Sunday, September 30, 2012
TEN DAYS by C. D. "Seedy" Johnson
TEN DAYS by C. D. "Seedy" Johnson
Browsing tea shops in Chinatown. Trying to make out kanji characters on the package labels at the Japanese grocery. Burning video to disk. Three related tasks whose commencement is signified by the span of days. Sixty, to be exact. I do these things every sixty days. I do these things because in a lone, isolated cabin somewhere out there on the rocky desert terrain of Arizona lives the Venerable Lobsong Chunsom, sequestered Buddhist nun, in retreat for four years. That's four years without any human contact, whatsoever. It's a religious thing. Not easily understood by those of us sadly entrenched in the herded mentality of modern civilization.
Once a month, Lobsong breaks the tepid "sameness" of meditative silence and enjoys a movie and snack time. She likes action flicks and anime. She likes strange, exotic teas. She like weird snacks from Japan and Korea. She likes all these things and she depends on one of her best friends (who still calls her Patricia) to send them to her every two months - when the stars have turned to their appropriate positions, signaling the occasion.
I do this for her, not knowing whether she liked what I've sent. I have no way of finding out. I have to make a guess. She trusts that I will make the right choices of entertainment in keeping with her tastes. I will continue to do so, without hearing from her for two more years. She can count on tea, snacks, and movies to appear in the mail when they are suppose to. For my friend, I have become as reliable as the stars.
Luck... Fate... Destiny... Karma should not be mixed in with these other things. Karma is the purest of will, not subject to human feelings or understanding, or even the will of the devas. It cannot be categorized along with anything belonging to the "created" world. I know that in some of the Vedanta it is talked about as such, but this is the result of creative editing in the Upanishads, and perhaps too much poetry on the part of the rishis. Always refer back to the Vedas and Puranas.
Karma came into existence the moment Shakti emerge from Brahman and set the creation of the universe in motion. Karma is neither controlled nor dependent on anything save the Mahadevi who gave birth to it. Even the Dharma is subservient to Karma.
Karma moves through the world like a wave through water. It is unstoppable. To attempt to stop the flow of Karma is to simply produce more Karma. Shakti igniting the stars is Karma. The light of the sun falling on the earth is Karma. The heat of the sun's rays evaporating the waters is Karma. The air cooling the evaporated water is Karma. The water falling back to earth as rain is Karma. The whole cycle repeating itself once again is Karma.
Karma cannot be halted or redirected or appeased or escaped. However, Karma is not out to get you. Karma cares nothing for your fate or your future. Karma has no thought or emotion or memory or intelligence. Karma will not feel sorrow for you, or move in your favor out of respect, or seek to punish you for some misdeed. Karma simply pushes the pendulum to swing. Whether it is returning the waters to the earth as rain, returning your good deeds to you as blessings, or returning your evil deeds to you as heartache - Karma does not care.
We find in the scriptures sometimes the devas interfering with the Karma of "born." Shakti herself never interferes in the Karma of born. In fact, she is seen a number of times warning people about the Karma they are sowing into the world and asking them to rethink their path before going forward. Shakti could saved her children from their wickedness, but to interfere with someone's Karma is not doing them any favors. They will not escape the counter swing of the pendulum. It would be giving them a false since of salvation. Karma cares nothing for the favors the gods grant you. Karma has a motion to fulfill. It will fulfill it regardless.
Have you heard the expression, "pissing in the wind"? As children, little boys in particular, we learn quickly that if we don't want to get our pants soiled, never piss directly into the wind. Karma is like this. If you don't want your sins soiling your life, don't go pissing them into the face of Karma.
Home from the Occupation one year anniversary. The park is still Occupied, tentatively. Police have refrained from coming into the park and forcing an altercation, at least on a large scale. There were some minor scuffles. There was this one really aggressive cop, a five-foot tall woman with a chip, who decided to shove some people with her club. We ran the cops out of the park. Well...they walked quickly. When that particular cop tried to come back into the park, we yelled her out. One of the white shirts told her to stay out of the park after that. I assume they were told not to provoke an incident. I though for sure it was on at that point; but it turned out to be a non-starter.
