Ugly Stage

Very cute piece of street art near L.A. This is the Ugly Stage of a talented artist’s career where one’s work is on a dirty street and not a gallery in Manhattan.

I asked Rubber Ducky how one who attains an enlightened state can keep it. We’ve all had those experiences of Oneness and peace, but like a Pink Lady apple thrown into a vat of Red Delicious, it’s assimilated back into that lowest common denominator slurry once we walk back into civilization. How can a snowball stand a chance in Hell?

Rubber Ducky reminded of me something he said to our friends last week when we said good-bye. I thought he said to mark 12/17. I thought, “OK, that’s the day before the 7 days of the Lunar Bodhi Period begins.” But then Rubber Ducky started talking about the Industrial Revolution as the most powerful religion ever; so out of context.

It’s the religion of humanity’s so-far proven ability and continued faith to master the world and eventually beyond. The Industrial Revolution is a religion, complete with dogmas, parables, zealots of all sorts. For over 200 years, our human ingenuity has been able to spin the world faster and faster, hurtling the side-effects, which opens even bigger doors to walk through. It hasn’t really failed us yet. No nuclear winter, Florida is still above water, no mega plague … so let’s double-down on it!

He continued:

“The Industrial Revolution is in the realm of the human species. The Industrial Revolution is our faith in our ingenuity’s ability to control, new rules to solve a problem, and another new rule to solve the problems caused by that new rule. Our ingenuity is fueled by the law of the land, survival of the fittest, the instinct to compete. The funny thing is those solutions become tougher and tougher to engineer. But people still dogmatically believe we will solve problems through yet another law, which will contradict other laws, requiring more laws …

“The realm of the Universe has only one law, keep your cup empty, which awakens you to see the way the world really is and not how your mere 80 billion neurons compute it to be. The Universe is a kaleidoscope in constant change, and the only thing that keeps up with the change is what is right in front of you this instant, Now, It. Whatever your brain tells you is for many reasons based on seriously flawed data and algorithms optimized for a short-term in a merely complicated system. The Universe, and Earth for that matter, is a complex system, not a complicated system, a deterministic machine, that our brains make it out to be.

“At this ‘ugly stage’ of our evolution from larval Earthly animals to Beings of the Universe, we belong to both worlds at the same time. So ‘give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’ (Mark 12:17), not in terms of money, but terms of faith. Meaning, joyfully play your part in this human world to perfection – embrace your work, smile when you do it, enlightened people are still people. Laugh at the folly of thinking this complex system is a just a complicated machine. Let the worldly Dukkha of others pass through you like just the formless noise that it is. You can laugh at it all because you know the human world is a just a human-made separation of us from the rest of the Universe.”

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