Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Bird of Paradise

Eternity contained within the moment,
Infinity contained within a grain of sand.
The tree exists within the nut. The flower becomes the seed.
All things contained within the one thing.
Reality contained within the dream
and the dream contained within reality.

In the beginning I had it pretty good. I mean it was more than pretty good, it was great—it was the greatest that could be because it was I who had been chosen to sit at the left hand of Krishna. Well not exactly at his left hand. Kind of back a little bit and up a little more. But definitely to the left of Krishna. All I had to do—well it was my job actually—was to gaze into the eyes of Krishna and be enraptured by his beauty for all Eternity. To experience his bliss. What could be better than that? It was all good, no bad, right? So I did it—and it was beautiful. The green plants. The colored flowers. And I was gazing into his eyes.

I sat there enraptured while Krishna dreamed Eternity after Eternity. I mean there were a lot of them and they were all beautiful. Bu I mean he must have dreamed a hundred thousand of them. And I was sitting there enraptured and Krishna getting all the credit. But I kept being enraptured knowing that I might be playing a small role but an important one nonetheless in this creation business. I didn’t even know I wasn’t human until I got a look at my reflection in his eyes while I was gazing into them. And not only wasn’t I a human, I was only a bird. Nothing more than a bird. Not a bad looking bird, but a bird nonetheless. I looked again. There I was, my wings spread a little bit. To his left a little above and further back. If I had known I was going to be a bird, I would have thought twice about this creation thing. Somebody dreamed this up but it wasn’t me. And how many Eternities had I kept this up—and each one just like the others. Everything good in it never anything bad. After a while you’ve had so much bliss that you long for something to go wrong just to break the monotony. A hangnail started to look like a steak dinner. The longer I stared at that reflection the more I began to realize I wasn’t even a real bird—but might only be a painting of a bird. The dream started to contain the reality.

Well, seeing as how I was a painting of a bird I might have been a real bird at one time. So you know how we birds are—we don’t have really a long attention span. We might actually have been enraptured but after a while we’re going to start looking around for something to do. Some other birds, perhaps. Maybe some female birds. So I looked around and I couldn’t find any. I found lots of pictures of birds of all kinds but I couldn’t find any live birds anyplace.

You might accuse me of being a birdbrain. We don’t have much appreciation of Proust and Schopenhauer. But listen I don’t know who created heaven. Maybe it was just there already. But Krishna didn’t create the Earth. Listen I was there I know. Neither did Jehovah, although he thinks he did and he tells everybody he did. (Actually he had six older brothers who started work on the Universe.) But Krishna didn’t create anything. All he did was dream about it.

But I do know who created the Earth and it wasn’t Krishna and it wasn’t Jehovah. Who do you think it was? It was me. I have the memory of the exact moment I thought it up. I woke one morning and started flapping my wings around a little bit trying to figure out how to get some birdseed and I realized this was still heaven and we hadn’t even been created yet. Well the tree contains the nut and I knew I had to get out of there. Nothing ever happens in heaven. So I kept staring into Krishna’s eye and moving backwards real slowly. I kept giving him that enraptured look until I was far enough away. Then I just kept going and I was out of there. Old Krishna didn’t even notice that I was gone. Or at least he didn’t miss me. So much for how much he cared about me. I suppose there were plenty of other birds willing to gaze into his eyes, but I knew from that day forward there was going to be one less bird in paradise.

I started to wonder what to do next when I got the idea. It just came to me and I said, “I know. I’ll create the Earth. And it’ll be beautiful. It’ll have blue oceans and green continents and the sun will shine and there will be beautiful plants and flowers everywhere. And I’ll make a lot of different kinds of birds and animals who live there. Particularly a lot of different kinds of birds—like me. So no one will have to be lonely. And the people of all races and nationalities can live there and build their nations in peace with one another. And then at the last minute I realized that if I didn’t want it to turn out like heaven it couldn’t be perfect. Things had to be able to go wrong sometimes or it would be a paradise not worth living in. So I said it would still be a home to nations and races but nobody would have to stand around enraptured for eternity. Things could be able to change and people could do anything they wanted to.

Well no sooner had I thought it up than it started coming into being. Happening pretty fast, too. And it was beautiful. But I have to admit it wasn’t exactly the way I imagined it. My world was a lot more round like a ball. A lot less poofed out in the center, and my world was all colored in, too. Blue and it didn’t have those white spaces at the top and the bottom like the painter ran out of blue paint before he had a chance to fill it all in. But it was nice, it really was. It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. More beautiful than Krishna’s dream world because this was really real. And talk about birds! They were every place. Did you know there were birds at the South Pole who can’t fly and look like they’re wearing tuxedos?

So I thought, “What a good boy am I,” and took the name Yogasananda, which means divine bird who created the earth and the sky. I began to stylize myself depicted as carrying the earth on my spread wings. “It is Eye,” I proclaimed, “who has led us out of Paradise to make our home here. It is I who has made you alive. I who have freed you from bondage of eternal bliss.”

The tree becomes the nut. I didn’t realize I hadn’t really thought it through. I hadn’t thought ahead that by giving them life I was also causing them to die. That by freeing them from rapture I made possible their suffering. That by letting them do what they wanted I made possible wars, murder, lawlessness. That by allowing disorder I had created a firestorm that would continue unabated until the present day.

