A Child Sitting by the Ocean

As a child in El Salvador, I would stare at the ocean in this picture, vast and loud.

In El Espino, this almost infinite amount of water expanded from horizon to horizon, flooding the consciousness of the observer. As far as the eye can see, ocean all the way to the sides. Just imagine that vast ocean pulling at your consciousness, stretching your vision as much as it can be stretched.

I sat there just watching, trying to encompass such vastness with my eyes. It pulls on the mind. It pulls with that moving uniformity, always changing and always staying the same. Nothing to break that moving monotony.

Behind me, the jungle. Which is to say, a vast nothingness. Only a hint of something behind me, also watching this ocean. And as the ocean keeps trying to penetrate my consciousness, as it almost drowns me with its almost behemoth presence.

I try to get a little bit bigger than it, to a be able to hold it. But my vision can no longer stretch. That rumbling comes from in front of me at first, but very soon that tremor of sound is encompassing me from all sides until I don’t know what is pulling at me more: the sight or the sound. 

After a while there’s no difference. There is just the ocean. Vast. And the little me that was there is subsumed by that roaring waters coming at me through my eyes and ears. Now, every little thought that tried to come up and say something, whisper something, was drowned.

I had been irrevocably swallowed by that monster. Dissolved. Even the sun who was shining harsh, hot, unbelievably hot on me, no longer seems to have a presence. Even the heat itself had become just part of that roar, part of that rumble and rolling of consciousness.

The regular movement of that vibration has by now become every sensation outside of me, and inside.

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There is an Ocean…

There is an ocean I see with eyes of ancient memories, an ocean of a deep blue. The depth of the ocean feels exactly like the depth of my soul. The sound of the ocean comes hesitant at first, as if wanting to become present, real.

The gentle reverberations in the surface of the ocean are seen with the eyes and felt with the skin. It moves in soft rhythmic jumps. I sit at its shore feeling sand and pebbles under my feet, and every minuscule portion of sand appears to be complete unto itself; as if every particle of sand creates a unique sensation that travels through my body; as if I could get lost in every single sensation, and all of them are felt at once.

There is an ocean of deep blue. Its depth can be touched by the proximity of my hands. The closer I move my hands to my sightless eyes, the deeper I touch the profound stillness of this ocean. I sit as if waiting, but I don’t know what I wait for. I sit at the shores of this ocean. I hear the crashing of the waves, and each reverberation of the waves sounds as if it is my voice talking and moving and reverberating through the skin of my back.

I sit. For a moment, I do not know if I see the dark waters at the edge of time and creation or if, perhaps, I simply stand at the face of the abyss at the end of a life that I can no longer remember as being mine.

For a brief moment, the terrible thought begins to form that perhaps I do not know where I sit; that there is no ocean blue, no peaceful movement of waves; that perhaps all that is happening is the projection of my illusion of safety onto the immense, incomprehensible chaos––a non-existing nightmare that moves and reverberates, a darkness darker than black, a void, an emptiness that moves, an immensity such that the more I stare at it the more it looks towards me.

That look comes at me as a stream of sound, of words being thought by something flowing through me. I no longer know if these thoughts, these words, are flowing out of me or into me.

Raindrops on the Old Rooftop

I hear the empty spaces in between the words,
like empty spaces between cars of a moving train,
like the sound of rain that falls
on the rooftop of my grandmother’s house.
It falls.

I hear.
Drops of rain carry no meaning;
a drop no more important than any other drop.

I hear my thoughts.
They come and go.
River of movement, river of life.
I do not grab one to follow.
No importance to it all.

All concerns about this body,
of karmic debt, of life before,
are no more.

They grab nothing.
They move and carry nothing.
They appear and nothing contain.

I live, I go;
and when in between thoughts, I die.
And nothing stays.

Without the Swelling of the Heart, No Story Is Worth Telling

In the silence between word and word, between day and day… in the silence between dream and dream, between knowledge and understanding, between thoughts and emotions… in that silence that exists before thought and feeling become one… in that moment of silence before the pushing forth of meaning, the foundations for the making of the world flowers from the depth of the abyss.

It’s in that flowering that the tides of the waters of my heart flow unrestricted; seeking who knows what;moving where they’re being pulled.

Without the swelling of those waters, without the emanation of that light, no story is worth telling.

Click here to listen to this Telling of the Oceanic Tryptic.

My Sacred Prayer

One day this bubble of existence will burst into a million pieces, sending fire and light, and spread it all through creation.

Or maybe it will dissolve into the liquid nothingness of the solar waters that flow from that sunset that’s been waiting to come for all eternity.

It will then be so that every experience I ever had, every word I ever said, every pain I ever caused, and every hope I ever gave will turn to be just the vibrant resonance, just the booming ocean, just the happy dance, and dissolve in that ocean of experience and move amongst your shadows as meaningless signs and sights.

May I never live through that!
May the memory of me fade away in time.
May my soul not be important.
May my life not be object of remembrance below or above.
May I not be significant.

May my shadows be forgot and go their way, where the shadows go and the light of Her eyes shine brightly.

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The End of Thought

The endeavor of philosophy is to come to the end of thought, to be able to burst through the fogginess of mind into the silence–the nothingness. If you understand this, you would know that out of this silence no question comes. The question is the result of a confrontation with the silence, with death. The question can be the result of fear, the mind attempting to cover the silence with chatter, or it can be an attempt to become awake in the silence. And if one knows this difference, truly, one can perhaps come to a liberation from the trap of the mind.

The way most of us ask questions comes from the emptiness of not having an answer. The way the Philosophus asks questions comes from the answer. The way the uninitiated speaks comes from division. Yet, the question of the Philosophus comes from the unity of opposites. The answer is contained in the question as the speech in the silence.

It is there. At one point, if we manage to continue this Philosophical Inquiry, one will come to understand not only the end of thought and not only the use of language, one would also perhaps come to understand and know that the Philosophus is to utilize language as the mathematician utilizes numerical formulas–in that a mathematical problem contains its own solution. In that same manner a philosophical question contains its own answer.

To engage in a true philosophical question is to extract from it its own resolution, which means its own death. For in engaging with the question there is the death of the question. In that sense, philosophy becomes magick. Because inevitably we come to see ourselves as the most important question that this mind is posing. Out of this question, its solution emerges–solution in the mathematical sense and in the chemical sense.

This process puts false ego to the side and in the center something truer. It implies a more mature engagement of language. For the language of the Philosophus is not about validating oneself, about fears or identity. The game became wider. Now you’re dealing with the archetypal language of the human race.

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The Observer is the Observed

Is there something before this thought? The body and its evolutionary strategies exists before culture, but not before archetypal thought. Archetypes are the symbols the intelligence of the body uses to communicate with itself. Mind itself is built from these archetypes. Language is inherent to mind. There is no mind without a language. Philosophy is done with language. But Philosophy is not engaged to find a truth that can be defined with language. It is to pitch language against language. Yet inevitably we must ask, who is conducting this inquiry? Who is asking? Who is observing? You need to ask that question. Who is the observer? Can there be an observer that is detached from language? Or is the observer also thought? Is the observer the product of thought and therefore a function of language? But does it exist as an entity apart from thought? Does the speaker exist apart from speech? Does the thinker exist apart from thought? Does the observer exist apart from the observed? Or is the observer and the observed the same? Is the speaker and the spoken the same? Is the author and the story separate? Or is the voice in the story the author? It’s an important question. To understand this question is to understand the essence of magick.

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Philosophical Inquiry and the Aikido of Thought

Society, civilization, is the product of thought. All the forms we have created: government, money, religion, civility, fairness, etc., are the product of thought. Language is a product of civilization. Therefore the mind that we have, this mind that thinks in English, in Russian, in Spanish, is the product of that civilization. Civilization is nothing but the provider of form for egos and personalities.

We adopt those forms to be able to have a place in this society and to be recognized, to be named. What would we be without it? Not of this world, that’s for sure. Yet can we use this thought to break free from it? That’s the question of a philosopher. I use thought to break free from it. But if we’re seeking to form a theory, to prove an idea, to promote a religion we’re not doing this thing that I’m calling philosophy. On the other hand, if we are taking this thought, this mind that created the I and turn this thought to dissolve itself—can I pitch this thought against itself so that nothing remains? If so, can I step away from the fascination with the game of civilization? Which wouldn’t necessarily mean thought is not existent. We can still use thought as a tool; as a scientist, as an artist.

