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Inspiration, Muses, samsara, salt, sulphur, alchemy: writing from the nebulous soul

excerpted from IN AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Jack Haas



               I was alone in the subconscious and conscious alike, listening to a voice I alone could hear, following a star I alone could see, and chomping on a bit I alone could bite into.

                It was a path which I chose without knowing what was coming, which was impossible. I only came to a fork in the road, made my decision, and never looked back. There was no point in this. I had to keep my eyes straight ahead, my ears cocked, alert and prepared for anything which might come at me. But I was never alert nor prepared when something did come, and usually I was knocked flat on my back and held down to the ground and gnawed upon by the hyenas of the mind until they had had their fill and let me back up to lick my wounds and debrief myself on the terrible lesson.

                Oh there were inwardly magical times as well. Often there was nothing more delightful, in fact, than sitting down in the afternoon, having finished typing into the computer the notes I had taken the night before- one of the only disciplined acts I maintained in my runaway life, but one which I took seriously, and rarely made excuses to avoid- and after eating lunch and having put what few tasks I allowed to invade my researches in order, Id uncork a bottle of homemade hooch, light up a cigarette, and sit back, relaxing into the aimless mental space which would be the open window allowing the inspirations to blow in, lift me out of myself, out of context, and out of the ideas which bind and constrict the work, and then do my best to pen a sentence or two describing what I could hardly describe, and then Id fall back into the space and the oblivion, openly awaiting another dispensation.

I was a willing and excitable, cheap-as-they-come harlot; a regular whore of the Muses during those years. The little morsels theyd fling down to me sent me fluttering about inside and hankering for more of those the crystalline moments in which everything would stop without ceasing, and the non-movement which exists prior to being would flood in and couple with the ebbing movement of life, as the substance and shadow converged in an orgiastic, contiguous array.

                Were a sentence to emerge out of the clatter and clang, and end up on the page in some agreeable, unique, or odd manner, Id have a fit of satisfaction and exuberance, and then Id ease back into the space, and wait for the next installment.

                There I would sit. Alone. Silent. Waiting. Willing. And in that space I would also occasionally come upon the place where words could neither come nor go- the place where all ideas ended, where the mind gave up, and where the full complexity, marvelous absurdity, and stupefying profundity of existence would descend upon and consume me, and I would be held there, gripped in the claws of mystery again, a thankful and delighted victim, never wanting to be released and given back to the vulgar and profane world of concept and false light.

Ah, how the paradoxes of life exist to deny and also fulfill us, as I found while hovering in suspended animation all those years. What I found is that the self behind the self cares little to be assuaged, or entertained, or encumbered by the exigencies of participating in the manifest; I found that there is a livingness which is made obvious only when the subject falls ambivalently away from the object, and behind that screen of boredom the witness, which refuses to be enticed into, or amused by, the passing artifice, becomes obvious. And so the ego must abate and lay down like a beast of burden confined to its squalid little pen, and the self behind the self must become the focus of consciousness if the wheel of samsara is to be ground to an effortless halt.

                In a way one must be tired of life in order to find Life, for the never ending round of creation and destruction is only stopped when the vehicle runs out of gas. And so the stimulations and distractions of modern life only come to create a riot of digression in which the captivated soul flits about like a pinball, hither and thither, and never comes to settle in the ambitionless lethargy of the unbothered and purposeless self behind the self.

                It is only through this lack of outreaching, lack of attainment, and lack of care that the undamned flood of gyrating, antecedent energy pours into the awaiting absence of the impoverished, open being; it is through this living, womb-like abyss that the universe spins itself out, funneling into its own spacious accelerator, mixing, swirling, fermenting, and exploding out of both ends of the antipodal cylinder. And so it is through the positionless, directionless, unaspiring host that the influx and outflux intermingle and give balance to each other, while the acolyte of apathy hangs precariously between the two worlds, hovering at the estuary of being and non-being, where only those who have evolved in both the salt and the sulphur can survive. Here the creator and created dissolve from their differences, pattern is shifted, form mutates, and the infinite essence betrays its hidden laughing volition. And this is the shift which turns the soul toward home.

When you have learned to endure this reality, that is when you fall in step- you stop walking in the maelstrom of the minds apologies, you spit for the last time on the ground, halt short in your tracks, forget the reason you were moving, forget where you were headed, why you were going there, where you are now, and who you are. The earthquake of your life ends softly, and you realize nothing of what you were is you. The mad movements are merely over, the interference has cleared, and the blessed congress of perverse redemption forces you out of the storm. The clouds blow away. The birds begin to sing again. The children come out to play. But nothing really changes. The clarity of your absence negates nothing. You still sleep, and wash, and hope, and wait like before. And yet ...and yet, something has changed. Everything has changed. And that war is over.



excerpted from:


author Jack Haas, west coast British Columbia wilderness, ocean forest island



IN AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey

by Jack Haas



















Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas




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