Harvest of Gems - Two

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We're living in strange times. The world is choked with debt. Vertical structures are collapsing and flatter horizontal structures are taking over. Everything's getting more abstract and faster. We're in this INSTANT EVERYTHING age. I think it's crazy. Instant communication, instant decision-making, instant production and consumption in a time when purchasing power is dwindling at the consumption end of the pipe-line. Where are we headed? Fuck if I know. I mean we could have this jobless boom and no way to redistribute the wealth. The people who run the show are aware of all this, but think they can talk their way out of it. It's pretty funny. What did the people on Star Trek do about this problem? My aunt lives with this guy who barely makes a living. He keeps talking about a transfer tax. This guy feels the government should abolish all taxes except the one on bank deposits. He feels it would be enough to wipe out the government's debt. Who the hell knows.

I mean what to do in the cyber-age? How much of it is hype and how much of it is real? Each generation is having a more intense SHARED EXPERIENCE through the media. Everybody's seems to be watching Melrose Place. What will happen when this shared experience accelerates? Technology seemed like a short-cut, at first. But the global consciousness now emerging could have actually been achieved by cavemen with smudge-sticks. Mind-tech could be the real short-cut. When will we reach the Omega Point? When will enough mind power stop a Bosnia?

I went to this hot spring resort and got a job for ten days. I discovered that Melrose Place had on average, twenty-one basic scenes, four complex love triangles, and the shock of death. Also I found out that the closer the shot, the more emotion in a scene. Most scenes lifted off from a long shot. Long shots were cool emotionally. Most scenes stayed within a middle range. If the climax was hot enough then a zoom into a long shot didn't matter. Also a hot scene could turn into a cool one if the images were just static enough. The tempo of shots was also critical. It's amazing how the producers stick to one tried and true formula. It's boring and predictable.

Now, take a genius like Godard. He takes the predictable Melrose Place code to unheard of lengths with extreme long and close shots. I mean this guy is really into multiplex tone poems. These poems teach, inspire, push, and provoke the viewer into the heart of the experience itself. Godard also warns the viewer that the tone poem itself is an illusion. Melrose Place is simply canned melodrama. It's a nice emotional drug. It also rakes in the bucks. How am I ever going to make it in Hollywood?

Apple and I decided to tape ourselves talking. I asked questions and Apple did most of the talking. " Oh, why are you taping me? " Apple complained. " Language just isn't specific enough to describe the beyond mind state. This recording can't possibly duplicate the full experience of me talking to you. " I ignored Apple and kept asking him questions while gazing at Apple's living room. It was filled with all sorts of digital gadgets. Apple's house resembled a silicon wafer. There were mazes, doors, and rules. I mean all kinds of little notes were pasted everywhere. They reminded Apple to do certain things and also warned people not to touch this or that. Apple lived with restrictions and was often sick. His pet poodle was the only thing that caused chaos inside his universe. Apple needed a disciplined life. He was a cyber- punk who controlled corporate bulletin boards for a living. Apple was into communicating through e-mail because he had a hard time communicating with people personally. I guess you could say Apple was into networking.

" Networking is a universal human activity, " Apple said abruptly. " Cavemen and yogis did it mind to mind. We do it with telephones, TV, and computers. " Apple was warming up. " What's important is COMMUNICATING A MESSAGE and then believing it. " Apple looked to see if I was listening. " collective networks resemble a local brain. CNN was now wiring the planet into a global brain. "

I smiled. " You mean CNN is our CNS? " I intelligently reported. "Yeah, something like that. " retorted Apple. " A lot gets filtered out, but also more people get to have a shared experience. " Apple paused. " It's like the cells in our body and the humans on the planet. Both have access to holographic vision while tuned into their local functions. Our global civilization still hasn't caught up with this awareness. "

Apple paused again. I suddenly started thinking about my dad, but couldn't follow the thought as apple interrupted. In some individuals, their cells have achieved this holographic kind of awareness and their cells believe it, " muttered Apple darkly. " When a cancer hits, these cells can unite and kill it. There can be no room for doubt in this business. " Apple paused again and looked at his watch. He then continued. " On day with a mere shift in thought, the global brain will snuff out a Bosnia. " The door burst open and Apple's poodle attacked our communion. He snarled and chewed at an old rubber ball.