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Electrical Tolerance In the Art of Philosophical Inquiry

For a philosophical inquiry, we need intensification of tolerance. I am not referring to social tolerance, but of electrical tolerance. A lightning rod allows the passage of power without breaking because it has a high electrical tolerance. a material with high resistance will burn out and break. This tolerance is the movement of the attention necessary to develop for this inquiry. It is the same as putting a 9-volt battery on your tongue. The initial shock makes you want to pull away.

That is what the mind experiences when it meets silence. It wants to do something to stay away from that shock. That something can be boredom. It can be feeling insulted. It can be the thought that says: “let’s talk about something else”. But if one is able to hold it, the initial discomfort is going to go away and we are going to find this pulsing energy flowing through the tongue.

The intensification of magickal force necessary to make this crossing, and this is a crucial point, is not about us doing something stronger. It’s about us opening up more. The intensification is of our tolerance so that the flow of power can continue. The intensification of the mind in a philosophical inquiry is first and foremost about the ability to receive more, to tolerate more. Put that battery on your tongue. Let it flow. It takes practice though, because the ordinary mind has been trained wrongly—in our schools, in our entertainment and in our language.

I hear people speak for hours and for days without hearing one another: switching and changing, following any impulse and retreating from any topic without regard for the dance of the dialogue, without regard for timing. It takes a very disciplined mind to be able to hold something.

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How the Philosopher Overcomes the Resistance of the Mind

The language that you acquire when you train in an esoteric school is the magickal language, Qabalistic thought, logical thought, and archetypal thought. A Philosophus can approach language from a very different perspective. There is an exactitude necessary to language, but at the same time there is a letting go of stagnant and calcified meanings. One has to be able to be very precise and at the same time to not hang on to unconscious agreements about what words mean.

There are a couple of tendencies of the mind that keep us from engaging in Philosophical inquiry. One is the tendency to let go of the effort. When you concentrate on one thought or one term for too long, the mind wants to move on. It wants to say: “yeah, I already know that. Give me something else.”

Another barrier is when you hold on and can’t let go of a point for ego reasons. That usually happens when the ego is involved and you feel like your point has not been heard or you feel like you are being misunderstood and your ego is attached to the outcome of the conversation. You want to keep going back to one point. The difference between exploring an idea for a long time and holding on to one idea, the difference between those two things, is that when we are exploring an idea from a philosophical standpoint, we are moving with it. You are seeing it from this angle then this angle then this angle until something becomes universal. There is a silence that springs in you when you find yourself looking at an idea from multiple directions. However, if you are identified with the outcome and lust for results, then the ego gets involved in the discussion and we will get stuck.

The third impediment is when we listen and compare what is being said to what we think we already know. To try to compare what’s being said to your idea of reality, to judge what is being said as being true or being false, whether you like it or dislike it, to whether you’re being entertained or not, are all tricks of the mind to get you back to an ordinary state. When the intensive chamber of the Teaching becomes strong, the mind also tries to shut down by confusing you, by making you tired. You keep listening to the words, trying to find something of interest. However, even if every thing in every word is quite understood, the mind begins to give up the effort necessary to hold on to the idea. The body becomes tired. Therefore, you need the blood-flow to the head. The breathing must be open and natural, the spine erect and the blood must flow to the brain so that you don’t fall asleep. The ego has to be put out of the equation. So that nothing that is said is interpreted as insult, as personal.

These are some of the tendencies of the mind that take us away from the present. Somehow, the reader could be hearing what I’m saying just as prologue. As something that is not the topic yet. In other words the mind is already talking and the things I’m saying are not heard. They are being categorized and cataloged into interesting or uninteresting. I question that function of the mind which wants to talk about something else: something that was talked about last week, for example; or something that your mind was considering a few months ago or a year ago; or something you heard in the past. All of that is at the expense of the moment. For at this moment, the tactics of the mind to get away from the now are being approached.