Sunday, December 18, 2011

Change Your Own Damn Oil!

Anyone else ever realize something and then realize everyone else already knows that? Somehow you managed to go through your whole life, oblivious to what appears obvious. Happens to me all the time. My presumption is, because I have been alone most of my life, with little to no, mostly no, parental or maternal guidance, I missed out on a whole lot of things most folks simply take for granted. With no elders to instruct or grandparents with the wisdom of years to share, I have been left to my own devices, trying to make sense of things apparently known to the rest of my cognitive species. Makes me wonder how I have made it to almost 50. Then I look around me and realize I'm not the only one. There are many more exactly like myself. Millions of us, clueless, bumbling through this existence, zero guidance offered or even available. I'm amazed we haven’t blown up the factory yet.

My mind being what it is, I simply cant just leave something alone. If something makes no sense, you can guarantee I will regurgitate it until it does. Or at least make sense to me. Never could simply accept anything. So what if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck? Doesn’t mean its a duck. Might be a platypus. Rest assured, I will reach deep into that fount of unknowing and drag it to the surface, all wet and wiggling, and shake it and poke it until I'm damn sure its a duck. Or a platypus. I have this annoying tendency to use my head for something besides a hat rack. I admit, thinking for myself has landed me in the soup more than once. But I feel so much better about myself when I do. Yes, that was heavy sarcasm.

So here is one that has been slapping around in my cranium for a few decades. I've heard it numerous times, from thousands of sources, and it hasn’t added up. A medicine person, or a holy person, will never tell you they are. Will never admit to it. Okay, why? The common answer given is humility. The prevailing understanding that to hang a title on oneself immediately nullifies the position. Okay, that makes sense. Sort of. However, isn’t that redundant? If an individual is chosen to live such a responsibility, wouldn’t they first have to prove they are a humble person? How could an arrogant, self involved individual be tapped to fulfill such a demanding role? Granted, this makes the assumption that a) there is something more than what can be physically quantified and b) that something has a vested interest. Therefore, if that something does exist, and does have an interest, would that something not look for those who could live a humble existence, not interested in fame, fortune, titles and notoriety? Yes, there are many, especially today, who claim to be. However, even a cursory glance proves they are completely full of shit. Their claims are nothing more than delusions of grandeur; usually attempts at being what they wish they were, due mostly to lack of confidence and self esteem.

When you think about it, something doesn’t add up. Why wouldn’t someone admit to it, if they were? Not referring to those who think they are, but the real ones. It seems such a beautiful way to be. Granted, they aren’t broadcasting it to the high heavens, but if asked, why not smile a beatific smile and nod, exuding a knowing instantly perceived as true? A life spent in service to all of existence, giving completely of themselves, a life of total self sacrifice and altruism? Why are the real ones so damn surly? Whats with the cranky, go away you're annoying me attitude? Having traveled extensively, I have had the unfortunate displeasure of meeting a few real ones. By and large, they're assholes. Don’t get me wrong, they are great people. Warm, loving, caring, compassionate. Beautiful people really. But assholes. At the same time. Especially when it gets around to them doing what they do. What gives here? I come to you, supplicating, needing what you have been gifted, and you’re treating me like something you scraped off your shoe? The math makes no sense.

Well, try this on for size. You have a need, they have a way for that need to be satisfied. A healing, knowledge, direction. Whatever. But, for everything taken, something must be given. If nothing else, balance prevails. That law appears to be universal. I've seen it everywhere, in every situation. Regardless of where I have been or am, regardless the situation. Balance is always reasserting itself. The one unequivocal, undeniable truth. With that said, there then must be balance here to. When that logic is applied, things begin to make a little more sense. You need fixing. They can help. However, someone has to take it in the teeth. In other words, there is an ass whipping due. You are going to get the good stuff. They get the ass whipping. For you. Balance. You think after thirty or forty years they might get a little cranky? You think they might get a tad bit surly when someone brings a problem about as serious as a broken fingernail? Waaaa, I got a boo-boo. What? They are supposed to take an ass whipping for something you could fix your damn self if you just got off your ass and did it?

Look at it this way. Somebody you know is a pretty good mechanic. Doesn’t work as a mechanic, but they are as good, most of the time better, than anyone certified at the local dealership. However, they don’t tell anyone. Why? Because if they did everyone would be beating on their door, asking them to fix their car. For free. Eventually, that shits going to get annoying as hell. Even more so when its something simple, like changing the oil. Anyone can do it. Most are too damn lazy. With that box of crayons, now the platypus is starting to look like a duck. Here is someone who can assist you, will assist you, but dammit make it something serious, okay? Otherwise, change your own damn oil.

Most understand the person cant do a damn thing. They are just a person. However, that something that has a vested interest can. Modern science is always trying to figure out how things like cancer, diabetes even aids can be cured in traditional ceremonies. What they never realized is it isn’t the ceremony, or the individual presiding over it. What is curing the incurable is that something. That intangible unknowing. The individual presiding is only a conduit. That individual is all too aware of that fact, and just as aware there is going to be a price to pay. Just as aware they aren’t going to get paid. When the bill comes due its their ass. For me, that puts things into a whole new perspective.

