The Burning Man II

Billy Bondi walked and walked on. Through the smoke and not far away he could see a bluish tinge through the grey clouds. The air began to cool around him. He looked at his feet as they walked across the hot coals. His government issue boots had long since burned off but his feet were unburned. In fact he felt none the worse for wear. The smoke began to lessen now. His coughing stopped. He actually began to feel a state of exhilaration. He stopped and balanced with his walking stick as he unhooked his backpack from his shoulders. Reverently he removed the carving of Wandjina, the creator. For a brief moment he considered the contents of the pack. An old shirt, tattered pants and dried out shoes, he threw the pack and its contents into the receding blaze which briefly leapt up as a wolf would leap at raw meat consuming the pack and its’ contents.

He looked down at himself and was amazed at the sudden youthful vigor that had now swept over him. The blue, once distant, was clearer now. A deep blue lay on the horizon and a lighter shade became the sky. Not fifty yards from where he walked now he saw a figure bent over the last edge of the embers. Beyond that a beach! He slowed down and carefully scanned his surroundings. His head was clear. He had never felt the Dadirri so strongly. It boomed inside his body and mind like the heartbeat of all the universe. He heard singing! “Billy Bondi walks. Billy Bondi has a question. A man from far away yet near, walk on Billy have no fear.”

Finally he came to the beach. An old woman was stooped down by the edge of the flames. In her hands was a forked stick and on the end of the stick was a snake which she was roasting in the embers. Again she sang: “A man from far away yet near, he has a question bring him here.” She laughed a friendly chuckle and looked at Billy. Billy recognized her from dreamtime long ago. “Eingana” he whispered. He held out the carving of Wandjina. She reached out to recieve Billy’s gift. Gently she chuckled as she remembered Billy in his Mother’s womb. “Billy come sit and keep an old woman company” Eingana said with a friendly gesture. “Thank you for this gift, I remember when I gave it to your Uncle.” Billy smiled and breathed deeply, he felt a deep exhilaration as if he was nine years old again, an innocent feeling of joy and life. He almost didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Billy sat down as the waves gently rolled in the azure waters behind him.

“You have walked far Billy, yet your journey has just begun. I know you have a question for me and I have been waiting to hear it.” Billy felt entirely at ease. He was not hungry, he was not thirsty, his mind was crystal clear. Eingana pulled the serpent from the flames and poked at it to see if it was roasted yet. She licked her lips and turned it back into the heat. “Ask me Billy I am here to guide you.” Breathing deeply Billy gathered his composure to address the creator Goddess. “Why Eingana, why does man often take more than he needs?” Billy asked with sincere innocence. Eingana now pulled the snake from the fire and placed it on a rock to cool. Turning to Billy she looked into his eyes and as she did he could see into another existence, another reality but it felt quite natural. “That is a wise question. I believe you can find the answer. It is between the earth and the sky and the abundance that can surround us if we share. We shall eat this snake and then you must walk on.”

Hours seemed to have passed but yet time seemed irrelevant. Eingana had picked up Billy’s walking stick and scrawled a symbol into the sand. It was the script symbol for MU. Eingana explained: “When this symbol is drawn it might look like a heartbeat. To some it means everything to some it means nothing. To some it means eternal but to others ephemeral. Think on these things as you continue on your way.” Billy nodded and smiled. The riddle intrigued him. The meat of the snake had sated him like manna. The energy that filled him was wind horse. “Which way should I go?” Billy asked as he stood. “Follow the shoreline to the white rock. There will be a sign for you there.” As Eingana said this she held Billy’s hand. Into his hand she placed an opal carving of indescribable colors attached to a snakeskin loop. It was a carving of a mobius strip.Billy held it up in the receding sunlight. In it he could see vague notions of animals. He placed the loop around his neck. Eingana stood and pointed. Billy nodded. Billy walked, and walked on.

stock photo of mobius strip  - Moebius strib shaped object on white background - JPG   MOBIUS STRIP

“The possessors of wealth can scarcely be indifferent to processes which, nearly or remotely have been the fertile source of their possessions.”                                — Charles Babbage

