Saturday, December 30, 2017
They lived in a heap of trash. Rusted mufflers, flaking corrosion, broken light tubes with jagged edges, brackish pools of kitchen stench, half-dented cans of bug death caught in coils of wiring, thorns, sofa springs, styrofoam snow, vacuum tube linoleum piercings, saranwrapped decapitated mannequins at odd angles...
Everything heaved with ants, termites, rats gorging on festering TV entrées, dead things, misplaced compost. Other things moved. Cyborg pinheads with gasoline belches engaged in amplexus with giant purple iguanas.
"Don't force it," one grunted, "and it will all slide."
Pterodactyls swooped down to catch sewer gnomes. Some of these retaliated with catapults and fiery swamp gas projectiles. A ptero ignited and plunged into the mud. Insane, horned, gyro-geeks spiraled around, smashed things and vended their wares.
Heads appeared out of holes.
"I'll have three pornstars and a sack of beans, please."
"We're out of beans but our pornstars are still fresh."
"Well how about them for a stack of Popular Mechanics?"
The market was in full force. All the best of jungle, swamp and slag-heap for your every desire. The heap sprawled on for miles. Anti-gravity faeries surfed on Tesla waves, warping the sounds and pictures. The Song worked furiously in their condo lint-nests, frantically splicing genes and snorting coke.
Buzz saws, explosions, mad cackles punctuated the subtle music of Aeolian piano-wire harps. An orange neon sign flashed: "God was here." Scrap metal sculptures reached for the sky. Everyday they added on to themselves.
Then the drums sounded. Jaundice skinned trolls bashing empty oil barrels, tribespeople pounding polyrhythms on djembes. Grandpa Dragonfly blew the conch shell three times. The gathering had commenced.
With astonishing speed they arrived at the salt flats. At first they formed a circle, joining hands, tentacles, talons, paws, mechanical clutches, hose, branches and hooks and faced each other. Then they reached across and further connected their limbs. This accelerated quickly. A game of frenzy twister ensued. A circle to a web to a cluster to a ball. Heads over tails over hooves. The ball rolled, shook, undulated, bounced, howled, giggled, ejaculated, vomited, spun and finally stood still. Everyone was comfortable.
From the centre, Grandpa Dragonfly called the meeting to order. Most of this happened in silence, but then it was time to translate for the non-telepaths. Of course this started an argument. What language to use?
The ball began to roll and sputter. After much hassle and nose-wrangling, consensus was reached and bolo-tongue was chosen as the most universally applicable. Grandpa Dragonfly spoke first, not because he was accepted as any kind of "leader," -- Fish forbid -- but only because it was he who called the meeting.
"Things are becoming way too strange," his raspy voice tickled many eardrums, "there seems to be a constant buzz in the air. A low almost moaning deep within the Earth. A subterranean didgeridoo. A hungry belly. It's as if something is waking up. Some huge thing. We all know that things are already crazier than anyone could have imagined."
Here he delved into something he called "history."
"The states melted. The weather went AWOL. The gene-pool went public. Nanoids running amok. Everyone mutating for kicks. The Trans-Corpse went organic. Money disappeared. Anarchy was unleashed. All desires manifested in some reality or another."
Most of the younger gatherers had no idea what he was talking about and even the older ones found it hard to remember. He continued.
"But now things are even faster, more tangled and more surprising. There is a great sense of culmination and climax."
"We all felt that before," an old pirate wheezed from the bottom of the ball, "but it all just kept goin' on. It's nuthin' new!" He seemed annoyed.
"Ah, though, this time it's different," the dragonfly's voice rose in volume and graveness, "this time complete Omega is coming. Mama's giving birth. The Trans-Corpse knows and they're divided. Some are afraid of losing control, some are helping to bring it on. But I don't know why or what is exactly happening!"
The linearity was too boring for most. The cacophony began...
The scene changed once again. He was sitting at a large circular oak table. The table was the only feature in a vast dark hall of stone. The only light came from several white candles situated in a chandelier which hung nearly touching the centre of the table. Around the table sat the philosophers, completely engaged in grave council.
Only the wisest were assembled: Metaphysicians, epistemologists, political scientists, cosmologists, pataphysicians, neo-alchemists, psychobiologists, pansurrealists, post-post-Kantians, lumpen-Nietzsceans, Zen dance masters, retro-transvestites, Baptists, überconformists, cyberpunks, flower skinheads, Hindu gods, Marxist priests, Pythagorean hipsters, evangelical agnostics, postsexuals, Taoist slaves, old dead bearded white men, radical lesbian separatists, nihilists, cat lovers, a holographic projection of Snuffleupagus.
In front of each was a pewter goblet of red wine. He took a sip of wine. It was thick, spicy and slightly bitter. He began to focus on what was being said.
"...Insofar as we know there is no equivalent to genetic replication in dustbunnies!" an extremely hairy man bellowed angrily, slamming his fist on the table. His outburst provoked further anger and a goblet and a set of false teeth flew at him from opposite sides of the table. A woman stood up on her chair.
"What right have you to speak for the inaminate??" she screamed. This started a heated debate in several languages which everyone took part in, but nobody fully understood. A small green man refilled the goblets with wine for the ninth time that evening.
An überconformist spun up a handful of blunts, lit them, and passed them to his neighbours on his left and right. In the midst of foul-mouthed and fiery discourse all assembled became thoroughly karped.
Voices filled the hall ebbing and flowing like ocean waves. Nasal high-pitched whines. Operatic disclamations. Buzz saw peals of sarcasm. Sadistic punbursts. Oxymoronic wailing guffaws. Grunts, snickers, accusations, lamentations, belches, diatribes, death threats, interrupted monologues. Giggle fits and sighing ecstasy. The occasional well-punctuated fart. The gritting of teeth. The crackling of knuckles. The pulling of hair. And then there was silence.
After an eternity a voice spoke. It was barely a flutter, soft but clear. It came from a weenie of a man, a member of a dissenting yet conservative faction of flower skinheads. The weenie looked straight at him and spoke:
"It's all up to you." Now all eyes focused on him.
"You alone are left to tell us the answer to all of our inquiries. The culmination of this great debate. The answer that will set our minds at rest, that verily will determine the future of this planet. The answer that will once and for all result in the eternal triumph of good over evil, or however our minds choose to formulate this metaphor.
"Your answer shall be both a synthesis and transcendence of the uttermost important thoughts of these great intellects gathered here. Once spoken it shall be shouted from the rooftops. Choirs will sing its refrain. Whole nations will reform to its message. The gods will return to this Earth and clarity will shine brilliant in the eyes of all. We anxiously yet patiently await your response. Answer us: What is going on?"
He blushed and sweated in horror as he shrank from the eyes of the great. He had no idea how he had even arrived in the hall. He had forgotten who he was and the wine and the spliffs only added to his confusion. But he swallowed his fear, cleared his throat, stood on the table and spoke:
"There is no meaning anywhere in the universe except that which we choose to give to it. Beyond this there is only the combined conceptions, perceptions and actions of every other entity in the universe including the universe itself. Nothing is stable. All is in movement. All is in a condition of perpetual creativity which emerges from the chaos of infinite possibilities.
"All of our categories, ideologies, thought experiments and even language itself is total bullshit. Only by freeing ourselves from these clinging notions can we ever hope to evolve beyond the mess we have made for ourselves. Only by our reemergence, and conscious reemergence, with this chaos can we find our way out. For in truth there is nothing but chaos. Nothing except interconnected flows of living energy.
"Everything is simply doing its own thing in order to sustain and expand itself. Each does this by collecting food, energy, information or money in whatever way is easiest. Everything is natural. We are free to do anything. Morality is a control myth, although certain actions are more fluid, balanced and inconsequential than others. It just so happens that these actions correspond with the moral dicta of most religions.
"At the base of all religions is the flow of of energy be it expressed as light, love, information or obedience to God. In fact there is no God but this God. All authority and control are all illusions and we often willingly give ourselves to these myths. In this way we ensure our own slavery. We need to smash or soar beyond all idols at all levels of perception and conception.
"There is only evolution and this is the creator, the created and the act of creation. Every atom of the universe is the entire universe and we have only to realize this to make it manifest. There are no limits. Everything is funny. There exists worlds beyond our comprehension for our exploration. The flow is best surfed with respect for the total. Space, time, mind, matter and energy are one. This, of course, is only my viewpoint and there is no truth."
He finished, stepped off the table and was instantly seized by the philosopher mob. They had not enjoyed a word. They took him outside to a tree and hung him by the neck until he died. He had already left his body. His crime was boredom. Civilization soon collapsed. Meanwhile, two cockroaches who had heard him in the hall and saw him die on the tree decided to start a religion...
The ruckus gurgled out of the sewer grates inspiring crippled toads to clear their obscured vision and sputter forth past rows of moss bungalows oozing with organic furry clarity charity for the unsatoried few who sit bored on couches munching cheezies and bragging about last Saturday night everything went wrong face planted into the pavement neon stars around his head in turned orbited by tiny worlds teeming with mutant life such as a bizarre species of hamster who do nothing but ponder their own place in the cosmos, who pay no attention to the physical world but spend all their short lives in their own unique thought dimension where they are God, all-knowing, all-powerful and immortal. All was blissful in these private utopias until they were warped into by humanoid reality surfers, the ultimate incarnation of a long succession of Lamarckian subcultural evolution way past uber-punk, post post-mortem, biodegradable extropic ideology-fuckers and bird-callers, drooling theo-morons, power-hippies, deep ravers, plurfs and ironic neo-squiffs who feasted on phosphorescent lichen leaving so-called consensus reality altogether beaming right naked down to the exclusive universe of the hamster demi-gods who fought them flicking snot and spreading paranoia. Eventually once the gate was crashed the joint was swamped by the worst type of curiousity-seeking wankers getting fat and establishing posh resorts where you can get your earlobes sucked while you intravenously absorb a sweet euphoric nectar that makes your whole body seem like one big penis whilst unbeknown to you you are being genetically reprogrammed to become the perfect automaton work, consume, watch TV, sleep. Fortunately some suburban computer geek introduced a nanoid virus into the soup further reprogramming the hapless penis zombies into fiery-eyed mall-smashing iconoclasts, nihilist mayhem addicts, sado-masochistic pleasure freaks, burning, bombing, looting, plundering yuppie vikings, New Age vandals, rabid brigands of the laundromats, cultural toxicity, window-shopping cancer, glamour girls sweating perfect plastic drops, their world had gone amok the rodents mentally paralysed by a wave of existential angst were unable to do anything. Their divinities stripped their powers forgotten ripples of confusion spun out from their heads back to the noösphere of the home world in beams of light to the neon stars which shone like a halo around the bruised toothless head of the alcoholic moss-dweller catching the attention of the wandering toads who in turn slapped the bum back into consciousness -- the beer-gutted redneck awoke from his stupor whole dimensions disappeared the hamster gods vanished the surfers were left without a home again the ruckus slinked back into the sewer chuckling softly...
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
There is no god
apart from poppies and the flying fish,
men singing songs, and women brushing their hair in the sun.
The lovely things are god that has come to pass, like Jesus came.
The rest, the undiscoverable, is the demiurge.
-- "The Body of God," D.H. Lawrence
It is important to notice that Lawrence is not denying the existence of God. Instead he is saying that no deity exists apart from and beyond nature. The divine is immanent, in other words, and transcendent only as far as the transcendent is just another perspective on the immanent. A question of epistemology and not ontology. Two truths as opposed to two worlds.
Songs, fish, flowers, flowing hair are patterns and rhythms of the World Soul. They are fluctuations and potentialities, meeting points of forces and messages, that take on recognizable forms for a moment. All perception is continually created and destroyed in like manner. No form resists transformation or penetration from others.
The World Soul is an immense sphere of spheres. A toroidal flux of doubling circulation. A "tantric egg" with its unattainable polar extremes -- pure subjectivity and pure objectivity, God and Nature -- snipped off and allowing movement both without and within. The demiurgic whirling outward, amnesiac of its own origins, and the christic swirling to the centre inside.
The Newtonian God -- the God who made a clockwork-like universe, wound it, and withdrew -- died a long time ago. This is what Nietzsche meant and this is the God who is being observed.
Anyone who is looking around for a simulated icon of the deity in Newtonian guise might well be disappointed. The phrase "God is dead" applies aptly, correctly, validly to the Newtonian universe which is dead. The groundrule of that universe, upon which so much of our Western world is built, has dissolved.
-- The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan
McLuhan rightly interprets Nietzsche here, and as usual brings the story forward. The clockwork cosmos was always a fiction, a linear and causal fable stemming from our adoption of the printing press and the clock as metaphors for all things. The gears have rusted and the springs have sprung. The cuckoo is spasming on the living room carpet. The line of the horizon has indeed been sponged away.
Every compass needle spins like a weathercock in a strong wind. Our navigation systems cause us to drive into the sea. This God has died. There is nothing above that is not also below. Electronic media coils us all together in a fashion that is entirely disorienting, "a brand-new world of allatonceness" that is also archaic and tribal. The old laws etched in stone or bound in leather no longer make sense.
To the savage this stone or tree or yam has mana or orenda, that is what concerns him; but gradually, -- and this is another high road to impersonation -- from the multitude of things that have mana, there arises the notion of a sort of continuum of mana, a world of unseen power lying behind the visible universe, a world which is the sphere, as will be seen, of magical activity and the medium of mysticism.
-- Themis, Jane Ellen Harrison
Yet the primal songlines and resonance fields remain. Points of intersection, spots made sacred as sites of epiphany and ordeal, rare instants spun up or down by accelerated extropy or entropy and allowing a break thru. These uncanny rocks or bushes or pieces of art ring off of each other, a sound audible for the attuned, richening in colour and contrast. A continuum of mana.
The plane or sphere (the geometry is dual and in motion) of immanence is here given character, provided with eyes and ears. Harrison goes on to explain that this continuum subsequently became synonymous with the World Soul. Its transcendent qualities are attributed only much later.
God -- plural and feminine and animal and multi-desiring -- once swam through mineral and fire and dream and speech. And still does. All pronouns break down at this stage. Verbs enfold each person, place and thing mistakenly classed as discrete and inviolable. Adjectives and adverbs burst out of these bright bundles of noise as sparks and flares.
The treetops absorb sunlight through language. Fungal fibres secrete verse and prose to cliff-clinging roots. Imagination circles through this medium -- creation and procreation -- not visible but felt and smelt (who dealt it?) keenly and with the constant premonition of possible danger.
We think the material or machinic aspect of an assemblage relates not to the production of goods but rather to a precise state of intermingling of bodies in a society, including all the attractions and repulsions, sympathies and antipathies, alterations, amalgamations, penetrations, and expansions that affect bodies of all kinds in their relations to one another. What regulates the obligatory, necessary, or permitted interminglings of bodies is above all an alimentary regime and a sexual regime. Even technology makes the mistake of considering tools in in isolation: tools exist only in relation to the interminglings they make possible or that make them possible.
-- A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari
"...the libido suffuses everything." The continuum is above all a continuum of desire. Libido, orgone, chi, mana, mojo, kundalini, groove, beat. There is no isolation. All systems -- musical, geological, linguistic, historical, ecological, make-believe, technical, political-economical, poetic -- mingle together in sometimes discernible overlays and juxtapositions. Bodies before goods, creation before production.
There is foreplay and long drawn out planes of intensity and slight but shattering ruptures of climax. Things newly spawned at each juncture. Hybrids and miscegenations and mutations, beautiful half-breeds and freaks, purity and finalized order really a death wish of the ignorant and afraid. Overwhelming kaleidoscopic becomings and recomings of food and sex.
Tubules, satyrs, striations, murmurings, the "ping" frog in the deep jungle a couple hours before dawn. Mating, eating, fucking, migrating, trading, swapping, frolicking, composing, dissolving, congealing. All "fixed" and "stable" towers of control become decentred, uncertain, disinformed by their very attempt to reassemble the clockwork organism and its spurious species, races, nations, roles.
In this light, the embodiment of the soul and the tension caused by its separation from divinity was not a fall or an error but the sine qua non to stimulate the circulation of Eros. For only in the embodied soul, in its self-alienation and inversion, could the divine genuinely experience separation, and consequently, an eros for itself.
-- Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus, Gregory Shaw
There is no fall but the autumn, drifting gently downwards to welcome sleep and dissolution and escape from the cold. God willed a mate and enabled Her to possess absolute freedom. His desire -- love and lust and something far beyond both, the stellar force and urge -- impelled Him to redeem the cosmos, a painful hunger for eventual and impossible unity, perfect bliss.
Yet, in the telling of Mater Matter, God himself is a toy. Nothing was willed that was not always already there. The cycle is only the process of the so-called Creator regaining his memory. Her eros is both constant and on the move. The circulation of souls is the inhalation and exhalation of the greater continuum.
"What planet in this?" It is all planets everywhere. Both open and closed, infinite and finite, plane and sphere, transcendent and immanent, fueled and charged by desire alone. The demiurge lost in the gaze of his own reflection, a pinwheel blown by winds that never were not.
Seeing himself [a Fairy] in my possession, thus he answer'd me:
"My master, I am yours! command me, for I must obey."
"Then tell me, what is the material world, and is it dead?"
He, laughing, answer'd: "I will write a book on leaves of flowers,
If you will feed me on love-thoughts & give me now and then
A cup of sparkling poetic fancies; so when I am tipsie,
I'll sing to you this soft lute, and shew you all alive
The world, when every particle of dust breathes forth its joy."
-- "Europe: A Prophecy," -- William Blake
The very elementals, fed from thoughts of love and the musings of poetry. Photosynthesis as erosynthesis. Now they have retreated, turned inward, burrowed and burrowing. They still wait patiently for someone with an offering, with an intention or a rite. Long centuries of waiting has affected certain changes both in outline and in attitude.
Those dustbunnies appearing mysteriously -- seemingly out of nowhere -- in the irregularly swept corners of train stations, some as big as hamsters, composed of insect legs, dandruff, congealed breath, lint, radiation, crumbs, morgellons fibres, electronic components, body hair, leaves, ragged q-tips, loneliness, world domination plots, condoms, tsunamis, skin cells, intoxication, broken dreams, smoke, aftertastes and coloured threads, are every one of them alive and sentient, witnesses to the joyless commuter parade.
Sprites and nixies in a former incarnation. Neglected and malformed by the Nothing, by the grey belief that the material world is dead.
Let me feel the mud and the heavens in my lotus. Let me feel the heavy, silting, sucking mud, the spinning of sky winds. Let me feel them both in purest contact, the nakedness of sucking weight, nakedly passing radiance. Give me nothing fixed, set, static. Don't give me the infinite or the eternal: nothing of infinity, nothing of eternity. Give the still, white seething, the incandescence and the coldness of the incarnate moment: the moment, the quick of all change and haste and opposition: the moment, the immediate present, the Now. The immediate moment is not a drop of water running downstream. It is the source and issue, the bubbling up of the stream. Here, in this very instant moment, up bubbles the stream of time, out of the wells of futurity, flowing on to the oceans of the past. The source, the issue, the creative quick.
-- Preface to the American Edition of New Poems (1920), D.H. Lawrence
With all this comes the humus-bed of new growth. At the tip of the spear, the allatonceness, the spring-fed well of the cave, the moment without bottom. From the mud and the shit and the cataclysm and the supernova, completely novel assemblages jump up naked for their time in the sun. Stories branch out from much older epics and sagas.
Ulysses telling of his final attempt to storm Mount Purgatory, sentenced thereafter to perpetual torment for his treachery and cunning within the deepest gyres of the Inferno. Closest to Satan's horned and icy schlong, but by grace reborn on the banks of the Liffey. Arthur springing from the courts of love, descendant of the child of Venus who brought the bough to the same dark halls, but now also awaiting return.
The inevitable conclusion is that the entire hierarchy of being (which includes the graded hierarchy of transcendence and immanence), when regarded as a display of the One, is equivalent to a kind of miraculous divine 'myth'. This 'myth', revealed in the form of the all-embracing and dynamic cosmic agalma (hieratic statue, image, shrine) is analogous to the obscuring power of maya which (in the Trika philosophy of Kashmir), though being an aspect of Parama Shiva, acts as a veil thrown over the supreme ineffable Principle.
-- Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity, Algis Uždavinys
The entire Neoplatonic hierarchy, the spectral palette of creation from form to matter, now Brunoized into a endless multi-centred chaosmos. Shiva blowing chillums and spouting Mother Ganga milk-jizm from the top of his head in every mote of dust floating and sparkling in the light of day. The veil of maya, the girdle of Aphrodite, the gilded prison, Penelope's woven shroud, is constructed entirely of perception.
Dulled eyes, stuffed ears, runny noses, scalded tongues, skin stretched and scraped and lotioned out of all sensitivity. Yet just one chapter in the ongoing myth. The reign of dullness and quantity. When mud is nothing other than mud. When perpetual accumulation is somehow figured in to mollify the primal and holy Lack. A Nemean Lion infinitely more ferocious and difficult to slay than filling up the Grand Canyon with broken and discarded TVs. Like trying to satisfy the hunger of a black hole. Like trying to open up Valhalla in the Preta World.
But the wind does not teach despair. There is music. There are colours. There is sunlight. There are absorbing wonders in every crevice and crossroad. Read the stories anew. The scents and emotions of other times and feelings still pass through pages, personalities pass through, and nobody yet knows how this happens. Ciphers, symbols, images, formulas, postures, songs, statues -- all emit rays invisible yet biological, whispering together, sometimes screaming. The veil is also the principle.
There are no hierarchies, no infinite, no such many as mass, there are only
eyes in all heads,
to be looked out of
-- The Maximus Poems, Charles Olson
Maximus of Tyre, Maximus the Neoplatonic philosopher, Maximus the homo maximus -- the man/woman that envelopes the All. Adam and Finn and Albion and Ymir and Pangu and Tiamat and Old Angel Midnight. But a One that is not one. Many eyes, multiple stamens and pistils fire great spoogy pollen clouds to blanket the fields, all endowed with sight, every speck in constant communication with the others.
Slide on down the rhizome tubes, each bend and twist takes us deeper into the ground, further into the past. Reverse evolution (although she never only moved in a "forward" direction anyway). Back to the juncture -- in scientific fable -- of when humanity branched off from the other higher primates. And then go deeper and older. To the fork in the road of mammal-becoming and bird-becoming, of vertebrates and invertebrates, of vegetable and mineral, of tangible and intangible.
And worm yer way back up. Take any route you like. Get lost in there. Emerge as amoeba, as cheetah, as scorpion, as slime mold, as diamond, as werewolf, as ant colony, as Richard the Third. Death is not the prerequisite for this journey. And the trip is not even necessary. What is the incredible and total vista from within of eyes watching eyes watching eyes watching eyes?
Those among us us who have been ordained priests believe that they have the power to summon up the real presence of gods, demons, angels, heroes and spirits. But such theurgy cannot be brought about without the order of the universe being disturbed in some way. When gods descend to the earth the sun or the moon hides for a short time from the sight of mortals.
-- The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, Jan Potocki
Those priests and priestesses, in a more civilized era given the time to contemplate and observe outside the requirements of production, began to notice (very many centuries before our present quantum chapter) that their own imaginings became instantly reflected externally. "Began to notice" -- began to codify and reflect upon what was simply experience and embodied/ensouled existence for their archaic ancestors.
Theurgy is the knowledge and practice that rites and images are the keys to discovering and even manipulating the divinity of matter. The rhizomatic tendrils also extend upwards, to the subtle fire and to the super-lunar orbs and fields. An alchemy of ritual, of hues and shapes and movements and noises, attracting currents through likeness and seduction.
Internally becoming the calm pool around which the fay gather to gaze at their mirrorings. The gravity of eros finding a new conduit, thru the cardiac synthesizer, and affecting even the orbits of stars. The gods are shaken in their halls. Have the Hundred-Eyed Ones awoken again? Yog-sothoth. Beings pour in through the open silver gate.
Iamblichus plays with this subtle and prolific fire. His wisdom and warnings find their way into the texts of the Aeropagite, casting a theurgical glimmer on all subsequent Christian mysticism and eventually retreating into the mountain caverns of Spain, where the Alumbrados fused with radical Ismailis, heretical Kabbalists, gypsy crypto-Kali adherents and even pre-Roman autochthonic antinomians.
And this is the milieu that Polish author and adept, Jan Potocki, discovered there just before he -- terrified by his own werewolf-becoming -- shot himself in the head with a sanctified silver bullet. The very universe was disturbed.
"But why all the vile rheum -- like r-h-e-u-m."
"I'm shitting out my educated Middlewest background for once and for all. It's a matter of catharsis where I say the most horrible thing I can think of -- Realize that, the most horrible dirty slimy awful niggardliest posture possible -- By the time I finish this book I'll be as pure as an angel, my dear. These great existential anarchists and terrorists so-called never even their own drippy fly mentioneth, dear -- They should poke sticks thru their shit and analyze that for social progress."
"But where'll all that shit get us?"
"Simply get rid of shit, really Jack."
-- Desolation Angels, Jack Kerouac
And at another nexus point -- the Interzone of Tangier (the cavern passages extend under the Mediterranean to exits in opium dens, majoun parlors and tea houses) -- interplanetary agents also assemble. Peyotl to William James to Gertrude Stein to Paul Bowles to Burroughs to Kerouac and Ginsberg. This being only the mostly human lineage.
Analyzed shit. Floods of rectal mucus. Alimentary regimes, circulations and continua in full motion. Saxophone blowouts and assaults from the scorpion and crustacean overlords. And it is entirely about purgation. Post-yage jungle hangovers now transferred to the desert. Junk is Image. Image is Junk. Cut-up as cosmic insurrection. Splice the Word that has become co-opted by priestly hierarchies who are very aware that their trickery is not indefinite.
Bodhisattvas sent to Earth to prevent total psychic supernova. Agents on all sides, pedaling every variety of elixir, a worse swindle than the Pantheon Bar at the base of Mount Analogue, some leading to bliss and some to oblivion or worse. The CIA is only a trifle.
And Ti Jean shipped in right smack in the middle of it with his typing skills, excavating, spelunking-out word gems from piles of scraps of papers and used syringes, his own Mother devotion soon overriding all desire for novelty. But what about the anarchists who do mention their drippy flies?
Deleuze does not mention Iamblichus in his account of the roots of expressionism, but Iamblichus's position, of all those in Neoplatonism, has perhaps the most proximity to Deleuze's own. For Iamblichus, the ritual practice of pagan theurgy, in which the material world is ordered so as to be rendered "fitting" for the divine, is not a constraining of the spiritual in the material, let alone a coercion of gods by humans. In fact, Iamblichus argues that theurgy is such a powerful form of cooperation and communion that it is not on the basis of contemplation (nous), but through theurgy itself that the soul returns to the One.
-- The Hermetic Deleuze: Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal, Joshua Ramey
Deleuze and Guattari, themselves students of Kerouac and Burroughs and Castaneda and Artaud and Lawrence and Virginia Woolf and Joyce, are relatively recent lovers of Hermetic wisdom. They draw sap from this lineage that does stretch back to Iamblichus, and further back to grandmaster Plato himself and, as Uždavinys documents, all the way back to the initiates of ancient Egypt and beyond.
This is at once a marginal, underground counter-tradition and at the very core of both Eastern and Western official philosophy. It is simultaneously royal science and nomad science, reterritorializing and deterritorializing.
Philosophy, in its essence, is theurgy. It is embodied and initiatic. It requires ordeals and sacrifices to Sophia, Mary and Kali-Ma. It stagnates and gums up when it concerns itself with opinion and the ratio, when like science it attempts to present the "objective," the general grey staleness that is common to every severed and over-coded part.
Philosophy fractures the spectrum of perception when it limits itself to precise definition, to impeccable logic, to single-vision, to Euclidean abstraction, axioms and the grammar of reason. Instead, the love of this goddess is forever bound up with poetry, with metaphor and word games, with breath and feeling, with lived experience and struggle.
We, dominated by the reign of quantity, think of these two as being sundered. The poets have already been expelled from the Republic, or at least mostly ignored, taken as entertainers rather than co-makers of the cosmos. And the "poets" themselves have also mostly forgotten this calling, as fallen as the "philosophers." Yet when these two brotherhoods/sisterhoods recombine -- the spiritual in the material -- the culture will be shaken and the gods will smile.
Are these the words of the all-powerful boards and syndicates of the earth? These are the words of liars cowards collaborators traitors. Liars who want time for more lies. Cowards who can not face your "dogs" your " gooks" your "errand boys" your "human animals" with the truth. Collaborators with the Insect People with Vegetable People. With any people anywhere who offer you a body forever. To shit forever. For this you have sold out your sons. Sold the ground from unborn feet. Traitors to souls everywhere.
-- Nova Express, William S. Burroughs
Through theurgy, then, -- through philosophy as poetry -- souls re-spiral back to the One. And what is stopping them? Surely it isn't possible that anything could stop them? This is true, but it is also true that at some point in the cycle -- the low point, the winter point, the dull point, our point -- the process becomes perceived as having stopped.
The waste land stretches on to the horizon and it has been thus for as long as living memory. No knight has returned with the Grail. But as we find out in every fairy story -- from Dorothy's journey to Oz and onward -- the eternal reward has been right with us from the get go. "Once upon a time" already implies "happily ever after." If this is the case, what is preventing us from reassembling our perception, from rediscovering the "assemblage point"?
Blockages, traitors, cowards, lies, collaborators. Vegetative and insectoid only in the sense that basic human warmth, basic mammalian warmth, seems absent in them. Men in Grey, cigar-puffing the petals of hour-flowers, who suck the heat out of any room, or at least temporarily blot it out. Thieves of time. Bodies forever, new stuff forever, youthful skin forever, poor counterfeits of what we already have in overflowing abundance.
What truly is more rich, more generous than perception itself? The boards and syndicates con us in this way by manufacturing a false sense of Self. This is the foundational or bedrock lie. All other lies -- the State, capitalism, religion -- are scaffolded on top of this.
The Self, naturally, is not everything (oh, but it is!) so naturally it experiences Lack (see David Loy). Whereas previously lack was perceived as being the bonds that bind all things together in dynamic harmony, now it is experienced as intolerable unfulfillment. Our own sense of self commands us to attempt to fill up the hole of our being. Once more, an impossible task. The trick that defeats this trick, however, is to let yourself go. Don't buy for a while. Don't consume. Don't trim yer toenails.
The centre of control is located somewhere within. This is where the infernal King of the World radiates commands. All external archons and agencies ultimately take their orders from this central and hidden axis.
There are the basic needs of the body that are usually relatively easy to meet (exempting the growing pockets of extreme poverty and misery that exist to keep the entire global system in fear), and there are the artificial "needs" manufactured by the conjurers of lack. And these later "needs" often block out the actual needs of the soul.
It is this organized body, the body with organs, the body that shits with guilt, the body that clings on to existence in a schizophrenic split from the soul, that is the manipulated robot. Dead souls in a dead world. Killed from within, puppeteered from without.
Thus, in contrast to Aristotle, Bruno does not believe matter receives its life from form. Form is not the only principle of the individual; soul is not the only life of the body. Rather an individual is alive because a form of the world soul has been contracted by matter. Matter is thus alive, and the entire universe is animated. All things are living in a univocal sense, and there is no longer a hierarchy of rational, animal, sensate, and insensate forms of being. Humans are not distinguished by their rational capacities but by the particular kinds of bodies they have -- the particular matter which has attracted and contracted the World Soul.
-- The Hermetic Deleuze: Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal, Joshua Ramey
Matter is expressed form, form is virtual matter. Lightning strikes from ground to cloud and from cloud to ground. All action happens between the poles and through them. The imaginative process by which we create the gods is the same process by which the gods create our world.
The ascent up and down through the hierarchy of being, in a further reiteration, is identical to the veil of maya. Its story is the story of myths. The soul, in its apparent experience of separation from God, is already swept up in this story. The "fall" only happens so that a "redemption" is possible. And this entire circling, spiraling erotic dance makes up the vast body of the World Soul.
Not an atom of it is not alive, not aware, not already positioned on every rung of the ladder of being. From every split second of perception springs the perfect projection of a world of sense onto the void and reenacts this story. The Good News. The eucatastrophe. Finnegans Wake. Seasons of bebop and seasons of free jazz. Bubbling up from the wells of futurity.
