Death Practice Dreams 09
A Change Is Gonna Come
This Is The Life We Got
I’m writing this as I do the final editing on the notes and bonus material for Death Practice Group (DPG) #4. Noticing how after 4 months of this, my personal qi is a lot better, not having to caretake other people’s learning styles and just focusing on my style, both learning & “teaching”. I call it The Fire Hose approach, in which I pour out everything and organize it each month, related to the topic and themes. Each DPG comes with so much bonus material because I grew up poor and sick and pre-internet. I didn’t have what I needed, not really. But I had what I needed to scrape by. And I did scrape by, and I hated it. I still have poverty anxiety dreams/nightmares, but they are more like looking at dharma, peering through a strange wisdom now. (They still hurt though, and I live right at the edge, with the opt-out dictatorship called western capitalism threatening to push me over again.)
That shift took a very long time and I had to die many times to be able to be this person who is still dying but not resisting it as much.
In the past 5 years of trying to do my fate publicly, give my dharma away and try to be as generous as the ancestors, I have lost even more, and in losing I have gained more and more clarity about who we are as a species, who we are as a dream of The Mother. It is not all roses & rainbows… no, it is often bullshit & busted lips. We mostly do that ourselves, and we blame our folly on others because we do not have the confidence or resources to disentangle our qi and our behaviors from the stresses we are oppressed by.
We, generally, are not good people. I will be so bold as to say “good” people do not exist, it is a myth we tell ourselves to get by, to cope with a universe we will never rationally understand, because it is at its core an unknowable process. To the rational mind, the “self” that thinks it should be more powerful than it really is, this feels like a great betrayal: OUR MOTHER HAS BETRAYED US! This story plays out in all the old myths — the previous generation was never good enough, never loved us enough, didn’t give us what we wanted, and WE CAN DO BETTER… but that better usually starts by inflicting violence and domination upon the elders because, well, THEY DESERVE IT!
Liberation lies along the humbling road of learning to become less of an ass to yourself and others, to let them off the hook of debts, grudges and who-owes-who-what-because-basketball-reasons. That’s the first step, let everyone else off the hook of shame, blame, betrayal, debt, etc.
But the second part of this is not so popular (as if the first part somehow IS popular! LOL ITS FKN NOT).
The second part is that you put your own ass back on the hook and you learn to love it. You stop trying to escape it, because the hook keeps you honest, the hook reveals where you keep fantasizing about “who you really are, you know, on the inside, if things were just… different”.
Because that ol’ myth of an abiding self, a rugged individual who can achieve their dreams and become a successful hero-king/queen-angel-god if only xyz is constantly keeping us barred from intimacy.
Intimacy not in some western sexualized way, always wanting your special places tickled, always and forever never satisfied. No, intimacy as in Honest Play, the kind of Honest Play that requires you to counter your domination addictions and tendencies, you know, your actual instincts because you are a great ape, a total fucking asshole animal who can’t see past their own nose. With all the justifications about how your pain, your fear and your hunger requires you to “do what you have to do”. That tricks you into saying, “I’m consciously choosing these behaviors because because.”
Don’t misinterpret me, I’m really saying that the material conditions are the site of liberation, not the barrier to liberation. Our economic cultural scripts are hurting us and the rest of the planet, and we will carry our complicity into our death process, there’s no avoiding that. But we can, while we are alive, prepare as best we can for the main event, which is dying, and I think working directly with material conditions is the most compassionate way we can do that. This doesn’t mean we get lost and tricked by our scripts about material conditions — I’m definitely not advocating for creating more bullshit fantasy mythos to layer on top of 300,000 years of bullshit fantasy mythos.
We are, as I have witnessed in myself and all of my clients and students, adrift in the seas of arrested development, constantly disregarding the agency of our perception — which is to say, we are stuck in, addicted to the one or two ways of perceiving that we cling to as life rafts, unwilling to let go of them to discover the infinite other creative ways of perceiving that are available to us. We forget the capacity to evoke musicality into every moment of our lives — emergent, improvisational musicality that can buoy us through the storms and waves of life. These storms and waves are not evil, not out to get us; they are dancing, they are playing rough. In order to play with them, we must learn a tougher form of resiliency; a wrathful kind of clowning stabilized in harm reduction, mutual aid and secure attachment with Death.