Ten Thousand Idiots:

“It is always a danger to aspirants on the Path,

When they begin to believe and Act,

As if the ten thousand idiots who so long ruled and lived Inside,

Have all packed their bags and skipped town or Died.” — Hafiz


Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Tea Party Nationalism and The Fourth Reich

Welcome to the new tea party. Come on in and join the fracas. “Don’t tread on me” is our new slogan. Here we share our love of hatred. Never mind that we consider ourselves religious. Maybe we just like to burn our crosses to show their importance in our lives. Immigration reform you say? Never, not on our watch! We don’t want any new people here competing for our jobs. No surprise what party we have aligned ourselves with. The right, the right the ever illuminated right, the GOP the grand old party spread the hate and laugh real haughty. We don’t just make history we invent it! Science and education are for the birds, all we need is ammunition and propaganda to extoll the virtues of our isolationism.

Never you mind that none, that’s right none of us came from the Americas. It’s our land now and we don’t need no one else. Those damned Indians were just red devils anyway. Check your Bible it’s in the book of Cruz chapter 4 verse 20. We’re closing the doors on that god dammed diversity. It’s scary! We don’t like strangers taking our land unless its the oil company come to frack us all to our Honey Boo Boo heaven. We just like people who align themselves with our own close mindedness. There is no global warming that’s a damn hoax. Scientists with nothing better to do than make up bullshit to scare people is all that is. Burn coal and natural gas! Smells almost like gun powder and what could be better?

Speaking of hoaxes how’d we end up with a Black President? That makes us madder than a bob cat caught in a piss fire. Screw raising the minimum wage we like people to be pissed off and poor, if we have to hate now they do too! Pollution control, no way, we need the oil companies dumping filthy water on the Indian reservations in Wyoming. Serves those red devils right we never wanted them anyway. We like climate change it gives us more crap to bitch about! The north pole is melted? Let the Eskimos paddle their way out of that one, better not show up at my door. Chinese probably did it anyway. Abortions!, we hate abortions, we are all god’s creatures after all, not to mention we need the target practice when those little bastards grow up and come into our neighborhoods.

Don’t you have any sense of Nationalist pride? Look what that little vegan bastard did in the Reich land. He almost ruled the world! Maybe this time we can do that here. We don’t need no melting pot of diverse cultures. We like everything the same as long as we can bitch and hate on something. No need for too much reading or writing just show me someone who can shoot a gun and I will show you the way to peace. It’s not with logic or reason or your stupid idealism. It’s with stand your ground and if you’re not from around here go back to wherever you came from.

“I think… if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.” ―  Leo Tolstoy from Anna Karenina

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.” — Gene Roddenberry

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The Grand Old Paralysis

It seems like the Republican Party is now in its’ death throes in these United States. The message of the party is confused and very twisted. What was once the cause of conservatism has become a cause of hatred. None of the proposals of this party benefit the common citizen of the country. A party like this cannot survive. A sad divided party with confused religious principles and a twisted view of science will inevitably implode as it is already showing signs of doing. Educated people will see through the folly of following such a lost cause.

Despite the stupid notions and hate filled lies of Fox News and the likes of Rush Limbaugh eventually common sense and diplomacy will win out. Violence and hatred never solved anything. Violence and hatred cannot nurture life or the earth, two things that humanity needs to survive. The greed of corporations will not win out either. The attempts of a few to direct the political conversation through bullying and large sums of money is doomed as the people hear and know the truth. The population has reached the point of political advertising saturation. The average American’s BS meters have already gone off the charts. It is not the least surprising that in the Republican’s desperate attempt to retain control they who are in power are attempting to quash and control education everywhere. Education and the scientific principle cause people to question everything!

We must be vigilant and voice our disapproval of these crude methods and show up at the polls and vote this hatred away. We must protect the earth now and cease to destroy our home. If they want to hide the chemicals used in the fracking process obviously something is very wrong. We can’t let them poison our water and then sell us water. We can’t let them poison our food by genetically modifying it to carry toxic levels of pesticide. We can’t allow them to control and patent the seeds of the food we plant. These are just some of the ways that backward political parties seek to control and divide us. The Republican mission has become one to create fear and mistrust of each other to further divide us. These ultimately profit and power oriented motives are evil and must be stopped. It is time to act, stand together unified, and be counted.

