Building Your Space Ship

Blake described the intellect as the outer container for the energy, all of which is from the body. The theory behind spiritual development which rises from individual liberties, as opposed to religion, is that it allows you to create your own container, so that your energy has a place to go when the existing container breaks. Don Juan said that a sorcerer is an empty man except for a collection of stories which have a universal application. The idea is that a story with a universal application has an archetypal core, and can extend into time from what might be best described as pre-time.

I was intensely connected to William S. Burroughs’ Western Lands trilogy, his last novels, when he died. I didn’t know he was dying, but during the night I had one of those dreams which is linear and non-linear. It was linear in that Burroughs was coming down the hall of a military barracks, wearing boxers and a t-shirt. It was non linear in that a different scene was there in the same place, at the same moment. It was a military vehicle with a driver, waiting for him, the motor running. Burroughs, still in the passageway, said, “I don’t need a driver. I can drive myself.” These two scenes were not separate in time, they had the same location. I had to separate them to tell the dream as a narrative.

I was arrested by the idea that he had created a container for himself, he had built his own spaceship, evolved into a different form. Like Don Juan, he surrendered to a container he’d built for the purpose.

If we consist of a field of energy which is contained by an intellectual structure, and are making a bid for immortality, there are only two kinds of containers I know of, and that is the cultural container and the personal container. The cultural container is carved arbitrarily into opposites, the do’s and don’ts. Ashley Montagu called it the first education. You are taught what is expected of you if you want to be accepted and honored as a member of the culture.

The second education begins when you realize the cultural containers are all arbitrary. Other cultures are different. You see the unconsciousness in consciousness. Then you can proceed to the second education, which is personal consciousness. This is what Don Juan called the birthday of a sorcerer, when she or he moves the allegiance to the abstract.

There are a lot of other examples of this, such as esoteric Christianity, where three levels of development are given to you, but to move to the fourth requires giving yourself the shock of consciousness. The first conscious shock, it’s called. The instinctual levels are given. The psychological levels, of four through nine, are not given. They require conscious intent. In Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life,” the idea was expressed in the sketch, “People aren’t wearing enough hats.” John Cleese’s favorite books are Maurice Nicoll’s “Commentaries,” which are based in esoteric Christianity.

The key is to see the structure of the space ship. The container has to be able to navigate in a timeless place, which means there is no distance between events, they are all in the same location. If there was distance there would be time. Without time, then, the illusion of time can be created only through the selection of events so that they form a narrative (as in the dream), and the dear departed is not going past death. The only way out, in theory, is to withdraw from time but retain the structure of a collection of stories to contain the energy, and have no identification with anything else. Again, “A sorcerer is an empty man except for a collection of stories with a universal application.”

The Egyptians, Burroughs wrote, tried to make spirit solid, and if you make spirit solid, it’s not spirit anymore. “We will make ourselves less solid,” he wrote.

“Well, that’s what art is all about, isn’t it? All creative thought, actually. A bid for immortality. So long as sloppy, stupid, so-called democracies live, the ghosts of various boring people who escape my mind still stalk about in the mess they have made.

“We poets and writers are tidier, fade out in firefly evenings, a Prom and a distant train whistle, we live in a maid opening a boiled egg for a long-ago convalescent, we live in the snow on Michael’s grave falling softly like the descent of their last end on all the living and the dead, we live in the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, in the last and greatest of human dreams …

“… Look at their Western Lands. What do they look like? The houses and gardens of a rich man. Is this all he Gods can offer? Well, I say it is time for new gods who do not offer such paltry bribes …”

Writing is for me is playing the a piano keyboard. I like the music of the words. I have been a professional magazine writer and newspaper editor.