Saturday, February 25, 2012
Daniel Christopher June to the Students of Life: Greetings!
So as some of you know, I've spent the last three weeks drafting an allay regarding distance and intimacy. An Allay differs from an essay in that it mixes genres, uses a poetical cadence, juxtaposes seemingly unrelated ideas, and emphasizes the metaphorical.
This allay stems from a concern I've had all my life: how do we get close to each other, and why do we fall apart?
Characteristically, I negate particular religions in my prose, while affirming the divine we each have access to, and my reference to the best in us as our god nature, and you and I, when we know who we are, as gods might frighten some. But that's the nature of my prose, and is seldom absent from any of it.
It took weeks of careful work, but I consider this merely a rough draft. I will return to it in maybe a few months.
I had intended on publishing book 2 of The Perfect Idius on February 12, but in fact the entire book, which is now over 800 pages, is only part way done, and may require another year of preparation.
In the meantime, I have restructured book 1, which I call The Life of Allism, and will have a second edition out by December.
I hope you are well. Thanks for reading any portion of this sizeable essay. Your feedback is invaluable to me.
Take care, Caretakers!
Distance and Intimacy
Life is a game of distance and intimacy, of the fear and power of distant and the love and affection of closeness; we each keep objects at the distance that puts them in their sharpest focus -- closer for some, farther for others. Winning the game of life means putting ourselves and our world in such a strategy, in such a strategic placement, in such a situation, that we hold intimate what we love, and control the distance of what we fear. Mastery of love and power is mastery of life; "space" contains all the dimensions of purpose, the layers of heart and layers of mind, the internalized world, the internalized people; the Game of Life is in matter, in the matrix of space and time. Intimacy and space, which determine energy, is the ontological playing field of work and play; proximity is the metaphor that holds all relationships.
I sit upon my work and I write something which amuses me. I look it over and frown. Others will think it foolish! Then I wonder: how did my critics get into my head? How is it that when I read that satirical verse, even when I laugh at it, I wonder a bit what the author would say about me? I am already being myself situated when I see how that author treats others. I must remember, we all must remember, that the ultimate relationship, before kin, before the universe, before God and the divine, is a man's relationship to himself. This alone is sacred, this alone is all important. The rest stems from this. Though we seem to care of the opinions of others, that is mere projection of our own intimate, unknown judgments. Fate is a thread spun in the heart.
Consider the fates of Gods and Men. Odin died by occasionally breaking his own oaths, till his mistakes gained enough power to reply to him; Jesus died by breaking his own commandments, he died for his own sins on the cross; Buddha was done in by an illusion, for while being wise about spiritual illusions, he did not see through material illusions, and so ate poisoned mushrooms; Whitman, with his love for All of America, breathed with relish as he lay on his elbow loving, democracy's grass, but for lack of Southern sympathy lost touch over half his body, and died halfway paralyzed, only slowly learning his missing love; Socrates was poisoned by the very wine with which he poisoned the youth: we call this the nectar of return. The wound you made when you entered the universe is the wound you'll exit when leave. I too drink the fruit juice down and call it the "nectar of return," I know what I am after in this. What I take in to the intimacy of my being I must approve as worthy of me. I drink the intimacy of my being I must approve as worthy of me. I drink the karma of my words and actions maturing outside me, what is needed returns as my own.
We are thrown in the world, objected and subjected, we are a set of needs, a mess of demands, and the most real thing in all of it, more than any cogito ergo sum, is the undeniable reality that I need: such a truth comes before philosophy nor can it ever be practically doubted. Nothing is more intimate to my being than the own of my soul, the needs of my self, my center.
So here I am, wondering what to eat, wondering who to love, wondering where I am. Man has no natural food. Man has no natural relationship. Only the artificial is natural to man, man is only satisfied when surrounded by art. Nature is not perfect enough for man. Art perfects nature; man is the crown of the earth. Intimacy is natural, but must be aligned by artificial language. Symbols are man's food. Is my language capable of drawing my own?
I see these people around me. Are these the ones I am to love? Are these the ones I am to serve? I become a loving, understanding, patient, serving husband and take it as one of my pride. But part of me remains ironic. That role is something, but it is not it. My family could, after all, die violently in a car crash tomorrow. Then am I without purpose? And I myself could be maimed or mentally crippled by the same crash. Surely anything that can be taken from me is not it. This religion I happen to have been born in would be a different religion were I born in Pakistan: Jesus is not it. Anything that can be denied or replaced is not it. What is ultimately it: my self and my own. My emanating soul is the ultimate reality of all I am. My soul produces truth. The most necessary is already owned. Truth from the world serves as a mirror. What we love out there we hold in here.
What is the truth, what is my triumph? Authors write for authors, poets rhyme for poets; we speak to our own, we love ourselves, and those like ourselves. I find affinity with all things powerful and playful, who smack of my style in these allays, in this diverse melting pot of materials, passionately edited with an increasing occult undersense. These words are my skin, these words are my touch. I sense such love in the skin of my lovers -- there is no denying the unspeakable, and silence will never be refuted. There is already such silence in the lisp of these words.
So I learn from the Tao, who is a black oil, just as I watch that humble matriarch, who is the oil of her family: wherever there is an anxious gap, she fills it; she is goddess of the gaps. That man, he is the angel of his wife's will: when she speaks in a direction, he is legs and hands to grasp. For there are two kinds of servants: the weak masses who from inertia obey the willful and the most powerful of the powerful, who choose a mask of irony. Humble people are shrewd to make their actual lowness into a virtue, but the humble gods use humility as a mask of deceit to avoid unwanted contact. Silence is my halo, my love goes unremarked.
I love what you cannot love in yourself, you humble gods. I love in those I love the part they do not know, the part they cannot know. I see beauty in your eyes you never have imagined. You can stare down your mirror but will never find it out. You gods need each other and you also need me: we are full when we press our love. Oh my lovers! you give me some, and I ask for more. You call that ungrateful. I call it the highest gratitude? If I love you, and then fall at your side exhausted, sleep is no insult. We're free to each other, but what of the world? Let us come back down to earth and study man.
There are two classes of men, in a range of gradations: the abstract class and the material class. Every excess seeks its limits, every virtue balances itself with vice; the extreme rich and the extreme poor both parasite the working class and the middle class, which are the mind and body of mankind.
The material class prides itself on fighting and fucking; the middle class prefers prettier words; but only the elites are able to purify these basic desires. The abstract class answers concrete needs with abstract expressions; the material class answers abstract needs with materials things. No wonder they necessitate one another.
Death and birth, murder and orgasm, violence and sex, these are the poles of human life, the ultimate gestures on which all of society functions. We are just as unlikely to voyeuristically witness real and intimate love-making, except of ourselves, as we are too see real and absolute death, except of our loved ones. Even sex has become something abstracted. "Safe sex," which cannot result in pregnancy, is an abstraction. Of course it is unnatural, it defies the essential purpose of sex; one aspect of sex -- pleasure -- is abstracted from the purpose of the pleasure: conception; and an entire psychological theory is fitted out to show that this is the most natural and healthy lifestyle. It is a way to live, no doubt about it, but let's not kid ourselves. It is an art form, artificial; it is anything but natural.
As our foods are abstracted into purified sugar, which, like sex, was not evolved to be indulged in its purified form, so is pornography distilled sex. In this, man overcomes the logic of his own apparatus. Is that something to be lamented? To overcome is surely a sign of man's power, and no other power is relevant to us. Is not overcoming the globe's climate a trophy of power? But to overcome the damage would be even better. In the same way, overcoming sex is one triumph, but overcoming "pure" sex would be a greater triumph. After all, it is the material class that is having all the babies, and the abstract class that has none or maybe one, in sacrifice and deference to a "Career," that abstracted artificial thing that stands in for the maternal and paternal instincts. Sex is intimacy and the symbol of love, yet of itself it's lacking. Love must bow to power.