We need politicians who believe and act on principles for the greater good. We don’t need ‘Corporate Democrats’ just playing a role to fool us! Education and communication are the keys to lift humanity out of its’ current trajectory towards destruction or dystopia. The notion of money controlling everything will be stopped as this world is witness to a change for the worse all around us. We will see the harmful results of profit as the only motivating force. We must evolve to a system of beliefs where the motivating force is life. We must adopt a philosophy of kindness.

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is the temple; the philosophy is kindness.” — Dalai Lama

“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.” — John Steinbeck

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween




































Bondye (Burning Man 16)

Madame Jubal returned with the tea. She set the mug down on the table and gasped. The tarot deck had changed. The fool had become the magician. She knew that Roy had not touched the cards. She had kept a close eye on his every move since he had burst in the shop. She looked up and the talisman hanging around Roy’s neck morphed into a face then became an opaline mobius again. She sat down with a thud.

“Where’d you get that? That loop?”

“Funny thing happened.” Roy smiled. “I found it when I fell off an oil rig. I mean after I was rescued it was around my neck. I don’t know where it came from really. It was just there all of a sudden.”

Roy reached and pulled the snakeskin loop from his neck. He held up the gem for Madame Jubal. Madame Jubal sat silently. He moved it towards her. She backed up and kept a certain distance, transfixed.

“What is it, where do you think it came from?”

“It’s not from here,” Madame Jubal lowered her voice to a whisper, “it’s from a place down under.” She held her fingers to her lips in astonishment.

“Bondye, Bondye, Bondye” suddenly Lafitte shrieked from his perch. both Roy and Madame Jubal jumped. “Bondye, Bondye, Bondye!”

Roy looked at Madame Jubal. “What’s he squwaking on about?”

“You’ve been touched by the Bondye. Lafitte don’t lie. He sees things we don’t see. I ain’t never seen him do that before. He saying you been touched. That must be how the card changed.”

Roy looked entirely baffled. He looked at the tarot deck again. The magician looked up at him. He could swear the figure winked. He looked back at Madame Jubal.

“You saw it too, that card changed and no one touched it. It’s a sign from the Baron. He follows you now. He can change things. Must be him you saw before.”

Roy frowned. “I don’t understand. I was blown off an oil rig. I was the only one who lived. I keep having dreams, the strangest dreams. Now I’m chasing imaginary men around and sleeping with snakes and gators. I came here to ask you what’s going on, what’s happening to me?”

“There’s not much to tell you now. The cards have read themselves. The Baron follows you!”

“Who is this Baron?”

“He helping you now. You have a mission to the Bondye. I can’t tell you what it is. Must be extreme. Baron Samedi can escort the dead, he can make deals with the spirits. If he following you now you have the blessing. Must be a calling on your head, I can’t tell you what you have to find out.”

Roy stared down at his tea. He stirred the mug with his finger. His other hand clutched the talisman. The shaped changed then stretched back. It was warm. “The Bondye, what is this Bondye?”

Roy looked at Madame Jubal. He looked tired. His eyes glistened.

“Bondye takes care of living things. Bondye tells the flowers when to bloom, tells the tide when to rise, tells the sun to come and the moon to shine.”

“Wow that settles everything.” Roy stared down at his mug. He had come to have some riddles answered but instead he had more riddles than before.

“You young and strong, you’ll get the picture.” Madame Jubal spoke kindly. She reached to take his hand but then thought better of it. She looked at him apprehensively now as if any moment something amazing might happen.

“Obelisk, Obelisk, Obelisk” Lafitte chattered in the corner.

“What’s that now?” Roy turned to Lafitte incredulously. “Obelsik?”

“Billy, Billy, Billy” Lafitte seemed nonsensical now. The parrot waltzed back and forth on his perch. Roy stood up to go.

