How are we to find the voice of a generation that is so helplessly lost?
Save your groans and banners for another Facebook event. Our protest is not the swan song of a cause outlived, but the ailing of humans inextricably woven into their discontent and utter dependence on destruction.We are the paraplegics of a world fed vanitous reflection, governed wantonly by the forces that provoke our upload and selfie and instaquote and Linked-fucking-In. Unable to shift a limb without comparing how the eyes of the others upon our screens might read our forced and scripted craft. We are the Yuccie (“Young Urban Creative”) generation, monetizing our fraternizing with graphic designing or freelance enterprising, collecting tax on snacks and subsidizing double-sided business cards with debt-laden shards of class shorn fine from op-shops full of stale pale middle-class effused.
We are trapped in a house of mirrors, but Plato didn’t leave no exit strategy for the cave we have so blindingly double-mortgaged our happiness within. Instead I’ll just put a house plant over there and Ikea has that chair, we’ll drink wine and watch Woody Allen and there’s no need to go anywhere. Plus maybe I look like Greta Garbo or Frida Kahlo and someone can take my picture and use that filter see, and then I’ll exist in the nostalgic mist that makes it all real and takes everything else away.. or so 112 likes would say.
We are the post-free-love generation preyed on by the Rainbow station, all aboard from quarter-life crisis through to heart-shaped hallucination until you’re given salvation and suddenly you are the Chosen One and why not let the blood rush in from downward-facing dog because you’re power living baby, don’t let anyone unmanifest your abundance.
Rapid breath ADHD or is it anxiety? Are your hands feeling tingly? Fed and bred in fight-or-fly your DNA’s probably fried. Gut clenched, full of stench and no gluten, no dairy no soy. Oh boy.
Where did we go so wrong? Were we ever in control?
We protest with the rest and add our names to endless lists that disappear with a click and hope it goes somewhere, because whilst our bodies are too afraid to rise we hope our buttons create tides, but who knows where it all resides. Not me.
My nails are chewed and gone and my words choke me in my sleep. I want to write for you world. I want to sing your song and pierce your skin until you can breathe again. But I can’t find any air in here. And it’s not that I’m depressed or that my life’s a mess and if it were it would all be perfect don’t you see because then I’d fit in and be the status quo to a tee.
Rather, it’s all so much harder, because I can see.
*Image: Shot with iPhone in Redfern, Sydney, NSW, June 2016.
If God was your mother, could they ever unlove you? If God gave you birth, could they ever wish you away?
Whence you step out of their lines, when you fail to do as they please, would God ever smite you so you were forbidden to exist? Could God ever hate you away?
If God couldn’t understand the words that you spoke, couldn’t understand the clothes that you wore; if God couldn’t find beauty in your poetry, does that mean your poetry does not speak of God? Does that mean that your poetry is not for them to read? Does that mean that God fails to be themselves?
Enraged, poisoned, blinded, devastated, sorrowed, broken by their sight: perhaps God is only muted when such separation occurs. Lost in the mire of maya that engulfs us to believe that the material, the dogmatic, the rules and order, the lineage, the blood, the story, is what makes you a valid child of God. Perhaps in such moments, they are simply suspended by this disruption of etheric connection so much so that they cannot see that you are still their own, in different form, in different word, in different step.
If such a God were lost in their own soul, what a journey to find their way home. If you were the child of God and thought yourself unloved, what a journey to find your way back to love. If God were born to God and could not see it as such, what a journey to realize the other, what a battle through the forces of the mind to victor as such.
For you are no ones child but for God. Your flesh and bones borrowed from dust and earth, your blood born of rivers that begin before time. You are no ones pure being, you are no ones corruption: you are whole and complete in and unto yourself, to God. Given forth through the mystery and pain to traverse into this world through another of its own. Placed with the challenge of sewing the webs of uncertainty until you find your way home, to each other, to the world, and to yourself.
