Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Seasons Greetings, Allays 862-874

Daniel Christopher June to the Students of Life:



Merry Christmas to you all! Michigan as turned into a Norse nightmare of ice trolls and ice giants: my Aryan heritage is reminded that we call this "the best time of year" because in fact it's the worst. But all the snowfall is an excuse to get exercise shoveling snow.


I have a new job! I am no longer working at Pine Rest as a Peer Support Specialist. I've been hired into Our Place (of Hope Network) also as a Peer Support Specialist, but I wil be working with other Peers, which will be nice, and I will be mostly leading groups. Like Pine Rest, it is officially a "Christian Agency," whose goal is to, "in Christian Service," help people "Overcome their struggles."


Tis Christmas, and all that implies, so I am eager to see the abbreviated set of my extended family on Christmas Eve, but will miss my brothers, and must send my gifts afar to reach them. Us adults, we realize the truth of the old saw, "Better to give than receive," in that, really, there is nothing all that worth getting as an adult: if you wanted it, you would have bought it, yet in gifting to others, we can divine a sort of gif they didn't know they wanted all along.


Nevertheless, I respect the pre-converted Scrooge better than his hysterical redeemed version. I've become quite cynical in my old age. I look upon the television, with McDonalds advertising to my children: the paid actors on television open their happy meals, and time stops, the lighting changes, magical music comes on, it starts snowing inside. Eating their crappy food and playing (for a few moments) with the useless piece of plastic inside becomes the equivalent of some sort of miracle. As suggestible as children are to tales of wonder, they come to think of fast food junk as some sort of epiphany from the divine. I hate it all.


Anyway, here are my latest Allays from the scripture I am writing, Allays of Master Play. Please give me any feedback you care to: I definitely find it all useful.


Take care, Caretakers!




* 862 *

People are adjectival. I am not only myself, but so-and-so's friend, partner, father, son, enemy, neighbor: all these relationships modify, open up, intensify, foil and contrast, allow and determine my self-expression. Personality is self-expression. I take Jillian as synecdoche, a part of my heart who stands for a whole. Synecdoche chooses a representative part, metonymy reduces the spiritual to the adjacent physical.

Be coy and let few deep. Who is saved is lost to what saves him. He who assumes his lot will never forfeit it. I am I. As I am, so I do. These friends and enemies provoke me, force me to make the ambiguous potential into the determinative actual. Who must I soon mention when introducing myself afresh?

Friends are so many adjectives to modify my personality, their words are adverbs to modify my actions. Half of what I say and think is a quotation, a translation or response to their words. My days are shared.

The meaning of my day? These allays are the meaning of my days. A few conversations, or brief parts of conversations, these are the substance of my life. Most of what I say is nonsense, mere scaffolding and padding to allow those brief touches of sense. Would that I could be edited down to a pure and universal pith. How to reduce a whole to a cluster?

We represent a previous summer though a small constellation of moments. The rich daily detail is forgotten into an overall tone. So a friend's name assumes numinosity – we echo his soul. Even a regrettable friend can make a worthy consort.

Better a second best today than a perfectly ideal that never comes. The ideal is a lie, a betrayal of the actual. Work with what is to make what can be. To hold a soul as your own – a dear boon. Try a dozen friends to find the one.

A single success justifies endless failures. That Edison failed so protractedly in inventing his light bulb rhetorically intensifies the glory of his success. We make and lose many souls before we find our tribe and know our home. Once we fin them, let us praise those we love.

We participate in art by praising it. Gratitude is ownership – a mutual taking in. We praise this God or that by way of advertising, a feat that has little to do with fact. Not the best product, but the best advertised prevails. Companies sell attitudes, they sell us our personalities as consumers of their products. They sell us our souls, for seeming is being, nor need we take the OmniGod so literally. God is called infinite yet all we see of her is the finite. How great is God? Great enough to embody this universe, but perhaps not one better. Since our fantasy of a better universe is very much a part of this one, the comparative can make no sense in terms of the All. Adjectives break down upon ultimate things. The best we can do is use a metaphorical part to represent the whole, and all religions aim to sell God on an open market. We take it literally and figuratively; we take it every which way.

Little in a dream is literal, yet it all feels strangely meaningful, to such an extent that psycoanalysis could foist a pseudoscience over dream interpretation. Ambiguity is opportunity. Dreams communicate without being interpreted. Ditto art, and most everything communicated in this world. Nonsense means the most. Get annoyingly literal and reductive and you turn into a bore. Make your boredom a holy crusade and you've become an atheist. Not what a thing means, but what it could mean concerns the poet. Meaning is interpretation. The true miracles are interpretive break-throughs, a shattering of the vessels, the making of a new trope, the furnace of Sophia Lux, the all-tongued.

Books, as the most perfected utterances, as living words that survive through time, mean the most as commentaries of our own experience. They process our mundane day-to-day experiences for us, show the profundity of daily life. All that fantastic overlay was to seduce us, for few can stare in the bald mirror for long. We see the sun through seeing by the sun.


* 863 *

The ratios between work, play, rest, study, and worship differ not only from person to person to such a dynamic that moralizing such matters is unjust, it even differs from season to season in a given individual's life. The working-class produces working-class ethics to idealize their way of life and map the temptations that characterize it. A Bohemian would die under such an ethic, could never suffer it, would be driven to depression and suicide. One law for ox and lion is tyranny. Likewise, after the Protestants, we refer to our ideal career as our 'vocation,' when work and worship coincide, when our duty to man becomes our duty to the divine. Perhaps, like Ives and Spinoza, our profession is not our vocation – perhaps our hobby or play matters more to eternity than our diligence and decency. Being virtuous takes courage, as the name suggests, and this means the courage to be immoral. True virtue is immoral, obeys a higher law, the law and necessity of one's own being. Having bowed to that, bow to nothing else.


* 864 *

When the time was ripe, given necessities felt so important their rhetoric took religious strain, a system of importance, such that Judaism became a sort of conspiracy for surviving amidst foreigners, Christianity a means of being a friendly neighbor amidst mixed company, Islam the destruction of polytheism,as a shared enemy to unite tribes, and Scientific Materialism the aggrandizement of the scientific method. Having reached their apotheosis in a given context, they survived by dying and being brought to other contexts, reincarnating in different cultures. Just as there is no incredible belief, no matter how patently absurd, but has been regarded sacred by some people, no practice so silly or meaningless, but it has at sometime been felt to be divine, so does every form, every way of life, every hobby, even, receive, or potentially receive, its apotheosis as a religious form.


* 865 *

Give the world world, reflect it upon itself. What you make of earth echoes as your heaven – every word germinates into infinity, so take no care with what you say, but let perfection flow easily from your innermost to your outermost. What you give to Ama in secret she enjoys in secret; she reciprocates your love. My heart is a secret garden; I bring out my treasures for the man of treasures, and bring out trifles for the lover of trifles. I give each man himself, and he counts me generous. I listen to the blind, for he is the seer; I watch the deaf, for he sees the dance; I listen to the dead, for as they swoon Ama lisps them to her bosom, not the good and righteous only, for all are her children. My foolishness and prankishness allow me to speak the truth without consequence. I love my children, and woe to the one who says, "Hate the child," for these allays are my child, and the Angel, the Chosen, and the Miracle are my children, and for them I give of myself to gain more of myself. I sacrifice myself to myself, and where I invest, Ama grants more. Open your innermost when alone before Ama – this is the only true Eros, when you properly add to the universe. Gift is gain, sacrifice is investment. Suffering empowers, pleasures educate. Because you were in the beginning, with Ama before the mirror, your being went in two directions: before the beginning to allow yourself and towards the never-ending to exalt yourself. When you are alone, then I am with you. Build for yourself an altar, and cleanse yourself to be worthy to touch your altar. As the Pilgrims flree Europe to escape worldly temptations, so hide your joy in the abstinence of a private orgy, your love of your own for your own.


