Friday, December 20, 2013

Here are two poems that are from my original website:

In a land

I once lived in a land where no one was negative;
where no one was angry,
and where no one lied.

The inhabitants loved each other beyond description,
so that they always told each other the truth;
which meant that all people were always in pain.

This suffering they welcomed as the deepest love;
a burning off the dross of their imperfections;
and they strove to constantly feel this burning,
which made them shine in the glistening of their
suffering like diamonds.

And the Endless Father of all
looked down upon them with great kindness,
for this was one of his favorite places.

And then I awoke, or was it that I slept?

And I found myself alone in a darker place,
where everyone was angry, and afraid.

Where every person was afraid of suffering,
and they lied to themselves to avoid the pain.

They lied to each other,
so that they would not be caught in their own lies,
and they never talked about it.

It became impolite to stare --
because everyone was hiding from the fear;
and everyone became alone,
so that none were truly friends,
because none could bear the truth.

Then again I slept, or was it that I awoke?

And I could remember,
like a distant dream that other place,
my home.

the flame's wish

consider the image of a candle flame, burning
the blue below, the orange red above
lingering, and pressing upwards.
the wax
the material which feeds the flame
is below it, underneath
yet the flame yearns upward.

what is the flame's wish?
it wishes, to reach something which is above it
in an unquenchable ardour,
it flickers, hopes and presses up
looking for its lover.

are the flame of a candle
aching towards a potential
which remains above us.

yet sometimes
a spark breaks off.
it floats away,
and catches fire

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Modal Order of Descending Brightness - A Musical Work Diagram.

Neither the future nor the past is totally determined. The past is not set in stone but is malleable by working in the Now. I think of the past as something like clay or mud, but if I don't change now, it will be fired in the kiln, but if I have a moment of real consciousness, the light and heat of it travel both backward and forward and sideways, heating up the adjacent wire, because I view recurrence as looking like a slinky, the toy, vertically placed, and we either work our way up or Great Nature causes descent through the same laws that govern the Modes of the Major Scale as viewed in consecutive Fifths.

There, we begin with Ionic - no sharps or flats, (now this is different from ''key signature'- we are dealing with numbers only). In the Cycle of Fifths we begin what is called "The Modes in Descending Order of Brightness":

I: Ionic-no sharps or flats
V: Mixolydian, b7
ii: Dorian. b3, b7
vi: Aeolian, b6, b3, b7
iii: Phrygian, b2, b6, b3, b7
vii: Locrian, b5, b2, b6, b3, b7
IV: Lydian, b1 yields a lower tonic, but removes all flats and introduces a raised #4
I: the #4 flats to it's normal place and we have come back to Ionian, but one step lower in key.
V: b7
ii: b3, b7
vi: b6, b3, b7
iii: b2, b6, b3, b7
vii: b5, b2, b6, b3, b7
IV: #4
I: Ionic with tonic lowered one half step.
V: b7
ii: b3, b7
vi: b6, b3, b7
iii: b2, b6, b3, b7
vii: b5, b2, b6, b3, b7
And continuing downward spiral forever.

This arrangements of the modes of the Major Scale shows how a "man" descends and the more flats, the sadder is the mode, till it bottoms out at Lydian #4 by reason of flatting the 1 (Tonic).

Mankind is the only creature on Earth that can play in the other direction of the Cycle of Fourths, which is against Great Nature and against "God". That is a "Musical Work Diagram".

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Every Breath Birth Breath Breathing

I have been given an inner exercise that I am permitted to share. It is called Every Breath Birth Breath Breathing, or EBBB.

I will keep this in first person singular, as that is the only proper method of emanating, and the listener (or reader) can absorb as much as his or her being allows, and the rest simply gets deflected.

I am sitting, and writing on the keyboard so that I can free the breath from the interruption of it by talking aloud.
As I sit, I begin to center my self by calling on all my parts to come and join me. I wish to be all in one place for this. I wish to stay with the body, bringing the mind and emotions back to the body so that I am in only a single place, congealed and re-membered.

I notice the body, with it's aches and discomforts and I tell it to relax, as I pose no danger to it. I use my peripheral vision to see the things in the room that are stationary, and I close my eyes for a moment...I slowly open them and see that nothing has moved, and that I am safe. I may do this again...closing and opening my eyes and realizing that these things are in the room but pose no threat to my bodies safety, so I feel safe here.

Now, I wish to notice more deeply, my breathing...The air which strikes my nostrils is ever so slightly cooler than my nose, and I follow the breath into my lungs and body, relaxing more... I notice that my exhalations are warmer than the outside air and that exhaling "pushes" a puff of air a certain distance down the front of my body. I notice this distance, and I notice the depth of the inbreath, whether deep or shallow, I measure it in image realistically. I am not allowing my imagination to scatter or go away from this noticing.

Now, as best I can, I remember that I was once an aquatic creature breathing embryonic fluid in my mother's womb. That was a place of great freedom. I could hear sounds and taste and smell my mother's fluid of the womb and I was less subject to gravity. It is as if I were in heaven.

Then her "water broke", the Great Flood of yore and I was squeezed and had to make my way out lest I be crushed... I have been taken from that heaven and pushed into hell. It happened. I have no doubt. And when my crown showed, and my cheekbones came out the rest of my just slid out, lubricated by the mucosa of the placental sac. And I was taken by my ankles and held upside down and slapped on my ass, which was a large SHOCK.

I had never been HIT before, and so I cried, and I exhaled the fluid in my lungs and I was STRUCK again, by the SHOCK of the air rushing in, and turning me from an aquatic creature to an air breathing one. Every new inhalation is redolent of that first breath SHOCK, only after I got used to it I stopped feeling the shock.

