The belly dancer didn’t exactly just happen to shimmy by. She was one of the reasons I’d been drawn to the place where I learned more about healers and ETs and the Illuminati. I learned all sorts of stuff there, that’s why I’d gone.
That and my mother told me to go.
For anyone with mother issues, I’d like to reassure you that after she passes away, they will all be resolved. My mom and I actually had a pretty good relationship, probably because I was the child who moved far away, so when I came home to visit over the years, it was just the two of us, for days on end. We got acquainted as grown ups. Still, I had all sorts of mother issues, most of us do. We even hashed a lot of our shit out while she was still alive, and I got to know her as a frail, fragile, and beautiful human being, and not just my mother. She visits me in dreamworld quite often, and we both understand all those things we didn’t before.
She’d shown up one night after I’d reread a book she’d given me 25 years before. I’d been meditating at my alter space. Her ashes are there, along with a couple of the gifts she gave me over the years. During the meditation, I was reminded of the book, something she’d sent as a birthday gift shortly after I’d moved ‘cross country, passed it along really. She’d read it and loved it and thought I would too.
I’d liked it well enough back in 1990, the artistry of Tom Robbins’ prose, but it didn’t hold a lot of meaning for me. I was a 30 year old with a man friend who called me Doll Baby, something that darn near choked me to death when I reread the story. I’d forgotten that detail.
I’d forgotten almost all of them. That’s the thing when we reread old favorites, the forgotten details. They can be mind blowing in retrospect.
When I read about those skinny legs again in 2015, it blew me away in all sorts of ways. The whole story was right there. Everything that I’d learned since the channel surfing began was summarized in a quaint little story that I halfway remembered, right down to the inanimate objects as major players. And it was the slimy character who called the heroine Doll Baby. Her boyfriend Boomer was every Boomer of a boyfriend I’d ever had. Wowza.
I’d gone to sleep after reading about the dance of the seven veils. I’ll expound on each later, or at least a few of them, at great length. For now, the dream, with Mom.
As is always the case, I woke up to her sitting on the edge of the bed, being motherly, stroking my hair or something, putting baby to bed.
“Why the hell didn’t you just tell me all this stuff?” This was the dynamic in my family, well, except of the nurturing mother part. In real life, she’d have been sitting there asking for my book report or maybe waiting anxiously for my approval. I was never quite sure which it was. In dreamland, I always took bold initiative.
“You were pretty stubborn. Besides, I didn’t know half of it myself, I wasn’t all that well educated you know. But I knew you’d get it, you were always so smart. I was into Shakespeare.” She got defensive pretty quickly.
“But the Doll Baby thing, surely that was obvious.” And me, offensive, quickly.
“You’d already moved out there with him.” She sighed. “You should go learn about belly dancing, it might be fun. Besides, remember what I told you last time!”
I woke up. Last time she’d visited was when I was battling with the douche nozzle. She’d told me then to remember who I was. Darn, that was another thing I was going to have to ask her next time she showed up, just who the hell am I?
It was fun. The belly dancer was all fire and blood moon, pubescence standing defiantly against her own loving mother, who’d hovered a little more closely than she’d desired. It was beautiful, epic, the sacred feminine at its finest.
Which brings us back to the books. Not one, not two, not three, but four of them, all in one week. Three books literally on hand along that stretch of the yellow brick road, and all three speaking volumes to me as I walked it, one of them incorporating another I’d just read and been rocked by. Volumes were spoken, at really high volume.
Volume I: Skinny Legs and the Seven Veils of Illusion
1. Gaian Evolution and Sacred Feminine
2. Ishmael the Anthropologist Gorilla
3. Philosophy of Pointless Politics and Ishmael, the Anthropologist Gorilla
4. Expansively Spiritual, not Reductively Religious
5. The Illusory Nature of Money and Transcendental Economics
6. Cosmology Rocks
7. I Don’t Know. You Know. Don’t You?
So let’s go wandering along the yellow brick road of the world as viewed by myownself through Salome’s seven veils of illusion as I set down that book that Mom had recommended from death to my bed a quarter century after she first sent it to me.
Gaian Evolution and the Sacred Feminine:
The Ayahuasca ceremony technically lasted a wee titch longer than a few hours that clear December morning. The Strange Brew was really quite tame, and voluminous, so I sipped Transcendent Tea for three months, right up until my March Equinox ceremony. Frugality, my middle name, couldn’t let all that fine brew go to waste.
