Tag Archives: awakening

Okay, So NOW What?…

(The short essay below was originally published on December 23, 2012. Since many have not-so-jokingly suggested that the Maya got their calendar all wrong and actually meant 2020-2022 instead of 2012 for the end of the world, I think the tenor and content of this piece is as topical and relevant as ever.)

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December 21, 2012 has come and gone without the much ballyhooed Apocalypso Dance O’ Death & Destruction. (For the record, the Chiefs NEVER foretold a single cataclysmic extinction event for humanity, the Mother Earth, or Time Itself on this date. All of that nonsensical stew was cooked up in a pot of ignorance and misrepresentation by a kitchen full of cooks better suited to deep-frying Chicken Little fast food nuggets than attempting to serve a nutritious and intelligent meal of meaning and substance. It should be noted that those predictions of doom have done far more harm than good and were the source of no small disservice to the Maya people and Humanity as a whole, Present, Past, and Future.)

Well, now that all the fervor and poppycock has taken its rightful place in the ever-expanding dustbin of bogus prophecies, perhaps the real work of personal and societal transformation can begin in earnest. All this focus on doomsday scenarios is just proof of a continued emphasis on outer and, therefore, erroneous things and thinking. No celestial deity is going to come down from on high to fix us. History has demonstrated with utmost clarity that things just do not work in that way. We fix ourselves or we don’t get fixed at all.

The earth-shattering and Life-altering changes come from within, not without. Don’t spend time worrying needlessly about some coming End-Of-Days. The course of action is simple and direct: you would do well to destroy your delusions, because they are what can truly destroy you.

In this way, Beauty Lives.

©Billy Red Horse

Self-Mastery In 4 Short Lessons

I have for some Time found myself meditating on and otherwise considering Power, insofar as it concerns the human condition. I have come to understand that real, true, and transcendent power in humans is nothing less than Self-mastery. It is this growing understanding which has led me to the recognition that most, if not all, of the maladies plaguing humankind arise from the ignorance of the power at our behest. It is this ignorance that damns and condemns us to repeat the cycles of pain and violence and ugliness which have marked the totality of our history as a People on this Mother Earth.

I have also come to understand that the only way to disrupt this infernal tragedy and turn it into a story of power for all who are willing to answer the difficult challenge of Self-mastery is through education. Not the teaching of religious doctrines or feel-good rhetoric which promises much but delivers little. No, I speak of education regarding the importance of claiming the power that we can find in Self-mastery: a true and vital power which has been earned. Therein lies the great challenge-so many feel that they are entitled to power without doing the work necessary to earn and be worthy of it.

The greater my awareness grows, the more cognizant I am of just how unconscious we all are.


Lesson One-
Self-mastery requires Self-honesty.
Self-honesty is the core element of Self-mastery and, therefore, all transcendent power. If we follow the path of Self-deception then we deprive ourSelves of that most necessary of materials required for power and joy.

Self-honesty is challenging and can many times be a painful course. It is a course, though, that we must stay if we wish to experience the fullness of Life.

Lesson Two-
Self-mastery requires Self-awareness.
Self-awareness fits hand-in-glove with Self-honesty.

This is the awareness of who we are, where we are, why we are. It is an awareness of Time and Space and Movement. Self-awareness is not a static thing. Self-awareness lives.

Lesson Three-
Self-mastery requires Self-assessment.
Self-assessment is built on the previous stanchions of Self-honesty and Self-awareness.

To know the real power that defines Self-mastery, we must first take stock of our strengths and weaknesses, assets and liabilities. To be keenly aware of our state and condition, and to be unfailingly honest in the appraisal, prepares the way for the ensuing steps ahead.

Lesson Four –
Self-mastery requires Self-acceptance.
This particular element of Self-mastery can be a tricky one. Self-acceptance for many usually presents itself as either one of two extremes:

First, there are those who seem unable to honestly look at themselves and then, after a reasoned and rational assessment, gain acceptance of themselves as they are, for better or worse, in that moment. This position is the one familiar to most. It is a state of denial.

Then there are those who, though they might not like what they see, are completely willing to embrace their state wholeheartedly and identify totally with who and what they find. “This is who I am and this is who I will be, so I just have to be okay with it; I’m beautiful and I’m powerful!” is their motto. This position, however, is more capitulation than it is acceptance. Self-acceptance should never be concession to a status quo.

The Self-acceptance that leads to real power is something else entirely. This is the acknowledgement of things as they are which follows honest assessment, setting aside any feelings of guilt, blame, or shame. What is, is. But what IS does not always have to FOREVER be.

True Self-acceptance concedes that which is (the desirable as well as the undesirable) but recognizes and celebrates that which can be. True Self-acceptance can be a jumping off point for healing and healing moves us that much closer to real power.

Closing the Hoop Of Power (for the moment…)

Why all this emphasis on power? Because what many perceive as power in the human realm (the clumsy, common, and often brutish variety) is actually the absence of power, not its presence. As I stated earlier, most, if not all, of the maladies plaguing humankind arise from the ignorance of the power at our behest. It is this ignorance which damns and condemns us to repeat the cycles of pain and violence and ugliness that have marked the totality of our history as a People on this Mother Earth. Likewise, it is my understanding that real, true, and transcendent power in humans is nothing less than Self-mastery.

The groundless authority of the average politician and bureaucrat, the counterfeit power of the numbed and numberless of all stripes and occupations who cannot find true power within themselves, these are the poor souls who have no concept of, much less regard for, the vital and living power they could bring to bear if only they would find the courage to explore and persevere.

Self-mastery requires Self-honesty.
Self-mastery requires Self-awareness.
Self-mastery requires Self-assessment.
Self-mastery requires Self-acceptance.
Real Power requires all of these.

This is not the last I shall speak of power; it is, however, enough for now.

There Is Always More

The Gentleman Mystic
©Billy Red Horse

The Periculum: a vision

(This is an edited culling from a series of visions experienced by the author, first published online in July of 2007 as a column titled THE PERICULUM.)

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With the Industrial Age the modern era began, followed in rapid succession by the Atomic Age, the Jet Age, the Space Age and, most recently, the Information Age.  All of these are characterized by technology, humanity’s method and means to control and dominate its environment.  There is little doubt that this era is soon to collapse under its own increasingly ponderous weight.  We are at the thin end of the wedge of a new epoch, an epoch that will signal a spiritual renaissance or the ultimate destruction of humanity as we know it.  A New Day will dawn as the Imagination Age.  What (if anything) succeeds this final Day remains to be seen.

Traversing the narrow corridors of our existence, we prefer stupefaction to cognizance.  So long we have a strong cell signal and new Tik-Toks are available to watch, all is well and life is as it should be.  Lip service is paid to the sad state of things, but even this is forgotten when the news of some celebrity’s latest travail requires dissemination.

Hear the truth- Humanity has but superficially emerged from the dark ages.  Times have changed greatly, but the spirit has changed very little.  As it has been proven, the mundane can and will destroy the magickal if magick is stripped of its importance in our lives.

Know your enemies.  Outside the castle are people who know the Right Way.  Because you know not the Right Way, they wish you dead and they have no hesitancy in giving their own life or the lives of their family and friends to see that you get your just reward.  Inside the castle walls, those sworn to protect and defend long ago lost their way.  Nothing is of greater importance to the guardians than the retention of their Power.  For that, you must obey.  You must conform.  And conform you do.  You expect them to keep you safe; under their aegis you believe yourself to be free. This is an illusion.  You have no freedom, no safety.  Abdicate your responsibility and you rightly deserve to enjoy neither.

On the one hand, there are those who cry, “We must talk!  We must give!  Surely they will listen to reason?!”  Whose reason?  Yours?  What arrogance!  You expect the rest of the world to think like you, to process like you, to have your values, your mythologies?  Then you are a fool.  Millennia divide those shores.  On the hand opposite, those who enjoin wholesale destruction of the enemy, of the land, of the Self.  “Rain fire down and conquer; the pittance remaining we shall claim.”  Such ignorance!  Each position flawed, extreme, fatal.  Arrogance and ignorance, ignorance and arrogance.  Singularly, a scourge; combined, deadly, a brew most foul.