One disappointment today: I lost my Baby Occupier. My trainee of sorts. We got corralled during a march, I found myself penned against a wall. Not knowing better, my disciple eagerly walked right up to a police lieutenant and snapped a picture. She got grabbed by police before I could get to her. I believed she was released by the police a few hours later, but did not return to the park. I'm guessing jail did not agree with her. They either come back angry, or go home scared. Not what you want to happen to your first apprentice.
Does this sound weird to you: I'm pretty sure I was being watched by undercovers today in Zuccotti. Twice, two people I've never seen at Occupy before tried to lure me out of the park. When I finally left around 3 am, this older guy wearing a pink shirt walked behind me all the way to the Path train. At first, it looked like he went in another direction. But then, a few minutes later, he comes into the same train car as me and sits right next to me. He seemed really interested in what I was texting on my phone, so I put it away. I'm thinking I'm just being paranoid at this point. The train gets to the first stop, and he gets up as if he is leaving, but then sits back down. Then it gets to my stop and he gets off. At this point, I'm watching him pretty close, because I AM paranoid. He seems to notice and goes in a different direction than me. Just to be sure, I sat down a bench down the street to see if anyone was following me. A few second later, this same guy comes back around the corner and goes back down into the Path station.
Seedy: "She was brilliant. From a literary point of view, her work is seen as distasteful, and as mentioned, hard to get through, but from a philosophical viewpoint, it's a masterpiece of applied, cold reason and logic. The ugliness of a balanced equation devoid of politeness and the convention of emotional and moral constraint. She serves up a model where the individuality of man/woman becomes the focal point of society, and not the 'collective endeavor', which ultimately has been the source of so much prejudice, and oppression, and lack of personal freedom."
"In the end, Ayn Rand was fully aware that such a system of self-rule was impossible, and often had fun with interviewers and detractors who found her Objectivist philosophy shocking and repugnant - especially according to the Judea-Christian doctrine. It was meant to be shocking and repugnant."
"However, the extreme side of her model was also meant to be a mirror which exposed the absurdity of the opposite extreme; which was the equally unrealistic Marxist model that Socialism and Communism were founded upon. Rand was a trickster. A magician using slight of hand. Few people see this aspect of her work. They usually go for the most obvious explanation and evaluation of her character. As she expected. She knew that when confronted with an unsavory idea, people would always fall back on two familiar traits of polite society: Moral reprehension and predictability."
My Date: "So...I'm lost. Does that mean you hate Paul Ryan or not?"
This old man got the Path train with me (like before, only black this time, and instead of a loud pink shirt, he had on a loud yellow jacket) and stood very close. He had on cop shoes (or what I like to call cop shoes), polished black leather which stood out from his seemingly shabby clothing. He got my attention because as we were standing on the train, he seemed really interested in the package I was carrying, a priority mailing box on it's way to my friend Patricia. He kept trying to look down and read the address on the box. I am not kidding. I flipped the box so he couldn't see the address.
When I exited the train at World Trade Center, I stopped at the bench on the platform to put something into the box and seal it. The old man stopped too, even though there was no reason for him to do so. In fact, as all the other people went up the stairs, he stood still until it was just him and me on the platform. When I went upstairs, he went upstairs.
I went up the stairs to the left, he went up the stairs to the right. The stairs to the right are closer to the exit. When I got the top of the stairs, he was crossing my path to the left. He walked away from the exit towards my position. Keep in mind that at this point, no one was blocking his path and he didn't seem to be lost.
I walked quickly up the escalator, figuring that a man his age, probably 60, would not be able to follow. He didn't. As I disappeared down the block, I didn't see him anywhere. So, I just chalked it up to me being paranoid again. I stuck in paranoid these days.
I dropped my package off at the post office then left. As I came outside, the old man was coming around the corner in my direction. I actually stopped and stared at him. He quickly did a u-turn and went down into a subway entrance, IN THE SAME DIRECTION HE JUST CAME FROM!
I started to go after him, but he was moving pretty fast, and I had no idea what I would ask him if I caught him.
I think someone out there is interested in knowing a lot more about me.
