August 1.

We now know that neurons are distributed not just in the brain. The whole body is mindful. Descartes almost had it right. His pivotal dictum, Cogito ergo sum, wasn't complete. "I think, therefore I am...embodied," would have opened more pertinent philosophical ground. Instead, holiness became disembodied wholeness; and it took centuries to remember that mind creates body as a woman gestates a child within herself.
Realizing you're an artist is where the difficulty begins. The initial surge is orgasmic.
Then you spend the rest of your life trying to produce what that moment promised to deliver



Susan Rowland arrived tonight. We met at a conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she was one of the speakers. We had dinner, and tomorrow we will spend the whole day together.

It is unusually hot. But after a month with my arm shrouded in a black sling, I finally feel free!


Midaregami: "Her hair in sweet disorder."

My shoulder continues to adjust
to its new configuration.

Like falling in love,
familiar patterns are unbalanced
while reaching toward a more
flexible life.



David Rosen, psychiatrist, professor, co-author, and old friend,5 was here today with his partner, Lanara Roell. Over plates of steaming fish, they told me of the dinner they recently had with Mark Unno, whose work I know well.6 Afterwards, we walked around the Japanese Garden. In one pond, the colorful flanks of carp look like the cambered rays of Maori face paintings. Lanara, who lived in New Zealand for over a decade, bent as if to touch the country she left behind, as it swam away.



It used to be that as soon as the unconscious is in the picture, no law could regulate purification or reassure the ecologists. Those of 'nature' and those of 'culture'. Unless the unconscious is already an ecosystem regulated by so many laws; and so the elders were keepers and singers of their tribe's history and ceremonies. They didn't watch reality shows, they were reality-in-depth. "To float on the surface does not necessarily mean to survive."7

It is in the nature of the gods not to survive. Our oldest mythologies tell us this. Our salvation doesn't depend on resurrection but recycling. In a world that's become a model of mobility, it's easier to pack a mummified deity in one's baggage than to poetize on indigenous visions. An environment-friendly approach would be to worship biodegradable gods; deities that, when no longer relevant to the cultural climate are, with proper ceremony, returned to the earth.

With this in mind on a muggy midsummer's day, I cross the trail to its shadowy side. In the distance, a few slim white legs of last winter's snow cling to the southern flanks of Mount St. Helens. Yesterday, the Green Man stuck his leafy tongue out at me and laughed. Today he's somewhere else, stalking sacral ghosts in which, without initiation, we continue to believe.



When recently I read, "The belief that one possesses truth makes possible that highest and purest life. Human beings need belief in truth...,"8 it made me realize that philosophy must have a stake on the cusp of current concerns. It is not that Nietzsche is wrong here, it is that he's irrelevant. We have moved past truth into curiosity. When asked how he and his wife met, Derrida said, "The story I can tell is always inadequate to the story I want to tell."9 So that the true story is left in abeyance.

How could it be otherwise, as a story has no beginning or end? The biologist Rupert Sheldrake wrote, "But then something amazing happened about fifty thousand years ago—the beginnings of art, such as painting in caves."10 At best, origination is a trope, one that Derrida wrote against. Sheldrake didn't write "beginning," but "beginnings." I assume he perceived that art had many beginnings, as it has been found at sites not only in Southern Europe, but in Southern Africa, Australia, the fact, everywhere early human settlements have been excavated. As "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower,"11 curiosity is the force that drives the human psyche.



From Peter Bishop's review of Peter Mattheissen's The Snow Leopard, the diary of the naturalist writer's trek through Nepal to the Crystal Monastery,12 I have gained fresh insight into Matthiessen's genius, which, like the best journal writers, elaborates "fact" by injecting "fiction" directly into the textual body. "Exotic food is named and eaten, customs are observed, crazy weather is endured. Timetables, dates, names of ships and of hotels are clearly recorded. But it would be a mistake to assume thereby that The Snow Leopard is factual while Matthiessen's novels are fiction."13

Matsuo Bashō also novelized facets of the mundane, especially in his classic, Oku no Hosomichi ("Narrow Road to the Interior"). We know this because Sora Kawai, his traveling companion, kept a separate, more factual, record. There is no pure annotation, as the brain reconstitutes reality by mixing fragments of mnemonic notes. And while a group of observers will never agree on everything, literature agrees on nothing.

