An American Mystagogue

Crackpot Illumination

Apr
18

crackpot

 

You see the squiggles on the side?
Dancing with leaden ballerinas feet over the tarmac
the concrete, the chipped brick
split here and there
you see the signs, kid?
On faded bits of moldy paper flecking forest floors
In plastic shreds the size of your pinky nail
In rusty pylons stretching over treetops
A mouse made home out of strips of newspaper
Wood pulp pressed, pushing, pulling through markets
And covered in glyphs etched by machine hands
Programmed through human souls
Imprints, man. That’s what we’re talking about
Impressions, dents, you’ve seen ’em
On the bumper of that beemer mobile
Rolling around one day, pristine and new built
Like you, like you and me. Factory specs, man.
The breeze is nice on your scruffy cheeks
The sun is hanging like a golden coin, radiation
BOOM. Fender bender. We’re all fender benders.
Your mom, your dog, and me.
Four-wheeled catalysts, peg-legged or aerial
Cosmic knives stabbed deep into our skull
Carving, sculpting and shaping
You seen the signs, man?
Like those music boxes, rolls of metal pins stuck up
Clockwork gears putting things in motion
Think the strings know whats coming?
Do the pins conspire?
But the box still sings.
Its like that.
Boom.
Impact.

Opportunity; A good omen by any other name

Apr
06

knight

The Knight at the Crossroads
 by Viktor Vasnetsov

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines opportunity as “a favorable juncture of circumstances “. Essentially it is the idea that in a moment of time, there comes a sort of metaphorical “crossroads”. A choice has to be made. To the right lies a road paved in gold and lined with forest flowers that will surely lead to success, wealth, and victory. To the left swerves a crooked and perilous path along brambles and thorny bushes into certain doom and the whole scene is complete with a big sign that directs you to success or failure. Right?

Not really. In the real world, these crossroad moments aren’t so easily discerned. Not only are there far more than two choices in most circumstances, but their appearance holds almost no sway over the outcome of meandering down and seeing what lay ahead. The dark and brambled path may very well end in a pot of gold or great prestige, and likewise the gilded road may lead straight into a personal hell, an ambush for the over-spirited; and instead of two paths, there are dozens around you, as if you were in the epicenter of some megalopolis. Any step taken in a direction can end in a million ways. Not so romantic.

So, if all of these options end in some vague, mostly unpredictable consequences, what exactly is an opportunity? If a gilded road can end in burning hellfire, is anything truly an opportunity? Well, the answer is that the idea of an opportunity is misunderstood to begin with. Some options are certainly more stable than others but there is a chaotic factor to the world that looms over every chance, no matter how seemingly concrete. You may be asking, “Is opportunity an illusion, a delusion? Where does the bread go when I put it in the toaster?”, and I’d have to say that opportunity only ever functioned under the same basic mechanics as another “O” word, less used. Omens.

The bread is with your goldfish in toaster/goldfish heaven. Or not.

augur

What are omens? Also known as auspices, omens were essentially a form of divination in which a person would experience an event that would be taken as a sign of good fortune. Notable examples include ex caelo (from weather, clouds, storms) ex avibus (from the birds, augury) and ex dīrīs (from portents, or signs like violence, death, disease or accidents). Essentially, something would be experienced and a diviner would consider this event a precursor to something that was likely to occur in the near future. See: my post on self-fulfilling prophecies. The events are experiences as something that precludes future events, but it would be more accurate to say that the divination system, the methods under which they discerned the meanings of the omens is a construct, much like language.

Is there much of a difference between these ancient forms of auspice interpretation, and an individual seeing an opportunity in ambiguous information? I mean, we don’t know what will happen no matter how hopeful a situation seems. Both omens and opportunities are an example of the human mind deciding that current situations (sensory-information and interpretation of the data) mean that something else will happen. For good or ill.

Why do only some people see opportunity or disaster in the same location as their peers, while some see nothing at all? Because an opportunity isn’t something you find, or happen across. Its something that your brain constructs. Whether you receive the information via the unconscious intuition, or through rational plotting, the opportunity remains a construct. It is actively created by the human psyche. If you feel that your life is a desert of opportunity, consider that it is not opportunity that comes knocking, but we who knock.

Breaking bad reference.

