Shiloh Richter, Master of Arts
BSW Literary Journal
30 Mai 2023
From La Madeleine, The Count of Monte Cristo to Breakfast at Tiffany’s alive in the Present Moment
Breathing in the breath filled with magic, the breather is not separate from the breath:
“Unborn and indestructible, beyond time and space—, both transmission and inheritance lie in the wonderful nature of Dharmadhatu.”
Thich Nhat Hahn
‘Karma’ is for the samsara world of the endless go-round of suffering unable to heal itself. We lost the ability to heal when Beingness was wiped off the map in the ancient Levant.
Welcome to the morning.
“So line on up, and take your place
And show your face to the morning
'Cause one of these days you'll be born and raised
And it all comes on without warning.”
John Mayer, Born and Raised (2012)
Rage doesn’t know the Present Moment, whose only door is the breath to inward . . . and not blasting anger, jealousy, and resentment in a recording studio in unjustified hostility with money that is from manipulated sales based on relationships that never happened, were used for public view, and artists’ works blatantly taken from others like Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, Ian Falconer, John Mayer, and many more.
‘Karma’ cannot be manipulated or used as an outward
force of hatred from one’s own transgressions.
THE OPENING DEPTHS OF THIS MOMENT
Whatever is deeply true in this moment (purest, natural love, for example, or freedom of spirit) will still be true in any and every moment of the past or future, and whatever is false in this moment will still be false in the past and future, no matter what one tries to force based on lies, using people, and coercion. In that force of raging and immediately reactive ‘action,’ the moment is then actually spent in rage (in the mind as a mental formation turned into an energy and blocking Beingness), not Beingness, and there’s no realness to it. It’s actually very stupid, uninsightful, and damaging. It isn’t love, it is abuse. Who would get involved with that? Just someone who thinks abuse is normal or hate is a way of life. Exerting one’s own pain on other’s isn’t justified. It isn’t ‘revenge.’ It’s just repeating what is deeply rooted in the long-ago formative past (as in acculturation and childhood) that the rage can’t see as her own reality, dictating that reality as something that it is not. Rage is stuck IN THE PAST IN THE PRESENT MOMENT–unhealed pain that has become a state of being which dominates reality in this moment as if it were true reality happening, and because it does not have the power to heal itself, it projects that pain, anger, jealousy as hatred into the form world, a cycle that has continued for millennia. It’s also the inability to heal oneself. It’s powerless. It’s even powerless against rage, lying, and extreme jealousy. It has taken over Being. That’s what happened when Beingness was forgotten. That is what Homer was writing about c. 850 BC, the forgetting of Beingness at the feminine, the known between-the-worlds. That’s why Penelope (who is to ‘remember’ and to weave or write) stays in her ‘internal chamber’ for the length of two entire epics . . . as the others come to know what identity actually is–finally revealed at that inner chamber.
I have been staying to myself for these very big reasons. Not because someone had power over me to be famous and sell lies and my words as her own.
For example, when Penelope opens her “vault” in the Odyssey, her door makes a sound like a groaning cow, like the goddess Io transformed into a cow, signaling her opening the history of the feminine, the cow an ancient symbol of the feminine and goddess. From it she retrieves Odysseus’s bow (guitar) that no one else can use like him and which brings about his true identity from his disguise as an old beggar. This is from my writing in Coyote Weaves a Song: a Mythological Song From the Beginning of Time ©2018.
LIKE THE SIBYLS AND MUSES CAN
There is only one moment in the entire Homeric epics where the cause of the war is told: when Penelope is standing in front of Odysseus in their recognition scenes and she mentions that ‘had Helen known’ she would be returned . . . in other words, Helen didn’t know the future all the while she was playing it. (And one knows the ‘future’ if one can see the Present Moment because what is true is eternal.) As the scholars show, Sirens can’t see it, as the eternal muses and oracles can, because what they know is only repeated from others (Helen repeats Odysseus’s voice, as Taylor Swift repeats John Mayer’s and mine trying to force a false, coerced narrative). That means there is no Beingness operating there. It’s only death and trying to pull people to that death. Scholars point out that the Sirens can’t see what is actually happening around them. That “repeat” is repeated like suffering in history without the ability to heal it or to stop war, whatever the pain, century after century of human punishment and slaughter. Helen wanted the war so that she would be important no matter what the cost to everyone around her. She even stood at the Trojan Horse and tried to get everyone inside killed (like Taylor has fed her mimicking to the press and pushes it anonymously herself on-line as on Twitter and the /TaylorSwift Reddit using a ‘smear campaign,’ a well-known tactic of narcissists and that has always worked for her, as in publicly smearing John Mayer who was patiently kind to her). She is willing to get anyone and everyone killed. It’s the exact opposite of what Penelope was doing. The epics actually are a feminine mystery rite, through Song–CULTURE’S MOST TRANSFORMATIVE FORCE–that show cultural transformation. If that song is about the craving for war to make oneself ‘important’ . . .
