Friday, May 18, 2012

"The Text of the Canon"

The Text of the Canon


                The so called "Dead White Men" who write the Western Canon are more alive than most of the living world of men and women, white or otherwise. Like Melville's whale, we cannot hope to defeat or exceed them, but we may walk among them as equals, if we are willing to believe in ourselves as they believed in themselves. You can be a Homer, a Plato, a Socrates, a Beethoven, not if you imitate them and not merely because you are of the same race and socio-economical background, but only and always if you make use of whatever background you happen to be born into. Chance becomes providence in the hands of the gods, and a God you must be if you would be a Man.

                As kisses are the messengers of love, books are the messengers of wisdom, and to be understood, they require the intimate touch of dialectic: you must submit and obey, you must challenge and dominate, each in turn, the eternal dance--the give and take of love.

                There is no slower learner than me -- though my friends think I am being modest when I say such things. I am slow and it has cost me jobs. But the reason I seem educated is that I reread an essay or a book many many times until I get it. Persistence is the secret to my success.

                I struggle against the great authors, I do not simply admire them but I just as often hate them. Reading is an erotic wrestle.

                We each read some aspect of life. Let "reading" count as the most attentive apprehension of something, such as art appreciation. Every profession teaches men and women to read one thing and read it well. The English major metas the system and reads everything with the same tools, reads reading--learns the literary unity of all things.

                In all of life, we prefer a level of distance. We draw close and close our eyes for a kiss, we draw back and get a wide view, but we have a default distance we expect between ourselves and others, both literally and emotionally, that is maintained by our typical tone of voice. The loud man necessary keeps people at a distance, and the woman of whispers has only intimate friends and distant acquaintances.

                With such living white men as Homer, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; Shakespeare, Bacon, Milton; Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, Melville; who, sir, are you? How alive can we hope to be. When we come into our own we will but just as alive as they are -- indeed that is our birthright. When a man comes into his own there is nothing more you could give him: he holds the highest honor. This, then, is what a work is, a work of genius, no mere text, as if it could be broken into textures and textiles, but a solid spiritual whole, an eternal word, a divine book, a member of the Canon.

                Hold to your own. What sphere of experience is preferred? That which is most realized by us is most real to us: we look upon things at our preferred distance, and either bring our creativity right before our nose, or at arm's length, or even hold it a  whole nation apart. But we set our distance between love and power, between intimacy and control.

                We use our energy of necessity, we use our power of mind, each with our unique style and code. The stylus of the conscious I, that phallus of creative greatness, bears our unique signature and shines it best when we learn to insist on ourselves. Energy is free form, power s power to do something specific. We negotiate our energies with others. Friendships and loves negotiate energies and give us power. The kinetic energy of changing position compounds over the power of force and gravity. Power and energy interpenetrate.

                As artists, we use our energy of selection and our power of obsession to create the exact communication to our creative mindset. Our art becomes the Artist, and our fans become the materials. We create art that keeps creating. Art is effective when it is able to put the contemplator into the same mindset that created the work. When you can see the world through my stylistic lens, then our minds an hearts are one.

                We begin to think of style in our adolescence. Indeed, a man gains his soul in his teenage years, when he adopts the soul music of his generation, the blood of affectations that move him and his peers. Teenagers focus especially on two things: How do I fit in? How am I different? Love and importance are ever the social needs of man, love and power, intimacy and truth.

                The work of art, when it is effective, slips the bridal of pure Gleipnir over the reader, that limp unbreakable strand made from the sound of a cat's movement, from a woman's beard, from mountain roots, from bear sinews, from a fish's breath, from bird's spittle, from the infant's laugh. Woven like a poem, that undersense, that hidden meaning in a text is the hardest bond to break. That is our baptism into this world, with the first name we receive from our parents.

                Art is a language meant to infuse an attitude into those who fall under its influence. Lux is every word in the air, every word speaks on eternally. Language is ever the home of mankind, just as concepts, and the words we speak them, are the language of self-reflection. From percepts of objects come recepts of stereotypes. From recepts of stereotyped objects comes concepts of the ideas behind and in them. From concepts integrated come symbols, which structure and order wide ranges of concepts and ideas. The great poetical, mythic, and religious symbols are not "true" in the way a fact is true or false. They are expressions of values into the structuring of ideas; they are interpreters.

