“Mysticism is creation seeking its source” —Stuart Davis
Pump up the volume. Turn up the burner. To 11. Move over Spiritual Activism – let’s talk Ecstatic Activism. “It goes beyond tree hugging,” says Spiritual Cowgirl Sera Beak, “ecstatic activism is more about tree humping.” It’s about being utterly and completely in Love with this divine planet we live on, this astounding multi~verse we’re born from, this incredible unfolding kaleidoscope of life, of ever changing energy, shuddering with the orgasmic after shocks of G~d’s Big Bang. It sets your hairs on end and electrifies your Soul. It’s the rich ripeness of those moments when you dare to open Your heart and plunge face forward into the Mystery.
To be an ecstatic activist is to be a Love Warrior, fierce and fiery…diving into both the light, and the shadows, reveling in all that it is to be divinely human. That means all the mess too – it’s the creative friction that propels us to grow, and growth is what it’s all about, least it is for my being. One of my sacred symbols – I’m wearing a version of it around my neck right now – is a spiral, amongst the Maori known as the “Koru”, and modeled on the unfolding fern frond. Ecstatic unfoldment of life. You can feel it pulsing through you – it’s eros, it’s erotic, it’s hot. It gets me out of bed in the morning, makes me want to change the world, change myself, open my heart even wider, and go out and hump a tree or two. Make love to my morning bagel. French kiss G~d with every action. Dance the dance of Fierce Love.
Course this kind of intensity ebbs and flows in our life – there are times when I am a still pond, and other times when I am a turbulent sea. At the moment (in case you hadn’t noticed) it’s one of those times when I’m feeling the fire. Might have something to do with having just come back from another film shoot, this time for Redvolution: Dare to Disturb the Universe. It’s Fierce Light Films new feature documentary project, and it’s all about ecstatic activism in it’s many forms.
This time around it was a short shoot – four days in Boulder, but as always when it’s Redvolution time, a few days feels like a month. My co-director and co-conspirator in the project, Redvolutionary Sera Beak (who’s based in San Fransisco) and I, met up in Boulder to film and interview twisted mystic and punk monk, Stuart Davis, host of a new television show called “Sex, God and Rock n Roll.” Sera was a featured guest on the taboo smashing show, which dares to disturb the pants right off the universe.
Here’s an episode from Stuart’s previous show, “The Stuart Davis Show”…
“One could say that Davis’ work mediates between sensuality and spirituality. Davis practices meditation in a Buddhist tradition (and he has recently taken Genpo Roshi as his teacher), but he believes that religious traditions ultimately fail to transmit the transcendent events from which they spring. He has identified Ken Wilber, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Ramana Maharshi and Aurobindo as influences, and his work displays a deep understanding of Zen and Sufism.
Davis’ songs are populated by alcoholics, atheists, bulimics, drug addicts, egoists, false prophets, fetishists, sadists, masochists, narcoleptics, pedophiles, pornographers, prostitutes, rapists, sexual predators, suicides, swingers, and terrorists. But his lyrics also describe angels, artists, gods, gurus, messiahs, mystics, prophets, psychics, and saints.
This tension points to the profoundly integrative aspect of Davis’ thought—on his view, the theme of sexual deviance does not contradict the spiritual themes. His perspective is wide enough to coherently include much more of the human experience than most. Thus it is possible to see Davis as a mystical poet like Rumi, Kabir, Basho, Ikkyu, Rilke, or Emily Dickinson.”~ Wikipedia
“There’s a light bulb in everyone
bright enough to swallow the sun
Earth and sky are all One taste
there is just the Original face”
—Stuart Davis, “Original Face”
Spending three days with Stuart was akin to standing in a bucket of water and putting my finger in a light socket and throwing the switch. Stuart is a phemomenom unto himself, the embodiment of Crazy Wisdom, but all the madness is rooted firmly in his big open heart.
Chögyam Trungpa, a brilliant (and crazily wise) Tibetan Buddhist teacher, founder of the Naropa institute in Boulder, describes “crazy wisdom” as an “innocent state of mind that has the quality of early morning—fresh, sparkling, and completely awake. From this profound point of view, spiritual practice does not provide comfortable answers to pain or confusion. On the contrary, painful emotions can be appreciated as a challenging opportunity for new discovery.”
For the ecstatic activist, everything that life throws our way is a divine Koan, a chance to dive further into the mystery. Sometimes we learn through joy, and ease and sunshine, and other times it’s through what Liyanna Silver, (www.redefiningmonogamy.com), another guest this weekend on Stuart’s show, calls AFGO – Another Fucking Growth Opportunity. It’s all part of the sacred puzzle, and too often we ignore the shadow – I was one of those light obsessed seekers myself. Problem is, the shadow doesn’t go away, but instead percolates below the surface, where it is much more dangerous.
Stuart Davis is a trickster in the temple who brings our collectively unconscious shadow out into the light, with the power of humour and rock and roll, exploding our preconceptions and programs, all in the name of Love. Walking home after the show on Saturday night, he pointed to the sky and cried, “look, the moon! Look at it, if you dare!”
What about you – do you dare to look at the Moon? Do you dare to stare at the Sun? Put them together, and what do you get?