The home-page essay is the reason this website exists and is, I think, pretty much self-explanatory. Thanks for the phone call, Will. The second post was "Well, I realize" and they continue in descending order to the bottom until the final post on 2-17-2011. Then the person who was helping me with the site at the time put "Poem for Mohamed Bouazizi" (dated Dec.17, 2011) at the top. I still don't know if he had an idea or reason for doing that, but I've come to like it very much. Posts since then are appearing, infrequent as they are, in ascending order. There's a whole background-foreground thing going on there that just appeals to me.

The promised 12-17 essay mentioned on the home page is the post entitled "And finally". The three comments sections never really worked, but I have left them on the site as artifacts of the original essay and, I think, the atmosphere of blogs and comments on blogs a few years ago.

I am including here a tape I made of myself doing the sound practice with some small commentary. It's homemade and amateurish - quite appropriate in a way, and I'm not taking a shot at myself saying that. One of the things Hikalu said to me about the sound practice was - You have to be desperate. In this case that applies pretty much equally to my attempts to get the word out about the Kototama Principle, and to any person who might stumble on my efforts and be moved to action by them. Mainly I just felt sort of like an athlete about it. This is what I am actually talking about, which seems only fair to put out there, and this is the way I did it on October 25, 2014.

One of the hard things about this Kototama Principle sound practice, I have come to think, is that talking about it in everyday language is doomed to failure. One reason I made the tape is the Kototama videos on youtube sound so much like chanting, something quite apart from normal language. Mine may as well, but my inner sense after all these years is that the sound practice is more real than everyday language, is the perspective from which everyday language is created.

I still feel I know next to nothing about the actual sounds. I have to smile about sort of choking up at one point saying A-I-E. Those three simple sounds, the heart as I understand it, of the final basic order, do in fact give me real pleasure somehow, perhaps will be my final prayer, if I am allowed one. I could go on and on about that - those three sounds representing respectively light, life-will, and judgment, have a certain primacy over O and U, representing knowledge and the physical desires and reality. Or I could relate it to a human body - the "human form divine", as William Blake puts it - head and broad shoulders and chest tapering down to a narrow waist and skinny legs. Or even a buffalo's body. You don't have to shout "Bow your neck" to a buffalo, words which, as I have written elsewhere on this site, sort of capture my sense of posture during sound practice. Sit a buffalo upright, and you would be pretty much good to go. But these are just ideas. The sound practice itself is the thing.

And finally, a note about, of all things, the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. I have loved his poetry since first encountering it in college. I have recited to myself and to classes of young students, for instance, "Spring and Fall" countless times over the last 40 years, and it still gives me both pleasure and pain. Frankly I also always liked that he didn't write so much. I've come to the conclusion that most writers, or at least most "serious" ones, write too much. Elmore Leonard's idea that a prospective writer needs to write 100,000 words to find his or her voice makes sense to me, but after that there's only so many bullets in the gun, as a pretty successful major-league pitcher said to me once.

But in regard to the Kototama Principle, there is the sound A. Only recently I have realized a bedrock appeal of Hopkins for me has always been his use in a few poems of "Ah!" as a kind of interjection. In "Spring and Fall" it is, "Ah, as the heart grows older." Most striking to me is this:

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

And in perhaps his greatest poem:

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plow down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

What I am saying is there is a splendor breaking from Hopkins' poetry, at least to my ears, in the repetition of that single syllable a handful of times that is unique in English poetry and distinctly "Kototama-like" in spirit.

So here's the link to the video: