Part 2, chapter seven
Most of the trouble comes when you forget who’s looking out for you, who’s running the show, and who has seen, like a champion chess player, the next hundred moves ahead, while you’re mentally fumbling about and wondering whose turn it is to move next.
Every action, thought, intention, or desire one succumbs to within a specific paradigm wholly supports and reinforces the authenticity of that graven perspective. Habit and belief then become the cement which binds the brick-walls of the paradigm together. One must then act counter to the paradigm in order to test its reality. If it stands it belongs to life, if it falls, it never really existed.
Doubt will castrate the flow out of life. Doubt in God, doubt in yourself, doubt in the magic and miracle of all that is, is not, was, or never will be. Doesn’t matter which. The trick is to believe in life- your life- and don’t give a hoot if it all doesn’t fit together nice and reasonably. Nothing is reasonable. Nothing is expectable, imaginable, or proper. We’re inside a mad dance of homeless spirits, and no one is going to give a hot damn if you stand up and make it obvious. I couldn’t help myself, because I didn’t know why life is the way it is, and I could do nothing at the time but shout at the heavens and try to go the distance and back again.
One August, some years back, while still living in the world, I dreamt a dream suggesting that I go on an overseas trip later that year, and when I awoke there was no question within me as to whether I would choose to go or not. I would go, of course; I had been following my dreams for quite a while by then, ever since I first realized that they were communicating important things to me, and they always led me to where I should be, to the people I should meet and share with, and to the experiences I would need to serve my vision, or to fill out the missing aspects of my growing being. The question remaining after this dream, however, was how I would acquire the thousands of dollars necessary to take the directed journey. My penury had reached a pauper’s level, and I knew it would be tough to save enough dough for the trip by working in the city, with its never ending expenses, but still the first thought that crossed my mind was to head back into Gomorrah and work at the Co-op and scrimp and save, and beyond that I thought no further. The next night, however, another dream came with the message that edible, wild mushroom-picking would be the most promising route to take that autumn, if I were to bank the coin required. So that was that and again there was no question about what avenue I would choose. The last issue remaining, however, was how to get up to the Charlottes- where a great deal of the wild, commercially viable Chanterelle mushrooms grow- as cheaply as possible, so as not to cut into my earnings before I earned them.
Whenever I had owned a vehicle in the past I would generally take a few extra days to travel up to the islands in a round-about route northward, visiting friends at certain points along my human ‘trap-line’, as a perspicacious acquaintance once referred to my incremental visitations of dear ones located in sporadic communities along the way. But at this moment I had neither car nor time to make my rounds, so the only answer left, of course, was hitchhiking. This was a method of travel I had used to move about quite regularly in the past, although I always did it begrudgingly, disdainfully standing like a contemptful beggar beside the road, as the affronting legions of motorists sped past me in polished and sealed comfort and indifference. And yet I had nonetheless gotten around all over the world this way, and so I accepted my fate that what must be done must be done and the less whining the better.
So early that September I found myself on the outskirts of Vancouver with my thumb out, and my impatience tucked under, anticipating the long and agonizing process of waiting, then receiving a ride a certain distance up the road, then waiting again, then another ride, and so on, slowly leap-frogging the sixteen-hundred kilometres northward to my distant goal.
And to be sure the same pattern as all other times began unfolding on this trip- there were periods of extended waiting, periods of futility and despair as I weighed the disastrous possibility that the next ride would never come. But what happened this time was that the rides which did come, and they did, somehow seemed to apply to my very existence; that is, it seemed that everyone who picked me up had something to say uniquely relating to me, that there was a common ground of experience or understanding which brought us together in a form of transient communion very quickly, and we’d have our pleasant dialogue over whatever it was that we had instantly ascertained was our point of contact, and then we’d come to a fork in our road and I’d be dropped off to stand and idle, and then a similar event would happen, in that the next ride I got was seemingly the ride I was supposed to get- it was the ride designed for me, by The chess player.
