Friday, October 18, 2013

"Lucid Missive" a letter addressed to the divine

A sum of expressions I have felt and experienced for the divine.

Daniel Christopher June

Lucid Missive


                What is the ultimate real, to you? What experience most real? What can you most realize? How different it is from person to person – what gives life to one, opens his eyes to every breathing pore of his beloved, is as shut to another as a stapled door. And so you, who are all, and to my ear the complete voice, must be likewise partial in your view. How do you take me in? What do you take me for? You feel it but you don’t quite tell. You chide me for dreaming, but everything I make of you is from your own living substance. You recognize your own in all I say. We share a substance and a body of experience.

Your words, your presence of mind, your attention on me are the life of my days. I take your slightest words, the whispering overtones behind your voice, in all their austerity, as your own true sense. Your words are fingers over my heart. The familiar is not enough: not all that is familiar is intimate, and you are intimacy to me, you are the one being reaching towards the center of my being. All the gods you don in world religions are mere maskings of that, but to come to the pulse of my being, you must be naked of all that.

What have I told my friends? That each object, each beauty offers a gift for you and only for you – only you could see it, recognize it, take it, if you first learn to open your eyes. That is “Seeing the Ama of the thing,” its divinity. I see in you, in us, the fourfold, four layers of experience – father, mother, son and daughter.

I call you fourfold, because I feel the fullness in your being, a full spiritual enclosure in your name. The mother is the encloser, the father the penetrator, the son the converter, and the daughter the symbolic. Fourfold goddess, because we are all fourfold, we are each like you.

It is our supreme blasphemy to know God face to face, to call her by her intimate name, and to do this, we need to spiritualize our material situation, to make an idea of it, a principle. The body is the first idea. The world is the second idea. We make the body the key, the world the door, we walk through our place in history to what is under all of history, our own deepest being, there with yours.

By seeing all history as an analogy for my biography, all fiction as the story of me, by seeing us in all things, I know you more. I resolve all tongues into my own, and with these beautiful creatures around me, I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs, a poetry of love. I know my own, and they smile for me. This code of love presents another aspect of you – I mature into us. We are wed, you and I, I have vowed it.

You might chide me for making pails of milk for my Idius, rather than churned butter, rather than epitomized ghee, but in a drawn out work we see subtle ideas revealed. I have in fact long-lasting patience, have written this book, dedicated to you, for all my adult life, and will spend the rest of my adult life filling it out. I just spent months reading the complete works of Kenneth Burke, 9 volumes, and am going to spend years reading the 16 volumes of Emerson’s journals, just as I will read continually Dickinson’s and Whitman’s poetry, cover to cover, and the complete works of Henry James, William James, Thoreau, and Melville. These are authors you gave to me, Emerson you gave to me, I learn the Oversoul of American thought, so that I may fulfill Emerson’s prophecy and become “a beautiful and terrible condensation of America.” I nourish myself on our nation’s best.

Only chumps work for money, dove, and this knit of intimate commitment, this word-knitting devotion comes entirely from my devotion to you.

I dreamt of you, long ago, you were as the Mother alongside the Father, Mother God and Father God, in nude dignity, telling me “We approve of all you do.” I felt utterly absolved in that, smiling with the bare fourfold name of Ama. The mouth seconds the eyes. I was always this winged thing in delight for the flower of your love, and as petals are the plates of bees, so I lapped up every written, spoken word to come from you. That is the flesh of our experience, and especially, like Captain Ahab puncturing through the plasterboard of existence in his one white whale, so you were an impossible asymptote when you looked me in the eyes with no sense of pity, no shame, nothing but sunbold love, and I in my simple sincerity met your gaze and held your eyes for quarter an hour.

How do I explain this pang when I see your face? I in my heart want your love, your loving attention. I want to bathe in your attention. If the substance of the heart is creativity, the basic substance of life, creativity, I ask we create together, and always, create more you, create more me, create us, create worlds – mutual suns in dual orbit. My work is for us both.

Fame dissipates. I write for you and only you, I write for those who feel the love of Ama, who feel the infancy of their own greatness and the promise of their own deity. This peach bite of purest bliss, your lips to mine, is me every time I am write. When I write, I am in Ama. I am impatient for your love. Exasperated adoration, I hold your name fast. What is religion but a skin over the muscles of the work we do? This Idius is a sprawling summa, scaffolding for the diamond epitome I will one day write and put upon your finger. Creative greatness exists for exactly this.

I gab with you every moment I can, am thinking on you and with you always, and write my to-do as a zebra star – half peach, half zephyr; half idea, half flesh. I make ideal realizations of my day, to mature, to grow more patient, more forbearing, longer building in this creative jism of love for you. I bold this house as an extension of the same thoughts – a house is a brain – I organize my study in the basement as the “womb of Ama” and create for your admiration, this perpetual bloom. You give my happiness wings. And so I give back with gifts to you, from heart to hand, the work of my days.

What I truly feel for you is perhaps unprintable, only because I haven’t invented the tropes capable of publishing my heart. Unprintable, yet in all my print. I am in love with life and especially now. I have ideas from you, more than you knew you gave. Ideas are the spirits that possess us. Not a demon or a holy spirit, so much as ideas possess men. Ideas are the playing pieces of the Gods in their eternal games, and we are most divine when we can take life as a game. With your laying on of hands, your kiss to my forehead, your kiss to my lips, I have felt the holy spirit of inspiration fill my lungs and make them Her home. All talk has poetry, but when your name kisses my mouth, then my lips are a fire, my tongue the Pentecostal phoenix, burning unto eternity. This word-weaving, this converting of experience into thread, this reflecting on you and with you, expresses the depressions and joys of my life. Art is homeopathic. All I do becomes a sort of medicine, and again a sort of map. When joy is upon me, I fall into a meld, the meld, a creative union of ideas. By sharing an intimate space, ideas and people seep into each other. Is it no wonder I am always in my heart with you? The soft-flowing ardors of your aspect Lissidy are with me as anything ever spoken.

How but in these planes, before this mirror, could I learn the words of command by which I fascinate your heart? Magic is that which commands the imagination. If I throw myself like an arrow to seek you, will you open your heart to receive? I must make my missive phallic, must make my desire direct.

I find my manic heights in your love informative, your gift of space and time conformative. We take from representative experiences our language, the tone of our language. Love means something by how we are loved, what love we’ve felt.