Now, I want to remember that shock as deeply as I can on every inhalation, and submit and surrender to the exhalation, which is my dying to that moment. With the shock of each new breath I pull myself into the future, and with every exhalation, I pass the past behind me. It has become very subtle now, and sometimes the breath stops on it's own and I let it. It is then a time with which to ponder. Why am I here? Who is here? That organism that contains "me"?  The urge to again breath comes, but from where? I let it breath me and remain, until I leave the exercise and move into the currents of my ordinary life. I have been in a place of different time, but must return to the tasks which await me.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Four Stages Of Competence/Learning How to Learn

The Four Stages Of Competence/Learning How to Learn

Life is nothing but a series of mistakes and correct actions because otherwise no one could learn anything. One has to go through the four stages of competence – are you familiar with them? It wouldn't hurt me to delineate them anyway, as they are vital and this reminds me that I should put them up as a personal post or blog. The four stages are:

Unconscious Incompetence = this is where I don't even know that such a thing exists so I am unconscious of my incompetence. I use a simple example. Imagine I lived on an isolated island I'd never seen a car or a typewriter – so I have unconscious incompetence with respect to driving and typing. So now a car in a typewriter or car placed in front of me with somebody utilizing them. Now I go over and I sit in the car in the drivers seat and I realize I don't know what the hell I'm doing, or a go to the typewriter and I'm bewildered – now I have the second stage:

Conscious Incompetence = Now I have at least the ability to learn, but it requires all of my attention to be directed as in driving I need to know to turn the key, put the car in gear, step on the gas and brakes as needed, steer the steering wheel, use the turn signals, adjust the rear-view mirrors – and of course this is going to put me into a strong cognitive dissonance or confusion trance until I figure it all out. Even then I may be able to drive but not with the passenger telling me about their vacation. I have developed the third stage:

Conscious Competence = Now I am competent and can drive and use a typewriter more and more efficiently. At some point this "know how" sinks below the dividing line of waking consciousness and the subconscious and unconscious, and I have reached the fourth stage of competence:

Unconscious Competence = now I can drive and listen to your story or type without looking at the typewriter but instead at what I need to type. Just for our amusement, let's look at some of the things which required us to go through all four stages:

Walking, Talking, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Riding a Bicycle, Tying One's Own Shoes, Running, Skipping, Using Silverware, and Etc. Ad Infinitum.

NONE – Not one came without conscious effort, and one must make a series of correct and incorrect actions which the brain then trims in its plasticity during rest or sleep will perform a kind of topiary deleting incorrect actions and strengthening correct actions. If we only did correct actions we could learn anything because we would already know it – this is known in neural plasticity as "neurons that fire together, wire together; neurons that fire separately, wire separately."

Every impression – absolutely every impression conscious or unconscious knocks into the vessel of alchemical metal powders, or as I like to put it, the kaleidoscope of "i"s.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Punk" Chaos to Couture exhibit at the Met/ Richard Hell From Facebook

So they have this exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called "Chaos to Couture" with Punk as it's underlying influence, and here I must give Richard Hell his props. I can say in all honesty that Richard Hell in the person of himself and no one else, made an impact on fashion that exploded like a nuclear bomb the ramifications of which still continue.

Last night At the Metropolitan Museum of Art they held fashions most important party of the whole year and the whole world. This year I had been asked for a photograph which Danny Fields took of me the first night I ever wore the T-shirt with the words "Please Kill Me". It must've been 1975 or so, and it was at Max's Kansas City on the second floor where they held musical events.

The hippest and most groovy and impossibly deviant sexual barroom at the time was the back room on the first floor of Max's Kansas City. It was hard to get into and easy to get blocked if you are not a "Trisexual", my word for my own condition, which was that in the realm of sex, I would do anything a couple of times or several times to be technically accurate before I would decide whether I was going to continue or to drop that type of sexual activity. There were many Warhol people, and flaming sexual creatures who could defy any type of labeling.

At dinner time, or what they called "happy hour" they would put out hors d'oeuvres in the front bar and I must tell you that those chicken wings and things saved my life more than once from complete abstract starvation, a condition I brought upon myself by refusing to do anything except party and forward my agenda, that I had formed when I was 15, setting the parameters of what my life was supposed to look like for the next 40 years.

People would ask of me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I would tell them, "I already am what I'm going to be when I grow up". If that just didn't confuse them into silence they would ask me what I meant, and I said, "I am going to be a world renowned electric guitarist who makes an impact on the history of rock 'n roll".

This was often met with the statement, "but you can barely play that thing" and I would respond by saying that if I wanted the Eiffel Tower to be upside down in my backyard tomorrow morning it would be there – and that France should thank me, because that's not what I wanted. I wanted what I said – it was a kind of Will/Wish that I took aim with and let fly. I told them that it didn't matter that I wasn't any good at the guitar because all of them that were better would find themselves in a job in their guitar would be in the closet, which happened to most of them.

I want to say this again, so I am not misunderstood.

Richard Hell had a vision of fashion that no other single person on earth had. He is entirely individually responsible for Televisions early look and everything that came after.

Malcolm McLaren desperately wanted to manage Television and his intention was to make Richard Hell into a complete superstar – a dazzling supernova with his other three bandmates right behind, and Tom, who was responsible for most of the music and arrangements would have also cemented his place as would have I, into the edifice of rock 'n roll history. Television DID impact Rock and Roll history, in more way than one. Tom refused to lat anyone help him or tell him to work.

Tom did not want to work with anyone who made him work – and Malcolm McLaren preferred Richard Hell to Tom Verlaine which I completely understand drove Tom to the brink of a nervous breakdown. So he just said no, no, no, no, and marginalized Richard and even though they had begun as the best friends of life, Tom pushed Richard out and we replaced him with Fred Smith. We had done some demos for Island records which sounded terrible to our ears, but what was more important was that we for the first time could hear Billy's crazy drums and Richard's loopy bass playing made Television's overall impact a ridiculous chaos.

So when Tom pushed Richard Hell out of the band he was replaced with Fred Smith, one of the best and steadiest bass players I have ever run into. And the Music became the focus rather that the "act".

So, I am in the coffee table book on page 33 wearing the first "Please Kill Me" T-shirt. I refused to wear it again despite all of Richard's efforts because after the showed too young hippie dippy's who could of been in Manson's family asked me if I really meant it, because they would help me if I meant it. That's spooked me. I've had run-ins with those cult people before and it ain't pretty. So, I never wore it again, and Richard started making his own version, nuttier and more color and dynamic.

Richard recently released his autobiography and I must say that he captured the exuberance some of those first rehearsals, and his portrayal of Tom Verlaine is accurate. He makes a few mistakes with regards to me but so what. Here I am on Facebook writing what I should be writing elsewhere – my own memoirs. But this is practice.

I will say it a third time: Richard Hell is the individual who single-handedly influenced fashion globally. And that is incredible. He deserves the respect that he has earned. 

