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Love Letters to the Universe #16: The Smooth Operator

3 Mar

Dear Universe,

Thank you, my dear, for stories. They are the vehicle through which myth is transmitted to mass consciousness, allowing us a common forum to discuss and evaluate our own lives. They become a shared dream, where our insecurities and desires, hopes and fears are acted out. For our first foray into personality discussion, let us turn to the myths of the Robot- a male archetype that perennially resonates with us because it has important things to say about our situation.

A robot is a being that is run from artificial intelligence. It was constructed using science, but in reality it is a discussion of consciousness, the laboratory where science and magic are indistinguishable. The robot is made from man (or some other manlike intelligence) and looks upon the world, ponders its own existence and finds peace, or rebels against the universe that made it. So too, are we born (or created) and we find that consciousness begins to allow us understanding that should not be available to us in regards to our “programming”.

The lists of robots (both figurative and literal) pepper the mass consciousness because of this very reason. As a child I loved the Star Wars saga, but as a young adult, upon watching A New Hope once again, I was struck by one particular line. On Tatooine, the steadfast droid companions, R2D2 and C3PO are left alone and have a quiet discussion. C3PO reflects on his relationship with his small squawking and beeping friend.

“Why I stick my neck out for you R2 goes beyond capacity.” This statement speaks volume of the awakening consciousness in this artificial being. Just as C3P0 is an inorganic accumulation of matter run on electricity, so we are organic accumulations of matter running on electricity. We marvel over and over again at our own ability to go “beyond capacity” because of our love for our fellow beings.

This is the story of the robot, as it is the story of man. We perceive order in you, sweet universe, and see how we ourselves are created from this complex matrix. We must decide, however, if order is the sole purpose of this endeavor of life. If we do, then we will stagnate. We will fail to see that the you are perfection, and the definition of perfection is that which is infinitely more capable of being more perfect. But if we understand that order is the vehicle through which we experience, a carefully balanced system that allows us the chaotic notion of free will then we will continue to evolve toward the perfection of consciousness that overrides all systems, suffering, and death.

An interesting note about Robots: most suffer, especially when young, from a deficiency in their ability to self-diagnose. This leads to an affliction which I will furthermore refer to as: The Bladerunner Syndrome. These boys and men fail to understand their basic nature as Robots and will often try to act as if they are the male counterparts of the quadrant from which they derive their feminine aspects. This misunderstanding can result in much confusion and sometimes outright disaster, the likes of which I will discuss in each separate type’s description.

So, my love, as promised, are the four types of Robots that walk among the hairless monkeys:

The Operator, The Scientist, The Detective, The Scout

  1. The Operator

Primary Mode of Operation: Order (East)

Secondary Mode of Operation: Control (East)

Epithets: Mr. Fixit, The Computer, The Vulcan, The Empirical Android

Mythic Examples: Hephaestus, Data, C3PO, Spock

Description: The Operator is the youngest of all the types. They have sprung from the tension between order and control. The Operator is most comfortable in routine, orderly environments where the illusion of control is greatest. This type is most uncomfortable with emotion, and will avoid most situations which will lead to any encounter with this messy subject matter. They make up for this (at least in their own minds) by being precise, technologically adept and dependable. If something is broken, the Operator, smiles with this new found purpose and sets to fixing it. They make wonderful systems managers, technicians, inventors, programmers and engineers. The Operator is in love with all manner of machine and is often far more comfortable dealing with the inner operations of these then their fellow hairless monkeys. As young children, the operators may have difficulty with a lot of physical attention, as many of their behaviors are concurrent with those experienced by hairless monkeys on the autism spectrum. Hence, the world of romance and intimacy is a foreign land to the Operator. This does not mean that the right Empress might not be able to “train” an Operator into an eager pleasure bot. For the operator, however, the control mode he shows due to his feminine Empress aspect is usually manifested as a kind of self-control best expressed in the mythic example of Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame. If things get too complicated, then the Operator buries himself in routine or some materialistic endeavor. If this fails then the control manifests as a kind of avoidance protocol which leaves many companions of the Operator feeling ignored or underappreciated. However, like Data, also of Star Trek, the operator can be a wonderful companion full of simple curiosity, technical ability, and dependability. And, like Data, if the operator is brave enough to challenge his own programming, he will have the remarkable achievement of redefining what a human being might become.

Ideal match: The Director (the Steel Empress)

Challenging types for the Operator: Anyone with Western (Fae) Aspects, especially the Sorcerer or the Sorceress.

The Shadow Type: The Drone- The Operator who retreats from the world of humanity and (all the wonderful varieties in you, my darling) becomes the Drone. The Drone tries to exist without emotion or intimacy. It respects only the predictable. The Drone had let the Control aspect of his Feminine side become too powerful in its drive to complete a total and irreversible order. The Drone may often appear to be outright asexual in his make up. For the Drone pleasure becomes an intangible satisfaction with sterile rigidity to form. When the Drone has a full on case of Bladerunner Syndrome, it becomes a reversal. The hairless monkey fails to understand that he is in fact a hairless monkey with human feelings and subject to ethics and morality. Without this careful attention to the moral order of things, the Drone can be used as a merciless weapon in the hands of the violent and despotic. Also, countless myths have shown how the Drone may rise up and try to erase everything illogical and human, as he sees himself as the paragon of perfection, while all else is an aberration worthy of extinction (the Terminator films, Ultron of Marvel Comics, D.C.’s Braniac, and so many others).

Ironically, the Operator, in his fully realized potential is a vital ingredient in the hopes for any kind of utopia. We have the technology right now to feed, clothe and educate the entire world. It is the Operator who can help us with this organizational achievement. The Operator would be very happy to do so, for in this service, the Operator feels his connection and place with you. What a true companion to hairless monkeykind! What a gift from you, my sweet.

