Forty Immutable Parables : Manifesto

Forty Immutable Parables : Manifesto

Forty 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 author’s 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 it’s imaginary power and beauty. The cinematic pace of the work becomes frenetic in the Kathmandu chapter and the pace never let’s up through-out all the rest of the stories. Indeed, the reader and the translator’s 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 Immutable Parables 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 author’s 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, Bhante’s 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 India’s poorest areas. It is the location of some of India’s 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 1960’s, 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, Padmasambhava’s famous step-father.

RJ, 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 author’s journey.

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 Bhante’s 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. It’s a historical movie about India’s 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 author’s 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 author’s favorite chapters. The state of today’s evolving and unstable planetary civilization is critisized through a kind of 90’s 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 author’s 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 Bhante’s 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 empire’s short life-span cannot even compete with the Roman and Mauryan eras. Yet the cult of the individual remains America’s 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 Childhood’s 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 is heard.

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.

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