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The washing machine switches to "Tumble" when inspiration strikes this morning. I was thinking back to all the different spiritual communities I've wandered through, remembering the steps along the way in coming to terms with just how 'troubled' people seemed to appear in these communities.

I had the grace fairly early in life to have walked through some interesting social circles in the theatre world, and strangely, I often came across a distaste for spiritual pursuits there. Certainly the theatre is a sect unto its own, and I respect fully how each person has the power of choice in finding their own brand of wisdom.

Truly, I do.

What fascinated me most were the tinges of hostility in people's voices on subjects of yoga, meditation, spirituality, and religion. Since the 90's we've grown considerably in our cultural predisposition, but I find this hostility persistent, and, given the natural tenaciousness with which the average person pursues a career in theatre and art, I find this a little, well, let's say... confusing. On one hand, the pursuit of theatre art is the holy grail to drink from and transform our culture's woes; and on the other, any curiosity toward something outside of ones preferred control becomes an influence dangerous, and almost demonic.

Certainly one can exhaust oneself quickly chasing every health fad, fabrication, or fact which tumbles onto the market. One can create more problems inside oneself than what may actually exist, and I think it is this self-haggared-ness which those outside of spiritual circles react to in a negative way - naturally - faulting a person's 'personality,' prior to investigating the person's pursuit.

I think the 'troubled' factor which appears in spiritual community would be more properly named as disillusionment. At some point - and of this I do have complete, er, faith - every person will experience a total and complete rift with their way of life. The entry point will be completely unique for everyone: economy, physical health, the death of a loved one, social habituation, a memory... or just plain-ole-curiosity for what may lay elsewhere.

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In the presence of such a person in throws of disillusionment, naturally, the arising discomfort becomes shared. Each to their own, and each to their own success, I say. But what fascinates me to no end is that hostility... I find this no different than the unfortunate chicken who started to bleed amongst her fellow chickens, for which panic and mayhem abound at the sight of blood. Humans, thinking ourselves civilised, likewise compound the shame of the questioning mind when one of us should touch upon a little (naturally occurring) pain.

I am not an advocate for needless suffering. I am, however, an advocate of finding facts, and if this hostility is in actual fact a frustration of not knowing how to best help - let's call it that, lest we appear - and become - prejudiced. I have yet to find a person who can tell me exactly what the heck is going on here on this fine planet, what we're doing, why blue is blue, why we breathe, why are the planets zipping around in circles, or why a squirrel chirps and the robin sings(!) ... I enjoy all these things. But the notion of 'expertise' is to me a thing anyone can purchase.

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Yes we've made all kinds of wonderous technological gadgets, interesting shelters, bizarre agricultural methods, have landed on the moon, and circulated MacBooks across the globe and put one into my lap... That all took ingenuity, patience, and skill. Yet I do not find our busyness to be bringing us any closer to pulling back the face of this thing called Life, that we may finally see its true face.

This... consequently... makes me a poet.

All the way into the centre of my heart, I speak a different language. I see differently, and have always seen differently. If I did not have seventeen questions behind my eyes at all times, maybe I would have gone into today's professional sciences, earned a high paying salary, got that picket-fence-and-spouse combo, and just not have worried about any of this... but I didn't. And with every passing day, I accept further:

I couldn't.

The Chinese have a saying that, once you are thirty, "you are ready to walk." And once you are forty, "no one can fool you anymore." ... This week, I turn 39.

Rudolf Steiner predicted we would need spiritual scientists one day here in the West. He also predicted that a new religion would begin in the western provinces of Canada. I do not claim myself to have any standing to initiate such, yet I believe that day is here upon us - Ekhart Tolle being a fine example. Yes, we have had monks and nuns, and Henry David Thoreau's. Yes, we have had Einsteins and Glenn Goulds and Mother Teresas... But what about the everyday... What about you and I?

Jasper National Park, Canada. www.sta-sis-arts.com
I have never been naturally dazzled by Things. Trees however, strike me as a complete puzzle. Sunlight after rain. Wind upon the Lake. Fire underneath the mountain. The idea of dragons... Fog hanging low in a valley. ... I count myself lucky to be single, unhinged, and as of today unemployed(!) Divorce is 70%. I have met more single parents and lost divorcees than parenting couples. I have been dreadfully unhappy chasing the dollar, and I know full well I am far from alone... I have entered all of these conventional avenues with absolute full cooperation, but pleasurably, I still question, question, question... What, on earth, is going on here?! :)

As the only conclusion that has come back to me thus far, is that we're all just making it up as we go along... well then... I choose poetry(!) I choose the phenomenal shared radiance from gazing upon something until I know and feel the thing to be my brother, my ancestor, and my future. And I ask only of one thing: time to put this into words - to make "my agony sing" as Arthur Miller once said...

Outside the hills
birch-wood awaiting
the splitter, I wish you
much love to your mind
and heart.