I remember looking for graduate schools after college. I was with, Leah, my girlfriend at the time. We were at her house. Newly remodeled, a part I had a large hand in accomplishing. I started my search in California. Why not? And “C” was as near to “A” in the alphabet as one could care to come. What is this? The California Institute of Integral Studies where I can urn a MA in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. The integration of science and religion, the evolution of consciousness – classes with titles like, “Cosmological Powers”, “The History of Western Thought,” and “Krishna, Buddha, Christ”? I noticed that Leah had darted downstairs after she read over the list of professors. She came running back up stairs wide-eyed, wielding a book gifted to both of us from our favorite professor upon our graduation from Carson Newman College – The Passion of the Western Mind, by Richard Tarnas. He was one of the founders of the PCC program and has found himself on our bookshelves in TN. The synchronicity was present, powerful, and undeniable. Right then I knew I would attend CIIS and study in PCC. Right then I knew San Francisco had a place for me. I was right. Everything changed.
I live for Trailers. I’m not sure its the other way around. I’ve posted a few of my favorite trailers over the past few years for your enjoyment.
Generally I say nothing. One life is just that… one life. I should not be discouraged because I have travel far the past few years. I thought today that I might continue my blogs posts – saying nothing – by tracing so of my steps backward in time. After all… I do plan to write a book that says next to nothing, just a recounting of my experiences in San Francisco over the last 8 years. Along side this idea of traveling backward, recounting my experience, I figured I could just write my book here. Blog my book until its finished. Or at least the substance is there for revising, editing, etc. Where I should begin is another matter.
In every retelling a story shifts a bit. With every memory re-membered new highlights emerge, others dim. Broadly, I would have my book begin with the discovery of cannabis shops, school, hot tubs, sex, bike, church, culture – “SF Initiations” of sort. The following section would follow the formulations of my new identity – Post-Tennessee. The final section would peer into the world of disintegration and rehabilitations, recovery. It would map paradoxes and potential. I would call it Humus, or something…
I have this subtle fear that sobriety will make me dull – that I’ll loose the cutty attitude that drives my comedy… yeah… good thing its subtle.
I have been blogging everyday for over three months. Yesterday I missed a day. I got about 5 hours of sleep the last 4 nights. Yesterday evening I was passing out on the bus – grace woke me up at my stops because it wasn’t me. I got home at 6 was in bed at 7 and slept for 12 hours. I spend all day with forth graders on Friday. It was first time I had a whole class for the entire day. It was wonderful and exhausting. So I didn’t blog. And I’ve been thinking about that this morning with another roommate. I’m blogging now at 9:04am for the first time.
You can’t make perfection. My idea’s about perfection are bound up with my humanity. I understand perfection to have something to do with consistency – like the Earth’s rotation or the Sun’s ability to shine – consistency on such magnificent proportions that in all practical circumstances we would offer it up as an example of perfection. Or I adopt some concept of management when I think about perfection. It’s perfectly proportioned. He lived a perfect life – Jesus or whomever… Look at his legacy, etc. But even this concept falls short when considering the power of art. She baked a perfect pie, for instance. Or his building is perfectly suited with the infrastructure. Or even more boldly – this tree is perfect. Nature in its chaos and creativity is perfect.
At this point the notion of standard’s is completely gone. We are left with an idea. Perhaps Plato had it right all along. Perfection exists in the Ideal state, the realm of the Forms. Leave it to the gods… And here we have it at last. An appeal to those matters of spirit which draw us toward change and becoming like no other human experience can offer. LOVE. It is the love I have for writing which beckons me to write. And in part the hope that eventually I’ll have a reader because I write to be read, as a record of experience, existence.
On another matter, over the past few months I have been attending AA meetings daily with the intention of the coveted “90 in 90” – 90 meetings in 90 days. Right now I’m at day 37 or 38? I haven’t missed a day. BUT, on Monday I suspect my work schedule is going to prevent me from attending a meeting. I have worked pretty hard, especially the last few days to get to meeting despite my packed schedule and I have succeeded. I succeeded so much so that I barely slept for week. Which in turn had its consequences for my blogging consistency. A one day rupture. A one time failure.
God defies my abilities. I still tend towards bouts with victimization, abandonment, arrogance… I am on a journey with God. I am continually called to pay attention. Perfection eludes me for the sake of grace. I give up perfection for the power of progress and LOVE.
America is large; it’s shadow long. The American shadow is cast across global affairs. Our nationalism has a negative presence expressed in the resentment against our actions and cultural dominations. The notion of a “shadow” is usually applied to persons, individuals with psychological complexes that inhibit growth, mental affects usually unconscious, though nonetheless powerful in directing a persons choices and practice. And often we begin to awaken to the unconscious”shadows” after many, many cycles of thematic, painful experience. The notion of a shadow applies to the US as a national entity, with its own imaginary, culture, people, material, territory, affluence, influence, etc. America is a self, with its own process of awakening; its own unconscious patterning of behavior.
