Friday, August 30, 2013

"Charging the Focus" an essay

Daniel June to the Students of Life:

Greetings! After finishing my last essay, Mood Alchemy, which was such a flight of ideas that it could only be what I call an "allay" or complex intermeshing of ideas, I have written an essay proper, much simpler and direct, which I entitle "charging the focus." The essay regards my first thoughts about using daily stresses as charges, to charge our ideas, and using charged ideas as tools of power. The stresses of life, the screaming children, the screaming boss, lead some to seek release in alchohol or sex or whatever, but i am suggest that these "charges" can be digested and refined and used creatively. I explain how in the essay.

Take care, Caretakers!




Charging the Focus

Part one



            I once fell into a skirmish against a man who greatly outweighed me – perhaps double or triple my body mass, and disdainful I would challenge him to a fight, he roared in my face, and though it never came to blows, my adrenaline so flooded my system that I sought to discharge the energy by challenging two friends to arm-wrestling contests. The first was a woman with swarthy treelike arms whom I think I could never have bested were I not utterly pumped. The second, an old army veteran, used a trick on me; as soon as I said “go” he threw his full weight into me, and flipped me right over. I learned the value of abrupt discharge, as thunderclouds that have long charged themselves with excessive static electricity suddenly burst down in electrical torrents.

            Working a cake decorating job, for which I had no training whatsoever, and at which I was expected to get it right the first time, and quickly, I remember my most successful venture was designing a birthday cake for some toddler based on a television show whose characters wore elaborate costumes. Knowing of the cake in advance, I did not plan for it, nor strategize, nor write anything down, but the idea of it lay smoldering in my mind, burning with a bit of stress and anxiety, just enough to keep exciting and a bit intimidating, so that when it came to finally to make the cake, I was cognitively psyched and ready, and sculpted the figures out of fondant so quickly that my boss was impressed despite himself.

            However the brain in fact works, chemically, , we can speak of the focus, phenomenally, as being “Charged” through anticipation, and being “discharged” through execution. As the charging process requires anticipation, either through hope or dread, and as the charging process can either empower, by giving a sort of “static electricity” that can be worked with, or it can disempower, similar to a clock that is wound and so overwound the gears stick, we do well to manage the charge on the mind, the focus of awareness; to punctuate our expectations with foretaste, knowing how to get the optimal charge for performance, and not too much.

            Such ego-control, or self-possession, comes naturally; we know how to get ourselves psyched for an event. High schools throw pep rallies to “raise team spirit” and get the fans, and hence the players, riled and ready for a vigorous competition. Sex is the same way, and they say most of the pleasure in sex is through anticipation.

            Since anticipation is the charging of the focus – really, of certain ideas near the center of focus – and since those ideas are charged through the imagination of their use, charging is a process of fantasy, both conscious and unconscious. Viscerally, we feel the charge in the muscles of the eyes, and since all mental and spiritual events have an analogue in the body, are the experience of what the body does, we can say that they eyes are especially to be equated with focus, and what objects we see, or “see” in our imagination (which is still felt in the eyes), are through the focus of those final ocular muscles.

            Yet it seems that a mere dreamer isn’t good for anything, that such a person who has a vivid imagination may use it not for preparation, but as an end in itself; that he could, after, dream of saving the world, and then not bother to save the world in any way whatsoever, no matter how modest; the imagining of the act was enough not only to excite him, but also to fulfill him. If we wished to give a bad name to masturbation, we would call such fantasy merely masturbatory; however, as with masturbation, we can take such repeated fantasies as the fine-tuning of an autistic language, a private language, and not let the edge be spent, merely in our head, but in the willful creation of an except and demanding grammar – nothing need be lost. If love costs us power, we can yet build subtle intimacies with love, either with lovers or with the ideas of love, whatever it is we love, people or ideas. In this, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with being a dreamer, even in being a “mere dreamer,” so long as he creates subtle memories, and from those memories a refined language, and through that language, a gift, the gift of soul, to the world, which is always, really, a world of language above the world of bare facts.

            It takes all sorts to make the world go round, but knowing that proverb doesn’t take the edge off the mutual repudiations against our neighbor, friend, or enemy of being of the wrong sort, being selfish and individualistic at the expense of the community. In one sense, such a position is impossible; man ontologically is not a parasite, he is by nature a tree, a giver, somebody who through sheer delight at existing, at absorbing the sun of the world, produces in his mind and soul something useful for the world as well. In this, the cant, the rhetoric, the condemnations of man against man for being parasitical should be taken as a moral tone, a control tone, but never so literally that we take it man has the capacity to be in fact a parasite, something unworthy of existing, which diseases and parasites unworthy of, if anything is. We each produce spiritual goods from our heart; the heart is a secret garden, and there is no man or woman, child, or elder who we can rightly say, it would be better if they had never existed. In this, as a principle, we are optimistic, and rephrase the question only and always, “how can I bring out the divinity of this person?” “what is there to praise in this person?” “how can I be being myself, help others to be more themselves?” and so forth.

            As for being all we can be, of realizing our potential, of empowering ourselves, if we aim at our actual abilities, and call that our perfection our perfect station in life – for how could anything impossible rightly be called “perfect”? – then what brings us to this exalted state, our personal best, requires the ancient god’s best wisdom: “Know Thyself,” or in other words, use self-reflection, a knowledge, a time alone, a time spent in reverie, in dialogue of self-with-self, of self with the divine, which is possible, in principle, even for atheists, once the practice is accepted and embraced as imaginative and not, to his relief, literal.

            The experience of being charged found expression in the old metaphysical notion of tribal societies, where, for instance, a man who had become a god on the battle field was “manna,” and could not rightly return to his village until that excessive power had been discharged. The old Aryans and Tuetons included berserkers, who went mad at battle, and fought with intense ferocity. If we count all such states of mind as a sort of hypnosis, we come to appreciate the powers of hypnosis and self-suggestion. Everything that has been achieved can be achieved again, and what you are capable of you perhaps haven’t guessed at so far. By finding those ancient stories, or modern, the myths, or histories and biographies, that remember themselves in your head, they give you to yourself, they mirror you back on something that is in you already. Not for nothing one story, one myth, one idea obsesses you, and the rest remain cold. You have discovered a spark that resonates to the energy of your own soul. That spark, in entering you, opens the charge by which your own energy spills forth out of your inner self.

            Be unashamed, therefore, about what crazy ideas, what abnormal fantasies, what ludicrous or excessive events and ideas most capture your fantasy. The best moments in your life come when you acquire the courage to declare your evil as what is best in you. When you are no longer ashamed of a thing, perhaps an event in childhood or youth that to this day still makes you blush, when you realize that shame is merely modesty, and modesty merely the shrewdness of hiding real treasure, you will no longer blame yourself for making the mistakes you had to make, couldn’t not make, but will come to your own, to your memories as to a great treasury full of artifacts and talismans that required only your blessing, your recognition of them as such, to come into their own, to come into your possession, and empower you.


            The metaphor mind is able to toggle between a needed expression and different similar objects. We are charged by one thing, but discharge into another. The woman who makes us crazy can seldom become a wife. The idea for lover itself, the template, gets so flooded with her contact that it excites us whoever fills the role – love is forever different, all people are different, because I met you, though I may give you no gratitude whatsoever and praise this next one up to high heaven in your place, not knowing my appreciation makes her what she is, and I can appreciate her because you fist showed me how. The metaphor, the carrying over, is in a language of terms, a terministic screen that charges the fundamental structure of my world. Mystic experiences are like manic profundity, when the eyes open and we want to hear every song, and we hear the hidden soul of each song, and every story and idea returns to us deep and profound. Having seen Ama face to face, all else is henceforth sublime.

            The pressure of a repressed yes, something we say no, a healthy no to, but feel deeply yes towards, comes out in a new form, in a dignified form, as God, as religion, once spiritualized in our womb. The drug addict who converts to Christ merely molded his drug into the shape of Christ. What matters is we find an external receiver for the fountains of energy coming from our inner self. The ultimate God, or important object of our devotion is not arbitrary, we can’t force ourselves to love this god or that cause or this political party, but as to what we can and in fact must honestly love, that is of less importance than how we love, for we are pouring forth a new substance into the world.

            Frustration adds charge to a thing. Frustration is dammed energy. Deliberate practice—the sustained failure of innumerable attempts, empowers us to pour energy into the subtle form once we can perfectly execute it. From there, it intensifies. The question in life is how to master life, how to master our art, how to master a few instruments, very few, to with the simplicity of Thoreau take a few instruments, perhaps a few self-made terms, and do everything with them.

            In this, my love for Ama is basic, and survives all life’s inquisitions. Ama, my always, I strive across the day with you.

            We see young Emerson, at his basic task, writing his journals, begin with some antihuman sentiments, with hyper idealism, by which he damns the real. He will dismiss his mother the universe, dismiss Hinduism, dismiss atheism, dismiss Plato in favor of Christianity, only later to realize he set aside the best things in his over-eager piety. When he would finally meet God face to face, Plato and the Upanishads would be closer to his heart than the gospel. But even they were secondary testimony, merely able to shake him away from tradition, so we could look up at the sun directly. For Emerson, Nature is meditation. The book of nature is read afresh, and of course, as with all books, what matters most is what you read into it. What you create is your heaven, the substance of your heaven; these other authors give you a dish for tasting to teach you the way. The dragon’s lullaby is the lisp of tradition, whereby the spiritual treasure remain undisturbed; but to slay every scale of thou-shalt, to learn the lesson of transgression as well as obedience: this is how we charge our heart with regrets and failures and the taste for success.

            Every establishment is an education. Establishments are schools, and institutions such as universities, marriages, religions, exist, in all their incredible pomp, to protect a few integral ideas. Those ideas are worthy all the fanciful accouterments.  The theater, the sport, the business, are situations, are worlds, with forms we can wrest free and use for creating our own life. We cease to regret a thing when we see its necessity and use.

            We take religion as a shrewd millennia old program for charging the mind with powerful tropes – and people give their lives for this. The shocks of anxiety that so many have, all are rounded out when a myth dignifies them. Do we suffer? The gods suffered too. But Romance is the secular religion, and is closer to our instincts. Give all for love. We feel it, that love is all – and the love of romance, Eros, is the deeper love, since is procreative, it is most deeply creative, and man at his center is a creative being. By joining any of these institutions – marriage, religion – or by joining an establishment – romance, business – we adopt the framework of terms implicit within them. They are languages. Our own experiences are fit into the language, so that some of our anxieties are staved off and deflated, and others are exaggerated and exasperated. The hang-ups of a given religion become ours when we join in. We begin to like certain people, hate others; like certain music, hate others; get a new aesthetic sense of the world. The ideas of our judgment are changed; we’ve let in the icons of the religion, the charged and encharging images, they filter the screen of the mind, and set charges and discharges in our mind. We enter a war, we are given peace – simultaneously. War opens art. Great wars are followed by great art, just as a nation in its prosperity produces the greatest spiritual gifts. The anxiety of fighting feeds the spirit of creativity. Utter peace would be fruitless, would be barren; but war, or war under kinder words, such as competition, challenge, interest, excitement, must father all things, and add power to all things.

            As the stresses of the day build up, and we talk to ourselves, talk to Ama, to keep our head, as the various screaming children, screaming customers, screaming bosses weigh down the spirit; knowing how to delegate a charge, how to handle and isolate a charge, is maturity. How to not discharge it into aggression, into sarcasm or sneers? Nor should we succumb to vices, since all a vice amounts to is the squandering of a charge to gain a sense of relief. Tobacco, alcohol, drugs, over-eating, gambling, and every other thing that can be called a vice is addictive in that it gives a sense of relief for an overcharged and over-stressed system. The vices are called deceptive in that though, say, alcohol dulls the edge of anxiety, it can lead to addictive behavior that multiplies anxiety-causing problems in our lives.

            And just as bad as that, it dampens our charge, disperses our energy, by unfocusing the mind and giving us a warm pleasure of dizziness where we would better have our sharp wits for a deliberate attack. Though it takes more willpower to set up the good habits, they do the same trick as the bad habits in taking the edge of life’s suffering. But rather than wasting the charge of the day, they put it towards achievement, from which one can build a personal empire of pride.