During the first few weeks, what channeled in was an almost overwhelming desire to paint myself green, dress up in the skins of dead animals, dredlock my hair, and go on the road telling the story of Cosmic Evolution ala the Big Twang, Carl Sagan/Lynn Margulis and the Cooperative Truth of Life and the Intelligent Evolution and Anthropological Journey that the Shaman Ayahuasca had told me.
Luckily, the rasher side of my nature does tend to be tempered a bit by visions of men in white coats and the blindness of most of humanity to the Emperor’s nakedness. I’m a Libra, ruled by Saturn. I decided to declare myself a performance artist, just in case, and rethought that strategy.
Back at it.
The story told within the context of the dropping of the first veil was that of Gaia. Of course since the author of the tale was a man, he also got really hung up in the pussy, the Sacred Feminine. That was part of the meeting that week, too. I kind of wanted to get in touch with my Sacred Feminine, and my Sacred Masculine, both. I embrace both. The Eagle, that symbol of my Femininity, is a Masculine symbol. Go figure.
Eventually, I’ll probably write an epic on the topic, I explored it in some depth. I’m going to call it “Men and Their Dicks”. My long strange trip along the YBR has also included so much bizarre synchronicity in terms of exploration of anthropology, human mating behavior, and my own personal evolutionary journey, all with several male friends tagging along, that it’s mind boggling. An epic unto itself.
As if my mind hasn’t been boggled enough! And I’ve yet to get laid!
(and please don’t offer again, thanks).
Ishmael the Anthropologist Gorilla:
There’s this book. It tells the story of Humanity and How We’ve Fucked Up. It’s told by a Gorilla named Ishmael. Damned near everybody on the YBR seems to know it, and know it well. Ishmael is telling us not the story of Gaia, the story of the first veil, but the story of Humanity Fucking Up, that second veil. The second veil hides the dirty little secret that we’re really great apes, too, and we can’t overpower the earth with our false godhood.
The guy down at the lake rather randomly turned out to be the friendly troll who had recommended the book about Ishmael to me in cyberspace, the book dedicated to my Savior Rennie. He’d also recommended the Story of B, the Auntie Christ, that’s me, a book by the same author with the same dedication. Those books told the story that I’d spent 10 years in higher education in the sciences learning and the next 10 teaching. Go figure.
Philosophy of Pointless Politics:
Ishmael had also explained the pointlessness of politics, as had the hippie by the side of the road, as did the dropping of the third veil. At the time of the Dance, the political mess du jour was focused in Palestine. Twenty five years later, nearby neighborhood, different war, same story. The Trouble with Troglodytes as described by Ishmael and the Ignorant Intellectual and the dropping of that third veil is that we’ve forgotten how to be animals in the world.
Animals don’t need no steenkin’ archies or isms, animals watch bees and dance all day. Well, there are some matriarchies, and some patriarchies, but that’s a story for another day, the story of Men and Their Dicks. In general though, animals eat when they’re hungry and seek shelter when they want to sleep and rut when they’re horny. Humans live in funky boxes, work doing meaningless nonsense, and suffer.
Spiritual, Not Religious:
Most of us have figured this one out. God is way too big for religion. It’s what channel surfing is all about, it's what all of us out in that poppy field were exploring, what happened when a person got struck by lightening or visited by ETs or whispered to by Mayan Cave Spirits.
Illusory Nature of Money
The boomer fellow who called me Doll Baby was an economics professor. It’s a subject I loathed and aced just to irritate him. I found it easy to regurgitate the facts, boring as it could possibly be, I took it because I had to. I never actually made any attempt to understand it. It was a business course, yuk.
I’d always been a good Capitalist, worked like a slave, saved my money, stayed out of debt, lived my entire life feeling trapped in the same system that enslaves most of us, doing not what I wanted to do but what I felt like I had to do simply for the privilege of being alive in the world. When a few simple lines from the hippie followed by a cello that rocked explained to me in very simple terms the illusory nature of money and exactly how Capitalism works, my ghasts were flabbered. It’s one of those things that made the decision to just say fuck it an easy one.
The day that I realized that cash was good perhaps as toilet paper or stove fuel when it came down to it and that the 0's and 1's of the bank account were just that, its value became crystal clear to me. What amazed me was that I’d not recognized that veil when I read the Belly Dancing book the first time, back in 1990, or when the Economist who called me Doll Baby's 0's and 1's tuned out to be imaginary. It might have been useful.
Inherent in spiritual channel surfing, it is what it is.
I don’t know. You know, don’t you?
Linda Brooke Stabler, Ph.D.