And where you are placed to reject your flesh, to question your being, to face the tragedy of a self unloved, you are simply placed with a pathway back to God. In every breath that is caught in your anxious heart, that turns your stomach in the muck of guilt and shame, that smallens your voice into a child that has wronged, your responsibility is to exhale, and inhale, and exhale, and inhale, again and again, until you find your way back to the eternal love within you that is God. To be disciplined in your ego’s watch, and be firm of hand against the indulgences of destruction. To be of unwavering faith in this service, until your compass points to love. The love that bars no one. The loves that spans out across the sky and believes hate to be no more than a passing cloud. The love that is the peace at the end of a storm’s wreckage. The love that meets you unchanged in every morning’s sun.
If God were your mother, if God were your father, they could not unlove you away. It is not their right, nor their ability in the heart. For love is the bond between us that makes us its children, and each others kin, unwaveringly, irrefutably, inextricably. Through time and space, severing the curses of word and the blackened visions of mind, the resonance of love pulses, an echo through the aeons upon which our forebearers and celestial sages whisper their secrets to generations lost in the mind: there is only love, there is only love, there is only love.
And if we were to falter, to cry out in anguish or to act out of hurt, be quick to forgive and stay aglow, for such a God has only forgotten who they are. Absorbe no ignorance, be of steady heart, and know that love will always lead us home.
* Inspired from hypno-energetics regression, 1 hour 46 minutes, Tuesday 23rd June, 2015, by Damyanti Bilimoria.
Listen to the sound of my voice. Breathe deeply. Move deeper with each breath, and travel.. 5, 4, 3, 2…1.
Are you there? Can you hear me? You, the one who’s ears can hear me beyond the chatter. You, of primordial hearing.
Traverse through the infinite skies of your human experience, multitudes of lifetimes passing by your window like shooting stars. Visions of moments surpassing, of your organism evolving through time and space. Find me in the place that is present always. In the essence of You. Go beyond the constructs of these learned behaviours that speak in pretence of authority over you. Delver further into the portal of which you are animate. Find the point before pulse and breath, where stillness resides in calm presence.
“I feel a weight upon my head” I tell her.
“Let it in. Let it give you the gifts it has to offer.”
A channel opens from my temple as I cease to resist. The weight upon my head dissipates and an expanse is felt in its place, relieving the pressure as I become connected from my crown to a space far beyond. A shift occurs, a feeling like that of being present in the company of moth wings in flight. I realize I am weightless, formless, disaggregate in a body of ether.
“Where are you?” she asks.
“I am home”.
“What are you?” she asks.
“I am a star”.
I am the emission of light, not a body which is illumined. I am the floating unlimited. I feel not the body nor its weight. I am somewhere without walls or sky, without floors nor ceilings.
“Who are you?” she asks.
I am a being evolved from particles of stars. I am not one but part of One. In my presence, I am whole as its sum.
“Does she know this?” she asks.
She knows, somewhere, but she is lost in the stories, this being says of me. She is lost in the sound of a brain navigating chaos without the guidance of her heart. She is lost in the sound of an intelligent mind, refracting the fears of others, playing tricks to delude it from its intuitive order. She is distracted from focus, from practicing connection with divine nature, from the heart’s knowing of purpose. She is distracted by the cries of fear, of powerless mockery, of naive humility. She is distracted by perceived judgment, by the desire for validation, by trying to become an acceptable version of herself. She is distracted by her own hand.
But she knows.
“What can she do?” she asks.
Practice the art of focus. Focus on your service. Do what you know you must, and let your presence and creation breathe through exchange with others. Pay no heed to the narratives being fought out there. Now is a time of other’s battles, not yours. The violence of your heart has been exorcised. The only remnants are the reflexive natures stored in you by war. You need not hide for protection, the opinions of others are fruitless when you are galvanised by love. Receive. Use the alchemy within your hands. Move forth as you feel guided, not pressured. Speak truth, not a truth for others’ understanding. Rest in the present. This is where salvation resides.
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I from?
I am primordial ether in form. A body animate from the intelligence of floating stars is what I inhabit. A purpose to evolve through service is the only one. A service to embody the wisdom of the universe into manifest creation.