With my eternal thanks,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #15: The North (or) A Return to Innocence

2 Mar

Dear Universe,

Come with me. I will take you with me on a journey, the destination of which may be a surprise, indeed. We are headed north, and that is a spiritual journey the likes of which have been repeated beyond number. In a darker and earlier century of my birth country’s life, men kept other men as slaves. Hairless monkeys were kept in cruel captivity all their lives, beaten, raped, and treated to the worst indignities one monkey has ever shown another. Did not these hairless monkeys realize that they were in fact defining a hairless monkey as one who not only deserves such ignoble treatment, but one who is willing to enact them to those of his own kind? But, I digress; the world keeps turning, and eventually because of the countless acts of kindness and courage, the hairless monkey learns.

But, in that time, before the learning, many monkeys followed their fellows to the north toward freedom. And when there was no one to show them the way in the darkness, they followed the drinking gourd. We take such a journey. We need to, although most of the hairless monkeys about have not even stopped to think about it. Ironically, that’s just why we need it. We are trapped in the illusion. We run, like ratmonkeys through mazes, afraid to stick our head up to see what lies beyond. Heck, we can’t even stop long enough in our scurry to wonder if what awaits us at the end of the maze is even worth pursuing. We need freedom, freedom to choose real alternatives, to choose life over planetary destruction, to choose priorities that doesn’t cater to some imaginary market, made from imaginary currency, but deals with the current of life as it whisks us, prepared or panicked, toward the future.

So, my love, we will go north. The disc is the symbol for the north, for the disc is the world, our mother earth. Earth is the element, and there if we are careful and quiet, if we still the clamor of our neurotic egos for a moment, we just may feel the heartbeat of the great mother. The Earth is alive, and she is calling to her children to come back to her. The peoples of the north, the Primals are the first to proudly heed that call.

The Primals embody the spirit of our ancestors, the free souls who stood with their feet on the ground and their heads lifted in awe at the sky. They seek connection, with the world, with each other, living in clans, tribes and families that care for each other, look out for one another. To the Wildmen and the Mothers of the Primal Tribes, all things in the world are family. They welcome these relatives of bird, animal, plant and stone and thank them for taking their place among them. It is only when the Primals forget this connection to the earth, to each other, to the very spark inside of them, will disaster occur. Many have forgotten their very nature as spark-bearers, and this forgetting leads to a kind of fear that kills.

The Primals, as stewards of the north, must hold onto this understanding of their connection that has been taught to us by our Mother Earth. For now, I see that this journey north is a re-connection with our Primal being, connected to all things, the earth, the ancestors, and each other. It is a return to innocence, where love is the bind that brings forth life and protects it.

The Primals are alive, and want to touch, explore, and experience. They are the most sensual of the people of the wheel. They move through the world with a delight in the push and pull the physical world. They hoot their challenge to every mountain, and dive deepest into the world’s waters. You will know the Primals for their attitude. The Primals from times past used to proudly account for their years by pronouncing how many winters they had survived, and not just survived, but thrived in with a laugh set against the winds.

If the primals forget this great connection, which is love, which is you, my dear, they will be consigned to live in yesterday’s world of darkness and suffering. But, should they remember, they will go out and meet you with a proud wave. These free peoples will push the limit of what hairless monkeys were thought able to do. They will experience you with wide open eyes. Their wonder will wipe away any conflict, hardship or heartache.

The wildman will not stay. He will be a savage or the dignity of liberty will transform him into a free man. The mother will be celebrated and cherished as the source of all good things, or she will suffer and eventually be lost to us.

These Freemen and Freemothers will then take us with them to every nook and cranny of this world and show us and say, “See this, this is good, let us respect it.” They will teach, protect, and nurture us along the way. We will take what is harvested and honed from the wilderness of their own hearts, and we will know that it is good, for it is grown with love.

And, so, sweet universe, we have come full circle, and our little dance is done. Now, don’t pout, I have a treat in store for you. It is actually a gift.

Very soon, I shall tell you of all of the many types of Robots, Superstars, Aliens and Wildmen. We shall stroll hand in hand through the halls of the Empresses, the Princesses, the Witches, and the Mothers. But, know that I am not a psychologist. I’m an amateur mythologists; I study stories, but more than that, I am that peculiar type of mythologist called a writer. I make sense of my world through stories, those that I have cherished, and those that come spilling out of me, when I silence my self and set myself to the task of entertaining you, my dear.

Thus, I give this paradigm of peoples to you, so that other writer’s may use it. I hope that it might be even the slightest help to them in creating stories that I, my children, and my children’s children will enjoy. If any hairless monkey should find these letters and find themselves described in these very words therein, perhaps then they, too, will be all the better at telling the story that is their life.

What is their life, but the story of you and they? What is mine, but a love letter (so may it be) to (you) all that is.

Love,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #14: The West (or) Strangers in a Strange Land

1 Mar

Dear Universe,

With some trepidation I present to you the lands of the west. I do so, fully knowing that I must be honest in describing this, my people, for you know me so well. The west is the cardinal direction symbolized by the element water. There the sun dips down to take its nightly bath under a canopy of stars. Water is the element of emotion, spiritual intuition, romanticism, hearts, imagination and creativity. That which holds water is the cup, the totem of the west in the tarot.

In the fantastic imagination of my homeland, we are always moving west, toward the promise of what lies beyond the setting sun. We are heading toward our death and whatever may lay waiting behind that veil. And who lives in this zone where gentling twilight is the norm?

The elusive Fae, of course. They are the creatures that have taken human shape and walk among us, observing, commenting, exploring, shaking their heads with disdain at these hairless monkeys and the trouble they continue to repeat over and over again. One must wear a special set of glasses to notice the Fae among us. Here is the wrinkly faced old one who is slapping his knee and giving winks. In a moment he will jump up and hoot in childlike glee. Here is the little old one wearing fresh-minted skin, as he or she ponders the life of ducks afloat on a Sunday afternoon.

