Monday, December 5, 2016

One One One

Image Matt Waples

November 2016

Many of us in this season are living in a state of numbness or grief from the bruising events of this election cycle – so marked has it been by accusations, hateful speech directed at our fellow citizens, and a corrosive level of accusations and threats. In all this the larger idea of shared belonging, which the aspirations of democracy rest on, is menaced or directly denied. At moments like these it can feel, shockingly, that our world is devolving into old tribalisms of nation, religion, race, ethnicity, and gender, inflaming ancient divisions we thought we had left behind.

And yet we know that beneath and beyond these agonizing regressions lies a deeper and more meaningful unity. In truth we are one humanity, one America in one common and ever-shrinking world. We all of us share a common ancestry and a common fate, reaching back only some 5,000 generations to a single small human troop, and forward into an uncertain future. We know, too, that fate is now ours to determine.

Our shared challenge now is to find and create ways of living together as a whole human family, sharing our human abundance justly and with loving kindness across nations, classes, and sects, and in the process releasing our limitless human potential for creativity, abundance, and joy. We cannot find these ways and this spirit separately, as only separate tribes, each speaking a separate language with no regard for the experience and perspectives of each other.

Esalen was founded in another such time of wrenching divisions: East against West, young against old, race against race and much more, under the menace of immediate nuclear annihilation of civilization and perhaps life itself on this fragile planet. In those dark times our founding vision was the beacon light of a limitless human creative potential, with the future always in our own hands, never completely determined or limited by the past.

Our methodology has always been to go wherever there is a wall, a conversation in the culture that is not happening – within ourselves, in our society, between one human cultural sect or belief or culture and another – and to open a conversation across that divide, reaching deep into new relational capacities for listening, deep inquiry, and openness to the perspectives of the other. By taking down these walls, the outcome, over and over, has been a release of new creative ideas and energy, sparking new practices and new networks – and then flowing out to influence and often transform the larger culture.

In this way this small, precious Institute perched on the edge of the Western world, has reached out and impacted our wider culture in psychology, family relationships, education, ecology, politics, business, spiritual and religious practice, even international relations. Today we need these attitudes and these deep personal and societal practices more than ever. We must turn now to each other, without exclusion, and ask “What am I not hearing, that you are trying and failing to get me to listen to?” and then “Where is it that I’m only comfortable in my own world, my own 'tribe' – and failing to query myself in those deeper areas of discomfort or disowning? What is my own shadow – and tell me yours, so that we can bear and transform these things together.” In this way, as Gandhi taught, we ourselves become the change we want to see in the world. As Thich Nhat Hanh admonishes us, the guru, the teacher of the future, “is the sangha” – which means us, the community of seekers, committed to transforming ourselves and our world.

Our future is in our own hands. We are the ones we have been waiting for. All we have to work with, in the end, is one another – each of us an avatar, an embodiment of our deepest, most sacred human spirit, each of us connected directly to our deepest common Source. And that resource, in the end, is enough.

Gordon Wheeler, President
Esalen Institute, Big Sur California

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Cloud of Unknowing • The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Yesterday I concluded my first course Ideas of the 20th Century at - an online education platform founded by MIT & Harvard. Extremely enriching experience, we find ourselves amidst no more excuses - the internet continues to go above and beyond.

Literature Essay

"There were no more wise men; there were no more heroes... Amory had
grown up to a thousand books, a thousand lies; he had listened eagerly
to people who pretended to know, who knew nothing. The mystical
reveries of saints that had once filled him with awe in the still
hours of night, now vaguely repelled him."

Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise


The Cloud of Unknowing · 
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

As we delve into Fitzgerald’s words, imagining we have no previous knowledge of his work, we may come to realize that what was considered reality for Amory fragmented into a new notion of reality. When one first comes in contact with the excerpt it appears as nihilistic, not a single letter retaining value, not a sole phrase persuading to move Amory, not a man on earth worthy.  This would seem as a contradiction in the face of any text, why waste time on text if there is nothing to extract from it?

An author who would not agree with Amory’s loss of faith and rejection of values is the Anonymous writer of a late 14thcentury work titled “The Cloud of Unknowyng”, an invitation into Christian mystic contemplation. It is a book infused of faith with a core value, love. It would seem counterproductive to reference a book written amidst the Middle Ages, a time characterized within ideological framework that often skewed from the truth, yet this piece reads, even today, as extremely avant-garde within the context of religion and spirituality.

