7-Tzi (27 June 2021): My Friend

Born 7-Tzi: Mariah Carey, Charles Lloyd (Jazz), Golda Meir, Anwar Sadat, Jennifer Connelly, Tony Danza, Bobby Fisher, Bireli lagrene, Doddi El Fayed

“It is true we have won all our wars, but we have paid for them. We don’t want victories anymore.” – Golda Meir (7-Tzi), Life magazine 1969

In the post-truth funhouse that the world has so recently become, classic materialists cannot fathom value unless it can be boiled down to material gain. Material value can always be measured and compared to other values, in order to make practical decisions. This is how you move up in the material world, and hook up with material girls.

As an example, any self-respecting self-improvement coach will first tell you that achieving a goal immediately means the next goal is set higher. You upgrade your car to something shinier, and very soon you’ll be jealous again. Bummer, right? No! This is very good, the coach continues, because it keeps you hungry and ambitious, as you should be.

It does make some kind of sense. If you’re an athlete it’s a great attitude; an ambitious contestant is usually lauded and appreciated. But sports is set apart from real life, and its players aren’t driven by material success, strictly speaking. Sport is a competition held within a controlled and official setting, where errors, foul play, and lack of ability are called out and dealt with by impartial umpires and coaches. Therefore Justice and fairness are not only possible, they come part and parcel with the game. Because it’s PLAY.

Stepping away from Sports and considering a wider view of life, constant ambition and never having enough is fundamentally destructive. The aforementioned self-improvement coach cannot even imagine being content, and doesn’t want to be, because she regards sufficiency as inertia, laziness, inaction – death. For her, more is always better, and less is always worse, even if what is increased is anguish and what is depleted is human dignity.

She is a collector of stuff and rushes; an experience junky, Ego’s zealous missionary.

The basic consumer-consciousness assumption that there’s never enough is ubiquitous in the material state of mind. In our funhouse’s Hall of Mirrors, this all-pervasive insecurity and insufficiency reflects back on us, so we’re constantly feeling guilty about not being good enough, or industrious enough, or caring enough; we are never enough.

However, (capital V) Value as an abstract includes a multitude of human expressions, like comradery, empathy, open-handedness, and mutual reverence. All the quantum stuff, i.e., qualitative values, that by human consideration are held as valuable, albeit priceless – lie beyond the narrow classic materialist’s philosophy of life.

Friendship, Fukushima and French fries are all items on their flat list.

But thankfully, to the vast majority of humans, friends never end up on any list or digitally-animated album. All the best things in life are free, so it’s not really difficult to tell love from anything else.

The Enemies of Life

“It was a basic Confucian principle, that it is man who makes truth great, not truth which makes man great. For this reason, human-ness, or human heartedness (Ren) was always felt to be superior to righteousness (Ei), since man himself is greater than any idea which he may invent.
There are times when men’s passions are more trustworthy than their principles. Since opposed principles or ideologies are irreconcilable, wars fought over principle will be wars of mutual annihilation. But wars fought for simple greed will be far less destructive, because the aggressor will be careful not to destroy what he is fighting to capture.
Reasonable, that is, human men – will always be capable of compromise. But men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics, whose devotion to abstractions makes them the Enemies of Life.”

Alan W. Watts, Way of Zen, Chapter 2

7-Tzi, on the 1-Kat trecena

“Whenever I’m down
I call on you, my friend
a helping hand you lend
in my time of need.
Whenever I’m down
and all that’s going on
is really going on
just one of those days.
You say the right things
to keep me moving on
to keep me going strong.”

– My Friend, Groove Armada

Tzi is competitive and super fair at the same time. Tzi leads by example and seldom by boast. Tzi knows value that can be measured, and value that cannot.

On the 7th day we find what’s called the Collector day of the trecena, signifying purpose and orientation. Since Tzi is today’s nawal, our heart comes into focus; human-heartedness, canine friendship, and appreciation of whatever is offered free of charge.

You know, Fun.

10-Imox: Another Time (22 August 2020)

Born 10-Imox: Janis Joplin, Woody Harrelson, Kobe Bryant, Bryant Gumbel, Tilda Swinton, Martin Gore (Depeche Mode), Vladimir Vysotsky, David Kelly (Waking Ned), Clémence Poésy, Jean Houston, Kenneth Johnson, Xavi

“Tomorrow never happens. It’s all the same fucking day, man.” – Janis Joplin (10-Imix) taken from “Ball and Chain” (1967)

Today, most people regard time as something straightforward and mystery-free. To know time one must simply consult a Gregorian calendar to know the day of the week, month and year, and a calibrated clock to know one’s more minute temporal location.

Based on these accurate and explicit technologies, society as a whole functions, be it on the micro-level of me setting up an appointment with you, or on the macro-level of global on-time shipment of industrial raw materials.

So have we got time pinned down? Is this all there is to say about it? Are there other aspects of time that the mechanical calendar/clock tool-set cannot gauge or assist in understanding, let alone controlling? Dimensions of time that require an altogether different set of ‘tools’?

The subjective experience of waiting for something can draw time on, like being in a prison cell. When everything’s great and I’m happy, time means nothing. It simply flies by. When I’m late submitting my work as agreed upon, time flies again, but this time against me.

The ancient Greeks and Mayans knew something very important about time; something that has been long forgotten.

All roads begin in Greece

The Greek god Chronos represents physical/mechanical time. The kind of time you and I can measure and agree upon to organize a party. Like many other ancient gods, Chronos was known by several names, and depicted in several variations when sculptured: ‘Father time’, ‘Saturn’, ‘Death’, ‘The Grim Reaper’. Common items associated with Chronos were his hourglass and his scythe.

