The 411! A Revisionist Birthcard Combo? ;-D
“Studies show that one out of one people experience death, maybe you will, too.”
~ Dr. Janet Noever
“Life. None of us are getting out alive. Enjoy it!”
~ Comedian, “Lazyboy TV” cd
“Be comfortable with the not-knowing NOW. Your imagination is there for you. Does yours work in your best interest?”
~ Jordan Hoggard
“Mastery leads to further discovery.”
~ Jordan Hoggard
ON DEATH AND IMAGINATION: This one is a little longer article. May I suggest to pick paragraphs like apples, and plant the seeds?
You knocked on the right door. Thanks for visiting! I’ve been thinking about this over the last year. . .
Have you ever picked up distinctions between different kinds of not-knowing, or unknowns, in your life? There feels to be a connection between, death, imagination, and living. There are of course connections and disconnects between everything all the time. . .
I see death and the not-knowing to form a 2-lane highway, both lanes 2-way, that go in the both directions forward and back. Do both utilize imagination in one way or another? Does death have to merge at some point lest it be a dead-end on that highway? Do we simply merge with it?
The way I look at it is that we are inherently imaginative even in a deceptively simple way as a primal survival mechanism. We tend to think forward, to literally imagine the future. What if I do this? Or, that? Or, those? And, in that I say, if you know what’s going to happen, why do it? There would certainly be no serendipity there, no surprises to catalyze further interest, you already know what is going to happen. But, do you? Have you ever experienced familiar surroundings differently doing the same ole actions you have done there before? I have. And, there is where I see this 2-lane highway, both lanes 2-way forward and back, forward to the future with dreams, and back to the past with memories. If I drop time out of the metaphysical experience for ya, aren’t memory and dream very similar? Both float-orbiting weightlessly in mind? I am not going to do the boring “what is mind, Jordan?” dictionary-pulling conversation stopper here. I will leave that to people who like to be annoying. I know what I know, and I don’t know what I don’t know, and catching truth in regard to mind may simply be a philospshical game of catch-the-greased-pig-while-you-are-blinfolded-with-your-hands-tied-behind-your-back. I can think of better uses there without the pig.
If we imagine forward into the future and only come to death, it would only be a disheartening, deflating dead end, and imagination would probably have evolved away way back some time. Yet, still that does not often induce, “ok, so why keep doing anything? No matter what, none of us are getting out alive. What’s the point? I saw death, and it kinda killed everything back to now.” Seems, though, we are not hard-wired that way. Even people who have nead death experiences (NDEs) are often better goal-setters and planners while at the same time are successful WHILE they take things in stride at speed, often utilizing both positive and negative surprises as free, catalyzing serendipity along the way.
And, that is where rather than avoiding the not-knowing, I feel it more of a rationalizing of death to, “Well, so death comes from this which is a big thing. Are their more coolio even BIGGER things with this imagination stuff?”
And, like Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park says, “life finds a way,” which is where my other lane comes in. So, we imagine past death. Did that create reincarnation? In the same way if we imagine past birth, do we experience past life scenarios? Hmmm. Both seem to play in to an irrational and EXTREMELY NECESSARY optimism whereby imagination is like an awake-dream, and we can of course compose the same future scenario differently, but I feel we also re-remember our pasts where like Samuel Johnson stated, then “hope triumphs over experience” and we LEARN from experience even capitalizing on failures. Is that to say something is true the way happened, but can be more true the way we tell it? Can be more nourishing the way we incorporate it into our life? That links to storytelling, but I would say more to cherry-picking the perennials in our past to forget the crapola and support the things worth remembering, and also visualizing in to the future to nourish our upcoming new perennials.
