Bruce Springsteen Tribute
November 23-29 Edition
My story, "Immortal Dictums From Rock Legends" appeared in July 21, 2013 in Philippine Panorama, the weekend magazine of The Manila Bulletin. This is the cover letter to the editor:
Bruce Springsteen says his Born To Run album is his "most intense experience" and "nothing ever come close." That was from a 1975 interview for Q magazine and part of the In Their Own Words series, both published by Omnibus Press.
My love for music and collection of vintage Omnibus publications inspired my new timeless story, "Immortal Dictums From Rock Legends," a treasure house of insightful and entertaining stories on Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.
I find some parallels in writing my story and how Springsteen made that album. "It really dealt with faith and searching for answers," as he says in 1980. "I laid out a set of values. A set of ideas, intangibles like faith and hope, belief in friendship and in a better way."
Springsteen's Born To Run is now a classic and a musical landmark, and I crafted my story to achieve that heightened state of quality and timelessness. "It's not actually a concept type thing," he says in 1975, "but it's like you get a jigsaw puzzle and you put it down on the floor and it slowly comes together."
"Soul realization is nothing more than the incarnated soul realizing that it is not the body and it is one with the higher soul," says Master Choa Kuk Sui. "This is the meaning of yoga or illumination." I learned so much from his Meditations For Soul Realization. I read it on the second week of June 2013 at the Cebu public library, and it is an important part of my spiritual journey.
I love the story about the Dharma Master Fo Yin. The notorious poet Su Dong Po (1037-1101) called him "shit." Apparently even the ancient Chinese used that word. "For a person who has experienced his Buddha nature, he sees the Buddha in everyone," serenely replied the Master. "For a person full of shit, he only sees a pile of shit."
We are jivatma because we've torn ourselves away from paramatma. But "Through sincere repentance, trying to become a better person and asking for divine blessings and forgiveness, it is possible for a lost soul to spiritually reconnect with the Higher Soul."
"Aum" is the sound of Creation. I don't normally chant, but I now see it in a new light. I now also know that I should focus on the silences in between. Touching your tongue to your palate puts you in a higher spiritual frequency, but I forgot exactly how. I need to purify myself before I do the Meditation On Twin Hearts, as much I want to bless the earth with a blue golden flame of loving kindness through my heart and crown chakras. But I now focus on the pillar of light descending at the top of my head.
The meditations on this book generate so much power that you have to release excess energy by blessing specific people, for self-healing and for sweeping up your auric field. Then exercises after meditating will get rid of the rest. Here's something new: Inhale for 6 counts on one nostril, holding your breath for 3 counts, then exhale on the other for 6 counts. I do Grounding but now I see it's more critical than I first thought.
I now do invocation at the start of my meditation. Something like this: "To the Supreme God, my Higher Self, all spiritual guides and teachers, to the Holy Angels and all the great ones, we humbly invoke for divine purification, divine guidance, divine love, divine illumination, divine oneness, divine bliss, divine help and divine protection. We thank you in full faith. So be it."
"Let the entire earth be blessed with peace, joy, happiness, goodwill, understanding , harmony, abundance prosperity and enlightenment" I now affirm my connection to the earth. "Let Mother earth be blessed with divine light, love and power, revitalized, healed, rejuvenated. Blessed be."
(See also my earlier story on Master Choa Kuk Sui)
I wrote the next two stories in 2012. I saw Get Smart on DVD when I was in Moonwalk Village in Las Village City, and I saw 127 Hours on cable in one of the call center companies in the campus-like Northgate Cyberzone in Alabang, Muntinlupa
Maxwell Smart (Steve Carrell) is an analyst at a secret U.S. intelligence agency called, unimaginatively, Control. One fine morning, with Abba's Take A Chance On Me on earphones, he goes to the office through a secret elevator in a phone booth. In the underground steel corridor, a page from a report he is carrying gets stuck in one of the automatic steel doors.
"You kill me!" he laughs at one of the jokes of the Agent 23 (The Rock), an assassin, who mirthfully replies:
"I could if I want to!"
Control is tracking down the enemy group Chaos, who are planning to steal nuclear material. Max is explaining the significance of a conversation of two men in a cafe. One didn't order decaf and they both ate muffins, which are "comfort foods and much more fattening than most people realize!" Which begs the question:
"Why would two hardened Chaos risk the carbs?" This, he says, "is powerful stuff!"
Chief (Alan Arkin) tells him to get to the point.
"All I'm saying, Chief," explains Max, "is that until we understand that our enemies are also human beings, we will never be able to defeat them!"
The next day, Max comes to work to find that their headquarters have been attacked and was in, well, chaos.
"Freeze!" said a female voice behind him.
Unperturbed, he says, "You freeze!"
She's about to speak again but he cuts her off:
"Freeze times infinity!"
She turns out to be Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway).
"I'm a great fan!" gushed Max.
They heard somebody coming and Max hit him with a fire extinguisher. Then they realized it was Chief.
Control agents all over the world are being killed, they found out. The new Chaos boss (Terrence Stamp) is a Bosnian whose name Chief can't pronounce.
"Kris-stick," Max tells him. "Kris kringle, fish stick?"
Max finally got his wish of being promoted field agent. Excusing himself from the table to use the Cone of Silence, a soundproofed forcefield, he shouts: "I'M SO HAPPY, THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!" But it wasn't working and everybody heard him, embarassed.
Max, in true secret agent style, gets a cool gadget: a Swiss knife with a blowtorch and a crossbow. So in the plane restroom, where he's supposed to get a parachute, one of the arrows hit the eject button, opening a trapdoor under him where he fell through without a parachute. Agent 99 enters, takes her chute and jumps.
The assassin following them takes the chute Max left and goes after them.
I look forward to weekends as early as Monday. It's what keeps me going. I care enough about my work to give them perfect attendance but it is not my life.
Maybe I'm too much of a freespirit, or maybe I don't really give a hoot about things I'm not passionate about.
At any rate, I can relate so much to Aaron Ralston (James Franco), the engineer slash mountaineer in Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. As soon as the weekend rolls in, we're both out, up and away. Aaron even takes pictures and videos of himself; wow, that's so Huggybear!
For me, the absolute worst thing in the world is to be trapped, metaphorically and otherwise. In Aaron's case, he got stuck in a mountain crack when a large rock pinned his arm.
I don't know what I'll do if that happens to me. He was there for 5 days, which I can't even imagine.
Before that, he met two girls, Kristi and Megan, also trekking in the Blue John Canyon, named after the cook of Butch Cassidy. He roguishly charmed them into being their guide.
Butch Cassidy was a famous outlaw. His life was brought to the screen in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. The screenplay is written by William Goldman, whose novel, Temple of Gold, is one of my favorite books of all time. The film features Paul Newman and Robert Redford (whose Havana is one of my favorite movies of all time) and the timeless Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head. (Yes, that's also one of my favorite songs of all time)
While squiggling through a steep crevice, Kristi (or was it Megan?) is worrying that the mountains might suddenly move and squish them. They've been here for millions of years, says Megan (or was it Kristi?), so why should it?
Oh, Aaron says, "Things are moving all the time!"
Unexpectedly, he let go and vanished. The girls freaked out. Soon, they found out that beneath them is a clear blue underground lake. They all took the plunge, over and over again. It was an exhilarating experience of a lifetime