Monday, May 25, 2015

Today Darfur, Tomorrow Kansas?

Rainbow Grocery, San Francisco, May 2015

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Whenever I am standing in one of those long lines at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, I look around me in awe. What if all the shelves and freezers were not so readily replenished? How soon would this orderly line turn into a desperate mob? And what if the plastic cards clutched by each person in that line suddenly led to nothing more than "DECLINED," what would be the next step? How much of your life is shaped by unspoken assumptions? For example, the assumption that there will be electricity when you flip on the switch, the assumption that there will be water when you turn on the faucet, the assumption that the garbage truck will come every week to empty your bins, the assumption that there will be gasoline for your car when you are running on empty, the assumption that all the satellites and servers will keep churning on and on 24 x 7 x 365. How of many of your behaviors are dependent upon such assumptions? How many of your opinions are shaped by them?  Take an inventory of those you love. Hold them in the mirror of your mind. Can you imagine those you love threatened with starvation? Can you imagine them threatened with death by dehydration? Can you imagine them pursued by rape-gangs in military uniform? Darfur may be the first Climate Crisis holocaust but it won't be the last, and there could well be a new Sahara coming to the U.S.A. Today it’s Darfur, but tomorrow, or next year, it could be Kansas or Texas or L.A. We are never more than a few ticks from collapse – even in the best of times. It isn't just something that happens somewhere else. It can happen anywhere. It may happen everywhere. Seriously.

To have coconut water at all is a luxury, but at Rainbow Grocery, on any day of the week, I can choose from a dozen different kinds. We live in a paradise. Of course, there are consequences. This paradise is fueled by a hell. I do not say this to make you feel guilty for drinking coconut water. I drink coconut water. (It’s not disruptive like Palm Oil or Quinoa.) I just want you to be conscious and grateful that you were born into a paradise, and I want you to use your time well. Yes, I could frame it differently, i.e., negatively, but it would still be a paradise -- for better AND worse, and yes, it is indeed fueled by a hell. It did not have to be this way. It could be another way. But it isn’t – yet. There is no purity.  There is no removing yourself from the equation. There is no blamelessness or innocence (except in the children and the beasts, of course). We are all dependent and complicit in some way; we are all both part of the problem AND part of the solution. You cannot rise above it, or burrow under it; you cannot disentangle yourself. Those who live off the grid on sustainable farms are as just as co-dependent and complicit as urban dwellers held hostage by wage slavery and the food distribution system, just in a different way. In the near future, without sustainable cities there will be no security for those sustainable farms; and without those sustainable farms there will be no basis for the sustainable cities required to provide security. We will all rise or fall together. Seriously.

Do you imagine that the people of Darfur are different than you? In Darfur, there is a woman whose heart beats just like yours, and whose lungs swell just like yours. She feels the same tenderness for her children as you do for yours, and she has the same quality of goodness in her wishes for their future. Together, the two of you could change the world -- if you were only to meet her INSIDE YOURSELF. Don't ask me what to do. Just ask yourself how to be the best person you can be, because that is the only answer, it is all you can do. Yes, be the wisest, calmest, cleverest, kindest, strongest, healthiest, most creative, person you can be. And don't ask me if it is hopeless. There is only one answer, there is always hope, IF WE keep it alive. I do not write this to scare you, or depress you. I write this to empower you. I want you to discover the heart of a warrior within yourself. Warriors are full of fear, but they lean forward anyway.

Remember all of this the next time you stand in one of the long lines at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Remember the next time you select your favorite kind of coconut water at Rainbow. You have to meet it all where you find yourself and work it all out from there. Remember all of this. Make your prayers actions. Make your actions prayers. Make your choices prayerful actions.

Gratefully, consciously. Remember.

“All we have to decide,” said the wizard, “is what to do with the time that is given us.”

See Also

Richard Power's Primal Reality Quadrilogy Available Now from

#notacaravanofdespair #tavernofruin #savagebeauty #gaia #greatgoddess #thegreatwheelturns #darfur #madmax

Saturday, May 23, 2015

From Before Time and Beyond Space

We came from before time and beyond space to meet in the here and now. But the blind, deaf, mute memory of our source shadows us. And so, we ceaselessly polish the temple walls of psyche in the hope of catching a glimpse of that source's scintillating beauty. At those moments in which we are fortunate enough to steal a glimpse, we are reminded, painfully, joyfully, that it is our own reflection, and that we ourselves are the primordial source and the beginningless end of all this adventure. 

