Occult “Community”

Preponderance of the Great

The Judgment
The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
Success.

The Image
The lake rises above the trees:
The image of Preponderance of the Great.
Thus the superior man, when he stands alone,
Is unconcerned,
And if he has to renounce the world,
He is undaunted.

Or, anyway, so has my daily I Ching toss. I wouldn’t normally share something so private, but it happens to be relevant.

I don’t know how I am still caught off-guard by the generally awful behavior of the so-called community of those involved in occultism, magic, mysticism, and esoteric practice. I will grant that there is such a thing as purely faulty information out there, so it is sometimes justifiable to call people out on absolute nonsense. But it seems altogether more common for occultists to criticize those who are attempting to sincerely share what they have learned. More often than not, this is done somewhere on the spectrum near passive-aggression, and without adding anything especially useful to the discussion themselves, often without even addressing the central point being made.

Though this post is directly inspired by a specific example, I’m really trying to point to a trend which I have seen play out time and again over the years of my own involvement with such things.

Well, undaunted, I carry on with my practice; yet, that world I must renounce.

Tried for Truth

In my social life
I am forced to start over;
my personality was burnt to the ground
in a livid conflagration
whose pain I was not spared by merciful asphyxia,
but made to feel all the way down.
I learnt of friends whose smiles for me remained,
and discerned those who would be as anvils
as the blows rained upon me.
Old friends made anew,
new friends made venerable,
false friends left to flutter and fade
like misprinted book leaves ripped and tossed away.
I do not rise again from my own ashes, triumphantly,
but offer myself up as bhasma
to grace, as laurel crown,
the shining brows of those whose love stays true.

Alive

Gotta feed the cat.
Gotta feed myself.
Gotta shower
get dressed
walk out that damn door
which weighs a thousand pounds
and only leads to a more public perdition.
This is how to stay alive.

To see the clouds
for what they are
and know that the
sky remains pure
and calm
beyond them,
this is how to live.

Poetry

Poetry
rises up my spine
sends the tingle of a message
out through mouth
through fingers
through eyes

Poetry
speaks out of Yoga
arises as the word of bhakti
or of free heart’s love
sincere
truthful

Poetry
lives of unity
bringing out of false duality
a man (a woman)
tricked a trice
by personhood

A Few Poems

Viveka
Praise not that god
who claims a unicity beyond himself
and jealously guards what glory he has
through the tools of oppression.
Worship truly that God
Who claims for Himself only Being
and grants us, whether in heaven
or hell, the tools of Liberation.

Liche
There is something which is
— and always will be —
sinister in the heart of me.
What great good fortune!
that my God adores
even the dirty undead.

Companion
You could spend your time
and the karmas of this life
with anybody at all.
Often enough, you pick me.
One such as I
should feel honor enough
just to have you cut my eyes.
So.
Perhaps I’m not so bad
after all?

Right This Moment

I don’t share much of my “personal life” on here, and I tend to hold much of my personality itself back. But, well, today I’m struck by the strangeness of humanity, myself included. My mind, my emotions, these are often so alien to me. That, I might say, is why I started to explore “things spiritual” in the first place. For as long as I can remember, the strongest “emotion” or, more precisely, sensation I felt was perplexity. Sometimes it came out as awe and wonder, sometimes as existential terror, and sometimes as viscera-powdering depression. But, really, they all go back to the perplexity. I wouldn’t quite call it confusion, but rather a recognition that there is a pattern there, but that it is way too big or way too small — in any case, not within my section of the spectrum — to be seen. Humans are more a part of this confounding “whole” than we think; one of the weirdest things about us is our shared incapacity to remember, to know what’s good for us, even as it stares us in the face and whispers in our ears.

Well, I’m glad to be here, anyway, even during the painful stuff. I’ve mostly lost my independent streak. Not to say I don’t still ask questions; I do, or I wouldn’t be here. But, as far as taking action, well, I pretty much do what I’m told. I get a signal that it is time to move; I move. It usually doesn’t work out very well, on the surface, but I learn something from it, take something away from it, and always land on my feet. I don’t know why things work like that, but when I question it too much I screw things up. This is that “faith” thing in action, I suppose.

I’m not really trying to philosophize, this time, nor to provide any metaphysical insight. Think of this entry as an addendum to the rest of my writing: less formal and thought-out than my articles, less inspired than my poetry, but just as honest as either. Maybe I’ll do more of this kind of thing, and maybe I won’t. We’ll see. I suppose, like everything else, I’ll do it when it seems the natural course, and not do it if it is merely “personally satisfying”. I guess I just feel the need to share a little bit of myself, right now. Though not entirely fun to do, I think I need to do more of it. Let’s see what happens.

In Memory of Lord Sluk

A friend of mine, whom I admire deeply, who taught me a lot, and who wouldn’t want me to say very many kind things about him, has passed. He also wouldn’t want me to use euphemisms. He died. Though I wouldn’t try to be him, and couldn’t, I wanted to express something of how he influenced me. So, here are some things I wrote for him.

Sluk Bodhisattva
Late-night Zen happens
as shreds from e-Roshi’s axe
Pure Land welcomes you

For a Friend
Roses are red and
violets are blue, right?, but
this haiku is terrible

Jest
No doubt
You’re laughing right now
seeing how your death
has slowed my heart.
You see the joke in my tears,
the punchline of mourning,
for your grin has become the sky.

I love you, Sluk. I’ll see you around.