The Fae have often been misunderstood. Often they are the first hunted down by oppressive regimes, rounded up, and silenced. Just so, in gentle cultures they are revered for their wisdom, sought for their council and their stories which always marvel the hearers with a yearning for that which is just out of sight and touch.  Chaos and order are just seasons to these old ones, and they move through both with their own unique and uncanny grace. What motivates them may mystify even the Fae themselves, as that which occupies the rest of the hairless monkeys may be disdained or wholly overlooked by the Witches and Aliens that make up this western tribe. Cursed to always feel like a fish out of water, the Fae often feel, and often are, set apart by their whimsical temperament, their odd outlooks, and their singular styles.

With outspoken women and gentle males, the Fae are the original equalists. It is rare to find a truly prejudicial Alien or Witch. Since their modes of meaning stem from reflection and their natural intuition, the Fae have their own inborn sense of right and wrong. This can bring them into conflict with societies that have rigid and dogmatic rules of behavior and comportment. Hippies, Bohemians, Gypsy-travelers, dreamy-eyed artists, and absent minded professors can all be found in the ranks of the Fae.

Their individualism can be their downfall, as they may grow bitter and resentful of the world and fall into a flight or fight mechanism which will send them into self-righteous rants or scurrying into a self-imposed exile. They may see the rich emotional life inside of themselves as untranslatable to the common monkey and, in an act of self-loathing, try to turn off this emotional well. Many famous Fae have been known for their cold demeanor because of it. This lack of a feeling of belonging and separation may result in despair, which could lead to self-abuse and even suicide.

Writing, poetry, art, teaching, music, spirituality, philosophy, and humanity itself, may hold limitless fascination for these ethereal wanderers. The Fae have one foot in this world, however, and one in the next, and this can lead to a form of depressive lethargy which takes a large will to overcome.  If they do, the Fae have an important role in any society, as their perspective can awaken and illuminate. Their unorthodox take on life can shed light on what this mystical west is like, and how we all might better get there. Young Fae may become despondent with the woes of the world and may bang their heads trying to change it. The old ones, however, have learned the patience and the humor to take what comes and find the funny and the outrageous in it. And although many Fae may have strict adherence to basic and romantic courtesies, they are masters of satire and wit.

As a child, how often did I wonder when someone would show up and lead me to my real family, my real people, my destiny. Whether this person would be a bald man with telepathy in a wheelchair or an owl with a letter, I suppose it depended on what fantasy I was escaping into at the time. Although to say I was purely escaping is incorrect; I was bathing in myth, which is the stuff in that cup which the Aquarian Fae bears to the rest of humanity. Symbols take on a life of their own for the Fae, so that a child might hear a pig’s head on a stick talk, or might have adventures with a stuffed bear.

How many young Fae have been rubbed out by the harsh realities of life before their special gifts can be shared with humanity? How many have despaired over the fact that they exist, overlooking the fact that they may have a genuine purpose in said existence?

I call on my fellow Fae, the autumn people, to rise up proudly and give voice to their haunting promise of a better tomorrow. Of all the directions, it is the west that graces the hairless monkey with psychic awareness. It is rare to find someone with Alien and Witch in their makeup who does not have some measure of clairvoyance, telepathy, nor precognition. These intuitive gifts must be fostered and trusted, for like Fiver from Watership Down or Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars, those touched with Fae blood may just get us to where we most needed to be.

Perhaps, that is why we Fae never feel at home. Perhaps some intuitive part of us recognizes that we haven’t got there yet. It isn’t a place or a time, but a general state of being, and with their understanding of the web of life, or the wyrd, the Witches and the Aliens know that if we don’t all get there together, then we haven’t got there at all.

Sometimes, for the Fae it is enough to beat back the dark and proudly say that we are still standing. We are here to witness, to give testimony and to dream of a better world. We must repeat a mantra ceaselessly to remind ourselves that we aren’t alone.

Because you are here with me, and wherever you are, sweet universe, is home.

Love,

Trav  

Love Letters to the Universe #13: The South (or) The Shining Ones Among Us

28 Feb

Dear Universe,

My fair cosmic benevolence, how long this winter wracks our spirits. Warm days seem like a distant and winsome dream. I can not remember another one with such a frozen and relentless aspect. Do not think that I am not faithful, hopeful, or any less loving because of the long dark months of back-shuddering cold. As a far northern Yankee, I know the winter hones and sharpens our appreciation for the necessary spring that shall come and fall upon the land with a gentility and sweetness that will be as marked and profound as this haggard and stubborn season of snow and ice. Still, to walk with you hand in hand, lovely universe, in a land to the south, for but a day, but an hour. To feel the sun’s kiss on our faces, to bask in a balmy southerly breeze, to place my naked monkey feet upon the soft and giving earth; these are the things for which I would wish.

In this spirit then, let us go, you and I, to the lands where summer’s sweetness never dies. Here the fiery wheel of the sun burns away all chills from the southern children, the Nobles, who hold their proud heads high with ease and grace. Fire is the element of the south; and the Superstars and Princesses of these gentle lands are the torchbearers. Wherever firelight beats back the night, there people will gather, laugh and sing. Hence, the Nobles are the most social and persuasively dynamic of the cosmic wheel. Passionate and proud, these Princesses of pomp and knightly Superstars are the performers on the worlds stage.

I am not put off by the fierce competitive nature of many Nobles, but instead enjoy the spectacle of their astonishing feats. How many olympians, athletes, singers, celebrities, comedians, clowns, doctors, daredevils and dancers have had the Noble fire in their veins? They sparkle and shine with an ease that will leave many of the rest of the monkeys moaning with envy or desire.

Of course, fire shines, but it burns as well. How many were snubbed by a pernicious Princess, or been scoffed at by Superstars that could not see beyond their own lustre. These Nobles seek influence and recognition, and will not be content until they have it. It is our hope, and mayhaps our very jobs, as the admirers of these Nobles, that they be reminded that the recognition will come for tasks done, not only well, but fairly and justly. Influence is not a bauble with which godlings play toss, but a heavy responsibility. We pray these often trivial primadonnas will realize the power of their smiles and deeds to change the world for the better.