And wherever I would go Jehovah would be right there behind me, taking all the fun out of things. “Stop what you are doing,” he would say, “You’re messing everything up. Don’t you see you can’t have it like that? This is supposed to be an orderly universe and earth is supposed to be orderly too.”

Actually I didn’t create the whole earth. I only created about 18% of it and the rest just sort of happened by itself. Maybe there was more than one creator working at the same time. But if they were I didn’t know about it. Look. I created it. I can’t govern it. I’m not running it. It has to run itself.

It was true. I had been sort of a birdbrain. I didn’t work everything out ahead of time. I’m a bird, not a rocket scientist. “Oh look what you’ve done,” he used to say to me. “Now I can’t even control it.” He was trying to create a little paradise on the earth, that was for sure…

But things were changing. I realized that just as Jehovah was no longer a man, I was no longer a bird. I had been a bird at one time. Maybe only a painting of a bird. Bird of Paradise. But by coming here I had taken on other attributes. For instance, birds live such a fleeting existence. I have never died. I have become somehow endowed with divinity. A Yogasananda. A divinity that lives outside of time able to bring things into and out of existence through the power of their mind.

So with Jehovah being such a pest with his Chosen People and all, I thought to myself—Eternity contained within the moment—I don’t have to go through all this. I’ll do a little divine creating myself. I so I began masturbating. Oh, didn’t you know? Yogasanandas always masturbate when they are creating. They have to. It’s the only way they can do it. Every time you see change starting to happen or things coming into being that had never existed before you know that somewhere a yogasananda is masturbating.

As I began masturbating I said to myself I’m going to create a city set in the far future. It will be called Los Angeles and it will be more beautiful than any other city that has even been built before. It will have mountains on one side and the ocean on the other so that on the same day you can ski in the snow in the mountains in the morning then drive to the ocean and sunbathe at the beach in the afternoon and the sun will shine all day every day. It will have brilliant white streets and split level ranch style homes and everywhere will be as green as a lush verdant garden with four kinds of palm trees none of them naturally occurring in that latitude and every kind of flowering plant. And I will give it two major industries, one which I shall call “the movies” which people can use the power of the imagination to create themselves to become as beautiful and undying as the gods. And the aerospace industry where they shall manufacture the great rocket ships to explore interplanetary space. And it will have two basketball teams so people can choose whether to watch the Lakers. the best basketball team in the world or the Clippers, the worst basketball team in the world. And it will be a place where people can come to to forget the past and reinvent themselves in the present to live out the rest of their lives in the best of all possible worlds.

And no sooner had I imagined it than it started to become a reality. The wide boulevards, the ranch style homes, the convertible cars with white sidewall tires. And it looked for a while like everything would be perfect but eventually things began to go wrong.

Look maybe my creation had a few flaws in it. But you don’t know how hard it can be for a yogasananda sitting there masturbating trying to create something meanwhile being bombarded by all the prayers and wishes of the whole world.

Jehovah realized he couldn’t control the whole world—what with everybody at war with everybody else. He decided finally that if he could only control one people—his Chosen People experiment—but he couldn’t even get them to do what he wanted them to do. They kept screwing up and worshipping other gods, etc. So he said, “Look, I’m getting too old for this. If you really want somebody to control the whole world, I’ve got to get a regional manager. I’ll still look after my chosen people but I’m signing everything else over to my son. He’s got a lot of new fangled ideas like forgiving people and not fighting but I’m sure he’ll do a good job.”

Yeah, Jehovah—I know him you know. He’s a friend of mine. He lives not far from here. He used to do things for people sometimes. Part the Red Sea, stuff like that. But not anymore. Now he won’t do anything for anybody. Not even his own people. He says, “It’s not my fight. I did the best I could for them. Got them a good education and some income property. I can’t help it if they get so full of themselves they fool around and almost lose it. Absolutely not will I raise a finger to help them. The aren’t babies anymore. They’ve got to learn to take care of themselves. As far as I’m concerned the Earth is running itself.”

So you know I like to watch the Lakers. I like to masturbate that I win a lot of money in Las Vegas and the Lakers almost won four championships in a row.

I’ve lived as a lot of things, but I think the most fun I’ve ever had was when I was in prison. You don’t know how relaxing that can be. For one thing you don’t have to make up your mind about anything. They tell you everything to do.

Of course it really isn’t the same for me, because as a Yogasananda at night I can change myself into a bird and fly out between the bars. Go to other places in the jail. Go outside if I want. Do things for other inmates.

Boy I tell you the most fun I had was playing cards. And you don’t get a lot of time to spend masturbating by yourself. But do you know what they do in there? They make love to other men.

Then one time I met a drag queen. I was so impressed that I created the greatest drag queen that ever existed. She was huge. I named her Satan and she became the Queen of all Drag Queens.

But you know in the Bible all they talk about is a book in it called the Apocalypse. It’s the last book in the Bible and a lot of people really want that stuff to happen. And if they want it bad enough, it would take a fleet of Yogasanandas masturbating to keep them from doing it. And if they get what they pray for, we’ll be nothing but a blister on the wall. So I might have to appoint an emissary to take over for me the way Jehovah sent Jesus. I have this recurring nightmare about two birds in the bush. But here we’ve only got one bird, two bushes. The first bush played by the rules of engagement but the second bush actually wants to kill Saddam Hussein. So I may have to take my bird in hand and bid adieu if we can’t figure out a better way to end this story.

That’s all I can remember. I can’t remember the ending.

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