Saturday, July 23, 2011

"emotional placeholders (part 2)" a section of an essay

Greetings, O Students of Life!

In this rather long section of the part of the essay “Strategies for the Game” about Pragmatism, I continue my discussion about the logic of emotions, and how to set them as circuits to optimize our daily lives. It is a rather large section, but the topic is something we all feel every day; it’s helpful in self-programming.

Take care, caretakers!


Daniel Christopher June



4. Emotional Placeholders (part 2)


            Pragmatism means wrapping the emotions around our heads like great hoops and haloes. All emotions must find their outlet, must circle back into us in their inverted form. An emotion is expressed when it is communicated, when we feel assured that somebody can receive it, can feel its vibrational tone, can receive its laden emotions, can experience what we experience, can accept that bit of our spirit into themselves.

            Emotions are energy, ideas are ditches and riverbeds. Every idea consumes certain emotions, exudes others. Smoking exhales guilt. Work as a butcher, and other habits must compensate the brutality of your practice. Too many sins must repent, and this in order to keep on sinning; give up repentance and you will give up sinning.

            If I am lonely, I can rename that loneliness “the honor of intellectual distinction,” but this costs a bit of arrogance, which attracts its own friends and enemies. The logic of my attitude situates me within my world. Every idea must balance itself against others, every power requires counterpowers to keep it credible and situated. Small groups of people go to extremes, demand incredible revolutions, imagine the immanent end of the world, outrage the news and media, but in the bigger picture they are caused by the very group they define themselves against, they are an organ for the larger group body. This country has need for a few cults to absorb the radical elements, to put them together, to give them a voice to counter and reinforce the popular voice.

            What an individual or a cult can say the others neither say, nor know, but feel. My inner layers project outwards onto the world. The larger the system, the more idiosyncrasies that crop up.

            All language subtly evokes sex and violence, and in that we do play with ultimate realities, euphemized and abbreviated till they are mere toys, which we fondle for the sheer thrill of toying with ultimate things. We are held to the earth by a few coordinates, a few threads of language and thought. The ultimate realities of sex and death are asymptotes of the game which evoke the entrance and exit of life. There is a brief moment in sex where the mind expands as wide as the world, a brief moment in death where the mind contracts to almost nothingness. The extreme gestures of murder and sex fringe language as ultimate gestures, needlessly excessive in the day to day. They are the hidden core of the fantasies which we are aware of only in the cool ease of everyday language: “Oh I could just kill you!” jokes a man to his friend. Language is suggestive and fantastic.

            The lottery is a funded fantasy. The more plausible my fantasy seems, the more I can enjoy it without acting it out. Rituals and prayers are other taxed fantasies, which require investment to enjoy impossible possibilities. Our fantasies surround us and glue the objects of our world into patterns and shapes.

            Language is the halo around each man, his aurora, his eminence, his shine. Every person adds an ambience. When the boss is in the building, his spirit pervades that place, his overall attitude, compounded with his immediate mood, pour directly into everyone under his charge.

            The feelings of a man animate him. His states, his emotions, his moods move and inspire his actions. Religion ultimately amounts to a set of aesthetic feelings, the beauty of a moral system.

            The pure air of the logic of assumptions must pass through the ocean of desire, which is the feelings and moods before they can be thought, spoken, and enacted. We sometimes speak so as to feel, speak so as to think, seek feedback so as to know what to feel and how to think. The external perspective of a friend provides a feedback loop. Our thoughts leave us and return, as if the friend we spoke to were a  module of our own brain. Slowly we tighten the loop until we’ve internalized the friend’s perspective, and can think through his mind without engaging him. And so we internalize the eyes and emotions of those we know.

            “In music, the passions enjoy themselves.” Music is the sanction over every feeling, purifying from it the subsidiary emotion of “should I be feeling this?” Music is emotional expressiveness, the very shape of the emotions within the mind. Singing and dancing evolved before speech, have been our way of thinking from the start. Music is how the group body feels, how souls resonate. Hearing is emotional, seeing rational. Music is an emotion intensifier, making the ceremony more ceremonious, the comedy more comedic. It shocks us with its unpredictability. The unconscious as well as the conscious create and seek patterns, continually predict them. Thus, whether focused or not, we are surprised by music, by life. Style is the balance and orchestration of competing desires. No antagonism, no progress.

