Yesterday an act of violence, rooted in ignorance and bigotry, took place somewhere, and cut short an innocent life that was full of promise, now expired. It was sudden curtains on a beautifully casted role of a young martyr. His fiance’s grief-stricken face was on all the front pages, next to a photo of his smiling face. Over the course of 48 hours following the tragedy, a large host of readers and viewers synchronized in an invisible wave of empathy that rippled through wireless existences.
The assailant was whisked away into the safe hands of secret government branches. The radical group by whose name he allegedly operated was shown again to be vicious and inhuman – the obvious enemy, deserving all available resources and fears. The large host of readers and viewers was unknowingly coerced into pidgen-holing and picking sides. So the host broke up into smaller, disempowered, and confused groups.
Somehow, life goes on, and the wind keeps blowing.
Spirit dwells within bodies and without them. When I am conscious of spirit it is near me, guiding my thoughts and actions, interfacing with this world through me. When I am not conscious of it, spirit still guides me, near though not within my attention.
In one of his allusions to esoteric knowledge, Shakespeare once called sleep “the small death”. So what comes after the smaller death?
06:20 (birth) blank awareness, oblivion
06:22 (baby) get out of bed, get into shower
07:00 (child) eat breakfast, think about today
09:30 (young adult) work/study/DO
12:30 (adult) have lunch, reflect and plan
22:30 (near death) drowsy reading in bed
So every day is a mini-cycle of life and death, and my tenure on planet earth is a longer cycle, with a similar arc of composing and decomposing. In other words, remembering someone from yesterday on the daily cycle is like remembering someone from a previous life on the longer cycle.
But wait a minute. What about innocent civilians getting blown up daily in famous cities? They didn’t get a chance to grow old and depart surrounded by their loved ones. They left a gaping vacuum behind them, a trail of tears and despair.
The effects of the tragedy reverberate long after a young life is cut short. The absence becomes stronger than the presence. But it is only through comparison that a life can be defined as being lived in full or cut too short. It is defined as a tragedy by the ones left behind who have to deal with the aching absence of their loved one, those that imagine what could have been if…
Car accidents, epidemics, hunger, allergies, and other manifestations of Kali (the dark and mysterious goddess of death in the Hindu narrative) all take their part in cutting short beautiful and promising lives. Should I draw comparisons between political terrorism and crashing a car under the influence? Like Alan Watts used to say, is there a clear line between what I do and what happens to me?
If you ask the bereaved, there would be no difference between one cause and the other. No honor in one death and shame in the other. The reality of the bereaved is living daily with the void left behind by a loving spirit.
If comparison is put aside, life cannot be cut short too soon or too late. On many levels life is continuous so it cannot be cut at all, long nor short. Birth happens right on time, why shouldn’t death happen in the same way?
From the individual’s perspective, the show goes on till the actor leaves for good. The other actors, who cared and loved the departed, remain on stage and begin the next act without him. They change the plot in light of his death.
There’s a hope for justice. A staving off of revenge.
Somehow, the show goes on, and the curtains move by an unseen draft.
1-Ik: Mercury, The Pyramid of Giza, School Diplomas – No Swamp in sight
Note: this post is one of the few I haven’t written about in full yet. 1-Muluc is another, and 1-Ix is yet another. Ik is definitely one of the sun-signs I’ve never managed to pin down like I did for most sun-signs. I’m therefore publishing a partial post, hoping to fill up the gaps soon. In the meantime, I’ve listed the celebrities, quotes, and sequence of day glyphs for the 1-Ik trecena.
Born on this day: Pink, Sade, Robert Johnson, Mick Jones (The Clash), Otto von Bismarck, Scott Bakula, Lesley Stahl
“A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence.” – Otto von Bismarck (1-Ik)
I like good quotes, which is why I keep copying them into my posts. A good quote puts into words good ideas and points to wise and deep courses of thought. The day of good communications is known as Ik, the sign of the wind and spirit (among other meanings).
In the glyph, the horizontal line represents the wind, and the perpendicular line is a tree. Trees and winds are intimately related in the Mayan culture, and might even be considered to be one organism. The wind carries seeds across great distances, and they fall to become new trees at new locations.
In the same way, good ideas are like seeds that fertilize new lands when they are communicated (like a quote).
A good idea moves mountains and meets deadlines with great gusto. It’s a glimpse of what a better reality could look like, which sets wheels in motion.
Good communications is key in any community, be it a community of brain cells (as in good thinking) or a beehive (good honey) or a Kibbutz (good parties).
