Part II One Month Later
Hidden in Plain View while being Self-Conscious
by RL Seltman

I was reminded when given a chance to be with people, who can speak English with some degree of confidence, I can find a friend and a great deal of joy, just about anywhere. Thankfully the world is filled with English speakers. I'd recommend to most anyone to learn this language for fun and profit. Of course my motives are suspicious. English being both my native tongue and profession.

Back home in my lair, I simmer in procrastination, as waves of impressions wash over me. I create a past with images, a psychological handle to grasp another season flashing by. I did my summer reading, on mindfulness eating, the translated poetry of Rumi, and palmistry. My decadent life of leisure and uncertainty lapping against my head, these self induced notions and random static electric currents of spiritual solutions.

I read N. J. Dawood's translation of the Koran, as a counterbalance to the prevailing perversity of American Christian fundamentalism. I had hoped to find empathy with the prophet Muhammad, but instead found fuel for futility. Discovering again the ecumenical impossibility of peace, for any true believer in these currently problematic monotheistic religions... Where can the fully conscious go from here?

Old, New, or Muhammad modified testaments all claim exclusionary principals guarding the gate from infidels, i.e. a 'us verses them' mentality... culminating in a death wish and justifiable homicide for each and everyone of us. It is true there is a glimmer of compassion in isolated passages, but if one buys into the text, as is the declared premise of each collection...

If one brings into your heart 'The Word' as professed in these 'Holy Books', we are up the parable creek, with out a paddle nor prayer for peaceful coexistence. Karl Marx and his theorizing comrades attempted to produce for us such a world view free from this sectarian madness, only to become one more flag to wave. God save those atheistic commies from the scurge of American fundemetalism.

And so my Generation Ecstasy (X to stay) has raised the ambiguous monolith of 'New Age', in a quest for a spiritual solution, to our own prevailing predisposition towards cold and calculated consummerism. We felt guilty for our greed and concerned about our inevitable deaths. We were also hoping to find sanctuary for our unfulfilled sexuality and suppressed drug-induced optimism. Neither sex nor drugs matriculated beyond preschool playground antics.

'New Age' remains a parlor game for conscientious objectors. I love the voluptuous volatility of a theology which permits perimeters bounded only by the limitations of my imagination. Yet where does one hang the icons in a community with no walls? When all of life is an education, where can academics get tenured positions with health insurance and retirement benefits? With my 'New Age' I wish for and receive all my aspirations, yet am landed with the responsibility of writing my own ethos and cosmology.

And so here I sit, in front of my state-of-the-art mind manipulator, waiting for the mood to move me, away, and out the door... for a less stimulating, yet more physical, interaction with the material plane. My body remains unrecognized for the sacrifices it has made. I am the waddling remnants of antiquated awareness, yet to embrace the obvious. I am still the American fat factor, factored in as barely within hope for a promising morrow.

Today is a window on all there is. Can I state this in a way to express how terrifying this is to me? I contemplate a stint in the Peace Corps and then wonder why life is not all that I imagine, when all I imagine is a simplified dedication to core values... What separates my will from actualization? What builds a cage where there are no bars nor restrictions... I reach out to find the restrictions... yet I am alone in my room... free to be whoever I will. But will or not, I wait, trembling... terrified to take responsibility for my potential.

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