Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Man From The Future


“It’s all either in God’s hands or it’s only matter in motion, and matters of chance,” declare the falling dice.

“Die! Die!”, the falling dice scream to each other.

The Man From the Future came to our time to tell us the true story of our time, as he understood it.

The man from the future, a White man, comes to our time, and tries to explain our time to us from the perspective of his future and his explanation is a very interesting picture of our time, but years later we discover he was not a man from the future, this white man, but a man of his time, and his time is up. 

This Future Man, says his adversary, is a tedious but sometimes amusing old beatnik who smokes weed and listens to old music on a cd player while wandering the labyrinth of his soul.

“Wandering the labyrinth of the soul” — his soul and our soul, Future Man claims, the macrocosmic soul.

It is great to live in historical times because he can write about his own experience and it was great to be writing his own experience as history until he comes to what he believes to be the end of history. 

“The sharp point of the NOW touches the page of the HERE,” he writes. What comes next? — how does this sentence end? — what is the pen point trying to say? Words, sentences becoming thoughts — not detached from thought, but handling thought, doing things with thought, considering what it is that the point of the pen has been saying to him.

He has no idea if history has an end or has already ended or if history even exists or even if the cosmos exists.

Some claim that the cosmos — the Universe we pray to — does not exist and they pray to what is called an abyss because ultimate reality is inconceivable for our nervous system — aka “soul” — and beyond definition and conception, so they pray to a contraception of God, to a God who is not ready to be born in the collective mind.

It’s all matter in motion, this ink I push around the notebook pages, praying to the abyss, spilling signs on the blank paper cosmos. I wish I could believe what it means, but this pen-pushing isn’t only a matter of belief or wishing, and all intentions are hidden in the abyss.

This void at the center of my self is talking to himself, again,

but it’s only another one of his attempts to adopt a God’s eye view of his life, and our lives, and our history, so-called.

To have a true conception of God, he wrote, is to be unable to conceive of God’s nonexistence. 

“Does being unable to conceive of God’s nonexistence prove that God exists?” his inner adversary asks.

The only absolute proof would be a Mount Sinai face to face Here I am, Lord encounter and in such a case one wouldn’t be examining hypothetical arguments about whether meeting one’s Creator was really taking place and if you really were still doubting that this moment before the throne of God was happening, then no Absolute Proof would ever be possible until your ego and cogito together are annihilated in the One.

“You will not become God,

God will become you in eternity,” he wrote.

“Where did that sentence come from?” he asks.

You have not been annihilated in the Eternal. 

You are alive in the HERE and NOW with no choice but to make choices, CHOOSE your words carefully, and determine what your work is, or where your love is, and where you are and so on — to respond to others and your environment, build community, and create happinesses.

Now this little homily is getting too sweet, he wrote. 

I am running out of time.

Time passes. 

It is Ash Wednesday. 

He opens his notebook and writes:

“The dust of death is the soul in which life germinates.”

He meant to write “soil” and wrote “soul” by mistake.

This sort of slip of the pen is exactly what I’m talking about.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Chicxulub Crater

If the story of evolution is really written in our cells there must be a trace of the dinosaur saga, the dragons tossed into the lake of fire, I’m guessing.

What are you babbling about, old man?

For those who read the logos of Gaia, Earth tells a story of violence and trauma and I wonder if that story is also written in our molecular being?

The tiny brains in hairy heads of primates huddled in caves evolved to resist dinosaur tyranny. Our ancestors fought and competed with each other but also learned to cooperate, communicate, make plans and change plans, strategize, and don’t mourn, organize, and be more or less better prepared for the next catastrophe, the next stone thrown by God at our home planet.

Does the impact of that collision continue to send shockwaves through time? 

The story of the asteroid that assaulted the planet 66 million years ago and killed nearly everything and all the big reptiles and only the small survived and the memory of that disaster of disasters, the impact of impacts, is encoded in our codes as at least a foreboding that one day the sun will not rise, maybe, and cosmic disaster happens in our cosmos — asteroids and planets and even galaxies collide and where can you hide, in this mess?

Well, I don’t worry about it. Asteroids are in the category of things I pray to accept because I can’t change. I worry about my own fossil record. Maybe I don’t even worry about that. Leave it to others to deal with the disposal of my life’s work after I’ve left. Leave it to the Lawrence Swan scholars of the future. If there are any scholars in the future, or any minds that read and think.

Haven’t you heard? They figured out how to make an asteroid change course, so it’s not hopeless for the mammals of Earth, if another one comes our way. We can make an asteroid change course, changing human minds is trickier.

