Чего это я?

August 25, 2009

Мы играем в игру под названием Жизнь

Самую справедливую игру на свете.

Допустим, ты обижен.

Ты хочешь меня убить.

ОК. Нет проблем. Может передумаешь?

Банг!

Я вышел. Мне хорошо-о-о-0…

В то время как ты

Остаешься жить

С этим.

Я пошел ужинать с папой Богом.

Мы сидим, разговариваем о том и об этом.

Смотрим оба в окно,

Наблюдаем за продолжением игры.

Завтра я выйду играть

Опять,

А пока,

Хорошо

Дома.

More about Death

July 15, 2009

If I could drop dead right now, I’d be the happiest man alive.
  – Samuel Goldwyn

Agree.

Not that I am so unhappy, no. But there is something big and exciting on the other side… The curiosity is the reason.

My favourite blog of the month: http://masquaraboz.livejournal.com/

My find of the month: http://finto-pazzo.livejournal.com/

Congratulations to the winners!

The better Death

May 19, 2009

This morning’s post on the Poetry Chaikhana came with a better idea of death than anything I came across so far. Still, it is not ideal. I mean, the death the way I perceive it, is a liberation, complete bliss and the all-encompassing knowledge. But now I came closer to understanding the pleasure of the physical existence. The really ideal way would be to have both – the bliss and the knowledge of beyond death, and the pleasures of the material living at the same time… I think it is possible. How can I achieve it?

I am copying here the Ivan Granger’s post. Can’t say I am taken by the poetic quality of the translation, but the idea of the poem itself resonates with me.

Poetry Chaikhana Blog

Link to Poetry Chaikhana Blog

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi – No end to the journey

Posted: 18 May 2009 08:40 AM PDT

No end to the journey
by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Robert Bly

No end, no end to the journey
no end, no end never
how can the heart in love
ever stop opening
if you love me,
you won’t just die once
in every moment
you will die into me
to be reborn

Into this new love, die
your way begins
on the other side
become the sky
take an axe to the prison wall,
escape
walk out like someone
suddenly born into color
do it now

— from Secret Language: Rumi A Celebration in Song (Music CD), by Ramananda


/ Photo by e-du /

No end, no end to the journey

That line becomes a rhythmic chant on Ramananda’s wonderful CD “Secret Language.”

no end, no end never

And, my favorite–

how can the heart in love
ever stop opening

A full life, a complete spiritual practice can be found in that question.

But why all this death imagery?

Into this new love, die
your way begins
on the other side

Why does every spiritual tradition speak of dying and death in such a favorable light? Do all mystics have some secret death wish?

In deep ecstasy, the sense of individuality, the sense of “I” thins and can completely disappear. Though you still walk and breathe and talk, there is no “you” performing these actions. The separate identity, the ego, disappears, to be replaced by a vast, borderless sense of Self.

It is this experience, this complete loss of the limited sense of self, that is the death so eagerly sought by mystics throughout time. This is the death that leads to new life…

in every moment
you will die into me
to be reborn

That limited sense of self is the prison we must break free from.

take an axe to the prison wall,
escape

Suddenly, the walls that kept you contained and carefully defined drop to the ground — and there you stand a radiant being whose boundaries are no longer perceived in terms of flesh or memory. In this new freedom, you are alive in a way you never imagined before, and everything you perceive is part of that life.

walk out like someone
suddenly born into color
do it now

Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi poetry, Muslim / Sufi poetry Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi 

Afghanistan & Turkey (1207 – 1273) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

(more…)

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White Shaman

April 21, 2009

21 April 2009

Last weekend I attended an interesting event. A talk on Friday and a one-to-one session on divination on Sunday, given by a Sangoma (Shaman) John Lockley from South Africa. This is his website: http://www.african-shaman.com

During the talk, John told us about himself and his path to becoming a sangoma. He had prophetic dreams about it since his early years. But being a white boy unconnected to the Xhosa or Zulu culture in any way, he didn’t know the meaning of them, or what to do about it. Only after several years of search and having suffered a series of illnesses, he came to the Teacher, who was already aware of him. She in turn had a dream, in which she was told to be prepared to train someone from a different culture to become a sangoma. And when John came to see her, she knew it was her student.

