Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Does Not Matter

What does not matter is whether anyone actually reads this blog today or tomorrow or in eternity, or in infinity. What matters is that I write this blog, and that my words have myself behind them, that my words are not shallow like a small creek, but deep and wide like an extraordinary poem.

I have learned how small I am, and I have seen how large the difficulties are. My own work is invisible in any scale beyond that of my own little hamster run. I am crucified to my life and I cannot escape the cross. This I have tried many times, bloodying my wrists and feet struggling against the bonds which hold me. But there are Roman soldiers at the foot of my cross, just as there were when our Lord was crucified. Luckily they play dice, and fall asleep during their watch. If I can stand the pain -- the extraordinary sensations, I can open up the wounds which they have inflicted upon me so that they are large enough to slip off the head of the nails.

But still I must bide my time. They know that I will struggle against the crucifixion -- that I will sweat both water and blood, salt and urine and feces, along with my drool and the running of my nostrils and the tears of my eyes. Every orifice is open in this crucifixion, so they expect me to struggle. And if I struggle with intelligence, I can open my wounds large enough to escape.

I must let them gamble away my belongings. They would link me to them anyway and help the dogs to find me. I want my escape to be genuine. The suffering is almost unbearable -- beyond my own ken, but if I remain open there is a help which comes to me, which bears my strength and my weaknesses and which fills me with a higher impulse, one that is stronger than death.

Now I cry out in thirst. All the fluids are leaving me, and they offer me gall and vinegar, which I refuse -- they have placed droplets of poison on the sponge -- not to kill but to decrease the consciousness so that the pain can be endured. This is not what I wish for. I wish for more suffering, a deeper suffering -- a suffering beyond that of a single man. I wish to suffer for these men who stand below me playing games and laughing. They see me suffer and struggle but they cannot see my laughter, because it is deep within me. I recognize them -- they are children at play, and they play soldier. At a certain point they become exhausted with my moaning and my crying out. They do not know that I have been opening my wounds with a purpose, and that my crying out has not been my suffering but theirs. Finally they are asleep, and supported by the guest I release first one arm and then the other. I keep my wrists wrapped around the T bar of the cross, so that I might release my feet, which are pointed sideways and through which the nail has pinned both heel bones. But as it seemed to them that I pushed myself up to breathe, I was also grinding the bone in a strange circle so that when I was ready, my feet would release themselves. Now I do this, and with the outer foot free, I begin to turn my knees forward and release the other foot. After this, I do not leave the cross. It has been my home, and its wood knows my suffering. All trees henceforth will pass this tale from generation to generation.

Below me at a distance are my friends, they are wept out and also sleep. Only one is remained awake, so that when I fling myself off of the cross he catches me. Nicodemus. In the meantime Joseph of Arimathea has gone to Pilate to ask for the body. The soldiers have woken up now but do not wish to lose their salaries, so they simply ask "how did he get off the cross?". The answer was given we took him down according to our traditions so that he could be buried before Sunset. Then one of the Roman soldiers took his spear and jabbed it into my side and saw the water and blood gush, and assumed that I was dead. But he missed my heart, which I had stopped from beating.

I was lain in a tomb and ministered to whilst the tomb was sealed with a Rolling Stone. The Romans followed and stood guard, but in the three days wherein I recovered they fell asleep several times and so I left and left them my peace.

On the third morning the women came to minister unto me but I was in disguise. They fell, astonished at the empty tomb, but the work had been done. Except for the ratification, which took mystically 40 days, during which my disciples scattered until their bravery came back and they gathered together. I then sent the Spirit to alight upon each one of them -- and teach them how to communicate with all manner of persons, the good news of my work. I then took my leave. I then took my leave. I then took my leave.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I have been all over the world, as a musician, but haven't until last week stepped foot on the continent of Africa. I read anthropology and all manner of disciplines, and it is said that Africa was the birthplace of mankind.

But it was hearsay and I am a skeptic. Then I came to south Africa, and as I stepped off the plane and my feet found the ground I KNEW. The impressions have been SO deep that I spent the first entire week weeping at the brotherhood of Man. Here, as opposed to the United states where I live and where I have called New york City my home for 50 years, I came in contact with a different reality. I cannot describe the impressions except to say that I am irrevocably changed. I have been eating such rich food of these impressions that I am staggered by the depth of them, and the new understandings that they have given me. My compassion has been increased twenty fold, and I now say (striking my chest), "I Man", (Striking gently the chest of another man black or white) and saying "You Man", and I then say "Human" as I pass my arm across the horizon, to suggest that we are ALL on the same level.