If you need, go. There are real ones. Good luck finding them. Even better luck dealing with them. Or being dealt with by them. Remember what it is going to cost them to help you. If it is something you can do on your own, do it. If not, think long and hard before asking. Contemplate deeply on what it is going to cost. Not you, them. What are you asking them to suffer, all on your behalf? Are you so willing to put someone through that much pain? This rant isn’t to keep anyone away from those who are real. Quite the opposite actually. The idea here is for you to come to a better understanding the consequences. In this push button, give it to me now society, the consequences of our actions are rarely, if ever, considered. So yes, go. But, remember what you are going to put them through. Maybe it isn’t too much to offer a bit of tobacco, a little food, hell even a thank you. That is, of course, if you don’t have a hold of a platypus.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome to your Meat Suit

Some time has passed since I last wrote. Much has happened in that time. Some good, some ugly, but that’s life, isn’t it? Regardless how beautiful the field, go far enough and eventually you will step in a pile of crap. This leaves you with two choices. Rant and rave, pissed off over something you never had control of in the first place or scrape off the poo and move on. If you're fortunate, maybe you will find a creek to rest beside, washing off the remnants, to where your misadventure becomes nothing more than a bad memory. In time, that too will fade.

On and on we go, traversing valleys and precipices, on this journey called life. One certainty presides over us all. No one gets out alive. From my perspective, that's a good thing. Seventy or so years of this is enough. Immortality would be a curse. A never ending cycle of highs and lows, with time inexorably speeding up each year. By two hundred it would seem each day was passing in a blink. Enough to drive anyone mad. A great movie I watched on this subject, “The Man From Earth”. Well worth the watch if you have the time. Some believe death to be the bane of human existence. As though it is something to be feared. I see death as the ultimate gift. A gift to be welcomed, and looked forward to. Not to infer I am suicidal. I deeply appreciate this gift of life, and the privilege to experience reality in this form. However, I do look forward to it ending.

It has always been my understanding what you do today is what matters. Living life remembering life allows a person to stagnate. Stuck in the past, reliving traumas that never healed. Never becoming all one was created to be. One thing I have learned, the past lives only if you continue to feed it. Remembering the torments and tormentors, giving them status and presence, as though they remain in existence. Reanimated corpses of long dead agony. Ethereal ghosts of the mind. To exorcise these demons is the simplest of processes. Let them go. Yet many define their existence by these events. Missing the experience of being human by allowing an experience while being human to contain them. No one said this was going to be easy. If it were anyone could do it.

Some live their lives imagining their lives. Dreaming of what they may become. Never fully realizing who they are. So caught up in the dream of what they may yet one day achieve. Struggling so hard to be more, to have more. To become something they do not need to be to impress those they don’t want to be. All the while their lives pass them by. Moments like drops of rain, washing away each experience squandered. Interestingly, they never seem to get there. That far off horizon never reached. Until that final moment, when its time to go, realizing all that was missed. Too late to turn back.

One other option I have witnessed are those whose lack of self esteem and sense of self drives them to live their imagination. Before the advent of the internet, this was a rare occurrence, and typically society at large noticed these individuals and gave them a comfy place to live, complete with padded walls and nice people in white coats to care for them. An existence perpetually medicated, unquestionably deluded. “I'm Napoleon!” Of course you are. If you will step this way we have just the place for you to conquer.

Now exists all the tools necessary to become anything one can imagine. To create for themselves an entirely new persona, history and even physical appearance. Some go so far as to actually believe their imaginations, and then transfer that imagination to the real world. Living life so deluded they forget who they really are. Demanding the populace at large accept them as what they imagine themselves to be. So caught up in their fantasy they have given their fantasy life, fully expecting all to accept their fantasy as well. Dr. Frankenstein would be in awe of the monsters some have created.

Some of the more absurd I have seen are those who proclaim themselves Native American. Really? Look at yourself. Look at true First Nations People. Do they look like you? In any way? The color of their hair and eyes, shape of nose, mouth and face. Does anything of their countenance look anything like yours? It is one thing to be genetically Native. To be a descendant of the First Nations People. Hell, after 500 years or so of European occupation, mix marriages and of course all the Cherokees who traveled the continent banging everyone’s great grandmother, I expect most everyone who can trace their linage back a few generations will find an Indian in the woodpile. That however, does not make you “Native American”. There is a vast difference between being genetically Native, and being culturally Native. If I have to explain the difference, you would never understand it. Nor would you accept it. It is astounding the lengths some will go to in order to defend their delusion. In my travels I have heard the most outlandish of stories used to defend pale skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone stand before me, so obviously of English, Irish, French, Scandinavian and Asian descent, demand I accept their ludicrous lamentations of being Native American. Fools like this may as well don a pirate costume and exclaim arrgh! all day. You look as foolish, and yes, everyone is laughing at you. Do you get how ridiculous you sound when you walk into a room, blonde hair and blue eyes, and make the declaration of being “Native American?” You really are embarrassing yourself. And providing comic relief to some of the more cynical, like myself.