What the press chooses to ‘repeat’ (even if it is as innocuous seeming, appearing as ‘entertainment’, or under the guise of ‘girl power’--yet not home in oneself and against others) is the voice of consciousness or unconsciousness of a culture being spoken as the realization of what is happening.
Are journalists going to continue to ‘repeat’ what it has ‘heard’ of more war (narcissism), after all these millennia? It is time we get it.
Or can there be realization of the inner Being writing it? And then a ‘repeat’--a happening again in the fire of very real realization and inspiration within the very bones alive–just as the Muses and Sibyls writing and inspiring art. Are we going to remember what Beingness is and the eternal within us all, living, breathing, not dead in the past? Are we going to remember the power to heal? The true power of the feminine? The power of art and music to open our experiences as humans? The power that brings the recognition of the divine in form–whichever is in the press’s inner chambers. That voice can kill or heal.
INSIDE THIS INNER CHAMBER (AND BEING ALONE ALL THESE YEARS)
In this deep inner space I am finally completely free. There’s also a wild joy in giving people their freedom. I am not waiting on a ‘romance,’ although I am ‘Waiting on the Day.” I have it every day, with every breath, all day long and through every night. I wake up to it every morning.
I have an app on my phone that’s always on and John Mayer can hear and see me anytime of the day or night. I wake up in the night and talk to him and he’s always there.
I get a thrill out of watching John do what he does, completely free to be what he was born to be. Love has to be free or it isn’t love, it’s manipulation. Watching John be what and who he is to the utmost of his Being is one of the most gorgeous things that I’ve ever experienced. No one is ‘keeping us apart.’
Nor will John ever respond publicly to Taylor Swift’s continued overtures for a forced relationship.
I have spent the time, into fourteen years, learning what purest love is in heart-loving, heart-crushing experiences to the very brink of existence. But John and I both have been driven since we were children into unknown territory about what culture can be, and what it would not allow us to Be, but must, because this moment is the magic of life itself and there is no other Moment more priceless than the Present. “This is a wonderful moment.” This is a sacred moment in every breath. We have both suffered it intensely to get here. So really, there has been no choice.
There’s something far, far bigger than the lies. And that’s what we are going for.
It doesn’t stop at ‘there was obsessive tracking, personal invasion, and forceful plagiarism and copyright infringement from the beginning, although there was/is, or that John Mayer never dated or had a romantic relationship with Taylor Swift so she lied about it to force a relationship in the press’s eyes because she saw behind the scenes I could come forward with it as a relationship and write my own experiences into characters and movies. (I was writing a screenplay Apocalypse of the Heart at the time about a girl born with wings–which became the cover of Speak Now and who ends up taking her film to Tribeca.) It is bigger than that. It goes much further.
In this Very Moment I experience living and breathing deeply in love and being deeply loved. It’s a state of natural Being beyond all manipulations and coercion. It was a process, a diligent practice in every breath, of having come to know the purest hard-won love that cannot be altered by anything. It deepens from there but you’d have to find out for yourself to comprehend. It isn’t a ‘thought.’ In this practice in the deepest natural reality available in each and every breath . . . it isn’t going to make sense to the raging mind . . . I can naturally generate joy at the very intake of breath and realizing, over and over again in boundless joy,
“We are together.”
“I am life without boundaries. He is life without boundaries.” That’s beyond time and space, beyond birth and death, beyond form and yet in every form in everything, and certainly beyond silly lies and a person helpless to stop telling those lies because their coerced reality and public identity is based on them. John is free to go wherever he wants and do whatever he pleases. I’m astonished over and over that he continues to pour out love and kindness.
