Wisdom tells me i’m nothing. Love tells me i’m everything.

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I haven’t written a post in a while as so many things have been going on. I actually started to write this a few weeks ago and stopped because quite honestly it was too difficult. Someone I know and respect had some tragic news; his brother had committed suicide. I’m not going to discuss this very private story and the circumstances, I just wanted to somehow contemplate the complex notion of suicide.

I hope this doesn’t appear crass or insensitive and academic but it’s a challenging subject isn’t it? On the one hand some people and cultures would absolutely say it is the right of everyone to take their own life…I think of days of antiquity or feudal Japan for examples of people taking their lives with what can only be described as honour and dignity. It was indeed a respected form of atonement (Seppoku). I can relate to this.

“They tell us that suicide is the greatest piece of cowardice… that suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.”

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER

On the other hand others would see it as a sacred violation. A ‘sin’ for want of a better way to describe it due to the sanctity if life. I can relate to this as well. Perhaps that’s why suicide is such a heartbreaking experience for anyone who is close to someone who has succeeded or even tried to assert some control in their lives by this method. In some countries (mainly Islamic I believe) it is still criminalised…surely a way of making sure any one attempts suicide will be more committed to making it work?

No-one can truly understand the suffering and despair of an individual who has been driven to this point except that individual. I say driven as I don’t believe anyone would choose to end their lives if they felt they could really change or end their suffering. I might be wrong of course but it seems clear it stems from a sense of futility and lack of power to change their suffering. They are trapped and the terror of death is less than the terror of living. One can only try with compassion to imagine what a life lived with a feeling of endless hopelessness and despair must be like. It’s more than just a bad day.

I’m lucky. Like all of us I have had some bad times and some thoughts and romantic notions of ending it all, statistically more men than women are successful. It didn’t get further than this, perhaps it’s just as simple as being able to have a sense of humour about life.

“The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.” 
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

There is no conclusion to my thoughts at this point except to offer my sympathy to anyone reading this who is thinking about suicide and simply to say there is hope and lastly to anyone suffering the loss of a loved one you will get through it.

“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself”

ALBERT CAMUS

Peace.

Interplanetary Funksmanship

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Mothership Connection

“Let the vibes flow through, funk not only moves, it can remove, dig? The desired effect is what you get. When you improve your Interplanetary Funksmanship”

BOOTSY COLLINS

I’ve always loved music. Especially Parliament and Funkadelic, even as I child I loved the way that Motown, Classical music and even pop would make me feel. It had power. It could change my mood immediately. Even today Pachelbel’s canon in D Major can move me to tears and hearing Aretha gets my foot tapping just the same.

Nietzsche famously said that without music “life would be a mistake” and I would have to agree. He goes on to say that through music the passions can enjoy themselves. This, I think is where music’s power lies: in it’s ability to speak directly to the heart, the spirit, the soul. In this way music is timeless, it’s of culture but not defined by it and it is always evolving and unlike other art forms it has a directness, it needs no filters to be understood or interpreted. Music is truly a universal language with an infinite number of variations to express, describe and colour the human experience. Krishnamurthi said that life is like this. He described it in one of his talks like a symphony and that our job is like someone listening to the symphony and learning to appreciate ALL of it. The sound and the silence, not just the timpani or the string section but all of it together and how it speaks directly to us with immediacy and without the need of thought especially and in a moment without force. great way to describe the movement of life.

Life however is fragile, perhaps more fragile than the music it can create, our bodies are mostly water and water evaporates at room temperature. That’s how fragile. We know that at a sub atomic level particles are vibrating at certain frequencies, in fact all that appears to ‘separate’ us according to science is our vibrational frequency; at the smallest level there is no separation and the ‘reality’ of all ‘things’ is one.

A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical illusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a Full Moon Singing bowl ceremony. It was the second time I had experienced it and tucked away in the middle of an empty Kennington Park we meditated, ‘played’ crystals bowls and offered healing vibrations to each other and to the universe while the Honey Moon* watched over us. It was a powerful experience, the impact of the sonic resonance of seven large crystal bowls (all aligned harmonically with the seven major Chakras in the body) is really unique. In an instant you are surrounded by the healing wall of sound, it envelops the mind and takes it somewhere quite abstract and yet familiar as if the experience of ‘being’ is just pure energy.

The word Chakra derives from the sanskrit for wheel or turning and in the Hindu metaphysical tradition (and also Tibetan Buddhism) the chakras are centres of Prana or life force or channels of energy. The systems are not precise and vary, however I was interested to note recently that the seven major chakras correspond with the major gland systems in the body, glands which secrete the hormones that pretty much control the functions of the body and therefore our life states. Not quite as arbitrary as I had once thought.

The experience can affect each participant in different ways, last night I couldn’t stop smiling from beginning to end. The experience of the sonic bath seemed to ignite every cell in my body creating a deep feeling of joy and stimulation which caused an uncontrollable desire to smile. Thank you.

During the ceremony each of us channelled our voices to support the receiver, to offer them our love so that the whole process was one of giving and receiving. In this way we were reminded that none of us stands completely alone. This a key concept of Buddhism and other spiritual practises and was illustrated by Shakyamuni by the image of two bundles of reeds leaning against each other. He described how the two bundles of reeds can remain standing as long as they lean against each other. In the same way, because this exists, that exists, and because that exists, this exists. If one of the two bundles is removed; the other will fall. This is a simple way to explain the deep interconnectedness of all things.

Once we understand this deep web of interconnectedness like Indra’s Net we understand our lives only become truly meaningful through interaction with and in relation to others.

As Nichiren Daishonen put it “If you light a lamp for another, your own way will be lit.”

Our lamps were shining brightly in Kennington Park last night as the heavenly sounds of infinite energy connected us. I’m very grateful for Huna Bear for organising the event (every month) in this way helping me to develop a deeper understanding of how I can grow and be conscious of how my vibrational energy can help to connect the dots in my daily life and create the change I hope to see for this world.

We’re all human beings who, through some mystic bond, were born to share the same limited life span on this planet, a small green oasis in the vast universe. Why do we quarrel and victimize one another? If we could all keep the image of the vast heavens in mind, I believe that it would go a long way toward resolving conflicts and disputes. If our eyes are fixed on eternity, we come to realize that the conflicts of our little egos are really sad and unimportant.”

DAISAKU IKEDA

I’m already looking forward to next month. We want the funk!

*Traditionally the full moon in June is the best time to harvest honey. As most couples traditionally marry in this month that is where the term honeymoon derived from. Now you know.