Naked and spectacular

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Smiling fully and submissively with my famiy

I travel from across the ocean because I dedicated my life to the human species, and I seek the most pure expression of human nature I can with my imprinted culture and language.  I seek to wash myself of this culture and language to the extent that suits me at any one moment, and I succeed only so far.  When an old man who only speaks Q'eqchi' grasps my hand with some unknown intent and I look into his eyes and can only say, "No entiendo," I realise I have shed little of what was given to me by my culture as a child.

I have found a culture full of refugees of the same culture I try to escape.  They come from North and South America, Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand; and almost never elsewhere.  They are my brothers and sisters and I do feel comfortable to express myself exuberantly and joyfully when I feel inclined.  We meet only temporarily and always in a different place because we share a distrust of permanence and an avoidance of responsibility.  We meet under many names, but there is a banner that has developed and which many of us wear with pride.  Under this banner many gatherings occur all year round across the planet.

I have met eight times under this banner, for one month at a time.  Over this time I have noticed our own culture developing, some of which is 40 years old, some has developed over many years and some emerges from the experience of a single gathering.  Like the culture that offered us concepts and objects to believe in and buy, this culture is utilised as a limiting factor for the maintenance of a shared experience.  How can a man who is embedded in a culture that he loves use such a cold sentence to describe the sight of 100 people singing, dancing and drumming around a fire under the fullmoon?  The night sky is thick with clouds and the ground is wet with mud, but this is not the reason; perhaps it is the waves of digestive disturbance that I haven't figured out how to avoid.  Perhaps I have cultivated an alienation from my own culture that facilitates the observations that the thoughtful appreciate reading on the internet or in a book at quiet moments.  When I am strong I throw my joy and my love around our Sacred Circle as an alternative to whatever else is going on and the more smiles I give, the more I have to give.  When I am weak I have nothing to offer and cannot accept the oat and hash "blissballs" that circulate as a pathway into the mindset of the crowd, my family, the culture we collectively cultivate and unconsciously consent to at every moment.

It is my job to contradict any culture I see developing around me, I tell myself.  At times of hysteria I promote calm and at times of cultural haze I provoke chaos.  But I also like to sink into the lap or into the gaze of a beautiful person who simply accepts me as I am, lazy or busy, poet or person, sad or happy.  I sleep alone surrounded by too much food and ants who often respect the space I borrowed from them.  My eyes open so wide sometimes that it must seem like a blinding headtorch in the night, perhaps this overwhelms the beautiful I most seek connection with.  I do not know how they respond to my rejection of the drugs - wheat, rice, marijuana, tobacco, hippie slop in huge pots, spiritual noise and new age chatter - or whether they internalise the rejection as if I believe in something different.

I believe only in love, not in The End of the Mayan Calendar or The Law of Attraction or the need for excessive consumption of overcooked grains.  I came here to open my heart and to have the most beautiful people open their hearts to me, I tell myself.  I came here to experience disappointment and love and ecstasy and whatever else I haven't found yet.  I came too far to be able to turn back when I feel sad from eating too many tortillas and peanuts.  I am here and I don't know who will invite me or where, but I will go where the most beautiful lead and I will be ready for whatever I have never experienced before and warms my heart and brings smiles to those around me and allows me to smile fully and submissively with my family.


Now is the time

We are in the centre of the New World at the End of the Time.  Many of us have travelled from afar to be here together.  We have left behind the stifling comforts of Civilisation to sit in the dirt around the fire.  We have rejected the promise of various forms of success for something more tangible, perhaps a social acceptance that resonates in our bodies and stimulates a feeling some might refer to as the "soul".  Our presence is bolstered by various Native American prophesies; one that announced our new age tribe by name decades before we first came together; one that placed cosmic significance on this specific time and place.  We don't know what we're doing, we are standing together in a circle in a maize field in the rainforest holding hands naked under the sun and the moon.
What are we doing here and how do we find out what we are doing here?  We can listen to our bodies or we can discuss and form a rational religion based on superficial explanations of common understandings.  So many of us are post-Christian and post-Scientific Materialism and post-Adulthood to the point where we resist and deny any point at which a religion seems to form.  Some of us possess watery minds within which a drop of anything colourful can spread rapidly, but many of us wait patiently for that which is simple and proves effective time and again; cooperation, gentleness, love.  Surely we need an empirical source of information.  Luckily, we have our bodies to provide us with all the information we could hope for within a universe in which we are literally manifest as human bodies.  Our bodies are extremely sensitive and malleable and so we can adjust and adapt to many environments and climates.  We learn a lot as travellers and vagabonds, experiencing many variations of reality.  In our rich and civilised First World homes we frequent Health Food shops, choosing to expose ourselves only to the best consumables available.