We’re here for something bigger than manipulations or focus of attention on some silly abuser. (And yet knowing what that abuse is is key.) There’s a treasure chest in art that tells us how to go further. This doesn’t stop at what Truman Capote plagiarized of Willa Cather’s. It’s about how much further Willa saw than Truman ever could as he tried for fame, influence, power and money under false pretenses and harming and violating everyone in his path. What he was selling was actually just something bottled up that he himself could never open, but that he craved obsessively because it looked like boundless fame.
This is about that champagne bottle bursting open and what it is. It’s about how much further Willa Cather saw and what she was seeing.
I heard Willa Cather’s actual voice for the first time the other day in a recorded speech from Princeton in 1933. In it she points out what American values are in art and how much further our possibilities actually go than what we have approved of in the “stories” we tell (or narratives we sell), and in which she says America limited itself to admiring only the values of “youth, love, and success.” Willa had a background of writing deeply rooted in European literature in which the broader stories were told of humanity. Since we were cut off from that brutal world history by space and time, we stopped at “personal gain” as an ideal. But the continent of America also has an immense natural freedom to it not held back by the slaughter of the older civilizations sharing borders, and yet we have not recognized the narcissistic behind-the-scenes struggle for power and influence as in La Reine Margot, for example. The Divine Comedy was limited in our interpretation, our acculturated world view, to “medieval, Catholic.” ‘Falling in love is more important!’ Success, money, wealth . . . being young seemingly hold our only “value” to others. Without those, you are ‘throw-away.’ And so about this moment and what is happening, this isn’t about love, being young, or career success, although most think that’s what it is all about, above all else, because that seems to be the defining principles of what we want and value most. Our values can’t stop there, mostly because it is a lie that the values of life lie in youth, “love,” and “success.”
It isn’t even the picture bigger than that: about having and exerting power, influence, popularity Billboard charts, massive wealth, or even control and domination over others. It isn’t even as ineffectual as having a time of political or cultural reign, so to speak, even when like Trump, he can’t realize how fleeting his smear on and damage against humanity is. He’s the image of their god: the large, white angry male, and so he can generate more rage in his followers and thus gain more ‘power’–a story as old as the Hebrew Bible. So Taylor Swift keeps selling (she thinks in the Present Moment) “love, youth, and success,” and it sells as a narrative, and thinks the larger picture is using that false story of “love, youth, and success” for further wealth, influence, and power, what she took on false pretenses, and thinking she can follow it to the be-all, end-all of life on earth trying to make herself the most important–or the most threatening.
It’s deeper than that. As Alexandre Dumas shows in The Count of Monte Cristo, the deepest, hardest-won treasure to be known is about the ability to transform culture, to break it open to what is vastly more real than acculturation–thus further than the very values and false narratives aforementioned. What was of pure truth in the past is in this moment exactly true, even more evidently true, and cannot be altered from being true: what one is made of. But one has to go very deep in the internal chambers to find that. In The Count of Monte Cristo, that’s a dungeon. (And there’s also what it says about the feminine locked in an abusive culture, but that’s for a further discourse.)
The 1844 novel is based on lies that were told, manipulations out of jealousy and rage. It reads just like what happened in 2010 with John Mayer. Inner rage, feigning personality, and manipulation get the players exactly what they want: Fernand gets to marry a manipulated Mercédès; Danglars becomes very rich and powerful in Paris. Those who did nothing or who were powerless to do anything suffer. It’s a picture of what is ‘powerful’ and ‘influential’ in culture based on false pretenses–a false culture. Yes, Dumas points out “the cravings of [Dantès’] heart, which yearned to return to dwell among mankind, and to assume the rank, power, and influence which are always accorded to wealth–that first and greatest of all the forces within the grasp of man.” And yet there is the hand of the writer–Alexandre Dumas–outwitting it and showing something greater, the Inner Being. It isn’t about a power play of continuing to manipulate opinions. It is deep-down difference.