The time is different here also. Now does not mean the now of New York. There are three nows here. "Right Now" is the closest to the "now" of NY, but not quite, because the "Now" of NY is an hour ago. "Now-Now" is "shortly" and "Just Now" means anytime in the future, but it will be done. A little like Jamaica, where "soon come-little while" means what "Just now" means here, but not quite. There is an irrepressible natural buoyant joy here, both in the blacks and in the whites, many of who feel a deep guilt from Apartheid, but it is SO much more respectful than the racial issues which exist in the US. The shame many whites feel here is nothing like the resentful false crap of the rainbow political farce that exists in America.

Another man said to me that this is the home of rhythm, and it is true beyond experience. When I told him that I felt the natural joy in even those with nothing he said that the best music was born of oppression, and I said instead, the music is in SPITE of oppression. Unlike mathematics, where a negative number times a negative number equals a positive number; a negative emotion does not negate another negative but multiplies the negative.

I have come to see that negative against negative is like a knot in a rope; pulling on the ends of the rope in the attempt to undo the knot seems to make it smaller, but only tightens it and makes it harder to untie, where the action required is to push the ends together and take the small fingers of the child inside the knot and loosen it. Then and only then can it really be undone. We cannot add anything in the Work, only remove the filth and untie the knots.

In Yoga there are three Granthis (knots) which bind the sense of identity (Ahamkara) to the worldly figure, and these three knots need to be undone before freedom can be achieved. The first Granthi is with the physical body; the second with the E-motional body, and the third with the Mental body.

When these identifications are cut or untied; there arises a natural freedom -- the lesser and greater freedom. The bodies do not die but then live not as slaves but as free men -- the "Three Brothers" Mr. Gurdjieff wrote about and then burned in 1934, when he had a bonfire built and burned all of his papers -- to the tears of Olgivana deHartmann and Madame deSalzmann. Oh, what we may have lost. The library at Alexandria perhaps?

All I know is that I am in Africa, and spend my time in two places, two worlds...outer and inner richness I cannot explain or describe. And there are two places in the studio building where I am working right next to each other -- the studio where we are making music, and next to it, an anechoic room where it is silent and dark so that it makes no difference whether your eyes are open or closed. I have spent much time there alone, and like Napoleon after he slept in the great Pyramid at Giza, and came out white as a ghost and never told what he experienced till his dying day, when he was asked, "Now that you are dying, would you like to tell us about your experience in the Pyramid?" and he began to say "Yes... but oh never mind, you would not believe me", and then he died...

Something has died in me, and I do not miss it one iota.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

I am going to begin posting some of the material from elsewhere that deserves to be here, by moving it onto this blog. Here is an essay on the Yoga Sutras of Classical yoga, as collated by Patanjali. Enjoy:

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are one of the world's great spiritual treasures. It is a collation of pithy statements containing no grammar -- they were meant to be recited and still are passed orally from teacher to student. Scholarly opinion attributes the writing anywhere between 200 B.C. and 400 A.D.. This is well after the life of the Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha. Scholars are divided as to whether some of the sutras have been added in direct defense against Buddhist philosophy, especially in Pada 2, or Chapter 2 -- the word Pada means foot and there are 4 feet in the sutras.

I have given seminars on the sutras which have lasted six to nine months. When my students ask me the meaning of the entire text I tell them that it is contained within the first word, Atha. Many scriptures begin with this word and end with the word Om. They are so to say, the alpha and omega of Sanskrit. The word Atha doesn't translate well into English because of its emphatic nature. The closest single word in English would be now, but more like NOW!!!

All impressions are shocks, some delicate, some strong. Some impressions do not rise to the level of introduction into consciousness, and remain recorded on the unconscious and subconscious rolls. But the word Atha is to be said forcefully, almost as if one would shout Eureka or HA!.

It is a shock meant to wake one up, and it is followed by the phrase rendered into English as NOW, the exposition of Yoga. Yoga is a word that has about 28 meanings, perhaps even more but the meaning we are interested in is exactly the same as in the word religion, which comes from the Latin and means to attach again (re-ligare). In our interest in Yoga we are interested in reconnecting with the Self with a capital S..

Each word in the yoga sutras is extremely important, and the word sutras is where we get the word suture which we use in surgery -- it means the finest thread upon which an idea can be strung, so the yoga sutras are pithy, and usually require explanation by the teacher, and there are many famous commentaries upon this work of Scripture.

Below I have rendered in English translation of the first four sutras: NOW, the explanation of yoga. Yoga is a restriction or a cessation of whirlpools in the consciousness. When these whirlpools (Vrttis) are made to stand still, then the Self radiates forth in its August Majesty. At all other times the self ( with a small s) mis-identifies itself with the movements within consciousness -- that is, with the vrttis or whirlpools in the consciousness.

The rest of chapter 1 is irrelevant at the moment. For those who know, this has been enough. And the rest of the chapter explains some of the workings of discrimination and consciousness. Now we come to chapter 2, or the second foot -- which is called Sadhana Pada, or chapter of practices.

The first sutra proclaims that through a burning desire and an ascetic devotion; self study and reflection of one's own self, profound religious meditation upon one's personal God are considered the yoga of action. A very interesting section is from this chapter, which delineates the eightfold limbs usually called Ashtanga, which means literally eight limbs. Some people consider them as a ladder or staircase, where one must do the first one first followed by the second, etc., but the actual sutras described them as the eight limbs of a single being. They are in the following order:

One: the restraints or vows which are fivefold: harmlessness, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity, and a rejection of gifts coupled with self-restraint.

Two: the fixed rules or precepts: cleanliness or purity (this conforms to the first striving), contentment, religious fervor or a burning desire, study which leads to the knowledge of the self, surrender to God and making God the target of concentration and all other established observances.

Three: the learning of Asana, which oddly enough comes from the same root as the word for your behind upon which you sit, the ass. This seated posture should be firm fixed steady steadfast and lasting, bringing happiness and delight. This then includes all of the Hatha yoga postures, each of which is designed to show a different potential which is man's natural birthright, and each of which brings with it certain powers called Siddhis, which translates pretty well into English as perfections. But the main goal of this third limb of yoga is to put the body in a position to be able to sit for a long time in order to do the essential work, which is a strong activity within silence.

Four: Pranayama. This is very widely misunderstood. Prana is the life force within the body, something like Qi in Chinese alchemical medicine, or Rauch to the Jewish, or Pneuma to the Greek. And the term yama here has a double meaning, not just control or restriction but actually expansion into the entire physical body as well as second and third bodies. The physical gross breath is just a handle, like the handle on a hammer or screwdriver. Hatha yoga specifically uses the body because it is easiest to grasp and utilize hydraulically. The real aim is much more sublime. This is one of the reasons why Mr. Gurdjieff spoke so poorly of those fashionable exercises from books, which can do more harm than good. One of the greatest Yocic Scriptures is called the Hatha Yoga Pradikipa by Svatmarama, written in the 15th century CE. When he talks of pranayama he declares the following: the breath should be tamed as if it were a lion or Tiger -- slowly, and with great caution, lest it rend the practitioner and kill him (or her). It then describes various forms of practice along with the results.

Five: withdrawal of the sense organs from their contact with the external objects, and drawing them inwards towards the self. This is usually described as the action of a tortoise, who pulls his head and limbs into the shell. It is also what is referenced as "Turning the light around" in the Secret of the Golden Flower. One can separate each sense into three parts, the organ of sense, the object of its attention, and the invisible secret tether between those two. Drawing the sense organs back is the act of Pratyahara, the fifth step of classical Yoga.

Now we reach a real turning point. All of the previous steps have been outward -- working on do's and don'ts, the physical body and the life force represented by the breath. Now with step five we begin what are called the Antara sadhana, or inner practice -- I suppose you could say that from now on our yoga conforms to what is called the "quiet work" in the Work -- conforming to the sittings and the other inner exercises given by Mr. Gurdjieff and his earliest followers.

Six: and now we have even come to the end of that previous chapter and move to chapter 3 which is called Vibhudi Pada, and we begin with developing the concentration. This is called Dharana, or "concentration". Mr. Gurdjieff speaks of three qualities of concentration or attention; free or unfettered attention, which is our enemy, because it wanders all over the place with no self-control. Then there is attracted attention, such as when we read a good book or go watch an interesting movie -- the object of the senses hold us in thrall. This is also half harmful and half beneficial. Finally we have directed attention, which requires effort -- the kind of attention we utilize when we are studying or trying to solve a problem.