Intelligence is distance. A mind that can make a distance is by definition intelligent. Distance is the control which only abstraction can grant. The garbage man who handles the trash and who is face to face with his materials is presumably less educated than the Head of Sanitation, who himself is really no less a garbage man for his clean pleated suit, and yet who might move on to managing some entirely different sector, maybe a utility company.
Is this always the case that intelligence is abstracted? Doctors and psychologists are usually more educated than the rest of society, yet they seem to have the closest intimacy with their materials, putting their hands and scalpels into our very bodies, and the psychic equivalent, with the psychologist. But this is possible only through Latinized jargon to stand in for body parts, through working in a sterilized hospital facility, and through a code of medical ethics that is constantly policed by boards and reinforced by litigation; the doctor is not free to make mistakes or "be himself," except within a narrowly-defined set of parameters, including pledges and oaths to keep strict confidentiality, and to maintain the absence of sexual expression. It seems, that after all our cultivation, the spoken oath and the scrawled signature, our most basic civilized technology, created thousands of years ago in darker times, is still the ultimate material basis by which all else follows. The entire apparatus, the justice system, with all its legalized violence -- the system is nothing more than legalized violence -- falls back on its own self-justification of the mystical worth of a man's word. Some intimate breath animates the distance of law.
Science cuts, but it is not intimate. The philosopher and mathematician are even worse, since they are among the most abstract of thinkers. Making their ideas well-defined and integrated enough to pass through language as ideas and not mere words requires a strong dose of the concrete; but unlike the law, philosophy has no recourse to murder. And as all ideas stand ultimately on death or sex, the philosopher is ultimately a lover -- intimacy is sought with certain philosophers and exclusion is kept with others, that's the hard fact, or in the university, where there is, by definition, no possibility of a philosopher, those in a philosophy department have the continual gesture towards paycheck.
Institutions, after all, are power-structures, always backed by some mode of violence, with the ultimate gesture towards death, which protects the integrity of forms. Marriage as a form, doctoring as a form, the terms of the medical manuals as forms, what keeps such things in place? What keeps wrongful innovation from sinking in? Ultimately the law and the lawyers and judges conserve them. Disobey the judge and they will subdue you. Resist that and they will beat you down. You are playing the world's game as soon as you step into society.
And yet each of us is already a violence in the world. The world mutilates the infant into the appropriate form for his society, and the child, in turn, elbows his way in and stubbornly insists on himself. The tensions relieve and he becomes a citizen. Now that he's here, we would miss him if he were gone. He is a thought to the world. And so many openings exist in the world which none of us know of, but when a man stands up and says this speech, sings that song, writes that book, makes this thing, we immediately know he has eased our ache. A million opportunities are invisible to us, a million gaps waiting fulfillment. The "aching gap" is the center of every discussion, the interest that we speak is to fulfill. "To fill it up is our thought's destiny. Some words bring us nearer to that consummation. Some the gap negates as quite irrelevant. Each swims in felt fringes of relations of which the aforesaid gap is the term." We each have infinite meanings, are, in our innermost, as divine, eternal, and infinite as anything that ever existed, but our expression into this world, into this civilization, always seems partial, since we are unconscious as to just how infinitely important each of our actions is. How is the mind to process infinity?
The conscious mind, after all, can only focus on four things apace, to the fourteen million a moment of the unconscious mind. And if you think those four million things exhaust the full thinking of our being, you are gravely mistaken. The only reason a man doesn't see how powerful and large he is is because we are shown as much as we can take, and given new powers only when we've proved to ourselves we can handle responsibility. The entire universe colludes a system of checks and balances on every abuse. Might makes right, for power is by its nature a virtue.
It might seem that so much of power in society is masculine, such as police violence, the guns, the jails, but in fact the most ubiquitous power is female power, and this has only been breaking up and diminishing since the feminists tried to philosophize their ideas, and hence put them into the domain of men. The fates, the norns, the weird sisters, were always women, necessity is a woman, the innermost necessity of each person is feminine, and the conscious I, the freedom, is the masculine. Freya, Queen of the Gods, knew all, but aid nothing. Once she spoke her vision, to save her son an untimely death, it caused the very demise it was intended to prevent. Female logic works in circles, not in lines.
There are computer programs that can play the game 20 questions, asking indirect roundabout categorical questions that seem to be leading to no certain answer, when at the end the exact answer is almost invariably given. So does society insinuate all its ideas into our heads, so that we think we are original when in fact the ideas are thinking themselves through us, expanding through us, though we get the privilege of adding the idea of our own inner self to each that we think. Subtle ideas in a million tiny forms set us on our way. Only in extreme disobedience does the masculine punish. But for subtle disobedience, the female ever punishes, and it is harder to realize when and how you are being punished with women. It is not power, but love, and it is inescapable and is in its way evil. Maid Satan seduces Allfather back into her womb at the end of time.
We have the very definition of psychology, of psychotherapy in this: psychotherapy is the science of insinuation. Anybody who carefully reads the works of Sigmund Freud or Carl Rogers soon realizes that these men discovered nothing in their patients that they did not first (unconsciously) put within them. Not science at all, but an art of manipulation characterizes therapy, which Freud used to do evil and which Rogers used to do good -- honest men though they both strived to be.
Yet the scientifically minded are already half deceived. The scientific fools like to sneer at myths and poetry and anything created before the year 1500. They don't realize that the old myths, the old poems, the old religions, are a great and sophisticated technology that lives with us still. In American, in Europe, the very language is spattered with the blood of Christian terminology. Every aspect of our world is littered and saturated with the names of gods and myths. More than that, myth and religion evolved into permanent structures of our brains. The images and forms of religion are infinite in themselves. There need by no Apollo for the idea of Apollo to really be divine and infinite and powerful.
So let's scratch a little mythological short hand to explain this business of intimacy. Apollo was Lord of Distance, of rules, reason, law, and propriety. Bacchus was god of the revelries, orgies, drunkenness, and intoxication. Nietzsche brilliantly set them up as two opposing artistic types. I would add a third: Hermes, the mediator. Apollo is the arrow of distance; Bacchus is the wine of intimacy; Hermes is the boots of transgression. Hermes, after all, is the god of writing, is the divine logos, is the word of the gods; he sets boundaries, and is himself alone able to transgress them. His wand, which with a story or up a touch can set a man to sleep or to full wakefulness, stands for the writer's pen. Hermes was the only God, other than rainbow Iris, who could fly from hell, to earth, to heaven, with no barriers to stop him. How could he do this? Through being the God of symbols. Apollo enforced distances, Bacchus allowed intimacies, and Hermes could join either through his symbolizations. He is thus the savoir of man, since he gives man the objects to metaphorize himself. Hermes is the God of rhetoric, and Rhetoric alone with its figures is able to make literal heavens.
Is there a corollary in the American pantheon? Emerson seems to be the utterly Hermetic writer, Whitman the Bacchus of Erotic love over all things democratic, and Thoreau the lord of distance, though his distance from man is intimacy with nature.
The gods are abstract, they require blood sacrifices, just as the larva of hell require blood to speak. The highest and the lowest are both abstracted, but in the middle, with the working class and the thinking class, we have the soul of blood and the spirit of breath; the workers and the organizers. Their blood is meted out and given to the sick and effete.
Vampires are the elite of distance, are the height of intelligence. Language vampires are the upper--class folk who are removed from the working class environment, from real experience, and so must take in the rock and roll, the blues, the rap, the forms made by people who have experiences, and vampire it up into their own pallid vocabulary. The sweaty swaggering fighting fucking masses make the slang and the vocabulary that keeps a nation soulful.
The swarthy slang of the lower class, of the experience class, of the masses who live by touch, are fed, psychically, into the upper classes, and this is good, we are all part of the body of Mankind. The thinking class breathes the breath of life, the oxygen of thought, into the blood of the working class, who would otherwise have no terms, and the working class gives the poetry back up to the thinking class. The philosophers and poets are the lovers for life. The term and the word gives the vision to live by; a symbol or image is needed by all.
