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Sunday Soul – How Long This Train Been Gone?
Year 11 – Playlist 34/52 – Art, Essay and music for the week of December 7th 2014
You may not know what the world “karma” means. While that’s literally true, I’m guessing many of you who arrive here to read and see what I’ve been considering each week may use the word all the time. The word in western use seems to have been blended with the idea of “Dharma” and “Yoga” and set to bake into the Judeo-Christian notion of an eye for an eye. In the sense that when you say “No man, I don’t want to go hold up a liquor store” or maybe more realistically “No man, I don’t feel comfortable speaking my mind here” because you are afraid that this activity will bring you “bad karma.”
When we speak this way we are empowering the notion that we get what we pay for in this world. That what we do is what we are. I don’t disagree with these basic ideas in the slightest – I believe that in fact all we are, is what we do. We may have the very best of intentions, but if we do nothing while the streets fill with apathy, violence, and deception then we are nothing more than apathy, violence and deception. What we permit becomes us. Thus we are each responsible for the world that we live in. There is most certainly no “them,” but rather there is only us. We are here to be in and of the world. Not vicitms of those who would take all they can, or sit with their mouths open, stoned beyond cognition fingering their wii consoles until the rent is late (again.)
So the concept of karma is not the idea that if we do good things, then good things will happen to us. This is incorrect. I certainly wish that you will do good things. I want you to find the motive for your goodness, your charity, your love from within yourselves. I think if I offered each of you a kiss on the forehead for every nice thing you did this week without being caught in the act of doing it that would be cute — and I’m not saying I’m opposed to the idea — but you must admit that this is a somewhat shabby motive for acts of love and devotion, yes?
Krishna (the radiantly beautiful lord) appeared before a deeply troubled Arjuna (that’s Prince Arjuna Pandava) on top of a mountain where the Prince was wildly outnumbered. Arjuna was arguing for non violence, and backing away from the fight of his life. Krishna whith his long flowing and totally awesome hair and blue skin did what any interstellar deity would do – He listened, and he discussed these ideas with the terrified and certainly doomed Prince. In their discussion the idea that
we each have Dharma – our orderliness, and our right way of living – and we each have our Yoga – our part in acting this out – but that above this is the realm of the spiritual, or God if you will. And so above and beyond our decisions, desires, disciplines, and logical reasoning there is something more in the world which we must attend to.
Arjuna gave his argument not to have to go down the mountain and obviously be slaughtered by the opposition. But Krishna explained that he was a warrior. This was his true path. Thus, it was Arjuna’s karma to rally his comrads and raise their swords and head into battle. And, and this is the good part, that if he were to embrace his karma, that there is not possibility that he could ever be defeated. Thus, Arjuna’s karma is not a punishment, nor some perverse reward. Rather, it is Arjuna’s truth, his destiny, his authentic path. And this is the extrapolation of his karma.
I propose, after so tediously distracting you with paraphrases from the Gita, that you may not quite be in touch with your karma. Don’t get defensive please, it’s just as likely that I may not be in touch with my karma either. This is ultimately the humility of this type of spiritual seeking, that we are disconnected from the universe, from the sense of God. Often we are disconnected from our community, and our families. Very often we are even disconnected from ourselves. This being the case, and growing more so each day, the odds of Krishna or any other Hindu deity literally appearing before us as we are about to start texting while someone is trying to speak to us from their heart, or check our tinder account while our child is in need of a snack, or a hug, or anything is kinda out of the question. Still, Ganesha is always guarding the right road, and Krishna is on every moutnain top, and we are each of us our own iteration of Prince Arjuna.
The moment to choose your true path, your authentic self, your karma is now. Each moment you persist in the belief that you are ugly, or fat, or stupid, or that money is what you need, and all of the ways in which we blame the world for our self obsessions – many of these are quite serious, painful, traumatic and very, very real for us – but the longer we hold on to these projected hallucinations, the further and further away the world grows.
What’s wrong with this world is that you are missing from it. Your heart, your dreams, your desires, your rhythm, your voice, your silence, your presence. We are aching inside, and dying for your return. Tear the ear buds from your heads, and pull the mask down from your faces, untie the bounds which have you each strapped to the floor of this magnificent world. I know you didn’t know the train was gone, but it’s been gone since before you were born. Now it’s time for us all to start walking. Get a move on. We have a long way to go…
Thank you for listening. See you next week.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: How Long This Train Been Gone?
1. Kon Tiki – Karma
2. Nelson Mandela on non-violence – Nelson Mandela
3. Let No Man Put Asunder – Moplen Remix – First Choice
4. New Born Baby – Romatt
5. Now Come Into The World – Peak:Shift
6. Shining Your way – Jephete’s Dub – Ak
7. Walk A Mile – Cuebur Mix – Nathan
8. Do It Your Way – Mood II Swing
9. Black Stations White Stations – SirBilly 18 Carat Love Affair Re-Edit – Martha and the Muffins
10. In The Air Tonight – Osunlade Mix – Phil Collins
11. Like A Child – Carl Craig Remix – Junior Boys
12. Throw – LCD Soundsystem
13. Slove – Sunshine Jones Rework – Soul Minority
14. Work – Prins Thomas Remix – Junior Boys
15. Precious and Rare – Sunshine Jones
16. Soul Salsa Soul – St. Germain
17. All Loved OUt (Ilu ‘Ife (Love Drum)) – Joe Claussell Remix – Ten City
18. Sunday Soul – Program ID
19. How Long This Train Been Gone? – Mable Hillery
20. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Year 11 – Playlist 34|52
7 December 2014
Total Running Time: 02 Hours 45 Minutes
May the stars above you shimmer and shine, guiding your heart always, all of the time. May they guide you sweetly, all the way home. And may all your sundays have soul.