Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Few Thoughts on Advanced Dharma

For people, things can go in only one or two directions, In or Out. The world we live in today goes Out. But invariably, it will go back In. When it returns In, it will be guided by a Monkey. Advanced Dharma is the path inward, which only the few will manage (like in that original Pokemon movie where only the few found their way to the center of the sacred Pokemon place they were looking for – Pokemon is a Zen parable). Today we feature a condition I would call Dharma Lite. With Dharma Lite, youth responds to tyranny with irony, sultry looks and the wearing of black clothing. Tyranny always wins. In Dharma Lite people Deconstruct things and sometimes themselves. This is projection by the English Department which sees the world outside of its own crate as a sentence. It then seeks to “analyze” the sentence (to coin a phrase) by taking it apart as they used to do in high school but calls it something different which makes it special. (If you know someone like this, wag your finger.) Extreme Lite Deconstructs and Reinvents itself. This comes from seeing the world as a set of blocks, which the pesky Inner Child Deconstructs (smashes them all gleefully) then Reinvents (makes a new pile. But notice – and this is characteristic – the thing it builds is always square. If you know someone like this, yell at them.) Al Gore Reinvents himself. But donning a black Cal Kline shirt, or shoveling cow shit or taking lessons to learn to speak like a Negro preacher from a Pentacostalist church in central Georgia doesn’t really change anything and I must not be the only one who gets freaked out by it.

Dharma Lite is virtually a by-product of the Hamiltonian view of Federalism in America (See “Quigley: Federalists and Unitarians"). Advanced Dharma is closer to the Jeffersonian view. Advanced Dharma is a cute way of talking about Depth Psychology or the Path of Integrity (Tao te Ching). As Einstein suggested, time is a package . . . he is said to have kept a copy of Madame Blavatsky’s book, “The Secret Doctrine” on his desk, the mystic doctrine of secret knowledge in which evolution travels in both directions – ascending from slugs to apes to man or descending from Twin Light Beings to man and then on down to apes and critters and grubs). In this view, there is really no distinction from one life to the next and in critters too - there is no difference between a fish struggling out of the water to find her way as a bird, or an artist on the D train, following attentively his muse. It is not that “all things are relative" - one of life's little 3 by 5 cards which we learned in high school (in the school yard, as I recall). In fact, nothing is relative – the essence of things is Whole and we – snakes, Canadians, trees – experience only the flickering part of it which is our fate to glimmer. Yet the struggle of the exploding star or artist on the D train is the same. It is all to participate in the struggle. That is dharma – the struggle, the path (trail we say here in Indian Territory) – of the Universe.

On dreams: to learn about your dreams you have first to learn how to be quiet and how to live with quiet. 100 years ago several profound and important writers and artists followed this organic view, particularly William James, the American psychologist, Oswald Spengler, the German Historian, William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet and C, J. Jung, the Swiss psychologist. Today they have been either forgotten or abandoned or cultified. Scientists elementary to this view are Wolfgang Pauli, the eminent physicist, Neils Bohr, another of the same who drew a picture of the tai chi on his blackboard to explain nuclear physics and of course, Einstein. There is a small coterie of Swiss, French and German psychiatrists focused in Zurich who consider these last three as original rabbis or sadhus and I admire them very much but am too stupid to understand what they are talking about. What is interesting in their discussion though is that they have no interest in making things (like atom bombs) out of their discoveries (as in the Out world) but what in these scientific dreamers leads inward (the In world).

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