Four centuries later, Hayao Kawai, the first Jungian psychotherapist to practice in Japan, delivered a talk on Hua-yen (Kegon) Buddhism, stating that its core principle is: "All things continually and simultaneously manifest themselves together as a whole. The philosophy of Hua-yen calls (this) ontological reality 'Interdependent Origination.'"

Kawai went on to say:


A few days ago, in the Friendly House lounge, an organ went off in a man’s pocket. When he pulled a phone out, with Bach still playing, the room became less friendly, as without spatial clues, voice level is usually louder than if the one being addressed were present. Which is why Bach, to glorify his invisible god, wrote for such a loud instrument.

The telephone was named because everything perceivable through human senses takes part. Natural space experienced through hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching. By means of the smallest possible interventions, living, three-dimensional natural space is re-organized, unlocked and put under tension. Reorganisation, of course for a finite period of time. One day, in the technology’s infancy voices sounded phony, and progressive improvement in vocal quality only added to the untenable illusion of presence.



After days of dry near record-breaking heat, Thor knocks me awake with his blunt hammer, Zeus is busy tazering a faultless leaden sky.
dark morning—
thunder rattling windows
feels like a personal assault.

I'd been dreaming of making a sculpture from long thin pieces of wood I'd painted with red enamel. But it wasn’t finished, and people were angry because it wouldn't be ready in time for a particular rite. "In time," I thought. "What does this mean?"

At noon, the church's electronic bell is dull besides a figure of Christ Crucified that shines like gold in a flawless perihelion glow, as he had never spoken less than a pearl of wisdom, a polished allegory, a gem of prose; no Freudian slips, and only an occasional pun. While the Elder Gods had passions, weaknesses, neuroses, and sometimes royally screwed up. In a forthcoming book, Susan Rowland quotes Laurance Coupe on the 18th Century mystic poet and artist William Blake:

"Blake set himself the task of revitalising the Christian myth; indeed, he was one of the first believers to conjecture that the story of Jesus really was a liberating myth, not a literal truth. Far from seeing the bible as the last word—indeed, the ultimate Word—he felt able to rewrite it totally according to the dictates of his imagination, which he took to be a spiritual force."15

Rowland elaborates on what Coupe calls "radical typology," suggesting that it "sees the recurrence of mythic stories as generative of meaning without presupposing any particular meaning. Radical typology/mythos is a way of exploring for new meanings. Allegory/logos is a way of stabilising meanings."16

The fundamentalist critique of poststructuralism is that it postpones ultimate meaning in favor of an endless chain of signifiers. However, what actually occurs is that avenues for the creation of new meanings, visions, and art that revitalize the culture are surveyed. But when the sacred veers from the profane, Rowland says, "the only remedy is to change the myth."16




A drizzly morning. Gauzy-green trees are awake and absorbing the low clouds. Because we sense a mystery beyond our limited consciousness, we create gods and the myths that relate their existence. To reinforce their tenuous position, some people declare that Mayan shamans ritually used hallucinogenic enemas. The enemas 'probably made of mead, tobacco juice, mushrooms, and morning glory seeds' would not cause nausea and could induce a trance state far more quickly and potently than oral methods of a "calling." Robes are designed, rites, texts, dogma, preaching, chanting, burning incense, building temples and ringing bells...all this and more is bound into what we call a religion.

C.G. Jung wrote: tHAT "every closed system of religion has an undoubted tendency to suppress the unconscious in the individual as much as possible, this paralyzing his fantasy activity. Instead, religion offers stereotyped symbolic concepts that are meant to take the place of the unconscious once and for all.18

Jung, who spent much of his career mining the rich symbolism of Christianity, is addressing how creativity is blunted by the psychic walls religions build around themselves. But his sting goes deeper. He says that the mission of religion is to subsume the unconscious itself. Then Jung seems to contradict himself, calling religions "the guardians and custodians of symbolical truth," that have "been robbed of (their) efficacy by science."18

His critique is not against religion, or science, both of which play a central role in his psychology. Jung is attacking their bombastic claims to singularity. Monotheism cannot admit it is but one link on a long chain of mythologies the psyche continues to create, while scientists know their theories thrive only within the whorls of their methodology.

