The dross is dry
A spark must be well placed so as to bring forth a living fire. As a delicate, young flame it first feeds on the fuel most dry and combustible. After developing further and building up heat, the fire can now diversify its appetite to anything close enough to it. If not contained and controlled, this is where fire becomes very dangerous.
When violence hits the streets, it is a manifestation of strategically-placed sparks, shielded enough from the winds as to start the chaos that is uncontrollable fire. This is the situation most favorable for centers of power and control. Order, whether new or old, must come out of chaos. Chaos comes out of constant polarization, bigotry and division between and within people.
But even if sparks are placed in the best strategic locations, the dross must still be sufficiently dry and innate in order to bring forth the fire out of the spark. In human affairs, dry dross means individuals and mobs ready to commit acts of violence and deception against some unlucky scapegoat. It also means that survival and personal gain take precedence to more worthy human concern and endeavors.
It means that an ongoing process of social bankruptcy is climaxing.
An out-of-control fire being born of a violent spark used to be something to worry about. But with the mass awakening taking place lately, the dross is probably very wet now. A small fire might spring up here and there, but it’s not going anywhere. It runs into moral-based communities and heart-centered people. It runs out of fuel and is snuffed out coming up against well informed individuals and carefully organized task-groups.
I walk in the woods, up a hill, picking up dry sticks to start a camp fire. I circle the site where I left my bags until my hands are full of wood. I return to a circle of small stones and drop my load inside it.
The wood is divided into starters and main fuel. I take the starters and arrange them like my father once showed me.
I make a small fire and guard it from the weather. The fire remains alive because the sticks are bone-dry. To care for and contain the living fire I add fuel when needed, clean around it, and split the longer branches. In turn, the fire takes care of me by just being there to keep me warm and hypnotize me to sleep.
It’s a mutual care-taking bond that shapes communities and civilizations alike.
1-Oc [6 November 2015]
Born on this day: Eric Idle, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sammy Sosa, Frances McDormand, Gabrielle, Sharon Stone, MCA (Beastie Boys), Bill Maher, Andy Rooney, John Major
Once there was a bloodhound who decided to have a second career. After doing routines and watching over his own territory he decided to dedicate his keen senses and mind to the service of the common good.
At first he thought about a solid move to Law and maybe Justice a bit later. He remembered his days as a lonely hobo, spending cold nights with the underprivileged. He could help them out of trouble and give young cubs a fighting chance. There’s bravery in that.
But then he thought about corruption, and how it can undermine and get to even the bravest alpha males. Maybe corruption is especially appealing to that kind of dog. After all, they are the ones who tend to settle down for comfort way too early, and then come the treats and candy. Before they know it the new cubs outrun them.
Bottom line – He never got along with law dogs, and he’s sure as bark he doesn’t want to become that kind of dawg.
So he became a spy.
It didn’t happen overnight. At first it was just a pure decision, with no apparent change on the surface. After all, getting out of old habits never comes easy to any dog. There’s breakfast, walk, brunch, sunbathing, workout, and all the rest of it. It was rather a gradual transition, involving much soul searching and adaptation of existing skills to new applications.
“So what do I have to work with?” thought the bloodhound.
Loyalty, a territorial fixation, fighting and team spirits, great bravery, a solid aura of security, a natural affinity to the good life with family and friends… you get the picture.
He’s a dog.
2-Chuen [7 November 2015]
Artists and Artisans
Born on this day: Gabriel Byrne, Harrison Ford, Morley Safer
On the second day of the spy retraining crash course Bloodhound is confronted by a key question. It is key because its answer would determine what kind of spy he’s going to become.
The question put to him by 2-Chuen is: Can you fake it till you make it? Can you convince strangers that you are someone else?
If you can’t then you probably won’t be doing any covert ops overseas. You can still help the intelligence community, but at an administrative, logistic or analytic capacity near home.
But if you can, if you know the Monkey’s (Chuen) Business, the way of actors, performers, teachers, and brilliant salespersons – you’ll probably get a different kind of action behind the lines and beyond the horizon.
There’s no merit nor drawback to any of these options. The only way to know the answer is to know yourself. If you try going for some glory that has little to do with your gifts it might lead to disappointment and deflation. Then you end up doing what you should have picked today, anyway.
So the best way for Bloodhound to continue perusing his new career past day two is to follow his gut and nose. Not think too long and come up with some wiseass answer, shrouded in fantasies and tricks of the mind. He opts to be sincere and faithful to himself, to go with the first thing that naturally comes up.
He picks up a scent on the ground, looks around and sniffs the air.
Then he’s running.
3-Eb [8 November 2015]
Born on this day: William Henry Harrison (9th US president), Neville Chamberlain, Chaim Weizmann, Stevie Wonder, Paula Abdul, Dan Aykroyd, Christopher Walken
Bloodhound ran and hiked up many roads. He got to know the main roads and their dangers, and then he recognized the side and hidden roads. During the third day Bloodhound did them all.
3-Eb is when he takes his orientation lessons and training. There are roads that are common to all spies, regardless of where their loyalties lie. There are ways that only a handful of canines know about. Then he learns about the situations when even the darkest road must be considered just to survive.
