCOMPLISH OUR GOALS. EVERYTHING PRIMARY HAPPENS INSIDE….
10 Robert Graves, The White Goddess, p.124, or throughout the book. Graves’ analysis of the priest/poet/hero figure, such as Herakles in mythology in relationship with the Goddess is invaluable here. The two are inseparable and perennial in human perception. This topical reference starts with the sacrificial priesthood of the Great Goddess from around the Mediterranean. In this construct, the hero/sacred king/priest/son/consort—Herakles (Gk., “Glory of Hera”) is adulated for a time, then sacrificed to become divine. His initiates would often eat his flesh and blood in communion with their deity. This function of the mediatory priesthood, hieros or hierophant, extends, sans actual blood sacrifice, to the priesthood of Jesus Christ in the order of Melquizedek.
Fr. Steve’s anguished response to that horror went something like this: “Dr. Carl Jung said that morality was a “sign of true barbarism, in tout res… and that wisdom is preferable.” I had hoped that wisdom would prevail and the sanctions against Iraq would be modified so that those million children would not have starved to death after the Gulf war—not to speak of the old and infirm. I had hoped that simple justice would prevail so that Palestinians would at least be compensated for what was stolen from them by richer, better armed forces and given a state of their own—why should they pay for European crimes and problems and suspect scriptural interpretations? I had hoped that our foreign policy would stop promoting monsters like Saddam and the Shah, Sharon and the Taliban—only to be treated to their own medicine—though as usual it is innocent bystanders who suffer most. I had hoped that American public opinion would not be so easily manipulated by the owners of media and the political game bought and sold, so easily. I had hoped that our economy might broaden its base from military connected enterprise (70%) and oil and cars and oil… (Remember, a million starved children have paid this month’s bill for that damned oil.) I had hoped for wisdom. Now I would be satisfied with simple morality.”
We’ll see how well we survive and if there isn’t some alternative for Simon and Cat, Chris and Ag; the Bishop, Fr. Steve, and his mother, Adam, the young man and the pilgrim and all the rest… The spell has been cast from my center, from the Tan Tien. One way or another, the ‘Fury of Being’ will know its rectification…
will know its rectification…
But I am something else now. And now I will spread my colors. I have tested my powers. Now, I will act!
G. K. Odiak
Golem Tolpa, Golem Kodiak
—not now just a clay doll, but animate and free, though, not yet enlightened, a most dangerous passage.
Theopoeisis: Rhythm of God. A New Innocence. The golem is the creature/character liberated at the end. In some way this figure is real and has achieved an independence of its own. Is this an action of liberation or exorcism? The over-all intention of Nepsis is liberation from the Passions to effect a condition of animated sobriety in expectation of divine presence. “Who told you you were naked?”
When Adam and Eve are found hiding from God in the Garden of Eden, God replies to Adam’s complaint about being naked with the above query. “Who told you you were naked?” Before the Resurrection and after the creation of Adam and Eve, this question might be the most important moment described in the Bible. How do we lose our innocence, i.e. our natural relationship with the divine spirit… and everything else? This comments upon the ‘answer’ to the problem of the Fall in Genesis, The Christos, or our christic identity-or as some would have it, a “New Innocence.” The old innocence is lost. It cannot be reclaimed by modernity. But there is the possibility of a “new” state that comes from the influence in all the “wisdom traditions” of the past and the altruistic intentions of our own secular age. In relationship to the “New Innocence” is the ancient Church teaching about Theopoeisis, the Rhythm of God, or the movement of the divine spirit in creation. The very rhythm that is creation itself. (A frequency, if you like.) This refers to an early, predominant teaching, or spiritual method, in the Church concerning how such original innocence is rediscovered in one’s life. To live life according to the Rhythm of God is to discover one’s true identity, and holiness as the completion of nature.