Riddle me this, oh special one...what the hell is so wrong with being who you are? If you're white, be proud to be white. Or black or yellow or purple with green polka dots for that damn matter. There are two species of human, with four subgroups in each species. Be proud of you. Obviously, if you have a belief in a higher power, that higher power made you what you are. Therefore, are you so petulant, arrogant and pretentious to inform that higher power it was wrong? Doesn’t that mind set immediately nullify your higher power? How can it be a higher power if it is fallible? Isn’t the concept of infallibility indicative of a higher power? Or is that to logical and I, along with the rest of the world, am supposed to believe you were Pocahontas in a former life, you're immortal and are simply continuing your existence?

Most existing in their pit of self delusion are harmless. Well, maybe to themselves and a few in their families, but to the world at large they have little to no effect. Others however cause irreparable damage. Certainly those who portray themselves as Native American teachers and leaders. Accepting and initiating invitations from those who know no better in order for them to pontificate their delusions. South Park recently aired an episode. I liked to have passed out laughing when introduced as a Native American in walked the stereotypical white guy with a headband. Watch the episode, then look at the fool you invited to teach the children all about Indians. Sound familiar? The last woman I dated actually pulled out a book about Frank Fools Crow and proceeded to inform me, based on her perception that book was an instruction manual, on how I am supposed to conduct myself. The incredulous look on my face should have been enough. The real nut buster? She was a mental health professional! Let that sink in a moment, I'll wait.

OK, on we go. Still with me? Good. You know who is real good at playing Indian? Indians. When all you have to feed your family is the knowledge of culture, many see that knowledge as a commodity. And there are thousands upon thousands oh so willing to buy. Leave the rez, become a God. Or stay on the rez, because every year there will be a new crop of the urban confused more than willing to open their wallets and dispense every dime they don’t have for all that spiritual knowledge. Many know there is no substance to what they are buying, yet they continue to support it for fear of not having it. Even if it is hollow and empty, convinced its acceptable. Watching as women are abused, children broken, their men emasculated. Accepting what they know is blatantly wrong because the individual they are deifying has claimed to be a medicine person, head man of a non existent society they made up in their minds or some other foolish nonsense. These individuals know all the right words, can imitate all the right gestures. Some have even convinced themselves they are what they pretend to be. On and on it continues, eroding the very fabric of the culture they are selling, until all that exists is a facade of what once was.

A true Holy Person would never reveal themselves today. This society, those so convinced of what is or isn’t, would crucify them. Many times I have witnessed the Sacred reveal itself. Sad to say, I have had the unfortunate displeasure of watching as the Sacred was used to defile the Sacred. Like petulant children, “I didn’t want that color!” This circle attacking that circle. One claiming to be, while denigrating the next. If Christ himself walked through the door most would put a bullet in him. And exactly like children at Christmas, so busy playing with the box they ignore what was in it.

Here is how this works. The person chosen is the box. Chosen, not those who choose for themselves. They are the receptacle the power is housed in. They are simply a human, like anyone else. No magic powers, no special gifts. Just a person, acting the fool, being human. Until ceremony. Then the human steps aside, the box is opened and out comes the gift. The power. These unfortunate few are exceptionally difficult to find. Living a life of abject poverty, in constant misery and sadness. Knowing their lives are no longer theirs to live. Understanding as much as they are capable that they are now nothing more than a box. Waiting for someone to come and open them. Only to return to a life of torturous loneliness. But wait mr. hawk, that’s not how the books and movies portray it. Its all love and light, warm and fuzzy, with group hugs and effusive accolades. Everyone gets a trophy. If you will indulge me a second? Please return to a previous exercise. Find a mirror, look deeply into your eyes. Now, tell yourself, “I am an idiot.” Rinse and repeat as necessary until comprehension dawns.

True healing hurts. A lot. Any medical professional will tell you, and I am certain you have heard at least once, it has to hurt before it gets better. Do you honestly think it is any easier spiritually then it is physically? Traumas that have existed for 20 or 30 years, being forcefully ripped out of you. Nothing about that suggests warm and fuzzy, unless of course your into that sort of thing.

I guess the point to this rant is be you. Whatever you were created to be. Obviously, there is a point to you, or you wouldn’t exist. Yes, you are a little snowflake, unlike any other snowflake that has been or ever will be. In all of time, that ever existed or ever will exist, there is and only ever will be, one you. How freaking cool is that? So why in all that is sacred would you want to be someone or something else. That robe you wear, the flesh, your meat suit, its the only one. Okay, so it isn’t perfect. It has flaws and discrepancies. But then, isn’t it supposed to? If you believe you were created, not hatched, then you were created to be exactly what you are. What happened, happened. Use it for beauty, instead of wallowing in it and emanating the ugliness of it. Find a way to turn ugly into beauty. Don’t worry so much about what you might be. Hell, you probably wont ever become it, and if you did you probably wont like it. You were made to be exactly what you appear to be. Yes, we all want to be more. But more shouldn’t be different. More should be better. So ask yourself, is what you are better?