When we come together here in ceremony outside of the concrete and education we grew up with we choose to desensitise our bodies with chapattis, wheat grains refined into flour, mixed with flour and burned to a crisp on the fire until they form crusts of indigestible delight for those who identify as hippies.  We carry around huge pots of overcooked post-food to serve to one another with filthy hands in our Sacred Cirlce.  We reach out our various containers like refugees, desperately begging for more mass to fill our bulging bellies, craving the nutrition that has been deliberately boiled out of our hippie slop.  Having shared our meal and still feeling joyful almost to the point of being overwhelmed with the beauty of our environment and each other and the envigoration of life, we must further desensitise our bodies with the smoking of tobacco and marijuana.  Our goal is surely the reduction of intensity of the fullness of experience of a life devoid of distraction and toxic influence.  Everything we need to know is contained in that moment of silence after our collective AUM, seconds before the inevitable noise necessary to organise the feeding of 200 people.

We try to work hard and we try to enjoy free time, we become agitated to leave and we plan to form communities with dreams of sustainability and the relief of the alleviation of nomadism.  We are free from the idiotic ideologies of all societies and yet we are trapped by our own addictions and traumas.  We hope for far more than we are willing to accept when it is offered to us, but we anticipate great change soon.  Our dreams creep into our waking minds as memories when we don't smoke too much before bed.  We are forced into fasting when our bodies become sick with parasites that beg us to starve them.  There is so much waiting for us when we decide to allow it that our imaginations fail us.  What if we take our clothes off forever?  What if we only ever speak the truth, even when it provokes emotion?  What if we eat and smoke no more and only drink the water and breathe the air that is clean and full of goddess?  What if we accept fully the divinity of creating the state of our bodies that maintains the state of our world?


Behind the cultural haze

Having surrendered to the will of the universe in which I exist, I continue to find myself at home in places that I could not previously have imagined.

I was warned about travelling through Central America by people who have never been here and know nothing about it.  I forget what I am supposed to worry about here.  Years ago I chose a life without stress, I'm not sure I would be alive today otherwise.  I also chose to listen to my body, and the pain of loneliness and boredom has pushed me into situations that could appear to be dangerous or stressful.  I can only push myself as far as I feel comfortable.

I do not speak the local language, I don't know how many people do, or when they get the opportunity to do so.  There is a common Spanish that is mostly spoken, and my grasp of even this language is thin.  I could not have come here without the knowledge that I was walking into the wet tropical forest to find 100 brothers and sisters from all over the world who blessedly speak in a common English.  Can I remain in this bubble of international love and hippie culture?

I look at the locals and we both grin stupidly.  Am I the retard who can't even speak Spanish?  Am I the exotic foreigner, equally hilarious and intriguing?  Or am I just another human being?  I am rich in this country.  One US dollar is worth almost eight quetzales and everything is considerably cheaper.  Still we haggle and try to talk down the price, fearful that we might be ripped off by a quetzale or two.  We gringoes bring in our phones and our laptops and leave them in our Made in China tents and then we shout our complaints when they disappear.  In Cobán, the local town, the cellphone companies announce the importance of their products on the streets and the thirdworlders clamour to buy into the advertised glory of Western Civilisation.  There are so many things that we didn't know we didn't have.

I am always an outsider, at least as long as it takes me to have a conversation in Spanish, but I am with my friends so it is okay.  Sometimes I want to escape to Civilisation somewhere, but it is too far away and I won't know anyone there and I will need money to survive and my meagre savings won't last for long.  I think about San Francisco, where I spent five days with my friends on the way to Guatemala, and I yearn for the convenience and the good food and entertainment and English.  Instead I sludge through endless mud and rain, cross lines of ants carrying huge pieces of cut leaves into their underground cities, and end my day curled awkwardly by the fire on a brother's lap or laid out alone in my tiny stolen tent surrounded by my belongings and food.  I wonder at the life I chose for myself and how far away it is from what I was educated for.  Here, the currency is touch and music; in town, the currency is quetzales and smiles.

My brother discusses the possibility of buying land; it is cheap, and here we can be free and be together.  We are all searching for something we cannot name, we searched each other out from across the globe and together we know we feel the same about something.  We span the American continents, all of Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.  I notice a distinct dark patch across much of the populated globe.  We agree that we reject much of what we were taught to value, though a lot of it we are addicted to.  We say, "No alcohol, no drugs, no meat," though we suck into our lungs a lot of tobacco, marijuana and industrial grains.  I reject oats and wheat, though I am smitten by a new love of corn.  We expect the world is changing, though we make plans as though it has always been like this and always will be.  I feel my love for the new people around me grow much more rapidly than my ability to speak Spanish, but I fantasise about the most beautiful and cause awkward inabilities to behave normally in their presence.

I am confused human being, placing myself in environments in which my habitual behaviours are not appropriate or useful, forcing myself to discover what it really is I am doing, behind all the thoughts, behind the cultural haze that binds and confuses me, behind the throbbing in my loins to the beating heart in my chest.