In Africa they call it thwasa – the illness, which afflicts people who are to become healers in order to force them on their spiritual path. I can think of at least couple of other examples in other cultures, where individuals reach their enlightened self only having gone through some nearly fatal experiences. Those kind of stories, along with a few examples of great artists ending up in a mental house, as we figured out on Sunday divination session, created a mental block, which kept me from committing myself fully to art, to spirituality and to life.

I find myself in a continuous mental argument about life, and death, and guilt of not doing enough and not being enough… And the bliss of being dissolved in the Everything, which will come after death.

On Friday’s talk, I asked him about death, what his perception of it was. He said, that he was afraid of the death – he is a human. But his feeling is different from that which people of Western cultures usually share. As far as I understand, there is a fear, but there is an acceptance. More of an acceptance and less of horror, maybe?.. It is difficult to explain without repeating word for word the whole conversation… However, to my words, that I was looking forward to death in a way, his response was, that it seemed, my challenge was to live. To the full. That it was easier for me to die than to live… I thought about it afterwards, and yes, it’s been sometime since I am aware, that I am not committing to something. But what it is I am chickening out of, I don’t know.

On Sunday session, John said that he was going to meditate and make himself available. That was the part of the session, when he attempts to contact the ancestors. I closed my eyes and waited. Nothing happen. None of my ancestors came to claim me. I imagined them sitting in an ante-room, some bored, some chatting, some just busy doing nothing. A receptionist at the communication device speaks up:
– Hey, there is this request here. Anyone has to say anything?
Murmur… Looking at each other,
– Nah.
– Nothing to say. She’ll figure it out for herself.
– Eventually.
– Yeah! Ha-ha. Eventually… Good one…
– Okay. No reply.

In the room where the session takes place, it is very hot. My cheeks are starting to burn. I can hear some rustling and open my eyes. John looks at me and offers to take a sit on the cushion on the floor.
– I’ll throw the bones now, okay?
– Okay.

We sit down opposite each other. Between us he spreads a goat’s skin. Sprinkles some herbs, saying spells in a clicking language. Takes a sack made of a goat’s skin with the things inside, says something onto it and blows. Then it is my turn to hold my hands out, supporting the sack and blow on it three times. Then he shakes the sack, and letting the neck of it loose, throws the things out of it and on to the skin on the floor…

Somewhere in my mind I trail back to when I am 4 or 5, living with my grandparents and an uncle in the countryside in Central Asia. Fortune-telling, was it? Or divination? Something of that sort was a natural part of life. Grandma and I visiting other houses, where women in 2 or 3 would spread the cards, or throw the bones. It never happened in our house though. Why?.. Oh, that would have been because the grandfather wouldn’t allow any religious or otherwise witchcraft in the house of a devoted communist. Sure.
The Things tumble out of the sack, my eyes try to follow them all at once. Some bright Things one wants to touch, some unexpected Things, like a pair of dominoes tied with an elastic ring, some indefinable Things like…
– What is this? – I ask, taking a piece and turning it around.
– Try not to touch it!
– Oh, sorry…
– It is a goat’s hoof.

He looks at the pattern the Things created on the white-haired skin.
– You are an artist.
– Yes, – I say, not knowing weather he knew from Ann, or deducted it from the bones.
– You do well in your art. You sell. You work hard.
– Yes. But I feel I don’t work hard enough. It is all relative.
– Oh, yes, it is relative. In what way do you think, you could improve?
– I don’t know which path to take. It feels to me, that there are two options. One is to discipline myself into working hard in one speciality and that way I will eventually reach some recognition. The other is, to let myself to be creative in any form I feel like at any given moment. Because sometimes I don’t feel like painting, but rather tell a story, or do a photo collage or something… But this is an uncertain way. I don’t know what to chose.
– What does your heart tell you? I don’t know how to live your life. Only you know. What do you think you should do?
– I don’t know. I’d like to risk it. To let myself do what I feel like doing.
– It means being more creative, doesn’t it?
– Yes. I want to be more creative…