So, I lived the life of a teenage alien hobo from outer space with a guitar. I had a band but we only did one show, and then I forged Television with bandmates Tom, Richard and Billy. It's the only band I consider that I have ever been in, and I was in it wholeheartedly. Contrary to the ridiculous films of rehearsals where Tom and Richard couldn't sing in tune and yet wanted me to join them. I considered that ludicrous – I told them – develop a harmony and then I'll come in because I can hold a tune and neither of you can.

The first time I ever saw Tom Verlaine he was playing by himself on audition night at a place called Reno Sweeney's – the first thing I saw as he tried to get through the door with the guitar on his back and carrying a tweed amplifier was Richard Hell getting up from the table and going to help him carry his stuff to the stage, but at the door I could see that Tom was wearing a ratty old T-shirt but that Richard was not satisfied until he tore the shoulder so that one of Tom's nipples were showing. Tom came on and played three songs and during the second song I leaned over to my manager Terry Ork, who wanted to manage and be a patron of the arts to some kind of rock and roll band, with me at the center, but I knew I was missing something and so was Tom, and I could see that we each could fill in the missing part of each other.

So Terry worked at Cinemabilia – a Hollywood posters and mugshots of the stars. Richard Hell also worked there and Terry asks him to talk to Tom about my request for us to get together and see if we could mesh. That happened. Tom and Richard came down to the loft which was in Chinatown and we passed my guitar back and forth between Tom and I and then Richard and Tom went off in some kind of corner and had some kind of a conference and came back and said "yes – let's try it."
 So Tom and I coerced Richard (who did not want to play bass because he said that working with Tom was a visit to the dentist). Tom wanted him to do it and so did I – I cornered him at the loft and told him that he had movie star looks and that we needed him because in addition to bass playing he had very definite ideas about the way we should look and present ourselves. In hindsight, I call it "The Glamor of Poverty".

Our first rehearsals felt like we had moved into a new dimension that didn't exist on earth and that we were cosmic teenage hobos with guitars who had joined the circus – the interstellar circus I might add. There was a hell of a lot of laughter and knocking mic stands down and rolling around on the floor continuing to play sing and laugh. It was the cahoots. We invited people down to see us and it was super hilarious. Then we rented our own theater and put on our first show. Even with the best of intentions we could not replicate what we had experienced while alone rehearsing in the loft in front of an audience. Something got lost and something was gained.

Throughout the years Richard Hell held a grudge against me, even though I almost left the band because of his departure, but with Fred Smith the music got ethereal and majestic. It was a second kind of Television, and one which endured until I left amicably but frustrated in 2007. They have added Tom's buddy and are continuing to use the name Television, which our band permitted so long as there were three of the original four, in case anyone left or died. I should not have permitted that but it's water under the bridge. They are in South America and then Australia and then they go to London. Cookies crumble. They just do.

So they have this exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called "Chaos to Couture" with Punk as it's underlying influence, and here I must give Richard Hell his props. I can say in all honesty that Richard Hell in the person of himself and no one else, made an impact on fashion that exploded like a nuclear bomb the ramifications of which still continue.

I want to say this again, so I am not misunderstood.

Richard Hell had a vision of fashion that no other single person on earth had. He is entirely individually responsible for Televisions early look and everything that came after.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Quickening, Id Ego and Personas.

  • The human being (woman) usually only has one child at a time. One birth – sometimes twins, either identical or fraternal. Rarely a triplet and above usually due to intervention of some medical sort.

    While the fetus and infant is in the womb it is in a state of bliss – after "the quickening", this new person has its own heartbeat and lives an aquatics state. Recent advances in imaging have shown that this fetus seems to enjoy and have a lot of fun in the womb, kicking and playing, masturbating (yes, it's already too late not to grow hairy palms) and having the life of its mother's life by being inside, breathing the peritoneal fluids and being fed through the umbilicus, which in cutting my own sons umbilicus taught me, is no flimsy rope but a really tough multi-structured entity.

    What was once heaven turns into hell after the "Great Flood" written about in all the world's archetypal history but really refers to the water breaking, which sends a woman into labor. Now the previously glorious womb turns into a Python like squeezing device, trying to expel the infant, who is probably going into shock just about now. After the woman has dilated to 10 or 13 cm, in a healthy birth we have the crown coming out. As a man I can barely imagine the suffering that the woman must go through. (My only analogy might be trying to crap out an intact watermelon – boys, remember that – your mother went through that agony which is from the early Greek and means "The Trial").

    As the head is the largest part of an infant, getting the width of its cheekbones and skull out of the vaginal opening usually results in the rest of the infant flopping out quite easily with the placenta and the other mucositis. That part I can barely remember, because in 1951 they routinely knocked the women out, and some of whatever it was manages to get through the umbilicus so that I came out woozy.

    This is not a first-person singular autobiography so suffice it to say that I do remember the doctor holding me upside down and smacking me on my ass to get me to cry, and in hindsight I see it as a kind of Christian confirmation: "Welcome to the World – This is what you can Expect from it." I guess they do all the normal things like cutting the umbilicus and tying it all off and suctioning mucus out of the infants ears, nose, mouth and throat. Then they swaddle the infant and put a hat over the soft spot – whether you like it or not, your first yarmulke! (I think that is hilarious)

    But anyway after my mother woke up they brought me to her and I remember staring at her in an existential shock – where was I, who is this woman and what happened? My mother reports her own version: She says that when our eyes met she thought she was looking into the eyes of the oldest man she had ever met, but that after about 90 seconds I softened and became a baby.

    The infant comes out with its own Id, the roots of which mean "one's own self". To this newly arisen being, everything exists as its self in one of two states – comfort and satiation, and hunger, discomfort and frustration. I can certainly tell you that I felt like an idiot, being a baby means being so dependent on others. But the id still exists in a primordial (before number) and primeval (untouched) state of cosmic bliss.
     This state exists even into the playground where a young toddler might see a toy she likes and just goes ahead and grabs it and plays with it with no respect to the other child that might be the owner. When the object is withdrawn from the child who is taken it, it might raise a fuss declaring "mine, mine, mine". Unashamed pure id.

