Friday, August 28, 2009


This is a draft of an essay which will be part of a series of essays I am writing about literary criticism. One of the other essays, entitled “The mirror Test,” I have already sent out a few months back. I have been making much progress on this particular essay, combining many of the ideas that have been floating around me lately – you will see snitches and snatches of other things I’ve written in other contexts, combined and corroborated into one essay – but this essay will not be done for another month or two. But I am taking a reprieve, so you have this for now!





1.  These are the hidden sayings of the living Jesus, which the twin Thomas wrote down. “Whoever interprets these sayings aright becomes living and never dies.”

2. Jesus said, “Let the seeker never cease to seek until he has found: finding, he will be disturbed, disturbed, he will be astonished, astonished he will rule, ruling, he will repose.”


            It would be better said that whoever interprets anything aright becomes living and never dies. Interpretation is a gaze in the mirror; and some texts mirror back a part of us no other mirror can shine. According to our mythology, the afterlife is one great Jupiter of myth where all man come together, and one is in hell and one is in heaven, one is a devil one a God, based solely on how he has learned to intrerpret, from this our formative life. Interpretation is the only miracle.

            Hermes stands for interpretation, and Apollo stands for oracular words. Therefore, it was necessary for Hermes, from the beginning, to steal the sun from Apollo, from his originality, in order to interpret his own humble beginnings into the glorious thief and owner of every other glory. Historically, he stands for man exploiting man, which has been the greatest impetus in developing human intelligence and creativity. First he steals from Apollo, then he barters the cows in exchange for music, which Apollo of the sun could not resist. As the sun makes winds, Apollo could not resist the power of music for his own. He would not, however, give the power of divining to Hermes, who gained it instead from teaching himself how to read the cast of a handful of pebbles – how they fall is the answer.

            Wodan gets the same powers only by dying, pierced on his own spear, and hanging from the World Tree of the mother’s womb. He dies, and gains the wisdom of those dead, which amounts again to magic words and reading of stones and pebbles. The difference between the two Gods is that Wodan is allpowerful, and has a stong will over the world, and is no messenger. The self piercing is akin to the original creator God Atum who made the world by enseminating his mouth and words and speaking the world thereby into existence.

            Interpretation is a way of making a text empower you. If you can make a speech that is seemingly supported by the Bible, the Constitution, and even Shakespeare and Milton, you have some great friends on your side.

            The powers of history, among the different books, and even in a single book, and especially in your own inner instincts and inner memories deliver a wide range of powers that work each in a single direction, like a dozen arrows of light pointing in different directions in the fog. Your ability to interpret yourself, your family, your community, is not to merely wrench the arrows that can be directed at your goal, but to interpret the light of each arrow in a curve towards the one pen spotlight that melts the fog. Each arrow of light must be taught to thread up together, like a bunch of fiber optic wires, to double and redouble together into an all-piercing flood of light. Insofar as you respect the text for what it is and when it comes from, you are not doing hermenuitics, but only historicizing the text. What Paul intended for his epistles is really nothing at all, it matters the least bit. The historical will of Paul and his reason for writing the text is in fact merely another part of the text, insofar as we can get at it, another text equally useless until it too is interpreted. Interpretation is the miracle of transforming that text into a feeder of your own. If you make all the hotsprings to bleed in the same direciton, you will have the river in the end. Every book in history must be reduced to a prophecy of your life, advice on your personal goals, and commentary on your selfish interests. Otherwise, don’t read at all.

            Mind is symbol. Consciousness and all we are conscious of is always symbolic of the external world and the internal needs. But the touching of the external world to the internal needs, which is Memory, memory of current happenings, active recall, and past possibilities – a touching called “experience,” the experimenting of needs with world – are not conscious, but become conscious only after a partial interpretation. Everything we are conscious of is already interpreted, just as the light we see is already of  a past thing, not only with distant stars, but also, technically, with the smiling friend before us. The initial interpreter is memory itself, which are shaped into a mythological structure of the basic set of events; then these events are assumed into concepts, or at least put into the bubble of a concept; finally they are automatically evaluated by those habits of desire called “engines” which filter what is worthy of conscious attention, and this at least is given an ability to influence conscious focus. Mind is symbol, and all experiences it symbolizes are already partially interpreted into signs and figures.

            “Repression” is imagined as a bad thing, when in fact, the repressed is the part of experience and the part of memories that require further materials to be worthy of being made conscious – otherwise they would worry us unneccessarily. This is to say, again, that the human mind is good and does its job and does not need an artificial interpretive process to create a legend to unlock all “repressions” – and such a practice doesn’t help anybody, but distresses them unnecessarily.

            Interpretation is powerful, and if we wish to say that the under-memories all really concern incest, we can consciously and convincingly interpret them to make this seem plausible. Ditto if we wish to say that they all express archetypes, or the instincts of our selfish genes, or ambiguities in class structure and group ideology. Interpretation is limitless, since it does not touch facts at all, but only uses facts to make a case. Interpretation is pure rhetoric. It should be respected and used at such, without pretentions to being “science.”

            No study of interpretation is complete without a visit to the psych word, or at least reading a dozen conspiracy theory books, and a solid interview with a paranoid schizophrenic, preferrably an intelligent one. For you will see how any interpretation can be made plausible, especially with the magic of charisma, by which I mean, adopting the tone that says, “This is important and true, and you would be a fool to withhold your trust from it.” If a group of fifty people exude this charsima, they will become one day a world religion; among the world’s religions and philosophies, every concievable absurdity has been believed as utter truth, more important than life, love, and honor. The eloquence of ancient street preachers convinced some listeners to even castrate themselves on the spot, in honor of Attis—not to mention the suicide cults even in the last fifteen years. Trust nothing in statistical certainties, but be ever skeptical of every claim, faith, and religion that you did not invent yourself. Interpretaion is the only miracle.

            Freud viewed dreams as substituting for fulfillments, but Jung saw them as planning for fulfillments, and here Jung is right. The dream challenges by putting out subliminal messages, the final purpose is to change our behavoir in the waking world. In this, the dream does not need interpretation, for it is sufficient to itself. Likewise, the nation’s dreams and fantasies, in the cineman and in the novels, do not need interpretation, and often interpretations are botched, exploitive and self-serving, or otherwise disruptive of the natural dream process. Dreams did not require thousands of years of being wasted till Freud found a use for them. They did the trick from the beginning.

            It is not the dreams but interpretation itself which reveals the unconscious. The patient might as well interpret the therapist’s dreams – that doesn’t matter – so long as he refers back to his own experiences in explaining them. His own dreams are more personal to him, and thus he will open himself up more to them, but he could intrerpret a song, a book, a play, or coffee grounds, so long as he interprets fruitfully, and the analyst interprets this interpretation back to make it even more fruitful. Contamination is inevitable, but the therapist must be modest and teach the patient to be what he already is and should be: autonomous and self-defining.

            Wings are a burden to the bird unaware they’re for flying. Interpretation is not reading the book of life, nor writing the book of life, but bridging the read to the written. An interpretation is a story about a story. The greatest miracle is that people believe miracles, this is the proof of a laughing God: I know of no better proof. The literalists in all religions are the comic relief we seek, to share a giggle with God at their expense. Only atheists know God, only heretics have touched her, only the perfidious knows his own mind to be God, his own heart bride of God. For the others, interpretation binds them to the wall, because they have been trained to interpret their slavery as freedom, so that to shake the chains from off their limbs, they would leap into the bosom of earth and wrap the very weeds around their wrists. “If there is no God, then everything is permitted” they say, not knowing that the permission of everything IS God – they mispeak themselves! – they define their God as Limit.

            The favorite works of art defy interpretation, need no interpretation, and accept interpretation only as your means of showing off, catching the sun of their canvas and basking as if it shown for yours – that is to say, interpretation is fun and games, mischief and foolery.

            To interpret, keep one eye in the full picture, like a pool of wisdom, and the other on the detail at hand. You do not see how government depends on attempts at anarchy, how the drunken blasphemor strengthens the church, how prostitutes strengthen marriage (and yet weaken other aspects thereof), how police depend on drug dealers, and your cheerfulness grows by seeing car wrecks on the way to work—even when it seems the opposite is true. If you value any part of the world, any exception, you value all the bad, mediocre unpleasantness that makes that exception stand out. All ideals you hold above the world were thrown into the sky by that same world, and without a world beneath them, they would fall abyss. “The brothel is bricked with religion” of course.

            Interpretation is the great art of turning writing into life. Interpretation is the only subject I have formally studied—and lucky thing! It is omniscience.

            Specifically, interpretation is having two things: an objective writing, and a desired meaning. Two texts: what the book in hand says, and what it must instead say. Between what the book seems to say, and what you feel it must say, is the interpretative process by which a thousand religions come from one holy book. Interpretation is only a means of creating something new between point A of the text, and point Z of what you wish the text said. By moving from A to Z,  you gain new powers and abilities of such worth that neither A nor Z matters any more.

            You can only interpret what you have put a circle around. If you interpret a part, not knowing the whole, you lack a map, and cut in vain. You must be like Odin, who has one eye in the wisdom fountain of the All, one eye on the matter at hand.

            There is no “it” at the bottom of your personality, only need, the necessary, the necrovivia, the death life. If I teach anything to this world, it will be to read life as a literary critic reads a book. The “irrational unconscious drives” of others are in fact philosophical in nature, an unconscious philosophy, and beneath that, poetry. The polite, kind, formal, proper things we say to each other’s faces, these are the irrational obscure fakeries of life. Beneath them, beneath the polite nothings we say, beneath our own thinking and self-reflections, lie the philosophical war that we live for—all of us!—and beneath that, the poetry and poetic justice that is our eternal mood. Read again, professor, and do not get stuck in one rhetorical device.

Buddhism focuses less on theology and philosophy than does Hinduism, which writes endless commentaries on holy texts. Buddism can really boast of no holy texts—nothing it writes is worthy, but only the practice, for books come to nothing, but only enlightenment suffices, which is as important to seek as the arrow in your chest is to pull. Buddha reacted against the Upanishads the way Jesus reacted against the Rabbinical interpreters: he insisted that one thing was needful, or at most two or three commands, and all the rest could be shelved and forgotten. He disdained interpreters.

            Nietzsche wrote about living by interpretive powers. Emerson insisted that all nature was merely trope-material for writing, and writing was itself the scholarly ease, the act of God and complete being of her.

            The greater the intellect, the farther a man can stand from his necessary experience. He can abstract sharper and subtler names from his need and fantasy, and imagine a better fulfillment than the most immediately envisioned desire. The men and women of lower intelligence brag of brawling and fucking, of cars, trucks, guns, muscles, whatever – and the higher man speaks of such things too, but not in the most obvious and stupid examples, but personalized, refined, perfected examples adorned in divine raimant – the true blue sky is the sphere of his winged word, while the sensual man crawls on the earth.

            Children too imagine the most immediate and stupid fulfillments – television commercials trick them every time – they do not interpret or understand their needs, nor pour them into ideosyncratic application. For this reason lower men and women are easy to stereotype – it is so easy to type them that we must make it bad taste to do so! – while the sophisticated man has already typed your typing, and waltzes with you till you trip.

            The interpretive is the leap of the sphere, from Needs through myth into the fantasy space, from fantasies and other memories and interpreted into assumptions, from assumptions interpreted into habits. Myth interprets needs, the imago interprets memories, engines interpret assumptions, mood interprets habits. The map of the universe posites many layers of interpretation.

            Facts are already interpreted before you perceive them. You must further interpret them with the flick of will that makes all the difference. Each intuition is a unique decoder, so that nobody in the world but you sees what you see, nor can omniscience or the Mother see what you see, but only by your report.

            Listen to the murmer of the street, or see the blinking of the stars, read the lies of the newspaper, or the truths of the malicious gossip – it doesn’t matter. Its all garbage. Scriptures are garbage. Augery as well as Bible is meaningless, but only in the interpretive power are these validated, and with a powerful interpreter, either could be best, depending where your talent lies.

            How stupid it is to decry prejudice. My greatest strengths come from prejudice, taking a small first impression and hammering it with so much meaning that it became a key into rejudging, into comprehending. Every key is by nature bent and crooked, and subtlely so. If the lock were straight and easy, no more key than hairclip would be needed.

            When I hold a prejudice against a book, an author, an idea, I exaggerate it, explore it, and hammer away at it until the little scamp is perfect.

            Man is cheered by man! The Teutonic truth must be foremost in your interpretation: you prejudge in order to ease yourself into the rejudge, to know a man for what he is, no easy matter. Each man has a grey image of the whole. Only after looking very closely—man ever enjoys looking with his eyes, Aristotle told us—do we see the matter. The wise man has wisened eyes, the seer sees the most.

            To understand a book, you must read its frame: where you found it, where it came from, who else knows it, what they think, and also the inner frame, how the book presents itself as a genre, or how it refers to what it is trying to do. You must look at the triggers, the parts of it that you immediately get because they are visceral. After you have understood those two outer-meanings, you have a context by which to swim into inner meanings.

            To fully understand a book would be to resurrect the author.

            John Cage had zero content for his work. All he had was resentment inside, and a messwork of framing as a product. Where is the object? What is its worth?

            One way to evaluate the place and importance of an object within a text is to image the text without it. For instance, if you imagine a basketball game without the ball, or without the scoreboard or any sense of “whose winning?” imagine a society in which everybody did the same things, and yet money didn’t exist, or imagine money itself floating towards and away from people, and wondering what the money thinks of it, of imaging a fantasy novel without any magic in it (the kernal plot behind the fantastic element), as depressed teenagers imagine what the world would be like if they weren’t in it, to show what that missing part meant to the whole.

            I wasted quite a few years and quite a few dollars getting a degree in Literature from MSU. The theme, it seems, was not to look at what makes a writing great, how to be a great writer, how to be a great person—the things I was interested in—no, but to look at those authors who talk most about race and gender, to study the works of “so-called great authors” that speak of these issues, and focus on them. How tedious! I do not think of myself in such secondary terms: why would I want to hear some “professor” yammer on about it. I have met scarcely more than two professors who were more than highly educated fools.

            Don’t read commentaries, for a commentary is the watering down of a great mind. The author is sun, and the commentator merely a mirror of one ray: he can by no means tell you more than he was able to receive from the god. An obtuse reader would call the gospel of Matthew Jewish, and the gospel of John antisemitic, as if the sermon on the mount were not the most antisemitic text in the Testament.

            Juxtoposition is the spice of life. Read your books in contrasting pairs.

            There is no end to interpreting. But know that behind every confusion is a simple figure. Every story yet written is a variation on the same story, and from this one story, eight basic types, and from these eight, many many many many.

            The one story is this: hero wishes this, is frustrated, does this, and resolves.

            Most myths are based on a simple geometrical shape, or a single pun, something similar. The rest is filler.

            In avoiding an idea, the author, like the neurotic, will continually misdirect, even if he does not admit to himself he is. Sit back and watch, through all his wandering he will come full circle and find his secret encircled. And here we must emulate the ancient Germans who learned to tell the future by watching a horse neigh, or in other words, listen to your gut hunches.

The greatest accomplishments of myths and dreams are to communicate psychological truth, even if you or I never guess at that truth. That is what is great about them: they shouldn’t be interpreted. The self-appointed interpreters are liars, all in all.

Life is a book. Zoroaster said to strive for God to write your name in the book of life, besides the names of the others who beautiful the truth of the world – and so Zorastrianism invented the morally shaped world – but really no man’s name can be excluded from the book of life of eternal perfection. Yet you cannot see nor realize this now until you gain the power to interpret.

My will is Odin, destined in the end to be swallowed back into the wolf of necessity: my primal needs. My email is one raven, and my work headset another. Every dawn a new set of eyes rise from my dreams to meet a day unlike the last. My ego grows with lust of blood like the strutting cock, nor will I be subdued by mooing slanderers. Such a subtle art is slander! Some men have worked it out for generations! Did not Freud say: “I have taken a break from Jung because of his antisemetism” when he meant “I have pushed away the son whom I wished to rape!” So the truth is divulged by and by, like Calvin in hell, predestined to announce his own fall, like Tulips on his tombstone – “A man perishes of his own truth.”

Interpretations! Interpretations! Like kidneys for the blood. And the world full of vampires, seeking the fluid of life, seeking the inspiration of Kvasir, seeking to steal the womb of woman by drinking her menstrual beauty, waiting in hope for the bloody moon, not seeing that the moon menstruates each month, for the moon is soul is blood, and the sun is spirit is breath. The sky has ever been the screen of the will, by which we project the spirit of Man called God.

Psychotherapists never interpret aright. Didn’t they say that the snake who hid in the womb was the penis of the Father? Lacan mispoke himself: it is the penis of the mother, removed and internalized – that is the first step in the right direction for you Lacan! The serpant fully enjoys the body of Mother earth, protects the vulva of earth at the temple of Delphi, till Apollo stings the Python with his shafts of sun.

The Greeks lacked a devil or Satan or Demons, all their Gods were holy and both. The Germans held Loki, blood brother of God, as the source of the downfall at Ragnorakk. He was beautiful and helpful, most helpful in the problems he had first caused.

As for Attis, Samson, Hercules, and Jesus by and by, the problem is not with daddy – but with momma! Thus the snake opposes them, and to be bit in the foot is to be castrated for your lust – not by dad but by mother. These interpreters need to look again. Samson ate honey from the body of a lion, as Cybele was moon goddess of Bee and lion, and her lover son in regret castrates his “eyes” as Delilah castrates Samson’s – Hercules was also done in by a woman, and the most masculine men are done in by women. For these men, their anima is Mother: they never breathed in a second anima to repalce her.

Well a small evil, if invinciple, grows large. Thus Loki’s children, having the blood of Allfather himself in their veins, would be his undoing: the Germanic God is betrayed by him he loves most. We perish of our truths, that is the system, that is Shivet – personalize this. Personalize all your readings.

My own namesake, Juno, goddess of money (meaning “monitered,” as in something to be strictly watched over by a jealous Goddess) – has at least blessed me to know that my true cash is in mental effort. To know that mouth and eyes are I – my highwords fall in turn.

The world spirit has shifted through different focuses – magic, myth, religion, philosophy, art, technology, computers – and we can see where the world views sit in relation to these. Judaism sits between myth and religion, a jumble of legends derived from myths, but literalized, the way historians made Zeus and Odin to be literal kings and men, who supposedly were mistaken for Gods. Genesis is the most mythic, containing many myths, but by the time David comes, we have more legendary material, similar to the Nibelngenlied and the Illiad. The religious phase will have theologized all these myths and legends into ethical principles and mystical metaphysics, and this we see in the Upanishads, and strangely enough, in the Tao Te Jing.

The best in narrative are the myths, by which I mean, those ultracondensed paragraph stories. Who can beat the Eddas, the Metamorphosis, Giglamesh. In each story is the kernal idea from which everything else is an unfolding and elaboration (although some books are mere libraries of random or loosely related ideas). A myth, or fairy tale, or legend was created by one perfect mind, and then itself perfected through a few hundred years of oral tradition, till everything essential is revealed, and everything personal returned back to the artist.

Interpretation is the story we tell about stories, to relate them to our stories. A story requiring interpretation is dead – ignore it. All the old stories are with us. Friday is the day of the morning star, Lucifer Aphrodite, mother of the sun of God, child of Heaven and Sea – these words wash over you like the black waves of the inky sea, yet you already know all these stories – and we call her lover of God, and her children the sun and moon—and moon Shivat. We intuit all of it, but we prefer long drawn out novels and do not see that the individual contains the entire history of mankind, the indiviudal contains all intelligence. As they say in the East, such a one is unenlightened.