Eyes numb and dead (or alive with fear), the parrots march and chant their silly slogans, sure that they walk the Path of Change.  The dullards will say what is wrong is right and right is wrong.  People will die while the media dances.  The dance is to convince us to ignore the truth, to offer solutions to problems that do not exist, while that which kills us creeps and spreads.

Political machinations contrived to control others by those who lack the wherewithal to control themselves.  Deceptions bought and sold, masters of illusion spinning webs of self-delusion.  Those who would rather lie than speak the truth inevitably lie most to themselves.  What was once frustration has grown the wings of desperation.  The Sun will rise to reveal the carnage.

The absence of Truth,

The absence of Trust,

The absence of Restraint,

The absence of Foresight,

The absence of Insight,

The absence of Creation,

The presence of Violence,

The presence of Ignorance,

The presence of Arrogance,

The presence of Denial –

– these are the Commandments of a sick and dying people, written on the crumbling stone that used to be their hearts.

Death is feared; Life is feared all the more.  The line will bruise the Circle.

Things do not exist in isolation.  Not humans, not animals, not plants nor waters nor rocks, not capitalism, not socialism, neither philosophies nor religions.  What happens to the People happens to All.  Your dream as you know it may soon become a nightmare.  Techno-junkies without a fix, slaves betrayed by their ignorance.  Variegated and shadowy, the Death of Hope is near.

Greatness shackled, endeavor blinded, a great hope corrupted and defiled, changed from plowshare into bludgeon.  Warriors overrun by mindless, thoughtless, soulless soldiers “just following orders.”  There is motion without progress, becoming stillness, becoming Death, fair evidence of this generation’s plague.  Winds blowing that which long ago stopped being air.  Do you give sanction to your murderer, or do you say “NO!” and dare to make a stand?

This is not the raging of a spiteful God.  This is Chaos bringing Order.

©Billy Red Horse

Lamentation For A Dream

“My hope (is) that we have not labored in vain, and that our experiment will still prove that men can be governed by reason.”
Thomas Jefferson to George Mason, 1791

It seems The Great Experiment has failed.

Two-plus centuries ago, the thing of greatest importance in the lives of most of the people that populated the Thirteen Colonies was their freedom. Freedom from the tyranny of the King, his taxes, and his church. Not a government sponsored retirement plan, not a government subsidized medical system, not government supported arts programs. They just wanted to be left alone. Even now there are those living in America who still long for the very same thing. Sadly, it appears that this longing shall never have reason to abate.

The founding fathers of this nation had as their goal the establishment of a republic characterized by limited (which is to say, minimal) government and maximum personal responsibility and liberty. The founders felt that the maximum amount of government should be the minimum amount required to perform only those tasks called for and authorized by the Constitution. These men took a very different view from today’s politicians regarding the scope and function of government. Over time the concepts and institutions imagined by those great men of vision have been corrupted and bastardized almost beyond recognition. Even the most liberal politician of the late 18th century would be shocked at the nanny-state that has taken hold in this country. What began as a nation of law has transmogrified into just another fiefdom of the mob, a land where elected despots mainline the nectar of personal power and worship at the altar of reelection. Power and position are maintained and the peasantry soothed by the indiscriminate opening of the public coffers to any who will trade their vote for a few dollars worth of consideration. The spirit of revolutionary independence that characterized the establishment of this nation is evident no more.

“The generation which commences a revolution rarely completes it. Habituated from their infancy to passive submission of body and mind to their kings and priests, they are not qualified when called on to think and provide for themselves; and their inexperience, their ignorance and bigotry make them instruments often, in the hands of the Bonapartes and Iturbides, to defeat their own rights and purposes.”
Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1823

The people of this nation will make halfhearted protestations affirming their love of freedom yet, each time the polling places are opened, most will dutifully enthrone (either through their action or inaction) the ones least likely to champion a vibrant and enduring liberty. Though the democratically elected lords and the obeisant masses will both offer arguments to the contrary, the United States of America has become little more than a neo-feudalistic society. The electorate labors obediently for their masters, hands outstretched in expectation of the largess their overseers have promised. And with each generation that passes through those government indoctrination centers that are public schools, yet another layer of habituation is instilled to insure the “passive submission of body and mind to their kings and priests.”