Now with this sixth step we begin the inward limbs of yoga -- this can be with seed (kalpa) or without seed, that is, we may have an object of contemplation -- it might be the candle, or an Apple, or our preferred deity. No matter what the subject matter, this is called samkalpa, that is, with seed. Concentration on its own at this point is almost out of the question -- but it would be called Nirkalpa, without seed. Sometimes at the very beginning of the Work, a man or woman is told to simply sit and experience the current of life which attempts to pull them out of the chair, in order for them to "do something". So in the beginning, not doing is the most powerful and only doing that we can actually accomplish, at least for a couple of moments. It is heartily recommended. Now this concentration is likened unto water being poured onto an object -- whatever is being contemplated. If you pour water on to something you will notice that it breaks into small pieces as the water falls. This is the initial stage of concentration, which will be interrupted, and which like a small child who has wandered off, should be brought back to the object of concentration with great gentleness, compassion and love. There is absolutely no need to scold the attention which up until now has been pretty much given free reign.

Seven: now we come to what is called meditation proper, and the word for it is dhyana. This is defined as a steady, continuous flow of attentive awareness direct it towards the same point or region. This is likened to the pouring of oil on the object, which because of its viscosity, pours upon the object without breaking up as did the water. This is meditation and the difference between the previous step and this one is quite powerful. This step actually begins a process concerned with the elimination of fluctuating thought waves in order to achieve a single pointed concentration. Now we establish the maintenance of a single steady and profound contemplative observation. This brings in its wake profound knowledge of those objects being contemplated, and if one maintains this meditative practice one moves automatically to the eighth step, which I will describe next.

Eight: The Sanskrit term for this step is Samadhi, a compound word meaning more or less, "together with" or "simultaneous existence". In this step there is a merging of the consciousness with the object under scrutiny. The consciousness of the meditator appears to be dissolved into the object of its contemplation. Now we have reached a point where the consciousness has become like a laser. In its ordinary state it is like a candle or light bulb, with the lights going out in all directions. After Pratyahara, the removal of the sense organs from their normal objects of desire or a version, the next three steps, concentration, meditation and merging, have one word for the aggregate effects of these 3 -- called Samyama, or as best as it can be described in English, "together with convergence".

Now the third book of the Yoga Sutras includes a mighty list of what are called the Siddhis, or perfections. They read like an unbelievable and absurd set of superpowers, but in fact they are the natural result of Samyama. As an example, if you perform Samyama on an Apple, you then know everything that the Apple knows -- a true gnosis.

There are eight famous Siddhis:

One= to become as minute as an atom
Two= to wax in magnitude ( to become as large as one likes)
Three= to become light (as opposed to heavy)
Four= to become heavy
Five= the power to dominate and obtain what one wants
Six= the freedom of will and attainment of wishes
Seven= supremacy over all
Eight= the power to subjugate anyone or anything

It is said that these powers come unbidden to the Yogi, and they are signs that one is on the right path, but they should never be used, as they are tricks utilized by Great Nature. I will describe how this works: when a man begins to work on himself, he is usually sidelined by the most ordinary things, and nothing more needs to be done. If a man continues to work on himself and begins to achieve something, Great Nature takes notice -- She may send the police, and the man may have an accident or fall prey to some negative emotion or some other such miniscule setback. This usually puts a man right back in his place. But if a man continues to work on himself with unceasing dedication, Great Nature is bent out of joint, so she might begin to entice the man with riches or power or charisma. This will usually cause a man's fall from grace and return things to normal. If however, the man is the sly man or particularly clever or particularly desperate and dedicated and does not turn back from many of these maneuvers, Great Nature begins to take extraordinary measures -- she dangles her own jewelry in front of the man, offering him powers which only Nature herself enjoys. It is a kind of wooing, because She is desperate not to lose any of the sheep. So she offers her own powers to the man. This is a sign of imminent success, but also a desperate plea and a desperate measure which usually works sooner or later when the temptation finally gets to the man's defenses, and he begins using some of these powers. If he uses them for the sake of others only, and only in the most desperate of cases, he may be safe, but if he gloats or uses them for himself, then she has him back in the soup, and he has to start all over again This is not so easy, because once gotten, Great Nature has found his Achilles' heel, and will never let it rest.

