Nothing New Under the Sun
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
21Trip End Mar 25, 2009
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It's fun here. People watching is my most favored activity, playing guitar and listening to others play, but the most fun is piss-taking. That I mean in the English sense of the word, and not the American sense. Making fun of the newbies and the fools is great fun and brings belly laughs to all. Except the fools, that is. . .
To sum it all up, I have written a new song about this phenomenon, which mostly is a Goan phenomenon. It's called: "I'm a Golden God in Goa. . "
Well, I've got my Gonesh T-shirt
and my ashram fisherman pants,
and I'm walking like a Yogi
blistered feet on burning sand
But every year it's all the same
my gold turns back to brass
I'm a Golden God in Goa
but at home I'm just an ass.
Got my dreadlocks woven in
at a shop just up the street
And I say a hearty "Namaste!"
to everybody that I meet.
But in two weeks time I board that plane
cut my hair, get back to work
I'm a Golden God in Goa
but at home I'm just a jerk.
I've got a broken old sitar
I don't even play it well,
but they're all too stoned to know the diff
Although it sounds like hell.
But when my holiday is over
I'm no longer Ravi Shankar
I'm a Golden God in Goa
but at home I'm just a wanker.
This afternoon's task is to put this song to melody and chords and start performing it around the beer tables on the beach tonight. I think it will be as big a hit in Arambol as my still-remembered "f**k it. . " (see first India blog for details).
There are a number of funny songs about India in the works, and at some time I will put them down in a recording, I didn't think I'd have three years to do it in and possibly more, but if it is ready next year, maybe I can be a Golden God in Goa as well. . .
Small world this is sometimes. From time to time we are reminded that we are all connected on some level, and that things happen that are too coincidental to be accidental. Case in point--last night I went to sit and eat at the Rice Bowl, glanced over at the next table, and a big tibetan smiled back at me. He looked somehow familiar, but a part of my mind said "No, that is impossible. . " Looking again, we both recognized each other. He was the owner of the coffee shop in Dharamsala where I would take my coffee for hours each morning. "So, it is you!" I proclaimed. . We proceeded to catch up on "old times," he having sold the shop to someone else, and my friend Lunbun, who worked for him and in slow times would sit with me and converse has gotten himself asylum as a tibetan refugee in Belgium, where he is apparently quite happy. Good stuff there, I have often thought of these two men and hoped that they were doing well. Now, half a subcontinent away, I know that all manner of things are alright. Funny how these circles lead and intersect in the strangest of ways. Coincidence? Maybe just what I call "That Which We Cannot See. . "
It is only when one, instead of merely accepting existence of "that which we cannot see," instead tries to explain it in some terms that we puny humans can "understand," that all the stricture and structure of "religion" come into play. Being all part of one, none should ever prostrate themselves or worship some "deity," as we are all equal parts of all.
Religion is only a form of control, using the existence of "that which we cannot see" to build an artifice of hierarchy, and all hierarchy is false with respect to the unexplainable, or the un-nameable.
Some hierarchy is necessary, but only in the world of that which we CAN see. Teacher and student, for example, Parent and Child, and so on. Freedom from spiritual hierarchy is possibly the only true path to "enlightenment." Anger, sadness, happiness, etc. are all felt, as this is the nature of the human hairless monkey condition, but there is something which I like to call "joy" which encompasses all of these and more. Simple acceptance and existence brings contentment, not some rule-laden practice.
This is not to say that there is no value in meditation, yoga, martial arts, and whatever practice one may choose to try to get there. To each his own, and that is especially important to accept. One cannot change anyone else with words. Possibly with example, but each has his or her own Tao ('way' NOT 'path'), and to accept this in others is a natural outcome/percursor of acceptance of self. We are all inextricably connected, you see.
Also such practices as quiet meditation may teach one to silence the noise of the brain. The Mind screams like a banshee, while the heart speaks softly in a whisper. It is necessary to quiet the mind to hear the heart. Once achieved, one can walk the Tao, and become detached from the reaction of emotional stimulus. Not saying you do not feel, it is how you react to what you feel that matters most. A clouded decision is never a "good" (of course "good and bad" are just human judgements and do not matter), never a good decision.
What are the factors that color and cloud judgement/reaction to an event? Brain releases chemical, causes emotion. It is the weight and power one gives to the emotion that determines reaction. Anger is felt, but need it be expressed through physical violence? Not at all. Pain and fear can pass through the psyche just as water passes through a Goan fisherman's net. It is only when one lounges in the feeling that more adrenalin is created, escalating the reaction to unnecessary and many times inappropriate heights. One always chooses whether or not to suffer, whether one believes this or not.
So where do we get these filters that cloud our judgement? One answer is Nurture. The enviornment in which you are born and raised, all the things your parents and peers taught you, your own processing of this information all create pathways in the mind that make noise, drowning out the breathy whisper of the true heart.
Nurture is something that one has to get over before reaching Nature. Human nature is immutable, and yet manifests in different ways in different people. Not to say one needs throw away everything one has learned, that is what helps us to existin this, which we can see, but to recognize the emotional reactions and the motivations behind them is the first step to connecting to That Which We Cannot See. Take the power out of nurture, and the innocence rediscovered brings us closer to Nature.
It could be argued that "bad" people who do violence, rob, cheat, or hurt others (or themselves) intentionally in any way are extremely clouded by the noise of the mind and so far from the truth of the heart that they are no where near Nature. This perversion of what they know to be good and true is a pure product of an ill mind, one full of chatter and so noisy that peace is never known. Many people are in this condition in various ways, in fact we probably all are to a greater or lesser degree.
Anyway, I'm waxing philosophical again, so maybe it is time for another beer and a bit of visiting. That's what India does sometimes, gives you time to think.
Be who you are, and don't stop!