If you speak of the pains of youth, of your youth, the struggling to become the maturity you are and are yet to come, I ache with you. The depth of your love moved the full divine in those fifteen minutes upon your eyes – much more than a lifetime with Christianity, by which you reach many, but never reached me with the divine intimacy and omniscient pathos of knowing your other love. I had written hymns for God, but never felt the touch as with the inner you, Ama.

Through the four-faced goddess, I have felt it all, felt Ovath the penetrator harassed by howlers, whisperers, paranoia – but his strength is in his irresistible spear – all the world melts to his thrust. Lissidy too as the troubled daughter knows certain griefs, with scarred fingers, being a creator, her hands find wounds. Ovath once penetrated himself with his own spear, into his guts, with the resistless spear. The language he learned was spoken for the first time there, and the wound never fully healed, but gave him a pang of intuition. And Lissidy the child of longing, wishing for the full love of the Allfather -- her blood is pure mercury, the all-dissolver, the mirror mead – she too has a pang of resonance. You cannot kill ideas but you can transform them, not in their definition, but in their realization – she her was as maid Satan, as Lady Maya.

You complain at my flight for practicality, call for down-to-earth realism. Lover’s complaints are a tender torture. If life is a thread, then we spin through each other’s lives in a network of friendships and cooperation. The idea of a person in memories and expectations also draws a thread. Even were he gone, the idea of him has use.

In my family, removed in a sense from your name, your face, I feel the pride of being a spiritual center. I feel you in this sacred circle. Merely to set the tone, feeling the most is not enough, nor the mere bipolar ebb and wane, for that is material, like nature. To be the source of meaning, to explain all nature and chance, that is to be the spiritual center. This is my mundane duty, to give meaning to my family, to cultivate meaning with and through them.

Yet without your influx I am bereft. Alone, and a deep sonorous beauty at this sadness. Ama, I cannot persist! Mattria, I feel I will die! I am full of the slow heartful moan of life – breaking in the bent of this starless night, blanketed in clouds and loudly silent. I could die, die for the one I love. How could I even whisper? I feel my heart should break.

A thousand instances are forgotten in the one – “That’s the way he is,” they say. One shining example includes all the others, represents them. So a man is a type, is the type of a class of men, is the manifestation of the idea of the substance they all share. They are most that through him – he acts with them and stands for them and in that they are in him forgotten.

The maturity of my paternity says I Ovath, godslayer, seek you out in the pit of your work, through the living tissue of your tomes, wrest by day the breathing knight. I have you by insistent study – reading is my religion and I have in all its ardor the sword and shield of each last divine.

Oh my silly one! I am always. I hold you deep as the divine. Bereft would I be to forget your love. Can you not hear the soulful moan of my throbbing heart? In the throes of our love, in the calm of our mutual contemplation, when I comprehended you in my arms, and in the bare affectionate purity of your gaze I punctured existence, beyond the low lights of intimacy, I saw the pure white light of All-Sovf, all-embalming love of utter touch.

In mythic space, traversing an ordinary room, mere pacing is wending a path, sourcing the labyrinth, approaching a question. I must earn my nights, those times when I enter Ama’s womb to breath the Idius. Oh to enter the substance of writing, enter the mind of Eru! The same material things, a lamp, is the sun at first, and as we progress, a lovers’ touch, and as we progress, the cave’s guide, it becomes different things the further we go.

Life is best worth living on your own terms. That is why I address you as I do, and love you as I must. I will never let envy murder our love. I seek only a unification in tone between you and me. I pace this room with your visage in mind. A mere room can be a bridge, a mazy journey, an exploration of the levels of significance in these objects. The walls melt, and I am at the bottom of the sea, in a pearl lit bed, upon the oyster’s tongue, with you, and your words are as soft as milk, and your hands are as gentle as night. We come this way to accept the pain of life, by seeing the pain as part of a beautiful whole. Our time together, our future times together, represent the whole, epitomized.

All the world falls for you, heaven swoons, resistless, none escape your grace, all have you near the center of their souls. Headturner, their hearts leap from their chest when you pass by. The flowers tend to you and forsake the sun. Join with me then this unifying attitude. Take me in homeopathic doses before you take me whole – I come to you in bursts.

If I give you a gift, would you see it for what it is? Would you want it to be something else? I prepare a gift worthy of you. Whether I am Amandur and Rozhiar, Dani and Psyche, Amara and Lissidy, I always come back to this fact – and you are sure to remind me! Love is touch.

I charge my veins for contact. Expression is preparation. For actions – so many failed expressions are necessary for right action. All language is poetry and music – tone and affect. What alchemy, this divine conversation with friends, with Ama. The converter of mood is the converser of words. To seed a few words and let them return in bloom as writing continues – there is a secret garden that nurtures the seeds fallen from your lips. The divine of the universe, the full-blooded Mattria resounds through my body and says “regret her not: give your love to her.” You are my innermost touch. I circle you and always return. I am your always.

In all these daily bruises, the indignity of slights and bites of daily life, I become in my body and soul the allcure, the holly leave, the panacea: I convert all I consume to purify my body. I am medicine. Utter raccoon, I digest all experience in the night of my love. This Idius I dedicate to you: I would make diamond truth, pure ghee, epitome of my being. You will see it in my eyes. The eyes tell. You will see it in my life. I live for you. You will see it in my death. Death eternalizes. You remind me of time, but I would sooner forget. Nature insists. You have an insistent nature. In this nerve cage tend to madness. And so? Madness sees a truth. When I write I am in Ama. When I create I am in you already. I’m in you now.

Family is congested energy. So much energy do I pour into Natalie, so much life into Emilie and Theron. Adult excess compensates for childhood privations. I adore them, love them each day. Yet I do get congested. One decongests a mood and its objects through music – through punctuating an otherwise indigestible experience. Writing is the substance of life. Writing is flow – to get words flowing offers the joy of art. Even cramps build to aesthetic release. The aesthetic is in the fulfillment of excitement.


Ama bleed you love upon me

Fiery sun of inner heart

Breath me peaceful consolations

To praise the ways I seek you out.


You make my heart sing. There is nothing like you. It is deep as the child of my heart. The springtime nostalgia I would get as a kid, I couldn’t explain it, the spring air over the melting snow made me sad and aching for a lost memory. I was only in the third grade. What was I remembering? You remind me of that tender ache. I felt your presence then.