Heroes and demons and elementals and Olympians. All interchangeable, musical notes and scents and flashes of colour. Machinic mandalas of incandescent iconography. Every squirming, heaving, spurting, bleeding, blossoming Christ-synthesis, ripping apart and flailing with abandon, crazed animal conversation, a pole of shit and a pole of gold.
In "I, Maximus of Gloucester" he seeks to respond instant by instant to the measure of the breath. The cycle from one turning of the sun to next, however, is the totality of time, as the literal, graspable earth is the totality of space. Maximus's measure is now what seems almost the breath or rhythm of the earth.
-- Charles Olson's Maximus, Don Byrd
There is no transcendent only immanence, spans of time and space measured by breaths and paces. The tantric egg surrounding us, extending finitely in six directions, is the entirety. It shifts with the inflation and contraction of our lungs.
At very high altitudes, as in the Tibetan plateau, your vision pulses with blood. The heartbeat of the teeming multitude of animals, and the equivalent photosynthetic sap-rhythm of plants, feeds the very gamut of solar maximum and minimum, as Lawrence knew.
The radiance of the stars blood-vesseling towards us, as witnessed from the earthly perspective of our own within. The star is only its own light which, when reaching our eyes, is already inside of us. Our vision, through precisely these same filaments of light, reaches back to the stars grounding the charge, feeding the circuit. All powered by erotic engines, by love.
The writings of the "young Marx", first published in English only in 1959, clearly reveal the philosopher's Romantic roots. The central problem of capitalism is in its fostering of alienation. The worker is alienated from the process of production, from the fruits of his or her labour, from fellow workers, from the rest of nature, from his or her own self.
This analysis has been furthered during the second half of the last century. We are, primarily, alienated from our desires. We have, because of advertising, political propaganda, the stress of the daily grind, etc., lost our ability to even know what these desires are. D&G deepen this perspective greatly. What does it mean to be alienated from desire? What is desire? This post has explored these questions.
Desire is crucially the desire for becoming. For constant becoming. For a becoming that is fully immanent, but that perpetually transcends every category or classification it is placed within. It is sorcerous. The vile rheum. Only wizard poetry which feeds the sun, which transforms men into birds into jotuns into algae blooms, is sufficient to unblock these flows of desire.
Travel back in thought to the split of Hegel and Hölderlin -- let alone to that of Marx and Proudhon -- back to the branching of Goethe and Kleist, further back to the Kalevala and the Upanishads, to a time when the poets and the gods were not fully distinguishable from one another. Only through the imagination is there genuine liberation.
Olson, in his maximal bulk, fully realized this. Verse, coursing back along these same channels of sense and light, is projective. As in a film projector. As in at every instant reediting the movie of the world. Creating the radical and democratic cantos of the everyday. The song of the geological and the daily news, the galactic and the local. Reuniting Pangaea.
But a naked man, a stranger, leaned on the gate
with his cloak over his arm, waiting to be asked in.
So I called him: Come in, if you will! --
He came in slowly, and sat down by the hearth.
I said to him: And what is your name? --
He looked at me without answer, but with such a loveliness
entered me, I smiled to myself, saying: He is God!
So he said: Hermes!
God is older than the sun and moon
and the eye cannot behold him
nor the voice describe him:
and still, this is the God Hermes, sitting by my hearth.
-- "Maximus," D.H. Lawrence
In Lawrence's Collected Poems, it no coincidence that this poem "Maximus" is immediately followed by "The Man of Tyre." Olson was his spiritual disciple.
Naked Hermes at our hearth. This electric deity flows through all of this. The messenger of the gods to humanity, the lightning bolt itself, the rainbow, the arrow of Eros. And also the vajra weapon. The pulsing vessel of flesh completing the circuit of Sun and Moon. Thoth and quicksilver. The principle deity of Stephen Dedalus and Jack Duluoz. The thrice-greatest inspiration of all prose and verse, and also trickster retrogradic magus of miscommunication and noise. We pray to Thee.
Burroughs in bed, Deleuze on the train, Olson on the toilet, Kerouac in the cracks of the day. Bodies without organs, waves and wombs without end, Molly Bloom's long succession of lovers, possessed by none, possessing all. Nothing remains dead. Just Zen shit.
In a universe of waves quel difference betwixt one wave & t'other? T s all the same wavehood & every little unlocatable electron is a Tathagata pouring electromagnetic gravitational light at the constant speed of light (which can be heard in the sound of silence) & so this endless radiation of mysterious radiance is merely the minutia magnificent endless Tathagata Womb manifesting itself multiply & so not at all, for, all things are no-things but if this bores you it's because you want bricks in your soup. Empty.
-- Old Angel Midnight, Jack Kerouac