* 866 *

We need love and importance. Importance is comparative; the basis of status is hierarchy. We manage to pity the poor among us (pity is a conscientious way of looking down), yet all but the poorest have it better than ancient kings: a longer life expectancy, better health, instant communication across the world, free access to books, information, libraries, the world wide web, transportation faster than any horse. Yet the kings had something our poor lack: preeminence over their contemporaries.

We compare ourselves to those in our "class." We don't necessarily worry about billionaires, but if our brother has the better job or the prettier wife, it might annoy us. The saint or the Beautiful Soul again compares himself to the worldly; the man with peace of mind looks down upon the worried. Status is intrinsic to our being, answers one of the two basic social needs. The lesser naturally admires the better – greatness commands respect, and even resentment is a sort of twisted respect.

How, then, to make peace with one's place, to accept one's circumstances, to be content with one's lot? This by tending your own garden, cultivating your unique being, which admits of no comparison with others, a unique substance, a species unto itself which recognizes of no peer. That is to say, Self-Reliance.





* 867 *

The logosphere of pure ideas lives within the mythosphere of action, lives within the mediasphere of ideology, lives within the mundanesphere of our daily life. How to crack the sky and open the earth, to escape time and cling to eternity? If I as an American think like an American, while the Arab thinks like an Arab, how are the two of us to join together in adoring the All? Sectarianism is just a layer, for we all are part and parcel, gift and giving of the grand all Matriall. We are all already allists.

It is easy to be frugal in scarcity, and prodigal in wealth, but the wise man is prodigal in scarcity and frugal in wealth. Let the poor give all they can, let the rich keep every cent. Only let us cease overworking some, underemploying others, this topsy-turvy inside out system – life is for leisure.

Let us seek art, not advertisements. Media overdetermines us. Thousands of commercials each day, every one a glance of ideology, so that whether we choose A or B, we necessarily chose to answer the question, to accept it as worth answering, as legitimate. To escape this deadlock we call upon madness, that deep sanity.

In the spheres of being, the corporations hold an ambivalent role; they've globalized faster than governments. They spend most of their money securing an image, a self-image, and a world-image. Their products are less important than their attitude. The rhetoric is like a religion: people are so insanely happy with the products in commercials. They promise the world, the sun and the moon and the stars, that us little nobodies will judge the very angels.

Layers of the Game, more of the same. Corporations think on the level of corporations; the employees are the nerves and muscles of that organism. Just as every cell is a person, every person is a cell.


* 868 *

For the term "World Canon," let us include all the books the world over that every educated person ought to be acquainted with. We find that so many of them are great condensations, as the Tao Te Ching, perhaps the most perfect and innocent of scriptures, anthologizes and condenses a literary tradition lost to us now; and the Quran ejaculates endless myths and legends inherited from the Judeo-Christian religion in a sort of primordial soup, with no beginning, or ending, no principle of structure; the Gospels themselves evolved from various traditions, and we know, for that myth of Adam and Eve, known the world over, the original Adam was Enki, who ate of the forbidden fruit tree produced from his own semen, became pregnant, and was delivered of, among various sisters, one Ninti, born of his rib, which plays on the Sumerian words for "rib" and "life," meaning she would be the mother of life (the pun is lost in the Hebrew take of this story). Everything lasting condenses.

The Declaration of Independence, as much a scripture as anything penned, condenses Locke, among others, condenses England, condenses Europe. I daresay even the Dhammapada, which matters much less than the practice of Buddhism, condenses plenty of Hinduism.

Our fairy tales were told and retold so that only the best elements were remembered, and the unworthy elements forgotten. The Eternal is a great condensation. Our very soul condenses from years of daily doings.


* 869 *

An entire book is to set a small constellation in the sky, a clutter of invisible terms, behind the lines, in the transitions, amidst the gaps – the overtones, the undersongs, felt, and in some readers realized, yet never deliberately, or only by a critic following a tradition of critics who prepared the way. We must fail many times to create the opportunity of success. Had we not failed, the same moment might come, but it would fail.


