My career as a builder, gardener, researcher, and writer has taken an unusual turn.
I am now the Garbageman. Unexpectedly, I find myself hauling off mountains and centuries of garbage, endless garbage, strewn all over everything. It’s disgusting.
Every day, I put on my boots and gloves and head to work in my dumptruck, early. Before I’m even out the door, I see garbage. And not only that. I see people eating garbage, believing garbage, feeding it to each other, making altars out of it, hanging it on walls.
I can’t get away from it, except if I stare into a leaf or the eyes of a cat for a while. In those moments, I don’t see the garbage.
People tell me: Hey, it’s a fucked up world. Look on the bright side. Be positive.
Others say, You create your own reality. You’re creating a mess with your morbid focus on negativity. Life is positive, beautiful. You’re depressed. Get help for your condition. Change the way you think.
I get this and it helps. Sort of. Life IS beautiful, Beauty Itself. My question is, where the fuck did all this garbage come from and how am I going to fit it all in my truck? I’m depressed because the beauty of life is buried under piles of stinking garbage and my “condition” seems to be an appropriate response. Garbage is revolting. It’s ugly. It’s depressing. Why should I change my thinking about that? It seems to me that responding in shock and horror and disgust and indignation at abuse and violence and garbage is a virtue, not a clinical condition called depression.
Anyway, the thing is, I’m standing up to my eyeballs in excrement and my positive outlook is wearing really, really thin.. I try to be cheerful, really I do. I look for the silver lining. I notice the connection between how I think and what shows up in my life.
Still, I can’t get away from it. It’s as if I have suddenly developed an allergy to all forms of violence, domination, oppression and lies, especially my own. My nostrils are flared. My hand covers my mouth. The stench of lies seeps into my tightly closed eyes, into my bones and marrow.
I am saturated with the rotten, caustic fumes of spiritual, emotional, political, financial lies, manipulations, and counterfeits. It is a sickness unto death.
I have admitted to myself that I cannot live in or on a pile of garbage. So I have made a decision. I have decided to Take the Garbage Out.
I come by very early, so please have your garbage at the curb and I will pick it up for you free of charge. It is my new vocation and career and I love doing it so I don’t charge for it.
Anyone having trouble identifying what is and is not garbage?
A bag of garbage can be easily recognized. Does it have big greasy spots on the bag? Does it stink like shit? Are there flies and dogs trying to eat it? Are there buyers and sellers who are making tons of money from it? Are people shoving it down other people’s throats? Are they infecting others with it for profit? These are well known signs of garbageness, but there are others. Lots of others.
In an attempt to identify all the countless forms of garbage in the world, I have compiled the Comprehensive User’s Guide to Garbage. It will offend and insult nearly everyone because, for many people, the beliefs they cherish and the sacred objects on their altars are shitty, stinking piles of rotten garbage and they are going to get really pissed at me for saying so. To them, I say this: I cannot come into your house and pick up your garbage. You have to package it and set it by the curb before I even touch it. It’s your responsibility to get it out of your house, out of your heart and mind and body and world and set it by the curb, not mine. I’ve got way more than enough of my own to package, so I’m damn sure not going to package yours too.
I am only offering a way to recognize it for yourself, if you don’t already. The Comprehensive User’s Guide to Garbage is extremely specific and precise. It destroys commonly held beliefs. It ruins relationships. It’s very destructive. And expensive. It costs everything you have. It also turns shit and garbage into Compost.
The Comprehensive User’s Guide to Garbage is a series of questions that, when asked and answered, initiates a process that asks another question. As more questions are asked and answered, more psychic and emotional/spiritual debris is unearthed. It’s like an excavator. It digs deep into the Ground. Garbage starts piling up.
The questions are intended as nodes of contemplation and enjoyment of the Wonder and Mystery of Life. They are effective to the extent that they create openness through curiosity. When anyone asks a sincerely curious question, especially a profound one, there is an opening that occurs in the often cloudy sky of mind. The light penetrates the clouds and face and illuminates the heart and a shift from egomind thinking ( and garbage making) occurs.
The Comprehensive User’s Guide to Garbage – Part One:
Who or What is living in and as you?
What is your relationship to that one?
When you look at your mind, are you thinking or looking at thinking?
Are you infinite? Or mortal? Or both? How could you be infinite and mortal at the same time?
Does the whole show up in the part? If so, What does this mean for you personally?
If infinite truth exists, how does one access it?
What is the nature of the relationship between the part and the whole?
What is the emotional/bodily tone and feeling of your relationship with infinite life?
What, if any, is the point of a human birth in general and yours in particular?
Who or what is reading this?
What is the difference between awareness and thinking? Can you be aware of thinking without thinking? Can you think about awareness? What is awareness?
Who or What is the One who is living you now? Are you living? Or, Are you being lived by a larger Power?
If Infinite Life is a Sphere of Radiant Intelligent Light, an Ocean of Life Energy, what are you?
What is the significance or value, if any, to be aware and to feel, think, speak, and act from that awareness?
Why and How does anything exist?
Which is greater: being aware of a beautiful sunset or being aware of a pile of garbage?