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

#pearlofgreatprice #tavernofruin #pathlesspath #savagebeauty #shamanicpower #notacaravanofdespair #greatgoddess #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #pathofanevolutionary #tantrikaknows

Saturday, May 16, 2015

7 Images of Gaian Beauty, 7 Declarations of Gaian Truth

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.

"I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?" -- Albert Einstein

[NOTE: Yes, this is a verified quote. It's from Einstein's Cosmic Religion: with Other Opinions and Aphorisms (Covici-Friede, 1931); and quoted in The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press; 2nd edition (May 30, 2000); Page 208.]

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.

"In nature's economy, the currency is not money -- it is life." -- Vandana Shiva

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
 "What does the Earth Desire? I will put it in just a few short sentences... To be admired in her loveliness, To be tasted in her delicious fruits, To be listened to in her teaching, To be endured in the severity of her discipline, To be cared for as a maternal source from whence we come, a destiny to which we return. It's very simple... " -- Thomas Berry: What does the Earth Desire? - An interview with Thomas Berry at Gaia house in 2003

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
"All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet." -- Wangari Maatha

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka , and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us ..." -- Black Elk

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
“Nature's wisdom teaches us that where life is in motion, it's healthy; where it's stagnant, it's dying. But people have to interpret that journey in a way that's authentic for them . . . whatever helps you. We call it 'finding your own true north' -- like on a compass. In production-drive societies, we're tricked into believing that true north is outside of us. So we're constantly looking outside ourselves to  figure out if this is the right job, the right house, the right relationship, the right subject to be studying. But our true north is invariably inside us . . . if we do what we love to do, what we're inspired to do, what we believe in, it creates an entirely different response.”  -- Julia Butterfly Hill

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. May 2015.
"Because the relationship between self and world is reciprocal, it is not a matter of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the Earth, the Earth heals us. No need to wait. As we care enough to take risks, we loosen the grip of ego and begin to come home to our true nature. For in the co-arising nature of things, the world itself, if we are bold enough to love it, acts through us. It does not ask us to be pure or perfect, or wait until we are detached from all passions, but only to care to harness the sweet, pure intention of our deepest passions, and, as the early scripture of the Mother of the Buddhas says, 'fly like a Bodhisattva.'" -- Joanna Macy

Monday, May 04, 2015

To Be A Mountain ...

San Francisco, May 2015.

To be a mountain, you must face down your fear.
To be a river, you must keep going.
To be the sky, you must let go of everything.
To be a forest, you must welcome the tears.
There is no other way to enter the wilderness in which joy and love run free.

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

#beltane #mayday #scorpiofullmoon #itsanewdawn #itsanewday #ninasimoneknew #passionofthepoet #lifeofayogi #sakti #psyche #pathlesspath #tavernofruin #savagebeauty #darkgoddess #greatgoddess #tantrikaknows

Saturday, May 02, 2015

How Durga Came to Power

Durgā, Rājasthānī miniature of the Mewār school, mid-17th century; in a private collection.

NOTE: Durga, the great goddess, Mother of the Universe, the power with which all life created, sustained and destroyed. One of the literal meanings of "Durga" is fortress, another is "She who removes suffering." Yes, She is THE sanctuary. But this sanctuary is on the move. She rides a great cat, typically a lion, sometimes a tiger, I say the last of the saber-tooths. She has eight (or ten) arms. In each hand, she holds a weapon with which She vanquishes the demon enemies of all that is beautiful and innocent. I say that along with the sword and the axe, she also wields tools of science and agriculture. She has three eyes to see deep into the past, present and future. She has many emanations, including most notably Kali. Here is the story of how she came to reign over me.

New Moon. Solar Eclipse. Equinox. 3/20/15.