This went on all day long until sometime around sunset I was left off in William’s Lake where I decided to call it a day, and walked into a nearby park, put my sleeping bag down and eased off into the joy of slumber. It was during that night that something must have clicked within me- some recognition bubbled up from the omniscient subconscious into the density of my consciousness, awakening a smouldering realization within me- because the next morning, bright and early, I was out on the road and a young man stopped to pick me up who said he was only going about fifteen minutes out of town, but did I want a lift anyway. Normally I would be loath to accept a ride which terminated out in the middle of nowhere, out where you could get caught for days without getting picked up, and where the alternative possibility of hopping on a Greyhound, when the waiting had finally become intolerable, didn’t exist, because there was no bus stop, and so being stranded for an indefinite duration was a real possibility, which I avoided at all costs, often turning down rides that were not going on to at least the next small town. But as I said, something had clicked inside of me that night, because of the chain of seemingly destined rides which had brought me that far the day before, something which whispered- “The ride you are supposed to have will stop and pick you up, you need not worry but only have patience, and confidence, and …faith, because God is directing the show and what should be, is what will be.” And so I took the ride, was dropped off in the middle of nowhere, as the young man headed down a side-road, and then stood there, thumb out, as per usual. But before I could fall into the state of impatience which I habitually came to at such times, a voice came to me again which said- “God is choosing your rides.” And so I relaxed, and stopped caring if the cars whizzed inhumanely past me, and I eased into the fabulous acceptance of …faith. And not five minutes later an eighteen-wheeler flew past me, jammed on its breaks and came to a halt fifty metres or so up the road, and I ran up and climbed on and we were off, and the three-hundred pound trucker began inquisitively interrogating me for the first few minutes and then turned his head to me, looked me right in the eyes, and said: “I picked you up because God told me to.” And I said, “I know.” And this trucker, George I believe was his name, went on for the next two hours with stories and anecdotes about how and when God had entered his life, how he listened for and heard God’s directives, and what was to become of the world during and after the apocalypse. And I shared my own views on all of it, and we had some good old biblical style communion, and then he let me off in the middle of nowhere, again. And not but a few minutes of faithful waiting later did I get a ride from a wonderful, long-haired Christian fellow who was homesteading in the area and who took me to his favourite restaurant for breakfast so as to introduce me to his wife. And when he and I were done eating and conversing, we said our goodbyes, and I walked out onto the highway and was soon picked up by a man headed to my final destination, and who was a professional mushroom picker with all sorts of advice for me, to boot. Check mate.
The world becomes a different place when you realize God pervades the whole flippin’ shmeer, that there is divine design throughout, and that nothing is made that is not made by the Maker.
God does it all, both inside and out. What the ego assumes it is feeling, or thinking, or doing, is being done to it. Make no mistake about it. No one is immune from the divine monopoly.
This makes it tough to keep on striving, or writing, for example, because everything ever written or waiting to be written is summed up in one word- God. There it is. There is no more
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Contradiction exists only in those parts which are seemingly separated from the whole; once the part is re-assimilated into the rest, and the self dissolves in the Self, all duality and strife are over.
As I said, this complicates the task for the writer, because instead of describing the world or an experience, you now realize that all you’re doing is describing a compartmentalized aspect of the uncompartmentalizeable, indescribable God. And yet God hides within God’s own creation, as the story goes, and books are one of the multifarious, mischievous ways God goes about in concealment, by inventing a hiding place and then hiding in you while you’re searching through it. It’s one hell of a good trick, to be sure.
To continue though. People who pick mushrooms are of a very interesting type generally. There are those who, out of interest, go north and try their luck for one or two seasons of crashing through the muck and occasionally stumbling upon a sizeable patch of the hunted spore; there are other folks who live in the vicinity of the areas which bring forth the Pine, Morrel, Boletus, and Chanterelle mushrooms- which are the most common commercial varieties picked- and so these folks make some, or all, of their living off of the milk and honey coming from their own land; and then there are the true mushroom gypsies, who follow the seasons, migrating here, there, and wherever the picking is good that year.
The common denominator among all the types, however, is their self-chosen fringe existence, and the life of chronic or occasional indigence which accompanies such a decision. Some of the freest and poorest folks I have ever met were mushroom pickers.
I’m thinking of one young lad who made it across to the Charlottes without enough money to buy a return ticket, even if he wanted to- the cost of which was a mere twenty dollars, so he wasn’t carrying much green, to be sure. Yet he simply expected that things would work out, and they did.
And a young couple who camped near me one year were waiting for the picking season to start with a half a tank of gas in their vehicle, a box of canned-goods, and a buck-fifty between them. But it didn’t faze them a bit.
A fellow in his late teens, who was my picking-partner for a while, had been penniless for the last six months; he had left his father’s home because he couldn’t stand the man, and had wandered about until he ended up on the Charlottes where, for some reason or other, he wasn’t granted welfare, and so he had to live without a nickel for half a year, being given food and shelter by some good citizens in the area, until the shrooms started sprouting.
Another man, a father with two small daughters, had come for a month or so, hoping to pick enough for his car insurance, food, and some nights out at the pub for himself. Small dreams perhaps, but when you’re sitting around a campfire out in the bush, and no boss has been standing over you all day, and no alarm clock goes off in the morning, and a guitar is being played while you sip a beer and look up at the night sky, they are some very beautiful small dreams.
The population of the pickers is riddled with this kind of poverty, this kind of faith, this kind of liberation from the excessive tyranny of money, for they have found a form of freedom that money cannot buy. If a professional, workingman’s gold-card was delayed for a week in the mail he’d have a cardiac arrest wondering how he was going to survive. But not these folks. Live with what you’ve got and what you need will show up, it’s a law of the universe that they’re well acquainted with.
Existence brings you everything you need, as long as you are earnest enough to need it. If you need nothing, nothing will come. But if you give a damn, if you are crazy with life and wonder, and possessed by the miracle of being, ardently digging it up, uncovering the immensity of this unbelievable creation, sedulously seeking to find out what it truly is …to be, then life will hand itself over to you, it can do no other. That is life. That is what it demands, and what it gives. To float along, comfortable in the tepid roles of man, is to never uncover yourself, to never know who or why it is you are, and that is the greatest sin, and the greatest crime an individual can ever commit.