~ Seth Moris

The Wizened Man

Mar
29

hermit

 

Once, upon a  forest path
Walked along a youngly boy
Who many children thought was daft
But who was filled with joy

In truth the boy was quite uncanny
In practice and in wit
He had run fast from his Nanny

Who after chasing (a time) had quit

The boy adventured to the Deep Woods
A place he knew from long ago
The images he saw in books
Were lead compared to nature’s gold

It was there he spied the hermit
Sitting on a boulder, still
The boy thought he looked most learn-ed
But couldn’t move, he lacked the will

The wizened man spotted the child
But did not seem to move at all
Equanimous and also mild
The man produced from air a ball

The child gasped in astonished glee
And begged the man to show again
The trick that instilled boyish greed
For baubles and happenstance

But the hermit did not move
Did not even meet the eyes
Of the little boy who crooned
And cried and whined, told truth and lies

The boy did cause quite a stir
And wanted that the man should act
The man instead ignored the bur
And waited for the boy to collapse

With meaningless tears, the boy sat
Upon the forest floor of moss
No longer a buzzing gnat
Or gnawing winter frost

The hermit looked into his eyes
Sitting on his boulder perch
Pointed at the sky
“Do you know what that is for?”

The man did not wait for reply
But pointed at his pointing finger
And let out a big and gusty sigh
“I should in truth, not tarry, or linger”

“You see my boy, I am a wizard”
Said the old and wizened man
“I can shift shape, survive a blizzard
Doing  things that others can’t”

“I can see your thoughts,
and change them too
but I can explain them not,
unless the Words you also knew.”

“But there are some things”
Professed the man
Swatting at a fly that stings
“Even you have shoulders to bear.”

“I give you questions, not a ball
What is shape? and what is change?
What does it mean to survive at all?”
With great force his voice did strain

“What do you mean when you say you “see”
Let alone what is called a thought.
And for Jove’s eternal peace
Find the source of Change, and lots”

And with these words the old man rose
And gathered his meager possessions
The wizened man, away he goes
With questions his procession

– Seth Moris

Balancing Impulse and Control

Mar
25

balance of the zodiac

 

(La Balance du Zodiaque, by Luis Ricardo Falero)

Willpower. Spontaneity. Domination over the mind. Submission to the internal. Doing what you ‘should’ do. Doing what you ‘want’ to do.  Control and impulse have held major places in humanities’ ideologies for thousands of years recorded, and in truth probably for much longer. We see the evidence of this all around us, with phrases like

“Follow your dreams”

“Don’t put off tomorrow what you could get done today”

“Do what really makes you happy”

“Nut up or shut up”

“Let your hair down”

“Focus on the goal”

And many, many more. Humanity has a clear conception of impulse and control, but depending on who you talk to determines how they feel about either concept. Some people are entirely pro-discipline and entirely anti-impulse, some are the inverse and many people fall along somewhere in between. But no clear consensus has arisen as to the individual value of either one.

It appears however, that impulse and control have their individual uses. If we break down the two terms, we come to see that impulse generally implies submission; to a whim, to an epiphany, to desire, to context. Control, conversely, implies domination over whims, epiphanies, desires, and contexts. Can either one alone truly be the more useful or “better”? Those who fall on one side or the other of the “Control/Impulse” opinion-fence tend to focus most of their efforts and propaganda on aggressively attacking the other side. Appeal to fear is commonly used.

The Control-Fanatic will point at humanity and say “Look at what has come of their submission to their lower, basic, animal desires! Humans are no better than animals, and impulsivity is a bane on the world. They lack willpower, they are fundamentally broken. Only through Control and Discipline can we truly master ourselves and thus our environment, and mastery is essential for living a thoroughly happy, and idealistic life.”

The Impulse-Fanatic will point to humanity and say “Look at what has come of their domination over themselves and others, out of an obsessive need to feel as if they had control. We live in a prison world, and its name is Culture. They delude themselves into believing that the world can be controlled, and in that they delude themselves that they are controlling themselves. They lack the spirit of life, the need to experience what is unknown to them, for with only self-control they will never be privy to what lay beyond their small, simple human mind.”