  • After a time the child begins to see and accept that there are boundaries between things as well as between him or her and other people etc. This facilitates the growth of what is called ego – and absolutely necessary instrument of discrimination and boundary acceptance. There is nothing wrong with having an ego. You will have an ego for your entire incarnated life, and there is nothing mysterious or bad about it. Now the child has an id and an ego. Fine, but here comes something else called persona, from the root sona meaning sound because in Greek theater several men (women were not permitted to act) would where various masks and change the sound of their voices to assume the different characters in the plays.
  •  A person begins to build various personas with which to deal with the various circumstances and vagaries of life, and whomever that person is having to deal with. Man does not just have one personality, he has lots and lots of them – practically a different one for every situation. That's one of the things people don't understand about personality – it might be a kaleidoscope of 1000 parts which arrange and rearrange depending upon whom they are dealing with. When I was growing up I had both white and black friends – when I was with only black people and I was the only white person, I developed a persona – a personality who knew their lingo and slang and could hang with them. I certainly did not expose my parents to that personality. I had a different personality for them, and I hid many other personalities from their vision. I probably had 12 different personalities in school. One I showed the principal and teachers and others I showed different groups of people.

    So, what Mr. Gurdjieff reiterated is absolutely true. Man's name is Legion. He is not a single person, ever. I use the following analogy often – the man who sets the alarm clock is not the man who has to get up to it, or there would be no need for a snooze button. In fact, if a man were singular, he would probably never need a clock at all. At the Priere they devised a manner of drinking a certain volume of water in order to get up at a certain time, using the bladder as an alarm clock. A singular man without quotation marks or anything else could set his alarm clock and would wake up simultaneously as the gears inside the clock prepared to sound the alarm.

    But all of these personalities are not the worst of our troubles. The worst thing imaginable gets imagined – a "perfect self" who is never wrong and should be worshiped. It is the very tsizm of idolatry. And embarrassment or stage fright or anything else like it occurs when we believe that the "other" can see both that imaginary self and the flawed self that actually manifests. This imaginary self is our foremost enemy. It must be ruthlessly ferreted out and destroyed. But a person cannot do this on their own, or perhaps it is so rare that it might as well be a fact that no one can do it on their own.

    But at the beginning of the work – when one meets our work and our tradition, one is told that one must not change anything in the personalities except to observe them in an objective manner, as if we stood outside of ourselves and could see ourselves as an actual walking talking object. And one of the reasons why we are told not to change is because our only desire is to change in the direction of the imaginary worshipful false self, and if we change, as much as it may hurt to not change, we will be playing a shell game with ourselves and we will never see what others have seen of us. We will try to hide that we are sorry-assed pigheaded idiots, who are filled with internal considering and what are called "Requirements." Even if a man could just get rid of requirements he will have come a long way in our work – accepting reality as it is rather than how we would like it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

ID, Ego and Personas.

 In my experience which includes a full blown classical Kundalini Awakening, while on tour in Osaka, Japan, and which took 18 months to get a handle on the explosive force which would even wake me out of my sleep into a psychosexual pinball game on tilt. It really is kind of funny because I came back to New York and sought out kundalini yoga classes where everyone else was trying to awaken the kundalini and I was trying to get it to go back to sleep or rest. I could not look upwards with my eyes because it would instigate another episode. I had read all of the ancient texts such as The Hatha Yoga Pradikipa by Svatmarama, The Geranda Samhita, The Shva Samhita, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Shat Krama Chakras and many more.

I learned that what I thought was metaphoric was literal, and what seemed to be literal turned out to be metaphoric. Well, Mr. Gurdjieff does say that we live upside down and topsy-turvy, so I guess I found out about that, pretty damn impressive. But this post isn't about that. It's about what is called the "Ego". When a child is born it arrives with ID – the essence or in Sanskrit, the Rasa, or "Juice" of the self. This ID is the root of the words identity and identify, ad infinitum… It fills the entire creation from the baby's point of view – absolutely everything is "Me". That's why young toddlers play in the playground but separately, and if one sees a toy it likes it simply takes it and if it is told to give it back to its owner it replies with the words "mine, mine, it's mine", and the parent has to superego the child into relinquishing the other person's property.

Somewhere between two and three or four years old the now toddler begins to identify that there is a boundary, or separation and that there are separate things and separate beings such as "mother", "father" and "brother or sister" or "Friend". This is the beginning of the boundary which is the "Ego Essence". All of this is simple developmental stages which were probably better as Paget delineated them, but I am working my way towards a particular slant.

Now that you have an Ego, and you begin to recognize boundaries and concepts like mine and yours as separate. All well and good. We can't have human beings just simply walking around like zombies taking what they like as complete moronic idiots, can we? (sounds like some people I have heard about: the 1%)

Personally I don't think so, but now that we have the ID and the Ego we can begin to build the person--ality. The personality of course comes from the root word sona which means sound – as a few men would put on a play in ancient Greece they would simply switch masks to play different roles. The men also played the women, as the women were not permitted to act. So here we have a young being in the midst of grown-up beings that haven't been (even as much as they would have liked to) given a proper upbringing – so that the sins of the fathers visit upon the sons unto the third or fourth generation, after which they wash out but are replaced with pretty much the same load of shit.

We are very proud of our educational system, which has a child sitting in a chair hunched over with a writing implement in his or her hand for something like eight hours a day, five days a week. At the conclusion of 12 years of this, they are usually "graduated" either into the workforce or further education (I refuse to call it higher education – it's just college). That involves sitting in lecture halls listening to so-called experts prattle out their curriculum. And so it goes…

Some anthropologists want to change the name of our species, and they are serious. They want to change the name from Homo Sapiens Sapiens (man who is aware of his own awareness) to "Homo Sapiens Sedentarius , man who does not move. He sits in front of the television or the computer or the dinner table or in the car, and he hardly knows what to do with himself as regards physical health, so he joins health clubs for six months and quits after two weeks. This is due to the deviation in the half steps of the Scale and Solfege, going round and round on the right-hand side of the Enneagram performing his little songs of do re mi, do re mi, do re mi, or 142142142142 his whole life.

As an aside, when I was eight years old I had a hamster. I loved my hamster and I used to take really good care of him and watch him run around on his little wheel. I often wondered if he knew he wasn't going anywhere for that he was not leaving anywhere, but one day my hamster ate a little ball which was hanging from the curtains, and died from being poisoned by the flame retardant chemicals. That guy meant a lot to me. And with his wheel he taught me as I watched him endlessly.