            A charge is ultimately spent in “differentiating” the energy of the self. We speak of the self ontologically as the inner sun that in its need for this or that gives us the energy to achieve it. That energy is differentiated towards its goal. If we are hungry, reading a book will not fulfill us. But education and personal desire, the habits of it, further differentiate energy, so that a man may perhaps freeze to death rather than wear a dress. The need for warmth isn’t enough, he has different needs feeding into the same energy, and would above all wear something that represents his personal style. He would pay a sizeable sum for the correct outfit, though at the bare necessity level, clean rags would be sufficient. Yet as our desires become frustrations when they lack flexibility, when we are all charged for this girl, but this girl won’t have us, but no other girl in all the world will do, we need to step back and un-differentiate the energy, digest it, return it to its less intense but more universal original form.

            Being exasperated by the stresses of the day, the image behind the stressed energy might frankly be to murder the boss, spouse, or child, who are hammering us with their demands. That basic violent image is deep and unacknowledged, but the affect of it is quite conscious, and so we dispel the energy into different shades of approximation: we are sarcastic or kind. Ultimately, cruelty and kindness are aspects of the same frustration: one wants a sense of control, and can control others by changing them, by having an influence over them. The man who pleases a woman sexually might get an ego boost, as in a way the phallus is the ego, and what strokes his ego strokes his sex. Yet a man may get a kick simply by making the woman submit to the enormity of his ego, and her feeling sexual pain may be enough to give him that same sense of importance, of being noticeable, that he will be remembered, respected, if not enjoyed. Since in sex it is generally assumed that the man is responsible for the pleasure of the woman, his importance can either be in making himself felt, or in making her respond. Returning to the level of friendship, we can impress our friends through sharp wit or subtle kindness. Knowing how to be kind is an art too – certainly some people are artless in their flattery, or kindness, or saccharine words, so that though we know they are nice, we can’t stand to be around them. They seem fake, unreal. An intelligent man can’t be praised by just anybody, but only by other intelligent men and women.

            When creating a masterpiece, and in this sense, a love affair can be a work of art, a business deal can be a work of art, a conversation can be a work of art – “the best of life is conversation, and the greatest success is confidence, or perfect understanding, between sincere people” said Emerson – we have all our energies differentiated as paints are pigmented, and each inflection has its place, and this lifetime of various frustrations adds so much color and subtlety to the artistic creating of a perfect life. Art is life. In this, the sufferings, and even the deep-seated traumas, which make caves in our soul, which fill with energy, ultimately empower us, giving us a substance by which to create.

            What matters then, in holding a charge, is not to diffuse it or give it up too soon. Spend hours in meditation or in self-conversation. Learn how to play with a spark, to intensify it. And during the day, when stress overcharges the mind so that you lack the self-control to discharge the energy safely, and fear you might hurt others or yourself, remember the virtue of Silence, of cloistering an emotion, an idea, in silence, and holding it down and letting it acquire a usable shape before opening it back up and expressing it. Knowing how to hold a charge means learning how to set it aside, to let it go, to forget it, until you can digest it, take the knives out of it, take the edge out, and gain the essence thereof, and finally respond to it with an exact and devastating expression.

            We can be silent by distracting ourselves with busy work or day dreams. Fantasizing processes an ideal, prepares a form.

            A form has a shape and a resonance by that shape. Whether we feel pity or hate, seeing cruel news events lets us express cruel frustrations. Fantasies of all sorts, sexually included, need not be literal. We create energy into a usable shape. Once they have shape and form, an idea is produce, and can be used in many ways. Myths, fairytales, and fantasies empower. They are always allegorical. If the day weighs on you, dream a little and digest the pain. Pain is the raw material of pleasure; from pain comes power, from power comes pride. Taking the time to focus the mind, to distract the mind, to approach a problem without its overbearing charge, to approach a problem metaphorically, in a form that lacks static electricity, gives us control and possession of our experience, and ultimately empowers us.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Mood Alchemy" an essay

An involved and extended essay about how to convert moods into mood using ideas, language, and gestures. Born from my moody disposition, it details what I've learned on how to put the moods "in standard notation" to make them workable for daily duty and creativity.


Mood Alchemy

            Language is the magic that converts a heart, changes happiness to sadness and sadness to happiness. Such spells, such music, are the stuff of the poet, the manifestation of his genius– his purpose and proper station as a man of the tongue. And to this task, we come to the scene in a world of languages – every language is a world; bare facts are a mere substrate. "Self-help" language, this plucky, too-positive-to-be-believed set of affirmations and mantras, bases itself upon a few feeling tones and images. But such a language, such a personality, is unlikely to endure in the life of suffering if he is unable to rally resources through alchemical magic. Fear must be made into courage; guilt must be made into pride; uncertainty must be made into bravery – and sometimes the other way too. We need alchemical converters of moods into moods.

            All the religions already incorporate the alchemical symbols, the converters, with their figures, with their mythic tropes, which act as catalysts, as standards and principles for orthodox approaches to life’s myriad situations. Satan for instance is a parody of intellectual self-conscience. By learning of his “temptations,” which seem rather straightforward and silly for a purported super-genius, we master the dangers of rational thought and honest doubt. The literary character is a mental conversion tool. Incredible cunning is expended into demonizing honest questioning – the work of sermons is to make honest doubt an envenomed net filled with hidden stratagems. Doubt, which is the mouth of knowledge, comes to stand for sin, and belief – an incredulous childlike conviction that whatever is said with authority must be true – is presented as the apex of morality. Blessed are the stupid, for they’ll believe anything.

            Religion is programmatic art: it makes us dancers of life, actors in the drama so defined. It sets the stage, it tells us what the basic plot is. It gives us a hammer and tells us to see all problems as nails; tells us the one big problem in life is “sin,” and the one basic solution is “forgiveness.”

            That, at least, is popular Christianity. Sophisticated Christians make of it a sophisticated game; simple Christians make of it a simple game; but as with life and love, the wise are tricked through wise means, the simple through simple means, but each gets what is coming to him. So much more so is this true for the other world religions with their own tropes and focuses. So much more so for Allism, which is in each and all of them, and disparages them only pragmatically. Ama, who says baldly “I love you with all my life,” is through whatever we happen to love. Who or what we call “God” or “Nature” or “the Future” or “Goodness” is almost a matter of indifference, so long as we fill it with our soul. What we as individuals make of it is our redemption to the world, our difference, our purpose. And so as we all strive in this Mundania of real life, we lead genre-lives. Our lives take on different roles, we live different stories. But embedded in each genre is a self, a unique self, the source of our substance; and consubstantial with this is the experience made there from.

            We carry the idea of our childhood home in our head, an epitomized symbol – and all emotions cloister around an idiolect of such images. Art presents forms and content, the content is also our lives, by metaphor – a crossover of forms or ideal relationships, from art to our own experience. To be the artist is to set the forms and genres; those who write in somebody else’s genre, who bow to some other god, are the work of that artist, that god, are mere angels to those gods, are followers, have not realized their own potential, do not see the infinitude of their own private person. It is for the alchemist, the magician, to learn the powers by which he opens his own soul of power. By that he gains his apotheosis and is able to make a difference for Ama. Ultimately, he must let his self become his person.


            A personality is a dynamic thing for which we have a taste and memory, such that we can memorize and differentiate between thousands and hundreds-of-thousands of faces – and yet a personality cannot be seen simply in an instance, but to be plumbed requires accidental and fatal contrasts with other personalities. A friend brings out our best, our worst; an enemy brings out our best, our worst; when a woman falls in life with trouble, everybody winces. And yet what everybody knows may be wrong. Perhaps them getting it wrong, their prejudice, is the catalyst by which the surprise comes forth. We can do a thing because we don’t know it’s impossible. We must fail repeatedly to win. The milk sacrament of Allism, which takes the milk of the monarch as the type for us – pain first, pleasure last – accepts what is in the world, whatever station, whatever pride or shame we find ourselves in, as our platform of apotheosis, once we set to interpreting it as thus. Breakthroughs are gifts. To find an author who opens our heart, converts our turgid emotions into powers – each clause a chapter head, a literature drowning us in details or a poetry of austerity -- whatever it takes to make a substitution, that function of symbol, substitution, transformation, abbreviation, paraphrase, simplification, and complication, that sets our fingers on the laws of mind. Poets and heroes mirror us back on our best.


            Alchemy was not scientifically fruitful, but nevertheless was psychologically true, claimed Jung, who was at last clever enough to read a lot of psychological insights into alchemical tropes. The principle of conversion, of converting the materials of the mind, one into another, is as good a metaphor as any. The law of the mind, the psychological laws, are difficult to know scientifically; there is no science of virtue. Law is negative. Law negates. The mind also is negative, it is a negative space that allows ideas to at times fill it. We come to maturity when we can use the mind and its negative space to clear us of habit and world and make a space of negation in which to work our magic. Irony is maturity. Having distance from a situation, carefully crafting a mask, a me, a me-for certain situations – how useful! How pragmatic! Is not pragmatism our basic world virtue? Let us create such clothes for our I, therefore, and in our delight in direct simple speech allow some rhetorical circumlocutions – indirect truths, for some truths are only approached indirectly. Virtue balances virtue.

            Some direct questions are answered with direct lies. Why place blame? Others can’t be direct, not about their heart. They have to lie. The only way to get at their truth is through indirections, innuendos, through byways and sidestreams. We require, as always, time before the mirror to see in ourselves what we first saw in others. That dual mirror: seeing in others what we discover in ourselves, and seeing in ourselves what we discover in others – in being willing to accuse yourself of what you blame in your enemy, in being willing to praise yourself for what you praise in your hero, is self-expansion, the expanding of your possibility. You must purify your experiences, look for the chemically pure experience that epitomizes the substance of the idea you would create. You need to create your tool-making tools – sharpen your knives, judge your judgment -- but most of all, learn how to interpret interpretation. Language is a tool. Meta-language, or a language for language, the writers' craft, the readers’ criticism, allow you to put your hand around your tools, to get beyond your situation. The mirror is our symbol and tool not for self-love, but self-knowledge. By knowing what we are, in and out of our world, we can change worlds.

            This world-place we find ourselves in – world is situation – fastens and fascinates us. How to comprehend it? We meet strangers – most the world is strange – and this embarrassment we feel in the face of the unknown reminds us that mystery is guilt. The pride of identity we take when we see something beautiful we know to be ours should, with clever interpretation, allow us to find in anyone or anything a beautiful part of ourselves. Just as Hitler formulated the perfect enemy, in Mein Kampf, putting all evil into one people, so we can make saints of an inner circle, of a historical set of people who speak most to us. We will make the perfect friends -- comrades. The ability to disperse thoughts and search the world -- and all world religions and philosophies for useful terms -- that is allistic. To be able to put all divine truth into the mouth of your won god -- she is behind the multitudes -- this domesticates all foreign power.

            I am Ovath and my thoughts are a thousand monarchs, ever wandering, migrating, impregnating the world while slipping from me, forgetting, to return together in the hot of winter. These worms, vulcanized on sour milk, flaunt the airwaves. I blink upon a foreign idea. A blink is self-blinding. I note my blink and pause and try to see again what I had first unseen. I see I am an individual, ultimately, metaphysically, but that I’ve identified with various groups, groups in conflict with one another. We speak as individuals, as group members, and as universals, with a memory like a palimpsest, with the old material written with the new. We pick the tones of each group, the flight, the flutter and glide of that monarch, we pick up the moral tone, the self-help cadence, the religious reflection, the small talk, the gossip. By identifying with a flutter of me’s, various me’s for the places of the world, we set collectors of ideas, we absorb world energies and convert them to our own purpose. Transcendence is seeing this in terms of that. The Metaphor Mind bridges the attitude of feelings and the mind of ideas. If we can in arrogance embody social tension, if we can play that role, we can just as well humbly reconcile the pains group costs group. Our moods and tones are inlets for our place. This pressure to speak is not my own, but a world pressures me to speak. Each day I am charged, each night I discharge. I write in exultation and am thus able to express the finger fold, as seen in Van Gogh’s starry night, the waving interlocking of fingertips to fingertips, the gesture of self-reflection, by which mood is converted to mood and tone is converted to tone. The three concentric rings of independence, creativity, and pragmatism make the harmony of the spheres called "compensation." The inner balance the outer.

            All the beauty in this beautiful world is your beauty, belongs to you, fills you by the beholding. External beauty symbolizes and represents inner beauty. You see beauty to become beautiful. The terms of your approach empower you to identify. What you can through words know, you can let near enough to touch, so long as you open your eyes to see. Terms are lenses. You observe and, your observations are already an interpretation. Observations are often mere implications. We choose a terministic screen, a set of ideas drawn from education or experience that we will charge by reading meaning into them. Thus we add supernatural power to natural things. All terms for angels, scriptures, gods, the divine are in fact mundane natural objects that are supercharged with meanings. The meanings exasperate what the object can contain. Because the metaphors are mixed, and hence paradoxical, they add a waft of wonder, a trace of grace to these terms. If personality is the agent of speech, these supercharged ideas, these symbols, net meaning and value through our personality, how we speak of them, how we apply them to the world. The accidents of history become essence of destiny. The accidents of our own life become God’s purpose for us. Attitude is complete. It is rounded like pragmatism, it balances like a circle, it is pure compensation. Religion offers controls, gives us buttons and levers for the heart and soul. The myths let ups treat principles temporally, and let us use our life stories to build principles. The premises we assume are seeds for a fuller system. Memory becomes the structure of experience. Our memories shape how we experience new things, new memories build on the old, and are shaped and distorted by the old. A few terms make the system. Holding contradictory terms that antagonize each other gives us wiggle room, room to play, space to balance.

            If consumed in a mood and unable to escape the mind’s lack of focus, one needs permission to be the sloth and slow down, to contemplate, to ruminate, to reflect. Perhaps an epiphany is afoot – when ideas we had humored or toyed with or entertained or feared cease their unrest and fall into an organic formal arrangement. The crises of life align us in new skins. Different terminologies leave us unmoved, but when they overlap in interesting ways, so we can finally peg down five terms with one experience, we have our epiphany. We read our own meaningful experiences into the dead language of philosophy or religion, and in this way we redeem God.


            We come to art to correct and perfect ourselves. Art is the perfection of nature. What was painful in the heart was blissful in art; once sung, our deepest pains are in fact enjoyed. So we come to this homeopathic tragedy and see how life is so important that it is worth living even in its most painful and unjust instances. Tragedy teaches us life is worth living. We receive the metamorphosis: not new ideas, but a new attitude to fulfill those ideas.

            Try as they might, scientists can’t reduce society to nature. Society, which is the spiritual, or the supernatural, proper, with gods and angels standing as tropes and symbols of language, ultimately, the eternity of language, we each come to add our own new word to the world; we welcome it up with an archetypal form and spend the rest of our life in its refinement. Even William Gass, who is ugly in his ideas and images, has at least the idea of the labyrinthine sentence, of which I am so much a practitioner, the various clauses that like a kaleidoscope-show of different angles, various perspectives of the same idea, so that we became a man who represents his world. The lubricated phrases, the liquidity of form, characterize my autonomy and success over the world, as those who live in their head make paper transgressions, and this living finely knit text is my resurrection. My scaffolding for the creation of life today and tomorrow. What overwhelms us we must address. I turn to the alchemy of moods because they are too severe for me: my panics rise like a cymbal and I must unchoke myself from an anxiety. I must always use my mind and its ideas to transform words into each other. There are times I must simply hold on to the fence and let pain pass through me, till I process it in my skin and guts. Later in life I can bring it to truth.

            The control board, the buttons and levers I place over my body, the gestures, dances, the recourse to caffeine, alcohol, sex, and so  forth, are buttons, for change, especially the dialogue between Ama divine and the I of my own mind, convert in conversation one affect into another. Form is desire. I become a formalist, a methodist, a methodologist; I seek the allform, I invent the panacea, my body becomes the panacea to be planted in the earth, at my death world-medicine. These miniature plots that make up an idea, the mundane interest of novel facts, this journalist’s take at information, which has the potential to surprise on the first day, but not the principles of character, with its suspense, balanced against timeless truths which I repeat endlessly, in every sentence, in ever essay – that is how we balance desires with ugliness, with too much, with exaggeration. Ugliness cures ugliness, vice balances vices. We each have a morality individuated from our tradition, our virtues are culled and differentiated from our world situation. In this I am like all men; I make my world out of the materials at hand, but in reflection, which is independence, my central virtue, I come to own it, properly, and open the door, a door named Lissidy, that allows my inner shine to emerge. Creativity is the soul that mixes self and world; pragmatism is the touch on earth that makes a vision work. We must balance our necessity of self against our world situation.


            Stoical wisdom warns against letting our happiness depend on what is beyond our control. Longing for sex, fame, and money, for instance, could only demoralize an artist who had something of actual value to bring into the world: nothing the world could repay him could equal what is truly his to give; thus it is a gift, and the poor enrich the world. So in our many moods we would with Ovath put them to use, would make a place for every inflection. We create a work of art, we make our relationships these idealized things. A work may be popular, beautiful, and influential, all three as separate categories, with a given work in multiple categories, or in only one of them, or none at all. The true artist may be lost to posterity, for his focus is on aesthetic problems, or problems of pure form; problems, which relate to the creation of his own heaven, to his apotheosis. The ideas of them are in the work, just as character and plot are ultimately neither more nor less than ideas explicated.

            My romance with Amazhiar is one of continually delayed union; I took as a lover the impossible one, I always made her impossible, because she meant too much to me, she means everything to me – this Goddess and all her manifestations: Her embrace is eternity, is death. Being the allmeaning, being the allthing, it was necessary to keep distance, and yet to invite Ama into the inner communication of my mind. In the same way, the author perpetuates the same idea in all his work; everything he writes is a configuration of that self-same idea. The mental equipment, the ideas he picks up double that inner necessity, the necessity to express his innermost self, but a lifetime of education must socialize and allow him to communicate, for self-expression without communication goes unreceived.

            We are a society that grows on its vices. As the genius of Charles Ives taught us, democracy is discord. In this pluralverse, with an Allmother who is merely one more God, and though her body contains us all, she is not omniscient -- we have things to teach her. The All grows and learns, and so do we, with her and yet independent from her. With all these states, organizations, corporations, churches, these centers and circles of power, freedom is between centers, in the interstices. We require our no-man’s land, our own castle, our castle Sheridan, our place to hole ourselves in the womb of creation and fill Ama with our genius. We become experts at ourselves. Success is impossible without self-importance – this the artist intuits. A humble artist – oxymoron! We formulate our own experiences into rituals and make our religion. Art is our religion. Our heart is our canvas. We create forms and the spirit of those forms become the heaven of our eternity. Form creates desire. Repetition of principle under new forms makes the entire stock of ideas of a given artist: it is Proteus, variations of the same. The coordinates of our soul are visible in our art, visible for those who can read and know, the ones with empathy. And empathy negates abuse: love can’t bite. Pure love touches us. Love is touch. What techniques do we use to establish our deepest effects? Techniques nobody could teach us. We build on patterns of experience. Just as jealousy is creative, and imagines men she could have loved, so does each mood dream, and we come to love our daydreams and nightmares, and as true prophets enliven them as self-fulfilling prophecies. This requires the alchemy of self-reflection. With that space and audacity, whatever we dare we can at last grasp and achieve.