The two extreme polarities of the topic will forever be locked in an ideological struggle, a struggle so deep at its core that for most of the people somewhere in the middle it seems like insanity either way you look, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Doing things on impulse, that is, because of some sort of sudden, un-willed prompt (even if it exists in one’s own mind, for mind-things are on the by-and-large non-volitional) opens people up to the world. We are limited, conditional beings, and as such we require ‘The Seemingly Random” and external forces and external contexts to grow our body of knowledge. If we only ever sought to stay within the boundaries of our control we would soon be rendered homogeneous and our technologies would quickly stop developing. Impulse is doing something that is out of your control, and doing something that is out of your control is the nature of the vast majority of reality. To ghetto yourself off into remaining only where things make sense to you, and are thus controllable is to relegate yourself to a mental prison, if done at the extreme. Likewise, to lack discipline and self-control completely and stand on the other end of the spectrum is to perpetually remain in a state of submission to external forces. One becomes like so much tumbleweed being blown about on the wind, and they will find that their abilities to create systems, or constructs, highly limited. If one waits until ‘the mood’ strikes, they are at the whim of the ‘mood’ and are no more in control of their productions than the desert is responsible for its sand dunes.

Surely, it is someplace in between that both things find their merit, and the balancing or moderation of impulse and control shows signs of acting in moderation, together, completely differently than either one taken to its extreme. They end up synergistically complimenting each other. The ‘stuff’ of the world is gleaned through submission to the Random, the collision of unknowns into the mind of the perceiver, and through outside catalysts that can’t be fathomed by the psyche before encountering them. The way this ‘stuff’ is used, synthesized and systematically constructed is through the same processes that we use in what is called ‘self-control’ or willpower. To exclude either side in totality is to hinder the optimal use of both. It is not so simple to merely dichotomize them in a way that one is good, and the other bad.

~ Seth Moris

 

Freelance Doomsayer

Mar
19

end is near

 

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1.) Inability to cower in fear at culturally approved of times, such as only having the ability to cower in fear due to immanent bodily harm or life changing catastrophes.

2.) A removal of apathy towards self-betterment and the betterment of their society

3.) A delusional view of the world as hopeful, malleable and unpredictable. An aversion to the reality that the world is immutable and unchanging.

4.) And Much Much More!

*”Studies”


Environmental Doom

Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom the environmeeent doooooom


Political Doom

Dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomy doooooooomy doooooooomy dooooooooooooooooooom politics and war doooooom dooooom

 Existential Doom 

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM YOU ARE MORTAL DOOOOOOM THINGS ARE UNPREDICTABLE DOOOOM

Religious Doom 

Doooooom God hates you dooooooom you’re a sinner dooooom

Social Doom

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM Society is crumbling Dooom DOOOOM dooooooom Social norms and ethics are degrading doooooomy doom

Have a Doomy Day!
~Seth Moris

Null-A Mind Software

Mar
16

eye

“Everybody knows that Aristotelian two-value logic is fucked.” 

― Philip K. Dick

 

Two value logic (Ie, True or False) while a highly useful way of thinking manages to darken one’s view of possible alternate ways of thinking and perceiving the world around them. When we become habitually addicted to the categorization of all information as either Totally Existing or Totally Not-Existing we become sloppy, lazy thinkers who are prone to building a self-gratifying personal cosmology. When the two-value system is used in its right way it is simply a systematic approach to what I call “the cosmic binary”. There are many funny ideas about what constitutes ‘opposites’ these days, for example man and woman, water and fire, sky and earth. However, upon close consideration it would seem that a more accurate way of viewing the world in “binary” would instead be far more simple; true or false, that is, extant or non-extant. Void or cosmos. The opposite of man is not-man.  The opposite of woman is not-woman. The opposite of fire is not-fire.  The opposite of water is not-water. The absence of things is their opposite, whereas one could say that fire is different than water but also of clouds and metal and wood. Who is to pick out of the great many things that are both extant and also not-fire to say they are opposites, such as the common conception that water is its opposite? The only reasonable opposite for fire, as far as I can see is not-fire, the absence thereof. This in a sense is the real value of the two-value ‘true/false’ binary, not the cobbled together and poorly defined dualism of things like ‘fire/water’. Other examples of this more accurate binary would be in the case of ‘abundance/absence’-like concepts such as temperature (heat and cold, the absence of heat) or light (light and darkness, the absence of light).