The atom, if we follow the definition of good philosophers in the science of astronomy, is the smallest particle of time. “All time is given to you; it shall be asked of you how you have spent it.”… for it is neither longer nor shorter but exactly equal to each single stirring that is in the chief working power of your soul, that is, your will… as there can be and are in your will in one hour, so are there atoms in an hour.[1]

Even if the passage above implies normativity: “how time is spent”, it is taken into consideration within a scientific dimension, time. Time “is neither longer nor shorter but exactly equal to “, it does not classify if time is “goodly” or “wrongly” spent, there is no classification. We could say that due to time’s reality (its very visible effects upon us)– how man and woman consume or contribute to it, may be the fuel to carry out a value, faith: to trust the reality of times effect, a fragile vessel to the unintelligible Love. Though love may be greatly debated, it is a virtue inherent in all mankind at some point or another during the span of his or her lifetime.  Here we have value, we have faith.

"For He can well be loved, but he cannot be thought. By love he can be grasped and held, but by thought, neither grasped nor held. And therefore, though it may be good at times to think specifically of the kindness and excellence of God, and though this may be a light and a part of contemplation, all the same, in the work of contemplation itself, it must be cast down and covered with a cloud of forgetting. And you must step above it stoutly but deftly, with a devout and delightful stirring of love, and struggle to pierce that darkness above you; and beat on that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing love, and do not give up, whatever happens."[2]

The unintelligible-ness of this Love is precisely why the “Cloud” urges the contemplative to lay ALL his knowledge in the “Cloud of Forgetting” and pierce the “Cloud of Unknowing” with the only arrow that can. We may observe that Amory’s- mans knowledge is many times the veil of his ignorance. The arrow is the Unknowingness of Love, Love being Infinite, as God himself, so that “darkness” in a non-negative form: that which is not known of the unknown, may be illumined or at least briefly penetrated with the Infinite itself. A hope Amory looses sight of, all efforts of men are gone, in his own knowledge he sees no knowledge.

On the opposite spectrum is Milan Kundera´s, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, which would stand in agreement with Amory. The novel explores Nietzsche’s “eternal return”. In Nietzsche’s perspective the universe experiences an infinite return, an infinite iteration of all that happens within it, and so mankind reiterates all of its experiences, decisions, outcomes - eternally. Kundera flips the concept and states that there is an aggregated “lightness” to living life only once, he explores the psyche of those who experience the weight of their decisions in contrast to those who do not. In parallel, during communist Czechoslovakia, Kundera exposes the ineffective, brutal regime that oppressed and censured all free thinkers throughout the 60s and 70s. Due to the time, to have a cause, to believe, to consider the slightest thoughts something else, something different, vanish thanks to those who have imposed themselves upon time.

The lightest of his characters takes constant gratification in humiliation and betrayal. The heaviest experiences an incessant shame of her body due to her mother’s uninhibited exhibitions. I would have to conclude that there is in fact little lightness to the lighter in comparison to the heavier – there is no lightness at all, there is only weight, there is “a thousand books and a thousand lies”.

In an interesting way “The Cloud”, as one reads without knowledge, would eventually end up agreeing with Fitzgerald, advising the contemplative to not know, to forget, he is the first who falls, that there is no mystic, that mystical reveries are amusements of texts, that a craving of the wise is wisdom, and this thirst for wisdom makes not a wise man but an ambitious one.


From amō (“I love”) + -or.


amor m (genitive amōris); third declension

love Amor omnia vincit. Love conquers all.[3]



Anonymous, The Cloud Of Unknowying, New York: Harper Collins, 1981.

Kundera, Milan, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, New York: Harper Perennial Classics, 1999.



[1] Anonymous, The Cloud Of Unknowying, New York: Harper Collins, 1981.


[2] Anonymous, The Cloud Of Unknowying, New York: Harper Collins, 1981.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Una Mano entre Orilla & Muerte

Hay personas que teorizan acerca de los arquetipos, arquetipo refiriéndose no tanto a lo típico o imitado sino más sobre las líneas de Platón y Jung. Para parafrasear rápido Jung dice que el arquetipo es un prototipo de idea, estas son innatas e universales usadas para interpretar ciertas observaciones. En los párrafos venideros teclearé cómo es que estas dos mentes exprimen algo del jugo de la metáfora y la literalidad a lo que pudo haber sido mi muerte.

Nota: Si perciben mi narración serena o si les parece algo clínico el deshebrar mi pseudo-muerte les comento que ya pasó shock, llanto, asimilo, alegría/festejo y ahora procedo a la interjección existencial; compartir con ustedes queridos vía wall la irónica observación.

Retomando el arquetipo. Cuando leo a este par suelo pensar que el sabio, el héroe, el rebelde, la prostituta, el mirrey se encarnan a si mismos en algún tipo de fábula, mito, antro/cruda. Por lo regular no pienso que aquella persona sabia, heroica, subversiva, de moral distraída o de camisa desabrochada al ombligo se te aparece en pleno esplendor, ósea, cara a cara, mano a mano, duckface a duckface. Finalmente el sabio para los sabios, bíblicamente el Rey Salomón tuvo su humanidad y sus mujeres y las mujeres a Salomón. Hay excepciones más el humano en sí es un pastiche de arquetipos. Mi punto es, el arquetipo como tal se manifiesta a sí mismo en el mundo puro y preciso de la Forma (Platón), lo que para mi anécdota se vuelve algo desconcertante.

