things are not what they appear to be: ‘rumors and urban legends’

dear One,

recently i was sent a list of books “banned” in the alaskan home town of sarah palin, whose alleged consoring (in the local library) was attributed to the republican vice presidential nominee when she was tiny (population 5,000) wasilla’s mayor.  turns out, neither the books were never banned, and the controversy surrounding sarah palin instigating the act of banning has plagued her nomination. 

the facts are incontroverble: sarah did inquire if these books could be removed (some of which are my favorites!) but the librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, defended every citizen’s right to free speech, whether in life or in literature.  a lot of chatter has developed over this 12 year-old issue, such is the collective horror a nation such as America feels over not being able to read what books they choose.

of course i was horrified, as any avid reader and believer of constitutional first amendment rights would be at the mere thought of a possible vice president doing such a thing, even in her political adolescence — as banning books, a list which included Maya Angelou’s “i know why the caged bird sings,” Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s “one hundred years of solitude.” and of course, all the Harry Potter books so controversial among evangelicals such as palin) 

so … i decided to investigate this accusation, which, if true, would amount to as much personal disheartening as if I believed bush and cheney had themselves orchestrated the devastating events of 9.11, another ugly urban legend that has reached my ears in these confusing, fear-filled times.

i went to , which by the way, i found by reading the added-on email that came attached to the original accusatory email, announcing palin’s ineptitute as a possible second-in-charge of our beloved nation, the good ol’ u.s.a. …no, i take that back–the good ol’ U.S.A.  (in case you haven’t figured yet, lord flea is very stingy with the capitals, something i picked up from james frey’s “million little pieces”… a literary device i find both amusing and effective: with small or capital letters one can visualize a belief system without having to elucidate much with descriptive words or phrases).

confusion–whether political, spiritual, or personal–it all SUCKS!!!!

my spiritual teacher’s assignment for this year comes in handy in such circumstances.  she told us, her students, to concentrate on how to:

Search for the knowledge of the Truth and become established in the awareness of the Self.

Self, by the way, for those who don’t know or forgot, is an english translation of the sanskrit word, brahman, which can be explained as a Universal Energy known as Higher Power in some circles, and Divine or Sacred in others…and God, in others.  the Self is the same as the self (small and large caps again, see?) which loosely translates to … Universal Consciounsness (brahman) is the same as the consciousness within the individual soul (atman) of each living creature, as described in ancient sanskrit yogic scriptures.

when rumors circulate (a natural human tendency, not necessarily an evil one either) lots of people identity their confusing feelings arising from such discrepancies as fact.  people tend to glom on to their first reaction, even if it’s founded in misinformation, accculturation, or superstition.

just as sarah palin was demonized for her involvement with the book banning fiasco in wasilla, people just as easily misidentify many other “good” things as “bad” simply by their lack of information.  take this drawing, for example:

at first glance...what do you see?

at first glance...what do you see?

  you think…what is this?  a snake?  two eyes? what the????


things are NOT what they appear to be!

take another look: things are NOT what they appear to be!

when first looking at this drawing (yes, all artwork is lordflea’s, unless otherwise noted) a person might think, as i’ve heard some say, “yikes! it’s a fucking snake!” and they run!  never to look again!  that will be that.  those people look no further, no deeper, simply because they hate snakes. 

to most westerners a snake means pure unadulterated evil, impending harm, the epitome of danger, slinky untrustworthiness, eve’s predator in the garden: that sneaky serpentine fellow who got her to eat the apple.  for people who have aversions to snakes, nothing, absolutely nothing could ever be good, or aesthetic, about this cold blooded reptile, let alone a modern drawing, however stylized, of one.

well…this picture is actually about the opposite of evil.  this drawing depicts the highest state of awareness of the Self.  this drawing is about a human being who has become, or is still in the process of, becoming one with God consciousness.

“things are not what they appear to be.”

this drawing represents a drama. in ancient symbolism it depicts the achievement of the highest spiritual state possible in a human life, that state of Oneness, where an individual’s psychic omniscience has been developed and cosmic awareness is developed.  this happens to all who seek it, little by little, by opening one’s heart-mind to the unlimited possibilities in existence.  the oneness consciousness available to ALL OF US.

the players in the drama are these:

  • a human being, whose forehead is the play upon which the drama unfolds, center stage being the third eye (the space between the eyebrows);
  • the lingum in the drawing’s center, a phallic shaped representation of Shiva, the mythical representation of divine consciousness within all beings, referred to as “He” in yogic scripture;
  • the yoni, the flowing motion at the base of the lingum, symbolic of shakti, the female, energizing, creative power of God-consciousness that goes out into the world to manifest;
  • the kundalini, the divine energy of inter-connectedness, the consciousness referred to as the “Self” (brahman), which is both individualized (as each person’s “soul”) and Universal (yet to be discovered by scientists–but they’re close!).  the inner power is rendered in its traditional serpent form: coiled and dormant, wrapped around the lingum, as opposed to active and creative, which it can be as well.
  • within the snake’s body itself is a pattern of united people which represents the sangham; all beings (living and otherwise) united through awakened consciousness.

this drawing is the graphic rendition of a verse of scripture: verse 6 of the kundalini stavaha.  when translated into english from sanskrit, the verse reads (paraphrased here):

I honor the sanctity of awakened consciousness. I bow to the combined efforts of those humans brave enough to seek enlightenment.  She (the kundalini shakti) is the beloved of the self-born one and surrounds Him (represented by the Shivalingam) and is the awakened consciousness of all who seek Truth.  the serpent lies ever ready in its customary three coiled circles of readiness.  all the members of Her retinue (the joined human pattern in the snake’s body) are One with Her (the Kundalini, the divine energy of consciously being awake).

She enters the higher Mind) and becomes active like the mind, intoxicated with love.

She is naiive, defenseless, and complete.

The Goddess Kundalini gives everything, and protects Her people, and burns those who oppose the Truth.

She is the power of action

pretty heavy stuff, eh?  you can see there’s lots more going on here, in this drawing, and in this life.  if one sees just an evil snake, one misses the boat.  if a person is open to seeing the significance of this drawing as a portrait of higher consciousness…it can be inspiring in a very meaningful way.

kundalini coiled and ready to uplift any person's life with knowledge of the inner Self

kundalini coiled and ready to uplift any person

a coiled serpent is the ancient representation for the energy within all of us that is called “spiritual” for lack of a better word in english.  in sanskrit that spiritual energy is called the kundalini shakti, in chinese the word is chi (or qi), in chrisitianity it’s the holy spirit.  every culture has its own word for it.  it is real.  it is true.  everyone has had glimpses of the innate knowledge within their own being.  i believe it’s encoded in our DNA.

i hope each and every one of you finds your inner Truth, within and outside your self, and continue to nournish that state of Oneness in your own way, at your own pace.

I love each and every One of you, lord flea

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