Monthly Archives: August 2013

Introduction to Introduction

Money is a meaning-laden symbol that shapes our thinking far, far more than many of us would care to admit. Some of us admit this matter with a sense of pride, although they might not make the statement as such (in other words, via euphemism, such as “I have a strong work ethic”, “dedicated worker”, “ambitious”, etc.) Others direct their thinking into strong abreactions and anti-formations.

This symbol that inspires humans toward (or away from) work proves that we exist (at least we live our mental lives) inside a kind of architecture of imagination. We even let this structure dictate more subtle and personal ideas like self-worth and our own attractiveness. We allow these extra-personal structures to break into our inter-personal mental life and become internalized judges and set measures and boundaries for us. Rarely do we question them, and if we do question them, do we ever question them enough?

In the West, we live in a situation in which the more personally significant symbols have been bullied into the background. This grates on our more original self, or maybe our “actual” self (for our current life situation requires a virtual self). A life-energy that we were born with, that connected us to our mother and to the energies that existed before we did. That same life-energy with which more “primitive” cultures seemed to have a direct line has been obviated or occluded by these brash money and media symbols; but, these old energies have not disappeared. We perhaps have become unable to recognize them, but they have not disappeared. When they disappear, if they ever should actually disappear, all life will disappear, and we will not know that they have gone because we will then be the void and will not be. (yikers)

Since we generally lack the symbolic vocabulary to engage the originating energies, and assuming we want to reengage them, we must make a beginning of scratching away the occluding symbols of our current society, so that we can see the symbols that point toward and gives us clues about these source materials. Many religions are able to accomplish something akin to this with icons. But when other symbols block the way, we have to find a way to disassemble the blocking architecture. (Incidentally, this is probably why Atari’s “Breakout” has had so many iterations, the idea strikes home, but we wonder why this little game is so fun, frustrating, and why we can’t seem to stop…)

Some Buddhists do this “breaking out” with the Kong An exercises, some people do this with LSD, others may use sweat lodges or asceticism to remove the barrier and place them in the more direct path of these symbols and the energies they whisper about. While most of these techniques have their qualified merits, they are not all very accessible to many of us. Stories are.

Stories are accessible.

These next few posts will make an attempt at this kind of reintroduction. The goal is for us to be able to disengage the interruptions of the market symbols (buying and selling) and to allow for a reconnect with the source materials. When we are reconnected to the source materials, we might discover that we are able to sense that harmony which exists within us even now, but that we are unable to read or to see or to feel.

While other techniques can work, they can also be romanticized or be used to exploit people. These upcoming articles seek to present the symbols and allow for the reader to experience them originally, without a specified structure for that experience.

“The sun is in the sky everywhere, why does a cloud obscure it?” 1st gate of Gate 7 of Seung Sahn’s 12 Gates

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The Magic Moxxee Coffee Jar Karma Experiment

Right. Rarely do I post anything that specifically involves the vertical pronoun, “I”. So, can’t help this one much.

If you go to Moxxee Coffee you must know that there are a bunch of coffee superheroes behind the counter, churning out perfect cups to every Charlie West goony bird who figures out what’s going on with the silver goats. I won’t name those coffee superheroes because I don’t know their names. But there they are doing what they do, with great precision. I hope everyone appreciates them as much as I do. If you don’t appreciate them, you need to enlarge your life experience.

When you get drinks there, sometimes they whirl their little iPad around and let you send yourself an email that tells you that you just bought a drink and even what your change was. Put your change into that jar. No matter how much it is. That jar is 100% magic. OK, the other thing that the email does is send you a little electronic punch card with Moxxee stars on it. When you get 10 stars, you’re supposed to get a free drink. Admittedly, I really don’t know exactly how to use the system and I am shy around the superheroes, so sometimes I would knowingly have 10 stars, but not ask for a free cup.

I go there so much and so often, that one day I decided that I would never ask for a free cup of anything, that I would always put my change in the jar and that I would see if anything good would happen.

You have to understand that I can truly say that I go to Moxxee at least once every day except Saturday and Sunday and on Saturday and Sunday I think about going there.

So, I am putting a good amount of change in that jar, and I am not asking for my free coffee, on purpose to try an experiment, a karma experiment.

NOTE: We only use words like “Karma” to make reference to an unknown force that some people believe gives back to them whatever they put into it. I am only using the word for lack of another immediately recognizable word.

What happened?

The first thing that happened was that I found $10 (two five dollar bills) on the parking lot outside of Moxxee. Sorry to whoever lost that, I gave $5 to a friend because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you find money. I took it as a sign that I should continue the experiment.

Next, one morning, when I went there super early because I couldn’t sleep the night before, one of the Moxxee superheroes gave me a free brownie. I could not determine the reason, but, hey, why question free brownies?

Then, on another day, one of the superheroes was filling my order and said, “This doesn’t smell like Burundi” – which was the coffee I ordered. He gave me that coffee for free (whatever it was) and made me my regular order. So, I went away with two for the price of one.

Now, all that happened fairly quickly, and then there was a lull in the events. But, my faith was galvanized, so I kept on putting money in the magic jar.

Then, just a few months ago, one of my co-workers found an injured kitten in his neighborhood. Injured. Kitten. Ah, my heart. He brought this little critter to my office and I looked at her (and smelled her) and knew she had to go straight to the vet. She had some kind of massive wound that ran from the left side of her face all the way to her chest. My office mate nicknamed her “9”.

9 went to our vet. I dropped her off and got a call that night. She needed immediate stitching, debriding, wounds were septic, she could have FIV, you know a bad scenario. Knowing full well that the repair of this busted up little kitty could quickly move to over a thousand, I did something dumb and right. I told the doctor to do whatever needed to be done.

My wife and I visited 9 and kept folks apprised of her rapid recovery on Facebook and Twitter. She looked on most days like franken-kitty, stitched up, with a wound in her cheek so deep that they thought she would lose an eye.

We boarded 9 for three weeks, the initial surgery-fixer-up and long term care cost just a bit over $800.

Without asking for it. WITHOUT asking anyone. People all around me stepped forward and donated cash for more than 75% of those bills. I was handed cash, mailed checks, and found anonymous envelopes on my desk at work. THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE PEOPLE! It matters so much to me, to my wife, and especially to little 9 (kitty cat smiley face emoticon here).

9 got better and better and better and better and purred and purred and purred each time we went to see her.

What’s more than that, a vet tech at our vet fell in love with 9 while caring for her and took her home to care for her. What better owner for a special needs kitty?

This is why I am telling you that you must put money in the magic Moxxee jar.

Please experiment with life by putting good things into it, instead of trying to take good things out of it. If you put good things into it, you may get a huge happy surprise!

You may discover that there is a force that gives back good things to you when you give or do good things to others. You may wonder what that force may be. You may already know. TRY THE EXPERIMENT!

I don’t really think it’s the jar, by the way, but you should tip those guys and gals back there regardless, they are making the best coffee in the world, after all.

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