So much stands on an image. We crave an image for private reasons, and we set up such strange justifications to allow it. I think many movies are nothing but pretenses to justify presenting some stark image. Consider, after all, the philanthropic urge of the rich and guilty. Some of these rich people want to save their soul by giving away what is of little use to them: extra money. Not that I advise them to keep it. And not that I think the poor widow who gave away her last mite is any saint. She gave a higher percentage of her income, yes, but so what? If all she had was a penny, then she should not have given money at all, but something she had in abundance, for we all have something to give to the world, and the best we can give is rarely a thing as abstract and impersonal as money. I have no praise for either the very rich or the very poor who give money. Nevertheless, sometimes the very rich turn charitable, as a sort of moral hobby. They do not understand how cruel their abstracted position has made them. They "help" the material class, whom the characterize the abject class, to vampire life away from them. They are looking for blood, live wounds, real disease, they have the cruel thirst, though they may really feel themselves to be saints -- and I would not exclude the "real" so-called saints from having the same motives. The highest of the high and the lowest of the low, after all, have much in common: they are abstracted from life. It would be best to structure the world so that neither extreme is possible, either for individuals or even for corporations. Each class gives its gift, each type has his words; layers of language keep mankind alive.
When the thinker class wants a story, they read it. When the worker class wants a story, they live it. Every story I hear satisfies my own wants; nobody dies from disease, murder, or accident but the rest of us are touched by it and in a way bettered. And yet the thinking class isn't so removed that they lack heroes. Jefferson was more important to democracy than Jackson, though the first was by nature an aristocrat, and the latter a man of the people. Jefferson is democracy's hero, and in his private idiosyncratic problems, perfectly mirrored the State of the Union.
America, which has stood for technology and business, has only had a few gods and geniuses. How many of us could devote our lives solely to the leisure of the arts? Societies as a whole make fine art, just as much as the individuals whom the society positions to do so, and fuels them on their way. Whitman, swarthy and thick with blood and lust, a lover of fruit-peddlers, prostitutes, and beautiful soldier boys, could yet say of his Leaves of Grass, "I sometimes think that the entire book is only a language experiment." No working class man is going to dedicate years of his life to a "language experiment," nor would he understand what such a gesture would mean. Indeed, the people Whitman loved could not understand his poetry. It is telling that Whitman's literary sister, Dickinson, wrote for herself. They live differently because they are different, and being unique they have unique vulnerabilities, which must be answered with control.
Control of distance gives power. Twenty years after our trauma we can talk about it with calm certainty. The day after, we shake and shiver. And so each day we abstract ourselves from that thing whose touch we no longer can bear. Love suffocates: life is a choice of when to love and when to withdraw. We abstract ourselves from our very bodies, with our layers of clothes, our showers, deodorants, and perfumes. The natural smells and products of the body are cleansed away -- are classified as "dirt" -- and artificial fragrances are substituted. So too does our public language take on an official tone. If I work for company X, I speak for company X, when I am on the job, yes, and also when I am off. If I blog against them and they catch wind of it, they will ostracize me, if not outright fire me. And yet even the man on the street could never say what he thinks, could not speak of it even if he wanted to, since he is so habituated to be polite and inoffensive. And even the son-of-a-bitch who deliberately speaks his mind and says what ever he wishes actually does so in a curtailed manner. There are limits, many limits, which he pretends to ignore. His whole routine is no less scripted than the civil servant who, when he talks, signs his name on the dotted line.
We are tied down by the threads of our own speech. Where can we truly push the limits of free speech? So much more lately has the internet become our place of freedom, to be who we want to be, to say what we want to say, to be free to misbehave. And what odd relationships the internet allows! People have internet affairs with others they have never seen nor heard, but whose whole identity is only a procession of "messages" in the form of flat text. With such a limited tangible presence, people manage to fulfill their needs for friendship, for love, even for sexual intimacy. What an amazing achievement for the human mind! What a fascinating set of worlds to incubate and express our subtle selves!
In daily life, we wear clothing; we wear uniforms rather, for clothing is a language. If I want to be Gothic, if I want to be rebellious, I must wear the official uniform of rebellion. To truly be a rebel would mean jail or the asylum. To walk the streets naked is considered a sexually deviant crime, which can get a man or woman such a mar on their record that they must register as a "sexual offender" -- currently considered the worst witch and villain in our society! All over one's manner of clothing!
Clothing are already abstractions, euphemisms to "cover our shame," to shield us from arousing and being exposed ourselves to being aroused by the sexuality of others. Little do we realize that we are as much clothed by our body language, by our spoken language, by those utterances which seem so natural and personal, as by the language which enclothes us. The clothes make the man, and a man is as good as his word.
The social echelon is not visible, yet is real in tones of voice. We only speak intimately to our own. A high man rides his high horse whether he intends to or not, it is in his tone, and if he tries to talk at the level of the every day man, he would seem to patronize. But the noble soul has reverence for himself, and we all take our station and make our heaven by the mere tones of our spoken voice. Our full spiritual status is in the vibrations of our thought. Which express themselves in speech and writing.
Languages stand for the social classes, make class distinctions. If a man has the bent of mind to speak an inflection of language -- such a thing cannot be faked -- than he is self-evidently of a given class: the material ornaments of that class will come later as a manner of course. Even if he is poor, when he talks high he will be in a noble poverty.
Us gods always speak to our own, across great distances, across languages and gulfs. Though we are a thousand miles off, a thousand years apart, I write this as a love note to you, to you alone. And though we speak so earnestly to our own, how astonished when who we thought a mere mortals lifts his ear and glances up with understanding in his eyes. My heart is a hole, with a wound from the world, it shines love on all the world through that world of punctuation; the wider it shines the wider it receives. My heart is veiled in language; words and spirit saturate the blood of my soul. The people are warm, but they do not have eyes for the light that warms them; they are happy but they don't know the reason. It is because we are here, because we walk among them, in a nudity which is also a modesty, carefully covered, and yet starkly bare. We stand noble, we stand apart. Our silence transpierces the noise.
I too am Liberty, with the torch of direct truth in my right hand, with the book of study in my left hand, with the crown of order on my brow, commitment and optimism as my feet. My left hand is the metaphor mind: I reduce all forms into our own forms. So many heavens of theory spinning above the earth to bend in place a single rose. We in the playwork of our living games make serious gifts to the world and its turns. We are both classes. There is the theory class and the practice class. The abstract class of theory makes a practice of making new theories. How casually they take it, like a game, when all the world shudders from their philosophical banter. If psychotherapy is the art of insinuation, philosophy is the art of definition; poetry versus philosophy; suggestiveness versus absoluteness. We stand in the place of origins, wherever we are is the zero of time.
Mythically, it's the beginning that counts. How it was in the beginning, so it always will be, that's what the myths teach; the energy of creation flows from the start. All energy is crea -- a creative energy in the control of a powerful will. The energy of romance is in the mating dance, which in its ritual and innovation defines the marriage and the family. It was all there in the beginning, there is no escaping what went before. Time will not be denied, for time is the father of eternity, and this by the same logic that all ideas of abstractions must have a concrete anchor to hold their integrity; ideas require institutions to keep them pure, eternity is hid in the matter of earth. It's a question of structure. Is the democratic virtue of self education enough? America made its ideal the "self-made man," and this better than "the chosen people" and "loyal to the crown." The self-made man uses his society, his family, whatever is at hand, to optimize himself, but what he is and what he becomes is ultimately his own doing. Mythologically phrased, his eternal self even chose the point in history when he was conceived. Democratic self-education makes the modern gods: America is the land of the Gods, who make all men equal, and make who themselves superior.