Sadly, many will never make this realization. When the stage lights dim and the applause wanes, how many Nobles have turned to the phantom comforts of drugs and alcohol to fill the spaces that they now discover waiting beneath the veneer of their facade. The very fire of promise and fame have swallowed many a shining star, and we are left blinded to tears by their passing brilliance.

If the Superstar merely learns that the lasting recognition comes from within, and that the only applause needed is the clapping and happy thoughts come from a life well led, then all disaster may be averted. When the Princess puts aside petty ambitions, and raises her voice in a clarion call for the people to unite and reform, then the world will truly know the fruits of summer.

Summer is the southerly season, and it is also the time of Romance. Tales of knightly virtue and daring deeds have graced our theaters and front porch talk for time immemorial. The Nobles see themselves as players in these sagas. If only these shining ones would forever put up their game of thrones, then the summer’s harvest would be for all to enjoy.

The tarot deems the wands as the totem of the south. These represent the will, the passion, the potential of the self. Thus, nobles bear this natural scepter well, and embody our achievements and greatest inspirations, or adhere to the illusion of self-importance and facile meaninglessness.

I wait for summer, my love. I wait for you, in all your finery to play the more gentle tune of greenery and growth. I wait for the Nobles to put aside their trivialities and realize the opportunity the limelight gives them, for the limelight is their lives, brief, sweet and powerful. What else is it for but to add to your grace, by deeds bravely done, by songs sweetly sung. I wait for peace on earth; I wait for the days of Camelot to finally come to the hearts of mankind.

And then, loveliest of lovelies, they will know your grace and wonder. They will know whatever shining glory came from within themselves, came really from you. Whatever part they played in its manifestation they will thank you for that golden opportunity. We will look at such wonderful women and men and say: “Play on! Play on! Encore, Encore!” Such would be the life in the Summerlands of your love.

Your ever faithful and patient lover,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #12: The East (or) The Ghost in the Machine

27 Feb

Dear Universe,

If you were willing to take my hand, sweet universe, perhaps we could undertake a little stroll through the different types of hairless monkeys that inhabit this blue-green planet. Let us start in the east. Just as countless sages have prescribed walking to face the rising sun, walking toward it in salutation, so we will walk this way and discuss the Experts.

The east has always been associated with the domain of the mind, of thought, of airy logic. It is no wonder that here we should find the Experts. In the tarot the suit of swords hails from the east. The sword is the thing in which we carve out our existence. We cut away with our reason until we have mastery and understanding. Our brain is very much a blade which will often, if used too liberally, cut away all that is deemed unnecessary by logic and function.

It is also the realm of the Ego. And here also, we are reminded that those who live by the sword, must surely die by it as well. Our brain tells us that we have dominion over what we can conceptualize and judge. The question then arises: are we masters of our brains, or do we give over our sovereign power to it? I am reminded of Michael Moorcock’s cosmic champion, Elric, who becomes a slave to the Black Blade that he bears. How many cautionary tales have been told about the mad scientists of the hairless monkey persuasion that because of hubris unlocked pandora’s box? Mary Shelley, woke once from a dream to warn us of this.

In the east, too often, we are led to believe that the end justifies the means. Our brains seek order and rationale. Why shouldn’t it? With these things we have cured diseases, built great empires and eliminated many fallacies. Here we have those dominated by the functions of thought and judgement.

We live in a mechanical universe, and from this clockwork factory have sprung machines that stop and ponder the complexities around them. They seek to simplify and arrange. The happiness they experience is solely dependent on their attitude which motivates such action. Such can be said of any hairless monkey, but the Experts are those who either a) fight a Sisyphean battle against their very complex natures and a universe which they refuse to accept for all it’s dirty and faulty chaos, or b) strive to humbly understand the workings of a vastly complicated mechanism, and try to pay homage to that complexity through their works and discoveries.

There is a ghost in the machine. Those that deny it are bound to battle with themselves and you, my elegantly and unashamedly dichotomous universe. We are made in the image of you, are but reflections of your own desires; hence we are as split and ironic as all else we see and study. The heart struggles against the brain and what it knows. The male in us is attracted and fearful of the female that lives in each of us.

Every male hairless monkey has a female aspect, an anima, if you will, which contrasts, compliments, and co-exists with the animus. So, every female has a correlating male aspect, as well. It is the relationship created by the friction of these two which creates the electrical effect called personality.

The Experts of the east are no different; although their adherence to logic and order often find them least capable of recognizing, much less compromising, these internal differences. An expert needs definition in order to classify. He or she refuses, sometimes, to even accept the existence of that which eludes definition.

Such beings often appear as young. They desire simple answers as they have little patience for life without definition, or the experience necessary to fully accept complexity. They tend toward materialism in their philosophy, unless their formative education included an acceptable explanation which the expert would cling to with dogmatic attention, as long as another theory does not cast light on any faults in the previous world view’s logic.

The ethereal and psychic does not come into the eastern sphere. Instead, the experts are those with mastery of patterns. They savor facts, and for them the truth and fact become synonymous.

Often, sadly, the Robot or Empress will look around at the world, and failing to identify the purpose or nature of you, my lovely, they also have a hard time identifying the basic aspects of their own nature. This can lead to ongoing confusion over their own motivations or those of others. They may assume that their way of thinking is the only acceptable and rational way, and that all others suffer from some malfunction of persona. Hence, a Robot or Empress may only see draconian medical intervention for any type of emotional or psychological dysfunction.

Mechanically adept and coordinated, the expert, in his or her most glorified aspect, those of the east are essential liberators of humanity. Their discoveries and machinations may free all of us to better seek the truth, destroy want, and find peace. However, if the expert is to become a true robot (or slave) to cold logic, then, ironically they and their creations will enslave humanity in a very bleak and soullessly mechanized existence.

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the titular character agonizes over his past and how he allowed his mental hubris to strive for eternal life only to bring death to the world in a new and horrifying form.

Of course, the east is a place for future’s promise. Those that hail from the land of rosy-tipped fingered dawn are those who can manifest that promise, as long as they understand that the wisest action is to control the self, and that order and peace must first be manifested from within.

