Now a century or more or elapsed since Madame Blavatsky and G.I. Gurdjieff began to publish reports of shamans, yogis, holy men, fakirs, Babas, snake charmers, Hesychasm, dervishes, theocratic societies, solitaries and brotherhoods deep in the heart of Central Asia. In the United States brutal torture at the borders in the Global War against Terror has received some political imprimatur and there is a nagging certainty that all our electronic telecommunications are being monitored by those who who would coerce us. The question remains as to whether there are practices that allow us to step out of our habits of being and find the resources of creativity necessary for a free dynamic survival beyond the social context of this coercive violence . Will we find ways to act that will allow us to enter new fields, to pass beyond cultural borders, to transcend selfish motives? Shall we explore entry into a spiritual understanding with the the rest of the population of the world without having to proselytize, convert, coerce or convince, instead seeking a dialog and exchange where the integrity and autonomy of the other is recognized with the freedom to be like the next pedal in the spiral unfolding of the Rose of the World?
The Rose of the World is a phrase stemming forth from the mind of the Russian spiritualist Daniel Andreev from a Siberian prison camp in the 1950's. He saw the necessity of a pluralistic, socially engaged, governing spirituality to combat the dark forces of coercive surveillance and torture he encountered in Soviet Russia. But these political crimes know no national border. They are the result of a fallacy of spirit that universally possesses demons and tyrants.
There are then critical questions pending before us as it becomes increasingly clear that a world exists beyond our own border's and that we share the planet with billions of others, not to mention devas, plants, spirits, animals, elementals, winds, clouds, rivers, streams, grains of sand and rocks. Sit quietly today and observe yourself and what you do naturally and habitually as you sit quietly and see if you have the power to do something else for the world, just for the fun of seeing if changing your thinking is possible. This we shall call "being like a drop of morning dew upon the pedals of the Rose of the World." Shall we start with discovering ourselves and take the good news of our discoveries out to our borders to share beyond ourselves in a gesture of sublime spiritual cross-pollination and co-creativity? What note will you sound in the grand symphony of being?
The ribs at the Hunan Palace were particularly good last night and there was a bubbly salsa DJ scene at the El Monte Sagrado. Folks out by the fire pit chattered until 3:00 AM and the moon and clouds portrayed a eerie fan dance upon high. So the 2008 Summer Solstice has come and gone with the Constitutional fire wall guaranteeing privacy gutted by a fearful, greedy Congress that has cynically exploited the publics Constitutional hopes and opposition to the war to finally align with the rogue war dictator against their constituents. And who fiddled as the Constitution burned? Testifying in the House Judiciary Committee Scott McClellan confirmed what most of us already knew: that Bush's political strategy was a fig leaf of blatant Rovian lies including the strident fearful propaganda leading up the Iraq invasion. But in expanding FISA and excusing the President's lawlessness Congress has collectively turned and hollered over their shoulders "so what?" Most of the folks at the Hunan Palace and dancing at the El Monte were oblivious that the legislative imprimatur was yesterday given to the spawning dragon seed of the Executive Branch beast now genetically aligned with craven multi-tentacled organism of the societe anonyme . Back in the day this alignment of government with corporate interest through the theater of violent coercion was commonly called "fascism." But see how temporary even our clearest understandings can be? This dragon hatching was attentively coddled in the name of "freedom."
I was somewhat heartened last week when the Supreme Court announced its Boumediene decision and focused on the checks and balances of our Constitutional system as a design against tyranny. Earlier in the week Congressman Dennis Kucinich read his 35 articles of impeachment on the House floor. It seemed like some sense of balance, sanity and restraint was returning. But then a stunning compromise to FISA legislation was announced today. Apparently, with little public review, the House of Representatives will vote on the bill tomorrow.
Now it appears Congressional Democratic leaders Steney Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi have conspired with the White House to compromise on the FISA bill pertaining to intercepts of communications both coming in and out of the country and abroad and effectively forgive the illegal behavior of the President. They may vote against the bill, but make no mistake about it, the bill would not come up for a vote without the permission vested in their leadership. And so all is not as it seems. The bill significantly pertains to the illegal warrantless wiretapping of American citizens the past seven years. And though the program was found be illegal by both advisers to the President and Federal Courts, Bush has continued to maintain that he possesses the ability to ignore the constraints of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution under legally questionable opinions regarding his "war" powers. Because the new bill seeks immunity for him and the telecommunications companies he must not be so certain that he was right. So through the bill he will seek to avoid accountability for his actions.
But now if the proposed compromise FISA bill passes the house tomorrow and the Senate next week and is signed by the President, the issue of whether the President acted illegally will magically disappear. The compromise lets the telecommunications giants who executed Bush's warrantless invasions of our privacy off if they can provide a court with evidence of a request from Bush & Co. stating wiretapping Americans was legal. But why should Bush’s opinion with respect to legality be a get out of jail free card? Just last week Justice Kennedy writing for the majority in Boumediene clarified that, Constitutionally, it is the Supreme Court who says what the law is, not the President. To allow the President to make his own laws, he said, amounts to the kind of tyranny the Constitution was designed to protect against.