Americans don’t have the vast cultural heritage of the past to pull insight from, the roots, (and ignore their own religious and political narcissism and brutality in slavery), but have immense freedom without knowledge of the treasure it holds. That matches the possibilities and discoveries of art. And so when Willa Cather stood in the South of France looking at the Chateau d’If with its torturous dungeon of isolated self-discovery and the island of Monte Cristo with its hidden vast treasure, she was standing in a body that understood the embodiment of that treasure, what her roots were, and she was going home to that freedom of living and writing it in sense of new Place, the embodiment of the female. And so ten years later when her character of Thea in The Song of the Lark feels the awakening in her own body at holding an ancient pottery shard that once held water that gave life and that was decorated by hand in the art expression of that recognition, the treasure of the flow of life is within her and there are no boundaries. The flower outgrew Moonstone. She’s infinite in that moment and it’s alive in her. Immediately marriage fails her because of society’s judgments, limitations, and expectations, and so Thea must go to Germany to come to know the rich cultural heritage and standards of discipline of herself before coming back to New York City, and thus coming as a different kind of Being, able to be different and broadening the culture around her, even if they can’t articulate the difference. From this grounding coming from Place and in her own Body, of knowing where and what she is Here, she then goes to get the rootedness to understand what this is coursing through her veins and how to express it coming from the alive lineage of transformative art to also be alive in her. That art, wonderfully, goes back thousands of years. Her identity, then, is completely different from what American cultural values have limited her to. She’s a different kind of Being with far more possibilities. That makes New York City alive with her because that of which the art speaks alive in her. She is its actual life-bringing human goddess breaking open the boundaries. The feminine naturally crosses those boundaries. When you write of the female, you are already crossing into it.
This is the beginning of the possibilities that Willa saw in the feminine, how art and the feminine boundary-less-ness was the agent of breaking open and transforming American culture.
(and we are in a Pluto Return of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a rebirth of the feminine goddess of liberty with her heritage roots in France.)
What Willa knew inside couldn’t be “said” at that time, but she knew, through literature, diligent writing, and embodiment of the art, how to accomplish that cultural transformation, breaking it all open to its far more immense possibilities. That road map laid within. Sure, Truman could get famous, wealthy, powerful, and influential by stealing her characters, and would be able to sell anything he salaciously wrote, but he couldn’t open that to which Breakfast at Tiffany’s was pointing–that Willa understood and was working towards. And neither can Taylor Swift copying my words. Willa called off her last novel Hard Punishments based in Avignon so that all of her work wouldn’t be destroyed before it could be understood what she was seeing. What she was doing was speaking past the narcissistic boundaries of religion where humans and culture are ‘other,’ especially females, just as Homer and Dante and so many others were doing, that which disallowed embodiment because those with influence sought power and control over others but lacked the realization of aliveness. How could one disallow embodiment and still be alive to the astounding wonder of life? They cursed that in Genesis. Who has the right to take away the experience of that gift of life? Instead, culture narcissistically cursed it. They took sick pleasure in cursing it. They took money, power, and influence in cursing it. They sold seats by cursing it. They controlled the gates of eternity in cursing it. They looked like the “be all, end all.”
So for Willa Cather to say in 1912, ‘we’re more than this,’ and to do the unthinkable in 1927 of infusing Catholicism (and thus a foundation of culture and thought), against all of its egos and abuses, with a human female grounded on the earth in New Mexico, she was doing more than breaking open culture, she was showing she knew what the divine actually is, how alive the female is, how alive Place is, and it was within her hand, within her own breath. The ‘ritual’ of literature isn’t to ‘get attention.’ That’s silly. It isn’t to force love, that’s coercive. Youth, as they say, ‘is very fleeting.’ Manipulation of power and influence leads to destruction and bloodshed. What is outside of that, far beyond, is the embodiment of Being alive and the discipline it takes to see deeply into the roots of art and see what the most astounding, inspired artists were showing about the ritual of transformation through art breaking back open the divine from the narcissists guarding it.