I sometimes wonder if creating the Mystereum Tarot and then evolving it into The Land of Mystereum was a balancing gesture forme. Was I weighted down and filling up one of these 2 lanes more than the other? I mean, I have almost died on a mountain, a 14’er. I have almost died on a mountain, stuck 45 feet up with no way down except to climb back down the vertical face but my hands were blowing out, or of course let go which would have had SUCH a quicker solution time. ;-D. I got shocked in my 17-foot ceiling in my studio in Denver years back while standing on top of an 8-foot ladder as a friend held it. I had to change a light bulb, not a common almost-croaking scenario–but, as well I was grabbing things with the back of my hands, too. In a 150 year old building, you can tug on one thing and then POOF molten tin ceiling tiles from a wire crossing and falling above the ceiling. X-raying the ceiling has never been one of my strong points when changing a light bulb. So, there is that dang irrational positivity we can utilize to make the best out of even tricky and dangerous and even life-threatening situations. With the light bulb incident, rather than freaking out standing on the top of the ladder, even while being electrocuted (not of course in a power line way but more a “get a free home-perm” way) I steady-froze my balance standing on top of the ladder and simply tucked my head and squinted so I could still see as the spew of molten tin ceiling tiles shrapnel fire-fell and cascaded over me. Lotsa holes burned in my shirt, but in that instant I knew that steady was better than falling from 8-feet up. Fight or flight would have killed me. Steady and turning the other cheek, well, both, though, wasn’t fighting OR fleeing. Do you hmmph like an old librarian with purple hair to say, “The ladder SAYS not to stand that high on it. Wasn’t smart to be there in the first place. You brought this on yourself.” I do not know which is worse, hmmmphing, or the guests coming over later for dinner to eat in the dark?
Not many people fear for your safety and life when you chime out that you are heading to the bank. But, we never know do we? We never know. . .hmmm. . .what do we really know? The sky is up? It is even sometimes blue? And, sometimes blue, like an orange? Thanks Andre Breton. Seems all of those experiences I expressed just now about ALMOST dieing are about being UP, and not being able to come down. Is it no matter that there was a pattern that would tell any normal person to stay on the ground? Neh, I do not feel that getting cowered or beaten down by our experiences is the point of life. Life is to experience. I’ve never seen a cosmic D-Hall. . .maybe because I had enough of that waaaaay back in school. Even if it would seem I may have been egging those experiences on to a great degree, literally and systematically challenging myself to death, ONE, I am still here, and two, it was better than doing nothing. Back then I would much rather go to a mountain and camp than sit on a couch and order pizza. I do see the error there now, though, if there are coupons involved. ;-D. So, no need to go into samurai or ninja or warriors or duels from the perspective of those experiences indicating past-life content surfacing. Can if you want to, but. . .I think that that is the way I was/am/will be hard-wired to a degree, and there’s not much static about that. More a WEEEEEEEEEE, but possibly a little less annoyingly funny than the pig in the Geico commercial.. Wits come waaaaayyyy naturally, just like grace under fire, and that I even perform under pressure optimally like I am sipping tea. So, I use ’em when necessary, they tell me something I KNOW about myself. . .yet still . . .
The above is expressed less to talk about me, but more to inform this 2-lane idea thingee from my personal experience which I have no need of either repeating or proving, to provide some experiential things to chew on. Life doesn’t seem to be a repeat the experiment to prove something gig, more a repeat things for discipline, ritual, study, improvement, meditation, journeying, payment, etc etc.
So, I often wonder if Mystereum on all of its forms from 2005 until 2008, and then 2009-2010 when I completed The Land of Mystereum really did NOT take 5 years. Did it take my whole life up to that point? All of my life experience infusing a WHOLE land? Gotta say a definitive and enthusiastic yes to that. But, was the catalyst form-giver in 2005 in my garden really like a psychic gear being shifted? A psychic gear that when switched then stepped on the gas to gun it out of the dead-end death-challenge lane into the other lane to go beyond the death I had pretty much just almost gotten to, and in many cases while painting always felt I had gone beyond? Gone over the horizon so to speak? To switch into the re-remembering forward and back on a discovery where I could metaphysically and actively drop time out of the equation? And, dropping time out the past and future became synonomous. The past became memory, the future became dream, and both live weightlessly, floating to a degree, and are naturally supported in their orbits in the mind/consciousness/unconsciousness. . .and Everything is in Everything in the continual flow of switching focus and re-orchestrating momentum. I dig Ken Wilbur, but he is from the last 100 years. He can bite some credit from the Everything is in Everything cake, but it is an age-old idea. A medicine man around a campfire thousands of years ago would be my first go-to there.
So, do I dismiss too many distinctions when I do not define “mind”? Frankly, that incessant word-definition in conversation is boring. Conversationus interruptus with, “What do you mean by mind?” etc ad infinitum ad neauseum. Maybe no fault of their’s. Maybe people who do that simply do not comprehend the sanctuary a good question will positiviely provide in a conversation. But, I digress. To pull back from death? Nope. I seem to be driving the other lane, now. I much rather seal the deal and say mindbodybeautiful where though there are a great many opoosites together, it is not so much a dulaity, but more so an antinomy–a totality of inner opposites functioning in real-time (whether there or not) at speed in play in life.