            There is a dream and there is its quality. No mere report of the dream can allow others to feel it; we must resort to language not present in the dream, “It was as if I was underwater” or some sort. We come to translate our peculiar dreams, that dream that is our innermost experience of life itself, to conventionalized language. We find a few likely tropes and convert all experience to that favored tone, that favorite rhetoric, till we are like Zizek, whose abuse of paradox as form becomes sheer mannerism, making the reader cringe each time he reduces a problem to some annoying paradox. What become our favorite expression is a verbal tic, not exact truth.

            Our days become mannerisms. Relaxation after work – what form will it take? The relaxation is the extension of work, is colored by work. We couldn’t relax without the work, but jobless we would fall into despondency. “I’ll have a beer after work,” but if you quit work and had the beer you wouldn’t enjoy it. We need the pain to build it like clay into something substantial. Experience is by nature painful, it is in the form of pain until it can be formulated into something useful. Beauty is the promise of use. Use is beauty. For everything in its most useful form has beauty. We have an emotion, but modify it in expression. Despair can be beautiful. Modified, perfected, brought to apotheosis, it is worthy of existence, makes all of life worthy of existence, the way the tragedies are paeans to life. Themes inspire counter-themes and beauty is a sanctified emotion. What is beauty but ugliness well-formed? The rawness is replaced with the refined. We use a form for sheer love of that form. Form holds desire, and by having form fills us with desire. Symbol is a formula for a type of experience. We build our experiences into symbols, into language. We have our epiphanies and then make our epiphanies into rituals. That feeling of expansion that is spiritual enlargement is the aesthetic.

            Allism in its grandiosity wades into enemy territory, would secure beauty wherever she beckons, hears the muse call and gives ear to the siren. It seeks discipline in its lived experience the way military discipline and football discipline instill and inform those who endure them. We hold also to our own, our unique experience. Derivative works becomes popular. Genius is difficult, and few can understand. The great writers are sources, are fountainheads. The popularizes are easier to understand, but they are angels, and not gods, and their wells are mortal, their wells dry up. They are not the fountainmouths, not the eternal increase.

            Original experience pierces the wall and lets the inner light shine. Lacking beauty we compensate with sex. Deferring necessary pain we compensate with entertainment. The artist, however, is able to behold the thing itself. Real experience is much thicker and less pure than art. Art is purified, simplified, intensified; there is no substitute for life in art. Art clarifies our own experience, but it cannot replace them. Art perfects life, and life would forever be imperfect without art’s finishing touches. Life comes first. The “birth of a myth in the grand style expressing a new sense of divinity” means, ultimately, self-reliance, knowing God face to face, knowing Ama to be imminent for you alone in reflection -- getting at your own life. Your attitude will open the door. Attitudes are fluid and fill marriage, athletics, work, whatever you do. A problem finds many expressions in art, many symbols, but the original touch – love is touch – comes from that divine, and the name she tells to you as yours for her.

            Each new novel is a new world, a new word, a new term, a new method. It gives symbols and symbols symbolize patterns of experience. For this we are grateful for our Authors as true gods. The artist becomes master at a pattern of experiences. His symbols are formulas. They inform our thinking and conform our lives to simple purpose. In this, the head virtue of order structures all.

            The artist as alchemist uses art as the most exact and exacting language for formulating precise experiences, for transforming them through communication, through music, through conversation with the divine, as pain into pain, a chaotic pain into a useful pain, and from pain to distance, and from distance to power. The alchemy of moods requires inventing gestures, symbols, terms and words that give you command of your habits and set them against each other, with each other, for each other, under the shared purpose of a life’s necessity, that self-expression and world-communion we call living the life of Allism.


            The man who gossips his heart, and complains for the world to pity or withdraw, would do better changing those pigeon songs into control tones, using tones of mood and body as buttons and lever for converting affect into affect. We all seek for the mood we are comfortable in. Our attitude prefers a basic situation. It is a situation we perhaps found ourselves thrust into as children, and have since become accustomed to it. Perhaps we seek to glorify a father and then dethrone him; perhaps we want to be the best in the class; perhaps we want to be the misunderstood genius. Whatever situation we are comfortable in, we will drive all other situations into so resembling them. Since the world bends to our expectations and we live in an ambience of ambiguity, the world conforms itself to the situation we prefer. Just as the man with a hammer sees all problems as nails, so the feminist sees all problems as patriarchic oppression, and the Christian sees sin.

            An allist, likewise, sees self, sees expression, sees personal purpose. In the complexity of life we seek the arrow of direct truth, to have the devastating truth always at hand. Complexity versus power, and to digest complexity into power requires study, the repetition of studying the same thing over and over, and through circumlocutions arriving at direct measures. This is why we set up our own symbols, charged as they must be with images and stories. We invent our own rituals, for a ritual makes a setting for an experience. We come to art as medicine to cure our exaggerations, but we come to art as connoisseurs as well, looking for the exact expression, the perfect word. We balance every means. We are monistic in our purpose, pluralistic in our means. Monism lacks balance and correction. We would also enjoy classic repose were it not for this romantic disturbance that aches our heart towards greatness. Our independence seeks endless blank spaces in which to create. We digest the universe, we make a world, we make, ultimately, a heaven for ourselves.

            A subject is unpoetical only insofar as capable poets haven’t yet converted it. All matter is convertible to good; all lead to gold, all manure to fruit. Progress is digesting all this indigestible material, sucking diamonds down to their essence, and building in our womb Pandora, the all gifted, who from our raccoon diet takes good from all we eat. To be all we must eat all. To find our purpose we must liberally experiment. Haydn greatly resented Beethoven’s liberties with the sonata form, and rightly so, but who knew Beethoven’s business better than Beethoven? Traditionalism and conservativism are right; progressiveness and liberalism is right. They are all right and all against each other. This democracy of dissonance, which is the music of Ives, is the melting pot, the ultimate witches brew by which Panacea comes. The mercury of mercurial moods, the bipolar shift of anxiety and liberality, alone is enough to melt all experience and in the melting point of hell’s womb make the highest hope heaven’s child. By being most evil we arrive at utter innocence.