I give my promise to you, universe, that I will write more, and tell you about all of the wonderful types of robots and empresses out there. It is my hope that if they should recognize themselves, they would be all the more fit to manifest that peace and bring in that shining promise of tomorrow.

Love,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #11: Hairless Monkey Love

24 Feb

Dear Universe,

I have to tell you, I’ve been enjoying our little chats immensely. I particularly find the hairless and tailess monkey a most provocative and intriguing animal to study. I would, as you know, as I am one of those resident Aliens I was speaking about to you the other day. These primates are absolutely obsessed with love. Their cousins, the Bonobos are totally and unrepentantly into it, so it must run in the family.

So let’s strip this hairless monkey down (I know we are getting naughty, aren’t we?) to its very core. We’ve talked about the chakras- well, now I see they are glittering pools of energized aphrodisiac.

From the root chakra the hairless monkey becomes the sensual lover. It is enticed by aromas, and feeling, the light of the moon, the gentle caress of the wind through hair.

It is through the Sacral that the monkey knows erotic lover’s limitless pleasures. See them madly drive into one another, as if to form (secret upon secrets which only the birds and the bees understand) some state of fusion.

The Solar Plexus allows the hairless monkey to rise, stretch and bask in enchanting love. Here the monkeys are enthralled by each other, delighting in the belly dance future promise. Here they wait on the edge of wonder at the way another monkey walks across the room, how they startle and command each other’s every moment’s attention.

In the gardens of the heart walk the hairless monkeys engaged in romantic love. They carve themselves on the face of every time, like monkeys carving their marks together onto a tree. Their story is your story, and it is as graceful as it is perfect.

From the Throat comes the words and with the word comes fetish. Here the monkeys engage in adventurous and kinky love. They use words, names and flesh to elicit sounds from one another; and, oh, what sounds they do make, what words they use!

The third-eye allows the hairless monkey access to compassionate healing love. They give each other energy like a gift which is the grace of each other. All else floats away, as the monkeys follow each other toward rest on the high climactic plateau.

The crown chakra is where the monkey has access to spiritual, tantric love. When the Chi gets flowing from the self to the other and then back again, the erotic entanglement leads to infinite bliss. Here monkeys let go of all subterfuges and deceits. The two have become one.

So, sweet universe, the hairless monkey is designed to love, so love it shall. I marvel to see how you have made each male for each female, but in varying varieties as limitless as you are, my eternally changing beauty.

We have talked of the types of men and the types of women. What of these? How do they find the ultimate expression of this love? Where does eat meet a challenge that does not preclude, although it may suggest, amorous disaster? In reminder of these types I will list them and the functions and cardinal directions associated with each:

The Types

But, what of the lonely Robot? How does he find love in a world so full of things to put in order? Who could better appreciate the robot’s manly help and loyalty than the Empress herself. The Robot can rest easy in his routine knowing that such a majestic royal nature is at the controls to his heart as the glittering Empress.

But, should the Robot find himself in the Witch’s lair, he shall be quite confounded. He must flee surely, for how can he put things in order when he understands less than half of what the silly witch is saying? And will the poor Witch prosper being forever doubted? No, I say.

And what of the shining superstar? He waits in the wings for something to strive for, some knightly quest to achieve. The Princess is made all the more gracious using her influence for the sake of her champion; and the princess knows that to influence such a knight is a prize indeed.

But, should the superstar enjoy his time with a Mother? How could the poor mother ever compete with the mother that is in the superstar’s head, or at the end of the line on the superstar’s speed dial? The mother grows haggard trying to connect with a shooting star.

And what of the displaced alien? What of me? Who could possibly make a home out of anywhere? Who could understand the unfathomable? Who could capture the attention of a dreamer with stars in his eyes? Only someone magic, of course. The Witch knows how to brew a concoction of love enjoyed on the most fashionable moons of Saturn. And what magical adventure awaits the ever curious witch on the Alien’s ship of life.

The Alien, however should think twice before languishing too long in the court of the Empress. The Empress surely would become incensed by this ragamuffin madman. How can you possibly control what you surely do not understand?

The Wildman whoops out a call of love which only the mother recognizes as a cry to be held, nurtured and attended with balm for all of the nicks and scrapes such a rascal gets. The Mother’s sensual needs are met in the Wildman’s arms. The Wildman enjoys all experience as the mother showers her love with sensual delights.

Here we come to the most mythic of misunderstandings. How can the Wildman find contentment with the Princess? So many tales sung by silly monkeys tell the tale of this love which is as ill fated as any love that was foolishly begun. Rouge smugglers never settle down to court contentedly on the arm of a Princess. How soon does the Wildman’s rough edges cut and wear at the noble princess’s sensibilities?

And so the stories of love go, down the ages, throughout your great spaces. I am just happy to have walked among them for this time with you.

Now, don’t you want to come back to bed?

Love,

Trav  

Love Letters to the Universe #10: The Female of the Species…

17 Feb

Dear Universe,

As I’ve said before, it is under good advisement from all kinds of scientific types that gratitude equates with happiness. I like being happy, so let me tell you, sweet universe, what I am grateful for: peace. I think back on all those wonderful moments, sharing a dinner and a laugh with friends, building a fort as a kid in the woods with my best chums, doing the gardening with the Mrs. as my children frolicked in the springtime mud. All of these moments share one blessed trait: they were peaceful.

Should not this trait be a universal ingredient in every plan, action and reaction that we undertake?

Should not we, anxious to increase our happiness so that life becomes a dance down the street to the mysterious train junction at the end with teary-eyed hairless monkeys you love to wave you off, celebrate this thing called peace?

We have a day for it: March 8th: It is the International Day of World Peace. Not too shabby. But, I don’t see a lot of celebrating. To the hairless monkey the only way to really mark something as important is to gather with loved ones, eat and, yes, sometimes drink too much. We need to celebrate it. We need to celebrate you, sweet universe.