So, in growing up we imitate and invent characters for different situations. These are our personalities. Everyone can have as many as they like. Personality is strange, because it is built out of everything we aren't, really, and it is built as needed, so to say. Man's name is Legion, and the guy that said that wasn't kidding. As I was growing up, when I was with my black friends I learned their lingo, and when I was with other musicians I had a different persona. I had a persona that I allowed my parents to see, and many that I hoped they would never discover. As a Teenager, I had more personalities than I could keep track of.

Eventually a man decides he's got to embark on a money making something. He has to do ordinary work, whether it involves millions of dollars or penny candy means nothing. He struts around with his personalities like roosters – have you ever seen a rooster farm? They each have to have their own little hut so they can strut. Once on tour we rounded a bend in either Kentucky or Tennessee and by golly there was a rooster farm. I had never seen a rooster farm so I asked the driver to slow down. It was fascinating. Each rooster had his own A-frame house and they would either strut back and forth in front of it or they would climb on top of it and preen themselves. I just couldn't believe it. I felt like the luckiest boy on earth that day, because I had never seen a real rooster farm, and now I had. If the roosters got too close to each other they would peck to the death, just like men.

So a man has a job or work or a career (he gets fancier as we move along) and he becomes somewhere within the 99% who aren't the one percent who are super rich.

I never wanted a job because I thought it would harden like cement around my feet and I would be inmobile and stuck in that one place, so I became a musician of sorts playing in a rock 'n roll band and traveling a lot and making some recordings. My definition of a successful musician is as follows: "a successful musician is paid to go where tourists pay to go, and when you get there they applaud."

Enough about me. Let's get back to this study of the realm of personalities. No one, and I mean no one, even Mr. Gurdjieff, has only one personality. Everybody needs at least a handful if not an entire crowd. I was once doing some quiet work and I heard a murmuring just like you hear at the intermission of a Broadway play where everyone goes to the lobby or outside and has 1000 conversations, only in my quiet work they were all my different personalities having what seemed like endless conversations. I almost have to laugh at myself for that one. It sure was a bucket load of Richards, and they were all capable of saying "I" and causing me endless difficulties and problems.

They are still there chattering away, but I have learned to not bother listening to them. I have an Agenda; I have a Aim, and it consists of providing service to the Work at large.

I've been inside the "Inner Circle of Conscious Humanity", and I like it there a lot. I don't know about you, but I expect to spend my dotage there, until the undertaker overtakes me.

I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth, and I don't believe in luck. I was asked if I believed in God when I was little and I said "no, I know". The idiot adults couldn't get past the phonemes and asked me what I meant and I told them, "I don't need to believe because I know, and knowledge is superior to belief."
It still is.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Burnt Toast.

Burnt Toast

This is an old work story called burnt toast. There was a man who woke up one day feeling wonderful and full of life and very excited about the day ahead. He was married to a fine woman, had a nice house and a nice car and a wonderful career where he never felt like he was actually having to work, but that his work was fun, and brought Win/Win situations to every endeavor.

However there was one thing he hated, and that was when his wife would burn the toast. So today he wakes up feeling wonderful, gets dressed and starts down the staircase to the dining area but his nose perks up and he thinks he begins to smell burnt toast. His wife had been preoccupied with one of the children and had in fact burnt the toast. She tried scraping it and put another couple of slices in the toaster, but he had smelled the burnt toast. His good mood was destroyed and he stormed into the room and asked his wife what she smelled, and she admitted that she had burnt the toast. Now she also, lost her good mood in the smell of burnt toast.

The man ate his breakfast hurriedly and went to the garage and started his car and began backing it up into the street but he wasn't really thinking and his rear end collided with another car coming down the street. The driver of that car had been in a very good mood this morning – he had gotten a raise and had proposed and was now engaged to be married and he loved it. Until that unconscious bastard banged into his car. Now that guy was fuming and he smelled burnt toast. They exchanged insurance information and each went on their separate way smelling and tasting burnt toast.

The man's secretary had woken up in a great mood. She had finally caught up completely with her work at the office and this allowed her a little bit of free time to attend to her own needs, such as polishing her nails. Her boss, our man, roared into the office screaming at her for polishing her nails and telling her to get back to work. Now the secretary smelled burnt toast instead of nail polish.

The men had a meeting that was almost certain to earn him a great deal of money but because he was in such a foul mood he transferred the taste of burnt toast to his client who promptly fired him and went somewhere else.

Perhaps you can begin to see how negativity spreads like a contagion – just like a virus on the border between life and nonlife it spreads like wildfire, and by the end of the day perhaps 1000 people have been affected by this one event of the wife burning the toast by accident.

That's the story of the Burnt Toast. There is nothing more to say and it is a perfectly true story being played out all over the world. People have requirements, no matter what they are, and if they are not fulfilled – well then, burnt toast.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

What is the Work?