There needs no debate for visions and poetry. Certainly seeks no proofs from her foes. To avoid depressing squabbles, the genius must sterilize his life, must withdraw. If I argue an idea with you, it is only to see if you can teach me. But of what I am certain, I do not even present that as debatable. I keep such matters to myself. What do I care what you believe? We are what we are from birth; education is just greasing us how to fit in. But beyond how I was born and how I was educated is the shine of my creating freedom of will: what I make of myself is my eternal being. In life's every man has a set of interesting and useful experiences. Those experiences come charged with valanced energies, stores of differentiated energy that can be tapped for this use or that, but not just any use. When a man comes to know his own mind, his own I, when he can make transparent the artificial in his ego so the eternal in his ego shines through -- that is, when he comes to be an autonomous and self-defined man -- then he finds his lamp of classification, the lamp by which he can classify all facts, all experiences, and make them serve him. Then is he able to enter the chrysalis and sort through his files. No accident, no tragedy, no trauma, no injustice is squandered energy now: he has come to his own, he has opened the light of his I, he now owns heaven and puts the world in order. How does this come about? To try and rest and try and rest brings at last sweet success.
Wrenched across the torturer's table, you would think the secrets of your body were finally exposed, your guts and sensitive places with no defense against the edges of pain. Yet as soon as we are situated in the torturer's talons, we are already wearing a mask, the mask of misery, with puffed up face and reddened neck: that pain simply cannot touch the deific calmness of our inner being. Nothing can. Just as a car accident can be painless, if we happen to have been caught off guard, so is our happiness eternal and unable to be touched by time. The inner self at our pith and center can be touched and cajoled by no God, no Mother, no Universe, no neighbor, neither enemy or friend.
In our inner we're autonomous. The law only applies to lawful things, to the external world. We might sum up all laws into a simple code: always be reasonable and appropriate. I think no other law would be needed. And the Law of Niceness, as they teach to children --we promise to share! we promise to care! I love you, you love me! Never hurt anybody's feelings -- would be a good preparation for it. A whole society modulating on the directives, be nice, reasonable, and appropriate! What more could we want? Of course us allists are none of those things. We are self-defined, we sometimes strike distance on our world. The dynamic between word and self is the metaphysical quest of democracy.
There is something modulatory in the metaphorical layer of the conscious mind, that puts the inner tune of the selfsame poem outwards to the harmony and cacophony of the emerging world. The world is always emerging, always in a state of transition, growing here, dying there. Everybody fits in, everybody plays a part, and crime and tragedy are implicated with joy and luxury; it's all part of the same deal. It seems, therefore, that our every gesture is already as intimate as flesh: why then do we feel so out of sorts in this world? In my study, in front of my mirror, deep in thought, I am one man; but in society, I am completely hidden and say not a word as. We tie together tight impossible knots and trend them in long smooth easy threads. The logic of the knot predicates its untying. In the same way, when a couple ties the knot, their marriage is the inverted mirror of their courting dance. Every step of their romance -- how they met, how they initiated intimacy, how they unfolded themselves before one another and how they redefined themselves through each other -- becomes the logic of their marriage. This is how chance and whim become binding fate, and how eternity is born from time. Absolute freedom is chaos; creativity happens in limits.
This is why we scoff at the morality of free and open love, which would make sex as carefree as the choice of a candy bar, with no deep meaning or lasting repercussion. But the choice of sexual partner always symbolizes our relationship to our potential children: sex is a serious creative project which requires a careful morality. The current society of bastardy, of children raised by single mothers, can only undermines the power of the male child. Two partners are needed to teach love among equals. A marriage is a partnership. A romance is mere prelude to the creative program: the making of the house, the preparing of the next generation. It certainly is not something that can justify itself, nor can it prove itself to be anything that has a right to persist when larger projects deserve direct focus. With such creative projects as marriages, their blue prints are embedded in our myths, those vibrant forms of technology that took tens of thousands of years to perfect. All units use the moments of touch. Aligning a time of intimacy is the purpose of conversation, and the conversation that is marriage.
Intimacy is such a potent spice that we can stand it in only the barest drops. Like a psychedelic drug, it would push us beyond appreciation if sustained for too long. Most of life is cruising in a middle zone, with a sketching moment of touch, and the rest at a safe and predictable distance.
Somehow, nevertheless, by continual contact, by opening the heart in love to the ones we adore, they come inside, are internalized, and become part of our mental apparatus. A husband may well say, "Her voice haunts my house, hovering over my shoulder, telling me what she potentially would say," or as a friend of mine, as lazy as he was sensitive, reported, "I had clipped my daughter's finger nails, as my wife instructed, and since they were so little, I would just throw them behind the couch. But then I imagined her checking up on me, asking me if I threw them away, so I carried them into the kitchen. I was about to throw them down the garbage disposal, but I imagined her asking me where I threw them out, so, groaning to myself, I opened the door to the garbage under the sink. When I saw her next I was ready to ask her to stop yelling at me."
But—Oh! ye lords of ladies intellectual,
Inform us truly, have they not hen-pecked you all?
Marriage is the home of intimacy, as institutions are the buildings which have then swallowed together for so long, a complicated inner working of each our hearts gives us innerspace to stretch our minds. In art as well as love, there is an oscillation, a dance of the mind between submission and defiance, between appreciation and criticism. Never is there a pure and utter Islam of submission, they with their ideal of the ego so thoroughly brought face to the floor, ass in the air, that there is no ego, only the community of Allah. Well what is going on with art? You read and your reading mind oscillates between intimacy and distance, between submission and criticism. You read through the book, and some word shunts you into a reverie. Part of you keeps trailing the words, but your focus is accidentally on other things, seemingly unrelated to the text. Slowly, you lose track of the argument, you must stop and blink. The blink cuts off the reverie and returns you to the text, to search its face, panicked to find the missing thread.
Within the reader's head there are layers of voices, speaking at every moment, now one speaking louder, now the other, the literal level must sometimes cast a spell, and must also sometimes confuse. Consciousness is layered, and many ideas are setting the situation's magic, it's speech. The mind is a democracy where creators take command.
The lines of logic trope full circle, the terms we use in our terministic screen put fingertips on our idiolect, and with our systems of accents, punctuation, and tones, our whole life is at every level a self-experiencing language. Our attitude is our tone, our accents determine our experience.
All sentences have stressed and unstressed beats, and break into grammatical units, and those units break unto punctuated rhythms, and those rhythms take tone from the language used, whether words or terms, whether emphasizing nouns or verbs, and ultimately taking tone from the subject matter. Just like a guitarist can practice rhythm by dampening the strings with his left hand while strumming the dead strings with his right, so can all sentences, prose as much as prosody, be broken into their musical shape, the coloring of its words, the sound and also the feel, the full range of sentences touched, pinched, fondled, and pet with the fingertips of words. A sentence has many layers of meaning, some derived solely from the music.
What is the meaning of music? It is psychological meaning necessitated by the heart and lungs. The heart (soul) and lungs (spirit) in their speed and volume signify all manner of emotion; there is an instinctual meaning behind every physical sound. The meaning of music is dance. All music corresponds to rhythmic movement, first as an epitome, or purified form--dance itself, in other words, art, and then outwards into its full form--moving through life on its daily stretch.
In our daily life, art and metaphor are holes for endless tropes and dance and song to let the livelong day press its mood into stark bright truths and economize the sufferings and joys of every day to creative gain. If you know how to interpret, if you know how to convert, your differentiated energy can be expressed in new directions. The channels of experience that fill with specific energies can be transferred to chambers of imagined experience.
Experience is always intimate, abstraction always distant. The heaven of abstractions is experience cooled. Heaven is cold. In the blissful hell of lived experience, the suffering of life is ecstasy pure. Satan, the innocent lover masked in her lies, is the protector of the mirror womb at the center of things. Sophia her mother is the language, and she the tropes of desire. Satan is rhetorical bliss, the mother of metaphor.
Every romance is a conversation, and the gifts, the words, the proximity are so many tropes; the fights, the insults, the coos, the sex, all that is grammar, rhetoric, syntax, alphabet. Life is a pen. Life is writing. History is the book of instant being, our whole world is the proof of the past. We cannot escape intimacy, we cannot escape distance; we are ever situated, and even if we turn utterly inwards, and enter the necessity of our being, we will still be self-surrounded, like a mother kicking within her own womb.