“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1779

A benign tyranny truly has emerged in this country, the Tyranny of Indifference. The prevailing view is that the system is what it is and little can be done to change it. Those in control certainly have no reason to refute this belief, for indifference is the greatest ally of the power monger. Personal liberty and personal responsibility are mutually inclusive. One cannot exist in the absence of the other. Likewise, it should be known that indifference and liberty are mutually exclusive. Freedom must be in receipt of the constant stewardship of those who declare themselves to be free. As a garden is tilled and tended, so must the fields of freedom be nurtured and weeded of any growing thing that would overtake and suffocate the fruits of liberty. Be warned: as surely as day follows night, a benign tyranny will inevitably become a tyranny of violent oppression. When such a tyranny takes root there comes a point where the recourse of the ballot box is no longer an option. The only way to be rid of such a tyranny is to rip out its roots forcibly through acts of willful rebellion.

“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787

Freedom cannot survive where freedom is not wanted. It may be that most of the citizens of this nation truly have no desire for anything so demanding as an abiding liberty. Being free requires an effort greater than most are willing to exert. The few remaining souls who view personal sovereignty as the only acceptable course have a limited number of options available to them if they wish to continue living in America. The first is to live “under the radar,” shunning all but the most unavoidable contact with The System in an effort to outrun (that is, expire before the arrival of) the coming oppressive Tyranny. The second would be to attempt to win the hearts and minds of the indifferent majority to the cause of freedom. (A challenge worthy of Sisyphus if ever there was one.) The third and final option is the instigation of a revolution by force, a futile course of action doomed to summary failure. The overwhelming might of the Tyranny allied with the indifference of the masses condemns a Second Revolution to an end most wretched.

The most prudent course of action for those whose bones ache for liberty may well be the abandonment of the very laboratory where the Experiment failed. Unfortunately, if America is not free, the remainder of the world is even less so. Perhaps necessity may cause members of some future generation to go so far as to colonize the ocean floor in an effort to realize the dream of independence that has so far eluded humanity’s grasp. Wherever lovers of liberty may congregate there will forever be a need for constant vigilance. Freedom is fragile and will always require that its beneficiaries stand at the ready to rise to its defense against the minions of the kings and priests.

“Men can only be governed by reason if those men are reasonable.”
Billy Red Horse, 2003

©Billy Red Horse

THE METAPHYSICS OF MANNERS

It is my position that the Life of a well-mannered gentleman is the superior Life. I find it most unfortunate that many equate kindness, consideration, patience, tolerance, courtesy, and respectful behavior with weakness.

Understand that the manners of which I speak are not merely a perfunctory etiquette, behavioral mores observed solely to facilitate routine coexistence.  As postulated here, manners go much further and speak more to a genuine and expressed dignity demonstrating a profound appreciation of and respect for Life, Self, and Others.

Metaphysics speaks to first principles.  To my way of thinking, there is nothing more fundamental to the Human Experience than the refinement demonstrated through and by the considered and genuine display of decorum in our interactions one with another.

When drilling down into those first principles at the heart of my affinity for gentlemanly conduct, it might surprise you to learn of the motivation underlying my appreciation for and expression of such propriety.  I don’t live as a well-mannered gentleman for the benefit of others.  I do it solely for mySelf.  I do it because it makes me feel good.  I do it because it engenders a feeling and experience of power unlike any I have ever known.  That others are able to profit from my unvarnished acts of Self-interest is a tangential (and delightful) bonus.

Those Times in my Life when I have comported mySelf as other than a gentleman, whether through ignorance or intentional animus, I have always and without fail been the lesser for it.  AnyTime I have acted in an unmannered way, no matter how justified or righteous such behavior might have been, I inevitably walked away from the encounter feeling somehow soiled, contaminated by an Energy that I, ultimately, found repulsive. An Energy which I created.

