Saturday, November 2, 2019

Hitler Attends A Seder In The Afterlife

            "Avraham, give our guest some more gefilte fish."  Mother Rachel spoke in Yiddish and gestured towards the man seated at the place of honor on the long holiday table. 
            Evidently the man couldn't speak.  His eyes bulged from his head, his arms went this way and that.  Some hidden force seemed to glue him to his chair so that he could not even rise.
            "He looks funny," Avraham, eldest son, tried heroically to conceal a chuckle.  The man was indeed a comical figure.  His little mustache, his hair combed over his forehead, these were unusual accoutrements at the Eternal Seder.  In the Spirit World the Eternal Seder was just that, an unending celebration of Passover.  It occupied an archetypal place in the Cosmic Order.
            "Why is he doing that?" asked Sipporah, younger daughter.  The guest was thrusting his right arm out, almost straight, but bending and sagging from the fatigue of eons of attempting this salute.
            "It's supposed to mean Victory," Zeyda Moishe said skeptically. 
            "I think he is perhaps deluded," Baba Zifnah decided.  "Don't let him spoil the Seder."
            "There is always a guest at Seder," said Cousin Frinkl.  "They are not always so unpleasant."
            The candles glistened, filling the chamber with soft light. More light, also soft but differently colored, emanated from the spacious double windows.
            "It is our tradition to welcome everyone, from all the Worlds and Spheres," Mother Rachel declared.  "Even the Hell Worlds."
            "Do you think he's from one of those?" little Micah interjected with excitement.
            "It is not ours to judge." Zeydah Moishe said. "Sins are put aside during Passover. That is the whole point.  The Angel Of Darkness passes over our house."
            There was a sound entering the chamber, a sound as of a colossal wagon loaded with tons of lead.  It groaned with a sound so deep that most of it was felt rather than heard.  Shadows covered the windows.  The light was attenuated.  Little Gavril, the toddler cousin, rose with curiosity to look out.
            "Don't!" commanded Mother Rachel.  "Sit down! Our Guest's crimes are rolling past our house.  Praise God they don't stop here."
            The grinding sound continued as if forever.  Sledges pulled by immense demon-steeds yanked them forward a bit at a time.  At last peace was restored. The Guest seemed to sag.  Was it possible to see a hint of remorse in his countenance?  Then he straightened and attempted his rigid arm-salute.
            "I thought for a moment that he might regret his crimes," said Sipporah.
            "For a moment, perhaps." Zeyda Moishe replied.  "But look: he is again celebrating his imaginary victory."
            "Too bad." Baba Zifnah commented quietly.
            "Without regret, without an accounting," said Zeyha Moishe, "Crimes cannot be forgiven.  It will take this one some time.  Perhaps twenty eons, perhaps a thousand.  Regret and remorse will come to him, but not for a very long time.  Let us say a special prayer for his soul."
            Those at the Seder, all but one, bowed their heads and began the traditional benediction. "Baruch Atah," they intoned, "Blessed Be Thou."

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

What's So Secret About The Secret?

What's so Secret About The Secret?

            They're everywhere.  There are thousands of would-be gurus, life coaches, revealers of new techniques, New Age formulators of ways to help you empower yourself, to get what you really want out of life.  They're all offering you a way out of your problems.  Everything will be fine if you follow the Eleven Laws of Committment, or the Seven Ways of Tai-Fen, or The Secret's True Secret At The Heart Of The True Secret's Truest Secret.
            Relationships, Money, Health.  Those are the holy trinity upon which are based the promises of the Salesmen of Miraculous Change.  These salesmen will show you how to cut through the knot of your obstacles, how to rid yourself of the Negative Energies that have been keeping success at bay. For only $75, or $350, or whatever amount applies, you can purchase the Program.  You'll receive your DVD, The Book, and maybe a T-shirt or a coffee mug.  There are essential accessories, like tuning forks and magic water and The Program doesn't really work unless you have these gizmos to enhance your Chi.  Gee.  If you follow the techniques diligently, the mess of your life will clear up very soon, maybe in a few months.  You might start to see change immediately!  Your life will begin to work for you!
            Are people THAT miserable?
            Yes.  A lot of people are.
            Many, too many people are sick and stressed out.  We've been hooked on the Happiness Con  our entire lives.  Now that it hasn't worked out the way we planned we're in a state of shock.  How did our lives get so fucked up?  We were supposed to be happy, we were guaranteed a life of fulfillment so long as we got our degrees and certificates as we went around the track.   We were also expected to be "nice".  We weren't supposed to make Bad Karma.
            Bad Karma happened anyway.  We chose the wrong partners, made dumb business decisions and indulged in escapist activities.  Whoops!
            I call this state of affairs Human Life.  This is what it really is.  Some of us are more messed up than others, it's true, but the bedrock reality is that everything is a mess.  I'm not saying that we can't and shouldn't work on our characters.  I'm not saying we can't or shouldn't put compassion into action on the stage of life.  I'm not saying that miracles don't happen. Clearly they do.  Big ones and little ones.  The world is filled with miracles, the world IS a miracle.  It's just that the world is a mess.  Global Warming is not going to be comfortable for human beings.  While the planet makes its adjustments we will feel that things are awry, that life has somehow gone askew.  How are we supposed to live in a messed up world without being ourselves messed up?
            I believe that most of the Self Empowerment carpetbaggers are sincere.  They really believe their own schtick.  They're selling books,  DVDs and T-shirts.  They have followers.  People attend their seminars.   I can't help wondering if, deep down in the ooze of their suppressed Negative Energy, they don't have a little twinge of guilt.  Nah, probably not.  Ninety nine percent of their followers, or consumers, are failing to transform their lives.  They're still overweight, or single, overwhelmed with financial problems,  fighting with a partner or confused by the arduous demands of parenthood.
            The Self Transformation Industry is just that, an industry.  It's loaded with hyperbolic advertising.  If you want to transform yourself, it will happen organically.  All you need to do is aim your intention and cooperate with your own life.  Good things will happen, and bad things will happen.  Usually it's the pain that does the most transforming.

Friday, February 22, 2019

It Don't Rub Off

Feb 22, 2019

More and more each day
my life looks like a stage set.
my green rubber key chain,
the white bowl from which
I eat Cheerios.
More and more it looks less real;
it's nothing like I wanted, not at all.
It's more like a joke that's on me, the opposite
of my desires.  It waits to see
if I'll laugh.  I do; I laugh. It's so silly, wanting,
but it can't be helped.  Wanting is like breathing
or waiting
while something giant hurtles towards me
too far away to sense,
but it's coming.
And I need it.
I'm in no hurry to see through things;
they control the pace.
Who I am
is not a mistake. I came here for an exercise
a knowledge that slips through my fingers.
One day my fist will close around it.
My car is banged up and cut
my knees hurt.
I'm poor but never broke.
My broke friends know
I'll find something for them to do
and I'll pay them.
I carry some of their Stupid for a while.
It don't rub off. 
I always think I'm injured but I'm not:
except that life is injury, an obscure pathway
through a forest full of thrilling birds
and venomous snakes.
Is this real?
Yeah, I guess so.  For now.

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