John Veen is a poet and working stiff from Central California by way of Michigan. He facilitates an irregular non-duality dialog in Fresno, C.A., and edits the website: www.nopathnoself.net.
A Tether Tied to Space
Epigrams and Subversion
by John Venn
published by Non-Duality Press
Excerpt of the first few pages:
“Just simply say when doubt arises,
— Seng Ts’an
“We… in mad trance strike with our spirit’s
knife / Invulnerable nothings.”
— P. B. Shelley
“Since everything is without substance,
sustain the joke of the absurd.”
“Luminous mind is the actual
condition of everything.”
Reality is timeless so the question “When?” can
never be answered.
If you can’t say when something arises you can’t
claim to know that it arises. You might speculate
that birth and death happen now, simultaneously—but
timelessness erases even that.
Now thoughts, whether “of” time or timelessness
or anything else, have no actual extension in space
or time, and therefore no content. We might reflect
or meta-reflect on thoughts as objects or containers
of objects but that near-process is an extinct,
Memories, thoughts and other “karmic burdens”
are like flames and water streams: formless
forms apparent only to the timeless non-form in
The epigrams and subversions that follow are a
sequence of primitive objections to form, most of which
also object to their own forms vainly, solipsistically.
They step foolishly into the dream. And while they are
not light, they are bathed in it. They thank you for it.
Look straight at the seeking itself.
There’s your devil. Your teacher.
It requires nothing
no need to bore down
no need to dig deep…
See the resistance to what is —
to what is right in front of your face.
See the inversion, the contraction,
the rejection of the real
in favor of some phantom ideal.
You become aware of your own tendencies
Seeking (seeking answers, seeking comfort…)
is seen or felt as uncomfortable,
even painful, contraction.
Compulsive, instinctive, automatic desires
and fears are exposed.
And the peace of not clinging, not grasping,
not cowering is somehow exposed.
Chronic self-knotting, caught in the act,
is itself the key.
(The key to what? Who the fuck knows?)
See the contraction in action
without trying to fix it…
Now it’s as if there’s a microscopic (infinite)
distance between ‘you’ and ‘suffering’.
That distance is healthy detachment.
Simple, accidental renunciation.
(It’s all breathable space!)
A ghost outside.
When you look and see nothing’s there
tension subsides on its own.
The ‘yes’ hidden in the ‘no’…
release masquerading as obstruction.
Bodymind contracts, both predator and prey.
The breath that comes and goes…
Ponder the inconceivable.
The presumption of separation
the fear of separation
the desire for non-separation
are all non-separate forms of natural perfection.
Separation into discrete problem-units
is barred by reality.
Bodymind sense is life-cling-death-fear.
It is immune to facts like emptiness and its own
When the apparent dilemma
(object, dream-tangent…) presents itself
it is spontaneously recognized as ‘light’.
When light rediscovers omnipresent light
it drops the post-threat post-lust tendency
to linger in fear-desire-fight-flighthate-
or any other sticky form of light.
If that thing that sits on your chest were real
there would be no in-breath.
Moment to moment resistance
is ‘divine’ pressure,
a tactile hint,
The release button was pushed forever ago.
Nothing to do!
The simplicity of no-path-no-self
trying to understand,
trying to do.
Try to get to the point where
the trying stops
when you see the trying.
your hands are insane.
Why struggle with the struggle?
Look up. Face the world.
Free seeing brings free breathing?
What is it that sees? What is it that breathes?
Instantaneous: your passage to the next moment
(the next life).
If you’ve got time to waste
get into process.
If you’ve got no time
Timelessness is the briefest therapy.