“No charge for you today.” Madame Jubal said emphatically. He stood looking like a man in a dilemma. “No charge, now.” She suddenly seemed in a hurry to be rid of him.

“Obelisk, Billy, Obelisk” Lafitte squawked even louder.

“Okay then” Roy said and reluctantly walked towards the door. “The Baron is following me and the Bondye. My strange gem is from down under something. That clears it up, thanks.”

“You’ll get the picture.” Madame Jubal said this as confidently as possible as she locked the door behind Roy.


Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween












































































New Conversion Therapy Makes Republicans Gayer!

In a little reported discovery earlier this week doctors in Thailand have isolated a gene which if manipulated carefully by radiation therapy may result in a generation of gayer Republicans. Doctor Poon Tang of Twatyang Institute of Bangkok announced that for several years now his team had been working on a remedy for the typical constipated, small minded, anti-art Republican. After years of intensely secretive research on this particularly frustrating ailment, using primarily voluntary test subjects from various infected red states, areas known for their contamination, Doctor Tang and his team proclaimed satisfactory seminal results from the preliminary reparative therapy.

“We have isolated the ARTGAP1 gene and provided it with ample doses of healing sunshine from the premises of our happy domicile. In this extrusion we have exhibited such effects as are known to provide a well being for the healing process. After several treatments our exceedingly successful subjects have returned to their normal lives with renewed sense of health, vigor and enlightenment. We hope soon to expose this treatment to many more constipated republicans in the hope of causing the gridlock and cultural stink to end in the middle of our great friend country America.” Doctor Tang said through an interpreter.

Rumors are already circulating in Stockholm, Sweden that Doctor Poon Tang and the prestigious Twatyang institute may very well win this years Nobel Prize in medicine. This will be the first such award for a doctor from Thailand. Doctor Poon Tang and his staff announced that they would be thrilled to receive such an award. Doctor Poon Tang also graciously invited any small minded constipated Republicans who wish to seek his treatment free flights and room and board. Lucky participants will get an all expense paid trip to the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel located on the banks of the River of Kings just blocks from the Twatyang Institute. Treatment will be administered over the course of several weeks and entertainment is all included.

In the rare and strange event that this new miraculous treatment does not work; litigate not. There are many vacancies available working with old and crippled lawyers in the dark swampy jungles of nearby Laos.

“Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.” — Jerry Garcia

“Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.” — Alan Watts

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The News, Depression and Reality

Sometimes it’s best to be someone else at least for a moment. This doesn’t mean assuming someone else’s identity and stealing their credentials. No this means assuming a different space and time with a calm meditative mind. In these days of death, bad news, riots and confusion one has to observe simple quiet times of listening to a cricket, perhaps, to keep calm and stay sane. Often nature is an ideal refuge from the confusion which humans are so apt to create.

The immutable logic of the natural world is where to turn when the world casts you into an abyss of confusion. Sometimes all that is necessary is to stop and listen. Not to the television, the radio, the mobile device or the like but instead the sounds of the natural world. One may start with the breath, the bringer of life, the calming feeling and satisfaction of simply drawing in a breath and exhaling at a chosen pace. Yes it is just that simple. If you need to empty your mind begin with a thought of a place outdoors that gave you a particularly calm feeling.

Put yourself back at that spot. Listen to your thoughts as they come and go. Realize your thoughts cannot change that spot. It remains clear and calm, immutable.

Jupiter and it’s volcanic moon Io

“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?” — Zhuangzi
“Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?” — Zhuangzi
Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Seeking the Balance

This occurred to Gautama Buddha on the day of the enlightenment under the Mucalinda tree:

“How blest the happy solitude

of him who hears and knows the truth!

How blest is harmlessness towards all,

And self restraint towards living things!

How blest from passion to be free

All sensuous joys to leave behind!

Yet far the highest bliss of all

To leave the pride which says I am”

Sakyamuni Buddha

“Sometimes we are sad when we lose people that made us happy to be alive” — Jake Shween

“One must have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star” — Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra