Read Part One First, won't you?
So: Darshan. The Light. Spiritual It-ness. Direct transmission. It took having the high holy bajeebers freaked outta me by an actual High Holy to realize I've had my own lil' tap in the Divine Keg it all along. I got this megaswig, right? And once it settled in, I found it tasted oddly... familiar.
Here's my disclaimer: you ain't hearing this from on high, so you might find it a little... simplistic. It's all very layperson-y and basic. I may be a lot of things, but nobody ever called me an avatar. I enjoy a nice meet-and-greet with those masters -- like Mother Meera, about whom I rapped in Part One -- who traverse lofty realms. But, perhaps not coincidentally, I live at sea level. And write really violent shit, like, eight hours a day. So, nutshell: I'm not exactly Floaty Guru material. That's okay - jumping face-first into the dark side of human nature's a necessary job too. Also, fun. The swag is terrific. Free glass eyeballs! But I digress.
Anywho. Here's when I realized I actually had understood Darshan all along. I was turning left into Gate Seven at Warner Bros. The moment was profoundly rote. Swim around in purse for wallet; swim around in wallet for ID card. Meantime, hit button to roll down window, whilst hitting other buttons to turn up music to compensate for the traffic noise. And I accidentally turned the music up a little too loud, and I idly thought, as the sound swept over me, "That's what angels sound like."
No, really. I'm, first of all, not fucking kidding. And also, I am going to embed a youtube video so you can check it out.
So I park my car, and I sit there and hit "repeat" and listen again. And I think: yup, angel. That's what they sound like. I'm pretty sure.
I know - subjective. One woman's Celestial Voice Of Revelation is another chick's Whatever. But I turned this over and over in my head. Thinking that the quasi-religious overtone of it couldn't be an accident. I mean - do I believe there are little Jewy toga-clad harpists flying around singing at God? Um, nyet. But there's a reason the feeling this sound evokes in my body gets instinctively named "angelic" by the lightning-quick name-factory in my brain. Because something in me... opens up. It's a physical feeling. In my chest. Like a book flipping wide, and in the center is my heart. Things start to tingle. I wake the fuck up. I am being visited by something fierce and I know it. Suddenly, where I was crunched up... there's space. Even if I'm resisting, good music finds a way in.
Which: Darshan. Right?
And then I flashed on this night many years ago. The deets are a little too personal for this blog - I'm saving the really dramatic shit for my book deal, I'm sure you understand - but long story circumcised, I was miserable, driving way too fast down Pacific Coast Highway at night with the windows down. Rage was my co-pilot. I was contemplating all manner of bad ideas. So what I did was just... not get out of the car. I drove all the way past Malibu. The thing that kept me tethered to the Here - and, most important, to some shred of common sense (if not the speed limit) - was the song blasting out of the speakers. It was a pop song. U2. Nothing too intellectual. It said what it meant, and then Bono wailed for a bit, and then there were guitars. I drove like a maniac, and the cold wind slapped my hair against my cheeks, and I guess there were no cops on the PCH that night, and eventually the music found its way into me and I calmed down. If Bono'd decided to go all Thom Yorke and make a concept album, it totally would not have worked. If that song had tried to be clever instead of passionate, I would have been doomed.
Fonder memory: a futon on a floor, facing a window, sometime after 4 a.m. College. Me and this guy I liked, lying there in perfect stillness. (We were sober, if caffeinated.) Watching the sun come up while that old Peter Gabriel live double-album played. I think of those couple of hours as the center of the frantic whirlpool of those years. Every baby butterfly in my belly - remember being 17? Remember the constant inner-monologue about how every single everything was wrong with you? - miraculously lulled to sleep.
Like most members of the human race, I've pulled a couplea stunts in my day. Dived into some dangerous/unwise/illegal acts. Generally because I was looking for a way to get at the locked-up stuff inside. And having tried a lot of methods, I can tell you that the most reliable way to get there is music. I dunno, maybe Steve Jobs really is some kind of diety, because I realize now that when I let the Light in, it's often through my iPod.
The song I listen to driving up the coast that magnifies its deliciousness.
The mix Sukha made for my birthday last year, to bring me new love. That worked in 48 hours flat.
The six songs I've heard five zillion times each by now that I put on shuffle when I'm working on my movie script.
The scratchy ancient Chopin recording that is the music equivalent of having buckets and buckets of flowers poured all over you.
The CD I bought in China the week my goddaughter was adopted. The song that haunted me for months, a symptom of a problem I didn't know yet that I had. The CD that got me through the worst month of my life, a prickly, sticky rope in the fog. The songs that are blankets I wrap around myself when I'm lonely. That They Might Be Giants ditty my friend in junior high serenaded me with that sometimes comes on the radio, a time capsule breaking open and spilling out mirth. That song I heard at that Starbucks that one time that stunned me - so I forgot to ask what it was, and I am still fucking looking for it six years later, and it eludes and eludes and eludes me. The song I played driving to the most important meeting of my career. The song my friend recorded when she was still with that other man, that makes me shiver knowing that the worst situations make the most beautiful melodies.
Darshan; n: a glimpse of the divine. And here I was thinking I was secular-Jewly, while I'm pulling the Light lever on a near-daily basis. Taking it like vitamins. Or Ativan, frankly; people always ask me how I can stand commuting to the Valley, and I always just say, "That's why God invented iTunes."
I shared my lil epiphany with some friends. They tried to add to it: "Isn't it even better when you dance around, too?" "How bout those amazing singers in Baptist churches - isn't music better when it's, like, about Jesus?" "What about when you yourself are singing, when the music's coming out of you?"
Nah. Details. Give me a floor and a couplea cheap earbuds and I'm good.
I kinda can't believed I just typed that, it's so damn simple. But it's true. That's the entire deal: music brings in the light. I thought maybe there was a difference between the feeling of "this is right and things will be okay and I am part of something larger" that you get when listening to, say, Bill Withers singing "Use Me" (not emolicious enough? Um, Death Cab for Cutie singing "I Will Follow You Into The Dark"?)... and the feeling you get from the Real Holy Deal bathing your crown chakra with pure two-hundred-proof Darshan Juice straight from India. Can you blame me? Everyone always looks so swoony in the movies when they get whammied by the Light of the Divine.
But I just got whammied last week, so I can tell you: there is no difference. They're the same. I mean, maybe music isn't the thing that does it for you. Whatever that thing is - as long as you're not molesting anybody, obvs - go with it. 'Cause the thing you are waiting for is already here. Dive in, my Highly Attractive friend. Quit waiting for the lighting bolt. It's a marketing ploy. The good shit is exactly what you always knew it was. So eat it up, scrape the sides of the container with your spoon, get in there with your fingers. Don't hold back, and don't hold out for the next thing. There ain't one. I am here to tell you: the tools we were already given are, as far as I can tell, the only tools there are.
This isn't bad news - it's my very favorite kind: practical news. There is no next party: we are at the party: therefore, let us party! Apparently, if there is a God, he's got a sense of humor. He doesn't just zap folk in schul. He zaps them through baseball and the roar of V12 engines and the distant, holy sound of Kanye West.
And if you're like me (and I have this instinct you are - at the very least, you're Very Hot), you've got this amazing Darshan spigot at your disposal. Actually, spigot is far too crude a metaphor for the vast selection. It's like a massive Darshan Microbrew Bar, with a long row of Light on tap. Pick your flavor. Chug.
I mean, think about that. A tiny slice of what I think of as God (that's right, I said it) can be purchased for 99 cents and downloaded to your mp3 player. We live in miraculous motherfucking times, my friends.