Bhodisattva at the gates of Hell


When writing for the Lab, I used to pause and invite the reader into the space.  I’d invite them to take a moment to breathe, stretch and establish a mental distinction between what they had been doing and what they were about to read. I would issue a similar gesture with this piece.

The Query
Recently, I am more frequently noting the subtle lines between points of interest across long expanses of time. I wonder about the minds who are able to pinpoint new worlds by tracking shadows of invisible light. What do they dream in at night, numbers or spectrums of light? And how is it that I am so perplexed by the complexity that I am afraid to move an inch while others catch only a glimpse and trounce ahead? Are there also bhodisattvas stationed at whatever the place that nirvana is not? What would that place be called other than here? And who do you have to piss off to get this gig? These angeldemons positioned throughout the demilitarized zone between realms.  The choir of psychopomps speak.  

The Vision: Bhodisattva at the gates of Hell
Here we are, seated on the edge of material hell, being called by all form of Maya toward the most illustrious illusion of death. It’s a crime scene we’ve been born into, original sin. Instead of stepping into the unaware accomplice shtick again; “who me?” We’re attempting to do something different this time around. Sit down. No more wishes, three points to consider before moving on.

First , you know balls to bones that it is the environment we’ve manifest into that influences how we perceive each other in the present moment; remember? We’ve watched our children struggle and fight as they are shaped into form by the elements gathered as the host for their soul on this plane. The NeverEverLand battles that render flesh dark or light, the subtle atoms revolving to interweave with blood and spirit into systems that breath, move and make demands; some that work here and those that will not. Your hair alone; consider your hair. How it breeches the boundary between flesh and external phenomenon.

Second, bones to balls you know the universe is queer as hell and doesn’t give a damn about identity, gender or boundaries, or at least not in that way. In nature one field runs into the next. The archetypal punk sharpied ‘whiskey + LSD’ and ‘a hole is a hole’ on the bathroom stall wall. The settler’s cream; “I’ll f^ck anything that moves, no matter if it breathes”. New worlds, manifest destiny, all colonies long for both attraction and autonomy. But you can’t take the soul out the human without giving up the ghost these days, and after the first few cut down by accident you get used to the taste. The guru admonishes his students knowing full well there is a demigod among them, she teaches them all as goddesses, nonetheless.

Finally, look around you and know all the world is soul soup. Everything that you experience is made of the same stuff you are. All mater is soul matter and has the same innate desire/drive for attention, to be observed, to be seen. And oh the gymnastics of that single cell to sever from the whole. The thrashing to be seen as apart from what you are. This unhinged and inherent desire to be seen separates one from all and draws circles ’round this and that; between I and we. This desire to be observed pushes the agenda of autonomy. See me; unveil me! We all long to be together alone and free in captivity. You know there is a hand on your shoulder as you read this, just as there is a babe suckling at your teat. All these things and more that tug at you from the darkness are real and the cage that blocks them from your mind is our defeat.

Caution and Call
Before you venture onward, fixated on a point in the distance or some shimmering light that dances across her brow, consider this part of our dream; maybe one of the things that brings me to his point, this place out beyond concern for what others think, or the right thing to do, there is you in me and me in you. Beyond and between the layers upon layers of injustice, see the souls. There is either nothing, in which case, desist, or there is a massive union of souls. What do these souls require and demand, each an every, a say, a voice. If we be a universe of divine beings then let us act accordingly. We dole out these death sentences based on ill gained impressions that are more due to tricks of light than what’s right.

And at the very bottom here, so as to not twist up his name too much with this vision; this is what we consider when we posit the dream of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Out beyond these paltry material illusions of flesh and blood, to strive to see and inhabit this realm in its entirety. I see the Reverend Doctor and others of his ilk, Bhodisattvas at the gates of hell, asking me to sit a spell. To reconsider how we strive to cut through Maya, these ill-begotten illusions that color denotes character, that magic is dead, that we dream alone, that this is the way it has to be. 


  • We jump back and forth between a singular and collective voice here. I attempted to edit it to a unified singular expression and it didn’t work.
  • This is an attempt to articulate a recurring vision of non-heirarchical leadership and requests a level of openness and non-judgement, a suspension of disbelief as they say, to be observed as intended.
  • While not the focus, this was written on MLK Day 2023, hence the closing thoughts on the Reverend Doctor.