Did you know that the big nations, the dinosaurs of our day, the UN Security Counsel, got together a year ago and formally agreed that nuclear war is un-winnable and absolutely a no-no, and then immediately began waving their missiles at each other and threatening to — what?

No, the human dinosaurs didn’t agree to never use their nuclear weapons, in fact, they agreed that nuclear weapons could be used “defensively:” 

“We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the statement reads. “We also affirm that nuclear weapons – for as long as they continue to exist – should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent war,” they said.

This is the “only a good guy with a nuclear weapon can stop a bad guy with a nuclear weapon” theory of peace.

They say a heap of matter organized itself and began to dream and so the universe was born and here we are. I don’t know. I wake up anxious about whether I am doing my part for the universal restoration.

What are you babbling about now, old man?

“You know Tyrannosaurus Rex was destroyed before by a furry little ball that crawled along the primeval jungle floor and stole the eggs of the dinosaur.”

That ain’t science.

No, it’s from Blows Against the Empire, Paul Kantner.

Omigod, your hippie music again.

Yeah, so here I am, an elder primate who has managed to survive this long in my shelter, and I’m taking notes. I would like it if even a fragment of what I wrote would be worth reading 66 million years from now, or even 66 minutes from now, or right now, as I read this to you, on a winter night, primate siblings huddled in the electronic space of our Zoom room learning to listen to each other.

Monday, January 23, 2023


transpersonal visitation

OK, you’ve got thirty minutes


What do you want?

What do I want — what don’t I want — I don’t know what I want — I want to know what YOU want. I want to know how to get over this unease.

Describe this unease.

I don’t know — anxiety, guilt, a fear of falling short, of being a bullshitter, of being unholy


Yes, unclean. Not dirty, but ritually unclean and not allowed to enter the temple.

I remember that dream you had about breaking into a church every night and being afraid you’d get caught.

You remember that? I forgot all about it.

Why were you locked out in the first place? Why are churches locked up?

They lock it up at night because vandals will come in and shit on the altar.


They must be angry with God or angry with anyone claiming to represent God. If you are going to claim to speak for God you should expect to be crucified by someone. Likewise, if you shit on an altar.

Claiming to be God’s representative seems to be profitable for some of them, for the ones whose followers are willing to surrender their brains, and worse, their hearts, to have no compassion for the unholy.

Thanks for bringing the dialogue back to that, to unholiness.

You are afraid that God is holier than you?

Yes, I hate God’s holier than thou attitude. 

No, I suspect you are projecting a shadow of a god to talk to so you don’t listen to what is being said.  

Or I don’t hear what I’m not saying because I’m talking to myself, having a silent pretend conversation with some transpersonal wisdom figure perhaps and not sure that this shadow, I mean I know it’s a shadow, I think, on my studio wall —

or an angelic entity generated by my own brain?

Let me tell you a parable:

A man is swallowed by a sea monster and in the guts of the fish, in his distress, because he is a poet given to ecstatic prophecy, he sings an aria, a psalm of thanksgiving, in which  

he refers to the fish guts that enclose him as

the belly of Sheol

the deep,

the flood,

the heart of the seas,

and weeds are wrapped around his head at the roots of the mountains

in a land whose bars are closed upon him forever,

the Pit. 

His prayer is a pastiche, they say, of images from several psalms, a plagiarized prayer, or a collage poem, maybe?

Inadequate as it was, the song is heard in the holy temple, the sacred unconscious, and was effective enough, I guess, because the monster puked the poet onto a beach where he was rescued by surfers. 

Nice. Birth trauma leading to violent ejection from the womb? Kind of a second birth maybe? Help me with the hermeneutics.

So, the human being spends three days and nights in the heart of the earth, buried like a seed, the shell cracks, and the soul bursts into an eternal flower of psychedelic flames. 


Is that what you want to hear?

I don’t know what I want to hear and I don’t know what I’m afraid to hear. I’m afraid I’m the monster that swallowed myself and I think I’m going to throw up.

We weave a veil, a screen upon which we project, or a tapestry on which we embroider, a heiroglyphic pattern out our immediate concerns and our familiar desires, a web of perceptual habits and reified concepts from a  lifetime of wants, beliefs, fears, and all that. Vain idols clutter your headspace. Sometimes something happens, something catastrophic or something ecstatic, that blows away the veil, an apocalypse that leaves you unhoused and stark naked, if you will, in blazing Light, and that can be unpleasant.

