a little reality music

bit by bit by plummet and summit I admit

I’ve literally audited the units of awe

out of it


iterated and reiterated its bitter limits fidgeted with its widgets

imitated some midget critic who rehabs an identity in the grip

of its habit


all of it the awfully pitiful not-my-shit of a hypocrite

albeit I witness likewise an auspicious orbit of a new spirit

my novitiate itch


to intuit a secret exit into the infinite itself

to wit this minute lit quiet I commit to sit so sit then

opposite then opposite


any deity counterfeit then quit and re-rack the I

in it like a barbell this fit misfit has

finished lifting with


With Jeff Barnum, a friend of mine, I’m about to develop a series of courses that will be purported in our as of yet unwritten supporting literature to develop creativity.  I have adopted a self-deprecating tone here because hubris is harder in my experience to recover from.  Also, teaching creativity is not like teaching the parts of speech.  There  is no universally agreed upon content: nouns and verbs and conjunctions, so to speak.  In fact, if you get caught up in some content in teaching creativity, you miss the whole damn point.  Creativity is not a content, but a capacity.  Obviously, that’s no great insight, but sometimes it’s good to start from the obvious.

every object rightly seen…

I’m currently reading through Emerson’s Nature in preparation for teaching another class this September on the American Transcendentalists.  In the chapter called “Language” he quotes Goethe (though Coleridge also said something very much like it): “every object rightly seen, unlocks a new faculty of the soul.”  This truth, reality, phenomenon, or law — whatever you want to call it — underpins mission #17, which has to do with right view.  In my own small way, I have here and there been able to experience the soul-unlocking potential of seeing properly.  Proper seeing, in my experience, is a sort of active passive imagination, a participation in both the unfolding of what is seen and the seeing itself.  Seeing seems to me an unfolding in time as well as a witnessing of objects in space.  There is always an invisible element (the “rightly” in the above quotation) that is key in unlocking the mysteries of the visible.

constellating the mind and will for mission #14

Trying to see the constellations that Alvaro was pointing out in the planetarium at Sierra College brought home to me again how much we see with our minds as opposed to our eyes.  My mind knows the Big Dipper and could therefore find it easily, but with many of the other constellations, my mind (or imagination) had to really work to constellate the stars as Crabs, Twins, Lions, Bulls, etc.  These for me unconstellated constellations have yet to fully stick in my mind.  My goal this next week is to get some of them to stick there while viewing the night sky on a camping trip at Wright’s Lake.  This goal, like any goal, is a constellation of the will, like a mission.  This one is for me about a medium-sized Dipper.

blue shadow, golden light

This morning, about 7:30, I noticed that I cast a blue (with hints of green) shadow in golden sunlight — I stopped on my walk just to peer at it.  This wasn’t a mission but it ought to have been and I have half the mind to make it one for future adventures.  The mission would be: “Go out into the world and cast a colored shadow.”  I later realized, in a “meta” sort of way, that conditions are always perfect for what you get in life, whether a blue shadow or just a regular one.  And the conditions always include you!

subtle dystopian propaganda machines

Perhaps because I have been so acutely aware of the subtle and not so subtle dystopian propaganda machines inside my own soul, I have been interested in freedom.  These machines’ compelling and enslaving narratives, too often on continual loop, have been instrumental in my on-going waking up out of addlepated just-doing-whatever dreaminess.  They have also inspired a two decade effort to structure my thinking, feeling, and volition in ways that develop my creativity and freedom to serve others.  It has not always been easy, and in my better moments I’m thankful for that!  I’m thankful, likewise, for the few and sometimes far between moments when I shake off the hitherto unknown forces guiding my hand and write my own narrative, at least for a while.

why missions rather than just doing stuff

When Socrates famously said “the unexamined life is not worth living” he was not-so-famously (in fact, apocryphally, most likely) advocating a life of missions.  He was certainly not, however, advocating a life of great insights coupled with a life of just going through the motions.  Missions, as I envision them, are mini-adventures in life that connect one’s deepest creative insights and feelings with one’s actions.  But just as when you connect two parts hydrogen with one part oxygen you get water, so when a mission is designed rightly, it is magically more than its parts — it lifts experience into a more heightened realm; it lifts life out of the humdrum and into an unfolding story no one ever could have expected.  A world in which we perform missions is more malleable and interactive and mysterious and lawful and responsive and wisdom-filled than a world in which we just do stuff.  That world, sadly, just does stuff, too.  Having done enough stuff already in my life, I want missions!


Mission #15 of my adventure involves giveaway.  At the moment, I’m not very good at it, which is not to say that I’ve ever been that good at it.  I can often give a thing away, but less often can I magically disenchant my attachment to the thing after it is gone.  For example, almost a year ago, I gave up lattes because I thought I had a fairly serious sensitivity to dairy — it was clear to me that I had to make some radical changes to my diet.  I haven’t had a latte since, which might make one think that I’ve given away lattes quite successfully.  However, the attachment is still there like a phantom limb that itches at the most inopportune times.  When giving something away, whether it be an actual thing or the attachment to a particular outcome, its the itch that must become the focus of one’s attention if there is to be any hope of success.  And when I say success, I mean freedom from the headlock (more like heartlock) of the attachment.

there is no outside us

We human beings want containers.  We want brains for our consciousness.  We want bodies for our selves.  We want to be able to reach into an aquarium and pull out just one fish, and know that that fish is completely contained in what we see of that fish, in its skin, so to speak.  What we often neglect to realize is that there is always an outside of the container that includes what is being contained.  The sun appears to be a bright ball of light in the sky and yet we on earth are as much inside the sun as the hydrogen that much of the ball of the sun is made of.  We talk so much about the brain these days because we are looking at it from outside of it.  We human beings, as well as everything, are like suns — there is no outside us.

a mission spiel

Whenever I meet people I haven’t seen in a while and they ask me what I’m up to these days, I find it difficult to answer.  I haven’t yet mastered a spiel to describe the Freehoodship project, though I must say I’ve never been very good at spiels.  Regardless, I want to be able to express aptly what I’m doing and in a few sentences distinguish a Freehoodship mission from other socially conscious Alternate Reality Game missions.  Here’s a stab: I think it has to do with our tireless examination of fixed forms of consciousness, our habit-prodding, so to speak.  It also has to do with our worldview that sees no limits to consciousness, not to mention our view of human beings as co-authors of reality — and when I say reality, I mean one that includes the supersensible, the anomalous, the synchronous, the karmic, the transpersonal, the esoteric, and and and even reductionism (either religious or scientific) and blind skepticism, which are very local realities for very many people.  That’s it!  The Freehoodship wants missions to send us beyond the borders of our provincial realities, not into darkness, but into richness!