An unsolved Zen koan has taken over my life. I’m caught in the grip of its riddle. I try and imagine this whole koan challenge like a virtual reality video game. The objective of the game is to assemble a fully functional operational platform, an alternative navigational system to journey through physical reality, and it has got to work within the game environment of the culture at large. Once I find the key that unlocks the advanced levels, I’ll have total freedom and full access to my feminine creative power.
Instead of blindly, obediently accepting the operating system my family, friends, associates and culture expect, instead of swimming unseeing, like just another fish in the sea, one in nine billion and counting, amongst the invisible limiting assumptions and perceptual biases that make up the ocean ecosystem of our mass thought forms, instead of following all those standard operating procedures, some other navigational method calls to me, some other perceptual platform, some other mode of functioning, some other orientation to making decisions, achieving desires and creating a life.
Insistent and captivating as a siren’s song, this other mode calls to me. It demands that I crawl up out of this sea of human-engineered reality, and grow a set of legs, evolve me some amphibian versatility and fashion for myself another platform to live life from. Hell, I probably need to pop out some wings, too, if I really mean to do this thing right. A swimming, crawling, flying shape-shifting creature able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, fly through the walls of time and space, and somehow keep at least one highly functional foot, preferably in a pair of thousand dollar sky-high red-soled Louboutins, firmly on the ground of conventional reality, looking for all the world to see like just another one of nine billion little fishies in sea.
Believe me, it would be so much easier if this thing weren’t driving me on. I want to belong, really I do. I’m not trying to buck the current, I’m just trying to follow my own flow. Plus, I have to deal with the trumpet girl. Everywhere I go, there’s this saucy trumpet girl in a short red-striped skirt and high heeled tassle-topped boots who bounces around playing nothing but raunchy siren songs. You try marching in line, with all your facts and figures neatly correct and scientifically validated, according to the narrow confines of some brilliant idiots’ MIT lab, when your molecules are boogying on down to the wild primal beats of star systems birthing out of seething nebula clouds, and all the while your cells sing rounds of angel choruses with such lascivious orgasmic abandon that you can hardly walk the straight and narrow of work-hard goal-oriented strategically planned return-on-investment algorithms and marketing campaigns. I ask you, what’s a girl to do?
Just the other day we were talking, me and this trumpet girl, when she straight out point blank tells me, “You know you’re making this much harder than it has to be.” Right, easy for her to say, with her star-spangled pinwheel sparkler cowgirl boots, like some auburn-haired Annie Oakley of the Dakini world who can fly free with no bills to pay. I’m lying on the living room sofa, watching dust motes dance in the afternoon light, waiting for a stroke of genius, resisting the urge to re-watch this week’s episode of Downton Abbey, while my pen stares back at me in silent reproach. “Don’t you start in too,” I snap at it.
“Hey, pay attention,” my trumpet girl demands. “Stop moping about feeling sorry for yourself. If you just follow my music, I’ll get you where you need to go.” Dancing and prancing with wild abandon, she leads me through an invisible door between the worlds of space and time and afternoon dust motes. Suddenly I’m flying on a magic carpet of inner knowing, dipping and swirling through huge swathes of colored intent, chromatic ribbons of emotion and tone that weave themselves into shifting patterns full of unspeakable significances that somehow make sense.
“Perception is action,” she tells me, like it’s a lesson I keep forgetting. “It counts just as much as any physical action, maybe more.” I try and focus on what she’s saying, but get distracted by the Milky Way galaxies trailing from the sparklers on her boots. Leave it to me to get assigned a trumpet-playing spirit guide who’s a cross between some Texan majorette circa 1965 and a smoking hot neo-soul video vixen. ”Perception is action, perception is action,” I repeat in my head, and gradually find myself working muscles I forgot I had, creating through action that requires no doing, spontaneous responses without thought or decision, perfectly attuned to those woven patterns of intent and feeling tone. Here’s the thing; it feels so unbelievably good. I mean intense sensual pleasure, total body multiple orgasm bliss good, like I’m making love with the Universe, legs, arms, mouth, heart splayed open in ecstatic abandon, fucking Existence with all my might.
An eternity passes in the blink of an eye. I catch my trumpet girl watching me from the corner of nowhere, playing bluesy stripper take-it-off, take-it-all-off riffs on her horn. “What I want to know,” I say to my guide, “is how to make this work in the so-called real world, you know, the walking and talking and chewing gum real world of jobs and careers and money.” Like an agent provocateur in disguise, sent to a foreign land, I’m unceremoniously dumped, without warning, back on my late afternoon sofa. “Wait, come back here, missy. I want an answer.” In response, a tiny shower of glitter falls on my crotch. My pen winks at me and rolls over onto my pad. “No sassing back from the peanut gallery,” I mutter. But secretly I’m happy, filled with a wild joy, and vow to myself, once more, yet again, to keep going on.