In my feral youth, I declared rather matter-of-factly that I would be dead by my 25th birthday. Not because I was suicidal, I wasn't; it was just that based on all that I had already seen, I could not conceive of any future. But then, one morning I was 25, and I wasn't dead. I was, of course, surrounded by smoking ruins. After all, I had lived a wild, nihilistic life for a decade, without the least concern for any day of reckoning. So at the age of 25, I decided, if I was going to live on, I needed to find my way into one of those hidden esoteric schools that Gurdjieff and Blatvatsky had hinted at in their writings. I began turning door knobs until I came across a door that opened, and I stepped through it. (I will tell the full story of what laid beyond that door in due course.)

Krishna met me first. He led me to an exquisite meadow of willows, lush grass and wildflowers. There was ceaseless music. Drumming and flutes. Women were dancing all around me. There was laughter and love mischief. I was allowed to rest in that amazing idyll for a few years, to renew myself. Gopala Gopala Devaki Nandana Gopala ("Krishna was a cowboy, and his mother is Bliss.")

But then Hanuman came for me. He led me into a great maelstrom and taught me how to leap across the abyss and back again. He showed me how to rip my heart open and offer it up in devotion. He showed me how to serve those who serve. Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram! ("Victory, victory, victorious Oneness!") I stretched out to rest my five bodies after these acts of great valor.

I awoke in the dark on the other side of the maelstrom into which Hanuman had led me. The exquisite meadow was so far behind me it seemed as if it had never existed. There was no more laughter or love mischief. The music had been swallowed up in the fathomless silence of the deep.

No more Krishna. No more Hanuman.

There was only a long dark tunnel that led down deeper and deeper until it opened up into an immense underground chamber, there was a demon king's golden throne in that place, and there were tall marble pillars and a powerful stench. And I felt the fear that I had carried on my back from as deep into my childhood as I could remember. This fear told me that some ancient evil was coming for me, again, and that I would not escape it a second time. This fear told me that I would be devoured and that all I had ever loved or hoped for would be extinguished in this dark place. I could feel this ancient evil advancing upon me from behind.

But then, suddenly, one of the immense pillars turned white hot in a flash, transforming into the lion god Narasimhah, who thrust me behind him and turned to confront the ancient evil that had been advancing upon me. The lion god tore off that demon's head and then ripped it apart. But its polluted blood sprayed everywhere, and from each drop countless more demons arose. And in an instant, they were legion. Narasimhah kept me close and led me down deeper and deeper into underground (there was no other way forward). We were fiercely pursued by that legion of demons. He brought me to a far greater hall far deeper underground. Here he thrust me behind him again and turned to face the legion of demons. They overwhelmed him.

But as I fell to the floor of the chamber, from a shadow within my own shadow, the dark goddess Kali emerged. And she danced on my corpse-like body. And as she danced, she slayed wave after wave of demon. And as she moved, I rode within her shadow. And she whirled and stomped and thrashed her away up, up, up through all rungs of dark night through which I had previously descended, until we arrived again upon the surface of the earth, and I felt again the air on my face.

There was a breeze, it was a summer night, the plumeria was wafting on that breeze, and I could hear a river, and there were frogs singing, and there were drums in the distance, and everywhere I could feel small creatures being born and roots reaching into the hot wet soil.

Decades had passed since I stepped through that door. So many years since the laughter and love mischief in Krishna's meadow. So many years since Hanuman's lessons in daring-do. So many years since Narasimhah emerged from that immense marble pillar. But it was that wild ride in the shadow of Kali that brought it all into perspective. It was Kali's axe, and Kali's sword, and Kali's gnashing teeth that healed my deep wounds. As she whirled and stomped and thrashed her way through legions of demons, she swallowed every drop of their blood so that none of it spilled to birth more demon spawn (only She could devour the evil behind it all). And then a few years ago, she brought me back to the life of the world, whole in my dismemberment, overflowing in my emptiness.

Om Sri Maha Kalikayai Namah!

Yes, Kali Ma delivered me to the camp of a vast army arrayed along the banks of the endless river that is the song of this universe itself. And then biting my lip one last time, she loosed me and slipped back into the shadow from which she emerged, leaving me there alone, with the plumeria on that soft summer breeze, along the banks of that endless river, with the camp fires of that vast army in the distance.  And then I realized that the time had come, and I saw her riding toward me, and then through me, and past me, yes, the great goddess Durga Ma on back of a huge saber tooth tiger, and I fell in behind her and have been moving with her ever since, deeper and deeper into this portal that opens into the infinite fields of the Mysterium.