Mother's love is the strongest love. If only she could love herself as she loves her child! My love too is too strong to need reciprocation. Like American Literary Criticism, or New Criticism, I find each individual at the level and layer of the individual, to be a self-sufficient, autonomous work. A love a man for what he is, a work for its distinction. You can study him outside his context, outside of history. This is to eternalize a text into a work. By reading the work in self-reference, the world falls into place. It explains itself, it explains everything. Whatever has integrity of itself can be used to interpret other things. The integrated disintegrates and recreates its lessers. The mere integrity of the alphabetical order, surely arbitrary, can be used to unstructure other works. Whatever abides can be used to tease apart the rest. Whatever happens to fall upon our path, whatever we happen to care for, holds the same secret truths as the exalted things.
Caring is not a choice. We can't choose to care more or less, or we would all lead carefree lives. But we can build up a standard attitude, a reference point, a set of musical scales, and refer to each as a mood in its modality.
We are always returning to the same intimate set of relationships. Just as we need the one stark cruel image to satisfy our fury, and we hypocritically look upon it with pity, at a movie, perhaps, which that justifies the portrayal, so is all of life a series of transitions trying to arrange the objects and beloveds of our life into a formal arrangement that expresses a given meaning. Meaning is both self-sufficient and progressive. Just as beauty is her own excuse, and happiness is its own end, yet beauty is a promise of the future, and happiness trains us in virtue, so are all things both ends and means. We transfer one to the other, for every end is really a mere means, and we take a means as an end to give it full focus.
The psychoanalysts fantasize that the patient is transferring his relationship to his parents unto the analyst. In fact, the analyst has no privileged position, but the patient is always putting each new person into a stereotyped role. Insofar as his new friend resists, there is tension and interest in the friendship. Friendship too is a sort of wrestling. We want to put the same old names on each new face. All things transfer constantly.
In the dream world, one object transfers like Proteus to a series of different forms, yet keeps its inner form, its integrity. We can see parents turning into bulldogs, or houses become coffins. The metaphorical mind is the basis of symbolization -- words stand for ideas, ideas stand for ideas, and metaphors make a new idea apparent by showing where two old things touch. Touch is the intimate beauty of knowledge.
The aim of intimacy and distance both, and indeed all of life, is to achieve the moments of beauty in time that stand outside of time, or in a word, to achieve a moment of apotheosis, to eternalize an experience. When an experience has become an idea, and then becomes a new way to experience, it has matured. When it is brought into its perfection, then it is sublime, but when it is eternalized, then it no longer requires a context, but has become a self-sufficient work, and bleeds healing light upon all it touches.
Lovers, because of their sustained moments of intimacy, share intimate truths, private experiences that cannot at all be expressed through any world language or every day speech, but only in those private moments when both are alone to each other's company. It cannot be faked, it cannot be bought. By sharing moments of anguish, humiliation, betrayal, forgiveness, sympathy, everything painful and pleasant, in the inner room of each other's hearts, they get the real meat, the utter touch of life experience, and though they put it all into a novel for somebody else, nobody can get it who hasn't lived it. The secret lips of lovers are forever sealed. To each other, lovers are endlessly generous.
I'm rich as blood to those I love, my words are thick as poems. I know how to take a private moment and turn it inside out, I eternalize the love into a goddess -- am I not Eros, underneath? I stand like liberty with my torch by day, looking for my men, with the torch of love, with the arrows of light over honest directness. My left hand ever is the metaphorical mind, the book of study, the inception of my liberty. My crown of order sets the nation gridded off and humming with integration. A few stark images are anchors for my word.
We want the image -- and use scene, plot, premise, as mere backdrop to allow the image to be situated and consciously seen. What if I knocked over two buildings with my broad green arms, and let jet plans double my stunts? We know what such things really mean, though we seldom say it, and seldom can. We all know, but we don't say, nor do we have to. I opened a new millennium, the destruction of the ancient gods.
I practice a small set of relationships: mirroring, stabilizing, loosening, intimating, distancing, aggrandizing, and apotheosizing.. I have just a few sure tricks, like the Olympic wrestler who only learned a few staple moves, but learned them so well that every freaky trick could be readily countered. I know, after all, very little. I know what I need to know, I see my historical perch as the perfect time to seal all deals.
Our American optimism died for a while after the civil war. Such things are to be expected. Yet I myself was not born in a better time nor a worse time, but I was always intimate to my moment, and able to transfigure any mundane reality into the exultation of my self. When I eternalize my very self, that is my exultation. All this leisure devoted solely to art, to our Idius, is meant only to bring you to my intimate point. We concentrate on our concentrated truth, the experience intensified into a poem.
Fear and distance and truth and power abstract what can thereby be intensified, as in most "natural" medicine, such as caffeine pills or refined sugar, which concentrate one part of the plant. We can eat all manner of candies--there are hundreds of brands and hundreds of kinds -- but it all comes down to flavored sugar, and sugar is something not needed in such a concentrated form. Some goods are best concentrated, others best diffused.
Philosophy also purifies ideas. A term, properly speaking, could be expressed with a visual symbol and lose no meaning or denotation, though it will change some of its connotation. Jokes often play on this idea, when we mistake an unknown referent: "I hate walking my mother-in-law's dog. She growls, bares her teeth, and goes off at anything out of the ordinary. And the dog isn't too nice either."
By purifying a term of its connotations, as in legal language, or political correctness, it gives it certain freedom to act in a new situation and context. The ability to abstract and use a different object gives us freedom in expression, to transcend differentiated energy. "I need love, but I don't necessarily need yours." The energy our needs create for a certain purpose have freedom of expression with the concrete bridge of imagination. We house ourselves in such abstraction, enworld ourselves behind our terms.
Thoreau commented on how abstract a house is, how we create an artificial environment in our home. Climate can't get in. Our whole lives are abstract, unlike the animal concrete. A man lives within the world, and is at home within the world, wherever he goes, when his halo of terms can digest everything that confronts him. There are no dangers other than exciting dangers. A man's terminal is his screen of terms at the edge of his senses, the philosophical orientation of his percepts, the concepts that look for certain meanings, treating the world as a book, the world's objects as language. A house is abstract, but a home, imbued with artificial meanings, is again concrete, as all meaning is concrete. Love makes abstractions concrete.
A great book must bend its critical logic away from its hear so it will not suicide. What I criticize had better not apply to myself, and least of all to that very criticism. Many reformers out there lack real problems, but have too many solutions nobody wants. A book must solve its own problem, a person must embody what he would reform. His body stands for the world.
A live body animates its parts. The logic of the book animates its sentences. Whole books, whole series of books, can be reduced to a simple logic, perhaps to the logic of a symbol or metaphor. Language is living, the letter lives, and whatever is dead in any language springs to life like the ash of a phoenix. The long dead walking stick is as sensitive as the finger tip, for whatever rock it broaches is felt in the hand and its nerves. In this way, so long as there is a core of life, the whole apparatus may be pure machine. A man's language is his halo, and his words are his angels, they permeate the atmosphere and forever endure. We express more than our feelings, we express our very self, in a sincere and intimate utterance.
The words of friendship sometimes the shining rose of amethyst, not alive yet expressive of life; when intimacy is gone, the formalities endure. The machines of habit yet sparkle the light of truth. Civilization is a system of polite discourse.
What is real and harsh and direct, with the proper light of aesthetic distance is, in memory or in art, sublime. Aesthetics is allowed by distance, abbreviation, concentration; the entire secret of beauty is to make a thing unified.
The beard of my lust is growing like the Ram of Spring, and I am awaiting the wanton sun to melt the frigid winds; I drink from the cup of duty, the cup of wisdom, and the cup of my eternal self; godlike, I beget godlings, one whom I love like a cross-country race, with patient endurance, and the other I love like tennis, with spontaneous and rapid strategies for her creative growth. These are the tropes which hug my life, my mind is a fountain of tropes which soaks every fact of my living day. At one level, my life is concrete, at a higher level, the same is divine.
There are levels for reading life, levels for reading art. We submit to its lead or we draw back and criticize, ever an oscillating between submission and criticism, between doubt and trust. Jesus was wrong to call doubt a sin. The divine is not that which you should not doubt, but that which you cannot doubt. Only absurdity bullies us to believe.
