Category Archives: Literature

The Basic Theme of All Mythology

Opening the world to the dimension of mystery. To realize the mystery that underlies all forms.

“That’s the message of the myth: you as you know yourself are not the final term of your being.”

Joseph Campbell: The indication is of a notion of a plane of being that’s behind the visible plane and which is somehow supportive of the visible one to which we have to relate. I would say that’s the basic theme of all mythology… That there is an invisible plane supporting the visible one. Now, whether it is thought of as a world or simply an energy, uh, that differs from time to time and place to place.

Bill Moyers: What we don’t know supports what we do know.
JC: That’s right.

*About the 11:30 mark in the Power of Myth, the First Storytellers.

Ritual is one way of relating to this invisible plane.

JC: “Through the ritual that dimension is struck which transcends temporality and out of which Life comes and back into which it goes.” – 24:16

“What all the myths have to deal with is transformation of consciousness, that you’re thinking in this way and you have now to think in that way.” – JC – 16:10 Power of Myth, The Hero’s Journey.

The Essence of Zen

I just got through reading Alan Watts’ “The Way of Zen” which is just awesome, by the way. I didn’t really know who he was, other than, I heard Joseph Campbell mention him a couple times, and in the back of my mind I thought, “Oh, he was just some sort of 60’s new age guy who was sort of in Joseph’s ‘Entourage’.”

Wrong! This guy was the real deal. He was so “in it” so “grounded” that hearing him speak, which may be even better than his great books, you know you are listening to someone who was “transparent to transcendence.”

That’s what draws you to someone who is or has really followed their bliss, is that the ground is so speaking through them, that you can just feel there’s no Ego agenda that’s going to try to fool you, no editing out of anything, even competitive forces, because it’s like the ground of being speaking ‘through’ this person. That’s a paradox in itself, and as you get more into this world, you know you’re headed in the right direction as more of these paradoxes, oxymorons, anamorphuses, start popping up, and not only do you not mind, but they have a delicious quality to them.

Anyway, back to my main point. One thing that strikes me that may be the essence of Zen, especially when it comes to some sort of skill is that the practice isn’t what is making you better. The practice, which is of course required, is rather putting you in tune to receive the genius. The practice, the honest practice, sort of makes you worthy, like an initiation, to receive the message from the Gods. And then it becomes almost effortless, like the craft is working through you. You become a conduit for this genius. So the practice puts you “in tune” to be a conduit for manifesting the eternal.

New Poem: A Natural

“A Natural”

I won’t say the things that I have to say,
the feelings furrow all alone in the autumn mist,
until you finally get up and walk away,
and the chills that have eyes blow us their last, snowy, purpley kiss.

I cascade over the heights of your frozen, mountaintop world.
I skate upon your silky sweet, ice cream smile.
Deep in the forest, they write, sleeps the world’s most beautiful girl.
She awakens when you, inside yourself, find her missing child.

This is the light where the world can’t come in.
When we look into each other’s eyes what do we really see?
Together, the holly from Gethsemene flows into the Jordan’s bend,
feeding flowers opening brightly, resonating the mountain’s inner dream.

I am the god of the sea,
the fire in the rain spattering and splashing love.
When I swim to the surface, you are released.
When I dive to the bottom, you fly to heaven like a dove.

We are caught between two worlds.
I’ve seen your sails blow close to my shore.
One here, the other holding my baby girl.
Those eyes that shine, open at last, the secret, magical door.

Something primordial says that “she is my wife.”
But the harder I chase, the faster she runs away.
We’re out here on the playing fields, the field of our life.
And it’s only when I stop does she, a metaphor for something deeper, turn around and stay.

When I  first saw her, it felt like I envisioned a ring
that could bring back all of the things I’d ever loved.
She’s the white buffalo maiden who sings atop Harney Peak,
the princess in the snow marrying the sacred below with all that’s above.

© 2013 Stephen Pickering
 

Advice for Aspiring Writers

I came across this today via Twitter, and I thought it was so good, that I needed to keep it on my blog, so that I would always have a copy.

Here’s the advice:

First — keep reading. Writers are readers. Writers are also people who can’t not write.

Second, follow Heinlein’s rules for getting published:

1. Write it.
2. Finish it.
3. Send it out.
4. Keep sending it out until someone sends you a check.

There are variations on that, but that’s basically what works.

Ciao,
Annie

It’s from novelist Anne McCaffery who died today at 85. I wasn’t aware of here, but when I read the blog post about her death and it noted this piece of advice, it made such an impression on me that I posted it on all my Social networks, but also felt the need to keep it on my blog.

You’re blog on you’re own domain, I think is important, because things like Twitter, Facebook, are great for “Real-Time” but they are ephemeral, and you tend to forget what you posted after a few days, much less can you find things that you need.

One of the things that resonates with me on her list is “Finish it.” I’ve noticed that with songs: Even if you don’t necessarily like your lyrics, it’s always so much better to finish the song, rather than leave it lingering, waiting for the “perfect” lyrics to “someday” come. Someday never will come, but if you finish the song as best you can, then it takes on a life of it’s own and has the opportunity to get better.

“Done is Better than Perfect.” is a sign that they have around Facebook’s Headquarters. Very à propos.