So, back to “what was the form-giver catalyst for Mystereum?” I don’t really need to know, but since it strikes me as important, I know my process well enough to sniff on down that trail for the goods. Maybe it is that I started getting lop-sided, that there was too much or simply enough experience with the death gig already, AND that I would often say about my paintings, “If I go down and start painting, don’t worry if I don’t come back. I always go over the horizon and I have no clue if it is dangerous or not, and that may mean I am going beyond death in my active hand-paint-drum-strokes of trancedance rhythmically drum-dance-stroking the colors across the canvas. It also may simply mean I am able to dance with my shadow in a land of imagination consciously. Damn Neptunian boundaryless-concept boundaries. Hi Pluto.” And, I’d toddle off into the studio. All that then was more to mess with roommates than anything. And then those attempts at some-truth humor . . . How much direct foreshadowing is THAT?! 😀
As you are probably aware a rhythmic drumming is often used in shamanic journey work to facilitate travel. I simply came to it naturally after the intense physical and sitting meditations in the martial arts. That serves up a great deal of my skepticism to the ooh la laaaas of “oh it blew my mind, man” like people describing LSD trips and it and gets back to, (grimacing)”Stop talking about it, and go do it then. It’s yours” kinda thing. I always hmmphin’ shook my head when offered acid or similar with, “DOOD, that’s so like batteries not included in the Christmas toy of your mind. My model has that standard and at will and mostly most all the time. Enjoy yourself, though.” You see, that’s THEIR gig, and that’s ALL them. Jerry Seinfeld might say something here. I remember a writer friend coming back after doing mushrooms on a hike. He had asked to watch me paint in oils one day to see if it would give him a story. I obliged happily so long as he agreed NO MATTER what with NO exceptions that once we were in the studio he was not to say anything at all or get up and leave and disrupt the process. I suggested he was about to go on a road trip with me as I painted, so he might wanna visit the lou. He had watched my pupils naturally widen to almost all black as I painted. Mentioned afterwards that all he could think was “Dog. Food. Do NOT get between them.” Pretty funny. Don’t think I would have attacked him. The big pupils were more of an actively creative taking-all-senses-in-in-motion-in-action as I painted. So, he came back in after his shroom gig on a boulder yelling out to get me to come from wherever in the house I was. “OK, Man. How do I say this? I STILL don’t understand you AT all. You swim SO easily in complex, unconscious areas. But, the shrooms made EVERYTHING so vivid today! The thought came to me that I might have been sensing what you feel ALL the time.” Couldn’t tell you. I have always said my mind was aleady too Ferrari’d to go sticking some fuel booster crap in it. But, I like what he said. Some are hard-wired to experience psychic contents like looking at art in a museum.Born with a foot in both sides? I believe my astrologer when she says yes to that.
Well, this is a meandering story written to as a reel to draw out a mini-memoire through the biography of an idea, the idea now living of The Land of Mystereum. I think, though, that moving meanderingly like on a new trail, and expansively AND recording it in ways that archetypally have more to do with everyone rather than being only personal, The Mystereum Tarot and The Land of Mystereum are visual and word stories that took me to power up the rest of my noggin’ in creating and making them to experience more fully the right-on-the-money inklings I seem to have always had instant access to, yet for the most part though I utilized them in architecture, I took them for granted as well. . .like the way I took the Death card in a reading I performed on The Tarot Guild’s internet radio show. . .where I pretty much ran laps around the R.I.P. idea of death in my mind in about 1/2 a second and POOF saw instead the death of her old relationship, and then frankly ran laps around the High Priestess just as quickly to spark, “I feel it is coming from an outside source.” Where did that come from? Channelling? I may channel my energies, focus them, but that’s the imagination at work. Channelling from my perspective is not about getting OUT of the way, but more fully inhabiting the way to be IN the way. Is channelling expression of one’s inner divinity being powered up and further infused and informed by a larger divine source? I ill simply say Everything is in Everything. There is a whole universe in the focused frame of any scale you choose to focus on. And, more so, I feel that inner divinity being energized is indicative of our imagination’s 4-banger engine cycling with: 1-idea; 2-creativity; and 3-intuition. The 4th cylinder is the silence, the space between the other three always swimming them into and through the experience of their living relationships with one another in each of our creative processes. In that Tarot Guild radio show reading I had never said that about those cards before. But, in the context of a reading, the expectations in the present tense all die, or are removed, resurrected, or infused . . .well. . .as they are in each reading, and each one is different. . .like the endless imagination lane or orbit-around an orbit in an orbit — moon orbiting the earth orbiting the sun orbiting in the solar system in a galaxy that is probably in orbit, too, etc etc, and that to me is SO NOT ad infinitum ad nauseum but way cool. Readings are similar to my Stargazer Lilies blooming each year in a graden years back. They always look the same, and they unfurl subtly differently, and I never found this repetitive gig boring. Quite the contrary, I anticipated their brilliant golden glow every year, just like my purple Crocus noses popping up 1st to indicate Here Comes Spring!