Manners do not mean cowardice.  Civility does not mean capitulation.  Kindness does not mean weakness.  Firmness, resolve, and determination are more than capable of sharing the same space as gentility.  Some of the most mannered gentlemen I have ever encountered are capable of expressing great violence should the situation warrant it.  And they can do so without ever losing their dignity or their gentlemanly gravitas.

How people interact with others is telling of how they interact with and think about themSelves.  I speak often and at length about the value I perceive to be found in the process of Self-refinement.  I wish for my actions and my interactions with others to speak volumes about those things which I hold dear.  The joy and satisfaction I find in a mannered Life is reason enough for me to carry on, regardless of possibly being viewed as an ambulatory relic.

Manners maketh man.

©Billy Red Horse

ON TRANSCENDENCE

People focus on the concept of awakening or the mystical event as though it is this god-touched experience, the be-all and end-all of spiritual development; it is not. Walk with me for a moment –
 
You and I are sitting together in a very heavily populated bar enjoying a fine Macallan Scotch and discussing all sorts of interesting things. Look around us, my friend. It is my position that very likely 50-60 percent of the people present in this bar with us have at some point in their lives had what could accurately be described as an enlightenment/awakening experience. Unfortunately, this is something we in the West are never told about and never prepared for. So what happens? Some folks think that what has happened to them is just some form of mild psychosis that will pass if they just ignore it; so they ignore it and any benefits they might have gleaned are lost to Time. Others actually go a little nuts as a result. Still others have no point of reference so they think that they have experienced some sort of religious awakening and they cleave to whatever religious mythology is comfortable to them to explain what has happened. The last group recognize that something Important has happened and they simply roll with it. So what, then, is enlightenment/awakening? It is the onset of potential spiritual adulthood, the innate recognition that all things are interconnected and interdependent, that Life is composed of Creation, Preservation, and Destruction at a cellular level and that this realization is beyond explanation by mere words.
 
So what’s my point in all this? Awakening is simply a developmental stage in what it is to be human, nothing more, nothing less. It has been my position and I have taught for years that there is something beyond awakening, and that something is TRANSCENDENCE. The highest adepts and spiritual masters are those who have attained to transcendence. To transcend is to go beyond the limitations imposed by Self and society, to, within Sacred Law, move beyond the fetters of Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, and Creative constraints and to experience a fullness of Life beyond description, beyond explaining, beyond imagination.
 
Awakening is an event; transcendence is an ongoing experience an ongoing experience an ongoing experience an ongoing experience an ongoing experience an ongoing experience….
 
Enlightenment/awakening is a peculiar thing. Far too many people labor under the Hollywood version of what this most natural state is. To be awakened does not grant one omniscience or omnipotence and you are not automatically endowed with the wisdom of a great sage. In fact, it is not uncommon for one such to turn into a babbling idiot.
 
What so many fail to recognize is that if you were an asshole before an awakening event, afterwards you’re more than likely just an awakened asshole. This is why so many who have experienced this shift don’t seem that different to an outside observer. Now, that being said, the awakened asshole DOES have at his disposal a new tool kit that can assist him in divesting himSelf of any Life-negating tendencies he possesses should he choose to avail himSelf of it. This is where transcendence comes into play.
 
Enlightenment and the subsequent ongoing process of transcendence are both ineffable. Awakening is more like a noun and transcendence is, indeed, a verb; a process that is never ending. It is this demand for persistence that makes transcendence at once so challenging and so fulfilling, a thing of Beauty.
 

On a bit of a side note, something I have experienced in my more than 31 years in the arena of spiritual refinement is the tendency of so many gurus/teachers/masters/whatever to obfuscate the whole thing, needlessly complicating and mystifying what is already complicated and mysterious enough on its own. I have been labeled a heretic more than once in my Life across multiple disciplines, told I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, even having my own insights and experiences dismissed as trifling and unworthy of consideration. As a teacher and healer mySelf, I take a very different approach: I go out of my way to hold people accountable for their own growth, experience, and state without qualification that nothing I share should ever be taken at face value or accepted as true.

As much as I may know, I don’t know it all. I am wary of anyone that makes claims to the contrary.
 
Remember: There Is Always More.
©Billy Red Horse