But, I see a group of hairless monkeys long ago designated another thing to celebrate on this day of days. It is the female of the species: women. That’s right, March 8th is the International Day Of Women. Which is odd, because that was the second thing that was on my list of things to be grateful for. Ah, women…

I have seen my daughters and nieces busting out into dance as soon as they could walk. It is such that I know that as an old man, free to travel in the wind, I shall see two such creatures of some other skin color or tongue, and they will dance, and i will laugh and say: “I remember that joy!” Thanks to them.

I have seen my wife weep with worry over her little ones, but stay strong and wise and comforting in the long nights. I have seen my mother set on a face which would frighten a terrorist out of his insanity, all to ensure I had what I needed and was treated as I should. To the mothers I cry out: Thank you!

My nanny, laughed and played cards with us when someone had been taken to the hospital. My grandmothers sat and imparted me with stories of when automobiles were new, or Floods took away most of the Northeast Kingdom. My nanny held on long enough to hold my hand, tell me that I was beautiful, before she jumped up out of her skin and ran toward the summerlands. I have learned to thank you every time the sun’s angle is pleasing.

And as a gift of thanks I give you this idea: That women dance around the wheel of the year. At each direction in the wheel stands another woman, tall proud daughters all.

In the East, where the rising sun lights every golden tomorrow, stands the Empress. It is she who seeks control. As a child at the temple or in the classroom she had all the answers. Here she is organizing all things in the patterns that will best please. At her height of power the Empress knows that sometimes brute strength cannot move a mountain, but with a little elbow grease, anything is possible. What the Empress lacks in tact, she makes up for in honesty.

In the South, where the youthful summer stays ever so long, waves the gracious Princess. It is she who seeks influence.  Look at how radiant she appears! You feel important just being in her presence, don’t you? You should be, because the Princess is importance personified; she has a list of names of people who justly are fed up with the way things are running around here. Don’t you agree? You will if she smiles at you, I guarantee it. This natural diplomat is not above giving a tease if that’s what it takes.

In the West, where the sun sleeps under a velvet sky, the Witch searches for the meaning behind the moon. She won’t always tell, but she just might know, too. She seeks what she seeks in this mystery of life, but she does so using her intuition. Unorthodox, bohemian creatures slinking their way through libraries and berry patches and into your dreams and your heart, the Witches keep the history and are sought after for their wisdom. Blessed be those who show kindness to a witch, as Witches keep without judgement all manner of company, be it with goblins, boggarts or very hairy werewolves. Just never, never, ever cross one enough to kindle her ire!

And finally, last and not least, The Mother holds the drinking gourd in the north. She seeks connection. This protective nurturer is the heart of any community. She is the binder of wounds and the counter of heads. She is the worrying sweetheart that will call the alarm, sit through the long night, and anoint the dead. She is the sensual beauty who endures all with the dignity of love. Although she carries a blade of guilt, she does not need to unsheath it, for to see such a mother cry would upset any heart that had even a shred of humanity to madness.

And there you have it- the four women, these Valkyries of grace and wonder.

I thank you, sweet universe, for all of them.

But, don’t be jealous. When I see these hairless female monkeys walking by on a calm summer night, I’m really thinking about you, my sweet.

To tell you the truth, I’ve been too shy to write before now. Now I am forty with streaks of gray in my hair. Now, I look about me and fully realize the beauty all around me. I’m old enough to appreciate the changing faces of the moon: or as William Butler Yeats wrote:

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true;

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

I love you.
Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #9: A Valentine

13 Feb

Dear Universe:

Yeah, it’s that time of year again. Love struck fools part their hair carefully, risk impalement by rose thorns and gain an almost medieval gallantry in the more than foolhardy quest of announcing their feelings and desires for their intended. How romantic. Of course, there are also those who sit quietly in the house of age and gallantly turn to the picture of their beloved and remember with salt-watered smiles. Ah, the double-edged sword of love! What mends also breaks. It is as ying-yang as everything else about you, my complicated vixen of a universe.

But, I see that there are others out there on this day of arrowed hearts, and they say:

Look at me, forlornly sitting, popping chocolate I bought myself, wondering why I never get shot by naked children with affinity for archery while shopping for avocados or picking up the mail.

Look at me, so ruggedly sure in love, fretfully wondering what token could possibly account for the impositions, the large and small forgivenesses, all the laughter and the tears?

And what could you say for these hairless and tailess monkeys, so awash with this feeling or that, afflicted with different symptoms of a disease endemic to dichotomous existence where there is male and female, self and other? What advice may be given that would mean anything to everyone of these sufferers?

I hope I’m not being too coy in stating it is quite obvious that you are looking for a whole lot of love. Why else would you tease and impel us so?

Say nothing, sweet universe. We can save the bedroom talk till later. I wanted to tell you that I have some token of love to give you.

This summer I stood on the porch with my wife and a few of our female friends. They were discussing men. Some of them were obviously frustrated in the quest to understand this exotic “other”. Silly me, but I piped up and said:

“The problem is,” I said in all my vaunted wisdom, “that you’re talking about men as if we are all alike. We’re not. There’s different types.”

This of course was followed by: “Well, what are these types, then?” What was I to say to these gracious ladies?

“Let me think about it and get back to you.” That’s what I said. A while later, I came back out on the porch (They were still there- it was a very nice day.)  and gave my answer.

They seemed impressed. Then of course, they asked: “What types of women are there?”

This is, as you can imagine, a dangerous question to answer to a group of ladies all in their sister power on the porch. I begged off for a moment or two, and gave it more thought. Bravely, I returned, and did the unthinkable. I quartered the female gender before my wife and her friends.

And they liked it.

So, here goes: (Drum Roll Please!)

The four types of men are: Robot, Superstar, Alien and Wildman, or if those fantastical archetypes frighten you: East, South, West, and North.

In the east resides the Robot. He constructs meaning through order. He is fascinated by how things work. He likes everything in its place. He craves routine. Many scientists, engineers, mathematicians, inspectors, and Mr. Fixit’s take their place among the robotic legions. They are the Eagle Scouts marching forth to put all things in order, to offer a rational explanation, and to avoid talking about anything messy (like emotions).