A few entertaining points in case:
Our president’s name – Barack Hussein Obama. His name speaks our Islamic enemy, our inability to see the Islamic “other” as our global neighbor. His name is blatantly speaking the memory of a US enemy, hunted and killed, Saddam Hussein. It is so weird, it can’t helped be noticed. It’s as if our national individuation process mocks our short comings.
9/11 – The most violent event in recent US history happened on a date that is the same number as our national emergency telephone number, 911.
I admit it is a bit scilly to contextualize these observations as examples that the US of A, carries a national shadow. Not because the US does not have a national shadow, rather that the shadow could be illustrated with so much more power. But, alas I’m exhaused again. And I wanted to figure a way to couch these obervations with in a meaningful context without just throwing them out there with no more than mere coicendence as an explanation.
We are alive, morphic resonance has living effects upon our human world. In the process of national liberation, in preparation of the post-nation our thoughts must move to include the power of consciousness within global and globalizing translations, interpretations, and meanings. The power of consciousness is its ability to create new stories and ultimately new worlds.
I made this video about 3 years ago. Today some friends insisted on viewing it. It was weird to watch it with them. BUT, it reminded me, it insisted that I follow my plans to dance this evening. I am a great dancer. This evening I danced my ass off and I danced well. It was my first Ecstatic Dance on Wednesday night in Oakland. Its a pretty large community. Beautiful, hippy, improv, sexual, sweaty, vegan, “aware” people – my age. We all gather together to dance, and its really awesome, evening healing. The music is – in my humble opinion – awesome. There is tea, massage, stretching, care. It is definitely safe. I feel safe. I like dancing amazing, breakdancing an-all, and there are very few opportunities to practice amazing in safety. Most places you go to dance people can’t deal with amazing so they project all their bullshit and it sucks, etc. Anyways, it was a wonderful day. Many great women. One I met named “Venus.” When she introduced her self I almost scoffed at how cliche her name was… I was triggered a bit tonight… there is sooo much sexual energy in the room and I don’t know how to deal with it very well. I just stay in my individual bubble and dance my ass off. I did try to dance with a woman and she made me feel silly by meeting me exactly where I was… she mirrored me and it was awkward – I was awkward with the women tonight… geese. I do feel a bit out of place in that community of people. I’m pretty critical actually.
Anyways, I just realized this evening that a few days ago was Eva’s birthday… I completely missed it. And I believe that’s the case with my feelings toward Eva right now. I completely miss her. I feel sad that I haven’t heard from her, that I haven’t reached out since she’s been back in SF.
I’m feeling change in the air. It’s interesting… today, with my XBOX wielded, I introduced some familiar feelings of self-conscious caution. I remember the feeling of “balancing” my life – anxiety ridden. “I smoked my life,” as an AA’er often says in meetings. My life is God’s, and I love the line right after the third step prayer in our Big Book: “We thought well before taking this step, making sure we were ready so we could at last abandon ourselves to Him.”
This is Sunday. And A.N. Whitehead speaks to me, “The power of God is the worship he inspires.” I must continue to change. This year’s change has been my worship of God, my abandonment. Look, I have not faltered, my life ascends. Everything has changed. My home’s address has ascended from 420 to 460. My responsible action increases month to month. Last month I began substitute teaching. While in September I lamented to God for enduring employment. This life has returned to me an employable attitude, step by step. I have witnessed my body grow in strength and weight. My leadership is more and more evident.
With every passing day I find my former tendencies fade. My ability to be present has increased. My ability to maintain morning and evening practice has increased. I am discerning a process of divinity at work through me, embodied, actualized. I stand writing with more distance between my last high or drunk than I have experienced in over 18 years. Still, the call of love is stretches my abilities beyond my current practice. I felt a call to be at Glide today. I haven’t been present there for about a month. And there are other communities that I miss dearly, scholastic communities. There are gifts that miss. I miss dancing. I miss soccer. The days measure time, and though I find my dreams far from my experience this new trust positions me for the change needed to live them.
And my dream you ask:
“People today seem unable to understand love as a political concept, but a concept of love is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude.” — Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri
I’m about to embark with Catherine Keller into a theological quest forged from process thought. I hold On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process. The book cover is kind to touch. The cover has a great finish. The smell is fine, fine in the cultivated sense. We’re off to a good start.
There’s a bit more to flesh to this context, Catherine Keller has been recommended to me by Sam Mickey. His blog is Becoming Integral: Existence in the Planetary Era and can be found here: http://becomingintegral.wordpress.com/ I have fondly followed Sam’s scholarship for some time and I find his directions inspiring.
I pick up Keller’s book the quotes are luring and thick:
My distress is great and unknown to men.
They are cruel to me, for they wish to dissuade me
From all that the forces of Love urge me to.
They do not understand it, and I cannot explain it to them.
I must then live out what I am;
What Love counsels my spirit,
In this is my being: for this reason I will do my best.