And then there we were. Left with our backs to the white walls of ACCA at the ‘New2015’, wondering what the point of it all was. What is the point of our art if its greatest notable aspiration is an act of public masturbation? Surrounded by it, engaged in its discourse, Sam spoke and we both grew disenfranchised and quietly anxious for the loss of what could be. I stood up feeling ill. We had a glass of the free water and left before the others arrived. The security guard outside was wearing a suit. ‘DEFIBRILLATOR’ was written against the brown outside panelling. I felt nauseous and my bones were aching.
We left and moved past others in the quadrangle, stupidly thrusting ourselves into a city live with the sounds of humanity in discord. Worked into an airy frenzy by our mutual disdain of the separation of art and life; of humanity and man. A protest was happening outside the NGV. They had walked down from State Library. The Refugee Action Network, Socialist Alliance, a hodge-podge bustle of a few hundred protesting the loss of Indigenous land rights. Posters about refugees being treated as slaves and this country’s contravention of the human rights convention interspersed amidst boys with top knots and girls with colourful ink sleeves. We walked on, avoiding bypassers on the nature strip. I stopped to buy a Green Left Weekly. I don’t know why. I only had $1.20. He didn’t mind. I don’t think I’ll read it but I guess I wanted to know: what’s right for the Left today? In another potentiality out there I am front and centre in that march.
A chubby white man in jeans and a t-shirt asks me for change on the bridge. Sorry. I spent it on my politically active newspaper. Next to him a man is asking $2 to see the solar sun spots. He has a white telescope. I wish I had $2.
The sun is white-gold, but it feels filtered; I am not warmed beneath it.
By the time we get to Flinders Street, Sam is telling me about his failed attempt at encouraging sustainability from a homeless man who wanted $12 to buy fried rice. ‘Why don’t you go to Hare Krishna for $6 all you can eat?’. ‘Don’t really like that food’, he responded. Then ‘beggars can’t be choosers right?’ he remarks, and proceeds to ask Sam for $12. ‘I can’t handle these people’ says Sam.
We are now crossing the chaotic soapbox of Flinders Street steps. A man stands smiling, his shirt reads ‘If you died tonight wouldn’t you rather go to heaven and be saved?’. That man of course is selling Jesus (does Jesus know that he is for sale?). His two compatriots are trying to speak to those rushing over from the crossing. The woman is scary, pacing. Her arm raised as though to say ‘all of you’. She is speaking in a voice reserved for prophecy alone.
Is the city crumbling around us? Or are we crumbling in this city? Yesterday I pleaded with a friend to see the progress in a seemingly futile plight. Today Sam and I stop walking to hold each other upon the platform. Because sometimes it is too much. The reality of the world we have reated, our submisison to a corrupt system that is keeping us sick, slow and defeated, the shells we become as we reflect the surroundings – a city in soul decay. Today was a bit too real for a pair of existential dreams.
What is God to the Godless? What is form to the formless? An enigma born beyond the grasp of a mute consciousness; a known unknown. One who chooses not to be conscious of breath is still breathing. One who is not watching still sees. Wherein lies the difference? Is it in the state of conscious awareness or in the ability to reference that state? Do we not all partake in the fruits of God, whether with eyes closed or open; Do we not all taste?
Overwhelmed by the lightness of dissipation and the complexity of wholeness, slipping between Atman and Maya* I find myself yearning for the words with which to express my being. Like audible breath in elated exhalation, I crave the string of silken thread that brings form to this most wonderous eternity. An intoxicated lover, I write its beauty upon my walls, sing its praises to the sky, and tell its stories to anyone who will hold my gaze. I care not what else may come of this; I am drunk with its beauty. I crave its nectar; to rouse in the bliss of its touch.
If ever one asked, I would tell them I am human to experience this God; I am God to experience this human. And it is this that meets me as I lay surrendered in afternoon light, piano notes meeting my body in the places they create together. It is this that brings weight to my eyelids as I muse on words which call to wanton parts of me. It is this that warms my flesh as we smile upon each other moving in fluid motion.