TRIP TO JERUSALEM
My Jewish friend took me to the ‘Wailing Wall’, inside to pray. I never wanted to go to the Holy Land. I’m a supporter of the good aspirations of the Arab peoples. Political and military control of Palestine by Zionists is not justified. Though, there is nothing written in stone that says they shouldn’t live there. Zion was a holy place before David took the city. It still is. None-the-less, I love my friend, so we stood before the Wall and prayed. In my mind’s eye I saw blue lightening arising from the stone foundation of the mount. And green… Enormous psychic power. Later, I visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. A Christian monk (Coptic I believe) was selling religious knick-knacks out of a closet behind the crowded shrine. The candle stands around the shrine were filthy. I wandered down to lower levels and found a place of naked stone foundations. There was only one person there- An Ethiopian man in street clothes but wrapped in a shawl of white gauze. He chanted quietly and prayed for a long time. His quiet prayer moved me, so I joined him there touching the bare stone. I felt that I ‘saw’ peace. Absolute peace.
On another day we bathed in a chilly cave pool near another cave once occupied by John the Baptist, not far from Jerusalem. My Jewish friend also took me on a tour of the Golan Heights and surrounding areas. We hiked the hills and fields and swam in the river that feeds the Sea of Galilee. An Arab Christian friend showed me Caesarea by the Sea and other places on the way back to Jerusalem. (The very places, when I was with my Jewish and Christian friends, now under bombardment from the north as IDF armaments pound the hills of Lebanon.)
DREAMS: I had many dreams in the Holy Land. All but one were wonderful, verdant, lovely, dark and green. There was one of terrible aspect. A local genius locus? Horrible, still, boring tan brown, hot antipathy. Me or the place? Can’t say, but is suggests much about that place and my perceptions. My time in Jerusalem was like standing on the frontier of the ‘other world.’ One feels timeless in the presence of time. This would be so with or without all those buildings and peoples, I’m sure.
I suppose a significance of my experience in Jerusalem was that the sensibilities developed there are particular to the place–the genius loci of that place. Which might be why so much of Christianity always seems alien to other places. Though one must still consider such passages as the “Sermon on the Mount” as more universal, but still consistent with the spirits of that locale.
Religious people in America should seek out the spirit that dwells here rather than imposing Middle Eastern or European ideas about spirits. One can do this as well as acknowledge the significance of the Christ, the Buddha, and so much Stephen W. Frost Ph.D. 91 more the gift of what Christians call the Holy Spirit. What loving, peaceful person who cares about Creation as the Creator made it would not make this choice. ‘The spirits also need love and completion…’
One other event of this journey was a thoroughly happy trip to Petra in Jordan. I stayed in a ‘native’ hotel in Petra. There was a gay person on the staff of this small hotel on a hillside above town. It was more a guesthouse than a hotel, with lots of students and other economically challenged world travelers. As I was checking-out on the morning of my departure, this androgen was in charge, indeed was the only staff person present. At one point, he seemed to gaze to the right up towards the ceiling and said to me “you have a white heart” and as he went on seemed very positive and favorable in his estimation. When I was a young pilgrim on the roads of the world, in the early stages of this conversion, to have a ‘clean heart’ was a value of highest esteem. I think that’s the translation from the Arabic of my friend’s thinking in Petra. I’ll end my story with that. For my sake and the world’s, I hope we’re right.
After setting down
from 19 hours in the air
to San Francisco
to sleep the first hours of jet lag away
Awake to “Lasher” of a storm
trunk thigh lift
strip leaves lift
and lift the air
swarm like hair
upon the shelf
let the wind blow
work its pleasure
lash the ground
sweet bright breath
clear and sound
lift the dust and rave
raise sprint high
the spirit my soul
my storm gusting through yours
permeable to your full breath
whip the air
Whip bearded, hatted, stranger’s papers
through the air, papers high
(brief case left open to the wind)
perhaps a liberal arts or more likely
a technical dissertation; the stack
piled neatly, filed
in their sullen society
then solely membered in the clear clean sky (that morning)
between earth and sky mating a clean sky morning
snow storm of papers
whipped up instead of down
“hope you have a copy buddy…”
blow the wind
connubial bliss with the wind
sin… no, no
eucharistic feast maybe
at least its a good try
earth and sky
break the heart crushing broken centuries, eons dry lake dry
for all our sakes
sate the drought
light not doubt
ignite the storm
then sweetly kiss our lips
together with a gentle fall
light drops on an iridescent day
a battle fraught with love
and fought from trench foxholes
(Hide my lady, the front is coming.)
