|Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva within an OM, in a Mahabharata manuscript from 1795 by Unknown|
sound, U, because this is an excellence, and contains the
qualities of the other two. He who knows thus, exalts the flow
of knowledge and becomes equalised...
Neither can the waking experiences exhaust us, nor can the dream experiences completely comprehend our being. We seem to be something that is capable of being a witness of both the states. This witness is not a party either to the waking state or to the dreaming state. We are essentially, a third element altogether, something independent of waking and dream."
- excerpts from Swami Krishnananda's Mandukya Upanishad, pp. 12, 57, 59 [italics mine]
The antique wood, a rocking chair, the once attributed tradition of upright relaxation, buried in the tourist fizz of los sapos market. Cobblestone streets mark the way for foreigners blending with hip-tied drum groups, Hare Krishna propagandists and the local elote vender. The Mexican wine of a Sunday Tianguis gropes at the neck, to smother the chosen speech in a howl of awakened want.
I shudder behind a sunglass find, the inimitable Huichol hand, weaves a metaphysical mat of mystical enthusiasm, and so we play nonstop, enlightening the mouthed eyes with a music unheard. Nightfall, we are approached by a woman of colonial smiles. She breathes a home into our highest imagining, a place to live, among the cold stone steps of vanquished need and fulfilled sight. Her place is an ideal home, with a small bedroom tucked away into the corner of an empty room, full with the comforting hospitality of a traditional sunbaked Southern welcoming. We decide to continue on, despite the whipped lure of our eyes.
Returning north, I accept the invitation of a friend to ascend the mightiest tower in the world, newly built in our city. Hiking through a golf course, I reminisce on a similarly forged path through dense forest upwards toward the Rocky mountain peaks. Then, I see it. Eye’s nearly gouged by the immensity; I prick myself.
The conical rise extends upward towards unknown alchemical engineering, and more, an unsupported bridge unites two lower towers from the bottom-center, and direct to the very top! My friend, always acting over-anxious, rushes us towards the bridge to the top. We enter the complex, prefaced by the usual commercial dives, a mall of unreasonable hacks festering like bottom feeders.
With an upturned stomach, I hold on as we are shot out, gliding over a glass floor, as a rudderless, engineless boat would skim over placid waters. I dare not look down. In the building, the quick mindscape turns into a flood of waning mirth, and mindless havoc beams with unintelligible delight as people squander the golden drug of shameless technology, a great phallic middle finger, flipped by the entire Western world at once! To who? For what? It is directly skyward.
My friend and I quickly exit, having passed through the immense spire of cylindrical unreality, and we pour out onto an uptown street in mid-city. The concrete jungle returns us to the fading glory of a now obsolete infrastructure.
Ghosts of the past fly like demonic insects through the gut-smattered concrete claustration. I notice a few as my friends, and meet them. On the outskirts of the unsubtle building, a beacon of terror, an insignia of waste, we burrow through an old tunnel system, climbing out into the abandoned system of underground pathways, leading to the base of the alien tower.
Suddenly arrested by the horror of war, the sky blasts open with the shockwaves of a thousand bombs billowing like hot nails over the soft-fingered ground. As missiles breach the catastrophic abandonment of wires and tunnels ahead and behind, I loathe over remembered imagery from Iraq, Palestine, and endless claims to vengeance on our land, born of blood and built of sand.
the rasping imperfection in ecstatic beauty,
momentous experience beyond human conflict
in the word and sound of a throat-muted music,
the play of life
final and resounding
in a tumult of white haze
around the English nape
croaking in the sharp whispered present,
fuming dry-eyed numberless fingerings
before a trickster’s Goddess tree,
pained to an ink-smeared fire on the blistering urban horizon
gone into aged reason
and the ethos of undreamt madness
- excerpt from "Assimilating America-Asia"