Hailing from the South arrives the Superstar. He constructs meaning through recognition. He strives to be the best at what he does. He is eager to loan his expertise and skill for your appreciation. He craves glory and achievement. I’m not sure if he loved his mama, but he sure wishes he could make her proud. He’s going to make his mark and shine like the sun. Those hoofbeats approaching? It is the Superstar in armor riding to your rescue. Just be sure to notice just how his armor gleams, and does he not ride his steed wonderfully well?

Wandering in from some Western World comes the Alien. He constructs meaning through reflection. This wide-eyed madman has poetry running in his veins. Are his eyes enthralled with heavens crimson gold of sunset or is he merely searching the skies for the mothership? Never truly at home among these brutish hairless monkeys, the Alien has faraway eyes, the wit that comes from careful observation, and the grace of a fallen angel. He wants to know why things work, and wonders if they ever did in the first place. Appalled by some foreign routine or mark of achievement, the Alien instead craves a sense of home.

From the North comes the sound of the Wildman’s drum. He constructs meaning through experience. This daredevil wants to wrestle life’s marrow from it’s bone and climb every mountain. Many explorers, innovators, rascals and rogues come from this wild bunch. They crave nurturing and discipline, for it seems however you might dress them up, you can take the wildman from the dirt, but you can’t take the dirt from the wildman. If he focuses his badboy energy into a fine beam of concentration he transforms into the unparalleled craftsman.

By understanding these four types, with any luck a hairless monkey might recognize himself, and thereby understand his own archetypal and often subconscious motivations. The hairless monkey female might better understand the mistakes she is making expecting love ballads from Robots, or a simple answer from an Alien. If it pleases you, universe, I will gladly go into depth about each of these so called “men”. My only hope is that if one should understand he or she would be in a better position to love.

The hour is late, my dear, let’s not equivocate or hesitate. Love is what you need.

The doctor of love is in.

Be mine,

Trav

PS- So, you want to know about the womenfolk and their types. Well, a boy can’t just go and give it all away. Not even on Valentine’s day. You’ll just have to wait.

Love Letters to the Universe #8: Life is but a Dream.

9 Feb

Dear Universe,

Why is it that when I’m on a canoe far out on the reservoir, so that in the distance people and trees become an indistinct smudge of color, when the water is sparkling in the sunlight like some hypnotic and ever changing vision, when the world peels away from me, do I feel closer to you?

I’m sure that Wordsworth was right when he wrote:

“The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”

This is true because all of the hubbub, the rigmarole and the shenanigans of life are just that. My life is the boat on the river, which is time. In those moments, when I am most aroused by the illusory spectacle of life, do I recognize that this is as true as it gets. For, life is but a dream, and it shall be “rounded by a sleep”, but “there are miles to go before I sleep”, so let’s get down to the brass tacks of the situation.

It is all an illusion. Now, don’t be broken hearted. I’ve still loved you, my dear. For you see, I’ve known since I was a boy in school. I sat in Mathematics class and learned how to plot a point on the XY axis. I thought about the fact that I was a three dimensional being that was moving through a fourth dimension, which was in turn a culmination of a series of third dimensions all lined up in a row that should (but didn’t always) make sense. These third dimensions were made from two dimensions stacked on top of each other. The second dimension was, you guessed it, made from a series of one dimensions. But what of the first dimension? The point? What was it? Suddenly that seemed incredibly important to my pre-adolescent brain.

I was told that you could plot the point by making a dot on the page with my pencil. But was not this a location, and was I not in fact covering over many points to make my mark to designate “the point”? I tried to make a smaller point, and even smaller than that still. Quickly I realized that this was very much like throwing something half way to a chosen destination, picking it up and continuing to throw it half way there. It would never get there. Why?

Because the point was imaginary. I had to assume that it was there and that it was important, because, hey, everything else is built from these points stacked on top of one another, right? I had forgotten the lesson I had learned from watching Benny Hill (of all places). Never Assume, or you make and ass out of u and me. If the point is imaginary, so is the line, the cube, heck, time itself.

It is all an illusion, a pretty one and incredibly alluring, but an illusion still. But, what is real, then? How can I judge it’s illusory quality without somehow instinctively understanding reality?

I think I am real (or am I real because I think?). I make decisions, this super-important exercise of my free will, and give birth to whole new universes, right? That has to be real, doesn’t it?

No, where I have gone wrong is in my assumption that I was becoming more conscious in order to best exercise my free will. Perhaps, I have free will in order to build a consciousness.

As a Danish friend of mine once said: “There is no good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” Is this not correct? Is not the consciousness the very machine that makes the choice? If this is what is real, and it’s fuel is the dream that is us, and mailboxes and camping trips, light bulbs, poodles and everything, then all there is is consciousness.

Here I come closest, sweet universe to the beating heart of you. For from this flicker, this spark of consciousness that is me, I see so many others. This lights coming up against the dark of nothingness and roaring: I am!

The gnostics understood this. These thinkers and sages from countless spiritual paths saw the light which was buried deep inside of ourselves, and understood that like is attracted to like. That should they live to find that gnosis, that spiritual knowledge, they might better be drawn toward that light which is you, great universe.

I wish I could tell the rest of my hairless and tailess monkey brothers and sisters to wake up. They have become drunk on the illusion. They moan and ache over things that are not real. They have what they need inside of each other, all the light that could ever be, from beyond the edge of time: Light to guide their way, light to help each other, light to ignite each other in a bonfire of truth and love, if only they should be so brave.

Surely, they would see that if mailboxes and donuts and macaroni and cheese are illusion, then surely nations and money and power are such. Could we not decide that suffering, the illusion that we tolerate, has seen its last day?

So, would I lose you, universe, if I said that it was all an illusion? No, I say. I hear you in the happy laughter of a child, I see you in the teary-eyed happiness of an old man touched by grace. As every dance I have danced, every tale I have told, is but a shining of that light which is me, my consciousness, is also an expression of you. I am filled with awe at your shining waters, your fading to smudge of color shores, but you are not there.

You are the awe, sparking to life when I remember.

Let me never forget, then. Let me remember that as I sit in my illusory chair, eating my illusory food, and quibbling over illusory talk about illusory things, let me remember to look for the light in those sitting across from me. Let me be a moth to the flame, which will carry my spirit higher than I would dare, into your shining, burning embrace, where I remember myself as light and shed myself, as I might shed an old costume.

Then we will dance, you and I, will we not?

Love,

Trav

Love Letters to the Universe #7: Let Me Count the Ways

23 Jan

Dear Universe,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. The Greeks had a number of such words to denote different meanings, but those are words. Love itself is as boundless as you are, as is my appreciation for you. But, still, I do not shirk from this task, as to count the ways in which I love you will be as refreshing and energizing an act as counting one’s blessings, for love is the one thing that is worthy of doing for its own sake.

Since it is fortuitously the seventh letter I have written to you thus far, let the number of ways be seven. There are seven days of the week, seven deadly sins and seven heavenly virtues. The archangels number themselves as seven. There are seven directions: East, South, West, North, Above, Below, and Within. Seven, in numerology, signifies spiritual awakening and seeking the Truth. Most importantly, we have seven central energy points to our being that the ancients termed: Chakras. These, when aligned, allowed our kundalini (or coiled snake) to energize, activate and ascend to divine inspiration and living.

As a being made of love, is that not the energy of my chakras? Cannot each one, sing a note in a seven fold orchestra which is my soul? How sweet, when by chance or design, I so aligned myself and sang my love to you, benevolent universe! Let me count the ways then, so that you will know the fullness of my love for you…

  1. The Root of Love- This is the love of experience, the love of sensation and the love of the world and its wonders. This is the love of a sea breeze, of crimson swathed sunsets, of the gentling caress, the crispness of the apple, the lofty grace of an arch, the sound of laughter. We taste your sweet nourishing milk, and know the balm of drifting sleep. It is only when addicted and gluttonous, do we blind ourselves to the beauty, dull ourselves to the desirable. With temperance and moderation we look for the endless variety of your pleasures, from the promising songs of spring, the sultry tones of summer, the lofty call of autumn and the drifting lullaby of winter’s song. We are rooted by your love to this life, this Earth, and we know we are loved.
  2. The Sacral Love- This is the passionate, erotic love, the love of tangled limbs and mouths and unified intent. This is the thunderous push of magnetized love. This is the summons that must be heeded, the desire that calls and is called. Lechery may malign our sacred song with unquenchable hunger, but given avenue, the Sacral Love, aligned by pure intent, fulfills and washes over us when the two become one. The dichotomy of the universe is found in this creative and claiming power. From this love, beyond language, beyond history, we find matter pulled to one another. We dance the tantric dance of the ages, again and again, without shame, without limit or regret. The swish of the skirt, the curve of an arm as it draws you near, the haunting song of creation reenacted through us by you.
  3. The Solar Love- From the Solar Plexus we find the love of self, for here spins that golden compass which gives us direction and purpose. Here when we listen to the loving song of ourselves, our divine spark, we know our own divinity. Here in the sanctum of our inner shrine we discover our truth. We may allow Sloth and despair to dim this idealized intuitive, but through diligence and perseverance, we will follow the call, heed our guts and know our path. It is from here we meet what Kierkegaard called the infinite self, that which is boundary to the world without boundaries, which is you, my love.
  4. The Heart Love- This is the truest love that binds souls together throughout time and space, calling them to each other. It is here that love for another reaches so deep into the self, that one becomes interchangeable with the next. These loves are so true and deep that indeed, one’s heart may literally break with the pain or loss of another. We may, born of fear, allow weakness to make us wrathful, but always we remember love is patient. It is here my heart most aligns with the book with which I was raised. I have said that we have faith that we are the embodiment of your desire to experience yourself. I have also said that we hope to do right by you by the enactment of our free will. But here, in our heart we know the true meaning and purpose of our service to you. For love is the greatest of these, and the greatest of these is you.
  5. The Throat Love- From the throat we let out words of fellowship which may find new friends, bind together communities and eventually find their way to our heart and write their songs there. The throat is the vehicle for charitable love, for here the word is the thing, and the thing is love. This is the love of friends, of community, of cheer, voices lifted to singing together. Only when we use our words to bind, hurt and and claim will we give into the greed of our darker nature. However, the charity of spirit shines through when we give permission and embolden, enlighten and hearten our fellow creatures. What is more fitting than lifting our voices in song, or sharing laughter, or praising your wonders, my lovely?
  6. The Third Eye Love- From our third eye comes the clarity of all sight with brings empathic love for humanity. Here all are equal, and humanity is loved with a love made into reason, reason into goodness. We disdain envy, as it is without compassion, without empathy. Here we can see suffering and know that it is a call for love. Here we can better glimpse your plan, which is indivisible from your beauty. This love allows the sight of a better world, one where love is not blind, but sees all and is content and rejoices with those that rejoice and comforts those who do not. Here we see you in each misty eye and we reach out to you, my darling.
  7. The Crowning Love- If we are worthy to wear a crown, then that crown is love, for it is what makes us great, binds us to you and each other, and makes a shadow of death. Here we are alone so that we might better hear your love song to us, great cosmic oneness. This is the love of philosophy, Truth and Light. This is the divine love for all things that are just and right. This is the love that we share with you, my darling, only with you. Pride has been known to go before the fall, but when humility gives us strength to lift our faces to the stars and see our destiny written there in glowing promise, then we are exalted with you.

Thus, great universe, I am in love with you. I love you as a sensation. I love you as a lover. I find you in myself, and love you there, as well. I love you as a twin to my heart, a friend to my spirit, and I look for you to love among all humankind. Finally, I love you just as you are, sweet universe. Since I am apparently made purely from love, and the two constants of this life are love and death, then my dear, when I die, I shall only be love, which is just what and where you are. And there I will live with you forever, and love you all the more.


Trav