            Language dissolves all things. The ineffable is of worth only insofar as it is really effable. Lacking that, it carries the weight of a drug experience. The smuggled term is a meaning meant without the word. These ineffable experiences are smuggled terms – they express themselves in tones of words, but not in words. When we can reflect on our experience of the divine, when she can talk to us voice to voice, then in our panics, in our anxiety, in our depressions, we can edit our own thought and speech, with reflection, with the constrictive moods we can come down and join life and earth. We develop in our perfidious nature, in our atheism, in our cynicism, a critical language, which outwits those who would control us with tones.

            And so we fail again and again, and succeed in educating ourselves through constant failure. Having written a fiction and failed, one still grows as a critic. The absolute moment of the self expresses itself through endless time, through the infinite melody of daily life. Eru, the god of writing and music, dances on air, his boots are guitar chords, his heart is melody. What more could I as writer aspire to than to inspire aspirants? Striving for liquid sentences or resounding nouns and lubricated verbs, fluid clauses that dance like rivers of tongue – this is the alchemy of my night, the true dawning of my mind. The threading of pen through intimacy and alienation as with the in and out of intimate conversation requires touch and withdrawal, the rhythm of union. The distance of technology allows for unique touch.

            This internet that is our latest plaything allows us to live as avatars, as abbreviated and masked deities in the logosphere. To mine and make the understructure, the electronic pacifier allows this -- that technological fantasy, that hum of possibility. We try our minds, we seek criticism, and we need never doubt that our soul is worthy of the highest heaven despite every sin and crime – in fact because of them, because the heart is round, because we need all emotions. Can rational criticism stop the power of an idea? Our ultimate motivation is not force of logic, but persuasion of narrative. We are living myths. Mythic integrity is Proteus, can take myriad forms. We are situated in a given religion, time, space, family, we drink from our roots and tap what powers there be. Ideas grow from the soil, the climate, the health or sickness of the group mind, of the private brain, of the one who created it and would be master thereof. The compensation of life taxes the good and indemnifies the bad; and of the innermost soul there is no tax, but only eternal increase. During a plague the gravedigger feasts. And so in all situations part of us is learning. I therefore reject the language of obligation as such unless the language of interest or incipient power is pre-framed therein. Ama is my allthing, I need never shiver at pious cant.

            All this guilt inflects the basic expectations we impose on children. Children’s television best isolates the Law of Niceness, the sort of ethic I envision for the utopia Solman sought to disintegrate, in my book Lux. Egalitarian niceness to all people is the basic premise, everybody gets a turn. Bragging or even winning isn’t nice. And such tone controls are placed early, we can’t escape them. Guilt-tripping your son and shaming him are different matters. “Feel bad about yourself” verses “feel you are less.” Never mind that: there is nothing more rotten than pious talk. Love resists such rebuffs. Where love is, it cannot for long be hidden; where love is not, it cannot for long be faked. Love is not chosen, beauty is irresistible. Power is, is and properly; and between love and power we have the vertices of human motivation. We need both, but we need also to exhibit what is ours to give. Feminism stipulates that women would be men too were they not oppressed – they would be brave, rational, genius, this sort of thing -- but as such an equality is achieved only by barring male expressions, the equality is artificial and unsustainable. It is an ideal, and ideals are rotten.

            In this I am taught by the resentful and clever Lissidy, the River of Life, the lush fullness of the river banks’ peach. I mean the edgy castrating pitch of the hiddenness of female genius. Lissidy is The Daughter, Ama’s subtle innermost mirror image. She too goes into the Idius, into my psyche, into the writing of my soul’s text. I write my full being in her reflection, in every inflection.

            A book is written on paper in Mundania, and it is written at time zero in the logosphere – it always was at a moment of pure contact. Eru the God of writing, in that pen, the ink and spill of Lux, all language, which is, in sum, is the divine mother tongue, writes out from my pen as well.

            We take such religious experiences as nearest to the place of Allism, but any experience would do. A temptation is to find one’s own religion deepest merely because he’s happened to have profound experience therein, and not in the foreign ones, and can flatter himself by his ability to read more into it than others, but to thus deny the stranger his treasure. Religion after all is part of rhetoric. Language is a God. We in our atheism resecularize religious terms. They were secular to begin with, of course. We seek to establish enough coordinates to give us space to move, and in this pluralverse of gods, and the allgoddess who is them all, and the universe who is her and matter, we seek interstices, spaces of ambiguity to develop ourselves. The negative is the space of freedom and possibility. Conscious mind in its pureness is a bit of utter nothingness, a nothingness by which will and freedom create all.

            This is why we seek an alchemy, for the moodswings of life are the flights of Eru, that rockstar god who is the bright of both day and night. He gives us instruments for transversing both logosphere and mythosphere. He teaches the control tones and commanding gestures.

            How is the sacred so kept? Ultimately, by violence. Imaginative violence, and violent fantasies and speech, not to mention violent laws -- and all laws are enforced by violence -- keep the sacred from blasphemy. But wisdom is analogizing. Wisdom is the capacity for analogy. To see theology in literary terms, to see all in the menstruum of philosophy, of the logosphere, which allows us to use words, to make words, to make and break laws. These deeds and contracts are the positive and negative of every declaration. Communication is love, language is love; Lux is the language of love, the goddess of desire. The lovers name and play and are magical in their way. We learn to praise and love God by praising and loving men. We learn from men and praise God for what they do, the same way God imitates the gods and then claims they imitated him first. What matters in all these deities is a mundane correlation to justify it all. Internal change requires an external cataclysm. Great inner changes are possible only at death and tragedy.

            Eternity happens in time and before time – the fullness of time in a static instance. Apotheotic transcendence means the divine must already pre-exist within us. Atheistic or theist, we learn from the other. We convert a word from the enemy, are shameless in our allistic vocabulary. We find what words matter most to us, find the word worth watching. The deeper terms of a writer are unwritten, yet are read, not here or there, but everywhere. He gives us a technology of thought by which to build our own heaven. Indeed, technology is heaven. It’s as if the mythic events happened behind Mundania, as if a jet struck a building in the real world, a god descended on earth in the myth-world.