                Lack a wife, lack a home; and yet our mother tongue of oral speech must be balanced by our father tongue of written script. The written word, or the language we put into matter rather than into spirit, that is the purpose of the spoken words. We speak so we may act. And yet an act is incomplete, is naked without the language that clothes and beautifies it. I think any conceivable act in the world can be done in beauty if the language and meaning behind and around it are sincere and sublime.

                The basic stories make all of life sacred. The myths are in themselves ridiculous insofar as they claim they must be regarded as historical to be important at all. God said "Let there be light" 13 billion years too late, but it took an atheist to invent the light bulb. We scoff because we don't believe. And we don't have to believe either, because it is human nature to believe in something, and all positive beliefs bear good fruit. Comedy requires distances. Intimacy doesn't mock. There is no crueler crime than to initiate intimacy without sympathy. This is the rape of the soul, rape of the emotions, just as there is rape of the body. Who is our intimate lover let us never forsake. Let us not, like Augustine, let motherguilt alienate us from our true scripture. His true scripture was not the Bible, though he artificially forced himself to believe it was till he demonized the Cicero who had taught him everything. Each writer has a scripture, just as Plato preferred Aristophanes. What speaks to you is yours.

                Modern life becomes more and more abstracted as the human race gains more and more power. Experienced realities are cut from their necessity, or if the thread isn't cut, it is nevertheless loose and attenuated. The common sense reality is that a man grows a crop, consumes it, and that is work, you reap what you sow. But what if you analyze the work of a team of tax-creditors what do they materially produce? What you make is spiritual and abstract, you can't heft it in your hands You are paid with numbers written on paper -- or even numbers written on mere bank ledgers. How abstract can life become?

                Cybersex between people who have never met in person, nor seen each other, nor heard each other speak-- or even learned each others names, seems utterly abstract. But what the exciting topic isn't even sex, but some fetish, some abstracted sensuality? What is the limit of abstraction? How far can we get from the literal core of sex, the production of the child, and still have sex?

                Distance from necessity is freedom, but necessity is the source of all energy. The books we read are tools of distance, are always subtle mirrors back upon a life that is otherwise to close to correctly see.

                Clothing is another layer of abstraction. Just as teenagers are shocked that their parents still have sex, so is it alarming to suddenly catch a coworker naked, and realize that they are after all human. Sometimes it recommends itself to remember the Queen of England still shits out her anus, or that Jesus had testicles. We get so abstracted in our heads that we lose track of our mother Matter.

                We are all specialized and so abstracted from the truths that the living encyclopedia of Man's mind. We are all made to conform with our society, and whether we see it or not, we are initiated into our State. Childhood is trauma and parenting is abuse. That is how it should be and how it must be--within limits, in the right way, for the right purpose. Our childhood was idyllic and also dangerous -- traumatic and wonderful all at once.

                The enigma of how a thing can have two contrary natures at once -- the particle wave dilemma of physics for instance - doesn't fret our generation as it did the last. What to them was bizarre to us is normal. So Ama, I wish to enter the doors of your love. You place the door of my apotheosis in my own generation science, history, and place of error. For even utterly folly and stupidity, if pursued in innocent sincerity wins the prize.

                To commit an unspeakable sin -- what a boon! That bit of hidden grows thick and remains unseen to even the dearest friend and the warmest of lovers -- that much at least is yours and yours alone. With that you may hollow out a cubby for your hidden treasure, and make an inner garden in your Aria for your utter seclusion. When reading the forbidden text you come across your own secret truths.

                Learn how to read. Learn to see the depths of implication. Learning any skill is easier with an outcome in mind. To know what a text is, to care, we must wish to make a text, first of all a book to incarnate our body, and second to turn our entire life into spiritual art. Nothing can be fully abstracted, everything fits in, we are directly and indirectly related to every last neutrino in the universe. A man is consciousness, a unique center in the universe, filled with strategies of the Game of Life in his beliefs and personality, his thought and talk -- he plays life best by exposing that unique glance to starkest contrasts in other personalities. If Jesus met Socrates he would have had to resort to magic tricks, being the less intelligent of the two -- his words would never save him.

                So we must evade our betters till we are strong enough to topple them. Love requires both hate and fear to set distance and boundaries, otherwise love would lead to suffocation and death. Only literary lovers merge soul to soul and center to center -- the flesh of romance would otherwise get in the way. Yet, all in all each love finds its place and hold. Ama, I am all for you in all of you. That shameful kiss of peach lick intensity grew into the World Tree to crowd out all else. The smallest seed is hidden even amidst these very words.





\ ~@M@~ /


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