That’s what I’m afraid to hear.

I’m sorry but these things happen, and now our half hour is up. We will continue next week. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Go Condition

You are old, Uncle Lars, I say to myself.

I am a child dreaming I am an old man. I am Mr. Magoo. I can’t see my own time but I can see backwards sixty years to the past. I see JFK and Khrushchev, John Glenn and Castro, on YouTube. I study the timeline for 1962 in Wikipedia and listen to Dexter Gordon’s Go and Jackie Maclean’s Bluesnik. I want to go back there to 1962,*not a child, but a young man,

knowing what I know now, so I can be smarter than everyone else, and tell them they are afraid of the wrong things and not be afraid of anything, even though I know everything that will happen in the next six decades. I don’t know, I don’t know. We are still afraid of the wrong things.

(Cue Telstar by the Tornadoes)

the word was beamed to me from outer space

it looks like this — OFF ON OFF ON OFF ON OFF ON —

the word was beamed to me from TV

— there is a man of extraterrestrial origin who assumes a secret identity every day when he goes to work for the planet — for truth and justice, whether they are the American Way or not

there was a man sent from Earth, to orbit the Earth in a capsule.

A man in a capsule.

The astronaut’s condition is Go, says the TV.

When I was three years old my mother took me on my first airplane ride and I watched West Palm Beach shrink so all the houses and cars looked like toys. We went to New York, where Papa, my mother’s father, was dying.

I stood next to the hospital bed. 

“All of my bones are broken,” he said.

Sputnik was launched the same day Papa died, on October 4, 1957, The family gathered in the backyard of my other Grandpa’s house. We were looking for Sputnik, which we were told would be visible as it passed overhead. I saw a minuscule blinking light within the celestial array. 

I see it, I said. 

What does it look like, Chip? they asked.

It looks like this, I said, blinking my eyes, repeating the extraterrestrial signal I had received.

That is adorable.

That is so cute.

Mom worked at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, which built the engines for the rockets launched at Cape Canaveral. She started work as a file clerk back when P&W was still located in a former bakery on Old Dixie — now Barack Obama — Highway. The company built its new plant west of town, out on the Beeline Highway, in the Florida wilderness.

We watched the launch of the first American in orbit on TV. John Glenn was suited up after breakfast. Breakfast was two eggs and a filet.

 “As you can see Mr. Glenn is in good condition, a happy condition, a “go condition” is the way they describe the crew.”

Did he take “Go pills?”  That’s what those military pilots called amphetamine in World War II. I watch the astronaut board the rocket. 

“T minus 82 minutes.” 

T stands for Time, as D stands for Day in D Day. “John Glenn is in the cockpit of the Friendship 7 spacecraft. As of this time all systems in the Mercury Atlas 6 are in a Go condition.” After we saw it lift off on TV we went outside and saw the vapor trail in the sky. 

Go, man, go!

I watched all the space launches and their trails of vapor in the sky. Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Walter Schirra, Project Mercury in 1962. 

Jesus ascended into Heaven without Pratt and Whitney engines, Dad said from the pulpit.


Dad started several Southern Baptist churches in South Florida in the early sixties. I often accompanied him on the long drive down US 1 to Plantation, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, while he did whatever it is he did to create a congregation that would raise funds to build a church.

We lived in Lake Park first, where Dad preached at a mission started by First Baptist of Palm Beach. Then we moved up A1A to Jupiter, and had tent meetings until we built a church there. That was the first church construction site I hung out in. A bulldozer was clearing away the palmettos and slash pines and uncovered a 25 caliber rifle that my sister now has.

I liked Jupiter. I turned 5 there. I started elementary the same year as Ruby Bridges. Do you know who that was? Norman Rockwell painted her? But I went to first and second grade at the still segregated Jupiter Elementary, and then we moved because Dad started another church, this one right on A!A, near a new housing development, a cluster of concrete shelters called “Cabana Colony”. We moved to another new concrete cluster named Palm Beach Gardens in a house next to the railroad track for the Florida East Coast Railroad.

Mr. Brown would sing, ”I found my million dollar baby at the five and ten cent store” while he worked. I watched him build the church. This was the second church construction site I hung out in. He sang to himself as he measured the pieces of wood that became the steps to the baptistry and it was amazing to see it all fit together. I watched them lay the concrete blocks and create spaces that weren’t there before.

I knew every hiding place in the church.

There was a stack of pamphlets from The Department of Defense that had plans for building fallout shelters in the space next to the baptistry where you change out of your wet clothes after the ritual. 