            Emotions are flavors of frustration. The flow of desire blossoms into pleasure. Only when desire is blocked, when we can’t act, do we build energy into a specific emotion. By training the emotions, by making then into circuits to orchestrate our actions, and by working our words into circuits to orchestrate the actions of others, by years and years of such repetition do we make an habit lasting, make it eternal. The pilot-light of joy is never snuffed. Suffering is superficial; the innermost is bliss. Siddhartha, the prince who would become the Buddha, could have avoided such an indignity if he weren’t a spoiled prince, being pampered, and therefore unable to cope with the sight of a mere corpse or elderly man. Being fed upon nothing but pleasure, his life became unbearable, so that only complete annihilation could be his final desire.

            "Mindfulness," the term used to describe the Eastern meditative practice of engaging one object at a time, of gently dismissing all distracting thoughts, has already been in the West for just as long in the idea of focus, but rather then passively contemplating the thing, in the Eastern style, the West is creative, and believes we should engage it. The emotions can either reinforce or distract us from the project we now engage. Leonardo Di Vinci, focusing on a blank canvas for eight hours, preparing to paint, this is active engagement, this is intense focus; Michelangelo at the Sistine ceiling is similarly focused and engaged.

            The method of Allism is to combine all present realities, all interests and all distractions, together as one, to weave all emotions into the current situation, to note the music around us, the noises, to symbolize them, to weave them into the same tapestry. If I read this first book, then read the second, I still have the shape of the first in my mind; I will see how the styles clash, and use the first to contrast the second and open it up. Feel free to make connections, see insights, discover crazy interrelations, since inspiration need not be logical. Feed your moods into everything you do. So I’m angry? How can I best use that anger to fit into this particular circumstance? The emotion should neither be denied nor hidden, but structured into the best thoughts, those thoughts into the best words, those words into the best actions. Do not segment your mind, but let all emotions flow together with grace. The game is won with grace and ease. Intense practice is for that supple simple thing.

            Know therefore how to reinforce your emotional energies with family, friends, and coworkers who intensify the moods your project requires. Emotions move through a group like dye through a beaker, like adrenaline through blood. A man may commit suicide, and on that level he succumbed to a personal crisis. But the science of statistics gives the lie to that being only a personal matter, for we can predict how many suicides there will be in regard to, say, a new tax, or a declaration of war. Emotions are communicated through language, and accumulate in those meant to represent a particular emotion. The group body kills that man as much as he kills himself: madness, just like every other emotional state, is a private as well as public affair. Some men are born scapegoats, and by hating them, we hate parts of ourselves; some others flaunt their opulent riches, and by watching them we are all rich. For whether we envy them, or simply don’t care, those people are rich for all of us. Most people are happy to think of how spoiled the prince is. That prince is a part of themselves, and means something personal to everybody, even if they hardly know him.

            Language is liquid desire; it flows through people, through communities. We are all conduits of the larger system, while remaining essentially selfish and private – for man is layered. Our eyes are beams, our words walls, every man threatens violence implicitly, his words can ruin us, it is as if the world were a labyrinth walled in men’s regards, and we each seek our place, taking the way that only we can take, taking the place the world has made available to us.

            Faith is a feeling of trust only possible regarding something essentially untrustworthy. Faith means faith in the dubious: what is by nature trustworthy requires no faith. In the same way, patience is possible only if a person is first angry, and hate is possible where one first loves. Those who are truest to their religion don’t really believe it; the strongest adherents fear they don’t belong to the group. In this, the group spirit is not the spirit of each individual, nor even a spiritual average, but something laid over the individual layer, and perhaps contrary to it.

            Therefore, moods have many uses, some opposite of the others. A man may be especially kind and gentle with a child precisely because he is enraged and fears he might lose his temper. The kindness is an expression of anger as much as hollering would be. Rather than asking “how can I get into a better mood?” I ask “how can I use this mood? What can it do? What work is it cut out for?" It has been said “when the student is ready, the master appears.” Likewise we say that when the mood is right, its use will show. When I have the correct energy, its outlet opens before me. There is more than “love at first sight,” but also “anger at first sight” “resolve at first sight,”—opportunity knocks at every door.

            Some of us are slow to respond, a little shell-shocked, a little stupid, we are slow learners, thick skulled. Our moods are like boulders: hard to budge, but once rolling, impossible to stop. We are slow learners but deep learners. We know how to foster and allow an all-consuming passion. We know how to complement mood to mood, we know what to drink, what to eat, who to talk to, what music to listen to, what to say, what to do, what to think, to prepare the moment of intimacy. That moment of intimacy is brief and all-important. So much of life is preparation for those few moments of touch with the skin of the Mother. Frank Lloyd Wright learned as a teenager that all work has a cadence to it, and once you know the song of the task, humming its rhythms, you can work much harder. Every system has a soul, an intelligence, a resonance. Knowing how to listen and take it in let’s you master the system, lets you fit into it, perhaps alter the tempo, perhaps alter yourself. With music, we know how to access our deeper feelings, our deeper ideas.

