Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"revenge" a small essay




            You got the last word, but lost me. There is revenge in everything, from a brotherly insult and affectionate criticism to blood-hate and bitter anger. Ego is justice. The accounting system of the ego, which sees justice as a sort of monetary computable sum, is ever acting as "karma" giving praise where praise is due and condemning where condemnation is due.

            So many people lose faith in the universe, or their god, because they see injustice prevailing. The do not see the full picture. Justice is inevitable, because at the center of each agent, even the criminals and the evil, is a goodness and necessity to self-limit and self-punish. No man can escape his due, not in this life or the next. But because they ultimate judge of each man is himself, his due can never be to his real hurt. He wants, at his innermost, to be beautiful, loving, and lovely.

            The judge is a judge because he exults his ego. When he takes the stand he is the Law, and as the law, he gets angry, impatient, or merciful and understanding. The ego of the man is under the Law ego and participates in it. It is this way with every Me we take on, which act as clothing for the inner I of the core of ourselves. The I, after all, is the pure ego that can never be hurt, because it is a nothingness, it hasn't identified itself with anything vulnerable. But having not made that risk, it also lacks the power. To empower ourselves, we must identify with a me, with many me's, with me the father, me the American, me the Christian or atheist, me the brother. Amidst the layers of me, balanced and determined by them all, is that primordial I whose growth and development is through all of them. Only slowly does that I open up and let the energy of necessity flow through.

            So nevermind those who will condemn the ego with a blanket statement -- that is their own egoism at competition with yours. The poetic justice alive in all our hearts, through all our Me's which are by nature vulnerable, and the group Me (the us), which is also vulnerable, will seek to balance itself and its power. To maintain its power it must either seek revenge, or at least forego revenge in a way that empowers us. For there are times, but not always, when it is more empowering to forgive than to revenge. But as a rule, forgiveness is always felt as a form of revenge, the forgiven is somehow convicted, for to forgive a man who feels he did the right thing will lead him to regard you as either a fool or a bad person, resulting in further ego-wounds.

            Law is reasonable revenge. The motive for revenge, which is seen as a "correction," as "righting the wrong," as "setting things straight," and thus as putting the world in a linear balance, is good for the world. Knowing that any given man on the street will defend himself if attacked, and will redress what wrongs you inflict on him, keeps us all in balance. The living code for this mutual understanding is called "politeness." Politeness would be meaningless if it did not gesture to the possibility of rudeness.

            Of course, petty thugs and door-to-door salesmen become unconscious masters ad manipulating your politeness, of using your good-naturedness to inflict some subtle guilts, so that you actually feel bad turning the intruder away. The ability of the criminals to manipulate guilt to their advantages uses the same psychological technology as the preachers and the university professors. It is mostly unconscious -- the handles and techniques are learned blindly -- they are absorbed from the institute that contains the whole arsenal.

            To be able to shrug off reproach like a seal's skin repels water -- such a person is noted by the people. Nietzsche speaks of the situation in his Zarathustra:


O my brothers, who represents the greatest danger for all man's future? Is it not the good and the just? Inasmuch as they say and feel in their hearts, "We already know what is good and just, and we have it too; woe unto those who still seek here!" And whatever harm the evil may do, the harm done by the good is the most harmful harm. And whatever harm those do who slander the world, the harm done by the good is the most harmful harm.

O my brothers, one man saw into the hearts of the good and the just and said, "They are the pharisees." But he was not understood. The good and the just themselves were not permitted to understand him: their spirit is imprisoned in their good conscience. The stupidity of the good is unfathomably shrewd. This, however, is the truth: the good must be pharisees -- they have no choice. The good must crucify him who invents his own virtue. That is the truth.

The second one, however, who discovered their land -- the land, heart, and soul of the good and the just -- was he who asked, "Whom do they hate most?" the creator they hate most: he breaks tablets and old values. He is a breaker, they call him lawbreaker. For the good are unable to create; they are always the beginning of the end; they crucify him who writes new values on new tablets; they sacrifice the future to themselves-- they crucify all man's future.

The good have always been the beginning of the end.


            The first critique of the good and just is Jesus, the second, Nietzsche (through his Zarathustra). The first sees that the law is based on hypocrisy, to condemn what you practice in private, collectively, in an unsaid shared guilt, is the basis of laws and social mores. The second insight, that to invent a new code, a new law, a new way of life, is the one hated most by the good and the just, and to say that their stupidity is unfathomably shrewd, all this shows the nature of the group US, the soul shared -- shows that it is ego against ego, that the center of an ego, after all, is the creative I, and that is energized by individual necessity.

            There is a system, world systems, you could call them "spiritual," or at least "social," that exist like a hidden intelligence over the world, like Smith's "invisible hand." This is the law of compensation, that balances this against that. The paranoid schizophrenics who fear grand collusions against them perhaps get a sense of the global calculus that balances nation against nation, city against city, family against family, person against person. The executors of justice behind all these, nevertheless, the agent of the law, is the ego, a somewhat conscious thing, though when it does this small petty justification or revenge, it does not see how wide and cosmically important the ramifications tend.



\ ~@M@~ /


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