– It looks like you are too much in your head. You need to trust your intuition more. Live from your heart, not intellectualise too much.
We talk. He asks me questions, looking at the Things on the skin. I keep glancing at the window, searching for the elusive answers from deep inside.
– Everything is good in the family?
– Yes. It is all fine.
He looks at the rug and seems to be puzzled. He looks up at me and his hand makes a circular movement as if around me,
– I can see some struggle around you. Is there a struggle in you life? Do you feel that way?
He collects the Things back into the sack and closes his hand around the neck of it. Shaking it slightly, he asks me:
– Would you like to ask about anything in particular? Any question? – I don’t know. All is fine in my life, really. But I feel unsettled. Yes. A struggle. I don’t know what my struggle is. What is my struggle?
He repeats the ritual of saying something to the sack and blowing, places the sack on my hands and I blow three times. He throws the bones again. He looks down for a moment or two. Points to a black magma-like lump on the skin and says:
– This is suffering in the centre… It came out again. But you say, everything is fine in the family…
– Yes, it is all great. The girls are great, and…
– Spiritual transformation!
– ?
– You are going through a spiritual transformation. Does it say anything to you?
– Yes… it does, – I start smiling. He starts smiling.
– I couldn’t understand, – he says, and there is excitement in his face. – All this suffering and struggle, but outside everything is fine in your life, so where this struggle comes from, and finally it struck me – spiritual transformation! That’s what you are going through! That’s why the talks about Death, and the tears! Before the butterfly becomes a butterfly it is in the… this thing…
– Cocoon.
– Yes, cocoon. But the cocoon is the death of the worm, no?
– Yes!
– In order to become the next stage, the worm has to die. And it IS suffering, isn’t it? It is painful. But it is a good thing. It is positive. I feel positive. That’s what it is! Does it feel right?
– Oh, yes, it does! – I say, and am surprised at how everything seems so clear and obvious now.
– You are going through the spiritual transformation, but you are not owning up to it.
– And I know exactly why I am not owning up.
– Why?
– Because even remembering what you said about your path, you had to go through a lot of suffering and almost die several times! I don’t want to go through the same! I don’t want the people around me to suffer because of my spiritual way. My life is just fine at the moment, I don’t want to loose it all.
– No, my case is different. Too extreme. Everyone’s path is different. I have a friend who is also a sangoma. She is in her 50-s, and she looks beautiful, much younger. She has three children, a husband who loves her, and she is fine. Her path was different from mine. Not so extreme. She had her own struggle, of course, but that was a different kind of struggle. We all have to face our demons. But it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your family. Not at all!
– You remember I asked you about Death on Friday? And you said, that my challenge was to live. But I am not committing fully. It is the same with art. I am afraid, that if I commit myself fully to the art, I am going to end up in a mental house. And I don’t’ want it! My life is just great, and I don’t want to loose it – my family, my children.
– Why do you think you will end up in a mental house?
– Because all the really good artists did!
– No, they didn’t! If someone did, that’s not because they were good artists, but because they were imbalanced to start with. It doesn’t have to be that way. And this might be your block. You don’t strike me as an imbalanced person. On the contrary, you have children, you have a good relationship with your partner – that will keep you balanced and grounded. You don’t have to loose them, they’ll help you!
– So, you tell me, that I am safe?
– Yes. But now you need to find some spiritual structure, which you could practise regularly. It will give you the energy and the strength to go through your transformation. You see what I mean?
– I can see that.
– Not reading – reading won’t help. You need to practice.
– Yes, I understand, but so far I haven’t found anything I could relate to. There are too many things, rituals… I find it difficult to accept, that there should be a middle man between me and the Spirit.
– You are right, there shouldn’t be. A structure will help you to connect to the Spirit directly.
– I’ll be looking for the structure…

I am looking forward to death. But I know that the time hasn’t come yet. There are things to do.

I rubbed my eyes hard, and the world turned into the kaleidoscope of red and orange and yellow speckles. I opened my eyes, and I sow the same old world around me. “I am still here then…”

Let people die!

November 11, 2008

Why people keep trying to keep people alive? There was this article on BBC today about a girl of 13 with a heart condition, who refused an operation. The operation was very risky, might not have worked, and even if it worked, she’d be destined for the life on medications afterwords. She wants to die with dignity, the parents accepted her wish.  And do they care less for her than the child protection or whatever institution which went to court to force that operation upon the girl?

The other day a friend of mine, a doctor herself, told me the story. Her father was in the hospital after an operation. My friend was visiting him, and watched the drama of resurrecting a 103-year-old patient, who died once, but was brought back to life, stubbornly insisted on her ground and died second time around. The doctors couldn’t resurrect her again. My friend’s comment was, that the doctors try to protect themselves against the patients more than try to cure them. In this case that would be the 82-year old daughter of the 103-year-old patient who could place a claim, that the doctors didn’t try hard enough…

Let people die!