O F L O V E A N D R I T U A L
I’m having a Tibetan moment while thinking about moments of confrontation, when I have to explain to others why I don’t hold any beliefs, why I don’t believe in belief, and why I’m more interested in immediate perception and experience, rather than belief.
Belief presupposes a central idea, and I’m more interested in thresholds. I’m interested in modes of tricking our perception so we can see more than what we come to believe. Thresholds are shifting like quicksand. Beliefs are tiresome.
Believing also presupposes a process that is anchored in establishing a false antinomy: If you don’t believe anything, or in anything, you must be a bad person, lacking moral spine.
I have to admit that I don’t have time for beliefs. Beliefs are like vampires sucking all the blood out of you. Beliefs entice people to act on this principle: ‘Often wrong, but never in doubt’.
I like doubting. I dote on doubting. Doubting is the threshold on point. The very condition for the existence of the threshold is doubt: Now you see it, now you don’t. What’s that again?
Let me start over. Something about a paradox. Ah, yeah, the Tibetan moment. Well, I was having this moment while performing something dubious, at least according to those who are always certain of everything – if they saw me, that is.
Well, ‘love exists,’ they like to go, and I go, ‘really? Are you sure about it?’ ‘I experience it’, they insist, falsely assuming that love, as the opposite of hate is something we experience as beneficial. ‘Without love we would all be doomed,’ the belief goes, and it’s a strong one.
I don’t operate with dualist concepts where experience is concerned. I don’t ‘do’ either love or hate, or any of the other terms in the dualist vocabulary. Hence I’m suspicious of love holding any privileged position. I’m suspicious of totalities, and grand narratives, and systems that explain everything.
Where was I, ah, yeah, I keep forgetting, the Tibetan moment. Must leave Marx behind for a second. So, here I was today, placing a whole arsenal of ritual objects on my table, and smoking the lungs out of myself, just ritual sticks, yet all carefully picked according to the foremost alchemical principles of separation and unification.
Dualism is important in ritual. Without light and dark you can’t get to the stage where you can exclaim in a moment of recognition: ‘Man, what a mighty mirror I am. The whole me is a mirror!’
At this point my nose was picking up on the octave that catapulted me to indigo state, the fire of the earth, and I went into a trance at the sounds of the semantron, the Romanian toaca played by a monk, now nicely captured on video and going viral on Facebook.
Yes, the Tibetan moment. Well, I guess it’s another story, but let me just say this: Experiencing life without qualifiers gives us a sense of what channels of manifestation we operate with when we measure our living against beliefs. I go ritually about this act of measuring, and then check.
My gaze, is it penetrating? Like a brilliant ray of the sun. Check.
My word, is it penetrating? Like a thundering sermon in church. Check.
My touch, is it penetrating? Like the Devil’s be-gloved hand, holding up a tulip. Check.
I think that was Tibetan enough. The love. Or was it ritual?