The final chapter is called Kaivalya Pada, and kaivalya is an extraordinarily difficult word to translate properly into English -- people have used "absolute and complete freedom"; "perfect aloneness", and other such phrases, but like Nirvana, it remains extraordinarily difficult for one who knows to convey its majesty. Nirvana means "without wind" -- it does not mean extinction whatsoever. What is extinguished is the desire/aversion state, so that a man is awake without the flame of desire or aversion affecting him whatsoever. He is perfectly stable. Kaivalya might be thought of as a synonym -- it literally means complete and perfect imperturbable completeness, and for he who has reached Kaivalya, it is preceded by an astonishing shower of virtue, called the Dharmameghah Samadhih, after which the three forces or Gunas actually unbraid, and he accomplished yogin has reached the end goal, and thenceforth sees reality as it is in itself.

His body will continue living its bodily life; his mind will continue living its mental life, but he leaves no traces requiring reincarnation or recurrence. The yogin is then completely and utterly free -- he may choose to return to Earth, or he may go elsewhere -- wherever he is needed. He then knows all the languages of his organs, can no longer be intoxicated by anything, and has no negative emotional center whatsoever. He can drop the body whenever and however he likes. He may choose a suffering disease or he may just tell his disciples that he will breathe his last next Tuesday at 2 p.m., so that anything they wish to ask him or tell him, they had better do it before then, because, true to his word, the following Tuesday at 2 p.m. he lays down on his mat, takes a final breath of air, sweet and delicious, and then he exhales, and passes through the precious portal of death; without fear, without apprehension, and without regret. He has completed his Work, and moves on.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Springtime The Vernal Equinox

So here we are at the beginning of a new season -- in Yoga, this is a propitious time to begin one's practice -- so let us begin. We begin by being aware that we have a body and that it belongs to the earth which now begins to sprout buds, flowers and leaves. The sun moves higher in the sky and its extraordinary radiance reaches all the way to the Earth.

In the Lord's prayer, the English translation is sometimes incorrect when viewed from the perspective of the language which Jesus spoke, which was Aramaic -- this was the father language of both Hebrew and Arabic, cousins and brethren who are now engaged in a life-and-death struggle like Cain and Abel. In any case, I went out of my way to learn the Lord's prayer in the language he spoke, so that when I said it it would contain the actual sounds that came out of his mouth -- of course I have a different vocal cords -- I am a different human being, but this brings me closer to his truth. I will give my own English rendition below:

Father/Mother/Breather of ALL;
May your name be kept secret, hidden and protected,
Come, come, your Kingdom
May your will which is done in Heaven reach all the way down to the Earth
May we be nourished at the teat of your divine breast,
And keep us from Evil,

It's that simple. The part about forgiveness and trespassing was added later. If we are conscious and in touch with our conscience and we can do no evil -- Mr. Gurdjieff declares that only mechanical evil exists.

Now we are in the spring time of the cyclical year. I went to South Africa on Ash Wednesday and went to mass in the airport. I hadn't been to a Catholic Mass in many years, although I was once a lector and taught catechism and sponsored acolytes in to Catholicism. But Ash Wednesday has stayed with me -- the palms from Palm Sunday are burned after Easter and kept the entire year until Ash Wednesday when they are dispensed on the forehead of the parishioners, and sometimes the priest utters words: my favorite are as follows:

Remember, oh Man, that thou art mortal. Ashes to ashes; dust to dust, from the Earth your body has come as a gift and you will return it soon. Remember this from Dawn till Dusk, and go in the peace and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Actually, my favorite are a different set of word but they elude me at the moment. Soon I will talk about my time in Africa. For today this is enough. My love to you, my friends.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just Human

I have decided to forgo my perfectionism and to write more on the blog even though it does not conform to the curriculum I intended it to. That means that I will speak extemporaneously on subjects which interest me. I hope that they interest you too, and I hope that you are able to derive benefit from them if you should happen upon these words.

Today I'm going to speak of buffers. This is a term that Mr. Gurdjieff used to describe the kind of callous or cushion or shock absorber that exists between parts of ourselves which are incompatible. I will make a very easy to understand example.

A man sets the alarm clock for 6 a.m. -- not because he has to wake up, but because he is sick of sleeping late and wishes to get some things done in the morning. But at six o'clock when the alarm clock rings a very different man begins to wake up and either hits the snooze button or turns off the alarm clock, or throws it across the room. In between these two sub personalities is a buffer -- a device so that the two sub personalities will not meet, because if they did so they would drive each other crazy. And they belong to the same body, so if all the sub personalities within a single person were to meet each other as if at a cocktail party it would simply be mayhem.

In order for a man not to be subject to being driven mad by himself, buffers are developed, which act as walls between different rooms in a man. These buffers are invisible -- they cannot be seen by the man nor should they be if a man wishes to be ordinary, and as the Lord saith: "man's name is Legion".

Even if a man begins to work on himself he cannot see these buffers, just as you cannot be in more than one room in your home at the same time. Occasionally a homeowner will have a wall broken down so that there would be one larger room, for whatever purpose, but within a man's self there are many rooms each with walls between them. Think of the trouble it takes just to knock down one wall between two rooms and then to clean up the mess and make the two rooms into one real good looking room. I mean, come on, you cannot just break down the walls and have debris all over the place -- you've got to clean up after yourself, scrape and paint what used to be the barrier between the rooms, and then you've probably got to re-furnish everything, because the two rooms may be completely different in nature -- one a living room and one a bedroom, or one a bedroom and one a sewing room or library.

That's my contribution for today -- or least for this morning.

Friday, March 20, 2009

No Longer Perfect

I am a man, a man with a blog. A man with a blog that pretended to be a man writing a blog. What I didn't know was that the blog was writing me. I pretended that I knew a lot, and that I understood even more, but I am nothing but a man. I cannot jump into the sky and reach escape velocity -- 17,500 mph. Even if I did so I would died almost immediately from my blood boiling without the 15 pounds per square inch of barometric pressure which holds me together.

I cannot reach the horizon even with outstretched arms and if I were to walk sideways forever-- like the end of a rainbow, the horizon would just continue to evade me

I cannot sink down into the earth past its thin crust and into the magma or the yoke of the earth, the sphere of iron and nickel which is at the center. I would be crushed by the pressure and cooked by the temperature.

So I am a man. I -- man; you -- man; womb -- man; human -- -- 1 level. Not two levels, not three or four, but one level. I learned this in Africa. I was there in South Africa very few days ago, and where the anthropologists and the archaeologists and all the other "gists" have said that Africa is the birthplace of man and the cradle of civilization, it has been hearsay for me until now.

When I stepped off the plane and onto African soil I knew, and I know.

One man -- human -- 1 level.

Aloneness -- the Lesser and Greater Freedoms

Again, it has been along time since I have posted. My apologies to those who have been following this blog.

The goal of Yoga is a Sanskrit word called Kaivalya; it is difficult to translate into English. It is usually translated as "aloneness", but has nothing to do with loneliness. Perhaps it's better translation would be the use of multiple English words such as permanent and unsullied imperturbability -- One who is single and incorruptible; a person who is objective and sees reality exactly as it is in itself, and in whom the three Gunas or three forces or holy Trinity have become un-braided, so that one becomes absolutely free of all lower laws connected with this incarnation.

This does not mean that one's body is no longer subject to gravity, and it does not mean that one's mind is no longer subject to the flickering attention, but certainly it means that one's emotions belong to one's Self, and are not in control of one's manifestation; rather quite the opposite. In one who has reached Kaivalya, one is considered JivaMukti, that is freed while alive.

Then a MAN can do. He spends the money but the money does not spend him. He smokes a cigarette butt the cigarette does not smoke him. He does, but nothing happens through him accepting by the will of the higher forces to which he had submitted. He becomes a servant of the Almighty. He can leave or return to life at will. He has WILL, where as most men are simply blown back and forth by a confluence of desires and aversions.

How does a man reach this station, which is not a passing thing but something permanent?

How does a man gain these freedoms? As he is, he is under local laws. You may get away with breaking them, like jaywalking or smoking in a non-smoking zone. He may go through a red light and not get caught. Then again, he might get a ticket. He might suffer a misdemeanor or even a felony conviction.

If this man joins the military he falls under military law. This releases him from local ordinances so that the police who arrest him cannot detain him except to call the military police, who come and get him. Perhaps they will simply forget about it or ship him off somewhere els or he will go to the brig and suffer a court-martial, but this is not likel unless he breaks a military law, so he has freedom from a lower law but is subject to a higher law which is more strict.

Perhaps this man in the military then joins special services -- he may then be freed of the military law and placed under diplomatic law. He may become a special agent and not be under any lower laws, excepting the law of his commander -- but he must not get caught breaking those laws or he might simply disappear or be court-martialed and shot or hung as a traitor.

So forth and on and on. There are laws everywhere, and one cannot escape all the laws, but one can place oneself under higher laws and be freed of lower laws.

More to follow soon.