Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Power Institutionalized" an allay

This is a proto-allay, the first part of an allay, unedited, fresh from the flesh, fallen out of my brain and still bleeding. I intended to get it out as one solid whole in order to complete the circle; incomplete circuits fade. A wrote it to achieve one term, but it will take a few months of polishing to bring it to effect. So understand that it is infant and needs to develop. I write these daily, or bidaily, and rarely send them out. I share maybe 1/20 of my output.


This allay seeks to understand what the institutions are and what they are doing and what the individual should know when approaching them.





Power Institutionalized


            The time is upon us when we are least ready. That is how it is the time. The tripping of a system is neither at its heights, not in its stumbling, nor any its weakness; a system is overcome at a moment of imbalance close to its center. That is the moment to press your full force, and it will crack like a heated rock. With the axis munde for my spine, a spandrel and tendril tenders the point of absolution.

            An idea is a power, a system of powers; defined it is a filter, it filters through the logosphere, it absorbs our minds and conveys itself into history. Might makes right, of course, when we consider reason, justice, respect, as mights, as powers. What is this politics, this pragmatic to do? It subjugates our freedoms -- people feel free when they can vote how to subjugate freedoms. It's all arbitrary and its dignity, in its pretenses of forms. For centuries the Chinese debated the legitimacy of their dynasties, translating the terms into the language of the five elements. That is, using nonsense as an expediency to justify usurpation. And was not the political figure above this squirming, this man who claimed no revelation, gave no command, yet offered a sublime teaching equal to any of the greatest. He gave himself up to be used, generations later to stand for an idea, to become many ideas. A people are a people by sharing language and memory.

            The political system must expend much of its energy in remaining that system; a party must invest in the party, just as a body exacts more than a daily expense from your diet, but a full upkeep. These missionary religions express an exalted trajectory in converting the world -- mere upkeep, but that's the spiritual worth, that's not the treasure house. That's the business of fanatics.

            Those unique political institutions called the universities, which exist primarily to preserve and intensity the political schools, to keep the game going, and have in that extension of the upkeep corrupting the philosopher -- who has no business in a university anyway. The scholar can't tell you what is eternal in a work. He looks for context and history. He is mortal, he sees in terms of limits and emergences. The literary and religious breakthroughs, the timeless dynamos, eternal unique, are invisible to the scholastic oxen. They will work to turn the mill; they will ground out every detail, and write endless articles about every noble mind to ever exist, and many minds hardly worth mentioning. Their work is useful; the man who is a man may take their clues and hints and gain orientation.

            Confucius in his dream and goal, though thoroughly frustrated, yet carved a metaphysical space, first in his students, and through them in China as a whole. The political system that controls citizens, the university's that finish the intellectual childhood of citizens, these fall into the metaphysical space of few dare-stars who broke open a creative space.

            Enthusiasm is irresistible. When they speak of this God or that, never trouble yourself. The true divine of true divine is that which your soul would never resist, what is beautiful to you and undoubtedly perfect. It will appear different for you then it does for your neighbor, but despite all her aspects and facets, we are looking upon Mother All.

            Yet these squabblers and thieves among the world community play their ideological names using high names and exalted ideas. The innovators exceed the appropriators, but the appropriators attempt to translate all novelty into ancient terms. The innovators use their technological edge to prop up their ideology. The appropriators with their counter-ideology, usually conservative, write their own stories, as catalysts for demonstrating their right to ascribe meaning to he new technology or technique. Anesthesia was invented to negate suffering -- but as suffering had a theological story surrounding it, that God willed us to suffer, and then palliatives are viewed as heresy. The innovator is denounced as demonic. Only later will the conservatives warm to the idea of an end of suffering, and thank God for giving it to them -- such is their ingratitude! They follow the trajectory every idea traverses: an idea is first felt to be ludicrous, than felt to be annoying, than felt to be plausible, than felt to be inevitable. Yesterday's heresy is today's common sense. And how we scoff and smile and cheerfully pronounce our superiority -- we get it, but those old folks didn't. Meanwhile, we stifle and kick the innovators around us, and we are the old folks to the posterity who will praise them, not us.

