Spirit Grooves Blogs

Published on September 29, 2014

I suppose I should say something about how things last, an enduring topic that has fascinated me for decades. And I am not talking about ordinary memories, although some of them do indeed persist. I am talking about the mind itself and the half-life of what's in it.

As we all know, the mind can be amorphous, even cloudy. Not everything in the mind is clear and shining. There are dark areas too, of course. But there are also things that shine like the sun in the firmament of mind. How does that work? What lasts and what is lasting?

I am very much a advocate of the idea that things that are made well tend to last longer than things that are just thrown together. When we study what lasts and what lasts longest, sooner or later we discover there is a word for it, and that is "religion." Religion comes from a Latin word "religare," which means to tie or bind-fast, thus the things that are made or bound to "last."

Religions are concerned with the things that last longest, so obviously eternal truths would be in that category. When everything else breaks-up and ceases to hold its form, those eternal truths are still there; they shine. We can depend on them to be there in the future. They will last until then. There is even and odd use of the word in shoemaking, where the word "last" is what holds the form of the shoe together over time.

For me, the archetypical analogy for duration would have to be the stars in the sky, some brighter, some not, some fading, and some that will be there virtually forever. Truth is like that. Truth lasts and what is most true lasts longest.

Just as in the heavens we have certain bright stars like Polaris (the North Star), a pole star upon which we can depend to guide ourselves on the sea at night, so within the mind are objects that shine bright in the night of the mind. We can also see to guide ourselves by their direction. The Tibetans even go so far as to say we can place things in the mind that will last. That is what termas (hidden mind treasures) are.

It is just a skip and a jump to the conclusion that if we make something with great care and time, it will last longer than something made thoughtlessly. This is what the Buddhists call "Skillful Means." That "skill" is our means to make something of value that lasts. We know this is true with fine instruments like violins and guitars. Craftsmanship counts; skillful-means shows.

And I love to point out how great minds like Shakespeare placed his written work into the mind and there it remains, shining today just as it did hundreds of years ago. We have yet to unravel his words. Just try reading him. He is not done yet. Of course, some things last just a short while.

I can see no reason why our every thought and action does not come under the same umbrella as far as value and duration are concerned. I believe this is what is called "karma," good or bad. Those stubborn stains we create shine as darkly as those good things we do shine brightly. Once we grasp (or rather deeply realize this) we step much more carefully through the cow-pastures of life. No more bull in the china shop knee-jerk reactions, hopefully. Every intent counts.

I am not the only one to cling to the light, to those things we can most depend on, that last longest. We all do. After all, that is how we get around in the darkness of time, by following the bright stars in the mind, the ones that last long enough to see to guide us by.

In my case it seems that the dharma and natural law are in a race for my attention when it comes to lasting, and since in the end they are identical in nature, I switch back and forth between them almost randomly. I could go on for hours with this topic. That is how important it has been to me.

To create things and to place them in the mind so carefully, so perfectly, that they will endure and last. At least that is my intent.

I am reminded of the songs of rock-in-roll legend "Little Richard." Although he re-recorded his hits for decades, it was really a period of about three years in the late 1950s when he was white hot. No one, IMO, has ever successfully imitated Little Richard as far as intensity, any more than they have Jimi Hendrix. It ain't gonna' happen folks.

Both of these artists worked so energetically and so perfectly in placing their music deep in the mind, way beyond where you and I can even listen. We probably never will dig them out or get under and behind them. They go deep and we don't know how to care enough to reach that depth, so there they sit, brilliantly spinning-tops inset into the firmament of the mind. Everything made is made like that, well or less than well.

Contemplating what lasts and how it lasts has been, for me, an invaluable pastime.

Here is a poem I wrote about "lasting," which I placed somewhat deeply into the mind, one of a type I call "mantra" poems. "Mantra," because if I recite it carefully, it reconstructs, like a hologram, what I inset in the mind, in this case what is known in the esoteric tradition as the concept of "The Monad." Some of you might appreciate it. To others, it may appear to be gibberish.


What will in words not wake,
Clear sleeps,
And clear, sleeps on.

What wakes stands watch to see that sleep as sound.

What wakes will serve to set a sleep,
Inset a sleep with standing words,
That wake, if ever, last .

And on that "last," in overlay, our life.

Yes, to lay at the last a life that ever lives,
To ever last that "last" of life,
And in ever "lasting " life, everlasting,
We have a life that lives at last.

Note: For those who want to read my initial writings from the late 1960s and re-writes in the early 1970s, please see the free e-book: 'Astrology of the Heart: Astro-Shamanism" at this link:


[Photo I took recently of grapes ready to go.]