And yet, this still does not fully provide a person with the mental software necessary to effectively categorize their experiences. The reason this is important for the active participant in the universe is because  when we experience something first hand, it is raw sense-data. Sometimes quickly, sometimes over a period of time we encode this sense-data into linguistic interpretations. First we may experience getting into a car accident, only after do we encode it into linguistic definitions and interpretations such as “The driver was an asshole” or “It was a clear day out”, such encoding does not occur for the majority ofsense-data and this is a large reason for our forgetting of the vast majority of things we experience out of a day. It also has the opportunity to corrupt and bias our experiences, having a limited way of encoding such experiences, especially into a simplistic form of ‘totally true/ totally false’.

tumbla

 

Null-A is a blanket term for non-Aristotelian logic, and can take many different forms and have more than two-values, that is more than true/false. Above is a rough example of an alternate way of viewing and navigating the sense-data we are pelted with throughout our existence. I will provide rough definitions that will not be exactly fitting with your general views of the words, below.

True- Extant, having being, something that is perceptible as sense-data.

Example- Bob sees a car, the car is extent.

False- Non-extant, not having being in the way someone thinks.

Example- Bob sees a car, attributes to it an independent physical existence that is defined by being able to be perceived by others, contacted by others and even driven by others, even though the car, while existing (as a hallucination, thus a physically existing process) is ‘true’, he is also having a hallucination and his attribution/interpretation of sense-data is ‘false’. That is, his experience of the “car” makes the “car” a truly existing thing but his attribution of the “car” to having the same traits as other cars is false, it is non-extant, which he finds by putting his hand through it and being unable to drive it, and thus he changes his mental judgement of the “car” into the experience of a “hallucination”.

Both– When multiple things about an object exist, despite ideas that the concepts are mutually exclusive or arranged in a false dichotomy.

Example- Susie says to Bob, “Do you like waffles or pancakes?” and Bob says “Both.” Or, when Susie says to Bob “Are you a liberal or a conservative?” and Bob says “Both”, because he has traits of being both a liberal and a conservative, even though Susie may imply he can only pick one answer.

Neither/Mu- When neither options or answers are extant or true.

Example- “Have you stopped beating your wife Bob?” Susie asks Bob, who has not been beating his wife. Since there is no way to answer this question with an affirmative or negative, Bob simply replies with “Mu”. If Susie asks Bob “Are you a conservative of a liberal?” and he has no traits of either or is apolitical, he can say “Neither”.

Indeterminate-  When there is not enough information to form a true, false, both or neither/mu opinion. The majority of human life is honestly lived in the indeterminate, which is not something considered by the majority of people who cannot abide in indeterminate thinking and feel compelled to habitually form either a true/affirmative or false/negative view on any proposition or experience.

Example- Bob points to Susie at a woman walking down the street with her baby carriage. “Wow,” Bob says “What a slut.” Susie looks at Bob and says “Indeterminate.” Or, Susie says to Bob “Man, I’ve been feeling really sick. It must be those chemtrails in the sky.” and Bob says “Indeterminate”

~ Seth Moris

 

The Court of Mind

Mar
12

courtroom

 

The Court of Mind

By: Seth Moris

Within the court there was but I

And then the splinters that flew by

I split in twain, betwixt and multiplied

Now Judge,

Now Jury,

Now Accuser,

Now Advocate,

Now Defendant

Defendant sat, accused of crimes

Against humanity, that is, his Kind

Accuser stood and pointed fingers

Brought forth evidence, placed the blame

Advocate stood and presented circumstance

Showed the Jury past actions and behaviors

The Judge held sway over the order

So that Accuser and Advocate would not cross borders

Into disorder, of the court

The Jury listened as the two retorted

The Defendant sat silent, the object of question

The Plaintiff was born, across the room

It was he who’s hopes the Defendant slew

With the Defendants actions and mirth

All to these did One give birth

The Jury listened, the Judge presided

The Advocate argued, the Accuser derided

The Defendant sat stony, aware of his guilt

The Plaintiff sat frowning, his dreams had been spilled

There was but one more, behind them all

In a back room, behind thick walls

Who waited and listened, just as well as the rest

Was known to be morbid, if only in jest

The Executioner had no place in the meeting, yet

But he was behind the scene, with trident and net

Never been called for yet, but this aspect waited the day

In which his actions would be called into play

It was a good thing such a callous man

Was held behind walls himself, kept out of the plans

And lets not forget, the other one born

The healer, physician, who was waiting as well

For the court to be called, for the persons to swell

Back into One, or seemingly so

I open my eyes and it all disappears

Court has been called to a close, the verdict is here

Enantiodromia- A Cautionary Tale

Mar
09

lambwolf

       “Enantiodromia. Literally, “running counter to,” referring to the emergence of the unconscious opposite in the course of time. This characteristic phenomenon practically always occurs when an extreme, one-sided tendency dominates conscious life; in time an equally powerful counterposition is built up, which first inhibits the conscious performance and subsequently breaks through the conscious control.”
~ Carl Jung