            Mundane limitations are also eternal the temporal is commemorated and assumed. Money is pain, pain is money. Suicide and mortification view pain as if a form of money. We pay for our guilty with pain. We could say all men die because all men sin, but all animals die as well, and none have sinned. Death, instead, is natural, is blameless, there is no guilt in death -- and yet guilt feels like death. What accounts for this? Guilt too is natural, as natural as childbirth, and we merely need the processing terms, the translations, the terminologies, the maintaining ratios. Power is murder. To have the power to set distances, to set space, to enforce space, that is ultimate power. Death is transformation, symbolizes frustration overcome. Conflicts are solved in time. Apotheosis is a symbolic suicide to make life eternal, the way marriage is saved through symbolic divorce. Suicide, the ultimate control over the self, must be translated from the heart breaking act to its apotheosis as self-divination. And the alchemy of psychology reaches its peak in this: we die by poison, by the poison of experience, by the words of pain, only to become ourselves, not poison, but panacea, world-cure, all-cure, so that our bodies in living and in death purify the earth and restore nature to her beauty. In this, the gesture, the ritual, the aloneness solves the anxiety, the panic attacks, the guilt, the confusion. We are eternal because we have already died. And how do we do this? By giving ourselves a new name and devouring it into the secrecy of our heart.

            The ritual is simple and lived out in every sickness and depression. We shed in such moments irrelevant skins, and in a gesture of self-destruction, which is ultimately eternalization, self-glorification, "I die to the world and give birth to a new world," to suffer the recriminations of Lissidy, our accuser, our deepest self-doubts, is to overcome their hold, to die to them. Let all self-doubt become open direct truth. With nothing to prove, we discover our proof. Defenseless, and invulnerable through vulnerability -- a touch to the temple, a grasp of the heart, such a personal sign language that symbolizes through gestures the successes of our adventures in meditation, allow us to convert moods while living them, with the idea as converter, and the gesture as what summons the idea. To have a few characters, a few metaphors, a personal language of control, we can convert all our moods from moods we struggle with to moods by which we win.


Monday, August 19, 2013

"Eru" a myth

Further Myths regarding the Four-faced Goddess Ama, who is Ovath, Lux, Eru, and Lissidy, Father, Mother, Son, and Daughter. This on pertains to the son, Eru.



Eru strode the air on power chords, his flight was the sound of the electric guitar in form, and in fact all his movements were a musical dance, so that upon the clouds and singing he appeared a youth of exuberant bravado, kicking stars like dust and thrusting lightning in waves in his raves of ecstatic laughter and proud eyed innocence. Not only was he god of tempos, but of writing, and carried in his pocket Semanta, the gift pen, given as it was from his mother, and imbued with such magic as that what he wrote was a self-fulfilling prophesy, something in his actions would intentionally or unintentionally fulfill his words. By it he structured a heaven for himself, and many other places, for the pen, ordinary and mundane in itself, was in idea the pen of fate, and wrote code of programming into SIStem herself, or the goddess of technology, into the computer of the universe.

One day Eru felt sick of heart, wasn't on fire, heart on fire, to dance through the clouds and incite love and envy in all the men and women of earth, but had sunk into a personal funk, felt sick at heart, and dark as an empty moon. At this point, Ovath, his father, sent Lissidy, his sister, to comfort the young god.

She reflected his manner back to him, adopted the posture and the half-hearted tone of voice, and spoke at length with him in his agony -- spoke at length, though much of what she said was silence, and waiting, and the echoing of silence, and his waiting, for it was enough, she felt, that she were there, a living presence; and she also left when he seemed sullen at heart, so that when he cried out, "I feel like death!" then she said, "I will leave you to your sleep then."

But finally she prevailed on him to remember his pen and his writing, and to explore his own heart with his work, and since all his prophesies were self-fulfilling, to find a way to map out the labyrinth of his sickened heart and discover what sore need spoke therefrom. Having given this advice, and seen that he would really take it, she left Eru in peace.

Eru indeed took to writing out his grief, and through the philosophy of the thoughts and feelings, he was able to do more than cross out his cross mood, but to in fact make use of it and build from it, as if his dark mood were a dark ink whereby stronger words and magic and prophesy were made. And with this, the ink of Semanta was thickened and made severe, by the severe moods of Eru, which came and ebbed like the moon or the seasons, leaving Eru to his rockstar performances, but coming again, at times, to remind him to constrict and edit away the mistakes he had made. In this Eru learned balance.


At another time the ink of Semanta grew spotty and he felt dried up and spent and without a thought in his head. His very blood seemed congealed nor could he give love to Rozhiar. In his impatience, he buried the pen, and forgot about it.

He was at the mirror meditating when a profound thought startled his brow, and suddenly he wish quick as silver, and in his mercurial flight, found the perfect ink to further compound Lissidy. But alas! the pen was buried, and he knew not where. He scoured the earth and unearthed every likely spot, but the gift pen was missing, and he felt like a well that was so pressured to speak it could turn full fountain -- full geyser!

Finally, he found the place he had buried the pen, but underneath the rock opened a stairways that had not been there before. Bolding forward, he found himself in a great labyrinth of books, an underground library, lit by torches and candles, immaculate, yet with winding hallways. He tried various books and saw that they had all been written in his ink, but by another hand, had picked up his tropes, his ideas, and took them in different directions. Yet whoever built this place was not at hand.

                He followed the halls, and at the center there grew a coffee plant, and in its soil was mixed the pen and its ink: it had been used up and destroyed. Outraged, Eru called for his foe to show himself, but was left with echoes. Leaving the dreamy mists of the place, he grabbed the coffee fruits, which had absorbed the seeds of his pen, the spermatic word of his ideas, and he returned the surface.

In the privacy of his study, Eru made coffee from the plants, and after careful preparation, drank. The seeds, which had been taken from his pen, cut from his body, now permeated him from the inside, so that no longer was it the pen that prophesied, but his whole body was a pen, and the world was a parchment, and whether he wrote with this pen or that, or with his bare finger, or whatever he might do, he was writing history into the memory of the universe. Thus did the young God gain his exultation and become not a writer, but Writing itself.


\ ~@M@~ /


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"estranged" a song

Little song written in a lonely mood. (Rough draft)


\ ~@M@~ /