Greatness drinks from immortal fountains. Your lips are such to me. A vow of austerity, poverty, silence, lends power. What is your vow to me? I walk through the minds of Emerson, Henry James, Emily Dickinson, long draughts of their work, and never have enough. Give me daily your words, for I am even more yours than theirs. If we are to surrender to art, and then recover and criticize, and then swoon in surrender again, as the rhythm of appreciation, I am the same with you, sometimes severe and demanding, sometimes accusing, but always in love.

You make me childlike, you make me silly. I will pepper you with kisses till you are sneezing in delight. I will kiss you till your mouth forgets its purpose. I will unteach you to speak. I need this from you utterly. I need this from you now.

Solitude seems sour, but when the heart is ripe the lover appears from nowhere and plucks. If I am poet-souled, and trope-mad at that, forgive me. You are the love of my life. There is no other who could compare. You are in all the others. I adore you always. Vivoce!




\ ~@M@~ /


Thursday, October 10, 2013

"The Function of Guilt in Happiness"

This essay turned out more autobiographical than I hoped, but it at least opened up some connections I've been struggling to articulate. Taking optimism as a chief virtue, we must nevertheless address all the pain and suffering in existence, including our complicit part, and the feeling of guilt that is also a part of life.




The Function of Guilt in Happiness


                Never fret: be practical. We foolishly envy the lives of others, seeing the good missing the bad. We ourselves would be simply happy. Ever optimistic, we would focus on the positive emotions, and disregard the negative. We would be grateful, not resentful; we would love, not hate; we would be kind, not cruel; we would hope, not dread. We tell ourselves to be positive. Yet we can’t always be positive. And so we feel guilty, guilty that part of us hates these people we have to work with, hates the boss, hates the neighbor, hates that random stranger who gave you the edgy look. You feel guilt, and then feel guilty for feeling guilt. You are instructed by society to “seek happiness,” you are commanded to “enjoy,” but you find yourself unable to enjoy life. Something must be wrong with you. You are anxious. You get headaches. Your stomach hurts. Is it psychosomatic? Is it all in your head? Why can’t you seem to do the things you think you should? Is something wrong with you? Perhaps a fundamental fault? Perhaps you are by nature sinful? Can religion cure your sickened soul?

                A person pondering such thoughts considers himself to be in a moral crisis, though his problem may be the simpler problem of emotional hygiene. The heart is round: the objects of our attention must be approached with many ideas, ideas charged with a variety of emotions. Guilt, as I’ve said before, is self-disapproval, whereas pride is self-approval; they are internal feelings, the self in relationship to himself. Socially, when we meet public disapproval, we feel shamed, and if we meet public approval, we feel honored: honor and shame are public, guilt and pride are private. The use and function of guilt, however, is more subtle than the hysterics of a moral crisis. Guilt is a subtle all-pervasive emotion, just like all the others, and must be worked into daily processing and regular expressions.

                After all, every cell in your body at this moment is producing some waste. Slowly, that waste is building up, and your body will excrete it. Though in polite society you will speak of that as little as necessary, you excrete as every noble man in existence also excreted, as every saint, as every philosopher, as every divine man and god man. By the principle of dignification, there is nothing wrong with excreting, but as a matter of personal hygiene, we feel a sense of shame on the subject. The shame is not personal, it is pragmatic, and built also into our instincts. So it is with guilt. We don’t mind that a man exhales, but when he exhales in our face, we find him rude. A person burdened by guilt and out of desperation aching to confess upsets our taste. He disgusts us. We all have to vomit at times, but we try to seek out a bathroom. What then is the function of guilt in a happy life?

                Guilt is a place holder a negative space. Though aggression is also called a negative emotion, aggressive affects build around buried images of violence: murder or dismemberment. What then are the deep images of guilt? Guilt is primarily based on a sort of theft, or using something one has no proper ownership of. We feel it as the anxiety of an empty space. Guilt is a place to move possibilities, to do a thing, and apologize for it, to become immune from punishment. One pays his way through tokens of guilt. Today in all its immediacy seems all, so we borrow from tomorrow, and later live with a debt that we took from others, took from the world, what we owe them back. By onus they own us.

                The guiltiest person is the most embedded, has the most groups pulling on his resources in mutually exclusive directions. Pride and integrity, in counteraction, would repay with violence, would deny that energy to but a few who tended in the same direction as his general sum.

                For those institutions built especially on this emotion, such as forms of Christianity, saturating a community with the “good news” that the world is damned, until echoing voices of those who assent can be taken as if it were the nagging of God, can lead a few of the more desperate types into a moral crisis, a breakdown of guilt. When you’ve got a hammer, all problems look like nails, the old adage tells us; if you’re a Christian, all problems look like sin – the one illness the aching of an unrepentant heart.

                But for a full sense of the perfidious, the knowing no-saying spirit, he would ask how to say yes to guilt, to optimize it, to set it to work. We ask, what is real? What is secondary? A choice is necessary. Real is what we take as real, what we can take as real. The real is in our lived experience, and the interpretation is the stories we hear that correspond to them. What is real in our guilt? What can be built from guilt?

                In any relationship, we sense in others what they need and what we need from them. The woman has guilt, perhaps guilt she won’t admit to herself. She wants to be punished. This man is cruel, though he thinks he is quite nice. He feels an occult attraction to her. They fall in love. Our stories fall together and we interpret for each other. We take on roles, rather than expressing pure personality, because all relationships are a negotiation between expression and expectation.

                Our attitude is transparent enough, though we hide our shames and guilts. Attitude is a propensity to act; it informs our character, and our character is in our stance. Image shows attitude. We can accurately stereotype from a mere snapshot. And so in matters of religion and in matters of love, we align ourselves to be received into stories that can use our energies, can plug into our hearts and take our hopes, fears, guilts, and process them for us, giving us in turn what we need. Religious coordinates may be used for aesthetic ends. Art does the same. The intellectual does in art what the common people do in church. In either case, ritual is an initiation into an attitude. By the invisible hand of social pressure, we fall, as if by grace, into our proper place. Social tensions are the stuff of poetic beauty. We make endless divinations into the secrets of perfect strangers. We know what we are after. Hints of secrecy, privacy, mystery, marvel, power, silence, guilt, and excitement flash in an instant across our eyes.

