18 April 2011

album cover, leonard cohen from 'songs of love and hate', 1971

CHAPTER TWO - Leonard Cohen

WEEK FOUR. conversation by clair and neil



"Yes, and Jane came by with a lock of your hair, She said that you gave it to her
That night that you planned to go clear, Did you ever go clear
lenoard cohen

~ ~ ~

No reactive mind
Free of all time
Put me down, I won't fall over
Even  at a funeral.

Lock of hair behind your own little window, holy relic of the delusional donor,
I love you, hair, for who you are.
Are you sad?  Is Jane sad? Is Leonard sad?
Will Leonard get under hairperson's skin?
No one, hardly, (it's single figures, if anyone at all)
Is free of thoughts unkind.

But hair knows something.

"did you ever go clear?"...did you ever manange to tell/hear/think/see/find  truth?
truth is what im interested in
it shines 
somewhere by the rainbow

Is it alchemy shining by the rainbow,
in a pot?
(Rainbows are viewer-specific)

Here is the big truth:
Everything comes from nothing.

you have just make me realise that rainbows are a particularly good symbol in this instance, because, as you say, that truth is so often viewer specific. i'm going to look for definitions of truth...

truth:  the quality or state of being true
true : in accordance with fact or reality

... mmm! the oxford dictionary not really helping.  (clearly a bit behind the times...;)

because as we were saying, lots of truth is subjective, it is seen through somebodies eyes, filtered by their perceptions, experiences and beliefs. my experience is mine and your experience is yours.  i can only experience you though my experience or you, not you through you yourself. and visa versa.
so i wonder what i'm looking for when i say 'im interested in truth'?
maybe i'm interested in perception when that perception is reached through a clarity, insight, non-defensive, wiseness and logic.  i think i enjoy that kind of truth! ;) anyway, i know when i hear or find truth cos it shines in a different colour!
i'm going to get a definition of 'absolute truth'...

absolute truth: The Absolute is the concept of an unconditional reality which transends limited, conditional, everyday existence

mmm, i think i like truth that is a bit closer to 'absolute truth'..! (but then my ex-boyfriend did use to say 'you want the moon on a stick'...)  hee hee :)
Yes, I like the sound of that kind of perception. It's possible, now and then, by degrees, in waves!

sorry, neil, not quite sure what this is referring to ? ;) 

It refers to the kind of perception that is reached through "a clarity, insight, non-defensive, wiseness and logic", the kind of truth you enjoy. It's the kind of truth I enjoy too and, occasionally, I believe I have experienced it, now and then, by degrees, in waves!  

 ...And what does wanting a moon on a stick mean exactly?
that you want it all... i guess... i dont... (but of course i do..)

What's it made of?
its made of the moon :) 

 If you had the moon on a stick  and you took a lick, what would it taste of?
chalk...but the moon on a stick is not not strickly for eating...

~ ~ ~

"did you ever go clear"? leonard cohen

there is some discussion about what leonard meant when he said the words, 'did you ever go clear'.  there is some support that the 'clear' he was talking about came from launguage used in scientology.  
i write this to bring, for those of us who didnt know, context to the following...

Scientology's big-carrot, (there's only one bigger*), "Clear" mind  (achieved by deprogramming workshops etc, estimated cost, $128,000) perceives reality without distorting filters, i.e. the Truth, but has such a mind ever actually existed?
 "A Clear is a being who no longer has his own reactive mind, and therefore suffers none of the ill effects the reactive mind can cause. The Clear has no engrams which, when restimulated, throw out the correctness of his computations by entering hidden and false data."
 thetan : in scientology, the state of operating thetan is a spiritual state above clear.

~ ~ ~

For me, being present is synonymous with being true.
Occasionally, every now and then, I feel like I am  present in the present... not interfering, not not interfering...
Relaxed. Alert.  Just being.
Just not looking for my keys.
But a dog is never going to understand the  internal combustion engine.
I was once  fancied myself a guru, other people even fancied me a guru!   Now I am meek and humble...
and tumble.

a dog might not understand the internal combustion engine but thats why she is very good at being in the present. she is just being. a state animals find, through their relative simplicity, easy, while humans earnestly limp along somewhere in the distance behind.

You differentiate animals from humans by their relative complexity/simplicity.  What do you think caused humans to start losing their innate animal ability to  be present, to just be?  When did it happen?

it happened with the advent of self awareness and was probably evident as soon as humans became humans...

Aren't there other animals with self-awareness besides da oowoman and da ooman?

interesting point, and more interesting, how does it effect them...maybe they havent got the levels that we do and which can make things uncomfortable for us?

Magpies have been shown to possess self-awareness, possibly connected with their covert collections of shiny loot....

Some models of therapeutic bodywork use the model of the "splinting reflex" to explain human's emotional/perceptual limitations and difficulty with recovering from past hurts.  When a bone breaks, the muscles automatically contract around the fracture to form a protective splint, to minimise further injury. This can also be our response to non-physical traumas and we don't appear to know how to let go again, when the reflex is no longer needed.

When an animal experiences trauma it feels it, it trembles and shakes and the trauma dissipates. Humans, according to this model, don't do this.  The model doesn't explain why we developed this quirk, though... Civilisation?  Personally, I tremble quite easily nowadays!

i think that with awareness comes the ability to make things voluntary (rather than involuntary).  for example, most of the systems within the body are involuntary (digestion, circulation etc). but breathing is both voluntary and involuntary, we have some control over it and also it can do it without our conscious help. 

i think our awareness picks up on the involuntary protective mechanisms you talk about and starts mimicing them, well after their natrual sell by date.

is it nice, self awareness?

I'm not sure - I think the splinting reflex model suggests that it is through awareness that the stupid body (autonomic nervous system?) can be redirected (reminded).
Self-dissolving self-awareness is the best!

~ ~ ~

Anyway pondering and back to your words on absolute truth, I remembered radical feminist theologian Mary Daly, (dead at 81) who redefined god as a verb.

as a verb..? 'to god, i god, you god, they god'... how does that work please :)

You've got it there pretty well :). Similarly, if you had a cold, you might say "I'm colding" rather than "I've got a cold", thus expressing the truth that a cold is an interactive process rather than an static object.

i like plays on different things...experimenting... is she bringing god into the individual and not having it as an entity outside?

God cannot be brought into the individual because "God" is a verb i.e. an action or a process, perhaps in the same the same way that life cannot be put into an organism - it simply arises out the organism's own organisation. 

I didn’t know she was dead, just last year.  I’ve often wondered how she was faring; did she have enough money to feed herself?

well i doubt whe died of starvation ;) hee hee 

Here works included: "Amazon Grace: Re-Calling the Courage to Sin Big."
It's not easy being an radical old feminist theologian in Born-Again America...

Perhaps you could say something about transcendence.
this makes me laugh...mmm,,, transcendence***not sure...
what would you like to say about it? :)

Ha! Well, I asked because you included a definition of the absolute as "the concept of unconditional reality which transcends limited, unconditional reality." 

I wondered what your vision of before and after transcendence is, and the relationship between the two.

When you have found absolute truth what will it be like? for you?

it will be like long green grass and open windows :) 

Sounds lovely.  Also, reminds me of the ancient Greeks' Elysian Fields, the final resting place for the souls of the heroic and virtuous... warm caressing meadow grass.
As we were contemplating  absolute truth, my inner  eyes were already pointing heavenwards, towards the blinding bright light of enlightenment, so the moon was suggesting herself to me on your stick as absolute truth on a stick! The expression initially brought to mind the pop star  Prince (who wrote this song about losing love 
Madonna (or Kylie?) once  referred to him as Sex on a Stick. So I guess that was influencing my perception of your moon.
on my wall for a long time, in which a figure attempts to reach the moon with the aid of a very long ladder.  I can't remember whose aspirational zeal it referenced, mine or my partner's, probably both, but I remember that her untamed, uncompromising and passionate desire for the moon wrought terrible destruction on us both! Blake did his engraving at the height of the French revolutionary terror.

like your style n :)

Thanks.  I like yours too. 

1 comment:

  1. here is a lovely poem that sister chris wrote in response to neils 'Reaching the moon by ladder'

    – Jacob’s ladder

    The angels went up and down freely.

    There was no gap – no block - between Heaven and Earth.

    The angels were as much at home here as they were in Heaven.

    But could they be seen?

    Well, only by Jacob!

    So are they walking round us now … spreading a little goodness … a little light?

    The kind act we see – the little smile – the bright spark in an otherwise dismal day …

    Is that an angel climbing down Jacob’s ladder?

    Sister Chris