Today I Saw my Face

Behind the mask of hair, obscurity of vision and perception vanishes, albeit slowly. The stark truth of Life-as-it is always hovering beneath the mask calling me to clear my mind, open my ears, free my eyes, and open my heart.

The cloud of hair and identity that vanished before my eyes is frightening and freeing. The shadow of well-hidden thoughts and fears found in the places where ordinary light cannot perceive.

The masculine hair and beard are a natural state of physiology that has been distorted to mean wisdom, virility and dominance, a remnant of mammalian and simian ancestry.

Masculine hair also marks a distinction from the feminine. 

As a man raised in societal norms, I have been programmed to take the 'either or' position of either I am a 'man’ or a ‘woman’, a binary delusion. The fear instilled in me was the masculine fear that a man must not possess the traits of a woman.  Men gotta’ be tough, protective, ruthless, strong, virile and cunning -- ‘masculine’. Women are soft, compliant, obedient servants for man. This binary model is a distortion of both the masculine and feminine. A female bear protecting its progeny will go up against overwhelming strength for love and care of her offspring. Unfortunately, this trait does not always show-up in humans in either gender.

Initially, I grew my hair and beard to spite my parents and society. Hippies were still hip, and I had no clue what that even meant. My father was obsessed with his appearance. He had mirrors in every room of the house. Unfortunately, he was blinded by himself. His hair Just so. Each lock in perfect order. He was attractive to women and used that for his own devices.

My hair, mostly unconsciously, was both figuratively and actually a line of defense and separation to shield me from my environment -- my family first, that translated into my social life outside the family structure. Sometimes, I wonder if I used my hair to keep people away by distorting my 'attractiveness', as a way to protect me from intimacy and overwhelming forces that seemed to be in intimate relationships? What a sad delusion. 

Hair, in the context of this writing, is a metaphor and a physical manifestation of that metaphor.  Hair is an ancient mammalian and simian trait for protection from the elements and perhaps also a sensing function?

A study was done with native American trackers who culturally had long hair. When these individuals cut their hair, their tracking ability was diminished. Was this anecdotal? Or perhaps, this was an adaptation that was unconsciously accessed for survival from ancient ancestry? An antenna of sorts?


The story of Samson and Delilah, when the female, Delilah, cut the man's hair, Samson. I think this story illustrated a sort of emasculation by the woman (this is toxic masculinity). Men and the patriarchy are always blaming the woman for the man's 'sins'.  Adam and Eve — of course the woman teamed up with the serpent to tempt man, now man has two scapegoats to blame and deflect from accountability. These forms of masculine and feminine are archetypes. 

Archetypes are mirrors of ourselves. They are neither noumena nor phenomena. They are images created by a machine mind — an elaborate matrix, a digital reality based on Ones and zeros. Yet, underneath the appearance or mirage that is conjured by desire, attachment, form and emptiness, there exists a ground of being that transcends the noumenal and resultantly the phenomenal matrix. There is no spoon. Nothing  to bend to my will or by my will.

How is it that a man could not be consecrated to God and touch a woman, and in some traditions a woman should not touch a man to be ceremonially clean. Personally, I think this has caused a great rift, the expulsion of man and woman from the garden due to a separation of being that is locked in the binary good and evil delusion.

Samson took a vow to not cut his hair, drink wine, not touch dead things or things that were ceremonially impure. He did this to live a separated/consecrated life from his tradition — a Nazir. He wanted to be with Delilah and gave up his secret power to Delilah which caused his demise, because of what the tradition has ascribed in patriarchal tradition. Unfortunately, Delilah was also caught in the delusion. 

This has played out over and over. It really has nothing to do with gender at all. Rather it is the wounded personality that keeps up the performance on the stage of life. At some point, we will all come to the real-i-za-tion that the mask comes off after the play is over. This is where we meet each other and ourselves in interbeing behind the stage. I am working with this.

So virility, strength, sacred intention and purity, all are wrapped up in this human metaphor. I find it interesting that men took on an attribute of women of not cutting their hair, to unlock a hidden attribute.

In the Samson and Delilah story, after Delilah cut off Samson's hair, he perceived that he lost his strength, was captured by his enemies, was taunted and ridiculed by his enemies the Philistines, or today Palestinians, was blinded then enslaved. This is a rich metaphor. 

Neither the Israelites nor the Philistines were originally sprouted from the land ex nihilo. Both tribal entities claimed possession and the conquering of territory as a god given right for ownership. Both moved in from somewhere else and inhabited it and probably conquered whoever were there before them.
 