What is the Work is a question often posed at the beginning of each semester at the Gurdjieff Foundations as well as the question: "Why do you keep coming here?"
These are questions not easily answered, as one's ideas of the meaning of Gurdjieff's Work tend to change over the years. At the very beginning when he showed up in Moscow and began to accept pupils the first thing he would ask them was, "Why are you coming to me?", And "What is your aim?" And then he would say to them that if their aims and his correlated (and at the time he declined to describe his personal aim), then they could walk along together for a while. But at some time in the future perhaps their aims will diverge, at which time they would of necessity go their separate ways.
He made all of this very clear to everyone who came to him – that to follow him was not easy and would never be easy but only get harder and harder, because "man" is a swine, unbalanced and malevolently formed. Gurdjieff said the same thing that Jesus said: "Man's name is Legion."
In physics work is defined as a certain amount of energy required to stimulate activities among the molecules of water in order to raise their general temperature by 1°. That's pretty cheap work, and Mr. Gurdjieff emphasized the fact that his Work was very expensive, requiring many zeros. One, 10, 100 and so on. He once said to the D Hartmann's that he could raise their temperature to 100°C (the degree at which water turns from liquid to vapor), but that they could not remain there but would return to their own temperature. He told them that they must work on themselves to increase their temperature to 100°C and keep it there.
Notice that if you have water in a container and you heat it up to 100°C it will evaporate and become water vapor and no longer constrained by the container that held the liquid – now the vapor is constrained by the shape of the room you may be in, and there is no way (according to entropy, the second law) for the vapor to condense back into the bottle. So, not only do you need an alchemical vessel or bottle but you also need it to be in the shape of an alembic, so that the vapor condenses in the alembic and drips down into another container, but that which is in the new container is purer because the contaminants and debris remain in the alembic.
So, as an alternative method of looking at this one can use the image Gurdjieff used of the vessel containing metal powders, where they heat will melt them into larger and larger chunks – less "Legion", and more single person. That is the right direction.
These larger chunks can be made magnetic, or radioactive or radiant. There are many things one can do once one has become a single individual that are not within the scope of powers of the ordinary man.
Of course, these new powers must not be used, because they are simple signposts that one is headed in the right direction – they are Great Natures own powers which as a last resort she bestows upon a man in an attempt to get him back inside the net of illusion. One must recognize them as what they really are – signs that escape from lower orders of laws is imminent. This means that that point is that where a man must be more discriminatory and vigilant in order to congeal these new powers so that they cannot be taken from one – one must fuse them into one's own being.
But most of us are so very far from that. One of the aphorisms that used to be in Dr. Welsh's basement and which came from the Priere said "I Love He Who Loves Work".
Once upon a time it was a thorn in my side – I did not know what the work entailed and I did not want to work, as far as I knew as my associative thinking allowed me to consider what work was.
Now I see differently, and I am eager to work, according to the five strivings: on myself, with others and for the Work itself. I have become a grateful servant, a watch guard on point, and I Am Responsible. I Have an Aim and cannot be dissuaded from it.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Olive Press

This is BTW, an old, old story:

Once a long time ago, the Devil and his ministers and demons held a conference. The Devil was tired of using all his manpower to assign a devil to each person in order to squeeze negativity out of each one separately, and he sought for a way to set up a kind of "toll booth", or other such contrivance that would squeeze and suck out the negativity of many people at once, or at least free up some demonic power to be used on another front.

There were many suggestions, but the one that interested the Devil the most was the idea of the "olive press".

If you know anything about olive oil, then you won't have a hard time following this logic: First and best olive oil is called cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, which is really sweet high grade olive oil. Then there is second cold pressing, followed by third cold pressing, after which the olive need to be heated to get out more oil. Then there is final pressing which crushes as much oil out of each olive as can be gotten. The remnant is simple pulp which is thrown away.

One of the Devils most trusted Demons, who had been studying engineering in his spare time suggested setting up mechanical devices all over the world that would squeeze the oil of negativity out of people as if they were olives.

First cold pressing virgin olive oil could be gotten from small children simply be placing obstacles in their way, like high walled cribs, and those leashed that parents put their children in, and they invented the word NO, which they taught to parents all over the world...

Every time a parent or guardian would tell a child NO (try to imagine how many times a child hears that word before it is even 5 years old -- it's astronomical), a little trickle of really high quality negativity would be squeezed out of the child, and eventually the word NO would have a siphoning effect, and the child would learn the word and use it on it's parents and then the olive press would work on the parents too, so that this one word, a negative word, NO, which had never been in Man's vocabulary until then, would serve as a wonderful way to introduce children to the world of demonic negativity. At the same time, at about the age of two, soon after the child started to talk, it would learn this negative word and use it on the parents, and the oil would start to flow from all sides.

Yummy, thought all the demons and imps. They applauded this engineer Demon and called him a genius and immediately began teaching the parents to say NO to all sorts of harmless things like a child exploring it's world. They added "DON'T" and other spicy words to the parents vocabulary and the olive press was all set. Nothing for the demons to do but sit back and enjoy their contrivance at work. Wonderful juicy extra virgin oil out of mankind.

Then they thought about the adolescents, and their natural rebelliousness, and they added a few adjustments and they managed to create huge fights between parents and their teenagers. This is "wonderful", they thought, "magical", now they had a second pressing and got tons of delicious oil from families.

The engineer demon wasn't finished. He called together all the architect devils together and asked them to influence the world by setting up devices all over the place to squeeze negativity out of otherwise calm and "good" people.

They worked all through the night (which in hell lasts forever), and then put their plans into action. Some examples of "olive presses" that squeeze negativity out of ordinary folks might be:

Hotel elevators that are too small, so that when everybody checks in or checks out they have to rub up against one another.

Construction on highways that cause bottlenecks and traffic jams, which drive people nuts and cause them to honk their horns at each other (which by the way, does nothing positive - makes nobody go any faster, but just increases everybody's tension)

Squeaky brakes. General increase of noise in cities. Narrow sidewalks. Detours. Crowded shopping malls.

You name it... the list goes on and on. And on and on and on.

Now, I play a game. I listen and look for the olive presses. When I see one I yell out (not out-loud but to myself),


I ask myself if I am going to let the olive press squeeze negativity out of me and I use their own word on them and say inside, NO.

I see "olive presses" all day long, and hardly any of them get any negativity out of me because I see them for what they are. Contrivances set up by the Devil and his cohorts.

How do you re-act when you are face to face with an "olive press"? Do they "get you", or do you recognize them?

Now that I have explained this subject, I wonder if it might be of any use to anybody else, to be on the lookout for olive presses and resist letting them squeeze you? Or will they succeed day after day getting the oils needed for the fires of hell? It's up to each of you your very self. Please let me know, and if you notice any "olive presses" that I have not mentioned, please make me a list, so I can be on guard for these nasty devices.

Right now they are using a jackhammer in front of my apartment, and have been making all kinds of noise from 8 in the morning till 5 at the very least. I know that they are only doing their construction jobs, but they are also without even knowing it, acting as an olive press to all the tenants in my building. They may get oil out of my neighbors (in fact I have heard some of them complain in the elevator), but they get very little out of me.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The I AM in each of us & the Homunculus Concept.

 When I was five or six years old a mantra came to me. I said it over and over for several years, especially when seeing "other people" It read:

"I AM the same I AM as you are, when you say I AM" 

The ONLY difference is conditions; if I had been born into your body by your mother at your time and place and conditions, I would BE you. Completely, substantially and fully; I WOULD BE YOU. Not like you, not a doppelganger but actually you. The only thing that exists is relationship.

I said this mantra day and night for years, until it became an inviolate part of me. I AM as you ARE, and we all live as One, fractured only holographically.

If you take an ordinary photograph, and break it into pieces, every little part will be in focus, but only contain part of the image; However, if I take a Hologram, and break it into smaller pieces, each piece will contain the entire picture, but the smaller the piece, the less focused the whole would be.

This means that the search for what are known as Homunculi ("little man") is important to the alchemist and hermeticist. Above you can see two pictures of the same ear. The one on the right is easily recognized as an ear, but the one on the left (the same ear upside down) can be with little effort be seen as a fetus in the womb. This represents a homunculi. A little picture of the upside down ear shows the entire body as it forms in the womb.

This is how the Chinese build a method of acupuncture in the ear, so the outer rim of the ear now represents the spine, the ear lobe now represents the brain and inside the ear are represented the internal organs and their respective 'meridians'. 

So the Hermetic Alchemist looks for Homunculi, and the study of ratio and music turns out to be a very large piece of the Holographic Universe. Chemistry and Alchemy were born of the same parents, as did Astronomy and Astrology. Religion and Science were also one, and the schism between them has cost the world it's primordial and primeval connection to the levels above and below. Admittedly, each seeks the other, because without the Alchemical Marriage between the two, the world is doomed. The Earth will have failed; great Nature will have failed, and the Sun through which the Sun generates it's radiance in the sky may fail.

The greater universe may not even notice, but we sure would. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Imperfection of Perfection

The Imperfection of Perfection

When I am working with my musical students on guitar I teach musical theory which is based on very ancient sources – many thousands of years before Pythagoras, whose name means "He who is as a Python" (the snake that kills by squeezing the breath our of it's victim). The basis of this beginning of musical theorem is the concept of Ratio, which is based on the ancient Greek root word Logos.

The word Logos can mean a symbol, such as copyrighted shapes that designate products and companies; Logos can also mean Word, in the sense of a word being an image phenom that is a symbol for something else. It can also be translated into English as the word Ratio/Symbol/Word, which makes the beginning of the Gospel of John all the more interesting, because an equally efficacious beginning might be as follows:

"In the beginning was Ratio, and Ratio was with God, and Ratio was God". This is as fruitful as "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"

Ratio is defined by the relationships that exist between differing sizes, numbers or shapes. In music, I only need a single string (called a mono chord) to study the ratios of what is known as the Major Scale. Here again we come up against language variants – when I say the major scale I do not mean that there is another scale, because all other scales and chords are developed by means of this one static formula: whole step, whole step, halfstep; whole step, whole step, whole step, halfstep. But this scale interval numbers of 123456 and 7 can start at any pitch so long as they follow the formula WWH, WWWH, WWH, WWWH, WWH, WWWH and so on. On a piano or similar keyboard this is why the black keys come in sets of twos and threes. Now let's return to the word ratio and look at the ratios within the major scale:

1:1 unison, (the tonic) and in perfect agreement with itself – this agreement or agree ability we call consonance, and at the very bottom we have dissonance to the point of what we call noise. The next ratio would be found by stopping the string halfway and allowing only half of the string to sound. This was give us the ratio:

1:2 equivalence, (the octave) and perfectly in agreement with the tonic and sharing its name or designation. Any multiple of two will yield octaves straight up in a vertical line, and always yield even numbers. Then we come upon the next ratio –

2:3 the Dominant (the fifth major scale tone) it is dominant because in a world of unison and equivalence we have no measure, but the dominant is a different tone completely, although it stands in complete agreement with the tonic. Then –

3:4 the Subdominant (the fourth major scale tone). A little bit of arithmetic may help us here; the four is an octave of the two, and one of the threes is above while the other one is below – this is why they are called the Dominant and Subdominant and are also considered perfect in relationship to the tonic.
We have reached the end of the intervals considered perfect, and now I get to ask a rhetorical question: if I state that there is something wrong with "Perfection", what might it be?

The answer is rather simple: Anything that has reached perfection has no reason to change or to move, and is therefore nonexistent. There is nothing in the phenomenological universe we live in that is not subject to change over time as well as in motion relative to all the other factors in the universe. So we need imperfection and asymmetry in order to sustain anything at all. The next ratio is:

4:5 the Mediant (the third major step in the major scale) played along with the tonic it is not perfect. Next we have:

5:6 this is the minor third and contains a good deal of suspicious sorrow when played along with the tonic. We're going to skip the ratios of 6:7 and 7:8 because they are only found within portions of the major scale. The next ratio we find usable is:

8:9 the super tonic (the second major tone in a major scale). It is also what is known as a whole step. Then penultimate, we have the ratio of:

15:16 this is a minor second, or a half-step  As the numbers get higher and the notes get closer together they become less and less affable or consonant and more and more dissonant. In the tempered scale that we use in modern music the only more dissonant and ugly combination of notes is found in something called the Tritone, which is also called the Devils Interval, because in the major scale it rests between the perfects of the Fourth and Fifth and is equally three whole steps from the Tonic and it's Octave.

Now if you have followed this simple progression from unison and perfect consonance down to the utmost dissonance, we find that we can utilize these ratios to create what is known as the Major Scale.
1-2-34-5-6-78-2-34-5-6-78 etc. ad infinitum...

Now we should have a look at the words of Jesus as he tells his disciples to "be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect".

The Greek word in the Gospels is 'teleios', which is used 48 times in the New testament, and has multiple meanings, meaning both Perfect or Mature. Certainly Jesus could not have meant Perfect as I have described the Creation, because as we have noted, nothing in the phenomenological universe can be perfect. Anything that was perfect would automatically disappear or become non-existent and this includes the entire Creation.

Mr. Gurdjieff knew this well, as he differentiates the original condition of Creation by the term "Autoegocrat", which means essentially "I govern by myself" – this is a condition which must exist outside of time or space,, or what Mr. Gurdjieff calls "The Mighty Heropass"; the equivalent of the Hindu God Kali, the wrathful goddess who represents the irrevocable destruction of all things through the inexorable movement of time.

And as we have seen through our creation of the major scale by ratio, that a single octave is asymmetrical, which concurs with modern physics in its examination of the big Bang which describes the creation of a minute ratio differential between matter and antimatter, where for every million particles of antimatter there may be 1,000,001 particles of matter. It is that minuscule differential in favor of matter/energy that allows for our universe to exist

Mr. Gurdjieff calls this change from perfection to a cyclic asymmetry by the term "Trogoautoegocrat", a term that means "I Govern by Eating Myself", this symbol for which is called the Oroboros, the pictured of a snake eating its own tail, which by the way proved to be the solution to what is now known as the benzene ring, which opened the door to organic chemistry, discovered by a fellow named Kukulke. This is also the secret of the third force of which Mr. Gurdjieff asserts that we are blind. He calls us "third force blind".

  • Mr. Gurdjieff asserts that every manifestation requires three equal and opposite forces to come into existence, which he calls the "Active, the "Passive" and the "Reconciling". They are also known as "Affirming", "Denying" and "Reconciling". These correlate exactly to the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost as well as the parent of this concept of three attributes of reality that braid together to form the Creation which is the Hindu Philosophy of The Samkya (which translates as "enumeration") and which calls the forces the three Gunas, or tendencies, Rajas or active; Tamas or the resistance of Inertia, and Sattva, which sits between them in the same manner as the backwards S in the double fish Yin Yang symbol of Chinese Alchemy, and is considered balanced and "perfect" in the meaning of reconciling and mature.

Physics also describes these three forces, although our Scientists do not know the esoteric or inner meaning of their schemata by the designation of the three forces as Centrifugal, or Shiva, the God of Creation and Destruction both. The Big Bang falls under the authority of Shiva which blows all things apart; Physics' opposite of Centrifugal is for Centripetal, or inward force that is under the auspices of the God Vishnu, the "preserver", who causes gravity and for things to have stability through time. The third force in Physics is something rarely thought about, although without which, centrifugal and centripetal cancel each other out, is The Revolving force, The God Brahma, who has no devotees in Hinduism, but which creates the process of the Trogoautoegocrat, meaning that everything rotates either around itself, like the Earth, which creates the illusions of day and night (although the Sun, which also revolves, pours out radiant energy in all directions at all times), or revolves around some other center, yielding spirals all the way from the fingertips to the galaxies.

Again we are brought home to the Hermetic formula: "As Above; So Below"

Be then as mature as your chosen deity, understanding that "God" may not be as perfect as the usual reading of Jesus' words would seem to apply. Mr. Gurdjieff said it best when he noted that "Angel can teach only one thing; Devil can teach everything" Become as meek as Doves and as wise as Serpents. Drink with the Devil, but leave him to pay the bill.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Prayer of Jabez

The Prayer of Jabez

Hidden amongst the Chronicles in the Bible is a very strange paragraph which deviates from the line of heritage that Chronicles is mostly concerned with; that is, so and so begat so-and-so begat so and so, and so on (pun intended). Embedded in this 1 Chronicles 4:10 is something called the story of and the prayer of Jabez.

It is a very short piece which goes something like this, paraphrasing in my own language that which is translated slightly differently in various versions of the Bible: "And a woman birthed a child she named Jabez, which is translated as "I delivered him in pain and sorrow ", and Jabez was considered more righteous than his brothers and he prayed:

"Dear Lord, Oh, that Thou would bless me and increase my purview, and let me not lapse into Unconsciousness, whereby I may cause Harm, and our Gracious Father Endlessness Granted This unto Him ":

Also rendered as "And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."

After that detour the Chronicles returns to the lineage of who begat whom begat who, almost endlessly. Torturous to read, but this simple Jewel stands in stark relief. How am I to interpret this short prayer? First, he asks for a blessing – and the blessing among the Jewish people of antiquity was the placing of the dying patriarchs hand upon the head of his firstborn son and imparting to him the spiritual power and blessing that the father has to give. Then, he asks for an increase in purview, which is the area under which one has control – one might also read it as "increase my reach and the power thereof". Finally, in the third section of the prayer he asks for God's continuous presence, so that he may not cause harm or suffer in vain himself.

These are three lofty requests, but it then says that God granted him that which he requested.

For me today the most important part of the prayer is connected with the word purview, the definition of which is: 

1a : the body or enacting part of a statute
b : the limit, purpose, or scope of a statute
2: the range or limit of autha : the body or enacting part of a statute
b : the limit, purpose, or scope of a statute
: the range or limit of authority, competence, responsibility, concern, or intention
: range of vision, understanding, or cognizanceority, competence, responsibility, concern, or intention
3: range of vision, understanding, or cognizance

I am particularly concerned with definition 2, which describes the scope or boundary of one's authority and responsibility.

The question then falls upon me: what is the scope and boundary of my authority, competence, responsibility, concern or intention?

Certainly, the government of the United States is beyond my purview. I can have a small role in voting, and I can have a horizontal input with my activities, but these are attempts to enlarge my purview, acting outside of my real and authentic powers, perhaps in order to attempt to bend a higher power towards my wishes. But if I recognize my own purview I will come to understand that I am incredibly small – practically nothing. In my room I am large, in my building I am smaller and in my neighborhood I am a tiny speck of life which goes hither and thither.

If I read a newspaper or watch news on the television and take-up a political opinion which I then attempt to foist onto my fellows, I am looking and speaking outside of my actual purview. If I am to be a mature adult, and not simply a grown-up child who asks childishly for things to be different, I thereby become a fool. So I do not gossip, and I do not engage in useless dialogue, "barroom arguments" or anything of that nature. Men do not realize how much of their own energy is wasted by this frivolous imaginary powers that they pretend they might be in possession of. They are NOT.

If I am honest and sincere with myself and allow myself to be disillusioned from these imaginary false and chimera capabilities, and very soon come to the conclusion that my real purview is vertical while radiating out horizontally some short distance from myself. But myself – that self which is beneath the false and the ludicrous, within those bounds is my true purview. I may pray as Jabez did, that my purview or sphere of influence becomes enlarged, but I cannot do it – I have no power in that area. One might say that one's being has a number of limits: my actual physical body, the body of my emotions, the body of my mental facilities and my attention and powers of image making, or constructive imagination – constructive imagination is what I need prior to any real impact in the world of inertia, the world of things, and I cannot influence the being condition of another, unless there is a common aim or search for commonality.

Today this is my prayer. That we may find commonality, because we are all of one species.