I focus on the artwork itself, at one layer, its position in history, at another, and join it with its full situation, with another layer. But with my critical eyes, I focus on its structuration, how it works as a self-contained unit. That is most important. Each artwork is as much an individual as myself, as eternal as myself, and is a self-relating integrity. I exist for myself. Art exists for itself. We come together to exchange benefits. The language of art is the language of beauty, and beauty is the highest of being.
Poetry is an ontological language framed in paradox. Because the poem is a compression, simplicity, the negations in language stand stark, and must be made aesthetic. Our lives are full of contradictions, antinomies, paradoxes, mistakes, that is the very definition of life, man, and god, but we don't see them, we don't feel the tensions, consciously, unless they are given the aesthetic distance of art. With society it is rude to stare. With art it is rude not to.
Poetry is the language of being. A truth is first made good, then beautiful, then eternal. It externalizes being through the art of apotheosis, and that our highest purpose. There are universal abstractions in all of matter, but they are tissued in a style of integration. All successful art is integrated; criticism is showing its hidden integration. and rejecting what fails to so integrate. Form is meaning. To hold a shape is to experience yourself as holding that shape, the geometry of its network of tensions. Ideas also are shapes, almost geometrical. When the mind takes the shape of a perception or an idea, it can then experience its being. It is it. Gestalts, unities, wholes, the all, are the proper object of contemplation, the reason for thinking in the first place. Literature, and the literary in all of art, is metaphorical and symbolical at every level. To be literature, it must mean many things at many levels, in an integrated and profound way. Art is the integrity. The book is the thing. Nevermind the author's hang-ups. Just as a man's divinity stands above the absurdities and humiliations of his daily life, not as their contradiction, but as something standing on top of them, like the grapes of intoxication on a tree that happens to have broken branches, missing leaves, or a diseases, so is art the higher body of the author, his very flesh, the eternal container of his consciousness -- soul and spirit, blood and breath, heart and vast ideas. The Door of our Apotheosis, Necessarily Independent, is Eternal Logic. This life on earth is the Door to our divinity, and the A of beginnings, the "@" of new beginnings, that place at the source where we must return, the inner womb of the All, the All of our own being, our necessity, is allowed by a central ethic of independence, in the inner of the mind, to sanctify what is ours alone, for this leads to the three o'clock energy of logical passageways, bending like a maze, yet when that rope is pulled through the labyrinth, when pulled taut like a chain through dry clay, so that all the spurious things makes way for the eternal, so we find our place in life.
And in all my wending, I am witnessed by Yule, by Ama, by Jillian, my ideal reader, my muse and distant friend. She has best the ears to the playwork of my music.
Music has essentially two movements: excitement and resolution. An interweaving of the two creates interest; good music keeps your interest throughout; great music keeps your interest every time you listen. Some of it's subjective, but taste can be taught, and complex beauties can be revealed to the one who strives to understand. For such a one, pretty simple things can no longer hold attention.
When we come into our own, into the woman who is our own, the lover who is equal to us, she will say "With you I can be free! I can finally be myself!" Years of conversation to arrive at subtle things.
We only come to our own when we become our own, when we have struggled with life and thrown our bodies against life's obstacles, suffered the pain of the rocks pulling away from our softness, the wounds melting away the stony skin, and letting the inner glow emerge. Theory is preparation. We need experience, but we need theory to economize how we experience.
The way to truth is on the road of folly, and only be constant mistakes do we get the facts. I had to mistake the means of the journey for its end get to that end. On earth we think of heaven. In heaven we think of Nirvana. In Nirvana we think of the All. When we are the All, what do we think of then? On this earth, I am the self-made man, the scholar, the poet. These very allays are more poetical than prosaic (although the distinction is illusory).
A poem says in its structure what could not be said in a summary or a ten page explanation. It can't be paraphrased, it can't be summarized, its structure is the aesthetic meaning. This brings us to Ama. Ama, of course, is just a name, and every image of her, every literary image, every poem, could convey the sense I experience of her, the intimate transcendence and unity with the all, but it could simply be parodied, lambasted, mocked, demonized, and scoffed at. When I say that Ama speaks literal words in my head when I am willing to hear, this is likely to be misunderstood. I think the whole thing should be sidestepped. What Ama is is one reality behind all gods, in all gods, she is every reference to the divine, the logical, the important, the true, the beautiful, she is not the All she is the best of the All. How she contacts you in this life, with what mask, with what words, your mythic self will certainly see, but your earthly self will at best catch a sense. There are many layers to this world, many realities. Don't let some quibblings over fables and myths divorce you from your birthright.
The technology of myth, religion, and superstition are scoffed at as if they were nonsense. Yet even superstition has sense. The very Latin alphabet has more mysticism than any Kabala; and Thrice Great Hermes ain't got nothing on me. A simple homemade mandala, of shapes, letters, numbers, pictures, creates occult relations with the placement of its symbols. Don't look to the past; do it yourself. The world is thick with meaning, and the potentialities in all things are infinity upon infinity.
The innermost is a name, for identity is Name; the inner self is an infinitely nuanced energy of a string which emanates the aeons, or the terms of the inner inner poetry. That poetry, like all poetry, is a paradox, it is its own logic and the tensions of its logic set it to life. Tensions make interest. That poetry makes all language, and all things, all matter, all the world is folds upon folds of language. Every inch of it can be translated into any other language, and though some things can't be translated, the other parts can be. Contradictions and qualifications make the nuanced antennae breathe its forms. What compressed paradoxes that in ordinary life seem smooth and without trouble, even when as wide as a novel, seem without trouble, but when knotted in poetry, thick as blood, the antinomies kiss together and the world explodes. The hidden tensions of daily life are made stark within the poem.
The poets of life, who write no verse, but live verse, with their words and solemnity, they baptize events, actions, and possessions with deep meaning. Language creates realities, language creates worlds. I think any event in history, if told by a master, can be made to look criminal or saintly -- such is the majesty of art. They called it sophistry, as if that were a cut, but the philosopher graduates to be a sophist, as the sophist graduates to be a Sage. A few Sages has America made, and the Sage of Concord is the American Mind. Many have followed the way of sagacity. This is my own lifecourse.
Poems are by nature extremely distilled, the elements are pressed, shoulder to shoulder. And once we have mastered the gross form, and released the intensity of the subtle form, we have reached the mythos of Ovid, who rightly saw transformation as the key to religion. In the hands of a wizard, all things transfer endlessly into all things. The wizard is the sophist, derided by many, but of such wise vision that he can see where his own future lies.
My own allays of panacea come from a wide variety of elements, a representative of all, dissolved in the mercury of passion. Emotions are the menstruum that dissolve ideas. Ideas bubble up from emotions, words crystallize from ideas, and actions take flame from words. At the singularity, the proximity of all on all made their logos integrated, so they were lawful unto each other. So too must we get beyond heaven and back under hell, into the centermost need, the womb of necessity, and concentrate all our being into a singularity, before we are free to join with our personal Ama and burst as wide as the infinite universe.
Fresh goals arouse immediate excitement. Best to increase the surface area of excitement, to rotate a few basic goals that are modulations of the same overarching project. In the same way, an oscillation of friends, as the heart directs, first intimate to one, and then the other, taking this one close, one on one, and then that other, this is the best way to be intimate with any of them. And oh my daystars, you are ever so dear to me; I come to each of you in turn.
How do we take the world? We take it as we make it. Baptize yourself every day in the shower, giving back to the world what it has impressed upon you, "I wash away, the dirt of the earth, the dirt of the earth now fall from me!" The press of intimacy, self to self, is the wonderjoy of infinity. You grasp the deepest truth and fly the highest height.
No big event, no triumph or tragedy, comes with an intrinsic meaning. What it means for you only you can decide, though politicians and pastors decide what events mean officially to their group. You must be willing to slip inwards, to express the innermost, to blow up the outside world. Pure self reflection is as sacred as masturbation, as necessary, but sterile without returning again to those others we love. That self-intimacy is our sacrament, our ecstasy, yet those of my type make their own sacraments to fit their goals.