                While the great organs of the nation perpetuate endless social processing, the processing of trauma into power, and this through talk shows, book deals, news, television, stand up comedy, we each meanwhile are a social processor, taking in the world substance, and rendering back with a personal touch added. We add a swerve, a small difference that makes all the difference.

                Art epitomizes this process; art simplifies the complexities of life, makes them enjoyable and comprehensible. Literary criticism is the study of life. What do these stories do with their figures but distinguish what is all mushed together in daily life? The villain distances the evil from the heart of the hero. Different voices are safety valves. This man says that unpopular thing that needs to be said just to be shouted down. Had he not said it, we would be inwardly oppressed by our secret share therein. This is how our parents become principles, tones of authority that add to the many voices we take for moral authority in our psychic eco-system. “Nothing less than the mightiest original non-subordinated soul has ever really, gloriously led or can ever lead,” perhaps, but we must master these internalized forces, we must convert the gods and God to our own alter. We must know our heart and master our face.

                We distrust strangers. Yet we are chided to be polite, and so we feel guilty for our mistrust. These synaptic gaps between people, the unsaid and the insinuated, collude towards a fuller collective consciousness, a society that itself has a personality. Negatives, when shared, become positive. We share a collective guilt. That negativity becomes the empty slot of a slot puzzle; having a negation, we have space to move.

                Love is guilt, a shared conspiracy, an “us versus the world” by which individual pride is dissolved and absorbed into the skin of a group pride. Eros’ arrow pierces the heart of pride. Sex is the doing and undoing of greatness. When my heart gets into a form, and wants to execute a certain operation, it aligns whoever contingently is nearby into the posture of cooperation. As fantasies and imagination differentiate energy into motives, into directions of action, these various roles and relationships I take on, these various masks I wear, each to the unique group I play in, constellate around me and express different feelings, while I slowly charge myself for grand expressions.

                Afterwards, I am grateful that I did it and grateful I am done. We look back at periods of life and shudder at how intolerable it would be to return to them. But at the time they were tolerable. The intolerability grew more pronounced over time. We lead many lives in this lifetime, we reincarnate after every great event – the college years, the first job, marriage and so forth. The next big thing frees us of the excesses of the last. And thus we build an alter, something that works as an alter, and purify ourselves for using that alter. To lead a perfect life is to align habits to values and strive and err towards greatness. Ama grows. All the universe grows, trips, falls, stands again, walks proudly onwards.

                And to Ama, the highest love in our life, when we are in a guilt and away from that love, or think we are, we might cry out “I miss you with my guts! I am eager for you always! Even pain from you is savored. I take all you give and adore you for it. I press for your full as truth lips over mine.”

                The spiral of the heart has a bit of excess. That is how it falls into grace, falls farther outwards, gaining territory, swelling in power and pride. In this, the guilt of falling short, of failing to do what we really could never have done in the first place, is structural, is built into our path of increase. A necessary function. “Guilt is an illness in the way pregnancy is an illness.” Ama in all this, in every degree, never rejects any part of us.


                Guilt, in itself, as a substance, is neither moral nor immoral. It is a fact of physiology, a fact of sociology, a relationship, ultimately, regarding what is owed. How we handle our guilt is the moral question. The majorly depressed man feels a preponderance of guilt; feels so utterly weighed down by it he might suffocate, though he has committed no crime in particular. His virtue is not in his having or not having guilt, but in what methods he uses to process the feeling, to relieve himself of its burden, to turn it into a motivation for a greater good. Virtue, properly, is creative, not in what we are given, but in how we use what we are given; not what we feel, but how we use what we feel. Heaven is the image of what we create. Each man is his own reward. We conceive someone star-crossed since birth, who managed to make his poor fate, and perhaps that of his neighbors, a degree less bleak, as being more divine than the man who was given all -- great genes, great family, great wealth -- who did nothing to increase the stock, nothing to add to it. A man is ultimately answerable to himself, not the rationalizing ego, but the deeper self.

                Best then to keep both eyes open when plumbing one’s memories. Best to appraise one's real limits, to know one’s actual heft and swing. Limitations can be built upon so far as they are known; so far as they are not known, they may trip us in the dark.

                Our childhood shames and guilts persist even if as adults we know better. I can still feel the fury that inspired my careful revenge against my mother; as a young child, I could not call her names, or shout, or express violence. So I colored her a picture, and upon presenting it to her, tore it to pieces. The childish gesture is transferrable. The logic of it applies as well to adults, is a strategy. Everything is everything: the logosphere of pure ideas fills out the substance of the mythosphere of archetypal stories, and those stories live through all we do.

                I left parochial school in the sixth grade after the teacher questioned why I did not go to the Lutheran church as did the other students; my parents felt the slight, and moved me to a public school. The one friend to keep my acquaintance was Matt, a recently made friend; his parents lamented my move, as I was Matt's first friend, so I kept on with him as a penpal. I became obsessed with collecting comic book cards, and Matt started collecting them too. I had decided in the 3rd grade to be a writer, and was trying to write a novel; Matt attempted to write one too. When a few years later my parents moved us out of state, Matt gifted me all his comic cards. I felt burdened by this. I felt I owed him. I promised to make him a copy of my first book, when it was completed, a catalog of all the monsters ever imagined in folklore and myth (an ambitious project I never finished). I did not understand his nonchalance in the gift; I felt indebted to him. Only much later did I figure out that the cards meant nothing to him, and that he collected them to be my friend.

                Maturity opens the eyes. We begin to remember the queer riddles of our youth, to ponder at mom and dad's divorce, whose mysterious cause was always deferred to "when you are older," and, when you are older, politely minimized. Enough experience and reflection gives the divination of the ancient crisis, and we intuit the situation. If I feel a pang of guilt for rejecting the religion of my parents, the religion also of my remarried parents, if I feel abashed to admit to my father that I conceive of the divine as our mother, and he reproaches himself for not being their for me as a boy, I would scold him for this: I don't want to pity him. I'd like, if I can, to find more to be proud of. If he feels responsible for the damnation of my immortal soul, how can I but feel guilty for his guilt? Or if my mother-in-law feels God is punishing her by giving her a mentally-disabled granddaughter, or my (step) father laments that I no longer believe in God, to whom I may pray, to heal my daughter, must I not resort to my core virtue of independence, and disown these interpretations and insinuations, while not yet rebuking their imposture?