Father Time combing the hair of the Maiden

The hourglass has a finite number of grains in it, that fall at a steady rhythm from the top sphere to the bottom one. When the last grain falls, Chronos uses his sharp scythe to cut the line of life and bring eternal death.

Chronos’s ‘spiritual brother’-in-time was Kairos. On his feet he wore winged sandals, so rather than sitting or standing behind a maiden like Chronos, he was on the move constantly (like the Road Runner). He bore no weapons, save the razor on which scales were balanced, and his head was half-shaven.

Kairos is sacred time. He is opportunity and ripeness. If I’m tuned into Kairos –figuratively grabbing him by his frontal ponytail – he becomes my ally and friend. At my side, Kairos’ gift is intuition and a heart connection; what’s also called ‘gut feeling’ or ‘hunch’.

Kairos balancing the scales on a razor

And what means do I have to become Chronos’s friend? He reigns supreme and answers to no-one. He loves and keeps his ‘peerless’ position going. In other words – he’s nobody’s friend. Even when he comes to claim your life he’s never nice. Like the mechanical contraptions that follow his rhythm, his unitary intent on uniformity and certainty leaves no room for mystery or subjective interpretations of time, and so much of the experienced and natural world remains unaccounted for.

Chronos asks: “what time is it?” To which woman replies, very accurately and unequivocally, using the calendar and watch she has developed to describe natural regularities just to herself. Her accuracy is Chronos’s scythe.

Kairos asks an altogether different question: “am I on time?” or “am I early or late?” While the same tools can provide a straight answer in some cases, in more profound cases and levels certainty can never be achieved.

Was I on time becoming a father? Am I late in kicking my destructive habit? Am I pushing my son prematurely? How long must I endure until I’ll finally be rid my chronic ache?

Chronos is the cerebral and reason-oriented approach, which is complemented and countered by the more elusive, experience- and emotion-based mojo of Kairos.

The flip-side story

Time-keeping and the deep study of Time are world-known hallmarks of the Mayan heritage.

The Haab calendar is the Mayan equivalent of our Gregorian calendar. It measures the tropical (sun-based) year of 365 days, but instead of being divided into 12 months of various lengths, it consists of 18 months, each lasting exactly 20 days, with an additional ‘mini’ month (Wayeb’) lasting 5 ‘nameless’ days at the very end of the calendar.

The Haab is a civilian calendar, primarily facilitating the planning and execution of agricultural, financial, and administrative activities. It is crucial, but unlike the calendar most of the world uses, it doesn’t stand alone, and was never meant to.

Sacred time is kept (and not measured) by the 260-day Chol’qix (or Tzolkin). A personal time-map containing a distinctly human frequency. What makes this ‘calendar’ (for lack of a better word) unique and peerless is the fact that it measures a human activity (gestation) and cannot be calibrated. It measures a sacred Adam-and-Eve rhythm, which is not based on celestial movements. When tuned into this frequency, the more acute questions of Kairos timing, which are subjective and personal, can finally be viewed through the right glasses.

My intention is not to draw direct correlations between two, very different systems and cultures. Chances are Kairos was not a household name in the Yucatan peninsula, but it’s certain that time meant a great many things to the indigenous people living there. The liberating fact for me is that we can experiment and measure time in many ways, and that there is no one true and precise answer to time’s questions.

13-Kan (17 July 2020): Bush Laden

Born 13-Serpent: Heath Ledger, Sylvester Stallone, Jodie Foster, Mark Wahlberg, Omar Sharif, George W. Bush (43rd US president), Osama bin Laden, Ted Koppel

Winter's Terror

“I cannot believe in God when there is no scientific evidence for the existence of a supreme being and creator.” – Jodie Foster (13-Kan) As quoted in Calgary Sun (2007), and sounding a lot like Dr. Eleanor Arroway

When I concern myself with issues beyond my own power to affect, let alone control, my experience is helplessness. With so many things happening, I feel obliged to remain attached to the media tit. Determined not to be left out of current affairs, figures, and circumferences.

I then discuss the same serious and fateful subjects I sucked off my tube with my colleagues. Being in the office cafeteria makes the talk all the more grim. Walking back to my cubicle, I am a passive victim of circumstances, parking my ass in front of the work tube.

When I make a point of focusing exclusively on the matters in which I have the most effect and control, I have a different experience. Instead of despair and being small there’s something practical to do, and to discuss concretely. I begin to expand beyond the confines of a small room. I realize my neighbors and community value my input; that the separation being plugged in the main stream is an illusion.

When discussing conspiracy theories, and the possibility of a secret cabal running the show, Terrance McKenna (born 3-Tijax) said he was sure absolutely no one was in control. Whatever might seem like foresight and strategic planning is sheer chaos in reality. A storm of conflicting interests with no puppet master.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that.

Winter’s terror

The United States declared independence on the Tzolkin date 9-Aj (refer to my ancient post: 1-Chicchan trecena). So, today these two related sun-signs (Serpent and Reed) meet again, but in reverse.

To find that President Bush and Bin-Laden shared the same Tzolkin birthday really got my attention a few years ago. Bush is the 8th US president to have his birthday on this trecena. I wonder if this record will be beaten. His father, BTW, President Bush senior, was born the very next day in the Tzolkin – 1-Kame.

In other words – close, but no cigar.

In quantum terms, whatever seems close can actually a world apart.

The sun-sign Aj seems to have a lot in common with the United States. Heck, even President Obama was born on 9-Aj!

… and what’s this hang-up I have with presidents and politicians, anyway? Time to get off the authority trip. Time for a change.

So the last day of the Tzolkin Fall is 13-Kan, which is a divine flavor of fluidity, with an unreal scent for drama – directly contrasting our point of origin (1-Aj, the unitary steel pipe).

… and Moses remained on mount Nebo, and watched his flock cross the Jordan into the promised land.