Y así lo sucedido…

Un día como ayer, hoy o mañana, R y yo nos metimos al mar, un spot entre rocas que dos días antes recorrimos como nuestra alberca, segundos jugando sintiendo que subía marea y otro parpadeante una corriente obligó a mis pies-ambos, consigo cuerpo y cordura a lo que se sintió como kilómetros de la orilla, procedí a nadar como si estuviera soñando- dormida sin llegar a ningún lado, o como escarabajo boca arriba, lo cual si alguna vez han visto, movimientos poco o nada productivos. Deletreado en los ojos de R una mirada que sólo imagino espejeó la mía, simultáneamente mientras shuffle repeat “NADAR COMO ESCARABAJO” - tragar vía nariz, boca, oídos lo que en memoria de semi-pánico parece como un garrafón de agua diluida en alka-seltzer. R me grita, venía hacia mi para ayudar le digo, “nada tú a la orilla”… ya que en mi lógica pienso que nuestro caso es al inverso de las boobs de una mujer, un ahogado es mucho mejor que dos. Transcurridos fueron pocos minutos reales y una vida metafórica. Entra en escena un salvavidas robusto y a robusto me refiero Gordo, nos extiende el flotador, R me lo acerca y le pide al joven gordito que por favor apoye a la señorita revolcada. Entra en escena salvavidas número dos: joven Sólido que firmemente nada hacia R, cortamos corriente mientras nos tranquilizaba el dúo, yo sólo saboreaba la orilla y me auto-prometía todo lo prometible. La orilla nos readoptó con la inamovilidad de los de rojo y blanco: El Gordo y El Sólido, con otras cuantas decoraciones de por medio- el crowd de espectadores que la exhibición había atraído, una familia mexicana, aderezada de unos señores estadounidenses (de L.A.), et al. Recibimos aplausos a nuestra llegada. El Gordo y El Sólido ni siquiera esperaron un abrazo.

No quisiera esquematizar en mucho más detalle después de todo eso ya que al principio prefiguro que el arquetipo se me iba a manifestar casi como Superman en la playa... Si se fijan está bastante literal el asunto.

Arrastrada: Michell
Corriente: Ignorancia
Ahogando/Ahogado: Michell y R
Salvavidas: Gordo y Sólido
Orilla: Presente
Espectador: Mexicano/Estadounidense/Inserte nacionalidad

Lo que más agua por los ojos me sacó este incidente es la elección que cada participante tiene en todo el show. Sin ponerme muy selección literaria Sanborns, como diría un profesor, si puedo escoger ser la ahogada, el salvavidas o el espectador escojo ser la Orilla y si no tengo la elección como fue en esta ocasión, me despliego de gracias infinitas hacia aquellos que se preparan e interponen, gordos y sólidos, flacos, altos y medianos, inalterables ante corriente y le dan un flotador a aquellos en su ignorant bliss.

Friday, June 28, 2013


En México el 65% de los niños y jóvenes no se ejercitan y llevan un estilo de vida sedentario, vinculado a la obesidad, la cual los pone en alto riesgo de padecer enfermedades cardiovasculares como la diabetes, cáncer, hipertensión arterial y osteoporosis en su edad adulta. La prevalencia combinada de sobrepeso y obesidad en niños de 5 a 11 años es de34.4%. un preocupante primer lugar a nivel mundial. Y de acuerdo con la Organización Mundial de la Salud, la probabilidad de morir aumenta en un 30% por cada 15 kilos de sobrepeso, por lo que junto con la obesidad constituyen uno de los más grandes retos del sistema nacional de salud. Esa misma institución destaca que cada año fallecen 1.9 millones de personas en el mundo por no hacer actividad física suficiente, moderada o vigorosa.
En contraste, 1.5 millones de niños mexicanos menores de 5 años sufren desnutrición. Este problema se agudiza en la región sur del país, en estados como Chiapas, Guerrero,Oaxaca y Yucatán, donde Un Kilo de Ayuda trabaja directamente
Ante esta problemática AXA PEOPLE PROTECTORS en alianza con Un Kilo de Ayuda lanza la iniciativa “Kilos Malos Kilos Sanos” que tiene como objetivo activar a los mexicanos, crear conciencia acerca de la prevención de la obesidad y atender la desnutrición.
Esta iniciativa, invita a la gente, a través de un baile con sencillos pasos, a grabarse haciendo los pasos para convertir sus calorías en kilos de ayuda para niños con desnutrición.
“Kilos Malos Kilos Sanos” se apoyará de Un Kilo de Ayuda para continuar con su tarea de ayudar a niños de comunidades rurales que sufren de desnutrición, a salir adelante con un programa muy completo que incluye: 
1. Vigilancia nutricional
2. Detección de anemia
3. Educación nutricional para padres
4. Paquete nutricional para familias
5. Evaluación del neuro-desarrollo
6. Agua segura
La campaña se celebra del 20 de junio al 14 de julio del 2013 con la meta de reunir 32 millones de calorías contabilizadas a través de las vistas del video oficial en el canal de youtube, cuantificado a 3 millones de vistas.
El cierre de la campaña se celebrará el domingo 14 de julio en el Jardin Hidalgo ubicado en Coyoacan donde bailaremos para restar Kilos Malos y convertirlos en Kilos Sanos.
Apoya esta campaña sigue los pasos y sigue sumando calorías subiendo tu video

Sunday, April 14, 2013

O P E N , S T A Y


I'm a fool for that shake in your thighs
i'm a fool for that sound in your sighs
im a fool for your belly
im a fool for you love

i wanna make this plain
oh, i know you're faded
mm, but stay, don't close your eyes
i wanna make this plain
oh, i know you're faded
mm, but stay, don't close your eyes

caught in this pool held in your eyes
caught like a fool without a line
we're in a natural spring
with this gentle sting between us

i wanna make this plain
oh, i know you're faded
mm, but stay, don't close your eyes
i wanna make this plain
[ From: ]
oh, i know you're faded
mm, but stay, don't close your eyes

ooohhh, stay open
ooohhh, stay open

stay open
stay open

i wanna make this plain
oh, i know you're faded
mm, but stay, don't close your eyes
i wanna make this plain
oh, i know you're faded
mm, but stay, don't close your eyes

stay open
stay open
stay open

mmm, stay open

Monday, April 1, 2013

Reason not denied but transcended

... prevented God from becoming an idol, an exterior Reality "out there", a projection of our own fears and desires. God is not seen as a Being added on to the world as we know it, therefore, nor is it identical with the world. There was no way that we could fathom this out of reason. It is only "revealed" to us by an experience which cannot be expressed in words or concepts. Brahman (inner meaining of existence) is "What cannot be spoken in words, but that whereby words are spoken... What cannot be thought with the mind, but that whereby the mind can think." It is impossible to speak to a God that is as immanent as this or to think about it, making it a mere object of thought. It is a Reality that can only be discerned in ecstasy in the original sense of going beyond the self: GOD.

A History Of God
The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity & Islam
By Karen Armstrong

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Transfiguration

For most of us most of the time, the world of everyday experience seems rather dim & drab. But for a few people often, and for a fair number occasioonally, some of the brightness of visionary experience spills over, as it were, into common seeing, & the everyday universe is transfigured...

Here is an entirely characteristic description of the transfiguration of the everyday world:

"I was sitting on the seashore, half listening to a friend arguing violently about something which merely bored me. Unconsciously to myself, I looked at a film of sand I had picked up on my hand, when I suddenly saw the exquisite beauty of every little grain of it; instead of being dull, I saw that each particle was made up on a perfect geometrical pattern, with sharp angles, from each of which a brilliant shaft of light was reflected, while each tiny crystal shone like a rainbow.. The rays crossed and recrossed, making exquisite patterns of such beauty that they left me breathless... Then, suddenly, my consciousness was lighted up from within and I saw in a vivid way how the whole universe was made up of particles of material which, no matter how dull and lifeless they might seem, were nevertheless filled with this intense and vital beauty. For a second or two the whole world appeared as a blaze of glory. When it died down, it left me with something I have never forgotten and which constantly reminds me of the beauty locked up in every minute speck of material around us."

Similarly George Russell writes of seeing the world illumined by "an intolerable lustre of light"; of finding himslef lookin at "landscapes as lovely as a lost Eden"; of beholding worlds where the "colors were brighter and purer, and yet made a softer harmony." Again, "the winds were sparkling and diamond clear, and yet full of color as an opal, as they glittered through the valley, and I knew the Golden Age was all about me, and it was we who had been blind to it, but that it had never passed away from the world."

Heaven & Hell
Aldous Huxley

Pablo Picasso painting with light.
via butdoesitfloat

This is what I wish to whomever; that amidst the impossibility of sight, may we always find what has always been.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Words: Freedom & Captivity

Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born - the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people´s experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts as data, his words for actual things. That which, in the language of religion, is called "this world" is the universe of reduced awareness, expressed, and, as it were, petrified by language.

The Doors of Perception
Aldous Huxley


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mating Dance

I find this so refreshing and my interior animal, does in fact, feel like mating.

Flako via Soundcloud

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

029 / Light Through The Veins

Jon Hopkins did a LOG for during his visit to Mexico during MUTEK.

Cannot and will not turn it off.