My new friend loved cross-word puzzles and was this untiring Libertarian. In a weird way he was a Buddhist. I mean he saw the info age as a world of accelerated impermanence. " You see, Michael, everyone must now be an entrepreneur. All bureaucracies are dying. It's called right-sizing, my friend. HAH! The government is the enemy! But don't you worry now, the market determines all. The weak die and the agile then get to live. " The engineer's face was lost in a cloud of cigarette smoke. I could barely make out his sinister beard and scary glasses.

" We're in the knowledge age, that means information has added value if processed correctly. There will be a lot of casualties and most people will fail in this world. But, we cannot rely on the government. It's just this bloated monster that provides crappy services. " The engineer was now on a roll. " All politicians are liars. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are all sucking off us. I believe in term limits, don't you? " I was starting to choke on the cigarette smoke. Large clouds of a nicotine atmosphere quickly tapered up the ceiling and out the window.

" Most people will fail to develop the entrepreneurial skills for the world of tomorrow. Everything's gonna be real fast and customized. Everything's gonna be super efficient. " The engineer took a slow, long drag from his cigarette. " All alignments are temporary. The temping of America has arrived. Only a fortunate few will benefit. HAH! " I felt numb. I began to realize that the information jungle was taking us over and we were simply becoming it. I looked at the engineer's head and saw a screen clotted up with thousands of dead bugs packed into a silent cake and saw an image of an asymptote fluxing towards infinity. Where could the mind rest from all this? It was a disturbing question.

When I was organizing my things in my dad's garage, I stumbled onto this book with shots of earth taken by some nameless astronaut. I was HOOKED. Earth looked beautiful. I mean what if we all saw these shots every night on TV? Wouldn't we care about each other more? I got this great idea for a TV show. The earth from space would be both a prelude and coda to each weekly episode. I got really stoked.

What a mandala, man. I mean the show would revolve around two lovers who understood computers and meditation, One would be a boomer and the other a generation Xer. Together, they would navigate the treacherous rapids of early Third Wave America. No! Early Third Wave planet earth! Yeah, we needed a bigger vision nowadays. I mean these lovers would really be secret angels sent to earth to help out a little. The idea really stoked me.

So much stuff could be explored on so many levels! It was a multiplex thing. It really was. I mean we had both a microscope and a macroscope now. We could see atoms and stars. We could also travel through the mind-stream into the mind ocean with the heavies. That was spiritual protection! All this techy stuff just wasn't enough. It really wasn't. We needed to explore all kinds of love. Our hearts were that important.

I mean there was the love of desire with all its confusions and then there was the unconditional love of pure spirit which was just it . It really was selfless and just radiated everywhere. Between these two loves you had a whole range of loves. I wanted to explore this. I mean it interested me. Don't you think this would be a cool TV series? I KNEW it was.

My monk friend in Arizona told me to go see this young Lama in Pasadena, if things didn't work out with his teacher in San Francisco. I drove over and liked the young guy almost immediately. I mean he was the nephew of a very big Tibetan heavy. I could really appreciate this. We talked for eight hours and I thought this young Lama was pretty hip. I mean he felt like my brother. The link was good. The Lama spoke good English, almost with a tone of affectionate disdain for America and its temper tantrums. I mean you could talk to this guy and just enjoy it. The young Lama was interested in quantum mechanics and the cybermania plaguing the land. He even knew Jim. " Oh, he's just mixing shit up and confusing himself, " Lama giggled. " Why don't you come to India? " Lama invited. " We can do ngondro there. You know all those prostrations. " I was tempted. Now my trip had more scope. I could visit the little fluffy red-head in Europe, see dad's grave in Israel, and do some ngondro in India. I even figured I could write a screenplay in Nepal, maybe.
It was a good way to get a handle on all the sweetly wailing demons inside of me. The young Lama said the multi-media thing was OK. I said goodbye and just floated through the theatres and restaurants of Orange county. I floated through its unknown malls and towns, scribbling down notes for my TV show. My new pilot was improving considerably with age. I was engaging my characters now on multiple levels. I even thought of a cool device to expose past karma. My divine couple would find clues to their past lives in a hidden photo album during crucial moments of anticipated revelation. This stuff kept me pretty busy.

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