            Religion is flexible; the old forms can be given new meanings, can be given any meanings. The failed prophesies can be made to fit any eventuality, the scriptures can be made to speak to every possible situation. This is rationalization, or backwards thinking, the only creative genius natural to a conservative.

            The epistles of Paul with their bare catalogs of good adjectives and bad never functions as a moral treatise, and hence has nothing to do with wisdom and teaching, but only for training and indoctrination. There is no intelligence in the entire Testament as there is in Aristotle's Nichomachean; but the epistles can be shouted from the rooftops while wisdom never shouts.

            God is used to explain mysteries such as where did the universe come from -- but it's a fake, it explains nothing, the mystery is just pushed back a step--and perhaps a step in the wrong direction.

            It is the fundamentalist's hope to be able to explain away every new challenge using he same argument. To pigeonhole every counter religion, as a cult inspired by the occult, or even better by the "angel of light," Satan, gives them great relief. They don't have to think. That Mormonism involved revelations through an angel is greatly relieving to them, despite Joseph Smith's claim to have talked to the Father and Son directly; Muhammad's dialogue through Gabriel eases their superstition spirits. The more obvious conclusion, that the religion shows no evidence of supernatural ingenuity -- diabolical or otherwise -- would undermine their own scriptures.

            The best minds no longer go into theology. Apologetics gets a different set of intelligences, and they are waging a losing battle. Where is the talent going? Where the genius? Where the power and energy? To a convicted believer, evidence and counterevidence has value only in terms of apologetic propaganda. He lacks the creative jism to triumph over system and world, the furor to meet God face to face. Cults and those graduated cults, religions, seek ownership of its members through money and sex; they wish to defang each member from expending any power that could hurt the institution, and would sap his energy into advancing their cause. Such is the nature of groups in general.

            Revelation and mystical insight tend to be conservative, despite the importance they allege. They convince you of what you already know. In mysticism, a man is reminded of his childhood indoctrination; he finds such words in the depths of his soul only because he hasn't transgressed beyond it, beyond convention, beyond training, into the inner of the inner, the impossible mirror of the utter self.

            I grow weary of the claims of religions. Each has its own highest truth which is inevitably exaggerated and dubiou8sly supported despite the high value they place on it. They are packaged to encourage fanaticism, evangelism, and intolerance for contrary views, unlike philosophy which encourages disputation and every manner of reasonable counter argument, welcomes all sincere challenges. Because the claims of religion ostensibly matter less than adherents claim, post mortem consequences are imagined, words like "Last Judgment" and "Karma" are faked to make their claims relevant.

            Buddhism is the same. It is no philosophy, despite its philosophical tones. Its truths are not based on argument but on privileged experiences. The value of these experiences they affirm without reason, so they could just as well be denied without reason. Their mystical insights are as valuable as the insights gained from psychoanalysis: they are put deep into the soul first, and then discovered as if they were eternally there. Buddha in his enlightenment recalled his former lives-- a delusion. He saw what he expected to see, but discovered no truth that was not already in the Upanishads.

            Art, with its conventions and schools and traditions, also feeds new talent into conventional forms, into repetitions. A few Great Men speak in any century, and all the world repeats. Once upon a time, society created the Divine. Later they created the "World." Finally they created the Self, as in the century of the first person singular, in Emerson and Whitman.

            What you primarily identify with gets the main of your attention and its attendant power and energy -- "I am a mother first of all" is a different entity than "I am a writer who also has children." Those forms we pour our soul into, those forms we internalize are useful and let us define that indefinable soul. We breathe in the spirit and it dissolves in the blood of the soul. We create a life immense in passion, pulse and power.

