edited from a 1999 piece…

“Are you aberrated enough to have a full and rich life?”,
the very essence of everything I have ever hoped to say about anything..

24 hours later my poor body is still being wracked with waves of
laughter, in fact it has reached the point where each of the billions
of individual cells in the body are laughing as if they were each an
individual consciousness (talk about a composite!).

This humor has reached the point where I fear it could unbalance the ratio of misery
to happiness that is so necessary for life here on our marvelous
little dirtball.
Ah well, as someone once said, real wisdom is simple.

And now, on to a few other ramblings and rumblings, between
belly-cracking bouts of laughter. This should be entitled “Dead men
tell no tales, or, Nature abhors a Clear.”

For about the last 2500 years, ever since someone is reputed to have
seen the morning star, and became enlightened,
after which and sometime later others referred
to this chap as “Buddha,”

Anyway, as the centuries have gone by, it has been noticed over
and over again that becoming enlightened is possible for human beings,
and that, when it occurs, they no longer seem to be human beings.

Oh yes, there’s still a body and stuff like
that, but they don’t really look like or sound like or talk like or
act like regular human beings, and this state may last any wheres from
a few moments to — well, I don’t know for sure just what the record
is, but it could be quite awhile, maybe even as long as the remaining
life of the body.

Anyhow, mention of this state
has been found in all kinds of past and present practices; some
people even seem to run into it when they’re not practicing, say just
walking down the road or playing bridge or hearing a symphony or
seeing an incredible sunset, or scratching one’s navel.

Said state has a profound effect upon what a person has been calling
“I” just before this thing happens. At the time this thing happens,
that “I,” for all intents and purposes, ceases to exist. In fact, if
you want to get a bit rustic in your speech, you could say it’s dead,
or it died, and something else that perhaps has been dead is reborn.
And as the song goes, the glow of its being outshines every star.

Now here’s the rub: if you wish to continue this state, you will be
outside the game of Life and all its survival concerns, which will
have most of the people that knew you before this rebirth, as well as
other dynamics that you’re connected to, feeling as though they have
lost you and all the agreements and plans and purposes you’ve been
sharing in.

Some of them, in fact, might get really bent out of
shape and feel betrayed, as people often feel when the folks they’ve
been counting on suddenly die.

On the other hand, if you make the
mistake of thinking that you can go back into the game with all the
survival necessities and the time track and at the same time maintain
the state of perfect clarity, you will sooner or later find out that
being Clear and aberrated at the same time are mutually exclusive.

Just what is the admonishment of the earlier and wiser heads concerning states
with names like “satori,” “samadhi,” “Clear,” “grace,” Buddha hood
“illumination,” etc., etc., etc.? Let’s take a note from Zen, just
for example: “Very, very good! Now get out there and hoe those
beans!” Or “If you see the Buddha, kill him.”

So tear up those OT certificates and throw your Clear bracelet away
and extrovert out of that nonsense and remain unattached and
un-attracted to any of it. You’ll probably find all kinds of
marvelous highs along the way that can be thoroughly enjoyed, but
never possessed. Now we’re talking about real freedom — no name, no

As those last words slipped from my rotting brain and poured out
through my diseased mouth and polluted the airwaves, my body once
again executed an imperfect three-and-a-half off the 10-meter
platform, with an entry vertical enough to take me once again to the
bottom of the tarn and my deep, dark sleep. — The Stillness

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One Response to edited from a 1999 piece…

  1. Jan Hanley says:

    Oh, my dearest Phil, I can’t believe I found you here online. I hope you remember me, Jan, your brief manager from Yellowstone. You and Julie were among my dearest friends there, and I still tell people about you. You may laugh, but what prompted this search was catching up with NCIS on Netlix, and there was your daughter, Mimi. (I’m not sure I ever saw her in anything before.)

    Last year was my 23rd in Yellowstone, and I have left it indefinitely to take care of my mother. I still have the picture you gave me, as well as a card that has lifted me and inspired me for many years.

    How I hope to hear from you.


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