Stuff to Kvetch About, Act I, Scene V
Friday Morning, the Beginning, or, Twist Throttle to Unwind.
I don’t like Fridays. I adore them. Many do. They are the sentinels we sent out last weekend to a time when we could enjoy each other’s company, each other’s fullness of being. But those sentinels will go unrequited this weekend as they have for many weekends now. We are staring down the barrel of yet another lockdown due to this ongoing pandemic, another opportunity for humankind to heave up another harvest of either weak bodies or ever-strengthening souls. That one such weekend late last year saw the harvest to the threshing floor of one of my favorite people in this life draws attention to the inefficiencies either I, or Life, still harbor. Today Life and I resent one another because one of us is surely dead and I am not yet convinced it is this Life we have lived this week.
There is a fierce urgency in the here and now. It demands my silent embrace and contemplation and my simultaneous relaxation into the relentlessness of the vastness of its abyss. Only riding a fast motorcycle, twisting the throttle back to unwind it, comes closest on this Earth to the freedom I experience when I have punched through yet another barrier, made yet another hole, into a substance that seems fraught with them. Welcome to holiness, Spongebob. For this section of the roadway at this time, at least, you are a demigod. Not to be confused with whatever a real god might be. It is not enough to be able to outrun law enforcement, you must also outrun their radios.
Ken Wilber, in chatting up esoterica with an interviewer from the Shambhala Sun, put it this way. “These relative truths I will have to discover wave by wave, endlessly (on this vast ocean of consciousness). No Sutra of Wetness will tell about that, nor could it. And no Tantra of the Soggy will clue me in on this.” Not long after January 6th, 2021, the Sun changed its name to, “The Lion’s Roar.” Not sure what the need was for the change, but it didn’t distract me from recognizing that the son of Chögyam Trungpa, founder of Shambhala Publications, was mired in a scandal of multiple decades of the sexual abuse of the women of his organization. Another religious icon abuses the power given him by his laiety. “There is no sin in neurosis,” Wilber writes.
Perhaps if it is not left unaddressed methinks.
This incessant need to objectify and canonize saints throughout history has left us with some fairly unrecognizable religious traditions. The Second-Vatican Catholicism of my youth with all its entreats toward social justice is just as fraught with “saintly” denial as its many predecessors and precursors. “It can’t happen here,” is just another worthless word salad tossed into an abyss that grows hungrier from our sweet nothings, not overfed by our hypocrisy, one iota. Happily the Abyss sits there, smiling at me, wondering when the news will break that none of this shit means anything like what we thought it did. “Blackhole Poised to Swallow Universe At 6pm Today, No Film at 11.”
Fridays can be catastrophized, if not obliterated, by my need to impose meaning atop of the meaningless behavior of neurotic (read: not psychologically healthy) human beings.
What makes my Fridays truly great is that I have overcome most of the shortcomings I was handed to become the best version of myself that I can. I can relax. I owned what I did as well as what was given for me to resolve. I can let go of the harsh self judgments and hand-wringing guilt and shame that have dogged me most of my adult life. I am free.
Or, at a minimum, affordable.
And so are you. I cannot successfully judge you harshly, if at all, because you are just another dopey bag of water in a sea of dopey bags of water. As much as Ken Wilber would like us to adopt a “scale” of evolution on 4 axes, these are only reference points in a sea of uncertainty. Wherever anyone snapshots themselves on any continuum of measurement, it cannot take into account momentum or direction.
Thank you, Quantum Physics.
Still, Wilber would like us all to be sorted and our relative statuses along four axes of development known to those who might need to know. Folks who top-out on most of these measurements adore measuring others. As dreary as the results might be for the rest of us, we are Friday-free to come up with measurements of our own that elitists of any stripe might not measure well in. But I think Wilber is correct, however, that the measurement of “least intellectually sophisticated” or “least well spoken” or “largest penis-like appendage” are measures we can do without. We need to cease attacking people with metrics and start embracing them for where they are, including their momentum along any positive vector aimed at evolving beyond the place where they started from. That is all we need in the end. It is enough to be on our way. That is where judgment, and cosmic childhood, end.
Will the Capitalists and those out to prove we are broken beyond repair be satisfied with this more relaxed paradigm of self awareness? Of course not! Systems designed to force people into “have” and “have not” designations will fight like hell to retain whatever hegemony they have achieved by judging other people as “plus” or “minus.” And here we have the Book of Revelations, a book of revealed truth common to most every Abrahamic religion foretelling us of a time when time will end and final judgments will be passed. Every nail-biting Christian sitting in the Sunday pews quake at the thought of this day of final judgment. I am here to inform you that any day that religion assigns to final judgment is a good idea, if rare. And that is because only ONE final judgment is possible for a thinking being to arrive at, including an alleged almighty God for whom ultimate knowledge of all things has been preordained, presaged and decided, apriori. The only entities in need of judgment are those who do not know, and among those who do not know, judgment is as fickle as the metrics of Quantum Physics. A gander at the Friday newspaper should be enough to convince any thinking (because we do not know) human that as far as judgment is concerned, humanity has precious little. What we do possess, however, is scant and not terribly useful outside of a given moment or circumstance in time and space. Our Founding Fathers suggested twelve peers might best be able to judge our guilt or innocence of a particular offense in a court of adversarial facts and figures. However, humans have found a way to game even this system and managed to send a disproportionate percentage of people we prefer to be kept in chains back under lock and key, making a mockery of anything like social justice, mercy, fairness or the reliability of our whole system of the courts.
Want a system of justice? Well, it better not be, “just us,” because the FINAL judgment that we can level against humanity is that we do not have any that we can rely on.
And once I arrive at this point, usually by 12 noon on a Friday, I really cannot say anything about anyone else for certain. I have my experience of a person on a given date and time, but even that measurement is subject to change as both of us evolve away from disunity and towards harmony and unification. At this experience of unity and communion, is time of any concern whatsoever? Does paying attention to a device that tears my day to shreds bring me any peace or contentment? Nope. So I’ve done away with mine. We have day time and night time and that seems to be stressful enough. Further, let’s give ourselves a few minutes each day to strive for a place in our consciousness where time seems to be standing still, or non-existent. For other times, we can resolve to laugh together more as a community because we can be assured that while we are busy laughing at something humorous, we have nothing else on our mind. I do not need to completely empty my mind, it seems; just getting a little closer to the empty place seems to be good enough medicine to carry me through the rest of my weekend.
Snapshots of moments in time can be breathtaking, ordinary or appalling. The ones I choose to apply to any moment in time are a measure of my own inner peace and reasonableness. If most of my assessments are negative, what is it, precisely, that I am doing here on this planet? I owe my very existence in no small part to the imperfect distribution of matter and antimatter within the universe. So in the only sense that could be called Quantum Reality, my universe is at all because of some fundamental imperfections operating within it at all times. In the Quantum sense, I am limited by the very place I owe to my whole existence. Is this a cruel joke or is this the beginning of understanding? I suppose that depends on whether I choose to rely entirely on my own judgment, or whether I will allow for the assessments of others to let flow a cooling breeze of discernment over what might just be a sour mood that has come to pass. And my sour moods do come to pass, in my experience; they have not come to stay.
I adore Friday because I can slow my brain down long enough to see the sunsets, hear the birds and relax my need to pass judgments over my circumstances. As I think I have made plain, I am not always the best judge of my actual state of being. Neither is Ken Wilber.
I give you Friday as my personal middle finger to the established order of things. If all days can end in “Y,” any day can be Friday.
So it is written, so it shall be done.