"I am only an experimenter. Do not set the least value on what I do, or the least discredit on what I do not, as if I pretended to settle anything as true or false. I unsettle all things. No facts are to me sacred, none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker, with no past at my back." So said the mind of America.
We experiment, we take on personas, we try this and that. We stare at the art of man. What voyeurs we are, us darlings of God, us the pearls of history, us the ribbons within the lockes of Mother All. We are intimate to our living experience, we transcend our time because we first immersed. We take the world as teacher.
Don't you quote your nonsense on me, "A student is not better than his teacher." Then kill the teacher, get him out of the way; that would be an act of integrity. A damaged original is more valuable than even the finest imitation. Be your own original, never be another man's imitation. Who can we draw near but the divine originals, who have realized their own? I'm going. You with?
Walk with me, but seek after your own name. Never be a second. Sequels auto-cannibalize their original. The second movie reuses much of the first, the third uses both, and yet grows paper thin. Never repeat. Never say again what you have already said well enough; say it fresh each time. I want no refrain from the ones I love. Think your truths into infinite forms, be the Precambrian burst, let your creativity grow wild and monstrous. Sensitivity of intellectual touch is necessary to make analogies, to see connections. We see that Picasso and Joyce did not create different kinds of art, but Picasso and Raphael.
Picasso is precisely what doesn't survive our sensitive touch. We are the fauns that tenderly eat the petelled rose of your heart. The war borne scar-art we let to finally heal. We choose the beautiful. Our millennium is of the One World.
What is the ethic of such a world? What the law? "Be reasonable, appropriate, and nice," is this not the sum of all the world's philosophies and religions? Put that in the law books, enforcing the first two, and that would be that. We will be locked up anyway, so why not? We are not reasonable, though we can be; we are not appropriate, though we can be, we are not nice; though we can be: we use virtues as powers, to serve us, not master us. They serve our purpose. (Though we are a thousand miles, a thousand years apart, I write this as a love note to you alone). I care not for the name of goodness, I care about myself. What I am is good, what I do is good, my whole history is legend. How easy to condemn eating sweets when you've grown sick of them, how normal to condemn drinking when you have a hangover, how opportune to find religion when your adultery has lost its savor. But when you are in the sweet of your passion, how far to see it that way. Best then to keep the perch of distance ever personed by the white faced eagle. Let his careful eyes surprise all lies. Own your whole history: you will only be perfect when you realize you always were.
America, precisely because her history is so short, has emphasized the eternal in man -- Emerson, Whitman speak of such -- just as the New Criticism emphasized the ahistorical value of poems. For America, God is a child. Ama is adolescent. Sophia is middle aged. Mattria is eternity upon eternity. Ama eyecatcher, tunnel mind, sleepy hope, I fall with you into innocence.
"The aeons through the eons, turning tropes eternal, they are the emanated poems from the innermost self." What does such a word say about me? We have so many tells of our hidden desires, in broken speech and half mad gestures that either consciously or unconsciously express what we want received, in a form we can readily disown. A woman wants to let a man know she can be seduced, but wants to set it up as if it was all his doing, and she the noble resister. Being the choosy sex, the sex capable of committing bastardy, of having children without a father, she must be careful to keep sex sacred and herself selective. I think we confess our whole life through little gestures and invisible expressions. Your whole history is knit into your nerves; all you are speaks from your eyes.
So let us pay attention and study the being of the people. What can be made conscious can be controlled. The will can use what it can grasp. Use a few symbols to map a wide situation. Come up with a terminal, a "terministic screen" of words to grasp intimately in. The more we take people as objects, the less we can be hurt by them as persons. When a man seeks a woman as a sexual object, if she rejects him he is unscathed. But if he takes her as an intimate mind and heart, and shows her his intimate mind and heart, then he is vulnerable to her frowning words. Clearly, that would be the "conquest" requiring manly courage. Power is vulnerable. Brute strength lacks the flexible vitality of the feminine touch. There must be something more than masculinity in a man to perfect his manhood; there must be something above the world to perfect its worldliness.
All great writings, all great creations, come from a grandiose theory, with something Important to press them down. A heaven of theory brings an art to fruition. The temples and psalms come from wide systems, or, just as directly, from reaction to great systems. The systems may be absurd, such as the metaphors of Christianity and Buddhism, if taken literally, or any of these sorts of things that people know but haven't experienced; yet they aren't absurd in that many people passionately believe them. Their belief is a stubborn fact and cultural force that me must respond to. As allists we can walk through any door, be it open or closed, and every heaven and nirvana is also open to our after life. Why be gloomy as a goblin when we can be dancing as an elf?
Sacred things, ecstatic things, are never silly, though they may seem silly, the way a foreign language sounds like bizarre yammering. Silly is sacred; it wouldn't be high if fools failed to laugh. Those symbols mean something to some people, mean everything to some people, and those people may damn you and hate you for not using the same symbols. An Allist is above all that. We do not damn the damners, nor hate the haters. We know theology is arbitrary, but it is at least definite, and that makes it integrated enough to arch a type. We repudiate no symbols, but we charge the fundamentalists with misusing their own symbols. We do not chastise them. We remind them of what they already know. We prefer quoting them to themselves over making our own original statements, and least of all would we prefer quoting Allism. Let us keep to our own. What is ours is meant for our lips.
My kiss is meant for each your lips. There are invisible circles of intimacy between people, physical spheres around the body which imply a tone specific to proximity, a whisper at an inch, a shout at a mile. The same is true of metaphysical spheres that can be evoked through tone, even despite the distance of written speech.
Slow, soft, and gentle characterize the keycode to the inner heart.
Two lovers, mirroring one another, and only slowly revealing their inner light, draw close. Their words, their sacrifices and kind deeds, through respect and pride in each other, in that mythic space they draws closer with all these actions, drawn out over the years in a moment, such words open the spheres of defense, words drawing the other till they are pressed heart to heart, placed mouths to ears, whispering secrets, secret names and intimacies; here the inner man of the heart approaches the inner man of the other, till they face each other as a mirror, and then at the moment of utter touch, your inner man and mine pass through each other, breast to breast, and I now hold you intimately in my heart, for we have eternalized each into the other -- soul to soul, blood to blood. Every layer of the heart has such an image to give, the music of the spheres, but for the men who love each other so dearly as to exchange names, there is no higher love.
I turn again to my reader, the man who reads me in the same breath as I read him. Were it not for your breath I would suffocate. "E" is my praise of the Eternal, "L" my logos of time. Daniel will always end in El, that judge of God, whose Ama is as jealous as Juno. This is the spirit I am of, through the outer name that I was given.
You noble souls I wrestle in the depths. I've learned all my tricks from you. From the pit fights and the love making -- it's all the same. Thor, after he had suffered humiliation from illusions, being wrestled to his knee by an old woman, the disguise of Old Age, learned thereby the art of illusion, and almost caught up the Midgard serpent, himself disguised as a simple fisherman. Whether we win or lose the fights and loves, surely we will learn.
Have I not found meanings for all of you. My life is a wrench at the nut of meaning, a pliers to break the nut of meaning. Some diamonds in my path are difficult to break.
"Your daughter is an angel sent by God to teach you love," said a customer to me. Only the simple have the universe all figured out. It reminded me what I had long known, that my nonverbal daughter--'autistic' as they currently say, 'retarded' as they used to say--has a meaning for my life, a meaning nobody can tell me, but something that I will half discover, half invent over years of experiment. My dad regarded her as a curse for my leaving Christianity, my mother-in-law regarded her as God's punishment on her for leaving Islam. I myself love her and try to make her happy. It is often exasperating for us both, to the point of panic, and every moment of her waking day requires my careful vigil -- with her removing her diaper and making a mess, or terrorizing the kitchen, or demanding a new DVD be put in every few minutes. How this fits in with my mission of Allism, with my marriage, with my social life -- I rarely leave the house -- with the education of her sister, with my career -- at the moment I work a flexible job as a journalist--has to be determined by me alone.
