Harvest of Gems - Two

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It was another drowsy Marin morning with mists gently hugging the hills around the white mansion. Swami as always started rapping about mind and matter-and about the light beyond. Actually according to Swami, the majority of most realized souls were faders. Flying and hissing into the white light they groaned. Then they were gone. Only a few hung back to help others. That was the spiritual path in a nutshell.

In the west, science concentrated on matter. The east started with the observer. Mind was it. Period. Matter was just a product of the mind. Light of course was the source of mind. This light also was conscious. It was all-loving. The great saints sharpened their concentration until the light automatically switched on inside them.

Swami continued: " the mind likes to tidy things up into a big picture. But there will always be cracks that can't be fixed. There's no end to this. Do you see? " I did. And I took off to the Burmese place to celebrate my birthday. I was going to be thirty-four. It was just life in the bliss zone.

The monkster would come and ask questions about our practice. Jim went into this overdrive. " well, you see it's like this. In our Tibetan gig, we have to take more vows, but we also got more tools. All offerings are clearing activities. Thus all our activity is for clearing. You gotta have sufficient guru devotion, man. They are the light. Clearing is possible only because of them. " Jim was warming up. " You gotta have no attachment for the results, man. Only then will they be full proof. The monksters eyes were starting to glaze over. Jim just stared at him and rammed him further.

" You guys are from the no-self school, man. That's your pinnacle. Get rid of the self, but what about others, man? How about non-other? " Jim was moving in for the kill. " Yeah, how about non-all? " The street monk was desperately trying to find some way out of the room. Jim was now swirling and surging. " Yeah, non-other answers the self-school's difficult quandary. You see? Non-all can tackle all creation and dissipation. It's like fucking, Kali man. Her big womb and all creation. " I was furiously scribbling down notes on my pad.

The idea of a mandala was really important to Jim. You could say that a mandala was like a map of the mind and its connection with the light source. When you did puja that was the easiest thing to see. It was kind of on the surface. It was on the outer-rim of the mandala. Like a car tire on the road, its outer edge spun fasters and faster. You could touch, smell, and taste it.

As you started to travel inside the mandala all energies were more and more related to psychic activity. It was harder to see this. All accomplishment was compassion here. Transformation became compassion outside of the tire. But where the hub-cap just slowly pivoted now that was undiluted awareness. It was the basis of compassion itself. All levels weaved back and forth across the cruising tire.

The weave itself generated a pretty dense realization system. That's what we were doing in Jim's room. Our altar was becoming dense and denser. Photos and candles collided with incense sticks. Bowls of rice heaped up on plates of food now towered over the little Buddha figurines. Everything we did, every thought we had, and every word we uttered inter-weaved and fused into something much bigger than anything we could possibly imagine. All levels of the tire webbed into each other and were transformed simultaneously. It was pretty hairy to look into Jim's fertile imagination.

Jim drove his points hard. You had to PULL-BACK. The more you did. Then the more you saw. You just pulled back from SELF, then from all your MULTIPLE SELVES. Then finally just ALL SELVES. The release occurred on all levels SYMULTANEOUSLY. Bliss and suffering were thus really inter-connected. They were these bad-ass tools at your disposal. There really were no boundaries. That's how ALL was finally contained. Yeah, this was it.

Jim would say. " Yeah, man, let go of your identity and the tension that any position just generates. That's expansion, man. That's the bliss. Everybody feels it. Yeah, man. Just circulate the energy, dissipate karma. Pull back and see ALL is just you and ALL is ALL. There ain't no turning back after that.

Jim kept talking about Rentongers, Shentongers, and Sahajists. He felt Rentongers were very self-absorbed with themselves. Only looking at their own minds while ignoring others. Shentongers did a little better. At least they were concerned with other minds, but it was the Sahajists that caught Jim's fancy. These guys had real time for whatever, whenever. All was neither empty nor full, but both and also beyond to these big guys.

Jim went into a powerful trance with my help and described the different worlds of these Buddhas. In the Rentong lands the buddhas were brilliant and translucent. They were all lined up in dense herds. Shentong Buddhas were dense too, but lived in isolated clusters. While the Sahajists were very dense loners who could bring really astonishing energies to bear.

For fun, Jim went into the Bengali saint's world. He saw Buddahs all lined up in a row like tin soldiers. These Buddhas wre acting as protectors. Kali was in a grotto shining out to the Bengali guy. Behind the grotto was frightening darkness and Jim ran into trouble. He panicked and shifted into reverse gear. Jim described what he saw as not even emptiness, but just this pure resonance. It wasn't even luminance. I wasn't quite sure what to make of all this. Was Jim's imagination just running wild? Were we really on the Mayflower to the purelands? I was starting to feel like Jim's baby-sitter.

The more I reflected on Jim's descriptions of the Buddah worlds, the more it all sounded kind of like stellar evolution. Things got denser and denser. You had the dust clouds out in space, then you had stars forming and turning into these dwarfs, and finally you had a big black-hole form in all its inky and dark magnificence. The Rentongers, Shentongers, and Sahajists, which Jim started to call Kuntongers in his final hours were all kind of landmarks on the way from the dirtylands to the purelands. It was some hairy vision. But was it really real?

SWOON! Wild Jim was back! And with a fury. I met him near the chemical factory and was amazed by his appearance. Jim now had a beard and his long hair was no longer in a knot. Jim wore his usual flowing robes and was now wearing a pair of NIKE tennis shoes. " Hey, Scoobie, Jim bellowed, forgetting the recent past conflicts. " Whatcha been up to, Dude? " Ah, just farting around, " I replied. " Let's go see KALI! " I teased. " YEAHHHHH! " Jim yelled.

The roaring fire for the puja was in full blast. Everyone was racking their brains in anticipation for the big karmic roast. The Jewish Swami flew out of his room and started feverishly throwing rice into the fire. Rapid-fire mantras streamed out of his lips. The crowd was in a frenzy of ecstasy. Into Kali's teeth all our sins went and out came a subtle sweetness smelling of perfume and honey. The crowd was sacrificing the mad dream, grabbing, taking, giving, sighing, dying. All of this had to go. Kali demanded no less.

The madness continued into the night as Jim and I crashed at the studio and watched home-made videos while eating up everything in sight. Having offered ourselves to Mahakali, we took off to see Jim's old teacher, the Lama who had grabbed his consort. A Mahakala puja was in full progress at the Lama's place. The atmosphere was tense and the sangha, the Lama's group was somewhat unfriendly.

Jim's EX just ignored him. Another lover of Jim's sat with him during the whole puja and I could feel a sense of longing and disappointment in her. The kind a woman has for a man she loves, but knowing full well that he will never make a commitment. This was Jim in a nutshell. Commitment was an alien concept to him even when he demanded it, furiously from others. Jim had been just thrown out of high-school, out of the U.S. army, out of the Lama's sangha, and just recently out of his dead mother's home. Jim was alone and homeless. This was now his mandala.

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All contents of this site copyright by Michael Arthur Finberg