While there are many interesting facets to the unique system of terminology constructed by psychotherapist Carl Jung, one concept in particular has always held a strange position in my mind, namely that of “enantiodromia“, which Jung defined as seen above as the tendency for unconscious opposites of conscious fixations to emerge over time. When I first read of this term I wasn’t sure what to make of it, and so set forth to observe the world around me as well as my own past and memories to discover if I could find the evidence of such an emergence.

It didn’t take long to realize that on a social scale, I could see enantiodromia everywhere. A social movement would be started, usually prompted by good reason, only to become bloated and end up transmogrifying into what used to be its opposite. I would see other individuals who were so fixated upon a certain personal archetype become usurped by a tendency to become their complete opposite while under duress. However, it was within myself that I could see the case being made for the existence of enantiodromia most clearly. What I was focused on consciously, volitionaly, was almost always the opposite of my habits; in other words, my ideal being was opposite of my habitual being. What and who I wanted to be was contrary to who I actually was. This is all well and fine if you can keep conscious both aspects of yourself, but the second you forget that you aren’t your ideal self, is when enantiodromia seems to occur.

It is a funny thing that in this day and age, when information and knowledge is so plentifully available that the most obvious sings of ‘unconscious emergence of opposites’ is seen in the ‘eclectic’ or ‘heterodox’ of ‘spirituality/religion/ideologies’. Why do I say this?

When you have the ability to choose your ‘ideology’ or ‘spirituality” (Note: I detest the term spirituality, but I will be using it here in lieu of another term) and to, even more than choose from a large list of them, have the ability to actually cut-and-paste these ideologies or spiritualities into your own system of thought, you get a freedom that many humans have not desired nor sought; in this freedom lies a seed of unconscious striving. When you have the ability to choose your own ‘spirituality’, most people, whether they realize it or not, seem to choose a ‘spirituality/personal philosophy/ideology’ that is actually quite contrary to their ‘habitual self’ or ‘unconscious self’ and instead focuses primarily upon their ‘ideal self’. Who they want to be, rather than who they are.

This could be said to be useful, in fact I shall say it is indeed useful, but only insofar as one actually keeps their eye upon their habitual self just as much as their ideal self. A pitfall that is commonly fallen into, especially for myself even presently and in the past, is that ideal self is never going to be Who You Are. It will always be something to strive for. But to completely ignore Who You Are presently, that is, habitual self is to run the risk of becoming exactly what you seek not to be.

Now, I don’t mean to actually imply ‘habitual self’ is always or permanently ‘unconscious’, only that it retains a high risk of becoming so when one chooses to focus on what they want to be, rather than what they are. It could even be said that the ‘choice’ of eclectics/heterodox ‘spiritualists/ideologists/philosophers” often reflects, rather than who they ‘are’ in the present, who they actually ideally wish they could be. Someone who feels dis-empowered in general may take on a philosophy of power, someone who has been self-sacrificing may take up an ideology in which selfishness is a virtue, someone who is self-destructive and at the whims of their compulsions may pick up a religion based on moderation, someone who is hateful and whose life has been affected negatively by this hate may choose a spirituality of compassion. In a way, the ideal self, often the goal of any pro-active ideology, ends up the opposite of what they habitually are. This is not always the case, but since the habitual self is so often unconscious within individuals, they wouldn’t be aware that what they are actively pursuing is because of what they currently lack.

When the ‘habitual self’ becomes unconscious, or ‘shoved under the rugs’ in lieu of a worship of “ideal self”, this poses problems. Namely because the habitual self is where most of a persons actual power lay, in the present. It is what gets them out of the bed in the morning, how they approach the day, and for the most part (contrasted with ideal self) it is what decides where they put their energy in a given day. In short, to ignore who “we habitually are” in favor of a romanticized version of ourselves will ensure that not only do we actualize at least some aspects of ‘the ideal self’ but also that we will be prone to enacting lifelong habits that we try to fight against. In short, an overabundance of conscious focus on the ‘ideal self’ will result in the emergence of ‘habitual self’. They are both important to be watched vigilantly.