Where has the Bush administration shown any kind of facility for rendering accurate legal opinions? The Justice Department was sufficiently corrupted that an attorney general resigned. We have seen how far afield the opinions as to what is legal have been in the torture arena. And, as stated, the opinions as to wiretapping produced by Bush are premised on his interpretation of his unlimited wartime powers. By passing this Congress, in the face of a flawed system of self-serving overreaching executive branch legal opinions, is ratifying these excesses and signing away any respect for legislative checks on the executive. Why is Bush yet garnering gestures acknowledging his good faith? And that this is being done at last minute with only one day of public review in a way that characterized so many bits of legislative fiat by the Republican Congress prior to 2006 says loads about what interests are truly being protected. The war may have been trumped up, based on lies and planned prior to 9/11 but because of the “national emergency” Bush will be forgiven. Its all been theater to introduce more coercion into the American social fabric and its mind boggling how dishonest and cynical this power grab is as it appears to be going down.
With grilling season upon us, and the mango visions from last Summer's adventures still dancing in my head, in the domain of spontaneous accomplishments a nice mango chutney sprang forth from my kitchen this week. A diced mango, half a chopped yellow onion, an ounce of roughly minced cilantro, two chopped pepperoncini, healthy splashes of red pepper Japanese vinegar and olive oil and a dash of cracked pepper came together to create a respectable embellishment to the emerging Summer grill. At 69 cents each one mango created a respectable chutney and a delightful taste modestly suggestive of a robust joie de vivire.
These Siberian roots are a perfect gateway for imaginal (0r out of body) travel. One must simply find the pathway to the underworld, not the hell world, but the world of elementals and potential. Such travel does not necessarily lead to a change of circumstances but can assist spirit in understanding choices. There are some that recommend seeking a guide once through a portal like the root bound opening suggested but one really will not know what you will find unless you take the adventure.
The psychonautic tradition is an old one and the unexplored territory vast. It is recommended that you not attempt an adventure to center of the universe, for example, when first getting started. Travel is best after midnight and before 5 am. Put your troubles aside and get into your body and then let your mind's eye travel through the ceiling or out a window or door to the portal and then cautiously descend. You will find that your spirit body will have followed.
Remember you can return to your self at any time but its important to remember how to get back. But really do think about a guide, on this side or in the psychopompic realm. I am thinking about offering consultations regarding the dimensions of such spirit travel. Leave a comment if this interests you. With enough interest I will get a link to arrange for such services up. The important thing to remember is that these practices are not a panacea but a tool so along with the adventure it is important to cultivate a spiritual ecology.
So former press secretary Scotty Mac insinuates in his new book that our mighty Prez authorized the leak of the identity of a covert or secret agent, Valerie Plame, who worked undercover as an energy consultant while clandestinely assessing Iran's nuclear program. The outing of Valerie Plame is old news. The VP's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was found guilty of criminal perjury and obstruction of justice because he lied to the FBI about about his involvement in the outing. Its one thing to get a bunch of guys you would have liked to have been in your fraternity and play war king in a colonial mansion in the center of Washington, DC, but you know finking on our secret agents, that's kind of low down and dirty. Could get someone killed needlessly who had their life on the line for the Country at the whim of the political vanity of an elected official with a penchant for planting stories in the press.
You know the sad thing is that VP and Prez just are so impressed with who they are they won't come clean with the People on what went down. Congress has had to subpoena records of what they told investigators but looks like the Prez is saying "Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, secret war, people get killed, I have to protect Mericans," or something pretty close to that. And its really sad when a bunch of Senators release a report sayin the Prez and VP were just making things up out of thin air, no basis in any known credible intelligence, to take us into war with Iraq. So now the Prez and VP say that they think they know something about Iran and war maybe necessary, but you know they already screwed our sources. And don't for a minute believe that all this war stuff is not about someone's buddy makin some money. Is this really how we want to do these things? I am just sayin. At least they could have the dignity to tell Congress and the Public what really went down including what actions they took they thought were necessary because of intelligence passed on by Saudi Arabian agents. You know the Prez had no problem misleading Congress with a sentence about what British agents were supposed to have known.
Summer heat will stifle a full expression of shadow gestures appropriate to the advancement of police state thinking in DC. Still its never to early to piece together Autumn ensembles. A black wool navy watch cap and jack boots are the staple items for expression that contrasts the "organizations" with the "people." Silver accessories round out the fit: swans, lightning bolts, chains and spirals have the most edgy potential to generate that certain "umph" so crucial to conversation starters. Black leather gloves are a must. But for now we can remember the 4oth anniversary of the "Summer of Love." Sunbursts, free toes, patchouli and that certain freedom from "lift and support" keep the hot days relaxed and relevant. The emergent Uranus/Neptune Square energetically recalls the loosening of repression so prevalent in the '60s. Seek psychedelic bluegrass and farmers' markets. Its a good time to get to know one's wild crafted herbs.
For the statist counter-cultural statement the Kremlin South-Gate motif is a subtle yet happily conformist norm during the political season. Deep emeralds, brick red, dull gold and pure white trim send that lurid, conservative but primitive vibe suitable for the challenging ambiances of changing venues. Red, white and blue accessories help with complementary dissonance. A gesture toward the peasants works for foot wear just to affirm that acquiescence to the siloviki is not a given.
With the cherry-blossom silk blouse being the rage especially over light weight steel gray slacks, the tone for impression in this election is here. Tank-tops and breathable shoulder wear sporting floral patterns with jeans should tone down the otherwise courtly politico wear in Denver come August. Its time for novelty as the zeitgeist will be completely overturned by January 2009. The emphasis will move beyond neo-classical beauty into a completely global tribe innuendo. Hints of beads, sandals, on the go practicality should be the number. By the time Radiohead hits the Hollywood Bowl in late August the oppressive airs of marketing uniformity will have lifted. Still long term commitment should be something you should consider. Its the Venus/Athena thing that will eventually overwhelm the prevailing culture of mendacity.