The proposal within physics to explain the universe is delusionary; the assorted mobs and cartels could care less, for they rule the universe of meaning, of the shaman and the wild pig.
We do not understand the extinction of the dinosaurs, the Bermuda Triangle, the origins of AIDS, the assassination of John Kennedy (or its weird parallels to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln), or the fireball that blasted Siberia in 1908. We think we know why the space shuttle exploded and who shot down the KAL jet. At a meeting of the American Anthropological Association it was declared, irrefutedly, that Carlos Castenada had invented the shaman Don Juan.
We do not know Pol Pot, Khomeini, Gorbachev. We do not even know Ronald Reagan, though we poured the collective presidency into his being...We do not fathom how Nazis could have prevailed in an advanced nation in a civilized century. Yet slaughterhouses of sentient beings are everywhere. The Earth has become a mechanized flesh and blood factory.
Cocaine? Crack? Child pornography? Yin/Yang? Shadow. Light. Who are we kidding? For every act of science unveiling the universe, a compensatory intuition drives us deeper into mystery.
As sexuality becomes explicit, something else becomes obscure. This is axiomatic. Fucking and masturbation occur on stage, bondage and orgies in suburbia. Businessmen and -women do not even drop their personae as they pleasure themselves and each other ritually. Desire is now business; business desire...The compulsive religion of the moral majority, the strategies of corporate merger represent the same "looking out for number one" grab at ego rapture.
But the mystery, the impalpable allure that was once a sexual escapade is now the stuff of life itself. When the fantasy of desire is charmed to the surface, the mystery of eros sinks to the heart...It is our hearts that are closed as we go about our businessses. Something beyond desire now haunts the world. Why else would we return to Nazi Germany for redemption?; why continue to clone the Bomb?; why run no one against no one in elections? Why make it a pretense of progress and elightenment in this misasma?
The homeless are no surprise. They are not withdrawn from reality; they have simply retreated to where no more harm can be done, no more tricks can be played. By their prescence they establish ideology. They are our scientists, but their specialty is not substance. What passes them on the street is a clutter of hungers, petty jobs, fake resolutions. By making themselves powerless and brief, they cast the spell of cornucopia back over the masses.
Theirs is not a sophisticated desire or sly strategy of sensuality; it is a pure hunger, the sense that the cauldron is empty. They would rather sit and let the rain of futility gradually work in their bones.
Some become angry, hard and throw themselves at the walkers; they are waiting for Godot too, less patiently. Others are as soft as a feather, and there is no excuse not to give them some of the coins we find ourselves carrying-the make-believe integers that turn to gold in their hands.
I know the ego doesn't survive. If it did, this would be a demonish eternity, for us as for the street people. I know the ego doesn't survive, though at times I think I want that more than anything. I fear death openly. But I see in the beggar's face that consciousness is no meager thing. We share a pinched, luminous reality as ghosts.
Consciousness will not be obliterated, for consciousness is the universe. The part of me I know the least, will go on. These images of a winter's night will not be kept in the holograph's heart--the rain on the beggars along storefront walls, the feeling of unexplored depths, the now-acrid, now-sweet obscurity in me, that even my attempt to locate and feel radiates as petals of deeper, more devious obscurities--a memory of childhood, a fragment of a tune I can't place, the cold that wants warm, the tug toward home, all together, all making me up this one moment--that will be dashed on rocks harsher than either atoms or stars, because atoms and stars are abstractions that transform nothing.
My hope is their hope--that this will all be made into a robe of the finest light. (Don't be fooled into assuming they have given up hope or that the rest of us have escaped their fate).
I don't need angels or stories of eternity, and I don't expect the timeless void of transcendence or a merger with a superconsciousness. I want the obscurity that nothing will touch in the rain."