Later in Keller’s chapter, “Risk the Adventure” she makes reference to A.N. Whitehead’s worship of God as a “flight after the unattainable.” I imagine this is why the above remarks begin with distress. What I seek is beyond the horizon of possibility, yet still I make my way. This is how I have felt in relationship to mine own dreams. In relationship to Glide, a Planetary Ministry of Liberation. They are dreams. That’s their purpose… to remain a lure, to hold the charge of adventure before me. The felt sense of judgment that we encounter is a consequence of this pursuit. Whitehead says that, “The worship of God is not a rule of safety…” We loose ourselves reaching toward the perfect day. Our ships sails get caught in cross winds out of our control and we feel the waning flow of our own creativity; at times we feel this as judgment and in others grace, but nonetheless it is our connection with God.
Glory Be to God,
Obama won. I was moved to receive this text message tonight. I strangely identify with his presidency more than any other. Perhaps I am of age to care. I sense this generation more mine own.
A few months ago a good friend convinced me to see a recent film about Obama, “2016: Obama’s America.” The film tilted toward a conservative audience arguing that Obama will inevitably weaken America. The main argument paints Obama as an “anti-colonialist,” and continues at length to connect Obama’s decisions in office with his life long wish to please his father… indeed, to carry on the, “Dreams From My Father.”
This perspective is thorough and convincing. Obama studied under Edward Said, a strong scholar of post-colonialism. Post-Colonialism is a method of critical scholarship that thinks the matter of colonial rule, its history, and especially is ongoing legacies. Generally, the discourse centers the liberation of people’s formerly under colonial rule and imperialism.
The US is an imperial order, an empire of global proportions as well as a nation, with all its constitutional powers, etc. thus, naturally, one familiar with colonial rule and its exploitations and one equally interested in “justice for all” should position themselves as “anti-colonialist.”
What struck me most powerfully about the film was not the accurate analysis of Obama’s political ideology, nor the insightful connection that this ideology was the fulfillment of his fathers beliefs… what struck me so powerfully was how the film twisted these insights toward conclusions of national weakness, loss, and danger. I found the film built around the attitudes of alienation, racisms, and ultimately fear.
The US is powerful and fear is a pitfall. But this power means something specific. It means that the US has tremendous sources of energy, reservoirs of energy of all kinds. Most fear the lost of energy, but energy is neither lost nor destroyed; it merely changes form, shape, hands, state. In my humble opinion, Obama’s post-colonial leanings are right on. The “US” must learn to share, to be of service in a world desperate to end poverty, leave pollution, divorce inequality. Our people have yet to collectively learn that we have the permission to be loved. Democracy-to-come, Freedom-to-come, Justice-to-come… these are the living perfections unfolding before our eyes as Obama takes his seat as the President of the United States for the next four years.
It is a Full World Order now. The World is not in the US; the US is in the World. I love the recent facebook hit I received before the election ended today. It gives “us” a glimpse into the will of the world:
So let “US” journey forth… To Be the change our world must see…
I am reading After the Deluge by Chris Carlsson. The book is of hybrid category: sci-fi, social commentary, drama set in post-economic, post-earth quake, post-deluge San Francisco. The scene’s include feats of bio-engineering fit for futures in SF. Organic, genetic mastery has yeilded new forms of nature/culture communities. The human dramas are still familiar so one wonders about what a book would look like that could (W)right the subjectivity of the future. It is incredibly provocative. I am provoked. I have been in need of encouragement, a bit of prodding and I believe this work is doing it.
The institutions of the future out number our ability to dream them. Those infinite spaces of leeway are the corner stones of our children’s inheritance. We are made and unmade by our power to commune with the future. If a subject was made for the future, whose name would it call? Where would it call home? With what kind of interconnected affiliations would it commune? Would it be born?
Navels are weird. Like the image within the Matrix and with all the force Heidegger can muster, we are thrown into our experience moment by moment, and we are bound by the cords of our past, the life-lines of our lineages. The institutions of the future traverse this ground without cause. They betray our comings and goings. Our futures, predicted, expected, forthright will fade. Our experience will die. Our trust borne of kinship will give way to roads of infinite grace – strange grace.
Deluge means a heavy down pore or to be over run by some force or flood. Navel means, umbilicus or (and this I really like) the central point or middle of any thing or place. I think these words are super fresh, SF Mode ching. The vision After the Deluge presents is a San Francisco after global warming, after the predicted rise of planetary sea levels and the expected crushing earthquake. San Francisco is more organic, more farmed, more horticultured and greened and localized than ever. San Francisco is boated and biked. It is walked. Vehicles are no more. San Francisco is celebrated circus culture, everything that makes San Francisco culture unique and cool in the present, its arts, its neo-hippy liberation, its biotech, its music, its post-economic leanings, all is exponentially developed. It is a beautiful vision but a vision that lacks a people, a subjectivity and interiority that matches its environment.
San Francisco is the center institution of the future. It is a navel and a passage way. It is not “smart” it is clarified nature. It is spiritual. Only after the deluge can its potential rise to meet the future. It takes change. And change is coming. It is called the institution of the future.