U.S. O.T.O. Grand Lodge
Other U.S. O.T.O. bodies
The Scarlet Letter
Volume III, Number 3 | June 1996
From the Camel’s Back
by Sr. Continuity, Oasis Master

A couple of home truths: energy has no intrinsic valuation; in that when you release energy that is negative to you, it returns to the universe in its plain state, neither good nor bad. This is because 'good' and 'bad' are valuations placed on sensation by the organism that is experiencing it. One woman's pleasure is another woman's pain, and vice well versed. Over the years I've learned and taught a variety of techniques for grounding and releasing stress and tension, for earthing bad feelings, and letting go of anger. They work really well, and frankly, here in the wake world at the end of the millennium, you gotta have 'em... they are the tools of the trade.

At the same time, energy is energy, and it seems such a waste to just throw it away when there's so much work to be done on an incredible mandala of cool art projects, wild music, theater, lovers, gardens, scholarship, homemaking, family, community, world travel and astral travel. Of course, I'm not suggesting that we all store up our anger until we have a full head of steam under which to power ourselves. A study of the tantras shows that those wily female Buddhas are often depicted wielding the crescent shaped knife, which is ever present so as to be ever ready to extirpate negativity..., after which it goes directly into the skull bowl (kapala) where it can be ground and chopped and transformed into something shining and comely. So they aren't throwing it away... they are distilling it. Well, solve et coagula!

So, you're angry? Then open up to it, and feel it, and allow yourself to own it. Tantra also suggests that we not suppress 'bad thoughts' but that we watch them attentively and see where they go. As long as you maintain the healthy awareness that your mind is a tool, and only one out of the many voices of the self that need to be honored, this is not a dangerous practice. Once you own and grok your anger, then are you in a position to make use of it. This only works as a fully conscious process, and the universal truth here is that growth and change are difficult ecstasies.

If you're damn mad, then take your anger and look at it really hard and heat it up and melt it down and turn into something you like: something that works for you and gratifies you. If you are reading this then you, like me, are an earth dweller in a body living in some version of western culture, which means that you, like me, come equipped with a bunch of old scripts pertaining to our behavior towards each other and for that matter, ourselves. Extra special consciousness seems required to overcome those scripts, nasty old aeon holdovers that they are.

So, for us, I offer this humble suggestion. In order to most fully profit from the practice of transforming negativity, do it in a way that you can experience on a daily basis. Create something that lives and breathes. I have spent the last ten weeks most felicitously tending a series of gardens, vegetable and flower. Every day I have the meditation laid out in front of me in this very primal and physical way. I watch the green fields growing, as they say. The garden requires continuing care, and that's a good thing, because time dilates and the day we begin a transformation is not the day we complete it. Lots of lag time between knowing and keeping silent, I'm afraid. In this case though, I'm thankful for that lag, because it's giving me the space to let my body and my emotions catch up to the conclusions of my higher genius. The peppers and tomatoes are fruitful, and the sunflowers are opening, and day by day I grow more loving and less intolerant. Chop and grind, laugh and laugh, dear ones.

< Back to Vol. III, No. 3 Cover