points of passage in
this sweetest honeycomb
of mornings and misses in
this labyrinth of meaning and misses
the rain (sane director, ringmaster, crew)
rain too full many body laid out forms
some not lost yet
sheath the sword
Dear my sweet Lord forgive my fears
dear my Lord…
come the storm.
red berries high branch
high piled snow
to taste of sweet salvific satisfaction
in high rhythm lilting
in high heavenly choirs
in rhythm with our
to ravish the ‘lie’
to reason and lavish dream
(for ‘I’ start to see too
clear, too clean)
So, finish the dream
for ‘I’ cannot (upon the shelf)
rip the wind
weather and spirit
maker of storms
and climate of our dream.
PRIEST’S CONFESSION AND APOLOGY
Art and religion are the areas of concentrated interest in this presentation. However, even while exploring through the specific lens of aesthetic and religious perception, the most fundamental interest here is more universal. How can one best characterize human identity, given the astounding shift in the human project of the last 10,000 years or so — i.e., since civilization? How might one better understand and characterize nature, being — human experience and the “non-temporal”, i.e., Nirvana or God…?
My approach has been three-fold: 1. Study the aesthetic, intellectual and practical expression of Shamanism/Animism, Buddhism, Christianity, Icons/Mandalas as well as Abstract Expressionism and other Modernist disciplines such as one might find in Academia or the Art World. 2. As far as gift, tolerance and actual possibility allow, to personally experience these areas. 3. Accept the guidance by recognized Masters, rigorous critical disciplines as well as art and religious training.
Then, following long apprenticeship through such initiation, to seek some way to express the essence of these researches most widely in a technological age as both critical communication and religious realization. For this, one might compare issues of self restraint — especially in Christian or Buddhist yogic practice — with self indulgence as a means of absolutizing one’s experience, or as a means of liberating one’s perceptive experience from any such category, as in Tantra. Or, for instance, in the process of distilling essential elements of our topics, the creation of several works of fiction, as well as paintings and sculptures on related themes helped enormously in a larger task of abstraction in this philosophical, at times metaphysical, endeavor.
Related to such methodological considerations is the challenge of how one such as myself might deal with inescapable elements of human identity patterns in the last decade of millennia, such as media generated appetites, sexuality or money. For instance, I am a vowed Christian celibate. One might argue from a correct and technical perspective that this only prohibits me from the married state. That sexual experience is only permitted to sacramentally married heterosexuals, but everything outside such carefully proscribed sexual practice is forbidden in the Ideal, even, perhaps especially, sexual thoughts. (Scripture Reference … ‘whosoever looks at a women [lustfully]…commits adultery’. [Matt: 5:27.] Rare and hard to obtain, this ‘inner state’ references an exalted liberation indeed.) I sought another approach. How can one know the Tantric processes of liberation from such passions well enough to compare them to Christian methods without being able to personally, as well as, scientifically explore these realms? The same might be said for homosexuality, career ambitions, attitudes towards money, or any of the other powerful human drives. But is it impossible to imagine that a sincerely celibate, Christian seeker might be able to exercise the scientific detachment of gynecologists? Most likely one would be accused of some form of currently illegal abuse. Become a pariah in both the secular and religious community. Certainly be ridiculed, dismissed, if exposed to popular attitudes. (The esoteric must really remain so in order to have its effect.) Besides, everything important that can be obtained through mind altering substances, or ritual sexuality, can be obtained through the Raj Yogas, or otherwise. [One doesn’t need to imbibe, or partake physically. That is with the important exception of a relationship with the psyche of the plant world. But if one can live for years in an environment of sacred plants, etc., one need not imbibe. I know this from long personal encounter with Sacred Datura — Jimson Weed. I was raised in the wild midst of these fearsome beauties. Then, he/she/they spoke to me.]
It has, none the less, been sobering indeed how many otherwise friendly relationships end dramatically if one just raises such issues. Yet, one must admit that such a path is not only possible, but best for some and implies much for all.