            The ideas think through us, as if Gods used our bodies as game tokens to move ideas across the board. Confucianism complicated itself with a reactionary supplement in Taoism, and the incorporation of the foreign infusion is Buddhism. That is the life of ideas, the life of institutions.

            Life's necessities require certain inevitable expressions lacking which the man or woman will wither or die. No religious ethic can in practice deny the necessities, the facts of life. Our ego and heart -- to give two names to one entity -- exacts certain absolute claims on the psyche. If a Christian dares call them "sins" or a Buddhist call them "desires of attachment," no matter -- words for words and spit for spit. Their distinction is the jargon they foist over the emotional expressions we all feel anyway. Religion is pretense. It is pure exaggeration. All systems do the same things, differing only in emphasis and terminology. Life needs. That determines everything the mind creates to answer those needs.

            So these men who create religious systems, they do so from having an exulted ego. It is no coincidence that the ancient greats such as Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Lao Tse have the thinnest biographies, just a page each of facts we could be certain about; and the less that is sure the more that can be imputed, until these figures absorb all the possibilities of mankind. They mean so much because they are so little. When we look at the biographies of L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith, they are less exalted, unless you are a true believer. Both of them rejected their first followers as "traitors and liars," both used the religion to serve their ambitions. So it is with all religions, the selfish and the selfless, the individual and the universal, meld in peculiar patterns. They are irresistible. The times evoke them and lap them up.

            Formerly, great ideas were ascribed to the gods. Not only religious poetry (scripture) but all manners of creative achievement were believed to be divine creations as distinct from humanity. After the renaissance and the enlightenment, creative achievement was the province of great men, and creativity has greatly benefited from humanization -- all the major arts and human achievements culminate, if not also originate, after those times -- and aristocracy n longer is by blood but by brain. The farther back in time, the more important are kind and warriors, but recently we care almost nothing for kinds and warriors and everything gives all exultation to the artist. In terms of contribution to world culture our preferences are more enlightened. Who cares about the political leaders haunting Michelangelo's Rome? When Beethoven refused to move off the path for the aristocracy, who were those balked dignitaries? Who cares?

            Muslim culture gained its height when it regarded the Koran as created by God, rather than being a coeternal uncreated aspect of him. We too must hold to our own and identify our creativity that emanates from our center as equal to the outer divine, whether she calls herself Allah, or Yahweh, or Brahma, or Odin, for Ama is all these things, the everblessed all is bigger than any religion, bigger than all of them. With Huck Finn, I choose virtue, even if that meant damnation. Because I don't flatter her, she approves.

            Speech is the echo of thought, thought the solidification of desire. It is our place to stand at last on ourselves, to know Ama's voice filtered through no prophet, priest, demigod, Son of God, or seer. We are equal to them all, and open our hearts and minds to the light of her love.

            The institutions with their taxes and anxiety forms -- all their forms are anxiety forms -- would hold us in place and make our individuality work for them. Harness them, as you must, participate, when you have to, but be subjugated to none whatsoever. To serve is slavish.

            The world deliberately misunderstands us -- that is their revenge. They do it even when they think they are trying to understand. Nevermind that. Strengthen others with your words, ask questions, give gifts without seeming to, and take what is best in each man -- what greater deed can you do for a man but take the best from him?

            Certain combinations of words or actions are easy as anything else -- excepting the incredible pressure of power and energy to at first create them, they create ideas deep, profound, eternal. Like the music of the spheres, nobody but the profound can hear them. The popular inflection, those forms which ape the gods and reduce genius to the readily consume, they are impossible without he power forms, and yet they numb the eyes and ears. Do not touch them. Read a man's ideas, a genius's, but never a professor's take on him. Don't filter your sunlight. Know the Goddess face to face, the full divine by voice. Let the hero struggle, let the mystic seek, I am God in ease: tonight I glow.


\ ~@M@~ /



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