* 870 *

During their early years together, Heaven filled Earth with love, and held her in an eternal embrace. Finally, Earth cramped and needed to cut herself free, to push Heaven away and find space to give birth to all the world. In this sense, unreciprocated love, or the intensity of an all-consuming adoration, hollows out a womb within us. When we can finally allow ourselves to be forsaken, we've made the place for the new divine to appear. What we have prepared calls to the one worthy thereof.


* 871 *

The artist seeks the conditions by which to produce his work. Those incendiary experiences must be magnified and poeticized, set to music, to be able to make noise into eloquence, mistakes into rhyme, to seduce others into seeking the same experience for themselves. We play the fool or the tragic victim, we play all roles, to give us true hues for our personal portrait.


* 872 *

The story of Siddhartha reads as a sort of fairy tale, with the prince improbably locked in his pleasure dome, somehow never experiencing the sort of suffering that touches everybody everywhere. At least this much is psychologically true: a spoiled prince alone would find even small amounts of suffering intolerable. While most of us toil and spin, we are grateful for life, and eager for more. Only with a developed hypersensitivity, fostered, as it must, for the sharpest edge is the soonest to dull, could we curse existence as a great illusion, and reality as the Nothing.

Yet, Buddhism matters little as an ontology, and less as a psychology, and more as a practical matter that can be picked up whatever one believes or thinks he believes. Thus, Western atheists and mental health facilitators find Buddhist style meditation much simpler, marketable, and more practical than full-fledged yoga.

Detachment as core value matters when touch hurts. There is a time in all our lives, many times, by gradations, when we must cut the ties that held us, that secured us and supported us, to break the umbilical, leave the parents, end the friendship, even the deepest friendship, when our soul metamorphoses and takes on a new form. This necessary despair can't be meditated away – we simply must suffer. Growth means pain. It's supposed to hurt. We may negotiate pain by hardening muscles or distracting ourselves.




* 873 *

A simple man of principle is harder to trick than an intellectual. We live in our various societies and fancy we are free from subliminal insinuations, propaganda (public relations), and advertising. We scoff at the ridiculousness of the television commercial, which often offers but a silly joke, or some impossible display of customer ecstasy, which we discount consciously, but take inwards by insinuation. Othello gave ear to a man secretly spiteful and jealous; Psyche disobeyed her husband's commands due to the accusations of two older jealous sisters. Iago is not so rare a villain, but we all seek a sort of revenge on what wounds us with envy. "Don't envy, become," I've solidly declared, yet we envy in so many directions, and boast the most when recommending a good cause or criticizing the reprehensible. Talk is cheap, but it gives us airs. The constant insinuations and undertones, the conspiratorial demons at work in and beneath our mind, they set the tune, the hypnotic trance. Six times I doubted. The seventh I believed.

So when you identify a source of poison, excise the influence. Cloister your heart. The liar is such as to convince you even when you fully know the truth, such is the power of persuasion. So hide your innocence. Entrust it to Ama alone.


* 874 *

We've discussed how Greek gods not only subdivided the mythosphere as components of God, but each containied their opposite – Zeus god of justice, yet given to rape; Hera goddess of marriage, yet cheated upon; Hephaestus god of craftsmanship, yet lame; Aphrodite he most beautiful, yet married to the ugliest of gods; Hermes god of borders and math, but also theft and trickery; Artemis goddess of hunting yet protectress of the young, both virgin and goddess of childbirth; Ares god of war, yet cowardly. And so we need not posit our foil in a devil outside of us, but the all-inclusive contains his opposite, plays both sides the chess-board, is truly monotheistic, being one in Herself.  Ama in her virtuality contains Ovath, Sovf, Eru, and also Lissidy, goddess of seem, whose shape and being make the very game board. Thus we all call Ama by traditional or preferred titles, and fight over mere names.


-- R 88s Я --

Perfection Is Easy