“Moreover, it happens fairly often that essence dies in a man while his personality and his body are still alive. A considerable percentage of the people we meet on the street are people who are empty inside, that is, they are actually already dead. It is fortunate for us that we do not see and do not know it. If we knew what a number of people are actually dead and what a number of these dead people govern our lives, we should go mad with horror.”
“And indeed often people do go mad because they find out something of this nature without the proper preparation, that is, they see something they are not supposed to see. In order to see without danger one must be on the way. If a man who can do nothing sees the truth he will certainly go mad. Only this rarely happens. Usually everything is so arranged that a man can see nothing prematurely”
“Personality sees only what it likes to see and what does not interfere with its life. It never sees what it does not like. This is both good and bad at the same time. It is good if a man wants to sleep, bad if he wants to awaken.”
Photograph by Masahisa Fukase from The Solitude of Ravens
Here’s one of the poems I enjoy dragging out of the back of my head when autumn has firmly taken hold. Last year’s cord of wood has seasoned well through the generous summer we had on Vashon, so I’ll probably make the year’s first fire in the fireplace tomorrow night.
I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.
Today the Sun moved into Scorpio and for Northern Hemisphere folks that means autumn has progressed into its mysterious border-world phase where it begins to tenasciously unwind the chemistry within the trees and sets everything free.
A quarter of the foliage on the island is suddenly seeming larger and more emphatic. It’s like the trees are showing off every bit of color they’d stored up throughout the spring and summer for this one big blast before everything ends up on the ground in decay. Death is like that I think. A bursting.
On the way to coffee this morning I grabbed some random CDs from a box I’d prepped to take to the reseller in Seattle (I’ve been on a crusade lately, ripping everything in my collection so as to free myself from managing thousands of jewel boxes — or leaving that mess for some poor soul to contend with once I’ve shed my coil.)
Elton John‘s Don’t Shoot Me (I’m Only the Piano Player) was in the pile that ended up on the seat next to me in the car. I hadn’t thought much of the album over the years, meaning I’d forgotten what was on it. Oh, right: The hit Daniel and the annoying Crocodile Rock, hmmm.
So I was pushing through those songs on my drive into town and ended up on the gem Blues For Baby and Me. A song I played obsessively during high school. I loved the theme: Ignoring a tyrannical father and getting the fuck out of Dodge — which I did shortly after I finished my junior year. I didn’t know where I was going, but knew for certain it was “all over now” and I was going to go West (young man!) to the sea. And that’s all that really mattered: That I knew that much.
Here’s a snippet of the the video I filmed on the drive home today, complete with Elton’s accompaniment.
Enjoy the fall.
Question: I don’t see exactly what path to follow and what aim to have in view.
Gurdjieff: A path isn’t necessary. It is only necessary that you obtain results in yourself. Collect, accumulate the results of the struggle. You will need them for continuing.
You must accumulate; you have batteries in you in which you must accumulate this substance, like electricity. This substance only can be accumulated by struggle. Therefore, create a struggle between your head and your animal.
Continue your struggle, but without waiting for results. Accumulate the results of the process of struggle. When we struggle interior with thought, feeling and body, that gives a substance in the place where it belongs.
We have no interest today in knowing where that place is. Accumulate. It is this that is lacking in you. You are young. You haven’t experience. You are empty. Continue the struggle accidentally begun. So that if you say that you are not satisfied, that proves you are on the right road. But you must not stop.
You know better than I what struggle. For example, whatever your body likes, whatever you have the habit of giving it, don’t give it anymore. The important thing is to have a continual process of struggle, because you need the substance that struggle will give you.
Today’s post? Anything but verbiage.
So I made a music mix while Mercury stationed in Scorpio and triggered a ping pong of sonic impressions which I tracked, mixed and recorded.
I like the Renaissance approach to creativity. In addition to my work as an astrologer I like to publish, paint and I’ve recently finished a teleplay with my writing partner, Noble Smith. Having worked as a DJ decades ago in Hawai’i, I’ve never lost my love of a good segue and so I mix tape too.
A note about the collection of tunes below. I avoid most anything that’s considered pop, not that I dislike pop music but simply because there’s so much of it that’s not good. Too, unless a songwriter is really gifted, like Aimee Mann or Elvis Costello, I get bored with confessional writing as I’m not that interested in hearing people’s stories about love calamities or the Rolex and weed they just purchased.
That leaves electronic and ambient music as my primary placeholders. But I also love jazz (50 and 60s especially or really old jazz, like early Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong). I’ve a penchant for soul music from the 70s and I also enjoy pounding modern dance music that knows how to swing and not just thump. So expect all of that.
Anyway, I said I’d do anything but compose words today and here I am five paragraphs deep. Jesus.