We must bring back a new world, one that will awaken in billions of hearts in the span of a single human lifetime, and in the process, reveal itself to be the world in which we already dwell. And yes, we must protect it. We must heal ourselves and protect this new world. Fiercely.

Jaya Jagatambe Hey Maa Durga Jaya Jagatambe Jagatambe Maa Durga, Jaya Jagatambe

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

#darkgoddess #greatgoddess #gaia #durgama #reignoverme #Heraclitusknew #Hypatiaknew #GiordanoBrunoknew #CamilleClaudelknew #strangerinastrangeland #lifeofayogi #passionofthepoet #wildmagic #psyche #tavernofruin #savagebeauty #yinandyang #asthesunmovesnorthward #theshadowknows #tantrikaknows

Durga Yantra

Friday, May 01, 2015

What I Used As Kindling for the Beltane Blaze of 2015; The Great Wheel is a Wheel on Fire

Edward Burne-Jones  - Wheel of Fortune (1875-83)

"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." -- Albert Camus

May Day 2015. Beltane. International Worker's Day.  The great wheel is a wheel on fire. It blazes as it turns. Ceaselessly. Burn with it. Into passion. Into beauty. Into deliciousness. Yes. 

On May Day 2015, I "retired" from a twenty-five year journey through the shadow realms of security, risk and intelligence, first as Editorial Director of a leading membership association of cyber security professionals, then as Director of Global Security Intelligence for a Fortune 100 professional services corporation and finally as a  Distinguished Fellow at one of the world's premiere cybersecurity academic research programs.

Three great arcs shaped my decades in security, risk and intelligence. 

Along the first arc, I had a hand in shaping national and international debate on vital issues related to the then emerging realms of cyber security, cyber crime and cyber war. My prescience on what would come to pass was chillingly accurate (despairingly so, really). 

Along the second arc, the trajectory of my career was altered significantly by my refusal to remain silent about even greater security, risk and intelligence issues, e.g. the theft of the 2000 presidential election, the withdrawal from the Kyoto Accords and the criminal negligence of the Bush-Cheney national insecurity team before and after 9/11. As one of my closest friends and colleagues said at the time, "Richard, you have become radioactive." 

The final arc of my career as an information warrior was spent operating behind the scenes in my role as role as "Distinguished Fellow," speaking publicly less and less, refusing almost all media interview requests, choosing instead to apply my skills internally, contributing to the success of a world-class cybersecurity research institution.

Salvador Dali - Wheel of Fortune
In the course of my career, I worked in over forty countries. testified in historic U.S. Senate hearings, appeared on CNN, the BBC, etc. numerous times, and was quoted widely in the world's press, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, etc. For a time, I was one of the leaders of a small team responsible for the security of over a hundred thousand people in over a hundred countries. But now it is all finished. Some of the story will be told down the road, some of it will never be told. ("How do you thank a man who never existed for something that never happened?")

Along the way, I wrote nine books, and co-authored a tenth. only two of which focused directly on cyber war, economic espionage, etc., although the others addressed broader issues of security, risk and intelligence in a mystical and humanist framework.  

May Day 2015. Beltane. The great wheel is a wheel on fire. It blazes as it turns. Ceaselessly. Turn with it. Into passion. Into beauty. Into deliciousness. Yes.

I am dedicating the rest of this incarnation to writing, speaking and teaching yoga. I will continue to articulate our planetary emergency and the path of personal emergence it calls forth for all of us. I will also be working with people one on one and in groups, empowering them to explore the depths of yoga and meditation. 

If our species is to survive and bring its true promise into humanifestation, we must undertake a great shift in how we relate to both our innermost nature and to the Eden of this world.

 I hope to make a significant contribution to that great shift.

-- Richard Power, Author, Speaker, Yoga Teacher (RYT500)

See Also

#strangerinastrangeland #savagebeauty #tavernofruin #passionofthepoet #pathlesspath #camusknew  #shadow #psyche #thegreatwheelturns #‎beltane‬ #‎wildmagic‬ ‪#‎notacaravanofdespair‬ ‪#‎gaia‬ ‪#‎greatgoddess‬ #‎sakti‬ ‪#‎lifeofayogi‬ #troubadourswhogetkilledbeforetheyreachBombay #‎tantrikaknows‬