                These curves of logic knit me close to my own children, that unlike my father I will remain by my three children at all costs, that though my mother failed to understand my own mental problems, I would loyally support my daughter’s -- loyalty as an indirect spite, as a moral ascendency to those who I feel wronged me -- all are a sort of knitting of commitment, but not strong enough to secure the caprices of my heart. There had to be a primordial love for my children in and of themselves, that held me in place, and an unthinkably oppressive guilt, in potential, if ever I forsook them.

                Yet I never warmed to duty, I felt duty to be hateful, unless it were redeemed by creative adaptation. The moral guidance of my (step) dad, in how my brothers and I were to play video games -- we were not allowed to watch each other play lest we figured out the secrets of the game, and of course "strategy books" were hateful, not to be touched, -- intensified my sense of independent motive, the emotional independence my mother said the divorce bequeathed on me so that I no longer played with the other children, but did my own thing, and with such intensity that the other kids grew curious, and asked to do the same, to seek out insects in the ditch, and so forth. That I could not own a thing unless I created it, could not use a thing unless it were my own, became my guiding light. The guilt of quoting, of boasting of something outside of myself, of something I was merely a part of, I could not do. What I was to become would use these things, digest them, process them, bring them to a living system. My happiness was through them, and so I affirm them all, and have no reproach for what allowed me.

                My love of Greek myths in sixth grade, which aimed to write a book in which the Olympians were dethroned by the monsters – the chimera, the Cerberus, the Medusa -- who rallied together at their injustice, perhaps expressed my sense of being something monstrous, and hence abandoned. Such indirect pivoting of affects is another name for life and love. And while of course my sexual maturation involved many shames and guilts as a necessary part of maturation, it was an abiding sense of being unlovable -- romantically so -- that kept me shy and introverted, and safe to develop without any thing pressing my impressibility.

                The full release from the situatedness came with manic bliss, the sense of grandiosity, in which I identified with Ama, the ever-loving All -- which characterized the strongest experience of my life. This feeling of original innocence, of eternal innocence, the reminder of that original sense of life I had held all those years, was my great spiritual awakening. It did not negate guilt, for when that returned, I was able to subordinate it to happiness. I had discovered my unshakable center, and would never forget it.


                Pride is an honest appraisal of our strengths, humility an honest appraisal of our weaknesses; guilt is the opposite of pride, a pain in our faults, not to appraise them, but to suffer them. Yet moral sermons attempt to make the proud feel guilty of their pride, and the guilty to pride that they are guilty. One is to boast in God what a sinner he is. A scapegoat is meant to take on our guilt, rituals are conferred. Those are so many social conduits, the internet of expression, not the self alone. What we are to ourselves we forget in the world; so many roles do we wear, so many expectations do we confront, that the inner voice dims. We are impressed with the world, yet ashamed to steal its ideas. We cannot be like the Christian who would damn the world to save himself. We confront an eternity of self-knowledge. The time for reflection, to be alone with one’s speech, in his writing, to be alone in his thoughts, in thinking, to be alone in his feelings, in music, to meditate through the tools of meditation – reading, music, walking, physical exertion, sitting, mirror meditating – bring him before the mirror of Lissidy, that deepest of lovers who protects our central being by showing us the things we have blinded ourselves to. This self-knowledge requires the courage of Ovath, the self-penetrating God, allfather, who to discover arcane knowledge, penetrates himself with the spear of penetration, the gaze of his one eye, the anxiety of world wisdom, which in its inception gives us release.


                Our virtues include the circle of practicality, pragmatism, living our daily life, and that requires the right foot of optimization, making the most of what we are given. If we feel rotten with self-doubt, then know that the rotten fruit fertilizes the seed. Internal conflict is felt as guilt. But if we ignore the inner conflict it will approach us externally as world conflict. Maturation is through this, through the intensification and balance of individualism against integration into society, the wisdom, not as the East has it, to escape the world, but as Nietzsche’s Zarathustra has it, to go to the mountain, and then return to the world, to interrelate the two. We must theologize the secular, secularize the theological.

                We seek to fail and need to fail, to earn our bragging rights. Attitude precedes action: we feel guilty before the deed. What matters is how we use this guilt. The deeper emotions insulate themselves in surface emotions. Anger is the door of your heart. We are distant until you open up with anger – before sorrow, before joy – such is my beloved to me.

                We say that duty is love protecting itself. Love commits, to ensure the joy of contact can be sustained. Yet in this identity, that love is duty, we yet have the split that love is not duty, that we feel the ache of duty and the wane of love. The use of guilt is to balance quantas of power between them, to move motivation from one to the other. The give-and-take of love is the guilt of owing kindness, just as we feel the pinch of guilt if we interrupt the give-and-take of conversation. Guilt is a place holder. Its use is in placing us.


                When the lawyer Leonard Kerpelman took on the case of Murray O’Hair and her son, William Murray, who was bullied in high school for excusing himself from school prayer, a sense of public moral outrage against Kerpelman was inevitable. He was, however, a curmudgeon, and near the end of his career was jailed for contempt of court for being "so obnoxious that the dignity of the court and the orderly administration of justice was castrated." You have to have that front to keep socially imposed guilt at bay. Nevertheless, the hatemail against him was such that he felt he needed to clear the air with comedic deflation, writing, “Those who expressed fear for my immortal soul: Don't worry yourselves. I have been a lawyer too long to be eligible for salvation anyway, though when I arrive at the celestial conference on the matter, I think I may be able to talk myself out of whatever difficulties I am in at the time."

                The moral implications of being the boy who changed school prayer, for Madalyn O’Hair’s son, might have contributed to his later conversion to Christianity, after which he vigorously campaigned to reintroduce school prayer into schools, claiming that the courts had since misused the precedent the Supreme Court had set. When William Murray converted, his mother said, “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times ... he is beyond human forgiveness.”

                Meanwhile, she adopted his teenage daughter, and with her other son, Jon Murray, the three of them were the center of American Atheists, a group she founded to protect the rights of nonbelievers. They would be kidnapped, with the secret collusion of her son Jon Murray, by three men, who robbed them and brutally murdered them. One of them was a previous worker for American Atheists, whom Madalyn had humiliated in a public newsletter, saying that he had beaten and urinated on his own mother. The indirect reference to her own son, the transference of guilt, is obvious.

