Tag Archives: Buddhism

Where Uncertainty Reigns

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I should be happy. I have a good job. It’s true I cracked under stress and blew up at my boss, but that got cleaned up, and now I am an even better employee than before. But I worry. Boy! do I ever! I worry about keeping this job and I worry about my health. I worry about how much more time I have left on this dismal Earth. But in spite of all that, happiness often breaks out within my body and my soul and I am happy. For absolutely no reason whatsoever. That is a blessing. But most of the time I fret. I feel tired and there is never enough time. Everything seems fragile, temporary, and quite uncertain. Most of the time I am in that place where uncertainty reigns.

I can’t seem to relax and just let things be. I have to know what lies ahead and be comforted that it will be alright. My anxiety poisons my experience, and I am often not fully present. I dwell in my fevered imagination, where the silence is filled with an indefinite fear. Sometimes I feel pissed off and I am not clear why. It seriously gets in my way at times, and then I get angry because I am angry, and then I feel sad. I feel empty, misunderstood, and unappreciated. This is how it feels in an uncertain world. This is how it feels when you have an apartment but you no longer have a home. I seek a reassurance that cannot be obtained. Of course Jesus loves me, but this fails to comfort me. I feel abandoned by time. I have gone past my date and grown curdled and sour. I need more time, or even better, I need to stop time altogether and give myself an opportunity to catch up with myself. I am too damn old. What happened? Where was I all this time? Daydreaming about my future while failing to notice when that future arrived? Sounds about right.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I am not always filled with anxiety. Sometimes I am comfortable with uncertainty, or even enjoy it. The risk is intoxicating. When everything is going really well I seem to always find a way to fuck it up. I’m sure this sounds quite familiar to many of my readers. But, still…..Those two words are the words that define where uncertainty reigns. Everything is good, I’m happy, but, still…….

I hate how this uncertainty prevents my truly enjoying the time I have left on this exasperating but fascinating planet. I realize some people turn to alcohol or drugs to silence that constant drumbeat of uncertainty. I try to use sex for that purpose but it only emphasizes the emptiness, and how terribly temporary it all is. All is fleeting, and it is up to us to catch a bit of meaning along the way if we can. Some find solace in religion, politics, or a stamp collection, but I can never commit myself fully, because uncertainty reigns in my soul. Nothing is ever enough, nothing feels truly complete. There is the feeling that something is missing, and I will die before I find it. There is that nagging doubt which always insists that whatever the truth is, this ain’t it. A mistake was made, and I am dealing with the consequences. All of us are. We make the best of it. Sometimes I am depressed over all of this, and other times I am filled with joy in spite of all of my attempts to sabotage my magnificence.

I know that I am bigger than all of this. This malignant tumor of a philosophy whose odor taints my perfect knowledge is like a hobby of mine. I use it to hedge my bets, for I am always suspecting that I may be full of shit. Bliss and Bullshit come full circle and become one. It doesn’t really matter in the end. It is what it is, and becomes a perfect whole. In the end I will be struck dumb by delight and disappear into the night.

Uncertainty reigns and that’s alright. The end will arrive before I have even begun. I won’t be prepared, but then, have I ever been prepared? Life seized me and threw into this mess to make of it what I will. Whatever lies ahead I accept. I know absolutely nothing, I am as fresh as the first atom peeking out from nothingness.

Revolution #9 Politics, Art, and Sexuality for the 21st Century

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As I navigated to my blog to create this latest post, Revolution #9 started playing on  iTunes, which fit my topic perfectly. In this montage, you find protest, references to becoming naked, and a confusing mess of stuff which all adds up to 9, the number of spiritual transformation and one of John Lennon’s ongoing themes. This is right in step with the transformation I am undergoing (see previous blog).

I commented on Margaret Cho’s latest post on her blog at MargaretCho.com. Yes I am still following her blog. She always has something there which is worth reading. This time she was writing about women and tattoos. Recently, she had inquired about being featured in a Playboy pictorial and was told that Playboy doesn’t accept tattooed women. As I said in my comment, screw Playboy! Playboy used to stand for something, for sexual freedom and also cutting edge art and literature, although their attitude toward women was still very sexist by today’s standards. But for the time, it was revolutionary. We need the equivalent of that for the 21st century. Again, as I suggested to Margaret, lets create our own magazine! I put that out to writers, publishers, artists, beautiful women and men and transgender (which is all of us), to join together in a new magazine to bring together the cutting edge of freedom, in literature, art, politics, and, of course, a celebration of 21st century sexuality. I definitely think there is a market for it, just as there was a market for Playboy in 1953. I would love to participate in such a project and Margaret Cho could be our Marilyn Monroe, in the first issue!  Can you think of a better symbol of 21st century sexuality?

There is an interesting nexus here, between politics and sexuality. In today’s San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Carroll noted in his column that nudity and protesting so often go hand in hand. Although I haven’t noticed that the Occupy movement involves much nudity, maybe it’s too cold out for that. But for me, the overall theme in all of this, whether you are talking about political change, or a new direction in art and literature, is one of brutal honesty. People all over the world are sick of the bullshit. What better way of expressing the naked truth than by being literally naked? It drives some people nuts, and that is good, because that state of being nuts is an opportunity to get past your own programming and get real. All of us have bullshit prejudices that we often are unaware of until brought face to face with them. I was raised in the Midwest, and was programmed to believe all kinds of nonsense. I was taught to avoid niggertown, or I would get beaten up. I was taught that women belonged in the home, making babies. I was taught that sex is a necessary, but nevertheless shameful activity, which should not be celebrated. Only criminals got tattoos, and if you were gay you were a pervert. Even though I know better, and sometimes pride myself on being too hip for my jeans (sort of my variation of ‘too sexy for my shirt’), I discover those old prejudices creeping up on me when I am unawares. I have to constantly remind myself to be mindful and aware, instead of just a fucking robot.

My point? you say? I’m not the only bozo on this bus. We all need each other’s help in getting past our prejudices and being mindful. That would be the central focus of this idea of a new magazine. Mindful Sexuality Mindful Politics Mindful Art. What do you think? I’d love some feedback on this. I keep bringing up mindfulness because, for me, Buddhism, especially Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, stress mindfulness, and by that they mean Naked, naked right on down to the very ground of being. Mindfulness means brutal, but also tender, loving honesty in all things. But mindfulness also means Play. It means not taking it all that seriously, because at the ground of being everything is profoundly ok. It has already worked out. Everything is fine. But that is at the ground of being, ok? very far from the chaos of our minds. But if the first magazine was Playboy, why not name this one simply Play. Play in all things, political, artistic, and sexual. Sounds like fun to me.

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting a Buddhist magazine, although it could certainly touch on that, as well as other mindful religions, psychologies, and philosophies. Mindfulness isn’t about Buddhism, it isn’t “about” anything, that’s the point.

I think there a lot of people going off in all sorts of directions right now, but the connecting thread is Freedom. There isn’t enough of it. and Bravery. That is something all of us are going to need to cultivate. and Love. as the Beatles said……..

That magazine might be a place where my erstwhile novel (yes, it exists!) might find a home. In any case, I think it is a good idea. There are a lot of magazines that touch on different aspects of what I am choosing to call Revolution #9, but I don’t know of one that brings it all together. What an exciting project!