Born on this day: Chris Lowe, Joe Strummer, Agatha Christie, Joseph Campbell, Alan Bates, Víctor Martínez
“The difficulty of beginning will be nothing to the difficulty of knowing how to stop.” – taken from Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (2-Akbal)
The sun-sign Ik (wind, breath) is involved with knowledge and communication. In western terms, I might refer to this as the quest for truth, along with the effort to faithfully disseminate it.
Today’s sign, Akbal (night, house) has a flavor of the unknown and veiled aspects of experience and knowledge. To navigate the unknown a good measure of courage is required, and flexibility to adapt to new circumstances as the unknown is revealed.
Together, 2-Akbal is a question of courage, flexibility, and resolve. These are the essential tools of any truth seeker. Courage to follow truth wherever it might lead; flexibility to stay on course and consider alternatives fairly; and resolve to reach the other side of the adventure and lesson.
Born on this day: Marilyn Manson, Queen Elizabeth II, Steven M. Greer, Joseph Goebbels, Arthur Conan Doyle, Paul Melnyk (Saints of British Rock), Brian Eno
“Is adult entertainment killing our children? Or is killing our children entertaining adults?” – Marilyn Manson (3-Kan)
3-Kan represents fertile seeds that the wind (1-Ik) carries to distant locations. The seeds travel in all directions. There are so many of them, so it doesn’t really matter where they end up, or whether they strike root or not. When distribution is carried out by the wind in all directions, some seeds are bound to become successfully in becoming new plants.
Other seeds may lay dormant for years until their opportunity comes along. Time means little to good, fertile potential.
Foundation of life
Born on this day: Huey Lewis, Ken Wilber, Adam Smith, Sean Austin, Tom Sizemore, Angelina Jolie, Wil Wheaton, Andrew Carnegie
“The power of love is a curious thing” – Huey Lewis (4-Chicchan)
The fourth day of the trecena is when the first cycle around the four cardinal direction concludes. It began in the north (Ik), then west (Akbal), then south (Kan), and today – east (Chicchan). Tomorrow it’ll be north again (Cimi). A trecena consists of 3 such cycles of 4 days (=12) plus one more day to evolve (13).
So, as Ken Johnson often writes, a 4 day is a completion and perfection in itself. Even though there are still 9 more days to the 1-Ik trecena, 4-Chicchan represents a perfect set of requirements and limitations upon which the entire process depends.
What are the requirements and limitations of Chicchan (serpent)?
Born on this day: Joe Torre, Charlie Chaplin, Erica Badu, Simon Cowell, Monica Bellucci
“I don’t want to create a revolution — I just want to create a few more films.” – Charlie Chaplin (5-Cimi)
Born on this day: Brent Spinner, Mother Teresa, Jackson Pollock, Steven Bauer
“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set.” – Mother Teresa (6-Manik)
Purpose = Plenty
Born on this day: John Forbes Nash, Carl Sagan, Benjamin Netanyahu, Grace Jones
“What are the stars? Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.” – Carl Sagan (7-Lamat), Cosmos (1980)
Waters above, waters below
Born on this day: Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Joan Rivers, Salomon Mayer von Rothschild, Che Guevara, Thelonious Monk, Clive Owen, Eugene Levy, Frank Ribéry, Carles Puyol, Wilt Chamberlain
“The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.” – Che Guevara (8-Muluc), On Revolutionary Medicine (1960)
Born on this day: Mark Twain, Charles Bukowski, Stephen Biko, Adolf Hitler, Catherine Ashton, Eugene V. Debs, Paris Hilton, Laurence Wachowski, Stephen Spielberg, Steve Carell, Ernest Borgnine
“My ambition is handicapped by my laziness.” – Charles Bukowski (9-Oc), Factotum (1975)
Born on this day: Nikita Khrushchev, James Monroe (5th US president), Bruce McGill, Buddy Miles, Alister Crowley, Neil Armstrong
“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.” – Nikita Khrushchev (10-Chuen)
Born on this day: Stephen Fry, Nat King Cole, Carl Bernstein, Milton Berle, J. Edgar Hoover, Dale Bumpers, Gene Wilder
“The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” – J. Edgar Hoover (11-Eb)
Born on this day: Geri Halliwell, Dave Grohl, Brad Renfro, Dan Arieli
“I had a little love, now I’m back for more.” – Geri Halliwell (12-Ben), When 2 become 1
Born on this day: George Bernard Shaw, Emily Dickenson
“The eternal jaguar stalks outside my peripheral vision” – Eagle Solomon (8-Lamat), son of 13-Ix