One need not name it to share in this. One need not try to understand. There is no definitive Other. It is a word without sound. Therein lies the beauty of the ephemeral intimacy, conjured in those fleeting moments in which one engages with a form of the formless. It matters not whether we watch or see. We meet each other here, again and again, where one shows the invisible and one bears witness to that which cannot be seen.
This is why I speak of God.
* between an individualized unit pure consciousness and the illusion of reality as referred to in Sanskrit.
Do not despair for despairing. Suffer wholly, honestly. Give yourself over in sincerity to the purity of deconstruction. We fight the weight and engulfing burden of this entirely human rite of passage, but one who does not permit themselves suffering, deprives themselves the respect of truthfulness. Nobody not suffers. It is a purge of needs unfulfilled; a natural secretion incurred in life’s passage. And in this purge, overwhelmed by apathy, fatigue and muted disdain, we allow a truthfulness to emerge. A state of being unhindered by attempts to shift oneself to better mood or higher perspective; an honest admission of the banal side effect of being human and having woes as we do joys. It is only our minds and fed perceptions that teach us not to be sad, that teach us that suffering is a symptom of lack of health, wealth or intellect. Yet to live is to suffer, in a pure and existential sense. alongside the ephemeral joys of the ‘high’s we know of as love, we have the capacity to find nurturment in honest suffering – not by the destruction of our physical or emotional selves as such, but by giving ourselves permission to feel the ugliness of contraction as much as we revel in the euphoria of expansion.
If God had one chance to live, what life would he live? Would ‘he’ live a life of austere reverence unto ‘Himself’? Would ‘he’ seek out saintly and sagely ways to experience what we experience of ‘Him’? Would ‘he’ stoop to slovenly dwellings and be heavy with his earthly limbs and human secretions? Would ‘he’ consume until his tongue knew no more tastes and his belly no more swelling? Fornicate in every way written bye kamadeva’s sutra until his throbbing satiated? I wonder what it is that God would seek of man if he were given a chance to meet him thus: a chance to climb into a body that is genetically predisposed to seek evolution to higher mind, and interact with an infinite sum of material possibility.
If you were God, how would you know yourself?
Sometimes when I look at myself, I feel the sense of observing a two way mirror. On one side I see a reflection of my physicality, yet somewhere in my psyche I observe myself observing; the tangible nature of my existence is constantly accompanied with a consciousness of being conscious. In this there is duality and union. It is only possible if I exist on both sides of the mirror; it is only possible because I exist on both sides of the mirror. We are witness to ourselves constantly, not only in our presence but in this symbiotic observation of our presence. Is God the observer or is it us, observing the observer, who is God? Perhaps God, in ‘his’ infinite wisdom, has given us the greatest amnesia possible: an amnesia of psychic divide so as to allow us a state of constant exploration.
I am in awe that God has conjured a manifestation as such. That we have given birth to ourselves in such complex fruition that we have this impossible spectrum upon which to meditate. In moments of pure existentialism, following the lines of colour across a canvas, unsure of the image that will take shape, we dance upon this polarity. The observer and the observed holding hands as we act and perceive in the holy communion of intuitive faith – faith that as we move, an equilibrium of these two aspects of our psyche will find balance and meaningful creation.
I muse that it is in these ephemeral moments we are truly at one with God. A conscious act of unconsciousness. A playful gesture between two beings, who exist in awe of the other.
For what do I seek beyond God itself? A place to see the darkness in me. A place to be the unholy and sacred. A place to be less than strong, where I can want and be wanted. For I want to consume and be consumed, as much as I crave solitude. I want to be admired in awe as much as I want to be invisible. I want to push upon a force equivalent to me, as much as I want to disappear. For these are the various mirrors of me that I choose to reflect upon. Could it be that ‘God’ alone is not enough for the spectrum I crave? For it seems that what I crave for, above and beyond ‘God’, is to be human, and to be loved as such. What realization this is for the seeker to know that what one desires the most, is to be enlightened to ones’ self: to have true form in presence, illuminated; to at last see ourselves as what we are, and thus to realize a God beyond any we have ever known.