All in all, I think about death more and more now that Mystereum is living, but that doesn’t worry me. It simply indicates to me that I feel I have developed my imagination up to and maybe past the near-death intensities I experienced on mountains, grown a more expansive AND balanced sense of things, that I have gotten the inevitability of death to partner the power of its inevitability with the power of my imagination, and in that I will go out on a limb to say that whatever imagination is, THAT is what I find transcends death, and it can do it to infuse life in life in an every day kind of way. . .which is pretty much where my “Death As The Master Gardener” article in the Themed Personifications section of my blog came from. It also has a lot to do with my,”Success and mastery are not effective when they lead to megolomania or egomania. Those are qualities of a dead-in-the-water life in motion. Success and mastery are there to lead to further discovery.” Further discovery ’cause I lived and was able to come off the top of the mountain alive and continue to discover? Possibly. Possibly a masterful command of the obvious. Like my Stargazer Lilies blooming. But, “Mastery leads to further discovery.” I rather like that one as much as I like my perennials blooming. Another one of “When I listen to myself, literally hear the importance of what I say, I really tell myself what to do in a way that’s not too complex, and really more subtle. Pretty much a masterful command of the obvious.” After creating the Mystereum Tarot card images, I began to more clearly experience a quality of decptive simplicity I have. I began to say more with less, and maybe even talk a blue mile better. ;-D These days I hope that blue mile is more of spinning an interesting yarn in my work that provides some welcome resonances with people.
To initially sum it up. Imagination and death from my mind are a 2-lane highway where death continually prune-preens chaff out of ideas, intuition, and creativity, and keeps the spce between them clean and flowing, like Psychic Feng Shui for your 4-charactered voice of idea, creativity, intuition, and the space between as my (functionally inter-related component parts description) of Imagination. Call imagination Feng Shui for the mind, the psyche. Nice, psyche AS room. . .in the Sacred Temple of Your Mindbodybeautiful Self. And, Imagination is just as present and inevitable as death, and I feel it may in fact transcend death. With butt in the chair, time naturally drops out of the equation. 2 hours may feel like a whole day. I feel and think/know that dilates when we create. And, add the continued ability to be punctual to the mix, and you can create things on schedule. That said, squinching my nose and chuckling, I only see it as prudent to be late to my own funeral. I should go ahead and add myself to the guest list instead to really set that up. Bettin’ death doesn’t have a truant officer. ;-D
And, now, to round this all up, I will yin-yang-symbol it. Yin-yang-symbol as a verb. Think of the yin-yang symbol as a lush diagram of your whole imagination. Imagination surrounds the black dot of the wormhole of death. Imagination surrounds the white dot of the wormhole of birth. I couldn’t tell you which is the black paisley field or the white paisley field, though, because you can switch all those nouns and substitute death for imagination. It works both ways. Again, everything in everything. I feel this expresses the female, yin, creation concept of the completeness of living things + the male, yang, concept of perfectionism or finality in ongoing tuning and tailoring pretty nicely as a single totality working together. The bad guys wear white in chinese theatre. Here they mostly wear black. So, does that simply then make the ball of the earth itself the indication from the visual metaphor of the yin-yang symbol? Is the earth then its own symbol of self AS itself as the diagram of the supreme ultimate like with taijutsu’s expression of yin-yang? The earth is also a concretized and living form-diagram of Gaia.
Are you about to ask where The Wheel and The Magician are in the text? I will suggest to read the cards for that part. There may be more there than these words. But, here’s a nudge:
~ How does Death Cycle Magic within and about for you?
~ Where are you going to drive on your Imagination Highway today?
Thanks for visiting! Till next time. May Your Inner Divinity Be Stoked By Your Imagination!
Jordan & The Land of Mystereum
All images and text (c) 2010, 2011 Jordan Hoggard. Please be responsible and simply not an ass. When you utilize any of this information, cite your source. Thanks in advance. When you do, expect a rockin’ smile. If you don’t, watch out for trebuchets, the adult wrist rocket.
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