Neither tribe were genetically pure or isolated, or existed in some sort of a genetic vacuum. The Israelites came from the lineage of Abraham, who came from Mesopotamia — modern day Iraq. Abraham was not originally an Israelite, and became a large powerful nomadic tribe. Abraham worshiped the gods that were prominent in his culture, until he heard from Yod Hey Vav Hey, (Yahweh), and took his considerable family and wealth and started conquering other people after they left Mesopotamia or Babylon, in service to their perception of God. The Philistines brought their DNA from Egypt and acquired DNA from their exploits as they left Egypt and brought their gods with them too. 

As the story goes, it wasn't until Jacob wrestled with the angel to receive God's blessing and received the name Israel. Hence, Israel translates as God-wrestler.  

This is the struggle between those who wrestle with God and those that were perceived as not wrestling with God. Honestly, I think that each tribe mirrored the other, and they couldn’t stand what they were looking at. Self-loathing, fear, religious superiority — all qualities that they wanted to annihilate the other because these perceptions are self-canceling. Matter and Anti-Matter. This is the legacy of the perception of the Other. The self-centered dream. 

Each tribe, Philistine and Israelite, were an existential threat to each other. From my perspective, this is just about the primitive tribal instinct for self-preservation. This struggle to conquer others over territory and resources, in the name of God, repeats itself over and over in human history and has continued to the present. Humanity is a product of their environment, both internal and external.


There is much to say about this, but back to hair.

So Samson was told that his strength came from his hair. Due to his vow of purity from his religious tradition. The hair, the contract with God to remain pure and separate — consecrated, was a symbol or metaphor for Samson to find unity with ‘God’. But as many metaphors go, Samson took this literally and it was his undoing. But fortunately, the metaphor dies. Delilah coaxed that secret out of him and gave Samson to his enemies, the Philistines. After Samson was shaved, blinded, enslaved, and taunted, he reached inside himself and cried out to God for his strength. And was said that he killed some 3000 Philistines in his final moments of struggle. In death he killed more people than he had in his life. Such a brutal metaphor. We can never kill all our enemies. In the final battle that we all face, the enemy that needs to die is our separate self. Perhaps we are all just metaphors running around killing each other, until there is no more other to kill.

Who knows, if both tribes were to have come together to explore and understand each other, I think that they would have found more in common than differences.  The primitive tribal need to have God's blessing and protection to thwart and smite the other, impose our god on the other, to control the other and take dominion, is still active in the perpetuation of human trauma.  This human behavior is killing us. 


Personally, I see this as a cue to my own innate divine connection. We, as humans, create divisions and differences: hair and clothing, belief systems, and tribal arti-faces that separate us from the other. And consequently, these divisions separate us from ourselves. Perhaps the real enemy is the separation from the perceived other, and resultantly, our-selves. When our hair is cut off and we are captured, blinded, enslaved, and humiliated, we find that our strength has nothing to do with hair at all, except as a conceptual construct. In the end, we are all cut from the same cloth. Mirrors.  Apparently, God goes to terrible extremes to prove a point.

So, what really separates us? DNA, beliefs, tribal affiliations, geographical boundaries, resources, being God's chosen and consecrated to God as the sole arbiters of truth? Whoever writes the book, tells the story. "The one true god?" Seriously? What hubris!

DNA, beliefs, tribal affiliations, geographical boundaries, resources, and being God's chosen are all devices and machinations that humans cultivate from the seed of fear and suffering. In reality no division exists. Quantum considerations tell us that we are all atoms and energies that exist in a great cosmic flux or soup, that has no resemblance to what we call reality in the flesh. Perhaps, we all participate in this quantum realm without division, where there are no tribal affiliations and belief systems. We just think we (are) matter.

"...There is no self to be dissolved. There is only the notion of self to be transcended." (Thich Nhat Hahn, Living Buddha, Living Christ) No separate self. We are inter-beingly connected to the universe and each other — as the Universe.  No distinction or difference.

My hair can come off or stay on, because it doesn't really matter in the great cosmic sense. However, as a mirror to see past the separate identity, there is a temporal lesson to be learned. Matter and energy dance in the quantum continuum. Both matter and energy exist but not separately. "There is no spoon."

Today I Saw my Face. The mask of my hair and all that goes with human entanglement, isn't more than a stage prop to amplify my voice to the world. Take off the mask and look into the mirror. Perhaps, the self is a mirror for our instruction. Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha.
"I am Arthur Frayn, and I am Zardoz. I have lived 300 years, and long to die. But death is no longer possible, I am immortal. I present now my story - full of mystery and intrigue. Rich in irony, and most satirical. It is set deep within a possible future, so none of these events have yet occurred. But they may! Be warned, lest you end as I. In this tale I am a fake god by occupation, and a magician by inclination. Merlin is my hero! I am the puppet master. I manipulate many of the characters and events you will see. But I am invented too for your entertainment and amusement. And you, poor creatures, who conjured you out of the clay? Is God in show business too?"

Zardoz 1974
Director: John Boorman	
Stars: Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton	
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi	
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 105 minutes 

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