There is no way of knowing how good an unknown road is until I use it and see where it leads. As long as I have faith in my destinations, which road I take is a matter of choice.
4-Ben [9 November 2015]:
Born on this day: Bud Powell, Isaac Asimov, Deepak Chopra, O. J. Simpson, Jacque Fresco (Venus project), Rodney Dangerfield, John F. Kennedy Assassination
Leadership is a peculiar quality which allows me to walk an unknown road as if I know exactly where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. When alone I lead myself. When my pack is following me they tune to one frequency. Then communication becomes crucial.
Without leadership potential remains dormant and unseen beyond a bend in the road.
On the fourth day Bloodhound met his mentor Ben. It was clear right from the get-go that he could not cross any lines with this particular teacher. He submitted to Ben’s directions and restrictions, realizing he can’t go on trying a new way on a daily basis. He also had enough of going solo and was now looking for new and exciting best friends.
Team spirit was never an issue for Bloodhound. He knew that the best times he had were when he was part of a team, sometimes leading and then following. There was nothing they couldn’t do together.
Walking alongside him, the mentor talked about Bloodhound’s future, his destiny.
“Dream on” he said. “Inspire them.”
5-Ix [10 November 2015]
Born on this day: Carl Johan Calleman, Phil Collins, Steven Tyler, Keith Richards, Matt Thornton (MLB), Rafael van der Vaart
The industry which employs spies is known as Intelligence. What it does is first collect information and then try to make sense of it. Bits of data are connected to create a new and more complete understanding, which in turn allows for better decision making and action taking.
At his/her best, a spy always knows something that you do not. This is the edge which makes them spies and the rest, well, just citizens. It’s a kind of ancient magic which is known only to the most skilled and cunning.
Day five began with evasion and concealment drills, taught by an astute cat (Ix the Jaguar). Bloodhound realized the hard way that any dog can learn plenty from a cat.
Alan Watts (1-Imix) once said he had met many Zen masters during his life, “all of them cats.” The indirect approach, the sudden leap into a fury of action, the stealthy moves that escape detection – all these were new to Bloodhound. Just last week he was still deep in his comfort zone, with no secrets and no scars. Now nothing came easy.
6-Men [11 November 2015]
Born on this day: Winston Churchill, David Koresh, Gary Lewis (film actor), Daniel Craig
Although he never climbed any trees, Bloodhound learned a lot from the cat. On day six he began to see the big picture, having realized a new and elevated perspective. It was a new equilibrium between effort and observation, focus and periphery.
He regained his love for duels and sports. Being a spy is a constant match between opposing teams, a battle of wits and nerves. The sun-sign Men (eagle) is known for its affinity to challenges and high-stake winning. It is physical abundance achieved effortlessly by good vision. On Men days the Maya give thanks to money and success in the most positive and guilt-free way possible.
Bloodhound strived to live the high-life of a spy because it’s a generously rewarded job. The risks are high, but the pay is higher. Only true, all-heart players like him could pull it off.
7-Cib [12 November 2015]
Born on this day: Hilary Swank, Ted Nugent
8-Caban [13 November 2015]
Born on this day: Jimmy Carter (39th US president), Elvis Costello, Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, Priscilla Presley, Sam Kinison
B turned out to have a special talent to slip through borders as if they weren’t there. Without really trying he seldom drew any attention to his presence, unless he chose to do so. Wherever he traveled on his new job, he looked and acted just like the local folk. He became sensitive to the canine nature that is common to all breeds.
The earth (one of Caban’s meanings) breeds people and dogs of all kinds. It has a frequency and resonance that borders cannot contain. When tuned into it, whales are able to navigate great distances from spawning seas to hunting seas. Herons can do the same over the oceans, and so can elephants on land.
It is the resonance which allows for synchronicity and coincidences around your neighborhood and on the other side of the earth. When strangers reverse ill fortune and help comes from nowhere, when least expected.
Make yourself at home.
9-Edznab [14 November 2015]
Born on this day: J. R. R. Tolkien, Paul Wolfowitz, Benjamin Harrison (23rd US president), Sophia Loren, John Malkovich
“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.” - J.R.R. Tolkien, from The Lord of the Rings
10-Cauac [15 November 2015]
Born on this day: Harry Shearer, Leonard Cohen, Al Gore, Nicole Kidman, Peter O’Toole, Jon Voight, James Stewart, Jason Lee, Tennessee Williams
11-Ahau [16 November 2015]
Born on this day: Mary J. Blige, Eve (singer), T-Boz (Tionne Watkins), Art Blakey, Mikhail Gorbachev, Sathya Sai Baba, Holly Hunter, Jim Breuer, Mike Wallace, Oh yeah, one more – Albert Einstein
12-Imix [17 November 2015]
Born on this day: Art Garfunkel, Gary Oldman, Bernie Taupin, Leonid Brezhnev, Andy Pettite, Tony Gwynn
13-Ik [18 November 2015]
Born on this day: Bono, Joe Pass, Martina Navratilova, Bill Paxton, Ben Bernanke, Alfonso Soriano, Stephen Lang, Stephen Rea