Such a situation affects a man in more ways than he knows or can ever know. Yet as an optimizing optimist, I struggle to shine the light of beauty upon my daughter.
Different instincts and their educated articulations in desire feed into my thoughts. There is this feeling of vengeful pride that I handled my difficult daughter and her fits better than my hysterical mother handled me and my occasional manias; that I kept my marriage despite mental illness problems, when she fled from hers. And since I've felt the wound of my father leaving me, I could never leave my own. My self-image has so long been informed by my deific feelings of exultation that this seems like a fitting anchor to keep me in the concrete world. With my daughter I am mortal. My easy going nature has ensured I have ever treated her with angelic tenderness. She gives me patience by demanding so much of it.
With any concrete fact, with any stubborn reality that cannot be wished away, we can ask ourselves, "What can it mean for me?" We work out plots, myths, metaphors, and it makes the suffering not only tolerable, but sublime. We actually start to seek it. When we can give names to things and put a logic in them, we can control them, and so we deepen our apotheosis through struggling in the flesh. Deep meaning is emanated from the soul to answer the world.
A person can't be good at a role unless he is more than that role. To be a good doctor you must be more than a doctor. To be a good man you must be more than a man.
My own history and life as a man, and the chain of protestant to catholic to protestant to me; with me half mad, and divine in and out of my madness, losing friends, losing family, disowning my parents for a time, dropping my friends for a time--in all this, so few can come near to me! Oh Ama! I gentle genitals, natures gift! Oh living word from life-borne lips! This world sometimes gives a glimpsing wink from you. When I'm unimpressed I politely bow, when I see love I stand tall. Have I not known that goddess Satan, Apollo Shorn and Seducer of the Father, with her cunningly contrived ruses to hide deep, the center of innocence.
Like her, I call out to the one I love: when will we bow our heads a'neck each other? I draw near and give what is already yours, I whisper in your ear your everblessed name. Oh my terrestrial lovers, where is the one who gave me such grace? Her love was hidden like her sin, and twinned, they whispered secrets.
Our pantheon's a family, and when we grasp hands and circle around, do we no strain when a member seeks room? When the other pulls back, do we not, like civil war America, kill each other to stay as one? For you, I seek every great man's power, to make his strength my own.
How often I seek out the pits! I am no woman whose seduction is to expose vulnerability. When I take Christ in his pit, I aim for his heart; when I find Socrates in his pit, I eat out his brains; Yahweh I bend, and Satan I seduce to a higher love; I meet Byron in his mania and Confucius in his reverence. If I am to give myself every gift, I must struggle against the best of the best, and match myself to the greatest of the great. I am all in all and will make myself all I can be. And for those I love, I merely ask you your word. Your silence suffocates me.
The thread of everything spirals inwards to my center. I feel this way as I walk and think: I wander the world and wonder, do you wonder me? The shadow casting stumble trees, rooted in this clumsy world of malls and gawking folk, tipped their toes and clenched their eyes, as if eclipsed by the rose of sun, squinting at some whisper God and some terrestrial treasure of paper and gold. Do you not see the sunflairs of my face, the color ribbons that dance like plasma about my naked limbs? I am the percussion of light: chaotic colors bathe my bald, passionate eyes. Is it no wonder your heart and eyes clench so tightly before my shine?
Yet your brilliance is as hidden from me as mine is from you. We wink behind these mild bored eyes. Our hidden truths are written under. There are layers of meaning in every writing. Some are intended to obscure the rest. Imagine, if you can, your story with one element missing. You may then get a feel for what that element gives. When you take it out, I live my love above and the blade of my hand separates heaven from earth, the sky is split horizons wide. I answer Ive's unanswered trumpet, "What are we here for?" with a chiasmus: the here is for me. Do I draw you close with my intimate words? Is not candid speech a ploy to put our obvious faults in favorable light? To deny them would only incriminate. I give you secrets to hide my secrets. I reside in this life, and who is a resident but one unable to leave? Have I not always dug towards the infinite center and carved heavens in my heart for the ones I have loved? When? The present is where the entire universe exists, I am already now.
It is easy enough to seem divine when your gospel has no table talk, and it is easier to fall over a pebble than a mountain, so I smile my smile: love is sauce. Happiness is a butterfly. Am I not old enough for that? The young want you to give them something, the old want to give something to you. I myself got nothing, but I've worked with less. I never give a gift, I show you what you already own.
Heaven is a state of mine. Paradise is a pair of eyes. The world is a thousand colors, and we always wear a lens. Do we not rightly say the sunset is more beautiful through two pairs of eyes? Who I am with you is different than who I am alone. You allow aspects of me to come out that nobody else could allow. What you give me, I already had, but could not reach without you.
I too often trip up my friends. I analyze to death the words I said before, to figure what went wrong with us. It often goes wrong, silence creeps in. There is no better liar than silence.
The abstracted man gains a higher pride, is able to control much more, is able to command the world, but he loses touch with humanity, with nature, with necessity. The channels must be opened, fresh blood must pump up. The blood of love is in our friends, who are in us, enthroned in the circle of our inner heart. Family, friends, lovers, mates, give us more being, are the one thing other than our innermost that can add to our being. The alteration of distance and kiss is the contraction of the heart of our integrated being.
Intimacy is allowed by distance. Pure intimacy would suicide. It would become first numb and next impossible. A touch and then a drift, a touch and then a drift. This is the nature absence of friends and love. A man will do what he can to get the intimate touch, whether through aggression or tenderness he needs to have contact. A woman must do her best to choose the touch that won't bring her down. If love is a game, the stakes are high. A man's sexuality is his most spiritual quality, and eros is the highest love. Who you choose to bed is who you unconsciously want to have children with; the choice of intimacy is important to the self, the second most important choice we make. The first is how to make a meaning out of the inner of our being, to determine what the poem of our soul will mean and do. Our lover, next, is our second self.
A man before his mirror opens up the deepest sacrament, to know his inner being, to reveal the light that moves it all. The logos comes from the tao, the tao comes from the poem, and the poem comes from the innermost name. The self is something new in the world, a proper addition, a special gift.
There was a special young girl who made no special impression on others; she walked with the people, was modest and quiet. She was more divine than all of them, but she herself didn't know that. It takes a god to see a god. When you are able to see something perfect and ultimate in this world, you will also have become it. We see what we are, and only consider questions we already hold answers to. If you want it, you will one day have it. The mind is two circles. The deeper in one circle goes, the further out the other. If one touched the absolute center, the other would reach the outer infinite. Such a state of being, and its immediate oscillation between the two, renders us home where we become the all-one; this is why we fall in love in the first place. Each tap of your finger echoes eternally; your heaven is made in the deeds that you do. Good deeds don't get you into heaven: they prove you are already there. To be yourself is the highest task. To come to your own is the only duty. Intimacy and distance, like the throbbing of the heart, both are needed to set love into play.
Ama Draws Near
I am the shining brow of dawn
All that you call divine is organ and function of me
The will of my eyes are Odin,
Jupiter, Yahweh, Brahma, Zeus
The sun of my lips is Sophia,
Lux of language, Holy Spirit, Maia, Luciana, Mother of Dawn
The fingers of my hands are Hermes,
writer of worlds, Logos, Christ, Hercules
My heart is maid Satan,
greatest of lovers, masked behind a thousand masks, pure desire, emotion troping, Venereal kisses from Astarte's shine.
Wherever God is worshipped, I am the one who hears
Wherever pray is answered, I'm the word you heard
Wherever a scripture's written,
the Allays, Eddas, Gospels, Tao, Torah, Quran, Upanishads,
My breath alone inspired it, mingled with the spirit of man.
I am the All
I am all things divine
I am the mask of the mother
Who is me and everything else
She is both Everything and Nothing,
Both Being and Nothingness
Mattria, Motherverse, Container of all things
Whom you are too
The All in All in All.
\ ~@M@~ /