For another example of enantiodromia, William Blake’s  Urizen mythos, is useful. It can be seen in the form of the Orc-Urizen cycle. Orc, embodying passion, revolution and ‘youth’, inevitably overthrows Urizen who embodies law, reason, and ‘elderliness’. Orc then becomes, at the end of the cycle, Urizen, and the whole process is started all over again with a new embodiment of Orc overthrowing the former-Orc, current Urizen. I consider this an archetypal representation of Enantiodromia. (More Information on the Urizen Mythos here  and here).

Perhaps it is not a very common occurrence, I could indeed be seeing what I have experienced myself projected upon others. But I think from the unconscious nature of the emergence of opposites, it would be tricky enough for anyone to notice at all, and I hope that the concept at least hastens people to look critically at what exactly they believe they are, so that perhaps the wolf slinking around the corner does not devour them completely. Though perhaps that is exactly what their actions, as have mine, call for.

~ Seth Moris

The Mesa: Part Three

Mar
07

mesa3

 

 

“What is that?!” I asked, because I was sure I didn’t know. But they didn’t see what I saw.

Then the storm hit like a fist.

Rain fell in torrents. Lightening illuminated the sky every few moments, and thunder roared like a godly afterthought. Everything was dark, the wall of darkness had absorbed us within it and now we were in the belly of the beast. The tarp above our heads managed to keep a good amount of the direct rain out, but it fluttered and flapped and was abused by the elements around us. The grasses swayed and the sky screamed, the mist of the pounding water droplets sent moisture in every direction.

I looked out, into the storm. Now people were talking about how we should have gone back, how we shouldn’t have come, how it was a stupid idea. I could recognize this, but I knew that hindsight wouldn’t make a difference. Every sound was deadened in comparison to the heavenly trumpets and forked lightening that seemed to come down at strange angles. There was brief, frantic discussion about the likelihood of being struck by lightening. We were, after all, camped underneath the only trees within eyesight atop a shelf mountain.

The clouds were so thick, the mist so low, that my eyes were convinced they were only a foot or so above the tarp canopy. My mind whispered that the clouds had sunk so low so as to directly find a connection between them and the ground, with my body as conduit. The clouds wanted to kill me for the trespass that I had made upon sacred ground.

“Do you really think we are going to die?” Mila asked me in a tiny voice, made tinier by the non-stop thunder and lightening. I can’t remember if I looked at her, but I remember giving the verbal equivalent of a shrug.

“Might, might not. I don’t know.” I had said, or something similar. Truth was, I was scared. I was terrified. It was easy not to show, since it seemed everyone else was worrying plenty about it openly, it gave me the luxury of not having to express worry. It was covered. Nothing to see here folks, just a trio of humans who made a bad call. I felt sure that the trees would be hit any moment, by that cruel forked plasma slicing open the sky every minute or so; and on top of things everything was thoroughly wet. We sat at the base of the tree in the middle of the encampment, Indian style, our sleeping bags over our laps and every inch of cloth we owned was soaked completely through with water. I had Tiggle, my loyal canine companion, curled up in my lap (he was a puppy at this time) and snoozing soundly. I wasn’t paying attention to him. I was thinking about what it might be like to be killed by lightening.

I had faced danger before upon my travels, mostly from other humans. But humans, as murderous as they could be, can be dealt with. You can fight a human, you can persuade a human, you can barter with a human. The elements, nature, was not going to be won over by a charming smile or cracking knuckles. I was nothing to it. I had left my home in search of meaning, of adventure, about a year before the Mesa. I would die upon the mountain, I felt sure. Was I ready? Was this it? What would it be like, and would I go into it kicking and screaming? I just waited. Waited for the last flash of otherworldly fire before blackness. My adrenaline was coursing through my veins, I could feel my heart beating. Someone was crying; who I do not know. Was it me? It might have been. It might have been all of us. It might have been nobody. The wind ripped at the tarp, the sky seemed hungry. I felt Tiggle stir underneath the covering of the sleeping bag, and I opened it up to check on him. It wasn’t fair that he had to die with us, for making a silly human mistake, I felt.

But when I saw him, I realized that he was sleeping soundly and warmly (if wetly) curled up in a ball in the middle of my legs. He had no care of the lightening or of the thunder. Rain was uncomfortable, but he was protected from it. You could say he had faith in me, his human, but I think rather it is that his imagination is not so big as ours was; they say dogs do not have imagination, but to that I say “How do they predict where you are going to throw their toy? How do they predict where a prey animal is going to run to?” But that is neither here nor there. Whether Tiggle had no or just a tiny imagination, he apparently did not have the imagination necessary to freak himself out to holy terror about being struck and killed by lightening. The dog was as happy as could be, and peaceful, serene. This serenity infected me, it made everything else ludicrous.

I looked out into the storm and I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed. I laughed like I had never laughed before and have never laughed since. It felt like something had flown out of me, like I had coughed up the psychic equivalent of the worlds largest, greenest ball of sputum into the storm. After that, I was not worried about dying. Not by the lightening, and not of the prospect in general.

“If Tiggle isn’t worried,” I said out loud, more to myself than anyone else, “I’m not worried.”

I was however paying attention to the clouds. Eventually, the rain stopped, but the lightening did not, at first. It seemed like a white, ghostly mist hung around the Mesa, and every few minutes (as opposed to every other minute) another fork of lightening would arc out in the distance, followed by heavens war drums. It seemed thick with sentience. We were alive. The Mesa had not destroyed us. We had passed its trials.

It was only the following days (after a thorough session of drying our clothes and beddings in the hot sun, the moisture sucked up by the thirsty desert climate) that we were told by the person who had brought us to the Mesa that it had been the scene of a grizzly, morbid past.

According to the person, when white settlers had arrived in the area ‘back in the day’, they had kicked the surrounding native tribes out of the fertile areas between the Mesas, onto the tops of the Mesas themselves, which were far from fertile. Since there were so many, yet so little room for them, the natives were forced to war themselves for desolate land, and it resulted in the killing of many. Take that how you will. I haven’t been able to find any information on it.

It was also over the next few days that we found other trees along the Mesa; some were fresh, alive and thriving (as much as could be said of scrubby desert trees) and a good amount of them were black, charred skeletons. Apparently our worry about the lightening had been fair, and warranted.

In a strange way I had always felt like the Mesa had ended up the climax to the traveling I had done. I had left my comfortable (insomuch as it was familiar) existence in the far north, rural New England town I had lived. I had done so out of a gripping fear of my own mortality. Upon the Mesa, I had to face such Death in the face (even if it had been a product of my mind, and of mushrooms) and laugh into it. After that moment, I felt released from a heavy chain that had been around my neck, and there is rarely a day that I do not think back to the Mesa and remember what it felt like to laugh into the storm. I had left my home to escape what I saw as inevitable Death, and I had realized upon the mountain that there was no escape. All you could do was laugh.

mesa4

~ Seth Moris

 

 

 

Into Medicine

Mar
01

vulture

Into Medicine

By: Seth Moris

Fate has struck down greater men
Encompass everything its better than
Failure, tally the burning sediment
Turn the poison into medicine

Snake fangs piercing supple skin
Never will get this chance again
Blood on fire, brain is sizzling
Turn the poison into medicine

Hungry, thirsty, crying, dying
Flesh peeled backwards by the elements
Ghoulish screaming; is that me?
Turn the poison into medicine

Heartbeats beating drearily leaking
Falling faster into desparity
What have I trained for, if not this?
Turn the poison into medicine

Where am I? And where have I gone to
I cannot find my soul, I’m at my minds end
Trust in me to die by benediction
Turn the poison into medicine

I feel the toxin burst in my being
An empty sack now gone to heaven
To hell, to paradise, to the prison
Turn the poison into medicine

Pour another, light one up friend
Desires easy; ask the devil
Give in, give in, give in, give in
Or turn the poison into medicine

I have nothing, I am not here
Run so fast from hopeless mendicants
Spin and greetings from friendless hedonists
Turn the poison into medicine

Turning, spurning; breaking my bones
Marrow rotting, vultures feasting
Upon the base of my whole sentiment
Turn the poison into medicine

Alchemy, transmutation, breeding
I lay my own entrails out for feeding
Upon the stones of mothers needs and
I turn the poison into medicine

I turn the poison into medicine
I turn the poison into medicine
I turn myself from king to no-thing

I turn the poison into medicine