Sunday, October 7, 2012

REDACTED "Power Institutinoalized"

Here is "Power Institutionalized" edited to about half its size. When the music is playing in my head, I can write endless melodious -- repetition. The editor's pen must be cruel. I have to hit up the full 4,000 page Idius and see if I can snip it to 1,500.


I've added my set of line drawings to my homepage. There are a few I haven't shared before, and if I feel inspired to write any others I will post them there rather than send them out.




Power Institutionalized

                The Time comes upon you when we are least ready. That's what makes it the time. A system is overcome at a moment of minor imbalance close to its center. That is the moment to press, and it will crack like a torched rock; an internal element must first defect. With the axis munde for my spine, spandrels for brows and tendrils for toes, I tender that point of absolution.

                An idea is a power, a system of powers; when defined, it filters the logosphere, it absorbs minds and forwards history. Might makes right, of course, when we regard reason, justice, and respect, as power. People feel free when they vote away freedom; they subjugate their power to preserve that power. It is like the Chinese, who for centuries framed the legitimacy of their dynasties in terms of the five elements -- traditional rot. They did better to focus on the figure above the fake, Confucius, who claimed no revelation, gave no command, and yet offered the best of teachings. He gave himself up to be used, to stand for an idea, for many ideas as the fist split into fingers. A people are a people by sharing a heritage. China had Confucius. We have Emerson. For bare principles are never enough; a living personality must animate them. The conservative right foot stands for balance, the progressive left foot steps for advancement; the past and the future must balance the present: we must balance our national heroes against expectations for greater heroes.

                The political system must expend energy in remaining that system, a party must invest in the party, just as a body takes its keep. Whatever spiritual values you seek, you must first give your body its due. The missionary religions express an exalted trajectory in converting the world -- mere upkeep, but that's not their spiritual worth, that's not the treasure house; that's the business of fanatics. Mere upkeep. A religion plays at politics to spread itself, such calumny of cunning and insinuation, yet it offers benefit to the pure. Jesus may be generous, but Judas is still steward.

                Those unique political institutions called Universities pay their upkeep by strangling politically inconvenient truths. They smother the poet and the philosopher -- who have no business there. University truth is in use, political sway. Those scholars can't even tell you what is eternal. They look at the context and exigencies of a work. They are mortal, they see in terms of limits. The spiritual breakthroughs, of timeless dynamos and the eternal unique, matter little to such scholarly oxen. They work to turn the mill, to grind out historical trivia. Yes, their work is useful, the artist takes the clue to find his path, but keep your dreaming free from their clutches.

                Confucius, though frustrated in his efforts, succeeded in his dream, which carved out a metaphysical space, first in the imagination of his students, and through them all of China. The political system that controls citizens, the universities that finish citizens, these too fall into the metaphysical space of those few dare-stars. Your education completes itself when you shrug off the scholars and walk among Gods.

                These squabblers and thieves among the world community play their ideological games using high names and exalted ideas. It's a wrangle of parties. The innovators exceed the appropriators, but the appropriators turn it back and translate the new into terms of the old. The innovators bundle their pet ideologies with their new technologies. The appropriators write their counter-ideology, making their own spiritual claims over the new boon. An idea graduates from first being ludicrous, then annoying, then plausible, and finally inevitable. Yesterday's heresy is today's common sense. Anesthesia was once called blasphemy by Harvard's president, but now it is called providence. And how we scoff and smile and cheerfully pronounce our superiority for piercing the illusions of yesterday -- we get it, they didn't. Meanwhile, we stifle and kick the innovators among us, and are in turn spurned by a posterity which praises not us, but them.


                Religion is flexible; the archaic words mean new things, the failed prophesies fit any eventuality, the stodgy scriptures speak to every emergence. For the pious rationalize -- that they have the creative genius to do.