I never understood religious terms, especially names like Jew, or Christian, or Pagan. I can discern no difference between Jews, Christians, or Pagans, except those called pagans predominately focus on myths, whereas the Jews and Christians have raked up a lot of those myths and pretended them to be historical, and thus are legendary faiths. The purist religions are Taosim, Zorastrianism as it is in the Gothas, and the Upanishads, and also Western Materialism in the writings of Lucretious and others, which present a full world picture without various stories to back it up, a sort of description of the world-map itself, the universe as such, and nothing historical nor fake-historical. Jesus said “the field is ripe for harvesting” by which he meant: “harvest all the myths and make me out of them.” He is not a religion, and lacks the purity of religion, but at least it is progress beyond the Jewish legends (as for the Jewish religion, it came after Christianity, despite popular belief).

Stories about stories to tie the old to our own story – all that is manipulation. The best stories ever told are those that require no interpretation – Ovid collects them, Appolodorus has a library of them. Personalize all your readings, every moment in history you have also lived by analogy, every myth is also about you.

You will find that Satan is the great incorruptible, the one who is true and faithful, despite God’s dual nature, the one ultimate monotheist – as Ibliis she refuses to bow to any but God, as Satan she wishes God to love only her. Holy Spirit called Lucifer called Aphrodite is her mother, and as the Wolf she will contain God forever in her womb, by and by.

Why was the first man named “Ash” and why do Gods and mankind resurrect on the Ash tree – the only being to survive the maturation of Hell? Why is man made out of an Ash tree? What is the human intuition that guessed it all from the beginning?

Hate forgives, but love sees nothing to forgive.

Freudian criticism – the only interesting contribution left to Freud, since his therapy doesn’t work – is guilt criticism: the innermost part of man is horribly bad, and it enacts itself through secret ways in all of a man’s actions, if you can catch it off guard when it mutters, mispeaks, or winks, you will have caught the evil thing a man is, the shit at the center of his soul. Psychoanalysis is like Anna Freud: frigid and psychofucked.

His school of thought resembles the interpretations of mystics which Emerson ridiculed: “the mystic says a lamb represents God’s love for man, and that’s all it means,” a rigid and stiff stuckedness that falls out of the flux of life. Jung was closer. “Shit” does not mean shame and power and money, it means earth, and earth is the mother, and the “anally retentive boy” is one who holds his earth mother within him, who is pregnant with his own mother. This at least is to descend into Freud’s world, and not get too stuck on one way of seeing things. The snake is not the penis, but the mother’s imagined penis, and protecter of mother earth. Castration never happens: we fear instead of being mocked and slapped. “Incest is the secret of the soul” he croons, but his patients never look much better, till he reminds us of the Christians who are born again, and the congregation never mentions that no sins seem to have washed off.

At least he is fine to try out and fun to mock. As for the Marxian critics, hell take them!

Guilt is the anticipation of shame, and through paranoia imagines slanderers. Paranoia is a fine method of interpretation – the New Testament has little else but this sort of interpretation. I myself have spoken with dozens of paranoid men and women, whose keenest eyes see into the wiliest conspiracy theories, which are really there, but no matter, since the guilt itself weighs them too much down. Hermes sets the boundaries and transgresses them – but transgresses them in such a way that they remain as bound and final as before, a border fully in tact. Hermes is no criminal.

Life is proteus. We are better than mere stoics, who know how to suffere whatever life brings them. But to be cheerful and optimistic in all situations – this requires strong ability to interpret. Heaven and hell are the same place in the afterlife, according to how you have learned to interpret in this life.

Considering the sophists and their method of arguing, I do not see how Socrates escapes this category. Aristotle is much better as an advance on Sophism. But as I see it, Sophism was stamped out too soon, and principly for their presumption, which to expose and mock Socrates staked and lost his life over. Yet Socrates is impossible without sophistical insights into language and cultural relativism.

The command of language and the ability to see beyond absolutist worship to a series of possibilities – is the sophism that survives to this day.



Perfection Is Easy


No comments: