one more step
(photo by Michele Cruzel)
I just sent off the "final" copy of the manuscript I've been working on for the last thirty years.
Well, not exactly. Not constantly. Actually, it sat under my altar for more years than it did on my desk, but for the last few, it's been my main work. It feels pretty strange not to have it hanging over me, but the immense sense of relief I was expecting hasn't shown up yet, maybe because I know how much more work there will be between now and the printing.
All the same, it's gone.
Yesterday I realized that I'd forgotten the last piece, a list of aphorisms. In the typewritten 1960's manuscript I've mostly been working from, they're "tenets to live by." Most of them sound like they come directly from Baba's teacher, Tripura, who wrote the original Bengali text that Baba translated and modernized. There's very little of Baba's voice there — although he's made some of sayings much longer in tiny scrunched-up longhand much of which I didn't have the patience to decipher. So much of the work on this book was doing that - I used a magnifying glass mostly, but occasionally I scanned parts and blew them up using Photoshop. Some of it was real detective work, making careful comparisons to letters in other words. Luckily, Baba had beautiful handwriting; I could depend on it being pretty consistent.
Anyhow, when I realized that I'd never typed up the tenets to live by, I did, and then I listened to Ira Landgarten's Rochester Raps tapes, watched the video of Baba and Timothy Leary, and watched every one of Deniz's Youtube videos. I pulled out my whole collection of written materials, both by and about Baba, and looked through them more of less randomly. Finally I wrote to a bunch of Baba-friends and asked what they remembered.
Here is the result. (The first few pages of it, at least. There are lots of gems!)
Once a psychedelic, always a psychedelic.
The next revolution will be a spiritual one.
It is our first job, perhaps the only important one, to maintain our body-mind machine – this space capsule – in its optimal operating order – O3.
Have no ambition, above all pretend nothing, but be at each instant the utmost that you can be.
Be an erect animal, not a bent-backed animal.
Don't screw up the pitch.
Keep your back straight, breathe deeply, relax, and all will follow.
There's a reason your head is above your heart. Keep it there.
As for your place in the universal manifestation, the Supreme above will fix it for you.
Take your feelings to the court of reason.
Transcending ‘time’ is real transcendence.
Sit up straight and breathe, dammit.
Sense enjoyment, though immediately pleasurable, is ultimately painful. Striving for spiritualization, though immediately irksome, is ultimately satisfying.
Carry your column as a column.
Guru can teach you how to swim but you have to swim to get across; no Gods or Gurus can do that for you.
Even an atomic holocaust can be a festival of life. Death is not the terminal of life; it’s the grand exit.
The soul is not confined to a capsule. It is ever-existent into infinity.
To individual evolution, I invite the aspirants of the world.
Simple living and high thinking should be the ideal of the spiritual striver.
Just as brass and copper ware have to be regularly rubbed to keep them clean and bright, so has the mind to be rubbed with Sadhana to keep it fresh and clear.
Just as in a dream, the objects appear real and prove imaginary on waking up, so shall this world appear dreamlike when we awake to the full blaze of spiritual enlightenment. After death also, the world will fizzle out like a dream.
We are responsible for the results of our own actions.
Butter is incipient in the milk, but cannot be had without churning. Similarly, the Self is incipient in our being, but cannot be realized without striving or Sadhana.
Go on doing your due duties in the world, while remaining devoted to the Divine within.
Do not try to impose your feelings on others by demolishing theirs. Who indeed knows what is the inner experience of another?
Labels: Ganesh Baba