                The epistles of Paul with their bare catalogs of virtues and vices fail to enlighten. Where wisdom is dull, indoctrination sets in. Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics bests the whole Testament. But the epistles can be shouted from the rooftops, while wisdom never shouts.

                The best minds no longer go into theology. The religions never die, but they have lost the great men. Where is the talent going?

                The pious still have there standbys of revelation and mystical insight, but those tend to convince you of what you already know. The Mystic remembers grade school -- hardly more!

                Each religion has its own truth which is inevitably exaggerated and dubiously supported. Because the claims of religion ostensibly matter less than adherents claim, post-mortem worlds are set into place -- "Last Judgment," "Karma" -- inflators of their tenuous moral.

                Buddha in his enlightenment recalled his former lives-- a delusion. He saw what he expected to see, but discovered no truth lacking in the Upanishads. The Divine had already been created.

                Once upon a time, society created the Divine. Later it created the World. Finally it created the Self.

                What you primarily identify configures your soul. "I am a mother first of all" is a different entity than "I am a writer who also has children."

                The ideas think through us, as if Gods moved our bodies as tokens across the board, to deliver some idea to its realization. Confucianism complicated itself with a reactionary supplement in Taoism, a feminine element against the masculine, and the foreign imposition of Buddhism was tamed before it could upset that fabric. Institutions grow in such organic reciprocity.


                Life's necessities require certain inevitable expressions, lacking which it dies. No religious ethic can deny the facts of life. Our ego and heart -- to give two names to one entity -- test and edit religion. If a Christian calls a necessity "sin" or if a Buddhist calls it "attachment," they will do it anyway, they will cheat. What matters what they call it? -- Words for words and spit for spit. This one prefers this jargon, that one another, but the referents have always existed, and often without such pretense and exaggeration. Life needs. The rest follows.

                The ancient greats such as Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Lao Tse have the thinnest biographies, each a meager page of facts we could hold as certain. The less we know of them, the more we can impute. They are nothing and so they can mean everything. The biographies of L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith are less exalted. Both rejected their first followers as "traitors and liars" -- a dubious move; both misused their authority -- Smith to destroy the printing press of his critics, Hubbard to blackmail former followers. So it is with all religions, where the selfish and the selfless, the individual and the universal, meld together in peculiar patterns. They are irresistible. Most mankind wants to be contained.

                Formerly, great ideas were ascribed to the gods. Not only poetry (scripture), but also music (hymns) and sculpture (idols). After the Renaissance, creative achievement became the province of the great man, of great men, of new aristocracy, not by blood but by brains. The ancients praised kings and warriors, but we have no time for that. We praise the creator. Who cares about whatever doge haunted Michelangelo's Rome? When Beethoven refused to move off the path, what dignitaries did he thereby insult? Who cares?

                Creativity is greatness. Muslim culture gained its height when it regarded the Koran as created by, rather than coeternal with, God. Whether Ama calls herself Allah, or Yahweh, or Brahma, or Odin -- she who is bigger than each religion, she who is bigger than all religions -- yet to her I will never bow. With Huck Finn, I choose virtue, even to damnation.

                Speech is the echo of thought, thought the crystallization of desire. It is our place to stand at last on ourselves, to know Ama's voice direct and filtered through no Prophet, priest, demigod, Son of God, or seer.

                The institutions with their taxes and their anxiety-forms -- those forms by which they hold you down -- tap dry your private vitality. Harness them as you must, participate when you have to, but be subjugated to none. Service is for slaves.

                The world deliberately misunderstands us -- that is their revenge. Nevermind that. Strengthen others with your words, give gifts without seeming to, and take what is best in every man.

                Certain combinations of words require incredible pressure to first create. Hold to them. Heed that music meant only for your ears. The popular inflection, whereby apes strut as gods, is mere alcohol and candy. Do not touch. Read the best man straight, but never settle for a professor's take. Don't filter your sunlight. Let the hero struggle, let the mystic seek, I am the God in ease: tonight I glow.



\ ~@M@~ /


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