I was very cold

I was shaking

Everyone could see I was shaking and they think I’m shaking because I’m scared, but I’m shaking because I’m cold.

The baptistry is made of steel plates welded together and painted with Rust-o-leum.

Dad had me lean back and he lowered me into the water.

Buried with Christ.

Raised to walk

in union of life

with him


That was on October 4, eight years to the day after Papa died and Sputnik was launched. Later that month, JFK gave a press conference and announced that Russia had installed strategic nuclear missiles in Cuba. Troops were sent to the Florida Keys. I watched the trains carrying troops and military vehicles and weapons out my bedroom window. 

Dad preached about the End Times. Nuclear war would be global cremation, he preached from the pulpit.

It was my decision to be baptized. When the new church opened we had a weeklong revival with a visiting preacher. Every service ended with an altar call and one night I felt I was supposed to go to the altar. My parents weren’t telling me this, I felt the call inside my chest, but I chickened out and decided to wait one more day and hope Christ wouldn’t return in the meantime and send me to Hell. No one told me to get baptized then and no one told me not to. 

Maybe Sputnik had transmitted a message to me, or Papa did, with satellite love,  Go to the altar, Chip, said some extraterrestrial intelligence. I’m still trying to interpret this message.

I know my father didn’t like it that I read comic books with more interest than the Bible, and I watched the old Superman TV episodes after school. I hated it when JFK gave a press conference and they pre-empted Superman. It was unfair to kids. Why don’t they pre-empt Huntley-Brinkley?

You are old Uncle Lars, the young man says,

and your stories have no point,

yet you tell them over and over and over and,

are you finished with that joint?


Friday, December 09, 2022

Minister of Interior

14” X 14” acrylic and ink


Thursday, December 01, 2022

notes for an Advent sermon

It is better to love justice and to be compassionate and be called a blaspheming unbeliever than to be a mean bigot who claims to be a friend of Jesus.

Our creator is in heaven and heaven is within us.

The conviction that a scripture carries truth with it, that meaning itself comes from the Beyond, as it is driven to the Beyond, extraterrestrial as well as in and out of the heart of the earth, Is not contingent upon a literal reading. When we get hung up on whether a story is about something that “really happened “ we are unable to pay attention to what it’s saying. That’s why Augustine read Genesis as an allegory. And the gospels are full of clues that they are parables.

When we went to the moon the moon came to us. When Mankind made the Giant Leap we discovered that the moon is not the vacation resort we had dreamed of. If moon maidens greeted Neil and Buzz the astronauts managed to keep quiet about it. What happens on the moon doesn’t stay on the moon, and wasn’t the moon once part of earth?

It is still to be determined how and when the moon will be colonized and turned into a giant solar battery to power earth technology.

That’s not something I have to worry about today.

I realize I’ve been “writing”, rather than praying.  I want to write a prayer. I want to pray a writing.

Santo Bustelo, give me strength!

We direct our curses and prayers to a god we imagine is some kind of General Manager to whom we can ultimately appeal to bend the laws of nature, or maybe we posit some universal principle that rewards and punishes, so good eventually wins in the long run.

We find in our own wisdom literature that thousands of years ago there were people who harbored some doubts about God’s concern for us but who managed to behave as if they could judge between right and wrong, true and false. The earth tribe possesses rational consciousness, moral conscientiousness, and an imagination that is boundless in its manifestations of love, and driven by the bondage-busting liberation movement of human/divine creative power and the infinite curiosity we possess.

Santa Sativa, illuminate us!

What petitions do you bring to the eternally creative unconscious?

What questions and needs for guidance and confidence and strength?

God give me strength

God give me wisdom

God never let me abandon love

God help me

and God Bless America!

You’ve given America so much. 

We demand more!

It’s getting so dark God. 

God it is dark. Please bring the sun back. The sun rose at 7 today. Yesterday it rose at 659. These late sunrises have been happening for six months. When the sun turns away from us like this we get depressed and forget it always returns to bless us with lots of energy to power our devices, and then we celebrate by stuffing ourselves with the bread of idleness until we vomit, a celebration of consumption that drives an economy that fails to feed the hungry. We display manger scenes with fake refugees and do I even need to point out the hypocrisy?

The only way this earth tribe can become more intelligent is when we collectively create/evolve/imagine intelligence and build compassionate structures and the only way creative intelligent love can liberate the earth tribe is through our not so random acts of our own divine nature, a nature that has no nature at all, only boundless liberating bliss.

Bliss Out, Baby!

and God Bliss Earth.