I'm heading home from the office in the rain. No umbrella. But first, I have to stop by the grocery store to buy cat litter. Then maybe pick up some crispy squid from the Chinese restaurant. And treat myself with a big bottle of sangria.
Somewhere in labor camp in Siberia, a prisoner doing hard time is day-dreaming about having a life as glamorous and carefree as I have.
And Seedy posts on Facebook:
"As a point of information, humans need air to live, but it's not because the body needs oxygen, as it often thought. This is a very common misconception. I'll explain: Being carbon based lifeforms, the element carbon exists throughout our bodies, some of it in the form of carbon gas that has been dissolved by the heat of our metabolism. This carbon gas circulates through our cells and bloodstream, eventually ending up in our lungs and respiratory system where it begins to solidify. If enough of it solidifies, it can kill us. So evolution has provided us a means to draw air into our lungs which not only keeps the carbon gas from solidifying and killing us as it clogs our lungs and coats our air passages, but it also combines with some of the carbon which can then be expelled as carbon dioxide."
"So the next time you see someone choking, it isn't because they are not getting any air, but because their carbon gas is solidifying in their lungs. Most people would try to clear the choking victim's throat in this situation, but really, the best thing to do is put a hot compress on their chest and wait. It will raise the persons body temperature and cause the carbon to turn back into gas."
"As a side note in history: Back when NASA was developing the first space missions, they tried to develop a spacesuit that did not require an oxygen canister. It would have been much lighter and more maneuverable. However, in order to keep the occupant's carbon gases from killing them, the suit's temperature had to be raised. Unfortunately, they couldn't get the degrees just right. Too little heat, and the test subject died from suffocation. Too much, and he roasted to death in the suit. NASA went through 105 subjects before abandoning the project. Fortunately, almost all of them were Communist spies from Hollywood, so few REAL Americans died as a result."
"You're welcome! And remember: Science is easy and knowledge is power!"
Facebook friend: "Really?! I did not know that. Thanks for the information."
Seedy: "You're Welcome!"
Saturday. (Vedic) Morality.
Every single woman on the earth is an incarnation of Shakti. Every creature capable of giving birth to life is Shakti. Men also carry Shakti within their beings in the form of the x-chromosome they receive from their mothers. But women in particular are wholly Shakti. To insult or harm one needlessly or out of malice is an insult to Mahadevi herself.
However, like all humans, mortal women, although they are Shakti, are subject to the same Maya as men. It's Devi's will. I guess she thought it would be cruel to marry every imperfect, mortal man to a wise and perfect goddess, so she put herself on an even footing as us vaginally challenged. Good thinking, Devi!
Found out that we only provided bail for 4 of the 5 people arrested on Monday at the Occupy event. They couldn't possibly still be holding my missing apprentice, could they?...
[At 1 Police Plaza]
Seedy: [At the booking desk] "I'm with Occupy."
Seedy: "I need a list of people arrested on Monday on Broadway."
Officer: "Can't you get that from Occupy's legal observers."
Seedy: "Can't you give it to me?"
Officer: "Who are you looking for?"
Seedy: "A small Asian girl, probably Chinese, wearing glasses, carrying a camera."
Officer: "What's the name?"
Seedy: "I don't know."
Officer: "Serious? Was she protesting?"
Seedy: "Yes. Sort of. Mostly just taking pictures."
Officer: [Reaching fo the list] "How am I suppose who you're talking about if you don't even know her name or who she was?"
Seedy: "She was Asian. I'm assuming she at least has an Asian last name."
Officer: [Looking at the list] "No Asian names here. She was probably let go."
Seedy: [Turning to leave] "Okay... Thanks I guess."
Officer: "No problem. You know, you could be doing better things with your free time."
Seedy: "Yeah... Maybe I can volunteer to stand at a desk all day and answer questions."
Seedy wrote a dirty limerick...
There was a randy midget from Mertz
Who had a fondness for looking up skirts.
He spied a new fanny,
But it belonged to a tranny -
Now his head always faces the dirt.
C.D. "Seedy" Johnson is the Co-Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Rogue Scholars Press. He lives in New York City.