            Deeper ideas are longer lasting, more influential, yet less intense than fleeting ideas. The thunderstorm comes and goes, but a steady rain fills the barrel. The ephemeral emotions keep the daily mood stable. Today I am happy, but at any given moment I might be irritated or curious or confused. As those moods persist and congeal, I gain a basic temperament: my ego hardens into a character, for my moods are the flow of blood into the muscles of action. My attitude is based on my inborn predisposition, which is modified by my education: happiness for me is me at my optimum, but it looks different on you. What you call ‘happiness’ looks to me disturbing. And though my actions and moods harden my muscles, just as my ideas fuse together into larger ideas, nevertheless my strength is in flexibility and the ability to break down the desires that have solidified into glue, to unstitch the atom, and release the burst. The very energy of an idea may be used against it. If every idea contains the logic of its use, with or without a “system of differences” to balance it, if a thing already contains a full system in the atom of its logic, then we need only bend an idea back on itself, face it towards the philosophical mirror, to explore the limits of its logic.

            The deep ideas hold the surface ideas in place; the surface ideas balance and protect the deeper ideas. The moods associated with each idea can be mulched and decomposed. The basic blockings of aggression, for instance, become anxieties which freeze energy and block flow. They make ugly. Grace knows how to use murder as well as sex, the dangerous extremes to – subtle as a brush—paint the butterflies wings.

            The basic attitude of self-denial, which is the basis of personal morality, the idea that I can control myself, can hold power over myself, because I deny what I want, can be used in turn for self-fulfillment. The moods, attitudes, and emotions central to each habit can be used to attain its opposite. Chastity can gain better sex. Dishonesty can get at higher truth. Hate is nothing more than frustrated love, silence is frozen speech, speech that speaks even in silence for those who know how to read the twitch of the throat. The grace and flow of each into each, of all into all, the confluence and congruence of the energy when flowing through the muscles, is sex appeal. Nervousness and anxiety are the opposite of sex, the opposite of love, are the damming and building of energy, of power itself. In the spasm of laughter, orgasm, or dance, all the day’s little energies are harvested and spent towards this one great release.

            Between the world of conduits and outlets and my inner energies sits my intricate network of writings, which put each energy into its place. Every man and woman has such an interface, a way of mediating between self and world. Perhaps a man goes for long walks, or plays sports, and by analogy and metaphor prepares his mind for the most real thing in life: his family of love, his work of duty, his art of passion. Art is the tip of the pyramid, which holds everything in place and grows from it as its highest flower, as the crown and purpose of life. Yet the basic everyday normal things are the meaning and stuff of life.

            Feeling melts frigidity, passion opens her mouth. If heaven and hell are mere parables and picture language for the philosophical idea of dualism, sex and birth are again metaphors for creative intimacy.

            Intimacy is for moments. Fake your intimacy and you cheapen it, you dull its edge, you sin against the body and the soul, you sell yourself. Nirvana becomes your new heaven: to finally lose yourself. He who loses his life for the sake of heaven, will lose himself for eternity.

Write the same material in many moods, love your wife, enjoy your art, in all your moods, but use what you have, do not deny what is real, but be real, express what is in your heart, let the moment make itself. There is but a limited amount of care in the mind. Romance or riches or arts will exhaust your care. Wisdom take the sovereign place for the man of philosophy, folly takes the sovereign place for love, the two mix for art. Pour your spirit and soul into the activities that open your apotheosis. Do what you love. Never do what you hate, nor commit a deed you would have to hide from the world. Act as if the universe were your audience, speak as if every ear can hear. Care leads to active engagement, engagement opens moments of intimacy, intimacy is for a moment the highest bliss, for the moment too long, the greatest pain. Know how to disengage, and how to hide your innermost at all times from everyone. For if “griefs are afterwards an entertainment,” as Homer said, so are all things endured on the innermost eventually assumed into the world, as if the entrance to the circumference were in the center of the centermost point.

            Will and sympathy control others through the threat of violence and the threat of love’s removal. Parents gesture to these extremes in every punishment of their children. These are shaping influences. Death and solitude are the hidden images in all threats. Know therefore how to master death and solitude. Go for long periods of time into your own head, crawl deep down your own eyes, gaze at yourself in the mirror and engage the inner world in dialectical meditation. Then you will have combined pleasure and purpose, the dyad of love and power, which must both complement and contradict each other, which arrange into hierarchies and equalities, at different times or at the same time. Then you will be.










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