Immutable Parables : Manifesto
Immutable Parables is a bold experimental piece of writing that
breaks many literary rules in order to convey a broad new vision
for a brave new kind of world. It is basically a prayer text
with shifting sonics. To get the best effect out of this work
it needs to be read aloud like a shape-shifting chant. Random
associations generate new meanings with every new reading. This
technique begins its ascent in Black and White Stress which
is basically an accelerated trip through Harvest of Gems in
a random allegorical verse, but it is in Challenge and Glory
where this new technique lifts off and explodes. Indeed, BWS
could be said to be a preliminary puja and prayer for CAG. which
is the main spiritual text.
The final section of BWS describes a sort of ant-climax to Harvest
of Gems. If any-thing The Big Encounter with Armageddon
is a pre-signal of Harvest of Gems vol. 4 but this dark
section is a quick chant in a very small space. This short passage
is the bridge to CAG and its thick allegorical dimension which
begins to kick in with the Hiroshima section . The allegorical
technique keeps certain secret practices safe for only a few
selected initiates who will recognize the deeper meanings here.
But this fact does not take away any of the power of the work
for regular readers. With the Hiroshima section the reader begins
to hear echoes of the Auschwitz section in BWS. This echo effect
is a common characteristic of Forty Immutable Parables
and it evolves slowly and powerfully as the work progresses.
The play between islands in Japan and the lost civilization
of Atlantis is another leif motif which becomes more and more
developed in subsequent chapters.
In one of the authors favorite chapters. The multiplex
chant technique breaks into a universal fugue where the rythms
of all cultures and religions are juxta-posed and fused in new
ways to create a series of new acoustical mutations as well
as a series of new conceptual flashes. This chapter must be
re-read many times by the reader in order to fully appreciate
its imaginary power and beauty. The cinematic pace of
the work becomes frenetic in the Kathmandu chapter and the pace
never lets up through-out all the rest of the stories.
Indeed, the reader and the translators imagination becomes
critical as the random associations constantly generate new
kinds of meaning with every new reading. Many interpretations
must be personal so the translator/reader has to find his or
her own meaning in this chaotic passage and then use it as a
foundation stone for the coming and necessary translation ritual.
The Rimed motif is a crucial one in CAG and it is the Kathmandu
section that introduces it with a big bang. Bhutan is a short
detour from this concept, but the idea of journeys through subtle
worlds continues in all sections of CAG. As far as this author
is aware the technique of Forty Immutable Parables is a radical
departure from most other Western writers. There are echoes
of Joyce and Dante for sure, but the style and rhythm of Forty
is unique in its own right. The work was written in multiple
drafts on and off between the summer of 1998 and the winter
of 2000. The use of photographs is also important to this work
and this is why the paperback has over 200 pictures. The verbals
and visuals play off each other in a cinematic way. Visual and
verbal poetry interact to create an experience larger than either
medium. During the first year of Forty Immutable Parables
inception the authors Cambodian teacher Bhante Dharmawara
was a major spiritual sponsor of the work even as he lay slowly
dying. Indeed, Bhante was a Rimed master of the highest order.
Not only were Ghandi and Nehru, Bhantes patrons in India.
But so was the Dalai Lama and many other spiritual masters.
Bhante was even the role model for Yoda in the Star Wars movie
trilogy when George Lucas came to call for a little inspiration.
The Southern Bengal section is a heavy and bloody poetical passage.
It is a wrathful singing kind of praise for the Divine Mother
as the author travels from Calcutta to the big ugly psychic
reactor at Tarapith. Indeed Tarapith is a most critical kind
of psychic transition. It is right here that the ancient past
converges with some of the biggest tragedies of the Twentieth
Century. There is a huge echo here with the previous Kathmandu
chapter as ancient and modern holocausts feed off each other.
Hiroshima and Auschwitz take on new allegorical meanings here
and ancient high-tech disasters continue to have a ripple effect
in our not so evolved times.
The center of CAG is the wondrous state of Orissa just south
of Bengal. Even though it is one of Indias poorest areas.
It is the location of some of Indias biggest and relatively
unknown ruins. Ruins still partially buried of unknown and lost
psychic civilizations. A paradise for archeologists even though
few work there. It is in Orissa where the main journey of CAG
begins. Konrak leads to the massive Tantric Buddhist complex
of Pupashgiri spanning hundreds of square kilometers mostly
still buried under the ground. Pupashgiri or Pusi-po-kili in
Chinese was a name coined for this vast monastic complex when
first seen by the famous Chinese pilgrim Hsuan Tsang. Orissa
was called Wucha in Chinese. Pupashgiri covered the monastic
triplex that included Ratnagiri, Laitagiri, and Udiagiri. All
three ruins were visited by the author. At Ratnagiri the author
saw unknown statues being dug-up by archeologists that had not
seen the light of day for over a thousand years. Excavations
were started in the early 1960s, but were resumed only
in 1998 by the Indian government due to lack of funding. The
author was the first Westerner ever to do puja at Pupashgiri
and yes,. Pupashgiri was created by King Indrabuti, Padmasambhavas
one could say is the big epicenter of 40 Immutable Parables.
The psychic center of the planet and home to one of the greatest
concentrations of temples and schools for occult learning ever
known. RJ or Ranipur-Jharial was a major multi-denominational
religious zone. A Rimed paradise with a heavy extra-terrestrial
dimension. It was here that Padmasambhava received his major
initiations from the dakinis before going to Tibet. Many Tibetans
are absolutely ignorant of this. The nearby city of Sambalpur
is where the Kalachakra teachings were first practiced. The
Kalachakra mandala is on the cover of Harvest of Gems. By now
CAG is going deeper and deeper into this peculiar mandala. The
past, present, and future begin now to inter-mingle in both
gross and subtle ways. Indeed, this is the heart of the authors
By the time the reader gets to Tamil Nadhu in Southern India
a small echo of the Rimed surge from the Kathmandu and RJ chapters
can still be felt. Also quick sketches of Indian mythology begin.
In the Mamallapuram section the death of a saint is decribed.
The pre-signal of Bhantes death can be heard. In the Tiruvannamali
section this is the closest the author gets to talking about
the non-dual in verse form. Also the ambiguous nature concerning
the struggle between good and evil and how things quickly become
grey in this complex mythological landscape. It is also in the
Tamil Nadhu sections that the Ilythia the new yum of the CAG
comes onto her own after first appearing in the Konrak chapter.
For CAG like BWS is a Yabyum journey. Only now the consorts
have switched identities.
By the time the reader approaches Maharashtra the mirroring
and comparing of Eastern and Western culture begins to be more
orderly and sophisticated compared to the earlier Kathmandu
and Orissa chapters. The newly fused elements are now cooling
into a more orderly mold after being initially thrown in together
in a rather chaotic fashion. The preliminary shock of creation
is now giving way to new kinds of visionary consolidation. The
clay is now under better control by the sculptor. Ellora is
a tour deforce of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism in a single
cave complex. Its a historical movie about Indias
complex religious history. The constant symbolic shape-shifting
gets a huge hearing in the Maharashtra sections as the author
shows how religions constantly recycle old symbols in new ways.
The symbolic mutations are clearly reflected in the various
art forms that are explored in CAG.
The symbolic drama begs a question. Where on the hierarchy of
awareness does a civilization want to exist. The same question
is posed for the individual. The West has chosen a lower-chakra
path of being, but the digital revolution is forcing the West
to push more into the subtle structures of the mind and the
doorway to more subtle perceptions cannot be too far off. Digital
networking is more abstract and fast than mechanical forms of
interaction. Psychic networking is not far behind. In Ajanta
symbolic networking is explored even further. The authors
observations about the similarities between Christian and Buddhist
iconography opens the door to a universal theory of religious
evolution. The many angles that the human mind takes as it tries
to interpret its place in the hierarchy of awareness becomes
a common universal experience.
In one of the authors favorite chapters. The state of
todays evolving and unstable planetary civilization is
critisized through a kind of 90s Beat rap and rant. Socio-economic,
technological and political contradictions become a kind of
background echo that disappears briefly in the Elephanta and
Kanhari passages. These islands of solitude in the rant/rap
landscape of Bombay are quick and quiet opportunities for the
reader to explore early Buddhist history, Indian music, and
speculations about the ancient psychic past. The leif motif
of human civilization returning to a more subtler past and to
a more powerful kinds of mind development continues to get exposure
with every new chapter of CAG.
The second Calcutta section in CAG produces more powerful echoes.
It provides the theoretical support for the visionary RJ chapter.
If Bombay is political and economic then RJ is psychic and religious.
Calcutta becomes the systems libretto where theories of poetry
are experienced and the major tenants of the religious path
are explored. East and West are compared yet again. Calcutta
becomes the antidote to Bombay and the theory behind the RJ
experince. The systems view of life is expounded and then dismissed
as one begins to finally climb the hierarchy of awareness. East
and West are seen as converging even as both cultures approach
a potentially fatal fork in the road. The author then leaves
India just a few days before India alters our global history
with the detonation of five a-bombs. The post-Cold War era ends
with gloomy uncertainy as Asia and Russia collapse financially
and a new nuclear arms race begins in South Asia. The authors
very short stay in Japan is the scene of collapse in Bhutan
aswell as all kinds of karmic currents converge to push the
author back to America. Where a strange short coda ends the
long CAG journey. The author is forced into cultural isolation
with his dying teacher, Bhante Dharmawara. A quick series of
reflections and meditations end with war in Kosovo and Bhantes
death at the ripe old age of one-hundred and eleven.
In the final and unusual coda or scherzo of CAG. The American
Century is examined under the pretext of a marathon three day
tour of famous American writers homes in Northern California.
During this confused tour last year the author struggled to
find his own unique place in American letters and finally realized
that he has no place in it. His birth in California was a mere
accident. The American empires short life-span cannot
even compete with the Roman and Mauryan eras. Yet the cult of
the individual remains Americas lasting legacy to the
new evolving digital planetary culture. Now the search for global
unity becomes even more urgent as diversity both explodes and
becomes more shallow.
The author then finally questions the very foundations of the
Western scientific worldview as he projects himself into the
future by almost six thousand years. This time leap becomes
an exercise in individual imagination and with the newly opened
space it creates, the author simply declares to the world a
very satisfying ignorance about all that we seem to know. This
ignorance could well herald a new Copernican revolution about
not only our place in the universe now, but in the future as
the past returns to give us some guidance to our current plight
with its promises of new kinds of homesteading in a wired and
psychic planet. We are neither alone in the universe and we
do have a much richer past than any of us can possibly imagine.
All we need to do now is be open.
If Harvest of Gems is some kind of anti-On the Road. Forty Immutable
Parables could may well be an anti-City of God. It could be
like Childhoods End or possibly Solaris but with a spiritual
twist.. There is always constant level-hopping and weird kinds
of associations and meanings in this endless adventure. A new
planetary identity seems to be the prize here even as the author
creates his own private mythology out of sheer necessity. BWS
introduces Stress Flip, vortices, yabyums, pujas, and chods
also the Third Wave and the Kagyu war during the post-Cold war
era. CAG then goes on with Rimed fugues, and advanced mind science,
the global brain, the crisis of Marxism and Capitalism, and
also religious history and comparative religion, also Atlantis,
UFOs, termas, yabyums, and the idea of a planetary Third Eye.
The Post-Cold War era also ends.
This unlikely drama is surfed with slow and fast twitches of
the English language. Semi-colons and commas are stretched to
the limit as the mandala keeps expanding. Portals to subtle
worlds are opened. Accelerated cultural recycling and shape-shifting
makes it easier for the author to be simply a world citizen.
Evolution is moving faster and people need multi-plex thinking
to deal with it even as they stumble back to their lost cultural
roots in a dicey attempt to preserve some kind of identity.
Black and White Stress then abounds on all levels and just surfing
it becomes a 24 hour occupation for everybody. A mega-fusion
is occurring on the planet. Cultural mutations are popping up
at an even faster pace now even as our cultural diversity is
pounded and kneaded until hopefully a deeper and emptier echo
We are now at the final end of our translation journey. Shamanic
collage has led to multi-plex chant. Slow and fast rythms are
stretched and then broken constantly. Science Fiction is fusing
with horror and magical fantasy. Prague has lead to RJ. Will
a new Toledo lead to a new Cadiz? The old Cold War collapsed
as the Third Wave took off and time and space are being destroyed
at the very speed of mind now. The new ease and speed of our
psychic connectivity is accelerating our collective karma. Even
as the mystics are struggling with the ugly global shopping
center. There are new games, there is frightening exile, and
there is total war. This is the perfect scene for a new kind
of Pablo Picasso or a John Cage to find his necessary spiritual
redemption. Also for a new kind of Emily Dickenson or a Sylvia
Plath. So let the miraculous journey begin.