     I bend
to smell a
come face
to face
     with a



Terence McKenna said, “I think any reasonable person can conclude that the redemption of the world, if it’s to be achieved, can only be achieved through magic." Thinking of the woman I love, who is far from here today, I notice a branch that describes the proximal, the shared, the embodied, repetition, and the ineffable…are all concerned with presence, which is to say proximity. And each participates in various ways in a metaphysical discourse, the quest for ground and the graceful curve of her neck, the smooth knob of a tree that defines the arc of her shoulders, and two leaves fallen upon each other remind me how her lips sensuously part. Now I take pictures as an invocation, so that in their pixels she may magically reappear.




I once watched Tibetan monks making a mandala out of variously colored sands. After working tirelessly for days to complete "the mind of the Buddha in three-dimensions," the lamas purposefully swept it up, casting the sand into a body of water, diluting the unity that exemplifies the "monotheistic fantasies of the senex imagination."17

Jung wrote that, like archetypes, mandalas are instinctive, instructive, and self-healing.21 But a mandala is not meant for the contemplation of this world. It is not like astrology, tarot, tea leaves, or the I Ching. It neither predicts nor explains. It is an open door without a room to enter. Like consciousness, it has no destination.



1- Eliot, T.S. From, "The Wasteland."
2- Abraham, R. In, R. Sheldrake, T. McKenna, R. Abraham, The Evolutionary Mind. Rhinebeck, NY, 2005. (Terence McKenna died in April, 2000.)
3- Jeffers, R. From, "Bixby's Landing."
4- Keats, J. From, “On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again.”
5- Rosen, D. and Weishaus, J. The Healing Spirit of Haiku. Berkeley, CA, 2004.
6- Weishaus, J. "The Butterfly and the Mushroom." Review of M. Unno, Shingon Refractions: Myoe and the Mantra of Light. Boston, MA, 2004. The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal. February, 2000.

as soon as the unconscious: J. Derrida, "Biodegradables: Seven Diary Fragments. Critical Inquiry, Summer 1989.
7- Ibid.
8- Nietzsche, F. Unpublished Writings: The Period of Unfashionable Observations. (Summer 1872-Early 1873) R.T. Gray, Translator. Stanford, CA, 1999.
9- Derrida, J. Derrida. K. Dick and A.Z. Kofman. Jane Doe Films, 2003.
10- Sheldrake, R., McKenna, T, Abraham, R. The Evolutionary Mind. Rhinebeck, NY, 2005.
11- Thomas, D. From, "The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower."
12- Matthiessen, P. The Snow Leopard. New York, NY, 1978.
13- Bishop, P. "The Geography of Hope and Despair: Peter Mathiessen's The Snow Leopard." South Australian College of Advanced Education, Magill, Summer 1985.
14- Kawai, H. Buddhism and the Art of Psychotherapy. College Station, TX, 1996. Developed from a lecture in the Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
everything perceivable: Nils-Udo, "Towards Nature." In, H. Besacier, Nils-Udo: Art in Nature. Paris, France, 2002.
15- Coupe, L. Myth. London, England, 1997.
16- Rowland, S. Jung. In MS, 2008.
17- Bishop. P. All quotes from: Dreams of Power: Tibetan Buddhism and the Western Imagination. London, England, 1993.
that Mayan shamans: "Howls From the Bowel." Discover, October 1995.
18- Jung, C.G. Symbols of Transformation. Princeton, NJ, 1990.
the proximal, the shared: R. Coyne, Technoromanticism. Cambridge, MA, 1999.
19- Eliade, M, The Sacred and the Profane. Boston, MA, 1959.
20- Hillman, J. The Dream and the Underworld. New York, NY, 1979.
21- Jung, C.G. Mandala Symbolism. Princeton, NJ, 1973.