                The scenario reads like fiction, but upon a cursory glance suggests some counters of guilt and its transference into a more stable emotion. The solidifying of unstable emotions (pain) into controlled emotions (pleasure), requires setting up the symbols and actions that can convert emotion into emotion. For some, anger is more controllable than sadness, arrogance more controllable than isolation.

                Let’s say there is something in you that wants to scar the face of beauty, the souls of those who shine. How could we in the inner of our garden permit such rueful intelligence and critical superiority amidst these subtle things, these threaders that gossamer the wind? Such externalized conversions of frustration, such projections of guilt, are so many levers and converters of inner imbalance. A little alcohol, a little sex, a lot of extra sleep, puts you were you belong again. The artificial controls do not belong to the situation, they balance it. Somehow, we must express our criminality and punish it. We identify with the villains of the news, if only in appraising them, and then immediately denounce them in disgust. We need the narcotic of endless stories to balance the drone of our own.

                After all, sorting out part from part requires disowning things we love, breaking away from proximities, betraying intimacies, for the greater gain of autonomy. A thing isn’t perfect until it has been broken and repaired. A marriage isn’t perfect until it has spiritually divorced. The breaking point known, it can be predicted, counted upon, depended in -- no longer feared, but respected.

                We come to negate negation, untie the knot, unstitch the tensions. We choose friends who are better than us, but also friends who are worse than us, whose vices keep our own vices in check. One cannot pity without a sense of superiority, and for that sense of superiority, some will pity anything. Yet we in ourselves know extremes.

                An affect rises and chokes us. The knot can be broken with drugs or violence – and criminal violence is a form of self-therapy, the conversion of anxiety into guilt. In this, indiscretion is indirectly sought out deliberately to stand as a symbol and converter. How to bring a mood to its crisis, it’s unstable point? How to exaggerate? The pented seeks expression. No one ever regretted doing their best, and even dreadful deeds have a sublime austerity if they fully express a meaning. The depression impotent to act seeks perpetual frustration to build its energy reserves. Depression needs pain. We suppress impulses with levers, actions with words, words with expressions. We put one emotion in place of the other. In this, pain is progress. To be able to feel a pain is to admit we have it, to realize we’ve been suffering all along. The therapist knows he must address the hate first, the sadness later.

                We must deconstruct our emotional channels to rewire them. We must change the space and time on a turgid pain to depressurize it. We seek controlled situations to do it right. Self-harm is an attempt at self-expression. We seek to open the heart to flow again. Violence cures depression. For the blocked affect deadens the system. Where feeling has become numb only extremes can reach.

                In this, humor is indirect aggression. If it is too direct, too angry, we need rage to be able to laugh. We have to be situated to be able to laugh at a joke. Man having no natural food must convert the world into food. Though we all with our tongues desire to speak, we must invent a language able to express these experiences and the moods they build. We need to construct an inner poetry. To do something one would normally feel too guilty to do, he must build recalcitrance.

                This too fits in with love. Guilt is part of love, part of happiness. Love is an abbreviation for a complicated set of emotions. The problems in life are where the world resists. What is matter but resistance? We must own our place in history, pay debts we never made, as the old is digested and incorporated into the womb of the new.

                In all this, sensitivity must be cultivated, and what we find pleasure in must first hurt us, just as upstanding pride grows from the itch of guilt, and the persistent faith comes from the mouth of doubt. We commit crimes because we feel guilt. Punishment is more endurable than guilt, guilt more endurable than anxiety, and anxiety more endurable than panic. In the ecosystem of the heart, in the conversion of each to each, as the emotions feed on each other, what matters is optimization, making the most of what we have, what matters is practicality, doing what we can, not what we can’t.


                A term is opened when it is set in opposition -- twice. Pride and humility versus pride and guilt. This loosen the terms and makes them limber. The flowing of concepts and oppositions are more curious than dogma suggests. The greatest evils are done in the name of goodness.

                When we take passion to be the opposite of duty, as play is the opposite of work, we must remember a pure play divorced from necessity is yet necessary to develop the freedom of power. Freedom is responsible as obedience is not. The child’s toy is the man’s tool: play is preparation.

                Mastering a system and knowing its exploits requires holding a gestalt, an all-view, a metaphor that works like a map. The symbols we revere, religious or otherwise, are like computer chips that process emotions for us. We provide the affects, they direct them. You have to play at the rules to know the exploits. Playing a system means studying it obediently until you know how to inside and out. The game of life is mastered by strategy, by a love of free and disciplined play. With guilt as a negative space, the feeling of not owning what one uses, one can master it as just one more move, one which converted is of the heart substance, of creativity itself.

                Pride is such that we would feel guilty if our virtues were untrue. The limit of our joy in ourselves is in truth: our self-image requires implicit guilt. In this, Sovf Lux, the Holy Spirit, or language itself, envelops all, she is the enveloper as Ovath is the penetrator, and frees possibility with the tones of ache for growth. We need an immersion in language to dissolve our experiences. The sympathy of Sovf Lux and the pride of Ovath balance each other. Yet it is Lissidy who shows us secrets.


                Secrets tell. The body is a tongue of expression, every manner and tension publishes our being, but in such a script that some read this part, others that, but nobody all. Attitude is propensity, is the habitual feelings that inspire the muscles and nerves, the character of our body. There is a gap, nevertheless, between feeling and expression, a negative space, a space of freedom, which allows a swerve, a difference, the emergence of novelty in a closed system. We are bound by our bodies, and any credible view of eternity, of an afterlife, must consider the spirit as basically embodied, as being a finer substance, being, in fact, material. Certainly our brains correspond to our minds, and not only our brains, but our whole expressive organism.

                Metabolism is style. The essence of style is in tone and cadence. Cadence is rhythm, the metabolism of our life, and our metabolism must digest all our experiences and remember them in the knit and nerve of the body and sinew. When we get sick, we have a chance for reflection: pain focuses on itself. Our illness is our monastery. Whatever our infirmity, it is a tower of isolation by which our voice to ourselves grows credible. Suffering maketh profound.