Without the slightest hint of proselytising, orthodoxy, or cowardice, I concur that God works in many mysterious ways, as the saying goes, and it is only for us to give up our limited views and expectations and our distorted ways of understanding and to allow that hallowed enigma to work its sublime magic upon us.
Anyways, the hitchhiking over, I was now on the Charlottes and earning a fine coin crashing through the bush, picking Chanterelle mushrooms that autumn, and after about ten days of this I was having dinner with Greg, the buddy of mine whom I had kayaked with on my inaugural visit to the islands, and he asked me if I would like to care-take a million-dollar fishing lodge for a month or so, which was closed for the season, and was nestled down in a quiet cove in the southern wilderness.
I accepted, and this turned out to be one of the most pleasant jobs I have ever taken and which mysteriously provided just enough money for me to undertake the journey overseas which had been the seminal cause producing all that followed.
This caretaking position- the first of many I was to have in different areas of the world over the next few years- was a spectacular opportunity, for not only was I suddenly the master of a mansion in the wilderness, I was also paid well, fed well, and the owners went so far as to boat my soror in for a couple of weeks of hot and heavy respite from the type of magnified solitude you can only attain in the distant wilderness which lies at the outer limits of the earth and mind.
And, by the way, don’t let the pedants and rule-mongers tell you that you must maintain a Platonic relationship with your soror, which is a load of antiquated, uptight bunk. Me and mine, we made love like wild bunnies regularly.
Rainbows filled the sky for us during that time, Orcas cruised the bay, and bear and deer paraded about the grounds as we feasted upon fresh salmon, mussels, clams, and venison, and all these accoutrements only crystallized my recognition of the gift I had received simply because I had listened to my dreams, had followed the unspoken directives, and …had faith.
Life is the thing dreams are made of indeed. I have often said that I have learned more from dreams than from anything else. I was regularly educated in the school of the subconscious, and instructional sentences were uttered to me. Axioms like: “Awareness requires no effort”, “The manifest is the outcome of the sublime”, “When you have stripped yourself of yourself, then shall you be whole”, “Don’t be afraid, because you’re not really there”, “Whatever overly concerns us outwardly, destroys us”, “Surrender fulfils the whole because it completes it without doing anything”, “Everything is consciousness.”, “Everything is light”, “For the knight to embrace truth, he must realize that there is only one truth for him to embrace”, “God is truth”, and so on.
But much more than just being educated and guided happened to me in dreams: All the subconscious characters creating havoc in my life were exposed in my dreams- the madman, rebel, coward, lone wolf, the alchemist called Valerian, and so on. And more, much, much more: I was absolved of my sins, finished with my karma, confronted Mara, found out why I had come to earth, found out who was for me, and who was against me; The Father aspect of God showed up symbolized as my physical father, and The Mother as my physical mother; I learned other people’s thoughts, dreamt other people’s dreams, had preconceptions, was destroyed by Christ coming after me with a shotgun, was baptised, resurrected, transfigured, and hallowed; I met aliens, Princess Diana, Mother Theresa, and St. Paul, all long deceased; I kissed the Mother Mary, and once ate a chocolate Virgin, all in my dreams.
It was during sleep that I also began to receive and experience the incredible power of divine energy which can be sent down from on high into the prepared body. I suppose this was a likely outcome of the path I had already been on for years, but I had never felt this type of intense energy- like being hit with a thousand volts of pulsating God essence, cast down upon me, for whatever reason I am not sure, but when it happened all doubt within me ended regarding the true force of the universe which gives but the smallest fraction of its limitless potential because …that is all we can handle.
Many mysterious ways. And they have remained mysteries to me, and I understand nothing, but I am alive and looked after and held afloat in an inexplicable ocean of some genius and unfathomable design, which, thriving and fully cognizant, exists above all dimension, manifestation, and despair.
So many obscure, remote, and unique tunnels to run down and explore in the labyrinth of this godworld; so many options, investigations, contemplations, and asseverations to undertake- the infinity of possibilities is mind boggling: abstract nuclear mathematics and its relation to the orgasms of bivalves, the metaphoric sociobiology of Amazonian tribal ants, the mitotic inspirations of anaerobic bacteria living in the intestines of a parasite living in the intestines of a dying zebra subspecies, the ancient solar mysteries and the Eleusian charade, black holes and why we are in one, blue gnomes, the aliens within us, the psychosis of want, dreamtime and a strict diet of lymph, molecular abnormalities, the aggressive desire of grandmothers watching a young baboon masturbate onto its food at the zoo, the etheric osmosis of our spiritual effluvium, transgression therapy, the anxiety found in trees, elliptical resurgences, advancing partitional phenomenal, mitigative discontinuities, innocent blasphemies, how the workers know when the queen should be killed, errors in the akashic record, the absence of death, the hilarity of grief, the batesian mimicry of humans in the inhumans that live as they, the whole biological and living realm of this maddening and miraculous place called earth, caught up in a dream called life, and here we are and how to dance and sing and laugh when the limitations and infinities become clear. So many tunnels in the one created plenitude of our manifold, indivisible, absurd and privileged existence.