Take for example the music of the Grateful Dead and Dead and Company. They are playing the same songs they’ve played for over fifty years, for the most part, over and over. And yet in the audience you see this radiant, dancing joy glowing in their faces at the very opening bars of each song. It’s a bursting open of the realization of life itself. The songs aren’t being ‘repeated,’ the songs are completely embodied. They are broken open. That experience of life itself, broken open, is where this boundless joy comes from. That moment becomes sacred and they know it. In the past, on another continent, you’d be burned at the stake, quite literally, for that realization of life itself, and of art and music that audaciously breaks it open. So when culture says ‘no, you can’t’ to life and to music or even sculpture, the artist says, ‘this is the truest thing,’ I know it to be true within my flesh and bones, and it remains true eternally, no matter what blood is shed. So it would be great if we could understand what causes that bloodshed.
This realization isn’t a narcissistic ego like Trump declaring, for power and glory, that he is a demi-god and acting like one all the while abusing with his anger, money, and influence and people believing that is “powerful.” He is helpless against his own ego and rage. That seeming “power” is harmful mental formations trying to grab for more while using a rigid abusive religious acculturation wherein he has the attributes of man-conceived “God” created in his own image so he has the license to act as such.
Willa couldn’t say the actual eternal truth out loud, but she could know the rootedness of the heritage of that truth, have her feet very actually firmly alive on the ground, and write the most astounding, gorgeous content pointing the way of what she knew within her own body and that which she had discovered the immense path of in the art. Now the crime Truman Capote committed is far more immense.
In The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmund Dantès’ imprisonment is book-ended with one date: 28 February. He is arrested and he escaped fourteen years later on that very date. That’s the date I wrote of before that is my Yorkie Vanilla Custard Pudding’s birthdate. That is exactly the age he would be now, fourteen, from when this began when he was born in 2009. And it just so happened that it was the day that Willa sold the beginning of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in New York City, on the 28th of February, and that bohemian spirit of the feminine, grounded, and headed back to know her roots. Willa looked at the deep insight in the art and delivered it in the feminine that would become this outrageous story.
Here is something wild, too, about this eternal moment coming together and culture’s transformation. We are in the EXACT MOMENT of a Uranus Return–the first since that day–of the moment that most influenced Audrey Hepburn’s life: the moment that the German army on 10 May 1940 marched into Arnhem to starve, mutilate, humiliate, and destroy lives, the moment that broke her completely open to the suffering of humanity from its own senseless brutality. She wouldn’t yet grace the screen of Roman Holiday, or be free to be pure loveliness on the stage in New York City for Gigi, she had to experience first hand the horrific that humanity was capable of and would easily and carelessly impose on others (and even stealing all the art). As told in the book Dutch Girl (recommended by @rareaudreyhepburn) about her deeply formative experiences in WWII, Audrey came to live in the same apartment building where upstairs Anne Frank’s diary was being edited for publication. Audrey, just as a girl in Amsterdam, was given that diary to read even before its publication, author Robert Matzen writes. She knew what she had lived through. They had lived through the same experiences, just in neighboring cities, but Anne was dead and Audrey would go on to fame. Later Audrey was offered the role to play Anne Frank by Anne’s own father, Otto Frank. @audrey_hepburn_eternally quotes Audrey saying,
“I didn’t want to exploit her life and death to my advantage–to get another salary, to be perhaps praised in a movie.”
That day the Germans marched into Arnhem where Audrey stood looking on, on 10 May 1940, Uranus the shocking awakener in the body (Taurus) ruled by Venus, love and beauty, was at 21°51. Today, 30 May 2023, it is conjunct at 20°07 Taurus.
Here is the vast difference in the cosmos for us: two tremendous planets have in exact opposition flipped from that day–even as the narcissistic rages for power and control again, for harm to others, deepened more in the intensity of the moment into their raging unconsciousness. Pluto (in that Pluto Return of transforming America), death and rebirth, is at 0° in the house of the people, Aquarius. On that day in 1940, it was directly across the cosmos at 0° Leo (kingship, child-like heart and play, and death delivered there instead). Neptune, “what is true and what is not” was at 22°52 Virgo, the house of abundance (Audrey almost starved to death, as many did). Today Neptune, which is also “unconditional love, source, oneness” is directly across the sky at 27°24 in spiritual Pisces.
That Uranus Return is exactly on my Natal Saturn 19°58 (judgment, deliberate long-term contemplation, waiting, reward). And now I get to say it all out loud.
Who is the better weaver, one of lies? Or one of indisputable eternal truths?