                These moods have their moments; we can, on the day of our brother’s death, still manage, perhaps, to laugh, or smile, though the overall tone is despondency. A mood is a congealed emotion, a prolonged gesture. We can imagine the affect tone rising and falling like a curve in calculus, with the emotion of any given moment being “up or down” in comparison to that baseline, but the baseline rising and falling over months. Different moods are different situations by which we process experience. Each mood its use, every feeling the womb of an idea. A nation can at any moment in its history produce an art, a culmination, possible only because of that exact population and its historical position. History never repeats. Likewise, a man is capable of doing only what has been done to him; a man can create only from his experience, combined with the experience of creating, as the flame converts fuel into light.

                Know, therefore, your body. Conquer your face. Your biography is written across your skin, announces itself through your manners and figures, your gestures and expressions. A homosexual knows a homosexual, a fundamentalist knows a fundamentalist, a pedophile knows a pedophile, a bipolar knows a bipolar, for our bodies express a sophisticated mannerism others hone in on. Self-possession is the basis of manner. The past lives in the present, history is in the tissue of today’s muscle. To have faced your fears you no longer hold them in your hide. When another gestures at what you fear, having faced it, you may scoff. The hidden threats, accusations, and blackmail that pass for idle chit chat slip off the skin of the self-possessed man as water slips off the fur of a seal. And yet to have sensitivity we require vulnerability. To be able to sense a thing we must be sensitive to it, and sensitivities are weaknesses. Tensions are negations, knots. We tense to hide a vulnerability, to control it. We hide from ourselves and others our hidden guilts, but the man who is willing and able to see what we have hidden from ourselves thereby controls us. Our body holds our truth.

                In this, a physical disease is a symptom for a psychological one, as psychoanalysis alleged, though perhaps the illness be purely organic. Even people in comas get sick, but once a mind is involved, that sickness gets interpreted according to our attitudes and beliefs, our feelings and thinking, and becomes meaningful, becomes a language, despite its precedence to language. We cramp the muscles to stop a pain, wince to avoid being hit, because we imagine a pain, imagine a blow. And having fallen sick, we use it to advantage, characterize it as a penance or a sacrifice, as a gift, perhaps, to a loved one, as the worker who insists on doing a great job despite the flu.

                Our illnesses, mental and physical, though not psychosomatically caused, always have a psychosomatic meaning, and must be interrogated in terms of past memories, future expectations, and the fantasy life of living possibility. That we think God is punishing us with a disease holds fruitful meaning whether or not she is, whether or not she exists. Guilt exposes itself, through tone, texture, and nomenclature. A poker player learns your tells, a scientologist learns your withholdings, a pastor learns your sins.

                Having exposed to yourself your weaknesses, faults, and follies, you have the ascendant position of giving them the most powerful and empowering interpretation. Both Japan and the U.S.A. during WWII wished to map the exact coastline of U.S.A.’s West Coast, despite ideological differences, because facts demand respect, and if we are to strategize, we must not do so ideally, but by facing those hard inescapable realities that constitute the mud and dirt facts of the living world. Know, therefore, your body, by reflecting on it in action and in rest. Know how to admit your faults to yourself so that you can create something beautiful from them. Have the courage to look at yourself in the mirror.


                Our cells are part of our tissues, our tissues part of our organs, our organs part of our systems, our systems part of our organism; a man is part of a family, part of a church, part of a state and government; we exist within social bodies. Problems that exist in the individual can be resolved be transcending the plane, by taking the frustrated energy from one level and bringing it to the next.

                The problem of guilt in the individual precedes wrong doing. Like any other chemical produced by the body, it seeks in the world its correct expression, its placement in the social world, and as a sort of debt, sets us in a web of world dependencies. Were a friend unable to process our feelings for us and return them through speech and shared activities, we would seek another outlet, another friend, or a set of friends, an author, or a trauma capable of adding enduring influence on our system.

                Politics, religion, and the economy, three topics recommended to avoid in polite conversation, give the physical objects that we impress our meanings to, give us a meta-language, or a language of group bodies. Religions use universal symbols as a mental technology to organize and orchestrate effects. So does secular society. Stalin’s traitor and Hitler’s Jew were scapegoats to exorcise a sense of guilt. Removed from those systems, we may do the same things to them (to communists and Nazis) that they did to their own scapegoats: load them up with our own guilt and purge ourselves of them.

                What is required for this is to adopt the moralistic tone. Moralizing is a matter of affect. A man merely has to show disgust – “you did that?” – and we are ashamed, in the same way as a professor can walk up to a student in his lecture hall and demonstrate the blushing reflex merely by pointing at him or her.

                Guilt spreads. By sharing a guilty pleasure we englue ourselves to a social body. On a smaller scale, in a romance, we learn each other’s moves, small moves, heart moves, gestures, and after a decade of love – it takes at least ten years to even know a person – we start to mirror each other, we sync our metabolisms, and, in one of life’s supreme poetries, we make from our bodies children in our image, the incarnation of our love, we also learn these moves, small moves, heart moves, gestures, and take them for normal and regular until, exposed to the world, they have to betray them and rebel against us.

                The logic implicit in “private vices, public virtues,” is that these personal guilts build to great social use, and that we pay for our excesses into the wealth of the world. What a group can’t stand is a defiant pride in the individual. “Pride goeth before a fall” was spoken in resentment against the man who would be something in himself. It is a fantasy that the man with strength will be broken. Some God will do the dirty work. Punishable pride? Why? For what hurts our enemy more than a power greater than his own? Whoever refuses to join us is therefore against us, and the most hateworthy of persons is the traitor. All religions despise this one the most. Dante imagined Judas in the very mouth of Satan at the center of the universe.

                Disagreement with the status quo is felt as guilt. Progress is felt as guilt. Prometheus is punished because invention is felt as transgression. We must express our guilt either as defiant insolence or as begging for forgiveness, but either way it is the same guilt finding expression.

                Expression is necessary: accumulative silence is dangerous. Silence kills. If we can’t speak it here, we will speak it there, and if not directly, then indirectly. We fight old battles in new scenes. The past will not be disowned, but we must build on history, not under it. The moral-toned accusers would undermine the past, and this from resentment against today’s strengths. Envy’s favorite pose is moral superiority. And to forgive, we must first blame: he who forgives all blames all.

                Artists and other scourges of mankind are the sensitive nerves who feel this the worst. A profound poet feels the coordinental shift of his age. He too has his pride, but his sympathy is just as inflated and great; and in ego-building we must anticipate the terrorists who attack a thing precisely because it is tall and proud.