God; universal energy; the supreme consciousness in which we are all encapsulated, through which we move, of which we are made and the substance of our manifest existence: This ‘God’, whatever you may refer to ‘him’ as, does not define your worth by the life that you live. This is not a God that decides your worthiness through the decisions you make, nor the words you speak, nor the actions you take. This is not a God that holds a rule book to you, measuring your successes and failures and the thoughts and motives behind them, sizing you up for an A+ or an F based on your ability to obey. This is not a God that bears down upon you when you have sinned; this is not a God that sees sin or salvation. This is not a God that cares whether or not you believe, nor how you do so.
This God, which so many seek through so many paths, exists throughout and within all that is. An invisible seam that begins in your breath and weaves through the fabric of all existence. The ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. These are not terms defined by God; these are terms defined by us. There are no conceptions of life seen as ill-fated by God. There is no punishment nor reward. All such notions are created by and lived by us alone.
We bear such pain and such love in the name of God, forgetting that the very manifestation of such a being is the result of our experience of an essential Self; a moment spent within the infinite undefinable inner being that resides within; the Atman. Experiences of the Divine – the overwhelming senses and moments we bear witness to that alter our known perceptions of existence – whisper to us the truths of the illusion in which we live. Whether they be illusions of matter or mind, body or sense, the experiences I refer to as those of the Divine show us that we do not exist as a singularity enslaved to it’s environment. Rather, in the connection of these moments we surrender to the realization that we are one with all that is around us; consciously interacting with an expression of our own selves that – where we allow it – we feel intimately. When the wind blows upon your face, do you not feel the sensation of its breath alongside the force of its gust; do you not know what it is to be kissed by the wind as much as you do to be the wind itself?
Dwarfed by the magnitude of such interventions, it is only natural that one seeks to cast themselves as inferior: as a humble by-stander momentarily swept up within the magnificence of a passing constellation. It requires such love for oneself to instead perceive that we are the shooting stars that paint the heavens with their magnificence. That we, of our very essence, are the pinnacle of manifest creation; a beauteous force of ever-expanding evolution materialized in tactile experience.
Perhaps our folly then, is in the moments in which we forge separation as a means to validate ourselves; actions or thoughts in which we decide that our worth, our ‘goodness’, is dependent upon something other than our existence. We strive in fear and hurt, in egoic intellect or in the imagined grandeur of saintliness, hoping that our actions upon our paths result in a future gold star upon the paper of our lives. A star that says “Yes, you are right. You are a good human. The best in fact. And you will be rewarded for you have proved your worth”. Could it be that this is the star we seek to heal us from the years of self-judgment we have inflicted upon ourselves? We accumulate a subconscious list of ‘to-do’s’ hoping that when the list is finished, we have achieved our duties as a human and therefore qualify to the realms of the heavens. After such a long journey of hardship, what does one do when they realize no such star exists?
For you are the field and the observer of the field. You are human, and the ‘God’ which perceives itself as such. You write your story, not with the force of will, but with the power of observation. For what is a story if not a tale written and read by your mind? What is life, if not a unique experience of yourself, within yourself? What is ‘God’, if not an energy you harness in guiding your own existence?
Where we find ourselves lost, as I do upon this evening, it brings ease to ailing hearts to remember that we are not alone. For as I experience existence, the sensations and feelings that meet me come from the canvas I share with you. Where my thoughts fill with clutter or my heart with ache, I remember to see through them to the essential breath we share. Where my eyes glow with wonder, and my skin tingles in sensation, I know you know such feelings too. Because we share this; we share this experience, whether in the singularity of this moment or upon the eternity of time. We meet each other, again and again, in the silent being within. And here, regardless of our journeys along the polarities of existence, here we share in God. In each other. In the One that we all are.