…It’s the variety of inner states of mind and spirit that we leave out… the illuminations that construct and color such worldviews. …333 million gods that provide the tools of energy, imagination and intellect together that describe the unseen relationship between matter and spirit.11 The integration of such elements has certainly been a practice of great concern in many venerable religious traditions. So, one should not be surprised by an attempt here to draw together popular and specialist attitudes about knowledge in general. Those who perceive a fragmentation of knowledge at the core of the human dilemma, especially emphasize this in attempts to integrate knowledge or at least its methodological disciplines. A complete overhaul of human identity and the meaning of the human project is required to address these issues and indeed is taking place in the world as we speak.
11 God, Gods or Goddesses indicate an anthropomorphized sensibility about the participation of every moment, power and place in the divine or non-temporal condition. In the context of this poem, ‘gods’ refer to archetypal figures that actively engage a fuller spectrum of perception. For the “Dionysius” reference, see Halpern, Paul. The Cyclical Serpent, Plenum Press, New York, 1995. Also see, Williams, W. L. The Spirit and the Flesh. Beacon Press, Boston, 1986. For Shamanistic initiation, see “Introduction” in Shamanism, Eliade, M.
Discovering, informing and impacting this reorganization is our task here…
…and to accomplish this we’ve used many methods, sometimes the very methods, we, in the past, deplored.
We also have ‘ridden along the precipice of the abyss
— shards sparked blithely — ’
the more secure conventions above, higher up the rise/
the writhing depths below…
Touched by (n)either…I believe
Only perfect chastity or perfect scientific insight or the perfect whole
golden poppies, and purple lupine gently breezing between the graves
lisping whispering dialogue
of trees and grass
long undulating ribbons
along winds of being…
until they snap!
…come my lord,
Cast the Storm!
[99., 100., 101
So, there does seem to be
An ‘other’ side of ‘is’ to see
And seers still
Those are the swaddling clothes spun from pure white gold.
That is the cloth upon which
the infant Lord has lain…
From the primordial pit of realization,
the serpent of resurrection,
agent of salvation
scales scraping against scales,
balance, shape the destiny of gods and heroes,
coils form the crèche,
draped in spun white gold.
Even should destiny fail
Then a pinprick
golden poppies, purple lupine breezing between portals of passage, bright
Who gets the money, after all and all is, and done
Daughter Mother, Father Son
the power, the fun
Upon what account do we draw,
as we draw our breath,
past and future, life and death.
Huachuca, Arizona 2003
Back Cover Image:
Rorate Caeli II (Gregorian Hymn, “Rain down your blessing, o ye heavens.”)
Oil on Canvas 40” x 30” 1991
See www.nepsis.com #148-152 [14-22]
God is smiling his rapture
through undulating waters in dark
crystal waves behind our boat.
God whispers her sweet kisses
in tiny breezes across my ear…
our friendly talk
sailing past sunset, down the Nile
through the arms of life
the embrace of stars!
Steve Frost Egypt, 1997
- 1Hans Hoffman, Abstract Expressionist painter and teacher, The Search for the Real. See Bibliography, www.nepsis.com sitemap. [↩]
- 5 A old story about Lucifer and God: The Devil is talking to God: “I worship You alone. From the beginning, only You. Now you want us to bow down, to bend our backs before this human, this pathetic creature stretched out in time and space, full of bile and feces, who cannot love you as we do, fully, all at once, in the singular moment of your eternal glory. I will not do it. You, like a doting grandfather who pours all his favor on his last grandchild, his last creation… No! We will not! We remain loyal to you. Obedient to you alone— by being disobedient! (The”Narrator” is from the Nepsis novel, ADAM’S WAY. Nepsis.com, Section II [↩]
- 7 ShivaKaliShakti [↩]
- 8 See www.nepsis.com Letter to A Bishop, Section II, or Satisfaction… [↩]
- 9 See ‘Book Three’ of INDIAN WITCHES (aka, How Dionysius Saved His Mother from Hell, by G. Kodiak.) RESOLUTION also completes the initiation phase of LETTER TO A BISHOP found in Section III of www.nepsis.com. See also, THE ORACLE OF XIBALBA on the UCB site map. [↩]