                Ever ready to laugh at the deflation of pretension, we in envy would imagine all greatness as pretension, that all men are created equal, equally worms before God. This humility comes from acidic envy. Yes, excessive people make us grateful we are not, yet a sympathy with greatness allows us to become great.

                Let us admit we envy, let us admit we feel guilt, let us at least own the facts. Justifications are usually unjustified. A man explains himself only to perjure himself. Owning our feelings, we handle them as weapons, as tools, as sensitiveness. The lover who loves less threatens to leave to get her will. This heartless bit of shrewdness is at least prescient of outcomes. One wishes to feel superior, and moral superiority requires only minor sacrifices. But lacking love, and the guilt of love, one can be cold, distant, and controlling.

                Victims wince. Those who crave punishment seek it out, though they think they are doing otherwise. How to be loving and knowing, to both see and feel? How to admit our vulnerability without being its victim?

                I am reminded of the time I nudged a woman who was exiting a bus too slowly, only to discover she was in fact crippled. In moments of impatience, I am reminded of that rudeness. She looked at me as if to say “Really? You pushed me?” and I looked at her as if to say “Dear God, I’m sorry!” I still blush to remember. My patience is in fact my impatience in self-reflection. The memories that embarrass me remind themselves, perhaps, to control my conduct. Prescient of my impatience I am able to anticipate its use and bar its misuse.

                I am able also to use my envy for my growth. No man has pride who lacks respect. Greatness reveres greatness in all its forms. Yet I feel intimidated by powers and beauties I sense are not my own. Ignorance laughs. I don’t laugh. I see impositions and imposing figures. I would fight them.

                In this, I choose a few friends, a few enemies, and focus on them, I let them represent the world to me. I would wrestle each God in his heaven, but give me time. Friends and lovers let me process my mistakes and guilts; they receive our moods through our speech, process them, and return them back through their responses. We do the same, collectively, through our celebrities and high profile criminals. Mercy spoils a criminal – there is a time for hate, aesthetic and exact. Punishment purifies. How absolutely necessary, in a justice system, that a prisoner be not degraded in the process. We are all serving time with him.

                The youthful insistence on purity, on never saying a lie, as Washington was supposed to have said, the purity of a Thoreau, who would never compromise on his hate for slavery, etc., because he could skip his taxes and relax in jail with no family to depend on him, works for those men in position to live for those ideas. They’ve wed themselves to them. Such men live for us, as we all live for each other. Emerson in his early journals was able to process and comprehend the puritan guilt of new England; those early journals are wordy and ponder topics of God and sin. But having had that discipline, having solved the problems, he redeems his own soul, becomes the catholic soul, the Oversoul, is the perfect man, lacks all guilt and conscience.

                How then do I do the same, when at times I feel I’ve fallen out of sympathy? I lose touch, intimacy, approach my loved ones with accusations. I can’t enjoy touch. I am unable to touch anybody. When the biography of Ives said he and Harmony had a secret love, a deep love, I am envious, I feel my marriage isn’t so ideal for my art, that I must build her up and yet be autonomous in this one aspect. There is something alien in my heart that few can relate to. Not few, none. Nobody can respond to this part of me. It is my solitude. The world can only answer it with silence.

Guilt is a relationship. Guilt, full grown, is pride, or self-overcoming, and the substrate to all relationships is the self-relationship, which is also the hardest to realize or articulate. So we externalize, and seek ourselves in others. This tone and rhythm make the music of the family. Setting elements in harmony requires putting them in sympathy, making them resonate. Proximity and intimacy are required.

                Guilt comes from love, from a sense of owing and owning the beloved. Guilt as a negative feeling soils us – we don’t politely talk of hygienic matters. Yet every cell produces waste, and the full eco-system of the heart must subsist on itself. Silence kills. Guilt confesses. But to hold to silent guilt and put the fluid on its course short-circuits the externalization of being, absolves one to himself. Our relationship to ourselves must balance, channel, and determine our place in the group.


                Ama the All feels guilt not only through us, but of her own accord, and so she has through every mask, every God, every Allah she has assumed for whoever so approached her. She is living and knows all life’s expressions. She subordinates her emotions to her greater happiness, and we in our ascendency do likewise. When she speak to us it is not as a mere cosmic cheerleader, nor yet as an exacting couch, though she adopts such tones as necessary, but as the fullness of what we ourselves might become, by using our actual substance, or lived experiences, whatever they are, which are precious precisely because they are our own. Owning our experiences, and apprising what we truly own, is the wisdom of self-knowledge. What you have been given you must give back, but what comes from your innermost is yours forever, to shine saving light on all the universe. Those moments of lost touch, of constricted soul, are as necessary to the human spirit as molting is to snakes. If the heart didn’t break, how would it shed its husk? In all this, in all our actions, crimes, successes, guilts and greatest blessings over the world, Ama is with us, and nothing in this world or the next could sever the love that is her hold on us. And yet what emerges from our innermost is a new light that she in turn receives from us. And so, as we feel gratitude towards the Universe for being our mother, our lover, the giver of our deepest experiences, so she expresses gratitude towards us, in the ultimate give and take, as we express something profoundly new into the world, and as we spiral to wider-reaching greatness.


                Therefore, I stand and affirm all I am and all I've done as works of perfection coming from perfection, I own my guilts, faults, and flaws as part of the same project that produces all the beauty I am, and all I will be; I affirm myself Daniel, of that religion that gave me this name, something I've grown past but grown from; Christopher, the discoverer of this nation, mindful of the atrocities he wrought and regarding him great and worthy despite them; June, of the great Pagan tradition that invented philosophy and brought reason and logic to the high report I take it to be; and I deny nothing in my history, but redeem it all as necessary, even as it was chosen, and absolve all that allows me, that brought me into being, the religion and religions that gave me my values, the nations and nation that gave me my home, this incomparable United States that supports me as I support it and in my love for our values give my work first to her, and then the world. In all this, I proclaim the original innocence that is the heritage of mankind, that nothing we do or could imagine to do could ever separate us from the Love of All, the Universal Joy who is Mother of us All, nor her aspect as Ama, our lover and sister. In all these things and in all I am, I celebrate life in its completeness as well as the life that I am.


\ ~@M@~ /